Sunday, June 29, 2008

Birthdays and Babies

Hey there!  I was browsing through my blog posts and cleaning things up a bit and I ran across this post that doesn't appear to ever have been posted!  *gasp*  These were some fun cards, so I thought I'd follow through and get them up.  I will continue posting my Holiday Mini Catalog swaps and I do still have my October Club projects to share, so be sure to come back soon!

This one was for a birthday party one of my boys went to.  The little girl's name started with a "K".  
This one was for my friend and downline who had a baby girl in May? June? I can't even remember now, but it was around the first of June.  

June Club - Part Two

As you can probably tell from my previous post, I focused this month on the new Fresh Cuts stamp set and matching note cards.  I wanted to give the ladies some inspiration beyond the one card they got to make and take home, so I showed them a few other cards as well.  The first one I copied from Silke over at My Life.  You can see her gorgeous card here.  I absolutely LOVED her card and I immediately thought of the image from the Fresh Cuts stamp set.  Here's my copy.  

I stamped the leafy image from Fresh Cuts in Chocolate Chip craft ink and embossed it with clear embossing powder.  It took me all of about 2 minutes to make this card start to finish and it's so elegant.  I might even have to try my hand at something like this for Christmas cards.  So pretty and so quick and easy!

In addition to our focus on the Fresh Cuts stuff, I usually try to share a new technique with my club each month.  This month I really wanted to try the wax paper resist technique.  My initial plan was to create something animal-print-like.  That's what I think of when I see the wax paper resist technique.  With the "animal print" I had to use my Wild About You stamp set, of course.  Here's my creation.  

Then I combined the wax paper resist technique *and* the Fresh Cuts stamp set.  Here are a couple of ideas along those lines.  

The first one is Bayou Blue and Soft Sky.  The second one is Brocade Blue and Real Red.  On both cards I used the wax paper resist piece as a mat for the focal point.  The second one turned out a little more patriotic looking than I originally intended, but I was still happy with it.  

Okay.  Now you've really seen everything from this month's club.  I promise you're missing out if you're not there!!  It's one of my favorite days of every month.  Call or email me today to join!

Monday, June 23, 2008

June Club Projects

I'm lazy.  Yes.  Lazy.  And I'm admitting it here on the world wide web for the entire universe to see.  Feel free to mock me openly.  Why do I share this with you? Because I want you to know it's okay for you to be lazy too.  For example, while I am surfing through the nearly 10 billion stamping blogs I adore, if I find something I like - something I want to share with my club - I make an electronic post-it on my mac.  Each month I have a post-it titled June Club Ideas, with the correct month, of course.  For each new amazing project and earth-shattering stamping technique I run across I copy the url onto my note.  That way when I'm preparing for my club, the night before, (I told you, I'm lazy) I just go right back to my sticky note and pull up all of the great ideas I found and recreate them!!  Lazy, I tell 'ya. I just figure, why should I reinvent the wheel when there are so many great ideas out there?!  Here are a couple I ran across last month.  
I found this one on my friend Carrie's blog.  You can see hers here. I absolutely loved the project when I saw it and couldn't wait to show my club members.  Here's another version I made.  So cute!!
I used Crystal Effects to make the cherries shiny.    

I found this project on Splitcoast Stampers when I was searching for a fun project using the new Fresh Cuts stamp set and matching note cards.  
Lo and behold, it was from another one of my favorite bloggers - Marie over at from combat boots to rubber stamps.  I love that you can search on Splitcoast by stamp set and find fun project ideas so quickly and easily.  One thing I should mention about finding inspiration from other bloggers.  I ask their permission to copy their projects exactly, and I *ALWAYS* give them credit.  It's only fair.  It's no big deal to shamelessly copy someone else's ideas, as long as you give credit where credit is due!  Thanks to Carrie and Marie for letting me share their great ideas!!

Another great source of inspiration on Splitcoast is the Resource section. If you click the links to Splitcoast, at the top of the page on the right it says "Resources".  If you click that, you can see hundreds of great tutorials on all kinds of projects.  There are even more categories - Techniques, Projects, Tools, etc. If I ever want to do a project I've never done, I almost always head over there to see if someone has done a tutorial.  I followed this one for my last club project.  Here it is . . . a triangle tri-fold card.  
My club members got to watercolor one of the beautiful images from the Bloomin' Beautiful set from the Occasions Mini.  We also used the Afternoon Tea Designer Series Paper, and incorporated it into a card with a fun fold.  How fun is that?!  

I have a couple more fun things to share with you, so stay tuned.  I'll be back with a few more projects from my June club.  

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Determination Pays Off - this time . . .

I have missed several of the last color challenges posted by Kristina Werner, and I was determined that I would NOT miss this one!  I eeked out a few minutes to stamp this afternoon, and this is what I came up with.  Wait!  I always forget to show you the inspiration piece first.  Here it is.

