June 30, 2007

A few of my favorite zoo pictures








Yesterday was a beautiful late June day. It was in the mid 70's and there was almost no humidity so we packed up and headed to the Brookfield Zoo. We go several times a year and make good use of our family membership. We weren't the only ones to think it was a perfect day to go to the zoo either. It was packed with summer camp groups, families and lots and lots of 17 year cicadas. The cicadas luckily haven't made it to the town in which we live and for that I am grateful. I got attacked by one as we walked through the woods surrounding the wolf enclosure. While I don't mind to pick one up, I like to do it when I want to and I don't appreciate when they get tangled in my mass of curls. This is a picture I took of Colin looking at one of the lions that are right inside of the South Gate. He always wants his picture taken with one of them. Aren't the flowers behind the statue just gorgeous? The zoo was in full bloom everywhere we looked yesterday.



This is a picture I got of Evan as we were walking to a picnic area. One thing is for certain. We pack, we travel to the zoo, we get there to have the kids pictures taken with the lions and then we eat our picnic lunch. I laugh that the first thing the kids always want to do when we get to the zoo is eat. But since we know that is the way it goes we are fine with it. I love this picture of Evan. He looks so deep in thought. People keep bugging me to get his hair cut, but I'm waiting until his 2nd birthday. That is when Colin got his first haircut so Evan can wait a couple more months too. I can't believe my baby is going to be 20 months old in just 2 short weeks.

This is one of my favorite pictures of the boys together. They decided to be nice and actually walk nicely together hand in hand. Trust me when I say it didn't last long.
Today we spent the day stripping wallpaper border in Colin's bedroom. His room is in need of a repainting job. When he was 18 months old, he decided to chew on the drywall surrounding his windows and even though we patched it up, it still needs to be painted again. He has also drawns some nice crayon pictures on his wall. Needless to day I didn't get any stamping done yesterday or today.

June 29, 2007

The Catalog is in the house!


I am so excited about the 2007 Fall Winter Collection that I even forgot to update my blog yesterday. I have poured over the catalog at least two dozen times and each time I find something new. I met another Demo in my town via SCS and she came over last night at 5 to look at the catalog together. We were so into it we didn't even realize it was almost 10 by the time she left. We combed it from front to back, looked at the most fabulous Control Freak Swaps that were delivered yesterday and drooled over all of the tiny details. It was a lot of fun. We are going to make a date to get together and stamp once our new stamp sets from the new catalog have arrived.
I am agonizing now over which 5 stamp sets I am going to get for free from Stampin' Start. I know I am going to get Define Your Life, but the rest of my choices are up in the air right now. I also get a set from Consistency Counts and I know I am going to get Priceless or Garden Whimsy. I am signed up for another Control Freak Swap with Define Your Life and the ideas are flowing through my brain. I can't wait to actually get the stamp set in my hands.
This card I made for my mom who is going to a bridal shower this weekend. I wished for some images from Fairy Tale Wedding on Wish-RAK and I got the entire set delivered to my door from hpyscrpr2. That was definitely a wonderful surprise and she is the one who came over last night to pour through the catalog with me. I used Not Quite Navy, Close to Cocoa, Bashful Blue, Blush Blossom, Whisper White and a piece of Anna Griffin designer paper I got from stampingdenise on SCS as part of the Color Exchange. I colored her in with my Watercolor Wonder Crayons and added silver organdy ribbon and silver twine to hold on the sentiment. I hope the bride to be enjoys her card.
Have a great day! We are headed to the zoo.
Jenn

June 27, 2007

Oh, the agony


of waiting to see if Mr. Brown, aka UPS, has my 2 boxes of catalogs on his truck today. I know that there are 2 different shipments of boxes coming to my town today with the reference number that was on the other boxes of catalogs arriving in houses all over the US these last few days. The shipments arriving today are 23 lbs and the 3 arriving tomorrow are 13, so there has to be a package for me on that truck. I am driving myself absolutely batty waiting, but I can't wait to see all of the new products that Stampin' Up! has to offer. Yesterday I watched my mail lady put mail in the box and just looked for a large sized catalog to make its way into that medium sized black box at the end of my driveway. I was sorely disappointed when it didn't. If that wasn't torture enough UPS did come to my house yesterday and in the hopes that they decided to deliver my catalogs early my heart was all giddy with joy. But it was just the Ott lamp I had ordered on Saturday. Today has to be the day so keep your fingers crossed for me.
I made this card yesterday for the Try a New Technique. It was to say goodbye to retiring sets by making a card that fit inside of a business sized envelope. I used Groovy Guava, Close to Cocoa, River Rock, Whisper White and a piece of Basic Grey designer series paper I got from Wish-RAK on SCS. The stamp set is a Hostess set called Springtime Stems. I also used All in a Row to give some more faux stitching to yet another card, Warm Words for the sentiment, a piece of Michael's $1 bin ribbon, ticket corner punch, cutter's tool kit, making memories mini gold brads and dimensionals in my project.
Now if we can fast forward to 2 pm so that my UPS delivery is right around the corner.
Jenn

June 26, 2007

My Stamping Space

Yesterday we had no internet access, so I used the day not only to clean my house but also to re-organize my stamping space. I use our partially finished basement and my biggest complaint is the lack of lighting. We have 3 lightbulbs for the entire space! Needless to say the lighting is awful. I have 2 old lamps on my stamping table and they don't put out much light so this weekend I ordered myself a 13 watt Ott lamp to use at my work station and I have told my husband that we have to get started on the rest of the lighting as soon as possible. But with all home projects these things take time.



