Thursday, November 29, 2007

New Card, Same Layout

For this card, I used the same layout as the last card in my previous post. On the top panel and the panel to the left, I covered cardstock with aluminum foil. On the top panel, I stamped the "Seasons Greetings" image in Night of Navy craft ink and then heat embossed it with clear detail embossing powder. The side panel is also a piece of cardstock covered in aluminum foil that I embossed using the Cuttlebug snowflake embossing folder. That panel has a piece of silver and blue ribbon tied around it that was purchased at Hobby Lobby. The tree image is from the Lovely As A Tree set and is stamped in silver Encore ink and then heat embossed with an embossing powder from Hobby Lobby called "silver tinsel". I dotted my glue pen randomly across the tree and then sprinkled Ultra Fine Storm Opaque glitter (from Barbara Trombley's Original Art Glittering System) on and shook the excess off. All of these pieces are layered on a piece of Whisper White cardstock, which is mounted on a card base of Night Of Navy. This card is much more beautiful in real life, than it is in this photo. It's a little more time consuming that the other card using the same layout, so I'm trying to decide if this will be a one of a kind card or if it's something I'll reproduce. Thanks for looking!!

I took another picture at a little different angle so the glitter and dry embossing would show up a little better...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas Card Creations

I've been working hard on getting some Christmas cards started. I've been trying to decide on a layout that won't be too bulky and require extra postage when mailing. Last year I mailed about 80 cards out and will have more this year, so I definitely don't want to add any more to the postage than I have to. This card was stamped using the Holy Triptych and Baroque Motifs stamp sets. The base of the card is Elegant Eggplant with a layer of Pale Plum on top. The image is stamped on glossy white cardstock that I colored using the alcohol ink technique. I stamped the image using Elegant Eggplant craft ink and Irridescent Ice embossing powder from SU. After heat embossing the image, I used a glue pen and added Dazzling Diamonds glitter to the angel's wing. The Baroque Motifs swirl was stamped using the same ink and Irridescent Ice embossing powder. The layout is super-duper simple, but the card turned out to be very elegant, indeed.

This card uses the same stamp sets and I used cardstock in Bravo Burgundy and Blush Blossom. The stamping and coloring techniques are the same ones I used on the card above and I added Dazzling Diamonds with a glue pen to the star and the halos above Mary's and Baby Jesus' heads.

I'm not too crazy about this card. I can't decide if it needs something else, or just needs to go in "file 13". I really, really like the Wondrous Gift stamp set, but I'm having trouble coming up with a layout that suits me. The tree was stamped in VersaMark and then heat embossed with a "blue tinsel" embossing powder from Stampendous on Whisper White cardstock. The star was also stamped in VersaMark and then heat embossed with the Heat & Stick Powder from SU. I added Romantic Red glitter from SU to the star while the Heat & Stick Powder was still sticky and then heat set it again to make sure it wasn't going anywhere. The base of the card is Bashful Blue and then I added a strip of Real Red. I used my sewing machine to add a zig-zag stitch across the top of the Real Red strip.

I love, love, love, love, love this card. You just can't beat the Designer Series Paper from SU. By the way... that reminds me... SU is having a special on their DSP this month. If you purchase three packages, you get a fourth package FREE!! That's right - I said FREE! They have THE most awesome double-sided DSP and it's great for all types of paper crafting. You aren't just limited to cards. If you're interested in getting your very own FREE DSP, don't hesitate to contact me by leaving a comment on this post. Tell me how to contact you and I'll do so very quickly. This special is good only through the end of this month, so time is running VERY short. This would be a great Christmas gift for the crafty people in your life! Now that I'm finished with my sales pitch, I'll tell you about this card. The base of the card is Real Red and then I added a layer of Old Olive. The tree is from the Lovely As A Tree stamp set and is stamped in Old Olive craft ink on Very Vanilla cardstock and then heat embossed using Irridescent Ice embossing powder. Once that cooled, I used a glue pen to "dot" the tree and then sprinkled Romantic Red glitter from SU it. After dusting off the excess glitter, I had a beautifully decorated tree. The "Happy Holidays" image is from the Riveting stamp set. It was stamped in Real Red craft ink and heat embossed using Irridescent Ice embossing powder. I used my SU punches to punch that image out, as well as the Old Olive layer behind it and the Real Red scalloped circle behind that one. After my DSP and stamped images were adhered to the Old Olive CS, I added a piece of red organdy ribbon that I purchased at Hobby Lobby.

