September 19, 2009

This is a test!

I think I'm moving back to blogger to save money. Just seeing if this blog still works!!

August 31, 2007

Paperlicious Has Moved

Here is the new address and a link to my new site. I hope to see you there!!

My Friend's Ebay Sale

My friend Pam is selling quite a nice selection of retired Stampin Up stamps, including wheels, as well as a few non craft items. You can find her auctions here. You won't find a more honest or reliable person with whom to do business.

August 29, 2007

Messages and More

I have a ton of messages to respond to, or I guess I should say "messages to which I must respond." Anyway, you guys are the best -- I just haven't had time to write back to each of you, but I will. About the blog business, it turns out there is a way I can change this blog to another provider and be able to block certain messages. So, stay tuned. You will not have to be invited. As least I think so! Computer stuff isn't my strong suit and this may take me a few days or longer to straighten out. I am cracking up. I can't count the number of messages that say something along the lines of "I like your blog. No offense, it isn't your stamping I like, I like the way you write." Excuse me! You are writing to an honorable mention awarding winning stamper per Nichole Heady on Papertreyink!!! (I suspect she was throwing me a pity bone for having to cancel going to CHA, but a girl can dream...). Now the first time someone wrote that I was "wow, well that's honest." By the 10th time, I decided -- you know what -- that's one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me and I mean it. So, thanks. But, sorry, once I finish cleaning up my major mess, you will be seeing more stamping here... Speaking of cleaning, I am in the middle of a MAJOR clean up of my stamping stuff. I had NO idea that I had so much stuff. More on that later and how I'm organizing it. Anyway, I had a bunch of stuff out and my husband picks up this information sheet from Ellen Hutson on what to do with the Wizard sandwich plates. He's reading it out loud and says -- this makes sandwiches? Should this be in the kitchen? Sadly, he was serious. Wow, what fun finding all the stuff I have and forgot about. Goodnight.

New Blog?

For a variety of reasons I've decided to keep this blog but not accept comments -- at least for the foreseeable future. Since I received a lot of questions asking what was going on I will briefly explain and then we can return to our regularly scheduled programming. There are a few folks who don't like me and continue to comment on my blog making sure that I know this. Well, this is my blog and it is about stamping and about me and that's that. If it were just about stamping even I would stop reading it!!! So, stay and read if you want. Don't waste your time on it if you don't. I hope to have actual stamping to post later today!!

August 28, 2007

Home Stamp Sale Cancelled

I will, however, be posting my stamps for sale on line. Be on the lookout. In addition, I have to disable all comments on this blog. I am looking into creating another blog that will only be accessible to those I invite. I am sorry it has come to this, but it has.

August 27, 2007

Totally Unfair

After a week off from my day job, I went back to work today. After 2 hours sleep. And I attended a 3 hour meeting during which I think I gave coherent, accurate, legal advice. At least I think I did. Yes, I am superwoman. I Lawyer, I Mom, I Wife, I Daughter, I Stamp -- not necessarily in that order, but you get it. I'll tell you why this is unfair. My goal in life is and always has been to be unemployed. Going to law school was THE FIRST BIG MISTAKE. The SECOND BIG MISTAKE was passing the bar. Then folks kept hiring me. And promoting me. I kept waiting for someone to knock on the door and explain that I had really flunked the bar and it was all one big misunderstanding. I've always felt in over my head. Then, after years of real litigation (as my high school friend the doctor said to me "you don't actually go to court do you?, to which I replied, "you don't actually touch patients do you?") I snagged my honey pie husband. Another lawyer. And nice. And cute. Surely this meant children and the mysterious world of the stay at home mom. My goal has always been to be the stay at home mom. (When I left the Department of Justice, they gave me KNITTING needles as a going away present!! and wrote on my cake "Good Luck Donna Reed.") (I'm not kidding.) Alas, I married Mr. "I wouldn't think of insulting you by expecting you to stay at home and give up being a lawyer so I'll be your total partner and do more than my share around the house and help raise our son and work 60 hours a week." And so he did and so he does. Of course my fantasy of how a Mom who is home actually spends her day is well, a fantasy. In my mind, the house is clean, but not too clean, no one is sick, dinner is cooking, and my son is always happy. Oh, and I've spent a few hours volunteering at his school and at the homeless shelter, and he has listened to my suggestions on how to improve his study habits. I am a Saint Stay at Home Mom. Luckily, I've been able to work part time, but even with that wonderful schedule, there were those awful days when our son needed to go to the doctor for some minor but important illness, and my husband and I would gently try and convince each other of the importance of our day ("I've got a Supreme Court argument." But, dear, I'm saving someone on death row.", only to be upped by the "I'm meeting with the President." -- all lies, but you get the point.) My Mom once said that the "problem" with my generation was that it had too many choices. I used to think she was right, but now I'm not so sure. Maybe I got it just right. If you are a stay at home Mom, you go honey!! I'm not too proud to admit how jealous I am. And if you are a working outside the home Mom, you go honey too. Do what you need to do to keep YOUR family functioning. I am no closer to understanding any of this than I was when I got those knitting needles -- oh, except I still can't knit. I took up stamping instead!

A Card, Finally

Despite the fact that my "chit chat" generates way more comments than my stamping (sigh!!), I know you all have been anxiously waiting for actual stamping to return to Paperlicious. So, by popular demand -- a Card, Finally: And, since I'm sure you will want to run out and get all of these supplies (said with loving irony), here's what I used to make this little gem: Striped cardstock from Memory Box's Beach collection, layered onto a Memory Box Sage card. Other paper is Memory Box Holly and Eggshell cardstocks and Beckett Expression #80 for the main image. (Note, I provided a link to Ellen Hutson's store because I purchased the paper from her. She is an unusual vendor in that she provides interesting and useful info about the products she sells. In this case, she posted that Memory Box paper is environmentally different because it is coated with soy ink. I have no idea what soy ink is, but it sure makes for a gorgeous finish.) For this thank you card for a neighbor, I stamped one of the images from Stampin Up's Feathered Friends set, which I believe is retired. I bought it last year when it was on sale because it reminds me of Karen Lockhart's images -- small, but full of lots of detail and just so sweet. I stamped it with Black Memories Dye ink and colored it in with the following Prismacolor Pencils -- Pumpkin Orange, Light Peach, Ultramarine, Cloud Blue, Burnt Ochre, Sienna Brown, Dark Green, Process Red, Limepeel, Sunburst Yellow, Sand, and Crimson Lake. No Gamsol, no stumps, no blender pen, no nothing, except kindergarten coloring!! Since I had fun coloring it in I'd thought I'd share a close up: Of course, if you want to examine every detail like a Van Gogh painting, feel free to click on the pictures! I added some white eyelets and some SU red gingham ribbon. It is now 5 am. I never went to bed and I have to be at work in 2 and a half hours. What I do for you!! Praise may commence now.

August 26, 2007

Back From Vacation

Whether it is validation in the form of comments in our galleries or on or blogs, winning a contest, or just making friends of fellow stampers, I guess in one way or another we bloggers are all looking for something, or we wouldn't take the considerable time and energy to run a blog. In my case, I learned a valuable lesson this past week about the law of unintended consequences, including how easily words can fly from my brain to my fingers (I need an editor) and then from one forum to the next, taking on a life of their own and causing genuine hard feelings. What I thought was a balanced list of suggestions to Stampin Up, including some well deserved praise, clearly was not. Upon reflection, reasonable people could look at what I said as bashing. I know I have a bit of an attitude, but I'm not interested in tearing down anything or anyone. So a huge apology to all! Now, time to go into the stamping room, where piles await.

August 24, 2007

Used Stamp Sale Coming to Northern VA

Chris Franco, awesome TAC demo, and I will be co-hosting a used stamp and stamping supply craft sale at my home in Fairfax county sometime in September. Tons of great stuff -- TAC, Stampin Up, Hero Arts, Amuse Arts, etc. Paper!! More!! Bring cash only!!! No need to pay for shipping! But first, I'd like some feedback. Do you think you might come and if so, when would you be most likely to show up? Your comment is not a committment, just some feedback. Friday day Friday night Saturday day Please leave a comment and let me know! It is possible that we will have this on several hours over the course of a couple of days. Thanks!

