Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What's Up?

Good morning dear friends! No picture yet today because, while I have the day off, I have to prepare my house for the staff from Starbucks. They--all 12 of them--will be arriving at my house for the holiday meeting (don't know what that is, but I'm sure it has something to do with whatever promotional stuff we'll be selling SOON). We're going to be dining together, with everyone pitching in. It's Italian themed, so I'm making lasagne (although it won't be as good as yours, Sandra!), someone else is bringing chicken parmesan, someone else caesar salad, etc. etc. etc. I'm looking forward to it. I love hosting people in my house!

I'm hoping I'll be done with all my work early enough to do some crafting. OH! Just opened the door to let the dogs in--my freshly bathed dogs, mind you--to find their paws ALL muddy! Guess I know what I'll be doing before I do anything else!

Happy day to you all!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Coming Clean...

Many of you think that I'm a very neat and tidy person who keeps a neat and tidy home. That is mostly true. However, I feel the need to let you know that I am messier than the appearance of my house may lead you to believe. So, in the spirit of full disclosure, here are pictures I snapped this morning of my craft room.

This is the surface of a table given to me by one of my friends. I have really put it to good use, huh!
At least I've covered every square inch of it with something! The lower right corner of the table is where I have my cutting station, and what you see is what happens to the unused paper when I go on to my project! I'm having storage issues, as you'll see in the next picture.

This card table is on the other side of this bedroom cum crafting space. My designer paper landed there when I took it all out of the closet, where it lays on a shelf, to photograph it for the DVD notebook tin paper options I'm offering you. I really need a good storage solution for this too, but hanging file folders aren't working because the paper's 12x12.

Lastly, I reveal my craft table, which is where I work. Hard to believe, but I just walked away and left it like that. I was productive there this weekend, and I'll show you what I made later this week. But I'm not getting things put away before I'm walking off to do something else, and then I have to do that cleaning up when I come back so that I have enough room to work! Santa's supposed to be bringing me a LARGE wall unit that will store all my stamp pads and markers (the deadline for ordering one for Christmas delivery is Thurs., Nov. 1), and I'm really looking forward to figuring out a perfect spot for that. Maybe that will clear more space on the table. I'll still probably only work in a 6x6 piece of real estate on that surface!

If anyone has any good, inexpensive storage ideas, I'd be glad to hear them! I need help, and the first step to getting it is admitting you have a problem. "Hello, my name is Jenn, and I'm a messy stamp room keeper."

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Good Day and other things...

Real mail was in the mailbox for me today, which makes it a good day! I don't know anyone who doesn't like to get personal mail, and when it's a package, that's doubly great!

My childhood best friend lives in Vietnam with her family. She's the one I was pictured with in my last post. I hope you have someone in your life that you have as much history with as I do with Shelly. We have birthdays 3 weeks apart, and we exchange presents. This bracelet is one she bought this summer while she was in CA. A boy and his family were raising money for him to go with his parents to get his adopted baby brother in Russia. How cool is it to be part of that! I love it, Shel! Thanks so much...

Recently, I received this card from fellow demonstrator Nadine. She and I are former Illinoians, and she made 100 of these cards for her husband to send out to colleagues. She's done with her Christmas cards already, gals!!! Amazing! This card is beautifully sparkly in real life. Great job, Nadine! You inspire me to get on mine!

Something else I designed this week is a bookmark using the Wanted stamp set. I'm taking it to a swap with other demonstrators in a few weeks, and I wanted to do something a little different than just a card front. It's hard to photograph, but the top is a copper metallic scalloped punch circle, then the image secured with an eyelet. The gingham moss ribbon travels down through the book and is anchored by a paisley from the set. I was inspired to make this by something I saw on splitcoaststampers.

Hope your weekend is going well. Gotta run and get ready for dinner...beautiful day today. Picture perfect!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Quick and Easy Photo Card!

I know many of you have a long standing tradition of sending a family Christmas picture to friends and family every year. You do this, in part, because you think you don't have time to make Christmas cards. After doing some blog surfing last night, I was inspired to challenge this notion, and I came up with this SIMPLE, QUICK and EASY upgrade to said photo card that will make those who open your card THIS year sit up and take notice!

Tell me this isn't more special than what you've been doing! This took me all of maybe 5 min. to make, and mass producing these would be one evening's worth of pleasure. It's designed to fit into a standard business envelope, which measures 4 1/8" x 9 1/2". The picture I used (of me and my friend Shelly--the only loose one I had laying around at the moment) is a 3 1/2" x 5 1/2". If you prefer 4" x 6", this size will fit this layout as well, just without any border around the photo.

