Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Heritage Quilts

As I've mentioned before, earlier this month Susan and I had the opportunity to go to my upline's once a year stamping event.

The quilt I'm about to show you was made by Janet Baker. It is exquisite.

It's a Heritage Quilt. I SO want to make one of these after having seen Janet's.

The quilt was hanging on the wall, so my photos may look a little skewed.

I did the best I could without ripping it off the wall and asking Janet to pose with it!

Notice how each square is unique. She used the Big Shot to cut the swirly pieces. She also used the Tulipe and the Oval Scallop dies.

The fabrics coordinate very well together, both from the pattern and the color standpoint.

She used different laces on each square.

She used different buttons on each square.

She even used a piece of our hardware on one of the squares.

She used both portrait and landscape photos on her quilt to keep the viewer's eye interested and moving around the quilt.

And here are photos of each individual section of the quilt, so that you can really see how much variety she put into the quilt, while maintaining the color scheme she'd chosen. She carried the buttons through out the quilt, as well as the laces.

It's just lovely...



Saturday, September 26, 2009

It's Fall

Or at least that's what the calendar says.

Doesn't feel like Fall here today. Temps were in the 90's. Very little breeze. But that's GOOD. This is Santa Ana weather, which those of us in CA dislike because that's when we generally see those devastating fires. The wind enables them...

There are already several burning in SOCAL, but thankfully, none around me. Knock on wood that it stays that way.

I understand from friends in the Midwest that Fall is beginning to appear - the leaves are turning, the nights are getting cooler...

I mentioned earlier this month that September signalled a new year to me. It's a time for reflection - what I've accomplished, what's fallen by the wayside... Where do I want this next year to take me?

I belong to the Late Nite Stampers group, and Sherrill, their trusty leader, is holding a Boot Camp for its members this month.

I've taken Boot Camps before, from other leaders. They're always good. They make you try new ideas. They make you move out of your comfort zone. But most of all, they make you accountable.

When you're in business for yourself, you're responsible for your own accountability. And frankly, it's easy to talk yourself out of ANY accountability!

So, Boot Camps are good.

One of Sherrill's tasks for her recruits is to tell your own story.

And I realized I don't tell my story very often. So, here, for your reading pleasure (or not!) is my story:

My college roommates gave me a pelican stamp (many years after we attended this college, by the way) and an ink pad about 24 years ago. I was collecting pelicans at the time, and I was thrilled.

Right after I got that stamp, I came home from work and found an invitation to a stamp event at my next door neighbors house - for THAT night.

I didn't have anything else planned, and thought, well, this might be interesting. So, I went. 3 hours later, I'd spent $65 (this was in about 1989 or so, so that was a considerable amount of money!) and I had learned how to heat emboss!

That was the most funest thing since sliced bread! I embossed and embossed and embossed!

I should mention this stamp party was NOT a Stampin' Up! party. The woman demonstrated strictly for another single company. One particular stamp company. They had cute images, a few sets. My other neighbor and I decided to go together to purchase a couple of sets that we would share.

Fast forward about a year. I found an ad in the Rubberstampmadness magazine for this company called Stampin' Up! I responded to the ad, sending in my $5 or whatever the fee was for getting the catalog. I had lots of stamp companies catalogs by that time, since I'd begun to frequent stamp shows up in Los Angeles.

The Original Rubber Stamp Show was HEAVEN in 1989! So many stamps, so many people, so little money!

I got the catalog and the recruiting information. And, being the true Libra that I am, pondered whether or not to sign up. For NINE months! (I guess I could liken this business of mine to having a baby, couldn't I?!!?)

I worried about where I'd find my customers. I worried about having to spend my own money to stay afloat...

I finally decided to join! I called my soon-to-be upline and chatted with her for about 45 minutes. I, of course, had the OLD catalog, so needed a new one. She sent me another catalog, and new recruiting forms, and I signed up in January of 1991.

