Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Doh! Moment

Today started off pretty well, at least better than yesterday did when I overslept and started out my day an hour behind. (I hate when that happens!) So today I left the house with my Son's birthday card, all written, sealed and ready for mailing. I also had two packages to mail (thank you for buying my stuff!!!), so I stopped at the PO on the way home.

That was when I had the DOH moment. I was so proud of myself for getting the card out and thinking how it might not even embarrass him when he opened it, when right after I slipped it into the ole slot, I realized I'd forgotten to include the little something I always send with my b'day cards. Can you say, "DOH!" So all the way home I had the Mom Recovery Card in the works within my brain.

I checked the mail on the way into the house, most anxious to get the card out of my brain and into reality, and look what I found in the mailbox:

My first thought was, "Wha?!?! A milk carton?!" until I checked and saw it was from Creative Mode, LLC. Remembering I had just purchased some stamps from there, I was soooo excited. Yes, about the stamps, mostly because they are all irreverant, but I was so impressed with the unique shipping container, I had to share!

Okay, done sharing. The idea I had for the Mom Recovery Card was to re-create my initial reaction in ... a card! The cool thing about making your own cards is you can make them say anything you want them to. AND, the creation became a Stash Dive card, to boot, because I used some of the must-have Target Dollar Spot chipboard letters I have never opened. This is what came out:

Recipe: Stamps - Pick A Petal; Paper - Certainly Celery, Real Red, Bashful Blue, Celery DS paper, Whisper White; Ink - Real Red; Other - Bashful Blue gg ribbon, Basic Gray marker, Jumbo Eyelet, Crop-O-Dile, Mini Glue Dots, Target Dollar Spot chipboard letters.

I think this says it all. :-) I started with the letters, and that drove the color choices for the card stock. There was no exclamation point in the chipboard stack (hey - they were a buck!) so I made one using one of the petals from Pick A Petal. I originally had used the Pick A Petal circle for the dot, but changed my mind at the last minute and kicked it up with the Jumbo Eyelet. The blue ribbon on the 'd' covers a scratch in the chipboard, and it really does match the blue stripe in the 'h'. I added the blue layer to make the whole thing look less Christmas-like, then went a little over-board and put ribbon through the eyelet, too.

What can I say? Not my best work (yes, it is a little crooked), but I love it, and it only took about 10 minutes to execute. Gotta appreciate that! Not a bad Mom Recovery, if I do say so myself. :-)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Atmospheric Phenomena and Hotel Inspiration

I did a mini Road Trip to the Midwest this past weekend, and I found myself surrounded by inspiring images. But first, let's discuss the Atmospheric Phenomena part of this post.

When I drive from Maryland to Michigan, I am going West. I leave in the morning, and since the sun rises in the East, it is usually behind me and not an issue until after lunch. Interstate 70 goes in a generally WNW direction between Maryland and Pennsylvania, so why, at 10:00 am, was the sun to my LEFT!?! Whazzup with that?!?!?! I had to put my sun visor to my left at 10:00 am! Lessee ... driving West, so to my Left is South, or if I am going more NW, then to my left is SW. Not East! The only thing I could think of was it had something to do with the tilt of the Earth at this time of year, so maybe the sun is not in the East East in the morning any more. Maybe? Anyone out there that knows the answer to this, please let me know!

So anyway, somewhere on the Ohio Turnpike I had to pull over and take this picture:

Okay, so I will not be nominated for any photographic awards for this shot, but I was trying to take the photo out of the driver-side window, in between the whoosh zoom of many, many, many semi's. I would have gotten out of the car like I usually do on my road trips, but not this time. The whoosh zoom's were too close together to safely open the car door and still expect it to be attached to the car for the remainder of my trip. But let me tell you about the sky. The clouds were a swirl, and on the left, where it looks sorta orange in the picture, the colors were really vibrant reds and oranges - it was gorgeous! You will just have to trust me on that one. :-)

Moving on to the Hotel Inspiration part of the post. After I checked in to the hotel (a Hampton Inn, in case you were wondering) I found myself needing to take pictures of things ... like the carpet in the halls and the wallpaper in the room.

This is a shot of the paper in the bathroom:

and this is the card that came out:

Recipe: Stamps - Weathered bg, Baroque Motifs, Fancy Flexible Phrases; Paper - Sage Shadow, Very Vanilla, Creamy Caramel; Ink - Creamy Caramel, Sage Shadow, Sage Shadow Craft; Other - Sage Shadow marker, Twill, SAMJ.

