Please excuse the broken picture links on the blog. I'm in the process of moving all of my pictures from photobucket to smugmug and it's taking a lot of time. thanks for your patience!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Window Dressing..

I've been wanting to play with my copic markers so I made this. I took the colors from the ribbon but once I put the ribbon on it really didn't seem to go with it. I think the colors (at least some of them) were a little bit bright. Oh well.

Copic Markers
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Patterned Paper
American Crafts ribbon
Felt flowers
Brad from...not sure

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My card for the patterned paper challenge

I made this card for Mel's challenge seen here. This was a tough challenge. I don't mind using patterned papers but I'm not a good mixer of them if you know what I mean. So anyway I still thought this came out kind of cute and I was itching to use this set for the first time.

Vellum: unknown (It's a miracle I had this colored vellum. I gave away all of my vellum and as I was putting in the box I decided to keep one of each color *just in case*)
Card base: paper trey ink white cardstock
Patterned Papers
black pen: Copic Multiliner
Ribbon: Imaginisce

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Flower Card

My scrap room is a giant mess so I haven't been able to do much in there. But I needed to make something so I just swept everything aside and made a card. I pretty much copied it from this card not even realizing I used almost the same colors. oops. I got the colors from my ribbon (and she got her ribbon from the colors) so maybe our ribbon is from the same place. Anyway. I got the sketch from the CTMH card confidence program and the layering of the flowers from the card I linked above. And the colors too, from the looks of it. I had a lot of trouble cutting these out (I have carpal tunnel syndrome plus I hurt my hand today). I tried my new Fiskars fingertip knife but found that scissors were easier. I think the fingertip knife would be great for something with less cutting.

Petal Pizzazz from Stampin' Up (from the new catalog-I LOVE this set so much)
Much Appreciated from Stampin' Up

All cardstock and ink from Stampin' UP (Real Red, Tempting Turquoise, Green Galore and Cameo Coral)

Dew Drop for the flower center

Ribbon from American Crafts

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Food allergies

I'm sorry to be posting something that isn't craft related but in light of some recent articles I just felt like posting this. I don't often mention my daughter's food allergies and I don't think I've ever made a specific blog post about them. This is something that I posted a while back at a message board. I just wanted people to understand that avoiding allergens is not as simple as it seems, especially when the allergy in question is potentially life threatening. I also want to mention first, in light of all the claims (whether unfounded or not) about people being "too clean" and that being a cause of allergies-we live on a stock farm. My husband, at the time my daughter was a baby, raised hogs and at that time we usually had about 200-400 cattle that we custom fed. So we had a lot of germs floating around, I'm sure. Some days the dust was stinky.

Anyway here is the post-it is quite long-sorry about that:

a LOT of people have no idea what it's like to have to worry about peanut/nut allergies. They don't have to live it every day so they don't think about it. I probably wouldn't either, if our family didn't have to deal with it. A lot of kids are developing them now for whatever reason. We can analyze it to death how it happens, but the fact remains that peanuts and nuts can be deadly for some kids. I'm not going to go into the school thing (we homeschool so I have no experience there) or any other social things. Just a few things we have to watch for. A lot of people think it's as easy as just avoiding foods with nuts in the ingredients or labels that say 'may contain nuts'. Well it's not that easy. A few recent things:

Miracle Gro, Scotts, Vigoro and Schultz (all garden companies) have all told me that their products may contain peanut shells, nut shells or parts of peanut plants. They don't know if all bags have them, or the actual ingredients, or anything but they do know that they *could* be in there.

I just read that Walmart brand Mac and Cheese has a 'may contain traces of peanuts' warning on the box. Mac and cheese. Same with Walmart brand frozen green beans. Good chance that Walmart is covering their butt by putting the warning on almost all of their products but who wants to take the chance?

No generic foods, ever. They don't usually have manufacturer information so there's no way to contact them to find out if they're safe. Oh wait I take that back. We buy generic bottled water and store brand milk.

Even Pizza Hut is no longer safe for us. But we wouldn't know if I hadn't looked at their allergen info online. Luckily we haven't had a problem there but I am not taking the chance. Other people have had mystery reactions there and now they know why. Pizza Hut was the ONLY 'real' restaurant we could go to (there are others that are safe but we don't have them here). Our Dominos (also not always safe) and Papa John's (horrible cs) don't have inside seating. (Since I wrote this Papa John's has become off limits. They have a new dessert that may contain nuts and even though they assured me they would be careful not to let anything that touched it touch our pizza, our daughter had hives right after eating the pizza)

Restaurants like Texas Roadhouse or similar steakhouses would be completely off limits because they would be reeking of peanut dust.

