Monthly Archives: January 2011

Faves

It’s Friday! Yay! I thought I would share with you a few of my favorite things:

Bella by Illume reed diffuser. The scent I picked up is Mandarin Woods. I got it at Target. Love it.

“The Good Wife” on CBS. It’s pretty much become my favorite show. Such good acting and writing and everything.

“The King’s Speech”. It will probably win Best Picture at the Oscars. Colin Firth is amazing! Such a great film.

Project 365. I’ve got just about 2 months left. I already love looking back at the photos I’ve taken so far and all the memories they represent. I highly recommend the project to anyone who is entertaining the idea of trying it!

Method laundry detergent. I love that it’s just this little bottle of concentrated detergent. It’s so easy to just pump the soap into the washer, and it doesn’t take up much room on the shelf like the giant detergent containers take! No mess! Perfect.

I also love that February is coming up! For us February means the Super Bowl, Kyle & Kevin’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, Valentine’s Day, my Dad’s birthday, and Trevor’s birthday! It’s always a full and fun month.

 

 

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Fall Vegetable Curry

I don’t know much about Indian food, but I know that this recipe is super easy and very delicious! It’s what I made for dinner last night.

Here it is all done, on some rice.

 

Fall Vegetable Curry (from Cooking Light)

Total: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup curry and 2 tablespoons yogurt)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  olive oil
  • 1  cup  diced peeled sweet potato
  • 1  cup  small cauliflower florets
  • 1/4  cup  thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 2  teaspoons  Madras curry powder
  • 1/2  cup  organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson)
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1  (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2  cup  plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt

Preparation

1. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Decrease heat to medium. Add cauliflower, onion, and curry powder; cook 1 minute, stirring mixture constantly. Add broth and next 3 ingredients (through tomatoes); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with cilantro; serve with yogurt.

I mixed the yogurt in and added cashews as well. Yum!

 

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Victory

What a wonderful weekend of relaxation and friends!

I was the only happy one in this house when the Packers won today. Trevor and his cousins Kevin, Brett, and Kyle were cheering for the Bears just because they “hate” the Packers so much. I think it’s silly. And also maybe because the Naus “triplets” (twins and a brother that looks just like them) dad is from Chicago and a Bears fan. I made sloppy joes and actually watched the whole game with them, right there on the couch between Trev and Kev. Cash enjoyed begging all of us for puff corn, Doritos, and sloppy joes.

This next week is full of plans! I’m sad the weekend is over but I’m also looking forward to friends, family, movies, taking picture 300 of 365 (getting so close to the end!), and whatever else is thrown my way.

 

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Where I make stuff 2011

One of the top ten posts on my blog is this one: Where I make stuff. I posted it in October 2009. That was the last time I talked about my scrap space, so I thought I would do an update!

I tend to do some rearranging and reorganizing every 4-6 months. This helps me to get things in order so that I can access things easier and use what I have. I know that I am lucky and have a lot! I am also lucky to have the space for it. I have a majority of our “office” to use for my stuff.

Here is what my main scrap area looks like today after some more organizing this week:

Here is what my main scrap area looked like in October 2009:

As you can see, not TOO much has changed. I still absolutely love my IKEA Expedit shelves and desk. They work perfectly for me. I wish I could have fit the bigger shelving unit in this room, but this works great for now. I feel like now this area is less cluttered than it was a year ago because I’ve taken more time to go through things and let some things go. Also, I added a lot more paper storage (I used to have some boxes and bins of paper stacked on top of the Expedit that I found a better place for)! Believe it or not, I haven’t been buying much paper. I have bought very little in the past several months besides some cardstock. In the past year I only bought paper with coupons a few times, and have been sent some paper for doing surveys.

I love these storage drawers! I buy them at Target and they are the perfect size for paper. The boxes you see on top hold embellishments that I bought clearanced (Making Memories Vintage Findings and K&Co. Handmade). The top two brown boxes are the boxes I keep my scraps in. They are Martha Stewart boxes I bought for cheap at Tuesday Morning. One is my patterned paper scraps and the other is my cardstock scraps. I have my paper sorted by manufacturer mostly, and then I have 3 drawers of cardstock and 1 drawer of Christmas paper.

This dresser will hopefully be mostly cleared off soon. I have a bin of some craft supplies (non-scrapbook related), a basket of stuff for my label maker, a couple of photo boxes, and then my Silhouette SD and mats.

This tote holds most of my tools. I have been debating for quite a while now if I should keep using this tote or buy one of these:

It’s a Making Memories desktop carousel. It might be better use of space. I’m not sure though. Thoughts?

