Thursday, May 31, 2007

Blog Candy Winner!!

I used the random number generator from here to pick the winner.

And the winner is.....


with this post:

I'm glad your stamps made it back home! I would have to guess 69.

Debi, please email me your address so I can mail out your goodies. Congratulations!

Now, so many of you were so close on guessing the number of stamps in my handy-dandy, fancy-schmancy Ziploc carrying case (LOL). But no one guessed the exact amount. In fact, many of you guessed the same numbers. Interesting.

Let me first say, I am SHOCKED by the number I have. A Muse should be a publicly traded company and then I should buy stock.

And the number is.... 49.

FORTY-NINE... OMG. Uh, and that doesn't include the 2 I left here, or the acrylic stamp sets, or the polka dot alphas. Did I mention that I'm a SU! demonstrator. With. A. Serious. Addiction. To. These. A. Muse. Stamps.

So, this giving away stuff is fun... I'll have to do another very soon. I'll keep you posted.

And here I just noticed that I'm at 6000. WACKY.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

New game over at AMUSEAPALOOZA!

There is a new game over at AMUSEAPALOOZA. Check it out.

You need to register to play but you could WIN PRIZES. If you haven't registered, do it... if you'd like to tell them that I sent you that would be AWESOME. If you have registered... GO PLAY!

Go play! It's fun!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Dog thanks!

I wanted to use the little doggie stamp but since my A Muse stamps were still on vacation without me yesterday, I turned to the soon-to-retire SU! Ruff Day set. I needed/wanted to make my neighbor's son a card for dog sitting for us. We have 2 Papillons... one of them (the little princess is my avatar over on Splitcoast). Anyway, the A Muse dog stamp would have represented their size better... but, here is the QUICK card I made. I used the Sakura glaze pen on the nose to make it all wet and shiny looking.

A Muse Swap... need players!

Come join my A Muse swap over on Splitcoast. Check here for more info.

My First Blog Candy

So, many things to say....

Last night before I went to bed, I was 2 away from 5000 hits. And some how this morning, only FIVE hours later (yes, I know.... only 5 hours... uh, the boys are HOME! YAY!), I'm at 5200.

Did I mention that my luggage didn't come home with us Sunday night? UH, HELLO... my stamping stuff was in there!!! Okay, okay, calm down. BUT ALL of my A MUSE stamps except 2 that I loaned to my friend Amy, were in there. Did I say ALL.... yes, ALL. Okay, breathe in, then out... so at 11pm last night, our luggage showed up. All 3 pieces. The connection in Miami to Dallas was really tight and we had to RUN through customs with our bags. "They" stopped me and said, "Ma'am, you need to slow down". I said we're not going to make our connection... (and I have to get home to my boys... okay I didn't say that but I was thinking it). So they looked it up and said, "Do you think you can run all the way to your gate?" They took our bags, led us through the employee security section and off we went. We made it... our 3 bags didn't. Anyway, my A Muse stamps and the rest of my stuff are safe in their home now.

But these 2 things together made me think that's it's high time I did some blog candy. So, I'm going to do my own rendition of the A Muse luggage contest, guess how many stamps are in there - only because they are all still packed. Leave a comment here with your guess before midnight Central Wednesday night. The winner will be picked at random from the comments (i.e. not the one that guesses the number - although if you guess the EXACT number, I'll send you something too).

The prize:

Lots to alter and some other stuff:
2 large Gable boxes
3 small Gable boxes
Target $ spot green stripe container (great for cuttlebug dies)
6 medium weight coasters
5 chipboard flowers
Some prima flowers
Some black and white polka dot ribbon
Michael's Pregnant lady stamp
SU! Small incentive stamp
Tags in various colors of SU! cardstock including vellum
10 white bags - good for kid's school treats (they are the thin kind)
2 mini manila folder embellishments
6x6 12 month Desktop calendar to alter

Let the guessing begin.

Thanks so much for following my creative journey...

Fonts that match Stampin' Up! sentiments

Hey, ever wondered or needed to know what font a particular stamp is so that you can match the inside of your card (if you print it out from the computer.... like the details to an invitation or something)? Well, here's an interesting thread from Splitcoast:

A Muse Challenge #5 is up!

Can you believe it's week five already for these challenges! Time is just flying by... as usual.

Anyway, challenge #5 is up here. This week's challenge is to create a scene. I've been wanting to try to do this more in my cards. The A Muse stamps are great for this.

