Friday, March 30, 2007

I just love Spring!

Severe thunderstorms, tornado warnings, flash floods ... what a delightful season! Seriously, it's been wild around here this morning. There was a tornado spotted on the ground in the county south of here, moving in our general direction, and Aidan was home sick, so we were trying to catch the cats in case we needed to get into our "tornado closet", and it was absolutely crazy! We managed to get one into his carrier, but the other one wasn't going to go in, she didn't care WHAT might be headed our way. My arms now bear the marks of her wrath. We never did get her into the carrier (fortunately the weather lightened up and we didn't need to!), but if we ever DO have a tornado, God forbid, that cat is going into the middle of a bed and getting wrapped up in blankets before she knows what hit her, then tossed into the tornado closet with the rest of us and our laptop and external hard-drive!

Here's what Spring is REALLY all about in Central Texas:

I have made more cards recently, and will now thrill you with a few pictures! ;-)

This is a "trifold" card that I did after someone in one of my Yahoo! groups posted theirs. I wish I could remember who it was, but I just copied the instructions from her blog and forgot to save details (thanks, whoever you were!). It's a really cute, super easy card to make --
1. Cut a strip of cardstock 3-1/2" x 10-1/2".
2. Decorate it as you want (use a Stampin' Around wheel, or random stamp, or use patterned paper, whatever you choose).
3. Score the card vertically at 3-1/2" and again at 7".
4. Flip the cardstock over and score diagonally across the outside squares.
5. Fold the triangles first (fold will be toward the back side of the CS); then fold the vertical lines (fold inward)
6. Using the Slot punch (the small one, not the Word Window), punch holes just below the diagonal folds on each side. Do this while folded.
7. Decorate the center panel (inside) as you wish (I stamped an image from the retired set "Vintage Postcard" and matted it, then mounted it in the center)
8. Fold the card, insert ribbon into the slots and tie together. I used a Mini Glue Dot on one side to keep the ribbon in place even after the card is opened.
9. You may choose to add a sentiment or other decoration to the front.
10. Mat on 3-5/8" square cardstock (adhere only the center panel). Mat that on a 3-3/4" square of cardstock, and you're done!

I hope that made sense. I'm doing it from memory, as my computer is not in the loft.

Okay, here's another card:
This one I pretty much CASEd from this quarter's "On Stage" magazine (SU Achievements magazine). I changed the colors and the stamp set used, and instead of ribbon across the front, I just used a strip of "stamped-around" cardstock. Also, instead of using a button and sentiment on the envelope, I chose to stamp the dandelion flower, so that you have the flower on the envelope directly beneath the seedhead on the tag. (The set is retired -- "Seeds of Kindness"). (Trivia: in New Zealand they call a dandelion a "Wind Flower" -- isn't that POETIC!! I LOVE it!!)

And last one for now:
I had so much fun making this card! First, I took a background that I had done several weeks ago (Faux paper Paste, done with Lumiere instead of plain acrylic paints). Actually, before I adhered it I stamped zig-zag stitches both horizontally and vertically, sort of to mimic the zigzag in the lady's sleeve. Then I adhered the green and black faux paste paper bit. I stamped the lady (Sparkle-n-Sprinkle stamps) on Whisper White and colored her in with Twinkling H20s (LOVE these things! and they really shimmer much better than it's showing up in the photo), then matted her and stuck her on the front with Stampin' Dimensionals. I really love how it turned out, if I do say so myself!

Well, gotta run take care of a sick kid. I will post some of my other new cards later.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Internet Free Day? WHAT???????

Tomorrow (Saturday, March 24) is, apparently, "Internet Free Day". I'd like to find the person who thought this up and throttle them, because it just totally validates people like my husband (who is a computer geek, of all things) who think we spend too much time on the 'net and has, therefore, ordered that we comply with this arbitrary "day off" from the internet. I would throttle HIM, except that tomorrow also just happens to be our 16th anniversary, AND we have to clean house for the Embossing 101 class I'm giving on Sunday afternoon. But 24 hours without the INTERNET? How will I find out what's happening in New Zealand? How will I check my e-mail? How will I post new pictures on here??

