Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Vote for My Card! (check it out...)

My card is on Korin's blog, Inkydoodle -- and it has a chance of winning!
Please visit and vote for me if you like it ;^)*
Tell others who might vote!

The blog artwork contest entries have been posted and voting has begun:

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sewing on Cards -- I wanna try this...

I just read the most amazing tutorial on Julia Stainton's blog, Belle Papier {Pretty Paper} , about machine stitching on cards. Wowzers -- Great Work, Gal! Y'all should read it.

Have any of you ever sewn on cards? If anyone is reading this and can offer encouragement, lemme know. I have this small hand-held machine I was gifted, but I don't think I am even going to try it.

I wanna find an inexpensive machine to try and just see how it works. Straight stitching and zig-zag is all a person could ask for in the short term, I think... but I don't wanna pay $150 or more for something that I won't use.

Can anyone offer me some thoughts?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Scor-Pal Scores BIG -- and I mean it!

Wow. Have you ever met a tool that was so freakin' well-designed that it just blows you away?

For a long time I had been eye-ing one of those scoring boards -- the kind that promise the world... and sort of deliver. They are expensive... they are heavy... they seem to do one thing... they take up a lot of room...

Well, when I saw the Scor-Pal ( go to -- I immediately Got It -- I mean, I have been in engineering all my life... and this is one Cool Tool.

Lemme tell you about it:

It is light weight
It is sturdy
The tool has a great storage place and there is a hidden place for an extra tool to be kept
It is simple to use *elegance is a cornerstone of good design!
It is easy to use with all sizes of paper
No kid can get hurt with this one!

Diana Crick is a Stampin' Up! demo with a background in tool making, it is obvious -- and she has now even "improved" the design by adding a few extra scoring "slots" that will make the tool even MORE useful to me.

Diana is also responsive, interested and interesting -- very open and easy to communicate with -- and wow -- she is even making it easy to upgrade to the new version of the Scor-Pal if you already own one but want the newer version. In short, the designer and producer of this product is a Doll!

So -- WE CAN HELP! Even if you are not someone who makes tons of cards and feels that you have to own one -- having a Scor-Pal as a tool in the Stampin' Up! catalog would be a GREAT thing for demos. First, it is a nicely priced item to sell (think about your return on selling one of these... yes!) and it is Quality all the way -- I LOVE selling a quality item. Also, if people are using the Scor-pal they are using PAPER... think increased paper sales ;^)* Stampin' Up! should definitely consider it. It would sit right along side the Fiskars cutting tool, or the Guillotine cutter that they are selling... mine travels to workshops because it is so light... but I can't show it! Sigh...

So -- type to and let them know that the Scor-Pal, designed by a Stampin' Up! demonstrator should BE IN THE STAMPIN' UP! catalog. After all, the Crop-a-dile is finally in there... this would complete the perfect picture. Tell 'em what you think!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Another Contest Win -- but not for cards -- for Writing!

I am loving the contests, the ones that let me think as well as create. I just know that when I get doing on the challenges that I am going to go to town... hehehe

Well -- Mary Jo was having a contest for 5,000 hits... wahoo! I am hoping to get that many ;^)* She wanted to give something away... but didn't like the term "Blog Candy" -- after all, it is sort of like Kleenex (it has become so popular that you can't tell one from another, a Kleenex by any other name is just a tissue, right?) Anyway, I digress... I couldn't resist the simple challenge and I allowed my brain to play for a few minutes -- and whatdoyaknow? Mary Jo picked one of my suggestions! She is sending me some "Techno-Takeout"! Get this: a subscription to Paper Crafts magazine! I am so excited. I love getting inspiration from all sorts of places, but I seldom splurge to buy the subscriptions (I just find old copies somewhere... garage sales... sigh).

Thank you, Mary Jo! Be sure to check out her blog, Techno Stamper and tell her I sent you!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Cards! Finally!

Well, with the kids heading back into a routine -- Mom can finally (hopefully) get more daytime stamping... these cards were basically conceived in stolen moments. I am trying to work it out to get Wednesdays as "me time" and for stamping. We will see how that goes.

Next week I am leading a card for the Methodist stamping group that I attend -- not that I am a Methodist (Jewish/Quaker is my background) -- but this group of gals has a great monthly meeting, and I am so pleased that they keep it open to others on the Island where I live.

Thanks so much to Susan for finding a "basic sketch" somewhere (when I find out where, I will edit to include that) and then for offering HER ideas on how she would change it! Together I think we found a great design.

I have done two samples using Artfully Asian (Stampin' Up!) -- this one uses the cherry blossom bough, the other is simplified for those who might be "cutting challenged" and it uses the leaf stamp from the set (sorry -- no photo at the moment). I am in love with the whole "out of the box" thing I have seen on Lauren's blog that I wanted to try it on something of mine. I am hoping that the gals in the group (some very beginning stampers) will want to give it a try.

