Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lots of Dots

Whew, I can't believe that it is another Sunday night already. It was a hectic week and sadly, this is the first night that I have gotten a chance to stamp since last weekend. A long day in Chicago for work, a few more late ones in the office, a PTA meeting Thursday night, the usual busy weekend, and here we are already. I know that it has been a busy week when Grey's Anatomy season premiere is still on my DVR waiting for me. But I wanted to get in a card (gave away 2 this weekend for family birthdays, so I better replenish) and at least a 2 page layout done (both accomplished!) before I cleaned up and watched that ep of Grey's.
This card is base on CHF's color challenge for the week. I don't have any of the Prism papers, which they sell, so I subbed in some SU and PTI. Tried a distressing of the edges and a little sponging again... still give myself a half hearted "ehhh" for the sponging effort. Really gotta work on it, b/c for some reason I keep wanting to incorporate it into my cards lately, but then spend all this time staring at it, and not totally happy with the results. Must practice and try again. I built this whole card around wanting to use that corner vine... and this is what I came up with for tonight.
Stamps: CHF - Four Square, Inkadoo sentiment; CS: SU Mellow Moss, Baroque Burgundy (waaayyy retired!) and PTI Sweet Blush; Ink: SU Baroque Burgundy, VersaMagic Tea Leaves, Ranger Adirondack Latte; Other: Dimensionals, PTI Sweet Blush polka dot ribbon

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Re-finding (new!) favorites

I was browsing through a bunch of stamping sites I haven't had to look through in a while about a week ago and made my way back to IA. I had first found IA because of all of the adorable boy stamps they offered. I am ALWAYS on the hunt for boy stamps since I have all sons and love them for all the cards I make the pages I scrap.

I hadn't had the opportunity in months to stop by the forum or the site because I just fell out of the routine of doing so. I am so glad that I stopped by last week and saw all the new kid stamps - they had a bunch of sport stamps and I had to pick them all up. This was the first card that I made... another for the birthday card stash. My middle guy has one this weekend!

Stamps: IA Football player and Happy Birthday sentiment; Inks: Memento Tuxedo Black; CS: SU Pacific Point, Barely Banana, Riding Hood Red, PP; PTI Kraft, Other: Nesties (square scallops), paper piercer, dimensionals and Copics

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy, Happy Days

I've been doing a lot of papercrafting in recent weeks and this weekend is no different. Mind you, making 2 cards and 3 scrapbook pages is quite a bit for me when you consider my past volume of work!
Anyways, I used a couple of challenges done to ink up some new stamps and add to my card supply. It's nice not to have to rush and make a card EVERY time you need it.
Both cards used CHF stamps. Maybe other people are like me when it comes to new stamps and stamps companies (well, new when it comes to me). I go to my new stamps over and over again. I've made (relatively speaking) quite a lot of cards with these new sets, and I have added to my little CHF collection once again this week. :) They are running a great sale (it is actually still going on) to make room for the new products and stamp sets that are coming in.
I have never taken much notice until this year (I guess give that I am making cards on a more regular basis), but it really seems like all the paper crafting sites are discounting quite a bit. I guess my finance background never turns off. I wonder how much the downturn in the economy and overall nervousness of consumers have affected the craft industry. Even though the price points of these products are for the most part relatively low comparatively to a new home, car or something larger like that, I can't seen how it hasn't been affected by everything going on. So I'd be curious to see how much discounting is going on this year compared to past years when overall consumer sentiment is much more positive.
Well, back to the cards... the first card is based of Beate's sketch challenge this week. Fun sketch and I worked on trying to match patterns together in a more eye-pleasing way. I have a hard time with that.
Second card was just playing around, b/c I wanted to use the image and the Adirondack ink pad, both of which I picked up at CHF on sale. I have read lots of good things about the Ranger pads, so I had to check it out. Plus I was feeling in a fall sort of mood. The weather is starting to turn here now in NJ. It is getting cooler in the morning and in the evenings and is apparent that summer is on its last legs during the warmest part of the day....
1st Card:
Stamps: CHF Fall Silhouettes and sentiment; CS: PTI Berry Sorbet, Stamper's Select White; SU Kiwi Kiss, Barely Banana; Ink: Kiwi Kiss and Berry Sorbet; Other: Berry Sorbet ribbon, scallop border punch, slot punch
2nd Card:
Stamps: CHF Small Daisy and sentiment; CS: SU Baja Breeze, Tangerine Tango, Barely Banana; Ink: Ranger Adirondack Latte; Other: Scallop border punch, ribbon (Martha Stewart), Dimensionals, Paper Piercer

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Two more cards that I have made this week. I still am on a roll and playing with the CHF sets. I took advantage of their sale from the last couple of weeks and bought myself some more stamps (although, it's not like a I really needed the sale... I'm just saying!)
These are 2 birthday cards going out to family this week. I went for more an autumny feel (color-wise) with both cards. One is going out on my cousin's birthday (oops), but I'll also be sure to post a birthday greeting on FB tomorrow, so hopefully that will make up for it. I used LAD sentiments for both cards. I really like the laid back scripty font of that set. I find myself using it often.
Both cards are simple in layout and embellishment, but again, that's been what I've been leaning to these days when I have been making cards.
Anyway, this will be short since I HAVE to get to bed. Heading into the city tomorrow for the day, and those work days are always longer because of the commute.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Another (future) card for the boys...

and 1st card for a CHF color challenge (CC17 to be exact).

