{ You have more creativity in your little finger ... " }

"... than I ever will in my whole body!"

I can't tell you how many times I've heard that! I've always been a little crafty, whether it was making beading jewlery, friendship bracelets, collages, scrapbooking or stamping! I was always doing something with my hands. Whenever I would give a handmade gift to someone, that is what I would often hear! I am humbled by the phrase and often blush, but I also find it to be a little funny. I mean, it just reminds me how there are so many levels of "creative" or "talented" in the world. Someone may think that I am the most creative person, but I know that I am not and am often blown away by other people and think the same of them, but they probably feel like I do and admire someone else's work - KWIM? It's just a little funny. Case and point, below are two collections of shapes that *other* people came up with for the SU! punches. I found these on SCS, ofcourse. The first one showcases animals and was put together by "TXTORNADOINAZ." I just love that you can make all these animals with just punches ... I don't think that I ever would have thought to combine them in this way! The second one was put together by "Forget-me-not" and shows all the different ways that the new Round Tab punch (which can be seen in the Spring Mini) can be used. Can you believe that I one punch can be used in so many different ways?

I just can't get over it. I think that these ideas are *amazing.* I couldn't have come up with all of these if I sat for a week and tried! These ladies are truly creative and talented. I guess it just goes to show that while you are busy admiring someone else's work, someone is admiring yours! :-D

{ Another tin! }

I just *love* these things! They are so versatile! This is a paint can tin from Michaels. The paper is also from Michaels - it was on sale, but look at just how perfect it is for this! The other paper is SU!'s Lavender Lace and the letter is SU!'s Monogram M that is stamped in Pretty in Pink and then trimmed down to fit on the tin. I just used Mod Podge to put the paper onto the tin, then Mod Podged over the top to protect the paper. The ribbon is SU!'s pink, white and taupe grosgrain and silver narrow organdy. I just glued it on with SU! liquid glue and just tied some to the handle.

I made this tin for my sister not too long ago. I am collecting things to eventually start a scrapbook for my niece and I wanted a place that my sister could put notes that she jot down of anything she'd like to remember or to collect any items she wants to put in the book. I just love how this turned out! :-D

{ ohmigoodness! }

Check out this beauty! This is the Egg & Muffin Toaster from Back to Basics. This thing seems *amazing* and I've told the hubby that I NEED one!! This baby will steam an egg and warm up pre-cooked meat and toast bread all at the same time so you can assemble it into a sandwich when you are done and have a yummy, quick (4 minutes, according to the website) breakfast! I've read a ton of reviews about it on Amazon (who, by-the-way have it on sale right now for $39 with free shipping!) and there seems to be only one defect with it, but that has now been fixed by the company. All the other issues with the item seem minor. I mean, how could you go wrong - who doesn't like a nice, warm, yummy and fast breakfast sandwich? And, did I mention that it cooks with steam and only a touch of non-stick spray ... hello, can we say healthy? And really, can you put a price tag on health? Oh, and don't let me forget to mention that we are starting that diet on Friday ... this would help greatly with the diet! That's it ... my mind is made up ... Hubby and I need to get this and test it out for Christmas/Birthday presents ... yeah, that's it, this is all in the name of gifts for others. Now, did any of this convince you? I ask because I need to know if it'll work on the hubby! *wink*

***UPDATE 3/21/07*** This thing is amazing!!! Yesterday around 11 am (obviously a while before I posted this) I showed this to everyone at work and my boss loved it so much that he had me purchase one for him from Amazon. Well, would you believe that it got here around 10 am today - using their free UPS Ground shipping option! Whoa! I ran down to 7-Eleven and bought everything I needed to make some yummy sandwiches. The only thing was that they did not have non-stick spray, so I had to get just plain vegetable oil. Anyway, I made two sandwiches and shared them with some of my co-workers and all of them were in awe! The sandwiches were *perfect.* The toast was nice and toasty and the egg was cooked all the way through and the lunch meat turkey ham was nice and hot! I just placed the cheese between a slice of bread and hot ham and it melted perfectly. Ya know, all my co-workers (except my boss who obviously was excited enough to buy the machine) were making fun of me yesterday for being so enthusiastic, but today they were all silent! :-D They all think that I must be getting commission from the company or something! I swear that I'm not, I just love it when something works the way I imagine/want it to and makes life just that much easier.

{ Name Frames and Life Organization }

Well, now is later. I thought I'd share with you the gifts that I made for the younger crowd for Christmas (as mentioned in the previous post) - Name Frames! I *love* making these! The only real stamping involved is the letters, but they are just SO easy and fun to make! :-D Truly, the hardest part of making these is finding the right sized frame. I think making these seems pretty self-explanatory - you just stamp the letters of the name you want to use, cut them out (I used both tag-shaped and plain squares in the examples above) and then just play around with them until you get them in a position that you like, then just embellish away! If that doesn't make sense, or if you have a more specific question, please do not hesitate to comment here and I'll get an answer to you ASAP!

