Monday, December 31, 2012

Feeling Sentimental

Happy New Year's Eve!!

Ready for the big night?  I am ... then again I'm lucky if I can make it to 10:00 pm let alone 12:01 *lol*.  We don't usually do much for New Year's Eve.  I'd much rather throw on my yoga pants (that's assuming I've taken them off in the last week *lol*) and curl up on the sofa with the love of my life, a movie and a big bowl of something fattening than getting all gussied up ... wearing nylons that slice me in two and make me dream of going home and putting on yoga pants ... and spending a lot of money on food and drink to stay up way past my bedtime, kiss people I may or may not know and then feel like a piece of dirt all the next day.  Tonight we are going out ... with the girls.  They get SO excited at the mention of fire works ... and I made the fatal error of mentioning there were fireworks tonight ... so at that SECOND I was committed to going!  I'm actually looking forward to it ... and believe me, I wouldn't have mentioned it if I didn't already know it was *only* going to be about -8 degrees out.  Heck ... that's a heat wave around here lately ... so we have to be in position for the 8:30 pm show.  THAT I can handle ... heck, I may still make it to bed before 11:00 if I'm lucky *lol*

Aaaaaaanyway .... I managed to hit the craft room yesterday ... which is QUITE surprising given the purging, cleaning, organizing and READING I've been doing the last few days (FYI I have NEVER been a reader ... I don't think I've read a book in at least 3 YEARS ... but I got a Kobo Christmas ... and ordered The Hunger Games ... and had the first one read in 2 DAYS!!!  ... I pretty much ignored the family for 3 hours at a time ... fed them occasionally and then got back to reading!  What an awesome book!  I promised myself I wouldn't order the next 2 in the Trilogy until we left for Hawaii ... but I couldn't stand it ... and now I'm half way through the second one ... sigh ... WHO HAS TIME TO READ??!!!  But I digress ... back to cards!)

I actually have a LOT of creating to do in the next week ... I need to have all my little duckies in a row before I leave for Hawaii since I have parties right after I get back.  I started to play with toys from the new mini as well as the SAB catalogue.  What fun!  I spent a lot of time on this card.  It's not my "norm" as I don't usually use a lot of embellishments.  I find I make my cards primarily a) easy to mail (which means fewer embellishments to keep postage down and make them easier to mail) and/or b) easy to reproduce in a class or party - as I usually have fewer buttons/brads etc than stampers I keep the add-ons to a minimum.  Not for this one.  I broke out a LOT of tools and had a good ol' time making a mess!
For this card (and all the rest) I used the new Sale-a-brations set called Feeling Sentimental (get it for free when you spend $60 during SAB which is Jan 22 - March 22).  Something about this set just "grabbed" me ... but once I got it in my hands I really didn't know what to do with it.  I struggle with sets that don't come with a sentiment ... or that come with a sentiment I don't like or have a need for.  This set comes with a great size and font ... but the sentiment is "Celebrate" ... and a retro phone booth doesn't scream "Celebrate" to me so I didn't want to use it.  Instead I just played with some toys.  I used Crumb Cake and Very Vanilla c.s.  I used the new Simply Scored Borders Scoring Plate (from the new mini - page 26 - $19.95) to make the zig zags in the background.  I then took a finger dauber and rubbed it with a LITTLE Early Espresso ink to make the image pop out a little more.  You can't see it very well but I then grabbed my Spritzer Tool and Spritzed some Espresso blotches on the background.  I tore a piece of Newspaper Print DSP and scrunched it up ... and rubbed it with a dauber of espresso to disctress it a little more and taped it down.  The phone booth is stamped on vv in Espresso.  I scrunched it a little ... and distressed the edges with the new distressing tool (page 14 of the mini for $6.95) and then used my dauber in espresso for some added color.  Again, hard to see, but I used the splotch stamp from French Foliage in Crumb Cake ink to add some more splotches ... and the Spritzer tool with espresso for splatters.  I added a Basic Designer Silver Button (page 20 of the mini - $7.95 for 16) with some linen thread tied through it (I attached with mini glue dots.  I also added a little strip of the Natural 7/16" Trim Ribbon (page 20 of the mini - $8.95).  I cut off the edge of the ribbon and frayed it along the one side and taped it down.  It took a long time ... and I like it ... its certainly not my usual style .. in fact it reminds me a bit of Kimberly VanDiepen's style for some reason ... but I like it.

I then wanted to play with the set some more ... and make a simpler card.  Here was my next attempt ...
Again ... not my usual style ... but I like it.  The Ferris Wheel is from Feeling Sentimental and the Hello is from Lacy and Lovely (main catty - page 99 - $21.95 clear - $30.95 wood).  I stamped both in Espresso on Vanilla cs.  The doily behind is made using the Newspaper Print DSP ($13.50) that I ran through my Delicate Doilies Sizzlit.  I then inked it with espresso using a dauber.  I added a glimmer brad and a crumb cake nautrals brad on the wheel for some interest.  Yep - won't win any "design of the year" awards but fun, simple. quick and cute.  The next two are my favorite.  First up:
Fun!  (... and may I introduce Craig's finger ...)  This one is non-standard in size ... the flap opens like this:
Eek!  lighting is off a bit on that one!  The card measures 5 1/2" x 6 1/2" inches and is scored at 5 1/2" to make the front flap.  I stamped the bicycle with the help of my handy-dandy stamp-a-ma-jig in espresso.  I added a 1" strip of Espresso card stock (which I ran through the Argyle Folder) and attached it.  I added 3 neutrals brads to the side - gray, vanilla and crumb cake.  Cute!  A "just because" card with no sentiment.  I liked this layout a LOT so I had one more play with it.  Wa-low!
This one is my favorite. It just reminds me of the old Circus / Carnivals ... and the man in the round hat selling snake oil and medicines *lol*. I used one of the sentiments from another SAB set - Vintage Verses. It has the PERFECT feel for the image (gee ... do you think SU PLANNED that???!!) Again, everything is in Vanilla and Espresso. I rounded the corners of the sentiment with my 3/16" corner rounder and matted it with espresso cs. I used the Natural Ribbon again (mini page 20) and attached a small black brad for a little something extra. The card opens like the one above ... just for fun:
So that's it!  I really do like this set now that I've had time to expore it.  Right!  I'm off to have a bite to eat before the party starts!  Wishing you all a very happy and safe New Year's Eve.  Have a stampy night!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

You Rule!

Happy Wednesday!!

Where to start??!!  I suppose first off I should say Merry Christmas!  I truly hope you have all had a fun, relaxing few days!  Heaven knows all PARENTS out there deserve a day or two off after all their hard work for the last month or two in getting ready for the big day!  I KNEW I would get it all done in time ... I always do ... somehow *lol*  Although about a month ago I was stressed to my back teeth with all that I had to do I actually was 100% ready about December 20th.  I have had a few days to try to relax and enjoy ... and catch up on sleep!  I am beyond thrilled to say that last night I managed a full 9 HOURS and am in an incredibly improved mood ... even Craig commented that I seemed "particularly happy today".  Yep ... nothing like 2 days of absolutely no schedule and no stress to fix a gal up!