August 23, 2007

Art Everywhere

We went to Pittsburgh. While we were there we stopped in at the Andy Warhol Museum, where they allow you to take pictures. Plus, we found a lot of art in Pittsburgh! Here's some of the fun things we saw. These are, of course, some of Warhol's work. Remember the story about my Mom touching a Van Gogh? Wish this sign had been up in the National Museum of Art!: Is this sculpture cool or what? The brainiacs at Carnegie Mellon University designed this and it is on the campus. I love it!! And, then our fave, parked right in front of our classy hotel!!!!

August 22, 2007

You are killing me!!

You incredible design team members!! I so thought I could live without those Copic markers and the air brush thingy. I've resisted Debbie Olson. I've turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to Miss Ellen Hutson. I've been good. But, then I saw Trudee's blog today and I am dying. She's killing me with her amazing creations. Check out this (scroll down to the Autumn Leaves, too) and then figure out if you can live without this stuff!! LOL (Yeah, we can live without it, but will our lives be worth living???).

Do You Love Ribbon?

On our way back from a nice 3 day trip to Pittsburgh, I talked my husband into a one mile detour to the Offray Ribbon Outlet in Hagerstown Maryland. Here's what I got! There are dozens and dozens of yards of ribbon -- 5 different pinks, 2 different oranges, 4 greens, etc.!! Can you guess what I paid for all this? Would $30 surprise you? Well, that would be a steal, wouldn't it? But, that's not what I paid (I sound like an infomercial!!). With tax, all this ribbon cost drumroll... $2.58!! Why didn't I get more?? ***** You know the saying, if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen? Well, I can't! So I turned off comments on this blog, at least for a while. Enough said!

Do You Live Near Seattle?

If so, you are one lucky stamper! Julie Ebersole's offering classes. Check out Julie's blog here.

August 21, 2007

My SU Letter

Wow, I have limited access to a computer right now and cannot respond to everyone's thoughts right now. Thanks for sharing everyone of them. A couple of initial responses -- Re clear stamps -- good for you if you disagree withe me. I've just your average stamper with one opinion. I want to keep buying from SU and would be more likely to do so if I had a clear option, but no one died and elected me stamp czar. Re -- why SU? Good point. What is there about this company that engenders such strong feelings, both pro and con? Maybe because it is has been so dominant? Because it has demonstrators? Not sure. Would I write an open letter about another stamping company? Yes. The other reason I feel a bit impassioned is because I was a demo for SU and basically LOVE the company in many ways. One response to my earlier post was correct -- I want to buy their stuff but only on my terms! That's true. But, I'm guessing that's true for every company I buy from. Got to go, my time on this public computer is up!! More later! Thanks for engaging in this conversation. Someone wrote that I opened up a firestorm on Gingerwood. Unfortuntately I cannot access that site right now. I'll have to check in later.

August 19, 2007

Open Letter to Stampin Up

Dear Shelli, I used to be a demo for SU. Before that I was a very loyal customer. If you were to visit my craft room, you'd see a well stocked room full of Stampin Up inks and papers and ribbons and embellishments and stamps. But a clever eye would notice that I haven't purchased a thing from SU since December 2006. I would like to be your customer again. May I be so bold as to make a few suggestions? 1. Remove things from the catalog that can be purchased elsewhere for significantly less. For example, your shimmery white paper is about 4 times the retail cost. By including items that are really over priced, it makes me wonder about your profit margin on other items and I feel resentful. Before the internet, customers had limited ability to purchase items and often did not have access to information about alternative cheaper sources. We do now. Just take them out of the catalog, provide a unique version of them, or drop the price. 2. Play to your strengths -- one is your color coordination. Almost every stamper I know loves SU's colored cardstock. We put up with the design of your ink pads just to get our hands on that cardstock! Give us more items that color coordinate -- I'd gladly pay a bit more for sheer polka dotted ribbon in the SU colors. Or watercolor pencils in the colors. Or, just about anything in the SU colors!! 3. Another strength, of course, has been your stamps. I'm guessing that you are losing market share here. I can see it on blogs and on stamping forums. You just don't see that many new SU sets being used and the ones that are being posted are from the same sets. It looks like you have 5 or 6 hits on your hands. One reason for this is the proliferation of design teams and blogs for your competitors. It is time for SU to do the same thing. Get some amazing stampers on board as part of your own design team and let them loose. Put together an SU blog using these artists and see what happens! Small investment and it may pay off big time. Don't limit it to SU demos and let them use other products as well with the SU stamps. I know that you think that your demos will feel cut out, but I truly think that is a mistake. 4. About your stamps. I'm not even going to get into the unmounted/clear debate. Personally, I think you are making a huge mistake by not offering a clear option for some of your sets, but whatever... you are a much smarter business woman than I'll ever be! But, the stamp designs? They are fine. But the catalog is full of so many items that look just like each other and look like other brands. This cuts down on the reason to buy multiple sets. Diversify. How many dots and flourishes does one stamper need?? 5. If you are going to offer wood mounted sets at $ 30 - 40 a pop, you've got to give us a reason to buy them. Why buy the Wild West alphabet set from SU when there are so many similar clear ones at less than $20 or even wood mounted ones much cheaper? This isn't a rhetorical question. I really want to know. Your demos need to have an answer to this question. 6. On line purchasing. Have you noticed the number of stampers who are buying Papertrey's releases BEFORE the images even pop up on the internet? Some of us are addicts and are immature. We go with the mob mentality. You NEED us because we tend to be the big spenders!! For better or worse, the biggest spenders are IMPULSE spenders. Give your demos the ability to have websites with shopping carts and you will increase sales. 7. Shipping. Can we talk? I've heard a hundred demos quote you as saying that "SU loses money on shipping." Let's assume that's true. You have a business problem. No company should lose money on shipping. At the best, you should break even. Fix your problem. Now let's really talk. I don't believe it. I don't believe that SU is losing money on shipping and, even if it is true, it is annoying to hear it. Don't say it. Own up to the fact that shipping isn't your strength and just don't talk about it. Better yet, do something about it. If I'm going to pay that much for shipping I don't want to wait 10 days to get my stuff. Remember, addicts don't like to wait for anything!! Thanks for listening! edited to add: Some of my favorite folks are SU demos. This posting is meant to open a dialog that I hope will lead to increased sales for SU and by definition, its demos.

August 16, 2007

Once Upon A Time . . .

I understand that some folks start out with an idea and end up creating exactly what they had in mind. Not me! I basically have no idea what I'm doing, so by the time I'm done stamping, my stamp room looks like a tornado swept through. This all started last night when I decided to create a bright, clean, Christmas card. I colored Santa and the children brightly with Prismacolor pencils on nice white paper and set it aside fully intending it to be used on some bright, clear Memory Box paper. Today I picked up the colored image and thought -- Cracked Glass. Never did it before. Think I'll try it. Three hours later, this is the result. Left in this 5 x 6.5" card's wake is an amazing assortment of ink pads, oval cutters, embossing powder, sponging, etc. I literally don't remember all the ink colors I used to turn a simple red and pale yellow Memory Box paper into this background. Here's a pic of the original paper next to the final card! I think it is the small red and yellow tiny windowpane paper from the Homespun collection. It's hard to tell with the wavy effect from the camera, but I think you can see what a trip this paper took! Supplies Used: (as best as I can recall) Stampin Up: A Merry Little Christmas; Season's Greetings stamp sets; assorted earth elements and Real Red and Glorious Green ink pads all used to age the papers and rub onto the Cracked Glass image; Kraft, Ivory Naturals and Ruby Red cardstocks; Copper Hodgepodge brad; and the little paper distressor (used around the oval matting). In addition: assorted Prismacolor pencils; Encore Gold ink; Palette Burnt Umber ink; Ranger clear embossing powder; Creative Memories oval cutter; unknown twill ribbon, Xyron (I covered the image with the sticky side and embossed about 8 times, put it in the freezer and craaack!), and the strip of paper underneath the twill is Basic Grey. Whew! ***** so what's the etiquette here? should I make believe that I don't know that the amazing Nichole Heady picked one of my cards for Honorable Mention on the Papertreyink contest and act all humble like it is an ordinary day in the life of an average stamper or should I just admit that I am stunned?

