Sunday, November 30, 2008

Marathon #15 (and Last!)

Next weekend is my last show of the year, and this card is a new version of one of my best-sellers at last year's show. Last year it was done in blues, but boat ... sea ... blue...b-o-r-i-n-g! So I rifled through my vast collection of under-used DS papers and selected this sheet from the SU Parisian Summer pack. The coordinating colors for this set of papers include So Saffron, Sahara Sand, Pirouette Pink and Bravo Burgundy. For this piece, the "purple-ish" flowers look like washed-out Burgundy, but I opted instead to use the Pink for the layers. Looking back on it now, it looks a little blah - not enough contrast... oh, well.

My experience with 'pretty' irreverent cards has been that people are drawn to the 'pretty', then they read it. Most of the time they laugh and put it back (not gonna work for Grandma, ya know?), but it might still sell. My fingers are crossed. ;-)

The fluffy stuff to the left of the sentiment is made from grosgrain ribbon - pink and burgundy. You carefully cut off one selvage edge, then you fray the fibers and lay them all down together. I kinda roll them together, then I wrap a piece of double-sided tape around it to bind it together. (Could I say 'together' one more time?) I trimmed just below the tape, then I 'gave it a haircut' to make it the length I wanted. It's a fun way to make a fuzzy embellishment, and it's a blending of colors, kind of like taking one strand of each of two different colors of DMC floss when you do cross-stitch. This is a maddeningly detailed way to transition or shade between two colors, and it works with ribbon, too. The burgundy ribbon, by itself, was too dark, so it just had to be done! I thought about adding a layer of burgundy under the pink on the layers, but .. eh, I think I'll leave it alone.

Okay - THAT IS IT. I am done, done, done for this looooong weekend of fun and games. I have one more show on Saturday, and I'll probably over-do it this week in anticipation of actually selling something. But that's okay, cuz on Sunday, after I unload the car at my storage unit (the third-bedroom extension of my teeny tiny condo), and I can reclaim my vehicle to haul, I dunno - groceries, then I'll post what I have left on my store site and that will be the end of the season.

Thanks for hanging in there with me, and I'll be back later this week. Have a good one!

Marathon # 14

Okay, okay, okay. I'll give you a small peek at part of The Other Room. But trust me, I have no plans to pan out or anything, because I do not think you could handle it, k?

When last I shared anything about this room, it was during a pathetic attempt to get organized in there. I'd collected all my loose stamps and put them into two boxes on the corner of my table.

This one is all stamps. Sad, but true. Some were piled up on the table; some were new and untouched, residing in various shopping bags, mostly from Angela's; but if I ever wanted to use them, I knew where they were, ya know? Sometimes when I organize it looks nice, but I loose things in the process. So they ended up in this box.

This is the second of the two boxes. It holds the rest of the stamps plus all the 6x6 paper packs and miscellaneous items from my various shopping episodes. This afternoon, I tackled these boxes.

(sorry this is out of focus)
All the 6x6 packs of paper ended up on this shelf in my pretty-much-organized closet. You may recall this closet from The Great Scrap G-I-V-E-A-W-A-Y and the beginning of the Organization Process that followed it.

See those boxes of scraps on the shelf below the 6x6 paper packs? That is all that is left of my scraps. Anyone like blue or yellow? They are yours; all you need to do is say the word!

Truth be told, that was a lie. Not the "if you like yellow or blue, you can have these" part - that was the truth. My lie was that this is all the scraps I have left. Oh, nonononono. Let us not forget the Scrap Heap in the Living Room, plus, um, there is the whole right side of the table upon which sit these boxes, but we won't talk about those scraps right now. Let us simply focus on the yellow and blue scraps in that little box on my shelf.

Moving on to the box of stamps, I took some of my cache of empty SU stamp storage boxes and started to fill them up with the loose stamps, then I stacked the boxes in the one empty Elfa drawer I have in my stamp storage area. Oh, look, there's room for more! ;-)

Once I closed the drawer, it looked even nicer.

All I had left to show for my effort was a small corner of the table that could finally see the light of day. Well, it is still raining out, so it saw the gloom of day and the light from the ceiling fan.

