Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Christmas card -- that I made!!

My Christmas cards for this year (a whopping total of 6)!

Stamps are all Stampin’ Up! except for the swirl on the inside which is Club Stamp. Techniques used (all Technique Junkies) are Colorwash Batik and … whatever the name of the one is that uses webbing spray (I’m not fully functioning tonight, but what else is new). I’m only showing the left half of the inside, since the right half is what has my signature and handwritten message to the lucky six recipients! lol

BTW, tomorrow the temperature here in Central Texas (winter) is going to be about the same as it’s supposed to be in Auckland, New Zealand (summer) – in the 70s (Fahrenheit). Funny ol’ world, idn’t it?

Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

At last! Something crafty this way comes!!

No, I didn’t go into hibernation, contrary to popular belief. There have been days when I wish I could do that, but unfortunately, being responsible for a family, no matter how small, I can’t afford to do that. I haven’t been very creative on ANY front lately (my six handmade Christmas cards are still sitting in the craft loft with the insides unfinished … tomorrow, I promise!), but one of my nieces gave birth to her first baby last month (my second grand-whatever – I have a grand-niece in Pennsylvania who is five), so I decided I would make her a “Scrapbook-in-an-Evening” brag book that she could put pictures of little David in to show off to the world. I used the Toronto Regionals 6”x6” Scrap Map from the Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator’s Website, and the “Special Delivery – Boy” Stampin’ Memories pack from SU. In all honesty, the colors in this pack are not colors I would have chosen, but they worked out okay, and they were what SU gave me to work with, this being the only “Baby” kit they had.

So here are all nineteen pages, laid out as they are in the book. I apologize that the colors really didn’t scan well. For reference the colors used were Wild Wasabi (green), Apricot Appeal (peach – yeah, it looks like yellow), Soft Sky (very pale blue-teal), and Sahara Sand (kinda beige-ish gray). The ribbon I used was Blue Bayou, a darker blue-teal. Everything I used came with the kit except the ribbon, the hemp thread used on one page and the stamps from the “I’m Here” stamp set (handprints, footprints, “I’m Here” words):

So that's it!

If I don't post before Christmas, I do truly hope you have a wonderful, blessed Christmas holiday, and I hope you take a little time out from the fun of presents, parties and even family to remember the Real Reason why we even have this holiday in the first place (hint: it's the first six letters of the word "Christmas"). :-)

Blessings of peace and the grace of Christ to you!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dear Santa ... (stick with it -- pics at end)

Well, I apologize for not being here to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. The eternal sinus infection was the culprit again, along with a there-day migraine. But I am thankful for so many things – family, my home, the blessings of being able to afford (mostly) the tons of stamping/scrapping stuff I have, my talents, and most of all the Savior who loves me just like I am (boy is that a big love!) and loves me too much to leave me like this!

So it’s on to Christmas. First of all, I feel a need to write Santa my Christmas list this year. I’m not going to put the usual “peace on earth, good will to men” stuff on there. I mean, Jesus came and brought that already. It’s here, it’s just up to people to accept the gift of it in Him, and it doesn’t seem like too many people really want to do that, so many of them reject Him. So if Jesus Himself can’t get them to, I don’t imagine Santa is gonna be able to do much better. So on to the “selfish” stuff:

Dear Santa,
Okay, I don’t know that I’ve really been all that “good” this year. I’ve been pretty whiney, discouraged and darned selfish a lot of the year. But let’s just overlook that stuff, okay? You know, in the spirit of Christmas and all that. I’m not going to ask for the “big stuff” – good health, world peace, etc. That seems to be out of your realm (with all due respect). So here, without further ado, is my wish list for Christmas 2007:
1) A major trip to New Zealand. Like, three or four weeks, at least. This is Number One on the list, and, yes, I’m going to keep bugging you about it until I get it. ;-)
2) Have my credit card debt paid off. I promise to cut up my card and close out the account once this happens! Yes, PROMISE. I’ve even told Bjorn this, so he’ll hold me to it.
3) A Cricut diecutting machine for my scrapping, and lots of wonderful little cartridges to go with it. Yes, I really do need one. Desperately. Trust me on this.

Um … other than that I can’t really think of anything. I’m keeping it simple this year, as you can see, so it shouldn’t be too hard for you to come across with the goods. As always, there’ll be cookies and milk waiting for you and goodies for the reindeer.

Ever yours,

P.S. If my mother tries to talk you out of the New Zealand trip – DON’T LISTEN TO HER! You know she’s overprotective, so just nod your head, say “Uh huh”, and then go ahead with the tickets, etc., anyway. Thanks!

Okay, back to reality. We’re traveling for Christmas this year (not New Zealand, sadly; but we will be visiting family), which I dread because of the health issues I always seem to have this time of year. I just really have felt rotten for the last month, but I’m hoping my doc and my neurologist can work out something to help me get over the sinus thing and the migraines. I thought I had a plan to lick the migraines, since they’re hormonal, but that doesn’t seem to be working, so I feel like I’m kinda back to square one there. I will be seeing the neuro on the 18th, I think, so maybe we can figure something out before I have to travel. I always feel like I’m such a lousy house guest for my in-laws’ when we’re there at Christmas, and I don’t think it’s going to be any better this year. It’s hard to explain to extremely healthy people that you really aren’t slacking, you just really, really feel rotten. They’re sweet people, but I feel like I must be an alien to them sometimes!

So, anyway, enough whining. Being sick meant I did get my entire novel (such as it is so far) “charted” with my Scene Tracker chart program. I’m not ready to jump into figuring out the plot yet, though. I still have lots of scenes to write (and, therefore, chart), so I’m gonna concentrate on that for awhile.

I did manage to make a couple of cards the other night. One of my customers wanted me to make cards for two of her grandchildren’s upcoming birthdays (she doesn’t feel confident enough in her stamping yet to make cards – she’s a scrapbooker), so I said I would do that. I’m very pleased with the one for the 21-yr-old girl, not as much the one for the 19-yr-old boy (guys are so hard to make cards for sometimes!), but I’m hoping she’ll like them. Here they are:

This first one uses an image from Sparkle-and-Sprinkle stamps, and the paper is the "Charbon" PP set from Stampin' UP! -- it's really more a cream and black than white and black. I used Very Vanilla cardstock as the base for stamping the lady, if that tells you anything. There's a clear rhinestone brad at the lady's waist.

This one uses a stamp from StampFrancisco that is a knock-off of a Hokusai painting. I've used it before, and I really love the image, but I'm not sure how well it works as a birthday card! Especially since I don't know anything about the 19-year-old boy for whom I made it except that he is "sweet". I've forgotten the name of the technique I used on the panel with the webbing spray -- something TJ, but as my brain is still addled from sinus stuff, I can't remember and I don't feel like looking it up! (Aren't I nice!)