I used the Canvas Background (Stampin' Up!) in versamark on Rose Red cardstock -- and the sentiment and image are stamped in Basic Brown on Ivory. All edges are sponged in Chocolate Chip classic ink -- and I used some of the Rose Red Pallet O' Prints designer paper from Stampin' Up! under the main image. All the brown layers of cardstock are Chocolate Chip. The Prima flower with Making Memories brad is a little lush detail that makes the card work. I like the way it takes front, and yet balances the image... no need to color the little stamped flowers... really, a very simple card. I hope they like making it!

This second card is one that came together in little bits. I just can't help loving the prismacoloring on the Lizzie Anne flowers... I am so excited for their new releases!

This card uses one of my favorite things in my stash: the Basic Grey 6x6 designer paper pads -- this one is from the Phoebe collection. Those little birdies are so dang cute! I am seeing them everywhere in stamps, so I am not surprised that this paper is getting new life. I know I want to use it with a few birdies I have yet to purchase! With the paper... You know -- I finally GOT it~ USE the stuff -- you CAN get more! ;^)* Anyone else who has a tendency to hoard... it is very freeing to gain this attitude.

Side note: I used to have these kitchen towels -- I wanted to "keep them nice" and so I wouldn't use them... but I also wanted to buy a new set (I love having lots of towels around) and I couldn't justify having so many... then I got it! USE them, and when you need more, you will be able to buy MORE! Duh! Something inside of me is coming from a place of Scarcity -- and the world is just not like that. Please don't get me wrong: I am NOT advocating waste or some horrible out-of-wack consumerism -- but hoarding and buying without USING is just weird and not right. 'Nuf said :^)

Back to the card: I was seeing a lot of tent topper cards, and well, I don't like to do things all at the same time... I sort of meander and wander and do things at my own pace. So, this was slow in getting started and quick to come together. It was intended to be my fourth entry for Kimmie's Kard Kontest about a week or more ago... but alack! I had too much going on with my folks in town to get to finish it. I did finish it a few days ago -- but am FINALLY getting to post!

I used Kraft, Choc. Chip and Pretty in Pink and White cardstock, Palette Hybrid ink in Burnt Umber, Prismacolor Pencils and Gamsol, brads from Oriental Trading Co., May Arts Ribbon and SU silver cord. Stamps are Lizzie Anne and Verve Visuals first set of sentiments called "Thoughtful Phrases" that work GREAT with the Word Window punch from Stampin' Up! I am VERY impressed by the Verve Visuals stamps -- though I was skeptical at first (they seemed so small...) and I think that this card managed to finally come together in a way I can live with.

Happy Weekend, all -- I hope that you each get a chance to your heart's delight. Me, too, for that matter!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Creating -- and Enjoying -- but what a push!

I worked all week to set up this time today to stamp. It was _such_ a challenge -- but I did it. I made a card and a half for Kimmie's Kard Kontest -- but with all that went on (my folks are still here -- the kids are coldy and just needing Mama -- I have been really catering to my parents' needs...) I couldn't finish my fourth card for the Kontest. I am sooooo bummed!

My DH was GREAT. He said the nicest thing, "Oh, Honey -- it's OK -- you still have those beautiful cards you made!" Isn't that nice? He was trying so hard not to make me feel like a failure.

Here are the cards that I made -- the last two -- you saw the first -- my sister's birthday card. This one is for the Fall Colour Challenge:

I hope that you can't see the holes that I punched under the scallop that I didn't use -- like everything these days, I have not been able to re-do anything! No Time! I just make lemonade The fun chickens are from Hambo Stamps.

And this one is for the Sketch Challenge:

In this one, I was amazed that the black ink just doesn't want to dry! It is versafine onyx black, and it got smeared once -- then again, and finally I just said, let me fix this by making it consistent, at least. And you know, I kind of like the way it softened the butterfly a bit! It gave it some life... almost a sense of motion! The stamps are all from Stampin' Up!

I hope that you like the cards! I hope that Kimmie will consider them for her Kontest... I am not sure that they got in on time... oh, sigh. Anyone else have that kind of a time with a contest?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Happy Birthday to my Sister

Today is the day that my little sister turns 39. I am feeling so good for her in so many ways -- she has come so far in knowing who she is and in establishing herself... as an adult, it is so much nicer to draw on our rich history together and work things out as they arise... I love her so much, and it is a crazy thing that we are close and yet so different and live so far apart.

Risa and I have a history of "mice" -- in fact, we used to pretend we were mice as young children, and she has a nickname that stuck from one of our games when she was 6 years old -- I call her Herb!

Stamps on this are Penny Black (mouse) and Stampin' Up! for the sentiment. Papers are mostly Stampin' Up! but the scalloped oval is Basic Grey. Ribbon is May Arts and the silver cord is Stampin' Up!

Well, Herb -- this one's for you. I love you! Happy Birthday!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

All is well on the Western Front

Or: How to get your strength back when your parents visit ;^)*

My folks are great -- you know, people who really care and love you and want the best for you -- but sometimes it can be really hard when they come for a long visit. They seem to just LOVE to complain about the time difference, the airplane, that I live in the country and that I live on an island, that I have two dogs that shed and kids that mess the place up, that I am not a neatnik, yada-yada-yada. You know how some folks are really helpful when they are around? That is NOT my folks I love 'em, but grandma doesn't do diapers, and grandpa is flat out afraid of being alone with the baby!

