Monday, December 31, 2007

Another Card Kit Creation

Last night, as I stepped gingerly through the cramped space that should be my Craft Room, I spied a piece of patterned paper, and since I have nowhere else to put anything, it was, well, just sitting 'out', ya know? Being a Mom, I have the activated Mom Photographic Memory - the result of multitudes of queries like "Mom, where are my shoes?!?!" - so the paper's image and location were lodged in my memory for later retrieval.

Today is Monday, December 31st. That means it was a sloooow day at the office, so my mind wandered to what I'd create with these pre-cut card kits when I got home. That's when the Mom Memory kicked in! I remembered the card I made last night (see yesterday's post, below) had a piece of Close To Cocoa in it, and the Mom Memory recalled this piece of brown argyle-type print paper. PERFECT!

So when I got home I made this:

Recipe: Stamps - Lovely As A Tree, All Holiday; Paper - Ruby Red, Old Olive, Naturals White, Close To Cocoa, misc patterned paper; Ink - Choc Chip; Other - Close To Cocoa and Old Olive markers, Word Window punch, HPH, misc gingham ribbon.

This is the same set of card stock pieces I used yesterday, still minus the mystery 1/4 sheet of Ruby Red; I just added the patterned paper this time and layered the squares a little differently. I like this one a LOT better than the first one I made.

I think this Lovely As A Tree set will stand the test of time. I have had it forever, it is one of my go-to sets, and I plan to keep it, even long after SU retires it, if they ever do! (Oh, man, now that I put that in writing, it will probably retire in June. Sigh ... )

And by the way! For all you neat-nicks out there, if I had put that paper away I would have never seen it in passing, and this card would never have been created. Just think of all that beautiful paper I have filed away that I never see, so it never gets used. Soooo, my hypothesis is this: a messy craft room is more conducive to generating inspiration than an immaculate one. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it!

(Somewhere, I am sure my HS teachers are cringing ... I used to know the difference between a hypothesis and a theory, but it is lost in the recesses of my mental storage files.)

Enough with the Ruby Red stacks. Next up I'll play with some of the purple stacks o'card stock. Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A New Year, A New Challenge

I found myself with a few free moments on Saturday, so I decided to start going through the many boxes of 'things' in here and doing a little triage. One of the caches I found was a box (or two) of old workshop kits. Zip-top bags of card stock, all pre-cut for the workshop of the day. I've gotten smarter over time and now I cut the number of kits I need plus one, but in the past I usually rounded up to an even number...with 9 people coming I made 12. I had this dream that I'd make the extra cards myself ... some day. Well, some day never came, until now.

I have no recollection of the actual designs of these cards of workshops past, or even if I have the stamp sets any more. But I faithfully collected all the like stacks o'card stock and got rid of all the extra bags, etc. I have a huge (three years huge) collection of pre-cut card stock just ASKing to be formed into cards.

So my new self-challenge for the coming year is to use it all to make cards. A novel idea, I know, but just think about it: this stuff was paid for years ago, so anything I do with it will be FREE! Free is good! I decided to allow myself to use up embellishments from my stash, too, thus qualifying these as a stash-dive challenges, even though that is so "last year".

First up is this pile from one of my kits:

That's a 1/2 sheet of Ruby Red plus a 1/4 sheet of Ruby Red, a square of Close To Cocoa, a square of Naturals White and a square of Old Olive. I decided to give up on the 1/2 sheet of Ruby Red (I'll save it for later), but I used the rest of it to make this:

Recipe: Stamps: Garden Silhouettes, All Holidays; Card Stock - Ruby Red, Close To Cocoa, Naturals White, Old Olive; Ink - Choc Chip; Other - Old Olive and Ruby Red markers, Word Window punch, Vintage brads, Dimensionals, misc floral ribbon, misc brown gingham ribbon.

I figured since I almost always offer a pile o'scraps for my customers to use for sentiments or other small things for the cards, it would be okay for me to use a scrap for the sentiment. I added two pieces of Stash ribbon - done! A five-minute card! Ten minutes if you count the time it took me to hunt down the ribbon and retrieve the Word Window punch. If the rest of these go as well as this one, I might be done by March!

I'll keep working on these in between planning my projects for my January workshops and post as I get some more done. Off to create some more!

Friday, December 28, 2007

I had to share ...

I just experienced a way-back moment, and I had to share! I was in the kitchen, mixing up a new batch of Emeril's Essence, and desperately hunting through my spice cabinet for the ingredients. If you watch Emeril's shows, you will know he taunts the audience about the presumed shelf life of pre-ground spices, and it is not the "years" some people keep them - "and you know who you are!" Well, I am one of those guilty parties with decades-old spices on hand.

So imagine my amusement when I hunted for Thyme and found this:

Yep - and it was full! For the young-uns reading this post, this is a metal tin of spice, and they ALL used to come this way. I think the darkness of the container (not much light gets through metal) plus the tightness of the top kept these fresher for longer than today's plastic. Actually, I am not sure we HAD plastic back then...LOL! Kidding! Just not for our spices. And even in a metal tin, I am pretty sure this one has lost just a wee bit of its potency.

For some more way-backness, check out the top and bottom of the container:

Yes, you needed an instrument with strength, like a metal teaspoon to pry the lid off these things. On the right is the bottom of the tin with the price: 29 cents. We now take a moment to pause and reflect on the good ole' days .......................................

Okay, enough reminiscing! Back to cooking! BTW, this nice Jewish girl is making a ham. That is correct - a HAM. I have seen so many cooking programs with people making their own honey glazes that I had to try it. I also had to look up the recipes - like *I* would know how to cook a ham. Guess what I will be eating for a week. Mmmm...smells good in here.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Do NOT Try This At Home!

Call me 'wet behind the ears', but I have a lot to learn about blogging! I do not normally have much free time to just surf, and I rarely read other people's blogs, at least not on a regular basis. If I have free time, I like to stamp!

But alas, I am still a bit burned out from my mad dash to make Holiday and Birthday cards the past few days, so I decided to take tonight off, especially since in a weak moment I turned on {shudder} Network TV and was just in time to see a commercial for The Grinch. YAY! So I am on the couch waiting for movie time and thought I'd check out some blogs.

Where to get started? I checked out the few blogs I have listed here (really my bookmarks so I can find them again), but then those are the few on which my reading is up-to-date, and they are all celebrating Christmas with their families, so there are no new updates. (Do not be sad for me! I do not celebrate Christmas, so tomorrow is just a day off for me!)

Anyway, I have seen the "next blog" link on the blogger page and thought, hmmmm, that would be a cool way to see other blogs without having to really look for them. This would be the "do not try this at home" part. Let me tell ya, there are some straaaange people out there, and a few of them have sites without naked women! The rest of them ARE ALL NAKED WOMEN! Some local, too! Who knew!?!

So no more of THAT, no sir! I think I'll go check out the SCS Bloggers site and do some safe surfing! But "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" just started, so I must curl up with the cat and watch those cute Who's in Whoville! G'nite!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

'Tis the Season, and I am Jolly!

Yep, I am jolly! I finally got the idea for my holiday card out of my head and onto paper. And the good news is I used a ton of stuff from my stash!

Among my hoarded stuff is a box of almost every color of A Muse cards, and just about all the ribbon I have ever grabbed from Mike's. My goal this week was to not only design a card, but to use some of my must-have-but-never-used stash, and I think I've done it!

