Last food thing, I swear!

Can you tell I’ve done jack squat the last few days?? (speaking of jack squat – that brings up a hilarious story!) My allergies have been terrible and frankly – I’ve just napped a lot! Mostly my allergies give me awful headaches or I am extremely tired. This time it was tired.

Kid story alert!

So Adam often says words he shouldn’t and we tell him he can’t say that. It’s his way of testing the boundaries. Sometimes he gets soap in his mouth, sometimes he gets sent to his room (I think this actually irritates him more because he does it for the attention). Anyway, he doesn’t do this as much anymore. But now he’ll ask if a work is appropriate or if he can say that word in our house (or if he can say that word in my room if he’s hanging with me in the stamp room). And at times, he’ll ask if it’s appropriate (well, his version of pronouncing that word) several times….like lots. Totally annoying.

So the other day, he asks me if he can call me Jack Squat. I really had to control myself to not laugh in his face. Because it wasn’t just what he said…it was the way he says “Jack Squat”. I told him sure, you can call me Jack Squat if you want to, lol! And then we had to go through if “sure” was an appropriate word and if we can say “sure” in my room…..so it began all over again.

Now, if I ever hear Jack Squat – that’s all I think of…..Can I call you Jack Squat???

Ok….back to the food…and I do swear this is the last one. I promise REAL crafty goodness tonight! Promise! I’ve been working on a project that I can’t share until next week, but it’s about finished and I am taking the afternoon off to make some other things. So I’ll show you those! But this is what we had for dinner last night…

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YUM! That’s Eggplant Parmesan…in all it’s saucy-cheesy-goodness! Makes my mouth water! This is probably my favorite dish ever. Mine is usually 3-4 layers deep. Yum! The younger two won’t try it and as much as I am all about ‘this is dinner – eat it or don’t eat,’ I do not waste it on them if they won’t eat it! So they had ‘naked noodles’ – or noodles with a little olive oil, garlic, and stuff. Andy has loved it since he was about 18 mos old though – smart kid!

Eggplant Parmesan

1 eggplant
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Spaghetti sauce

Breading:
2 eggs
2 T water
Salt
Oregano
Pepper
¼ c flour
1/3 c parmesan cheese

Wash and peel eggplant. Cut into ½ inch slices. Mix middle ingredients together to form a runny pancake batter. Dip eggplant into batter, then cook in hot oil. (4 to 6 minutes)
In large baking dish, pour thin layer of sauce. Place eggplant on sauce, sprinkle with sauce, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers until all eggplant is used.
Bake in oven at 400 for 15 to 20 minutes. (I usually double or triple the recipe – and it is just as good warmed up for leftovers, and I hate leftovers!)

Also, when I was at Ikea I looked for my hot pink chair. When I went last time, they were out of the hot pink. But the seat of the chair is sold separately and it’s only $6 to buy the seat. Well, this time they had pink! So here’s my new chair – again, please ignore the disarray that is my stamp room…..it’s actually kinda clean-ish there!

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notice all those cd cases and dvd cases of stamps to the right? Yeah….gotta get better storage for those, huh? It’s on my list……

Stamping Space Sunday: chair

Well, it’s still Sunday here for another hour so I can go ahead and share this!  It’s kind of silly, but it is a part of my stamp room.

I got a new chair!  I’ve been using one of our dining room chairs for the past 2 years.  I just never got around to getting one just for my stamp room.  This past week, we went to Ikea and I got one.  They have these plastic rolling chairs for $20.  And they are REALLY comfortable!  They have some back support as well.  I was really surprised at how comfy they were and ya can’t beat that price!  So, I got a rolling chair (and stumbled on some floor mats for them on sale at Office Depot).  I love that I can now roll over to my Costco drawer units and get out my punches and primas.

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So there’s my chair all ready to go!  I really really wanted a hot pink chair.  But they were sold out.  So I got this blue/green color.  Best part:  they sell the chair separate from the base.  And it’s only $6 for the chair part.  So I won’t feel too bad if I get a hot pink seat later and switch them.  (They snap onto the base.)

Anyway, that’s my stamping space idea for today.  Make sure you have a comfy chair!

Stamping Space Sunday: new drawers

Okay, two weeks ago I had a class on Saturday. I sent my husband to Costco with the boys for several reasons. I was out of my Zipfizz, the boys think it’s the best place on Earth because they have samples, and they needed to be out of the house. I had also cleaned out the second table in my room (I have two tables in an L shape) and wanted to make it a ‘tools’ table instead of a spot for someone else to stamp. Since Kimberly doesn’t stamp with me anymore, it was kinda just piling up with junk. I wanted to put out my cuttlebug and bind-it-all, etc so that they would be more accessible. I also wanted to get all the Marvy punches off my table along with several other items that just needed a ‘spot’. So we measured the space under the table and I said if he found something that would fit under there – go ahead and get it and we’ll see if it works or not.

