Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mom, Love Birds and Coffee

It is still March, and I am still working on those scraps. The past two evenings I've managed to create the following:

This one. This one has a history. Like the paper? Well let me tell you a little story. One year, many years ago, I found a pair of shoes (when I still wore suits to work ... this would not happen now ...), and the thing about these shoes was they were a funky color. Not grey, and not taupe, but kinda both. I thought they'd be perfect to wear with my grey suit and my taupe suit. The problem was: they looked grey with my taupe suit and taupe with my grey suit, so they actually went with nothing.

Why do I tell you this? Because I have had this paper for at least 4 years, because it goes with nothing. No matter what I pair it with, it does not 'go'. The paper is really quite pretty, and it has a linen-like pattern to it (go ahead and click on it to zoom in ... I'll wait ... ... ... ...) Okay, so this time I layered it with a piece of that stack o'red papers I have, just to give it a little bit of contrast, since the Sahara Sand is so neutral. The red made the patterned paper look green and I was afraid it would scream "Christmas", so I labored to draw out another color. I tried a ton of different greens, but nothing 'goes' with it. See? What a royal pain this paper has been all these years. So I got over the red and made the sentiment layer red, too. What did I have to lose? Then it really looked like Christmas. To counteract that effect, I added a really tiny pink ribbon. There is pink in the paper, but I could not match it, either. I made two of these then gave it a rest.

Remember this paper? I thought I'd give it another try. I did sacrifice a piece of PTI Spring Moss for the base, as it went really well and none of my SU papers looked right. Everything else is from The Heap, though. I wanted the birds to be the stars, so I tried to do a simple sentiment. I started with 'love' from SU's Wonderful Words set, but the white was shouting at me, and I tried to tone it down ... I tried. The bird image is from the SU Branched Out set and is stamped three times with PTI's Spring Moss. I even used the SAMJ to line them up.

I actually stamped birds on both sides of the 'love', but it looked stoopid, so took out some brown satin ribbon from my stash and tied a real bow (as opposed to just a knot) in an attempt to hide them, and it sorta worked. No one will ever know, right? You can kinda see one of their little tails sticking out... And dontcha love that Lattice border punch? Oh, yeah!

Last night I tackled this pile of stuff. I have had this piece of coffee paper cut and paired with Close to Cocoa pieces for about a year now. I took a bunch of Naturals White pieces, some browns, and I stamped some coffee sentiments on some Naturals White scraps, cut them out, then started to contemplate my decision. I was going nuts, but I am also sick of these papers, so they really needed to finally become cards.

I made three of these, and used another foot of the ribbon I have, bringing me down to about 3,994 feet to go.

I made three of these. The ribbon is some taupe dotted ribbon from my stash, and I just liked the little loops sticking out like that. Must be the sleep deprivation affecting my grey matter, but the dotted ribbon looked dumb wrapped all the way around the piece, and you know I needed to get it onto the card somehow!

Lastly we have my favorite card of the lot. This card uses three strips of the paper that were left from cutting all the other pieces from the original 12x12 piece. After I stuck them down to the brown layer, I decided this card needed special treatment. I even initiated my A Muse set of coffee-themed stamps. This is my second try, as I totally screwed up the first one. It stamped fine, but I blew the Nestie-cutting part, so I started over.

The cool thing about clear stamps is you can cut the card stock shape first, and then stamp things where you want them. I love that! So I cut both shapes, then stamped the images so they fit. I used Copics to color the dots on the cup and coffee, and to shade the table, and popped the white layer up so I could slip (all together now) the ribbon in between the pieces.

I'll bag and tag these guys, then break into something else tonight. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Storage Heaven

Have you ever heard of The Scrapbox? Check it out here: http://www.theoriginalscrapbox.com/. DO NOT skip the intro video - that's the best part! At least get through the part where the doors open all the way. And it's on wheels!

Hey #2 - just put a few of these babies in your craft room and you'll be all set! ;-)

Cuteness Alert!

Baby otters: http://www.zooborns.com/zooborns/2009/03/asian-otters-galore.html There are four of them, only 3 weeks old, and their eyes aren't even open yet. OMGosh, I am in cuteness overload!

Okay, back to your regular blurfing ....

It's Kismet

Yes, kismet, as in fate - destined to be. This blog initially came about as a joke, but now I think it was kismet. One of my fellow stampers and a sometimes-customer joked one day how everything I do comes out crooked. I jokingly replied, "Yeah, I'll start a blog called The Crooked Stamper!" to which she replied, "I'd read it." And so it was.

