My neighbor, whom I've written about before, has been tearing out some fencing at the back of his yard (God knows why--I don't) and, unfortunately, his dumping ground is to the side of my back yard. When I look out my patio door, this is part of my distant view. The large garbage can that we no longer use is normally hidden by the side of the house but, for some reason, it's out of place at the moment. Anyway, I walked by the patio door recently, glanced outside and, for a split second, thought, "Bear!!!!" LOL! You see what I saw, right? When I wanted my husband and son to look at it, I prefaced the discussion with, "I want you to see something, and I know it's not really a bear . . ., " and they immediately started rolling their eyes and getting that "she's-so-crazy-but-we-love-her-anyway" look, but they actually could see what could be mistaken (during a quick peripheral glance)for a standing bear, although a thin one. As you can tell, I applied a colored pencil filter to the photo so it would actually look better than real life, but the "bear" is still easy to spot (I think).
Monday, March 29, 2010
I can call this the cutest Easter card because the most clever thing about it--which also happens to be the cutest thing--wasn't my idea. A friend showed me the clever trick of turning the "E" in Easter into a bunny by adding ears and a tail, and don't you just LOVE that? For my card, I used Stampin' Up!'s Scallop Trim and Scallop Trim Border punches to create the pretty scalloped layer, "Well Scripted" stamp set for the Easter sentiment, Sweet Pea Stitched Felt flower and leaf, "Sending Love" designer paper, corduroy brad, and Kraft, Barely Banana, and Chocolate Chip card stock.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Everyone likes to make cards that are easy, and sometimes that's about all that we have time for. This is one of those cards! I used Stampin' Up!'s "Lattice" die and the Big Shot to cut the lattice shape from chipboard. I then used that die-cut piece to emboss the white card stock. The die was again used to cut the lattice shape from a piece of Very Vanilla card stock, and I used the cut pieces to glue onto the white embossed layer. Got it? Easy peasy! I then glued the white layer onto a layer of Soft Suede card stock, tied the dotted Soft Suede ribbon around the layer, inserted the Flower brad and punched flower (from the Trio Flower punch), and adhered these layers to the front of my Very Vanilla card. This is one of those cards that you can work on while watching TV or waiting (in the car, doctor's office, etc.). You can order this die online HERE. Take advantage of Stampin' Up!'s Sale-a-Bration promotion (which ends with March) by placing a $50 order so you can earn a FREE Sale-a-Bration product!
I don't normally get excited about techie gadgets, but this one was welcomed with love. It's a USB thing that has enabled me to remotely access my main computer via the laptop that I'm having to use. What's so cool about it, you ask? Well . . . it lights up (under the black top and around the thick acrylic base), and the colors keep changing from purple, green, red, and blue. While my husband was away on business last week (on the campus of Microsoft's headquarters), he purchased this item after learning that my computer's USB had checked out. It's the coolest thing . . . makes me want to turn out the lights!
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
While I wait for my husband to get back in town and solve the computer issue with my camera, I thought I'd go ahead and tell you about my new business venture. Earlier this week, I became a Scentsy consultant, and you can learn more about that HERE. Nothing has changed with my Stampin' Up! demonstratorship . . . I just really fell in love with Scentsy products and decided to "go for it." I will soon plan an Open House event where you can come and learn more about the awesome scents and warmers offered by this company. Six of the warmers are on sale right now--ask me about them! Better yet, help me get off to a good start by hosting a party! ;-)
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I have no picture to post because my camera's cradle has mysteriously lost power and, after trying to diagnose the problem, my trackball quit working as well. I have been reduced to using the laptop since my husband is out of town and doesn't think these issues warrant an emergency flight home. I know, I know . . . his priorities are out of order. So Chadrick and I were having an interesting conversation at dinner about my teenage employment in a small town. Since this blog is also like a journal for me, I'll share a little story with you. I don't remember ever wanting a job because I was quite content with my allowance, but my daddy strongly suggested that I go to work. My first job was at Rintz's 5 and 10 (that's cents--not dollars). It was an old store with old stuff. I don't mean antiques . . . just old-looking things that had probably been there for ages. Mrs. Rintz, the owner, had an office