Thursday, January 31, 2008

Oh well... at least I stamped a card!!

This is now the 3rd time I am trying to write this entry. I was so excited about actually getting home early enough to spend time with my family, actually eat dinner together during the week and lastly stamp!! I made this card and I had this whole entry that I basically typed 2x, but it keeps disappering - literally!! Kinda ruining the moment of stamping fun, because I just wanted to post the entry and get my card up on my blog. So here it is. I will come back tomorrow and either re-do this post and just add on to the next one. LOL - All I can do is laugh, because I refuse to let this little thing put a damper to my unexpected evening. :)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Cards for Qatar

I saw this entry on Beate's blog about donations for handmade cards to send over to our US military in Quatar last week. That is where her husband has been deployed for a year. In the whole scheme of things, I know it is so not a lot, compared to what they do for us, but I really liked her idea and made it my goal this weekend to make some to send to her. My plan is to mail them out to her on Monday. I decided to make enough cards until I totally used up 2 sheets of that love-themed SU DP from a mini-catalog last year. The DP was all the rage at that time. I had bought it, but of course I had hardly used any, if any at all. I'm pretty sure that I hadn't touched it before today, but since it was opened, I can't be sure! ;)
So I came up with a few layouts (I kept going with a layout until I didn't have enough DP for the dimensions that I needed, then moved on to another). I was able to make 12 cards today. The consistent theme was the color scheme, DP used and sentiment, "My Heart is With You." I thought it was pretty appropriate considering who the sender is going to be. I liked how they came out, and hope they meet Beate's approval and more importantly the approval of the person who ultimately (hopefully) uses it to send it to their loved one for Valentine's Day. And I hope that it brings at least a little bit of sunshine to someone's day, even though the person they love is so far away. Like Beate.
Supplies Used for the cards: Stamps: SU - All Through the Year, Festive Four and Small Sayings; CS: SU - DP (can't remember the name anymore because I don't have the packaging), Taken with Teal, Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose, Close to Cocoa, PTI- White CS; Other: paper piercer, ribbon, Stickles, silver and copper brads, SU Dimensionals, Watercolor pencils, blender pen.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Time for Myself - and a Card!

Do you ever just need quiet time to yourself to just decompress from your day, regardless of the time of day? Well, that's me, right about now. It's EARLY Friday morning, but I just can't go to sleep. I walked in the door about 45 minutes ago from work and while I know that I should already be sleeping as I have to get up early for work tomorrow, I just can't bear the thought of just walking in the door and basically going straight to bed. Plus I love the quietness of my home too - in a way it is comforting (does that sound weird?). This is actually the time of day that I love to stamp and scrapbook, (hence the screen and blog name) , although it is a bit too late for a week night. If I started a card or even work a page at this hour, I might not go to sleep at all. It often takes me so long to create, I'm sure it would be time to get ready for work before I know it! LOL.
So anyways, after getting changed out of my suit, washing up, and of course, giving all of the kiddos a kiss in their sleep, here I am on the computer, surfing around and just spending time with myself. I had a relatively late night last night too and did just go to bed, so I just didn't want to do it again tonight. It is so easy in my line of work (coupled with the commute that I have every day) to work all day and just go home to bed during the week. Not that I am complaining - there are many others in different areas of finance that work much longer hours and through the weekends on a regular basis. No weekends in the office for me (I work from home after the kids go to bed if I need to), and I do overall balance my time between work and my home life with my family.
Anyways, so I figured that I would post a card that I made over the weekend in between doing the eP challenges! I based it on Amy R's Friday sketch challenge from a couple of weeks ago. I liked the simple layout and thought that I could do something creative with it. I have been on a coloring kick since the start of the new year and picked an image I could watercolor. I still am loving the Doodle This set from SU. I haven't tired of it yet - maybe it is just because I am just getting started on using it! LOL I used BG Two Scoops PP - I really am having fun using the different sheets from the 6x6 pad and this sheet is one of my favorites - I already used up the 2 sheets of this pattern from the pad. Anyway, I used a bunch of reinkers and my aqua painter to color in the flower. I am really trying to practice my shading techniques, thinking about where the shadows would fall and stuff like that. I took a couple of art classes way back in HS, so I can kinda draw on that, but beyond that I am on my own!! But I like the way this one turned out.
The tag for the sentiment was done with an SU punch and the sentiment is a partial image from LAD - Sketched Sentiments. I embellished with a rhinestone brad and some Costco ribbon. You know the funny thing is that I have had this box of ribbon since last year (before I went on my hiatus) I just happened upon it one day we were shopping there. Little did I know at the time that it was all the rage on SCS. I think that I remember reading on Amy R's blog that there is a new series of the ribbon in a box out now. Maybe I'll get a chance sometime soon to see if our Costco has it. Although Murphy's Law and knowing my luck, it won't be there because I will be purposely looking for it this time, kwim? LOL :)