Yesterday I was talking with #2 about my avatar, or lack thereof, and she thought I should look up The Crooked Man, as in the nursery rhyme, to see what I could find. So I did, and here's what I found. I read the article with much interest, and one of the similarities cannot be ignored:

"The crooked man is reputed to be the Scottish General Sir Alexander Leslie."

Leslie? LESLIE? As in my name?!?!?!

The article explains the lines of the rhyme and their meaning based on English/Scottish history. Go ahead - read it! It is fascinating, especially to me, a reader of historical fiction, and a lover of Scotland. Coincidence? I think not. Let's review:

There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse.
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

Oh, be still my heart. And if you do read the article, check out the illustration. Yep, that's me alright. Old, bent over - you know: crooked.

There was also a song by the Serendipity Singers (from the 1964 Philips 45: 40175), a recording of which I have included here for your entertainment and (for those of you of the older persuasion) nostalgia:

For you young-uns, that thing turning? That's a turn-table, and that thing spinning around on the turn-table is a 45. That's how we used to get our copies of recordings we liked - the single. A record. I have some of them (quite a few, actually), and I also have a turn-table. I just wanted you to know.

Okay, that's enough useless information for one day. Oh, yes, one more thing: That song is now stuck in my head. Yours, too? Good - my work here is done. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Heap Progress Report

Disclaimer: I am suffering from an unfortunate combination of: not enough sleep + too much caffeine + too much sugar, and it is not pretty. I am unable to have a lucid conversation, and my fingers are typing faster than my brain is thinking. I apologize in advance.

Okay, in my continuing quest to use up these scraps, I made a few more cards today. Yes, I am still using the same old scraps I used yesterday, and probably the day before.

I had these two strips of the flowered paper plus the blue layer and the rounded-corner piece, and I thought a circle image would look good to round out (!) all those corners, so I went in search of the right-sized image and opted to use this horse. Can you tell I was getting a little nuts when I added in the Photo Corner pieces? Hey, I had a piece of Celery that was the perfect fit for the punch, and I thought the touch of color was right. I put the large corner up top and the smaller one under the left edge of the sentiment.

I named this photo 'desperation', because that's about where I was emotionally when looking at the remaining scraps. I stuck them to a scrap of white that was not perfect enough to use for anything but a layer anyway, then I cut out some bird shapes with my Bird Nesties. I used them to make the two cards I posted below that I am giving away for a charity auction.

After I was done with those, this is all I have left of those scraps, and I think I can say I am done with them. For now.

On to the Heap Progress Report. Sadly, I see no difference. Let's check it out.

This first shot is the original Heap, all sorted out and orderly.

This is the Heap as of Saturday evening. Except for the poor photography, it looks no different to me.

Here are the original color stacks.

And these are as of yesterday. Eh? Looks the same. Someone at work suggested I should have had a ruler inserted into The Heap (you know, like in snow storms) to better gauge my progress. Now THAT would have been funny!

Here we have the original Neutrals stacks.

Neutrals as of yesterday. Even though ALL the 1/2 sheets of Vanilla have been used, it still looks ... the same. I think the ruler may have helped me here.

Here we have all the patterned papers - SU in back and 'other' in front.

Now they are all mixed up, but largely the same.

The original UFO heap.


And ya know what? I have made over 100 cards since the 12th! 100!!!! Goodness gracious, I may NEVER be done. #2 asked me to slow down so I have some scraps left for next weekend's Field Trip. LOL! Not a problem having some left. Yeesh.

And to answer the inquiring minds as to how I have made so much stuff in the past 2 weeks? Simple: I have no life! I go to work, I come home, I stamp, I go to bed. Repeat. And on weekends, no work, just play. I have no spouse, and the cat does not care. The laundry ain't done. I do not buy food or cook. My place looks like a tornado hit, twice. Nuf?

Now that we've settled that, I think I'll go bag & tag my creations and attack a different piece of paper. Might as well take advantage of this speed I am on while I am still vertical. Thanks for stopping by!

For A Good Cause

I made these two cards today in a desperate attempt to use a few more scraps of some pretty papers.

Along the way I spotted Jen Tapler's Blogoversary Challenge & BIG Blog Candy post, where she is asking for donations of cards to be auctioned off in a fundraiser for Alzheimer's. By making a card and posting it on her site, you are entered to win some amazing blog candy! So I've decided to donate these two cards and send them to her.

