Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How It's Made?

Have you ever seen the show, I think it's on Discovery Channel, called How It's Made?

It happens to be one of my son's favorite shows, and one we enjoy watching as well.

We had our own version of it here this weekend.  Just a warning...there is a bunch of pictures to share here, so hope you enjoy them and don't get bored too quickly!  But if you make it all the way down, you have a chance to comment and win some Blog Candy!

First, my mom's cousins live just outside of Council Bluffs IA, and just 40 minutes away from us!  How wonderful it is to have family near us here!

They live on a farmstead, originally owned by my Great Grandmother's sister and her husband.  Paul is a man of many talents and hobbies and when we met up with them over Labor Day weekend, he mentioned he made popping corn!  Well, let me tell you, since moving to Nebraska, we have seen all the hundreds of fields of Corn, and we had just talked about what corn was used for popping.  Turns out, it's a special kind of corn.   I asked Paul what it would be like if I picked that corn and tried to eat it off the cob....he told me I wouldn't get sick or anything, but probably wouldn't enjoy it all that much! :)

This first picture is of the sign out on the highway, pointing to their farm, and Paul's Perfect Hardwoods, which he also does and we will cover later this post!  (REMEMBER, YOU CAN CLICK ON ANY OF THESE PICTURES TO VIEW THEM LARGER!!)

We went out to the corn fields, where he showed us the special corn he grew to make popcorn, as well as the corn they grow all around us, which is feeder corn, for the cows.  Here is my son, holding up the two varieties of corn, on the left is the feeder corn(his right hand), the right is the popping corn(his left hand).

Paul grew about 7 small rows of corn, and picked a portion of one of the rows a week prior, so the ears could dry out some, and we could come over and see it being turned to popping corn!  After it's picked, it's dried another week or so, then run through the machine that separates the corn kernels from the cob!  BTW, the little barn kitties were so anxious to see the popping corn, they kept popping their heads in to investigate!

It goes into this old machine, which then twists and grinds on the cob of corn, and the corn falls right out, into the bowl at the bottom!  These ears weren't "quite" dry yet, so while we got a bowl full of popcorn to take home, I have to let it stay out on the counter and stir it around every once in a while.   Paul told us it will be good to pop in about another week...and that whatever we don't use right away, we can freeze for up to a year!  Here is a slideshow of the rest of the popping corn pictures!


Along with the Popping Corn, we also got to check out Paul's saw mill, which he has been running for over 50 years!  Now, that was pretty cool, and I have to admit, I never thought much about the wood we use, so it was neat seeing it cut from a log, and we went through some of his old logs that he cut before, where he showed us how a tree is affected by staples and nails, and bullets from hunters!

Here is the first  picture of Cameron, plugging his ears, because the saw mill is rather loud!

Then, here is a slide show of the saw mill being run by Paul, as he cut up a big log for us!

After he cuts it, he runs the cut pieces through again, to trim off the edging, and he knows just what to keep and not to keep. He then stacks them all with spacers and puts them in this big Quonset to dry.  He will then put it in this huge kiln for final drying then run it through a planer, where it gets smoothed out and ready for someone to use!

Inside his "board room" (he has a sign up from an office board room, but literally, it's a board room!) he showed us many samples of cut and prepped wood, ready for those looking for good quality wood to build with.  Inside here, we also saw this branch that he kept, they believe it had a vine wrapped around it through it's growing years, and turned into this really neat knotty branch, which you can see here with my son holding it.

We then walked through the farm some more, and took a look at all his varieties of nut trees. (He is part of the nut growers council, and travels through the U.S. meeting with them, and sharing his ideas on growing and grafting trees)  Paul took us to his small grove of trees which he grafted with other trees to make a new tree.  If it was a good fruit bearer, then it got grafted to a non producer, and when it grows, it should then be a good fruit bearer like it's predecessor.

