Friday 28 September 2012

One More Day!

It's almost OH Day!  That's Open House Day, but also oh, oh, oh...whenever I remember something else I should have ready.  Is there such a person as an Open House Planner?  I could sure use one!

I have finally decided on the card that I'll have everyone make, a bit of a WOW card but still easy enough that people new to card-making won't be tearing their hair out.  I also have a smaller 3-D project which I'm sure will make everyone very happy.  Next step, cutting all the pieces so that it's just a matter of assembly for my guests.

I have a few display projects which I hope will encourage people to sign up for classes.  I have a large display board as well.  I believe I have enough catalogues to give out.  I have the snacks planned and on order.  Alas, I still haven't decided on any games even though I've indicated on my flyers that there would be some.  *sigh*  Easy games...there must be some mentioned on the Stampin' Connection.  I must look in the morning.

It's scary when you read other demonstrators' postings about having had an Open House and not having anyone show up.  Of course that puts negative thoughts into my head and adds to the stress level.  I just have to keep telling myself that I have had 8 confirmations already.  And, of course, some people will come without confirmation just because they don't want to commit but are curious.

Friday will be a whirlwind of cleaning and last minute angst.  It's countdown time.  Before I know it, my Open House will be over and I'll be reviewing the successes and failures of the day.

Sunday 23 September 2012

Racing Along, Moving Backwards

I feel as if I'm going backwards rather than forwards.  I had this brilliant idea that by having a Garage Sale, I could get rid of some of the clutter in my Craft Room in order to get it looking less like a war zone by the time my Open House rolls around, a mere week away now.  Well, I was wrong.  My Craft Room has never looked worse.  Truly, I look around and could weep.  By pulling things out and taking a few things from this box and that box and the other box, I've left the room with paths along which I can maneuver and not much else.  It is disheartening.  My stress levels have risen appreciably and to top it off, the Garage Sale was a bust.  I could have spent my time getting ready for the Open House more efficiently by working inside rather than sitting outside among things I didn't want any longer, waiting for strangers to buy them.  With such glorious weather the smart people were at the beaches or boating or doing something that was much, much more fun than sitting in a driveway.

Of course the fact that it's after midnight and I'm sleep deprived isn't helping my general mood.  I really do have to apologize about that.  The good thing is that tomorrow (or later today, I suppose) most of the things left over will be heading for the thrift store.  The better items are put aside for our local Optimist Club Garage Sale.  My room will look much better in daylight (fingers crossed) and I can definitely sort a bit more comfortably with quite a bit taken out of the room and that will help.

I'm already getting some responses to the emails which I sent out, assuring me that not only will those customers come but they are planning to bring friends.  I think I know what I want to do for the make-n-takes.  I have to put together some cute prizes now but I can hit my daughter up for help with all that.  I'm excited about the Open House but also very worried (it's my first one) and probably a lot scared on top of it all.  Does it ever get better?  Do people ever get blase about Open Houses?  Is it too late to hire a master organizer?

I wonder if I should reserve the Simply Scored now so that Mei Li won't hog it during my Open House.

Maybe a good night's sleep will put everything into perspective.

Wednesday 19 September 2012

Was catnip used in this product?

Oh, I'm sure catnip is not one of the ingredients that went into the plastic of the Simply Scored.  Whatever is in the plastic, however, is at the very least as attractive to my sweet cat, Mei Li, as catnip.  There are days when I feel as if I should have a reservation for special times during which I can use the Simply Scored.  Lately catnap time seems to coincide with my stamping times and when I turn to score my cardstock, I usually find Mei Li sound asleep in the middle of the Simply Scored.  Of course I could wake her.  I am fully aware of that.  It just seems a bit rude and mean to disturb her when all I want is to score a line on some cardstock.  Lately, therefore, I have been saving up the pieces of cardstock which require scoring and, when I discover the Simply Scored is actually free for my use, I hurry to use it.

Why would a cat choose to sleep on a piece of hard plastic? There are countless soft places to sleep in my house, even in my Craft Room.  There is room on my work table, around the Simply Scored, but for Mei Li it must apparently be the Simply Scored or nothing.  The reason remains a mystery.  And now I had better stop this entry and hurry to score my cardstock.  Mei Li just left the room and the Simply Scored is temporarily mine to use.

Tuesday 18 September 2012

September Spool Spectacular! Don't Miss Out!