And, now, here's my take.
I used my circle punches to create a faux embossed look on the white panel. I mounted that on a piece of So Saffron Prints Pattern Designer Series Paper (whew! Say that 5 times fast).  I tried to dye a piece of white taffeta ribbon with my Wild Wasabi ink pad, but it wasn't drying fast enough, and then when I went to tie it, it was too short. Ack!  I embossed the sentiment on white vellum with white embossing powder.  It's subtle, but I really like how it turned out.  

Ok, kids are starving.  I'm off to whip up an epicurean delight. What? You doubt me? I haven't forgotten about my club projects and will get those up soon. Promise.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Cute & Quick

One of my dear stamping friends and sisters in Christ is having a half birthday party for her 3 1/2 year old daughter tomorrow.  (Carrie, if you're blog hopping tonight - read no further and come back tomorrow after the party!!) Her little girl and my littlest man have become fast friends, and so she kindly invited Jordan to her party.  He's beside himself with excitement at the fact that HE finally gets to go to a birthday party his big brothers were NOT invited to! He picked out the gift himself and has not quit talking about how much his little friend will like it.  Here's a card I made tonight for the half-birthday girl. She's a little stamper after her mother's own heart, so hopefully she won't be too hard on me!  
I absolutely love this little elephant from the Wild About You set.  I saw a card like this quite a while ago and CASEd it, and I've made several since because I'm always so happy with how cute it turns out.  I also used the retired Dots and Daisies background stamp and colored in the little flowers with my white gel pen.  The little details - bow on her tail, cut out flower with a little bling, popped up ear - are so quick to add, but make the card so much more fun.  

Mason has his last day of Boise State Football Camp tomorrow morning.  He's had a lot of fun.  We spent the evening with some dear friends who just installed a new pool in their back yard.  We got about 2 blocks from their house before Mason said, "Can we come back tomorrow?" Lots of fun was had and the kids were exhausted.  Well, I'm off to bed in hopes I can catch up on a little beauty sleep myself. G'nite. 

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Summer Fun & SU! Announcements

Hey, Friends!!  As I'm sure you well know, summer is crazier than ever.  Between basketball camp, engineering camp, swim lessons, and general summer fun, my kids have kept me hopping.  We were finally able to pull off Mason's birthday party last week.  The weather was PERFECT.  Here's a shot of the happy birthday boy and some of his friends.  
And now for some exciting stamping news!!  

First.  The retired stamps list was released last week.  (I love that cute image of the retired stamp on a sunny beach!) You can see the list HERE.  These stamp sets will be available until August 10th, so be sure to get your order in before they're gone forever!! The retiring accessories list will be released on July 21st.  

Second.  Stampin' Up! introduced a new product line this week.  It's called Decor Elements. The Decor Elements product line is an extension of the Definitely Decorative  line.  This product line is made up of vinyl artwork for walls, mirrors, windows, or other hard, smooth surfaces.   It takes the idea of using stamps to create decorative elements in your home and bumps it up a notch using a different medium to accomplish the same mission - making your home a beautiful representation of your style!!  The products coordinate with many of Stampin' Up!'s existing products so you can combine them to make beautiful, handcrafted home decor pieces.  They're easy to apply and remove, and the new Decor Elements brochure touts 100 new vinyl images for use in every area of your home.  To whet your appetites, here are a few sneak peaks from the brochure.  
Customers can order from this brochure on July 1st.  I can't wait to get some of these up in my own home.  They're such fun ideas and I absolutely LOVE that they coordinate with some of SU!'s most popular stamp sets.  

I'll be back tomorrow (hopefully) to share the latest projects from my Stamper's Club.  If you haven't joined the club, seriously, what are you waiting for!!??!!  We have so much fun and make great projects every month.  The minimum purchase is less than $25 per month.  It's a bargain for a fun night out with great friends and completed projects to take home every month! Call me today to find out more!  

I also have my first Great Swaps Girls swap due next week, so I must carve out some time to get that done.  I have it all planned out.  Just need to execute the plan.  Then I'm determined to carve out some time to stamp just for fun.  Oh, and my girlfriends and I started our new Summer Bible Study this week.  You can read more about that on this post. I'm looking forward to getting to know these gals better and I'm glad to have the accountability to stay in the Word when life gets so hectic.  Speaking of hectic, did I mention that I'm helping out with the 3rd grade Sunday School class this summer?  Yeah, I was bored. On a positive note, I have been sleeping really well!! *wink*

One last thing, if you're reading this on Google Reader, or even if you just don't browse the whole blog, you might not have noticed that I've been trying to include my weekly menu over there on the left. I'm doing this for two reasons.  First, it forces me to plan my meals a week in advance, which means we eat out less and I save money at the grocery store.  One of my best girlfriends moved to Virginia last summer.  She was the one I always called at the last minute to say, "What are you making for dinner?"  Somehow the time difference makes it harder to do that.  When I'm making dinner, she's putting her kids to bed. Second, I love finding dinner ideas when I'm drawing a blank and I hope that it might help out some of you if you're looking for a yummy dinner idea.  Although I haven't been able to manage it yet, I'm hoping to soon link each meal plan to the corresponding recipes if I can find the time to look them all up online.  In the mean time, if you have any yummy dinner ideas, feel free to shoot me a comment.  It's always fun to try something new!!  

