Monday, February 9, 2015

Early Valentine's Day present - Perfume Sampler, and fragrance talk.

So this came in the mail today, an early Valentine's Day / Anniversary present from my husband. The concept is, you get a box with a bunch of sample size spray vials of different fragrances, and it includes a voucher that you take to a Sephora store and use it to get a small full size bottle (most are one ounce) of one of the sample fragrances.  Which is a great gift for somebody who loves fragrance.

And I do love fragrance. I have loved fragrance since I was only allowed to wear Tinkerbell cologne and Love's Baby Soft. Which is most of my life.

I have no idea which one of these fragrances I will pick to use my voucher with. I asked for it assuming that I would want Thierry Mugler's "Alien" because I tried that in a department store during the holidays and loved it. But the more I sniff at the samples, the less sure I am of which one I like best.

Tom Ford's "Black Orchid" is right up my alley. As is Elizabeth and James' "Nirvana Black".  And some of  the softer and fresher ones might be good for hot weather. I guess all I can do is try a different one every day, narrow it down to a top 3, then use up those sample vials to make my decision.

My all time favorite fragrances come from the Oriental category. Woods, spice, heavier florals, amber, vanilla, musk, etc... I don't like soft florals as much, nor do I like sweet candy scents as much. Fresh and clean fragrances, especially tangy citrus or green herbal ones are good for me when it's hot. But I really prefer spicy, woodsy fragrances with some vanilla and amber. Jasmine is one of the few flowers I really like, along with ylang-ylang and gardenia.

That being said, I like to have a little bit of diversity in my fragrance wardrobe for days I'm in the mood for something sweeter, more feminine, softer, or fresh and clean.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Spring theme ATC

So, here is the final product.  I  swapped out the orange strip for a  yellow one. I just have to make 6 more then on to my next set.  

I used a patterned paper from the craft store for the base, adhered to an ATC blank. I took a Gelly stardust clear sparkle pen and traced around the flower vines on the patterned paper for some sparkle. Then I stacked some Recollections brand paper flowers in the colors scheme I picked and traced lines on them with the sparkle pen and attached them in a stack with a white enamel brad from Recollections, also. The tag at the bottom is a basic yellow cardstock to match the yellow in the flowers, and the letters are silver paper cut on the Cricut. I edged the card and letter tag with silver ink to pick up the sparkle some and bring it all together. The sparkle is a lot more subtle in person than with the flash photograph. But it adds a little something to the design. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Spring theme ATC (artist trading card)

My spring themed ATC for a swap. It's just the prototype, I have to make 8 more like it. Also the silver letters are my first project using the Cricut machine. I think I'm going to go back and change it up a bit. Use the same yellow on the letter strip as is in the flower. I don't know what I was thinking.  I've got a bad case of crafters' block.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Projects I'm working on. Lots of crafting and swappin' going on!

So I belong to a couple of online craft and gift swap groups. I signed up for a few recently to do a variety of different projects.

Artist trading cards, charms, an altered tin, and a gift box.

I figured that having specific projects with due dates would motivate me to be creative again.

I also got some new supplies to use. I finally got myself an electronic die cutting machine. I went with the Cricut Explore because I found it for a good price, and it seemed the easiest to use, based on my past experience with programs used to make cards and other printable projects. All I had to do was plug it in, set it up, and get working on a project. Later today I need to go back to the craft store and buy a little palette knife or similar tool to use to pick the small pieces off. I used it make a bunch of letters tonight and my fingernails are not up to the task of picking them off the sticky mat. I had been wanting an electronic die cutter for a long time but was not willing to spend the money on it until I was well and truly certain that I would actually use the thing enough to justify the expense.

I also need to get a refill for my Xyron so I can make the letters self-sticking, and not have to try and glue them down with a fine-tip adhesive pen. If they even make the refills for it. All I have is the tiny X shaped one. I may have a refill on hand, but when it's used up, that's it.

I'll post photos as I get things completed.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Halloween related stuff: Yes I know it's only July. (Crafts, shopping, and related thoughts)

I saw Halloween merchandise in a store yesterday.
And I got really excited!

I was in Michael's, looking for supplies for an altered art project for a swap I'm participating in, and saw that there were some random bits of Halloween merchandise on a few end caps around the store. Not a lot, but enough to get me excited. Because Halloween is my favorite holiday. And knowing it's coming up means that the weather *will* eventually be cooling off. Which is even more of a reason to get excited.

Usually I'm happy to wait until the beginning of September before thinking much about Halloween though. But I had a reason to take notice this year.

The main reason why I was looking around in Michael's was to find supplies for an altered Halloween themed shadow box swap I'm participating in. You take a shadow box with compartments (or take the open kind and make compartments in it) and decorate the individual compartments. Some are deeper and have more objects in them. Some are shallower and use more scrapbook or papercrafting kinds of techniques. Mine is going to be on the shallower side I believe and a blend of papercraft and objects. The person I'm crafting for wants something Goth and spooky/creepy/scary. I had an idea and went through all of my craft supplies and pulled out everything I thought would work with it so I can go from there. I also ordered a few key pieces of creepy embellishments for it, and they should be here next week. I've got about 6 weeks to finish gathering supplies and putting it together. There are a couple very specifically Halloween things I want to use on it and I will just have to wait before they show up in stores. But things like colored paper, paint, inks, etc... can be bought whenever, so I figured I might as well pick up what I need as I can find it that way I'm not rushing around like mad trying to source it all and put it together at the last minute.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Blueberry harvest #1 for Spring 2014

These are the first blueberries of the year from my blueberry bushes. The amount picked came to just over a pint. There are about a pint and a half left on the four bushes, waiting to ripen (by my estimate at least). 

I grow the Rabbiteye type of blueberry bushes. I have one each of four varieties: Climax, Tifblue, Powderblue, and Premier. This picking had some berries from all the bushes. Two of them had some berry loss when we had a very hot weekend while I was sick and I wasn't able to go out and water. Since I grow them in containers, it's important that I keep them good and watered, so missing a couple of days during a hot and dry spell was enough to cause the bushes to drop a lot of berries. 

Last year I had a big problem with birds eating the berries when they were ripe, before I had a chance to pick them. But I had a suggestion from a member of a message forum I belonged to, to put out pinwheels to scare the birds away. Well, I didn't have pinwheels, but I had colorful wind spinners that worked just fine at keeping the birds away from the berries. As well as the cherry tomatoes planted next to them. 

I was asked to make a batch of blueberry muffins, so I will be doing that for sure with half of these berries. The rest I'm going to be enjoying as-is or mixed in with some yogurt. Maybe I can find some good low-sugar and lower-carbohydrate recipes to try when the second half of the berries ripen. Maybe some kind of baked crumble with a whole grain topping and sweetened with xylitol or something? 

I'm just happy to actually have enough berries to do things with this year. The previous year the birds got them all, the year before that, the bushes were still too immature to produce much.