Tuesday, May 29, 2007

An Ending and A Beginning

Nothing stamping or scrapping related to show you today. I didn't get much stamping done last week because I had my gallbladder out on Monday and spent most of the week lounging on my couch. Geez, see what a busy mom has to do to get a rest -- go have surgery!

I did get to attend my son's preschool graduation on Friday. Yes, maybe a preschool graduation ceremony is over the top, but he was so excited by it. And I have to say that it was very moving. The kids had worked for weeks on learning several songs that they sang. The preschool director gave a tear filled speech about how she was going to miss the kids. They got to have cake afterwards and give presents to their teachers. It was beautiful. Of course, the best part of the day for my son was when he got to go back to the classroom and work on the puzzles. Oh, and when his teacher gave him a mini lego set at the end of the day as a present -- he even passed up the chance to play on the playground so that he could come home and build the lego set. Which was ok by me because I was wiped out by that point in the day!

Anyway, this week I'm getting back to my stamping room. I have to get started on my trades for seminar very soon!! It's only 4 weeks away. Wow! I'm so excited to see the new catalog -- especially considering the previews that TAC released last week. You can see them here. I can't wait to get the new Treasure It set!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Ribbon, Ribbon, and More Ribbon

I should be vacuuming because my mother-in-law arrives for a visit sometime this afternoon. But I just got the mail and look what was in it from my great friend Lori! Yes, it's just 1/4" satin ribbon. Nothing exotic as far as ribbon goes, but I still LOVE her for sending it to me. See she knows that I live in a ribbon deprived town. The only store that sells ribbon by the spool is Walmart and they rarely have anything but the basic colors. So Lori bought all of these yummy colored ribbons for me in Idaho and sent them all the way to me! What a sweetheart!

I love ribbons. At the all day crop that I attended the ladies running the crop announced that they were having a ribbon sale and that all of the ribbon would be half off! Yikes! I was one of the first ladies at the ribbon aisle. I had so many spools of ribbon that one of the other ladies was kind enough to get me a basket to carry it all in. I got all of this delicious polka dotted, velvet, striped, and gingham ribbon for less than $20! I would have gotten more, but there were others waiting and I thought that it would look a little piggish. As it was, the lady cutting the ribbon looked at my like I was crazy when I asked if I could have 5 yards of the black with the white polka dots. But it was only 37 cents a yard!!

Now all of these awesome ribbons will need to join my collection. I actually have my ribbon pretty well organized. I keep the heavier ones like grosgrain in quart size acrylic canisters from Walmart. I love the look of glass jars, but envisioned my kids breaking one and bleeding all of the ribbon inside the jar! I wouldn't know whether to bandage the kid's hand or try to wash the blood out of the ribbon first. That wouldn't do! So I was very happy when I found these acrylic canisters with a similar look.

The rest of my ribbon -- satins, sheers -- is stored in a drawer. I took most of it off the spools to save space. Plus it lets me see exactly how much of any one I have -- I hate to run out of a ribbon in the middle of making swap cards. I rolled each ribbon into a loop and just tied off the end of the loop to itself. Then I separated the ribbons by color family into the plastic boxes that my larger stamp sets came in. Another reason to love unmounted stamps stored in CD cases -- I get to reuse the boxes for great storage! It took some time to do this, but I'm so much happier with it than all of the other systems that I have tried before for organizing my ribbon.

The only problem that I had with this system is when I tried to use ribbon at my first class and it wasn't on the spool anymore. The ladies at the class had the sheer white ribbon all unrolled and tangled. But my amazing friend Lori came up with a brilliant idea to solve this problem. She suggested using a box that our gift with purchase stamps come in to hold the loop of ribbon. If you cut a slit through the end of the box you have an automatic dispenser!! I tried it at my last class with some of the ribbons and it worked great. Here's a photo of a loop of grosgrain in a little larger box.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What FUN!

Sorry for the long absence of posts. May has been nuts here. I got unexpectedly invited to join a friend at an all day crop for National Scrapbooking Day. I finished 5 double page 12x12 layouts that day. Doesn't sound like much when you say it that way! But it was great to scrapbook for myself. I'll share pictures of those later this week. The day after that was the Mother Daughter Craf-Tea.

