Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Last Chance!

Okay - it's here - the end of the current Idea Book and Catalog (IBC) AND the end of the Occasions mini-catalog. If there's something you want, you need to contact me BEFORE 9 PM PST on Tuesday, June 30, 2009!

If you decide to do an on-line order, that will need to be entered by that time, as well.

Here some cards we made at the Last Chance Open House on Saturday:

Just Beachy - Barely Banana, Tempting Turquoise, Chocolate Chip, Lazy Days Wheel -- Occasions mini-catalog

Just Beachy - this time we used Green Galore, Real Red, Tempting Turquoise, and the Lazy Days Wheel
Heartfelt Thanks - Bravo Burgundy (CS and grosgrain ribbon), Razzleberry Lemonade DSP (new), Ivory CS

I'm excited about the new catalog AND In colors! We can all start ordering out of it around Noon on Wednesday, July 1st!

I've been busily working on my Annual Hostess Appreciation event. Each year, I invite those who have hosted (and closed) at least a $150 event during the catalog year to come to my house so I can pamper them!

Lunch is served, they'll get door prizes, they'll get to play with new "stuff", and I'll have two projects for them to do that I've never taught anyone before. Everyone is encouraged to come dressed for the occasion.

This year's theme is Groovy 60's, and I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Last year's theme was A Garden Party, and most of my guests wore beautiful hats - it was fun to see the hand made hats! Two of my guests stopped at Michael's on the way down here, bought what they needed, and one made the hats while the other drove - and they were both GORGEOUS!

One of the other ladies bought balsa wooden cutouts at Michael's and painted them (watering can, fence, and lots of flowers)and glued them on to her hat. She gifted the hat to me, and although I don't wear hats (often enough!), I do put it on once in a while and primp in front of the mirror!

So, I've been Googling the 60's to find music, clothing, food. NOT that I don't remember the 60's! There's an old saying, "if you can remember the 60's you weren't there!"

But I did need to separate that era from the 70', 80's, and 90's! And I'm glad I did - had this idea in my head that the Groovy 60's (psychedelic) was early in the 60's - and it wasn't! We didn't go psychedelic until around 1967... Before that, we were still in the Do-wop era.

Gotta admit I'm a little stumped about food from that time. My first thought was pizza, because that's when *I* started eating pizza. But I think that's a bit of a cop-out, so I'm continuing to dig around and will, hopefully, come up with something a little more original.

Here are your cat photos for today...
Here are all three (!) sitting at the back door. Have NO IDEA what they were looking at - I just snagged the opportunity to get them all in the same photo, since it doesn't happen very often!
Here's Smudge, sittin' in the backyard... She looks a little irritated, doesn't she?
And here's Smedley in (on?) his new favorite spot. Now HE'S checking out the neighbors! The bad thing about these sun shades being up in the back yard is that he can climb the legs and walk right from the roof of the sunshade on to the patio overhang... And MOM can't get him! He's in heaven.

Don't forget to mark your calendars for my 19th Annual New Catalog Open House. I'm holding it on SUNDAY, July 12th from 1 - 4 PM. Be here or be square!

New catalogs will be available, as will Make & Takes, door prizes, munchies, and some of the new product to touch and feel!

I'll also be taking sign-ups for the 2009/2010 Stamp Club. If you'd like to purchase a little at a time, this is the best idea! Your obligation is $25 minimum each month for 12 months.

You'll receive a spiral bound catalog, and at some point during the year, you'll get to be the Hostess and receive those benefits. I draw names to determine who will be Hostess during which month. If we have "left over" months, I draw Mystery Hostess names, so everyone gets a second chance to be Hostess.

We meet once a month - last year's meetings were at 10 AM the third Saturday of the month. I don't plan to change the time unless the majority wants to. In the past I've also held the meetings on Friday evenings.

You'll make cards, 3-D items, do a little scrapbooking - I'm willing to try whatever! I love for you to join us for this year's clubs! Give me a call or email me to sign up. Better yet, come to my Open House and meet some of the other members!

Happy stampin'


Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm Backkkkk

Sorry - things got busy, I kept falling asleep on the couch instead of blogging... To recap -- life happened.

Have been busy getting ready for the Last Chance Open House I held yesterday - making Make & Takes for my guests to do, trying to FIND stuff in the garage...

Open House was fun. Not a lot of guests, but those that did come seemed to have a good time. I was exhausted after everything was dragged back into the house, and took a nap!

Decided today would be a good day to show some photos of The Kidz when they first arrived here to live with me...

You may remember this one from one of the first times I blogged. It's one of my favorites of the little devils. This was the first week they lived here. I kept them in the bathroom for the first week - just to give them and Velvet a chance to get to know each other's smells and sounds.

Velvet was curious enough to stuff a paw under the door, and the Kidz returned the favor.

Here they are playing on the shelving unit in the hallway. It was like turning a tornado loose! I was SURE I wasn't going to be able to handle having "twins"...

