Thursday, November 29, 2007

The World's Most Valuable Company



The World's most valuable company is GE. Did you know that? I work with them, so I know why. Very classy organization. I made a little thank you gift for a friend at GE - a tin from Papertrey Ink and some little 2.5" x 2.5" note cards for the holidays. The snowflake punch comes from Martha, with a cuttlebugged then scallop punched base and a clear rhinestone brad from the Stampin' Up Pretties Kit. You like it?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hey You

Anybody else like Shakira? Now that song is stuck in my head...

Anyway, here's tonight's creation. Guess I'm a little early for Valentine's Day. The occasion is the arrival of a box from KraftyatKrafts.com, which leads me to a story. Anyway, what was in the box was four pads of 6X6 Basic Grey background paper. I am in love with this company's paper after seeing what Chriss and Kristina Werner have done with it. It's just beautiful in all its incarnations. So here I am, staring at my new paper and my stamps, and out comes Hey You. I guess it is Make a Card Monday at Understand Blue too! =) The heart and flower are from Starving Artistamps (Southwestern Ornamentals), the paper is from Basic Grey, the Stickles are from.. Stickles, and the rest is Stampin' Up! I used direct to paper with Regal Rose craft ink on the chocoloate chip cardstock. Then I sponged Regal Rose and Basic Brown onto the flower from the pretties kit. I used omitting to create the greeting in white craft ink, and the rest of the stamping is in basic brown, with brads, stickles and ribbon galore! Looks kind of like a journal cover now that I'm staring at it.

Okay, so back to my story. The KraftyatKrafts.com order came with two little free goodies and a hand written thank you on my packing list. Today, I randomly clicked on a Splitcoast member company - Crafty Secrets - and found something I had to have. I ordered it, and called their merchant vendor for expedited shipping. He called me back and let me know that when he called Crafty Secrets they upgraded my shipping for me, and then I got a personal call from someone at the company letting me know that... WOW - what service. And I absolutely can't wait to get the image I ordered - it's a heart stopper and I think it will be my Christmas card. So Bravo Crafty Secrets and KraftyatKrafts - this is what makes the stamping world so freaking nice! Nice people!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Help - I'm stamping and I can't get up!!!


Okay - last one of the night and then I promise I'm going to bed. But I had to end on a blue note!


I stamped these feathers (Starving Artistamps) in Basic Black on Soft Sky, and then went over all the negative spaces with my white gel pen. Cool. Then I hand wrote "for you" in the white gel pen on a 1/4" black strip and mounted a rhinestone brad *sigh* - love these - on the strip and put the whole thing together.


You will hear my heart break when / if this color goes away.
PS -I was inspired by a layout in the most recent Anthropologie catalog. I'm not sure why I get this catalog, since I don't have ten billion spare dollars lying around to buy a teacup or a small pottery owl, but it is a lovely catalog, with hundreds of great color combinations and layout ideas ripe for the stamper in me to CASE. But seriously - plates for $80,000? Who are the people for whom this is intended? Even if there's a chance I'm exaggerating the prices a tad, I'm really going to need to know the answer to that question. If I ever win the lottery, I'm buying one of everything in that catalog, and two of anything that looks like an owl, FYI. =)

Wild Wild West part II...


Okay - so here's my second attempt before I go sit on the couch. Even after driving 11 hours I kind of feel like sitting! Go figure!

Okay - I used the same three Starving Artistamps horsies from Equestrian I, but went for a more masculine look. One of the things I love about Santa Fe is the color combination of the brown adobe with the brilliant turquoise windowsills and doors. It is so startling and beautiful. I will be updating my Santa Fe slide show on my site to show you pictures of many of the windows and doors I felt compelled to photograph while I was there. But in the meantime, I put the color combo down on paper, here.. Enjoy.
Instructions: Stamp horse and cross image (from Southwestern Ornamentals) in Versamark & clear emboss on Very Vanilla. Sponge with Really Rust and chocolate Chip. Mount to Taken with Teal Panel. On vanilla scrap, stamp cross in Tempting Turquoise Craft Ink and clear emboss. Punch out with scallop punch. Punch hole in center with Crop a Dile and knot turquoise ribbon through hole. Mount with Stampin' Dimensionals. Card base is Chocolate chip, stamped with cross image around edge in Turquoise craft ink.

