Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Second Week 2 Technostamper Challenge Card!



Well! I actually got up in the loft and did another of the Week 2 challenge cards today! I literally woke up this morning with this idea in my head, so when I finally got a chance to play, at 5 o'clock this afternoon, I couldn't wait to see if this would come together. I'm really pleased with the way it did, although now I realize I didn't put the circle behind the main focal image (the peacock). Had I done that, though, I would have obliterated the lowest peacock feather, so I'm not sure how I would've worked that out, anyway. Maybe instead of centering it behind the peacock I could've made it smaller and just behind the top square of the panel, sorta like a halo, lol. Anyway, whatever, it's an adaptation of the sketch, anyway, so I'm not going to worry about it.

The peacock stamp is from Impression Obsession, and the stamp I used to make the medallion was from SU's "Boho Backgrounds" set (there's that "Boho thing" again!). This has three TJ techniques -- Pearly Stained Glass (the peacock), Opalite Smoosh (the main background) and Faux Medallions (the, well, medallion). I really need to go buy some Melting Pot liners before I completely ruin mine. I've only used it twice, both for the Faux Medallion tech, and I don't use much UTEE since I'm only making small batches of stuff. I keep wanting to get brave and try more UTEE stuff -- I have some sort-of "sample size" jars of this really awesome Australian thick embossing enamel called Opals (comes in GORGEOUS colors), but there's hardly enough to make much of anything, and it's pretty darned expensive stuff. There's only one place I know of in the States that sells it online, nowhere around here sells it in a store, or I can order from Australia, but the exchange rate isn't particularly favorable (too bad it isn't from New Zealand -- fabulous exchange rate there!). The ones I have were a gift from my Aussie friend Leonie (Totally AddInktive blog) so I don't want to use them for just anything!

Anyway, it's late, Aidan is FINALLY well enough to go back to school, so I've got to get up at 6:30 in the morning to get him and Bjorn off. I hope I find time to play in the loft again tomorrow. I want to try to adapt this week's card sketch to a scrapbook page.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Feelin' kinda Boho

... whatever that means, exactly. I mean, yeah, in my mind I can think of myself as somewhat "boho-chick" at heart, but I think a REAL "bohemian" would blow their nose in my general direction and then taunt me a second time.

Yes, we've been watching Monty Python's "Holy Grail" to pass the time, since Aidan has now been at home sick for five days. He's been fever-free for two days, but his cough is wretched, and he's pretty worn out, so tenderhearted mom that I am, he will not go to school until I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that he's his normal self again. (Before you worry too much, we only watched it once -- Aidan has been amusing himself with, hopefully, "safe" anime and manga on the computer for the bulk of his waking hours, so it's not like we're just re-running Holy Grail over and over and over, although I do have chunks of it memorized from younger days.)

SO ... on to stamping! Today marked the second week of Technostamper's Monday Lunch Challenge. The sketch this week is this:



And this is what I came up with:



Everything is Stampin' Up! except whatever media I used on the orange bit. That part is a TJ technique called "Cling & Scrunch", and I made it awhile back, so I don't remember if I used Lumiere paint or what. I'm thinking that's what it was. I wasn't sure of the color combination to start with, but the more I worked on it, the more I liked it. I used Iridescent Ice EP on the focal flower, but you can't really see much sparkle in the photo (even though the flash should have brought that out somewhat). And the cool thing I did was use rub-ons on the ribbon! I saw that somewhere, didn't really pay attention to how the person did it, but it's super easy -- you just do it like paper, though I had to rub a little harder and longer. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out! (BTW, for those of you who may be tempted to think these cards just come so easily to some people, let me assure you that's rarely the case, at least for me ... this one took two hours to bring together!)

Well, I was hoping to make another card, or start a scrapbook LO tonight, but it's getting a bit late and I think I want to do a bit of writing again, so hopefully tomorrow will prove to be creatively productive! I'm sure I'll be playing with sketches again. I don't know why I've never done this until now ... it's the perfect way to get the ol' brain started and get something made!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Challenge me, baby!

