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!!!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Busy Busy Week!!

Wow, I haven't even had time to think about posting. Not only has this week been extremely busy with work and my Master's classes, but then my computer malfunctioned and I didn't have access to anything for three days. Yuck!! Needless to say, I haven't had any time to do much of anything with stamping.

On bright notes, the Retiring Accessories list has been released by Stampin' Up. Get that ribbon now, girls, a good chunk of it is going away! It looks like lots of new things will be added to the new catalog (released to the public July 1st), including tons of new paper, textured cardstock, new ribbon, and lots of new accessories. I'm soooo excited to see what comes out. My husband made a "deal" with me in regards to some money we'll be getting back for our car tax this month, but I don't think he understood what he was saying. He said, "Oh, when I get the money back, you can use it on stamping stuff". Well....it's a nice hefty sum!! I think he'll take it back once it's time for me to submit my first order. :-) AND: new catalogs have been spotted everywhere! As demonstrators, we receive a complimentary catalog from Stampin' Up. Last year the majority of the complimentary catalogs were received after July 1st, which isn't really fair for a good chunk of us who may not purchase boxes of catalogs. So here's to hoping I get one before the 1st. I've heard some great things about the catalog and what's included...I can't wait to see it all!!!

So here's the last ATC card I made for a swap on Splitcoast. This technique is emboss resist, which is embossed with versamark and clear embossing powder, and then either sponged or brayered on with a color. I did mine a little differently, because my clear embossing powder somehow got a TON of colored specks in it. It looked really stupid when I began to heat set it, so I started over. Since it was on white cardstock, I did the versamark and then white embossing powder. I sponged Rose Red ink over top. This is a really fast technique to complete, because I took an entire 8 1/2" x 11" sheet, stamped the entire sheet with the images, then heat set it all at the same time. Then I did the sponging over everything and then cut it all out. So it worked nicely!! I like how it turned out, although I wish I had done the sentiment a little differently. Maybe I should have used some ribbon...at least it would have been used now instead of sitting in my "retired and forgotten" section of my crafts. :-)
Off to do homework and then hopefully stamp. Who knows: I might actually post TWICE today!!! WOO HOO!!!
Stampin' Supplies (All Stampin' Up):
Stamps: Simply Said
Cardstock: Rose Red, Whisper White
Ink: Rose Red, Versamark, Black Stazon
Accessories: White Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Silver Brads, Stampin' Sponge, Corner Rounder

Saturday, June 16, 2007

ATC Album

I finally jumped on the ATC bandwagon and participated in a few ATC swaps on Splitcoast. For those of you who are unfamiliar with ATC's, they are Artist Trading Cards. Basically they are a simple way to showcase a technique, stamp, or use as a business card because they are quite small (only 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" each). The swaps I participated in all showcased different techniques, so I've been able to almost fill an entire ATC album with all cool techniques that I can showcase. I've received 10 swaps so far...and the techniques are amazing!! I can't wait to get the other 30 I'm waiting for. :-)

I waited to decorate my ATC album because I didn't know what patterned paper would be included in the new catalog, so once I finally received my preorder I knew I could go ahead. I like how it turned out...although it's a little plain for my taste. I only used two non-SU items: the ATC letters are Crate Paper chipboard that has already been covered in a designer paper, so I just used a sanding block to distress it a bit. The second non SU item I used is the May Arts ribbon, which is my absolute favorite ribbon. It's just so petite, girly and feminine. It totally fits my stamping/scrapping style!!

I had fun doing the flower, which features a few different things that are new. The chipboard is new for the Fall/Winter Collection, as well as the flower design, which is part of the Pick a Petal stamp set. The So Saffron paper is actually the paper from the Pallete O Prints set that was available to everyone in May. It will also be featured in the new catalog...and the main paper is Soft Sky designer series paper....I can't WAIT to see all the new paper and accessories!!!!

Stamps: Pick a Petal, Best Friends alphabet lower
Paper: Soft Sky Designer Series Paper, So Saffron Pallete O Prints Paper
Ink: Blue Bayou, Black Stazon
Accessories: Crate Paper chipboard letters, SU Flowers chipboard, May Arts White and Blue Organdy Dotted Ribbon, SU Cream and Blue Ribbon, Modpodge, SU ATC Album

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Hedgehog Happiness

My Penny Black stamps came today, they are too cute! I had to immediately make a card and got to use my Prismas to color everything in. I used the Prismas a few days ago and did not have success with them. The stamp I attempted had really intricate designs and the stump just wouldn't color it in properly. But this worked a lot better. I also used Kirsten's tutorial to help me out with how to color it in. I love how it all turned out!

