Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Reunion Heart

For a double whammy, Color Challenge 164 and Try a New Technique Challenge 166, I decided to make some cards for a gathering tomorrow. For the past 13 weeks, I have participated in a Grief Share group. It has been an amazing help in working through the passing of some key people in my life. The women in my group have been such a great support system for me. There's something about being associated with people who know EXACTLY what you are going through. If you are suffering a loss, and are wanting a Scripture-centered (but not overly preachy) way to work through it, I strongly recommend going to the Grief Share website and checking out the program. I am at such a more positive place than I was a couple months ago.
The Two Way Open Card was the display I needed for the gifts I am giving the ladies in my group. Great instructions for this, provided by Beth (showmestamper), can be found here. I also have provided a close-up of the heart pendant and the inside of the card (sentiment purchased at Berean Bookstore). The back of the pendant is engraved with "God will wipe away your tears." They can either choose to keep it all together in this card, or remove the pendant and place it somewhere else.
I am so proud of my McGyver skills with this pendant. I had to make my own little "hoop" for this (I know there's a different name than "hoop," just can't think of it right now). I was at a loss, as I don't do much with wire and/or jewelry. Enter the paperclip... the crafter's salvation. I cut it, shaped it with pliers, and... voila... I had a hook up for the ribbon. I'm sitting a wee taller tonight.
The colors to be used were (SU!) Pure Pomegranate, Basic Black, and Soft Sky. I used the Paisley background stamp in Pure Pomegranate ink on Soft Sky paper... and I love the outcome. The black patterned paper (All My Memories) was also challenging as it was one sided! I simply used the triangle I had to cut off and adhered it to the white side. I inked the edge so no "unsightly white" would show. Again, I felt empowered! The wide, sheer ribbon really finishes it off nicely, I think.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Today's entry has nothing to do with cards or crafts. I wanted to stay up to document some recent obsessions.
First up: flip flops. Not just any flip flops... these stinkin' Nike flip flops of which I now own four pairs. They are so "flippin'" comfortable. It was freezing and even SNOWING today here in Central IL, and, by golly, I wore my new flip flops. That and I gave myself a stinkin' pedi yesterday and, with as long as that took, I would have walked through a foot of snow without caring. The flip flops will be on until someone tears them off of me.

Now, for something more cerebral. I have a current infatuation with House. That show filled the void that The West Wing left in my world. The dialogue is as well-timed as Gilmore Girls (another show I miss, sadly), the humor is outrageous, and the medical situations are engaging (at least to me). You come away thinking your brain was entertained via many dimensions. How crazy-talented is the cast, especially Hugh Laurie?!

The writer's strike has pissed me off. New episodes are very hard to come by (tonight's is DVRed waiting for tomorrow, I hope). However, it has given me the opportunity to watch some of the episodes I never saw.
One such episode was from 2006 entitled "Lines in the Sand." Absolutely fantastic partial soliloquy from Dr. House as he and Dr. Cameron discuss a ten-year-old patient with autism. I was so enamored with this writing that I transcribed it. So, here's to you, writers of House. We desperately miss your talents.
CAMERON: It's normal to want to be normal.
HOUSE: Spoken like a true "circle queen." See, skinny, socially-privileged white people get to draw this neat little circle. Everyone inside the circle is normal. Anyone outside the circle should be beaten, broken, and reset so they can be brought into the circle. Failing that, they should be institutionalized , or worse... pitied.
CAMERON: So, it's wrong to feel sorry for this little boy?
HOUSE: Why would you feel sorry for someone who gets to opt out of the inane courteous formalities which are utterly meaningless, insincere, and therefore, degrading? This kid doesn't have to pretend to be interested in your back pain or your excretions or your grandma's itchy place. Can you imagine how liberating it would be to live a life free of all the mind-numbing social niceties? I don't pity this kid. I envy him.
As a parent of a child with autism and another with extreme anxiety, I say, "AMEN, Dr. House!" Over and out.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Yet another sympathy card

This week's Featured Stamper, Michelle (sf9erfan), had some pretty great work in her gallery. I chose to case this one for a sympathy card I needed.

