Thursday, December 13, 2007

O.K., O.K. I elfed myself (and my family)

Everyone's been sending me links to the pictures they made of themselves as elves, and I finally caved. It was fun, but I think we all look better as ourselves than elves (I think we dance better too, even without practice), but you can always use a little elfing during the holidays. So celebrate the season and check us out.

If you enjoyed us as elves, thank my sister-stamper Leah for getting me off my behind and making an elf of myself.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Awesome gift from my stamp sister

This past weekend was the team meeting for the stamp group I'm part of with The Angel Company, "S.A.S.S.Y." We had a Christmas party, with a potluck dinner where everybody brought a different part of the meal, lots of socializing and a "prop swap". In the Angel Company rubberstamping world (and maybe elsewhere, I don't know), a prop swap is a grab bag where everyone that wants to participate makes one papercraft or rubber stamped item that is not a card or scrapbook page, but is actually a home decor item, small personal scrapbook, pin, or other 3-d gift. We wrapped them up, put them in a pile and then chose a package from the pile to get our gift.

I received the picture frame shown above from my stamp sister, Teri. It's a gorgeous frame made with the now retired Vintage Holiday paper, and I'm looking for a picture right now to put in it so I can have it on display in my house for Christmas. Thanks Teri. I love my gift!

I thought it might inspire you to make one of your own to give to someone this season.

Who knew what scraps could do?

Here's another Christmas card that I made using some square cards and envelopes that have been sitting in my closet for years and scraps of Amelia paper left over from other projects. According to The Arthouse, a little frame and gift shop that is selling my cards for me this year, these are the cards that are the most popular.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Two More Christmas Cards

Last weekend my computer wasn't working, and I wasn't able to publish any Christmas cards on my blog. So this weekend I'm putting up two for your viewing pleasure.

The card with the trees is made with green/beige double sided paper, with the green torn at the bottom to show the beige inside. The stamps are Mountain Scenery and just the Merry Christmas portion of Faith, Hope, Love. The ink is Giverney Green palette. I also covered the tree panel with a light coat of glitter.

The Joy card is one of my favorites. I sent it in as a contest entry for TAC. Part of the reason I like it, is that it's really simple to make. I used black card stock and the mottled red pattern from the Amelia Soar With It paper collection. Inside is a piece of white cardstock with each corner cut with a decorative corner punch, so I can write on the inside. The rest is just our Ornamental Joy stamped on the focal point black piece, and then stamped around the edges of the Amelia paper. You can use perfect pearls and perfect medium to get the gold, or you can use Encor Ultimate Metallic Gold ink.

Give these cards a try. They're really not as difficult as they might look.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Christmas Cards (already)

Well, I know it's not even Thanksgiving yet. But you know what happens once Thanksgiving rolls around don't you? Things get BUSY! And have a tendency to stay that way until the beginning of the New Year. That's why last week I offered my most popular Christmas Card Stamp a Stack for my Angel Company customers. We made 12 cards, four each of three designs. And I've got more ideas for other Christmas cards too. So if you're looking for ideas, I'll try to post at least one card here a week from now until Christmas to help get your creativity flowing.

Here's the first of the Christmas cards.

To make this card, I used the green mottled pattern from TAC's Amelia collection, some white, red and green cardstock, The Angel Company's "Christmas Joy" stamp set, Landscape Green Palette ink, Noir Black Palette ink, Christmas Red Stickles, colored pencils and red ribbon.

Check back here for more Chrtistmas card ideas in the coming weeks, and have fun making your own.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Angel Company's Fond Farewells

Click on image to enlarge.
Well, it's that time of year again, only the time has changed. Now that The Angel Company is issuing two catalogues a year, we also get two retirement lists. Stamp sets on this list will be honored with retirement on December 31, 2007.
Some of the stamps on this list were favorites of mine that I turned to again and again to help me with my creative process. I will truly miss Retail Therapy, my standby for creating invitations inviting the girls for a day of shopping and camaraderie or for making the Black Friday coffee holders my sister and I use the day after Thanksgiving. And I don't know what I'm going to do without Luscious Leaves, my staple for festive fall cards and scrapbook pages. For me, these stamp sets leave my main stash in favor of new and exciting images from our upcoming catalogue, but that doesn't mean their usefulness ends for you. If any of the stamps on this list are ones you've been eyeing, but haven't gotten around to purchasing for your collection, they'll be available for just a little while more. So order yours today, and then get ready for the new idea book and catalogue to be issued January 1st.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fabulous Fall

