7/12/12

Smart(?)phone woes and some pretty butterflies

We finally took the plunge and got smartphones for ourselves last weekend. We must be almost the last people in the country to invest in this wonderful not-so-new-anymore technology. Why do they call them smartphones? Could it be because the phone is, indeed, smarter than a 5th grader? I doubt it.

It took days forever to get all most of the settings properly set so that it didn’t tell me about a new email or Facebook post every 2.5 seconds and run the battery down so I couldn't even make a call if I wanted to. But the most challenging thing about this phone, so far, is texting. I didn’t get an iPhone because I didn’t have $400 laying around under the mattress and we didn’t want to pay outrageous monthly rates with a Sprint or some other contract carrier. We went with Virgin Mobile. I have an LG Optimus Elite. It has all of the features I wanted and then some. I don’t really believe that the iPhone is any more intelligent than any other phone anyway. And it’s made by Apple, I’m not a huge Apple fanatic. But I digress. Back to the texting challenge.

I received a text from my darling daughter late the other night, asking what I was doing. It was late and I was getting ready to go to bed. Or so I thought. I have sent a few text messages and it was no big deal, but for some reason this phone decided it was time to have a little fun with me. I guess it was bored.

I clicked Reply, the keyboard popped up and I tried to type Getting, as in “Getting ready to go to bed” (I refuse to succumb to texting abbreviations). I got as far as G e t and this smart(ass)phone decided that what I really meant to say was fetch. Ok, I have fat fingers, so maybe it was operator error. I tried it again. Get. Fetch. Seriously? Not one to be easily dissuaded, I gave it another shot, carefully watching which letters lit up when I touched them. G e t. Fetch. WHAT?? Not operator error at all.

Knowing the definition of insanity, I decided to abandon the keyboard, took a deep breath and delved into the settings yet again. Swype settings….all good there. Android keyboard settings…turn off ALL autocorrect functions. Done. Go back and try again. You got it. Fetch. Sigh. Yes, I tried several more times and got the same result. Insanity. I know. I resisted the urge to fling the phone across the room, remembering I had not purchased insurance on it.

This went on for half an hour or longer….typing, checking the settings, typing again. At one point during the madness I just happened to look more closely at the keyboard and noticed that the little button with the world on it said ES. What does that mean?? It is right next to the change-from-letters-to-numbers key and since they are all pretty tiny, maybe I touched it by mistake at some point and it is the cause of all the confusion. I clicked on it/touched it. Nothing happened. It still said ES. Once more into the settings I go and after wandering blindly in there for a while, I found the language settings had been set to Spanish. Who did that? When did that happen? How did I miss it the other 38 times I have looked at the settings? It was getting (fetching?) later and I didn’t care who or when or how, so I changed it back to English and it was all good again – at LAST! But one thing still bothers me. The Spanish word for “get” is not “fetch”. Smartphone? HA!

If you’re still with me, I do have a couple of cards to show you for your trouble. Thank you for hanging in there.

I needed some cards to send to my sister and a few to use for my pen pal letters, something quick and easily reproduced. The butterfly die from Memory Box made short work of it.

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A little pretty paper behind the negative space left by the die, pop it up onto the card front, add a sentiment banner…BOOM! Done. I need a little practice with the white gel pen, I think. The line is a little wonky here and there, but hey – it’s handmade. Deal with it, right?

Join me next week for more Tales from the Smartphone. Or maybe just some more pretty cards to look at (at which to look, Leslie?).

7/9/12

And the winners are…

For the Scalloped Arc Border, Floral Border 2, and the Doily Strip from the first sneak peek post - Debbie, come on down!

For the Victorian Border, the Floral Strip Border, and the Doily Border punch from the Part Deux post - StampInkLady (Lori)!

Last, but not least, the winner of the Diamond Border, Daisy Border, and Vine Strip is Lin - congrats!