We had a fabulously relaxing day yesterday.  Rebecca came in at 6:00 am but since I had mentioned, oh, about 19 times that I wanted everyone to stay in bed until 6:30 am I convinced her to crawl in with Craig and me for half an hour.  We all managed to fall back asleep and I woke at 6:59 am!  I would have rolled over again but I had told my parents to come over at 7:00 am and had visions of them sitting in their van ... in -28 degree weather so up we got!  The girls stayed upstairs for a minute while Craig and I went down, plugged in the tree and (most importantly) started the coffee.  I wanted to be in position when they came down stairs so I could see their faces when they saw the 4 foot tall doll house waiting for them.  Oh what a wonderful sight!  Their little faces lit up with excitement and my heart was happy.  There won't be many more of these magical moments as Rebecca is now 9 1/2 years old and keeps asking if Santa is real.  I haven't said yes or no ... I've just asked what she thinks and then I say that Santa is real as long as you believe in him.  I tell her that Santa is not about the presents but that he is about love and believing in something you can't see or touch - much like God and Jesus.  I know she WANTS to believe and even though "friends" at school have told her that Santa is just "your Mom & Dad" she will believe at heart for a little while longer.  I had planned to tell her "the truth" after Christmas ... and even have the letter all picked out (thank you Pinterest!) explaining everything nicely but 3 nights ago I woke up at 2:00 am and was awake until 6:30 in tears over the prospect of ending the magic.  I was seriously messed up!  I had a breakdown like this when Rebecca turned 1 year old.  I just kept crying because a very precious chapter in her life was closing.  While I knew there were great, exciting chapters to come I mourned the passing of the thirst year of her life.  This was very similar ... except that I couldn't find happy thoughts to get me through!  I just couldn't cope with ending such a majical part of her life.  Oh maybe I could handle letting Santa "go" but that would also mean the end of the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and Trixie, our Elf on the Shelf.  I simply couldn't do it.  I decided that morning that I wouldn't give her the letter.  Craig says "she needs to know" and worries she'll get ridiculed at school if she "believes".  I disagree.  I know if kids question her she'll say "I don't KNOW if he's real or not ... I mean you can't prove something DOESN'T exist" ... yes, I've prompted her a bit *lol*.  Can you relate?  I hope I'm not alone in my bizarre struggles.  Is this sort of thing really worth losing sleep over?  I dunno.  I can't help it.  I SO want my kids to have a happy, magical childhood ... it keeps me young and believing as much as them ... and I just can't end it.

ANYway!  don't know where THAT ramble came from *lol* ... let's get on to some projects, shall we??  I mentioned a while back I had some projects to finish off ... and I did.  First up I'll show you the ornaments we made using the Ornament Keepsake Kits that were on sale.  These were fun to put together and I cracked 8 of them off in about 2 hours (the girls made one each too with my help)
Isn't it pretty??  I have 2 more kits downstairs.  Mom really liked them so I think I'll make a batch for her for next year.  The other kit may get made up and used for tags next year - they really are lovely :)

Next up are some glitter ornaments.  Not my original idea - I saw them on Pinterest and on Stampin' Connection.  I LOVE making these glitter ornaments - they are very addictive!  This year it was Rudolph:
Hee hee - so cute!  The girls each made one using the dark brown glitter from one of my retired glitter packs from a few years ago.  There wasn't enough for mine ... so I used some of my retired gold for a "blonde" rudolph.  I swirled the Vanish with Pledge to coat the inside, then poured in a tonne of glitter and dumped out the excess.  I punched the antlers out with the (retired?) snowflake die and attached them with mini glue dots.  The nose is the red glimmer paper punched out with the 3/4" circle punch - the eyes are white with the 1/2" circle punch and the black with the eyes from the Owl Punch.  All were attached with mini glue dots (I SERIOUSLY use those things for SO many projects!!).  The string is our (retired) gold elastic ... but any ribbon or thread would certainly do.  These were quick and fun to make and look great on the tree :)

Right.  Next up are two cards that hit "the cutting room floor" when I was designing my projects for my article in the upcoming Stampin' Success Magazine.  I was asked to design 4 projects using By the Tide from the new mini catalogue (have you SEEN that catalogue yet???  OMGoodness!  Once again I earned quite a few air miles buying virtually every item in it!!!)  Here is my first reject:
Nope.  DIdn't float my boat.  I don't even feel like giving you the recipe for it ... so I'm not gunna *lol*.  The next one is a little better but still didn't make "the cut":
Ehhh - so-so.  Also didn't make it ... and also not gunna give you the recipe :))  Now ... on to a QUICK and easy project that I DO love .. drum roll please ....
Ta Da!  Love it!  A quick card that was fun to make :)  My favorite cards are always the ones that I design with a certain person in mind.  This one is for you, Tammie M :)  Tammie's (aka "The Lady From The Bathroom ... long story .. I"ll share one day *lol*) birthday is January 1st and I wanted to send her a fun card using some of the new products from the new catty.  Mission accomplished.  This set just screamed Tammie to me - she's bright ... fun ... and sparkly - just like this card - and she desrves to be a Queen For a Day - when Tammie is around you just KNOW you're in for a fun time - I hope she likes her card :))  It's made with the new "You Rule" set stamped in Melon Mambo.  The sentiment is from the same set.  This is a "keeper" set as it can be used for guys or gals (there is also a "King for a Day" sentiment).  Check out the bling on the crown!  The larges rhinestones are NEW ... and BIG ... just like the jumbo pearls.  Make note, if you add these jems you will have higher postage (I think it's $1.25 in Canada ... I learned that trying to mail my Christmas cards with the jumbo pearls) ... but well worth it!  The other jewels are from the standard pack in the main catty.  It took a few minutes to get all the bling on ... since ALL my nails have snapped off in the last 2 weeks ... but I used my tweezers and it wasn't too fiddly :) 

So that's what I've been up to ... that and organizing my craft room, as I do every Christmas break.  I've reorganized all my punches and ribons and am in the process of purging my excess stock.  SO therapeutic!  I don't know when I'll post next ... I hope to craft some more this week while the kids play and Craig is at work ... but I have NO agenda .. I"m gunna take it as it comes ... for once!

I hope you have a relaxing week too ... and that you manage to get some "you" time in to craft, read or do whatever makes you happiest.  Have a stampy week!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Happy Hour and Embellished Events

Happy Tuesday!

Sorry I'm a day behind in posting.  Life got in the way this weekend.  Saturday Alicia woke up with a sore throat and it progressed into strep by Sunday.  At 4:00 pm Sunday afternoon we headed to the Medicentre for a 2 1/2 hour wait so we could see the doctor for approximately 1.40 minutes to get a perscription.  Luckily my $60 slab of roast beef wasn't overcooked by the time we got home (although Craig and Rebecca were pretty hungry by 6:30 ... in fact Rebecca was, and I quote, "stinkin' STARVING!"  *lol*).  Alicia stayed home Monday and Tuesday still very miserable and lethargic.  Her throat seems to be getting better but she is still quite sick and goopy with a cold so needless to say I haven't been able to accomplish things at the usual rate of speed! 

On the bright side I DID manage to mail my 84 (yes 84!!) Christmas cards ... delivered all but one customer order, finish off my Christmas shopping, wrapped a few presents, packaged up the teachers' gifts and delivered my 27 staff gifts for all the school staff.  Today I was hoping to mail my friend's birthday gift (her birthday is December 25th!) but that will have to happen tomorrow.  So I DID manage to get things done but I'm only now where I wanted to be Sunday.  Thank goodness Craig has been off work since last Wednesday.  He's been a great help.  He has walked Koda every morning which saves me about an hour each day! 

Sooooo .... I wanted to post this first card last week, when I made them!  They are the Christmas cards I put in with my Club Girls' orders ... along with one of my post-it-note-picture-frame gifts and pen ... first up the frame (which I've posted before but I love them so much you get to see them again *lol*)
Of course the ones I gave out said Merry Christmas but the rest was the same.  They are SO quick to make!  I made 25 of them in about an hour!  Seriously!  LOVE quick crafts like this!!

