Friday, August 31, 2007

Anything BUT A Card Project #4--the surprise!

Hey there! Hallelujah it's Friday! Double praise to God that it's a 3-day weekend, because I sure do need one! My parents are on their way home, and there are no more visitors expected for a month.

Speaking of them, here's a picture I took on Tuesday when we went to Amicalola Falls. They love to wear the same color, and sometimes they do it without planning it. It has become a family joke over the years, and when my sister commented on their attire that day, my mom quipped, "I wondered if you were going to notice!" I am so blessed to have parents who love each other deeply, and continue to walk faithfully with each other through all that life presents them. They paid for the groceries we ate while everyone was here, among other things, and my mom did some little cleaning projects that made my her and my house happy. Living 12 hours away from them has made me appreciate the times we share more. I just hope I was able to communicate that while they were here...

OK, onto today's project. Well, there isn't going to be a picture, because I haven't decided yet! How's that for a surprise! Whenever I cook up the projects or cards for an event like this, I get a bad case of insecurity. I want everyone to like what I choose, and I want everyone to feel that there's fair value for the cost in what I'm presenting. Perhaps that's just my Midwestern heritage coming to bear, but I can't help it. Money is a commodity that is a means to an end, but it's almost always hard-earned, and I don't want to take advantage of that...ever.

So, I have an idea in mind and you'll have to wait to see what it is until you come. Part of the reason why I don't have a picture to post is because I don't have the tool I need to make the sample! I'm ordering said tool this weekend, so you'll get to try out a new tool if you come Sat., Sept. 15. If I get a sample made far enough in advance of it to provide some eye candy, then I'll post it. I just trust you'll trust me that it'll be worth the money you'll spend.

I will leave you with one card today--a quickie topper card. Yesterday afternoon, my mom wandered into my craft room and asked if I had any birthday cards she could buy. (Yeah, like I'd charge her after all she'd done for me all week!) I showed her my stash of cards, none of which were specifically birthday greetings, but any of which could easily be adapted quickly. Well, mom found an image and sentiment that I'd stamped while at my friend Diliana's house. It's a retired SU! set and it's great--don't know why I never bought it! Anyway, she wanted that made into a card, so here's what I came up with in about 15 min. last night.

The dress forms are colored with real red, and the center one is glitterfied. A little silver embossing powder on the stands, and it was done! I love black, white, and red together. I hope mom's friend enjoys the card. I hope mom doesn't put it in a safe place and forget to send it!

Happy weekend, all! Rest, relax, and reflect on all your blessings...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Something I've Been Wanting to Try...

What would you do with this? Lydia posted a hypothetical question awhile back that I didn't have a good answer for. She asked, "don't you have so many new techniques you want to try that you don't know which one to do first?" I didn't. I've been so "head down" trying to figure out the projects for my upcoming classes and hosting my family that I haven't had time to just be purpose-lessly creative. Today the afternoon sprawled before me, like Hobbes taking his afternoon nap, and I reveled in the solitude and let myself unwind.

Paper weaving was something I saw while I was surfing splitcoast or someone's blog, and so I decided to give it a whirl. Using the In Color palette made it foolproof, and it helped use up the scraps that I'm forever keeping around "just in case." I really like the end result, and I really enjoyed the process. But what to use it for now? Suggestions welcome...
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Anything BUT A Card Project #3--the Dilemma

This is a 5x8 covered notebook that I made for my best friend's daughter for her 13th birthday. Since I know you liked the post about Michael's birthday, let me take a little tangent and share that Emily is Michael's birthmate. No, they aren't twins separated at birth, but almost! They were born the same day, 6 hours apart (Michael's older), in the same hospital, and their mothers shared a recovery room.
Here's a picture of them from this summer, getting caramel swirl ice cream at the place I used to work, Graham's Fine Chocolates & Ice Cream. They've literally only known life without one another for less than a quarter of one day, so there's a special relationship our entire family shares with Em.

Here's what the notebook looks like inside:
There's a pocket on the left that's hard to see in the photo.

Anyway, I made this notebook cover because I saw this altered metal dvd tin with a 5x8 notebook inside, and a pocket on the alternate side of the paper, and I thought it was super cute and practical. Take a moment and go see it at Cambria Turnbow's blog: Stamp A Little Love, Baby! since I can't figure out how to import the images she posted! It won't take long...I'll wait.

