Friday, August 31, 2007

Let's go to school!

I finally took some pictures so I could share my classroom with you! Now that I see it, I'm afraid it looks better in real life! Keep in mind, this is a title 1 charter school (in a Methodist church), with very limited funds. We are a public school and receive public funding, we only rent the building space from the church. The paint for the walls, every reading book in my "library", etc. I bought myself. I wish I could do even more for these kids, but I know they are getting a good education at this school. The Asst. Superintendent (she runs the training and curriculum) is phenomenal, her training is outstanding, and she is VERY demanding of all the teachers. She wants the best for these kids too. Anyway, I made the pictures small, but you can click on them for more details. I plan to stamp & post more during my big 3-day weekend! Yahooo! Hope you have a Festive Friday!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

New stamps: Autumn Apparitions!

I just LOVE this new stamp set, Autumn Apparitions from the new Holiday Mini catalog that begins September 1. I can't believe it's almost September! This set has such a great old-fashioned feel, I couldn't resist it, even if it does have a short life, I know I'll hang on to it. I added the harlequin stamp from All in a Row for the faux stitching, a la Beate. The faux stitching reminded me of Frankenstein, with sort of a sewn-on body part look.

I also snapped this picture to show how exciting it is to receive your new stamps from the Holiday Mini...since they are ALL die-cut and ready to go immediately! They are so easy, look great, and die cut so well, it's awesome! (Sadly the little Merry & Bright still has not seen ink yet, arghhhh!)

School is going great, I love my class. They are so bright and enthusiastic. I was at school 12 hours Monday and Tuesday, then 10 hours Wednesday, and I totally forgot how exhausting that was...I can only come home and sit like a vegetable, with a little drool running down my chin! lol!

I've started a little "favorite quotes" book this year so I'll remember things my students say, and my favorite from yesterday was this question, "Why is your hair flat on one side and curly on the other?" I laughed so hard! It was asked in such sincerity. Ummmm, that would be because I slept on one side and it got smashed down!

Have a terrific Thursday!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Survived Day One!

What a great day it was! My students are so wonderful, I know it's going to be a great year. I even got all emotional and teary after I took them downstairs for lunch and PE, just realizing how much I love this school and these children. Maybe it's about that time of month or something, because I also got teary while reading the story about Rosie, the visiting dog who visits the sick and lonely! (After she visited Bill in the nursing home, he started talking again and would even eat again finally...some Jell-O like he used to feed his dog, I mean come on, that's heavy stuff!)

On a happy note, I kept forgetting to mention that they announced our new principal last Thursday, and he's awesome! He had been the head of the ESL department, and he's so knowledgeable and sweet, like a granpda. He's been super supportive and doing anything he can to help us, so we're all adjusting and feeling very good about things.

Now to stamping, (I promise this won't become the *teacher* blog, okay!) I had to post this fabulous card by Cheryl Rhodes, one of my Stamp Club members, that she made for the challenge last month. Isn't it great?! She came to Stamp Club on Sunday and brought it with her. I love the pink with the kraft, and the embossing really adds a nice texture to the rest of the "rough-natural" look. This month their challenge included paper and accessories for a 6x6 scrapbook page. I can't wait to see what they come up with.

All you bloggers out there, don't give up on me for reading your blogs either! I promise I'll be back, hopefully I can catch up Tuesday and Wednesday night, now that I'll have my routine going. I just checked my google reader (Do you have that? It's add your favorite blogs and it tells you when there's a new post so you won't miss it!) and I'm showing 94 new posts to read! Arggghhhh! I'm a wee bit behind, but I will read them all, as my obsessive-compulsive behavior compels me to do so!

Have a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, August 27, 2007

It's Time for School!

Yeaaaa! It's the day we've been working so hard for...the children are returning to school! I'm really excited to get started! I worked all day Saturday in the classroom, even convinced dh to help me the last three hours. What a trooper he is! All I had to do was pay him off with fried chicken. (From the Colonel, of course, you know I don't cook and don't even get me started about touching raw meat, can't do it!)

These are some banners I made for my classroom. I didn't finish them until late Saturday night, so they'll have to be hung up first thing when I get to school this morning. Are they completely *necessary* for learning to take place? Probably not. But do they make me happy? Yes! And it's good for the teacher to be happy! *wink*

I made the little "flags" for the banner out of thin chipboard (the kind that comes in the SU Designer Series Paper packaging). I covered them with Foo-Fa-La back-to-school paper that I got in a small kit package at Wal-Mart for like $6.84. I love the Foo-Fa-La stuff designed by Teresa McFayden, she's the queen of foof, check her out. The letters were done with my Cuttlebug and the Flea Market alphabet. I planned on embellishing them more, but was feeling the time crunch, so left them pretty simple. I can always add "junk" later, right?!