First, my idea was to put the A Muse cards on an A2 base so they fit in a standard envelope. That way I do not need to pay extra postage for the non-rectangular envelope. Hopefully my embellishments will not push me over on postage anyway.

Here is my card:

Recipe: Snow Flurries (SU), Penguins (The Cat's Pajamas), sentiment by A Muse; Paper - Blue Bayou, Old Olive, Whisper White, A Muse note card; Other - SU markers, misc ribbon, Dazzling Diamonds (SU), glue pad.

Since I always hand-write a note to each person, there is no way I will get these done and mailed before Christmas, so I used a Winter theme instead. The challenge for me was to find a Stampin' Up! color that worked with the various A Muse card colors I wanted to use. I decided on Blue Bayou, and set about to find ribbon to tie it all together. I had several ribbons that worked, but I had to bend my self-imposed "must match" rules and learned to go with a "pretty close". A step outside of my comfort zone and a growing experience, to boot!

Here are two more of the ribbons I used:

And since non-SU ribbon spools tend to be so much shorter than the SU spools, I went through about 5 different spools from my stash. YAY!

Between now and the first of the year I will be working on my writer's cramp, but I will probably take a few breaks to work on next year's cards. That's the plan, anyway. ;-)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Better Late Than Never

I am finally getting around to working on my holiday cards for this year. I cannot bring myself to buy cards, and I have not for years, so it comes down to sending them late or not sending them at all. Last year I think I made my cards on Dec 24th, but since there are 12 days of Christmas, I was still okay, at least in my own mind! I have considered doing Happy New Year cards, but I decided that in the end, a seasonal-related card, like "Winter", would be the best all-around solution.

I have my non-SU card in the works now, still in design mode, but I just made these for my faithful SU Customers.

Recipe (all SU products): Stamps - Snowfall, Glad Tidings; Paper - Soft Sky, Always Artichoke, Whisper White, Wintergreen DS paper; Ink - Soft Sky, Always Artichoke; Other - Jumbo Eyelets Antique Brass, Vintage brads, Soft Sky double-stitched ribbon.

I decide to keep it simple. Yes, I had to cut out all those snowflakes, but in the end I really like the look of them! Now I am off to look up all the addresses and get these out!

Next up will be my other card. I am still working on the design, and may end up with several different ones. Having several would certainly eliminate the decision-making on which to use, and also cut down on the repetition of the assembly-line. ;-)

This is the only time of year I keep in touch with a lot of people in my life, so I do make the effort to communicate, and I include a hand-written note to each one. This is also why these may not go out until close to the New Year, which is ... yikes - less than 10 days away. Hard to believe. But I think that extra personal touch is worth the time for all the years these people have been in my life.

Enough sap - back to work!

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Second Helping of Irreverence

After a tough week, followed by a tough weekend, by 3:00 pm Sunday I felt the need for a trip to the local stamp store. Hey, someone has to support the local economy, right?

I really went to look for more Figgy Pudding paper, but alas they had none. No problem! I found some stamps that just jumped into my basket, so what could I do but take them home? But I have this rule that I must use the new things I buy at least once, so I am pushing myself to do just that before I put them away.

First up is another Figgy Pudding card. I just loooove this paper!

Recipe:Stamps - Happy Everything (SU); Card Stock - Mellow Moss (SU), Figgy Pudding (Basic Grey); Ink - Choc Chip Craft (SU); Other - Clear EP, Choc Chip ribbon, 3/4 inch circle punch, brads, SU Ticket Corner punch.

I had this idea that the circles on this pattern from the 6x6 pack would fit the 3/4 inch circle punch, and they do! So I punched some out of another piece and popped them up on the main piece.

I originally had more circles on the bottom half of the card, but ended up with a less-is-more version that I prefer. And I also used Christmas paper for a non-Christmas card (pats self on back). ;-)

Next up is a card I made tonight for a co-worker.

Recipe: Stamps - A Muse; Paper - A Muse card base, SU Whisper White and Old Olive; Ink - Black StazOn; Other - Marvy Punches, SU markers, Sakura red glitter pen, ribbon (Really Reasonable Ribbon).

I have been eyeing this A Muse stamp for a while, and it was one of those mentioned above that found their way into my basket. I also managed to use an A Muse card base from my stash as well as some new ribbon I had to get from Really Reasonable Ribbon.

The Olive square is mounted on Dimensionals to add some pop, and to make it easier for me to tie the ribbon. ;-)

And NOW for some irreverence! I felt a burning need to use these sentiments tonight, so I got lazy and used the same lady for all of them. She is by Art Impressions, and on their Web site her name is Jewel. I think she looks more like a Maude, or a Harriet, or maybe a Blanche. Hmmm ... maybe I'll offer a Blanche line next year. ;-)

Recipe: Stamps - bg by Cornish Heritage Farms, lady by Art Impressions, sentiment by River City Rubber Works; Paper - Naturals White, Basic Gray, Wild Wasabi, misc patterned paper; Ink - Wild Wasabi, Basic Black; Other - SU markers, Sakura glitter pens, gingham ribbon, dimensionals.

If you have read any of my other posts, you may recall that the more irreverent the saying, the more likely I am to purchase it!

I had seen the above sentiment online in the past and resisited purchasing it, but it was within arm's reach yesterday, so I got it. What else could I do? Hmmm ... Now that I see it is from River City Rubber Works, I wonder if I might not already have it. Ah, well, c'est la vie.

When I use this lady for a card, I stamp her twice - once on the layer for the card, and once on the patterned paper; then I cut her dress out in two pieces. It is a little work, but I think it looks great!

Side note: I went a bit nuts a little while ago looking through all of my Stampin' Up! DS papers. I was desperately seeking the Wild Wasabi that I was SURE would match her dress. I looked and looked and muttered some questionable words and looked some more. Finally, in utter frustration, I looked in my catalog where I marked which papers I'd bought and lo and behold - we do not offer the DS paper in Wild Wasabi! No wonder I could not find it! Sigh ...

Plan B - I stamped a Cornish Heritage Farms backgrounder stamp (that just happened to be on my work table - see how easy things are when you do not clean up immediately?!?!?) on a piece of Wild Wasabi card stock with Wild Wasabi ink to create the background.

Here she is again, same background, same everything, just a different sentiment. I just love her!!!

Recipe: Stamps - bg by Cornish Heritage Farms, lady by Art Impressions, sentiment by Repeat Impressions; Paper - Naturals White, Basic Gray, Wild Wasabi, misc patterned paper; Ink - Wild Wasabi, Basic Black; Other - SU markers, Sakura glitter pens, gingham ribbon, dimensionals.

And last, but not least, a Mustard version with yet another must-have sentiment.

Recipe: Stamps - lady by Art Impressions, sentiment by Repeat Impressions; Paper - Naturals White, Basic Gray, More Mustard DS Paper, misc patterned paper; Ink - Basic Black; Other - SU markers, Sakura glitter pens, gingham ribbon, dimensionals.

That's all I have in me for tonight. Of to sleepy-land so I can go to work in the morning, then come home and play some more!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Still trainable!

Apparently I am not too old to learn new tricks. Just this past week I finally figured out another secret of taming the beast that is Blogger. It took me a few months to get my uploaded photos to align without big gaps between them. Now, AT LAST, I have learned how to upload a photo so it can be viewed by the naked eye without having to enlarge it. Ta-da:

Recipe: Stamps - Canvas, Peaceful Wishes (SU); Paper - Figgy Pudding (Basic Grey), River Rock, Choc Chip, Naturals White (SU); Ink - River Rock, Close to Cocoa, Tempting Turquoise (SU), Versafine Sepia; Other - Choc gg ribbon, clear EP, misc brown brads, SU Ticket Corner punch, sponge dauber.

