Happy New Year 2018!!

    It is always amazing to me how quickly 365 days can go by . . . It is now 2018!!

    You may be anticipating Valentine’s Day. Or maybe St. Patrick’s Day. How about Easter? Maybe, you’re thinking about Halloween . . . I know it isn’t for a long long time . . .

    The thing is, it is never too early to get started on a Father’s Day project . . . or one that would be excellent for Halloween . . . perhaps both, if the “father” is a fan of the old TV series The Munsters.

    Yet, this is a free printable template of the Munster’s family car . . . 

    She is quite lovely and may take some time to complete. So, it is best to begin now . . .

    It’s not the putting together that seems to be the issue, but the cutting out of all the pieces that takes the time . . . but you have plenty!!

    And, you may want to make more than one of these beauties.

    I do love 3D models of various items from TV Series to Movies to templates for card fronts . . .

    You may not believe this, but I was looking up a template for a castle . . . I just wanted the basic design . . . nothing fancy. It was for a card front . . . and then this Munster Koach caught my eye.

    Just click the image to the right and you’ll be taken to place where you can download the PDF of the parts and the instructions. It would also be nice to give a donation for this classic card as a thank you for the grand wokmanship.

    I have to get to work on my castle . . .

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Sharon

    Happy Thanksgiving 2016

    Thanksgiving Day finally arrived and here in Southern California I can hopefully say so has fall!!!

    I was out and about yesterday wearing my sweatshirt with a hood — it was supposed to be windy, and I like to cover my ears on windy days.KidsPlayingInLeaves

    I did some shopping . . . parking was a bit of a nightmare . . . but I was able to get some exercise . . .

    I usually don’t like being in crowds, but there is an energy in the air when preparing for a holiday dinner with family and friends.

    I’ve heard so many times how important it is to “live in the moment.” This isn’t easy to do . . . we think of the past and are bombarded with thoughts about a future event . . .

    sizzixvillagebungalowI was thinking of papercrafts . . . all those projects I started and didn’t finish . . . But, then thinking ahead to spring . . . and this great Bungalow Sizzix Die i have . . . 

    But it could be for Christmas . . . everything is adaptable for any season . . .

    It is a cozy little place I would like to visit for Thanksgiving, too.

    And then my thoughts shift to the Sizzix Surf Shack . . . There’s something quite relaxing and mellow about that, too . . .surfshack2

    I have a friend who has a beach house in South Carolina . . . the hurricane did quite a bit of damage, but she’s fixing it up . . . and took a picture of a couple of alligators soaking up some rays in her yard . . . I can appreciate this Surf Shack on stilts . . . don’t want to get cozy with the wildlife . . .

    There is so very much to do . . . and so little time . . .  Amazing how difficult it is to stay in the moment.

    On this Thanksgiving Day it is worthwhile to take a moment and reflect upon the goodness we have in our life . . . good friends . . . a loving family . . . being able to play a musical instrument, draw or paint a picture . . . do papercrafts . . . or whatever you find enjoyable and relaxing . . . I have a neighbor who enjoys putting together jigsaw puzzles . . . Some people enjoy reading or watching movies . . . Others like to shop . . . There are those who love walking and taking pictures . . . It’s all quite wonderful . . . We do have much for which to be thankful . . .

    Today is beautiful . . . no matter the weather . . . there is beauty to see . . . And a feast to share with family and friends . . .

    This is a wonderful day to celebrate . . . maybe not for traditional reasons, but reasons of your own . . . It is your Thanksgiving after all.

    Many of you may be anticipating Black Friday . . . or Cyber Monday . . . or both . . . or just take a deep breath . . . relax . . . and live in the moment.

    Until next time . . . Thanks for stopping by!

    Sharon

    Disappointments and Challenges

    There is always a degree of apprehension and anxiety when faced with change . . . along with disappointment, discouragement . . . which leads to challenges and looking for the positive . . .

    For some, there may be a pay off to being unhappy, angry, disappointed . . . villagedwellingpieces

    For others, in spite of disappointments, we look for the positive . . . the challenges within ourselves that we must face to accept not getting what we want to something not being what we thought it would be.

