Thursday, October 30, 2008

AC Moore: Festive Fiskars Fun Forthcoming!

Want a preview of the Fiskars Holiday Card Class coming up on Friday, Nov. 7? We'll be making 6 cards using the ultra easy to use brand new texture plates! They're an easy, inexpensive, yet beautiful way to create fabulous cards for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukkah, Yule, or make sets of notecards for friends and family on your gift list.

Wanna come? Sign up at A.C. Moore on Capital Blvd. in Raleigh anytime between now and the start of class on the 7th. :) If you let me know you're planning to come, that not only helps me make sure I have enough kits put together ahead of time, but also makes me think you're extra super nice. Awwww!

The class fee is $15, and that includes all supplies plus your very own Fiskars embossing stylus to take home so you can start making more cards asap!

P.S. Are you a Fiskateer yet? Want to be one? Just go to and contact any lead Fiskateer you want. Tell them Veronica (Fiskateer #1135) sent you. It's free and it's fun. I love the online crops, challenges, chats, and project ideas. It's a fun little community and it must be cool--I hang out there! ;)

Friday, September 19, 2008

I love you, Club Scrap (with an homage to "Sheetload")

My most recent obsession comes in pizza boxes, but there's no way I'm going to eat it. Sorry, I don't like mouthfuls of paper, beads, brads and ribbons, though I do like them on my table.

It all started when I saw my friend Barbie working with some paper lines I'd never seen before, ones that had a kind of funky, hand-screened look to them. It turned out to be the Cruizin' line, the motel design which, if you know me, you know I'm a sucker for since I spent most of my toddler years (and travelled quite a bit with my dad (and early on, Mom too) in the years beyond) happily playing in cement kiddies pools, cutting paper dolls from a book while sitting on brightly colored '70's polyester beadspreads, watching Peter Pan on a swivling television, while eating tuna helper cooked in an electric frying pan perched on the bathroom counter.

So one thing led to another and I signed up for their kit club. It's a big committment to sight-unseen kits and projects, but it's also exciting to open that box and find a total surprise, like a present from yourself. Neat!

But before my first kit could arrive, Darleen invited me to something called "ALS" or Assembly Line Scrapbooking. To be honest, I balked at the idea of mechanical scrapping, but the invitation she made was so darn cute, a tiny little Revolution-cut dog, red shimmer paper, I couldn't say no.

Apparently, Club Scrap not only has a regular kit club, it's also got a demonstrator program something like Stampin' Up, Close to My Heart, Creative Memories and the like. Darleen is a FFC or FCC or something--either way it has nothing to do with regulating the airwaves or growing up to be a farmer someday), hence hosting the event.

When I arrived, I was surprised (and pleased) to see that everything we could possibly need for the class was provided. I didn't even need to have brought my everpresent essentials bag of pens and adhesive and all that. But I did anyway. Some of us need our security blankets.

For the $20 fee, each of us received a "Jr." kit which was pretty whopping for a "Jr." anything. It was called "Study in Red" and, as you've likely guess, it was predominantly red with some black and grey accents. It not only included paper, newsletter, copy-able embellishments, pop-out details, alpha stickers, and other little extras, it also had a matching stamp and ink that coordinated with the kit.

Everyone bantered back and forth a while before lunch. Darlene was kind enough to think of my pain-in-the-butt vegan self and made veggie dogs and a super juicylicious fruit salad for me which I attacked like a ravenous wombat. A ravenous vegan wombat, if there is such a thing. By this time I had begun to notice something unusual about the house. For September, there were an awful lot of Christmas trees around. Actually, for Christmas there were a lot of Christmas trees around. I couldn't believe I forgot my camera, because everyone should get to see her house, filled to overflowing with her holiday ornament collections. One room is completely surrounded by glowing Christmas village houses--so many that the tiny little lights inside warm the room and offer enough light that even your mom would approve of reading with no additional lampitude. I'm anxiously awaiting her next workshop so I can bring home pictures. Every room has a theme. I'm particularly fond of the "mice" in the kitchen, personally.

