Things I'm Researching

Tuesday, October 13, 2020



A few weeks ago I secured my very first SCOBY. Yes...I am a Kombucha virgin <blush>. 

I know, I know it has been a hot topic for a very long time, but gee it took me 25 years of my life to discover just how amazing homemade sauerkraut tastes. Yes and this coming from the kid who used to be forced to eat the canned stuff know the one... the kid who gagged because of it. (Thanks Mom!)

Ok, on with my discovery. 

While perusing Facebook Marketplace I came across someone in my local area offering to give a SCOBY and starter to anyone interested. With the FALL season upon us, my mind always wanders to unique ways to preserve whatever I can of FALL and most of the time that means jam, herbs, garden goodies and hauling in our outdoor plants before the first freeze. Can you imagine that is just around the my area it is less than a week away! Well anyway, with that on my mind I thought sure why not try out this fermentation thingy to see what happens. 

My dear friend Ms. Google and I got busy researching what we could do with this SCOBY thingy. What really intrigued me was the 2nd ferment process and adding various fruits to "feed" the tea and make some hopefully yummy "naturally fizzy" drinks. I learned that Kombucha starts out as sweetened black tea, a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) and some already made kombucha tea to get it growing. With a little warmth and love the tea begins to make more healthy symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast and grows a new SCOBY that floats along the top of the liquid. After about a week the tea loses its sweet taste and becomes tangy and a fit fizzy. So I put together my first gallon of sweet tea, SCOBY and kombucha tea, tucked it away in the pantry for a week THEN...Oh happy day, we made Kombucha! 

I was amazed and delighted that it really was quite good tasting, kind of reminded me of ginger ale without the ginger. 

I was now really enjoying this new experience so I quickly began another batch since my sweetheart was going to have it drunk before I could try the "2nd ferment" process. Oh yeah, there is a second step to this process. So now we have about a gallon and a half, the second batch was made with green tea called Jun tea. My brew now was funneled into some 32 oz containers with swing top lids, a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and 1/4 cup of mashed plum was added. I wanted to keep my first experiment simple...I thought I'd save the more complex flavoring for later. The send ferment just needs a couple days to allow the tea to feed on the sugar and fruit combo. Day 2 I take a peek and there are loads of bubbles...

Hm-mm maybe it's ready? I popped the lid back and an explosion of fizz and fruit come forth. I'm so glad I took it out to the porch! Ok, so after a bit of cleanup I think I'm so glad I checked that.

The other bottles looked fine so they all went back in the pantry. 

My sweetheart and I kicked back to enjoy a late night Netflix movie before bed but suddenly we heard a startling noise. 

Running toward the sound I had that unsettling "uh-ohhh" feeling. 

Opening the pantry door confirmed it... red pulp, glass and sprays of juice all over the floor, carpet runner, shelves, you name it! 

Well 1 1/2 hours later... the mess is mostly cleaned up. the other two bottles are opened to release any extra pressure and I learned that just because the bottle is designed to hold xyz psi Kombucha might just have more kick than that!


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Celebrations and Remembering During 2020's Covid-19 Epidemic


Just last week when the world was reflecting on the somber events of 911 another form of remembrance happens in our family.

My sister Colli was born on September 11 and we sisters living in Utah have our own event. Each year we gather for lunch at a restaurant of the birthday girls choosing. This year looked different. We met at Colli's home, ordered and picked up lunch and celebrated a milestone, Colli's 60th Birthday! I wanted to say Hurrah!  so I have been looking for something fun and perfectly descriptive of my sister, she is BOLD, she is COLORFUL and definately looks GOOD so here is my creation. I made it with my Cricut and it is only my 2nd HTV project...I was excited that it is so representational of Colli... 😄

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Social Distancing, Creating With Friends and My Cricut

In this time of "social distancing" when so many are learning to adapt, what have you been doing in life? 
Do you find yourself quite comfortable being home more? For those who view their home as a comfort and a haven perhaps you like me are swimming in new ideas, whether it be thinking about what I will do when I am able to get out more or in ideas for my next NEW endeavor. I confess, I am a creative junkie. Even when I'm not creating I am looking for new ideas... yes I am a Youtube and Pinterest junkie. I am fortunate to have sweet friends who are always on the lookout for  opportunities to help me in my addiction to create, ha-ha!.

