Sunday, December 30, 2007

Monkeying Around

Being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, I really try to stay with SU stamps. If I see a really cute stamp (especially monkeys), my hesitance to not buy is really stretched. As you can see, I gave in to the urge for these Stampendous monkeys (found them at Archivers). Oh well, what can you do? I need to play with the new gorgeous stamp sets from the Spring and Summer 2008 catty.....that's what I can do......only need to wait a few more days!!!

This card measures 4.25"x4.25". I stamped the right half of the Pink Passion base card with the small flower from Time Well Spent (using Whisper White craft ink).

The focal image is stamped on watercolor paper with Timber Brown StazOn ink. I watercolored using my markers (Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa and Pretty In Pink). Just keep blending with the aquapainter until you reach the desired colors of shadows and highlights. The heart balloon is watercolored with the ink from my lid of my Pink Passion ink pad. I added a white highlight using my white Signo gel pen. I sponged the edges of the focal image with Close to Cocoa ink and repeatedly stamped with word "valentine" (from Everyday Flexible Phrases). I then put Crystal Effects over the entire balloon. Once the balloon was dry, I placed it on a mat of Choc Chip cardstock that was dry embossed on the right side with my Cropodile. A piece of the yummy chocolate chip satin ribbon was used to hide where the white flowers stopped.

I love these little monkeys. SU has the cutest little monkey in one of the Level 3 Hostess sets. I am hoping to earn him from my Open House.

Oh well......back to the laundry......

Until tomorrow.....Happy Stamping everyone!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Play.....Do Not Hoard!!!

"Play, Do Not Hoard" is going to be my new motto for 2008. What's the point of buying cool embellishments and papers if we are never going to use them? So, who's going to join me? Who's gonna start playing with their new toys within a week of receiving/buying them? Okay, I think you get my point.....I will stop lecturing now!!!

So, this card is in celebration of my new "non-hoarding" resolution. I finally used some of my Stampin' Up! designer papers and some pearls I purchased at my local LSS. The focal image was created with a stamp set called "A Beautiful Life". I used the rock and roll technique to achieve the multi-colored look of the daffodils (using Apricot Appeal and Regal Rose). The line portion of this image (this stamp set is a two step stamp) was stamped with Regal Rose. I used my Stamp-a-majig to ensure the proper placement of the line images. The stems were stamped in Certainly Celery.

I do have to say that it was fun using something new!!! I look forward to checking out my stash of stuff in my stamping studio. I'm sure there are lots of goodies I completely forgot about!!! I'll be like the kid in the candy store!!!!

Stamping Supplies

stamp sets: A Beautiful Life, Warm Words

ink: Regal Rose, Apricot Appeal, Certainly Celery

paper: Basic Black, Prints Designer Paper (Rose Red, Certainly Celery), Whisper White

accessories: Ticket Corner punch, Word Window Punch, adhesive pearls (K&Co.), sponges, Stamp-a-majig

Until tomorrow.........Happy Stamping everyone!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Playing With New Toys

