Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Donations have found a New Home

I am happy to say I did find a place to donate the 2 car loads of paper, punches, die cut equipment, crayons, markers, etc... I was trying to get rid of.


Eastern Nazarene College is the new proud owner of all this stuff.  They have a beautiful library there and I have used it in the past when I needed more room to spread any big projects I had been working on.  I do not know why I did not think of them sooner.  But they were thrilled with everything. I even gave them a quick lesson on how to use the Cricut and Sizzix die cut machines. 

Of course the very next day, one of the schools I contacted, emailed me saying they would love the donations.  Unfortunately, I sent them the message over 10 days ago and could not wait anymore to get rid of what I had packed up.

So I am back to the next session of cleaning.  You would think after 2 car loads I would have tons of free space in my room now.  No!  Not even close.  Everything I gave away was tucked away in cabinets and drawers.  My counter tops, floors and table tops are still loaded with stuff I have to sort through.  The toughest thing to go through will be my homemade scraprack.  If you want to go back to my original post of how I made this Click Here


I was so proud of this when I first made it.  ALL of my scrapbook paper, stickers, die cuts, clear stamps sets, etc...are organized by Theme in this giant book.  IF I was working on photos from a Cruise, say, I could pull out the spinder labeled "Cruise" and everything I owned that had to do with cruising was stored in this section.   It made scrapping so quick and easy.  It did not matter whether I was scrapping at home or away at a crop or even poolside in my back yard.  I just needed to pull out the theme I was working on and my tool kit and I was ready to scrap like crazy. 

It has been at least 2 maybe 3 years since I have even had the desire to scrapbook anymore.  I am more into card-making now. So I have not opened the pages of this scraprack in years.  I would love to get the countertop space back but almost hate to give this up.  It really is made incredibly well, even if I do say so myself.  It has held up for years.  the Velcro is super strong to hold all the weight of these pages.  But, I think it is getting close to the point of going through all these pages and pulling out what I want to keep and try to sell the rest. 

This is the disaster of a room I have right now.  I hate even posting the photo but this is what makes me want to get rid of everything.  It looks like such a dump when I know if can be so beautiful!  I need to keep plugging away.  The bags and boxes on the floor are my next plan of attack.

There is still plenty of stamp sets for sale on etsy.  Etsy Shop

Once I get to my CTMH heart supplies, I will take photos of these and post them on etsy, as well.

Be creative today.

click here for  Stampin' Up!

DASH Diet




My husband and I are doing the Dash Diet.  Today is day 3.  He wants to lose about 35 lbs.  He is only giving it a 2 week trial to see how it goes.  I am in for the long run.  I have a goal of 65 lbs by Sept 17th.  (just before our 25th wedding anniversary) to meet my goal I have to lose 2 lbs a week.

Like I said, it is day 3.  My loving husband is not holding up too well.  This is the first time in his life to ever try dieting and he is obsessing on what he cannot eat rather than what he can.  No beer, no caffeine, no sugar, no adding salt to food, no processed foods, no starchy foods, no pasta, no bread, no white rice, , no milk, and no fruit.

Typing it up, it does sound pretty terrible, especially when you get to the last one, no fruit.  What kind of diet tells you not to eat fruit?  Well, this one does.  For 2 weeks anyway.  It is cleansing your system of toxins and sugars.  After the initial 2 weeks then you can add fruit, whole wheat grains and breads, and drink low fat milk.

My husband has had a headache for 2 days now and is a little shaky.  I am guessing he will last one more day and quit or I will have to find another diet for him other then the DASH. Each Dash book I have found has a different approach and different daily menus.  One of the others may work better.

I did this one myself last February.  it was tough for me, too, but I stuck it out and survived the initial period -  losing 14 lbs.  Then kept it up for 2 more months to lose another 10 lbs.  Then school got out, I was out of work, and for some reason went back to my old eating habits and gained the weight back along with 10 lbs extra.  Where did that come from?


Since I have done this before I know I can handle it again,  But I need to keep it going this time for the long run.  It is a very healthy lifestyle.  It is just so different from the type of eating we are used to in my home.