Here is a closeup of my main working area:

The shelf above me holds buttons, tapes, and other little things. On top of the Expedit are old photo albums, an organizer with alphas, an organizer with chipboard alphas (that I rarely use sadly), drawers of flowers, my ribbon organizer, and a little basket with my latest purchases I like to use. The top rows of baskets hold punches, extra stamps, acrylic blocks & ink pads, card making supplies, journaling stickers and papers, embellishments, and glitter. The bottom rows that you can’t see in this photo hold binders of clear stamps, 8 1/2 x 11 papers, various art supplies, empty scrapbook albums and inserts, a bin of some kits I still have, and some other various items. The plastic drawers I have under my desk hold my Thickers and other similar alphas. I have some other random supplies in some baskets underneath as well. Too much!

Thanks for taking the tour. Let me know if you have any questions. Happy Friday!

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Customer service?

Another reason why I am happy I replaced my dead Cricut electronic cutter with a Silhouette SD:

When my Cricut died, I tried everything I could to see if there was something wrong that needed to be changed so I could get the power button to actually work. I then went to the Cricut website and found their knowledge base and tried each of those steps. I sent an e-mail to Cricut support, and even included the steps below my e-mail so they knew what knowledge base article I was referring to:

———————————————————–

to: support@cricut.com

date: Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 7:06 PM

subject: My Cricut does not power on

Hello,

My Cricut does not power on. I found an article in your knowledge base and I still can’t turn it on. My power button does not glow green. Nothing is displayed in the LCD. I pushed the power button several times, making sure I pressed it hard enough. The power adapter is plugged in to a live outlet. I tried other outlets as well. Both parts of the adapter are plugged together, and the adapter end is completely plugged in to the machine. There is a green light glowing on the face of the power adapter, so I know it is plugged in. I checked all of these things more than once, and my Cricut still does not power on. Do you have any other suggestions or is my Cricut dead now?

Thanks,

Karin Tungseth

Possible Solution 1 – Does the power button itself glow green? And are there just squares displayed in the LCD if so? If this is the case, the Cricut machine will need to be serviced.

Possible Solution 2 – Make sure the power switch has been firmly press.

Possible Solution 3 – Make sure the power adapter is plugged into a live outlet, both parts of the adapter are plugged together, and the adapter end is completely plugged into Cricut machine.

Possible Solution 4 – Check the power adapter is plugged in. There should be a green light glowing on the face. If not, it may be defective and needs to be replaced.

———————————————————–

After I received no response for a couple of days, I finally just called their customer support number and talked to someone. I told her I had sent them an e-mail and had not received a reply. She had me check ONE thing, that there was a green light glowing on the power adapter, and then told me the only solution was to buy a replacement machine.

TODAY, 15 days later, I got the following e-mail:

__________________________________

date: Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 3:40 PM

subject: RE: My Cricut does not power on

Hello,

Thank you for contacting Customer Support.

Due to the technical nature of your inquiry, we would recommend that you contact our Customer Service Department at: 1-877-727-4288.  Our hours are Monday through Friday 7am to 6pm MST.  We do apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thank you for your patience.

Have a wonderful day!

Customer Support

—————————————————————–

Thanks! And I’ll have a wonderful day using my Silhouette SD. Yes, I actually did send them a reply because I thought they should know what I think about their customer service. Here’s to hoping Silhouette’s customer service is better!

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Cabin fever and kitchen fun

I didn’t realize how bad Cash’s cabin fever was until last night. I put him in his kennel at bedtime and he cried and cried. I let him outside and put him back in and he cried and cried. This was unusual so i thought maybe he wasn’t feeling well. I let him outside again, then back in the house, and he proceeded to run as fast as he could around the house! He ran in circles in the living room and got out toys to play with…at 12:30 AM! Then I just decided to let him sleep outside his kennel in our room, and eventually he settled down and went to sleep. I felt bad for Trevor who was trying to sleep and get up early for work in the morning. But anyway…of course Cash did this last night, when today is the coldest day ever! There’s no way I’m taking him for a walk today when it is so cold! “Wind Chill Advisory through tomorrow morning. Expect dangerously cold wind chills from -10 to -20 this afternoon & as cold as -20 to -40 tonight into Friday morning.” Crazy! I feel bad for my poor little cockapoo.

So while it is so freezing cold out there, let’s think of some fun things instead. Here are a couple of Christmas presents I got this Christmas that I think are pretty awesome:

Salt and Pants! The little man is the salt shaker and the pants is the pepper shaker. How funny is that?

Measuring Matroyshkas set of 6 dry measuring cups. There are 3 of them and each top and bottom are a measuring cup. Super cute!

And the matching measuring spoons. I’ve been having fun using all of this in my kitchen. There are some other awesome Fred products I wouldn’t mind having in my kitchen as well. 🙂

Well, I am spending today doing some more organizing in my scrap/craft area. I’ve been wanting to go through it and get rid of some of the things I know I’ll never use. I started looking through everything last night. I was feeling like the office was getting way too cluttered again! I’ll take some photos later to show you what it’s looking like lately as I haven’t done that in a while. Tonight I’m going to actually leave the house to go to a movie with my friend Jennie. Not looking forward to experiencing -20! At least it’s a whole 9 degrees right now. Hope you are staying warm!