Are you back yet? Okay, now that you've seen both, I need your opinion. Which would you want if you were coming to a class? Mine or Cambria's? The biggest factor in this dilemma is the cost in procuring the tin. In order for it to be cost effective to pay the UPS shipping (only option), I need to order 25 of them. That makes the cost per tin $1.85. I will need to charge $25 instead of $20 for the class, if this is the choice of the majority.

So, come on and let me know what you're thinking! Don't be like, "I'm okay with whatever..." PICK!! I need to order Tuesday...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Anything BUT A Card Project #2

This project is a fun one with lots of potential for those who like the IDEA of scrapbooking, but not the time commitment. This is a mini scrapbook in a CD case!
This is what it looks like when it's just opened. The places for the 4x4 photos-6 of them--is below the flap on the right--see the little loop of ribbon? An accordian of card stock folds out to create the space.
Here's what it looks like unfolded. Lots of potential, right? This would make a great gift for a birthday party or to a long-distance girlfriend after some time together. There will be options for customizing the front to whatever occasion you have in mind.

Again, it's not too early to reserve your spot at this class, which is being held Sat., Sept. 15, from 10a-1p. Just leave me a comment that you're coming, and I'll put you on the list!

On the family front, my sister and her crew left at a little after 6am this morning--I stumbled out to the car with sleepies still in my eyes to say goodbye--and my parents are in town until Friday morning. It's quiet here this morning, and I'm loving having the house to myself, even if it means I have mounds of laundry and vacuuming to do.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Anything BUT A Card Project #1

I hope you're as excited as I am about the projects I have for the upcoming Anything BUT A Card class that I'm hosting at my house Saturday, Sept. 15 from 10a-1p!

This is the first project, one I think you'll find as practical as it is beautiful. It's a corkboard message center. It's made with thin cardboard and a corkboard square and decorated with designer paper. It will come with pushpins that we'll alter to coordinate with the background paper. It has strong magnets mounted on the back, so it will stay on your refrigerator securely.

Stay tuned for other projects in coming posts. I''ve come up with 2 versions of one project, and I'll need your opinion on which one you'd like to have.

In the midst of all I was busy with yesterday--trip downtown to the GA Aquarium, lunch at Centennial Olympic Park, making the special birthday dinner for Michael and the family--I noticed that someone brought the mail in. Expecting cards for Michael among the junk mail, I found something addressed to me! I was so tickled when I opened the envelope and found this!
It was made by Amy, another GA stamper who I know only from her blog, Gone Inkognito. Is this not the CUTEST!!! I was amazed at how close to the real thing it appeared to be, and it made me feel so special. Thanks, Amy! I love it!

Off to figure out if we're going to make lunches. We're going on a hike to see a waterfall today at Amicalola Falls. Later!

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Birth of a Teenager

This was the happy day 13 years ago, when our only child, Michael William, entered our lives. 13 hours of labor, 15 min. of pushing. No wonder I look so happy! How young we look. I was 28 and Bob was 30. time flies...

This is Michael and I this evening, after he'd just opened his presents. (Proud Papa is behind the camera.) How can it possibly be that that sweet baby is this same boy? When he was little, there were days when I wished he'd grow up a little faster so that my job would be easier. I stopped wishing that long ago, and now I wish that time would slow down so that I could hold onto him longer.

I know the teen years can be rough, but we're only going to have this experience once. I hope we have many more moments like today.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Visiting Artist in Residence

This is my cutie patutie 8-year-old niece, Mikayla, who is visiting from IL. She loves to make crafts! We've had a quiet afternoon and she's run out of things to do to amuse herself. She shyly walked toward my craft room (which is something she told her mom she'd like to have at her house) and declared that she'd like to make something. Duh! Why didn't I think of that before? So, we sat down and got to work. Here's the result:
I think it's great! Here's how it came to be: I know Mikayla likes to color, and so I chose the retired "Love Matters" set. It has fun line art hearts and the word "friends" that can be colored as well. Then I thought about making a window for the word and so I took my new (and FREE!) 1 3/8" square punch and came in from one side and then from the other to create the rectangle. We traced that on the inside, lined up the image and voila!

Things are going to be busy around here the next day or so. We're going to the aquarium tomorrow in honor of our son's 13th birthday, so I may or may not be able to post.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Thinking Christmas...