Anyway, so remember how I was talking yesterday about life being so hectic ... well, my husband and I have been talking recently about how now that we have moved to a big city from our slow Southern life, we have been so caught up with working and the commute that the house has seemed to just slip away from us. And no, we do not like this development. Our attempts at getting things organized and clean have been futile. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's not like we're rolling around in piles of dirt, dirty dishes/laundry or anything like that. It's just that we have a few dust bunnies lying around, some mounds of cluttered paper that need to be put away and we haven't vacuumed in like a month. I mean, what we've been doing for 3 years that we have been living together is to clean on the weekend days and hangout/do things during the weekday and weekend evenings. Well, here in the big city since we don't get home until late, so it is hard to go out in the evenings. Hubby said that he wants to make more weekend outings so we can really enjoy some of the entertainment here in the big city. However, in order to do those things on the weekend, we can't really get any cleaning done. So, in Clara organizing fashion, I have developed a plan of attack. For everyday of the week I have given each of us a small job. For example, on Tuesdays, I will clean our 3 bathrooms and Hubby will take out the trash and polish our dining and living room tables. I figure if we take on one job a day it will only be about an hour a day verses the half or whole day that we are used to spending on the weekend. Our hope is that we will become more productive during the week so as to free up our weekends for fun activities - like stamping! I'm very excited about the plan. This routine in combination with going back on Weight Watchers on Friday (and Hubby will be doing it with me) really makes me feel in control of myself and the things around me for the first time in a long time. I have come to realize that I am a creature of habit. I crave routine, organization and structure ... one might even say that I require it. Without it, I just feel like I'm floating around aimlessly in space ... KWIM? Anyway, I'm not sure how the hubby will take to all this organization being that he is more of a free spirit than I am, but I guess we'll see. I'm really excited and I'll keep you updated on how everything goes! :-D

{ Grapes and Life's Craziness }

Man this week has been BUSY! Life can just get so hectic, can't it? My mom came into town so I was spending my evenings and weekend with her, which mean no stamping! Uh. I really think that I am going through withdrawls. It seems like my stamping sessions are getting fewer and farther in between. It just seems like life has just gotten crazier since moving up here. I guess before Hubby and I just had each other, a few friends and a few select things to do in our Southern small town, but now, we have lots of family nearby and tons of big city options! Anyway, since I couldn't get into my craft room, I thought I would share these coasters and trivets that I made back during Christmas. Money was kind of tight this year since we had the move and because we had to go a couple months on only one income. So, I made these sets for everyone. All the adults (the kids/young adults got different gifts, but I'll show those another time) got 4 coasters and 2 trivets but all were a different design. This one was my favorite. I think the tumbled marble tiles with the grapes gives this set a very Tuscan feel. I used one of my favorite sets - Gorgeous Grapes. I *LOVE* it!!! These beautiful grapes are so versitle - guy or girl, sophisticated or fun, simple or ornate, modern or antique, it just doesn't matter! Anyway, these are super easy to make! All you need is some tumbled marble tiles (I got mine from Lowes - I think they're called Bottocino), Stazon ink, your stamps and something to put on the back of the tiles to protect your table - I used cork shelf liner, but you could also use felt, those little rubber feet, even the scrap left-overs from when you cut-out your stamps! Here is how you make them:
  1. Get a damp cloth and wipes your tiles clean. They tend to have dust and dirt on them.

  2. Let them dry for 24 hours or bake them at 325 degrees for 20 minutes and wait until cool

  3. Stamp your images onto the tiles with Stazon ink. You can use SU! craft ink, but then you have to use a sealant on the tiles which makes them unasorbable (is that a word? oh well, you get my drift)

  4. Bake the tiles at 325 degrees for 20 minutes and wait until cool

  5. Adhere your protective backing

That's it - quick, easy, cheap and FUN! I *love* making these for a real *WOW* sorta gift! :-D

As for my week ... my Mom came in on the 13th to take care of me when I went to the while I was at the hospital on the 14th (everything is fine, I just had to have some tests run to get a good all-around check up) and she ended up staying until yesterday. Hubby was going to take me to the hospital himself, but he would have had to take half a day off and my Mom isn't working right now, so she offered to come do it instead. It was really nice seeing her. We found a local Thai market, which was wonderful. I've been shopping at a local Asian store, H-Mart. While they do carry some Thai food, it is mostly Korean and some Japanese. But oh is their produce fresh - yum! We even did what Mom and Daughters do best - clothes shopping! My Dad had some airmiles left on one of his credit cards and couldn't use them before they expire, so he cashed them out for their dollar value in a Gap giftcard, so my Mom took me on a mini shopping spree. Isn't it funny that I am a grown adult and even married, but my Mom still comes to take care of me when I'm "sick" and my parents still buy me clothes? hahahaha I just love it!

