Monday, June 30, 2008

The end has come....

The end of the Stampin' Up! year, that is. It is weird this year. Because of the new catalog schedule, it doesn't 'feel' like the end of the year, but it is. Tomorrow is a whole new year. We should have a party! LOL Not really. But it is time to re-evaluate my business and set some new goals. I am a firm believer in goals. You aren't going to get anywhere if you don't have a destination in mind. So, this year, I plan to do a bit more with the Stampin' world and build my business back up. I've let it slip just a bit because other things in my life were more important, like,... homeschooling three teenagers! We still don't know what they are going to do in the fall, but I feel like I can handle it a bit better now with some experience under my belt. ( hahahaha!!)
Anyway, in honor the the end of the SU year and the upcoming new catalog, I am featuring a card made with a soon to be retired set, Just Like You. This was our Ronald McDonald House set this year and, I really liked it! In the past, our RMHC sets were small and not totally something I 'wanted', but more...something I felt I had to buy to be supportive. This set I really did like and I really did/do use! I will be sad to see it go but excited to see what our new set looks like.
Supplies: Purely Pomegranate, pretty in pink and whisper white cardstock
Summer Picnic designer paper, celery ink and grosgrain, 3-flower punch, scallop punch, Olive mini brads, one really large pink brad from American Crafts, clear stickles.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Beginning of Leaves...

As I said yesterday, I want to show you where I got those tiny leaves from my frame. There were actual leaves in the chipboard kit, but they were a bit too big for the small flower I had on there. I dug through my chipboard and found these cute tags that had punched out flowers. Perfect for tiny leaves! It can be messy inking up chipboard in general but inking up something this small is a guaranteed challenge! The way I did it was to ink the petals up before I punched them out. I'm sure I am not the first to come up with this idea, but I'm glad I thought of it before I had full on green hands! Since I was inking up the 'flower', I decided to ink up the whole tag and make something out it as well. I pulled out a Cuttlebug embossing folder I had purchased a while ago ( and not used!) and decided to use it. Instead of cutting down a piece of cardstock to put in the folder, I just folded my card around the folder and ran the whole card through the bug. The folder is called Distressed Stripes and has a lot of potential. I may have to play with it again tomorrow. For this card, I used Old Olive cardstock and then sponged the stripes with Old Olive ink to enhance them. The focal point is my tag, inked with Old Olive craft ink, with a piece of pumpkin pie cardstock glued to the back under the flower. I added a Fire Rhinestone to the center using my Cropadile, and a greeting using a rubon. I wanted the focal point to stand out a bit so I inked the edges with a white craft pad. I used my hobby blade to cut a slit on the fold of the card and fed some white tafetta ribbon through. I rounded the corners of the card to mimic the focal point and sponged all the edges with more olive ink. It is a fairly simple card but I was really happy with it! I have TONS of chipboard so..I better start using it more!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Day of Accomplishments!

Do you ever get to the end of the day and look back in amazement at all that you did? I'm sure we all do that. Today was one of those days. I got up early and did some baking and laundry. Then I checked out all the blogger challenge cards from yesterday ( awesome stuff!) . While Sarah had her piano lesson (8:30 am) I painted the last wall in the girl's bedroom and then helped clean the big boys room. I made cookies, finished the decorating in the girl's room, did more laundry, and the best part....welcomed my Trekkers home! They were dirty and somewhat tired, but safe and sound and home at last! Maegan ran straight to the bathroom and took a shower so I didn't get to capture an 'after trek' picture, but that's okay. They both had a wonderful time and seem a bit changed. Jared especially. I'm so glad they were able to go!
I went to WalMart (what day is complete without that?), got gas, saw WALL-E (again) , watch Camp Rock (yes, I'm a disney movie junkie) and then even had time to make this cute frame after the kids went to bed.
I started with a plain jane craft frame from...Target I think. Most likely the $1 aisle. Here is how it looked before I got to it. I don't know about you, but I am a collector of 'items I am sure would be great for crafts'. And, I usually buy more than one. "Just in case I mess up the first one or I love it so much I need more than one." Please tell me I'm not the only one! So, the point is, I have several of these. It was pretty easy to put together...(over looking the fact that I somehow always end up with my fingers almost glued together when doing stuff like this) I used Liquid Tombow to adhere some Summer picnic designer paper from Stampin' Up! to the frame. I already had some strips cut that were left over from my stamp a stack a few weeks back. They were just a hair short on the long side so I put a strip of Celery Twill where the gap was. I pulled out my chipboard blossoms and inked them up using Bashful blue, real red, and old olive. I love how the Craft ink looks on chipboard. It is so dark and rich. Very cool! I glued the chipboard pieces on with Tombow and used dimensionals for the big flower center to give it a bit more depth. The saying inside the frame is from a retired Stampin' Up! set that I really like. If you look close you can see tiny little leaves by the flower on the left side....check back tomorrow to see where I got those from!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Can you resist??