I was browsing through Splitcoaststampers the other day, looking for ideas for 3D projects, and I came across this. It intrigued me and there was a link to the website of the gal who'd come up with it, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

This is not hard, but it is time consuming. Cutting 1" x 2" strips of designer paper isn't such a big deal, but folding those strips into a triangle was a commitment! The ball is styrofoam, so the paper pieces are attached using straight pins. I should've taken a picture of my finger after I was done, as it was quite red from all the pushing! Still, I think it's cute, and the supplies are inexpensive. Who knows? Those who host workshops for me in November may receive one of these as a hostess gift!

Thanks for stopping by! Happy weekend--come back Monday, as I'll start to reveal the projects we'll be making at the Anything BUT a Card Workshop, Sept. 15. It's not too early to register by leaving a comment!

Friday, August 24, 2007

You Just Never Know What a Day Can Hold

You know how I wrote this morning that I woke up on the proverbial "wrong side of the bed" and that I was grouchy and tired? Well, I'm singing a much different tune now!
You probably already know what I'm going to share by what you see here, but let me just tell you (imagine me shouting loudly because I'm so excited): I GOT A JOB AT STARBUCKS!!!

This afternoon a phone number I didn't recognize appeared on my cell phone display. I answered, because I also do some freelance work and thought it might be someone calling about something I'd submitted. Instead it was Clay, the manager I'd interviewed with earlier this month, calling. He shared that the gal who had been working the slot that matched my availability (basically "mom hours"--9:30-3:30) had just informed him that she is moving out of state. He called me right away and extended me an offer! I was shocked and pleased, to say the least. My first day will be Sept. 4, the day after Labor Day. I'm ecstatic that I can start work now and not in November, when the other store is scheduled to open.

I keep having to pinch myself to believe it's real! With my family being in town next week, time is going to fly and it'll be time for me to start. My husband's concerned that this may impact my card making and blogging, but I'm going to find a way to make it all work. Thanks for being such cheerleaders. Now to find some collared white and black shirts!

Yeah for Friday!

I woke up tired this morning. Not tired physically, but tired. Tired of thinking. On top of that, I'm grouchy. I don't know if it's because I haven't been able to draw a deep breath for weeks, due to the oppressive heat and humidity, or if I just need a break from the mental gymnastics of life. Well, at least the weekend arrives in 8 hours.

Fellow blogger and card diva Amy Westerman is having a challenge at her blog, Heartfelt Greetings. Until tomorrow midnight (she must know stampers often don't have time to create until after everyone else has gone to bed!), she is having a business card design contest to encourage those of us who make cards and want to market our expertise and products to create a functional tool for that purpose. This was a good exercise for me, as I have had some business cards on hand that I made using an online Avery template, but I didn't like them all that much. What happens when you don't really like your card? You don't hand it out! NOT GOOD.

I knew I wanted something that would detail what I can provide, and that drove the layout. The flap created a place to add some color easily--the whole card is backed with designer paper--and also, I hope, added some intrigue--"what's under here?"

The services I provide are listed (click on the picture to read them), as well as the cogent details of my cell phone number, my email address, and my blog address. I do want to increase this side of my business, as I find great satisfaction in helping people bless those they care for with unique items tailored to the recipient. I designed a bridal shower invitation for my friend/customer whose friend's daughter was getting married. The friend had received some of Carol's handmade cards, and wanted something special like that for this significant occasion. That's what it's all about! It was simple--she had to make 90 of them--and yet elegant.

I have another friend who contracts with me to create card packets, a 3d item, and a paper container to hold goodies. She gives all this to her writers at a corporate retreat. She doesn't have the time to make them herself, but she loved the idea when I pitched it to her. The response from the women has been tremendous, and they know that she values them. Again, communicating value to those we care about is a big part of why I do this. Okay, being reminded of the "why" behind the doing has alleviated my grouchiness.

My parents left here Wednesday to fly to Albuquerque to visit friends (cheaper flight from here), and they return Sunday afternoon. My sister and her family arrive tomorrow evening, hopefully in time for supper. I'll be busy entertaining, but you'll want to check in here next week, because I'll be posting pictures of the projects for the Anything BUT a Card class that I'm hosting Sept. 15.

The heat's supposed to break sometime early next week. Imagine, being excited that it's only going be in the upper 80s! Hope you find some way to enjoy the weekend. I'd love to hear what you'll be up to.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

It's the Little Things that Matter

Before I get on with today's post, just let me share how touched I was by all the support you gave with your comments on the card I made for the Starbuck's manager! Thanks for the encouragement. The card is sitting in the mailbox, waiting for pickup. I'll probably never hear anything from him about it, but that's not the point, is it.
Okay, here's today's card:

I can't get enough of these little 3x3 cards, and I have the new Dashing designer paper that will be great for Christmas projects like these! This one uses the Season of Joy set, which has this poinsettia image, a word block of Christmas phrases, a Christmas tree, a tiny flowery-star, a snowflake, and Merry Christmas. One set that will make full-sized cards as well as gift cards--it's a good thing!