I used Cool Caribbean cardstock, because I'm bound and determined to use up a ton of my 2007 In Color stuff now, since it will be obselete coming up in a few weeks. I did manage to throw a couple colors of the new 2008 In Color inks on the card: the flower stamp on the right is Blue Bayou, and the dot inside both flowers is Purely Pomegranate (with some Stickles applied to the top to give it a tad bit of sparkle). The patterned paper is part of the "Love Me" designer series paper that was part of the Stampin' Up Winter Mini. Who knows if it'll make another appearance in the new catalog...we'll find out in a few weeks!

Stamps: Hedgehog by Penny Black, Little Lady by PaperTrey
Paper: Cool Caribbean, Love Me Designer Series Paper, Whisper White all by Stampin' Up
Ink: Black Stazon, Basic Black, Blue Bayou, Purely Pomegranate all by Stampin' Up
Accessories: Ticket Corner Punch, Silver Brads, Prismacolor Pencils, Gamsol, Stumps, Blue Dotted Organdy Ribbon by May Arts

I did get my Stampin' Up preorder...which is definitely a benefit of being a demonstrator. I get stuff a month early, woo hoo!! Hopefully I'll have time to mess around with stuff this weekend. I will say we have some BEAUTIFUL new papers coming out, and really cool accessories (rhinestone brads, new ribbons, flowers you can dye with reinkers....crazy cool stuff!!!!). Flowers are my "thang", so I'm loving all the new girlie things (and the new punch box with the Flower punch is right up my alley!!). I'll hopefully post new things coming up soon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

2nd ATC Swap

Just a quick post to show my 2nd ATC swap, which featured the "ghosting" technique. Boy, I really should have researched it before blithely saying I'd do it!! It was more involved than I anticipated, and I actually had to borrow glossy white cardstock from my neighbor Jen (stupid me...totally didn't realize the Splitcoast tutorial I read really meant glossy!! I thought I could just use Whisper White...you don't even want to know how silly the first batch turned out!!). When I went to borrow the glossy cardstock, Jen said, "Do you want more than one sheet?" I said, "Oh no, it's only for 10 ATC's, I'll only need one sheet." Her reply, "Uhhh, I think you better take two sheets....just in case." Yep, sure needed it! So the first batch on the regular cardstock was crappy, and then the second batch on the glossy cardstock was crappy too. Finally got it right on the third try. I liked the technique...but the glossy cardstock takes forevery to dry and I kept touching it and screwing it up. :-) In the end I like how it turned out...but I don't know if I'll do this technique again.

This is a pretty crappy picture. The technique is to stamp a background stamp on the glossy cardstock, then stamp images in versamark overtop. You then brayer another color of ink on the top. I had issues with batch #2 because the ink I wanted to use was Elegant Eggplant, but it was so dark that it essentially made it so that none of the layered images were visible. So this batch came with pale plum and perfect plum inks, which worked out much better. I decided not to do any type of embellishments because the whole point of these ATC's were to showcase the techniques...so I felt putting ribbon or metal embellishments would just take away from the technique. Plus, I pretty much forgot. :-)

Supplies: (All Stampin' Up!)
Stamps: Polka Dots & Petals, Riveting Hostess set
Ink: Versamark, Elegant Eggplant, Pale Plum, Perfect Plum
Paper: Glossy White, Elegant Eggplant
Accessories: Brayer, 1 1/4" circle punch, 1 3/8" circle punch

On a side note, I got the cutest email from Molly (MollyDR on Splitcoast) who was in another swap I participated in and posted about HERE. She loved the card and noticed I was an USAF wife, while she is an Army wife. Her hubby is currently in Iraq, and came home for R&R to, you know, just spend a nice relaxing time home from the war. Well, and to have their first child. :-) Go check out her blog, she has such beautiful pics of the new baby Abigail!!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Boo hoo, I'm sick!!

