Blogging From A to Z – 2018 – V is for

Welcome to the letter V in the A to Z Challenge for 2018.  Winding my way through the alphabet inside Michaels Arts and Crafts store.  V is for Vases.

You saw how many flowers there were in my post for the letter “F” so you would think that there would be vases for them, right?

Well there are!

Lots of different sizes and shapes but most of them are clear glass.  

Some even look like they could hold candy or other decorations on a table. 

Tall ones.

Ones that look like martini glasses.  This picture is deceiving.  This glass is WAY too big to be a martini glass unless you were sharing that martini with about 3 other people.

Same with this champagne glass.

And this wine glass looking one could hold half a bottle of wine at least.

Long rectangle ones.

Short and stubby ones.

A few that are colored.
And some that are more suited for terrariums.  Interestingly, I saw an ad for these and they had twinkle lights in them.  That’s a neat idea I think.

Another V is good old Velcro.
Lastly, there are the Everyday Value items.  Near the front of the store, usually close to the Q-Line is a row of things that are classified as Everyday Value items.  These are things like small rolls of ribbon, pads of paper, a pack of plain white chalk, some rubber stamps, small bottles of glitter glue, things that are usually between $1 and $3.  As the sign says (well you could see it if I took a big enough picture but trust me, it says) no coupons or other discounts apply to the Everyday Value items.   There are Everyday Value items located all throughout the store. 
These glue guns and bags of glue are Everyday Value items.  
So are these rolling carts and the big gallon jugs of glue.  
There were several times a customer who was so excited to get this cart ($30 in our store) or a parent with a gallon of glue ($30 for clear and $18 for white) for their child to make slime had coupons for 50% off a regular priced item and I had to disappoint them and tell them it was an Everyday Value item therefore the coupons would not work.  Sometimes they would buy it anyway and sometimes it would end up in the “go backs.”  There were a few customers who would complain that it wasn’t marked clearly enough but there was usually a sign by the item and it is clearly written on the coupons.  Occasionally if the parent had brought up the clear glue that was $30 I would tell them that the white was cheaper but that’s about the best I could do.       
Four days left in our A to Z.  Are you still with me?  
(Note:  I decided I should add a disclaimer to these posts because I certainly don’t want to give the idea that I am being paid by Michaels to do this or that they are furnishing me with material.  All pictures used in this blog series were taken by me at local Michaels stores, or are my personal pictures and every Michaels store may not have everything shown.)

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Blogging From A to Z – 2018 – U is for

Welcome to the letter U in the A to Z Challenge for 2018.  I’m traveling through the alphabet at Michaels Arts and Crafts store.  Today is U for Unique and Unusual.

Just walking through the store the other day I came upon several things that would qualify (I think) as unique and unusual.  First, there was this display just sitting in the middle of the walkway.  I’m not sure if it was the beginning of a new display or just a place to sit and rest for a minute.  The way it was just by itself in the aisle made it seem a little weird.  (No offense to Michaels merchandising team, just my opinion).

Here’s a close up of the stool/end table?  I guess you could use it for either, depending on how big you are.  They are made of metal.  

Mother’s Day is coming soon if your mom is a gardener.  These tools are pretty.

Something new since I left are these ceramic stone kits.  They come in all different patterns.  Maybe there is one that would look good around my fairy garden?  

This was new to me too.  They are called Diamond Dotz and it is a form of needlework, although you are using tiny dots instead of thread.  You use a special tool to pick up the Dotz and put them in the picture.  The end result kind of like needlepoint.  I didn’t read the whole instructions so I don’t know what you can do with them when you’re done or if you have to put some sealant or something over it so the beads don’t fall off.    

Cute kittens

These are cool new ways to charge your phones and other electronic devices.  Hidden inside is a charger which you can charge at home and then carry this with you to charge your phone on the go.  What will they think of next? 

In the kids section there are some unusual and pretty cool animals:

Another one of the kid crazes like the slime thing are Squishies.

I asked several kids what the attraction was about these things and all they could say was “They’re squishy.”  Apparently they have to have a certain type of squishability to be the most sought after.  

