Thursday, November 30, 2006

*Holiday Card Contest*

Each year I host a Holiday Card Contest on the YahooGroups Email List I own/moderate. The group is called CST and it's for Canadian Stampers and Paper Crafters.

While only our members can enter and vote, I invite you all to check out the cards in the five categories in the contest. You'll find them on my Picturetrail Site.

Voting for only two cards will be difficult for the members of CST!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

*Snowflakes.... Brrrrrr*

OK, it wasn't snowing today, but it is still bitterly cold!! We broke a 110 year old record for a temperature low last night. Yup, it's that cold. There is a light at the end of the tunnel... still be low normal, but better than what it's been!

The cold weather makes me think of snowflakes. It also helps that there's quite a bit of snow on the ground!

This card looks so much better in person. The scan didn't do it any justice so I took a digital photo instead. And even then, it's not as good here as it is in my hand. I started with a Buckaroo Blue card cut to 4.25"X8.5". I took the snowflake image (Stampers Choice) and stamped it int he centre of the card in silver ink and embossed it in silver. I then stamped Seasons Greetings (Hero Arts) across it in Buckaroo Blue classic ink. I added a silver edge all around the card with a silver paint pen and three clear jewels to the bottom right corner. A piece of Vintage Violet stitched ribbon across the top finished it off.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, November 27, 2006

*I'm Still Here*

I'm freezing, but I'm still here! At lunchtime today, with the windchill, it was -41C (that's -42F)! It is NASTY out there!

I've had to go out in it a few times today to go to work and to go to a meeting. Brrr, is all I can say. We're skipping Tae Kwon Do tonight... just too cold!

I have been doing a bit of crafting during this cold snap, however it's nothing new. I'm working on Christmas cards and have decided to do a dozen each of 5 or 6 of the designs I've already posted on my blog.

I will try to get something new out for you in the next day or two... although my week is pretty busy. But I will try! Don't wanna disappoint my visitors!

In the mean time, grab yourself something warm to drink, a cozy blanket and stay warm!!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

*Happy Holidays CASE*

I haven't had a lot of time to get crafty and when I have been crafting, I've been trying to work on my Christmas cards. I've decided to do a few different designs this year (which is new for me). So far I have a dozen each of two different designs... ones you've already seen on my blog (the white with the three snowflakes and ribbon and the snowman on the Certainly Celery cardstock).

In surfing yesterday, I found a beautiful and simple card on Natasha's Blog . I don't have the stamp set she used, but I knew I had others that would work. Being short on crafty time (had Bruce's office Christmas Party last night), I thought I would use her card, make a few changes, and post it on my blog. I feel bad when I don't have new things to share with you all more often!

This is pretty much a straight case of Copy And Share Everything. I loved everything about her card so I decided to make it for myself! I used True Thyme and Cranberry Crisp. I added some of the Sakura Stardust Gel pen in clear on the little tree in the circle and in silver around each of teh three stamped images to add some bling.

This card also gave me a chance to play with the Uhu Glue Samples I received earlier this week. I received the Twist 'n' Glue and the Scrapbookers Pen.

These are both clear liquid glues that work very well. The applicators are nice. With the Twist 'n' Glue, you can either have it twisted all the way down so only the green nozzle is at the end of the applicator and it will leave a dot of glue. Or you can twist it up and have the applicator nozzle embedded in a plastic piece that will spread out the glue. I used just the green small tip to add some bling to another card and it held well.

The Scrapbookers Pen has a great applicator nozzle that allows you to spread out the glue as you go along. Both dry quite quickly which is good in some cases... but sometimes you need to have the glue dry a little more slowly so you can play with the placement. I'm not a big glue person (mostly use double sided adhesive) but I found this stuff to be very user friendly. I'll definitely be pulling it out more often than other glues.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

*Free Stuff is Good!*

There are a few different offers out there for some free stuff for your cardmaking/paper crafting.

