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      Monday, April 17, 2017

01:49 PM - 04/17/2017

The topic: This and that


My back is slowly recovering. It's still stiff and sore in the morning, but not nearly as bad as it was. The more the day drags on, the better it gets.

I got the cards all finished and sent out last Monday. I guess the "do not bend" notes on the envelopes slowed delivery by a couple of days. I'll have to keep that in mind.

I got my seeds planted for my veggie garden yesterday. Three kinds of tomatoes, two kinds of peppers. Chives. Catnip and lavender. There was enough room left over that I ordered some corn seeds. Fingers crossed.

The avocado trees are loaded with baby fruits. Pretty nice. I'm sure a majority of them will fall off before maturity, but this year both trees have fruit. And there are still some little blossoms on both, which is pretty cool.

I've taken photos, need to get them sorted and cropped and uploaded.

Too much work right now, I think I'll take a nap instead. lol!

      Saturday, April 08, 2017

12:36 PM - 04/08/2017

The topic: Stuff that makes me crazy (this and that)


So, it's been a week since my last entry. Life progresses at less than warp speed. Well, some of it anyway.

The pain in my lower back is slowly subsiding. That's good. Brian has been putting the TENS on me for most of the week and that may be what's helping immensely. I wish it was quicker, but I've been dealing with the pain for over a month now, so any improvement is welcome. Earlier this week as I sat at my desk, I was in tears because I was losing hope that it would ever get better. Advil helps, but I really don't want to live the rest of my life taking a couple of Advil every day.

Last Sunday I was able to get paper cut out for sixteen cards. I only planned on making three of each, I wanted extra in case of problems. I had two Cameos going all day. The problem was I pushed too hard and my upper back started giving me grief. The same place that has stopped me from making hundreds of cookies for the end of the year holidays. Just too hard to recover. And this pain, in addition to my lower back, butt and leg pain, was probably why I was in tears last week. I had so much to do and I could barely walk. Very frustrating. Thoughts flashed by "is this what the rest of my life will be like? This chronic pain? Nooooooo!"

Anyway, that was the low spot and things have been getting better since.

Thursday morning, I was able to unbox a couple of "drawer beds' for the cats and get them put together (they look like drawers, except with legs). With those boxes out of the living room, I started to move the cat trees around. Only four of the old ones had made the cut, the rest are gone. One of the four is out on the patio now. Three were still okay.  Need cleaning and a little bit of trimming, but had been situated so that the cats couldn't really get a grip on scratching them.

The living room is more open now. I like it. The cats like the cat trees. So, that's pretty cool. The drawers I put in the garage on the bench under the window. It took a couple of days before anyone would go near them, but this morning Rocky and Spot each had a drawer and were fast asleep in it.


I've been working on card assembly and so far, I was able to get three of two of the designs put together and all four of a third. This morning I started on the last set and the crazy started.

I started making piles of each piece. Four in a pile.

This card has eight different leaves. I had cut out four of each, which would give me thirty-two. I was short one. Just one. One stinking leaf. No idea what happened. May have fallen on the floor and gotten swept up. Stuck to another piece of paper. It's just gone. Need to cut another.

Then there was the piece I'd made with flocked stock. I vaguely remember taking the pieces from the sheet when done, but had forgotten one split (that flocked stuff is weird to work with). So, there was another piece that needed to be done. I mean, I had to do it. Only two pieces preventing that fourth card? I just couldn't let it go.

I found the leftover paper from the leaves and the flocked piece. I started with the flocked. I figured I'd cut out three, just in case. The came out beautifully. Except.

Except I have to cut this stock from the back, because flock. I neglected to mirror the image. I figured there was enough of the paper left to cut another set of three from this piece. And I tried cutting from the flocked side of the card. Mistake. Huge mistake. Messy. Not cut all the way through. Clogged blade housing. That flocking is kind of messy.

I knew I should have at least one more piece of this color flocked stock, so I found it and cut three more pieces out, properly oriented and from the back. Success!

