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Monday, December 31, 2007

Jessica Lynn Original Design Team

I have been waiting to post this until Jessica Lynn made the announcement on her blog, which I saw this morning, so now I can share!!

I was chosen for a spot on the 2008 design team for JessicaLynnOriginal stamps! Woo hoo!! I know, I know, I am going to be a very busy girl, but I really do love the images for all three companies that I design for so it's no hardship! Each company have their own style & flair with so many applications for their images! I am truly lucky to be working with such amazing stamp artists & of course my new design team sistahs. :-)

The other members of the JLO Design Team (alphabetical by first name) are:

Alex Eaton
Barb Kaszuba
Barb Pritschau
Cathy Indelicato
Kelly Sampson
Melissa Martin
Nancy Beauchamp
Tammy Hershberger
Patti Chesky

ETA: I added links to a few of the ladies' blogs. I don't know everyone's yet, but when I get all the info I'll add a blogroll section for JLO to the left side here so the links are always there to check out!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Shaken or Stirred?

I have such fun with this martini stamp I picked up at the Michael's Dollar Spot a few years ago. I haven't used it in awhile, but my exploits with funny alcohol-related sayings in my "Pool Boy" card (see below) inspired me to revisit this idea that I've had floating around in my head *for-evah*.

"I like it Dirty". Get it? It's a dirty martini. C'mon, that's FUNNY!

I did the wording on the computer and printed directly onto the cardstock.

The supplies and steps to creating this card:

Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Wild Wasabi, Whisper White, Kraft and Cameo Coral. Basic Grey patterned paper.

Ink: Palette Noir, Burnt Umber and Haystack.

Accessories: Bunches of Copic and Prismacolor alcohol markers, twill tape, Bella Baubles in pink grapefruit, pink glaze gel pen, mini glue dots (boy do I use a LOT of these suckers), foam tape, Marvy Mega and Giga scallop square punches, Tonic distressing tool, Crop-a-dile and eyelets (which you can barely see).

Saturday, December 29, 2007

PPRS Design Team

Happy Saturday everyone! I do have a card to share but I only just finished it and didn't do the photo mojo yet, so it'll have to wait until tomorrow. So in the meantime I'll share some more faaabulous news, how's that?!

Back in October I applied for a spot on the 2008 Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps design team, which was to be announced for the first of the year. Well, I found out earlier this week that I was chosen!! Woo hoo! I wasn't sure if it was an "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you" deal until Nicole made the announcement on her site, but some of the other marvously talented ladies have announced it, so I figured what the heck!!

I am so, so excited to work with Nicole and her fabulous images. If you have not seen PPRS before you are missing out. Gaw-jous designs and nice, deeply etched rubbah. Check them out, and of course check back here often for all the projects I'll be making using my new goodies. I hope that the things I design will inspire you!

Check out the sidebar where I've added a listing of all the Prickley Pear Girls' blogs for you to browse as well!

I am not sure I have everyone included as I don't have a complete list yet, but if I find I've missed someone I will come back and add them! Congratulations to everyone -- I can't WAIT to get to know you all! Without further ado, and in no particular order, my DT-sistah for PPRS are *drumroll*:

Angie Pearl
Jeanie Sunderman
Pam Carriker
Vicki Parson
Linda Black
Mary Coleman
Nicole La Cour (owner)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Oh Pool Boy...

Oh my, do I *evah* love LOVE the new Happy Hour set from Firecracker Designs by Pamela. I have soooo many ideas running through my head for using this set - between the *awesome* hibiscus flowers (2 sizes!!!) and this hurricane drink glass with lots of accessories, I am going to be busy....

The entire time I was making this card I had that Jimmy Buffett song running through my head. You know the one, c'mon -- sing along!
"If you like Pina Coladas....and getting caught in the rain...."

There is a ton of sparkle and shine on this card, the photo does not do it justice. I have a close-up of the hurricane glass below.

This card ended up being a bit on the complicated side, but I think a lot of that was just me chaning my mind mid-stride, LOL! The drink and the lime are stamped in StazOn Jet Black onto a window sheet, colored with Prismacolor alcohol markers and cut out. To adhere the glass to the white circle (Marvy Mega size - pink) I used Stardust Stickles, so there's lots of shine and no adhesive lines. I cut the lime in the center and slipped it over the top with a mini glue dot. The scallop punch is the Marvy Giga size (purple) and I added the doodles freehand with a lime green glitter gel pen and popped up the whole thing with dimensionals.

I outlined the stuck-on drink with my Brick White Prismacolor marker and added the green shadow freehand, just to spruce up the main image a bit. The purple designer paper is from Die Cuts With a View (I can't remember which collection) and it is also glittery, mostly in the flower centers. The ribbon and brads are from Hobby Lobby. I made the sentiment on my computer.

Doodle Wedding Wishes Card

Today I'll be posting yesterday's card AND today's card since I didn't get a chance to take a picture of this wedding card yesterday. So consider this Thursday's post, LOL!

Here's my first card using the Doodles 4-German/Bauern set from Firecracker Designs by Pamela. This one felt like it took *forever* to make because I actually did 8 of these for a monthly card swap that I am in. The sketch is from Splitcoast Stampers' weekly card sketch challenge, this one is SC155. It actually started out COMPLETELY different from how it ended up -- don't you love when the art has a mind of its own??

Lots of shimmer and shine on this one - it's a bit hard to see in the photo so I took some closeups (see below). The heart/flower punchies are popped up on dimensionals and have stickles on the flowers to give it more depth. I also used stickles to follow the swirls on the embossed background. I colored the flowers using my alcohol markers and the colorless blender pen for alcohol markers - I am FINALLY getting the hang of using that thing (I think....)

This project uses the following supplies:

Stamps: Doodles 4-German/Bauern set from Firecracker Designs by Pamela - uses large swirl and flowery heart images. Sentiment by Stamping Bella.

Cardstock: All Stampin' Up! - Blush Blossom, Bravo Burgundy, Basic Grey & Shimmery White. Patterned paper from a multi-pack I got at the Target Dollar Spot *at least* a year ago, LOL!