Assembly Line Scrapbooking is very much like something I've raved about before...Sheetload of Cards (see my previous entry for more details). In both cases, you cut all your pieces first, the assemble your project based upon a page map (a sketch showing where each pre-cut piece belongs, along with embellishments and the like). Lest this sound painfully uncreative, think of it as a framework intented to inspire. How you execute the map is really up to you. You can follow it exactly or move things around a bit, and it ends up being pretty exciting when you get to see how very differently 2 people can execute the same basic instructions.

So that got me thinking, what if I combine the two? When my first real kit finally arrived (I say finally not because it was later than promised, but because there was a mail holiday that held it up, and because their schedule isn't set to mail it on the first day of the month I found the wait tormenting. Each day as the UPS truck passed my house, I was right there in the window, watching anxiously as my dogs hop up and down barking their heads off at the "intruder" from the brown truck they are convinced is coming to kill us all. Then, one sparkling day I got a knock on the door and two loaded pizza boxes. Whoo hoo! I decided to break into the "old" kit I'd ordered, Haberdashery, which was released in June. I fell in love with it because, well, it's very French, lots of Fleur de Lise and other icons. So, using this kit and the latest issue (the mid-month mini, which is rapidly becoming my favorite) here are 2 sets of cards I made. I think the stamps coordinated beautifully with the kit. Take a look:

I also received this month's kit, Cyprus, which I just barely had time to begin before writing this. I'm pleased with my first layout from the kit, made on my own, no templates or anything (yes, I can do that, too. Gasp!) It's my pen pal from Finland and especially her oft commended Finnish Spitz, Mini. Is the pun too much? Oh, of course it is. Still, I couldn't let it slide by.

One last thing...since it's my first kit since I subscribed, they sent me a neat free card kit. I was worried that the stamps might be too shallowly cut, but surprisingly the images came out beautifully and I was impressed with the very textured looking mosaic effect that appeared to have a lot of depth, even if the stamps didn't. I had no problems getting the stamp to make a clean image and I was very happy to have an excuse to use my Stampin' Up Pacific Point stamp pad on a non-stampin-up project. It was a perfect match to the marbled blue paper, so beautiful I felt bad using is as a layer under the white sheet where few will see it--that's some darn pretty cardstock. And while I'm dropping names, note the use of glitter on every little detail. Yes, I carefully did that all by hand using a glue pen and loose superfine glitter because I have no life and don't mind spending hours sprinkling glitter onto thin, nearly invisible lines, but I also have to give credit to my Big Picture Scrapbooking Class I'm in the midst of attending online. Glitter projects were last week's assignment so these cards were among the items I coated in shimmery metal bits. Glitter RULES!

Fiskars Fun Part 2: All of the Projects

Hi Everyone!

I am posting all of the projects we worked on last night in case you didn't have time to finish. I know some of these are in the previous post, but I wanted to put them all together so you don't have to sort through other posts. I hope you had a great time and that you'll come to my next Fiskars class on Oct. 3. We'll be making a fall-themed layout (great for Thanksgiving pics or for those playing in the leaves photos) and a bunch of animal themed cards (see the froggie card, previous post), including a pet themed one (choice of dog or cat) since I know you guys love your little critters!

For those who couldn't make the class, I'd love to see you at the next one. Sure, we had a few learning experiences (I think we had too many projects in too little time and everyone seemed to want more cards, fewer layouts) but that's ok--that just means our next class will be even better! I also had a request for a class using some of the cool clear stamps by Heidi Grace or Lil' Davis, so keep an eye out for a stamping class soon. To be honest, I kind of shied away from stamping in this first class simply because I teach so many stamping classes already (I'm a Stampin' Up rep), but I'm always up for more stamping! I'm thinking perhaps a holiday card class in November. Anyone interested?
On to the pics. If you have any questions, just let me know!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sneak Peek: Fiskars Fun Class this Thursday at AC Moore, Raleigh

