Monday, April 27, 2009

Praying for you...LeClair family

A little over a week ago, a dear friend of mine lost her 9-year battle with breast cancer. If you have ever had to make a sympathy card, then you know that this is the most difficult type of card to make. I knew I wanted to use the Thoughts & Prayers stamp set. It is a beautiful set and perfect for granting God's peace when the recipient needs it most. Well, this evening, I happened upon Jaron Winder's new Color Combination Creative Challenge, and I decided that his inspiration colors were just the inspiration I needed to get this card made. The color combination was Old Olive, Taken with Teal, and Soft Sky (which is a retired In Color).
The card base is Old Olive, and I used the Top Note bigz die with both Soft Sky and Whisper White CS then trimmed the white layer. I sponged all edges with Taken with Teal ink, inked the tree image with Old Olive classic ink and then went back and filled in the branches with my Close to Cocoa Stampin' Write marker. I stamped "Praying for You..." in Teal ink and stamped it off on my scrap paper before stamping the CS. Then I added Soft Sky double stitched grosgrain ribbon to finish it off.
I had pulled out my Kind Thoughts stamp set for a project I was working on earlier today (I didn't use all Stampin' Up! products on it, so you won't be seeing it here, but it will probably appear in my Splitcoaststampers gallery sometime soon), so I decided to use it on the inside of this card as well. Again, I sponged the edges and stamped the sentiment with Teal ink. Then I used the large filigree image in Soft Sky ink, but it's a little difficult to see, and inked the butterfly in Old Olive and stamped it off once. I also used my corner rounder punch.

Back at the beginning of April, I wrote this post about a current campaign that is hosting this month. There are three days left in April, and they are still 13% away from reaching their goal. Please, in honor of my friend, or someone you know, visit their website and click the pink button to fund free mamograms, and ask all your friends and family to do the same.

Sweet wishes!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

Well, better late than my dream world, I would have had a project like this planned for every day this week. A whole eco-friendly blog series. Oh well, this past weekend took on a mind of it's own, equally environmentally conscious, but in an entirely different way. I'll share more about that soon. In the meantime, here's what I made today.

I took this:
and made it this:

I used the Good Morning Sunshine DSP & Whisper White CS, my Scallop Circle bigz die, my brand-new-just-arrived-yesterday Circle Scissor Plus, a retired mini alphabet, the ABC Alphabet Lower stamp set, Old Olive & Pacific Point classic ink, a Flower Fusion felt flower, a corduroy brad, Pacific Point striped grosgrain ribbon, and some retired Old Olive polytwill ribbon.

And then I put it to use in my current spring cleaning project (I hope to share more on that soon, too), and turned this disorganized storage bin shown on the left into the picture on the right.

The altered can is "hiding" under the organdy ribbon sampler, that, though we haven't carried organdy ribbon in a few years, I just can't seem to part with. And yes, all those ribbons are either retired or non-SU! sorry.

Sweet wishes!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

One of my current favorite stamp sets is not in Stampin' Up!'s Spring~Summer 2009 Idea Book & Catalog. It's not even in the Occasions Mini Catalog. Instead, you will find this stamp set in Celebrando Creatividad primavera-verano 2009, Stampin' Up!'s Hispanic market catalog. But isn't is GORGEOUS!?! I fell in love with it the moment I saw it, and encouraged my customers to choose it as a set for one of our preorder classes, so on March 19, it was our featured stamp set.

We created three projects using this beautiful set. The first was CASEd from a card that Shannon Bridwell submitted to Stampin' Up! We used the negative left from die-cutting the Top Note as a mask for the collage and sponging, we also masked the tulip. The other supplies included: Ruby Red, Close to Cocoa, and Very Vanilla CS; Close to Cocoa and Creamy Caramel classic pads; Stampin' Pastels to color in the tulip, and the retired Taupe 1/4" grosgrain ribbon (but it matched the best).
For the second project, I combined these two ideas by catena724 and #1volunteer to come up with this card:
Here we used Whisper White, Baja Breeze, Cameo Coral, Kiwi Kiss, and Basic Gray CS; Whisper White craft and Basic Gray classic inks to stamp with and Cameo Coral, Kiwi Kiss and Baja Breeze classic inks to water color with using the aquapainters; we also used the eyelet boarder punch and more or the masking technique.

