Thursday, December 27, 2012

First Mixed Media Attempt

Hello all. This morning I thought I would share a quick picture of my first mixed media attempt. This is a Christmas present for my sister. I used a canvas from Hobby Lobby, DIY Modge Podge, Paper scraps, a few cardstock embellishments, and brown, baby blue, gold, and white acryllic paint. I used a foam paintbrush to adhere the paper and cardstock to the canvas and then a 1 inch paint brush for the paint. I also used some napkins/papertowels to give the paint some texture. I still need to paint the sides to finish it off so my sister can hang it up, but I was pretty pleased with my first attempt. I'm working on a second one for her new home as well.

First Mixed Media Attempt

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

And Finally.......

A bit about our Dominican trip. Sorry it has taken me so long to get this up, but this month has been incredibly crazy!

We had a wonderful time in the Dominican. We stayed with the primary translator for the Bible Institute classes and his family. It was really wonderful being able to spend some time in fellowship with them and were so blessed to find out they both spoke English! So I was able to spend some nice time with the wife. They have a live in helper who made THE BEST food ever. I am pretty sure I gained 5 pounds just in the 3.5 days we were with them! They have this awesome way of making oatmeal (they add All Spice) that made it taste like no oatmeal I'd ever had....Actually, all of her food was delicious and hubby was very proud of me. I tried many things I had never had while I was there. :)

On Thursday two brothers from the church drove us to the resort we would be taking a short stay to rest. We had a gorgeous room with an awesome view though, and it was all-inclusive so all of the meals were included in the cost of the room, so that was nice. I spent several hours out on our balcony in the sun reading and enjoying the warmth.

There was a bit of excitement when I slipped getting in to the hot tub out on our deck at the resort - thank goodness hubby caught me just before my tailbone slammed in to the concrete. I wrenched my ankle and we thought I had broken my toe - almost the entire top of my toe and the knuckle turned this deep purple.... the next day we spent a bit of time in the ocean though and the salt water seemed to help the swelling and bruise dissipate much more quickly than I expected. It's still sore but thankfully no break! And I contracted a weird virus that made me spike a fever between 100 and 101 and get those shaking chills every night for about 6 straight nights (two or three in the Dominican and then probably 4 more days once we got home). Thankfully, I have been on the mend for the last week or so. I still am really drained of energy but the fever, sore throat and chills are gone, PTL!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Okay, so I am a little late to the sharing our Christmas decorations... December has been a busy month for us, we were gone for the first week on a mission's trip (which I still need to post pictures of, Sorry!), so we didn't put the tree up until a week after we got back. I'm still in the process of putting together our table for New Years Dinner (that will be when we celebrate Christmas with my parents and some other family), but I thought I would share some of what we had put together. I try to keep everything with a similar look and feel and color scheme because we live in an apartment and everything is so close together, that I don't want it to clash. Anyhoo, here's our home (or at least what I'm going to share with you - there are certain rooms that will not be seen by anybody until I get to cleaning them out....) :)

I still need to take pictures of our tree... as soon as our living room is fit to be seen, I'll do that. :)

Hope you enjoyed a little look into our home. :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Border Punches Product Review

I like border punches. I think that they add an extra finished touch to cards. What I don't like is how expensive they are. With that said - you definitely get what you pay for when it comes to buying cheaper versions versus the more expensive brands.

Two Christmas's ago, I requested a Fiskars notebook border punch for Christmas from my hubby. It has been very easy to use. It doesn't have a plastic cover over the bottom to catch the punched paper, but I've realized that I don't really like that plastic piece there. You have to empty it after each other punch before the space gets too filled to be able to continue punching, which can get time consuming, especially when you are trying to do multiple cards at once. All in all, I have really liked the way the Fiskars border punches are built.

Then, a little over a year ago, my MIL bought me a recollections border punch. I was excited, because I only had one at that point. However, I was only able to get about a month of use out of it before the springs on one side of  the punch popped out of allignment and the punch got jammed. My hubby tried to "un-jam" it, but broke the plastic lever in the process. Then during a black Friday sale at Michaels this year, I tried another one, got about 1 week of use out of it this time and had the exact thing happen. I haven't tried to "un-jam" it though, because I am hoping to take it back to Michaels with the receipt and get a refund.  Ultimately, they are a few dollars cheaper than the Fiskars brand, but much more awkwardly and cheaply made. Also, these have a plastic door on the bottom that catches the scraps - which ends up causing the situation mentioned above. Overall, I am not a very big fan of the Recollections border punches.

Over the last several months, I've found that TJMaxx has been selling EK Success punches for about 50% of their price in the regular craft stores (with an even big price difference between those sold online) so I have slowly been buying them when I see a pattern I like. I haven't bought very many because, like most stores that sell overstock, there is a reason that they were overstocked, but I have found a few good border punches, including the Christmas tree one that I had been scouring TJMaxx for throughout most of the summer. It is normally 15/16 dollar punch on the EK Success website (It doesn't look like they sell the Christmas tree one there anymore), and I got it for only 3.99, which I was pretty happy about. Also, they are much more sturdily made and have a nice little feature that I haven't seen on any other punches. You can compact the punches to be flat (It works kinda like a hair straightener. You push the top down and then slide a button on the bottom to lock the punch in place). This makes storage much easier so that you can stack them on top of one another, which you can't really do with most other brands found in craft stores. (Note: EK Success punches do not have a bottom door over the punch section to catch paper remains.) I really like that the TJMaxx where I live sells the border punches because it has enabled me to buy some of the better punches for a really low price. 

Well, I hope that short review of these three different brands has helped. Has anyone else tried any other brands of punches that they like? Any other experiences like the ones I've had with the Recollections border punches?