To See or Not to See

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I’m not a spring chicken anymore and more and more I’ve been noticing that I am blind as a bat.  I was trying to find the correct crochet hooks for a project and the larger hooks I have are these clear colored plastic hooks with the size etched into the end of the handle.  I’m sure you know the ones.  They are Susan Bates Crystalites.  Susan bates also has the hooks that are all white which have the same issue.  When I was looking for the larger sizes like L (8 mm) and N (10 mm) these were all I could find here locally.  With no contrast it is very difficult to read the size.  I finally got a bright idea and I dabbed some white acrylic paint over the size on the handle and tapped the paint around with my fingers to fill in the etched in area.  Then I wiped off the excess with a paper towel and now I can see it perfectly!  If you have the white ones you could use any bright color or black.  The same thing applies to the knitting needles of course.

Fixing Crochet Hooks so they are Readable

From Trash to Treasure

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I love boxes.  I collect boxes of all sorts.  Some of them are pretty vintage trinket boxes, some are carved wood, bone, shell, glass, paper etc.  I love them!  I also like to save and reuse boxes or containers from food, medicine, and packaging from anything.  I have always reused stuff but never really knew how to dress it up and make it look nice.  I have tried a few things in the past but it didn’t really hold up because I didn’t have the right materials so it would stay.  I’ve been learning though.  I recently joined a group on facebook called The Craft Hole  and they have some very talented members!   After seeing some of the stuff they make in that group I was a bit intimidated!  I joined a challenge they had called “Trash to Treasure” and had a great idea for something I wanted to do.  I like all the things I make to be practical and useful.  I had a great idea but I just didn’t know how to get started.  I finally shared my idea with them and some members nudged me in the right direction.  All I really needed was the proper terms to look up on youtube and I found a wealth of great videos and tutorials.  I watched a bunch of videos and got lots of ideas.  I didn’t have the same materials they were using but I got the idea of what they were doing.

Here’s my box.  Both of my teen-aged sons got wallets for Christmas and two of these awesome boxes were going into the trash.  They are covered in some sort of faux leather or something with stitching around the edging.

Dockers wallet box

I really liked how one side was sloped.  I realized it would be perfect for keeping my stitch markers in for crochet/knitting.  I have terrible nails so I keep them cut short and then I have the hardest time picking up the stitch markers.  I could just slide one up the side of this box!  I also have this travel Pepto Bismol To-Go tablet container that I’ve been using to keep my darning needles in.  That was especially handy because it has a child proof cap so if any children are around they can’t get to the needles.  I peeled the label off of that pink plastic tube and just wrapped some pink patterned washi tape around it to make it look nicer.  That container slips perfectly into that little cubbie hole in the box.  It is just snug enough to keep it from falling out.

I wanted to paint the bottom part of the box a light cream color so I had to over up all that orange.  Did I get the job done?  I gesso. har har

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It took a lot of it to hide all of that orange.  Then I mixed up some acrylic paint to paint it a nice vintage shade of cream.  It was kind of funny because it’s been a while since I’ve mixed paint, especially thicker paint like acrylic.  I kinda struggle sometimes with knowing what colors to mix to get what I want but I just glopped out some paint and mixed it all up and it exactly matched the ribbon I bought to put on this box.  I didn’t even have to add a little move of this color…. and that color…. no, a little more yellow….. a little more red….. etc.  It was just perfect, right out of the gate (or tube).

Here you can see some of the goodies I bought to decorate the box.

Supplies

So then I printed up some graphics from a blog I found.

 
If you subscribe to their newsletter they always attach a freebie!  This is the last one and I fell in love with it right away.  I just love these colors.  When I printed the sheet I didn’t have the page orientation set right so it printed small but that was perfect because the images worked great on my box.