Congratulations to all of the winners! Please send me an email using the link on the right sidebar, including your full name and mailing address and I will get these out to you this week. I know you are going to have fun using them and I'd love to see what new creations you come up with.

Thanks to everyone who entered and don't forget to check Missy's Blog and Amy's blog if you entered there, too. 

7/2/12

The Final Three

Yes, this is the final sneak peek of the Tonic Studios July release. But not to worry, you will be seeing more of these punches on my blog and around the interwebs, I’m sure. You may even have a set of your own, because there is another giveaway today!

Flowers, vines, and a lattice make up this first card. I used the Tonic Studios Simplicity Pattern 762 Scalloped Diamond Border Punch to make the lattice, and the 935 Petal Pairs Box Set 2 for the flowers.

FriendsTo make the lattice:

Start with a 1" strip of card stock. Punch four designs, making sure the end of the strip is against the "First Punch" line and lining up the punches with the design on the punch.

Flip the strip over so that the punched design is at the top (Fig. A). Insert the strip into the punch, centering it between 2 designs on the paper, as shown in Fig. B, C & D.

Fig. A

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Fig. B

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Fig. C

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Fig. D

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Keep punching, aligning the punched piece with the design on the punch, until you get a strip long enough for your card. You should end up with a piece that looks like this (but a little more even than this one):

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You will need 4 strips to make the lattice. Trim the ends up to length and adhere to your card as shown. Add the ribbon and flowers and you have a garden lattice.

Supplies: Tonic Studios 762 Scalloped Diamond Border and 935 Petal Pairs Box Set 2,  Sentiment - Hero Arts (CL513), May Arts ribbon (leaves), Glossy Accents (for flower centers), Patterned Paper - BoBunny Avocado Dot.

The next card is made using the Tonic Studios Simplicity Pattern 764 Daisy Border Punch to make the strip in the center. I cut 7 3/4” strips from different colors of card stock and adhered them to a 4” x 5-1/4” white piece for the rainbow effect. After adding the punched strip I adhered it to a piece of black card stock, leaving a very small border.

The sentiment is stamped on another 3/4” piece, with one banner end. I use a square punch to make my banner ends, Just insert the strip into one corner, making sure it’s straight, and punch. Instant banner end.

SendingSmiles

To create the strip using the Daisy Border punch start with a 2-1/8" strip of cardstock. Punch once, lining up the edge of the strip with the "First Punch" line. Flip the strip over so that the design you just punched is at the top of the strip and reinsert it into the punch being sure to line up the edge with the "First Punch" line.

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It should look like this:

IMG_0308Keep punching until you get the length you need. Trim up the ends and adhere to your card. I added some green gems in between the punches. No such thing as too much bling, right?

Supplies: Tonic Studios Simplicity Pattern 764 Daisy Border Punch, Sentiment - Hero Arts (Sending Smiles Messages Clear Set), 3/4" strips of different colors of card stock, green gemstones.

The final card is a 6” x 6” square, which I don’t do very often because of the extra postage – and the fact that I don’t have any envelopes to fit. I used the Tonic Studios Simplicity Pattern 768 Vine Strip Punch on this one. I punched 2 strips and added them to a wider lavender strip of card stock, leaving a space for some ribbon down the center.

The flowers started out white. I colored them with Copic markers because I didn’t have any flowers that coordinated with the papers I was using. I love my Copic markers.

The banners were cut using the same method as the tag on the card above.

LotsofHugs

Supplies: Tonic Studios Simplicity Pattern 768 Vine Strip Punch, Sentiment - Hero Arts (Truly Appreciated Clear Set), Patterned Paper - Memory Box Spearmint Collection, cut into 3/4" strips, McGill Pine Punch (leaves), white silk flowers, Copic markers V12 & G00 (for coloring the flowers), pearl brad.