I'll leave you with this picture of me at 3:01 today! Hope you have a great Monday!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Scrapbook Sunday #2

Happy Birthday, Lori!!

Here it is, only the second week of my scrapbook challenge for Sundays, and I'm already cheating! lol! Since today is the birthday of my bff Lori (and since I had no time to stamp or scrap this week...that back to school work is killer!), I decided to share a page I made a few years back celebrating Lori's 40th birthday bash (Elvis came and everything!). The page uses a lot of retired stuff, it was originally made when I was a display stamper for the 2005 Convention.

I *think* I'm about ready for school tomorrow! The "to do" list is much shorter now anyway. I've got a few hours left to work on things before 11 guests come to Stamp club at 2:00, then Lori's birthday celebration tonight at 6:00, so it's going to be a fun, busy day! Hope you have a great one too!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Pick A Petal a la Vellum

Happy Friday! Thought I would share this happy flower card! It's (another) Dare to Get Dirty challenge I did a few weeks ago (as my stamping has been suspended this week) for labullard's challenge: dry embossed vellum. I don't think I had ever done this before, it's so fun and easy!

I stamped the Pick a Petal petals on vellum card stock in black Staz-On. Then you turn the vellum over and lay it on a mousepad or something cushy (I used the paper piercing mat from Crafter's Tool Kit as my piece was pretty small), and you dry emboss along the stamped lines with your stylus. It kind of makes a cool indent in the vellum. Then I colored in the petals on the back side with the Pixie Pink marker (I've been neglecting the Bold Brights terribly!).

I finished it off with the scallop edge using the slit punch and some 5/8 inch wide grosgrain ribbon. Oh, and also a round chipboard circle sponged with Certainly Celery craft ink, then heat embossed with Iridescent Ice embossing powder. I never did add a greeting, but decided I could also add something inside when I need to customize a card "in a pinch" (which is frequently for me!).

Thank you so much for your nice comments lately, especially when I was a little on the "whiney" side! You made me feel so much better. That "whiney" makes me think of a car ride to work one morning this week with dh, (keep in mind I am NOT a morning person), and he had a different word for me...
dh: "I like you, even when you're bitchy."
me: "I like you too, even when you'"
dh: "Ouch! That was low! That's a LOT worse than bitchy."
Hee! Hee! But he always manages to make me laugh, even in the morning. (He, as you probably gathered, is a morning person. He even whistles...and I want to rip his head off.)

Sorry I had no time to put in links today, or a recipe. I was up until 1:00 a.m. (no time to stamp, BUT I did use scrapbook paper and supplies!) and have to leave the house by 6:00 a.m. to stop at Kinko's before work. Yikes! The classroom is coming along very well now, I'll share pictures soon! Have a happy Friday!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Is it Friday yet?

It's only my first week back to work, and I'm already asking this question. Not a good sign! I'll give you the short version of Wednesday:
  • sweaty, dirty, unhauling stuff
  • a dead car battery (I don't exactly work in the *safest* area of Dallas)
  • a jump and trip to Wal-Mart for a new battery
  • another dying battery moment half-way to Wal-Mart (so Michelva tells me later, apparently it's not a good idea to run the air-conditioner after you've had a jump...helloooooo...did not know that and besides, it was HOT in the car!)
  • another jump start, this time from strangers (did I mention the area where I worked?)
  • a stop at a random service station for a new battery
  • more sweaty, dirty, moving stuff around
  • the start of a migraine and medicine at home
Ahhhh, nice. But it ended okay because my wonderful friends came to Stamp Club and made me laugh and feel oh-so-much better! Thank you, girls, I love ya!

Here's another simple, quick card with the new All Holidays set. I was drawn to this set for this stamp alone, and I've heard a lot of other people say that too. Just love it! Also broke out Not Quite Navy, one of my old favorites, that has been feeling a little neglected since Blue Bayou came to town. The circle with the flower was punched out from a scrap of Cutie Pie paper.

Got quite a bit done in my classroom yesterday, yeaaa! I *think* I may have time to stamp again tonight, so say a little prayer for me! Hope you (we) all have a wonderful day...filled with fully-charged car batteries, no migraines, and time to stamp!

Recipe Stamps: All Holidays. Card Stock: Not Quite Navy, Whisper White, Old Olive, Cutie Pie DSP. Ink: Not Quite Navy, Rose Red, Old Olive markers. Accessories: Old Olive Brad, Crafter's Tool Kit, 1 1/4 inch Circle Punch, Always Artichoke Grosgrain Ribbon (it sure looks more like Old Olive to me).

