Sunday, May 31, 2009

May Big Shot Club meeting

This month our featured die was the Billboard Alphabet Sizzlits Decorative Strip Die. Even though those are the long dies, I think the name is longer. ;)

I'll start with a quick explanation. When I see ideas I like, I copy and paste the picture in a word document and save the document under "My Faves" with the name of the stamp set, accessory, technique, or whatever the pictures have to do with as the title. So for this class, I have a word doc called "Billboard Alphabet die ideas." When I was looking at it, I could tell the picture I had copied and pasted of the card I CASEd below had something a little different about the letters, but I couldn't tell what. Well, the original creator, mjw, used Baja Breeze colored DSP in her card. In the smaller picture I had saved, it looked to me like she had used the negative image of the cut out letters and sponged them in. So that's what WE did at my class.
I CASEd myself for this card. I had made a "M{flower}m" card for a friend for Mother's Day, and I turned it into a "W{flower}w ~ Congrats on your big news!" card for another friend. I also added the Pacific Point because that was the color we used to die-cut all our letters.
Since I don't have a card that looks like the one below in my word document, I guess I came up with this myself. As I sort of mentioned, we die-cut one strip of Pacific Point CS, so my challenge was to come up with as many different words using just one capital and one lowercase set of letters.
Those three cards above were what everyone made at the class, but I also wanted to show them some other ideas. Here's a super simple, but super cute card I came up with.
And then I knew I wanted to do a "FAMILY" something, and I didn't have time to print pictures for a scrapbook page, so I altered a frame instead.
Sweet wishes!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

It's been a bright SUNSHINE-y day!

It honestly was a gorgeous day today! The first day in a while when we've seen all sun and no rain. A perfect day for washing the car, a baseball game, spending time at the pool, and celebrating National Scrapbooking Month~all of which I did today!

This morning I held my Stampin' Scrapfest 2009. I had five ladies in attendance, two of whom were first time crafters with me. We used elements from the Sunshine Garden Simply Scrappin' Kit to complete our projects. I charged $10.00 for the class, and offered a choice of three different projects. I also allowed them to make more than one project for an additional $5.00 per project.

Their first choice was eight 12"x12" scrapbook pages.
Choice #2 was a 6"x6" brag book. Here is the cover.
And here are the "pages;" it is an accordion-style brag book.
One of my very loyal customers DOES NOT scrapbook, so the final choice was a set of ten cards.
Two of the ladies had chosen to do the 12x12 pages and cards, but then when they got here and saw the brag book, they decided they wanted to do all three (and for $20, who could blame them?!?). Then I had one lady do just cards, one do the brag book, and another do just the scrapbook pages; I also had two ladies order two sets of card kits each.

If you are interested, I still have four kits available. You can choose any of the three options. The cost is $10.00 for your first kit, $5.00 for each additional kit, and $3.00 per kit for shipping. I will include close-up pictures and any necessary instructions. These kits are available while supplies last. Click on the "Email Me" button toward the top of the right hand side bar to order.

Sweet wishes!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Not your typical wedding card

This past Sunday, Michael's former seminary classmate and our friend, Joseph, and his beautiful bride, Sarah, got married. Joseph and Sarah are both Lutheran pastors, and they love all things having to do with the great outdoors. They have such a genuine appreciation for God's glorious creation, including its people, as was made evident through their wedding registry, which is with Heifer International, an organization that assists people in developing countries attain a sustainable source of food for their families and communities. This is the card I made for them. I was going for my hearts and flowers and "typical" wedding card images and colors when I remembered their invitation, which was sitting in the dining room. I went and grabbed it, and that was all the inspiration I needed.
The wedding was wonderful. Joseph and Sarah met and were married at a Lutheran camp. (For those of you who don't know, Michael and I happen to have met at a Lutheran camp too.) The service was beautiful, and the Tree of Life theme was evident throughout. Even though this card was super simple to create, I hope the newly weds appreciate the inspiration and love that went into it.

Sweet wishes!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My own paper parade

You know, when you think of the relationship between a demonstrator (the upline) and her recruit (the downline), one might typically think that it should be the upline who inspires the downline. But in my case, I am consistently inspired by my downline. Though small in numbers, my first level girls are full of talent and creativity. Cheryl is constantly busy and into everything; the local paper even did an article on her and all she does. Julie is living a life familiar to me--the spouse of a seminary graduate waiting to receive his first call and be ordained in the Lutheran church, but she also works part-time and is a mother of three girls, whom she home schools; yet she has forced me to move the Lovely Letters alphabet stamp set to the top of my wish list, whether it is retiring next month or not. ;) And Beth, oh Beth.

