storage for my paper projects...come take a look!

31 October 2011

Happy Halloween!

Hiya! Just thought I'd pop in really quickly to wish y'all a spooktacular Halloween!

We get plenty of trick or treaters in our neighborhood, so I'm all stocked up on the sugar. While I wait for the early birds to show up, I thought I'd share my sole contributions in the Halloween-card department this year:

(anyone notice anything odd about this photo?)

Sponge-tastic! I first masked and sponged the moon, and then the sky for each one -- a purple dusk on the left, a reddish dawn on the right (red in the morning's a sailor's warning, right? Or maybe it's "some reddish work done at night." Or maybe I've read The Crucible too many times.). I mixed ink brands on the left (SU, Distress, old PTI) -- it's moodier and (I think) eerily foggy-looking. The inks on the right are all SU, and they seem more serene and even-tempered. Yes, I assign character traits to my inks. Even when it isn't Halloween ;)

{An aside: I don't normally trumpet Tim Holtz's products...he's talented but perchance a tad overrated. However, the whole Distress line of inks makes me very happy (including the stickles and stains), and his ink applicator thingamabob really does make inking a breeze. Dang it. I get all of my TH goodies at Scrappy Chic, where the man has quite the following among customers. I guess they're on to something.}

Back to the cards: After inking like mad, I then stamped my little scenes using my very first stamp set from Waltzingmouse, Hocus Pocus. Those stamps inked like champs right out of the packaging, and they definitely pass the squish test. If there's one thing I hate, it's really well-designed stamps that are cheaply made -- they squish when you stamp 'em. Not these, though! I think I may need more....

Anywho, some paper from Echo Park and a bit of narrow velvet ribbon finish 'em off. Now, if only I'd remembered to send them to someone! Oh well, it'll be a belated Halloween this year!

Don't forget, you have until midnight tonight to enter my little giveaway in the post below this one. As of right now, there are a whopping four entrants, so I think your chances are mighty fine!!

Now, I'm off to scare the little munchkins with my spooooooky semicolon costume...but that's another post.

Have a lovely creepy day!

27 October 2011

Thanks -- and a thankful giveaway :)

Hi all!
I'm peeking out from under my mountain of essays just for a minute to share some thank-you cards I made a bit ago -- they've all reached their destinations now (the homes of my bloggy friends who sent me these birthday goodies).

First up, for my buddy Meg:

Meg was kind enough to send me my first Market Street Stamps, and I used the cane bg here, along with some gorgeous Crate paper (also from Meg!). Most of the rest of the supplies are PTI. Thanks again for all the goodies, sweet Meg!

Next up, for Lindsey:

Linds has a family member who is a big squirrel nut (pun. ha.), so I kinda ran with that theme here but kept true to Linds's CAS style, using an older squirrel stamp (Memory Box, maybe?) for the bg and another stamp from Meg for the gridded acorns (which are stamped on watercolor paper, btw -- hence the imperfect impression). The acorn caps and dies are PTI, and a bit of faux stitching finishes this one off. Thanks for the adorable snowman stamp, Linds -- I would've used it on the card, but I don't want to tempt the snow gods into sending some of the real stuff just yet ;)

Finally, for Emily:

Whoa, this is a big card. About 4x9, which makes it a you-know-what to get a good photo ;). I kind of went wild here, with a very busy bg (more paper from Meg -- one of my favoritest Pink Paislee lines), stamped-and-die-cut bikes (Em is a supreme fussy cutter, unlike me, so I go with dies!), and some ribbon and cs in coral, which she likes way more than I do! I also included a little twine bow made with the twine she sent along. You rock, Em!

Now, how about a little giveaway? I'm very thankful for all my regular (and irregular) blog readers, and I have some stamps that need a new home with one of you:

All three sets are new -- the Prima tree is brand-new, while the Sassafras stamps are older but unopened. If you think they should come and live in your house, drop me a line in the comments below. You could tell me about your Halloween costume, your holiday crafting plans, the weather, your kids...anything at all. Can't wait to hear from you! Everyone who comments by the end of Halloween (that's Monday, 10/31, at 11:59 EST) will be entered to win. Who knows? A few other goodies just might find their way into the envelope, too :) Enjoy!

