Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Withdrawal

I'm seriously going through withdrawal. I have had NO time to do anything crafty in about a month. Other than putting together a box of craft things for my DDSS on Splitcoast...which I couldn't even post a picture of in case she visits my blog...I have nothing new to show!

I'm currently doing my Christmas cards, and I can't even show them because I decided to send the "prototype" to my DDSS for this month's first challenge, which is to create a Christmas card without red or green. Well, considering I don't typically use those colors anyway, the card creation was an easy thing to do. I loved it so much that I decided to use it for my Christmas card this year. So now I'm doing the wonderful 'mass production' part of card making. The card is really cool...but you know how you never really take into consideration just how many layers and different types of embossing you actually include on a card? This one is going to take awhile to finish. It's pretty intricate. :-)

Other than that, I have nothing new to post. I'm going through withdrawal. I hope to actually have time this month to do some scrapbooking and stamping just for fun...but who knows if that will actually happen.

On a non-stamping note, I've recently decided to take my home business to the next level. Yep, now I'm a Stampin' Up demonstrator AND a PartyLite consultant! I just couldn't pass up the free kit if you have a show that has over $350 in sales, which mine did. I might as well enjoy the freebies, and I love having home shows anyway, so I'm looking forward to it! Yippeeee!!!

Enjoy the beginning of December, everyone! :-)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

New card!

Yes, I finally had time to stamp! I may have had time a few weeks ago, but since the little hellions I work with find it amusing to see me sick, I've been almost catatonic for the past week and virtually a zombie before that. Almost every time I *thought* I was getting better, some new ailment would present itself. Friday brought Strep Throat (called Tonsilitis in England)...and I don't think I've had that since I was in high school 12 years ago!!!

In any case, I had to stamp this weekend because my monthly Stampin' Up group meeting is Tuesday night and we have two swaps. The first one is a Christmas themed swap, and I'm in love with this card. I absolutely love it, and it'll probably be my Christmas card this year (or at least one of them).

**Card removed for submission**

So, I used some of the new Stampin' Up wrapping paper and Chocolate Chip Satin ribbon, both available in the Holiday Mini Catalog. The snowflakes are from the Snowburst set, which is also from the Holiday Mini Catalog. The sentiment is from Wondrous Gift, which is in the Fall/Winter 2007 Collection. I used Soft Sky and Chocolate Chip inks for the smaller snowflakes, and then used Versamark on the bigger snowflake and embossed with Iridescent Ice EP. Almost everything is on dimensionals...although you totally can't tell from the picture!

In any case, I LOVE this card. The new wrapping paper is really nice and thick, and you get a ton of it on the roll (the roll itself isn't that wide, but the length of the paper adds up!!). I think it's definitely worth the price, because you get one roll each of two designs. The paper above is from the Blizzard paper...and what is great about this is that the blue paper could essentially be used for other holidays or special occasions (such as a baby boy's birth or birthday card). I think I'll definitely be purchasing the Celebration paper to have on hand for other things...it is sooooo nice!!

I hope to post the other card of my swap in the next day or two...once I figure out what I'm doing. :-) Haven't I mentioned before that my middle name is procrastination??

Stampin' Supplies (All Stampin' Up):
Stamp sets: Snowburst, Wondrous Gift
Paper: Soft Sky, Very Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, Blizzard wrapping paper
Ink: Soft Sky, Chocolate Chip, Versamark
Accessories: Ticket Corner Punch, Iridescent Ice EP, Heat Tool, Chocolate Chip Satin Ribbon

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Oops

I've been so busy the last 20 days that I barely remember to look at other blogs, let alone post new things on my own. Thank goodness for Google Reader, or I wouldn't even be able to meander through anything at all!

So I've done no stamping in September, except for creating the following card for my friend Christine. Her husband deployed to Iraq two weeks ago, so we made this card for him to send from her so he'd have something nice/thoughtful/creative to display in his barracks. I'm not even sure if she mailed it yet...but we made it a week ago. :-)

So Christine basically chose what she wanted to do (with a little prodding from me, the "expert"...hee hee). She knew she wanted the card to be blue, so I chose Blue Bayou and Soft Sky, two of the current In Color colors from Stampin' Up. She wanted the sentiment to be something about love, and it turned out that this saying worked perfectly for her. She and her hubby have this "thing" they do where they will ask each other, "Do you love me more today than yesterday? Will you love me more tomorrow than today?" So it was as if this stamp was made specifically for her! She then used all of the other sentiments featured in this stamp set on the inside and wrote her own message for Tylor. I love how it turned out, and I sure hope Tylor enjoys it as well. Christine even made me sign the back saying that I made the card...even though I wanted her to take full credit with Tylor. What he doesn't know won't hurt him, right?

Stampin' Supplies:
Stamps: Love Matters
Cardstock: Blue Bayou, Soft Sky, Very Vanilla
Ink: Blue Bayou, Soft Sky, Night of Navy (sentiments on the inside...I really should have taken a pic of these as well, cuz they turned out too cute!!)
Accessories: Blue Bayou stitched ribbon, eyelets, ticket corner punch, Cuttlebug and hearts embossing folder

On a non-stamping note, I've been extremely busy with work, Master's classes and various other events. My friends and I are going through a pro-Party Lite mentality right now, so it seems like every week or two one of us is having a party. Add to that little get-togethers, moving house, having babies (you know how us military wives are...we just pop 'em out all the time!!)...September has been exhausting!! It looks like October will be even busier, as I'm now in the full swing of teaching at school, and have added Literacy and Math to my Gifted & Talented classes, plus I'm running a Conservation Club with another colleague two times a week after school.

It's hard to believe it's autumn and Thanksgiving and the Holiday season are right around the corner! Fortunately I'm already getting into the spirit because it has cooled down dramatically in England, with temperatures not rising out of the 50's much for the past week. We've even had to turn on our heat...and in my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio it's been 90 degrees all week! I absolutely love the weather here, if you can believe that. The air has that crisp feeling, the leaves are turning, and I just can't wait to bundle up and drink hot chocolate in the evenings. Christmas will be here before we know it, and then Jason and I should have less than a year before we will hopefully move back to the States. We desperately miss home and hope to move back to Colorado, where we were stationed last. Here's to hoping the military sends us where we want to go. Wishful thinking!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

My first coaster box!

Yep, it's taken me awhile to jump on the coaster craze. I've had a bunch sitting here that I got from my neighbor, just never done anything with them. Now I'm hooked, and am waiting for a large bulk order I went in on at Emily's blog.


So here's what I did:
I wanted to make my own patterned paper using the new PaperTrey set Beautiful Blooms, and I basically decided to use everything new I had received recently. You have to love that mentality! My table looked like a garden (albeit a fake craft garden, but you get the drift!) had just thrown up everywhere. After seeing all of this, you can kind of understand why. :-)
Soo....I used the Beautiful Blooms set and any kind of Stampin' Up ink that I had, including craft ink (note to self: don't attempt embossing with versamark over not-quite-dry craft ink on white paper) and I threw in some Versamagic inks and Pallete Inks as well, just for kicks. The ribbon is May Arts ribbon from a share with Jody (I think I have an addiction problem with craft shares coming from individuals who reside in the state of Texas).
To add to my insanity, I also purchased the Flower cuttlebug dies, which are randomly adhered to the coaster box, as well as the Maya Road flowers (both velvet and clear), which I made into individual bags complete with primas and brads holding the bags together. Then I about broke my doggone crimper because it took so long to crimp this paper....am I crazy or what???
I will say that I attempted to add a little sheer shine to this project after all the stamping was done by taking my PaperTrey Borders & Corners Circles set in various sizes and embossing with Iridescent Ice EP and Versamark. While it shows up slightly in real life, it doesn't show up at all in this picture. Oh well, I attempted it!!
Stampin' Supplies:
Stamps: Beautiful Blooms and Borders & Corners Circles by PaperTrey, Much Appreciated by Stampin' Up
Paper: Whisper White and Rose Red by Stampin' Up
Ink: any ink by Stampin' Up, Versamagic and Pallete. Seriously, just whatever. I couldn't list them again if I tried to match 'em up!!
Accessories: Cuttlebug flowers die, large silver brads, Maya Road velvet and clear flowers, May Arts shimmery ribbon, Prima Sprites and Prima something-or-other (check the PaperTrey website for what they sell...I'm beginning to lose my mind with this post and I seriously can't remember the name of this flower!!), coasters, Crop-A-Dile, Crimper, Crystal Effects (to glue the bottom coaster to the top four...that stuff is like super glue!!), Iridescent Ice EP, Versamark, Heating Tool...my sanity...my time...my table...etc etc.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Where has the time gone?

SERIOUSLY!!!!!


Do you want to know what I think of a 6-week summer holiday? IT SUCKS! Where did it go? What happened to my wonderful sleepy mornings and days in my jammies? How did 6 weeks go that quickly? And you wanna know what I did over my 6-week holiday? Nothing. I have no good stories to show for it, no vacations, no wonderful day trips anywhere.