One of the moms said maybe they were like the adult stress balls?  I don’t know but for $13 and up I think I’d try to find something else for my kid to sit and squeeze.  I watched one girl squeeze every single one we had on display and tell her dad that none were the “right” kind.  At least they don’t involve tons of glue and glitter and aren’t messy!   

These are called Morphs and apparently they can morph from a blob of goo into an animal.  

Gotta have a unicorn!

These styrofoam heads are kinda creepy just sitting on the shelf like this don’t you think?

And we can’t forget the masks.  

Another U is Unfinished wood.  There are a ton of different things you can get and paint or stain to your own liking.  Birdhouses and castles.
Serving trays.

Frames and boxes, words and letters.


Shelves and other art.

Unique and unusual enough to qualify for this letter?  Ever use unfinished wood to make your own home decor?  Interested in trying Diamond Dotz?  Need a squishy for stress relief?  Love to hear about it.  Once again I suggest you visit the other U-blogs for today and come back tomorrow for the letter V.

(Note:  I decided I should add a disclaimer to these posts because I certainly don’t want to give the idea that I am being paid by Michaels to do this or that they are furnishing me with material.  All pictures used in this blog series were taken by me at local Michaels stores, or are my personal pictures and every Michaels store may not have everything shown.)

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Blogging From A to Z – 2018 – T is for

Welcome to the letter T in the A to Z Challenge for 2018.  For this year I decided to make my way through the alphabet at Michaels Arts and Crafts store.  T has to be for T-shirts.

All sizes and colors, T-shirts is one of the more popular items at Michaels because you can do a lot of things with them.  Remember all the Iron-Ons there were in the letter I?  I didn’t mention T-shirts then because I knew it was going to be my letter T.

They have sales on T-shirts a lot.  You can see here they are 3 for $10.  Sometimes they go as low as $2.  That is pretty cheap and they are of good quality too.

In addition to the iron ons, one of the things you can do with T-shirts is tie dye them.  

They even have kits to have a tie dye party.  That would make a fun thing for a kids birthday or family picnic.

They also have fabric paints so you can write or draw your own embellishments.

How cute are these appliques?  I love the panda and the owl. 

We can’t forget the Be-Dazzler!  Gotta get the bling on those T-shirts too.

Shorter post today after Saturday’s Scrapbooking.  Thought I’d give you a little break.  Have you tie-dyed or decorated T-shirts?  Use fabric paint?  Bling out?  I wanna know.

Now go check some of the other T blogs and come back tomorrow for the letter U.

(Note:  I decided I should add a disclaimer to these posts because I certainly don’t want to give the idea that I am being paid by Michaels to do this or that they are furnishing me with material.  All pictures used in this blog series were taken by me at local Michaels stores, or are my personal pictures and every Michaels store may not have everything shown.)

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Blogging From A to Z – 2018 – S is for

Welcome to the letter S in the A to Z Challenge for 2018.  I’ve been making my way through the alphabet at Michaels Arts and Crafts store (thanks once again to Jacqui Murray at WordDreams for the inspiration).  This is the letter I’ve been waiting for the whole month!  It is the one nearest and dearest to my heart.  It is SCRAPBOOKING.  Sorry for shouting but I just get so excited!

Paper first of all.  This is the single sheet section which I rarely use because it can get very expensive at up to $1 a sheet!

These are the 8-1/2 x 11 inch packs that can go as low as $2 a pack.  That’s pretty good.  It’s still not my favorite though.

These paper pads are more like it.  This was a recent sale at 70% off which meant a pad of 12 x 12 papers (48 sheets) was $5.  I must confess I have a bit of a paper addiction so I have to really control myself when I see this sale.

They come in smaller sizes too.  This is 6 x 6.

Can you say tons of paper?

Such pretty collections!

I’m not a fan of Martha Stewart and don’t like buying her name brand products because I don’t think she needs any of my money but she does come up with some really pretty designs.  My favorite of this batch is the one on the bottom right corner.

