Monday, April 28, 2008
The Power of a Card April 28, 2008
Last December, Shelli Gardner lost her mother. She shared the news in a personal message to demonstrators and employees alike. Almost immediately, Shelli began receiving messages of sympathy and support, compassion and concern. Many demonstrators shared their own memories of Shelli's mother, while others shared treasured memories of their own mothers. Some messages were simple; others were longer. Shelli read each message, and each one touched her heart and reminded her of what really matters in our lives--those we love and care about.
Chances are good that you have experienced the power of a hand-stamped card yourself. Maybe you've been struggling with sorrow and pain when a card has brightened your day. Perhaps you've sent a card that helped someone feel appreciated and worthwhile. Whether you're the giver or receiver of these heartfelt expressions, you've seen and felt the difference they can make.
Cards made by Stampin' Up! demonstrators and customers hang on bulletin boards and refrigerators and are tucked in scrapbooks all around the world. And just because a card isn't kept, doesn't mean it isn't treasured. Anytime we realize that someone is thinking about us, is aware of us, is reaching out to us, we are buoyed up, strengthened, and encouraged.
That's the power of a card--the ability to quietly change someone's day for the better. As Shelli read each of the cards expressing sympathy for her loss, she resolved to make sure she sent out a card every opportunity she got. We invite you to do the same. It's a little thing that can make a big difference!
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Again, I apologize for the horrible photo. IRL, I swear this is a cute, not washed out card!! Oh, how I miss u, Photoshop!
I hate to talk about something sooo personal, but I found out that my CAPACITORS ARE SWOLLEN!! I know it's gross. But apparently, that means that your motherboard is sick. So in addition to the processor replacement, they are going to have to do a boardectomy. Wowza. Hopefully soon I will be back on line! I'm about wearing my laptop out!
This card is colored with a crimson copic, and the image is from the highly adorable A Little Birdie Told Me" set. You can't see the glitter in my pic, but his shadow is glittery as well as the stripes on the DSP. Maybe you will get this card in the mail and be able to see it up close!
Gonna have to re-watch Lost tonight to get all the clues. Cannot believe the weekend is almost gone. Hope you had a good one!
Friday, April 25, 2008
I'll be gone tomorrow but hopefully get to stamp on Sunday!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tracey with Starving Artistamps is headed off to Akron, Ohio for the rubber stamp convention - if any of my dear readers are from Ohio, go check it out - she has an incredible booth!!
There has been one at my house. Something went terribly wrong with my computer at home. Whatever happened also killed my wireless router so I can't use my laptop either. So I have major problems on all sorts of fronts, not the least of which is my inability to blog from anything but my blackberry.
Stay tuned. I have no intention of this lasting a long time. However, if I owe you an email forgive me. The crackberry is not optimal for all communication!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
I LOVE these Veggie Couture stamps from Lockhart Stamp Company - I bought them from Ellen Hutson. They're so cute! I need to get the rest of them - I just got a few of them. Ellen Hutson is WONDERFUL. Besides great stuff to buy, they always throw in a sweet little thank you with your order. And they ship FAST! Which, as Yvonne knows, is essential when you just HAVE to have that 8 millionth stamp to make a card you just HAVE to copy right this very instant!!! The greeting is from one of my fabby new Inque Boutique stamp sets called Mini Fantasy words. Corn Dress is colored with Copics, but of course!
I also got the Nestabilities dies and have been reading in the wonderful SCS thread about challenges and joys "nestled" therein.. I did them in a different order this time and it was easier, I swear. I took Jerri K's advice and did: A, C, Nestability smooth side down, cardstock, B. It worked like a charm. I liked it so much I put two nested dies in there to see what happened and that's how I got the sassy saffron ring. I did it in a different order yesterday and it also worked fine.
I promise I will only bring you my honest opinion of stamping products on this blog, so here goes an opinion for ya.
I gotta tell you, the lack of instructions in such an extremely expensive product is a more than a tad offputting. Especially back to back with my great experience with the Inque Boutique video on their homepage. So you plunk down 25 bucks for some nested dies and the packaging offers the following:
1. Zero permanent storage (I prefer products that come to you in the package you can store them in - these are stuck on a piece of cardboard with double sided tape and encased in a cheap plastic case meant to hang on a retail display). This isn't a total deal killer for me - lots of companies are bad at this, but why give me something to throw away for you? Can't you throw it away yourself? CD's are a great example of a product that is packaged in its own storage. Can the rest of the world please get with the program?
2. Zero instructions - the cardboard they are stuck to has lots of marketing statements like "Universal! Works in most Leading Die Cut Systems" and "Use to cut Paper, Cardstock" and "Serious Value for Beautiful nested shapes". Well really? How the h--- do I do that, exactly? Oh, I know, I go to a place that has great instruction - Splitcoast Stampers!!! The insert does have the website address on the bottom, but doesn't say anything like "Go to our website for instructions & projects" - it just lists it. I was SHOCKED when I opened the package expecting to find detailed instruction sandwiched in there. Then, sadly, at the bottom of the useless cardboard, "Made in China." :( I'm not a fan of that at all, I'm not gonna lie.