It was so easy I was floored! I have been so focussed on the Left/Right/Center option I never noticed that I had the size defaulted to Small. Well duuuuh. Once I checked Medium, voila!

First off, I have to say FIGGY PUDDING ROCKS! Since I am afraid to haunt the scrapbook stores in fear of falling victim to the ever-present "you must buy it all" tendency, I learn about new, cool stuff mostly through enabling threads on SCS. So when I saw people using the Figgy Pudding paper by Basic Grey, I had to go look it up. LOVE IT!

To save myself from myself, I ordered it online from Frantic Stamper. Believe it or not, I actually tend to order less online than I do walking into Recollections. [A moment of silence, as Recollections soon will be no more...;-(] My papers arrived today and I broke into them!

My workshops for this month are behind me, so I have a clean surface for a few days, and I set in to make a few Holiday cards for someone at work. They are supposed to be delivered tomorrow, so I kinda HAD to work on them tonight. Forget that I've had 2 week's notice - I have been busy, ya know?!

So ANYway, that first card above uses ... Figgy Pudding paper from the big pack. I wanted to do something asymetrical since it is opposite of how I normally work. I must have moved and re-layered the sentiment a dozen times before I decided on that layout.

This next card also uses ... Figgy Pudding papers, but these are from the 6x6 pack. I love that these are the same patterns but on a smaller scale, not just 6x6 pieces of the larger papers.

Recipe: Stamps - Supersize Snowflake, Glad Tidings (SU); Paper - Sahara Sand c/s (SU), Figgy Pudding 6x6 papers (Basic Grey); Ink - Versafine Sepia; Other - Clear EP, 1/2 inch circle punch, SU Pewter Build-A-Brad.

After I took the photo and uploaded it to the 'puter, I decided the card was lacking some oomph, so I went back and added a sentiment and a piece of ribbon.

Recipe: Same as above, plus Misc Wine gg ribbon, Glad Tidings sentiment (SU), Rose Red ink (for the sentiment).

So I am pretty happy with how these turned out! I hope they pass muster at work, cuz this is all I have in me for tonight.

I may have to get more of that Figgy Pudding paper ... I really like it!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Rant Retraction

I was just a little off with my rant last night about the snow not sticking - durn it if it didn't accumulate, even on the roads. And yeah, I need to shovel my front walk (in the morning - I am already in my jammies tonight).

But that still does not excuse the mania that surrounds the mere mention of the 's' word in these parts! Thank goodness I took the car with gas in the tank today, because the other car is running on fumes; even though the gas station is only about 3 miles away, and right on the way to work, it took me so long to get that far this morning, I would have been just another news event on the radio, sitting in a backup caused by my empty tank!

So anyway, it took me 1 hour and 45 minutes to get to work today (it runs 30-45 minutes on a typical travel day.) At that hour there was NO accumulation...the roads I traveled were merely wet. W-E-T! I got into work so late that I had to stay so late to make it up that by the time I hit the road there was virtually no traffic, but there was snow. I estimate two inches - tops!

Actually, I think I figured out the silliness of inclement weather and DC-area traffic: the proximity to DC! All that hot air must send out some sort of chemical that rises into the atmosphere where it co-mingles with the droplets that will become precipitation. This would explain why you automatically have to add 30 minutes to your commute time if it is raining, undoubtedly due to the release of this mystery chemical back into the air we breathe as we, crawl on the mis-named expressway. And we all know snow is just a firmer form of rain. Being firmer, it apparently contains a more concentrated amount of this mystery chemical, causing mass hysteria, nay: panic, in the minds of the commuting populace. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it!

A Little Creative Jolt

And I do not mean 'jolt' like in caffeine or high-test soda! Did you ever start making a card and just get stuck? It happens to all of us, no matter how experienced you are. Maybe you are in a creative rut, or maybe you simply cannot decide between two versions of the same card.

Or have you ever posted something to a gallery and all the comments you get are 'Nice card'? Have you ever wanted someone to tell you what they really thought of your creation?

Fear not! Help is here! A new blog has been created to help people out of their ruts or 'stuck' places! Check it out at I signed up right away, since I am famous for getting half-way to a creation (sometimes as far as putting paper to card stock, and that's all!), and I just need somewhere to go to ask for an honest opinion.

So far we have had great feedback. We post the original card with questions, etc, and other members post honest feedback and suggestions. Then we go off to re-create and post the update.

This is a great place - check it out!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

OhMyGosh, it's begun ...

I grew up in the Midwest, including stints in Ohio, Michigan and the Chicago 'burbs. I know about Winter and snow and cold.

When I first moved to the DC area in '85, and the weather person predicted "frigid temperatures" followed by a forecast of {shudder} temperatures in the 20's...I almost spewed my beverage. 20?!?! Frigid?!?!!? Uh-uh. Frigid temps is when the wind chill is 60 below zero and your knees turn a bright pink, even under the long coat that covers them and half-way down your up-to-the-knees boots, then once you get into the building it takes about 2 hours for the color to fade to normal and sensation to return. THAT is frigid. Anything between zero and 32 is just "cold".

So after 22 years I am almost used to the silliness that is the DC-area weather, or should I say DC-area residents! If the forecast even mentions the word "snow", the stores are packed with people buying milk, bread and TP. (What's up with that, anyway? I do not recall that phenomenon in the looong Chicago Winters...) Oh yeah, and the little weather alerts will come on TV and squish your viewing area to a teeny tiny square so you can watch for ... drum-roll, please ... school closings! I swear! The schools have closed (that is, not opened) because there is a chance of snow around 2 pm.

I will admit there is some cause to be frightened around here when it does actually precipitate and the ground is cold enough for it to stick. We just do not get enough snow every year for people to remember how to drive in it. We'll get one or maybe two good coverings each year, usually in the January/February time frame. The first week of December? Nah - just talk.

And when the ground is very cold, and has been very cold for a long time, we do tend to get more ice than snow. I think the real concern is the school busses on side streets, but that is because we so rarely get snow, we do not spend our tax money on snow removal equipment, and it can take 3 days to get your street plowed if you live on a side street. A week if you live in DC, but I digress.

So today on the way home, the guy on the radio did allude to a chance of up to 2" over the next day or so ON THE GRASS. It has been in the 50's up until the past few days! It is not going to stick!!!! Yep - the stores were crowded.

I am sorry - it all just cracks me up.

Now that I am done ranting and whining, I think I'll go stamp something, like a project for this weekend's workshops! ;-)

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Rush is Almost Over

In today's episode, we stop to ponder our life's choices. I got started in stamping thinking I could make some money selling what I made. [HAHAHA - what was she smoking?!?!] No, seriously, I love to make cards, and as my Living Room filled up with all my creations, I thought I could make more than one of each and sell them, which I promptly started to do. The challenge is there is not a good profit margin on a card. So while I do make money on every card I sell, it ain't payin' the mortgage, if you get my drift. It sure is a good thing I like doing it so much or I'd have to rethink my life's decisions!

I had my last show of the season this past Saturday, and it feels like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. It was actually a good show! Pretty well attended, I sold a good amount of cards (and not much else), and I got three new potential customers for my SU classes. YAY! I think I just get tired at this point every year, and I regroup and regenerate over the Winter months.

