Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year!!

First, let me say that I have NO IDEA how anyone has time to stamp during the holidays!! (Except, of course, for all those "have-to-do" projects like Christmas cards and/or neighbor gifts and such!). I have had virtually NO TIME to do any stamping for fun until this morning (and BOY did I make a MESS in my craft room!!).

All I have to add this week are a couple of butterfly cards that I did for my own personal "Follow the Butterflies" challenge. Check the link for "Follow the Butterflies" on the sidebar of my blog for more details.

This card is not associated with any SCS challenge, but I DID use my first non-Nestabilities Spellbinders dies, and my FIRST Spellbinders stamps for the butterflies. (This is a good thing, since I am now on the 2008 Spellbinders Design Team!) They have a lot of great dies and stamps, which I hope to be sharing with you a TON over the next year. I versamarked the vellum butterflies and then used Irisdescent Ice embossing powder, as I also did on the shimmery white butterfly.

Stamps: Holidays & Wishes, So Swirly wheel, Butterflies (Spellbinders)
Paper: Night of Navy, Shimmery White, Bashful Blue, Vellum
Ink: Night of Navy, Bashful Blue, Versamark

I did this card as part of SCS155 (sketch challenge) and WT145 (to use some sort of wrapping paper or wrapping item on your card - in this case I used some silver wrapping paper and embossed it with my Cuttlebug "snowflakes" embossing folder). I think my brain is being taxed to the limit in making "wintery" butterfly cards! And to think I have to make a whole bunch more NEXT winter!!

Stamps: Stipple Celebrations, Canvas, Take a Bough (Papertrey)
Paper: Basic Black, Whisper White, Basic Gray, Going Gray, Silver foil wrapping paper
Ink: White craft, Going Gray, Basic Gray

I don't have a lot more to add this week, except to wish everyone the happiest and healthiest of new years for 2008.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Why is it that, as stampers, we sometimes have NO time to stamp??? With the holiday season nearing its zenith, I feel like I'm running around with my tail on fire! I'm nearly done shopping (only need a few stocking stuffers), my packages have been mailed and my Christmas cards are done (yay!), so I am now switching gears to neighbor gifts and the dreaded wrapping fest (which I have to admit I probably won't get to until the 22nd or 23rd - after everyone is in bed!).

I finally got my Christmas cards done, but I have to laugh at myself. I designed and made about four of what I had chosen to do for my card around the first part of October (it is posted on here back then - Holy Triptych card). Anyway, after staring at it for over two months I was pretty bored with it. I had all the cardstock and ribbon and everything! Sooooo, when I sat down to start my cards last Saturday, I made something TOTALLY different. Instead of a 3x6 trifold, I made a 5.25" x 5.25" square. Instead of Holy Triptych, I made a wreath with stamps from Peaceful Wishes and Pines.

A few things on this one - I trace a circle lightly with a pencil (used one of the "rings" from my CM circle cutter and made a 4" circle). Then, I stamped around the circle with the stamp that kind of looks like mistletoe from "Peaceful WIshes" all around the circle using Bordering Blue (my Going Gray was getting weak, and I don't seem to have a refill!). Next, I stamped the pine image from "Pines" using Basic Gray. I stamped that same image around the circle a second time, this time using a silver Encore pad. Finally, I stamped the berries with another stamp from "Peaceful Wishes". Next, I used some Crystal Ice Stickles on the berries and some White Opal liquid pearls to accent the pine images that were stamped in the Basic Gray only. It's hard to see in the photo, but the white paper is actually kind of pearly (think brushed gold or brushed silver paper, only in white). I also used stickles on the "joy" sentiment, as I was too lasy to do dazzling diamonds with a versamark and iridescent ice glitter - the is the first card I have done in years that didn't require an embossing dryer! Hooray!

