Friday, March 31, 2006

Shamefully copied...

In the newest issue of Papercrafts, I fell in love with a card and have been wanting to make my own ever since I saw it. Tonight at Michael's, I realized they sold the very same paper that the card was made with (Wild Asparagus, of course). So, I bought a few sheets and after everyone went to bed, I played. And this is what I came up with. The original had 'L' and 'love' but since Mother's Day is coming up, I figured I'd give it my own twist. I love the way it came out, even though I left out the stitching that the original one had. It's late... I'm not about to lug out my sewing machine!!! It did take much longer to make than I thought it would... pain in the neck trying to find just the right font and then print it out and position to patterned paper just right. But I think it was worth it.

Surprised by the UPS Man!!!

So this afternoon the doorbell rings and it's the UPS man. I immediately am stumped, because I knew it was too early for my TAC order to be arriving, and besides, it was a patterned envelope, not a box. Expressing my surprise, he says "It's from Papercrafts Magazine."

Now I'm really confused, so as soon as I sign for it and shut the door, I tear into the envelope.

I find 6 beautiful cards for one of the swaps I'm hosting.

Made by Stacy Croninger, THE EDITOR OF PAPERCRAFTS!!!

That's right! She joined my swap. And she's been on my list all along, except I never realized that "Stacy Croninger" was THE "Stacy C" who writes the Letter from the Editor every month!

Needless to say, I was shocked. And very excited. My parents, who are visiting, couldn't understand. Stephen feigned interest when I told him about it. So I'm sharing my excitement with you, reader of my blog, because I know you'll understand!!!

Monday, March 27, 2006

THE Cow!!!!

So I finally got my hands on the dollar-cow stamp from Michael's. It's so ugly that it's cute, and I've seen some amazing cards with her (check out and also These are some cards I threw together tonight... I used up some of my scraps... they aren't the most beautiful I've ever made, but I think they are cute. Sentiment reads "Wishing you a Moo-y Christmas" and the inside says "... and an 'udder'-ly fantastic New Year!" Don't worry, they are for a swap, so you won't be getting them from the Lepper Colony next Christmas!!!

On another note, I got some absolutely GORGEOUS paper today at Michael's. I had no idea they were carrying Wild Asparagus! If you don't know what it is, google it. They are gorgeous patterned papers. But best of all, they are 2-sided, so you ALWAYS have the perfect solid shade to match. Stay tuned, because I am itching to 'play' with them!!!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Not What I'd Envisioned, but...

So I saw a nice card that I liked. It used striped paper and a circular stamp, so I thought I'd try to recreate it using what I had on hand. The striped paper was no problem, as I have WAY TOO MUCH Basic Grey in my collection. However, I don't own any circle stamps. So, I borrowed the Easter Stamp from a card Anita gave me. (Don't worry, I put it back on the original card as soon as I snapped the picture!!!) My version didn't turn out as nice as my inspiration card, so I was bummed. However, I decided to post it since I haven't had much crafting time lately and haven't posted as much as I'd like.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

What have I gotten myself into????

For those of you who don't know me that well, I will tell you that my first love, as far as crafting goes, is cross-stitch. I started when I was in 6th grade and continued all through college, through Stephen's deployments, and even to this day I have a project going that rarely gets touched. So, naturally, when I saw these altered floss cards, I was quite impressed. Take a look:

Then, some nice person on the Papercrafts message board posted a swap that of course I had to sign up for! I have tons of these floss-winders just sitting here, and this seemed like a great idea. We're all making our own floss-tags. Easy, right?

You try decorating a 1 x 1.5" area of space. It's not nearly as easy as I thought it was going to be. So, here I share with you my feeble attempt. I'm not happy with the way they came out, but I'm not sure I can do any better, either! The only thing I like is the fake hardware! It's actually from a new TAC set of stamps that look like all of the metal embellishments that cost an arm and a leg. Stamp and emboss, and it LOOKS like metal without all the bulk. And the whole set was $5.95!!!!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Never too young!!!

Having been stuck at home all week while Stephen was doing stuff for the Robotics Competition the Academy was hosting, Abby and I took off this morning for a shopping run! My goal was to get her a 'craft box' so she can start 'playing' with Mommy. We started at the Dollar Tree, where she got some alphabet stickers, kiddie scissors, and her box. I got some no-name tape runners to use instead of the Tombow Monoadhesive which is costing me an arm and a leg. I hope they work!!! Then, we went to Michael's and got pink and black washable ink pads, along with several dollar stamps (including an Ice Cream Cone, a Cow, and Hearts, which are her very favorite right now!) and some glue sticks. I got a bunch of embellishments in the dollar bins (Basic Grey, K&Co, etc... things I'd never pay retail for!) $38 later we were on our way to Joann's and bought.... absolutely nothing!!!! When we got home, I discovered my daughter is a natural so of course I had to take pictures. Here they are!!! (Don't worry, I already promised Joanna she can have her very own craft box, too... as soon as she stops spitting up everywhere!)