My mom also went with me this weekend to get yet another bridesmaid dress. This will mark the 5th wedding, besides my own, that I have been in ... wow. Anyway, the dress to the right is for the wedding of one of my oldest and best friends, Virgina. I don't know why the two pieces look different colors in the picture, but they are supposed to be the same color, buttercup (which is more like the color on the skirt).

The dress was purchased from Davids Bridal, the "Make and Match" collection. Virginia picked the color and the skirt (style number 8730) but let us pick any shirt we wanted as long as it was the same color. That's why I had to have my Mom come with me. There were 2 that I liked, but I needed her opinion so I would be sure to get the one that looked best on me. We chose this v-neck one (style number 81331). It looks *so* cute. When I got married in 2005, my dresses also came from Davids Bridal, but I gotta tell you, they have *MUCH* cuter options now then they did back then (I say that as if it was so long ago, don't I?). I got married in July in San Diego and wanted to get strappy short dresses for my girls, but there just weren't any really cute ones. I ended up picking a beautiful red color (Davids Bridal's "Apple" - they still have it) and let them pick any style that they wanted. It worked, but I would have much prefered something like what I got for Virgina's wedding. Anyway, too cute. I think I would totally wear it again say to another wedding (if I ever get just invited without having to be in it!) or to a fancy dinner party or something. I'm not much of a yellow person, though, so we'll have to see.

Anyway, that was my week in a nutshell. I will hopefully get into my craft room in the next couple of days and have something new to show you! Thanks for looking! :-D

{ Stampin' Up! Is Even On YouTube! }

I recently joined YouTube and decided to see if there was anything Stampin' Up! related. I have to admit that I didn't expect to find anything - but I did!! It just reminds me of how well-known Stampin' Up! becoming. I mean, I joined in October of 2005 and we were only located in the US and Canada. Last year, we ventured to Australia, and this year, we're in New Zealand. There is even talk of us going to England and/or France next. How amazing is that? More and more people are learning about this great company and their wonderful products! Gotta love it! :-D

Anyway, back to YouTube - most of the videos on there were not so great or didn't really serve much of a purpose, but I did find five videos by one lady, Linda Heller, who did an amazing job! You can see the videos here. I think that this is a great idea! Now, I wonder if I can talk the hubby into buying a video camera just so I can make some tutorials of my own?

{ I *Heart* My Crop-A-Dile }

I really am in love with this thing ... and I hate to be so in love with a non-SU! item, but I just can't help it! This thing is amazing. It cuts through cardstock of any thickness, chipboard, fabric, and I'm told even tin - Whoa! I've even heard that they're going to start making them in lime instead of pink ... wish I would've known about that before ... well, maybe not ... I needed this tool yesterday, not tomorrow, ya know? Oh, and not to mention the best part - that it sets eyelet and snaps in no time and with *no* noise! I have always loved the look of eyelets but also always hated setting them - especially because my crafting desk has a glass top (yes, I know, not the wisest choice). Plus, there are no loose pieces to keep up with - well, unless you count the instructions, which you will totally need until you can memorize all the correct settings (which I have yet to do, so don't ask me!). I combat this by keeping a pdf version on my computer to pull up at any time. It can be found here. I've also been told that a demonstration of the tool can be seen here, but I have yet to see it with my own eyes as the video has been unavailable the past couple of times I tried to see it. Anyway, this thing is great. If you don't have one, it is totally worth it. It retails for about $25, but of course, you can always use your 40% off coupon like I did. I think I ended up only paying like $17 for it - which is completely worth it's weight in gold just so I never have to hear the hammering, pounding and banging ever again! :-D

{ Sweet Simplicity }

This is another card from my stampin frenzy last week. I am especially proud of this one. It is very JulieHRR-ish to me. I made this card for my sister, who likes everything clean, simple and uncluttered. I made her a mix of different cards, but this is the one that made her stop for a moment and take a second look.

I am also very happy to say that nothing about this card is CASEd (Copy And Share with Everyone). I pulled it all out of my own little mind! I mean, it's not that I CASE all my cards, but I usually sit down to stamp and, being uninspired, I end up pulling a color scheme, layout, or some other sort of inspiration from another card. But, this card, simple though it may be, came from my own little head ... and not only does my sister love it, but so do I.