Seriously now, isn't this nicer than what Walmart or Target can print off for you? I don't know about you, but to me it communicates so much love and care. You might even have so much extra time that you could print off a little summary of the year to attach to the back of the card.

This is the version I created for those who'd like to do a little--emphasis on the word "little"--more crafting. Here I added 2 lengths of ribbon--the green one vertically, and the red bow. This dresses it up a bit, but still doesn't add a ton of time to the project. Sandra, I know you wouldn't choose this one because you consider yourself bow challenged, but this is an easy one to make, really! The bow is a self-tying one--imagine making 2 bunny ears, crossing them and pulling one through and you have it--and is secured with a little glue dot. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!!!

This type of card can be coordinated to match with the clothing your family chooses to wear, and there are multiple greeting options in the stamp set that I used. Let me know if I can help you in any way with this. I think you'll be glad you did!

One more thing: I learned this morning that there are 66 of you who are subscribed to my blog! I'm so excited by this, but I'm stumped at the same time. If there are so many of you, how come I never hear from you? You're lurkers, aren't you. Just like to look and remain anonymous. That's fine with me, but please know that I'd love to hear your thoughts about what I post. It's part of why I'm out here in cyberland!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Just thought you'd want to know...

that the bathroom is clean (including the globes for the light fixture and the shells in the fishbowl that were gathering dust and the floor--I did it ALL!), my bed's sheets are stripped from the bed, the fan in the bedroom was dismantled and washed and reassembled, the furniture in the bedroom was dusted (I HATE DUSTING!!), three or four loads of laundry are done and put away, son's drawers and our front closet have been sorted and outgrown clothing has been bagged up to be dropped off at the Goodwill, the hardwood floors are gleaming (yes, I washed them on my hands and knees like mom taught me!), and I'm now going to go to the shower!!

I think we'll be heading to Chick-Fil-A tonigth for dinner--I've earned it!

Tomorrow I'm going to PLAY...and wipe the dog snout marks off the front door glass!

Christmas Layout Inspiration

One thing I love about living in the Eastern time zone is that mornings start late. It doesn't even begin to get light these days until 7:30! We ease into the day here, and I like it.

I'm also writing this early this morning because I have the day off and I really need to do some major housecleaning. Bathroom, hardwood floors, vacuuming, wiping dog snout marks off the front door's glass...fun stuff. You're welcome to come join me! I can get majorly sidetracked by sitting down at the computer, so I'm forcing myself to post, get Michael and Bob out the door, and then put my nose to the grindstone and WORK!

I wanted to post this last night after I finished it, but Bob was doing some computer stuff and he took the network down for awhile. Then I was too tired to post when he had it back up, so you get it with your Cheerios this morning.

This card was inspired by Cambria Turnbow, who put a twist on a card layout she saw on someone's blog and at an SU! regional convention. Here's the link to her blog where she shares the details of the dimensions, and where you can see the card that inspired mine.

When I saw that circle on the front, I thought that it would make a great Christmas layout. I just took the dimension of 3" for the width and reduced mine to 6" instead of 8" and scored it in the middle. I don't have a Coluzzle circle cutting system, although SU! does, so I traced around the lid from a Pringles can! There's a small hinge underneath the ornament topper, which is cut from copper metallic paper.

Here's how the card looks when it's open! Isn't it cool how the ornament can hold a Christmas wish? It may be a little hard to see, but Merry Christmas is in amongst the snowflakes on the bottom fold. If I'd had the Peaceful Wishes set from SU!, which has a pine bough, I would've tried to make this look like it was hanging from a tree, and if a friend who has it loans it to me, you may see another version of this card. Wouldn't it be cute to put a family or child's picture on the inside of the ornament as well? Perhaps on the outside, with the designer paper serving as a background? Lots of potential here, I think!

Here are the details, and then I'm off to do the stuff I said I'd do. River Rock card stock base, Old Olive ink, Dashing designer paper, Many Merry Messages, Snowflake Spot. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Hey, Baby!

A couple from church is having a baby soon, and the gal supervises a group of volunteers. We decided to go in together to give them a cash gift, and I went to Target to get them gift cards. Of course, they're not all that cute, so I made something better to present them.

