Thursday, February 24, 2011

My regional swaps

Every now and again, I have a stroke of genius and am seriously proud of the work I do. I was sooooo proud of my two swaps I created for regionals. So excited to get the "oohs" and "aahs" I just knew everyone would bestow upon my genius. Well...that didn't exactly happen. I gave others a lot of oohs and aahs, but only a few in return. Oh well. I like them, I think I did a great job. {patting myself on the back}

Thank you card:
Stamps: Just Believe
Paper: Certainly Celery, Concord Crush, Very Vanilla
Ink: Concord Crush, Certainly Celery
Accessories: Dotted embossing folder, Big Shot, Concord Crush double stitched ribbon, rhinestones, sponge, ticket corner punch
Happy Birthday Card:
Stamps: (the birthday set in the occasions mini...I really need to brush up on my stampin' memorizations!)
Paper: Melon Mambo, Daffodil Delight, Very Vanilla
Ink: Basic Black, assorted markers
Accessories: embossing folder, Big Shot, Daffodil Delight pompom trim, Smooch Spritz, Daffodil Delight 5/8" grosgrain ribbon
For my next hostess club, we're doing at least one of these cards, but probably both. But before any of my gals think they know what's coming, already know that I've altered one of them. I like to change things up. :) So we'll see what I end up with by next weekend. :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happiness is a Stampin' Up Regional.

This past weekend I attended the Stampin' Up half day regional in Branson, MO. I've been very fortunate this year: in September the regional was in Ft. Worth, only 3.5 hours away, and Branson is about 5 hours away. Such a large chunk of my Stampin' Up history was in England, where I couldn't attend anything! So I'm so happy to be able to partake in some of these great experiences.

In a regional, you have a registration fee. In that fee, you receive a free stamp set, as well as a bunch of make-and-takes. You typically have to provide some of the materials to complete the projects (for these we had to bring the ink pads that were used, adhesive, dazzling diamonds glitter, and some shimmer mist, among some other random things like the stampamajig and stuff like that). Some time is spent learning new techniques, discussing business-boosters like recruiting and selling, and then "workshop wows" where local demonstrators get to come up and showcase something they created.

In the Ft. Worth regional, we had five projects and we finished them throughout the day. At the Branson regional, which is only 4 hours long, I felt like we actually had MORE make-and-takes to complete! So I had to finish the last one at home. Here they are, using the wonderful kit "Nature Walk" from the Occasions Mini Catalog.

The little folder above housed the four cards, all 3x3 size.
Close-up of the four cards. All used the decorative label punch, as well as seam binding (my first time fiddling with the seam binding!).

And last but not least, a BANNER! This is what took so long to finish. This banner is created using a die from the mini! Its a really cute banner and so creative.

So you could get the full effect, its hanging above my craft table now. I love how there are little things added to each piece. I will admit when I was getting all of my stuff together at the regional, I didn't realize I was missing some stuff in my bag. So I had to add some different elements to this once I got home that I didn't have. I somehow didn't have the correct number of brads needed, as well as a button we should have had. And I wasn't paying enough attention to notice that I should have used the mini flower punch to punch out some flowers for I used rhinestones and glimmer brads instead. At least I added the accents down the line!
The best part about this was learning a slightly new technique. I have to admit I don't fiddle with dazzling diamonds as much as I should. Now I know a great technique. Four of the circles have DD on the edges. Some have platinum shimmer mist, then glue, then DD. Two of them have Cherry Cobbler ink, then glue, and then DD. What I love about this is that the color below comes through the DD! Maybe this isn't news to some of you...but it was to me! I'll definitely be adding this to projects down the line. :)

And this is what my table looks like after finishing swaps, a regional project, getting SU orders, and just generally crafting. I love it. Means my mojo is going. So its awesome! :)

