PagesPat's Ponderings

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

A Special Card for a Special Event

Between my sister's visit from Germany, decluttering, Spring cleaning, a garage sale and a million other things, I still carved out enough time to create a card for an upcoming wedding I'm attending. I had enough patterned papers left over from "the purge", as well as lace, stickers, and adhesive bling to make this (and many more) card. My paper hoard stack is down to about a foot high now and neatly organized. I found my stickers quickly in the file folder labeled Love & Weddings, and my bins of lace and adhesive pearls and jewels were easily reached in identical bins. However, from design through prep to finished project, it still took me most of the afternoon.
Of course, our dog is on a special meal plan, eating prescription dog food every two hours, which leads to more frequent walks. I also had a video dr. appointment and ran a few errands, but I must say that the time spent creating this card was well spent. I really like the way it turned out. It measures 6x8 inches, fitting into an envelope I rescued from a thrift store find. In fact, except for the paper and stickers, everything else was a thrift find, from the lace to the metallic border.
Here's the inside:

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Things are Starting to Bloom


Spring may be on the calendar, but Winter refuses to let go! There's a chance for snow in the forecast for tomorrow night!! Meanwhile, I've started to create new deck decor out of a few metal pieces I found last year. This is one way I can declutter my garage while keeping my hand in creating new art.

I also have a few frames in the garage that need to be filled and hung on my house walls, which will have to wait until I paint or print what I want to frame. But back to my floral metal work. It was a dull unstained metal structure. Even the flowers had no color to them. At first I was thinking of my front deck and different shades of blues, but that deck is going in a different direction, and my back deck is looking bare. So I used a few bright Spring colors of acrylic paints for my flowers after spray painting the branches white.

My deck opens with French doors from my bedroom, a zoning concession made for my wheelchair-bound husband. It is also much bigger than the limits the city usually has. The VA rehabbed the house, requiring two accessible for motorized wheelchairs. The four front steps and landing were covered by the deck and ramp. I didn't want the contractor to mess with the backdoor as its door also led to the basement, so I suggested a deck with the French doors. 

The handicapped access part of the deck was a Lift with a dedicated electrical box. We also had stairs from the deck to the backyard. Sadly, my husband didn't get to enjoy the deck for very long, but when he sat out in the sun, he enjoyed every minute! 

Monday, April 1, 2024

With Spring Comes New Deck Decor

Decluttering is catching--really! My sister was ready to donate a set of three faux native American pottery pieces before I swooped in last Fall and took them home with me. It took me six months to play with them, but one of them is now decorating my back deck. I used different colors than were original, but I noticed immediately that it was a ceramic piece that someone painted and fired up. I think they go well on my deck, and you will see more photos as I "deck" my deck as Spring comes fully into bloom.

I used acrylic paints. The blue seemed a little too intense, so I had to brush and lightly wipe away some silver paint to tone it down. I can't wait to play with its matching piece (at least in size). The last piece is slightly bigger and I already put it out on my front deck (no pics, sorry). But I didn't do anything to it... 

I really love to take thrift store finds and cast offs from neighbors (and sometimes sisters) and give them new life. Do you like it? With all the decluttering I've been doing, I plan to entertain often this summer. I now have an (almost) cleared out) basement, my house is well into its Spring cleaning shift, and my deck should be awesome for parties. Anybody live in the Chicagoland area?

Meanwhile, just because it's the end of the month, I'm not abandoning my decluttering. I still have hills (at least it's no longer mountains) of craft supplies to weed through and keep or donate

Monday, March 25, 2024

Fruits of My Labor


When I started this decluttering challenge, I was looking for a more organized and less cramped craft area. The broader goal was to feel less anxious about the state of my surroundings. Ever since my sisters and I cleaned out my mom's and gram's houses after they passed, I've been storing furniture, collectables and memorabilia for one of them. It was supposed to be temporary! It's been two years.

While the major part of the basement is filled with this inheritance, my craft supplies were overflowing and unorganized as well. So this month I tasked myself with attacking my supplies with a heavy hand. Having a budding new crafter to whom I am donating my stash has really motivated me. 

We are almost to the end of March. I set my goals for the 31st of this month. That's when my other sister who lives in Germany will be visiting for a month. Here's a peek at my progress. The photo above doesn't show all the cardboard boxes that I broke down and recycled, as well as the things that weren't worth donating. 

My basement is still full of bins and boxes of the "inherited" stuff, but as soon as my one sister goes back to her home in Germany, I'm pinning my other sister down to a reasonable estimate for removal of those items from my house (and garage). 