Here are the details of the challenge:

"Let's see your scenes! A Muse images work so well together that creating scenes is simple and fun! So your challenge this week is to create a scene. You may use your choice of ink, papers, colors, stamps (please use at least one A Muse stamp if possible), embellishments, etc. "

Go over to Amuseapalooza and register your self. There are weekly prizes JUST for registering. If you want to put my name in as the person that referred you, I'd appreciate it. Then make some cards and play along. Have you ever made any scene cards?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

On our way home....

It was a fun, short vacation. We're very ready to come home and see the boys.

One last shot from here....

Turks & Caicos, British West Indies
May 26th, 2007

Happy Memorial Day. Stay safe. And take a moment to remember all those that lost their lives for us.... preserving our freedom.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Muse Challenge #4 - Cards 17, 18, 19

Card 17: 1/8" hand held punch to make black strip with holes

Card 18: Word Window PunchCard 19: Word Window Punch

A Muse Challenge #4 - Cards 13, 14, 15, 16

Card #13: Word Window Punch

Card #14: 3/4" circle punchCard #15: Word Window Punch

Card #16: Giga scalloped oval and mega oval punch

A Muse Challenge #4 - Card 9, 10, 11, 12

Okay, so there's not a whole lot of nightlife here in Turks & Caicos. But the sun did shine this afternoon. I didn't get to see a single sunset while here but that's okay. A very fun, RELAXING trip. Just what I needed.... And I read a book... cover to cover. That hasn't happening in a LONG time.

Anyway, so, I've made some more cards for the challenge for tomorrow night. But remember that I have limited supplies here on the island (do I sound like I'm from LOST). LOL. I think they turned out pretty well considering I have to use what I have here. AND do you know what I didn't pack???? A BLACK MARKER or pen.... next time, I'll do that!

I did use my new Peerless Watercolors from Gina K. Oooh, they are fabulous AND TRANSPORTABLE. What a crazy, ingenious idea that is. LOVE it. Check out for more info.

Here are cards 9, 10, 11, and 12: All the images are Stamping Bellas and the sentiments are A Muse; punches from Stampin' Up!.

Card #9: 3/4" circle punch (Cosmobella loan courtesy of my sweet upline, Jenn Balcer! Thanks!)

Card #10: Folder Punch
Card #11: Word Window Punch
Card #12: Word Window Punch

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Another A Muse card for challenge #3

I didn't get a chance to upload this card from last week's Amuseapalooza's challenge 3 (sketch challenge). So here it is:

A Muse Challenge #4 - Card 8

Card #8:

A Muse Challenge #4 - Card 7

Card #7:

A Muse Challenge #4 - Card 6

Card #6:

A Muse Challenge #4 - Card 5

Card #5:

A Muse Challenge #4 - Card 4

Card #4: This was is for my friend, Sharon. Today is her birthday and she loves the beach. Happy Birthday, Sharon!

A Muse Challenge #4 - Card 3

Card #3:

A Muse Challenge #4 - Card 2

Card 2:

A Muse Challenge #4 - Card 1

So, *just* (literally, a couple of hours before we left) the post for A Muse's challenge #4 went up. ACK! I didn't have any punches packed. I thought I had everything covered so that I would be able to do the challenge from here. But boy am I glad I checked the Amuseapoolza site to see if it was up. I hurriedly ran upstairs to my stamp room and punched a whole bunch of things out. Put them in a ziploc bag, tucked it into my suitcase, and off we went. So, all of my entries in the challenge this week will look similar because I'm on an island (not quite deserted) in the middle of nowhere and well, this is what I have with me! My internet access is somewhat flaky here too, so I'll be brief and not describe each card this time around.

Card 1:

Where in the world am I?

No, my name is not Carmen and I'm not in San Diego.

Remember last week, I posted this. It was my 10th anniversary. Anyway, today, I'm posting this....

This is the view I had this morning from the beach at my hotel. Isn't it just beautiful? Still don't know where I am...

I'm in the Caribbean, Turks & Caicos, to be exact. Without the boys (happy and sad). Just me and my hubby... and a bunch of A Muse Stamps! :) Couldn't leave them at home... now, could I? I know you think I'm nuts. But really, just having some time to do some stamping without anyone wanting anything from me is Paradise. We've had a rain shower this afternoon. Perfect time to come inside and stamp a bit.