The Mother Daughter Craf-Tea was such a great success! Thank you to all of you joined us for it. Emma was sooo excited about it that she nearly overwhelmed the first few people in the door with all of her energy and helpfulness. She really was a great helper though -- telling people what the projects were and how to do them. She had so much fun that at the end of the class she asked me when the next one would be. When I told her not until the fall, she pouted a little!

We had to have a change of projects at the last minute. I never thought when I advertised that we would stamp on flower pots that I wouldn't be able to find small clay flower pots at Walmart or Lowes or Home Depot!! Apparently, there was a run on them for Mother's Day. So instead we made this flower pot card which holds a seed packet. They make great teacher appreciation gifts and fit into a standard size card envelope. These are super easy to make. Click here to download the template. Cut out the template. Cut a piece of brown (we used some old terra cotta cardstock that I had in my stash) to 4 1/4 x 11. Fold in half. Trace the template onto the cardstock with the bottom of the flower pot on the fold of the card. Cut out. We then used Versamark and a stamp from Old Friend to decorate the pot. Tie a ribbon around the top of the pot to hold it shut when you slide the seed packet into it. Add a tag with an appropriate saying -- this tag was punched from Bella Flor paper set. We used one from one of our hostess sets called Seeds of Blessing. We also added a flower sequin from the Sonic Bloom collection to the corner of the tag to up the "oh, look how cute" quotient.

If you were really looking forward to learning how to stamp on a flower pot, here are some tips:

  • Using unmounted stamps makes it much easier! Use the stamp without attaching it to the block.
  • Lay it on the table and ink. Use Palette or Staz On inks for permanence.
  • Carefully pick up the stamp and use your fingers to press it to the curve of the pot. to get a full image.
  • Remember if you are using the terra cotta pots without first coating with acrylic paint that the color of your ink will be different on the pot -- for example, purple looks black. You can coat the pot with 2 light coats of acrylic paint prior to stamping if you prefer a different colored background.
  • You can use sharpies or Fabrico makers, palette ink refills, or all purpose inks to color your images.
  • If you plan to use the pot for a plant, spray it with 2-3 light coats of Krylon clear sealer (you can find it in Walmart or Hobby Lobby) to seal the design. Otherwise, it will be ruined when the salts in the water and soil leach through the pot when you water the plant.

Here's a close up of one of the other projects that we did at the Mother Daughter Craf-Tea. It was a purse gift bag, but all of the moms said that they thought that it was way too cute to give away! I think most of them are using it as a part of their home decor! And hey, Maureen, check it out! We reused the bottoms of the paper bags that I was cutting off to make the paper bag card organizers as the base of the purse! We used some of my favorite paper -- Rustic Chic -- with the Running Stitches stamp to make this purse. I love it! One of the girls turned her patterned paper vertically in the center of her purse and it was totally different look that was awesome!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

10% Off Final Farewells

TAC released its list of stamps that are going bye-bye in June. You can look at the list here. There are just shy of 200 stamp sets on the list. I have 56 that are on the list!! Yikes! I'm not worried though because I'll still have lots of great sets left. (Does that mean I have too many stamps? Never!)
I am surprised to see some of them going. I will miss Bits & Pieces and Word Play. And I'm definitely going to miss Comic Bet! That is one of my favorite alphabet sets. And I was really surprised to see Flowery Fun going. I don't use it that often, but it's just a pretty set. I used it to make this card.
Of course, all of this sadness in seeing some of my favorite sets leaving TAC's catalog also is mixed with great anticipation of what is to come with our new catalog. This is TAC's 10th year and I can feel big changes in the works -- starting with our switch to twice a year catalogs. Our annual seminar is the end of June in Kansas City and the demonstrator lists have all been abuzz with talk about it. I can hardly wait!
In fact, I'm starting the party early with a special sale of 10% off any of the stamp sets on the final farewell list! You have to call or email me your order to receive the discount. Sorry, I can't give you the discount on orders placed through the online shopping cart. But you'll also get all of the free goodies that way! Be sure to check out my stamping website for all of the other specials that I have going on. There are lots of deals to be had right now!