Okay, well, off to the grocery store, then I'll probably take a nap and ... who knows what. Maybe work on Christmas cards (hey, stop laughing so hard, you'll hurt yourself!) or write. Then pick Aidan up and definitely write. And then ... who knows. I'll probably be back before the new year. Stay tuned ...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Gasp! I stamped!

Can you believe it? I actually got up in the craft loft last night and did stuff! I started on Christmas cards (just six so far) – did some of the basic elements for them (I’m doing the Colorwash Batik technique on them, so got the images stamped, embossed and sprayed over; haven’t ironed out the EP yet). Then I made the 6”x 6” scrapbook page I was planning to do for my “Favorite Pictures” album that I’ve been planning to start ever since I took Stacy Julian’s “Library of Memories” class online summer before last! I’ll post the pic of the page here:

(Stamps: Autumn Leaves/Rhonna Farrer; Paper & Ink: SU River Rock and Always Artichoke; Copper elements: SU & Making Memories)

It’s a picture of me that Bjorn took waaaaaaaaay back in 1991 when we had first moved to Boulder, Colorado. We were in the Rocky Mountain National Park on a hike in October of that year, and there was already snow everywhere (this amazes this West Texas girl!). I like this picture because I look so YOUNG! I was almost 29, but I think I look much younger – 15? Well, at least maybe around 20. But there’s really more to this picture than just that. I was suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and if you look at my eyes, you can see that there’s a tiredness in them. It’s from more than just the hike (we hadn’t actually gone all that far at this point). But I wanted so badly to make Bjorn happy (we were newlyweds), and I truly did love being out in the Rocky Mountains at last, a place I’d dreamed of seeing since I was a young teenager. So I was doing my best to make the most of being out there in nature on such a perfect hiking day. So when I look at this picture, I see a young woman who was determined to push ahead, at least on that day, despite a health situation that was often overwhelming, baffling and at times even debilitating. God gave me the grace I needed on that day, and that’s why I could smile. And honestly, God gave me the grace I needed for each and every day that I struggled with that awful disease, even as He does for whatever I face in my daily life now. Which is a really good thing, because there are days that, if it wasn’t for Him, I can’t truthfully say I’d still be here! That’s why one of my favorite Bible verses is “His grace is sufficient for me, for His strength is made perfect in weakness.”

Anyway, one other thing I like about this picture – I wasn’t wearing any makeup! When I first got this print, I hated it for that reason. I’ve never thought I looked good without makeup. But in this picture, I just look … real. And, strangely enough, that isn’t such a bad thing! lol

Monday, November 05, 2007

Where have I been?

Good question! I’m not sure I know the answer to it. Okay, I’ve been dealing with several different things – not the least of which has been major stamping burnout. Something about the poor results of the craft fair just dealt me a blow. It wasn’t so much that I felt sorry for myself – it was just an unfortunate mix of bad location, less-than-stellar display and … whatever the thing was that made people not even look in my general direction. But I had worked so hard and made so many cards, and when I ended up bringing most of them back home, well, I just didn’t have it in me to make any more (except for Bjorn’s birthday card). I think I figured why bother making any more when I had that many that needed to be sold. Why just keep adding to the inventory? I’m trying to keep my eyes open for another local craft fair, and since Stampin’ Up! now allows us to sell creations in permanent retail locations, I need to get busy trying to find a place that will sell my cards, but I just sorta have lost heart.

(Random photo of Cathedral Rock, on the Coromandel Peninsula, North Island, New Zealand)

I actually went up to the loft yesterday and cleaned it up a bit, hoping that would be inspiring. It was, sorta. I meant to go up and do a mini scrapbook page today, but it didn’t happen. I have the lazies today, so I haven’t done much of anything except help my mother roll my grandmother’s hair (she’s got probably a crushed vertebrae or two, and is in a lot of pain, and there’s not much they can do about it – and she sure as heck doesn’t feel like going to the beauty shop, but she’s too vain just to go around with shaggy hair! I love it!). I have a brand new grand-nephew (welcome to the world, David [whatever] Roy!), so I ordered the stuff I needed to make his mama a brag book. Hopefully that will kick-start me. I have thousands of dollars worth of craft stuff sitting in that loft (collected over about ten years), so I can’t just give it up!

(Random beautiful New Zealand Rainbow)

Good thing, though, is that I’ve been concentrating on my writing, which has been fun. I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned that I’ve got a story going with a character who is similar to Phil Joel, but isn’t him. For one thing, my Phil (yeah, his name is Phil, but his last name is Murray – somehow I just couldn’t use any other name), while being from New Zealand, moves to Texas with his family at the age of eleven, and that’s where he meets the main character, Caddie, and becomes best friends with her (she’s ten). The story doesn’t actually start with that, it starts with a suicide attempt by Caddie when they’re in their twenties, after they’re married. It’s mostly about what brings about this attempt (Caddie’s emotionally abusive father), and her relationship with Phil, which is simply that of “best mates” until she is seventeen and he is eighteen. Anyway, I have a ton of scenes written, lots of character development stuff, but my plot is pretty weak. Actually, I’m not sure what my plot even is. I’m not gonna worry about that right now, though. My goal right now is just to crank out as many scenes as pop into my head, as much character development as I want to, and then one day I hope to go back and pare all that down and hang the useful, necessary bits together with a plot. Being that the Phil character is pretty easily identifiable as a “knock-off” of Phil Joel (my Phil even ends up in a major Christian rock band where most of the guys are from Australia – yeah, it’s sad, but that’s how the story happened in my head), I doubt I could ever publish it, but it’s a great exercise in writing.

(Intentional Phil Pic)

Anyway, so between burnout, migraines, Homecoming-induced teen angst (which, thankfully, resolved itself, but nearly tore all three of our hearts to ribbons before it did) and getting Phil and Caddie through their lives, the craft loft has seen very little of me (except that I made Aidan’s date’s Homecoming mum, and it was pretty nice, if I do say so, myself!). I guess it’s okay to take a break now and again. I am loving the writing!

So … off to make dinner. Thank God for pre-cooked, microwaveable Salisbury Steaks!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Not exactly successful, but I learned a few things

Well, the craft fair on Saturday was pretty much a bust, as far as “profit” went. I made $64. Putting that with the $24 my mother and grandmother paid me for cards they bought the night before, I totaled $88 for the weekend. At this rate I’ll have my credit card debt paid off by … never. Because of that pesky “interest” thing. But it’s better than having made nothing, so I guess I won’t complain.