The photo above just doesn't do the bling any justice on this card, so maybe this one will show it off a little better. I completed thirteen of these cards tonight and four each of the ones above, earlier in the week, so I still have many more to go.

I'm really surprised at how much I accomplished tonight since it was "CiCi's night". Once a month, CiCi's Pizza has a night when they donate 10% of their proceeds to Branden and Lauren's elementary school. The kids love to go because all their friends are there and they LOVE the pizza and warm cinnamon rolls. Okay... maybe I like those cinnamon rolls a little too much, myself.

Well, I'm getting to bed later than I intended... AGAIN!! ...And there's still laundry to be switched over to the dryer. There really aren't enough hours in the day. Hope you all enjoyed your day, immensely!! TTFN!

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I have added an option to my blog called "Subscribe To My Blog". You should see this in the menu on the right-hand side of the screen. If you enter your e-mail there, you will receive an e-mail notification each time I make a new post. You are certainly not required to subscribe and are more than welcome to check back periodically for new posts. Just wanted to make you aware of the new option. TTFN!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


We had our first snow this last weekend. Curt took these pictures on the morning of the 24th. It was a light dusting and was completely gone by 9:30 or 10:00 A.M., but it was pretty while it lasted.

Ernie, being the arctic Tibetan dog that he is, loves the cold weather. He almost blends in with the snow...

I've started my Christmas card-making process, but haven't settled on a design for the majority of my cards. I'm trying to stick with a simple layout that I can mass produce fairly quickly. This next card is NOT it. I absolutely love the card, but it would take FOREVER to produce about 80-100 of these and since that's how many I'm going to need, I'm going to have to pass on this one. There isn't much real estate on this card that doesn't have some sort of bling on it, which is precisely the way I like it.

I put our Christmas tree up last night. I had decided that I wasn't going to put one up this year. By the time I finish decorating the tree every year, the cats are starting to take it down. I have an artificial tree that I've had for years, but didn't want to put it up. The problem with that tree is that the branches fit into little holes in the trunk and come out very easily when cats climb the tree - especially when there are two cats climbing the tree... at once... chasing each other... batting Christmas ornaments... slapping... hissing... you get the idea? This year I had a "bright" idea - I'll just buy a pre-lit tree. One where the branches are permanently hinged to the trunk. So far so good. I slept on the couch last night, right next to the tree, with a squirt bottle in one hand and one eye open. Apparently, the one eye didn't stay open too long. I was awakened close to midnight by Smith and Wesson "talking" to each other (it's a half purr/half meow) and running circles around the sofa. They had played Christmas tennis with one of the small ornaments and had it stuck under the sofa perfectly in the center... just far enough under that they couldn't reach it no matter how hard they tried. I got up from my post and went to retrieve something long enough to remove the ornament and return it to it's proper home. I settled back in for another nap and this time, the boys decided to join me. I think their game of tennis wore them out... BRIEFLY. As soon as I started drifting off again, I heard the "tinking" of Christmas ornaments. I was SURE that a large bear had a grip on my tree and was trying to shake dinner out of it. Nope... it was two cats... sitting exactly halfway up the tree, INSIDE the tree, right next to the trunk. Well, they weren't exactly sitting. It was more like a little Christmas Kitty Carousel. As soon as "the boys" heard the sloshing of water in my weapon as I picked it up, they both bounded straight out of the tree looking very innocent. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep last night, but "the boys" had the times of their lives! This morning, I left the tree in the care of my two little Christmas angels while I went to work. All day long I didn't have one vision of sugar plums. I had visions of a horizontal tree in my living room... An angel who would need a proper burial... Christmas ornaments strewn across the living room floor, resembling one of those ball pits that kids play in at amusement parks. I was pleasantly surprised when I came home only to find the angel taking a nap, face down, next to the tree.... her beautiful, peaceful face all in one piece. She had obviously been playing with two ornaments. I know this because they were lying suspiciously close to her little body. It couldn't have been my feline angels who caused this scene. They were sleeping so peacefully on the other side of the room - nowhere even remotely close to the tree. Here are a couple of pictures I took of the tree before Smith and Wesson added their finishing touches...
And here are my little Christmas angels as they were when I arrived home today... worn out from a hard day's work, I'm sure...

This picture isn't very good, but you can kind of see what the outside of the house looks like when I have all the candelabras plugged in.

