Playing with my Distress Oxides, Mat, and Brushes

Hi everyone, hope you are doing well.

I haven’t played with my distress oxides in a while. So when I received my new Waffle Flower Water Media Mat, I was really excited to try it out with my inks. I also received a set of 10 makeup brushes that I planned on using for ink blending. So this made the perfect opportunity to play with everything and try it out.

I really love the water media mat. When I put my watercolor paper down it didn’t move at all. No slipping and sliding or having to use tape to secure it. That was one of the things that made me very hesitate when considering the glass mat. Also the fact that that mat was black and this one was white. Because it’s white, it makes blending so much easier visually and so much lighter and easier to move around. Another thing I really liked about it was that it was easy to clean with a baby wipe. The lip around it is great to keep the water from rolling off. Helps me since I tend to make messes easily – LOL!

Enjoy the video and if you have any questions please leave a comment below.

Have a blessed day!

Two Tips Tuesday – School Supply Shopping

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Hi ladies! Hope all of you are enjoying your Tuesday. It’s that time again for our Two Tips Tuesday. Today we are going to be talking about school. Not school itself, but the yearly pilgrimage to the stores to buy school supplies for the coming school year.

I was in Walmart on Saturday buying groceries and completely forgot that it was school supply shopping time. This time of the year when most everyone in the U.S. is trying to get their children ready to go back to school, the stores look like it’s Christmas Eve and everyone forgot to buy their presents, some also forgot their manners, and everybody looks like deer in headlights reading the list of all the supplies they need to get. Boy do I remember those days! I found it way more stressful than any other shopping time of the year. I felt so bad for some who seemed so lost and didn’t know where to begin.

I was in the craft aisle (where else would I be?-LOL!) and I came across a lady who looked so very desperate. She didn’t speak English well and was really struggling trying to figure out what was need on the list. Seeing her desperation and knowing what it felt like, I walked over to her to see if I could help her find what she needed. She told me she was so stressed and tired that she felt like she was going to pass out. We went over the list and I explained where she could find what she was looking for. She was so very grateful. I caught up with her again over by the school supplies and she had a smile on her face and thanked me again. I praise God that she was able to regain a little bit of encouragement to complete this task in front of her. Thinking about her struggles I felt I needed to let you ladies with young children know that there is an easier way to do this, which brings me to Tip #1.

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Tip #1 – Buy the basics ahead of time. Unless your child is starting Pre-K/kindergarten and you are not sure how all this works, you know that there are certain school supplies that the teachers request year after year. For example: wide-ruled paper, scissors, glue/glue sticks, rulers, pencils, crayons, pencil box, etc. Go through what you had left over from the year before and make a list of the things that you are missing or running low on and buy them when the FIRST sale on school supplies starts. Better yet, buy in bulk and keep a stock of the basics (which is what I did) that way you don’t have to worry about it for years! I know everybody likes to wait until the tax free days to buy everything but, the reality is exactly how much are you really saving on basic school supplies? You will get more bang for your buck when you use the tax free days to purchase the high priced items like school uniforms, backpacks, laptops, tablets, etc. Now, let’s go to tip #2 which is something that wasn’t around when I had to do school supply shopping but I think is well worth taking advantage of.

Tip #2 – Use the stores’ online websites to your advantage. Why not, purchase everything you need online and have it delivered to your home or purchase it online and pick it up in the store. Office Depot has free next day shipping on orders over $45 and also pick up in 1 hour. Walmart also has similar offers. You can take advantage of the sales without having to set a foot in the store. The value of your time, especially if you are a working mom, is worth so much more than spending 2 hours in a Walmart trying to figure out everything you need to get on the school supply list. By taking advantage of these offers, you can focus on getting the school uniforms and large purchases done without having to worry about doing everything at once.

I hope these tips help you in being able to enjoy the last bit of summer you have with your children before they are off to school again. Have a blessed day.

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Train up a child in the way he should go – but be sure you go that way yourself.

Charles Spurgeon

Two Tips Tuesday – Organizing Books

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Hi there ladies – Happy Tuesday! A couple of weeks ago we learned about the importance of notetaking. But, as you can see from this picture, today we are going to be talking about books. More specifically, how to organize them.

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No matter the size of your library, it is always nice to be able to have everything organized so you can quickly find what you are looking for. I would love to have this library. Love the hanging bulbs.

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Who am I kidding! This is what I would really like. And the next room over would be my craft room. I would need an electric scooter to get around there (with a basket of course to put my books and craft supplies in). LOL! Me and my crazy ideas.

Well, this is what my library really looks like – LOL! As my book collection grows, I will be installing built-ins on both sides which go to the ceiling and over the mantle. Before I get too ahead of myself, I need to have a system in place, like an actual library. Which leads me to my first tip.

Tip #1 – Organize by genre/author/specific area of study. Everyone has their own method for organizing. The important thing is to be consistent and intentional about how you do it. This way you will always know where everything is. Why not try a system that libraries use to organize books.

