Thursday, May 31, 2007

Really, really cool idea from Linda Shewchuk

One of the members of the StampingScrapbookers Yahoo group I'm on posted this fantastic idea the other day, and by her gracious permission, I am going to share it with you! It's a way to make a wall-art scrapbook canvas that is changeable/reuseable (I hate spelling "-able" words when the original word has an e at the end ... I never know if I got it right or not!). This way you can display a LO page for awhile, then change it out when you're ready to showcase another one! The secret? Magnets!

Here's what Linda says about it: "I have the pictures being interchangeable by using magnets on the back of the cardstock and then the other magnet on the back of the canvas – they just hold in place and you can change the pictures daily if you want."

Is that awesome?! I love it!

And now, also by her gracious permission, I will share the photos she posted of her creations:

Here's a photo just to show that she has painted the canvas (I'm assuming it's just a regular artist's canvas that you can buy at Michaels or HL or similar):

This shows a LO on the canvas:

And how it is attached to the canvas by magnets. One set of magnets is on the back of the canvas (shown), and the other is on the back of the LO:

And, finally, a photo showing a different LO attached to the canvas:

I just think this whole idea is brilliant! Thank you so much, Linda, for sharing it with the group, and for allowing me to post it on my blog!

If you'd like to see more of Linda's creative craftiness, you can check out her website: Linda Shewchuk

Now -- I challenge you (and myself!) to create one of these great interchangeable wall canvases! And if you do make one, let me know and I'd be happy to post pictures of it here in my blog (and give you credit, too -- can't beat that!)

I do apologize for not having any pictures of my own stuff posted for awhile. I did finish the LO of Aidan's Baby Dedication, I just haven't had a chance to photograph it and post it yet. Aidan had to have his last two baby teeth pulled today (at age 13!) so he can start braces in a couple of weeks. He's so used to this lovely little procedure now that it was no big deal for him (although he was pretty nervous for awhile beforehand). So we spent the entire day over at my parents' house (they have cable TV, our TV is only for DVDs). I'll try to get that done tomorrow!

Speaking of tomorrow -- the Finals for the Louis Vuitton series of the Americas Cup competition start tomorrow. Emirates Team New Zealand (loud, raucus Kiwi cheers and general supportiveness) vs. Prada Luna Rossa Challenge from Italy (boos and hisses -- the fact that they're the competition, not boos and hisses for the country). Nail biting time again.

Remember, beloved ETNZ Kiwis -- the point is to WIN, okay? None of this nicey-nice "We just want to do our best and race well" garbage. This is the final step toward THE BIG ONE, and I expect great things from you. So does your country. They want you to "Bring it Home", and they're talking the Americas Cup, blokes, not souvinirs from Valencia.

Okay, I feel better now. I know that all the ETNZ guys read my blog and are taking this all to heart. Kiwis Rule!!!!!!!

I think it's bedtime, what do you think?

OH! How could I forget -- tomorrow is the first day we SU demos can order from the "Fall/Winter Preview Brochure" that has several sets from the F/W '07 catalog in it, and we can also order one Level 2 and one Level 3 hostess set from the new catty! This will not be good for my Visa balance, but I can't wait to get some new stuff!! (See, don't you wish you were an SU demo -- if you're not? You get to buy stuff ahead of time, and you can buy a couple of the harder-to-earn hostess sets without, well, having to earn them! It rocks!!!)

Tra la la la ... (traipses off to bed doing the Happy Dance) ...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Scrapping for a change!

Well, now that Memorial Day weekend is over and the in-laws are gone (we had a lovely visit, BTW, so all the hard work was worth it!), I actually went into the Loft this morning and scrapped! The page isn't done yet -- we're having air conditioner problems and after awhile it just got too hot up there -- but I'm hoping to have it done by tomorrow. It's about Aidan's "Baby Dedication" when he was four months old. I also have to do a Christening page, since Bjorn's parents wanted Aidan to be Christened in the Lutheran church (which is the state church of Norway). I don't believe that baptism of any kind is what brings a person salvation, but the baby dedication and Christening were ways of saying that we were dedicating Aidan to the Lord, and that we would do our best to rear him in the faith and guide him in his spiritual growth. So far, so good -- he accepted Christ as his savior when he was FOUR! (And very clearly understood what he was doing.) I do realize, of course, that parents are never "out of the woods" on raising their kids ... not until the kids leave home, of course ...