I am very proud of my new organizational system! We went to IKEA this weekend and I found these bars for $2.99 each and the baskets ranged from $0.99 to $2.99. I have been looking at other systems in scrapbooking magazines and the bars alone are 3 times what I paid. They hold the punches perfectly. The ribbon baskets are a little small for the grosgrain rolls of ribbon, but fit the organdy ribbon rolls perfectly. Next on my organizational agenda is to get some kind of bookcases or cabinets to replace my 6' and 8' table that I use to house all of my stamping supplies. I can't believe how much more space I have now that I got all of this stuff up and off of the table.



I got some House Mouse images in the mail today that were postmarked The Netherlands! How much fun it is to get mail from so far away. I have seen these mice around and I love the way people watercolor them in, and of course I wanted to give it a try. I definetly need more practice on these little guys. My sand was at first more yellow than I wanted and now it is too brown for my tastes, but I am fairly new to the entire watercoloring process. I used my AquaPainter and pulled out all 4 color families of my Watercolor WonderCrayons. I LOVE them! They are so fun to play with and you can't go wrong because they match all of the Stampin' Up! colors.
I then wanted to match my green umbrella so I chose to use my Color Wheel on Old Olive. My cardstock colors are Old Olive, Elegant Eggplant, More Mustard, Bravo Burgundy and Whisper White. I also used my 1 1/4" circle punch, Vintage Brads, 1/16" hole punch, Black organdy ribbon and silver twine. Thanks so much Vronica for sending me these cute mice!
Jenn

June 25, 2007

Offline Blues

I just wanted to pop in and give a little update. We have been having internet issues and it boils down to a bad modem. We have it replaced and are slowly getting back online. I hope to be back tomorrow with a new project.

I have to say that being offline all day today has given me one of the cleanest houses on the block. I was so bored I even washed all of the windows! Thank goodness the cable internet is back up and running because I was thinking about taking everything out of my cabinets and cleaning them.

I did get a bunch of my stamping supplies organized though. I will share a picture of my new IKEA wall space tomorrow.


Jenn

June 23, 2007

A Little Behind on the Times


I bought this On Board Bitty Book back in November, when my Mom and Sister hosted a Stampin' Up! workshop, with my now upline Terry. She is just now starting her blog, but I promise she'll have awesome projects once it gets going. She's just working out a few kinks, but you should check it out. She is the one who originally introduced me to the Scrapbook Card. Anyway before I get even more off topic, I have had this board book sitting around for a while. I was going to alter it and give it as a Christmas gift and it sat in it's original wrapper for seven months now. In my quest to use up my old supplies and papers I decided to pull it out and alter it today. I did get a little push from Lisa Martz and her wonderful convention album. I assure you her project is a lot cuter than mine so you should head on over and check it out.



I was surprised at how quickly these albums alter and how easy it is. I figured out a few things along the way that I'll change the next time I make it, but I think this was a good start. I used the Notations designer series paper that coordinates with the Office Accoutrement set and all of the neat punches that came along with it. I love this set and I'm going to get a lot of use out of it. I already have, but it is just one of those sets that will stay in my frequently used pile. The accents come from the Accents and Elements tin Little Reminders. This was the first time I have actually used these embellishments and I don't know why. It's probably due to the fact that the Spring Mini was my first ever SU pre order and I had no self control. The outside is decorated with the Sahara sand colored paper and the inside with the Chocolate Chip one.

I adhered the paper with SNAIL adhesive and the case is held together with the red lining tape. That stuff holds everything! So here is my Father's Day present from my sons and I to my husband. We had a card all ready to go for him last weekend but in all of the commotion with graduation the kids never had a chance to sign it.

Have you heard that there are Demo's who have received their new Fall Winter 2007 Collection? I am not so lucky yet and I ran out in the rain to check the mail today. I was hoping to have it in time for my Hostess and Customer Appreciation Event tomorrow, but it doesn't appear to be the case. We'll just have to wait patiently for it to arrive. I hope you all have a great weekend!

Jenn

June 22, 2007

Recipe for Calorie Free Cupcakes!


Did I get you on that one? Tonight I am taking part in the Anniversary Challenges of the Wish RAK forum on SCS. This is an awesome forum and I have so much fun sending out packages as much as I like getting happy mail each week. The cupcake was sent to me by gurlsofgrace on SCS a week or two ago. The first challenge tonight was a Food theme so this cupcake fit right in - and it is calorie free! I used Chocolate Chip as my base and I used up some of the scraps I have left over from the Loves Me designer series paper from the Winter Mini catalog. I layered it with Taken with Teal and then stamped on my faux stitches with my new favorite stamp set All in a Row. I colored in my cupcake with my Earth Elements and Bold Brights Watercolor Wonder Crayons and my AquaPainter. To add a little sparkle to the frosting I used some Dazzling Diamonds glitter. The sentiment is from Very Punny, a 2007 Sell-a-Bration set. This is also a submission for Beate's weekend sketch challenge. It was a quick and easy card and I actually made two of them so I can send them out as RAK's this week.
Jenn