The little ribbon loop addition came about almost as an afterthought. I have a few little pieces of it left, so I thought I'd try to incorporate it. Problem? The gingham is white and red, and the dp is red, river rock and very vanilla. So, I tried something: I ran the ribbon across my river rock ink pad, and it became a color-coordinated accessory! Love it when things are that easy.

This paper and set becomes available Sept. 1, which is right around the corner! Don't forget that I have a Christmas Card Expo coming up Sept. 9 and 10, and I'll help you design a special card...using Dashing paper and this set, if you'd like!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Saying Thank You...

For the past couple of days, my husband has been urging me to make the manager at the Starbuck's location where I interviewed a thank you card. I agreed with him, but the idea needed to--wait for it--"brew" in my head for a bit. This afternoon, everything came together.

I made a suspension card, and I chose this layout because of the WOW factor. I wanted this to be a card he wouldn't forget, thereby not forgetting me when the new store begins hiring. Notice that I also color-coordinated the card with Starbuck's colors--Handsome Hunter and Basic Black and Whisper White.

Believe it or not, everything gelled when I remembered that I had this tiny little stamp. Notice the date on there: 1998! This had to be one of the early early mini sets that SU! offered, but, alas, I didn't attach the name sticker to the container of 12 little gems. (Don't think there was splitcoaststampers way back then, so why would I have thought it important to know the name of my set?) Anyway, the little cup was perfect for what I wanted to do, and I hope it communicates to Clay that I do appreciate the opportunity to interview and am thankful for what he's promising to do on my behalf in the weeks to come. I'll keep you posted!

The day is getting away...

but I want to share another card that came together over the weekend.
When I first began this card, it was going to be a completely circular card, but I started with this layout and played. At first, I didn't really care for the look. The flowers didn't seem to do much and the doodles behind weren't jazzing me either. But I persisted. Sometimes you have to do that when you're experimenting, and I'm not really good at this. I traced the outline of the flowers with my watercolor pencils and used my blender pen to soften the lines and used my aquapainter with Wild Wasabi ink around them. Still not enough punch. So I left it on the table for several days. Saturday I went back and colored in the flowers and aquapainted the doodles in the same WW ink. I was beginning to warm to it more! Add some Certainly Celery Prints designer paper to stiffen everything up, and voila! Here's what the inside looks like.
I envision this as a notecard to a friend who enjoys gardening. No great purpose for the card, other than to communicate through it the daily things of life. If you have any suggestions as to how you would make this card better, please share! I'm always open to new ideas...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Split Negative Christmas Card

As you could tell by the title of this post, the technique used to create this card is called "split negative." I tried this technique for the first time over the weekend, and I'm pretty pleased with the results. To achieve this look, simply take two pieces of card stock that are the same size and stamp the same image in the same location on each in contrasting inks. For this one I used Whisper White craft ink on Basic Black card stock and Real Red classic ink on Whisper White card stock. Cut them in half at the same place and piece them together. It's really that easy! The snow
flakes falling below the main image were created using Versamark and Sterling Silver embossing powder. Love the shimmer it creates!

I made this second card because there are 2 images created every time you use the split negative technique. I'd been blog browsing and saw that one crafter had made a card she called a "kickstand" card. As I hope you can tell from the picture, the base is cut off higher on the front and the image is applied at the bottom.

You can see with the card open what this looks like. There was white space below where the snow-
flakes were on the front of the card, so I repeated the Versamark/embossing powder stamping on the inside.

Which one do you like better, and why? I'm still debating.

Well, I did some more card making yesterday afternoon (where did all this free time come from?), but I'm paying for it again today with a sore neck. Who knew card making could induce pain?!? I've been wrestling with tendonitis in my left elbow for several months, and I really think it's from papercrafting and typing on my laptop. This is NUTS--I'm only 40!

My parents are only 3 hours away! I have cards to share for the rest of the week. Perhaps I'll include a picture of them too! Happy card making!

Monday, August 20, 2007


I mentioned a few posts ago that I'm trying to get a job at Starbuck's. Why, you ask? Well, I am one of those people who LOVES retail! It's not because I'm a big shopper, though. I enjoy working retail because I find satisfaction in serving people. Okay, so why Starbuck's, since those who know me know that I don't ever crave cradling a warm cup o' joe in my hands? The answer to that is simple: excellent product, excellent environment, excellent benefits.