Docker box reborn

Here’s where I got stuck and really didn’t know what to do.  I knew I wanted a vintage looking box and some members of the group mentioned above suggested I look on youtube.com for distressing tutorials.  I watched a ton.  Some of them weren’t even in English but I still got the idea.  I don’t really have any one video that helped the most.  I didn’t have the same stuff they used in any of those videos so I just pulled out what I had.  I mixed up some more colors of acrylic paint and did a little dry brushing.  Sometimes I’d take a damp paper towel wipe it off (pretty much like what they were doing with stain in the videos).  I pretty much just played and had fun making my box look old.  I used some scapbooking stickers of coins and stamps and some other paper elements.  I had fun altering the images, which is another thing I learned.  I sanded the edges, tore, wrinkled up and added a little colored chalk.  I even used a little paint on a q-tip to add some shading to the coins.  For some reason, I never thought about making these adjustments to things before.

Finished inside

The little piece of ribbon at the bottom there is for pulling the box open.  The top fits over the bottom section pretty snug.  It was hard to open before I painted.  I used some good quality glue so hopefully it will never come off.

The bottom

I even added my name and the date.  It is a piece of art after all.

I really had fun when I started working on the top.  I had all of these different elements that I wanted to use but didn’t really have a clear idea in mind.  I started fumbling around with the ribbon and finally realized it was just too nice.  I bullied it around a bit until it looked like what I wanted.  I wanted it to have some frayed areas and pulled and distorted the weave of the fabric.  Finally I wrinkled it up and then started shaping it into a base for my centerpiece.  I brushed some decoupage medium over an image to seal it and then added a wooden, laser-cut frame and some butterflies.  I even took one of the images, some the awesome freebie set mentioned above, and layered it over the large butterfly and then just tore the paper along the edge of the butterfly.  I added some decoupage glue and slide the paper to get some wrinkles and I wanted a little bit of the light color of the wooden butterfly to show at the edge.  I really like the way it turned out!

The top

Oh, and I found that shell on the beach at St. George Island in Florida this past summer and I found that button in my mom’s things.  I will always be reminded of some good times whenever I used my *new* box.

My awesome box in use

Long time, no post…

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Yeah, it has been a really long time.  I haven’t been feeling well for about that long….  Fibromyalgia is sucking the life out of me.  I need to put up more of a fight.

I think I’ll get back to writing here because I need something to keep me going.  I’m working on getting back into reading too.  I didn’t read much at all last year.  It is so hard to focus and I find myself reading the same line over and over again and forgetting what I read.

Anyway, when I went to the doctor last week (I think it was) I had planned to do something before and changed my mind.  Whenever I leave the house in the winter the cold makes me start to hurt all over.  Usually, my husband drives me.  He picks me up in a warmed up car and drops me off right at the door so I spend as little time as possible in the cold.  Well, something came up and I ended up driving myself.  So, forgetting that I can’t do what I used to, I planned some other stops along the way.  Once I left the warm garage though and the cold air started seeping into the car I quickly changed my mind.  Instead I stopped into the Literacy Council’s used book store which is close to the clinic.  I picked up two books: The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber and Spirit Walker, a beautiful book of Indian poetry and artwork by Nancy Wood with paintings by Frank Howell.  I bought a copy of Spirit Walker for my mother in law and read it before I gave it to her.  I started tagging the poems I really liked with sticky notes and realized I had nearly tagged the whole book.  I was so surprised to see that book there so I bought it for myself.  The artwork is beautiful!  I saw the Debbie Macomber book when it first came out in hard back and decided to wait for it.  I finally found it in paperback and because my punch card was full I got it for free.

After my appointment I stopped by Joann’s to get some stuff to dress up a wallet box left over from Christmas.  I have grand ideas for this box.  I also joined this group on facebook called the Craft Hole that has challenges and swaps.  One of the challenges is “trash to treasure” and I signed up since that is right up my alley!  I’ve been sick with a cold though so I have’t been able to work on it.   I was getting worried I wouldn’t finish before the deadline which is the end of the month.  I’m feeling a little better though, so I started working on it last night.  So for I’ve just been painting it with gesso to cover up their logo and all the orange inside.  So it looks rather ghostly at the moment.  I’ll make a post later for that.  I’m still not sure exactly what I’m going to do next.