Anyway, we're enjoying this really low stress atmosphere with great food and drinks and the beautiful blue/green waters of the Caribbean. The best part.... not having to get up at 5:30 am with both boys. Although, give me a day or two and I'll be missing that, too. (first trip away from both of them!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Muse Challenge 4

WOWZA! Challenge 4 is up. Check it out here. And it's a whopper. Gotta use your punches and get clever. I'm not great at getting clever. But I'll try.

Here's a brief description of the challenge (from their site):
Get out your punches, this week your design challenge is to use them! There are so many ways to use punches so feel free to be creative! Please use at least one punched shape in your design. You may use your choice of ink, papers, colors, stamps (please use at least one A Muse stamp if possible), embellishments, etc.

Remember anyone can play and anyone can win. These challenges are meant for everyone to play. All you have to do is go over to amuseapalooza and register yourself. If you want to tell them that I sent you, I'd really appreciate that (that helps me in the quest for the Amuse Ambassador Contest). They pick winners every week JUST from the registrations, so go register!

Oh boy, oh boy!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Little Lady

So, I really wanted to get my new PaperTrey stamps, called Little Lady, inked up today. And I needed to make a birthday card for one of my best friends. She sent me an anniversary card last week and it was awesome. It had a 3-D butterfly made out of acetate flying off the page. Very cool. THANK YOU.

The funny thing is, I had planned on doing something with acetate and these lady bugs for her birthday card. She beat me to it though with the butterfly and hers was cooler. So, I played around a bit with the different designs.

Remember my "fetish" with A Muse and how I think they are amusing? :) Well, as I was stamping the lady bugs everywhere, I remembered one of my A Muse stamps!!!! EUREKA! It says:... .wait for it....

Happy Birthday little lady

I love it when things like this come together. Isn't that cute? HA HA HA. I hope I'm not the only one laughing.

I did several different designs but I didn't post the one I sent her so that she can be surprised.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Muse Challenge #3 - Card 6

My friend, Amy, is the biggest Disney fan I know. Seriously. She is. So, when I saw this little castle stamp, I had to get it. She LOVES Disney World. Loves it. Okay, who doesn't. But she really does. In fact, because of her, our Disney trip at Spring Break was awesome. She knew a lot of the little things that most people don't know about just because she does so much research.

Anyway, my "Have a Magical Day" stamp was aligned crooked so I stamped crooked. But now that's fixed for the next time I use it. Oh, and I think Amy likes pink. So, here you go, Ms. Amy. :)

Stamps: A Muse castle and sentiment; Cornish Heritage Farms Reverse Polka Dots BG
Paper: All SU! Pixie Pink, Whisper White
Ribbon: May Arts from Starlitstudio

I added a little sparkle with the Sakura pen all the way around the edges of the castle.

A Muse Challenge #3 - Card 5

Here's another one! I like this little hammock... it just screams lazy days of summer. Not sure *who* actually experiences the "lazy days" but it's a nice thought. Maybe the lazy days are gone... NAH... can't believe that. Do you have lazy days of summer? I do. Or try to. I don't put my boys (well the little one is too little) in camps or anything (although the big one will go to one this summer - MAD SCIENCE, ... duh, of course - 2 engineer parents... hello). That way we can just whatever we can come up with. And interestingly enough... it's not boring. Never boring. Hmm, what's boring like? I can't remember.

Stamps: All A Muse
Paper: All SU! - scraps of the scrappin' kit, Whisper White, Tempting Turquoise
Ribbon - SU! from the Winter Mini... called Flirty I think.

Oh, I put crystal effects on the coconuts to give a little dimension.

Wanna join an A Muse gift enclosure swap?

I love 3x3 cards for gift enclosures. You know, the kind you put in a gift bag when giving a gift. Especially for kid's gifts... they don't want (read as "appreciate") a full card! So, I've started another swap over on Splitcoast for 3x3 gift enclosure cards using at least 1 A Muse stamp. Check it out and join me!

Wanna join an A Muse Swap for Father's Day?

Wanna swap with me? I started a swap over on SCS. Come join me. It's a VERY quick turn around since Father's Day is less than a month away (and I'm going on vacation). So, come join the fun!

A MUSE Father's Day Swap

A Muse Challenge #3 - Card 4

Card # 4... Margaritas... how can you go wrong with this? I live in Texas... Margaritas are as common as water 'round these parts.

Stamps: All A Muse
Paper: All SU! - leftover strip from teacher gifts (see below post). Whisper White, Green Galore

I used the white souffle pen for the salt and then I put the Sakura glitter pen on top of that. The hot pink grosgrain is from Cindy's store.