The one tree that really fascinated me was the Chestnut tree!  I never knew they grew inside this prickly pod, it was the coolest looking thing!  Check out the slide show, it is of the green pods holding the chestnuts, covered in pricklies, to protect itself from squirrels and birds....and then some open pods where the chestnuts are peeking through, and us picking a couple!  What a neat slide show this one made!

Alright, and if you haven't fallen asleep yet....here are some other great photos I took on Sunday, during out day of learning!

Here is a really pretty flower, don't know what it's called, but it was neat!  (Leann told me what it was, but I soon forgot with all the other information floating in my head from the day!)

Here is a shot of the dog, Homer, who decided he was tired of fetching the "little" sticks, when we were walking, he discovered the log pile, and went and grabbed one to play fetch with...we tried telling him it was to heavy to throw, but he didn't care!

And, this final picture is of my son and daughter, and behind them is a pine tree, taken as a sapling from the old pine trees in front of my Great-Great Aunt Marie's farm in North Dakota.  When we moved from California to North Dakota as teenagers, we moved onto Aunt Marie's farm, and lived there until I graduated High School.  So this tree is from that farm, and I thought it was a neat privilege to get a pic of the kids in front of it!

All in all we had a great educational day with family, and we hope to see Paul and Leann again soon!  Next time, I'll take pictures of her huge collection of snow globes, as she has over 100 of them!!

Make sure you come back later this week for the big anniversary and birthday celebration!


FINALLY...if you  made it through this far...here is some BLOG CANDY for you!!

Post and tell me what you think of any of these topics we learned about this weekend, or post some interesting tidbit you learned this fall!!  Then, this weekend, I will draw a name from anyone that commented on here, and send them a small bag of our very own popping corn that we got to keep!!  You have until FRIDAY 11:59 pm EST to leave a comment on this posting......Hope we get to learn a lot from you guys too!!

Have a happy cutting day!  (I'm anxiously waiting for my new camera to get here....I kept imagining all day Sunday on how much better my pictures would have been if I had it!)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Finished Business...


So, it's time to take care of some unfinished business...it can then be finished!

Have you all been wondering, who won the blog candy from last Wednesday?

Well, I drew a name this morning.....

Actually, I went to this kewl site that we like to use here, it's a random number generator, and it picks the number for me!  And it picked lucky poster #2...so Kelly S, you won the BLOG CANDY of the sampler of the new Tear Drops by Robins Nest!


Send me an email, support@paperthreads.com with your full information and mailing address, and I'll get it popped in the mail!

Check back tomorrow, I plan to have a post about our fun-tastic day we had yesterday with the family!

Paperthreads News
Make sure you check in with us this weekend...we are going to have a blog hop, some games, prizes, and sales galore!  Happy 3rd Anniversary to Paperthreads!!  AND WORLD CARDMAKING DAY!! WOOHOO!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

It's the weekend....

I am planning on working all day today!  Oh what fun!

I bought a new camera today!  I actually bought one yesterday, but I am taking it back tomorrow, because I made a bad choice!  I don't normally do that, I normally research like crazy, and i have been researching, but SLR camera's, not point and shoots.  Then, i was looking at camera's, and I just couldn't get myself to pay for the price of an SLR, but I really wanted some of the features, so the camera guy pulls out this hybrid camera, or "super point and shoot".  In all my research of the slr's, I hadn't even come across these hybrids.

I was intrigued, and the camera was a Nikon, since my very first digital camera was a nikon, and i know the nikon has some awesome SLR camera's, I figured this was the one for me!  So we went ahead and bought it.  I  got it home, got the battery charged, and then started taking some pictures of some things I want to put into the store....

Man, was I ever disappointed.  The pictures all looked sort of grainy, not pixelated, but grainy, like the look you get when you scan in a photograph in a scanner......or like you covered your picture with sugar crystals.