Anyway, as another random papercrafting thought is spilling out at this hour, I am taking the plunge and trying out Copics. I picked out a few colors from eP in the sketch tip (along with some other goodies, of course) and will give it a whirl when I get them in. We'll see how it goes, because I have NO idea how to use/blend with the markers. LOL I just have seen so many pretty creations that I want to try too!!
Well. I should get to bed as I have to get up in a few hours and now that I have decompressed a bit from my busy work day. For the few and far between that stop by every so often, Happy Friday!! I'll be back again this weekend.

Monday, January 21, 2008

2nd Challenges in 1 Weekend...Done!!

With a whopping 10 minutes until the 7pmEST deadline, I submitted my entry into Taylor's eP Cupcake challenge. I was happy that I was able to do, less so for the prize (which does look pretty fun though), but more so because I had set out the mini-goal to do it and it always feels good to achieve a goal, no matter how small it is, right? ;)

I dug waaayyy deep into my collection of stamps and found a fun little cupcake image in the SU set Little Layers Plus. This must have been one of the first stamp sets that I got. It has purple rubber, so it must have been a hostess set that I earned with one of my early big purchases to get me started (I've never hosted a party, so I know it was all me - LOL).

Anyways, I used a piece of chipboard as a base to the main image. I stamped the cupcake twice and raised the frosting on dimensional after I covered it with Dazzlin' Diamonds. I also used some new Heidi Grace PP that I bought in my last eP order for extra cupcake-ness!! And lastly, I tried that trick to make that scallop border with my slit punch. I liked how it turned out!
I'm off today for the MLK holiday. I love that I get another day to relax, hang out and spend lots of time with my boys until I start a new (and obviously slightly shortened to boot!!) work week. Hopefully it'll be a great week of work (things are starting to get busier, which is a great thing) and will be another weekend before I know it!! Have a great week!

Supplies Used - Stamps-SU: Little Layers Plus, LAD: Sketched Sentiments; Paper- Heidi Grace (both sides!), SU: Barely Banana, PTI: White CS; Ink-SU Chocolate Chip (craft), Palette Hybid Noir; Other-Costco ribbon, chipboard, SU-Dazzlin' Diamonds, Slit punch to make border

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Keeping the Momentum Going...

As I was blog surfing, I read in Taylor's blog (one of my faves - she is so creative and an awesome stamping style), that she was posting a fun cupcake challenge on the eP forum to celebrate eP's upcoming 1st birthday. (I can't believe how quickly a year has gone - I remember when their online store opened!) And on top of that, Stampendous is helping eP celebrate with a brand new exclusive stamp set called Hey There Cupcake! It is such a fun set. I really like their stamps and have bought a bunch ever since eP started carrying them.