Well, as the saying goes, there's a first time for everything. I -- who have never been known as a person who's real huge on challenges -- have broken down and actually participated in a card challenge! Yup, this week amongst the Technique Junkies who Yahoo a veritable challenge craze was started by a member who decided to do the Monday Challenge over at Technostamper's (Mary Jo Price-Williams) blog. She posted hers, and it was like somebody dropped a lit match in an Arizona forest in June. Wildfire, people. So I resisted as best I could all week long (actually, I didn't feel well this week, then Aidan came down with a nasty throat virus and I felt too sorry for him to abandon him and go off to my craft loft), but tonight I screwed up my courage and accepted the challenge! You can find the actual challenge at Mary Jo's blog here. And here is my rendition of it:



I used one TJ technique, on the fan, which is the Crystal Twinks technique, and a Splitcoast tech on the top left, which is Faux Silk. The fan stamp is from Rubberstamp Avenue, and everything else is Stampin' Up!. (Well, okay, technically speaking the Twinks aren't, neither was the acetate, the tissue paper or the black ink -- SU's black "classic" (dye) ink has a purple tinge to it, so I usually use my Ranger Black Distress inkpad to get a true black -- the eyelet isn't SU, neither is the embroidery floss ... but I think everything else is!) The PP is SU's "Bali Breezes" (or maybe it's just one breeze? I'm tired, I can't remember), and the colors I used were Certainly Celery, Groovy Guava and Tempting Turquoise, to go with the PP.

This is a really addicting little card sketch, so I'm sure I'll be making several more of these. Of course, then Mary Jo will post another Monday challenge and I may be caught up in that one and not get back to this one for awhile ... as long as I'm stamping, it's okay!!

BTW, I did make a couple of cards earlier in the week (or maybe it was last weekend) that I didn't have time to scan and blog about because my oldest brother came into town and we were over at my parents' alot. Then I forgot all about them. I wanted to try the TJ technique "Burnished Embossing" because it looked like it would go well with all the currently hot Baroque and Boho stuff. So I decided to use my SU "Baroque" background stamp and do it in burgundy and black (for some reason those sound kinda baroque-ish to me), so these are what I came up with:





I also used the SU "Baroque Motifs" set, and their "Charbon" PP, which they retired in December (I have no idea why -- it's gorgeous paper!) The ribbon is just something I picked up at JoAnn or Michael's or somewhere long ago. And the pearl brads came from Archivers, but I don't remember who makes them.

SO ... it was fun to get up in the craft loft and play after a long absence! I've GOT to start working on my NYResolution to actually SCRAP this year! I had a ton of pictures printed up from Kodak Gallery this week, so I have no more excuses. Well, at least not relating to the photos themselves.

Okay, I've got some Phil and Caddie stuff rolling around in my head, so I'd better go do some writing before I forget and lose it. I hate having great scenes in my head and thinking "Oh, I know I'll remember that!" and then coming back later to write it down and it's just gone, all the groovy details that made the scene click just vanished. So it's off to play the author now. Before I go I will add Technostamper's blog to my list of cool ones.

Cheers!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Baby card from the loft



Well, hallelujah! I finally had a moment to make a card! Okay, actually I had to make a card – one of my husband’s co-workers is expecting a baby on the 25th and I needed to make a card to go with the gift his department is giving her. At first I was really frustrated making this … she’s one of the few remaining women in the western world who doesn’t want to know what her baby is until it pops out – which normally I would praise highly (that’s the way I was), but it sure makes it difficult in choosing baby clothes and making cards. Why? you say. Yellow and green! you say. Well, yes. And I did go yellow and green (more precisely, Summer Sun and Wild Wasabi), but the card I was using for inspiration had four colors, and that totally threw me because I couldn’t decide what else would look good with those two colors. I finally (after many tries and lots of “ventilation language” under my breath – don’t worry, it was “acceptable” ventilation language!) decided on Groovy Guava and Handsome Hunter (the background color that looks like black in the pic). And of course put it all on textured Very Vanilla.

The stamp set I used is “Here I Am” by Stampin’ Up! – I just got this a few weeks before it went on the retired list in December. I totally love it, and I don’t know why they retired it, unless it was because it had been around awhile. I haven’t had much use for baby stamps until just very recently, but I guess if I’m going to try to sell cards, I should make some baby ones, huh? Anyway, everything about this card is pretty self-explanatory, except that I used the SU “Word Window” punch to make the tabs on the side. I have no idea where the ribbon came from – might have been Club Scrap, but I’m not sure. Brads were from Oriental Trading Company.