Well, there you have it. Our preview has come to an end. Once more I am giving away all three of these punches to one lucky winner. Here are the punches you could win:

Simplicity Pattern 762 Scalloped Diamond Border Punch

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Simplicity Pattern 764 Daisy Border Punch

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Simplicity Pattern 768 Vine Strip Punch

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Just leave a comment on this post and tell me the name of your favorite movie. You have until midnight Friday, July 6 to enter and I will post the winner on Monday, July 9 (which also happens to be my husband’s birthday). You will have 48 hours to contact me before I choose another winner so don’t forget to check back. (The contest is limited to the US only)

Check out what the other designers have done and enter their drawings while you’re there:

Missy’s Tonic Gallery

Amy’s Blog – Cute & Nice Designs

Thank you for visiting and good luck in the drawing!

7/1/12

Tonic Studios July Release, Part Deux

As promised, here is part two of the brand new Tonic Studios July 2012 release. Again, you have a chance to win all 3 punches… more than one chance, actually, since the other members of the design team are also having giveaways on their blogs.

The first card features the Simplicity Pattern 763 Victorian Border Punch. It makes a pretty double scallop border and would be the perfect addition to so many projects. I punched 2 strips and adhered them to the back of the green strip, added a little lace and adhered that where the 2 patterned papers met.

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Supplies: Tonic Studios Simplicity Pattern 763 Victorian Border Punch, Sentiment - WPlus9 stamp (Very Vintage Greetings set), Patterned Paper - Bo Bunny Ambrosia Collection, lace, square punches.

The Simplicity Pattern 766 Floral Strip Border Punch and the 925 Multi-detail Butterfly are used on this one.

GoodFriends

Supplies: Tonic Studios Simplicity Pattern 766 Floral Strip Border Punch and 925 Multi-detail Butterfly, Sentiment - Hero Arts (Good Friends Clear Set), Patterned Paper - BoBunny Buttercup Dots, yellow gemstones.

The last card has a bit of a masculine look to it, no flowers or frills in sight. I used the Simplicity Pattern 767 Doily Border Punch for the blue border along the edge. It is similar in style to the Doily Strip Punch but it just punches the edge of the card stock instead of cutting an entire strip. The squares are from an old Papertrey Ink set (Guidelines) and you don’t want to know how much paper I stamped and tossed trying to get the design straight. I finally decided to just use one 4” x 5-1/4” piece and start at the bottom right corner and that worked out best for me. The bonus is that I ended up with 2 pieces to use on 2 cards. I saw a similar design on Pinterest somewhere but her squares were stamped so that they appeared to be diamond shaped rather than squares. I tried that, too. No, you won’t see it here, I’m afraid.

Anyway, once the design was trimmed I adhered the border, trimmed the excess, and stamped the sentiment. That is always the scary part for me, so I didn’t adhere the stamped piece until I was sure I had the sentiment where I wanted it. I use the ATG adhesive and taking things apart is a challenge once they are stuck together.

SayingHello

Supplies: Tonic Studios Simplicity Pattern 767 Doily Border Punch, Stamps - Papertrey Ink (Guidelines Set), Sentiment - Hero Arts (Truly Appreciated Clear Set), Memento Ink - Bamboo Leaves, Bahama Blue.

Today’s giveaway consists of these three wonderful punches:

Simplicity Pattern 763 Victorian Border Punch

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Simplicity Pattern 766 Floral Strip Border Punch

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Simplicity Pattern 767 Doily Border Punch

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All you need to do is leave me a comment and tell me your favorite ice cream flavor. It is hotter than blazes out there today and ice cream is one of the best ways I know to take my mind off the heat.

You have until midnight Friday, July 6 to enter and I will post the winner on Monday, July 9 (which also happens to be my husband’s birthday). You will have 48 hours to contact me before I choose another winner so don’t forget to check back. (The contest is limited to the US only)

Check out what the other designers have done and enter their drawings while you’re there:

Missy’s Tonic Gallery

Amy’s Blog – Cute & Nice Designs

Come back tomorrow for 3 more cards and another chance to win the final 3 punches!