You know, I am pretty sick of cancer. With all the research we have done, there are some cancers that seem to still be automatic death sentences. Lung, pancreatic, stomach, bone, ovarian...just to name a few. We have come so far, but still people have to suffer horribly before dying of these. I understand that everyone has a time at which s/he is slated to "go." It's not really that which I am fighting in my mind. It is this: Why do very good people die very painful deaths? Could a little mercy be shown to them? Must they struggle for air as their families watch on? Oh well, you can probably tell it's 2 AM as I post this. I have been distressed ever since about 5 PM when I heard at church that a woman I knew had succumbed to lung and bone cancer. She was a wonderful, spiritual lady. She will be missed by her family, whom I am sure is glad that she is out of pain and on her way to heaven, while at the same time sad to let her go. This is the part of grief I don't understand... Why do some people endure what seems like torturous death and others die within the blink of an eye? I would like the latter, please.

Now, back to the card. Here are my specs:

Size: 4 1/8 x 5 1/2 inches
Paper: SU! Bravo Burgundy and Bordering Blue, Papertrey white, Tinkering Ink Yuletide
Stamps: SU! Hope for Comfort
Ink: SU! Always Artichoke
Ribbon: SU! Theater assortment
Brads: Spare Parts

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Changito Challenge

Today's Inspiration Challenge has a safari theme, so I knew exactly what I wanted to use: my new Changito Notes set from Archiver's. I have to say, I was wanting some Copics, but the SU! markers worked just fine, too. I decided to use some green Stickles on the sign and the U, but I ended up also "faux embellishing" with them. I like how he card turned out. So fun. And with this set, you can change the message. Very cool.

Size: 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches
Paper: SU! Perfect Plum, Ultrasmooth Vanilla, Going Grey, and Garden Green
Stamps: Changito Notes
Glitterati: Stickles
Ribbon: SEI

Friday, April 25, 2008

Just marvelous!

Today's Limited Supplies Challenge was to use scraps, and man, do I have scraps. I guess it's cheating to call this "limited." I just won't throw much of anything away.

I had very little idea of direction for this. The scraps were from various projects. The velvet paper was left over from an SEI accordian album I did at CKC St. Louis. You'll notice the idea I used was also from that album. I wish I could take full credit!

I have used the Prints Certainly Celery DSP for several projects, including my Snoopy card. So, there was plenty of that to go around. Certainly Celery cardstock also was readily available. The Bazzill cardstock in the background saw many a card, such as this one.

Size: 4 x 4 inches
Paper: SU! Certainly Celery, Prints DSP, Bazzill
Ribbon: leftovers from a QVC package and from an SEI project
Ink: SU! Chocolate Chip
Stamps: SU! Amazing to Zany

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sympathy for a Friend

My card today fulfilled the purposes of the SCS Ways to Use It Challenge. We were supposed to use scissors to snip. I cut out the three medallions on the bottom of the card, mounted them on DSP, and then cut them out again.

Unfortunately, I made this because I needed to use it. A friend lost her sister today. Those of us who work with and love her are going to need to sign the card, so I needed to make it from a full 8 1/2 x 11 piece of Bazzill textured cardstock. The rest just flowed. I do like how it came out. I hope it gives her comfort to know how many of us share her sadness and are praying for her family in its time of grief.

Size: 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches
Paper: Bazzill, SU! Baroque Background and So Saffron

Stamps: SU! Hope for Comfort and Baroque Motifs
Ink: SU! Almost Artichoke and Basic Black
Brads: Spare Parts
Ribbon: Wide brown sheer

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sketch Challenge 173

I cannot believe I stayed up and did this card. I will be soooo tired tomorrow. But, I am happy I did, because I really like it. I bought this American Crafts paper... I dunno... at Archiver's?... and I have been itching to use it. Tonight (ahem... this morning) was the time.

The sketch for this challenge is shown. Seems easy enough, but I really was stuck on some of my layering decisions. Didn't want to cover up my DSP too much.

Size: 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches

Paper: SU! Basic Black, Bazzill textured cardstock, American Crafts Sixth Avenue Little Italy

Ink: SU! Basic Black, Certainly Celery, Cranberry Crisp

Ribbon: Orinetal Trading sheer blue

Bling: Spare Parts Gemstones

Stamps: SU! Spring Garden, Amazing to Zany

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Secretaries' Day

Well, I started making these over a month ago. In fact, I was even going to post them for the Dirty Dozen Challenge on SCS when the focus was on office supplies.

