Thursday, November 29, 2007

Stamping with glitter!

I've seen a lot of talk about stamping with glitter lately. I think this technique is a lot of fun, and here's my latest card using it. The glitzy sparkle just can't be beat!

So, here's the burning question: How do you get this look and more importantly, how do you get this look to stay?

My answer? Tsukineko Essential Glue Pad. I know a lot of people aren't enjoying this pad, but I have a tip that might just change your mind. I think it is pretty common knowledge that you really have to juice up your pad often (I do it every other inking). What I don't think is common knowledge is that once you stamp the glue, give it a little time. I wait about 8-10 minutes, letting it get a little set up and tacky. I sprinkle the glitter, tap off the excess gently and LEAVE IT ALONE (which, if you know me, you realize is just absolute torture!). Overnight - seriously! Don't touch it - don't just gently check it or anything.

Trust me! Give it a try and LMK how it works.
Be well! ~ Jenn

(Stamps, Paper and rub ons - Paper Salon; Die Cuts - Spellbinders; Ribbon - Martha Stewart/EK Success)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Spell bound

We got the ok to post our entry pieces from our DT coordinator at Spellbinders, so with a little trepidation, I will post them here. The trepidation is two-fold; I've been on the end where I've submitted to a team and not been chosen, so I know how tempting it is to compare. The second part of my trepidation is because I've seen some of the other work out there, and it completely leaves me in awe! I'm so honored to have been chosen, but now after seeing some of the other entries, I know just how difficult the decision process must have been.

I have little notes on each photo, so you will get to see a little bit about each piece. I hope you like them!

My 12 x 12 layout: (I don't consider 12 x 12's to be my strong point, so this was challenging. I do more 8.5 x 11.)

My card:

My stamped piece:

My altered piece (made almost entirely of Spellbinders dies):

My digi/hybrid piece (already seen on this blog):

There was also an essay that I wrote. I felt pretty strongly that I wrote a solid essay, so I'm sure that helped. I won't bore you with it, though! I have to say, I generally don't have very good luck in this sort of contest/call - and trust me, I have tried (and tried, and tried...) in the past. The key is not to get discouraged and just keep trying, and I try to view each time as a chance to better my skills. LMK if you have any questions!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

More gushing about Charlotte!

Well, here it is, a week later, and I still think that spending time with the ever-so-talented Charlotte Lyons was the highlight of my Silver Bella experience. I love this adorable picture that Kim Haynes took of the two of us:

So what exactly was so inspiring about her? Well, I already mentioned her effortless grace (something I so long for in my life - maybe I will grow into it!). More so than that, I enjoyed her teaching style immensely, probably because we have a shared philosophy - in art, you need to make it your own. So for all of her teaching/guidance, she was eager to learn from her students as well. We also have a shared affinity of Anna Griffin products - although I was pleased as punch to use them in different ways.

Should you ever get a chance to take a class with her, I would highly recommend it. You will come away inspired and longing to spend the day crafting away! Her book, Between Friends is wonderful, and if you happen to pick it up on your birthday, you may get a special birthday message in it! ;)

Changing gears, do you happen to see this project on the ]Paper Salon blog? It is a desk calendar that uses PS Glad Rags paper, Spellbinders Scalloped Rectangle Nestability Dies and the Bind-It-All. It was relatively easy to make - scoring the chipboard and creating the individual pages were probably the most labor intensive. I hope you like it!

There are a couple deadlines coming up on Monday, so I am trying to get a couple of things done for that. I want to sit and play and learn how to solder (thanks Heather and Valita - all I need is a new craft!LOL) but time just isn't allowing for it. On a good note, Wally and the Beav have gone back to school; PA only allows the teachers to strike for a certain amount of days. Of course, they then only have to teach for a certain amount more, which in reality means our districts' teachers may go back on strike in January. Hmph. Let's hope that a fair settlement is reached before that becomes an issue.

Be well! ~ Jenn

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Very excited!

I have had to keep a little secret the last couple of days, but I can now shout it from the rooftops (although, on second thought - I've had a bad history navigating a staircase, rooftops aren't really advisable!).