All bakery products are off limits for us. Even if they don't contain nuts, they may have been touched by utensils that touched nut-containing products. Bakeries, unless they are completely nut free, won't ever guarantee their products are safe. We can buy specialty products from nut free places but they are EXPENSIVE.

Minute Maid makes an orange juice that contains plant sterols, some of which may come from peanut plants. So we even have to be careful about which orange juice we buy.

Most restaurants are risky even if we never order anything with nuts. If they make plain pancakes, for example, on the same grill as walnut pancakes, the plain ones are not safe. Around here, if you ask about their policies regarding allergens and preventing cross contamination, they look at you like you have three heads.

We don't buy any Hidden Valley products because when I called, they said they don't know if their products might contain nuts and they refused to tell me. Some other brands are completely or almost completely off limits. They are either not safe for sure or not within my comfort zone. I won't buy anything from Hain Celestial. I will buy very little from Con-Agra. Very very little from Nestle.

We have to be careful about buying produce. If someone has touched the bin of nuts and then the apples, the apples are now contaminated. We have to wash everything, even bananas, thoroughly. Speaking of bins of nuts, we went to a store that had open bins and we avoided the area they were in yet my daughter got hives anyway. We haven't been back to that store.

Some stuffed animals contain ground up nut shells.

We check our groceries carefully. You know how sometimes they will open a box w/ a knife and accidentally cut through the pkg inside? Well if it's that way we don't buy it. If the knife was used to open something with nuts before then it could possibly contaminate any other pkg it accidentally cuts into.

Body products have to be checked carefully. Cosmetics don't have to follow the same labeling law that foods do so if the fragrance contains nut products, it may not (and probably will not) be disclosed.

The company that makes Stella cheese told me that their products may not be safe for people who are allergic to nuts. Cheese.

A lot of healthy and organic foods are off limits.

Flying would be scary, to say the least. I can't even imagine what would happen if someone had an anaphylactic reaction during a flight. And with the recycled air and the amount of snacks served and brought on board, this could easily happen.

I have been looking for years for a bird seed that my daughter can handle safely. As far as I can find, none exist. I have called the Audubon society and the Wild Birds Unlimited in our state and they can't help. Even seeds that should be safe could have been stored or transported in the same bins in which peanuts were previously stored or transported.

We only buy used items if they can be washed thoroughly. I get nervous when we get library books. Same with Netflix videos.

I know there are a lot more things. People think I'm crazy when I mention we can't have generics (even stuff like mac & cheese that you would think is safe) or that we have to worry about things like rice, flour, etc (Kroger's brown rice may have almond cross-contamination).

I know that a lot of people and parents of allergic kids don't have as tight a comfort zone as we do and may not worry about these things. Our allergist thinks we're doing fine considering that our daughter has not had anything worse than hives so far (full body ones once, and we had no idea why) other than her initial reaction. Mystery hives are a common occurrence.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Last minute Christmas card

We have a friend who we go to visit and have "Christmas" with. She has her own family's Christmas at the regular time but she likes to have our kids over and our kids love her, so we go a couple of weeks after. She even leaves up her tree and all her decorations late just for this. I sent her a Christmas card before Christmas but Sammy wanted to make her another one for tomorrow when we are going to see her. She decided to make this with very little help from me, using the Cricut and the Hello Kitty cartridge. She made this kitty 3" so some of the pieces were incredibly tiny. Ridiculously tiny. It's a miracle they didn't get lost and that they didn't completely mess up being cut. The paper is all Stampin' Up except the white which is Georgia Pacific cardstock. She colored in Kitty's nose with a yellow spica pen to avoid having to mess with a small piece. Anyway the only help from me was gluing it together (and I was cross-eyed gluing it ). It's simple but pretty cute, I think. She did that doodle around the border with a spica glitter pen. I think she did an awesome job.

I am going to try really hard to get something made in the next couple of days.

edited to add-you can see how Kitty's eyes are kinda weird and leaning to one side. They also did not cut all the way around. This is an issue I've been having with my Cricut and several others that I've tried. I've sent them a few of my cartridges to test but so far everyone is stumped as to why this is happening. It's really really frustrating but we still use the cricut.
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