Friday, April 27, 2007

Workshop cards

My new friend, Vicki, won the silent auction basket that I donated to TempleInland's Ronald McDonald Fundraiser back in January. We had a workshop last night - that was part of her basket winnings. Anyway, she requested that we do birthday cards. So, we did 3 ladies birthday cards.

The first was my old standby. I used blossoms abound (one of my all time fav sets, I suppose). But this time, I used bright colors... lovely lilac, gable green, green galore, and almost amethyst (okay, so that isn't a bold bright but still). I used so saffron for the canvas background stamp.

Next, was the girly, glitter card that I've done before from the Totally Cool set. BUT I did learn something this time... don't use stazon for your black image when using glitter. Unless you dry it first with the heat gun or wait a while. So, after 5 attempts (and many thunks to my head... "I've done this card BEFORE...why is it not working and why is there glitter all over it!), I switched to basic black (which is what I used the many times before that I've done this card!). I also used the heat & stick powder and Dazzling Diamonds glitter.

This was my favorite. I just love the color combination (got that off SCS - one of the color combo challenges a while back). It's Elegant Eggplant, Cool Carribean, Certainly Celery, and Shimmery White. I used Doodle That. That smaller flower is growing on me (no pun intended! HA!). We watercolored them with the aquapainter and the reinkers.

Simple Cuttlebug creations

I had a class last night (thanks Vicki!) where I met a funny, really nice lady named Monica. We share in the stamping passion. She recently acquired a Cuttlebug (see if you have no idea what I'm talking about). I was sharing some of my Cuttlebug creations with her. She asked if I would take pictures of them and send them to her. I said sure! But then I thought the rest of you addicts might want to see them. ;). I made a bunch of these back in January to have on hand for the "Help, I need a card quick" scenario. I even put a bunch together and gave them as a gift (Colin Cowie ... see previous posts about him)! I used the tagger's dozen set from the Winter Mini and the SU! tag punches. I love that we now have that inner punch so it's so easy to make tags now! SUPER COOL! Anyway, it was so nice to meet you, Monica.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My neighbor turns 40 tomorrow!

Our next door neighbors are GREAT. We've lived next to each other since our houses were built 10 years ago! They have 2 boys and 1 girl. Their girl is the same age as my oldest son and they are good friends. In fact, they'll be entering Kindergarten together in the fall (boo hoo, says mom...). Anyway, the dad has a big birthday tomorrow. He, like my husband, loves to play guitar. So, I had use my new Amuse rockstar stamp. I got that actually for my husband and son but thought it would make a nice birthday card. I cut out post-it notes to create the spotlight. Then I sponged on SU! Summer Sun and Apricot Appeal. The "You Rock" is from Amuse and the "Happy Birthday" is from PaperTrey, Inc. I hope he likes it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

April Bumper Card

Have you sent your April Bumper card yet? It's not too late... get it out there! Remember, you can brighten someone's day.

Mine turned out COMPLETELY different than originally planned. I wasn't even going to use this set or these colors. Hmm, where did I get off track? I like what I ended up with but it was far from what I thought of first. So many ideas, so little time... :)

I used gable green, pixie pink, and apricot appeal. Completely got the color combo from the color wheel. I love that tool. Use it daily. Seriously. I'm so color challenged that I need all the help I can get. The set is called Simply Said and I used the matching wheel, Kindness. The saying is from Living Large. I colored the flowers in with glaze pens (no, not SU! for all of you that will ask me in the next day or two). It's a very simple card but that's exactly what I needed to do since I made 24 of them!

Hope you like it... it's very Spring-y!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Alas.... the big reveal.

Wow. Talk about a LONG project.

July 1, 2005 - submitted paperwork to Stampin' Up to be a demonstrator
Late on July 1, 2005 - took pregnancy test.... positive YIPPEE! :)

*fast forward

November 2005 - talk to a cabinet maker and designed the cabinets and desk area in game room

January 2006 - we decided to enclose our game room to be my stamp room; hired great builder guy to enclose the room.

January 2006 - MOVE all the C Rap (that's how we say it in our house; pronounced see-rap) to the baby's room; all of the stuff took up the whole room, I even put stuff in the crib. Did I mention that I was 527 months pregnant at this point?