HOWEVER, all that being said, the product itself, thanks to the help from my SCS sisters, appears to work just fine and I think it is something I will use. If you are thinking about getting these though, you really need to do some research. On the SCS thread, I read things about people's Cuttlebug spacers breaking when embossing with them, so I think if you do it wrong, you might have problems. I have not had any of those, but I also haven't figured out how to emboss yet. One link said you need a special mat to emboss with, but I haven't read any farther than that, so I have absolutely no pretense that I am an expert or anything of that sort!!
So tonight I'm adding Inque Boutique to the blue list. Tomorrow I will be checking out their innovative storage solution and I'll let you know what I think. Good stamp storage is the white whale of my creative life, and I won't rest until something clicks!
I hope you all had a great weekend. My sister and I had an editing breakthrough today and did a fantastic voiceover of one of my shows. We are committed to making the May 9th deadline for submitting a summer show. So stay tuned for that, and hold me to it! :)
Saturday, April 19, 2008
I believe I've found the perfect stamp!!!! I clicked on the link to Inque Boutique from SCS the other day, and then found a local store that carried them. I was hooked by the video on their homepage that explained why their product was different from other unmounted stamps. Holy cow - they weren't kidding. These stamps have no foam, need no cling mount and are high quality rubber. They have a cling backing and a foam sheet that you place under the cardstock to stamp on. They are pre-cut perfectly, and SHAZAM - they have the image printed on the CLING side so that when you have them on your acrylic block you can see the image!! the perfect features of rubber and polymer stamps in a high quality rubber stamp - I LOVE THEM!!! I am in no way associated with this company, or have any reason to tell you this other than THEY JUST MADE THE BLUE LIST!!
WOW. Did I mention they are crazy inexpensive? I got mine at Felicia's Scrapbooks - a scrapbook/stamping store I could WALK to from my house and just discovered. The owner is very sweet and it's a great store.
You're gonna freak when you try these, I promise.
Have y'all heard that song from the fake country album on Saturday Night Live? It's so hilarious - my brother in law sings it all the time. It was on when Jennifer Aniston hosted. It goes "Ain't nothin' cuter than a fat country baby eatin' peaches off a hardwood floor" - OMG THAT CRACKS ME UP!!! Well here's a fat country baby for ya. He's colored with Stampin' Up! Bliss Blue marker, Ballet Blue Marker, and then highlighted with a Sakura glitter pen. The ovals are with Nestabilities dies (Yes, Chriss - I BOUGHT THEM) and the DSP is all from the 6X6 Stampin' Up! pads. the dots are with the white gel pen.
Fun Sketch Beate!!!
Not for me! I'd rather eat a spider than move! But it seems fun with this pretty cow announcing that we've moved into this lovely green house with the white picket fence, doesn't it? Not a cardboard box in sight!!
Doodle Factory Country Images - the house and tree are one stamp. The fence, the cow and those bigger grasses are separate images.
Copics, but of course!!! I love the colors I got on the cow. Pretty, pretty cow.
That's how a chick would say it - "mawwied". I mean, they just have little beaks - they can't possibly talk right!! :)
This is more from Doodle Factory Country, and more of the hoarded paper. Look how 3D it looks. I will be so sad when it's gone.
I stamped these in Brilliance Black (PS - ALWAYS heat set this! Sometimes I get all impatient and then I smudge it. Don't be me) and colored them with Copics. Chriss, look at all the careful cutting - you have tainted me!!
Oh, and the little banner is from Doodle Factory Urban. I hand wrote the greeting. Seriously, when is Kristina Werner going to hand write my stuff for me?? :)
Put your hands together. Two things I love - rabbits and birds. And I'd like the local chapter of Hoarder's Anonymous to acknowledge that I used some retired Stampin' Up! paper on this card. I've seriously hoarded this since I bought it. I loved the wood textures - it looks so dimensional and real. There's a gorgeous lace pattern in this package, as well as some blistered white paint on boards that I'm STILL hoarding! So there! I'm sure recovering from hoarding takes MULTIPLE steps!! :)
These images are from the Doodle Factory Country Stamp set from Starving Artistamps. I colored them with copics and cut them out. I hand wrote "Home Sweet Home" and popped it up with dimensionals. And speaking of dimensionals, I hope none of you throw away your dimensionals when there are still the edges of them on the sheet. Just because they're not nice little hexagons doesn't mean you can't use them!! I love cutting up the little edge pieces for teeny things like the little sign on this card. The twine and brad are Stampin' Up! and the card base is 5x5 Very Vanilla.
Happy Saturday! Oh, PS - want some free Doodle Factory stamps??
Friday, April 18, 2008
Then - for some REALLY big, fun and thrilling news!! This is a big HELLO!!! NEELAM IS NOW A STAMPIN' UP! DEMONSTRATOR!! YAY!!! This is so exciting!! Neelam is a neighbor of mine and an UBER talented stamper - she always kicks our camp projects up a notch with her creative touches. She is also quite hilarious, and she has quite possibly the world's most beautiful daughters. So a round of applause for her, please, and if you're going to convention, you will get to meet her!! I totally can't wait for convention!! Her demonstrator number is north of 2 million - mine is in the 36000's, so you can see how many people have signed up between May 2001 and now! Fun!