June 21, 2007

My Newest Challenge


I have so many bits and pieces of left over paper from the Spring mini and I may even have some left over from the Winter Mini too. Where am I going to put all of the stuff, espcially when I get a look at the new catalog that is supposed to be on our doorstep anytime next week. I am so excited about seeing all of the new stuff that it is what I think about when I wake up and even in my dream. I had an odd dream the other night that I got my Fall Winter Collection and it was filled with Christmas decorations. I couldn't figure that one out and I kept looking for the second catalog that had actual stamping supplies.
Today I did get a package from UPS, but it sadly wasn't my new catalogs. I did however, purchase All in a Row, thanks to the wonderful faux stitching cards Beate has been posting on her blog with it. It is a set of 4, but I cut it apart into 8 pieces so that I could mount each row on one side of the block and make it more versatile. That's one great thing about assembling your own stamps. You can do it how you like. I always like to mount them toward the right hand side of the block so that it is easy for me to look under the left hand side when I am stamping to see exactly where it is going to line up. You can't do that with stamps you get from your local craft stores.
This card was made for the Ways to Use It challenge which was to make a square card. This card measures 5 1/4 square for it's finished size. I used Taken with Teal as the base and then layered it with Pretty in Pink and a piece of paper from the Petals and Paisley designer series paper. The other layers are certainly celery and so saffron, each being matted with a piece of designer series paper from Petals and Paisley. All of the edges are stamped with All in a Row and Chocolate chip ink to make them look like they are sewn on in a zig zag pattern. I then distressed the smaller layers with my cutter's tool kit. I stamped the Big Blooms onto Whisper White with Rose Red and Taken with Teal and then matted them on the opposite color and cut around the edges to show the color underneath. The sentiment is from Warm Words. It is stamped in Old Olive and then heat embossed with Crystal Clear Embossing Powder. I added some Soft Subtles brads and some narrow Celery organdy ribbon to finish the card off. The sentiment is set up on dimensionals.
My challenge is to use up as much of my retiring supplies and mini supplies as possible to make room for all of the new stuff I am going to be ordering on July 1st. Out with the old . . . In with the New!
Jenn

Blog Candy Winner!

Random.org has given me a random number between 1 and 15 and the winner of the blog candy contest is . . .


Becky said...
Very cool! Of course, when I win, I wouldn't need the stamp set, you could save it for another blog candy... but the ribbons would be awesome! LOL

Congrats Miss Becky!

I'll get your package to the Post Office tomorrow.

Jenn

June 20, 2007

Pick a . . . bug?



The first time I saw the cute ladybug made with the Pick a Petal set I was in LOVE! I thought this was the cutest idea and since then I have seen it used to make dragonflies, caterpillars and a plethora of other bugs. This is really stepping out of the box when it comes to a stamp set. This set is so versatile and I see myself using it a lot. You can use it to make backgrounds, bugs, flowers and a slew of other things that I have yet to, but hope to discover.



This card was made for the sketch challenge on SCS, and although I altered the sketch a bit I think it still falls into the parameters. The base is a new InColor called Soft Sky and it is such a pretty color. I then stamped the flower image from Pick a Petal on the Blue Bayou cardstock with the same color. The flower is made from Groovy Guava and I also used the AquaPainter to splash on a little more color before I highlighted it with my white gel pen. The center is Purely Pomegranate and is accented with the white gel pen and a new Rhinestone circle brad from the Ice Collection.



How do you make the ladybug? It is very simple. I punched out two circles using my 1 1/4 circle punch from Basic Black cardstock and then simply stamped the petal image on whisper white with Purely Pomegranate ink. I then trace it with my Basic Black Stampin' Write marker and then cut it out. I finished the card off by stamping "Sparkle" from Warm Words and adding my "flight path" with my Basic Black Stampin' Write marker. There are dimensionals under the middle of the flower and the ladybug.



Remember you have until noon today to enter into my Blog Candy contest. At that time I will use Random.org to chose a winner and post here. If I have your address in time I will send the package out tomorrow.


Jenn

What a day!


Colin had his 4 year check up today and it took up more of the morning than I had expected. He is growing and developing perfectly, although ideally he'd listen to us a bit more instead of questioning everything we tell him. Wouldn't that be nice? He had to get some shots today and he did such a wonderful job! He was supposed to get 3, and there was one optional shot. He was upset he wasn't getting 4 so we let him get the last one too, just to make him happy. I was just the Chicken Pox booster vaccine. What 4 year old begs for shots? Obviously mine does. LOL! Needless to say I didn't get any stamping done, but I had a card I had not yet shared with you.
I had some paper left over from last week's color combination and I am really trying to cut down on the amount of scraps I have, so I used them to make this card. The colors were Chocolate Chip, Cameo Coral, Certainly Celery and Whisper White with Tempting Turquoise being an optional choice. I also threw in a little So Saffron. The stamp set is In the Spotlight and I used "kind" from Baroque Motifs. I needed to add a little something to the top of the card so used some black gingham ribbon with a piece of silver cording. I really like how the colors just seem to pop on this card.

I also had a wonderful card waiting for me in the mail today! Melissa Tootle sent me a wonderful Baroque Motifs card. She used Soft Sky and Purely Pomegranate for cardstock and ink. The medallion is popped up on a dimensional. The simple layout makes the card very elegant and classy. Thank you so much Melissa!

Now I'm ready to take some me time and stamp! Evan is sleeping and Colin is watching a bit of TV. He is complaining that his legs are sore at the injection sites. I am sure he will be back to himself tomorrow.