Late February 2006 - cabinets and desk get installed

Late February 2006 - move the bleepity bleep stuff back gameroom, which will now be officially named the stamp room

Early March 2006 - baby boy# 2 joins us

Did you notice that no one unpacked the boxes?
There were boxes and bags all around the room, on every floor space, next to every wall, on top of every flat surface. Sad. Really.

*fast forward

Late February 2007 - yes 2007! - Realize that NOTHING has moved, unpacked, etc in A YEAR!!! Very sad.

Early March 2007 - Target runs every night for 3 nights to get the cube systems... built them every night after the boys were in bed.

*delay for birthdays, spring break, classes, LIFE

*fast forward

Last Tuesday Night - decided to tackle this a bit more
Last Wednesday Night... you get the idea

Last Night!!!! - done. EXCEPT for the decorating of the walls... pictures and such. That will just take some time.

So, here it is. I absolutely love it.

This wall on the left is what is behind the door as you walk in. The large white cabinet in the corner is my embroidery sewing machine. I can pull it out and open it up when I need to sew (still burned out from my embroidery business a few years ago... that's yet another story).

This (below) is the left wall as your standing in the doorway. My wall color is purple - kind of amethyst/lavendar/lilac-y. I couldn't find all purple stuff everywhere I went, so I decided to add pink to the mix. Very girly for my almost all-boy house!

I used to be such a scrapbooker before I became a cardmaker/stamper. And now, I'm really behind on it. The thing about scrapbooking, I feel, is that it just needs to be ready to work on. The hardest part is dragging it all out. I can never muster up the energy to get started. So, we had this extra table (that keeps bouncing from room to room in our house) and it's a nice table (Container Store - part of the Scandia furniture - we've had it forever!), so it's in there. AND nothing should be on it but an open scrapbook waiting for a page to be done. Any of you moms out there know that you can do anything in 10 minute increments... so why not a page. :) (oh and those frames on that stool are a current project that I'm working on... they weren't supposed to be in the picture.). The bay windows overlook our greenbelt. How pleasant!

And finally, the right wall is where the built-in cabinets are and my STAMP workspace.

And to those of you that have seen it in person before TODAY - I am truly embarrassed that you saw my SEE RAP laying all over the place. Come back. Now I'm proud. :)

I actually feel very creative in there. Well, maybe not creative. Maybe inspired. If only, I can keep the toys from creeping in now!

Friday, April 20, 2007

I'm such a lemming.

I am. I just need to admit it and then go on my merry way. That upline of mine keeps posting stuff on her blog. Then I have to drive ALL over town to find the exact same thing she has and then make it myself. Check her out... Jenn Balcer. She's uber cool in my book.

I'm still working on that stamp room. It's very, very close to being done. But there's this one section of stuff. Not sure what to do with it, so it might just stay that way for a while. It's memorabilia that I've saved to scrapbook someday. Well, it's all weird sizes. It includes maps and 3-d things and kid's artwork, ticket stubs, etc. Doesn't fit nicely into a small box kinda stuff. So, right now it's on TOP of my embroidery sewing machine cabinet. Doesn't look very good.

Oh, and I have to decorate the walls still. With pictures. Pictures that haven't been taken yet or that haven't been printed yet. And no frames purchased for that project yet either. I do know what kind of frame thing I want up there. That's a start, right?

I took some pictures of the 3 sides of the room (not the door/sewing machine side) but they are blurry. Good thing too... 'cause I just got back from Garden Ridge (and Office Depot) and bought some baskets for my room. Colorful ones. YES! So, I'll take more pictures tomorrow in the sunlight. Not blurry ones.

Back to Jenn (I get so off topic on this blog, don't I). Hmmm... gotta work on that. A while back (during the beginning of allergy season - this is TEXAS -when is the beginning? Isn't it ALL year?) she covered a tissue box for her stamp room. Here it is. So, lemming that I am... did the same thing.

It's covered in Basic Grey Lily Kate and Mia paper, with some mod podge, some ribbon, and a great BIG 'ole Prima flower. I like the way it turned out. No stamping on it but it does match my room!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Is it cheating?

