Saturday, October 1, 2011

Coloring Digi Images

Well... I have *finally* taken the leap into digital stamps. I have been collecting them here and there for about a year, but never really knew how to use them. This past week I needed birthday cards for twin 11-year olds that like to play video games and a 1-year old girl. I usually don't have cards for children stocked, so I had to hustle and get these made so they could go out in the mail! lol

These images were perfect for the kids. The same card, yet different. I'll have to post the details when I find the paper I wrote them on!



This card was just so cute!! I just nervous about the coloring, but it came out very nicely. I would love to add in flowers and lace and all kinds of stuff, but I'm a pretty simple stamper at heart. :-) Again, when I find the paper I used to write down the colors I used, I will post them.

Hope you enjoyed these Copic samples. I love my Copics and *cannot* imagine using anything else to color with. Next week I'll have a card made with a technique I've never done before. I've already colored the image with the new technique. New to me that is... this is NOT a new technique, I just finally got the works to be able to do the technique! hehe Be on the lookout...

Happy stamping til the next time!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Southern Women's Show/A Muse On the Road

Went to the Southern Women's Show on Friday with my neighbor/friend, Wendi. Neither one of us had been in years! There were a few stamping and scrapbooking booths. I went to the A Muse booth where I got to see first hand all the changes they've made to their products. Love the changes!! Love the stamps... *still*!! More news to come about that later. [wink wink]

After the show, I went uptown to the Crowne Plaza where A Muse had their On the Road class. It was awesome. I got to meet the owner, Linda Hartwich, who is just the sweetest person! She is totally committed to her demonstrators and (as always) customers. Here is Linda demoing the cards and explaining the products. She did a great job because we were done well before 9 p.m.












Here are the cards that were part of the evening's class. Super cute cards! We got to play with the new stamps that are a cling foam mount formulation. Pretty buttons & pearls that I know I am going to *have* to have. New satin ribbon that is so pretty and matches the ink and I'm not sure if it also matches the paper. Will let you know about that with my next post. The ink is pigment, but acts like chalk ink. Very nice and love the colors! The new dies are absolutely fabulous! Can't wait to get my hands on several of those. :-) My firsts will be the clouds and butterflies. Maybe even the stocking die because I can use that for Christmas cards. The mittens are also big enough for cards too. Very cool! A Muse has a scoring board with one channel for scoring that I can't wait to check out more closely. We used it to make a box, but I want to play with it some more. They have also added washi tape to their catalog. So nice! Anyway... here are their cards. My take on their cards will be posted tomorrow or Tuesday.

All cards: new ink, cardstock & stamps
L: new pretty buttons in many different colors
R: new pearls & ribbon in many different colors
**love it all**
L: learned how to make this cute box
R: new cloud dies, too much fun... the ideas I have for these!
**again, love it all**


L: new washi tape and glitter in many different colors
R: new paper flowers in several different styles and twine in different colors
Twine is very *hot* this year!




Here is our group. I can't remember their names off the top of my head, but it was a great group! We all worked together, chatted, and had a good time!


Keep an eye out for my take on their cards. ;-)

Happy stamping til the next time!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rubber Stamp Tapestry

It's been awhile since I've used these stamps. I totally love them, but for some reason they just end up closed away in a drawer. Made these two cards over the past couple days. Recently I started making cards and changing the sentiment on it so the card would appeal to more people. I like having those "extra" choices when I want to send one out.

 Stamps - RST African daisy lg/sm, johnny jump-up lg/sm, delicate vine lg, botanical swirl sm, loop w/swirl lg, redbud leaf lg, loop sm, ladybug sm; Studio G birthday; Peddlers Pack girlfriend; Stampabilities a friend
C/S - white, stash pp, stash purple
I/P - VersaMagic purple hydrangea, spring pansy, pretty petunia, perfect plumeria; Memento black, grape jelly, bamboo leaves, pear tart; Brilliance gold
Supplies - red Glaze pen, 3/8" purple satin ribbon, gemstones


Stamps - RST 3 roses lg, 6 flower cluster sm, striped ripply foliage lg, triple leaf lg, dragonfly sm, delicate vine lg, botanical swirl sm; Studio G laugh; Peddlers Pack girlfriend; Stampabilities a friend
C/S - white, stash pp, SU! rose red
I/P - SU! rose red, only orange, garden green, true thyme; Memento black, bamboo leaves, pear tart; VersaColor bamboo
Supplies - 5/8" orange satin ribbon w/pink edge, orange gemstones

It takes me forever to stamp with the RST stamps because I feel like I have to place them in the perfect stop on the card. It would be so much easier if I didn't try to be a perfectionist. Trust me though... I've gotten so much better over the years!

While I was visiting family in TN, I stopped into the Super Scrapbook Store in Sevierville. I bought a little square RST stamp that reads: Happy Autumn. Can't wait to use it with my pumpkin stamps. I also finally got the Inky Antics gamsol kit. I only wanted the darn little bottle that the gamsol comes in, but had to buy the whole thing to get it. At least I didn't have to pay shipping. :-)

Happy stamping til the next time!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Playing with Dots

My previous post talked about the Sharpie Poster Paint and regular Paint Pens. Here are a couple samples I made this past week using the paint pens.

