Tuesday, April 30, 2019

I'm so far behind I think I'm first!

Happy Tuesday!

Ya ... it's been more insane than usual around here lately!  I STARTED this post on Sunday ... and here it is Tuesday night!  Sheesh!  Truth be told I'm only finishing it now because it's only 8:04 pm and I'm trying to stay upright until at least 9:00.  If I stop moving I'm PRETTY sure I'll fall asleep.  Not even kidding.  This week I've tried to watch a 20 minute show at bedtime and three nights in a row I've passed out within the first 2 minutes!  hee hee.  The FALLING asleep is easy.  The STAYING asleep is not!  SOOOO much going on in my head - classes, birthdays, Easter, new catalogue, retiring products, pre-orders, planning .. and COUNCIL WORK!  Tomorrow is THE big day for me with council worl.  I will be spending the entire day working on my part of the seminar we are putting on in Toronto THIS weekend.  Ya.  Gotta get it done tomorrow as Thursday I'm booked ALL day and I leave for Toronto on Friday.  So that's my crazy right now!  What was my crazy last week?

Well ... we had Easter at Mom's, as we always do.  It was a feast of feasts.  SO good!  Mom and Alicia had made this cute little edible bunny bread with dip in the tummy,  So cute!
We also had Rebecca's 16th birthday celebration on Thursday.  Sweet 16.  *sniff.  Not a baby any more!
Mama and Papa brought balloons that had money inside.  SO fun to pop them all and watch the money rain down!
We spent our traditional Mom/Daughter day at the mall.  It's a tradition we've had since she was about 7.  Long may it last!
I made her a Twist and Pop card.  It was actually QUITE quick and easy to come together ...

I held a Coffee and Cards class yesterday at Second Cup.  These are the cards we made.  SO quick and easy!
I had a class on Friday (and again Saturday).  These were the little notecards that went inside a "clutch" style package.

I CASED this project form Chris Slogar and a tutorial she posted on Splitcoast Stampers.  You can check that out HERE

We also made a "Triangle Corner Pop-Up 3-D Card". 
I CASED that one from fellow demo Jan Brown.  You can find HER tutorial at Jan B Cards or on youtube.  Here's here video.
I was struggling to come up with a third project for the class ... until I realized I DID have this new bird stamp set "Free as a Bird" so I CASEd the Make and Take from Vancouver On Stage.  A changed it a little, to use up some of the retiring Powder Pink Card stock.  I LOVE this bundle and I know I'll use it a LOT this year!
I finally got around to mailing the box of 180 notecards to our friend Mr. Dan in GA, USA.  This was the card I put inside with a little note ...
If you follow me on Facebook you will have seen this little tip a posted.  My friend Claudine had mentioned that if you use a self healing cutting mat in place of the bottom cutting pad your TOP cutting plate won't warp.  I decided to give it a try.  IT WORKED!
I ran this top plate through the Big Shot at LEAST 40 times and it is just as straight as when I took it out of the package!  Oh sure, the mat isn't very good at fine detailed dies but for outline dies like these there are just fine!  We can't get the cutting plates through Stampin' Up! anymore so using these self healing mats will definitely help extend the life of the two new plates I have!

Here is a video showing you want I mean ...

You can probably tell I'm exhausted ... my rambling isn't as long or detailed as usual so I'll leave it at that for today.  I wanted to get this post finished, as I'm trying REALLY hard to be consistent in posting but also trying to get a good life/family/work balance.  I WAS doing really well .. until the last few weeks.  It's all good - just a slight blip until next week, once these Council Seminars are over.

I hope you're all well and having a stampy night!


Sunday, April 21, 2019

Let's Get Caught Up with In Stage, Projects and Triangle Corner Pop Up cards!

Happy Sunday ... and Happy Easter!
I'm looking VERY forward to a relaxing day with the family (and *maybe* a bit of crafting) before heading to Mom's for the traditional Easter dinner.  Mmmmmmm turkey with all the fixin's!

I had HOPED to post last week but I was a *little* behind after heading to Vancouver for the weekend.  Yup - it was the Spring "On Stage" Event, a one day conference of sorts where active demonstrators come together for a day of training, stamping, friends, laughs and the ALL NEW ANNUAL CATALOGUE!!!  Oh it was SUCH a great weekend!  A few of my friends and I head to Vancouver to take in all the fun!
Sure, the free products, stamping and new catalogue are AWESOME perks of the event but without having great friends to share it with, it just would be as fun!

If you follow me on Facebook (Tamara's Paper Trail" you will have seen my plethora of Facebook Live videos (which *may* have eaten my entire month's worth of data and *may* have resulted in some overage charges - gulp!) showing off some of the FABULOUS new products coming out in June.  Oh I can't WAIT to start playing with new toys! ... alas, I have a LOT of work to do this week before I'm allowed to dig into my toy box.  I DO expect my new goodies to arrive early next week so make sure you follow me on Facebook for my box-opening video - always a good one!