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Well, he came home with the exact drawer units I had looked at earlier in the week at Hobby Lobby! I wasn’t sure at the time if they would fit or not. And, at Costco, they were much cheaper! They come with 6 drawers, but you can remove them by level (the drawer and the slot come off if you want to make it shorter). The top two drawers are open, the bottom four have removable lids. These work great for me! I had one in there, but Matthew said if we took one drawer off, we could fit two units side by side! Sounded like a plan to me, so he ran back to Costco and bought a second one! Awesome! So it cleared off SO much space for me! I was able to put all my Marvy punches in one drawer. Bind it all coils are in two of the drawers, zutter book covers are in another, one has lots of primas, etc. I love it! I have the two extra drawers and they hold other stuff and I either stood them up on their sides next to it or put it away. They are big enough to hold 12×12 paper too! I think these were made by Cropper Hopper, but I am not positive.

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So that’s how they look! I love them! Thank you so so much, hon! If you don’t have Costco, they would be about the same deal with a coupon at Hobby Lobby. So that’s my latest storage find. I love how much each drawer holds, and yet they are still pretty accessible to me! You can see where they are in relation to where I stamp. I have so much right there within reach!  My 5 yo, Alex, stood in the middle of the room and twirled in circles saying “I can see the carpet again!”  Nice….

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You can also see how not organized I am! Hope you had a great weekend! We are off to take family pictures. Wish me luck and patience!!

Stamping Space Sunday: Cameras

So this isn’t really related to your actual stamping space, but it is an important part, right? Not only do you need a decent camera to photograph your works of art, but also to take pictures that are fantastic for scrapbooking. I am not going to pretend that I know a lot about cameras, because I don’t. I am bad – I don’t like reading the manual, but then I get mad when my pictures are crappy. Hmm….maybe I should take the time and just read the darned thing! Or I could just ask Mamak about it. (This is of course the option I chose!) Recently I traded in (ie, bought a new one and sold the old one on ebay) my camera for a different one. I had a Canon Powershot SD450 Elph. I wasn’t happy with it. Mostly it was user error. But I needed to do some specific things that it just wasn’t allowing for. So this week I got my new one in the mail. I took the pics yesterday with it – I don’t know if they look better to you, but they did to me!

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It is the Canon Powershot S3 IS. It’s a 6 megapixel digital camera. There are some very specific things that led me to choose this camera. The first – mamak said it was a good one. This accounted for about 90% of my decision! (She does the whole Rebel Manual stuff – way out of my league, but her pics are amazing!) I love that this had Optical Image Stabilizer. It means that it will help stabilize your photo even if your arm isn’t perfectly still. I need this. Actually, Matthew desperately needed this. (He’s a terrible photographer, that’s why there are no photos of me ever!) The second – it has an external flash. Now I am not sure if it truly qualifies as that, but it pops up above the camera so it counts to me! This helps because if your flash is too close to your lens you get a lot of funky stuff happenin. I can’t be more technical cause I don’t know!

Anyway, thus far I am suitably impressed with the new one. Of course, all I have done is take it out and snap a few pics. The manuals are still in the sealed packaging. Maybe I should try to look at those today! I do like that it takes AA batteries, it’s easy to have extras on hand vs having to charge a specific battery. It’s heavier than what I had before, but I decided I don’t care if it takes better pictures. And it has a lens cap which makes me look like I am a great photographer and I know what I’m doing, right?!?

Anyway, that’s the extent of my photography knowledge.  I am off to read my manual! What kind of camera do you use?

Stamping Space Sunday: Ink Storage

Okay, here’s the next topic for Stamping Space Sunday.  Sorry it is late – poor Adam is still sick.  He made it through the 11 hrs in the car yesterday, but woke up all yucky again today.  Poor guy!  I really hope he gets it all out of his system today.

Anyway, the topic for today is Ink Storage.  This is a popular subject amongst stampers – we’ve all got ink and we’ve all got to store it somehow!  Every stamping space needs unique storage.  Some units will work for some and not for others.  I did a LOT of extensive research on the different ink storage options out there before I chose one.  I stalked this thread on SCS and deliberated for many months before I chose the Dzyntec Ink Caddies. 

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These are acrylic ink caddies.  When I got them, they were on sale for 10 for $90.  I currently use 6 of them and my older sister has the other 4.  I have four units on an acrylic turntable (from the same site) and the other two sit behind it.  The units on the turntable hold all four color families and the in colors.  I removed the doors from these units (easily done by slightly heating that part with a heat gun, then popping it apart.  You can also re-assemble by using Crystal Effects).  I also took one drawer out of a few of them and use that shelf for the in colors.  Lastly, I took another of the drawers out and removed the dividers from it.  I use those drawers for various things – like microbeads, etc.  One divided drawer is for reinkers for that color family and the other is used for sponges and sponge daubers for those colors.  The drawer at the bottom is perfect for the markers.