The easiest way to describe what you can eat is this:
When you walk into your grocery store, only shop the outside perimeter of the store.  Think about it.  All stores are set up the same basis way.  One side had the fresh fruits, produce, even fresh herbs, deli meats and cheese, many stores sell their dried fruits and nuts in this section , as well.  The back always has the meat department with lean cuts of pork, beef, chicken, turkey, etc  and fish, Keep walking along the back wall til you reach the fresh milk and dairy, continue to the other end and you have frozen fruit, veggies, and meats, and also whole grain bread.  Do not shop for anything in the aisles in between.  This is where all the processed foods are sold.  Do not buy anything with more than one ingredient in it.


Even eating out is not bad on this plan.  Just order veggies as your side rather than French fries and order a burger without the bun. This is a photo of my lunch at Red Robin, a turkey burger in a lettuce wrap with broccoli. It was actually delicious and very filling.


Sounds simple enough, but when your body has lived on oreo cookies, canned soup, and boxed mac & cheese for so long it does not take to the change very well.


Monday will be my first weigh in.  I will see how we are both doing at that point if we survive that long. (today is Wednesday)





I have another tip for you.  Nothing to do with dieting or healthy eating. Before you throw away any used gifts cards you may find around your house, go online and make sure there in nothing left on them.

These movie gift cards have been on the corner of my kitchen table for weeks.  In person they look more beat up then they do in this photo. Anyway, I was about to throw them away thinking they were used up.  There is a website on the back to check balances.  Between these 5 cards there is still $66.43 on them.  And to think I almost tossed them.  It may be a pain to use them because there are odd amounts on each, but still money is money.

Maybe I will take my husband to the movies tonight to get his mind off his diet.

Have a great day and I hope you are doing something creative today.

Etsy Shop

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Cardmaking Challenge

I have a challenge for you today.  It is a little late to start it now, but you have all day tomorrow.


Make a card using an embossing folder.  Any style, any brand, just use an embossing folder on a greeting card.



This is the card I made.  The embossing does not show much but its there.  I used the Woodgrain embossing folder, along with the Bear Hugs stamp set, and Bear Hugs framelits dies from Stampin Up.  The background paper is from the Love Blossoms paper Pack and the ink color I stamped in is Crumb Cake.  I love the cute little bears in this set.

If you were to buy the items needed to make this card, your purchase would qualify you to earn a free item from the Sale-A-Bration flyer.   All these items can be purchased at Stampin' Up!


My scrap room still has boxes of supplies I am trying to get rid of.  If you are local and you know of any schools, daycare centers, senior centers that are in need of supplies please comment or email me  HERE  I am getting ready to just throw everything in a dumpster.  I am going crazy with no room to work in my office.


I have posted more items for sale if you are looking for bargains in retired items from Stampin Up.


Etsy Shop


Today's prompt from This Time Next Year by Cynthia Scher


What is your favorite thing about you?  I don't really know?  I consider myself friendly, honest, trustworthy...but is that my favorite thing?  I believe everyone is all of these things. Maybe that is my favorite thing...I see good in most people. 


Do something creative today.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Paint Gone Bad

What a sad day.  I knew I wanted to clear out some stuff in my workshop but I was not planning on getting rid of my pretty supply of paints.  I love the colors and even the way the little bottles sit on my shelf.




I pulled a couple of bottle off this morning to find the paint is completely dried up inside the bottles.  I do not know how many are no good but I am not happy about this.  Though, I should not be too upset I guess.  The label says I have had these bottle since 2003.  I don't think paint is meant to last quite this long.  13 years!  Wow! Though, I do have ZIG markers older then these paint bottle that still work.  So this is another project for today's chilly weather.  I will take all these bottles down and see what is still usable. See the bottles way in back on the top shelf.  This were the first paints that Making Memories came out with.  They have metal little caps on them.  These are probably no good at all.  Once the bottle got open for the first time the paint stuck to the metal cap and them you needed a pair of plyers to get them open again.  The company quickly changed over to the plastic caps but I guess 13 years is a little too long to keep these fresh. :o)






Day 4 Prompt
Interactive Journal by Cynthia Scher
This Time Next Year - 365 Days of Exploration


If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?


I would have more confidence.  I did one.  I grew up very quiet and shy, then starting working as a Tour Guide that really forced me out of my shell.  I learn to fight for what is right, be aggressive when needed to be, and to talk to anyone very easily.  Then I had a really bad experience back when I was about 25 that really changed my life and I have not been able to get back that "Don't Mess With Me" attitude I once had.