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

a Jumbo Outline hello

Another day of no stamping, boo hoo for me! lol! But I cannot tell a lie...I took a nap from 5:30 to 7:00pm. The last few nights with 5 hours of sleep just ain't cutting it when I've been used to getting 9-10 hours a night this summer!

Luckily I had this simple (it didn't seem to look as plain in real life as it does now on the screen!) little card from a few weeks ago, another Dare to Get Dirty challenge, this one a sketch challenge from StamperSharon. I do love this new Jumbo Outline Alphabet! Here it is "colored in" with the Versamarker.

I do find this alphabet harder to stamp perfectly straight. My downline Mandy told me a tip she had read: stamp each letter on a little piece of vellum so you can use it with your Stamp-a-ma-jig. This way you don't have to stamp on that acrylic sheet and clean it after each letter before stamping the next letter. I just store the vellum pieces in the box with the alphabet, it works great. I'm sure you can also use the alphabet in a "messy", not-so-straight way, I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

On a non-stamping note, I did watch Flipping Out while cleaning the house last night (Why on earth didn't I do that last weekend?! Oh yea, I was stamping!) in preparation for Stamp Club tonight. Have you seen this? It's home building/decorating/flipping with the bizarre reality personality drama of the business owner Jeff. They couldn't make stuff up this entertaining.
I was hooked a few weeks ago when:
  • Jeff tells his 1st Assistant (he has 3), "There's a reason you've only been fired 2 or 3 times."
  • The 3rd Assistant (the Trash Guy) tells us why he's been fired 6 or 7 times.
  • The 2nd Assistant takes Jeff's cat to get acupuncture (really)

Well, off to another morning of meetings then we get to work in our classrooms after lunch. Yeaaaa! (Remind me that I said "yeaaa!" after I make 16 trips unloading my car in the 1:00 August Texas heat.) Hope you have a happy Hump Day!

Recipe Stamps: Jumbo Outline Alphabet, Classic Alphabet and Numbers (retired). Card Stock: Blue Bayou, Soft Sky, Rose Red Prints DSP. Ink: Blue Bayou, Craft Rose Red. Accessories: Versamarker, More Mustard Eyelets & Grosgrain Ribbon, 1/2 inch Circle Punch, Crystal Effects, On Board Basics & Blossoms Chipboard, Sponge Dauber, Dimensionals.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Halloween Stamp Camp

Here are some Halloween goodies I worked on last weekend in preparation for a Stamp Camp on Sunday, September 9. I love the way they turned out! I don't know if it's all the candy or what, but I love Halloween stuff! The cute little paper pumpkin garland hanging in my window (and yes, it will be staying there now until Halloween!)...Shelli Gardner showed us how to make at Convention. You can see more pictures of the projects and some close-ups by clicking here.

I guess I survived my first day back to school, just barely! It started badly at 7:15 when our principal (I wondered why he called us Sunday evening asking us to come in early at 7:15) announced the company was moving him to another campus because the principal there resigned on Saturday. Utter devastation! He is the best person I've ever worked for, and I purposefully stayed on at this campus for the sole reason of him being there. Guess I'll just have to put on my big girl panties and deal with it, right?! Dang!

But how do I really know the "gig is up"? I spent 4 hours writing lesson plans last night while NEW stamps had arrived and sat there untouched! arggghhh!

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Gig Is Up!

Reporting back to work officially this morning at 7:15 a.m.! We have three days of Teacher Inservice, then two days to work in our rooms and get them ready. I have a HUGE amount of stuff to haul back to the school and up to the third floor (and I've only taught one year so far...what's going to happen after 20?!). Unfortunately we couldn't leave anything in the room over the summer. I'll definitely need to take pictures of that mess to scrap!

I finally got around to taking a picture of this month's Stamp Club projects. We'll be making Jenn's fabulous little box and a card (inspired by Paula's & Amy's Convention demonstrations), both featuring the Jumbo Outline Alphabet and the Three For You Punch Box that is on special this month. If you're in the Dallas area and would like to attend, we'd love to have you. We'll be meeting Wednesday evening from 7-9 or next Sunday afternoon from 2-4. The fee is $5 or you can attend for free with a $25 order.

Also, thanks for all your nice comments lately! I appreciate you taking the time to do that! *big hugs* Hope everyone has a wonderful Monday!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Stamp Club Challenge #1

My Stamp Club members just started a new round of club, running from July - December. I thought it would be fun to start a monthly challenge for them. Every month I will give them a different challenge, maybe materials, a sketch, etc...and they have until the 15th to mail me their submission. I'll post their submissions, and then at the meeting, we'll draw a name from the challenge participants, and they will win a prize! Fun, huh?! I thought it would be, I hope they think it is too!