Stamps: Hero Arts full blossoms 1, single blossom 2, profile blossom 3, bud blossom 4; SU! Whimsical Words
C/S: various from stash
Ink: Memento black, SU! taken with teal & wisteria wonder
Copics: B60, B63, YG23, G07, BG10, BG13, BG15, V12, V15, V17, B21, YR61,YR65, YR68, R81, R83, R85, R89
Markers: Sharpie Paint Pens - pink, purple, lime green, white; black BIC Mark-It; black Micron pen 05
Supplies: 3/8" satin orange ribbon; SU! wide & scalloped oval punches; orange, green & peach adhesive gems


Stamps: SU! Pun Fun
C/S: SU! night of navy, real red & whisper white
Ink: SU! night of navy, real red, basic grey, & glorious green
Copics: 0, N0, N1, N2, N3, E50, E93, R81, R83, R85, B0000, B000, G19
Markers: white Sharpie Paint Pen
Supplies: Spellbinders classic & scalloped  ovals; SU! scalloped & oval punches; 1/2" white ribbon w/red polka dots; pop dots

Hope you enjoyed the cards. Got a few more I'm working on. Hopefully my next post will have cards using digi stamps in them. I've been in the "collection" phase of these stamps; I think it's about time I start actually using them! :-) Have a great weekend!

Happy stamping til the next time!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sharpie Poster Paint Pens & Paint Pens Review

I decided to take the plunge into the Sharpie Poster Paint & regular Paint Pens. I have to say... I like 'em!! Here's the difference between them... 
 
The Paint Pens are opaque, permanent, oil-based, and can write on many different surfaces. The body of this marker is metal, similar to the standard paint markers that contain xylene. Available in 4 different nib sizes: extra fine, fine, medium, and bold.


The Poster Paint Pens are archival quality pens that are opaque, water-based, water-resistant, acid-free, and fade-resistant. The ads claim that it won't bleed through paper, but I haven't tested that yet. The barrel plastic and feels a bit "chunky" in the hand. I love the extra fine nib!! This pen comes in 5 different nib sizes: extra fine, fine, medium, bold, and extra bold. 


Both pens come in 15 colors: red, pink, magenta, orange, yellow, green, lime green, blue, aqua blue, purple, white, black, brown, metallic silver, and metallic gold. They are both the pump-style action nibs, which is the same as the xylene pens. So far it seems as though the Sharpies are not as messy as the other pens. If my memory serves me correctly, Michaels had all these colors; AC Moore & Hobby Lobby DO NOT carry these at all. I think these pens are on the expensive side. This coming from a Copic fanatic!! I got my first 3 on sale at Michaels for $2.50 each. When I went back for another 3, they were not on sale and were $3.50 each. I think some of them are $3.99; don't know if any were more than that. I have to go to Michaels today so I'll take a peek at their selection. This may be something I end up buying online to save some additional money, I don't know yet. OK, I'm saving the very best news for last... these pens are non-toxic because they do not contain xylene. Woo hoo!! No more stinky paint markers! Loving that!

CORRECTION: Hobby Lobby does carry these pens, however, they are sold in sets and none of the sets have the extra fine nib. I didn't get the chance to see if AC Moore had the sets as well.

I've started with 6 colors: pink, purple, yellow, orange, & lime in the Paint Pens in a fine nib. The other pen is a Poster Paint in white with an extra fine nib. I'd like to pick up a red and magenta maybe... that will depend on what Michaels has. :-) I'm looking forward to playing with them; seeing what all I can do with them. I've made a couple cards using them that I will post later.

Happy stamping til the next time!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Altering Project(s)

Did you ever see a fabulous deal for some type of decorative item, but didn't quite like the colors or maybe it was a bit beat up? Even though it may look rough, you just knew you could fix it so it would look totally beautimous in your favorite room. Well, something similar to this happened to me recently except that I wasn't the one finding the great deal, a friend of mine did. Her daughter is turning 30 and she wanted to do a black and white theme. She found a really nice hanging plaque in Hobby Lobby for a fabulous price. The only problem was that it needed a color change. This is where I come in since I do crafts. :-) We also picked out her daughter's initials and 3 metal words (Live, Love, Laugh) for me to work on. Do you know how many styles of initials are out there and how many DO NOT go together at all? We decided to go to the craft stores together to find the perfect letters plus we needed to find something to "fix" the plaque with. Definitely paint and maybe some nice rub-on wording would fit the bill. 

So far it's sounding pretty simple, huh? The first problem was spraying the metal words. I mean it's just a bit of some black glossy spray. How hard could that be? I ended up having to wet sand, spray, and respray the words several times. Bubbles kept popping up while I was spraying. The icing on the cake was when I was spraying and the spray can got stuck ON. It was everywhere including all over me!! Besides me, it got all over a deck chair and the deck. I should have been spraying in the grass... aaaackkk!!! That can is so going back to Wal-Mart if I can find my receipt!!