Shhhhhhh! Don't tell the grownups, but I found these supersecret pictures under the couch along with some change and a lot of dusty loose glitter. Rumor has it, they're samples you'll be seeing at the A.C. Moore class I'm teaching this week. To avoid ruining all the fun, I'll just let you see a few samples...we might even be making some of them in class on Thursday. You'll have to come to class to find out which ones (and to see the projects I'm not divulging here!) Details below...
So, here's the scoop. Stop by AC Moore on Capital Blvd. and sign up at register one. We'll be making a couple of beautiful layouts and some neat cards while we learn how to use Fiskars tools. And as if that wasn't enough, AC Moore is having a 50% off sale on Fiskars tools, so if you like what you see, you have a great excuse to pick 'em up. The class fee is $15 (plus a few basic supplies) for the class and a heap o' fiskars goodies I'll have ready for you when you arrive! Don't miss this one!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Just something I like: Sheetload of Cards

I've been subscribing to the SheetLoad of Cards monthly online magazine for, well, months. Here's the concept: every month they send a recipe for making a bunch of cards using a few sheets of cardstock, a few embellishments, and a card map. The instructions are for the bulk production of cards, cutting out all the pieces, then assembling them en masse. What a cool idea. I had to subscribe the second I heard about it. But for a while they've been stacking up in my inbox waiting for me to actually get out the cardstock and put some cards together.

I think what I needed was a reason to make a slew of cards in one sitting. Well, Jen K, who you've heard so very much about here in blogland, was kind enough to offer to bring my cards to Stampin' Up's convention to swap them for me, since I can't make it this year. She's just so darn nice. And she's dilligent. She's making 100 or so cards to bring with her, so I couldn't just hand her 5 or 10 cards and feel like I wasn't a total loser. Enter SheetLoad of Cards! I found my reason to get to work.

My feelings on the results? Though each card isn't it's own individual work of art like most of the cards I create, I'm really happy with them as a set of matched or coordinating copies. Each recipe in the issue I used (July Issue: Christmas in July) creates eight cards. Knowing I want to make a few different kinds to send along with Jen, I only doubled the recipe and still made a nice little assortment of girly pirate cards. The instructions were really clear and easy, and the examples were great. I changed a fair amount of details for my own cards, but that's the great thing about their card maps. They allow for a lot of creativity while keeping things uniform enough to do the assembly line thing.

If you're looking to make something one of a kind or extremely elaborate, you probably don't want to go with this system, but honestly, as lovely as a individually tooled card is, in most cases this is perfect. You create something personal, pretty, and creative while saving time and energy. Since most cards, no matter how treasured, are only kept so long, a system like this makes wonderful sense, particularly in the case of cards with many multiples needed--holiday cards, gift assortments, Valentines, stationery kits, etc. I know I'll be referring to their magazine when I'm working on sets of cards for xmas gifts for my friends and family this year.

Before I forget, there's one more advantage to using the instructions provided: it is fun. I really enjoyed seeing the cards come together, revealing my cards' design even as I made them. So, I say subscribe. All you have to lose is a few sheets of paper and I doubt you'll be less than pleased with the results.

P.S. I hope everyone likes my pirate a la femme. I think it's about time we had a pastel pirate around here. With the amount of glitter all over me, they should be sparkly enough to attract attention, anyway. I looooove glitter and I'm really super glad Stampin ' Up is not retiring it!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Review: Archivers' Totally Clear Acrylic Album 2 Class

Yep! I made it out of the house on Saturday despite my rather painful weekend (my spine was being quite bitchy, let me tell you.) Archivers' and an acrylic album beckoned and I could not but follow. ;)
This is the cover of the finished album. One thing I have to give Archivers credit for is always using great quality "ingredients". The class was $18, which I think was a fair price considering the outcome. If you just want a clear album, yes, you can make it cheaper on your own, provided you have the necessary stamps or a similar set you're willing to substitute, but I do enjoy the social aspect of the classroom experience, especially getting to see what other people do to their albums to make them unique. Even with explicit instructions, everyone has their own flair.