When I first saw the wallpaper, I thought about the now-retired On Safari background stamp, which I do not own, and a medalion stamp from the Baroque Motifs set, or one very much like it. I ended up using the Weathered background image with the medalion ... from Baroque Motifs! It is kinda difficult to see, but I scored the Vanilla card stock to give me a grid for placing the medalion with the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig. It worked great. Well, remember, I am the Crooked Stamper, so for me it helped a little. For other people it would be great.

Moving on, this is shot of the carpet in the hallway:

and this, well ... this is an example of what can happen when I have too much time on my hands:

Recipe: Stamps - Tres Chic bg; Paper - Certainly Celery, So Saffron, Always Artichoke, Not Quite Navy: Ink - Always Artichoke; Other - Versamarker, Cutter Kit (for the curved pieces), Corner Rounder punch, clear EP, Vanilla gg ribbon, misc eyelets.

The eyelets on the smaller piece of Artichoke looked okay - just for some character, but then I got a little carried away and put some eyelets on the right-hand panel, then got a hair-brained idea that I could kind of lace them together. Uh-uh. Then I searched and searched for a sentiment that would work, and I finally opted for the 'Believe' word on the Tres Chic stamp since I'd already used it as the background. Coincidentally, that part of the background stamp is the whole reason I bought it in the first place, but I had no idea inking it up would be such a challenge. I ended up using the Versamarker to ink up only the part I wanted, and, well, it finally came out passable, but this is not one I'd try to mass-produce.

Ya know, the more I look at this card, the more I dislike it ('hate' is such a strong word.) There's too much going on, and I guess I just lost focus. I had good intentions, but in the end I failed in the delivery. Please feel free to link to this card as an example of what not to do with carpet inspiration. I think I will try again, maybe using just the colors, as that part of this attempt seems to be okay.
Oh, well. Off to try again.

Quick Birthday Card

Having two sons in the "Young Adult" age group provides me with an ongoing challenge to make cards that will not embarass the bajeebers out of them in case their roommates might see them. So for my youngest's 20th birthday I made this card today:

Recipe: Stamps - All Year Cheer 2; Paper - Soft Sky, Old Olive, Kraft (or maybe the old Confetti Tan), Whisper White, Fall Flowers DS paper; Ink - Old Olive Craft; Other - Oval eyelets, Clear EP, Rub-ons, Olive gg ribbon.

The layout for this card was totally inspired by last week's Mojo Monday sketch. The colors were taken from the piece of Fall Flowers DS paper I had laying around. See what happens when I do not clean up? Inspiration!!!!!

The dots and the message on the ribbon are some of the new SU rub-ons. Some of the dots did not stick, but it still works, I think. The stars are also SU rub-ons - three of them, in fact! I stuck them on some Soft Sky scraps, then cut them out and layered them. The whole thing really came together very quickly.

For my next trick, I plan to show you some of the Road Trip inspiration I collected this past weekend and the resulting cards. They are still works-in-progress, so hopefully later this week I will be able to share.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Cold enough for you?

I just read this on GinaK's blog, and what a hoot! Sometimes (okay...MOST of the time) I laugh at people in DC when they say it is freezing cold outside and I am still in short sleeves. Having grown up in the Midwest, including 2 years in Chicago, I completely identified with this post:

Here in DC it was in the teens yesterday, so yes, I finally put on my winter coat this morning! :-) Now back to work!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Busy, Busy Day

Today was my Free-For-All event. That's where people come over with their own projects in tow, and we spend all day creating. I offer up my scraps (organized by color, of course), my punches, my inks, etc. And I feed everyone with a kitchen full of munchies...healthy munchies today, except for the vat of Chex Mix, but it had cranberries in it, so it was not so bad.

Well, today should have been called a Freeze-For-All, because it was really cold out, for Maryland, at least. And there were gusting winds, too, so I think people opted to stay home and be toasty. But two brave souls did come over, and we played! Since they both brought everything they needed, I did not need to do too much running around, and *I* got to play, too! Whoo-hoo!

First up is a card I made with the stamp you have already seen (twice) from my GinaK set. Today I paired her with a sentiment I got last month but had not used yet.

Recipe: Stamps - GinaK, River City Rubber Works; Paper - Certainly Celery, Old Olive, Regal Rose, Misc white; Ink - Black, Old Olive, Going Gray, Regal Rose, Basic Gray, Blush Blossom; Other - SU Jumbo Eyelet, Misc ribbon, black marker, sponge dauber, blender pen.

This whole card started with the green ribbon - it has both celery and olive in it, so I wanted to use those two greens together somehow and tie it together (!) with the ribbon. I think it is funny that the ribbon kinda became too much with the lady in the car, so I ended up with just a little bit of it in the eyelet.

