Sunday, June 14, 2015

Going to Houston!

I've been so busy with work, trying to work extra so I don't have to use vacation time, because I am going to Houston in a few days and I haven't been crafting much. I'm going down to see my friend Carmen again and I say again because I was down there in March for a week. Most of y'all know about Carmen and how we met on the Cricut Messageboard some 7 or 8 years ago and became the best of friends. We talk almost every day and for hours on end and have been for about as long as we met on the MB. 

I chose to go at this time because our friend Lori is having her Craftapoolza *okie knows she spelled that wrong and spell check won't spell it right either* and my friend Donna who use to live in Houston will be in from Saudi and attending the *okie tries to spell the word again 5 different times and gives up* thing so I figured it would be a great time to see several of my friends as well such as Demita and Karen, not to be confused with BFF Karen who was suppose to fly in to Houston but has gotten side tracked with house hunting. 

I'll try to get some pictures of the cards my groups made in the next day or two. They really love making the cards and we do birthday cards every June. I would post more but I got paperwork to do and a list of stuff I need to get together and get in my trunk so I don't forget anything!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

When It Rains...Wall Quote

I'm not sure why my friend Amy has me make wall quotes for her when she has a machine and could cut it herself *okie wonders if Amy is just lazy about weeding*, but anyway she told me the other day she was needed a new quote to go with a picture. She sent me a quote and then told me what size she wanted.

I'm sure it will look a lot better on the wall when applied permanently but of course I couldn't do that for the picture since I have to send it to Amy. I really can't remember what size it is set to in the file you can download and since this is something people would want to re-size for their own use it doesn't really matter. This particular one is approximately 24 inches wide. I had to cut it in two pieces since the height was too tall for a 12" mat. 

I had shared the design on Facebook for Amy's approval and a few people asked about the file so thought I would make it easy and just have it available here instead of having to email it to people. 

Once again if you download please at least leave a comment so I know my files are used. Thanks! 

MTC download - When It Rains
SVG download - When It Rains

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Celebrating Freedom - 2 Page Layout

I have often said to myself, and probably a few others, that I think I enjoy designing projects more than making them. I love to come up with layout designs, whether the idea is in my head somewhere or if I am putting a spin on a sketch I see in a book or online. This particular layout sketch just screamed "I WANT TO BE PATRIOTIC" to me when I saw it online and so I made it what it wanted to be. 













Here is the list of dimensions for the base and stripes:
  • Blue base - (2) 12x12
  • Red stripes - (2) 12 x 1.5, (3) 12 x .5, (1) 8 x .5
  • White stripes - (2) 12 x .75, (2) 12 x .5
  • The photos sizes are suggestions.

The scroll cut is what I will be using for adding my date and journaling when I get ready to cut this layout. 

SVG USERS - Remember to select all and resize to 12x12 if you want the pieces in the size they were designed for the layout. 

MTC Download - Celebrating Freedom

SVG Download - Celebrating Freedom

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Dear Bill Gates

Dear Bill Gates,

I have been a fan of Microsoft for years and haven't even considered a fruity computer, ie an Apple, but with my recent purchase of a laptop that has Windows 8 installed I am considering some fruit salad for my computer needs.

You see Mr. Gates with your latest wonderful updated program I can't find a damn phucking thing on my computer unless by some miraculous stroke of luck I have been able to actually short cut it to the desktop. Speaking of desktop, why must I have to wade through little screens on the big screen when I turn on my computer to find my phucking desktop?

I understand some people are APP happy but I am not one of those people. I have Apps on my phone and I would like programs on my computer. Maybe this means I am not savvy or chic but I do not care to be, I prefer to find what I want where it is suppose to be and be able to access the things I want with a click of a mouse. But, no, instead I spend 30 minutes scrolling and scrolling back through the phucking red screen only to realize I have to hit the phucking down arrow and then scroll for 2 hours through the little windows to find the program, oh excuse me, the phucking APP, I am looking for. Sometimes by the time I find it, sadly, it is already time for me to go to bed so I can go to work the next morning and then I have nightmares about little windows coming after me.