The plaque was another comedy of errors. I knew I would have to sand the center to get some of the wording and paint off. That done, now I was on my way to getting this baby finished. NOT!! I couldn't get the wording to cover nicely or get the paint on smoothly. So here I was *again* wet sanding and painting over and over. Good grief! I finally decided to give gesso a try. Why did I not do this in the first place?? Gesso totally did the trick! Now I was on my way. I wish I would have taken a before and after picture. It turned out so nice! I love it! Here are a few pics. It was difficult getting a nice up-close of it; the gems and pearls aren't showing up the way your eye would see it, but you get the idea.

These initials were so much fun to do that I've bought myself several different kinds that I plan on altering to hang on my craft room wall. I love the fact that the paper on the "J" matches the plaque. The patterns are both damask, but they are opposite; the plaque is white on black and the "J" is black on white. That wasn't even planned! I love it when things come together like this. :-)

This is one of the many things I've been doing over the past few weeks. I couldn't post til today because her birthday party was last night and that's when this was being given to her.

The next week or two will be busy because my 12-year old niece is coming to visit. I'm so looking forward to having her! All kinds of fun stuff planned! We're going to be cooking, baking, going to the pool, reading (she's an avid reader just like me), stamping, shopping, and whatever else I can do to keep us busy. I'm expecting her to want to stay more than a week because I don't think a week is long enough to do everything in. We'll see. It's her first time away from home and she may want to stay but be homesick. 

OK, enough for now. I'll try to schedule some posts so I don't stay away for too long.

Happy stamping til the next time!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Not Enough Time

I feel like there's just not enough hours in the day lately. Too many things going on and nothing is getting finished! Still working on my craft room. I was hoping to have it finished within the next week or two, but some other things have come up and it's just not gonna happen. Oh well... Maybe I should just make it my goal to have it all done by the end of summer. :-)

Here are a few cards I've worked on. I don't have recipes because I was lucky enough to get to work on them to begin with. Just didn't have the chance to stamp AND write down the recipe. I know you'll enjoy them regardless.

This card was originally posted in January, but I never liked the coloring and felt like it needed something more. It looks so much better this way! All stamps are AMuse and the paper is AMuse & Memory Box. Ink was VersaMagic turquoise gem.


This card was done using Twinkling H2Os. I love working with these and don't use them often enough. Stamps & card stock are Stampin' Up!. The pattern paper and ribbon is out of my stash. I think this stamp has been discontinued... Has anyone seen the new catalog? I have way too many pages marked for sets I want. Like I need more stamp sets! I still have a bunch I cleaned out that I need to get rid of!

I was looking through my stamps, trying to find something "different" to do and came across this one. I've had this stamp for many years, but have never used it. At first I was going to watercolor or use Copics, but then I decided to go for a simpler look. I seem to be attracted to textures when working with animal stamps. Love the different items you can use to get that texture. I used a Magenta stamp for the background, some mulberry paper, and lastly some mesh. The deer stamp is from Stampabilities. Card stock is Stampin' Up. I used Close to Cocoa for stamping.

Happy stamping til the next time!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Happy Sunday!

Good morning everyone! It's been a super busy week for me! I've been helping my sister by writing an employee manual for her restaurant, which will be opening within the month, and I'm down to the deadline. Hopefully it will be finished within the next couple days. In between working on the manual, I have taught a Copic class, finished a project I was working on for a certain someone (I will post pics when I mail it out and she receives it so I don't spoil her surprise), started a project for another certain someone, and have been helping my DIL's mother with a few projects that need to be complete before the end of the month. Phew! Somewhere in there, I managed to begin, but not finish a few cards. That's one of the things on my list to work on in between completing the manual. :-)

Last Monday, I completed another quilted ornament to go along with my 4th of July themed insert for my perpetual calendar. At some point, I'd love to be a month ahead in doing these quilted ornaments, but we all know how that goes! I should just take my calendar inserts with me when I go to the fabric store. lol It would make it soooo much easier! Anyhoo... I started and finished the 4th of July ornament last Monday, took pics to post here, and then got tied up in something else (probably dinner) and totally forgot to post! So, here we go. Hope you like them.

This plate insert was done a few years ago in a Stampin' Up! class I took with Kim Cagle. We made a years worth of inserts. They are 6" square and fit perfectly in the center of this glass plate. The plate has 2 BasicGrey magnets on it that link up with 2 magnets on the back of the insert. Little by little I would like to make some new calendar inserts just to switch things up a bit! Variety is the spice of life, you know! :-)