Now, here I am, at the 11th hour {surprisingly} trying to finish the cards for our six secretaries {I know... not PC... I guess I am old school} for their big day tomorrow. I think the least I can do is thank them for putting up with me and the things I screw up.

I started by making the little manila files. I bought these ages ago, and I thought they were adorable! Then, I forgot about them, of course. I stamped their names in SU! Lovely Lilac, in honor of our school colors. Then, I put cute ribbon through multicolored paperclips. I had no idea where I wanted to go from there, so they sat on my craft table staring at me.

Finally, I saw tonight's SCS Color Challange and became inspired. I loved Certainly Celery, Chocolate Chip, and Pretty in Pink! So, here is my prototype. I have 5 more to make, so I better get going!

Size: 5 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches
Stamps: SU! Office Accoutrement, Making Memories Rummage Magnetic Stamp Alphabet, SU! Circle of Friendship
Ink: SU! Lovely Lilac, Certainly Celery, and Chocolate Chip
Paper: SU! Pretty in Pink, Chocolate Chip, Prints DSP in Certainly Celery, index card
Ribbon: SU! Chocolate Chip twill
Clip: Hodgepodge Hardware

Monday, April 21, 2008

RAK from Stampin' Annie

Look at this cool RAK I received today. Some of my stampin' buddies spent Friday making cards while I was at work. At least they were thinking of me. Thanks to Ann! I got a good chuckle out of it. Trust me, after thinking about Friday at work, I WISH I were stamping with you gals!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Weekend Sketch

I thought I would give Beate's weekend sketch a try instead of doing any of the things I need to do. Ah, sweet procrastination!

Her sketch is shown. My rendition is also shown. Yes, again, SEI is my choice. I should just invest in the company and get it over with. I can't believe I actually used Mauve Mist, though. I rarely pick it up, but it went really well with the SEI color combos. The picture truly does this card no justice.
Size: 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches
Paper: SEI Mulberry Melody (Ally's Wonderland), SU! Soft Sky and Mauve Mist
Ink: SU! Vintage Violet
Stamp: My Favorite Things Essential Sentiments
Embellishments: white sequins affixed with small Glue Dots; SU! Dimensionals
Punch: SU! Word Window
Ribbon: Oriental Trading sheer blue

Just Be

So, my husband's getting on my case about crafting right now. It seems that, in his mind, I can only do it when everyone's asleep and I am exhausted. Annoyed, I am ignoring him as he forget the release it gives me.

Hence, this DH inspiration. The Featured Stamper for this week is sparklegirl (Silke in real life). I decided to CASE her Kind Thoughts card. Loved the color combo and her layout.
Now, for the rest of today, perhaps I can "just be" without anyone getting on my case.

Enjoy! We have gorgeous weather here.
Size: 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches
Paper: (All SU!) Afternoon Tea, Close to Cocoa, Ultrasmooth White
Stamps: (SU!) Time for You, Little Layers Plus
Stickers: (American Crafts) Sweater Felt Thickers
Brads: SU! Styled Silver Hodgepodge Hardware
Ribbon: White Grosgrain
Colors: SU! Basic Black, Close to Cocoa inks and watercolor pencils; Sakura Gelly Roll
Other: Dimensionals

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Inspiring Fabric

For SCS Inspiration Challenge 124 participants were asked to consider Heather Bailey's Fresh Cut Fabrics. I used this one as my inspiration.

I tried to reach for patterned paper that I had in my scraps. I remembered Scrapbook Walls Courtyard Flowers. The colors of Heather's pattern were reminscent of this pattern by Chatterbox, and the pattern even had the look of fabric. I decided also to stick with the quilt idea. I simply checkerboxed my Chatterbox. :)

I decided velvet ribbon and brads were the way to go, so I finished it off with that and some faux stitching.
Size: 5 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches
Stamps: Expressive Flexible Phrases (SU!), Stitches (The Paper Studio)
Brads: Spare Parts
Ribbon: Orinetal Trading
Paper: Chatterbox Courtyard Flowers, SU! Almost Artichoke and Close to Cocoa
Ink: SU! Close to Cocoa

My Oasis - A Story

About a year ago, my craft was designated to a poorly-lit, damp part of our basement. It was there that I thought I could craft alone in peace.