I often use the Paint program, oh sorry, Paint app, and do you know it actually took me 3 phucking days to find the damn thing the first time! I will say I am quite impressed with myself because now I can usually find it within a minute. BUT, only because of the search feature, or is that an App as well?

I can't remember how to shut down my damn computer half the phucking time. I truly miss being able to click in the bottom left hand corner and a nice little menu coming up and being able to conveniently seeing what program I want to open or turn off the computer.

I could go on and on but I'm afraid if I keep typing I will accidentally end up erasing everything I have typed as that has happened several times and one time I lost half my email contacts because I hit something and I have no idea where they went. But one last thing...I want my old calculator back! Ya know, the little one that looked like a calculator! I hate the phucking whole screen calculator and I was able to get it down to half a screen one time but I didn't like that either.

I hope this letter find you having a terrible day.

Sincerely,
okieladybug
who wishes Steve Jobs was still alive and kickin

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Together We Make A Family - Layout

So while digging around in my files I found this layout I made back in January and never posted *okie thinks she should write sticky notes sometimes for her to keep track of her life* and thought I should get it posted in case anyone would want to use the file.


One of my first loves of paper was Basic Grey and while I still love it I have slowed down on buying it because...*okie looks from left to right and then right to left, leans closer, puts her index finger to her mouth and whispers* let's face it, I dont really have much room left for more paper. The papers used in this layout is from their Origins Collection and was probably the first collection I ever bought. 

I wanted to make the tree a little more interesting and stole the idea of using the buttons from my friend Carmen who made me a card years ago that had buttons embellishing the tree on the card. These particular buttons are from the same collection, I believe I have brads for this collection as well. That is one thing I love about collections, being able to have matching embellies and not having to dig through everything to find something that matches. I also thought the buttons were more interesting than cutting a bunch of leaves out of paper...*okie takes a deep breath and ponders for a moment then sighs deeply and hangs her head* okay I'll tell the truth...I was just too damn lazy to cut a bunch of leaves and put them on the tree and branch. Are you happy now? Are you happy that I admit I'm a lazy crafter??? *okie pouts for a second and then raises her head and puts her nose in the air* But you have to admit that the buttons are a very creative idea!

I liked the idea of the title swerving with the tree branch and that took a little finagling *okie is amazed she spelled that word correctly and knows it is correct since spell check didn't underline it* and right now I can't remember exactly what I did to make it curve. I might have adjusted each letter separately and then welded them together. 

I hope someone does use the file because I think it is a nice design. 

If you download please leave a comment of "thank you", "downloaded" or even "kiss my ass bitch" so I know my files are getting used. If they aren't being downloaded then I don't want to go to the time of converting them, uploading them to Google Drive, editing to share and then posting them. 

MTC download - TOGETHER FAMILY

SVG download - TOGETHER FAMILY (select all and resize to 24x12 for actual cut size)

Friday, May 29, 2015

Birthday Banner - My Friend Nancy

So yesterday I posted the masculine banner and today I'm posting a more feminine birthday banner, the one I made for my friend Nancy. We had a get together for her birthday at a mutual friends house, who makes like the worlds best fajita's by the way, and I made a banner with her favorite colors of maroon and teal. Well I added a little silver and cream to the mix as well.

First off let me say it is very difficult to get good pictures of a banner because it is so dang long, so please bear with me having the banner in 3 pictures. 

The flags of the banner are cut out of heavy cardstock and the letters are done in vinyl. I also cut some flourish designs to add on the flags that the flowers are on. I had some sheer ribbon that I used for the bows at the ends of the banner. 





I pulled out some of my precious Petaloo flowers to add for decoration and while I hate using those flowers I figured Nancy was worth the sacrifice.  Big brads were used on a few of the flowers and then brads with crystal centers were used for the others.   