I cut the white card stock crooked - WAY crooked, but we collectively decided it looked neat that way, so I went with it. I kept layering with the crooked shape and I think it actually works for her! (Works for me, too!)

My favorite part of the card is her sunglasses. Rule #1 in stamping: There are no mistakes, only opportunities for embellishment. I went a bit wild with the Blush Blossom and ran over into her glasses, so she got to wear shades, and I LIKE them!

Next up is a card made with a stamp I got from a friend of mine who is also doing a stamp-room purge.

Recipe: Stamps - Grapes by Rubber Stampede; Paper - Water Color paper, Garden Green, Elegant Eggplant, Natural White; Ink - Elegant Eggplant; Other - Watercolor Wonder Crayons, watercolor brush, sponge dauber, Eggplan marker.

I am not the best water-colorer, so I dove right in to this challenge! I took the colors from the sticker on the front of the stamp and just played with the purples until I got the blending I wanted. I think it came out just fine!

I hand-wrote the sentiment because I could not get any tiny alphabet stamp set to line up with the correct spacing. Then when I went to erase the lines I'd used to get the words straight I schmeared the purple ink with the art eraser (!) so I took that queue to add the sponging to make it look like I meant to do that (Rule #2 in stamping: Learn how to say, "I meant to do that ...")

This next card is made with a stamp I got from another friend doing the stamp purge.

Recipe: Stamps - Lady by All Night Media, sentiment by River City Rubber Works, paw print by Technique Tuesday; Paper - Regal Rose, Going Gray, Basic Black Whisper White; Ink - Going Gray, Regal Rose, Pumpkin Pie, Creamy Caramel, Basic Black; Other - blender pen.

The lady just spoke to me, so I had to have her! I paired her with a sentiment I got a few months ago which seemed perfect! (Or is that purr-fect...:-)

Now THIS one was a challenge for me. Wide ribbon is always a tough one, but I was determined to make this work. The ribbon was from this month's shipment from my Really Reasonable Ribbon club - this month's theme is "violet" - LOTS of purple....

Recipe: Stamps - Noteworthy; Paper - Old Olive, misc textured white; Ink - Elegant Eggplant; Other - wide purple ribbon from Really Reasonable Ribbon, white rub-ons by SU, markers.

The ribbon looked awesome just laying on the white card stock, but it needed more - doesn't it always?! One of ladies suggested green, so I grabbed some Olive and it really set off the dark purple. Then I thunk and thunk and retrieved the Noteworthy stamp set from the back of one of my drawers. I loved this set when it was available (SAB, I think, a few years ago) and I am glad I held on to it! I used the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig to line up the flowers top and bottom, then stamped the sentiment in the middle. I colored the flowers with markers.

It still needed something, partly because the ribbon went on a bit unevenly, largely due to yours truly, but it is very wide, ya know ... I had originally thought about making a buckle with the ribbon, but all my Cuttlebug dies are very tiny in comparison to this Momma, so I decided to make it look like a buckle...kindof. I added a narrow strip of Old Olive card stock, then topped that off with a piece of the long strip of rub-ons from one of the new SU rub-ons. Done!

This next card was totally inspired by the ribbon. I made a trip to Recollections yesterday since it was in the same state as the LSS where I was retrieving some stamps I'd ordered. What a sad trip - I still cannot believe Recollections is closing. They were understandably pretty picked over, and people were buying the store fixtures while I was buying ribbon. I know, I know, I swore off ribbon because I joined that ribbon club, but it was 50-75% off!!!!!!!!! So anyway, right next to the register was a box of pre-cut yards of ribbon at 5-fer-something, and one of them was this red one with the So Saffron sentiment on it, so I had to get it. That's what inspired this card.

Recipe: Stamps - Heartfelt Thanks, Flannel Plaid bg; Paper - So Saffron, Basic Gray, Ruby Red, Naturals White; Ink - So Saffron, Basic Black; Other - Ruby Red and Garden Green markers, misc ribbon.

The ribbon actually matches the red paper in real life; I am just a bad photographer. This is a really fun ribbon because it has the sentiment right on it! I looked at this one for a while before I decided to add the flannel background. It's neat how much difference just a background stamp can make.

This last card was inspired by a piece of paper given to me by one of the ladies. She has had it in her stash for over a year so she was anxious to see what I could do with it. I thought about it all day and finally got to using it. I grabbed a spool of really pretty pink ribbon from my stash and it looked amazing with the paterned paper. Then I realized several of the SU stamps matched the flower in the paper, so I got them out and ended up using the Best Blossoms flower.

Recipe: Stamps - Best Blossoms; Paper - Pretty In Pink, Basic Black, misc pink paper; Ink - Versamark; Other - Mike's ribbon, Vintage brads, Dimensionals.

