Friday, November 30, 2007

Mom's Christmas Cards

My mom is SO supportive. Last year, she asked me to make her some holiday cards to send to our family. Last year it was 30. This year it was 50!

Now, the challenge here is that her address book is pretty similar to my address book. She sends to all of our relatives in India, Canada, and here in the States. I have to have them done early so that she can make the 3 week travel time to India! Of course, I never make that schedule with my own cards. Anyway, her requirements... not Christmasy (as most Indians are Hindu), no Christmas trees, not cutesy (okay, that's my requirement not hers), etc. We live in Texas. It's hard to make snow-related cards although I end up doing that a lot it seems. So, with her requirements and mine, the choices are limited and the challenge is HARD. I always think my 78 year-old mother should send elegant cards rather than cutesy.

I had some trials before I finalized on this one. It did turn out elegant. I'm not sure it fit any of the requirements but she liked them and they are done.

Wreath by A Muse, Sentiments (inside and out) from SU! (retired) Accessories: Gold embossing powder, Gold organdy ribbon, versamark

Here were the variations that didn't make the cut:

Image by A Muse, Sentiments by SU! Accessories: Versamark, Gold embossing powder

Image by A Muse, Sentiments by SU! Accessories: SU! Handsome Hunter craft ink with clear embossing powder

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Cheaper, Cuter, "Funner" CASE

Before you grammar Nazis (you know who you are!) get all up-in-arms about my title... I know. It just had to flow that way.

So, CASE = copy and share everything. You might need to know that for this post.

About a month ago, I was at a local bed, bath and um, faraway place. I saw these chalk boards for counting down the days until Christmas. I liked them so much that I almost bought one. Then I looked at the price at it was $14.99. Um, no. That could be stamp money! So, then I took a picture of them. And said, I'll have to make one myself. How many times have I said that? Well, this time I did!

I prefer the red one for my kids!

First, I had to acquire a chalkboard. Michael's $2.99 (w/o coupon). I already had red paint and foam brushes and a little 5 year-old helper that painted it for me! (FOR FREE!) :) Next, came the stamping part. The chalkboard I found has a much narrower frame so I couldn't use too many images... they just wouldn't fit. I like the way it turned out and more importantly, my son is ready to begin the countdown! It's so fun this year, with all that he is learning, math, reading, etc... WOHOO!

So, what do you think? Do you think we CASED it alright? It certainly is MUCH less expensive (nicer way of saying CHEAPER!).

Leave me a comment here and I'll read it to my son. He's wondering how everyone likes it! :)

ETA: He painted. I stamped (and wrote).

Another box...

I made up another sample for one of the stores I teach A Muse classes to show off a tag with the Giga and Mega Punches.

Paper is Daisy D's, I think. Stamp by A Muse.

There is an origami box tutorial on Splitcoast and one from Nicole (the PaperTrey lady!). I linked to Nicole's when I first started doing this box in October. However, now I realize that it's not the same box. It's very close but mine involves a bit of snipping to make it all go together nicely.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I'm having a creative block issue with a particular color and patterned paper. I used the two together for a card a while back at one of my A Muse classes. Now, I'm trying to make something else with that combo just for a sample to show someone. ACK. I can't get that layout out of my head. Well, I moved on to something else and came back to it... several times, in fact.

The challenge supplies: A Muse Espresso note cards and reverse polka dot (cottage brown) pretty little papers.

The challenge: Come up with something using those 2 things... (if you don't have browns then use a different color - just stay monotoned)...

Anyway, here's what I ended up with. Not exactly what I wanted but AT LEAST out of the box I was stuck in.... I like it and I got to use my new Spica pens!

All images and paper by A Muse. Accessories include Spica Glitter Pens, 1 1/2" square punch, and dimensionals

Monday, November 26, 2007

Salado this Sunday?

Wanna join me in historic Salado, Texas this Sunday? I'll be teaching my last A Muse class for this year at Stamp Salado! There are 2 slots left for this Sunday's class. I hope to see you there. And then you can do some holiday shopping in this FUN, little town... lots of cute little shops!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Muse Sparkle Holiday Class - part three

Here is one more I can share with you from the class last weekend. I LOVE the new Kitchen collection of note cards from A Muse. They are 3.5x 5 (perfect size for mailing and no additional postage required!). And they're POLKA DOTS... come on, how cute is that?