I still worried about where to find customers, but luckily, I was able to talk a group of gals I worked with at the time into hosting a workshop from me. They continued to be customers for quite a few years, and introduced me to their friends, and we all know the rest of the story - here I am, still, after 19 years.

I found some of my old Convention and Leadership badges while cleaning up the garage - here's a photo of a few of them:

The two in the upper left hand corner are from my first and second Leadership conferences.

I was so honored to attend these events. I was still a hobby demo at the time, but in those days, as your recruits moved up, so did you, so thanks to one of my downline, I was eligible for Leadership!

I thoroughly enjoyed them. I met the leaders of the company and got to listen to their success (and yes, some failures) and it kept me motivated.

As did attending the annual convention. I haven't missed one since the first one I could attend in 1991! Most fun in the whole wide world, attending an SU convention!

In 2000 I earned my only cruise. I was so excited, and it was a blast. That year we went to the Eastern Carribbean. I'd never been on a cruise before. I took my friend Chrissy with me. I think she enjoyed it, too...

The cruise is always a goal for me, but keeps eluding my grasp. One of these days, all the planets will be aligned again, and I'll get to do it again.

In the meantime, I set other goals for myself, to try and keep me motivated. I love my customers - they're some of the greatest people in the whole world. They make me stretch to keep up with the latest trends and techniques, and TOYS!

Thanks to all of you who have ever been a customer of mine!

Melie decided my story made him "nappy" - but for Melie, that's an every day occurrance! Check him out..

Even in this heat, he's been sleeping in the garage during the day.

Maybe he sleeps on the concrete and it's cooler there. Hadn't thought about that til now...

The next time I post, I'll be talking about My Digital Studio, and showing some photos of the pages I've been making with it.

It's SO EASY! And so much fun!

In the meantime, have a great weekend. Stamp something!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

And even MORE Halloween

Boy! It's THAT time of the year! This year it seems EVERYONE is thinking about Halloween even earlier than usual.

Maybe I'm only noticing it because this year I'm excited about it - we have some awesome stamp sets to play with.

I'm a fan of scary Halloween - not every one is.

And I understand that - it's just that the macabre holds much more appeal for me for me personally than cutesy...

Just finished looking thru the latest copy of Country Living.

Remember, last month we had that great BBQ party invitation in conjunction with them? I signed up for a subscription. Curiosity, more than anything. Nice magazine, it seems...

Anyway, even they featured a white cake with a black spider on their cover this month!

So let me see what else I can share with you in the way of cards, etc...

These are light and airy and HAPPY Halloween...

Made with the Pumpkin Patch set from the Holiday mini.

And THIS is the more macabre sort I mentioned.

As is this one - but he's sorta cute, too...

I didn't EVEN ask for directions on how to make him, but I'm sure if you dig around on the various blogs out there, someone will have posted them...

And here's Melie, waving good night to all of you!

Keep on stampin'!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How About Some More Halloween?

I know it's been a week since I posted. I've been busy farmin'! tee hee And I'm doin' alright with it, too!

Seriously, I did go to my upline's annual demonstrator event in St. George, UT over this past weekend, so I do have a kind of valid excuse for not posting.

How about some more Halloween ideas? I got quite a few when I swapped with other demonstrators over the weekend. Unfortunately, many of the swap cards I got did not have people's names on them, so I can't give credit, but I did want to share them with you.

So, without further ado...

This idea is SOOO CUTE! It won the Over The Top award at the event.

This gal took the scallop oval punch, along with Pumpkin Pie designer papers, and made these very cute little pumpkins.

I might have my stamp club members make these at their club meeting this month.

Here's a cute idea using the Build-A-Bear and it's matching pumpkin outfit.

The person who made this added some stamping to the outfit, and it really makes a difference.

Details - always the details - that's what makes a good card a GREAT card.

And here's an invitation that uses the Big Shot scallop die.

Notice that it's a fold-over card.

I like the added ribbons on the left side. Again, details...

And this one is in the vein of good old fashioned Halloween.