Here is the quilted ornament. I am so pleased with how it turned out. It's exactly how I envisioned it! The only thing that took me *for-evah* was the ribbon top. I can't even tell you how many times I pulled it apart and redid it. Yes, I am a bit, but just a bit (lol), of a perfectionist. Although, I do have to admit that stamping has taught me to be a lot more relaxed when it comes to my art. I don't even really worry about it anymore. Just go with the flow... Makes life soooo much easier! Less stressful. I once read that the Amish women purposely make a mistake in their quilts because no one is perfect but God. After reading that, the pressure to be perfect in my art was off! Now I only try to be perfect in everything else; like that really happens! lmbo I digress... the ornament, back to that. I got the fabric in Wal-Mart last summer. Don't know if they still have it or not. The ribbon around the center is from Wal-mart too. The ribbons at the top are from either Michaels, ACMoore, or Hobby Lobby. They're just your standard thinner width ribbon that I matched up to the fabric. When I do my organizational post on ribbon/embellishments, you will see that I have *tons* of ribbon. What is totally annoying about that, is when I go to do a project and don't like the way any, yes ANY, of the ribbons match up with the project. When you have that many spools of ribbon, you expect to find something in your stash that matches!

Here is the display on my little cabinet that I painted next to my front door. The ornament holder has a lid that creates a box display, but it's harder to take a nice picture with the lid on so I leave it off for the pictures only. My plan is still to do at least 12 of these. I'd like to have a few different ones for like birthdays, anniversary, or whatever special occasion falls between the holidays. And somewhere along the line, I'd like to make a couple baby ones. Not only is my DIL pregnant, but my neighbor's daughter is pregnant too. It would be nice to start a tradition of giving the grandchildren a handmade ornament either at Christmas or on their birthday. Probably birthday though. I can always do something else for Christmas, like, I don't know... how about Christmas ones?? lol

The cabinet the display sits on is something I'm very proud of. I made it well over 10 years ago in a Tole painting class. It took me 3 months to paint of which 10 weeks was in class. There was a lot of painting in between classes to get it finished though. Anyone who sees the cabinet loves it and thinks I should make them to sell! Little do they realize that #1 most people will spend an arm and a leg for something out of the Spiegel catalog, but they won't pay the same price for something handmade and #2 it takes way too much time to paint just one of these, much less several. I will take pictues of it for a post so you all can see it.

OK, gotta run for now. Still working on that darn room! If I don't stop taking on these projects, I'm never going to get it finished! My goal is to have it finished by the end of summer. There. It's written down. On the internet for all to see. I'm committed. Now I guess I'll further commit myself by writing it in *pen* on the calendar. :-)

Have a wonderful rest of the weekend and happy stamping til the next time!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Some Cards

It's been a long time since I shared any cards I've made. Well, it's about time! The "big move" has been very long and I never realized how much stuff I have. As I put stuff away, I'm trying to throw/give away anything I may not need. Of course anything that could potentially be needed in the future, goes up in the attic. If I ever do end up with a nice studio space, I'm gonna need all those storage items!

I need to figure out another way to do the coating on the squares. Maybe it's the paper I used... I don't know, but I feel like the iridescent embossing powder got absorbed by the paper which made it look like the powder didn't completely cover. All in all, it turned out cute.

Stamps: SU! In Full Bloom & A Word For You ; C/S: SU! barely banana, mellow moss, pretty in pink; Ink: SU! pretty in pink, regal rose, barely banana, bordering blue, mellow moss; Supplies: SU! iridescent embossing powder, watercolor brush.

This Father's Day card was inspired by a card I saw for a class at ACMoore.

Stamps: Club Scrap car & Studio G sentiment; C/S: SU! going gray, baroque burgundy, basic grey, whisper white; Ink: StazOn black, SU! basic grey & craft white; Supplies: Cuttlebug diamond embossing folder, EK Success border punch (unknown).

More card samples coming your way soon.

Happy stamping til the next time!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

AMAZING NEWS!!

Gosh I almost forgot to share the best news ever! We're going to be grandparents. Our son (Eddie) and his wife (Holly) are expecting!!!! I am totally over the top about this! Been waiting for years to be an Oma. 

I went with the kids to their ultrasound appointment on June 17th. Wow! That was the most amazing thing I have ever seen in my life. Back when I was pregnant with Eddie, I don't even think I ever had an ultrasound. If I remember right, you had to be high-risk to get one. Anyway, here is a pic of the newest member-to-be of the McCullough clan. Isn't he/she cute?? You could see *everything* when the tech was taking pics. So much is different now compared to 30 years ago. I'm telling you... amazing.

In August, they will have another ultrasound; this is when the sex of the baby will be determined. The kids want to know what the sex is, but with a twist. They want to find out with everyone and be just as surprised so... when the ultrasound is done, the "result" will be put in an envelope. The envelope will be given to a lady they know who makes cakes. She will add the appropriate color to the cake mix for the inside and the outside will be white. They will have a small gathering at their house and when they cut into the cake, we'll all find out together! How cool is that? On Thursday or Friday morning they had a segment on Good Morning American about this being the new thing for parents to do. We've never heard of it before. Just can't wait...

