Holiday Mini Swap – finally!

September 28th, 2007

 Good news all around.  My Dad is going home from the hospital today.  He’s not completely well, but glad to be home to finish his recovery.  Thanks to all of you who have expressed concern and offered up prayers!  AND great launch news as well – click here to read about it.  This is awesome news as we were anticipating a weather delay.  Curt will actually be home tonight and I can’t begin to tell you how happy that makes me.  Four days without my Rocket Scientist is just too long!

 And now my long overdue and promised swap photos….

My swappers rock and I wanted to share all 4 rounds of my Holiday Mini Swap with you.

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Round 1

Season of Joy –   Taylor (Tayloredexpressions)

Star-Studded Season –
Sharon (notimetostamp)

Tags For All –  Trish (stampaholic@gmail.com)

True Friend –  Lori (stamp_momma)

Autumn Harvest –  DebraHoliday Harmony DP (with any current stamp set) –  Sencie

Wild Card (any set not already in this round – surprise me!) – Tandra (Inkalicious)

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Round 2

Naughty or Nice –  Crystal (caspen1973)

Love & Joy –  Jess (newtnewt)Holy Triptych –  Sue B (stampinsusie)

Gift Labels  –   Michelle  (SDiegoGal)

Jolliest Time of Year (pg 34 big catty) – Leann (elyoho)

Apple Cider DP (with any current stamp set) – Britta (camsmom)

Wild Card (any set not already in this round – surprise me!) – Katie (Katie Lilly)holiday-mini-swap-round-3-custom.jpg

Round 3

Snow Jumbo Wheel – Shelley (photocropper)

Tags on Board – Elaine (eschader)

Merry & Bright –  TandraSnow Burst – Linda (LSN)Thankful Season (pg 32 of big catty) – Katie

Autumn Apparitions – Jenn B  (jbalcer)

Wild Card (any set not already in this round – surprise me!) – Bev (TexasGrammy)

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Round 4 – this was a Surprise Me Wild Card Round with the requirement to use Purely Pomegranate cardstock in the card.  Starting in the back row:

Shelley

Lori

Tara (cannontc)

Tandra

Debra

Crystal

Jess

You can view individual pics of most of the entries by clicking here or by going to the SCS gallery and searching for keyword JSWAP907.  I wish you could fondle each of these cards in person  – they really are awesome!  I can’t believe I’m waiting till the new catty in January to host another swap.  I really love my role as Swap Nazi!!  :)

Thanks for stopping by and hope you have a fantastic weekend.

My Friend Ronnie

September 26th, 2007

Have you seen the new Inky Antics line of stamps called My Friend Ronnie?  Check them out at eclectic Paperie.  I just love this line of girls with a, shall we say, more realistic body-type!  They are not stick thin, but not all goofy-fat either.  Super cute.  I colored several images from this line on Saturday using Joy and Taylor’s Copic markers (thanks for sharing girls!).  Wow – I’m such a newbie with those things….no blending or shading here…but they’re still fun to play with.

Here’s the first card I completed.  I had colored this image without matching to any cardstock or designer paper and then I wasn’t sure if I would have anything to coordinate, but happily I did.

ronnie-my-first-jami-spet-07-custom.jpgThe card base is Prism Prismatics Blush Red Medium, layered with SU Wild Wasabi and SEI Winnie’s Walls dp.  The image was stamped on paper Trey white.  The litle “Hello” is from a Lizzie Anne set (Funky Florals) and the oval under her feet is a Memory Box stamp.  I layered three different colors and sizes of Prima flowers and finished off the center with an adhesive pearl from K&Co.  The center of each flower in the dp has a dot of Stickles applied for sparkle and there are green adhesive K&Co. rhinestones in each corner to fill in where I used the ticket corner punch.

This next card used an image I colored on Saturday, but I just worked on creating something with it for the SCS Sketch Challenge and the Ways to Use to Use it Challenge this evening.  In order to make this image work for the sketch I made the card larger than usual – 7.5″ x 5.25″.  The size was based on envelopes I had on hand.

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The card base is the SU color Basic Gray (for the Ways to Use It Challenge) and the edges are lined with a silver Zig Painty Pen.  Next I layered on Purely Pomegranate and Pretty in Pink.  The pink panel was stamped repeatedly with a small open flower from Bud Basics in Pomegranate ink.  Next is two strips of dp from the Designer Series papers and the another smaller Pomegranate panel that was stamped with a flower from Little Flowers in silver ColorBox ink and embossed with clear embossing powder.  Holes for the Basic Gray Tafetta ribbon to slide through were created with the slot punch.  The finishing touch is Adorn It Jewel Droplets – clear in the corners of the main image and pink in the outer corners.

