Friday, February 29, 2008

READY TO PULL MY HAIR OUT!

OK, I admit it, I'm having a terrible time trying to get my computer to where I would like it to be. I have an appointment with tech support at my local store on Tuesday. For those of you who asked, I decided to get away from my Apple. I got it a few years ago to work with a local artist (She worked only on Macs), but I don't have a solid enough reason now to pay twice as much. So, I got a Dell Ispiron with 2GB RAM and 2 GB hard drive. It was on clearance at Staples for a pretty good price, so that kind of explains my impulse buy...

I'm not having fun with it though (I'm trying!). I don't know if it's the computer, this new Vista stuff or just me (although I've never had this sort of trouble with computers before). My iTunes download last night took five hours, with no other applications in use. My HP download (to get the driver for my printer) took 4 hours yesterday and still doesn't work. My PSE software says its there, but it won't open. UGH!!!! If you have any advice for me, please let me know!

But, I can surf, and I can blog! Doesn't need to get much better than that, right? How about a simple card I did yesterday? It features Making Memories Chelsea's Place papers and one of the sentiments from PTI's Out On A Limb. The frame die cut is from Accucut.



My Stampin' Up! order came the other day, and I've finished trimming and mounting, so I am looking forward to playing with my new toys! Gotta love Sale A Bration time!

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend! Be well ~ Jenn

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Coming at you from my new computer! This beautiful new machine is currently causing me all sorts of fun, wrack your brain moments:


I'm passing down my old Apple iBook to the boys, and they still get to commandeer the family desktop. Dueling Webkinz, anyone?!

So, this new machine has me realizing that my monitor was wayyyyyy off, and with any luck, things will look a little better with a little less work! I added PSE6 onto this computer, so I will have to approach the learning curve on that in a little bit. I was using Photoshop Creative Suite on my mac, and prior to that PSE2 on an old desktop. I'm sure I will enjoy the new bells & whistles as soon as I get past these growing pains.

Yesterday, I wanted to play some more with my PTI goodies, so I threw this together. It uses Shapes By Design, Everyday Blessings patterned paper and the Making Memories tag rims (love these! They give you so much versatility!). LMK if you have any questions on it!




OK, back to my software downloads - Ugh. If you have new PTI projects, leave me a link so I can check them out!

Be well ~ Jenn

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

ROCK STAR!

Boys...so tough to create for! My guys are at a strange age - the infamous 'Tween years. They love what I do, they just don't think it is necessarily cool (and gratefully, they're still sweet enough NOT to say it!). So pair that with my stubborn tendency to avoid Hallmark at all costs, and you're faced with a dilemma. How to send them off to birthday parties with a card that they're not embarassed to give.

My latest solution:



I printed the inside sentiment with "I hope your birthday ROCKS" and this card was certified platinum! ;) I have to admit, I bought this A Muse stamp last year, maybe late spring (?), and I hadn't used it. For shame! I just fell in love with it and knew I would eventually use it...now, I'm so glad that I did!

So, the details: patterned paper is an old piece of Junkitz, the stars are Nestabilities from Spellbinders and the cardstock is from Cardstock Warehouse. I stitched around the edges of the main piece, and inked away on the edges on the others.

Thanks for stopping by. Be well ~ Jenn

Monday, February 25, 2008

Quiet, but busy, weekend

How was your weekend? Lots of fun family stuff went on here - Friday ended up being a snow day for Wally and the Beav, and Ward got stuck in NYC because of the weather. He made it home just in time to see the end of Beav's hockey game. Additionally, there were friend's overnight birthday parties, roller skating dates, dinners with friends, and so on. I bet it sounds a lot like your weekend, doesn't it? Funny how the strangest things bring us together, isn't it?

So, I did this card last week for the SCS Sketch Challenge. I used new PTI on it (Everyday Blessings patterned paper, Aqua Mist cardstock, Aqua Mist ink and ribbon, and stamps from the Polka Dot Basics, Shapes By Design and Mixed Messages sets). I just adore all of this new product from PTI!


I'm enjoying the quiet house right now, and I'm going to have lunch with my friend Erin today. She's a new blogger, and been published a bunch (she's even been crowned Paper Crafts' Stamping Royalty!), so if you get a chance, stop by her blog and say Hi!

