I'll allow "pinning" as long as you pull up the post & pin from it for a direct link for others. :-)

30 October 2008

I'm swamped

I'll be in & out over the next few weeks. This just happens to be a crazy time for me. I'm in the middle of 2 recipe swaps, a sock swap, still trying to find the right design for my Christmas cards, make Christmas gifts (usually I'm done by this time of year), AND...I received an order last week for 20 of my spa & sundae kits. In other words, I'm swamped! I've got tons to get done and my youngest son is having ear troubles again - he's missed the last 2 days of school. He's not walking into walls anymore, so I'm thinking I can send him today. We'll see how the morning progresses. He'll go to the ENT tomorrow afternoon to find out what's going on, but for now I'm bumping my schedule around to acommodate him.

Have a great rest of your day!!!

27 October 2008

More Cuttlebug play

I've been playing with my Cuttlebug some more!! These are pix of a Christmas card I tried last night. Used a powder blue pre-made card, A2 folder Snowflakes, Stardust Glitter gel pen to highlight random flakes, Rangers Liquid Pearls to accent.

I finally got the other web card front dry enough to photograph. Haven't mounted it onto a card yet, because I ran out of black pre-made cards. Here's what I did to make her: A2 folder Spider Web, cut n emboss set Halloween Sign (leave out the embossing step), inked web & stamped witch image with Whisper White Craft Ink from Stampin Up!, covered witch in Crystal & Diamond mix of Stickles, wood shingle from a doll house stamped "eek!" in black ink then covered in Black Diamond Stickles.
Below is the Halloween Sign tag, again leaving off the embossing step, inked edges with Always Artichoke Craft ink from SU!, stamped flowers from Build A Flower mini set of SeeDs, Crystal Stickles for the flower centers.Thanks for looking! Have a great rest of your day!!

26 October 2008

Playing with my Cuttlebug

Okay, so today I finished up some cards that I did with the help of my Cuttlebug. Played with some different inks, my new Halloween stamps, and some Stickles from Ranger Inks, too. Thought I'd share them with you, because I think they turned out really cool!This spider web A2 folder, embossed on black cardstock, then inked in Studio G's gold. The tag is the Cuttlebug "Halloween Sign" cut n emboss set (just didn't use the embossing portion). I stamped Inkadinkado's Ravens from the "Halloween Trails" set in black ink on yellow ochre cardstock.

These two (one above, one below) are done with the "Autumn Blessings" A2 folder. Embossed on yellow ochre cardstock, ran Studio G's inks in light orange, dark orange, umber, dark olive green, & burgundy over the embossing. The leaves are some plastic pieces that are designed to be stamped on or colored - I would never use them again, because after sitting for 2 DAYS they still weren't dry when I stuck them down.

This is a close-up of the ravens on the first card...I think it's my favorite one out of this particular set.
This card below is the spider web A2 folder again, with the embossing highlighted using brush pigment silver ink from ColorBox. Again, I cut out a tag, using "Halloween Sign" but used black cardstock, then brushed the entire tag in StudioG's gold. Stamped with Stampin Up! craft black ink my spiders from "Halloween Trails," then highlighted them with Black Diamond Stickles from Ranger.I have another spider web piece, not mounted onto a card yet (ran out of black pre-made cards) that I'll show ya tomorrow. I'm always amazed at how different the looks can be just from changing a color or two...
Thanks for looking & have a great rest of your day!!

more ink tests

Thought I'd play with my inks some more. This time I used my Inque Boutique SeeDs stamps. I really love the details in them.

The 2 bird stamps in the photo above are actually woodmounted stamps from Inkadinkado. I would love it if they came out with a spring/summer bird set that included these two beauties!

Aren't they gorgeous?!? Can't you see the little girl stamp softly watercolored on a card? They have names like Boutique Grunge, Hugs, Kisses, & Spring Butterfly. I wanted to include the link to Inque Boutique for you yesterday & in this posting, but I think that since their sale to Darice is now complete, they've pulled the plug on everything, including their blog site. I really hope that I'll see these stamps again somewhere down the road, because they are very unique.
Thanks for looking! I may be back today with another post ~ I'm gonna go play with some paper & my Inkadinkado Clear Halloween stamp sets. Have a great rest of your day!

25 October 2008

ink testing

This is a lengthy post, and I apologize up front if it bores you to tears, but for me, this was rather important. I have accumulated quite the collection of stamps since this past Spring. I have a photo storage box nearly full to the brim of woodmounted rubber stamps. If you're like me, you love your woodmounted stamps, but have one major issue with them...they take up too much space!!!I also have a new collection by Inque Boutique (recently bought out by Darice Craft Corporation) called SeeDs that I purchased off of eBay last month. They're rubber stamps, but they're not mounted on wood blocks, which is nice for storage - most of the larger sets come in their own clear plastic storage boxes with labels and the smaller sets can actually fit inside CD jewel boxes. Down side - they have these black foam mats that come with every set you purchase and only the larger boxes have space to accommodate the mats, so 9 times out of 10, you end up with the smaller mats just laying around in boxes. The mats are an integral part to the SeeDs collection - they're designed to go under the paper or cardstock that you're stamping, you put the stamp on an acrylic block & it gives a nice crisp design. They have TONS of detail & are definitely the UP side of rubber stamps. Now, my clear stamp collection...those are my big passion lately! It's amazing that they can get almost as much detail in those now that they do in the rubber stamps...AND you can put GOBS of them into a photo storage box (IMPORTANT TIP: don't leave them exposed to light for too long - something in their chemical makeup causes them to harden and yellow over time after prolonged light exposure). I am, however, tired of digging through my box looking for stamps, and the little singles or mini sets are always slopping around in the box.