I had a lot of fun making these, and I hope they help in the fundraiser. And if you want to help out, hop on over and check it out. You have until April 1st to enter.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Little Bit O'Stamping

I've made a bit more progress this afternoon with The Scrap Heap. I've been focussing on the remaining scraps from yesterday's projects, if only so I do not have to put them back on The Heap.

Lately, I've been grabbing sentiments I want to use, then making them work with the scraps. At least it's a plan, okay? This sentiment cracks me up, so it was time to use it this year. 100% scraps here. Sad, but true.

Here's another one using a few more of the same scraps. Oh, and those little dots on the sentiment panel are not on your monitor/screen. After the whole thing was assembled, I saw two dots that would not erase, so I grabbed a marker and made a few more to make it look like I meant to do that. :-)

Changing gears, I saw this card on Chat's (aka: nitestamper on SCS) blog, and I knew I needed to CASE it. This is my version. The things I changed were the stamps and colors for the background and also the sentiment and ribbon. I wanted to make a Mother's Day card for my April stamp camps, and I thought this one would be a lot of fun.

I used Baroque Motifs for the background and the Mother's Day sentiment from All Holidays. AND, I broke out my new SU Eyelet Border punch. Oh, I also stole Chat's idea to score a line above the eyelet border. I really like how she did that.

Here is another version I made. On the first one I only stamped the flourish image once, and it kinda got lost behind the sentiment, so for this one I stamped it sideways, twice, to get more color on the background. I'm not so sure I like it better, but at least I can show The Ladies two different options.

Wanna see how I did that cool ribbon? Since I am clueless as to the real directions, I made up my own. First, I laid down a base ribbon.

On the back of the sentiment piece, I taped down two short strips to act as the loops layer.

When you turn it over, it looks like this, and when placed on top of the base ribbon, it looks really pretty!

Another secret: How to get that even border (no partial cuts). At least this is how *I* did it.

First, line up one edge of your card stock with the edge of the opening of the punch. (See the handsome red arrow.)

This is what it looks like after the first punch. No fuss, no muss.

Continue punching the length of the card stock until you reach the other end, which is where you could get a partial scallop. Please ignore the poorly-punched scallop in my sample, brought to your attention by the pesky handsome red arrow.

All you need to do is trim off that partial scallop!

There you have it - an even border punch. Of course, this dictates the size of your piece, too, so I worked backwards to cut my layers.

That's all I have for this evening. I need to rest a bit so I can go to bed around 8:30. I do believe 3:45 am will come way too soon anyway.

Tomorrow, I'll have a Progress Report on The Scrap Heap, with Before and After photos for your viewing pleasure. :-) Thanks for stopping by!

A Blast From My Past

Today's episode of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me on NPR was broadcast from (or maybe just recorded at) The Victoria Theater in Dayton, Ohio - my hometown!

Back in High School, my boyfriend and I used to go to what was then the Victory Theater and attend midnight movie double-features. These included such classics as Friends followed by Harold & Maude. And not Friends, the TV show, people, Friends, the movie, from back before any of those TV show people were even born. You know, classics.

When I was going to the movies there, it was not this pretty. In the mid-70s, they made the demolish-versus-save decision and it was happily saved and refurbished. Isn't it a beautiful building now? But the inside, oh, the inside is magnificent. I am still looking for photos of the beautiful theater itself.

I'll be back later today with some stamping, I hope. I get to go to work tomorrow morning, and I need to be there by 4:30 am, so I've got to do 'everything else' today, as I figure tomorrow will be sorta weird. Getting home at 8:00 am does that to a person. If I don't return today, remember that today is Vote Earth Day. At 8:30 pm local time, wherever you live on Planet Earth, you can vote for Earth by switching off your lights for one hour - EARTH HOUR. DO IT! You will not be sorry!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Not Your Usual Crooked Card

This week, which is Week 3 of my "Use Only Scraps" self-challenge, I've been playing in the Challenge pool to get some Mojo. Tonight's effort was based on the MOJO79 challenge over at Mojo Monday - The Blog. I turned it sideways and played a bit with the parts-is-parts, but all four cards are basically the same. All of them use the same papers, the same Nesties for the horizontal piece, and the same CHF stamps.

This one uses my newly-acquired MS Lattice border punch.

This is the same card, but I moved the faux knot down from above the bird to the empty space in the center. I think I like this version better.

This one uses the SU Spiral punch instead of the Martha punch.

And this is the same as that last one, but I moved the ribbon down and lost the pink piece.

