Dear Syd

Dear Syd

When I was little I had a few pen pals. I lost contact with all of them (I can’t even remember their names) but it was fun while it lasted. M had one before we moved to the UK and now she is actively corresponding with another sweet little girl. It’s only been one letter so far but Emma was so giddy when she got her first mail and she responded right away (although the mail never did get sent out until last week — blame it on postal mom). This time M’s a better writer but still need a lot of work so I am hoping that this little cute activity will not only bring friendship but also better penmanship and spelling. In the mean time, I hope M’s penpal doesn’t get a headache from reading M’s handwriting and spelling {::SMILES}.

For the page above I used goodies from Cosmo Cricket: Circa 1934. It’s coming soon at This kit is a fabulous kit. Bold colors and vintage, just my thing!

Before I go, one of the biggest digital shop is celebrating its fourth birthday! Interested? Check out the details below!

Jessica Sprague Blog Hop Flyer

Do join and I’ll see you Friday night!

Tut: Pinterest Pin It Using iPod/iPad/iPhone

This is a tutorial on how to install the Pinterest “Pin It” bookmarklet on your iPad (iPhone/Pod) Safari web browser.

What is Pinterest? It’s an organizational tool that lets you share all the pretty findings with all Pinterest members (who follows you). It’s really fun and I use mine to gather ideas for my current and future home decorating needs, travel ideas, color combos, things I want to buy for myself or the family, etc. Very fun and if not careful can take up a lot of your precious time!

The last few months I haven’t been pinning much. Long story but basically I’ve been without a laptop and when I do sit in front of a computer (desktop) it has been to either grade, learn/research, edit pics and blog. Just not comfy sitting on this chair of mine. A few weeks ago I picked up a new toy and between the apps and me messing around with the iPad I found that I can do this: Pinning directly from Safari on to Pinterest. No apps needed. I like this better than using the app (the app doesn’t let me pin new things). Because of this I’ve been regularly pinning again.

So how do you do it? Well first, if you have any sort of iDevice (iPod, iPhone or iPad) with Safari installed and JavaScript enabled (you go into your Safari Settings to check this and to turn it on/off — you NEED this ON) you can do this little trick. If you are on a different operating system this method should work IF the browser supports JavaScript and has a regular browser bookmarking feature (not the one that shows up on another page). I learned this method from Read it Later‘s how to install a bookmarklet tutorial. After successfully adding the bookmarklet my little brain went: Ooooh, if I can do this for Read it Later I should be able to do it for all other bookmarklet. After some Googling I found Pinterest’s blog and yup, they said you can.

Continue reading →

$1 Wed + Craft Room Pt. 1

I have a couple things I want to share today. The first is the above layout which was created using Echo Park’s digital kits sold at Jessica Sprague’s website today for $1! There are other kits for sale too, like Cosmo Cricket, Carina Gardner and Kitschy Designs. Jessica also has a new FREE class starting Nov. 29th so while you’re on the website do check that out!!

The second is… my still in the making craft room re-organization. Let me share what I’ve got before I ruin my room because who knows when I’ll make it to IKEA again to get the other pieces I need.

When you walk in this is what you’d see. And yes, the corner fixture is often like that. Jovie loves to be read and that’s one thing that hubby insisted on being in this room, his red chair so that he can read while I craft/be on the computer.

Craft Room

Then here’s my oh so clear desk. The two things in front of the chair are the keyboard and Wacom tablet. The desk was hauled from the US. It’s vintage but the two drawers are the new IKEA Alex drawers. I got these on sale, IKEA Family members only, for £37.50 or about $60. The lamp and paper tray are also IKEA. On the top of the right drawers I have a portable paper trimmer, mat, and Scor-It. There’s a 3-4 cm gap between the table leaf and drawers.

Craft Room

Here’s a close-up of the tray. They each slide out which is nice. You can see what’s on the top. On the second tier are embellishments that I need to return to the Clip-It-Up. The last tray are paperwork, mail, photos, etc.

The inside of the left drawers are the goodies below and the fifth drawer, lowest one, is filled with clear or onsie rubber stamps that I’ve randomly purchased here and there.

