Monday, January 10, 2011

Cuttlebuggin’

My mojo is slowly coming back. One of the toys I got for Christmas was a Cuttlebug. I know they’re not the newest thing on the market, but every time I’m in Michaels or JoAnn’s looking at Expression cartridges, I stand there and look at the Cuttlebug dies and folders. And I knew Mr. Chocolate would understand that more than me asking for a Silhouette. Well, a little!
I needed to make a couple of Thank You cards for teachers who have written letters of recommendation for my son’s college apps. Perfect reason to play with the Bug!
IMG_4704
Super easy to put together and doesn’t require any electricity. Sometimes low tech is the way to go! Isn’t it cute?!
IMG_4695
And I got some folders to play with:
IMG_4696
I used this one:
IMG_4697
Since both teachers are male, I decided to go w/ a simple design. I love this folder!!! So many possibilities. I get to go all frou frou on the one I’ll make for his Counselor.
Chose a light gold metallic cardstock and cut to size and put through the Bug for a background panel. Mounted that on dark brown and computer generated the sentiment on cream cardstock:
IMG_4701
IMG_4702
Can’t help myself. Had to add a little bling…just a couple of coordinating self adhesive rhinestones.
Linking Up At:

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I Guessed The Mystery Thing!! Thanks Mich in L.A.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about then you don't follow Mich in L.A. ( and of course you SHOULD!). Michelle is a jewelry maker who lives in L.A. ( Los Angeles L.A. not LA Louisiana) who astounds and confounds me with her ability to take the most ordinary things and transform them into jewelry. She hosts a recurring series on her blog called "Guess The Mystery Thing" where readers are invited to try and figure out what the heck she used to make a piece of jewelry. And I won the last one!!!!

It came in the mail yesterday and I love it. Wanna see?
I got the black one and Mr. Chocolate was w/ me when I opened up the package and he said "that is cool". Compliments from Mr. Chocolate are high praise. When you get them, you done GOOD. Take a bow Mich.

So do you know what it is? No? OK I won't make you guess: Chess pieces! Pawns to be exact. And, Mich has a tute up on how she did this so go check it out: Chess Pawn Pendant Tute
Mich in L.A. 


Thanks again Michelle! I love it!

Friday, January 7, 2011

This Week’s BFF: Polish The Stars!

BFF Button
Welcome to the first Blog Feature Friday of 2011! This week I’m excited to share a fun blog with you called Polish The Stars which gets its name from famed author and poet Shel Silverstein:

“Somebody has to polish the stars, they’re looking a little bit dull”


The blogger behind PTS is Megan, who I first met last year when I saw a Pottery Barn inspired project she’d linked up to a link party:
It was cool then. It’s still cool now! Since then, I’ve enjoyed seeing her other incredible projects such as her fun snowball candleholders:

Her craft closet transformation ( this was a utility closet!):
Or birthday party ideas, Halloween party ideas and d├ęcor, holidays, decorating, life, oh and did I mention recipes? Like Capuccino Truffles:

And for 2011 there’s a brand new link party every Monday:


So go visit Megan, and I assure you, the stars there are never dull!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Well Hmmm…Re-Posting Valentine’s Printables

 UndertheTableandDreaming


OK weird technical thing ( I’m sure it was NOT operator error!) using Windows Live Writer. I lost a whole post?!
Oh well, no point dwelling or stressing…live and hopefully learn right?
Keep Calm CupidKeep Calm Cupid Tan
Keep Calm Cupid GrayKeep Calm Cupid Pink
There we go! Click on one of the colors to bring it to full resolution and right click to save.
Linking Up To :
A Little Knick Knack


 UndertheTableandDreaming 



Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Best Way To Learn Is To Do

at least that’s true for me. But sometimes, the only way for me to learn or do is when I have to. So on New Year’s Eve, my laptop decided to start giving me “Danger Will Robinson” failure warnings and I’ve been putting off getting a new one because there have been more important things to spend money on ( and it was DECEMBER!) but then it would have been just as silly to ignore and hope for the best and lose all my pics, files, etc., especially having started my blog. So off to Best Buy. Got a nice Toshiba for a decent price. Thought my next one was going to be a MAC but I’m leaving MAC world to my boys and will stay a Windows gal.

