Monday, December 20, 2010

Job Scam

Sometimes you can recognize a scam when you see it.  Like a job offering you $100,000, work from home, make your own hours!  I assure you, you probably have to buy something and then you have to build your own client base.

Other times, however, they are not quite so easy to recognize.  A recent job offer on Craigslist showed a job for someone to pack boxes and run company errands for a little over $10 per hour.  Seems reasonable and legitimate.  It wasn't, here's why...

Upon responding to this listing, the applicant is sent an email such as this:

"Thank your for your interest in this position. We currently have both full time and part time positions, with 4 more slots available. The more common tasks would be lifting , loading, packing boxes, unloading pallets, and similiar tasks.

On your extra time, or on slower days, you would be running company errands and purchasing supplies with the company credit card. Therefore, we require you, per company policy, to get a recent credit score. which we will keep on file along with a copy of your drivers license, so please have a copy of that as well. Get it here below: 

**Website information deleted, for your safety**

If for some reason you have terrible credit, we will discuss that in the interview. When you have all the neccesary documents, please email me with ONLY your phone number and a best time to reach you, then we will schedule an interview. Do not email any documents as it may have your personal information and we will only accept it in person.

If for some reason you are no longer interested in this position, please let me know so I can continue on with the hiring process. Have a good day."

Does it seem legitimate to you?

Sometimes job listings contain obvious language issues, indicating a foreign element, seems to be a recurring theme to be wary of (many instances of asking for your banking information for direct deposit, only to have your account drained or used for illegal activity.)

Here there are only a few minor spelling mistakes, some that may not be obvious even to good spellers, so nothing that would be an immediate concern.

The thing that struck me is that there is no indication of what company this is for.  It is a local ad, indicating a location in the city.  Yet, no mention of the company in the response email, kind of suspicious.  But yet, you feel because you are going to be meeting in person, everything is fine right?

So, a person would prepare and click the link.  The link brings you to a very professional looking website which helps you access all three of your credit scores for free! We've all heard of this, no reason not to do it, right?  You are required to bring your credit score information in when you meet them, because you will be using their credit card for errands.  Makes sense.

Guess what!?  The information that you enter.... Name, address, social security number.... it isn't going to a legitimate source!  It is going to be used against you - to steal your identity!  There is no job!

It is sad to think that in this economy, scams are being built around job openings, but they are!  Beware!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Photography Hint for the Holidays!

Just in time for the holidays, I have a simple photography tip for you!  ZOOM IN!
You can really capture the feeling of your subjects when you don't include all the exterior things going on.  Sometimes those items are essential to the subject matter, but usually you want to focus on your subjects.
In this photo you really focus on the happiness of my beautiful sister, Traci and her new husband, Greg!

 In this photo, the subjects are still beautiful and it might be important to get a shot with the bike, but it just doesn't portray the same feelings that the zoomed in photo does. So, remember to focus on the people you love this holiday season! Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Fresh from the garden stir-fry

I just love stir-fry using whatever we have available. Knowing that you are using fresh foods and knowing that you are using your own resources make it all the better!
We like to use many combinations of ingredients.
Here are some of our favorites:
Meat of any kind, sliced thin.
Tomatoes, Zucchini, Potatoes, Green Peppers, Red Peppers, Banana Peppers, Corn, Garlic, Beans, Carrots, Pea Pods, and Various Fresh Herbs.
Delicious and it's a meal on it's own or use as a side dish.
It's quick too (especially if you use a food processor for slicing), that's my favorite kind of meal!

Monday, November 15, 2010

When I am 61...

