Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fold Up Scrap Albums

OK, Ok!  So it's not Monday!  I'm late, I know!  Great way to start my new resolution, isn't it?!?  I WANTED to post yesterday ... and I DO have 3 projects allllllll the way downstairs just waiting to be photographed and posted but ... well ... you know ... I got distracted.  Yes, my roommate for Convention, Joan, would understand this.  We have a new standing joke where every now and then ... in the middle of a sentence ... I will whip my head to the right and shout "SQUIRREL!"  Of course anyone who has seen the movie Up! will get that one!
This one's for you, Joan J!

Yep - that's me - easily distracted.  Last night was the perfect case-in-point.  I hit the craft room around 6:30 pm.  I have about 15 projects I want to crack off before my Appreciation Night / Open House this Friday.  Did I focus on the job at hand?  Did I heck!  No!  I spend 3 HOURS organizing my craft room because I couldn't find my Cookie Press set!  I want to make cookies for Friday but couldn't find the handle!!!  It was driving me NUTS ... and of course I COULDN'T just "move on" - nope - HAD TO find the darned thing.  What REALLY drove me nuts was I knew exactly where it WAS ... before I cleaned up last time!!  Don't you just HATE when that happens?  It sat on a shelf behind me for MONTHS and of course when I go to use it I can't find it.  Well ... I managed to get a pretty clean craft room out of the deal ... and then this morning I started looking again.  I looked in my cupboard ... the same cupboard I looked in THREE times last night ... but this time I stood on my tip-toes and spotted what I thought was a fourth Recipe Card Kit (you know the ones ... they are on the Clearance Rack ... yes - I have 3 of them) ... I thought for a minute "wait a second ... I don't have 4 of those!  4 would be crazy!  I only have 3 (*lol*) - sure enough the box was my handle.  Phew!  Once I found it I could move on with my day ... and my crafts.  I made a few little treats to show off Friday ... but ... as discussed, they are in the basement .... and I am not ... so you'll have to wait for those until I can get my act together.  Have no fear, though!  I promised a post of a project so I'll give you one (better late than never!)

Here are 2 more versions of my Fold-Up Scrap Albums.  I LOVE these things!!  They are really SO quick and easy to put together!  They make the perfect gift for Grandma, Uncle, ANYONE, really!  You could even make one for a teacher and put pictures of the whole class in it.  The options are endless!  So here they are:

I have these for sale (hence just partial shots of the whole albums).  I provided instructions on how to make them a few months ago - just drop me a line if you have any questions.  For the first album, I used the FLoral Distract DSP and for the Christmas album I used Be of Good Cheer DSP.  I LOVE the new Gumball Green ribbon I used to tie it closed!  If you come Friday night you can see them up close and personal.

That's it for now - I have 20 stampin' crazed women coming over Friday and very little to show them yet ... TO THE CRAFT ROOM!

Have a stampy night!


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Thank You Notes

Happy Saturday!  Hope you had a fun one!  We had great plans to have outdoor fun ... but Mother Nature decided to throw a wrench on our plans so indoor fun it was!  Here is what the girls and I got up to:

Good .. messy .. fun!

So ... just a quickie (the children should probably be in bed by now!) ...

A few days ago I needed to make my little Thank You cards to go in my club orders.  I saw a little swap at Convention that I desperately wanted to copy ... but a) my memory wasn't as good as I thought it was and b) it was more time consuming than I wanted it to be.  Here was my version (inspired by a mystery demonstrators swap card) ...
Hmm ... looking at it below my painting ... I think I'm in a primary-color-kinda-mood these days *lol*  I simply used the Wacky Wishes Hostess set in Real Red and my Taseful Trim Bigz Die to cut the zig-zags in Pacific Point, Real Red, Daffodil Delight and Gumball Green.  I made the card a 3 x 3 card.  It's ok.  Didn't blow my hair back, though ... so I moved on to these QUICK and EASY Thank-Yous ...

