Sunday, March 30, 2008

Take a Tour of my Stamp Room!

Welcome! I'm so glad you stopped by. Please come on in and take a look around... As I promised in my long question and answer post, I'm about to show you my stamp room! Some of you asked me about how I stay organized, so here are some photos of my stamp room along with descriptions of the things you will see. I hope it gives you some fresh ideas.

This is my main work area. It's where all the major creating happens! The desk is from Ikea - there are actually two across this side of my stamp room that go wall to wall. Granted, this desk is nice and tidy right now since it was having this little photo shoot, but under normal circumstances, it's covered with projects in all stages of completion! The grid on the wall with all of it's shelves came from The Container Store. Let's take a closer look going from right to left...

This, of course, is where I store my stamp sets. They are within easy reach while I am working. The cabinets are from Target in their scrapbooking aisle, but I'm not sure if they have them any more as I didn't see them the last time I was there. There's four of them here - two each of two different styles. This gives me a lot of flexibility in finding the right spot for the different size boxes. I don't have them organized in any special way except that all of my sentiment stamps stay in the upper right-hand shelves. On top of the cabinet are my background stamps, a couple of Simply Sent kits, and a few stamp sets that are not appropriate right now (Christmas sets, or sets from past minis that may or may not come back). Sitting in front of these shelves is my handy Stampin' Stack & Store which contains all of my brads and eyelets. I love this thing! It spins so nice and easy.

Here you can see where I store my most commonly used Embossing powders and my Dazzling Diamonds glitter. I put them in containers that fit nicely on the shelves. I also keep my Embossing Buddy right next to them so I won't forget to use it. If you don't have one, you really should experience the difference it makes. The powder just slides off the paper! You can also see that my Heat Tool is hanging from a hook, nice and handy. Moving down from the powders, you can see all of my buttons. I put them in cute little decorated glass jars. Underneath those shelves is a box with ribbon scraps. It's clear for easy viewing, and large enough that I can generally find what I need quickly. Underneath that is a small drawer cube where I store current cards I'm working on ( April Stamp-a-Stack cards are sitting in that top drawer - you'll see them real soon!). The bottom drawer has my flowers from the new Die Cut Blooms set, which I love and want to keep handy. Again, it is large enough to allow easy access. Next to that drawer cube you can see my fabulous Ott light. I will never work with any other light again...! Thanks, Dianne!

Over here you see all of my ribbon. I have two sets of Ribbon Originals that are kept in the circle magnetic containers (also from The Container Store) and the metal plate they stick to hangs very conveniently from hooks on the grid. The rest of my ribbon stays in the bucket shelves. Below the Ribbon Originals are my scissors. I have all three kinds - and if you have never tried those new Craft & Paper Scissors, you simply MUST! I know, I know... what do you need another pair of scissors for? I thought the exact same thing. Until I used those for the first time. In my house, they are SPECIFICALLY used for ribbon and nothing else! They cut ribbon like BUTTER! You don't even have to hold the end of the ribbon... I can't explain it. You really must try them to understand why you have to have them. Okay, moving on... below the scissors is a box with things like my bone folders, black Stampin' Write markers, glue pens, tweezers, etc. Under the ribbon baskets is another drawer cube that contains all of my adhesive - SNAIL, Glue Dots, and Dimensionals. My Stampin' Scrubs fit right on top which is perfectly accessible at all times. It's so important for everything to have a place! To the left of that cube is where my Color Coach wheel goes, alongside my set of Stampin' Write markers.

Here is probably my favorite thing in this room... not only because it's so handy, but because my wonderful husband made it for me! It's my stamp pad cabinet that holds all of my Classic inks (inlcuding the In Colors and the Neutrals) along with their Re-inkers (I don't have all of the re-inkers yet). We saw one similar to this online, so we modified the design a bit and this is the result. I just LOVE LOVE LOVE it! ...I'm now trying to get him to make a second one for all of my Craft pads! They're stored in the closet right now.

Moving further over to the left is my computer desk. This is where I am sitting right now as I type this. All of my blogging, surfing, and ordering is done over here. I only have one chair in this room, so it slides from the stamp area to the computer area often. I love having the window right at the computer - I don't feel so closed in when the sun can shine in. The table that the computer is on actually slides underneath the main desk if I need to conserve space - on the opposite wall is a daybed (you'll see it in a minute), as this room also serves as a guest bedroom. It has a trundle bed underneath, so when guests come, I move the computer to the main desk and slide the table underneath.