I think it's great that adults can still have the joy of playing with new toys too. I know my kids (the biggest currently hunting on his Wii) have been enjoying their new games. Stampin' Up! sent each of its demonstrators a level 3 hostess set from the new Spring and Summer Catty. The stamp set is called Time Well Spent, and it truly is a fun set to play with.
This is the longest card I have ever made. It measures 4"x9.25", and the design kinda came to me the other night just before I fell asleep. I am not the kind of stamper that runs out of bed to make something that pops into my mind. I just kinda hope that the "vision" is still there in the morning when I wake up....LOL!!!!
The basecard is Purely Pomegranate, and it is stamped with the Polka Dot background stamp in Purely Pomegranate ink. I used my Corner Rounder punch to scallop the bottom edge. I then pierced each of the scallops using my piercing tool from the tool kit.
I used some new toys to color in my focal image. I bought a few Copics when I visited a Hobby Lobby last week (wow, what a store!!!!). I only bought two colors and a colorless blender pen. I wanted to see what the hubbub is all about. They were fun to color with, but honestly, I think I am happier creatively using my aquapainter and reinkers. Besides, the Copics are really expensive....I paid $5.89 a marker. I think I'd rather use what I already own and buy more rubber from the new Spring and Summer SU catty.
Ok, back to the card. After coloring the focal image, I sponged the edges with Apricot Appeal ink, matted it on black and finally on Apricot Appeal cardstock. The other two white panels are stamped with both the Canvas BG stamp and a smaller flower from the Time Well Spent stamp set in Apricot Appeal (sponged and matted the same way as the focal image).
The rest of the card is pretty easy to figure out based on the picture (I like to give you the stamping details because it's not always visible in the pictures). The only thing funky is a ribbon accent element that was created by Debbie Olson. You punch the right side of a card element with a circle punch (I used the 3/4"), and it makes a notch where your knot sits. Pretty cool, huh?
This "big honkin' card" was really fun to make. It's quite heavy though with all it's layers.
I bought a new "contraband" stamp last night when I visited Archiver's (DH gave me a gift card). I couldn't was a monkey!!!!! I have a vision.......gotta go stamp......
Until tomorrow.....Happy Stamping everyone!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Whew!!!! The Hubbub of the Holidays!!

So, how was your Christmas? Ours was fabulous. I really enjoyed the past couple of days with my family. On Christmas Eve afternoon, we went to church to attend family services. Afterwards, my parents came over for our annual homemade pizza picnic. I make tons of pizza and we eat in the living room while watching Christmas movies. This year, we watched Rudolph and The Santa Clause.

On Christmas day, the entire family came over for a traditional turkey dinner. We then opened presents. The picture frame above was a gift I made for both my daughter and my sister-in-law. Amanda attended her first concert ever this past summer. This is a picture my husband took of Amanda, my sister-in-law and her sister at the Brad Paisley concert. They loved the frame. Here is how I made it........

The frame is from Target. I traced the shape of the frame onto my Outlaw designer paper. I then trimmed the DSP with my paper cutter. Any leftovers can be sanded away with sanding blocks. I sponged the edges of the DSP with some Close to Cocoa ink to make it look even more distressed. I embossed the sentiment (from True Friend....which made it into the Spring and Summer catty....yeah!!!) using my Versamark and Black embossing powder. I also embossed the medallion (from Wanted) using my Versamark and the retired Copper embossing powder. I punched out the medallion with the circle scallop punch. I also sponged the edges with Close to Cocoa ink to make it look a little "dirty". I cut off the prongs on five black brads and attached them to the top portion of the frame with Crystal Effects.

The girls loved their new frame. I think it will help them remember the great time they had at the concert that night.

I FINALLY had a chance to stamp this morning. I made a gorgeous card using my new Time Well Spent hostess set. I will post it either later today or tomorrow. The kids are dreading a trip to the dentist this morning......ugh!!!!

Until later....Happy Stamping everyone!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Teacher Gifts Almost Finished

Well, I sure have been busy working on all kinds of teacher gifts. Here are samples of the projects I have been working on.

The project on the left is DD's gift to her dance teachers. Each packet contains 4 cards and envelopes. I used my Bellarina stamp set to create these cards. It's really hard to see in the picture, but the base card is stamped with the Paisley BG stamp using Pretty in Pink craft ink. The focal image is stamped on watercolor paper and watercolored with my aquapainter and reinkers. She is then all glittered up with some Dazzling Diamonds. The packet was designed using a large flat cello bag and a 5"x10" piece of Pretty in Pink cardstock. I scored at 8.25" and 8.5" to create the flap. I used some patterned paper (the name escapes me as it was in last year's Winter Mini catty.....but it's really pretty with pink, rose, teal and cocoa) and 5/8" rose grosgrain ribbon to finish off the packet.

The nugget tins are for the kids' school teachers, DD's Hip Hop teacher ( a guy who wouldn't appreciate the ballet cards) and DS's taekwondo instructor. The were made with my Bold Snowflakes wheel, Snowflakes and Circle of Friendship stamp set. I have a few more of these to make today. The problem is that I have a bit of a boo boo on my left pinky finger. I hit it really hard on my car seat and tore my acrylic nail (along with my real one attached) all the way down to my cuticle. So basically a bandaid is holding my nail on until it grows up (which will take months). It's very sore, and I realize now how much I actually use this little finger now that it is hurt. Ugh!!!!