August 14, 2007

No Sleep Must Buy

What else can a self respecting woman do when she can't sleep other than buy something??? Well, I'm resisting. In the meantime I am wasting a LOT of time and came up with this little piece of nonsense. I took a How Cynical Are You quiz:

You Are 44% Cynical
Yes, you are cynical, but more than anything, you're a realist. You see what's screwed up in the world, but you also take time to remember what's right.
Ah, the whole thing is probably some plot to download my keystrokes....oh, wait that' paranoia. Is there a quiz for that too?

August 13, 2007

Easy to Mail Christmas Card

I want clean, fresh, contemporary, bright, and above all -- easy to mail -- Christmas cards this year. (I am not going to pay extra postage or have a card returned because of a brad or ribbon! I'll save those for hand delivered cards and gift tags.) When I'm looking to meet those criteria, I turn to Memory Box! Love that company! (In addition, I think Stampin Up has some really nice bright contemporary white red and green paper this year.) I made this card with the Memory Box Holiday Brights papers and Memory Box Lime and Cranberry solids. (Since the solid paper is white on the inside, I have a dark outside card with a professional white inside. I love this!) I did not have a stamp of a row of trees that I wanted for this card, so I cut out the trees in the Stampin Up Figure of Speech set. It is part of a square stamp and I just cut the trees right out of the middle of the stamp, slapped them on an acrylic block and stamped 5 times in a row in Memories Black dye ink. If you look closely, there is a cute lime scallop layer under the circle. The words and frill both come from Papertreyink. The nice thing about prismacolor pencils (or really any kind of marker or pencil) is that if you look around, and are willing to blend a bit, you can usually find something to use to match your patterned paper. In this case, SU doesn't have a green that has enough of the right yellow in it to pass for Lime. And I love Memory Box's lime cardstock! My favorite for Christmas this year. I grabbed all my red and green prismacolor pencils and made a little mini chart to use with this paper before selecting the ones with the closest match. The owner of Memory Box, Dave Brethauer, is a prismacolor pencil fanatic so not surprisingly, his paper coordinates quite nicely with the prismacolor line of papers and markers (yes, alcohol markers!!) (I'm taking his class on watercolors and on colored pencils next month!!). In the next few weeks, I will be creating a chart that aligns Stampin Up colors with Memory Box and Prismacolor colors and a few other companies' products as well. It might take me a while, but I think it will be worth it. It makes mixing and matching among products sooo much easier when all the grunt work has been done beforehand. Have a great day!!

August 12, 2007

And the Winner Is...

Elizabeth, with the following post: Hello! I think you should come here and help me start that stamping group! I live in Yorktown Virginia and we love it! We are retiring here. I think you would love it here! We are 20 minutes from Williamsburg and not to close but not to far away from Norfolk and Virginia Beach and having been stationed near Washington,D.C., I know we are not as expensive as D.C.......! Good luck in what ever you decide...Elizabeth Elizabeth -- please send an email to me to claim your $30 gift certificate to Stampin Up! My email address is bardee1 "at" The responses were fascinating. My husband asked me to print out the whole list so that we can review each of them carefully. Thanks, this was fun!

August 10, 2007

The Future

is here: My son and 3 other students finished their summer science internships today by making presentations to their relatives (and some actual real scientists). My son's was entitled "Solar Particle Events and their Impact on Lunar Missions." I would be happy to explain what it was about but I have no clue other than it isn't good to have a solar particle event and a lunar mission at the same time. The other students presented on localities' readiness for disasters (not ready); systems for electronic medical records (not ready); and the government's track record in predicting solar particle events (not good). Let's hope these kids straighten out the world soon! The really great thing is that my Mom went! She looked pretty spiffy -- makeup, jewelry, hair done. Between my baby standing up there lecturing scientists and my Mom being able to attend, I shed a tear! I only wish Andy's other grandparents lived nearby and could have been there. Can you tell which guy is Andy? (Hint: he's not wearing a suit and tie!). Tonight we are surprising Andy with a little gift and here's the card I made to go with it. Supplies Used: Stampin Up Bordering Blue cardstock and Only Orange marker; Memories Black ink; Prismacolor pencils; Creative Memories wavy cutter thing; Beckett's Expression #80 cardstock; and Amuse Twinkle dot for the rooster's eye. And the stamps? Technique Tuesday's NEW Dog and Pony Show clear set. The phrase is straight, but I was able to adjust it on the acrylic block to give it a little curve. If you look closely at this picture, you'll see that I stamped the rooster twice -- once on top of the blue and white card and then again on a piece of white cardstock and cut out a bit of its body. I did this to avoid having part of the rooster's neck look blue! Have a nice weekend and don't forget to look below and check out my contest!!

August 9, 2007

Which Version Should I Send?

This is the same card taken in two different locations in my home, so ignore the lighting, etc. The only difference is that one has the pewter hodgepodge hardware on it. I originally went with the plain version, added the spiral, and then removed it. This is a sympathy card for my grade school/high school best friend, whose husband died. I'd appreciate some feedback on which version to send. I'm sending it tomorrow (Friday), so a quick comment would be appreciated. Supplies: Sentiment from Wordsworth clear Comfort set; Color Box Prussian Blue Cat's Eyes Chalk ink; coordinating Prussian Blue Prism paper from Cornish Heritage Farms; SU Fine Lace Background, Cardstock Vellum, white grosgrain ribbon, punch and dimensionals (the sentiment is popped up); white eyelets (source unknown); Crop a Dile and Japanese Screw Punch. By the way, the little dot to the right of the word "praised" is part of the stamp. Looks like a mistake to me, so I stamped it twice before noting that it is supposed to be there. Thanks

Win $30 Gift Certificate/Help Us Retire!

My husband and I live in our dreams -- of retirement! We live outside Washington DC and will most likely move from this area in the next 5 - 10 years (we prefer 5, but who knows?). Post a message on this post suggesting a place for us to retire (that meets meets the following criteria, noted below). I'll use the random number generator to pick a winner on Sunday August 12th at 5:pm eastern time. Because the prize is a $30 gift certificate to be redeemed with my friend and Stampin Up Demo Pam Tetreault, you will have to have a US or US Military address in order to win. I will post the winner on Sunday August 12th and give the winner 3 days to contact me. If I do not hear from the winner by the deadline, I'll pick another one... Here are our retirement criteria: 1. Near a university. 2. No super cold winters. 3. Housing cost of living MUST be less than the Washington DC area. To give you an idea, a 4 bed, 2.5 bath home around here goes for about $600,000 give or take a couple of hundred thousand depending upon the exact location. Must be LESS than that. 4. Must have an active arts and culture scene -- music, art galleries, etc. 5. No huge bugs. 6. Decent amount of sun (can't be cloudy or rainy most days). 7. Would be nice to have an active stamping community but this is optional (I'll just form one!). 8. Close to excellent medical care and not farther than an hour from a major airport (not taking no stinkin' little planes anywhere!!). 9. Must not be on known Al Qaeda target list (living through 9/11 in DC is not something I care to repeat...) 10. Would like to avoid major risk of: earthquakes, fires, mudslides, tornadoes, hurricanes. Am willing to trade this for active stamping community, however!! I think that is our top criteria. Suggest away. One post per person please although you can suggest several places in one post. Thanks!

August 8, 2007

Qs & As, Tagged, and a Card

A few answers to some questions posted here and through emails and private messages on SCS (I'm Joan B over there)! 1. I don't have a way for someone to get an email when I post something new on this rockin' and rolling blog of mine. I tried feedblitz but was bombarded with complaints. I'm not computer literate, especially since we have a MAC. I am truly touched that anyone would ask about this. Does anyone know of any other email service I could use (free, natch!). As a blog reader, I use Google Reader, but some of my readers prefer to get an email. 2. I am not familiar with Georgia Pacific and whether it is "smooth" -- but you can judge the smoothness by just running your hand over it or even tearing it. What I call smooth has some type of coating or special ink that isn't like regular SU colored cardstock, for example. SU's colored cardstock -- and I LOVE it -- just isn't the same as SU's Whisper White. Why can't I explain this better?? 3. No, I do not keep my SCS gallery up to date. I have enough trouble squeezing in stamping and blogging and browsing and shopping that I rarely take the time to post cards in both places. Although, for some reason (perhaps because I am home all week) today I posted my Dancing, Just Because card on SCS. 4. Yes, I really am a lawyer (why would I lie about THAT?). TAGGED I've been tagged several times -- as a Rockin' Blogger and as a Blogger That Makes You Think. Thank You Very Much!! Isn't that sweet? I'm going to pass on tagging others as I'm sure almost every blog I visited has been tagged and I can't figure out how to get the Blogger Tag buttons on my blog anyway! I'm touched that anyone thinks I'm rocking or that I make anyone "think." In fact, stamping and thinking = bad combo sometimes!! LOL And, now the Card. As my teenage son would say -- Meh. Not wild about the card, but I just love this Memory Box Beach paper, and these stamps (popsicle from SU's retired Sparkling Summer and the words from a clear Stampendous set). I could not get this card to rock or think or anything else but I made it so I'm owning up to it! Oooh -- gotta go. Completely forgot about dinner!