Here’s the big shabang, the Expedit. I used three different bins: The green and orange Kassett, the black Drona, and the leather looking Kotebo. On the top is a basket filled with felt and yarn, also IKEA but I can’t find it on their website,  some framed pieces (the dog is my first dog and my ex-hubby drew that for me since Kato was our dog while we were together, my ex is a VERY good visual artist), and my portable carry-on. I used to have this green thing on my desk but now that I have drawers it’ll stay up there until I go to a crop.

Craft Room

Next to the Expedit is another Alex and the Clip-It-Up.

Below is Jovie showing you what’s in the Kotebo. All three of the Kotebo are filled with Stampin’ Up! stamps. Now, these stamps were in the Drona, which I think was better for the stamps (a tad bit more room), but I had to use the Drona for my kits. The 1/2″ made a difference!! The Kassett has Thickers and the other one refills/extras.

Here are the kits in the Drona. It’s not a perfect solution but it’ll do for now. I think though in terms of this the most perfect thing to do is to use what I purchased!! Three of the Drona are full of Scarlet Lime and Studio Calico kits, one is filled with 12×12 paper and wins and the last has all my Pebble’s DT beautifulness.

Craft Room

Here’s a close-up of the bottles that I have on the Bygel baskets. This is their temporary home.

Craft Room

The above are there now because we still have these to hook up. I have a couple shelves + brackets, a couple Bygel rods, and a Grundtal magnetic knife rack. We’ll put these up after we get a desk or the Hemnes. So that’ll be in Pt. 2 of this post. I just don’t want to hang stuff prematurely because these wall are not easy to put nails or screws into. Plus I want them centered with whatever I purchase. I need something to put here, where all the junk is so that I can replace the bookcase next to it which is falling apart.

Craft Room

I’ve had the bookcase since I was married to my ex-husband. It’s a really functional piece but although not quite showing it’s coming undone. The baskets came from WalMart/Target and the top holds misc. office stuff, the bottom left has cables while the right has unfinished sewing projects. Oh, the center, M made that and it’s a picture of her little penpal Sofie. Ok, they haven’t been writing but M’s got a soft spot for Sofie ha ha… I have a few things I need to put away next to the red basket and after that’s done hubby will have a little spot to put his book (under all my crap, see?) and tea/hot cocoa. I still have books on the shelf too but after the office is all done they’ll all go there. I am considering a desk to replace this piece because I want to put my laptop, sewing machine AND Klik-N-Kut on this table. I ran out of outlet space on the other end. Hubby said I’ve got too many electronic crap! If I go with the desk route I’ll get more drawers. The Hemnes is very nice but it’ll be cool if I can sit and sew. We’ll see…

See where the KnK is? If I merge the two bookshelves together the room will be a bit more spacious and just more organized. Like how I made use of the Cards and Scrapbook Trends mags? Those are the months I got published in he he… I had to lift the KnK up a bit so that when cutting the mat won’t hit that wooden piece (you can see a bit of it on the left) on the back). The piles of things… hubby calls them the Savitri piles. I don’t have homes for them yet. I need more drawers. The two boxes are scrap paper from projects. I’ll go through them soon. Then there are misc. scrapbook kits on that back corner too. Old Studio Calico stuff.

Craft Room

Then there are still things on the window. Yes, that’s another paper trimmer!

Craft Room

On the left of the window are my buttons. I got some Rajtan spice jars for really cheap at IKEA. After I get some shelves these will go up there although I don’t mind them where they are.

Craft Room

This is old but it’s where I keep my paper, clear stamps, Nesties and die-cut + embossing folders. The brown and tan pieces were from Pottery Barn.

Craft Room

Well, that’s it. I still have a few things to do but for the most part I now have a more functional and organized room. Also, just FYI, there was nothing removed from the room before I took the pics. What you see is what I now have. Oh, let me show you what my stuff were in before I go:


The first two bottoms were Stampin’ Up! stamps, the next ribbons, then the big bins held kits. Inside the big bin is another bin that was the home of my Pebbles DT stuff. The smaller ones were other little things. The above were what I lived on since I started blogging and collecting paper and stamping goodness. I’ve purchased a few things before I blogged but it was just the last few years that I really went on a collecting spree.

Have a great one and I hope this post can help you organize your own space!!

