Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

Today is the day for remembering the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedom. Words cannot even begin to express the depth of my gratitude.  To the families of the service people who gave their all, my humble and sincere thanks. To the brave men and women who are still out there, prepared to give their all, may God bless you and keep you in the palm of His hand.

Stamps: God Bless America (SU special edition, 2001), Service & Sacrifice
Cardstock: Whisper White, Night of Navy, Big Top Birthday DSP
Ink: Real Red and Night of Navy Stampin' Write Markers
Accessories: Big Shot, Stripes embossing folder, Rhinestones Basic Jewels, Stampin dimensionals

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Notebook for Bea

Actually, the notebook is for Bea (my dentist's office manager) to give to someone special. Connie has been a blessing in Bea's life, so she wanted to give her something unique and asked me to make a notebook like the one I made for her mother.

I remembered having some angel charms stashed away, and the message on the back was just perfect for this gift!

I think both the gift giver and the recipient are going to be pleased.  I hope so, anyway!

Stamps: Lovely Letters Alphabet, Just Perfect Alphabet
Cardstock: So Saffron, So Saffron DSP, lightweight chipboard
Ink: So Saffron, Peach Parfait, Soft Suede
Accessories: Big Shot, Scallop Square Die, Fancy Flower Punch, Jewelry Tag Punch, Blossom Builder Punch, Paper Crimper, Victoria Crochet Trim, Very Vanilla Seam Binding Ribbon, So Saffron Taffeta Ribbon, Antique Brads, Crop-O-Dile, 3/4"book ring, angel charm

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Natalie's Crafting Chateau

I just got home from helping my friend Natalie organize her craft room, and what a wonderful, wide open, happy room it has become! She had been overwhelmed with boxes and storage bins of assorted stamps, tools, ink pads, ribbons, paper, etc., all over the floor (not to mention the treadmill and weight bench taking up a good portion of the room), and didn't have a clear vision of how to get it organized so she could actually find things and use them!

We started by designating areas to put things as we (well, really it was Natalie who did the work, I just barked orders, lol) sorted through it all.  The treadmill became the landing place for all things stamp-related (all stamps, acrylic blocks, stamp cleaners and scrubbers). There was a laundry basket to toss the ribbons into, all the ink pads, ink refills, sponges, daubers, and markers were set together by the revolving storage rack, and everything related to the Big Shot and Cuttlebug (dies, embossing folders, cutting plates, etc.) was set by the Big Shot and Cuttlebug.  Heat embossing items (powders, embossing buddy, heat tool) had their own spot.  Same for embellishments (brads, eyelets, buttons, glitter, pearls), as well as cardstock and patterned paper.

I could see a lot of progress about halfway through the day, but Natalie wasn't quite convinced, because it still looked cluttered from the boxes and bins in the middle of the floor.  After everything was sorted and a lot of things purged (really no need for ten year old catalogs!), we rearranged the storage units, assembled the one unit still in the Ikea box, and then started the fun task of putting things away.  Toward evening, when most things were neatly up on the shelves, and most of the empty bins removed, she started to get excited.

There is still some work to be done, like putting the ribbons into the ribbon organizer, getting the punches on racks, the rather large task of sorting through the stamps currently residing on the treadmill, and gathering up the piled shipping materials into their organizers (lots of the stamps are going on eBay!), but now there is a plan that Natalie can follow.

This morning when I got up, I found her in the room walking around with a big smile on her face.  It really made my heart happy that, for the first time, she felt good about her craft room instead of overwhelmed and depressed. She has the absolutely PERFECT space to have friends over for stamp classes now, and when she wants to do any project, she'll know exactly where to find the things she needs to make it!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Christmas in May

These are the cards we made in the Christmas Club earlier this week. They are so easy to do, look really elegant, and are mailable without worries that the Post Office will want extra postage for a bulky envelope!

The heat-embossed silver trees really stand out on our Brushed Silver cardstock. I've tried it with gold embossing powder on the Brushed Gold, too, and it looks equally fabulous (if I do say so myself)!

Really loving that new blue In Color called Midnight Muse. Well, ALL the new In Colors are gorgeous, but you know me....I'm a big fan of blue!

Stamps: Lovely as a Tree, Come to Bethlehem (greeting)
Cardstock: Whisper White, Midnight Muse (available June 1st), Brushed Silver
Ink: VersaMark, Midnight Muse (available June 1st)
Accessories: Big Shot, Petals-A-Plenty embossing folder, Embossing Buddy, Silver Stampin' Emboss Powder, Heat Tool, Rhinestone Basic Jewels, Frost White Shimmer Paint, Sponge Daubers

Thursday, May 17, 2012

One More from Dad

Here's the last one we made while I was visiting Dad. I talked to him this morning and he said he's made four Christmas cards and a birthday card since I left! Go, Dad!!!

Stamp: Sail Away
Cardstock: Marina Mist, Whisper White
Ink: Basic Black, Marina Mist, Real Red, Daffodil Delight
Accessories: Stampin' Sponges, Blender Pens, oval frame (Nestabilities) for masking

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

SUOC45 - 3-D Flowers!