Okay. My card. I love that little mouse and had to incorporate him somehow. He's actually stamped on the inside and peeking out. The Twas Tree image is perfect for this little mouse!

Images and Note cards by A Muse
Accessories: A Muse ribbon, 1 1/4" circle punch, A Muse twinkle stars creative candy, Sakura Glitter Pen, White Gel Pen (for his santa hat!)


My MOM!!!

This is very cool.... thanks for reading!

That's my mom at the top there.....

Friday, November 23, 2007

Always behind...

I'm always behind the times on fashion and fads. When I was younger, I would see something I like in a store and NOT buy it. Then I would go back a week later and it would be sold out. My mom would always say, "you should have just gotten then". Yeah. I know. So, now I'm older. Not much wiser but I'm trying. I do try to get whatever I really think I want/need at first sight. As far as cutting edge goes though, electronics and technology (yes, well, ahem, I am an engineer) are about the only thing I can keep up with.

What am I rambling about? Well, I'll tell you. Linda, the A Muse guru and very cool person with a heart of gold, put out a calendar a couple of weeks ago. She's selling the file for a mere $3 and ALL of the proceeds go to Scleroderma research. Here's the link to the calendar. That is a near and dear to her heart, charity. She shared the file with the A Muse crew to see what we can come up with. And to bring my blog post full circle, Me... just getting around to it. The good news... you can still get the calendar and HEY, it's not even December yet, so I'm not LATE!

What I like about the calendar file...
* the fonts (I'm a sucker for clean fonts)
* the colors (I really like the colors for the months)
* the type set (not sure that's the correct word I'm looking for but usually I'm a BIG fan of using the case properly (i.e. NOT a fan of text message speak - I guess I'm old school that way!) but I really, REALLY like the look of the months being lowercase.
* each month is 4x4... do you know how many things you can do with 4x4? That fits on the A Muse note cards perfectly ;) and also with the Bind-it-All! Wohoo!

Okay, so what did I end up with? Well, a couple of things. One I took a while to do and I've sent it to Linda so I'll *hopefully* show you that later. But this project, I did fairly quickly and I LOVE the result.

As many of you know, my eldest is in Kindergarten. In Kinder, one of the activities in math centers is to do "calendar" time. It's amazing how much and how fast they learn stuff. Anyway, my son really enjoys having his own calendar (I got him one of those Melissa & Doug magnetic calendars). He updates it everyday. Anyway, I thought it would fun to make him a calendar for next year.

But what kind?

Well, a place mat of course. So, he can see the entire year at once. I printed out the calendar, cut it all out, then stamped and colored it. Then I adhered all the months to a large Red piece of card stock. I took that to Office Depot and had them laminate for me ($3). I have a great laminator but I don't have that size of lamination pouches (ooh, something else to get!). I'm very pleased with the result. I hope he likes it as much as I do. I had fun making it.

I used my new Spica Glitter pens on some of the images, like the sparklers in July. Seems appropriate ;).

All images by A Muse art stamps.

Calendars make great gifts. Seems like everyone needs one. Why not support a great charity and make a handmade gift this year?

A Muse Sparkle Holiday Class - part two

Happy Black Friday! Okay, so I didn't post yesterday about Thanksgiving. I thought about it though - does that count?

I truly am thankful this year. Healthy, loving family and friends... what more is there in life. I hope that all of you had a moment to reflect on all of your blessings this year. Thank you for coming here and reading about my journey. I am very thankful for that.

Okay, on to card number two!

Notecards and images by A Muse Artstamps
Accessories: A Muse ribbon, Diamond Glaze, Yellow Stickles, Warm Red Colorbox Chalk Ink, White Sharpie Poster Paint Pen, Giga Scallop Punch, Mega Circle Punch

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Muse Sparkle Holiday Class - part one

Here is one of the cards from my A Muse-a-thon classes at Memory Depot, here in Austin, this past Saturday!