In other news, I have a date scheduled for my tonsillectomy (now THAT'S some exciting stuff!). I saw the ear, nose, and throat specialist today and will be having my tonsils removed on December 28th. I made sure they were going to knock me out COMPLETELY before the surgery and Dr. Bell assured me that they would. I told her that I was a weenie when it came to stuff like this. Her response was "we specialize in treating weenies". That makes me feel MUCH better! She did tell me that the first week after my surgery was going to be VERY rough. By the sounds of things, the second week probably won't be a whole lot better. I'm planning to be out of work for two weeks or more, depending on how quickly I'm healing and how I feel. Thanks to all of you who have been praying for me. I received a card from my Uncle Don and Aunt Rosalia this last week, which was VERY thoughtful and was a VERY beautiful card. Thank you to both of you for your kind, thoughtful words and your prayers.
My bed is calling, so I'm going to run for now. I think I'll give up my post and actually sleep in the bed tonight. I'm hoping the new has worn off the tree and "the boys" have forgotten about it... IN MY DREAMS!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Curtis and I are celebrating Thanksgiving alone today. We celebrated with my family this past Sunday and had a WONDERFUL time. We all got together at the home of my brother, Derek, and his girlfriend, Tammy. They're the ones with the brand new baby girl, Emily. I think there were 14 of us all together. Everyone brought something to contribute to our Thanksgiving dinner and the food was DELICIOUS! I have added a link to the pictures we took at our feast, so be sure to check out the pictures of the desserts my parents made! They were incredible! I ate so much at lunch on Sunday, that I wasn't able to eat dessert, so Mom wrapped some up for me and sent it home. It was absolutely fantabulous when I ate it the next day, so I know it was "to die for" on Sunday! I spent most of the day with Emily in my arms. It's just so darned hard to put her down!! ...Makes me want one even more! Here are the pictures from Sunday...

I cooked a turkey breast for the two of us today. We also had broccoli & rice casserole, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, cornbread dressing, gravy, hot rolls, pineapple fluff salad, and cranberry salad. I know it probably sounds ridiculous to spend all morning in the kitchen for two people, but I LOVE a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day. While I was cooking, Curtis cleaned some of the leaves out of the yard. Late this afternoon we watched a movie and I think we're getting ready to watch another one. It's been a wonderful, quiet, lazy day. I love these kinds of days!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

An Ornamental Evening

I LOVE the way these ornaments turned out. These are some more of those plain ceramic ornaments I purchased at Michael's. I bought every one of them in the Springfield, MO store last week, so you'll have to wait for another shipment if you live in this area. Anyway, these are SO much fun to make! I stamped my images from the "Holiday Tag Team" stamp set in Black StazOn ink. After the StazOn dried (I'm impatient, so I used the heat gun), I colored the images using Sharpie permanent markers. On the santa ornament, I also added Crystal Effects to the trim on his suit and his mustache and beard. I poured Dazzling Diamonds glitter on top of the Crystal Effects while it was still wet and tapped the excess off. After the Crystal Effects dried (Did I mention that I'm impatient? ...I used the heat gun...) I used a soft-bristled paintbrush to brush off the excess glitter that didn't come off from tapping. If you click on the images, you can view them a little more closely.
After the fronts were stamped and dried (I'm impatient, so I used the heat gun), I stamped this sentiment on the backs of each one in Black StazOn ink.
Oh... by the way... I'm impatient and used the heat gun to set the ink on the sentiment. I have a can of Krylon enamel and I was thinking I'd have to seal these after they were stamped. I gave 'em a good rubbin', though, and I really don't think they need to be sealed. I think that part would just be a matter of personal preference. After everything was dry (I'm impatient, so I used the heat gun) I ran a piece of coordinating ribbon through the hole at the top and Wah-lah... we have two beautimous new ornaments for the tree. It's still early in the evening, so I'll see what else I can whip up. It's just me, Ernie, Smith & Wesson tonight... Curt had a manager's meeting, so I'm hanging out with my furry children. TTFN!
It's later and I'm back. I stamped another ornament that I wanted to share. This one was stamped directly on the ornament using the "Holy Triptych" stamp set and then heat embossed using Encore gold ink and gold embossing tinsel that I purchased at Hobby Lobby. The image was colored using Sharpie Markers. It turned out okay, but I think I still like the images watercolored on tissue paper better. They just have a much softer appearance. Thanks for looking! And thank you SO much for all your nice comments here and on my SCS gallery!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More Thankful Thoughts

I had every intention of going to bed VERY early tonight. Ever since my hospital stay, I just can't seem to get enough sleep. BUUUUUUT... I sat down and started playing with my stamps. You'd think I'd know better by now. Anyway, I made this card using the sketch challenge on Splitcoast Stampers today. I used the SU "Thoroughly Thankful" stamp set along with Whisper White and Chocolate Chip CS. The designer paper and the orange CS are from American Crafts. The image was stamped using Basic Black classic ink and watercolored with classic ink refills in Old Olive, Really Rust, and Pumpkin Pie. The "thankful thoughts" stamp was stamped with Chocolate Chip classic ink.