This week's challenge at SUO Challenges is to make a project using 3-D flowers. It can be flowers popping off a card, or a scrapbook page, or a whole bouquet of paper 3-D flowers (and I've seen some really lovely ones!).

I wanted to do a full bouquet, but unfortunately didn't have time due to my trip to Montana. So, this card with water-distressed flowers will have to do!  The flowers were made using the Boho Blossoms punch, with 3-4 layers each. Had a larger punch been used, I would have added more layers for fullness.

The Design Team has made some fabulous samples for this challenge. I hope you'll play along, too!

Stamps: Apothecary Art, Loving Thoughts
Cardstock: Concord Crush, Wisteria Wonder, Whisper White, Flirtatious DSP
Ink: Lucky Limeade, Concord Crush, Wisteria Wonder, Basic Black
Accessories: Big Shot, Labels Framelits Collection, Perfect Polka-Dots embossing folder, Boho Blossoms Punch, Old Olive 3/8" Taffeta Ribbon, Rhinestones Basic Jewels, Blender Pens, Stampin' Dimensionals

Monday, May 14, 2012

Dad's Cards

Here's another one from Dad's stamping lessons. He had planned to color in the branches and blossoms, but his hand shook too much. I could see he was getting frustrated, so I showed him how to make a perfectly lovely card without coloring.

This was a stamp he bought at the craft store, and the wood is warped (something you'd never see on a Stampin' Up! stamp). We figured out that after inking it up thoroughly, placing a pad of paper under the cardstock, and pressing firmly while slightly rocking the stamp back and forth took care of the problem. (Personally, I'd take it back and get my $10 refunded - BOTH of those stamps on the shelf had warped wood blocks.)

Stamps: Three Little Words (greeting), unknown (tree branch)
Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Soft Suede, Early Espresso
Ink: Early Espresso
Accessories: Antique Brad, Hemp Twine

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Old Salt Stamps!

Apologies for the long absence - I've been in Montana checking that Dad is okay since his return from wintering in New Jersey. Great news! He is in much better shape than when I saw him last summer. His appetite (and capacity) is great, so I'm not nearly as worried about him wasting away.

While up there, we spent some quality time together, and that included "hands-on" lessons in stamping. Even though I had made videos for him, it's just so much better when there is someone there to answer questions. He is a fast learner, and we even went into town to the local craft store to shop for stamps. He hit the dollar bin pretty hard, lol!  Bless his heart, he also ordered some things from me. I gave him the demo discount, of course. He's also getting a big box of retiring stamps and paper from me next week.

The only trouble I foresee is he has a bit of problem with his hands shaking. Some days are better than others, but for the days he needs a little help, I've sent him my old (non-SU) Stamp-A-Ma-Jig. I think it will help him get the stamp on the paper without getting a double, or triple, image.  Unless that's the look he's going for!  I did show him how to stamp two or three times, without re-inking, to get that misty look. :)  But this lesson covered masking, and making background paper with a small stamp. Easy-peasy!

Stamp: Sail Away, The Open Sea (what better stamps for retired Navy?)
Cardstock: Whisper White, Midnight Muse (new In Color!)
Ink: Midnight Muse, Marina Mist
Accessories: Stampin' Sponge, sticky notes for mask

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


What better excuse does one need to get out the stamps and ink, than to create a card that Mother is sure to treasure? That's the challenge this week at SUO Challenges - create a card (or gift) for dear ol' Mom!

My momma's favorite color is red, so I grabbed Cherry Cobbler, since it most closely resembles the rubies she adores. Since the card needs to be mailable, the gorgeous 3D flower originally created as an embellishment had to be left off.  But that's okay - it can be used for another project that doesn't have to be mailed. :-)  I'm sure you'll see it in the not-too-distant future!

This technique of coloring the stamp with markers and then stamping on the First Edition DSP was demonstrated at the SU Retirement Party last Friday. Since the Inspired by Nature set is another one getting the old heave-ho to make room for new stamps, we used this for one of the make & takes, bidding it a fond adieu.

Now, let's see your beautiful tribute to Mom! If you want to share it at SUO Challenges, please be sure that ONLY Stampin' Up! products are used. That includes punches and dies, as well as stamps and cardstock. If SU didn't make it, please don't use it on your submission!

And, if you need inspiration to participate, SUO Challenges is going to start periodically inviting contributors to a special edition Guest Designer Challenge!!! Every so often, a select group from our regular contributors will be invited to be Guest Designers. Even if you've never been chosen as one of the top three in any of the challenges, you can still be invited if you participate fairly regularly!

Note: Retiring items are in red.
Stamps: Inspired by Nature, Broadsheet Alphabet, Just Perfect Alphabet, Fabulous Phrases
Cardstock: Cherry Cobbler, Very Vanilla, Basic Black, First Edition DSP, White Vellum Cardstock
Ink: Cherry Cobbler Classic, and Cherry Cobbler, Regal Rose, and Always Artichoke Stampin' Write Markers
Accessories: Big Shot, Beautiful Wings Embosslit, Elegant Lines embossing folder, Pearls Basic Jewels, Chantilly Crochet Trim, Stampin' Dimensionals