So, off I was to determine what I was doing wrong with the setting so that my pictures weren't turning out well....and in my research, I found that the camera in fact has some very good reviews written on it, and the results are that the camera, while it has a lot of great features, has a very poor quality in comparison to other hybrid cameras. 

I even pulled up pictures of the new camera, and some pictures from my other old point and shoot (which is so old, it's falling a part from years of use and abuse!) And a picture of the same exact shot on my tripod with the new camera and the old....the old still took a more crisp picture!  So, I packed up the camera, and taped the receipt to it, and it's going back to the store tomorrow!

In the meantime, i researched these hybrid or super point and shoot cameras, spent most of the day reading reviews, comparing features, checking prices, and deciding what one of these camera's I should go with.

It's not an SLR, but I was so happy to see there are these hybrids for the more avid photographer that is not planning on or needing to go profession with the prices, but can have some of the more advanced features!

The camera I FINALLY decided on this afternoon was the Lumix DMC FZ35.

There were a couple of other camera's in this class that I found to be intriguing and could have gone for, but I choose this one because:

1. Records in HDTV
2. Has the option of adding on teleconversion lenses
3. has the ability to make RAW files, for easier manipulation and control of the pictures in photoshop. (allows you to have full pixel control...something I have not been able to do with my past photos, but am lookign froward to learning!)

1. I really will miss the swivel display from my point and shoot.
2.  While the ion battery is great and standard and I know I'll get used to them, i will really miss my camera that takes AA batteries.  I always have batteries, the batteries always seemed to last and I remember with my previous camera that had a rechargable battery that it always seemed to be dead when I needed it the most!  So my next purchase will be at least 2 extra batteries....I'll probably ask for those at Christmas!

There are many more features that I'm not covering, these are just a couple that made the decision for me....finding that the cons I had with the camera outweighed the pros enough to make it the one for me!!

oh, and the great news...I bought the camera and it is already on it's way to me!!  Woohooo!

so...I promise...Monday's post won't be so boring!  And I'll have the drawing for the blog candy from the other day!

Happy cutting!

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Science Project...

So, my son's school hosted a Streets of Learning tonight, and the kids did several things throughout the evening, and we all got to walk through the school and check things out.  They also had a taco bar, so we got our dinner there too!

Cameron, my 6th grader, decided he was going to participate in the science experiment for his project.  His project was to make a small motor, using magnets, a battery connection, magnetic wire, duct tape, and paper clips, we was off building his project.  He knew the motor would work in it's original state, as he found instructions on how to make it.  So to turn it into an experiment, he decided to test if the shape of the wires made a difference as to whether or not the magnetic wire would spin.

My job in all this?  To take his diagrams he made in MSWord (which, by the way, the graphic abilities in Word are much better than there were a few years ago, I was very impressed with what he put together!), and turn his main diagram into a cutting file, so we could make it look more like the actual test model and it would help explain the process....

So...here are some pictures!

First one is of my son....he was very nervous here, as he was worried he wouldn't be able to explain it right, and he wasn't able to eat his tacos!

this next shot is setting up the the display and info  board...the large middle diagram was cut in parts on my KNK Machine!  And the title too!  He made the diagram in Word, and I just copied the image, and pasted it into KNK Studio.  Then, I just drew lines for each part, and used the rounded tool to make them into cuttable pieces....we used yarn to look like wires going from the battery to the metal parts in the diagram.  It took a bit to piece it all together, but lots of glue later, it was all ready!

Here's another shot of the board and motor ready to demo.

Then, here is another shot of him setting it up and prepping everything.

A shot of connecting the power pack to the metal....

and, then final show of the piece spinning....

That's it!!

