Monday, June 27, 2011

More Computer Troubles - My Open House is tomorrow!

When it rains, it pours!  Our older desktop computer bit the dust today.  Still waiting for Staples to send me the box so I can return my "under warranty" laptop to be repaired.  Right now I'm at my mom's house checking my mail.  I won't be able to post any photos on my blog until my computer woes are behind me.

Please join me for my Open House on Tuesday, June 28th from 3-8 pm. You can get your Stampin’ Up! 2011-2012 Idea Book & Catalog for only $5 (retail value -$9.95). It is chock-full of stamp sets, card stock, ink, and accessories to make great cards, scrapbook pages and 3-D projects for all occasions. (Past workshop hostesses will receive their copy at no charge.)
Please drop by anytime between 3-8 pm to:

~ see items made with products from the new catalog
~ make your own project using new stamping supplies
~ view the new ‘In Colors’
~ view upcoming classes and events
~ have your chance to win door prizes
~ shop from the 2011-2012 Idea Book & Catalog and retired merchandise
~ eat yummy treats, and more!
My cleaning lady is on vacation this week, so I'd better get back home and finish cleaning, LOL!
Happy Stamping!

Friday, June 24, 2011

My Laptop is Sick... Very, Very, Sick!!! Give me Strength & Hope to get through this trouble!!!

... The card is at the end of this long post. Skip my long story if you want to see it...

Yesterday afternoon I noticed that the space bar was not functioning on my laptop. Whenever I'd press that key nothing would happen.  Got the compressed air out and cleaned the keys.  Then it worked.  Several hours later, the "T" and "L" keys wouldn't work.  Then after work Randy started playing some Facebook game and reported some more keyboard malfunctions to me, the resident computer repair person.  To my knowledge -- no one had spilled anything in/on the keyboard.  With an average PC, one could just by a new $20-30 keyboard and be done with it.  Then I got to thinking, what does one do to repair a laptop keyboard???

Got up this morning and got into my email with no problem.  (I'm not going to give away my password, but it doesn't contain the letters "T" or "L.")  Then when I went to make a comment on someone's blog, I couldn't type the letter "T."  So I gave up and turned off the laptop.

Later, Bradley was in dire need of charging his iPod, so her turned on the laptop.  It made a funny noise at the beginning, then started just fine.  (I didn't check the functional capabilities of the keyboard at that time.)  After feeding all the kids, I packed them up and went to my mom's house.  She needed some assistance in cutting some binding for a quilt.  After getting that done, I asked my dear children if they wanted to go to Staples with me or stay at Grandma's house.  They all yelled, "Stay at Grandma's!!!"  Knowing that I wouldn't have to take them to Staples, I had already packed up the laptop and took it with me.

On the drive there I was thinking to myself, "I really hope that my warranty is not for just a year because our laptop is 15 months old."  I get to Staples and the ladies there are really nice.  At the same time, a mean man came in with a screeching (literally!) computer. I think it had fried in the terrible thunderstorm that we got last night.  He was asking those poor ladies, "Can't you look it up by my name?  I think I used XYZ credit card.  Can you look it up that way?"  Without that Staples Rewards card, they can do NOTHING for you.

Good thing is that the expensive warranty that I bought on the laptop is valid until March of 2012.  Bad thing is that I had to call the 800 Staples Warranty center. They are sending me a pre-paid box to send it to some contracted company for repair.  I can't get it repaired locally.  That's okay, it's covered.  That's all that matters!

Just for fun one of the ladies turned on the computer to see exactly what the trouble was.  After she turned it on, the computer wouldn't even boot up!  (Maybe it also got fried in the storm.  I admit to leaving it plugged in without proper surge protection!)  How was I to back up my files???  There really isn't anything that I couldn't live without on that computer.  But the more I thought about it, the more I wished that I had backed it up when I had the chance.