Then, for Hello #2 - OMG LOOK AT THIS!! I got this card from my friend Yvonne - and I have a lot of things to say about this. FIRST - this is a "just because" card, which just squeezes my heart. Please remember when you're stamping that the most important element of a card is the POSTAGE STAMP that goes on the envelope because you're sending it. I can't describe how fun it is to get a handmade card in the mail - I LOVE it, so please share what you make. it makes people so happy!!! SECOND, when I flipped it over, I noticed that Yvonne has gone all professional on me, and stamped on the back is "Greetings by Yvonne" and her email address - how brilliant!!!!! But THIRD, and most importantly LOOK HOW FREAKING CUTE THIS IS!! I'm thinking that sassy Yvonne used copics, because the colors are brilliant and blended. And I'm so excited that my photo shows the Crystal Effects she put on each dot on his shell. Then the beloved cuttlebug played a role, the brads, the twine, and my favorite part - the fact that she separated the three pieces of the background from each other so that you can see the card base in between. It's like adding an extra layer - STUNNING! I love this stamp and the greeting. Yvonne, if you're out there, post a comment on this entry and tell us where you got that stamp - her card says it's a "stamp of the month" but I don't know what that means. If it's a Stampin' Up! stamp I'm gonna be so embarassed!!
Finally, I know you won't believe this, but I actually did stamp last weekend. I just didn't have time to post. So to kick off my weekend of stamping and catching up, I will share last weekend's creations with you. I told you I got those stamps from ArtNeko, with the gorgeous bunnies, the blue fox and lots more. I got a sheet of "year of" asian stamps - so for all the Chinese New Year symbols, there are these beautiful little images. This year is the Year of the Rat, in case you didn't know. I made a whole set of these with one for each animal. I thought it would be fun to use them as birthday cards, so if someone was born in the year of the dragon or the tiger, that would be the card that they got. I went super minimalist and spare. Because the images are so small I didn't want to overwhelm them with color or detail on the rest of the card. Hope you like them. I'm including a couple close up s of the different images so you can see how cute they are. I used Basic Grey patterned paper, basic black ink, and a narrow strip of Real Red on the top third of each card.
So this weekend, get ready to see some cute Doodle Factory cards! I'm finishing up my Design Team work on the Doodle Factory Country Images, and I'm sooooo excited about the new Fairytale set - I should have that this coming week. I actually went on a bit of a stamp binge so I'm hoping to have lots of new images to play with in the next few weeks. I hope I have a lot of time to stamp. More importantly, I hope YOU all have a lot of time to stamp. Take care.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
You can probably see that on his face.
I would like you to read this story about my friend Mike and his daughter and then email me if you would like to send Nikki a card.
The last few weeks have been tough.
Thanks for reading.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I made the ground and sky with Copics, as well as did all the other coloring with them. I was scared to death after I colored the mailbox because my green was really dark. But when you lift color with the colorless blender pen, the Brilliance Graphite Black stays put, and the details reappear. That ink is really something. I got a little smudge on another card and just out of desperation I tried to erase it with my white Staedtler eraser and holy goat if it didn't come right off!!! What the heck? It's magic, I tell ya.
Hey - just one more day this week and then stamp-o-rama for me this weekend. Well, a little laundry-o-rama and maybe some stomp-o-rama too.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
Wait till you see what I'm onto next - DOODLE FACTORY!! Yeehaw!!
But I sooooo love this little Stampendous reading mouse! This card was for a limited supply challenge during Virtual Stamp Night on SCS. It's nice to have to keep it simple sometimes. As I said on SCS, I was looking for the perfect greeting for this card. My habit when I'm looking for a greeting or an image (which is easier in my Stampin' Up! catalog than looking through all my sets) I for some reason look through the catalog backwards. I have always done this. Bizarre. Anyway, I found one that was about reading and it HAS to be the only stamp set in the whole catalog that I don't have! But luckily I have the Simple Delights set, which is at the FRONT of the catalog (of course). Only when I was taking the picture did I realize how perfect the greeting was for the concept of a limited supply challenge. I think it's great to make clean, simple cards sometimes to remind us how striking they can be. We all go through those phases where we want to stick every embellishment in the room on a card! So I hope you enjoy the minimalism tonight.
Look closely at the books. If you are new to Copics, learn something the easy way that I learned the hard way. The colorless blender REMOVES color. I thought it just blended colors without changing them, which is not the case. And if you put the colorless blender down on top of color at the edge of your image you will get bleeding of the color past the outline. I did this a bunch before I figured out how to use the blender to create highlights. Think how fun this would be on a balloon! So to make the spines on the books, I just colored the book completely with a solid color, and then went back with the colorless blender just in the center of the spine. It lightened the color and created my hightlight. Fabulous. It's amazing how things work when you use them as they are intended!!!