Do something Creative today!


www.etsy.com/shop/SharonsScraps




Stampin' Up!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

More sale items Listed

I have spent the last 2 days adding items to my Etsy shop.  Right now I have all my retired Stampin Up stamp sets posted, some of the retired tools, and I am starting to list cardstock.  Click the link to see what has been added
Sharon's Shop



As far as the donations are going...they are not.  I spoke to senior centers and emailed a local school with no response.  If you know someone local (near Quincy, MA) that wants this stuff, please comment below.  I really hate to just give up on this stuff.  But If I do not hear anything I will be dropping it all off at GoodWill this coming week.


Today's weather forecast is 9 below with the wind chills feeling more like 35 BELOW 0.  So it will be a good day to stay in the house and keep posting things on my shop.



Once I get through all the Stampin Up product, I will move on to Close To My Heart products.  I think I have over 100 stamps sets from this company along with all the ink pads, markers and cardstock colors, as well.



Once that is cleared out, then I will move on to the other misc companies, EK Success, Me and My Bid Idea, We R Memory Keepers, etc.. Until I get my room down to the bare essentials of what I feel I will still put to good use.



Since I missed blogging the past 2 days I have 2 prompts for today.
Again I am following the interactive journal by Cynthia Scher
This Time Next Year 365 Days of Exploration
Day 2
Draw a self-portrait in the middle of this page (Stick Figures are Okay)


So here I am.  I am terrible at drawing, better at coloring so I added color to mine.



Now look at the drawing.  Did you draw some parts too big/small? Are you smiling/frowning?Contemplate why you think you drew this picture the way you did?


My answers to the prompts: 
Everything is too big, I need to get healthy.
Smiling.  I am what I am and I know somebody loves me no matter what.
Why did I draw myself this way? This is what I see in the mirror everyday.



Day 3
Set a timer for five minutes.  Write about yourself. Don't stop and don't life your pen or pencil away from the paper the entire time.  No Pausing to think or edit.



Go..
Five minutes seems like a long time to write about myself.  I do not think I can come up with enough to keep going that long but I will give it a try.  First off, I am at a changing point in my life right now.  I have grown kids that do not depend on my nearly as much as they used to.  Kevin, my husband seems to depend on me more than ever lately.  But where do I stand?


 I recently left a job I no longer enjoyed.  I have interviewed for jobs back in the travel field, which I truly love and would totally enjoy doing again.  But in what aspect? I loved working at the airport and did this for about 3 years.  I worked nights, every holiday and every weekend, but it was an adventure every day.  The late nights, pulling the jetup up to that last flight of the evening, then rushing down to the baggage service office to file claims for the people who's luggage was damaged, or just never showed up.  It was fun being there is the midst of everyone's travels.


Or did I prefer being the tour guide on buses. Living out of a suitcase 250 days out of the year.  Taking trips up to Toronto or down to Virginia or all the local sights in between, Washington DC and Amish country were my favorite tours. Could I possible be away from home that much at this point in my life.  Kevin would not be able to handle it, I know that.  Do I want to go back to work right now.  I am enjoying waking up, having a leisurely cup of coffee and heading to my scraproom to clean it out.  If I was working I would never find time to do this.

I do love the traveling, though, and would jump at a chance to go anywhere.  Even a night a Foxwoods seems like such a treat to me.


Do I start calling lawyers to get involved in my unemployment fight.  They denied me again even after going into Boston for a hearing.  I left because after 13 years, I felt like my career was going backwards instead of forward.  Of course that might have been their plan, to transfer me to a terrible job so I would quit.  They got their wish.  Enough on that.


I have been feeling creative lately. This is the big surge of wanting to clean out my scraproom.  I have no space to work on any projects right now with all the clutter.  I went to a Paint night with my sister a while back and then another with my daughter.  I loved the painting we did and tried another on my own at home.  The painting I did on my own is below.  It is a winter scene with snow falling and an  owl sitting in a tree.  I have been painting wine glasses, too.  (I don't drink wine, but that is besides the point)
Time up Well that was my 5 minutes of writing. 


This is extra but this is what I have been painting lately.

I am not crazy about my owl.  He looks more like a blob with eyes, but I do like the little bird's nest I put up higher in the tree branches. 
 
This is just one of the glasses I painted.  I did a bunch of different images on wine glasses and gave them out as Christmas gifts.  This one I did for me.  I added Gigi to it as well, so I will keep this one.