Here is the card I gave them:
Isn't it cute??  I've decided I LOVE this set!  I have been eyeing it up since June but only just bought it when it was on sale last month.  Good call!  I will likely use it a few more times with this layout but with the different glasses of cheer :)

It's not your standard card size - it is (I think) 9 1/2 x 4 ... scored at 5" ... so the front flap still lets the holly along the side peek out.  I layered a piece of whisper white cut 3 1/2 x 3 1/2" which I ran through my Designer Frames Folder.  I embossed the class in Silver powder and stamped the holly in Old Olive.  You can't really see it but the berry is actually a rhinestone colored with a red Sharpie.  I added a strip of Glimmer paper 3 1/4" x 1/4" along the side and stamped the sentiment in Old Olive.  Wa-low!  Quick easy and "Wow"!  I cracked off 25 of these in about 1 1/2 hours or so.

I liked the card so much that I decided to use the same layout for my friend's 50th birthday card.  I spent a lot of time "tweaking" it a bit for a little more glam and really like how it turned out:
Oooooo ... love it!  My friend, Kris is a classy lady and I just HAD to incorporate a glass of champagne for her card.  There IS a glass of wine in the Happy Hour set but this glass from Embellished Events was much more fitting.  I struggled with the layout because the glass is too big for the Designer Frame Oval I used above.  I struggled and fiddled and fiddle and stuggled ... and then I peaked in my box of new "toys" from the upcoming Spring Mini and Sale-a-brations catty (yes, us demonstrators get to pre-order to give us time to prep for our upcoming classes!)  Then I saw it ... the OVAL FRAMELITS!  PERFECT!  FINALLY I have a set of oval cutters so I can layer ovals in any size I want!!!  I ALWAYS seem to be struggling with that ... if/when I have a sentiment that I punch out with the large oval punch I always want one oval slightly larger to layer it with ... now I have it - WOO HOO!  SOmeone at Stampin' Up! was listening to my silent pleas *lol*.  I embossed the glass in silver and added 6 rhinestones for the bubbles.  I then used one of the oval framelits to punch it out.  See the pretty glimmer paper??  That is just our silver glimmer paper coloured!!!  Yes, you can color the paper any color you want!  It turned out the PERFECT shade of blue for a soft, classy look.  I used Pacifi Point ink with a finger dauber.  The color is much much softer than Pacific Point.  Whenever you color the paper you need to use a bold color as it is quite muted when you're done.  The only down side to coloring your own paper is that it gets all over your fingers ... and then all over your card.  I had to have the baby wipes handy at all times ... and I used my heat tool on my final version so I didn't smudge on the white.  I popped the champagne up with dimensionals.  I silver embossed the "Cheers" (from Happy Hour) and popped it up on dimensionals as well.  There is also a larger rhinestone on the exclamation mark and a string of 7 along the inside.  As with the card above the front flap is shorter than the base.  This card measured slightly bigger than the previous one (I'd give you dimensions but the card is in the basement and I'm too lazy to go get it and measure it *lol).  It turned out perfectly and really matches Kris' personality.  I hope she likes it as much as I do!

Right - that's it for today.  I hope to get a few more projects done before Christmas but we'll see how it plays out.  Alicia may be home again tomorrow ... and tomorrow night is their Christmas Concert ... Thursday I'm getting my hair dyed (stupid grey hair!) and Friday is a half day .... but I DO want to make some more crafts with the kids so hopefully I'll have time to post pics.  Until then ... have a stampy night!


Monday, December 10, 2012

En Francais and Rudolph

Happy Happy Happy Happy Monday!!!!

What else can I say??!!  I'm in SUCH a good mood this morning!!!  It really DOES make a difference to your mood when you sleep for 7 hours straight rather than the 5 I have been averaging lately!  WHY did I manage to sleep 2 hours longer than usual I hear you cry?  Yes, I suppose pure and utter exhaustion may have played a part ... but I've been exhausted for weeks now but that hasn't stopped me from waking up around 3:00 am every morning.  Nope - exhaustion wasn't it ... it was because for the first time since, oh, MAY I feel like I'm getting on top of things!  It's so true what "they" say ... clutter causes stress.  I have had clutter building and building and building as I have gotten busier and busier and busier this year and I finally snapped on Friday.  I couldn't take it any more!  I had my "major" projects completed so I HAD to turn my attention to the clutter.  As always I started in my bathroom.  I started small and slow ... "what the hell do I HAVE in my makeup basket that is beside the sink??!!"  I only ever seem to use the same 4 things out of it so WHY is it overflowing???  I emptied it and started pitching things ... everything to dusty, hairy, unused cotton balls to bobby pins (WHEN was the last ... or FIRST ... time I've ever used a bobby pin???)  I found 5 black combs ... 5 hair clips (um, my hair isn't long enough to fall in my eyes let alone clip up!!!), Q-tips, eyeshadow brushes, eyelash glue ... you name it, I found it ... and pitched it!  Right!  Now I was on a roll ... I purged under the bathroom sink and my 3 bathroom drawers ... onward!  I purged and tidied the linen closet ... next the girls' bathroom cupboard ... on to expired medicines ... unused bathtoys ... I even entered into (enter spooky "dun da da da daaaaaaaaaaaaaa" music here) THE PLAYROOM!  Now I'm not gunna lie ... I was a little scared ... and a little hurt after stepping on one of the 300 pieces of Lego on the floor ... but I pressed on.  I hauled out 7 Safeway bags of toys, garbage, crap and things .. and I only just made a dent in it!  I had a very full day and went to bed feeling good about what I had accomplished ... although I still needed another 3 or 4 days of the same to truly get to where I wanted to be.  So I went to bed ... and woke up at 5:00 am with my mind reeling with things yet to do.  I was up at 5:45 am and purging the pantry.  Apparently when we moved into this house in 2006 I figured we needed every food product known to man-kind ... and kept most of it!  I'm not sure why I felt the need to have TWO cans of coconut milk on hand ... my family doesn't LIKE coconut milk or meals MADE with coconut milk!  Nonetheless there they were - two cans ... best before June 2006 ... wait a minute!  That means I probably BOUGHT them in 2004!  Ewwww!  I threw out half used bags of shredded coconut (again with the coconut!!), pine nuts, spices and unopened packages of instant rice.  Next it was the "baking" cupboard ... and the tupperware cupboard ... and the (gasp) junk drawer!!!  I was a woman possessed!  Craig took the girls skiing and I just kept going ... like the Energizer Bunny!  (Oh ... as an aside ... I did have a bit of a disasterous weekend accident wise.  Thursday night I managed to badly burn Alicia with my hot glue while making ornaments ... Friday I managed to burn mySELF with boiling water while draining the Kraft Dinner ... and Saturday I managed to drop the iPad and shatter the glass!).  I worked and worked and worked.  Sunday I felt like I had been hit by a truck but I forced myself to keep going .. and a little Kahlua in my coffee didn't hurt matters ;)  I am BEYOND thrilled to say I finally got the girls' SCHOOL WORK FROM LAST YEAR organized and pout away!!!  That has been hanging over me like an annoying wasp since JUNE!  Wow!  It was like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders.  As usual, that task took all of about 20 minutes so WHY I hadn't made the time to do it sooner escapes me!!!  I had a VERY successful day in my craft room as well.  I STILL needed to finish off some cards I promised a club member last month ... finished those off ... I still needed to design my 3rd En Francais Stamp set of the Month card ... finished that off ... and then I needed to make 4 of each of the 3 En Francais cards ... finished THAT off (AND I redisgned the second one as I fell out of love with it *lol*).  I toyed with napping ... NO!  No rest for the wicked .. press on!  So I cracked off 25 gifts for my Club Members!!!  I went to bed at 9:30 ... fell asleep in about 34 seconds and woke at 5:00 am.  Ahhhh ... feels great!  Today I'm gunna walk the pup and then do some Christmas shopping ... MUCH later than usual ... and the toys my kids want are not to be found anywhere but oh well ... I'll pull something off somehow :)