AN-Y-WAY ...
It was good to be up in the loft. This particular scrapbook (Aidan's first six months of life) started out with a "retro" themed look (I love retro), and I've done a pretty good job of sticking with that, but I will admit that sticking to a particular look or style for an entire album isn't easy. I've been giving myself permission to not just be fanatical about it, and I seem to do better when I take that pressure off. The pages pretty much seem to have a retro theme either way. When I'm done with this album (this week? Please, God!), I'm going to start in with my Library of Memories/Stacy Julian way of scrapping -- by category/theme instead of chronological. It will really free me up to do what inspires me at the moment instead of being a slave to a timeline. Chronological just hasn't worked out for me. I get too choked with it, which is why I've always done vacation albums before working on this First Six Months one. It's taken me over a year to get to the point where I feel like there's even hope for finishing this one, because I get so locked up when I'm "forced" with my scrapping. So freedom awaits, just around the corner!

I may work on a several-page LO of one of my nephews next. He's 2-1/2, one of a set of twins, and has this hysterical open-mouthed smile that just shows up picture after picture after picture! I'm going to title the LO "Karl's[cute] Cavern" (a takeoff on Carlsbad Caverns, for those of you who may not have picked up on this right away! lol). It will go in our "People We Love" album. Should be fun!

Alright, the A/C guy is finishing up, so I need to run. Looks like we're going to be looking at a new unit (kiss $3000 goodbye!), but at least he was able to recharge the freon and get it cooling again temporarily. Poor Bjorn. I'm sure he feels like money just runs out of his hands like water.

(Did I mention, BTW, that I bought a Cuttlebug just before the in-laws came? -- I never go back and read what I've recently written before I do an entry, isn't that lame? I am SO EXCITED!!! I also bought ONE embossing folder (figured I was pushing it with the Cuttlebug, even at 40% off!), and had fun trying that out. Today I used it with one of my old QuicKutz dies for the title on my page -- SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much easier than breaking my hand with the QuicKutz!!)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Okay, get ready to cover your ears ....


Team New Zealand won today, so now they're in the Finals!!!!!! Yesssssssssss!!! They will now be racing Italy's Luna Rossa in a series of races to see who will go on to challenge the current Americas Cup holder, Alinghi.

The Italians are a determined lot, and they were able to pull off 5 victories to Oracle's 1 in the semi-finals. This is significant, because Oracle was favored to win the Louis Vuitton cup and be the team racing Alinghi in the Americas Cup. Oracle is an awesome team, so for Italy to be able to pretty much wipe them off the map in the semi-finals means that Team New Zealand had better stay on their game and not get sloppy.

Hear that, blokes?

Anyway, I am so thrilled! C'mon, Kiwis, let's do this thing and bring the Cup back to New Zealand, ay? America can have it back some other year.

Go Kiwis! Go Kiwis! Go Kiwis! ...

And here you thought you were going to learn about STAMPING in this blog! I promise I will return to stamping as soon as my in-laws are gone and I have some actual Free Time. (Oh, dang it! I have jury duty coming up June 4! Maybe the case will settle out of court like the last one I was scheduled for did. Please, God? Oh, well, guess I can always take my stamping stuff to wherever it is I have to go to wait ...)

Okay, on to errands and housework and meal planning ... maybe the Kiwis winning will keep me from having a nervous breakdown! (I had actually looked up what it would cost to fly from here to Auckland in case I needed to run away today -- $2000, and I could leave this evening at 6:30! ... tempting, tempting ... what's another $2000 on our credit card, anyway? lol)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Louis Vuitton Cup update (no stamping, sorry!) UPDATED P.S. re: Cutty Sark

DANG IT!!! The Kiwis LOST AGAIN to the Spanish! I am seriously thinking I need to make a trip to Valencia, like, in the next five minutes and tell them GET ON THE PROGRAM, BLOKES!!! They could've nailed their spot in the Finals yesterday if they had won, but now they're giving the Spanish all this confidence, and I can only pray (if God has any interest in this ;-) ) that the Kiwis will smack that confidence down tomorrow and win the thing, for Pete's sake!

On a very interesting note, Luna Rossa once again blew Oracle out of the water, and the Americans will NOT be racing the America's Cup this year. The Italians will advance to the finals, Chris Dixon (the skipper of Oracle) will slink home in disgrace and shame, and ... well, we won't know who Luna Rossa will be racing in the finals until THE KIWIS GET THEIR ACT TOGETHER AND WIN TOMORROW!!!