Dancing, Just Because

This card uses one of the first stamps I bought -- 3 Dancing Hearts by Hero Arts. It is no longer available through Hero Arts, and if you are interested in obtaining it, let me know and I'll put you in my will. Speaking of dying... I bet you are just dying to know how I made this card, aren't you? I stamped the hearts twice with Memories Black ink on Stampin Up's So Saffron cardstock. I used a variety of Prismacolor pencils and my awesome kindergarten coloring skills to color in the hearts and then the background. I prefer not to use a smooth cardstock like SU's Whisper White, Beckett's Expression #80 or even Memory Box when using pencils, because I like a paper that has a little tooth to catch the crayons. The nice thing about pencils is that you can color over colored cardstock if you add enough layers. Every once in while I picked up a piece of a paper towel and rubbed it over the layers to help to blend them. There are so many layers here, and therefore so much pencil wax on the card, that I didn't think I could stamp over it. I held my breath and used Papertreyink's Paper Trey set and stamped "Just Because" in the Memories Black ink. "Just" came out fine, but "because" was a little spotty, so I worked over it with a Sharpie fine black pen. Added some brads, layered it on SU Black and Pixie Pink cardstocks and then mounted all of it on Memory Box Lime cardstock (LOVE this color and duplex quality of this paper) -- it matches the main image better IRL than on the screen. The finished card is 6 and 1/4" x 4" and is 100% approved by ME.

August 7, 2007

Joke Time!

Since my Mom's helper lady is on vacation, I took my Mom to the "55 and Over Club" today. It was literally 100 degrees today -- and so attendance was down (code orange, elderly stay inside). I so wanted to stay home and stamp, but off we went with my Mom's low sodium chicken salad sandwich and low potassium drink. Yes, I am a saint... speaking of which -- In the beginning, we pray and say the Pledge of Allegiance. Then the President (of the Club, not George Bush, ha ha, I'm on a roll tonight) reads some cute little stories and a joke. Here's the joke for this week: A couple was arguing about who should make the coffee. Wife: "I like to sleep in, it is the least you can do, since I do all the other cooking." Husband: "I have to go to work in the morning, I like to wake up to a freshly brewed cup." Wife: "But the Bible says the husband is to make the coffee." Husband: "That's ridiculous. If you can show me where it says in the Bible that the husband makes the coffee, I'll do it every day." So the wife whips out her Bible, and says, "Look here. The top of every page on this chapter says "He - Brews." Ha Ha!! I loved it!! I did make a card today, but I'm too worn out by losing at Bingo to upload it tonight. Later, alligator.

Quick Cards

Here are 2 cards I made for co-workers' birthdays. I needed to get them done in advance because the little party we have at work is today and I am off work this week. I used Memory Box matching cards and envelopes for both cards. Memory Box products are not that easy to find on line. I buy from Karen at Paperosity, Ellen Hutson, and Anna at Sassy and Sweet Crafts. All are listed in my $$$ links on the right! My local stamp store, Angela's Happy Stamper (about 25 minute drive for me, so not that local) also carries Memory Box and the owner of Memory Box, Dave Breuthauer, is coming to Angela's in September to teach two classes. I signed up immediately and cannot wait to learn from him. He is a master at watercoloring and using colored pencils on greeting cards and I love his style. For the top card, I adhered strips of 1 inch wide copy paper onto the Eggshell card and used temporary tape to hold down the strips while I stamped, creating a negative space border and then stamped SU Lilac ink and a flower from Autumn Leaves Rhonna Farrer Flowers set. I like this layout, but will take a little more time to place the flowers in a better arrangement next time I use it. The bottom card uses SU's Artfully Asian and CTMH's Card Sentiments set. The inside is "you are getting better." I used SU markers to color in both cards. Hope Jennifer and Ron like their cards! ****** No stamping today until I clean up the mess I created yesterday making a card (I'll post that later.) I've been keeping to this cleaning plan more or less for the past couple of weeks and it really helps keep me in the mood for stamping.

August 5, 2007

Copic Review from Your Average Stamper

Unless you are living in a stamper's cave, you have probably seen and read a LOT about Copic and other alcohol based markers (Prismacolor and Trio) in the past 2 months. These are professional grade markers used frequently in illustrations for Manga (Japanese Anime comics). They are designed primarily for drawing entire images -- not coloring in a stamped image. Used by a professional, they rock. But, to inject a note of reality -- it really helps to have talent when using a product (LOL) -- in other words, design team members are professionals. They are really good at what they do and whether they are using a Copic Marker or a #2 pencil, their work is fabulous. And I also try and remember that many design team members are getting these products free or at a greatly reduced cost. So I set out to see -- are Copic markers sufficiently better to be worth the price for ME -- the average non design team member stamper? I bought a few from my local art store, including the colorless blender. Luckily, I got them at 25% off the art store's regular price, but even at $4.50 a piece plus tax, that's a lot of stamping money. (Aside to my husband -- I owe it to my readers to investigate. This isn't stamping money, it is investigative journalism money, so get over it already...) I will be referring to this card I made with them as I discuss my experience (I purposely chose an image that had a larger piece to color -- in this case from Stampin Up's Summer by the Sea): Blending Ability: Look at the shirt and the pants. I used Copics on those and on the sand castle. Did I get a better result than if I had used water based markers, colored pencils, watercolor crayons, chalks, etc.? You decide: Here is a card I made a few months ago using watercolor paper and SU watercolor crayons and markers: Let me put it this way -- if you can blend and shade beautifully with the other mediums, you will blend and shade beautifully with the Copics. However, if -- like me -- you are blender/shading challenged, the Copics are easier than water based markers, etc. but I don't think that they are any easier than using watercolors -- at least for me. (Side note: If you look closely at the first card, you'll see that the Copic ink bled along the edges of the image. I stamped the image with Palette Noir ink onto Beckett's Expression #80 cardstock. Luckily, Ellen Hutson posted a comparison of inks with Copics on her blog Simple Dreams. Ellen came to the same conclusion that I did -- Palette Noir is not the best ink for Copics.) If you check closely again at the little boy, you'll see a bit of an outline on part of the boy (on the left side closest to the castle). I used the Warm Gray W1 Copic marker for this. This is my attempt to copy what I've seen design team members do (I have no shame, do I?). I've tried doing this type of outline before with other markers, and it always looked a little cheesy. I think the Copic gray marker worked much better for this type of shading and I recommend purchasing some of the neutrals if you are looking to achieve this effect and are not comfortable and happy with your results using other products. My bottom line: Using a Copic or other alcohol based marker will not transform you into an artist. When it comes to coloring in an image, you still need to know about source of light and all that artist stuff to really take advantage of these markers. I don't think they are the best use of my money for coloring in images. But, wait -- there's more. IMHO, the very best thing about an alcohol based marker, such as a Copic, is the ability to color stuff so that you can get coordinating paper, ribbon, etc. See the polka dot paper in my first card? It was originally white with red dots -- from Memory Box's Christmas Brights collection. However, I wanted it to coordinate with the creamy sand color of the main image. On a whim, I just picked up the wider end of the Skin White E00 Copic sketch marker and colored the paper. Here is the comparison. Is this great, or what?? The paper did not warp, bleed, or do anything strange. Note: Copics will bleed through to the other side of the paper. Therefore, they are of no value if you are coloring an image on a no layer card. Next -- the ribbon on my little boy card. It started out as White Stampin Up grosgrain ribbon. I went over it with the same Skin White E00 Copic marker and then very carefully edged it with the B04 Tahitian Blue Copic. If you use a heavy hand coloring in the ribbon, it will bleed onto the rest of the ribbon, so do it carefully. Voila -- perfectly matched ribbon, and kind of cute if I say so myself. The marker changes the feel of the ribbon -- it stiffens it. It feels heavier, but not in any way that was a problem. So, are Copics worth the price? That's for you to decide. For me, I will not be buying large quantities. But a few here and there to match patterned paper, yes.