One thing Archivers has improved on drastically over the last year is its instructor training. In the past I attended some classes that really seemed as if the instructor had never made the project before--or even read the instructions till they got to the class. Not good. When I pay a class fee, I expect that part of that fee is paid to cover the instructor's time and skill, so when an instructor just reads from the same instructions I have sitting in front of me, I'm really unhappy. I can read on my own. Really. I have a rather useless English degree under my belt. This time, our instructor was not only familiar with the class and able to actually teach, she also had a lot of handy tips, tricks, and ideas to share. In the past, I've had instructors get nervous, even snippy, when I diverged from the instructions because I preferred a different look (for example, I almost always do all I can to avoid the colors peach and yellow in any project I make. That's because these colors are gross. Seriously. Gross.) Lisa (the instructor who ran the class) was encouraging and didn't freak out when I dumped out all of the pens and things onto the table to use the little bucket to trace a circle.

I'm only showing a page or two here because I don't want to spoil the class for those who'd like to take it. Let me just say that I was very pleased with the results. One tip I highly recommend is to remember to bring your photos to any album class. Inevitably some parts of the project will be intended to overlap a photo, and you're bound to lose the pieces or have them damaged if you try to take them home and add them later. Also, if you are like me, you will let the album sit around forever waiting for pics to be added if you don't finish it in one sitting. Also, bring your own adhesive. I've never been to a class that wasn't stingy about their adhesive, so I won't blame Archivers for this--it seems to be a disease all instructors are infected with and a pet peeve of mine, but so it goes. I always pack my own. It's especially a good idea to bring your own tape runner when working on a project like this one without any protective sleeves. You want all of your photos and embellishments to withstand a lot of handling.

And yes! Here is another area where Archivers has improved dramatically. Remember that summer themed chipboard book class from last year? The one that took an extra four hours to complete outside of class, even if you did bring your photos? I'm a very quick scrapbooker, relatively speaking, and if I had four hours of extra work, I can only imagine how many of these albums went unfinished. I've started taking their classes again pretty regularly and they seem to have learned that people really prefer to actually finish a project when they take a class. And we don't want to leave the class totally stressed and out of breath from having to endure an intense time crush. The acrylic album class was relaxed, yet kept me busy enough that I didn't get bored and start wandering the store (short attention span). We left with a cute, completed project and a good 20 pictures (or thereabouts) beautifully displayed. Neat!

If you are the kind of person who freaks out about cutting their photos, you may want to bring duplicate copies or choose not to take this class since it does require a fair amount of photo trimming. If you're like me, though, and like something kind of funky and fun, you'll love this class. In the end, the time and money I spent on this class was well worth the results and I do think this album will be one I enjoy for a long time. I also feel confident now that I know how to use acrylic albums, which I didn't feel I could do before. Good class. Take it if you have an Archivers near you.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Review: Myrtle Beach Scrapbooking Stores

Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy

This, my friends, is how I feel when I go to a new scrapbook store. Or heck, even when I go to one of my favorites I visit all the time. I just know I love to shop for art supplies and scrappy stuff. :) So, when I ended up in Myrtle Beach, hanging with the inlaws, I had to check out the places where the locals scrap.

Snooping around online, I found two scrapbooking/stamping stores in the Myrtle Beach area. Scrapbooks By the Sea and Artful Legacy. Now, if you're one of those people who thinks a fifteen minute drive is a painfully distant journey, you're not going to get to either of these stores. However, if you have the attitude that a vacation is an adventure, and you enjoy checking out the scenery beyond the beach, hop in the car and enjoy the ride.

I intended to visit Scrapbooks by the Sea first, but got terribly lost because I forgot to note that they aren't in Myrtle Beach proper when I popped the address into mapquest. Oops. And yeah, I now know that there's a map right there on their website that would have made things much easier, but in my excitement to get shopping, I overlooked it completely. Finally after leading Scott (who was driving--I never learned how and now due to my heavy pain meds (see my other blog, Handiscrapped) I would probably get a DWI or the like if I tried.) up and down all sorts of confusing streets, I called the store and they politely explained my error (extra congeniality points for not guffawing at my lostness), and finally we were moving in the right direction.