How on earth did I get a cold in the middle of June?!?! Isn't there a law against this?? It seriously should be illegal. Colds only allowed November through March. I hate getting a cold anyway, but when it's nice weather, it is just sooooo much worse. And I've had a lot to do today, so I just sucked it up and did my thing...and now I'm paying for it. The Germ Truck has smashed into me, full force!

On a bright note, I did some gardening, cut the grass with our brand-new lawnmower with an attached bag (woo hoo!! Of course, when the grass is still a tad damp from the rain, the bag doesn't do a damn thing...so I still had to rake up a bunch of grass). We have a brand-new lawnmower because my wonderful husband managed to break TWO lawnmowers last weekend. Yep, two!!! He decided our gas lawnmower needed oil, so he dumped so much in there that it overflowed and essentially inundated the engine. It's still leaking out of the lawnmower...8 days later. Then he pulled out an electric lawnmower that his old boss gave us when he moved a few weeks ago. This stupid thing was like "baby's first lawnmower": I think my 3-year-old niece could have operated it without a problem. Yet, somehow the engine overheated and shut down on that one...so we were without a lawnmower. I had to borrow the neighbor's just to get the grass cut. Needless to say, my husband is not allowed to do anything with this new lawnmower (we won't even discuss the fact that he broke the carpet steam cleaner a few months ago...he just needs to stay away from all large moveable appliances!!).

On a bright stamping note, I've gotten a lot accomplished this week! I finished three ATC technique swaps for a swap on Splitcoast, and completed a 6 x 6 scrapbook I'm sending to my mother-in-law. It looks really cute, and I'm half tempted to keep the thing because I love it! My husband lived over here in England when he was a child, as my father-in-law is retired Air Force. So I made a scrapbook with all pictures of England so they could be reminded of things they saw while they lived here, and also how things may have changed (as the skyline of London has most definitely changed...and my picture shows about 10 construction cranes throughout!!). But it got me in the mood to do more scrapbooking, which is good. I'm also making something special for my mother...but I'm not mentioning what because she sometimes reads this blog!!

So this is the first swap I completed. As it was a technique swap, I decided to try three techniques I have never done before. I actually read about this one, called the Faux Alcohol Ink technique, on Emily Giovanni's website. It's really neat: you take a cotton ball, soak it in rubbing alcohol, then apply drops of ink to the cotton ball. Then just dab it all over your cardstock! The first time I did it it was really bright, but this turned out perfect. I loved doing it, and it was cool because every piece was different. I will say that I used large cotton balls that I purchased at Tesco (essentially our version of a WalMart or Target), and I could use that one cotton ball on an entire sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock. I didn't even have to reink it!! To add a little zest to it, I colored the center of the flower (using a blender pen and Buckaroo Blue ink) then applied Crystal Effects. I wish that I had put a brad or some ribbon on it (just because I'm the embellishment queen), but I do love how it turned out. I'll post my other two swaps in the next few days!!

Supplies (All Stampin' Up!)
Stamps: Doodle This, Warm Words
Paper: Buckaroo Blue, Whisper White
Ink: Black Stazon
Reinkers: Barely Banana, Buckaroo Blue, Certainly Celery
Accessories: Crystal Effects, Ticket Corner Punch

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

My first Gina K. card

Red-letter mail day: I received my Gina K. Design order AND my Inky Antics order! I inked up the Gina K stamps today, but haven't had an opportunity to get into my new (and too cute) Inky Antics ones. I also am waiting on my Stampin' Up preorder and an order of Penny Black stamps (yep, I blame YOU, Kirsten!!).

This card was fun. I haven't had a chance to cut the scalloped doodles yet, so it looks just a tad bare. I also got to use up some scraps I had from doing the "20 scrap pages in a day" thing from last weekend...so the patterned paper you see if from the SAB Simply Scrappin' kit. It's a pretty poor picture, just because my camera really doesn't like taking pictures of white cardstock.

I love this pelican, he just looks so dopey!! That's why I added the googlie eyes. And I just have this mental image of him saying the sentiment: "Well, golly gee, I sure am grateful right there, ya'll". I know, I'm a geek.

I can't wait to play with the crab and octopus, and the Inky Antics stamps are soooo cute! I succumbed to other enablers and got a small pack of Prismacolor Pencils, but I don't even have a pencil sharpener to get them ready. Oh well, I'll do it all this weekend.

