Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Dear blog followers (all 3 of you),

I had hoped to post something adorable to send the old year on its way, but time got away from me, and I never did finish anything post-worthy.

One of my New Year's resolutions (that's a lie — I don't make resolutions) is to spend less time on my butt in front of the computer and TV during evenings and weekends, and more time on my butt at my table making wondrous and amazing things to delight you. Since I did not receive the Sweatin' to the Oldies DVDs on my wish list, I can only assume that the universe is OK with my lack of exercise.

I am profoundly grateful for the friends I have made through this wonderful world of stamping. I hope you have enjoyed what I have posted for the last few months, and I promise I will try to be more diligent in posting in the future. I wish all of you a new year filled with peace, love, health and prosperity. And lots of new stuff to play with!

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cuppa Love

Well, my table is NOT cleared off, not even halfway, but I couldn't wait to play with some of the new goodies I just got from i {heart} papers. This is the simplest of cards, but it just makes me soooo happy!

First of all, I love how the stamp picks up the swirls in the paper. (Read below for all the details of what I used.) I love almost anything that's brown and pink, and this paper is to die for. I love how soft and luxurious the faux suede ribbon feels. I love how a little bit of Stickles makes everything special. But most of all, this card reminds me of the most amazing Raspberry Mocha Latte that I got at Border's bookstore last month. I can't remember who holds the coffee concession at Border's , but OMG, I am salivating thinking about that coffee. I know it has a gajillion calories, but it's the kind of stuff that makes you want to hug the stranger that made it for you! Seriously. I think the woman behind the counter was looking at me a little strangely by the time I left. It might have had something to do with the near-orgasmic noises I was making while I was drinking it.

OK, here's what you need to make this card yourself. Most of it is available at i {heart} papers.
Stamps: Sweet Hearts
Ink: Palette Burnt Umber and New Canvas, Copics
Paper: Basic Grey Bittersweet, PTI white
Other: Labels 1 Nestabilities, Stardust Stickles, Light Fuschia Faux Suede Ribbon

Friday, December 26, 2008

So you survived?

Now that we've survived Christmas 2008 (hope yours was merry and bright!), I can finally make an attempt at cleaning off my table and creating some non-holiday stuff — or at least move on to another holiday! I hope to have something to show you later in the day, but no promises.

Santa brought me some wonderful gifts, and one of them was an awesome Heidi Swapp clock kit that I can't wait to play with! My kitchen wall clock has been non-functional for almost a year, and I haven't been able to find another one I liked, so I'm gonna make my own. Good thing Santa looked at my Amazon wish list!

And if Santa didn't bring you everything you wanted this year, here's some exciting news — Kate at i {heart} papers is having a one day sale, JUST TODAY, with 15% off EVERYTHING in the store!!! That includes already-discounted stock, and even Nestabilities! And she's got lots of new stuff that just came in! Just type in the promotional code IHPgift at checkout and get yourself what you really wanted.

Want more good news from IHP? The lovely and talented Dee Jackson has joined our design team. Check out her blog, StampincuzILuv2, and see just how talented she is. Welcome, Dee!!!

OK, one more cup of coffee and then I'm gonna go see what I can do with my table. Stay tuned!

Monday, December 22, 2008


It was lots of fun reading everyone's comments. Thanks for entering!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-12-23 03:27:41 UTC

That means the winner of the Valentine's Blog Candy is Rhonda Kelly!
Rhonda K. said...

Those are fabulous goodies, thanks for the chance to win.
I usually make items for my co-workers, my DD's teachers and my DD. Usually candy related items/treat boxes.

Rhonda, e-mail me ( with your mailing address so Kate can send your goodies out directly from i {heart} papers!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Desk Calendar

When I first saw these desk calendars posted on Nancy Morgan's very awesome blog, Paper Smiles, I knew I had to make some. As I mentioned in the last post (wow - 2 today!), I made 8 of them this weekend. Why 8? Because that's how many pieces you can get out of a 12x12 sheet of designer paper for each season. And because her tutorial makes it so easy. And of course, because I never know when to stop!