Again, a little card - 3 1/2 x 3 1/2.  I used the new Affection Collection stamp set (from the Holiday mini - you can order from it starting Aug 1).  The sentiment is from "Made for You" (a must have little set!)  Pretty basic!  I stamped the main image in either Midnight Muse or Raspberry Ripple and then the sentiment in MM, RR or Summer Starfruit (I'm DETERMINED to use this color ... it really isn't that "bad" when you pair it with the other In Color colors!)  Each card has one of the new In Color Dahlias stuck on it with a glue dot.  Wa-low!  Quick and easy :)

That's it for tonight ... I have a few more fold-up scrap albums to show off ... just putting the finishing touches on the Christmas album so pop back again soon!  In the meantime .... Have a stampy night!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Stampin' Up! Convention High!

Well helloooooooooooooooooooo there!  First I'd like to thank you SO MUCH for popping in to see if I'm back in the world of blogging!  I'm embarrassed that I've only posted projects ONCE this month!  On the up side, I'm back from the Stampin' Up! Convention, I'm recharged, on a high and raring to go!  To be honest, I have been meaning to post for 2 days now but I have SO many ideas and things to share that I have been overwhelmed and kept putting it off.  Well ... as they say ... the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time ... so here is my first bite. 

Don't get mad at me but I don't have a project to share with you today ... well, not YET, anyway!  I plan to hit the craft room this afternoon so stay tuned!  What I DO want to share with you are some of the highlights with you!  Honestly it was just an AWESOME experience!  Here is the video produced by Stampin' Up! - the focus for demonstrators this stamping year is "My Way" and the theme for Convention 2012 is/was "I Am ...".  Warning:  the theme song is very contagious!
Wow.  Over 3,500 stampin' crazed women in one place!  You can see the energy and excitement a General Sessions produce!  What happens at General Sessions?  This is the time that all demonstrators come together in the Main Hall to hear from our Mighty Leader, Shelli.  This is when/where she welcomes us, thanks us, encourages us and inspires us.  She is the most amazing lady! 

During the Opening Session (on Day 1) we heard from guest speaker Jason Dorsey.  OMG was he funny!  He spoke on "Gen Y" ... or "Generation Y" to those of us who are "Gen X or Gen B (boomers).  It was VERY interesting!

During the Closing Session Shelli announced that the Grand Vacation Trip for this year will be a Western Carribean Cruise for 2.  Oh ya ... I plan to be on that boat!  Craig's 50th birthday is right around the time they set sail and I can't think of a better birthday present to give him!

Aside from General Sessions there were a number of "Break Out Sessions" for us to attend.  We signed up in advance for which classes we wanted to go to.  I attended:

  • "I am a Pattern-Mixing Pro" with the fabulous Carrie Cudney.  I learned how to mix patterns of different intensity and size for a successful project.  We than made a great painted canvas with paper flowers.  It was really relaxing and fun (and they had a candy buffet to boot!)
  • "I am a Leader" with Brian Pilling.  Here I got tips on how to take a "Baby Bear" approach to leadership rather than a "Papa Bear" or "Mama Bear" approach.  Bottom line - aim for the middle ground, not one of the extremes.  Again - quite educational.
  • "I am Savvy" with Donna Griffith.  This was an awesome session with fellow demonstrators Meg Wheeler, Dawn Griffith and Laura Milligan showing us some GREAT projects and tips on how to be savvy in our business and boost sales.  We saw projects made with fabric and how to use kits and supplies in other-than-intended ways!
  • "I am Open for Business" with Carrie Cudney.  Carrie ptaught us ways to attract customers and how to find new customers in innovative ways.
  • "I am Earning an Incentive Trip" with Karen Hauley.  She interviewed 3 very successful demonstrators who have earned Incentive Trips as they shared their top tips and strategies.  Very inspiring!
  • "I am Having Fun" with Shannon West.  Shannon is fun ANY time but she had me in tears laughing at one point in her presentation!  We learned how to incorporate more fun into our parties.
  • "I am Doing Business "My Way"" with Bonnie Thurber.  Bonnie is one of my favorite Home Office personalities - she is so real ... and funny!  She's just a party waiting to happen!  She turned the stage over to top demonstrators Tami White and Ronda Wade who shared some of "their ways" of running their extremely successful businesses.  It really did drive home the message that there is no ONE way to succeed in this business.  People are different ... and their business styles reflect that!
  • "I am Reaching Out" with Emily Montoya.  This was my favorite session.  Emily focused on the "Gen Y" topic, as did Jason Dorsey, but in more detail.  It was very engaging and inspiring!