Stamps: Pelican and sentiment by Gina K. Designs
Paper: All Stampin' Up: Brocade Blue, Barely Banana, Whisper White, Certainly Celery, DS Paper
Accessories: Stampin' Up Markers, Blue Grosgrain, Eyelets, Giga Scalloped Square Punch

Sunday, June 3, 2007

I'm a bad mommy!!!

I have three "children":

Sammy, a 7-year-old Cocker Spaniel
Arianna, a 7-year-old Maine Coon cat
Lily, a 1-year-old Guinea Pig

This past week, I've been off from school (our half-term break in the Summer Term...we go until July 20th...yuck!!). So I decided it was time to freshen up around the house. This included the furry critters. Sammy and Arianna both got trimmed and bathed. This is a huge theatrical production when the cat is involved, you honestly would think I was KILLING her. The dog just kind of bats those pitiful cocker spaniel eyes at me and then licks my face as if to say, "I still love you...but you know I'll leave you a present later." The cat is secretly saying, "Girl, if I could get into your closet right now, you wouldn't believe the vomit you'd find in your shoes!!"

So anyway, in an ode to this wonderful celebration, I'm posting before pics of the cat so you can see what I've done. I give her a "lion cut" once a year, because her hair is so dark and dense that the poor thing just bakes in the summer. For those of you who don't quite understand what that is, you basically leave the hair on her head, legs, and tail uncut. Well....I made a little "boo boo" and cut the majority of her hair around her head (I'm not a freakin' professional!!!). I trimmed her tail a bit, but not much. Sometimes you can give her a little pom pom on the tip of her tail, which I think is sooooo cute, but noone agrees with me. :-)

Now we have the "after" pictures. These just crack me up. In order to get the dog to look at the camera, I had to barter ("you want a treat???"...he about jumped off the couch and directly into the camera to get at me for that one!!). The cat just would NOT look at me. Right now, she's sitting on top of the couch and just glaring at me. Ah, the wonder of our feline friends.

The "after" pics were immediately after bathing, so they are both still wet. In fact, now at 2 hours post-humiliation, the cat is still pretty damp. The big white spot you can see in the first "after" picture is actually from an unfortunate event as a kitten before my husband got her. Apparently her previous owners thought it was fun to pour gasoline on her and light her up. She was also kicked around quite a bit. My sister-in-law found her in a shelter in Dallas when she was just a few months old, and convinced my husband to drive down from Oklahoma (where he was stationed at the time) and get her. She's always had the white spot: her hair just grows white in that spot. It just seems to add to her eccentric personality. She only gets bathed a few times a year (if that: I don't want to go through this unless I HAVE to!!), but the dog gets bathed pretty often due to a skin condition. He doesn't care for the procedure, but both of them have the same reaction: they strut around like they are hot stuff once they are dry and have forgotten the pain and embarrassment of having their bums washed. :-)

Friday, June 1, 2007

Just a quickie...

It's late here, and I don't even have anything new to post (boo hoo!). I have a final project due for my current Master's class, and it's basically sucking up all of my time. I'll be able to stamp tomorrow, as I'm going to my friend (and fellow Stampin' Up! demonstrator) Tina's "20 6x6 pages in a day" class to learn how to make a 6x6 album in one day. I'm excited about it, because I think it'll be something I'll use (and give as gifts!!!) and that others would like to learn about too!

I just wanted to post quick and tell everyone to have a great weekend! I'm finishing up three ATC swaps, working on a cute tutorial on something I learned recently using the Tag Punch (it's really cute, fairly easy, and will get a "wow" factor!!), and hopefully doing some regular stamping and scrapbooking somewhere in here. Needless to say, it's a busy weekend in the Magreevy household when you include regular cleaning, organizing, yard work, bathing the pets, running errands, lesson planning, cooking...how did the week go by so QUICKLY?!?! I'm not ready to go back to work!!!!

If you go to Gina K's blog here, you can enter to win not one but TWO Giga Scalloped Punches!! She's giving away a Heart and Rectangle Giga Scalloped Punch...can you believe it?!?!?!? I would be in HEAVEN!!!!!

I'll hopefully post more tomorrow! :-)

Edited to add:
I believe Gina is giving away two separate punches to two winners...so you won't win both punches. Regardless, I entered!!! I'm all for freebies!!!