The Spirit Horses followed me home!!


These beautiful spirit horses followed me home from Santa Fe! Actually, the story of the spirit horse and the little hoof prints on the inside of a bracelet I bought there inspired this card, with the help of these beautiful horses from Starving Artistamps! I had them sitting on my desk, and they cried out for watercolor crayons and a taste of the land of enchantment!! Here's what I used: Vanilla, Rose Red, & Lovely Lilac cardstock, a Rose Red Brad, Bliss Blue Ink, Crop-a-Dile, Watercolor wonder crayons, Spray bottle and water, Stickles, Post it notes, Sponge

I masked the "snow" with a post it note and sponged blue ink over the rest of the card. I colored directly on the stamps with lilac, blue, pink, orange,yellow and green watercolor crayons, then misted the stamps lightly with water and stamped them in vanilla. I masked the center horse to stamp the right horse. I then added stickles to the line betweeen the snow & the sky for sparkle. Added texture with the Crop-a-Dile, paper piercer and a brad. What do you think?

Friday, November 23, 2007

My Sense of Snow









And what a difference it makes! It snowed all night and hasn't stopped today. Big endless flakes, and that pretty soft silence that comes with it. Thought I'd take a break from the gallery stomp and share my view with you. We will be buried by tonight. This morning I started my day in solitude, which I love, walking around taking pictures in the snow, and then a fabulous serving of chilaquiles at the somewhat famous Plaza Restaurant. This place is a blast from the past, as you can see. Mile high cakes and pies behind the counter, small formica tables, squeaky clean, and no frills. And certainly the best chilaquiles in the world. I'm glad I got to enjoy it all as an observer, just me, my thoughts and my camera. No leftovers here, so enjoy your turkey & stuffing sandwiches for me!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Land of Enchantment

Yeah it is. Any of you who have been to Santa Fe know I speak the truth. Coming here for more than a decade on Thanksgiving is one of the things I am most thankful for.

Magical scenes like this are everywhere you look. Absolute magic.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Eat more pie. It only lasts one day! =)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Weekend Sketch Challenge

Here's my entry for Beate's WSC #28 - probably a little late for fall, but I love these new punches. That new wide satin ribbon is just to die for. The vanilla ribbon is the taffeta ribbon. I think they're beautiful together. On the leaf on the tag I did the rock n roll technique with really rust and chocolate chip... =)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Glitter Cam


Are you intrigued? Do you know where I'm going with this? Here's the back story. I'm making this card (which I don't even know I'm making until this happens...) and I open up my beautiful, sacred, hoarded Martha Stewart glitter that I told you about. The pretty turquoise blue kind. Oh, I can't wait. I peel off the plastic seal on the outside (apparently terrorists are trying to put anthrax in my glitter because it's locked up like Tylenol!) turn the lid and see two different shake & pour options (man, she thinks of everything) and try to shake some off. Nada. So I look harder and see the second, Al Qaeda level seal on the inside. Try as I might, with all my extensive Jack Bauer CTU tips, I can't get the lid off. So I poke the seal with my Martha craft knife, at which point I realize it's hard plastic and really needs to come out. At this point I've almost lost interest in the project I haven't even invented yet, and I'm feeling like nuking Afghanistan just in case they're responsible. So I apply brute force to the lid, which of course pops right off, spraying me with about two ounces of ultra fine, dazzlingly beautiful glitter. Now I kinda have to make something, since I will match my project for time immemorial. So here's what I came up with. I used her glue, which comes with a brush applicator in the lid, sprinkled all the glitter from my hair and desk on top of it, shook my glittery cat over it, used her punch to punch out a snowflake from DSP, and used versamark and clear ep for the greeting and the circle behind the punched out snowflake. See how frugal I am when I'm sparkly? ;)
Anyway, when I took this picture and the pic of the previous card, I was as usual frustrated with how bad glitter looks in photos. Why can't I capture it's sparkly little soul? If someone could invent a glitter cam they'd be a bizmillionaire!