Yes, I'm one of those people that loves fall. I love the cool temperatures, I love the colors of the leaves, and the general feeling in the air. I love back to school time, and Thanksgiving. It's just one of those seasons that I really enjoy.
Last weekend I had a Taste of Home Entertaining party with a chocolate theme. The girls came over and we checked out a bunch of cooking and entertaining products and had a LOT of chocolate. But being a rubber stamper, I couldn't resist the opportunity to use my stamps and papers to gussy up the table a bit. The place cards shown above told all the guests what kinds of food we had to go with our chocolate and were super simple to make. I folded pieces of green and brown 4 1/4" x 8 1/4" paper in half, cut pieces of 4" x 4" white paper and stamped leaves and pumpkins from our Mini Sampler set in one corner with black ink. The rest was coloring the leaves and pumpkins with watercolor pencils, blending quickly with a water brush and adding lines and hatch marks around the remaining edges with a black pen and a ruler. Then I just stuck the white paper to the colored folded pieces with double-sided tape. In some instances I tented them on the table next to the food, and for others I taped the folds shut over a wooden skewer that got stuck into the food. And voila! everyone knew what they were eating and had a nice table to look at. The whole process took about 30 minutes for 10 place cards. This idea could easily be converted to place settings for people at Thanksgiving, or name tags at a fall gathering or party.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Behavin' Like Five Year Olds

My husband and I are just back from our vacation. We went with my sister, brother-in-law and niece on a Disney Cruise. Disney excels at entertainment and kids, so it was no surprise that they would do a cruise well. We had an awesome time, and I would recommend a Disney Cruise to anyone that likes Disney or is traveling with kids. Since they know how to entertain kids, we only saw my niece when we went and pulled her out of Kids Club because we wanted to spend time with her. Most mornings we did breakfast, visited with characters and took pictures and then she went off to Kids Club and most of the time we didn't see her again until dinner. In fact, when we wanted to take her on excursions at our ports-of-call we had to tell her that Kids Club was closed so that kids could go ashore with the adults, otherwise she didn't want to come with us.

On our excursion in St. Thomas, we went on a snorkel trip. We took a catamaran to a shallow shipwreck about an hour from the port. We snorkeled around and were then plied with free rum punch all the way back. Most of my family (except the five year old) were pretty tipsy by the time we got to shore, and my sister was farther along than that. In order to keep my niece from noticing that my sister was a little drunker than may have been prudent, we asked for her help in finding our shoes when we got off the boat and gave her several other little chores for the three-block walk back to the boat. Then, my husband put my niece "in charge". That poor child didn't know what to do with a bunch of misbehaving adults so she he relied on the only reference she had - pre-school. She started cracking the whip, ordering everyone to get in line and follow her and tried to keep general order. The guys, decided this would be the perfect time to get a little revenge for times when she didn't listen, so they started wandering off, telling her that they were tired and wanted to be carried and dropping the bags they were holding proclaiming them "too heavy" and generally having a great time. We all laughed all the way back to the boat....well all the adults did. My niece was nothing but frustrated, telling my husband and brother-in-law that only Mommy and Auntie Meri were getting candy and "you boys can't have any, because YOU DON'T LISTEN". In fact, my husband says that was one of his favorite parts of the trip. Who'd have thought that behaving like a five year old would be so much fun?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Oh, happy day!!!!!

Wow! I recently found out that a card I sent to Rubber Stamper Magazine (RSM) has been published in the September/October 2007 issue. It's the green card using TAC's Kallioppe set.

At one of the Stamp With Me Nights I offer to friends and customers, we decided to play with crayon backgrounds. We had a lot of fun creating backgrounds using various colors of crayon; and when one of the webgroups I'm part of mentioned that Rubber Stamper had a call for backgrounds made without using ink, I thought these would be perfect. So I sent 5 cards to RSM in March and promptly forgot about them. Imagine my surprise when I got a free issue in the mail letting me know I was published!

If you'd like to make your own crayon backgrounds, here are the directions (which are included in the magazine article, but are far to small to be readable in the scan):

Take a regular household iron and cover it with aluminum foil. Tape the aluminum foil to the top part of the iron. Turn the iron on and wait for it to heat up. Cover a heat resistant work surface with additional aluminum foil, newspaper or paper towels (so that you don't melt crayon onto it) and place a piece of glossy paper onto the work surface. When the iron is hot, choose two or three different coordinating colors of crayon and scribble all over the aluminum foil on the iron. Then quickly swipe or pounce the iron across the glossy paper. Several layers can be added to cover the original if you aren't happy with it, but be careful about your color choices, because too much melting and blending will muddy your color.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Princess Purse

I am getting ready to go on a Disney cruise with my husband, sister, brother-in-law and 5 year old niece. I can't wait, since she's so much fun to be with, especially when we go to the Magic Kingdom.

This time, since I have my Memory Purse, I decided to make it up using a picture of when my niece first met her favorite princess, Belle. As you can tell, she was star struck to be meeting Belle in person. We'll see if Belle will be flattered by the purse when she sees it in person.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Sneek Peek..... and my new fav. paper

I've been working on cards and scrapbook pages to display at the Tinley Park Rubber Stamp and Scrapbook Expo next weekend, and I've found my new favorite paper (for the moment). Here's a peek at some of the samples that I'll display on my board.

This paper seemed very natural to me. Every single card, scrapbook page and tag I made was something I loved. None of those "filler" creations that you sometimes use just because you need to have a certain number.

Besides turning out beautiful and coordinated projects, this paper has a masculine feel. I got some of the best cards to give to husbands, fathers, sons and other men from this paper. Cards for men are sometimes very difficult for me, but not this time around. I'm so happy!