So I’ve had to remind myself how to do stuff and learn how to do other stuff and that’s not a bad thing. I’ve been playing w/ Live Writer and some of the other functions like the picture editing. I am waiting for my old friend PrintShop Deluxe to arrive in it’s current incarnation but I’ve been lost w/out being able to play with digital stuff which of course I have a sudden urge to do because I can’t! That’s so me. Have something and not use it and then itch to use it when you don’t. Patient, I’m not!

I’d  been seeing blog posts about words of the year which from what I gather are words that people have chosen that represent their family or their goals for the year. I liked this idea a lot and wanted to do something similar. I blogged earlier about this being a year of milestones for our family…our son’s 18th birthday, our 20th anniversary, our son’s HS graduation and we’ll learn what college we’ll be in debt to Smile and the word that kept coming back to me was “Discover” . It’s a word that has so many applications. Discovering what we’re made of; what we’re capable of; strength /talents / compassion we don’t know we have. Discovering what I call the “Dorothy Effect” as in Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz…sometimes we discover what we’re looking for is in our own back yard…you get it.

W/out my graphics program ( and not having alphabet stamps big enough to spell out the letters and being horrible at freehand letters) I made myself play with Picnik which I’ve used just a little. There are all kinds of things in it you can use for free (or you can upgrade to Premium) and you can really go to town. This is very basic but it achieved what I wanted with a fun font and a simple flourish. I was able to size it in Windows Live Photo Gallery and print it suitable for framing (my $.01 frame from Aaron Brothers who has their $.01 sale going on right now…buy one, get one for $.01)
IMG_4680 
Discover
So, go forth and discover!
Linking Up At:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

More 2011 Miscellany and Goals

Still won’t call them resolutions Smile 

First, thanks for all of the great input on my questions about advertising and Etsy. Based on comments and emails, I’m not alone trying to figure this out.

Here are a few more things that are on my 2011 To Do List:

  • I’ve decided to become an Award Free blog. Not that I don’t appreciate the thought behind them because I do, but I’m finding that with the number of blogs I follow, it is too difficult to do a good job in passing these on and well….they take a bit of time. So I hope I haven’t hurt anyone’s feelings but as of now, The Answer Is Chocolate is an:

Award Free Button

  • Use my soldering iron! I bought the thing for a reason right?
  • Use my Expression more…see above
  • Use the stuff I buy period…see above and above!
  • Have guest bloggers. I think rather than schedule these, I’ll put out calls for these periodically so be thinking if you’d like to do this!!
  • Etsy. Gonna do it. When? Don’t know…after January when work calms down.
  • Continued technical education! I want to get better at layout, blog design and photos.

 

I will continue to host my Monthly Open House link party the third Friday of each month. I just don’t think I can manage  a weekly one yet. This month’s Open House will be January 21!

I will also continue ( resuming this week) BFF aka Blog Feature Friday. If you’d like to be a BFF at The Answer Is Chocolate, email me!

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year’s To Maybe Dos…Help Appreciated!

I don’t make resolutions because they seem so grandiose and then if I change my mind, or circumstances change I feel like a failure. Just too much self imposed pressure!
So here are some things I thought about in 2010 that I would like to pursue in 2011. Call them goals, or resolutions, or whatevers, but I’d welcome your input on them.

To Monetize or Not To Monetize:

When I started The Answer Is Chocolate, it was an outlet for my creativity. I wanted a place to get to know other creative people, keep track of all of the great projects I wanted to try and share my own attempts. I was amazed that it grew as quickly as it did  I’d like it to grow more in 2011 so I think the question we all confront is about advertising and sponsorships. So for those of you who have taken this plunge:
  • What made you do it? Make money, do giveaways etc?
  • Do you use Google Ad Sense or did you find your own sponsors?
  • Did you struggle with any conflict in wanting to be creative vs run a small business?

To Etsy or Not To Etsy:

Similar to the advertising / monetizing question…for those of you who have etsy shops:
  • What made you decide to go for it?
  • Do you keep a standing inventory or make to order?
  • Is it worth what you pay to etsy?
I really enjoyed doing my first craft fair in November but I’m not sure that’s the right venue for me on a regular basis, having to haul stuff everywhere etc. Etsy seems like a great option.
Thanks in advance for any input you provide…some things I just take the plunge and do and others I’ll agonize over forever. Any other pearls of wisdom you want to share are also appreciated!