So ... did I enjoy Convention 2012?  You BET I did!  It really gave me time to sit back and take a good look at my successes and what I want to do moving forward.  I spent time with a great friend, Joan Jeffery (hi Joan!) and made some new friends (hi Caron, Patti, Ann, Cheryl and Daleen!)  I came home with almost 100 swapped cards and hundreds of photos of great cards and projects.  I brainstormed with some FABULOUS fellow demonstrators and got some great new ideas for clubs and classes.  I spent time with Stampin' Up Head Office coaches to develop a game plan for the coming year.  I ate out every day ... and I got LOTS of free stuff:
Yes ... I think it's safe to say I had a great time!  Maybe next year you can join me!!!

Thanks again for popping in - one of my resolutions for the coming year is to be more consistent with my blogging so I promise to post a project at LEAST every Monday.  Of course I may do so more often but I'm going to start with that.  So ... see you Monday (but hipefully sooner!)

Have a stampy day :)


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Welcome Hannah!

Hiya!  Me again - wow - 2 posts in 1 night!  Well ... I know I won't be posting again before I head to Utah and I really wanted to share my next 2 projects with you so ... here goes ...

I moved to Edmonton when I was 10 years old ... and in Grade 5.  The first friend I made sat next to me and lived just around the corner.  Her name was Wendy.  Wendy and I were the best of friends for many years.  We played HUNDREDS of games of Monopoly over the years (I think she was ahead about 52 games to 46 or so ...) and played HUNDREDS of rounds of Ms. Pacman on the way to the outdoor swimming pool in the summer.  We had a great friendship.  But, as often happens, we drifted apart over the years and lost touch.  4 years ago we found each other again.  I'm so blessed to have her back in my life.  We don't get together often but when we do it's like coming home.  It's so EASY to be together.  We know everything about each other - our past, our parents, our "issues", our heartaches ... we know it all and understand it all.

Last week Wendy phoned me with some wonderful news.  Her and her family FINALLY got to adopt a beautiful 13 month old little girl - Hannah.  After nearly 3 years of paperwork, hoops, hassles and heartache they finally got their little girl.  I just HAD to make her a special card and a pack of "Thank You"s for her to give out for gifts people give the family.  Here is what I made:
Nothing is quicker and easier than using the Note Cards and envelopes on page 160.  You get (40) 5 1/8" x 3 5"8 scored notecards and envelopes for only $7.50!  They are perfect for occasions like this.  I used my new Delicate Designs emboss folder along the bottom and then stamped the Flowering Flourishes image that I had inked using the Old Olive and Raspberry Ripple markers.  A little time consuming but I love how they turned out.  I used the Curly Cute sentiment in Raspberry and a strip of ... oh!  would you look at that!  I used Cherry Cobbler cs instead of Raspberry!  Oops!  Oh well - looks great anyway!

Here is was I made for a card for them:
I used a retired set for this one - it's one of the very first sets I ever got "A New Little Someone".  Since Hannah is 13 months old I didn't want a really babyish baby card - this one was perfect!  I used my polka dot folder (with an oval frame in the middle so the polka dots don't emboss there ... that's a whole other post ... I don't have the energy for that tonight!).  I used the retired Blushing Bride marker and ribbon  Rich Razzleberry ink for the bunny - the sentiment from Word Play and then I painted the bunny with the retired Smooch Pearlized top coat (WHY do I only ever try some products AFTER they retire?!  This stuff is great!)  You can't see the shimmer on the bunny - he just looks dirty here - but he is shimmery.  So cute!  I can't wait to take them over tomorrow.  Hannah is a lucky girl.  Congratulations to my very dear friend, Wendy and her family - Mark, Joshua, Davey and Sara. 

OK - my fingers are cramping from all the typing so I'll sign off.  I'll have LOTS to share when I get back from convention!!  Until then - have a stampy summer!!!


