Friday, June 22, 2007

All About ME Book

This little project was born when I started making an all about me book using one of our 5x7 Chipboard Journals - I'll post it one of these days to show y'all.
I showed it to some of my customers and they liked it but I got the feeling that they would never make one for themself. Then my Aunt passed away in April and I was helping her 5 kids plan the funeral. They were struggling to write a few paragraphs about her life and who she really was. Then they started remembering things like "she really loved Watermelon" and "she always crunched her ice even though it drove us crazy" and I was amazed at all the things that one kid remembered but the other kids didn't even know (such as her favorite song, etc...). It just struck me as sad that so much of the essence of who she was is lost now except for a few random memories here and there. I so wish that she had made a small album about herself for others to hold on to and cherish. She was creative, but she really wasn't the type to scrapbook photos and such.

So, I thought about it a while and tried to come up with a solution for those people who might not want to embark on a huge scrapbooking project (or sink lots of funds into something they may not be gung ho about). I know it's not terribly original and that every scrapbook magazine out there shows some sort of ring album or "all about me" album. But my stampin' ladies don't get those and so this was new to them. I really emphasized making this FUN, easy, and low stress. Make it personal and as easy as possible so that you don't give up on it. I told them to include very few photos (if any) since that is the point where most non-srappers freak out and give up.

So here is the one my Daytime class made. I was trying to use up my many many chipboard flowers (I ordered the make & take kit and never used it) before they possibly retired (which they didn't -yay).

The cover is made from tagboard (I used a piece that came with a packet of designer paper - just the right weight. But you could use anything a bit thicker than normal cardstock (even cereal box tagboard would work)).
Tagboard pieces were 4"x4". Then I covered the outside of each tagboard square with a 5"x5" piece of the new Designer Prints papers (I LOOOOVE these monochromatic stripes and dots!).

We trimmed the corners off and folded the 1/2 excess over to the back. If you trim the corners at a true 45 degree angle you 'should' get a perfect miter on the back.
Cover the insides of the tagboard that is still showing with a square of coordinating C/S (3 3/4" x 3 3/4". Add your paper to joural on - Whisper white squares of 3 5/8" x 3 5/8" (you can get 6 per page). Punch your holes and add your ring and ribbon.
We applied Regal Rose craft ink to the chipboard flower and added some coordinating punched circles. The flower is attached to the cover with mini-glue dots (love em).

Here are some of my sample pages on the inside. I used the watercolor crayons on a bunch of the pages and stamps on others. Have I mentioned how much FUN this project is to do. I had a blast making these pages. Do it for yourself or do it for your family. None of us is here forever. Leave a little of yourself behind.
From looking various places, I've come up with a document to start you thinking about what to journal and include in your book. Email me if you want me to send it to you.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Margaritas and Hot Dogs

So, I didn't get the chance to photograph my cute little project yet. In the meantime, here are a few cards I made for June birthdays.

For my dear friend and upline Katie's birthday, I wanted to make a fun card but wasn't inspired by any of my non-retiring sets. Luckily my desk was a mess and there was some vellum lying about. I must have had margaritas on the brain, because this was the result. The salt on the rim was glitter. Colors were Only Orange & Gable Green.

The grill card was for my brother in law's birthday. I still love this set for all things manly. One can never have too many burger and hot dog stamps.
Sorry they are so fuzzy - I'll have to work on my camera skills.

Monday, June 18, 2007

New Stamps!

Woot. As a demonstrator I can pre-order a limited selection of the new catalog goodies. Mr. Brown brought my box the other day and I finally had a chance to play. I only have 2 of the new in-colors (yet), but love them.

I chose the Year After Year set because it seems so versatile. This card is made with 2 of the new colors Groovy Guava and Wild Wasabi. Don't they look great together? Wasabi coordinates well with Garden Green too. I used the Linen background stamp on the Guava card (Guava ink) for a textured effect. The flowers were colored with the ink from the stamp pad lid and my handy dandy blender pen. I used a dab of Really Rust marker in the center of the flowers.

