January 31, 2007

A Very Crafty Birthday Bash!

I had the GREAT pleasure of doing a Craft themed Birthday Party for a group of 8 year old girls last weekend. These are some of my favorite events. Adults are fine; don't get me wrong... but 8 year old girls; AWESOME! Talk about EXCITED! They were super cute, and VERY well behaved! I was also pretty darn impressed with their stamping abilities.

We made these Shrinky Dink Charm Bracelets, which are QUICK and easy. I buy a pre-sanded Shrink Plastic at my local Hobby Lobby... but it's also sold at Frantic Stamper; it's called Pre-Sanded Frost White Shrink Plastic. And as long as I am linking out to Frantic Stamper... check out their BLOG. They have some cool CHA Sneak Peeks. More of which you can see by the way at www.craftcritique.com. Tell all your friends about Craft Critique would ya? Today we're talking Die Cut Systems. And contact me of you'd like to be a participant or contributor!

Back to the subject at hand; creating these bracelets was a snap. The girls stamped their names and some cute images with Staz-on Ink, and colored the images in with colorful Sharpie Markers. Then we punched out the letters with a 1 3/8" Circle Punch; being careful to leave room for the 1/4" round hole we needed at the top of the "charm". With the image stamps we punched a hole to hang the charm with FIRST... then we cut all around the images using straight lines. We found that if you tried to curve around the image with your cutting that the plastic could crack very easy.

Then you just bake the Shrink Plastic according to the package directions... SO SIMPLE! The girls made the bracelets; Plastic Pony Beads Strung on simple plastic stretchy cord like Stretch Magic. Then I attached the charms with jump rings. Aren't they cute!

And of course no Birthday is complete without a gift for the birthday girl! I made this Altered Paint Tin for Kaya. It contains a simple paper covered notebook and some colored pens. A perfect place for all Kaya's notes and all those little things that pre-teens save! The paper is from Stampin' Up!'s "Playhouse" Collection.

Below you will see a closer look at the can. I used Heat and Stick Powder and Dazzling Diamonds Stampin' Glitter to get this "Super-Duper-Glittery" look. The flowers are from the beautiful and versatile "Bodacious Bouquet". The letters were die cut with my Cuttlebug and the "Red Tag" alphabet... except the "K"... that's an "On Board Simon Lower" from Stampin' Up!

Here is a closer look at the method I used to cover the can. I took a 12"X12" piece of paper and cut it into two 12"X 5 1/2" lengths. Then I cut two 3/4" X 12" strips from a second piece. I ran the paper through my Xyron and then I affixed it to the can... starting with the back side. The paper is practically seamless; and I like how the tin shows a bit... It's funkier! Plus with this method you don't have to worry about cutting holes for the handles. After you apply the paper; embellish the can, tie some cute ribbons on and your done! I find that Glue dots worked well to hold on the heavy embellishments like the chipboard.

Tip of the day: If you need to hold something REALLY heavy; use Glue dots and heat up the dot with your heat tool for a few seconds... this will help create a better bond.

January 29, 2007

Blogger Valentines :: 1 of 5

And here they are... In no particular order... the group 1 of 5 of the Blogger Valentines.

First up... a lovely card by Alora Sweetser. First let me say that Alora ABSOLUTELY has the BEST name of all the blogger swappers. And her personality seems to match! This card is fan-TA-stic... hard to tell from the pic; but the watercolored focal image was stamped on Shimmery White... so it totally POPS. I love the colors she selected; great for a non-traditional valentine (Rose Red, Apricot Appeal, Almost Amethyst, Certainly Celery). I also dig the paper piercing above and bellow the stamped image... and how she carried it down to the base of the card design. Great card all around. Be sure to check out Alora's blog "Oh the Things You Can Ink". She has some wonderful designs to share!

Next we have... Lynn Mercurio. Lynn created a wonderful layout for this funky Valentine. She even used a preview set that will be in the NEXT Idea Book and Catalog; "Double Line Doodle". Isn't it cool? I love how she stamped and embossed in white on the "Loves Me" Designer papers. That cool shiny background is made by dabbing various reinker colors onto glossy Cardstock with a Rubbing alcohol soaked cotton ball (at least that's how I do it!). It's such a unique marbled effect! And don't miss the glitter PUNCH she added with stickles around the pink medallion focal image... what a perfect match to the teal velvet ribbon (from the Flirty ribbon original series). Be sure to visit Lynn's "Stamperosity" blog. She has some great designs; including Bella's! And if you don't know what a Bella is... well you just best go take a looksee!

Stay tuned for more amazing blogger Valentines! Just subscribe to my blog to get email updates whenever I post some new and wonderful thing! (see the little widget on the right for the subscription box)

January 28, 2007

CHA Sneek Peeks!

