Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth-- Hey!!

I had to jump back in today for another post.

So I was at Half-Price Books with my sister, and went to pay for my $1 clearance book. I see on the counter a sign: In celebration of Earth Day, with every $25 purchase, you get a free, reusable plastic bottle. Granted, it said it was biodegradable and made from recycled plastic ... but ... um ... A PLASTIC bottle to celebrate Mother Earth? How about 10% off instead?

Because the reality is that if the plastic bottle ends up in a landfill, it could be made of tissue paper and it's NOT going to degrade any time soon. Decomposition requires sunlight, rain, air. Landfills are packed as tightly as possible because, well, we need more room to shove more in. It's estimated, though of course it can't be conclusively proven, yet, that plastic bags last up to 1,000 years in a landfill!

More: Sunday, I'd gone into Target for some toddler items, and, once again, there was a celebrate Earth Day giveaway. This time, it was reusable shopping bags. These weren't the same ones Target has been stocking for a while now. They were a brand new design.

One thing that just KILLS me is this new industry dedicated to "reusable, Earth-saving tote bags." HOW MUCH ENERGY has been wasted making these things? I mean, SERIOUSLY? We'd be better off reusing the damn plastic bags!! And when the handles break, there are about 4,000 patterns online about reusing plastic bags ... including making new shopping bags out of 'em.


I've no doubt this is a well traversed subject, the commercialization of this conservation holiday. And I've no doubt others have made less obvious conclusions and suggestions. But I bet none of them have this photo, which I took at a grocery/other stuff store -- also today. Seems apt, hunh, for this modern world?

And hey! Buy one, get one half-off!


Crafty stuff ahead!! A friend's birthday's coming right up, and I made a couple of projects I plan to share. But in case she reads this, I can't post 'em yet:)

I'm famous!

Happy Earth Day! Woke up to find my e-mail account had been hacked and I'm apparently helping a company in Poland with their oh-so-noble mission of selling Viagra.


At least they coulda cut me in on the profits.

ANYway, I also woke up to find an e-mail that I'd been featured on The ReFORMatory, a really cool blog about upcycling, recycling, etc. Don't you LOVE the concept of the blog and the motto ("Where society's outcasts are made useful again")? Fantastic!

So thank you for the mention, and I can't wait to dig into your work!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Make a Cricut dust cover

I've been busy stocking up on supplies with an eye toward a sweet little mother-daughter book to make for Butterfly. Look at these handmade/hand-sewn stickers! Gorgeous, aren't they? I know you want some. Seriously, take a look at my blogging friend Tara's shop ... But beware! You won't be able to resist.

Anyway, a little while ago I got busy making a dust cover for my Cricut. With the approximately 4,025 animals I have in my home, it was a can't-do-this-too-soon kind of project. I poked around online and came across this video. There are a bunch of patterns you can download ... Just do a Google search.

Here's the video. There are several steps, but don't let that intimidate you:

And don't let the idea of sewing intimidate you, either. I used fusible web, heh heh heh. Here's what I ended up with (I found the material for like 2 bucks at a junk store):

I added a little handle just for fun.

Pretty cool, hunh?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Reason #444,408 why I love my son

The Elephant and the Butterfly, entertaining themselves on our Coast trip last week.
See how she looks up to him, so very literally?

Coming home the other day, after picking him up from school.
Having random conversations about this and that.
And then from him these words:

"Once I have a queen, her heart's desire shall be the heartbeat
of the world."

Monday, April 12, 2010

I live in the most beautiful state in the nation

Nice trip over to the Coast this past week. Spent a few days at Kalaloch (first time) and into the rain forest and around.

Lake Quinault

Kalaloch beach

Ruby Beach

Hoh Rain Forest

Big Cedar Tree

Kalaloch Beach, after the storm

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Product Review: Making Memories
12 by 12 Inch Folding Paper Trimmer

((I posted this on, but am spreading the word as far and wide as I know how.))

When my previous trimmer cut one too many crooked lines, I bit the bullet and started the search for a new one. After extensive research, I decided to go ahead and buy the Making Memories trimmer. I gasped at the price, but pulled out my discount coupon and sorta justified it. I haven't worked in 13 months, so this was a major decision for me!

Great trimmer, I thought, when I first pulled it out of the box. Looks gorgeous, sturdy ... which it must be considering its really heavy weight. (This is not a trimmer for those with comprised strength in their hands/wrists. Not only is it very heavy, the ruler they want you to use to hold paper in place -- kind of stupid since it's only a sheet at a time -- is SUPER strong, VERY difficult to pry off.) So I was a bit surprised to find it could only cut up to cardstock, and only one or two sheets at a time. But the other trimmers were like that, right? And this one's blade self-sharpens, so I'd never, ever need to worry about the blade.

So I put it to work, making Christmas surprise boxes for my year's cards. It was incredibly difficult at first to pull the blade back and forth ... but I figured it was breaking in or something, and eventually it did ease up. What did NOT ease up was the horrible squealing noise! It's what others have described, and it truly is ear-piercing, fingers-on-the-chalkboard bad. I saw some posts that talked about a couple of drops of sewing machine oil, but this is a paper cutter!!

OK. Holidays pass, it's busy, have a couple of birthdays and use the trimmer pretty sparsely till about a week and a half ago. Pulled it out and brought it to a class at a local scrapbook store. Used it, and it actually jaggedy-edge ripped my paper. I tried blowing out the bits of paper dust I could see inside the groove, but no improvement. So I called Making Memories the next business day.

The woman who answered was pleasant, but very, very rushed. She threw out a couple of answers to my questions but obviously was in a hurry to move on. Turns out, my blade was out of alignment and she'd e-mail me an instruction sheet to realign it. That horrible noise? It's the arm where the blade slides along ... just a couple of drops of oil, she said. I couldn't even get a "Thank you" out before the phone was hung up. The e-mail arrived seconds later.

Wow, I thought. Kinda scary that this is such a big problem they have an insta-e-mail response. So I followed the instructions and it turned out that yes, indeed, my blade was out of alignment. It's not suppose to be in the groove where all the paper dust has been trapped. It's suppose to be OUTSIDE the edge. (OK. WHY is there a groove there in the first place? It's not like something slides along there. Design flaw for sure.)

SO I moved it back into place and pulled the blade back and forth a few times to resharpen it, as instructed. WOW! Not only was the horrible squealing noise gone, the blade zipped along the track like butter ... just like all the reviews said!! Only ... my paper was not being evenly cut. Still. I tried a few more times, and no luck. Decided to call MM back.

Go to the Web site and request a replacement product, I was told. I did, and then was told I needed to furnish a receipt. Well, after I'd had the trimmer for a few weeks, I recycled the receipt and the box. With so many glowing reviews, why would I need to keep it? After much back and forth, I got absolutely nowhere. And guess what? They don't bother to sell the blade or blade compartment by itself. So now I have a piece of landfill-er.

I don't understand, 1. WHY isn't there a warranty card to return? 2. WHY are there NO instructions to indicate such a problem exists? Apparently if people try to cut inappropriate amounts of paper, it's going to throw the blade out of alignment. I never did this, and in fact am certain that my blade was out of alignment the entire time I had the trimmer. How would I have known? But it's a big enough problem they have a ready-to-send e-mail.

I went around and around and around, pointing out how much money has been invested in this company by the scrapping community, and every other sentence in response was, "I'm really so very sorry."

Well, I'm really so very sorry I ever bought this product. This was a major thing for me, and now I feel like I was selfish in taking money from my family to buy something for myself. I was hopeful I could sell some crafts this summer to bring in a little bit of money, but I won't have a trimmer to help in this.