Saturday, January 29, 2011

I made a card...FOR FUN!

I simply cannot tell you the last time I went into my craft room and made a card just for the fun of crafting. I've either had thank you cards to make, workshop stuff to do, or kid stuff to create. This is the first time I've been crafty in a LONG time just for fun! I'm pretty damn proud of myself. :)

I'm even more thrilled that I actually LIKE the card. I wanted to fiddle with the Concord Crush ribbon, because I have a hostess club next weekend and we're doing something with ribbon like this...I needed a dry run before I made the actual card they will be replicating. I saw how the ribbon was done like this at a Stampin' Up regional last fall, how cool is it?!?! Seriously I just think its awesome. Yep, tooting my own horn here.

I will say that the SU Stitched Ribbon (in the In Colors) isn't the BEST to do this with...this ribbon literally falls apart as you're fiddling with it. I have purple fibers all over the floor in my craft room from cutting this stuff. I suggest always using "ribbon scissors". I have a special pair of SU paper snips that I have a bit of ribbon tied to. I only use those scissors to cut ribbon. I've had them for about 4 years, and they are as sharp as the day I got them!

I will say that I used a Cuttlebug embossing folder for this. I (eeek!) don't own a Big Shot. I know, its like blasphemy for a SU demonstrator to not have the one big ticket item that virtually ALL demos have! I'm working on it. But for now, I love how the embossing folder turned out. As soon as I have the Big Shot, I'll sell my cute little Cuttlebug...but I'm keeping the embossing folders. :)

Card Ingredients:
Stamps: Just Believe
Paper: Concord Crush, Certainly Celery, Very Vanilla
Ink: Concord Crush, Certainly Celery
Accessories: Scissors, Concord Crush Stitched Ribbon, Cuttlebug and embossing folder, flower brads

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Its Sale-A-Bration Time!




Dates: January 25-March 31, 2011

Promotion Details
Our biggest sales event of the year--Sale-A-Bration--is here! This year we've got four great Sale-A-Bration sets for your hostesses and customers to choose from--as well as a Designer Series Paper & Quick Accents pack, a Ribbon & Button pack, digital downloads, and D├ęcor Elements!
There are three ways for your customers to earn free products:

Spend: Your customers will receive a free Sale-A-Bration product for every $50 they spend (before tax and shipping)!

Host: A hostess will receive a free Sale-A-Bration product for every $300 in workshop sales*, in addition to our regular hostess benefits!

*Note: This benefit is only available on qualifying customer, demonstrator, and workshop orders. Online orders do not qualify.

Join: New recruits will receive 15 percent off their Starter Kit (Standard or Digital+), plus a special Sale-A-Bration bonus bundle valued up to $50!


Contact me for more details!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One Little Word: January's Prompts

I finally received my order for page protectors and an 8.5x11" album, and I was able to actually start the One Little Word class by Ali Edwards (which you can still sign up for at Big Picture Classes). Now, I probably could have started awhile ago, but every place was sold out of the kind of album I wanted, and the page protectors Ali is using were also sold out...and I want to BE Ali Edwards, so I'm doing it the same way she is...cuz she's awesome...and so here we are. :)

I figured I'd give you a look into my craft room/guest room. I'm the type of crafter that always has about a gazillion projects going at once. I'm still trying to finish up my 2010 Project Life album, I have a Stampin' Up hostess club I'm trying to get organized for in two weeks (that would be the pile of paper scraps, punches, and stamps on the floor), then the One Little Word stuff is on the table. Like my artwork on the wall? My son. He's a budding arteest. Gotta say it like that: arteeeeest. :)



My purty album. Seriously worth waiting for. I love how clean it is, sturdy, and good ole leather. Its color is "Cobalt"...but seriously, its freakin' Navy. Whatever.

So the beautiful thing about the class is that Ali tells you what to do. You're supposed to use it and put your own spin on it...but since I want to BE Ali Edwards, I'm doing it her way. One of the things I love about her albums is they aren't uniform. Its not all 12x12 pages. She'll custom create a page protector to fit something atypical (just by sewing onto a regular page protector and then cutting off the unused section). I like that everything is unique, which is what sold me on taking this class. Its making me think outside my matchy-matchy-must-be-symmetrical style of scrapbooking.


