Necklace Repairs

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While I was on vacation in Nashville a couple of weeks ago, I looked for a pretty blue necklace that made my heart sing. No luck. I found nothing.

When I got home, I looked at the blue necklaces I already had. They needed some rework, so I took care of that this weekend.

I bought the first necklace in Morocco, umpty-eleven years ago. It’s lapis and turquoise. The necklace is a little short, and the hook scratched my neck, so I haven’t worn it very much.

Moroccan necklace #1

I removed the hook, and tied a piece of ribbon to each end of the necklace. Then I tied the loose end of the ribbon to the opposite ribbon. This made the length adjustable.

Moroccan necklace #2

Here’s the finished, more wearable piece.

Moroccan necklace #3

Next, I pulled out a fetish necklace that my BFF “L” had given me. It had belonged to her late mom, Snooks, and it was lapis and azurite with hand-carved dolphin fetishes. The necklace’s clasp had broken one day while I was wearing it.

I restrung the entire necklace, except for two dolphins. I made a pair of earrings from those (hanging from the neck of the shirt).

Fetish necklace

Last, but not least, I repaired a broken blue-green necklace. One of the chains had broken loose on one side, so I just reconnected it. Easy-peasy.

Aqua necklace

Now I have three new-old necklaces, and one new pair of earrings. Cost: $0. (Earring hooks and bead wire were already in my stash.)

By the way, I earned $98.50 in May from my rummage sale items. Not bad! I might try to sell something on E-bay to make extra money in June. There is a rumor going around work that overtime is imminent, so we’ll see.

Stay tuned…

p.s. I shared this at Chic On a Shoestring.

257, and More Masculine Cards

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Yay! I made some decluttering progress! Not without help, of course.

No.2 Sis has a friend who’s having a garage sale in a couple of weeks, and Sis and I got permission to put some of our items in, too. I helped Sis mark and pack her items for the sale, so she came and helped me with my junk.

We got 5 boxes of stuff priced and packed and put into No.2 Sis’ car, and she even delivered them to her friend’s house for me!

I packed up 2 boxes of stamp sets to sell. I sold some to a stamping buddy at work ($20 of extra income in April, woohoo!) and let No.4 Sis look through the boxes and take what she wanted. The rest went to the rummage sale.

I also had a bunch of household items, table linens, a brand new radio/alarm clock (the numbers shine too brightly), a light table (never used), my food processor (used once), and a coffee maker. Whatever doesn’t sell gets picked up by the Salvation Army. I might make some money, but best of all, it’s stuff that’s out of the house.

After all that work 🙂 I had some fun making a couple of masculine cards with the Guy Greetings set. I really don’t need to make any more cards. I’m sure I have enough for birthdays through the end of the year. I think I even have enough Christmas cards already made. I just can’t stop, though! I’m having too much fun!

Guy Greetings

Hats Off to You

Guy Greetings

No one Else Could Fill Your Shoes

Stay tuned…




252, and Googly Eyes

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I’ve told you my Mom taught me to ask things their names, and they will tell you. That’s why my car is named Gypsy Blue.

I first experimented with this technique on my houseplants. I had three plants, and I asked the first one its name. Mabel was the answer. I asked the second plant its name. Maybelle was the reply. I asked the third one. Maybelline. Come on guys, you’re just f*cking with me! I never knew houseplants had a sense of humor.

I thought of this while I was bagging my only current houseplant for the compost heap. It’s a very large, old, nearly leafless Golden Pothos that’s been very sickly for a long time. Frankly, I never asked it its name. I didn’t want to be the butt of its jokes.

How houseplants should look.

How houseplants should look.

I’m continuing to declutter and trying to focus on allowing new abundance into my life. I read an article on this blog, MindBodyGreen, that was inspirational. Out with the old, in with the new. I think that includes dying houseplants.

I packed up a donation box from the Studio, added a large lampshade to it, and bagged the plant for compost. That’s 3 more bags/boxes, which brings my count to 252.

I celebrated my success by ordering googly eyes (doesn’t everyone?) from Amazon. I think they would have improved the cards I made last weekend.

Stampin' Up Time to Celebrate

Stampin’ Up Time to Celebrate

Stampin' Up Cheerful Critters

Stampin’ Up Cheerful Critters


As God as my witness, I will never go without googly eyes again <shakes fist in air>!!!

Stay tuned…



249, or Last Minute Laurel

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I gave myself a month, A MONTH, to clean my dining room for my Stampin’ Up party and it’s not done yet. The party’s tomorrow. Here’s what I did all week.

Saturday: Did my taxes. Helped No.2 Sis shop for furniture for her new townhouse. Played cards with the City Sisters.

Sunday: Cooked Heroin Chicken Tenders, yum. Made a lot of progress on clearing the dining room table, then got distracted by making just a few more cards before getting the last of my stamp sets put away. (Ooh…look! Something shiny!)