A while back I updated my old Cricut  which I hardly used to a Cricut Explore Air 2 since these sweet friends bought an extra at a warehouse sale (in case I wanted it ;) 

Chip checks out our Italian Soda Bar

The first project I used it for was to help decorate my house when I hosted a WHITE ELEPHANT party after Christmas. Thank you Diane for all the help you gave in cutting the darling little Elephant banner (sorry I don't seem to have a pic) and the signage for my Italian Soda Bar. They turned out soooo cute! 

I have been determined to learn how to use  the functions in Cricut Design Space and the settings on the Cricut so I will get better use out of the machine. Lucky for me I have some awesome friends (thank you Diane and Jennifer (you don't know me but yes we're friends ;) I have shared so much time with you both. Because of you and many other youtube friends I already have a very long list of items I want to create and with that in mind I really need to know how to best use this machine!
Here is a part of my list:
  1. HTV some shirts for my grandkiddos (Fiona loves Hamilton The Musical, Luke is so-ooo into gaming), the littles anything Peppa Pig and the older ones I'm still thinking. 
  2. A vinyl decal for our wall, a gift for DH, sh-hhhh!
  3. A fun No Solicitors sign for my DIL...any suggestions for a quote?
  4. A pantry project, labels.
  5. A vinyl quote for my craft space wall.
  6. Family Name signs for extended family...a cool Christmas gift! 
The list is much longer but it becomes like making resolutions in the New Year so let's just stop there ;)

Since my larger goal right now is to learn how to use  the functions in Cricut Design Space and the settings on the Cricut I have been in Youtube classroom mode. I have found Jennifer Maker to be so helpful, if you read this a huge THANK YOU to you! 
Here is some of what I have learned and practiced so far...
  • How to ATTACH things and why I might need to. (Score lines need to be attached to the project you are scoring or it simply won't score on the project ;)
  •  I found that the GROUP/UNGROUP feature is great when editing text to keep it all together.
  • I found out the importance of WELD after I cut out my Soda Bar letters.The script letters each cut separately,ok WELD before cutting.
  • I've played with the SLICE feature and have a project saved in Cricut Design Space.  I learned that Slice only does two layers so if there are more, simplify by FLATTENING...AND once FLATTENED and saved you cannot reverse. 
  • I learned the difference between an IMAGE and PATTERN and how to use PATTERNS. 
  • SVG defined and how to make my own...this is definitely ongoing. 
I've got many more things to learn and I am finding that the best way for me to learn is watch something visual then then do what I watched. All in all, the "shelter at home" directive has certainly created opportunity for me to get familiar with my machine although my counter and kitchen table have been much more cluttered <sigh>...sacrafices have to be made ha-ha!

Have you a favorite Youtuber or Facebook Group for interacting and learning? If so please share in the comments! 

Monday, June 1, 2020


Saturday, February 8, 2020

Whats all this QR Code Stuff?

What's all this QR Code Stuff?? 

We live in an amazing digital age that is changing at the speed off light OR perhaps faster with microchips, 3-D printers, QR and BAR codes...

A long while back QR codes seemed to be all the rage...I remember seeing them at events from Home Shows to Pinterest shows. You could use an app from your smart phone to "see" what the person wanted you to. The home show QR code displayed in a frame might link you to their website... all you needed to do was use your QR Code app to scan the code and BOOM you were visiting their site and probably at the page of their "special" from the show. 

StampinUp used them in catalogs in 2014 to take a customer to specific projects... in fact I even bought QR codes from them to use in my cardmaking to add that special touch for my card receivers, unfortunately if you "lost" those in your craft space for 3 years like me they were no longer useable <sigh>. 
In that same timeframe I received a really cool Christmas. The giver had added a QR code designed to share more about the family. I loved it!

Back then I realized that the QR code could be for so-ooo many uses. But then I digress. How did I start down memory lane? 

"Did you know that QR codes can be read directly by YOUR smart phone camera?"

Over a recent weekend our business teams participated in a show. Since we were selling products and each of us was handling their own sales we needed various methods of payment besides cash. The group used Paypal and Venmo which both produce unique QR code identifiers to ensure your customer pays you not another with the same name. That use seemed so far away from the creative uses I had first seen QR codes used for. It brings me full circle to HOW CAN I, the CREATIVE maker use these QR codes for more.