Here's what I did on my summer vacation:

  • Get my sleep schedule so completely screwed up that I was sleeping from 6AM to 2 PM almost every day, give or take a rude awakening of a dog kiss or lawnmower. How dare people mow their lawn at noon! Don't they know there are weirdo's like me who are still sleeping?
  • Accomplish virtually nothing around the house. Oh, I did the odd cleaning jobs, but no deep clean/organization/etc. I kept thinking, "I will do that tomorrow."
  • Watch almost every DVD in my collection. Twice. This does include full sets of The O.C., Friends, Sex and the City, and various other single DVD collections.
  • Make about 100 cards that are too big to fit in my envelopes...thus making them obselete. I only did 2 scrapbook pages the entire summer. I've been working on two more for the last week. Sad.
  • Get in an accident. Drive a zippy rental car and not want to give it back...until I almost got in a horrible accident on the way to return the rental car that would have injured me severely. I returned the rental car with glee!
  • Experiment an arachnaphobic nightmare with giant spiders (see posts below with wonderful pictures included!!)
  • And be generally irritating toward the dog, cat, and my ever-loving husband.
  • So, for the finale of my sixth week of vacation, I decided to let my hair down and hang out at a friend's house where we played wonderful card games (why are card games named such horrible things? Bullshit, Asshole, Spoons, etc.?). Guess what? I got completely drunk!! And, for the first time in my entire life, I had a hangover yesterday. Seeing as how I'm 30, I think that is pretty impressive that yesterday was my first hangover. That is seriously not bad at all!!

So Wednesday morning looms bright and early. Too early, in fact. My day starts at 6AM, I'm out the door by 7, and I get to school at 8. Yep, I have an hour commute. 42 miles, to be precise. From 8-8:45 I run a "Breakfast Club", which is for at-risk children who suffer from behavioral/emotional/social challenges. Let me explain how fun that is. I'm sure everyone has read the wonderful blog Because I Said So at http://mom2my6pack.blogspot.com (sorry, for some reason my computer won't allow me to open any popups right now, I need to fiddle with my blocker and see what is going on. The computer also isn't allowing the CD-RW or DVD-RW to work, the video card is completely screwed up, the speakers are screwed up because part of the motherboard is broken....my husband may have thought in 2004 that we'd "save" money by building our own computer, but I guarantee you this thing is a piece of CRAP and I just want to order a Dell with a warranty and be done with it already!!!) So back to my original comment about that blog....imagine her 6 children and add 20 children ranging in age from 5 to 12. Add adult drama to that (hello!! It's like 9th grade lunch again..."Did you hear what she said about me? She's such a cow! I so don't like her....he favors her over me...they took away this from my job..." UGHHHH!!!) and I'm ready for a nap at 8:45. I start my G&T (Gifted & Talented ) groups at 9...but my boss hasn't even told me what I'm teaching yet. Might be Science, might be Math...who knows?!?!



I seriously cannot wait to move back to the States. I do enjoy working with the kids, who keep each day intriguing and unique. But these adults are doing my head in!!!! I hope that the rest of the school staff had a nice and relaxing 6-week holiday and come back with a better outlook on things. Because if I hear one more time...."Oh, I heard the American girl is starting drama..." even though I'M NOT, I'm going to scream!!!!


Okay, I'm off my soapbox.


Before I head to bed to enjoy my last 8 hours of education-free thought, I'd like to post a message to my mother, who will undoubtedly be really angry at this post:


No, Mom, I do not hate my job.
Yes, Mom, I'm going into the new year with a bright outlook.
Yes, Mom, I'll be sure to be nice to everyone and give them a good impression of Americans.
No, Mom, I do not believe I've paid this much towards degrees in Education when I don't want to be a teacher.
Yes, Mom, I'll give Jason a hug. :-)



I will attempt to post something craft related this week. I made my first coaster box last week, which was fun. I highly suggest purchasing a Crop-A-Dile if you are even going to attempt this...I can't imagine trying to just slam into the chipboard with a hammer!! hee hee


Have a great week, everyone!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My first brush with fame!

For the next three days, the film The Other Boyelyn Girl is currently filming some extra scenes at the Ely Cathedral, which is only about a mile or two from my house. My neighbor and I decided to go down to the Cathedral to see if we could see anyone famous. We ended up making friends with two gentlemen who I deemed as paparazzi...although they both said they were just "professional photographers". That is like saying, "I'm not fat, I'm pleasantly plump." Regardless, they take photos of people who don't necessarily pose for them, then sell them to magazines. One guy told me that if he could get a picture of an actor out drinking with someone other than his wife, he could sell the photo to the highest bidder for an undisclosed amount. He said if he could get a picture of Scarlett Johanssen, who is starring in the movie, coming at the camera in her costume and looking into the camera lens, he could get $20,000 for it!! Just for her in costume looking into the lens...that is just ridiculous!
So, I learned something interesting. We started talking up the security guy, figuring he could give us valuable information. He was talking about different movies he's worked security on, so I asked him, "Who is the meanest celebrity you've ever worked with?" He immediately responded, "Cameron Diaz. She's horrible!! We were told that, throughout the movie production, we could not look her in the eye. She would freak out if we looked at her. She also turned the place upside down because she had lost her hairbrush!!" Not that I doubt it: she looks like she would really just beat the crap out of anyone who didn't do what she wanted.
Something else I learned: Natalie Portman is high maintenance!!! She has her own security team that travels with her and "protects" her while on set. She has someone carry around an umbrella so noone can see her in costume. It's ridiculous. It was also crazy because she had extra tents set up in places so people couldn't see her, including an extra tent attached to her trailer, and another one attached to the door leading into the Cathedral. Seriously, that's just obscene!!
So needless to say, I didn't get any good pictures. Ironically, the paparazzi, my friend, and the others roaming about missed a celebrity that I actually had to point out. Kristen Scott Thomas is also in the film, and she was just kind of standing next to a car. I finally had to say, "Hey, that's Kristen Scott Thomas!" On photographer said, "who?" And my neighbor didn't know who she was or what she had been in. (For those who don't know, she was in The Horse Whisperer with Robert Redford, Mission Impossible, and, taking it waaaaaaay back, she was in Four Weddings and a Funeral with Hugh Grant...you know, she was the friend who totally wanted Hugh Grant??? She's also been in tons more, was nominated for an Oscar for The English Patient, and was also in Random Hearts with Harrison Ford.). So I'm attaching two pictures that I got with my crappy camera. Well, let me state this: my camera is quite nice. But it's not good for scoping out celebrities. The second picture I actually took of my friend and a paparazzi. He was teaching her things about taking pictures, so she had a nice lesson (and he's totally posing...he said he doesn't like his own photo taken, but was trying to be nice and appease me. He isn't really pointing at anything!). And look at those cameras?!?!?! "Is that a camera in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?" hee hee

Yep, this is Kristen Scott Thomas. She wasn't exactly happy to see photographers...and tried to appear "deep in thought" as she drove off set. Apparently none of the stars were staying at hotels in Ely, and drove as far as 35-40 minutes away to stay in Newmarket, Cambridge, and other towns/villages nearby.

Paparazzo Jason with my friend Jen

We're going back tomorrow to try again...our two paparazzi friends and the security guy will all be there, so maybe we'll get lucky and bring home some good shots of Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johannsen, Eric Bana (hottie!!!), or Kristen Scott Thomas when she isn't glaring at her own hand. :-)


Goodies for me!!!!


This is certainly a nice post office time for me. I've been getting tons of cool things (don't yell at me, mom!!). My PaperTrey order came last week with the new floral set, as well as two jars of the new Primas, and the velvet flowers and plastic flowers from Maya Road. Because the floral set was designed by Nichole to go with a cuttlebug die set, I just HAD to get that. Well, it's not like you can go to eclectic Paperie and just buy one thing, so I got another jar of the Primas, plus this too cute zoo cuttlebug set, the snowflakes embossing folder, a 2-pack of Sakura jelly pens...and then they included the diecuts from a set of paper I purchased last month that weren't included in my previous order. As a special thank you, they also included a small baggie of images for me to use. How nice of the girls at eclectic Paperie!!!


So then the other big thing you see in the pic is two bundles of b-e-a-utiful May Arts ribbon that I got from a share with Jody. Yep, this stuff actually got here in a normal period of time...my prima share took over a month to get here earlier this year. So I'm just staring wistfully at this ribbon...and I realize I have absolutely no storage capabilities for this stuff. So I guess I'll have to do a little more shopping to get some ribbon storage for it. Gee, I'm sure heartbroken about that. :-)

Needless to say, my post office joys are long from over. I'm still waiting on the preorder of Spellbinders Nestability Dies to get to PaperTrey and then on to me. I also broke down and ordered from Ellen Hutson, who released some really cute limited addition stamps, as well as some wonderful holiday stamps that look like ribbon or wheels...they will be great for adding to the bottom of cards as a border. I also had to order HP ink online, because my wonderful Bx and Bxtras on the bases over here has miraculously run out of one color ink, and both are not recarrying it. So, my state-of-the-art (a.k.a: piece of crap) printer will only print in black because one ink cartridge is empty. It doesn't matter that the other 5 are fine, but since I'm missing yellow, I don't get any!!! Sheesh! So that is coming, my mom sent me a package from Colorado, I'm waiting on a new lesson planner for the new school year (which starts next Wednesday...boo hoo!!! I don't want summer to be over!!!!). Plus I'm having a Party Lite and Pampered Chef shows next month...this is such a crazy time of year!!! But the busier I get, the faster things go.......and I want it to be December 2008 so I can go HOME!!!
So last Friday I decided to take my first try at the Limited Supplies Challenge, which is hosted each Friday by Jen70 on Splitcoast. Jen has now created her own "Super Saturday Challenge" which she hosts on her blog, so you can check that out too!