To the left of the computer is a rolling cart (also from Ikea) that has some basic office supplies in the top and filing drawers in the bottom for my Stampin' Up! paperwork (orders, receipts, bank statements, etc.). Although this cart is on casters and can slide under my desk, I usually leave it out so it can serve as a nightstand when guests come. You can also see another cabinet underneath in the corner with drawers - that is from Target and holds miscellaneous things that I don't need to get to often. On top of it is my printer.

Here is another section of wall that I have - between the closet and the door. I arranged a few little shelving units to maximize storage space. On the top, I keep my regular postal supplies - scale, stamps, address labels, etc. Underneath are more Stampin' Up! supplies - Grid Paper, catalogs, order forms, and packages of cardstock that I'm running low on. When I run out of a color, I grab it's backup here and then make a point to order a new pack. That way, I never run out of a color. In the little drawer cube are all of my envelopes and logo bags.

This rolling cart came from The Container Store and holds all of my yummy cardstock. Each color has its own folder, along with a Stampin' Color Index Label that is stuck on a scrap of the same color.

This makes for SUPER easy location. They are arranged alphabetically, but with the tabs being the color of the cardstock, I can go right to the one I want. It also makes for easy filing - my kids can even do that for me since they only have to match up the color. The In Colors are along the left side and the neutrals are in the front.

Underneath the folders are three drawers that contain my Punches. This cart is on casters and slides underneath my desk when I'm not using it... which isn't often. :o)

This cart is larger - it holds all of my 12 x 12 supplies. I bought the hanging folders from The Container Store (is it obvious yet that I like that store?) and inside them are "pocket" folders (also from The Container Store) that contain my different Designer Series Papers. That way, I can have 3 or 4 different paper packs in one hanging folder. Whenever I want to use a particular pack, I just pull out the pocket folder and keep it on my desk. I store the scraps right along with the full sheets because these pockets are closed on 2 sides, with a flap that covers the 3rd. They're really handy! Also in this cart is my 12 x 12 textured cardstock, my chipboard, and my Simply Scrappin' Kits. Underneath the file folders is a deep drawer that has my Stampin' Around Wheels and handles, and a box with my Prints scraps (from the current Hostess Level 1 pack). Again, this cart is on casters, so it stores under the desk.

This final cart is the same size as the one I just showed you, only instead of making it a filing cabinet, I put a counter top on it. It still slides underneath my desk, but it's usually out since I use it often. Three of the drawers have divider liners in them and I keep supplies that I use a lot in them. Hodgepodge Hardware, my Crafter's Toolkit, Dry Embossing supplies, Watercolor Wonder Crayons, Stampin' Sponges, Brayer, Sanding Blocks... these are just some examples of the things I keep in this cart. Having it on casters also makes it easy to wheel out to my dining room which is where I hold my workshops.

On top of this cart is my wonderful Scrap Box! Scraps, to me, are the hardest thing to have a good place for. I developed this system several months ago and I can't tell you how wonderful it's been for me. This is a box designed for 8" x 5" index cards that I got at an office supply store. It was ugly to start with - looked like one of those black and white marble composition notebook covers. So I covered it using ModPodge and some old DSP that I had, stamped a label with the Classic Alphabet set in Chocolate Chip ink, and then tied a Chocolate Chip ribbon around the whole box. Simple, yet elegant.

I then bought enough tabs for each color (including In Colors and Neutrals) to have its own tab, and labeled them with the Stampin' Color Index Labels (I love those things!). Behind each tab are all the decent size scraps for that color - I don't keep really small pieces... it has to be big enough for me to punch a 1 1/4" circle out of, or else I throw it away - and anything that is 1/2 sheet or larger gets stored back in my regular cardstock storage cart. This box stays either on top of this cart or on my desk and it gets used A LOT!

And last, but not least, if you were to be a guest in my home, chances are this would be your bed (of course, you'd have to share it with one of our cats who has claimed that purple and white afghan as his daytime napping spot). This was my childhood (well, teenage years) daybed and it is along the opposite wall from the Ikea desks. My favorite colors (obviously) are sage and lavender, and that's what this room is clothed in. It's very comfortable, and I consider myself very fortunate to have a stamp haven as nice as this one.