Yeah, I know it is not stamping, but it is getting there.

Yesterday I did get to stamp -- and tomorrow I am going to put some final touches on a few cards. I can't seem to find a tiny bit of bling for one of the cards... the other I just have a few things to add... assembly seems hard. Then I will photograph and post, I promise. My mom just looked at the cards and said -- "You spend so long on these cards, how can you just send them out" -- and you know, it made me realize how much I just want to do that! Send them out! I think as I get better at photographing the cards, it will be much easier to send them out.

And -- stamping, was just what I needed to get my strength back. Tomorrow my folks are on a visit to the Olympic Peninsula, and I am going to take that time for me that I can get when my DH is home with the kiddos, too. Ah, I love having family here -- but if I could just get them to be a bit more helpful so I could stamp more!

I have been turning my mom on to scrapbooking -- I gave my folks an album that I did for them for their 40th wedding anniversary (ok, it was 4 years late -- but it is done!) and now mom is getting curious about testing the waters. THAT gives me energy! I am hoping to get my scanner working tomorrow, too -- and then maybe we can scan some of the priceless old photos she is carrying around and damaging in her purse. I did give her a new mini photo album that I picked up via Creative Memories, so I think that they are safer... and we talked about photo handling... but I am not so sure that she "gets" it, yet. I think there is hope, so y'all Hold her in the Light about it, ok?

My father and I have been going around and around about a building project that I would like to start -- one that would gain me a workshop and a car-port for our vehicles (the sap from the trees is just awful and it would be great to protect our cars from all the falling debris where we have to park them...) My dad just is so bad about DOING stuff (he is a THINKER -- he just doesn't have those kind of real-world skills) he is afraid of the thought of building, I think. I, on the other hand, have shared housing with 6 architects over the years, helped my best buddy get into Harvard school of architecture, and LOVE the thought of making a building real. I was the person who contracted out and bought land and got my home put on it -- before I was married -- and I just LOVE the thought of having space to really LIVE and USE! Dad just doesn't get it. Not that he needs to -- I am just programmed to want his approval. Gee, I feel about 5 years old when he is around!

So -- stamping -- when I stamp I am strong. I am in control. I get to pick it. I get to play. I don't have to share. Shouldn't we all have something like that?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Fun Game for you to Try

While blog hopping I found a fun game here, on Lauren's Blog (who got it from Dawn’s Blog)

The object of the game is like Scattegories! You have to think of answers that start with the first letter of your FIRST Name!

I would love for you all to play!

Here I go!

Your Name: Julie

Famous Artist/Band/Musician: Joss Stone

4 letter word: Just

Vehicle: Jeep

TV SHOW: (barely watch any) Jakers!

City/Town: Juneau (I used to live there!)

Boy Name: Jonathan

Girl Name: Jessica

Occupation: Judge

Something you wear: Jangly Bracelets!

Celebrity: Janet Jackson

Food: Jam

Something found in a kitchen: Jello

Reason for Being Late: Jump-starting the car

Cartoon Character: Josie and the Pussycats

Something You Shout: Just Do It!

Now its your turn. Not as easy as you think!

I etsy!

Ok, I am just figuring all of this out -- but I think I have found a way to add my own goods for sale, without doing the ebay thing (not that ebay is bad -- just not the forum for handmade stuff, I think... plus it can be expensive...soooooo)

Have any of you heard of ETSY? Go to and check it out -- it is an online venue for artists to sell HANDMADE items! Very cool, very inexpensive -- free to set up shop.

Here I am -- click on the banner below and you get to my etsy store (and thanks, again, to Kara Jones (MotherHenna on estsy) for creating my banner!

Right now I just have one item listed for sale, but soon there will be more ;^) What a great way to tie it all in together, eh?

If any of you have ever tried etsy -- would you comment and share with all of us? Happy shopping!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The lows and the highs! WOW!

I don't know if anyone noticed how grumpy I have been lately. My last post is proof -- sorry about how I ended it... rather rude. I apologize! My 18 month old is cutting molars and nursing all night, and it has been about 4 days without real sleep. Very harsh.

Still -- I have some news that has me sooooo jazzed I think I will have a hard time sleeping!


I have been all atwitter over the Lizzie Anne Stamps, as you might know. You saw how I was coloring some of Jolies Fleurs, right? Well, I was over on Lindsey's blog, saw the contest, was totally enabled to get some stamps... and submitted 3 cards. It was a push for me to make the room for ME to create, with the kids being very needy right now (and rightfully so -- they are young!) But my vision came through to Real Life ... and one of my cards took Best Overall. Check it out! The competition was _amazing_ and I am so honored to have placed! I don't think I could have judged it at all!!!

Now that it is all over, I feel like it is ok for me to post the cards ;^)* The top one I call "Fall Flowers" and it was surprising for me to work in those colors -- something I never do! I had a lot of fun playing with the "kissing" technique... let me tell you, it has real possibilities for changing the way you look at those bold, flat stamps

Thank you sooooo much, Lindsey, for the opportunity to play -- This is a really Big Thing for me, as I am aching to be on a design team for Lizzie Anne someday -- maybe they will notice me! Yay, yay, yay!!!