I've packaged them up in clear envelopes. Here are shots of the individual sides.
If you look at Nancy's, you'll see that I didn't really change much. I used different colors and designer papers, but it's pretty much the same — if it ain't broke, I say... And if you look closely at mine (you can click on the images for a larger view), you can see that my trimmer needs a new blade!

Everything you need to know to make them is on her site, and you still have some time before the new year to make one for yourself. Or 8 for your friends.

Happy Hanukkah!

Happy Hanukkah to all of my Jewish friends! My menorah is lit with the first candle of this season of miracles, and what a busy weekend it's been. I wish I had made some yummy potato pancakes to celebrate, but I never got around to it. Instead, I've been crafting all weekend.

The card above uses the Papertrey Ink set called Mazel Tov, and is actually more elegant in person than it appears in the scan. The gold menorah is embossed on brushed gold cardstock, which doesn't show up too well, and I filled in the candles with my blue Spica glitter pen.

These are some candy canes I decorated for people at work. I work in a college that is run under Jewish auspices, and while many of the students, staff and faculty are not Jewish, many of them are. So I got some blueberry-flavored candy canes and dressed half of them up for Hanukkah following Nancy Riley's example. And then, for the other half, I used my favorite little snowman. I guess I made a total of about 40.

Also, for my immediate co-workers, I made some 2-4-6-8 boxes, following Julie Buhler's example. I used some old retired SU designer paper for these, and Papertrey's 2008 Holiday Tag set. You can see that I messed up on one of the flaps, and I did take another picture leaving that one out, but I believe in truth in advertising! They are filled with an assortment of candies.
I also made (I told you I was busy!) 8 desk calendars using Nancy Morgan's awesome tutorial. I'll try and get a picture of one later, but really, they are remarkably similar to hers, except for a different choice of papers/colors.

Whew! Time to kick back and enjoy the last few hours of the weekend. Don't forget about my Valentine's blog candy (scroll down one message). I forgot that I'll be out after work tomorrow with friends/family, so you actually have a few extra hours to enter, since I won't be home until around 10:00.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Valentine's Blog Candy!!!!

This blog candy offering is now finished. Congratulations to winner Rhonda Kelly!

OK, I don't know about you, but I'm really tired of making Christmas cards! It's good to have another holiday to think about, even if we haven't quite gotten through Christmas (OMG, one week away!), Hanukkah (even closer!) and New Year's Eve. So in the spirit of Valentine's Day, Kate at i {heart} papers has generously given me some goodies to give away to one of you!

Aren't these so sweet?!!! Just think what you could make with them... Now, I don't have a honey to give a Valentine to (don't cry for me — seriously), but I sure love making Valentine's stuff.

So here's what you have to do to win these goodies: Leave me a comment on this post telling who, besides your hubby/significant other, you make Valentine's stuff for. I'll take entries until Monday evening, say 6:00 EST, and announce the randomly chosen winner shortly thereafter.

Monday, December 15, 2008

i {heart} papers Team Challenge

This month our i {heart} papers team challenge was to create a holiday Thank You card. I'm gonna blame my mother for the fact that this habit was never drilled into us (but that's not really gonna fly, is it?). What better way to use up those bits and pieces of beautiful holiday papers, or what better excuse to buy more?!!

Here's one that uses a 2" strip of beautiful paper from the daisyd's Snowflakes & Holly pad at i {heart} papers. It's layered over a slightly wider strip of Garden Green cardstock, and then onto a white base. I first stamped snowflakes from the Alpine Frost stamp set onto the top half of the base with Bashful Blue.

My favorite part of this card is the circle. I used my JustRite Small Letter Set to spell Thank You all the way around. It took a bit of time, but it was easy, and while I was at it, I stamped a whole bunch of them. I used my Nestabilities to cut the circle and its coordinating scallop.

For this one I stamped the same snowflake into the center, and then accented it with Crystal Stickles to give it the necessary bling factor. You can use any kind of small image in the center to change it up for any occasion. Then pick an appropriate paper from your stash, and coordinating color for the scallop, and you have a limitless idea. Now how awesome is that?!!!

