Friday, February 25, 2011

Strawberry Dream

Last night I had the most wonderful dream.  I was in a strawberry field picking berries and could smell the sweet scent of it all.  Later, I found myself in the kitchen cooking up some strawberry jam.  Next, I found myself waking up to the automated phone call from the school announcing a school delay.  Bummer!

While I was outside shoveling, I came up with the idea of creating a card with the Tart & Tangy stamp set.   I’m challenging myself with colors. Instead of using the obvious Real Red and Old Olive, I’m gonna try Poppy Parade and Pear Pizzazz.  Here it is:

I used my versamarker to "wet" the bottom of each berry, then I added heat and stick powder and iridescent ice to resemble sugar.  Kinda cute, I think.  I'm gonna send this card to my hostesses.

Stamps:   Tart & Tangy, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Paper:   Poppy Parade, Pear Pizzazz, Whisper White, Pawsitively Prints II dsp
Ink:  Poppy Parade and Pear Pizzazz markers
Accessories:   versamarker, heat and stick powder, iridescent ice, heat tool, 1 1/4" circle punch, 1 3/8 " circle punch, scallop circle punch, small oval punch, oval punch

While I was outside shoveling this morning, I saw the 'sign man' (that's the name Clarice uses for the crossing guard) drive away. I knew immediately that school had been cancelled.  It's almost a miracle that I got this card completed today!  It seemed all day like the kids were either eating or arguing.  That's a day in my life.

Happy stamping!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sally's workshop

Today I'm showing you a card that I designed for Sally's workshop tomorrow tonight.  (Hope she's not reading this post because I wanted it to be a surprise!)  When Sally scheduled her workshop, I asked her if there was anything special that she wanted me to demonstrate.  Some hostesses don't know what to say.  Well, Sally immediately said something like, "Can you show me how to use the Stamp-a-ma-jig?  A lot of us need a refresher on how to use it." 

In preparation, I went to my stamps to find a two-step stamp set and chose the level 2 hostess set called Fast and Fabulous.  I made two cards.  The first one was done with two stamps from the set:

Oops!  My SAMJ wasn't perfectly positioned for the left petals.
In this next card, I stamped the outline of the flowers, then colored in the flowers with markers,  I also used a different embossing folder.

For this card, I also colored in some of the step and the top of the bloom with my Certainly Celery marker.

I'm gonna give the ladies at Sally's workshop the option of stamping or coloring in their flowers.  Let me know which one you like better.

Stamps: Fast and Fabulous
Paper: Certainly Celery, Naturals White, Regal Rose, Pink Pirouette
Ink: Certainly Celery, Regal Rose; Certainly Celery, Regal Rose, Pretty in Pink and Pink Pirouette markers
Accessories: Big Shot, Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder, Finial Press embossing folder, 1 1/4" Certainly Celery striped grosgrain ribbon, dimensionals

Happy stamping!


Praying for Leanne

Leanne, a lady who I attend church, with was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago during a routine mammogram.  She underwent surgery and 48 radiation treatments and was given a clean bill of health.  Last week she had a mammogram and they found another mass.  She had a biopsy last Thursday and will get the results tomorrow.  Here's the card I made for her:

Stamps: Thoughts and Prayers
Paper: Elegant Soiree designer series paper, Baja Breeze
Ink: Soft Suede
Accessories: Scallop Oval punch, Oval punch, dimensionals

Leanne lost both her mom and dad within the last two years.  She just recently announced an early retirement from her job so that she could travel and visit family and friends. She says that she has a peace about things.  But I'm sure some prayers (and a card) will help!

Happy stamping!


Another Sympathy Card

So sad!  I opened the paper today only to find another obituary of someone I knew.  Actually this is the father of a woman that I worked with at Jamesway 25+ years ago.  It's been out of business for a long time. (Dating myself, right?)   We moved back almost six years ago, but I didn't realize until about a year ago that this woman lived just a block away.  Now, I don't know her very well at all.  But the least I can do is reach out and send her a card.

