Cards for the museum

 I mentioned a few posts ago that one of my "new adventures" is that the museum here in town is going to be selling my cards this summer.  I couldn't be more excited.  A.) another forum to sell in = more money/more reasons to make cards LOL and B.) a chance to use some of the more vintage-y things I hoard.    The museum is called The Mennonite Heritage Village - it's an amazing day's worth of reliving how this town came to be with it's Mennonite settlers - a whole village to walk through including schools, churches, a working windmill that grinds flour (to make the bread they sell), several houses, a sod house, a general store, a blacksmith, a printer.....and of course barns with animals.  So....what could be better, I thought, than cards to sell there made with some of the very era-appropriate vintage items I've been saving for this rainy day.  
I have an obscene button collection - time to use some of that up;  I keep rolls of hemp and jute handy at all times;  there is no end to the amount of ribbon I have hoarded up; and I regularly haunt my local MCC store and find vintage lace, doilies, and all sorts of handmade trinkets like that.   (I have a few hand-embroidered old hankies that I want to incorporate into some cards yet).  

For now, here's a peek at a few of the styles I put in my first batch of cards at the museum.  

Thanks for stopping by :)

A little (late) Spring Break Before & After

Over Spring Break this year I took a few days to makeover a couple of cabinets for a friend of mine.  One was a large hutch they were using as a TV/entertainment unit and the other was a much smaller, older cabinet that belonged to her Grandfather, I believe.  Here are my before & afters :)  Both were already stripped so that made this project quite easy but they did require quite a bit of sanding and touch-up. 

The entertainment hutch had already been previously used to be a separated upper section with a bar down the center and an extra shelf inside - the divider bar had already come down (been attached to one of the doors so it still closed properly but a TV could fit inside) but if you looked inside you could still see where the shelf had once been and that required some sanding to make it look like it had always been a big open space.  Amazing though what some sanding and primer can hide :)

Entertainment hutch BEFORE:

and AFTER:

Grandfather's cabinet had a drawer in the bottom that hadn't been opened for awhile and I had to tip the cabinet on it's front and shake like crazy to get it out of there :)  Before and after painting, I sanded the edges of the drawer down so that once it was finished, it would slide in and out.  Also, putting hardware on the drawer helped.  I had a lot of fun doing this little piece although I don't think it would have been quite as much fun to do those spindles on the side without my paint sprayer (probably my favourite new toy!!).

Grandfather's cabinet BEFORE:

and AFTER:

I love the "after" picture my friend sent me - maybe this just appeals to me a lot because I'm in the process of converting my own house to grey/white with teal accents.  Love it!

A day for new adventures

Apparently today is a day of surprises for me - good ones I hope....we'll have to let them play out a bit to make sure.  

1. I asked, and got a yes from Mennonite Heritage Village  (MHV), the nationally acclaimed museum here in our city - they're going to sell my cards in their gift shop this summer!  Yay.  I'll tell you what - it felt amazing to put together some cards with my "found items" that are extremely era-appropriate for what the museum stands for....lace, doilies, buttons, buckles, and of course, several of them sewn on my sewing machine.  If you get a chance to be in Steinbach this summer - you've got to visit this place (and buy my cards LOL).

2.  I found out today that in September when I come "back to work" after summer holidays - I will be here: 
At the brand-spanking-new (so new in fact that only this "artists' rendering" from the news is available to show you) Middle School.  I'll walk down there one of these days and take a couple pics for you of the actual building which is going up quite quickly, but obviously still under construction.   When I found out today, it was bittersweet news.  I know that it will be a good move and I'll find my niche there but leaving a great staff and amazing friends at my current school will not be easy.  That, plus I'm moving out of my comfort zone and further and further away from Kindergarten which was what my original education focused on.  But, I am looking forward to a little more literacy and a little less shoe-tying and nose-blowing; a little more actual math and a little less "you're not allowed to sit there...teacher....he's in my spot..."  Like I said - an adventure.  I think I'm up for it.  Sheesh....what's one more adventure after the year I've had.  Bring it on!

Therapy Cats get an Epson dish-makeover

We've had dogs over the years....Disley & Bean (may they rest in peace) and we are definitely dog-people.  BUT, we're also pretty spontaneous and we live in town where dogs can't really run like they're meant to.  Shortly after 5 became 4 at our home, we were given a lovely little grey stray kitten who IMMEDIATELY wormed his way into our hearts. 

 A year later we lucked into another little kitten (another stray found starving under a friend's shed)...
... and not just any old kitten, but one who, after a week of adjustment, bonded closely with our first. Now we have 2 who love us and love each other - how amazing is that!!? 