Gorgeous Grunge cards

Monday: Was going to read a few pages of a novel. Got caught up in it and didn’t put it down until I’d read the whole thing. Compulsive much?

Tuesday: Got a call from an old friend who was feeling down. Talked to her for two hours until I had her laughing hysterically. Well, it was either my jokes or the wine she was drinking.

Wednesday: Started another novel. Don’t I ever learn? Read it through to the end.

Thursday: Called No.2 Sis to meet me for dinner at a local restaurant. We sat and talked for three hours. I should have left a bigger tip.

Friday: Got Gypsy Blue’s oil changed and wipers replaced. Gassed her up. Went to the bank. Went to the hair salon. Organized my underwear drawer (because THAT’S important).

No.2 Sis came over and helped me out by packing up 5 bags of recycling (I let go of a large swath of my magazine collection) so I could finish putting away my stamping supplies. Took Sis out to dinner to thank her for the help. Went to the grocery store for party food. And I’m ALMOST ready. Just a few (dozen) things to finish up tomorrow before the party.

Yes, my name is Laurel. Last Minute Laurel.

In high school at Our Lady of Sweet and Sour Perplexity, I would often go into the math study room the hour before advanced algebra class. Some nervous math geek would ask me what I got for an answer to one of the homework questions, and I say “Just a minute, I haven’t done that one yet”.

I’d start to calculate the homework problems until I came to the one that was causing them trouble, and then confirm whether or not they had the right answer. I realized later that their shock wasn’t because I had the right answer. It was because I was starting the assignment minutes before it was due.

I always thought that I did my best work under pressure. I know now that it’s not my best work. It’s just that I do the MOST work under pressure. It’s the adrenaline, you know. I’ll be ready for tomorrow, but I’ll be sure to do it in the most stressful, adrenaline-filled way possible.

And I wonder why I’m so tired most of the time? (Note to self: Google symptoms and treatment of adrenal fatigue.)

Stay tuned….

p.s. The cards were made with Stampin’ Up papers and inks in Pacific Point, Soft Suede and Whisper White. The stamps sets are Gorgeous Grunge and One In a Million, also from Stampin’ Up.

p.p.s. I found this cool website that articulates the lessons I’ve been trying to teach myself the past year. It’s www.TheTortoiseKnowsBest. Check it out.

p.p.p.s. I shared this at Chic on a Shoestring.



A Little Dining Room Progress, and Masculine Cards

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Here’s my thought process when trying to clear the dining room table:

  1. I should clear the dining room table.
  2. I’ll start by putting away my stamp sets.
  3. Before I put them away, I need to make Stamples of the newer sets for my book.
  4. But first, I have to assemble the stamp sets.
  5. And then make the Stamples.
  6. And then wash the stamp sets and lay them out to dry.
  7. I see I’m very short of masculine cards and I have nephew and brother-in-law birthdays coming up.
  8. I’ll make a few cards before I put away these stamps.
  9. Now I’ll rewash the stamp sets, let them dry, and put them back in their cases.
  10. NOW, I’ll put the sets away.
  11. The studio closet has bins packed with stamp sets with no room for more.
  12. To make more room, I have to pull out long unused sets and put them in my box of stamps to sell on e-bay.
  13. NOW, I’ll put the new stamp sets away.

By the end of all that, I’d pretty much spent the whole day on clearing one corner of the dining room table. However, I came up with 3 styles of masculine cards, for a total of  10 cards made. And I kept them all in the same colors, to minimize the paper and pads I had to put away. That’s a win-win, right? Or a win-tiny win, perhaps?

1 2

The paper and ink colors are Stampin’ Up Kraft, Pacific Point, Soft Suede and Whisper White. The Stampin’ Up stamp sets (from top to bottom) are Nature Walk, By the Tide, and The Open Sea.

Stay tuned…



VD Cards For My Girlfriends

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Here’s the first set of VD (Valentine’s Day) cards I made. I’m sending them to my girlfriends so they’re all girls, no boys allowed.

Valentine's Day collage cards

I made collages with Graphics 45 papers, then collaged a layer of tissue paper over top of them. I decided I didn’t like the tissue paper.

Here’s the second set I made a few days later.

Valentines cards 2

I like these better. No tissue paper layer. I thought the tissue paper would add some texture, but not deaden the colors so much.

By the way, I believe I mentioned that one of my 2015 New Year’s resolutions was to take a photography class. I haven’t done that yet, obviously. I start a Tai Chi class (another resolution) next Saturday, though.

Stay tuned…

p.s. I shared this at The Cottage Market.

And at Cozy Little House.


Gag Gifts & Eucalyptus Shower Bombs

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My best friend since high school, “G” (G is for Goddess), came up from Lanesboro in southern Minnesota to visit me this weekend. We celebrated my birthday and Christmas. She brought me some lovely, serious gifts, but the gag gifts just made my day! They’re from Slant Avenue Mercantile.


