Sunday, December 30, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Well, how was your Christmas holidays? I love Christmas but I try to keep it low key and stress free. I don't decorate a ton. I don't do/go to a bunch of parties. I don't shop a lot. I try to keep it simple and focused. One way I do this is by giving each child only one or two gifts. If the gifts are really expensive (like they were this year) then each child only gets one gift. They don't suffer because they have grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who give them gifts as well. They end up with a bunch of gifts in the end.

Here's what the children got from us. Smartie Pants got this:
Miss Diva got this:
Little Miss got this:

I have a technology-loving family. We are all decked out in hand held technology. And, although I wanted a Bind-it-all for Christmas I got this:
Which I needed SO MUCH. I'm hoping that I'll become more organized, less stressed, more focused so I can save time, money, and effort in order to be able to scrap and stamp more. At least that's my hope.

Check this out:
This is called the Ghetto Pint Glass available online at the Urban Outfitters. What's up with that?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

More Christmas gifts, cards, and calendar to share

I've been into making calendars for myself and as gifts. This is a calendar I made using a Junkitz base board and calendar grid. The base board is made of masonite, I think. The grid is blank except for the month. I used stamps for the numbers and embellished with stickers, doodles, and chalk. Across the bottom is a phrase on vellum that says, "Live Well Laugh Often Love Much".

I tried to decorate each month differently. I like a dimensional look so I used foam dots to mount some of the stickers. Here's February.
I'm not sure if this calendar will stay in my studio or go in my office. I'm also making small desktop calendars for colleagues. Originally I made them as to fit into CD cases. This idea changed when I discovered that the pages were too fat to fit into the case. Instead, I made hard covers from leftover chipboard and bound them with book rings. Here are some examples.
If you want the month template, just send me an email (see side bar) and I'll be happy to send it to you for the years 2008 and 2009.

At yesterday's crop, I focused on making Christmas cards. This is a criss cross card design which I got from the Splitcoaststampers web site. This is an amazing site full of ideas, tutorials, and samples of things made with Stampin' Up stamps.
I used these materials to make this card:

Stampin' Up -- flower from In the Spotlight stamp set, Christmas sentiment from Star-Studded Season stamp set, Round Tab punch, Pink Passion craft ink, Hologram Highlights embossing powder
Autumn Leaves -- swirl from the Swirls stamp set
Whispers -- green ink
Die Cut With A View -- green and pink card stock
Bazzill -- white card stock
Creative Memories -- circle punches
Michael's -- ribbon
Staples -- gold brad

Here are some more cards I made after lifting the designs from Splitcoaststampers as well.
Again, I used Stampin' Up and Autumn Leaves stamp sets. I'll just keep making these designs over and over again until I run out of supplies. Then, I'll create a different design. I'm trying to use the hoard of supplies I have now instead of going out and buying new things. Also, making the calendars are a great way to use your cut paper and odds and ends.

I'm hoping Santa will bring me this

as well as this

and this

and finally this

so I can make my own books. This would have been handy for binding my desktop calendars. Maybe I can do this next year.

Well, I'm off to make some more Christmas cards. I've got a ton to make and only a few weeks left.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Holiday special -- get a free gift!

When you submit a net retail order of $150* or more December 7 - December 25, you will receive an exclusive Ribbon Iron Kit from Pebbles, Inc. valued at over $30.00 - absolutely FREE!! Each Ribbon Iron Kit includes one innovative ribbon iron perfect for ironing out all of those pesky ribbon wrinkles, plus two assorted ribbon packages featuring 10 yards of vibrant grosgrain ribbon! This fabulous Ribbon Iron Kit is only available to consultants and customers during the holiday promotional period - this item will not be available for purchase through MemoryWorks. Take advantage of this great value to purchase your favorite scrapbook supplies and receive a free holiday gift for yourself!!

To place an order, please email me (see the sidebar).

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Christmas gifts, crops, and monthly kit.

I'm working on Christmas gifts for colleagues and teachers. I'll post some pictures a little later. I've decided on giving calendars. I have 10 co-workers and 5 teachers on my list. If I'm really feeling motivated, I could make some for a couple of local friends as well which would bring my total to around 20.

I had another great time at the Scrap Diva crop in Bowie. They are such wonderful people. If you're in the area, I recommend you attend one of their crops. But, you'll have to book it early because they sell out fast.