So that's why I'm in such a great mood today.  You still with me?  Still reading??  What are YOU procrastinating on today that you have time to read all my crazy??  I had a long think about what I was procrastinating on to do so much around the house .. and then it hit me ... my Christmas cards!!  *lol*  Every year I'm the same ... I do EVERYTHING under the sun before tackling the stack of cards to mail out.  Apparently I never change *lol*.  Anyway ... I'll do those another day ... maybe tomorrow ... in the meantime let's get to those cards I made for the Stamp Set of the Month Club, shall we??  Ok.  First up is the one I redesigned from my last post.  Remember how I loved the embossing on the vellum and said I might revisit it?  Well I did.  While I was cleaning up I found some scraps lying around and things fell into place.  I didn't like how "heavy" the En Francais was on the card so I softened it ... a lot.  Lookie:
I started with the Very Vanilla base and then have a layer of Early Espresso card stock.  On top of that I have ANOTHER layer of Very Vanilla that was stamped with En Francais in Espresso (not embossed).  That vanilla layer is only 1/4" smaller than the espresso layer so it is very subtle.  I then have yet ANOTHER layer of Vanilla - 1/4" smaller where I have the sentiment (Thoughts & Prayers) in espresso and 3 butterflies ... 2 in espresso and 1 embossed on vellum.  There are pearls for their bodies and 2 more under the snetiments.  This is a much cleaner look.  I like it ... so I made 8 :)

The next one only took me about 15 minutes to bring together.  Again I had scraps lying around and I just had a play with them.  While I LOVE the En Francais script ... and I love the full-on look of it stamped on a sheet of paper ... it is very intense and competes with any other sentiments or embellishments so I again just used it as a bit of an accent on this Valentine (or Anniversary) card ...
Sigh ... I still haven't mastered the new camera.  I took about 12 pictures of this card and still didn't get the lighting right.  It is Whisper White with a smaller layer of Whisper White and then a smaller SMALLER layer of Whisper White stamped in Cherry Cobbler with the En Francais set.  I used my Heart Collection Framelits for the hearts as well as the small heart punch for the teeny tiny one.  The LOVE YOU sentiment was one of the single stamps I bought last month ... it can also be bought as part of the "Seasonal Sayings" set in the mini - page 34 - $20.95 clear; $27.95 wood.  I stamped it in Midnight Muse ... the hearts are in Midnight Muse and Cherry Cobbler.  I used a rhinestone to finish it off.  Hmmm ... looks better in person.

Last up I just HAD to make this adorable ornament that I cased from Melissa Davis.  She has a tutorial on her website .  Check it out!

OK ... Time to go ... gotta hit the stores!  Hope you had a productive weekend like I did ... now I can have a stampy day!


Monday, December 3, 2012

En Francais Sympathy


Woo Hoo!  I can feel the pressure melting away .... tonight is my last scheduled stamping "gig" for the year ... no more prep ... no more cutting ... no more "work" ... from now on it's just do a little catch up on paperwork and deliveries and then it's crafting just for fun!  Weeeeeeeeee!  I don't know who is more excited, me or the girls!  We have all kinds of things planned for the coming weeks.  Of course it still means a lot of "work" on my part ... but it's the work I've been really missing lately ... prepping projects to spend quality time with my babies :)))  I can't wait!

Now.  Although I have been up to my back teeth in prep, work and stress lately I DID have a fabulously stampy weekend!  It all kicked off Friday night with Craft Night.  I had such a good time!  Of course the November and December Craft Nights are better attended than other months as people start or finish their little projects, gifts and scrap albums and that always makes for lots of fun and laughs.  What a great group of ladies I have the pleasure of knowing - I always go to bed smiling once they've been over :)))

One project I was working on was to help design a simple card using the Tidings of Joy (retired) set.  Okee Dokee!  To Stampin' Connection I ran!  I cased this idea from an adorable card made by Barb Mann in California.  Here is her version:
And here is my simplified version (her coloring is beautiful but it was just too time consuming to mass produce!)
Wa-low!  Quick, clean and easy!  I'm gettin' better at this Clean and Simple business, eh?  (hee hee - "eh" ... had to throw that little bit of Canadianism in there for my foreign friends :))  I simply stamped the image on Very Vanilla and embossed it with Gold Emboss powder.  I cut some Soft Suede card stock (and angled the top cuts for that "stable" look) and ran it through my Woodgrain embossing folder (don't you just LOVE when you have all the tools / stamps / folders you need to make what you WANT to make??!!!)  The star is embossed as well and has a little Dazzling Diamonds in the middle, compliments of my 2-way glue pen.  A small knot of Soft Suede Taffeta Ribbon finishes it off.  Eeeeeeeee!  Love it!

Next up is a card that I played with for more than a few hours.  I was very tired but thought that might "help" my creative process.  No ... not so much.  I'm still not 100% convinced I love it ... I like it a lot ... and may use the same elements on another attempt ... but not for a while.  I have other fish to fry first.  Nonetheless I do LIKE this one ... and sadly I have a lot of use for it lately.  I am about to mail out my 5th Sympathy card in 2 weeks :(  My heart aches for all my friends who have lost their loved ones recently.  Here is what I came up with:
Hmmmm - looks like I got the flash a little wrong on that one!  Well ... you get the idea.  I embossed some Vellum card stock with the Early Espresso Embossing Powder.  Wow!  What a great effect (effect, right?  Not affect ... sigh - I WISH my High School English teacher spent more than a week a year on grammar ... and that I paid attention during that one week!).  I have a strip of espress cs edged with the Scallop Trim Border Punch.  The sentiment is in Espresso and is from Love and Sympathy (a great "keeper" set! - page 54 of the catty - only $14.95 clear - $19.95 wood!)  The largest butterfly is from the punch ($21.95) - the smaller ones are from the Beautiful Wings Embosslit ($14.95).  Pearls on the largest butterfly and below the sentiments finish it off.

That's it for today!  I'm off to get the kids (10 minutes early!!!)  I'm already packed and ready to stamp with the Brownie Troop Tonight.  Dinner is planned - chores are done ... hmmm .. I feel some "couch time" comin' on.  Oh ya, Baby!  Mama's gettin' that nap today - WOO HOO! 

Whatever you get up to today - have a stampy day!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

En Francais Fun

Happy Thursday!

Surprised to see me?  I'm surprised to BE here!  I really didn't think I'd have another project to post so soon after the chaos of Tuesday and Wednesday but here I am :)  I'm THRILLED to say that after 2 hours of typing my magazine "recipes" are done and e-mailed.  Yippee!  Now I can resume with my previously scheduled program called my life *lol*

I did a lot more paperwork and osrting of orders yesterday along with a few e-mails to customers and my Trail Blazers Team ... my back did NOT appreciate sitting at the computer for so long!  So when Craig went to the girls' Demonstration of Learning at school I headed to the craft room for some R&R.  I'm not gunna lie - I figured I come up with nuthin', thinking all m,y creative juices had been sucked out of me this month but low and behold I came up with a card I love.  The last "major" thing on my plate this week is to come up with three projects for my Stamp of the Month club, using the En Francais stamp.  I had in mind that I wanted to use it on an accent, not as a background, as I usually do.  Here is what I came up with:
Ta Da!  MAN it felt good to step away from Christmas Cards for an hour and come up with a Valentine card (or wedding, or anniversary!)  You need to look closely to see all the subtle details on this card but I love them!  I first made the hearts using Versamark and embossing powders - black and cherry cobbler - and punching them out using the heart punch.  I struggled for about half an hour with what to do from there!  Have no fear!  Mojo Monday to the rescue!  I flipped through 3 years worth of layouts they have posted on their Mojo Monday sight and I decided on this one.  I love how it turned out.  If you look closely at the Cherry Cobbler layer you can see I stamped the En Francais in our new Iluminate Watermark Ink.  It's almost silver but not quite - just a nice, soft, shimmery, subtle image.  The black layer isd "as is" and the Crumb Cake layer has small hearts embossed along the bottom of it by using one of the Adorning Accents folders.  The Forever & Always (from "Loving Thoughts" 0 page 136 of the catty - $28.95 clear; $36.95 wood) is stamped in Cherry Cobbler and again, if you look closely, you can see I've cut a dove tail on the end of it.  The sentiment and hearts are popped up on dimensionals.  So!  One club project down, 2 to go.