We got what I would later learn was about halfway there, when I caught a glimpse of Artful Legacy and nearly crawled out the car window before Scott could even finish the U-turn to get there. Stepping into the store I was greeted with a welcome blast of air conditioning and my first glimpse at a sparkling wonderland of stamps and papers, tiny little metal embellishments, and friendly service. I could feel my bank card bleeping away dollars before I'd even had a close-up look at the inventory.

One thing I absolutely adore when travelling is finding local treasures you simply can't get anywhere else. These things are by far the best souveneirs, far surpassing any plastic dome with Santa on a surfboard being snowed upon. So I nearly swallowed my tongue when I was told that the aisles and aisles of wood-mounted stamps I was parousing were exclusive to Artful Legacy, made by their own artists! No freakin' way! I had hit the motherlode!

The thing that really stands out about Artful Legacy's home-grown stamps is the variety of artistic styles they feature. I don't know who chooses their art, but they do a fantastic job of creating a line of products that run the gamut when it comes to appealing to stampers of all types. They have ones that appeal to the "cutesy" crowd (I chose the dog saying, above, but they also had tons of doodled designs as well), the sassy girls (I can't recall the sayings offhand, but you know the type--chocolate and hot flashes dominate. :)), country/genteel (florals, scenery, etc.), Christian religious stamps, and my favorite--the artsy altered look kind. If I had unlimited funds, I would have picked up even more of those in this last category. It made me wish they had an online catalog so I could order more, but on the other hand, perhaps their rarity makes them all the more wonderful. They aren't designs you see over and over, and there's something great about associating these stamps with the memory of actually being on location, so I can remember my travels each time I stamp with them.
Correction: They do appear to have their stamps available online, though at the moment it's a little confusing to work with. It may be an in-progress kind of thing, but it's there if you'd like to take a look.

Oh, and I need to clarify for the anti-wood mount crowd--their designs are also available unmounted or sticky mounted. I apologize for not knowing the technical term for the type that are opaque but still will stick to a block. They're not acrylics, but they still stick. If you know the proper name for these, please leave a comment and let me know.

Speaking of unmounted stamps, I had to pick up this set of dog stamps. If you're into dogs and stamping, you likely already know that there is an overabundance of poodle images and vaguely beagle-y dogs, and very few that feature other breeds and mixes. So I had to have this set. Yeah, I know it has a poodle toom, but look! A German shepherd dog, a spaniel, an Italian Greyhound (I know you're totally envious, Laura (mom to Stella, the spunkiest of IG's). Crop with me and *maybe* I'll let you play with these! :)), a tiny terrier, a French bulldog, etc. One question I have is why the dog walker has no head. I'm guessing it's based on a story written by Washington Irving's dog, but if you know differently, please comment and let me know!

I know I'm rambling, but if you're ever in the Myrtle Beach area, do check out Artful Legacy. I dumped out my entire bag of purchases for the photo below (minus the album I altered which you saw at the beginning of this entry. Check out all the cool hard-to-find altering tools I can't wait to dig into. I'm not even sure, exactly, what to do with the sparkle powder, but I'm going to have fun figuring it out. :) I was so excited to find Doodlebug flocking! I haven't seen it anywhere else yet, and WOW do those colors just spring out at you. Prices were reasonable, and you can't see them in the pic (oops! I forgot to add them to the pile) but I also got a fabulous deal on some of my favorite (and usually *so* pricey) magazines from their clearance table--Somerset Studios magazines and the know what I'm talking about. Beautiful magazines, incredible art, but running about $14.95 an issue it's hard to justify picking them up. Half price makes me go wild! :)

