Monday, August 31, 2009

“The French Chef” Experience

I have been meaning to write about “Julie & Julia” which I went and saw last week with my sister-in-law, her mother, and a friend of ours. I thought the movie was really good; I have not read the book (nor the blog at that point), so I had nothing to which to compare it. I had read Julia Child’s book “My Life in France” which helped me enjoy the “Julia” side of the movie a bit more than the “Julie” side (a stand-up performance by Meryl Streep didn’t hurt either).

The four of us treated ourselves to a french dinner beforehand at Chez Axel (which was also very good) to catch up and discuss what we had heard/knew about the movie. All in all, it was a wonderful evening: good food, good movie, and fantastic company.

Thanks ladies!

What a great opportunity

I was looking at all of the “challenges” I follow and noticed that the Charisma Cardz Challenge this week is not a card at all: it is a scrapbook layout. I went to my scrapbook and tried to find the best layout to post; I had many which I love, but found the perfect choice.

This is a two-page layout of my office “remodel” which my husband was so gracious in giving me. The two of us used to share one office, but he decided that we should have separate spaces (for both our sanity), so I moved into our previous guest bedroom and he was able to spread out. I love it in here (yes, I am in here now); it is very calming with a dusty blue, black, and white color palate. I have shelves, bins, boxes, and so much more which helps to keep all of my supplies at my fingertips. The 4'x4' "island" in the center is actually two 2'x4' rolling carts which allows me to rearrange them to fit whatever my needs are. Of course, these pictures were taken right after the reorganization occurred, so it is not as neat today as it was then…but I try to keep it as nice as possible.

I hope you like it (I know I do).

I’m seeing spots

This card is the culmination of several influences. The design of the card was inspired by a card I saw which was created by Heather; her card used interlocking squares instead of circles, but I thought they would work just as well. You can see how the circles interlock with each other. The color combination was inspired by the color combination I used this weekend at Anne’s card club I attended (we also used circles, so that is there too). Ultimately, I put everything together for the ABC Challenge; this week is C for circles. I hope you like it.

Recipe: Steppin’ Style stamp set, Tempting Turquoise and Basic Black card stock, rose patterned paper, 1 ½” circle punch, small hole punch, and circle templates.

August W’ink

I was so looking forward to this month’s W’ink meeting; my friend Falisha was able to join the club and this month is her first time attending. It was a blast (I think maybe our laughter might have been a little distracting to everyone else, but oh well)! She is so much fun to chat with and hang out with. She made the drive to Sharon’s seem like moments. W’ink is so much fun; I am glad I was able to join. Thanks Sharon!

Techniques demonstrated: chalkboard, punch of color, attaching designer accents, and the new “candy” holder from the SU Holiday Mini.

July W’ink

I was so excited when July’s W’ink meeting came around. It was a small group, but we had a ball. The four of us (me, Sharon, Shirley, and Beth) laughed almost as much as we stamped, I think. These ladies are so much fun to hang out with; and I get the added bonus of learning new stamping techniques at the same time…what a win/win for me.

Techniques demonstrated: Aqua Painter, watercolor crayons, painting with re-inkers, rub-ons, and stamping on tile.

June W’ink

At the first meeting of my first stamp club we decided on a name for our club: W’ink. We made three projects (two cards and a box) which all turned out great and I made several new aquaintences (hopefully “friends” soon). I can’t wait ‘til the next meeting.

Techniques demonstrated: two-step stamping, masking with markers, heat emboss, (some kind of sparkle/glitter stuff), and using Stampin’ Up!’s Big Shot.

My first stamp club….

I have wanted to join a stamp club for a while; having the opportunity to meet with other stampers to learn from and get to know them has always appealed to me. Sharon, a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, invited me to join one of her stamp clubs and I think I said yes even before she finished her sentence.

Here is her blog:

I am going to catch you up on what we have been doing over the past few months in subsequent posts today.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I contradict myself

So, if you ask people who know me, I think they would say that I am a bit of a “girly-girl,” which is just fine. True: I enjoy wearing skirts (rarely wear pants/shorts), often have a bow in my hair (I “tie a good bow”), and don’t particularly like to get sweaty or dirty. Although, deep down I don’t see myself as a true girly-girl; I think this is evident as I look through my creative projects: they are mostly, geometric, classical, earthy, bold, or various other types, but rarely are they “sugar and spice and everything nice.”

I saw another challenge as I was browsing different blogs and sites: Charisma Cardz Challenge. The challenge was a color challenge using lemon, pink, and green. Thinking back on previous projects, I would normally use a deep mustard, dark mauve, and a hunter green, but saw this as a true challenge to my taste…so I jumped on it. I think it turned out pretty well, but I cannot see how/when I would ever use it. Any ideas?