What we learned during this project....
1. That Cameron is much better at MSWord then I would have ever thought, and that I need to teach him to use a CAD program and designing easier in other graphics programs!  I can see he would find a good use for it!
2.  Mom's make great chauffeurs and payment for purchases, but when it comes to asking questions or knowing what to buy, well, lets just say, Cam knew EXACTLY what he wanted, and the people at the electronics stores knew exactly what he was asking for!
3.  Dad's ALWAYS tend to get sick when they are needed!  Adam was struck down with flu, which meant I helped Cam the last couple nights working through the experiment and hearing his hypothesis and how he was going to experiment.  Next time, I will give dad some vitamin C weeks before!!
4.  Thin copper wire is worse than glass when stepped on with bare feet!
5.  KNK machines really help making those trifold display boards!!

6.  The most important....mom's and son's CAN do science projects together, and son's can teach mom's all kinds of things they would never know!

Anyway, the Streets of Learning is fun, and for his first science fair, he did well, and I couldn't be prouder!  And hopefully he worked some of the nerves out and will do even better with his next big idea!

God's Blessings to all who are ill, mentally and physically....and to all that are struggling!  Remember these little times!  It's these little things that make us a more whole person!

Catch ya later!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wall Art with Crackling

Yes, with Crackling!  Here is a project I completed last April/May after remodeling our bathroom.  I was trying to figure out what to hang in the room, and something cheap, as I couldn't afford to get something new.

I had this dragonfly metal sculpture which I had purchased a couple years before, and intended to put out in my yard decorations, but just never got around to it.  I found an old frame I had purchased from the dollar store.  I purchased it becuase it was only a $ and I thought it had a nice wide finish to it, so that I could decoupage some papers onto it to make something from it, but only, I never got around to it...until now!

So, I first started out with the frame.  I painted it with the burgandy accent paint that I was using as an accent color in the bathroom.  I then painted it with the Peeled Paint Distressed Crackle Paint, putting on a really thick coat (I used a bottle and a half of the crackle paint, they are in those little 1.1 oz pots, and I needed about 2 oz.)

When it dried and crackled, the burgandy undercoating stood out really well!

I then looked up the definition for Dragonfly online, and turned it into a vinyl cutout, cutting it from a dark red in my Klic-N-Kut Maxx machine, I then stuck this onto Medium Spring Green Colormates paper.  I mounted that onto the backing for my frame.

Then, taking the metal dragonfly piece, I used Aileens clear drying tacky glue to glue the legs onto the backing, setting it at an angle and as centered as possible.  I REALLY gobbed the glue on, so I would have a nice good hold, and then I let it dry for about a day and a half.  When I was done, I had this great piece for my bathroom, and it didn't cost me anything EXTRA, because everything I used I already had lying around the house and in my work studio!

Maybe someday, I'll actually get around to hanging it up in our new house!  Lol!  Actually, I most likely will, if I can ever find furniture I like!

Have a Cutting good day!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Card

Another project I found digging through the archives!

In this project, I used some leaves stamps by Stampin' Up and my VersaMark ink pad, then used some Pearl Ex copper and gold to color them up a bit.  I punched a row of holes along the top, and threaded some ribbon in and out.  Using a cornucopia die cut from Sizzix (I don't have this die cut anymore, I gave it up for my first electronic die cut machine!  I first put a layer of red liner tape onto my papers, then I used the fruit die cut plate to cut them.  I then sprinkled micro-beads on each piece, to give it that a look of those glass beaded fruit you used to find in the 70's and 80's.  They stuck very well to the red liner tape!

I then finished it off with a sayings stamp (not sure the brand, but it could be Stampin' Up) did a little sponging on it for distressed look, and then added a gold leaf sticker.

I made a few of these cards that year, bundled them up with a ribbon and gave them away as a gift!

Pearl Ex....what is it, and how do you use it?
Pearl Ex Powdered pigments are simply a dry powdered form of color which has some sparkle to it. You can use it as a dry powder or mix it into something and apply it wet as a paint.


DRY RUB: Take a tiny bit of the powdered pigment and rub it on card stock using whatever tool you like. This is very similar to chalking. This creates a beautiful background, and you should spray it with a sealant when you finish.