Ali provided us with PDF and PNG files for many of the things in our January assignments. The front frame with the "One Little Word 2011" was provided, and all I did was add some pretty Sassafrass chipboard letters I've been hoarding for years.


The back of the front cover is a 5x7" pic of yours truly. Hi. Wassup. :)




I was fiddling with the self timer of my camera. Ironically I've had my camera for 3 or 4 years and never used the self timer. I just figured out a few months ago how to turn the damn flash off too. Sad. I almost edited this picture because it shows some dust on my table, but then I decided not to. You know what? My table has dust on it. Its not like we don't use it...we have family dinner at that very table every night. You don't like it? Suck it. There. :)


The "main" assignment was to use our word and choose some definitions, a quote, some synonyms, what we "invite" into our life by choosing the word, and why we chose the word. The main words were all in a 8.5x11 page format provided by Ali. I did choose to edit mine in Photoshop, using all the cool fonts I've picked up over the past few years. In fact, pretty sure I used Ali's font on there somewhere.

The great thing about a project like this is its allowing me to get into my overflowing stash and use stuff that I've had for years. Seriously, I've been scrapbooking for 10 years. Styles have definitely changed (oh Lord, you don't want to know some of the crazy stickers I have from the late 90's!!), but some things are classic. In any case, I broke out some retired SU paper, my date stamp from the Project Life kit, and then used all confetti SU paper for the base cardstock.

Again used retired SU paper on the left, some funky pens I've picked up along the way, then used the Color Spritzer tool with a bunch of SU markers to create the inkblot image on the right. I figured if my word was "create", I better create something on here.
Again retired SU paper, some sort of translucent tag I got from somewhere, and cute polkadot ribbon that I have from a ribbon share I did ages and ages ago.

This was really fun to put together! I can't wait to see what Ali has in store for us in February. Apparently the size of the album (the one that I bought) is big enough to put a couple of One Little Word projects inside...so hopefully I'll enjoy this enough this year that I'll do it again and fill the album up. Hard to believe I'm thinking of doing this again next year considering its only mid-January...but I'm slightly psychotic like that. And seeing as how I'm really really REALLY far behind on my 2010 Project Life, I'm not making any concrete plans right now. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Clean your Desk Day....yep, this one is for ME!!!

Did you know there is a "National Clean Your Desk Day"??? I find this so amusing. Ironically I was already kind of halfway in the process, since I needed to reorganize to get my purty new printer set up. But what I really ended up doing was taking everything off the desk and slapping it on the bookshelves. So I'm sorta getting there.

So these aren't really "before" shots, as that would have been slightly scary. I custom-designed our desk and bookshelves, and the builder was nice enough (or I guess I should say the carpenter) to actually do what I asked. So our built-in desk goes the entire length of the room, probably about 10 feet. It has two cubbies for chairs, two compartments for hard drives with rolling shelves, and then the entire length of the desk has bookshelves that are about 8 feet high. Nice to store stuff...but if its messy, looks really bad!


Here's my side. My desk level is a lot more organized than my husband's, but then my shelves are pretty chaotic. I have so many balls in the air right now (as my mom eloquently told me during her visit a few weeks ago) and so I have a bunch of different "sections" where things have to go. But you can see all my various child development related books over the top two shelves, as well as a bunch of cookbooks I'm not currently using. Oy. I guess actually putting these pictures on my blog mean I better get my tooshie in gear and clean it up!!! :)


This is the middle section and then leading over to my husband's side. As you can tell, we were mid-clean...the bottle of Pledge is right there. You can't really see the compressed air or the computer wipes, but they were in use too. Boy, the amount of dust that came out of my computer would have been comical if I hadn't known what damage it could have done. Gotta make a plan to do that a lot more often!!