A Muse Challenge #3 - Card 3

Here's Card #3: Getting a jump on the 4th of July!

Stamps: All A Muse
Paper: All SU! Whisper White, retired red stars from Scrappin Kit, Brilliant blue, real red
Ribbon - Retired red/white/blue SU! Grosgrain

I used the sakura glitter pen on the sparkler to make it, well, sparkle :) And the white gel pen from SU! for the faux stitching.

A Muse Challenge #3 - Card 2

Here's card #2:

I love these little stamps!

Stamps: all A Muse
Paper: All SU! - Whisper White, Tempting Turquoise, Stripe Vellum (retired)
Ribbon: polka dot from somewhere
Extra: Scallop oval punch; markers to color; glaze pens to make it shiny.

Something that is NEW to me and FABULOUS... I just got my order in from PaperTrey the other day. I finally got my Palette Noir ink. I thought I had ordered it about 6 weeks ago from somewhere else but I forgot that I didn't actually place that order so I ended up with other colors first ... burnt umber and new canvas. But I didn't want to try those until I used the Noir first. I read all the raving reviews about it and wanted to see for myself. And BOY is it great. FABULOUS. Nice and clean. LOVE it. Now, only if Basic Black was replaced....

A Muse Challenge #3 - Card 1

For this week's challenge, I decided to make all my cards 4.25x4.25. I like the size. I'm into squares lately.

Here's my first card for the challenge:

Stamps: All A Muse
Paper: All SU!: Whisper White, NQN polka dots is from a retired simply scrappin kit that I had open already; Bashful Blue
Ribbon: the hard to see ribbon is White Grosgrain from SU!
The little pool is colored in with the light blue Sakura glaze pen.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Here's how the story goes...

We're having a Mad Science party for my son's fifth (YIKES!) birthday in a couple of weeks (check out Anyway, probably a month ago or maybe even 6 weeks ago, I set it up. And being the SU! demonstrator that I am, searched high and low for a SU! set that would work for the invitations. Couldn't come up with anything. So, then I got on to Splitcoast and I emailed my trusty upline, Jenn. I told her we were doing Mad Science and said, I sure wish A Muse had something I could make work. And then I asked her if she had any ideas of ANYTHING that could work. She's CRAFTY that way... that Jenn Balcer. Crafty. Her response, "oh, but A Muse has the mad scientist. . . .you didn't like?" WHAT? WHERE? So, crafty. See, why I love her so much! I got goosebumps when she told me that. I ran (clicked) over to A Muse and searched for Boris. Gotta love the naming convention over there. So fun. And then Boris came to live with us. And he brought some of his A Muse buddies with him ;).

I think I have a hard time designing my family's stuff. I always think it has to be better than anything else I do. Not sure why but I always create a roadblock thinking this way. I worked on the design for these cards for a long time. Again, it was Jenn to the rescue. It was her idea to put the jars behind Boris. I always ask my son for input on his party stuff since it is his party. His favorite color is red (always has been). I asked him for 2 more... blue and green. Right. Boy cards are hard. One of things the kids will do at the party is make slime so I thought the green should be slime colored. I used my one of my fiskars plates that has bubbles on it (more slimy bubbles than the Cuttlebug bubbles) and ran it through my Cuttlebug. Oooh... starting to take shape. Then life and teacher gifts, kid gifts, anniversarys, classes, etc. got in my way. So, they went postal today. In the end, I like them. Again, remember your audience... a bunch of 4 or 5 year olds and family.

Stamps - all by A Muse
Cardstock - Whisper White, Ballet Blue, Real Red, Green Galore
Accessories - Real Red Eyelets, Cuttlebug, Fiskars Texture Plates

The inside says "Ooze on over to 's lab" and the party details.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Kid Gifts - remind me not to do this again!

Emily Giovanni had posted a Target $1 spot find about a month ago (Thanks Emilly for the before picture and for the heads up). So, of course I ran over to Target immediately and picked up all the black ones they had. Nineteen. The lady helping me went to the back and got all that she could find. I told her I only needed 16 (16 kids) but she said she found 19 and maybe I wanted them just in case I broke a couple. HA! I didn't break any but I DID need all 19! 16 kids, 2 teachers, AND our music teacher!

I've did this exact thing for my son's preschool class when he was 2... then there were only 8 kids. And the frames were from Michael's and I had to spray paint them black. These Target frames were already black. Here's the before picture on the right.