I call this one "Juicy Flowers" -- it was the winner!

See how it opens? This is a "signature" card of mine. I cased myself -- if you look in my SCS gallery, here.

This little guy is a 3x3 that I thought would be great for the "Out of the Box" category. I jokingly said to Lindsey -- this is right out of the box, and into the barn! I thought it would be a great "thank you" for a baby gift. I see so many ways to enhance this now... mainly I want to emboss a square around it just to "finish" it a bit.

Ughhh... but learning a lot

I am pushing myself to get out of my comfort zone. And it's hard!

I have trouble using the patterned paper that I love. And I have all these new stamps and I am going to USE them, too! ARRRRRRGHHHHHHHHHHHH...

The trouble is -- I hate what I am making!

But... I am still going to post it ;^)*

Because it is all that I am making and I would rather post than not.

Ok, here's the card -- and I am going to send it away as a RAK hoping that someone likes it even though I am struggling. I am a newbie in the SCS RAK group, and I hope that maybe the surprise element will make this card more appealing. I hope so!

Recipe: Stamps: True Friend (SU) and Jollies Fleurs (Lizzie Anne Designs); Card Stock: Sage Shadow, Barely Banana, Perl White, Whisper White (all SU!); Ink: Palette Hybrid in burnt sienna, SU sage shadow; SU Markers; Making Memories brads.

What I don't like about this card: Things seem "off" -- not balanced, or syncopated or grooving together. The scallops seem to be fighting with the points! The sentiment is cramped.
I should have sponged the patterned paper, now that I think of it... The darned brads aren't splayed out flat enough... grrrr...

There are a few things I do like about it -- I USED stuff I don't normally break out ;^)*

I even realized that the flower that is on the inside of the card, peaking out -- needed NOT to be cut off -- so I pulled out the stamp-a-ma-jig, and it worked just as I hoped it would YAY! The final sponging of sage onto the sentiment and Lizzie Anne flower softened things up just a bit, and that helped too, in the end. I even used - gasp- markers, to color in the flower! I don't usually do that because, don't laugh, I just got them! You see, I like more subtle shading and blended colors, so markers just usually are not the tool that I use. And YES -- I am hating the way the center of the LA flower isn't shaded nicely -- and YES I wish I had a LOT of money for Copic markers to play around with those -- but I don't. So there.

Monday, August 13, 2007

What a day for stamping!

Wow. You ever have a friend who just keeps on GIVING? My friend Susan is like that. I cannot tell you how much I receive from her, on all levels.

Sometimes it is months before we hook up -- then POW! We are together and things just click. It is amazing... today was like that. I had a babysitter (thank you from the bottom of my heart, Melanie!) which is a very RARE thing for me. And, after a rough start getting out of the house, there I was, in Susan's stamping room.

There is a desk for me to work, with great light pouring in from a window. There are colors all around, but mostly from the wonderful array of Stampin' Up! card stock that Susan has on her shelf (I bring my own, of course, but if I run out, there's backup) -- and Susan lets me use her inks (so I don't have to schlep everything out of my home -- which I almost always have to do!)

Today I was finishing a card for Lindsey's Lizzie Anne contest -- oh, I am so head over heels in freakin' LOVE with those stamps! I have a dream of someday being on a Lizzie Anne design team. I think I would pass out if I ever got that chance -- but I would WAKE UP very fast and get stamping!!! I can't post that card until after Lindsey finishes the contest at midnite on Wed. but so be it. I am also working on another one for the same contest because it is so freakin' cool to be able to play with the stamps. Susan has more sets than I do -- but I have one set that she doesn't have -- so it is fun, fun, fun. Thank you, Susan, for loaning me the one set with all the sentiments so I can continue to play, play, play tonight.

Also -- I had a few background stamps and I was thinking... they are unmounted rubber, and rather than mounting them, I got out the brayer, which also had never seen ink -- and I went for it! I laid the rubber on the table, inked it up, put down the paper and used an acrylic roller to get some even pressure.... oh, wow. I, like, actually cried when I saw how the images turned out. Man, am I ever in love with my background stamps and brayer. There is no holding me back, now! Masking is the only thing left and then I am going to be all over the place with the ideas that have been locked in my head, waiting to get out!

Does anyone else have trouble cataloging where you get your unmounted rubber? I bought these stamps at a convention, and I failed to get a bag that identified the maker. Grrrr... I am hoping to find something to help, but if I don't find it... sigh -- maybe someone on SCS can help ;^)* You all will get to see them soon enough -- after the kiddos get to bed tonight, I aim to be working on coloring and assembling. hehehe... the things we do in the middle of the night ;^)*

Sorry for no photos -- but they are coming!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Oh, It Feels Sooooooo Good!

I am so excited to have stamped today. My kids had fun and I got to stamp -- amazing. A friend asked me to come over and said I should bring some stamping stuff, so I did. Then, she couldn't stamp because she had a sick pet rat she was holding (the poor fellah is almost 3 and he might be dying...) but she encouraged me to work. And... I had an assignment. My only uncle is turning 70-something... so my Dad gave me the nudge that a card was in order. I am terrible about these things, but getting better!

