Sunday, January 31, 2010

Chilly Friends

I ask you this: what is better than getting new stamps? Getting new stamps as a gift! I received this new stamp set as a Christmas present this year; I was thrilled. What I like about it is that it really shows how much the giver (you know who you are…and thanks again) really knows what type of stamping I like.

I thought I would break in my new set by making a card (for no reason whatsoever). It was pretty cold here in town (and we got some really wet snow one night), so it was a perfect match. I really liked the way it turned out. I didn’t want it to open in a typical way, so I used a modified two-fold card (I hope you can see this ok in the picture).

I have to share a funny story about this card: the stamp set comes with several characters, some accessories, and a section of ice. I knew that I wanted the characters sitting on the ice, but I knew they wouldn’t fit all on one. In order to emphasize the saying on the inside, “I get by with a little help from my friends,” it didn’t make sense to me to have them all on different pieces. I broke out some post-its (another of my favorite inventions) and decided to mask the edges of the ice to create one large piece out of the small pieces. This was great; I got it all stamped…one large piece for all the chilly friends to share. Here is the ironic part…when I placed the friends on the ice I realized that even if I didn’t go through all the trouble of masking the edges, you wouldn’t be able to see where they overlapped anyway because the inside edges would have been covered by the creatures. Ugh…all that work for nothing! Oh well, I know (and now you know) the main goal, so I suppose that is all that matters.

Recipe: Cold & Cuddly, Beyond Basics, and Sage Advice stamp sets, Cool Caribbean, Taken with Teal, and Winter White cardstock, Cool Caribbean, Perfect Plum, Basic Grey, and Taken with Teal classic ink, Versamark inc, Winter White embossing powder, heat tool, Flirty Ribbon Originals, Stamp-a-ma-jig, post-it, Taken with Teal stamp-n-write marker, sponges, and dimensional spots.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

More than just a crafting event...

I was able to attend Sharon’s open house/hostess appreciation event. It was a lot of fun to see some friends from W’ink I hadn’t seen in a bit (since the holidays put our meeting on hold for a couple months) and to laugh like we normally do as well as try out some of Stampin’ Up!’s new products from the Occasional Mini and the Sale-a-bration. We made a progressive scrapbook page using some new designer paper (I love that designer paper…), the new decorative edge and corner punches, and the red cordory button/brads. We also got to practice our detail cutting with the “Totally Tess” stamp set; we cut out her pants and shirt as well as her bag with each of the stamping tools separately and then combined them to create a card with depth and interest. We finished up with another card; this one uses that lovely designer paper, another new edge punch, the new wide satin ribbon, and a new way to apply glitter (what a nice and straight band of glitter…I love that stick-strip).

From the creative projects to the wonderful company, it was a enjoyable afternoon. Thanks Sharon! Take some time to look at Sharon's Blog Designs by Sharon for some more
fun ideas.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Message in a Bottle

It is always nice to get a little something, don’t you think? I received a little not from Anne, one of my Stampin’ Up! demonstrators. She could have put it in a card or in a letter, but no, she made it into a little treat. This is one of the mini soda bottles filled with crumpled up strips of paper with the note twisted up inside. It was my very own “message in a bottle” (ok, so I watched that movie on Lifetime the other night…).

Thanks, Anne; what a great idea! Take a few moments and check out Anne's Blog Stamping with Blue Moon Creations to see some of the other creative surprises on which she has been working.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Favorite Technique

I have been meaning to post this for a little while, actually, ever since I made it. Thank you to all those who left their suggestions as to which technique I should try for my stamp club challenge card. It was a tough decision, but after a lot of pondering and eliminating, I think I have determined what my favorite technique is. Can you guess? Need a hint? Here is the card:

Do you think you got it? Well, if you guessed “sponging,” then you are correct! Previously, I used this technique to add depth and dimension to the edges of cards or popping color on stamped images (not to mention the chalkboard technique…ooo, I like that one too).

I love (love, love, love, love, love) the way this card turned out. I took sponging to a whole different level (for me at least). The front panel of this card is a white piece of cardstock…that’s right: white! The two leafless trees in the foreground are stamped, but everything else – the mountains, the distant trees, the rolling hills, and the sky – is all sponged.

I cannot take all of the credit for this card; I received inspiration from another stamper I came across while on my “favorite technique” hunt: Michelle Zindorf at Freedom in Creating. She created this card using the direct to paper technique with stamp pads. I tried it, but realized it was probably time to re-ink my stamps because they didn’t create much color on the paper. It is at that point that I thought I would try sponging it…and voila, a card is born.

This card also includes several other of my favorite aspects of cards (they aren’t really techniques): layering and dimension. I do so love to layer…pretty much everything. The card front is actually six layers thick (not counting the word box): picture, black, blue, black, yellow, and black (you can’t really see this last layer in the photo). Oh, and by the way, each layer is has the edges sponges…I just couldn’t help myself. I continued this to the inside of the card with a few more layers there. The layering adds to the dimension of the card: from the word box being popped out (with a couple layers of its own) to the dry embossed blue layer of the mat…I do so love it all.
Recipe: Branch Out and Sage Advice stamp sets, Whisper White, Brocade Blue, Basic Black, and So Saffron cardstock, Basic Black, Basic Grey, Brocade Blue, Old Olive, More Mustard, Certainly Celery, Always Artichoke, and So Saffron classic inc, Branches embossing folder, sponges (lots of these), dimensional spots, and lots of time.