Stamps: Thoughts and Prayers
Paper: Always Artichoke, Perfect Plum, Very Vanilla
Ink: Always Artichoke, Perfect Plum markers
Accessories: Very Vanilla taffeta ribbon, Oval punch, Scallop Oval punch, dimensionals

 Don't adjust your monitor.  I dropped the stamp block onto the card stock and wanted to share the "oops!"

Happy stamping!


Monday, February 21, 2011

Mom's Birthday

My mom's birthday was last Saturday the 19th.  We didn't get together to celebrate until yesterday.  I should've taken more time on Mom's card.  The girls wanted to help, so I let them do some of the coloring.  It was the first time I've used the Birthday Bakery hostess stamp set.

While I was getting ready to go to Mom's house, Clarice opened her two kitchen drawers so she could get high enough on the counter and sneak some angel food cake.

(Don't mind the messy counter.)

(This is Clarice's favorite spot in the kitchen.)

Stamps: Birthday Bakery
Paper: Baja Breeze, Very Vanilla, So Saffron, Pretty in Pink, Subtles patterned paper
Ink: Soft Suede. various markers
Accessories: Scallop Trim Border punch, Oval punch, Scallop Oval punch, dimensionals

Happy stamping!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Intensifying Hue Emboss Resist

I watched a video a few days ago on Stampin' Connection, the online community for Stampin' Up! demonstrators. It showed a new technique on France Martin's blog.  At the time I read France's blog post, she wasn't sure what to call her technique.  She used pinks and reds along with a different stamp set.  Here's my version:

Basically, you stamp your image on glossy white paper with versamark, then apply clear embossing powder and heat set it. Then cover post-it note strips over the glossy white paper and sponge color onto to it.  The only trick is to be sure to keep your post-it notes in place when sponging each color.  After you're finished sponging, then you remove all the post-it notes and wipe the excess ink from the versamark-ed image.

Stamps: Style Beautiful, Curly Cute
Paper: glossy white, Whisper White, Night of Navy
Ink: versamark, Bashful Blue, Marine Mist, Pacific Point, Night of Navy
Accessories: clear embossing powder, heat tool, stamp-a-ma-jig

After I made this card, I checked France's blog to find out if she decided on a name.  She chose "Creative Color Chip."  Lo and behold, France had created a card with blues.  So I'm off to make another version.  This time I'll do some greens.

...Several hours  and a sleep later:

Happy Stamping!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Where's that card when I need it?

Yesterday morning I opened the newspaper and read the obituaries like I always do.  I am always curious about who died and I really can't explain why.  Sometimes I don't know anyone in the obits.  That's a good thing, right?  Then there are times when a young person dies and I wonder how he/she died.  Then there are the babies...  Even if I don't know anyone, I always say a quick prayer for those who have passed away along with one for those who are left behind.

Yesterday was a little different.  The mother of one of Randy's co-workers passed away.  This lady was also an acquaintance of my mother.  Of course, I didn't have any sympathy cards ready to go.  So I made one:

Stamps: Thoughts and Prayers
Paper: Baja Breeze, Very Vanilla, Always Artichoke, Springtime Vintage dsp
Ink: Always Artichoke, Marina Mist
Accessories: Victoria crochet trim, Marina Mist 1/4 inch grosgrain, basic pearls, scallop oval punch, oval punch, dimensionals

I have been invited to participate in two different all-occasion card swaps this month.  My plan is to make similar sympathy cards. I'm sure my swappers would appreciate receiving them.  After all, I don't want them to say, "Where's that card when I need it?"

Happy stamping!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Anniversary, Liz and Mike!

Today I made an anniversary card for my friend Liz and her husband Mike.  I first met Liz at a MOPS meeting six years ago when I was pregnant with Dide. It was right after Randy retired from serving in the US Navy for 24 years. Randy didn't have a job, I was pregnant, we were living at my parents' house with two kids, etc. It was a very stressful time in my life to say the least.  When we moved back to my home town, I didn't know anyone. It was like a different place, yet so much the same.  I was pleasantly surprised that Oil City had a MOPS group. That's the short and sweet story of how I met Liz.