Hope you are having a sparkly weekend yourselves!! My friend Yvonne got a really huge order for some custom cards - Bravo!!

R&R


So today is grey and a day of rest (stamping). Love days like this. Kinda wish somebody would go buy me some ice cream, but other than that, a perfect day shaping up.Started on the thank you notes - see what you think. The photographic detail leaves a bit to be desired, so look closely - the darker shadows on the flowers are painted with twinkling H2O's. The flowers are in ballet blue classic ink (stamped off once) and the centers of the flowers are accented with Stickles. I drew the branches with a black felt tip. I used the defining alphabet and my heavanly Martha Stewart craft knife to make myself an embossing template a la Kristina Werner, and dry embossed the G behind the definition, which is stamped in basic grey, like God stamped today... See? I'm a poet and don't even know it! Then that whisper white piece is layered onto ballet blue, then shimmery white. Voila.

Friday, November 16, 2007

*SIGH*

















So the meeting is over!!! I should be lying on a massage table right now, but there was a mixup at the spa, so I had to give up my appointment. I'm a little bummed, but now I have a couple minutes to say hi. The meeting went really well, so I have a lot of thank you notes to write. Anybody want to send me some simple thank you note ideas?

I registered for Leadership today - totally forgot to yesterday so I'm glad there was still a spot. Whew! Palm Springs here I come!!!

But more importantly, Santa Fe here I come in just a few short days... Happy almost Thanksgiving!

I will get back on this weekend after I get to stamp. I'm hoping that my order from Starving Artistamps is waiting for me at home.. Check this out - are these not the CUTEST???? I know it's past Halloween, but I couldn't resist!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Alllrighty then..















I've always said that the best innovators in stamping are from cold places like Minnesota. Women in the upper midwest come up with crazy brilliant ideas - toilet paper stamping, baby wipe techniques, etc. My theory has always been that they are locked inside for many months, while us ADDridden Texans are outside frolicking and chasing butterflies on our 80 degree November days with not an original thought in our heads.. Well, I had my own Minnesota moment today, despite the almost 90 degree lovely fall day. While making my treats (see previous post), I was continually distracted by (and by distracted by I mean EATING) the lovely Doves. I took my bone folder, smoothed one out, adhered it to a cardstock scrap, and punched it out to make this ornament - what do you think?

And, since Schriss (after narrowly escaping a demerit today by sharing her insanely adorable lawyer invitation that she's making 750 of by Tuesday!) asked, I guess I gotta share my Martha Obsession. Here it is, much to my shame. A billion punches, her stunningly beautiful ultrafine glitter in blue, her gel adhesive, some markers I don't even know why I bought, and - can you even tell? The craft knife I went to get. Grr. I'm gonna have so much fun!!!
So now I will clean my desk *sigh* since I won't get to stamp for a week because of the meeting. I hate the way work interferes with my fun! =)

See you soon!





Martha, why must you take all my money?

