Jan. 2nd, 2012

mellificent: (Happy NY - gif)
Gawd, look how organized I was with the holiday stuff in 2007 - the nutcrackers lined up on the china cabinet and all! I was very unusually organized that year, generally, which not coincidentally was the same year my mother died - we had moved right before that and we were dealing with the estate stuff, too, so I had had to be. I guess you have to know me to know how unusual that is.

But also it occurs to me - especially when it comes to decorating for the holidays - that I liked the layout of that apartment more than the one we have now - it had that large living/dining area that went all the way from the front to the back of the apartment, and the bedrooms on the side. It was generally a very roomy apartment, but I especially loved the living area. I think that helped me be a little more organized. (I read back through those 2007 entries, and up to the beginning of 2008, all the entries about Las Vegas. It's like a time machine.)

OK, now back to cards. (Cards were about the only thing I was semi-organized about this year.)

I went to a Stampin' Up class - well, actually I've been going to them off & on all year. (Sort of a disclaimer here: while their classes do use primarily their own products, the ones I go to don't push you to buy anything at all. I do think that their products are very, very good quality and I've ended up buying quite a lot of stuff from them lately, but I really love that they don't try to force them on you, and I'm not trying to sell you anything either! I'm just showing you what we've been doing.) The usual thing that we do in these classes is make maybe 4 or 5 different cards - for various occasions, depending on the season and such - and sometimes a novelty sort of item like a card holder or a candy holder or something like that, and the price of the class includes all the supplies to make all these items. What we did in December was make whole bag full of cards instead - it did cost a little more to make up for the extra supply cost, but it was still pretty reasonable. I think it was 5 each of 4 different cards that we made, or maybe it was 4 each of 5 - I guess when I look at the pictures again I'll figure out which one it was!


We had also made some Christmas/holiday cards the month before, and that was these two (and maybe one more that I didn't get a picture of):
 
and then this one:

Both of these used what SU calls "builder punches" - one punch that punches out several different related items. For the stocking it is the stocking body, plus the cuff, heel & toe pieces. And there's also a coordinating stamp set. (SU is very big on coordinating stamps and punches, as a matter of fact.) The other one is a pennant set - imagine several of the little triangular tree pieces turned upside down and strung on a cord, then it becomes one of those pennant garlands that have been so popular the last couple of years, right? Whoever designs all this stuff was very clever and anticipated this double use - you can tell because of (a) the tree design that's stamped on it, and (b) and maybe (c): the little brown pot the tree is sitting in, all of which was in the same stamp set, and I think that the star on top may have been, too. Anyway, I thought both of these were very cute.

And here are the December ones (there are 5 here, apparently, so we must have made 4 each of 5!): 





Let's see, I guess we'll number them from 1-5 and I'll comment:
1) is probably the simplest: vellum run though an embosser with a snowflake pattern, and glued down - which is the tricky part, with vellum, because if you use the wrong kind of adhesive, it shows through. I think we put glue dots under the spots where the rhinestones were, and we hid some more under the ribbon. We used different colors of cardstock - I got home with red and green - and they all looked beautiful, although I think the red ones are my favorite.
2) was a technique that the demonstrator Sue had seen somewhere I think - you use baby wipes to make a sort of ad hoc stamp pad. SU sells little reinker bottles for all their stamp colors, so she dripped ink in stripes onto the stack of wipes, and made it large enough to cover this medallion stamp, which is a large one, I would say it's 5 or 6" in diameter, at a guess**. And then the black sentiment is embossed to make it stand out. I really like this technique a lot. I'm trying to persuade myself that I don't need to have this stamp to go with it!
3) was the most complicated, with an embossed background, candy canes die-cut out of two different kind of paper, and some lacy trim to boot. They naturally also took the longest to make. (Even though we had all the pieces for the candy canes, figuring out how to put them back together was not as easy as you'd think!)
4) was probably my very favorite. It was supposed to have green ribbon on it like the vellum ones have, and I kept forgetting the ribbon, and then I decided it didn't need the ribbon at all. The glitter is something called (I think) Diamond Dust, and it was really really pretty and it also got all over everything. And I mean everything.
5) had mica flakes substituting for snow, which was weird but it came out pretty cute. These were also pretty fussy to make.

It's also possible that some of you will see some of these in person next year, because I didn't use them all up! (Once I make these fancy ones, I tend to hoard them, as I have said before.)

