Controlling my paper craft hoard for my Cricut

I have a Cricut Explore Air 2, for papercraft. I have collected a lot of 12×12 paper pads over the last 2 years for making box greeting cards. Collecting a lot of different designs requires enough space in your crafting area, which happens to be my bedroom.

A couple of nights ago I had a mini avalanche. I was trying to find a specific pad so that I could get the specific patterns for a card, and the loose scrap paper and a opened pad with 50 pages of white 8 1/2 x 11 sheets fell behind the cabinet that the paper was sitting on. I wanted to buy this cart for a long time, but it was so expensive at $80 from Michael’s. The Avalanche of paper made me decide I really need this cart now.

We went to Michael’s to buy the Essex cart from Recollections (which is the brand of all my paper pads) and I put it together and then started filling it up.

There are four drawers on the left side that hold the 12×12 paper and then two deep drawers on the right side that hold all my 8 1/2 by 11 paper. I don’t have that much 8 1/2 by 11, so I put scraps in the bottom deep drawer.

On the right side there is a tray that you can lift up, but it only holds 2 lb and I’m probably never going to use it, so it can just stay down. The shelf in the middle has more 12×12 pads that the drawers could not hold, and they are mostly glitter paper, vinyl and envelope paper. Then I also put some other craft tools and supplies on the shelf.

I feel so good that the paper pads are cleaned up. this will make finding specific paper pads that I need easier because I put all of the Christmas pads in the top drawer, Valentine’s day and Spring are in the second drawer, and then random designs that aren’t holiday related are in the third drawer. All my 12×12 scraps are in the bottom drawer and they used up the whole drawer.

It’s nice to be organized and to have a clean space for once. I’m so glad I got this.

CPAP filters on Amazon

I got my CPAP machine from Apria Healthcare in 2019. They were sending me these filters that didn’t look like they were collecting any dust at all. When I removed the filter after two weeks it looked almost identical to the way it looked when I put it in.

I was having such a difficult time getting them to send me new supplies because they were telling me that they didn’t have the paperwork needed from my doctor. I got tired of waiting and using the same filter for almost a year because they weren’t sending me any supplies, so I went to Amazon and bought these new filters from RespLabs. I only paid $10 and it comes with 60 filters which will take me two and a half years to go through since they want me to change the filters once every two weeks.

You can see a used filter on the left side that came from Apria Healthcare, on the right side on the top is a brand new RespLabs filter and below that is after 2 weeks of using this new filter. You can tell there’s a significant difference in the amount of dust that these filters are collecting that is not going into your lungs. The filters that Apria Healthcare were sending me were just not working. Every night I could smell dust and dirt the whole night long. I don’t smell any dirt or dust with these new filters.

So if you have sleep apnea, do yourself a favor and buy these RespLab filters. Your lungs will thank you.

By the way, this filter belongs to the ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet, so if that’s what you have, then this filter is for you. If you have another CPAP or BiPap machine, I’m sure they have a filter for your make and model.

Atkins diet for surgery

I had a colonoscopy in September. After the procedure they told me that they were able to remove a couple of polyps, but there were also a couple of polyps that were lying flat in my colon and they couldn’t cut them out, and I would need surgery to get them.

I had an appointment with a new surgeon in November, but apparently he had gotten the wrong chart or the wrong information and he insisted I was there for the world’s worst hemorrhoids. I don’t have hemorrhoids. I tried showing him the pictures from the colonoscopy, but he refused to even look at them.

In December I had a teleconference appointment with the doctor who did the colonoscopy and he was upset that the surgeon thought I had hemorrhoids and actually called him on another phone. He told me they would call me in a couple of days, and they never did.

Last week I remembered to call them to schedule a new appointment and this time he had the correct chart. He told me the only way he can do my surgery was if I lost weight. I was 253lbs when I saw him, and he told me I need to lose at least 15lbs (but better if more) in 8 weeks.

He told me to go on the Atkins diet. He gave me papers that show which foods are low carb. I installed the Atkins app and started eating low carbs immediately. He told me to eat no more than 50 carbs a day.

My problem is I love carbs. I love pasta and bread and I know those turn to sugar and cause weight gain, but it’s so good.

