Friday, March 4, 2011

I have another post all ready to go, but I just don't feel it is right for today. Had a bad evening last night, but I know that God is in control, and He has a perfect plan for me and my loved ones.

As a mother, I have incredibly fierce feelings of protection for my son - he's 23! Sometimes I truly feel like a mama bear protecting her cubs.

Yet, he is 'grown up' whatever that means.  I have to let him deal with problems to strengthen him and mature him. But oh, I would so like to go and just punch someone in the face. Okay, it would be a slap because if I ever tried to punch someone I know I would end up with broken bones! Believe me I am not a violent person at all. I don't even like to yell, much less speak in a loud voice.

Yet, here are those protective mom feelings.
I can just pray, and it is so hard to not do more.

How dare someone deliberately injure my son! Perhaps I want to be part of a Tennessee clan, where the motto is: "you hurt one of us, you hurt all of us, and all of us will take care of the problem."

Well that brought a smile to my face. That's good.

Something else that brought a smile to my face was JT the visiting cat, and Tanner the resident Great Dane.

Tanner loves to hang out on the couch. He prefers our bed, but darn it, we just don't offer that to him very often. So he is sprawled on the couch, taking his morning snooze in the sun.

JT is an ornery little cat. Oh, that is, a big-22-pound cat who loves his mistress and would just as soon eat everyone else. He has to have his claws covered with vinyl protection nails. They put two on each claw in the front - and superglue them on. The vet staff has to put him asleep to do this as he is so mmmmm, well let's just say there are many scarred vet techs around that know JT by name, and would just as soon never see him again.

So this morning he was prowling around looking for mischief.
This could mean jumping up on to the counter (not allowed) or taking a bite out of one of my plants (not allowed) or jumping up on the side table in the LR (not allowed) or jumping up onto my big jigsaw table (otherwise known as a dining room table) and batting my puzzle pieces around (NOT ALLOWED)!

Well, he had tried all that and frankly he was just bored.
Wait, what is that? It is long and black and just sticking out from the couch!
So he took a swat at it. Tanner lifts his head thinking "what? I was sleeping!".
So JT swats it again. Tanner is looking at him now. Oh Fun! Let's do it again!

After a few swats Tanner just lays his head down again, hoping to sleep.
But JT wasn't finished. Swat! Swat swat! Swat! peeking at Tanner each time to see his reaction. So Tanner looks at him again, and then gives this little sigh of "I'm a Great Dane. I want to sleep. You are a runty little cat. Sigh. Whatever, I'll just ignore you." and puts his head back down.
JT does a few more swats, but he just isn't getting the desired results, so he wanders off.
Dog   1
Cat    0

Have your friends save their old calendars for you.
Carefully take apart a variety of envelopes and flatten them. Trace around the envelope shapes, and transfer to your favorite template material. Mine is the inside of cereal boxes. Cut out.
These will be your envelope templates. You should have one for a small notecard (but still mailable size), a regular note card, and a slightly over size card. If you want, you can certainly make other sizes for specialty cards. This will get you started!

If you have the material available, tracing the envelope pattern onto clear shrink plastic, crafting plastic etc. would be ideal.
Place your template over the picture side of the calendar page. Move it around so all the edges fit. Do you like what is in the center? The clear template really helps with this, but you can lift edges while holding page/template in place to adjust also.

Trace around with a ball point pen. I find marker type pens smear too much, and a pencil just doesn't show up enough. I also tried permanent ink, but it also smeared. Cut out. Lightly trace folding lines.
Using a scoreboard (if you don't have one, get one! They make a huge difference in how your cards fold, and so much more.) score on the envelope folding lines. My score board came with a round stylus. Bone folders are popular. I know one stamper that always uses the side of her fingernail!

Crease all seams and sharpen folds with a bone folder.
At this point, I usually stop and place the beautiful calendar envelope into a labeled box.

The next step is to place your card inside the folds. Make sure everything fits well. Sometimes things need a little adjustment, a fold here, a snip cut there.
After making a good fit, get out the double sided tape. Again, I really like VivaLasVegastamps miracle tape. It comes in several widths. For envelope making I like the skinny one.
Place tape on lower 2 side flaps, and fold up bottom over that. Make sure your tape is in a good position, and peel off backing. Press envelope pieces together. To close the envelope after adding card, you do the same for the top two flaps, bringing down the top flap to close.
TIP: Don't try to use glue or tape runners. They just don't seem to hold the envelope flaps in place, and glue has a tendency to run outside the lines, and you end up gluing your card to the envelope. Not cool.

TIP:For extra security, I like to add a folded over square of scotch tape to the top two edges where the post office will be running it through their machines - where you place your stamp and where you place your return address.

Now - to finish!
Place a blank address label somewhere on the front. This is where  you will print the "to" address. This does not have to be perfectly horizontal (sorry Hyacinth Bucket). Your return address does not have to be on the front either. Sometimes I use it as a sticker to the center of all flaps in the back as a 'seal'.
Sometimes I use a matching sticker.

These calendar page envelopes intrigue everyone. Make someone's postal deliverer day! Add a smile to a friend's blah...boring...bills mail!

That's it for today, I still have errands and appointments creeping up.
Thanks for letting me have a 'mommy fit'.
Hope JT and Tanner added some smiles to your day.

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