Ok... I lied... I did not stamp today. There was TOO MUCH to read, and too much to WRITE! All the sneak peeks from the Winter CHA have me in a tizzy! I have compiled a bunch of the highlights... and started a new Blog to boot! I couldn't be in Anaheim... but thanks to all my blogging buddies and the wonderful world of cyberspace... I definitely got a taste!

I present to you...

www.craftcritique.com Ta-da!


and... if you have an opinion... please know that I am looking for contributers. See Craft Critique for more info! :)

Pizza for Breakfast :: Why I am Fat.

I'm not a big fan of the traditional breakfast. I crashed early last night... like 8:30. And those of you who know me personally understand HOW odd that really is.

So I woke up at 6:00 AM... which is often when I am GOING to bed. With the house this quiet I figured I would enjoy a nice breakfast of Senseo Coffee and left over pizza. So I did! I have been munching, drinking and editing photos to upload later.

I did a Birthday Party yesterday for a group of 8 year old girls; one of my fave activities. I mean I love doing workshops for grown-ups too; but little girls ROCK! All they wanna talk about is toys, TV and crafts... and that's all I wanna talk about too! I never grew up. Their projects came out SO GREAT! I will share with you later...

I have had a TON of tutorial requests... so today I will work on getting some of those created... Stay tuned for an EASY shaker card, a file folder scrapbook, and a step by step on the Love Notes File I posted a while back. And remember.... I take requests! :)

Have a great Sunday everyone!

January 27, 2007

Buy Yourself Something Pretty!

In honor of the super fun box of goodies I received from my very adorable friend Shannon of Boogiebead, I thought I'd tell you all about her beaded stuff and why you need to buy something from her!

Shannon lives in St. Petersburg Florida, where everything is always warm, sunny and laid back. In my imagination she just lies around tanning, sipping fruity umbrella drinks out of pineapples and beading... but she does have a 9-5 job, so I suppose she must change out of her bikini on occasion.

Her stuff is so cute. I have no Idea where she finds these amazing glass beads, but I love them! Be sure to check out her "Peeper Keepers"... beaded eye/sunglass holders. They make great gifts for teachers and well... anyone who wears peepers! You can also visit her wonderful shop at Etsy. Buy Shannon's jewelry with confidence! She is a top notch artist, and you will not be disappointed with the quality of her work. Here is a picture of the funky Valentine bracelet Shannon sent me!

January 25, 2007

More from the Blogger's Swap!

These are more cards from the group I WASN'T in... group 2. But these are all such wonderful cards... I had to share!

Denise Bryant has a wonderful Blog you need to check out called "All Things Stamped". I loved her card... the use of the library pocket (by Bazzill) is so cute! What is so cool about this card is that it doesn't need to open because of the cool pocket! I love it! I already miss this paper pattern; "loves me" from the Winter Mini!

Lauri Royale's Blog; "The Lilly Notepad" is chock full of great ideas! And isn't her card so cute!?! She also has a very cool blog where she makes these nifty Paper Fashions. I love this skunk... he's such a cutie, and obviously I am the last person on earth to get one of these cool Giga Scalloped Punches. I really need one!

All the participants received one of these bookmarks. The bookmark was made with a cuttle-bug die cut from the "Red Tag" alphabet. The "chipboard" is actually Packing cardboard from a Simply Scrappin' Kit That I covered with that paper I love so much! The heart is from the Cuttlebug as well; and I doodled around it with a silver gellyroll pen by Sakura. The ribbons are from the "Flirty" Ribbon originals collection and finished off with silver cord.

Altered Paint Cans for the Mommy to Be...

This altered paint can (one of 6) was made for a customer who had SIX pregnant friends AND was prego herself! WOW! She ordered the cans from me at a local craft show and was planning to give them to her prego friends filled with all the necessities of labor. (see list at the bottom of the post) I sold them the cans with a matching journal and beaded pen for $18 each. She seemed very happy with the end result. Imagine how cute these will be perched on the gift tables of all the showers she will be attending!

I used a color combo of Bashful Blue, Barely Banana and Pale Plum for this can. The fabric on top is a hodge-podge of scraps I just happen to HAVE; because as you know the person who dies with the MOST unused fabric wins!

This project uses 4 different adhesives! I used a Xyron Adhesive for the base of the can; the actual paper affixed to the metal, and I used 2 great new UHU adhesives for the other elements; "Scrapbookers Pen" and the "Glue Roller". The letter squares were adhered with Stampin' Up! Dementionals to give them some "pop".