You see Cheryl found me via the Demonstrator Locator and wanted to become a demonstrator, so she was familiar with the company and had done some paper crafting before; Julie had been stamping for years, and in fact, her mom once owned a stamp store, so when she found out about the demonstrator opportunity, she almost immediately jumped on board; but think that I totally introduced her to stamping and Stampin' Up!, and then to look at her now. She is constantly creating beautiful art and inspiring me with everything she posts on her blog.

So a few weekends ago Beth participated in the Parade of Papers blog hop. Here is her entry. I was inspired to create a desk set for DJ's teacher, Miss Tallie, for her end-of-the-year gift. Below is a picture of the whole set, and then I have some close-up pics of everything but the pen. Here's the calendar. I found it in the $ bin at Michaels, and it was cute enough, but I wanted everything to coordinate, so I decorated an insert and voilĂ !
This is an acrylic frame post-it note holder. It's a 4x6 horizontal frame turned upside down so that you can write on the post-it notes. I've made more of these that are posted on my blog in a few places, but the ones I've made in the past were 3x5 vertical frames.
Here is a simple frame from the $ store, that I just added rub-ons to. Miss Tallie has a 2-yr-old daughter, so I thought she could put a picture of her darling little gal in this darling little frame.
I got the pattern for this Jr. Legal Padfolio from Kim (nutsymuhl)'s challenge during the Viva Las VSN {Virtual Stamp Night}, May 15-16 on Splitcoast. The original creator of the template is the "Fantabulous Julie Ebersole (JulieHRR)." I didn't get the notebook made in time to submit it for the VSN challenge, but I knew I had to try it out. I totally CASEd Beth on this one. You can see the cover in the top pic, and then the cool pocket on the inside in the smaller pic to the right.

And what gift is complete without a coordinating card and gift bag?
All these projects were created using the Walk in the Park DSP, which is found in the Occasions Mini Catalog, and is part of the BUY 3, GET 1 FREE SALE! Remember now through May 31 (that means there's just 4 days left), when you purchase any 3 packs of Designer Series Paper or Textured Card Stock, you receive a 4th pack FREE!!!

Sweet wishes!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hinged So Bashful Pumpkins

I try to make a habit of not posting the same thing on my blog as I post in the galleries of online communities to which I belong. I think it is more fun to see something different on the various sources of "media" rather than the same thing here, there, and everywhere. This is just my opinion. I'm breaking that self-made rule today though, just because I wanted to show additional detail but didn't want to post multiple pics in my SCS gallery. So here is the card I made today using a combination of yesterday's Technique Lovers Challenge (TLC222), which was to make a hinged card, and today's Color Combination Challenge (CC220), which was to use So Saffron, Bashful Blue, and Pumpkin Pie. Emily, the host of the color challenges, always makes up some kind of saying for the challenge using the color names, ie. "So Bashful Pumpkins." Anyway, here is the card closed.

And here to the left is the card open.

And on Wendy's video tutorial, she shows how she covered up the back of the brad so it isn't showing and adds a bit of decroative element to the back, where you would write a note if you so chose. So I used her idea for the back of my card too (as seen to the right).

I think we will be making a card similar to this at my next preorder class, which will feature the Cheep Talk stamp set. Fun stuff! If you're interested in participating in the class, please call or email me by Monday, June 1. Click here to view additional details about the preorder class.

Sweet wishes!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Baby clothes & Rock 'n' Roll

I've had a very productive day today! We got another row and 1/2 weeded in the garden, and I transplanted two zucchini plants, two wax bean plants, and a cantaloupe plant. When we came in from the garden, I gave Michael a haircut. Then I cleaned the entire bathroom, including the bath tub (my least favorite, and therefore the least often cleaned, part), but excluding the floor. After that we went over to a friend's house for lunch. DJ had spent the night there last night, and we brought his buddy back to spend the night here tonight. They had spent the majority of the day playing with water: kiddy pools, hoses, squirters, soakers, balloons, etc., and were completely exhausted, so while all the kids napped and Michael ran to the store for milk and such, I got to complete some challenges. And now I'm getting to blog. Very productive indeed. ;)