For July, they were each given a bag with the contents pictured above: a chocolate chip card, 4" x 5 1/4" piece of kraft card stock, a piece of twill tape, a vintage brad, and a narrow strip of chocolate chip card stock. They could add anything they wanted to it, they just had to use these materials. Five members participated and these are the cards below. I think they did a FABULOUS job! The materials weren't exactly exciting, now were they?!

Beverly's card: love how she added the Au Chocolat paper and "dirtied" up her twill tape piece with chocolate chip ink!

Lori's card: love how she made the opening with the oval punch for the twill tape to peek out from, sooo clever, and used the rectangle punch to "thread" the chocolate chip strip of card stock like a ribbon!
Margaret's card: you know I'm crazy about polka dots, so love this, and then the stamping all over the twill tape, and the floral paper gives it such a cute shabby chic look!

Milissa's card: love how she added the bright stuff to this, it really brightened up these dark supplies! The greeting fits SO perfectly on the twill tape and don't know if you can see, but the little strip is paper pierced, so cute!

Valerie's card: love how she made it a sea card with the Crab set, the little eyes & popped up hat, and especially the little "flap" to lift open up the kraft piece...laying the little chocolate chip strip on top of the twill tape, pure genius!

So what do you think? Are my Stamp Club members freakin' talented or what?!! And it was sooo fun for me to get cards in the mail as they arrived! (The real question: do I keep the cards or give them back to them?? hmmmmm, tough one! lol!) We meet again this Wednesday night and next Sunday, so can't wait for the next challenge!

Scrapbook Sunday #1

Well, it wasn't easy, it's not too good, but I did it: I made a scrapbook page for my new "Post a Scrapbook Page on Sunday" challenge (Beate had the idea and I followed along). I think it is going to be a good challenge, because it forced me to sit down yesterday and scrapbook!

It took me one hour and forty-five minutes from beginning to completion (while watching Pride & Prejudice for the 3rd time this week), and that includes from the time I sit down and went through some photos deciding what to use. I don't know about some of you, but that is a record for me. Usually I agonize over placement and embellishment decisions for days. So yes, it's not my best work, but I'm thrilled I finished, and I can actually see maybe getting some stuff done this way!

Do you like that little circle ring around the number 3? Amy Yingling, Concept Artist extraordinaire for SU, taught that at Convention during her demonstration on using "type" on your projects. (You can see her page here.) She suggested it as a way to draw attention to a key letter on your scrapbook page, and I loved it. Just take your scrap of cardstock and punch a circle with a smaller circle punch. Then punch over that empty hole with a larger circle punch, and you've got a little ring! The ring can be thinner or thicker, depending on the sizes of your circle punches.

What about you? Do you have scrapbook pages to share today? Post the link in the Comments so we can check them out!

Also, check back later today as I have some great challenge cards to post from my Stamp Club members!

Recipe Stamps: Office Accoutrement, Typeset Alphabet Lower, Letterpress Alphabet, Totally Tabs. Card Stock: So Saffron 12x12 Textured, Whisper White, Chocolate Chip, Sahara Sand, Notation DSP. Ink: Chocolate Chip, Sahara Sand, Certainly Celery. Accessories: Round Tab Punch, 1 1/4 inch and 1 3/8 inch Circle Punch, 5/8 inch Certainly Celery Grosgrain Ribbon, Stapler, Dimensionals.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

My Scrappy Friends

Just checked my emails and Beverly sent me the photos of the pages she and Lori completed last night, soooo cute! Just had to post them before I dash out the door to see No Reservations. Anyone seen it? I hope it's good, I love that little girl from Little Miss Sunshine who's in it, wish I was her mother, WEIRD, I know!

This is Lori's niece Lauren, whose 4 going on 14, and about to have a new little sister or brother any day now. Don't you love that hair blowing in the wind?!

This is Lori's nephew Robert Jack. I'm pretty sure his dad is not going to be happy about this page! She got that banner "wear cute flip flops" from some Victoria Secrets mailing and saved it. How clever is she?

This is Beverly's husband and darling twins Brennan and Emmalee about to jump in the lake. Don't you love this page? The big flower and brackets and the colors are just perfect with lake pictures!

This is Beverly's son Brennan again, getting "ready for the pool". I'm not sure if this borders on cruelty to children, but it's darn cute and funny! (Okay, Beverly informs me he did this himself, which means he's darn funny as well as darn cute!)

More good stuff tomorrow, my Scrapbook Sunday that I'm trying to do with Beate AND fabulous challenge cards from my Stamp Club members! Night! Night!

let it snow

Happy Saturday! I'm off to a very late (and lazy!) start to the day! I had a fun Friday stamping and *creating* with my friends, although I had a serious lack of output! lol! Beverly took some pictures of the pages she and Lori created, and as soon as she emails them to me I will post them. I harassed them both for not commenting on my blog (not really, but yes, really) so I'm glad to see they both commented on my post yesterday. *wink* Thanks and hugs to you, girls!

