Sunday, December 31, 2006

*Enablers... sigh....*

So, two of my stamping friends got Cuttlebugs over the holidays... Tracy got hers with gift certificates and discount coupons at Michael's and Cindy got one from her husband. I've seen lots of talk about the Cuttlebug and I was definitely intrigued....

So, this morning we all trooped out to Brunch and I took my Michael's coupon in case we ladies decided to stop. Stop we did... And I thought.... "if they have a Cuttlebug, I'll buy it". I had heard that they were hard to come by at Michael's in Calgary so I figured I'd be off the hook. I'm walking the aisles and I don't see one... and then, there is the display at the end of the aisle... and one lone Cuttlebug on the shelf.

So yes, I scooped it up along with the swirls embossing folder. I will go back next week with another 40% off coupon to get an alphabet set to go with it.

What on earth have I done????!!! Thankfully, my total came to about $85 instead of just $109 for the Cuttlebug. That's an easier pill to swallow. I sure hope I use it enough to make it worth the money I spent.

Add that to all the shopping I did yesterday at the two stamping/scrapping stores and well... I have a lot of new stuff to play with.

I was thinking I should start making a dozen Christmas Cards per month from now until next December to allow me to play with all my new Christmas stamps... instead of letting them sit there, alone and sad, for a full 10 or 11 months, anxiously awaiting for me to grab them and put them into service, only to find out that I bought more lovely Christmas images in the fall.

Yup, I too went into stamping to "save money" bwa ha ha ha!

Have a good one!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

*A Non-Christmas Card... I know, shocking!*

OK.... let me start out by telling you just how difficult it was to stamp this card last week! This is the first time in months that I didn't make a Christmas card! And I think it nearly killed me. I got this new set from Stampin' Up and I couldn't wait to use it... but once I got it cut out and mounted, I just didn't now what I wanted to do with it. This is what I came up with... and I'm not honestly sure I like it. Sigh.

The stamp sets are Wonderful Words II, Little Pieces and Big Pieces. The colours are Whisper White, Basic Black, Barely Banana, Almost Amethyst, Rose Red and Certainly Celery. Hard to tell on the scan that I used Almost Amethyst at all... the wheel on the left is Amethyst as are some of the small circles you can't see.

There's just not anything exciting about this card to me.

But, I promise that once life gets back to normal around here and my houseguests go home (sniff sniff) that I will try again....

I did buy a bunch of new stuff today.... some Christmas stamps (sigh.... I'm addicted to Christmas stamps... I admit it), some great flower stickers, some beautiful Bazzill cardstock that shimmers... It was some fun shopping, especially since almost everything I bought was on sale! Yee Haw!

Have a safe and fun New Years' Eve tomorrow night.... don't do anything stupid!

See you next year!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

*Only 363 More Sleeps...*

... and then we get to do it all again! Funny how much work goes in to one day each year. But you know, I wouldn't do it any other way. I love the excitement of Christmas.

We had a really good Christmas. Wonderful to be able to spend it with some of our family. The day itself had a few moments of tears for me, missing my Dad... but overall it was a wonderful Christmas. So much excitement, so many happy faces. I love knowing that people are happy with the gifts I have chosen for them.

Taylor asked on her blog what your favourite gift was that you received and the favourite that you gave.... here are my answers...

The favourite gift I received is a tough choice as I received some wonderful things... necklace and matching earrings from my Mom, a great tea pot and tea from my sister, two movies I really wanted from my kids, some craft stuff from Mom... but I think my husband wins this prize... he gave me a tv and dvd player for my craft space. I have had a TV down there for a while but the TV is so old I can't hook a dvd player into it. Sometimes there is just nothing on TV and a chick flick would be a great form of noise while I'm stamping. I can't wait to get to spend some time down there! It will also be good to give the kids another place to hook up their video games.

The favourite gift I gave was tough as well... the kids were both so excited to get their new Nintendo DS Lites from us and my Mom, the giggles that erupted when my sister opened a particular gift that will remain nameless was worth it totally, the Bose stereo I got for Bruce fits in to the living room wonderfully and he's been enjoying it immensely... but the winner here has to be the gift that caused my Mom to cry. We lost my Dad this past spring and things have been tough for all of us... but especially for Mom. My sister and I thought Mom needed a little adventure this winter. So we got her tickets to fly to Arizona to spend 10 days with her brother at his winter home in Mesa. We totally blew her away. Mom's never been anywhere warm during the winter so this should be a nice treat. Her brother is so excited to have her come to visit. I hope she has a wonderful time.