I have a few new things to show off (a few of them CASEd, which I don't like to do unless I'm desperate, as I was this week) from the class I'll be teaching. However, being busy putting the thing together, I haven't had time to scan/photograph them, and so I have to wait until Sunday to do that ... and I will be busy GIVING the class, so it may be Monday. Yeesh!

Oh, well. I guess since I do love the guy, I'll be nice about it, but, boy, I wouldn't do this for anyone else. Not even Phil Joel!

So I hope everyone who defies the command has a wonderful, Internet-laden day on Saturday. *SIGH* I'll be back with y'all on Sunday!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Great advice on controlling stamp/scrap spending

Okay, so a few days ago I posted on several of the Yahoo! groups I'm in and asked people for advice on controlling what is fast becoming my OUT-of-control stamp spending. I got so many great replies that I summarized and compiled them all into a document, with categories for each "type" of advice.

Several people, though, have been unable to get the document from the groups, so I'm just going to put the whole thing here in this post. Feel free to copy and paste it into your Word program for future benefit! It's a bit lengthy, so hang in there ...

Save by USING your stamp sets:

· Don’t buy a stamp set unless you can envision yourself using it at least X times. Some people said a number (like 10), others said don’t buy a stamp or stamp set unless you know you’ll use it at least 1 time for every dollar you spend on the stamp/set. I.e., if the set costs $25 (rounding up from $24.95), then you need to know that you will use the set at least 25 times.

· Take care not to buy sets that are very close in style/subject to what you already have (i.e., almost the same thing). Keep a “catalog” of all your stamps so that you’ll know what you have. When the temptation strikes to buy something new, check your notebook first to see if you already have something similar, and don’t buy the new set/stamp. Having a variety of useful stamps is better than having too many of the same subject/type. Get rid of some of the ones that you have too many of!

· Make your own patterned paper, embellishments, etc. by using what you already own. Plain paper and stamps for PP, silk flowers from an old arrangement for flowers, etc.

· Make a deal with yourself to rotate through your stamp stash every so often. Use every set you have – use one a couple of times, then move on to the next one. If you find there are some that just aren’t “you” anymore – SELL THEM! Or donate them to your church, local women’s shelter, etc.

· Before buying a stamp/set, ask yourself: How many different ways can I use this stamp/set? Do I already have a stamp/set that will work instead of buying this one? Have I sold or given away a similar stamp/set? If so, why buy another similar one to one that you rarely used?

· Use what you have, and only allow yourself to buy “consumables” – i.e., adhesives, paper, etc.

· Keep ONLY as many stamp sets as will fit into your stamp storage space. Downsize if you need to! If you want more stamp sets, sell or trade to make room for new ones

For In-home Stamp demonstrators (SU, CTMH, TAC, etc.):
· Don’t buy anything that you can’t demo (Sizzix, Cricut, etc.).
· Check out John Sanpietro’s website:
· Spend only your “instant income” from your sales
· Don’t buy anything you can’t demo [I already know this won’t work for me, because I don’t just buy stamps to demo, I buy them for personal use, as well]
· Earn the right to buy stamps by earning $xxx to spend for every $100 in sales to OTHER people that you do.
· Think about the sales value vs cost – as a demo, I would need to sell 5 of Set ABC to justify having bought it from strictly biz standpoint - now, as any demo can attest - CTMH, SU, CM....if you show people how to use it, they will buy it... - so work toward making that part of your mindset...sure, some things can be bought for the beauty of owning them, but most of what your purchase should be things that will support you...

Budgeting/saving money:
· Have a separate checking account for 'impulse / personal / craft' spending
· Set aside a certain amount of money for each month – literally put the cash into an envelope, and ONLY use that money for your craft wants. It’s okay to have money left over! You don’t have to spend it all that month. What you have left you can rotate to the next month, and then there’ll be more to spend!
· Use CASH ONLY. When it’s gone, it’s gone, so you can’t overspend!