I found an offer for free Uhu Glue samples on It's All About the Journey. I believe you have to have to craft related blog for them to send you the glue. She has a great review of the free glue she received as well as information as to how to get your own glue. My glue came this afternoon but it sat in my mailbox where it is -13C today so it's a little too cold to use at the moment. Once it's warmed up and I have some time, I'll play with it and let you know how it works!

I also came across another blog (Ask Me To Stamp) that has information about a way to get some free cardstock Follow the links there to Prism Paper and see if you can't get yourself a free sample of their product.

EDIT: Thanks to Sheila in Seattle who tells me the Prism Paper give away is over.... sorry about that gals!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

*Christmas Card Workshop*

I had a group of girls over last night to work on Christmas Cards. I offered up my stamps and they brought their own papers and some of their own inks and off we went making cards. One of the ladies brought her Loads of Love set and asked if I could do a card using the set for her. I asked if I could scan it before she left.

This was my first time using this set and I think it turned out pretty well. It was hard for me since this isn't a set I think I would usually use on my own.

I started out by stamping the truck on Shimmer cardstock with black ink. I then used my Stamp-a-ma-Jig (stamp positioner) to place the tree in the back of the truck. I also had to use a Post-It Note to mask off the truck. I stamped the tree in True Thyme. I then coloured the truck in with markers using Ruby Red and Going Grey and I used both the Silver and Clear Sakura Stardust Gel pens on the truck. I sponged Ruby Red ink along the edges of the Shimmer cardstock. I then layered it on to True Thyme cardstock and popped some gold brads into the corners. I cut a Cranberry Crisp card, layered on a piece of the Holiday Thyme patterned paper (which I coloured the stars with the clear Stardust pen). I put the truck image onto the card. Still, it needed something. You can't see it in the scan very well but there are black doodle lines around the bottom edges of the Cranberry Crisp card and little black dots on the True Thyme frame.

It took me quite a while to complete this card. I stamped and then stared at it for a bit. Then coloured and stared at it for a bit. Then added the sponging around the edges and then stared at it for a bit.... you get the idea.

But, I am pleased with the end result. The journey to the end result was part of the fun!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

*We Have A Winner!!*

I had my sick son pick a number for me this morning to choose a winner for the contst for the 5000th page view of my blog.... he chose #17.... which means TRINA is a winner! Trina, please email me at nancy dot elrick at gmail dot com with your address and I will pop a package off to you asap.

I can't believe how many page hits I received in a 48 hour period. I posted in two communities my excitement about my first tin (both CST (a YahooGroup for Canadian Stampers which I happen to be the list owner of) and Splitcoast Stampers) and in two days I had 840 page views! WOW-o-WOW!

I hope to get something new and creative up here later today for you to see.... I took yesterday off from creativity (and work) as it was a sad day for me.... my Dad passed away in May and yesterday would have been his 74th birthday. I shed some tears and enjoyed lots of memories of my Dad. I sure miss him....

Sunday, November 19, 2006

*Sunday Craft Day*

We've had a quiet "around the house" kind of day today... if you don't include the fact that my husband was in line at Future Shop at 6:30 this morning to get a new Nintendo Wii for the kids. The kids have been saving some money they got back in February for this new system which was released today. We missed the pre-order period and decided we would *try* to get a system this morning. Bruce was #44 in line... and at about 9:30 this morning he found out that the store had 48 systems to sell. We were this close to not getting one. We made sure the kids had all their homework done before today so that they could spend the day playing video games. It seems like a pretty neat system with a "revolutionary" idea for the controller. Should be fun!

So, while the kids played (and Bruce put the Christmas lights up outside), I decided to do some craftin'.

Believe me when I say this card is so much better in real life... I used that clear Sakura Stardust gel pen on each of teh stars in the patterned paper as well as to colour the bell at the end of the word "jingle". Sure makes it sparkle! There is also a gem for bling in the centre of the middle ornament. All images and supplies (except the Gel Pen) are by Stampin' Up. I use foam tape behind the tag to pop it up just a little bit.

I think I'll need to order more of these stitched ribbons and the Holiday Time paper before the end of November... I just love them!