Oh well...enough whining.....I need to get back to work!!!! I still have basically all my wrapping left to do!!!

Happy stamping everyone!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

I Received My Spring/Summer Catty Today!!!

Good evening stampers. Sorry for the late post, but it was a busy day today. I didn't stamp today (just assembled four cards for one of DD's dance teachers). But, I did get my hair colored, highlighted and cut, did laundry and attended DS's winter choir concert (they were awesome....such a talented group).

Anyway, guess what was in my mailbox today? That's demo copy of the Spring/Summer Collection. I am happy to say that this catalog has a much more diverse set of stamp set styles than those from the Fall/Winter catty. I am SO happy to report that there is a new military set. Demos and customers alike have been emailing Stampin' Up! about the lack of patriotic/military sets.

If you're a frequent visitor to my blog, you know that I LOVE watercoloring. There are LOTS of new stamp sets for me to watercolor......florals, cutesy animals, etc.

There are a few new background stamps.....yes, I am a background stamp addict. I am hoping to love the new Twill stamp as much as I have enjoyed using Linen.

If you are a sentiment lover then you will not be disappointed. There are tons of new to choose from.

I think the most exciting part of a new catalog are the new accessories. Let me tell you we have new punches, glitters, beads, ribbon, incredible patterned papers, full pieces of chipboard and so much more.

There is even a new adhesive. SU now carries Mono Multi........this stuff is incredible.

Oh well, my day is catching up to me. I think it's time to hit the hay.

Until tomorrow....happy stamping everyone!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Happy Party Day Alex!!!

My niece and goddaughter, Alex, is having her birthday party today. We're going bowling and then grabbing some food afterwards. Alex loves puppies (in addition to firehouses, astronauts, Star Wars, Spiderman, etc....).
I once again used another of my retired sets. This one is called Ruff Day. I love this particular set because it is so much fun to watercolor. I used a combination of my reinkers and ink from smooshing my ink pads. Of course, I always use my aquapainter and watercolor paper when I am watercoloring. The colors I used on the dog are Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa, Pink Passion, Only Orange and Pretty in Pink (for his tongue). I also used my Stardust gelly roll pen to add some bling to the hat and smaller confetti pieces. The focal image is then mounted on a layer of Basic Black to make him "pop".
The basecard is Pink Passion. I used a rendition of a recent card sketch on Splitcoast for the design of this card. I cut three strips of Only Orange (1.5"x3.75") and stamped them with the Polka Dot background stamp using Only Orange ink. I also sponged the edges with Only Orange ink. After using the ticket corner punch on all four corners, I adhered each of the orange strips onto 1.75"x4" strips of YoYo Yellow.
I have to leave for the party now!!!! Enjoy the rest of your afternoon!!!
Happy Stamping everyone!!!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Retirement Challenge

Are your holiday cards finished yet? If not, I am challenging you make some of your cards with a retired stamp set. One of my great blog readers left me a comment asking me to make a card each month with a retired stamp set. It's my goal to inspire you to dust off those retired beauties and stamp with them.

Here is my retired card of the month, and I just love it. It uses one of my all time favorite stamp sets: Snowflakes. I used one of my favorite color combos for this card: Blue Bayou and Soft Sky. The Soft Sky layer is dry embossed using my snowflake Cuttlebug template. I used my ticket corner punch on each of the corners. The snowflake is stamped in Blue Bayou ink on Whisper White cardstock. Once again, I used my ticket corner punch and sponged with Soft Sky ink. I added some Dazzling Diamonds and a clear rhinestone brad in the center. I added some Blue Bayou double-stitched grosgrain ribbon.

I am so proud of myself that I used two tools that I kinda forget about: my Cuttlebug templates and my Quikutz. The little tag is punched with my Quikutz tool. I stamped the word "joy" (from Everyday Flexible Phrases). I attached the tag to the ribbon with a length of silver elastic cord.