This was my first experience with regional swapping. I made about 40 cards (I think I was at 38 or 39). There were only about 100 attendees, so I'm guessing I hit about half of them for swaps. Some are awesome! Techniques I've never seen in person, great ideas for color combinations, unique ways to use stamps...that is why swaps are so wonderful! Some demos (including yours truly) put the entire ingredient list on the back of the card. Some only put their names. Some didn't even put its just a guessing game to see what they included on their card. You just have to love that. :)

That's all from here! Busy few weeks ahead, as I have a brunch to go to for a bunch of pregnant women that is appropriately called "baby bump brunch". Next week is my next hostess club, as well as a craft for my MOPS a zillion activities involving my son. A SAHM is never bored, that's for sure. :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Valentine

This is my valentine.

Yup, he seriously IS the cutest kid in the world. You might think yours wins...but nope. Mine is the cutest. He totally wins the award. :)
Cameron is now 28 months, or 2 years, 4 months. His delays have meant that he just started walking at 26 months, he still has difficulty with some gross/fine motor development things (utensils are a big issue right now: apparently they are too much fun showcasing aerodynamics than actually using them for food purposes), but he's catching up.
Unfortunately a sedated ABR test (automated brainstem response) showed that sound going into his ears isn't being transmitted to his brain properly. His official diagnosis as of this week is Auditory Neuropathy Dysynchrophy, part of the Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum (like the autisum spectrum: many different types of AN fall on the spectrum). Because of this we will be doing a trial run with hearing aides for 3 months, during which time he'll be observed and monitored. After that, if there isn't any change, we'll most likely have to get Cochlear Implants, which is a very invasive and intense procedure. I did research over the past few days that has literally made me sick. So I'm hoping that the hearing aides will work and that will just be the path we have to take. His audiologist and both of his speech therapists do not think that he will need the cochlear I'm hoping they are correct.
Now, to show a card! I created these mini-cards for valentines that Cameron gave to his buddies in my MOMS Club, as well as a few of the adults he works with (he has a few "teachers" in my MOPS group, as well as all of his therapists...and it just occurred to me that I forgot AGAIN to give them to his speech therapist today. Dangit!).

All Stampin' Up products used here. Dontcha just love this set? Its so cheerful and fun. And coloring the tree makes me relive my days in kindergarten...except I can color in the lines now. :) I obviously did a pink base for the girls and a blue base for the boys, and didn't really change anything else up. A few of the cards have Smooch used on them, because I wanted to see how they turned out. I didn't like that at all, so I switched it up and used Crystal Effects on the rest (only on the main hearts in the tree). I really like how they turned out, and it was really fun to create them!
Sets: Valentine Defined
Ink: Tempting Turquoise, Rose Red
Paper: Tempting Turquoise, Rose Red, Pretty in Pink
Accessories: Smooch, Crystal Effects, Ticket Corner Punch, Tempting Turquoise grosgrain ribbon, silver brads

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hostess club card #2

I meant to post this earlier, but its just been one of those weeks where you feel the need to chew off your own arm to escape. I'm seriously not kidding.

We got hit with another snowstorm, our second in 7 days. This is unheard of for Oklahoma! If it snows twice in 4 months, its considered unusual. So for us to get 12 inches one week, and then 8 inches the next...pretty amazing. Amazingly awful. Cabin fever, party of 1! Err, party of 3. Husband and hellion fit into this too.

Then yesterday, our "wonderful" dog, who I've had since he was 8 weeks old and is now almost 11 years old (which is old for a cocker spaniel) got really pissed at my son. So Sammy bit Cameron. In the lip. HARD. To see my child actually spitting blood was something I will unfortunately never forget. After getting the bleeding to stop and being able to look into his mouth, I saw a pretty large gash on the inside of his upper lip. So, snow be damned, we ventured off to Urgent Care to get checked out. Upon finally being seen by a doctor (and eww, it really sucks being in a waiting room with people spewing germs and debris in every direction when you are there for a non-flu/cold related injury! I could almost see the germs wafting our way...ugh) it was determined that Cameron might need stitches, but the doctor didn't feel comfortable doing them, she wanted an ER doctor at OU Children's Hospital to see him. So we then left to go to the hospital.