August 4, 2007

My Mom and Vincent Van Gogh

This is a true story. Today the Washington Post ran a story about how a painting by Van Gogh was discovered underneath another one of his paintings. My Mom sees the headline and gets a glint in her eye. "You don't think this could be the same one do you?" I knew just what she meant.... My Mom grew up in the depression and quit school after 8th grade in order to help support her family. As the 3rd of 8 kids, that's what you did back then. Fast forward to 1974. Her daughter (that would be me) is accepted to law school and off I went to Washington DC. My Mom comes to visit and see her daughter the law student. She's never been to an art gallery. She decides that the first place she wants to go in DC is to the National Gallery of Art. If you've never been, this is a wonderful place. Built in the depression, it is huge and solid and cool and full of amazing things, including several works by Vincent Van Gogh. My Mom had never heard of Vincent, but as soon as she saw one of his paintings, she exclaimed -- "Wow, look at those brush strokes" and rubbed her hand all over the painting. I mean ALL over the painting, just feeling those amazing strokes. There was no guard or alarms back then, at least none I saw. But, I was stunned. My instinct told me that this was NOT A GOOD THING. I grabbed her and we ran out of that museum, down the wide staircase, like bats out of hell. When I explained to her how precious, how valuable, how rare, how expensive, how fragile the painting was, it was Mom's turn to be stunned. She had no idea that NO ONE lays a hand (literally) on a Van Gogh painting. Ever. Except for my Mom.

August 3, 2007

I'm Thinking,

which is almost never a good idea. I'm not getting a whole lot of fun out of stamping lately. I don't like what I make. It is kind of refreshing and a bit of a relief to say it out loud, so to speak. I'm purposely turning off comments on this post because I don't want anyone to think I'm saying this so you will all say "oh, but your stuff is great, don't be so down." I just feel like saying what is on my mind, to be the Faulkner of the stamping blog world for one night. So, I'm thinking....what am I good at? Or, as the nuns in grammar school would say "At what am I good?" 1. I'm a good editor. 2. I'm a good friend. 3. I'm a good Mom. 4. I'm a good daughter. 5. I'm a good employee. Loyal, conscientious and all that stuff. 6. I'm a good reader -- well, as long as it isn't literature. 7. I'm good at keeping a secret. 8. I'm good at driving (please, let's not have an accident now just for the whole irony thing.) I see it now, my husband coming on to the blog to say, scratch that Friday post, she's gone and hit a rock with the car.... now that I think of it, I did hit the same pole in the same place in the same parking garage 3 times, so forget the driving thing. 9. I'm good at typing. So glad I dropped physics for typing in high school, even if the evil nun physics teacher said I would never make it through college because I was a quitter. Hey, Sister Whatever. I'm a lawyer and you left the convent, so who's the quitter???? 10. I'm good at ordering Grande Caffe Vanilla Frap Light. 11. I'm good at giving money to street folks. Ok, I'm in a MUCH better mood now!!

August 2, 2007

Good Bye Daria

Here are 2 pictures of a Good Bye Retirement Card/Book I made for my best friend, Daria, who is retiring on Friday August 3rd. Daria and I met the day before law school started -- on August 20, 1974 -- and we've been thick as thieves ever since. We've been each other's friend, therapist, doctor, relationship adviser, confidante, etc. We've also worked in the same office since 1989 -- "OGC" stands for Office of the General Counsel. Did you notice that I: 1. Used the Bind It All, 2. Got the holes straight, and 3. Got the pages inside to turn? Our co-workers signed the pages and left really nice messages for her. Hint -- I cut and punched out the inside pages first and brought them into the office and had folks sign them so the cover of the book wouldn't get worn by folks' passing it around. Then I brought them home to assemble. Supplies Used: Lilykate paper by Basic Grey Stampin Up Banana, Bashful Blue and Celery Green cardstocks and markers and watercolor crayons SU black marker Watercolor paper Sponge SU Barely Banana Classic ink (sponged around the flowers) SU Blue brads Papertreyink Borders and Corners Square (used a portion for the faux stitching) SU Black Craft ink (the flowers are embossed) Cornish Heritage Farms Black Detail Embossing Powder Flowers from Autumn Leaves Rhonna Farrer Flowers set letters from CTMH Sans Small Caps and Sans Small Lowercase alphabet sets SU Black Classic ink (for the words) SU dimensionals Amuse Twinkle in the centers of the flowers for just a little bling bling SU Word Window punch Circle punch Bind It All Bind It All wires Japanese screw punch (to make holes for brads) Tombow Monomulti Glue Genesis Paper Trimmer

August 1, 2007

In A Word/Tips on Clear Stamps

In this case, the word is Love and this card is made with Technique Tuesday's NEW "In a Word: Love" set and Lilykate paper from Basic Grey. Add some Stampin Up Bashful Blue ink and cardstock and Beckett Expression #80 base cardstock, SU's Word Window Punch and you are done. (Of course, that doesn't count an hour of fiddling around with various ideas, but you get the drift.) ******* TIPS ON CLEAR STAMPS Yes, I'm a clear stamp junkie and have learned a lot about them over the past 6 months, so I thought I'd share some tips: 1. Buy good quality. I can recommend Papertreyink, Impression Obsession, My Favorite Things, Memory Box, Rusty Pickle, Close to My Heart, Stampendous, and Technique Tuesday without reservation. The jury is still out on Hero Arts and a few others. I like to use them a bit and see how they stand the test of time. If you are unfamiliar with a company, buy the cheapest thing they sell to test it out. I did this with an Inkadinkado clear set and was glad I did. I ended up throwing it out. 2. Storage: You HAVE to come up with a storage system. Unlike wood mounted rubber, these stamps are very very easy to lose (don't ask how I know that). They are, after all, clear and many are quite small. If you buy from CTMH, each set comes in its own heavy plastic folder and CTMH sells a nifty box to store sets. For my other clear sets, I use CD holders. It isn't a perfect solution, but the best I've come up with. 3. Cleaning: this isn't about HOW to clean. It is about actually cleaning and putting them away immediately. Because they are so easy to lose, it isn't worth buying them if you put off storing them after use. I am basically a slob stamper. It isn't unusual for me to wait weeks before cleaning my stamps. You cannot do that with clear. First, they behave better if they are stored away from dust and dirt. But, more importantly, you will lose them if you leave them laying around your stamping table. 4. Images: Clear stamps have not yet reached the level of sophistication in design that rubber stamps have. There are some areas where they are, IMHO, clearly (ha) superior -- anything where placement matters a lot -- alphabets, petals that form a flower, etc. They also are great for shapes like the Borders and Corners. However, you aren't going to find a stamp like the Cornish Heritage Farms' Thomas Kinkade rubber stamps. At least I haven't. 5. The acrylic blocks: These make a HUGE difference. I have bought them over the years and my earlier ones are now crystallized (and useless). Pay for good ones. I love the gridded ones sold by My Favorite Things and I love CTMH blocks. I'm sure that there are other great ones out there. Make sure the block is clear and doesn't distort the image of the paper below. I have two small square blocks, one of them distorts the image of the paper below so that placement doesn't work. I'm always off by a 1/4"! The other is truly clear and placement is perfect. I bought these a long time ago so I can't tell you what brands to avoid! If you are going to build faux ribbons, invest in several blocks of the same size -- long and narrow. There is nothing more annoying than taking the time to get the ribbon stamp straight on the block, inking it in red and then having to remove it to put another ribbon stamp on, and then having to remove the second stamp and put the first one back on. It is time consuming and messy. The blocks aren't that expensive. Take the plunge! Don't forget to clean the blocks once in a while. Whenever I stamp using an acrylic block, I always check the block to make sure ink isn't on it before I place the stamp on the paper. Eventually your hands will get dirty and the blocks will start to look a little grungy. Take the time to wash them with soap and water. It is time well spent. 6. Building words and sentences. Placement on the paper is easy with clear stamps. However, placement on the block isn't that easy -- especially with small letters and words. I have found much better results if I stamp one word or one letter at a time on to the paper, rather than trying to align the letters onto the block. Also, you will be able to get the letters closer to one another on the paper if you stamp them one at a time. However, if you put the letters on the block first, the trim on each clear letter will bump up against the next trim, putting a small space between the letters. For example, in the card above, "I Will Always" is 3 separate clear stamps and I stamped each one at a time, rather than trying to put them on a block at the same time. Capishe??

