Monday, August 31, 2015


I'm turning sixty on Friday, September 4 and am in day two of my birthday week (running Sunday to Sunday). When I turned fifty I initiated the three day b'day celebration. By the time I turned 55, it morphed into a week long love fest to me. Okay, it didn't morph, it was more of a proclamation, a decree. And the hubby agreed to it. Oh happy Now here I must say I tried the year long celebration of my sixtieth year (you know, like Disneyland) but.....cue the crickets. That's okay, I'm fine with my week, which includes, a gift a day (dollar store is fine, its the thought that counts), my favorite desserts (calories don't count this week), meals cooked by the hubby (well, at least some of them) and we watch what I want on the television. Now, I am married to quite a poet and romantic and have throughout our entire marriage received homemade cards for birthday and I cannot wait to see what the king of my heart comes up with this year (he has not repeated himself in over 40 birthdays). Oh, and I'm guessing at some point there will be flowers, carnations to be exact.
So my thoughts this week as I ponder my life so far are totally full of thanksgiving, joy, and praise to the God who has led me all of my days. There have been tears, there have been harsh words, there have been ultimatums, there has been laughter, there has been forgiveness, there has been grace. In total, there has been love throughout my years given and received by parents, siblings, friends, husband, kids. And mostly by my Lord and Savior, who has shown me what true love is. I am blessed. and I am ready for the next sixty years. Oh, and look what hubby's idea of birthday breakfast is:

Friday, August 28, 2015


Okay folks, Jenni England over on youtube is having a birthday give away. Jenni's videos are really fun to watch and I am learning a lot from her about making journals. Her give away requires 1. subscribing to her youtube, 2. sending her a postcard from your area (it can be homemade) and 3. write a little about yourself and your favorite attraction in your area. Here is a link to Jenni's birthday giveaway video

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


The kids are grown, no more dental bills and need to buy school and/or athletic clothes and equipment. No more buying shoes that only fit for three months before they are outgrown. Yes, life in the slower lane is less expensive. Food bills go down, as do utilities and water bills. So there is a little extra money now for hobbies. Hubby likes to work with wood and I am using the same tree but in the way of paper, paper, paper to make journals and cards. So, how to craft without breaking the bank...because, well...have you ever been to Hobby Lobby? It is waaaaaay too easy to leave that place having spent close to $100. On paper. On sale. And of course, all of the paraphernalia that goes with it: glue, scissors (c'mon, you can't use your kitchen shears or sewing scissors) ribbon, paint, pencils, ink, stamps......well, you get the drift. And then you need to store everything, which brings me to the dollar store where, once again, its easy to spend waaaaaay too much money. Bins, boxes, and oh the school and office aisle for envelopes, washi tape (a pretty decorative tape) and stickers of every ilk, including lace. Yep, there is quite an resource supply for the junk journalist.
Okay, Jeanette, you were going to explain how to SAVE money, not spend it. Right,
Rule #1: Never buy full price. Wait for a sale or ...
        #2: Never go into a craft store without your 40% off coupon.
        #3. Dollar stores, Tuesday Morning, Walmart and your local thrift store are the first place to                      look for stamps, lined and unlined paper, glue (even the crafters dream-- modpodge), tape,                  stickers,  crayons, marking pens and seriously, sharpies..even the ultra fine point precision                  ones are 2/$1. Thrift stores will have stamps of all sorts, ribbons, lace and sometimes                            punches at rock  bottom prices. Don't forget garage sales.
        #4. Cheap storage. Once again, never pay top dollar. Those plastic drawers on wheels are great                 and you can find them at thrift stores sometimes, or at Walmart. But I like to use the plastic                 baskets and shoe boxes at the dollar store.
        #5. Free is best. I save all of the cardboard shoe boxes I get when buying shoes. Also I save                       those clear plastic berry and salad containers for smaller things I don't want to lose in my big               storage.I also get free boxes at Sam'sClub. I add some dollar store file folders and badabing                 badaboom, I can keep all of my resources upright and vertical, which is way easier to shuffle               through looking for what I need. And everyone has a ton of paper moving through their                       house at any given time. Ads, junk mail, cards people send, those return envelopes you never               use. Grandkids' art. There's a reason they call them junk journals (not that I'm calling                          grandkids' art junk).
Well, that's a pretty good start to how in the world can a person afford to have a paper crafting hobby. And hey, every now and then someone wants to buy a journal which where did I put that 40% off coupon?     ;)    Happy crafting!

Friday, August 7, 2015

How to Make a Journal.. Start to finish.

Hi all. Thought I'd share my video series How to Make a Journal I've posted on youtube. You can find me at JC Alexander (I'm the one with an orange coffee cup). Here's a link to the first video. There will be five parts, with the last one being a flip through of finished journal. Part One is Making the cover. Part Two, choosing papers for cover. Part Three is all about signatures. Part Four will be about dolling up the journal and Part Five will be a flip through. Parts Four and Five will be posted on Monday. Grandkids are sleeping over and well, it will be crazy wonderful around here, but too crazy to video anything but them in the pool ;).

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Changing Lanes

Its been quite a while since I've posted. Life is still slower, but boy oh boy have I been busy. Garden is producing fantastic amounts of tomatoes. But for some reason, only tomatoes. The cukes and green beans are just sitting there all leafy and green but now veggies. Go figure. We are now down to two dogs, one cat, two rabbits, two birds; though our menagerie HAS grown by a turtle, a pigeon and a tarantula...yes, hubby bought a tarantula. I learned this winter how to make pretty good sourdough bread, though I've quit for the summer. Its alreadys in the 100s here in Bakersfield, kitchen doesn't need to get hotter. And my biggest change is that I've learned to make journals.....out of pretty paper, tea dyed paper and cereal and pasta boxes. I've through the years painted, sewed, crocheted and baked and this hobby puts it all together. In some of my next postings, I will include my tuorial videos on how I do this with some flip throughs of finished journals. And I've ready sold three! So this life in a slower lane has definitely gotten prettier.