 

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So, my Cricut died.

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered that my personal Cricut (electronic die cutter) died. My mom gave me the Cricut for Christmas a few years ago, and has given me many Cricut cartridges for gifts. I used my Cricut primarily for making cards, invitations, gift bags, and other projects. I did use the Cricut for my scrapbook pages occasionally, but not very often. I have a big love for American Crafts Thickers, so I rarely cut out letters/words with my Cricut, even though I had hoped to more.

Anyway, it was a handy little tool, so I was sad when it wouldn’t turn on. I checked everything possible and it wouldn’t work. I sent an e-mail to Cricut support, and after not receiving any response for a couple of days, I gave them a call. My Cricut, in fact, was dead, and the solution they gave me was buying a replacement one! “They have them on sale now at Walmart.” I had been wondering what to spend my Christmas money on, but I hadn’t planned on it being a replacement for a dead Cricut. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense to go ahead and buy a replacement while I had the funds readily to do so!

I took a few days and did lots of research online. In the past few months I had seen more and more people talking about the Silhouette SD, so I wanted to consider that as well (although I do not know anyone personally who owns one). Silhouette even has this handy comparison chart. I thought about buying a Cricut Expression because I heard you could get one at Walmart for around $200. The bad part about that is that I would have to step foot into a Walmart and then give them $200 of my money. I choose not to shop there unless necessary for various reasons, and around here in the land of Target  you have to really go out of your way to find one. Buying the Cricut would be nice because I could just keep using the tools I already have, including the cartridges. It also would be nice because it can cut 12×12. I’m not sure if I would ever find a reason to need to cut something that size, but it’s possible.

I had seen people mention the Silhouette because they liked the convenience of being able to download designs when they needed or wanted to. They didn’t need to buy a cartridge with a handful of designs they would use, but instead could download individual designs. Also, with the Silhouette, it is pretty easy to create your own designs, and you can cut any font you already have installed on your pc! Also, it’s not a stale shop of designs to download. It’s updated every week, and has a free design to download each week as well. The other big difference is that you use software on your computer to select the designs you are going to cut. The new model is an “SD” version, so technically you can put designs on an SD card and not have to have the Silhouette attached to your computer to use it, making it portable. It really works just like a printer, but cutting instead of printing.

In the end I decided on the Silhouette. Here are the big reasons why:

*Cricut is currently revamping and discontinuing a lot, including the Cricut Expression, the very model I was thinking about buying. When it comes to technology, buying a machine about to be discontinued isn’t very exciting.

*I saw a comparison of the two cutting out the very same thing. Silhouette did a much cleaner, sharper job.

*While I already have Cricut cartridges, I had a few on each that I really loved and that was it. I also only had a couple of font cartridges. The cartridges took up space. The little books were sort of annoying to have to page through to find what I needed. Choosing designs based on the tiny keys on the interchangable keypads was also frustrating. The little display on the Cricut and all the keys I had to push sometimes were frustrating to me.

*I discovered that I could purchase the Silhouette SD on overstock.com, only pay $2.95 for shipping, and use a 10% off coupon. It only cost me a total of $166.73. That’s less money than the Cricut Expression, and I didn’t even have to go to Walmart, or step foot in any store for that matter! It also came with a $10 card to use in the Silhouette store for downloads.

*With the Silhouette I can use the tons of fonts I have on my computer. I can also download designs that are very current, and create my own! I was able to download some American Crafts Dear Lizzie images! Also, it came with 50 images already.

*With the Silhouette I can use software on my computer and alter existing images, make them any size I want to use (within 8 1/2 x 39 inches and not limited by increments of 1/2 inch), and flip images around to fit everything onto the page the best way to efficiently use the paper. There are just many more options available to me working in this sort of format, and I don’t mind having to learn new software.

I’m excited to try some of the different things I can do with the Silhouette, like:

*Print and cut! First you print the image on your printer, then put it through the Silhouette and it cuts it out.

*Use pens in place of the blade to sketch

*Make vinyl wall decals

*Etch glass

*Use heat transfer vinyl on clothes and bags and other items

*And as usual, make more cards and scrapbook pages. 🙂

I received my Silhouette SD yesterday, and here are my very first scrapbook pages with Silhouette die cuts!

I cut out the trees and “Tungseth Tradition.” I know these aren’t the best layouts ever, but I was just playing around and experimenting to see what works. I “welded” some of the letters together, so they weren’t just cut out one at a time. Another bonus with the Silhouette.

I think these borders turned out pretty nice! I am amazed how well it cuts the intricate pieces. This font was not a winner! I have to keep trying to figure out what the Silhouette cuts best. Once again I “welded” these so they were cut out as words, not just individual letters.

These are the Dear Lizzy doilies. 🙂 I think they turned out pretty well, but I think I’d prefer their look on a smaller scale. They work pretty well on this page though.

That’s all for now. I’ll let you know what I think as I keep using it! Let me know if you have any questions.

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