Kinda scary - sort of El Dia de los Muertos looking.

For those not familiar with El Dia de los Muertos, it's an Hispanic celebration. Literally means Day of the Dead.

To them, the holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family who have died.

It's held on November 2nd, in conjunction with the Catholic holiday All Saint's Day, which occurs on November 1st, and All Soul's Day, which occurs on November 2nd.

I have quite a few more card samples to share with you, but I'm going to space them out so you'll get new ideas up til Halloween.

What's that? Where are the cat photos? Oh yeah, those guys... Well, OK then. Here you are. One from the archives...

Happy stampin' everyone!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tacit Tuesday - September

Thought it was time for another Tacit Tuesday... Halloween's a comin' - here are some ideas, mostly from the Holiday Mini-catalog. ENJOY!

Need more Halloween ideas? Keep checking back here... I'm workin' on more of them!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Labor

of Labor Day weekend... What's that mean to you?

To me, Labor Day weekend has always meant the start of a "new year". No, I know it's not New Year's Day.

This "year" is different. Since it's always been an indication of the start of school, that's a new year - of learning, building friendships, gnashing one's teeth over homework you really don't want to do...

I've been out of school for "several" years now (not as many as you might think, though, since I just graduated from college 10 years ago), but every year at this time, I try to find something new to pursue and learn.

Might not be anything as sophisticated as rocket science, but it's something new to me...

This year, I'm learning how to farm virtually. MAN O MAN but that's a lot of work - sitting on your butt in front of your computer screen, hoping someone will hire you to harvest and plow so you can rack up points to buy more land, buy a house, plant more crops to bring in more money.

And yesterday?

Yesterday, they gave us the added capability of buying an OUT HOUSE! Really! So, guess what I bought with my hard earns coins... YES - an outhouse! LOL

Oh, and I also bought TWO tool sheds (forgot I'd already gotten one!) and a wood shed... I've decided my farm will be rather on the rustic side.

My grandfather owned a dairy farm, so, as a child, I thought that's what life was all about. And most of the rest of my maternal relatives had farms, as well. Matter of fact, my grandfather had two farms. One they lived on, and one their youngest daughter and her family lived on. They called that one "The Other Place".

I have very fond memories of "helping" (at the age of 4-5-6-7-8? I don't think so!). I was allowed to go help bring the cows in to be milked at night.

I was taken to the dairy to drop off the milk at 9 AM each day - AND, I got an ice cream cone at that hour of the day! I was spoiled!

I was always so fascinated walking thru the production part of the dairy- watching the machines fill the milk bottles automatically, to me, was just MAGIC! I think that's what led me into manufacturing in my later life.

In those days, farmers still (and probably do today, as well - I just don't know any anymore) combined their efforts to gather crops - combining wheat, baling hay, gathering corn, and then grinding up the stalks for insulage.

Big old machines that were green (John Deere) or orange (Allis Chalmers) or red (International Havester?) - that made a lot of noise, and were very dangerous by today's standards. I'm probably lucky I'm still alive!

I'm sure I was always underfoot and a great danger to myself and others, but I really treasure the memories from that time of my life.

Grandad also ran a cider mill. In the fall (after the first frost), people would start bringing their apples to him to make cider.

My dad was a city kid - but he helped with the cider making. So did I! I helped kick the apples down the chute towards the conveyor belt that took them to be crushed, then to the press, where they pressed the juice out of those apples to make the cider.

Then they took what was left (I'll call it dregs, but don't know what its official name is) and dumped them behind the cider mill. Have no idea what they might have used this for, but maybe it had good nutrients for the soil, so they sprayed it all over the fields, along with the cow manure.

Gosh, how did I get off on THAT tangent? Oh, I know, virtual farming.

Well, I can tell you virtual farming might be a lot of work, but REAL farming is a lot more!

Oh yeah - I also "got" to help gather eggs from those nasty chickens. Never did like chickens after that - those buggers peck - and it HURTS!

Of course, they knew I was afraid of them, so they pecked even harder and more often.