So while I was cleaning, organizing, and filing, I came across a page from my son's class at MOPS (Moms Of PreSchoolers). We have a group of wonderful women (and even a few men!) who come in twice per month to lead classes while us moms get a well-deserved break. The teacher in Cameron's toddler room is Terri. She is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Seriously....{LOVE} her! She is so great with the group. She has a specific curriculum she teaches, brings in some biblical information (not sure of how much he's actually retaining at a 2-year-old level...but whatever!), and always has creative projects for them to do. I hadn't even really looked at his projects from last week, just slammed them in the "pile to be filed" pile. Look!!! It just melts my heart. So it has been moved from the "to be filed" into the "into the babybook" section.


And the AFTER shots. Not sure if you can tell I did much of anything, but I know I did. :) Got a lot of stuff filed, sent off some medical surveys and paperwork that needed to be done for Cameron, renewed some newspaper and magazine subscriptions that needed to be sent in, and reduced my "to be filed" pile by a LOT.


I love this white cabinet I picked up at Michael's. Really helps to keep office supplies organized. I know its meant to be a craft organizer, but it works really well in here too. I have last years file folders from the Stampin' Up catalog (the ones here are retired, but they have a new set available), and it helps me to keep organized. Also makes me realize I have way too many pens, pencils, and highlighters. :)
(hee hee, just realized my computer is obviously showing my blog "in progress". And the Stampin' Up hostess form right there that I better get filled out for my hostess. Obviously my desk will always be a work in progress!!)

Had to put a closeup of the new printer. So far, I'm in love. Love the touchscreen. Love that its quieter than my last one. Love that its wireless and can be used by all four (yep, FOUR...two desktops and two laptops) of our computers. And love the sleek design. Love how pretty it is without fingerprints. Yet. And yes, that is recycling info taped to the wall behind it. Someone in this household argues with me about what the city allows to be recycled. Someone argues with me a lot. Someone thinks I lie, and will suddenly decide to take all of the non-recyclable stuff and throw it into the bin just to prove me wrong. Someone is wrong...and it ain't me. :)



So there you go. Check out the blog that I got this from, Willette Designs. She hasn't even posted her "after" pics yet, so you still have loads of time to do it. In fact, I think I'll be the first one to post about this. :) Yay me! Yep, I can even be competitive about a completely selective, non-required activity. I am just THAT weird. :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Blessed

Have you ever had an opportunity just fall in your lap that you truly feel God has sent to you? See, I've been trying to get my Stampin' Up business going as an actual business. I want to bring in some money...but I understand that it won't be a lot. But you know what??? Its hard to get a business going when you are basically pulling teeth to get people to host a workshop or place an order! Crafting isn't everyone's cup of tea, and that's fine. I understand. But its been H.A.R.D.

So Thursday night my upline (the person I signed up under) called me and asked if I could demo a workshop for her this weekend. At first I was confused. She started talking about how her husband had basically said she needed to spend more time at home (she also has a full-time teaching job, various other craft-related activities, and a rambunctious 5-year-old). So I thought she just wanted me to run the workshop or help her do it. NOPE! She actually wanted me to take over a 9-month hostess club!!!! I was completely gobsmacked. This will allow me to actually start a proper SU business! I seriously am so excited. We did the first club this morning, and the ladies are soooo wonderful. I think I'm really going to enjoy it. And I already have some great ideas for projects coming up over the next few months. YAY!

On top of that, I've decided to take a year-long Ali Edwards class called "One Little Word". Ali has been doing this for a few years. She takes one word and creates a scrapbook around that word. Her class will help the thousands of us who signed up (not kidding: in the gallery of the class there are already over 400 pictures and we're only one week into the class!!!) create a scrapbook about how our "word" affects our life. Some people chose words that reflect what they want to accomplish this year, ways they want to change the paths of their lives, or things they hope to see more of in their life this year. I honestly felt like the word chose me. I had seen Ali post about this class for a month or two, but suddenly this week, after reading a blog post from her, I was overcome with a phenomenal desire to create a scrapbook around the word "create". One of my goals this year was to be more creative, actually try to do SU, get into my "craft room (aka: guest room/dump area) and DO something in there. And after reading Ali's post I felt like my brain was exploding with the word "create, create, CREATE!". I knew I had to choose that word...or rather, that it had chosen me. So check out Ali's blog HERE, and the class is over at Big Picture Classes. Its sooo expensive at 3 bucks a month, or 36 bucks total. She posts monthly videos, gives printable handouts, and PNG/PDF files we can use throughout. She also will do quarterly live chats (already missed the one in January, dang it), and has a message board where you can ask her questions. Plus a gallery to post all of the lovely things we create. :) So I'm excited to get started. Kinda got sidetracked this week, my 6-year-old printer finally bit the dust in the middle of me printing the January handout for Ali's class. This poor printer has been moved around quite a bit and actually survived a rather unfortunate wet experience when the military movers left it outside in Houston during Hurricane Ike. I'm surprised it has lasted this long! So I've upgraded to a nice purty HP Photosmart C310, and my biggest excitement is that it can print in 5x7 as well as 4x6...my old one couldn't do that. :)