I'm still trying out all of the images from the set, Making the Grade - there are so many to choose from! So I made double-duty out of this card and also did it based on the this week's color challenge. There are not a combo of colors I would normally use, but I think they worked well for a boy card. I can't wait to give them to the boys sometime soon. I think that I am going to keep making these every so often and build up a stash of cards just for my boys. I spend all this time making cards for others, but not enough for my own family, which doesn't seem right, when I sit and think about it. :P

And on the real world front, it has, by most standards, been an unprecedented day on Wall Street. As I type, I am still in shock about all the financial developments over the weekend... reading reports that Lehman is probably on its way to declaring bankruptcy (WOW is all I can say... even with everything happening over the last 12-15 months, I figured something would happen to avert this ending...) and Merrill Lynch in talks with BofA. The magnitude and speed of the fall (I had read somewhere that until June 2008, Lehman had never even reported a quarterly loss) is mind-blowing, but then again, the financial crisis is so far-reaching through the industry, it has been so hard to try and contain the problem and fix it... just ask the US government and all the other major players in the industry.
I hope that everything works out for the best for everyone at Lehman, but unfortunately it is probably safe to say that if the docs that are being prepared are filed tonight, things will look a lot worse before it gets better in the short term.
Monday will be interesting to say the least...
Stamps: CHF - Making the Grade; Ink: SU - Bravo Burgundy (craft); CS: SU - Bravo Burgundy, Taken with Teal, Apricot Appeal; Other: silver brads, dimensionals
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More school cards

I am still on a school kick and using my new CHF stamps, which I am totally loving! The company has such great images that really catch my attention and have this fun vibe that I want to reflect in the cards I am creating (and scrapbook pages that I have planned in my head, but haven't gotten to yet). I've signed up on their board and have been looking around the last few days. They have a great community with really friendly and very welcoming crafters. Made me feel right at home already! Like many other boards they have challenges and stuff like that which are really great springboards to getting your creative juices flowing and get people to connect and interact. So I tried one last night (last week's sketch challenge) after I finished cutting up the rest of the new stamp sets I got. I finished it, I had to wait until today to post. I was up so late doing a few different things - always juggling it seems like. I was down in DC for a day trip for work and the train I had to be on wasn't leaving too much later than when I finally laid down to go sleep. Crazy how when I was younger I could sleep until noon and it never felt like enough, and today...well, let's just it is a good thing that I don't need too much sleep to function - LOL ...Maybe it's because I know that is all I am going to get sleep-wise if I want to get everything I need to get accomplished - who knows? In any case, there is just not enough time in the day (and I know that I am not the only person who feels this way). Too bad I couldn't whip some up and create more time in the way we create cards and other paper crafting products... LOL!
Anyway, back to the card - I seem to be doing a lot of cutting lately, sometimes with paper piecing, but in this case not really so much. I stamped the wormy on some BG PP that have had for while in the scrap bin and cut him out. I stamped the apples twice - one time with Versamark and embossed it with clear powder and a second time in green for the stem. I cut the apples out and laid them together. I'm going to put this one aside and surprise one of the boys with it when something great happens at school in the near future. I know that they will love it. My middle guy loves the wormy and has stamped with it already (I think he might have inked it up first). They all love to play with my stamps and made scenes and color in the images. And I must say that they are pretty good about being careful with my stuff most of the time. They know all the rules about cleaning them and being careful with the inks.
Ok off to do other stuff before bed!
Stamps: CHF - Making the Grade, Four Square and Writing Paper Scrapblock; CS: SU Brocade Blue, PTI Cream and Lemon Tart, BG PP (don't have the name anymore since it was just a scrap), Chatterbox - the red side of Cowboy Paisley for the apples; Inks: Memento Tuxedo Black and Brilliance Pearlescent Ivy; Other: SU - Dimensionals, Clear Embossing Powder and Paper Piercer
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Sunday, September 7, 2008


This is my first try at one of Beate's Be Inspired challenges. I have been wanting to try them for awhile, but I never seem to get to them during the week. And by then I am usually trying to the WSC. But I was inspired to get a second card done last night and got to work. I really loved the colors in the Pottery Barn pic this week and used that and the four drawers as my starting point and went from there. I got this single image from CHF with the other sets on Friday and thought it would work well in this card (plus I just wanted to use it!) I colored it and applied the Crystal Effects on the jar and as droplets on the flowers for added interest and let it dry over night. I love practicing with my copics. I really wish one of this certification classes would come to my area, I would totally go. I need so much practice and would love the professional teaching. Anyway, so I put the rest of the card together this morning. I like the sentiment from yesterday's card - and I thought that it worked on this one too. This could definitely be another teacher card, or just one for someone I appreciated in general, right?
Hope that everyone fared well through Hurricane Hanna. We did pretty considering that we were supposed to get lots of rain. We did get the rain, but it held off long enough to get my oldest son's fall baseball game/practice in, but not the flag football practice. Oh well, 1 out of 2 is not bad considering no one thought we'd get either in! We hung out inside and played lots of Wii with my brother and his wife, who came over, and just eat in, which we don't usually do on a Saturday night. No way we were going to brave the rain! :)
The sun is shining so brightly today - hopefully the rain is gone until another day! :)
Stamps: CHF - Daisy Jar, Making the Grade; CS: SU Creamy Caramel, Tangerine Tango, Baja Breeze, PTI Stamper's Select; Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black and SU Baja Breeze; Other: SU Jumbo Eyelets, Dimensionals and Copics
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Saturday, September 6, 2008

