Saturday, April 24, 2010

I'll Never Buy Another Font Cartridge Again

Yes, you read that right. I'll never buy another font cartridge for my Cricut ever again, because I can now use any font I have on my computer and my Cricut will cut it. I know you want to know how, so I'm going to tell you. Girl Genius hooked me up with this software called Sure Cuts A Lot and it is A-Mazing.

I cut that vinyl in the picture above with the software, and then I put it on my minivan. I know. 

Mattie Cake asked me that same question. She said "Who puts that on their car??????"

Freaks like me, that's who.

I used to have the Creative Memories logo on my van with all my contact info, but I'm thinking I might stop doing the Creative Memories thing this summer. Plus, the web address was out of date so it had to come off. And in the interest of being able to find my van in a parking lot full of mini vans, I needed something on mine that will enable me to find it quickly when I forget where I park. Because I do that on a regular basis. I have navigation issues.

Anyway, I'm thinking that no one else is going to put Control Freak on their mini van, so I'm pretty safe.

Anyway, that's neither here nor there. What I really want to show you is that Janae not only hooked me up with this cool software, but she taught me how to cut vinyl on my Cricut. And I went a little crazy.

I've been cutting vinyl for my classroom. It's perfect for the titles on my white boards. I loooooove it.

I even put my name outside my classroom door. I. LOVE. IT.

Next I want to cut some vinyl sayings to put around my house. I'm thinking "PICK UP YOUR CRAP!" is going to be first.

Would that be too tacky?

Seriously. I feel I should warn you though, that this software might not be for you. Before you buy it, go and read this blah blah about how it could void your warranty and stuff. It's too late for me, because I've already used it, but I haven't had any problems with it and my Cricut did not blow up, so I'm a believer. I'm the kind of person that jumps first and asks questions later though.

Reckless. Impatient. Naughty.

Probably not the best example. Most definitely not qualified to give you Cricut advice. 

Of course Cricut doesn't want you to buy the software because then they can't sell their $70 font cartridges to you. I'm thinking four Cricut font cartridges cost about the same as a new Cricut though, right? And I've already used two different fonts off my computer, so I've already saved half the cost of the money I would need to replace my Cricut if it should happen to blow up because I used the not-Cricut software.

I like to rationalize.

Has anyone else used this software? Does anyone have any words of caution about using it? I'd love to hear what experiences other people have had with it, so leave a comment if you have something to share.

Or if you just want to tell me how stooooooopid I am for using the not-Cricut software.
NOTE: Here's a link a just found with some excellent money-saving Cricut tips.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cherry Coffee Cake

If you're on a diet, you don't want to stick around for this, I promise you. It'll only mess up all your hard work, and I'd feel awful about that.

But then I'd have this cake to console myself with, so I'd get over it quick enough.

If you need to whip something together to take to a party, or if you just want a treat, you might want to give this recipe a try. It's one of my go to recipes, and the best part is that I can make it with stuff that I normally keep in my pantry.

Here's what you need to make the cake: 1 box of yellow cake mix, 1 C flour, 1 pkg. yeast (or 2-1/4 tsp.), warm water, 2 eggs, 1 can cherry pie filling, 1/3 C cold butter, 1 C powdered sugar, and 1 T corn syrup.

Now I realize that my pantry might not look like your pantry. Take my Mama Llama for instance. Whenever I go visit her, if I want to make a treat, any treat, I have to go to the store to buy every blinking thing in the recipe. She's so granola crunchy, she doesn't keep any white flour in the house at all, and the small amount of sugar she does have is all melded together into a small sugar brick. Plus everything is organic. Not that that's a bad thing.

I should eat like her. At my Mama Llama's house, if I want a little wheat germ or flax seed snack, I can have a part-aaaaay and invite the whole neighborhood over, but chocolate chip cookies? Forget it.

Hey Mama Llama, this cake's for you. It has no nutritional value whatsoever. Just empty calories. Sweet, sweet, empty calories.

You could probably count the cherry pie filling as a fruit serving though. It was fruit once.

Here's the recipe card. Enjoy!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Crafty Storage for Small Things

I recently had an a-ha moment, and I just had to share it with you. This picture is the end result, but I need to back up and show you why I even had to go there. 

This. These raggedy boxes of decks of cards make me CUH-razy. 

Am I alone here? Anyone? We talked about this, you know. We were going to start that club. We were going to call it Freaks of the World Unite? Remember?

Dang it. I'm so lonely.

Anyway, as I was saying, my monsters don't take the time to put the cards away properly because they don't fit right, or they can't get the lid in, or the box is falling apart, blah, blah, blah.