The envelope above is filled with tiny charms from their salad bar-style charm display where you can pick and choose them individually. I couldn't resist the little bag of old watch pieces either, which has got me thinking about taking a hammer to a few old timepieces I have laying around here. Hmm...perhaps another entry?
The only thing that gave me pause at all was the "See you in church" entry every Sunday on their store hours calendar and a few other bible-y statements, and this is only because I have been run down by conversionists at scrapbooking events in the past. I certainly enjoy a good discussion on the topic of religion and I know a lot of mighty fine Christians, but I get a little twist of fear in my stomach when I think I may be walking into a Jack Chick style rumpus room. I was only there for an hour or so, but honestly I don't think anyone need worry. Everyone was wonderful, kind, and helpful, and I didn't feel assailed-upon at any time. I didn't catch any sort of intolerant vibe, merely a gentle open-ness about their own beliefs.
Moving on...I didn't make it to Scrapbooks by the Sea until a few days later because after all that shopping at Artful Legacy, I was a bit worn out. So, here we go on excursion two:

Scrapbooks by the Sea turned out to be considerably further away than we thought it was. It's definitely a jaunt from Myrtle Beach (I'd guess 45 min-1 hr?) but if you're near Pawleys Island, you may want to take a look.
Located in a cute little shopping center, the store definitely has a breezy, beachy feel. The front door is open much of the time and driving up to see the proprietor sitting out front, enjoying the afternoon, is decidedly picturesque.
The store itself is, well, tiny and had the feel of visiting a close friend's crop room, which is not a bad thing, certainly. The front of the store is mostly beach-related scrapbooking stuff for the tourists. They have, what I am guessing is every single beach related scrapbook paper available, and lots of pre-made die cut paper piecings directly related to the area. If you're doing a family album about your vacation, and you took pics at all the regular tourist spots (Broadway at the Beach, pirate museums, etc.) they have all the headers and papers you could possibly desire. If you're looking for much beyond's likely not there.
I did pick up a couple of neat items I hadn't seen before (looooove that template!) but unless you're looking specifically for beach themed items, or you happen to be staying nearby, I'm not sure you'd really want to drive as far as we did. Don't get me wrong, this is in no way a bad store, it's just set up primarly for the locals, and that's important too. From the time I spent sniffing around the place, I caught that special orders are really the way to go when you're shopping there and that they host a ton of cool events if you're in the area long enough to check them out. The crop room is HUGE for such a small store, so I'm guessing that if you live around there, you will love to hang out for classes and crops.

If you do decide to visit Scrapbooks by the Sea, there are a couple of other things to check out nearby. I was totally thrilled to find that the shopping center is adjacent to Haunted Trail:
Though despite my dramatic expression, we didn't encounter anything otherworldy. Perhaps it's scarier at night?

Across the street is a fabulous dog store that pet lovers *must* drop by.
Puparazzi / 10729-B Ocean Hwy / 843-235-8822
Unfortunately they don't seem to have a website, but they do have a fantastic selection of dog-themed art, home decor items, dog toys, cool games and crafts (they had a scrapbook kit that was very cute, but that was it--I do, however, kind of regret not picking up one of the dog themed paint by number kits. So retro!), and cute clothes for dogs and people. It may sound odd (okay, it definitely sounds odd), but the night before we visited Puparazzi, I had been lamenting the absence of matching dog/human pajama sets. Lo and behold, what do I find at Puparazzi, but the very same! I totally freaked out and of course bought a pair for me and for Revco. Yes, he actually likes wearing pajamas and such. Little dogs with very short hair get chilly easily. He's sitting by the cooling fan of my laptop as I write this, enjoying the hot air (there's a joke about this blog in there somewhere). I did not get any for Usagi, not because I'm neglecting her, but she simply hates dog clothes of any kind unless it is snowing or extremely cold out. Then she will wear a jacket only while outside, and will immediately try rubbing it off on the couch the second she gets indoors. I managed to get Scott to get the matching boxers, which he only submitted to because of the weirdness of bringing up the topic of dog pajamas then finding some purely by serendipity the next day. My arguement was that if anyone breaks into our bedroom with the intention of slaughtering us all, they will be so overcome by the cuteness of us all that they won't be able to kill us. Useful, eh?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wanted for Gross Neglect of a Scrapping Blog