First Teacher Card of the School Year.

The first day of school (which was last Thursday) happily went off without a hitch. The boys are sooo excited about their classes, their teachers and school in general. My kids in school for a fun day and then after-school programs and they still don't want to come home at the end of the day because they are having so much fun! I love that they are still at an age where they can't wait for school every morning. Tooooo cute.

Lots of first for us this year... This is the first year that everyone is officially in school. My littlest guy is in preschool - no more day care for our family (FINALLY... but in a bittersweet way). He looked so sweet with his lunchbox and book bag on his back... so determined to be a big boy going to school! My middle guy rode the bus for the first time this year (although I did stop by after dropping off my preschooler to make sure he made it safely to class ;) , which of course he did!). My oldest guy also started a new school, as the 3rd and 4th grader are in their own building (K-2 are in their own building). He is such a pro now and they really don't baby the students there anymore... there's no more name tags for the bus driver or teachers or anything like that. He just hopped on the bus and away he went.

As a mom that works full time out of the house, I especially am so grateful for caring and wonderful teachers given the amount of time they spend with my children during the week. I am a big believer in "spoiling" them and really letting them know how much I appreciate and value them. They are so critical to my children's development not just academically, but socially as well, when we are not with them.
Strangely enough, I had never bought a school-themed stamp set until I bought the Making the Grade from CHF. This is my 2nd Kim Hughes set in as many weeks, and I love the images in this set. I especially love the sentiments in this set, which included the word teacher and "you are appreciated." I can see myself using these sentiments many times in the future... especially when it comes to the teacher gifts at the holidays and end of the year.
I just got this set in the mail yesterday and I wanted to use it for Beate's sketch this weekend. Again, I turned the sketch 90 degrees to make it work with the stamps and idea I had. I really love Beate's sketches - they really help me out as I practice and just enjoy stamping and making cards {Thanks, Beate!}. I also used my nesties - the square scallop and the petite circle and scallops (love the petites!)

Stamps: CHF - Making the Grade; CS: PTI - Kraft, SU - Baja Breeze, Riding Hood Red, My Mind's Eye PP; Ink: SU Riding Hood Red, Kiwi Kiss; Other: Dimensionals, Nesties Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Holding on to the Summer Time

Whew - I can't believe that it is September. The summer is officially over, but I am still holding on tightly to this wonderful weather and fun days our family has been sharing during my vaca! Luckily, I still have a few more days.

I have been working over the last few days on 20 of these TY cards (my goal is to get them done before vaca is over, but it is going to be CLOSE), in between hanging out with the boys, enjoying the wonderful weather we have been having and getting everything ready for school. We even put them to bed at the time they would have to go to sleep for school. My oldest has an EARLY pick up for the bus - 7:18am according to the notice we got in the mail, so it will take some getting used to for the new schedule. I wanted to ease them into it so they wouldn't be soooo tired for the 1st day of school which will be this Thursday.

So as I started to write, I have been trying to squeeze in making the TY cards and had been working on them tonight, since everyone was in bed nice and early. It has taken me longer than anticipated because of all the scalloped squares and also embossed squares! Geez - I love the nesties, but I have to remember that it takes time (and a lot of it) to run the CS through the CB (and 2x for the embossed squares!) when planning a card that I need to make more than a couple of at a time. So in between all the CB'ing, I took a break and made a card with a "new" (for me at least... you know that story about how cutting edge I am with keeping up with stamp releases!) set from Kim Hughes for Cornish Heritage Farms. It was the first time I bought anything from that site, and I really like the clean and crisp images you get from their unmounted sets. I also really like Kim's drawing style as well.

This one is all about the paper piecing really. And as you can see, I am really holding on tightly to the summer. I just ordered an autumn set from Kim Hughes (taking advantage of their Labor Day promo), but I am still in the summer state of mind...

Not sure who I'll be giving this too in the near future, since summer is over, but I'll just keep it in my little stash until the right occasion/time of year presents itself.

I better get back to the other summer (TY) cards on my list to-do now...

Stamps: Summer Fun, Making the Grade (for the sentiment- Summer Fun only has images!); CS: SU - Kiwi Kiss, Pacific Point, Riding Hood Red, Summer Sun, PTI - Stamper Select White, Kraft, Other - Dimensionals (yes, this is a very simple card with the focus on the paper piecing, but I thought anything more would be too much!)