I still have things in that remaining box for which I need to find a storage spot, but I'll get there. And that box on the back of the table? That holds the chipboard coasters I bought last year, plus some bulk-buy Tombo refills. And that cabinet behind the table, kinda peeking out there on the left? It holds all my cross-stitch fabric and books from back in the days when I could still see the little pictures in the tiny squares. I told you I have stuff!

Okay, that's it! That is all you get to see, so just move along now. I'll reveal some other few inches of cleared-off something-or-other when it happens.

Marathon # 13

The flurry of activity continues here at The Crooked Stamper homestead. I have managed to mix cleaning and stampin, if you can believe it! This card, for example:

was made as the result of me being a little crazy from seeing that stamp set on my Living Room floor (in the overflow area) and not having used it yet, which is why it was still out. I grabbed it, along with two sheets of patterned, textured card stock from the book on the Scrap Heap, and a sheet of Class A-Peel stickers (partially used) and set to work.

I'd seen the stamped-off horse eons ago, which is why I got the set in the first place. I think I 'earned' it from my SAB sales, because it does not meet my 50% rule - I only like (and have only mounted) two of the stamps in the set. So I did the stamped-off horses thing, then layered it on a piece of DS paper from the Bella Rose pack. I thought the torn edge worked with the horses.

I had originally stuck the sentiment directly onto the card stock, but it got lost so I put it on Naturals White instead and punched it out with the SU Word Window punch.

Then I cleaned the horse stamp and put the set away. It's about time, too!

Next up - what to do with those 3 1/2 x 12" pieces of card stock left over from that last effort? Well, while putting some stamps away in The Other Room, I ran across a few that I remember were hot sellers at this show last year, so I decided to make some more cards with them. This next one is way fancier than the version I made last year because I actually used my Nestabilities to cut them out and my Copics to color them this time.

And that color combo with the red and purple? Straight off the SU Color Wheel. At first I thought red & purple - blech! But it works!

Next up: another irreverant card, plus maybe - MAYBE - a little peek inside The Other Room. I will NOT show you the whole thing, but I might share the clean corner I just created on the table. :-)

Marathon Post # 12

I took a moment while brewing coffee this morning, and looked around this shambles of what used to be a nice condo. It always looks like a toronado went through here, and I cannot seem to organize enough to make a difference. Then I did a mental clean sweep. Let's say, just for grins, that I was NOT a stamper. So I (in my mind) erased all the craft-related stuff lying around in every single room, and you know what? It would look like a normal person lived here! Really! But then I would miss all my stampin' stuff, so I went back to making coffee.

Marathon Post #11

One of the side projects I had going on here this weekend was making these clothespins. Well, okay, I did not make the clothespins, but I did decorate (alter) them. You are looking at something old and something new...the 'something new' is (are?) the clothespins, and the 'something old' is (are?) the paper and rub-ons. The paper is from last year's Prints Pack, and the rub-ons are part of my still-huge stash from SAB earlier this year. I may never use these up!

All I did to stick on the paper was slather some Tombo Multi on the side of the clothespin and set it on the diagonal of the 6x6 paper. I gave it a second or two to set, then I cut around it with my craft blade. Done!

You can see I did not do the sides, as that looked like work. Lucky for me these came pre-painted, so I just stuck on a few more rub-ons, and in some cases, wrapped them around from the front.

As most of you know by now, I do not 'alter' anything, and I pretty much do not own anything that does not earn its keep as a functional item. This place is just too small to have nic-nacs all around. So what am I doing with four of these?

THIS is what I am doing with four of these! These puppies will earn their keep as workshop project-holders. Yeppers! They'll hold the projects up and away from the table (several have tumbled into ink in the past), and elevate the project so people at the other end of the table who work so fast they get ahead of the rest of the gang can easily see what they should pull out of their bag next. See: functional.

And no, I did not make this up all by myself, but I did see it on someone else's blog and decided to try it.

I stayed up way too late last night...I was a woman driven. Driven to create, and I think I was actually speeding, or it sure felt like it. For some reason I decided to make boxes of my Peas On Earth cards for sale next weekend, so I made 18 of them - 3 boxes of 6. It took hours, but I did it. The good thing is, if they do not sell, then I have my holiday cards all made. ;-)

So far today I've put away some stamps (!), including some SU sets from my table and some of the loose stamps in The Other Room. I am trying, really, I am! I actually have an empty drawer I can use for the rest of the loose stamps, once I figure out how to organize them. Baby steps, here, baby steps!