I love Martha Stewart. Unapologetic adoration. However, now that she has a craft line, I find her stealing more of my money at every turn!!! Here's how a typical day of Martha reaching into my pockets goes. Stand by for a virtual ADD experience, because you're going to get to be me for a bit. I get up, go to the gym (wow - love Lifetime Fitness) which normally prepares me for a somewhat full day, filling me with pep and confidence. Come home, clean the house, blog hop, etc. Decide I'm going to make my Thanksgiving office treats today since the sales meeting is this week, consuming my soul like a Dementor would... I base them on Vicky Maduzia's crazy cute treats on SCS (pause in the action for blog hopping and eating leftover mac & cheese) but of course, mine have to be blue. I shun the fall colors for my comfort zone. Well then I realize that all my Dove Chocolates are at the office. (pause when I realize I have grapefruit flavored LaCroix fizzy water in the fridge.. mmm). So, I gotta go to Walgreens and get some milk chocolate Doves, which come in blue foil. More ADD when I realize I need a new craft knife because I've watched Kristina Werner's video on monogram embossing and I MUST DO THIS IMMEDIATELY OR I WILL NO LONGER HAVE ADD. Wander around Walgreen's cursing their lack of a craft section. Give up and get the Doves, which - YIPEE - have a new sassy blue & gold foil for the holidays. Mentally revise the design of my treat. Ooh - I like that eyeshadow. Grabbed it. Focus myself, check out, head to Michael's for the craft knife. Seriously - mine is a total P.O.S. - this was necessary. ADD myself into a petting festival with the puppies for adoption at Petco. Feel like stealing the big German Shepherd. Restrain. Go into Michael's, where I'm ASSAULTED BY MARTHA!! LOOK WHAT HAPPENED!!! AT LEAST SHE HAS A CRAFT KNIFE, SO I CAN TELL MYSELF MY MISSION WAS ACCOMPLISHED!! Home, whereupon I "investigated" the Dove wrappers to see if there were new messages for the holidays - THERE ARE!!! By investigate, I mean eat about 100 of them, cancelling out the gym and making me chase my tail a bit. Then I actually started working on the treats, which I think turned out pretty cute. I dig blue & gold. Experimented with ribbon etc until I found something that wasn't too gaudy. More ADD diversion helping my sister add a link to her blog, researching needle felting, looking at the AOL headlines, worrying about work... Now what the heck am I going to do with all these little punched out scallops? I feel a little Forrest Gump riff coming on - lemon scallops, coconut scallops, fried scallops, scallops scampi..

Okay, a little more worrying about work and then a Corona to settle myself down. Wasn't it Ben Franklin who said something about beer being proof that God loves us? I think I would have liked that man.

Back to Kristina Werner. If you haven't checked out her video tutorials, please do. Simple, fast techniques explained brilliantly. Very generous of her to post, really. Sounds like she's a busy lady. Speaking of busy ladies..
I'm going to get my busy you know what back to finishing my treats so that I can post a cute idea I stumbled across while making them.. No way in Hades I could indulge my ADD and make it now and post it because I have like two square inches of workspace left until I finish these. Here's what the inside looks like. I hope they like them!!!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Is it wrong to dream about Mac & Cheese?

Well, daydream really.. I make this incredible Macaroni & Cheese - it's actually Oprah's favorite recipe. It's so crazy good, with 3 different kinds of cheese (sharp white cheddar, pecorino romano, gruyere), buttered breadcrumbs on top, makes enough to serve 40, or just 2 if I'm one of the ones eating it. =) Anyway, I'm making that tonight and a giant brisket and I just can't wait! I'm so hungry!


The red cup is back at Starbucks!! I'm so excited! It's the official kickoff of the holidays in my twisted little mind, so I'm stoked. Lucky for me, Beate's Weekend Sketch challenge allowed me to indulge in a little holiday interpretation of her layout. I got the idea from the latest issue of papercrafts, and I used some of that fabby Elements ribbon Chriss gave me for my birthday. I hope this is the first of many posts this weekend.
The next Ssssecret Ssstamping Sssociety meeting with the sssisters is coming up, and the challenge is a "hoarding" challenge. Each of us have to make the other girls a card with a supply we've been hoarding. My problem is that could be anything in my stamp room! But I chose a doozie and my card is so cute!! I wish I could show you but I can't until after the 28th. The hint is "winter".


