Monday, October 29, 2007

How was your weekend?

I had a sports filled weekend. Wally's soccer game ended in victory; the Beav's hockey game did not have the same result, but he had a ton of fun regardless. The team finally received their jerseys, so the boys were very excited.

I did get a little time to create! I was in the mood to do some things that weren't for design teams, and not for possible publication - I was in the mood to just create with some stuff that I hadn't used in a while. I had such a great time - it was just what I needed to get my mojo flowing again.



I started to do this one has a horizontal design, but as I was photographing it, I realized that it worked vertically, as well. I used patterned paper from Amy Butler/K&Co., a piercing template from American Traditional, a stamp from Stampendous and (of course!) some dies from Spellbinders. The color combination is really unusual for me, but I loved it! So much so, that I ended up doing a mini-production line to yield twelve cards. I've been thinking about branching out into craft fairs, so I'm trying to make a bit of inventory.



While I had all my scraps out, I quickly did this card. It has the same papers, but I used some May Arts ribbon, and a stamp from the Stampin' Up! set "Touch of Nature". After stamping the bird in Olympia Green Versafine ink, I colored it in with some watercolor pencils (I haven't used these in ages - and this was perfect to remind me how much I enjoy using them).



I love how darling this card came out. It was done with Memory Box papers, chipboard from Maya Road, ribbon from the craft store and stamps from PaperTrey Ink (sentiment from Faux Ribbon, square from Borders & Corners). I think it is just too cute; the sentiment, "Wishing you well" is tough to make out because I stamped it onto a checked paper - just too much going on for the camera to pick up, I think.

Wally and the Beav are still home - we are on Strike Day 11 with no meetings scheduled. Wish me luck - I'm starting to go a little batty and the boys are certainly ready to go back!

Be well! ~ Jenn

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I'm smiling!



I just received the newsletter from GiftMaker magazine, and as I was going through it, I noticed the new issue has a project of mine on the cover! My CD Folio is pictured above! While I knew that it was going to be in this issue, seeing on the cover is a total surprise, and a great one at that!

Thanks for letting me share!

Be well ~ Jenn

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Boo'd and Tagged! (And a new Spellbinders technique)

My sweet friend, Julia Sandvoss (you find her blog at www.buzybunny.blogspot.com ) tagged me! This is the first time I've been tagged, and I'm afraid that I don't really have anyone to tag that hasn't already been tagged. But, if you haven't been yet, consider yourself tagged! You're supposed to link back to me and list seven things about yourself then tag seven others.

Here are seven things about me:

* I did a commercial when I was in college for a little restaurant that I worked at - but I never saw the commercial! I can't stand seeing myself on tv/video. (This little tidbit was brought upfront in my memory because Nichole Heady was talking about her recent tv appearance on her blog today.)

* I am a candy inhaler. And the candy I love most is probably the worst stuff out there for your teeth (think orange slices, Swedish fish, Skittles...).

* My husband & I joke that our pre-nuptial agreement was that I learned how to drive a stick shift. I'm still driving one today!

* I find four leaf clovers all the time. All the time. I just look down and there they are!

* My favorite color is yellow, although I rarely use it in my work, and it is hardly even seen in my home.

* I don't watch reality tv.

* I have a really difficult time coming up with lists like this - plus I think I'm really kind of dull!


So, as you can tell by my title today, we were also Boo'd by our neighbors. I only mention it because I wanted to show you the bag I did for my guys to boo someone else:




This is a frosted coffee bag from PaperTrey Ink, stamped with stamps from Paper Salon (XL Alpha plus Fall Frolic) and a die from Spellbinders. This is a technique that I think I will be using much more often - I put the die INSIDE of the bag and embossed it. That is the rectangle you can see in the second picture. Here's the cool part - not only can you do this with bags, you can also do it with envelopes! Give it a try! Let me know how your project turned out!

Be well ~ Jenn

Monday, October 22, 2007

Can You Resist?


I did this 12 x 12 layout with the October kit from Cool Blue. This was a great kit to work with - full of October Afternoon and Scenic Route papers! The pictures are from our recent trip to Italy when we stopped and shared gelato every afternoon. I loved how the gelato was piled into mountains in the cooler - like it was daring you to walk by without conquering them! It was such a simple thing that we did while on our trip, but one that I had to record!
































One thing that I love to do when I have a little extra time is make a general purpose card. I always like to have one or two on hand for the occasions that always pop up! This is one that I did with Nestabilities dies (a classic oval and classic square) from Spellbinders. These dies have become an indispensible part of my card making process. As you can see in the close-up picture, the embossed square is actually underneath the flower, so the corners peek out for a gorgeous added detail. The stamps are from PaperTrey Ink (from the Borders & Corners Ovals set and the Faux Ribbon set). I find it easiest to stamp my image before die cutting, that way I can place the die in the correct place. I haven't picked up the new Magnetic plate from Spellbinders (yet!) so I am using masking tape to hold my die in place. (You may remember the old trick of placing your tape on your clothes a time or two to remove the bulk of the stickiness and essentially make your tape repositionable. This is what I've been doing. I tried using repositionable adhesive directly on the dies, but I didn't care for it. This method works best for me, so far.)