I didn't laminate Nancy's banner because I wanted to sew it together with ribbon and wasn't sure how my Janome Sew Mini would do with sewing through the lamination. Not long after it was hung up I was wishing I had laminated it because the air was very humid and the paper started curling. I might try a small piece of paper laminated through the sewing machine just to see if it will work so I will know for future references and if it does then there will likely be no end to my creating banners that can be stored and reused! 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Birthday Banner - For a Guy

While I haven't been posting in the last few months that doesn't mean I haven't been crafting....okay I've been crafting very, very, very little *okie hangs head in shame* but on a positive note my stamps are all organized! So what do y'all think of my stamp set up now?

Oh yes this post is about a birthday banner for a man *okie is quite amazed at how fast squirrels tend to distract her*! I've made two in the last month or so and while they were both banners they were quite different.

Today I want to share the one I made for my friend Eric. A few of us who hang out at happy hour *okie suddenly realizes she probably needs to post about that as well and thinks  there is a lot she hasn't shared and wonders how long it will take to catch everyone up with the going on's in okie's life* decided to surprise our friend Eric for his birthday and my task was to make a banner and a cake. 

I used 8.5 x 11 kraft carstock for the base of the banner and was able to fit two flags per sheet. I wondered what I wanted to use for the lettering since I really didn't want to waste paper on something that might be thrown away and I came up with using vinyl and in colors I have quite a bit of. This also made it easier for me to laminate the flags since I wanted to try out the laminator a friend sent me.



Since happy hour consists of $1 beers I thought it was appropriate to use beer mug images on the banner. Here you can see the images a little better. It was easy to layer the mug images and the letters. 

You can also see where I laminated the pieces which I am glad I did since Eric said he was going to keep the banner and hang it in his man cave. I trimmed around the pieces with my guillotine cutter so that went pretty fast. 






When I was in 8th grade my mom sent me to cake decorating classes at the local Junior college and I completed all the courses they had available and I then earned extra money decorating cakes and since I lived in a rural area I had a pretty steady income of extra money for a 13 year old. My Aunt Betty and her family moved to Oklahoma when I was 15 and she too could decorate cakes and she taught me how to make a bikini cake using heart shaped pans and baking some batter in mugs that have a fairly round bottom. 

For Eric I decided a bikini cake was the way to go! I was a bit disappointed in it because it should have been smoother but I have concluded that my little Hamilton Beach hand mixer is no match for making decent decorator buttercream icing. While I was not pleased with the results I will say the cake was a bit hit anyway! 

So now y'all can see that I'm a jack of all trades, or is that a jackess? Not to be confused with a jackass of course!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Updated Stamp Storage

Yesterday I told ya that after I got the closet organized and then my stamps organization updated I decided to change how the stamps were stored and today I am going to show you the pictures. 

So this is how my stamps looked when I finished the closet. If ya look close you can see some boxes on top of the crates that have stamps in them that needed to be unmounted and there were the ones on the bottom shelf that needed to be cataloged. Every time I slack off on keeping my stamps cataloged and organized I swear I will never do that again and then I do it again! One of my driving forces for getting it done this time is that there is a sale next weekend and I needed to know how much room I had left for storage so I would know if I could buy any or not. 

It's hard to see in this picture but I also have labels on the spines and like the ones I do because it gives them all a more uniformed look. 




Here is a close up of the cases and you can see more clearly how the spines are labeled. I also type in a brief description and since some of the stamps have coordinating framelits or thinlits I store them in the cases as well and added that to the spine label. 

The label at the bottom is on the outside of the case and coordinates with my catalog so I can easily flip through my catalog and then go to the shelf and grab the case the stamp is in that I am wanting to use. 







If I have framelits or thinlits I store them in a case and use a magnet sheet to keep them in place. This particular one was a bundle so it is together. They are in the catalog the same way so I can find them easily. 