Catch-Up

Boy.... it's been so long since I posted last. So much is going on here! I think I may have mentioned that I was going to move my craft room to a bigger room next door to my current craft room. It's taking waaaaay longer than I thought it would! Because of back issues, I can only do so much each day. The good news is that the move into the new room is almost finished. Woo hoo! Then I still need to straighten out the bedroom that I came from and the hall bathroom that is now filled filled filled with all kinds of stuff. I think if I ever make a move like this again, it will be to an actual studio... OUTSIDE the house! lol I'm really happy with how everything is turning out though. Pictures will follow; maybe even a video once I finish my series on organization. :-)

So my basket that I posted about is completely finished now. I got some styrofoam eggs from ACMoore and painted them a kind of beige-brown color. On several I put a bit of glitter just for some interest. It turned out so nice and I get so many complements on it. Here's the completed basket. My Mom crocheted the "tablecloth" it's sitting on.

During this big move, I've hardly been able to make anything! This basket and 2 cards is it. So not used to that. I'm to the point now where I can do a little more, but I still have stuff to organize/put away so I have some sort of area to create in. The cards, which include a few I made before the "big move," will be shared in the next post.

Have a wonderful weekend. Look for another post later today or tomorrow.

Happy stamping til the next time!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Basket Lift from Lolly

Hey everyone... I finally finished the basket I was working on. The idea is from an online Prima class that Lolly Chessie taught. If you want to see how Lolly did hers, here's the link to the Ustream page: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/13238548.

These are the glimmermists I used: apple (mostly), hula hoop, a bit of dragonfly, and finished it off with marshmallow. Most of the flowers were spritzedwith glimmermist even though some were already a color; the glimmermist enhanced the color. Others I bought white specifically to mist with color. All in all, I was very pleased with how they turned out. I even msted the leaves which turned out having just a pretty shimmer to them. The pretty paper that Lolly used for her pleating around the basket was impossibe to find so I went with something I thought was just as pretty and would match the flowers I had picked up. There is a mixture of silk & Prima flowers used. The feather & butterfly came from Hobby Lobby. I found a roll of the lace trim at Michael's in ivory and distressed it with Tim Holtz's old paper ink.

Here it it all finished!



I'm moving my "studio" craft room around and even though I have the paper organization drafted out, I can't take pics til I'm done with the move. I will, however, take pics of the move so you all know NEVER to do this!! It has been so difficult! My friend and neighbor, Wendi, has been a huge help... don't know if I could have done this without her. Although she is the reason I could move or breathe for a few days!! lol I think it will be worth it once I'm completely moved; hubby doesn't think so though... do they ever?

Next week, I'm heading to NJ to bring my Mom home with me. This trip is all about seeing family and old high school friends. I probably won't get to stop anywhere crafty unless I get to One Small Spark in Tuckerton while I'm there. This is the cutest little shop and Patricia, the owner, is a wonderful person!

I'll try to set up a couple of posts ahead of time before I go, but not promising anything. I do have one more small project to finish up for the basket. I bought styrofoam eggs that I'm going to sponge paint in a neutral color with some speckling to give it a more natural look. I couldn't figure out what to put in the basket, since it has so much going on aleady. The eggs should look nice without looking like Easter because that's not what it's supposed to be. I'll post pics when I finish it.

Til the next time...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Travel Journal

Hey all... I know I was going to post about organizing your paper, but I got tied up in a project that had been started last week and it's finished so I wanted to share that today instead. The paper post will still be coming this week.

Prima Live, specifically Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, did an online class of this same basic style of Travel Journal with the Prima Madeleine papers. It was totally gorgeous and really needed no additional embellishing like I did because the paper was so stunning! The online classes are recorded and left up on UStream to view at a later time. If you would like to see this class or any others that have been recorded, here is the link to that website: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/13165467. The online classes are lots of fun!

The first video is the Travel Journal that I had completed after attending the online class. For me, it was just a "template" so I would know how to make it. Then at a later date, I could get those awesome Prima papers and make another one. I will apologize in advance if the video quality is poor because I was using my regular camera and not a video camera. So this is the very bare looking travel journal BEFORE I prettied it up.  :-)

video

Now... the more I looked at the journal, the more I thought that I should just go ahead and complete it. I think the paper is by American Crafts and was actually called Road Trip. They aren't the prettiest of papers so I struggled a bit with exactly what to do with it. I really thought it looked kind of boyish in a way. It took me time to go through all my flowers and then my buttons, brads, and ribbon to see what all matched up to my liking. My color scheme ended up being teal (Lolly should love that), red and yellow orange. Because the ribbon I used to keep the journal closed had a different kind of blue in it (along the lines of Ballet Blue from SU), I pulled some of that blue onto the front cover with the flowers and brads. Here is the total completed project. I'm very happy with it and do think I'm actually going to use it when I take my next road trip.

video

Hugs, Margaret

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Love My Stamping Bellas!!

I have so many Stamping Bellas and I love every single one of them! Not only do I love them, but Holly (my daughter-in-law), loves them as well. She isn't into stamping like I am; however, she appreciates the handmade cards she receives as well as making cards for special occasions. I get such a kick out them being her favorites because whenever she wants to borrow stamps to make a card, I know just which ones she will likely go for. She does a great job too. Her and my son make their annual pig roast invitations every year together. I'm still trying to get them to make Christmas cards. :-)

Last week, before the "creative funk," I made these cards that had been sitting in my to do bin for at least a year. Hope you like it...