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Along the wall behind my turntable is another two caddies.  These hold some of the neutrals and some craft ink pads.  I used to have another caddy back there, but I got rid of a lot of my craft pads recently.  I also stack up my stazon and versamark pads right there.  I like having these out as I use them frequently.  The divided tray there is used for the in color reinkers and sponges.  As well as neutral reinkers.

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Lastly, I have a stack directly in front of me with Basic Black, Basic Brown, etc.  Since those are the most used ink pads (although the black and brown stazon may be more used now!!) I leave them out all the time. 

So that’s my ink storage!  Now, before you all ask – NO, the dyzntec.com site is not available anymore.  I know.  It’s sad.  These are awesome!  I managed to get them at that great price because they were clearing out their inventory in order to move to a new location.  Well, shortly after I got mine, they shut down to supposedly more.  But they never came back!  I haven’t ever been able to find them and that was a year and a half ago.  Bummer. So that’s my ink storage!   How do you store your ink?

Stamping Space Sunday – Paper Storage

Whew!  I’ve been trying to post this since yesterday morning!  Some 2000 people are without internet – major crisis, huh??  Anyway, it is working for now so I am going to try to get this in really quick! 

I thought I would show how I store my papers.  I have it in two main places and then I have a third for overflow.

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This first one is a rubbermaid-like storage file box I got at Walmart a few years ago.  I have file folders in it with the color name written at the top and a small square of it punched out and glued on.  (I even got Matthew to help me with this one night!)  I used to have them in color families, but now I have them in alphabetical order with the nuetrals and the In Color’s at the front.  I store my 8.5 x 11 paper in this box.  I love it, I keep it right next to me (with another box under it so it is the perfect height).  Over time, the folders get a bit junked up on the tabs and I swap them out for new ones. 

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The second storage system is the Cropper Hopper Vertical Storage.  I have my patterned paper in these.  I have all Basic Grey in one and then I have all the rest in the other one.  Once I cut into a piece, I put it in a pile on the extra table in my room.  This system kinda stinks (the cut pieces) as it is messy and just makes a big pile, but it’s accessible!

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Then I have the Store In Style cubes.  I have 2 that have the five pull-out shelves.  One is vertical and holds magazines.  The other is horizontal and holds extra SU paper.   I have one shelf per color family.  It makes it easy to check what I am running out of for re-ordering. 

So, how do you store your paper?

A New Sunday Topic: Stamping Space

I thought I would start a few thematic days on my blog.  This will be the first one, and if y’all like it, I will try a few more designated days.  That way, I make sure I share those things too.  Sunday will be the first trial run on this.  I am going to call it “Stamping Space Sunday”.  Each Sunday I will share a more in depth look at something in my stamping space.  This will also help me to update photos of my space as things change.  I know that organization is a HUGE thing with paper crafters of any type.  There are always too many products and not enough space.  I hope that some of my solutions can help a few of you out!

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This Sunday I am going to share my ribbon storage.  What paper crafter doesn’t have tons of ribbons???  I mean, can you really ever have too much ribbon?  I know I don’t think so!  Currently I store my ribbon in 3 different places.  All are in an arms reach from where I sit when I work.  The first is my main storage place and this is where I started with all my ribbon.  I used to only purchase SU ribbon.  I am very particular about matching and their ribbons are perfect matches to their papers.  But, sometimes I just need some that I can’t fine from SU.  So now, I have expanded beyond their spools.  I got this rack from MyCraftSolutions on ebay.  It seems to go off and on as a store on there.  I really love it, and it is perfect for spooled ribbons.  I just have it hung on the wall over my stamp table.  It has 4 dowel rods.  I put cord, string and wide organdy on the top.  The second has all narrow organdy – these are either from SU, Michaels, or Starlitstudio.  The third dowel stores all my SU grosgrain.  The bottom rod has a wide mix – SU gingham, American Crafts, and other patterened spooled ribbons.  I love this rack, it holds a lot of ribbon, and I can reach them easily.  Usually, the ribbons are hanging down quite a bit and sometimes I have to spin them back up on the roll, but the dowels do not unroll easily – so it really is a wonderful system.

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My second storage place is one of those 3 drawer plastic storage units you can get at Target or Walmart.  I have several of these in front of me on my stamp table, but one is just for ribbon.  I have all my American Crafts spools – the small ones that come in the 5 packs and don’t have holes in the middle.  The bottom drawer is all the scraps of ribbon I have from when I’ve cut a length off a spool and didn’t use it all.  Kind of a mess drawer, but at least it is contained!