When I was about 7 my parents bought their own farm. My dad was a mechanical engineer, and had no intentions of quitting his day job to live off the land, so we rented our fields out to the neighbors.

But we did have chickens (!), cows, pigs, turkeys, ducks, and rabbits. Oh, and dogs and cats... So, essentially, I grew up on a farm, too. Just nothing the size and breadth of my granddad's place.

And we made our own hay. Hot, sticky, dirty, dusty work, making hay is.

Our first year there, we only had a Studebaker car and a manure spreader to use to make hay. Guess we must have had someone else cut it and spread it. Then, Daddy hooked the manure spreader to the car, and he drove it around the field while my mom, aunt, and uncle pitched it into the back of the spreader. My job was to tamp it down. I wasn't very strong (PLUS - I WAS A GIRL!), so my chores on the farm consisted of pumping water for the cows, feeding those danged chickens (and assorted other fowl). Girl jobs, I guess...

I was never good at milking the cows, so my brother got that job (thank goodness!). I think my hands were too small at that age, and by the time they were bigger, we no longer had any cows to milk.

At some point, my parents decided this wasn't fun any more (or we were losing our shirts doing it!) or whatever. Maybe since we kids were teen-agers, and my dad had to travel for his REAL job and wanted Mom to go with him, they decided to get rid of all the livestock.

Anyway, it was sort of a sad day, but we moved onward and upward. I graduation high school, started college, and then came home and started working at a Mom & Pop grocery store.

But that's a story for another day.

I have some photos of the swap cards my stampin' sistahs brought with them today, but think I'll save them for another day.

You enjoy your Labor Day, OK?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

This N That

Hey - did you know we (Stampin' Up!) carried these?

I didn't until I saw them at convention. I've been looking for these things for TWO YEARS!

So, now I'm happy to report, I can buy them from ME! And, so can you - check out the Definately Decorative brochure on the sidebar. They're towards the back of the brochure, but we've got all the variations of family members, INCLUDING cats and dogs! WOO HOO!

And just so's you'll know me if you come across me out there on the streets, here's a photo of the car with those images!

Yep, that's my screamin' Summer Sun yellow Ford Escape - very personalized!

I love this car!

Speaking of personality, I was putting a bunch of stamp sets together last night and suddenly realized (I've only been doing this for 19 years now, so there's no sense rushing into these insights, ya know!) that the IMAGE that goes on the top of the stamp block is what gives the stamp IT'S personality!

Look at the following photos, and you'll see what I mean:

Here is the rubber (die cut - remember? ALL of them are die cut now!), and along side is the wooden block.

Kinda blah, wouldn't you say?

And here is the same image and wooden block, but now I've mounted the rubber to the block.

Still kinda blah, doncha think?

But look now! What a difference!

The one you saw in the previous photos is the rooster.

Love that little chick. He'll be decorating something I make one of these days.

NOW you want to do something with these stamps - NOW you can see what the heck they are and can begin to envision using them on a card or a scrapbook page.

This is a Level I Hostess set - would you like to have this set? All it takes is a $150 workshop submitted thru my Demonstrator Business Website, or given directly to me, and it can be YOURS!

OH OH OH !!!!!

We were notified that WE (demonstrators) can begin to purchase "My Design Studio" this month. It's in the Holiday mini-catalog towards the back. YOU (customers) can begin to purchase on October 1st!

I am SO EXCITED about this product. I can't WAIT to get my hands on it.

It's a digital scrapbooking tool, and it's both PC AND MAC compatible, so there's not much of an excuse for you not to own it!

We were able to attend a webinar thru SU yesterday, where they showed us a little bit about using it.

If you can use Word, you can use this product! This product looks SO EASY to use. I'll let you know, as soon as I can play with it, but I've got very high hopes for it...

There are a TON of SU images in the software, as well as embellishments you can use on your scrapbook pages or cards or what ever you'd like make (maybe a flyer?), AND our paper colors, as well as our Designer Series Papers.