I hope you gave and received some presents that were "just right" this year...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

*Merry Christmas*

I just wanted to take some time while the house is quiet before the craziness begins to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas. I hope that this wonderful time of the year brings a little smile to your face as you enjoy the traditions that make it all special to you.

I will be enjoying my Christmas with my husband and two sons as well as my Mom, one sister and niece here in my home. Tonight we are including my best friend and her family as well. Inlaws will share in our day tomorrow as well.

This Christmas is one my sisters, Mom and I have been a little leary of, as it is the first Christmas without Dad.... his smile, his whistling and the twinkle in his eye will be missed this holiday season and every holiday season to come. But I know that Dad will be here in our hearts....

My most favourite part of Christmas is watching the faces of those you love opening the gifts you have chosen for them. The gifts don't have to be big or fancy or expensive.... I love knowing that a gift was chosen especially for me... and I choose gifts especially for others. I love the looks on the kids faces as they get to see all the wonderful things they receive. And I love being with people who are important to my world.

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas....

Friday, December 22, 2006

*More Blog Candy*

Check out Alora's blog for a chance to win some stamps! Please mention my name in your comments on her blog! If you pass the information along, have your friends mention your name in their comments!

Good Luck!

*One Last Christmas Card*

As hard as it is for me, I think it's time I stop making Christmas Cards. (insert heavy sigh here). I love to stamp for Christmas. I love the colours, the images, the sparkles. (insert heavy sigh #2 here)

I did make a non-Christmas card yesterday... it was hard to do! And to top it all off, I don't really like it LOL! I'll probably still post it one of these days for you to see just how difficult it is for me to get back into the swing of non-Christmas stamping.

So, here is my final Christmas Card. I used two new to me sets... Snowflake Spot and Warmest Regards. I started with a Whisper White card and stamped snowflakes all over the background with Versamark Ink. I embossed the background with Iridescent Ice. I then stamped the large snowflake on Whisper White... I inked it with my Versamark first and then with Bashful Blue Classic Ink (on top of the Versamark) so that I could emboss it with Iridescent Ice. I sponged Bashful Blue ink around the edges of the square and then added Dazzling Diamonds glitter on top of my 2-Way Glue Pen. I added two different sizes of bling to the snowflake. I stamped Happy Holidays on Whisper White in Bashful and sponged the edges.

So that's it.... no more Christmas cards for me.... sniff sniff. I'll miss my Christmas stamps.... but on to more colourful and spring like things for me!

Have a good one!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

*Holiday Eating Tips*

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the centre of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of ea ch. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Monday, December 18, 2006

*Gift Bag Inspired*

We received a gift from a girlfriend of mine Sunday night and I was inspired to make this card by the bag it came in. The bag is much nicer, but the card turned out OK.

The colours of cardstock are Handsome Hunter and Green Galore, stamped and embossed in gold. The star on top of the tree (which is cut out of scrapbooking paper) is stamped on brushed gold paper and embossed in gold.

I might have to tweak the design a little to make it look exactly how I want it to....

*Cindy's Blog Giveaway*

Head on over to Cindy's blog to enter your name to win her Blog Candy! And, take a few minutes to go through all of her old posts... she does great work!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

*More Gift Card Tins*

We are giving some gift cards to some members of our family this year so I made them some tins to put the cards in.... I just find they are so much more pretty than just throwing the gift card or gift certificate into a greeting card.

The two tins on the top use Stampin' Up! Holiday Thyme paper. The one on on the bottom is some more the paper I used on the tall and skinny Christmas Card. The backs of each of the tins is a different paper (the other side of the Holiday Thyme on the top two and the circles on the bottom).

The two images are coloured with markers, covered with Versamark and embossed with Iridescent Ice. The tin on the bottom as five red gems and a snowflake brad for some bling. The JOY tin uses both the small and large tag punches from SU and the one on the top right uses the Marvy Clever Lever Giga Scalloped Oval Punch.

I think I need to place an order for more of these DVD tins.... I love decorating them! You can find them (in Canada) online here.

Hope they like these tins as much as I do! And I hope they use them the next time they give a Gift Card at Christmas!

Friday, December 15, 2006

*Looky What I Got!!*

I had a great looking package in the mail today.... it's not every day you get a waterbottle in your mailbox I tell ya!

I was one of the lucky winners of a Comment Contest on
Dawn's Blog. I had to leave a comment with my name, my best friends' name and my best friends' favourite colour. The prize was a little giftie for the person who left a comment and a card mailed to that person's best friend, using her favourite colours.

This was my first Blog Contest Win. It's wonderful to see you've won something!

Inside my bottle was a mini beaded pen, a Michael's stamp and some buttons and brads. What a wonderful little giftie!