This first one is a remake of something I posted quite awhile ago. I had a blank template of this gift card holder sitting around and thought I'd make good use of it. I also received some new stamps yesterday in the mail. I WON the Fun and Fast Notes set by entering a contest, and one of the reasons I chose it was because it had images that celebrated multiple occasions, and those images had accompanying sentiments. The baby carriage and the words "happy new baby" are from this set, and the word "congratulations" is from this set as well, although it goes with another image that you'll see in a minute. I like Regal Rose and Rose Red together, and I kept the outside simple. Unfortunately, the card I made to go inside this gift card holder was sealed in before I remembered to take a picture of it!

This second card is a stand alone--and it's not as big as it looks. It measures just 3" wide by 4" long when folded. The star image appealed to me because it had 3 stars inside each other. I thought the outside one could represent the Papa, so I colored it Bashful Blue. The second star could represent the Mama, so it was colored with Regal Rose. The baby girl--Mary Peyton--is represented by the smallest flowery star in the center. It was glitterfied and layered with some strips of coordinating paper, and it was done.

I think these projects illustrate that the name of the stamp set--Fun and Fast--is appropriate. Now we'll have to see if the couple is at church in the morning. She's dialated to 4cm already, and she's a week early. I hope she's there so I can present her with these little things. If not, she's better off because she'll finally get to meet her daughter!

Friday, October 19, 2007

HB revisited!

When I used to write sentiments for the cards I made, I came up with this one for a belated birthday: Better late than never said, Happy Birthday, friend! WELL...today when I came home from a hectic day at Starbucks, there was a GIHUGEANT package waiting on the front porch. I thought it was something for Bob, since the box was labeled "Rudy's Country Store and BBQ." However, upon closer investigation, my heartbeat quickened when I saw the shipping label's return address was AUSTIN, TEXAS. Then I knew that the package was for me! Lydia, blogger friend from Understand Blue, had told me a package would be coming to celebrate my birthday. WOW...she wasn't kidding!

The first thing I saw when I opened the box were these cute notes tucked in this cute folded designer paper holder. They each have a different sentiment and the envelope flaps have scalloped edges! Too cute and sweet!

The next thing I found was this paper purse, made with a sturdy clear pouch. It's backed with wheeled paper (which also makes the flap), has cute little notes in it, and a velcro enclosure. I'm thinking my niece would love this. It may get new innards and be regifted for Christmas!

Things just kept coming from this box! Next, I found this very cool, large lined journal, stamped with neat vintage images. Not sure what I'm going to use it to keep track of, but I love it. That color combo of khaki and black is so classic, not to mention Starbucks uniform attire!

Then I came to a small styrofoam cooler. I thought that it wouldn't be past Lydia to send me some of that yummy cheesy sloppy joe stuff she featured on her blog a few days back. WRONG--sort of! Inside the chilled container were 2 items.Isn't this BEAUTIFUL? You gals who have been to my workshop this summer know how she accomplished this, but it's still amazing to me every time I see it. A stamped image melted into a candle. Those Texans know how to ship things so that they don't melt!

THIS was also in the cooler!!! This must be the year for me to sample exotic chocolate, because this bar definitely fit the bill. How she knew I love cherries is BEYOND me, but dark chocolate (73%, baby!) and cherry=divine! Michael wanted to sample some, and I begrudgingly shared. He didn't like it--yay! All the more for me, and I still get points for sharing! It's already half gone...

I was thrilled with everything that came in the box and photographed it all for you to see. While I was popping the airbag packaging that kept everything from shifting, I came across a wad of bubble wrap. I picked it up to throw it away, and discovered it was heavy. MORE?!, I thought? INDEED... I really don't know how she knows that I have this thing for jams, or how she knows that morello cherries are my favorites! Is she psychic? I took the picture in front of the cooler so that you could see that I'm not making this up! This is NOT being shared, I can tell you that right now! This is what will start my day tomorrow morning before I head out at 5:30a for Starbucks. I'm certain it will put a smile on my face!

Gifts are not my love language, usually. But, Lydia, this spoke to my heart! Thanks so much for everything. It was definitely better late than never!!!

A Great Book Inspires

I may not have mentioned this before, but I love to read. I so enjoy experiencing a story and I marvel at those who can weave characters and plot and circumstances into something memorable.

I don't remember where I was reading about this book, but whatever I read intrigued me enough to write down the title and see if my library had it for loan. (I rarely buy books; why spend the money when the library's free!) Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos is a beautiful first novel. It is the story of 11-year-old Clare, who lives with her mother, Viviana. She has no relationship with her father, who her mother divorced when she was 3. So, when her mother begins to behave strangely at the story's outset, Clare has few resources to turn to for help. Her mother's acts become more disturbing, so Clare decides to be brave like the heroines in the novels she reads--Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables, Jo from Little Women, etc.--and call her father for help.