Ink: StazOn Stone Grey.

Accessories: Cuttlebug & D'Vine Swirl embossing folder, Prismacolor & Copic Ciao alcohol markers, Stardust Stickles, SU scallop punch, 1-1/2" circle punch, 1-1/4" circle punch.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Which is the Very Best Black Ink Pad?

This is a question that comes up a *LOT* in the stamping world, and a discussion/debate that I have had with many of my stampin’ friends. Because, let’s be honest, the black ink pad is pretty much the backbone of paper crafting; and even the most talented stamper can’t produce quality work with inferior tools.

Now let me put a disclaimer here before I continue. I love, love Stampin’ Up!’s classic and craft ink, cardstock, and markers. The colors are rich and beautiful and cover quite a spectrum, the cardstock is nice and heavy, and everything coordinates, which is a huge deal for me. I will *always* use SU colored cardstock and inks for my projects.

But let’s be honest -- the black ink pad is not cutting it. Not even close. It’s not even BLACK for crying out loud. And it’s not fully waterproof. And it always, always stains my stamps (not that I care so much about that, as long as they stamp a nice, clean image, they can live with me, LOL!). Do you know what’s interesting about these statements? I never really knew it how bad it was until recently! I knew that was never completely happy with the results when I used the pad, but what could I do? I didn’t know enough about any other choices to start throwing money at the problem just to test out other options that may not have been any better.

There ARE options out there though! Good ones! I have tried all the ones I am going to give the gold star discussion to (below) except the India Ink, but I only own two of the four. So some of the info here has been provided by friends during the above-mentioned discussions. ;-) They all have slightly different attributes, so you will have to choose the one (or ones) that work best with your particular style or application.

In no particular order, the best black ink pads on today’s market (IMHO of course, and that of my BFFs) are Palette Hybrid Noir by Stewart Superior, Versafine Black Onyx by Tsukineko, India Ink Black by Stewart Superior and StazOn Jet Black by Tsukineko.

Palette Hybrid Noir - This one is my personal favorite for best all-around black ink pad, and the one I always reach for. It is a non-solvent ink (i.e. not StazOn -- no stink and doesn’t dry out right away) and works on every surface. It’ll dry fast on porous surfaces (wood, paper, chipboard), but if you use it on fabrics or non-porous surfaces you will need to heat set it. It *is* waterproof and works great for water coloring and it doesn’t bleed.

Versafine Black Onyx - This is an instant dry pigment ink, so it is *very* juicy, use a very light touch or you‘ll have a big mess on your hands (literally!). It is only good on matte-finish papers (not glossy), although I have heard that you definitely need to heat set it on SU‘s Whisper White or Very Vanilla, which I know I don‘t have the patience for. But for that potential drawback, it is said to give the most rich, detailed black impression. It is also waterproof and works well for water coloring.

India Ink Black - This is supposed to be the fastest drying black ink on the market. It is a permanent ink that can be used on all surfaces and will not bleed or feather. Recommended for water coloring. [This is the one I have not tried myself, although I am including it in the list and passing along the info as it seems to come well recommended].

StazOn Jet Black - Another stamp room staple as far as I am concerned. You can stamp on ANYTHING using StazOn and it…well…staz on. I mainly use it for stamping on non-porous surfaces -- dominos, plastic, window sheets, shrink plastic, metal, glass, coated paper, etc. It can also be used on paper with good, crisp results, I just don’t use it as much for that because it’s harder to clean off the rubbah and requires an extra step (again, because it staz on…LOL -- invest in StazOn Cleaner, you'll be much happier). It is a solvent ink though (strong smell and your pad will dry out faster than water-based inks), and some people find that a drawback. It’s very fast drying and also good for *water coloring*. I have noticed that wet work like colored pencils/gamsol or alcohol markers will cause the ink to run.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Just Dropping By To Say...

Merry Christmas to everyone!! We have having a very low key day here with just DH, me and the boys. DS #1 is having lots of fun with all of his Christmas toys of course. I am hoping for some time to stamp at some point today - we'll see, it'll be a tie between stamping and napping as DS #2 didn't sleep too much last night. Ah well, what can you do?

Look forward to tomorrow's post - Which Black Ink is Best? Lots of good info coming up!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Fun Holidoodles!

Here's the first card I made with my new Holidoodle Sentiment Set from Purple Onion Designs. I am not normally a *huge* fan of doodle-type stamps, but this one jumped out and me and I am just LOVING it! It's so versatile and fun.

For once you can see the sparkle and shine of the Shimmery White cardstock that I used for the two main images. The colors are (Stampin' Up!) Wild Wasabi, Bravo Burgundy and Soft Sky. That's the snowflake embossing folder for the Cuttlebug (CAN NOT live without this machine!!) and I rubbed white and burgundy ink over the top of the wasabi c/s.

The larger snowflakes are not part of the set but are an individual stamp from Purple Onion. The ribbon is from RABOM. Rhinestone brad from SU. The larger snowflakes are stamped in Versamark and heat embossed with "Elfin Mist" (nice name huh??) EP from the LSS - Stamping Jazzy Style. "Merry" is stamped in craft ink and also heat embossed using clear EP. Just a fun and easy card b/c I had a few minutes and was in serious stamping withdrawal - I HAD to create or go crazy!

My Messy, Messy Desk!

Oh, I am such a messy stamper! I have to drag out so many things every time I make a project. So I thought I would take a quick photo to share with you so you can all see for yourselves! What do you think? *wink*

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

All About The Essential Glue Pad

I have had several people ask me about The Essential Glue Pad by Tsukineko, which I have mentioned in previous posts when talking about card recipes. I will start by saying this is a FABULOUS product and everyone needs one. LOL. Here's why...

The Essential Glue Pad is basically glue in an ink pad. So you can now apply glitter and other products in the exact image of your stamps, instead of stamping with ink and then trying to add glitter with 2-way glue. Now, I am aware that you can get the same results by using Heat and Stick powder, however, with the glue pad you don't need 2 steps, AND best of all, you don't have to heat to activate or to set the adhesive after you apply your product!! It doesn't get any better than that.