My friend Denise received a beautiful card in the mail yesterday from Dawn and called to thank me for it this morning. You can see the cards Dawn sent to the best friends

, thank you so much for spoiling both Denise and I!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

*Yup, More Christmas*

I know I told you I was done stamping for Christmas... but I think I also told you that stamping for Christmas is my favourite "occasion" to stamp.... to that end, here's another Christmas Card.

I bought this stamp while at Scrapbookers Paradise last week. I had no more than 15 minutes in the South store (which I'd never been to... just the North store) and I need to go back. In the 15 minutes I had I spent $40! Maybe it was good I had limited time!

Anyway, like I said, I bought this stamp (Judikins) last week. I inked it with my markers in Always Artichoke, Rose Red and Brocade Blue with Summer Sun on the ornament hangers. I stamped it on Whisper White cardstock, then layered it on Brocade and Rose. I then stamped On The Spot with White Craft ink on Always Artichoke paper. I added my Sakura Stardust Gel Pen to the designs on the ornaments, a string with a bow on each ornament with my grey marker and put it all together.

Not totally thrilled with the card.... but it's not too awful... better than some of the others I've come up with this year LOL!

Have a good Tuesday.... I'm off to be a proud Mom and watch my two boys get academic awards for Term 1... the older son is getting Excellence (high honours) and the little one is getting Honours. A Proud Mommy Day for sure!

Monday, December 11, 2006

*Retro Holiday*

I bought some awesome paper at Scrapbookers Paradise last week and I couldn't wait to cut into it. You can't tell from the photo but some of the stripes and dots have sparkle to them. And you know how I've been with sparkly things lately. These are two different papers from the same line, designed to go together... so go together I did!

I used a piece of bright green grosgrain ribbon to hide the seam of the two papers. I covered a piece of Real Red cardstock with Versamark ink and then embossed it with Iridescent Ice embossing powder and chopped off the corners with the tag corner punch.. I stamped the solid tree from Shapes and Shadows in Green Galore ink, but did a one off to make it a little lighter. I then used one of the stamps from Little Pieces with full strength Green Galore ink to create the design on the tree. I cut it out and used a pop dot to adhere it to the red piece.

I added "Merry and Bright" stamped on Whisper White with Green Galore ink and layered it onto a Real Red piece. I coloured the Real Red with my Sakura Stardust gel pen and added a small gem for bling in the left corner.

Happy Monday all!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

*Sources for Card Tins*

I've had a few people ask about the tins I used for the card tins. I have seen them at Michael's as well as Scrapbookers Paradise here in Calgary. The good news is, you can do mail order at Scrapbookers Paradise!

*More Blog Candy*

Another of the Blogs I visit on a regular basis is giving away some Michaels Stamps... Check it out here if you want to enter for a chance to win!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

*Stamp Set Give Away!*

If you're interested in winning a free stamp set, head on over to Terri's Blog. Tell her I sent ya! By saying I referred you, I get more entries in to the draw. Then, you need to refer others who tell her that you sent them!

Good Luck!

*Another Card Tin*

I decorated another ProvoCraft Lunch Box to use as part of a teacher Christmas Present. I am amazed at how easily these can come together when you have papers you love. I went out and bought a whole whack more of beautiful papers at Scrapbookers Paradise (if you live in Calgary, you have to check out the store on South Macleod Trail... wow!).

The paper on this tin is Basic Grey. Delicious! I used more of the Cranberry Crisp stitched ribbon from SU around the tin and some cream grosgrain around the lid. There are gold daisy stickers in the corners of the lid, topped off with some bling

As with the other tin, I have filled the tin with cards for all occasions.

Might not get anything new posted for a few days... we're working on painting the upstairs hallway this weekend and my week starts out pretty busy... but I promise to post as soon as I create something new!

WOW, Christmas can be a busy time of the year! Who knew LOL!

Friday, December 08, 2006

*CD Tins*

I've had a few people ask about where I got the tins I used in the post below. If you are Canadian, you can order them online from Effectuality. They are located in BC and their shipping time was excellent.

*Gift Card Tins*

Part of the gift we are giving the kids' teachers Gift Cards to Chapters this year for Christmas. I had some business card sized tins sitting around and was planning on using them for Gift Cards this Christmas... decorate them up and pop the Gift Card inside. But the tins are too small. Sigh. What to do what to do.

I also have a bunch of CD Tins hanging around my craft space so I decided I would use them... a little big, but they serve a purpose.

