Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fabulous Gift Card Holders!

I had a great time at my upline's today! We finally got to get together to do our gift card holder swap, and man, these ladies did some great work! Those there today said it was ok to post images of their work on our blogs, so I'll get some pictures taken and post them tomorrow. After driving the hour home from Jeanne's, I picked up some Subway sandwiches and then got busy working on progress reports for my students. I don't know who set the schedule, but having progress reports due Monday morning by 8:30 am after a holiday week off was criminal! Instead of playing a game with my youngest before she went to bed, I got to spend 2.5 hours finishing up some grading, then spending another hour plus on the computer to log in the grades and then input them online. It's now 11 pm, and I really should be heading to bed! Instead, I'm pretty much wide awake, not wanting to head to bed just yet. Guess I should head upstairs anyway... Have a great week!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Flip Book for FLEX Class

I mentioned earlier this past week that Darla and I will be teaching a paper crafting class at work for two weeks starting December 1. The major project I plan to do with the kiddies is a flip book, which I first saw on Amy Celona's blog. I first started a winter flip book, but didn't get very far on it - maybe I'll get inspired to finish it by the weekend. Instead, I ended up making an autumn one. It's made using construction paper. I have four different fall leaves sets, so it will lend itself nicely to our class (I just wish I had four of each stamp pad we'll need!). The next thing I need to design is the bag-a-lope that we're going to start with.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

My dear hubby and I got up a little early today and headed to our local coffee shop for some relaxation before the festivities get going today. As I was enjoying my steamed caramel apple cider, I made two Thanksgiving cards. I've been doing that a lot this Thanksgiving break - taking a stamping project with me to work on while I'm at the coffee shop. Anyhow, my card uses Autumn Vine DSP, the Season of Friendship stamp set, Rust, Mustard, Chocolate and Sage Markers, Chocolate Chip 5/8" grosgrain ribbon, and some cute antique brass snaps that I picked up on clearance at a local party store. The sentiment is from the Holidays & Wishes stamp set and I used the new wide oval and large circle punches for it. The main image and sentiment are popped up with dimensionals. A quick card, but that's all I had time for, and I like the way they came out. Happy Thanksgiving to all of my cyber friends!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tough Couple of Days

It's been a tough couple of days around our household. The other day my little one noticed the water in her fish tank needed changing, so she did a water change, added conditioner, and all seemed to be well until I found her two tiger barbs floating upside down the next morning. The filter pump on her little 2 gallon tank was unplugged, so I'm not sure if it was that or the water change that killed the fish. She had plugged it back in, but the plug was lose and must have fallen out over night. We cleaned out the tank thoroughly again, let it run for a while, then went to the pet store. This time she settled on 3 neon tetras and 3 glow-lite tetras. I think I had 5 neons in that tank when my brother gave it to me for my birthday years ago, so it was nice to see that familiar blue in the tank. Well, last night, my older daughter came downstairs with her dear hamster, Sugar, a long-haired black fancy hamster. She'd been fine earlier in the day, but now she was walking really weird, curving her backbone right, then left. She wouldn't eat or drink. I was hoping she'd be ok, but she went downhill after that, and sometime around 2:30 am this morning she died. I cried, just as I did when the little one's hamster died last June. I took care of her, then left a note by her cage to let my oldest know Sugar had died, and that now she was with Jesus, not in pain or suffering. She and the little one had some tears when they got up to see that Sugar had died, but they both handled it well (better than I, so it seems!). She gave us a year and four months of joy, and will be missed. Both pictures were taken earlier this month. The other hamster is our little one's 'new' hamster, Sandy, who replaced her dear Sqweakers in June. We knew Sugar was getting old as she was showing some signs of aging (weight loss, less active) but it was still tough to lose her. Our oldest had already decided that when Sugar's time came, she wanted to get another hamster (she's had mice in the past, too). So, she was busy today washing everything that was Sugar's to get ready for a new tennant. Oh, and we lost one of the neon tetras last night/this morning - looks like it got stuck in the little plant in the tank. So, like I said, it's been a tough couple of days. I hope the next few are better - I'm too emotional for all this!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

On Vacation, But Still Busy...

