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      Friday, July 29, 2016

05:52 PM - 07/29/2016

The topic: Shadowbox photo frame…


Yeah, buddy! 


And here are the pictures to prove it. Clicking on a picture will take you to a bigger photo in my family album; clicking on that picture will open a larger photo.

The picture I chose. One of my sunset photos.


The paper I picked out for the frame. If you go big on this, you can see it's actually little stars...


Trimming the photo to fit


The pieces

Starting assembly of the shadowbox


The back side of the box. I learned that if I use white paper for the outside piece, to color the edges, otherwise you can see the white when the box is finished.


The front piece glued on - this hides the corners


I used a blue marker to try to make the white not look so bad (probably no one would notice it but me)


The finished box/frame - I like it!


My photo wall. Brian said I could paint the room! Any color I wanted! Except pink, purple, red...I'll probably go with some shade of grey.

Turned out nice, huh?


      Thursday, July 28, 2016

02:27 PM - 07/28/2016

The topic: DIAGONALLY!


Der! Der! Der!

I love it when a solution to a problem just hits you right between the eyes like a mallot.


Okay, so I got my test box done. Since I didn't see any instructions and I didn't feel like looking for them online, I kind of muddled through the assembly and decided there's a better way to do it than I did. And since the paper I pulled for the next test is paper I printed out, I'd just as soon have a decent picture to put inside, just in case I loved it enough to hang it on my wall. The thing is, we're in a Flex alert right now, which means if you cut back on energy usage, take it below your average hourly rate, you'll get a little discount on your bill. Discounts are good. So, I'm on the laptop (the one I got for $125 on eBay, probably the best deal I've made on used electronics; I now I use it on a regular basis) and not the big PC and have no intention of running the R1900 printer today.  I'll do a photo in the morning when I usually have that system booted up.

Here are a couple of photos of the test shadowbox:

It was cut out of 12" x 12" card stock and, once assembled, it's a little under 11.5" x 11.5".  So, I lost an inch both vertically and horizontally from the original sheet of paper.

So, here's the problem. My photo paper is 13" x 19". The good stuff, not the Epson flimsy paper. Well, it's not the very best awesome mortgage-the-house good, but it's called "proof" quality and it's kinda heavy and it takes the ink nicely. And the prints hold up. Obviously, a frame will need cover some of that photo, right? A half inch off of each side isn't really that big of a deal. The thing is, the cut pieces are bigger than a half inch wide. I just measured and each piece is about two and a half inches wide. The tabs are a half inch deep.

Aw, geez, maybe I'm overthinking this...argue <--- my little head voices...

So, the paper I have on hand is 12" x 18".  I know, I have more on order, but I'm really trying to figure out how to lose as little of the photo as possible (and what really annoys me is that chances are, I won't make many of these - but I'll be sure I can if I want to!). Then it hit me.

Cut them out diagonally! Like how monitors and television screens are measured. My 12" x 18" paper is 21.5" diagonally. I could get at least one of the long pieces and maybe a shorter piece or two out of one sheet.  Deep in thought...

I'd love to work on this, but we have to go shopping. Eggo waffles for breakfast don't really cut it. Need eggs. And cheese. And other fine food offerings. Like frozen jalapeno poppers...

I can hardly wait to get started on the bigger shadowbox. First, though, I'll do another one like the one I did today. And have a purty photo for the center.

Oh! So excited!


      Wednesday, July 27, 2016

04:44 PM - 07/27/2016

The topic: Okay, who spilled the beans?



There is a kitty that's been around since last month. I mentioned our first meeting last month.

Well, I started feeding him a few weeks ago. He didn't seem like he was feeling well, so I added antibiotics to the food. He didn't mind. He ate. Breakfast and dinner. After a week of feeding him, I was able to pet him. Then he started coming into the gated entryway for food, patiently sitting there. He'd hiss at me, but just waited until the food was down.

I started petting him more and he was okay with it. I left the front door open so the other cats could see him. Spot was very unhappy.

It became more obvious that this kitty has never been a feral cat, but an abandoned cat. Ferals don't let you pet them, even when they're eating. Ferals don't let you see their bellies. Nope, this boy has been abandoned. This boy, who we call Tommy.

I told Brian last weekend that I want to catch Tommy in the morning and put him in a carrier and take him to the vet for testing and neutering, then bring him in to his new forever home.

As soon as I knew it would work, I would make the call to the vet and make an appointment, I figured I'd give it this week.

Do you think I've seen him in the morning? Nope. Not since Monday. Sure, it's only two mornings and he's here at night, but damn it. Someone must have told him and I'm betting it was one of the cats.

Dude! I took a couple of pictures of him, but it was through the fence and I couldn't see what I was taking pictures of. I was just pointing the camera and shooting. If I can get any of them to look decent, I'll share them.