The more I looked at the ribbon the more I fell in love with it. It has a little sheen to it, just like the paper. I cannot believe I have had it so long and never even opened it yet!

The flowers are stamped with Versamark on Pretty In Pink card stock, then heat embossed with clear embossing powder and cut out. I popped them up on Dimensionals, and the middle one is double-popped (two Dimensionals).

The ribbon was actually added at the last minute. We were debating if it needed a sentiment or not, and if not, then the bottom half of the card seemed unfinished. Duuuuh - add the ribbon! And I am glad I did!

This is a close-up of the paper and ribbon - they are just sooo pretty!

So that was my day. One of the ladies finished her swap cards and the other one finished last year's Super Bowl scrapbook pages, just in time for this year's game. :-) A good time was had by all! And I have food left to last me all week!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Coffee Mug Challenge

More creative avoidance going on here ... I found this cool challenge on JanTink's blog and I decided I had to try it! You are supposed to take your favorite coffee mug and be inspired by it, make a card, then post the card and coffee mug and link to it in a comment on her blog. THIS I can do!

In my house, no one drinks out of a mug. Or a glass. If you sit down on the couch with anything wet in an open-top container your beverage container will be head-butted by the cat. Ask me how I know ... Therefore, all my coffee is consumed in travel mugs because they have tops and are quite discouraging to the average head-butter. I suppose they are still technically 'mugs', so I set the mug-o'the-day on my mostly-cleared crafting area to be inspired, and this is what came out:

Recipe: Stamps - none!; Paper - Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White, Basic Black, misc vellum; Ink - Tempting Turquoise; Other - Slit punch, Cuttlebug, misc bling, sponge dauber, White taffeta ribbon, misc brads, SU rub-on.

This is soooo outside my comfort zone, which I suppose is one of the purposes of a challenge, right? It started with just the Turquoise card base with the black strips, then I discovered this really cool vellum in my stash. Here is a close-up of the vellum and the rub-on:

Isn't that vellum very cool!? And this is the first SU rub-on I've used, and I love the look! The bling is just individual pieces of rhinestones I tore off of one of those cell-phone bling sheets.

By the way, this card totally counts as a Stash Dive challenge - the vellum, the brads, the bling - totally!

Off to go clean up so I have room for the eight ladies who plan to arrive here tomorrow morning for my annual Free-For-All. We just play with our stamps all day, and I am really looking forward to it. :-)

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Duuuh Moment

Since I am once again exercising extreme Creative Avoidance, I allowed myself to check out the VSN going on this evening at SCS. I generally do not participate, but just a small peek was not going to be too bad, right?

The first challenge was to make a circle card honoring your girlfriends. Unfortunately for me, I did not remember that last part...all that registered in my pea-brain was the circle part. Luckily for me, all the stuff I played with last night was still out on my no-longer-clean stamp area so I made my second irreverent card using my new GinaK set.

Recipe: Stamps - GinaK Designs; Paper - Perfect Plum, More Mustard, Whisper White, misc purple patterned paper; Ink - Basic Black, More Mustard, Mellow Moss; Other - Key Tag punch, 1 1/4 and 1 3/8 Circle punches, misc brad, blender pen, sponge dauber.

Look familiar? It should! It is basically the same card I made last night, only I cut the base into a circle first. I should have spent more time on the inside half of the sentiment (I am not liking that too much right now) - maybe I'll add some mustard...nah, that will just make brown ... never mind.

So here I sat, chuckling to myself that I'd met the challenge in record time. I uploaded the pics and got ready to post, when ... aw, drat ... I'd completely forgotten the "girlfriend" part of the challenge! This would be the Duuuh Moment.

Not to waste a perfecly good image, I decided to show it off here instead. :-)

I think I am just not cut out for VSN. I am okay with the daily SCS challenges because they take me outside my box, but not so much the VSN. For example, Challenge #2 was to do something with Chocolate and Shoes, neither of which I am into, neither of which I appreciate, neither of which I spend time or money on, and neither of which I have stamps for. Lots of sentences ending in prepositions there, but you get my drift. Bah, Humbug.

Oh, and I was very bad today, and will be worse tomorrow. Today I went shopping at Creative Mode. The woman behind this site created the 'Ostrich' image once offered by GinaK, so since I had to have the little guy I went shopping. BTW, he is at the bottom of page 36. All the pages of the catalog are not up yet, but there was enough for me to get sucked in.

And tomorrow ...ah, tomorrow - a day filled with endless errands which now includes a trip to my LSS to pick up both of the stamps I had asked her to order for me. I can rarely get out of that store with only the items I went in for, so I fear a big-ticket day. Sigh ... wish me luck.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I had to do it ...