Lesson #1 learned: Start preparing for next year's Christmas shows before November! There really is something to the discipline of making Holiday cards starting in January.

Lesson #2 learned: Stop trying to be something you are not. I am a card-maker; I am not a paper crafter. I love all the other things we can do with our stash of stuff, but I found I really perfer to just make cards. I tried the paper crafting, and I think we all had a good time at my first Holiday Stamp Camp...I liked it, but I found myself asking, "But where's the stamping?"

So I left last Saturday's show and went straight to my storage unit (I told you this condo was teeny tiny!) and unloaded my craft show walls and tables into storage. Now I can see out the back window of my car, too!

Next up: I will triage the remaining items in my inventory, because technically (for taxes) I do not carry an inventory. This time every year I go through all my remaining cards and thin the herd. All the stuff I am either sick of looking at or is just plain not selling gets put into boxes and I ship them to people who make up care packages for the troops. It is a win-win situation for everyone.

This year I have the added pleasure of donating all my unsold ornaments to local charitable establishments or maybe some Senior Living facilities or Half-Way houses. I liked them, but apparently no one else did, so out they go.

Now I can focus on Stampin' Up! and my monthly classes/stamp camps/whatever they are. I love doing them, and now I feel I'll have the time to focus more, which is what I meant by "the rush is almost over". I have my workshops this next weekend, and I am so NOT prepared! Okay, I have 3 of the 5 projects made; I just need to think up 2 more and call it done! But first I need to go through my cards so I can get everyone IN here on Sunday. Off to triage!

Update, 9:00 pm EST:

Triage is done, and I am stunned. I started with 6 1/2 storage boxes (Container Store Sweater Boxes) of cards, and post-triage, where I did not take much time to decide "keep" versus "purge", I am down to less than 3, one of which is all Christmas and Chanukkah. I ended up with 5 flat-rate boxes stuffed with cards. Then I found a box in the other room I had forgotten about, so now I will load up a few bubble envelopes with the rest of those cards. This is all going to 3 organizations...I feel "cleansed".

Lesson #3 learned: Be a bit more discerning in what is created en masse for sale.

Over the years I have sold a few of my "one of a kind" cards - those made on the way to the final version that I cannot bear to just throw away, but probably not enough to justify keeping them around. I guess I'll have a bit more recycling next year. ;-)

I do have a box of other cards that I plan to drop off at my massage therapist's place. She has always had a small rack of my cards for sale, and now that I can include SU images in that collection I have a few more to add to the offerings. Mostly Christmas ones...I hope to actually SELL some of them! Yeesh.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Side of Irreverence

I have found over the few years that I have been selling cards, that the more outlandish they are, the more people seem to like them. There is always the need for "normal" cards, like Birthday, Anniversary, Sympathy, etc. but even within those categories (except for Sympathy, maybe) people seem to be buying more of the "out there" ones.

I love it when people come into my booth and stand there flipping through the cards, and laughing! Of course, I like it better if they actually buy something, but the entertainment factor is so much fun!

So, I am always on the lookout for irreverent sayings. I have, in the past, done them on the computer, but I find it easier when I can just stamp it where I want on the card. And part of the fun is trying to figure out which images to use them with!

Here are three cards I made by dipping into my new selection of irreverent sayings from River City Rubber Works.

This one was easy. I had an unopened set of transportation stamps from Technique Tuesday, and the ship just screamed to be used with this sentiment. (I guess this now qualifies as a Stash Dive entry, too!)

I kept it simple, pairing the Basic Gray with Soft Sky, so the sentiment is the star. I love how it turned out!

Recipe: Stamps - Ship & smoke by Technique Tuesday, sentiment by River City Rubber Works; Paper - Soft Sky, Soft Sky DS paper, Whisper White, Basic Gray; Inl - Basic Black, Soft Sky; Other - blender pen, Soft Sky double-stitched ribbon, Barely Banana and Going Gray markers.

For this one, I matched the saying up with this lady that I just love. She is fun to put with funny sentiments, and I thought this one was perfect for her!

I always try to give her a patterned dress, so I stamp her on patterned paper and cut out the dress part - it comes out in two pieces; then I just stick it on the main image. I really wanted to use a different piece of this Charbon DS paper, but the pattern was too busy and I could not see the lines of the image to cut it out! So I settled on these dots. Love it!

Recipe: Stamps - lady by Art Impressions, sentiment by River City Rubber Works; Paper - Sage Shadow, Going Gray, Very Vanilla, Charbon DS paper; Ink - Basic Black, Blush Blossom, Sage Shadow; Real Red and Basic Black markers, Vintage Brads, Dimensionals.

And then there's Wanda. This is one of those sets I had to keep after it retired, and I am glad I did. Like the lady above, this image of Wanda in her comfy chair will hold up to almost any sentiment. So fun!

I got carried away with the layering, as I kept thinking it needed "a little something". I finally stopped when I added the much-under-appreciated Bravo Burgundy layer.

AND, this one qualifies for the UFO challenge on SCS, where UFO = UnFinished Objects. Okay, maybe not, but then it does qualify as a Stash Dive entry. The card base of Sage Shadow has an image of the Floral Background stamp on it. I did a stack of these earlier this year, then changed my mind, so being 1/2 sheet of card stock they went back into the Sage Shadow supply. I just re-discovered them this morning when looking for Sage Shadow for this and the previous card, so I USED them! At last!

Recipe: Stamps - Wanda's Wit & Wisdom, sentiment by River City Rubber Works; Paper - Sage Shadow, Bravo Burgundy, Very Vanilla, Basic Gray; Ink - Basic Gray, Sage Shadow, Bravo Burgundy; Other - Basic Gray taffeta ribbon, blender pen, markers.

Almost forgot one! Here we have the lady with the curlers and the attitude. I love how I can have her say anything I want! ;-) So she got matched up with the Fat People sentiment.

Like the other lady, I stamped her twice, once on the Vanilla and once on the DS paper, then cut out her dress and stuck it on the other image. You can make her as frumpy as you'd like! In other projects, she has had pink slippers...too bad they are not bunny slippers!

Recipe: Stamps - Lady by Eat Cake Graphics, sentiment by River City Rubber Works; Paper - River Rock, Really Rust, Very Vanilla, Apple Cider DS paper; Ink - Basic Black; Other - River Rock double-stitched ribbon, misc ribbon, blender pen, markers, HPH, dimensionals.

That's it for to do something domestic. Scary, non?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Little Rework

One of my scheduled tasks for this long weekend was to rework some of the ornaments I made last year. The reason for the rework is because even though people who came into my booth at my craft shows said the ornaments were beautiful, no one bought them. (Well, okay, I sold 4 out of 24...not a rush in my world.)

In an earlier post, I referred to a conversation I had with a customer at my November Craft Bazaar who suggested they were pretty from the top, but not from the side, and hanging on a tree, people would look at them from the side. I had never thought about that, not having a tree myself, so ... the rework.

This is a very bad, fuzzy shot from the side of one of the original ornaments. It has a layered topper of three Outlines stamps, a moss-colored gold-edged ribbon on the outside, and some glitter snow for something on the inside.

This is the top of the original ornament. Each image was stamped on vellum or specialty paper, gold-embossed, then cut out. I cut out a hole in the center of each to fit over the top of the ornament. I made 24 of them (that's 72 stamped, embossed, cut images... do I sound bitter?), and I thought they came out great. Until they did not sell. ;-(

So ANYway, I decided to take off the topper and put an acetate snowman inside, taking full advantage of the existing snow to cover the bottom of the image.