And there you have it! My stamp room! I hope you enjoyed this tour. I welcome your comments on what you like the best - and feel free to offer suggestions if you see anything that could be done differently or more conveniently! I'm always game for improvements!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Baroque Wedding

One of our dear friends is getting married tomorrow, and I thought it was a good opportunity to pull out a couple things I don't use very often - one of which I have NEVER used yet! Here is the card I made for them:

The two things I meant are 1) the River Rock cardstock. I have not used it very much and I should be scolded because it really is a beautiful color... hard to photograph, but beautiful none-the-less! and 2) the gorgeous Shimmery White cardstock! I have NEVER used it before and had to break open the package for this card. I'm sure you can't really see it in the photograph, but it does shimmer ever so softly... makes for very elegant cards. As does the Baroque Motifs stamp set, which is something I DO use often! The third color on this card is Ruby Red. I punched the sentiment out with the Large Oval punch - originally because I had stamped it onto the card crooked. But I like it better in the oval anyway! By sponging the edges with Ruby Red ink, it makes it stand out that much more.

I scalloped the bottom edge with the Corner Rounder punch (guard removed) and then punched the smaller circles with the 1/16" Handheld Circle punch. Which therein lies the one boo-boo on this card. Do you see it? Eeeeek! That's what happened when I tried to slice off just a wee bit on that side. But it was all already stamped and I did not feel it warranted a total re-do. What do you think?

I finished off the card with some River Rock Double Stitched ribbon, wrote a quick note inside, and slid it into a coordinating stamped envelope... all ready for the bride and groom! I gotta run to the store to find a gift that's NOT made out of paper! :o)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More Coasters

Well, it's good to get back to work! My "assignment" last night was to create a couple sets of coasters to use as door prizes for our church's ladies retreat - which is happening this coming weekend, and which I unfortunately cannot attend :o(. So here is what I came up with:

The one above uses the new Stitched Exotics set along with Not Quite Navy, Chocolate Chip, and Always Artichoke craft inks, with the Print Pattern background stamp done in Close to Cocoa ink. Blues and browns are really hot right now, and I must say that I, too, like the combination.

This one uses the new Tart & Tangy set, along with Big Pieces and Little Pieces, with the Flannel Plaid stamp in the background. I used Real Red, Old Olive, and Creamy Caramel craft ink. On two of them I even tossed in a little More Mustard.

These coasters are super simple to make - the hardest part is figuring out which colors you want to use, but the actual making of them is simple! I think I've already mentioned this (maybe not in my blog, but I know I did in my Stamp Link Newsletter) but I am having another Coaster workshop on April 24th at 7pm. If you are here local, be sure to sign up to reserve your spot, and let me know how many sets you would like to make. Each set of 4 coasters is only $7.50!

These coasters make wonderful gifts... and they are easy to wrap! Just stack them up, wrap some coordinating Wide Grosgrain ribbon around them, and attach a stamped tag like shown here. Don't forget that Mother's Day is coming up!

These tags were made with the Tagger's Dozen stamp set. I colored the stamp with my Stampin' Write markers to get the dual color and then punched them out with the Small and Large Tag Punches. They are attached with Linen Thread.

I do hope they have a wonderful time at the retreat this weekend... *sigh*

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Answers to ALL Your Questions

Ah, well, that may be too strong of a title. But literally speaking, I AM going to answer all of the questions that you asked in the comments to my blog candy post! ...and that's a LOT of answers!

Whenever I was able to, I sent out personal e-mails answering your own question(s). If you did not receive an e-mail from me, it was because I could not find your e-mail address. Many of you have profiles or even blogs, but without e-mail addresses!!

In any case, with this many questions, it makes for a VERY long post. So instead of doing it here, you can click on this link to go to a different post (don't mind the false date at the top of it) where you can find the answers to all of the questions. Thanks again for participating!!

And the Winner Is...

Hi everyone, thank you so much for all the great questions and wonderful compliments. I think I've told you this before, but my Love Language is "Words of Affirmation", and y'all are certainly talkin' my language! :o)

Okay, I'll be posting the answers to all of the questions a little bit later (I'm almost done with it), but for now, let me share with you the winner of the blog candy... my random generator chose the following comment:

Have a wonderful time with your family. What do you like most about being a SU! demo? Thanks for the chance to win.

Congratulations, Sara!! Please contact me with your address and I'll get the goodies off to you!

Now to answer her question... well, there are so many things I love about it. First of all, I love to be creative. I have been an artist at heart since I was very small - my father always told me I should be a commercial artist when I grow up. But something else I have always enjoyed is teaching. With my job as a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, I get to combine both of those passions and TEACH others how to be CREATIVE!