Although I have the week off, I've had a busy weekend and day today. Two of our stamping group can't make it next Sunday to our rescheduled gift card holder swap & meeting, so they asked if we'd make our swaps for them. Last night I got Anne & Marianne's two gift card holders finished, so one thing taken care of. Haven't been to the movies with our girls in a bit, so on Sunday after church I took them to see Madagascar 2. It was cute. Today it was eye exams for the whole family. We got there early, and it still took just over 2 hours before we headed home! I'll be happy when my new contacts arrive - I'm just not seeing too well with them. Meanwhile, a coworker and stamping buddy (hi Darla!) and I are teaching an enrichment class together for two weeks after Thanksgiving. We have 72 kids enrolled (some boys, too!) and we'll be doing some Paper Crafting projects with them. First up is a bag-a-lope, which I think they'll have fun making, then filling. I'm also considering a flip book album like the one I first saw on Amy Celona's blog, here. I've been working on a prototype using construction paper and will post it when it's ready. One of the other teachers has done a squash book with students, so I'm hoping this won't be too hard. We also want to make some cards during our enrichment. Anyone have any good ideas out there that would be easy enough for middle schoolers to do? I'd be interested in your ideas. If I don't post again before then, Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Southern California Fire Update

My friend Erin who I occasionally get to stamp with lives in Chino Hills, which was affected by this weekend's fires. Erin was actually out in the desert, enjoying a scrapbooking weekend retreat but her hubby kept the watch and took some amazing pictures from their driveway/in the street in front of their house that I wanted to share with you! This has been a monster of a fire, and still only minimally contained at this point. Many homes lost, many families displaced. No word on how it started, but this morning they were saying 26,000 acres had burned. Thankfully the wind situation is changing from a Santa Ana condition to a more normal ocean/sea breeze that we normally experience, so humidities will increase, helping the fire fighters. Keep everyone in your thoughts and prayers, as it's not over yet.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Stamping Sites to Help Inspire You

While cruisin' the 'net today, I ran across this blog - Color Throwdown. I don't know about you, but I often get in a rut, using the same colors over and over. I love it when someone can inspire me to get outside my comfort zone and try something different. I'll be back to this site for sure!

Another fun one to check out is Beate Johns' Be Inspired Challenge. She encourages you to use colors from an image, or patterns you see in the image, to create a card. Another great thing Beate features on her blog is the Weekend Sketch Challenge. It helps me with layout design of my cards when I'm not feeling particularly creative.

Jen del Muro will inspire you with her sketch challenges that she posts on Saturdays. Nancy Riley uses Jen's sketches often, which is another reason I enjoy checking out Nancy's blog, too.

Splitcoast is always a great resource, from uploads in their gallery of ideas using every SU! stamp set, to techniques, to project ideas, and of course, a whole bunch of challenges, too! I'm a regular visitor here.

Another cool site is Kristina Werner's site and her Color Inspiration challenges. Once again, this might help you get out of that rut when you can't think of which colors to feature on a card.

One site I tend to visit a lot is the SU Color Combos site. When I have a particular color or two that I have to use, it's fun to see what other colors the color picker will pair with mine.

Another site I visit is Sharon Johnson's No Time to Stamp? Sharon has great ideas and her Stamp Simply challenges may be just the thing to help get those creative juices flowing again.

You may have already visited some or all of these sites, but in case you haven't, check them out and get inspired!


Saturday, November 15, 2008

California is currently under the threat of several wildfires, but what's making it worse is that there are many residential areas in direct line of the fires this time. The image above (from the OC Register's website) gives you a feeling of what people are having to deal with in the Anaheim Hills, Yorba Linda, and Brea areas right now. As a result of the fire, I'm not sure if I'm going to make it to my upline meeting on Sunday or not. A section of the freeway that I'll need to travel has been closed down now for over 6 hours due to one of the fires. Let's hope that things improve and that the firefighters can get a better handle on things. The low humidity isn't helping, and the winds are driving this fire westward, into many a residential area. Last thing I heard, quite a few homes had sustained damage, several were gutted by the fire, and a 250 unit apartment complex has burned. As of mid-afternoon, there was no containment on this fire. The fire started this morning in western Corona, which is about a 25 minute drive from here, before it hopped the 91 freeway and headed into Anaheim Hills. The billowing smoke we can see in the distance is rather impressive, and must be terrible for everyone having to deal with the smoke and ash. I feel so sorry for those who have lost their homes due to the fire, and hope that everyone got out ok. Please keep the firefighters and everyone who had to flee their homes in your thoughts and prayers.

Gift Card Holder Directions

Several of my blog visitors have asked for directions for making the gift card holders I've recently posted. If you'd like me to email you a PDF version of the directions, please email me at and I'd be happy to send them along!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Gift Card Tin - Clear EP Version

I wanted to see the difference between the silver embossing powder I originally used, and clear embossing powder. I stamped and embossed on the back of the tin to see the difference, and I think I like the clear EP version better. What's interesting to me is that the silver EP looks like it's embossed and sitting above the tin base while the clear EP looks like the image was stamped into the tin as a depression (at least that's what my youngest and I noticed). I plan to bring both the silver and the clear EP and let the ladies decide which version they like the best. Have a great end to your week, and as always, thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gift Card Holder Tin - Inside Views