Jenn

June 19, 2007

Lovely Silhouette



I don't tend to use Real Red, or any of the Bold Brights much. That is why I was happy when this week's Color Combination pulled me out of my comfort zone. I always seem to reach for the same colors and my Stampin' Up! orders can vouch for that. Today's color combination was Real Red, Creamy Caramel and Barely Banana. I probally cheated by throwing in some Black Grosgrain ribbon and my Old Olive stems but I really love how this card came out.

Besides stepping out of my color combo comfort zone I also tried a new technique that I have never used before - heat embossing. I stamped my Silhouette twice with Versamark before embossing it with crystal clear embossing powder and I even took my brand new Stampin' Up! heat gun out of it's box. It's only been about a month that I ordered it so it's about time. I wasn't sure if I was doing it right, but it's nice and shiny and raised so I guess I'm good to go.

I had a whole other sketch in mind when I started this card, but I like the simplicity of it. I used Naturals White and stamped my image on after coloring it in with my Real Red and Old Olive Stampin' Write markers. I then matted it on Real Red and Barely Banana cardstock. I felt my layers needed to be grounded a little more so I added a single piece of black organdy ribbon around the Creamy Caramel layer before I attached it to the Real Red cardstock base. I finished it off by stamping Lovely onto my Naturals White layer.

Remember that you have until Thursday at noon to win my card candy contest by submitting a card of your own. Have fun and good luck!

Jenn

June 18, 2007

Blog Candy Time!



I promised that I'd get some blog candy up today. I can't believe how fast I got to 10,000 hits! So I want to thank my loyal readers.

Here is how you can win the blog candy . . . .

Make a card that uses one of the colors that is featured in the ribbon shown in the Blog Candy picture and post it here. You can link it to your blog or your SCS gallery. You have until noon on Thursday to leave your comment with your link to your card. At that point I will use Random.org to chose a winner. Comments without a link to a card will not be counted toward the blog candy.

The goodies include one new unmounted Delight in Life stamp set and 9 different types of ribbon. Have fun and good luck!

Jenn

A Little Hello


This weekend the Featured Stamper on SCS was Pure-Genius. They chose to focus on a male stamper for Father's Day and he certainly has some awesome cards in his gallery. The card I chose to CASE was this one. I used the same general layout, but changed the stamp set, cardstock color combos etc.
The cardstock is Wild Wasabi, River Rock, Groovy Guava, Purely Pomegranate and Whisper White. I used the Pick a Petal for the background stamping on the River Rock layer and the rest of the stamps are from the new Level III hostess set that will be out as of July 1st called Vases in Vogue. I used all of the new InColors, as listed above plus, JetBlack Stazon, Blue Bayou and Soft Sky to watercolor the image in with my AquaPainter. On the White grosgrain ribbon I used the small dotted stamp from In the Spotlight to stamp Purely Pomegranate onto it to create a "faux" stitched ribbon. I also used Vintage Brads, Crafter's Tool kit, large and small oval punches, cutter's tool kit and Vintage brads to complete my project.

June 16, 2007

Happy Father's Day!





This week's sketch was a challenge, but isn't that what it is supposed to be? I knew I needed 2 Father's Day cards, but I don't have many masculine stamp sets, nor do I have a Father's Day sentiment, so I went with masculine colors instead. I have a few pieces of Au Chocolate left so I figured it would work well for these cards. I love this paper! I added some Cranberry Crisp, Chocolate Chip and Very Vanilla for the center image mat. The flowers are stamped in Bravo Burgundy and Old Olive and the sentiment in Chocolate Chip. They are both from the Sell-A-Bration set Happy Harmony. I didn't add any embellishments as I felt that the background paper was busy enough on these cards.



Today we are spending Father's Day at DePaul University's graduation ceremony. My brother is finishing up his MBA and my father is receiving an award that they only give to one professor a year. Afterwards we are all going out to a sushi resturant to celebrate. It's going to be an early morning for us. Graduation starts at 8:30 and to get there in time we have to leave our house around 6:15, since my family is meeting at 7:30.



I hope you all have a nice Father's Day with your husbands and fathers. I will have some blog candy next week as promised for getting to 10,000 hits.



Jenn

Colorful Bloom


I am very behind on the challenges this week, but I continue to plug along. Today is a very hot day and all of my outside flowers are wilting. So I decided to make a nice and cheery flower in the coolness of my home that won't wilt. I used the color challenge colors from this week - Chocolate Chip, Cameo Coral, Certainly Celery and Tempting Turquoise as an optional 4th color.
Last weekend I was visiting my parents and I took an old stash of Scrapbooking magazines that were no longer needed and I came across this sketch. The base started as a 5 1/4" square card, but I used an ice bucket that has been sitting on my buffet to trace the circular front to the card. After I cut it out I used it as a template for the Certainly Celery layer and I cut it just about 1/2" smaller than my line.
The flower petal idea comes from Beate. I saw this idea with a different petal on her blog. I stamped the petals on Whisper White Cardstock with Tempting Turquoise ink and then carefully traced around them with my black Stampin' Write marker. Then I took my scallop scissors, I think they may be Fiskars, but the words are long rubbed off and cut around each petal. I assembled them all on the Certainly Celery layer and then trimmed off the parts of the petal that hung off the edge of the card. I added 3 vintage brads and then stamped the sentiment from Warm Words in Chocolate Chip ink. I really love how this all came together so nicely.