You can use the glue pad to apply glitter (ultrafine has best results), pigment powders (i.e. Pearl Ex and similar), chalks, and I have heard, metallic foil flecks, but I have not personally tried that. It works like this:

1. The pad comes uninked (unglued! but I will use the term "inked" b/c it makes for an easier read) with a reinker, just like StazOn Opaque pads. To use, apply glue over the pad. You can ink up as much or as little of the pad as you want at a time. I usually do about half the pad. It will start to dry out between uses so you will need to reapply if it starts to get dry. That's ok, the reinkers for the pad are cheap and well worth it. Plus, it doesn't take much to ink it up anyway.

2. Once it's inked up and ready, just take your stamp and tap it on the pad surface just like an ink pad. When you have full and even coverage, stamp onto your paper. TIP: Like craft ink, the glue is a bit on the gooey side, especially if you were liberal when inking up the pad. Be careful not to overink, especially for fine line/detail stamps, or it will look fat and smudgy after you apply your medium to the paper.

3. Apply glitter, Pearl Ex or whatever you'd like over the image. No need to heat set - once it's dry you're ready to go!

4. Clean your stamp like normal.

A note about using the glue with other products - this is NOT sticky strip/tacky tape! I tried it with microbeads but when the glue dried the beads would come right off if you touch it. So stick to fine glitters and powders and you'll have very happy results.

Here are a couple of cards that I've made that utilize the glue pad. Season's Greetings #6, Season's Greetings #1.

Hope this helps!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Frozen Tundra

Not stamping related (at least not until I do the scrapbook pages!) but I wanted to share a photo from our pilgrimage to Green Bay last weekend and the visit to the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. Packers v. Raiders and our first ever live Green Bay Packers game at Lambeau. We were within spittin' distance of the greatness (i.e. Brett Favre).

So here I am ------->
close to the beginning of the game obviously as my coat is not even zipped! It was about 18 degrees that day, we even saw a few snowflakes in the third quarter.

Photo specifics - I am wearing:

-3 pairs of gloves,
-4 tops,
-1 parka,
-4 pairs of pants,
-2 pairs of socks,
-1 pair snow boots,
-1 neck scarf, and
-1 hat

Yikes!! But I have to say - I was not cold at all!!! I had to have at least one photo of each of us so I can put that info down in the scrapbook. Baby, it's *COLD* outside.....ROFLMAO!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Gina K.'s New Store!

In a v. serious "...but I waaaaaant to...." moment for me, my friend Heather and I went over to Gina K.'s new store to have a peek at things today. With all the kiddies, no less. My absolute proudest moment yet as a mommy when DS #1 goes over to one of the tables where all kinds of goodies were laid out for make-n-takes and tells me "mommy, I want to stamp".

Seriously. Could NOT have been cuter!! Makes up for all the moving around of Prima flowers he did as he inspected each and every one because "they're pretty".

Anywhoo....she just opened and was having a holiday open house. A lot of you are probably familiar with her online store, but she has retial space now too and will be doing classes and open stamp nights (yahoo!). The store also carries her own line of stamps (so cute you guys, I love love them and am building up *quite* the collection, let me say) lots of great products that are hard to find except online. Just to name a few - Palette ink pads (the bestest ink pads around!!), the full color spectrum of StazOn (why oh why can't most shop owners see beyond Black, Brown, Blue, Green, Red?), Marvy punches, Cuttlebug, Bazzil cardstock, alterables, EZ Mount, lots of shiny bottles of Stickles, etc. etc. Anyway, it's quite the fab digs, and Gina is the nicest gal EVAH! So all my stampin' girls in Mad-town, you must swing by. For everyone else, it appears to me (not verified!) that most if not everything that you can buy in the store you can also buy online - with free shipping over $35! Have fun. :-D

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Naughty or Nice?

DH and I are going to be heading north to the (even more) frozen tundra tomorrow to see our very first ever LIVE Packers game at Lambeau Field. I had been to a couple of games in Minneapolis when I was in college, but never AT Lambeau. So, since we'll be gone all day tomorrow and I won't likely get online at all, I'm posting another card now for your weekend viewing pleasure.

Still working with this Real Red/Basic Gray/light blue combo, in this case it's the old Stampin' Up! retired Bliss Blue b/c after I colored in the stocking with my Prisma markers, the blue was a little bit too dark to look right with Bashful. I love this little Fluffles with the guilty look and the "Coal Again?!" saying. It's just too fun.
I stamped the Flannel Plaid stamp in Versamark on the Bliss Blue then heat embossed it with "Elfin Mist" EP from the LSS. I have had it forever, won a few little pots of their store brand EP awhile back as a door prize and never used it. I LOVE it though, it's so sparkly (like SU's Iridescent Ice EP) but has some color to it also, a light minty green and a light lavender. It looks amazing IRL. Did my ticket corners and added the red brads, the gray grosgrain is from Ribbons and Bows Oh My!. All the coloring is with my beloved Prisma markers. Christmas assortment Prima Flowers from the "Got Flowers?" line. White gel pen on the scallop rings and I put the main image on dimensionals.
Pretty fast card, except for the coloring but overall I think it turned out well. Especially since I had no plan at all when I sat down at the stamp table except to lose myself in stamping for a few precious minutes! LOL!

Season's Greetings #6

Here's a SUER fast card I made the other night using my new favorite thing, the Season's Greetings set from Firecracker Designs by Pamela.

I literally had 10 minutes and so I kept it pretty simple.

The snowflake image is from the Season's Greetings set. The background on the red is Crosshatch from Stampin' Up! (for some reason it didn't show up very well in the picture). The sentiment stamp is from Purple Onion Designs and is too cute!

I stamped the snowflake with The Essential Glue Pad and dumped on some red ultrafine glitter from Art Institute. They have the ABSOLUTE best glitter, hands down! Well worth the extra cost and a little bit goes a long way. Marvy Giga Scallop Circle punch and Mega Circle punch, paper pierced the scallops. Gray grosgrain is from Ribbons and Bows Oh My!. The cardstock is all from Stampin' Up! - Basic Gray, Real Red, Whisper White and Bashful Blue. I also used Real Red classic ink and Stone Gray StazOn.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Ooooooooohhhhhh......serious enabler alert!!! FREE SHIPPING on orders of $25 and up December 8th and 9th at Stamping Bella!!! Put the coupon code ae64e4 in the voucher field during checkout.