This card came together pretty quickly. The best news is that all my cards are DONE!!! The second half were addressed and stamped today!!!

Tomorrow I need to work on all the gifts......karate teachers, dance teachers, school teachers. It looks like another busy, birthday parties, baking!!!!

I hope you all have a great evening......I am not sure if I will have a chance to post anything this weekend, but I will try!!!!

Happy Stamping everyone!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Happy Birthday Chris!

Today my DS turns 15. I cannot believe how time has flown by. It seems like yesterday that he was a little baby.....burping, passing gas.......never mind.....teenagers still do that.....but they laugh about it.....when does the potty humor stop?????
Anyway, DS is a total baseball FREAK!!! So, of course, baseball needed to be the theme of his card. I really wish I owned a stamp set with a baseball player, but this is all I have. It's a Stampin' Up! set called "Just Baseball". I use this set all the time for my guy cards. If it's for the adult baseball freaks in my life, I use more of the muted and earthy colors. For the younger guys, I use the brighter colors.
This card measures 5.25"x5.25". The basecard is Brocade Blue. I used my Brocade Blue, Creamy Caramel and Ruby Red stamp pads to randomly stamp the images on my Whisper White cardstock. I used my Brocade Blue marker and the Color Spritzer tool to spatter some color (along with some sponging along the edges).
I added a band of Ruby Red (sponged with Ruby Red ink) and added some faux stitching with the Ruby Red marker. I used my Classic Numbers (retired) to stamp the "15". The sentiment is from the retired set (and never to leave my possession) Cheery chat. It's stamped in Basic Black and then spattered with both the Ruby Red marker and Brocade Blue markers (using the spritzer tool).
As DS doesn't like fussy cards, I didn't add any ribbon. I did add a piece of hodgepodge with the word "son" (from Everyday Flexible Phrases).
He loved his card, and we love him!!! Happy Birthday sweetie!!!!
Until tomorrow.....Happy Stamping Everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I'm Still Alive

Good evening stampers! I apologize for my lack of blog activity, but I have been one busy lady lately. I have been stamping, but unfortunately, I can't show you any of it. You see, I have been making gifts for some family members. They look AMAZING!!! I can't show you because the people who are getting the gifts also visit my blog regularly. Sorry!!!

So how are your holiday happenings going? You know, the cookie baking, the shopping, the wrapping, the cardmaking and addressing. I haven't really started my baking yet. I did manage to make some yummy chocolate biscotti. I think DD and I will tackle the cookie baking this weekend. My shopping is almost done...except for stocking stuffers. All of DH's presents are wrapped. I will wrap sporadically over the next week. My cards are 2/3 of the way done. I have about 20 more to make. Not too bad!!!!

I will try to stamp something that is blog-able. I hope you will forgive me while I am running around like a chicken with it's head cut off.

I would love to see pics of something you are currently working on........

Happy Stamping everyone!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pocket Cards

Are you looking for something different when making your cards? Why not try a pocket card? They are SO easy to make.

Take a piece of 8.5"x11" cardstock (I used Choc Chip) and on the 8.5" side, cut at 4.25". Score at 5.5" and 10". Fold your cardstock on the score lines and use your corner rounder to round all four corners of the card and also on the two corners of the fold-down flap. I have found that you need to use Sticky Strip or your ATG glue gun to keep this card together. Make sure that the adhesive is pretty close to the side edges of the card or you will risk the insert not fitting into the pocket.

Speaking of the insert, I cut mine 3.75"x4.5". I rounded all the corners once again with my corner rounder punch. I also used my rounded tab punch to create a pull tab for the insert.

I tried to focus my All Occasion stamp-a-stack on retiring stamp sets, but I really wanted to make a birthday card. So, I pulled out my not retiring Big Bold Birthday stamp set. I did use the retiring "In My Thoughts" for the birthday message on the insert.

Wanna hear a trick to make whipping up these cards extremely fast? Instead of stamping the frosting, use your circle scallop punch and cut the punch out in half. I sponged the edges to make it look more "real".