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The last storage place is new.  I got these 3×3 drawers from Cropper Hopper and they are used to store my ribbon from TexasJodyLynn’s shares.  I love that she has done these, and I’ve got a pretty good variety of ribbon too!  If you haven’t had a chance to do one of her shares – you really should!  She is FABULOUS to work with, and her prices are fantastic.   OH! And she has a polka-dot ribbon share RIGHT NOW!  She does Prima shares too!

Anyway, that about sums it up for my ribbon storage system!  So how do y’all store your ribbons??

And, what do you think of Stampin Space Sundays?

Ribbon Storage, Valentines, and more!

This is kind of a hodge podge post. I’ve got a few things to share with you today, so get ready! The first is that ribbon storage I have been talking about sharing. I joined a ribbon share and got 30 colors of grosgrain ribbon in 10 yard segments. I looked around and settled on this storage solution. I love how Karen did hers and it was relatively cheap with sales and coupons. I got mine at Hobby Lobby. I only bought one drawer and not all my ribbon will fit. I had about 6 colors left over that wouldn’t fit in the drawer. So I either need to buy a second drawer or hurry up and use a bunch of ribbon so I can squeeze more in! Anyway, I totally needed something to fill the space that my background stamps used to fill when they were stacked up….so I put the drawer there. It’s right next to me, easy to reach and it’s really light so I can just pull it out and hold whatever I am working on right next to it to color match. Anyway, I got the drawers, the white cards and the clips at Hobby Lobby. They were all on the same aisle too.

Next I have a little valentine to share. I made this last night while I watched Scrubs with Matthew. Scrubs is only the best show on tv. It is completely our sense of humor. Anyway, here’s a card I made while we watched. I used another $1 stamp from Michael’s and Basic Grey Blush papers. I cannot get enough of the blush papers, and Recollections cannot keep them in stock! I used the mega scalloped punch for the striped Blush paper and sponged chocolate chip around the edges. I stamped the image on white cardstock, punched it out with the jumbo circle punch and sponged the edges with chocolate chip. I used markers to color the image. Then I stamped a strip of chocolate chip cardstock with paisley (in chocolate chip ink) and used the paper piercing tool to pierce along the top and bottom of the strip. I added pink organdy ribbon to that and mounted it on more Blush papers (also sponged in chocolate chip ink). Then did some more layering and voila! It’s simple, but kinda shabby chic.

The last thing is another little gift set for a friend who is going through a hard time. I used more Basic Grey Romany on this set. Just a quickie Target notebook, monogrammed post-it holder, and a beaded pen. I hope it will at least cheer her up!
And tomorrow – the beaded pen tutorial will be here!!

We have a WINNER!!

I enjoyed reading all of your favorite things over the past few days! There are some great recipes in there as well! There seemed to be some common threads amongst our faves too. Our families, chocolate, stamping, reading, reading blogs, chocolate, etc. Thank you for sharing with me!
And now, for the winner! My 6 yo, Andy, picked the winner for me today!
Ara, you are the winner! Please email me your address and I’ll ship your goodies out to you!
Here is what she said:
Ara said…
Wow Emily, another freebie, COOL!!Well, one of favorite things has to be mornings at my house…the kids inner alarm clocks are set for 8 bells, and they sometimes come in earlier, or later, but mostly at 8. And we snuggle and watch Curious George!! It is wonderful!! Thanks Emily for allowing me to share!!Ara
January 27, 2007 11:03:00 PM CST
Thank you all for commenting and reading my blog! Here’s to many more hits!
And a little something cool to share with you. My husband asked what we could do to organize my room a little more (He meant it to be helpful, but I thought he was making fun of how messy it is!). So we got a shelf from Target and put my background stamps on it! I love it! Now they are off the table, the are not stacked up – which is supposedly bad for the rubber, and they look so nice! He has promised to figure out my label maker and label them along the side too! He’s the bestest! And here’s a pic of my new shelf!

Confession Time….

So I felt the need to confess something. It has been brought to my attention how organized and neat my stampin space is. Well…..it’s just not true, lol! It’s usually a disorganized mess. I am afraid my photos were a bit misleading. If you’ll notice, some of them have cream walls instead of green. That means they were taken over a year ago. Probably the last time my stamp room was clean, in fact. So I just wanted to get that off my chest. No, I am not that neat of a stamper! In fact, right now, you can’t even see the tables cause they are covered with junk. Ok, I feel better now.

Also, I wanted to show off my closet. This used to be a regular closet that had just one rack towards the top for hangers. Matthew put shelves in over Labor Day this year, you know…..cause he needed to do some labor. So now I’ve got my mailing center shelf, my finished projects shelf, my alterables shelf, and then some ‘other stuff’ shelves. I love it and it really has helped me get more organized. LOL! Seriously, it has helped the mess in here. Those of you that have been in my stamp room are laughing your butts off right now….but it is better. Honest.