We went to the store and all the low carb stuff is expensive. We bought a loaf of bread that is low carb because we bought lunch meat, which apparently have no carbs, but the amount of carbs in the bread is still too much, so I’ve decided to eat salads with the lunch meat and use the bread with dinner for bread and butter, but only 1 slice. And this bread is tiny lol.

We still have a lot of weight watchers smart ones and lean cuisine in the freezer, so I’ll eat one every night until they’re gone. They have carbs, but it’s not too many, and I still fall under 50 carbs a day.

So I’ve been eating scrambled eggs for breakfast, chefs salad for lunch and weight watchers or lean cuisine for dinner. Although, last night I had boneless skinless chicken breast with broccoli and cauliflower for dinner.

If this allows me to lose weight, I’ll continue eating low carbs. I’ll try to make this a lifestyle choice, but it’s hard.

I saw they sell Atkins frozen dinners and even shakes and snacks, so even though those are expensive, I’ll buy them when I want a snack. They have their own version of M&M’s. I’ll look forward to that, but I’ll wait until after the surgery.

I have type 2 diabetes, sand my blood sugar has actually dropped since I started this diet. I also have sleep apnea, so if I lose weight, it will be easier to sleep. I hope it works. I’ll continue tracking with the Atkins app.

CPAP skins on Amazon

I decided that my CPAP needed a little makeover LOL

The first time I ever bought a skin it was for my Barnes & Noble Nook way back in 2007 I believe, and it was a library theme. It was kind of hard to put on my Nook because the Nook was shiny, but I managed to get it on. This however was so easy to put on because it’s not hard to pull it off to readjust the skin.

I bought this  RespLabs CPAPwraps compatible with ResMed Air sense 10 CPAP on Amazon for $10. Of course, it’s $20 on amazon, but there was a $10 coupon when I placed my order.

They have a video in the listing that has instructions on how to put your skin on your CPAP machine. It comes in two pieces, the back and the front. The part in the back also has a part that goes in the front and that’s that thin line on the right side. And of course there’s also the optional circle for the button. You don’t have to use that, but I wanted to.

I’m not staring at my CPAP machine all day, but if someone ever comes into my room, then they will see that I at least tried to make it look interesting. It does make it stand out.

The listing says that it comes with a free ebook called CPAP comfort hacks e-book. Well, I never got it. It didn’t come in a file in email and there’s nothing on the order that shows a file to download. I have bought other things for cleaning my CPAP and filters for my CPAP that have also said that it comes with an ebook and I never got anything for an ebook. I guess it doesn’t really matter.

Bewitched

I’ve been rewatching Bewitched over the last year on my Roku. Occasionally it’s on the Roku channel, but sometimes it’s on Crackle.

Naturally, I started on season 1 episode 1 with the original Darren Stevens played by Dick York. I am now watching season 6 with Darren Stevens played by Dick Sargent.

The season with Dick Sargent also has Esmeralda played by Alice Ghostley. What’s funny about her character on the show is that I thought when I was a kid that Esmerelda was one of Samantha’s Aunts. Now watching this show at 50 years of age, I realize that Esmeralda was never related to Samantha just because she was a witch, she was actually their housekeeper.

Another funny thing that I’ve noticed about this show is that they recycle their actors a lot. Like every time Darren goes to work and there is a new client, that new client has been on the show maybe 50 times playing different characters every time. It’s also funny that a lot of the times their personalities are exactly the same in every episode that they are in. They’re not even trying to be a different character.

Anyway, I just thought that was kind of amusing. I’m really glad that I’m watching the show all over again because I don’t remember a lot of these episodes. A lot of the episodes that I do remember, I didn’t remember everything about the episode so even though I’ve seen it before, watching it again is very similar to watching it for the first time.

If you ever get a chance to watch the series again I highly recommend it.

My 2020 Christmas Cards with Cricut and SVG Cuts

I love having a Cricut Explore Air 2 because I can make awesome cards for many occasions. Here are all of the cards I made for Christmas, and 1 for Hanukkah. I bought these card SVG files from SVGCuts.com. Of course I had to use a red velvet background for these pictures lol. I added embellishments that I made with polymer clay. These are mostly all box cards, so they stand up on their own and are literally a box that fold flat. With the exception of the Hanukkah card and the Cardinal Skating card.