Be well ~ Jenn

Friday, February 22, 2008

Something new with PTI

Every Friday, one of the Senior Design Team at Papertrey Ink will be inspiring you with a great project and tutorial. You will find out about it on the PTI newsletter (be sure to sign up if you haven't! It provides valuable information, such as when out-of-stock items have come in, and great projects). This week's projects is done by Lisa Johnson, and you can see it on her blog, Poppy Paperie. Stop by if you have a chance, it is a great project!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bet you thought I forgot to post!

Well, not really, but life did get away from me yesterday! ;) You know how that goes!

Here is the Spellbinders card that I promised you on Tuesday's post. It will be seen in the Spellbinders Consumer Booth (if you are at a consumer show, stop by and say Hi! to Theresa - she's such an amazing woman!).



This features Nestabilities, Lockhart Stamps and Copic markers. (I love this combination of products - it is like they were made for each other!)

I've been reading about some blog-wiping viruses being left in comments, so I have changed up my settings a bit in an effort to ward off any funny business. Please LMK if you end up having any problems; thank you for understanding.

Be well! ~ Jenn

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Spellbinders at CHA

You all seem as excited as I am about the big Xcaliber news from Spellbinders! I'm sure you've seen the information on this, that it is motorized (as in you plug it in the wall outlet), that it is quiet (great for late night crafting) and that it is priced right (the goal is to have it priced around $129). Very exciting!

Here is a card that was in the Spellbinders booth at CHA; it uses WorldWin Cardstock, the butterfly and heart dies and the stamps that match the butterfly dies. This bold color combo is a bit different for me, but I like the way it turned out. It uses the glitter window technique:



I also created a 12 x 12 layout for the booth. I love how this turned out! It is of Ward and the Beav on a road trip they took to Chicago a couple of summers ago (I didn't go, so the pics are so sweet to me!):



I'll be back tomorrow with the sample I did for the Spellbinders Consumer booth! Until then, be well ~ Jenn

Monday, February 18, 2008

Rejoice from Paper Salon




One of the beautiful lines that Paper Salon introduced last week at CHA is called Rejoice. It has stunning colors of a soft, buttercream yellow (my FAVORITE COLOR!) and lavender. This is a quick little wall hanging I did with one of the pieces from the Flashcards sheet, a new chipboard set and Scrapelastic.



This shows you the lavender, along with the new Wedding stamps. I really love the small, classic patterns in this line. They're really timeless.



One last one! This is on a base from the new Lovely Lace papers; the hearts are cut from Spellbinders Nestabilities. The flowers in the left corners are done with Versamark and Perfect Pearls.

Speaking of Perfect Pearls, do you have any old supplies lying around your space? It had been a long while since I used these, and I kind of forgot how cool they are. Give yourself a challenge to dig out something old and use it with some new stuff, you might just be surprised at the rejuvenating effect!

I hope you had a great weekend! Be well ~ Jenn

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Egg Boxes, Polka Dots and Just Hatched!




Aren't these Papertrey Ink Egg Boxes great? The possiblities are really endless. Here is the teacher gift box that was shown on Nichole's blog. I painted it with acrylic paint and then stamped it with Polka Dot Basics with white pigment ink. Then I pulled out Just Hatched and stamped the piece on the top (more Nestabilities, aren't you surprised?!) and the band on the lid.

One of the versatile aspects of the Egg Boxes is that you don't have to prep it in any way. You can stamp it just as it is, the white matte finish takes ink beautifully. Here's an example of what I did with a second box:




I used PTI Spring Moss to stamp directly onto the box. Again, this is a combination of Just Hatched and Polka Dot Basics. I used my Making Memories slot tool to punch holes in the top for the ribbon handle (just make sure to punch from the inside of the lid with a self-healing mat underneath). See the little terracotta pots? The 1 1/2" holes in the egg box insert make it perfect for small containers just like these. I also incorporated the flowers from Women Of Life; I simply die cut some shapes, stamped the adorable flowers on it, and adhered it to toothpicks. (I accented the centers with some Stickles for a fun look.)

I hope this gives you some ideas for your Egg Boxes. I would love to see what you do with yours, so once you get them, give me a link to see them!

Be well ~ Jenn

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Shiny Saturday & Everyday Blessings

The sun is shining brightly this morning in Pittsburgh! Hooray! I am in serious need of a good dose of it.

I have a few more Papertrey Ink projects to show you, so how about I cover Everyday Blessings?