If this blog was a kid, I'd be in big trouble for forgetting to pick them up from school for a month. (Sorry, just saw the original Japanese Dark Water. Seriously, don't ever be late to pick anyone and stay out of the elevator.) I am sorry, loyal readers, I have been distracted by my two other bloggy sites, Handiscrapped and my Stampin' Up gallery (which is still more than half filled with corporate filler projects. I will eventually upload enough to make the site less cookie cutter boring. No offense to cookie cutters. I freakin' looove cut out cookies. Hmm...that's an inspiring thought. If I can get my pain under control well enough to maintain uprighthood, those of you taking my Woof/Meow class jusAAXt may be nibbling pet-shaped goodies over your dog and cat projects.)

Check out Revco with a flower on his head! He was not exactly thrilled about it, but he looked so cute how could I not get Scott to snap a pic or two. I can't wait to scrap my little floral friend!

Have I got some new things to show off? Sure! I love the old retired Stampin' Up "Stipple Rose" stamp and the Fiskars border punches, so I put them together to make these purple rose cards. I colored directly on the stamp to get the various colors onto the image. I was concerned that the ink might end up too dry to print once I was done coloring the entire stamp, but lo and behold, breathing on the stamp worked!

Next up, a little 6x6 page I made as a prototype for one of the make-n-take projects for my Stampin' Up open house. The subject is a sweet little rat who we (Raleigh Rodent Rescue) adopted out to a wonderful home. I used the "Enjoy" set from the mini catalog. I love the journaling box stamp. It's too bad it doesn't fit any of the punches, but if it did, it would probably be too small to really be useful.
I finally got around to altering these mini clipboards! I'd been meaning to make these chipboard clipboards into wish list holders for my customers to use while they work on their projects in class, since they often think of things they need while crafting. I usually jot it all down, and I still will, but this makes it easier if they don't want to ask me for help or if they have a long list. I covered each board in paper (a tape runner is surprizingly effective for altering chipboard) Added the Hodgepodge Hardware bits (I can't believe that they'll be retiring in July! Stock up, peeps. I am!) and stamped the office style images to go with the business-y paper. I'm really into these kind of designs. They remind me of playing in my grandfather's office when I was a kid. All that cool carbon paper, erasers with brushes on them, blue no-copy pencils, and forms of all kinds. I loved trips to the office supply store. That's where I bought my first real stamp--a self-inking frowny face. I'm not sure why I wanted the frown in particular, but it got a lot of use, disagreeing with anything it was stamped upon. I loved those little packs of cap erasers in unusual colors you couldn't find at the school store, not to mention the triangle shaped pencil grips that helped reduce the huge writers' callous I always had before the days of laptops. Sure I still love going to office supply stores, but I just can't seem to find any of those great small and dusty places anymore. Just big box suppliers with hundreds of the same product stacked to the ceiling. I still pick up mailing tags, clips of all kinds, pens and other things, but the ambiance isn't the same. It's fun to have these retro-office supplies to take me back there, anyway.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My Birthday Weekend at Virgina Beach!

Brace yourself. I look like a complete doofus in the following photo. Then again, I think that was the point:
(Ugh, my hair looks like stupid cocker spaniel ears. No offense to cocker spaniels. Our first family dog when I lived with my dad was a cocker who rocked the house.) It's going a little back in time, but I want to post a few pics from our fabulous weekend in Virginia Beach at a cropping weekend that just happened to fall on my birthday! Since I had just been to one a few weeks before with my super great friend, rescue cohort, and scrapping travelling companion, Kay, I really didn't expect to get to go to another so soon, even *if* my super crafty, uber hip, pirate princess, stampin' up minion, cleverest of pals, Jen K. (Pictured below)

was going and was actively petitioning to have me come along too. It's certainly not that I didn't want to go (Heck, if it was my choice, I'd probably go to one of these every month at the least!) but these things do cost money and take me away from home and I didn't want to be greedy.