Since I was lazy and didn't feel like cutting each framelit or thinlit, and to save space as well, I drew inside the framelit or thinlit and slid the paper in the case, I repeated the drawing in my catalog as well. 









I was down to my last few cases when suddenly I remembered I had some board out in the garage that the carpenter left when he was fixing the eaves and wondered if it would work for shelving in the shelving *okie wonders how that even works*. Let me see if I can explain that better...I wanted to get rid of the crates as they were taking up some space but I wanted to be able to use the space above the stamp cases because we all know that storage space is precious property. 

It definitely opened up some space, made it all look neater and gave me a little more space above the stamps for storing something....not sure what yet but I will think of something! I will likely paint the wood pieces and since they are not permanently put together it will be easy to take them out and paint them later on when the weather gets nicer. 

For new readers if you are interested you can check out my STAMP CATALOG and see how I able to find stamps easily. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Organization Is Not For The Faint Of Heart

Okay so we all know that I have a fascination for organization, whether it is my paper, markers, stamps, cutting files, vinyl...well it really doesn't matter what it is I always feel I need to organize it and always look for a better way to organize. Organization is not for the faint of heart, but to me it is always worth it in the long run. 

I had recently reorganized my vinyl, I'll make a post about it later, and the shoe cabinet where I use to keep quite a bit of my vinyl in was empty and I wondered what I could put in there. After looking around in my craftroom closet, which was still in disarray, I thought about the giftbags I have to alter and thought I would try those in the cabinet. 

I had the giftbags in two different boxes and a few bags, I said my closet was in disarray, but was able to get all of them in the cabinet and it still shuts nice and neat. Most of the giftbags where bought in bundles and I never paid more than a dime for any of the bags. I haven't altered any bags in awhile and maybe that can be put on my list of what I want to craft next, right after getting my mini albums done that I've been working on for months and replenishing my gift card boxes. 



So once I got the gift bags in the cabinet it lead to another thing, then another, then another...ya know how it goes. 
until I was moving everything around, going through boxes that have been packed up since I moved and making a more thorough mess than what I had in the first place. All these things on the shelves were moved about 10 different times!












I kept changing things until I had items on shelves that looked okay to me and fit well, that also called for me moving shelves up and down a few times.















Finally after a few hours, okay more like 10 hours or so I got things straightened up enough to please me for now, I could still stand to get some better storage items for a few things. I'm always looking in Goodwill and clearance aisle's for storage and sometimes I get lucky enough to find some good ones. This is the right hand corner of the closet and most items in that corner are ones I don't use or need to get to often. 










This is the left hand corner of the closet and the boxes on those shelves are Really Useful Boxes I got at Staples years ago and right now they hold things like ribbon, envelopes, card inserts, cording, etc. The two shelves at the bottom hold scrapbooks and a few catalogs or books for crafting.






At the top of the closet are boxes that hold items for altering, such as tumblers and there are also a few boxes that hold completed projects such as mini albums and frames. I will either find something that looks more pleasing or eventually decorate these boxes so they look nicer. 

The red bins now have labels on them so I can grab the one I need without having to pull each one and go through it. 





These white boxes are what I store cards in and use to keep giftbags in two of them. These came from Walmart about 5 years ago and I think I picked them up for $1 each on clearance. I like having the label frame for identifying what's in each box.  The cabinet in the lower left hand corner of the picture is the one where the giftbags are stored. I can't believe I can see the floor under the shelving now!






I worked on my pegboard storage a few weeks ago and it looks a bit better than it originally did. The shelves in the picture are were I store my stamps using little plastic crates I found at Walmart for $1 each, they are originally to store DVDs I do believe. The black boxes contain envelopes, binding wires, silk flowers, adhesives and other things. 












This is the view into the closet with the door open and yes that is empty space there! AACCKK! I will eventually get rid of the wicker baskets and replace those with something else but I was getting tired and left them for now. 