I took a picture of both back and front of all of the cards, but I’m just showing the front here, except for the stocking card, because I guess I just forgot to take a picture of just the front. I think the reason was because it wasn’t standing on its own on the velvet, but it did stand on its own on the table. And yes, the rocking horse does rock.

Here’s a note. If you’re going to make the same cards every year, make a list of who you are giving each card to so the next year you don’t send them the same exact card by mistake. I made all of these cards last year, with the exception of the Hanukkah card, I sent out a different one last year, and the pick up truck card was new this year. I sent out all my cards, but I didn’t have a list, so if someone got the same card, all I can say is oops. You won’t get the same one next year because I now know which one I sent you this year lol. Although, if you got a different one from last year, there’s no guarantee 2021 won’t be the same as 2019 lol. And that’s why Santa makes a list, and checks it twice. If only I had heard that advice last year.

Polymer Clay Mold Issues

Earlier this year, a friend dropped off 4 bags full of polymer clay, tools, books and magazines and asked for 1 thing in return, to make her some windchimes.

I haven’t really messed with it because it was just before summer, and the clay was already too hard to work with because it was crumbly and I figured I would just watch some videos before playing with it. Also, I figured it would be more difficult to work with in the heat of the summer.

Well, I finally started playing with it and I had to buy a few new tools to help. Like clay softener and a pizza stone, but I also bought all these Makin’s molds from Etsy. The fruit mold came with the Makin’s clay conditioner, so I just bought the rest of the molds.

Getting to the point now lol. I tried using these molds, and the clay wouldn’t release. I went to YouTube for a tutorial and the makers of these molds sell their own clay that releases from these molds easier than the Sculpey clay that I’ve been using.

I don’t remember if I had read this in a help section, or if I heard it in a video, but one of the things I was told would work is to put corn starch on the mold, then press the clay in and then pull it out. Well, of course that didn’t work for me. Just now I wondered if I dipped the clay directly into the corn starch, would it release easier? And it did. It worked.

This isn’t a color you can buy, that I know of, this is a color that I made by blending a lot of different colors of scrap clay together to use as scrap to experiment with things like trying to figure out how to get the clay to release from the molds. You can probably see a little bit of corn starch still, but I used a paint brush to brush off the remaining corn starch. When I do use the clay to make something like this, of course I will brush it off, then after it is baked, I will brush some gloss glaze on it to make it shiny.

These things from this mold are thin enough that I can use them when I make cards with my Cricut. That was the main motivation for buying all of these molds, so I can use them somehow with papercraft. And now that I have finally figured out the best way to get them to release, I will finally be able to make embellishments to help my cards win accolades from friends and family. Not really, but it could happen.

New President

I have lived for 50 years, and in those 50 years we’ve had 9 Presidents When I was born it was Richard Nixon, then Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and then Donald Trump.

In those 50 years I’ve never experienced such a divisive President of the United States. I never heard of any presidents calling people names and talking dirty about women or telling someone in his audience to beat someone up and he would pay for their legal council. Well, until Donald Trump came to be President.

These past 4 years have been rough on me because I have lived through 50 years of bullying from my family, school, jobs and just the rando ass hat homophobe calling me fag or this one guy called me Big Gay Al. Hearing the constant attack on citizens was triggering for me and caused me to have so much anxiety, that I quite literally thought about suicide on many occasions because I just didn’t think it was ever going to end. I don’t have to listen to it, but it’s always there on TV and on social media.

It’s. Always. There.

No one can know how horrifying it is to have to listen to all the bullies who have ever attacked you in your entire life all rolled up into one guy who is leading our country, unless they have been where I have been. And all those people who simply ignored his hatred because “He speaks his mind” and “He didn’t really mean what he said” are people who obviously never experienced the pain that I have experienced, and if they did, well, bless your heart.

Joe Biden’s victory speech was so nice to hear because he wasn’t attacking anyone. If Trump were giving his victory speech, he would be attacking Joe Biden and the crowd would be chanting “LOCK HIM UP! LOCK HIM UP!” It’s so odd hearing someone who is going to be our president not calling someone else nasty names. What’s more odd is that it’s suddenly an odd feeling. That’s not normal. I feel like we all finally got out of a toxic relationship and we can all breath a sigh of relief that our new relationship isn’t with an asshole.