The deal is in honor of the first anniversary of Stamping Bella - wow! Time sure flies. Em has also released 3 new bellas so make sure you check them out before you order!

Season's Greetings #5

Here's the other domino ornament. I made these using the Season's Greetings set from Firecracker Designs by Pamela.

Very similar recipie to the ornament below; I stamped the ornament with black StazOn and colored it with Sharpies. (I have a whole discussion of how I do my masking in another post - search the blog for masking and it'll come up, or check out the "posts by labels" section for "tips").

For this project I stamped the topper first (black StazOn), then masked it and stamped the ornament itself. After the stamping was done I had my darling husband (DH for short!) drill the hole in the domino for me right through the hook area on the topper. Perfect!

After I did all the coloring I covered the whole thing with Tombow Mono Aqua glue and sprinkled in Art Institute gold ultrafine glitter. This was my funky color version - but I like it!

Season's Greetings #4

Ok, I know I missed my upload yesterday - time got away from me rather quickly, DS #1 had a doctor appointment so that took up most of the day. So I'll post a couple projects today to make up for it!

Here's one of two domino ornaments I made with the Season's Greetings set from Firecracker Designs by Pamela. Have I mentioned that I LOVE love this set??? LOL!
I stamped the ornament with black StazOn and colored it with Sharpies. The ornament topper was stamped on white c/s and then heat embossed with 3 layers of Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE) to make it nice and sturdy. I then cut it out and punched out the hole in the top. Attached it right over the top of the ornament using sticky strip (that awesome red liner tape) and threaded the organdy ribbon through the hole. Covered the domino with Tombow Mono Aqua glue and sprinkled in Art Institute red ultrafine glitter. Easy and fun!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Season's Greetings #3

Here's the next card for the FCD Season's Greetings set. Definitely non-traditional as far as Christmas colors go but I had a lot of fun with it. This is a 5x5 square card.

Ok, card details, let's see.... The small snowflakes on the Glorious Green piece are from the FCD Snow Signs set. I heat embossed them with white EP. The large tonal snowflakes are from the Season's Greetings set. The sentiment is a Michael's $1 stamp from Studio G (the one from this set just didn't fit right on the card when all was said and done.). I heat embossed that with black EP. Ribbon is from the LSS.

The main image was stamped with Palette Noir ink left to right using a mask I made with post-it notes to allow for the overlap. See the next post down for info on how I do my masking. Then I took my Prismacolor markers and found some colors I thought would work together and colored in the ornaments - going for a kind of stained glass look. Sponged the edges of the white c/s with Glorious Green then used the Dazzling Diamond Dust technique to give it sparkle. Layered it onto Summer Sun and Purely Pomegranite c/s and then stamped and colored the ornament tops and cut them out. Punched the holes with the Crop-a-Dile and adhered with dimensionals. Viola!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Even More Enabling!

Straight from FireCracker Designs by Pamela....

PreOrder Sale!!
Dramatic savings when you pre-order this 4x5 set combo!! 'Happy Hour' (January's Scrapbook TakeOut stamp set) and 'Mahalo' will be the last 2 sets released in 2007!! You can pre-order them today, and pay ONLY $14.99 for both!! Then use the coupon code Pam sent out for December and save another $5.00!! (code: 5$OFF)

That's like buying one, and getting the second one for a dollar!!! But hurry, because preorders only last a couple of days and this one expires on December 6th. Regular Price: $8.99 each, combo SPECIAL PREORDER Price: 14.99 before coupon!!! GET IT NOW!

Expires: Dec. 6, 2007
Expected in stock: Dec. 20, 2007

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Another Enabler Alert!

Pamela over at FireCracker Designs is having a December special too! For every order you place during the month of December (minimum $10 order), you will get $5 off! Use the coupon code 5$OFF during checkout. You can use this coupon as many times as you like during December. Merry Christmas to ME!

Enabler Alert!

Michele over at Purple Onion Designs is having a great holiday sale! 25% off all rubber stamps through December 9th. She also has a bunch of new stamp designs up as well and they are just adorable! If you haven't checked out her site before, you must click over there right away and see all the goodies. I am not affiliated with them, just a happy customer - I have ordered several times and been quite pleased with the designs, price and stamp quality. Plus her shipping is fast and she's super nice too!

Season's Greetings #2

Here's the next card for the FCD Season's Greetings set. Very simple but I was quite pleased with it. I even went with traditional Christmas colors if you can believe it!! Glorious Green and Real Red, and Shimmery White of course. No card is complete without Shimmery White paper, it is just too yummy for words!

I used craft ink on the ornaments this time, and then put clear embossing powder over the top so they are raised and shiny (hard to see in the pic). Had to mask them so the ornament bulbs didn't overlap with the hanging parts.

I make my masks using post-it notes (stamp near the top so at least part is on the sticky area). I cut them out very carefully using the Stampin' Up! paper snips with the short, sharp blade. Good scissors are essential!! I know it's a bit time consuming the first time you need to mask with a set, but it is an important thing to know in papercrafting and you want things to look right! I like to cut just inside the lines to ensure that you don't have that halo of dead space between the mask and the overstamped image. Then, save the post-it note mask if it's not too gunked up and store it right in the CD case with your stamps! Next time you need to mask something you're all set to go.

I also used the anywhere hole punch and setter to do the eyelets since it was too far in for the crop-a-dile (another absolute must-have tool for all things papercrafting. I mean that literally!).

Season's Greetings #1

Here is the first of the promised projects for my Firecracker Designs December design team. My set was Season's Greetings - and I have to tell you, I LOVE love this set, it's one of my new favorites!!