Have I made myself clear, mates?

Whew, I feel better having gotten that off my chest. ;-)

Okay, on to more housecleaning. Spent the whole weekend on it, and the house is STILL a disaster area. I don't know if it will ever be clean enough for my in-laws' visit! And even if it is, all three of us will probably be sick with sinus infections from all the dust we've been sucking down the last couple of days! I'm telling you, I'm a creative person, not a house cleaning whiz. My poor grandmother. I know she can't understand why she didn't pass her house-cleaning-is-life genes on to me.

Nope. Stamping is life. The rest is just details.

Okay, Kiwis, go out there and win one for ... me.

(Added later)

I just read in the news that there was a fire on board the Cutty Sark, the historic old sailing ship that's drydocked in Greenwich, England! I saw a report about it in the New Zealand Herald, and then Bjorn shot me over an e-mail from the BBC website. It's terrible! The picture made me just literally sick!

The Cutty on a good day:

And what she looks like after the fire:


Way back in 1988, when I was in London for a semester (this is where I met Bjorn), we went out to the Cutty Sark and went all over her. She's a very, very special ship to me for kind-of an odd reason. When I was little, my brother Kirk (he was 12) and my dad worked for months on a very elaborate model of the Cutty Sark (Kirk is the one who got me hugely into tall ships when I was a kid), and it was so stunning! The thing was probably almost two feet tall, and had all kinds of intricate rigging and bits on it. Kirk was SO PROUD of that ship! So he very carefully put it on the very top shelf in his bedroom bookcase (one my dad had made) so that nothing bad would happen to it. (You're catching foreshadowing here, right?) Well, one day just a few days after the thing had been completed, Kirk had some friends over. One of them had brought his little brother, and while the older boys were messing around doing whatever, the younger one decided he wanted a closer look at the Cutty. Well, you guessed it, the stupid kid climbed up the bookshelf, and as he pulled on the shelf where the ship sat, the shelf tipped over and the Cutty went crashing to the ground in, like, a jillion pieces. I have never, ever seen anyone look more grief-stricken than my brother. My dad told him that he would be happy to help him rebuild it, but Kirk just didn't have the heart for it after that.

So, I don't know how to explain why, but that just made me want more than anything to see the real Cutty Sark, and to sorta give it Kirk's regards, when we were in England. I truly do love that ship, so this news just makes me as sick as the day Kirk's model died a horrible death.

The good news is, the ship was in restoration, so a lot of the original planking and the masts were in storage, away from the ship. What damage there was can be repaired, but it will take a long time, and cost a lot of money. (If any of you have any money just lying around wanting to be used for a good cause, you can send it to the Cutty Sark Trust in Greenwich ...) There's a chance that this might have been intentionally set. If so, I hope they catch the dirty buggers and hang 'em from the yardarm! (Our pastor preached on mercy yesterday. Clearly I didn't listen well!)

Well, now I need to go out and buy something to make me feel better. At least there are things I NEED to buy for my in-laws' visit!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Finally! Mother's Day and Graduation ...

I finally have some pics to show of recent cards I've made! There have been so many things going on (including a sudden obsession with working on a story I've been writing for awhile), that I haven't gotten into the ol' Craft Loft much lately, but with Important Holidays abounding, I have done what I HAD to (thankful for those!)

I still haven't scanned the cards I made my mother and grandmother, but I do have pics of the card I made for my MIL. So, without further ado, here they are ...

So I stamped all the images and then painstakingly cut each one out and mounted them on a 5" x 7" card for a semi-3D effect. I must love my mother-in-law very much to have put in this much work!!

One of my customers "commissioned" a graduation card for her grandson, so I made two different ones so she can choose. (She hasn't seen them yet.) Personally, my favorite is the Swing card, shown here (this one is 5" x 6-1/2"):

I will be teaching the Swing Card technique at my class in June.

And here's the other card, just for good measure (A2 size). I had ordered some graduation-themed stamps from an online company last week (presumably in plenty of time to get them here), but as of today they had not yet arrived, so I had to go to Plan B, since my customer wants the card by Sunday (and I have too much housework to do this weekend to get ready for the arrival of my in-laws for Memorial Day weekend). I ran up to Archiver's (new here in town -- okay store, but horribly expensive, and not the Ultimate Scrapping Store I have envisioned) to see what they had in graduation stamps (I'd seen some there last week). They didn't really have any I liked, so I ended up buying the patterned paper and some rub-ons (and some adhesive, and some Twinks, and ...) So, anyway, this is what I ended up with. It's pretty much CASEd from Splitcoast, but I used a Spray Starch background I already had on hand, and a rub-on instead of the Texas A&M emblem the original had on it.