Finally found some time today to finish the inside of my gift card holder tin. The tin is an Accents & Elements tin that Stampin' Up! is currently closing out at $1.95 each, while supplies last (Silver Skinny Tin, 108333). I started with the cute 8 x 8 folded gift card holder that I found this past spring on Cambria's blog. I then added some Urban Garden DSP to line the insides of the tin, a place to journal a note, and the sentiment stamps from the Best Yet level 1 hostess stamp set. I just need to get the supplies all cut and I'll be ready for our Gift Card Holder swap on Sunday. I think I'll give the ladies an option of the Baja Breeze interior or a Kiwi Kiss interior, since both go nicely with the belly band on the outside. I think I'm also going to try using clear EP on the tin to see if I can get a silver look that better matches the tin. Silver EP just doesn't quite cut it. Have a great rest of your week!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gift Card Holder Tin

I found some time today to work on my second gift card holder for our upcoming team swap on Sunday. This project uses an empty Accents & Elements, the Upsy Daisy stamp set embossed in silver on the outside, and Urban Garden DSP, Not Quite Navy card stock, and Kiwi Kiss striped ribbon for the belly band. I got the outside finished, and have a bit of the inside started.

Embossing on the tin was harder than I thought it would be. I definitely needed to use my embossing buddy because without it, the embossing powder stuck everywhere!! Anyone have any other good ideas for getting a cleaner image without the stray EP? I'd love to hear from you on that one...

Getting a good picture of it was difficult - this is the best shot I was able to get. I should grab our better digital camera to photograph my projects, as I bet it would do a better job than my $80 special, but I keep grabbing the cheapie one as it's always in my purse, ready to go!

Not feeling all that great today isn't helping me get much done, stamping or otherwise. Thankfully I have tomorrow off, to recover. Thanks for stopping by today!

Western Sky Gift Card Holder

Here's the gift card holder I made for my nephew. I had planned to get him a regular gift, but I've been a little under the weather since Sunday, so a gift card and some Hot Wheels will have to do this time around. I wanted to make him a special holder for his gift card like his big sis will be getting, and this is what I came up with. I love this paper, and was sad to see it go.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Birthday Gift Card Holder

We missed celebrating my niece's birthday in September as my brother's work took him to Hawaii for a store opening, so when we celebrate my nephew's birthday tomorrow, we'll also get to celebrate his big sis's bday, too! We had picked up a Toys R Us gift card for her, so today I used scraps from my Simply Scrappin' swap to create a gift card holder for her gift card. I hope she likes it. I'm amazed how easy (and fast) these gift card holders are to put together, and how great they look! I ended up altering Adela's directions a bit, and will post them here once I get a chance (I seriously need to get to work cleaning my house!!).

At the end of our church service today, our pastor called out the branches of the armed forces and he asked veteran attendees to stand and we all clapped in appreciation of their service to our country. I'm such a softie - I started to tear up!! I love my country, and was proud to honor those who have fought to give us the freedoms we enjoy today. Have a great week, and enjoy your day off if you get to have Veteran's day off.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Gift Card Holder

The other day I ran across this adorable gift card holder by Adela. Our stampin' team is doing a gift card holder shoebox swap next weekend, and I wanted to share something a bit different. Today I started work on my swaps, the first being the one Adela shared on her blog. I decided to use a belly band on mine, and I hope the ladies enjoy making it next weekend! We're going to be sharing two gift card holders in all, so hopefully I'll be able to post the second one sometime tomorrow. Supplies used: Ski Slope designer series paper, Little Felt Flurries, Antique Brass Build-A-Brad, Snow Swirled stamp set, Old Olive ink.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ski Slope Box Directions

Holly visited my site today and asked about directions for the card box I posted last night. I created some directions tonight, which I hope are clear for all to follow. I recommend using sticky strip to put the box together - snail adhesive won't hold it together over a long period of time. To close the flap of the box, I use a small circle of Velcro adhesive that you can find at the store (it's sticky on the back, ready to apply). Enjoy, and if you make one of these cute boxes, I'd love to see it!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ski Slope Card Box

Yay! I made some time to create tonight! One of my coworkers wants to get together to stamp some Christmas cards, so I need to get crackin' and make some! I've wanted to use the Ski Slope designer paper, so tonight I created the box that will house the 4 to 6 cards I'll create for our stamp camp later this month. I used VersaMark ink and stamped the smaller two snowflakes from Snow Swirled on the Real Red box front, then added a strip of Ski Slope DSP and a thin line of Chocolate Chip as a border. The box lid is made from Old Olive with a piece of Ski Slope DSP and a wider line of Chocolate Chip as a border for the folded up corner. On that corner, I added the cute Little Felt Flurries and Filigree brad to accent the box, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out! Now to make more time this week/weekend to make the cards that will go inside. Have a great rest of your week, and thanks for visiting!