I think there were a couple of main problems. One was that I was in a really unfortunate location. Instead of being on one of the two main aisles, I was in a crossing between the two, and for some odd reason people just tended to ignore that area. And even odder, when people did walk through there, many of them didn’t even look at my table. I found that strange. When I go to craft fairs or scrapbook/stamp conventions or anything that has “booths” like that, I look on both sides of every aisle. I know that there are tables on BOTH sides, so I look. Anyway, this leads to the other main problem: Visibility. I didn’t have any kind of display/holder for the cards, I just laid them out flat on my table. I had a big banner across the front of my table announcing “Stacy’s Stamp Loft: Handmade Cards and Crafts” (okay, I didn’t have any “crafts” on Saturday, but I plan to have crafts in the future), but apparently that wasn’t a good location for it, either. So next time I will have some sort of display/rack for at least some of the cards. There was a guy selling pottery in the booth next to mine, really nice guy, and he suggested having some nice wooden boxes to put the cards in, by category, so I could get more cards on the table in less space. So maybe a combination of a rack and some boxes …

What made me mad was the people who would walk by, look the cards over, oooh and aaaah over how beautiful they were and what an artist I was, and then walk off and not buy anything. I mean, come on, if they’re that great, can’t you lay out $4 for one? The price didn’t really seem to be a factor, no one said, “Oh, that’s too much,” or anything. Just very few people who actually took the time to look also decided to buy. So, yep, gotta do something different “next time,” whenever that will be.

So I never did finish showing the cards I made. I’ll do that now.

This uses one of my favorite stamps, just a very simple stylized line drawing of Jesus that I've had since probably 1999, made by StampIt! (VA). I stamped it in black StazOn over a Cling-n-Scrunch background, then overlaid it with a stamp of the Names of Jesus (from about that same era, can't remember who by) on vellum. Simple but effective!

I confess to buying the stamp of the schooners (from Rubberstamp Ave.) while I was still heavily under the influence of the America's Cup. The old AC boats were these kinds of schooners (or at least similar). Anyway, I stamped the boats on acetate with StazOn, then painted the back side with Twinkling H20s and laid that over a Spritz-and-Flick background. The saying stamp is from, I think, River City Rubber Works. And, no, those aren't official sailor's knots I tied at the top -- except that they are square knots, so maybe they count?

Pretty much heavily influenced by a card on SplitcoastStampers. All Stampin' Up!

This one went into my "Bargain Basket", since I figured it was too simple to charge $4 for. The girl is from Above the Mark, the swirl is Rhonna Farrer/Autumn Leaves, and the Scripture is from Heart & Soul Rubber Stamps. If I recall correctly the background is Watercolor Distress. Or it might be Spritz-and-Flick. I'm going from the thumbnail here, so I can't tell for sure.

Well, that's it for now. There are four more to be shown, so I'll save those for another time. I don't know when my next chance to sell cards will be. I didn't do well on Etsy (too many people charging lower prices, undercutting those of us who KNOW the value of our artwork), and I'm not sure when the next craft fair is around here that I could reasonably get in on. But I haven't given up yet.

Cheers for now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Craft Fair Card Show Day 4 – I didn’t get much done yesterday toward the show, but did manage to get the Vanilla/Cream inserts put in today, as well as get cards matched to envies and put in plastic sleeves. I ran out of some and don’t have the right sizes for others so will have to make a trip to the local LSS today to see if they have the right sizes. (Darn!) I went to Archiver’s yesterday, but they didn’t have any. The lady who checked me out said, “Try” Um, yeah, did that, didn’t order enough. Too late to do that now. But I do remember that the particular LSS I’m going to today has sold the clear bags in the past, so I hope they still do, and in the sizes I need!

I also took time out last night to make that 18th birthday card I was commissioned to do, so I will show that to you first. I am MUCH happier with this one than the one I did Monday night!

The only stamping done on this card is behind the "18" -- it's the Birthday roller wheel from the Level 3 Hostess set in the current SU catalog, just done with Versamark. PP is all Basic Grey (surfer collection), CS is Archivers, "18" is Basic Grey chipboard embossed with SU copper EP. I don't remember where the mesh came from.

Okay, on to the Craft Fair cards for today:

Another Colorwash Batik. Can't remember which stamp company this is -- I think it's Above the Mark. CW spray is Terra Cotta Walnut Ink (Tsukineko? See, I'm hopeless!) I really like the way this one turned out!

This is just a larger (5-1/4" square) version of a card I did for a class awhile back, and is as close to CASEing as I will come. Which in this case is almost too close. And I hope it's not a direct CASE -- my memory isn't all that great on the original. SU "Outlaw" PP and stamp from "Wanted" set.

I was in Archivers a few weeks ago and found an Autumn themed scrapbook kit on sale in the back with great paper in it, so I bought it for cards. Now I've thrown away the wrapper and can't remember who it was by, but that's where this paper came from. The top paper is actually Very Vanilla cardstock that I pounced Chalk Ink onto with a wadded up piece of plastic wrap. Stamps are from Clear Dollar Stamps.

Hee hee -- no, this isn't a card. I've just been listening to the Newsboys all morning, so thought I'd throw in a Phil Joel pic for fun! Aren't you glad -- I'm sure this just abso-flamin'-lutely made the rest of your day!

Catch ya later, mates!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Even more craft fair cards

Okay, Day Three of my Craft Fair Cards Show. I’ve been busy matching cards to envelopes, sticking white inserts into the cards that are too dark to write on (gotta get some cream-colored letter paper for the cards with a more vanilla/cream tone on the front), and slipping the ready-to-sell cards into clear plastic sleeves. I’m so mad, though – I bought clear sleeves big enough for 5”x5” cards, only to discover that the cards I’d made were 5-1/2” square! That’s what I get for not paying attention! The SU envies I’d ordered were the right size, so at least that was okay. I also didn’t order any clear sleeves for my 5”x7” cards. Don’t know where my brain was when I placed that order! So now I’ve gotta try to track some down locally. I just think it’s nicer when the cards are in their own little sleeves like that. Keeps them nicer when people are pawing through them, too.

I made this card using PP I got from Archiver's just for buying a ton of stuff. The silhouette image is from Crazy Mountain Stamps, and the sentiment is from SU. I love the silhouette look, it's kinda homey and vintage, which I think works well with the Autumn/Thanksgiving theme. IMHO :-)

A card highly inspired by a design from Splitcoast. Unfortunately, the scan of the background paper on this just refused to cooperate fully. It's a beautiful shimmery paper from Club Scrap (September's kit) that came on the day I wanted to play with this stamp (an SU stamp). I used a stamp from the Rhonna Farrer/Autumn Leaves "Flourish" set to stamp just a minimal pattern on the paper (I think I used pink Staz-On).

Again, another "inspired by" design, but it turned out quite different from the original. I used "Far East Stack" PP by DCWV, and the only stampin was on the medallion, which was made using UTEE, Not Quite Navy Craft Ink and the "Serenity" stamp from the retired SU set "Kanji". I loved this particular sheet of PP (the pink one with butterflies). I made several of these, and the butterflies were randomly placed on the paper, so there are really only two of each that are closely similar.

I have to confess that I LOVE this card. I made the original of this for a friend who needed a card to send to her real estate agent. I liked it so much I made several more, substituting stems in the oval for the "Thank You" I had used on hers. This uses the Colorwash Batik technique (one of my favs), and the stamp set is Artfully Asian from SU. I used Ranger Adirondack "Stream" colorwash -- again, I really like the way this color works for the Colorwash Batik tech!