This covers Friday's Limited Supplies Challenge, which was to use an old sketch challenge and old color combination challenge, along with two sets I haven't inked in awhile along with embellishments I haven't used in awhile. Well, this really made me research past challenges and it took me all day to get this the way I liked it! I used SC21 and CC37 . For the color challenge, it was supposed to be always artichoke and sahara sand with an option for bravo burgundy. Well, I went heavy on the BB and pretty doggone light with the AA. Oh well! I can't even remember the last time I used my BB ribbon...and those AA brads have NEVER been used! Almost every image on the card has been clear embossed, and I debated on adding Crystal Effects to the stars by the sentiment...but figured I was going a little too crazy at that point. Note to all those Craft Ink novices: that stuff does NOT dry fast!!! I had this completely finished and grabbed it to cut the corners, and man!! I had ink EVERYWHERE! I had to scrap it and do it again. Hence why it took me all day!! :-)
So I do like how it turned out...mostly. You can barely see the embossed "Weathered" background, which is on the main piece of burgundy cardstock. And frankly, I would have loved to scrap the piece of always artichoke and put another piece of burgundy as the base for the sentiment...but I had to include artichoke somewhere!! hee hee. This gave me a chance to really use a ton of embossing powder, which I always forget to use, and a chance to use the retired, but still adored, Holiday Wishes set, which was one of the first sets I purchased as a Stampin' Up customer two years ago (along with the Loads of Love kit...do you remember those kits?? They were GREAT!!).
Stampin' Supplies (All Stampin' Up):
Stamps: It's Snow Time, Holiday Wishes (retired), Weathered Background
Paper: Bravo Burgundy, Always Artichoke, Sahara Sand
Inks: Bravo Burgundy, Always Artichoke craft ink, Versamark
Accessories: Ticket Corner Punch, Dimensionals, Rich Regals Brads, Clear Embossing Powder, Burgundy grosgrain, Cream Organdy ribbon (retired)
Anyway, this card has definitely put me in a Christmas mood. Jason and I were trying to get a vacation to Germany over Christmas, but the resort we wanted is completely booked, and has been since February. We tried again to see if we could get a week in October when I'm on half term, and they are booked solid again. Now the only options we have are a week in February or a week at the end of March/early April when I'm on holiday again. I would have loved to go at Thanksgiving...but I'll actually still be working. Boo hoo!! So now we don't know what we're doing for Christmas. We were both really hoping we'd be able to go to Germany. We have friends who want us to stay here, both sets of families want us to visit them (in Ohio and Florida), and I only have two weeks off. It simply isn't plausible, or inexpensive, for it to happen. And in the end, someone is just going to be pissed off. I can understand why there are people who simply refuse to travel at Christmas...by saying you're staying put, make everyone travel to you. Of course, no one travels to us...at Christmas anyway. I guess I better get used to it.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Still have a few sets for sale...

Updated information!!!!

Take these wonderful sets off my hands, they are soooo lonely and wish for new homes!!!

**Buy one set, get another 50% off**

Stamp Sets:
Dream Come True, set of 8 $10.00
Send a Celebration, set of 4 $6.00 (from SAB 2006)
Itty Bitty Borders, set of 4 $6.00
Quick & Cute, set of 8 $7.00 (retired 2006)
Gently Falling, set of 4 $6.00 (SAB 2006)
Pocket Full of Posies, set of 4 $6.00 (Hostess 2005-2006)
Beyond the Basics, set of 4 $6.00
So Very, set of 8 $10.00 (SAB 20007)
Very Punny, set of 8 $10.00 (SAB 2007: never used!!)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Blue Brewhaha Witch

I created this card based on two challenges on Splitcoast: the sketch challenge and the Ways to Use It challenge, which was to create a Halloween card. Here's the sketch:







And my card:
I made the card larger than the intended sketch, so the card is 5 1/2" square. I had to make it this big because the central image is too big for the original sketch. Many comments on the card in my Splitcoast gallery were focused on how great it was to create a card using non-traditional Halloween colors. Well, I just don't have any cardstock to create a Halloween type card! :-) I wanted to use some of my new paper and accessories...so this is what came out of it all! (plus, blue is my absolute favorite color...paper, clothing, blue eyes....yum!!) The sentiment is one stamp that I inked up with a Basic Black marker to place the words in different locations across the card, which I thought was a nice touch. And, as an afterthought, I added the eyelets with my Crop-A-Dile...which is a fantastic tool!!! It can cut through four sheets of cardstock (because, as I mentioned, I added the eyelets at the last freakin' minute...so I had the entire card adhered before the eyelets. Thank goodness for the Crop-A-Dile!). It can also cut through plastic, metal, fabric, chipboard...anything and everything you want. It has helped me with general housekeeping and gardening. I cut through a plastic fence with my Crop-A-Dile, so it's definitely worth the price!!

Stampin' Supplies:
Stamps: Best Fiends, Just Between Fiends (both retired)
Paper: Blue Bayou, Whisper White, Blue Bayou Prints Designer Series Paper
Ink: Black Stazon, Basic Black Marker, Blush Blossom Marker, Close to Cocoa Marker, Blender Pens and reinkers (Blue Bayou, Soft Sky, River Rock)
Accessories: Silver Eyelets, Crop-A-Dile, Blue Bayou & Soft Sky Double Stitched Ribbons, Dimensionals

Monday, August 20, 2007

Two challenges in one!

I wanted to do a card that would feature the current sketch challenge on Beate's blog, as well as the Saturday challenge from Jen's blog. For Beate's blog, the sketch was fairly simple...although I think I sort of fiddled with it a bit. For Jen's challenge, we had to do a card with hearts and a square card....so I combined them both!

Here is the sketch:

And here is what I came up with:

I absolutely LOVE how the new colors Basic Grey and Purely Pomegranate go together!!! I'm excited to use more Basic Grey in future projects, as I think it's a great color. I also used the new Purely Pomegranate double stitched ribbon, and layered it with retired blue organdy ribbon. The stamps are all retired...unfortunately.

Stampin' Supplies (all Stampin' Up):
Stamps: Love It Hostess set (retired), Love Matters (retired), Doodle Alphabet (retired)...note: Love Matters and the Doodle Alphabet could possibly appear in future catalogs. They have not truly been retired: Stampin' Up considers all stamps to be "current" for one year from release date. These were released March 1, 2007, so they could appear in the Spring/Summer catalog. Here's to hoping!!
Paper: Soft Sky, Purely Pomegranate, Basic Grey, Whisper White Ink: Purely Pomegranate, Basic Grey
Accessories: Ticket Corner Punch, Silver Brads, Stampin' Sponge, Stamp-a-ma-jig, Purely Pomegranate Double Stitched Ribbon, Blue Organdy Ribbon (retired), non SU items: Cuttlebug and Hearts Embossing folder

What a downer!!

I had been so excited a few weeks ago because my blog was gaining rankings in the Stamping Top 50 index: it was up to the low 200's. Then it suddenly disappeared! So I emailed them and they never responded, and my account apparently did not exist anymore. So I just had to enter it again....and now I'm 348!!! I'm actually the last doggone blog on the list. How sad.

So keep visiting!!!!

And, as I mentioned a month or so ago...I'm actually close to 2,500 hits, so I'm going to do a blog candy once I pass it! Keep checking, so we can get some goodies out!!!

Now THIS is a giveaway!!!

ETA:

dude.

I seriously should read each line of a contest before just flipping out and entering. The contest was over on Friday...and I just entered it Monday. Hmmm. How much of a geek do I feel like right now?!?!

So, obviously I didn't win the tv. I'll just have to figure out another gift to give Jason so I'm the cool wife for his birthday. :-) It sure isn't going to be a 37" LCD television!!! :-)

I'd sure like to win this...a 37" flat screen LCD television!! Go check it out at 5 Minutes For Mom, sponsored by Best Buy.

Jason's birthday is coming up in October...this would be sooo cool to give him for his birthday. I think I'd win the "best wife" award for the month in his eyes. Maybe even for the year!!!

Finally a new project to post!