I need to get back to real life today and do some laundry, clear out and re-fill the dishwasher ... you know, things. It is raining, though, and feels like a good day to continue my long-weekend cocooning.

Oh, and that alleged profit I saw the other day? Nope. I added in all my SU earnings, and the plus side got even bigger, but I successfully wiped that out (and then some) when I put in my Demo orders, so now I am pretty much even with money in and money out, and I feel much better. I was having palpitations about having to pay taxes on that money as the next dollar of my Day Job income, plus I think I'd need to pay Social Security, so it is just as well that I break even. BUT, I see where the money went out and how it came in, so if I ever need to make a profit, I think I could do it if I worked at it. Maybe. For now, it is still just for fun. I was going to say 'I spent all my earnings', but I think a more positive approach would be 'my hobby pays for itself'. Yep, I like that a lot better!

I have several more projects planned for today and into this week. Thanks for stopping by, and I'll report back later today on any stampin' progress.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Marathon Post # 10

I could say I am channeling June, but no, I am stealing from her. Yep - outright stealing. When people use the word CASE, it generally stands for Copy And Share Everything, but in my case (oh, how punny) it stands for Copy And Steal Everything.

When I saw this card on her blog, I immediately thought of my cache of unused and unloved Washi papers, and my neglected Cuttlebug embossing folders. So, I immediately set aside the pile of City Cards I am working on for next weekend, and started to attempt The Steal.

Now that I look back at June's post, I think this would have looked better with a layer of white between the paper and the blue layer, but there's plenty more Washi paper where this came from (from which this came.) I like hers better, anyway. That's what I get for stealing.

I am going back to my CASEing and City Cards now. I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!

Marathon Post #9

I decided it was time to really hunker down and make up some projects for my December workshops. Here's what I came up with as possibilities this morning:

This is a gift card inside a card. I've played with these before, but I think I might have finally hit on one that uses current product. ;-) I made the outside simple since the real work is on the inside.

I used the star from a new (this year) SU Christmas set - Christmas Classics - and gold-embossed it on gold card stock. I think I'll go back and add a rhinestone brad to the center of the star, since it is already popped up on Dimensionals. Oh, and it punches nicely with the SU Star punch. How clever of them.

Here's the inside. I used some more images from the same stamp set for a greeting on the gift card holder. I used Always Artichoke and Bravo Burgundy markers, but I think I'll also leave out the Old Olive marker for my customers, just in case they'd like to have the ink color actually match the card stock.

Here is a close-up of how I tied the ribbon around the card. I wanted the bow to be on top of the card, so I needed to punch a slot for it to fit through the layer of DS paper. I actually punched it twice, because the first time I placed it too close to the edge and I could not tape the DS paper down. So I retrieved the punch-out, stuck it back on, and re-punched the slot. I will advise my customers to punch it correctly the first time. I am constantly telling them to not make the card like I did; that they do not want to be like me.

This card is actually my entry as a Punch Fest card. Maybe I should offer a contest for how many punches you can use on one card. Maybe not. But this one uses four punches: Word Window and 3/4" circle punches for the gift card slot opening, the Star punch for (!) the star, and the Horizontal Slot punch for the ribbon opening.

I have also been playing (a lot!) with these square chipboard frames I have. I was determined to use them for my workshops, and I finally came up with this. It is an ornament (or a package decorator), but it is also a major accomplishment in that it used so much of my stuff that I've bought for workshops but never used. AT LAST, success!

I covered the frame in Artichoke Craft Ink and embossed it with clear EP; the flower in the center is a rub-on (available in the Hidden Garden pack) that I bought in bulk; I rubbed it on white, then cut it out and stuck it on a piece of gold; and the hanger is a piece of elastic gold cord that I bought last year, but it is back this year, so I can use it.

And I used even more of the chipboard by finishing the back of the ornament with another embossed frame. Yeah, the little edges of the cord are poking out, but, well, it is the back....

I think I'll go work on printing out all that SU paperwork for a while...I'll be back later with some more stuff I have going on. Busy, busy times at the Crooked Stamper table...

Marathon Post #8

I got mail! I got this sweet card from June this week. It is soooo nice to get something personal like a card. Now if only I'd actually send any of the cards that *I* make ....