I don’t care if you are a Republican or a Democrat, if the president is attacking citizens in his speeches, then he is not being presidential. Neither Bush’s ever constantly attacked any democrats in their speeches that I can remember, neither did Ronald Reagan. There was no anxiety from having to hear them speak because they spoke presidentially. So why is it that Donald Trump feels it ok to speak horribly about everyone who isn’t him in every speech? During his campaigning, all he did was attack democrats. That was his campaign? And people voted for that?

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are a life saver, for me anyway. I am just so happy that we will have a president who will be speaking like a President and he is someone I will proudly call my President. Let’s hope for a boring 4 years with a no bully President.

My Goodreads 2020 Reading Challenge

I haven’t been reading books at all lately. Last year I don’t even think I picked up one book at all. I am always getting emails from Goodreads with updates from other people, and I usually delete them because I’m typically just not in the mood to read, but I got to thinking, I really should. I’ve spent way too much time watching YouTube and not doing anything. I need to start reading again.

The first book that I thought to read was actually a book I had bought and added to my Goodreads account on September 3rd, 2012 called “If It’s a Choice, My Zygote Chose Balls” by Jeremy Hooper. I had also bought the audio version because they offered it at a really good price and I couldn’t pass it up. But I don’t know why it took me this long to read it. I read it in 2 days with the help of the audio book of course. I finished reading it on August 27th, according to my Goodreads account.

My next 3 books were from the same author named Daniel Sugar and they were about a witch in the Salem trial days. “Salem Burning”, “The Witch and the Guillotine” and “The Witch and the Revolution”. I read those really fast because they were all so easy to read. I pretty much read them each in a day. I love stories about witches and the supernatural.

Before I finished the Daniel Sugar books, I saw an ad on Facebook for another series by an author named Ward Parker and the series is the “Freaky Florida” series that consisted of 4 books. “Snowbirds of Prey”, “Invasive Species”, “Fate is a Witch” and “Gnome Coming”. I bought all 4 books without even thinking maybe I might just want to stick to the first book and see how that goes. I don’t know, I just had a feeling I would read and like them. Then before I even started reading the first one I saw there was a fifth book coming soon called “Going Batty”, so I bought that and he has a sixth book coming out early in 2021 called “Dirty Old Manatee”. It already sounds hilarious.

The Freaky Florida series follows a home health nurse named Missy who happens to be a witch and her patients are Werewolves and Vampires and really any other supernatural beings that need her medical skills. She also has a friend named Matt who is a reporter and they go on many adventures together in the series. They are kind of cute in my mind. I don’t know why, but my brain has assigned them the voices of Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) and Darrin Stephens (Dick York). I can even see their facial expressions and hear the expressions in their voices during certain scenes.

So I read the first one, loved it, second one, loved it, third one, guess how I felt about that one? I loved it. I’m reading the fourth one called Gnome Coming and I’m also loving it. Going Batty is my next one.

All of these are on the Kindle because for some reason there are some authors who only publish to Kindle. I normally buy Nook books, but I don’t know, I just thought I would give my Kindle account some attention this year, and not a moment too soon because the Nook hasn’t been operational since Sunday, and it’s still not working. I don’t know for sure what happened, but you can’t buy any books and if you had any books that weren’t installed that were in the cloud, you pretty much can kiss them goodbye until they fix the problem. If you were fortunate to save your books to SD card then you still have them. I wasn’t fortunate to have them all downloaded to the SD card. And it really sucks because I already bought the first book for my next series from an author named Michael Buckley called the Sister’s Grimm on the Nook and I won’t get the ebook until they fix the problem. So I’m pretty bummed out.

But I do have other books I have bought years ago that I want to read. For example I still have a ton of Xanth novels to read and the rest of the Sookie Stackhouse novels. I have plenty of reading to do, and I’m so glad I started reading again. My goal is set to 10, but when I get to 10 I will change it to 12 and just keep going until the end of the year. I am curious to find out how many more books I can read this year.