I’m still trying to decide if I really need Copic markers.  I’ve talked myself out of them several times, but playing with them doesn’t help.  LOL! I think I’m going to start with the colors that match the SU In-Colors, plus Skin White.  I know all the experts say you need two shades of the same color for blending/shading and I’m sure they are right, but I feel like I am so far from that right now and to be honest, choosing my first few colors is a big part of what has held me back from getting any so far.

Don’t you just love these Ronnie girls?  I have to get the cooking one and the one wearing her jammies!  I noticed today that Anna Wight had an adorable card on her blog a few days ago with that image too.  Anna’s blog is one of my all-time favorites.  :)

On a personal note – my dad had to go into the E.R. yesterday and was admitted for what we thought would just be overnight.  Now they are saying it could be for several days while they treat a bacterial infection in his blood.  Your prayers would be appreciated.  Since Curt wasn’t home this evening and I was feeling lonely I forced myself to go work on that card and I’m so glad I did.  Stamping is such a blessing to me.

Thanks for stopping by.

Dashing Tag Booklet

September 24th, 2007

Well I made some progress on my Christmas cards Saturday – not nearly as much as I had hoped for, but enough that I was covered head to toe in glitter! And we had a ton of fun. :)  I asked Taylor to show us how to make her file folder albums and I think I’m going to teach them in an upcoming class.  Super cool.  (She posted instructions on her blog on September 20th – check it out!)  I was planning to work on decorating it yesterday afternoon, when I was surfing SCS and decided to check out the Featured Stamper Challenge.  This is a fun challenge where a particular stamper’s gallery is featured and the idea is to take one of their projects and CASE it while changing at least 2 elements of it.  Yesterday’s Featured Stamper was starofmay  (Kristina Werner).  While perusing her fabulous gallery I came across her adaptation of Taylor’s file folder project – it was a mini version and I just had to try it!  She has a pdf download on her blog with all the measurements (posted September 5th – you may need to click into her archives) – thanks Kristina!

I had so much fun playing with this little project!

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This cute little tag book is made from half of a manilla file folder and some very simple folds.  I used SU Dashing designer paper to decorate it along with stamp sets Snow Burst, So Many Sayings and Holiday Tag Team all in this fun color combo of Real Red, Old Olive, River Rock and Vanilla.  I just love how all the sentiments in So Many Sayings fit perfectly in the Word Window punch, making them very easy to use individually.  I’m thinking I may add some photos to the pull out tags – or possibly some rub on sentiments.  And I’m pretty sure I need to add some glitter or stickles.  Well you know, more IS more!  LOL!

Here’s a picture of the front with the booklet tied shut.

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I wanted to experiment a bit with the closure so I decided to try the Round Tab Punch in combination with the Slot Punch.  It worked out well.  I just folded the tab piece in half and  punched the slot, then attached the tabs to the sides of the booklets and threaded the River Rock ribbon through.

You really need to try making both Taylor and Kristina’s versions of these file folder booklets.  I see Taylor’s full sized booklet as more of a mini scrapbook with tons of possibilties and I see Kristina’s little version as more of a tag card that would be wonderful for any special occassion or party invitation.  Both are really easy and so much fun! 

Busy day ahead.  Thanks for stopping by!

Another Alex Video

September 21st, 2007

I just had to share one more video of Alex the African Grey.  This one is from Scientific American hosted by Alan Alda and it’s great to see how he interacts with Alex.  Also this video shows a bit more about how Alex was trained.  Take a minute to watch – I’m pretty sure this will make you smile.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGiARReTwBw

I’m finally working on a post to show you the cards from my Holiday Mini Swap.  I’ll have it up in a day or two.  Tomorrow I’m hosting a few of my SCS stampin’ buddies for an afternoon of working on Christmas cards and such.  I hope I get a lot accomplished.  I have several batches (different designs) of Christmas cards started and in various stages.  I really want them finished by the end of October….uh…we’ll see.  I need 80-100 and I’m so not good with production stamping – that’s why I need a get-together to make me work on them!

It’s raining really hard here tonight and we even had a huge rolling clap of thunder – very cool, but so weird for this time of year.  Hope you have a teriffic weekend!

Christmas Berries

September 20th, 2007

 Here’s my card for the Wednesday Sketch Challenge on SCS.  Check out the Challenge here.

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I think sketch challenges are my very favorite ones to play/create with because coming up with creative layouts is not one of my strengths.  Starting with the basic layout already done allows me to let go and let the creative juices flow.  I know that playing that challenge over time has made me a better stamper!  And those layouts are a wonderful reference to go back to as well.  If you haven’t been playing the challenges at SCS I strongly encourage you to *just do it*!  Pick at least one challenge each week (there’s a different one every day to choose from – inspiration piece, color, techniques, etc.) and PLAY!  Here’s a link to the entire Challenge Forum.  Everyone is welcome!