The UHU adhesives worked wonderfully. The Scrapbookers Pen adhesive has a very strong bond, it's easy to use and this tube will last me forever! I especially loved the application of the Glue Roller. It went on easy and seemed to have a very solid bond while still being re-positionable (I used this on the layered letters). I will love this Glue Roller in my scrapbooks! Even more wonderful was the cost of these handy helpers; a gift from Maria Filosa's Blog for UHU adhesives. Thanks UHU!

I watercolored the focal point images with Stampin' Up! Watercolor Wonder Crayons. I like to hold the crayon in my hand and take the color right from the crayon itself with my aqua pen. I find that the less I try to fill in the entire image with color the more attractive the final image looks. Here is a close up...

Labor Day Basics Can Fill List (from personal experience)

-Stop Watch
-Nice White Footsie Socks
-Sour Lollipops ( I liked Jolly Rancher Green Apple and Lemonade)
-Roll of Quarters (for vending machines)
-Snacks for Dad
-Portable Battery Operated Fan
-Unscented Massage Oil
-Massage Tool
-Nice Relaxing Music (Enya maybe?)
-Terrycloth Headband or Rubber Bands for Hair
-List of important Phone Numbers
-Deck of Cards

January 24, 2007

Blogger Swap Highlights!

One of the perks of being a swap organizer; is that you get to see the cards created by ALL the players; not JUST the group you were in! So I have 5 Bonus cards to post for you! This swap also had an alterer motive; to collect some wonderful Valentines for an Assisted Living I used to work at for people with Alzheimer's Disease. (If you have extra full cards or card fronts you'd like to donate...email me!)

Here are a few wonderful cards from "group 2".
Be sure to visit all these stamper's wonderful blogs!
(see links below)

By Julie Purdum; I love the colors and the distressing she used. This card is also 7 layers! very impressive! Check out Julie's blog; "Rubber Room Ramblings"... isn't that a cute name! When you visit Julies Blog, be sure to scroll down and notice the Altered Tin she made with the "Sarah" Designer Papers (no... they aren't named after me).

Debbie Sayer sent in this card featuring the "Loves Me" designer papers I am already planning to stock up on. Debbie is a wonderful stamper, and I just realized the other day how many of her Splitcoaststamper Gallery cards I have marked as favorites! I really like this card and think I will case it for a workshop I have next month! Visit her Blog; A Peek Into My Stamping Room.

Isn't this card by Connie Rieichert a blast! It's so bright and funny! What doesn't come through well in the picture is the Dry and Heat Embossing she used which added such a nice polish to the card! I just visited Connie's SCS gallery for the first time by the way, and I am so impressed! Her creations are very quirky (in the BEST way!) and I can tell she has a sense of humor! Check out her blog "Is That Your Monkey"... which just won the "Blog Name of the Year" award by the way! (Awarded by the voices in my head).

Please leave some comments for these wonderful stampers!

January 23, 2007

My Submission for the Blogger's Swap!

Well here it is! My Blogger's Swap submission! I took the sweet little Pocket Notes from Stampin' Up! Winter Mini, and I made it into a little book! Don't miss the little pink *BLING* on the end of the Phrase; it's a Twinkle Sticker by A Muse!

Side Note: A Muse Owner Linda Carnell is the nicest person EVER; she sent us the COOLEST package of goodies for our Illinois SCS'er Gathering, (something for EVERYONE!!!) and she took the time to read a very fluffy, gooey, love-fest email I sent her at 2:00 AM, and she even wrote back! I think that is so classy! Moving on....

The Stamps I used in this project are all from Hampton Art Stamps. And because you might be thinking, "oh my gosh Sarah... those aren't Stampin' Up! stamps!?!" Let me just address the issue. I love stamps... gimme rubber baby! And if I see a stamp I love; well... I need it! I'm sure you understand. Now I am a Stampin' Up! snob when it comes to certain things... SU! Card Stock and Ink for example; there is no substitute. And I totally dig how it all matches; the card stock matches the ink which matches the designer paper which matches the ribbon and the buttons and the eyelets... and well you get the idea. But a cute stamp is a cute stamp! By the way; the Silver edged tag and the cord; Stampin' Up! Note how it matches the embossed phrase! The dry embossing and the die cut shapes and letters were done on my new Cuttlebug!

I don't really know what I am trying to say with the cat's pajama's thing... but I think it works even if it doesn't really make sense! It's all done on Shimmery White Stampin' Up! card stock by the way, and the cat is colored with SU! markers.

Did you wonder how I embossed just 1/2 the Pocket note? Here's how! Easy Peasy!

January 21, 2007

What I Did While YOU Watched the Playoffs

Firstly; know this... I was going around today referring to the game today as "The Superbowl", I just found out that I am a nut... and sports illiterate! The Bears won I guess... but I don't really care. I only wonder if there will be a new "Superbowl Shuffle". Ah... memories of Middle School!