I wanted to keep the card simple and elegant.  Our mail carrier usually comes around lunch time, but today he dropped off the mail before 9:00 am - not enough time to get the card completed and out in the mail.  Dide is still home sick and it's a cold and yucky day outside. So I was thankful that my husband came home for lunch and said he could take the card to the post office.  It's just one of those days that I don't feel like going outside with the kids.

Here it is:

Stamps: Occasional Quotes
Paper: very vanilla
Ink: versamark
Accessories: Big Shot, Elegant Lines embossing folder, embossing buddy, gold embossing powder, heat tool, basic pearls, very vanilla taffeta ribbon

As I critique my work, I should've used my stamp-a-ma-jig to position my sentiment. Even though I used the clear mount stamp, it was a little crooked.  I'm sure that Liz and Mike won't be critical of the card.  ... Maybe I'll have to make another card to redeem myself.

Happy stamping!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Thank Ewes

Last week I made "Thank you" cards for the customers who ordered Stampin' Up! merchandise at my friend Barb's workshop.  I like to have orders come to my house so that I can spare my hostess the bother of sorting merchandise.  At the same time, I can look at all the goodies and make the "thank you" cards to let my customers know that I appreciate them.

The stamp set I used is called Pun Fun. It's one that I've had for a few years and haven't used for a while.  So, I thought it was time to ink up one of them.  Take a lookie:

Stamps: Pun Fun
Paper: whisper white, textured whisper white, red glimmer paper
Ink: jet black staz-on, pink pirouette (sponging)
Accessories: 1 3/4 inch Circle punch, Heart to Heart punch, dimensionals

The card base is the textured whisper white and measures 3 x 3 inches. The sentiment comes mounted at the bottom of the stamp, so I masked the card base to get the "thank ewe" on the card.  Then I stamped the ewe on a piece of whisper white, punched her out with the circle punch, then added the red glimmer paper heart. After I completed the first one, I thought it needed a little something. So, I sponged the edges of the circle with pink pirouette ink .  What a difference it made.  (Sorry, no before and after photos.)

I could really use a nap today!  Dide (pronounced Dee-da, a Dutch name for you new followers) was up coughing from post-nasal drip last night.  She woke me up at 2:30 am and I couldn't get back to sleep partly because I thought she was going to get sick and partly just from the noise of the coughing. It didn't help that my husband was also snoring!  I let Dide stay home from school again today. She missed last Wednesday-Friday because of a fever. Now that the fever is gone, she's got this post-nasal drip cough.  Hope I can get to bed early tonight.

Happy stamping!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day ATCs and Faith

Happy Valentine's Day!  I'm not only sharing with you the Valentine's Day ATCs that I made a few weeks ago, but I'm also going to try and add a video link to my blog today.  Can't be that hard, right?

I wrote once before about being part of the Transit Traders, a group of lovely ladies who share their talents and dedication to making ATCs.  For January's meeting I made Valentine's Day ATC to share/trade.  Here they are:

Sorry, this photo is a little blurry.
 Stamps: Paisley Prints (retired), Teeny Tiny Wishes
Paper: Cherry Cobbler, Pretty in Pink, Pink Pirouette, Whisper White, red glimmer paper
Ink: Pretty in Pink, Real Red marker
Accessories: Full Heart punch, Small Heart punch, Modern Label punch, Word Window punch, Big Shot, Finial Press embossing folder

I didn't realize until I wrote the supply list how many items it actually took to create this ATC!  Sure hope this stamp set comes out of retirement and makes it in the new catalog because I really love it!  The only special thing I did on these cards was ink up the Paisley Prints heart stamp with pretty in pink ink, then color over a few of the paisley shapes with my real red marker.   My cousin Kate also attends the Transit Traders group. A few days before the January meeting, she seemed a bit concerned that I didn't have my ATCs completed yet.  Maybe it takes her a long time.  After all, some of the ladies make more than one type of card to trade.   That's too complicated for me; I prefer to mass produce in an assembly line method.  I simply whipped up the ATCs the morning of the meeting!  I can do that because I am the "Stampin' Mom of Four!" 