Stampin' Up! always has some terrific offers and they certainly don't disappoint with their offer for September.  During the entire month, for each $50 spent on product (not including tax and shipping), you will earn a spool of ribbon.  That's 10 yards of sheer luxury since it's the wonderful In-Color satin stitched ribbon which they offer.  If you were to buy this ribbon outside this fantastic offer, it would cost you $12.25.  So in essence you're getting $12.25 free each time you buy things adding up to $50 which you were going to buy anyway.  How great is that?  Let me just say that there are some things I've decided to buy now instead of waiting.  Getting several spools of ribbon is like Christmas in September!

Gobble! Gobble!

I'm taking a short break from Christmas and Hallowe'en to play with the fall theme.  I took a walk this morning and was shocked to see how many of the trees are showing yellows, oranges and reds among their green foliage.  Even though it has been gorgeous and sunny here, Mother Nature is reminding us that Fall is only days away.

We had a Regional Meeting in Millet, Alberta just over a week ago and had a lot of fun assembling a Fall Frame.  Simply, this is a picture frame that has been disassembled, had twine pulled across it, and then had eight little tags hung from the twine. My daughter and I didn't get ours finished while in Millet but we did stamp our tags with the various stamps so that we could assemble it later at home.  On the drive home we were excited about the frame but then also began thinking about changes we might want to make since ours were still in pieces.  One change we both agreed on was to paint the inside of the frame black so that it didn't look unfinished.

I'm not going to go through the various tags right now, but I am posting the frame so that what I'm talking about isn't altogether too confusing.

The original in Millet did not have the glass put back into the frame but because I intend to display the frame and have two adventurous cats, having a glass front seemed the way to go.  The back is simply my wall colour.

In the top row I made two changes from the original.  The second tag over now sports a family picture along with the acorns and I think it's perfect.  The third tag along the top row has the cutest turkey on it.  Originally it was supposed to have three stamped ears of corn but my corn did not cooperate and by the time I got the pieces home I realized that I would only see the mistakes rather than the rest of the good tags in the frame.  Of course that meant I had to change it.  I left everything in the tag the same except that I traded out the stamped corn for a turkey made with one of my favourite punches, the Owl Builder Punch.  That punch has to be one of the most versatile that Stampin' Up! has created.  And, unlike the rest of the punches, it has no supporting stamp sets.  I absolutely love the punch! did the owl suddenly turn into a turkey?  It was surprisingly easy.

First of all I punched the owl out of Soft Suede cardstock.  Since a turkey doesn't have pointy ears, I used my snips to carefully cut those off, following the natural round lines of the owl.  The vest was punched out of the More Mustard Designer Paper as was the first arc of the tail (punched with the new 1 1/4" scallop punch).  The next arc of the tail was cut out of Early Espresso with the Mini Doilies Sizzlet Die.  The largest arc of the tail was cut out of the Soft Suede Designer Paper with the 2 3/8" Scallop Punch.  For the eyes I used the Owl Builder Punch and cut tiny Basic Black circles, medium Whisper White circles and one Large More Mustard circle which I cut in half.  Then I cut a rounded "teardrop" shape from a scrap of Cherry Cobbler.  For assembly, just take a look at my turkey (below) and it will all easily fall into place.

I love this turkey!  Of course the 7/8" Cotton Ribbon looks wonderful stamped in Early Espresso with that new Seasonal Sayings stamp set.  This was so much more fun than having three cobs of corn!

Of course the next big project on my agenda is to make a Winter Frame.  Stay tuned...

Thursday 13 September 2012

Winter Memories Two

I promised that I would post another card made with that gorgeous stamp set, Winter Memories.  Well, here it is.  This one uses the stamp with the children building snow people.  It is such a sweet scene.

I wanted to keep this card simple, allowing the scene to dominate rather than the technique.  I used three different cardstocks:  the Naturals White, Marina Mist, and Whisper White.  The reason I used the Naturals White for the base card is that this white cardstock has far more body than the Whisper White.  It makes a good base upon which to layer the others.  The Whisper White, of course, stamps beautifully and so it was my obvious pick for the embossed and stamped cardstock.  The Marina Mist?  Well, it's a wonderful blue and I had planned to use the colour for some of the clothing in the scene.

I embossed the 3 3/4" x 5" Whisper White with the Northern Flurry embossing folder.  The snowflakes are nicely detailed and this folder also leaves much of the lower right side open and free of embossing.  This made a perfect spot for the stamped image.