I should also mention that my wonderful child had been having blowouts all morning, and completely went through the entire stash of diapers and wipes in my diaper bag in about 15 minutes at Urgent Care. So we had a pit stop (ummm...pun intended) at CVS so I could stock up. Of course that meant the kid didn't go again for the rest of the day, but at least I was prepared.

At OU, we had to wait F.O.R.E.V.E.R. Yes, I get its an ER. But seriously we were the first people there, we had about 6 people behind us...and we waited for about an hour. Fortunately there were elevators right outside the ER doors, and Cameron was so damn intrigued with them. Pretty funny to have to catch him every time he would attempt to run into one. :) In any case, once the two ER doctors (I'm assuming one was a resident and one an attending...but I think I've been watching too much "Grey's Anatomy") who were seriously both younger than me said he was fine, and just needed to be on antibiotics. But, the entire debacle from the moment he was bitten until the moment I picked up his prescription at the pharmacy was 7 hours. Loooooong day. And, wouldn't you know it, the sucker woke up with a fever this morning and has been a mommy-clinging, fussy, whiny mess. Ugh.

So its not been the best week. The husband and I had a babysitter lined up to go to dinner tomorrow night for V-Day, but I'm thinking that won't be happening now. :( We haven't been on a proper date in ages, so I'm bummed. Next chance we'll have on a weekend will be sometime in March, how sad is that? The lives of busy parents, I guess.

So, on to the card! I can't take complete credit for this, I copied the idea from a blog called Expressive Designs. This gal is so creative it makes me a good way. :) Seriously, I want to make every single card she posts, she's extremely brilliant! I just love her color combinations. I've always been a monochromatic stamper, so I like using her blog as a jumping-off point to challenging myself on color combos.

Stamps: Growing Green, Word Play
Paper: Marina Mist, Pear Pizzazz, Very Vanilla, Cherry Cobbler
Ink: Concord Crush, Pear Pizzazz, Marina Mist, Cherry Cobbler
Accessories: Marina Mist ribbon, sponge dauber

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Thank You Triangle Trifold Card

Man alive.

Ever hear the expression "Be careful what you wish for?" Well all of Oklahoma is learning about that right now. When an entire state wishes for precipitation, in comes in the form of 3 inches of sleet, followed immediately by a foot of snow (and winds up to 50mph, meaning we have some wicked snow drifts!). Two days later, get another couple of inches of snow...and now we're getting a not-so-nice forecast of the potential for ANOTHER foot of snow in three days. Umm....yeah. I'm done with winter. D.O.N.E. And I will say that I follow a girl on Twitter who drove through Oklahoma yesterday to attend some sort of Super Bowl thing. Anyway, she posted on Twitter, "No offense, Oklahoma, but you don't know how to plow at ALL." I sent back a snotty tweet to her (umm, hello! I might not be from this state, but I live her! Don't mess with my backyard!!) that basically said, "what southern state is prepared to plow this type of mess? That is like saying Chicago is always 100% prepared for tornadoes." I was irritated. Our state has enough problems that our money goes to: I see no reason to waste tax dollars on millions of dollars of plow equipment, then pay people to man it...when we may or may not get snow that year. Our first year here, it snowed once in January and once at the end of March...neither of which required a lot of plowing (the first one was more ice and sleet than snow). Last year there were two instances, one of which was 14.5 inches of snowfall on Christmas Eve, the record snowfall for the OKC area EVER. A month later we received another hefty snowfall of 5 inches. Woo-freakin'-hoo. In any case, this week was the first time it has snowed all winter. The first week of February. We went through 3 months of snow season with no snow. Yet apparently the entire state is supposed to be plowed all the time? Ummm, no. Needless to say, her snotty tweet (and her lack of response to my tweet) have made me "unfollow" her on twitter. Ahhh. The joys of technology. Kinda like kindergarten friendships: "Meet my best friend Sally!"...two seconds later..."I'm not friends with you anymore. My best friend is Katie."...four seconds later and one crying child..."Come be friends with me again." :) Okay, off my soapbox now. On to the good stuff. :)