It is cheating if you buy some cards that were already made and then use them as your jumping off point to stamp? I dunno. But I do know that in the middle of cleaning my stamp room (remember that I'm STILL organizing my room - you know it doesn't go very fast in 10 minute increments!)... speaking of 10 min. increments....

ASIDE - My baby took his first steps today! OMG! OMG!

Okay, sorry, back to cheating. Right. I found 3 packages of cards/notecards from Target that I remember buying. And I know it was before I became a demonstrator ... so, maybe 2.5 or 3 YEARS ago. Hello. And they call people that drink too much, alcoholics. I am a packrataholic. :(

Well, I immediately ditched my 10 min. organization efforts and started stamping these babies. I've done 2 of the 3 sets and I'm pretty happy with the results. The 3rd will be some other day.

The left picture is the before of the first set. It is 10 blank cards with colored envelopes. The paper is textured. But that didn't stop me. The right picture is the after. I made BIRTHDAY cards for my stash. I'm very low... remember? Anyway, I finally inked up my bellas. The background is the polka dot background from Cornish Farms. The links are on the right side.

The next set is a set of 12 postcard style notecards (i.e. they don't open). And guess what... they're purple. Go figure. I was stumped on these. I knew I wanted to put "just a note" on there (white embossed) but that wasn't enough. They I looked for some small flower thing... and the SU! hostess set, Reason to Smile has this flower border stamp. Perfect! I embossed both so that they would pop. The white craft alone looked dull.

Viola! Using up my stuff... yay, yay, yay!

Stamp room pictures coming soon.... very soon... maybe a couple of days....

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Technique Club Friday

The newest round of my technique hostess clubs started yesterday. We have some new faces (Welcome!) and some regular stampers, too (Welcome back!). We learned three new techniques. I hope everyone enjoyed learning something new!

The first card demonstrates Pastel Embossing. Yes, I know I showed that last week with my downlines. But I created a different card for this class. I was very inspired my ladydian on Splitcoast. She used the SU! Sunflower set and used it in a One Sheet Wonder. I think hers is just beautiful. So, I attempted to make something similar. I changed the color combo from hers and made my own layout. I chose the colors from the SU! Color Wheel. That is one tool I can say honestly that I use it every day. So, it's Elegant Eggplant (yeah, go figure...purple. LOL.), Summer Sun, and Basic Black CS.

Next, the technique is Blurred Vision using the Doodle This and Petals and Paisleys stamp sets. I completely CASED this beauty from the ultimate teacher, Ms. Beate Johns. Here's her card. I thought the cocoa on chocolate gave an interesting, cool effect. The blurred vision technique is really cool and easy, too.

Finally, we did faux wood. I showed this card to my 4.5 yr old and he said "It looks like a barn". I'll take that as a compliment, thank you very much. See even a 4.5 yr old can tell it looks like wood. Of course, he's never actually been to a real life barn but that's okay. Good 'ole TV! :o So, I used my Best of Cluck set to make a thank you card. Remember one of my recent posts (if anyone is out there????), I *NEED* birthday and thank yous! I used the circle punches to create a window on the front of the card and the chicks are stamped instead on a piece of WW. Also, I stamped the CUTE little chick in the inside, bottom corner. She's cute!

Another faux scallop punch idea

Here's another tutorial on how to do a scallop circle. All you need is the slit punch and a circle cutter, like Coluzzle or the CM circle cutter.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Got the word window punch? Then scallops are yours!

So many of you have asked me about the scalloped punches I've used on some cards. Here's the downside to them... they're PRICEY ($20 just for one giga), they're HEAVY, they take up lots of space, AND they're hard to find.

Want another solution? Look what I found here... GENIUS, I tell you, sheer genius!

GinaK's Scalloped Ovals & Circles with SU! Word Window Punch

What a versatile little punch that SU! Word Window is. All I can say is WOW! Some really crafty people out there!

Using up cut cardstock...