First, a bit of business: I have made contact with Nicole and her package of Blog Candy goodies will go out to her tomorrow! Congrats, Nicole!

Back to the matter at hand...I had grandiose plans to be good this year. By 'good' I mean I was going to be much more selective about what I bought as far as stamping supplies, and I also planned to sell off all the retired SU stamps and accessories I had to have but rarely used (that part is going quite well, thank you!). With less buying and more selling, and add to that more new customers for the SU side of the house, so far so good. :-)

Yeah, yeah, I know, we are only three weeks into the new year, but overall I think I have done fairly well in the Not Buying part of this agreement. I have yet to hit the LSS to 'check out' the new stuff, I have only caved to tempation once and bought ribbon outside my regular monthly sampling from Really Reasonable Ribbon (I think I spent $10), and I have only spent, er...okay, but all the SU stuff I've bought was for Demo purposes, ya know? :-)

Aaaaand, I have been to the Papertrey Ink site two or three times this week and filled up my shopping cart and ... abandoned! (That's Web-speak for leaving the site without completing your transaction.) Abandoned!!! Me, with a full shopping cart! Whazzup with that!?!?!? Then I sold a few more SU sets and I felt better. Stay in the black ... stay in the black ....

However, when I saw this set at GinaK's, well, given my love for all things irreverent, what else could I do - I BOUGHT it! I cut the stamps last night and this evening I created this:

Recipe: Stamps - GinaK Designs; Paper - Pale Plum, Perfect Plum, More Mustard, Whisper White, Misc purple paper; Ink - Basic Black, Basic Gray, Going Gray, Blush Blossom; Other - Key Tag punch, misc big brad, misc gingham ribbon, dimensionals.

I have a rule that I almost never put anything on the inside of cards. I sell Note Cards, which means YOU have to write the note! So I tried and I tried, but I could not get all this to fit on the front of the card, so I gave in and stamped the second half of the sentiment on the inside. Then I went all out and added the Happy Birthday, too.

This is on Pale Plum, but ... just blame the photographer and the bad light...

I just LOVE this font! But I also love all the sentiments in general, so I can see me having a ton of fun with this set! I may have to start a line of cards with insides, but I'll have to think up a clever name for them. I have a few months to work on it. :-)

BTW, this card totally counts for my Stash Dive challenge with (1) the brad, (2) the patterned purple paper, and (3) the ribbon. Yay!

Gotta go finish the laundry I started this weekend ... oh, bother.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

We Have a Winner!!!!!

We have a winner for my Blog Candy! selected #14, which is .... NicoleL! Congratulations! Please email me at (that's LQhanna, but the letters are hard to see in lower-case) with your snail mail address so I can get your goodies in the mail.

Thanks for playing, everyone! I am still cleaning and organizing, so I am sure I will have more to offer some day. :-)

Monday, January 14, 2008

A Little Showing Off

The last project we did with my Stamp Club was a calendar for 2008. We each took a month and we had only one rule: The page must be 5 1/2 x 8 1/2, or half a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 card stock. Other than that, we were free to do whatever we wanted to! Being realistic people - i.e., we have lives - we gave ourselves several months to complete our pages, and we got together at the end of December for the assembly process and to feed our faces.

We had most of the people in attendance, and all of the completed pages. Not all of the pages, but all of the completed pages. We were short one of the pages. And of the actual completed pages, two people did half a sheet of card stock in the wrong direction ... one of them was the right width but the wrong length (we are still trying to figure out how she did that), and one of them was exactly half, just the wrong way. We did some minor surgery on the too-narrow-and-too-long one and it was fine. One of them needed more time for its transformation, and since we were short one of the months anyway, we opted to collect our stacks, including the lovely cover and the chipboard backing provided by our gracious hostess, our coil for binding, placed the unbound items in our protective bags, and commenced to feed.

Let me tell you, these ladies can COOK! Not only are the calendar pages awesome, they are not too bad in the food arena, either. Everything was YUMMY!

At my workshop this past weekend we received the rest of the pages, so I assembled my calendar so I can take it to work and admire our handiwork every day! Since I only did one page, that's all I feel right showing you, so here we go...presenting .... March 2008:

Why yes, it is a little different than your average calendar page. The problem started when I was given no guidance in the form of rules, so once I was sure I'd cut the card stock in the right direction, I went to town.

March is a sweet month because so much happens in March! You have your obvious holidays - Easter, First Day of Spring, the Ides of March, St. Patty's Day, etc. How boring. So I searched for less-obvious days to celebrate...we'll get to those in a minute.