All stamps are from the Season's Greetings set. All paper is Stampin' Up! - Shimmery White, Brocade Blue, Night of Navy and retired Holiday Thyme designer paper. Silver Encore Ink and The Essential Glue Pad. Can I just say that The Essential Glue Pad is a tool that everyone NEEDS and it works sooooo amazingly well with some of these awesome solid image stamps like the ornament here. Dazzling Diamonds and Art Institute glitter.

Yes, I am still here...

Sorry for the long absence - it has been a little busy here with our new little man making his way into the world! Yes, I'm sure many of you already know by our darling son #2 has finally arrived! His name is Cade. After all that work to stop the contractions we went all the way to 38 and 4/7 weeks! Of course things had to be on his terms so he was born the day before my scheduled c-section {my water broke and away we went}.

Anyway, we are all finally getting settled back in after all the excitement - emergency c-section, ensuing spinal headache, total lack of anything resembling sleep (those are all me); and being adorable and sweet and gaining lots of weight so the doctor doesn't need to see him until he is a month old - yay!!! (those are all Cade).

I'll be working to get my blog updated and back on track. Bear with me, I have at least 6 or 7 projects to post plus some "guest designer" cards to share. It'll be worth the wait!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

December FCD Cards TEASER

I have two cards done for my December FCD set, which is Season's Greetings-Ornament Set. This set is *completely* adorable - I am having a blast working with it! I haven't photographed them yet - look for them on here later today or tomorrow. My goal is to get all four cards done and uploaded before my c-section on Tuesday so I have a bit of a breather while I recover from that whole ordeal. We'll see if I can make it! I just wanted to let you know what set you'll be seeing samples from next, this is one I think EVERYONE should own!!

Snow Signs #4

Here's my last card for November, featuring the Snow Signs set from FireCracker Designs by Pamela. Again, all paper is from Stampin' Up!, we have Certainly Celery, Night of Navy, Holiday Thyme DSP (retired) and Shimmery White. *swoon*, how I love love this Shimmery White paper!! Words can not describe! Even in the photo you can see the sparkle.

Pretty straightforward recipe, this is another 5.5" x 5.5" card (am really digging those lately!). I stamped the snowman in Palette Hybrid Charcoal ink and chose silver as my accent color. The little tabbies on the side are from the Word Window punch. Self-adhesive rhinestones and metal heart accent are from my stash of "stuff". I used the anywhere hole punch to make the ribbon holes for the burgundy grosgrain. The main image is on dimensionals.

Oh, I colored the snowman's scarf with PrismaColor alcohol markers. The Green Tea marker is a perfect color match for SU's certainly celery. How cool is that?

Snow Signs #3

My third card using the Snow Signs set from FireCracker Designs. This is another standard A2 size card. Cardstock from Stampin' Up! - Soft Sky and Not Quite Navy.
For the background piece, I had to get fancy with the Cuttlebug. My goal was to make the embossed snowflakes falling all around Mr. Snowman, with the adorable sentiment "My Best Friends Are Flakes" standing out in the sign (get it?!?!).

So I first masked off the area of the snowman image I didn't want and stamped him in Palette Hybrid Noir - the best black ink ever. Then I used the Snowflakes embossing folder with the Cuttlebug until I got all the areas covered. To finish off the main piece I rubbed Versamark ink all over the top and added Iridescent Ice EP to give it shine (it's hard to see the shine in this photo though).

For the snowman, I went around the parts I wanted to be white with the Versamarker and used 2 coats of Winter White EP. Added the carrot nose, white grosgrain and snowflake brad. I used the square steps corner punch from SU (retired).

Friday, November 16, 2007

Treasure Hunt Weekend at FireCracker Designs!!

Pamela over at FireCracker Designs is SO excited that her gallery and tutorials page for her new website are up and running that she is having a TREASURE HUNT!!!! You will find the gallery is sorted by stamp sets, new art, and customer art! The free fonts and sketches are back up too!! She is still uploading images, and tutorials too, so be sure to check back often!!

Here's how the treasure hunt works:

Part 1:
Somewhere hiding in the gallery are 2 coupons!! Both are single-use coupons (means each customer can only use the coupon one time); one expires at midnite on Sunday Nov. 18th. The other coupon doesn't expire until Dec. 17th!!!!! That gives you an entire month to make up your wish list!! To use them, you have to first FIND them!!! Here's a hint.....they are both located in the Stamp Sets album!!

Part 2:
There are 3 hidden images (they are marked "Surprise!" on the image). If you place a minimum order of $10 and find the 3 surprise images, send an email to Pamela telling her which images they are and you will get a free stamp for each image you find correctly. Limit of 3 free images per customer. (Free images will be selected by Pamela.)

HINT: All the hidden images are located somewhere in the gallery!

(Yes, you can combine Part 1, with Part 2!! and no, you can not combine the coupons).

Happy Hunting!!!

Snow Signs #2

Here's my second card for November using the Snow Signs set from FCD.

All cardstock is from Stampin' Up! - Pumpkin Pie, Bashful Blue and Apricot Appeal. The ivory paper is from the LSS. I cut the circle pieces with the Coluzzle. I also used the splatter stamp from Stampin' Up!'s Itty Bitty Backgrounds.

The main snowman image is embossed with clear EP over Chocolate Chip craft ink. Then I used a bleach pen to bleach out the snowman parts. I colored the scarf and nose with Pumpkin Pie marker. Bashful Blue brad and some ribbon from the LSS. The whole main image is on dimensionals.

Enabler Alert - Cat's Pajamas

Hungry for a great deal? Fill up your shopping cart with some Cat's Pajamas goodness and get 25% off everything we've got!

Come and get it while you can, 'cause at Midnight, November 18th, this SALE will be like Turkey the day after Thanksgiving, so gone.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Snow Signs #1 (November FCD set)

I have my November design team cards done for Pamela over at FireCracker Designs! I still have to photograph the last few but here is a sneek peek for you of the first one. :-) My November set is Snow Signs - this one is so much fun with all the different sayings for the sign and I love all the different snowflakes too. They will be on my "much used" list in the future.

This is a 5.5" x 5.5" square card - just to be different. All cardstock from Stampin' Up! - I chose Garden Green, Real Red, Soft Sky and Whisper White. The main image uses Shimmery White - *swoon* for this paper, it is so sparkly and shiny and beautiful, I want to use it on every card I make!