04:21 PM - 07/27/2016

The topic: This’ll do


This may seem silly, but I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I learn something about the Silhouette Design software that makes things so much easier.

I mentioned earlier that I wanted to make frames for my photos. This is the frame I snagged from the Silhouette Design Store.

I have some 13" x 19" proof photo paper that I've had for a long time. A couple of days ago, I printed this photo:

And I realized that this could be my first photo on my photo wall. And I'd like it framed, but no way in hell do I want to spend a lot of money on frames. And that's when I checked out the Silhouette store.

I could have sworn I had some 24" x 12" paper, but I do not. What I do have is 18" x 12". Not big enough. I shopped around at different websites and found where I could get two hundred and fifty sheets of 100lb card stock for a fairly reasonable price. I could have gotten it cheaper, but it needed to be inkjet usable because I want to be able to print on it before cutting. Lot of ideas rolling around in my head.

But I know that practice is a big thing for me, even though I love to just jump in before testing the waters, I know what a mistake than can be. I decided to do a test frame, with plain white paper.

I'm spoiled by the files I buy from and They come ready to work with. Not so the files from Silhouette. All pieces are in the same file. This one needed to be split into five different sections. Not a problem, it's easy to do. But then there are the score marks, the marks where the paper will need to be folded. They're actually nothing more than perforation marks.

But I'm not fond of having the perf marks show in my work and the SDS software has a way to work with that. You can cut by layers or colors. I'm familiar with cutting by color. This file has everything the same color, so it will all get cut at the same depth. I don't want that. For the score line, I just want the paper lightly cut, so I can use that as a guide to actually use my score tool.

Well, waddya know? All I had to do was to highlight the part that needed the color change, then change it! And adjust the machine settings to match what I needed.  So, the machine cut the score marks first, then went on to the heavy cutting.


But wait! I'm not done yet!

02:16 PM - 07/27/2016

The topic: Wow


I've mentioned my love of mystery boxes in the past. I only have gotten them from a couple of places, an

At Woot! they're known as BOC. Bag of crap. After Woot! sold out to Amazon, they really did start living up to the name. I got one and Brian got one a couple of weeks ago and there was nothing outstanding about either one. The best thing was a pair of women's designer sunglasses. And a thing of exercise cables, Lifeline brand, I think there's at least one of everything they offer, cable wise., on the other hand, has stuff like the old Woot! bags had. Meh's are lucky bags or unlucky bags, you never know which. My first bag was during the Kickstarter phase and I got a brand new 64GB iPad mini. Two years ago.

I've gotten more since, but none as awesome as the iPad bag.

Until their second birthday Fuko earlier this month. I got Meh branded cheapo sunglasses, a cozy, and a sticker. I got an as seen on tv knife. A fuko bag. And one of these. Brand new. Never used. Nor a refurbished unit.

I am stoked. It got here last Friday and I've used it every day. Twice on Saturday and once a day since. I was so excited about what a good job it was doing, that on Sunday, I used the Floormate and washed the floors!

It will run for an hour, return to homebase, recharge, then, if it hadn't finished cleaning the house, will leave homebase and finish cleaning. 

It's really, really one of the best pieces of cleaning equipment I've ever had in my life.

Like Brian said "not bad for five bucks". That was the cost of the mystery bag.

mrs. crankypants
01:34 PM - 07/27/2016

The topic: I don’t write about politics here, not much.


But I sure do on Facebook.

Right now, I've turned off the television. I'm going to play with a new file I've gotten from the Silhouette Design store (.99 in the design store, $4.99 on the designer's website). I have a wall in the living room that I think it would be fun to print out some of my favorite photos and have them hanging in frames that I made out of paper. Oh, and put my photo viewer thing up there, too.

Because I need to do something other than think about the upcoming election.

Donald J. Trump makes me crazy in the head. I've never watched an episode of The Appentice because I always got the feeling that he was a self absorbed putz.  And now, he's running for president. Scary.

My in-laws like his financial acumen. I don't think he's good at financial stuff, I just think he does what he wants and doesn't give a flying fornicate about who gets hurt on the way. I don't like the way he talks about women, I don't like that he's a cheater, I don't like his bigotry and I reallly, really don't like him thinking he's a real savior. He's thin skinned and mouths off without thinking or checking the facts. Facts mean nothing to him. When called on his BS, he says "I never said that" or "that's not what I meant". Well, if you're running the greatest country in the world, you'd better damned well figure out what you're going to say before you say it. No take backs, yanno? And he shows no signs of having learned this lesson so far.

The bankruptcies really bother the both of us. Four bankruptcies. He had the money, he didn't need to go bankrupt, but he took advantage of his options. Options that left him with a crapload of money and the investors, and small companies empty handed. Was it legal? Yes. Was it ethical? No. But I don't think Trump cares at all about ethics. I just don't. I asked google "How many financial lawsuits does trump have against him?" The answer is "a lot". 

