Payin' It Forward

Kim at Impress Yourself offered some Pay It Forward blog candy this week to the first 3 people to leave a comment and I just happened to be one of them, so here I am... paying it forward.

You must have a blog and be one of the first 3 to leave a comment on this post in order to play, so you can pay it forward on your blog. There are no rules that I am aware of as far as what to send, you just have to agree to send some goodies to three people that post on your blog, ok?

What will you get? That will be a surprise, don't you love surprises? It'll be like a party in your mailbox. So, get posting and be sure to leave your blog address and a way to contact you and let's Pay It Forward! I loved that movie, didn't you? This will have a happier ending, though.



Coming back to life

I am slowly getting back to normal (whatever that means!) after a nasty bout with a head cold which turned into bronchitis. It seems like alot of people are getting sick this year and I wasn't lucky enough to avoid it. My DH said there were people at work with it, too - why don't they stay home and try to avoid spreading it??? It's called sick days, people! Ah well, being sick makes me appreciate feeling well again and I am looking forward to fully appreciating that very soon!

So, as promised a long time ago (or so it seems) here is my primitive photo shooting setup. The lamp on the right has a Reveal bulb in it and I know most of you will recognize the Ott Lite on the left. The shelf was where I had my little television that I never watched, so we moved it to the bedroom so I can fall asleep watching TV in comfort instead of in the living room chair and get kinks in my neck. The white board tacked to the wall is just the backside of a piece of matboard. If I want a black, or other color, background I can throw a piece of fabric over it and Voila! - new background.

I don't think I properly white balanced my camera before taking this photo, but with a little Photoshop help it turned out ok. The hearts and leaves are colored with H2Os and you can't see the shimmer but they are very shimmery. Love those H2Os! There are 12 new colors, too, just so you know:-) I used my one lonely set of Nestabilities for the scalloped rectangle. I am trying to resist buying any more and so far, so good! The shiny dots are my usual Stampendous Dot Sparkler stickers, in pink this time. The verse is a Great Impressions stamp and the main image is Impression Obsession, embossed in a pearl gold powder.

It is a balmy 18 degrees outside right now and supposed to warm all the way up to 38 - yippee. I need to get groceries and am not looking forward to freezing my buns off (if only it were that easy!) so maybe I will treat myself to a visit to the stamp store and Michaels to make the trip less painful (sweetie, disregard that last sentence).

Thanks for hanging in there with me and I hope everyone is healthy, happy, and staying warm - is it springtime yet?????


The big snowstorm of '08

It didn't happen like they were predicting and I am a little disappointed! I was looking forward to the white fluffy stuff and although it has been snowing most of the day, it isn't sticking much. I've come down with some nasty chest cold thing and am not feeling all that great, so I'm stuck in the house anyway and with no pretty snow to look at :-(. Ah well, winter isn't over yet, right?

I bought a couple of these tins from Oriental Trading a couple of months ago and finally got around to covering one of them.

I had seen so many of them done on other blogs and on SCS so I decided to give it a try myself. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be but next time I probably won't use red line tape - it takes alot and I only put it along the edges. I think the ATG tape might work just as well. The flowers are Primas and the word is from a Cuttlebug alphabet. I do actually keep cards in it, too! There's never one in there for whatever occasion I need, it seems.

I made a little photo studio spot in my craft room and figured out how to get decent shots, at last. Someone (don't remember who, of course) posted on their blog about setting the white balance on their camera so I got out the dreaded manual and looked it up. Lo and behold, I can have preset the white balance. Who knew? So, I have a white shelf and I use a piece of white mat board for the backdrop, one lamp with a Reveal bulb and my fold up Ott light on the other side to minimize shadows. All I have to do is turn on the lights and let the camera see the white mat board to set the white balance and most of the time the photos come out pretty well. Pretty cool, huh? I thought so :-) I will take a photo of the set up and post it soon. It's primitive but I can leave it set up all the time. I don't have a lot of spare room in here for one of those professional "Studio in a Box" things and I'm sure they work better but this one works fine for me. Gotta go take some meds....


Snow Day!

This is what we woke up to this morning - SNOW!!! Isn't it wonderful? I know, I can see you folks up north rolling your eyes and wondering what the big deal is, but we don't get much snow down this way. I have only been in NC 4 years and snow in Florida is even more rare, so I am loving this! Of course, this Florida girl is staying inside where it's warm, too. The kitties aren't happy about it, but they are inside, too. Simon did venture out once this morning and even made a little snowball but decided it was just too cold for kitties. I don't blame him!

