Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sale-A-Bration sneak peek!

Do you get those mid-winter blues? I do, every year and this year seems much worse then others. It could be all the snow or that the sun has not really shined much lately but it is really starting to get me down. More snow again today, 6"-10" today and another 2"-5" tonight, doesn't that sound lovely? No, I don't think so either. Between the lovely (NOT!!) weather and a shaky stomach (thanks to that nasty little bug my beautiful children decided to share with me) I am in major need of spring. Since you know that stupid groundhog is going to see his shadow next week and doom us to 6 more (who are we kidding more like 3 more months) weeks of winter and my vacation is still 4 weeks away I decided I could at least stamp springish.

Sale-a-bration is coming, it starts February 1st and I figured you might want a little peek at what wonderful free stuff you can get. For those of you not in the know, Sale-a-bration is Stampin' Up!s annual sale, for every $50 you spend you can receive something free from the Sale-a-bration mini catalog. I used three different freebies on this card. The main image was made using the SAB set called "Botanical Blooms", the designer papers are from the "Delicate Dots" designer series paper pack and the certainly celery ribbon is from the ribbon bundle. If you want more information on SAB, wanna book a workshop please feel free to contact me.

Also don't forget that if you place an online order in the next couple of months Stampin' Up! will send you a free catalog, regardless of the size of the order.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Elzybelles fortnightly challenge time again...

It's that time again! Time for an Elzybelle challenge. This fortnight (don't you just love how british that sounds?!?!) we were challenged to create a Valentine treat or gift. Now I had to keep this fairly simple because you know what will happen when my daughter Jessika sees this right? I can just hear it now, "Moooommmmmm will you make them for all my friends?? Willllll yaaaaa, pleeeeeeease." Then my younger daughter will chime in with "For miiinnnnne toooooooo." And I won't be able to resist and the next thing you know I will be making 70 of these because if I make them for the girls then I gotta make them for Manny's class and you know what happened at Halloween when I made all of those scalloped punch peppermint pattie spiders, and my hand hurt for weeks afterwards. Anyway this is what I came up with. I used the Top Note Sizzix die to cut out the topper. The adorable little sheep is paper pieced then popped up. The tiny hearts needed a little glitter so I added a little bit of stickles. Make sure you check out what the rest of the design team did with this challenge. What I used:
From me to ewe Elzybell clear stamp set
Chocolate Chip, Riding Hood Red, Whisper White, Going Grey card stock
black Stazon, Close to Cocoa classic ink (for sponging)
slot punch
wide Chocolate Chip grosgrain ribbon

Friday, January 16, 2009

I'm going to make you wish that you weren't missing my open house...

Your going to be sorry that you missed my open house tonight. I have 3 really fun projects to share all using brand new stamps sets. Don't ya wish you were here? Well since you can't make it I will eat your share of the yummy desert, browse through the **brand new Stampin' Up! catalog**, and help everyone else make these lovely cards, while you sit home, wishing you were here. But I will be nice and share what we are making tonight.

This fun one using the top note Big Shot die and Petal Pizzazz.This one with Echoes of Kindness one of the new Level 2 hostess sets.
And this one using Just buzzin' by that I totally copied from Jaydee from SplitCoastStampers because it is just too cute and I had run out of simply wonderful ideas.
We are Croppin' all day tomorrow so maybe I will have something wonderful to share with you again soon.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

even more echoes....

Are you all really sick of me using this stamps set? Well if you are I'm sorry but I am just having way to much fun with it. I did this card for todays sketch challenge over on SplitCoastStamper. I was going to combine it with the color throwdown challenge but this card had a mind of it's own and it just didn't want to go there. I may try a second card later with that color combination.