I've noticed that a couple of crops in the area have made changes for 2008. The most obvious change has been a price increase. I'll have to save more pennies to go to those crops. I've decided to make a change at my crops as well. No, it's not a price increase -- it'll be the same price of $30 for 8 hours. To make my crops more unique, I'm going to give prizes that are one-of-the-kind items. For example, my grand prize will be an album created by me. I love to make specialty albums that come in different formats such as accordian, canvas, or mini album. I don't get to use all of them and hate to see them unused. This would be a perfect solution. I still get to create and someone will get to enjoy. I invite you to join us on the second Saturday of each month for an 8 hour crop. Email me for more information (see the sidebar).

Memory Works offers a monthly kit of coordinated products to help make scrapbooking easier and quicker. I recommend using coordinated kits to get your projects done fast. You don't have to spend time worrying whether or not colors and patterns go together. With a coordinated kit you know everything matches perfectly! Here is December's kit.

This month's kit includes a bare explosion box which would hold layers of pictures and memorabilia in a clever little package. All you would do is use the coordinated papers in the kit (or those you have on hand) to finish the project. This would be a wonderful gift for someone special or to have around the house. Here's an example, made by a Memory Works designer, of what you can make using the papers in December's kit.
You can buy kits by the month, after seeing a preview. Or, you can subscribe and receive each kit automatically. For more information, please email me (see the sidebar).

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Some Christmas projects to share

I've been busy trying to make Christmas gifts. The first piece is a "To Do" book. I used some "to do" lists from a planner that I couldn't use, cut chipboard for the covers, and bound it with a book ring. I used My Mind's Eye and DCVW paper, K & Co. 3D flowers, chipboard letters and ribbon from Target (unknown brand), book ring from Staples, and recycled chipboard. I like how it came out.

From the same planner, I used blank grocery and menu lists. These are printed back-to-back so one side has a grocery list and the other side has a blank menu form. On one cover I put "groceries" and on the other cover I put "menu" so it can be used from either side. Again, this has chipboard covers and a book ring binding.

Lastly, I've been trying to create Christmas cards. I've come up with a very simple design which is okay but it needs some ummph. The word "joy" is double mounted with foam tape to add height/dimension. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Holiday Specials For You

I'm running some holiday specials. If you're looking for some of the hottest scrapbooking and papercrafting supplies then this is the sale for you.

Place an order by November 30 and get additional products for free!

Order $20 and get one of these free -- Basic Grey Mini Monograms, 7 Gypsies 97% Complete Sticker, Heidi Swapp Small Flowers, Heidi Swapp Clear Single Word Stamp.

Order $35 and get one of these free -- Basic Grey Rub-on, My Minds Eye Blossoms, Heidi Swapp Bling, Heidi Swapp Corner Stamp.

Order $50 and get one of these free -- Daisy D's Rub-ons, Cosmo Cricket Lacing Cards, Prima Playmates Flowers, Basic Grey Buttons or Monogram Chipboard

Order $100 and get one from each of the categories!

Payment must be received by November 30 in order to qualify. Free offer based upon total before taxes and S & H. Email me for more information.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

More organizing and working on some Christmas cards

I found these cute little wooden clothes pins at the Dollar Tree the other day. I thought these would be perfect to store some of my ribbon on. I saw this idea in M's one day but thought they were charging too much for the ribbon on pins. So, now I have some of my ribbon on clothes pins and some on embroidery floss cards

and all stored in glass cracker jars on my ladder shelves.

While at M's I picked up this idea sheet in Martha's aisle. She made poinsettia tags using one of her leaf stamps. What a cute idea! So, I used my 50% off coupon to buy the stamp, which came with two different leaf images. This is the image she used for the poinsettias.

Martha's idea sheet instructed me to use silver ink to stamp the image onto red paper or cardstock. I decided I wanted to use gold ink with gold embossing powder for a raised image instead. So, I broke out my dusty embossing gun and powder (which must be at least 10 years old each) and got to work.

I stamped seven petals for each flower.

Cut the petals out and mounted them in circle shape onto a 2" square cardstock using foam adhesive tape to add some dimension. Even so, I don't think there's enough height. Maybe I need to use higher foam tape. Or, just skip the tape altogether.

For the flower centers, I used my Xyron machine to add adhesive on both sides of yellow cardstock. I removed the adhesive from one side and added Stampin' Up! Dazzling Diamonds glitter, pressing it down to make sure it stuck to the adhesive. I shook off any extra glitter and poured it back into the jar.

I then punched out 3/4" circles to use as the centers of the flowers. On some flowers I added a rhinestone flower on top of the yellow center. On one flower I tried to punch several smaller yellow dots to mount on top of the 3/4" yellow center. That was too much work and I didn't like the look after all. I tried to salvage this center by adding diamond glaze. Yuck, but passable. I've got to figure out how I want to finish the cards. I'll probably mount them onto a square card, add some ribbon and a greeting inside and call it a day.