I need to work (this goes for volunteering too) somewhere where I can unequivocably, without hesitation, endorse the product I'm selling. Starbuck's is known to have set the standard for excellent coffee. Even if I don't care for it all that much myself (I can enjoy it if it's loaded with sugar and cream and called a caramel macchiatto or a dolce de leche latte), I want to provide a product that people esteem as the best of the best.

I also need to work somewhere that provides an excellent environment. Great coffee, but horrible service? You'll go somewhere else for your creature comfort. Mediocre coffee, excellent environment? Same result. You have to do both well. Starbuck's marketed itself as everybody's "third place," where you go to meet your friends. I want to be part of creating that kind of place for people, because we're too isolated as a society, and that's dangerous.

The third reason why I chose Starbuck's as the company of choice for my part-time job is excellent benefits. This goes way beyond the free pound of coffee and free drinks, friends. This company VALUES its employees unlike any other food retail establishment. Full medical benefits, including dental and vision coverage, is offered in exchange for 20 hours a week of work. Where else could I find that? Nowhere. Being able to have great benefits at a reasonable price is something our family could enjoy--greatly. For example, the company where my husband works is small--under 30 employees. That kind of organization can't get excellent benefits at a reasonable cost. It's too risky for the provider. Therefore, we don't have vision coverage, and Bob is holding off getting new glasses because we don't have the money to pay for them out of pocket. I need to get my eyes examined too; all this crafting has made me more dependent on my glasses, and I'm pretty sure my prescription has changed.

The manager at the location where I applied told me that the company spends more annually on health benefits than it does purchasing coffee beans. Wow...that's putting your money where your mouth is. That's why 140,000 employees are so satisfied. They know they're valued by the company.

So, when do I start? Well, I didn't get hired at the location where I applied; my availability didn't match what they needed to cover in hours of operation. BUT, there's another store opening nearby in November, and the manager has asked me to check back with him in October and has promised to pass my name along to whoever is chosen to be the manager. I have 6 years of food retail experience--I sold gourmet chocolate and ice cream--and I'm sort of addicted to the experience. Here's hoping Starbuck's finds me good for their business.

The Hazards of Stamping...

Good morning! What a great time I had with the gals who came to stamp on Saturday! Two came who had never stamped anything before, and they loved it. I was so thrilled to be able to introduce someone--two someones, to be exact--to the simple joy of creating something that will bless another. Sandra was the only regular who came, and yet the group had an easy, comfortable feel to it, like we'd known each other a long time. That's what I love about being in the company of women and doing crafting together! Thanks, ya'll, for making my day!

Stamping does have its hazards though, like a stiff neck from spending too much time looking down cutting paper and prepping card packets! I need a masseus to come work out the knots in my neck and left shoulder, and a wizard to restore order to my table! BUT, do not fear--I could not stay away from the craft room entirely, and I made a couple of cards yesterday afternoon.

When it's nearly 100 outside, it helps to think cool, and I did that by making 2 Christmas cards. I'll share the first today and you'll see the other one tomorrow.
This card is called a suspension card, and you should be able to see from the way I photographed it, that there's a part of it that's floating! It's really quite simple to do, and there's a wonderful tutorial at splitcoaststampers just follow the link and try this yourself! I think it's cool, but not very conducive for making with a group at a stamp-a-stack or at a workshop (too involved), so send me a link if you make one!

Supplies used: Naturals Ivory base, Always Artichoke with prints paper, Rose Red prints and paper, Always Artichoke and Purely Pomegranate ink, with Certainly Celery ink on the designer paper.

Thanks for stopping by today! My parents arrive tomorrow, and my sister and her family arrive on Saturday, so I don't know how much stamping will happen. I know I won't be able to stay away completely, so keep checking back. I'm thankful that you care enough to read this!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

This is the Time for Giveaways!

The blogging gals over at Five Minutes for Mom are giving away a 37" flat-panel LCD HDTV tomorrow morning. Bob and I have been dreaming about having one for the video content we watch in the sunroom--it would be SOOOO sweet to WIN it!

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on their blog! You don't even have to get up, get in your car, or buy anything! Best Buy is sponsoring this...kudos to them for supporting moms everywhere! Hurry on over to enter!

I love it when a plan comes together...