There were some flaws in this plan.

1. Cardstock and patterned paper do not like basements. The moisture, no matter how "dry" a basement seems, messes with the paper (such technical terms!).
2. Basements are spooky when you work in the wee hours. I love the wee hours. "Wee" = creativity.

3. Lighting in our basement consisted of one fluorescent lamp dangling above my head. There was virtually no natural light to be had.

4. The furnace was my neighbor. Furnaces are loud.

So, as we revamped our basement, my husband decided to make a home theater room in the basement (it rocks). That took the items from our loft and moved them elsewhere. We decided the loft would be PERFECT for a crafting area. I would still be "around" and not in exile. The kids could visit any old time. My paper would rejoice!

From my loft, you can see out a large window all the way down the subdivision. You can also oversee the living room, which has large windows that view the back yard. It is definitely an oasis for me. These four walls have witnessed a lot in the last year. It has served as my therapy through a bout of depression and grief.

It was around the time that we started making purchases that I made a KEY purchase: The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker by Wendy Smedley and Aby Garvey. You may remember my blog entry that discussed my St. Louis meeting of them. The workbook included in that book is terrific. You read the chapter and then the workbook allows for you to reflect on your own personal style. I realized that I wanted a room that was cozy. My husband and I both wanted my supplies to be mainly unseen. Looking at the gorgeous rooms included in this book, we decided some sort of shelving or cabinetry was needed. At the moment, I had my stuff in plastic containers and on slabs of wood. More like a handyman's workshop that a stamper's.

So we hemmed and hawed for a bit. We priced nice cabinets. They were so expensive, and none of them seemed to give us everything we wanted. So, I finally decided to order Stackables from The Best Craft Organizer. I cannot believe how much of my stuff fits in these! I got to inventory my stamp sets (over 100... I'm a little obsessed). I also bought an ink holder from them, and an additional one from Stampin' Up!

So I would not craft alone, we purchased a big, cushy chair and ottoman in chocolate faux suede. I sometimes sink in and read Simple Scrapbooks (shameless plug, Wendy), e-mail, or search Splitcoaststampers.com. We also purchased a large, black, metal cabinet. I realized just recently that using the power of magnets would help hide some of my embellishments. The way I have them organized now, I can really get a good idea of what I have as I create. I also decided to use that as a way of storing my new Basic Grey magnetic self-healing mat. Next to the cabinet, I store some wrapping paper and my boxes with cards.

We decided on black modular cubes from Target.com (not in our stores... they only have white and espresso). We purchased not only open cubes, but also a few closed ones. I like the variety and the flexibility of the cubes. I definitely could use a couple more!

I already had one large laminate table that I purchased at Office Depot. I purchased a second, smaller one at Staples. I realized that my laptop and printer were taking up too much workspace, so I wrapped the tables around the corner of the room.
I was a bit intimidated to post photos of my room, because I am always working on something. Since I am a teacher, there is also usually teaching stuff strewn about, although I am trying to get better about leaving that at school. So the photos I have taken of the room are somewhat idea, right? To get the ideal, I moved reality down the hall.
This was an AWESOME idea, although I am looking at it and getting a headache. Now all the things that I need a solution to are in the hall ready to be sorted out. A lot will go to my yard sale in May. For some of it, I need to come up with a new plan. I am not a fan of plastic containers in a room like this, but I can't seem to get away from them. Some things, like non-rolled gift wrap, take up a lot of space (see the green plastic bin under my table). They are also not very eye-friendly. My school stuff right now is in a bin, too, but I think that stuff is going to make a trip to my classroom. I got rid of a huge, white plastic embellishment sorter by hanging much of my embellishments inside the cabinet.

Here is a list of some of the things that I will sort out at some point this year. Keep your eyes peeled for more posts.

1. I want to showcase my work. Since a lot of the tops of my shelving serve as storage for tools and/or inks, I am looking to the walls.