Speaking of "new" ... there is a new, one-month-only "Product Medley" coming out for the month of May.  It's the "Everything is Rosy Medley".  Check out ALL the stuff you get in this "kit"!

SUCH a great grouping of products!  I'm having a day of crafting surrounding it!

If you're in the Edmonton area and are free June 1st you should come!  There are only 4 spots left!
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Registration $150
Early Bird Price $135 if registered by Fri, Apr 26th

Come for a Projects, Products, Laughs, Door Prizes (all from the NEW catalogue that won't even be live until 2 days after this event!!), Lunch and Creativity !

Check out this video showing off the products!
Since I can't order the products ahead of time I don't know WHAT we'll be making but I DO know it will be a lot of fun.  I hops you can come!

Moving on to a few projects ... I DID do a bit of crafting before my weekend away.  Specifically I made some gifts for my team and friends ...
 It's a "Ready for Business" kit.  Everything they need to be ready to hand out business cards and capture potential customers' information.  They were so fun to make!

I made a video showing you how.  Check it out below.
I also brought them a little Team Logo gift ...
OH!  Here are a few cards we made at On Stage.  Well, here's one my "Lovely Assistant", Nicole made.  As always, I was too busy socializing to actually stamp! lol
I DID take the time to make ONE card myself.  Craig and I had our 15th Wedding Anniversary Sunday ... but I wasn't there to partake! hee hee.  Even WORSE, I didn't even make him a card ahead of time! ... so I had to tweak one of the Make and Take projects.  I LOVE how it turned out.  Phew!  Saved my bacon!
What else is coming down the line?

I have my Coffee and Cards at Second Cup, Hollick Kenyon on Monday, April 29 where we'll be making these three cards ..
I like the cards so much I thought I'd also turn them into a "Tin of Cards Class" that is being held May 24th (message me for details or follow me on FB)
 I've been working all weekend on my upcoming classes this weekend.  I CASEd this adorable "clutch" from Chris Slogar.  SO easy to make!

 It has 4 notecards and envelopes inside.
I'm also working on some "Triangle Corner Pop Up" Cards.  I used Jan Brown's video tutorial to make this little piece of awesomeness ...

 I used the Tea Room Designer Paper along with the Tea Together stamp set/die bundle and just LOVE how it turned out!  I also love that I got to use that paper!  I bought it, despite it not being my "style" at all ... but it's PERFECT for this project!

Having said that, I DO have 29 stampers coming to make these projects and that means a LOT of designer paper is needed.  Since I didn't have enough on hand to make them all the same I had to change things up QUITE a bit and came up with these ...

SO cute!  Lots of cutting is required but I seem to be on a roll with it and it's well worth the effort.  Who wouldn't want to get one of THESE on their birthday???

I DO hope to make a video on putting these together but I won't promise at this point!  Check out Jan's tutorial for all the dimensions.  Her videos are great!
So that's what I've been up to the last few weeks.  Add in my Father-in-Law falling and breaking his leg, my eldest turning 16, Easter, Demonstrator Council work and all the other regular mom "stuff" thrown into the mix and you have a busy few weeks!  I best crack on with it.  That card stock aint gunna cut itself, right??

I hope you have a Blessed Easter celebrating with family and friends.  Have a stampy day!


Sunday, April 7, 2019

LOTS of Stamping Fun!

Happy Sunday!

This week was a GREAT one for me!  I got a LOT of things off my "YAY List" ... some that weren't even ON my YAY List yet, and a LOT of quality stamping/socializing with my friends!

I'm not sure what came over me last Saturday ... but around noon I found myself grabbing my box of Tax Return stuff and diving right in!  A few hours later I was done and driving it over to the Accountant!  ... I was OBVIOUSLY procrastinating on something ... which may or may not have been my Canadian Demonstrator Council Homework! lol.  Yes, in true Tamara form I pushed the most important task of the week to the bottom of my Yay list.  There simply wasn't enough pressure yet! lol.

I spent a lot of hours pouring over my team reports, sending out cards, planning challenges and so on.  I LOVE congratulations and rewarding my girls for a job well done! They knocked it out of the PARK this quarter, making us one of the fastest growing teams in Canada!  Im SO proud of them!!

Wednesday night I held my first "Pants Optional Stamping Event".
I do believe everyone had fun ... and that everyone actually DID wear pants! *lol*.  What is Pants Optional Stamping?  It's simply a few hours on a Wednesday night where you hop onto your computer and join me (and other crafters) in my videoconference room ... and you stamp!  It's like Skype ... it's a virtual get together.  We can all see and hear each other .. and BE together without PHYSICALLY being together!  Everyone is working on "whatever"!  Paper Pumpkin kit, swaps, cleaning blocks ... or as Laurel did, put together furniture! *lol*.  It was a fun way to work on some projects, chat with friends yet not have to leave the comfort of your own home.  We all loved it and we I will definitely do it again soon!  I'm THINKING in 2 weeks ... but I have to be careful not to over schedule myself.  I'm getting better at this work/life balance thing and don't want to get carried away again!