So I hope you had fun looking at these cards. And I hope people at the fair will have fun buying them. Lots of fun. Buying lots of them.

Until next time ...

Sunday, October 07, 2007

More craft fair cards

Okay, as promised, here are four more of the cards I made for the upcoming craft fair. I’ve been spending time going through and putting copyright info on the backs of the cards, so hopefully now I can remember enough to put that information in this post. I still can’t promise you I can remember any techniques used, and the last several cards I did were pretty much technique-free. I had purchased some Thanksgiving/Fall-ish patterned paper and was needing to use that, so some of them are mostly PP.

This one I did with the Level 3 Hostess Set from the Fall/Winter SU catalog. It’s heavily inspired by a card I saw on Splitcoast, but I used different paper and changed a few things. A very easy card.

The town where I live (and where the craft fair is) has several golf courses, so golf is a huge deal around here. I made several of these cards, hoping people will buy them for retirement or birthday cards for the golf fanatic. All the stamps are from the retired SU set “Fore”, except for the word “GOLF”, which is a Stampabilities stamp. I do know that I used the Gamsol Pearls technique, minus the pearls.

I saw a very gorgeous Christmas card about a year ago on Splitcoast (I think) that was done with beautiful baroque-ish PP, and I’ve been wanting to try it since then but just have been to busy playing with techniques to do something as simple as “slapping” three pieces of PP together – you have to use just the right PP, though, or else it doesn’t work right! I was happy to come up with this combination of (I think) Basic Grey and SU papers that work well together, in my opinion, for a harvest-themed card. The only thing I stamped was the sentiment, which is from a retired SU set (from last year’s Holiday Mini, if I recall correctly). I made the photo turns with copper cardstock, a QuicKutz die and my Cuttlebug. The ribbon is just some random copper stuff I had hanging around.

Last one for today. Another “Autumnal” looking card, done with SU double-sided PP from the Holiday mini (I think it’s called “Spiced Apple” but I’m not sure, since I lost my only copy of the Holiday mini and I don’t want to go look it up on the internet) and the medallion stamp from the SU “friends-something” set from that same catalog. I used the Rock-n-Roll technique on the medallion. Again, super easy, just have to do some measuring and a lot of cutting, but you can crank out several of these without a whole lot of hard work, and they look great (again, in my humble opinion).

So, I hope you enjoyed today’s selection. There’ll be more to come soon!


Friday, October 05, 2007

FINALLY off hiatus -- at least for now.

What a hiatus this has been! Between migraines and migraine management, taking 95-year-old grandmothers to the ER for skin infections, staying with a mother (mine) who is none too keen on staying alone in the house (when my dad was staying with my grandmother at the hospital), doing physical therapy twice a week for a repetitive motion injury in my shoulder caused by STAMPING (yes, this can happen to you!) – I did actually manage to get a few cards made for the craft fair that is next Saturday.

I managed to get them all scanned over the last couple of days, so will be posting them here bit by bit. I’ll put four of them up today. If you like them and want recipes (or at least ingredients), e-mail me and I’ll try to dig them up for you. I’m nursing a stress headache at the moment and the meds have me a bit loopy, so I know I can remember details well tonight. Some of the cards I made were totally my own ideas, and others were inspired by other cards I’ve seen, but I never (at least I don’t think I did) totally CASEd anyone’s cards. I hate doing that. I want each card design to be my own, even if it’s just by a change of stamp set or rearranging things, whatever. So I hope you’ll enjoy looking at them over the next several days!

These first two were done for a Stampsmith card exchange. So, okay Clark Gable had a nice smile, but Errol Flynn's gets my pulse rate up, despite the cheesy mustache! Hubba hubba!



"Hot Card" Technique (Image is a paper napkin)

(This last one is one of my favorites! Simple but elegant.)

On an NSR topic, DH and I just got through watching on DVD a great movie that came out about a year or so ago, Second Chances with Michael W. Smith. It was fantastic! Of course, the whole message of the movie was that God wants us OUT of our comfort zones, and I am SO comfort-oriented, so it really kinda kicked me in the behind there, but that’s one of the reasons it was good. I highly recommend it. We got it from Netflix.

Okay, gotta go off to bed. Aidan has Monday off, so that means an extra “sleep in” day this weekend – woo hoo! I’m going to try to sing on Sunday morning (first time in two months), but it really depends on how I’m doing on Sunday morning. I’m past taking things nanosecond by nanosecond, but moment by moment is still the order of the day.

Peace out. (I’m really too “old” to say that, but I needed a way to end this, and that’s the way our thirty-something totally hip “in the know with the culture” former worship minister used to sign all his e-mails.)

Monday, September 03, 2007

Short Hiatus

Just wanted my faithful reader(s) to know that I will be on a short (I hope) hiatus while I try to get my health issues straightened out. Headache meds are a bit tough, plus right now I’ve got a sinus infection that has set up housekeeping in my head and apparently really likes it there. Seems it heard from some of its ancestors that the conditions in Stacy’s head are very welcoming for Strong, Virile sinus infections. Got the widescreen plasma TV, the wet bar, the Jacuzzi, everything the sinus infection bacteria needs to hold a huge party and invite all his friends. So until I can find a strong enough antibiotic army to come in and evict the joint, I’ll be sleeping a lot and not stamping much. I WANT to be stamping, but when one’s head is full of … um … “stuffy stuff” (the word I’m wanting to use is “snot”, but that’s not a very nice word), it doesn’t leave much room for the creative process to blossom.

I’ve decided, BTW, to do away with my SU demonstrator business website. I’m having trouble at the moment with the price increases of their stamp sets and other goodies. Yes, I love their stuff, but when I can buy unmounted stamps for SO MUCH cheaper elsewhere … I just feel kinda hypocritical asking other people to spend that extra, even if I’m making money off of it. ESPECIALLY because I’m making a profit off of it. So, yeah, I’ll probably stick with SU for awhile longer, but mainly as a hobby demo, and because I do have one or two customers who I feel like rely on me to help them with their choices and to learn more about stamping.

Or maybe I’m just being negative because I feel so rotten. At any rate, I AM going to cancel my credit card that I use for SU, and only do things on a cash/debit basis from now on. My grandmother gave me a kind-of “chunky” check the other day, and while it won’t pay off the credit card, it will help some. Gave me incentive to decide I’m just done with that credit card. My customers may have to wait a day or two until their checks clear before I can place their orders, but that’s just how it has to be. And since I’ve decided not to do anymore classes (at least for awhile), I won’t need to be stocking up on supplies. Hopefully I have enough now to prepare for the craft fair!