I used the aquapainters and coordinating ink colors for the watercoloring on the main image. The Soft Sky pieces went through the Cuttlebug with the snowflakes embossing folder, then I rubbed Versamark all over the top of them and dumped on my favorite embossing item - Iridescent Ice embossing powder. That gave all the raised spots I hit with the Versamark ink a nice shine. Plain silver brads, lots of ticket corners (I think I use that punch on 3 out of every 4 cards!), and the pig-nose punch (SU's double-circle punch) to do the ribbon at the top. Ribbon is "light blue" from RABOM.

Enabler Alert - Eureka Stamps

Eureka Stamps is having a buy on-get one free sale on their full sheets of unmounted stamps during November. It's a great deal and their stamps are very nice. I bought about 6 sheets awhile back and am quite happy with them - nice red rubber stamps, deeply etched & fun designs. Have fun!

Enabler Alert - Ma Vinci's

This is only through the end of the day today, November 14th at Ma Vinci's Reliquary! Robin is offering 50% off rubber and glassines and 30% off stencils and cushion! What a deal!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Enabler Alert - Time To Stamp

Got this info from one of the lists I am on and thought I would share -

30% off all full sheets through this Friday (11/16).

Snow Lady Wreath #4

Ok, the last card for the Snow Lady Wreath set for my October FCD DT cards (yes, I know it's November 13th today, LOL). The snowflakes in the background are from the Snow Sign set. This one is my personal favorite, I think it's the colors.

All cardstock from Stampin' Up! of course, that's my biggest purchase from them these days. Bashful Blue, Bravo Burgundy and Whisper White. SU ticket corner and scallop circle punches, and the other circles are from EK Success. The ribbon and snowflake brad are from the LSS. I colored his hat and scarf with a gel pen and used ink/blender pen for the watercoloring.

Tip/opinion of the day on watercoloring - I don't like that method nearly as well as aquapainters - not sure what I was thinking when I passed them over! I find I have a lot more control using the aquapainter and am much less likely to make the paper pill up or have dark spots in the image over using blender pens. It takes a bit of time to master the aqua painter, but I think overall it's a better product to do the actual watercoloring using ink and also watercolor crayons. Don't get me wrong, blender pens have lots of good uses, but for straight watercoloring, go with the aquapainter. :-)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Snow Lady Wreath #3

Here's card #3 from the Snow Lady Wreath set. This card also used the Flannel Plaid background from Stampin' Up!

All cardstock is SU - Celery, Red, Hunter and Chocolate Chip. Also white of course, and some designer paper from The Angel Company on the corner punches. I popped those corners up with dimensionals for extra depth. 3/8" red grosgrain from Ribbons and Bows Oh My - overall I've been quite pleased with their service although I always have to do shares when ordering from them since the spools are 100 yards each. I colored the main image with glaze gel pens - these are my new favorite coloring tool!

October FCD Card #2

Here's another card with the Snow Lady Wreath set from FCD. I wanted some non-traditional Christmas colors here, they are all from Stampin' Up! - Almost Amethyst, River Rock (another 2007/2008 in color), and of course Black and White.

The snowflakes on the main image are from the Snow Sign set from FCD. I colored the hat and scarf with Prismacolor Pencils and put Crystal Effects over the top to make it shiny. The little shiny bling stickers are "Dot Sparklers" from Stampendous - I LOVE these!

Cuttlebugged the background with the Textile folder after stamping with Aida Cloth background. Black satin ribbon, black brads from LSS, amethyst 1/4" circle punchies put together with mini glue dots. Main image attached with dimensionals.

October's (oops!!) FCD Design Team Cards

They're here and they're done!!! I'll be posting them all tonight - woo hoo! I think I've mentioned, but the the Snow Lady Wreath set from FireCracker Designs by Pamela. This was my October Design Team set, but since I got stuck on bedrest with DS #2 for awhile there, I was quite behind schedule. Caught up now and here's the first card!

Cardstock is all Stampin' Up!, I used Ruby Red, Soft Sky, Wild Wasabi (both are 2007/2008 "in colors"), and of course white. Cuttlebugged the Sky background piece with the Divine Swirl embossing folder and rubbed white ink over the raised parts. Brads are silver and green, silver from SU and the green from some LSS somewhere. Lots of ticket corners, I did the coloring with blender pens and ink and some other random embellies thrown in there too.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Can You Believe It?

Still no baby! After 4 weeks on bedrest with lots of contractions and other fun the whole time, I figured this guy was going to be born the day I got up and started walking around again. Alas, no such luck and we are still waiting to meet this little boy. I can't believe it! He's starting to get big too (at least to me!), so we are ready for him any time he'd like to join the world. Just wanted to give a quick update!

On a more upbeat (read: stampin'!!) note, I had some great "ME" time yesterday and made FOUR cards with the adorable Snow Lady Wreath stamp set from Firecracker Designs by Pamela. I just love snowmen stamps anyway, and the little boy snowman in this set is the perfect size! The cards are done but not photographed yet - I am hoping to post them tomorrow so stay tuned!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

TAC Retiring List

I found out yesterday that The Angel Company (TAC) retiring list has been announced. TAC went to semi-annual catalogs this catalog year, just like Stampin' Up! did. Their Fall catty sales period will be ending at the end of the year and a lot of great sets are going with it. I can't wait to see what the new year will bring. Click HERE to view info about the retiring list.

Yes, I'm Alive...

....and still pregnant too, which is good! We are at 35 weeks today and it's been 5 days since I last had contractions (that I know of anyway). So I am to stay on the medications and bedrest through November 1st, but after that the doctors are saying that I'll be able to resume normal activity until the baby comes. Once I hit that "magic number" they won't do anything to stop the labor so baby will be able to come at any time. Of course she warned me I may still go full term, sometimes they "work so hard to stop labor, then have trouble getting it started again". NOT interested in that, let me tell ya! I covered baby's ears while we had that conversation. :)

We will see what happens, I think that we will be taking things day by day - several times when I was "off" the meds (i.e. middle of the night) the contractions started themselves up again, so it's just impossible to guess what'll happen once the pills stop. I just hate that too - lots of uncertainty but at least my mom is here and all of my fabulous neighbors and friends who helped out that first time, have offered to take DS #1 if we need a break or need a fast run to the hospital, AND have been bringing us meals a few times a week to help lighten the load around here. It's just overwhelming, I love you all!