Now ya would think I would be happy with this closet after all this but alas, NOPE! I started working on updating my stamp organization and then changed how my stamps are stored a bit which I will post about tomorrow!






Friday, May 15, 2015

The Chit I See on Facebook!

I'm going to tell y'all something that some of ya know and others may not...there are some true crazy arse people in the crafting world! I will give you some examples of the chit I see on Facebook.

1. THEY STOLE MY IDEA AND I'M GOING TO SUE! - No honey there are very, and I emphasize very, rarely any original ideas anymore. We might thing we thought about it but somewhere out there if you dig deep enough you can always find that someone else was doing it long before you even thought about it. And unless you are Disney, a University or some other big company with a copyrighted logo ya probably don't stand a chance in hell in winning a law suit.

2. I ONLY SUPPORT (insert a cutting machine here) AND YOU CAN'T TALK ABOUT ANY OTHER PRODUCT - some groups go as far as kicking out members who dare bring up another company in their group, which is their right but my good gawd get the corn cob out your butt and realize there are different strokes for different folks and if you expand your mind a little ya just might learn something.

3. I AM AN EXPERT ON (insert cutting machine, craft, etc) AND YOU SHOULD DO WHAT I DO AS THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO DO IT - Bullchit! I call bullchit! The old saying goes "there is more than one way to skin a cat" and I don't know who came up with that saying and since I don't find that very nice I will say I do know there is more than one way to do most anything. My friend Carmen and I argue about this all the time as she wants me to try it her way and I don't want to because I like doing whatever it is my own way...we agree to disagree, of course after bitching at each other for 30 minutes.

4. YOU ARE BREAKING THE LAW BY MAKING THAT PROJECT BECAUSE IT HAS A COPYRIGHT - So many people are screaming at others about how they are using copyrighted images and even go as far as threatening others with turning them in. SERIOUSLY? Personally I think those people are the ones who are jealous and can't figure out how to make a copy of an image. And yeah, I can and do use copyrighted images at times. If Disney wants to come and take away my vinyl because I put Minnie Mouse on a tumbler for a friend then let them come on.

Okay I could really go on and on about the silly chit I see and I have almost given myself headaches at times with the eye rolls that go on. I think some people truly forget that all this area of crafting is a hobby for many of us and while we take our hobby seriously we don't want to be told we are going to hell, the police are coming after us or we will be banished from the crafting world just because we want to use different products, try new things and make new friends.

Maybe y'all just  need to ignore me right now since all the rain we have been having has made my brain soggy and is working on putting me in an extremely irritable mood.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Using Make The Cut with the Cricut Explore


I have said it many times and I will say it again...I FREAKIN LOVE MAKE THE CUT!! If ya didn't hear me I can yell it a little louder *okie cups her hand behind her ear and hears someone in the back say they didn't hear her*. Okay this is for you in the back I FREAKIN LOVE MAKE THE CUT!!!

Now with that said and out of the way I shall continue. I believe we all know how much I have enjoyed reviewing the Cricut Explore and how well I think this machine cuts but I absolutely abhor the software and how it has to be connected to the internet to use. BUT, with the magic abilities of Make The Cut I can make my design safely without an internet connection, export as an SVG file and then upload into Cricut Design Space for cutting. This takes out a lot of worry about if I'm going to lose connection or if their server is going to have problems and crap out on me for whatever reason while I am designing. I also don't like the glitchy movement I get a lot of the time with the CDS program. I like nice smooth movement when I'm designing, I can tolerate it during cutting since that is all I am using the program to do. 

I apologize for the poor picture quality and I hope it is clear enough to get my point across. I got a new computer a few months ago and it runs Windows 8 *which okie hates* and I'm still not use to all the new crap...half the time I can't even find what I need on this damn thing. 

First off I get my design all on one mat in MTC. I always add a 12x12 base layer to my design I am going to import into CDS and I will explain that in a later step. 