Have a lovely day.

24 October 2011

SiSiS: Stuff I Scrapped in September, part three.

Howdy and Happy end-of-Monday!

Today I collected 3/4 of a mountain of essays to grade (the rest will come tomorrow), so I thought I'd sneak in a post before it all gets too busy around here. How about a couple layouts featuring that cute boy I'm married to? Ok then:

I always try to snap a photo of the boy on his first day of school -- sometimes he obliges (grudgingly), and sometimes I have to sneak one (last year's features Andrew brushing his teeth!). This year he obliged, probably so I wouldn't scrap a toothpasty version of him :) I used the same Fancy Pants goodies that I used in this post, along with a few bits and bobs from my stash, plus a fun "keep calm and..." stamp from Maya Rd.

The title is layered over some tape, and I made a little rosette with a glue dot and some embroidery floss.

This next layout needs a little explaining -- you see, we play pub trivia every Tuesday, generally with a friend or two. For awhile, we had a dream team of four -- Andrew and I, plus our friends Rob and Jon. Between us, we had a wide range of generally useless information to draw upon. ;) One night, the stars aligned and...

We got a perfect score! Here's the rest of the team as we were celebrating with root beer floats :).  I included our score sheet from the game and some crossword-patterned paper from Grant Studios. See the chipboard buttons? Well, you might think they're just a design detail, but the uppermost button stack is strategic -- it's covering a woman in the background who looks like she's about to pick her nose. Ha! I don't know who she is, but I'm guessing she wouldn't appreciate being featured on the page. So, hello, button!

Anyway, since this game our buddy Rob moved out of state for a job, so now we mostly play as a team of three. We do ok, but we haven't since had a perfect game. Maybe tomorrow?

Anyway, that's all of my September projects for Scrappy Chic. I have more from a scrap session at the store, plus a bunch I've done since...whoa. Lots more posting to do!

Until then -- have a lovely evening! Wish me some grading luck, will ya? Thanks.

21 October 2011

SiSiS: Stuff I Scrapped in September, part two

Hiya and happy Friday!

Today I have three holiday layouts for you -- two Christmas, one Halloween. And since I don't have a ton of recent holiday photos (especially Halloween), I decided to make some more mini-me layouts with the three holiday lines that were part of my September kit from Scrappy Chic, which is where you can find all of my supplies. Check it:

as always, click a photo to see it bigger.

Halloween's up first. I know I have a shortage of Halloween photos for scrapping purposes, but I still went through five years' worth in one layout! These are my first five Halloween costumes -- all homemade, all well-loved (even the crazy-looking clown makeup!). My grandma can sew like crazy; she made all the clothes for her kids for years (that's five kids, people), and when I was little she made most of my special-occasion outfits, too -- Halloween, yes, but also Easter and Christmas dresses, first-day-of-school ensembles, etc. She can still sew, but these days readymade clothes cost quite a bit less than homemade for the most part -- plus she's moved on to (many) other hobbies. But I digress. The page uses Echo Park's Halloween line plus some ribbons from my stash. Aside from photo editing and printing, the whole thing took about 20 minutes. Works for me! Oh, and that princess costume in '81? cut down from a bridesmaid's dress from (I think) my aunt's wedding. And I thought modern bridesmaid's dresses could be crazy looking! Big floral flouncy border, anyone? Oy. Next:

A jolly old elf, indeed. What else could I use with that adorable elfin print (plus plaid, plus snowflakes) from American Crafts? The Thickers are a reflective shiny silver, which is why they look a little odd in the photo -- they sure gleam in person, though! In the 1981 Santa photo (on the left), you will see one of my favorite childhood fabrics: velour. Spiffy! On the right (1982), I'm wearing one of my home-sewn ensembles -- I loved that jumper. Another super-quick page, too. One more? Ok!:

I admit, this one's my favorite. The little photos are from '81, and the papers and die-cuts are all from the Teresa Collins Christmas line (except the big kraft snowflakes -- those are Maya Rd). The paper started out with a white background. Really white. Too white. Mists to the rescue! Some olive, some krafty tan, and I get shimmer, color, and less white. Since you can't see the photos, really, here's a closeup:

The same sewing grandma made me the stocking that year -- it would have lasted nearly forever, except one of my parents' dogs chewed it up pretty well when I was in college :(. On the right, you can see our family's extensive collection of macrame plant hangers in the front window, plus the toboggan that got a lot of use in Hines Park for years (Dead Man's Hill, anyone else?). Let's check out the cluster at the bottom:

More die-cuts (the cream phrase stickers are Cosmo Cricket's new Tiny Type words). That cluster is not hiding a mistake -- I hid my journaling behind it :).