Don't forget to enter a comment in the post two below to enter my 5000th Page View Contest!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

*My First Card Tin*

I've had a Provo Craft lunch tin for several months now but it's been sitting in my craft space waiting for me to do something with it. I think I've been pretty intimidated about trying to cover it. There are no directions or templates out there for them. But I decided yesterday that it was time to play with it. I pulled out some Stampin' Up Patterned Paper from the Simply Scrappin' Friends and Flowers Level 1 Hostess Set and went to it. Covering the main part of the tin was easy. I did the striped paper first... a layer of Modge Podge on the tin and then put the paper down on it. I waited for it to dry before putting the flower paper on. I used a circle punch to cut out the area around the latch. I put the Modge Podge on the back of the paper this time and carefully wrapped it around the tin. When it was all dry, I added two layers of Modge Podge over the top of the decorated papers.

The lid was a little more difficult. I started out with a piece of computer paper and cut it to the approximate size and played with my corner rounder punch and measurements until I got something that would fit pretty well. I cut slits in each side of the paper up to the holes for the handle to be able to get the paper on in one piece. I put the Modge Podge on the back of the paper and on the tin (thin layer on each) to allow for some extra time to be able to move things around to get it perfect. Once it was dry I added 2 coats of Modge Podge on top of the patterned paper.

I added a light yellow grosgrain ribbon around the edge of the lid and the Cranberry Crisp stitched ribbon around the tin to cover where the two papers overlap. I put sticky strip (also known as red line tape) along the ribbon and then stuck it on the tin. I also added some Prima Flowers to the top and added some bling to the centre of each flower. There are also three little blings in the bottom right corner of the front of the tin.

I then created 4 dividers out of Cool Caribbean cardstock for inside the tin, using the circle punch to create the tabs on the dividers. I wrote on each tab with a black marker and added some sparkle with the clear Stardust Gel Pen. I filled the tin with cards to create a gift for one of the kids' teachers this year.

It really wasn't as daunting a project as I feared it would be. I now want to go to the scrapbooking store and buy more of these wonderful tins!

Don't forget to enter a comment in the post below to enter my 5000th Page View Contest!

Friday, November 17, 2006

*5000 Page Views!!!*

WOW o WOW! I can't believe I've made it to 5000+ page views on my little Creative Mess! I'm very excited about that.

I made this card yesterday for someone special and decided that it would be a perfect card to thank everyone who visits my blog. I received a tin of huge Prima Flowers from my girlfriend and finally decided to make something with them. The Creamy Caramel card is 4.25X4.25" I stamped it in Creamy Caramel with Print Background. I lined each of the diamonds with the clear Sakura Stardust Gel Pen (you can't see the sparkle in the scan) and added a black dot between each diamond. Thank you is stamped in Bravo Burgundy on Creamy Caramel and layered onto Bravo Burgundy cardstock. I coloured the edges of the Bravo Burgundy piece with the Stardust pen and added a gem for some bling. I put the large flower together with a gold brad and adhered it to the card with a glue dot.

To celebrate my 5000 page views, I'm offering a contest! Yup, yet another blog contest! If you leave me a comment on this post between now and Tuesday morning (November 21st) your name will be entered to win a pack of fun stuff from me!

Thanks again for taking a look at my little Creative Mess!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

*Winter Mini Sneak Peek!*

I received my Winter Mini preorder while I was out of town and as soon as I had a few minutes I got to work playing with the new Small Tag Punch and Taggers Dozen. I also used Little Pieces and On The Spot.

The colours used are Rose Red, Certainly Celery, Basic Black and Whisper White.

You can't see it in this scan, but the white piece is embossed with Iridescent Ice to make it sparkle.

I didn't have enough of the Celery Grosgrain Ribbon so I used a strip of cardstock instead.

The tag is actually a flap that opens and I have the word "friend" written in there with a white gel pen.

Be watching tomorrow for a special surprise to celebrate my 5000th page view!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

*Snowflake Simplicity*

This is another card I made while Mom was here. She left yesterday, sniff.

