Monday, August 24, 2009

CKC 2009: An Exploration into the Scraposphere (and a prize!)

Attention reader! You may already be a winner (provided you have a time machine). If you don't, it's okay. You still have the power to change the future! Keep reading or just scroll to the end for instructions. (Sure, I understand. You don't have time to read blogs all day. My self esteem won't be completely crushed by the fact that you find me too repugnant to spend five minutes reading what I spent hours putting together. No, really, don't feel bad.) The winner will be announced September 15.

A couple of years ago I went to CKC with Jen K's Table Scraps group (before it was called that) with absolutely no idea what I was getting into. I'd signed up for a couple of classes, and I knew you could shop there, but I had no idea how much goofy fun one craftnerd could have there. Since then,I've been in love with the Creating Keepsakes Convention though I still think "Creating Keepsakes" is a really unfortunate name. It sounds like a place where we all get together and sew eyelet lace onto doilies or lovingly hand-bronze babyshoes--no offense to those who do sew eyelet onto doilies and the like. It's just really not something I can imagine myself doing.

After that first completely exhausting day, I decided that a hotel room was a must from then on. With my spine, I don't have a choice. Last year was hard. I was in really bad shape the first night there and nearly missed the crop, but this year I was pretty proud of myself for having scheduled my events with several hours rest time between each. It made all the difference. Sure, I had to leave the crops early, but I still got to go and honestly, I've kind of come to accept that I generally won't be able to make it through a whole crop anyway. On one hand, it's a little sad to have to lower my expectations, but on the other hand, it's a lot less depressing than constantly being disappointed.

Speaking of crops, part of the reason the CKC crops rule is all the people you get to see who you normally don't. I love running into my friends from various message boards and whatnot, not to mention enjoying the company of people I happen to meet serendipitously at the convention, like the girls pictured above. We had so much fun Friday (despite the really awkward make-a-card game I think we all found disturbing) that we decided to do it all over again Saturday.

Here's Barbie at one of the SEI classes we took (I loooove their classes though it takes me an eternity to actually finish their ginormous projects.) I swear you cannot take a bad photo of that woman. I was really pleased with all of the classes I chose (the other two were a Technique Tuesday card class and a Rusty Pickle mini album one. I highly recommend any class you can take by either company.) which was likely facilitated by the early registration code I received from CKC this year so I was actually able to get all of my first choice classes. Always a plus.

The photo of Barbie, above, was taken just minutes prior to her annual injury. Last year she fell down the escalator, shredding her scheduled-for-surgery knee. This year she sliced her hand open changing the beyond-razor-sharp blade of her Fiskars rotary cutter, nearly causing a pass-out worthy bloodbath and panicking not only the SEI assistant and the CKC workers, but also security and anyone else within view. I would have followed her out as well, but I was afraid we'd exceed the women's room maximum capacity. Oh Barbie. I don't know if the Convention Center's insurance company is going to let you return if you keep this up.

Gentle reader, if you would like a nifty canvas mini tote (think purse-sized) emblazoned with those bright orange scissors we're all so familiar with, hand-stenciled by yours truly, leave a comment on this post (if you're lucky, there may even be some neat Fiskars goodies inside.) Due to the nature of this prize (by that, I mean orange), those who include their Fiskateer number will get two entries (A Nelson-style, "ha ha" to everyone else.) Keep in mind...anyone can be a Fiskateer if you wish really hard and go to and tell 'em I sent you. No, I don't get anything for recruiting you other than an extra bowl of low-protein mush from The Leader and the satisfaction of bringing another crafter into the I mean. :)

P.S. If you look closely, you can a similar tote in one of the photos, above. :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Club Scrap Summer Camp: Whoo hoo(s)

Rounding out my first year (more or less) as a Club Scrapper, I'm participating in their Summer Camp competition as a member of team "Whoo Hoo" (it's Cabin 2. It rhymes. It wasn't my idea. I wanted us to be Karen's Kninjas, but nobody asked me. Karen is the cabin leader, incidentally.) So far my team rocks. We've won (most project points) two out of three rounds so far. That means we get a discount on our purchases at the GHM (Gotta Have More) store (ooh, evil temptation! I cannot resist! Darn you and your ubercool stamps of late!) *and* a free book kit. Not bad for making layouts and whatnot that I love making anyway, right?

Each week there's a different bonus challenge. Week 1, stencils:

Please forgive the klunky photos. If anyone has tips on taking better pics of 2 page layouts, please let me know. Anyway, the swirly panels were all made using the stencil that came with the Henna kit. I decided to use a dye based Cat's Eye inkpad, running it over the stencil like a dauber. The images came out very nice (I made cards using some of the image and cut apart one for the above layout.) but cleaning the stencil was pretty gross and the images were sticky for several days--not a problem I usually encounter with dye based stamped images, but this was some pretty thick, painty stuff that was pressed repeatedly into the stencil.
My point? Next time, I think chalky ink may be a better idea. Live and learn.
This one doesn't have any stenciled images, but I liked it so i thought I'd post it here. If you know me, you probably know that cemeteries are one of my favorite places and that I have stacks and stacks of pictures taken in them. Here's a layout featuring a little graveyard we ran across in Sonoma. That's the new EK Success flat storing skull and crossbones punch I used. I like the way it's a bit more gaunt than some of the "cuter" skulls that have come out lately. Not that I dislike the cute ones. I have plenty of those, too. But it's nice to have something more serious looking.

Week 2: July challenge

We had to use papers etc. from any "July" kit. I used this year since that's what I had, and ended up making a layout for my calendar. Sleepy dogs!

Week 3: Stamps (I dropped the ball here. Didn't get as much done and we didn't win by just a few layouts. I feel personally responsible.)

Awww! Look at those cute little rats! The green twiggy things and the triangle corner dealies are all made with CS stamps. Oh and it's hard to tell but I assure you the rats are not biting the fingers in the photos. They are *licking* them like puppies! Could they be any sweeter? These pics were taken at one of our adoption days at Ed McKay.

And what was distracting me from doing layouts? (well, other than real life which was taking all kinds of crazy turns including having a really bad pain week and deciding it was time to shut down 3R.) Making this crazy book project! I love the bookbinding kits that Club Scrap sends, but the instructions for this one were comical. Check out that stitching:

I added the glittery bone buttons, the Glimmer Mists in gold and copper, plus the dog stamp to make it look less faux native american (just so not my thing). If you look carefully, you can see the dog one should beware of standing guard in the background.

So, that brings us to this week: fibers. Watch this space for more and wish us luck to win week 4. I need more book kits-I have to give my list of swears a workout or they'll get stale.