After stamping the image, I extended the background line with my Basic Black marker so that it met the left border of the cardstock.  That way the scene appeared to be part of the snowflakes.  Then I coloured the scene with some of my Many Marvellous Markers (I really love the set because it matches all my stamp pad colours and cardstock).  After the colouring, I decided to make the embossed snowflakes "pop" by lightly sponging some Frost White Shimmer Paint across them with my Sponge Dauber.

To assemble, I mounted my 4" x 5 1/4" Marina Mist cardstock onto the folded Naturals White card base.  Then, before mounting my embossed Whisper White, I used my 1" square punch to "snip" the corners.  That left a nice spot for some Pearl embellishments which beautifully matched the shimmer of the snowflakes.

For the "Merry Christmas" sentiment I used my wood mount Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp.

There's just one more image in the Winter Memories set left to show you.  I love using this set!

Monday 10 September 2012

Ribbon Art

September is a special month at Stampin' Up!  For the whole month, with each purchase of $50 (not including shipping or taxes) you get a spool of that gorgeous stitched satin ribbon which was designed especially to compliment the brand new In-Colours.  That's a colossal saving!  The ribbon normally sells for $12.25 per spool of 10 yards.  So obviously I had to design something to showcase our wonderful Stampin' Up! ribbon.

Thanks to Dawn Olchefske and her wonderful Holiday Collection Framelits Ribbon Card, I decided to borrow her design but instead, use the Holiday Ornament Framelits for my card.  This will definitely be the make n take at my Open House this month!

To get started I had to decide on which ribbon to use.  I'm not always a big ribbon user so I don't have the endless ribbon supplies that some demos appear to have on hand.  The ones that really said Christmas to me were the three 1/2" Scallop Dots Ribbon that I have in Chocolate Chip, Cherry Cobbler and Old Olive.  That also gave me three of the colours for my cardstock.  Halfway there.  I wanted to put stripes on my ornaments so after checking through my ribbon supplies again, I decided that the one new In-Colour that I happen to have, the Summer Starfruit ribbon, complimented the other colours perfectly.  I also saw that I had some 1/4" Whisper White Stitched Grosgrain ribbon.  That, I decided, would be perfect for the top of the three ornaments.

For the cardstock that I planned to cut the three framelit shapes into I didn't want to use one of the cardstock colours that matched the ribbon.  It had to contrast yet compliment the other colours in the card.  What could be better, I thought, than the very neutral Crumbcake cardstock?  So I was good to go.

My first step was to cut my cardstock pieces.  The base would be Cherry Cobbler so that was an easy 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" folded in half to 4 1/4" x 5 1/2".  My next layer would be the Old Olive and I cut that to 5 1/4" x 4".  Next would be the Chocolate Chip and I cut that to 3 7/8" x 5 1/8".  The final layer would be the Crumbcake and I cut that to 3 3/4" x 5".

I had chosen my three framelits and proceeded to line them up on the Crumbcake and cut the shapes out using my Big Shot.

Then I centred the Crumbcake cardstock on the Chocolate Chip layer and traced the cut out shapes onto the Chocolate Chip with a pencil.

I covered the traced images with snail because the new jumbo sticky rounds that I had ordered from the Holiday Catalogue hadn't arrived yet.  The whole piece of cardstock can be covered with snail or sticky rounds as long as the border which will show outside the Crumbcake, once that is mounted, remains clear.  The easiest way to stick on the ribbon is to put it in place on the image, allowing some to overlap on each side, and then cut the ribbon.  It can also be precut.  Really, it works perfectly well either way.  I chose to alternate colours, making stripes.  The one constant was the Summer Starfruit ribbon which I used on each ornament.  I assigned a different colour of Scallop Dots ribbon to each ornament.

It doesn't look very pretty here but it gets better.

The next step is to put dimensionals all over the Crumbcake cardstock.  The dimensionals will be holding the cardstock in place, allowing the ribbon ornaments to show through, so it's important to be generous with the dimensionals.  This is how I placed them.

And this is how it looks when the Crumbcake layer is placed on top of the Chocolate Chip and ribbon layer.
Now that looks pretty, but we're not finished yet.  I thought it would look better to have the ornaments hanging from something and so decided to use some white Baker's Twine.  I anchored the twine to the back of the Chocolate Chip cardstock with snail and then looped it around the 3/16" Gold Brad which I pushed through the top of each ornament.