Check out my other team members' sites throughout the day for their takes on this challenge:

Sarah Anderson

Cathleen Torina

Kendra Wietstock

I really am going to try and send (some) Thank You cards after this holiday is done. But first I need to get my darned holiday cards out!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

So excited!!!

Wow! A few days ago Taylor VanBruggen (of Taylored Expressions) contacted me about a card I had made and posted on SCS using her sweet cupcake stamps from Stamp a Sweet Impression (SASI). It was this one, which I had also posted on my blog a couple of weeks ago. And she asked me to be this week's Friday Friend on the SASI blog. Wow, what an honor! I created another card using her Season's Sweetings set for the occasion. So hop on over there and check out my interview and catch my 5 minutes of blog fame!

I had been hoarding this one piece of Heidi Grace paper since last year. It's so scrumptious — the background is shimmery, and the design is flocked. And it went perfectly with this little holly cupcake, so how could I resist? The sentiment is stamped on a piece of white satin ribbon that I scavenged from a gift (couldn't let it go to waste, could I?). The top of the cupcake is covered with Candlelight Shimmerz to give it a vanilla glow, and the cherry on top has red Stickles. You can't see it too well in the picture, but I also gave the holly leaves a dusting of shimmer with my clear Spica pen.

Oh, and check me out! I'm finally getting the hang of the airbrush system for my Copic markers. After I've wasted practically the whole can of air trying to get it right.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bubbly Birthday

Hopefully I can get this loaded in time for Kristina's Color Inspiration challenge tonight. We were to use Perfect Plum, Pale Plum, Bordering Blue, Sage Shadow and Certainly Celery.
I just loved the soft colors, and thought it would be a cool way to use these cute new sets I just got from i {heart} papers. Oh, and I have another family birthday next week, so this little fishy will be swimming its way to my niece Hannah in California.

What you can't really tell in this scan (couldn't seem to photograph it well either) is that the fish bowl has acetate behind the cut-out, and it's raised on dimensionals.

And speaking of i {heart} papers, one of my fellow design team members is offering some bling-y blog candy right now. Hurry on over to Amber's blog to enter!

What I used:
Stamps: Sushi Bowl Party & Sushi's Favorite Words (Stampendous)
Ink: Palette Noir, various markers
Paper: Perfect Plum, Pale Plum, white
Other: acetate sheet, Certainly Celery grosgrain ribbon (SU!), Circle Nestabilities

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

An obsession with cupcakes (and an exciting announcement!)

If you are a regular visitor to my blog, you will know that next to paper crafting, my favorite thing right now is cupcakes. And if you know ME, you know that I never just get interested in anything — I get obsessed. It's a Scorpio thing, I think.

My current obsession with cupcakes is rather recent. Last spring, when my youngest daughter was planning my older daughter's bridal shower, she had the brilliant idea to use cupcakes as both centerpieces and favors. This translated into 12 dozen cupcakes. That's a LOT of cupcakes! I agreed to make 8 dozen, and one of the bridesmaids would make another 4 dozen. I was absolutely sure that it would be a nightmare from which I would never recover. Much to my amazement, the job went much smoother and faster than I could have imagined, and I was hooked! The cupcakes came out great (I made the ones with the white and pink frosting).
We had stacks of Wilton boxes that held 4 cupcakes each that we gave out at the end, and everybody got to take home cupcakes!

I am so happy that the worlds of cupcakes and stamping have collided! This is where my exciting announcement comes in. But you'll have to wait until Friday to find out what it is. I know... I'm such a tease!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Watching Stickles Dry...

This is how I spent my Sunday. With my friend's cards out of the way, today I tackled my stepdad's cards. I had "favorited" this card by judylb on SCS over a year ago because it was so simple and stunning, and decided that it was the perfect card to crank out 25 of relatively quickly — no layers, no extra cutting.

I created a mask a little bigger than the card from acetate, and outlined the shape of the card on it with a Sharpie so the swoosh would be in the same place for all the cards. I used a couple of dots of temporary adhesive to hold it in place while I sponged Baja Breeze inside the mask.