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Really - this is all I need




So in the midst of insane business, I realize I haven't completed my defensive driving course - DUE THE EIGHTH!!! I have to spend 300 minutes on this thing tonight so I can have it Fedexed to the court in time. YIKERS!!!! So I'm temporarily unavailable!! Pray that I get the answers right!!! (I've practically got it memorized!!)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Life is short, Have a Peppermint Patty

Hello again. I had my club and my Christmas club today, and it was so cool to see my friend Yvonne again. She went to Italy recently and her description really makes me want to cash in the old 401K and just ... leave. *sigh* But since I'm still here, I'll show you what fun we had today. First of all, gold star to my friend Jenn, who pointed me to a link that showed me how to make this beautiful star out of - are you ready for this? The large and small tag punches!!! The link for the instructions is here. Then we moved on to another non-traditional color combo for Christmas - an almost purely monochromatic brown card. I created a mask with some kraft cardstock, then sponged Close to Cocoa inside the mask. With mask still in place, I stamped the Lovely as a Tree and greeting images inside the windows and removed the mask. With a ruler and a chocolate chip marker, I outlined the blocks which just cleaned it up. I CASED this from an SCS card - I'll try to add the link later.

Then, onto a copy of my Halloween treat box but with a Christmas theme. This is with the DSP, the tree from Merry & Bright, some Stickles, my beloved Pearson Peppermint Patties. We chatted about how life is short and how you just never know what's going to happen today, so my recommendation is that you go ahead and have a peppermint patty if you want one. Or a Snickers, or whatever is leftover from Halloween. I'm pretty sure God knows how happy chocolate makes us, and I think he likes it! =)




Which reminds me that one of the things that makes people happy is fall. Man, does everyone perk up when Nature takes the edge off and backs us down to about 60 degrees. For everyone north of Austin, I realize this doesn't really qualify as fall for most of the country, but for us, if it's not hotter than a pregnant mouse in a wool sock IT MUST BE FALL!! I miss the leaves changing, and although it means a temporary shift from my seasonless blue, I do love fall leaves. So the next project was an easy reverse masking project. Colored with sponge daubers and a CASE from an SCS card.. Pretty, I think.



Back to the non-traditional, I threw in two more wacky Christmas themed cards. One in pink -last year I SWORE I was going to do an all pink Christmas card, but didn't do it. Just love the idea of it. And I think these trees are super cute in pink. The colors here are Regal Rose, Pretty in Pink, Real Red. This is a poor case - the original has a scalloped square around the trees, and I didn't do that. But you can get an idea of how cute the original is.



The last one was my Peas on Earth that I've wanted to do for a while. I just love this stamp set - the bunny and the peas especially, so this one made me smile...











Now it's time for me to go have a big bone in filet at Flemings - yummy. I will talk to you soon!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Oh My!! Short Month, Small World


WOW. It's a small world. First of all, let me urge you to check out Kristina Werner's PDF Calendars on her blog. They are awesome, and she is quick like a bunny about sending them to you. Her designs are wonderful. Speaking of, I copied one of her samples of typography, and my hat is off to her, because I can't make anything look like she does. But the simplicity and power of what she did with this alphabet I hope comes through if you haven't seen the original. That girl has an eye.


Now here's a story that really makes me smile. So I post my Halloween Costume, and the extremely hilarious author of the Say Cheese blog, with whom I've corresponded over the last few months, sends me a note to say her brother in law works for my company!!! What the heck are the odds? I've known him for 16 years. He's been with our company for 20. A few years ago he told me that his sister in law was a stamper too, but seriously, how did we then end up crossing paths in the blogosphere?? I love this!! So hey there, TC. I'm floored.
I hope everyone is as happy about fall as I am, and I hope you're half as busy! =) Tell me what you're up to. Gotta go - computerguy is coming with my second hard drive in less than two months. Maybe I'm emitting a magnetic field like on LOST.
Oh hey - any ideas for my club this weekend would be greatly appreciated!
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