I CASEd this card, which I found in Vaniamaybell's gallery, for our final project. I came across it while looking up ideas for my Top Note class, but when I saw that card, I knew it would work great with this stamp set! I changed quite a few things while keeping the overall feel of the card. This time we used Bravo Burgundy, Handsome Hunter, Always Artichoke and Very Vanilla CS; Basic Black classic ink for stamping; Bravo Burgundy, Handsome Hunter and So Saffron Stampin' Write markers to color the images; 1 1/4" & 1 3/8" square punches, Very Vanilla 1/4" grosgrain ribbon, and the Backgrounds I texturz plates.
Sweet wishes!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Big Shot Club projects

Back in March I held the first meeting of my Big Shot Club. The short version of the details of the club are: $20 membership fee-includes a free gift; $5 per meeting-each meeting will feature a specific die or set of dies, and we will create 3 projects using the featured die(s). If you purchase the Big Shot, membership is free and you still get the free gift; if you purchase the featured die(s) of the month, the meeting is free; if you purchase the Big Shot starter kit, membership and the next three months of meetings are free, plus the free gift.

Anyway, our first month's meeting featured the Top Note bigz die. In the card below we used the new Manhattan Floral embossing folder (I know that's not what we call them, but I can't remember exactly what it's called, and that name explains it well). We cut the Top Note out of Basic Gray and Not Quite Navy CS, then we trimmed away the perforated edge of the NQN piece, and ran it through with the embossing folder. I traced over the embossed lines with my two-way glue pen and added aqua glitter. My customers decided not to add the glitter. I combined this card by LBoogie26 and pictures I had seen from a demonstration at Stampin' Up!'s Leadership Conference which used the glitter idea.
The next project was CASEd from Shauna Mikuliak. She submitted the idea to Stampin' Up! as part of a demonstrator challenge. She wasn't selected as a winner, but she would have been if I had any say. I have used three of her ideas now as part of my classes. Her treat box can be found in this post, and I also used her popcorn sleeve for my Open House favors here. What you're looking at below can be used as a picture frame to stand on your desk. Just imagine adorable pictures of AJ and DJ on each side... ;)
Our final project was this little treat bag. I have seen this idea all over the place, so I'm not sure exactly whom to give credit to, but I certainly did not come up with it myself. However, I did watch a great video tutorial over on Angie from ChicnScratch's blog: Stampin' Academy. Here's the direct link to the video.
Sweet wishes!

ps. It's never too late to join my Big Shot Club. Call or email me anytime to let me know you are interested, and I'll be sure to prep the materials for you at our next club meeting. Again, it's just $20 to join and $5 per meeting, or we can discuss the other options for free membership and classes. Our next club meeting is scheduled for Sunday, April 26, from 3:00-4:30pm at my place and will feature the Scallop Envelop bigz die. Click here to view my complete schedule of upcoming events.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Projects

Nothing like waiting till the last minute to share my Easter projects with you. I had been keeping my projects sorted by event, but since Easter is tomorrow, I'll go ahead and post my remaining Easter themed projects today. That way, if any of you are as much a procrastinator as I am, then you'll have a last minute project idea.

This first card may look familiar to you. I CASEd myself. We made a similar one at my workshop for Terry. Well, here I used a different SAB ribbon and DSP design, but the same colors and stamp set for the main image. My sentiment comes from the All Holidays set. I demonstrated this one at Rosanne's workshop back in March. My second project for Rosanne's workshop was a 6x6 scrapbook page. Now, most of my customers are hybrid crafters, like me. I use stamping on my cards, scrapbook pages, gift items, and all my other craft projects. But I have some customers who are only scrapbookers and a few who only make cards. One thing I have been looking for in my 6x6 layouts is how to take the same elements that I use on my page and use them on a 3x6 card.
So above is my 6x6 page, and below are two different versions of a 3x6 card using the same stuff. June, a guest at Rosanne's workshop, came up with the design on the right. I also used this project at Cindi and Kathy's workshops earlier this month.
Then I also have taken a strong liking to the progressive pages, where I take my 6x6 page and demonstrate how I could use it on an 8.5x11 page and then a 12x12 page.
The random pic of DJ has nothing to do with Easter, but it was the only one I could easily find that I felt okay about trimming to fit in the Top Note frame.
And I wanted to show the Top Note frame because our last project at Rosanne's workshop was this adorable bag topper using the Top Note. Now we did have jelly beans for the workshop guests, but I had NO Easter candy in the house to use for my sample, so I opened two packs of Strawberry Shortcake fruit snacks. My friend Beth helped me come up with this idea.
Last Saturday, before our family excursion to Paint Creek (see the previous post for details), I had a class featuring our Sticky line of products: Sticky Cuts Sweet, Sticky Cuts Letters, Sticky Pages, and Sticky Strip--all double sided, strong adhesive products that can be glittered or beaded to your heart's desire (the Sticky Strip is also great for adhering 3-D projects). We made three projects, but here is the last one.
To the right is the view of the top. We filled Starbucks frap bottles with Robbin's eggs and glittered away. The ribbon around the bottle cap is our black gingham, which I colored with my Orchid Opulence marker. The 1 3/8" circle punch fits perfectly on these lids.