  • Make sure all the layers are unlocked and visible. There is a little "eye" and "lock" icon in the bottom right hand corner where you can hide/unhide and lock/unlock all layers at once or you can do each independently next to the small mat preview seen on the right hand column on the screen. 
  • Select all your layers by either clicking "edit" and then "select all" or drawing a box around all the images with your mouse.
  ____________________________________________________
  • Export your design by clicking file, export, Sel to SVG file
  • Name and save your file
 ____________________________________________________
  • Open Cricut Design Space
  • Click on Upload Image
  • Click Upload Vector
  • Find your file
  • Click Open
 ____________________________________________________
  • Make sure correct file is checked
  • Click on Insert Image
 ____________________________________________________
  • Click the Edit tab
  • Resize image to 12x12 to maintain original design ratio
_____________________________________________________
 
I hope I explained that well enough, I'm not so good at explaining things to others and most of the time it's just easier for me to do things and then send it to them than trying to explain how to do it. I really wanted people to see how easy it is to use the most awesome program in the world, Make The Cut, with the superior cutting machine, the Cricut Explore.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

My Oh My! It's Been Awhile...

I guess when you get out of the swing of a routine it is hard to get back in it and that is what had happened with me blogging. First off let me say thank you to all those who have inquired if I am okay. I am fine and dandy but haven't been doing much crafting in the last few months. I have done some things here and there but nothing fabulous, outstanding or new. I do have some stories to tell, even though they might be out of date by now I will try to get around to posting those, such as my trip to Houston back in March. I will be taking another one in June since I love driving my new car and the miracle of audio books keep me from dreading such drives.

Sometimes I forget that there are some folks who just like to read what I type up and post, which is still beyond me most of the time, and I figure I won't post anything if I don't have anything crafty going on. I will try to keep up more...*okie makes the Girl Scout oath gesture* I promise.

So with that I leave you for today and I will be making a post tomorrow about how I used Make The Cut with the Cricut Explore because I am starting to get a lot of inquiries about the ability to do such a thing due to the huge amount of frustration that people are having with the software that you are suppose to use with the Cricut Explore. I still honestly believe the Explore is a superior cutting machine and I want people to love the machine as much as I do, even if they hate the software...like I do.

Okay I'm off for now to type up a post on the whole subject!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Let's Talk Binding For A Moment

If you are a regular reader of the drivel I post or a friend of mine on Facebook then you know how much I love to make Mini Albums. There is just a bit of a thrill for me to have a whole little book decorated with luscious papers, flowers, pearls, secret pockets, and well to be honest the embellishments are endless that can be used. Over the years I think I have only made one of a mini album maybe twice since I have the sickness that tells my brain I need to make more than one of most any item I make, except for scrapbook layouts and those I can feel okay with making only one. 

When I first started with the mini-albums I had a Bind It All and loved it but I was bequeathed a Cinch when a dear friend got the new Cinch and didn't have room for her old one. I was quite scared of the Cinch when it first arrived and just knew I was going to mess things up or break it. A few years later and it is still all in one piece and I can use that thing like a champ. Okay, okay, I'll be truthful and let you know I have to look up the settings if I am doing anything but a 6" album, but hey I can't be expected to remember every little bit of crafty information can? Anyway there is a lot less adjusting when using the Cinch so that means a lot less chance of screwing things up *okie cringes remembering the time she didn't slide a page in all the way and had to recover it*.


At one time Tuesday Morning had a ton of Zutter products in and I was able to pick up various sizes of the Owires that are used with either of the binding machines I had. Once I really started making quite a few mini albums I realized that due to the thickness of the chipboard and embellishments, I used the 1 1/4" wires the most and I have been lucky that a few people have sent me some wires but I always seem to run low. Last year I did find a site where I could get wires fairly cheap but I had to buy a box of 100 and while I do like to have a nice size stash of supplies I wasn't sure if I wanted 100, especially of one color. A few nights ago I was thinking about all the little mini albums I have to alter and remembered about the Owires and started looking for the website, I didn't have the bookmark on my new computer, and came across something even better!

