Saturday, May 31, 2008

Things I Love Right Now

Since I'm on vacation this week (and off to North Carolina to visit a good friend), I thought I'd post a list of some of the things I love right now:

1. The time-delay posting feature on Blogger--now I can blog more regularly!
2. My Spica clear pen. I use that baby on everything!
3. Kevin Connolly on Entourage. We don't have cable, so Netflix is getting us caught up. Love it!
4. Iron Man. Great actors, great movie. 'Nuff said.
5. Gardening. Who would've thunk it? I still think I am fully capable of killing anything I touch, but I discovered this weekend (as I was setting up my mom's yard), that that's not always a bad thing. I pulled out a ton of weeds!
6. Arizona Raspberry Iced Tea. Yum!

See you when I get back!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mass Producing vs. Individual Card Making

Yes, that is the question. Whether 'tis better to make a single, one-of-a-kind card, or a dozen that look identical but can be given or sold at any time. I know, I'm stretching the Hamlet argument a bit, but it really is a question I struggle with.

I do like having a stash of cards to go to when I'm running out the door on the way to a function (which happens far too often!), but there's something to be said for one-of-a-kind cards. Furthermore, I'm usually so stumped on where to start that I have no vision on how it will look finished let alone remembering to make 10 sets of everything I'm doing.

The closest I come to mass-producing cards is mass-producing images. I hate cleaning stamps. HATE IT. They're never clean enough when I'm done, and even when I use Ultra Clean and my scrubber pad, it's still frustrating. I worry a ton about what kind of damage I'm doing to my stamps by scrubbing the bejeebers out of them too. So, I figure while the stamp's inked up, I might as well stamp a few more. Then, there they sit, in the stamped images pile, staring back at me like little puppies waiting to be played with. Sometimes, I remember them well enough to dig back through and include them on current projects (like my last post), but more likely they just sit there. Sad. Waiting.

Anyway, enough ranting from me. The reason this whole issue even came up was a post on Michelle Wooderson's blog. I have so much respect for this woman. She's amazing. She makes beautiful cards, keeps a stash and even sells some at her kids' sporting events. How cool is that! Not to mention her coloring. She's super-good at coloring and shading with Copics (not that any of that has rubbed off on me by reading her blog faithfully, but still, it's nice to see!). She is obviously very pro-mass production, and she wrote about it last week on her blog. So, I figured I should take a tip from her and try it. I CASE'd her last card, and now I'm debating mass production. First though, here's the card:

In all fairness, it WAS a super-easy card to make. I cheated and used patterned paper (this one's by Autumn Leaves), but essentially the same layout. Now, the question is, should I duplicate it? I can always use more thank you notes, but I guess I'd always hoped that I'd be able to make a special, custom card to thank people for the precise gift they'd given me.

Aw, who am I kidding? Mass production on!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Busy Sunday!

Well, it seems that Sundays are my new day for stamping! I love it! I was over on Taylor's blog and found the greatest sketch ever! (You can see it here.) Anyway, I got into the groove and made THREE cards with the same sketch! The way I figure it, I always need birthday cards, so why not try to mass-produce some? Wanna see them?

This one I did at about 4am this morning. No kidding! Last night, I fell asleep at about 8pm (intending to take a nap), but stayed asleep until 2:30am! Needless to say, when I woke up, I was rarin' to go! I tried to go back to sleep, but all I could think about was stamping, so I made this card. It's going to a male co-worker whose birthday is this Saturday. Hope he likes it!

I'm particularly proud of those buttons. See them over there on the left? Well, as you'll see in later cards, I only have white buttons. But, I didn't think they showed up well enough on my green dot paper (by Memory Box). So, I tried to color them with my Copics. I wasn't thrilled with the result (the color didn't coat as evenly as I would have liked), but they match! How great is that! (Note to self: Buy more embellishments in different colors!)

This next one I did for my friend's daughter. It's her birthday today! I'm thrilled I got the card done, but now the challenge is how to get it to her before midnight. Yikes! Anyway, you'll see the resemblance:

I think the pink really changes it up and makes it look girly though, and you'll see the original color of the buttons. The white worked just fine on this card IMHO.