This one uses Rose Red and Regal Rose. I stamped the heart with Basic Black and then used a sponge dauber inked with the Rose Red to burnish the color into the heart. Burnishing is just rubbing fairly hard in a circular motion. Other sets used were Itty Bitty Backgrounds (a gotta have set) and words from the new greeting set, Holidays & Wishes. Other greetings in that set include: Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, from the heart, and sweet little one.
I can't wait to stamp more with this set, but sadly my stamp desk is piled with "stuff". We just had the carpets cleaned this weekend and today must be spent putting the "stuff" back. I have my sweet ladies over tomorrow. We are making a really cute little project I will share after they make it. It's a little all-about-me scrapbook with a chipboard flower that I'm very excited about.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Inspired at last

After a long dry spell, I'm beginning to get my stampin' fire back. I just love the new Big Blooms set from the SU Spring mini (see it HERE - available till the end of June. What's that? Why yes, I am a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. hee hee). Anyway, I'm loving those big honkin flowers. So many fun things to do with them. Here are some of the things I did today.

The striped flower was made by applying a marker directly to the rubber, 'huffing' and stamping. The center is a circle of C/S popped up with a dimensional. The colors I used were Ruby Red, Pumpkin Pie, and Cameo Coral.

The layouts were mine, but I got the striped flower idea from this great blog tutorial. Thanks Alli for the inspiration!

Look Katie this one is orange! Well, Pumpkin Pie actually. I really like doing monochromatic cards. I'm also trying to use more white card bases with added scrap accents and stamping for color. I really love how this one turned out. The coolest thing is that the petals are punched out! I stamped the big flower on the white square, cut out the middle, and then slid the slit punch in from the middle to punch the petals.
I can't take credit for the punch idea - I got that from a card on SCS by corysnana1.

I decided the big gaping hole in the middle needed something, so I used the big circle from Simply Circles - stamped on white and cut out. I stamped the little circle over the previous stamping for a little extra color. The ribbon is tied through some 1/8" holes and the whole center is popped up. The Linen stamp is used on the background.

Since I'm on a roll - I'll share some more. Using the same pattern from my stamp class last week, I made another one of these card tote purses. I made all 4 cards, the purse tote, and the spiral notebook cover from a single sheet of 8.5" x 11" White C/S decorated with Mixed Bouquet (one sheet wonder). I used Ballet Blue (my favorite), Real Red, Marigold Morning, and Glorious Green. To soften the background I wheeled across with the jumbo Rough Texture inked in Marigold. It's a "thank you for volunteering" gift for my daughter's Catechism teacher.

I did this a few months back. After looking at my chipboard ATC album (from Stampin' Up! of course) just sitting there so sad and um, chipboardy, I finally decided to decorate it.
Of course it had to be blue cause I just love blue and I added some yellows so it would look good displayed in my blue & yellow stamp room. I love the name frame idea and thought I'd incorporate that here. I'll have to upload my son's name frame and my "idea board" later for y'all to see. I like how it turned out, but next time I'd use the matte mod-podge instead of the glossy. Now I just have to fill it up with really cool ATCs showing lots of different techniques and specialty products. I thought it would be nice to have ATCs to show customers the difference between canvas & linen, or dry and wet embossing, or vellum and cardstock vellum, etc... All in once place and easy to find (I can never seem to locate cards when I need them).

Oooooh. And BIG NEWS on the scrapbooking front. I have completed an album. YES! That doesn't happen very often since most of mine are works in progress (school and dance) and as soon as I get caught up (haha) more pictures come rolling in. I finished MattMan's cub scout album! Woo hoo. Aaannnd, I organized all his Boy Scout photos that we have so far into a plain photo album so I can keep the campout locations and dates all straight. I added little journalling squares between the "events" and will keep adding details so that when I get time and motivation I can sit down and speed-scrap it :).

Oh oh oh. I also re-did my On-board 5x7ish Art Journal. I had covered the front of it using paper I didn't really love then the mod-podge made the ink run a little and the whole thing just didn't thrill me. So I ripped it off (gasp!). It left the chipboard kinda rough and ugly so I removed the covers and used some designer paper to cover it again (around the edges this time). DH says it looks like it was done by a professional. I told him I AM a professional :).