The Internet/LSS/Craft Store:
· Don’t surf the internet looking for rubber stamp/scrapbooking items. Just don’t.
· When an e-mail or post is made concerning a great new site or store or product, DELETE IT before you open it!
· Stay out of the LSS
· Stay out of Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Archivers, etc.
· If you MUST go to a store, take ONLY the amount of money you can afford to spend. TAKE CASH. DO NOT take a credit or debit card or checkbook. Leave that at home or in the car.
· If you MUST buy something on the Internet, use ONLY a special bank account (debit card) set up specifically for craft shopping.
· Buy grab-bags. They’re usually very cheap, and you can sell any stamps you don’t like for $1 apiece and recoup some of your money!
· Buy unmounted stamps and acrylic blocks. You’ll save a TON of money buying UM, and the mounting supplies are relatively inexpensive. The blocks are a one-time investment.
· Join a monthly scrapbook/stamp club and let that be your shopping for the month. Research carefully which club will work best for you.
· Join a hostess club (SU, CTMH, TAC, etc.). This is where each person spends a minimum amount of money, for a certain number of months, and everyone gets to be the hostess one time. Spend ONLY your minimum. If you want to get great hostess benefits, get friends to order when it’s your turn at hostess.

The “Wait” rule:
· Never buy anything on impulse. Wait a certain amount of time (24 hours, a week, a month) before you place your order to give yourself time to get over the initial “WOW” of an item.

· If you’re ordering from SU, CTMH, TAC, etc: Start a list of what you want, and don’t put the order in until you reach the minimum for a hostess workshop (for SU that’s $150). That way you get free stamps and goodies, AND it gives you time to decide if what you have on your list is something you really want. (Avoids impulse buying)

Making money to spend:
· Teach classes
· Sell your cards/scrapbook pages/gift items
· Sell your old stamps that you no longer use
· Trade for stamps instead of spending money

· Ask yourself: How important is it that I have this particular stamp/stamp set/tool, etc.? Is it important enough to sacrifice buying other craft items for? If so, then set up a “savings plan” for that item, and don’t spend money on other things that are not budgeted in until you’re able to buy that item without credit, without starving your family ;-) and without guilt.
· If you miss a “terrific opportunity” on buying a stamp/set/tool, etc. – it’s not the end of the world. This industry isn’t going to go away tomorrow, and there will always be “great things” to buy when we HAVE the money!
· Give yourself permission to not be “cool” in the stamping/scrapping world. Don’t buy things just because “everybody” has them. Don’t be tempted by the praise and adoration of others about these products. If it is something you will USE, a LOT, then consider budgeting for it. Otherwise let them have their toys and be proud that you have your backbone (and your retirement money)!
· Put a limit on yourself in the order of "I can't buy any new stuff until I've used up ______"
· Only buy for projects you are currently working on, not to hoard! There will always be new, wonderful lines of paper, stamps, inks, etc. further down the road. You DO NOT need them all!
· Find an accountability partner. Call/e-mail them before you make ANY purchase, and LET THEM TALK YOU OUT OF IT, or at least talk you into waiting/saving for it.
· Am I buying things just for the thrill of buying? Am I actually using what I have? If the answer is “NO”, then STOP BUYING things until you can use what you have.

REMEMBER: Spending money on crafts is NOT a “sin”. We are made by our Creator to be creative beings, and therefore the act of creating is vital to the health of our souls. But when we let our spending get out of hand, it shrivels our souls more than the creativity enriches them. Be creative, let that flow from within you, but also be self-disciplined. It’s not easy, but YOU CAN DO IT!!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

OT: Some reasons why I want to go to New Zealand (EnZed)

You may recall that I have a "thing" for New Zealand right now. Started with a co-worker of my husband's back in the late 1990s who quit and moved to New Zealand. He told us we should move there because the tech market was really beginning to take off. Wish we had listened! We actually did consider it for a little while (not TOO seriously), but I knew my mother would kill us all if we moved halfway around the world. Okay, she would have killed me and Bjorn and taken Aidan in to raise!

Then Lord of the Rings came out, and I found out it was all filmed there. I mean, New Zealand = Middle-earth now, right? (Sorry, Prof. Tolkien!) Seriously, all that gorgeous landscape. Who wouldn't want to go?

And then I found out that Phil Joel was from New Zealand. Well that cemented it right there. Dude's from Auckland (Blockhouse Bay area), so the North Island is where I focus most of my interest, but the whole country is AMAZINGLY beautiful. (BTW, I think "Auckland" is just a cool word -- don't know why, I just love the way it sounds .)