Oh well......enough chit chat about this card. I hope you can find the time to try a pocket card. They are especially nice for holiday cards because you can tuck in a smaller photo on the insert card.

I have a ton to do today......Christmas shopping, work on gifts for: teachers, dance instructors, Taekwondo instructor.

Hope you have a wonderful day......until tomorrow.......Happy Stamping everyone!!!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Thanks to my Readers!!!

I want to thank each and every one of my blog readers. Thank you for taking the time to post comments on my projects and telling me stories about your life.
Today's card (which I said I was going to post last night, but forgot to) is another card from my All Occasion stamp-a-stack. This card is called the "all purpose" card. I do not have a sentiment on it. Therefore, it's perfect for just about anything.....get well, sympathy, birthday, thinking of you, anniversary, etc.......
The base card is Perfect Plum stamped with the Fine Lace background stamp in Perfect Plum ink. The focal image is from the "Oh, So Lovely" hostess set. I used my watercolor crayons to color in the berries and leaves. I used my Color Spritzer tool and the Perfect Plum marker to spritz some color over the focal image. It's kinda hard to see, but I used my Crystal Effects on each of the berries for some added gloss and 3D texture. I used my Ticket Corner punch (yes, you NEED to purchase this punch) on both the focal image and it's black mat. The final touch on this card is a band of Pale Plum tied with a length of Eggplant grosgrain ribbon.
So, how is your weekend looking? Ours is pretty tame. We are getting into the family birthday week. We have three birthdays within a matter of 7 brother's, DS's and my niece. Saturday night we are celebrating my brother's birthday. On Sunday, we have friends coming up for an early dinner and to just hang out. We can't's been a while since we've been together.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Drive safely if you are out holiday shopping!!!! I will try to post a project over the weekend.
Happy stamping everyone!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Day Spent with Alex

Today is a very special day. Today I am spending the day with my niece Alex. It's our special day to celebrate her 5th birthday. Every year we go shopping for her birthday present and go to lunch. So we ventured out on a snowy morning to Toys R Us. After debating between a fire truck, a Star Wars ship and action figures and High School Musical stuff, she finally decided on the Star Wars ship and figures. We went to Olive Garden for lunch where she feasted on salad, breadsticks, black olives and white noodles (fettucine alfredo). Now, Alex is here playing with a spare keyboard while watching Cars. This picture was taken today while drawing a picture of Jeff Gordon (her favorite race card driver).

I never got a chance to post a card yesterday. So, I have two cards to post today. This is the first one. It's my thank you card design for my All Occasion stamp-a-stack taking place this weekend. I try to keep the designs on the simpler side when I hold a Stamp-a-Stack. When I was a beginner demo, I held a Stamp-a-Stack using the Christmas Cardinals flowers and watercoloring. 'Nuf said.....the stampers wanted my head on a stick. So, lesson learned.....keep these cards on the simple side......but still make them beautiful.

This card uses Double-Line Doodles. It's not my favorite stamp set, but I decided to use it since I haven't picked it up since last year's regionals and the announcement that it is retiring.

The card measures 4.25"x4.25". The base card is Blue Bayou (stamped with the retiring Linen....still in shock over this one) with accents of Not Quite Navy, More Mustard and Ruby Red.

Oh well.....I will post my second card later......I'm off to play with Alex.

Happy stamping everyone!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

All Occasion Stamp-a-Stack Card #1

On Friday and Saturday, I am holding an "All Occasion Stamp-a-Stack". Each attendee will make 12 cards (3 each of 4 different designs). The themes are birthday, thank you, thinking of you and baby. The project featured today is the baby card. It can also be used as a birthday card for a young child by simply changing the message on the inside of the card.

During my stamp-a-stack, I try to feature the soon-to-be-retiring sets. Hopefully my stamping friends will love the stamp sets as much as I do and purchase them before they are gone for good!!!

The stamp set featured on this card is called Bundle of Joy. I was actually kinda surprised that this set retired. I do not have many baby sets so this one will stay in my personal stash.

If you live in the Twin Cities area and would like to attend my class, kindly email me before Thursday, Dec. 6th.