On the second row from the top shelf my books start. I prefer to have my books organized by genre/specific area of study. On the left side of the vase, I have Old Testament books. Then on the right side of that shelf I have New Testament books (I think I need more books – although I do enjoy using my Pastor’s New Testament Commentary – LOL!). On the shelf below that to the left I have specific topics within the Bible (i.e. atonement, sovereignty of God, etc.). On the right side, I have complete Bible commentaries (except for the Spurgeon Study Bible that’s out of place!). On the next shelf to the left, I have devotionals and general topics of Christian life. To the right are all of my reference books (i.e. concordance, expository dictionary, etc.). On the bottom shelf of that bookcase are all of my Bible study/sermon notes, curriculum study prep notes, and Bibles that I am not currently using but keep for reference/study/Bible journaling.

Now on the second shelf of this bookcase, I keep biographies of theologians and church history books. I also keep my vintage books here. Below that are miscellaneous books and magazines on everything from gardening to home organization (I need all the help I can get – LOL!). As you can see, I keep things pretty much organized in a certain system. So remember, organize your books by either genre, author, or specific area of study. Ladies – please remember – if your husband has a library of books, please ask him first before moving stuff. LOL! Alright, now that I’ve shared that disclaimer, let’s move on to my second tip.

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Remember back in the day when we used to go to the library and open up those long drawers that smelled old and musty and flip through the card catalog to find the book we were looking for? Well, everything now is computerized. You walk up to a computer screen and type in the search what you are looking for and instantly have the information right there. Did you know that you can have your very own electronic card catalog?

Tip #2 – Create a card catalog. There are a few companies out there that offer online card catalog systems. The one that I like is called Libib. You can create an account for free if your library has less than 5,000 items. They also have a pro account that is for small organizations, schools, etc. which is set up for multiple users. Once you create an account, you can also install the app on your smartphone. Once you are set up it’s time to start adding books. All you need to do is open the app on your phone and scan the barcode (ISBN) number on the back and it will pull up in your library the title, the author, description, number of pages, etc. Now, if your books vintage, quite possibly there won’t be a ISBN but you can always google the book title and fill in all of the information yourself. This system gives you the option to keep your library private (which is how I have mine) or make it public to be able to share or trade books with others.

Once you start adding books to your library – you have started your card catalog. Everything is organized alphabetically for you. You can also search books you have by a certain author. I absolutely love this. Especially if you are not sure if you have a certain book, you now have a card catalog system to check and see if it’s on your list.

I hope you enjoyed today’s Two Tips Tuesday. If you did, please hit the like button and subscribe to stay up to date on my posts. Have a blessed day! Jo :o)

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Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

Visit many good books, but live in the Bible.

Charles Spurgeon

Two Tips Tuesday – Fussy Cutting

Hope you ladies are having a great evening. I am trying to get caught up on posting and I’m getting my Tuesday’s tips in late but it’s still Tuesday – LOL!

Working on my pocket letter swap (check on my prior post to see the video) I was thinking about how important it is to have the right tools for the job.

I wrote an old post about scissors but this post is a bit more specific and these are basic crafting tips that I think can benefit even those who do not craft, helping their child with a school project or cutting a picture out they really like.

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Tip #1 – Use the right scissors for cutting in tight places. There are many scissors out there on the market that can basically do the same thing. What you need to look for are scissors that have a short, sharp blade and are comfortable for your hand. When cutting in tight places it is very difficult to maneuver a pair of scissors with a large blade. There are some with small handles and some with large handles. That’s a matter of preference. I use large handled scissors because it helps with hand stability and my arthritis. My scissors of choice are Tim Holtz Tonic scissors. The handle is soft, flexible, and large enough to fit my fingers in.

Tip #2 – Turn the paper – not the scissors. The term fussy cutting is commonly used in quilting but when it comes to paper crafting, cutting small images out is called fussy cutting. When you are cutting images out, you need to turn the paper as you cut and not the scissors. This makes the cutting go much more smoothly, it goes faster, and you get a better cut. Use your free hand as a guide, turning the paper as you cut, always keeping your scissors in the same place.

Hope you enjoyed this post and have a blessed night.

Beautiful Lace – Haul

Hi ladies. Since I had such a hectic week I never got around to going through the beautiful lace I received from my order with Nereida’s Treasures until this past weekend. Everything was so beautiful. This is a haul video so you can see what I purchased. I’m really excited thinking about all of the ideas I have for them (mixed media, sewing).

Have a blessed evening.

Christmas in July – Pocket Letter Swap/Challenge

Hope everyone is doing well. I completely forgot to post this. Better late than never I guess.

Above is a video describing a little bit of the process of participating in my first pocket letter challenge and I loved it! Even though this week was so crazy, I was able to squeeze in enough time on Saturday to work on this and I enjoyed it so much. The cards in this pocket letter are known as ATC (artist trading cards). We used baseball ball card holders to put them in.

Our Christmas in July swap/challenge was to decorate ATC cards so they could be used for making Christmas cards or to keep as is for display. On the back side of the ATC we put little craft goodies (I put gems, washi tape, die cuts, and brads). Once we were finished we were to mail it in. In exchange we will receive different ATC cards and goodies from the others participating in the challenge. I turned my in already and am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the ones I will receive. Once I receive them I will post a video of all the ones I received and will work on making cards or maybe even tags with them. Can’t wait!

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