Friday, March 17, 2006

Fabulously easy!

This is another prototype I came up with... I'll be making the rest of them tomorrow. It's a VERY easy card to make (again, the idea came from the original JOCM) and it's great for using up scraps. But I absolutely love how it turned out, even though it IS simple. I used watercolor crayons to add some color and the Patterned Paper is from Basic Grey... of course!

Sew much better!!!

So I was working on yet another set of 'motherhood' cards for the Spring Supplement Swap. I took my inspiration from Recipe 1 in the original Joy of Card Making. What resulted was the picture on the right. I liked it, but knew it needed something else. So, I decided to try resorting to an old trick I learned when I began to scrapbook... it's called pen-stitching. You use a very thin marker to mimic stitches. It's a heck of a lot easier than lugging out the big ole sewing machine, that's for sure. As you can see by the photo on the left, it really does add the extra 'something' that the card needed. It takes practice, but it's very easy to master. Also, in order to color her dress, I used a technique called paper-piecing. Basically, I stamped the dress on the aqua paper, cut it out (slightly inside the lines) and glued it over the original image. Cool, huh?

The sentiment reads "Push, push... Breathe!" and isn't a stamp... I had to do it on the computer. One of the women from playgroup gave me a card when Joanna was born that said exactly that (with a picture of a stroller) and I thought it would be perfect for this image. (Thanks, Jen!) Incidentally, she came to the Pressed Flowers Workshop and did a great job. It was her first time stamping with non-kid stamps! :-)

Terrific Trio

One of the contests that TAC has every month is called "Terrific Trio". You have to make 3 cards using 2 different stamp sets. For this months entry, I created 3 maternity cards using my new set from the Spring Supplement. I also used the Warm Wishes set for the sentiments. The patterned paper is Basic Grey. I love the colors in this set. May be these will be the winners, but I'm not holding my breath! I made up several of the right 2 for a Spring Supplement Swap I'm doing with other demonstrators. This way, I can get samples of cards using different sets without having to buy the sets myself. What usually happens is that I fall in love with a card that uses a set I wasn't going to get, so then of course I HAVE to get it!!!

Here's the Buzzzzzz...

Stephen has been tied up with Robotics stuff every night this week, so I've been able to stamp after the girls went to bed (except Wednesday night when I hosted a Pressed Flowers Stamp Set Workshop). I've been working on swap cards as well as cards for the TAC Contests that are due April 1st. This is what I came up with using my new 'B' stamp. I'm using some of the cards for the Bee-Themed Swap I'm hosting and I will enter one or two of them into the TAC "Amazing Alphabet" contest. I can't decide which is my favorite. It's hard to read, but some of the tags say "Baby" or "Baby Boy" or "Happy B-day" (hence, the big 'B'!)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

A Prototype

This is what I came up with tonight for the Swap that I'm doing with Wendy Johnson. Keep in mind I had a certain design I had to use (otherwise, I don't think I would have had the diagonal-stuff going on!). I Stickled her dress, but it doesn't photograph well. The Paisley paper was a find today at MICHAEL'S!!!!! They have totally revamped their paper-by-the-sheet, and I highly recommend checking it out. They are selling Basic Grey and Chatterbox and lots of other quality papers. I didn't see any of those cheesy designs that they've been stocking since the scrapbooking hobby became popular back in the 90's! I couldn't spend a lot of time looking because Stephen was in the car with the girls, but now I can't wait to go back. Best of all, I got my sheets for 1/2 off. Unfortunately, today was the last day of the sale or you bet your butt I'd be going back tomorrow!!! The purple paper was also purchased today... at Big Lots!

What's Black and White and Red All Over?

My newest creation, of course! This is what I came up with for a Black, Red, and White swap I joined. We could ONLY use those 3 colors. I was very much inspired by a card I received in a different swap done by T. Johnson. Infact, I basically copied everything she did EXCEPT I used different patterned paper AND I changed the sentiment. Hers read "Dance Yourself Silly". Well, I had seen an idea for Change of Address cards using "a dress" so I decided to go with it. The inside of the card says "Wishing you many happy memories in your new home."

The Stamp is from an inexpensive set called "Little Black Dress", the patterned paper is from The mini Stack, and I added red Stickles to the dress for extra sparkle. Very easy, except it takes time to cut out the dress.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Is Anybody Out There?

I can't figure out how to get a counter on this site, so I have no clue if anyone is checking in on a regular basis, or not! So, please leave comments!!! That way I know whether or not this is a valuable tool to give you ideas and such... and whether or not I should continue doing it.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

Much ado about Swapping!!!