Then on to the leaf. I looked at the file. There is one big piece and the eight leaves. I notice that there are lines in the leaves. Hmmm. Interesting. I wonder if they cut? And what they'd look like?

I got rid the big piece and the seven I didn't need and saved the one. I checked to see if those inner lines would cut. Hey, it looks like the would! Cool. So, instead of doing just the one leaf, I did all thirty-two. Two ways. With just the outside and with the outside and the inner lines. Sixty-four leaves. And I liked them with the lines, not that they're really obvious, but when turned at the right angle, you can see the lines. I like it. I'll use those.

All pieces are now cut and ready for assemble.

I use an old Cutterbee cutting knife. My first one broke and I'd gotten a replacement since I had replacement blades. No longer "Cutterbee", but EK Tools. It came with five extra blades. Should last a while. Well, I checked on a set of replacement blades this morning. Guess what? Not in stock. Anywhere that I usually buy my supples. That sucks.

Then I looked for the refill bottle of Shimmer spray that I heart so much (yeah, I know I made my own, but it doesn't spray right; I think it's a bottle thing). The bottles are two ounces. I check on the Shimmer spray that comes in the spray bottle. Two ounces. And two bucks cheaper. Really? The same amount of spray, a better bottle and it's cheaper?

That kind of thing makes me crazy.

I got some more little pop dots (I heart those things).  There was one flavor that was pretty cheap, an add-on. But it would take over a month to get here. Uh, nope. Deleted from the order. Why is it "Prime" and takes a month to ship? Makes me crazy.

Anyway, things are quiet here, not really a lot going on.

(Just looking a a leaf with lines...I wonder if I could do the McGill thing on them and make them curve like real leaves?)

Well, that's it for now, I have some testing to do....

Update: The McGilled leaf, with a little ink on the edge of the leaf? Looks awesome. Thirty-one to go.

      Saturday, April 01, 2017

01:27 PM - 04/01/2017

The topic: Well, it looks to be a decent day


I picked out the paper for the cards I wanted to make a couple of days ago. Yesterday, I had planned on starting to cut it out, but Thursday night, the bed lost air.

On my side (it's one of those Nautilus Sleep Systems, the kind with air chambers and each side has control to change the firmness of the mattress; we've had it for a while and every once in a while the tubing slips off and air leaks out and the bed goes flat). There's a foam cover and zippers and it's a PITA to fix. Brian figures we really need new tubing. He requested surgical, so I got some over on Amazon. We don't need much. It should be here tomorrow, but he was able to get the old tubing to stay on.

But I couldn't sleep on it at all Thursday night, I was on that foam, which isn't really that thick and bottom out on the wood sheet that holds the mattress in place. I ended up on the sofa and a couple of the cats were on me all night and my legs/back would start to cramp up and the cats would have to move. Just a crappy night's sleep and I didn't get anything done yesterday. Besides the lack of sleep, it's allergy season and the pine pollen hits me pretty hard. I was doubly tired, couldn't get warm and spent the morning wrapped in a blanket. I started feeling human later in the day, but wasn't up to pulling the Cameos out.

One thing I was able to do was to score a lucky bag on Meh. They always have one on April first. I went back to the office about a quarter to nine, got the computer up and running and had my Fuku shortly after nine. Yay! More mystery crap!

When Brian re-aired the bed, he made my side firmer than I'm used to. I figured maybe my back wouldn't hurt so bad with a firmer bed, so I left it that way. I dunno if it worked or not, since I didn't want today to be wasted, I took a couple of Advil this morning.

After my shower, I started playing with the Cameo. One of the pieces I need is a sign and I thought I'd try using a Cameo's pen function to write the sentiment instead of a stamp. It took me a while to get it done. I used the third party pen holder and was sorely disappointed in the result. I tried a Sakura pen, but the ink was too thick for this application.

