Inspired

Earlier this week Dana had a post that looked strangely familiar to me and then it hit me- it was a joke that had been my answering machine message for a couple of months earlier this year. It got me thinking. See this summer I went on a quest to make my voicemail more interesting and found this website. Well I found tons, but there were a few that were personal favorites and I thought I’d share them with you all as a way of copping out on a post today. Enjoy!

Drawling granny voice: Way back inna winner of fifty-two, we didn’ have fanshy gadjets like no ansherin’ machine. You jusht had to call and call until shummbody got home. Now, shum people, dey shay dey don’ like ’em, but I shay it’ll shave you a lotta trouble if you jusht leave a meshage. Thanksh a lot.

C’mon… you can do it… just a little one. That’s the way… just a little beep, just a little one. C’mon… good boy… here we go… like this — beeeeep, just a little one, beeeeeeeeeep, c’mon… There you go!

Don’t you do it! Don’t you dare! I don’t want to hear it! Don’t you beep! If you beep, I’ll… don’t even think about it!… Don’t…! No! NO! Not THAT! Anything but that! Not the beep! No! Please! Not the beep! Anything but the beep! AAAAIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Hello. You are talking to a machine. I am capable of receiving messages. My owners do not need siding, windows, or a hot tub, and their carpets are clean. They give to charity through the office and don’t need their picture taken. If you’re still with me, leave your name and number and they will get back to you.

Computer generated voices:

1: Hello, there are no real people here to answer the phone right now.
2: Yeah, nobody but us machines!
1: Right, just us machines, but don’t hang up! If you like, you can leave your name and telephone number…
2: …and a message! You forgot about the message!
1: Right. Leave your name, telephone number, and a brief message after you hear the beep, and we will keep track of this stuff until the real people get back.
2: …unless of course, sombody pulls out our plug!

1: I didn’t expect an answering machine.
2: Nobody expects an answering machine.
1: Our chief use is to get your name. And your phone number.
2: Our two chief uses are to get your name and your phone number.
1: Oops! And your message message.
2: Our three uses are to get your name, phone number, and message.
1: And time you called.
2: Oh, great, we’ll have to start over.
1: No time for that, so just wait for the beep

 

 

Due to the large number of complaints regarding the length of our previous answering machine message, we made a few changes. Very fast: Hi, this is 904-4344. If you want to leave a message, please wait for the tone. If you want to leave your name and number, please press pound, press 3, then dial your name, then press 6 and dial your number. If you want to leave your name and just a message, press star, press 6, ask for extension 4443, then leave your name and message. If you want to leave your number and the time you called, please press star twice, spin in a circle, press 1 twice, talk loud and BEEP

This conversation may be recorded for quality and training purposes.

Hi, you’ve reached the phone of Melissa Sisk. If you are calling to collect a student loan, gambling debt, or other obligation, please press 1 and hang up now. If you are selling any product or service, or requesting charitable donations, please press 2 and hang up now. Otherwise, please remain on the line and your message will be taken in the order it was received.

 

You have reached the Strategic Air Command Nuclear Missile Storage Facility. We are unable to come to the phone right now. At the tone, please leave your name, number, and target or list of targets, and we’ll launch as soon as we can. And have a nice day.

 

Imitating Mr. Rogers: Hello. I’m in the Neighborhood of Make Believe right now, so I can’t come to the phone. Can you leave your name and number when you hear the sound of the tone? Sure… I knew you could.

E’llo. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Leave your name and number, and prepare to die.

 

This is the Literacy Self Test Hotline. After the tone, leave your name and number, and recite a sentence using today’s vocabulary word. Today’s word is “supercilious”.

Welcome to the Psychiatric Hotline. If you are obsessive-compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly. If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2. If you have multiple personalities, please press 3, 4, 5 and 6. If you are paranoid-delusional, we know who you are and what you want. Just stay on the line until we can trace the call. If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a little voice will tell you which number to press. If you are manic-depressive, it doesn’t matter which number you press. No one will answer.

 

Thank you for calling Uncle Tom’s Mortuary and Delicatessen. You stab ’em and we slab ’em. We have specials on Mondays and Thursdays. We are currently unable to come to the phone, but if you leave your number and address at the tone, we’ll be by to pick up the corpse as soon as possible.

 

Demented, screechy voice; occasional background screams: Hello. Thank you for calling Last Straw Chiropractic. (Raspy gasp.) We can’t come to the phone right now because we’re making a couple of adjustments. (Break a few small twigs; big scream.) Please leave your name and number and we’ll get back to you as soon as it is humanly possible. Thank you very much.

Hello, you’re caller number nine!

You are listening to 91.5 FM, KXQK. This is the Canadian Broadcorping Castration. I am your host, Fred, and I will be with you for the next 20 seconds. After that we’ll play your requests. Leave yours with us, and we’ll try to fit it in, given programming constraints. Thank you for listening to our show.