Friday, June 6, 2008

Busy, busy, busy . . .

Somehow I forgot how hectic things get the last few weeks of school.  Yesterday was the last day for my kids, so . . . Hello, summer vacation!!  We went out with a bang yesterday.  I had a totally lazy morning.  Read the paper, surfed the web, drank my coffee, lounged around, emptied the dishwasher, put in a load of laundry, did my Bible study, etc.  After a while I thought I'd better get my shower.  When I turned off the water in the shower, panic struck. I ran, dripping wet, into the bedroom to see what time it was - 11:07.  Yes, ELEVEN - O - SEVEN!!  Why is that important?  Because the bus drops my son off at 11:00 on early release days.  All of the doors to the house were locked, and by the time I got downstairs, the bus was gone.  I threw on some clothes and ran - RAN - to the corner to see if I could catch the bus.  No.  I ran out to the main road (we live on a circle off the main road).  Still no luck.  All this time I'm dialing and re-dialing my girlfriend whose son catches the bus further down the route to say, "Get Mason off the bus!!"  I turned around to RUN back to the house to jump in the car and see if I could catch the bus and just as I rounded the corner, I turned to see the bus coming up behind me.  The wonderful bus driver decided to come by one more time before she took my son back to school.  Seriously!!  What kind of mother wastes her entire morning and completely loses track of time, in the process abandoning her kindergartner??  Needless to say, I'm still beating myself up over the whole "incident".  My son?  He got off the bus and I grabbed him and hugged him and told him how sorry I was that I hadn't been there to get him off the bus.  When I asked him if he was worried, he shrugged his shoulders and said, "Nope."  Gotta love him.  My 8 year old would have been a hysterical puddle of tears at that point.  The 6 year old? Didn't phase him a bit.  I still feel like a heel.  Here's a picture of him at his graduation on Tuesday.  Somehow I managed to get myself out of my jammies and make it to that.  
Oh. My. Word! Is he cute or WHAT??!!  It was also his birthday this week - Wednesday.  He turned 6.  Wow.  I'm old.  I dutifully made his party invitations and dropped them off at school last week.  He's the only one in our family with a summer birthday, and we've gotten into the "habit" of having a giant water slide in the back yard for his party the last few years.  Here's what I'm talking about:

It's 16 feet tall and the kids have an absolute blast.  Well, his party was scheduled for today from 2-4.  The forecasted high temp for today is 61 with winds gusting up to 40 mph.  Nice.  So we had to postpone the party for a week.  Mason was so disappointed and I spent yesterday afternoon calling all of the parents to notify them of the change in plans.  It's been a bit of a crazy week!!  Here are the invites I made.  
They turned out cute and Mason was so happy with them because of the tiny football I included.  That made them perfect in his eyes.  Have I mentioned that he is a football FAN-A-TIC??  Fanatic.  He will watch NFL football for 12 straight hours and never miss a play if I don't force him to turn off the TV and find something else to do.  Here is his favorite picture EVER.  

Is that cute or what?  I wished Jordan hadn't sneaked into the picture because it would have been so perfect with just little Mason among all of those giant guys.  He's so proud of this picture.  

Oh yeah, the cards. . . I'm still loving the Party Pieces SSKit, so I used those colors and a tiny bit of the patterned paper for the cut out presents.  Because I was mass producing these, I decided to forego the stamp-a-ma-jig and just winged all of the little body parts.  I was surprised at how easy it was to do it without my SAMJ.  I printed out the party details and attached those inside.  The "You're Invited" is from the Eat Cake stamp set and the boy, gifts, and football are from All In The Family and matching Accessories sets.  The grass is the same stamp I used for the soccer coach thank-you notes a few posts down. I just made that one using my craft and rubber scissors and a scrap of rubber.  It's pretty handy, really.  

Well, that's pretty much all I've been up to lately.  I'm hoping to have more time to stamp now that summer is here.  Truthfully, I'll probably have less time.  *sigh*  I do have my club this week and I have some fun ideas for that.  I also signed up for my very first Great Swaps Girls 2 swap which is due the end of the month, so I'd better get some mojo going for that as well.  Am I the only one who completely stresses out about swaps?  Yes?  Ok.  Well, I'd better run.  The boys have ransacked the house while I was typing this.  Oh, glorious summer vacation!  How many more days till school starts? *wink*  

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