First to decide on a layout. I tried a tri-fold calendar that would give me a full 11 inches of width to let me decorate each important day, but that died on the vine. There was just not enough room on the page. We needed to leave the top 1 1/2" of the page unembellished so it would fit into the Rubicoil, so this only left 7" to work with, seriously limiting my decorating area. Then I decided to just do an image for each holiday along with the date, and not make it part of the actual calendar. After my mockup was done, I liked it, but *I* knew what the images were meant to would not be so obvious to others.

Some important dates I felt compelled to include: March 3rd is "What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs? Day", and since we all have furry pets it was a must to be included! The 12th is "National Workplace Napping Day" - gotta include that one!

What to do, what to do. Ah-ha! A cheat sheet! I placed a pocket of DS paper on the back of my page and made up a Cheat Sheet on the 'puter with all the dates listed, plus a few more, like "Swallows Return To San Juan Capistrano Day" and "As Young As You Feel Day". Not only was this Cheat Sheet a very clever way around my little predicament, it also decorated the back of my page! A bonus!

Some of the features on my page I am particulary proud of are the following: (1) the cat and dog are fluffy - they have flocking on them; (2) the spring (first day of Spring, get it?) is made by wrapping some wire around a wooden skewer - an idea from one of my fellow conspiring stampers when I whined about not being able to find any I liked at the hardware store; and (3) I did not include my birthday. Okay, I noted the day after my birthday, just so they'd know they missed it, but I certainly do not expect any flood of cards or anything like that ........

So here is how I did the cheat sheet:

And here is the Cheat Sheet up close:

I managed, via poor photography, to hack off the holiday listed for the 31st. It is "National She's Funny That Way Day".

The project was a success, and we are all very pleased with ourselves. We have our annual meeting in February to decide what we plan to do for this year, and I am sure it will include another Chunky Project of some kind. This is just such a great way to get a little bit of art from everyone!

Well, tomorrow evening I have a workshop, so no playing tonight - gotta keep the stations clear of clutter, and once I start on something, well, it's just best not to start at all. Then Wednesday I pick the winner of my Blog Candy! YAY!

Gotta go do some laundry so I can go to work tomorrow. :-)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Blog Candy Reminder

This is my lame excuse for a Blog post on a Sunday evening. I created nothing today but clean tabletops all set up as stampin' stations, a clean bathroom, some clean laundry ... heck, I even ran the dishwasher last night so I guess I also created clean dishes. I also managed to brighten the day for 12 stampin' customers who created 5 cool cards and found they, too, could do this stampin' thang. I love making people happy! :-)

The rest of this lame post is a reminder that there are only a few days left to post a comment for a chance at my Blog Candy. Make sure the comment lands on this post, and you'll be in the running! And I PROMISE to not make you wait so long next time! :-)

The winner will be selected in a super-secret process on Wednesday morning (I even have the day off!), and I'll post the winner shortly after that.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Little Faux Silk

Sometimes I amaze myself at the myriad of ways I can find to procrastinate. I have 2 classes tomorrow and I am still not ready, but I did a lot of other stuff today.

I continue to sell my retired stamps and accessories on SCS, and I make trips to the PO almost every day. Yes, I know sending things Priority would be easier, but if I can save someone a few bucks on postage maybe they will buy from me again, ya know? Plus I have learned sooo much about shipping it is worth it. So this morning I took my stack o'stuff to the PO and sent it off, and I also got the prices for shipping some more goods. My Kitchen is mostly cleared out from the mailing queue so there will be room for all my customers to sit and shop on Sunday. ;-)

While I was out I also stopped at Staples to buy some more bubble envelopes, two-sided tape, and ink cartridges for my printer. I had collected a ton of used cartridges and took them for the $3-off coupons since I planned to buy new cartridges. Did you know they limit you to three $3-off coupons for recycled ink cartridges per day? Who knew? Sigh. While there I also picked up my annual copy of Turbo Tax...I am really looking forward to tackling that.

My circle-of-errands done for the day, I started on cleaning for my classes tomorrow. First I moved the paper cutter off my class table along with the card stock scraps, some of which I decided to actually put away, but not that many. I took the pile of Figgy Pudding must-have card stock off a classroom chair and put it on a shelf in my Craft Room. (I actually have a path to that closet...)

Since I was very good and had cut up all my card stock for the class kits Friday night, I decided to go ahead and assemble the kits. I was almost done when I found I was short about 6 sets for one of the cards and one set for another. Sigh. I had to get the cutter back out and cut all of them, and I finally finished assembling all the kits. Done!