This was the first tin I created... I used Stampin' Up! Holiday Thyme paper to cover the tin. I cut the paper just slightly smaller than then dimensions of the tin and used the large corner rounder for the corners. I adhered the paper to the top and bottom of the tin with a lot of double sided tape. The bottom of the tin is covered with the striped paper you see behind the JOY. JOY is stamped with Bashful Blue on Whisper White and then layered on to Bashful Blue. I used the two sizes of Tag Punch for the JOY. I added some ribbon to the tags and some bling to the corners.

Again, I used the Holiday Thyme paper on this tin... the reverse of this design is on the back of the tin. I stamped three of the outline trees from Shapes and Shadows in black, cut them out, then covered them in VersaMark and Iridescent Ice embossing powder. The middle tree is adhered with a pop dot. I also added a cranberry crisp stitched ribbon and some bling to the corners and along the ribbon. This one is my favourite of the three.

Again, Holiday Thyme paper used on this tin. Not much different to tell you about this tin.

The gift cards are taped to the inside of the tin to keep them from rolling around inside.

I am very pleased with how these turned out and might make some for birthdays too!

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

*CST Holiday Card Contest WINNER!*

For the first time since I started having this contesteight years ago on my online YahooGroup (CST), I have finally won a prize! I won fourth place in the Holiday Decorating category. If you want to see all of the entries, check them out here. There were a lot of amazing cards to choose from this year and I am honoured to have made it into the top 4 in my category. I had a whole different card created for the contest (see here), but changed my mind at the last minute.

This card was a little time consuming just to get it all coloured in. The image is one big stamp by Peddlars Pack. I stamped it in black ink on Whisper White cardstock. I coloured the stars in with a gold gel pen and then used Stampin' Up! markers in Certainly Celery, Regal Rose and Bashful Blue to decorate the ornaments. I also added some sparkle to the swirls and line stars with my Sakura Stardust Gel Pen. I attached the main image to Regal Rose cardstock. I stamped the greeting (Hero Arts) on paper weight vellum and wrapped it around the Regal Rose layer and adhered it to the back before attaching it all to a Certainly Celery card. I added two crystal blings on the vellum as well as four pink blings to the green ornament with the blue strip near the top right of the card.

I've had this stamp for about 3 years now... and this is the first card I've ever created with it. I just didn't know what to do with it. Sure am glad it was sitting there waiting for me to see the light!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

*Ho Ho Ho*

I don't know what it is about Santa images, but I have a really tough time using them to create cards.

I wanted to do something yesterday with my Marvy Giga Scalloped Square Punch and decided to give Santa a shot. It started out OK, but then I had a heck of a time trying to figure out what to do next.

I stamped Santa (PSX) on Whisper White, centred him in the punch and punched him out. I punched a second white square and coloured the corners with my Sakura Stardust gel pen to create some shimmer. I coloured Santa with a gold gen pen and a Real Red marker. I used Liquid Applique (or puff paint) on the fur of his hat and Dazzling Dimonds glitter on his beard and mustache. I added some little red bling to the four corners of the Santa square.

The Real Red layer is cut 1/4" smaller than the Whisper White card and I used the tag corner punch to snip off the corners. I then used the random splatter background stamp from Itty Bitty Backgrounds (SU) with white craft ink. I added the striped ribbon... don't have a clue where I got it from... been sitting in my ribbon drawer for ages! Imagine my surprise when it had double sided tape on the back of it!! I stamped Ho Ho Ho (Outlines Rubber Stamps) in Basic Black

I am actually quite pleased with how this Santa turned out... doesn't happen often with a Santa image for me!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

*Hey Frosty!*

I just love Snowmen.... ahhhhh. Not a fan of making them... too cold to be outside LOL!

I made card when my Mom was here and kept forgetting to bring it up from my crafting space to take a photo of it. I had to take a photo to at least try to show you that there is dimension to this card. The card base is Buckaroo Blue. On top of that is a piece of Bashful Blue and is adhered to the base card in the centre and on each of the two sides, creating a curved "book" look to the card. The decorated paper is adhered in the same way. The top layer is Whisper White. The snowman and greeting were stamped with blue Ultimate Metallic ink and embossed with blue pearl embossing powder. I coloured Frosty with my SU Markers. I then adhered the white layer in the centre and along each of the two sides. It all ends up looking like an open thick book with the pages curving.

Not sure that you could mail this card... it would get crushed and the effect would be ruined. It would be a "give in person" type of card.

Thanks for looking!

*My UHU Glue Experience*

Back in November I posted about being able to get some free samples from UHU. The day my samples arrived, they had been sitting in my mailbox for several hours and it was WAY cold outside, so I decided to wait until they warmed up to room temperature before I tried them.