In any case, the yucky weather has allowed for me to be super crafty! I can't tell you the last time I've had an opportunity to be in my craft area for this long of a period. I had a hostess stamp club this morning, which required three projects for 9 women. I'm also attending the Stampin' Up regional conference in Branson in a few weeks, so I'm busy getting swaps ready for that. I've already started getting my projects for next month's stamp club organized...and I'm hastily trying to finish the 2010 Project Life book before my new kit arrives next week (I've ordered the Turquoise edition, which did you get??). Holy busyness. But I {heart} getting this creative. Its been a long time since I've been confident in my abilities as a crafter and Stampin' up demo. Its been awhile since I have had this great mojo going!

So, I'll be slowly posting to show you all of the goodies I've been working on over the past week or so. Here is one of the cards we did at the stamp club this morning. It is a "triangle trifold" card, which you can find a tutorial on Splitcoaststampers HERE. Its fairly easy to do , it just takes forever to score and cut everything when you're cutting for 9!

I wanted to use the DSP from the Occasions Mini to showcase that cardstock and DSP isn't necessarily holiday-specific. You can find ways to use things outside of their typical way. And I absolutely love how great the Daffodil Delight pops off the Real Red cardstock. But the best part? Was listening to my ladies put this card together and consistently mumble, "Oh I just LOVE this card!" :) Not only does it make me feel great as the demo and person who came up with the card, but it makes me so happy to know I created a card that they really liked and enjoyed putting together. And I think a few of them will definitely be popping the "Just Believe" set to the top of their list now. :)
Stamps: Just Believe, and an older wood set that I seriously cannot remember the name of, eek! But its still current, that much I can tell you. :) I'll add that detail in later.
Ink: Real Red, Daffodil Delight
Paper: Occasions Mini DSP (Lord Almighty, maybe I should write this stuff down...or maybe I shouldn't be doing a blog post from my bed at 2AM. Hmmm.), Real Red, Daffodil Delight, Very Vanilla
Accessories: Scallop Border Punch, Daffodil Delight 3/8" grosgrain ribbon, silver brads

Edited to add: the stamp set listed above as "older wood set" is called Full of Life. Page 152 in the main SU catalog. The paper listed as "Occasions Mini DSP" is called Speciality DSP. Page 7 of the Occasions Mini Catalog. Hey, at least I updated with the correct info...and its only midnight. Woohoo, go me! :)
So check back in a few days for the next new project! Hopefully not at 2AM...I'm the only goofball who needs to be up doing non-mandatory things like blog posts at this godforsaken hour. :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Joy of Love

In an effort to broaden my photographing horizons, I have signed up to take a month-long class called "The Joy of Love". And its FREE!! All you need is a camera and something to photograph. I've obviously chosen to focus on my son. February is looking to be a relatively rough month, medically, for Cameron. A lot of tests are going to be run to rule out anything that might be slowing down his development (at 28 months, aka 2 years, 4 months, he has just started walking, doesn't talk at all, and shows other signs that there might be an issue). So, he'll be sedated a few different times for tests, including an ABR test (to test how his brain comprehends sounds), and an MRI (following up on the one he had at 4 months of age, due to a "potential white brain matter abnormality" detected at a CT Scan when he was one week old), as well as a slew of blood tests to see if there is anything that is wrong chromosomally or genetically.

In any case, if you are interested in taking this class, hop on over to the Willette Designs blog and join up! The first "assignment" went out today. She'll be sending daily emails with assignments and stories.