I was "Google Earth"ing last night, hanging out in New Zealand, and found some photos of some really great places. So this evening I've been Image Googling some of them, Which now leads to some other reasons why I want to go to "EnZed" (NZ, with the "z" pronounced "zed", the British way) and spend a really long time:

Cathedral Cove on the east side of the Coromandel Peninsula, North Island, across the Hauraki Gulf from Auckland.

Two views of Cathedral Rock, in Cathedral Cove

This is Piha, a beach to the west of Auckland. It's Phil Joel's favorite place (his family used to go there when he was a kid, and I think he has a vacation home there now, or at least he always visits there when he and his family go to EnZed). The sand on the beach is black!

Just a few other NZ sites/sights.

Hope you enjoyed your mini-tour of New Zealand. I know I did! ;-)

BTW -- I got all these photos from the web. They're probably copyrighted by someone, so I want to make it very clear that I'm not intending to steal them, just showcasing a beautiful place!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

How cool is this!

Blogger is now linked up with Picasa picture hosting service, and they automatically save all photos from your blog there. So if you want to just go look at all the photos I've uploaded since the end of December 2006 (they haven't got the older ones in yet), here is the URL: . You'll probably have to copy and paste that, I seem to have trouble posting links in my blog posts.

Okay, I am back on-topic here with creativity today! I have actually managed to create a thing or two lately! In fact, I accidentally invented a new technique! Yep -- but I'm not telling any details about it yet. I want to send it in to Pat at Technique Junkies and see if she'll publish it in one of her upcoming newsletters. It is pretty cool, so I think she'll like it. She is going to be publishing another technique I accidentally came up with a couple of months ago, she said probably in the June edition. It's so much fun to have these little serendipities just pop up in the midst of what would otherwise have been disaster. I was trying (both times) to fix up something I had done that I wasn't too happy with, and by playing around, something very cool happened. I highly suggest playing around with techniques. No telling what you'll come up with!

I'm also working on the gift tags I promised for the March Teacher Appreciation breakfast at Aidan's school. I'm making backgrounds (for 70 tags!), and I like one of the ones I came up with (the more masculine one), but I don't really like the others. I'm stamping on white paper, then spritzing with water to get the ink to run a little, then drying a bit with the heat tool, then spritzing over that with yellow jewel-toned colorwash. The theme is supposed to be about growing (they're getting potted plants), so I used fern stamps on the masculine one, in different greens, and they did pretty cool. But then I tried using blues with flower stamps on the "feminine" ones, and it just doesn't work as well. The yellow colorwash doesn't highlight blue in the same way it does green. So I really need to get cracking on finding something I like for the more feminine ones, or else maybe just do them all with ferns. We'll just have to see. [update -- I ended up going with just the ferns in greens and yellows, and I'm happy with that]

Okay, I do actually have some pictures today! So, for your viewing pleasure, here they are. All three use the Silken Mist technique, and here's how you do it:

You will need --
a couple of coordinating colors of Twinkling H2Os
a metallic color of H2Os (it's optional, but I used it)
a sheet of acetate that is slightly larger than the paper you're using
a flat-head paintbrush
a spritzer bottle of water
white glossy cardstock (easier to do it if it's already cut into the size you want to use)

1. Moisten your Twinks with a bit of water squirted into each pot. Stir them up until they're a creamy consistency.
2. Using the paintbrush, cover most of the acetate sheet with the lightest color of Twinks (unless you're using a whole sheet of acetate, like I did, in which case color a section that's a little larger than the size of cardstock piece you're using).
3. Add the darker color to the acetate in patches (i.e., don't cover the whole area)
4. Spritz just a smidgen of water over the painted acetate
5. Place your cardstock, glossy side down, over the painted acetate. It's best if you start at one edge of the cardstock and sort-of roll it down onto the paint. This cuts down on the amount of air bubbles.
6. Flip the acetate/cardstock "sandwich" (the paint is the filler ;-) ) over so that you can see where the paint is on the cardstock. Smooth out any air bubbles, and smoosh the paint around using your fingers (remember, the acetate is still on top)
7. Very carefully pull the acetate from the cardstock. Let dry (or dry with your heat tool if you don't want to wait).
8. If you want to add a metallic color, repeat steps 1-7 using just one color of metallic Twinks. Let dry
9. Use as a background or stamp directly onto it.