Then I started making greeting cards, as well.  These are on the plain and simple side but I usually start simple until the creative juices get going then I add more bling to my cards.



Well that is it for now.

Do something creative on the blistery cold day.




Thursday, February 11, 2016

Still Cleaning

Items Looking For A New Home

Well, I am still cleaning and sorting.  I have been calling local senior centers and schools to try to donate the stuff I just don't think will be worth trying to sell.  Mostly paper punches, they are heavy and the shipping would cost more than what I would want to sell these for.





 and then there is the paper.  SO MUCH PAPER!  I could drown in it all.  I am pulling out every paper pad I have and going through them all, page by page.  If I see a piece of paper I really love, I am pulling that page out.  If not they are going in the donate pile. Right now I am up to 37 12 x 12 pads of scrapbook paper I am looking for a new home for.  And 3 large boxes of loose 12x12 paper.  My paper cabinets are starting to look rather bare, but that is fine with me.  If I know I will never use it, It is time to get rid of it. 
 

 ETSY Store in Now Open

I am up to 67 stamp sets I have listed on my Etsy Store if you are looking for any bargains. This is very time consuming, though.  I am only up to the "O's" and still have a lot more to list. 


 I am happy to say I made my first sale, though. Yah!!  Thank you ladies for checking out the shop.  There are definitely great deals to be found and the listing will continue until I have listed everything I think is worth trying to sell.  With all the stuff I have, this may take the next month to get everything posted.  But here is the link again for you.    Etsy Shop SharonsScraps



I am hoping to start blogging on a daily basis again.  So I will give you an update as to what is going on since 2013.  The last time I really did any blogging. 

I am currently working from home and loving it.  I am cleaning out my scraproom to make room for my new adventure.
New Adventure

 I have been a long time fan of Stampin' Up! products and, obviously, a long time customer.  Right now they are having their biggest event of the year. Sale-A-Bration.  It is when you can get lots of free products with purchase.  I have always love this sale and end up spending way more money then I should. 

Well, Since I am not getting a weekly paycheck anymore, I could not afford to go shopping.  So instead, I talked to my Rep and decided to join!  This is not only a great time for bargains but it is the best time to sign up, too.  I was able to sign up for the low price of just $99.  This is a pretty good deal in itself.  But with it being Sale-A-Bration the deals get better. I was able to put together my own starter kit (better for me since I already owned so much product) and then I got a bonus of ordering any extra $30 in product for free!  The retail value of everything I ordered came up to $180 but worked into the $155 price range with the deals and bundles going on right now.  Then Stampin Up includes another $59 worth of business supplies to get my off to a great start.  All in all, $239 in product and supplies and I think my cost was about $110 (the shipping was free but there was tax added)  Awesome, right? 
So if anyone out there is thinking about a new start up business, contact me and we can do this together.  This deal only lasts during the Sale-A-Bration event, so If you are thinking about it at all, do it now.  Even if you do not want to commit to it, you still get a discount on your own purchases as an Independent Demonstrator.  Here is the link to my website Stampin Up  So that is my latest new.


My Little Gardening Spot

 
I am still into my vegetable gardening.  This time of year there isn't much going on with that, though.  I do have my seed catalogs and am getting ready to order for my starter seeds.  My darling hubby laughs as he looks out our window to the snow in the year.  "Why are you looking at plants now?" It the time to start planning.

DASH DIET


I did the DASH diet last year.  Not that I really wanted to but my Doctor called and gave me a bit of a scare with my Cholesterol levels.  He told me to start the DASH diet right away.  He gave me no information on it.  I had never even heard of it, but I googled it, researched it, called Barnes and Nobles about a book on it, read the book, all in that one day when the doctor called me.  So The very next day  was doing DASH.  I will summarize very briefly...
Shop the outside perimeter of your grocery store and eat nothing from the middle aisles EVER. 
That is it in a nutshell.  Oh, there are lots of nuts on this plan, too.  Eat whole, natural foods, Lowfat dairy, lean proteins, lots of vegetables, and fresh fruit and add nuts to your daily diet.  For the first 2 weeks you are cleaning out your system from sugars and carbs so for these 2 weeks, no bread or fruit at all. 
I did this and did very well with it from February 23 (the day I got the call) right up to the last day of school (June 20 or so)  I thought the bread would be so hard, but that was easy.  It was the No Fruit for 2 weeks that was killing me.  I did not realize how much I loved fruit.  I could not even eat a raisin!  But I survived and while on this plan I felt great, had more energy and even lost 24 pounds.  I really can't give a good reason why I stopped other than it was summer and I was out of work so I got lazy and stopped planning my daily meals and snacks. 