This was then adhered to the Olive Green cardstock with more snail.
And then adhered to the front of the Cherry Cobbler base card with more snail.

I decided to add the Christmas sentiment from the Word Play stamp set, coloured in the centre of the stamped ornament with Summer Starfruit and the top and bottom of the stamped ornament with the Cherry Cobbler Dazzling Effects.
I love this card!  Thank you, Dawn Olchefske for the inspiration and thank you, Stampin' Up! for the free ribbon offer this month.  I plan to get some of each of the new In-Colors and see what else I can create.

Friday 7 September 2012

TREASURE HUNT -- What fun!

The Late Night Stampers group of Stampin’ Up! demonstrators is holding a Treasure Hunt for YOU to WIN!!  This contest closes on Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 at midnight PST.  Interested? Just read the guidelines below:

-go to the page (listed at the top of my blog) titled ‘LNS Web Ring’
-visit each of the blogs listed (it’s always nice to leave a comment!)
-look for participating Treasure Hunt players – they will have the picture of the SU! box (below), and they will list their clue
-make a note of what the clue is, and whose blog it is on
-once you’ve collected 50 clues, email them to ME at listing each clue & where you found it
-you have from Monday August 20th to Wednesday, October 31st 2012 to collect 50 clues and email them to me, to be entered into the contest

Here is the box that tells everyone I'm participating in the Treasure Hunt

Here is my clue – you’ll want to write this down, and the name of my blog:

Winter Memories Stamp Set Clear 127937, Wood 127934

Now – go hunting!! Remember to keep checking back on the blogs for the clues--you never know if there may be another surprise in store for you….  Some blogs are offering additional prizes as well.

Just a little note about my clue.  I fell in love with this stamp set when I first saw it in the Holiday Catalogue.  Check out my blog over the next week to see some of the fun cards which I've created with this gorgeous set.

Monday 3 September 2012

Already September!

Wow!  September already!  Time goes fast when you go camping.  I've come back to having to finish up two Swaps and also to begin planning for my Open House.  Of course that means playing with some of the new stamps, paper, tools, and embellishments.  Mind you, that's work I love to do.

I decided to try out that gorgeous new stamp set, "Winter Memories".  What first made me want this set was the figure skates, hanging up with some holly leaves and berries at the top of the laces.  My daughter was a competitive figure skater and the skates in the stamp set brought back some wonderful memories.

I knew that I wanted to use the Cherry Cobbler cardstock in my card and I was also itching to try out the Festival of Prints Designer Paper.  I also didn't want the Designer Paper to "take over" the card.  The skates had to be the focal point.  The paper I finally chose had only three colours in the subtle design: Lucky Limeade, Cherry Cobbler, and Very Vanilla.  So that gave me the colours of my cardstock.  I decided to have the Lucky Limeade as my card base.  Then I cut a piece of 4" x 5 1/4" Cherry Cobbler for the next layer and a piece of 3 3/4" x 5" Designer Paper for the next layer.

I decided to use the largest of the Apothecary Accents framelits to cut out a piece of Cherry Cobbler and used the matching shape from the Paper Piercing Pack and my new Paper Piercing Tool to pierce a stitched line around it.  Then I stamped the skates onto a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock in Basic Black ink.  I wanted to use one of the Labels Collection framelits to cut out the skates but the best size to fit into the Cherry Cobbler shape cut off most of the holly and berries.  So I stamped the holly and berries a second time onto a scrap piece of Very Vanilla and fussy cut that out with my Paper Snips.  Thank goodness they have such sharp, short blades.  I coloured the holly and berries and then coated them with the Crystal Effects.  I just love the way the Crystal Effects makes everything look so glossy and gorgeous!

You just have to see a close-up of the holly and berries.  I think they look like a store-bought embellishment...and I made it myself. :)

You can also see the stitching detail in the close-up.  It really finishes it off nicely.

I used a sponge and Early Espresso to shade around the Very Vanilla shape, filled in the skate blades with the new Silver Stampin' Dazzle marker, and blacked in the heels and soles of the skates.  Then I assembled the card, adding some Cherry Cobbler scallop dots ribbon and an Antique brad along the right side.

I simply love the way the card turned out.  Next I'll have to try out the other two picture stamps in the set.