Now onto the faith part of my post.  As you know, my friend and downline Linda has been with her 13 year-old grandson Nick and his family in Massachusetts as he recovered from a cardiac arrest.  Well, miracles can happen and Nick is back to school.  He still has a lot of healing to do.  Have faith, Nick!  This one is dedicated to you!

Happy stamping!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Valentyine Defined Bouquet

No, that's not a typo!  We've got two computers at home that aren't completely networked.  The one that I'm on right now is the one with the camera software on it.  During the Superbowl Clarice watched a cartoon on Netflix while eating some cherry yogurt. Some of it dripped on the keyboard between the T  and  Y keys resulting in my double-typing on the first few keystrokes.  Most of the dried yogurt has loosened up enough so that I'm not typing the "ty" every time.  I just thought it was a funny way to get your attention.  I am one of those people who can find the typos of others quite easily. Sometimes you can read over them and not even notice.  Did you notice my typo in the title?

The card I'm showing you today has two versions.  I got my original inspiration from the Occasions Mini catalog as part of my Valentine's Day stamp camp.  I wanted to make a card that could be used for other occasions.  Here's what I came up with:

Part of my original idea was to stamp the buttons with different colored inks.  In a stamp camp setting, that idea would not work well with having to clean the stamps, possibly contaminating ink pads, taking too much time, etc.  That's why I chose the versamark.  And I chose the buttons in the first place because they're so cute!

Here's my second version, a little more Valentine specific:

Instead of the buttons I punched several of the smallest hearts from the heart to heart punch and adhered them atop the tiny heart images on the stamped stems.  Then I stamped "L is for love" from the Grateful Greetings stamp set with versamark onto the card base. I also used a different pattern from the Springtime Vintage paper.  I love the difference it makes!  As much as I love the Button, Button stamp set, I'm gonna have to showcase them in a future project.
Here are the combined supplies:

Stamps: Valentined Defined; Button, Button; Grateful Greetings
Paper: Rose Red, Regal Rose, Pretty in Pink, River Rock, Naturals White, Springtime Vintage designer series paper
Ink: Always Artichoke, versamark
Accessories: itty bitty shapes punch pack (circle), 1/2" circle punch, ticket corner punch, heart to heart punch, pretty in pink taffeta ribbon, dimensionals

I'm doing a lot of laundry today including the bedding.  Even though all I have to do is move the laundry from the washer to the dryer, it does take all day long.  I think I just heard the dryer turn off.  Better go check it.  ... Oh, and I still have to clean the keyboard LOL!

Happy Stamping!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Superbowl Sunday,a Prayer Update and a card

Well, I don't know about you, but I'd much rather be stamping (or eating chocolate!) than watching the Superbowl.  Football seems to be a top priority across the nation.  Loads of food are being served to an audience glued to the TV.  In fact, a few nights ago the cream cheese case at Walmart only held a  few dozen containers of the fat-free variety.   I assume that lot of people will be eating way too much cream cheese tonight in the form of Buffalo Chicken Dip or maybe veggie pizza..  If people put as much priority on worshipping God as they do football, our world would be a different place.

My friend Linda's grandson, Nick, has been released from the hospital.  In fact, he will be able to return to school tomorrow.  The pediatricians said it's a miracle that Nick survived.  Because of what's happened Nick is no longer allowed to play sports.  This news has been incredibly difficult for Nick to deal with because he's played ice hockey since he's been four years old.  So he and his family are still in need of prayer as they adjust to a different lifestyle.

Onto the card... I got the inspiration for this card from Sharon Field.  I made this card to give to my two co-hostesses as part of their 'thank-you' gift for having a workshop with me.

