Boy do I need THESE tips on thread!

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I never know how to buy thread, I just buy the color I need. I never, EVER pay attention to weight/thickness. I’m honestly not THAT great of a sewer. I can sew straight lines, and TRY to sew round, but not always “perfect”.

I found this website I thought I’d share (in case you haven’t seen it before) on tips for selecting thread for sewing.

Craft money saving hints

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This was a GREAT idea for a swap! I guess I never thought of money-saving, until I stopped to look at what my tips are. Pretty much the main thing I believe is RECYCLE & REUSE seemed like my theme! Or as I call myself, “A Shiney SH*T Saver* -NOT a  “pack rat” — I USE my stuff (for the most part)! Of course I keep thinking of more ideas after I already sent the swap! Oh well…

Here are my tips with photos.

1.) I work at a family practice doctors’ office as my day job. There is so much waste & disregard for recycling, that I finally took action.

a.) The sign in sheets come in pads of 200, with chipboard backing on each pad. I asked the girls to NOT throw those out & please save them for me. Chipboard can get pricey & might as well save it for crafts or to send to partners for THEIR craft projects! So always look around especially in an office setting, there are chip board pieces that come in forms boxes (at least at my office they do).

chipboard

chipboard

 

b.) Also a big + of working in a medical office, I noticed one day there were these AWESOME trays with about 30 little round spaces – 1 tray had deep ones & 1 tray had shallower ones. So I asked one of our nurses what those were from & she said that the Pap smear (female GYN test) tests came in those trays. OMG – those are AWESOME for sorting beads! So, from that point on, I’ve had the nurses save all those trays for me. I have exceeded MY personal limit of them, but I take them to my monthly craft group and they LOVE them –for paint trays, beads, glass pieces, etc.  So I stock them up each month! (If you’d like any PLEASE let me know – I have plenty – I’ll post a pic on my blog)

 

trays

trays

c.)  Also working at the doctor’s office, on the exam tables are rolls of white paper that is changed between patients. Well, I have a parrot & since she loves foraging (searching) for treats, I make her foraging toys out of old paper towel tubes. Since we don’t go thru too many paper towels at home, but she can rip through the tube in seconds, I wasn’t able to keep up with her demand. So again, at work I asked the nurses to save the tubes from the table paper. The tubes are pretty much the length of wrapping paper, so I just cut them down smaller and stuff them with her treats & give her one tube each day.

 

tubes

tubes

d.)  During the flu season, I noticed a bunch of colored little button size plastic tops that came on each vial of the influenza bottles. *light bulb*  So, I asked the nurses (again) to save those & any other ones that they have from immunizations. I was not aware that other immunizations/vaccines had different color tops – BONUS for me! So, these are great replacements for buttons!!

2.)  I save & reuse EVERY little plastic bag that stickers, jewelry, you name it, comes in. The sticker size ones are great for punches that I’m working on a specific project. I also will use the bags to send swap stuff in. I think the BESTEST  invention EVER is the zip-top bag!!! I can NEVER have enough!

3.) I am a ribbon hoarder. I LOVE ribbon (especially when on clearance!) So besides buying Christmas ribbon @ 90% off, I swap the ribbon on swap-bot. I am in almost every ribbon swap! I love seeing the different ribbons people have!!!  Then I use small pieces to tie up swaps before sending them off. I believe each swap should be like getting a small present in the mail! I have my ribbons arranged by color.  I saw this blog and fell in LOVE with her method of storage for ribbon. For the most part, my ribbon is in those drawers, however any ribbon I have purchased or swapped since, oh, say, November, are in the purple baskets or white trays on top and still need to be sorted. OH, this is one of my uses for my chipboard I save in #1 – I cut the pieces down to appropriate size to fit. LOVE this storage method!

ribbon storage

ribbon storage

 

ribbon drawer

ribbon drawer

4.) Spice bottles. I don’t go thru too many, but I do save the glass ones for my buttons. Good size doesn’t take up much room & looks great!

5.)  Make your own rubber stamp cleaner. I was first introduced to cleaning your rubber stamps by Stampin Up! Since I don’t want to buy another bottle from them, I found the recipe on Splitcoast Stampers & made a few bottles of my own. The stuff lasts a long time & smells great.  From that link, I used this recipe:     Recipe #2:  2 Cups Distilled water1 Tsp. Dawn dish soap5 drops of Glycerin

6.) Gerber plastic baby food containers. I have no kids but have LOTS of friends/coworkers that have had them. Those containers are SO awesome for saving beading projects, baby powder, glitter, and so many other things – they ARE NOT leak proof for liquids though, so be warned!  So find someone with a baby under a year old & ask them to save them for you!