My third card was the one I originally thought of when I saw Taylor's sketch on Friday. I had stamped the focal image and sentiment ages ago, but I couldn't figure out how I wanted it to go on a card because I liked it so much. It sat in my stamped images pile for a couple of weeks at least, but when I saw this sketch I knew it would be perfect. Problem was, I'd forgotten where I'd put it! After doing the first two cards, I figured I should probably spend some time cleaning my craft room, and voila! there it was. I think this one will be my official entry for Taylor's challenge, because it actually has a cupcake on it!

Now, I'm back to the craft room. I wonder how many more cards I can do today!

Supplies: all notecards by Memory Box. Card #1: Memory Box paper, Hero Arts stamps, colored with Willow, Sand, and Orientale Copics. Card #2: Image by Hero Arts, sentiment by Saltbox Studio, pp unknown, colored with Sand and Orientale Copics, Pink Prismacolor. Card #3: Stamps by Hero Arts, paper by Doodlebug, colored with various Copics and Prismacolors.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Happy Summer!

Well, it felt like it anyway. Late last week, we got our first heat wave of the year. It hit 100 degrees three days straight—in May! Phil and I spent most of the evenings laid out on the couch under the living room ceiling fan. We even made pina coladas with our wedding blender! Anyway, the crazy weather got me thinking about summer and things to do in the summer. On Heather’s blog, one little spark, she issued a challenge to use an old stamp. I laid out my collection of Amuse stamps, and there was my grilling tools stamp, un-inked. I bought it last year (again, at the Amuse anniversary party in Seattle), and I had never used it. So, I figured that was as good as using an old stamp (I’ve owned it for nearly seven months!) and put it to use. I've been admiring those little file folder tab style sentiments, but I didn't have the punch, so I tried making my own tab using my corner rounder. I think it turned out well.

We don’t have a barbeque grill at our house (although I desperately want one!), so I guess this will have to be a thank you note to the first person this summer to invite us to a BBQ. So, who’s the lucky party host???

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Git 'Er Done!

After I posted on Saturday, I spent the rest of the day thinking about what else needed doing. I realized I needed at least two cards this week, and for once, I thought I'd try and get them done early! So, here are my two cards. In truth, I've had the ideas for the first one kicking around in my head for a while. Ever since I saw the "From Our Home" clear set in the Hero Arts catalog, I knew I had to have it. So, I made a special trip over to Berkeley to pick one up at Scrapbook Territory last weekend. This card is pretty much a 100% case of a card that was in the catalog, but it was so darn cute I couldn't resist.

This other card fits the phrase, "Necessity is the mother of invention." Earlier this week, I received a gift from a friend's parents. Michelle's dad grows Japanese maples from seeds off of a tree he's had forever in the backyard, and I was the happy recipient of one of his babies. My first instinct was to go with the aptly named, "Tree" stamp by Amuse. However, my trusty stamp is nowhere to be found! (It suddenly occurs to me that between this post and the VMAA in April, I may need to clean my craft room!) Anyway, time to cut to Plan B. Back in the fall, I snagged some Autumn Leaves stamps at Target that were all different types of leaves. Those, coupled with one of the stamps from Stampin' Up's "Much Appreciated" set, helped me make a leaf-themed thank you note. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. What do you think?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

New Header!

Well, after 15 weeks of a Photoshop 1 class at Santa Rosa Junior College, it seems I've learned something! Check out my first attempt at my very own blog header! Whoo-hoo!

Comin' Atcha!

Well, I've been hard at work coming up with a set of ATCs for a swap I'm doing with Kristina Lewis of Balance. I bought the Mini Chick Bee stamp over a month ago from Paper Garden Boutique (Hi Stephanie!), but I hadn't had a chance to ink it up. So, I took the opportunity to break it in!

Now that I've had a chance to play with it, I'm looking forward to coming up with some cards to create with it!