I used Bashful Blue, Whisper White and Basic Black on this card. I stamped the Holiday Print background in White Craft Ink on the card (which is cut to 11X4.25"). The snowflake is a Stampin' Up! punch. I layered the Bashful Blue snowflake onto Whisper White and then coloured in the snowflake area with the clear Stardust gel pen. I added a few more layers and then put it onto the black, which I also coloured with the Stardust gel pen. I added some bling in the centre of the snowflake and three beside it and voila!

This is the last of the cards I made while Mom was here... gotta find some more time to stamp!

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

*Snowmen Have Heart*

I love snowmen. Have I said that before? This was one of my must have snowmen a few years back and would you believe that this is the first card I've ever made with him? Sad, eh?

I stamped the image on Whisper White cardstock with black Staz On ink and used a wet brush (I don't like the water brushes) and my Stampin' Up Watercolour Wonder Crayons to colour it. The black frame directly around the snowman is part of the image... the black line that creates the frame I drew with a black marker and my ruler. I stamped some little snowflakes on the Bashful Blue cardstock with white Craft Ink, punched a piece of black cardstock with the Word Window Punch and attached it to the card as a tab with a brad. I layered all of this on to a black layer and then on to a Bashful Blue card.

I got inspiration for this card from a card I had printed off at least a year ago... but I have no information about who created it. If you know, please leave me a comment so I can give credit where credit is due!

EDIT: Anna is right!!! It was her card I copied shamelessly! I printed off a bunch of cards last year but didn't keep any of the information as to who created the cards. You can see Anna's card HERE and take a minute to check out her Blog too!

*My Friend Cam -- October 13, 1972 to November 9, 2006*

I just wanted to take a minute to remember my friend Cam who passed away after a long and hard and brave battle with Colon Cancer. I met Cam when I befriended her older sister the summer before Chris and I started kindergarten (1975). The lived just a short walk around the corner from my house. From early on I was a part of that family... calling their parents Mom and Dad, eating breakfast there on the way to school... even being part of the daily vitamin ritual.

Cam was a great "little sister" for a girl who had only big sisters at home. She grew into a wonderful woman. She became an English professor at the University of Regina and I understand she was well-liked and respected by her colleagues and her students. She married Corbett in 2001 and together they started a family. Liam and Caine are only 8 and 4 and my heart breaks that they do not get to spend more time with their Mom.

Knowing that her time was near, Cam prepared for her memorial service and her obituary, writing parts of both. You can view her obituary (if you wish) ... do a search for Cam McCabe.

The kids know that Mommy isn't coming home.... that Mommy now lives in their hearts. I think they are dealing with her passing better than I am.

Thank you for allowing me to indulge in my sorrow.... and remember to give the ones you love a hug that's a little longer today.

Monday, November 13, 2006

*I'm Home!*

And WOW am I tired! Vegas was a blast... lots of walking, enough drinking and eating, some great shopping, and a bit of gambling.

Getting to Vegas was half the battle... one couple in our group didn't get on the plane as they didn't have the right identification. They managed to get on a later flight (only arrived 3 hours behind us) but then they had no luggage. But that arrived before they went to bed on the first night. We were in lineups all day long.... made our flight out of Calgary with no time to spare after long lines at Customs and Security. Missed our connector flight in Phoenix but were on a flight only a few minutes later. We had a lot of fun and would definitely go back again.

I was smart before I left... and I made up a few cards to entertain my readers when I got home. My stats show a HUGE drop in readership.... I sure hope I can gain that back again! I guess that will teach me to go on vacation (I need a vacation from my vacation though....).

So.... here's a card I made before I left to give to my friend Denise who celebrated her 40th birthday with 18 of her friends in Vegas!!

Again, you can tell how much I love these scallop punches. My friend Cindy punched me a bunch of white and cream ovals and I have now ordered the punch for myself.

I am proud of this card because I made it with no inspiration from anything other than myself!

