Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Little Steps

Clutter, clutter everywhere! Inside my head and all around me! I realized a week or two ago just how much all this is slowing me down, so I've been taking little steps this week to reclaim my space and attend to the details needed to reclaim my Self.

Today's focus was on making thank-you cards for people from whom I have recently (December and January) received blog candy. I don't really know what the protocol is on thanking the givers of blog candy, but it seems to me to be appropriate to send at least a hand-stamped card.

Here are two cards I made using the Simply Sent kit called Note of Thanks, which I received from Elizabeth Fortuna as candy along with a pack of love notes with envelopes.

Stamps: Note of Thanks
Colors: Melon Mambo, Whisper White
DSP: Melon Mambo Patterns DSP
Punches: Scalloped Oval, Oval
Big Shot: Beautiful Wings embosslit
And: Melon Mambo Polka Dotted grosgrain ribbon, white gel pen

Stamps: Note of Thanks
Colors: Rich Razzleberry, Whisper White, Crushed Curry
DSP: Rich Razzleberry Patterns DSP
Punches: Scalloped Oval, Oval, 1" Circle
Big Shot: Beautiful Wings embosslit
And: Melon Mambo Polka Dotted grosgrain ribbon, Stampin' Dimensionals, Pretties Kit

Kimberley Morris is the other generous soul I'm thanking for blog candy. She sent me two packages of felt snowflakes in two sizes, a stamp set, a punch that matches one of the stamps, and the Winter Bright Simply Scrapping kit plus directions on how to assemble a whole mess of cards using the kit. Pretty awesome!

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As I mentioned above, I've been really struggling with clutter lately. I live in an apartment that's too small for the amount of "stuff" I have -- or maybe I need to stop buying stamping supplies and invest in some decent storage solutions. My desperate hope is to be moving to a better apartment the first half of this year, though, so my plan is to see where I land first, then figure out how to organize the new space.

Meanwhile, my home health aide (Deborah) has graciously offered to help me start packing for the move as well as wage a war on the dust that's settled everywhere. This week we attacked my largest bookcase. All the books on the shelves were packed away into moving boxes and the bookcase got a thorough cleaning. Next we took 10-15 smaller boxes of stamps that have been sitting around waiting to be played with, and organized them onto the empty bookshelves. Here's Deborah with the freshly revamped bookcase:

As you might guess, getting rid of close to fifteen boxes piled up against walls and crammed into corners has greatly improved the appearance of my living space. Are these all my stamps? No. I'd say the bookcase currently houses about a third of my Stampin' Up! stamps, and (shhhhhh, don't tell anyone) I have boxes upon boxes of non-Stampin' Up! rubber tucked away as well. Let's not even get into paper, ink, tools, and embellishments! Ask me where anything is, however, and I can find it within a few minutes. Good thing I have a mind like a steel trap! (Yeah, right.) Until I move, what I have works for me -- and that's the important thing.

Here's another shot of the bookcase I'm oh-so-very proud of:

Down at the bottom is my set of Harry Potter books, just in case I decide I want to read someday!

ETA: Those black blobs you see in front of the stamps are my traditional-style Stampin' Up! punches! As you can imagine, I'm absolutely thrilled that they're now offering punches that close and lock for easier storage!

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Coming up (not forgotten!): Ten sympathy cards and forty Build-a-Bear cards

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Happy Birthday, Deborah!

Here's a card I put together for my home health aide. Deborah, if you're reading this: Happy Birthday!

Stamps: Circle Circus, Think Happy Thoughts
Colors: Rich Razzleberry, Crushed Curry, Bermuda Bay, Melon Mambo, Dusty Durango
Punches: Scallop Trim Border, Scalloped Circle, 1-1/4" and 1-3/8" Circles, Boho Blossom, hand-held 1/8" circle punch
And: Gold brad, Stampin' Dimensionals

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Five More Anniversary Cards

I managed to put together five anniversary cards this afternoon to complete my friend's order. I just loved playing with my new toys and papers from the Occasions mini catalog!

Card 1:

Stamps: Teeny Tiny Wishes
Colors: Real Red, Regal Rose
DSP: Sending Love
Punches: 1-3/4" Circle, Heart to Heart, Pinking Hearts Border, Modern Label, Scallop Border
Big Shot: Stampin' Up! Scalloped Heart of Hearts Embosslits Die, Texture Plate
And: Mistletoe ribbon (from the Holiday Mini), Stampin' Dimensionals

Card 2:

Stamp: Teeny Tiny Wishes
Colors: Old Olive, Rose Red, Pretty in Pink, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White
Punch: Modern Label, Eyelet Border
Big Shot: Stampin' Up! Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, Stampin' Up! Punch Windows
And: Sweet Pea Stitched Felt

Card 3:

Stamp: Great Greetings
Colors: Chocolate Chip, Real Red, Pretty in Pink, Whisper White
Punches: Scallop Trim Corner, Scallop Trim Border
Big Shot: Scalloped Heart of Hearts Embosslits Die
And: Paper Piercing Tools

Card 4:

Stamps: Vintage Vogue, Whimsical Words
Colors: Soft Suede, Sahara Sand, Rose Red, Old Olive
DSP: Thoroughly Modern
Punch: Wide Oval
And: Soft Suede Polka Dotted Grosgrain Ribbon, Antique Brass brads, Stampin' Dimensionals

Card 5:

Colors: Rose Red, Whisper White
Big Shot: Manhatten Flower embossing folder
And: Halfback pearls from the Pretties Kit, Whisper White Organza Ribbon

Not bad for a day's work, eh?