So at the Binding Depot site I found they had a lot of binding supplies, well DUH huh! Anyway I got to their page of the 2:1 wires and was thrilled that they had boxes of 25 in various sizes, including my beloved 1 1/4" size! They have several colors to choose from and the one color they didn't have that I wish they did was the antique bronze oh and brown, I also wish they had brown...I like the brown ones. I did order a box of silver and a box of black and the shipping was $4.95 and I think that might be their standard shipping. I will let you guys know how the shipping and product is once I receive them. 

Once summer hits and it is hotter than Hades and I have to stay in my nice cool air conditioned house I will be all set to whip up as many mini albums as my heart desires!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

My Lifetime Car Saga

Getting a new car isn't a big deal for a lot of people. I know folks who trade in every two years for a different car, which is something I totally don't get because I would think people would look forward to having the payments end but I guess to each their own. However, I do NOT fit in that category!  Even the thought of having to get a new car is something  that can put me in panic mode. Maybe it is the sentimental attachment I have to my cars, maybe it's the idea of not having payments, maybe it's the idea of having to deal with financing and slick talking salesmen...or a combination of all of it. Of course my fear of commitment probably has something to do with me staying attached to a vehicle for a long period of time, I want to make sure it is something I really, really, really want to have before I make a final decision and commit to driving it until the wheels are ready to fall off. I turned 49 in December and during my life of driving I have only owned 4 cars. Yes you read that right...4 cars in 30 years.
 
My first car was a '77 Camaro and I got it when I was 18 and about ready to start college. Up to that point I drove the family truck. Oh how I loved that car! I bought it used, obviously, and it had been well taken care of. Luckily my uncle was a mechanic and I learned to do a lot of the repairs myself. I changed the starter, battery cables, distributor cap, fixed the a/c, changed the head gasket cover, change out the oil sending unit, and a few other things with nothing but instructions given over a phone most of the time. A few times, luckily I had a very long phone line and could put the phone out the window and have the hood of the car up, I called my Aunt Betty and she would relay to Uncle Perk what my car was doing and the sounds it was making and he would tell me what I needed to do. I remember one time, before they had moved back to Ohio and now they live back in Oklahoma again, there was something I was doing and he evidently decided it would be too difficult for me to complete and he came down. I was standing outside next to my car *okie thinks that sounds so silly since she would be standing inside next to her car* and had just closed the hood when he pulled up. I'm quite sure I had a puzzled look on my face as I asked him what he was doing at my house and he said "I thought I better come down and do it for you". I told him I already had it done and he took a look and was quite impressed with me. I would probably still be driving that car today had I not had a surprise pregnancy!

Once I had my daughter I thought it would be more "motherly" to have something more family oriented and I choose to get something 4 door. Right before my daughter turned a year old I got an '87 Celebrity. Now mind you I went from a 305 8 cylinder engine to a 4 cylinder engine and the first time I tried to pull out in traffic I thought we were going to die!! DIE I TELL YOU! I was use to punching the gas pedal and zooming forward at warp speed but this car had me thinking I was going to have to get out and push the dang thing! Other than that I loved having the 4 doors and extra room in the car. Being able to get her in and out of her car seat was a breeze in the Celebrity. I did do some mechanic work on the Celebrity, mainly just changing the alternator, and I think the brake pads once. A friend of mine did a few repairs on it as well. When my daughter was in second grade my Celebrity was pooping out on us. She was quite distraught over the idea of having to get a new car and asked if we could keep it and "put it in the backyard and make a fountain out of it". Not sure where she got that idea but it was rather amusing. I was not looking forward to getting a new car and having a car payment. I had paid cash, that is one of the benefits of not buying new or almost new, for my other two cars but knew I didn't have the cash to get another car.