Here we have my first submission for Libby's anniversary celebration of her From Courtney's Closet challenge. I chose to take my inspiration for this card from Courtney's 7-month pose on the pier in Cape Cod. When Libby used that picture for a previous challenge, she said she was feeling inspired by the red, white, and blue (though the blue is turquoise, and the red appeared to be Rose Red on my monitor), and on this Memorial Day weekend, I feel it is equally appropriate. I made another attempt at the faux seersucker technique for my stamped panel, but it just looks crimped. The ric-rac is from an old ribbon originals pack and was Cool Caribbean, but I colored it Tempting Turquoise with my marker. The ribbon knot on the button was from a different ribbon originals pack. I finally used one of my Basic Jumbo Grommets after I watched this video on Linda Heller's blog and discovered just how easy they are to use. The layout for this card came from a sketch challenge on SCS-SC159.
My second card is also my second entry for Libby's FCCC #42, and my submission for the Corrosive Challenge #12, and another SCS sketch-SC154. This time I was inspired by Courtney's 4-month cherry outfit (well, to be honest, I got her 4-month cherry outfit and her 5-month ladybug outfit confused, so that's why I used red and the gingham ribbon, but the cherries are there). The Rockabilly Specialty DSP is another item I've been hoarding {and yes, it is part of this month's sale~email me for information on how you can get FREE Designer Series Paper or Textured card stock}, but I knew it would be perfect in conjunction with the coordinating Just Jawing stamp set for Janet's Corrosive Challenge, since this week's theme is "Let's ROCK!" I realized I needed the perfect way to showcase that awesome Specialty DSP, so I looked back through my SCS challenge notebook and thought sketch challenge 154 would do the trick.
To mimic the glossy texture of this Specialty DSP, I stamped the skull and crossbones in Basic Black craft ink on Whisper White and Riding Hood Red cs and embossed with clear EP, then cut out the images. I stamped "You Rock!" in versamark on RHR cs and again used the clear EP. The width of that piece fit perfectly between two of the glossy stripes of the Kiwi Kiss striped pattern, and I finished off the sentiment panel with the corner rounder punch. I ran the black gingham ribbon across my RHR classic pad to die it to match. Too fun!

Sweet wishes!

Mojo Monday on a Friday...

...and Jaron's second Creative Color Challenge.

Yesterday, I got to play along with a few challenges. When I first started participating in challenges, I felt like I had to make a separate card for each challenge, but now I thrive on combining challenges. Not just because it saves time, or because I'm already up to my eyeballs in cards, but because it sometimes makes the challenges more challenging.

Mojo Monday is a blog devoted exclusively to a weekly sketch challenge, which is posted every Monday. If you're ever feeling like you're in a slump, go take a look and see if your creative juices are replenished. Plus, they have a monthly contest. Anyway, this card is for week 87. Beth participated last week, and her cute creation swayed me to join in this week.

The colors: Pretty in Pink, Rose Red, Regal Rose, Chocolate Chip, & Kiwi Kiss, came from a Creative Color Challenge issued by Jaron Winder. Jaron is a former employee of Stampin' Up! He led many classes and demonstrations at Stampin' Up! training events including Regional Seminars, Leadership Conference, and Convention. He has a terrific personality, which I would describe as super friendly and HIGHLY ENERGETIC. His blog, Jaron's Junk Drawer, is full of hilarious anecdotes about his way-too-cute kids. I participated in Jaron's first Creative Color Challenge too with the card found in this post.

After I finished the card for the Mojo sketch, I saw something sitting on my desk that I knew would provide the perfect finishing touch, so I added this:
Btw, the stamp sets I used are Sweet Stems and Matchbox Messages, and the DSP is Raspberry Tart~remember, now through May 31, you can buy 3 packs of Designer Series Paper or Textured Card stock and get a 4th pack FREE!

Sweet wishes!

Just call me Mary

As in "...quite contrary. How does your garden grow?"