No spiders in this post!! hee hee
With all of the computer problems and spider dramas (see below for that one), I'm finally getting a chance to post an actual project. I did two swaps for a swap on Splitcoast that was specifically for military spouse demonstrators. This one had to be a masculine "I Miss You" card, since as a military spouse, we tend to use those cards quite a bit. I had a tough time figuring out what I wanted to do for this, and my original card turned out quite pitiful. So bad, in fact, that Jason said, "Did you want it to be that plain?" Well, if the freakin' card doesn't get approval from a man, then I don't think it'll go over well with a masculine swap! I just don't make masculine cards. I'm much more of a girly-floral-lovey dovey type of card maker...so I had to think about what to do. In fact, my final card used a retired set because I just don't have anything masculine in my current stuff.


So I really love how it turned out. The main image of "Hugs and Kisses" is from the Alphabet Soup set which was an SAB set a few years ago (thank goodness my neighbor still had it! I knew what I wanted to do, but didn't actually own the set...she still had it, fortunately!). The background is actually a wheel, the new Little Bits wheel. Two word window punches have sayings from the "So Many Sayings" hostess set in the current catalog. I inked "I'm so" from "I'm So Sorry" and then added a few periods to the end. Then I inked "Missing You: on the second one and added an exclamation point. I think it turned out quite cute! The ribbon is the new chocolate chip taffeta, which is really nice. It's thicker than organdy and cuts really well. I didn't get any frayed edges at all! I did do something I read on someone's blog. I bought another set of the Stampin' Up Paper Snips and tied a piece of ribbon around it. This set of scissors is only used to cut ribbon, so they stay nice and sharp all the time. It's great!

Stampin' Supplies (all Stampin' Up):
Stamps: Alphabet Soup (retired), So Many Sayings hostess set
Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, Barely Banana
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Purely Pomegranate
Accessories: Chocolate Chip taffeta ribbon, Stampin' Sponge, Word Window Punch, Blender Pen and Purely Pomegranate reinker (to create my own PP marker...just drip the reinker onto the pen tip and it'll suck the ink right in to create your own marker!!), silver eyelets, Little Bits wheel, chocolate chip ink cartridge

Sunday, August 19, 2007

WTF?!?!??!!!!!

Okay, I'm seriously arachnaphobic. Like I have nightmares about spiders coming down from the ceiling as I'm sleeping: and I'm talking spiders like the ones in Harry Potter movies, not real spiders. The irony of it all is that spiders seem to sense this and try and find me. Seriously! My husband doesn't have as many incidences with spiders as I do...you'd think they'd report back to the queen mother spider and tell her that I KILL THEM and he lets them live...so they should frequent his company and NOT MINE!!! So just this evening, as Jason and I were dining out in a wonderful local pub, we met a nice English couple who couldn't help but chastize me for exaggerating the size of the spiders here. We started talking about the differences between England and Colorado, where we moved from, and I mentioned that I didn't have a spider problem in Colorado (yes, I know there are black widows and tarantulas there...just not where I lived) So I had to explain how I found a spider Wednesday evening who died a slow and tragic death as he was trampled to death. It was just unfortunate that he died such an untimely death by my husband's shoe. Really. What is REALLY ironic is that, later that evening, I started to feel extremely guilty about forcing Jason to kill that spider. I kept thinking it might have been a mommy spider and left her poor little darlings without food. Now I realize that, well, I don't care!!! If I see 'em, they have to DIE!!!


So, we got home from dinner a few hours ago. Since Wednesday, I've been on serious spider patrol, checking every wall, nook and cranny for these damn nuisances. (oh, don't flame me for that comment, yes they kill bugs, yada yada yada...) Oh, did I mention the one I found Wednesday I found in my bathroom on the second floor???? THEY AREN'T SUPPOSED TO GO UP THERE!!! THAT'S MY TERRITORY!!!!!!


So I'm sitting at my computer minding my own business. Really! Well, wouldn't ya know it....ONE JUST CRAWLED OVER MY FREAKIN' FOOT!!!!! I'm not kidding. I screamed so loud I must have alerted my neighbors (of course, Jason slept through it all...as he would sleep through the second coming if he felt he needed to!!). Now, this spider was gracious enough to stop for a photo opportunity...even nice enough to allow me to place a ruler next to it so I could accurately tell people how damn big the guy was. At first I didn't believe my eyes. I thought, no way! It has to be a fragment of my imagination. How on earth did that damn thing get under my computer desk without me seeing it first...considering I'm on "spider patrol" since finding that one a few days ago. So I took my pictures and then debated on how to rid my spider-free house of this...well...thing. It's 1:30 in the morning, I can't really scream for my husband to come get it, I can't do a little dance and hope it'll disappear. I could be humane, get a glass and try to move the thing myself. Yep, really. I so see myself doing that at 1:30AM. Hmmm. Maybe my "spider catch & release training program" will just have to take place on another day when the hubby is home to assist in training me. I consider myself to still be a rookie on how to correctly remove this atrocious crawling 8-legged creature...so I don't want to do it unattended. Just because I'm a total geek, I consider it to be similar to doing the cracked glass technique: do you do it alone the first time, or with a seasoned professional? How about setting eyelets? Yep, catching a huge spider in a small glass is something you must be trained to do!



Just because I know there are people who won't believe me when I explain this, I had to get factual pictures to showcase the true size of this guy. No, he isn't huge. But frankly, if they get bigger than my pinkie finger, they are too big for my house! So, tip of the leg to tip of the leg, he's a 3" spider. Yep: three inches! I'm sorry, but that's too damn big for my house. I can handle daddy longlegs with their little itty bitty bodies and hair-thin legs...but this guys body was about an inch and his legs were pretty damn long. He actually ran from my first attempt at murder and hid under the leg of my table, so I had to try again. Gee, can I be arrested for multiple attempts at murder of an arachnid? I guess this constitutes premeditated murder as well...cuz I murdered him a couple of times. He died by lethal injection and suffocation of "vape wasp and fly killer". It was all I had. :-)

Out of all of this, I can say I'm fortunate the dog and cat weren't around. Both think spiders are fun toys to play with...and frankly, this guy might have been able to take 'em. I seriously don't feel like dealing with a spider bight this late on a Sunday night/Monday morning....and when the cat meandered over while I was in the midst of the murder, I ordered her to go away. She actually obeyed...which is a feat in itself!!!
ETA: my mommy reprimmanded me in a comment...apparently I use the word "damn" too much. Well, mom, consider that I'll use the word "damn" every time you use the word "ain't". If you stop using ain't, I'll stop using damn. How about that?!?! :-) In retrospect, I think damn is a pretty calm word, considering my overall emotional level at the time of the "incident"...I could have dropped f-bombs every other word (would blogspot even allow that?? hmmm).

I've loved reading the comments on here and Splitcoast, where I also posted my trials and tribulations with arachnids...it's good to know that others feel the same way about these godforsaken creatures the way that I do!! As one person commented: the only good spider is a DEAD one!! hee hee

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wow, I've been MIA!

I just saw my last post was August 3rd...I can't believe it's already mid-August. In fact, my summer holiday is already half over. Boo hoo!!!

So....here's why I've been MIA.

As I've mentioned before, I'm getting my Master's in Education. I have to do an Action Research Project, a really involved project that I have to plan, and implement, in my current school setting. So my project is all about gifted & talented kids who are underachievers. My proposal for the project, which was due this past Monday, was 52 pages. Yep, that's quite a lot!! I've been working on it nonstop for a week now.

So here's where the stress comes in. Last Tuesday, I noticed my computer was having these little crazy movements. It was really weird: all of a sudden the mouse would move by itself, the icons on the screen would change sizes for no apparent reason, and the scroll bar would go ballistic. So I asked my husband to take it with him to work Wednesday and have it looked at by his boss, who builds computers. They couldn't figure out what was wrong, so Jason brought it home. He plugged it in and blew the power supply!! So he took it back to get a computer guy to fix it...who happened to be on holiday all week. So my project had been saved on the computer that I couldn't get to, so I had to re-write a ton of it.

Now the next fiasco. While running weekly errands on Wednesday, I was in an accident on one of the military bases. A guy actually backed up into me!!!! He reversed so fast I couldn't even hit the horn before he hit me, and then he had the audacity to look in his mirror at me like I must have hit him!!! He seriously had to be going about 20 mph as he backed up....to get the parking spot that had opened up directly next to me. Needless to say, he hit me in "just the right spot" so that my car might actually be totalled!!!!

On to my final fiasco. My computer couldn't be fixed until yesterday, so I had to use my husband's computer. His apparently doesn't like me. TWICE while I was working on my project the computer froze and I lost my entire project TWICE. I seriously couldn't believe it!!! It wiped two USB drives for no freakin' reason, then would all of a sudden get little white splotches all over the screen. It was so weird. Needless to say, I had to restart my damn project on three different occasions. I'm sure my neighbors heard me the first time I lost the majority of my project: I had just finished 4 straight hours of working on about 15 pages of material...and I just started to sob!!! I seriously thought about just flunking out of the class because I didn't think I'd finish the project in time (this all happened Friday afternoon...so I only had three days to work on the entire thing).

