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 :^)