This is a little snowman card (does he look lost & desperate & helpless with no arms??) I did for mytime's Dare to Get Dirty challenge to create a card using flocking. I normally use my flocking with Heat & Stick powder, but this time I dumped it onto a big lump of Crystal Effects. And lumpy it is! But I still kind of liked it...not every snowman can be in perfect, round shape, right? Maybe he likes the Chick-fil-A Cookies & Cream Shake or the Dairy Queen Heath Bar Blizzard too much. Just a guess, not saying I would know anything about that, of course, just a guess. Hmmmm, think I might need to dash out on a quick *errand* now...have a great Saturday!

Recipe Stamps: Cold Play. Card Stock: Brocade Blue, Whisper White, Cutie Pie DSP. Ink: Pumpkin Pie, Craft White, Staz-On Black, Certainly Celery Marker. Accessories: Winter White Embossing Powder, Heat Gun, 5/8 inch Certainly Celery Grosgrain Ribbon, Crystal Effects, Flock, Dimensionals.

Friday, August 17, 2007

2 Little Birds

Thought we might as well continue on with the animal theme, and I'd post two more Dare to Get Dirty challenge cards. Are you sick of them yet?! I've only got a few left! I've tried to get enough cards ready to make it through school starting and the end of August. After September, who knows when I'll have anything to post again! I rarely had time to stamp last year during my first year of teaching, but "they" tell me it is easier the second year, so we'll see.

This first card is for JeanneS's paper piercing challenge. It's very simple, but I liked the way it turned out. It was my first time using Double-Line Doodles, which I had been dying to get every since they used it at Regionals last year and I couldn't attend.

This card is for JulieHRR's challenge done to the extreme: a one-layer card with an acetate window. I found Julie online years ago, and she's the one who helped me set up my Webshots gallery and directed me to Splitcoast. Besides being the Queen of simple, inventive, striking stamping, she's the nicest gal ever. I used the little bird from Fun & Fast Notes, a set that we received when attending Convention. This is not a set that I would have purchased on my own (I'm too lazy to watercolor normally, but am trying to improve that!), but I've actually used it several times now. I stamped the "thanks" on the acetate window and when you open it up, you see the bird is stamped and watercolored and the phrases continues "...I needed that."

Okay, time to go start packing it up! I'm off to stamp with my fabulous upline Jackie today and later attend a Crop from 6-midnight. That's a long day filled with stamping, hope I'm up to it! Have a wonderful Friday!

Recipe 1 Stamps: Double-Line Doodles. Card Stock: Whisper White, Petals & Paisleys DSP. Ink: Staz-On Black. Accessories: Pink Taffeta Ribbon, Old Olive Brad, Crafter's Tool Kit.

Recipe 2 Stamps: Fun & Fast Notes. Card Stock: Confetti White. Ink: Staz-On Black, Brocade Blue, So Saffron, Certainly Celery. Accessories: Scallop Circle Punch, Aquapainters, 5/8 inch Brocade Blue Grosgrain Ribbon, Acetate Sheet.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

blue & green sheep?

No, you're not imagining it...the sheep really are blue and green! This card is for prbloom's Dare to Get Dirty challenge of creating a card with blue or green animals. It really was a challenge because I have very few animals to choose from. Luckily I had this sheep from the new Dilly Dally set, or it would have had to be the horse from the Wanted set. And I guess I do have 2 birds from Fun & Fast Notes and Double-Line Doodles. That's it for animals, I'm mostly a flower, geometric and word set girl. (I have been debating on the new Yappy Day set, what do you think of it?)

Okay, back to the card, a very simple one, but I did watercolor! I have been trying to watercolor more since Convention, and I'm liking it better. It just seems to take practice. I used the Watercolor Paper, which is fabulous, and the Aquapainters. I normally would have reached for Bashful Blue (an old crutch, I mean favorite!), but was inspired by the kit I just received from Jenni Bowlin this month (no, I haven't used any of it, never!) that features the Brilliant Blue and Wild Wasabi look. I cut the arrow out of the Darling Doodles DSP. (Uh-oh, I just remembered my chant from yesterday: I will use my good stuff! Better go bust open some Jenni Bowlin stuff!)

Gotta dash, trying to work on projects for Stamp Club next week (how could I have just seen 2,789 new ideas at Convention and can't think of anything?!) and I'm late for As the World Turns. Rosanna is coming out of her coma (note: if I'm ever in a coma and you come to see me, be sure and peek back through the door as you're about to leave, because that is when I will move my hand/open my eyes/say your name), Meg's stupidly about to sleep with Craig because she doesn't know Paul is still alive, Jack's in the hospital and Carly is recklessly trying to rescue her kidnapped son JJ all by herself! And you thought you had problems!