July 31, 2007

Distressed Dad

Someone at work suggested that she just might be interested in a 60th birthday card for her Dad, so I whipped this up tonight and hope she will like it. If not, it will get put to good use! I'm not terribly creative when it comes to masculine cards, especially since my husband loves bright bold colors. Supplies Used: Retired Stampin Up Cranberry Crisp cardstock and ink and ribbon; SU gold brads; vanilla shimmery paper (source unknown); retired CTMH Loves Me set (the scrolls); letters from Brand Spankin' New!! Technique Tuesday Provence Large Capital Alphabet; and some distressing from SU's Linen Background and Encore gold pigment ink; SU's dimensionals; and 1 3/8th and 1 1/4" round punches. Finally, the strip of patterned paper is from Basic Grey's 6x6 Perhaps collection. I added the Perhaps paper at the last minute -- the card really needed something to give the center strip a little more pizazz! ********** Thanks to those of you who took the time to respond to my last post about trying to learn digital scrapbooking. I will be home from work next week and will have more time to investigate the options. And an especially large thanks to Emily Giovanni, who emailed me with an offer to teach me over the phone! That is so sweet. I just don't have the chutzpah to take her away from her 3 adorable boys - in other words, I think I need more time than she realizes!!

I Want to Learn Digi Scrapbooking

I have Photoshop Elements 4 and an iMAC. I have Photoshop for Dummies and a couple of books/magazines on digiscrapbooking. I am still lost. Does anyone know of online classes that really work, or real life classes in the Northern VA area???

July 28, 2007

Borders and Corners Square #1

As you can see from the header on my blog, I love orange and blue. Supplies Used: Stamps: Papertreyink's Borders and Corners Square, Little Lady, and Faux Ribbon. Cardstock: Shimmery White; Stampin Up Bashful Blue; Ink: Stampin Up Bashful Blue, Always Artichoke, and Pumpkin; SU Artichoke marker; Embelllishments: SU white wide organdy ribbon; pumpkin eyelet; word window punch and corner rounder punch. Tools and Other items: Japanese Screw Punch, Mono Multi Adhesive, paper cutter, pearl accent from Ellen Hutson. Just so you know, I made the background with stamps -- used the rounded square from Borders and Corners Square at an angle and repeatedly stamped. The blue and pumpkin "ribbon" is faux. Also, this has a layer -- the top of the card is adhered to another shimmery white card. I lined them up before cutting, adhering and punching the rounded corners.

July 26, 2007

The BEST CHA 2007 Report EVER

Sure, you've read the other blogs, even looked at pictures, but MY CHA report is the BEST. Several months ago I posted a message on SCS asking if anyone could go to CHA or did you need a "connection." Low and behold I received an email from a lovely stamper who has a store and invited me to attend. I'll keep her name private. Chicago here I come!! I was squealing with delight. I mean CHA = Heaven in my book. My co-worker lawyers thought I was truly a goner, but really, do lawyers' opinions count on matters of prime life importance? I won't even answer that.... The icing on the cake is that Debbie Olson, my favorite stamper in the universe, and I agreed to share a room. Now that is the jackpot of all deals as far as I'm concerned and who knew what kind of emergency legal advice Debbie might need at CHA. It was clearly a match meant to be. I immediately imagined taking out a stamped image and struggling with shading it and having Debbie graciously offer -- "would you like me to show you a few tips?" Voila, I would be a mini Debbie in no time!!!! I'd be blending and concept designing and making focal points! My corners would be square, my layers even. Companies would be begging to send me their products to try. CHA + Debbie Olson = Heaven squared!! Let me tell you, I had the time of my life!!!! It was so worth the money to fly to Chicago and see all of the amazing papers and stamps and ribbons and embellishments in these incredibly creative displays. Felt was everywhere. Felt and texture and flocking and die cut chipboard and incredible ribbons. Alas, I couldn't take any pictures myself because I was only there in my dreams. HUGE PITY PARTY FOR SAINT JOAN STARTS RIGHT THIS MINUTE. I couldn't go. I had to cancel. Fast forward to today (stay with me here, it's related). My son is a very picky eater, preferring anything likely to get him into a cardiologist's office in 10 years. So he isn't going to eat the low fat vegetarian mexican casserole I made for tonight (I'm pretty amazing, aren't I??). Anyway, I explain to him that I am really struggling to find something that he likes that is at least not bad for him and ask him if he has any advice (my sneaky Mom trick to make him think I am soliciting advice when I'm just fooling with his head.) So my 16 year old says: "Mom, you are a good Mom." HUGE PITY PARTY FOR JOAN OFFICIALLY OVER! I'm doing the Cha Cha Cha, but not the craft kind. I'm a happy woman!

July 22, 2007

Strokes of Luck

The buzz on the alcohol based markers is that they don't leave "lines" or stroke marks. So, I decided to play up that "feature" of the water based markers and created this vibrant orange background with my good old Stampin Up markers (the ones that I thought were expensive until I saw the prices of the Copic, etc!!). I had sooo much fun making this card that the result almost doesn't matter. How I made this card: I stamped each petal of the Loves Me small Technique Tuesday set in Memories Black ink onto shimmery white paper. Since the petals are clear, placement was a snap. I let it set for a good hour or so so the black wouldn't smudge. Oh, I did lots and lots to these petals! Practically wore out the paper trying to get what I wanted -- watercolor crayons, markers, blender pen. When all was said and done, I ended up using SU shades of blue -- ballet, bashful and brilliant crayons and markers. Made a bit of a mess, but salvageable. It looks better IRL than in this pic, honest! The background started out as just some Apricot watercolor crayon around each flower. Then summer sun marker and then, bam, I just went for it with an only orange marker. Too much fun. I really liked the stroked pattern -- reminds me of sun rays. I cut out part of the background around some of the petals just to make it more interesting. I fooled around with the center of the flower, trying out all manner of embellishments. My son told me to ixnay the ribbon and button I had spent a half hour working on, and I decided he was right and used a huge brad from Making Memories. I stamped Best of Luck from the Papertreyink line on a punched out piece of blue cardstock, but really, the flower just needed to BE center stage, so I dumped that and went with the Best of Luck directly on the paper, hoping it would be straight and clear. Success. Whew. After spending a lot of time on a card, you just hate to ruin it in the last seconds, KWIM? Isn't stamping fun????

Borders and Corners Circle #2

I purposely made this card very simple -- few layers and embellishments. It is going to my FIL, who is currently undergoing treatment for a pulmonary embolism. Supplies Used: Stampin Up Cool Carribean and Close to Cocoa cardstocks; Basic Grey Blush 6x6 paper; PapertreyInk Borders and Corners Circle set; brad from Prima Accents (purchased from Paperosity); SU Close to Cocoa Classic and Craft inks -- to get good coverage on the circle sentiment I stamped a bit with the Craft and then continued with Classic); Marvy Uchida circle punches and extra jumbo scallop punch. The extra jumbo size (1.5") scallop punch is so cute, and so much easier to use on a small card than the mega and giga sizes. It is also a pretty yellow. *************** I'm still cleaning my stamp room, but I have made enormous progress. My goal is to clean up after I make each card (as Mary from It's All About the Journey does!!). So obvious, yet so difficult to follow through.