Well, that's as long as this post is going to be. I'm pooped... although I'd love to play with stamps all night! If it weren't for my darned job....

Monday, November 12, 2007

Chiefs 27, Broncos 11

Curtis and I enjoyed the Chiefs game yesterday, even though the Chiefs didn't fare so well. The weather was perfect - overcast with a high in the low 70's. We enjoyed some top-notch stadium dining for lunch. My quarter-pound hot dog was "to die for" and Curt had a brat. By the time we split an order of nachos and a diet coke, we were set back $25.00 for lunch, but it's all about the experience, right??? It was a fun day and I think we were both exhausted on the way back home. I say "I think" because I slept part of the way back home. I'm fairly certain that Curtis was pooped, too, but he was driving. Here is a link to some pictures from the game...

This next photo is a card I made today using the "Thoroughly Thankful" stamp set and the "Fall Flowers" DSP. I used Soft Sky CS for the base and Soft Sky and Really Rust for matting. The images are stamped using Basic Black Classic ink and are watercolored using the classic ink refills in Really Rust, Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Chip, and Summer Sun. I added a bow using the SU double-stitched ribbon in Soft Sky. It turned out to be a very cheerful card! I did NOT add any bling to this card, whatsoever, which was VERY hard for me to do!!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Fun Just Never Ends...

I guess things were just so exciting that I was trying to keep them that way... NOT!! On Monday of last week I had a sore throat. By Tuesday morning it was worse, so I called and made an appointment with my doctor, thinking I had strep throat. The strep culture came back negative (thank goodness), so he prescribed an antibiotic for tonsillitis and told me to take ibuprofen, gargle with warm salt water... all the regular stuff. My appointment was at 1:20 p.m. on Tuesday. By the time I left the doctor's office, I had decided that I was just going to take the rest of the day off work so I could go home and rest. Before bed Tuesday night, I did everything just like the doctor said. The pain in my throat was pretty bad, but I've had problems with my tonsils all my life. At 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, I woke up to even more pain. I could tell I had been sleeping with my mouth open because it was so dry. I decided to try some more warm salt water so I could, at least, sleep through the rest of the night. When I attempted to gargle, I found that it was physically impossible to do so. My throat had swollen almost completely shut. Trying not to panic, I woke Curtis up to tell him that I needed to go to the ER. I knew if I panicked and my nose got stuffy, that I wouldn't be able to breathe AT ALL. We got to the hospital around 4 a.m. and I was admitted by 5:30 a.m. The CAT scan showed that my airways were blocked from the back of my throat to the base of my neck. For two days, I had steroids and antibiotics pumped in through an IV to reduce swelling and get rid of infection. An ear, nose, and throat specialist came to see me the first day I was there and asked if I had ever considered a tonsillectomy. HAVE I? HAVE I?? Of course, I have... I could never find a doctor who thought it was necessary. I have to finish out the antibiotics that were prescribed at my doctor's visit on Tuesday and then I'll have a follow-up with the ear, nose, and throat specialist on November 27th. I'm sure we'll schedule the tonsillectomy for sometime between then and Christmas. That was a VERY scary experience and one that I don't care to repeat, so the sooner I can get my tonsils out, the better! I'm still having some pain and there's still some swelling, but it's looking much better.

This is a Christmas ornament that I experimented with today. I picked these plain ceramic ornaments up at Michael's and then "stamped" on them. Using the Holy Triptych stamp set, I stamped the images on tissue paper using Encore Gold Ink and heat embossed it with gold embossing tinsel. I'm not completely happy with this first image. I used metallic pencils from SU to color the image, but I like the look of the angel in the second image MUCH better. I used the classic ink refills to watercolor her, which is how I'll color the remaining ornaments. This is actually the same ornament. I just put an image on each side. After coloring the stamped image on tissue paper, I put SU Crystal Effects on the ornament and then placed the tissue paper over the Crystal Effects. Once it had dried (about 30 minutes), I put more Crystal Effects on the edges of the ornament and then dipped it in "Diamond Dust", which I also picked up at Michael's. This is the image that I colored with metallic pencils...