I decided to show a couple of techniques that are quick to do. This card has a Glitter Window. The tutorial can be found here on SCS.

Notecards and images by A Muse Artstamps
Accessories: May Arts stitched ribbon, packing tape, art institute crystal glitter.

Santa sparkle much more in real life than he does here!

If you haven't tried a glitter window, try it. It'll get a WOW every time! The biggest thing people said about it was that they couldn't believe the tape wasn't sticky anymore and that the glitter didn't come off!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Neighborhood Party...

Our neighborhood is the one of the greatest around, IMHO. We are a newer development in an older neighborhood and our location is primo. Anyway, 11 years ago (man, how time flies!), we all built our houses together. The builder had parties for us while we were all building and we pretty much never stopped partying together! And well, I'm the social director ;) for the 'hood. Most all of our events are organized using evite but our annual holiday party, we go all out and do a paper invite, as well. Every year, I do an elegant invitation (it's an adult-only party - the only one we do w/o kids!) but this year, my A Muse stamps were calling to me...

Card stock and images: All A Muse
Accessories: Sakura glitter pen (hard to see in the picture but it's there).

Due to the sheer number (44) I had to do and the little turn-around time I had, I didn't embellish a lot. But I do like the card. I love the "Holiday Party" banner. Fits well for this occasion!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

November Technique Club

Do you know how I know it's the holiday season? I had my last SU! class for this year the other day. My schedule as with yours just gets so busy around now. That I take a break and so do many of you! Now, is the time to STAMP - stamp holiday cards, invitations, gifts, etc.

This month, all of my clubs made the same cards again. We did the standard 3 cards and 3 techniques. I taught 3 simple techniques this month in hopes that some of it could be recreated during the mass production of holiday cards!

Technique One - Square Knots!
Some call them reef knots or flat knots. I use them ALL the time. In fact, all three cards this month use them.

Card stock, Ink and Images: all Stampin' Up!
Accessories: SU! Real Red Narrow Grosgrain ribbon

Technique Two - Faux Frame
Aren't those snowmen fun? one of my favs of the season...

Card stock, Ink and Images: all Stampin' Up!
Accessories: SU! Elastic Silver Cord, Sponge, Template, White Signo Gel Pen

Technique Three - Scallop Frame
Okay, so it's hard to tell in this picture but the white "joy" is not layered on top of the black scallop circle. In fact the black scallop circle is not a circle but a frame! I wanted to show something simple that most people forget to do... how to make a frame out of a scallop circle punch and a circle punch!

Card stock, Ink and Images: all Stampin' Up!
Accessories: SU! Scallop Circle punch, 1 3/8" circle punch, Purely Pomegranate stitched ribbon, white embossing powder, heat gun

To all of my hostess club ladies, thanks for a great year and see you in January! Happy Holidays - now go use some of those techniques!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pretty Packages Class - part four!

Number Four!

Number Four is really a card but it is a package, too! It's gift card holder. And it's a modification of one that the multi-talented, always jovial, extremely sweet JulieHRR did a while back (see her blog eye candy!). I bought this Holiday Shopper gal a long time ago and just finally inked her up. Some how she makes me smile! It's just fun to see all of those packages! Right, packages... pretty packages, in fact. So, this is a gift card holder. Open it up and there is a gift card inside. Funny story... this class was in Salado, Texas (an hour away from Austin). Salado is a SMALL, quaint town with lots of antique stores and such but no big stores or chain restaurants (and NO Starbucks!). It's a very charming place. Anyway, I, of course, forgot an actual gift card at home that day to show in the card. So, every time I go to Salado, I swing by the Sonic there and get a Vanilla Diet Coke (YUM!) Well, this day I bought a $5 gift card, too so that I could demonstrate this card. So, um, bonus (!) now I have a gift card to Sonic! ;) ... mmmm....

All cardstock and images: A Muse
Accessories: black twine, hole punch, red tissue paper, liquid applique, heat gun

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Muse class this Saturday - few slots left!

