Monday, May 30, 2011

Organizing Stamps: A Repurposing Adventure

I'm big on the three R's: re-using, re-purposing and recycling. When I can, I do the first 2, and if not I move to the third, which is almost as good and great for most of the post consumer waste we produce in my home.

Getting to the point of this post.... I have a fairly big collection of stamps, wood mounted, unmounted rubber and acrylic. Their home has been an old shoe boxe, a plastic container and a plastic bag and and sometimes just a pile somewhere on my shelf. It is not a very user friendly way of storing, but for a time I had resigned myself to spending 10 minutes looking just so I could use it...or not using them at all because it was easier to write in a sentiment than look for the pretty stamp.

So, we all have had or have CD's or leftover jewel cases from moving the CD's to better storage. I have transferred 98% of our music to the iPod and external hard drive so the CD's cases were pretty much useless. I gave a bunch to Goodwill a few years back, but I would rather get to re-use them when I can. Those cases now provide my stamps with better storage, storage that works because:

A. It is see through.
B. It is flat.
C. Because it can be stacked!
You have to remove the middle insert that holds the CD, it's a matter of wedging your finger in there....
Then it just pops right out. Recycle the insert and the paper.

I then put the stamps in, I obviously removed the underside acetate but kept the acetate that has the image printed (though some don't come with printed acetate), you can always stamp it with Stazon onto leftover acetate to have it be visible.
Then you can pop them into a clear plastic shoe box, or favourite CD case storage, had I kept those DUH, I would have put them in those racks for easy access, but this works just as well.

This works with these red rubber stamps too, the lid closes without a snap because they tend to be slightly thicker than clear acrylics.

That's it, onto the shelf they go. Now I need approximately 10-20 more cases for the other sets that don't yet have a home.

So there it is, my stamp shelf, notice the binders....those will eventually also end up in jewel cases but that's work for another day yet. I won't show you the rest of my craft is not yet been subjected to the organizational treatment!
So, weather to save space or save your sanity, or both...this is a great way to keep your stamps organized and make use of something old and almost obsolete!

I am linking this post to,
The DIY Show Off
A Marvelous MessSmiling Sally Keeping It Simple Shabby Nest Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Punkin Seed Productionsmonogram

Thanks for stopping by, cheers,

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dollar Store Blackboard Labels

There's something pleasing about finding a bargain at the dollar store that you were wanting at a much higher price somewhere else. That is the case with this awesome roll of Adhesive Blackboard, which I purchased for $1, as opposed to paying $16+ for 2 sheets from a well known stamp company!! The sheet measure 17 3/4" by 31 1/2" inches, so fairly large for the price. I bought one and brought it home to try it out, not convinced yet, but curious.
I got the jars for $1 each at a Calgary Dollars table, I think they may be Ikea jars, but I'm not certain.
That die has been pretty handy for a lot of things!

I have these jars that I wanted to put some labels on and then maybe use seasonally for chocolates, gum and candies, maybe tea and sugar. I figured if it sucked, I only spent a dollar, then I could splurge on the expensive stuff.

I used my Stampin' Up Label die which I adore, I've used it for all kinds of projects, but this would be a definite awesome way of using it for sure.

To my delight  and amazement, this stuff is brilliant, the labels were perfect and repositionable enough to set them the same on the jars. The real test came when I wrote with chalk, perfect, and I wiped it clean to be able to re-label neatly.

Anyhow, I ended up using the jars for Eggie and Jelly Beans at Easter, and now I might just change it up for summer. In the fall I will fill them with Halloween Candy, pretty awesome hey?

I recently went back and bought 5 sheets of this stuff to make my re-usable signs for craft sales/yard sale signs. I recycled a few election signs which I know end up being recycled or thrown out... I will post some pictures after this weekend's yard sale. 

I'm linking up,
Chic on a Shoestring DecoratingThe Shabby Nest
Punkin Seed Productionsmonogram

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My quest to be Gluten Free!

So for 6 weeks now, I've been working at keeping my diet relatively gluten free, grain free really and mostly refines sugar free too. I have figured out that my body doesn't not function well on grains, sugar and gluten, so my carbs come from other veggies and fruits, just not from grains. I have lost 20 lbs in the process and feel great.
I did want to share a couple things with you all because I happen to find them helpful in this quest.

The first thing is that gluten free doesn't mean you can't enjoy certain things you normally would have eaten, you just have to figure out ways to make them so they don't interfere with what you are trying to accomplish.

For example, I love I found a recipe I could easily make without out of this world ingredients, and voila, here they are.
The first pancake, looks good to me.

I got the recipe from Mr Breakfast.Com, but I adapted a couple of ingredients to what I have on hand.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup soy protein powder (I used the Vegan Protein in the picture)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream (I used fat free Greek yogurt because it has no fat/no starches/stabilizers)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil (I used grape seed oil because it doesn't alter taste)

This was in the health food isle at the Superstore, and for what you get, the price is reasonable, it's great in my strawberry smoothie every morning too!
Notice my ceramic pan, it is well loved around here!!

Otherwise the recipe would be pretty much the same. They turned out fantastic, so much so, that I used them in a layer dessert with strawberry and banana slices for our Easter dinner, delish!

Another things I've been eating lots of and love are the Konjack noodles, Hungry Girl talks about them all the time and uses them in her recipes. I found a few different brands in the Asian Supermarket, some are more like the noodles for stir fry, some are the ones she endorses called Shirataki Noodles, all of which are good for you foods that have been eaten in Asia for hundreds of years.

I bought these,

These were $1.29 and look like little rolled up bundles, my son loves them with teriyaki chicken!

and these too, both at the same supermarket,
These noodles are very versatile, you have to try them!!! I got them at the Asian market for $1.99 a package, small price to pay for better health.

I made some Mexican style chicken soup with carrots, tomatoes, cilantro, onions, garlic, peppers, and grilled chicken breast and cut up the Fettucine style noodles into the soup, it was delicious, filling and very low in carbs!!

You can make this soup the day before, the noodles do not absorb the liquid and become all goopy like regular pasta, so they are great for bringing for lunch at work!

If you are struggling with your weight and want to adapt some of your mother's recipes that have noodles, you can easily cut more than half the calories by using these noodles rather than the conventional grain (wheat, rice, buckwheat, corn) noodles, which although good for you if you can tolerate carbs, help maintain or lose weight without totally giving up the dishes you love.

So contact me if you want more information or are in need of some good recipes. I've been using the noodles for a year now and have a few awesome ways making any noodle dish low carb to carb free.

I'm linking up to ,



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