Clare calls him, but he brushes her off, so Clare begins to do everything she can to organize her life and protect the secret of her mother's illness. All seems to be working, until the last day of school when her mother arrives to pick her up and take her away for the holidays. When the unthinkable happens, Clare has to contact her father again and hope that he believes her this time.

While the reader is learning about Clare's life, she is also introduced to Cornelia, an educated late twentysomething who can't find direction in life, and who yearns for a silver screen type of man--Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, to name a few--to come along and sweep her off her feet. She manages a coffee cafe, and one day, in walks Martin Grace. They begin a relationship and she falls for his great looks, his immaculate, "together" life, and his faultless demeanor. Yet, she doesn't feel like she can connect with him on an emotional level. She is at a crossroads about what to do, when he walks into the cafe with a young girl who bursts into tears at the mention of her name. What is her name? Clare.

I won't share the rest of the story with you; I wouldn't want to deny you a good read. I was quite touched by the beautiful writing Mrs. de los Santos did, and I wanted to thank her. So I contacted her through her website,Love Walked In, and asked for a way to send her real mail. She promptly replied and this is what I came up with.

Not much in the way of rocket science here, but I wanted to mimic the cover design to some degree, so that dictated my color scheme and the leaves. The leaves were stamped in Versamark, then heat embossed with copper embossing powder. I did this on the envelope flap too. I added the shimmering bronze in place of the rust that surrounds the title box on the book jacket, and used a brass stencil to dry emboss the words "thank you." I hope she'll make the connection and be blessed.

I hope you'll be able to find some time to escape with a good read this weekend. Find some time also to invest in your relationships. You don't have to do it perfectly, but just walk forward and figure it out along the way.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Spotlight Technique

Good morning! This probably never happens to you, but I woke up with a card layout in my head and I had to seize the moment and make it. Do you like it?

It uses what's called the spotlight technique, and though my "spotlight" isn't round, I hope you get the effect. This technique works best with line art images, so that you can add a spot of color to highlight some aspect of the focal point of your card.

I still have my friend Darcie's Autumn Harvest on loan (thank you, friend!), and so I used this one. I stamped the layout in chocolate chip classic ink on my grid paper first, just to get an idea of where I wanted to place everything. This came in handy later. I was going to use a round spotlight, but it just didn't seem to fit the rectangular shape of the card. After I restamped the layout on the very vanilla card stock, I then used my 1 3/8" square punch to punch out the spotlight.

This is where the layout came in handy. I was able to position the spotlight piece where I wanted it on the grid paper layout and restamp the large and small pumpkins without risking damage to my card stock piece. I then used my aquapainter to color the pumkins using pumpkin pie and really rust and old olive ink. The chocolate chip blurred a bit, but that wouldn't happen if I had Stazon, a waterproof ink. But I don't have that, and I don't think it hurts things at all.

The eyelets were not part of the original layout, and neither was the ribbon. I like how things take shape when you give your mind freedom to be creative!

Tomorrow I'll have a card that was inspired by a book! Have a great day...enjoy autumn before it's gone.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

DVD Notebook Tin Paper Options- Limited Edition

Seems Blogger is still challenged when it comes to uploading images, so here's the link to my web gallery which features the 4 Loves Me Designer Paper options. These are labeled "limited edition" options because the paper is retired and what I have is what I have!

Each picture shows two patterns of paper, and most show one or two ribbon choices. Tbe paper at the top is the body paper, and the paper below it is the stripe across the middle. You may choose one of the ribbons, and the paper combination cannot be altered.

If these are "love at first sight for you" and you want these for your friends, neighbors, relatives, or your kids' teachers, you need to act fast!

DVD Notebook Tin Paper Options--Part 3

Blogger seems to be back in service and able to upload images, so I'm trying to post before things change again. This set is called Cerise, and you can find it here at my web gallery.

Each picture shows two patterns of paper, and most show one or two ribbon choices. Tbe paper at the top is the body paper, and the paper below it is the stripe across the middle. You may choose one of the ribbons, but the paper combination cannot be altered.

Remember: orders must be placed by Sat., Nov. 10 for delivery Sat., Dec. 15, and the cost for each is $10. These are great gifts for friends, teachers, relatives who have everything (who doesn't need to make lists?), and colleagues at work. Check out the link and let me know what you'd like to order.

DVD Notebook Tin Paper Options--Part 2

I wanted to let you know about the second set of designer paper options, called Boho West. Here's the link:Western Style DVD Notebook Tin Paper Options.

Here's a tease of what you'll find at my web gallery.