On a bright note, I got a 100% on the proposal, and finished with a 98% in the class, keeping my stellar 4.0 in my Master's program. WOOPEEEEEEE!!!!!! I'm so psyched about having a 4.0, considering I've never done this well in school. I still don't know about my car, so hopefully I'll find out tomorrow if it's totaled and then I don't know what we'll do. We really don't want to buy a car when we're only here for another year, but we'll do whatever we need to do.

So I don't have anything new to show right now. I do have two swaps I did for a military demonstrator swap on Splitcoast, so I'll post them in the next few days. I finally got a new order from Stampin' Up, have a ton of new things coming from PaperTrey, a ribbon share from Jody...so I'm so excited about getting all my loot!!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Challenge book

I saw this idea on Kirsten's blog about making a book to record all the challenges on Splitcoast, and I absolutely loved the idea. I decided to do a larger book and have a section for scrapbook layouts as well, because I love trying the ideas I see on the Creating Keepsakes website. So here's what I came up with!

For the most part I like how it turned out, except I absolutely hate the label on the middle saying what the book is. I'll have to think of a way I can change this. Anyway, it's the chipboard book by Stampin' Up, and has 50 pages. I created the tabs with the tab punch which is also Stampin' Up, and so there are 5 sections of 10 pages: Try a New Technique, Ways to Use It, Color Combos, Sketches, and Scrapbook Layouts. I completely forgot about the challenge that is featured every Friday: Limited Supplies. But seeing as how I pretty much don't have limited supplies (hee hee), I figure anything I'm really interested in remembering I'll just pop in another section.

I have to say, this picture really isn't doing the book justice. I used all May Arts dotted organdy ribbon, with two pieces going under the main image and around the inside, and then little pieces on all of the bindings. The base patterned paper is Crate Paper (I think), and the die cuts are all Stampin' Up. Frankly, I really liked how it looked with just the patterned paper, but thought I just "had" to add more to it. I might try and see if I can take some of it off without ripping the paper and make it a little less busy. We'll have to see what I come up with...and I'll post an update if I really change it up.

I seriously need to get to bed, I'm beat! I don't really know why I'm so tired, honestly I only left my house today to take the dog on a walk. But I'm pooped. :-) Everyone enjoy your weekend!!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Sketch Challenge

Well, this challenge on Splitcoast was pretty interesting. The challenge was to use layers that were almost in a rhombus shape (right? Am I right here??? I hated Geometry!!!), then with an oval in the middle. This challenge was interesting for two reasons: 1) I don't have any oval punches except for a mega scalloped punch...and I knew I didn't want that to be my only thing in the middle (plus my stamp is waaaaay bigger than the punch), and 2) I figured I'd screw up the layers. YEP! I orginally intended to have a layer of cardstock under the patterned paper, but forgot that when I followed the instructions for cutting the cardstock. So I had to really use my Math skills (there seems to be a Math trend in this post...) to accurately cut the patterned paper so it was layered on the Blush Blossom cardstock properly. Here's my finished product:
Since I don't have any big oval punches, I had to get creative. I knew I wanted to use this image from Inky Antics, so I went ahead and stamped it in Black Stazon and colored with Prismacolor Pencils and Gamsol (which is odorless mineral spirits, for those who haven't discovered the wonder of Gamsol: essentially it's a blending fluid that allows you to blend all the strokes of the pencil so it looks nice and purdee!). I then opened up Microsoft Word and selected the Auto Shape tool, which allows you to draw shapes in different sizes. They have an oval shape, so I drew a couple and printed it out. It turns out I did a great job on my second try (my first try had ovals that were bigger than the whole damn card...I don't know what I was thinking!) of making a perfect size oval and a matted oval. So, I cut the oval out, matted it onto my image, traced it and cut it out of the cardstock. I think chose the mat oval, cut it out, and traced it on Close to Cocoa cardstock. Instead of just cutting it out, I found some "old school" decorative scissors that I had to have purchased about 10 years ago at Michael's and cut a nice pretty design around my traced line.
I just LOVE how it turned out! It really worked wonderfully for two reasons: 1) it allowed me to get creative with my card, and 2) it proved to my husband that I DO use this stuff again and again! I'm mean, puhleeze!!! Those scissors were just sitting there waiting for the perfect opportunity to pop out of my closet (hee hee) and be used again. So now when he says, "Will you ever use that again?" he already knows the answer!!! hee hee
Stampin' Supplies:
Stamps: Image and Sentiment by Inky Antics
Cardstock: Close to Cocoa, Blush Blossom and patterned paper (retired) by Stampin' Up, White Stamper's Select Cardstock by PaperTrey
Ink: Black Stazon
Accessories: Prismacolor Pencils, Gamsol, Blending Stumps, Prima Sprites, retired Cream Organdy ribbon by Stampin' Up, decorative scissors, Microsoft Word (hee hee), Paper Piercer and Mat Pack

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

3 Challenges in 1!

Sometimes I find it challenging to think about three things at the same time. So, I guess I challenged myself within the Dirty Dare challenges to combine 3 challenges. One was to create a tag card using only one stamp set, one was to create a card with Black accents, and the third was to create a card using pink. Now, some people may think of this card as being more red, but to me the color Rose Red is a deep pink. I absolutely LOVE how this turned out, and I think Basic Black and Rose Red are a phenomenal color pairing!

Stampin' Supplies: (All Stampin' Up unless noted)
Stamps: Heartfelt Thanks
Paper: Rose Red, Basic Black, Whisper White, Rose Red DS Paper
Ink: Rose Red, Basic Black
Accessories: May Arts Black Dotted Ribbon, Making Memories Black Brads, Rose Red Brads, Cutter kit, Color Spritzer, Rose Red Marker

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Color Challenge


I actually haven't done any of the Dirty Dare challenges since last week, but did manage to complete today's Color Challenge on Splitcoast. The challenge was to use Bashful Blue, Certainly Celery and Close to Cocoa on a card. It was hard for me to bring in the Certainly Celery, which is actually one of my favorite colors, but it just didn't look right with the other two. However, I do love how the card turned out.


For the base white cardstock, I stamped the flower image from Bud Basics in Versamark ink. Then I dabbed Stampin' Pastels in Close to Cocoa and Bashful Blue chalk in various spots. In the pic it looks like it's just one color of chalk, but IRL you can see the differences between the two colors and how each flower is different. It looks pretty neat! I used Watercolor Wonder Crayons to color the main flower image.


Stampin' Supplies:
Stamps: Bud Basics, Doodle This, Green Thumb by Papertrey
Paper: Whisper White, Close to Cocoa, Bashful Blue, Certainly Celery
Ink: Versamark, Black Stazon, Close to Cocoa
Accessories: Stampin' Pastels, Watercolor Wonder Crayons, AquaPainter, Ticket Corner Punch, Soft Subtles Eyelets, Celery Grosgrain, Cream Organdy Ribbon

Monday, July 30, 2007

Beate's Sketch Challenge

I decided to do another one of Beate's sketch challenges on her blog, which she posts each Friday. I really liked this sketch and wanted to use some of the new In Color paper, which I really haven't used yet at all. This was the type of card that I just kept adding things to...and if I hadn't decided that I just HAD to post it now, I probably would have added more and more!!
So, I used three different In Colors: Purely Pomegranate, Groovy Guava, and Wild Wasabi. The patterned paper is Basic Grey. I decided to try a new "technique" that really isn't a technique at all. I used retired Cream Organdy ribbon and ran it over the Pomegranate ink pad to color the ribbon...many tutorials out there talk about how to dye ribbon with a reinker, but I actually don't have the reinkers yet for the new In Colors. So I thought I'd try this and see how it went. Well, it colored it beautifully...but the ink DOES NOT DRY!!!! Seriously, I dyed this ribbon about 35 minutes ago, and I can still touch the ribbon and get ink on my fingers!!! So this is a tutorial I do not recommend...but it sure is purty ribbon!! :-) I love how the card turned out...but I don't think it's one I can give to anyone unless that doggone ribbon ever decides to dry!!
Stampin' Supplies:
Stamps: Happy Harmony (Stampin' Up SAB set from 2007)
Paper: Purely Pomegranate, Wild Wasabi, Groovy Guava, Very Vanilla by Stampin' Up, patterned paper by Basic Grey
Ink: Groovy Guava, Purely Pomegranate, Black Stazon
Accessories: Organdy Ribbon (retired), Silver Brads, Ticket Corner Punch, Paper Piercer and Mat Pack

Friday, July 27, 2007

Two more challenges...

So I haven't done any challenges for Friday, but here are two from Thursday. Friday was spent travelling to IKEA, which is about a 2 hour drive south to Milton Keynes...essentially a northwestern suburb of London. It was an exhausting trip, and when I got home I had a splitting headache. After a nap to try and rid myself of the headache, a few of my neighbors decided to have a Smores party, so we were out toasting marshmallows and generally being disruptive. We then got paranoid and thought there were people breaking in to an abandoned house across from our community...so four of us (one who is almost 9 months pregnant) decide to go investigate, complete with fake "weapons" (a toy light saber and a toy gun...hey, you never know when you may find the need to do battle!!). Seriously: I don't know what we were thinking. And, we were making such a damn racket that there is NO WAY people didn't hear us coming. We were getting giddy, doing "Charlie's Angels" poses, acting like it was "Mission Impossible"...we're just a bunch of freaks. Too much sugar on a Friday night (did I mention there were smores...and also rice krispie treats? Yep, we're all married adults here!!). So all of that is why it's now going on 1AM and I'm still wide awake and lookin' for trouble. Tomorrow night we're all going on base to see "Hairspray", so that should be a unique experience. :-)


Okay, back to my original post. My ADD rears its ugly head as I got completely off track!