Then I vaccuumed. Why do I vaccuum before my classes? Because I do not vaccuum afterwards! I make way more of a mess than all 15 of the other women do, so it is pretty clean after my classes as far as I am concerned. :-)

Then I actually put away all the accessories from my play-time projects. I figure one thing at a time, and it will eventually get done. I celebrated in between these baby-steps by playing some more. I have cards in my head and they need to come out!!!!

I saw this technique on Nichole Heady's blog the other day and I knew I had to try it. I decided to break out a different color than she used (a CASE, but with my own twist) and I ended up using Teal. Teal is so not a 'me' color, but I thought it would look very cool with this technique. As is my way, I got most of it done, then got stuck with the finishing part. I finally ended up with this:

Recipe: Stamps - Warm Words, Garden Silhouettes; Paper - Taken With Teal, Tempting Turquiose, Naturals White; Ink - Tempting Turquoise; Other - Old Olive and Cameo Coral markers, small & large Oval punches, Antique Brass HPH.

I think the HPH might be a bit too heavy for the rest of the card, but for now it stays. I can see a variation of this as a project for my February classes!

Here is another one I managed to finish today. I started this card last week for the SCS Faux Silk Wednesday Tutorial, but as usual, I got stuck trying to finish the card. But I needed to clean up, so I thunk and I thunk and finally ended up with this:

Recipe: Stamps - True Friend, All Holidays, Floral bg; Paper - Sage Shadow, Pale Plum, Basic Gray, Whisper White, tissue paper; Ink - Sage Shadow, Basic Gray; Other - Photo Corner punch, Sage Shadow and Pale Plum markers, Vintage brads, Basic Gray taffeta ribbon, paper piercer.

I was soooo stuck making this card. I had the white and Pale Plum layers on the Sage Shadow with a white ribbon and I just stared at it. For days. I changed out a white ribbon for the Basic Gray one and I added a Basic Gray layer of card stock to help tie it together and stared at it some more. Then today I went nuts and added the photo corners with the brads and decided the card was going to cost a bazillion dollars to mail if I did not stop, so I stopped. I kinda like it, even. :-)

Now I really need to set up my stations for tomorrow's classes! One down and four to go! Yikes! As I got ready to clean off the rest of my tables, I discovered this pile of scraps that resulted from a mis-calculation while cutting card stock for one of the class projects. (I measured for the long side of the card when the pieces were supposed to go the short width, so all of them had to be trimmed ... story of my life.)

Aren't they just screaming to be used? Maybe I will reward myself with some play time, after I finish setting up for tomorrow. :-)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

More Shameless Commerce - Carousel Stamps (Updated)

Update 01/12 - someone wants them all - YAY! :-)
A friend of mine is getting out of the stampin' hobby and asked me if I wanted any of her stamps. I bought a few for myself and I offered to sell the rest for her (like I have room in here to store these ...) So tonight I got around to Installment #1 - The Carousels.

If you or anyone you know is into Carousels (you know, frou-frou horsies on poles), check these out. I have also added the link under my Non-SU Stuff For Sale in case you want to come back some time and peruse.

I am mid-purge - big time! - so not much stamping happened this week. I have sold a ton of my TAC stamps, all of my Nestabilites, all my retired color SU card stock, one background stamp on the 'bay (yes, I broke down and tried it), and I have also managed to move some of my old Inspiration Sheets outta here. I made enough room in the bowels of the Craft Room to get all my 12x12 DS papers out of my Living Room. Baby steps.

I am really liking this get-rid-of-stuff mode. Very cleansing. Unfortunately I was looking for a stamp the other day to try the Faux Silk Technique on SCS, and I only had one non-retired SU stamp set that lent itself to that. So sad. But on a lighter note, I have my first order of goodies from the new catalog on its way to my door in addition to my pre-ordered Sale-A-Bration sets, so I will have plenty to play with next week. And I am in the black so far with all this selling, so perhaps I might have to buy myself a little something some time soon. ;-)

Off to triage some more stuff! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What was I thinking?!

Two weeks! What was I thinking when I posted my Blog Candy offer then made you wait TWO WEEKS!? This is just soooo unfair. For some reason my brain thought the 15th sounded like a good day...dunno what prompted that idea, though.

So NEXT time - and there will be a 'Next Time' since I am still cleaning ;-) - I promise not to make you wait so long for your goodies.

Thanks for reading! Now I need to get back to work....

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Quickie Birthday Card

First of all, let me say THANK YOU to those who have posted so far for my Blog Candy. I am in SHOCK! There are more comments on that one thread than I think I have collected since I began this blog. Maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but not by much! I am grateful for the readership. ;-) Keep 'em coming - I love to hear when people are addicted to things like I am.

