Thursday, March 20, 2008

Big Red Scores Again!

Good morning. Well, today my money assignment is to watch MSNBC's key political shows and list all the advertisers. Seems there are quite a lot of folks who would like to write these companies...but let me save it for the paycheck and just say "I told you so" and get on to the art...

It may be clouding up outside my window, the economy may be heading into the nearest ditch, and the Democratic National Committee may be writing its own suicide note, but HEY! I hung onto my Big Red Sizzix instead of chucking it when I bought a Big Shot, and I am so avenged cuz I discovered that I can smash bottlecaps with it!

The 3 photos above show how I did it. First, the right sandwich recipe: from bottom to top, I stacked 2 white platforms, 1 sheet of chipboard (paper pad backing), and then 2 black Sizzlets adapters. I laid the bottlecap with the inside of it up, and I made sure that the Sizzix system converter was OFF the machine. And the last photo shows the bottlecap before and after. Sweet!

I was so jazzed I grabbed my old-school Crop A Dile (it was easier to reach for than my Big Bite) to see if I could punch a hole in my bottlecap, and yes, we can (as they say in yadayada-bama land). This further excited me to the point where I quickly used a couple of smashed n punched b-caps to secure some woven ribbon onto my card box for a handle that I've been meaning to make for forever.

"Patchwork Earth" atc

"Sunflower" atc

Of course I had to make some art with my smashed caps, right? So, here are 2 of the atc's I created.

Now, why would I suddenly start using bottlecaps? (You know I'm Old-School 24/7, but still...). I should fess up: I've been really into the challenges at Bringing It Back blog. It's been fun to re-visit even more of my vast giganta scrap-stash than I've thought to use. I mean, the bottlecaps that have been sitting in my stash drawer for oh, about 2-3 years kinda frightened me. But the challenges give me courage to just experiment and play (I mean, what's the downside? This stuff is so old that if I ruined it, no loss at all. And if I don't and actually make something I like, that rocks.) And I don't have to worry about stupid peer pressure...working with materials in the BTDT category...because my "cover" is the challenge! So, hey, join us if it interests you.

Now, onto the other flowers before I get to the dirt. Been reading. A Book. Don't faint now. I do this from time to time, it's just that my tastes run towards historical and political, not Oprah-bot best sellers, so I rarely even mention them. But I want to mention 2 of them today. The one I'm reading is

Valerie Bertinelli's Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time.
It's a great read! Highly recommended, if for nothing more than all the dirt on her and Eddie. Which is pretty much why I'm reading it. I dunno though. She is brutally honest and just a nice, level-headed girl. I've always liked her and I always will. You can read a little of it at the link I provided and see for yourself.

The other book is one I ordered today:

Adam Shepard's Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream
I should receive this one Monday and cannot wait. It's brand new and I saw Adam interviewed on CNN. He basically took $25, his college degree and the clothes on his back and hit the road to find the American Dream by trying to build a life from scratch, to see if it could still be done. Everyone and thing in his life up til then had indicated to him that life cost so much to live that he might never be able to. He found out that old ways are still possible. It just takes saying no to all the spending, and in the bargain you learn and receive so, so much more.

Not only does that sound like my kinda story, but I want them to be Missy's, too. I plan on giving her both of these after I am through with them. Lots of great, great lessons. I probably shortchanged Valerie's book greatly, because it's biggest impact is in her learning to rely on and believe in herself and in not being tricked into not seeing yourself clearly.

Oh, been meaning to let you all know, I am continuing the RAK'ing, but I decided to do it privately. No deadlines, and from the heart. I've already contacted my next batch and totally aim to continue it cuz it makes me feel good and I want to give back. But I don't want to make a fuss over it, like it's a competition and that's how it was feeling to me. I am also preparing a box of handmade cards to send to soldiers, Mother's and Father's Day cards. It really makes me feel like I am making some little difference.

You know, we don't need any outside force or source to "give" us change and hope. It's within each one of us and only we ourselves can produce it. I am blessed to have known that my entire life, as I see an awful lot of younger people who have no clue of this truth.


Heather said...

I have Valerie's book requested at the library. I've always liked her too. The other book sounds interesting. Definitely something my DH would read. And HOLY COW! You went crazy with ATC's! LOVE all the green stuff you created. Great stuff. Hey, I've got my little card sitting on a little easel on the shelf above my craft table. I had to put it down there because O would not leave it be!

FlipFlop Mom said...

OH THANK YOU for the information on the two books.. I LOVE to read.. and BOTH sound GREAT!!!

Benita said...

Why oh why did I sell my original Sizzix machine?!? I forgot all about how well it smashes bottle caps & I have a TON of bottle caps in my stash! Great ATC's!

I'll have to find that book about Valerie.....I loved watching her show....maybe she's the inspiration I need right now to lose some weight! Thanks for the book reviews :)

Ryzmomplus2 said...

Okay I was debating selling my red sizzix... I have the Valerie book and I'm really enjoying it too. Its like I can relate because I feel like I grew up with her. I must check out that other book and the using the old challenges! Your just a wealth of information!

csimmers said...

I absolutely love my red sizzix. But it's cracked. I need a new one and am having trouble locating one at a good price. I use it to cut chipboard all the time.

I love your tutorial on smashing bottle caps and your samples are great.

I checked out the Bringing it Back blog. OMG! I love it. I have everything they're talking about. Your ATCs on this blog are really great.

Have a great weekend!

P.S. I'll be updating my blog this week over spring break! Hugs!

Maureen said...

Wow, I love the bottlecaps! I don't own a Sizzix, but my local Scrapbook store lets us use theirs for free on cropping nights. So... guess what I'm bringing next time we go??? Thanks so much!

Love the ATCs!

Noelia said...

Don't you love it when you find a new use for a tool? Very cool! I've been wanting to do some challenges that uses some older stash so I might go and check out the one you're doing. Your creations look fabulous!

Linda said...

I still have my red Sizzix and I have no plans about getting rid of it either. Love what you have done with the bottle caps too. I enjoy that challenge blog I just need to get with the program and start doing the challenges.

I also have Valerie's book on reserve at the library. Waiting for them to call me but in the meantime I am reading Eric Clapton's bio.

Have a great weekend!

Lynn said...

Aimes... you are one incredible woman! Really, you truly inspire me to get up off my behind and get moving. I wish I had one ounce of your creative genius.
I checked out that wonderful blog you mentioned. I will be visiting it frequently. It is amazing. I don't have many of the old school stuff (machines), but my LSS does and we can use them all the time.
The ATC's are absolutely beautiful. I love how you did the sun on the cap.
Now I saw Valerie on Oprah a few weeks ago, I think, and she was great. I am on the list at the library also for this book and can't wait to read it. The other book you mentioned sounds like a wonderful read also. I think I'm going to have to check it out. Right now I'm following Oprah (which I never do, but sil bought me the book when I went into the hospital) and I have to tell you... sometimes I'm not just in the mood to read it. It hasn't captured me yet. Keeping my fingers crossed that I will.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Lida said...

Oh man I did sell my red Sizzix, but know someone that has one lol so I´ll take my bottlecaps and press them there, have a great week and I´ll have to check those two books.