 

Cheers TV show theme song, “Where Everybody Knows your Name”:
Sometimes you make a call,
Where you gotta leave your name,
‘Cuz I can’t come to the phone,
You gotta leave a message here,
right after the tone.
You made a call,
Where you gotta leave your name.

 

“Winter Wonderland”:
Hear the ring, inside our home.
Once again, can’t get the phone.
So please be polite,
You know that it’s right,
And leave a message when you hear the tone

 

Beethoven’s Fifth:
Nobody’s home.
Why did you phone?
Please leave your message here when you have heard the tone,
And we will call you back as soon as we get home.
Your message here,
After the tone,
Here is the tone… tone… BEEP

 

I

can’t come to the phone now, so if, well, actually, I CAN come to the phone now, I mean, like, I’m at the phone NOW, recording this message, but I’m doing this NOW, while you’re listening to it LATER, except for you I guess it’s NOW, like, when you’re listening to it… I mean, like, wait, gosh. This is so confusing.

And my personal favorite that I currently have as my voicemail….

Thank you for calling the Confessional Hotline. Father Durway’s not here right now, but if you’ll leave your name, number, and confession at the tone, he’ll get back to you with absolution as soon as possible. And remember, confession doesn’t count unless you confess all of your sins in vivid, graphic detail!

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Picture Ornaments Tutorial

100_2658I am sure these are a dime a dozen out there and I am certain someone has made tutorials for these as well, but I haven’t found (or looked for for that matter) any so I’m going to share my particular version of these. Actually this is more suggestions and a trial and error list of lessons than tutorial with step by step instructions.

Supplies

White cotton or linen fabric amount varies but you’ll need a square slightly larger than each one of your photos

iron on transfer paper- I used Avery and was very pleased with the results

iron

printer and computer

digital pictures or old photos and a scanner or both

felt

embroidery floss

scissors and a needle

a little stuffing for each photo to make a little ornament pillow

 

I started by cropping a selection of each photo that I wanted in my free photo editing software, Gimp. I don’t save the changes to the original photo but instead transfer the changes to a new empty document. However you choose to go about this part is up to you. I saved all my pictures into documents with a page size of 8 1/2 by 11 so that when it came time to print they would all fit on and use up one sheet of the iron on transfer paper.

I changed all my photos to black and white and lightened some of them that were darker. I then tinted them to give them a sepia tone but you could print in full color, black and white or even crazy Warhol inspired tones- its entirely up to you.

Once you have all your pictures edited to your liking print the pages out onto the special paper. I went into my printers preferences (on the print screen) and set the paper type to Photo Transfer paper but I don’t know if this makes a difference. We’ll assume it does and say thats an important step. Also since you’re using photos for this project set the quality to best or photo or whatever is the optimal print setting so that these babies come out looking fabulous.

Once they’re printed separate your photos, cutting off any parts of the picture that you don’t want included in the finished project.

Prepare your surface and read the instructions on the back of the transfer paper packaging. I did make sure that there was no water in my iron and shut off the steam but I didn’t check to make sure there were no bits of string stuck to my fabric and a couple of my photos have blue spots on them from random stuff in my craft room. Make sure that there is an even surface under your photo- if you have a pillow case under it, make sure that it is all the way under the picture- the reason being that uneven surfaces equal …. unique textures that aren’t quite right in the finished project.

It took about 45 seconds per photo for the ironing and in case you’re wondering, no you can’t reuse the photos- the whole sticky side comes off on your fabric and thats that. Allow the photos to cool fully (about 2 minutes off the hot surface) before trying to peel the backing from the fabric. Don’t iron on a surface that might be ruined by high heat i.e. that antique sewing cabinet that belongs to your step mother. (learned this at 6 am one Saturday when I was in High School- serves her right for waking me up to do something she should have done the day before)

Now to the ornaments. I made a couple of these that were larger, but as they say, hindsight is 20/20 and I would make the pictures wallet sized or just slightly larger. 100_2660Trim around the outside edge of your photo leaving an edge of about an 8th of an inch-ish. Cut a piece of felt to the same size while you’re at it. Place your felt and picture together with the right sides out. Arm yourself with needle and embroidery floss and blanket stitch around the outside edge till you have only a small opening left. Stuff the little pillow shape lightly- just enough to give it some dimension or more if you wish- and finish sewing the opening shut. For a hanger you can do several things. you could attach some ribbon and go that route, you could use some extra embroidery floss to make a loop as I chose to do, or you could even take a metal hanger and hook the little end through your blanket stitches and hang it that way.

I am making these with pictures of my nieces and nephews for my MIL and SIL, my brothers and I for my parents my step mom, and even a couple of family pets for our own tree. The subject matter options are endless. I may have one of each of my nieces and nephews on the tree for them to take home from Christmas this year so that they have them as keepsakes. In addition to family photos you can add sayings to these in a photo editing software- just go wild and have a blast.