Whoa -- that's a lot of photos! I do have a few more goodies to share with you (the boy pages). Last post, I'd mentioned that I hadn't scrapped much in October. In the past few days, I've made a half dozen layouts plus a couple cards! Whoa! The reason? Partly because I have a new kit to use, but mostly because of an online class I decided to sign up for from Shimelle Laine's website -- it's called Pretty Paper Party (how could I resist?), and it's really inspired me to break into my stash of new and old papers and create away! Thanks to Sue for recommending it -- it is pretty awesome.

All right then, have a lovely Friday!

19 October 2011

SiSiS: Stuff I Scrapped in September, part one.

Hey folks -- I'm back!

So far in October, I've done very little scrapping -- and I have a bunch of it to do before month's end, so I guess I'd better get on that. However, September was pretty productive for me, so I thought I'd share a few batches of those layouts with you.

You can see some of my scrap-related projects from September in this post, and in this one. Here are some layouts you haven't seen yet:

First up, a bright and cheery layout about the little sort-of surprise party we had for my aunt's 59-and-a-half-th birthday (like that? Thought so.) I used some Basic Grey goodies here -- the fun Indie Bloom line, specifically. I fussy-cut (yes! me!) a big ol' flower and some leaves to frame my cluster of little photos, and used another subtler pattern to anchor the cluster and my title. Six photos is a lot for an 8.5x11 scrapper, but I was up for the challenge. Also, we did not make her wear that silly hat and vest all day -- just long enough to get some photos! Next:

These photos are from the exact same party, just later in the day. My uncles decided to fire off this tiny antique cannon that had been used primarily as a yard ornament -- and it worked. And it was LOUD! Who knew? It's a little hard to see in the photo, but the whole thing is not even two feet long! The title is true -- my uncles are seriously easygoing guys and mild-mannered in the extreme. I guess gunpowder just riles them up, eh? Ah, men. Anyway, I used Crate Paper's Farmhouse line here -- the ruler print is two sheets from the 6x6 pad lined up together, while the quilty squares are un-fussily-cut from a 12x12 sheet. The letters started white, but I inked 'em. Fabric-covered letters are handy for that! Oh, and those asterisks are from Studio Calico -- they started as plain wood veneer, but I hit them with some Distress Stain (thanks for the tip, Liz).

Pretty much everything here is available at Scrappy Chic, so shop (locally) away!

I'll be back soon with either a couple of pages featuring the hubster, or a few featuring little me. Which would you like to see next?

Have a blustery grey wet lovely day!

14 October 2011

A Week of Challenges, day five

Howdy, folks!
I made it! I've posted for a whole five days straight. Welcome to my last day of challenge cards.

Today's challenge is a Unity three-fer! It's Friends with Flair Friday (if you head over there, you can find out what the special is today). Also, the monthly Unity challenge is to use falling leaves, while the Unity Kit of the Month sketch challenge looks like this:

I combined them and tweaked the sketch a little to come up with this:

All three stamps here come from different Kits of the Month: The leaves from September, the apples from July 2010, and the chair from March. I'm not sure that chair would fit in as well if the color scheme weren't so fall-ish, but I decided to just go forth and stamp with confidence...and I think I like it! This card is for my (other) aunt, who sent me a birthday gift card to one of my favorite (non-stamping) stores -- Trader Joe's! I mean, where else can I get wine, chocolate, cheese, AND friendly, Hawaiian-shirt-clad employees? Yum.

Well, thanks for stopping by -- and thanks to my "regulars" for putting up with me for a full five days. Who knows? You may be rewarded sometime soon...but that's for another day. ;)

I'll have a batch of layouts for you next, so hang onto your hats, and have a lovely day (and weekend)!

