Sunday, May 31, 2009
And then a little later, I could actually HEAR the rain dripping from the eaves... The cats came in and their coats were wet...
OH - it wasn't REALLY raining - it was a heavy drizzle, which, out here, constitutes rain most of the time. But we get excited about it!
So I went out and took some photos.
Look at the raindrops on the roses! Hey - that would be a great line for a song! ha ha There were raindrops on the Martha Washington geraniums, too, but guess they didn't show up in the photo.
The cats were having a blast out there in the mist...
Here's Melie checking out the Martha Washington geraniums.
And Mudge looking SO MUCH like a skunk!
Apparently her fur was wet enough to part, so you can see her white undercoat.
And here she is sitting in the flower pot - maybe she's trying to keep her feet dry?
Velvet, on the other hand, elected to stay inside and keep her tootsies warm sitting in the Fancy Feast box!
It never did clear up today. So, I played on the 'puter most of the day - took a nap, watched a little TV.
Caught the last half hour of "Dead Like Me" - LOVE that show, and it's not aired very much. So, I enjoyed what little I was able to view.
Did go get the flea spray, but the house needs to be ventilated after you spray it, and it was not a very nice day to open up the house. Too cold!!!
So tonight I went out to the Stampin' Garage to make something for a Father's Day gift to show you.
It's a photo holder.
I think we think Dads and Grandpas wouldn't like to have personal photos holders, but I'll be they'd cherish them just as much as Moms and Grandmas do - they just would never tell you they do!
So here's the one I started tonight.
When it's finished it will have 5 of the clear envelopes inside, which will hold the 5x7 photos you'll print out. I'll receive some of those in my Stampin' Up! on Monday, so will finish it then.
The corduroy buttons are installed all the way through, which will hold the clear envelopes in place.
Tomorrow I'll try to dig around in all these card fronts I have and see how many other Father's Day card ideas I can find to post.
Until then, enjoy your Sunday!
Saturday, May 30, 2009
If you only knew how I HATE to vacuum...
But the little boogers are jumping on ME now, and they don't generally bother me... So, comb, vacuum, and flea spray - now all I have to do is hope the vet's office is open tomorrow so I can get some more...
I don't like using pesticides - they're bad for Mother Earth. But, every once in a while, the situation warrants it. I think it's been 2 years since I used this flea spray, so I feel OK about it - sorta...
I've been able to play the past two nights! I got a couple of new packages of Designer Series Papers (DSP) and HAD to try them out. So, I used Tea Party and Pink Flamingo DSPs to make a couple of WOW boxes I'd seen posted on Dianne Shiozaki's blog.
They turned out BEAUTIFULLY!
And, after the proto-type, which is never perfect, I made the second one, ironing out my original mistakes. Remember, I told you I just can NOT read directions very well! I can replicate much more easily using an actual sample.
Here's my prototype, made with Tea Party DSP.
It's very pretty isn't it? I really liked the papers I used for this one. It's very feminine and soft. And there's that water colored rose again. I'm go glad I made so many of these when I was putzing around with that technique last week. They seem to fit with all the DSP I have.
But, Real Red is my favorite color, followed very closely by Summer Sun. I saw the red hibiscus paper in the Pink Flamingo DSP, and KNEW I would have to use that to made my seond WOW Box.
Here's the WOW Box made with Pink Flamingo DSP
Isn't it gorgeous?
Now I know you're asking why it's called a BOX? Let me show you.
See, it's got a box about 1-1/2 inch deep - to store 4 x 4 cards!
And here they are:
The box will hold at least 2 more cards. Unfortunately, we don't carry any 4-1/4 x 4-1/4 envelopes, so these would need to be used as gift cards you could hang on the gift. Or, you could make your own envelopes.
My epiphylliums are started blooming in earnest and are almost done, so I have to enjoy them while I can!
Here they are!