I spent Wednesday and Thursday actually DOING my Council homework and sending it off to my boss.  That left Friday for my to finish off the 5 cards we were working on Friday night, for my Operation Mr. Dan event.  I had 4 of them pretty much designed but wanted to tweak them a bit ... and design one more ... and of course set up for the night.  I kinda forgot that I was still recovering from my surgery that was only 2.5 weeks ago and I *may* have done some damage.  Ya.  I *may* be calling the OBGYN tomorrow to schedule an appointment to see just how badly I messed up my recovery.  Sigh.  Back to square one!

Alas .... I won't let a little thing like ripping stitched wounds open stop me from doing what I love (cause, you know, I'm stubborn and apparently never learn...) . Stamping must go on ... and on it did go.  These were the final versions of the cards we made:
I actually tweaked this one .. but forgot to take a picture and am too lazy to go downstairs to do it now.  The newer version uses a Mango Melody bow and a "thank you" sentiment.  I didn't like the way the "thanks a bunch" was stamping.
I tweaked the horse ride - using Sahara Sand and Early Espresso for the banner, rather than white with the Merry Merlot ink

This card was new ... and designed 1.5 hours before the event (hee hee.  No, I'll never change!)  I just adore this (long ago retired) Faith in Nature retired set.  I think I only used it once or twice when it was available but couldn't part with it.  I spotted it on my shelf looking sad that it hadn't seen ink in YEARS so out it came.  I paired it (hee hee - see what I did there??) with the still current "Artisan Textures" set for the Soft Seafoam background.  The pear and sentiment are in Soft Suede.  SO quick and easy!
I grabbed another great old set ... but still current!  Flowering Flourishes.  This is THE ultimate "simple stamping" card.  Stamped in black and coloured.  I used Lovely Lipstick, Lemon Lime Twist and Shaded Spruce .. but of course at the event we all went wild colouring with all KINDS of colour combinations!  They all looked FAB!
If you are new to my blog and aren't familiar with Mr. Dan or what this even is about, check out this news clip.  This story went viral.  Oh ... and you may need a kleenex.  I just watched it again for about the 20th time and I still shed tears.

Is that the BEST story, or what????  When the story first happened, 1.5 years ago Tara, Norah's mom ... had started posting about it on her blog and FB page.  I was an instant fan and follower (Tara is hysterically funny!).  About a month after the story broke, she posted that it was Mr. Dan's birthday and asked for birthday cards to be sent to him.  Well!  Of COURSE I had to send him one.  A month later I got a thank you note back from him.

At Christmas I sent him another.  He sent another thank you note ... 

That got me thinking. If this man was sending EVERYONE who sent him a card a thank you note he MUST be going through a lot of them ... and Operation Mr. Dan was born.  My friends and I got together and made a box of 82 cards for him and mailed them off.  It was SUCH a great get together and we all felt SO good doing a random act of kindness to keep this amazing ripple of love moving.  Of course Mr. Dan sent us another thank you note ... and phone me to say thank you.  I keep sending him cards.  He keeps sending them back.

The last card he sent me was a simple notecard ... but not handmade!  I knew his stash must have been depleted long ago but this cemented the fact that I needed to call the girls together again so we could make him another box full.  Well, just over 2 hours after we started we had a box full of 180 notecards!  I will be sending those off this week.  We all had a GREAT time making them and can't wait for him to get them.

Thank you to Wanda, Claudine, Nicole, Laurel. Lucie, Lorraine and Karen for contributing your time, money, stamping talents and hearts to help me spread some joy.  I love you ladies!

So that was my Friday night fun ... but there was MORE fun to be had Saturday ... at my first ever all-day crop!  Never having BEEN to a crop, let alone HOSTING one I really had no clue how it would go ... but it was great!  Three friends came over and we spend the whole day stamping, scrapbooking, laughing and eating.  I loved it! ... and will definitely be doing it again soon!

 So that's my week in a nutshell.  I don't have any truly new projects to share ... as you can see I was pretty busy!

The next few days I'll be busy making a few treats for my friends for next weekend ... when we meet up in Vancouver, for The On Stage Stampin' Up! event.  I fly out Friday and come back Sunday.  Oh yes, I will get lots of new product from the upcoming June catalogue ... and I will be doing some Facebook Live videos showing swaps, samples and people so make sure you follow my business Facebook Page "Tamara's Paper Trail"!.  I likely won't have a post next Sunday, as a) I'll be away and b) I don't want to share my projects from this week before I give them away.  I don't want to spoil the surprise!  But don't worry - I'll share as soon as I'm able, so keep popping back to see me!

Until next time ... have a stampy day and a SUPER stampy week!