Today is Friday and time for another Blogger's challenge! This week we were to use any resist technique. I know there are tons of techniques out there, but I decided to use a quick and easy one for my challenge. Keep it simple, right? I was up late last night because, well, because it is summer and I can't seem to get the kiddies in bed before eleven these days. At least they sleep in! anyway, I went into my office late last night so I could make my resist card and be on time this morning. I did make a card, but I really wasn't pleased with it. So, instead of being on time, I went to bed and got up and made not one, but two new cards. I'm much happier with these two. (See what some sleep can do?!)
Both my cards use the "stamp with Versamark onto glossy paper and brayer over it" resist technique. For the first one I used the Heartfelt Thanks stamp set. I brayered over my Versamarked images with Not quite Navy and then stamped the flowers again with Not Quite Navy over the brayered ink The floating words are from Stem Sayings, stamped in Black. To emphasize the white flowers, I used a basic white card base and white tafetta ribbon. I just HAD to add a bit of shimmer, so I touched up the flowers with a bit of clear stickles. I didn't use dry glitter for this because the glossy paper can really grab ahold of glitter and I didn't want to mess with that.
My second card is the same technique, this time using Garden Green ink to brayer over the Vmark images. I stamped the lion from Wild About You onto whisper white cardstock twice, once with more mustard and once with pumpkin pie. I used my paper snips to cut out the pumpkin lions head and then used a dimensional to stick it over my mustard lion. I mounted the lion onto pumpkin pie cardstock and then sponged the edges with pumpkin pie ink. I mounted it first because I wanted a real shallow, soft sponging on the edges. (also because I didn't think of it til I got it mounted and it looked so...cold!) Natural linen thread is wrapped around the cards middle and tied with a simple bow. I stamped Wild About You with basic black ink and then mounted it all onto some mustard cardstock. I think this one is my favorite. Which one do you like best?
Be sure to check out the other blogger challenge gals by clicking on the link to the left. Have a super Friday!! My goal today is to get my daughter's room painted. She comes home tomorrow and I want to surprise her. Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Liberty Belle and Must have items!!

No, it isn't a mis print. I really mean Belle! I did this page in honor of my good friend Katie. She is an amazing woman. I thought the little play on words was kind of fun. We did a version of this layout at my stamp a stack and scrap night earlier this month. I had four photo spots on the right page at the class. When I went to add my photos later, I found that the photo spots I had planned did not really accomidate the photos I wanted to use. Usually, when all is right and the planets are all in alignment, I scrapbook using Dotto repositionable adhesive. I LOVE that stuff! But, alas, when I put this page together, I did not have any Dotto so I used Snail adhesive. The good news is, that awesome snail adhesive took a strong hold on my papers and I had a heck of a time getting them apart. The good news? Snail is an awesome adhesive if you don't want things falling apart! When I 'ripped' the layers apart, I was left with some nice little blue...let's call them paper skins, left on my page. I pulled out my Scrapbooker helper from Un Do and used that first. This stuff is great! You can squirt the liquid onto your paper, pictures, anything, and it neutralizes the adhesive long enough for you to get it off.Then, when it dries, it gets sticky again. It doesn't discolor you paper or hurt photos at all. Yes, it is magic! Anyway, that did do pretty good at getting the paper skin off, but what I found worked just as well on the tiny little bits was the good old adhesive remover eraser from Stampin' Up! I was able to get all traces of my first photo mats off the page with no damage whatsoever! I was just so excited!! I was able to rearrange my elements, put down new pictures and journal with out having to redo the whole page. So, if you don't have the adhesive remover and the undo remover...your life just isn't complete!!
All materials for the pages are from Stampin' Up! I used mellow moss paper and ink with Western Sky designer paper for the top strips. The blue paper and ribbon are both Blue Bayou, an 'in color' that will be retiring the end of July. Get it while you can! The star and heart are inked with rose red and mellow moss craft ink and the Baroque motif swirls and "Liberty bell" are stamped with mellow moss craft ink.
Today was actually a really busy day! I had to get up early to take my oldest two to the start of their pioneer trek. They will be traveling pioneer style across a fairly large area of Florida wilderness, complete with handcarts and pioneer costumes. Can you tell which one is excited to be going and which one would prefer to bury their head in the sand or run home? Ah, the days of a teenager when everything was so "huge!" Now, it's just me that is huge. ha ha. Not funny.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cropped out