I've known for most of my life that I'm the kind of person who thrives on deadlines. That must've been what helped me create this card yesterday! This is for Saturday's SAS, so now all I have left to do is cut a set of paper for a friend who found out after my deadline that she can come on Saturday. I'll happily cut extra for that reason!

The card uses Doodle This, which I did quite a bit with this spring when it was new. I'm glad it made it into the Fall-Winter Collection; it gave me more time to find new uses for it. The supplies include Wild Wasabi for the base (stamped with the same ink), Groovy Guava for the background (again, stamped with the same ink), and naturals ivory for the focal point. What really makes this card, in my opinion, is the addition of the copper metallic paper and the copper embossing powder on the flowers! The little greeting uses Rough Edges Alphabet.

On another note, we had a rough start to our morning here. There's a lot to adjust to in middle school, and I forget that each year has its own challenges. Last year there was NO way to miss the challenge--it was moving from IL to GA and going to public school after 6 years in private school! This year, I thought things would go more smoothly, even though we were districted for a newly constructed middle school. For the first few days, things have gone well. But this morning, Michael woke up with a nervous stomach and, as we were walking to the car to go to school, realized that he'd forgotten to do an assignment. I remember that feeling, don't you? The churning in the pit of your stomach that, not only had you forgotten, now you were going to be late! We got 'er done, and he was only 5 min. late. But my mama heart hurt for all he's trying to juggle so wonder he's nervous! All this to say, say a prayer for any kids you know who are going back to school.

Gotta run. Grocery shopping is calling, and I don't have a list yet! Please tell me this heat will break soon!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Saturday's getting closer...

Some days you have it, some days you don't. I can't decide which this card is a result of! Here's what I came up, after working at my craft desk for over an hour! The color was skewed by my camera; it's Purely Pomegranate and Soft Sky, both from the new In Color Collection. I wanted to make a card that was different, so I started with the idea of a pocket. No, I started with the idea of a bookmark, and then the idea of a pocket to put the bookmark in came about. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but I don't have time today to think about it. I'm volunteering this morning, I have a meeting this afternoon, and I need to go to the grocery sometime too!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

This Just In!!!

I don't know if you're into deals, but I am, and this one is a FABULOUS!!! Stampin’ Up! has decided to let you do something you may have always dreamed of--choose your own family! Color family, that is.

Purchase the Starter Kit for $199 between now and September 14, and you’ll get to pick the color family of your choice of Classic Stampin’ Ink Pads® FREE. That’s 12 full-sized ink pads--a $57.95 value! Ladies, I saved $60 when my washer had to be replaced two weeks ago, and I didn't dedicate a blog entry to that event! When do we ever get almost $60 off anything this FUN!!

Here's the skinny about the Starter Kit. It's completely customizable: choose 5 stamp sets and 6 ink pads that you like, and the Stampin' Scrub and Stampin' Mist, scissors, a standard wheel (again, your choice), handle and ink cartridge, blender pens, Stampin' Pastels, Versamark pad, mono adhesive, three packs of card stock, and business supplies completes the kit. Follow this link to see a picture! It's a $355 value for $199 WITHOUT THE SPECIAL of the color family of ink pads for $57,95. So, this is simply is an OUTSTANDING offer that you really should consider...Contact me and I'll help you get 'er done! You won't regret it!

I have a good excuse...

Really, I do! I was busy in the craft room at the end of last week and didn't have time, due to a workshop, to post over the weekend. I know what it's like to check in at a blog you enjoy and find nothing new for several days, so let me say right now that I'm sorry and that I'll try to do better. School started Monday, and that threw me off a bit too. I'm also trying to get a job at Starbuck's, but that's another story.

What also has me plotting and not playing is the fact that my friends/customers are coming this Saturday for a Stamp-A-Stack with the sets from the new Fall-Winter Collection. I have 3 cards figured out, but the remaining 2 have me stumped. I'm sure I'll figure something out--I have to, they're paying for me to! Another reason why there's no NEW picture to share.

Here's one from the archives though.
My dad's cousin lives nearby, so we were invited to her 50th birthday dinner earlier this spring. The invitation expressly forbid gifts, so I decided I'd make a card that was super special instead. It's hard to tell from this photo, but this card has 9 panels of birthday greetings, and 50 candles to boot! You can see each panel up close and personal at my web gallery Cindy's Birthday Card. I love the reaction that cards like this get from the recipient. That's why I got into card making in the first place--to bless friends and family with something made specifically with them in mind. That's why this blog has the name it does. I sign each of my cards with the phrase "Just for You!" and add my initials and the date, just like Hallmark does. I want those I send cards to to know that whatever event they're celebrating warranted a unique creation by me.