I had forgotten I had a yellow one, so that one caught me by surprise. Unfortunately, there were only two buds on that one, and they've both bloomed.
The flourescent pink one had about 8 buds, and the red one only three.
I'm hoping to make it out to the Wild Animal Park next week to check out their epiphilluim house - and hopefully, the place will be ablaze with color and gorgeous huge blooms!
Have fun, whatever you end up doing for the weekend. I'M hoping to get some more sorting/cleaning done out in the Stamp Room!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
But, as I was sorting thru card fronts to use for those cards, I came across several I decided to keep and show to you!
This a card I received in the mail last week - an RAK card. RAK stands for Random Acts of Kindness. My name was selected from a list I belong to, and this awesome person sent me an unexpected card! She didn't sign the back of the card, and I don't remember her name. But whoever you are - thank you! You made my day!
This is what I love about rubber stamping. There's no way I'd have EVER come up with this idea, even if all the pieces and tools had been put in front of me.
Everyone looks at a set of stamps differently - and generally does something totally different than you would with that set!
And here are a couple from two of my team members:
And I can't forget the Kidz!
Up on the roof
Sitting in the Adirondak chair - MY place!
Sitting on the patio chair. He's pretty handsome, isn't he?
On top of the cement block on the patio...
So, what have YOU been stamping lately?
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
For instance, I got a wild hair last week (I get them often - not sure if that's good!) to hold some events to pull together cards to send to our troops overseas. I thought it a productive use of the Memorial Day weekend.
I belong to a group of Stampin' Up! demonstrators called Late Night Stampers. Over the past 6 months or so, I've seen several people post that they'll take any cards that anyone wants to donate.
So, after I emailed the details of my event to my customers, I posted to this group and asked someone to contact me, so that I'd have somewhere to send the cards we'd make. I also asked what restrictions, if any, there were for these cards.
I was the Stampin' Up! Lead at the local Ronald McDonald House for several years. We donated cards to them, and were asked not to bring either Get Well, or Sympathy cards. Since our local house supports Rady Children's Hospital, that made perfectly good sense to me.
One gal emailed right away and told me they'd be very happy to have the cards. Their group's name is "From Our Hearts" and their website is http://www.FromOurHearts.info. Their website just went up over the weekend, so will continue to change as they grow.
Several others emailed me about a website that's dedicated to this as well, and is called "Cards for Heroes". http://www.cardsforheroes.com
So, I checked out the Cards for Heroes site. It's HUGE and is very a professional looking website. I learned a lot about how many cards are being sent from this website alone, because they have an entire page with stats - how many were sent where.
They also had some excellent guidelines posted re: what NOT to send. The biggest thing? GLITTER! It seems the glitter shows up in night vision goggles, and can put our servicemen in danger.
Well, I'm not much of a glitter Queen, so I knew most of mine would be just fine. But I swap card fronts with anyone who wants to swap, and I have no control over the glitter thing. But I COULD (and I did) sort thru and pull out those cards that had glitter on them. I'll donate them to Ronald McDonald house. Kids LOVE glitter!
While I was out on the Web searching, I also looked at the Late Night Stampers Yahoo group and found something like 10 different groups who do this! WHO KNEW? I certainly didn't!
So I contacted the gal from "From Our Hearts" to get an address and we've been communicating over the weekend. She told me today that this group has just gone from supporting 12 locations to supporting 200 different locations!
That's a LOT of cards!
These cards are given to our service men and women so they can communicate with their friends and family back here in the States. They don't have a lot of Hallmark stores over there! And, they don't have to pay postage to mail them home, so even the "clumpy" (i.e., heavily accessorized) cards are quite acceptable!
I assured her that there would be 147 cards put into the mail for them tomorrow, and that there would be more forthcoming in the very near future.
And I have to tell you, I had several more emails today, saying they'd be very happy to take any donations I was able to send. There's a huge need out there!