13 October 2011

A Week of Challenges, day four

Welcome back!

Time for the fourth challenge of the week -- this time, one that's brand-new to me. You see, my pal Emily has recently fallen in love with Paper Smooches stamps from Kim Hughes. It came as no surprise that she was asked to be their guest designer this month, nor that she also won a spot on the Paper Smooches Sparks design team. How could I not play along? Plus, check out the inspiration challenge image:
I almost want to run over to make them myself. Yum! I just love the warm colors. My only problem? I have no Paper Smooches stamps. Dang! I do happen to have two of Kim Hughes's sets from (the late, missed) Cornish Heritage Farms, though -- so I'm in luck, because those count too! I took all the mushroom stamps (six total) from Forest Friendzy and Spring Trees and created myself a sweet little scene:

The grass was stamped twice along the bottom, then masked and topped with all those cute 'shrooms. I pulled my colors from the inspiration image, and added a masked-stamp-and-sticker sentiment (the original sentiment reads "welcome spring"), plus some puffy pink(!) clouds. A tiny bit of gingham fabric tape echoes the gingham tomatoes (my favorites).

If you're interested in the stamps I've used, try looking for them on ebay. What I'm interested in is winning some Paper Smooches goodies so I can keep playing along! If you are too, the challenge is in effect until October 19th.

Four down, one to go! Tomorrow's card is a three-challenge-er, so stay tuned! Have a lovely day.

12 October 2011

A Week of Challenges, day three

Me again! Today's challenge card is a real challenge for me -- not so much because of the colors, which I think are lovely, but because I only have two stamps from Market Street Stamps (thanks again for those, Meg!), and they're both backgrounds! Here's the challenge image:

And here's what I came up with:

I had fun coloring in the little squares of the Pretty Perfect Grid background, and I used the Cane background as an accent. The sentiment is one of my earliest stamp acquisitions -- it's from Stampin' Up, and the date on it is 2002. I think it was from a set of mixed sentiments or something. Oy, I've been doing this for awhile! Anyway, I used a nestie for the sentiment, and the canvas impression plate from PTI for the background. I kind of like the contrast of squares and rounded edges...not that I planned it that way! Just a happy accident.

If you'd like to play along, the challenge runs through Monday the 17th, so there's plenty of time to get all colorful :). If you head over to the challenge page, be sure to check out Meg's trippy contribution -- I love it!

Well, look at me -- three down, only two to go! Yee-haw!

Have a lovely day!

11 October 2011

A Week of Challenges, day two

Back again with another challenge card -- this time for the Play Date Cafe. Here's the inspiration image:

While this set of colors would indeed make for a cool Halloween card, I went birthday instead:

This tag is for my mom, who has a birthday coming up later this week. She always gets tags, because she like to hang them all up in one of their kitchen windows. Cute!  Another special fact about this card: it uses all stamps that she and my dad (who are we kidding -- she does the shopping in their house!) got me for my birthday a few weeks ago. She picked well!! The stamps are from a couple of the Studio Calico by Hero Arts sets that I've been drooling over at Scrappy Chic. My eyeballs see the challenge colors as lime (A.Muse studio ink), Purely Pomegranate (old SU), and Dusty Concord (Distress), paired with black and some Honeydew twine (the Twinery)

Ooh, how about a bonus tag! This one is also for my mom, who is a huge Detroit Red Wings fan (Huge, people. It's scary):

I stuck it in her mailbox as a surprise last week, when the official hockey season kicked off. The stickers are from my stash, the octopus is from Paperworks and gets pulled out once a year just for this purpose ;). The back of the tag reads "Go Wings!" Yep, she liked it.

I have a bit of bad news, too -- my dad, who might not do the shopping but instead is self-employed as an awesome all-around fixer/painter/renovator/Bill-of-all-trades, just got his work truck stolen. With all his tools and equipment inside. From the street in front of their house. And insurance won't cover the loss. Boo!! That really stinks. I'd like to help him out somehow, but I think he won't take assistance from his own child, y'know? Any tips for sneaking Home Depot gift cards into his pocket or paintbrushes into his mailbox are welcome!