While you were eating wings and shouting at your TV, I was doing math! You might be thinking... "But Sarah, math has nothing to do with stamping.. and besides, you hate math!", and you'd be correct. But ribbon doesn't sell itself, and Sell-a-bration is almost 1/2 way over and I have yet to even host a workshop! I'm not complaining mind you, but mama needs some free stamps... and I know YOU want some SAB stamp sets. Plus; sometimes I just feel like giving stuff away. I am just that nice. (*wink*) So I figured out an awesome ribbon Club for my customers! (demonstrators... email me and I'll be happy to share my math with you! lol!)

Stampin' Up! Ribbon in a big glorious pile! This could be yours!

So anyways; I can't discuss all the details here; but you can call me, email me (see the little box on the right?) or just look HERE at my Demonstrator website for all the specifics.

January 20, 2007

I've Been Tagged

I knew it would happen eventually! And I'm glad it was you Miss Gina! Take a look at Gina's site... she sells some adorable images at Stamping Freak.

(edited to add)
Marie you tagged me too! Oh my... I went to tag YOU and say you'd already been tagged! This happened with SEVERAL people... it was tough to tag someone who hadn't been tagged! lol! Crazy!

Here we go:

A - Available or Taken: Taken! My hubby Rick and I were married in 2000.

B - Best Friend: My friend, friendly neighborhood Realtor and ceramicist Nancy B.

C - Cake or Pie: Cupcakes from Jarosch Bakery in Elk Grove, IL. Order the vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting and sprinkles.

D - Drink of Choice: Coffee from My Senseo.

E - Essential item you use everyday: Laptop and Senseo (see above)... also Diapers.

F - Favorite Color: Cool Caribbean.

G - Gummy Bears or Worms: Worms...cause you can play with them.

H - Hometown: Arlington Heights, IL

I - Indulgence: Chocolate and bubble baths.

J - January or February: February; cause of Valentine's Day... and chocolate!

K - Kids & Names: Anderson age 2.5

L - Life is incomplete without?: Family and friends.

M - Marriage Date: June 24th, 2000

N - Number of Siblings: 1 sister; Molly, age 29? (wow...getting old Mol!) and Ben; age 25

O - Oranges or Apples: Oranges; Clementines... the cute little ones.

P - Phobias or Fears: Personal fears... being in a car accident... or anything bad happening to someone I love.

Q - Fave Quote: "Do what you love and the money will follow."

R - Reason to Smile: My son... he's a such goof-ball

S - Season: Fall

T - Tag 3-4 People:Emmabella, Martha Bonneau, Lauri (jailbird)

U - Unknown fact about me: I have 4 (quite large) tattoos.

V - Vegetable you don't like: I love them all! Used to be a vegetarian!

W - Worst Habit: I bite my nails!

X - X-rays: Teeth x-rays and LOTS of 'em, lungs... many times (Asthma), leg (broke it), thumb (broke it), Head X2 (concussion X2).... boy, I sure am x-rayed a lot!

Y - Your Fave Food: Sushi

Z - Zodiac Sign: Libra

Blogger's Swap is OUT the Door!

I spent the night organizing and sorting the mailing for a big Valentine swap with many of my favorite Splitcoaststamper Bloggers. Boy, what a job! I have a new appreciation for swap coordinators! I wanted to get the swaps out to the participants earlier, but today was sort of awful; as is ANY day my 2 year old son doesn't take a nap.

Everyone has been very patient and understanding... they are all very eager to see these cards; and they should be! EVERYONE really created a wonderful card for this swap... getting this package in the mail will be a blast!

I wish I had looked a little closer at the swaps as I got them in the mail. I had missed this wonderful gift from Amanda Sewell. She not only sent a bold and beautiful card...she included chocolate! I sure could have used that earlier today Amanda! What a nice surprise! Amanda also has the neatest handwriting I have EVER seen! She should get into calligraphy too! Don't you love this layout? I also can't wrap my brain around the background... the layering of images is so wonderful and rich! Thanks Amanda!

Denise Bryant also sent me a very thoughtful gift! Check out this card! I just love the scalloped oval punch, and her watercolor work is so impressive! It's a very soft and beautiful card. I need to try the stamping/embossing background combo... I love that! Thanks so much for this Denise!

Here is a quick list of all the Bloggers who played in this swap. Enjoy!

Michelle Laycock
Alora Sweetser
Denise Foxworthy
Lynn Mercurio
Anne-Marie Zimmerer
Keri Sereika
Amanda Sewell
Terri Digness
Colleen Laux
Amy Rysavy
Erika Martin
Denise Bryant
Julie Purdum
Connie Rieichert
Lauri Royall
Debbie Seyer

If you'd like to participate in the next Blogger Swap please comment here on this thread... I'm thinking I'd like to do it again in the spring.