Here are the cards I made using this technique. I had so much fun playing with the colors! It's hard to stop!

This is actually the card I sent to my March 1-on-1 partner (Technique Junkies). I hope she likes it! Stamp is by Judikins. On this one I actually stamped the image with Staz-On, then cut out the rectangle around it (very carefully so I could preserve the rest of the piece), mounted it on gold paper, then re-mounted that to the rest of the piece. How very clever of me, huh? ;-)

This is another one of "Shakespeare's Heroines" that I purchased from The Stampsmith. I think this one is Julia from "Two Gentlemen of Verona". Anyway, I stamped the Floral background stamp from Stampin' Up! over the Silken Mist background (I had done this before and love the results). It just begged for an old-fashioned lady to grace it. I used Stampin' Pastels on Julia, and then mounted the image on a piece of thin chipboard (the kind that comes under the Stampin' Up! printed paper packages), covered that with SU paper with an oval (obviously) cut out of it, then mounted that over a piece of French script vellum I've had forever. Then I wrapped the gold cording around it all, and voila! A very feminine card! (My grandmother absolutely flipped over it.)

And last, but certainly not least:

Here you get a sneak-peek at the new technique I "invented". The butterfly (Stampin' Up!) is on a green/aqua Silken Mist background, but the blue part around it was made using my new technique. I won't tell you what I've named it because that would give away part of how I've done it, but if Pat chooses to use it (or even if not) I will eventually reveal the secret. All the stamps were SU, including the ones I used on the secret technique.

Well, it's late and it has literally taken me all day to finish this post! So now that it's finally done, I am SO off to bed. Let me know what you think of the new technique -- of course, it looks better IRL, but maybe you can get an inkling here.

Friday, March 09, 2007

'ja ever have one of "those" days?

Of course you have. I've been having them for the last week. No creativity whatsoever. None. Zilch. Nada. I spent hours in the loft today trying to make backgrounds to go with certain stamps, and bombing, and trying to fit stamps to existing backgrounds, and bombing. I swear, it's as if I'd never made a card before in my life! And it's incredibly frustrating, and makes me wonder why on earth I bought all these stamps in the first place if I don't know what to do with them? Guess I'll just have to set them on the proverbial back burner until Inspiration strikes.

Johnny Depp's little girl was apparently in the hospital this week, in serious/critical condition. You'll all be glad to know she's doing better. I don't have this from Johnny himself, understand, but it was on CNN. They aren't telling what she was in for. Hmmmmmm ...

I have no idea what the Newsboys-minus-Phil are doing these days. Nor do I care. I just can't bring myself to care anymore, though I still love all the guys, and I'm still pretty much listening to ONLY Newsboys-with-Phil songs. Phil and his wife are putting together an album of children's songs, something like "Songs for Kids that are Sunday School Cool". Should be interesting. Maybe I'll buy it (it comes out in June) and give it a listen, then pass it on to my grand-niece.

Obviously I have nothing to talk about. Actually, I do, totally NSR/NSBR. I went to the gynecologist yesterday for my yearly. I had to go to a nurse practitioner instead of my regular doctor. Nice lady, no problem with her profession, but I just don't think anyone less than a full-fledged OB/GYN can properly deal with me, since I've just got so many annoying problems. I told her about my hormone migraines, and she said, "Oh, a lot of ladies do really well staying on the Pill for three months at a time, then going off for a week, then back on for three months." I was so thrilled! Imagine -- three whole months without a period! Bliss! And then I made the mistake of telling her about my recent problems with high blood pressure. Bad, bad, bad. She said, "Well, that's the Pill. You're gonna have to get off it." Period (no pun intended). No further discussion. And I can't just keep taking them in spite of her because my yearly prescription had run out and she wouldn't refill it. So, okay -- my PCP just put me on a blood pressure medication. So how am I gonna tell whether my blood pressure goes down because of the new medication, or if it's because I've gone off the Pill? And so I had taken the Pill for four days this cycle, and missed the night before the gyn visit, then of course had none last night, and what do I do but start my period BIG TIME this morning! Less than two weeks after the last one! And this one is HEAVY. We're talking, build a dam 'cause here comes the flood. I HATE this. This is why I went back on the stinking Pill in the first place! Well, that and depression. The depression has been so much better, but I'm thinking that's because of the Wellbutrin I'm taking. Anyway, part of my problem today just may be because I feel pretty gutted about this whole Pill thing, AND my hormones, and therefore brain, are totally screwed up right now. Oh, for the joys of a hysterectomy! (If only one didn't have to have surgery to do it!) Ugh. This and dealing with a husband who is so stressed out at work I wouldn't be surprised if he had a stroke one of these days (God forbid!), or just walked out. Which he had TOTALLY better not do!