So, I will be back ASAP, just wanted you/y’all to know where I am …

Friday, August 24, 2007

Primitive Kitties

Well, I managed to crank out another card design! Woo hoo! Only took me ... how many days to get this one finished? (Of course, I'm doing four of each again, for the fair.) This one involved Actual Hand Stitching (ooohs and aaahs are required here, yes). On four cards. I used up all the Linen Thread I had bought eons ago from SU and used in small trickles through those eons.

Anyway, I "stumbled" upon these kitties while I was looking for Scripture stamps. Came across Wood Cellar Graphics and even though "country" isn't usually my style, I decided to check out their "Primitives" section, and found some great stuff there! These kitties reminded me of my shower curtain (no, this isn't a photo from my house -- and my mother bought the curtain for us because we have cats), which in turn then became the "jumping-off point" of inspiration for this card. Okay, actually the card turned out a little far from the shower curtain, but that's okay. It was another God-inspired deal, helped along by something I'd saved off Splitcoast Stampers (probably) long ago in my "inspiration" notebook. Thus the Actual Stitching, which I NEVER would have come up with on my own. Not intentionally. I have a small sewing machine (a real one, not one of those tiny little faux sewing machines made for paper crafting that rip your paper to shreds) for just these purposes, but I'm terrified of having to load a bobbin with new thread, so it sits unused on a shelf in my loft. Yes, I have the instructions, but even well-written instructions don't necessarily make it easy to overcome childhood trauma.

SO ... here is the card. Kitty stamps are, of course, Wood Cellar Graphics. Sentiment and flowery background dealies are old Stampin' Up!

I have a box full of blank "chunky" board books to alter sitting on the landing outside my loft. One of my brilliant ideas for this craft fair -- thinking I might make some school memory books, that kind of thing, to sell. Pray for me. I really may have just gone over the line this time.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

If headaches were hurricanes ...

This one would be a category 7.5 on the S-A scale (my maiden and married names). Scale goes to 10. It was 9 last night. I am so hating this.

But my dad LOVED the chair, my mother LOVED the chair, and my grandmother LOVED the chair, so I scored a 100%. The only thing that they might come to bloodshed over is where, exactly, the chair should be positioned. We're talking within a two-square-foot range. Good thing I bought the extra $50 Scotchguard 10-year warranty protection.

Here is the card I made for my dad. Thank God I didn't have the headache then:

Main image is from RubberStamp Ave. I used makeup sponges and dye inks for the coloring (after embossing the image with Versamark and black EP). The background image (a world map) is, I think, Sunday International.

So, you would think that spending lots of money and buying lots of stamps would make me say, "Okay, think I've got enough stuff for awhile, I can stop now," wouldn't you? Nope. Something about binging makes me want to keep going. Sometimes. Anyway, I went to Archiver's on Friday when I picked up the chair and bought the big Die Cuts With a View "Far East" 12x12 paper pad. And I keep "window shopping" online. Aidan thinks Bjorn needs to put "rubber stamp" as a forbidden phrase in our Internet protection software. He's serious. I told him I would go through horrendous withdrawal and either die or end up in a mental institution. And I'm serious.

Okay. Category 8 now, so I'd better go take another pill and rest. I just wish I knew the boundary line between "safe number of doses" and "now we'll start having rebound headache" number of doses. *SIGH*

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thanksgiving in August!

I am thankful today. Thankful that I can make cards of all varieties for the Arts and Crafts fair for the Fall Fest -- think I will include some Christmas cards, though. Thinking about doing that kinda actually got me in the mood! (I'm kinda disappointed that I won't have an excuse to buy early those Holiday Mini stamps I was going to buy in October. Guess I'll still have to wait.) I'm thankful that I made a Thanksgiving card the other night! (Go me!) And I'm thankful I finally found an acceptable chair for us to buy for my dad's birthday! (That saga is at the end of today's entry.)

First I'll show you the T'giving card I made the other night. I used a TJ technique called "Rainbow Double" and my Stampin' Up! "Pumpkin Patch" Kaleidacolor pad. I'd forgotten how bright the Old Olive green can be. I think the colors almost look more Mexican than Thanksgivingy, but who says Thanksgiving can't have a little "fiesta" flair, huh? So here is the first Thanksgiving card of the 2007 season:

Totally a "God card", because honestly, He gave me the idea for it, and He helped me get the crimping straight. Seriously. I can't crimp straight to save my life. So just before I did it, I said, "God, please, I really need help here. If You're going to give me the idea to put a crimped piece across the card, You're going to have to help me get the crimping straight." People, I got the entire half-sheet of Old Olive crimped straight. If that ain't God, I don't know what it is!

So, if you're interested in the Saga of the La-z-boy, here it is. I wrote this to Leonie and Ang this morning, but I figured a few other folks who have ever been on Birthday Present Treasure Hunts might appreciate this. Plus I'll put the ending on here, since the saga was not yet finished when I'd written to them. It's long, but y'all already know I'm a writer at heart:

Yesterday I spent the entire afternoon driving around a particular section of town looking for furniture stores. My dad's birthday is tomorrow, and he has this chair that he has sat in to watch TV for YEARS (perhaps eons), and the other day when I sat in it I could feel the springs beneath the cushion, so I decided (meddlesome me) that it was time we got him a new one. Well, my dear husband took this idea and RAN WITH IT, and told me there were a couple of furniture stores down in the semi-general vicinity of where he works, and would I mind running down there to check them out. We live on the outskirts of the city. There is no "running down there" (as in "real quick") involved. It is driving down there for thirty minutes (just to get there) in 100 degree heat, traffic from hell, construction zones also from hell, etc. So first I treated myself to my favorite stamping/scrapping store, THEN I went to the furniture store that I knew was nearby. No luck there. (Did I mention that the chair has to be light blue, have a swivel base and fit specific, somewhat small dimensions in order to fit the living room and its color scheme and please my mother?) So I drove around all over the Particular Section of Town and found not a single other furniture store on the face of the place. I gave up and went to Michael's and picked up a few more craft supplies (hey, when the opportunity presents itself ...) Then I thought, Oh! JCPenney has furniture! So I "ran" up to the nearby (I use that word loosely) mall and trudged into JCPenney (parked a thousand miles away, walked a thousand miles into the store in 100 degree heat with very tired, sore feet in flip-flops that weren't made for long-distance hiking) -- and they didn't have furniture in this particular store. Had I not been so tired already (stamp and craft stores can be so exhausting!) I would have just shopped for clothes, figuring I deserved that small consolation, but I couldn't bring myself to do it, since trying clothes on my sweaty body just didn't sound appealing. So, girlfriends, I called my husband, said I give up, went to Chick-fil-a and got a LARGE diet lemonade, trudged back the thousand miles in the 100 degree heat to my car and drove home, whereupon I promptly fell on the couch and died. Well, okay, I took a nap.