Oh my!  It's almost 10:00 am and I have to walk the dog, throw on some slap (aka make-up for my non UK-speaking friends!), change the sheets and dry the laundry all before 11:15 when the kids get out of school and I make some deliveries - so I better crack on!

Have fabulous ... and stampy ... day :)


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Evergreen ... and another Watercolor Winter

Happy Tuesday!

Wow.  Tamara's Paper Trail is right!  I've been doing paperwork ever since 8:30 this morning!  It's AWESOME when SU puts out a great promotion that boosts sales but the paper tornado it leaves behind is incredible!  Yes, I'm one of the people who LOVES paperwork ... but not when I still have about 15 projects to work on and Christmas approaching!!  Nevertheless I'm making my way through it ... only about another 3 hours at the computer and 4 in the craft room and I should be caught up ... (ya, right ... like THAT day ever comes *lol*)

Sooo ... before I start my 2 hours stint of sending my magazine project "recipes" to HO I thought I could procrastinate just a little longer by sharing a few more projects with you (I TOLD you I've made about 25 projects in the last 3 weeks!!!)

First up is one I more or less CASE'd from the fabulous Dawn Olchefske ... www.  Here is Dawn's card:
Beautiful!  I just love the card ... AND the layout ... but wanted to simplify it a bit for my Stamp-a-Stack a few weeks back.  Here is what I came up with:
Hmmm ... looks a little squished here ... gotta master that new camera!  I just LOVED how this one turned out.  Yep ... THIS was what we would make.  Oh!  Wait!  No we won't!  Instead of having 2 full rolls of Cherry Cobbler Seam Binding, like I THOUGHT I had I only had enough to make TWO cards!  Arghhhh!!!  I HATE when that happens!  I am a borderline hoarder and HATE the thought of ever running out of something so I ALWAYS have back-up supplies ... not this time!  I obviously USED all my favorite ribon and neglected to replenish it!  Sigh.  Well!  I needed to change it (much to my shegrin ... shegrin ... how do you spell shegrin?  And what dies that MEAN anyway??  Note to self:  Ask Dad what shegrin means and how to spell it ...).  After an hour of mixing an matching colors ... and making sure I had ENOUGH of everything this is what I came up with:
Old Olive 5/8" satin ribbon (retired) to the rescue!  Oh look!  The ribbon slid down when I took it out of the sleeve - *lol*  nice one, Tam!  I used the same layout as Dawn ... but I left the background blank (in very vanilla).  I popped the Always Artichoke layer up on dimensionals so I could slide the Old Olive ribbon underneath it.  The little squares 1 1/4" squares are also popped up.  I used Watercolor Winter AGAIN - stamped in Staz-on and colored with my blender pen with the Old Olive, Always Artichoke and Cherry Cobbler inks.  The Peac on Earth is in Cobbler and hiding under the ribbon is a string of 5 rhinestones.  Wa-low!  A pretty card!

Now ... on to the card I hate ... well, maybe hate is a bit strong ... and there IS too much hate in the world already ... so let's go with strongly dislike ... or maybe just "dislike enough to not want to show it".  It's just dull ... and lacks something ... maybe some rhinestones would perk it up a bit ... but I gave up on it before I even hit that point.  Here it is ...
Blech (is that how you spell a wretching noise *lol*?)  BO-RING!  I used my labels collection framelits (LOVE THEM!!) for an Artichoke mat - stamped the tree from Evergreen in ... umm ... Celery? ... and then the writing in Artichoke overtop.  The sentiment is from More Merry Messages (on sale for 1 more day!!).  I say again.  Blech.

Now ... FINALLY ... an Evergreen card I actually LIKE!!!  Here ya go!
Ta Da!  Can you tell I"m really into minimalist lately?  I've come to terms with a lot of white space!!  This card is just PERFECT for my Stamp-a-Stack on Sunday where most of the stampers are young ladies ... my rule of thumb for THAT market is ONE INK COLOR!!  This one fits!  I used Night of Navy - inked the tree once but stamped it 3 times so each tree is lighter.  The sentiment is from Greetings of the Season and also in Night of Navy.  It's hard to see but the tree on the left was stamped in our (retired) silver Encore ink - stamped off - and then lightly stamped on the tree.  Since the ink is quite "wet" there is time to apply a little Dazzling Diamonds to it and it sticks :)  A few rhinestones and we're done!

Soooooooooooo - that brings me up to date on my postings!  Woo Hoo!  Thanks for hanging in there and reading all my ramblings :))

I WANT to work on a Christmas Envelope Gift Card Holder for you for tomorrow but we'll have to see how this paperwork ... oh, and magazine project recipe ... gig goes first.  I guess at SOME point I'm going to have to make that a priority .... and maybe THAN I can get a decent night sleep *lol*

Thanks for popping by.  Have a stampy day :)


Monday, November 26, 2012

Another Case ... or three!


Woo Hoo!  I MADE IT!!!  I survived the weekend and can see the light at the end of the tunnel!!  I am beyond THRILLED to say that my project submissions for the Stampin' Success magazine are "in the mail"!!  Phew.  I'm SO glad that is done ... well ... ALMOST done ... I still have to e-mail the Editor with my "recipe" for each project.  That should take about 2 hours ... THEN I'll be done ... but I'm glad to have them physically in the mail.  Now I just have to wait until March for it to hit the glossy pages of the magazine :)))))

It was a long tough week last week.  I finished my magazine projects Thursday so thought I could play catch up on a few things Friday.  Nope.  Insert children ... and "life".  Alicia woke up in tears because she felt "icky".  Now of course the kids say that EVERY morning but this morning I could tell she really meant it ... so ... she stayed home.  I warned her I still had things to do and whilst I would certainly take care of her and color a bit I couldn't sit and watch TV all day with her.  She was good with that.  I made plans for my dad to come over and watch her for 1 1/2 hours in the afternoon while I helped out with Rebecca's school field trip.  It took some convincing to get Alicia to "agree" to having him stay while I left rather than HIM help with the field trip while I stayed.  I am, however, a very good saleslady and eventually had her looking forward to him coming and me going :)

I jumped in the shower at 11:00 am and just as I was drying my hair the school phoned.  It was Rebecca's teacher.  I assumed she was just confirming what time I was coming to help out.  WRONG!  She told me that Rebecca had fainted!  Long story short she fainted while walking to the bathroom to clean a fresh papercut.  Her teacher said she bumped her cheek and had a mark but was otherwise fine.  I spoke to Rebecca and naturally she wanted to come home.  (I know my daughter .... she wasn't hurt and she felt fine but she was terribly embarrassed!!)  So ... I called dad and said not to bother coming as I didn't need to help with the field trip anymore.  He said he would still come so I could walk the dog.  So he headed off.  I quickly called Craig to tell him what happened and HE immediately ditched work and came home.  Then my MOM called, ready to cancel her lunch so SHE could come.  WHOA people!!!  Everything was just fine!  I tried to call dad to tell him Craig was coming home and not to bother ... but he had already left.  I picked up Rebecca who was very pale (although the staff said she was whiter than snow when she went down!) and we came home.  She needed a cuddle and a good cry.  She headed up to bed to watch TV.  Alicia was now disappointed that it wasn't just "her and Papa" time but I bribed her into a smile with a new sticker book.  Papa showed up but I didn't need him.  Craig showed up and he walked the dog.  (... any of this chaos sound familiar?  ... or is it just me and my life??  *lol*)

ANYway ... all is well with everyone.  Rebecca had a bruised cheek.  HER version is that she DIDN'T faint ... her arm had swung up and hit her in the face and made her fall.  Ummm - ok.  Not sure why her arm would be swinging that hard or high but I wasn't going to argue with her.  She was good enough to go to her skiing lessons on Saturday so all is well again. 