July 18, 2007

Borders and Corners Circle #1

I numbered this entry because I am IN LOVE with Papertreyink's new Borders and Corners sets, and I intend to make and post a lot of cards with these sets. So versatile! This card uses the Borders and Corners Circle set. It did not turn out as I had originally planned, so I thought I'd show you a bit of the steps I used before I got to the final version. I made the center set of circles with the Marvy Mega scalloped punch and circles cut with my Creative Memories circle cutter. The center circle is stamped with items from Papertreyink's Faux Ribbon and Little Lady sets, and and I stamped the little flowers from the Borders and Corners Circle set into each scallop. Both the center circle and the scallop are from a piece from Memory Box's Homespun collection. It is a very light yellow and white floral design. But it was a little plain, so I punched holes inside the center of each flower in each scallop. I wanted to punch through the red mat, and using the Japanese Screw Punch made that very easy. Here is the original background that I had hoped to use. I took another piece from the Memory Box Homespun collection and stamped it using SU Real Red Classic ink with a few of the items from the Borders and Corners Circle set. While I loved the background I created, I did not like the center piece with it. I think it fights, rather than enhances, it. (Do I sound like an art - eest or what????) So --- after adding a couple of Stampin Up So Saffron brads and some stiched ribbon (source unknown) -- I decided to use yet another piece from the Homespun collection. This one already had some red in it, so I left it alone and matted it on SU Real Red cardstock and the same floral that I used in the center of the card and ended up with this: And then I went to bed! ps. isn't stamping fun?

July 17, 2007

Where Have I Been?

I received a few messages asking if I was all right. Yes, I'm fine. My Mom fell last week and was back in the hospital, but she is back home again. My stamping room is stocked to the gills with new stuff (stress=purchasing!!) so I am eager to stamp and post some more stuff. So thanks for your messages!

July 15, 2007


Supplies Used: Shimmery White, Rose Red and Black cardstocks; Memories Black Ink; Stampin Up Rose Red brads and marker and Pretty in Pink, Garden Green and So Saffron Markers; strawberry from Stampendous Little Fruit clear set; lady bug from Memory Box Garden clear set; May Arts Ribbon; SU Sage Advice, slot and corner rounder punches; little black dots around each hole in the scallops source unknown. Green dotted lines clear stamp -- source unknown.

July 7, 2007

Quilted Sugar

I've been meaning to make a "quilt" card ever since I saw this card on Debbie Olson's blog. You'll notice that Debbie's card is sewn and is beautiful. And, mine is not -- sewn that is! I do not know how to use a sewing machine (my Mom was a seamstress, but she "wanted me to have the kind of life where I could afford store bought clothes.") Can you tell she grew up in the depression? I would have done some faux sewing on this card but I can't find my paper piercer or template! Good grief, that's after I did some cleaning. Except for using an oval that is a bit too large for this card, I am LOVING this quilt effect. It makes easy, fabulous use of coordinated pieces of scrap paper. Debbie cut out 1.5" squares, but I knew that I would use whatever size my square punch is -- in this case 1 3/8". I followed Debbie's 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 pattern and glued each piece on top of another piece of coordinating paper. Then I trimmed, matted, and voila, done. My Japanese screw punch came in handy again -- punching through several layers of paper and the ric rac. Supplies: Memory Box Sugar Collection paper; Stampin Up Pewter Oval Hodgepodge Hardware; brads and ric rac from Chelsea Prima Accents collection; SU Pretty in Pink cardstock and Certainly Celery Marker and oval punches. Pretty in Pink cardstock coordinates with the Sugar collection of paper, but Certainly Celery cardstock does not. For some reason, the celery ink was a good enough match. Base is a shimmery white cardstock (source unknown). Sentiment from Papertreyink.

July 6, 2007

The Match Game

I'm on a quest to use my non Stampin Up patterned papers and match them to my vast collection of Stampin Up inks, markers, crayons, chalks, ribbons, cardstock, etc. -- you get the picture! In this card, the background papers are from Memory Box's Sugar collection, which I purchased from Ellen Hutson. These 6 x 6 double sided papers are a great bargain and I love every one of Memory Box's collection. I colored in the flowers from SU's Sassy Stems with every pink marker and watercolor crayon that SU makes! I added some So Saffron around the edge and inside the vase, along with a few shades of green crayons for the stems. Yellow Amuse twinkles dot the center of the flowers. Other supplies used: words from a cute Wordsworth set, SU Old Olive Brads and cardstock and SU's Pretty in Pink for a base. Two square scallop punches, SU's Word Window punch, watercolor paper and brush, water, Mono Multi glue, and Memories Black ink. My Japanese screw punch punched right through 4 layers of paper -- including the watercolor paper. Love that thing!! I spent a lot of time fiddling with this card -- ribbon, ric rac, other punches for the words, other words, etc. all were added and removed, until I finally looked up and saw that hours had gone by. Sometimes, you just have to stop.

July 5, 2007

Hey Mike, Relax!

My husband works very long hours, although he spends a lot of time working from home (nights and weekends). Mike loves to play his guitar, read, exercise, and watch a little TV (he's been known to watch Jon & Kate Plus 8 and Mystery Diagnosis with me!). He loves bright colors, so here is a little card I made for him -- to remind him to RELAX. Supplies: Stampin Up Summer Sun and Basic Black cardstocks, vintage black brads, various markers, small corner rounder; 1 3/8", and 1 and 1/4" punches; Stampendous Clear Set "Little Things," non SU shimmery white cardstock; water, paintbrush, and Black Memories Ink.

July 4, 2007

Hoppy and Proud

I made this card for our son to celebrate some accomplishments. We'll tuck a little cash inside the card to sweeten the deal! How I made this card: All supplies are Stampin Up unless otherwise noted. The base of the card is Naturals -- it is sturdier than white or ivory cardstock and works well with this color palette. I stamped the little frogs from the Very Punny set with Black Memories ink onto shimmery white cardstock. I let them dry for a few minutes and then colored in the frogs and the surrounding paper with various markers -- I was trying to match the mustardy gold Bazzil paper that I used to make the background. A combination of caramel, more mustard, cameo coral, blush blossom and a little barely banana around the frogs did the trick. I made the background paper with Papertreyink circle stamps from Green Thumb (I think -- my clear stamps have sort of gotten mixed up ....). Clear stamps are at their best when making a background -- the solid stamps work great and it is easy to see where you are going. However, it wasn't that easy, as I messed up the textured side of the Bazzil paper (actual color unknown). So, I flipped it over and again stamped the large circle with Creamy Carmel classic ink and the smaller one with SU's Basic Black. I also used some clear ribbon stamps from either Papertreyink or Limited Edition (organization isn't my strong suit) to add a little interest behind the frogs. Matted the frogs on basic black cardstock, used the small corner rounder to round out the edges of the card and the frogs, adhered some black vintage brads. Made the tag with Too Terrific Tags with the same ink and cardstock as the card, and used the small slot punch to thread black grosgrain ribbon that I had colored with mustard and caramel markers. The colors of the ribbon match well IRL. Now that I've colored the black gingham twice, I'm stocking up on this stuff!! I adhered the matted frog layer with some Mono Multi glue, making sure to leave room for the tag, and then I stepped back and was happy.

July 1, 2007

Mystery Revealed

So what was Poor Thing Andy doing? Sitting on a bench behind some bushes reading a book. No girl (too shy) No ice cream (not enough $) No skateboard (can't do that stuff -- lack of coordination -- long story) No Ipod (not that interested in Music) No video game store at this shopping area No friends in the area Nope, lost in his own Andy world, reading. Now, no one got an exact answer, but Michele Zwart was the first one to guess reading so she wins! Michele, send me a private message at Splitcoast -- I am Joan B, and we will go from there. You will enjoy dealing with Karen at Paperosity! By the way, I read most of these answers to Andy and we both had a good laugh. He said, they don't know me very well, so they?? Back to cleaning my stamp room. Good grief, this is the worst it has ever been!