This is another fuzzy shot showing the snowman version of the ornament. I stamped him on acetate (really overlays from an office supply store) with Staz-On, then colored them on the backs with Sharpies. I applied 2-way glue to the body and put glitter on him.

Once he was rolled up and stuck into the ornament, he sat nicely in the snow. I added the red ribbon and he was done!

I reworked about 10 or 11 of these guys. I did leave 6 or so of the original ornaments in my collection - who knows, maybe someone will buy them next week!

Oh, and this counts as a Stash Dive creation since I had to blow the dust off the snowman image (by All Night Media) to use him. ;-)

So what did I do with all those toppers? Never fear - they became cards! Last year I actually had one set of images left after I'd made the ornaments, so I made one card with them. I just used a photo of it (I photograph everything I make ...) as a guide for making these today.

Note: If you are going to use Versamark for both embossing and stamping a background, you should stamp and emboss the one image first, THEN stamp the images for a background. I messed up the first card and had gold EP stuck to everything. It was a mess.

Recipe: Stamps - Outlines, Peaceful Wishes (SU); Card Stock - Mellow Moss, Shimmer Gold, green paper, red vellum, white vellum; Ink - Versamark; Other - gold EP, misc button, 3/4 inch circle punch, gold cord (retired), dimensionals.

That's all for now. Tomorrow is another day!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's a Frenzy!

Yes, it has been a creative frenzy here these past few days! I think I was productive because I had that lovely 2-day weekend. I do not think I even got out of my jammies on Sunday!

There was some MAJOR stash-diving going on here! I got all of these stamps last year, and am just now using them in earnest. I have had all these ideas in my head for about a year now, so it was wonderful to put them to paper! Once I started, I was on a roll!

This card is all one stamp...can you see why I just had to have it??!?! I tried embossing it in black, but I could not get a good, clean embossed image, and I really tried!

Second shot was Staz-on, and while it was not as much of a pop, it stamped very nicely. I used a blender pen with Bashful Blue to color the window panes to look like the sky. It was a very fuzzy-ended pen, which worked out very well, indeed! I like the mottled look - it seems more like a real sky than if it had come out nice and even.

I used a red glitter gel pen to color their bows, and that piece of ribbon is from my Really Reasonable Ribbon shipment.

Recipe: Stamps - Rubber Cottage; Card Stock - Sahara Sand, Real Red, Whisper White; Ink - Staz-on black, Sahara Sand, Bashful Blue; Other - Red glitter gel pen, SU two-hole punch, SU ticket corner punch, ribbon from ReallyReasonableRibbon.

Now this guy I have also had for a year, so this counts as a stash-dive card, too! I got the sentiment at the same time I got the moose, and they were just asking to be used together!

The card has many layers so it is a bit hefty. The moose and sentiment were actually stamped on separate pieces of card stock, because, well, it increased the chances of getting them straight, and heaven knows I can use all the help I can get in that area! ;-) The ribbon covers up the seam quite conveniently.

As an added touch, I put the retired SU brown Flock on his antlers. They are fuzzy!!!! And I got a bag of those tiny candy canes last year, too, so I USED them! This card was a lot of fun to make, and I am glad it made its way from my brain to card stock!

Recipe: Stamps - Moose by AAA Rubberstamps, Sentiment by Whipper Snapper Designs; Card Stock - Very Vanilla, Mellow Moss, Real Red, Dashing DS paper; Ink - Basic Gray; Other - Red glitter gel pen (hat band), Real Red marker, 2-Way glue pen, Brown Flock, 5/8 inch Olive gg ribbon, Natural hemp, Ticket corner punch, Candy cane.

Next up is my Folding Frenzy. I made about 4 of these origami cards last year, and people loved them. Soooo, when I walked by my stash of Parent Sheet papers (Parent Sheet = BIG) I got at the Paper Source, I thought I'd USE them to make some more of these cards.

This first one uses SU Dashing DS paper, and I have to tell you, it is FAT! I finally figured out why - the DS papers are thicker than regular scrapbook paper, so it is a little (okay, a lot) on the hefty side.

I added the ovals and sentiment (Paper Inspirations) then decided I did not like it, so the rest of the cards did not get sentiments.

Also, in this version I cut the card stock in the usual 1/4 inch increments, so it fits on the card, but there was a big empty at the top. That's when I broke out my Cat's Pajamas Holly stamp and added that to fill in some of the space. I like how it came out!

These next three cards are variations on the same theme. They use different pretty papers, and I paired them with card stock colors that coordinated with the papers, which made them non-traditional holiday colors.

For this one I broke out Pale Plum and the retired SU Carribean Blue, then decided it really called for a black accent.

I really love the texture and feel of this green paper! It almost feels like fabric, but it is not fabric paper - I have some of that, and this isn't it. But there was much enjoyment with the folding process for these! ;-)

I paired this paper with Elegant Eggplant and Sahara Sand card stock.

Last up is this very pretty, soft paper, and I think it is my favorite of all of them. I paired it with Garden Green and Rose Red.

All of these have a gold 'star' brad at the top of the tree. This was another Stash Dive, as I have had them forever! Well, at least a year or so.

So all in all, I think I did pretty well putting a dent in the ole Stash! Papers, brads, stamps, flock ... not too shabby! The other thing I liked about this exercise is it forced me back to using SU's 48 colors, many of which I have been seriously neglecting since our In Color colors hit the market. It was nice to visit old friends. ;-)

Next up - more Stash Diving with my re-worked ornaments. I dug out the perfect snow man stamp from the Stash, and he looks great in the mock-up I did. I'll work on these this weekend and post one of them.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Busy, Busy Day

Today was the first Saturday I have had to spend all to myself since ... oh ... May? I love doing the weekly Farmers Markets, but after October, I kinda lose my desire to sit outside in the wind and the cold (it finally did get cold here) for 6 hours and not sell anything, so I cancelled today's appearance and did some much-needed catching up with life.

Silly me, I posted my SU stamps for sale on SCS last week in addition to here (see the link to the right - hint, hint) thinking they would probably get lost in the masso list of other people's lists of stuff for sale, but I have been flooded with responses. Yay! I am selling these babies as fast as I can answer the emails. I am VERY happy with the results. So this morning I hit the Post Office with 4 envelopes to get postage pricing, then I responded to the emails so people could get their payment to me.

Then I went to [shudder] The Store to look for new jeans and slacks for work. No one told me stamping would be FATTENING! This sedentary hobby is deadly in combination with the sedentary Day Job. So having outgrown my blue jeans, I first decided to just wear my chinos instead - not gonna buy new, she said. Nuh-uh. Well, it became tough to keep up with the laundry and getting to work and having anything to wear with only three pair of pants that FIT! So I caved and went shopping today. Did I ever tell you that I am allergic to shopping malls, and I think shopping in general?

So the local stores only fit those skinny minnies. Even their larger sizes are slim-cut...what's up with that?!?!? But I grabbed a few pairs of chinos in hopes they will fit and escaped the nasty place. Then I was off to the Outlets about an hour away, where they have Eddie Bauer, Liz Claiborne, etc. Liz saved me (found some jeans) and I came home. Not bad for a Saturday morning.

Then it was time to start stamping. First, I decided I should include a Thank You card in the bubble envelopes I am using to mail out all these stamp sets, so I whipped up the following card.