But, oh my, how could I forget that I am the luckiest girls in the whole wide world because...I have Scott the WonderHusband who gave me the trip as a birthday gift. Yes, girls, he rocks and is totally taken. Nyah nyah!

The way things had worked out, Jen and I each ended up with our own rooms, so Jen suggested that she bring Alex and I bring Scott and they could have their own little play date while we scrapped. It turned out to be a fantastic weekend. Jen went out of her way to make me feel like the most pampered and sillified birthday girl ever, showering me with crime scene tape, mayorial banners, all topped off with a glittered purple cowgirl hat (me? In a cowgirl hat? Well, if Howard Lyman can be the Mad Cowboy, I suppose I can be the Mad Cowgirl.) And that doesn't even scratch the issue of presents. Is she a great friend or what? (And I say that knowing that she probably isn't even reading this. You *know* it's true then!)

So, while the boys played on the Playstation, we cropped and slipped little surprises to our secret sisters. I rested a lot due to my retarded spine, though Scott's gift of Degrassi High dvd's made forced resting so much cooler. For those of you who don't know what Degrassi" anything is, stay tuned for a future post on the topic. If I tried to explain the joy of Degrassi now, I would never get back to the original topic of this post. Suffice it to say: It Went There.

For those of you who don't know already, Jen is my minion--er--downline in Stampin' Up and I was SO proud of her as she took on the entire crop group with a class showing off stuff from the Occasions Mini catalog. It was great! There were three seatings (that I saw, there may have been four) and she was just brilliant--confident, knowledgeable, graceful. She did such a great job, they asked her to stay on as the official Stampin' Up rep of their crop group. That's nothing to sneeze at--people come from all over to attend their scrap weekends! Jen ROCKS!

Back to the story: Jen and Alex took us out for Indian food, then we stopped at Total Wine to pick up some Champagne Pops. If you haven't had these, they are fun and simply lovely. It's just pretty decent Champagne served single style in a sparkly little bottle with a straw attached. After all, isn't the bubbly all about fun? So we sipped them as we cropped while Scott and Alex hung out beside us, building Scott's birthday catapult which I was promptly konked in the head with a projectile from.

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I have this problem. If something is going to fall on somebody, or hit them in the head, it will inevitably me it lands on. Seriously. Someone else could open and close a closet full of teetering drygoods and it would stand miraculously upright until I came along and opened that door once. I'm not the only person who has noticed this. I am convinced that I have a really intense gravitational pull on objects located directly above me. If I was given a halo, it would end up around my neck.

Later, back in the hotel room, I was trimming and mounting some stamps and began to ponder how one could put the extra sticky rubber bits to use. You know, the stuff that you trim away from the stamps when you mount them? The following photos were the result of much brainstorming:

Do *you* have a better idea to use up all this extra Stampin-uppitude? Leave a comment here with your idea and the one I find most useful will win a prize of some Stampin' goodies. Don't forget to include your email address so I can contact you if the goodiebag is yours!

Anyway, Sunday arrived all too quickly for my taste, but coming home is a good thing, too. Monday was Scott's b-day so once mine was over, it was Scott's Birthday-Day Eve, so in order to be truly festive, we dressed Scott appropriately. After all, it's only fair.

So, that was my birthday in VA. I was also lucky enough to have a birthday crop at my friend Teresa's house, but I forgot to take pictures there. Sorry folks! It was superfun too.

Don't forget to leave your ideas as described above. I'll be choosing a winner this weekend.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Itty Bitty Kitty Feets

Been feeling a little down for the last couple of days, but luckily I have Toulouse here to cheer me up with his cutest little perfectly soft pink toes...look at that little teensy curled up back paw! It took every bit of will to resist tickling it whilst I took the photos. I find cat feet unbearably cute, which probably shocks most of you who know me, since I find human feet so unbearably gross. I don't like being in the same room with someone wearing flip-flops. But cats have those itty bitty round feet. And they never, ever wear flip-flops.