Well, the crop yesterday went wonderfully! What a great bunch of ladies we had there! Crafters of all ages an levels. We got loads done and had a great time together. I was too pooped to take pictures of the projects when we were done, but here is a picture of me and my good friend Katie in the heat of the crop.
Although I didn't get much of my own scrappin done during the day, I've been inspired by these crafty ladies and I plan to do some this week. I'll be sure to share what I do when I get some done.
Have a happy day!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Manly Friday

This week our bloggers challenge was to make a Manly card. I think it is a pretty common thought that manly cards are difficult. Am I right? I know I usually have to stop and think before I jump into making a card for a man or boy. Girls are easy Ribbons, glitter, flowers,.... etc. Manly cards don't really need any of those things. I looked through my stamps and pulled out two sets I thought were on the manly side. Lovely as a tree is one of my favorite sets of all time. It works for just about everything! My second choice was the Wanted set. What could be more manly than a horse?
This first card came together surprisingly fast. I started with a Chocolate chip card base measuring 5-1/4" square. I added a square of Really Rust and a black mini brad in each corner. For the focal point, I stamped the row of trees with Black Stazon onto Vanilla cardstock. I punched each corner with the ticket punch to make room for the mini brads on the rust. I spritzed the trees with a water spritzer and then used the aquapainter to pick up ink from Really Rust, Pumpkin pie, and Summer Sun stamp pads. I quickly brushed the inks onto the wet cardstock and smeared them together. Because I was using Vanilla cardstock, I didn't want to get the paper too wet or it would start to bead up. I set this aside and let it dry for a minute while I stamped my "thinking of you" from the sincere salutations set, using Stazon and vanilla paper again. I softened the edges with a sponge and some rust ink. I tied a bit of brown tafetta around the vanilla paper...I know, ribbon on a manly card, but...I think it works. Because the paper had 'warped' just a bit from all the water, I used liquid Tombow to adhere it to the base. This adhesive is awesome! It gives you a full, firm hold really quickly.
My second card is a bit more bold. The card base is basic black with a layer of white cardstock over it. I stamped the paisley from the Wanted set with basic black onto Real red cardstock and then cut it at an angle to go across the front of the card. The black strip is a scrap of black cardstock that fit just perfectly. My friend Kim would be so proud of me for using such a small scrap. yay me! I punched holes in the corners of the card and fed a black mini brad through the hold in the corner, leaving the others empty. I thought it looked kind of cool...and...I'll admit it. I was being stingy with my brads. The 'wanted' is stamped with black, layered onto black and embellished with black ribbon. I dug out a bit of hodgepodge hardware to tie the ribbon to. This card is my second choice.....I'm thinking I should have done a bit of masking and stamped "I want U" on there instead of wanted. That would definitely make it more appealing to a man....don't you think?
Today I am prepping for my big crop tomorrow. I am SOOO looking forward to a day of scrapping with my friends! I'll be printing out pictures and planning pages today. I plan to post a totally cute scrap page tomorrow that I did last week, be sure to check back!
Have a great Friday!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Something borrowed..

Okay, I admit it.I am addicted to new stamps. I love to use new stuff! Lately, however, I have not had the 'funds' I need(want) to buy new stamps! It is a sad, sad thing. I know. So, in order to appease myself, and to keep me on budget, I borrow stamps! They are almost as good as buying new stamps. I borrowed these stamps from my friend Shari. I have the punch, she has the stamps...we needed to get them together! I started with a card base in certainly celery and layered a piece of striped paper from the Summer Picnic collection and added a strip of summer sun designer paper. The little stamped border is a stamp from the One of a Kind set, as are the flowers. The small flowers are punched out and the large one...yes, I cut it out. Don't you wish you had a punch for every stamp? sigh... I stamped the flowers with Groovy Guava and Apricot appeal ink. I added a fire rhinestone to the center of the big one and crystal effects and dazzling diamonds glitter to the others. I also added a bit of faux stitching along the edges of the Summer sun paper.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What's black and white and red all over??

I always loved that joke when I was a kid. No matter what someone guessed as the answer, there was a different one you could claim was the right one. This time, there is a definite answer tho. I made this little box while my daughter was watching Jumper in the family room. I love having my office adjacent to the fam room, I can work while the family watches movies and not feel like I'm wasting time. (I don't like to just sit much...) If you are ever in need of a small box, there are tons of patterns out there. I usually just make it up as I go tho. They are super easy. This one started with two pieces of 6 x 6 black cardstock. I simply scored each side of one at 1" from the edge and the other at 3/4" from each edge. That leaves you with a 1" or 3/4" inch square in each corner of the papers. Cut one side of each little box. Fold in all the sides and then tuck that little box under the side next to it. The paper you measured 1" on will be the top of the box, the other will be the bottom. Is that clear as mud? If you wanted a deeper box, just increase your side size accordingly. This little box was just the right size for some little note cards I made to go with it.
Supplies: Basic black, real red, whisper white cardstock. Red gingham ribbon-Stampin' Up! Red dotted ribbon-WalMart. Red button-Stampin' Up! Real red and basic black classic ink, white craft ink.