I saw this set and HAD to have it. I went and searched it out on SCS, as it was retired. I don't regret it one bit -- HA -- I need more stamps like a hole in the head, but man -- finding a good, masculine set is TOUGH to do. I mean, my dad isn't a tool guy or a golf guy or a fishing guy -- but he does sail (and yeah, he is beginning to golf a bit more...) and he does sail with his brother... so I had tracked down this set last year, and this is the first time I got to play with it!

Now the deets: First off, this is a Joy-Fold card. I love the interest it ads to have a card open in some unusual way. It gets attention right off the bat, and this card is so easy to cut and assemble. I also like the way you can get a light surface for writing your sentiment inside, and frame it in the dark color all at once... so clever!

I stamped the image from the now retired SU set (ok, the set is still in the car and I am too lazy to go out to get the name, but I will find it and edit this post later... just so freakin' excited to get it up here ) in Bayou Blue (loving that color!) on whisper white card stock, and then let it dry very well before coloring with my watercolor pencils... using my aquapainter only many hours later to blend the colors. I admit to having a couple of sets of watercolor pencils, as the SU set doesn't have a good flesh color and my other set does... so I used some of both sets for this card.

I added some sparkle to the water using my Sakura stardust pen, but it is hard to see. I double-matted the image on Bordering Blue and Not Quite Navy, and adhered that to Barely Banana. The base is Not Quite Navy. This is where I got a little "lazy" and didn't have time -- I was thinking of doing some distressing to the edges with my cutter tool, and sponging the punchouts with the hardware, but it didn't happen. If I do this card again, which I might, I will do that for sure ;^)*

I pulled out the Hodgepodge Hardware in antique copper, and the designer label punch with the small oval punch, too. The twill tape was colored with my newly aquired markers in Bordering Blue -- I love how it brought out the grain in the ribbon... and it was much neater than running it over a pad ;^)*

Then I raced out to photograph it in the fading light so I could post it here and send it off on its way tomorrow -- to get to my Uncle David late, but still helping him to know that I was thinking of him... and I had soooooo much fun making it!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I think I have figured it out... Watermarks Work

I have figured out how to put watermarks (Thanks for your lovely work on those, Dina!) onto my photos. Now I have to take better photos! I really must consider how/where I am going to watermark, I guess... hard to do! But it is there, that is what matters. If you scroll down, now you will see images that have the watermarks... and future ones will have them, too.

So professional, eh?

Monday, August 6, 2007

Getting serious! Getting a Watermark

One big problem for me, and a major reason for blogging is to get me off my butt and solving problems, is that I want to do things RIGHT~ and I wanted a watermark, but didn't have the time to follow Kurtis Amundson's tutorial and fuss around. I mean, I don't have time to stamp enough, so I couldn't imagine jumping in to do a watermark for my photos right now. Sooooo... in comes Dina.

I found Dina's site Mama Dini's DigiSig Diner by following a link on Julee Tilman's blog, Poetic Artistry (love her cards!) -- Julee is off on a new adventure in creating a line of rubber stamps over at Verve Visuals... anyway, off I went and I am getting excited! The watermark, above, is one that I have to learn to USE -- that means I am going to try to put it on some photos and repost them to see if it works ;^)*

I am scared of all that is new in my life right now. I just lost the tabs I got for the car and have been frantically tearing up the house trying to locate the envelope... sigh. Maybe I can figure this out -- is anyone else out there on overwhelm these days?

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Making things, Getting them UP here!

Ok, I am a wimp. I dunno how others can do it -- but where my two kids and I are at, and my DH, it is a challenge to make the things I want to make, and then to photograph them. Once I just dive in, I am ok... but I still have to make time for ME and thus, I have sent them all to a family picnic at a park, along with my regrets: I wanna play MY WAY

Hehehe -- I am such a selfish person today!!!
Here are some of the things I have done:

These are going to be gifts for the folks attending my "Holidays in the Heat" workshop that I am hosting tomorrow. This is part 2 in a series -- we had a class in tips for "production work" where I handed out a long document filled with tips if you are going to be doing a LOT of a certain card or project. Then, we talked about our ideas for holiday cards, and tomorrow everyone is going to be working on their own holiday cards. I am bringing holiday music and treats, stuff to make wrapping paper and tags, all my tools and holiday gifts for everyone (these cans are taped shut on the bottom so they can be re-used -- they are the "pop top" kind from fruit, and inside is crimped paper and a small incentive stamp).

I love that we might be done early with holiday cards and can work on the gifts!

The second thing I did (actually, it was yesterday, but finished today) was a set of baby cards using "You're Neat" -- which I have had for ages and only just put together! I love this little set, and the cards were all made from scrap. The one I am showing you is the first finished one... I am enjoying playing with the prismacolors and gamsol a LOT :^) Hope you enjoy looking! Recipes? Heck no! I just feel proud to get them up. All card stock is SU... ink, too, except for the prismacolors

Friday, August 3, 2007

Coloring... prismacolors and gamsol -- am I doing this right?