My Favorite Apps

I have some projects I’m working on but they’re still cookin’. Today I want to share some of my favorite apps with you, my favorite Android AND WordPress blog apps/plug-ins. Even though I now don’t get paid to play with web/media technologies I still like to keep up with them because I’m just a geek and also in hopes that one day I’ll get hired again to play with technology {::SMILES}. I’ll probably rattle off some others that I think are nice too, just cause I’m a geek, ha!

WordPress. Oh I so love thee. Granted there are a couple others I’d love to get my hands on they’re not free. So for now WP is it for me. Now, keep in mind that if you do not have the installed version of WP the WP portion of this post will be useless to you. But if you do have WP, the version, then you might find this handy. Now, while I’ll link the different plug-in to the developer’s site, you can install all the ones here from inside WP’s plug-in page. Just login to your Admin page, go to the Plug-In, click Add New, and type in the names of the plug-ins and install.

  1. My most favorite WP app is WPTouch. It helps my blog look pretty on mobile browsers. If you have a mobile/cell phone with Internet go to my blog via it and you should see something like this


  2. and when you click on a post, it’ll look like this


    See how pretty it looks? You don’t have to zoom in/out or squint. If you keep scrolling you’ll see the comments and different ways to share the post. I only have the free version.

  3. Next is the WP-DBManager. If you own your own blog it’s always a great idea to back it up every so often. This little tool is a handy dandy thing to have inside your WP blog!!
  4. Askismet. This is a MUST have! I probably should list this as a number one because without it I’d probably have a lot of spam comments. But with this little thing I probably get a handful a year. They’re the “better” kinds where the comments would relate to the post. But, they’d be in my moderation folder anyways since I have my WP set to moderate for every new email addy. Once your addy has been approved your comments will automatically show up. No need for those captcha things (which I hate).
  5. Category Page. If you look up to my menus you’ll see the Digi Tut menu button. If you click on it you’ll see a list of all my video tuts. I didn’t type all that in there. The plug-in does it automatically for me. I just have to insert a little code in there and each time I add a post with the category of “digital tutorial” it’ll add a link to the post on that Digi Tut page. Nice, huh? It’s a neat tool to organize!!!
  6. Smart-YouTube. I use this for my YouTube videos. I like the look and it gives me the option to show the video in regular, high res, or high dev. This was the only thing available when high res came about and I’ve loved it since.

There are many other useful ones but I’ll leave you with five for now.

Android. I’ve only had this for almost two weeks but the geek in me is so embracing it. It’s sooooooooooooo nice to have the Internet on the go again!!! The £25/mo (100 minutes, 500 text, and 1GB bandwidth) is totally worth it even though I hardly get a phone call on it. In the US we used to have 450 shared minutes. Then AT&T decided to upgrade everything, including cost (nice, huh?), to I think 600 and by the time we left the US we had over 5,000 roll-0ver minutes. Savitri doesn’t talk on the phone. Actually Savitri doesn’t pick up the phone unless she’s expecting a call or it’s hubby. You all are just better off catching me via email or IM. I only use the phone to get my message across and that’s it. Here in the UK we use Skype for International calls and we have our home phone line which is free on weekends. Also, incoming calls are free here whether it’s your home or mobile phone (which I LOVE cause I shouldn’t have to pay if somebody needs me, right?). So 100 minutes is plenty! I do text but maybe 100 of them/mo. As much as I like reading my emails and such on the phone I don’t quite like typing on it. I am a slow texter!! Unless I have to or I’m totally bored (like waiting at M’s gymnastics) I’d reply on the phone. If not I’d wait until I get home. So, here are some of my favorite apps…

  1. MyBookDroid. I JUST found this today and it’s AWESOME!! I love to read and I am an Agatha Christie book collector – just the Bantam series. When we’re out and about I’d see these books but then I wouldn’t know which one I have already. This little book database system will definitely be a huge help. I am so a member of GoodReads and this app syncs up to it. I love how I can just scan the bar codes of the books, just so slick. My only complain is the uploading to GoodReads. It doesn’t upload it according to categories. Just whether or you you’ve read, want to, etc. Oh well, guess I have to log in to GoodReads and update my stuff.
  2. Kindle. I love that Amazon decided to release the software to read Kindle books on the computer/mobile. Now I don’t have to haul my laptop to the bathroom!! One day I’ll have a real Kindle — maybe soon {::SMILE}.
  3. FXCamera. It’s a really fun camera app that can make the photo look like a Polaroid and others (the Polaroid is what I got it for though). I love it although I wish it zooms! It’s not as fun as iPhone’s Swankolab I think (reminds me of my darkroom days, ha!) but hey, we’re in the world of digital so we can skip the developing and just get to the end result, right?
  4. It pretty much covers all the chat app I use, including Skype. There’s not a lot of chat app where Skype really works and this one, so far, is still going. Too bad it doesn’t do voice!!
  5. FeedSquares. It’s a pretty RSS reader that syncs up with my Google Reader. I really love it. It helps me keep up with what you all do. The only bad thing is that if you have a butt load of unread post it’ll freeze. One blog I had 28 unread posts and that didn’t make FeedSquares happy.