Since our BUSINESS is selling items for card making, I'm glad so many of the demonstrators have stepped up and volunteered to fulfill this need. Many of the demos are in the service, either as an active member or as a family member for one (or more). The gal who I'll be sending my cards to has a son who has been deployed it Iraq SIX TIMES!
So... I'll be posting FREE EVENTS in the future to make cards for the troops. I hope you will come help me in this endeavor at some point.
It's a boring job - I'll be upfront! All we're doing is attaching a folded piece of card stock to a card front, adding an envelope, and then placing these items into a clear cellophane envelope. The cellophane envelope is to keep the cards from getting dirty while our service people search for the perfect card to send. But being able to sit and chat with friends and fellow demonstrators while doing this makes the task and time go quickly.
I also saw on the Cards for Heroes site that they're requesting cards addressed to "Any Hero" with a note expressing our thanks to them for the sacrifices they're making to keep us free.
I haven't done this as yet, but it's on my "List of Things To Do". And I would be happy to take any cards YOU'D like to send in this effort. I'll see that they get to the proper person/place.
My eyes were opened this weekend to a huge need I knew nothing about! And it's something I can do - on my own or with friends, neighbors, customers, or family! Hope you'll consider stopping by to help!
Monday, May 25, 2009
I thought you might all like to know the history of Memorial Day. Until I looked it up at History.com, I had no idea how long it's been celebrated!
"Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the nation's Civil War dead by decorating their graves. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former sailors and soldiers. On May 5, 1868, Logan declared in General Order No. 11 that:
The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
During the first celebration of Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery.
This 1868 celebration was inspired by local observances of the day in several towns throughout America that had taken place in the three years since the Civil War. In fact, several Northern and Southern cities claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, including Columbus, Miss.; Macon, Ga.; Richmond, Va.; Boalsburg, Pa.; and Carbondale, Ill.
In 1966, the federal government, under the direction of President Lyndon Johnson, declared Waterloo, N.Y., the official birthplace of Memorial Day. They chose Waterloo—which had first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—because the town had made Memorial Day an annual, community-wide event during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.
By the late 1800s, many communities across the country had begun to celebrate Memorial Day and, after World War I, observances also began to honor those who had died in all of America's wars. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May. (Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor all veterans, living and dead, is celebrated each year on November 11.)
Today, Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. Also, it is customary for the president or vice-president to give a speech honoring the contributions of the dead and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. About 5,000 people attend the ceremony annually.
Several Southern states continue to set aside a special day for honoring the Confederate dead, which is usually called Confederate Memorial Day."I spent most of my Memorial Day weekend getting cards ready to send off for our troops overseas. I have about 200 cards completed, but ran out of mailing envelopes to include with the cards, and clear sealable envelopes to put them in so they wouldn't get dirty while being handled. I'll send off about 100 of them tomorrow, and order necessary supplies to get the rest of them mailed.
A few of my fellow SU demonstrators advised me that there is an actual website called Cards for Heroes (http://cardsforheroes.org/) that tells everyone who is interested what they need to do to get cards to the troops, including NOT to send cards with glitter on them. If they get glitter on themselves, it can make them visible to night goggles, thereby putting them in danger!
And, they only accept hand made cards! How cool is that?
There is a Blog Hop in progress this weekend - want to see some great cards? Go to the website and join the Hop!
Hope yours was a nice relaxing Memorial Day weekend - and the unofficial start of summer!
Sunday, May 24, 2009
This is an epiphyllium. Isn't it gorgeous? I used to have about 25 different colors of these, but over the years have lost most of them.
There is a whole pavilion devoted to epiphylliums at the San Diego Wild Animal Park, and when they are blooming, it's quite a sight! These come in just about every color combination you can think of, except blues and purples.
This is a spike of Cecille Breuner rose blooms. This is the "sweetheart of Sigma Chi" rose, that's referred to in that old song.
An orchid. I don't know that I've ever known specifically what kind, but it's a very popular orchid in my neighborhood. In the background are some purple/white petunias.