You can start with your own design, OR, use the templates that are included with it. And even if you use the templates, you can change the color scheme to whatever you'd like... You can add bows (yes, they're already tied!), or punch images, or brads, or whatever!

And SU will be generating additional downloadable packets in the future, so you won't get bored with the images that are contained in the original software.

AND, you'll be able to send it off to a printer (or print at your home, if you'd rather) so you'll get good quality prints.

You'll be able to make a scrapbook with the product, then send it off to a professional printer to be made into a hardbacked scrapbook!

Like I said, I'm SO EXCITED about this product.

I plan to make a book featuring the cats' photos to show you all how your scrapbook will turn out! (NO - really? Those Kidz - AGAIN!?!)

Now, I'm not a huge scrapbooker... Since I only have the Kidz for children, there's not a huge need for me to scrapbook. After they reach the age of 1 year, there's really not much change in cats.

But, I'm really looking forward to being able to make scrapbook spreads, print them out here at home, and then ADD 3 dimensional things to them. I'm told this is called Hybrid Scrapbooking. I think this will be fun...

As soon as I get mine and start playing around with it, you can bet I'll be posting some photos...

Look at what we had in our sky here in San Diego last night

You have to understand. We very seldom get clouds here. IF we're going to get rain, during the winter, we will, but real clouds? Rarely...

This was taken right as the sun was setting - look at those rays. I'm sure they have an official name, but I don't know what it is...

And then I turned around and saw this!

Absolutely gorgeous!

Thunderheads out over the desert, the setting sun lighting them up, and an almost full moon riding slightly above those clouds.

Of course, that's my neighbors garage at the bottom. If I try to zoom too far, I never seem to get photos that aren't all blurry.

But I keep trying!

Well, I guess I've chattered on enough for tonight.

I hope you have something FUN planned for Labor Day weekend. I'm going to have some stampin' sisters come by so we can PLAY!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

WOW It's September - ALREADY!

Where has this year gone already?

You know the year's moving right along when you start thinking about Halloween. And I've been thinking about it a lot lately - mainly because I've gotten new stamp sets from the HOLIDAY mini- catalog.

THIS ONE'S the best one yet! No lie... I want everything in it!

And, probably, by January 4th, when it expires, I'll have most of it... But I'll be sharing my creations with all of you, so stay tuned...

I want to say "WELCOME" to Maura, who has joined my
"we StAMp everything" Stampin' Up! team! I'm so excited for her. She's got some great stamping friends who will support her in her endeavor, I'm sure.

Would YOU like to join my Stampin' Up Team? It's easy to do! Just go to my website and click on "Start Your Own Business" and follow the directions. The password you need is "stampwithsam"...

Let's see what I have in treasure trove of photos to share with you tonight. Oh yes, some photos from convention!

How about some Build A Bear?

Here are some with Stitch Witchery applied to fabric before being run through the Big Shot. Then they were ironed on to the tote bags. Cute, huh?

YES! You can run cloth thru the Big Shot, as well as about 45 other items!

How versatile is that?

And these are backed with magnets, and stuck to a cookie sheet!

What fun you could have with these if you have children who are the age to play with paper dolls!

I've been told there's a magnetic PAINT available at hardware stores. You could make ANYTHING magnetic, which would allow you to develop a very large and complicated "playground" for your bears!

And you know what? A child of 5 or older could use this by themselves. There's no way they can hurt themselves (but I'm not saying they shouldn't be monitored while using it until you're comfortable they know how).

And here they are, decorating gift bags!

Now, I have to admit, I don't have the Build-A-Bear items as yet, so I haven't been tempted to play "paper dolls". But, hey, it's possible!

Smedley's not sure he's up to playing with Build-A-Bear - look at him saying "NOOOOO WAY"!!!

Can you tell I like this photo - it can say so many things!

Well, have yourselves a wonderful day today. We MIGHT get a break from the heat for a day or two, which would be VERY welcomed!