Anyway I have exciting news the new "Spring/Summer 2009" Stampin' Up! catalog has arrived. My wonderful UPS man John dropped them off last night just as I was heading out to take my girls to ballet. I of course grabbed two copies before I dashed out the door. One copy was for the girls dance teacher Miss Joyce, the other copy for me to drool on and dream over. I have to say that I think you all are going to love it, I know I do. If you are one of my local customers remember that my Open House is Friday night and I have an All Day Crop on Saturday so if you want a copy come and get it! If you can't make it, give me a call or send me an email and I can arrangements for you to pick one up or I can mail one to you.
What I used:
Echoes of Kindness
Basic Black, Confetti White, Baja Breeze, Certainly Celery card stock
Black Stazon, Baja Breeze, Certainly Celery card stock
aquapainter, sponge
wide Certainly Celery grosgrain ribbon
various circle punches

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

fresh cuts...

The colors of the day are Not Quite Navy, Baja Breeze and Kraft from the color challenge over on SplitCoastStampers. I combined the color challenge with the Mojo Monday sketch challenge and this is what I came up with.Nothing fancy on this just a couple of little fussy details. I stamped the main image with NQN classic ink on kraft card stock then added a little baja breeze ink with an aquapainter and sponged around the edges. I added some color to the leaves with a mellow moss Stampin' Write marker. I made the scalloped edge on the circle (which was cut with my coluzzle) with a small corner punch, then pierced with a piercing tool.

What I used:
Fresh Cuts stamp set
Not Quite Navy, Baja Breeze and Kraft card stock
Urban Garden designer paper
Not Quite Navy and Baja Breeze classic stamp pads
wide stitched baja breeze grosgrain ribbon
mat pack and piercing tool
1/2 circle punch, small corner rounder
coluzzle cutting system

Monday, January 12, 2009

origami box

You have probably noticed that I am not really very clever with 3D items. My brain just doesn't seem to work very well in that direction but on occasion I do give one a try. The Technique Lovers Challenge on SplitCoastStampers today is to make this cute little origami box so I figured I would play along and this is what I came up with.

If you follow the link above you can see the directions on how I made the box. The only thing I changed is that I put a jumbo eyelet in the lid and bottom so that I could thread my extra wide ribbon through it to hold my box shut. The flowers on the top of the box are cut out then embellished with half back pearls for the pretties kit and dazzling diamond glitter mixed with crystal effects.

What I used:
Petal Pizzazz stamp set
Raspberry Tart designer paper
Rose Red, Pretty in Pink and Kiwi Kiss card stock
Rose Red, Pretty in Pink and Kiwi Kiss classic stamp pads
light weight chipboard (from a cereal box)
1 1/4" wide pink pirouette grosgrain ribbon
jumbo eyelets
half back pearls (Pretties kit)
dazzling diamonds and crystal effects

one last sneak peek of the new Elzybell valentine line...

Isn't he just so cute? Who could resist him? I hope my valentine can't since this one is destined for him. This is the last sneak peek because today is the release day of Elizabeth newest Elzybell Valentine stamps. Make sure you check them out **here** at her online store. And don't miss what the other design team members have been doing. I am sure there is some really wonderful stuff.

What I used:
Elzybell stamps
Cool Caribbean, Chocolate Chip card stock
watercolor papder
My Minds Eye designer paper
Black Stazon, Chocolate Chip classic stamp pad
chocolate chip satin ribbon
ticket corner punch
Stampin' Write markers, aquapainter

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Elzybell new release sneak peek #3

Are you ready for the new valentine release of Elzybells newest stamps? I am and this is what I have to show to you. Isn't it cute? Make sure you check out what the other design team member have done and stop by tomorrow of one more sneak peek.What I used:
Elzybell stamps
Riding Hood Red, Chocolate Chip card stock
watercolor paper
K&Company Wild Saffron designer paper
Black Stazon, Chocolate Chip classic stamp pad
Stampin' Write markers, aquapainter
brown brads
chocolate chip polytwill ribbon

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Elzybell new release sneak peek #2