{ Happy Birthday Kristen! }

One of my best girlfriends, Kristen, has a birthday on the 8th. I have been putting off making her something but finally sat down Friday to put this together. The set includes:
  1. Decorated tin
  2. 10 cards with envies
  3. Bookmark
  4. Post-it note holder
  5. Little flip notebook
  6. Matching pen
  7. Dividers for her to use in the tin once she empties it

I have to admit that there wasn't much stamping. I used patterned paper from Target to make these. The only SU! items that I used were some punches, embellishments, vanilla paper/envies and a few stamps that were some of the greetings on the cards. The cards were made with what is called a "One Sheet Wonder" (OSW). It is when you stamp all over one sheet of paper and then cut it into various pieces with other solid colors to mix and match to make a set of cards. In this case, I didn't stamp on one sheet, I just used one sheet of already decorated paper. I love doing these and am probably a little too addicted to them. Whenever I need to make a set of cards for someone, I typically do one of these. It goes a little quicker since you don't have to think about 10 different layouts and since you are stamping all over one sheet, it takes out some of the stamping time. The template that I used for this set was designed by LeeAnn Greff and can be found here. There are lots of other templates out there, but so far, hers is the only one that I have used. I like how she has it set up where you can just print straight onto the sheet of paper. This way, I don't have to measure or think - just cut on the lines. I guess I'm just spoiled!

Anyway, back to Friday ... it was so much fun to sit down and work on a project and let the creative mojo take me wherever. I was just crafting away and listening to some music when I looked up and couldn't believe that 4 (yes, FOUR) hours had passed!!! It was so worth it, though. I am really happy with how this turned out and I think (and hope) that she will really like them! I know I did - I almost didn't send them to her! *devilish grin*

{ Always a Bridesmaid, Only Once a Bride ... }

... I guess that's a good thing, right? Well, at least the "right" way, huh?

My sister and I went to try on bridesmaids dresses today ... woo-hoo. Here is what it looks like:

This is style number 8033 from Jasmine Bridal in Lavender Ice. My sister is wearing the same dress, but in "Sage." On top of the dress being over-priced, I also *hate* trying these things on! I know from prior experience that these things run small, but still. I mean, where do they come up with these sizes? I know that womens sizes are already a little wacky being that arbitrary numbers are just assigned to set of measurements, but the dress was 4 sizes larger than the last pair of jeans that I bought. If our sizing system isn't going to be based on measurements (and I think that it should be), can't we standardize the sizes? I hate being one size in one brand and a completely different size in another brand. From my understanding, clothing companys created these random numbers in order to make women feel better about their sizes. In my opinion, I get more upset and depressed about being one size in one company and 4 sizes larger in another company than I think I would be if I was just one size all the time. Plus, we wouldn't have to constantly try on clothes because the measurements would all be the same. Am I the only one who feels this way?

{ I've Been Scalloped! }

Okay, so over at SCS, everyone has been raving about the scalloped punches from Marvy. Marvy makes ovals, circles, and squares with scalloped edges and they are available in *several* different sizes. The most popular at the moment, and largest, being the "Giga" size. They also make regular, non-scalloped shapes to fit inside the scalloped one. Let me just give you some perspective - these things are so populat that Marvy can't make them fast enough, stores are having to waitlist people. I heard that most places have them backordered for another month - sometimes 2!!!

Anyway, someone posted this afternoon that JoAnns had some in stock, so I rushed over to look at them. I am really only interested in the ovals and circles. I know, I know, I am a square girl, so why not the squares? Well, something about scalloped squares just don't do it for me. Who knows, I could change my mind in a month (or day), but right now, I figured I'd concentrate on the ovals and circles. So, I go to JoAnns, and sure enough, all are in stock. I quickly call my hubby for permission to purchase these (at $20 a pop) and the coordinating centers (at $16 each). Of course, hubby was not impressed with the price. I tried to emphasise the urgency due to the lack of availablity, but he still didn't get it. Well, when I brought it up today that one of them (the Giga Scalloped Circle) is now *completely* out of stock, and if I wanted to get in on the others, I had to act quickly! He did give in, so I was able to get the Giga Scalloped Oval with the Mega Regular Oval (as can be seen here) and the Mega Regular Circle, but not the Giga Scalloped Circle (as can be seen here) since my hubby didn't let me order soon enough!!! Oh well, I have 3 out of 4, I'm happy. Besides, maybe when I finally find the Giga Scalloped Circle, I'll get the Square one to complete my set - and if hubby gives me any grief about it, I might just have to remind him that it's his fault that I didn't get it the first time around! ;-)

***UPDATE*** Nope, no such luck!! JoAnns emailed me on 3/5/07 to let me know that they no longer have the scallops in stock, so I have a Mega Oval and a Mega Circle but no accompanying scallops. *sad, pouty face* Oh well, I guess I'll just have to try again some other time ... I gotta tell ya, the hubby is really gonna hear it now! *wink*
Related Posts with Thumbnails