I can only hope that when I am 61, I am rockin' like Gene Simmons.  Kiss played at the Minnesota State Fair this year and they were as fabulous as ever!  Take some time and do something you enjoy, just for you!  Rock out, my friends!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Greeting Card Box Tutorial

I like to make greeting cards and I like to have them on hand for just the right occasion.  I, often, have "saved the day" by having a card available and I enjoy giving something that might mean more than a store bought card.  I have never had a very good system for my cards though.  Now I do!  I organized them so that I would have categories that made sense to me.  I also found out that I had big gaps in categories that I should have cards for but didn't.  So, it also helps to save money if I can make cards instead of pay outrageous store prices for them.
Everything that I used to make this project, I already had.  I didn't buy anything.  I had wanted to have a cute basket with no top, but after contemplating decided that I would save money and allow for "stacking" buy having a lidded box.  The box I used was my son's athletic shoe box, larger than a regular shoe box, it measures 13-1/2" x 10-1/4" x 5-1/2".  This size allows for all my cards and envelopes, as of today.  It is also big enough for my largest card, which is 5" x 7".
My box was a little beat up, but my plan was to cover it with black spray paint anyway!  I needed to reinforce the corners and fix up the tears, so I did that with duct tape!  Then I spray painted the whole box, except the inside, with flat black spray paint.  Now, the areas with the duct tape do have edges that can look a tiny bit different than the rest, but it really does work well overall.  I love, love, love spray paint and believe that a little spray paint can make most anything look good!
I pulled out all my cards and put them in piles to use for categories.  My cards created more categories than I thought they would. 
I measured the inside of the box and made dividers for the number of categories that I had.  My dividers are 9-1/2" x 4" and they are cut from regular white cardstock that I already had.  I made them shorter than the box because I knew that I would want my category labels to stick up.
I printed the category titles onto a simple piece of lightly decorated card stock with a nice simple font.  I cut these out, making sure to cut them all the same size.
My categories ended up being:
*Tags (for on gift packages)
*Birthday - Boy
*Birthday - Girl
*Birthday - Man
*Birthday - Woman
*Get Well
*Thank You
*To Alter (these are cards that need to be finished, old store greeting cards that I can use as backing, or cards that I just think need something done to them before they are truly useable)
*Any Occasion/General (these are great to keep on hand for a quick transformation into something more specific)
I added one little embellishment to each divider after I stapled the label on at an angle.  I used an epoxy flower on this one, but each of them has something different, sometimes correlating to the category title.
Now to start decorating the outside of the box!  I used chipboard letters that spell "cards" and a chipboard file frame.  I picked out some cute paper that I had been saving from an Archiver's exclusive design pack.  This is going on the front and side of the box.
I glue the chipboard onto the paper.  Make sure that anything which has a "right side" is glued right side down onto the paper.  I don't know that the glue type matters as long as it is a glue that is not going to make the paper buckle.  Then I cut out the chipboard; I'm sure that it could be done with a scissor but I used an exacto-knife with a cutting mat. 
I wanted my chipboard to have a nice blended look, so I used a similar colored ink pad and I dobbed (is that a word?) the ink pad with a sponge and wiped the edges of the chipboard a bit with the sponge.
Prima flowers can make everything look a little sweeter.  So, I chose a few flowers for their shape not their color, because I knew that I didn't have any the color I wanted.  I sprayed them with a Terra Cotta walnut ink.  I still didn't have the color I wanted.
I then sprayed them with some glimmer mist in black cherry.  That gave me the color that I was looking for! 
I used a white ink pad and stamped some butterflys and sayings on the box.  My stamping did not come out great because of the flexibility of the box!  I would recommend a block or something stable on the backside when working with something that is difficult to lay flat.  I didn't want to wreck my corners by forcing the areas that I wanted to stamp.  I actually think it gave it a bit of a whimsical look.  I also repaired some areas by adding bling!
The chipboard and flowers got glued to the box!  I added sparkly stones to the centers of the flowers.
The short side of the box got the chipboard file frame with paper added behind it and sticker letters, to again form the word "cards".  This way no matter which way I stack my box on a shelf, I will know that it is my card box.  I also added another bling stone to that frame.
On the top of the box, I added more flowers, bling, some epoxy stickers, and another piece of paper with more letter stickers.  Guess what they spell?  Yep, you guessed it, cards again!  I don't think it would be possible to not know what was in this box!
My projects always turn out quite a bit different than what I am imagining.  This one actually turned out a bit sweeter than I thought it would!  So, now the box is finished and I my cards are completely organized!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tutorial for greeting card box... up next...