I stamped the scallop with Regal Rose ink after stamping it off once. The greeting is done in Almost Amethyst. I sponged the edge of the scallop with Regal Rose ink. I covered the entire scallop with Versamark ink and Iridescent Ice Embossing Powder and heated it. I added layers of Certainly Celery and Regal Rose, some Celery Ribbon and gems in the corners for the "bling factor". The Whisper White cardstock was cut to 11X4.25" and folded in half and the ribbon is wrapped inside the card. Celebrate was stamped in Regal Rose.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

*I Love Scallops*

Actually, I hate the fishy kind. And I wasn't sure what all the excitement was about with these punches, but let me tell ya... I love 'em!!! I bought the giga circle and square and have just ordered the giga oval too. Sigh...

I got the idea for this card from a layout idea at PageMaps. What a great site to give you a little push in your creativity! I used the Giga Scallop circle to take a bite out of the patterned paper. I attached the ribbon to the stamped little circle and wrapped it around the patterned paper. I then masked the scallop circle and stamped the large snowflake in white craft ink and embossed it in white. I added a little bling gem in the centre of the snowflake and as the dot on the "J" in joy. I think I should have masked off the Bashful Blue card so that the snowflake didn't go outside the circle, but that's OK.

Took Mom shopping yesterday to one of her favourite stores in Calgary. It's called Paper Pastimes. We both spent a good chunk of money there. I hope to find some time to play with what I bought! I picked up one of the teflon bone folders (they aren't supposed to leave that glossy look to your paper after you use it), some gel pens, a stamp that says JOY (that I want to ink with my markers one letter at a time and punch out and use), a bunch of Christmas Class-A-Peel stickers, some of the coloured little gems from A*Muse. Probably could have bought more.... but that was enough LOL!

This post will have to hold you over for a few days... I'm off, bright and early (well actually, dark and early) Thursday morning for a weekend in Vegas with 18 friends. We'rer heading down to celebrate the 40th birthday of one of my closest friends. I hope I survive LOL!

Thanks again for checking in.... come back next week for more!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

*Scallop Punch*

I was asked where I got my Scallop Punches from. These are the giga sized ones (the largest) and I ordered them from I've been doing business with Fran for many many years now. She has great prices and even better service! It's a US company but her shipping rates to Canada are reasonable. If you're looking for the Scallop Punches, go under Punches and then click on Marvy.
But beware... you can't get away without ordering more!

*Merry and Bright*

I bought the set called Quick Cards from the Holiday Mini (page 8) and was so excited waiting for it... and then it arrived and I realized that it was three large stamps instead of 6 smaller coordinating stamps. I was so disappointed. I have tried a few times to use this set with no luck at all.

Until yesterday....

That's when I came up with this card. I inked only the the ornament on the Christmas stamp with Cranberry Crisp and stamped it on a piece of Whisper White cardstock. I then centred it in my Giga Scalloped Circle Punch. I sponged Buckaroo Blue ink around the edges and added dots of white Liquid Pearls in each of the scallops. I set that aside to dry. I cut a piece of Cranberry Crisp to 4"X5 1/4" and stamped it with the On The Spot in Whisper What ink and heat set it to dry it. I wrapped a piece of True Thyme stitched ribbon around the Cranberry Crisp piece and attached it with double sided tape to my True Thyme Card. I put the scalloped circle on the front and voila!

I'm still not sold on this set, but at least I've found one use for it! I sure would have liked it more if it had been 6 stamps. I guess it pays to read the fine print in the catalogue!

Monday, November 06, 2006

*My Mom Is Here*

My Mom is the one who introduced me to stamping. It was in November of 1996 and I was pregnant and visiting for my Dad's Birthday. She wanted to show me this new craft she discovered and I thought "Oh God, not again". Mom has done almost every craft known to woman over the years. Anyway, she showed me thermal embossing... and I was hooked. My husband bought me a bunch of stamping stuff (powders and a heat tool) for Christmas and I've never looked back. My first project was my Christmas Gift tags that first year... my first big project was Matthew's birth announcements a few months later.

So, Mom is here for 9 days to visit. Part of the reason for her trip is to watch the boyz while Bruce and I go to Vegas for the weekend. We are heading off on Thursday, going with 18 other people to celebrate my good friends' 40th birthday. It should be a lot of fun.