I checked online for some other ideas and saw this other pen holder. The official Silhouette pen holder.  I checked it out, decided maybe I should order one. With Amazon Prime it would be here on Monday, that would be okay. Imagine how happy I was to find I already bought it three years ago! I checked through my box of blades and there it was. It took a little finessing and three types of pens, but I finally got a result I was happy with. So happy, in fact, I bought two more of the pen holder kits so I can run them in all Cameos, should the need arise.

And now, I'm ready to start the entree. The rest of the day will be cutting.

Oh, and also had a mystery bag for April first. The Bag of Crap.  I scored one of those, too. Just what I need! Moar crap!

Brian's making tuna sandwiches right now. I'll be making lasagne for dinner.

DaNiece hasn't had a seizure in almost a week.

It's a beautiful sunny day and for the first time in months, I'm not in a weird mood.

I like that.


      Wednesday, March 29, 2017

09:42 AM - 03/29/2017

The topic: Well. the paperwork I was working on


Is done. Instead of being done at the end of Sunday, it was done mid-afternoon yesterday.

Because DaNiece.

Sunday, I set up a bazillion new accounts (most of our customers are one timers and once they pay, I set up the account). Since what Brian makes is customized per order, we get paid in full up front. If something happens between the day of the order and the day of production, which can be three months or more after the order, we'll refund the money and cancel the order at the customer request (the last one, the father-in-law totaled the tractor, he was okay, thank God, but the tractor was done).

I should be better at this. I should. But it's not that much of a priority, I guess.

Monday, I sent out the invoices. I do the invoicing once the product ships. I really should do this AT the time I do the shipping labels, but most of the time, I don't. I let it build up for a couple of invoices. Which turns into a week's worth. Then a month's worth. Then it reached "holy crap, I can't shove anymore stuff in that spot, I guess I should do the invoicing!" level. That was Monday. Monday night, around nine, I was filing invoices.

Then there were two months of bank account reconciliations. I can't reconcile until I've made the deposits into my software. Which I can't do with having customer accounts set up. Which brings us back to step number one. Receiving the payments. Letting quickbooks know the money is in the bank. And then there's the thing that I don't get a lot of purchase paperwork to input. Brian gets most of his supplies online and I never see the packing slips. He files them or stacks them up on his desk. So, when I reconcile, I have to input into my software via what's been paid out. I get this information from the bank statement. If it's not a familiar company to me, I ask him about it, and so far, there've been no problems.

I got those done yesterday, mid-afternoon. I started around eight in the morning. One of the reasons it can take so long is that we have three sources of payments. Checks. Which are rare. Credit cards. (My favorite.) And Paypal. I hate those. Customer pays X amount. Paypal takes Y amount in fees. X-Y = the amount that is deposited into our bank from Paypal. So, every Paypal transaction has mulitple steps for entry. One with the full amount for deposit, then an entry into the check register for the subtraction of the fees for that payment.

So, when I'm clearing payments during a reconciliation, if I show $3,500 as money deposited on one day it's easy if it was one payment. But if it was a mixture, like $1,875 from credit card payments and the rest from smaller Paypal amounts ($300 - $500) I have to check the fee entries as well as the deposits. It's not my favorite thing in the world to do. At the end of the second reconciliation, I was twenty cents off. I figured "screw it" and just let the software make a twenty cent adjustment. (The first reconciliation had me off by $531, but that was a check I hadn't marked as deposited, which was a pretty simple fix. I let the software know it had been deposited. Voila!)

Anyway, that was done by mid-afternoon. I kicked back for a little while, then figured I'd start dinner. Had a hankering for lasagne. The non-refrigerated ingredients were on the counter. Except the noodles. I started to get things put together and got the boxes of noodles down. They were open. Only about a quarter box left in each one.

No lasagne. Need noodles.

So, today, I'm going to craft. Tomorrow, I will craft. Same for Saturday and Sunday.

Monday I will start the 2016 taxes.


I hate paperwork.


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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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