A "quiet" moment during "first freedom"...

Sitting on my chair in the kitchen. They were SO CUTE. But, they don't both fit anymore!

And both in the "roundabout" scratching post. They both don't fit THERE any more, either!

One of my favorite photos - don't they look like they posed for a calendar?

And finally, the three of us. They're older here - maybe 5 months. Photo courtesy of Del...

Hope you enjoyed my Kidz retrospective!

Have a great week!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Little Progress

Remember the "clean the garage" project? I've been workin' on it for FOR EVER!

This weekend, I put together the second shelving unit. Didn't think I'd have enough room to work if I had two out there, not sitting against the wall, where I want them eventually.

But I put it together, and yesterday I spent a couple of hours trying to decide what's going to go where.

I'm pretty happy with the first unit I put together. I've been using it for about a month, and everything seems to be working OK - what's there, placement of everything... I do still keep heading to the "old spot" to find things like my Crop-a-diles and embellishments, but quickly remember that I've moved them.

I've also labeled all the boxes! What a concept! ha ha

This is the second unit. It's not working yet.

After I took this photo, I moved all my 12x12 CS on to the third shelf. I need it to be handier than it's been in the past, BUT, I can't set the paper holders upright, because there's no room above to pull paper out to look at it. So, I'm trying laying them on their spines. I'll have access to getting the paper out when they sit that way.

The down side is they don't really LIKE sitting this way - they keep leaning, and I'm not sure how to correct that. Just need to make sure there's sturdy stuff on either side of them, to help them "learn" to sit this way.

And, of course, the containers aren't designed for them to sit this way, either, which will eventually make me change something...

There's still got a TON of "stuff" that's been sitting in front of the existing shelving units for years to be dealt with. Have to figure out where to put it. Somewhere NOT in front of the shelving units would be ideal. Haven't had the nerve to take any photos of that stuff yet.

But I AM getting some shelves emptied!

See - you can even see the turquoise WALL!

And all those magazines? Yep, gotta figure out where to put them as well. I have some OLD Rubberstampmadness mags that actually looked more like a newspaper than a magazine. I found RSM when I first signed up as a demonstrator in 1991. It was the only stamping magazine around at the time, and I soaked the info right off the pages!

And there are a few years worth of Rubber Stamper in that mix, too. Another great magazine, but, unfortunately, this one doesn't exist any longer.


I took a break tonight and made a couple of cards. Both cards were made with the new Level II Hostess Set "Asian Artistry".

This one uses Dusty Durango as its background, with some Soft Suede and Melon Mambo as accent colors. Also added the Dusty Durango dotted grosgrain ribbon for accent.

This one uses Bermuda Bay as the background, with some Crushed Curry and a piece of Razzleberry Lemonade DSP to accent. Then the main image is mounted on Rich Razzleberry CS, as are the words - first punched with the new Modern Label punch, then backed with a matching piece that you get when using the new dies that fit into the Movers and Shapers Bigz XL die.

Like these dies! Each one matches an existing punch AND cuts a piece that's larger, so you can easily create layers!


My last epiphyllium bloomed this AM.

The Kidz were out checking it out...

First Smudge...

Then Smedley...

And then I cut it off and took it to my friend Fay at Curves!


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fun with Stampin' Friends

My stamp club ladies were here today. I really treasure these ladies - they keep me hopping to come up with new and better ideas!

Since this was our last meeting for this catalog year, we had a Pot Luck after we played - er, stamped.

They all got to see the new "In" colors (general consensus - they LIKE 'em!), they got to glance thru the new catalog. No one really got to spend a lot of time with the catalog, so there weren't any comments, but, trust me, it's beautiful!

I'll start new clubs in July - would you like to join us? We make projects, learn new techniques, learn new card templates, play with the Big Shot... I try to include something for everyone's interest over the club's length, as long as I'm aware what that interest might be!

When cleaning out in the garage, I keep running across things we did years ago - and will be bringing some of those ideas out of retirement this coming year - as well as trying to stay on top of the newest trends.

Here are photos of the project everyone did today. It's called a Top Note box, made with CS and/or DSP. It will hold 3x3 cards very nicely. If you'd like directions to make this project, leave me a comment, along with your email address!

Aren't they all beautiful?
This is Sylvia's.






Smashing jobs, Ladies!
Last time I blogged, I talked about cutting layers 1/4" or 1/2" larger than the previous one.

As someone who does better with visual aids, I realized photos would show the concept of borders better.

Here are 5 different sized squares. Notice how much larger the Real Red square (bottom layer) is than the Green Galore (top layer). It's over an inch larger (specifically 1-1/8" larger).

There is only 1/8" difference between the 1-3/8" (green) square and the 1-1/2" (i.e. 1-4/8")(Rust) square. This will give a VERY narrow border for the centerpiece (the Green Galore piece).