Thanks again for stopping by today. I'll try to be more regular in my postings, but I know you understand how life can get away from you at times...have a good day!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Mini Mates Cards and Stamping Opportunities

On Tuesday I posted some retired stamp sets that I'm selling. These two cards are some of those I've created using the Mini Mates set. It's such a great set because it gives you so many options for making cards. Images and sentiments that coordinate--it's a good thing, to quote Martha. Post a comment if you'd like to purchase this set.

In case you are in the throes of "the week before school starts" craziness right now, I hope you will consider blocking out some time for yourself and attending one of these upcoming stamping opportunities I'm hosting at my house:

Aug. 18 from 10a-1p: Stampastack with sets from the Fall-Winter Collection. Some of you didn't make it to the open house I had in July to debut this new catalog, so you don't know what you're in for! On Monday I'll post the cards we're going to be making, but just exercise some faith and plan to come before you see what we're going to do. It's always a good time, and it'll be so fun to get back together after a busy summer. RSVPs are due Monday, Aug. 13--the first day of school--and the cost is $18 for 15 cards/envelopes.

Sept. 9 from 2-4p and Sept. 10 from 7-9p: Christmas Card Expo! This is the year you're going to get organized early enough to be able to make your Christmas cards or your gift cards and tags! I know you want to do it, and I'm here to help! Come stamp with some new sets from the Holiday Mini Catalog (it's way cool, and you know I don't gush about these things!) and let me assist you in creating a simple, fun design for your Christmas cards. Please RSVP by Sept. 4 for this FREE event.

Sept. 15 from 10a-1p: Anything But a Card Class. We're going to be making some really fun 3D items, including that mini notebook I posted about here last month! Cost is $20 for 8 items. These will be perfect little things to have on hand for last-minute gift giving for birthdays, hostess gifts, or Christmas exchanges at the office. Please RSVP by Sept. 5.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


today's post published below yesterday's. please scroll down.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Thanks a Block!

Since my earlier post was boring, I thought I'd showcase a card using one of the three stamps in Block Party set. I profiled one last month (see Party Party! post), and this is another. This one utilizes the Thanks stamp, and is a quick way to create a card that communicates exactly what you want to say!

The color combination is an old favorite--last year's In Color Cranberry Crisp (I want to be on the team that names the colors) with Sage Shadow ink and mat on Very Vanilla. The ribbon is Moss gingham, with a little bit of the retired single stitched Cranberry Crisp ribbon.

Sunday, August 5, 2007


As promised, here are some sets that I'm putting up for sale so that I can acquire more for demonstrating with. These prices do not include shipping, so please count on the addition of Priority Mail postage to your purchase. If you are local, other arrangements can be made.

Birthday Best--original price: $12.95 SALE price: $9
Simply Sent set Gratitude--original price: $39.95 (approx., including ink spots, markers and supplies) SALE price: $10, including original instruction booklet
Love Matters, a 12 piece set--original price: $28.95 SALE price: $23
In Full Bloom, set of 9 pieces--original price: $24.95 SALE price: $20
Mini Mates, set of 28--original price: $29.95 SALE price: $22
Soft Swirls background stamp--original price: $17 SALE price: $12

All these sets are in very very good condition. I'll send a photo of the rubber side, if you're serious about purchasing. All sets have been used, but have been well-maintained. Leave a comment to let me know which one you'd like. First come, first served, and remember that shipping is not included in the prices. If you'd like me to consider swapping something with you, I'll consider that too! Happy shopping...

Bold and Bright Containers

A friend of mine has contracted me to create fun goodies for some people she employs, and this is one of the things I put together over the weekend. I wanted to offer her two options for a container to present pens and highlighters and such to her writers. This first one is called a 2-5-7-10 box, and I like the flap which safely secures whatever's inside--like chocolates!

This second picture is of a 2-4-6-8 box, and is the she chose, as it gave her greater height latitude than the other one. She also likes that my design incorporates a monogram, so that each woman feels special! I like that too! I tried a new technique for the initial. It's done with Versamark and Dazzling Diamonds glitter. Then it's sprayed with hairspray to keep the glitter in place.

Both were made with whisper white card stock, inks from the bold brights color family, and the Simply Sent Friendship Shapes set.

Which one would you choose, and why?

Go West!