Isn't this little lamb the cutest? It is from the new soon to be released Elzybell clear stamp set, From me to ewe. Make sure you check out what the other design team members have done and check back for the next couple of days to see what else I have to show you from the new valentine releases that will be available to purchase January 12th.What I used:
From me to ewe Elzybell clear stamp set
Baja Breeze, Kiwi Kiss card stock
watercolor paper
Bohemia (My Minds Eye) designer paper, Holiday Treasures (SU) designer paper
Black Stazon
Stampin' Write markers, aquapainter
Earth Elements brads
Baja Breeze wide stitched grosgrain ribbon

Friday, January 9, 2009

Elzybell new release sneak peek #1

January 12th is the date for the new release of the Elzybells newest Valentine stamps. So are you ready for a sneak peak? Below is what I made using the December dirty dozen sketch and this adorable teddy bear stamp. Make sure you check out what the rest of the team has done, link to their blogs are below on the right. Stop by tomorrow and every day until the release to see more sneak peaks.What I used:
Teddy bear with roses heart, hugs & kisses
Weathered background stamp
Rose Red, Chocolate Chip card stock, watercolor paper
My Minds Eye designer paper
Black Stazon, Chocolate Chip, Close to Cocoa classic ink pad
Stampin' Write markers, aquapainter
sponge, stickles
scallop circle punch, 1 3/8" circle punch, 1 1/4" circle punch
wide Rose Red stitched grosgrain ribbon

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Elzybell color challenge...

Hop on over to Elizabeth's blog and check out what the Elzybell are doing with todays color challenge. The belles were challenged to use pink, blue and green to create a project. This is mine. The main image is colored with Stampin' Write markers and paper pieced with various designer paper scraps.
*New for 2009* everyone who plays along with the blog challenges or submits cards for the showcase on Elizabeth's blog is added to a draw at the end of the month for a chance to win a gift voucher to spend in the online shop! So get out your Elzybells and play along, then make a comment on Elizabeth's blog and link you creation because what could be better then free stamps?
What I used:
Elzybells Coffee Friends and Coffee Multi
Baja Breeze, Kiwi Kiss, Pirouette Pink, Watercolor paper
Basic Grey designer paper
black Stazon, Chocolate Chip classic ink pad
Pirouette Pink striped grosgrain ribbon, white brads

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

more echoes...

I got a very late start today. Lots of freezing rain this morning delayed school for 2 hours which meant I had every kid in the neighborhood running around my house this morning. This was supposed to be one of my kid free days, didn't work out that way though. Even before I got the kiddos off to school I was on the phone with my upline who is at Leadership for Stampin' Up!, getting all the up to the moment details about the new Spring/Summer catalog. All I can say about that is that I can barely wait to get my copy into my hot little hands, my mastercard is going to be smokin'. Well probably just steaming a little bit until I manage to make some money but you know what I mean right?

Well since I was thinking new catty, why not use Echoes of Kindness (yes, again) to do todays sketch challenge over on SplitCoastStampers. Nothing fancy on this one. Both backgrounds are designer paper from the Bella Rose collection. The two main images are both sponged with chocolate chip classic ink and the flower is watercolored with riding hood red and kiwi kiss classic ink using an aquapainter.
What I used:
Echoes of Kindness stamp set
Chocolate Chip, Riding Hood Red, Kraft card stock
Bella Rose designer paper
Black Stazon, Chocolate Chip, Riding Hood Red, Kiwi Kiss classic stamp pad
kiwi kiss satin ribbon
aquapainter, sponge

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

more buzzin'

You know how sometime you just want something quick and easy and simple but not so simple that it isn't great. Well JulieHHR (Her Royal Rubberness as she is know on SplitCoastStampers) is quite literally the queen of sweet and simple. If you have never seen her stuff you must visit her blog and/or gallery. She was the featured stamper this weekend on SplitCoastStampers and Sundays challenge was to CASE (copy and share everything, or in non stamper talk, copy) one of her cards. I didn't CASE a specific card but rather her style. I thought that would combine nicely with todays color challenge to use Brilliant Blue, Pumpkin Pie and Garden Green. What I used:
Just Buzzin' By stamp set
whisper white card stock
black Stazon ink pad
Brilliant Blue, Garden Green and Pumpkin Pie classic ink for watercoloring
Pumpkin Pie striped grosgrain ribbon

Monday, January 5, 2009

flight of the butterfly...