If you're in the Chicago area and want to check out more Winchester samples I made, and meet some angels from The Angel Company, stop by the Expo and visit. For information on the show click here

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Another find from the St. Charles Expo

Here's another thing that I had to spend my money at the St. Charles Scrapbook Expo. I picked up the pre-finished mat up from one of the vendors at the show. (If I can find my receipt, I'll let you know what vendor that was, but it's missing in action now - probably hiding from my husband).
All I needed to do was add a 5 x 7 picture of Tom and his guitar and a background I created from taking a photo of the pattern on his other guitar. I picked up a 12 x 12 scrapbook frame from Michael's and it's ready to go on the wall. I just need to get Tom to pick a spot (which probably means it will sit on the bookshelf until after Christmas. How do you motivate a man to do something again????)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I scrap therefore I am obsessed

Sometimes I feel like my hobby has run away with me! Anybody else feel that way?

I spent two days working The Angel Company booth at the St. Charles Scrapbook Expo in Illinois. I manned the booth for over 9 hours each day and had very little time to go shopping. And yet.....I somehow managed to spend more than I made. Mind you, I feel that all my purchases are must have items, and I wouldn't part with a single one, so no buyer's remorse. But it makes me wonder if obsession has taken over.

This photo album is one of my favorite finds, and I can't even take credit for it. Leah, a friend who worked the booth with me, found it when she was out on one of her shopping forays. Hers of course has her and her husband's names on the chairs and a different caption on the top, but the concept fit me to a T, especially since I could have it personalized.

My next obsession will be finding the beach, once the Midwest winter sets in, and getting a drink in my hand and my toes in the sand.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

My Cat is Royalty

"Dogs have masters. Cats have staff." Ever hear that expression? Well, around our house it's absolutely true. My cat rules the roost. I won a tiara comb at our team meeting for being #3 in sales for the group, but guess who wears the crown in this family? My cat Lexis loves the little tiara. We brush her with it and then she wears it. My husband says "when I come home and both of you are wearing crowns, I know it's going to be a bad day." He's such a good servant.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

I am just back from our company's yearly seminar where I just had an awesome time! Seminar to me is like a trip to Disney. There is so much to see, and do, and learn and so many friends to visit with that I haven't seen in person for a while. It's exhausting in it's own way, but I wouldn't miss it for the world. Attending seminar and other angel gatherings is my very favorite part of being an angel. I just love catching up with all of the friends I've made within this company.

Here are some of the pictures I took at seminar.

Julie, me and Annette. Julie and Annette are two of the first people (outside of my own team) that I met at an angel gathering a few years ago. Both of them are inspirational to me for their talent and their friendship.

Me and my stamp sister Leah. Leah and I are on the same team (we signed up under the same person). As soon as I met Leah, I knew we would be great friends. For me it was an instant recognition. I just knew we would click. Leah is my goal buddy, and my voice of reason as well as being my friend.

The S.A.S.S.Y (Serindipity Angel Stampers Staying Young) team I'm part of. This is a picture of the team I'm part of on "bling night" by the cardboard cutout of the stamping girl we have on the back of out team shirts. One day I will be the leader of my own team, I just need a few more recruits.

Me and my stamp mom, Pat. I've known Pat for years. She's been doing my nails for me since I don't even know when. When she joined The Angel Company she was obviously having so much fun that I had to consider it. It took about a year before I decided to take the plunge, but I've never been sorry that I did.

Now that seminar is behind me, I can't wait until January when the company's Leadership Retreat is being held in San Antonio, Texas. Leadership Retreat was held in San Antonio a few retreats back. It was my first trip to San Antonio, and it quickly became one of my favorite cities in the world. I can't wait to go back! The prospect of a trip to one of my favorite cities, filled with angel friends is just too exciting!

Well, that's it for now. I hope you enjoyed my pictures and hearing a little about my awesome seminar trip.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

New Angel Company Idea Book and Catalogue

The new catalog is here! It is filled with great new papers, stamps, and accessories. Another angel counted, and we have 209 stamp sets that are less than $12! I think that is awesome. The best part? Catalogues are only $4.95! Mine was signed by the owner of our company, Mischelle Smith. :)

Want to know my favorites? Here they are:

Favorite Paper Pack:
I'm so torn, but I think I have to go with the Amelia (Page 17). I can just see my Christmas pictures popping off this rich paper.

Favorite New Stamp Set:
Again, I must have Christmas on my mind. My favorite stamp set is Christmas Season (Page 101). I'm really liking all of the new curls and swirls type stamp sets that came out in this catalogue, and have almost all of them on my must have list.

Favorite New Accessory:
Memory Purse (Page 110). I bought this purse after I saw it posted on a friend's blog. When we went to seminar and received the new catalogue, I was so excited to see that we carry it ourselves. This purse is a great chance to show off a little bit of yourself, with the opportunity to create scrapbook pages and take them with you wherever you go. Here's a picture of the purse I made with pictures of my neice at a block party my husband's band played recently. My husband calls this "the woodstock photo".