Brian has been self-employed since before we met back in 1984. In the construction business. And he was stiffed on more than one occasion by someone who declared bankruptcy then started up another business doing the same damned thing. Back in the late 80s, he went into a partnership with his cousin (same business) and they did this really large job, without a doubt the biggest they'd ever done. At the end of the job, even though there was a signed contract, the customer said "we'll pay you this much and no more". A couple of hundred thousand dollars less than the contract was for. The company said "sure, you can take us to court and you would most likely win. But we're a big company with lawyers. We can drag this out for years. You're a small operation. Can you afford that?"

We couldn't. Our suppliers eventually got paid. Our employees got paid.  The government got paid. Brian and his cousin? Different story.

And during Brian's last year doing business by himself, he got stiffed for close to eleven thousand dollars from the same contractor. Two different jobs. Because he screwed up, not getting the Ts crossed or the Is dotted. And we weren't the only sub contractors who got stiffed. And even though we lost money through no fault of our own, our suppliers still got paid. Because it was the right thing to do. This contractor could have auctioned off his gazillion dollar custom hotrods at Mecum, even talked about doing it. But he didn't. He just left his subs holding the bag and went on his merry way.

Just like Trump. Sure, he's got accountants and other people "taking care of business" but in the end, it's his name and his brand. And the buck stops at the top. With him.

Never liked him, never will. As far as I'm concerned, he's a scam artist. A con man. And God help the United States of America if he gets elected.

12:48 PM - 07/27/2016

The topic: Have some crows hanging around


I think one of them may not be feeling well, it was here all day yesterday and is still here today. I put out a roasting pan of water and I've seen the crow taking advantage of it.

Today, I saw it eating a beetle (there are a lot around the trees).  I did a short google search and found that you can give crows cat kibble, so I put out a bowl of kibble.

It's been hot and I don't think these birds have much in the way of water sources.

This should be interesting.

      Wednesday, July 20, 2016

11:54 AM - 07/20/2016

The topic: Do you ever wonder


If your mind started wandering and didn't come back? Or even let you know it was going?

I'm having a bear of a time keeping focused. I'm sure the heat doesn't help.

The loss of Miss E has left me with more spare time than I even imagined. My body is finally starting to feel right again after the seven months of Lexapro. I've been off of it since the last week of May, so seven weeks? Crazy. I think the pain I was in kept me from moving much and my muscles forgot what they were supposed to do. We've been doing our short morning walk all along, but I think if we were able to get out of the house before 6:30 in the morning, I'm good enough to start on the hill. The two mile walk. I know that doesn't sound like much, but it's a steep incline, it's a long hill. It's a work out.

I'm just tired of being tired. I think that's why my mind wanders. I want to catch up with it. *lol*

So, with this free time I have now, this time that I'm no longer in pain, I'm bored with television and I want to do stuff. There's always paperwork, but I can't concentrate with this heat. (Yeah, that's it...yes, it's the heat.)

And speaking of heat, in the past few months I've purchased some patterns online for quick little shirts and dresses. And after turning off the television this morning and putting down the tablet since the most recent level of Candy Crush has me so frustrated I don't even want to try, and not wanting to start any new paper craft until I find out what to do with the ones I've already made, I thought to myself "I know! I'll sew!"

So, I go through the patterns and think "I'll make one of these and one of these and oh, one of those, and one each of a short and long of that...."  I head over to my cedar chest. The one in the dining room. The one under the window.


I have it so stuffed, the back is coming off!  Wow, when did that happen? I start pulling fabric out.  "Ohh, I like that, I forgot about that one!" which went on for about a half hour. I pulled out enough lightweight cottons to make all of the things I wanted to make. It looks like I bought ten yards of each at a time. I bought a LOT! It must have been on sale. I don't care that I have so much of the same. I cut out the lengths I needed and they just got done in the washing machine, now I have to dry them (I always wash the fabric before I work with it because it smells weird and shrinkage). When I was cutting the lengths, with two different pieces I found that I'd already cut from them. Hmm...I never made anything. So, this puts me in search of the pieces cut out. I found them! Cute! Unfortunately, I'd cut them out about twenty or thirty pounds ago. It's been a while. I might try to add a panel to each side, they're just little tank top type things. Just to keep my mind from going off on its own again. Keep it busy.

Anyway, I showed Brian the back of the cedar chest (the dining room table and kitchen counter are piled high right now). I also found my other patterns, bugs have been at them, but it looks like they mostly got the envelopes the patterns are in. I put all of those in a plastic storage container. I don't think I'll be buying anymore for a while, there are a lot there. Geez...

So, Brian was kind of disgusted with the state of the lid and back. The hinge is ruined, he says it will need a new one. "And I just don't have the time to do this right now!"  That's okay, it's not going anywhere, I sweetly reply. And I look at the piles of colorful fabric....

My mind is happy.


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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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