With Mom here, I am sure there will be a lot more crafting going on. It's so wonderful that Mom has found her card making groove again. She took a little break from things when my Dad passed away. She doesn't do a lot of stamping, but she loves to make cards... all sorts of intricate and time consuming designs. You can see some of her stuff (nothing new) on her Picture Trail site.

Mom arrived on Sunday afternoon and we spent the afternoon watching a football game (and yes, the team we were cheering for won!). After dinner she and I went down to my crafting space. It took me a while to find some creativity. Same as the last time I went down... I spent 2 hours on two things that didn't work out. But last night, I was productive.

This card came to me while playing with the Giga Scalloped Circle punch. My larger SU circle punch fits in the centre just perfectly (would probably make a great flower if I wasn't so in to making Christmas cards right now!). The colours I used are True Thyme, Vintage Violet, Cranberry Crisp and Whisper White. I added little dots to the scallops with white Liquid Pearls. The brads were an afterthought as the card needed that unknown "something".

Thanks for looking.... watch for more in the coming days!

Friday, November 03, 2006

*Simple Snowflakes*

Don't you just hate it when you spend time working on a card and then, when it's finished, you're just not sure that you really like it as much as you wanted to? Well, that's the case with this card.

I started with a Vintage Violet card. I punched circles out of Bashful Blue. I then punched the snowflake punch out of Whisper White and then centred them in the circle punch. I used the 2-way glue pen around the edges of the circles and added some glitter. I glued the snowflakes onto the blue circles and added a silver brad in the centre of each. I used the Sakura Stardust pen (clear) to add sparkle to the snowflakes (coloured the blue through the punch) and then added a Vintage Violet stitched ribbon to the card.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

*More Bling and More Snowflakes*

I sure hope you're not getting sick of snowflakes and winter cards yet, cuz I think I still have a few more in me to make!

This card is one I love. I started out playing with the Fiskars snowflake border punch. I took a Whisper White card and punched along the bottom and then added a piece of the Holiday Time paper behind it. I used a scalloped oval punch out that Cindy sent me... I have the circle and the square giga scallop punches but not the oval (guess I gotta order it now too!). I inked the edges of the oval with a stamping sponge and Bashful Blue ink. I then used the 2-Way glue pen around the edges and added some glitter. I stamped the snowflake in the centre (almost LOL) with Bashful Blue ink and added a clear gem for sparkle. I put the card together and still it needed something... so I added the clear gems to the centres of alternating snowflakes in the border. I love the simplicity of this card. Those that know me well would probably tell you that this is a "Nancy" card...

I've had a few milestones in blogging in the last couple of days.... I've had a record number of page views on Tuesday and Wednesday (239 and 238 respectively) , I had a record number of comments on a post yesterday (7), and I'm now over the 3000 visits mark! How exciting!

Keep those page visits and comments coming! And please feel free to share my blog with others you think might be interested!

And thank you for coming to visit.... knowing that there are people who are popping in to check on my blog inspires me to get creative more often. I haven't stamped this much in a few years! It feels great to get back at it again!

If you have some time, grab a cup of your favourite tea/coffee/hot chocolate and take a browse through the blogs listed on the left... some wonderful ideas to be seen!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

*Mind Meld?*

I think that perhaps M Cooper (from Splitcoast Stampers) and I shared a brain this past weekend! I was playing and came up with this card using the Snow Flurries set in the Holiday Mini. This is the first time I've posted it anywhere.... on Tuesday, I saw this card by M Cooper on the SCS gallery. I think it just goes to show that two people can come up with a very similar idea without having seen the others' first.

The colours I used were from the In Color line... they are Cranberry Crisp and True Thyme. The star on the top and Peaceful Wishes are stamped with Gold Encore Metallic Ink and embossed ... the star with Iridescent Ice, the greeting with gold powder.

Thank Heaven for my Stamp-A-Ma-Jig which allowed me to get my snowflakes stamped where I wanted the first time!