...and this is the image I watercolored. I like this one much better.

This is a side view of the ornament, so you can really see the "diamond dust" on the edges.

I also have some of these ornaments in a heart shape and I'm anxious to put some bling on those, as well. I really, really like this Holy Triptych set, but I'll try some other images, too, just for fun.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Where Do I Begin?

Where do I begin? It's been an exhausting few days and I have lots to share with you.
My niece, Emily Katherine, was born Wednesday morning at 4:17 AM. Her parents are my brother, Derek, and his girlfriend, Tammy. Tammy had been induced on Monday morning, but didn't go into hard labor until Tuesday afternoon. By 11 PM on Tuesday, they were predicting that Emily would be delivered within an hour. Curtis and I packed up and left our house for the hour and a half drive at 11 PM. We arrived at the hospital around 12:30 AM and my parents met us at the front door. ...No baby, yet... So we all went back to the waiting room. By 3 AM, the doctor had tried everything possible and decided that they should perform a c-section. Emily finally arrived at 4:17 AM. She weighed 5 pounds 15 ounces and was 17 1/2 inches long. I talked to Derek today and they're all doing fine. They're having a hard time getting Emily to nurse, but they're working on that. Tammy is in quite a bit of pain due to the surgery and the length of her labor. Derek sounded tired, but I know he's really excited and very proud. Here is a link to the pictures I took at the hospital...

Curt and I left to come back to Springfield around 5:30 AM yesterday morning. We got back to the house just in time to get ready for work. I had two friends at work who were counting on me being in full costume, for Halloween, and working all day, so there wasn't any getting out of it!! We dressed as "Cat In The Hat", "Thing 1", and "Thing 2". Any of you who have ever seen "The Cat In The Hat Movie" know that the three HAVE to be together. We had a costume contest at work and I think there were about 20 participants. Joni, Christy, and I won first place!!! WOO-HOO!! I picked Branden and Lauren up from school at 3:30 PM and took them back to work with me, where they changed into their "Thing 1" and "Thing 2" costumes. Our office always has trick-or-treating from 3 PM to 5 PM on Halloween and the employees bring their kids. Our costumes were a big hit!! The kids costumes were homemade. My "Cat In The Hat" costume was purchased, but I ripped the stitching out of the bow-tie and the tail so I could stuff them. It just looked better when some parts of the costume had dimension to them. The kids and I went trick-or-treating in our neighborhood for about an hour and a half last night. The weather was great, especially since we were wearing warm costumes. We opted to walk while trick-or-treating instead of driving, which turned out to be VERY fun. Our costumes were a big hit with everyone we saw last night, too. Lots of people stopped to roll their windows down and tell us how great we looked and how much they liked our costumes. It made me super-duper proud!! Here are some pictures of our day of Halloween fun. My friends, Joni and Christy, are the tall "Things" and Branden and Lauren are the short "things" (OBVIOUSLY!!).

We called Curtis to come pick us up from trick-or-treating around 7 PM. Branden was the one who decided it was time to quit. I think he was tired of me telling him to say "thank you" when candy was given to him. I was exhausted since I hadn't had any sleep since Monday morning so I wasn't disappointed, at all, when they decided we were finished. It wasn't like they didn't have enough candy to last all year! Hhhhmmmmm... I wonder if they'd miss any chocolate if "something" happened to it??? Anyway, we got back to the house and took some pictures. Curtis stuck a couple of pizzas in the oven and I got in the shower. I couldn't wait to get that paint off my face and out of my hair!! Branden and Lauren wanted to stay in their costumes, so they greeted trick-or-treaters at the door for the rest of the evening. I finally got to bed around 8:45 PM and my alarm went off WAY too early this morning. Actually, I think I feel more tired today than I did yesterday! It's almost like the nine hours of sleep I got last night was just a teaser!

I'm taking the day off tomorrow and will be making a trip to Houston to see Emily, Derek, and Tammy. I'll be sure to take my camera and will post more pictures of Emily and her proud family when I get back.

Oh... I almost forgot. I stamped a gift bag for Emily's gifts, earlier this week, and here it is...
I don't know that I'm completely happy with the way it turned out, but everyone else liked it and that's all that matters.

Well... that's what's been happening in my world this week. I hope you're all having a great week and I'll try to post again soon! TTFN!!