Ah...that's nice.

Is it just me or is there just not enough time in the day to get everything accomplished? It seems that the first thing that gets put aside is updating my blog…and I am sorry if you follow me and don’t get to see new posts regularly. I was able to work on a few items the past few days and will get them posted within a day or so.

What a busy lives we live, huh?

Have I mentioned that Daisies are my favorite flower? Have you noticed that once in a while you see something and it makes you pause for a moment and think, “Ah, that’s nice.”? I saw this picture and fell in love with it…I hope you like it too.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I have a stamp club meeting this weekend and need to create a card for the card swap with the theme: use your favorite technique. I thought this would be an easy choice, but it turns out that it is not. So, I am throwing this question out: what is your favorite stamping/crafting technique? I have so many that it is difficult to pick just one (or even two).

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A slow conversion

When Stampin’ Up! introduced their new In Trend colors for this year, I was not impressed (I have said this many times), but I think Sharon refuses to concede defeat. I received another card from her using these new (limited time) colors. I am slowing liking them more and more.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happy Birthday…to me!

So, I am not a huge “announce my birthday” person, but now that it is over I do enjoy looking back at it. I remember those days when I looked forward to my birthday as a day which would be all about me and that I could do whatever I wanted. Now, it is a different story. I do still like being able to do whatever I want, but it consists more of spending it with those I love as opposed to going out for a wild night. This past birthday was a great day: my husband and I got some lunch and then spent the rest of the day at home with our two girls (our lab, Sara, and mini dachshund, Cinnamon).

I got this unexpected birthday card from Sharon and it really felt like my birthday was near. I do always love to get cards from her: they are each so different, but all fabulous. Thanks, Sharon.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The “must buy” list

As I have said before, though I do not send Christmas cards, I do love receiving them. I received this card and love it; it uses two sets which are on the top of my “should buy” list (well, one on the “should buy” and the other now on the “should have bought” list). I have seen so many beautiful cards make with this ornament stamp and the list is growing of projects which utilize the graphic stamp. I love the way this card offers a subtle match of Christmas and subtlty.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

A few books I read lately…

I thought I would take a few moments to tell you about a few of the books I have read lately. While the holidays were in full swing, it was difficult to find some time just for myself, but I was able to squeeze a bit in.

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
Lisa See is one of my favorite authors; she is so descriptive that the images and scenes in her stories come to life so vividly. This story did not disappoint. See does a fantastic job telling the story of a girl who’s life changed dramatically due to war and her duty to her family. I found myself rooting for her when she was struggling and smiling when she triumphed. I got choked up when she experienced heartache and rejoiced when she “came into her own” later in the story.

Marley and Me: Love and Life with the World’s Worst Dog by John Grogan
Overall, I liked the book. It was interesting and detailed the lives of this growing family, the Grogans. But I found myself having a difficult time extracting the emotion from the book; his writing style seemed more “newspaper columnist” than storyteller (which makes sense since he is a columnist). This makes it sound like I didn’t like the story; I did, but it didn’t live up to my expectations of it. I was so used to “the book is so much better than the movie” experiences that this one just fell a little short.

Being by Kevin Brooks
He does a nice job blending the “really out there”-ness of science fiction with the personal and relate-ability of the everyday. The premise is that there is a young man who realizes that he is not “all human” inside and spends the length of the novel evading the “authorities” (though no one can determine under who’s/what’s authority they are acting) and figuring out what is going on inside of him.

Icing on the Cake by Laura Castoro
For starters, this book was nothing like I expected it to be. That being said, I liked it. The story follows the life of a woman who is trying to balance all aspects of her life: children, work, love, interests, friends, and so much more (aren’t we all?). Her passion is baking (bread, not cake as the title (and cover art) implies, but her business is struggling. How does she revive her bakery while dealing with current tragedy in her life? Well, read the book and find out.

To see what I am currently reading or to read my full review of these books, check-out my site; invite me to be your friend and we can compare books.

An oversight…

I enjoy so many aspects of my office: the color, the convenience, and so much more. I always overlook one aspect of it even though it is usually a favorite among those who visit: my window valence. It is so difficult to find the perfect valence (or drapery of any kind), so be search went on and on without any success. I was getting so frustrated. Three wall of my office are painted a dusty blue color, leaving the fourth (the wall containing the window) white; I don’t think I was being too picky in my search for an adequate detail, but I suppose I was. What was I to do? I decided to “take a break” from it for a while; if I saw something, then ok, but I was not going to actively look for anything.

I was walking through a store and ended up in the wrapping section: wrapping paper, bows, ribbon, and gift bags. To bags caught my eye; there was a black velvet-like bag with a white bow and a bag with black and grey polka dots. I snatched them right up and knew exactly how they would work. After I got home, and a few clear push pins and a stool later, I had a valence.

What do you think?