Of course, you need albums to put the papers in.  Michaels has quite a few of those too.  My preference is 12 x 12 ring bound.  I just find them easier to add pages to and I like the way the book stays open.  
Recollections is the Michaels’ brand for a lot of scrapbooking items.  These are post-bound albums which are okay if you are doing a specific theme or limited event album.  

Lots of different styles here too.

Next up is the tools.  
Paper trimmers and punches galore. 

You can find hole punches in a lot of different sizes.

Fiskars is a big brand in this area.  

So now we have the paper and the albums and the tools to cut and punch with.  Next we need some stamps.  These are clear acrylic stamps. 
Tim Holtz is a big name in this department and some of his stamps are locked up because they are expensive.  

I love this one.  “The nice nurse is on vacation” she says with the needle in her hand.  I have given a few shots in my former occupation as a medical assistant so it makes me chuckle.  There were a few patients that it would have been funny to say this to.    

Dylusions is another brand.  She is way out there with her stamps.

There are wooden stamps too.  I always find those a little harder to work with because if you don’t get the stamp done perfectly the first time it is hard to re-stamp in the same exact spot.

If you are stamping, you need ink.

Some other things you can use are paints and sprays.  I love the vibrant colors here.

These are special crayons that work with water to make very interesting effects.

Stickers is another necessity in scrapbooking.  There is a vast array of themes.

Rows and rows of everything you could think of.

Travel

School

Baby

There are some VERY expensive tools you can get too.  The old fashioned typewriter has made a come back.  Who knew?  Pretty sure I’m not spending $200 on a typewriter when I can get the same effect more or less with my computer.
This is the Cricut machine.  It, too, is very expensive and it is for cutting intricate details and also works using your computer.  I haven’t gotten into this one and I’m not sure I want to start.  

The Cricut machine itself can run up to almost $300.

It has its own section of tools and special papers that go with it.   

Some people have compared my scrap room to a scrapbooking store but I don’t know what they are talking about:

Looking in the room from the door.

My Original ScrapBox Workbox.  They are on a 3.0 version now but I got my 1.0 on sale for a bargain.  Each one of those drawers hold some sort of craft supply.  You can see some of my ribbon hanging on the side (used Command hooks for that!)

On the right wall.  Scrapbooks in progress, my printer.  The drawers hold alphabet stickers and words and sayings.  More paper and card making kits.  My coloring books.  On the bottom right is a binding machine to make my own books. 

The left side of the room.  Those binders are from Totally Tiffany and they are full of different supplies organized by themes.  It makes it easier to find things if I have them all in one place.  The drawers underneath hold specialty 8-1/2 x 11 paper, blank photo paper and other special scraps.  The desk itself is a sewing machine table but with all those binders on top of the sewing machine I don’t really sew ever.  

My paper tower.  This is most of my 12 x 12 sheets.  The box on the bottom holds some 6 x 6 pads.  I need to do some rearranging here as you can see I have no room for some of the pads I just got (see above 70% off section – LOL)

Most of my wooden stamps.  I’ve pretty much stopped buying wooden ones.  There is a way to take the stamp off the wooden block but I haven’t started that process yet.

Some of my acrylic stamps.  I have a whole binder full of smaller ones and another container full of just Christmas stamps.

Inks

See, I have some of the vibrant paints too!

Some stickers.  I have a lot more in the binders with their appropriate theme (school, baby, Christmas, Travel, Dads, Music, Party, etc.)

Five drawers full of punches.

And just in case you were feeling sorry for me because I didn’t have some of the more expensive tools, here are a couple that I do have:  

My Slice machine.  It was among the first of the die cutting machines to come out.  The company has stopped making them but I am pretty covered in supplies.  I can cut almost any shape or letter with this small machine.

This is my MISTI stamp platform.  It allows me to stamp with any acrylic stamp over and over again in the same spot.  I also have the newer version of this by Tim Holtz.  Both are staples for me when stamping.  

I didn’t even touch on a lot of the things in the scrapbook section like brads and all the different markers and chalks, stencils etc.  The glitter and adhesives I covered already in G for Glitter and Glue.  I have all those things too, but figured this would be enough about scrapbooking for most people.