Not your typical Crooked Stamper production, huh? Well, maybe they are crooked a little (the photographs definitely are ...), but they are certainly not my colors or go-to layout. That's the fun of sketches - they take you out of your comfort zone.

The GOOD news is: I used up a bunch of card stock and patterned papers, which is my main goal these days. Yay, me!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Field Trip!!!!

Two posts tonight - yep, two. I wanted to keep my sketch challenge card separate from all the following silliness.

Ready ... Set ... FIELD TRIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BR #2 and I have been planning a Play Day at her house, and it is scheduled for April 4th. I was not quite sure what we'd be doing, cuz with #2, well, you just never know. So last night when we spoke, I asked her if I should bring stamps or boots (we might have ended up transplanting moss, for all I know). And the answer was: STAMPS! Yay! She also told me at the end of the day I was to take her scrap heap home with me. NOT! I jokingly offered to bring my heap to her place, since she'd never even notice the difference, and then the light bulb went off! A Field Trip for the Scrap Heap! Oh, yeah, baby!

So I have a box all picked out to contain the remaining scraps, and I'll scoop them up, place them lovingly into the box, and drive my Heap O'Scraps over to #2's house. This will afford me quite the photo op, as #2 has much of blog-worthy interest at her place. And the chances of HER blogging about them are slim and none, especially since I think she's deleted her blog.

Have I mentioned that #2's stamp space is larger than my Living Room & Dining Room combined? Yeppers. I think I'll find something there to use. Have I also mentioned that she alluded to the possibility of the use of polyurethane? I asked about ventilation, and I guess there won't be any, so I hope I live to tell about it. Maybe I'll just be really happy from the fumes. Maybe if they find my camera next to my limp body, 'they' will post for me after-the-fact.

Stay tuned! I'll keep you posted as to the preparations for the trip. This should be fun!!!

PS: The first thing you do when planning a Play Date with the young'uns is check for any allergy issues at the destination play spot. We spoke about this briefly, and I am happy to report we have eliminated the possibility of allergy issues, even though #2 has 4 furry beasts, because the scraps have lived through air-borne cat hair, so they should survive the dog hair without any adverse affects. (I warned you this would get silly.)

Another Scrappy Challenge

Tonight I tackled another challenge in an attempt to use even more scraps. This time I did the TCPTUES51 challenge, and I used scraps left out from last night's card.

I will confess I am out of card-base-sized Vanilla, so I have to use virgin card stock for that, but the rest is all scraps from The Heap. Yes, I am still plugging away, as March is not over yet!

Didja notice I snuck in some ribbon? Oh, yeah! Gots to have ribbon, and it was out, and the right side of the card looked nekkid.

The images (tree and sentiment) are from Cornish Heritage Farms, and I had to cut them apart to use them. Sigh.

Wanna see how I cheated? This is what the parts-is-parts looked like as I was assembling the pieces ...

... and this is what's underneath. Pretty sneaky, huh? I did not have a large enough piece of the blue, so I improvised, since the center band covers up the opening anyway. Sweeeet!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Scrappy Challenge

In my continuing quest to use some of my scraps, I tried this week's sketch: CPS108 at Card Positioning Systems.

Of course, I needed to be irreverent. Pretty paper ... irreverent ... and did you see I got ribbon in there, too?

I added the bling at the last second, because I felt the blue layer needed something, and the bling was out on the table and quite convenient. It might have been better to put a flower in the top left corner instead of that lonely-looking faux gem, but all I have are white, and I am too tired/lazy to color them tonight, so there.

The only challenge I had was mounting the blue layer since it was so thin, so I added a piece of card stock to the back for stability. As an added bonus, it used more of my scraps. Yay!

Thanks for stopping by!

PS: Tomorrow, I'll tell you all about the Field Trip that this way comes!!!! :-)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Perfect Card

Did you ever have one of those days where you wondered if you had a target painted on you and/or your vehicle? Well, today was one of those days for me. Oh, don't worry, I won't rant here; I already unloaded on my other blog, so you are safe.

I started this card last night in an attempt to use up the last large scrap of this paper, and I knew I wanted to use this stamp and sentiment together.

I got as far as sticking the panel on at an angle, and placing (but not sticking down) the two pieces. I had to figure out a way to get a piece of ribbon in there, and last night I was tired.

So imagine my glee when I sat down tonight and started to finish this baby - I.felt.just.like.this.as.I.tied.the.ribbon ..... Idiot people. Oh, sorry, that slipped out, didn't it.