I re-discovered this stamp set when I was rummaging through my stamp storage drawers in search of retired sets to move to the Out Box (for sale). I had already done Phase One of The Purge last summer, but I decided if I have not looked at a set since July, I really do not need it, so out they went. It was quite liberating! And all the income should help me be in the black for Uncle Sam this year. A bonus!

Anyway, I ran across Artfully Asian, and I remembered I bought it because I LOVED it, and I still do. It is one of those sets where it is tough to mess up - cards just work with it. I am very pleased with how it turned out.

Recipe: Stamps - Arfully Asian; Card Stock - River Rock, Purely Pomegranate, Very Vanilla; Ink - Purely Pomegranate, River Rock, Wild Wasabi; Other - Purely Pomegranate double-stitched ribbon, Ticket Corner punch.

Then the mail arrived, and what a bounty it was! I got my latest order of irreverant sayings from River City Rubber Works, and also my first pack of ribbons from my latest cave-in - the monthly Ribbon Club at ReallyReasonableRibbon.

I have two weaknesses besides stamps - paper and ribbon. With Recollections closing, I should be saved in the paper category. Kidding! I am sad Recollections is closing, but I know I am weak when I go there...I'll just have to find a new paper source to haunt.

Now for ribbons - I succumb very easily to the Mike's enablement threads on SCS and I have the collection of ribbons, mostly unused, to show for it. I DO NOT need more ribbon. So why join a Ribbon Club? So I get a small selection of ribbon, delivered to my door every month, I am not going out looking for it, I am not tempted by "other things" I pass by, and I still get my fix. See, I think it might work!

So here is what I got today - a silver & light blue collection. VERY cool! Not things I would have picked out, but definitely things I could use. They will serve as inspiration for me.

Last week's cave-in purchase was from The Cat's Pajamas, and I still had not touched the stamps yet. Well, I touched them, but just to put them away. Very sad.

Given that I have a Holiday Show on Dec 1st, I thought it was time to work on some holiday cards. I love this pooch with the menorah on his nose, and since most of my Hanukkah cards are blue, I incorporated some of my new ribbon in the design. I am not jumping-up-and-down crazy about it, but I like it all the same.

Recipe: Stamps - pooch by Cat's Pajamas, sentiment by SU; Card Stock - Going Grey, Night of Navy, Whisper White; Ink - Night of Navy craft, Black, Close to Cocoa and Going Grey markers, Bordering Blue (sponging); Other - ribbon, sponge dauber, gold gel pen, double-hole punch, Marvy oval and scalloped oval punches, clear EP.

Tomorrow I have plans to make more holiday cards and to re-do my ornaments from toppers to ones with an acetate image inside. We'll see how far I get.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Quote Du Jour

When I first got hooked on stamping, I referred to my Demo as my "supplier"; "pusher" worked, too.

Now that I am in that same position, I get it back. Twice this week I have been accused of being a pusher, or selling crack cocaine.

One of my customers just sent me the funniest email, and it summed it up completely: Craft Crack.

LOL! Made my day!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Begging for new homes

I have just updated my list of SU stamps and punches for sale. See the "Stampin' Up! Stamps in need of a new home" link on the right side of my blog, just under the Legal Stuff. Please take pity on these poor stamp sets...they need to be loved again.

A friend and I are working on putting together a Flea Market for early next year, but I have to step over all the boxes and bags until then. Please - have mercy and buy some of my stuff!

Ahem ... done begging now .... ;-) Off to do some stampin'!

Monday, November 12, 2007

A little catching up ...

What a whirlwind ten days it's been! The Holiday Stamp Camp actually happened, my first one of two Craft Shows is behind me, as are my November workshops. Time to breathe!

Lessons learned this time around: (1) Do not stuff more than 8 people into the condo at one sitting; (2) Do not plan a Holiday Stamp Camp for the weekend before the weekend that has you doing both a Craft Show AND a series of workshops/classes; and (3) Start making your Holiday cards for your Craft Shows before November.

First, the Holiday Stamp Camp. Most of the projects went well, and people were impressed with their new-found skills. I, of course, over-estimated what we could accomplish in 3 hours, so we only got to 7 of my planned 11 projects. I did make sure to include the one project that incorporated Chocolate, as I felt there was a not-so-subtle undercurrent of anticipation that might have exploded into a full-out riot if I had chosen to skip that particular project. "So, is THIS the project with chocolate?!" I instructed them to take ten - TEN - pieces of chocolate to fit into the tin they were altering. Amazing how many people "miscounted" and had to consume the extras. Then I discovered a bag of Dark Chocolate pieces in my stash and it had to be passed around so that pieces of dark chocolate could to be "exchanged" for the plain pieces previously selected. Then I lost all control of the situation. But The Ladies were grinning and giggling, and a chocolately-good time was had by all. ;-)

I do have to add that the not-so-successful projects were even well-received, and everyone was a pretty good sport about it. I thought maybe it was because they got copies of the instructions to take home with them, but then I re-thought it and I really think it was the chocolate.

Now for the over-booking part. I honestly thought I could pull off the Holiday Stamp Camp on a Sunday, work a full week, set up for the Holiday Bazaar on Friday night, attend the Holiday Bazaar all day Saturday, come home Saturday evening and prep for the Sunday workshops, and still be able to stay vertical. I must have been smoking something.

I can be slow, but I do eventually get it. SCS has a Christmas card plan that has you making 10 cards a month for 10 months. Silly, you say, to make Holiday cards in January - NOT SO, she said, as she tried to figure out how she could make some new cards and still get any sleep before she had to go to work .... I have all these great ideas, but no TIME. Sigh ... pesky Day Job.

But I do learn while I whine. At Saturday's Holiday Bazaar, while I was busy not selling much (the show was not particularly well-attended this year), people kept telling me how lovely my ornaments were, but they did not buy any. Finally, while chatting with one woman about them, I asked her if they were so lovely, then why weren't they selling? She said she thought they were pretty if you looked at them from above, which most people do not do once they are on the tree and above the eye-level of a small child. Made perfect sense to me after she put it that way. Sometimes it takes another point of view for you to see clearly. So I am now on a mission to re-work these puppies before my next and final show of this season on December 1st.

I'll post the Before and After versions of the ornaments later this week. Right now it sounds like work. ;-)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A Day in the Life

Just when I thought I was all caught up and ready for my Stamp Camp tomorrow, I realized I had not made copies of all the instructions yet! Aaaack! So my little printer is humming away making copies, and I hope to be done before midnight.

But the tables are set with Grid Paper and it looks like everyone will fit. This is a good thing because I was very worried there for a bit. (Hey, that rhymes!) Fortunately true stampers & crafters can deal with a little adversity if it means they can play, and boy will we play tomorrow! I am really looking forward to the event!

I did go to the Farmers Market today, even though "Blustery" was today's weather prediction. If you stood in the sun it was fine, but by 1:00 pm my cards were blowing around and I got tired of retrieving them, so I left as little early. I was really glad I'd brought my Christmas stuff, as that is almost all I sold. And I also realized I am almost out of Christmas cards. Uh-oh, guess I know what I'll be doing this week, since I have a Christmas show on Saturday! And I just got some new Cat's Pajamas stamps, so I'll try and use them this week.

When I got back from the Market I finished up some Reindeer Food I'd started last week.

This is really easy to make, it is just time-consuming. The mix is oatmeal and sparkly sugar (Wilton brand). Don't use glitter because it could hurt the birds (or Reindeer) that feed on it. You are supposed to sprinkle it on the snow for the Reindeer to eat while Santa is having his milk and cookies. Cute idea, so I thought I'd make a few for this year's shows.