This is a set that I did with my Mother-in-law in mind. Her church's congregation is older, and she's always saying how she has a hard time sending Get Well cards to members that aren't necessarily going to get better. I thought this sentiment fit the bill perfectly. I hope she'll like them. I used the new Spring Moss ink on these; this ink is green, but it has a fair amount of yellow undertones. Knowing that I wanted to use this ink, the yellow papers were a natural choice. I used a Classic Rectangle Nestabilities to cut and emboss the one piece. When I stamped the sentiment, it seemed like it was missing something; once I added the double lines from Faux Ribbon, it felt finished. I stamped each envelope for a nice coordinating touch. They're in a clear box from PTI and simply wrapped with a paper band, a piece of 3/8" Spring Moss Twill and a Making Memories metal tag.



This one uses Aqua Mist ink and ribbon (the cardstock is not PTI Aqua Mist, that hadn't come in time for the release. I used a WorldWin color here called Totally Awesome Aqua.). I stamped the background from a small image in the set and then the Cross was stamped, cut out and covered in Ranger's Glossy Accents. I love doing this, as it lends almost an embellishment-feel to a stamped image.



"Nothing Is Worth More Than This Day" - isn't that a perfect sentiment? I just love it! I wanted to create one sample that didn't have a religious tone to it just to show the versatility of the set. I can completely see using this sentiment on wedding or anniversary cards, amongst others.

Kelsey Forester was instrumental in the design of this set. She won the 1st Papertrey Apprentice contest, and worked closely with Nichole Heady in the fruition of this set. Great job, Kelsey!

Be well ~ Jenn

Friday, February 15, 2008

Shapes By Design

Alli Miles has designed a great set for Papertrey Ink called Shapes By Design. The graphic edge with this set makes it a linear stampers' dream! They are a breeze to use and incredibly versatile. Here is a card that I did with them:



I would NEVER have attempted a piece like this with wood-mounted stamps! (As much as I love my Stampamajig, this still would have taken FOREVER!). With clear stamps, though, it is easy! The rectangles are cut with Nestabilities.

Here is a tea tin using the same set of stamps:



All of the stamping is done with PTI Aqua Mist. I filled the tea tin with Wint O Green Life Savers. It is the perfect small gift to have on hand for those occasions that sneak up on you. (Please tell me that happens to you, and it isn't just me!) ;) The circle is cut and embossed with Nestabilities. The parts of the circles that are colored in are done with Copic B00 Frost Blue.

I will be back to share more in a bit! Be well ~ Jenn

Winner!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

50

And the number 50 comment is from:

Tracy said...
Aren't you sweet! What a great giveaway. I've been looking for the spica clear glitter pens all over and no one has them in stock.

February 14, 2008 8:37 AM

Hooray Tracy!!! I'm off to send you an email!

I wish I had enough to share with each and every one of you. Thanks for all the great comments!

Happy February 15th!

Oh, I have many projects to share with you! I'll be posting a lot of new things to look at this weekend, as both the Papertrey Ink release and the closing of CHA has allowed me carte blanche on posting what I have been working on.

I'm going to start by sharing my PTI projects for the "Women of Life" stamp set by Melissa Bickford. I love the versatility of this set.



The green ink on this card is the new Spring Moss exclusive color from Papertrey Ink. This, and Aqua Mist, are absolutely gorgeous. I'm in love! ;)

Here is an additional project I did with this set. It is a plastic purse that I picked up at my local Arvey store. Becky Oehlers and I were chatting about this chain last night. I'm telling you, this place is a diamond in the rough! Arvey is part of the XpedX family of stores, so here is a link to see if you have either in your neck of the woods: Xpedx Store Locations I always find cool things in there, so if you have one nearby, you might want to check it out! Here's the purse:



I filled it with seed packets for a quick, little gift. You will notice that the flowers are die cut - I used the Cuttlebug scalloped flowers/circles. You probably also notice that the stamps and shapes don't line up perfectly, but I liked the way they looked, so I went with it! The flowers were done with pink ink on white paper; I then went over the stamped images with my Copic airbrush system and my R81 Rose Pink Sketch marker. Voila! It no longer looks white! (If you're in the market for a very cool tool, I can't recommend this system enough!)

I will be back later with more PTI projects from today's release. In the meantime, you have ONE MORE HOUR to enter my little celebration giveaway. I've enjoyed hearing all that you're excited about from all the companies at CHA - and I've especially enjoyed hearing how many of you are excited about things like Xcaliber! Chat with you in a bit!

Be well ~ Jenn

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I am so fortunate!

I can't believe how much my lil' blog has exploded in the past short while (over 6000 hits in the last 2 1/2 weeks!). I am so fortunate to have the most amazing people stopping by here, so to show a little appreciation, I think it is time for a fun little giveaway!