2. I have some portraits that need to be reconfigured on the walls as well. I love to be surrounded by pictures.

3. Do I need a bulletin board? Will I keep it organized? Will it end up as an eyesore?

4. I need a place to organize and store bills (I have been piling them on my desk).

5. I somewhat share this space with our new business, Rent A Tech (yet another shameless plug). Right now, Rent A Tech has a small file box under our desk. It will need more. Do I move it completely out of this room? Our basement has potential for that.

Those are my thoughts for now. If you have any ideas, feel free to comment!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Smile though your heart is aching...

At first, I looked at today's SCS Try a New Technique Challenge and thought, "No, thank you." I was wondering what, exactly, was the purpose of a "Double Pocket Card?" Then I decided that seeing it "in person" was worth a try. I am so glad I did! I love this card, and it took shape as I created it. I know exactly who will be receiving this, too.

If you have followed my blog, you have realized that I have an obsession with SEI. You could call it a "phase." I just really love their stuff. So, I reached for Ally's Wonderland, and off I went. For the pocket parts of the card, I used a sheet of Morning Glory. For the "sentiment markers," I used Tea Time Tulips on the backs and Dragonfly on the fronts. For the circle tabe on the tops of the sentiment markers, I used the stickers that came with the Ally's Wonderland assortment pack.

This was also a new technique for me in that I used the iron-on velvet transfers that came with this set. Now, I am additionally hooked. They went on great and they look fabulous.

From the moment I ironed on the word "smile," the Nat King Cole song would not leave my head. So, I thought, what the heck? I have a friend who had some bad news about her dad today, and I thought maybe these lyrics and the card would help cheer her up.

For a great tutorial, please see this blog. Judy does a great job explaining the very simple process of creating the Double Pocket Card.

And now, for all the lyrics, because... hey... it's my blog...

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, whats the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, whats the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Featured Stamper 62

The SCS Featured Stamper for this week is Kharmagirl, aka Jodi. Dunno if you could call what I did a CASE, more of an inspiration piece, I guess. The biggest challenge was getting a good photo of this. It was not very cooperative. Once the window was cut, the card, of course, did not want to stay closed. Below is her card that I am CASE-ing. What, you may wonder, makes this a CASE? Well, I saw she had used the stamp "kissing" technique, so I had a desire to use my Paisley background stamp (again). I do not have very many larger stamps with a lot of surface inking area, so I chose smaller circles from SU! Fun with Shapes. They turned out great. I decided to pop a few of them out, as her button pops from her flower. She has a little cit window where "blessed, sweet, and loved" are stamped, so I thought I would use that, too. My sentiment is from SU! Many Thanks. Went a little crazy on my "distressing"... it distresses me. Then I decided to carry a line of brads all the way across. I really like that element. This was inspired by her two eyelets. Her stitching (or faux stitching?) inspired my paper piercing. Alas, my distressing makes that hard to see in the photo. I used some SU! Chocolate Chip twill to keep the card closed. Also, I chose for my main images to be on the left, like hers. I chose a thinner ribbon because, as you can see in her gallery, she mainly chooses thinner ribbons as an embellishment.

Jodi's gallery is cool. I like to go back to the Featured Stampers' first posts and see how they have grown. She has blossomed since she started not so long ago.

Size: 4 3/4 x 6 1/2 inches

Ink: SU! Chocolate Chip
Stamps: SU! Many Thanks, Fun with Shapes, and Paisley
Techniques: Paper piercing, square window, distressing
Ribbon: SU! Chocolate Chip twill
Brads: Spare Parts
Paper: Bazzill textured cardstock; SU! Ultrasmooth vanilla

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Something is Seriously Wrong with People

The SCS Inspiration Challenge was funny and disturbing at the same time. We were to be inspired by cow figurines. Toni's Collectibles in CA had a site with quite a few of the cow figurines. I decided to be "inspired" by Meditating Cow. I had not yet used my "Serenity Now" stamp set from My Favorite Things, and I saw this as the perfect opportnity.

This card went through many transformations. I went through a period of adhereing and "unadhereing." I did some serious paper piecing (thanks to Karen for that idea). I was coveting some Copics. I used my SU! watercolor pencils and the aquapainter. The background was YICK! So, I cut our yoga enthusiast and her mat out and layered them over the image stamped on white.