Okay, enough whining. Tomorrow is another day, as Scarlett said, so I'll just hope that it will be better. And I'll do what I can to make it so. And whether it's good or bad or in-between, I know God is with me, walking with me through everything, good and bad, and everything in-between. If it weren't for His grace ... well, I won't even speculate on that!

Bed awaits. And the stamps will be inspiring again tomorrow. So now if I could just dream about Phil or Johnny or ... nah, I'd rather dream about Bjorn any night!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Promised pics ... and wondering why ...

... I have a newspaper as my home page? I've got the New Zealand Herald up, and half the time the headlines really are upsetting. Today's: "Woman arrested after toddler's body found in bush". Well, that starts my day off right (rolls eyes). Still, I do like keeping up with what's going on in New Zealand, never mind that I've never been there. It still sounds like a good place to me, despite the disturbing headlines!

Okay, here are the promised pictures. I don't have a lot of time this morning to go into mega detail, but when have y'all ever known me not to give plenty of commentary?

These are two pictures of the same card -- one with flash, one without (and this one is slightly blurry). Neither one really shows how the card looks IRL, but you can get an idea from seeing them both. I used a Spectrum Roll background, and painted my princess in Twinks (VERY time consuming to do four of these darlings). I love the way it turned out. I'm such a Princess at heart! (Just ask my parents and my husband ;-) ) "Dream" is SU. Castle is Enchanted Ink. Princess is Beeswax Stamps.

This card was done using a Watercolor Distress background. In fact, I bought this stamp to go with this background because the colors -- blue and orangy brown -- reminded me of an old world map (oceans and land). I stamped the image (from Stampabilities) first in Black Soot (Ranger Distress Inks), then when that had dried, I stamped over it in Versamark and covered it with gold Pearl Ex. It was very tough getting the image aligned again, even with the Stamp-a-ma-jig, so I only really got two that were worth much.

I LOVE this card! And this technique. It's called "Peeled Reveal", and it is super simple. Basically you just daub a color of acrylic paint (Adirondack Acrylic Daubers) on canvas paper, and when that dries you "paint" your stamp with the black paint dauber and stamp it on the paper. When that's completely dry, you rub some vaseline over the image (remembering to be a bit "random" in placement -- it's supposed to look distressed), and then daub a darker color ink over the whole piece of cardstock. When that's pretty much dry, you just wipe off the Vaseline, and there you have the "peeled" look. The vaseline, obviously, resists the paint, so it's a kind of masking. Anyway, it is such a fun technique, I'm definitely going to be doing more of it. The umbrella girls are from River City Rubber Works -- don't they look like they're just being joyful despite the rain? (Or the sun, depending on what they're blocking.)

I also have a "Hot Card" that I did that I want to show you, but when I photographed it, it didn't turn out well. I think I can scan it with better results, but no time right now to do that. You'll just have to wait in anquished suspense ;-)

Okay, gotta run try to get some stamping time in before my busy day really gets cranking. Onward and upward, to get elbow deep in ink!!!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The title of this post is ... um ...

Sometimes I really just can't come up with a clever title. Or even a coherent one. I'm pretty worn out this evening, though, so I'll blame it on that tonight!

So, I apologize because I said I would post some new card pics, and I've just been incredibly busy and now am just too tired. I did a workshop today (mentioned it in the last post), and it was tough! I drove about forty-five minutes away, and then faced a bit of a tough crowd. Nice ladies, that wasn't the problem. Just tough sells. I still don't have a single order from the workshop, but it isn't closing until Thursday, so hopefully they'll look through the catalogs I lent them and will find some goodies that they want. Mostly I hope that for the hostess' sake. I really want her to do well and get some nice hostess goodies.