Coming up: Build-a-Bear cards!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

More Anniversary Cards

I did manage to complete four more anniversary cards for my friend by the time we met for lunch yesterday (at Red Lobster, yum!). Between car problems and a personal energy shortage which left me sleeping a lot last week, these four anniversary cards were created in a very short period of time and at the last minute. Nothing like a little adrenaline rush to make stamping more interesting!

Card 1:

Stamp: Teeny Tiny Wishes
Colors: Basic Gray, Basic Black, Whisper White
DSP: Night and Day (2009 Holiday Mini)
Punches: Modern Label, 1" Circle, Designer Label
Big Shot: Stampin' Up! Finial Press embossing Folder, Punch Windows die
And: Black grosgrain ribbon

Card 2:

Stamps: Love You Much, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Colors: Real Red, Basic Black, Whisper White
DSP: Night and Day (2009 Holiday Mini)
Punches: Scallop Circle, Modern Label
Big Shot: Punch Windows die
And: Stampin' Write markers, Red Gingham ribbon, Stampin' Dimensionals

Card 3:

Stamps: Great Greetings (retired)
Colors: Real Red, Whisper White
Big Shot: Elegant Bouquet embossing folder
And: Versamark ink, Gold embossing powder, Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint mixed with alcohol and spritzed on both the card front and inside panel

Card 4:

Stamps: Flower Lines, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Colors: Old Olive, Melon Mambo, Basic Black, Whisper White
DSP: Lovely Flowers (Hostess Level 3)
Punches: Large Oval, Scalloped Oval, Scallop Border
And: Stampin' Write markers, Paper Piercing tools, Mistletoe ribbon (2009 Holiday Mini)


The last time we went to lunch, my friend and I started a new tradition. Rather than me making, writing, and mailing a thank-you card to her after each of our get-togethers, I just give her an extra blank card that she can use herself. Here's what I chose for her from my stash this time:

Coming up, in no particular order: Five more anniversary cards, ten sympathy cards, and forty Build-a-Bear cards. All that should keep me out of trouble!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

First Card of the Year: Vintage Vogue

My first card of 2010 is an anniversary card, one of ten requested by my friend and adopted mom Cathy. My goal is to have a total of five done by Saturday when we meet for lunch.

Without further ado, here's the card:

I got to use a whole bunch of new toys in putting this one together! Most obvious is a new stamp set called Vintage Vogue. Don't you just LOVE those flowers? Just wait until you see the rest of the stamps in the set! This set will always be special to me now because it's the first Stampin' Up! set I own designed to be used with clear acrylic blocks instead of the traditional wood mounts. I'm hooked, as the clear-mount stamps are less expensive and so much easier to store. {Insert satisfied sigh here.}

The other new toy that I'm just WILD about is the Scallop Trim Corner Punch. Check out the corners on the Sahara Sand panel... is that classy or what? It gets better, too: There's a coordinating border punch available as one of many free Sell-a-Bration items! I placed an order bright and early this morning and will be eagerly awaiting the UPS guy ("Mr. Brown") to bring my box of goodies next week! I can't wait!!

Other new stuff (well, new to me) on this card include Thoroughly Modern Designer Series Paper and Vintage Brads. Also, while I usually use SNAIL adhesive for as much as possible, today I broke from my pattern and adhered my fussy-cutted flowers with glue dots to raise them up just a wee bit. One flower is raised higher using Stampin' Dimensionals.

Here's the inside:

Stamps: Vintage Vogue, Great Greetings
Colors: Soft Suede, Sahara Sand, Rose Red, Old Olive
DSP: Thoroughly Modern
Punches: Scallop Trim Corner, corner rounder
And: Vintage brads, Champagne Mist shimmer paint

The "Happy Anniversary" sentiment is from a long-retired SU! set named Great Greetings, circa 1992. It was one of the first sets I ever bought, and -- get this -- it's mounted on FOAM blocks! Stampin' Up!, you've come a long way!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

December's One Card... and I'm back!

December was a horrid month for me, but I think I have at least the health issues under control again. I'm INSISTING that 2010 be a better year!

I whipped up all of one card last month, and had to enlist the help of my home health aide to do it:

Stamp: Four the Holidays
Colors: Glorious Green, Real Red, Whisper White
Big Shot: Snowflake #2 die, Petals-a-Plenty embossing folder
And: Silver brad, 2 Mountain Dew cans

I need to jump back into stamping with both feet running as I already have sixty (yup, 60) cards on the agenda! I have orders for ten Anniversary cards, ten Sympathy cards, and then I am DETERMINED to finish up the forty cards for the Build-a-Bear project I started late last year. The bears are done and I just need to dream up some card fronts for them to live on; so I think (hope) that project will go quickly. Meanwhile, I am SO VERY excited about the new products coming out in the Stampin' Up! Occasions Mini and Sale-a-bration brochure!!! <-- not nearly enough exclamation points

To those of my readers who stayed with me during my one month absence, thank you for sticking around! I promise you'll be glad you did when you see the projects I have brewing for 2010!