Recipe Stamps: Dilly Dally, Dare to Be Darling. Card Stock: Wild Wasabi, Brilliant Blue, Watercolor Paper, Darling Doodles DSP. Ink: Staz-On Jet Black, Brilliant Blue, Wild Wasabi. Accessories: Wild Wasabi Double-Stitched Ribbon, Aquapainters, Dimensionals.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Five Days...

...of freedom left! It's okay, I've accepted it now. I'm off to do a little work at school right now, then the next few days will be jam-packed with fun, sort of like my last bender! lol!

I made this card yesterday for Jen's sketch challenge over at i{heart}2stamp. (I'm kind of getting into these challenges, if you didn't notice. It's going to be a big problem come August 20!) There's barely any stamping, but it still counts! I used my "happy" papers and a big 'ol chipboard flower. Repeat after me: "I will use my good stuff, I will use my good stuff, I will use my good stuff!" Okay, now go use some of it and show me! *wink*

Recipe Stamps: All Holidays. Card Stock: Brocade Blue, Darling Doodles DSP. Ink: Staz-On Black. Accessories: On Board Blossoms & Basics Chipboard, Clear Button, Wild Wasabi Double Stitched Ribbon, Linen Thread, Silver Brad, Sewing Machine, Stapler, Crafter's Tool Kit, Dimensionals.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Prepare Yourself...

I got the manual to my camera and read some of it! (I wouldn't know where to find my manual, but luckily you can download it from the Olympus website.) It does a lot of things, I had no idea! I had been reading from others about a "photograph" mode and wondered if I had that. I do! I took some of your advice too, thank you...took pictures in the morning light by a window and tried angling the card (except I forgot on this one, doh!).

What do you think? I can never tell how it's going to look onscreen until I publish the post, so we'll see! This card was made for Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge #14. If you haven't been to her fresh & fun blog (like right, who hasn't been to her blog?!), check it out. She's giving away blog candy for reaching 500,000 hits! Did you get that: 500,000 hits! Inconceivable! She is the be-all and end-all of stamping greats!

I also talked with her recently (okay, emailed with her, but I hear her voice in my head so I think that counts) because she stated she's going to try and post a scrapbook page every Sunday to help get her motivated to scrapbook. I thought it was a great idea (as I am also an inconsistent scrapper) and said I would make that a challenge too, so that's our plan. I hope others will make it their plan too. Wouldn't it be cool if we all had scrapbook pages on our blogs on Sunday?! (And my friends who don't have blogs yet, you know who you are, get one already!)

Lastly, I have to post this picture of my sweet baby Nick from Sunday night. He has a lot of issues (he's mental) and recently he won't come near the sofa. He used to sit with us on the sofa and snuggle, but apparently the sofa has become demon-possessed, because even if you pick him up and hold him on the sofa, he wiggles and struggles until he's free. So he's making do with the chair these days, even when it's already full with my new Santa pillow that's waiting to be put away with the other Christmas goodies (thanks, Robyn!).

Recipe Stamps: Carte Postale, All in a Row. Card Stock: River Rock, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla, Le Jardin DSP. Ink: Always Artichoke, So Saffron, Chocolate Chip. Accessories: 5/8 inch Chocolate Grosgrain Ribbon, 1 1/4 & 1 3/8 inch Circle Punch, Ticket Corner Punch, Crafter's Tool Kit, Pretties Kit, Mini Glue Dots & Dimensionals.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Find the Humor

Hope everyone had a great weekend! I actually didn't do any stamping on Sunday after all, *shock*! I started working on school stuff, *double shock*! The boss at the school called and asked me if I would teach a mini-lesson at the new teacher's training this week on classroom management/discipline during group activities. (DH said what's the big deal, you just yell "shut up and get to work!" Ummmm, no. Scarier yet, my Mom added the advice "Or I'll rip your little arms off!")

But, I did come up with some super-cute projects I'm going to make for my classroom this year. I got everything ready to complete them at a Crop I'm going to this Friday night. (You've probably noticed I don't usually scrapbook at's too much stuff to haul and scrapbooking is too hard and I can't do it while being social, and I GOT TO BE social!)

Okay, on to the card. It ended up nothing like I had planned. I finally cut out my new school set, Elementary Essentials, on Saturday. I was trying to do the Dare to Get Dirty challenge for Leslie Rich's Out of the Box, where you cut an image out below where you stamped it so part of the design hangs off. I've never tried it, and I wasn't too patient with it. So I cut out these scissors with no idea of what I was going to do with them. Then I rolled the wheel very crooked. I was getting frustrated with the whole thing and didn't like it.