Now, back to the cow thing... I guess since we are surrounded by cows in Illinois, I have to wonder how this began? Was it after a night of senseless drunken cow tipping? Are there people that actually dress their cows the way they dress their ceramic geese or their dogs? I am humored and frighthened simultaneously.

Here is the list of top ten cows that made me laugh until I peed my pants:

Cookies and Cream
Corn on the Cow
Cowctus (something definitely wrong with this one)
Got Spots? (this bovine needs to be put out of its misery)
Hula Cow
Lollipop Muchkin Cow ("We represent the strangley dressed cows...")
Miss Udderlee Delishess (shout out to Hershey)
Rock 'N Roll Cow (Thank you... thank you very much)
Udderly Witched Cow

Which is your favorite?

Size: 5 3/4 x 4 1/4 inches
Paper: SU! Basic Black and Ultrasmooth White, Bazzill textured gray, Classic Black Fresh Cut Grass (Luxe Designs)
Stamps: Serenity Now (My Favorite Things)
Brads: Spare Parts

Friday, April 11, 2008


Today's SCS Limited Supply Challenge asked submitters to create their own designer paper element... no patterned paper allowed. I thought it was a great time to use my faux shaving cream flower. I had made it a while back and was waiting for the perfect challenge. Beate's tutorial tells all about this technique.

The hardest part of the whole thing was getting a good picture at night. I played with my little Cool Pix for quite some time. So much yellow... not much white balance range. Yeesh.

My DIY was the pattern on the petals as well as the stamped background. The center of my flower was created with a little metal mesh applicator I bought forever ago.

Size: 4 1/2 x 5 3/4 inches
Paper: SU! Chocolate Chip and Ultrasmooth Vanilla
Stamps: SU! Pick a Petal, Paisley, and Amazing to Zany
Inks: SU! Baroque Burgundy and Almost Artichoke
Hardware: SU! Hodgepodge Hardware

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Eyelet Scallop

Today's SCS Ways to Use It challenge called for us to use eyelets in some way. I love eyelets and brads... they are some of my favorite embellishments. So this was soooo not a chore.

I recently purchased the Bazzill In Stitch'z Granny Stitches template. It's more for needlework than eyelet setting, but it helped a lot. First, I paper pierced holes with the template. Then, using my a Crop-A-Dile, I punched 1/8" holes and set my white eyelets. Loved the way that turned out.

I chose some Basic Grey Archaic patterned paper. Then I used my Celebrate Life Technique Tuesday set. Half of the proceeds of this set went to the Susan Komen Cancer Foundation. I gotta love that company for their philanthropy. I also bought their set benefitting Autism Speaks. They simply rock.

I inked the edges to try to give a distressed look all around. Pretty cool how it turned out.

Size: 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches
Paper: Basic Grey Archaic, SU! Mellow Moss
Ink: SU! Chocolate Chip
Eyelets: Making Memories
Ribbon: SEI

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Velvet Strikes Again

Well, in seeing Karen's card for Melissa, I realized that I had not sent her a card welcoming her beautiful baby girl into the world. I know, I am lame.

Inspired by Karen's gorgeous pink card, and inspired by the flippin' awesome pink velvet I just bought from SEI, I decided pink and brown would win again. I LOVE the simplicity of this card. I love how sleek it is. I kept looking at it thinking it needed more elements, but something in my head screamed, "ENOUGH!" So, here it is. And tomorrow, Melissa's lame friend shall mail her card!

Size: 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches

Paper: SU! Pretty in Pink, SEI pink and chocolate velvet paper, SU! Ultrasmooth White

Brads: The Paper Studio

Stamp: Fine Print (SU!)