Monday, June 16, 2008

One of a kind...candy winner!

I hope you all had as great of a weekend as I did. I was busy busy busy, but it was great! My baby turned 16....time sure does fly! I spent most of Saturday with shopping with her and two of our friends. It was a lot of fun. Isn't she beautiful?! this is her and her friend at dinner. Actually, it was after dinner getting milk shakes and french fries. Her friend had not tried that together. Doesn't everyone love fries with their shakes??

I spent some time being creative this weekend, making some cards for friends. Here is one that I really liked. I used the baroque motifs and words from One True Friend. The card base is Pretty in pink. The 'ruffle' layer is vellum cardstock that I ran through my paper crimper. I layered some polka dot paper from the Dashing set(retired) and added some pink ribbon. The hearts are punched from vellum cardstock, adhered with liquid Tombow and then covered with clear stickles. A 2-way glue pen and dazzling diamonds would give you a similar look.
Finally, I did pick a winner for my blog candy! You all shared some great summer activities! Thanks so much to everyone that shared. If you haven't already, look through the comments and get some ideas for yourself. The winner is....Kath! I loved her idea for making easy ice cream. I plan to try this one. Who doesn't love ice cream on a hot summer day?! Check out her comment for the recipe. Awesome! Kath, send me your address and I will get the goodies out to you this week.
I have more candy collecting so stay tuned!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday's challenge and....table dancing??

Ha! Did that title get your attention? ;o) It is not what you think! First, the challenge. This week we had to use Green Galore, Turquoise, and pink on our projects. I made a small pink card with a blue flower. The flower is from the 5 petal punch from Stampin' Up! as is the leaves. I sponged th edges on both to add some depth. The swirls are from the baroque motif stamp set, the dotted tag is from Be happy, and the thank you is from Enjoy. All SU sets. You might notice the background is blue.....I don't particularly like it, but my desk was completely covered and, well, this paper was a handy background. I think I'll go back to my white backgrounds!
Last night was our stamp a stack and scrap night. We had a great group of ladies! This is a picture I snapped as we were just getting going. It kind of looks like a dance on a table, but really, it is a fan adjustment. You know how stampers can work up a sweat! We had to keep it cool in there! I'm glad we had some brave souls that were willing to brave a table tower to make us comfortable. I meant to take more pictures of the evening, but, we were all having so much fun I totally forgot! Oh well, next month! I'll share the page we did later. I need to get my pictures printed first.
Tomorrow my daughter turns 16! aaaahhh! You know what that means, yep, my parents are getting reeeeally old! ;o))

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Doubles with candy!!

Today is another fun summer day at my house. The kids are running here and there and I'm just trying to keep up. I realized I hadn't sent out Father's day cards yet, so that is what I worked on today. I tried to keep these nice and clean and manly. I remember going to a demonstration at a Stampin' Up! convention years ago where Kevin Theeson and another guy(I forget his name....) talked about 'manly' cards. One of the things they stressed was that guys don't like cards made with pastel cards. They prefer bold bright and earth element colors. I'm not sure if they suggested we stay away from florals too, but I kind of figured that was a safe idea. ;o)
For this card I started with some textured Wild Wasabi cardstock cut to 10-1/2 x 5-1/4. That gave me a 5-1/4" card when folded. The striped paper across the center is from a retired SU simply scrappin kit...primary colors I think it was called. I added a strip of Real Red to each side of the stripes for layers. The chipboard star is covered with More Mustard designer paper using the Tombow Adhesive, and my signature jumbo brad is through the center with Real Red wide Grosgrain anchoring it down. I used the designer label set and punch with wild wasabi ink for the words and added a real red 1-3/8" circle behind it so it would just be floating around. The mini brads are from the Vintage set and then just go through the white cardstock. I didn't want prongs showing on the inside of the card. I made two of these cards, one for my father and one for my husband's father. Hence the 'doubles."
On the subject of 'doubles', I am giving away some blog candy including items that I have somehow gotten doubles of. Kind of a hodge-podge grouping, but hopefully it will appeal to someone out there! The candy includes a Cricut paper trimmer, two cuttlebug embossing folders, a movie (Just like Heaven, loved it but...have two!), and two stamp sets! If you would like a chance to win this candy please leave a comment on this post and tell me a favorite summer time activity you do with your kids(if you have them) or give me a great idea I can do with mine!! I will pick a winner on Saturday.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Some summer stamping