So then I had the idea to use the imperfections and combine it with another challenge, BadSherry's Find the Humor, where you try and make something funny or silly to go along with your regular stamps. So this is how it turned out, kind of blah, until you open the inside and find the humor.

What do you think? I'm sure DH won't see it as he never reads my blog. I'm kind of *cheating* but decided it also fit the Dare to Get Dirty challenges for Toy's Limited Supply challenge making a male card using non-traditional male stamps with no blue or green, PLUS, it works for Jacksonbelle's challenge to make a brown or black card. Four challenges in one card, neat-o!

I've actually made two anniversary cards now, another I posted on Splitcoast last week for Genie's Clear Stamps challenge. It's using one of those $1 stamps from Michael's "Prepare to be Amazed". I never knew what to use this stamp for, then decided it might be appropriate with a "Happy Anniversary" inside. I think it also fits the Find the Humor challenge, because believe me, after 17 years of marriage, I doubt he's going to be amazed come October 27!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Cheerful like Jenn Balcer!

I worked on this card yesterday, another Splitcoast Dare to Get Dirty challenge. I believe I have about 13 challenges left to complete out of the 36. (Did I mention I was obsessive-compulsive?) This one was a lot of pressure because it was Jenn Balcer's challenge to use a cheerful color combination. She is the queen of electric, bright, colorful cards. If you wanna see what I'm talking about, check her out here and here.

Okay, for the challenge details, I used Jenn's color combination of Pink Passion, Only Orange and So Saffron, but also added a touch of Wild Wasabi. I sat staring at these colors for awhile, played with In the Spotlight, but I was coming up with NADA. So I *cheated* a bit and went through some Contraband scrapbooking paper and found this old package by Marcella from Target. The colors were perfect and it helped get me started.

I broke out a once favorite but now neglected stamp set, All About U, and stamped it with Pink Passion craft ink on So Saffron card stock. It was looking TOO plain, so I thought, "what would Jenn do?" Give it some sparkles! So I added my purchased-long-ago-but-never-used Stickles (Frosted Lace) around the edge. Still TOO plain, so I added dots. Luckily I had some Tang glitter from an old Jenni Bowlin kit (another never used monthly addiction problem I have) that I poured over the Stickles to give it the orange look.

Lastly, gave the same treatment to the flower, stamped with In the Spotlight and punched out with the 5-Petal Flower Punch. Added some faux stitching, ribbon, clear button, etc. The striped paper on So Saffron panel still looks a bit too boring, but I had stuck it down prematurely (don't you hate premature stick down?!), so I was stuck (get it?!) with it. I wish I had cut the striped paper on the diagonal...more wasteful, but it would have given it more energy. Oh well, there's always next time, right?!

Hope you have a great Sunday! I think I might, oh, I don't know, do some should too!

Recipe Stamps: In the Spotlight, All About U. Card Stock: Only Orange, So Saffron, Notations No. 2 DSP, Marcella. Ink: Pink Passion Craft, Wild Wasabi & Only Orange Classic, Only Orange Marker. Accessories: Frosted Lace Stickles, Tang glitter, 5-Petal Flower Punch, Wild Wasabi Double-Stitched Ribbon, Clear Button, Crafter's Tool Kit, Crystal Effects, Dimensionals.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

More fanciness

I've been quite the fancy girl lately! I know, I know, you probably think I stamp in my pearls and heels like June Cleaver, but you'd be wrong. It's usually my pajamas, or should I say loungewear? That sounds better, right?!

I'm still working on my Dare to Get Dirty challenges, and this card is for two challenges: BadSherry's Monet and Cracked Glass, as well as NoTimetoStamp's Elegant Card. Two more down, whoo! hoo!

I'll give you a few of the basics here if you haven't tried these techniques before. For the Monet technique (watercolor stamping), first I misted the watercolor paper with water. After a few minutes, but while the paper was still wet, I stamped the flower from Fabulous Flowers in Perfect Plum classic ink. The ink kind of feathers out on the wet paper. If it doesn't feather enough for you, you can always mist it some more.

When the piece had dried, I applied the cracked glass technique. I covered the entire piece with Versamark and then embossed it with a layer of Glassy Glaze. I did this step three times. To get more of a shimmery, elegant look here, I mixed in some Hologram Highlights with the Glassy Glaze. (Click on the picture to enlarge and see more detail.) After the third layer was applied, I put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes, then took it out and started bending or "cracking" it.

Lastly, for the background I used some Le Jardin DSP and my new Tres Chic background stamp embossesd with Hologram Highlights on Pale Plum card stock. Layer on some Pretties and velvet ribbon, and voila! Fanciness!