One of the things I’ve wanted to do for a while was make a video about my craft room and the way I have it organized because I know I like looking at other people’s systems to get ideas.  Maybe after the A to Z stops consuming me I’ll do that.

So, what do you think?  Can I rival Michaels in the scrapbook section?  I actually think, stamp for stamp, I have more acrylic stamps than they do, but they have me way outnumbered in paper and albums, for now.  Hope I haven’t bored you too much.  Stop by the other S-rs and come back Monday for T – no, not the drink.

(Note:  I decided I should add a disclaimer to these posts because I certainly don’t want to give the idea that I am being paid by Michaels to do this or that they are furnishing me with material.  All pictures used in this blog series were taken by me at local Michaels stores, or are my personal pictures and every Michaels store may not have everything shown.)

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Blogging From A to Z – 2018 – R is for

Welcome to the letter R in the A to Z Challenge for 2018.  We are winding down this journey through the alphabet as seen in Michaels Arts and Crafts store.  There are a couple of things that will qualify for this letter.

The first is Ribbons.

You can find ribbon in every color of the rainbow, black, white, gold, silver

Polka dots 

and prints

Skinny ribbon and wide ribbon too.  

There are coordinating spools of ribbon

and in the clearance section I found a whole tube of ribbons and bows leftover from Christmas.

If you don’t want to make your own bows there are pre-made ones, again in all the colors you can think of.   There is also the ribbon that makes the curly bows.

But if you feel the need to make your own bows, we have the As Seen On TV E-Z BowMaker and other tools to help with that.

Have you ever seen so much ribbon?  This section of the store is a little easier to keep organized because you can definitely follow the basic colors, but within that there are so many shades, widths and finishes, some are satiny and some are not.  I’m really glad that most of the time I was “just” a cashier and didn’t have to put away everything! 
The other R is for Rocks.
So many different kinds, colors and shapes of rocks.  

Bags of glass stones galore.

Rocks that look like rocks.

Aren’t these pretty ones?  They look like aquamarine but I’m pretty sure that a jar of aquamarine stones like this would have to be kept locked up!  It is my birthstone and I know it isn’t cheap!

Little glass stones for decorating who knows what?

Even seashell type.

Do you have projects you need rocks for?  A garden?  Maybe I should think of some of these when it is time to build my gnome home!

Thanks for coming along with me so far.  I hope you can continue to the end of the alphabet.  Remember to stop by and visit some other peeps.  Tomorrow is S.  Can you guess what I’ve chosen for that letter?

(Note:  I decided I should add a disclaimer to these posts because I certainly don’t want to give the idea that I am being paid by Michaels to do this or that they are furnishing me with material.  All pictures used in this blog series were taken by me at local Michaels stores, or are my personal pictures and every Michaels store may not have everything shown.)

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Blogging From A to Z – 2018 – Q is for

Welcome to the letter Q in the A to Z Challenge for 2018.  As we go through the A to Z of things you will find at a Michaels store, we can’t forget the ever (un)popular Q-Line.

Q-Line is what the area is called where you stand in a “queue” and wait for the next available cashier (that would have been me!)  In our store, the line was in this section.  The pole in the middle of the picture was supposed to be the end of the line.

At the far end of this picture you can see the first register, next to the soda cases.  Our “goal” was never to have the line longer than this distance.

This is looking at it from the cashier’s point of view.  That black thing in the middle of the table is my scan gun.  Paper bag at the ready if you want to pay 25 cents for it (here in California anyway).

If you’ve ever shopped at Michaels during the holiday season (or when we are having sales, or on a Saturday afternoon), you know that it RARELY looks this empty.  Rest assured, however, that the cashiers understand and try to move as quickly as we are able without making errors and if we see that the line is approaching or passing the sign, we do call for additional cashiers if there are any available.  We won’t talk about the things the customers do that makes the check out time take so long.  

Of course, while you are waiting in line, there are lots of things to “look at” to keep you entertained (entice you to continue shopping).  For the last two weeks that I was working the offering was some new paint ball contraption.  The bags hold “Goblies” that are paint balls in some kind of liquid (it may be water, I didn’t check).  There are also the “guns” that you can buy to shoot the paint balls.  Personally, I am opposed to guns of any kind so they don’t trigger my buying impulse AT ALL.  (Please don’t get started on a gun thing.  This is not that kind of blog).    