Another Digital Scrapbook Page



After posting my last page, I found out a few things about digital scrapbooking that I didn't know so I wanted to put together a page to have printed off. That way I can see what it looks like in person and decide if this is the route I'd like to go. However, it also gives me a good start for actually getting my photographs down on a page. Not only do I know how I want to crop the photo, but I know where I want the page elements to be. I made this page in about 10 minutes from start to finish. I used a free scrapkit from Two Peas In a Bucket. At Colin's birthday we requested that he get outside toys because the inside of our house is overrun with the ones he has, or that he get clothes since he is growing so quickly. A lot of people attending opted to bring him clothes. After opening a few presents Colin exclaimed "What is this? A clothes party!". That of course got him a lot of laugther and each present that contained clothes from that point on got the same comment.

I'll be back later with some actual papercrafting projects, but I wanted to try out another page.

Jenn

June 15, 2007

Limited Supplies Challenge



Today's Limited Supply Challenge was to make a Patriotic Card using red, white and blue, but you could not use patriotic stamps or sayings. So I used Pick a Petal to make the background for this card. The ink and carstock colors are Ballet Blue and Rose Red and I used Confetti White for my neutral color. I used the ticket corner punch on the confetti white layer and sponged it with Rose Red ink. Then I tied a peice of Navy organdy ribbon around the center and used the flower and sentiment stamps from the new Level II hostess set In the Spotlight. The limited supply challenges are hard for me because not only are the supplies limited, but you have to follow the theme given. It is good to get the creative juices flowing though.

Digital Scrapbooking


I have a real problem with my scrapbooks. It's not that I don't have the time, or the papers or the embellishments, it's that I never seem to get my pictures from my computer to the store to be printed. I always have good intentions to get started. I make plans with friends to scrapbook and most often they scrapbook and I stamp cards. So in the next week I plan to get some pictures printed so I can actually sit down and make a page. In the meantime this is a digital scrapbook page that I made with a kit from Melissa at ScrappyExpressions. She runs a wonderful Yahoo group and she shares her digital scrapkits for FREE!

I threw this page together in a matter of minutes, but I like the way it came out. I caught Colin and Evan in one of their better moods when they were laughing and kissing each other instead of beating each other up. While I like digital scrapbooking I can never use it to replace the conventional scrapbook. Like my digital pictures this page will probably never get printed. If only the digital versions could be printed in 3D with texture. Then I would be really pleased.

June 14, 2007

No Faux Stitching Here

If there is one thing I have never been fond of or particularly good at it is sewing. When my husband has repairs to be made to his good clothes or something needs a hem fixed I usually do one of two things. I pass the item off on a family member who likes to sew, or I throw the item out and buy something new. Usually my sewing turns into a disaster. Just ask my mom about the time I wanted to make a yellow A-line dress and I accidentally sewed the zipper in the front 4 times and had to have my mom help me take it apart each time. So today when I bought a sewing machine at Target for $19.99, I called my mom and asked her to guess what I got and told her it was something she thought I'd never buy. The cool thing is that it runs on AC or on batteries. It only weighs a few pounds and can be moved around very easily.



Since I bought the sewing machine I figured I had to make sure it worked so I made this card. I got the layout from Sketch This and the sketch is from Week 10. I madea few changes, but I think I did a good job of staying with the overall layout. The base layer is Old Olive. I took a piece of River Rock and sewed it together with the Brocade Background Designer series paper for all of the background layers. I just used different sides of the paper. Then I stamped the square motif in Old Olive, the flower with the dots in Rose Red and the smallest flower and the sentiment in Chocolate Chip. The flower is held together with a Vintage Brad and is set up on a dimensional.



I promise that I will play with another stamp set for my next post. I have been wanting to try out using my scallop scissors to cut out the flowers in Pick a Petal since I love the dramatic look Beate got when she used it on her card a few days ago. I also have to take out my In the Spotlight set. I'm not sure which I'll play with next, but I will surprise you.



Jenn

June 13, 2007

We have a Card Candy Winner!

I used Random.org to generate a random number from 1 - 36 and it chose #8, so the winner of the Card Candy is . . .


Peggy Maier said...
Looks like my favorite stamp set will be the Baroque Motifs! Everything I've seen done with it is beautiful. So far my favorite of the colors is Soft Sky.


Peggy, please e-mail me at startstampin@comcast.net with your snail mail address and I will get the goodies out to you on Friday.


I didn't get any stamping done today, so I don't have a project to share, but I will be back tomorrow with something new and exciting.

Jenn

June 12, 2007

Watermarks on Cards

I get a lot of e-mails asking how I make my watermarks and how I get them onto the photographs of my cards. The process is quite simple if you know a little about photo editing software. I use a product by Corel called PaintShop Pro.



When my first son was born I belonged to a few parenting message boards and e-mail signatures were quite the rage, so in keeping up with all of the other stay-at-home-moms I got into digital graphics. It quickly became an addiction and it is a lot of fun. Until I became a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator I never knew I could be creative on real paper. Everything I had created for the last 4 years was digital and there is no messy desk or table because everything is on CD-ROMs or my computer.




Anyway, here is how I create my watermarks.



1) Open up a new raster image 300Width X 200 height.


2) Locate the font you want to use for your initials. A bold font is the best.


3) Make sure your foreground color is turned off and your background and fill layer is white.



4) Set the size of your font. I used Asphalt at 125 and created it as a vector layer to type out my initials.










5) Convert your Vector initials to a Raster layer.


6) I use EyeCandy 4000 to add an inner bevel to my initials, but you can do this by using tools within the program as well. Just go to Effects - 3D - Inner Bevel and play with the settings until you get a bevel you like. This makes the initials stand up a bit and not look so flat.


