Archive for July, 2008

Many email lists, the oldest for over 10 years

My in-box is huge, with over 100 messages coming in each day, many of them digests. To handle it all, I do a quick scan, deleting the spam, bacon, and junk. Then I read the personal messages, scan headlines and call it good.

I like the new Internet word “bacon.” It means email that you ordered but don’t read today. This time of year most of the school-related ones are bacon to me.

Two of the daily messages are from lists that I joined over 10 years ago. One is a daily positive-thinking quote. I like this list because the messages are not too sweet. It’s at

Here’s today’s:
Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

John Wooden
(1910-, American Basketball Coach)

I also get a similar one in a weekly message. This one calls for more work. You read the quote and answer a couple of questions. This one is

I’ve only been getting this one for a few years.

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving

— William Arthur Ward, author and editor

Questions to Ponder

What gratitude do I feel today?

How will I share it?

Action Steps

Take your gratitude and share it with others today.

Tell people.

Thank people.

And your gratitude will grow.

Finally, the other message that I get each day is from I’ve been using this with students since at least 1999, when I first started teaching at St Paul’s. It is great for the primary students, especially those just starting to use a computer mouse.  Unfortunately, sometimes months go by when the puzzle is bacon to me.


Altered Luggage – Pokey Little Puppy Case

Altered Cosmetic Case/Poky Puppy

Altered Cosmetic Case/Poky Puppy

I love books, little suitcases, and playing with paper. Here’s a case that I decorated for a friend. We have a lot in common: we both love children, children’s books, and are both named Mary!

It started with a vintage but boring, blue cosmetic case and a copy of “The Poky Little Puppy,” a book that Mary likes. This was the result.

I used one pair of plain scissors, one scalloped paper edger, and a lot of glue.

Front of case

Front of case

When I could, I matched the words above to the picture below.

Right side

Right side

I think the scalloped pattern edger worked well on the pictures.

Back of case

Back of case

This was a bit trickier to apply but worked better than it first seemed.

Left side of case

Left side of case

All the words were edged with a blue colored pencil.

Top of case

Top of case

I added a luggage tag that was blank on one side so she could add her contact information.

Bottom of case

Bottom of case

Of course, I had to give credit to everyone.

Inside case

Inside case

No mirror left inside the case, so I added a sign.

I used a really thick glue to attach the paper but it still wanted to buckle a bit. I kept smoothing it down, though, and it worked okay. When I was done, I gave the whole case a couple of clear coats.

This was the second cosmetic case that I’ve altered and I really like them. I several large hard-shell suitcases that I want to work on also. They make great places to store decorations too.

The photo at the top of the page

Some one asked about the photo at the top of my blog. No, it is not clip art. It’s a photo I took while on our road trip in 2002. It was taken at Dinosaur National Park near Vernal, Utah. We had a wonderful time there and spent most of two days exploring the area. It was fascinating and I would love to go back.

Happy 4th of July Banner

Banner made using CDs and wallpaper
Banner made using CDs and wallpaper . Click on it for a  bigger picture

How I spent the 4th of July—making this banner!

Fun, easy, and way too time consuming. Well, the first one often is. Here’s what I did.

  1. Printed the letters on scrap paper. Taped them to the wallpaper and cut them out. Next time, I think I will try printing them (reversed!) on the back side of cut-to-fit pieces of wallpaper.
  2. Edged the letters with black permanent marker.
  3. Used MS Word to create the background paper. The text is from the Declaration of Independence. I also used Word to draw circles on top of the text so I knew where to cut.
  4. Cut out the paper circles with paper edgers and glue on the letters.
  5. Glue the circles to the CDs.
  6. Cut the big (6.5″) circles from more wallpaper. Attach the CDs with E6000. I positioned the CD slightly low on the circle to leave room for the hanging cord.
  7. Punched two holes to thread the cord.
  8. Finally, I attached the hanging cord. In this case, I used raffia, knotting lengths together to get what I needed. More knots were used to hold the pieces in place. I also used packing tape on the back to re-enforce both the holes and cords.

What took so long

  • Making the letters. I started by using a stencil but decided they were both too big and too thin. Next I experimented with getting the right size fonts. I needed different sizes for the 4, th, and of.
  • Choosing wallpaper designs for both the letters and the background. I finally settled on these from a book of Victorian style wallpapers.
  • Looking for the right material to hang the pieces. I was sure I had some 1 1/2 inch maroon ribbon but it wasn’t in any of my ribbon stashes. I almost decided on using wide bias tape but couldn’t find a color I liked.
  • Remembering AFTER THE FACT that wallpaper is fragile—it’s designed to be held up by a wall. That’s why I used the packing tape. Once I take it down, I may attach another, non-visible layer to strengthen the wallpaper. Last time I made a banner with wallpaper, I cut up old Tyvek envelopes and attached them to the last layer. It made for a very strong, yet flexible backing.

I also thought about putting a bead of glitter on the wallpaper around the CD. What do you think?

Should there be a line of glitter around the CD?

Should there be a line of glitter around the CD? Click on it for a bigger picture

A Blog of My Own

I already have two other blogs but neither of them are “mine.” This blog is “all about me.” Actually it is about the things that interest me. Mostly, it will be about the things that I make.
Enough! Time to get started. Check out the next post, about a 4th of July banner.

July 2008
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Traditional Books: What I’m reading

  • "Elegant Enigmas:the art of Edward Gorey" by Karen Wilkin
  • "Around the Border: Crochet Borders" by Edie Eckman
  • "Crochet Master Class" by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss
  • Audiobooks: I’m listening to these

    "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman
  • "For Us, The Living" by Robert Heinlein
  • eBooks: What’s in my digital readers

  • "Page" by Tamora Pierce
  • "Alice's Adventures Underground" by Lewis Carroll (his original manuscript)
  • Music: This week’s playlist

  • "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" Soundtrack by Alexandre Desplat
  • "Pure Cajun" collection by "various artists"
  • "Duets: An American Classic" by Tony Bennett
  • "The Fantasticks" Original Cast Album (with Jerry Orbach!)
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