Needless to say I didn't get anything work-wise accomplished Friday so Saturday was a bit of a scramble.  I had Craig take the girls to skiing lessons alone while I cut paper for my two upcoming Stamp-a-Stacks.  SHEESH!  I am now officially down to HALF A PACK of Whisper White card stock and FIVE envelopes - FIVE!!  Guess who put in an emergency order at 11:45 pm yesterday *lol*?   Sunday was great.  I had my Stamp-a-Stack and it was really relaxing.  I had some new ladies stamping with us (hi Patti and Kristin!).  I really enjoyed it.  I spent the rest of the afternoon making up my "extras" and then once the kids were in bed I made my "good" copies of my magazine projects.  Yep - my bed felt VERY good when I crawled into it.  I think I was asleep in about 15 seconds!

So now you understand why I say HAPPY MONDAY!!!  I MADE IT!!!!   (aren't you glad you come in to check out my craziness every week?  Makes your life look calm, doesn't it??  DOESN'T IT??)

So ... how about some cards?  I have 20 minutes before child pick-up so let's roll with some more "CASE"ing ...

Here is a card I wanted to make for my class a few weeks back.  I love the colors and the paper piercing.  Of course I HAVE all the paper piercing but I hadn't USED any of them yet (sound familiar??)  This was a great card to try it out on ... and it also allowed me to use my new Paper TRIMMER on the green layer.  The originator is/was .. oh for Heaven's Sake ... I can't FIND it!!!  I know I'll stumble accross it again - it's a great card - I just can't find it in my Favorites of Stampin Connection nor on Pinterest ... sorry - I'll report the creator when I find it!
This is 99% exactly her original card ...
Love it!  The colors are NOt Quite Navy and Wild Wasabi.  I used Framelits for the shapes around "Frosty Friends" which was stamped in Staz-on and colored with the markers.  I used the paper piercing template to pierce ... and pearls for the snowballs - oh, and the base is run through the polka dot folder.

Next up is one I used for my Stamp-a-Stack yesterday.  Again - CASEd ... this time from Chat Wszelaki at .  Great card - so quick, easy but WOW!
It used the Four Seasons hostess set, a 1 1/4" circle punch of Silver glimmer paper, a 1" punched out snowflake and some dimensionals.  The ink is Baja Breeze and the Sentiment is Curly Cute.  Quick and EASY!!  Thanks Chat for a great case!

The next two are my own creations ... which didn't make "the cut".  This one is "ok" but didn't blow my hair back ...
Sigh.  I really was convinced this set was a great set ... "Christmas Blessings".  It is one of the first ones I bought on the pre-order.  I had great visions of it being embossed in silver .. I've tried a number of cards a number of times but it just hasn't grabbed me.  This one was so-so.  It just didn't quite sit right with me ... so it was "out"!

Last up (I now have 3 minutes before I have to leave!)  is another one I THOUGHT would work for my upcoming SAS ... but in the end I changed it for something else.  Just didn't float my boat:
Jolly Bingo Bits is a must-have set ... and I have scads of the Gumball Green ribbon on hand but .. nope ... I chose my next card instead ... which I love ... but I'm gunna keep it until tomorrow or my kids will be left standing at the school gate looking forlorn ... and we don't want THAT do we???  Heck no!  So off I toddle.  Come back tomorrow for a card I DON'T like ... and one that I LOVE ... both made with the same set.  Until then ... have a stampy day :)


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Simply Case!

Happy Wednesday!!!

Apparently I don't have enough stress to motivate me to get downstairs and crack off those last two magazine projects.  Again .... I'm my own worst enemy!!!  I spent the morning having a lovely, relaxing time at the hairdressers (my BFF had given me some gift certificates for hair cuts!!) ... along with my apple fritter and Starbucks Peppermint Mocha coffee.  Of course after the haircut I spent a bunch of money on jewelerry that I didn't need (but it was on SALE! ... it would have been irresponsible NOT to buy some!) and then off to Michaels to buy a storage cart for the girls' coloring books, crayons and markers (once again I felt the need to SAVE a bunch of money and bought $100 worth of things I didn't realize I needed!)  Now that I'm home I kinda LIKE this relaxed feeling ... and lets face it - I work better under pressure *lol*

Sooooo .... last week when I was a basket case trying to create simple yet stunning cards and had completely run out of all creativity I had to resort to desperate measures ... the CASE!  For those of you not "in the know" - CASE stands for Copy And Share Everything.  Us Stampin' Up! Gals are all about copying ideas ... as long as credit is given where credit is due.  Most of us actually think it is an absolute compliment if someone copies our ideas.  It's validations that we are creative geniuses and we are in fact Super Stars in the crafting world *lol*.  Why re-invent the wheel?  A beautiful cards is a beautiful card ... so I cased 'em!

First up is one I cased form myself *lol*.  A few days ago I posted this quick and easy card:
While I really liked the layout  ... (does it look familiar to this one?):
... or perhaps this one ...:
... I found I wasn't loving the Lucky Limeade green ... nor the little strip of DSP along the bottom.  So I cased myself and came up with this one:
Oooo - my ... what I nice picture my new camera took of THAT one!  Same card but I used Basic Black for the accent instead of the green.  Wa-low!  A quick and easy case!

Next up is a STUNNING card that was right up my alley!  It packs a POW and is in my favorite neutrals - Very Vanilla and Early Espresso.  I cased this from Jill Fanchett - visit her at  Mine is 90% identical to hers:
OMG I love this card!!!  It used the Bigs die for the snowflakes and the Be of Good Cheer DSP.  I added a strip of Espresso cs, stamped the Noel in Espresso (from Greetings of the Season) and added a Jumbo Pearl in the middle.  It doesn't come any quicker, easier or more "wow"ful (yes, it's a word!) than this one!  Thank you Jill for sharing your BEAUUUUUTIFUL card!

Last up (for today) is one I cased from a Super Stamper from Calgary, Alberta (yay Canada!!) Natasha Zandbergen.  Natasha does fabulous work andyou can find her at  Again, clean, simple and lovely:
Now ... let's just pause for a moment.  Do you HAVE the Ornament Keepsake Framelits and Keepsake Ornament Stamp set yet?  If you don't WHY THE HECK NOT???  Have you SEEN how many cards I have made with these two items???  The options are simply ENDLESS.  BUY THE DARNED STUFF AND I'LL STOP HARPING ABOUT IT!!!  For those of you who are my customers and DON"T have it ... I KNOW WHO YOU ARE and I'm not scared to start naming names!!! 
So ... Back to the card.  Yes, once again I used the Be of Good Cheer DSP (yes, it's still on sale this week for $10.80!!) with the Holiday Ornament Framelits and my gold Dazzling marker.  The sentiment is from Merry and Type.  Quick - easy - lovely.  Thanks Natasha!

OK ... I now only have an hour before I have to go get the kidlets.  I think I can procrastinate on my projects for another half hour by cleaning the kitchen ... but I better not.  I'm off to create my OWN fabulousness ... and hopefully someone will want to CASE them in the future.

Don't reinvent the wheel ... case a card you see and love! 

Have a stampy day!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ornament Keepsake Anyone?