Anyways, I logged on this morning to try the challenge. But before I started, I noticed while lurking on Jami's blog (another fave blog to visit!), that she had posted another challenge (which, along with Taylor's challenge prizes - they are going to put everyone who posts a project for the each of the challenges into raffles. And the pail of Stampendous goodies look awesome!) for today for the eP celebration. Hers was to create a birthday ensemble - a card and gift (or a container to hold the gift). My goal is to do both the challenges this weekend before the 4pm Sunday deadline (PST - which gives me extra time since I am out on the EC!), and I started with Jami's first. I had a bought one of these tins from eP ages ago, and it was still sitting unaltered. So I thought it would be a great gift card holder for someone and I started from there. I used the new Basic Grey Two Scoops paper - I had gotten the 6x6 pad just a week ago and have been digging in. I really like the 6x6 pads not only because of the way it is sized down for card making, but more importantly, because it is a great way to see all of the papers and try them out. I really only buy my papercrafting stuff on online, and when it comes to PP, I usually end up getting only what I like, v.s. trying too many new things or styles that are not necessarily "me," kwim? (I know, it's boring, but I noticed it and can't help it) But this project is exactly why I love the 6x6 pads.

I know that there is no way that I would have taken the time to purchase this sheet of PP from the collection. It didn't even jump out at me when I was first browsing the line so I know that as a separate item, it would never have ended up in the cart (even it is only $.69 - LOL). But as I was flipping through the different sheets in the pad, I thought the big flower would be interesting to work with so I used it as a focal point for both the card and tin. Not really my style at first glance, but I just went with it and this is what I ended up. I really like how it turned out, and now really like this PP - maybe I will have to go back and get the 12x12 sheet!! ;)

Here is a close up of the tin (I also decorated the inside of the lid) and the card. I used the match Two Scoops glazed brads (they are awesome!! btw - soooo pretty and really add to the project) as well as buttons on the card (with thin strips of Blue Bayou paper as the "thread" through the button holes.) And the layout of the card is based on Beate's weekend sketch. This is the first one I've even done off her blog (after all this time just lurking - LOL)
I love that I have been able to get back into papercrafting. I have been having a blast creating these last couple of weeks after all the time I took off. It feels great and I am trying to keep the momentum going!!

So now I'm off to register on the eP forums and post my card. Hopefully I will be back this weekend after I complete Taylor's cupcake challenge. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my name gets picked in the raffle!!!

Supplies Used: Stamps Used: Lizzie Anne Designs/Sketched Sentiments, Paper: BG Two Scoops, SU Barely Banana, Soft Sky (textured), Blue Bayou (textured), Ink: Just SU-Blue Bayou, Other: BG Two Scoops glazed brads and buttons, Prima flower, Ticket Punch, paper piercer, Twinkling H2os-pearl (painted on flower on the tin)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A New Baby and a Another Card too!

What an exciting last few days! I am so happy that my brother and SIL had a wonderful, healthy and beautiful little boy last Tuesday night. He is too adorable for words and I love him to pieces already. I am always so amazed when I see a is so hard (at least for me) to believe that is how tiny everyone started much hope and potential - the world is out there in front of him for the taking.

So I went to the hospital that night and was there in the room in the first few moments after he was born. I hadn't ever had the opportunity to be present for any other births other than my own children and it was such a wonderful experience. I can say that I was one of the first people after his parents to hold him in my arms! :) It was very late, or actually early in the morning. I can barely remember my boys ever being that small in my arms. They all (even my littlest kiddo) look like giants compared to the new baby.
After that I flew out the next day and was in LA for the next day and a half. With all the excitement here at home, I changed my flight plans at the last second and came in on the red eye last night. I was able to get some rest this morning and still put in a day of work. We finished off the day by bringing the boys to meet their new cousin tonight. We brought over dinner and just hung out. I am very lucky that both of my brothers live fairly close by and we all see each other on a pretty regular basis.
Anyhoo, now on to something papercrafting related...
This is one of those times when I had an idea in my mind and was actually able to create it just as I had envisioned. PLUS I was pretty pleased as to how this card turned out (I'm still kinda shocked about that as I type this - LOL!).
I am always on the hunt for non-floral and non-kiddie images that would work well for guy cards. I always have a hard time, and often just omit an image and just go with PP and a sentiment. I have seen other stampers use this stamp as a background stamp, but I thought that it might work well as main image by itself as well for a guy card (and maybe depending on the colors I choose, I might be able to use it for a girl card...hmmm). This was part of my latest (and first for 2008) papercrafting purchase, from where else, yup - eP. I know I was drawn to it for a number of reasons, one of which is because I work in the city. Btw, this was the first time I had ever bought an unmounted image before too. I also bought the foam backing that eP sells on its site and it was a breeze to put together correctly. I think that I will definitely have to explore the unmounted stamp more - takes up less space and they are less expensive, I think, even if you have to buy the foam cling-on separately.