These are the kinds of things that, if I wasn't such a control freak, would drive me to drink.

This game was my inspiration. Have you ever played it? It's a blast. It's only about $5 and you can pick it up at Wal Mart. It's super easy to play, and, maybe I shouldn't admit this, but Stinkerbell kicks my butt every time I play with her. Girlfriend is a maniac and she thinks a lot quicker than her Mama does. That, and I'm easily distracted.

Anyway, when I bought this game I thought to myself "Brilliant! Why can't all card games come in a durable tin like this?"

And that excited inquiry withered on my lips until six months later when I was able to connect the dots and exclaim to myself, because no one in this house listens to me, "Hey, wait a minute! I can make my own ding dang card tins."

So I gathered all the miscellaneous tins I already had, and then I bought a few more from Oriental Trading Company, and I set to work.

For some of the tins, I just cut the card boxes apart and repurposed them on my new box. Because I'm so green and all.

Then I slopped some Modge Podge on the tin, slapped the box piece on, and finally slopped some more Modge Podge over that. They're nothing special, but they do the trick.

In retrospect I think I should have added some nice scrapbook paper as well, and maybe even a little ribbon.

Nah. These babies are going to school and I'm sure they're going to take a beating, so I think I'll just keep them rustic.

The Go Fish box is staying home, so I will allow it to be cute. Because I'm all about the cute.

I also have a couple boxes on the right that I have birthday candles stored in. They come in raggedy boxes too, you know, and they shouldn't have to forego the cute, right?

The possibilities are endless, really. What would you store in them? Talk to me.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Gunny Man, Take Two

Remember our new pooch, Gunny? He's been causing a bit of trouble in our house these past few weeks.

Perhaps you recall I joked about the worst trouble he could get into while being corralled in the hallway might be to eat a door jamb.

Um. Check.

After that little snack, he was evicted to the cold, cold backyard.

Where he promptly set to work on our newly finished porch.

And this innocent grill? It used to have a very nice grill cover on it. Gunny first started to eat it, and because that wasn't enough, he started dragging it around the back porch as if he were very angry with it. It was scary to watch.

I disposed of the grill cover because I was afraid he might topple the whole shebang and set the the propane tank careening missile-like into our house.

Hey, it could happen.

This is a woodpile we have in our backyard. I know it's very white trash.

Gunny thinks it's his toy box, and he constantly drags large pieces out to play fetch with. It's pretty funny watching him try to toss a six foot long board up into the air and catch it.

I think he's part rodent with his wood eating habit. We know he's part lab, and the other part? RAT. Yeah. Rat fink a stink a link.

Clearly he doesn't see what the problem is.


Oh. Oh look. It's the trellis that holds up my Clematis vine. I know that wasn't in the woodpile, Little Mister.

Bad, bad, baaaaaaad doggie.

But you're such a cute little poochie woochie.

Do you see my problem? His cuteness renders all discipline . . . . . . . . very hard to enforce.

Dang it.

If you look closely, you might be able to ascertain which cute and fuzzy little Easter chick was mauled by my little doggie-dita.

Look closely. This one is tough.

Did you pick this one? Your powers of observation are A-MAZE-ING.

This picture shows Gunny playing his very favorite game. In his mouth, you see fencing. Fencing that runs throughout our entire basement in order to corral the 18,767 horses the girls have set up in a freakish arrangement entitled "Horse-A-Palooza Gone Wild."

Gunny Man likes to creep, creep, creep on in when the caretakers are painstakingly setting up the miles of fencing. When the time is right, usually at the exact moment the last fence section is placed, he darts in, grabs a mouthful of fencing, or a little horsie if the planets are aligned just so, then darts back out, taunting a horsey girl and daring her to chase him.

And he cannot be caught. I'm telling you, this little doggie-dita could be a quarterback, he's that good.

Look at those shifty eyes. He sees the girl approach and he's ready to dart this way or that.

He leaves behind a tangled mess of fencing. Oh no, what will stop the horsies from escaping?!!!

"Run! Somebody get Godzilla! We must save the horsies! REMEMBER THE ALAMO!"

The girls try to outsmart the canine monster and ignore him, as if they couldn't care less. But then His Doggitiness pounces on them to remind them "WE'RE PLAYING HERE! CHASE ME!"

At which point a wrestling match ensues and, finally, the slobbery mess of probably no longer intact fencing is retrieved and replaced.

And then the scene replays itself over and over and over again. He never tires of the game. And there are so many horsies to kidnap. His work will never be done.

Oh look. Here he is with Peanut Head. I'm calling this one "Grunts in Love."

Don't ask, don't tell.

I'm sorry. That was so bad, but I just couldn't resist.