Saturday, April 11, 2009

I Like Trains

I like trains. I do! There is something about them that is just comforting to me. And yes, I have lived near train tracks, as my first apartment was a block away from several tracks, and I liked it! The best part is the sound of a train passing at night. When it is real quiet here in suburbia, and I am sleeping with the windows open, even now I love to hear the sound of a train in the distance.

There are several rail road crossings near me, and I am one of the weird people (do we see a pattern here?) that does not mind stopping at the crossing when the lights flash and the gates start to go down.

Why, just yesterday I was presented with this photo op (I blew it, but it was presented to me nonetheless...) when the lights flashed, the gates came down, and I was stopped. That blue thing is a rail car. Really!

Did you notice that grey van has his back-up lights on?

That is because this guy could not be bothered to wait for the train, so he had to turn around and leave. What would that 3 minutes of his life have cost him? Where did he need to be in such a hurry?

Ah, a CSX car. Some idiot painted graffiti on it, but still, a handsome CSX car.

I used to dislike stopping for trains, but maybe it was when I had kids and we'd sit and watch the trains go by that my attitude changed. I really like looooong trains, so you can make a game out of counting the cars. ;-)

Several market customers over the years have asked if I have a train stamp to make birthday cards or invitations for little boys, and I did not. SU had one, but it was more of a circus train with animals, and stamping it without the animals looked like work, and if you have read this blog for more than 2 days, you know my attitude towards work.

But with the new Occasions catalog, SU came out with a really cute train stamp set (I cannot bring myself to type 'train set' ...), so I had to get it. I was largely influenced by several really cute cards made with the set, too. All it takes is a little push, and I am sold. I am weak (we know that, too.)

Last night, while I was in my "I saw a train" stupor, I took out the set to play with it. Let me just say ... well, you be the judge of what came out:

At first I thought I could handle this set, but now I am not so sure. It has solid images, meaning you can stamp them in black or in some other color, but you cannot stamp them onto a piece of patterned paper like you can with a line image and just paper piece them. So here I stamped each of the images first in Versamark and then in an ink, then covered the area with clear EP. When all the cars had been stamped and powdered, I heat-embossed them. Eh, not my best work.

This was my second attempt, by the way. My first try was to stamp each image in Versamark onto patterned paper, emboss them, cut them out, and paper piece them onto some images stamped in black. This meant I did not have to cut out the wheels, and all the wheels were black. But it looked awful. I guess this one is not sooooo bad.

By the way, I learned several things while making this card. BR#2 - you will be so proud of me, as this is not an A2 card! Nope, it is much larger. I decided to step outside the comfort zone and make a larger card, mostly because the whole train would not fit on an A2 card. A friend of mine had given me a bunch of envelopes, so I grabbed some 5x7 envelopes from the stack and made this card to fit. Aaaah, it feels good to stretch sometimes. :-)

And the clouds are the same label die cut I used the other day, only this time I learned something.

When your B plate looks like this ...

... your die cut can come out looking like this. Not too pretty, is it? Yeah, I should buy stock in Provocraft for all the B plates I destroy. Hey, it was well-loved, and it is time to move on.

Speaking of which, today's blog layout changes included making my very verbose labels list into a drop list (saves a ton of real estate), and ... removing my hit counter. Yep, I decided that number does not float my boat much any more, so why bother? See? I am not too old to grow. ;-)

And the Play Day at #2's place has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 21st, the day before my 2-year blog-i-versary. Let's hope the stars align and The Heap (which will be in its box post-Clean Sweep) will finally go on a much-deserved field trip. Plus, with Spring coming out all over in Maryland, there should be plenty of extra photo ops in addition to the standard stuff #2 has all over the place. And we'll stamp! Or maybe clean the stamp room. But whatever we do will involve stamps in some way. Yay!

I'm off to do some more laundry, and stamp something! Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Woohoo! Good job on the drop down labels box...told you it was super easy!
    As for the train card...well I think it looks like the perfect *Crooked Stamper* card...not only are the train tracks crooked, the engine car looks like it's about to derail...LMBO!!!! Actually, I don't think that it's as bad as you think it is....and a card like that is bound to go to a small boy, who is NOT going to be overly critical of your stamping skills...LOL! OK, now I've finished insulting you I shall go and do some stamping of my own xoxoxoxoxox

  2. I love to ride the train. I used to ride from NC to MD in college (I did not have a car.) My dorm window faced the train tracks. And I learned to sleep with trains going by in the night. I liked it too :)

    And you know what? I think your train card is totally cute!

    I think we may be twins separated at birth...I just damaged my CB e.f. D'Vine looks a lot like your B plate LOL!


I'd love to hear what you really think! :-)

PS: I've had to disable Anonymous comments, because the spammers were killing me. If you are unable to comment, please email me your comment and I'll get it posted for you. Sorry. (stoopid spammers)