I based the color scheme on the PP I chose and tried my best to shade it based on how the sunlight would hit these buildings if they were real. Obviously that needs lots of work, but again, it turned out better than I thought it would, LOL! I also pulled use my Twinkling H20s in pearl (I think?) to give it some extra shimmer. It look really pretty IRL (at least I think so!).

And it give it more dimension, I actually stamped the image twice and picked a few of the buildings (and the grass) to be raised compared to the others.

Supplies Used: Stamps-Rubber Romance/NY Shopping District, Lizzie Anne Designs/Sketched Sentiments; Inks-Palette Hybid Noir, SU Classic Inks in Brocade Blue, Bashful Blue, Really Rust, Old Oliver, Vintage Violet; CS - SU/Watercolor paper, Chatterbox, SU/Brocade Blue, Basic Black, Really Rust; Other: Twinkling H20, SU-Old Olive organza ribbon, Ticket Corner Punch, Black Brads, Dimensionals.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Such an exciting time and a Question too!

I was going to post pics of cards that I worked on over the weekend and even try to work on another or maybe even *gasp* a scrapbook page since I got home early from work. But right after I walked in the door from work, I got a call from my brother, who told me that my SIL was in labor! SOOOOO exciting!!! She is 38 weeks along so we knew it was any day. This is their second baby. I'm waiting for a call to let me know that they are checked in, get the room details and I am off to the hospital to wait with everyone else.

I'm doubly excited that tonight is the night, b/c I am off on a business trip for the next couple of days to CA. I'll be between LA and Santa Monica and leaving the office for a late afternoon flight tomorrow and won't be back until Thursday around dinner time. I was really afraid that she would go into labor while I was gone (doesn't life usually work that way?!) So I'll get to be here for the birth of my newest niece or nephew. I can't believe that they held out and are letting it be a surprise AGAIN, btw! I left the first be a surprise to be traditional, but there was no way I wasn't finding out with the other 2!!!

Anyway, so my question is if anyone knows of any fun papercrafting stores in Santa Monica? I will have the evening to myself tomorrow, and I would love to add a stamping store to my list of stores to hit, as I know that Santa Monica has some amazing shopping. I usually never get a chance to actually see any of the places I travel too, other than the inside of conference rooms or offices, so this is a nice treat. :) As of now, I don't have a dinner planned yet or a meeting after 4pm, and I don't fly out until Thursday morning (that is unless I get enough energy to get myself on a red eye back so that I don't lose the whole day Thursday travelling...we'll see)

Denise - I know that this is not your area of the state, but I thought that maybe you might know of any fun stores. If you do, would you mind just posting to this entry? I'll have a chance to check this, but won't be able to log into my gmail before I leave. Maybe I'll even post the question on SCS tonight if I remember after the baby is born.

And speaking of the baby, I better go!!!! Wish her luck!!!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Catching up on my Monthly Challenges

Once the TY cards were made (and the creative juices had found new life-LOL). I set to work on another thing that was long overdue... my monthly challenges with my stamping friend, Jennifer (aka mackbrad on all the stamping boards!). We had started doing monthly challenges to keep us going creatively. We really started to get to know each other in the IA boards and I was psyched when she reached out to *me* (of all people!) to do challenges. Well I started strong, but like everything else stamping, wasn't able to meet the last couple... until now! I had put out the challenge to decorate a notebook that I sent her, and she sent me some acetate to create with the next month. We didn't have a challenge in December (only because I didn't send something out, of course).