So far today I have been in a perpetual state of distraction. It all started when I went into The Other Room to print off some SU stuff. I've been diligently working on my 2008 numbers for the biz, and I am still in the black, people! I cannot stand this! It is just not right! Then I realized I have not entered all of my "sold" stamp sets - more income. Then I figured out I have not entered all of my Demo orders - expenses. And ... I forgot I have also not entered my SU Volume Rebates (that additional income Demos get based on total monthly sales levels) - more income. So that's why I was in The Other Room: to print off all that stuff so I could spend some more time playing with the spreadsheet (ohboy). BUT, SU's Demo site is down for maintenance this morning, so I cannot get into it yet. Then the distractions set in.

You see, there is no end to distraction when I am in The Other Room. I mean, c'mon, with every square inch of every surface covered with something, I am never at a loss for something to clean or organize. Usually I can resist that urge and turn around and walk out, but something happened in my pre-caffeinated brain this morning, and I sat down to tackle The Recycle Pile.

One of my co-workers has a sign on her cube wall: Neat people never make the exciting kinds of discoveries that I do. I think I may have to change my page banner to add this as a footnote, because it is so true. If I were a neatnick, I could not be this creative. Half of what I make is the result of stuff landing on top of other stuff in the scrap pile!

So what did I discover today? Some tax stuff from 2006; my white address labels for my printer; my 2006 Convention workbook; and last, but most importantly, the carpet under the recycle pile! I cannot handle all this floor space! As I was sitting on the floor, I looked to my right and discovered my "missing" 1" square punch and some yummy blue EP I picked up at Mike's a while back. I put the punch away and put the blue EP on my work table so I can maybe make some more Bat Mitzvah cards this weekend.

Not bad for an hour's work, huh? So now that I am showerd and caffeinated and such, I did some blog administrivia...I added Google Analytics to my blogs. You know, with all that traffic I have, it's fun to know how poeple find you, so I thought I'd give it a try. I have high hopes of adding more stuff to my store after next weekend's show, so hopefully I will actually get some traffic over there! We'll see.

I am working on projects for my December workshops, and I also think I'll make some stuff for this weekend's Holiday Show. I'll stop back later with some of my creations, if I actually finish any of them.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Marathon Post #7

I decided it was time to actually work on projects for my December workshops. One of the things I've wanted to share with my customers is the medalion that can be made with the SU Scallop Edge punch. Like this:

ETA: Cut a 2 3/4" square, then center the Scallop Edge punch on one side and punch. Turn 90 degrees and continue to do the other three sides.

It looks very cool with other border punches, too, but they are not SU punches so I cannot show them at a workshop. I do have a few Good Demo moments now and then.

This was a 5-minute card to make, since there is no stamping at all. I used the Very Merry sentiment last month, so I decided to do this one sentiment-free, and it can be for any occasion - a Winter birthday, whatever. Everything red on here is Riding Hood Red - DS paper, card base, punched medalion, scallop circle, and ribbon. The Snowflake is also SU, and I have a ton of them, so I opted to use it as the focal point in the middle. Too easy!

To celebrate this mind-bending accomplishment, I decided to take out one of my SU bulk-buy scallop square chipboard pieces and see if I could make up a project using it. Let me just say this about that:

News flash: The Crooked Stamper sustains minor injury while attempting to apply UTE to chipboard. Film at 11:00.

I took apart the chipboard into its parts, which you will see here momentarily. Let's take a peek at the carnage:

First we have the center square. You can see some of the UTE actually stuck to the chipboard.

Next I tried to emboss the inner and outer frames. It was somewhere during this process that I accidentally touched the hot, soft, melty EP and I have what I think may be a first-degree burn on one of my fingers, and I think I may have scorched the fingerprint. Too bad we do not have fingerprint scans as our entry to the Day Job, or I could plead ... well, never mind.

So I thought these were really, really cool, but I am not sure how to use them. Yet. But I did want to show you that carnage I promised. In addition to the gold specs all over the place in the above photos, check out these:

To the right of my work space:

To the front of my workspace (between the mat and my lap):

And finally, to my left:

Now if you'll pardon me, I need to go clean up a bit before I figure out how to use those gold frames. And yeah, I know, UTE is not SU, but I may come up with a variation on the theme. Y'all come on back now, ya hear!? ;-)

Marathon Post #6

What's wrong with this picture?