Memory Depot here in Austin has a few slots left for the 1:30-3:30 class. Can you make it? Remember if you have any tickets for the big drawing their doing, you have to be present to win... that's at 1pm. So, go there for the drawing and then stay for the class! For more information and to register, go here.

Cool Mom Points today...

I got "Cool Mom" points today! Well, that after I probably should have received the "Loser Mom" award. Yesterday was a school holiday for my 5 year old. So, he's been home for 3 days. Last night after he's in bed, I get an email from his teacher reminding us that their "homework" (they never have homework) is due TODAY... TUESDAY. Uh oh. They got the assignment last Wednesday and I completely forgot. It was to be a family project of cutting out and decorating a paper turkey. Family... yes, not just him. NO, I didn't do it for him! I know you were thinking that! I did cut it out and tape it together for him last night. We have about 1:15 minutes in the morning for him to get up, shower, dress, eat, brush teeth, and get to school. That starts at 6:00 am. (He IS A EARLY RISER and a SLOW EATER). Anyway, I thought... we can do this... so as he ate his breakfast, he colored and colored and colored. I had a plan, of course. And I have super cool toys, er I mean TOOLS to play with. Did I mention that this turkey was huge (2 sheets of paper taped together)? So, then he glued a googley eye on (it's a side view turkey). Then we took it outside and sprayed it with Spray Adhesive. Then I showed him how to put dazzling diamond glitter on there. I just put a very little in a couple of spots. He said "MOM, that's not very much glitter". I said, "Just wait, dear". Then I helped him shake it around and BAM! a glittery Turkey. You know what he said? "WHOA... that's COOL MOM!!!!"

Yay! For a split second, my not-a-big-fan-of-arts-and-crafts-son, thought my world was cool. It's going to be a GREAT day. :)

I forgot to take a picture. Maybe I can get one at his school tomorrow.

Pretty Packages Class - part three!

You know those Stampendous Acrylic Cans are SO quick with the A Muse note cards. Cut one in half and it's the perfect size to line the inside of the can! The A Muse Holiday House is awesome on top as well. I forgot to take the picture of the can with the saying "from our house to yours" that I put under the house (don't ask!). Anyway, I like the can. I think I'll make a bunch of them up and have the ready to go for gift giving!

Stamps: All A Muse
Card stock: All A Muse
Accessories: Crystal Fine glitter, Liquid Applique, May Arts Ribbon, Red Tissue Paper, Red Stickles, Red Line Tape

Maybe I'll put cookies in it! Now, if only I can find someone to do the baking for me! :)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pretty Packages Class - part two!

Okay, we had to make one of those boxes that my customer, Janna made for Halloween. Lots of the ladies called it an "explosion" box. It's not the same kind of explosion box that I've made in the past. Hmm. But they did say this was much easier than the ones they've made. That's a good thing!

Paper: Daisy D's 12x12 patterned paper, Green card stock, White card stock
Stamps: All A Muse
Ink: Colorbox Chalk Ink Warm Green, Versafine Black Onyx
Accessories: Cotton Candy Stickles, Marvy Giga Scalloped Punch, Mega Circle punch

Lots and Lots of folding. But no tape or scoring!

For directions, see here.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Pretty Packages Class - part one!

Well, I just got back from my Pretty Packages A Muse class in Salado, Texas at Stamp Salado. We did 3 projects, 1 gift card, and a bonus tag.

I'll post one project each day for the next couple of days.

The first project is a 2-5-7-10 box (courtesy my FABULOUS upline, Jenn Balcer! She rocks.) The instructions can be found on Splitcoast here.

We used a 8.5x11 sheet of blue cardstock and my new SCOR-PAL! The Scor-pal is AWESOME. I love it. It's so easy to use. We whipped up these boxes in record time.

All the stamps are from A Muse.
Accessories used: Stickles, Sakura Clear Glaze Pen, Giga Scalloped Oval and Mega Oval punches; Colorbox Chalk Ink (Azurite), Cloud shape scissors, 1/8" hole punch, ribbon, red-line tape, Scor-pal

Thursday, November 8, 2007

More Kid Table Turkey Day Treats

I was thinking of making all kinds of stuff. Elena had some GREAT ideas for the kids table. I *love* the activity mat. Well, I didn't do any of those. I thought about doing them. Does that count?