As for other reasons, the earning potential is certainly there and I am amazed at how successful I can be without even giving it my all... someday when the boys are older I'd like to really sink my teeth in to this role and see how far I can go. But for now, I must continue to keep my hands on the reigns, so to speak, and pull back when it starts to gallop along too quickly! That's the beauty of working for yourself - you control your own hours.

And finally, who doesn't love a big brown truck stopping in front of your house to hand you a box full of brand new stamping supplies?? In only a short amount of time, I had enough income to start purchasing anything I wanted without pulling from the family account (my husband is very happy about that!), and now I truly have the freedom to order anything and everything I want and still save money to go toward our vacations, etc. It just couldn't be better... I should've done it a long time ago.

Thanks again! I'll be back later with ALL of the answers...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Blog Candy - Revealed!

Yes, this is my 3rd post in the same day... lots of business to attend to! Before I leave you tonight, I wanted to give one final reminder that tomorrow (March 25th) I will be randomly selecting the winner of my Blog Candy (see this post for details on how to be included)!

...and here is what I've come up with to send to the lucky winner:

It includes the Event Full stamp set, a spool of wide Whisper White Organdy ribbon, and TEN of my earlier card samples with clear envelopes!

Get your comments in by noon (Central time) tomorrow, March 25th! I'll announce the winner early afternoon... oh, and I'll be answering all of your questions, too!

RAK from Cheryl

Not only did Cheryl tag me (see my prior post), but she also sent me the most beautiful card a couple weeks ago! With all my traveling, I haven't had a chance to post it before now. But take a look at this!

Isn't it gorgeous?! She was the winner of my first blog candy (see this post) and this was her thank you for the mailbox I sent her. The photo doesn't do it justice... the tulip and the butterfly are both raised and dusted with some Dazzling Diamonds. I just love the detail she put into this!

Thank you, Cheryl, for such a beautiful card!!

Tags, Tags... Everywhere Tags...

Apparently I'm "IT" several times over... Sweet Vicki over at tagged me, and so did Cheryl over at God & I on the Railroad Tracks and Marie at the Perky Pomegranate. Thank you, ladies, for being loyal readers!

Okay. We all know the rules... I am supposed to list 7 random facts about myself, but not only would it be impossible for me to come up with 21, it would be impossible to expect you to read them all! So instead, I'll just stick to 7, and I'll keep it short and sweet...

1. I love kitty cat paws and their pink tummies.
2. My favorite singer is Michael Buble.
3. I love to pull weeds.
4. I am phobic of cockroaches.
5. A pet peeve of mine is crinkling wrappers in church.
6. I nearly choked to death when I was 7.
7. I have never dyed or even highlighted my hair.

And there you have it. Sort of a weird combination of tidbits, but there they are. I am going to break the rules by not tagging anyone... after being out of town as much as I have been, I simply cannot take the time to find people who haven't been tagged! So keep the game going - and pardon me for being a tagger-pooper. :o)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Well, I'm home, and here I am - as promised! I am so sorry I did not get these posted last week as I intended. But what better day to post a few Easter cards than on Easter itself?

I wanted to use the new A Good Egg set before this wonderful holiday came and went, so I sat down last week and made a couple cards with it. Here is the first one I made:

The base card is So Saffron with a layer of Certainly Celery on top, stamped and sponged with Certainly Celery ink. I stamped the little chick onto Vellum cardstock with Black StazOn ink, and then turned it over and colored the back of the image with my Blender Pen and the ink pad lids. I sponged some Confetti White cardstock with So Saffron ink and then attached the chick with some Antique Brass brads. It is attached to the card with Dimensionals. The sentiment is stamped with the black StazOn, and then some of the new Chocolate Chip Twill Ribbon finishes it off.

Now, I must tell you that I found this card looked very familiar to me after I finished it... and for good reason. Take a look at the Easter card I made last year!

I must really like the combination of So Saffron and Certainly Celery for Easter cards, huh?! This one used the now retired Best of Cluck set, and is a "gate" card, meaning it has two folds and opens in the middle, like this:

Okay, I wanted to get away from yellow and green, so I did one more using a completely different color scheme:

This one has a Bashful Blue base with a layer of Groovy Guava and then Very Vanilla. The egg is So Saffron, Certainly Celery (okay, so I couldn't get rid of those colors altogether!), and Groovy Guava. It was fun to layer the different stripes! Three So Saffron brads hold the pieces together. I used Glue Dots to attach the egg to the Very Vanilla, and then gave it a bit of a Bashful Blue shadow to ground it and tie in the blue. The sentiment is stamped with Basic Black onto Certainly Celery and punched with the Word Window punch. Some of the Double Stitched Groovy Guava Grosgrain adds a final touch - and I found that I really like the combination of Bashful Blue and Groovy Guava!! Maybe I'll use it next year! *giggle*... only I can't since Groovy Guava will have been replaced by then with some other yummy color.