(and I'm getting very sleepy now so I'm stopping now.)



** It occurred to me later that this couldn't possibly be correct, because the card is only something like 5-1/2" wide. (Because they're normally made out of half of an 8-1/2x11" sheet.) So that stamp must be more like 4 or 4-1/2" - still big, but not THAT big.

mellificent: (buffy quote - death star)
OK, so this is what I get up to in The Old Republic when [livejournal.com profile] columbina isn't around - he was off today, and we played for a couple of hours this morning, but he left with a migraine around lunchtime. So after he left I:
1. decided I needed (game) money (which is, in grand old Star Wars tradition, actually called "credits" rather than money), and one way to get it is to kill a lot of stuff. So I...
2. run around the planet where we already were (Balmorra) and kill a lot of stuff. This does get me moneycredits, slowly, from looting directly and also from picking up sellable items. It also gives me a slow but steady pickup of xp (experience points), which is probably going to displease Col later because he doesn't really like it when I get ahead, and we have been playing these characters entirely together. But oh well, I didn't do it on purpose to get xp, and I didn't do any quests. (Well, except for one which I mention below, but that's a daily so it doesn't count either.)
3. I was also picking up archaeological items at the same time - that's my Sith's gathering profession - and I did some crafting along the way, and then I realized that I was running out of the crystals that you get earlier on, and I wasn't getting any more of them on Balmorra. But none of the crafting recipes used the higher-level items yet, so I decided to go to the Imperial Fleet to the crafting trainer, and see if I had any new recipes yet. (Eventual answer: I did, but they were not much help.)
    Now the game does not make this bit of travel really easy to do - I guess going from one planet to another really ought not be that easy, should it? so I trekked back to town to the spaceport, got on my ship, made the jump to the fleet (which actually is in an entirely different sector of the galaxy, so the galactic map says), got off the ship again, and ran through the cantina at the center of the spaceport (don't ask me why, but that's where you come out when you get off your ship) and halfway across the spaceport to the trainer - which takes at least as long to do as the hyperdrive jump took. The space station is big.
4. Then I made a pit stop at the Galactic Trade Market (which in any other game would be called the auction hall - although here there's no pretense of an auction, really - you put your stuff up for sale at a price you choose, and people buy it or not). I bought some of the crystals I was looking for at a fairly reasonable price, then I realized that all the rest of them were for sale for much much more (like 100 credits each) and I probably wasn't going to get any more at the reasonable price (which was more like 12 each). So then I...
5. bopped off to another planet, to Dromund Kaas, which is the Sith capital, and is where I got the crystals in the first place, to hunt down some more of them.
6. At DK, I get sidetracked between the spaceport and town by some elites that I figure out I can now kill without getting killed myself. They don't give me xp any more, because I am 10 levels higher than them, but they do give me a fair number of credits and I'm still interested in credits. (I also manage to do a daily that involves killing these elites. Once again, no xp, but credits.)
7. I cut across the bottom of town and head off toward the ruined temple place because I'm really supposed to be hunting those crystals, and I remember that that place had a lot. On the way, I wander into another elite area, and this one doesn't go so well - they are higher level - still lower than me, but they're elites and I'm not big enough to kill these guys yet. I die, poor Vette (my NPC companion) dies, and when I rez, I back the heck out of there.
8. Wander around the exterior of the temple looking for crystals. Find a lot of crystals, eventually also find a green doorway (meaning one I can go into) that I don't think I remember seeing before. Nothing tries to kill you, there's just some machines. (Apparently it is the Matrix Assembly place described here, but I just now got around to looking that up.) I poke around at the machines, and figure out that they have something to do with datacrons and something to do with these matrix shard thingys that are lying around in my inventory. Play around with them randomly and end up with a Matrix Cube, which describes itself in the tooltip as a relic, which is something I know there's an inventory slot for. It's not really the stats I need, but oh well. I'm lucky it was something useful at all, and it didn't summon some elite that would have killed me - or make my shards go poof because I did it wrong. I am just pleased I figured it out without consulting the wiki! (I think it was the RYG one I made, and those were the only three colors I had so my options were limited anyway. A blue one would have been required to make the ones for my warrior's primary stat, and I didn't have that.) Never did make it inside the main part of the temple.

So there you are. Got some credits and some useful items, and learned something interesting. Not at all what I expected to do today, but not a total loss, in game terms.

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