 We lovingly refer to Wasabi (our first, the boy) and Soya (our second, the girl) as our Therapy Cats because they are snuggly when we need it;  playful when we're in the mood; and they've licked more than their share of tears from our faces when that's what we need.  I'm not exactly sure how the last couple of years would have turned out without them....and that may sound a bit "coo-koo" to those of you who haven't been here, or aren't animal people at all....but we have found ourselves to also be Cat-people and these 2 furry friends have dug their way in deep into our hearts. I wandered around the house with my Epson LW-400, I couldn't help but notice their small, white, unlabelled food dishes - how sad :(  They deserve better than that.  I'd already tried out the borders and icons with the labeling I did in my cupboards but who wouldn't want a chance to use more of them, including the little cutsie cat faces in the "animals" section. the Therapy cats are sporting individualized food dishes!  

Now if I could only teach them to read and eat out of their own dishes.

Product was received to review - views are my own - no monetary compensation was recieved.

Getting organized with the Epson LabelWorks LW-400

 Check out what came to my door the other day!!  The LW-400 from Epson. Epson asked me to use it for a few weeks and review it for them :) course I will.  If you know anything about me, you know I love to label and organize things so this is RIGHT up my alley.  

And let me tell you :  This is not your old turn-the-wheel-cachunk-cachunk-labelmaker, my friends.  
It is slick!  It's easy-to-use!  And it's very, very addicting :)  The backlit display is easy to read;  the instructions are very user-friendly (something I personally look for in any electronic device); and hello - it's a Qwerty Keyboard!  That is awesome.  Just like texting, iykwim!  

My first project was a little kitchen cupboard Spring Cleaning.
I am lucky enough to have gotten on the Tupperware bandwagon as it came through town in the 80s and 90s....but the labels that came with mine have seen better days: 

 Most are gone altogether.  This is my favourite - I think it's "Cormeal" but I'd have to stick my finger in and taste it to be sure.
Definitely time for an upgrade and some better labeling.  The package I got from Epson had a few different tape styles to try out so I put in the "Black on Clear" tape to start labeling this Tupperware.  

 Knowing off the top of my head what was in my cupboards, I crawled into bed with a tray, a good movie and the LW-400 and went to town printing out labels that would catalog and classify all the food items in my cupboards.  I even made use of the cool new icon and border frame features - so much fun!
 Ta-da...ingredient harmony :)  I even had to dig a few MORE containers out so I could keep going - No original packaging is safe in this home :)
 And once the cooking and baking items were done, I couldn't stop myself and I moved over to the pasta/rice cupboard too.....Yay! 

I have a couple more projects on the go using the LabelWorks LW-400.....I'll have to see if I can get them done yet this weekend!  For one of them, I may need an extra ounce of'll know what I'm talking about if I actually get pictures to go along with it.  

All in all though - a great start to my Spring Cleaning and I LOVE looking in well organized and well-labeled cupboards like this.  

Product was received to review - views are my own - no monetary compensation was recieved.

Keeping my camera handy for April

April 2:  Mica had a sketch of hers up in the Juvenile Judged Art Competition at the Steinbach Arts Council.   She didn't place, but she was very brave to have entered and I'm so proud of her.  I love this piece - mysterious - just like Mica.

April 3 - E took a sick day today and stayed home from school.  I think mostly he was tired.  In the morning he had enough energy to drag himself to the bathroom, and then drag himself to my bed.  When I called at lunch and when I came home after school, he was still in my bed.

April 4 - All 3 kids having breakfast at the same time????  What??  That almost never happens.  Usually one or the other is quickly finishing up homework or practice, someone's eating and someone else is showering or something....rarely do they all sit down together.

 April 5 - Guess what came in the mail today??  Epson asked me to review the Epson LabelWorks LW-400 this month.  If you know anything at all about me you know I have visions of neatly labelled food containers, scrapbook drawers, etc, etc, dancing in my head....I can't wait to get started :)

April 6 - I'm not sure we'll be home Easter morning so I set this out the night before and this is what the kids woke up to this morning - sweet cereal (a treat we only indulge in on weekends) and a bowl full of Easter Chocolates :)  Yum!!!

April 1st.

Long story short....I lost almost all my Jan & Feb. pictures of this year....whaaaaaaa.  I know.
So.  March has been me & my camera making up for lost time. I have a month's worth of photos taken and I'm on track to keep going in April. 
Here's April 1:  Killer bunnies.  I found this game on a buy-and-sell site and knew at least one of my kids would like it LOL....I think all 3 will once they get over themselves and their own agendas.

My goal in the next few weeks is to get my Project Life album up to date and keep going with the picture-taking.  I am not the greatest photographer around, I'll readily admit....but when I see my kids looking through years' past....I'm convicted and encouraged to keep going.