Yesterday afternoon, about 3:30 pm, I decided that since I'd had to take the wine out of the fridge to make room for the cranberry dish I'd just made, I might as well drink some of it (the wine, not the cranberries.) So I poured myself a glass of vino and went to set it on my workspace to continue with the OSW cards, but I found I was setting it next to my coffee mug. Um, okay, er ... photo op!!!! So this was my official transition from morning to afternoon yesterday. And I did take one last sip of coffee before I put it back in the kitchen. Yeesh.

So far today all I've managed to accomplish is entering a bunch of receipts, workshops and farmers market income into my spreadsheet. B-o-r-i-n-g. I am about 2/3 done, and so far, it looks to be my best year yet! I have about 3 more months to enter, and they were early in the year (I am working top-down in the pile), but it looks promising. I do not think I can HANDLE a profit, though. I've never seen one before. I'll let you know if I end up in the Black or not. ;-)

Oh, and as much has I detest network TV, I did have it on this morning long enough to know that ABC will be broadcasting Polar Express tonight. If you have not seen it, it is worth the watch. And then there's Josh Groban... sigh.

Marathon - Post #5

What is a buckeye? If you ask some people from the great state of Ohio, it is an Ohio State University fan. If you ask others from Ohio who did not attend OSU and don't actually give on hoot about OSU since they went to a different university (like me), a buckeye is a nut that is also our state symbol (or is the state symbol the buckeye tree?) Hmmm.

This is what a real buckeye nut looks like.

THIS, however, is the type of buckeye *I* am talking about when I utter the word buckeye:

Yes, my friends, this is a wicked-good confection. Some people make them to look more like the original nut above, but I make mine like these - all covered in chocolate. And this is what my tables contain when I make them, which today I realized I cannot do this weekend as planned. Why? WHY?! Because after I make them, I need to put them in the fridge, and right now my fridge is FULL of other stuff, so these will have to wait. At least until I clean out the fridge.

Now that I have taunted you with the photo of the delectible delights, I will share the recipe. Caution: This recipe (1) takes several hours to complete, and (2) makes about 15 dozen. And they are NOT low-cal.

2.5 pounds peanut butter (conveniently sold in this size)
1 pound butter
3 pounds powdered sugar
3 Tbs vanilla extract (use the good stuff)
3 pkgs Milk Choc Chips (MILK, not Semi-Sweet)
3/4 bar paraffin (look in the canning section)
large bowl
wax paper
cookie sheet
lots of available table or counter space

Soften butter (I melt mine in the microwave), add peanut butter and mix until smooth and blended. Add vanilla and mix to blend. Add powdered sugar in small amounts until the pb mixture becomes crumbly (but not dry).

In a double-boiler, melt 2 bags of the choc chips with 1/2 bar of paraffin.
Place a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet.

While the choc is melting, form the pb mixture into balls. I make mine about 1" or less. They do not need to be perfectly round. Stack them onto a plate as you form them. I do not get through all of the bowl before I give up and start the next step.

Once the chocolate & paraffin are melted, one at a time, take one of the pb balls and dip it into the chocolate, covering it totally. I use a teaspoon to help roll it around and also to retrieve it from the hot, melted chocolate. Take the chocolate-covered pb ball and place it onto the wax paper. Continue until you have filled the cookie sheet.

Slide the wax paper filled with buckeyes onto a table to cool. Put another sheet of wax paper on the cookie sheet. Repeat.

At some point you will run low on either pb balls or chocolate. This is when I add the third bag of chips and the last 1/4 bar of paraffin to melt, and I roll the rest of the pb mixture.

I let 3 or 4 sheets of these cool before I touch them. I put them into a large bowl and put them in the fridge. This makes room on the tables for more.

Can be stored in the fridge for over a month. Some years I start early and make them in batches over a 2-month period (as time allows), and I know my kids keep theirs around for months once they get them. It's kinda difficult for them to go bad. I prefer to eat them cold, as they get a little soft at room temperature.

This recipe makes about 15 dozen, which is not a lot if you are like me and fill plastic containers with the stuff and ship it off to people. I also decorate some type of small containers each year and give them to friends and co-workers. And, brace yourselves, most years I make 3 batches of the stuff. Yes, 3. Lucky for me I can live without chocolate, and I am not a big fan of pb+chocolate, and also, I get sick of them after the first batch, so eating them is not a danger for me.