I recently ordered 2 leather-look embossed binders designed by Tim Holtz (the design KING & driving force of Ranger Inks) that will hold not only my clear stamps, but unmounted rubber stamps, too. The storage system is the best out of those that I've found (I've been looking at different ones all summer) and the price is reasonable ($22-29 for the binder depending on the retailer). Each binder comes with 3 storage pages to get you started. The pages let you put the stamps on the outside of the page and there's a center insert in each page for you to drop in some cardstock with the stamped images to line the stamps up against (or store rub-ons & stickers if you'd like - my stickers & rub-ons have their own photo storage box so I doubt that option will work for me - that's another post altogther). The inside front of the binder has specially designed pockets for your acrylic blocks, and when the book is unzipped, it lays completely flat on the table, giving you total access to all of your stamps. It's really money well spent, when it comes down to storage investments. The extra pages for the binders come 5 to a pack for $3-5, so the options for expansion of your stamp storage depends on your bookshelf space for holding all of your funky, fun Tim Holtz binders! (LOL) As soon as my binders arrive & I get my stamps in them, I'll show you how they turn out.

For now, I'd like to show you some recent additions to my clear stamp collection, so if you haven't considered these before, maybe now you will. The details are, like I said, just as good as the rubber, without the issue of the wood blocks chewing up space.

Now here's the basic & biggest problem to having all of these different types of stamps: not all of my inks work on all of my stamps. Naturally, the rubber stamps aren't really an issue, since most inks take to them very well. It's the CLEAR STAMPS that inks don't want to play nice with. I have found that most inks bead up on the clear stamps. I have a LOT of ink already (2 boxes full), but eventually as some of these pads dry up & go away, I'd like to have one basic line of inks that I'll reach for.

As you can see, I have one box of nothing but Stampin Up! brand inks - until a couple of days ago, all I had were the Classic inks & re-inkers. I'm now collecting the Craft version of their colors & I'll explain WHY toward the end of this posting. The other box holds my Ranger Distress inks, Ranger Adirondak variegated color pad, Color Box brush pigments (the little cat's eye ink pads), VersaMark, StazOn, VersaColor (the little 1" squares), VersaCraft (for fabric stamping), Studio G, & Stampology.

I love, love, LOVE my Ranger Distress inks & will never get rid of them - they're wonderful for antiquing papers and the brayer works well with them for all-over coverage. The VersaCraft is for paper, wood, & fabric, which is nice, but it's very limited when it comes to color range. The Studio G is a recent purchase - my friend at BenFranklin turned me on to them (thanks Wade!) - they only have out autumn colors right now, but for $1 per pad they're great (and talk about JUICY - lots of ink in them). I picked up the Stampology ink pad last week at WalMart ($2) because it said that it's specifically designed for clear stamps and guaranteed to not bead up or bleed. Well, let me show you my test results:

Studio G ink with a clear stamp - little to no bleeding
StazOn gave the crispest "black" image - no beading on the clear stamp.
Stampology ink - they're right. It does NOT bead up or bleed with the clear stamps, BUT this is onyx (the only color it comes in, as far as I know) & as you can see it's not a very dark ink. That's the part I don't like...if I'm using black, I want it to be BLACK.
Ranger Adirondack ink - beads slightly & does bleed, but it's GREAT for using with brayers for an ombre color across papers.
Color Box brush pigment (black) - no beading up on the clear stamps, but not good color saturation, either.
Ranger Distress inks & other Studio G inks - beading up on the clear stamps.
Stampin Up! Classic inks on clear stamps - lots of beading.

Stampin Up! Craft inks - no beading, the best color saturation. Down side - takes FOREVER to dry!

Another Color box brush pigment test - can't tell the difference between silver & black till you get them in the sunlight.

So after all of this, when it comes to working with my clear stamps, I think I'll end up with a nice collection of the Stampin Up! Craft ink "color spots" - little 1" pads of ink, 12 to each collection for about $26. I'll just have to keep a hair dryer on hand to speed up the drying time. I've already been playing with some of them & will show you how they finish up in tomorrow's post. I've typed enough for one day...now I'm gonna go play!

Thanks for looking & have a great rest of your weekend!