Each picture shows two patterns of paper, and most show one or two ribbon choices. Tbe paper at the top is the body paper, and the paper below it is the stripe across the middle. You may choose one of the ribbons, and the paper combination cannot be altered.

Orders must be placed by Sat., Nov. 10. The cost for each, which includes the paper, ribbon, and a notebook inside, along with a pocket on the inside is $10.

Go check it out and let me know what you'd like to order!

DVD Tin Paper Options

I have received some inquiries about the DVD notebook tins that I posted a few weeks back. They were part of my Sept. Anything BUT A Card Workshop. I have added up the cost of the materials, and added something for my time, and have come up with a price of $10 each.

Blogger is having some issue with posting images right now, and so I'm going to post them at my web gallery. Here's the link for the first set: Cutie Pie Paper DVD Notebook Options

Each picture shows two patterns of paper, and most show one or two ribbon choices. Tbe paper at the top is the body paper, and the paper below it is the stripe across the middle. You may choose one of the ribbons, and the paper combination cannot be altered. They are what they are, ladies! Some of the papers I am offering are in limited supply because they are retired. Keep this in mind as you order and ask if you'd like more than one in a retired paper pattern.

I got one to post so you have some idea of what you'll be looking at when you go to my web gallery.

I will need to have all orders for Christmas by Sat., Nov. 10. I will guarantee delivery by Sat., Dec. 15. If you want them shipped to you, you'll pay the USPS Priority Mail price.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Christmastime is Here...

I know you're probably thinking, "Enough already!" but I'm in the mood today because I spent some time this afternoon creating a card with my friend Melissa. She's hosting a workshop with me next month, and she wants to inspire her neighbors and friends to make their own Christmas cards. So, we thought we'd show them what can be done by creating an invitation using the Christmas stuff.

Melissa had a sample that she wanted to duplicate so our layout was decided for us. Then we got to work measuring and cutting and stamping, and we're both pleased with the result! We used the Sidekick Sayings Level 1 Hostess stamp set, another stamp set for the interior stuff (sorry I can't recall the name!), Dashing designer paper, Old Olive, Very Vanilla, River Rock, and Real Red card stock, and Real Red 1/4" grosgrain and River Rock double-stitched ribbon. I think this really shows off how well the colors are designed to coordinate. Besides that, it was just fun to stamp with someone today!

A few of you have inquired how work is going, and so I'll share what I did yesterday. I went to work and was all set to make coffee drinks when the shift supervisor told me to sign in as "non coverage." What that means is that I was not going to be on the floor helping customers. Then I remembered that the words "clean sweep" had been written by my name. What this means is that, for your entire shift, you work through a list of cleaning jobs that the asst. store manager provides.

That's cool with me; I like to clean (thanks, Mom!) and create order. Here's what I did yesterday:
--cleaned and sanitized the large plastic rolling trash can
--mopped the back hallway and washed down the walls
--pulled the dishwasher/sanitizer out from the wall and mopped behind it
--wiped all the baseboards around the store with a wet rag
--cleaned all the windows in the store inside and out

That much took me 3 hours. Then I found other things to organize and clean for the remaining 2 I was there. I'm looking forward to making drinks tomorrow, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. We've had partners for a new store that's opening down the road from us training in our store, and it has been a bit crowded behind the counter. They'll be moving on soon to train at other stores that have drive-thrus, so we'll be back to normal before long.

Oh, one last thing: I passed my test and I am now a certified barista. In order to do this, I had to answer a bunch of questions about the company and correctly make 6 drinks. Look for the pin when you see your barista next.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

Okay, maybe it's not looking like it quite yet, but I labeled the post with this little ditty because I want you to start thinking about Christmas, specifically your Christmas cards. Before you think that making your cards is something you couldn't do, let me show you a great deal that SU!'s having that could be just the help you need!
The details can be read by clicking on the photo, but let me sum up. SU! has put together a kit that you can purchase so that making your Christmas cards is easy peasy lemon squeezy! They've precut the paper and ribbon for 15 cards, designed 3 versions you can make with the materials, and included rhinestone brads and envelopes for $28.95. This presumes you have your own Christmas set you'd like to use with these supplies. If you don't already own a set, you can purchase one of four special Christmas stamp sets and the price of the card making kit drops to $24.95.

Just think: no measuring, no cutting, no trying to figure out a design--just follow the included instructions and you end up with completed cards lickity split! There's just one catch: these are only available on a first come, first serve basis. When they're gone, they're gone. So don't think too long about this--act!