Since June I think I have gained every pound back and an at the point of trying it again.  The first 2 weeks are what is holding me back.  2 weeks of no fruit, again?  Can I do it?  I know I can, I just have to take that first step and take it one day at a time. 

Online Classes

If I did not have enough going on, I am still working on my online classes I signed up for.  I am a student at Penn Foster and The Travel Institute.  I already have an associated degree in Travel & Tourism.  But that was many years ago and the travel industry has changed so much since them.  Cell phones for one thing, computer search engines,   travel conglomerates (like Travelocity)  that promise to give you the best deals in airfare and hotels, etc...  So I am taking refreshers in the travel industry.  When I got my degree, people went to agencies for everything, airline tickets, Disney packages, honeymoon destinations, etc... Now people can do most of this on their own from their phones. So the industry is changing to keep up with the times.  Now agencies are gearing towards specialty travel.  Cruises, Volunteerism, Eco travel, etc  My classes are going slowly but I am enjoying them.  When I finish,  I get tested and then will be certified as a Travel Agent.  I can do this as a home travel agency or go job hunting for a job.  I don't know what I plan to do with this but you are never to old to learn new tricks.

One last thing,  as long as I am on this road of new things, I will be adding a daily prompt from a new interactive journal I just picked up.  It is called This Time Next Year - 365 Days of Exploration, by Cynthia Scher
It should have started with The first of the year but since I just found it, I will be starting on February 11, 2016
Today's Prompt:
About You
1. How you present yourself to others can reveal a lot.  Fill in the blanks as if you were at a party.  Hint, Consider whether you want to answer truthfully, whimsically, etc.
Your Name: I am Sharon Marie McDonald
The story behind your name:  My mother heard it and liked it, I later researched it to find it is a Hebrew name meaning the plains of Egypt
Your Nickname: I do not have one now, growing up my oldest brother called me Sara
The Story behind your nickname: He said he did not like Sharon, I was fine with it, he was my favorite brother out of four brothers,  he could have called me anything
Your Secret Name/the name you wish you had:  I was happy with my name.  I did like the name Elizabeth, I gave it to my daughter as a middle name.
The story behind that:  I don' t remember where I first heard the name Elizabeth, I just always liked it
You are a ... (quick - what pops into your mind?) Great Organizer, I like to post tips about organizing craft supplies
The most important thing anyone should know about you is: I am kind, sensitive, shy
You are passionate about: my craft supplies.

Now if you would like to follow along either pick up this book or follow along with my prompts.

Have a great day.


 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cleaning and Purging


Stampin' Up! Products for Sale

I am cleaning out my scrap room.  It has become a dumping ground for everything in the whole house over the past year.  I really want to get creative, again and need space.  So my cleaning and purging can turn out to be your new toys and supplies.


I am selling anything and everything I have not used in the past year.  Basically, that would be my whole workshop, but I would need a whole retail store to sell all of this stuff.  So I am going to sell things in groups.  I am starting with any and all Stampin' Up! supplies I have that are outdated.
I will post everything here and try to add photos of each item.


 
Just so you know, the majority of everything I am selling is used, many have my name written on it in sharpie, along with a numbering system also written in sharpie.  If you have been following my blog in the past you know I am very organized with all my supplies so I number everything to find it quickly when I need it.  Here is a photo of some of my stamp sets.  See the little black numbering on the bottom of the boxes?  That is so I can find the particular stamp I am looking for, no matter what set it is in.  I will explain why I do this in a later post about organization.











This is a photo of the stamp sets  stored in CD cases.  I removed the wood blocks and clear mounted them.  The CD cases save space.  I labeled the outside of the cases with the name of the set.



It is taking a long time to get everything posted on my Shop Page so if you do decide to go check it out.  Go back often.  I have over 100 stamp sets I am starting off with.  Right now I only have 35 sets posted.  Next will be ink pads, cardstock, embossing folder, etc... I will be adding more stamp sets each day over the next few days.  This is the website if you want to take a look at what is posted so far.  Click Here To go Shopping

If you have any questions, just add them to the comments.  Thank you