7) Add a Drop shadow by going to Effects - 3D - Drop Shadow. I like to use the following settings.







8) Lower the opacity of this layer to 60%


9) Choose the font for writing out your name. I prefer to use a nice script font, but any font is fine to use. I am using Bickham Script Fancy at size 48. When you are happy with it convert it to a raster layer.


10) Add an inner bevel as stated above as well as a drop shadow.









11) Use a font such as Arial to create the copyright information. You can make the copyright symbol by holding down Alt and typing 0169. On a laptop you may have to hold down the number key button as well. My number pad is embedded around j,k,l etc.





12) Save your image as a .psp file so that if you want to go back and make changes it is already saved in layers and you can simply hide or delete a layer to make changes at a later date.


13) To add the watermark to pictures I made a duplicate by hitting Ctrl + D. I then merge all of my layers and save it as a Picture tube. That way when I want to add it to my photograph I add a new raster layer, click on my picture tube and click on the picture where I'd like the watermark to be.


June 11, 2007

Post 100 and Card Candy!



I've been busy stamping and I have some Baroque Motif flowers and motif images to send out as card candy. The motif is stamped in Wild Wasabi and the flowers in Blue Bayou and Purely Pomegranate. There are more than these 4, but I don't want to give it all away right now. I will leave this open until Wednesday at 3 pm CDT and will mail the card candy to the winner on Friday.

How can you win? Simply leave a comment on this post and tell me what your favorite Preview set has been so far and what your new favorite InColor is.

Good Luck!

Jenn

I feel blog candy coming on!



This is my 99th post! I think tomorrow I will offer up some card candy to celebrate post 100, so make sure you check back. I already have ideas floating through my head. I am also so close to 10,000 visitors! I can't believe the numbers have gone up so fast since I started my blog just a few short months ago.

This weekend was crazy as usual. I don't even know where weekends go anymore. I always have the best intentions to post, but I just don't always find the time. It seems like Friday night gels right into Monday morning with no rest for the weary in between. I did have lots of fun at one of my monthly Stamp Camps on Sunday and I have a Open House coming up in the next few weeks! I am so excited about that. I will have some wonderful NEW Stampin' Up! sets to share as well as a sneak preview of what is to come with the new catalog. I am excited and my wallet is going to be empty.

This card was made for the Try a New Technique challenge on SCS. This week was to have grout free tiling, and it took a bit to churn this card out. I started with a 4 1/4" square cardbase made from Purely Pomegranate and then I layered on a 4 1/8" square of Very Vanilla. I cut a 4 inch square of AuChocolate designer series paper and used my AquaPainter and Pomegranate ink to color in some of the polka-dots. Then I cut it into 7/8" strips and from there down into 7/8" squares. It was a lot of cutting! I don't know if I'd attempt it again.

I then started to stamp. I used Baroque Motifs and stamped the swirl twice in Whisper White Craft ink. Then I used my new InColors on Very Vanilla to make my flower layer. The colors are Purely Pomegranate, Soft Sky, Wild Wasabi and Blue Bayou. Aren't these colors absolutely rich? I LOVE them! The card needed a sentiment somewhere to break up the squares so I made a faux piece of ribbon out of chocolate chip and very vanilla cardstock. The flowers are set up on dimensionals, with the highest being 2 dimensionals high to give some dimension to the card.

Have a great day and remember to check back for post 100 and some Card Candy!

Jenn

June 8, 2007

Swaps, Swaps Everywhere



I am making 37 of the cards in my last post. I am done cutting cardstock and stamping all of the flourishes in Soft Sky and Blue Bayou, but I still have a bit to go on them. I fell in love with the last card so I figured that my swap group would like it too.

This card I stamped yesterday as part of the Featured Stamper Challenge on SCS. Tosha had this card in her gallery, and I basically used her layout with a few changes for my card. Of course the color scheme and stamp set is completely different since we have only had the stamps and colors for less than a week. I used the new Level 3 Hostess set Vases in Vogue and Pick a Petal, which will be in the catalog starting on July 1st. The cardstock is Wild Wasabi, River Rock, Groovy Guava and Very Vanilla. The background is made with the Pick a Petal set and the ink is the matching cardstock color. I stamped the Vase in Jetblack stazon and then colored it in with Purely Pomagranate, Soft Sky and Blue Bayou. I also used a piece of HodgePodge Hardware and the ticket corner punch.

June 7, 2007

Baroque Blues



This set is too much fun! I think I will have to find a permanent place for it on my stamping table. It is also so easy to use your Stamp-a-ma-jig to stamp a shadow layer with a lighter color to add a little more dimension. This was a very simple card to put together, yet I think it has a lot of dimension. I used Blue Bayou and Soft Sky cardstock. The ink is Blue Bayou, Soft Sky and Purely Pomegranate. I added some Vintage Brads and Black Organdy Ribbon. I also distressed the edges with my Cutter Kit.

Move Over Doodle This!



I have a new favorite stamp set. I thought I would never put my doodles aside until I started playing with Baroque Motifs. This background stamp is so fun to play with and the cards look so elegant with it. Plus check out these new In Colors! I thought I'd never be able to give up Cool Caribbean, but I guess Stampin' Up! is going to make it very easy to set it aside. I love these new blues. The cardstock is Blue Bayou, Soft Sky, River Rock and Whisper White. The ink is Blue Bayou, Soft Sky, River Rock, Purely Pomegranate and Wild Wasabi.