Anyway, I'm pretty wiped out from the very, very busy week or so that I've had. But tomorrow I get a nice break -- I'm going to lunch with a friend of mine who lives about an hour's drive from my house. We're meeting halfway (close to my son's school), so that makes it easier on both of us. We were meeting for lunch about once a month, but then the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays came up, then we just fell out of the habit. So I'm glad to get a chance to catch up with her face-to-face and chat. She's a fellow stamper/scrapper, though getting more into digi-scrapping these days, but it's always fun to gab about our mutual hobbies!

Okay, off to bed. I will upload the card pictures from my camera either tonight or tomorrow and post them! I promise!


Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Garage Sale

(I don't even know my own Blogger address -- I have to get to it from my account! How sad is that???)

So the big Citywide Garage sale at the local activity center was yesterday morning. It was a total blast! I think I sold about 29 cards, and I definitely learned a lot from the experience.

I only sold one card in the first, about, hour-and-a-half, and I REALLY got worried! I was sitting there thinking that I had really picked the wrong venue for selling art cards! I even panicked and slashed my price from $4 to $3. But the thing was, the first wave of folks to come through the garage sale were mostly Mexican families looking for major bargains on household items, clothes and toys. They weren't interested in paying $4 for one card, even if it was handmade! But after they began to thin out, a second wave of folks came through who were mostly people from around here -- middle- to upper-middle-class (okay, and some very well-off people) who were there to see what interesting finds there were to be had. And these people were my customers. VERY nice people, very fun to talk to, fun to tell about techniques and the addictiveness of stamping. People bought cards for a variety of reasons -- as samples for relatives who stamped, to revive the fine art of written communication among friends, to frame and hang up in their houses (talk about feeling flattered!). And the cards I figured would sell the best, the ones I had specifically made to sell rather than just to play around with techniques, were the ones that didn't sell at all! I had made about 94 little 3x3 gift cards (four different designs), had them for sale at $1 apiece, and not one of them sold! Neither did the "plain" non-technique Stampin' Up! cards (the kinds I would demo for workshops). The ones that sold the best were the ones I had just made for the love of stamping and playing with techniques. Of course, this is just my first experience with selling, and another crowd might buy totally different things. But, as I said, it was really fun, and I'm so thankful to have some money to put in on my stamping-addiction-induced credit card debt!

I am seriously considering opening up an eBay store to sell my non-SU cards (and other paper items, if I get around to that). SU won't let you sell stuff you make with their stamps in "permanent store fronts", even if they're internet stores. So I'll have to figure out a different way to sell those. I'll be making a big deal out of it here if I do open an eBay store, so if you're interested, keep a weather eye out!

I also need to seriously consider giving classes. I had several people ask me if I did them. Of course, I do my Stampin' Up! demo-ing, but they had actual classes in mind, so I need to start thinking about doing that. I think it would be fun ... just need to decide what to teach and how to do it. And screw up the courage!

Okay, tomorrow I will post pics of a couple of new cards I made just before the garage sale. I'm doing a workshop on Tuesday afternoon, so I need to concentrate on that tomorrow and Tuesday morning, then I can get back to stamping for me. And I can't wait, because I have some delectable new stamps from The Stampsmith that I am dying to try! A sheet of "Shakespeare's Heroines" that are art-portraits (as opposed to photos) of women dressed in early-1800s clothing (not 15- or 1600s) so they must be from plays that were staged in the costumes of the days in which they were given (assuming these are real portraits and not just made specifically for stamps). None of that made sense, did it? Well, you'll just have to go over to to see them, or wait until I post cards made with them. I also have a stamp from the same place that is a photo of a little girl wearing butterfly wings, and she looks EXACTLY like my grand-niece!

I also need to photograph and post the scrapbook page I made tonight as a practice for demoing it on Tuesday. I'm really proud of it -- it's a Progressive Page (6x6, then add that to an 8-1/2 x 11, then add that to a 12x12 page), and it uses the Polka Dots and Paisley set, and the double-sided paper that goes with that, as well as an adorable picture of the same grand-niece I mentioned above.

WHEW! Lots of writing there! It's getting late, and I really need to get to bed, but I will do my best to post more piccies tomorrow. (Piccies ... as in "pictures". I think it's Kiwi-speak ... as in New Zealand.)

Catch ya later, mates!