I make greeting cards.  I wanted to get organized and know what I had on hand and what I needed.  I finally got this box finished and it turned out great.  I will share what I learned along the way with you as well as how to make it.  I used what I had and didn't buy anything for this project, so it is a real reuse project.  The tutorial is coming up next, stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Parfaits and Homemade Jam

Summer Parfait
This fun summer parfait is super fast to make!  Have you noticed yet that it is really important to me to be able to make some really cool things, but super fast!!

Blueberry Summer Parfait
Make a yellow cake mix as directed.
Cut into small square pieces.
Dip your glass into caramel sauce then into crushed graham crackers to coat the rim.
Layer the inside of the glass with multiple layers of the following:
The cake pieces
Prepared vanilla pudding
Whip topping spray
Sprinkle a little more of the crushed graham crackers on the top layer and add one more blueberry!

Canned Jam
Jams and jellies are so easy to make!  I don't know why I don't do it more often.  Here's a fun easy and yes, quick jam.  This recipe came from my stepsister's mother, Judy.  She's a very nice woman, and yes, it's a complicated family that I am a part of, but I love it and wouldn't have it any other way!  How many children of divorce say that?

Rhubarb Cherry Jam
6 cups rhubarb (cut up)
3-1/2 cups sugar
1 - 21 oz. can Cherry Pie Filling (chopped)
1 - 6 oz. Pkg. Cherry Jello
Mix rhubarb and sugar.  Let stand for 15 minutes.  
Boil 8 minutes.  Add cherry pie filling and boil 2 more minutes.
Turn off heat and add cherry jello and stir until disolved.
Put in jars and let it cool.
Seal with wax or can as normal.  (She sealed hers with wax and I canned mine).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Sewing Daily Deal

Here's another fun daily deal!  This one is for all my crafting and sewing friends!  Check this one out, Stitch Steals has a new bargain each day!

And remember, to see all of the daily deals that I have "collected" so far, scroll down to see the word cloud in the left column and click on daily deals!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How Smart Are You?

How smart are you?  I've dared to think that I'm rather intelligent from time to time.  Then I found this website!  The "seekers" or submitters of challenges offer thousands of dollars if you can solve their problems.  Sounds great!!  Well, I couldn't dream of being a solver....  why, you ask?  I can't even understand the problem, much less come up with a solution!  So, if you are a smart scientific-type go and try to win! To check the innocentive website out, click here.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Full Serenity Prayer - Prayer Journal Cover

I designed this prayer journal cover for my nephew Cody's first communion.  I also made a pinky-purpley version for my niece Amy's first communion.  I wanted to give them something that had a true feeling of the day and was something that they could use intimately in their "walk with God". 

So many people only know the beginning of the serenity prayer and the whole prayer is so beautiful.  Everyone should have a copy of it!

As a little how-to...  I just designed the cover with a graphic design program and then printed it on glossy photo paper.  I covered a composition notebook with cardstock, used fiber for a decoration and pasted the printed cover on the top.  The photo you see above is just the cover printout.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Veggies!!! From a 1/2 share from a farm!!

Can you believe all these wonderful veggies!!
This all came from one week (and the leftovers from last week) from a 1/2 share that I purchased.  I've never done this before, but so far I think it's fabulous!  I still don't know what some of the stuff is that I have received... especially the herbs...and it's rather fun (and healthy) to be sort-of  forced to make sure all this stuff gets used.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Super Fast Southwest Layered Salad

This was a super fast salad to make!  Tasty too!