These are some self-seeded lobelia. They're starting to grow everywhere!
Martha Washington geraniums. I have about 4 or 5 different colors of these. Many of the leaves on the plants have an aroma, when brushed up against.
And, of course, bachelor buttons!
This is a geranium that I brought back from my Mom's in Pennsylvania. It's actually a pelargonium, but everyone calls them geraniums.
Geraniums and I get along very well - they thrive under neglect!
I'm pretty hit and miss with my gardening. Some weeks I'm out there fussing with them every day. Other weeks, I barely set foot out there - most of the time, it's only to water, cause everyone's gasping for some.
And finally, what would a post be with out these guys:
Actually caught these guys both sitting still at the same time!
Velvet, flipping her tail! She got a bath today!
I've been debating about a week whether to do it, and today I finally decided she needed it. WAYY too much flea "stuff" down in all that fur! She didn't even fuss much - I think she was relieved to get rid of it! And now she's so soft and pleasant to pet!
Everyone got Advantage tonight, too. Let's hope that helps with the fleas!
Friday, May 22, 2009
Last night, I decided I needed a break from stamping - sometimes doing something creative besides stamping is good for the soul. So I decided to make the "Quilt Magic No Sew Wall Hanging".
It was fun! Took me about 2-1/2 hours to complete, and was something I'd never tried before. Let me show you how it went...
Here are all the pieces cut out. The patterns and fabric were provided in the kit. I attached the fabric to the pattern with Dotto, then cut the pieces out.
Here it is in several different stages...
And here's the finished product!
All I had to do was stuff the pattern pieces into each of the already laser cut shapes with the dull edge of my craft knife.
It was so much fun, I went to their website looking for something else I might need! I found out that you can purchase just the frame, or you can purchase just the fabrics/patterns, OR you can purchase the kit.
It might be fun to purchase another cherry frame and use some of my own fabrics, to get a little different look. I kept the pattern pieces, just in case!
Today I spent a little more time cleaning, out in the garage. This is going to take FOR-EVER! And, so far, I haven't thrown much away! ARRGGGHHH!
But I am trying to find some things to donate to a friend's friend's garage sale for the weekend. Two teens who are trying to earn enough money to go on a mission.
I have a few things, but not as much as I'd hoped!
Just a reminder - if you can come help either Saturday or Sunday from 11-2 or 5-8, we'll be in my Stampin' Garage, putting together greeting cards to send to our troops . Any and all help greatly appreciated!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Here's Velvet, sitting on the patio, looking beautiful...
Smudge, looking up at me while I try to take her photo...
Smedley, looking ANGRY! In reality, he was probably getting ready to head-butt me to get some lovin', though...
AND - here he is - on high again! This time it's the sun screening on the patio roof. Silly cat.
And all three of them, checking out the wildflower garden in early February.
And here's the wildflower garden, with Smedley hiding in there. Photo was taken on April 15th. GOSH, how those wildflowers grew!
And here they are last week. The bachelor buttons are shoulder high! And such a beautiful blue... I think blue flowers are my favorites. Have lobelia planted on the brick posts out in the front yard, too.
Since Memorial Day weekend is coming up, I've decided, on the spur of the moment, to spend part of this weekend getting cards ready to send off to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I need some help! I have scads of card fronts that need to be attached to other card stock, to turn them into full cards, and then match the cards with envelopes. I'll provide the supplies - but I need some bodies to help me accomplish this!
Cards for the Troops! FREE event, Saturday (5/23) and Sunday (5/24) 11 AM-2 PM, and again 5-8 PM. Come one, come all! Come join in letting those who are fighting for the freedoms we enjoy each day know that we're thinking about them.
RSVPs would be nice, so I'll have a better idea how quickly we're going to blow through the cardstock and evelopes I have on hand.
Hope you can join me!