So depending on how much I eat the rest of this weekend, I may find the space to refrigerate these so I can make them. We'll see.

I'll be back later to report on whatever my next adventure is. ;-)

Marathon - Post #4 (with SYFY Tip #7)

I hope everyone has recovered from their Turkey comas, and life is back to normal. With turkey leftovers.

Here's some of what I did yesterday, ALL based on what I discovered in the box I emptied out in order to do some paperwork and have a box in which to put it when I was done.

First I took this card ...

...and made this. (Yes, it is the same card, peeps, just bad photography.) All I did was add some ribbon, which apparently back in the day had not entered my brain as THE way to update a card. :-)

Then I took this old OSW, cut it into 8 pieces, and set out to make 8 cards. I had no idea it would take me ALL DAY to do that.

Depending on how I cut the OSW, I had some colors more prominent than others. Because of the More Mustard all over the place, I matted all of the pieces on More Mustard and also used More Mustard ribbon (of course).

This one got Brocade Blue. You'll also notice I used up come already-cut pieces of Old Olive DS paper. Yes, I am very proud.

These two also got the Brocade Blue treatment.
This one is actually Lovely Lilac, but it's difficult to tell. I really need to speak with the photographer about this.

This is the last one I made, and I was reaching for a different way to layer the same boring sentiment when I looked to my left and saw a pile of already-punched Curly Labels, so I used one. I really like how this one turned out!

Just to show you the mats really are two different colors (as if you doubted me) ... The one on the top is Lovely Lilac and the one on the bottom is Brocade Blue. Really!

And now for my SYFY Tip #7. One of the cards above has a torn-edge layer. This was not planned. I had A Moment when I cut the OSW into pieces. I cut them into 4 1/4" and 5 1/2" lengths, because, well, in my mind at that moment it made sense. (Sometimes it is difficult being me.) Then I went and layered those pieces on the More Mustard, making them even bigger. Then I tried to put them on the card. You can imagine what happened.

On the left you can see the result of Crooked Stamper cutting logic. Do not go there. On the right is how I saved myself from myself - by tearing the layers to make it look like I meant to do that! Sigh. So think, people, think before you cut!

Okay, that's it for this installment. I am going to do some more spreadsheet entries and hopefully stamp something else. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Marathon - Post #3

You know how you set out to do one thing, but you have to do something else first? This is why it takes me forever to do anything. I sometimes get so lost in have-to-do-firsts that I eventually forget what I it was I'd originally planned to do.

One of my goals today was to enter all my 2008 sales receipts and workshop stuff into my 2008 spreadsheet. Once this is done, I'll need to have somewhere to put all those papers. I usually grab an empty (!) storage box and just put them in that. Empty storage box. Uh-huh. I saw this as an opportunity to start working on The Other Room. If I could get even one box emptied out, that would be great. So here it is:

The Box. Looks innocent enough, doesn't it? Little did I know the paths down which this box would send me today. Let's open it up and look inside, shall we?

Here's a mouse pad and some (fuzzy) instructions to the first stamp positioner I bought many moons ago. Hmph, haven't seen that thing in years.

Here we have a packaged-for-sale card that I cannot sell. The image is copyrighted and you cannot use it on cards you sell. Poohy. It has not seen the light of day for years. Hey, maybe one of you will get it some day! ;-)
Here is a very cool piece of tissue paper I have had for years. There were two pieces in the box, and I almost (almost) put them in the Keep pile, until I remembered I have a whole pack of this stuff in The Other Room, so I tossed it (okay, recycled it.)
This is really old. This is a note I wrote to myself for when to show up for my first Farmers Market. It was September 11, 2004, the day that started it all.

Have you ever looked and looked and looked for something in the stores and when you finally find it, you buy a lot? Well, I had this bug up my butt one year that it would be cool to make memo cubes, so I grabbed these when I found them, and they have been in a box ever since. Their edges are yellowed, so if I ever do use them, I'll have to ink up the sides. I put them away in my "I'll alter this some day" box in The Other Room's closet.

Oooh, looky here - an old One Sheet Wonder! You'll see this again later.