Well, I've still got a bunch of projects to catch up on showing you, but at least I got the Easter ones posted. I pray that you all have a wonderful and Christ-filled Easter tomorrow.

Sweet wishes!

Gone fishin'

...well not exactly.... Last weekend Michael's brother and his wife and kids came up to visit us during their spring break. On Saturday we went to Paint Creek. We brought several items to feed the fish that live in the creek. We only bothered a few fishermen during our adventures. And the real miracle: no one fell in.
Skipping stones is a talent I do not have. Neither do our children or our nieces and nephew, but they are all great rock throwing champions! We took a break from the whose-rock-can-make-the-biggest-splash contest to pose for some family pictures.
First them, then us.
As I mentioned, the true miracle was that no one fell in, especially when the older four clamored over to this rock together.
Since AJ was not allowed to join them, she got to pose for her own picture.
All in all, we had a great time, and it's a good thing we did. The next day DJ got sick. He had a stomach thing for three days, and then Wednesday evening AJ got it. We sent BIL & family off Monday morning with the wish that none of them get it. So far, so good (knock on wood). AJ's still sick, and I took her to the pediatrician's office earlier today. After some Pedialyte ice pops and some anti-nausea topical ointment to rub between her wrists, she demanded pizza, chicken nuggets, tomato soup, and spaghetti with sausage. I suppose she's finally feeling better, praise God, but she had to make due with some plain spaghetti instead. We'll see how she's doing when she wakes up from her nap.

In the meantime, my MIL & FIL are in town this weekend, and are with Michael and DJ at the Easter Egg hunt up at church. I feel so bad that AJ's missing it, but it is damp and chilly out today, so I'm very glad we got her in for a nap when we did. Well, I've got a stampin' related post to get up today too, so brb.

Sweet wishes!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Button, button, who's got the button?

My March "What do I do with THIS???" class featured buttons. Specifically our new corduroy buttons and brads. They come in six different colors in the Spring~Summer IB&C (and two additional colors in the new Occasions Mini catalog). But I didn't want 24 Kiwi Kiss buttons or 24 Chocolate Chip buttons, I wanted a variety of each. So I figured for $18, I could organize a button swap. Well, my customers were a little less than willing, but when I offered to hold a class with them for just $2 more, they jumped on board.
I CASEd the card above from Kathy LeDonne. I just love her style. You can see her original card here. I opted for a Pretties Kit flower instead of using the 5-petal flower punch, and we daubered Cameo Coral ink onto the pretty. I also used textured CS on the bottom panel and photo corner because I don't own the Sanded background stamp, but I love the dimension it added to Kathy's card.
Then I CASEd this card by "skdeleeuw." I LOVE her color combination, but I never got the Hawaii Papaya DSP, plus it's retired now, so I used the Washington Apple instead and the SAB Congrats set. These are paper buttons cut with the Buttons #5 sizzlit die.
For the card above, I combined several ideas. I used SCS sketch challenge 11 for the layout. The idea of the buttons layering onto the 1" circles came from this card by "k.morley," and the idea for gathering the ribbon with a button came from "dlounds" card seen here.

Now those were the three cards we made for the class, but I had 5 people register and prepay, and only two were able to attend, so we each made two of each card, one to keep, and one to give to our friends who couldn't make it. As a thank you to the two ladies who helped me make the extra cards, I quickly threw together a bonus card.