upstairs with a glass front so she could watch the store. Of course, I found areas to "park" where I couldn't be seen, but I always had the feeling that I was being watched--and that she knew I was purposely trying to get in a blind spot. The best thing about the store was the big Brach's candy counter, although I always dreaded someone would expect me to weigh less than a pound of candy because I wasn't quite sure how to read the scale! There weren't a lot of shoppers at the dime store (that's what everyone in town called it). On one boring day, these two mature ladies came in and went to the table where baby stuff was on display. They were digging around on the table, so I asked if I could help them. One of them said she couldn't find an "ought." A what???? I know my face didn't hide the fact that I didn't know if an ought was a color, a style, or maybe slang for "I dropped my dentures and can't find them," and I knew the lady was speaking English. I was way too shy to ask what in the world an ought was, so I proceeded to dig through the baby stuff on the table, hoping I might unearth an ought and one of those ladies would spot it. At closing time, I couldn't wait to get home and ask my mother about an ought. I had that word on my mind all day long--I may have even written it on register tape so I wouldn't forget. When I asked my mother, she went into cover-your-mouth-try-not-to-wet-your-pants laughter and explained that's what older people say for zero. [eyes rolling] On another occasion, a "mature" farmer came in the store (I know he was a farmer because he was wearing overalls), and he went to what I referred to as the hardware section of the store. I went to see if I could help him, and he was looking for something related to canning. When I gave him one of my blank stares, he said, "You don't know what that is, do you?" When I told him that I did not know, he said, "Well, then, I don't guess you can help me, can you?" I just turned and walked back to the blind spot and, once again, asked myself WHY AM I WORKING HERE and is it time to leave?????? I think one of the worst things about being an employed teenager is that you think you know a lot, you know you're not stupid, and yet I worked from 9 to 5 in a store where I felt like an idiot with an inferiority complex. To make matters worse, this guy who wasn't quite right (had sustained a head injury in a car accident when he was younger) walked the streets ALL DAY LONG, and his greeting to everyone was, "Hey cat!" I know that he was partially paralyzed but, when he looked at me, I just felt like I wanted to cover up. [shudder] Rumor had it that he sometimes tried to greet the ladies with his hands so, when I'd see him coming my way, I made sure I was ready to knock the crap out of him if I had to. He'd walk by the store, and I'd think, "Keep on walking, PLEASE!!!!" At the dime store, I was off each Thursday and used that time (every single Thursday) to go to the belt plant to ask about a job. My sister worked there and LOVED it, so I thought it must not be too bad. I'll have to tell you about that job another time.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Can you imagine being married for 60 years? S-i-x-t-y y-e-a-r-s . . . say it s-l-o-w-l-y. That is a very long time! I wonder how many arguments occur in a span of 60 years between a husband and wife. I wonder how many different names get said under one's breath--and if they're always the same name or if, over the years, the couple began thinking (or speaking) names they never thought they'd utter. I suppose the happy couple became more and more like one another over the years, which would make getting along easier. My mother asked me to make a card for a 60th anniversary reception that she and my daddy are going to in a couple of weeks, and this is what I came up with. I did a little research to see what inventions have occurred during this couple's 60 years together: credit cards, super glue, hydrogen bomb, oral contraception, non-stick Teflon pan, computers and modems, Liquid Paper, Hula Hoop, pacemaker, Barbie (yes, Barbie!), audio cassette, permanent press fabric, Kevlar, handheld calculator, ATM, food processor, Post-It notes, Valium and, of course, many more inventions of which we all know. It's kind of fun to imagine how many changes in the world (and life) that this couple has witnessed. So, there you have a little history to go along with this doily card and envelope.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
So . . . I used to have a viney-floral wreath thingie above this doorway and decided that I wanted to put some decorative vinyl instead. This was a scary big step for me, but I have to admit that I like it. My husband is afraid that I'm going to put vinyl all over the house, and I can't promise it won't happen. Ha! Vinyl is too much fun, plus it's easy to remove should I decide I don't like it. I know this picture isn't very good, but let me know what you think! The black vinyl that I used was purchased from Stampin' Up!