    I was all into the concept of die cuts and how wonderful it would be to have a plain template . . . but then, having something ready-made seemed to appeal to me more . . . Allowing me to see where I was going . . .

    And changing something to my liking from a ready-made printable seemed the easier way to go.gingerbreadhousebox

    But, in truth, it all comes down to your personal comfort level.

    Initially, I was overwhelmed by the pieces, as above, that didn’t seem to have a purpose . . . because I never put it together before . . . and it didn’t look like anything . . . But there are more possibilities for creativity and individuality with the die cut pieces than the ready-to-print-out-and-assembly Gingerbread House.

    It does go together nicely and it does have all the icing and embellishments in place . . . The first one will look the same as the second . . . fifth . . . tenth . . . fiftieth . . .

    There is no surprise there . . . unless I decide to alter it in some way . . . but such alterations may be much more work than if I started with a die cut template.

    Yes, if I want, I could make the die cut elements above into a gingerbread house. I can add a wreath on the front door . . . I could make a fence of gingerbread children . . . I can cut out white window frames . . . and add some white “frosting” to the roof tiles . . . And candy canes . . .

    Now look back at the first image . . . The die cut . . . 

    You have a decision to make . . . What color card stock to do want for the body of the house . . . and for the roof of the house . . .

    With the die, I had to decide at that point the colors and cutting the card stock and place it over the appropriate places . . . and later learned how I should have taped it down so it wouldn’t slip . . .

    Yes, I was initially overwhelmed and a bit disappointed . . . But, it was all a matter of getting out of my way that I realized there was a learning curve for me . . . I didn’t like it . . . but if I wanted to create something different each time I made this Tim Holtz Sizzix Village Dwelling, I’d have some decisions to make . . . and it started with the first one . . . an experiment . . . and maybe several experiments until I got it right . . . 

    I had to learn the die . . . and the Sizzix Big Shot . . . then assemble the pieces . . . and decide what else I wanted to do with it . . . add a different roof pattern . . . add a siding pattern . . . It takes a bit of trial and error . . . and some disappointment that it didn’t turn out as initially imagined . . . but it was all about learning . . . and facing each challenge head-on.

    I was watching a movie yesterday about this mathematical genius . . . who really didn’t fit in with others . . . not understanding the dynamics of relationships . . . except those associated with numbers . . . He did learn how he missed out on things . . . and found he wasn’t “all that” . . . especially when it came to his relationship with his mother . . . And, in the end, after waiting for her son to respond to her . . . they learned how to communicate . . .

    This gets me to a YouTube video I watched of an interview with an adult who had a famous mother . . . and the relationship they had . . . which wasn’t so much love . . . as respect . . . an admiration of her mother’s talents and abilities . . . It struck me a bit strange . . . Yet, many famous people may be incapable of love or conveying it to their children . . . It is all about them . . . their career . . . their life . . .

    It’s all a matter of perspective . . . and how we deal with it . . . 

    Life isn’t easy . . . we are faced  with challenges . . .  disappointments . . . successes . . . falldisney2

    The same applies with crafts. The whole concept is to have fun  . . . to make something . . . So you get all the tools and paper . . . and find it isn’t as easy as it looks when watching someone else.

    You can always throw in the towel and give up or pout and throw the whole thing in the trash . . . or realize it is a bit of a challenge and the first effort may not work out . . . or even the second . . . third . . . oh my gosh! fourth . . . But, each time, you get a bit closer to achieving your goal. Just know that there may be another failure after a success . . .  There are no guarantees.

    There’s no guarantee that the more you work at it, that you will succeed . . . It depends upon your perspective of success . . . and respecting the tools for what they are . . . and recognizing their limitations . . . as well as your own . . . but having a determination to figure it out . . .

    There are always these wise people who have these wise sayings . . . but we can never bring them to mind when we need them . . .  So, we need to rely on ourselves . . . depend upon ourselves . . . be gentle with ourselves . . . accept that we’re not perfect and things aren’t always easy . . . and alternatively, things aren’t always difficult . . . We may have cycles of success . . . and cycles of failure . . . but it’s just a cycle . . . and we have to go through it until the tide changes . . .