I didn’t intend for this to be a Christmas card, but I think that’s what it is now.  I’m really liking this color combo of Real Red, Artichoke and Creamy Caramel.  I was so proud of myself for making a card without any designer paper – see I’m NOT addicted!  bwahahahahaa!  It was great to get back to my roots with this tone on tone double background card using Paisley and Flannel Plaid.  The red berries (Abundant Joy) are covered in Crystal Effects for shine and dimension.  Of course I had to use my new toy – the photo corner punch.  And I detailed the punches with a little piercing.  This is my first time using the 5/8″ grosgrain ribbon – I can see lots of possibilities for it.  Red rhinestones and a big pearl brad are the finishing touches to give this card a feeling of elegance and the holidays.

I’ve been tagged by Taylor and I found this round of questions particularly funny.

1. YOUR ROCKSTAR NAME (first pet, current car): Robere 300C
2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME (favorite ice cream, favorite cookie): Pistcahio Chocolate Chip

3. YOUR FLY “GUY/GIRL” NAME (first initial first name, first 3 letters last name): JSIB
4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME (favorite color, favorite animal): Pink Bird

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME (middle name, city where you were born): Lynn Torrance

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME (first 3 letters last name, first 2 letters first name): SIBJA
7. YOUR SUPERHERO NAME (2nd favorite color, favorite drink, & add “the”): The Red Reisling
8. YOUR NASCAR NAME (first names of your Grandfathers): Jack Dean

9. YOUR STRIPPER NAME (favorite perfume, favorite candy): Diva Special Dark

10. YOUR WITNESS PROTECTION NAME (Mother’s & Father’s middle names): Nell Drew

 I’m tagging some upcoming Portland peeps Jess, Lori, Joy, and Leslie.  Oh my heavens – today I realized that my trip to Portland is just 3 weeks away!  That is much sooner than I had realized.  I have shopping to do!  :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tribute to Alex the African Grey

September 20th, 2007

As you know, Curt and I are bird lovers and share our home with three – 2 macaws and a lovebird (Beaker, R.B. and Parsley).  We are saddened by the death of Alex the African Grey – one of the most famous parrots in the world.

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Dr Irene Pepperberg purchased Alex from a pet store in 1973 and for the past 30 years she or someone on her research team has worked with or interacted with Alex for 8-12 hours each day.  Alex blew away all pre-conceived notions about bird-brains and what they are capable of. I have watched some amazing videos of Alex as well as inteviews will Dr. Pepperberg.  Alex could count to six, identify 50 objects,  7 colors, 5 shapes  and answer questions about a tray of assorted objects such as

How many blue?

How many keys?

When presented with 2 like objects of different color and size, he could answer “which is smaller?” with the color of the smaller object.

He could ask for what he wanted with full sentences such as “Want a shower.”  or “want corn, soft corn.” Even after 30 years Alex was continuing to learn.  In fact just last month he said the word “seven” for the first time.  And he had the sweetest little voice!

The following quote is from an AP article

“The last time Pepperberg saw Alex was Thursday, she said. They went through their back-and-forth goodnight routine, which always varied slightly and in which she told him it was time to go in the cage.

She recalls the bird said: “You be good. I love you.” She responded, “I love you, too.” The bird said, “You’ll be in tomorrow,” and she responded, “Yes, I’ll be in tomorrow.”

Alex was found dead Friday morning.  Most of what I read said the cause of death was unknown, but birds do hide illness often until it is too late to help them. Alex was an amazing creature and my heart goes out to Dr. Pepperberg and everyone who worked with Alex on a daily basis – I’m sure that their bond with him was incredibly strong.

Here is a link to a You Tube video from Good Morning America – take a minute to watch and appreciate this amazing little guy.

Color Challenge Quickie

September 18th, 2007

I managed a quick card for the SCS Color Challenge before work this morning, but I’ve just now had time to photograph it.

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The Thank you image from Take Three was inked with markers and stamped onto a River Rock panel.  Ribbon slots were punched with the SU slot punch.  To give the panel more *importance* I covered it with Versamark and heat embossed it with one layer of clear embossing powder.  The single layer gives it a bit of a pebbley/shiny texture – I wish I could capture it in the photo.  The brads are from the Target Dollar Spot. When I went to Target yesterday the Dollar Spot was completely cleaned out excpet for a few packets of Autumn Brads.  I bought two and then this morning wondered why I didn’t just buy all they had.  D’oh! The bottom corners of the card are pierced using the template in the mat pack.  Lately any time I think a card just needs a little something I reach for that template and my handy-dandy piercer.  :)

Recipe:

stamps:  Take Three

paper: Really Rust, Chocolate Chip, River Rock, Apple Cider dp

ink:  Versamark, markers

other: slot punch, River Rock stitched ribbon, clear ep, piercer, mat pack

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