Stamps - Stamping Bella Balloonabella; A Muse spiral daisy, astro flower & sakura
Cardstock - Neenah avalanche white, GP white, pink & red from stock, scrap pp
Ink - Memento tuxedo black; SU! pretty in pink, real red, & lavender lace
Copics - R20, R21, R22, E000, E01, E11, YR23, Y23, E35
Supplies/Tools - A Muse sheer red ribbon, 1.25" sheer heart ribbon (Michaels?), small heart punch
Technique - paper piecing


My favorite piecing is the middle card. The colors are so soft and pretty. Haven't decided if I should make these Valentines, I love you or some other type of card. I guess the hearts make it look more Valentines like. 

Keep an eye out for the next part of the organizational series. I'll do my best to get that done this week. I'm thinking paper is the next subject. A lot of people have questions on the best way to organize paper. This doesn't mean I have the best way, but I can show you how I do it and hopefully it will help you.

Til the next time...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Creative Process

Sometimes it's so hard to create. The idea is in your head but for some reason it doesn't translate to physical form. I think I've been in a "creative funk" for the last week. Several days ago, I wanted to make a Mother's Day card using one of Inkadinkado's new BlockArt stamps. As usual, I picked out my pattern paper and cardstock. I stamped out the image and proceeded to color it with my Copics. Then... BAM! Nothing. Nada. Very frustrating!! Normally I stamp an image several times so I can color it in different ways to see which color combo I like best. No matter what I did, I could not get the image to work out with the card I had created. I was stuck with a completed card but no image or sentiment that I particularly liked.

Thank goodness this doesn't happen to me very frequently, which is just fine with me because it makes me crazy! Now, the card is finished. This is the first time I've used so many papers on one card. Hubby thought it looked busy, but then he also didn't like the red hair on my Stamping Bella Goodluckabella. Anyhoo, I'm about as happy as I can be with the result. The sentiment is not what I had in mind, but I didn't have a sentiment that would fit in a circle. Oh well... better luck next time!

Stamps - Stamping Bella Ivy Ketto, Hero Arts On Mother's Day
Cardstock - BoBunny Alissa twirls & spunky pp, heidi grace reagan's closet pp, Hobby Lobby textured cardstock, SU! basic black & tempting turquoise
Ink - Memento tuxedo black, SU! green galore
Copics - YG0000, YG21, YG13, YG17, YG25, E00, E11, BG11, BG13, E27, E33, Y15, Y17, R81, R83, R85, 0
Supples/Tools - Martha Stewart border punch, BoBunny Alissa flowers, SU! marina mist 1/4" grosgrain, SU! pretty in pink 1/8" tafetta, 1/4" leaf satiny ribbon, pearls, light green gems, black buttons, Recollections black round gems, Tattered Angels glimmermist: patina, tutti fruity, hula hoop, SU! decorative label punch, Ranger glossy accents, Studio G glitter writer

I love how the flowers turned out on both cards. Several years ago I bought silk tulips at one of the local craft stores. They were so pretty because the petals had been treated with something to make them look like they had been rained on. I have always liked that look so when I was trying to figure out something to do with the petals, other than putting glitter glue on them, I thought about the rain touched tulips. I don't know which flowers I like better. They both turned out pretty. 

The button idea is from one of the Prima Live classes. I thought I had a bunch of black buttons. I do, but unfortunately, they are all too big to be the center of the flowers. I only had 3 that were small enough so I ended up using the 1/2 round plastic gems from Recollections. In my opinion, the buttons make more of a statement. The upside and best part is that now I have something else I have to shop for! Ya know, no matter how much you have, it's never enough...

Happy stamping til next time!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It Happened AGAIN!!!

You all would totally NOT believe this... but... I was part of an online class with Prima Flowers tonight and I won something! Again, I'm beside myself and don't know what to make of winning something twice in one day; actually twice within a couple of hours!! I'm excited but guarded because how long can this lucky streak last?

Anyway, here's the link to the event that was demo'd by Julie Fei-Fan Baltzer: http://www.facebook.com/eddie.mccullough/posts/574546683620#!/event.php?eid=209071379119726. I don't know how I got my orginal event invite, but anyone who's interested, I can invite you. Then we go to the ustream website and watch the class there. Here is their actual FB page so hopefully if you like them, you'll get invited to their online classes too. http://www.facebook.com/eddie.mccullough/posts/574546683620#!/primaflowers

If you have questions, let me know. Have a good night.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Winner of CreateForLess Free Stuff Friday

Hey everyone... you know, when you leave a comment on someone's blog or a company's blog to win a prize, you never think (or least I never do) that you will win. I never win anything and since I've started this blog, this is the second time I've won something! I'm so excited I can hardly stand myself!! The picture to the right is what I won. Yes... I won all three of those Spellbinders,not just one! I can't believe it! Here is the link to the company blog with a description of the prize and question I answered: http://thinkcrafts.com/blog/2011/03/21/winners-63/. I'm really excited because a couple of weeks ago I realized that I really really really needed to get the petite ovals. That extra 1/8" makes all the difference when cutting/layering my images. CreateForLess website to make purchases is located here: http://www.createforless.com/.