22 October 2008

Happy Birthday...

to my lil Punkin Doodle!! You're six years old today, Aidan. WOW! You sure are growing up fast! Guess I need to go get your birthday cake (YES, Mommy will make sure it has balloons on it) & ice cream for tonight's dessert after your favorite dinner...hamburgers & french fries. (LOL) I hope you have fun toy shopping with Daddy after school & are able to find exactly what you want, which after listening to you make your lists this last week, is EVERYTHING!
I love, you, Baby!

20 October 2008


What a busy week I've had! Since my last post I have: celebrated DH's birthday; started cutting & assembling FIFTY recipe cards for a swap I'm in at PC Crafter; begun hosting a recipe swap on another board (that one is digital, so I reduced SOME of the work); 14 loads of laundry (those were just done in the last 48 hours); made a birthday card for a little friend of my youngest son; begun birthday plans for my baby's birthday (6 yrs old this week!); started designing Christmas cards for friends & family; planning out Christmas gifts to make; hauled clothes out of mini storage for my youngest & packed up some of the clothes the older boys are growing out of; started gutting the closet of my youngest to take toys to the local hospital and thrift store; discovered some differences in ink consistencies & their reactions to different stamp materials (I'll be posting THOSE soon); shopped for stamp storage (I should say "shopped successfully for stamp storage" - I've been looking for almost 4 months); begun plans to relocate my she-cave back to its original room in the house; shopped for storage to go into my she-cave; took an order for spa & sundae kits that I'll deliver a week b4 Christmas (twenty total)...(singing) and a partridge in a pear tree! (LOL) I cannot believe how crazy it's been around here! Every time I sit down & say "it's time to update the ole blog" there's a knock at the door, or the phone rings, or there's homework to check off, or an errand has to be run, or a friend comes over to visit one of the boys...I feel like I'm living in Grand Central Station!! Stop the world - I want to get off for a while! (ROFL)

(taking a DEEP breath) 'K! Now that gunk is off my chest, I'll confess, this is an every day occurance for me. YUP! I'm one of those "go getters" that you always hear about. I always have a project, my kids are always into something, and my magic laundry hamper is ALWAYS spewing out stuff for me to wash (wish I had a magic WALLET so I could feed my crafting addiction AND get the bills paid!!!).

Most days, I try really hard not to think about what I've got going on & just dive in and GO until I can't go any more. On days like today, I sit down at the end of the day, and catalog what I've done, what I need to do, and where I want to run and hide from it all!

I really WOULD like for it to slow down just a bit...I have embroidery that I want to get back on (I LOVE doing embroidery). Kathe, a dear friend, just sent me OODLES of iron-on transfers to embroider - I sat this evening & felt like a little kid worshipping a stamp collection. So many ideas spinning in my head now!! I have painting that needs to be done (not just walls either - painting on fabric, papier mache, wood - that clipboard last week reminded me just how much I'm missing).

Oh, well, I'll get there, I'm sure of it...winter's coming & I'll be less inclined to run around doing the things that I'm out doing now. I'll actually sit down with some embroidery in front of the television for 2-3 hours a couple of nights each week, maybe actually WATCH some of the shows that are on. I really don't have that many that I tune into - House, Bones, The Ghost Whisperer, my 2 hours of Dr Who every Saturday (LOVE the Doctor!) & every now and then I'll sit down with DH to watch Sons of Anarchy (the new biker series on FX).

I love it, though...all of this craziness. I think I'd go insane if I had absolutely nothing to do. I know my BUTT would be bigger than it is right now if I had time to sit around and stuff my face! (LOL) Speaking of which, before I call it a night, I need to go down to the garage & put in 10 minutes on the AbLounger - that'll keep me out of the trail mix before beddy-bye.

Don't forget, there's still some time to snag some digital goodies from the Fall Splendor Blog Party - it's running until Halloween, and I've noticed that some of the contributors are coming up with new additions of quickpages & brag books and such. Very nice pieces (don't forget to leave them love if you snag). Of course, ya never know what's gonna happen when Kristine & the DoubleDs come up with something else outrageously cool!

Have a great rest of your day!!

14 October 2008

Happy National Boss's Day!

Okay, so I'm a day early, but it's been on my mind for the last five days, and I thought I'd toss it out there. Why have I been thinking about it? Well, I did a quick job for the sweet gals in the front offices at North Davis Prep (where my boys all go to school) and just delivered the product today. Here's what I made:

a spa kit

a sundae topping kit

and the toughie...a clipboard message center. YES, it was tough! All of the images that I could find for the St Louis Rams online are in low-res crappy Vector imaging, so I couldn't blow them up big enough without distortion. I managed to grab ONE (thanks Wikipedia) and got it big enough for me to be able to paint it over to the board. Not too shabby, huh?

It was a difficult project to paint, but I haven't picked up a paintbrush in so long, that it made for a nice break from all the paper play that I've been into for the last 6 months. Well, that's it for me today. I have some other challenges that I've got to get started on now ~~ never a dull moment!

Thanks for looking & have a great rest of your day!!

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