One challenge was to do a card with only clear stamps. I submitted the card a few posts below that was for Julee's sketch challenge on her blog, but it didn't use only clear stamps, so I decided to try again. I wanted to play around with a few of my PaperTrey sets that I really don't get a chance to work with, so I pulled out 4 sets (yes, 4!!): Faux Ribbon, Borders & Corners Circles, Borders & Corners Squares, and Green Thumb. I remember seeing a card that Taylor made as one of her design team submissions for the Faux Ribbon set where she essentially made a ribbonesque feature with strips going down the card, so that's what I started with. It's not exactly how I thought it would turn out..but it's cute.


Stampin' Supplies:
Stamps (all PaperTrey): Faux Ribbon, Borders & Corners Circles, Borders & Corners Squares, Green Thumb
Paper: PaperTrey Stamper's Select White, SU's Elegant Eggplant and Rose Red
Ink (All Stampin' Up): Elegant Eggplant, Rose Red, So Saffron, Brocade Blue, Night of Navy
Accessories: Ribbon (no clue who this belongs to...maybe Crate Paper??), Mega punch and Giga scalloped punch by Marvy, lots and lots of acrylic blocks :-)


The next challenge was a sketch challenge, which I love doing. Sometimes I need a sketch to help me think outside the box. I was really feeling like a nice girly card with tons of pink. :-) It also gave me the opportunity to use some of my new Prima Sprites...as well as a TON of retired stuff.


Okay, let's list the retired stuff used on this card:

The stamp set is Edgy Eloquence, which I believe was in last year's summer mini. I am still holding out hope it'll be in the Spring/Summer catalog, as I love this set and would enjoy demoing it again. There is a lot of retired paper and ink, including Cool Caribbean as the base paper, and the ink for the sentiment. I inked the stamp up with Cool Caribbean, then wiped off the two words that I wanted to accent, then colored them in again with a Regal Rose marker. Just a few puffs of hot air and it was moistened and ready for stampin'. The background striped paper is from the Loves Me designer paper in the Winter Mini, and the pink polka-dotted paper is actually the back of the striped paper. The other piece of pink paper with the bigger dots is from the Petals and Paisley paper, which was in the Spring mini and I believe it did make it into the current SU catalog. And of course, my current staple of all cards, the May Arts dotted organdy ribbon.


Stampin' Supplies:
Stamps: Edgy Eloquence
Paper: Cool Caribbean (retired), Loves Me DS (retired), Petals & Paisleys (current??), PaperTrey Stamper's Select White cardstock
Ink: Cool Caribbean (retired), Regal Rose
Accessories: Ribbon, pink brads (not SU, probably Making Memories...but who knows? I just grabbed 'em!), Ticket Corner Punch, Corner Rounder (not the current SU one..they retired last year's one and came out with a new one that's just a tad different, apparently)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Challenge #3

Well, I did manage to complete this yesterday...but I was so tired I went to bed before completing it. So I actually made 4 cards yesterday, which I do think is a record for me this year! I am sooooo glad I'm on summer holiday now so I can actually stamp! :-)


This challenge was to use brads on a card. Now, brads are definitely my embellishment of choice. In fact, if I don't have brads on a project, it's quite shocking. I did this the first time and really hated how it turned out. I thought it would look cool to have the brads all around the puppy image as a frame or border...and in reality it looked like a really weird dog collar. It didn't fit with the whole concept of the card, so I pulled the brads out, trimmed the layer and started again. This one works much better!

Stampin' Supplies:
Stamps: Puppy and sentiment by Penny Black
Paper: Soft Sky by Stampin' Up, patterned paper by Crate Paper, White Select Cardstock by PaperTrey
Ink: Black Stazon
Accessories: Silver Brads, Blue Dotted Organdy Ribbon by May Arts, Primsacolor Pencils, Gamsol, Blending Stumps, Stampin' Up Ticket Corner Punch, Black Stampin' Write Marker for doodling

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Now I'm a Stampin' Machine!!

Goodness gracious, I've actually completed 3 whole cards today!! Wow, I'm just sitting here staring at them in shock. It's hard for me to make enough time for one card, let alone 3!!! So the first one I showed you in the previous post, so here are the next two:

Splitcoaststampers is having a week of challenges right now for anyone who belongs to their Fan Club. There are 4 challenges per day (starting today), and 8 on Saturday and Sunday. I've completed two challenges so far today, so we'll see if I go for another one or two. You just never know...

The first challenge was to make any card with an animal theme. It could be a card with a animal stamp, a card given to an animal (as if anyone really does that?!?!? Seriously?!??!) or a card about an animal (yep, I'd probably do this one...my puppy is my little baby boy!!). Well, I have a few stamps that I have picked up over the last few months and haven't had an opportunity to ink up. This elephant just makes me giggle every time I see him!!


A goal I've had recently has been to start using up some of my patterned paper. I've accumulated quite a bit of it over the past year...including a big pack that I must have gotten from Michael's a few years ago and just found in the back of a closet. :-) Ironically, this patterned paper is from Stampin' Up, and I think it might be in the current catalog...so it's not helping me to clean up the old stuff. But at least I'm using it!


Stampin' Supplies:
Stamps: Image and sentiment by Penny Black
Paper: Ballet Blue and Petals and Paisleys DS Paper by Stampin' Up, White Select Cardstock by PaperTrey
Ink: Black Stazon
Accessories: Prismacolor Pencils, Gamsol, Blending Stumps, Stampin' Up Ticket Corner Punch, Silver Brads, Pink Dotted Organdy Ribbon by May Arts
The elephant was inked in Black Stazon ink and then colored with Prismacolor Pencils. This is my 3rd try at Prismacolors, and I'm finally starting to get the hang of them. I see these wonderful artists who can color so brilliantly (go check out two of my favorite blogs to see some fantastic coloring: Prairie Paper & Ink and Confessions of a Naptime Stamper), and I'm so not there yet!! Anyway, I'm starting to understand how to use blending stumps to get shading...so that's why the elephant looks a little "bare" in places. Just me trying to figure out how to shade him! But I love how bright the flowers look, and the colors worked so well with the designer paper. So I of course had to top it off with May Arts dotted organdy ribbon, which is now my "staple of choice" for an embellishment on a card.


The second challenge was a sketch challenge with the following sketch:
I switched it up just a tad because I really wanted to use my Marvy punches. My goal for this card was to use lots of things I haven't used recently. So I pulled out my PaperTrey Little Lady set and the Scalloped Borders set from GinaK Designs...and look! I used more patterned paper!! Woo hoo!!



So here's my take on the sketch.

I seriously get in major color ditches. Could this have more purple?? (seriously, say that in your best Chandler Bing impression!!) But I really like how it turned out. There were a few minor fender benders along the way (I could not get that doggone ladybug stamped the way I wanted her...then I stamped her with the doodle and forgot to punch her out first, then I adhered her to the back of the doodle as opposed to the front...it was an ongoing saga!!). I like how it turned out for the most part, but I wish I had cut the patterned paper a bit shorter on the long side. Oh well, it gets the job done!
Stampin' Supplies:
Stamps: Little Lady by PaperTrey, Scalloped Borders by GinaK Designs, Bodacious Jumbo Wheel by Stampin' Up
Paper: Perfect Plum by Stampin' Up, White Select Cardstock by PaperTrey, and I really don't know about the designer paper, although I think the bottom layer that has been cuttlebugged is from Basic Grey
Accessories: Purple Dotted Organdy Ribbon by May Arts, Tag Maker and circle tag by Making Memories, Cuttlebug and Tiny Bubbles Embossing Folder, Giga Scalloped and Mega Punch by Marvy, Cutter Kit by Stampin' Up
Phew! I think it actually takes me longer to type these posts up than it does to actually create the cards!!! Now I'm off to try for another challenge today...goodness, what if I can actually create 4 cards in one day!??!?! That will be a record for 2007!!! :-)

WOOPEEEEEEE!!!!

Ah, the wonder of the summer holiday. I finally had time to stamp!! Not that I don't have a thousand other things I could be doing...but I decided to MAKE stamping a priority. This card was created using the sketch challenge for Julee's birthday, check out her blog at Poetic Artistry, she's really quite an artist!!