Convention 2012 Swaps

Well helloooooooooooooooooooo there!  Yes, I'm here!  Alive and blogging!  I can't believe it's been almost a MONTH since I posted a project for you!  I could say I've been too busy .. but I haven't!  I've had nothing on my calendar for the longest time!  I guess I've just been busy having fun!  ... and that's what summer is all about, right?  I promised myself that this summer was going to be all about my girls ... and spending good, quality time with them.  I realize that my golden time with them is quickly coming to an end - in a few short years they will be off doing their own thing over summer and won't want to spend time just playing with mom.  So that's what we're doing.  I gotta say - it's been really great!  I'm surprised at how well we're all getting along!  It just makes me realize that when I relax and put them first (rather than trying to get get "things" done when they are around) I'm a lot less cranky and as a result so are they.  We've been doing all sorts of things!  Everything to spray parks to sidewalk painting to crazy experiments to playing games.  As I mentioned in my last "post" I HAVE been doing quick scrap pages of each day so that has been taking up the small amount of time I'm allowing myself to be on the computer.  But have no fear!  I'm back tonight!  I'm off to Utah on Tuesday for my first Stampin' Up! Convention and I just COULDN'T leave ya hangin' for another week!  So here goes!

After the "last days of school" chaos died down I wanted to come up with a quick and easy swap card for convention.  You don't HAVE to swap but I don't want to miss out on any of the fun ...and swapping is fun ... and you get to meet so many people ... so I decided to make 100.  Nope - I don't do things by halves!  Sooooo - what to make that is quick(ish ... let's face it - NOTHING is quick when you have to make 100!) and economical!  This is the tricky part!  You want to swap your best work - and you certaily don't want to cheap out on the card - some ladies spend a small fortune on the cards they swap.  So I needed to come up with a WOW that did me proud.  My first attempt was nice ... but it was virtually identical to another card I made recently and didn't really flow my hair back.  Here is attempt #1:
I used the new Serene Silhouettes stamp for the bird image - I used Soft Suede ink.  If you look closely you can see little spots of writing here and there.  I used my clear blocks in various sizes as a stamp.  First I inked up the En Francais stamp with River Rock ink and then took my blocks and stamped them on the En Francais stamp - I then stamped the blocks on the paper.  If the image was clearer you could see that the faint writing is actually a mirror image - the writing is backwards because of the "kissing" technique.  I used the sentiments from Blooming with Kindness (LOVE the font on these sentiments!)  I punched it out with the Decorative label punch - sponged the edges - poped it up with dimensionals and used some Soft Suede Taffeta ribbon and a pearl for extras.  Distressed the edges and that was it.  Naaaa.  Too fiddly to distress 100 - and didn't love it.  Looks a little like this card, doesn't it?:
Hmmm ... I don't think I posted this one!  Did I?  Can't remember.  Anyway - I used the masking technique for this - I don't have the energy to give the details on masking in this post .... e-mail if you have questions!

Nope - had to try again.

While walking the dog one morning I thought maybe I could make a faux gift-bag card.  I tried it.  Here's what I came up with:
Nope.  Not even close.  Reject.  It has potential and I'll probably re-visit the idea at a later date but it wouldn't work for 100 swaps.  It took me 10 minutes to fiddle around with the tissue paper and still don't like the way it turned out.  To do 100 would drive me nuts!  So ... after a few sleepless nights and dog walks later it hit me!  I REALLY loved the music card from my last post.  It was SO quick, easy and lovely.  Two problems.  1.  I totally cased the idea from someone else and wouldn't feel right copying it (even if I DID give her credit) and 2.  I used a retired ribbon which a) isn't allowed when swapping and b) I didn't have enough of even if it WAS allowed.  I kept re-working the card in my head to make it my own.  Yes, it was inspired by another but I really did change it enough that I felt I could own it.  2 days later I have 100 of these in my basement ready to swap:
Ta Da!  Isn't it fabulous?!  I love it!  (well - I DID love it - after making 100 of them I'm a little tired of it *lol*)  I think it's really original, fun, easy and a WOW!  Soooo - how did I do it, I hear you cry?  Well - I used the Music Notes standard wheel for the background.  "Holy COW, Tamara!  How on EARTH did you manage to get such perfet, crisp, straight wheeled images over and over and over and over and over and over again?!"  Watch and learn, Grasshopper ... watch and learn ...
If you're anything like me yo ulike the CONCEPT of wheeling but find it hard to keep the wheel inked enough, the image straight enough and not get any "edges" from the wheel.  Soooo - I decided to do what I've seen a few other demonstrators do lately ... turn the wheeled rubber image into a stamp!  "GASP!  WHAT?!  You can DO that?!  Tell us more, Tamara!"  OK.  So - grab one of your wheels and look for the seam where the rubber meets:
Grab your exacto knife and slice the rubber on that seam.  Then simply peel the rubber off the wheel ...
and use some snail to attach it to one of your clear blocks:

Of course you can also buy the Clear-Mount Cling Foam (page 7 of the catty) and attach it to a wood block but this worked just fine!

Then I just stamped the image over and over and over and over using the Basic Black Classic Ink.  Now.  Note to self:  When Stampin' Up! tells you that when you stamp an image on Whisper White card stock with the Basic Black Classic ink it will smudge - BELIEVE THEM!!!!  The morning I made my cards I read the SU was having a problem with the black smudging when stamped on white or vanilla (it's fine on colored cards stock).  They are aware of the problem and are working on a solution.  Hmmm - really?  Na - I'll try it anyway.  So I stamped a few.  It dried - I wiped it - it didn't smudge.  Hmm - I must me one of the lucky ones who got a "good" pad.  So I merrily stamped about 60 of my swaps.  Stampin' Up! also noted that the new ink pads don't hold as much ink in the pads and they release more ink onto your image so they require reinking more often.  Yep.  They were right on that.  After about 60 cards my pad started going dry.  I knew that the "old" reinkers won't work on the new ink pads but I hadn't bought a new ink refill yet so I had to switch to using Staz-On.  Uggggh.  While I love the Staz-on it DOES take a lot longer to dry and making 40 using Staz-on was fairly tedious.  Alas I did it.  Well ... off to bed I went.  Next day I went back to my cards and oh!  Look!  the ones I stamped in Classic Ink smudge like CRAZY!!!  What a mess!  I wasn't about to re-do them - I'll just have to be careful handling them while swapping but I'm sad that they aren't perfect.  Oh well - onward!  Once I stamped them I punched out a Decorative Label punch.  I used a 5 1/4" x 2" piece of Cherry Cobbler and 5 1/4" x 2" piece of basic black card stock to go behind the musical note layer.  Then I headed to my computer.  I was surprised that after combing the catalogue three times I couldn't find any current sets with a "Just a Note" or "A Note of Thanks" sentiment ... so I had to make my own.  Like I said, when swapping we have to use current items ... so I used my My Digital Studio software and the "Thank You Kindly" download and printed off the sentiments.  I punched them out and sponged the edges.  I sued seam binding ribbon and popped the sentiments up on dimensionals.  Wa-low!  Done!  I still have to print off the "recipe" for the back of the cards but other than that I'm good to go!

So that's what I've been up to for the last few weeks ... that and another mini-major project I'll share in my next post.

Thanks for checking back to see me - have a stampy night!


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Happy Sunday!!!

Yes - I"m still here ... don't give up on me ... I promise I WILL post a few projects soon!  To be honest I haven't stamped very much since the end of June - I've been having too much fun with the girls and our "Phineas & Ferb Summer" ideas.  I HAVE been making a scrap page every day using My Digital Studio (if you can believe it!)  I would share those but I haven't quite figured out HOW to yet *lol*.  (Been a while since I took the training!)

Have no fear - I HAVE been crafting the last 2 days.  I've been trying to come up with a card to swap at Convention a week from Tuesday.  I had 2 failed attempts and then, while walking Koda yesterday, it came to me.  Nailed it in one!  I'm now 2/3 of the way through making 90 of them ... but it's 10:30 and hotter than you-know-what in here so I'm gunna go park my butt in front of the fan and pray for sleep to come fast!  Hopefully I'll get a chance to take a pic and post my card(s) tomorrow ... but it IS going to be 33 degrees outside ... which means about 40 degrees inside so we'll see if I emerge from the depths of the cooler basement or not!

Thanks for peeking in ... stay tuned!  (and I promise to make up for the lack of projects when I come back from Convention with 90 swaps from other demonstrators!)

Have a stampy night!