100_2668My beautiful camera assistant

Happy Holiday Crafting

I’m going to assume that I’m not the only one out there crazy enough to be making a bunch of my gifts and/or ornaments this year due to lack of funds or disdain for what is commercially available so I thought today I might share a few places where I’ve found some wonderful inspiration.

Saidos da Concha has a cute tutorial on making felt ornaments that gave me some ideas. This is a bilingual blog, but she has instructions in English.

Craftbits has a bunch of stuff, but I like a couple of their Christmas card ideas. Here and here.

Francine Clouden has a bunch of different goodies a wreath, several tags, a bird ornament and these felt ornaments.

I also found a bunch of goodies on flickr  just by searching Christmas ornaments handmade.

 A couple of my favorites were this one, this one, and all the cuties here. The last one being the inspiration for my tree ornament in my post the other day.

I know not all of you are as nutty as I am, but in case you feel the urge, this should give you some inspiration.

A couple of other places you might like are One Pretty Thing and The Crafty Princess Diaries because they have lists of goodies. But they can be a bit addictive so consider yourself forewarned.

Now I’m off to work on my next gift project- picture ornaments. Can someone out there come and knock me upside the head and maybe take away the iron on transfer paper before I go completely nuts?

Oh Christmas Tree

scan0003The holidays have been a very special time for me for as long as I can remember. When I was little B.D. (before divorce) my parents and my little brothers and I would make the trip to Gramma and Grampa’s scan0011house for Thanksgiving. We’d all eat till we were stuffed. scan0002I would run around with black olives on each of my fingers or drag my antique baby doll who was as big as I was up from the family room in the basement. I’d then proceed to re-introduce everyone to Charlotte, the worlds ugliest doll. She had been found on the side of the road by my Grampa, with on arm broken off. That deterred him not at all and he cobbled her back together like some child’s forgotten Frankestein with a bolt that went through both arms. To this day she still survives as a somewhat grisly reminder of my wonderful childhood.

When it came to Christmas, things were different. scan0013My parents stopped celebrating Christmas for religious reasons after I turned 3 and so we didn’t celebrate per se. This lack of celebration never stopped my grandparentsscan0009 in Michigan from sending us several boxes of goodies and as December came I began my watch for the much anticipated UPS truck bringing its wonderful surprises. Always there was at least one box of homemade cookies and candies- oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip, peanut butter, ones with gooey candied cherries in them, and many flavors of candy both homemade and store bought. The presents were still opened on and Christmas always yielded a Barbie or two and often ponies as well as homemade clothing and barettes or jewelry. My grandma never failed to make this a special day for us.

I remember as well my birthday that would always come a week later with more gifts and often a family get together. One year in particular I got one of those dolls that actually wet her diaper, a little table just my size. scan0018Another year a homemade piggy bank, my first embroidery set, and a doll with jewels in her hair. The cake was memorable in that it was frosted to look like a gumball machine with skittles stuck into the icing. That was a particularly special year.scan0017

Holidays A.D. were a much different affair and I remember both halves of that first Christmas very well. My parents were both broke and we had just moved into a tiny basement apartment in a rough part of town. My dad was having a very rough time of it having lost his whole family in such a short time as well as a lot of money for the court costs and other bills. I’ll never forget staying at a friend of the family’s house one Saturday while my dad had to work and making an enormous paper chain of different colored papers. I was so proud of it and was very surprised when we got home that day to be taken out in the woods with my dad to find a Christmas tree. My little brother proudly hacked away at the trunk with his little hatchet and then let daddy do the last little bit of work. *wink wink* I was 7 which means he had just turned 5 and he was so proud to be helping.

We took our sad little spruce home and wrapped it round with the paper chain. From somewhere hidden in the basement my dad produced an old box of cherished Christmas ornaments and lights and  we decorated the tree as best we could with the little that we had. I don’t remember what he held it up with- maybe there was a tree stand too- but I do remember that the tinfoil star didn’t want to stay on the top because the tree was a little crooked. To this day I can’t see a Charlie Brown Christmas tree without thinking of that one.

Someone donated a tree to my mom- just a little 3 foot artificial tree and it stood on a box in our little living room. I don’t remember much about the decorations except for one little handmade angel that hung at the top in place of a star.

Gifts were sparse that year. Someone adopted our family and I got Barbie tennis shoes and an amazingly intricate crocheted Barbie ball gown. My dad got me a little digital diary/organizer and it still resides in a box of special childhood toys along with that dress.

I have been thinking back on that day this year as I decorate my tree with ornaments that we have bought as well as a few that I have made. It makes me thankful for what I have now and also reminds me that I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for how I grew up. I am thankful for that too.

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