I also want to remind those of you who are thinking about making your cards that I'm hosting a Christmas Card Assembly Day at my house Sat., Nov. 3, from 10a-5p. The goal of the day is to have a lot of fun together--it has been awhile since some of you have been able to stamp and we've missed you!--and so to get as much as possible done so that you're not stressed after Thanksgiving. Our favorite Italian cum new US citizen Sandra has even volunteered to make lasagna for us to eat while we're together, so you don't want to miss that!

All this to say, if you need materials, such as paper, ribbon, envelopes, contact me so that we can get an order delivered before Nov. 3. I already have one in the cue, and I'm going to put in all the orders on Wednesday, Oct. 24. So, go through your list of names now, determine who would appreciate receiving a handmade card (and not everyone will!), and let me know what you need to be ready to go on the 3rd! And remember, I'm here to help you come up with that design and figure out what you'll need, so don't hesitate to call.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Candy of a different sort...

The gals I've "met" while perusing crafting blogs have turned out to be some of the nicest, most generous people I've had the privilege to "know." One such person is Nicole Cooke, who has a blog called Stampin' Library Girl. She's a librarian at a university in New Jersey, and she is a SU! demonstrator on the side.

She asked a question on her blog awhile back and I gave her the feedback she was soliciting. To thank me in return, she sent me this "blog candy" goodie envelope of 3d stuff! A mini scrapbook, a pin attached to her card, a keychain made from a domino (!), a cool bookmark (I LOVE snowmen and snowflakes and have collected them since before they were popular), and a beaded lip balm container were in my mailbox over the weekend. As we say here in the South, isn't she suh-weet?

Nicole's blog is full of ideas for cards and all kinds of altered items, so check it out! Thanks, Nicole!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Productive Evening

The last card for Saturday's Stamp-A-Stack came together quickly last night, again with inspiration from Splitcoast. I used Garden Silhouettes again, and paired River Rock, Soft Sky and Always Artichoke. This card was what I CASE'd; it's called Artichoke Garden by scrapperaddict. Take a minute and follow the link so that you can admire her handiwork! It really has a lot more going on than mine does, but I still like how it turned out.

I didn't have the piercing kit, the designer paper she used, the hemp twine, or the jumbo eyelets, so I improvised. I created my own "designer paper" using AA card stock and ink, along with a stamp from another set. I substituted SS as the background mat for the main image, and added some twill ribbon that I had received on a set of towels. I'm getting hooked on what eyelets can add, and I think the silver works, don't you?

I cut all the pieces parts for each of the other cards except this one last night, so I don't have much left to do before Saturday morning. Good thing, since I need to get the main floor vacuumed because Bob invited 2 families for dinner tonight. I also picked up a shift at the store today, so that eats into the prep time for this company. At least you have something fun to look at as you start your day! Wish more of you were able to come Saturday, but I'll catch you next time. Thanks for stopping by! I look forward to reading your comments.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I Never Would've Thought of This...

on my own without seeing it at Splitcoaststampers! If you haven't ever perused all the fantastic photos of cards in its GINORMOUS gallery, you really owe it to yourself to do so! I would not be the stamper I am today without the generous community there.

If you can't tell, I LOVE fall! The colors are so rich, and this card's combo is no exception. But who would've thought that Bravo Burgundy and Really Rust would pair so beautifully? I'm a big fan of bronze too, so when I remembered that I had it sitting in my closet, with a strip from a previous project just waiting to be put to use, that completed the look for me. I love the versatility of this SU! Garden Silhouettes set. I'm short on sentiments, so I'll let the ladies choose what they'd like this card to become. I think it would make a nice sympathy card.

Four down, one to go! It's almost time to make the coffee drinks at Starbucks, but perhaps there will be time this afternoon to complete the final card. I'm looking forward to Saturday now!

Faux Suede for a Real Man

Today's card uses a technique that I found while cruising around the Splitcoaststampers' gallery. It's something I've been wanting to try, and I needed a masculine card for Saturday's Stamp-A-Stack. It's extremely simple!

I rough cut a piece of white tissue paper, inked up my new brayer with Sage Shadow classic ink and went over the tissue paper until I had the depth of color I wanted. (It's a little darker than I envisioned, but it was my first attempt!) Then I stamped it in Chocolate Chip with the images from the Wanted set that I thought would make a good background. After it dried, I crumpled it to provide the texture, then attached it to a piece of 2" x 5 1/2" Very Vanilla (although I think you could use white or any light color paper). It's glued only on the back, so that the front has a little room to move. When you touch it, it does simulate suede!