The next three squares were increased by 1/4" each (1-1/2",1-3/4", and 2") (Rust, Caramel & Turquoise).

Finally, the Real Red square was cut 1/2" larger then the next smaller one (Turquoise).

In this photo, I've layered them so you can see how wide the borders will be, as well as the sizes of the squares.
And here I've layered them as they might appear on a card. Now it's even more apparent how wide the borders will be between the different layers.

I hadn't glued these together (wasn't really done playing with them!), so the layers aren't straight, but I hope you get the jist...

And finally, The Kidz...
Melie had a really tough day today - he couldn't take his usual nap on my chair out in the garage (the ladies were out there!), so he collapsed on the scratching post...
After he woke up from his nap, he had PLENTY of energy to play with my ribbons, though. Devil boy!
Smudge did her share of sleeping on the scratching post today, too. It was a good day for it - it drizzled again!

Right after I took the photos, I joined them - me on the couch, they on the scratching post. Great afternoon for a nap...

Hope you find time for a short nap sometime this weekend!


Friday, June 19, 2009


How do you create?

Do you have a "method" you use successfully each time you start creating cards, for instance?

I've discovered I do! Whoda thunk? ha

Here are some photos to demonstrate:

I start by taking a stamp set and stamping each image on a piece of scrap Whisper White CS.

Or, if you prefer, Ivory - it generally depends upon what I think my backgrounds are going to be.

Fall colors (i.e. Earth Elements) almost need Ivory, rather than white, because they're more "dusty" colors. White's almost too stark for most of them.

For the images above, I used either the Black Staz-on pad, or the NEW MARKERS in the "IN" colors!

I'm LOVIN' those markers - SOOO much easier than trying to ink up separate parts of a stamp using the pads.

From there, I layer each of them on to a piece of colored CS or Designer Series Papers (DSP).
Sometimes I use a full quarter sheet to mount the images, but most of the time I cut the quarter sheet in half - that makes the piece of CS 2-3/4" by 4-1/4".

This time around I was using quarter sheets of the new "In" colors, and the Razzleberry Lemonade DSP. If necessary, I trim the white CS to fit this piece.

Or, in the instance of the dragon flies, I use our punches.

After punching the white CS with the 1-3/8" square punch, I then cut the Green Galore CS into a 1-3/4" square, which makes it LARGER than the punched image.

And then I cut the Bermuda Bay CS square 1/4" LARGER than the piece of Green Galore. (or 2" square)

This is an easy way to layer - always keep your larger layer to 1/4" or 1/8" different than the layer beneath it.

You can use 1/2" larger, but it really makes a MUCH larger edge. Remember, by adding 1/2" to each side, you're actually adding 1 full inch to the width, and 1 full inch to the length.

Here are a couple more cards I was able to finish tonight. Nothing fancy, but certainly serviceable for a quick and easy card.

Bermuda Bay CS, Razzleberry Lemonade DSP, Mambo Melon CS. I also used another small stamp to stamp the background on the Bermuda Bay CS to create the tone on tone effect.

The greeting was made using the new Modern Label punch, as well the *NEW* matching insert to the Movers and Shapers BigXL die.

Rich Razzleberry CS, Mambo Melon CS, a scrap of Razzleberry DSP, and the verse punched out with the scalloped oval punch. The Aqua Painter and the Razzleberry and Bermuda pads were used to color in the flower.

This card could still use a little somethin' in the way of a background image to pull it all together.

Many times I'll use the Dotto adhesive when I'm creating, simply because it's not as permanent as SNAIL. That way, if I decide I don't like what I've done, I can easily take everything apart, and start again.

Which means, I can pull everything off the Rich Razzleberry CS and add a background image, or stamp one of the other stamps from the set in a tone on tone look.

Or, I could add some ribbon, or several brads... The card itself is a little out of balance, and adding any of these things would help "re-balance" it.

So - how do you create? Do you have a "method" ? Leave me a comment and let me know YOUR style!

Here is the Kidz' photo for the day...
Happy stampin'!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tacit Tuesday - maybe I'll make it a weekly event

We had drizzle again last night. When I went out in the backyard to check the weather/temperature this morning, earlier than I generally do, here's what I found... Cobwebs that had captured the dew/drizzle/rain...

The cats liked being out in it too...

Here's Mudge bowing down to Velvet - - Oh Mighty One!

Later today, my friend Barb called and invited me to join her, DD, and DD's boyfriend for dinner.

Barb just got a new piebald dachshund puppy, whose name is Truffles. Her older dog's name is Monet.

I TRIED to get some photos of Truffles, but puppies, like kittens, just move WAYYY too fast!

Did manage to get a couple of cute ones, though...

Look at that little tail going!

And here's a family portrait!

This one just cracks me up! Kisses from one dog, and the other one trying to get away. And James just keeps on smiling...

You keep on smiling, too!