Stamps:  Tiny Tags
Paper: whisper white, real red, red glimmer paper
Ink: real red
Accessories: full heart punch, medium jewelry tag punch, Big Shot, vintage wallpaper textured embossing folder, white organza ribbon, linen thread, 1/16" circle punch, dimensionals

These cards came together quite fast.  I really didn't have time to make more than two yesterday, but I think I'll put some together while watching the game. I might even mail one to Randy's office and stuff it with a bunch of small hearts!

Happy stamping!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Prayers needed

This card was inspired (copied) from the February Stampin' Success magazine.
I basically just changed the colors.

Last Wednesday night I had the opportunity to have a workshop with my friend Barb.  She invited some of her closest friends to be there.  All of them took advantage of the Sale-a-bration going on with SU!  It was a great workshop.  We made a gender-neutral birthday card that could also double as a Valentine's Day card.  All you'd have to do is change the sentiment.

Stamp: Create a Cupcake
Paper: Pear Pizzazz, Springtime Vintage designer series paper, Whisper White
Ink: Cherry Cobbler, Soft Suede
Accessories: Build a Cupcake punch, Pear Pizzazz ribbon, dimensionals

My new friend and downline Linda came to observe me.  Near the end of the workshop, Barb's phone rang. It was Linda's husband. I could tell right away that something was terribly wrong.  Linda got off the phone and said that her 13 year-old grandson who lives in Massachusetts collapsed at hockey practice and was in the hospital on a ventilator.  She said that she had to leave immediately.

A strange silence took over the room.   Linda and I have only known each other a few months, but it seems like a long time.  We've not really talked at length about our religious beliefs, but I thought that she was a believer.  Now, I am not one who feels comfortable praying out loud with a group of people.  But I felt the overwhelming need to pray right there with these ladies.  So I did. 

Linda drove me to the workshop, so I was with her for most of her ride home.  She talked about what she needed to do to get ready for the drive to Massachusetts including packing her clothes, finding a temporary home for her dogs, etc. I told her that we would all be praying for Nick to make a complete recovery.

In the days since Nick's collapse, I have texted Linda a few times to get updates on Nick's condition.  I put Nick on my church prayer chain and also asked for prayer via Stampin' Connection, an online community for Stampin' Up! demonstrators.  Several of the other ladies including Barb have added Nick and his family to their prayer chains, too. 

Today I received an email from Linda that said that Nick is still undergoing tests to determine the cause of his heart problems.  Tomorrow he will be having an internal cardiac defibrillator implanted.  They do know one thing: he will never be allowed to play sports again.  This news has been very hard for Nick to accept because he's been playing hockey since he was four years old.  The doctors say that it is a miracle that Nick is alive and made it through this ordeal.  Linda wrote that Nick's earthly mission is not over.  God kept him here on this earth for a reason.  Please pray for Nick while he recovers.  He is not only suffering physical problems, but is also grieving that he has to give up hockey and completely change his lifestyle.   Also pray for his parents as well as his teammates. 

Happy stamping!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Day!

I've been MIA from my blog for a few weeks. No real reason other than I've just been busy.   And for the last few days I've had a blog update on my "to do" list, but it just kept getting pushed down the list.  So, of course, I choose today - a snow day for my four kids - to share another creation with you.

This card uses the new Valentine Defined stamp set found in the Occassions Mini catalog.  I created the hills using retired old olive designer series paper.  I colored the tree with markers then stamped and cut it and placed it atop my tallest hill with dimensionals. The sentiment is stamped in chocolate chip. This is one of the cards that stampers can create at my Valentine's Day stamp camp.  The next session will be held on Thursday, February 10th. Please contact me if you're interested in attending.

Stamps:  Valentine Defined
Paper: bashful blue, real red, whisper white, old olive dsp
Ink: chocolate chip plus old olive, chocolate chip and real red markers
Accessories:  stampin' dimensionals

I'm off to shovel some more snow!

Happy stamping!