We had a busy day here......went Christmas shopping at the Mall of America. That's why I am posting so late. The mall wasn't busy at all......but it's snowing like crazy outside!!!!

Until tomorrow...Happy Stamping everyone!!!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Homemade....From the Heart!!!

Have you ever visited Lauren Meader's (aka MyTime on SCS) blog? If you haven't, you really should take the time to check it out. In addition to having a busy life with three children (one of whom is fighting the big fight against cancer), Lauren posts beautiful projects and tutorials on her blog every day. She is truly an inspiration to us all.

This project was inspired by Lauren. The directions for the acetate box can be found on the link above. I used my beloved retired Snowflake stamp set and some White StazOn to stamp the acetate before assembling (I did cut and score the box according to Lauren's directions prior to stamping). I used my ATG gun to assemble the box but Sticky Strip would also work perfectly.

The tag was created using a scraps of Blue Bayou and Soft Sky (oh, how sad I will be when SU retires these colors on June 30th......they are just so gorgeous). The stamp set is called Holiday Treats, and it is manufactured by Papertrey Ink. I usually do not buy non-SU, but this stamp set has a genre all it's own and SU has nothing like it in the catalog. Anyway, enough of my trying to ease my guilty feelings.

I stamped the image on Whisper White cardstock using Blue Bayou and Soft Sky ink. I sponged the edges with Blue Bayou ink. Using my Dazzling Diamonds and my glue pen, I added some glitz to the snowflake in the center.

Do you wanna know a trick to making tags with even corners? I took a piece of scrap cardstock that was sitting on my stamping desk and cut off the corner with my paper snips. I then used this as a template for my actual tag. It's simply a matter of lining up the top and side edges and snip. Then turn over the template and line up with the other side of my tag and snip!!! The corners match perfectly!!!! Cool, huh?

Okay, here's how I finished the tag. I've been hoarding these snowflake eyelets for YEARS!!! I am learning that I must use my old stuff before I can buy new stuff. I pulled out my Cropodile, punch a 3/8" hole and set that little baby with hardly any effort and noise at all (I just love this tool). I loaded the box with some yummy Ghiradelli chocolates and tied it all up with some white wide organdy ribbon.

Isn't it gorgeous? It's a "Thank You" gift for my Mom's neighbor Nancy. Nancy hemmed DD's dance costume for me. You see, I HATE to sew!!! It's torture for me!!!! Nancy was so kind, and she did the most beautiful job on it.

(here is a close-up of the tag)

On a personal note, the weekend was fabulous. We got hit with a decent snowstorm on Saturday. DH and I were going to the theater to see "A Christmas Carol". It was fabulous!!!!! Tiny Tim and his "God Bless Us, Everyone" is so magical!!!

Yesterday, I went to my first NFL game ever. The MN Vikings kicked butt!!!! It was so much fun!!!! DD was bored out of her mind, but that's because she was so exhausted from the night before.

I have plans to stamp today.......I need to show my soon-to-be-retired stamp sets some love!!!! I hope I have inspired you to make a gift for someone this year!!!!

Until tomorrow......Happy Stamping everyone!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Retired List is Out!!!

Did you hear that the list of retired stamp sets from Stampin' Up!'s Fall and Winter Collection catalog is now available for your viewing pleasure? If you want to see the list, it can be found HERE.

There were a few surprises: Linen (what is SU thinking?....don't they know how often I use this background stamp?), Headline alphabet, Letterpress alphabet, It's Snow Time (hey, I love these snowmen), Bundle of Joy.

I have several classes scheduled for this month. I will put on a brave face, design beautiful projects using awesome retiring stamp sets and give them their last moments of deserved glory.

Take a look at the list.....and if you love a retiring stamp set, call your demo today to place your order. If you do not have a demo, feel free to email me. I would LOVE to be your demonstrator. All retired stamp sets are only available until January 1st. So don't delay!!!

It's snowing here in MN.....expecting 6-10 inches total.......of course, it's on the busiest weekend we've had in a LONG time!!!! Oh well, a perfect excuse for finishing the tree.

Happy Stamping everyone!!!