I found some great ideas I want to share with you. The first is for this adorable purse card. The original card was made by Cindy Soto . I thought this idea was so clever, I had to make one for myself! This is one of the cards I will offering at my Stamp a stack and scrap this Thursday night Be sure you come so you can make a few for yourself! I think they would work great for all kinds of occassions but what I'm going to use them for is a girls day out shopping. Bring your purse! I 've also heard of purse parties. Wouldn't these make the cutest invitations for one of those?

The other card I was inspired by was done by Kelly Acheson. She is a very clever gal. Check out her blog here. This is a perfect card for the steamy summer days here in Florida! We will be doing this card at the class Thursday as well. The glass is dimensional. So cool!
In other news, I just 'happened' to stop by the veggie stand yesterday and somehow... all the ingredients for Salsa ended up in my car. I never plan these things, but looks like I will be making salsa today! How would YOUR kids respond to the news that they would need to help can? My dear daughter said, "YES!" Made my day!
We spent yesterday doing some redecorating in my girls' room. I will be sharing photos when we are done. It is going to be sooo cool! If you have two girls sharing a room and they each want their own space, you might like the idea we came up with. Our goal is to be done by Saturday, since that is my Mae's birthday. 16. Holy cow!
I have not forgotten that I promised some Blog Candy! I actually have a nice stack of goodies building in my craft room. I'm thinking I might have to have two giveaways! I'll try and have the details up tomorrow. :o)
Have a great summer day!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday black and white

Our challenge today was to use only Black and white on our projects. I love the clean look of black and white! It is funny that in the beginning, rubber stamping was just boring old black and white...and now, black and white is chic! I think the difference between now and then is in the images. The art work these days is just so amazing!
I had a couple ideas when I started out this morning, and frankly, neither of these are what I had in mind but, they will do!
The first one uses the True Friend set from Stampin' Up! and, you guessed it! Black and white cardstock and black ink! The white card base is made with shimmery white cardstock, but you really can't tell.
The second card is made using the Pick a Petal set, also from Stampin' Up! This time I used craft white ink to stamp onto black cardstock. I outlined the petals with the white gel pen and added some clear stickles to the center. (clear isn't a 'color' so...I figured I could use that!)
I'm sure the other BC players have done some great work. Be sure to check them out! Click on the BC logo at the left for the links.
Have a great weekend! We're off to the pool again!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Simple days of summer

School is finally out! I had such much I wanted to get done before the kids were home....not a thing did I get done! Oh well, I love having my kids home! We are spending most days at the pool. We are blessed to have two friends with pools and a membership to the YMCA so, we always have somewhere to swim. Oh yeah, and there is the OCEAN! I'm a bit of a chicken when it comes to large bodies of water and my children. It is WAY better now that they can all swim in one way or another. Ben is still a shallow water swimmer, but he does pretty good. I used to be in a constant state of panic when my kids were near water. I'm not sure why, I spent all my summers as a kid in the pool but...there it is!
I made this easy card the other day in one of my stampin moments....that is all I get these days....and I really like it! The card base is barely banana with the flowers stamped in Versamark. I layered a strip of Ginger blossom DSP across it and then used a die cut flower and circle layered with an inked chipboard heart. The words are from the set Stem Sayings. They are meant to be the stems to the flowers in Pick a Petal, but I think I have only used them for that once. I just love them tho!
I have some blog candy I would like to pass along to someone, check back tomorrow for more information!
Have a great summer day!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Paper Strippin

I had a wonderful weekend with my parents here. It isn't very often I get to see my family since we live on opposite sides of the country. It really makes me sad that my kids don't know their grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins better. That is just the way it is tho.
I was able to put in a bit of stamping time this weekend here and there and started with using up some strips of paper I had left over from other projects. This card opens at the right and if I had it to do over, I would have it open from the bottom. But, oh well! I was going for a semi quilted look here. The ring is a piece from the Tie the Knot simply scrappin kit that I punched the center out of for another project. It says "love" over and over. The center of the flower is stamped with chocolate chip, punched out and adhered with Tombow both to the paper below and the button above. It dries clear! All the stitching is with the white gel pen. The flower was a die cut from a SU special.
Supplies: All Stampin' Up!
Close to cocoa, chocolate chip and mellow moss cardstock, ginger blossom designer paper, clear button, mini brad