Anyway, I think it was Wednesday when I slept all day and woke up when my husband came home from work.  I wasn’t feeling well because of the cold but I wasn’t as achy.  I realized I was feeling more clear-headed so I decided to try reading the Debbie Macomber book.  I read several chapters and Ahhhhh!  I sure missed reading.  I even did 10 minutes on my stationary bike while reading since my doctor wants me to do at least 10 minutes of cardio a day.  Reading sure makes it easier and I managed to get through it without too much pain.  Hopefully I can continue doing that.

American Idol started Wednesday also and I love that show.  I didn’t love it as much last year but I’m loving it this year.  Harry is great! Adding him as a judge was such a great choice.  No more drama or cat fights between judges.  Maybe this year the show can actually be about the contestants.

Okay, back to work on my ghost box.

~ D

Printer hatred

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I have this love/hate relationship with my printer.  First, I must say, it really is the best printer I have ever had as far as how well the printed pages and photos look.  I had an HP printer before that was a special (and expensive) photo quality printer but after I printed something (especially a photo) I could see horizontal lines in it.  When I really needed a scanner I just went to Walmart and picked up this Canon MG5220.  It was on a great sale and it is also wireless.  I really didn’t expect it to print so well since I didn’t pay that much for it and it is a printer/scanner/copier.  It does though and I love how wonderful and sharp the printed images look.

Well, that was until I decided to print last month and the box on my computer says it is “offline”.  I look over and it is on and smiling.  The first 10 times or so this happened I just turned it off, unplugged it (or this doesn’t work) and re-plugged, restarted and then it worked.  After that nothing seemed to work other than getting out that usb cable and connecting my computer to it.

Usually, I eventually found some kind of sweet spot accidentally and it just worked for a while.

Well, I just had some more problems with it and thought I would share in case anyone else needs the info.

I got a new laptop with windows 8 recently.  I had no problems at first and it automatically found my printer and I didn’t have to set it up at all.  It just printed – like magic :O)

It worked for a while until someone reset the wireless router.  After adding the new wireless password it printed once and then said it was offline again.  The trick that did work that time was to go to the devices and printers screen in control panel and make sure that work offline box is not checked.  It is just a check box at the top left corner on my computer.  After un-checking that box and restarting my computer it worked.

Then, my laptop updated to windows 8.1 and my printer wouldn’t work at all.  I checked and it wasn’t even installed and couldn’t be found.  After reinstalling it, it said it was “offline” and I was also getting this weird message telling me my printer can’t communicate or something and that I needed to enable Bi-directional support in the dialog box in the printers property screen…. which I couldn’t find.  Anyway, I did some searching and I found out that windows 8.1 doesn’t like my printer and my printer doesn’t like it…. and they were not talking to each other.

I downloaded the new driver that makes everything happy from Canon’s website.

I installed that and restarted my computer and it still said offline.  Finally I restarted my wireless router.  I really didn’t have a clue how to do that but it seemed like a good idea…. so I just pulled the power plug from the back and plugged it back in.

And now it works.

My laptop likes my printer and my printer likes windows 8.1.  I’m not so sure about it yet though.

If you have similar problems but have a different printer make sure and check the manufacturers website to see if they have a new driver you can install.  All I did was google my printer name and found it.

If this info helps just one person I’ll be sooooo glad because I was fighting with this for way too long.  Grrrr!

 

Assume

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From the Illustrated Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

Daily Prompt: Bookworms
Grab the nearest book. Open it and go to the tenth word. Do a Google Image Search of the word. Write about what the image brings to mind.

as·sume

əˈso͞om/
verb
  1. 1.
    suppose to be the case, without proof.
    “you’re afraid of what people are going to assume about me”
    synonyms: presumesuppose, take it (as given), take for granted, take as read,conjecturesurmiseconcludededuceinferreckonreasonthink,fancybelieveunderstandgatherfigure More

  2. 2.
    take or begin to have (power or responsibility).
    “he assumed full responsibility for all organizational work”
    synonyms: acceptshoulderbearundertake, take on/up, managehandle, deal with More

    Copied from Google

     

    I assume that the sun is going to rise at the predicted time and will set again as anticipated.  I assume that my coffee will not make itself so I must get out of bed.  I assume life will keep on going until it ends and I will keep on reading until the world runs out of books.

    -DJ

     

    If you would like to see what other bloggers wrote on this topic just follow the yellow brick road.