I double stamped my background image in the two blue colors, starting with Soft Sky. It was so easy to line it up just where I wanted it with my Stamp-a-ma-jig. I lined it up perfectly on my background layer but wanted my front layer to be a little less structured so I revered the stamp both times I stamped it. I cut out the Whisper White layers added a Vintage brad and there are dimensionals under the flower and under the leaves to really make it stand out from the card. I have another idea floating through my head and the boys are playing quietly, so I better take advantage of my stamping time.

Jenn

And now back to our regularly scheduled program

We are having some landscaping done in our backyard and in the process our cable was cut. No cable = no internet. The connection was cut early yesterday afternoon and will be restored today.


Jenn

June 5, 2007

Baroque Motifs is HERE!!!!!



Out of all of the stamp sets in the Preview Brochure this is the one I wanted the most, so I saw it fitting that it was the first one I inked up. Mr. Brown, aka UPS showed up around 3:15 today, so I hurried to get all of my stamps cut and assembled. I am very very particular about trimming my stamps, so it may take me longer than the rest of you to get that done. I don't like any unneccessary rubber left behind. I don't end up with many accidental inkings on my cardstock that way. Isn't that background stamp gorgeous? It's going to be so much fun because it is going to be perfect to make your own designer series paper with. All you need is the stamp, ink and paper and a little bit of creativity.

This card was made for the Color Challenge and all of the cardstock and ink colors are the same - Elegant Eggplant, Ruby Red and Certainly Celery. I do have my sentiment and images stamped on Whisper White. I followed the layout Beate had posted last weekend for her sketch challenge. I added some silver organdy ribbon, silver twine and vintage brads. The larger image is up on a dimensional. I thought about maybe using this for my swap card, but I don't think I can cut out everything 36 times. I am glad I still have some time to play before I have to narrow down my ideas.

I've been tagged, the cards will come later . . .

I've been tagged again! This time it was by Markie's Mom from SCS. Check out her blog! Her cards are amazing. I hope this helps me pass the time as I wait for the UPS man to bring my new Preview Brochure stamps and new In Colors. I want so badly to show you the new items, so be patient as we wait on the big brown truck to get to my neighborhood.


Yourself: Impatient
Your Partner: Caring
Your Hair: Curly
Your Mother: Artistic
Your Father: Retired
Your Favorite Item: Ink
Your Dream Last Night: Unremarkable
Your Favorite Drink: Tea
Your Dream Car: Eclipse
Your Dream Home: Imaculate
The Room You Are In: Living
Your Fear: Bugs
Where You Want to be in Ten Years: Vacation
Who You Hung Out With Last Night: Family
You’re Not: Confrontational
One of Your Wish List Items: Accessories
The Last Thing You Did: Library
You Are Wearing: Jeans
Your Favorite Weather: Thunderstorms
Your Favorite Book: Weiner
Last Thing You Ate: Eggs
Your Life: Crazy
Your Mood: Excited
Your Best Friend: Kids
What Are You Thinking About Right Now: Quiet
Your Car: SUV
What Are You Doing At The Moment: Relaxing
Relationship Status: Married
What Is On Your TV: Noggin
What Is The Weather Like: Cool
When Is The Last Time You Laughed: Today


Almost everyone I know has been tagged. I'm going to tag a few people who's blogs are new to me, and we all know I love to read blogs.

Kristine Reynolds
Barefoot Stamper

June 4, 2007

Yummy . . .



Chapstick! At least that was what Evan was thinking this morning when he ate 1/4 of a tube of Cherry flavored Chapstick his brother offered him. There is absolutely no information online about what to do when your 18 month old decides to eat what his 4 year old brother served him for breakfast.



Needless to say I had to call Poison Control this morning. The good news is that they said eating chapstick will just cause an upset stomach and maybe some unpleasant side effects like vomitting and other gross bodily functions. Evan seems to be okay and didn't seemed to be too bothered by the whole event.



After he went down for a nap Colin and I headed down to my stamping space and I had the opportunity to make 2 cards. The first one I got some Whipper Snapper stamps from Linda on the Wish-RAK forum and Colin is attending a birthday party on Sunday. Isn't this the perfect image for a 5 year-olds birthday party? I think so. I colored him in with my Watercolor Wonder Crayons. Now that I have all of them I am in love with them. Even more so than coloring with my AquaPainter and classic ink. I used Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa and Chocolate Chip for the dog. Ruby Red and So Saffron for his collar and I used some Going Gray and Sahara Sand for the bone. I think layered him on Night of Navy and the designer paper is from My Minds Eye. Can you tell I'm out of Stampin' Up! Designer Series paper and I'm itching for my order to arrive tomorrow? I also added in a strip of Whisper White and Basic Black. I had found a layout like this in Papercrafts and sketched it out to use for a card when I had the chance. The card is 5" square. I also added paper piercing around the entire border of the designer paper and the dog. I used my Stamp-a-ma-jig to add the sentiment from Happy Everything. The card had turned out too perfect to have a crooked sentiment.

While I was on a roll I decided to try out another form of paper piercing. I stamped the chef from Viola 3 times. Twice on Whisper White cardstock and once on My Minds Eye designer series paper. I then cut out his jacket and glued it onto one of my Whisper White stamped images. I shaped the paper a little to add dimension and there is actually a dimensional in the middle of his jacket to make it round out a little bit. Then I cut out the kerchief around his neck and his white folded sleeve cuff and attached the cuff with a piece of dimensional and his kerchief with snail adhesive. I colored him in with some Blush Blossom, Bordering Blue and Not Quite Navy. The cake is colored in with my Earth Elements Watercolor Wonder Crayons. I also used Riveting and French Script. The colors used for cardstock are Not Quite Navy and Pumpkin Pie. I added some silver grosgrain ribbon that I wove through the circular layer.