I am honored to say that I have been invited to join the Spellbinders design team! I am really looking forward to working with this innovative company. I can't wait to see what they have waiting in the wings. This team was my mid-year goal, and given the caliber of talent that entered this contest, I am humbled to have been able to reach this goal. After speaking with Stacey Caron from Spellbinders earlier this week, I know she was thrilled with the entries, but it did make it a very difficult decision. I am very excited and grateful to get a chance to work with them starting in the new year.

I was also thrilled to have an Anna Griffin piece picked up by Scrap and Stamp Arts on Friday. It will be my first time appearing in that magazine, so I'm looking forward to it.

It has been such an exciting week! Between Silver Bella (and that list would go on for paragraphs!), my birthday, having a piece picked up, and joining Spellbinders, I am one incredibly fortunate girl! LOTS of material for a gratitude journal, I would think! It does get slightly better, though, as I haven't worn my cast since returning from my trip (Yippee!), and Wally and the Beav are returning to school tomorrow!! I'm so happy for them - they are really ready to get back to the books and their friends. I hope the issues will be settled so we aren't faced with this again in January. (Wish us luck)

So in this season of being grateful, I hope you will think of a few things for which you are grateful, too.

Be well! ~ Jenn

Monday, November 12, 2007

Blown Away Bella!

Silver Bella was MIND BLOWING!!!! It was such an amazing collection of ARTISTS - not scrapbookers, per se, but women who have such varied talents and a love for beauty in common.

I arrived in Omaha Thursday night. All the Bellas were gathering at an antique store called Second Chance, so I quickly dropped my bags at the hotel and went to meet them. I met my fabulous roommate, Valita Baxley, and the other TX girls (Heather Ales, Jennifer Stewart and Jana Perenchio) and after antiquing a bit, we went to grab some dinner at a gorgeous bistro.

Friday morning came way too early; I started out with a class at 8am with Kim Kwan and went on to a 10:30am class with Carolyn Peeler.Kim's class was fun and high-energy. Carolyn's class was wonderful - we played with some fun products and learned great techniques. I've always wanted to take one of Carolyn's classes, so it was extra special!

Friday midday was our big luncheon. It was so well done, with the tables set beautifully in this grand ballroom. I will probably forever be known as Blushing Bella because the girls at my table started singing "Happy Birthday". I was soooo bright red - everyone was commenting on it all day long! ("Oh - you're the birthday girl - boy, were you red! Happy Birthday!" - to which I would promptly blush again!)

Friday night was our FUN night! We all dressed up in Junk-Gypsy style (totally out-of-the-box for me) and had our Vendor Night. There were about 40 tables of the MOST TALENTED gals out there! I bought entirely too many fun things (although I tried to stick to my rule of not buying things that I could make myself). One lady, Susan Jacoby, had the BEST t-shirts; the one I got "Princess of Paper" is brand new and not on her website yet, but it is similar design to one here. I also found really cool stuff from some of the other ladies, like vintage seam binding and German dresdens and excellent wood cutouts screaming to be decoupaged. (I don't intend to take up woodworking any time soon!)

Our swap night was after the vendor fair. I ended up doing three swaps. You would not believe the gorgeous things I received! One was a to/from tag swap, one an ATC swap and the third was an ornament swap. I was blown away! I had never done a swap before, so this was really eye-opening!

One thing that was pretty consistent with everyone I talked to was the inability to sleep! You know how when you're at CHA and you have 'sensory overload' - you're laying trying to fall asleep and keep getting flashes of color and textures, etc? Totally happened here! It was crazy! Very little sleep had by most of us, I think!

Saturday morning was the one I was most looking forward to - back-to-back classes with the talented and gracious Charlotte Lyons. I don't know how to express my immense admiration for this woman and her talents without sounding a bit stalkerish! ;) I will leave it at her classes and kind words were the highlight of my Silver Bella experience.

My last class was with Corinne Ayers; it was a fun little holiday organizer - very cute project. It went together very easily and will be fun to use this holiday season.

Have any of you ever been to Omaha? Can I just say WOW - what a great little city! The Old Market section is fantastic - full of the coolest shops and restaurants! You can't help but love the old brick streets lined with gorgeous restored brick buildings. This place has serious character!