I did some crafting Saturday afternoon, since it was just too hot to be outside until later in the day! I also perused some blogs before I stamped, and came across this layout on Charmaine's blog, Oodabug Alley. I asked her for the dimensions, and she promptly supplied them. I think that this month's Stamp-A-Stack is going to feature this and other unique folds!

The color combo for this card was inspired by a blouse I saw on my way out of Belk Saturday afternoon. (OK, I was out for a brief time, but I didn't think you'd really want to read about bra shopping--YUCK!) I pulled out my handy notebook (see July 17 post) and scribbled down the colors I saw and came home with a mind to create. It's lovely when a plan comes together, isn't it?

The colors used include: chocolate chip, creamy caramel, very vanilla (right now it sounds more like a luscious dessert, doesn't it!), really rust, and taken with teal. The dimensions are 9" wide by 5.5" high, scored at 3" and 6". I made the tag tops by measuring the center of each panel and then dropping down an inch and marking each side. Then I connected the dots and cut the resulting triangles off. The twine on the top is from a package I received--I think it lends it just the right finishing touch of "western-ness." If you can't tell, the stamp set used is Baroque Motifs, along with recently-retired That's Nice.

Speaking of recently-retired items, I'm going to be posting tomorrow about some sets I'm going to be selling to make way for new sets I'd like to buy. Ya'll come back now, ya hear?

Friday, August 3, 2007

Post-its For the Purse...

I have another fun non-card project to show you to end the week. This is a Post-It Note holder. These notes aren't the square kind though. They're actually index card size, lined, and backed with the famous sticky stuff that makes them Post-Its. I have a girlfriend who's addicted to Post-Its, so this is something she'd love to have in her purse or in her car.

This one was made using leftover cardboard that comes with all the designer paper and Simply Scrappin' sets, retired Loves Me paper (I miss that stuff!) and matching grosgrain ribbon. The only trouble I had was getting the notes to stay stuck to the folder. I resorted to Sticky Strip, but still had trouble. I may try making a different closure system the next time I make these.

There's a great tutorial for this that I found at Amy Celona's UStamp4Fun website. That woman is the queen of 3-D projects, and I don't need to reinvent the wheel that she has already so creatively decorated! If you have never visited her site, you MUST! Go to the project gallery and look for 6x6 notebook, and there will be photos and instructions. Thanks, Amy!

Here's one last shot of what the item looks like when opened.

Thanks for visiting today! Have a wonderful weekend, even though it's swampy!!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

365 days later...

One year ago today, we'd placed nearly all our worldly possessions in that truck and were driving south on 75 with our hearts in our throats to begin our new life in GA. What was all so unknown then has become familiar, and people I didn't even know existed on the planet have become my friends.

Change is hard to embrace, but it is made easier by the kindness of those we journey with each day. The littlest things were meaningful to me back then--the friendliness of the checkout ladies at Publix, a neighbor who I'd just met who, without hesitating, loaned me a quilt when I knocked on her door at 9:00 that first night, another neighbor who let me follow her to school the first day so that I would know the "back route" that saved time, the small group leader who welcomed our son into his group that first Sunday at church and gave him the opportunity to find a place to belong, and the director of children's ministries gave me a chance to serve.

These and many other events over the past 365 days have helped me trust God more, and believe in humanity more. Now I have the opportunity to "pay it forward" with 2 new families who have just arrived in the area. Their husbands work with mine, and are from CA and OK. I hope to be as helpful to them as many were to me, because in doing so, my experiences will be redeemed for their benefit.

Thanks to all of you who have played a part in our transition from IL to GA. Keep looking for ways to invest in those around you. You may never know what a difference it will make...

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Following a Friend's Suggestion

Lydia, my new friend and fellow blogger at Understand Blue, suggested yesterday to look at designer paper if one is ever lacking inspiration for a color combo. She suggested trying to marry So Saffron, Bashful Blue, and Purely Pomegranate as it is shown in SU!'s new designer paper called Cutie Pie. My plans for the afternoon were changed, so I had free time that I put to good use!

The Purely Pomegranate double-stitched ribbon was a last-minute addition, and I think it anchors the piece. I'm really psyched about how this turned out, although creating the quilted look by scoring squares on the diagonal to stamp the little star from Baroque Motifs in was enough to boggle my mind for a bit.

The sentiment is one of my favs: "Some people strengthen others just by being the kind of people they are." Isn't that a GREAT compliment to give someone? I had someone encourage me by being who she is, so she's going to get this card.

Send those cards you've made, friends!