Anywho, if you'd like to play along with these colors, the challenge closes at the end of the day today. Happy creating, and have a lovely day!

10 October 2011

A Week of Challenges, day one

Hi all!

It's been awhile since I've played along with any of the fabulous challenges out there in blogland, so I decided to try to hit up a bunch of them, especially since I had a ton (a TON) of cards to make (mostly thank you cards) and very little mojo to make them with.

I think challenges are a great way to spark away we go!

This first card is actually for a ColourQ challenge that expired, but I thought the colors were intriguing and way outside of my usual palette, so I gave it a whirl anyway:

Lavender-ish colors aren't usually my bag, but I thought this was actually really pretty! I find that when one part of a design (here, the colors) is tricky for me to work with, I compensate by relying on an oldie-but-goodie layout. Here's what I came up with:

Well, when a color is "pear pizazz," why not start with a pear? This one is from Unity's September Kit of the Month, All Seasons. I stamped it on watercolor paper and then used a water pen to blend the leaves a bit. Yes, I actually fussy-cut something! I replaced Wisteria Wonder with the now-retired Almost Amethyst and stamped my houndstooth bg, and added hits of chocolate and black in the sentiment, bling, ribbon, and mat. Layout-wise, I heavily leaned on the rule of thirds, a long-time go-to for me.

This particular card will go to my aunt, who sent me a birthday gift and has always loved purple. Score!

This is but one of a whole bunch of cards I have for you this week -- I may even {gasp!} blog daily! Wish me luck. ;)

Have a lovely day!

ETA: Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends! May you eat well!

06 October 2011

mini me.

Hi there!
Time to share that mini I've mentioned a couple of times. It's my first "real" mini, the first one I've made just for us. I love it. Making it made me happy -- I loved the challenge of working on a smaller canvas, making choices about products and trying to find a sense of flow from page to page. Fun times. Wanna see it? Ok:

It's the front cover! Woohoo! I used a Maya Rd. chipboard album -- it's shaped like a picket fence, but since I didn't use the die-cut-to-more-obviously-represent-a-picket-fence page, it just looks like an arched rectangle-y thing, which is just fine with me. The tags on the ring are mostly from We R's travel line from a couple months ago, as are most of the photo mats and about half the background papers. The front tag is an actual Amtrak luggage tag I grabbed from the station. Other elements that run through the album: Basic Grey basics papers and mini alphas. A Martha Stewart skyline border punch. Distress Stain splats. Stamps from Teresa Collins's travel line. On we go:

click-a-roo to enlarge any of the photos.

In the interest of upload sanity, I collaged the interior-page photos and then numbered them for your convenience ;) Ephemera on the travel/lodging pages: our train tickets, hotel key, and CTA card (people in cities with good public transit, thank your lucky stars [and your bus drivers]). On the food pages: business card from the home of the most delicious waffle I've ever had...on three consecutive mornings; a chopstick wrapper, another business card [old-skool Italian this time]. I could've done the whole album on food, but that's been done before. I'd link you to my food album post, but the photos seem to have disappeared. Hmm....curious. Anyway, let's move on!

We went to Chicago in the first place for a concert -- a guy named Mark Kozelek (who is really good, and whom Andrew loves). We also had a day full of record store hopping. Ephemera on these pages: receipts and/or business cards from all the record stores we hit; the much-loved scrap of map I used to cross-reference where my phone map-app was telling us to go. If you can't read the text on the sign photos, feel free to click, enlarge, and chuckle a bit (if you're a nerd like me).  Up next:

Sorry the upper photos are kinda tiny. We went to the Museum of Contemporary Art since Andrew hadn't been there yet, and we've been to the big art museum several times. Ephemera about art: bits from the museum brochure. The exhibits were nifty! The back cover has my favorite photo from the trip (shh, don't tell Andrew).  Throughout, I typed my journaling on some Pink Paislee tickets from my stash, and added a few more notes on tiny-tags-in-envelopes from Melissa Frances. If you want any other specifics on products or places, just give me a holler.

Ah, what a great trip! This little album now lives on our bookshelf. I think I might be addicted -- I have another in the works right now!  Stay tuned...

...and have a lovely day!