So, after a lot of people doing GORGEOUS cards using prismacolor pencils and odorless mineral spirits, I dove in and spent money on the materials. And they sat. And sat. And now I have lost the little sanding boards that will help the blender stubs to get clean... but I have TRIED it!

Am I doing this right?
I like it -- but it seems easy, and folks were saying how hard it is and all... hmmm... I really like coloring, and I am not sure that I want to go with the copic markers... I have always loved colored pencils...

I am hoping for feedback from _someone_ I am lonely here because without photos, no one wants to comment. So -- my first photo in a while, and it is of my first try at coloring with a new technique.

I love the Lizzie Anne Designs stamps, but is the coloring overpowering the stamp, or does it work? I mean, I feel like you can't see the stamp (I used the Basic Gray ink I was raving about) and I like that... but are stamping folks gonna like it? Only YOU can tell me that! I guess I am just going to go on and make some cards ;^)* These were samples for trial and error... now for some more serious efforts!

I have one more Lizzie Anne set coming from Lindsey at Jackson belle Embellishments (there is a contest I want to enter... grin!) but I want some feedback about the coloring technique I am using.

Oh, and can you tell I like "juicy" colors?

Blog Candy Extraodinaire...

It ain't stampin' but it is sure a way to get traffic to your blog! Supposedly, if I post the following text, below, I am entered into a contest for some serious cash:

Over at Ashwin’s blog, you will find one crazy blog owner!! You can win $2500!! To enter just copy this text and paste it in your blog!! But hurry, this competition will not last long! So get posting!

Oh, the stamps I could buy with that ;^)*

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Have you tried the new Basic Gray ink from Stampin' Up! ?

Well, I am liking it, folks.

I mean, it is the new black, as far as I am concerned! Early in my SU career, a demo showed me the power of stamping in Chocolate Chip to soften the look of outline images. Since I enjoy coloring with blender pens or watercolor pencils, I began using Basic Brown to ensure a better waterproof status -- now the Basic Gray promises the same waterproof nature, but instead of brown, which might not go with everything, I get to go gray... Lovin' It!

I am beginning to play with inks in a new way -- noticing that I don't have to settle for images that are less than crisp... I am watching the way different brands of ink and paper play together... and I am getting ready to step off into the world of prismacolor and oderless mineral spirits. Heck, I haven't even sharpened the set of pencils I bought months ago! Sigh.

And, to top it off... I can't seem to get the time to assemble all the parts of cards I have been working on. I promise, when I do get time from these wonderful little ones, I will assemble things and get them posted!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Addicted to Blog Candy

Winning just once makes you high. Now I want more ;^)*
Here's a link to some Blog Candy over on SpazzGirl's blog for CHA giveaways!

You gotta link to her site to get an extra entry -- and that's what blogging is about, hooking up, right?

Or is it about the candy?
You tell me ;^)*

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Happy Mail!

Well, after a lovely day at a preschool pool party, I came home to Happy Mail. My "booty-full" flowers from Paper Goodness came today! I didn't get ALL of the stuff pictured, the wealth was shared, fortunately for all. I would have chosen the ones in the orange package, if I had my choice, but instead I got the paint can -- which I LOVE. The flowers are HUGE (like 3 inches across...) and the can is SOOOOOOOO coool, and the colors are sooooo Fall! I am loving that I am looking forward to using them on Fall projects :^) These are satin, rather than paper, and the colors push me to work in a different palette, which is good for me, too. Cruising over to the Paper Goodness site also allows you to see the very latest Primas coming out. Drool! Maricar was so generous in giving away such wonderful flowers. Thanks, so much!

I have been working hard on my craft area, trying to pull it into line, but it is TOUGH. I am finding I have a lot of stamps to sell, too! I want NEW stuff -- especially those Lizzie Anne Designs stamps I can't get out of my head.

Finally, I also have to share a great tutorial over on Inky Paws Jeanne Streiff's totally GREAT blog, which showcases some _amazing_ works of art. Man, can she color! This tutorial is on a technique called "paper piecing" that I am hot to try...

Off to get some work on that room accomplished. I have just too much to do to get ready to stamp more...