At six pm my husband called. He was at the La-z-boy store. He wants me to get online to their site and look at some of the chairs he's looking at in person. Only the numbers don't match and the online ones have names like "Amity" and "Anderson" that none of the self-respecting chairs in the store would be caught dead with. In fifteen minutes I'm supposed to take Aidan to youth group. I spend twenty minutes on the phone with Bjorn trying to sort out the chair dilemma. Finally Bjorn says he's going up to the Room Store to look around, could I meet him up there after I drop Aidan off. Sure, hon! My feet don't hurt, I'm full of energy and not the least bit hungry for dinner!

I'm getting tired just writing all this! lol -- Bottom line -- we found a chair we like, but it would take 4-6 weeks to get it in in the color that my mother would approve of. So today I'm going up to the La-z-boy store after my phys therapy session (which is in a therapy pool, and all nice and relaxing, which I will shoot to h-e-double-hockey-sticks by driving in city traffic to the La-z-boy store afterward! -- at least we have a Tropical Depression today and it's rainy and cool) to see if any of those chairs will suffice. Apparently they can get those in by Monday.

So now the update: I went over to my mother's before phys therapy to show my mother the chairs I liked online. Gigantic mistake. We spent forever looking up colors she liked, then when I was already running late we went and measured my dad's current chair, which turned out to be WAAAAY smaller than anything we were looking at. I could tell by the look on her face that she was becoming less and less enamoured of this idea, and that if she was going to be paying the chunk of this, she wasn't sure she wanted us to do it anymore. I went to phys therapy a stressed wreck. I came out a limp, relaxed noodle determined that I was smart enough to pick a chair that would look good in their living room, so onward I drove to the La-z-boy. By the grace of God (at least I hope He was in on this), I found a chair. It wasn't light blue, but it WAS in between the fabric swatches I had from their other chair and their sofa. It didn't have the "traditional" look with buttons in the back, but it was small, still tall enough for Dad, and looked very nice. It was, however, about $100 more expensive than we had planned on. But I called my mother, she finally said she would trust me (could I have that in writing, in blood, please?), so that chair will be coming home to my dad's house tomorrow. It wasn't all smooth sailing -- I did end up spending about an hour just chatting with the saleslady, but in all honesty, I didn't really mind. She was a very nice woman, the kind you'd like to end up next to at a church luncheon or something. Now I'm praying my Dad, Mother and even my Grandmother (who wields a LOT of influence around there) will love, adore and be otherwise generally thrilled with The Chair. (Please don't tell my mother the color name is "Black Pearl". It's really not that dark!!)

We're getting more rain from Tropical Depression Erin, bless her heart. I was so sick of the heat, even though we'd only had it for a couple of weeks. I am SUCH a heat weenie!

Gotta go make my dad a birthday card. Cheers until next time!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated

I am NOT dead, as some of you have supposed. Just been brain dead. I have been experiencing the joys of going on new medication (the Topamax, for migraine prevention). For those of you who are blessed enough to have no clue about “ramping up” side effects of some meds, they can hit you like a ton of bricks. In this case, I have had days where I have felt like I was pushing a ton of bricks from the moment I got out of bed to the moment I climbed back in at the end of the day. Not to mention the fact that sometimes Topamax is referred to, lovingly (not) as “dopamax” by those fortunate enough to experience the “stupids” while their bodies adjust to the medication. I’ve just had the “my brain refuses to function” syndrome, so crafting has been pretty much out of the question most days.

HOWEVER – joy and happiness, I actually have been in the loft the last couple of days and have MADE THINGS!! Here I will show off one of them, in two variations. (The other two things aren’t finished yet). I’m in a three-month long card exchange through the Stampsmith Yahoo group, and needed to make my August cards, so I chose the “Shakespeare’s Heroines” set, and picked the French Princess from “Love’s Labors Lost” to make the cards. Once again God came through on how to finish the card, though. The Queen Anne’s Lace (or whatever the heck the flower is) is from Above the Mark stamps, and the background (if you can see it) is the En Fran├žais background stamp from SU. I was thrilled with how it came out, considering that all I did at first was stamp the darned princess on glossy cardstock and spritz her with brown and pink markers. It’s so fun to say, “HELP, God!!” and then watch as the whole thing just comes together!

I’ve signed up to do a craft fair in mid-October at the local Catholic church. That combined with the spiritual scrapbook ministry I’m doing made me realize I might need some new stamps (rolls eyes), so I spent all last week diligently shopping several unmounted stamp sites, and bought a bunch of goodies (tons of Scripture stamps, and then lots of great images). Then I talked to the lady in charge of the booths this morning, and got the impression this is a CHRISTMAS fair!! ACK!!!!!!!!!!! I do have, fortunately, several Christmas stamps, but dang it, I just spent all my money (and then some), and won’t be able to buy the Christmas stamps I WAS going to get from SU that would be so perfect for this! Guess I’ll have to try to scrape some up somehow. Maybe I’ll make sets of cards for people to buy as gifts?

Anyway, I got some fantastic stamps from the following companies, which I highly recommend: Rubber Stamp Avenue; Wood Cellar Graphics; My Paper Moon; Cape Arago; Heart and Soul Rubber Stamps; Clear Dollar Stamps; Rubber Stamp Shack.

Okay, gotta run get ready for Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic. My brain is at least halfway online today!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Momentous Memories

Well, in just about two hours (what will be Aug. 3, 12:15am Mountain Daylight Time) Aidan will be FOURTEEN years old! (It’s MDT because he was born in Colorado.) I can’t believe it’s been fourteen years since my sweet little baby boy was born. Then he was soft and tiny and sweet and so adorable. Now he’s two inches taller than me, has a deep voice, a bit of acne, some chin hairs and a peach-fuzz mustache. What in heaven’s name happened? Did I give him permission to move past the age of three?

In all honesty, though, even though he goes through “teenage” days, I still LIKE him, on top of loving him. He’s a really awesome kid. I like that he’s a geek, that he doesn’t like sports, that he loves languages and how they work, that he’s into Star Trek, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, that the only rock music he likes is the Newsboys, that he prefers classical or techno WITHOUT words, that he has such a terrific sense of humor, and that he’s still incredibly good looking. Most of all I like (well, LOVE) that he loves the Lord and chooses to follow Him. It’s tough work raising a teenager these days, especially if you want to keep them on the right path, on track with Christ. There is SO MUCH against them. But, as one of our old favorite Veggie Tales songs used to say (back when Aidan was three), “God is bigger than the Boogie Man” – He’s definitely bigger than Satan and all that the Enemy is going to try to throw against my son. I know God has a wonderful purpose for Aidan’s life. And I know the Enemy is going to do everything he can to thwart that purpose. But Aidan’s got a praying Mom and Pop, praying grandparents and a praying great-grandmother, and praying friends, so the Enemy’s not gonna have it as easy as he thinks he is! (Although, yes, I realize that one should NEVER let down one’s guard!)