I got her a refrigerator magnet that says “Life is too short to be taken seriously”. I made her an emergency birthday card kit, consisting of 8 hand-made cards, 8 envelopes, and 8 “Forever” stamps. I also gave her a couple of pairs of hand-made earrings.

The final gift I gave “G” was eucalyptus shower bombs (great for clearing sinuses) and I put them in a pretty jar. I was a little worried they would be overpowering, because they sure stunk up the kitchen. I tried them in the shower though, and they were much more subtle as they dissolved.

I found the instructions for the shower bombs on Pinterest, but I think I’d do them a little differently next time.


Take one cup of water and add 15-20 drops of eucalyptus oil or another essential oil. Pour 2 boxes of baking soda (16 ounces each) into a big bowl.

SLOWLY add the scented water to the baking soda, while stirring constantly. Stop when you can squeeze a handful of the mixture and it holds together. You may not need to use all the water.

Pack the pasty mixture tightly into ice cube trays. Silicon trays will work the best. This step is messy. You may want to cover your work surface with waxed paper or parchment paper before packing the trays.


Pack ice cube trays.

Let the bombs dry for a few hours and then gently turn them out onto your work surface. The bombs will still be slightly damp. Let them dry overnight.

shower bombs

Turn out to dry.

After they’re fully dry, put bombs in a decorative jar or another moisture tight container. They will start to dissolve as soon as they contact any moisture.

shower bombs

Decorative jar.

This recipe made over 50 bombs. If that’s too many for you, cut the amounts of ingredients in half.

To use, put a couple on the floor of the shower, and let the water do the rest! Enjoy!

Stay tuned…


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Hutch drawers.

Hutch drawers.

I decided to work on the hutch drawers, which was probably a mistake. After all, I still have a mess on the dining room table and the dining room floor. Sometimes it’s nice to take on an easily finished task, though.

The drawers were full of craft stuff, besides the usual dining room stuff. The left drawer was jam-packed with adhesives of every type, and the right drawer was full of paper scraps.

The paper scraps included empty tea bags. There’s a craft, started by a Dutch woman, called tea bag folding. She started using tea bags to make flowers and stars that can be used to embellish cards or scrapbooks.

Cleaning out the drawers inspired me to make a few tea bag folding stars.

Tea bag folding.

Tea bag folding.

Most of the stars are made from special tea bag folding paper, but the one shown on the yellow background is actually made from tea bags that I had saved.

Here are links to tea bag folding books at Amazon. Some may be out of print, but still available from other sellers. It’s a fun craft to do while watching TV.

Which reminds me, I have a TV running now! I was having trouble setting up my Amazon Fire TV , because of an internet problem. I called my internet provider and finally got through to a human in India by continuously pressing zero. Bill (What? I’m sure lots of Indians are named Bill) got my internet fixed and my Amazon Fire TV up and running.

Yay! Now I can watch “Big Bang Theory” until my eyeballs bleed!

Stay tuned…

p.s. I reached 231 bags by finishing off a donation box and dropping that and an end table (from the garage) at Goodwill.

p.p.s. I linked this to Cozy Little House, I Heart Organizing, and to Home Stories A to Z.

Note to readers: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the link (whether it’s the product I recommend or another). Thanks for helping me earn margarita money!



How to Write Out Christmas Cards

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Writing out Christmas cards can be a daunting task. Here’s how I make it easy and fun.

1. Write a Christmas letter. That way you can just write “Dear So-and-So” (not literally) at the beginning and “Merry Christmas” at the end. You don’t have to hand write the highlights of the year in every card. Print the letter up on pretty holiday paper.

2. Gather your cards and supplies on the bed. Supplies include your fluffiest robe and favorite slippers. Cat is optional.

Christmas card writing supplies.

Christmas card writing supplies.

3. Brew a pot of tea. Schnapps adds a little zing.

A spot of tea.

A spot of tea.

4. Put on your favorite Christmas movie. It’s a Wonderful Life , A Christmas Carol, the Patrick Stewart version, or Elf. If none of these are your favorite, then I don’t think we can be friends. Okay, I’ll include A Christmas Story, but that’s it.

5. Write out the cards. Remember, minimal greetings, let the letter do the talking.

6. Address, add the return address label (which may help to hold the fatter cards shut if you stick the label across the back of the envelope), and add your Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer stamp.

Rudolph stamps.

Rudolph stamps.

You’re done when the cards are all made out, OR the movie is over, OR the Schnapps is gone. Really, there are limits.

I don’t think we’re surprised who really ended up with the fluffy robe, are we?

Cat on robe.

Bella gets the fluffy robe.

Stay tuned…

p.s. I linked this to Classy Clutter.

And to Cozy Little House.

And to Savvy Southern Style.

And to Fluster Buster.

And Oh My- Creative.

Note to readers: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the link (whether it’s the product I recommend or another). Thanks for helping me earn margarita money!