I must not have even posted the last few I actually did *on time* (translation: only 2 weeks late) , because now as I am sitting here, I am realizing that I *MUST* have stamped since I last blogged at least a few times, because I was only overdue with two month's worth of projects (if you don't count the non-existent December challenge)... can you see the stamping lightbulb just going off over my head? LOL...oy vey!

Well, I'll have to go back and check on that, but in the meanwhile, here were overdue projects I just sent out to Jennifer.

So here is the notebook...
Stamps: SU - Doodle That, PTI - Paper Trey
Paper: PTI - White CS that they sell (love that stuff!), SU - Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Chip (craft)
Other: SU-Rhinestone brads, SU and Michael's ribbon, hole punch, SU ink and aquapainter.

And here is my first shaker card for the acetate challenge. This also doubled up as my apology for being soooo lame and non-existent in a stamping way for the last few months *{head down and totally embarrassed}*

Stamps: SU - Doodle This and So Very

Paper: SU - Sage Shadow, Pixie Pink, BG - Stella Ruby

Inks: SU - Cranberry Crisip, Sage Shadow

Other: SU - CC ribbon, Michael's ribbon (pink), SU - Rhinestone brads, Tab Punch, Ticket Punch, Acetate and Beads

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Yes I am back - and tagged too!!

Not only has it been 5 months since I last blogged, but it has almost been that long since I stamped (wow it's looks even worse seeing it in black and white -LOL). It's been hectic last quarter of the 2007 filled with long hours at work and not nearly enough of time with my family. So what little I had was spent with them, hence, no stamping.

Do you know...I even sent non-handmade Christmas cards this year-gasp!! (this was my first time since I started stamping 3years ago) - but I loved them even if they were photo cards from Snapfish, because it was a great pic of my kiddos!!! But it is a new year, and I am working to wrench that life balance back in my favor. It helps that work hasn't been *too* crazy and because I am just that determined... So we'll see how this resolution holds up...

I spent some time last weekend actually making cards - I made my middle guys thank yous for his party and that is what got the creative juices actually moving for the first time in all these months. I think that it also helps that we got the Wii before Christmas, which I love playing, but also is now allowing me some time to sit at my crafting table (which is right next to the TV that the Wii is hooked up)!

But before I post the TY cards, Denise tagged me, so here we go:

(I'll do both since I've never done this before and I can't decide between the 2)

5 things I was doing 10 years ago: (For reference - I was just about 24 back then)
1. Was living in Hoboken.
2. Working my first job in NYC.
3. Went to the gym quite a bit - I belonged to a 24 gym that was next door to my building
4. Engaged to my now hubby
5. Loved going out clubbing with my friends in the city (what else would I be doing at 24 in NYC?)

5 things on my to-do list today (some of it has been accomplished already since it is 3pm when I write this):
1. Get my nails done - I have the permanent gel french manicure (I get them re-done once every 3 wks)
2. Watch my oldest son's basketball game (so exciting - it's amazing how he improves week after week and he is only in the 2nd grade!
3. Make a birthday card for a friend (it'll already be late though, as his birthday is tomorrow!)
4. Spend the afternoon with the boys as hubby needs to get some work done.
5. Make dinner reservations for tonight! :)

5 Snacks I enjoy:
1. Ben and Jerry's mix up of chocolate chip cookie dough and fudge brownie (amazingly good - could there be a better combination!)
2. Snickers - love them!!
3. Slices of fresh baguette with unsalted butter spread in top. I know this sounds weird, but I remember first having this as a snack as a little kid when we were in France visiting one of my parent's friends, and I have always loved it since. I could eat a whole loaf loaf on my own if I was left by myself.
4. Cookie Crisp cereal and milk - another instance, where if I had a whole box to myself and no repercussions, I could easily polish off the box on my own.
5. Bread from Cosi and an Arnold Palmer (1/2 iced tea, 1/2 lemonade). Cosi is a sandwich chain in the city that makes this great flatbread for its sandwiches. They bake the bread fresh and almost always have a bowl of extra bread that they cut off for people to snack on while they are waiting in line for their order. My co-worker and I go across the street on almost a daily basis for our afternoon snack...the people there don't even have to ask us what we want.