Note: I had to double-bag them. I dunno, I guess I got some sharp-edged oats or something, because one of the bags was leaking, and heaven knows I do not want that stuff leaking anywhere in here! Double-bagging will protect my space and also the customer's shopping bag and space.

This one actually qualifies as a Stash Diving project since I used up the remainder of a partial roll of ribbon from last year. It came in three colors on one roll, and I only used the green, so this year I used up the red and the gold. Yay!

The Reindeer is from the SU Festive Favorites set. I used a blender pen with Creamy Caramel to color him, and I used a glitter pen on his nose and antlers. He's layered on Pomegranate card stock and attached with a misc eyelet, also from the stash.

I also tried something else new! At my August Open House, one of my Make & Takes was the globe that I have seen posted all over SCS. One of my customers loved it so much she has one in her cube at work, and she also made a pumpkin for her apartment door. She said she moved the strips of paper around so the back was open so it lays flat against her door. Great idea! She decorated it and said it looks very cool! We were talking, and she thought the same technique could be used to make ... a snowman! Three globes, different sizes, so guess what I did tonight when I should have been cleaning the bathroom?

Yep! Isn't he cute? Well, this one is not cute, but I can definitely see if I actually spent some quality time with him he could be cute.

The 12 strips of 1 x 6 work just fine for the bottom. I used 4" strips for the middle and 2" strips for the top. All out of one piece of textured card stock.

Please note: You need to use fewer strips of paper as the balls get smaller. Or make the globes less round...or something. There are too many pieces here and they will not all fan out nicely. The top one has 8 pieces, and it is still too much. I need to play with it to figure that one out. Some day.

And if I had the time, wouldn't he look adorable with a real knitted scarf? Or crocheted? Something his size would take mere minutes to do, too! That one goes on my "some day" list, too.

That's it for this evening. I need to finish copying all this stuff, then get some shut-eye. Maybe I'll clean the bathroom tonight instead of waiting for the morning so I can sleep in. Printer is still copying anyway ....

Friday, November 2, 2007

A little flattery came my way ...

Someone asked me today if they could include a link in their newsletter to one of the cards in my SCS gallery. How cool is that?!?!?! It really made my day!

So tonight I am doing the Happy Dance while I desperately try to get my act together for the Farmers Market tomorrow and my Holiday Stamp Camp on Sunday. I'm taking my Holiday cards and ornaments to the Market to see if people are ready to get in the spirit yet. It is supposed to be blustery here tomorrow, so I may have to lay down on the tree I use to hang my ornaments to keep the whole thing from flying away! Now THAT's a photo op for you! Perhaps some strategically-placed bungee cords would be better. ;-)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Halloween Tradition Lives!

I am an old fart. You know, one of those people who grew up in the 50's and 60's, when neighborhoods were still safe to walk at night, and when you went door-to-door for Tricks or Treats, you and your parents knew the people handing out candy, and the people handing out candy knew all the kids. It was a very nice time to be a kid.

The past 10 years or so I have been "not home" on Halloween night. I either strategically planned to be out, or I watched TV in the dark. C'mon, I know there are a few of you out there just like that!

I am not sure where I lost the fun bug for Halloween. I think it was one year when I opened the door and faced 3 football-sized teenagers, with voices that had already dropped to below baritone, saying "Trick or Treat". They got candy, but sorry - they were not kids.

The following year, I really had to be gone that night, so I left a bowl of candy out on a table with a sign that said "Please take one. Happy Halloween!" When I got home, the table, bowl and sign were gone. I found the sign down the street, and the table was broken and tossed behind the building. Never did find the bowl. After that I stopped being home.

So, enough whining, right? Well, tonight renewed my faith in tradition. I had planned to not be home, of course, as I had conveniently scheduled my monthly 1-hour massage for this evening. I have to drive through an old, historic section of town to get to her place, and on my way home back through that neighborhood, the streets were literally clogged with parents standing at the curb waiting for the kids to run up to the houses. And there were other gaggles of kids and parents walking for blocks and blocks. It warmed the cockles of my heart!!!

So I must just live in the wrong neighborhood or something. Hmmm... I'll bet all those teenagers have moved away by now, because I have seen lots of young families with small kids lately. Maybe next year I will stay home and dress up and hand out candy, just to see how it goes. Who knows, could be fun!

Happy Halloween! And remember, after your kids have gone to bed and you are "checking" their candy, try to leave them some of the "good" stuff! ;-)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I cheated...

Yep, I cheated. I am so close to uncovering the table in my Craft Room, it is almost scary. I am, however, running out of places to put all the stuff that is still left on the table. Add to that my need to clear off the two tables in the Dining Room - this is the stuff that usually lands on the Craft Room table - and I was feeling very challenged.

I am a realist. Where I can see, given enough concentrated, uninterupted time, in theory I could completely organize the Craft Room, it's not going to happen in the next few months, much less the next few days. So I cheated. I just needed another 6' table, so instead of stressing over the one in the Craft Room I went to Lowe's and bought another one. DONE!

So then I still needed to clear off the two Dining Room tables, which are really the Dining Room table and one of the 6' tables I leave up between classes - it's just pushed up against the bookcases so I can walk around in here. After I cleared off the real Dining Room table, I decided to disassemble it into its parts-is-parts (top and base). It is a round table and can be part of the challenge in getting more people in here. The top is now propped up against the wall, and the base is in a corner of my bedroom.

I now have two 6' tables and 12 chairs all set up, and the new table is even clutter free! Yay!

I also made sure I had all the project directions printed so I can hand them out as we do each project. I did manage to find all of them this afternoon, so I think I am all set! I do not have to make up kits for this event, I just need to have all the supplies staged so we can easily moved from project to project next Sunday. I see a light at the end of the tunnel!

As I was out and about yesterday, I stopped by Michael's to get the latest Paper Crafts Holiday Card issue, and, well, I meandered and found a few more things I simply had to have. They had pillar candles on sale, so I grabbed a bunch of them to use as Holiday gifts for all my customers. I like to do something nice for them since they make my business hum along at a pretty steady pace, and they are very forgiving in the 'it is cut crooked' area. I mentioned to one of my customers today that I had figured out how to stamp on candles, and she asked if they could do that as a project at the November or December workshops. Well, I see no reason why not! Except now I need to come up with another idea for gifts for them! I actually have an idea in the back of my mind; I just need to see if I can make it happen. ;-)

Also while at Mike's, I sauntered down the Martha aisle. Normally I skip it, but a few of my friends have caved and bought one or two things, so I decided to look at what was there.

Durn it, if there was not a set of clear letters! I missed out on the Karen Foster Snap Stamps (I found out about them as soon as they stopped making them), so I thought this would work just as well. A lot of the cards I make to sell have sentiments on them that come from many sources, and I usually do them on the computer and either figure out how to print directly on the card, or I print it on a separate piece of card stock and cut and layer it onto the card. I hope this will let me set the sentiment into a 'stamp'. We'll see.

By the way, some of my favorite sayings besides "You are older than dirt" - a best-seller - are things people say to me that I then have to quickly write down before I forget them. For example, "I drive way too fast to worry about my cholesterol." and "It's hard to be optimistic when your Fat Pants don't fit". One of the Farmers at my Saturday market has a sign in his truck that says, "If you think OSHA is a small town in Wisconsin, then you're in trouble." I am still trying to figure out how to use that one. ;-)

Also while at Mike's, I was looking for white tissue paper to use for making the candles, and right next to the tissue paper were bags. The little light bulb in my brain went off and I realized I needed some for my Stamp Camp. You know - another project to eat up time so I do not have to clean off my tables! ;-) Normally when people come over here for classes, they make 5 cards and those fit easily in the zip-top bag I give them with their kits. For the Stamp Camp, they are making 3D projects, and they will need something to hold all their stuff and to get it home.