Recipe: Flower Fancy and So Many Sayings stamp sets, Regal Rose, Pretty in Pink, Old Olive, and Certainly Celery classic ink, Pretty in Pink and Ultrasmooth White card stock, Petals and Paisleys Designer Series paper, Pretty in Pink Stamp ‘n’ Write marker, wide pink ribbon, and dimensional spots.

Ode to In Trend Colors

I enjoy seeing Stampin’ Up!’s new In Trend colors each new year, however I am a little disappointed in this year’s selection. Don’t get me wrong, I think that they are wonderful colors, but I think they are a little too similar to some of their current colors. The shining beacon in the new colors, in my opinion, is Soft Suede…I love it, love it, love it! I may need to stock up on it toward the end of the year in order to always have some on hand.

I took the OCC challenge this week and decided to dive in and embrace these new colors (the challenge was to make a card with the new In Trend colors). Well, I cheated a little: I did use the Soft Suede, but used my “close enough matches” to mimic the Dusty Durango and Crushed Curry. I hope you like it (sorry about the glare).

Recipe: Good Things Grow and All Natural stamp sets, Soft Suede classic and Whisper White craft ink, Soft Suede and Really Rust card stock, More Mustard patterned paper, Soft Suede designer ribbon, More Mustard Stampin’ Pastels, sponge daubers, and ¼” and ½” square punches.

Mmmm…I love Chocolate Chip.

At first I was a bit leery, but turned out loving this card in the end. I took the Secret Crafter Saturday Challenge to create a card using brown and turquoise. I wanted this card to make a statement, and I think I have achieved it. I love the way the slight turquoise edging sets off the various patterned brown paper. I think if I were to make this card again, I would use more saturated color for the center image (as opposed to the softer pastels) to coincide with the deep colors of the rest of the card. Let me know what you think.

Recipe: Flower Fancy stamp set, Chocolate Chip classic ink, Tempting Turquoise and Ultrasmooth White card stock, Chocolate Chip patterned paper, Tempting Turquoise, More Mustard, Chocolate Chip, and Close to Cocoa Stampin’ Pastels, spiral accents, and crystal effects.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I thought she was a loon...

I used to think that there were two types of people in this world: Movie People and Book People. For the longest time I would classify myself as a movie person, but over the past few years I have (thanks to wonderful book clubs) developed an great appreciation for reading…it is not a love yet, but it’s getting there.

Each December, one of the book clubs I attend has a book swap. This past December I received Julia Child’s book "My Life in France" and thought that it would be nice to read one day. I got home and it went on my bookshelf, not to be thought of again. It is not that I didn’t enjoy receiving it, it is just that I remember watching her shows on PBS growing up and thinking that she was a complete loon so the book didn’t appeal to me at all. Keeping in mind that I am a self-proclaimed “movie person,” when I heard of a movie coming out which has to do with Julia Child (“Julie and Julia”), the thought of reading this shelved book did cross my mind. But is wasn’t until a potential date was set to watch the movie that I actually picked it up and read it.

Thinking back on my PBS experience with Julia Child, I still think she was a loon, but now I have a greater appreciation for what she did, how she did it, and why she seemed to be a bit over the edge to me. I encourage you to read it (I saw it at Borders the other day with a new cover to coincide with the movie); I am seeing the movie tomorrow with some dear friends.

It's my favorite...

Last week was crazy (and this week doesn’t look any lighter), but that’s life, right? Over the past week I have been making time to do things which I enjoy doing (like making cards, scrapbooking, reading, etc.) and it has made a tremendous impact on both my attitude and demeanor. I have really enjoyed completing the Mojo Monday challenges as well as looking at many different crafters’ blogs. Don’t get me wrong, there are still things I do that I don’t enjoy, but knowing that I can carve out a little time to do what I do enjoy helps make everything else bearable.

I know everyone has their favorite tools (I would love to hear what they are); mine is my Craft ROBO. My husband gave it to me for my birthday (he actually let me open it about a month early since I kept pestering him about it as soon as it arrived at the house) and it has to be my favorite item in my office! It is only about the size of a roll of paper towels, but it is fantastic. It will cut whatever I want out of whatever I want…even my own handwriting! It is fantastic (I think I said that already…). I am just beginning to use it for my cards, but it took my 2008 scrapbook to a whole different level. Isn’t he wonderful?!?

Recipe: Little Layers stamp set, Almost Amethyst, Lovely Lilac, Brilliant Blue, and Bashful Blue card stock, vellum and multi-colored patterned paper, Almost Amethyst, Lovely Lilac, Brilliant Blue, and Bashful Blue classic ink, silver brads, Mat Pack, paper piercer, and crystal effects.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What a week...

