Friday, May 31, 2019

Introducing Finance Friday

I've recently started working with a financial services company and I have a personal mission to save families from financial ruin. I am learning so much.

I have been thinking about my Dad a lot lately too, Tuesday was his birthday. So I have decided to start a weekly series here called Finance Friday where I will share some of my Dad's words of wisdom when it comes to money. If I have learned that another way is better I will let you know that too.



My dad thought the credit card crisis in this country was ridiculous. "People should learn to live within their means." I have never had credit card debt for more than 3 months in my life — this lesson was so central to everything my dad was about.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who are in the red not because of lavish spending on credit cards but because of some emergency. A broken refrigerator, a busted car, or an accident that keeps someone from working can wreak havoc on a families finances and credit score.

The college debt in this country is over $1.5 trillion. That's trillion with a T. It's gotten out of hand and it's not like credit card debt because as a nation we value education and push kids into school so they can make a good living. A good job will bring good pay and allow those students to pay off their debt. It's not working. Sometimes finding a job within your field can be difficult. Low wage jobs make the employment rate look good so politicians can brag about the numbers but the reality is much bleaker. I know people who are in their 40s who are still trying to pay off college debt.


If you are trying to pay off credit card or student debt and need some help you can go to
http://www.phpdebtsolutions.com/sm/594747



Happy Crafting,

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Invitation accepted — Oddball Art Machine

It has been so so long since I wrote an actual blog post. I hope I remember how to do this.
Katemade Designs is now available in the Oddball Art Machine


2018 was a good year for Katemade Designs. 

I started selling my cards in shops. 

A couple of months ago, Mary, the owner of Soulful Sparrow invited me to create some art for the Oddball Art Machine that would be in her shop the next month. 


Oddball Art Machine

What the heck is an Oddball Art Machine?


It is a repurposed 1950’s Fleetwood Fawn cigarette vending machine that has been converted to sell artwork the size of a pack of cigarettes. There are 21 slots in the machine, each contains artwork by an individual artist. I am now one of those artists.

The machine travels to different businesses around Elgin in order to promote the arts while simultaneously promoting downtown businesses. The Oddball Art Machine is currently in Rediscover Records on 9 South Spring Street in Elgin, IL.

So what is in that funky machine with the Katemade Designs name on it? Here is a taste of what is on offer:



Go to the Oddball Art Labs blog and check it out the full selection. 

Oddball Art Labs is a non-profit artist based organization created to advance the presence of the arts in the Fox Valley and greater Chicagoland area.

It specifically works to build individual artist recognition and to create opportunities within these communities for artists to show their work in various ways:



  • Hosting art shows


  • Featuring artists through various social media platforms


  • Building relationships with local galleries and area businesses


  • Providing resources to artists in preparing grants and putting on their own shows


  • Happy Crafting,

    Friday, July 6, 2018

    Evernote for Creating a Craft Inventory

    Evernote for Creating a Craft Inventory

    There are a lot of YouTube videos that teach you how to use Evernote.  Kathleen Driggers from the Stamping Enablers group on Facebook was the first to really turn me on to Evernote. I do things a lot differently than she does. She uses numbers to identify her sets. I don't. She puts a lot of tags on her listings. I don't because the program does a good enough job of searching the content of each listing for me. (link below)

    In searching for Kathleen's video I found one from Scott Bradley called "Evernote Tips: The 11 Amazing Features That Make Using Evernote So Freaking Awesome" (link below) In his video, I learned to stack notebooks, and that you can share notes and notebooks. How wonderful would that be for a group of paper crafting friends to see what everyone has before meeting up to craft? "Susan, can you bring that Unity set that has the car? I'll bring the alphabet stamps you asked for and Jane has that bear set you wanted too. Can't wait to get inky with you"

    While I was poking around in the program I found the merge tool, which changed my world. I discovered tables and how to format them which also makes my life a lot easier. I use Evernote when I go craft shopping to see if I already have that cute stamp set, embossing folder, die or stencil before I buy it again. The mobile app is a godsend. I recently got home with a couple of embossing folders and discovered I already had them. That night all the embossing folders were added to Evernote.