04 October 2011

Baby got BAK.

Well, if that Justin Bieber song didn't get stuck in your head after my last post, I sure bet you've got a song in your head now!!

I've always wondered why we crafty folk refer to the cards and other goodies we get in the mail as "RAKs" (Random Acts of Kindness) even when they aren't random at all! Recently I got some lovely cards for my birthday, which I shall hereafter refer to as "BAKs," or "Birthday Acts of Kindness." Sound good? Ok, on we go!

First, from Lindsey over at Bashful Blogging, comes this cheery Bird-day card:

Linds is a whiz with color, and I really love the pops of yellow all over the place. Plus, Linds knows I love a pun!! I haven't spied this one on her blog yet, but keep an eye out for it! (She also knows I love a good surprise!).

Next, a card from my birthday-sharing buddy Emily that makes me look way nicer than I actually am ;) :

Gorgeous! It uses my favorite shades of orange, pink, and green, along with those glorious wings, which I bet Em knows I'd never in a million years have the patience to fussy-cut at all, much less as perfectly as she did here. You can read more about it in her blog post here.

And finally, from my uber-creative-with-her-Silhouette pal, Meg, comes a card she knows I LOVE:

Ack! If you recognize this one, it's because it's kinda famous -- it was part of her amazing final round submission for Gallery Idol a couple months ago. You can see the whole rad suite here. And yep, the tape pops out:

Since my bday often falls on the first day of fall (as it did this year), this adds an air of poignance...or something ;)

Thanks for the BAKs, crafty pals! You made my birthday brighter. And a little more full of loot, too -- there were some fun stampy gifties that came along with each card! I'll be sure to let y'all know when I use them. Woohoo!

Have a lovely day!

01 October 2011

Baby, baby, baby....

Is there an insidious Justin Bieber song stuck in your head now? Good.  Be lucky I don't believe in having music on my blog!

(Sidenote: one of my students {college students here, people} was wearing a Justin Bieber shirt today! One of her classmates pointed out: "Hey, aren't you older than he is?" Her response? "So? Hotness knows no age." It was funny, and only moderately creepy.)

Anyway, one line I got to work with this month is the adorably useful baby line from Simple Stories, Baby Steps. Their lines are amazingly well-coordinated and perfect for people who want pretty scrapbook pages in very little time -- their paper lines all include cut-apart elements that fit those handy divided page I gave it a shot and made {gasp!} a two-page layout! Whoa.

click for a bigger view. Yes, that's my school desk calendar behind it ;) We take our photos when and where we can!

Aside from finding enough photos of my cutie-pie baby friend Sahana, this whole double layout took maybe 15 minutes. Score! The rose trim is adhered on top of the page protector, while the other accents are adhered to the panels inside. I used some smaller elements matted onto that pretty plaid pattern, along with some ribbon, brads, and letter stickers. Imagine how rewarding this kind of scrapping would be for beginners, or busy folks, or for gift books, for that matter.

Speaking of which, I discovered a whole extra page that I'd gotten but totally forgot to use, so I got to make a couple more projects -- these for a friend who is expecting. First, a quick card:

I paper-pieced a quick Papertrey cupcake with some scraps, plopped it on an extra cut-apart panel, added a button and a mat (perfect match for PTI's spring moss), and away we go! Here's the little memory book that accompanied it (yep, another mini-book!):

The cover features some faux stitching, twine from the Twinery, and a flat bow made from some scrap ribbon (flat=easy to mail). The inside is all made from just one 12x12 sheet of 4x6 elements, quickly stitched into the cover:

Plenty of room for photos and/or journaling, yet small enough to keep in a purse -- the mommy-to-be is not a scrapper but is a great photographer, so I bet it gets filled up pretty quickly! Speaking of quickly: another 15-minute project! Score. Here's my question for any mommas out there: would you actually fill this up, or would it sit in drawer somewhere until your kid turned 18 or something? Just curious ;)

So, there you have it: three quick and cute baby projects. One Bieber song stuck in your head.

Happy World Card Making Day, y'all -- I'll be doing all my making (card and otherwise) tomorrow at Scrappy Chic instead :)

Have a lovely, crafty kind of day.