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I received my brand new Stampin' Up! "Fancy Flower" punch today, and this is what I made with it! Granted, it's not a perfect flower as my layers slipped around on me, but it's kind of neat! I sponged the curled edges of the petals with Rich Razzleberry ink and Champagne Mist shimmer paint and then used the 5-Petal Flower punch to create the leaves. I should have used more layers for my flower, but I was in a hurry. Maybe next time. ;-)
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
You can't tell from the picture, but this card is actually backward AND upside-down. LOL! Of course, I didn't realize until I finished that I had taken a wrong turn (or two). This card is a tri-fold that actually opens at the back, which is where it becomes obvious that something isn't quite right. Since the card looked good, I went ahead and mailed it to my parents and figured they'd get a kick out of it . . . or wonder if I needed intervention. Stampin' Up! products used on this card include the ribbon, So Saffron, Chocolate Chip, Soft Suede, and Naturals Ivory card stock, tag punches, Trio Flower punch, "Well Scripted" stamp set, Two-Step Bird punch, pink brad (these are sooooooooooooooo pretty), Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint, and Soft Suede ink.
Good Lord! I have got to get in the bed, but first I wanted to get this cute, cute, cute hat card posted. To decorate the card, I used Stampin' Up!'s "Sweet Pea" designer paper, Sweet Pea Stitched Felt flowers, and satin ribbon. This hat just screams "SPRING!!!!," and I love that! Now, I've got to hop in the bed for a couple of hours.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Just one little share and then I promise I'll work on tax stuff! This cute image was "unearthed" as I started cleaning off the countertop so I could spread out boring tax records, and I gave in to the little voice that said "make a card!"
Monday, March 15, 2010
While I had the Bitty Box die and "Welcome Neighbor" designer papers out, I decided to use a leftover stamped image (from "Picnic Parade") to create this Easter card. I used Stampin' Up!'s Watercolor Wonder crayons to color the bunny, and I promise that he doesn't look as washed out in real life as he does in this picture. I challenge you to get out your crayons and color something with them! They are sooooo easy to use and blend very nicely to create a softly-colored image. You'll feel like an artist! While an aqua painter works well with the crayons, I find that I actually prefer to use a blender pen. Keep in mind, though, that you're better off to use watercolor paper instead of card stock when using a blender pen.
Since the end is drawing near to take advantage of Stampin' Up!'s Sale-a-Bration promotion, I decided to create this mini note card set using the "Welcome Neighbor" designer papers. The paper designs in this pack are perfect for a "from our home to yours" set of note cards! The envelopes (pictured here under each card) and the box were cut using Stampin' Up!'s "Bitty Box and Envelope" die, and I used the "Tiny Tags" stamp set and Jewelry Tag Punch (from the Occasions mini catalog) to dress up the box. I'm quite pleased with this quick and easy gift!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
My guys went to a gun and knife show today, and I'm supposed to be prepping for an upcoming class. First, I had to seize the opportunity to create a card. Doesn't Tilda look sweet sitting on that bag of sugar? Stampin' Up! products used to create this card include So Saffron, Chocolate Chip, and Whisper White card stock, "Welcome Neighbor" designer papers, Eyelet and Pinking Hearts border punches, paper crimper, and dotted Melon Mambo ribbon.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Oh boy! This has been a fun project, although a bit challenging trying to decide how to decorate it without over-decorating. I love, love, love the crushed flower! I used Stampin' Up! designer paper to create the flower, and the larger die-cut and embossed aluminum flower is one that I had leftover from yesterday's candle holder project. For the butterflies and photo corners, I used thinner aluminum than the roof flashing. The best part of this project is the chalkboard vinyl. It's so darn easy to use, and a person could quickly create a lot of clever gift items with it. A fellow demonstrator said she was using the vinyl on coffee cups so she could write a special message or reminder to her family members. Neat idea, huh? BTW, there's a "ledge" below the vinyl (above the gold embossed oval layer) where a stick of chalk can lay, but I forgot to put the chalk back before taking the picture. Better do that now.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
To be quite honest, I'm not sure what mamaw will think of this card. It's much more "busy" than most of my designs, and it's a somewhat funky fold. And can you believe there's no ribbon on it? That was totally an oversight, and I might have to slap a bow on it before mailing. About the fold . . . when I was a teenager, a popular stationery set was one where you didn't need envelopes--you just wrote your letter, folded it on the scored lines, applied a round, foil seal, and addressed it for mailing. That's kind of how this card folds, but I made an envelope for it, of course, because who knows where the flower would end up otherwise! I don't remember where the flowers came from, but I sponged the tips of them with Stampin' Up!'s Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint. That stuff is awesome! Did you notice that it's square? Hee! Hee! I just love me a square card!