Well HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO and Happy Tuesday!!!!

Wow.  It feels like MONTHS since I've posted!  I have made SOOOO many projects over the last 2 weeks I don't know what I have and what I haven't posted any more.  I also feel really out-of-touch with you all since I really HAVEN'T posted in about 2 weeks.  Although I had projects every day last week I had actually pre-posted them and scheduled them to appear each day.  While I liked the idea in theory (it meant I didn't have to stress about carving out an hour each day to post) I didn't like it in practice.  You know me ... I like to ramble ... and my daily posts were short, sweet and to the point.  Not my style.  I actually watched a webinar the other day on Blogging ... and the number 1 tip they gave was to "be yourself".  Well - short and sweet is ANYTHING but me ... and let's face it ... only a few of you really pop in to see my projects, right?  The rest of you check in to read my all about my craziness, don't you??!!  I figure reading my blog is kind of like a reality show.  You tune in for one of the two same reasons you watch reality shows a) to confirm that there are other people out there who have a life as crazy as yours or b) to validate that you are normal compared to the likes of me :) 

So no more pre-posting for me.  This is my therapy ... and I blog for that reason and to share my passion with others.  I HOPE to post at least once a week (which I think Tuesday will be my designated "must post" day rather than Mondays) and anything over and above that is a bonus.  My life will calm in down in 2 days so I should have LOTS of time for blogging in the coming weeks (ya ... right ... like "lots of time" ever happens!)

So - speaking of being busy ... any guesses WHY I have been so busy for the last 2 weeks?  Hmmm ... anyone??  Well ... some of you already know but for the rest of you ... here's the scoop!  About 3 weeks back Stampin' Up! contacted me and asked me if I would like to be their Featured Guest Artist for our (now) bi-monthly stampin magazine "Stampin' Success"!  After about 30 minutes of re-reading the e-mail, squealing like a new born piglet and jumping up and down in the kitchen (as my dog and cat watched from the livingroom in what appeared to be horror!) I replied with an emphatic YES!!!  So ... in a nutshell, they sent me a brand new stamp set from the upcoming mini catalogue and I have to submit (4) projects to them using it.  My deadline to get it in the mail is Friday.  Yes ... as I expected ... I have had about 4 night where I wake up at 3:00 am trying to design projects.  I have been SO sleep deprived I really don't know how I've been functioning.  Well ... I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I have completed 2 projects, the 3rd one is 90% done and the fourth one is alive and well in my brain ... I just have to get it on paper *lol*.  So that's why I have been so busy lately ... designing those projects on TOP of my regular clubs, classes, parties, Stamp-a-Stacks, gift making and now the FABULOUS On-Line promotion (not to mention those stinkin' ADORABLE embossing machines!!!)  It's been a crazy 2 weeks for sure.

Soooooooooo!  I think it's about time I shared a few projects with you!!  This first one is the one I promised to post on Saturday ... but didn't.  Sorry about that .. Saturday I was quickly approaching melt down / burn out and it just didn't happen.  This was my favorite card for our class last week:
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!  Love it! I'm SO into my neutrals and vintage lately!  This was one of those cards that started off simple ... but then it just kept going and going and going and turned out to have a lot of steps to it.  Nonetheless it's not a "hard" card .. just lots of cutting and piecing.  The colors are Very Vanilla., Crumb Cake and Early Espresso.  I ran the base and the Crumb Cake layer through the new Lacy Brocade embossing folder (ya know ... I wasn't sure I "needed" this folder as I found it quite similar to the Vintage Wallpaper folder ... but I like it ... and I'm glad I bought it!)  I stamped the Ornament Keepsake images in crumb cake and then punched them out with the Framelits (if you don't own this set & framelits you NEED them!  I have used them SO much this year - definately a must have in your collection!)  I then punched out the same ornaments with the framelits in Espresso and layered them just slightly behind the crumb cake images to give a shadow effect.  I did the same with a thin strip along the side of the Crumb Cake layer and again against the punched out sentiment.  For that I used the Season't Greetings from ... mmm More Merry Messages?  I foget  (... Did you know More Merry Messages is on sale this week?  Yep it is.  True story.  You should buy it.  Just sayin. ...).  I punched the sentiment out with the Decorative Label Punch (also happens to be on sale this week ... $16.07 ... ) and popped it up on dimensionals.  I added a little knot of Victoria Crochet Trim ($9.50) and attached it with a glue dot.  Wa-low!  A pretty little card :)

Now.  Last Friday was not a good day.  As discussed I was extremely sleep deprived and was losing the will to live, let alone to design yet another card (I figured I've designed about 25 cards in the last 3 weeks!)  My creative juices had left the building ... but I still needed to create two new Christmas cards for my Christmas Stamp-a-stack that was on Sunday.  Yes, I HAD created Christmas cards that would "do" ... but I wasn't in LOVE with them any more ... that and one customer was coming who had been to my last SAS so I wanted to give her a FEW new cards (yes, sometimes I'm my own worst enemy!).  I think I crafted about 7 hours on Friday.  By 9:00 pm I was just a waste of make-up.  I had no clear judgement left in me ... I couldn't decide what looked good and what didn't ... so naturally I enlisted the help of my husband.  I had stamped the very simple "Merry and Type" ornament image on my paper along with a sentiment ... but it was missing something.  Craig said it needed some tree branches.  Here is what I (or "we") came up with:
Now ... while I liked this card very much in THEORY it bugged me that it was just a single layer card.  I couldn't live with that ... but to make it any smaller would ruin the proportions which I think "make" the card.  I left it to look at again in the morning ... with fresh eyes.  I woke up Saturday morning and within 20 minutes had come up with my new favorite card (funny what a 5 hour "nap" will do for creativity!")
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  LOVE it!!!  SO clean - SO simple - SO elegant - I just love everything about it.  (Of course I had to spend another half hour making sure it didn't need little silver strings drawn from each ornament ... or different patterned paper for each ornament ... nope - the first crack was the best crack!)  The DSP is the Be of Good Cheer paper - the sentiment is from the More Merry Messages set (yep - still on sale!).  I punched the ornaments with the framelits and added 1 rhinestone for a little punch.  LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!  My customers loved it too.  One customer, Vicky W played around with the layout a little and changed the sentiment and came up with this lovely card:
Love it too! ... Then Vicky spotted "Craig's" card ..., loved it and incorporated the two cards to come up with my OTHER favorite card:
Isn't it great?!  All the sentiments are from More Merry Messages (did I mention it's on sale? *lol*)

So I think that's enough rambling for today.  Phew.  Thanks!  I needed that!  I have 6 or 7 more projects to share in the coming days / weeks ... it's just a matter of finding the time to post them ... and the rest of this week I HAVE to get those magazine projects in the mail (no ... I can't share those with you until March!).

Thanks for faithfully checking in on my and my crazy - have a stampy day :)


Friday, November 16, 2012

Be of Good Cheer

Happy Friday!

We made it to the end of the week!  I have a busy one ahead.  I'm free tonight but tomorrow night Alicia and I are on a Brownie Sleepover in St. Albert.  It should be lots of fun ... then again ... the thought of "sleeping" in a club house ... on the flooor ... with (20+) 7 and 8 year old girls may have me reaching for the Advil ... and back pain pills *lol*.  Sunday I have a private Stamp-a-Stack so I better get cracking and get all my little duckies in a row. 

Today's card is one you've seen before - I just switched the DSP to Christmas.  Brandi Mah shared the layout with our team last year and it really is my go-to layout.  Thanks Brandi!
It really doesn't need describing, does it?  The sentiment is from More Merry Messages (and is VERY similar to the one in Greetings of the Season!).  I used Gumball green.  The DSP is Be of Good Cheer.  I added a rhinestone for a little bling.  Oh!  One tip I can share to get the dovetails looking pretty good.  I snip up the middle of the strip of paper first and then cut from the corner to the top of the snip.  That way both tails are somewhat centred and the same shape ...