Also, thank you for your photography tips yesterday, I appreciate it! I had already taken this picture, but I'm going to play around some more this weekend and see how I do. I didn't sleep much last night because my mind started racing and obsessing about school stuff, so I guess that's a sign I need to start my back-to-school preparations. Guess I'll just have to find a way to incorporate stamping into those preparations, wish me luck!

edited: I previously posted that I used Iridescent Ice Embossing Powder, but just realized I used Hologram Highlights Embossing Powder. Sorry for the mix-up!

Recipe Stamps: Fabulous Flowers, Tres Chic. Card Stock: Perfect Plum, Pale Plum, Mellow Moss, Watercolor Paper, Le Jardin DSP. Ink: Versarmark, Perfect Plum. Accessories: Glassy Glaze Enamel, Hologram Highlights Embossing Powder, Heat Gun, Ticket Corner Punch, Sherbert Ribbon Orignals, Pretties Kit, Linen Thread, Rectangular Punch, Mini Glue Dots, Dimensionals.

Friday, August 10, 2007

merry & bright

Christmas comes calling again! I've been wanting to play with this new Sparkling Sayings Christmas set since it arrived last month and finally got around to it this week. I made the "bright" piece several days ago, but got stuck on how to combine it with the "merry". I finally came up with this and decided it was time to move on!

For the "bright" piece, I stamped the Paisley in Certainly Celery on Whisper White. After it dried, I stamped the "bright" stamp in Versamark on top of the Paisley and embossed it with clear embossing powder. Next, I rubbed Rose Red ink over it with a sponge dauber, wiping away the extra with a paper towel. (This is called emboss resist, right? I don't do fancy techniques very often! p.s. I call any technique requiring the heat tool a fancy technique!)

After struggling with the "merry" piece, I finally pulled out an oldie, Label Classics, and made a similar frame for it. After stamping the whole thing, I applied Versamark to the whole piece and embossed it with clear embossing powder. There was no "resist" involved in this part, just plain embossing.

The Whisper White pieces felt a little flimsy after all this, so I glued them to a piece of chipboard (the kind that comes in designer series paper packaging) and this gave them a nice, sturdy feel. I had to use a scrap of that Cutie Pie DSP I had, because I am obsessed with polka dots. (I'm sure I'll keep it up until someone finally begs me to give it a bloody rest, I'm just warnin' ya!)

I also broke out my Certainly Celery 5/8 inch grosgrain ribbon, which I love, but haven't used much yet. I couldn't get it work for a whole card wrap around, so ended up punching a slot with the Horizontal Slot Punch on each piece. I forget about this punch a lot, need to try and use it more. How have you used it?

Lastly, I really need photography tips! I've tried lots of different places in my house (which is dark) and different lighting, blah, blah, blah, but my photos really suck! How do you take good photos? What are the secrets?! Help!

Recipe Stamps: Sparkling Sayings, Label Classics, Paisley BG, Everyday Flexible Phrases. Card Stock: Kraft, Whisper White, Bashful Bluek, Cutie Pie & Certainly Celery Prints DSP. Ink: Rose Red, Certainly Celery, Versamark. Accessories: Clear Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Sponge Dauber, Horizontal Slot Punch, 1/2 inch Circle Punch, 5/8 inch Certainly Celery Grosgrain Ribbon, Slit Punch, Dimensionals.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

SFCQ* Cards

That would be *Super Fast Cute Quick* cards. Try some, they are my favorite to make! I used mostly my new sets Dilly Dally, Dare to Be Darling and So Happy as well as It's Your Birthday and Typeset Alphabet Lower. I love the little hat stamped on the Certainly Celery Prints DSP.

Had a great time meeting with two of my downline yesterday, Mandy and Tammy! We did a wee bit of stamping and a lot of talking! Even though we all live in the Dallas metroplex, they both live in the burbs an hour away from me, so I really appreciate them driving over to big D.

It was good to have forced me to shower AND wash my hair AND put on make-up...a perfect trifecta! And since that doesn't happen everyday during summer vacation, dh took me to see another matinee movie to celebrate!

(Let me tell you this precious little cap I bought at Convention is the biggest enemy of personal keeps telling me "Don't wash your hair, just slip me on!"...and I do!)

Back to the important stuff, Jason Bourne! He really makes me think I should have been a black-op. I think I missed my calling. When I stepped out to use the restroom (Do you know how big those movie sodas are?! They have to be to get your $4.50 worth!), I was moving quickly, assessing the crowd, plotting the safest route...all so no one would have to get hurt. I had some moves ready, though, just in case. Final recommendation: you MUST see this movie! Matt Damon is perfection. Ahhhhh.