 

Gerber baby food plastic containers

Gerber baby food plastic containers

7.) Tissue paper from gifts. Yeah they make fun of me at work for saving the tissue paper from gift bags, but WHO do they come to when they need some for a gift? HMMMM? Yeah that’s right ME!  Whether its for another gift bag, or to cut it down smaller to wrap jewelry or just a small swap package, tissue paper is so universal! LOVE IT!

 

Hope yall start searching around your jobs, stores, and home for other ideas! Let me know if you have any!! 🙂

I LOVE GECKOS!!

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I don’t really know the full reason I love geckos/anoles (type of chameleon). I even named my etsy  & artfire stores after them!  I know I LOVE the little suction toes on them & the tree frogs! Makes them seems friendlier! I don’t like the pointed toes – makes them seem mean. We’ve gone thru the stage of keeping them as pets. Uh, yeah, that was not too much fun. 1.) they aren’t snuggly 2.) they eat bugs/crickets 3.) have to keep live crickets & feed THEM in order to keep them alive, to feed the lizards. Uh, yeah, gross. SO, that was a 2 month pet a few years ago. Now I just talk to them outside when I see them on the house or where ever they may pop out.

So this all being said, when I saw the swap on swap-bot for a gecko ATC card swap, I HAD to join! I really hated parting with this photo of this lizard face–but i can get it reprinted … and being a gecko lover, I have dies, punches, rubber stamps of geckos. For the other ATC I used my favorite gecko rubber stamp that I got in an etsy swap on swap-bot and my favorite gecko punch. I used different shades of green Stampin Up! inks and Crystal Effects over the punched geckos to make them stand out a bit more.  Hope my partner (who happens to be the host of the swap) likes these — if she doesn’t I’d be HAPPY to take them back for MY collection!

ATC gecko

ATC gecko

Still in the beginner stages of ATCs

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I thought I was making an ATC for a FABRIC ATC swap when I was making this owl ATC. The owl  I cut out of fabric & there is mesh over the printed paper. However, once I went back to look at the directions for the FABRIC ATC swap, the WHOLE ATC was to be made out of fabric….oh well, so I used it for a different beginner ATC swap. LUCKILY the partner I had, LOVES owls!  Hope she likes this ATC!

ATC fabric owl

ATC fabric owl

I had bought some Tinkerbell Valentine cards to hand out at work, but then saw the Tinkerbell ATC swap. So, I used two of the Valentines for these ATCs. I tore out of the dictionary “fairy” and “Wish” and used one on each card. Hope my partners like these!

TINKERBELL ATC

TINKERBELL ATC

Houston WINTER BLAST 2011

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You would think that title would be a party announcement. Uh, yeah, no. Houston was to get a big SNOW STORM, but only got an ice storm on Friday, Feb 4th. Why don’t people learn? SLOW DOWN in bad weather! Let alone, you’ve NEVER driven in ice, so DON”T drive when it’s iced.  All the kids were sad that they didn’t get to play in the snow. Oh well, there’s always next time.

Houston Ice Storm Feb 4, 2011

Houston Ice Storm Feb 4, 2011

Button Fairy

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I like trying new and different craft projects on swap-bot and here was my perfect opportunity. The hardest part of the whole thing was trying to get the lady & wings to print at the correct size. But it was quite fun after I got that accomplished. I added magnets to the back of her wings for my swap partner to put on her fridge.   I may join more swaps like this or look for a button fairy group over on swap-bot.com.

My 1st Button Fairy Feb 2011

My 1st Button Fairy Feb 2011

 

My second Button Fairy. Made for Nervous Newbies Round 2 swap. It helped me practice making these. I really like how easy & different these are. I have attached magnets to the back of this fairy as well. Hope my swap partner likes it.

 

button Fairy #2

button Fairy #2

Hand feeding a Monarch butterfly

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If you clicked on the link from the frog surgery story, then you went to our nature/photography blog. We raise butterflies in our yard, and for some bizarre reason we had some Monarchs not take their journey to Mexico & laid eggs on our milkweed, which had caterpillars, then turn to chrysalis and now in the cold of Houston’s winter, they are all hatching (eclosing is the proper term, but you’ll see I am not the technical person – the other blog is).

So because the Monarchs are hatching in February and Houston has had a week of below freezing temps, they won’t make it outside so we have to hand feed them. This is just one of the 5 Monarchs we have had to hand feed. The bowl has cotton balls soaked in grape Juicy Juice. They LOVE it. It’s like butterfly crack!  If we have to feed them more than 1x while in the house, they get the hang of drinking right away, otherwise I have to grab/pull their tongue (probiscus) out with a toothpick so they get the taste. A few of them have sat and drank for at least a minute (which is a lot of time in butterfly time).

February 2011 Monarch feeding on Juicy Juice

February 2011 Monarch feeding on Juicy Juice

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