The rest of the card is pretty easy to figure out. I used Close to Cocoa for the horse image, stamping from right to left to get the fading effect. The inside sentiment will play off the "Wanted" on the front and say, "a Happy Birthday for you." I think this would be a great card for a guy, don't you? What guy doesn't want to be wanted!

I have another card cookin', so check back later or watch your email for another entry sometime today.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Emboss Resist

This afternoon I spent some more time with SU!'s Autumn Harvest. Darcie was kind enough to leave it behind and I wanted to use it to make a card for Saturday's Stamp-A-Stack. I needed something that would be quick and easy, yet striking, and I really think this fits that description.

If you've never seen the emboss resist technique, it's really much simpler than it looks. Use Versamark ink to stamp your images and then emboss them with clear embossing powder. After that, use a brayer to transfer ink from any ink pad--I used Pumpkin Pie classic ink--to the paper and completely cover the image. The embossed images will resist the ink and contrast the ink. Cool and easy...perfect!

I'm liking my Crop-A-Dile more and more too. I didn't want to do much that would compete with the central image, so I added the strip of Old Olive to the Naturals Ivory base and secured it with shiny brass eyelets. The ribbon position is a nod to Charmaine, over at Oodabug Alley.

Tuesday's the last day to sign up to come to the SAS this Saturday. Don't delay! Leave me a comment or send me an email now!

FUN weekends always include stamping!

We have had a really good weekend with Darcie and Emily. I'll post a few pictures at the end of what we did this with ourselves, but Darcie and I share a love of stamping, so I thought I'd post what she came up with Saturday while we were playing. The set is called Autumn Harvest, and it's really really pretty! I showed Darcie Amy Westerman's blog post of her pumpkin card made with designer paper, and we then started looking through my scraps. I love the result!

We also came up with a very easy, quick placecard for Thanksgiving. I really like these line art drawings. They're so classic. We just used the Really Rust and Old Olive Stampin' Write Markers on Very Vanilla, some Really Rust scraps I had to create the stripe, and mounted it all on a piece of 3 1/8" x 4" Old Olive, scored at 2". Easy peasy lemon squeezy, and adorable! One thing I suggested that could be a meaningful activity with these at her family gathering is have each family member choose a placecard after dinner and write something inside that they're thankful for about the person whose name is on the front.

Our dear friends go home today, and we will be sad to see them go. Here are some shots of the memories we made at Amicalola Falls and Uncle Shuck's Corn Maze. Thanks for stopping by today!
Darcie and I at the top of the falls before we hiked the 425 steps DOWN to the base!
Emily and Michael at the falls.
Fun at the start of the corn maze.
Gorgeous kids with pretty pumpkins.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

FRAP=Time for Crafting!

Last night I had a FRAP, otherwise known as a Frenetic and Random Activity Period. (You were thinking about coffee, weren't you.) The term usually applies to puppies who run around their houses like they're possessed, but I think it is an apt term to describe what I did last night too!

Here's what I accomplished in 90 min. I vacuumed the dog hair off the basement steps, which led to vacumming the basement carpets and hardwood(where our guest room is), which led to cleaning the guest bathroom (had to suck up dead bugs), which led to moving my son's Lego bins out of the guest room upstairs to his room (to make more room in the closet), which led to stripping the sheets off the guest bed to be washed and dried and folded, which led to cleaning said son's bathroom (since it's on the main level and will be inevitably be used by our guests at some point), which led to lugging the vacuum back upstairs to vacuum the dog hair (it's everywhere because they're everywhere!) from my bedroom floor! I was a cleaning MACHINE, I tell you!

Then I rewarded myself by checking out a new show on ABC called Pushing Daisies. I'd heard about it on NPR and it was acclaimed as one of only 2 innovative new shows in the fall lineup. We don't watch much tv, but the premise of this one was so unique that I had to view it and decide for myself. It was great--well written, full of whitty banter and subtle nuances. I'll be tuning in next week...

ALL that to say that TODAY has been a much more relaxed day because of my FRAP. It's almost noon, which means I do need to get on with some pressing things, like grocery shopping and some writing, BUT I did get another card made, so I'm sharing before I throw myself headlong into the rest of the day. Or maybe I'm avoiding what I don't want to do...you decide.

I need card designs for the Autumn-themed Stamp-A-Stack that's next Saturday (RSVP deadline is Tues., Oct. 9, so don't delay!), so I went to a web posting I'd seen a few weeks ago about a criss cross card. This is what I came up with. Thanks goes to Beate Johns and Cambria Turnbow for the inspiration.

When the insert is removed, you can see what the ensemble looks like.