Remember that special occasion class I had a few weeks ago? Well, I'm still making up the leftover cards from it. But here's what happened... my mom was here this weekend for Easter (SLEETING during the Easter Egg hunt in SUNNY AUSTIN, TX ... WHAT?). Anyway, while she was here, I was telling her about my blog and various other things, like the Colin Cowie gifts-ready-to-go thing. I realized I only had 1 gift box of cards left (I originally packaged up 5... see my blog entry about Colin Cowie). So, I decided to box up some more. I mean, it seems like I'm stamping all the time. I probably have enough to make up some boxes. Right. So, yea, been stamping like a crazy woman. Birthday cards? No. Thank you cards? Uh, no. WHAT HAVE I BEEN MAKING? I dunno. Not b'day and thank yous. DOH. That's what I want to give in the boxes. So, last night, I decided that of those 12 designs that I have still to finish making up the spare cut cardstock, I will make b'day and thank yous from them instead of the intended special occasion. Except for some of them because I do actually need cards like the pregnant lady ones, etc. but really how many wedding/anniversary cards does one person really need in her stash? Bring on the birthday cards and the thank yous. I made up 26 cards last night, I think, from some of the leftovers (almost done with those! it will be good to put away all those stamps and inks and such). The 26 are of four designs.

The first uses my new Green Thumb stamps from PaperTrey, Ink were cute! It's one of my first adventures into acrylic stamps. Not sure what I think about th. I thought the strawberriesem yet. Anyway, I now have a few thanks you. Colors are real red, glorious green ink on whisper white cs, basic black cs, and real red cs.

The next two cards use the SU! Doodle This stamp set from the spring mini catalog. You know, I went to Starbucks today (another obsession of mine!) and I noticed they have a bunch of spring stuff (coasters, mugs, etc.) with doodles on them and some look like this large flower from Doodle This. Go figure. I knew doodles were in but if Starbucks has them... then they must REALLY be in. I used the aquapainter and the reinkers to color the flowers. Also, there is glitter all around the flower.

And finally, I had a 3 or 4 leftover grandma baby shower invites from my son's preschool teacher's shower. Of course, I already had stamped "it's a shower" across the bottom. So, I covered that up and made some "Welcome baby" cards. I had everything else already cut and stamped (the giraffe), I just had to put it all together.

Now, I have a few thank you and birthday cards. I'll keep most of those for my stash since I was completely out. But I need to concentrate on making some more of those for my gift boxes!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What do you send "HER"?

Oh my goodness... What kind of card can you send to the ultimate stamper? ACK! My upline, Jenn's best friend, is none other than the famous, Beate (rhymes with miata), over on SCS. Beate is the stamping guru. She writes most of the tutorials on splitcoast and well she's just plain awesome. You can find her blog here. Anyway, when I became a demonstrator under Jenn, Beate emailed me and welcomed me aboard and told me that I had the bestest upline ever. She also told me that not only did I have a great mom (Jenn), I know have her as my Aunt! WOHOO! Can you freakin' believe that?

Yesterday, was Beate's birthday. And I missed it. However, I'm still going to send her a card. Better late than never, right? But coming up with the ultimate card was more challenging than I thought. You know how I usually stamp a bunch of whatever I'm stamping? Well, last night, I kept throwing out card after card because it just wasn't right. How can I even compare to her? Well, after I realized that I can't. I decided to be clever. Beate used to live in San Antonio but now she's in Florida. So, I made her a card to remind her of Texas. The first couple of designs were BORING and very manly. Pffft.... Beate should get a really girly card but how do you make TEXAS girly? Well, here's what I came up with. PLEASE tell me what you think!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to you and yours. We have had some VERY STRANGE weather here for Easter. It was just in the 70s and 80s early this week then yesterday we had SLEET! WHAT? Hello? Very odd. Our egg hunting happened indoors! I hope your Easter was memorable!

Friday night, I had my first of what hopes to be a monthly meeting with my downlines. We made one card with a cool technique, I showed them some tricks and tips for using some of SU!'s products, and we talked a little about the business. Mainly we talked and visited and oh, ate.

The colors I picked for the card we did came straight from a challenge over on Splitcoast. It's on the demo forum. To participate in the challenge, you must make a card with current SU! stuff, pick one of two layouts, and one of three color combos. I picked the color combo that was most spring-like and the layout that fit the technique I wanted to use. I ended up doing the card twice, same colors and layout, just different order of the colors. So, tell me which one you like! The color combo that I had to use is Gable Green, Pixie Pink, and Lavender Lace. I used black for the technique. The challenge says you can use any neutral.