    We control our thought, our actions, our feelings . . . there are some things we can’t change . . . nor control . . . but we can focus our perspective . . . we can look for the positive . . . strive to find something funny or different or interesting or unusual each day . . . Surprisingly, you’ll find it . . . because you’re looking for it . . . 

    So, what we may be unable to do one day . . . we may be able to do the next . . .

    This applies to all things in life . . . I know I throw a lot of concepts at you all at once . . . You may be wondering what I’m thinking . . . But, if you’ve ever had a conversation using Two Cans On A String . . . you miss some stuff and have to fill in the blanks . . . And, drawing the string of what connects life, movies, interviews and crafts together . . . is your challenge of filling in the blanks to make sense out of it for you . . .

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Sharon

    Oh! I almost forgot!! Click the image of the Gingerbread House on the left to be taken to a PDF you can print out, cut out and assemble. It’s a great treat/gift box.

    Free RavensBlight Eye Catcher

    Ray O’Bannon has been busy at RavensBlight creating new papercraft toys for his visitors.eyecatcher1-1

    One caught my eye . . . an eye catcher . . . Which is actually catching an eye on a strong . . . A fun hand-eye-coordination thing you may enjoy making for your family . . .

    Click the image on the right to be taken to the PDF to print out. Click Here for the assembly instructions.

    cleavergolf1I do like the eye and may use it in other projects . . .  Be sure to check out Ray’s other toys . . . He has a fun golf game that may get you right into the Halloween spirit . . .

    To me it seems more like a variation to croquet, but Ray can name his game whatever he prefers. There are so great eyes again . . . Can you imagine terrifying your friends and family by bringing out this Cleaver Golf game?

    Click the image on the left for the PDF. Here are the Cleaver Golf assembly instructions.

    These may be a great hit at your Halloween party. I think I may make up a bunch of those eyes and put them in a big bowl . . . I wonder about a friendly game of pool . . . or perhaps put little treats inside . . . A little jingle bell may be a nice touch . . . For the eye-catcher, too.

    I believe Ray O’Bannon is a clever artist . . . His games and images go to the mysteries of the paranormal . . . His does give a colorful history of how this golf game was created . . . yet it does play a bit more like croquet with the hoops . . . and the cleavers . . . but I’m not going to argue with the creator of this game, I just delighted he has these free to print out and make.

    Although I may be feeling a bit creeped out at the moment, I do hope these Ray O’Bannon games will find a place in your home in which to play . . . I did want to give you something fun to have for the official opening of this fall season.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Sharon

    Paper Crafts

    Twenty, Twenty-five, Maybe Even 30 years ago . . . 

    I was at my favorite craft store.dreams

    This was when scrapbooks were the “in thing.”

    For me, a scrap book was not a photo album, but a book where you saved newspaper articles, ticket stubs, pressed flowers, printed programs and flyers . . . Maybe those photo booth strips of silly pictures you’d take with your friends . . . maybe even those fortune telling cards you’d get from a machine . . .  or even tokens from the county fair . . . Just junk . . . but they were treasures to you at that time . . . It’s now emphemera. A fancy name for junk collected, that seemed valuable for a short time.

    Back then you could buy designer papers by the sheet and there were special cut-outs and embellishments available to buy to dress up your scrapbook pages of family vacations or family holidays . . .

    Papercrafting has come a long way . . . 

    There are cutting machines, our computers and printers have come a long way since then, as has the internet.

    We can buy designer paper, still . . . or we can download it and print it out on our card stock . . . We can buy all kinds of bling to go along with our scrapbook pages or even make our own scrapbooks, mini-albums, cards . . . centerpieces, gift boxes . . . etc.

    Many papercraft hobbies have become a business. It’s amazing how times have changed . . .

    I shouldn’t be surprised or amazed, actually . . . Some things grow rather than die out. We do love our hobbies and paper crafts have been around for centuries . . . We always think we’ve discovered something new and exciting only to find that it has all been done before. Maybe not as easily as today, but it has been done before.