I yanked off the bow (now I have 19 already tied polka dot bows to use on something else!) I decorated them with white craft ink AND embossed them with White Embossing Powder. Here's the part for you to remind me not to this again.... WOOD takes a lot longer to emboss. Duh.

Thank goodness I started early on these. Really, I did. I did a few each night for many nights. Seriously. For the kids, I used the retired Crayon Alphabets and Crayon Fun sets. Very nice for preschoolers. I put each child's name on theirs to make it personal. For the teachers, I used the Doodle This set and the Crayon numbers for the years.

I put the class picture in there. Not the formal picture (although that would have been easier!). Getting the picture was interesting. Such a challenge. First, they all had to be there. Second, my son had to not have a meltdown about it. Yes, that happened. Six pictures later AND a LONG discussion AND a different day, he shaped up. :)

Here's the lot of them:

The one for the teachers:

The one for the girls:

And finally, the one for the boys:

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Happy Anniversary to me.

And my husband, of course. Ten Years today. YAY!

When you have kids, though, anniversaries take a bit of a back burner... it was the last day of preschool forever, you know.

Anyway, I had this card design in my head for a while now for my husband's card. I just didn't have time to get to make it... well, until last night. Or so I thought. I went to get the stamp out of the box it usually lives in. It wasn't there! Now, I know I just revamped my stamp room so it can't be lost... I would have found it. I do lend out my stuff and shame on me for not writing that stuff down. Anyway, that stamp is gone. The main problem was at 11pm last night... still no card and no other ideas. Hmm... I was looking for stunning, elegant, etc... not cutesy.

Well, this morning I was talking to my downline, Camille, on the phone and telling her how I just laid on the floor staring at the ceiling hoping that some inspiration would come to me last night. Then she said... "I have that set". WHAT? You're kidding me... I almost forgot that my 1-year old was napping or I would have driven over to her house and gotten it. She, being the really sweet, caring person that she is, delivered it to me. THANK YOU CAMILLE!

So, now I just had to get my idea down on paper. Oh yeah, I had to do this with 2 small boys after preschool ended (did I mention that they were jazzed - well the almost 5 yr. old was stoked that SUMMER is here!) and neither napped. And they both usually nap! So, about 4 attempts later (I kept messing up), I ended up with a card I like pretty well.

I used embossing resist and masking. A lot of it is SU! but I did use the A Muse large skinny oval for the island (it's on there twice to make a non-oval shaped island).

We love the ocean and the beach and palm trees. So, it seemed appropriate.

YIPPEE! An A Muse game!

Check out this really crazy game from A Muse. Do you think you know how many stamps are in this suitcase? Whomever can guess the right amount wins a $100 gift certificate from A Muse! WOHOO! Isn't that fantabulous? I keep trying to use some of my engineering know-hows to figure it out... "yeah, how's that working for you? uh, not so well"

It's SO worth a shot though. I'll have to stew about it a bit more. Come on take a guess. Go on over to Amuseapalooza, register and let them know that I sent you. :)

And can you imagine putting them all back? Jennifer said it took her over FIVE hours to put them all back. Yikes!

A Muse Challenge 3

I'm a bit behind in my A Muse playing. ACK! I need to catch up.

Challenge 3 is posted here. It's a sketch challenge. I always love sketch challenges. They always give me another idea to do later when I'm stumped.

Did you know that you can play too? EVERY week there are prizes for just participating in the challenges. If you haven't played, jump on over to Amuseapalooza and register yourself. If you would like to tell them Geeta Suggs sent you, I'd definitely appreciate that!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Teacher Gifts! Finally....

Tomorrow's the day! I'm going to cry. I just know it. I teared up yesterday when my son said bye to his music teacher. He LOVES music and just adores her. He has known her for 3 years. That's a lot when you are only 4 (okay, so he's almost 5). Still.

Anyway, the teacher gifts from the whole class are DONE! Not wrapped yet but that'll get done.

There are 2 teachers and 16 kids. Each teacher will receive a 5x5 book.

First Page:

The next 16 pages:
Each "double-page" spread features each child with a September picture and a May picture to show how they've changed. Also, included is a handwritten note from each child's parent saying how much we appreciate them teaching/loving/caring for our kids.I wrote a general letter to each teacher just thanking them from all the parents.

At the end is the poem "Forever in your heart" - I LOVE this poem. It's so very appropriate, I think.

The very last page is the gift card from the entire class.

So, I hope they like it! I've blurred out the pictures of the kids and their names because you know how I am about that stuff...