Well, I hope that all of you had a wonderful Easter celebration with your family and friends. It is good to finally be home, and now I can get to work on that Blog Candy I promised you! I'm excited to see what I come up with! Don't forget to leave your comment to this post before the 25th! Oh, and I have added a section to the left for each of Stampin' Up!'s current promotions so they're easy to find.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Want an EXTRA $25?

Hi folks... still comin' at you from the country, but I'll be back home in my stamp room tomorrow night (Easter Sunday)! If you can hold on one more day, I promise to show you those Easter cards I made.

In the meantime, let me tell you about another Stampin' Up! current promotion!

Click on the image above to view the flyer full size. This is a Hostess Promotion now through April 30th where hostesses with a $350 workshop will receive an EXTRA $25 in products! This is a very easy goal to reach and I'd love to help you achieve it! If you're local, contact me to book your workshop - we can do it in your home or clubhouse, or mine! If you're not local, you can always do a catalog party and I can still take care of that for you!

Any way you do it, a FREE $25 is something to SHOUT about!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Wheely Good Deal!

Yes, I know, I'm supposed to be on vacation. But a camping vacation in the pouring rain is not exactly the vacation we had in mind. So we took a couple days out and came back to my folks' house (who live close to where we are camping) to wait out the storms. So here I am... and even though I still don't have access to the new cards I created, I can share with you Stampin' Up!'s newest promotion!

This one is called the Free Wheelin' Deal! (You can click on the thumbnail above to view the flyer full size.) From now through April 30th, when you purchase select stamps sets, you get the coordinating Jumbo Wheel for FREE! See the bundles below.

Wonderful You bundle:
Includes Wonderful You stamp set and free Stems & Silhouettes jumbo wheel! Page 91, $33.95

Life's a breeze bundle:
Includes Life's a Breeze stamp set and free Something Fishy jumbo wheel! Page 80, $29.95

Pun Fun bundle:
Includes Pun Fun stamp set and free Sweet Stars jumbo wheel! Page 66, $30.95

Year after Year bundle:
Includes Year after Year stamp set and free See You Around jumbo wheel! Page 60, $30.95

Stitched Exotics bundle:
Includes Stitched Exotics stamp set and free It's Beautiful jumbo wheel! Pages 82 & 82, $33.95

Enjoy Every Moment bundle:
Includes Enjoy Every Moment stamp set and free Daisy Dash jumbo wheel! Page 51, $29.95

If you have not used a Stampin' Wheel yet, you really must try one... it is the fastest, easiest way to stamp a background onto your cards! They also work beautifully on scrapbook pages! And, if you were a participant in my last ribbon share, you may have noticed that the corner of the letter I sent was wheeled. What a fun, attractive way to add interest to any of your documents!

So check out the beautiful stamp sets listed above and then contact me right away so you can start FREE wheelin'!

And for those of you who have left comments on my last post, you have asked some really terrific questions! I can't wait to answer them all. Be sure to leave your comment before Tuesday, March 25th to be included in the random draw for some really great (although still unrevealed!) blog candy!

...okay, I think the gang is about to start playing cards and I don't want to miss out on that action!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Blog Candy Bribe!!

Doggone it... I messed up. I got my latest cards photographed and edited before I left town, as I was planning on posting a couple of times when I could. But guess what I forgot to do... I didn't upload them here to Blogger. Drat!! They're back at home on my laptop and I have no way of getting to them until I return on Easter Sunday. I am SOOOOOOOO sorry! I just HATE to leave you all hanging for that long without a new post. I considered having the house-sitters e-mail them to me, but that would involve divulging my passwords and I don't want to do that.

Hmmm... what can I do to make it up to you? I know! Besides posting the Easter cards immediately upon my return, I'll also do some blog candy that week. And here's a twist... I'm going to take comments for it NOW, even before I show you what it is! (I don't even know what it will be yet, but I promise to pick out something really good!)