January 19, 2007

A Super-Duper Swap!

My friend, fellow Chicagoland Craft Collective member and fellow Craftster fan Susie Ziegler is an amazing artist. She does everything; but I especially LOVE her little felt characters. Susie had pointed me in the direction of a cool swap on Craftster called a "Sweat Shop" swap; a bunch of crafters who work in different mediums swap different handmade items in small groups. What could be more fun?

I just couldn't commit to the swap with all that's going on with Sell-a-bration, (look HERE for info on MY Sell-a-bration specials by the way!) but Susie was nice enough to offer a personal swap with me!

I created this little Valentine Note Purse for her with Stampin' Up! Purse Boxes and Tags. They are templates that you just punch out and fold into shape...super easy! I created six 3" X 3" note cards to tuck inside of them. I punched 3/4" circles out of the Loves Me Designer Paper from the Winter Mini to use on the notecards. The heart and the letters are Cuttlebug die-cuts. The project was made much easier with Stampin' Up! circle punches and the fact that it's so easy to match all the Stampin' Up! stuff together! The paper matches the card stock which matches the ribbon and ink. Easy peasy!

You can read the specific details about the inks, paper and everything else in my Splitcoaststampers Gallery.

Look at what I got in return! I love these little cuties; and my son loves them even more! Aren't they so funky?!? I will be making the little rocket into a pin, and my son is already sleeping with the Robot! The pattern is from a book Susie used that she ordered from Yes Asia. She will get me the ISBN # for anyone who's interested... just email me and I will forward you to Susie.

January 18, 2007

Failed Craft

Aren't these sweet!

My friend and fellow Chicago Craft Collective member Melanie Silver made these cute little beads... out of even SMALLER beads. At the CCC meetings we take turns leading the others in a craft; and we all loved Melanie's beads so much we asked her to be the instructor this week.

Melanie took so much time packaging up all the beads; and even ran off some great instructions for us. When CCC member Martha Bonneau (Pug fan and Super Scrapper) and I first saw the instructions we were overwhelmed. "This looks like Math... I quit" said Martha.

It all fell apart from there. I mean, we could barely thread the required ridiculously thin needles... it was insane! Basically we gave up, and decided it was worth the $3.00 just for the realization that we should not invest more time or money into beading. I at least got a layer of the bead done, but with TONS of help. Regardless, we did have a blast! Thanks Melanie!

You can read Martha's take on the beading fiasco on her awesome blog Mugsy Boo. Please don't neglect to check out her killer scrap pages. She only scraps about her photogenic Pugs... or at least as far as I know. She also makes very cuddly Felt Puggies. I don't know Martha too well yet; just that she is very talented and likes good music.

My Failed Bead

January 16, 2007

Twisted Valentine

So here is a card you can send to the last guy that stood you up, or that jerk who dumped you on New Years Eve at the stroke of midnight.

You could write something inside like; "You suck, Happy Valentine's Day!"

I like the color combo here especially; Real Red, Cool Caribbean, So Saffron, Chocolate Chip and Whisper White. The cute stripey paper is from the "Friends & Flowers" Hostess Only Simply Scrappin' Kit. I used the stamp sets "Wild About You", "Be Happy", "Alphabits" and "Amazing to Zany".

I used Stampin' Up! Classic Ink in Basic Black, Cool Caribbean and Real Red. The little heart and the border around the penguin were doodled with markers and I used my cuttlebug to make the rounded rectangle the focal image is stamped on. Those are Saffron Brads on the left, also from Stampin' Up! and a Red Grosgrain ribbon tie finishes it off!

Toot, Toot, Tooting my Own Horn!

I just got an AMAZING email! I was featured today on Craftzine; Craft Magazine's really cool blog! I can't believe it!

Take a look HERE. Craft magazine rocks. it's a bit more expensive that other magazines, but it's really more of a book... so you'll want to save 'em and stuff.

If you decide to subscribe; please do so through my blog. (see the Amazon buttons on the right...)

January 15, 2007

And the Winner is...

The winner of the Comment Contest is Allison! Allison is a blogger in Canada... check out her Blog too; Stamping When I can. Email me with your address Allison; and I will ship your gift out right away! Thanks everyone for your awesome comments and suggestions!

Anderson Selected the winner...

In other news; It's finally cold and snowy in Illinois! It's about time too! This winter has been so weird and it really makes you think about Global Warming. Everyone go out and get some of those cool new fangled Compact Florescent light bulbs now... make Al Gore happy!