A little over a month ago, a good friend of mine from high school came to visit and help me plant my first garden. Even she, who has gardened oft times before, was not prepared for my big dreams of vegetable delight. Yes, as I told a new blogging buddy, I've been stifling this post of my journey toward becoming a novice gardener for a while now, but at the bottom of this LONG (sorry) post, you'll see why I decided to blog about it now. So let me tell you about the pictures in the collage above (right click and "open in a new tab" to view it larger and reference back and forth). Starting in the upper left corner and working clockwise: 1) Before we started the garden, we created a compost heap. When my friend visited a year & a half ago we dug a few holes for compost, but when they got filled up, Michael and I just started tossing our compost material into the woods, so now we again have a place where it belongs. 2) Me digging up the front border of the garden. 3) Here are the seedlings we purchased—2 banana pepper plants, 9 bell pepper plants, 8 cucumber plants, 9 tomato plants (5 different varieties), 6 summer squash plants, a bunch of onions. And that doesn’t include the seeds that I planted, so you can why my friend was a bit overwhelmed by my lofty goals. 4) Me planting. {Do you see the THICK mud caked on my work gloves and up the side of my shoe?} 5) A cucumber plant. 6) Michael tilling. 7) Our mulch—my friend suggested spreading news paper between the rows and around the base of the individual plants for the purposes of mulch {to keep weeds from growing, help the plant retain moisture, and prevent the soil from washing away…just in case you are not keen to the purposes of mulch, which I wasn’t}; however, we don’t subscribe to the paper, but I DO have quite a bit of packing paper from all my Stampin’ Up! orders!!! This paper is similar to the material of paper bags, so we decided it was totally usable. 8) The plot, after the first tilling and raking, with a cow in the background.

Now here's the garden at 1 week, and a Roma tomato plant at the end of the tomato row.

Here's week 2. I went back and forth between taking pictures on Monday or Thursday, because Monday is the day when we had finished planting all the seedlings and the back row of seeds (butternut squash, pumpkins, and sunflowers), but Thursday was the day I planted the last of the seeds. So the week 1 pics were taken on Monday, April 27, and the week 2 pics were taken on Thursday, May 7. The same Roma plant and my first sprouts-cantalope!

I seem to have missed Monday & Thursday of week 3, so here are pics from Monday, May 18~week 4. Same Roma plant, and this time some zucchini sprouts!

And today we went out to tackle the weeds that are attempting to take over the garden (I've been bad about weeding) and found these on that now famous Roma plant.OUR FIRST TOMATOES!!!!! (See those green balls in the middle of all those leaves? There are 5 little tomatoes on this plant!)

Sweet wishes!
ps. Yes, that wheel barrow sat in the corner of the plot for 4 weeks. It's gone now, though.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

CRAZY (for more than just Cupcakes)

Okay, for the second day this week I've gone to post a blog entry and realized that I already had an entry containing the samples I was about to post. I try to keep myself organized by having a file titled "To be uploaded" and another called "Already uploaded." Well, the first time I forgot to move the files and the second time I moved the wrong files. Whew, I'm losing it!

Anyway, here are the samples from my May preorder class featuring the Crazy for Cupcakes stamp set. Since we had just done the window sheet class two days before, I was still having fun playing around with my Clearly Thanks printed window sheets, so I called my class and asked them to bring their scraps from the previous class to use. And again, I decided to complete an SCS challenge while creating my sample for the class. You can view our first project in my SCS gallery by clicking here.

Normally, I like to keep my class projects a secret until I demonstrate them at the class, but I actually previewed our second project. It is the first card seen in this post.

So for our third project I decided to do a masculine card. The Parisian Breeze Specialty DSP (which is part of the May special~Buy 3 packs of Designer Series Paper or Textured Card Stock and get a 4th pack FREE!), has some great masculine patterns. I CASEd this card by missir.
And for our final project I CASEd Renae Wilson's of Renae Stamps gate fold card found in this post and this card by Michellena317. I adore how cute this card turned out!

Sweet wishes!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Clearly Cool!

My "What do I do with THIS???" class for May featured our window sheets. Our first project was a card using the Clearly Thanks printed window sheets, and in addition to using it as a sample for my class, I also completed a color challenge over on Splitcoaststampers, so I uploaded it to my SCS gallery. You can see it by clicking here.

So our second project was this transparent box that we made using the thick window sheets and the Box #2 bigz xl die. We added some rub-ons and (retired) ribbon for the finishing touch.
Our final project was this match box which was cut using the Matchbox bigz xl die. We made the sleeve using the medium window sheets. We stamped the leaves from Great Friend using white Stazon, and added the die-cut medallion and ribbon to finish it off.
Sweet wishes!

Friday, May 15, 2009

A "couple" of birthdays

My brother and his wife celebrate their birthdays just a few days apart, so I've made a habit of creating similar cards for them. Typically, I use the same stamp set with different images and different colors. If these cards look familiar, that's because I previously posted this card that I made for my "mother-of-5-boys" friend. I actually created all three of these cards as samples for my Sticky products class.