That's it for today.  I have one more to share ... tomorrow.  Have a stampy Friday!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Embellished Events Christmas

Happy Thursday!

Half day for the girls today ... so I'll get right to it so I have time to walk the pup, shower and tidy up ...

Today I have another quick and easy card that I designed for my Kids Stamp-a-Stack.  Again, the goal use to use ONE ink color.  Mission accomplished!
I used Real Red and Lucky Limeade for the colors.  The santa hat is from Embellished Events (page 40 of the catty - $25.95 clear; $35.95 wood).  This is a fun little set that I HAD to have ... but of course this is the first time I've actually USED it *lol*  All the images in this set are sized to work with the SU embellishments - rhinestones, pearls, dahlias and so on.  It's fun to "bling it up" with whatever you've got on hand!  I ran the white layer through the Delicate Details embossing folder.  The hat is punched out with the 1 3/4" circle punch and the scallop in Limeade is the 2 3/8" scallop.  I used a LITTLE piece of DSP from Summer Smooches ... "Tamara!  How on earth did you get that tiny little piece cut so beautifully??" I hear you cry.  "Why using the new Stampin' Trimmer of course!"  (page 180 of the catty - $41.95)  This cutter is AWESOME!  I will never give up my Tabletop Cutter but I have already started using the Trimmer from my smaller layers ... something I've never done before! 
The sentiment is from Greetings of the Season in Real Red.  And of course I added a bunch of rhinestones.  The kids LOVE rhinestones!!!

Right ... two more posts to go this week!  Pop back tomorrow for another quick and easy card!  Have a stampy day!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Daydream Medallions Christmas

Happy Wednesday!

I told ya I had a lot of cards to share!  Thanks for popping back to check 'em out!

I'll get right to it as I need to get some "serious" designing done today.  I can't share what I'm working on for a few MONTHS ... top secret information ... but I need to get at it so ...

Today's card is SO quick and easy ... and there is just something about it that I love!  Check it out:
It's just so darned Christmassy!  I dunno ... I just keep staring at it!

I used two colors - Real Red and Garden Green.  The wreath is made using the Daydream Medallions set ...and a Stamp-a-ma-jig.  That's a must for this card to get the smaller medallion just right!  The sentiment is from the mini - Heart of Christmas.  I punched out the small heart in Red Glimmer paper (and popped it up on a cut dimensional) and 3 little circles using my Owl Builder punch ... my other circle punches were too big ... these ones were just right!  I added one little rhinestone at the bottom (just above the "a" in Tamara).  It just seemed to comlete it.

Quick, easy, classic Christmas.

Come back tomorrow .... and have a stampy day!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Merry Mini Ornaments

Happy Tuesday!

Today is a little busier than yesterday was but it's all good.  I'm all prepped and ready for tonight's class ... and the only place I really NEED to go today is to take the kids to swimming.  Once I take the pup for his walk I can spend a few hours cutting for my upcoming Stamp-a-Stacks.  Slowly but surely I'm getting things under control!

Here is a CUTE little card that is SO quick and easy.  I designed it for my Stamp-a-Stack that will have a number of young stampers.  I learned a few years ago (the hard way) that when stamping with children limit the ink to ONE COLOR!  Any more than one color of ink on the table and you're just askin' for trouble *lol*.  Here's the card:
I got the inspiration from Mary Fish (  She made little notecards using the Merry Mini Punch Pack that were SO cute ... I just HAD to turn them into a full size card.  Does it get any easier than this one?  Not much!  I punched out the ornaments with the Merry Mini Punch Pack onament shape in Real Red, Gumball Green and Daffodil Delight.  I was going to use mini glue dots to attach them but then realized I had a SWACK of little dots of glue in my package of rhinestones ... withOUT the rhinestones.  Remember the birthday party I did a few weeks back?  Well the girls had a LITTLE trouble getting the glue off WITH the rhinestone so I now have a lot of rhinestones without glue and a lot of glue without rhinestones.  Being ever frugal instead of wasting ... I just used the glue from the rhinestones to attach the ornaments.  Clever yes? 
The sentiment is from Merry & Type in Real Red.  A few rhinestones finish it off nicely!  Oh ... the mats are Real Red and Gumball Green.
Quick - easy - one ink color - minimal effort.  This one's a keeper!

Tune in tomorrow for another super quick and easy card ... I'm on a roll Baby!

Have a stampy day!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Triple Time Stamping

Happy Monday!!!!

Welcome to my favorite day of the week :)  Today is even better than usual as a) the kids are off school (that means that other than walking the pup I don't have to leave the house today) and b) there is no Brownies tonights (that means that other than walking the pup I don't have to leave the house today) *lol*  I'm not gunna lie ... I'm sick to DEATH of leaving the house!  I'm a stereotypical "Cancer" ... I'm a home body.  Given the choice to a) go out or b) stay home I'd pick b) 99% of the time.  It's also a great day because I'm starting to crawl out from under all the project pressure I have been under lately.  Yesterday I almost had a meltdown ... you know the kind I'm talking about ... the "I don't know why I'm crying but I'm a girl and sometime you just need to cry" kind of meltdown.  I managed to keep the tears at bay ... and then I started pulling up my big girl panties and started getting some stuff done.  Today is a whole different ball game.  I am focused and fairly stress free.  Phew!  I hate when I get overwhelmed like I was last week!  So .... today I spent the morning in my craft room (while completely ignoring my children and allowing them to stare at the laptop for ... oh ... 3 hours ... bad Mommy ...) and I now have my projects designed for my Technique Class tomorrow.  I'm glad I found a third project that I loved. 

First up is our Technique card.  We'll be learning the "Triple Time" stamping technique.  I've avoided this technique for a few months now because ... well, to be honest ... I was sick to death of it!  The very talented Dawn Olchefske ( brought back the popularity of this technique with a beautiful card.  Here it is:
Isn't it pretty?  I'm not the only one who thought so ... and all of the sudden everywhere you looked there was a Triple Time card.  Nevertheless, it's a popular technique because it is easy and pretty ... so who am I to fight popularity?  Gotta give the stampers what they want, right?  Sooooo .... after wasting a LOT of paper using Dawn's layout I decided to scrap that ... and came up with a different layout.  Here is what I came up with:
Oooo ... this picture was taken with my brand new camera!  It's so purdy!!!  You can't see it in this picture because I shrunk it ... but in the original picture I can see individual carpet fibres clear as day!  ... now I just need 19 hours to learn how to use the darned thing properly *lol*  ... but I digress .... (haven't done THAT in a while *lol*)
I used the Snowflake Soiree set with Midnight Muse (LOVE that color) and Bashful Blue.  Hmmm ... liked the layout but wasn't diggin' the color scheme.  Try again ...
This time I used ... Not Quite Navy ... no ... wait ... it's Midnight Muse again ... it just looks different here due to the lighting and carpet contrast.  Yep - gotta learn how to use the new camera to get more acurate coloring of my cards!  This time I used the new Illuminate ink pad (from the mini).  It looks silver and is quite striking on colored card stack.  The mats are in whisper white.  Naaaa.  Don't love this one either.  Try again.  Third time's the charm ...
Yep.  That's the one.  Everything is the same - I just changed the colors to Crumb Cake and Early Espresso and changed the rhinestones to pearls.  I won't go into details on the technique ... Dawn has a video on it ... you can also come to class tomorrow night and find out how it's done in person :)

OK ... so I think I'll stop there.  I have 5 more cards to share but heck ... I have to spread it out a little, don't I?  Hee hee ... yes, I'm evil :)

Until tomorrow - have a stampy day!