Anyway, all this has broken me out of my creative funk! I went upstairs tonight and whipped out this card for Aidan’s birthday. (Okay, I DID have to ask God for some major inspiration, but it did come!) It looks like a serious card, but on the inside is printed (in Freebooter script): “Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday, Fellow Brilliant Person ---- Happy Birthday to You-HOOOO!! – From: The Guys.” And then I wrote in “Um, well, and us, too” and signed it from his dad and me. I hope he’ll think it’s funny. At least I really like the way the front of the card came out!

Stamps are: Stampin’ Up! and Above the Mark. Patterned Paper is unknown. Brads are from Oriental Trading Company.

I finally got a call back from the lady who runs the “disenfranchised women” ministry here in town. It's a sort of halfway house for women who have just left prison and who have nowhere to go. It’s strongly Christian-based, and the women who live there have to help out with chores and cooking on top of doing Bible studies and learning other basic life skills to help them out when they “graduate” from the six-month program. Anyway, I had mentioned to her that I would be available for teaching the ladies stamping or scrapbooking, and so we’ve decided to have them do a spiritual scrapbook. I have to work out the logistics, and also find supply donors (or money donors), then I’ll be able to get started. Apparently they’re all super excited about doing it, so I can’t take too long putting it together! I’m pretty excited, too, for the chance to invest some of myself in the lives of women who have not had the blessings I’ve had in my life. I have the strong suspicion they’ll be blessing me more than I bless them!

Anyway, I’d better get off to bed. Later I may talk about the headache treatments I’ve been going through lately, but if I know Aidan, he’ll be up and ready for action first thing in the morning, so I’d better be able to at least get out of bed, get dressed and drive over to my parents’ for the present unwrapping and breakfast!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

What would happen if ...

... I suddenly got tired of stamping? I mean, this comes up occasionally because I hit these "dead" spots in my desire to be paper-rubber-scissorsly creative and the terror strikes. What if I woke up one morning and said, "Right. Time to box it all up and give it to Stampers' Goodwill."? Would my husband divorce me because of all the money I’ve invested in my stamping/scrapping obsessions that would then be thrown away? Would I lose all my friends (because most of them are stampers)? Would I get back the friends who run the other direction when they see me coming because they’re afraid I’m going to ask them to yet another Stampin’ Up! class? Would I shrivel up and die of lack of creativity, or would something else fill the void? (Actually, I already also write, so at least there would be that, and the only money spent there is on paper, ink cartridges and notebooks, but that also requires a bit of inspiration.)

I did quit scrapbooking (and, consequently, stamping) for two years once because I totally burned out. We went to Ireland and Norway in the summer of 2000. I started scrapping the week in Ireland almost as soon as we got back, and it took me almost a year to do it (jillions of photos, jillions of pages). By the time I got done with that part I was staring down the barrel of photos of TWO weeks in Norway, plus the self-imposed pressure of needing it to be even more perfect since there were relatives involved, and I just blew a gasket somewhere. I did a few pages and then couldn’t do any more. Then we moved to Texas and all my stuff stayed in boxes for two years. Not because it all had to, but because I just couldn’t bring myself to drag it all out. It was overwhelming. During that time the entire scrapbooking industry exploded. Eyelets came out. “Embellishments” (waaaaaay beyond stickers) were now a huge part of the pages. Pages were lumpy (boy did I have a hard time getting used to that!) It was as if I was starting all over, or at least going straight from Kindergarten to college! I survived, but I have nowhere near the page output that I did in my pre-burnout years.

So I started on this huge card-making binge back in October when I finally started playing with the techniques in my Technique Junkies newsletters. I was a madwoman, making cards as if there was no tomorrow. I loved it! I was addicted! I just couldn’t get enough of making cards! And then one day I didn’t actually make it into my craft loft. Then a couple of days later it happened again. And now I enjoy going in there and making stuff, but I’m not driven like I was, and there will be whole weeks (like this last one) where hardly anything gets made at all. I still buy stuff, but I’m really not making enough to justify it.

I don’t really think I’m burning out. But it does scare me sometimes when I have weeks like this when the thought of going in there tires me rather than energizes me. I even find that I’m deleting more of the Yahoo groups messages than I’m reading these days, and that bothers me. I get such great inspiration from those groups, but sometimes it’s just overwhelming to have all that e-mail stacked up in my inbox …

So, just thought I’d muse a little today. Hopefully tonight I’ll make some kind of creative progress in the loft. If I do, I’ll be sure to post the results of my labors!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Sorry for the Gap!

Well, I’ve been meaning all week to get to my blog and write about my Open House, but I have been both very tired and very busy, so I’ve just slacked off. Deepest apologies!

I think the Open House went very well, at least as far as the “fun factor”. We did three of the four make-n-takes (had to leave out the Garden Whimsy one due to time constraints), and everyone seemed to really have fun, although I really hope I didn’t overwhelm our “stamping newbie” who was there. She did well on the projects, so I’m hoping that was a good sign. She claimed she wasn’t overwhelmed, but you never know. It was pretty intense. I spread the dining table with a bunch of goodies from the new catty and let everyone oooh and aaah over them, pick them up, touch them, get a feel for them. Then we got into the MNTs. General fun, socializing, laughter, good time. Sales weren’t high, which was disappointing, but I’m hoping that at least everyone got charged up about the new catty and that sales will trickle in over time. Yes, I’ve done some follow up, so we’ll just see how that goes.

On Monday I went to my neurologist and got very good news. I don’t show any signs of MS, the spots on my brain are “ageing” due to the migraines. So she put me on Topomax to try to prevent migraines (the “good” side effect of this stuff is that lots of people lose weight on it – sure hope I’m one!). I’m also going this coming Monday to a pain management doctor to get steroid shots in the back of my head to control the “neuralgia” (irritated-nerve-induced) headaches I also get. So hopefully I’ll be getting these things under control now! I had a nasty neuralgia headache yesterday, so I am definitely looking forward to the shots.

I can’t wait until next Wednesday, August 1. We demos get to pre-order from the upcoming Holiday Mini catalog (available to the public on September 1), and it is FULL of awesome stamp sets, paper and other goodies. I keep thinking one of these days I will get saturated with stamp sets and not need any more, but so far that hasn’t happened. I know Bjorn is probably praying that it will! lol

So that’s the update for now. I haven’t really done much in the loft this week. I think prepping for the Open House just wiped me out, and then the Topomax may also be making me a little sleepy. I’m hoping to get some scrapping done this weekend, since I’ve got that “Summer Scrapbooking Support Group” going on the Stamping Scrapbookers Yahoo group. I really need to just get on the ball with that. So many photos, so little time spent scrapping!

I was disappointed this week to find out that the technique I had submitted to Technique Junkies and that was supposed to appear in the August newsletter was bumped. I’ve been assured it will be on the CD, though. Not quite the same, but hopefully those who get the CD will like it and will enjoy using it. I submitted another technique a couple of months ago but haven’t heard anything about that one at all. I don’t think I’ll push it. I’d be happy to post it here if I could just remember how I did it! I may have to e-mail Pat anyway and see if she can send it back to me so I’ll know what I did! (I sent her the instructions and didn’t keep a copy for myself! I have the card, but that doesn’t help much!)