Included in this package are:

* Two sets of Basic Grey chipboard; an alphabet called "Sweets" and a pack called "Chipboard Elements".
* An idea book from PineCone Press called "The Chipboard Book" (so you can have all sorts of new techniques for those Basic Grey packs!).
* A 6" x 6" mini book with Spring Green covers from Cardstock Warehouse.
* A Copic Sketch marker (V04, Lilac).
* A Copic Spica pen in Clear (this is the awesome glitter pen from Copic!).

So, I bet you're wondering how to enter! Just leave a message in the comments telling me what your favorite CHA release is (it doesn't have to be one that I have showed you) by Friday, February 15th at 12 noon EST. I will pick a number with a random number generator and post back with the winner.

Thanks for making this blog so much fun for me to keep up with! I'm looking forward to your comments!

Be well ~ Jenn

Monday, February 11, 2008

Pulled out the Prismacolors today



I have been using my Copics so much lately that I decided to rock it old school today. ;) I pulled out my Prismacolors and had fun! This image is from Lockhart Stamp Company (a preferred product partner for Spellbinders). This is one that I picked up at my local stamp store (Stamp Fanci) when I went in last week - I was intrigued with the water in the vase! If you are interested in learning about color layering with Prismacolors, Karen Lockhart has some fantastic tips on the website. She is a master with these pencils! I've been a big fan of Lockhart's images for about a year a half now - they're a ton of fun when I'm in a coloring mood, like today. (I'm using this on a card for the Spellbinders gallery, so you'll see the full image sometime in the future!)

So, do I prefer Prismacolors over Copics? Nope. Each really have their place in your work! I love the more bold, intense look of Copics; they're a more hue-saturated alternative. Prismacolors are a great choice when you're looking for a softer look. And just to confuse the matter more - both can achieve the other's look with a little practice.

How about another Paper Salon sneak peek?



This is more from Star Spangled. I used one of Paper Salon scalloped, shimmer card bases in silver and then layered two of the pieces from this great new collection! (And the circle with the star was accomplished using Spellbinders dies - love this look!) One thing I forgot to mention about this collection is that it is filled with gorgeous glitter pieces. I think you will really love it!

Thanks for stopping by today! Be well ~ Jenn

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Eggstra special preview

It's the 10th of the month, and if you're a fan of Papertrey Ink, you know that means the sneak peeks have started at Nichole's blog. Make sure you stop by and take a look at all that the team created! It's very eggciting! ;)

Be well ~ Jenn

Saturday, February 9, 2008

This time of year

This time of year is tough on bloggers like myself who are working like crazy and have nothing to share on their blog. Today, though, I have a fun project to share with you. It uses Paper Salon's new Star Spangled collection, a great grouping of patterns and colors that I have fallen in love with - they're so easy to put together and make look FANTASTIC! Here's a banner that I made with them (also featured on the Paper Salon blog today):



See the cute pinwheels? This is from one of the sheets of paper in the collection; it is a 12 x12 piece of paper divided into four 6x6 quadrants. Each quad is double-sided with different patterns, and then DIE CUT into pinwheels! Isn't that the best? It will make all of your patriotic projects so easy! Plus they look gorgeous with all the different patterns. I also used the new chipboard that coordinates with the papers; I glittered up the USA and placed them on scalloped circles (Nestabilities, of course!). I hung the whole banner with scrapelastic to finish it off!

I hope you like it - I have a couple other cards using this collection that I will share soon! I hope you have a great weekend!

Be well! ~ Jenn

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Introducing...



The Perfect Match Papertrey Color Collection!

I know I've been gushing about Papertrey Ink a lot lately, but this is a HUGE part of why I'm so excited to join forces with them. This new collection is gorgeous, and I just know every color addition is going to be the same. Here's how it works: each month, two new custom colors of cardstock, ink and ribbon will be added to the Papertrey Ink collection. This month's colors are Aqua Mist and Spring Moss and I can tell you from first-hand knowledge that they are both stunning.

If there are two things that are probably universally known about Nichole Heady, they are her strive for perfection and her amazing sense of color. So it probably goes without saying, but these products live up to those qualities perfectly. The inks are soft, yet vibrant, and stamp beautifully. The ribbons are wonderful textures with great quality (just wait until you see how gorgeous your bows will look with this ribbon!). I haven't had a chance to work with the cardstock just yet, but Nichole explains some its properties in her blog post here. Make sure you leave her a comment telling her which cardstock quality you're most intrigued with for a chance to win 96 pieces of it!