June 3, 2007

Going Out in Style


I don't know when I aquired Nice and Easy Notes. I do know that it was before I was a demo and that I have had it for several years. I don't think this set has ever seen ink, so when the Ways to Use it focused on retiring sets I picked this one. Since I don't have many retiring sets in my collection it also narrowed down the list for me. The layout comes from Sketch This and Ifound it through Beate's blog. I loved the way that she used the oval in the upper left hand corner so I CASE'd that part of the layout from her. I have seen this on several cards, but never tried it myself. Then again I only recently got the oval punches from Stampin' Up!. The colors I used for cardstock are Chocolate Chip, Marigold Morning, Certainly Celery, Confetti White and My Minds Eye designer paper that I picked up at Costco. I used my Rich Regals Watercolor Wonder Crayons along with my AquaPainter to color in my image. Other accessories include: ticket corner punch, Vintage Brad and 1/16" hole punch.
I've been tagged by Kris over at Stamping for Sanity. She has some really creative and beautiful cards over on her blog so you should check her blog out.
The idea is to answer the questions with one word answers.
Yourself: Creative
Your Partner: Understanding
Your Hair: Unruly
Your Mother: Creative
Your Father: Educated
Your Favorite Item: Stamps
Your Dream Last Night: None
Your Favorite Drink: Water
Your Dream Car: Convertible
Dream Home: Comfortable
The Room You Are In: Great
Your Fear: Spiders
Where You Want to be in Ten Years: Successful
Who You Hung Out With Last Night: Family
You’re Not: Disciplined
One of Your Wish List Items: Stamps
The Last Thing You Did: Blogged
You Are Wearing: Clothes
Your Favorite Weather: 70's
Your Favorite Book: Evanovich
Last Thing You Ate: Cheetos
Your Life: Unpredictable
Your Mood: Relaxed
Your Best Friend: Roger
What Are You Thinking About Right Now: Traveling
Your Car: Outlander
What Are You Doing At The Moment: Typing
Relationship Status: Married
What Is On Your TV: Mickey
What Is The Weather Like: Humid
When Is The Last Time You Laughed: Today
I am so bad at tagging people. Instead visit at least 3 blogs in my Blogs I Read column and leave them a comment. We all love to have recognition for what we do.
Jenn

June 2, 2007

Stolen Stamp


Yep, that's right, I stole this stamp! I walked right out of my Mom's house with it in my hand after she had bought it at Archiver's. Now before you report me, I did ask first so I guess it is not technically stolen. LOL!
On Wednesday, I had my long shopping trip and I don't think I have fully recovered from my long day. But I added in a few more long days after that too, but I'll get to that later. I was shopping for a few things for my Wish-RAK special challenge partner and I came across this stamp. I have seen so many cool projects with it on SCS and it has been on my want list for a while now. Knowing that I was going to be making a sizeable purchase of Stampin' Up! stamps with the new catalog preorder I didn't buy it. I put it back and my mom decided to purchase it instead. I asked if I brought over some Whisper White or Very Vanilla paper on Sunday if I could stamp the bloom a couple of times. Instead my mom let me take the stamp home with me for a few days. But unfortunately I didn't have the time to stamp until today. Hence my absence from my blog as well.
The colors of this card come from this week's color challenge. They are Garden Green, Cool Carribean and Chocolate Chip. I added a piece of My Minds Eye designer paper along with the Very Vanilla for my Levy tab and bloom. The bloom is stamped in Jetblack Stazon and then watercolored with my AquaPainter and Chocolate Chip, Garden Green, Cool Carribean and Tempting Turquoise ink. I thought it needed a bit of sparkle so I added some Dazzling Diamonds to the center of the bloom. I also used some eyelets to stay in line with Beate's Sketch Challenge.
So onto my crazy week. Yesterday I told my friend I'd watch her 2 year old daughter for a bit while she had to run an errand to pick up the wood for her new floor that is going in next week. It was a very long and very tiring day. I literally fell onto the couch and stayed there most of the evening. We played outside for hours upon hours yesterday and all 3 kids wore me out. I'm glad that I only have 2 to watch on a daily basis, because 3 was a little nutty. I can't imagine how people who do in home day care do this day in and day out. I'd be run into the ground every evening.
Thursday was a stay in your PJ's and lounge type of day. I don't think we did much after our very long shopping day on Wednesday. I did look through my box of Stampin' Up goodies that came last week and I'm preparing for my box on Tuesday!!!!! I'm getting new stamps! I did end up ordering Baroque Motifs. I have 37 swaps to make over the next few weeks and I want to get a head start on them. I also got Pick a Petal, In the Spotlight and Vogue Vases, along with all of the new 2008 In Colors! I can't wait for that UPS man to arrive at my house.
I hope you are all having a nice relaxing weekend. We bought 2 trees for our yard today and they will be delivered on Wednesday so I suspect I'll be quite sore after digging the holes for them next week, but we need some shade. The unfortunate side of building a house on an old corn field is that we have NO trees in our neighborhood. So I got an Autumn Blaze Maple and a clump River Birch. We still have a long way to go with landscaping, but I can stamp all of the flowers I want inside right now.
Jenn