There are other apps and widgets that I love. Even though I don’t use my mobile to talk I use it for organizing my life. I use to have a PocketPC and this Droid replaces it. My Droid, I named it Sasha, syncs up to my calendar and emails and those are what’s important for me. It’s got a loud alarm clock too and a UK traffic app cause traffic here can be a killer. I do love the Navigation system. I think Google did a great job there and other things to make my life easy… like currency converter, clothing size converter, and games for M. I didn’t get a smartphone to look cool. I got this phone so that I can have access to all my crap that’s up there in the clouds — cloud computing. Sweetness…

My Must Haves

Happy Birthday

Dawn at WPlus9 wanted us girls to share what our must have tools are for papercrafting to create our “signature” style. Well, the tools weren’t hard to figure out but the signature style… hmm… a bit harder. After browsing through my own stuff I see mostly clean. My clean can do different directions. It can be simple or a bit cluttery and at odd times vintage but I think most of them has a clean feel to them. My scrapbook is a bit more fluid I think but again, if I have to pick one, they’re still all clean designs. What do you think? Am I right about myself? When I read your comments about my designs I get this now and then: “You have an interesting style”. Which I wonder what the heck it is {:: SMILES}.

So my favorite must have tools are:

  • Scor-It. I LOVE this and it’s what I use to scor my cards. I have the Scor-Pal too but I think it’s only been used twice. It just doesn’t work so well for me, rips my paper if I push too hard where the It doesn’t care less if I’m gentle/rough on it.
  • Tonic guillotine. After going through a lot of trimmers this is my favorite. I have a few others but this one is the sharpest and straightest. It’s not perfect, sometimes I can’t see exactly where I’m trimming if I want to trim at .01mm — I know, right — but hey, it happens sometimes!
  • A great, or two, pair of scissors. I have a Stampin’ Up! and Martha Stewart one. I have two because I work on the table and floor. That way I don’t have to exercise my legs too much, ha!
  • Dimensionals. LOVE this thing and I have a gigantic roll of it although I buy all sorts of them when there’s a sale. The 1/16″ from Stampintons is my favorite. The 1/8″ is a bit too sticky when cutting. I have some SU ones too but I find them a tad too thin. I do use them for the most top layers although lately I’ve been using these vintage 3M ones that my father-in-law gave me. He gave me a ton of them!
  • Ribbons and latest favorite: baker’s twine! I buy them all {::SMILES}.
  • Of course I gotta have stamps and ink and clear blocks. I love rubber stamps but there’s nothing better than a great quality photo-polymer stamp like what WPlus9 carries. Not only can I see where I am stamping they are super easy to store too. Less space!! My ink of choice are still Stampin’ Up! My first SU ink I bought over 10 years ago and it’s still wet!!! I do LOVE Papertrey Ink’s fresh snow. Just way better than any other white/cream brand I’ve tried. Oh, Versamark for embossing!
  • Distressing tool. This thing is great for imperfect paper edges! Mine is old and the best $.99 I spent!!
  • Buttons!! I take all too!!
  • Last I’d like to say my sewing machine but uhmm… that thing hates me! I wish it doesn’t though because I’d love to use it on more stuff!!!!

I think that’s it! Do check to see what others have and I know for sure you want to see what Maile has for a tutorial using baker’s twine. CUTE!!


Stamps: WPlus9 Mehndi Medallion and Guiding Light
Cardstock: Stampin’ Up!
Ribbon: Vintage Offrey
Button: Rhonna Farrer
Twine: Etsy