Maybe I can start to actually craft downstairs again!  gasp Or even entertain friends for the holidays!! Um, maybe by Christmas...


Friday, March 22, 2024

Something Fun and Different


After spending a short time decluttering (again), I uncovered a small wooden box with a cut-out top. Just a plain old unfinished wood box measuring about 7"x9". I still had a small pile of designer papers from which to choose my framed cover, and cut out small pieces from another paper (bird, heart, thing in right bottom corner) before covering it with glass.

I painted the sides with Posca markers, but left the top unfinished wood. I added a line of small pearls around the top border, and added a line of adhesive dots to the inside top of the frame. I could have stopped there, but...I had a packet of flowers and a glue gun plugged in. So I created a spray of sunshine and added a set of charms with the theme of Wanderlust.

My box now has a place in my bedroom for trinkets and stuff.  It was totally worth taking the time off from decluttering my stash or creating cards from the leftovers. Tomorrow I'll be back to work creating an organized craft area. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Steady as She Goes

 Just went through my desk drawers in the basement. I decluttered all the school notebooks, dividers, report covers, file folders, and assorted stationery. Now one drawer holds that kind of stationery, while the other drawer holds hanging folders of memorabilia due for scrapbooking.

After that rewarding chore, I sat down with my box of leftover goodies and created another batch of cards, along with one more bookmark. I have to ask myself, who still reads real printed books? I know I and my sisters do. Many of my friends read both printed and online books, but there are several who only read on their Nook or Kindle.

I can't say it matters either way. I love books, I love reading, whatever the media, and children love getting bookmarks (and some adults). The cards are all put together from pieces and bits of crafting supplies. There's even a lone novelty playing card with Charlie Brown and Snoopy on a birthday card. I used to belong to a Yahoo group that offered challenges like on Blogger. Sometimes a challenge would pop up that asked a crafter to use what was lying on their crafting desk/table. That's kind of what I'm doing, only I gather up the extras I've discovered while decluttering and bagged them for cardmaking later.

Next on my declutter list is the small stuff. That's right, the jewels, brads, Skittles, etc., that have been housed in t tool tower with 50 small clear bins. Maybe (no promises) I'll remember to take a before photo of the tower before I declutter. Remember, I'm not just throwing away or sending stuff off to a thrift store. I'm giving all my selected supplies to a young girl who loves crafting but has no means to buy her own. Not only does she get to discover all kinds of techniques and media, but since she's young her mom joins her and that's some quality time they have together!

Okay, I better tackle that tower that terrifies me into trembles (how's that for alliteration?) 
P.S. (A special shout out to Faith of Daffodil Cards for being my cheerleader in this venture. Besides the positive reinforcement, she has some beautiful cards to inspire all her visitors!).

Happy crafting, all!_

Monday, March 18, 2024

Another One Bites the Dust

 Today's decluttering produced 7 cards and a bookmark. The only reason I stopped was to feed and walk the dog, then jump on my spin bike! I now have two large bags of craft supplies for a budding new crafter, a full recycle bin, several more empty containers/drawers, and less anxiety knowing that my basement has a chance to be a livable space again.

I started with the bookmark since I found a watercolor that I had made last year. When I'm not happy with my watercolors. I cut out the part(s) that I like and keep them for future projects. Using leftover die-cut stars, macrame string and a die-cut butterfly, I finished off my bookmark with a sticker that reads dream.

I had two pre-cut cards and envies that I discovered in my decluttering and used leftover papers as card fronts. I cut out the birthday cake from a transparent sheet of scrapbook paper and added small paper flowers and a sticker  reading wish; I used a stamped Thanks sentiment on the other large card and added a die-cut paper butterfly.

The card in the very front has a pop-up vase of flowers in the middle. I created this card from a leftover card kit I had made for a workshop before Covid. The others are card and envie sets that I used patterned papers, ATCs, stickers and flowers to create feel-good note cards. The one on the very left is actually a three-fold; I decorated the front and left the inside clear in which wo write a note to someone special...

During this declutter so far, I have learned that:

I buy supplies impulsively, mostly when things are on clearance or offered at thrift stores. 
I am a paperholic and since decreasing the number of cards I make after Covid, is not a good trait.
I save too many "pieces" and "ripped" or "broken" supplies thinking I can find a use for them.
I don't have as much space as I have craft supplies.
I should have bought real crafting storage i/o thrifting for furniture/bins/shelving haphazardly.

Does this mean I won't visit a craft or thrift store or buy supplies before I really need them? Probably not, but I will have a good think before I get to the cash register and hand over the cash for it all!!

Keeping it real, crafting peeps!