VERSAMARK/PIGMENT INK: First, ink up your stamp with Versamark watermark pad or some color of pigment ink onto colored matte card stock. Take a small soft paint brush or a stipple brush, dip it gently into the powdered pigment and swish the powdered pigment over the area you just stamped. The powdered pigment will cling to the embossing/pigment ink. Try using different colors of powdered pigments over different colors of pigment inks, and on different colors of background card stock. Spray with a sealant when done.

HEAT & STICK POWDER: Stamp/emboss your image using Heat & Stick powder (this method works great on Glossy card stock). Brush the powdered pigment over the embossed image, it will stick to the embossed line. DO NOT overheat your sticky powder. Just heat it to the point that it melts and has a glossy look. Once you brush the Pearl Ex over your embossed image, let it sit and "cure" for a while. It will still feel tacky for a little bit after, but the tackiness does go away. You can also do this on any type of card stock you choose - matte, glossy and even vellum's.

EMBOSSING POWDERS: Pearl Ex can also be mixed with embossing powders to create custom colors of embossing powders. It takes VERY LITTLE powdered pigment when mixing with embossing powders. Keep track of what colors you mix and in what quantities, just in case you create something you love and want to be able to mix it up again in the future. (Try 1 TBS embossing powder with 1/4 tsp. Pearl Ex and see what you think.)

There are other ways of applying Pearl Ex powders, that involve wet mediums, which I will try to cover in a later post!

Hope you enjoyed this post! Oh, and don't forget to post a comment to yesterday's post in order to be entered into the Blog Candy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Another Project Revisited...and BLOG CANDY!

Here's another project made a couple years ago!  Actually, it's one of the first I made with my cutter!

We hosted the family Christmas dinner, and I put together these invites to send to everyone!  I printed the text portion out on cardstock, and then did the backing on black paper.  I used a Stampin Up Joy Stamp, with VersaMark Ink, and then a glitter blue embossing powder, which I had picked up from the Sparkle and Sprinkle booth at a stamping show earlier that year.  The diecuts were created from a dingbat font, and I edited it slightly, so that I could tie ribbon through it.  I made these post card style, so it's a card that doesn't open up, but it t perfectly in an A2 envelope.

We are going to have some family here for Christmas dinner this year...though only a few of them!  Don't know that I'll do invitations this year!

Now, on to some BLOG CANDY!!

Did you like this project?  Are you hosting a holiday event this year?  Is so, will you make invites?  Tell me about your plans by leaving a comment!  I will draw some lucky winner from the comments, and I will send them a sampler of the BRAND SPANKING NEW ROBINS NEST TEAR DROPS!

So make sure you post!  I'll draw for the Blog Candy on Friday, September 25, 2009, but the only way you can enter is if you post a comment!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Revisiting Old Projects - Princess Castle

Since I've migrated over to a new blog format, and the other blog never really went anywhere....just to make sure I post more frequently, I have decided to revisit some of my old projects in time to get motivated for the holiday gift creation season!!

Seems like I had lots of projects to make in previous years, but the past couple years, I've been so busy during the holiday time, that I didn't do homemade presents.  I'm hoping to get back into it this year...because I love giving home made gifts.  It's not that they cost less, because usually they don't...it's that I just enjoy making and giving these types of projects!

Last year, for my daughters Cross Country banquet, I made this princess journal for one of her team members.  It's adapted from Carrie's Creations Princess Enchanted Castle file.  I adapted the mat for this, so that along the left side, so that it was more flat and I could use my Bind-It-All to assemble the project.

I cut it all out of chipboard for the front and back covers, then matching pieces to glue to both sides, so that I could cover it with the color I wanted.  All papers I used were colormates and daisy bucket designs.  I used some inks to distress a bit.  I then highlighted with stickles.  I made a coordinating shaped inner pages using the cutter, and sandwiched it all together then bound it!  I then added an assortment of ribbons to the edges.