Here's an early Crooked Stamper creation. Do you ever go back and look at the cards you made 5 years ago and wonder what you were thinking? Today I thought this card was still passable, but it needed ribbon (or something.) You will see this later, too.
Oh, look! Here's the Stamp Positioner that goes with the instructions I found earlier. Both ended up on the table in The Other Room. I will deal with them later.

That's it for the box - it was officially empty! I took all the papers from The Other Room and set them on the Living Room table, next to the now-empty box:

"I'll get to this later", she said innocently.

That's it for this post. Gotta go eat something and finish up a few projects, then I'll be back to post some actual stampin' stuff! I hope you are enjoying your time with your families!

Thanks for stopping by!

Marathon - Post #2

It has been a wicked-busy day here at The Crooked Stamper home base. I'm cleaning; I'm stamping; I'm cooking. Busy, I tell you, busy.

But I have also been distracted by Lauren, who has awakened me to the now-old-news Lauren Cooper phenom. I do truly lead a very sheltered life, you know. I had a bit of a challenge understanding all the words, what with the thick English accents and all, but I still found them amusing. She is irritatingly funny...very irritating, but very funny. So without further ado, I bring you a sampling of my latest distraction:

Now, in days of England long past, she would literally have been beheaded for speaking like this to The Queen.

And in this one, she mocks Shakespeare, and I think it's pretty funny.

Okay, back to stamping, now. I'll be back later with something of more substance. :-)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Weekend Marathon - Post #1

While most people will be traveling to be with family, or cleaning and cooking because your families are coming to you, I have a weekend of solitude planned. My family is in OH and MI, and years ago I explained that I have no desire to spend the whole weekend stuck in traffic (been there, done that), and maybe we should have a new family tradition in, say, January? Almost everyone in DC is from somewhere else, so literally 500,000+ people leave town this week, and they all come back on Sunday. One year we spent 2 hours trying to get through one of the toll booths on the PA Turnpike. I rest my case. So no one asks me to travel any more, and I have actually turned down several very generous local offers of shared family and friends, because I need a long, uninterrupted string of days to get some stuff done around here.

My big plans for the weekend include a little cooking (if I feel like it); a little paperwork (I am 11 months into my 12-month FSA thing and I have no idea if I have any money left or not); a little more paperwork (I am 11 months into a 12-month year of selling cards and holding workshops, and I have no idea if I am in the red or the black); I need to widen the paths in The Other Room; I need to recycle the pile o'boxes in the Kitchen; I need to make the Buckeyes (like the donut guy on TV says, "Time to make the donuts.", it's "time to make the buckeyes" at this time of year. And that last item actually requires several table-tops to lay out the dipped buckeyes to cool, so I'll need to either clear off one of my scrap tables (HAHAHAHAHA!) or set up another table in the Kitchen like I did last year. I'll be sure to show you a picture of that effort once I get it going.

So since I have a boatload of things to accomplish, and since I figure I'll get to about half of them, I think I'll do a little stampin' in between to, you know, get a break, and I'll post on my progress as the weekend progresses.

Let us begin with a little tale of the sorry scraps. It all started, innocently enough, with this poor die-cut shape:

(Yeah, it's fuzzy, so get over it.) I demonstrated to one of my customers in a Good/Bad Demo Moment how the SU Top Note Die works so well in the Cuttlebug. It was Bad, because I was using the Cuttlebug, but it was Good, because I was showing her she could use the die in the machine she already had (and yes, she bought one!). So anyway, this was just sitting on the table, so I wanted to use it up.

Also sitting on the table was a piece of 2-sided patterned paper from The Scrap Heap, so I cut two of the Top Note die shapes out of it, giving me these:

Since they 'go together', I wanted to try piecing part of one in the middle of the other, then I started cutting, and matching, and, well, it was going badly. But I persevered! In this next shot, you can see where I was going with the papers:

See? Badly. You can also see some relics of stamp days past. Remember the hammer and eyelet setter from the pre-Crop-o-dile days? I needed to use them because the spot I wanted to set the eyelets was too far in for my punch to reach. Those oval eyelets, by the way, are from old SU stash. Yay, me!

So I finished the cards by tying some of the Basic Gray taffeta ribbon between the eyelets and calling it an evening. No, I have no plans to show you the finished cards, because I intensely dislike them.

Oh, and guess what's left over at the end of the night? This:


I think I'll call it a night and turn in. Gotta rest up for the long weekend, you know!

PS: Lauren, do you mean this?