That's the news from here. No new projects to post, sadly, but hopefully soon. I've been working on baby announcements from my bed here, and also a cute little kid's game I think you'll all love. Plus I have my October cards for FireCracker Designs to do (yes, they are WAY late but Pamela is wonderfully understanding), and I'll be doing the November cards ASAP when the set arrives so we don't have this lateness problem again. As things get finished I'll get them uploaded so you can check everything out. Update

Several people have asked me about the JYSH website being down. I've been having problems myself but wasn't sure if it was just me with my new laptop or what. But I have confirmed with Jean, the owner, that the site is down and she is hoping to have it back up by tomorrow night. So just hang in there! This is a wonderful forum site with some great and talented people around to discuss papercrafting, do challenges, trades, swaps, etc. with lots of great things being planned in the near future. If I have any more info I'll let you all know.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Another Design Team!!

Woo hoo!!!! Awhile back I applied for a spot on the first-ever design team at Just Your Scrapbooking Headquarters (JYSH). This is a brand-new forum and gallery site for all things scrapbooking, and the grand opening is today! Check it out, register to post in the forums (it is free of course) and join the fun. There is a cyber crop today as well, starting at noon with lots of prizes up for grabs. There will be daily challenges starting up soon too, and chances to win a spot as a guest design team member for the site. Lots to see! You can also check out the other fabulously talented ladies on the design team and see some of their work.

SO, that certainly brightened my day after all the scary stuff going on here with baby. We actually found out about the appointment to the DT little early too so it was an extra bonus! Be on the lookout for more projects for these DT duties as well. We will be having a featured sponser each month and projects will showcase their products. :) I just love getting new toys to play with, don't you?

Another update

Well, we are home and still pregnant! So that is good news. :) Thanks to everyone who sent notes and good wishes. They go so far in lifiting my spirits.

I have had the steroid shots and am on meds to control the contractions. Full bed rest too, which is not as much fun as it sounds like it SHOULD be. But thankfully my mom was able to drop everything and come to our rescue (again, as usual, etc. etc.) so we are doing fine. Doctor visit on Tuesday so we'll see what is new then.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

DS#2 and Me - Update

For those who don't know, I was admitted to the hospital on Monday with per-term labor. We are now 32 weeks and 6 days today, so very early still. I have had the 2 doses of steroid shots they give to develop the lungs and we are in a waiting game. So I have some limited email now thanks to a dialup laptop the hospital gave me and if/when I know more I will keep people posted. But if you've been looking to reach me and can't, that'd be why. Please keep good thoughts for us!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

More Scrapbook Pages!

Oh my, busy busy busy with scrap pages! How exciting for me! Here is another 2-page spread in 12x12 pages - this time it was of our trip(s) to Schuster's Playtime Farm. It's a pumpkin patch, petting zoo, corn maze, etc. place that's lots of fun for the kids. We went at least 4 or 5 times last year and plan to go at least a couple this year. We love it there and it's an easy trip.
Here is the left-side layout. I did the title bar on the computer - I found the BEST fonts at Font Finder, the pumpkins were created by Kat's Fun Fonts and every font by that author ROCKS! The patterned paper is from American Crafts, all the cardstock is Stampin' Up!. Stamp credits are Stampin' Up! for the leaves on the metal edge tag, Studio G. dollar stamp for the "hey pumpkin", and Autumn Leaves for the swirl on the bottom. I wrote the October 2006 in chocolate chip marker. I plan to write a little quick story/journaling on the olive piece below the title bar but I didn't get there yet.

As you can see, we didn't get great photos but I did try. Can you tell that darling son was 2 years old here - he would not cooperate for ANYTHING!

Here's the right-hand layout. Lots of activities at this place! Again, I did the title on the computer. Prima maple leaves and SU buttons. The pumpkins are made from SU's oval punches and cardstock. I made the journal piece using a Starving Artist stamp - it's in the postage category but I liked the dots with this layout. The "a-n-d" letters come from Purple Onion Designs LizzieBelle alphabet.

Notice Mommy is not in any pictures?!? LOL. I had a good one of DS and me but it didn't fit into the layout so I'll have to find another use for it.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Scrapbook Pages

So I am finally getting back to work on scrapbook pages! Can we believe it?! I did this 2-page layout of our honeymoon trip to Italy. This is going to be the start of the book, it shows the best pictures of the two of us with some of the most notable sights to see. We didn't get a ton of photo ops with both of us together - you have to be really careful who you give your camera to - so I thought that would be a great way to start the memories.

Here's the left side of the layout, I did the title on the computer. The colors for this layout are a dark brown and a very light blue. The patterned paper is from Hobby Lobby, the cardstock is Stampin' Up White, Soft Sky and Chocolate Chip. For those who are interested, the top pic is looking down on the Roman Forum (DH was just fascinated with this area - if/when we go back he wants to spend more time here, there is so much to see). The second one is taken in Siena. Oh we just *loved* Siena!!