I will admit, first and foremost, that I don't use a lot of glue. I much prefer double sided tape in my cardmaking.

I received, in the mail, a UHU Twise & Glue (the stand up bottle) and a Scrapbookers Pen. The Twist & Glue is neat as you can use it with just a small hole of an opening (not tiny, but a smaller hole) or you can twist the top and use the tip that comes up to spread out the glue. Works really well both ways. The small tip, when squeezed just a bit, was enough to glue on some pieces of bling. And it was great to be able to spread out the adhesive for working with paper.

The Scrapbookers Pen is a nice size and shape for using, however I found the barrel to be a little soft so it was easy to squeeze and get too much glue on my project.

Both glues held well and as long as I didn't use too much, my paper didn't buckle at all.

Thanks so much for the free samples! I will be using these for sure!

Monday, December 04, 2006

*Happy Winter*

My apologies for not posting something sooner than this. I am sure you can all appreciate how busy this time of the year can be. I am still totally in the Holiday Card Making mode, however I am now done all of my cards for the year. I decided that instead of a whole whack of one design, I would do several different designs... a dozen of each card.

This is the last card I decided to do. I created the prototype this morning, mass produced the dozen this afternoon. I have printed off my address labels and hope to get my cards ready for the mail tonight.

The card base is Cranberry Crisp (I will really miss these new In Color colours when the new Stampin' Up! catalogue comes out! I used a piece of the Holiday Time decorated paper cut 1/4" smaller than the card. I used the two larger circle punches to cut one circle in Whisper White and one in True Thyme. The snowflake is a silver brad I bought a few years ago. "Winter" is stamped in black ink on True Thyme and layered on to the back side of the patterned paper. I added sparkle to the small piece of patterned paper with my Sakrua Stardust Gel Pen. The ribbon is, of course, the stitched Cranberry Crisp Grosgrain from SU! (Imagine how excited I was to find out they will continue these ribbons until the end of the current Idea Book and Catalogue!

Hopefully there will be some more crafting happening in the next few days. I have a lot of running around to accomplish, but I hope to fit some creative time in there as well. In the lat 2 years or so I've been crafting less and less... with the blog, I find myself wanting to craft more often to be able to share new things with all of you.

So, for encouraging me (directly and indirectly) to create, thank you!!

Friday, December 01, 2006

*Stampers Club*

I started as a Stampin' Up Demonstrator almost two years ago. In the fall of 2005, a group of 10 ladies started meeting at my house once a month. I would share some of my stamping and creating knowledge with them each month and we created some great projects. They would in turn, purchase some Stampin' Up stuff from me and look forward to the next month when they could do it all over again.

Unfortunately this year, more than half of the ladies had to drop the Group due to time constraints. I now have a group of four ladies who meet every couple of months to craft in my basement with me. I come up with projects and teach them how to do them.

We are meeting this afternoon to make these wonderful boxes. I showed them the one I had made at our last craft afternoon and they all thought that they were wonderful.

Depending on who's directions you follow, they are called either
Fantasy Boxes or Friendship Boxes.

They take a bit of time to do but really aren't difficult. They'd be a great way to give some little gifts... earrings, candles, diamonds LOL!

Be sure to scroll down... I've posted twice today!

*Bake Auction*

Each year, the Beaver/Cub/Scout Group our kids are involved in host a Bake Auction just before Christmas. Each family must provide two items per child enrolled in the program... usually baked items, but not always. Things like a dozen cookies, or a plate of brownies. While the kids have their meeting, we parents get silly and pay lots of money for these items. All of the money collected is then donated to charity. Last year we gave it to the Alberta Childrens Hospital to buy toys for the kids at Christmas. This year, it all went to the food bank. I am sure that there was a fair amount of money raised since we were one of about 30 families involved and we spent just about $100!!

I did come home with something really cool, made by my friend Linda. She is a very crafty gal... cake decorating, scrapbooking and who knows what else!

I am so thrilled that I was the winner for this auction (in fact, there were three of these beauties to be auctioned off... each brought in $25). I have made the Candy Cane Reindeer before for the kids to give out to their friends, but I never would have thought to do this with them! She has created all of Santa's Reindeer (the one on the front is Rudolph with his red nose). She covered a piece of styrofoam with batting to create snow and has inserted each of the Reindeer into the foam. She has tied a thin black cord around all of the Reindeer and attached a small bell on the reins around each of their necks. She painted a wooden sleigh from Michaels and attached that to the styrofoam as well. She added a beautiful Christmas ribbon around the sides of the styrofoam and a red cello bag full of gingerbread goodies and chocolates tied with a Christmas ribbon.

What a great addition to my collection of Christmas Decorations!