Arrange 6 cups of lettuce (I used torn romaine lettuce) in the bottom of a glass serving bowl or on a serving plate.  Then layer the following on top of the lettuce:
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed, drained
1 regular size can of corn
3/4 cup Salsa
1/2 cup Shredded cheese (I used a mix of cheeses)
Drizzle with 1/2 cup of Ranch Dressing
Break up tortilla chips and layer with at least a cup of the broken chips.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Father's Day Card Ideas

Sometimes it is hard to get away from the girly cards that we all like to make.  Here are a couple ideas for cards for the men in your life!
This card uses the fabulous licensed realtree design that most hunters like.  This paper is available from Papers Best dealers or on their website.  This paper is fabulous for making masculine cards.  I have also used it to cover a journal and a clipboard.  How about desk accessories for gifts?

These were birthday cards, but they would make great father's day cards, as well.  Use some fishing themed paper with eyelash fibers to look like something made for a fly-fisherman.

Something that looks like wood is also masculine in nature.  Nature... wood... get it!  Ok, silly play with words, I know!  I'm not sure where I got this particular paper, but I do know that Papers Best carries something similar, as well.  In general, they are a great source for more realistic (rather than cutesy) outdoors themed papers and products targeted towards men.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Moist Rhubarb Strawberry Cake

Moist Rhubarb Strawberry Cake
1-1/2 Cups Sugar
1 Egg
2 Cups Rhubarb, cut up (see notes below)
1/4 Cup Strawberries, sliced and partially mashed with juice
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 Cup Butter, melted
1 tsp. Baking Soda
2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Buttermilk/Sour Milk (see notes below for tips on how to make this)

Grease and flour 9x12 pan.  Mix ingredients together.  Pour into cake pan.
Mix these additional ingredients together:
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Tbs. Cocoa Powder
1/4 tsp. Ginger
1 tsp. Cinnamon

Sprinkle this mixture over the batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 35 minutes (check with a toothpick to see if it is done).  
A couple of things...
You may want more rhubarb, if so just add another 1/4 cup or so.
Rhubarb should be cut into 1/4 - 1/2 inch slices.
To make buttermilk, you can add 1 tsp. to 1 Tbs. vinegar to regular milk and let sit for 10 minutes.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Be Healthy AND Save Money!

How often do you grab something from the snack machine or convenience store because you didn't plan ahead and , dang it, your hungry?!  A little planning is all it takes!  Keep a little storage of snacks available.  It will keep you from buying something unhealthy and it will keep you from spending the excess amounts on convenience.

I keep granola bars and a bottle of water in my handbag most of the time.  I have a little stash in my desk drawer at work.  If you don't have a desk drawer, maybe you have a cubby or a tool box drawer, or keep it in your car or tote bag...   be creative with your solution!  At work, I keep nuts, granola, pretzels, crackers, packets of tea and lemonade, and even oatmeal packets!  If you have a fridge available, you can keep cheese, yogert, and veggies.  The oatmeal has really been handy when I forget my lunch. 

Bringing your lunch every day saves money and helps you eat healthy too!  Don't forget the fresh fruit and veggies!  Just plan ahead when you go grocery shopping.  Another tip: mark it on your calendar - prepare your week of lunches and snacks on the weekend when you have more time.

All of this works for eating healthy on-the-run too.  Just a little planning can really add up to being more healthy, losing weight, and saving lots of money....

If you save even just 4.00 per day by bringing your lunch and/or not buying snacks....  and you take 2 weeks of vacation...  then  5 weekdays x 50 weeks x 4.00 = a savings of OVER $1000. PER YEAR!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Another Crafting Deal Site!

Scrappin steals and deals is a brand new site, so I really don't know much about it.  You will have to check it out for yourself and see what you think! 