I CASEd this idea from my friend and downline, Beth. You can see her gorgeous creation, which is very different than mine, here. I used her basic layout, but changed the colors, and then used a similar stamp set because I don't have the one she used. With buttons being the theme of the class, I LOVE how she took the flower button and added a half pearl from our Pretties Kit for the center. I had these white buttons from a demonstrator bulk buy that I wanted to use, but I didn't want a white flower with a white center, so we died the pearl Baja Breeze per stampinkub's tutorial (see it here).

Sweet wishes!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I knew it would be a 3-post day

I'm getting good at posting nothing for forever, and then bombarding you with multiple posts in a day to play catch up. Well, this one is important. During April thebreastcancersite is having a special campaign to raise money for breast cancer research. Please be sure to click every day, especially during the month of April, to help them reach their goal.

Clicking on the image at the top of this post will not work. Please click on the button over on the right hand sidebar, and that will take you to Then you will need to click on the pink button that says, "Click Here to Give-it's FREE!"

While you're there, you can click on the various tabs across the top of the website to donate to other important causes including world hunger and healthcare for children. I make it a habit to "Click Here" on every site every day. I hope you will too. It only takes a moment of our time, but it can change the lives of others for the better.

Sweet wishes!

Now on to March events

Yesterday I posted the projects from my last stampin' event in February. My first SU! event for March was Terry's workshop. Back in July of '08, I had my first workshop for a group of ladies who meet at a Methodist church in town twice a month to scrapbook. My friend Kathy was the hostess. Well, the ladies must have enjoyed themselves because two of them booked workshops to be held during their regular scrapbooking meeting time in September and November. Then in November Terry agreed to host in January; well, her husband ended up having to have surgery, so Kim stepped in and agreed to be the hostess, and Terry rescheduled to host in March. So this was my 5th workshop with this great group, and I knew I wanted to show them something new, but I also knew there would be guests who had never stamped before. I decided to focus the entire workshop on Sale-A-Bration (SAB) items.
I had been wanting to try the ribbon weaving technique ever since my friend and downline, Beth, featured this card on her blog. She found the tutorial for this technique over on Kristina Werner's blog; you can see it here.
I used the So Saffron grosgrain from the SAB ribbon bundle, the Delicate Dots DSP and the Polka Dot Punches stamp set, along with Bashful Blue, Certainly Celery, & So Saffron CS and ink, the 5-petal flower, word window, and 1/2" circle punches, and the Absolutely Fabulous stamp set.
For my next trick, I mean card, we used the classic combination of Perfect Plum, Pale Plum, and Very Vanilla with the Botanical Blooms SAB set. First we stamped the Vanilla grosgrain ribbon with Perfect Plum classic ink, stamped the background with both shades of plum, and then two-step-stamped the flower in the Designer Label punch Hodgepodge Hardware frame. I CASEd this idea by combining two different cards, one by Heather Hampton-Freeman, which she submitted to Stampin' Up!, and the other by "danadejeu" over on SCS.
My favorite SAB item this year was the Yummy stamp set. The image we used here coordinates perfectly with the Top Note bigz die. Simply cut out the Top Note using your Big Shot, fold it in half horizontally, stamp the image, and add ribbon to attach it to the jellybean-filled medium size cello bag. This ribbon was also from the SAB ribbon bundle. One important thing to note is that we tried punching the holes for the ribbon using the double rectangle did NOT work. Then my friend and newest member of my downline, Cheryl, asked why I hadn't used the Crop-A-Dile. Well, DUH!!! That thing punched through all the layers like a hot knife through butter. (I really don't like clichés much, but I certainly am using them a lot lately.)
The coolest thing about using the Top Note as a bag topper is that if you fold the Top Note in half vertically, it fits perfectly on the small size cello bags. I have a project using that idea coming soon!
Sweet wishes!

Who says the 2nd child is the neglected one?

AJ's birthday was back in January, and she got two huge posts dedicated just to her. So you would think I would do the same for DJ sometime during his birthmonth of February. I had every intention of doing just that, but it never happened, so here is my long awaited post:

Dedicated to DJ

You may remember that last fall, DJ played t-ball with the YMCA. Well, we were all ready for him to get involved in another sport, and he finally opted for basketball. Let me interject with this one quick comment: I LOVE MY NEW CAMERA! Michael got it for me for Christmas. It's a Canon PowerShot SX110IS; a point & shoot. It has 10x optical zoom plus maybe 6x digital, of course the optical is much better than the digital, but still...I was sitting on the opposite side of the court when I took the pictures below. The camera also is 9 mega pixels. I don't know much about cameras, but I know I love mine!