One of the only issues I have at classes is people getting their bags of cards mixed up, so I thought I'd hang a tag on the outside of each bag for them to write their names on. That way they can use the bags again, and it keeps me from messing up the bags by stamping or wheeling crooked! I used the SU font CD to print the words, and stamped the bracket image from the new Gift Labels set and snowflakes from the Snowfall set. I like how they turned out. I have them hanging on the back of a wrought-iron lamp, and they are perfect! My attendees will just grab one as they come in next week. And the best thing is they take up zero floor space!

All this cleaning and furniture re-arranging has me weary, and I just threw in a load of wash so I can go to work in the morning. I hope to actually stamp this week after work so I can be ready for my show on the 10th and my workshops on the 11th & 13th. I have a lot of ideas, and I hope to get to work on them soon!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Back in the Groove

I am desparately trying to clear off the tops of all my tables, including the one in the Stamp Room where I dump all the stuff from the Dining Room table to have room for my classes. Then, once the Stamp Room table is free-and-clear, I need to figure out where to put all the stuff from the Dining Room. Ugh.

So when I got home from work this evening, I started stamping, of course! In a Good Demo moment had I ordered two of the Holiday Glitz kits so I could have my customers touch and feel them in early November. Naturally, I had to change up the suggested design, because I did not want to have to use staples. I thought I could create a really cute slit with the Slit Punch and just tuck the big flap into the little flap, but nooooo, our slit punches in the wrong direction for that. Next thing I knew I'd fired off an email to Demo Support asking them to consider making the slit punch the other way, and they asked for pictures. I'll do that later.

So instead of a cool slit-and-tuck, I opted for embossing some Hodgepodge Hardware with Winter White EP. It works fine until you pick up the card ... guess I did not get the brad tight enough. But they will get the idea, which is what this is all about, anyway.

I also put the card together sideways to get this look. And I stuck on the ribbon piece with some sticky strip. Not sure I'm lovin' the HPH, but it has promise.

Since I am in Stamp Camp mode lately, I decided it was time to learn how to stamp on a candle. I carefully read the directions in the SCS tutorial and proceeded to not follow the directions. Well, I did mostly, but instead of the suggested outline stamp that can be colored, you can see I opted for a more solid stamp. Less work, what can I say? And this set was out, so it was a natural.

I did follow the rest of the directions, and it is so easy, I cannot believe it!

I took two photos, with and without the ribbon. This candle is really small, just to let me play without a huge expense. I think I may have to make some of these as gifts, or to sell at the few shows I am doing this Fall.

Off to clean some more. I need all my tables to hold the people who signed up for my Stamp Camp!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I am SO glad to be back!

NOT! This post may be subtitled "Rant Du Jour". Grrrrr.

Back in early September I posted "Driving Laws as understood by DC-area Drivers." That was one heck of a bad commute day. I actually experienced every one of those examples in that one day. Really!

Now that I am back from vacation, I realized why I needed the break, and it is amazing I am still alive to rant about this...

In the past two days, not only did I see all of the previously-posted examples of stupidity, I saw a few more, plus a few in combination. These drivers are nuts!

[Editorial comment: All the following references to #'s refer to the list in the original post.]

I saw someone try to move from the driving lane into the merge lane to pass someone. But - and this is #5, with a twist - he waited until the merge lane was already gone before he tried to swerve into it, putting him immediately on the shoulder. The doofus immediately swerved back into the driving lane, but (get this) re-considered and tried to get back onto the shoulder to pass the guy in front of him! I kid you not! He finally opted for tailgating the poor soul in front of him who was not moving much because the car in front of him was not moving much. Funny how that works.

Then, when I finally got to my exit off the mis-named 'express'way, I got in line like a good driver to exit. Of course, someone, who absolutely had to be somewhere faster than the rest of us, sped along in the driving lane to the very end of the solid double line separating the exit lane from the driving lane, and proceeded to cross the solid double line (a la #6), and drove on the left shoulder of the single-lane exit, parallel to the cars already lined up to exit, hoping someone would let him in. Most people did the bumper-to-bumper thing to cut him off ( I love when that happens!), but he eventually found some slob who let him in. Pooh!

Then someone decided he was going to merge into my lane without regard to the fact that I was there. I will give him some extra credit since he did have his directional on (must have been from out of state originally, see #1), but just because you use a directional, IT DOES NOT MAKE CARS DISAPPEAR! It is my understanding that directionals are for the driver to indicate their intent to make a maneuver; it does not (last I looked) give them the right-of-way, nor does it work magic on obstacles like other cars. I honked, and he kept a-comin'. I then layed on my horn, which made him swerve back into his own lane, speed up, and become someone else's bother. I also strained my thumb on the horn...bummer.

And last, but not least, I survived three parking lots. You see, I needed to stop and buy candy on the way home. Not for ME, please understand (I am one of those freakish people that can live without chocolate), but for my upcoming Holiday Stamp Camp. I promised the Ladies that any serving suggestion (which I call all my card and project samples) that shows candy or chocolate will, indeed, include the same candy or chocolate when they make their own at the Stamp Camp. So I had to get enough to go around, didn't I?!?!?!

Anyway, I had to hit three stores to find more of all the candy-type stuff I had bought to make my mock-ups. Can you believe when I asked one of the guys at the big-chain grocery store if he could tell me where they were hiding the candy corn, he responded that he did not even know if anyone even bought that stuff any more? BAH, I say, BAH! So off I went to the car to go to the store of last resort to see if they could save me, and as I started to pull out of my parking space, some ying-yang was going somewhere way more important than *I* was, so he was doing about 45 mph in the parking lot. I am surprised he did not nail someone, as you cannot even move in that lot without at least 2 other people trying to back out at the same time you are, creating the ever-popular bumper-car situation.

And THEN, to top it all off, as I was very close to escaping the dreaded parking lot, another yahoo (ying-yang's brother, I think), decided that the guy in front of HIM was going way too slow, and was stopping way too much, so he tried to wiggle around him to pass him, in the parking lot. Think NASCAR drivers doing the can-I-pass-now-can-I-pass-now wiggle thing and you'll get the right image. At one point the guy actually started to pass, and then he found out that the reason the front guy was stopping is that we were in a parking lot, at a grocery store, and, um, there are people that shop there, and these people need to get from their cars to the sidewalk to get into the store, so they were crossing the driving lane, in the crosswalk, and the guy in front had the nerve to stop to let the people cross the street. Can you imagine that!?!?! Sigh. I just watched and laughed.

But, an incident on the way home yesterday renewed my faith in the system. We have an HOV lane (High-Occupancy Vehicle) for 'rush' hour (HAHAHA, rush hour!) and more often than not, people in that lane have no passengers. Almost every day I think, "So where are the cops when you need them?" Yesterday, as some poor passenger-less fool tried to merge out of the HOV lane back into the regular driving lane behind me, I saw up ahead a motorcycle policeman on the shoulder. This policeman sauntered across the HOV lane, held up his hand to the guy behind me, and pulled him over. YES!!! Made my day.

It almost - almost - made up for the nuts I encountered today. There's always tomorrow. ;-)