A friend of mine also asked what Project Life was. Please check out Becky Higgins' blog HERE, she explains it all. You can also check out her specific page for Project Life HERE. Its currently all sold out on Amazon, but should have a new supply at the end of the month. Works out perfectly for me, its my Valentine's gift from the hubby. He said I could get a massage or Project Life...I figure I'll enjoy the yearlong scrapbooking experience a heck of a lot more than an hour massage. :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ugh. No time. AT.ALL.

Seriously, when did stay-at-home moms become so doggone busy?!?! I seriously don't understand how some moms with 3, 4, or more children can fit in crafting time. Granted, I do typically screw around on the Internet for an hour in the evenings after my son goes to bed...but how do SAHM's come up with these beautiful works of art that seem like they took forEVer to put together...and then post a blog that says the project was "whipped" together? Ummm, Jealous, party of 1? Yep, that's me.

I will say that Christmas I was at least partly crafty, as I made two fabric wreaths for both my mom and mother-in-law, created a photobook and three calendars in Picaboo, and attempted to get caught up on my Project Life book for 2010 (yeah, it would help if I didn't have to get "caught" up from May...oops). But, when you add everyone in this household getting a yucky virus, the holiday season, visiting family, and just the general chaos that exists, I have absolutely NO time to do anything. My 2010 Project Life stuff is sitting all nice and pretty in a beautiful wicker box on my dining room table, just begging to be touched...and I can't garner up the interest to do anything. I haven't even ordered the 2011 one yet, and seeing as how they sold out of the one I want, I'm guessing I won't get it ordered until the end of the month (better, since I really want to actually FINISH the first freakin' one).

In addition to my wonderful son throwing his terrible two tantrums, we are extremely busy. He has some delays, most of which he *should* grow out of, but they require a lot of tests, appointments, and therapy sessions. He has been seeing a physical therapist for the past year, and finally just started walking a few weeks before Christmas (yay! Great Christmas present!!). He has low muscle tone, and that made his ankles turn inward really severely, so he couldn't get good balance. He also had a large amount of fluid in both ears, and had to get tubes. The tubes helped with his balance as well. Cameron also isn't talking, and isn't really a verbal kid at all. I've been teaching him sign language, but finally the doctors got concerned and started requesting lots of specialized hearing tests to determine if there might be another condition. So far he's passed everything, but a big test is coming up at the end of the month to look at his "automated brain response", or ABR. This test basically shows whether or not the ear correctly sends information to the brain. If that test comes back negatively, then he'll have to get the cochlear implants. In the mean time, he sees two speech therapists each week to try and help him gain his speech. One has been pretty nonchalant the last few months, and I got irritated and started the process within my insurance to qualify for a second one. The second one IMMEDIATELY made progress with Cameron...which has actually lit a fire under the first one's tooshie...I think he's competitive. :)

So my week is basically made up of speech therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, random doctor/specialist appointments, and playdates. I'm active in my local MOPS chapter, and do the Creative Activities for it, and that sucks up a lot of time too. But Lord, I want to be crafty! I'm just so exhausted.

So I apologize for letting this blog go. Hopefully soon I'll be able to slap something together. I have a few friends who want to host Stampin' Up shows coming up in February (gotta get Sell-A-Bration stuff!!) so I guess I better figure out how to get my creative mojo back again. :)