So, yeah, this was perfect.

I think I'll go play with some pretty, flowered scraps and try to lighten up a bit. :-)

PS: Bird image by Creative Mode (I am still looking for the link to her stamps ...). It used to be sold by GinaK, where I first saw it, but I got it right from the source a few years ago. Sentiment by Sparkle N Sprinkle.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Another 'Heap' Sunday

Another day in The Scrap Heap, and it has been productive. It still amazes me, though, that it takes me all day to use two pieces of patterned paper. At this rate, I most definitely have Supplies Available Beyond Life Expectancy.

Let us begin the review of today's accomplishments.

I started with this pile of Charbon (Basic Gray & Vanilla), Cherise (Red & Vanilla), and some coordinating card stock and ribbon.

Here is my first creation - my go-to plan to use up the smaller pieces of paper. Plus, I am getting sick of looking at it, so it gave me pleasure when I hacked it into strips. I found a pile of really, really (really) old red card stock. I knew it was old because it was so thin (not SU), and it was perfect for layering, which is why it appears in so many of these photos.

I made a few more of these, then I got a phone call from one of my alert customers. She and hubby were at the World Market store that was closing and selling everything, including the walls, and they had a card rack I just needed to see. I assumed it was too big for my markets, but I filed it away in my brain for future reference. Then I decided it was a lovely day, and anyway I was out of tape, so why not leave the house.

This is the card rack in question. Oh, it would be so perfect to set up one of these for a show! Just think of the professional look it would give to my booth! Oh, yeah, baby! And it was 80% off! Woo-hoo!

Now let's get real. These things are as tall as I am, and wider than my vehicle. Plus, it did not appear to come apart, and even if it did, it would take me an hour to put it back together, and I kinda like my 5-minute setups. Not to mention it was HEAVY, and I do not do heavy. It was the 'won't fit in my car' part that sealed it, though, so I left.

Staples was right next door, so I got my tape and came home.

Back to the Charbon papers. Guess what I found? My sentiment I wanted to use for Multiple Personality Day, but it was missing in action. Actually, it was right where I left it, but I was too blind to see. I decided to just make the sentiment the focal point of the card and call it done. I took a moment and thought back to last year's catalogs and what papers SU had paired with Vanilla, and I think it was Brilliant Blue, so that's why I chose that blue to layer here. See? I did think about it, and there is logic in my brain on a Sunday afternoon, if only a little bit.

Moving on to the Cerise papers. About this time I got really bored and started grabbing things, like my EK Success border punch that I used on a whim on the bottom of this paper. Then I stumbled upon some unopened rub-ons in The Other Room, and we all know how much I loooove rub-ons (not), but I had 'em, so I used 'em. I was pretty excited they had those dark red flowers and that I'd found a red ribbon in my Every Color Red But The One I Need box of ribbons that pertty much did match. To top it off, I used my long-ago-retired-but-I'm-not-ever-selling Mini Mates set and stamped the sentiment in Riding Hood Red. Not bad, not bad. I made another one of these, then I moved back to the Gray.

I was determined to use all the Charbon and Cerise papers I had out (oh, you do NOT want to know how much more I have hoarded In There), but this was the last one I could muster. I had the rub-ons out, so I thought to try these paisleys since they had dark gray and some green (I paired it with Celery), plus there is a little frilly border of blue around the paisleys. After this one, I put away what remained of the red and gray and grabbed something completely different.

I got 5 cards out of this piece of green patterned paper. I also used 5 green DCWV cards I had left, so those are gone, too. Yay!

And that green ribbon? Oh, man, you think I am kidding when I call those boxes of ribbon 'Every Color Of {color} But The One I Need Ribbon'. Not! I went through all the greens, twice, and not one of them went well enough to use with this paper. Not ONE! I ended up using the retired SU Apple Green. Sigh.

Same paper, another rub-on, and a green sentiment. Done.

Last one, and I think you can tell I was getting a bit weary. At this point I called it a day at the Stampin' Table and decided to blog this post and watch a movie. I got The Last King, and I'm gonna plug it in as soon as I hit Publish.

Oh, and in case you are wondering how long this Heap thing is gonna last? Until I get through it, or until I can see a major dent (or ANY dent), or until I need to do the Clean Sweep mid-April. And I did find a box in The Other Room that I fortunately cleaned out some time last month, and that box will receive all the remains of The Heap. And who says I don't plan ahead? :-)

Thanks for stopping by!