So, it is Sunday: the end of a very long week (well, it seems long now, but at the time it went by pretty quickly). I have had my blog for just about now; I noticed that since I was going to post the results to the various card challenges I completed for all to see, it allowed me the liberty to take a few chances, try something new, and do the best I can. It is a little disappointing to me that it is the threat of public critique that would bring this out in me, but at least it found it way…and I can see it branching out into different aspects of my life (not just card making), so thank you to all of those who are out there.

Recipe: Sidekick Sayings stamp set, Glorious Green, Basic Black, Basic Grey, Going Grey, and Light Grey card stock, Basic Grey classic ink, Glorious Green Stampin’ Write marker, black square brads, and dimensional spots (I used the dimensional spots in the center of each square and then used adhesive on the four sides to create the “pillow” look).

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Land of Enchantment

I have lived in New Mexico for twelve years (this month); a lot has happened during that time and I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. Though it is difficult to feel like a native, New Mexico is definitely home.

Recipe: Creamy Caramel, So Saffron, and Basic Black card stock, scuffed red patterned paper, Creamy Caramel, Chocolate Chip, and Basic Black classic ink, 1 ¼” and 1 ½” circle punches, Adobe cut-out with beads, black organdy ribbon, narrow red grosgrain ribbon, hemp twine, dimensional spots, and sponges.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I could use more days like today...

After starting my day off donating blood, picking up my most recent SU order, and taking our two dogs for a light walk I was able to spend the entire rest of the day (well, until now since I should be getting dinner ready) stamping, cutting, tying, and laughing with a great friend. After we finished up projects for our next stamp club, I was able to finish my Mojo template for the day (I will definitely miss having them everyday when they go back to once a week next week). What a great day!

Recipe: Sage Advise and Flower Fancy stamp sets, Night of Navy and Ultrasmooth White card stock, blue/white stripe patterned paper, Night of Navy and Brocade Blue classic ink, Navy organdy ribbon, silver brads, and dimensional spots.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

...That "new paper" smell.

At first, I wasn’t sure what (or if) I would post something new today, but I saw a layout challenge this morning and decided to go for it. After I got home I sat on the floor of my office looking at my vast array of paper trying to decide what to pick. Something glossy caught my eye: it was an unopened pack of Soft Suede paper (still had that “new paper” smell). I had to use it, so I ripped open the package, pulled out a sheet and wondered what would look nicely with it (being the first time I used this color, the combo had to be top notch). I looked through my brown/tan/ivory section…yes, I have sections…and found a piece of toile paper; the colors matched perfectly so I took it as a sign. One last element left…the pop of color. I looked over at my ribbons…yes, they are in their own section as well…thinking, “Moss…no; bash blue…no; navy…no; violet…perfect!” I put the card together and as I was about to tie a beautiful bow I realized that I did a bow/knot on my prior two cards (what can I say…I love ribbon); hardware to the rescue. I think it turned out pretty well. This is the first time I have made a card that didn’t open all the way; the only section that opens (flipping up after the hardware toggles are slid open) is the center violet section. I am going to save this card for a special occasion!

I used Lexicon of Love stamp set, Vintage Violet, Soft Suede, and Very Vanilla card stock, Toile decorative paper, Soft Suede classic ink, Antique Brass Hodgepodge Hardware, Vintage Violet ribbon, and oval, scalloped oval, 2” circle, and 2 3/8” circle punches.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Something New

I guess I am just pretty hyped about this new blog. I found another card template which I wanted to try. I have to say, this card is completely different than the type which I usually make, but I thought it was a pretty good attempt. During the process I was reminded that it is sometimes good to do things outside of your comfort zone (not just in cards, but in many different things); you never know what might happen.

I used Friendship Grows and So Many Sayings stamp sets; Regal Rose, Going Grey, and Ultrasmooth White card stock; Walk in the Park Designer Series Paper; Going Grey classic ink; Rose ¼” grosgrain ribbon; Regal Rose Stampin’ Write Marker; Stampin’ Pastels.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Template first

I thought it would be fun to try something new, so I decided to follow a “challenge” blog called Mojo Monday; each week there is a new template with which to base a card. Here is my submission for the week. As I was completing it I realized that it deviated from the original sketch, but was still pleased with the result. I hope you like it as well.

I used Daisy and Friendship Flowers stamp sets, So Saffron and Handsome Hunter card stock, More Mustard Designer Series Paper, More Mustard and Handsome Hunter Classic Ink, spiral clips, wide ribbon, and crystal effects.

I'm a little scared, but here I go...

I have been contemplating whether or not to start a blog; I have spent much time looking at so many over the past few weeks and have gotten so much inspiration from them that I thought, “If I could inspire someone else (just one person) the way these have inspired me, then it would be well worth it.” That did it for me, so here it is: my very own blog.

I am not exactly sure what it will include; maybe it will be projects I have made; maybe it will be a review of a book I read; who knows, but isn’t that the beauty of it? You will just have to check back in to find out.

More to come soon.
Thanks for stoppin’ by.