HUGE thanks to the gang at CreateForLess for giving us all the opportunity to win!!

Til the next time...

Perpetual Calendar & Monthly Ornament

Hey all... thought I would share another little something non-card related, but definitely craft related, that sits on top of a little cabinet next to the front door. A few years ago I took a class where we made perpetual calendar inserts for a square glass plate. It stays on the glass with 2 small circular magnets by Basic Grey, which you at ACMoore. They are thinner than the magnets you would get otherwise. There are about 13 or 14 inserts for the plate. This year, at some point, I would like to make a whole new set using the Stick Chicks from American Artstamps. We'll see how that goes because that was my plan for last year! lol Anyway, in the shadow box is a St. Patrick's Day themed quilted ball. I made these at Christmastime for gifts and decided to make a "perpetual" quilted ball for each month of the year to kind of go along with my calendar insert. Haven't even started the one for April, but I know it will be an Easter style made with pastels. I see it in my head, it's just a matter of gettin' busy! I'll make sure that each month, whether or not I've made an ornament, I'll share what's on my cabinet.

One day, when I'm not so stressed about getting *everything* done, I'll take pictures of the cabinet to show. I painted it over 10 years ago. I love it! It's shabby chique style.

Til the next time...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Good, the Bad... AND yes, the Ugly!! - Organization Part 1

I believe last week I mentioned that I was going to share some organizational tips with you AND that I wouldn't just share all the good stuff, but the bad stuff as well. Today I took a picture of my desk. I should be thoroughly embarrassed to show you all this... It looks so bad... See that tiny little pink area that has nothing on it? That's my work area!! lol I'm working on so many things right now, it's not even funny! It's a freakin' disaster area!! And I don't mean *just* my desk. The whole room is. It's amazing I can get anything accomplished, isn't it? I'm trying to pack it up and keep track of all the little things I need to complete projects. Don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I'm getting ready to switch my craft room into a bigger bedroom. What I really want is like a 10x20 room out in the backyard; complete with a telephone, electrical outlets at every other wall stud, fabulous lighting, couple of ceiling fans, AC/heat, bathroom, and a nice sink for clean up. Is that too much to ask? hmmmm... I don't think so! :-) I'll just have to be patient, but can you tell I've put A LOT of thought into this?
STAMP ORGANIZATION - this is the first topic I'll write about. Organizing your stamps is not just about where you put them, but also how you categorize and catalog them.

