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!