Ink: SU! Chocolate Chip and Real Red; white gel pen

Technique: Paper Piecing

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Velvety Fun

Well, of course I am going to have to use my new velvet paper! Sketch Challenge 171 was just the ticket. It seemed simple enough (see sketch): use a "lopsided" oval as your main shape. Finding an image that would accentuate that was another story. Enter the Stampin' Up! Rub-Ons from Sale-A-Bration. I love these rub-ons. They are so versatile. AND you can use rub-ons on velvet. How cool is that?
I decided to use the SU! Styled Silver Hodgepodge Hardware. At first, I was afraid the brads were too big, then I thought of the ribbon treatment. Once they served a purpose in addition to decoration, they took on a new life on the card. I also busted out the Cricut for the ovals (George cartridge). Worked wonderfully with the SEI velvet paper. You may also notice the Cuttle bug embossing, again on velvet. I think I am in love with this card!

Size: 5 1/2 x 4 3/4 inches
Paper: SEI Velvet Paper; SU! Chocolate Chip
Image: SU! Rub-Ons
Brads: SU! Styled Silver Hodgepodge Hardware
Ribbon: Sheer White from Michaels

Color Challenge 161

The SCS Color Challenge today used some very basic, bold colors: Night of Navy, Glorious Green, and Real Red. Going through my patterned paper, I noticed some paper that I purchased a while ago (I have no idea where). It is from The Freedom Collection by Reminisce and it is called American Girl. You cannot see on the photo, but it has a lovely metallic sheen to it. So, that was my red and blue. I added green as a background color, tying it in with the brads, ribbon, and ink. I really like how this turned out.

Size: 5 1/8 x 4 1/4 inches
Paper: SU! Glorious Green, Night of Navy, and Ultrasmooth White, Reminisce American Girl
Stamp: SU! For a Friend
Brads: Magic Scraps
Thread: Dunno... bought it at Christmas

Monday, April 7, 2008

Dill Blossom Double Challenge

Well, I am back in the challenge circuit. So sorry to have missed Virtual Stamp Night/Weekend. I was in St. Louis being crafty (see my entries from April 6). I decided to try a double challenge today with some of my new stash.
New on the cutting board: Dill Blossom patterned paper by SEI. The inspiration challenge for this week made me think of the new patterned paper I purchased, so I chose the one with the most similar color/design scheme (in my mind, anyway). The technique challenge was to use a stacked ribbon technique in a card. I am not 100% on the ribbon totally meshing with this card, but I thought I would step outside of my box.
I got to use my new linen assortment from SEI as well. I love it! I guess they would consider it the olive green color.

As for Stampin' Up!, I used More Mustard cardtsock and ink as well as Old Olive ink. My sentiment is from the Full of Life stamp set. My yarn is from... my yarn stash. I impulse buy, so I am not really certain. This is your typical 5.5 x 4.25 inches card.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Excited is not a strong enough word...

Well, at the very end of my CKC experience, I saw Wendy Smedley, creative editor of Simple Scrapbooks. I brought The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker, as I knew she was scheduled to be in St. Louis, but I did not know if I would see her for an autograph. I passed her in the lobby, and, well, let's just say it wasn't one of my best verbal responses. But she was so gracious and understanding that my tongue was twisted around my head! She said Aby Garvey, the co-author of the book, would be at her class at 3:10, which was right next door to the SEI class I was taking. She suggested I stop by with the book.
I did so. The two of them were so kind to sign my book and get a picture taken with me (love the glasses, eh? I was so wiped out by then!). Wendy asked if I would send her a picture of my craft room, after I gushed about how helpful the book was. Well, needless to say, right now there will be no photographs, as it looks like a craft store exploded in here. However, after I sift through the mess of CKC purchases, I will, most definitely, send her a picture. SOOOOO cool.

CKC St. Louis Lowdown

{Yawn!} I am pooped! We attended the Creating Keepsakes Convention in St. Louis this weekend. When Karen and I went to Kansas City, we went for about four days. We LOVED the time we spent there. This time around, we were so excited to have some of our craft buddies with us. We were not able to have an extended trip this time. It was still a great time. Here's a rundown:

Friday night: We checked in at the hotel and decided that we will take the Plato "Cadillac" Minivan to Archiver's in Fairview Heights before we ate, as we do not have an Archiver's close to us in Bloomington-Normal, and several of our posse had never been to an Archiver's. My purchases included:

~Stampendous Perfectly Clear Stamps Changito Notes (those cute little monkeys!)
~Making Memories Animal Crackers 30 Felt Shaped Buttons - Jack
~Inkadinkadoo Small and Medium Acrylic Blocks
~American Crafts Jewelry Box Brown Chipboard Thickers
~American Crafts Daiquiri Brown Vinyl Thickers
~K & Company Boy Scouts Flat Paper
~KI Memories Pop Culture Die Cut - Flower Child Socialite
~KI Memories Pop Culture Die Cut - Hangman Navy
~KI Memories Pop Culture Die Cut - Hangman Old Flame
~Reminisce Self-Adhensive Die Cut Stickers - The Freedom Collection
We then ate at Smokey Bones in Collinsville, IL. Yummy, and some of the hardest laughing I have done in a long time. :) Finally, we went to the hotel to catch some zzzzzzzs.
Saturday: Karen and I needed to be "crack o' dawn" people, as I had an 8:30 class and she started volunteering and reported at 7:45. After a continental breakfast, I headed out to my first class, hosted by the best company on the planet as far as I am concerned: SEI. This class focused on velvet paper techniques. I made the accordian album (both sides shown) in a one-hour class. In the class we used rub-ons, dry embossed, and inked velvet. I really had never known it could be such a versatile product.
SEI is one of the most generous companies at the CKC events. You come out of their classes with a TON more than $21 would ever have covered retail. And that, my friends, is smart business based on what I then went to their booth and bought. The other really great thing is, with their kits especially, you have pieces that are precut and they give you possible layouts. Here are some of the selections I bought from the SEI booth (shown in the picture):

~12 x 12 velvet paper - Gerti Flower, Brown Stripe, Chocolate, and Clover
~Dill Blossom Paper Stacks - 8 x 8 and 4.5 x 6.5
~6 x 12 Velvet Assortment Packs - Romance and Neutral Collections
~6 x 12 Linen Assortment Packs - Organic Collection
~Ally's Wonderland Assortment Pack
~Accordian Envelopes Pack (previously a Club SEI kit)
After the SEI class, I hit the Vendor Fair. HOLY MOLY, were there a lot of people there! Whew! That didn't stop me from shopping, though. I visited Embellish It!, which was one of my favs in KC. They sell tons of Basic Grey. Pictured in the photo are my buys (all Basic Grey unless otherwise specified):
~6 x 6 Archaic Paper Pad
~Colored buttons
~Undressed Chipboard - Wilma
~Mini Monogram Stickers - Sugared (fit with Wilma chipboard)
~Family Chipboard Album
~Magnetic Precision Mat
~A generous bonus kit
~Bazzill In Stitch'z Granny Stitches Templates

I also had to visit the always-busy Technique Tuesday booth. Such great product! I bought:
~Fundamentals of Love Technique Tiles (not shown)
~Celebrate Life Clear Stamp Set (50% of proceeds go to Susan Komen Foundation)
~Textile Circles, Scallops, and Squares
~Free gifts: Twill ribbon and Stickles four pack

By then, it was time to head off to my next class presented by Scrapbooks 'N Stickers, entitled "My Heart Belongs to Daddy." We began an accordion album, and I am hoping to complete it for Scott for Father's Day (maybe this year... gotta get some photos of him, too!). I really liked the paper assortment they chose for the project. I sat next to some fun people, and the volunteer was none other than... Karen! Crazy coincidence!
After that class, we decided to have show and tell at the hotel lobby and then we went to eat at Zapata's. We returned for a very quick run to the Vendor Fair, where I bought a T-shirt and some folders for a small album. I cannot remember the name of the booth, and, since some vendors were assigned to the lobby but not on the map, I am unable to check with anything at the moment. I have bought from them before, and I do love their product. I also subscribed to Paper Crafts magazine and extended my subscription to Simple Scrapbooks. What a sucker!

Our last venture of the day was another SEI Class about album techniques. This was taught by their owner. Instead of using the paper mats in the kit, the company replaced them with linen paper mats. We used the Dill Blossom kit. I am not finished yet, but I love what we have done so far. I had a VERY special enconter after the SEI class. That must have its own blog entry. Let's just say, it made me very tingly!
We stopped in Springfield for a bite to eat at The Pasta House Co., and then we arrived at home... pooped! But a really great tired, you know?