Some of you have probaby been stamping for a long time and feel as though it would be impossible to "attack" your stamps to organize strictly because it would be such a daunting task. Take baby steps! This is not a race! A project like this is something you do not want to have to do again. Take some time to put some thought into the process. You'll save yourself a lot of time in the end.
  • Start by searching the internet for storage ideas. Keep a notebook of any ideas you think would work for you. Whether you rip pictures out of magazines, draw your room on graph paper like I did, save internet pictures in an "Organizational" folder, or save blogs that inspire you to an "Organizational" favorites folder, the resources are out there, you only have to find them.
  • This does not have to cost you any money. Use what you have unless you have the money to upgrade some or all of your storage. When I moved from our 4th bedroom downstairs to the 3rd (and smallest) bedroom upstairs, I made the change to the white JetMax storage cubes that are available at Hobby Lobby, Michaels and ACMoore. They are cheapest at Hobby Lobby and Michaels. Just remember this... whether or not you've been stamping for a long period of time, this process will take several days/weeks to finesse and make your own. Don't try to rush it! You'll be happier with the end result.
  • Drawer storage system for mounted stamps - in order to store multiple layers of stamps in a drawer, you must use some type of sturdy material that the stamps will sit on in order to make layers. Also remember that you will be lifting the layers out of the drawer when you are looking for a particular stamp, which means you need "finger room." This means you need to cut the material a couple inches shorter than the depth of the drawer. 
    • I bought foam board at Hobby Lobby. It was approximately 20"x30" and $1.50 per sheet on sale for 50% off. Since then, I've seen the same sheets at Michaels for the same cost.
    • If you have the JetMax cubes, you can get 3 layers of stamps into one drawer; that's potentially 9 layers of stamps in one cube! One sheet of foam board will give you 2 pieces for your layers.
    • The plastic Iris drawers will hold two layers. Don't know how many pieces you would get out of 1 sheet as I have never done this with any other type of drawer. 
    • Save the leftover pieces because you may be able to use them for something else as you organize more and more of your room/area.
  • I have my clear stamps in the old standard sized CD cases that have been purchased at Big Lots. You only have to snap out the back piece that holds the CD; it's very easy. The majority of these stamps are stored by company. My "cheaper" clear stamps are stored by very narrow categories.
    • For example, one CD would contain all Merry Christmas words. Another would contain all Happy Holidays words. Another may have presents and balloons or cakes and candles. If I don't have a lot in a particular category, I will make the category broader. I don't have many baby or child related stamps so I have 3 CDs, one is called baby, one is girls, and the last is boys. I'm sure this will change once I become a grandma. :-)
  • Stamps that are plain old bare rubber are stored by company because I don't have very many. The majority of these are my Stamping Bellas which I have in standard CD cases. I have put tape on the backs to keep them in place. These are organized by artist and then category.
  • Stampin' Up! sets - I have a huge selection of SU! stamps, especially since I've been using their stamps for 10 years. I keep them in their containers and store them by broad category. I have 3 2-drawer JetMax cubes that have 2 canvas drawers in them each. I do not allow myself to exceed these 6 drawers. Needless to say, when SU! came out with the cling stamps, I was a massively happy camper. 
    • Any sets that I would never get rid of were unmounted onto cling foam that I bought from Ellen Hutson and 7 Kids College Fund.
      • There are 2 kinds of cling foam. One is a standard foam that is the thickness of how cling foam stamps come normally. The other is a very thin cling foam that is perfect for mounting your SU! stamps on if the foam is still attached when it's removed from the wood block. If the rubber came off of the foam, no biggie... mount it on the standard cling foam.
    • I purchased additional DVD boxes from SU! for all the sets I was going to unmount. What I didn't take into consideration was that this was the perfect way to store any additional cling foam stamps I owned. I don't have very many and since they are so varied in category, I have opted to store them by company at this time.
    • As far as the SU! sets go... I put as many sets as I can fit into 1 box. Carefully go through the sets to see which ones are the most similar, see if they will all fit into the case, and then proceed with the unmounting process. I have fit as many as 4 sets into 1 box! I do not change how my DVD boxed stamps come from SU!. No matter how badly I want to add another set or 2, I force myself to leave it alone. Just step away! lol
  • Another important aspect of stamp organization, is how to "file" your stamps. When I have done classes based on a particular company, I stored my stamps by company. All other stamps were stored by category. For many years, I categorized by a broad category, then narrowed the category down into smaller ones.
    • For example, a broad category would be nature. Then, under nature, you would have these sub-categories: trees, leaves, flowers, wings (which would encompass birds & bugs), and so on. I recently got rid of the broad category and just store my stamps under the smaller categories. Wings, in itself, can be a fairly broad category depending on how many "wing-like" stamps you have. Once I move to my new room, this category will be broken down into smaller categories: birds, butterflies, insects, etc. Write down your categories and figure out how you can best organize your stamps. Try to leave yourself a bit of room for growth so you aren't moving things around too frequently.
  • Once you have gone through the process of putting your stamps in their new home, you will want to keep everything as neat and clean as possible.
    • When I set up my drawers, I bought drawer liner at the dollar store to put only in the bottom of each drawer to protect the surface. I don't do this with the layers because foam board is cheap enough that I don't mind if it gets a little dirty. I have never had to replace any of the foam board layers.
    • If I don't have time to clean my stamps as I go, I keep them in a small basket and clean them all at once. This helps to save on stamp cleaner.
    • Try to put your stamps back in the same place you got them from. You may want to take a picture of how each layer is situated so you don't forget where anything goes.
  • Lastly, we come to cataloging your stamps. Several years ago, I started an Excel spreadsheet that lists every stamp I have. This system of organization is broken down into several workbooks.
    • Workbook 1 is the Master List of Stamps. Each spreadsheet within the workbook is a letter or group of letters. So if one worksheet is "A-C," then all companies that begin with an "A," "B," or "C" will be listed under that spreadsheet.
    • Workbook 2 is all wood mounted stamps. The spreadsheets are still alphabetical as in Workbook 1, but when I own a lot of stamps for a particular company (A Muse, Memory Box, Inkadinkado, etc), they get their own spreadsheet. I generally use over 50 stamps as a guideline to list them on their own sheet.
    • Workbook 3 is all unmounted stamps. They are organized the same as Workbook 2.
    • This takes a lot of time to do. Probably more time than any of the other tasks you have done thus far. If you have been stamping forever and don't know which stamps are from which company or what their names are, start your cataloging from this point forward. 
      • I have bare rubber stamps that I don't know which company they belong to. When I get bare rubber stamps now, I write the name on the back of the stamp with a Sharpie. 
Wowza... that was way longer than I anticipated. Future organizational blog posts should not be quite so long. I think stamps are the most problematic items to organize in your room/area. Hopefully this has helped you in one way or another. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. I will email you the answer and later compose a post addressing multiple questions.

I couldn't leave you with that horror in your head as to what my desk looks like so here is the after picture. Much better, huh? I'm in the process of reorganizing how I organize my stuff based on some ideas I've gotten from the sources I gave you all the way in the beginning of my post. I like to think of myself as being in a state of perpetual reorganization. Mouthful, I know, but it helps me to justify the messiness of the room. Unless you have the perfect space with all the perfect organization installed, we are all in the same boat. I can only say that I aspire to be more organized and less messy.

Happy stamping til the next time!