Disclaimer: No stamper was abused or injured in the creation of this project.
How cool is this???? I decided to be brave and work the aluminum again, and this embossed butterfly pin is the result. The two butterflies were cut with Stampin' Up!'s "Beautiful Butterflies" die, and I then embossed them with the "Finial Press" embossing folder. Even though the aluminum has a hearty thickness, it embosses beautifully and with ease! To color the aluminum, I used a couple of alcohol inks. Lastly, I used Stampin' Up!'s Sanding Block to see what effect it would have, and it really softened the ink coloring and enhanced the embossing.
When I decided to purchase Stampin' Up!'s "Flower Folds" die, this was one of the projects that I had in mind, except it looks even better than what I had envisioned. The fabric pin was the other project that I wanted to try with this die, and you can see it a few posts down. I used two of Stampin' Up!'s embossing folders on this project . . . "Petals-a-Plenty" on the middle flower and "Manhattan Flower" on the butterfly, which was cut from Stampin' Up!'s "Beautiful Butterflies" die. So this morning Chadrick was standing at the stove, and I brought my tightly-rolled aluminum to the kitchen so I could cut off the tape with a knife and create this lovely candle holder. Now, you have to picture the scene . . . it's quiet, Chadrick's taking the last few bites of breakfast, and I'm standing beside him with knife in one hand and the other hand holding the aluminum still (or so I thought). With one swift slice against the tape (that was holding the aluminum tightly rolled), all of a sudden (and I DO mean sudden) the aluminum went FLAP! FLAP! FLAP! FLAP! FLAP! as it unwound and expanded with each flappy sound, consuming more space than the countertop allowed! I'm not exactly sure where my hands went during all the unrolling, but I know that I jumped back.
Chadrick: What the he--????????
Me: I didn't know it would do that! [Examining my hands] I think I got cut.
Chadrick: [Examining my hands] Where?
Me: [Pointing to what looks like a slice in my skin] Here. I think my blood is too startled to come out!
We laughed. And laughed some more. In the end, Chadrick had to get a pin to extract a fragment of aluminum from the cut that finally revealed itself. I guess you could say that I really "got into" this project or it got into me. I'm now kind of afraid to work with the aluminum (which is all rolled out on the kitchen floor), even with the gloves that Chadrick insisted I wear. It's all fun!!!!!!!
Did you know that my blog has pages . . . as in "more than one"? That's one of the newest features that blogspot has added. My pages are listed (and linked) at the top right, under the blog banner. Just wanted you to know that they're there. :-) By the way, this photo is one that I took at one of the Biltmore gardens in 2006. It really has no significance to the post . . . just something pretty to look at.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Imagine you walk to the mailbox late at night (like 40 minutes ago). It's quiet and still--you seem to be the only thing moving. You close the mailbox door, hear something, look to the neighbor's yard, and see a four-legged figure with a stance that says, "I'm aware of you." You assume it's the neighbor's friendly, loving dog, Buddy. In a sweet, soft voice you say, "Hey Buddy" and proceed up the driveway. You wonder why Buddy isn't following you to the house for a delicious biscuit and, when you turn to look back, you see that it isn't Buddy. Instead, it's a stocky, pitch black dog that looks sort of like the one pictured here--only fatter--and without the bright daylight all around him. The dog actually looked like a possibly undernourished bear and would have scared the crap out of me if I had noticed while at the mailbox that he wasn't Buddy. I've seen that dog before, and I think he's probably harmless. He moves kind of slow, and I might could outrun him. I've only seen him at night, though, so he and I seem to share a fondness for a late hour. I couldn't help but laugh as I told my husband about my trip back from the mailbox because I was reminded of that TV commercial where the woman is calling for her cat to come inside the house and, instead, she lets a raccoon in. That could be me!