So that's all I've done lately. Oh, and a scrapbook page, but I'm not thrilled with it, so you don't get to see it. At least not right now.

On the Louis Vuitton/America's Cup front: The Spanish actually beat the Kiwis race-before-last! How dare they! I mean, what was up with that? Fortunately today the Kiwis came back and won, but Desafio Espanol is one determined crew. I have faith in my Kiwis, though -- just stay on the ball, guys!

Luna Rossa (Italians) beat Oracle (USA) AGAIN! And again I say, what is up with that? I mean, I am thrilled to death that Oracle is getting whipped (did I mention I don't like their owner?), but this frightens me a bit, since the Italians are suddenly getting on the program, as it were. Hope that winning streak won't extend to the Finals against New Zealand. (I'm assuming with all my heart that the Kiwis will win the Semis against Spain.) I would love for Oracle to get shut out of the Finals, but those Italians had better not beat my Kiwis!! (Luna Rossa has an Aussie as their skipper, which probably explains why they're getting so good, but Kiwis still rule!) As it stands right now, both New Zealand and Italy are 3-1. The first team to win five against their opponents in the semi-finals goes on to the Finals. And then the winner of that goes on to the actual America's Cup to race against the Swiss "Alinghi" team. In case I haven't explained that before. ;-)

Anyway, that's life in the Scrap Loft these days (and out of it). I sure hope I'll have more time soon to get back up there and do more "for fun" stuff. I have jury duty from June 4-14, so I hope that won't turn into something big and keep me from my loft!

Off to bed ... got TONS of housework to do tomorrow!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

I have "arrived" in the blog world -- I've been tagged!

Wow, do I feel "hip" (Aidan would cringe if he saw that word!) -- I've been tagged! Tracy, of the SunnyDelights blog (Sunny Delights) tagged me two posts ago, and now I'm finally around to posting the "Seven Things You [Probably] Don't Know About Me" here, and tag seven other bloggers (do I know seven other bloggers??)

1. Even though my natural hair color is brunette now, I was a strawberry blonde the first three or four years of my life. (I look awful as a strawberry blonde now! Trust me on this.)

2. My earliest voice coaches were the Partridge Family, the Beatles and John Denver. (Okay, not literally, but they're who I sang with all the time, with my hairbrush microphone in front of the mirror.)

3. I played trombone in 7th grade beginner band. [What WAS my band director thinking??? Probably that they needed trombone players.] I switched to baritone/euphonium in 8th grade, but it wasn't much better. Not a very feminine instrument. I quit band before 10th grade and joined the choir!

4. I lived in Gallup, NM for the first year or so of my life (born in El Paso, but moved to Gallup at age 7 weeks.) I don't remember much from that era. ;-)

5. I wore a back brace for five years because I had scoliosis. All the time in 8th grade, then tapering off until just before I graduated high school (got it at the end of 7th grade).

6. I kicked a hole in my parents' bedroom door when I was about six because one of my brothers had locked himself in there with the piano and I wanted to play it. My parents punished him, not me. (Little angel that I was ...)

7. I majored in Radio, TV and Film at North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) for a whole semester and one day. (I quit after the first day of the second semester).

So now for my victims (mwuhahahahahaha). Go check out their terrific blogs!

Leonie Schroder
Lorie Ames
Nancy of PaperFriendly
Maria Bell
Hetty (Craft Chaos)
Misti Ryal
Gwen Mangelson

Okay, that's done, so off to the craft loft to do some *gasp* SCRAPBOOKING! Heaven help us!

If I can wrangle the mother's day cards I made my mom and grandmother back from them long enough to scan them, I'll post 'em in here next time.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ugh -- don't give up on me yet!

Just a quickie today to apologize for not updating the blog much lately. I'm still here, just had a few busy weeks and some struggles with migraines. Mostly they're hormonal, so I can expect them on the front side and back side of "that time", but I've had them in-between, too, so don't know what's up with that. Sad thing is, I have four different medications I can take (five if you count Tylenol), and I never know which one, or combination, is going to work! Plus most of them really knock you out, so I haven't been crafting as much as I want to.