I posted some troubles I've had with the PaperTrey Text Boxed stamp set, and after reading some responses, I decided to email the customer service department and ask for some assistance. I got a FANTASTIC email from Ms. Nichole herself listing all the techniques she has employed, different inks and papers, and what her advice is. Talk about phenomenal customer service!!! I was so excited to see the response, and her insightful ideas led me to play around with the set today and finally got some images to stamp completely. All in all, I was successful, so I'm soooooo thankful Nichole emailed me and gave me her ideas.
ETA: Julee asked me if I could share what Nichole said about working with this stamp set. The overall emphasis of her email was to play with the set! She said that she has noticed her favorite image out of the set is working so much better now than it did in the past. She also said to try different things, such as different inks (she said she has success with any of the darker pigmented SU inks, Palette inks and also Versamagic inks...she said that any ink that is light in color has a better chance of not showing up because of the water content in it). She also said that she finds the craft ink pads, such as Whisper White, work well. As for cardstock, she said she has had success with vellum and the PaperTrey white cardstock...and she recommended putting fun foam sheets under the cardstock while stamping. :-) I haven't tried that yet, but it could be a nice alternative!!


This is the condensed version of what she emailed me...what a fantastic email I received!! I have such a high opinion of PaperTrey and how they handle customer service. I recommend their products to EVERYONE!!!!




So the sketch is cute, and gave me some great ideas for using new stuff. I really wanted to use one of my new PaperTrey sets (part of the 5-set Borders & Corners sets). I ordered twice from PaperTrey, and ironically my first order hasn't arrived yet, but I got the second order on Monday. So unfortunately the first order had the punches...so I had to make due with other stuff. My second order had the Circle stamp set and the Tag Maker, so I got to play with that a bit.




Here's my take on Julee's sketch:

I used all Stampin' Up and PaperTrey materials, except the tag which is Making Memories. I actually have not yet made an order from the new Stampin' Up catalog, which was released July 1st. My husband had promised me an order from our car tax refund...and that has just taken FOREVER to be put back into his account!! So August 1st is when I'll order new paper and stuff. But this does have the Blue Bayou paper and ink, plus the Soft Sky DS paper. The white cardstock is the PaperTrey cardstock, which is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. It's just so thick, which makes it wonderful for stamping on. The background image on the first layer is with the Spot On wheel from SU, then the rest of the images are all PaperTrey. "Happy For You" are from the Paper Trey set, then the remaining images are from Text Boxed. I really had fun doing this card, and I have to say it's probably the longest I've taken on one card in quite awhile! I probably spent an hour...I would adhere something, then change my mind and adhere again, then add another layer, then screw up an image and start again...it was an interesting process. But I really enjoyed it, and now I can't wait to get the rest of my PaperTrey goodies and then order from SU on the 1st.
And, how about this!!!! I have NO brads or eyelets on this card!!!!! Brads are a staple of my crafting diet. In fact, one of my Stampin' Up downlines teases me everytime I create a project, because it uses at least 2 brads. She now just KNOWS it will have brads whenever I do something. Well, Andraea, how about THAT!!!! NO BRADS!!! :-)
Stampin' Supplies:
Stamps: Text Boxed, Paper Trey, and Borders & Corners-Circle, all by PaperTreyInk
Ink: Blue Bayou, Not Quite Navy by Stampin' Up
Paper: Blue Bayou, Soft Sky DS Paper by Stampin' Up; White by PaperTreyInk
Accessories: Ribbon by May Arts, Tag and Tag Maker by Making Memories, Cutter Kit by Stampin' Up
Now that I'm off for 6 whole weeks for our summer holiday, I hope to be posting and creating more often. I hope everyone else is enjoying their July!! :-)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I'm sooooooo tired!

It's our last week of school FINALLY and a lot has been due. I had to complete a huge portfolio for my job, which also included 5 full days of training and various meetings/courses throughout the last six months. I thought it was due at the end of July, but received an email last Thursday from the Coordinator stating it was due Monday. WOAH! Totally not prepared for that! It's taken quite a bit of work throughout the last week to get it all sorted, but it's finally complete. I simply cannot wait to give it to my Coordinator so I don't have to deal with it anymore.


I'm also in a very intensive Master's course working on an Action Research Project. It's really in-depth and the course is kicking my butt. Plus, to be frank, I don't like the instructor. I think he's borderline offensive and gets extremely defensive if you say anything. For example, he takes too long to respond to emails, so when I asked about it in a private email, he posted the comment in the main forum for all my classmates to see! How wrong is that?!?! He'll be getting one hell of a review from me at the end of the course!!!


Here's something I worked on last week that I submitted to PaperTrey for their monthly Guest Star Stamper contest. If you go to their website and click on InkPad Gallery, you'll see the winner. Yeah...the minute Sharon posted this on her blog, I knew I had NO CHANCE! I will say I'm a little disappointed with this stamp set. The stamp set is called Text Boxed, and was released in mid-June. The whole point is to have a stamp that looks like a reverse image: so you have a inked box with the image that appears not to be stamped. Well, I cannot get any of the images to stamp completely, no matter what ink I try. I don't know what the deal is, it just doesn't work! I've tried different inks (Stampin' Up classic and craft ink, Palette inks), different paper (SU and PaperTrey), and different acrylic blocks to apply the stamp. There is always a spot where the ink doesn't touch the paper, no matter how I rock the block, push down with all my might, and shimmy around my table. Ironically, I can get my Versamark to do well...but I don't want to have a $24 stamp set where I can only use it to emboss or put PearlEx on it. So it's a very frustrating purchase.


On to the card. Because I couldn't get the main images to work, I had to look outside the box. I originally did a really cool card with Versamark and three different colors of PearlEx to create a Patriotic card, but the PearlEx wasn't exactly how I wanted it, so scrapped it and started again. I decided to do a background type image with lots of different images from the set. I then applied Versamark over the entire image and dumped a ton of Glossy Glaze embossing powder on it so I could do the Cracked Glass technique. I then rubbed a Brilliant Blue ink pad...which didn't turn out as I planned. It's supposed to give it a little bit of a textured and older feel, but it just made it look crappy! :-) All in all, the card turned out pretty cute, and I plan on sending it to my niece who turns 4 this weekend.
Supplies:
Stamp sets: Text Boxed, Little Lady, both by PaperTrey
Paper: Real Red, Brilliant Blue, Whisper White, all by Stampin' Up
Ink: Real Red, Brilliant Blue, So Saffron all by Stampin' Up, Versamark and Black Stazon
Accessories: Silver Brads, Ticket Corner Punch, Glossy Glaze EP by Stampin' Up, Ribbon by May Arts, Cuttlebug

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Updated Stamp Sets for Sale

Geez, I forgot to put a freakin' title on the post so I had to edit it. I'm such a goof!!! :-)

Updated information!!!! Take these wonderful sets off my hands, they are soooo lonely and wish for new homes!!!

**Buy one set, get another 50% off**

Stamp Sets:
Dream Come True, set of 8 $10.00
Celebrate in Style, set of 7 $10.00 **purchased!!
Send a Celebration, set of 4 $6.00 (from SAB 2006)
Itty Bitty Borders, set of 4 $6.00
Quick & Cute, set of 8 $7.00 (retired 2006)
Gently Falling, set of 4 $6.00 (SAB 2006)
Pocket Full of Posies, set of 4 $6.00 (Hostess 2005-2006)
Beyond the Basics, set of 4 $6.00
So Very, set of 8 $10.00 (SAB 2007: never used!!)
Very Punny, set of 8 $11.00 (SAB 2007: never used!!)
Riveting, set of 8 $10.00 (Hostess 2007) **purchased!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Something New....Finally!!!

Well I had a heck of a migraine last night (in fact, it's been pretty consistent since early last week...I am stressed about work and just want this term to be OVER!!! Next Friday is our last day, can it get here quicker puhleeze?!?!?!), so I'm off work today. After sleeping in and medicating (hee hee), I decided to see what challenge was available today on Splitcoast. And I'm LOVING what I came up with!! Sometimes I think it's okay, but this time I'm over the moon with glee. It's just so doggone purty!!



The challenge was a color combination challenge, to use Real Red, Green Galore and Tempting Turquoise together. Typically I just use two of the colors and then have the third color (most likely the one I don't like) as a background or border paper. But this time I decided to include a challenge to myself and use all three colors all over the card so that it just POPS!! I used the Bodacious Bouquet set (don't worry: you can still purchase this set!! Stampin' Up has created a "dormant" list, which means some sets aren't in the main catalog, but will be in the Spring/Summer 2008 Collection catalog...so you can still buy this set and matching wheel!!), and a sentiment from the Edgy Eloquence set from a few mini catalogs ago. I had so hoped this set would have been featured in the current catalog, but it's not. (insert crying face here). This set is not on the dormant list...but I'm holding out hope that it will magically appear in the next catalog. Regardless, it's one of my favs and I use it pretty often!! I really love how this card turned out. And this color combo is just fantastic: it just screams summer, fun, and flowers. I'll definitely be using this color combo...and possibly making more of this card...again!!