Anyway, off to do whatever I’ve gotta do today. I know grocery shopping will be in there somewhere. (Yuck! I detest grocery shopping!) Think I’ll go over to my parents’ house and goof off for awhile first. Happy crafting!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

6x6 LO samples

Last night in the Loft I decided to make some 6x6 scrapbook layouts to have on hand as “samples” for my Open House guests. I never usually do anything less than 12x12 (except for the occasional 8x8 that I’ve done for circle journals), so “small” is always a challenge for me. Again, I looked to SCS for inspiration, and then was also inspired by fellow Technique Junkie Carole (who is also on the Firecracker Designs design team). If I have time I may make a couple of “conversion” pages to take the 6x6s of my twin nephews to 8-1/2 x 11, then 12x12, not to really “demo”, but to show the ladies how that works. I think that’s fun, personally. I did one for a workshop (the pink LO of my grand-niece that I think I posted the other day), and I really liked how it turned out.

SO, here they are:

LO 1: This is one of my twin nephews who lives out in San Diego. I used the “Notations” paper from the Spring mini (only just now as I looked it up in the F/W catty did I realize that the yellow-oriented Notations paper from the Spring mini isn’t in there; what we have now is “Notations 2”, which is more green-oriented – figures). Anyway, I’ve been wanting to use this paper for something, so I decided to use it for the pages of my nephews. LO 2 is the other twin, same paper pack. I also used the Office Accoutrements stamp set on both pages, and the Folder Tab punch. Cardstock is Wild Wasabi textured CS, Tempting Turquoise and So Saffron:

LO 3: Got this idea from Carole, but hers was 8x8 and oriented with the photo mostly horizontal (portrait orientation). I used the Purely Pomegranate paper from the 6x6 paper sampler we got in June, and Soft Sky, Wild Wasabi, Groovy Guava and Pretty in Pink CS, as well as a strip of Ballet Blue and Purely Pom. The butterfly and swirl are from the Garden Whimsy set (gosh, I love this set!), and the “Delight in Life” is from the retired set … you guessed it … “Delight in Life”! The little girl is my grand-niece Rachael (she just turned 5 last week -- boy does time fly!)

So hope you enjoyed looking at these. I started altering one of SU’s new clipboards last night. This one is 4-1/2” x 9”, and also uses the Notations paper. I hope to finish it tonight, then I can photograph it and show you tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

CASS vs. CASE (with lots of pictures!)

Before I get started on today's entry, let me first announce that Pat over at Technique Junkies is offering a GREAT DEAL, for one week only, on two years of the Technique Junkies newsletter. Here's what she has to say about it:

"For one-week only, get two years at 2004 prices! Get the 2007 and 2008 Technique Junkie newsletters for just $33.00 (US addresses only). You will receive a whopping 150 techniques delivered to your doorstep. TJ techniques are step-by-step -- not an overview -- and the newsletter itself is full-color, professionally printed and high-quality. In addition, you have online-access to the step-by-step picture tutorials online -- and GREAT artwork from talented designers.

No-one has more tutorials than the Technique Junkie Newsletter. With our 5 years of publications, we have an archive of nearly 400 Rubber Stamping Tutorials -- and so many more to come!

Email me today to start your subscription today!"

So if you've been putting off subscribing to her wonderful newsletter, this is the time to do it!!! Go right now and sign up ... and then come back and finish my blog entry!

Okay, I have been playing for the last couple of days, trying to get ready for the SU New Catalog Open House I'm having on Sunday afternoon. I've figured out the make-n-takes as well as made a few "exciting samples" to show them of other ideas for the stamp sets. Now, I have a confession to make: In the interest of time, I have "CASSed" most of the ideas. What is "CASSing" you ask? It's a term I just made up that stands for "Copy and Steal Some", as opposed to CASEing, where you "Copy and Steal Everything." I got my ideas mainly from Splitcoast Stampers, and one from the new catalog itself, but none of them are EXACTLY like the original.

So I may as well show you what I've done so far (and if you're coming to the Open House and don't want to see, just find something else to look at on the internet, or close your browser, because these are beyond spoilers, these are the Actual Make-n-Takes!)

As I said, these will be the Make-n-Takes:

#1 -- Pick-a-Petal Friendship Card -- Okay, I looked through about 18 pages of P-a-P on SCS just now to try to find the card I CASSed, but either I missed it, or it's moved. Anyway, the original had a blue flower, yellow center, yellow card base and, I believe, solid circles stamped in yellow on the card base. And I think it said "Thank You" instead of "Friendship". It was adorable, but Pat Huntoon (of TJ fame) has been experimenting with color combos, and she put together Real Red and Groovy Guava on a card, so I thought I would, too! So here is my Friendship Red/Guava Flower card:

#2 -- 3D Garden Whimsy -- This one is CASSed from both "Bayou Whimsy", by "kulissa" and from a card by Pat Huntoon, both on SCS. Kulissa's was not 3D, and Pat's was, so that's one way I changed it up. I also oriented my swirl-sentiment differently, and added the little bugs. Kulissa's seemed larger than what I did, and I matted a bit differently. Also, I added the little bugs across the bottom. The color scheme is Kulissa's, except she also used Old Olive and I didn't. So, here's the card (I turned it sideways so you could see the 3D effect, but it didn't work very well):

#3 -- Chocolate/Guava Outlaw card -- This one I CASSed from Jeanne Streiff on SCS. Hers was larger, had the medallion in a different place, used the Ticket Corner punch, which I don't have, and had "from the heart" stamped on it. Also, I used a rhinestone brad, and hers was either silver or gold. My card is 4-1/4" square:

#4 -- Baroque Motifs Vellum Candy Box -- For this one I got inspiration from page 76 of the new catty. I had no template to go by, so I just finally searched the web for one that I could adapt, at least for the little rectangle box inside the vellum sleeve. I changed up the colors and stamp sets used. Mine uses Baroque Motifs, Purely Pomegranate, Tempting Turquoise and Chocolate Chip with a dash of Whisper White (another Pat Huntoon color combo):

So those are the make-n-takes. I also did a couple of extra cards that I'll show, and I'll be working on others tonight.

Here are my extras, both CASSed from SCS:
Garden Whimsy -- I don't know if the original used vellum or not, but mine has a vellum overlay with the butterfly, red tulip and swirl-sentiment. Also, I used the Whimsy wheel on the card base:

And this is my version of the Pick-a-Petal ladybug. The one I CASSed had no flowers on it. I used both the P-a-P set and Big Pieces to make the flowers, and scavenged a couple of leaves from Watercolor Garden (Retired):

Whew! That was a lot of work, but so much fun! I usually prefer coming up with my own designs for cards, but every once in awhile CASSing can be quite rewarding!

Back soon with more Open House goodies!