Snowed in In Elgin, IL

One last bit of news; my pal Meg Shumaker (aka WAXYO) is a Dirty Girl! If you don't know what that means take a look here at her Splitcoaststampers Gallery. She has been selected by the Splitcoast team to join the few, the proud; the Dirty. Boy oh boy does she deserve it!

If you can't view the Dirty Dozen Galleries and some of the other links posted here; it's because you aren't a member of the Fan Club yet. What are you waiting for? The Fan Club Galleries on Splitcoast contain amazing, trendy samples you can't see anywhere else! It's the best $24.95 you'll ever spend.

January 13, 2007

Fimo Beads :: Circa 1992

The year was 1992, I was living in an apartment above Baskin Robbins. I would actually go down and get 3 scoop sundaes in my pajamas and slippers 5 minutes before closing time at least weekly. Highly recommended; Chocolate with Peanut Butter ice cream topped with Marshmallow and Caramel sauce, topped with Whipped cream. No nuts please! It really is amazing it took me this long to get fat. How is it that you can eat like that when you are 19?

Most of my friends were away at college so I spent a lot of time making stuff. I used be really into jewelry, and lucky for me it was the 90's cause this stuff just wouldn't fly today. The Black and White swirly bead in the bottom right corner glows in the dark!

Stay tuned to see what else I find as I clean my craft space. I will have Before and After pictures to show as well!

January 12, 2007

New Changes from Stampin' Up!

Exciting news from Stampin' Up! today! Next year we are going to have 2 Idea Book and Catalogs during the year instead of just one! Plus there will be NEW hostess gifts in the 2nd catalog and so this means TWICE the FREE stuff! Whoo Hoo!

We will only have 2 mini catalogs... and Sell-a-bration will be held at a different time. We don't yet know when; but Stampin' Up! told us we will be able to give our customers plenty of warning.

I am so excited to be able to have some fresh stuff from Stampin' Up! round this time next year. It's such a great idea; and proof positive that Stampin' Up! is always thinkin'.

They are also rolling out a new Starter Kit promotion; it's perfect for people who perhaps used to be demos and then dropped; or stampers with tons of supplies (don't need the craft scissors or pastels in the kit, cause you already got 'em!) but not a lot of extra "start up" cash... people who really want a business opportunity. So for $99 they will offer a mini kit. The details should pop up at my business website on January 15th when the promo starts officially... but if not I will update you here.

In unrelated news; I got a huge order today; I have a ton of projects to work on and I need to get stamping!

And don't forget about the Comment Contest! Enter until Saturday!

January 11, 2007

My Cruel Husband

Pretend you are reading this on December 26th... it'll be funnier.

Check out what I got for Christmas... it's a "cutter-bug" and a box of wrapped bricks.... "That's what you wanted right honey, a cutter-bug?" said Rick... the geek-trickster husband. You must also know that darling hubby once crafted his very own Tiffany Blue Box for My birthday and filled it with a bracelet right from the grocery gumball machine... he thinks he's funny.

Lucky for us he did come through. I *heart* my Cuttlebug completely, and my husband too. Any man who will venture unescorted into Joanne's and ask for a "Cuttlebug" is the man for me. He even used a coupon... (*sigh*) I could just melt! And to quell any other concerns you might have; he also came through with the Tiffany box for my birthday that year. Thanks honey, you rock! And for those of you who do NOT have Cuttlebug fever...stay tuned... I have plans for this baby.

January 9, 2007

A Comment Contest!

I need some blog feedback... and you want some free stamps. So here's the deal... you tell me what you want to see more of... and I will send one winner a really cool Valentine's Day Prize package! And YES, those are the coveted Michael's $1 Spot Valentine Stamps. Enter until Midnight Central Time on Saturday, January 13th. I will draw a winner Sunday.

I am trying to refocus my blog a bit, and with all these stamping/papercraft blogs that are popping up, I feel like I need to set myself apart from the rest.

So what do you like; and what don't you like? Don't feel like you have to answer all these questions, just give me something useful to think about. I will randomly draw a winner on Saturday. Thanks for your time!
  • Do you like reading stuff about my family and my life; or does that just get on your nerves?
  • Do you like the occasional recipe?
  • What about other crafts... besides just stamping... did you know I can sort of sew, bead, and make really cool Fimo beads? Cause I can! Do you care, or would you prefer I just stick to stamping and paper crafts? I also have a glue gun and I know how to use it!
  • Would you enjoy some free streaming video tutorials? Would it make you want to read my blog more? What about Podcasts? Or are you techno-phobic? Do you know what a Podcast is?
  • If you like the idea of free streaming video tutorials; then what sorts of tutorials would you like to see?
  • Are you a traditional sort of crafter or are you interested in crafting to the "extreme". Are you hip to the whole "alterna-craft" movement? IE; Get Crafty, Craftser and Renegade Craft Fair? Would you like to be?
  • What else are you into; cards, scrapbooking, other stamping stuff? What else? Tell me how you "get your craft on".
Thanks everyone! Stay tuned for the results... look for that post on Sunday.