I was thinking...could I invite more people to my blog using a QR code? Thats when I researched and found a website where you can create your own QR is free, and quite varied in application. I decided to start with the most simple and recognizable QR code, black and white blocks. Here it is.

So lets ask a few questions... 

Who is THIS QR code representing? Me or more specifically The Scraproom.

What does this QR code do? It is designed to lead someone, (you) to take action. 

When does a QR code lead you? Hopefully it creates urgency to use your smart phone camera (or QR code reader app to scan the QR image NOW.

Where does it lead you? This QR code is designed to lead you HERE to my blog!

Why? That is a very good question... Our digital age has provided us with so many wonderful tools to make life easier if only we know how to use it. 

I am amazed when I get a Facetime call from my 1 1/2 (now 2 year old granddaughter. Put a phone, or just about any controller in a young ones hands and they seem to intuitively know how to use it. 

If we take a moment we might find the QR code can help us with many areas of life. I'm thinking it could help me keep track (as a sort of cataloging) of my boxed items in my attic and document what is inside.  It might also help me create order from the chaos that is my craft room currently. 

I loved how simple it was to create a link directly to! I want to explore the more creative QR codes I have seen and try one out! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

FUN NEW TOOLS and TOYS FOR this Creative Junky

Are you a CREATIVE Junky? I am...I feel as though I never get enough and that includes the great new toys being introduced yearly!  

CREATIVATION 2020 happened in January and because of it there is all sorts of BUZZ going on! Youtube videos have been hitting the airwaves showing bits and pieces of the show, demos of exciting new products and lots more. 
Have you heard the quote "There is nothing new under the sun"? Funny how the old can become new again...I watched a video today demonstration a fun new product. Suddenly I had a flash from my past of a really cool toy I had received in my youth. Funny we may have grown up but we still LOVE what we LOVE. 

Check out this fun product, the MOLD PRESS 


 Interesting how the company name even connected to that specific memory :)

Were you one of the lucky kids who owned Mattel's VACUFORM? 

They had the best ads!! Curious? Check out this youtube. I loved this toy!  

2020 Addicted to Creativity

Wow! Can you believe we are  2 months+ in to this brand NEW YEAR and a new decade!! Has your world been crazy? Mine has, and it has taken me to new and different paths and brand ways of creating. Those who follow me know I am in love with the arts and I love to experiment with interesting new products, cool amazing techniques I see on Youtube, Pinterest and more but the most fun comes from sharing and seeing the excitement of others as we dive in together. Some use the words "addicted" to describe some new thing that has captured their attention, desires and heart. I then would have to admit having a multi-addicted life when it comes to my world of creativity and I feel ok with that though because our Creator is also! 

One theologian writes:

We reveal His glory when we are creative. It is a part of His nature and He has given us creative powers.  We, His creatures, love to create.  We paint, build, draw, sew, design, mold, form, write, and so many other things – often for no more reason than enjoying the act of doing it.  There is creativity in thought, culture, art and literature, work, economics, and in all other areas of life.

When I read those words I really identified, I am grateful to to enjoy many means of creative expression!

Do you ever think of something you love and say "I'd die without... Art in its many forms is that "love" for me BUT here I am experiencing a very long drought. 

Painting had been a daily expression, I was always in the middle of a variety of pieces whether they were for an upcoming Spring Boutique or for a commissioned artwork... then there was Life Interrupted.

Last year my I had shared a video with my sweetheart. It was intriguing, I  had watched someone  playing with paint in a way I hadn't tried before. A great descriptive would be "LET IT GO, LET IT GO". 

Oh wait a minute, there is a song from kids movie with that song featured, hahaha! 

The video showed something so very simple but so beautiful in the end. 
We promptly assessed our art tools and paint supplies then found ourselves drawn to setting up our own dedicated "Art Pouring" space. Of course we couldn't keep it to ourselves so before long we hosted a Pour Birthday party for my sweet friend Melanie Diane.  That was a year plus ago and it has spurred me to do more. 

It is not where I want it to be creatively speaking but it is growing!

What has been going on in your crafty world friends?