If I get a chance tomorrow I want to try a technique called “Brayered Sky”. I think it’ll go perfectly with a cool mosaic-type stamp of a barren tree against a sunset sky that I got from Sparkle-n-Sprinkle just a couple of days ago. Y’know, I really should have made “I will spend much less money” one of my New Year’s Resolutions this year, because I really have started off badly on that count. I’m blaming it on Christmas money, but once I start spending, it gets totally addictive. I went to Archiver’s today for no good reason except to reward myself for having run some tedious errands for my husband. I didn’t spend too much, and I did have a coupon, but still!

Anyway, the next really big project is to prepare for my Valentine’s Day Stamp-a-Stack coming up in a week and a half. I’ve only had one person sign up for it, and two declines out of fourteen invitations sent. There are, like, five people who haven’t even looked at their e-vites yet! And no one else has responded. What does it take to get people to RSVP, for heaven’s sake? And I’ve explained a hundred times that I need to know in advance (especially for a SAS) so I’ll know how many “kits” to prepare and if I need to order any more supplies. Yeesh!

Okay, well, it’s getting late and I’ve gotta get this posted so I can do a couple of quick edits on my story and get to bed. Aidan is in mid-terms week, and he got to choose two exams to be exempt from (had a 95 or better in those classes – he has grades that high in most classes, but you could only choose two), so he doesn’t have to go to school at all tomorrow! Yay! Because it’s gonna be very cold tomorrow, and I prefer to stay home and be cozy with my stamps!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

New SU Demonstrator Business Web Site!

Well, I'm busy with relatives this week, but I wanted to let y'all know that Stampin' Up! has totally re-vamped their Demonstrator Business Web Sites, so mine is all fresh and brand-spankin' new! Just go to www.stacya.stampinup.net to see all the new goodies. I don't actually have any of my own artwork up there yet, but plan to start adding that as I get new things made with the newer stamps.

Fortunately, I'm feeling MUCH better now -- like, halfway human again! We're enjoying the visit with Bjorn's parents, and his mom has been very helpful to me in my still-kinda-weak state.

I have ordered some things (well, okay, kinda a LOT of things) from the new Spring/Summer Collection catalog and a good portion of it is supposed to arrive tomorrow. I can't wait! There are so many stamp sets I love in this catalog, especially the Eastern Eclectic stuff. It's very "me" (okay, if you knew me well you might not see that, but it is, trust me!). So I'm really looking forward to having time in the stamp loft to play with it all.

Okay, gotta run, but I hope to have lots of new projects to show off very soon!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Heres' to a Creative, Crafty 2008

Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile! There was all the Christmas stuff (and the burnout), then over Christmas, while visiting in Arizona, I got the worst gastro-intestinal flu! I actually ended up in the hospital in Show Low, Arizona (we were up on the Mogollon Rim at my in-laws’ cabin) with severe dehydration. Not fun. So it’s taking me awhile to recover my energy from that. But I am dying to get into the craft loft now and get started on a new year of stamping and scrapping! Yes! I am once again Inspired and Eager to get going! (It helps that SU has a new catalog full of entirely wonderful and groovy new things, and that I got Christmas money!)

Alas, we are having company this whole next week, but hopefully, if I can get the brain-fog to go away, I’ll have some free time to get up there and do something. Even if it’s just clean the place up a bit and get the vibes from all that wonderful paper and STUFF!

Oh! With some of my Christmas money I bought a CRICUT!! The basic one, but still, it should be fun … I ordered it online from Oh My Crafts, so I hope it gets here soon so I can play with it!

Alright, gotta run … Here’s wishing all of us a wonderful new year full of incredibly crafty, creative days and fabulous projects!

P.S. I can't believe it's been a whole year since Phil Joel left the Newsboys. I think I may survive now, but it took me about eight months to get over that! Anyway, life moves on -- I still love Phil and the Phil-included Newsboys, but the group as it is now will never be the same. In my Humble But Most Accurate Opinion.