Wondering what would happen, around the kids bedtime tonight I turned on the laptop.  It made a funny noise, but Windows 7 came right up!   I quickly sprang into action!  Found a data stick and transferred all of my precious documents onto it.   I have to add that just two days ago I spent about a half hour organizing my Word documents into several folders.  Most of it was tutorials, business related items, card samples, and publicity items. I also have school-related file for my dealings with the public school system (I'll save those details for another blog post.) and I have one other folder for breastfeeding information and one for recipes.  This reorganization made the transfer a snap.  I got all of my files uploaded and copied onto this computer and onto the external hard drive.  Copied my recent photos onto the external drive while I was at it.

I could not check my email because many of the characters that I use in my password won't type at all. But I just got the notice via email on this computer that the box to ship back my laptop has shipped.  Once the company gets it, they generally take 10 business days to get it back to me.  We'll see what happens!  I have Strength & Hope that it'll all work out : )

This was the first card that I made with the Strength & Hope stamp set.  The butterfly is stamped once in Pacific Point on Very Vanilla card stock.  The second on on the top is inked up in Pear Pizzazz, then "rock and rolled" in Pacific Point.  When I cut it out, I didn't have to cut around the antennae because they're already stamped on with the first layer.

Stampin' Up! is donating $2 from every stamp set sold to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.    So far, I've done three stamp camps with 16 ladies and am scheduled to have another camp with at least four more attendees.  My personal commission is going to the American Cancer Society.  I got this idea for this card from a training video from Stampin' Up!  Unfortunately, this card did not make the cut for my Strength & Hope stamp camp.

Stamps: Strength & Hope
Paper: Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Soft Suede, Brights Patterns Designer Series Paper pack (Pacific Point)
Ink: Pear Pizzazz, Pacific Point, Soft Suede
Accessories: Old Olive 3/8" taffeta ribbon, dimensionals

Funny that my last post contained advice on changing passwords to protect yourself against email hijackers because this post is about backing up your files.

Happy Stamping!


Please, please, please!  Back up any important files on your computer right now.  Do it for peace of mind!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Someone Hijacked My Email Account!!! - and a Graduation Card

Yesterday after church I checked my email account only to find a bunch of "Undeliverable Mail" messages. Upon investigation I discovered that my email account had been hijacked.  After a few Google searches I realized that the only thing I could do to remedy this situation is to change my password.  Some experts actually recommend changing passwords on all online accounts.  Yikes!  So I apologize in advance if you got some weird links on how to purchase Viagra, how to remove unwanted facial hair or how to find hot chicks.  It really wasn't me.

Good things have happened since my hijacking experience.  I got to clean out my contact list.  And I reconnected with a few people I hadn't heard from in a while.  This is also a good reminder for all of us to periodically change our passwords.  Yes, it's a pain to do (I keep typing my old password wondering why I can't access my email.)  But it might save you from having this bad experience.  Not sure if I'll have negative long-term effects from the hijacking or not.  I'll keep you posted on it.

I made this card a few weeks ago, but didn't post it until now.  Although most graduates have already accepted their diplomas, many graduation parties are held throughout the summer.  I hope you find this card inspirational:

I got the inspiration for this card from Lorri Heiling.  The wings of the owl are made with the Scallop Oval punch.  The top of the hat was cut by hand and the part resting on the owl's head was cut with the Curly Label punch.  You could personalize these card to match school colors.  I made several of these cards for my mom to give to graduates.  My sister needed one, too.

Stamps: Teeny Tiny Wishes
Paper: Basic Black, Whisper White, Basic Gray, Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie
Ink: Basic Gray, Jet Black StazOn
Accessories:  Big Shot, Square Lattice textured impressions embossing folder, Two-Step Owl punch, Scallop Oval punch, Curly Label punch, stamp-a-ma-jig, 1/8" Daffodil Delight taffeta ribbon, copy paper (for the diploma), glue dots, dimensionals

Happy Stamping!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Father's Day Shirt Card Tutorial

Today was the last day of school for three of my kids.  (Clarice is not in school just yet, but she is officially potty trained now!!!)  I just posted my Father's Day card yesterday and got a few requests for the instructions.  So here it is:

Start with a piece of double-sided paper that measures  5 1/2" x 12".  Score it at 3" and 9" and fold toward the center as shown below.