The first photo was taken before daylight but the snow was still snow and not getting melted by the rain.

Just a little while after daylight:

I thought this looked like they have little snowcone hats on - I bet their feet are cold!

It's not snowing now but it is raining and ice is forming on the tree branches. The weatherman says it will warm up to a balmy 34 this afternoon. Fireplace weather, I think. Oh, and a good stamping day, too...stay warm, people.


No stamping required

This is a birthday card I made for a friend of mine a while back and I really like the way it turned out! I used the Cuttlebug embossing folder for the sentiment and layered it onto a couple of scalloped circles. This is the same paper I used on the card organizer and, as I said, I think it's Basic Grey but I only have a few scraps left and there isn't a name on them.

Same card without the flowers and I used the Cuttlebug embossing folder on the background paper. I like them both!

I plan to post some blog candy soon - help me pick out a new name for it instead of blog candy! I hope to have some new cards soon as well - we are supposed to be getting a winter storm tonight and tomorrow so it will be a good day to stay inside and stamp away!


Sketch Book

A plain old sketch book that I decorated the front of and added tabs to. I intended to use it for card sketches and ideas but mostly it sits and collects dust by my desk. I'm still glad I made it, it is pretty to look at and might come in handy one day, who knows? There's not really a lot to say about it - I stamped some images, punched some flowers, used some decorative paper and a few brads here and there. For the tabs I used card stock, trimmed it to leave tabs in different spots and adhered it to the existing pages. I do love that flowered paper and I think I have one sheet of it left - I don't remember where I got it but I think it is by EK Success. I do love the pink and brown combination and will most likely be using that on a lot of my Valentines cards this year, too.


Card organizer

This is a card organizer that made a few months ago with my Bind It All. I found the instructions on Colleen's blog Distinctive Touches but I'm not sure they are still there. Colleen said she got the idea from the tutorial that Beate Johns did on SplitCoastStampers.com here. She used a Rubicoil machine and I did have to modify the measurements a little for the Bind It All, in order to make the cover fit correctly. The flower is a Sizzix Bigz die that I absolutely love! The monogram is from the JustRite Monogram set that I found at Frantic Stamper. It is so much fun and so easy to use. The covers are made from cardstock and next time I would use something a little more substantial but this was basically an experiment (which worked out very well!). I think the DP is Basic Grey, but I'm not sure. After I took this photo I changed out the binding wire for a larger one because if I actually loaded it up with cards (in my dreams, that would require planning!) it wouldn't stay closed. I used a 1-1-4" wire, which seems rather large at first but it will enable it to close nicely when it's full. Next time I might try using a spiral coil binding, stretched to fit.

The inside pages are made from 12 x 12 Bazzill cardstock in different colors - I love bright and colorful things. Apparently I also love bright and colorful ink pads, as you can see in the background - and that's only a small portion of them!

This is the January page - you can see the calendar doesn't have dates on it, just lines to write birthdays, anniversaries, etc. and you can add your own dates to it.

It's not a difficult thing to make and would make a nice gift, filled with some cards.

Thank You cards

These should have been received by now so I think it's safe to post them. They are CASEd from whoknowswhere since I have seen them on blogs and on SplitcoastStampers as well but I just had to try them. It is an excellent idea and I will be doing more experiments with my CB folders. I can't wait for the new ones to come out, but I have heard the ship date has been pushed back to Feb. 1 :-( . The "Thank You" stamp is from OnyxXpressions and I think it added just the right about of swirly goodness to these cards, don't you? On the first one I used the Stampendous Sparkle Dots in the center of the designs and although it doesn't show up well on the second card I used Stardust Stickles - gotta have a little sparkle! I used the Scor-Pal for scoring the lines - that is a cool tool!

I have a few other things to post soon but right now I have to go see if there are any Valentines stamps that I *need* at Stampers Alley!

Party on, people.


I'm a big copycat!