Valentines Don't Need to be Pink!

Here's a sweet little Quick card that's great for Valentine's day or ANY day! This is truly a Ten Minute card!

I used a wonderful set from Stampin' Up! called "Simply Said" that's just perfect for Valentine's Day! The focal images were stamped in Barely Banana and Chocolate Chip using a "Two Step" stamping method. The background set used is the now retired "Dots and Daisy's"; stamped in White Craft Ink. The layered squares were easily achieved with our two largest Square Punches. The Card Stock used is; Sahara Sand, Chocolate Chip, Bashful Blue and Whisper White. I love how the Double Sided Designer Paper "Spring Showers" is just simply torn and folded on the left edge. The card is finished with Stampin' Up! grosgrain ribbon in white.

January 8, 2007

12 Reasons Why You Should Register for Splitcoaststampers

When I posted the registration form and details about the latest Illinois Splitcoaststampers Gathering I received several emails that asked some very sensible questions...

"Hey Sarah, I can already get to the Splitcoaststampers forums and galleries now and I'm not registered... what does registering get me?" and "last year you didn't require that we were registered Splitcoast Members to attend. Why now?"

GREAT questions! I am excited to tell you why I think you should become a registered member at Splitcoaststampers. Please feel free to leave your OWN reasons why YOU love Splitcoaststampers in the comments below.

1. It's free!

2. Splitcoaststampers has over 107,133 registered members to date, and over 70,000 who actively contribute to the community.

3. Registering shows the Splitcoast Team that you have an interest in the topics and artwork shared.

4. Registering helps give potential advertisers a "head count" of users which can in turn help the Marketing team increase advertising and thus monetary support to the super hard working Splitcoaststamper Team!

5. Registering allows you to give back to all the artists who's work you enjoy! Leaving comments for those creations you like really helps show the artists some love! It's like a big Cyber-Hug!

6. You can finally give back to what you have been freely given; it's just good Karma!

7. You will benefit from being an active part of this creative community. Splitcoaststampers' members are a creative, gracious, sharing bunch.

8. It's nice to be able to post a "Thank You!" in a thread when you have read something that will help you with your stamping! Members love it when you let them know that their contributions are helping to make YOU a better stamper!

9. Membership allows you to join really fun "Special User Groups" like the Demo Only forums, Stamp out Fat, Stampin' Flybabies (for all you neat-nicks... not me), and the "RAK" or Random act of Kindness and "Secret Sibling" groups. TRUST me...if you ARE a demonstrator the Demo Only Group is great when it's 2 AM and you can't call your upline with a question!

10. Membership to the Demo Only user group allows you access to "The SUB"; a special demo only gallery with great workshop ideas, hostess gifts, and business tools!

11. Registering gives you the opportunity to join the FAN CLUB! For only $24.95 a year you can see the incredible creations of the Splitcoast Dirty Dozen Design team! And believe me; it's worth every penny! Plus you will be able to view Dirty Dozen Creations all the way back to July of 2004! That should keep you busy!

12. Without Splitcoaststampers there would BE no Illinois SCS gathering!

To further address the issue of why I am requiring participants to be registered SCS 'er members for this next event; well the biggest reason is because Splitcoast is allowing us to use their bandwidth and thriving community to promote the event. It is after all a Splitcoaststamper Event... not a Stampin' Up! event. We couldn't do this without them, so I feel like the least we can do is give them back some registration love.

I also understand how this might be impossible for some. I know PLENTY of stampers who are not Web-Savvy and we want them to come too... so if you or a stamping friend are unable to register for whatever reason; just contact me via Phone, Snail Mail or Homing Pigeon and we will work it out. No stamper will be left behind!

Stamping Fun For Everyone!

January 6, 2007

Is There Anything Better?

Is there anything as comforting as a brand new BIG box or Crayola Crayons? My grandmother sent these to my son the other day; and knowing they would soon be broken in half and all over the house; I took this picture. We spent some time just smelling the box and inspecting each color. Funny how nothing else smells like a box of Crayola's... what a wonderful memory!

My favorite color is still "Cornflower"; so soft and light... it was always the first color in my box to need a peel. Anderson's favorite color is "Macaroni and Cheese"... I wonder why? (*wink*)

Isn't it good to know that the Crayola think tank is still dreaming up NEW colors! Read some fun Crayola Color history HERE.

Blog Roll

January 4, 2007

Jami's Awesome Swap!