So, if you're a cardmaker, then chances are you have seen "The Joy of Cardmaking". If you haven't bought it, then you have at least flipped through it in the store. (BUY IT!!!!) It was done by a woman named Wendy Johnson, who is a guru with Papercrafts Magazine. This is the website that I've recently become addicted to, and last night I heard that Wendy was going to be hosting a swap. So me and every other woman on the board waited... and waited... and waited... for it to be posted. (I MISSED American Idol!!!) Several attempts and two and a half hours later, Wendy still couldn't get her swap to post. She said she'd try again tonight.

As badly as I wanted in, I decided it was foolish to stay on the computer for hours again. But at 7:30 I logged on to check e-mail, so of course I had to check to see if her swap had been posted yet. Nope! She announced it would be somewhere around 8pm. So... you guessed it... I waited...

AND I GOT IN!!!!!! I got the third spot out of 15 players. We have to make a love/wedding/anniversary/engagement card using recipe #6 in her second bookazine (I just made that word up) called "Joy of Cardmaking, a Second Helping."

The problem is that I don't own this one yet! It's my birthday present from Anita, so I told her awhile ago not to give it to me until my birthday. Well, she's bringing it over tomorrow. The swap is due 3/26 so I'm really excited about it.

The Mystery Swap I'm working on is almost finished. But I still have to make 8 Bee Cards, 10 Christmas Cards, 8 Ship cards, 6 general cards, and 6 red/white/black cards in the next several weeks.

I think I need to declare a moratorium on New Swaps for now!!!!!

Happy Birthday...

To Beth!

One of my oldest friends in the world (okay, that sounds bad... she's not OLD, I've just known her since kindergarten... we went through everything from Brownies to Proms and pregnancies together) asked me to do the invitations for her daughter's one-year celebration. She liked this one, so in honor of Beth, I'm posting it! It's one of my all-time favorites.

I stamped the Gerbera Daisy with Versamark and then chalked the pink and green with a cottonball. It's a great soft look.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I've been working...

on birthday cards!

This one was inspired by the Sympathy Card I made (it's the same basic 'sketch'). But, since it's for a birthday swap, I changed it up a little. I added the strip of paper and embossed it, and then I had exactly the right number of purple eyelets, so I added them, too. I'm trying to use up my non-Stack cardstock and supplies and this pretty much wiped me out of purple! (The STACK textured papers are AWESOME and they also make eyelets to match. It's SO much easier trying to choose colors when everything is the same! It's very much worth the extra money for the quality.) The patterned paper is new from Basic Grey. I am loving their new lines. You'll be seeing more of them from me, I promise... even if TAC doesn't add them to the catalogue!

Friday, March 03, 2006

While the Cat's away...

The mice don't get much sleep!!!

Stephen left at 4am on Thursday morning to accompany the FIRST Robotics team to it's first competition in Richmond, VA. I had all kinds of grand plans about how much housework and crafting I was going to be able to go at night once the girls were in bed. Well, Joanna decided she wasn't going to GO to bed!!! When she finally fell asleep, I collapsed, too, only to be awoken twice more during the night. Alas, she's sleeping beautifully tonight, as the prunes she had for breakfast appear to have remedied her situation. I did get to inventory all of the clothes I have for the girls that were in boxes in the attic (I discovered I have not one pair of 3T jeans but I have 14 pairs of size 4 shorts... very informative, this inventory was!) and I did get to sort through all of the 6-9 month clothes that Joanna will soon be growing into. I managed to clean the refrigerator out, too. (Rather than scrubbing the shelves, I highly recommend removing them and letting them soak overnight in the bathtub. Worked wonders with no elbow grease!)

As far as crafting goes, I have been trying to come up with a prototype for a new mystery swap that I've joined. Basically, there are 21 of us who committed to the swap. We didn't know what we were going to have to make or what the theme was, but I thought it sounded like fun.

I hope y'all were infinitely more productive this week than I was (but I do have a clean fridge, so that counts for something.) And I still have all day tomorrow, as Stephen won't get back until about 9pm.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Wonderful Winter

This card is one that I entered into yet another monthly contest for TAC Demonstrators... I embossed the tree in white and then painted over it with a thin layer of Crystal Stickles. For the white cardstock behind it, I covered a piece of textured cardstock with Versamark, then embossed the whole thing in white.

Love the Precious Girl Stamp Set!!!

When I first saw this set, I knew I loved it but didn't know exactly what I'd do with it. So, after a few days of playing around, I've decided I love it even more. Here are two cards that I came up with that 'match' the one I'd previously posted. I used watercolor crayons on both of them, and the sayings are from the Scriptures set.