Stamps: Peaceful Wishes, Pines, Small Script
Cardstock: Basic Gray, Going Gray, Purely Pomegranate, Pearly White (I didn't have enough SU shimmery white, so I found this at a local paper store)
Ink: Going Gray, Bordering Blue, Silver Encore, Purely Pomegranate

And here is my weekly butterfly card. I have been really good about keeping up on these. I think this is number #16 (which means I only have 88 more to go!). It's a good thing my son doesn't mind getting "girlie" butterfly cards!! Here is a link to my "Follow the Butterflies" challenge if you would like the details: (for some dumb reason the "link" button isn't working - I'll keep trying to fix it, but you'll just have to copy and paste the address, or go to my previous post if you want the details!)

My dear friend, Karen (imastampin on SCS) sent me these beautiful "Ageless Adornment" butterflies in my "elf" package (for those of you unfamiliar - there was a little "game" going around on SCS a few weeks ago where someone "elfed" you - promised to send you a little package - where you "elfed" two new people in return). I used the image stamped and embossed in gold on shimmery white paper. All other cardstock is either brushed gold or vanilla. I was thinking of doing something wintery and these lovely butterflies showed up (along with some other fun goodies! Thanks, Karen!) This also happened to fit WT144 on SCS, where the challenge was to make a monochromatic card - weird how I made this the very day the challenge was posted when I hadn't even seen it yet!

Stamps: Ageless Adornment, Wishing You
Cardstock: Brushed Gold, Shimmery White, Very Vanilla

I hope all of you have the most joyous of holiday seasons, and that the love of friends and family warm your hearts and souls this season. Thanks for visiting my blog and giving me encouragement. You have lifted my spirits and given me confidence in more ways than you all know. Have a wonderful and prosperous New Year as well (but I DO plan to be back before we hit January 1). Hugs to all!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Truly Charlie Brown Christmas!

If I hadn't been here to see this with my very own eyeballs, I never would have believed it! I was feeling pretty good about myself, as I was able to get my Christmas tree up and all my decorating done the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The reason behind all of this was that I was going out of town to visit some of my friends/family in Phoenix (not to mention Spellbinders' Headquarters - which was in the process of moving. For those of you don't remember, I was recently selected to be on Spellbinders' Designer Team for 2008 - but I digress . . .) Anyway, I came home last Sunday night (December 2) exhausted, with a touch of a cold/flu thing that I picked up while I was there. (This first picture is my tree BEFORE I removed any of the ornaments/lights . . . keep reading.)

When I walked in my back door, my first thought was, "What in the HECK have they been cooking in here???" It was kind of a sickly sweet smell. After I had been home for a while, my husband informed me that we had a problem with the tree - it was dropping needles. Well, DUH! Isn't that what Christmas trees do??? He assured me that I needed to see it for myself. Holy cow! He wasn't kidding. You know what it is like when you run your finger across a dusty surface and you push the dust as you go? That is what the needles were like on the tree. Almost as if they were abandoning ship. This is where my husband admitted to me that the problem had actually begun the previous Tuesday, one day before I was scheduled to leave, and only four days after we got the tree. What??? He didn't want to stress me out (which, I'll have to admit, was nice of him).

I decided, as exhausted as I was and as crummy as I felt, that the tree HAD to come down. The tree lot where we have been purchasing our trees for YEARS has a policy that it will replace any tree you are not satisfied with (like, I wonder how often THAT happens . . . not many people would be willing to undecorate and then redecorate their tree!). I got up at 5:00 a.m. last Monday morning to begin the nasty process of removing all the decorations and lights. UNBELIEVABLE. It was like rain . . . needles falling off by the hundreds . . . thousands!! If I hadn't seen it for myself, I would NEVER have believed it. The weird thing was, the tree wasn't even dry! It was actually still drinking water, and the needles weren't even brittle!

Then, my husband picked it up to take it to the car. I am surprised that I could even laugh at this point, but it was sooo absurd. You could hear the needles just POURING off the tree as he carried it to the car. He tapped it on the ground, which was pretty much the death knell . . . we were both laughing so hard as he was tying this poor bundle of twigs atop our car. You would not BELIEVE the looks I was getting as I drove around town with this sad tree on top of my car (it made Charlie Brown's tree look like it belonged in Rockefeller Plaza!).