Remember that if you want to see all of the fun daily deals that I have found:
Just click on daily deals in the topic cloud on the left side, down just a bit and it will bring up all the entries that I have made on that topic!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Some bad things to say at work and in general:

There are some words and phrases people frequently utter, without realizing they’re making themselves sound noncommittal, undependable or untrustworthy. It's a really good idea to limit use of these words and find alternatives. Forbes wrote a more in depth article about the relevance of this pertaining to work, however I believe their points are well taken for all situations.

  1. “Try” – Even if you don’t mean it, when you say you’ll try to do something, others will think you’re just paying lip service and have no intention of getting it done.
  2. “I’ll get back to you” – People often use this phrase to buy some time, and never actually get back to the person they say it to. To avoid giving that impression, specify the day and time when you’ll touch base.
  3. “We’ll see” – This is most often used as a way to avoid confrontation or having to say “no.” Instead, just be honest.
  4. “I guess … ” – It’s a common phrase people often tack on to the beginning of their thoughts. But it can also give off the impression you aren’t really sure of what you’re talking about.
  5. “If” – People use this as a way to shift blame — for example, by saying something like, “If Bob finishes his part, then I can do my part.” It’s better to avoid the “if” and assume a successful outcome.
I believe all of these statements are vague and don't do the communicator justice.  

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Another Crafting Bargain Site or Two!

I have found a couple more crafting bargains!  And yes, I will share them with you!
(Link here removed - no longer applicable - updated 4/5/11)
And all the clearance fabric at is reasonable!
(Link updated 4/5/11)(and again 2/7/15)

Remember that if you want to see all of the fun daily deals that I have found:
Just click on daily deals in the topic cloud on the left side, down just a bit and it will bring up all the entries that I have made on that topic!

Monday, May 24, 2010

An Ancient Plum Tree (correction)

A plum tree has been discovered! I've lived here eight years and did not know this tree existed. This year, I've walked my ten acres more than I have in the entire eight years that I have lived here. My honey discovered this one though!
The span of the branches is massive. The entire thing was covered in blooms. It was absolutely gorgeous. The trunk is weathered and many, many roots are showing. I don't know much about these trees, but I can tell that it is quite old.
It really is beautiful and I was able to capture a number of adorable photographs of the spring blooms. In autumn, it will be exciting to see all the plums and determine what to do with them.
**Correction** August 2010 - Ok, so I was told it was a plum tree and it is not - it is a crab apple tree!  Bummer for me (jam and jelly considerations) but still adorable and interestingly old!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I absolutely LOVE coffee....

This is the logo that I use for all my ebay auctions!  I love coffee!  Flavored coffee, iced coffee, coffee with cream, frapps, whatever....  I often drink coffee all day long.  My favorite smell is coffee beans.  I wish it wasn't so much work to roast my own, I would do it.

I do consider a great cup of coffee as my one real vise, and that's okay, I deserve it!  What do you deserve?  Make sure you treat yourself from time to time, you are worth it!

I plan on passing along some great coffee recipes, so stay tuned for that.

However, before you go to Caribou Coffee next, you may want to check this out:
Is it something or is it nothing?  What do you think?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Activities at the Bird Feeder

It was surprising to have five of these birds at the feeder at one time!  Yes, I know, you can only see four of them in this photo.  They are so pretty.  They didn't stay long though, I was lucky to capture them.

My son made the barn feeder when he was young; I'm thinking that he was only 5 or so and he made the whole kit and painted it himself!

This adventurous creature has broken the feeder house three times now!  I just don't understand how he gets up there and my man is quite upset with Mr. Squirrel.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thrift Find - Wire Manequin

She is so pretty!  I was able to find this gem for only 12 dollars!  I'm not quite sure what to do with her though...
I thought of draping her with scarves and other accessories that are currently hidden away in the closet, but I really don't want to cover up all her beautiful details.  So, I am thinking that she will go into my studio and be used as storage for beads and ribbons and other items girly things.  What would you use her for?  Do you have any inexpensive ideas for a pole and base?  Click on the comments below and let me know what you think!