Somehow I forgot (or deleted?) a photo of the next step.  So just imagine these next two photos in your head.  Score a line one inch from each side.  Then cut a horizontal line 1 3/4" from the top of the card stock.  This cut forms the sleeves.

Next, fold the bottom portion of that score line toward the inside of the "shirt" and keep the sleeves folded out like depicted in the next two photos.

Adhere the folded portions together so that the bottom part of the card stock stays folded down toward the center.

Be sure to add some adhesive inside the sideways "V" on the outer sides of the shirt as shown below.

Next, use a corner rounder punch to round the upper corners of the sleeves and the lower corners of the shirt.  (My corner rounder punch went through all the layers of the designer series paper without a problem.  I'm not sure if it would go through all four layers of heavy weight card stock.)

Next add a piece of neutral colored card stock that measures 3 7/8" x 5 1/2" to the inside of the card to cover up the folds and give you a smooth writing surface. (Oops! I forgot to take a photo of this step, too.)

Next, fold the collar down.  I measured equal distances at the top, about a half inch from the center.  Then I purposefully folded the right side a bit lower. (Had to check one of my husband's shirts to make sure I was folding the collar in the right direction.)

Then use a paper piercing tool and mat pack to pierce holes equally spaced apart, so the brads will be evenly spaced.  (I used the Vintage Trinkets brads.  You could also use buttons.)

This completes the basic card.  When you fold the sleeves in, the dimensions of the card are 4" x 5 1/2."  That will make the card fit into an invitation size envelope.

After this photo was taken I sponged the edges with Pumpkin Pie ink and added a sentiment on the inside.  This card is going to be a Happy Retirement card for my sister's co-worker.

Stamps: none
Paper: Brights Patterns Designer Series Paper pack (Pumpkin Pie)
Ink: none
Accessories: Corner Rounder punch, Paper Piercing Tool, Mat Pack

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  Please let me know if it was helpful to you.

Happy Stamping!

PS - I'm kinda surprised that I completed this tutorial today since the kids were home from school.  So my fears of not being able to blog during the summer may be unfounded.  However, I still have a sink full of dishes to do, LOL!

Monday, June 6, 2011

No, I Don't Really Have Three Fathers!

As a Stampin' Up! demonstrator I've got access to lots of resources to find inspiration.  One demonstrator named Sheila Kipnes created a Father's Day shirt card.  After watching it, I had to make one for myself. After doing one, I wanted to do another, and another!  Here's the first one:

These Vintage Trinkets brads look perfect on this card.   I used the Teeny Tiny Wishes "Happy Father's Day" sentiment on the inside of the card layering the Word Window and the Modern Label punches. 

Here are two more versions:

One thing that I forgot to add is that when you fold the sleeves in, the dimensions of the card are 4" x 5 1/2."  That will make the card fit into an invitation size envelope.

Addendum - I wrote a tutorial for this card here.

Stamps: Teeny Tiny Wishes
Paper: Regal Patterns Designer Series Paper Pack, Whisper White, Cajun Craze, Always Artichoke, Night of Navy
Ink: Cajun Craze, Always Artichoke, Night of Navy
Accessories: Vintage Trinkets, Bitty Buttons, sponges, Corner Rounder punch, Modern Label punch, Word Window punch

Dide had her Kindergarten graduation today.  I'm so proud of her!

Dide was so hot twoards the end of the program.  I call this photo, "Get this show over, I'm HOT!"

I'll be glad to send anyone the instructions to make this fabulous card.  Just leave me a comment : ) 

Happy Stamping!

PS - I won a Hand Stamped Sentiments challenge for this card here.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Last Chance Items

It’s time to say goodbye!  Hundreds of products from the 2010-2011 Idea Book & Catalog and Definitely Decorative brochures are retiring, so get them before they’re gone!  Although Stampin’ Up! will continue to manufacture retiring stamp sets, retiring accessories are only available while supplies last.  Because of the changing availability, the Last Chance Accessories list will be updated every day.

You’ll find the Last Chance lists here:

Last Chance Stamps
Last Chance Accessories
Last Chance Definitively Decorative

Happy Stamping!