As I pulled into the parking lot at the tree place, my car was almost ATTACKED by three of the guys who worked there. They couldn't believe what they were seeing. The first thing one of them said to me was, "WHAT HAPPENED????" I told him that he was supposed to tell ME! They were surprised at how springy it was, and that the few remaining needles (and I do mean FEW) were still green. One of the guys broke open a branch and showed the others that it was still sappy inside! Weird! They couldn't get that tree off of my car fast enough!! (After all, I wasn't the only one there, and it was NOT good advertising!!) I practically had to tackle the kid that was disposing of the tree so that he would stop for a photo - this one!). The only good part about all of this is that they replaced it with a very lovely $70 tree (which was more than I wanted to spend, so that was fun!). I told them about the smell, too. It was kind of like rotten bananas. They were going to break off a couple of the branches and send them to a lab to be analyzed, as they admitted that in all the years they had been farming trees, they had NEVER seen one do this.

Needless to say, between my trip to Phoenix, my cold/flu thing and my Charlie Brown Tree Adventure, I haven't stamped much, but I DO have a few things to share (and if that wasn't the longest intro you have ever seen to the projects on someone's blog, I don't know what is!).

I made this card as part of my "Follow the Butterflies" challenge I started at the end of August. I'm really glad that butterflies are so popular, as I have been finding A LOT of butterfly images - many of which I didn't realize I had - plus many of my stampin' friends have sent me some, so it's been fun. My mind may change as I get farther into this, as there will be 104 cards total! Here's a link for more details:

I did this at about 12:30 a.m. after I had arrived at my friend Melissa's house on Wednesday the 28th (Hey, Mel!) I was tired, but was able to whip this out rather quickly. It was done as part of one of the Challenge Chasers challenges on SCS (STSC06). Mel had "Just Like You", which I DON'T have, so that made it fun. She also had some of this great ribbon (it comes in one of those very expensive packages that SU sells with a combo of ribbons - you know the ones I mean - the ones I swore I would NEVER buy or use??? - the ones I will now probably have to GET??). I just used some markers to color the "grass" and flowers, then I "rock and rolled" the butterfly. It worked up really quickly, and I actually USED one of those cute little binder clips.

Stamps: Just Like You, On the Spot
Paper: Always Artichoke, So Saffron, Close to Cocoa, Very Vanilla
Ink: Close to Cocoa, Always Artichoke, So Saffron

This card I made for a shoebox exchange I was doing with a bunch of my SCS friends while I was in Phoenix (hi girls!!). It was kind of intimidating meeting so many fun people I had only "seen" online, but they were a hoot (and it was raining cats and dogs!!). I love the "Big On Christmas" set. It is really fun. I used my white gel pen to "faux stitch" the edges and to color the holly on the snowman's hat, as well as to fill in the word "SNOW". The holly itself was colored a bit with a Garden Green marker. I only embossed the largest snowflakes with white ep, while I stamped the other snowflakes after the embossing was done. I love the two-tone white effect. I also used some Stickles on the snowflakes I punched out (Emaginations), and on the "let it" part of the sentiment.

Stamps: Big On Christmas, Snowflake Spot
Paper: Blue Bayou, Not Quite Navy, Whisper White
Ink: Whisper White, Black Stazon, Pumpkin Pie, Garden Green

Here is card #14 for my "Butterfly" challenge. My son keeps getting all these "girlie" butterfly cards. He says he really looks forward to getting them, though, so that makes me smile! I was trying and trying to figure out how to make a wintery butterfly card. I just got some of the Wintergreen Designer Series paper from SU (which is AWESOME), so I started there. You can't see it in the photo, but the butterfly is embossed and sprinkled with Iridescent Ice. The little snowflakes (a very old Marvy punch) have a little bit of Stickles on them, so they are sparkly, too! I did this in conjunction with SC153 on SCS. I also really enjoy "hanging" tags with hodgepodge hardware. It adds a fun touch, I think.

Stamps: Butterfly (Stampendous), Small Sayings, Snow Flurries
Paper: Always Artichoke, Sage Shadow, Soft Sky, Whisper White, Wintergreen dsp
Ink: Always Artichoke

Please pray for my new tree, as I absolutely REFUSE to decorate one more tree this year!!