    Evernote is also useful when you are trying to find a sentiment or image for a project. I not only put a photo of the item, generally dragged from the Internet (works on a Mac don't know if it works on a Windows machine), but I also write up a description of the images and then type up all the sentiments. They are bullet points so they are easy to go through. I have discovered that images can become corrupted and disappear. With a written list I never lose what is in the listing. It also is another layer of information for Evernote to use when searching.





    Kathleen Driggers video - Evernote Tutorial: How to Create a Stamp Inventory Using Evernote

    Scott Bradley's video -  Evernote Tips: The 11 Amazing Features That Make Using Evernote So Freaking Awesome


    Happy Crafting,

    Monday, June 12, 2017

    #Mancraft Monday — Juan Ambida

    I have been a daughter, a sister, a school girl, a mom, and a menopausal woman. I have never been, nor will I ever be, a man. I love seeing different perspectives and that's why I started the Mancraft Mondays series. I wanted to find male paper crafters and see if they brought a different feeling to the craft I love. 

    Stamp sets created by men like Tim Holtz and Brett Weldele (both with Stampers Anonymous) and the sets designed by Chuck Carson for Brutus|Monroe definitely have a unique vibe. However, I've found that the creations of all paper crafters depend on the stamps they are using. Certain illustrations styles lend themselves to a particular interpretation.

    This month's man crafter is Juan Ambida aka Juana from Western Sydney, Australia. I'll let him take it from here.




    Hi, my name is Juan Ambida aka Juana I was born in the Philipines and came to Australia when I was nine. I have always had a passion for art and design and have always undertaken some kind art project from school events and have carried through work and personal life mainly as a cardmaker. 




    Stampin' Up! — Special Reason Bundle



    I have a background in graphic design and have worked for an advertising agency. I currently work as a freelance graphic designer and also create and sell handmade cards.
    I am hobby Stampin' Up! demonstrator. I initially joined for the starter kit in early 2016 and progressed from there, as I just couldn't get enough of all the great products.  

    Joining Stampin' Up! and the Crazy Crafters team of SU demos, led by Kylie Bertucci who is one of the top SU demos in Australia, has introduced me to the world of paper crafting. Since joining I have started my blog page juanacreate and participated in regular blog hops as well as card challenges. It's truly helped to developed my skills in this fun craft. 

    Stampin' Up! — Everyday Hero
    I had the privilege of being a display stamper with SU conventions in November 2016 and April 2017.  I have also taken part in an exclusive International Tutorial Bundle Design Team of SU demos from around the world since February and just recently joined a Stamp Up! Review Crew. 

    It has been so much fun to create and share my creations and I love it immensely. My style is quite varied, quite eclectic and I can work in any medium. I love to create anything that is intricate to clean and simple. 



    My Favorite Things — Ninja-Mazing

    I branched out and began using other brands including Lawn Fawn, Mama Elephant, My Favorite Things, Hero Arts, and Simon Says Stamp. There is so much inspiration out there from these brands and their designers that I will continue to create for the pure joy and love of creating. 
    When you do something you love, you do it well. I love creating and maintaining a high level of quality workmanship. 


    Mama Elephant — Tiny Ninjas


    Where to find more of my creations —
    Blog: http://juanacreate.blogspot.com.au/
    Pinterest: https://au.pinterest.com/juanacreate/
    Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/juanaambida/


    Happy Crafting,

    Thursday, June 1, 2017

    Birthday Giveaway

    It's almost my birthday and I want to give some of my readers a gift. I have a box of Oops orders. I get excited about getting new stuff that sometimes I miss the fact that I have ordered 2 instead of one. 

    So to make room for new stuff and to spread a little birthday love I am giving these items away. I have cling and clear stamps, stickers, papers, embellishments, ribbon, and a few other things that I would love to share with you. I could sell them but this is more fun.

    What I want for my birthday is more followers, more readers, more commenter, and more appreciators. SOoooo I will send out a package for my Facebook page followers, a package to my blog readers, and a package to my Instagram friends. I have goals for how many readers, followers, and online friends I would like by my birthday (June 6). If I reach those goals I will send out a second package for each platform.

    I made an Adobe Spark page, mainly to see how it works. The goals are on the page below. 

    Adobe Spark Page

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    Good luck!


    Happy Crafting,