After the BUSIEST week of my year last week (seriously, every year the week of Halloween is the busiest ever... more than any other week of the year! GLAD it's over). This week is much calmer but I do have 2 SU! classes and 3 A Muse classes in 12 days. How did I manage that? Oh well. That's all fun stuff, right? Still doesn't compare to last week.

Right, topic at hand. Kid's table. Four boys. Six, Five, Three, and 20 months. Any ideas on what to do for them? I have a drawer in my stamp room that has Party Favor left overs (includes stuff for school treats that we had too many of, etc.). I opened it up and thought "there has to be something in here!". Know what I found? OODLES AND OODLES of mini play-doh. Remember my Halloween post? I keep buying those but I forget that I have 100! But I decided that I didn't want them playing with Play-doh on my nice new tablecloths! :) So, I kept looking. I found those mini bottles of ... BUBBLES! Yeah, that's a good item. Bubbles has to be an outside toy! ;)

It was quicker to make those 4 little bottles than it was to write up this post ;). I stamped on Avery address labels and wrapped them around the bottles. Tied off with a ribbon. The 20 month old (my son) will love it. I think all of them will. Bubbles are just.... wait for it.... good, clean fun! :D

Art and kids.

My oldest son has not been a big fan of arts and crafts since he was born. He is my husband. My husband was EXACTLY like that as a kid. Hmmm. Anyway, since Kindergarten started, my son comes home EVERY day and wants to make something (ahem... "Mommy, let's go into your stamp room and play"). Ok. So all of you that know me in RL, know that I'm a bit um, anal, about my stuff. Well, how could I say no to this? I've been waiting for SOMEONE to come play with me. I resigned myself to the fact that I'm the only girl (aside from the little QUEEN dog) in the house and I get to be the CEO, CFO, CTO, worker bee, janitor, etc. of the Arts & Crafts company that resides in my house. Well, that's apparently changing. I even got the boys this for Christmas (among way too many other things!). I decided I was going to start right now with the 2nd boy and instill the art! :) HA! Anyway, so I really wanted the table. For me. Good thing I'm too tall for it.

Anyway, so the other day, he wants to make something. I told him I was working on some things for our Thanksgiving Day table. He wanted to help. Well, Thanksgiving is at our house (as it is a lot because that's the only way I can get both my family and my inlaws at the same place!). So, this year we'll have a KIDS TABLE! WOHOO. Never had that before because the kids were too small. Four boys. :) So, my son was in charge of that table and I did the adult table. We decided to make coasters for our drinks.

I just got a new tablecloth the other day and these totally match that. Almost too much. But it will work!

These are done by me and I used my A Muse stamps. They are so simple and quick (exactly what I need around here!). They are punched with the Marvy punches (giga scallop circle and mega circle).

These four were made by my son. He's come a LONG way in these past 10 weeks. (Kindergarten is amazing to me... I can't believe how much he's learned with the usual stuff - reading, writing, arithmetic, but also how ALL of the kids in his class do exactly what the teacher says. Teachers are amazing! Kudos to all of you and a special kudos to my buddy, crazystampchick -- she's a kinder teacher!) Anyway, here are his for the kids table. He wanted to put names on them. He used the Karen Foster Snap Stamps to spell out their names (ah, yet another learning opportunity - SPELLING!). I think he did a SMASHING job. Maybe he'll actually sit at the art table with his brother and create his masterpieces. Here's hoping...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

New A Muse class added

Just wanted to let you know that Memory Depot in Austin added a second class on November 17th, from 1:30 - 3:30. It will be the same class as the 10am one:

Nov 17 10-12 Holiday Sparkle Memory Depot, Austin, TX (512) 326-8045
We'll make 5 stylish holiday cards with A Muse's newest images and embellishments -- these simple yet distinctive holiday greetings are sure to dazzle those who receive them!

Call Memory Depot to reserve your spot (512) 326-8045.

Hope to see you there!