As with a lot of Michaels items, there were certainly many pretty colors but I am not sure how popular they are because in the two weeks that the were there, I think I only sold two packs.  Just this week I saw an add on Michaels website promoting these for “date night?”  Not sure I would be enthused about going on a date just to get pelted with paint but again, that’s just me.

Also in the Q-line are more necessary items like coffee packets,

fun brownie mixes with Nutella and a cute little skillet,
and different things for the holidays.  Snowman Poop was a great one.  Instead of lumps of coal in your stocking, you get Snowman Poop if you’ve been “bad.” 

If waiting in line makes you hungry or you have a sweet tooth, there is candy to catch your eye.

One of my jobs when there was no line in the queue was to go along the shelves and pick up the things that people had decided they did not want to buy and just put on a shelf.  Pretty sure those Easter eggs did not belong with the Junior Mints.  I didn’t mind that because all I had to do was pick up the things that didn’t belong, I didn’t have to put them away.  Besides, I said it was my job when there was no line!  
Another item that would qualify for the “Q” in today’s theme is Quilt.  Michaels does not have the fabrics that some other craft stores do but they carry a lot of bits and pieces that you can use to make a quilt.  (Again in one of my recent emails there was an ad that Michaels is now getting different materials that you can have cut to order on the website.  I don’t think that feature is in stores yet.)  
Some pieces are bigger than others.  

Some are in coordinated groups.  

The tools you need for this craft are available as well, rolling blades 

and craft cutting mats.  

Question:  Are you the kind of shopper that leaves things in the Q-line or do you give them to the cashier and politely say “I changed my mind about this?”  Quilt much?  
Stop by the A to Z page and pick up another “Q” and come back here tomorrow for R! 
(Note:  I decided I should add a disclaimer to these posts because I certainly don’t want to give the idea that I am being paid by Michaels to do this or that they are furnishing me with material.  All pictures used in this blog series were taken by me at local Michaels stores, or are my personal pictures and every Michaels store may not have everything shown.)

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Blogging From A to Z – 2018 – P is for

Welcome to the letter P in the A to Z Challenge for 2018.  This year for the A to Z Challenge I am working my way through Michaels Arts and Crafts store.  As we have come to see, there are many more things that you can find at Michaels than just craft items.  P is for Picture Frames.

Framing is a big deal at Michaels.  There is a whole station dedicated to picture frames with custom orders welcome!  There are associates dedicated to the Framing Department and they would be happy to help you frame that picture your child made for you in 1st grade or the signed poster you got at the last concert.

They have recently partnered with the Scott Brothers to add to the Custom Framing Collection.  I am not a decorator or really into design so I am not familiar with them but it may mean something to you.  

There are SO many framing options.  I loved looking at all the different choices of materials.  

Some are really ornate.

Some are plainer.

Gold finish.

Or colorful to match your walls. 

And then there are the mats to go with them.  

If you aren’t in need of custom framing but have something that you’d like to frame yourself, there are standard picture frames in all sizes and finishes. 

Even tiny tabletop frames for baby pictures of the kids. 

There are also display cases for your baseball card collection or that bat you had signed,
Flag holders and golf ball displays.

Got a basketball or helmet you need to protect?

And lots of different collage type picture frames to hold a generation of photos.

Can’t forget the hardware you need to hang your treasures with, 

and my personal favorite, Command strips and hooks.  

We have stock in 3M so please buy Command products at every opportunity!  

Do you have something special you need framed?  Like to coordinate or do random assortments?  Use Command items?  Tell me and make sure to check the other A to Z “P”eeps.  

(Note:  I decided I should add a disclaimer to these posts because I certainly don’t want to give the idea that I am being paid by Michaels to do this or that they are furnishing me with material.  All pictures used in this blog series were taken by me at local Michaels stores, or are my personal pictures and every Michaels store may not have everything shown.)

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