Supplies:
Stamp sets: Bodacious Bouquet, Edgy Eloquence, Aida Cloth background
Paper: Real Red, Tempting Turquoise, Green Galore, DS retired paper
Ink: Real Red, Tempting Turquoise, Green Galore, Versamark
Accessories: Paper Snips (to cut out all flowers), Black Embossing Powder, non-SU Blue Brads, Ticket Corner Punch




BUT WAIT!!!! PRICES HAVE BEEN REDUCED....AGAIN!!!!


**Don't forget to check out my retired Stampin' Up! sets that I'm selling: they were updated yesterday to show what has been purchased, and I reduced prices as well! Email me at jmagreevy426@yahoo.com if you'd like to grab one of these...some haven't even been used!!

Stamp Sets:
Dream Come True, set of 8 $10.00
Celebrate in Style, set of 7 $10.00
Send a Celebration, set of 4 $6.00 (from SAB 2006)
Itty Bitty Borders, set of 4 $6.00 Quick & Cute, set of 8 $7.00 (retired 2006)
Gently Falling, set of 4 $6.00 (SAB 2006)
Pocket Full of Posies, set of 4 $6.00 (Hostess 2005-2006)
Beyond the Basics, set of 4 $6.00
A Light Heart, set of 7 $11.00 (special American Heart Association set from 2006)
So Very, set of 8 $10.00 (SAB 2007: never used!!)
Very Punny, set of 8 $11.00 (SAB 2007: never used!!)
Riveting, set of 8 $10.00 (Hostess 2007)

Monday, July 9, 2007

Nothing new to post...

I've been busy creating, but most have been submitted to contests so I can't show anything yet! While it would be lovely for me to post again saying I won a contest...I highly doubt that will happen. :-) Oh well!

Hopefully I'll have more to post soon. I'm in the last two weeks of school, and I've just started a really challening course for my Master's, so things are just bopping along.

Hope everyone is well!!

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE LIST OF AVAILABLE STAMP SETS FOR PURCHASE BELOW! ALL ARE STAMPIN' UP RETIRED SETS, SO HURRY BECAUSE THEY ARE GOING FAST!!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Want some?

**PRICES HAVE BEEN LOWERED!!!**

I have the following Stampin' Up! stamp sets for sale. These can be mailed via USPS Priority Mail to the United States. If anyone from England wishes to purchase, we can discuss details via email at jmagreevy426@yahoo.com If you want to see a picture of the set, just email me and I'll send you a pick. Most are *gently used*...and I think a few haven't been used. All have already been mounted. All have retired, either on July 1st of this year or within the last year. I'm soooo sad to see some go, but I need to make room for cool new stamps!

All stamp sets have a price next to them that will not include shipping. I should be able to pop them all in a Priority Mail flat rate envelope, which I believe is under $5.00 to ship to the U.S. Payment will be accepted via PayPal....which I will figure out how to use this week. :-) I've only been on the payment end of PayPal, never the receiving end!!!

Stamp Sets:
Dream Come True, set of 8 $12.00

Celebrate in Style, set of 7 $12.00

Send a Celebration, set of 4 $6.00 (from SAB 2006)

Itty Bitty Borders, set of 4 $6.00

Quick & Cute, set of 8 $7.00 (retired 2006)

Gently Falling, set of 4 $6.00 (SAB 2006)

Pocket Full of Posies, set of 4 $6.00 (Hostess 2005-2006)

Beyond the Basics, set of 4 $6.00

A Light Heart, set of 7 $13.00 (special American Heart Association set from 2006)

So Very, set of 8 $13.00 (SAB 2007: never used!!)

Very Punny, set of 8 $14.00 (SAB 2007: never used!!)

Riveting, set of 8 $12.00 (Hostess 2007)

Please send me an email at jmagreevy426@yahoo.com if you are interested in purchasing any. I'll update this entry with any purchases as I get them.

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July. Obviously the Brits don't observe this holiday (hello!!! We declared independence FROM THEM!!!), so I had to work a normal day today. Many people I worked with wished me a happy independence day, which I thought was very sweet of them. It pretty much rained the entire day, so the hubby and I just grilled out and took a nap. Yep, we're quite the active pair! :-)

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Finally got to play!!!

Well it took ages, but I finally cut out my new stamps and played with one set. As a demonstrator, I had the option to purchase a Level 3 hostess set ahead of time...which I was absolutely going to do because I'm not going to be the hostess at an event that garners $500 in sales! :-) I don't hostess my own events, I typically have a hostess, so someone else gets the goodies. Needless to say, I'm so glad I got the Vases in Vogue set, because it's too cute! Right up my "girlie loves flowers" type of personality.

I will say it was one of those cards where nothing seemed to go right! The vase is stamped in Black Stazon, and then I used a blender pen with the new SU In Color Soft Sky ink pad to color it in. Well, my first go had me rubbing too hard on the paper and making it pill, which then made the "stazon"...well...not stay. I figured it wasn't too awful, so I continued. I adhered the white to the Rose Red, then even put the dimensionals on the back of the Rose Red. Then I realized that it just looked a little too plain, so I thought I'd add a little Rose Red ink to the edges of the Whisper White cardstock. BIG MISTAKE! I had the pen EVERYWHERE!!! There was no way I could cover it up! So I tried to *gently* take the Whisper White off..and basically ripped the crap out of the Rose Red. But, since I already had a ton of dimensionals down, I just felt that I couldn't give it up. So I started again on the Whisper White. Got all the way to the edging with Rose Red ink, and I DRAGGED THE PEN ACROSS THE CORNERS AGAIN! So then I decided "to hell with it", pulled out the ticket corner punch and now you can't see my mistakes. Oh, except for the fact that the Rose Red went all over the Rose Red paper...so I pulled out a wheel and inked that up. So now it just looks a tad odd. :-) On a bright note, I did get to use the new Soft Sky Designer Series paper, as well as a bit of the now retired Cream Organdy ribbon.

Stampin' Supplies:
Stamp sets: Vases in Vogue
Ink: Black Stazon, Soft Sky, Rose Red
Paper: Rose Red, Whisper White, Soft Sky Designer Series Prints
Accessories: Cream Organdy Ribbon (retired...boo hoo!!), Ticket Corner Punch, Silver Brads, Dimensionals, Spot on Jumbo Wheel

So who wants new stuff?

The Fall-Winter Collection is now available at Stampin' Up! To see the 208-page catalog, go to the Stampin' Up! website, and you'll see the new catalog on the homepage. There is a link on the lower right corner that says "click to view online". You can view all the pages, including the back pages that have all the supplies for each project shown in the catalog. Some pretty cool things out there now for us!

As a military demonstrator, it's difficult to receive shipments here sometimes. So, I do not yet have a copy of the catalog, but hope to receive my demonstrator copy and the box of catalogs I ordered this week. I can't wait to mark all of the sets I own, and those I wish to own. My husband is going to LOVE this wishlist. He'll have a heck of a time at Christmas this year, because he typically just lets me order stamping things. But this year, I'll have to wait because a brand new catalog will be released on January 1st! Stampin' Up is now releasing two catalogs per year, as well as two mini-catalogs per year. Woo Hoo!

Things to check out in the new catalog:

*Designer Series Double Sided Prints in 16 colors
*All new Simply Scrappin' kits including textured cardstock
*Tons of new chipboard items, including chipboard clipboards, flowers, ginormous pieces
*Taffeta ribbon, new ribbon originals, new 5/8" grosgrain ribbon
*Pretties kit, including dyeable flowers and pearls
*Build-A-Brad kit (currently unavailable due to a manufacturer problem, but hopefully available again soon!
*New stamp sets, including really cute flower sets, alphabets, christmas and holiday sets
2007 In Colors: Purely Pomegranate, Wild Wasabi, Soft Sky, Blue Bayou, River Rock, Groovy Guava: Available in Classic ink pads, reinkers, 81/2 x 11" cardstock, assorted pack of 12 x 12" cardstock, stitched ribbon

Lots of new things to put on your wishlist! If you're in the Lakenheath/Mildenhall/Cambridge area and are American military, please email me to schedule a workshop! You'll receive your own copy of the catalog for free, a special gift from me, and as a special incentive, 20% off one new stamp set in the catalog. How can you miss this opportunity?!?!?!

Have a great week everyone, and enjoy the 4th of July!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ahh, sweet Prima bliss


Can you say F-I-N-A-L-L-Y?!?!? My Prima-Share with Jody was mailed to me on the 24th of May, and I just finally got it today, June 26th!!!! Apparently it either sat in customs for three weeks or sat in the military post office...but I don't care at this point. I'm ready to PLAY! And seeing as how I'm impatiently waiting for the new Stampin' Up catalog...and I fear it won't come before it's released online July 1st. Some stateside demonstrators have had theirs since Saturday, but I may not get mine anytime soon (did you read my second sentence??? Apparently shipping is not going well right now!!). It really sucks!!!


So anyway, I'll play with my new Primas (the Sprites versions in a variety of colors, although due to a manufacterer glitch many of the same colors were sent to Jody, so I got duplicates of the green primas. No matter: a prima is still a prima, and I'll use 'em! They actually match some of the SU greens pretty well, so I'm excited to start adding them to projects. Yippeeeee!!!!!