So this first one is for my brother. I hope he doesn't kill me for sending him a glittery card, but I think it still has plenty of masculine tone to it.
And for my SIL, she gets the flower pot and the chunky glitter. Oh so girly.
Sweet wishes!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Two NEW challenges—in one

Monday's Technique Lover's Challenge on SCS was to use the Bandanna technique. I was not familiar with this technique, so I took a look at some of the cards in the gallery. I came across a cute one (sorry, I can't remember which card or who made it) that had a link to the creator's blog. There I found a link to a blog where the owner posts a challenge based on her daughter's adorable outfits. The blog is Libby's Little Addiction, the challenges are called From Courtney's Closet, and the one I'm participating in with this card is #41, which means I've missed 40 other way-too-fun challenges based on way-too-cute clothes. :-( But I am so glad I found Libby's blog (and challenge) now!

I used the colors and the ice cream cone from her shirt as the theme for my design. I also took inspiration from the two tone turquoise & teal of her skirt for my card base.

The second challenge is from The Corrosive Challenge Blog, and is challenge #11, which is a sketch challenge. This was a super fun sketch to work with, and one I will certainly refer back to in the future. Thank you, Beth, for sharing this challenge with me. IF my card is randomly selected as the winner, I will receive a FREE BLOG BANNER by Michelle Laycock! (And then what's to stop me from having a complete blog makeover?!?)

Thanks to Libby and Janet for these two fantastic challenges! I look forward to playing along with both of you in the future!

Sweet wishes!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Big Shot Club projects-Scallop Envelope

Last month's Big Shot Club meeting focused on the Scallop Envelope bigz die. Our first project, which was our only card, was inspired by a combination of this card by KKID and this one by Kristin Moore.
These baskets are everywhere, but the first one I could find in the SCS gallery, and the person whose blog I referred to when creating my samples was whoopsie daisy's, which is a bit more of a box, and I've seen versions with a lid for the box, but I chose the basket route.
Our final project was this adorable little purse. Again, I've seen them lots of places, but the ones I referred to for my inspiration were these cuties by istampdou.

Interspersed throughout the projects that we made, I also demonstrated a few additional ideas for using this ultra-versatile die. Here's a great Halloween card CASEd from sarahm's card seen here.
And then I demoed a too-cute treat purse CASEd from the one here by arinstamps. This one isn't the one I made that day, this is one I made later because I sent my original one to a friend who couldn't attend the class because she had had surgery. But I wanted one to keep as a sample.
I demonstrated one more project, but I didn't get a chance to complete it (and I still haven't), so once it's done, I'll snap a pic and get it posted.

Our next Big Shot Club Meeting is this coming Sunday, May 17, from 3:00-4:30pm. It will feature the Billboard Alphabet Decorative Strip sizzlit die. If you are interested in attending just let me know by Saturday evening. You can call or click the Email Me button in the right side bar. The class fee is just $5.00 with the one-time club membership fee of $20.00.

Sweet wishes!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I think it's safe

...for me to post the cards I sent for Mother's Day. I was a little late in getting them in the mail, but I hope at this point that they have all been delivered.

This first one was for a dear friend of mine. I found the 'M{flower}M' idea two years ago, but already had a plan for my cards that year, and then came up with another cool idea last year, so I was finally able to incorporate the idea into this card (and the bottom one) this year. I used the Bilboard Alphabet decorative strip sizzlit die for the 'M's, and a Felt Fusion flower for the 'O.'Several of my other friends received the Mother's Day card seen at the bottom of this post.

My "Granny" received this card. Don't tell her, but I already had all the elements made and just had to stick them together for this card. I cut the oval frame and scalloped oval to make Thank You cards last May. For some reason, I had this one left over. I dry embossed the rectangle frame on the Vanilla CS sometime ago too. I don't remember what it's original purpose was, but I grabbed some Pale Plum CS for my card base, assembled my layers, and voila! I stamped "Happy Mother's Day" inside in Perfect Plum.

This was the card I made for my mom, and my MIL's was identical. Like I said before, I found the original idea for this card about 2 years ago, here on SCS. The 'M's were cut using my new Serif Alphabet bigz dies, and the flower is the largest one from the Pretties Kit. I used a Baja Breeze corduroy button from the Occasions Mini for the center and the Eyelet border punch for the decorative edges of the Pink Pirouette CS. This card fit in a standard business size envelope, so it was 4"x9 1/4."
Sweet wishes!