Thursday, July 26, 2007


I couldn't help myself -- When the kiddo wakes me in the middle of the night, I head for the computer. I just put in a big SU order, and I have stuff coming, but I really, really wanted to try some of the Prism textured card stock that I heard about from Amy's blog -- so I went to All That Scraps and put in an order for a few sheets. *If you go there to shop, put my name in the comments and I get a bonus -- I love it because orders over $10 get free shipping and I don't pay sales tax, which makes shopping there _cheap_* And... well, I had to have a few other things... I limited myself to ONE of the hybrid Palette ink pads that I tried at Susan's, and the patterned paper (Daisy D's romance stuff... all distressed and nostalgic) was at 50% off... the whole order was not too bad... but I must USE it.
I am having trouble not only getting through the clutter in the craft room (which had BETTER be cleaned up because it doubles as a guest room and my folks are coming for a visit in a few weeks...) but mostly I am moaning that I don't have a work surface that can STAY put and is of the right height. I have a Costco folding table, and it just gets full of stuff because it is the only surface in the room. I want to set up stations that work for me, but it ain't happening. Hmmm...
I seem to have solved most of my storage problems -- but because I do so much packing and unpacking for workshops and crops that happen outside of my house, the room is more of a warehouse than a workspace. Anyone else have that problem?
When I really want to work, it seems that I have to pull out stuff into a "shopping basket" and haul everything out to the dining table... then my DD wants to make a craft and I am feeling crummy because I am whining about how "Mama has to work" and "we'll do yours later" and then of course it is dinner and I get my work done and DD (who is 4) doesn't get her craft time
DH is great about encouraging me, helping me to get time, working with the kids -- but he wants his own time and I don't get much done if I hide in the messy craft room with the door shut -- it feels all claustrophobic and I can't seem to move!
I admit that I LOVE to look at the photos of everyone's workspace... I drool, get ideas... and well... just dream. I have determined that it is the "double duty" thing that is getting me down... that it has to be clean enough to transform 4 times a year (or more) into a guestroom for two weeks at a time... and it is too tiny for it to do that and have a permanent counter or desk in it. On the positive side, I do have TONS of storage in the room and closet, and it does make sure I clean it up...
The dream is to build a carport/studio space in a separate building close to the house. I have the place all scoped out, and now it is just up to us to get rid of some debt that is holding us back and to move on finding the plans and getting permits. I think I might have a good builder for the project, but shopping that would be a good idea -- Yeah, it is a ways off. Soooo -- any ideas out there for someone in my predicament? I sure could use 'em.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Stamping with Susan

Oh, to have time with Susan -- I arrived at 10:15, and when we looked at the clock, it was 4 pm. I mean, really! We need DAYS together. I barely _touched_ what I hoped I would do, but it was soooooooo much fun playing with this lady!

First off, she is kind, gentle and generous. She bought me a book of art stamping by Suze Weinberg -- Totally cool! Susan and I share a passion for trying out new techniques and experimenting... and I was floored to receive such a lovely book. Susan is working on a grand scale as she has created an amazing haven in her stamping room... the recent organizational move that she accomplished makes color a focal point, and the paper and inks take center stage. I had so much fun playing with older sets that I hadn't seen before, and some of the just released non-SU sets that I have seen on other blogs.

I am totally impressed with the Lizzie Anne Designs sets that I got to play with -- Jolies Fleurs stamped in a burnt sienna pallete hybrid ink looked so much like henna (and you might notice that I like that look ;^)* I am really going to have to find a way to get some of those stamps and some of that yummy ink!

I was less impressed with the acrylic stamps that I got to play with -- and I won't dis the company whose stamps I was using, because I don't think it was their fault -- I just didn't like the way the images looked when I stamped them... didn't feel as crisp. But... I want to experiment with different paper and different inks before I decide for sure. Any of you addicted to acrylics and want to talk to me about getting great, crisp images? I have a few sets from CTMH and I have yet to ink them up (well, one quickie image because I was so curious barely counts ). I LOVE the way you can see through them to line things up without a stamp-a-ma-jig, but the image is everything in the end (at least it is for me) so I am still "out to lunch" on acrylics.

And speaking of lunch! Susan is an amazing cook -- who knows her ingredients and prepares food with love. Simple things become special. I _had_ to bring something to contribute because she just showers me with so much when I visit (I cannot tell you how grateful I am in her support of my SU business... and of ME -- she is so kind...) so I brought some of the caramelized onion and mushroom pastries that my DH whipped up as part of our little soirée last night. She served them with ripened cheese and this amazing plate with the most incredible tomatoes... sigh. I _still_ feel nourished over 12 hours later.

No photos. Sorry -- just didn't finish even ONE card! I did make a lot of "elements" -- anyone else do that? Make part of a card or embellishment and then put things together at a later time... I just didn't want to stop trying out different images... and I got to playing with bling and color and punches...

So thank you, Susan, for a LOVELY day. I hope we can do it again soon... I would love to come with a project to complete and not be so "all over the boards" -- but then again, that is part of the joy, isn't it? Mouah! (that's a big kiss, because I love you!)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Waking up a winner...

There's a lot to be gained from reading blogs, but it sure is fun when you get something in the mail from doing so. I won some Blog Candy! If you wanna see the "booty", the "beautiful booty" I mean, then head over to Paper Goodness . Thanks so much, Maricar!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Stamp a cake!

My husband was asked to bake a cheesecake by a friend -- it was for a special training event that they have been hosting, and the cake was to be part of the "graduation" celebration, thus the message that you see...

Well, I am not bad at decorating cakes, but I am not a pro, either -- I am, however, pretty good at stamping Sooooo...

And, to top it off, the cheesecake cracked (in good cheesecake fashion -- if anyone has tips on keeping that from happening, would you please email me? Thanks!) Soooo --- the ribbon was designed to sort of hide the crack while also providing a nice, rich effect. In real life, I think it achieved it pretty well -- the camera picked up the crack more than it showed...

My DH is known far and wide for his cheesecake -- it gets the "Oh My G-d!" award at the local gatherings, and is the first dessert to disappear whenever it is placed among many. I am quite proud of him, in case you can't tell.