Anyway, here is DJ at basketball practice. Now AJ is most certainly our little Diva and entertainer, but rarely will DJ miss his moment to rally up the crowd or pose in the spotlight. This pic was taken with the digital zoom, and you can see it is grainier than the other one.Apparently this year we made a habit of stretching out our birthday celebrations for both kids. Their birthdays were on one day, we had cupcakes at school another, went out to dinner a different night, and then had a birthday party (or two...soon I'll post pics from their joint party with friends and family in GA). So here's my little man with his cupcake at school. The two kindergarten classes have snack time together, so when you bring birthday treats, or any kind of special treats, they ask you to bring enough for both classes. Now I am a cake decorator, but I was not in the mood to decorate 40 cupcakes, so I found these Pirates of the Caribbean gummy snacks at the $1 store, and grabbed them up. Spread your icing; plop on the dec; done. The day before his birthday party, DJ lost his second top front tooth. Here's my toothless wonder. When he lost his first top tooth, I had tricked him into getting a picture (he was embarrassed about it and wouldn't let me take a pic, but I got him and AJ to make funny faces for the camera, and it worked), but I never got around to posting it on here, so when we went to GA for the birthday party, everyone was shocked by his missing-tooth-grin, so family, here you go. DJ's favorite cartoon right now is Ben 10. It comes on the Cartoon Network from 7-7:30 weekday mornings. Ben is a boy who somehow has this watch-type-thing that allows him to turn into 10 different aliens and save the world from bad aliens. Sometimes he can choose which alien he turns into, and sometimes he can't; so there may be a situation when he wants to turn into a fireball guy to evaporate flood waters, but instead he becomes this roly-poly guy. No, I've never watched an entire episode, so I've just picked up these tid-bits here and there. The symbol on his watch was the theme for the invitations and cake. We even made foam versions of the watch as a craft at the party, but I don't have pictures of them. And he got the store bought version as a gift--I don't have a pic of it either. Here's the invitation. And some pics from the party. What can I say, he may look like his daddy, but he takes after his mommy! Still lovin' Star Wars! (He does get that from Daddy, and Aunt Tina.) And this cake was just about as simple as the cupcakes! Thanks for such an easy-to-reproduce-symbol, Ben 10!Sweet wishes!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's been a while...

..too long! I'm sorry I've been away for so long. I visited a blog the other day that hadn't been updated since November, and although I haven't been gone that long, I knew I needed to get back soon, or it might end up that way. So I have a TON to catch up on--at least six classes/workshops, plus I have two more coming up later this week, not to mention family updates. AAAHHHH! Where to start?

Well, back in February, I had a preorder class featuring the Wild About You stamp set. This set had been on my customers' wish list for a preorder class since last summer, so we decided it was finally time to feature it.

Now, I have previously referred to myself as the “queen of CASEing.” Equally true as far as clichés go, however, is the fact that Procrastination is my middle name. Fortunately for me, I usually work well under pressure. So, as the day of my Wild About You class rolled around, I had nothing prepared, and instead of using my time wisely, I was sniffing around Splitcoaststampers. BUT, it turned out to be a good thing because I decided to use the card sketch and color challenges from that week for my first card. The color challenge was Pumpkin Pie, Summer Sun and Kiwi Kiss, but I substituted Tangerine Tango for the Pumpkin Pie because I had a bulk order's worth of this DSP laying around that I hadn't touched during the Holiday Mini Catalog sales period (shame on me!!!). I thought my idea for the coordinating envelope was ingenious. And none of this was CASEd. ;)
Our second project for the night was, back to my true fashion, CASEd from Krista Tracy. I used white felt with my Top Note die (the Big Shot is so cool that it can cut such a wide variety of materials), and the Lots of Tags sizzlits for the tag.
I really wanted to showcase the versatility of this stamp set, so I just had to include a baby card in the mix. Strangely enough, this card was also an original creation. Basic Gray is my new favorite color, I had the Bashful Blue squares left over from a previous class, and I've been drawn to square cards recently, so since I had just gotten some square envelopes, I combined all these elements to come up with this:Well, I have enough material in my "to be uploaded" folder on my computer to keep blogging and blogging, but I also have a workshop tomorrow night, and I should REALLY start preparing for things before the day of the event. So, I guess I'll excuse myself for now, but I really hope to be back tomorrow. We shall see.

Sweet wishes!