June 30, 2007

SU Catty Review Part Two and a Card

First, the card -- this is the second of 3 baby cards I am making, with the intent to sell. (Do I sound like a drug dealer or what??). I made the baby background with a clear stamp from Stampendous Silhouettes. Just kept inking it with SU's real red and summer sun classic inks. Very easy, although it took awhile. The giraffe is from a clear Memory Box At the Zoo set, and the Summer Sun stripes behind the giraffe are actually Memory Box "grass" from its clear Greenery collection. I just turned it on its side and stamped it 3 times, the middle in a different direction. The giraffe is sporting an Amuse twinkle for an eye. The rest of the card is shimmery white cardstock, SU's real red and summer sun cardstocks; SU bold bright brad and red gingham ribbon. I took an SU Summer Sun marker and just ran it along the white portion of the ribbon to make a red and yellow ribbon. (I'm so happy with the result!!) The card itself is a Holly Memory Box card, which matched well with the SU real red, given that you can't see too much of it. However, the inside is white, and I like that touch. *************** SU Catty Review, Part 2 If you don't already have the catalog, you'll be able to see it on SU's website tomorrow. In the meantime, here are a few more of my opinions. The catalog itself is the best so far. Organized nicely, with new accessories highlighted as new and featured on the bottom of the stamp pages. They done good. A few items that I really like: Jumbo Eyelets -- Antique Brass and Pewter -- $9.95 for 60 eyelets. Photo Corner Punch -- it punches out 2 different sizes. I already have a similar punch, but this is $15.95 and I think will be quite popular. Lots of Chipboard -- circles, and flowers and scallops, and ovals and photo corners. You want chipboard, you got it! The new InColors -- gorgeous. 100% percent winners -- much better than last year's. Sentiment Sets -- there are several nice ones, particularly Hugs & Wishes, Holidays & Wishes and All Holidays-- nice, interesting fonts with a variety of useable sayings. The first 2 are 6 sentiments each for $17.95 and the latter has 12 sentiments for $31.95. Backgrounds -- Each is $17.95 Tres Chic -- a word background, with different fonts and large words, such as Adore, Classic, Genuine, Create, Hope, etc. I can see getting this and using the words individually -- just cut it up and use unmounted. For the money, you get a LOT of words -- about 21, and some swirls. B Baroque -- Big solid bold graphic image -- similar to a background SU had in a winter mini a couple of years ago (or is it the same thing??). This is the kind of thing I wouldn't spend 5 cents on -- except I remember seeing some cards make with that other background. They were stunning. This will be on my first order. Great way to make those difficult sympathy cards. A Dot Spot -- rows of different circles within circles. Frankly, I'm tired of circles, so I'll give this a C+. Posy -- is this new? I think so, although it looks like other backgrounds. Kind of dated looking to me -- small flowers connected with vines. C En Francais -- another version of French Script. If you missed out on French Script, this is nice. Otherwise, why get another one. It does have a very nice font -- lots of elegant swirls. A if you don't have French Script; D if you do! Sanded -- I like this one. It looks like it will leave a sanded impression (duh) A Flower Friend -- Most unusual for SU. I like seeing them branch out. It is one huge flower. A circle with a scallop around it and the word friend underneath. It isn't for me, but many folks will make gorgeous with this one. B Friend by Definition -- remember the other definition background, the name escapes me? This is identical in style, except instead of defining Love, it has typed letters with the definitions of friend. Nice. B Polka Dot -- SU, what took you so long??? LOL I have the Cornish Heritage Farms one and love it. I wonder how this compares. Looks similar. A Happiness -- not pictured with the backgrounds -- for a good reason. It is really 9 rows of images on one big block. Great value if you buy it for $17.95 and cut and use unmounted. The rows consist of diamonds, words, solid background with flowers and circle dots (again), stripes, the word HAPPINESS, little daisies; another stripe (vertical), polka dots and flowers. Not bad for the price. As a background for an entire card - D; as 9 different stamps B+. Christmas Sets -- You can form your own opinions. There are a few that I like, but I'm not wild enough about most of them to purchase. None are in the "buy it or die" class!! Well, there's lots more, but I think you've heard enough of my opinion. Can't wait to hear everyone else's. New catty time is a blast!

June 29, 2007

SU Catty Review Part One!

is in the house. I thought I'd share a few of my opinions. Level One Hostess Sets: Event Full: 6 stamps with line drawings and sayings on each one. Stocking/fill 'er up; graduation cap/ hats off; cake on wagon/ you take the cake; bunny jumping out of a hat/ you amaze me; hanger with hearts hanging down/hang in there; peapod with 3 peas, one is smiling; sweet pea. Grade: B So Many Sayings: 3 rectangles full of sayings in different fonts, etc. Things like love of a lifetime, missing you, celebrate life, small wonder. Each block has about 10 sayings, so this is an absolute STEAL of a deal -- but unrelated sayings are on the same block. This set cries out for cutting up and going unmounted. Grade: A+ (if you go unmounted); B- if mounted as shown in catty. Oh, So Lovely: set of 4 stamps. Reminds me of Art of Life. One is a long rectangle that is kind of scratchy and then 3 individual flowers in a light double line style that will each fit on top of the rectangle. Very nice. Grade: A Party Punch: set of 6 desgined to go with either the Designer Label Punch (3) and the Tab Punch (3). Grade: B Creative License Simply Scrappin: colors are pumpkin pie, soft sky, wild wasabi and blue bayou (nice combo, by the way). And you get some textured paper (looks like Bazzil). I can never figure out how to use these kits, but if you like scrappin kits, this is a solid A. Sidekick Sayings: set of 3 stamps. Each is a rectangle, with a saying in a font like Friendship Flowers and each has an image to the right of the saying. Christmas is here .... with a tree; the grand essentials of happiness are ....with a branch with leaves; let us be grateful to people who make us happy with a flower. The images are the double line doodle style. This is a nice idea. I think the words are a bit close together, making them hard to read. For that reason I'm giving this one a B-. end of Level One Sets************ A New Hardware Kit -- Pretties Kit $29.95 Nice, very nice. White embellishments and a lot of them -- flowers, pearls, rhinestone brads, beads, etc. You can dye the flowers, which come in 5 sizes (10 each size). I think this is a good buy and give it an A+. More on Stamps: There are some baroque style stamps -- similar to the Baroque Motifs we've seen in the sneak preview and Carte Postale, which is in this catalogue. One is a set called Illuminations. It is 4 stamps, each is a large letter followed by the rest of the wordwith a lot of swirls around the words. It is $28.95 and has an old English feel. The words are Cherish, Joy, Hope, and Thanks. This is one of those sets that isn't my style, but someone else will do something awesome with it!! I'm giving it a C+, partly based on the price. With tax and shipping, that's about $8 a stamp, which is reasonable given the cost of other wood mounted, but I'm just not loving this one enough to pay this amount. Some Western Theme Sets: Hey, I'm a Yankee, so I shouldn't even try and grade these (but I will anyway). Wanted: set of 8, with a solid horse, star, paisley, the word "WANTED" in a Western style (duh) and a few medallion type stamps. $22.95. This is pretty nice. Not something I'd probably buy, but nice. A good B. Bronc Buster: set of 4. A rodeo guy on a bucking bronco in a solid scribbly style, with some flourishes, a stamp that says Genuine The One and Only with a star in the middle; another star with some flourishes and another flourish. B- Starstruck: a set of 6 small stamps. Sort of like Little Pieces only each one has a star in it. $10.95 A+ if you like stars!! Probably a B- for me. Bronco Wheel: this goes with the Bronc Buster and Wanted sets. Kind of a scribbly/solid style with a badge, doodles, a boot with spurs and a steer head(?). $6.50 This is soooo NOT me. C- Do you like dots and circles? There are a lot of sets similar in style to Big Pieces. One is Big Flowers and a coordinating Little Flowers. Big Flowers is a set of 8 for $22.95 and Little Flowers is a set of 6 much smaller stamps for $10.95. Each stamp is a circle with a flower in it and there are a fair amount of dots and scallops. Pretty nice. Not different enough for me, but talented stampers will make really nice stuff with this. B+ Ginormous Flowers set of 6 for $28.95 -- think Big Flowers only really big! I have too many similar flowers, but if you are looking for some big solid shapes, this is for you. B+ Garden Whimsy: A set of 8 for $23.95. I like this one a lot. Solid butterflies, tulip, snail and lady bug with two sentiments and a couple of small bugs with tails. Each has swirls and dots built into the design. Do I need this? No. Will I get it? Probably. Solid stamps are easy -- this will make quick pretty cards. I'm giving it an A-. Whimsy Jumbo Wheel -- more dots and swirls. It's nice enough but how many swirls and dots does a stamper need? I won't buy it, B-. More later, have to go be a domestic goddess....