Here's what you need to do: Post a comment with any question you'd like to know about me or my Stampin' Up! business. Be sure to leave your e-mail address unless your name is a hot link - I want to be able to contact you with the answers. I will try to answer all questions, and I will choose a random number on Tuesday, March 25th, as the winner.

So, mark your calendars to come back to visit me the evening of Easter Sunday, which is when I will show you the new cards, and then I'll pick out some fabulous blog candy to send to some lucky recipient!

Well, I guess my goof-up means I am forced to take this week as a vacation. So this is Michele Force, signing off...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Time With Friends

While in Hawaii, we had such a good time at the beach with one of Michael's coworkers that I wanted to make them a card to let them know. The sentiment from the Hostess Level III Time Well Spent set was perfect!

The base card is Old Olive with a Naturals White layer, sponged with Old Olive ink. The patterned paper across the bottom is from the NEW Summer Picnic DSP that is in the Occasions Mini Catalog. The flower also came from the mini, as it uses the Die-cut Blooms set - I'm absolutely LOVING those! They layer together so nicely and with four different colors to choose from and a multitude of different shapes, that package will go a LONG way! In the center of the flower is a Fire Rhinestone brad, and I curled the edges of the petals up a bit to give it more dimension. I colored the sentiment with Stampin' Write markers and then finished it off with some Old Olive Wide Grosgrain Ribbon.

I've also made some Easter cards that I will try to post either later today or tomorrow... and then that will have to hold you over as we're off again on another adventure. This one won't be so far from home though... just some camping and visiting with family for Easter. I do hope you all are gearing up for a wonderful Easter celebration! Remember to get those cards in the mail early this week to wish your loved ones a happy holiday as well.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Angels Among Us

I write this post with a heavy heart. My dear friend, Angela, told me today about a friend of hers who recently lost her 2-year old son, Nate, in a tragic accident. Angela's sister, Lisa Bearnson, wrote about it in her blog - read it here.

...If ever I wanted to make a homemade card, now is the time. As a fellow mom of 3 boys, my heart breaks for Nadine and her family. With a heavy heart and tears in my eyes, I set to work immediately. This is the card I will be sending to Nadine.

I used the Summer by the Sea stamp set again - remember it is not in the current catalog, but it is not retired. I stamped it onto Watercolor paper with StazOn ink and colored it using Watercolor Wonder Crayons and an Aquapainter. The edges were roughed up using the Cutter kit. Here is a closer look:

The base card is Chocolate Chip, and the layer of Kraft on top is stamped with the Sanded background stamp and sponged using Close to Cocoa ink. The sentiment comes from Close as a Memory, stamped in Not Quite Navy ink. Some Chocolate Chip wide grosgrain ribbon and a few pieces from my Hodgepodge Hardware finish it off, along with a small flower from my Pretties Kit.

I encourage you to do what we do best... send a hug in an envelope to someone who could really use it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Loads of Easter Wishes

I'm HOME! Wow... what a wonderful trip - despite all the illnesses. It's good to be home. Anyone want to help with the laundry? :o)

Here's another card we made at my Watercolor Wonder Club class. I'm going to show you two versions, but we made the first one. Both cards were made with the Loads of Love and Loads of Love Accessories stamp sets, and I taught the ladies in the club how to use the Stamp-a-ma-jig so their images would be perfectly lined up. (I can teach you how to use it too! Visit this tutorial.) They were stamped with black StazOn ink onto Watercolor paper and then colored with Watercolor Wonder Crayons and an Aquapainter. The edges were then roughed up with the Cutter Kit.

This first one is the one we made in class and it's done on Brocade Blue cardstock with a layer of So Saffron on top. The Saffron cardstock was wheeled with the Rough Texture jumbo wheel using So Saffron ink. The sentiment on this card was stamped with Night of Navy ink, but I think Brocade Blue would've looked better. I added a layer of roughed up Brocade Blue behind the truck on this one because I cut the Watercolor Paper a tad too short and it needed something to help it take up the excess space. I finished this one off with some of that gorgeous Brocade Blue wide grosgrain ribbon.

This is another version of the same card using Ruby Red and More Mustard. The eggs in the back of this truck were colored with Stampin' Write markers instead of Watercolor Wonder Crayons. I used the Tag punches for the sentiment (stamped in Wild Wasabi) and tied it to some Wild Wasabi double stitched ribbon using Linen Thread.

I can't believe it is almost Easter!