I decided to try a different design and came up with this card. I like this look and Miss Diva thought it was too cute. I think I'll make a bunch more.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I had a great time at the crop

I hosted another crop this weekend. It was an intimate gathering of fun, spirit-filled ladies who got a lot of work done. Each cropper got either a fall brad set, fall ribbon set, and epoxy sticker set or an acrylic stamp set, stamp block, ribbon spool, and epoxy sticker set all enclosed in a fall color take-out box as a gift. Also, everyone received a door prize which was a perpetual scrapbooking calendar, a Rainbow Color Selector with masks, or an 81 piece chipboard letter set in fall colors.

I decided this crop would have a holiday season theme since it's almost Thanksgiving. For the crop I served a mini holiday dinner of roast turkey, cornbread dressing, green beans with sausage, gravy with giblets, and German chocolate cupcakes. Hmmm, hmmm, good! I was pleasantly surprised at how wonderfully my turkey came out. Martha you've got competition (smile).

While the croppers were here, they asked about some of the things I have in my studio. This got me to thinking that I should share some of these finds with you.

I bought this "Hand Stamped by" rubber stamp from Paper Angel about 10 years ago. I don't think they carry this exact style anymore. However, they have a lot of wonderful designs to choose from. I just placed an order for three more personalized stamps.

I keep an inventory of my tools and supplies in a 6" x 9" binder. I have a companion binder that I use to catalog my stamps. The inventory book has a front cover sleeve. I made a simple cover using American Craft sticker letters for the title, green grosgrain ribbon, and K & Company paper, all of which I've had for ages.

Inside are tab dividers for various categories.

I modified some of the insert pages to fit my needs. Here is a page where I cataloged my Making Memories paint. (Sorry my photo software wasn't rotating my pictures properly.)

You can get this inventory binder system from Create A System, although I think the binder cover they offer is preprinted with design instead of a sleeve.

During the crop I worked on the CD calendars I will give away as Christmas gifts. Because I'm using some bulky embellishments on some pages, I need to think of a better way to store the extra pages when they are not in use. I am also considering binding the calendar using a Bind-It-All instead of using a CD case. But I haven't acquired that tool just yet. One cropper mentioned that HSN had a great deal on this item. There was a vendor at the Great American Scrapbooking Convention who offered a special during the show. However, I wasn't sure I would use this tool often enough to justify its purchase. Now, I wish I had bought it.

Finally, some of the croppers expressed an interest in attending classes that I may offer. I love making mini albums and they were interested in my "Friends" album. If I can find all of the supplies I used in this album, I'll offer this as a class. Stay tuned.

If you're in the Washington, DC metro area, I hope you can join us for one of my monthly crops. In 2008 I'm going to hold them on the second Saturday of each month.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Scrapbooking advice & projects to share

Ali Edwards found a blog that has some *great* advice on timeless scrapbooking techniques. I'm working toward including more meaningful journaling in my books so that my descendents can feel that they know who I was -- my personality, my values, my hopes -- by my album entries. I also want to capture the personalities of my family members and friends in my scrapbooks. This would add so much depth to our stories.

I've been re-organizing in my studio. My stamp collection has outgrown the CD holders I had them in. I'm also expecting a large order of stamps soon from Stampin' Up! So, I had to make room for the new arrivals. I've been eyeing this Making Memories Embellishment Center ever since it came out.

I love how it allows one to display supplies in a beautifully organized fashion. I especially like the paint display. I love the rainbow of color. The paint display is what got me hooked. I went to Michael's with my 50% off Jo-Ann's coupon and bought this gem. As I was setting it up I thought the the cubbies would be a perfect place to hold my stamp CD cases. Here's how it turned out:

I have some of my recent work to share. I used one of our theme packs and tried to make as many projects as possible with the paper. These pieces are made using Piggy Tales Goldilocks & the 3 Bears Collection. The paper set, base boards, and album are available on my web site:

I first made a hanging wall display with a fall theme using Cosmo Cricket Lacing Cards Buck Naked as the base:

Here are close ups:

Then I made a mini book using a 7 Gypsies Teeny Weeny Album. First a top view of the album -

The front and back covers with buttons and ribbon embellishments --

Now, the inside pages --

And then finally I eeked out this cute little card. The card design was inspired from something in Paper Crafts magazine:

I hope to share some more of my projects later this week.