It was a fun project, done in an afternoon, and hopefully the receiver will use it to journal her last year of high school!  (You can click on the picture for a larger view!)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Yowsers...what a day...

Yesterday was quite the day!

Kids were off of school, and I had lots of errands to run...then we had the Cross country team over for a pasta feed. it's tradition before a game, and it was our turn!

for the most part, it all turned out ok. But earlier in the day, when I was boiling up the noodles, my stove caught fire! Flames :) I have decided I really really really miss my gas stove! Luckily, I was able to put the fire out...and I also had Bri go and get the extinguisher, which had yet to be put in the kitchen since we moved. Well, it is NOW in the kitchen!

My two boys, DH and DS, went camping yesterday with the Scouts. DH had to return today, as he has to work tomorrow, but DS stayed behind, he was having WAY too much fun with all his new scout friends! It's a great thing for him, and I'm so glad he decided to take the plunge and join this year. DH has been doing it with him, and it's been great bonding time for them!

Today was kind of a lazy day...I spent it on the laptop, creating the images for all the new stamps we are getting in! I have wanted to branch out to stamps for well over a year now, as stamping and cardmaking is what really grew my love for papercrafting! I finally decided it was time to take the plunge, and so far, I've been able to pick up some really terrific lines! I can't wait until all the inventory comes in!

DD had her Cross Country meet today...she did well, and hopefully she is done struggling in finding her way here!

I was hoping to have another stamp project to post today, but didn't get the motivation to work my way down to the craft room today, I was enjoying all my research on the new stamps instead! Maybe tomorrow...I have the stamps already colored in with my copics, and i just have to put them in a card! I really need the cards, because I have a few to send out!

Vacatons & Getaways...48 and counting!

Yep! We have submitted more than 48 files to the club so far, and we still have quite a few more files to add!! So make sure you get in on this GREAT deal, and on top of it, all proceeds go to the family of Scott Schwartz! Scott is in an intensive battle with cancer, and we are hoping to give them some more financial power to help win this battle, by allowing Scott to not worry about his family needs!

IF you want to join in the club, or just make a donation, please do so SOON!!



Now..on to some other things...I have been having fun playing with our new stamp sets in the store!

Yesterday, I worked on stamping Apple Emma, coloring her with my Copics. I'm still not the best at shading all the time, but the more I use those copics, the better I get!

For this 6x6 card, I used Cascata papers by WorldWin for my background, it has a nice texture to it and is such a rich color. I have it in stock, just not up on the website, as it's paper that I take and sell at tradeshows usually. I then used Outdoor Olive Dark by colormates, in my Cuttlebug Embossing folder - Distressed Stripes. Some Outdoorsy Olive (Stampin' UP) inking on it to highlight the embossing. For the Sugar Plums Apple Emma Stamp I used my tuxedo black Memento Ink, I like this ink, because it doesn't bleed with the markers. I stamped it on Colormates Heritage White paper.

Then, I colored her in with my Copic Markers, gave her some highlights with the Elmers Painters Opaque White Pen, and then finished her off with some AtYou Spica Glitter marker.

I stamped out some individual apples, colored them in the same way I did the main stamp, and then using pop dots, layered them in a row. The saying is a stamp I picked up at a stamp show a few years ago, so I'm not sure who it is made by, back then, I didn't track my stamps by manufacturer! I think it might have been by Rubbernecker, as I bought a lot of their unmounted stamps in their clearance bins!

Anyway...I had fun stamping! I hope to have more crafty projects to post soon! I'm actually finding time to craft and work....because now I have everything all together in one room! Maybe tomorrow I'll post the pictures of my scrap space...I posted them to the Paperthreads Gallery already..but might post them here too!

Have a Cutting good day!

Blog Move....

I decided to move my blog from Paperthreads site to it's own domain...I'm hoping it will make it easier to update!
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