After much searching I ended up with a little '99 Chevy Metro. I am a bit of a Chevy gal and while some people swear by foreign cars I prefer to have American made. One of the reasons I chose that car was because of the gas mileage. At the time I was having to drive quite a bit seeing clients and it was very important to me that I could save money in gas. I did love the little Metro, and my daughter came to love it too. It was rather funny to see her friends packed into the little Metro when I would have to transport them somewhere and I remember a fight almost breaking out, good-natured that is,  when she was in junior high because her friend Cameron got in the front seat because he was too tall to fit in the back for even the shortest of rides. My daughter and I learned how to pack that little thing down for when we would go camping at the lake and even had a certain system of being able to fit the totes and equipment in the trunk and back seat. My Metro started giving out on me and I wasn't sure I wanted to put the money into the car for repairs or get something else. One day when complaining on Facebook about not having AC my aunt said they were wanting to get rid of their Kia Sedona and the AC worked great.

The '02 Kia Sedona was definitely an upgrade from anything I had before. I loved having power locks and windows and being able to sit up high and easily see all around. It was rather amusing that at that point in my life I had no kids at home and it was just me and little Lucy riding in the van most of the time. It sure would have came in handy when Shiane was growing up and taking her friends around but ya know that's how it goes sometimes. The Kia started leaking oil a few months ago and the AC hasn't worked the past two summers but I was able to deal with all that until the first of December. I was on my way from McCalls to the office for a staff meeting when some lady slammed into the back of my van. I truly believe she was texting and driving because of the different statements she made, which I won't bore you with. It took almost two months for her insurance company to "decide we will take liability" for the accident. I had already given them the police report and my statement but she wasn't answering her phone to talk to them and they said they had to talk to her. My next dilemma was should I use the money and go get the van fixed or use the money and get a new car...decisions, decisions.

After much contemplation I decided on getting a new car, new to me that is. I had looked at the Nissan Versa's and Sentra's when my daughter got her car at the Nissan dealership in town and I also liked the guy that sold her car to her. I hate car salesmen, think I mentioned that in the beginning of the post. Johnathan was a nice guy and I felt I could deal with him. When I started my search I found out he was no longer at the Nissan dealership but was instead at the Chevy dealership. I did go to the Nissan dealership and ended up test driving a new Versa, I had told the salesman I didn't want a brand new car and he insisted on me test driving one. I have a friend who has a Versa and he is very happy with it. At this time I had also been search the Chevy models and really liked the specs on the Cruze and I knew the Chevy dealership and several on their lot. I am a very practical person when it comes to many things in life and I am probably overly practical when it comes to cars. A car is something to get me from point A to point B with the least amount of effort, time and money. I am pretty much a no frills car kinda person but I did know I wanted power locks and windows and wanted something where the AC worked and it had to have cruise control!

Yesterday I searched out Johnathan at the Chevy dealership and while he got moved to the finance department on Monday he said since I searched him out he would make sure I got a salesman he trusted. Of course I think that was probably a line of bull but at least I knew I could be perfectly honest about things with Johnathan and he wouldn't take offense. One of the things that made me like Johnathan was that he didn't have a fake smile plastered on his face all the time, he didn't look like some kinda cartoon character grinning from ear to ear.  I had already done my research, I had my quote from Nissan ready and all that was left was for me to test drive the Cruze, which I did. The salesman, Justin, looked a little nervous a few times and probably rightly so. Anyway after bouncing things around in the finance office with Johnathan and me telling him Nissan could give me a better deal, debating car payment and down payment, I ended up walking out of there the proud owner of a Certified 2012 Chevy Cruze! My requirements of power windows, AC and cruise control were met and I got much more. It's going to take me hours of reading to figure things out on this car as it does have frills such as bluetooth, heated leather seats, remote start, power other things and so on. I am quite sure I could have my daughter in the car with me and within 30 minutes she would have it all figured out and be explaining to me. There will likely be some features I never use because I just don't know how to use them or I haven't figured out I have them! 

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I don't have to even think about getting another car until I'm 60!