So I got my cards today from Jami's Sibley's amazing swap! Jami is a member of the Splitcoaststamper Dirty Dozen team, and she is so talented and SWEET! She even sent all of us a little "thank you" for playing. The swaps I received are truly wonderful! I felt so lucky to be invited to this group; which featured so many of my favorite stampers. I am still trying to figure out which cards belonged to whom... but many of the ladies have graciously allowed me to take pictures of their cards and post them here... so stay tuned for those. Meanwhile you can take a look at what I submitted. Below each card you will find a link to the card on Splitcoast and the "recipe". Jami; thanks so much for organizing this wonderful swap!

Sweet on You Love Note File

Card Recipe
This is the front of one of cards; it's a little Love Note Holder
featuring "Sweet on You" from the Winter Mini Catalog.

This is a side view. I sort of accordion folded a rectangle on the side to make it resemble a file folder. I used Mono Multi Liquid Glue to hold it in place; which worked great...it's really solid!

These are the inside tags; I used the largest two Stampin' Up! Circle Punches to create the embellishment. The tags are made with Shimmery White Paper which doesn't show up too well in this shot... but I think shimmery white paper makes any project more special! It's perfect for Valentine's Day!

So my thinking with these next two swaps cards was that every time I participate in a swap I make a Birthday card or a Thank You card... and while those are probably the two most useful categories I thought since this swap was for full cards I would switch it up!

Very Punny Baby Girl

Card Recipe
This is from the set "Very Punny" which is in the new Sell-a-bration catalog. It's my favorite set from Sell-a-bration. It's hard to see in this shot; but the focal image here is stamped on watercolor paper and is sort floating in the center of the frame which I think is cool. I used a direct to paper technique to apply the White Craft Ink to the edges of the card. The Pink center frame is stamped using the KISS technique with the Everyday Blossoms wheel on the Canvas Background stamp. I just rolled the wheel onto the background stamp and then stamped with the background stamp! I also think this card is a nice example of how everything looks better with Stampin' Dementionals. If this card was flat; it just wouldn't work as well!

Sarah's Tip of the Day: Stampin' Dementionals
make your card look more professional and "finished".

Industrial but Romantic Wedding Card

Card Recipe
This card features the Stamp set "Taggers Dozen" and the new Small Tag Punch that Stampin' Up! now offers! I love the new Small Tag Punch... it's a must have. I bought a box of 50 of these File Binders. They are sort of cool right? I sort of like the juxtaposition of the hard shiny metal binder clip with the softer look of the rest of the card. I was going for an Ultra Modern look... and something sort of different.

January 3, 2007

HUGE Illinois Shoebox Swap and Splitcoaststamper Gathering!

Mark you calendars, and register NOW. You will not want to miss this event. March 31st, in Arlington Heights, IL... come one, come all; to a gathering of area Splitcoaststamper members!

Space is limited so register early! You can find all the registration information HERE.

Not only will the stamping be incredible; but this time we have amazing door prizes and goodie bags being donated by your favorite stamping related vendors. Trust me on this; if you miss out you will be kicking yourself later when you hear about all the fun. Super talented rock star stampers will be there demonstrating as well.

The cost to attend is ONLY $25. Well worth a FULL day of fun friends and stamping. Lunch will be included; and of course a FANTASTIC goodie bag!

Please visit this Photo Album on Splitcoaststampers HERE to see the pictures I took at the last event. This gathering will be twice the size!

Did I mention INCREDIBLE Door prizes and Goodie Bags?

Please don't miss out! Stay tuned for some door prize hints and hilarious pictures of me stuffing 80 Goodie Bags! (Anyone wanna help?)

and I promise I will start stamping SOON! I am still celebrating the holidays! Whew!

January 1, 2007

Special Offer for Blog Readers!

Sell-a-bration is here! Whoo Hoo! I have an additional AMAZING offer just for my Blog Readers! Click HERE to see!

If you have never participated in Sell-a-bration before...here is the scoop. For every $50 you spend you get to select a free Sell-a-bration Stamp Set from the Sell-a-bration Catalog! Workshop Hostesses (over $150 from in home or catalog workshops) are also rewarded with an additional free set when their workshop hits $300 (which it always does during Sell-a-bration!) If you are like ME you can hit that $300 mark all by yourself! and the deal I am offering to my customers ON TOP of the Sell-a-bration deal is a great extra bonus. Click HERE to read all about it! Free stamps for everyone!

I accept orders from anywhere in the United States. Shipping is only 10% if you live next door to me or in Nebraska! Contact me via email (link on the right) to place your order. I accept all credit cards or Paypal (prefered).

Here is a link to the Sell-a-bration Catalog.

Here is a Link to the Winter Mini Catalog.

Look HERE to see some amazing Sell-a-bration art by the stampers at Splitcoast.