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!