Speaking of which, here is a quick birthday card I just made for a friend of mine. These papers are from the same company and since they were side-by-each in the LSS I had to have them. The paisley pattern and the blue are opposite sides of the same piece of paper - too easy! And the ribbon is from my is a much closer match to the red layer in real life.

Recipe: Stamps - It's Your Birthday; Paper - Naturals White, non-SU patterned papers; Ink - Basic Gray; Other - misc ribbon.

The friend getting this card is also on my Winter Card list, so maybe she'll get her Winter card this week, too. I am so bad ... But a local friend of mine called me the other day and read me a card she'd just received. The sentiment was: "A little miracle sent your way, a holiday card before Valentine's Day." I might just have to have that made into a stamp! LOL!

Off to write a few cards, and since I have finally designed my workshop cards for next weekend I may even get to play today!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Time for My First Blog Candy!

I am one of The Little People. By this I mean I am someone who blogs for fun, I love the expressive outlet it gives me, and I am not famous in the stampin' bloggin' world. All this means is I can blog when I want to. ;-)

I see all these people offering Blog Candy, and personally I never thought I'd do it. But here I am! What can I say. I actually do have an alterior motive. Since I am mid-purge, trying to find some sense of order in my condo, I am rethinking all the must-have or must-keep items, and I am selling or giving away most of it. It is very liberating!

So the other night I found these stickers I got free (it is even marked FREE) in a magazine, and I do not do Valentine's cards, so why I thought I needed to keep them is beyond me. Also pictured is some of my December shipment of ribbon from my Really Reasonable Ribbon Club, which I joined in an attempt to curb my ribbon weakness. This was a pack of pink, hearts and everything-Valentines, some of which I know I will never use. Put it away - nah! GIVE it away!

Looking for an excuse, I checked my blog counter. My faithful 2 (or maybe 3) readers have pumped that baby up to 4000+ ... woo-hoo! And I thank you! So I have decided to offer this candy in time for you to use for Valentine's Day.

All you need to do is post a comment telling me (us) what you hoard. Oh, wait a minute, I think we all hoard everything. Okay, tell me what your BIGGEST weakness is. I will select the winner at random (I'll pick a number out of a hat - the cat will help me). Please post your comment by Midnight EST, Jan 15th, and I'll do the drawing on the 16th.

Thanks for playing!

Friday, January 4, 2008

A Little Shameless Commerce

If you listen to Car Talk on NPR, you have heard them refer to the Shameless Commerce section of their Web site. That's where you can go to buy stuff. Well, I just added a new post (with an old date) where I am now selling my non-SU stuff. Yep, the purge continues! One of these days I might even be able to widen the paths into my Craft Room!

First up are my had-to-have-but-never-or-rarely-used TAC sets. If you are interested, come on over to the Non-SU Stuff For Sale page and check them out!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Card Kit redux #2

In my continued quest to use up this stack o'card stock left from workshops past, I delved into the World of Purple. I actually had 3 cards in this one workshop that used purple - don't know what came over me that month ...

The mini-stack on the left actually became a magnet. Now you KNOW this is an old kit, because it has been a while since SU sold the magnet sheets. I am sure I have a cache of them hoarded somewhere ...ahem. The pieces are Whisper White, Mellow Moss and (I think) Perfect Plum.

The stack o'stuff on the right is a simple base of Orchid Opulence and trimmed 1/4-sheet of Very Vanilla. This was really a blank slate, ya know? But then I had A Moment and hit on the idea to combine both stacks of card stock. I allowed myself to cut a piece of Very Vanilla to the size of the Whisper White piece (which I put back in the stack) and I came up with this:

Recipe: Stamps - A Beautiful Thing, Canvas; Paper - Orchid Opulence, Perfect Plum, Mellow Moss, Very Vanilla; Ink - Orchid Opulence, Elegant Eggplant; Other - Mellow Moss and Orchid Opulence markers, retired Vintage Brads, Ribbon Originals Jersey, Horizontal Slot punch, Dimensionals.

I thought it was boring until I added that piece of ribbon. In fact, I do not like naked vanilla card stock much, but I think anything stamped on it would make it too busy. So I am learning to love it.

I stamped the Canvas background in Orchid Opulence on the Orchid Opulence card base to give it a little oomph, but most of it is covered up by the Very Vanilla layer. On the right side (kinda hidden by the way I angled the card to cut the glare) I punched a slot with the Horizontal Slot punch and tied the ribbon through it so I would not cover up the nice (and you will notice straight) image I had stamped along the edge.

Now that I have broken out the Jersey ribbon, I have decided I really like the green! It is like a soft twill - thicker than grosgrain but very easy to use! Not too bulky at all! Hmmm ... methinks I see a possible workshop card for this month. ;-)

Off to create some more!