The technique is called Pastel Embossing. I had never tried it before but I think I like it. It makes the image pop off the page. Here are my 2 cards. I showed my husband both of them and he picked the gable green one. After staring at them for a while, I like that one the best.

Thursday, April 5, 2007


And no I don't mean the "of Seagulls" kind. Aside: My husband is very musically inclined. My oldest son is too. He practically came out moving to music. Anyway, I am not musically inclined, whatsoever. So, when I get a song in my head, I only get like 3 words of the song and maybe a "la la la" or something. And now, after SO many years of knowing me, my very talented husband can tell me what song it is that's in my head from the 3 words and la la la. I have never been one to remember names of bands, let alone song titles. Sad. Really. One day, I had this song in my head and again only the first 5 words. I'm driving the 4 year-old to school and tell him about it. He SINGS the first part of the song. WHAT? How does he know that? It wasn't even a kid song. PFFT. Yea, so you should be impressed that I "even" know that there is a band name Flock of Seagulls.

What I do mean is that SU! used to sell this stuff called flock. It came in Whisper White and some brown color. I think this was at least 3 years ago, way before I became a demonstrator. So, of course I HAD to have some (I'm a proud graduate of the Jenn Balcer school of hoarders!). I have the white. And until this week, it had never been opened. I remember buying it and wanting to try it on bunnies or something like that. Well, here it is DAYS before Easter. I LOVE the stuff. I wish we sold it. I even googled for it and it comes in all sorts of colors. But really, I need to use what I have first. So, what is it? It's like shavings of fabric or something. It's fuzzy. It makes the bunny fuzzy. Think of those cards you've bought at the store that have some texture to the image (maybe a flower or bunny or teddy bear, etc.). All you have to do is use glue (2 way glue or heat and stick) and sprinkle it on, then smoosh it for good measure.

I had to try it out and I liked it so much that I made 20 Easter cards. Why only make one?
I also used my new Reverse Dots (for my very strange polka dot addiction that's going on right now) Background from Cornish Heritage Farms. I really need to get them out in the mail today if I hope to get them there before Sunday!

I did 5 different colors - all soft subtles:

Pretty In Pink,

Barely Banana,

Bashful Blue,

Almost Amethyst,

and Certainly Celery.

I used the Bunny Hugs set from the Spring Mini.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

I'm not a pink person.

Plain and simple. Not. a. pink. person. Or a turquoise person. I'm talking about not wearing these colors. Ever. I think I used to wear them but not so much. Anyway, that not wearing those colors thing, of course, has bled over into the world of stamping. And well, Jenn, my fabulous upline, is a Turquoise (and pink) person. So, through her own way, she has opened my eyes to the possibility that these colors won't actually bite me. I still proclaim that I'm a purple, green, blue person. (Translate as Amethyst (or Tanzanite), Emerald, and Sapphire!!!)

So, back to stamping. It's my friend, Michelle, birthday today. And by now, you all know that when I stamp, I stamp a bunch of things at once and keep a stash going. If I didn't, I would never have a card to send because I can never just sit down 5 minutes before going somewhere and make a card. I know people that do this. Or then there are those people that plan ahead and make the ONE unique card for someone days in advance of needing it. I'm not one of those people. But Michelle has been stamping with me from the very beginning. And although she hasn't been stamping much lately (because she has a sweet infant at home), she still needed to get a card that wasn't part of the stash (she probably has the same stash at her house!).

Now, Michelle, she is a PINK person. And she wears it well. And many of her cards are some form of the pink family (hey, she likes Turquoise too... I'm beginning to see a pattern here). Michelle likes SPARKLE! So, what better stamp set than Totally Cool. I put dazzling diamonds glitter everywhere and added a little bling to the sparkle-y purse. The card is Pink Passion with a layer of Basic Black. The black is dry embossed with a Cuttlebug embossing folder.

Anyway, Michelle, Happy Birthday. May it sparkle as much as you do.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

A tisket, a tasket, ... an Easter Basket?

How about 18 of them?