Then came the magic: following a brilliant tip from my friend Kate (of i {heart} papers fame), I arranged all of the snowflakes and the greeting on one large block so that I could stamp all the cards quickly and consistently. Worked like a charm! Thanks, Kate! Here's a close-up:
The snowflakes and greeting are stamped with Encore silver ink and embossed with silver EP. After all the embossing and inside stamping were done, I dotted the center of each snowflake with Waterfall Stickles. They actually match the Baja Breeze much better than the photo shows.

The snowflakes are a combination of Papertrey Ink and Verve stamps, and the greeting is from Verve as well. The inside stamp peeking out from one of the cards above is from Little Paper Shop.

Now to figure out what I'm doing for the other half of my own cards!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

City Holiday Card

For the past several years I've made not only my own holiday cards, but cards for my step-dad and one of my best friends. This year I've let things slide a bit and I can't believe how fast the holiday season is going. Anyway, my friend handles the public relations for the Waterford New Year's Eve ball that brings in the new year in Times Square (which means she's never available for parties because she's stuck in the middle of all the chaos every year). She asked if this year I could somehow work the ball into her card, so this is what I came up with.

I've had this Sizzlits strip die for ages and this was the perfect time to bring that puppy out! And for the ball, get this: I used a silver holographic gift bag from the 99¢ store! It's much more stunning than it appears in the picture.

I double-punched it with my scalloped circle punch to get more thingies (very technical term here) around the edges. I used 2 of them for each ball, and they are glued around the strip of silver mirror paper just around the sides, so you can actually slide the ball up and down the pole — I am so tickled with myself! The strip is held on to the card only at the top and bottom with mini glue dots. The cardstock base is SU! Not Quite Navy. The greeting is embossed with silver, using a stamp from Verve's Snowflake Splendor set, which happens to be on sale right now. (I'm in no way affiliated with Verve — just cluing y'all in!)

Oh, and just to enable your spending habit a little more, Kate at i {heart} papers is having a special sale this weekend (can you say 15% off everything?!!!) for all members of the i {heart} papers group on Paper Craft Planet. So go on over and join so you can save!

Wishing all of you a holiday season full of joy (and a few extra hours in each day!)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

5 Golden Rings

Today is day 5 of the 12 Days of Christmas contest over at Paper Craft Planet, and today i {heart} papers is a co-sponsor. The assignment was to make a card or project using rings or circles, so here's a card with 5 golden rings, using lots of stuff from i {heart} papers.

Go over there and play — you could win free stuff!

What I used:
Stamps: s.e.i. Alpine Frost
Ink: Versamark, gold leaf pen (edges of designer paper)
Paper: PTI white , SU! brushed gold, s.e.i. Windsor Stack
Other: circle Nestabilities, assorted clear gemstones, sheer gold ribbon, gold EP

Monday, December 1, 2008

Golden Calling Bird

This was my entry for today's Paper Craft Planet 12 Days of Christmas contest - 4 Calling Birds. We had to make a card or project using a bird (duh!). I'm in a gold kinda mood, and totally digging heat embossing again. Remember how completely awed you were the first time you saw embossing powder melt into that glorious shiny image? It was magical, wasn't it!

I made the frame for the bird by die-cutting 2 Nestabilities together, and then embossing them (in my Cuttlebug). The bird is actually mounted behind the frame with dimensionals.

What I used:
Stamps: Winter Birds (inkadinkado), Christmas Greetings (Little Paper Shop)
Ink: Versamark
Paper: PTI white, Windsor Paper Stack, SU! brushed gold
Other: gold EP, Nestabilities

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Last Day — Don't Miss Out!

