Monday, September 29, 2008

The Stamp 4 Life Award goes to....

my friend & fellow stampin' groupie--Danielle!!! I just have to recognize her amazing dedication to the craft :-) She just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy one month early on Friday afternoon & she spent Friday morning making cards WHILE IN LABOR. Of course, this was her fourth child & she's never actually gone into labor before so she didn't really recognize it--"Oh, that's what that discomfort was!" Even on her ambulance ride to the hospital, she worried about leaving all those cards undone, which she was making for her mom for Christmas (in 3 months!) & so, for stamping beyond the call of duty, Danielle wins the Stamp 4 Life Award!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Good Works

I haven't posted a card in a while, have I? Well, I've got quite a few projects I'm trying to catch up on as I'm still getting ready for craft fair season so I haven't been making many cards. Still, here's one I made as a swap for a local Stampin' Up! demos meeting.
It uses the Pocket Silhouettes set in Kiwi Kiss, Tango Tangerine & Riding Hood Red & punched out using the Key Tag Punch. I used the "Good Works" sentiment from the Inspired by Nature set. I didn't know if the connected images would reflect a chain (what I was going for), so I opted to be rather obvious about it. The "chain links" were made by first punching a 3/4" hole in More Mustard cardstock & then using the 1" circle to punch around it so you're left with just the sliver circle. People didn't mistake it for Chanel so mission accomplished. I used Dotto to adhere them. Lemme tell you, it took quite awhile for 30 cards!
Let me reflect for a moment on this stamping phenomenon called "swapping" for the unitiated. The purpose is to get tons of variety for inspiration or in my case, my display board. You make a bunch of the same card (just the front of it) & label the back with your name & usually the "ingredients" of the card. At these demo meetings I've gone to, people swap immediately. It's really funny to walk in & have a mob of ladies swoop in on you as the newcomer with fresh swaps! It's a good mixer too because you're ooh-ing & ahh-ing over each other's work & gives you an excuse to walk up to anyone carrying a baggie or box of cards. That's when you usually think "I've got to make a nicer card next time!" I haven't met any swap "snobs" but I've heard about them--they're people who ignore you because they don't like your swap. If you want to do this with your friends (uh, swapping, not being a snob), you can also try a "shoebox swap" where you get together & actually make each other's card designs (you bring all the "ingredients" with you in the shoebox). It's good fun--if you make full cards, you can be rolling in unique Birthday greetings for a couple of months :-)


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Name Frame Class: You can too!

frog name frame
These name frames are from a class I gave a couple of weekends ago to show that you can do it too! Usually I take color & theme suggestions & will make a customized frame to order. For the class, we did it all together with the ladies actually making the frames & I acted as a consultant.

This first one is different from the others I've made because she wanted a frog theme & the only frog stamp I had was a foam one (I was just about to get rid of it too--glad I didn't!) I was nervous the foam stamp wouldn't work well with a dye-based ink, but it was fine (usually foam stamps are used with paints). This was Maggie's first time stamping and I think she did a great job! Her grandson will love this :)bela name frame Her colors were inspired by a frog print she'd bought for her grandson's room.

My friend Danielle, a veteran stamper, made this frame to match her daughter's room. I LOVE the colors she chose. Doesn't the Kiwi Kiss look great with Perfect Plum?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Another Use for Simply Scrappin' Kit

Bulletin Board
The head of my previous parish's mom's group asked me to decorate a bulletin board that will hang in the church's "cry room"--because if you're ever going to find a mom who needs friends, it's going to be in a cry room!

I decided to just use SU!'s new Simply Scrappin' Kit "Summer Home" because it's so much easier to have the professionals coordinate everything & let me get on with it. I used our retired "Letterpress" alpha set for the main title & clear embossed it. If you're wondering how I got them lined up so nicely--the magical Stamp-a-ma-jig--I only discovered this tool this year & now I LOVE it! If I had the time, I'd do a video tutorial, but I don't--so, I recommend checking out fellow Splitcoaststamper starofmay's on YouTube. I use vellum cardstock for my stamped images & just store them with my stamps so I only have to do the placement stamp once.

The Baja Blue letters & flowers are die cuts from the new Naturally Serif Sizzlits strip & Birds & Blooms respectively. I'd also like to point out the vellum "pocket" at the bottom. She wanted something see-through so that people could see the group's business cards so I came up with a template (cut the width you want, then for the length, I cut 4.5" scoring a 1/4" alley right in the middle so that it would have a 1/4" depth to hold a few cards. I reinforced the edges with 3 pieces of paper 1" wide & scored 1/4" in the middle to fold around the open sides & bottom). Oh--& check out the cute buttons in Kiwi Kiss from the new Button Bouquet collection. It was tough giving those babies up but it's for a good cause & I need to fight my hoarding tendencies. Still gonna miss them.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

More Craft Fair Goodies

It's official--I'll have a booth at St. Timothy's School's Craft Fair in Chantilly, VA on Nov. 22. Come visit! (I'll give you a lollipop! ;-) ) So, I've been busy making lots o' things to sell. Here are a few I've completed this week:

Altered Photo Clip This is an altered binder clip that had some kind of medical co. advertising on the white part. These are so cute to use as photo holders. I used rub-ons on the purple binder part. Then, I stamped on black cardstock in white craft ink & used Heat & Stick Powder to adhere blue glitter to the flowers (the flash muted the glitter). Then I spread Crystal Effects over the whole surface to give it a cohesive tile look. I did the same on the other side so if you wanted to use it as a paper clip, you'd have the decoration facing you too. Finally, I added just a dab of blue Stickles to the middle of the rub-on & added ribbon.
Altered Candy Jar These are plastic jars from Oriental Trading. I used more rub-ons on these. The felt flowers on the lids are either from SU!'s "Flower Fusion" (the olive green) or I cut them using SU!'s Basket & Blooms Sizzix die (white & black) & secured with a brad. Inside are Hershey's chocolate nuggets wrapped in stamped address labels. While these weren't hard to make, the rub-ons actually took a bit of time because you have to cut out the images & create your design, often with more than one color. I made 16 of them & each one is unique.

Altered Candy Purse I was really happy with how these little plastic purses turned out! I found the blank purse favors on clearance & got them without knowing what I'd do with them. I decided to make all ten the same with a straight Christmas theme (using up all my Silver Hodgepodge Designer Label holders in the process). I also used our new Holiday Treasures DSP & Baja Breeze 1" Grosgrain ribbon. I stamped the nuggest labels with the new "Snow-Swirled" stamp set.

One tip--to make the holes for the brads, I found it easier to secure the ribbon onto the paper first, place the whole thing onto the cushion in our Mat Pack & poke a hole with the paper piercer through both (instead of using the 1/16th" hole punch). You can then poke the brad through while it's still on the cushion & flip the whole thing over--the brads will stay put & then you can spread the prongs. This way, you don't bend the paper while trying to punch the brads through.

Whew. All I can say is, I've probably spent as much energy keeping these things out of my kids' hands as I have making them! My oldest (6 yrs.) is so cute--he keeps asking how much they are because he wants to save his money to buy them.