    I like papercrafts with a purpose . . . boxes . . . books with secret compartments . . . 3-D Haunted Houses with a secret compartment . . . even cards with a slot for a lollipop . . .

    magicofbooksThen . . . I started thinking . . . the pop-up cards . . . I’ve always loved pop-up books . . . even those sugar Easter eggs with a scene inside . . . or the image I saw in a book of Alice Through The Looking Glass . . .  Do you remember the old View Masters .  . . and the 3-D Movies . . .

    We still have 3-D Movies . . . we can make our own pop-up books and cards . . . we can make all kinds of 3-D houses and whatever with paper for displaying in our homes for holidays and for everyday.

    We get motivated by seeing things others have done . . . and we must try to do it for ourselves . . . We can always find instructions on YouTube . . . or we can figure it out for ourselves and create our own YouTube video tutorial to share with others . . .

    And, of course, there are machines and dies and clip-art . . . SVG kits . . . things to buy and things to make from free printables . . .

    What I thought about scrapbooking 25 to 30 years ago has changed . . . for the better . . . 

    There’s a woman on YouTube who tells a story about attending a scrapbooking workshop . . . it was something suggested by her boss years ago while she was working for a company . . . She couldn’t imagine why he suggested she take this workshop . . . Now she has her own papercrafting business in her own home . . . Probably making more money than she did out in the work force.

    Even at that time, while attending the workshop, she couldn’t see the sense of it . . . but now . . . It was a turning point in her life.

    I remember my cousin telling me about her new Cricut machine and the cartridges she bought . . . all the paper crafts she could make with those die-cuts. All I could think about was the expense and the collection of all those cartridges . . . But now . . . I’m thinking things through differently.

    For some of us, it takes time to decide what it is that we want to do . . . to make . . . to create . . . halloweenpopupcard

    I looked at the Silhouette Cameo for years before purchasing one. I’ve looked at the Big Shot for years before purchasing it, too. I didn’t know how important it was to be able to emboss paper . . . or to have templates and a machine that would cut them out . . . The Silhouette Cameo can do a lot of cutting and is great for clip-art cutouts, too. I thought this was all I really needed . . . it was a definite answer to avoid the cutter of dies, etc. But, there are times when embossing is necessary . . . yes, Silhouette has a machine for that . . . But, I wanted something else . . . something I’d been fighting . . . The Big Shot . . . especially when I discovered Karen Burniston’s YouTube Video Tutorials for making pop-ups and sliders . . .

    It’s necessary to have a space in your home for your crafts . . . it could be sewing or needlework, or even paper crafts. I have a friend who is into film making. She did a lot of it with advertisements for her furniture store. She got her kids and their friends to participate in her ads . . . A forerunner of YouTube Videos now . . .

    We’ve come a long way . . . or is it just an easier way?

    I’ve been thinking about this for a few days now . . .

    Then, looking back to all the time I’ve . . . I was going to say “wasted” . . . but it is a process . . . not a waste of time . . .

    It is about learning . . . personal growth . . . deciding what it is we do need to open and fulfill that creative outlet within . . . We do need to express ourselves . . . in some creative way . . .

    This reminds me of an Amazon Pilot for a series called Interestings . . . It’s an Amazon Prime Video thing . . . It’s about a group of people who got together at a camp for “creative kids” with acting, dance, art, music . . . 

    This group or certain members of the group are still together and meet up years later . . . which is kind of a regular thing for them — not a reunion thing. It’s how their friendships formed over the years . . . You may have a different “take” on it . . . It all depends upon one’s perspective at the time . . . 

    This all seems applicable to life . . . In the beginning there is a quote . . . Life if understood backwards . . . But we have to live it forwards. I may have messed up the quote a bit, but the concept is there.

    And quite applicable with hobbies and papercrafts.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Sharon

    Oh, if you haven’t jumped onboard yet with papercrafts . . . you may want to check out these links:

    Thanks again for stopping by! Be sure to bookmark this website . . . we’d love for you to visit us again . . . and tell your friends.

    Until next time,

    Sharon