Oh, by the way, I just added a new tutorial to the list at left. It's on how to make those Treat Boxes I made for Valentine's Day (see this post). You can view the tutorial here. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Watercoloring on Vellum

Aloha once again! I am pleased to report that things are much better by way of our health - thank you for your prayers and well wishes. There's nothing worse than being on a beautiful vacation when someone in the family is sick... except when your mother calls and says she's on the way to the emergency room with your baby. Yes, on Thursday Mom had to take baby Maddox in because he could not keep anything down and had been throwing up for almost 5 days. Needless to say, I was wracked with worry, hating that I was this far away from him. But the outcome could not have been better. Much to everyone's amazement, he was NOT dehydrated and they did not have to run an IV. Praise God! They said it was excess mucus causing the vomiting. Medication has cleared that up and I am happy to say he has been steadily improving. My middle son is better, too. So all is well here in paradise. :o)

Enough of that... thanks for hanging with me. Here's another card we did at my Watercolor Wonder class.

This one is a beautiful technique called Stained Glass where you watercolor on Vellum cardstock. Simply stamp the image onto the vellum using black StazOn ink, give it a few seconds to dry, then turn it over and watercolor on the back! You can use Stampin' Write markers, but I used the Watercolor Wonder Crayons - the Soft Subtle family. To really let the colors stand out, I mounted the vellum onto a piece of Naturals White using Silver brads.

This stamp set, called Summer by the Sea, is not currently in the catalog, but it is still available for purchase (#104243 $28.95). It is one of those beautiful sets that just begs to be watercolored! The base card here is Almost Amethyst (edges sponged), along with a touch of Mellow Moss. I used Vanilla Grosgrain ribbon, which matches very well with the Barely Banana in the girl's dress. Check out that darling little flower slide on the ribbon! It comes from the NEW Styled Silver Hodgepodge Hardware set that is in the current mini catalog! The sentiment comes from the same stamp set using Almost Amethyst ink and punched with the 1-3/8" and 1-1/4" Circle Punches.

Well, my time here in Paradise is almost over... so I best go enjoy what we have left! The next time I post will more than likely be from Dallas once again... and I think we'll miss all the snow they've had!


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Doodling with Watercolor Crayons

Aloha from Maui, everyone! Pretty incredible that we experienced both snow and sand within a 24 hour period... it snowed the morning we left, which is highly unusual for Dallas in March. My boys built a snowman in the morning, and walked on the beach that evening. I wish I could say our trip is going well, but unfortunately we have some illness that we're dealing with. My middle son has caught a stomach bug and so my husband and I are trading off staying in the room with him while the other takes our oldest out exploring. He must really feel bad not to want to go explore the pools they have at this resort - the best on the island... they have 10 or so that are all connected by waterslides, complete with a Tarzan rope swing, a lazy river, and even a water elevator. In addition, my youngest is back home with my mother... and he is also sick with a stomach bug. Needless to say, it is not easy for this Momma to be away from her sick baby. Here's to hoping everyone gets well very soon - and that the rest of us don't catch this nasty bug.

On the flip side, however, since I'm having to stay here in the room more often than expected, I am able to get on the computer and share some more of the cards we made at the watercoloring class.

This one uses a fun technique I like to call "Paint With Water", named after those books I used to love as a kid! You do it by scribbling some color onto the stamped image with the Watercolor Wonder Crayons (NOT coloring in the whole image) and then using an Aquapainter to spread the color around.

I used the Doodle This stamp set on Confetti White cardstock with black StazOn ink. The base card is Lavender Lace with a layer of Certainly Celery, stamped with the Tres Chic background stamp. The sentiment is from Short & Sweet, stamped with Pixie Pink ink and punched with the Word Window punch. It is finished off with some Rose Red brads and Whisper White Taffeta ribbon.

Any prayers for our health are certainly appreciated... Mahalo!

Monday, March 3, 2008

I'm Headed Seaside!

Well friends, I'm heading out of town to sink my toes into the beautiful white sand of Hawaii I thought these cards would be a fitting post to leave you with!

I made both of these using the gorgeous new Seaside stamp set - one that begs to be watercolored! I created them for my Watercolor Wonder Club training class I held last Thursday night. The four ladies in the club all came over to practice using their new Watercolor Wonder Crayons. This was among 4 cards we made (you'll be seeing the others in the coming days), and it is a good example of how even masculine cards can be watercolored!