This is the final day of the i {heart} papers Black Friday Sale. Don't miss out on Kate's great offers:
  • FREE SHIPPING on US orders of $25 or more ($50 or more for Canadian orders). This is reduced from our normal $40 threshold.
  • For every $50 you spend you will be rewarded with a $10 gift certificate towards a future purchase. Gift certificates will be issued on December 1.
See the website for complete details. Happy shopping!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Tale of No Turkey

Remember (yesterday) when I told you that my family always celebrated Thanksgiving together on the Friday after? And how we were gathering down near Philly at my brother's house? Well, some of us made it, and some of us, well...

This is what happened before we even left Brooklyn. That is not a flat tire — that is one shredded tire! I will spare you the story of how it actually happened (but it involves some construction workers and a metal grate that they had left in the street).

These are my daughters texting their friends (and updating their Facebook pages) while we were waiting for AAA. Aaahh, technology. Long story short: yes, there was a spare; no, we didn't have the little doohickey to release it from under the car. And neither did the AAA guy.

Over 3 hours later, and following a confluence of unfortunate circumstances, we had 2 new rear tires, still no access to the spare, and frazzled nerves. Not conducive to a 2-hour drive down to Philly, only to turn around and come back after dinner. I must give Laila due credit, though, for handling everything with amazing calmness and grace.

They felt awful about not being able to join the family for Thanksgiving, and even more awful for me, since they had enjoyed the holiday at a friend's house the day before while I was at home, baking cupcakes, swooning and drooling from the aromas wafting through my apartment from my neighbors' feasts, looking so forward to the gastronomic delights that awaited me the next day.

So we went to the supermarket, picked up my son-in-law from work, and he and Annisa prepared a chicken (which they named Agamemnon — don't ask, because I don't know), stuffing, and all the fixings for our own little celebration.

The food was delicious, and we enjoyed each other's company while consuming a surprisingly large amount of wine! While I did miss being with the rest of my family, I felt truly blessed to have these amazing people in my life. And isn't that what Thanksgiving is really about?

Friday, November 28, 2008

and speaking of cupcakes...

My family does things a little differently for Thanksgiving. To avoid the stress of traveling with the hoards of "normal" people, we celebrate on Friday. It works out quite well, actually. We get an extra day to prepare the yummies, and those with spouses/significant others have the opportunity to celebrate with both families.

More often than not, we travel down to my brother's house near Philadelphia. My sister-in-law is a fantastic cook (though she humbly denies it), so she handles the basics of the meal, and the rest of us provide things like appetizers, wine, or an extra dessert or two.

The splendiferous cupcakes you see above are one of my contributions this year. Well, these are the ones left after I packed up the rest to go. They are devil's food cake, stuffed with creamy white filling (à la Hostess), and the tops are double dipped in chocolate ganache. This was my first time filling cupcakes, and it's not nearly as intimidating as I thought. After they cooled a bit, I stuck the handle of my wooden spoon into the tops of the cupcakes to make a little room for the filling. Then I just piped the filling in with a pastry tip. The frosting covers up the hole.

They do taste as good as they look (thank goodness). I had to test one for quality control, if you know what I mean. Hope you all had a wonderful day yesterday. I'm thankful for so many things — YOU among them!

and we have a winner!

I've been struggling with a layout for the bulk of my mass-produced holiday cards this year, and I've finally settled on one. Thanks to Sharon Johnson (notimetostamp), I found my inspiration. Simple, but cute!

My criteria were: use the yummy cupcake stamps from Taylored Expressions, and this cute My Mind's Eye paper from i {heart} papers. Oh, and it also had to be sufficiently flat so it would not require additional postage. And of course, easy enough to reproduce many times...

The cupcake image piece is popped up on dimensionals. I think it needs a little bling. Maybe I should add some Stickles on the cherry. What do you think?

What I used:
Stamps: Season's Sweetings (SASI)
Ink: Palette Noir, SU! Riding Hood Red, Copics
Paper: PTI Cream, SU! Riding Hood Red and Always Artichoke, Trim the Tree (My Mind's Eye)
Other: Nestabilities

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Black Friday Sale at i {heart} papers!!!

While you're recovering this weekend from your Turkey Day, spend a little time giving thanks to Kate at i {heart} papers for this awesome sale. Click the graphic above for full details and get ready to gobble up some goodies!