I admit it - I am apparently incapable of any original ideas. Probably due to the fact that all of you other wonderful bloggers out there have so many great ideas and projects that I don't need to come up with one of my own :-) . And since I am out there browsing other creative blogs I don't have the time or brain power left to come up with any original ideas, so there. Ha. That being said, here are some calendars I made based on a design I saw on Splendiferous Creations:

I used a Hero Arts alphabet set and the circle stamp is from PaperTrey's Borders and Corners set. Since my name begins with "J" I tend to judge an alphabet set based on that letter and most of them have horrible Js! The look nothing like a J but more like a T usually. This one is perfect, as you can see. I gave these to my Friday Night Stamping Group ladies at our annual Christmas dinner/Yankee Christmas Party last week. For those who may not be familiar with a Yankee (no offense intended) Christmas Party it goes like this....

Each person brings a wrapped gift. You draw numbers and the one with #1 goes first, of course. They also get to go again at the end. So, #1 chooses a wrapped gift and opens it. Then the person with #2 can either take the gift from #1 or choose another wrapped gift. IF they take #1's gift, then #1 gets to choose another wrapped gift. And so it goes on...and on....and on. Supposedly after a gift has been taken from 3 people it is considered "dead" and must remain with the person that has it. UNLESS......oh, I forget what the unless is. It's all very complicated but a whole bunch of fun. I have also heard it called a Chinese Christmas Party, a Crazy Santa Party and a Dirty Santa Party. I'm sure the rules are different everywhere. At any rate, we all had a wonderful time, ate alot of delicious food, and went home with fabulous gifts.

Today I worked on Thank You cards and will post those after they have been received by the lucky recipients, so as not to spoil the surprise, of course.

FYI - If you are anywhere in the vicinity of Mooresville, NC and "need" some stamping stuff, Stamper's Alley is having an awesome sale through the end of the month. Check the website for details.

That's it for now and maybe by next time I will have had a fabulous new idea and post something never before seen! I wouldn't count on that too much, but stranger things have happened!


New stamp... and water woes

My dear friend Cheryl sent me this beautiful stamp for the back of my cards! Isn't it wonderful - I love that font!! She has her own stamp company called OnyxXpressions and has an awesome selection of stamps, plus you can get custom name stamps made in various fonts and designs. She sent me a different one last year:Head on over there and check out her site! I'm sure you'll find something you need :-)

On another note, we finally have running water in the house again! 2 days ago my dear, sweet hubby decided that we needed a better filter on our water coming into the house. Seems easy enough, right? He's a competent and thorough person and I knew he could do it! Well, after rerouting a few pipes to get the filter closer to the hatch under the house (and therefore easier to change) and gluing them all with PVC glue he told me to turn the water back on. So I did. This was followed shortly thereafter by a "TURN IT OFF, TURN IT OFF!!!!!". So I did. He emerges from under the house soaking wet. Keep in mind the high here was about 40 degrees and well water is very cold anyway. So, he dried himself off, re-glued them and we repeated this scenario several more times. He is obviously a very patient man - I would have had a conniption fit if that had been me. Well, we thought perhaps it was just too cold for the glue to dry properly so we let them sit overnight and were able to hold them together long enough for me to get a shower (a badly needed one!) and wash up the dishes.

Today a plumber came and fixed the pipes under the house - took him 20 minutes. Turns out they aren't PVC at all but something else that contractors use that won't take PVC glue. Who knew??? Anyway, DH wanted the filter moved to the pump house to make it easier yet to change, so we asked the dear plumber to do that. He thought it would be a simple thing. Right. After several trips to an unknown destination to retrieve somethingorother he is almost finished when he tells me he broke a pipe under the ground and has to go get something else. Hmmmm, this can't be good.

He comes back, fixes the broken pipe and tells me to turn the water back on, which, by this time, I am more than happy to do. All is well for a brief moment and then the water stops running. So, out I trot (in freezing, windy weather mind you) to ask if he has shut the water off again - he says he hasn't. Uh oh. After much investigation it seems that some of this wonderful NC dirt (clay) must have gotten sucked up into the pipe when it broke underground and is obstructing the water flow into the bathtub and kitchen sink. I won't bore you with any more details (if you are still even with me at this point) but after another 2 hours of work it appears to be fixed. Dishes have been washed and showers taken. He was here for about 5 hours on what should have been a 2 hour job at the most. As Roseanna Roseannadanna said...."It's always something!" We are just grateful to have running water again - especially me! Let me just say that if it had been incumbent upon me to jump in a wagon and explore the wild, wild west, we'd all still be living in Pennsylvania. Roughing it is not for me! Having no running (hot or cold) water for 2 days is roughing it as far as I'm concerned. Yes, I am a wimp, I admit it. Let's just hope I don't have one of those conniption fits when I see the bill!