5 Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. Travel everywhere
2. Buy a plane to enable us to travel everywhere
3. Pay off all debts and set everyone in my whole family (siblings, cousins, etc!) comfortably
4. Build a house in Hawaii. Every since my hubby and I went there on our honeymoon it is our Utopia!
5. Give lots to charity. :)

Although now that looking at this list, if I was a billionaire, other than giving to charity I feel like this list looks a bit lame! LOL I don't think I am thinking big enough, but this is all I could come up with right now!! :)

5 Places I’ve lived:
1. San Jose, CA
2. Nutley, NJ
3. Edison, NJ
4. Somerset, NJ
5. Richmond, VA

And I've lived in 3 different places in Hoboken and then my current home. I guess I have moved around a lot! LOL

5 Jobs I’ve Had:
1. Circulation desk in my college library (I was the the one who handed you past issues of Businessweek, etc. for school projects. I was also in charge of making sure the copier and microfiche machines were working too.
2. Waitress at a steak house
3. And then I have worked at 3 different places doing what I do now.

5 Things People Probably Don’t Know About Me: See below at my 7 Unusual Things!

7 Unusual Things About Me
1. I still have my baby blanket. I don't carry it around with me (obviously), but it is still up on the top shelf of my closet. I love it and will never part with it, no matter how much anyone (like my hubby and sons) make fun of me. The sentimental value is immeasurable!)
2. My favorite movie is Sound of Music. I know every word and song. And I'm not ashamed to admit it!! :P
3. I did not wear makeup regularly until my late 20s. My parents were strict growing up and never let me, and then I got used to not wearing it. I finally started to when I wanted to look more polished and mature at work after a few promotions. But I was such a spaz at first and always needed a major lesson from the women at the cosmetics counters before I bought anything. I always watched them so carefully and asked so many questions, they must have thought I was a moron. ...I look like I am 16 on the weekends with no make up and hair up in a pony tail!!!
4. Most people I know do not know I love to papercraft. Most of my family does and some friends, but no one at work does, except for 1 person. Don't know why, it's just one of those things I don't bring up. Then again, it also does not help that I haven't done it in 5 months anyway... LOL
5. I gave birth to all 3 of my kids naturally. I am deathly afraid of needles and would rather go through childbirth naturally than take an epidural. The thought of that big and long needles makes me shiver uncontrollably... I have to turn away when I get my blood drawn - I can't look even to this day!! How silly is that, right?!
6. I can still fit into my clothes from college. Very lucky genetically, so I really can't take credit for it.
7. I function well with little sleep. I don't know why this is or when this started to happen since I loved to sleep in when I was younger. But given my long work days and the fact that I just can't go to bed right after coming home from work, no matter what time I get home, its a good thing!! LOL I usually sleep an average of 3-4 hours a night, and as long as I recharge with a longer night of sleep every week to a week and a 1/2, then I do just fine...And I am sure that it also has something to do with the fact that I have 3 kids, none of whom slept through the night until they were 4-6 months (depending on the child!)

So that's it about me. Whew, I agree with you Denise, I feel like anyone who reads this would be able to make my twin (although who would want to do what with the quirks that I have!!!)

And now my cards...

These are a few of the TY cards I made for my middle kiddo's birthday. Same theme, colors and PP, but I was getting tired of making the same layout and b/c I wanted to use up all the scraps off PP. Usually I just throw away the excess if is not worth saving, but I decided to use it for different layouts, just so I could get the cards done!!

*(I can't figure out how to better place/space these cards - sorry!)*

Stamps Used: SU - By Air

Inks: SU Cranberry Crisp, Bashful Blue and Dew Drop/VersaMagic-Tea Leaves and Aegean Blue

Paper: Chatter Box, SU-Bashful Blue and Cranberry Crisp

Other: Paper piercing, SU Dimensionals