Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy 2012! Time for updates and all sorts of great links

Hi everyone, yes, I have been out for quite a time now (three months), and it feels good to be back!  As my last post stated, my life turned upside down when my father's wife (my stepmother) took ill and needed full time care.  I did not realize how sick she was, and my father and I took care of her 24/7 until her passing.

It was perhaps the hardest thing I have ever had to do, and it has taken me months to recover physically and mentally, from the impact of what happened.  In a nutshell:  my stepmother left her home to live with her daughter, this lasted three days (two nights).  Sadly, the arrangement did not work out at all, and my stepmother left her daughters house and ended up in a residential hospice facility until my Dad and I could get her back to home.

She was happy to be home, but estranged from her daughter, she would not talk to her daughter and told us she was frightened when she was at the daughters house.  The daughter never called to ask how her mother was doing, but did come over one day to scream at her terminally ill mother.  It was the worst situation I have ever seen (and hospice told us that it was the worst they had seen in 25 years), daughter screaming because the mother was cutting her off financially, mother telling daughter to get out and never talk to her again, you get the picture.

Somethings change your life in ways you just didn't anticipate, and this situation was such an event.  I loved my stepmother and feel blessed that I was able, along with my Dad, to give her the care and love she needed and wanted during her last days,  and I miss her very much.  She was 13 years younger than my father so her illness was unexpected and traumatic to my father.

My father ended up moving to a rural community in Northern CA, and for the last two months I have been visiting him (and my Mom who lives in another Northern CA city) on a regular basis.  Given all that there has been little time for blogging (though I have continued to post here and there on the facebook page).  Am back now though, with lots more time since I also ended up having to quit my full time job, but still teaching classes at Michaels.

Sorry for the long intro, just wanted to catch you all up and thank you for your emails and support during this most difficult time.

How about some crafting talk, finally?  Am considering posting a bit more often, without as many links (I find  all sorts of links each day to use at a future date).  Would love to know if you would like shorter posts with fewer links or if you like the way the blog is now, ie, one post a week with more links. I do post more often on the facebook page (since it is just a quick post with one link).  Speaking of facebook......

Would you like to win a free Magnolia bench stamp?  If so, all you need to do is to guess how much I spent on this order:

Leave a comment on the AfterHoursStamper FACEBOOK page, the most recent post, and the person who is closest to the amount I spent will win the stamp.  Contest ends on Sunday at midnight, PST.

Have been cleaning/clearing/organizing my little craft area and thought you might like to see a video of what I have done recently, watch for the video next week : )  We now have an extra bedroom in our home, but I really like my little craft area in the family room and have no desire to move to a larger area.  I am going to be clearing out the garage (have been going through all the rooms in the house and organizing) and storing some little used craft items in the garage, that way I will have some free shelves in my craft area for even better organizing.

Ok, now, finally, how about a HUGE amount of links?  So many fun things to view and find, so little time : )

Blitsy:  Am LOVING saving money here!  Have already made a number of purchases that saved me a ton of money.  You really need to check the site on Monday/Wednesday/Friday for new offerings, and they only have limited amounts of products, if you see something you like purchase it immediately, it may not be there later (as I have, sadly, found out).  Right now you can find savings on Glimmer Glam, Glimmer Glaze, ColorBox Pigment ink pads and reinkers, and much, much more, and remember that on Monday there will be other new products posted!

 Tombow doodles:  Loved this quick and easy way to use your markers to create a fast, easy card or note.

Make your own dauber:  Really great idea, especially since you can change out the foam inexpensively. Video is provided below as well:

DIY Glimmer Mist:  Nice video that shows a number of different ways you can make your own Glimmer Mist, as well as has a few other DIY ideas.

Cool technique using Vaseline:  Interesting technique, a must try since it is fairly easy and of course quick!

Colored Pencil Tutorial:  I love using colored pencils for coloring, and love finding tutorials on ways to color with colored pencils.  This is a nice video that takes you through all the steps. Click here for the blog (which as of Jan 2012 will not have any updates, but the archives are a wonderful resource).

Am purchasing the Perfect Layers tool, have read a great deal on this product and would like to try it out, am tired of sometimes having "issues" with layers when trying to finish a project.  (please note that I am in the Amazon referral program, if you click on the box below and make a purchase I receive compensation)

Mama Dini's Stamperia:  Link is to her tutorials, but make sure to visit the main blog page (click here), for GREAT inspiration.  Loved her site and her work.

Goosebumps:  Nice video on a new product from Tsukineko, looks very interesting and a fun product to try.  Here is the product techniques PDF from Tsukineko mentioned in the video. 

Copic Paper:  Why spend $120 on Xpress It when you can use Hammermill Color Copy Digital Cover Stock, (photo white is the color) 80 lb for $10?  The Hammermill paper works just as well as the Xpress it paper for copic coloring, and at $10 a ream, you can't go wrong!  And yes, I have used the Hammermill paper and love it, will be ordering some more soon!  The Xpress It paper comes in packs of 125, the Hammermill comes in packs of 250!  What is great about this paper is that you don't have to have separate papers for your base card stock and then another paper for your copic coloring, given the price of this paper you can use it both ways and not feel like you are wasting expensive paper.

Ink Pad guide:  Great link for a listing of the various types of ink pad available.  I have sent this to many new rubber stampers and they always appreciate the information. 

DIY Foam Board Cabinet:  Wonderful tutorial on making your own mini cabinet.  If I had room in my crafting area this would be something on my list of todos : )

Don't forget to go over to the AfterHoursStamper Facebook page, lots of links there as well (some are here, but not all), make sure you "like" the Facebook page so you will see updates on your personal Facebook wall.

That's it for today!  Take care and have a most wonderful and amazing day, feels good to be back, thank you for understanding my long absence.  


Debbie said...

So sorry to hear about all that you have been that was overwhelming. Crazy where life takes us. I am thrilled that you are back! Thanks for all the good links! Happy 2012!

Gailanne said...

I'm guessing $79 for that nice-looking loot!
Glad to see you back online. I hope you recover quickly from your traumatic experience with your dear mother-in-law, and feel much better soon.

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog. So sorry to hear about your loss. I do understand what you went through. I took care of my Dad with a similar situation to sad how people can be.

I look forward to more of your posts. Lots of good tips here too.

I will guess $75 for the goods.

~Jill @

Thanks for the chance!!

Patricia St Martin said...

Sorry about all the things that has happen. I'm sure glad you are back. I do miss you when you are gone. I hope 2012 is much better for you.

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