On the right the second page of the layout. I stamped on some window sheets and laid them over the photos to give a little extra to them. Unfortunately that makes them very hard to photograph a second time and they look all yellow. Bleah. But you get the point of the layout and rest assured the photos don't look THAT bad in person! I used White and Timber Brown StazOn ink for the overlays. The first photo has white swirls from Rhona Farrar/Autumn Leaves, the second is the word "Roma" using the LizzieBelle Alphabet set from Purple Onion Designs, and the last one has the word Journey from the "Cool Dude" set at FireCracker Designs by Pamela. The tags inside the little envelopes pull out for journaling. The photos are (top to bottom) the Spanish Steps, the Coliseum in Rome, and Pisa.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Quick & Easy Swap Card

Here's the card I made yesterday, this was for my monthly swap and so I made 8 of these. Is that little turtle adorable or what?! He's a Kristin Soboloski's "Artful Inkables" that I got from Starvingartistamps. Some patterned paper from I don't remember where and some Stampin' Up cardstock. The main image is on a shimmery ivory paper although you can't see the shimmer in the pic. I colored him in with ink and blender pens b/c I didn't have time for pencils and gamsol (I am too obsessive about making it "just right" with the color blending, so each card takes awhile and I had a limited window of sleeping child time!). Soft Sky, True Thyme, Close to Cocoa and Wild Wasabi ink for the image, Palette Burnt Umber for the stamping, Soft Sky, Creamy Caramel and Chocolate Chip cardstock. Very quick and easy card! I wanted to add some ribbon to the side but the image piece ended up being too large. Oh well - next time!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pre-Order Sale at FCD!

Happy Wednesday everyone! Just wanted to put up a quick post to let you all know that Pamela has two new Christmas plates available for pre-order, now until October 1st. Pre-orders get 20% off the original price so it's a great deal! She also offers free shipping on orders over $60. Click HERE to go right to the pre-order page.

Darling Son (DS) is upstairs (not yet) napping, but I am hoping he will fall asleep so I can get some stamping done. I have a big stamping "to do" list right now and I'd like some time to get working on it! Darling Husband (DH) has a class tonight so I will have the place to myself after DS goes to bed at least. Definitely stampin' time then! I'll upload whatever I come up with tomorrow. *cheers*

Monday, September 24, 2007

Cleaning out the closet

I just realized I never posted this here. I have a *TON* of papercrafting stuff that's just gotta get out of my house! My mom also brought me a few things of hers to sell, so I have quite a list. I am just going to link to another post I have going that is regularly updated so I don't accidentally sell something twice trying to keep up two lists. CLICK HERE for the big list of items and send me an E-MAIL with what you'd like!


Oh my gosh! *swoon* ProvoCraft is coming out with some new Cuttlebug A2 embossing folders FINALLY! Check them out at AllThatScraps - Christine has a waiting list going and free shipping over $10. Very nice site to order from. Here's a direct link to the newest folders.

If you don't have a Cuttlebug, you need one. Seriously. If I get a little more time later I'll edit this post to provide some basic CB info for those who haven't seen the joy. I got mine last year for Christmas from my Darling Husband (DH), so sweet. I told him all about it when I got home from Michael's with it *grin*.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Another Daisy!

Another daisy - in purple this time! This card uses the Polished Stone technique. I used Stampin' Up! classic reinkers in Pale Plum, Perfect Plum, Elegant Eggplant and Encore Silver. The cardstock is Pale Plum, Whisper White, Glossy White and Elegant Eggplant. Palette Hybrid Noir ink for the images. Corner rounder from EK Success. The paper piercing used the template from Stampin' Up! The sentiment is from the old Hope for Comfort set.

This is a pretty simple card, the most work is just making the Polished Stone background! I made a whole 8.5" x 11" piece at once to save time and effort. (I did the same for the Faux Mother of Pearl, see next post down). Then I just cut down what I needed and now I have some more to play with another time! My extra tips for making Polished Stone backgrounds - don't skimp on the rubbing alcohol, keep those cotton balls wet so the ink doesn't get blotchy on your paper. Use those cheap, disposible rubber gloves (you only need it on one hand) and change them if needed. I bought a 2-pack box with several hundred gloves in it at Sam's Club for around $5. This keeps you from accidentally transferring ink where you don't want it and keeps fingers clean (and hands from getting alcohol-chapped too). If you skip the sealing step, you WILL transfer metallic ink off your paper - it's not worth it!

Daisy Card #1

Here's another card using my newest rubbah from my Starving Artist stash. I have eyed this flower stamp forever and now it's finally MINE! This card uses Faux Mother of Pearl technique. A great tutorial for it can be found over at Splitcoast Stampers (direct link to the tutorial HERE). The daisy stamp that I used on the background is a pretty good match, don't you think? That one is called "Daisy Tops" from FireCracker Designs by Pamela and can be found HERE.

Let's see, all cardstock from Stampin' Up! - Glossy White, Whisper White, Buckaroo Blue and Chocolate Chip. The ribbon is retired from last year's Winter Mini, can't remember what it is called right now. The ink is Palette Hybrid Burnt Umber. The brads are from Spare Parts. The card dimensions are 4" x 5". I know the picture got a bit dark up top - sorry!

So, A Girl Has New Rubbah.... what? Well, must stamp of course! I made these three SUPER FAST and easy cards using the cute, Cute CUTE Doodle Factory animal "Squirt" from Starving Artist Stamps. I love him! I need more of these little guys, they are so fun. I am lumping all these cards into one post since they're so similar.

I stamped him a bunch of times on Whisper White cardstock in Palette Noir ink - the bestest black ink ever. I get mine from my friend Kisa who is a TAC demo. Then I colored him in with Prisma alcohol markers.

The first card (above) is 4.25" square and also uses the Borders and Corners - Circle set from PaperTrey Ink and the Dots-Hollow Bubbles background stamp from FireCracker Designs by Pamela.

The next one is also 4.25" square. The "you rock" is punched out of a 1" circle of Whisper White (EK Success punch) and the circle on the front of the card is made with a 1-1/8" circle punch (also EK Success) so it's a little bigger. Then I just popped it on a dimensional on the inside of the card so it poked through. The "you rock" stamp came from Purple Onion Designs, they've got some fun images over there and this was actually a little freebie that was sent with my order - woo hoo! I can get a lot of use out of a stamp like that. I did the corners with the Prisma marker and the Stampin' Up! paper piercing template. I can't keep dots even to save my life so I use that little plastic template constantly!

This last card is a standard A2-size card, I just punched Mr. Squirt out with a 1-3/8" punch (I have the Stampin' Up! one) and layered onto coordinating circles punched with a 1-1/2" punch (EK Success). 7/8" organdy ribbon and the saying from the retired "Fun Phrases" from Stampin' Up! since it needed something there.

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