I made this starfish card to send to my dearest friend Audrey's husband for his birthday. (Audrey, you're getting a sneak peek!) One of the things that makes these cards so masculine is, of course, the use of browns, but also the faux leather strip - which is actually just wadded up Chocolate Chip paper that has been flattened back out! The base color on both cards is Chocolate Chip with a layer of Creamy Caramel on top. I randomly stamped a couple of the shells onto the Creamy Caramel piece using Close to Cocoa and Creamy Caramel ink, and then sponged the edges with Close to Cocoa ink. The sentiments came from All Holidays and Sincere Salutations and were stamped with Chocolate Chip ink. I used the Crop-a-Dile to add a couple of Antique eyelets to the faux leather strip so I could tie on some Linen Thread.

The main image was stamped with black StazOn ink onto Watercolor paper (the BEST paper when you're going to use several different colors since it absorbs the water so nicely). They were colored using the Earth Elements set of Watercolor Wonder Crayons using an Aquapainter. Then the edges were roughed up using the Cutter Kit. Here's a close-up of one of the shells:

It is my intention to find a computer somewhere on the island where I can sneak in and say hello a couple times while I'm away... but I do hope you'll forgive me if the sun and sand and sea keep me away for too long. :o)


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Wide Grosgrain Ribbon Share Reminder

Three posts in one day? How can that be? Well, I never like to leave you with a lot of babbling... so I whipped this card up tonight just for you. As I've said before, I know you come here for the pictures. :o)

This card showcases the Wide Grosgrain Ribbon... which is what we're currently sharing in my Ribbon Share! See this post for complete details. I'm going to place the order on Monday (March 3rd), so here's one last opportunity to get in on this round. If you are interested, please contact me right away! ( If you didn't see this post until after Monday (shame on you! :) - but contact me anyway. If the demand is high, I'll do another round.

The card above was created using Close to Cocoa as the base, along with a strip of Close to Cocoa Designer Series Prints and Chocolate Chip Wide Grosgrain ribbon. The flower comes from the gorgeous Pretties Kit and I tinted it with my Stampin' Write markers. The center of the flower is from the So Many Scallops Sale-a-Bration set, stamped on So Saffron cardstock with Chocolate Chip ink and punched with the 1" Circle punch. Then I held it all together with a Rhinestone Fire brad. The sentiment in the upper right-hand corner comes from the Lots of Thoughts Sale-a-Bration set, stamped in Chocolate Chip ink. I also sponged the center of the flower and the edge of the card using Close to Cocoa ink. I really like how that makes it look more antique.

Okay, I'm done working for today. And I think I'll take tomorrow off... my house is in desperate need of cleaning! :) Enjoy your Sunday!

Wild About Wasabi

There was a miscalculation in the cutting and scoring of a batch of Wild Wasabi textured cardstock over the holidays, and now we all get to benefit from it! For a limited time, you can purchase a pack of 16 sheets of 4-1/2" x 11-1/2" (scored at 1-1/8" and 5-5/8") textured Wild Wasabi cardstock for only $3.95!

Click here for the instructions on how to make the card shown above, plus 4 other projects using the cardstock in this offer.

Don't forget to add this to your next order so you can take advantage of the special price! This offer is available through April 30th.

**I just sent out my Stamp Link Newsletter where I mentioned this special. If you have not signed up to receive my e-mail newsletter which includes special offers like this, be sure to do so under "Stamp Link News" down the left sidebar.

I've Been Tagged!

I was tagged back on February 23rd by my friend Jackie. You can see all of her brilliant designs here! Okay, here goes...

Stamping Style:
Clean and simple, not too busy, and definitely not the "grunge" look.

I love to surf other blogs when I have time (check out my list down the left sidebar), but usually things just pop into my head while I'm working.

I've been using a lot of Old Olive lately, so that's what I'd have to say right now. This changes on a weekly basis.

Work Space:
My office with two Ikea desks side by side down one wall. On a good day, you can actually see my desk. :o)

Perfect Day:
When the baby lets me sleep in past 6am, but still takes a nap long enough for me to create a new card!

Wildest Dream:
To live a long, healthy life alongside my husband where we can watch our boys grow up and have children of their own.

Stampin' Up! of course.

My husband of 15 1/2 years and 3 sons. ...oh, and a dog, 2 cats, a snake, and a multitude of fish.

Water. Maybe OJ in the morning, but water at all other times.

Biggest Challenge:
Maintaining the balance of work (Stampin' Up!) and family. I enjoy both so much! Oh, and keeping my house clean, meals cooked, and laundry done. A momma's work is never, ever done.