I'm really looking forward to sharing my February projects with you! (And yes, I'm quite nervous at the same time - it is tough trying to live up to the high expectations Lisa Johnson, Heather Nichols, Debbie Olson, Amy Rysavy and Taylor VanBruggen have set over this past year!)

Be well! ~ Jenn

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

For my friends!



Something about this card just makes me happy! And since all of you made me so happy with your comments earlier this week, I thought it would be appropriate to share it with you. I made this card for a magazine call several weeks ago, but it didn't get chosen. It is made from Paper Salon papers and stamps and Spellbinders Nestabilities. The finished size is 4" x 9" - a size with which I always have fun. Here's a detail shot:



Thanks for stopping by! Be well ~ Jenn

Monday, February 4, 2008

A great big Thank You!

Thanks so much to each of you for your well wishes regarding the Papertrey news. I can't even begin to tell you how much it means to me! I'm in the midst of emailing those of you who sent emails and left comments, so if you haven't heard from me just quite yet, you will soon!

Don't forget to keep checking Nichole's blog every day until the 15th. Is it too over-the-top to say that this creative genius has great things up her sleeve?! Well, she does! The new stamp designers are so incredibly talented! Plus, I received a second box of supplies today - and I can not wait to share it with you. It is way too exciting!

Thanks again for your comments. Each one brings a smile to my face - truly! (So yes, take that as a hint and comment more often, LOL!)

I will try to post something creative tomorrow, but just had to be my ole' sappy self for a moment.

Be well~ Jenn

Saturday, February 2, 2008

I can spill the beans, Part II



"Everyday is a Gift" and today is no exception! Nichole Heady and Papertrey Ink have extended an invitation to me that I am so honored to have received. I am joining the incredibly talented team there!

For fear of sounding too much like a brown nose, I am essentially the president of the Nichole Heady fan club. For years now, I have known her work immediately in the pages of Paper Crafts Magazine, and last spring, when one of her creations was featured on the same page as mine, a little part of me felt like I had really 'arrived' in the paper crafting arena. Corny, I know. I am not the kind of person who is star-struck, but meeting Nichole in Chicago last summer was such a thrill. When she, Julie and Jane started Papertrey Ink, I watched each month with baited breath and credit card in hand - each release spoke to my stamping soul!

Fast forward to several weeks ago, when I receive a very exciting email from Nichole, laying out plans to include me (ME?!) in Papertrey Ink! I was at the airport, picking up my husband from one of his many trips to Hong Kong, and was reading the email on my phone. It had been a long, tough trip in the solo parenting department, and it seemed like my boys had been struck with a case of cabin fever (and the airport was the perfect place to rid themselves of it!). So, in this frazzled state of mind, I went from elated to dejected, as I was ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE that Nichole had sent this amazing email to the wrong Jennifer! (Let's face it, there are a few of us out there. I tend to call it the 'Jen-neration'.)

I've never been so happy to be wrong!

So, if haven't seen it, February is going to be a VERY EXCITING month at Papertrey Ink. I love the direction that this company is going in, so come along for the ride!

The above card is one that I did in about 10 minutes the other night, about midnight. The set is Out On A Limb, one of the January releases for PTI. It is a gorgeous, multi-purpose set. The reason I did it so quickly is because I was having a creative craving, and needed a quick fix. I've been really busy this week, creating 200 bar mitzvah invitations that look like this:



I've blocked out some of the information, but you get the general idea. This folds onto itself to a 5" x 7" mailer, and has a pocket to hold the response card and envelope. As I mentioned before, I created these for some dear friends. The husband works in print marketing, so the creation process was very interesting on this job - it was very cool to be working with someone who 'gets' the process. Anyways, he sourced the paper, and we encountered some problems, so I actually received the paper last Saturday. My deadline was yesterday, so I was working on these pretty much non-stop. It was a VERY good feeling to accomplish this!

In short, that explains why I needed to create something quick and beautiful! While I don't mind assembly line card making, I certainly don't mind a break during the process.

I will have some other things to share with you, too, as soon as I get the green light. My Spellbinders work is already on the way to CHA and my Paper Salon assignments are close to being wrapped up. And of course, I will be sharing some fun Papertrey projects with you in the middle of the month!

Thanks for letting me share my excitement - it has been so hard keeping all this joy inside! Be well! ~ Jenn