Monday, May 18, 2009
About half the team was unable to make it for various reasons, but those of us who were able to attend had a great time!
This month we did a Shoebox Swap. If you're not aware of what that is, let me explain:
Each of us created a card or other item. We then loaded everything into a shoe box (or similar container) that the others would need to make the item. CS is expected to be cut and ready; the stamps, inks, accessories, and tools should be in the box.
Then, each of us sits down with a shoe box and makes our own copy of the card. Once we're done with that project, we pass the shoe box to the next person, and start the second project. This continues until we're all done with all the projects.
Depending upon how complicated they are and how many of us there are, this can take 1/2 hour - or, as was the case tonight, 1 and 1/2 hours! But we get to chat and exchange ideas while we're completing each other's project - OH - and eat chocolate! Did I mention the chocolate? I mean, what's stamping without chocolate? LOL
Here are the projects we made this evening:
I showed the "raw" sample of this quilted card last week, and decided to "jazz it up" for tonight's shoe box swap. Everyone loved it - and it's a GREAT way to use all those scraps of DSP that keep lingering around.
The DSP was cut into 1 x 1" squares, SNAILd to a piece of Whisper White CS, then put thru the Big Shot using the Top Note die.
All you need to do is make sure the color combos are compatible, if you decide to use more than one DSP.
This sample uses "Walk in the Park" DSP from the Occasions mini-catalog. I used So Saffron, Cameo Coral, and Baja Breeze for the flowers and background, since those colors are through-out the various sheets of the DSP. We die cut the flowers using both an embosslit and a sizzlet.
Oh, and I can't forget those awsome leaves! They were made with Kiwi Kiss CS. You NEED that leaf sizzlet, if you like flowers and your Big Shot. They are perfect with everything! The stamp came from the Hope Happens set. I sure hope they keep that set around for another year!
The idea for this card was CASEd from the latest edition of Stampin' Success, a magazine each demonstrator receives FREE every month. It always has great ideas of how to work your business, how to do a technique, shows some scrapbooking and card making ideas. It also has write-ups on different demonstrators in the company. These are always interesting, since everyone's story is different!
And, just as a reminder - there's an awesome Recruiting Special in effect this month. Only $75 to sign up! Check the sidebar for more information. Then go to my website (http://www.samslimak.stampinup.net) and sign up! The password is "stampwithsam".
This card is made with Tempting Turquoise CS, 5/8" orange striped ribbon, a stamp from A Little Somethin' (Hostess set), and a Ruby Red button, threaded with our linen thread. I also used the Pretty Petals background stamp with Tempting Turquoise ink. I love the tone on tone effect.
The following two cards were made using the Printed Window sheets from the Occasions mini-catalog. There are four different images to each sheet, and you get two sheets in each package.
The a second one was made for one of the gals who recently became a demonstrator and was unable to make the meeting tonight, due to having had foot surgery. When someone signs up as a demonstrator, we try to help them with samples, as well as ideas and other training.
And these boxes are made with the Box #2 Big Shot die. It's a great little box, and so easy to put together! Requires only about 1-1/2 inch of Sticky Strip to keep it together.
On one of them, I used some die cut daisies. On the other, I used one of those awesome watercolored roses that are all the rage these days. Del had already colored and cut them, so it was easy to just attach it with a dimensional, and add a little ribbon.
She actually gave us a number of options for decorating our boxes, which, for me, makes it HARD! I'm a Libra, and making a decision is about the hardest thing in the world!
I'm also including a card I made with the Funky Trees set. I've coveted that set since I first saw the catalog last July, and finally got it last week, so HAD to use it!
I used one of the scallops cut from the Scallop die cut and daubered Bashful Blue around the scallop to make the clouds. I saw it on someone's blog and thought - dang, why didn't I think of that! So, I copied her idea! I also cut another piece of CS to form the hills, and then used some daubers to fill those in.
I hope you saw something posted today that you'd like to duplicate!