I was so glad to have Debby Schuh on the same flight to Chicago on Sunday afternoon. Debby is from Buffalo, so between that and Anna Griffin, Inc., we always have something to talk about! She is one of those special people that you may only see a couple of times a year, but when you do, it is as if you have had no time apart. She is another gracious, talented woman whom I admire greatly. She's a real gem, and I was so happy to have a little extra time with her.

I will be back later with a few pictures - although, I didn't take all that many! I guess I was more into having a blast than taking the pictures! I'm sure there are several anecdotes I need to share, as well! But right now, I really have to go in search of a cup of coffee or a nap - whichever I get to first, probably!

Be well! ~ Jenn

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A quick post on process

Do you ever feel like you need an extra hand when you're paper crafting? I do, and think this is probably a very common feeling. The solution, at least for me, are these tiny clamps! I can't tell you how often I turn to these. (I work pretty quickly and have limited patience for drying time, etc.) They're relatively garish, but oh, how I love them! That tube you see about is how they came packaged at Harbor Freight and they are really inexpensive. They're about 2.5" and are made from plastic, so they hold well but don't leave a mark on paper. In fact, when I picked them up at Harbor Freight, Ward looked at me and laughed - "Those things are useless!" was the jist of his remarks. Hmm, I think not! If you ever come across some, I can't recommend enough getting some!

In other news, Wally and the Beav are STILL home - Strike, Week 4, Day 3. Not fun, not nice.

On the upside, nice and fun are on the way TOMORROW!!! I'm Bella Bound, baby!! For all the weeks of planning, creating for swaps, and general giddiness have finally come to fruition! I've even sewn a crinoline to wear for Vendor Night as all the Bellas are dressing in junk-gypsy style. If you're like me, an East Coast gal, this style is kinda out-of-the-box. My new TX friends set me straight and assured me that I have to give this a try. I doubt it is going to stick for me, but one night should be fun! I'm sure there will be lots of pictures next week!

And the packing isn't going quite as well as I would hope! I decided to take my DH's very large suitcase (you know, the one that he takes for weeks at a time while traveling to third world countries all over the world. The one he packs his entire life in because he takes it all since he can't exactly run to Walmart for whatever he needs. Yeah, that one.). Well, it may not be big enough. I don't know what I'm going to do! So far, I don't have my clothes or my tool bag in it and it is half full! I may have a repack situation on my hands. Oh, woe is me! (ROFL)

Have a wonderful weekend - I'll post when I get back! Lots of pictures to come!

Be well ~ Jenn

Friday, November 2, 2007


I have to start by saying how sad I am - I forgot to change the settings on my camera before snapping this picture of Wally and the Beav. They were in such a hurry to get going - hence, quite hesitant to have their picture taken - that I barely squeaked this in. Well, despite the lack of focus, here are my two - a hippy and a hockey player. They had a great time trick or treating and made out like bandits! So much fun!

I've been working on some projects for the Paper Salon blog this week. The mid-show releases, Glad Rags, KN Sorbet and First Blush, are such great collections! You can check out the blog HERE. It is full of great ideas for all occasions - you're bound to find a bunch of inspiration there. I will post those new projects just as soon as they go up over there.

This card came together so quickly and yet, so elegantly. The background is kraft cardstock embossed with the Script Cuttlebug folder and inked with SU Creamy Caramel (love this color). I then cut two oval with my Spellbinders Classic Ovals Nestabilities; the background one is stamped with a Stampabilities stamp called Tapestry Pattern (I'm not completely sure about the availability of this stamp; I checked their website and was unable to find it.) and black VersaFine. The smaller oval is stamped with PaperTrey Ink's Faux Ribbon set. I layered some green Prima flowers behind the larger oval, mounted each with foam tape and Voila! A gorgeous, yet simple, card sure to brighten a loved one's day.

A week from now, I will be in Omaha for SILVER BELLA!!! Whoo hoo - I can't even express how excited I am for this event! I'm taking classes from some incredibly talented artists. Plus, there are going to be so many talented students there - makes me sooooo glad that I'm not teaching! I'm certainly going to enjoy sitting back and absorbing all the new ideas and techniques.

One last personal note, I head to the orthopedist today for a follow up on my foot! Wish me luck - maybe I can get rid of my newest 'fashion' accessory!

Be well ~ Jenn