I dashed through the house really quickly this morning, cleaning bathrooms, straightening up and finishing laundry so that I could have some play time in my quiet for the first time in ages house. Yes having everyone do a 15 minute pickup after dinner each night is really helping. The kids went back to school today and Matt left for college as well so the dog, 3 cats and I are enjoying some peace and quiet. I still need to fold laundry (I always have laundry to fold!) but I managed to get to my stamping space by 10 AM pretty close to my goal.

I am ashamed to admit that I have had this stamp set since I went to convention in August and it has never seen ink. That is very unlike me. I dragged it out this morning to make a birthday card for a friend. Since it is Monday I decided to play along with both the Mojo Monday sketch challenge and the Technique Lovers Challenge. This mornings new technique to learn is called "Tacky Glitter" you can find the direction at the above link. In a nut shell you add glitter with tacky strip. Ideally you would use several different glitters but I am glitter deficiant and only have dazzling diamonds glitter to use.What I used:
Flight of the Butterfly and Elegant Greetings stamp sets
Kiwi Kiss, Not Quite Navy, Very Vanilla cardstock
Urban Garden and Maine Blueberry designer paper
Kiwi Kiss and Not Quite Navy classic ink pads
tacky strip and dazzling diamonds glitter
wide oval punch, 1 3/8" circle punch, double slot punch
kiwi kiss satin ribbon
earth elements brads
mat pack and piercing tool

Friday, January 2, 2009

my favorite things...

I made this card for todays Limited Supply Challenge; My Favorite Things. Thanks to Judy (my online buddy and challenge hostess) I now have that song stuck in my head, probably for the rest of the day! This challenge is all about my favorite things. First of all I love Stampin' Up!, I have 3 other companies I love as well but SU is my first love. My all time favorite set is Petal Prints and this new hostess set "Echoes of Kindness" reminds me of it. Secondly I love a soft, distressed look, yes I know it is out of fashion but I still love it. Thirdly I love blues and browns, so I chose a couple of blues and paired them with chocolate chip. Lastly I love to use sketches and one of my favorites is the Mojo Monday sketch from Poetic Artistry. And of course there has to be ribbon because I just can't make a card without ribbon.

To get the soft and distressed look I did a couple of different things. Most of the layers, including the main image are over-stamped with the Sanded background stamp that was inked with close to cocoa ink then stamped off a couple of time (basically just a dirty stamp). I then sponged the edges with close to cocoa ink as well. The main image is watercolored (once again for the soft look) which is also a favorite technique of mine, then the verse is stamped on
vellum and layered over the main image.What I used:
Echoes of Kindness stamp set, Sanded background
Chocolate Chip, Bordering Blue, Very Vanilla card stock
Urban Garden (SU) designer paper
Stazon black, brocade blue (for watercoloring), close to cocoa (for distressing) classic ink pads
vintage brads, wide chocolate chip grosgrain ribbon, narrow bashful blue grosgrain ribbon

As a follow up to yesterdays goals and resolutions I wanted to add a list of the blessings I/We received last year...
1. would of course be the finalization of Ellie's adoption
2. we finished all the major construction on our house
3. I was able to attend the Stampin' Up! convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, financed completely by my business
4. My oldest son was able to spend a semester abroad this fall, and returned safely to us
5. I started a new job, that I enjoy and it still enables me to be home when my kids are
6. my sister-in-law had a baby in February, giving us the most adorable nephew
7. Our children are all healthy and active
8. We were able to visit with my parents in May, and my brother and niece spent Christmas with us. My family quite literally lives almost as far apart as you can be and still live in the continental US. I am in NY, my parents are in Florida and my brother lives in California.
9. I was chosen to be part of the Elzybell design team.
10. I continue to be blessed by a wonderful group of supportive friends, a wonderful family and an online community of friends that I never would have thought possible