Well, we are doing a date afternoon and evening, but I was so excited to post my first photo and to give you all the fantastic details of my discovery about stamping on cakes... I just had to use some of this valuable time to type! Now I am thinking about stamping my kid's birthday cakes... imagine being able to do something incredible in advance and to place it on a pedestal of marshmallows... then to put it in the photo album next to all the great photos ;^)* I love to bake the cakes, but decorating at the last minute is tough (I want to be doing other things!) ... and this is such a nice solution!

Tomorrow I am so lucky to be able to go to my friend Susan's house to stamp -- all day long, DH is off of work (more on that some other time) and I get to PLAY while he gets to have fun with our two girls (yay for them). I will take photos and post those as I can!

Recipe for a cake topper: Rubber Stampede "Congratulations" stamp, SU basic black ink, SU black and white card stock, black Stickles and pink glitter glue (stolen from my DD!), wired ribbon from Michael's dollar bin, versamarker and gold embossing powder, Marvy giga scalloped oval and circle punches.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The internet is a powerful place to learn how to stamp!

I am very excited to share some cool things I have found relating to learning techniques for better stamping and scrapbooking...

A Stampin' Up! demonstrator has a wonderful new resource for y'all -- VIDEO clips that show techniques! Check her out over at If you sign up, please use my name as your referral, and let me know so I can keep track of it and get my little treat ;^)*

Also -- check out this amazing little video about how to tie a ribbon:

I will post more goodies as I find ones that I want to share -- but I hope you run over and check out these two. Totally worth it! Yay!

Thanks to Kara at for the great Blog Banner

I am so lucky to know Kara... and she is so Freakin' Talented! She and her husband wear so many hats, but mostly she is a Great Spirit and artist -- both in Henna and paint and paper and ink -- and digitally! When I begged for her art for a banner, she jumped in and within hours, I had a banner!

Even cooler is that when there was a typo in the graphic, I could fix it myself, without bugging her. I am feeling pretty good about that, since I don't really _do_ graphics on my computer these days... I was soooooo new at it, and then I stopped doing it altogether when I left the corporate world. Now I want back IN to doing graphics on the computer... I am aching to learn how to digi-scrap. More on that later.

So I am off to watch a movie with the fam. (Spirited Away -- love that flick) but I wanted to take the time to thank Kara. Check her out sometime -- go to or to -- and navigate around until you find all the cool things she does and has to offer. Her etsy shop is a ton of fun, too. Here's to YOU, Kara -- YOU ROCK!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Diving In...

I haven't been keeping up on my journal for some time now -- it used to be a constant companion, a place for self-reflection and poetry, for art and ideas... vibrant, alive, and something I loved to do. Now, two kids later, I find myself so busy and wanting to do so many things, that journalling just is not on the list.

Tonight I lead a class in "Production Work: Making Multiples Efficiently" -- it was packed full of information, and I felt like it was barely organized. There were 8 people signed up, but one came very late, and another left early. There was some time for discussion of the topic, a set of four 3x3 cards we made, and folks who wanted to got some help in designing and thinking about their holiday cards. In two weeks we will meet again, and we will spend the time accomplishing our holiday cards... so we can work on the gifts and other things we love during the holiday season.

I don't know if the class went well -- I mean, I think that people learned a lot and had a good time, but it felt overwhelming and I didn't have a ton of sales. (After all the hoopla about the retiring stuff in June, it isn't surprising) I suppose that it is my fault for not waiting until the Holiday Mini is out, like in September -- but it seemed perfect to do the Holiday card thing in conjunction with the Production Class I have been called to do.

I had a good idea in designing the class to make it a two parter -- and I reduced the price for those who would attend both parts. But something about it felt scattered, and people left feeling preoccupied, thinking about things that we weren't working on in the moment... I am hoping to get another few sales out of it, as I would like to reach a certain threshold for the order I am placing, but who knows what will come in, if anything.

The problem with being a demonstrator for a stamp company, is that I am constantly seeking to find the balance to the business and pleasure of stamping and creating. Loving to teach, I don't want to give that up in any way -- but it takes planning and preparation. The selling part affirms how well I teach and inspire, and it aids me in earning all the goodies that I play with... so I cannot help but use it as a gauge of my success.

I must get my scanner working. I would like to post the little set of cards that we made for the make and take tonight. I used the designer label punch box kit that was in last year's catalog -- and I did present the upcoming promotion. I also used some of the printed papers on the little cards, and it looked very good in the small format.

My upline, Jocelyn Rehbock, was at the class, and it was great that she brought so many of the new items that I don't yet have. I am really learning about getting the In Colors right away in the papers and inks. I didn't do that, even though I did order some new rubbah at the real discount prices offered to demo's who pre-ordered... I now realize my mistake! I won't be making that one again next year . The catalog has so many samples made with the In Colors, and even though I don't like Wasabi that much, I do love River Rock, Pomegranite, Guava, Sky, and Bayou... and customers need to hold and feel samples, so it is important that I have these items to play with! What a nice excuse :^) Can I tell you all how much I love what I do? And now I am loving "diving in" and blogging.

Howdy everyone, I'm HERE :^)