I realized today around 11am that all the stuff I had for the kids at my son's preschool for Easter would have to go to school tomorrow instead of Thursday. The Easter festivities for his class got bumped up a day earlier due to some scheduling conflicts with some other kids. Anyway, at 11am today... OH MY! So, many thoughts went through my head including the scrap the whole idea one. But persistence prevails yet again. I made one quick template basket to see how hard it was. Then I wheeled and cut for 18. Then tonight I put them all together. Quite easy actually. The hardest part (and this is not a lie!) is getting the bleeping Easter grass in the basket. SHEESH. That's stuff is wild!

My friend, Amy, picked up the cute "Fun Dough" at the $ spot at Target a while back for me. It fits just perfectly!

The Easter baskets are made with Barely Banana cardstock and I used the Bunny Hugs set and the Petals Jumbo Wheel.

Whew. Glad that project is done. NOTHING like the last minute. And there is no reason I couldn't have made these 2 weeks ago!

Where or where did March go?

Okay, so I know it's April. But it's barely April. I could say that I just didn't get around to posting my March Bumper Card until now. But that's not exactly the truth. I am only getting around to posting it now because I only just finished them yesterday (yes, finished March bumper cards on April 2nd!). So, hmm... what happened to March? Has anyone seen it? It seemed to have flown by and I think I missed some of it. So, yes, April 2nd and I got 25 bumper cards in the mail. I started making them on March 31st, does that count? :P

I used the new Petals jumbo wheel. I love the jumbo wheels. They make things go quicker. And they're pretty... well, most of them. I really should use them more often.

The card is Bashful Blue, Certainly Celery, and Whisper White. I did faux stitching on the bottom with the SU! Signo White Gel Pen (that is the best white pen I've ever seen in my many years of crafting, scrapping, and stamping. It's just so smooth!). I did the paper piercing with the SU! tool kit. That's the new file folder punch with an A Muse stamp, "Just Because".

Check your mail today... Maybe some of you will get one! Just because.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Special Occassion Card Buffet Class

My first card buffet class was last Thursday (the same day as the Grandma shower!). I think it went pretty well. Here's how it worked... for $10, everyone came and made 5 cards. Then after those 5, if they wanted any more, it was a $1 per card. There were 12 designs to pick from. That is what I call overkill... It was supposed to be, maybe 8 designs. But I got so wrapped up in making the designs up that I kept on going! And I kept on coming up with new occasions that I needed a card for. In the end I was still 4 occasions short of my full list but that's okay. I'll save those for another time. These were non-birthday and non-thank you cards. The idea behind the buffet is that not everyone needs a bunch of baby cards or get well, etc. but they might want more than one wedding card, etc. They got to decide how many and which ones. Much different than a stamp-a-stack. Also, I'm proud to say these are all my designs and I didn't CASE any of them from anywhere. That must be a record for me! Anyway, in no particular order (but the Pregnancy and the Get Well are my favorites!):

1) Sympathy - Perfect Plum, Pale Plum, WW, Fine Lace, Close as a Memory

2) General Congrats - Really Rust, Creamy Caramel, Naturals Ivory, Matey Jumbo Wheel, Amazing to Zany

3) Get Well - Summer Sun, Basic Black, WW, Print Pattern, Farm Fever

4) Wedding - Real Red, Basic Black, WW, Happily Ever After

5) Happy Anniversary - Real Red, Creamy Caramel, AYC3, Loving Hearts

6) Girl Baby - Pretty in Pink, Barely Banana, WW, Baby Talk

7) Boy Baby - Bashful Blue, Barely Banana, WW, Baby Talk

8) Pregnancy - Petals Designer Paper, Swell News

9) General Baby (like for a shower) - Certainly Celery, Apricot Appeal, I'm Here, Mini Mates, Handprint wheel

10) Thinking of you - Orchid Opulence, Rose Red, Doodle This

11) Welcome to the Neighborhood/New Home - Cool Carribean, Marigold Morning, WW, Right at Home, Eclectic Backgrounds

12) Hang in there - Pixie Pink, Close to Cocoa, Barely Banana, Ruff Day

So, what do you think? I cut enough card stock for 10 of each. So, now I have to make up the rest and add it to my stash! YAY! I so needed some of these cards. Almost all of the color combos came from the handy, dandy SU! Color Wheel. I love that tool. I think I'm color challenged without it!