I'm off to figure out what to do with Wally and the Beav today, as we are now on Strike Day 6. Unfortunately for them, this cast is making driving a real pain (sorry for the pun), and since I have to take it off to drive, I'm limited to how much I can do it. Luckily, I have the greatest, most understanding 10 and 11 year olds out there, and they're finding a lot to do right here in the neighborhood. We have been very lucky with the weather, though, so that is making things much easier. It should actually be around 80 today, which is just unbelievable for this time of year!

I hope your day is filled with warmth and sunshine, too!
Be well! ~ Jenn

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

An eventful week!


This is a picture of my newest fashion accessory! ;) Ends up, when I sprained my ankle two weeks ago, I also broke a bone in my foot - and I only found out on Friday. So now I am stuck with this contraption for three weeks. The upside? I should (insert me crossing my fingers right here!) be able to be out of it in time to go to Omaha on November 8th for Silver Bella. Otherwise, I may just have to make this a bit more sparkly than it is now (and I will have to remember to take my camera with me to the orthopedists' office to capture his look when he sees a blinged out cast!). LOL - can't you just see it now!

So, what else is going on in my house? Well, Wally and the Beav (as I affectionately call my two guys) are actually home from school indefinitely. Our teachers have gone on strike, and the two sides seem as far apart as can be. There is lots of rhetoric, accusations of media misrepsentation, etc. but all of it boils down to the children losing. After doing some research, I found out that all but nine states have deemed teachers essential workers unable to strike - and PA is one of those nine. Coincidently, if you are a resident of PA, there is legislation currently in the House of Representatives that will ban teachers' ability to strike. You can find more information here or through your State Representative's office. While I don't intend to make politics a topic very often on my paper crafting blog, this issue is important and BIPARTISAN. There is just no excuse in my mind to hold childrens' education hostage. And please let me state very clearly, I have the utmost respect for our educators; I started out as an education major in college and spent a good deal of time in the classroom. I also spend many hours volunteering in my children's school - teachers are shouldering a huge responsibility, one for which I am very grateful. But it is a responsibility. I hope it is all resolved quickly - there are many young minds depending on it.

I was going to upload a couple of things I have been working on, but Blogger is having a hard time uploading pictures since my stand on the soapbox! I will be back tomorrow to show you a layout from Cool Blue as well as another project or two!

Be well! ~ Jenn

Monday, October 8, 2007

Digital?!




Yes, something, somewhere is freezing over - I have dabbled in digital!

In honor of World Cardmaking Day, I tried something new! Now, to be quite fair to the fabulous digital designers out there, these are actually hybrid (I printed out digital elements and used them in a traditional manner) pieces. These images are from the Digital kit called Spring Bouquet Boutique by Nichole Heady. It, and several other fantastic digital kits are available at the Paper Crafts Magazine website for quick, easy & free downloads. If you've ever thought about trying digital, this is a great way to do it. Nichole even wrote a foolproof tutorial on her blog for the implementation of the kits. I highly recommend giving this method a try!

Oh, and on the card above, I used my new Nestabilities dies from Spellbinders. These are such a must-have - and such a great deal! I seem to be reaching for them with every single project of late!

Be well! ~Jenn

Thursday, October 4, 2007

whoops - there went Wednesday!

How did that happen?! Actually, I have a pretty good idea; would you believe that I sprained my ankle on Monday? Yep, took a dandy lil' spill down the last couple of stairs and now I'm a hobbling fool! Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on the way you look at it, I have a fair amount of experience with this and did all the right things immediately. I have to say, though, this getting older stuff is a real bear!

Would you believe that it's October and it is unbelievably WARM in Pittsburgh? My A/C just kicked on, which I am going to hobble over and turn off just as soon as I'm done here! I have a personal quirk of avoiding climate control costs for at least two months a year, given that it is usually feast or famine with the weather in Pittsburgh. If you're not paying astronomical heating costs, you're paying unbelievably high A/C costs - and I think we all deserve a break! (And it is all the more money for crafting supplies!)




Here are a couple of sketch cards that I did for personal challenges. On my first sample, I used papers from October Afternoon, die cuts from Spellbinders and ProvoCraft and stamps from PaperTrey Ink (the lower rectangle that is off-white w/ tan circles is stamped, as well as the 'sending joy' sentiment). You may notice that both scalloped circles are also embossed, although I'm not sure just how well that shows up in the photo. I also did a little faux stitching on the larger circle with a white pen. On my second sample, I used paper and a sticker from Making Memories. The sentiment is stamped with a stamp from My Favorite Things. There is stitching on it, as well. LMK if you have any questions! And if you're interested in the sketches, you can find them at the Sketch This Cards blog

Don't forget! World Cardmaking Day is this Saturday. Check out the Paper Crafts WCMD website for more information, as well as the Paper Salon WCMD blog for some great give-aways!

Be well! ~ Jenn