I used my handy dandy spiral punch to punch the holes (after making a complicated little fold on the edge to allow for the thickness of the chipboard) but it came out great. I'll show it off when I get inspired to actually decorate the front of that lovely paper with something. It is going to be a journally book all about ME! so I wanted to really love it.

In other not so fun news, MattMan was sick all weekend (please don't be strep, please don't be strep) and my aunt passed away yesterday after struggling with congestive heart issues for a long while. So it was good for me to hole up in my stamp room and actually get my mind off things.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Canvas vs. Linen

Someone asked me yesterday what the difference was between the SU Canvas and Linen background stamps. She wanted to know which one was better, did she need them both, and which one did I use the most? I told her though similar, they give much different effects. I tend to use the canvas more often but that may be because I've had it longer and haven't had much time to play with the linen yet. The canvas can be either funky or rustic depending on the color and how it is applied (fully inked or light and spotty). The linen background really softens an image and looks best with watercolored solid images I think.

Anyway - it got me playing with them both. I want to make ATCs (artist trading cards - 2 1/2" x 3 1/2") showing both of them. I got the linen one done but was distracted by my funky and fun new Big Blooms set from the spring mini. So that's what I did with the canvas. The canvas ATC will have to come later.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Getting in the Groove

Lately I've been in a rut creatively and haven't done much unless it is a) for somebody else and/or b) has a deadline attached. So, I think I need to MAKE more time to do something fun. My goal is to work on something totally fun and just for me for a minimum of 10 minutes a day - at the end of the week that's over an hour's worth of progress which is better than none. And hopefully it will get me motivated again and back 'in the groove'.

To get things going, here are a few of the projects I've been doing in the last few days, weeks, months...
I found this cool book at a cute little quilt shop in Louisville Colorado when I was up there visiting my brother's family for Thanksgiving. It's made from a placemat folded in half (cool huh?). So so fast and that's what I need right now in a project. Instant gratification is good when time is limited. Now I just need to make a non-valentine one. I did get one finished for a secret pal gift at M's Jr High, but that photo is on another camera so it'll have to wait.

The book is called Simple and Sensational Purses from Placemats by Ricki Bremer (

I was in charge of Leader Appreciation gifts for my Girl Scout service unit this year. I had to come up with something inexpensive and not too complicated. I saw some bottlecap pins and thought that would be perfect. I ordered the uncrimped bottlecaps from for next to nothing and smashed away. I am still amazed that the edges turn under like they do to make that cool little frame thing. I learned my lesson using the "cheap" 3D crystal laquer though. When it dried, there were bubbles all over Juliette Low. Next time I'll pay the few extra dollars for Stampin' Up!'s crystal effects. It really is better. I used a magnet on the back instead of a pin. Everyone seemed to like them, or at least they were very good at being nice :).

I have a great group of ladies that come to stamp once a month - I call them my "Daytimers". I try to come up with some clever projects for them to try. This is the cute little card tote that folks have been making over at SCS. I think the original pattern came from March 06 issue of PaperCrafts magazine. We are going to make a full sheet of the Roses in Winter stamped images then cut it up to acccent the tote and cards. We will end up using 1 sheet Whisper White, 2 sheets Mellow Moss, and 1 sheet Regal Rose with a few scraps of ribbon and white CS for accents. I will definitely have to make more of these. Wouldn't they be cute teacher gifts filled with more cards and tags for them to use?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

So I'm jumping in

Yeah, I need to start something new like I need a hole in the head. But I thought this would be fun and give me a place to show off my creativity. It will have a lot of stampin' stuff, maybe some quilting stuff, a few scout projects, and perhaps a few other miscellaneous things I dabble with. My plan is to keep it fast, keep it simple and not go overboard with the tech-stuff. (Me? go overboard? only aways). I sometimes wish I had fewer interests and could really focus on one of them and actually get great at it or even (gasp!) make a profit doing it. But, the fact is that I keep finding fun things to do and jump right in heedless of the fact that I already don't have time to do the stuff I'm doing now. Ah well, it's better than being bored.