I like the leaf at the top as the "tab" of sorts. I curled it a bit by using my embossing stylus. I'm leaving this blank because I want to give my stampers the option of customizing it while they're here--it would be a good masculine birthday card, a good sympathy card, an excellent thank-you/thanksgiving card, or just a thinking of you card. A good card to have in the stash! Don't think there will be much posting until early next week, unless I share some photos from our weekend with Darcie and her daughter Emily, who happens to be my son's best friend. We have LOTS planned and we'll probably feel like we've had several FRAPs by the time they go home Monday evening. Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget you can RSVP here, if you haven't already, for the Autumn SAS just by leaving me a comment.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Don't Faint!

Two posts in two days! This afternoon when I came home from 5 1/2 hours at 'bucks, I wandered into my craft room to keep from eating something in the kitchen. The image on this card has been being transferred from surface to surface for weeks, but today it was put to use!

Why I didn't buy this stamp set when it came out, I'll never know, but it's retired now, so the images I have come courtesy of fellow demonstrator Diliana Worster. The crop-a-dile came to me last week, courtesy of my best friend Darcie, for my birthday. (Wasn't this sweet of her?) She's coming this weekend to visit (cover your ears while I shout YIPPEE!!), and I thought this card would both welcome her and show her what I can do with such a fabulous tool. The dots and holes that border the card are made with the CAD and backed with a little Certainly Celery ribbon to create some dimension and added color.

This card also demonstrates what I've learned about shading around an image. These dress forms were floating in mid-air before I colored around them with my Bashful Blue marker. Now they are very grounded and seem to be showcased more somehow. Love it!

Girlfriends, if you don't own the crop-a-dile, I strongly suggest you consider it. It punches holes in two sizes, sets eyelets, and dry embosses cute circles. I love a tool that has multiple uses!

Tomorrow is another day off, but I most certainly CANNOT play! I need to wash sheets, clean a bathroom, get the meal menus figured out, and do some freelance writing I've been neglecting. Hopefully there will be some time in there for a bit more stamping. Check back again to find out for sure!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Play Day

Today was my day off. I had a loose idea of what I wanted to accomplish today: a bit of housecleaning for our guests who arrive Friday, do some grocery shopping before the guy comes to install the new dishwasher, go to the post office, and stamp. The day didn't go at all as planned, but it was great nonetheless.

Before all those errands I wanted to run, I knew I was starting the day with coffee with Melissa, a fellow partner at Starbucks. (We know it's ironic that we were meeting to have coffee when we work at a coffee shop.) While at her house, I was thoroughly greeted by her three large dogs, we talked, and I learned how to grind the finish off an aluminum rod. Not all surprises, because I knew before going to her house that she is a welder who sculpts things from metal, and that we share a love of dogs. But, what I didn't know this trip to her house would change my look.

Melissa used to cut hair and do color, and she asked me if she could cut my hair. I thought for a moment about my tendency to not take risks, but I decided that it was just hair and that it wouldn't ruin my world if it wasn't the greatest. Oh how wonderful a treat this turned out to be! She did a great job, and then she asked if she could give me highlights! Bob had been after me to get this done, but I hadn't wanted to spend the money. Well, what a gift Melissa gave me by doing this! The expression on my face in this picture is NOT an indication of how I feel about my new look. I love it!

So, now it was 3pm and the rest of the day's agenda was not going to happen, so I thought I'd try to do a little of the intended housecleaning. Dogs are so messy...they leave their hair everywhere! I got as far as getting the vacuum out, but the lure of the craft room was just too great to withstand.
See, I really did have good intentions...but I've been frustrated lately at my lack of gumption to create, so I made myself sit down and make something.

I'd been perusing several blogs and knew there was a layout and a technique I wanted to try, so I got right to work. Here's the result:

This card was made using the Wanted set, and a technique that I learned about from Erika Martin's blog, Stampin' Mama. It involves bleaching the paper after stamping and embossing the image, and the whole thing grew on me as I worked with it. At first I didn't care for the bleached effect, but I persisted and ended up being happy with the result. Here's a shot of the inside of the card.

It's called a reverse pocket card, and the medallion at the bottom right is attached to a little notecard. You could put a gift card in there and really make someone's day. I CASE'd this from Michelle Wooderson's blog, Mish Mash.

Well, I'm not getting to post as often as I used to, but I hope you're still enjoying reading. I'll leave you with two pictures of my dogs, which were taken this past Saturday. Perhaps this is why they're retaliating and leaving hair all over my house! Baths are NOT their idea of a good time, can you tell?