Jean asked if any of my articles I wrote are still around to be viewed. I did a search and did manage to find one. You can check it out **HERE** but be prepared to be bored. In 2002 through 2005 I was very active and vocal in the fostering/adoption community and even had articles in several publications and on various websites, including AdoptUSKids, NYSCCC and NACAC. Then my life became overwhelmingly kid oriented and I discovered stamping and scrapping and the rest is history. I still sit on a board and am active in a support group but just no longer have the time or energy to try to change the world. I concentrate on just my little portion of it.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

resolutions and a stamping binge...

I think I am suffering from a hangover this morning, NO not that kind of hangover, a stamping hangover. Over on splitcoaststampers they had a New Years Eve stamping party, with hourly challenges. You can check it out **HERE**. Since my children were fairly well behaved (Thanks to delivery pizza and the dvd player) and hubby was plowing snow for hours after work I managed to play along from 2:00 in the afternoon until I burned out around 9:15. I am in general a fairly quick stamper but I still average over an hour for any project that has much detail, so I was really happy with how much I got done during that time period. Below is a sample of what I did.

If you are looking for details please see my gallery on SplitCoastStampers.

Yesterday I was talking about resolutions. Now I am not going to make any silly ones like losing the extra 50 pounds I am carrying around, thought that wouldn't be a bad idea, but I am not going for anything that extreme. Which is a good thing since I had left over pizza for breakfast and that would have blown any extreme diet in the first couple of hours of the new year. But I do need to work on us all being healthier and because cooking from scratch is cheaper resolution number one is

1. Is to limit eating out at restaurants to once a month and fast food to only once a month as well. *No Jules that doesn't mean cutting out cereal dinners, just the kind of fast food you buy at McDs.

As you can imagine living in a house with 5 children and keeping it clean is kind of like shoveling snow in a blizzard. You have to keep going or you will be buried alive but it never looks like you are making progress. Now my house is rarely terrible but it is also rarely as nice as I would like it. So this year I resolve to

2. Have the whole family do a quick pickup/clean up every night after dinner. Currently we do this every Sunday afternoons but it will take less time if we do it every night. If this gets done while I wash dishes and make lunches for the next day then I can concentrate on cleaning instead of picking up in the morning.

That should free me up to keep the house work under control so that I can

3. Be in my office creating by 9:30am each weekday (that I don't have to work at the Disney Store, of course)

This should enable me to reach my goal of getting published this year. I am actually published, not for stamping or scrapbooking, but for articles that I have written about foster parenting. I hope to manage this by finding time to stamp for other then challenges and planning classes. So watch out Stampin' Up! because I am going to bombard you with contest entries as well as the various stamping magazines. And while I love being on the Elzybell design team (wait until you see the new stuff January 9th-12th, you are so going to love it!), there is one other company that I plan to see if I can get their attention this year as well.

And since everyone needs fiscal goals mine is to

4. Keep on top of our financial goals. I am usually pretty good at this but the hubby is now less then 3 years and 10 months from early retirement, (not that he can stop working but that he will be able to just work for himself) so we are at a crucial point. To do this we have to be completely debt free. We are mostly on track but every little bit I can squeeze out to pay down the mortgage will put us that much closer to goal.

And lastly, the house. We have been in the process of essentially tripling the size of our house for the last 7 years. All the major work, with the exception of the kitchen, is now done but we still have little bits and pieces, here and there that need to be finished. So I resolve to

5. Finish all the detail work in one room each month, this year. That should allow us to concentrate on the kitchen in 2010. This sounds worse then it is. Most rooms only need trim painted or a closet door but if I don't put it in writing then I will easily ignore it all for another year.