I'm struggling with trying to make my mother's and grandmother's cards today with this ridiculous pain pounding in my head. Mom's is mostly done, but I still have Granny's to go. May have to recruit Bjorn and Aidan to help out, since I need some "cutting out" done. This is what I get for waiting until the last minute.

Oh, well. I love doing this, just hate when I have the migraine complication. So, off to rest for awhile, then gotta go tackle the cards.

Update on the America's Cup (for anyone who cares ;-) ):
The Kiwis blasted BMW Oracle (American boat) in their last race of Round Robin 2, which put them at the top of the rankings going into the semi-finals, which start next week. Only four teams get to go to the semi-finals. The #1 ranked team (Emirates Team New Zealand) gets to pick who they'll race against in the semi-finals (I guess they only race one team), and, of course, they picked the fourth-ranked team, Desafio Espanol (the Spanish team) to race against. Anything can happen, but I'm really hoping the Kiwis just cream the Spanish team. BMW Oracle is racing Luna Rossa, one of the Italian teams, and the third-ranked. Oddly, quite a few of the guys on the Oracle team are Kiwis (traitors ;-) ), but I really, really want the Kiwis to bring the Cup home to New Zealand. Besides, I can't stand the guy who runs Oracle (the company), and this is HIS boat/team, so it wouldn't hurt my feelings any if they lose out.

Okay, that was longer than I expected. Gotta go rest for awhile now...

Friday, May 04, 2007

WOW! Lots of changes comin'!

Okay, yes, I've been remiss in keeping up with my blog for the last couple of weeks. In all honesty, I just haven't been doing that much in the craft loft -- but have no fear, I'll be getting back in the groove! I'm planning on actually SCRAPBOOKING (gasp!) tomorrow, partly in honor of National Scrapbooking Day, and partly because, well, heck, I just need to get back to it!

Well, big changes are coming in the Stampin' Up! world. Retiring stamp sets were announced on Tuesday (May 1), and there are TONS of sets that will be retired as of July 1 (i.e., the last day to order them will be June 30). Many of the other demos I have some form of contact with are pretty upset about "losing" so many sets (because we can't demo retired sets). I'm "losing" 33 sets and 4 wheels, but I'm not terribly upset since I'm mainly a hobby demo and I'll use most of the sets I've got whether they're retired or not. And I have enough sets to demo for now. Plus, I am SO excited about the new catty coming out! If they're clearing out that many sets, there must be some great changes coming.

So here's what I know for sure:

SU is going to a two-catalog-per-year system. Fall/Winter will be coming out July 1, and Spring/Summer is coming out January 1, 2008.

There will be two mini-catalogs. The Holiday catalog will come out in, I believe, September, and the "Occasions" catalog will be coming out probably in February. We'll still be doing Sell-a-bration, but no longer in February. We don't know for sure when that will be.

The "In Color" line from 2006-2007 is retiring, and a new "In Color" line will be coming out for 2007-2008. Here they are:

(from CoolScrapStamp at Splitcoaststampers)
("Basic Gray" -- boy, is that close to copyright infringement, or what?!?)

We'll also be getting some bling (yeesh, I hate that word!!). Yep, we'll be getting rhinestone brads in two colour choices, Fire (sorta amber) and Ice (and honestly, I don't remember the color -- I think pale pink). These will come in square and round. Square brads have 2 sizes, circles have 3 sizes.

So that's all I know for now. There are all kinds of rumors flying about whether or not we'll have acrylic stamps (I highly doubt it -- the images aren't crisp enough for SU), whether the new stamp sets will have the rubber pre-cut (please, God!!!), etc. I also heard the word "Bohemian" tossed around in connection with SU's new catty, so that would be interesting! And kinda "out there" for SU!

I'm pretty psyched to see all the new stuff! I'll let y'all know as soon as there is any other info that I can share, okey dokey?

BTW -- completely off topic, I have become a huge America's Cup Yacht Racing junkie! They're holding the prelims (the "Louis Vuitton Cup") right now in Valencia, Spain, and my team, Emirates New Zealand, is currently third. Only four teams will go to the finals, and then only one (which had better be Team New Zealand!) will go on to the actual America's Cup race in June, to race against the current champion, the Swiss' "Alinghi". Alinghi stole it from the Kiwis four years ago, and the Kiwis are keen to bring it home. Go, Kiwis!!!!

Alright, off to bed to dream of racing yachts and rubber stamps.