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
This is a card that I created for a sweet friend who recently had an accident. Let me explain the picture since it's a bit confusing. The largest item that you see is actually the inside of the card, which has three panels and a die-cut tab that holds the card closed. The inset photo (which is hiding the note that I wrote) shows the front of the card and a portion of the envelope (in the top left corner). I had so much fun making this card, even though this is the second one that I made. In a perfect world, we'd always get things right the first time. This is not a perfect world.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Here it is . . . my first project using Stampin' Up!'s Chalkboard vinyl. I used one of the dies from the "Lots of Tags" Sizzlits set to cut the shape and then wrote on it with white chalk. Funny thing . . . it's been my quest to find chalk markers, which I found today; however, after neatly writing on my die-cut label and peeling the backing off of the vinyl, I lightly blew on the writing to make sure it was dry and wouldn't smear when I started pressing the vinyl to my jar. Well, parts of my letters blew off the label! Oh, look . . . there on my sleeve are some pieces of the blown away letters! It's a good thing that I bought some good old-fashioned chalk over the weekend and didn't have to fight a teacher (or anyone) for it! Two things I have learned . . . (1) Plan to write on your chalkboard vinyl after it's in place, and (2) this vinyl is thicker than our other vinyl selections and may not cut as well with one pass through the Big Shot when using Sizzlits or other chemically-etched dies.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Sometimes you need a card pretty quick, and here are two examples. The longest amount of time was spent coloring the image on the "Smile" card and cutting out the strawberry top on the other card. Stampin' Up! products used include:
Stamp Sets: Picnic Parade, Tart & Tangy, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Card Stock: Whisper White, Green Galore, Yoyo Yellow, Basic Black
Punches: Scallop Oval, Large Oval, Small Oval, 1-1/4" Circle, Scallop Circle
Accessories: Ribbon, linen thread, Stampin' Dimensionals, Watercolor Pencils, Blender Pen, Stampin' Sponge, Crop-a-Dile
Have you seen the "Simply Adorned" jewelry products in the Occasions mini catalog? Pictured here is the bracelet, 5/8" Square Charm, and 5/8" Circle Charm. The charms, which open at the top and are windowed on both sides, have been decorated with designer paper, card stock, stamped images, and a tiny butterfly from Stampin' Up!'s "Beautiful Wings" Embosslits die. For now, my charms are attached to the chain by a handy lobster clasp, but the clasp can be removed so you can attach the charms by their jump ring. The good thing about the clasps is that they allow the charms to be easily moved around to other jewelry or anywhere that the lobster clasp will attach--you can use them interchangeably on your bracelet, necklace, etc., and customize the artwork to coordinate with clothing or any item that you choose to hang them on. They can even be decorated for holidays and special occasions. They really are a very versatile, ever-changing jewelry item! The bracelet itself has a toggle clasp and a Stampin' Up! charm "identifier" which is quite attractively designed. All of the charms have tempered glass on the front and back, but the larger charms have beveled glass that's very pretty! My circle charm and the square charm on the right were decorated with a stamp from the "Tiny Tags" stamp set, and I used "Cottage Wall" designer paper inside the square charm on the left. You can see (and purchase) any of the "Simply Adorned" products HERE! Don't forget that Sale-a-Bration is going on, and you earn a FREE Sale-a-Bration product with every $50 purchase!
Monday, March 1, 2010
It's hard to believe that it's time to start thinking about Easter, but that also means TIME FOR SPRING!!!!!! And Easter bonnets! Oh, who am I kidding? Does anyone still wear hats at Easter? The picture on the left is an Easter Sunday years ago (decades, really) where my mother sported a hat, and I had a goofy squint and lopsided stance. Or maybe my daddy was pushing my shoulder down. Ha! Anyway, the idea of mini hats/bonnets was certainly not mine, but my wheels started spinning this morning coming up with ways to decorate one. There must be 35 1-1/4" circles on this hat, and my least favorite part of this project was stacking and gluing them. It's certainly not a hard thing to do--just not fun. Stampin' Up! products used to create this project include Bride specialty designer paper, Pretty in Pink and Always Artichoke card stock, Flower Fusion die, Little Leaves die, Beautiful Wings embosslits die, Circle Scissor Plus, and white taffeta ribbon.