"When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul or brings joy,
care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life."
Jean Shinoda Bolen

May 4, 2009

I'm going to a retreat!

On May 15th, I'm going away for a whole weekend to a stamping/scrapping retreat in beautiful Monarch, Montana! So, I've been very busy this weekend working on samples of the projects I'll be taking with me. So far, I've got our Thanksgiving & Christmas cards designed, and I think maybe I'll take supplies to create an explosion box. What's an explosion box you ask? Well, you can see one at my friend, Kathy's blog - Bowl of Stamps, or you can wait and I'll post a picture of my box when I get it done. Kathy's is an awesome example, since she made hers into a "scrapbook in a box" and did a terrific job! I'm not sure what I'll use this box for, but I've been wanting to make one for a very long time. Hopefully, it won't be as hard as the woven basket I made, which turned out okay, but it's not the best project I've ever made! It was not easy and took me forever. It's sure not something I'll post on this blog! Besides working on projects for the retreat, I've been keeping a close eye on Gary, whose doctor increased doses for his migraine medications and had him so over medicated, I took him to the emergency room! He's almost back to normal, and has returned to the old doses. Everybody is trying to figure out why this VA doctor increased the doses - it's still a mystery! Another great thing I did this weekend was talk to my friend Lloyd from Washington. This guy sends the funniest emails, every one of them makes both Gary and I howl with laughter and I just love chatting on the phone with him! Lloyd is like a brother to me and we first met back in 1985 (wow - 24 years!) when I was working with the ambulance service and Lloyd was on my crew. Then, his wife invited me for coffee and we've been close friends ever since. My friend in Canada, Michelle, and I email every single day and I'm not sure I can get through my day without hearing from Michelle! We recently spent two days in Canada visiting Michelle, and really enjoyed our trip and the visit to the Dinosaur Park near her home. We actually went to deliver the scrapbook I made for Michelle's daughter, but really, that was just an excuse to go visit Michelle! Michelle makes the BEST sandwiches and her mom makes the BEST shepherd's pie (her home canned fruit is pretty darn good, too!). Now, I'm off to make myself a latte, since I cannot, under any circumstances, start my day without caffeine! Happy Monday and have a wonderful week!

More of My Favorite Tools

I'll add to the list of favorite tools I use: 1. Embossing Body (SU) really does work! It's really important to use the embossing buddy when using dark embossing powder like I used in the Easter Blessings card, otherwise, your image will have little black specks everywhere! I learn very well from mistakes! 2. Did I mention Gary as a tool? Well, Gary is real honest about whether my cards or pages look good or need more embellishments and unless the card is for him, I get an opinion about every card and scrapbook page I create! 3. Baby wipes! I'm not sure I can even craft without baby wipes to keep my hands clean! My hands have a tendency to get oily quickly, so I've always got a "wet" one handy. Plus, baby wipes are great to remove excess ink from stamps, & cleaning ink off a variety of surfaces (doesn't work on clothes!). 4. Micro tip scissors from SU - I cannot even begin to tell you how often I use these. They are super sharp, super pointy, and can get into the smallest places. Plus, they're still under $10 in their catalog! My sister swears by the CTMH version of these scissors, and they're the same price. 5. Disposable gloves - these are super cheap in the paint section of any hardware store. I use them whenever I'm dealing with lots of permanent black ink and since I'm know for getting ink all over my hands, no matter what project I'm working on, disposable gloves are a must have for me! 6. GooGone - I'm not sure how I ever survived before Gary introduced me to GooGone. At the time, he was working for the local True Value hardware store (isn't that every man's dream - working in a hardware store?) and I wanted to get some sticker glue off something in my craft room. He brought a bottle home and now I use it for lots of things. The best use I've found is for getting adhesive off scissors, just to name one of it's great uses! Beware, though, the label on GooGone warns not to use it on rubber, so if you are unmounting rubber stamps, don't use GooGone to remove adhesive off the rubber. Now, GooGone has a spray bottle, which is super convenient!

Easter Blessings Card

I always try to make a special card for Gary no matter what the occasion (literally, I never make his cards again for anybody else!) and when I saw this stamp set and the "stained glass" instructions in the CTMH Spring 2009 catalog, I just had to figure out an Easter card for Gary because I knew I couldn't wait until Christmas to use this stamp set! It's real simple, you emboss the image in black, watercolor the image, apply liquid glass or crystal effects over the entire surface, let it dry a very long time, and you have stained glass! The "cross" is actually 4 squares from the stamp set arranged to look like a cross.

First Cricut Expression Card

I made this card to say thank you to Gary for my birthday present - a Cricut Expression!
The flower is cut 5 times starting at 1" and then 4 more times increasing by 1/4" increments.

Lots of Hearts!!!

I made this card for Gary for Valentine's Day 2008 and it took hours to cut out all those hearts! He's worth every minute, too!

Sock Monkey Christmas

I'm a long-time sock monkey fan and I made this card for Gary in 2008. I actually had to find a picture of these socks to cut & paste the right "textures" for the look on the sock monkey body and heels. If you're curious, the actual socks are called Rockford Red Heel socks by Fox River and have been around for generations! I used the computer and dark green ink to print the names of the reindeer (notice sock monkey in the list?). I also had to draw the actual socks to hang on the right side of the card (and I'm no artist!).

Anniversary Card for Gary

I made this card for Gary for our first anniversary (2008) and it contains all our wedding colors - Elegant Eggplant (SU), cream & gold. I didn't have gold cardstock, so I embossed the mat layer with gold embossing powder.

Pet Father's Day Card

When Gary & I married in 2007, he became "daddy" to my dog and three cats, so I decided to make a "Thanks for adopting us" card for him for father's day from Varmint, Louie, Henry, and Prince. Since that time, we've adopted another forever pet, Abby, another miniature schnauzer.

Map Birthday Card

This card was specially made for my nephew. It's another example using a CB embossing folder - this time I embossed a piece of aluminum foil. The map is simple printed off the internet and the truck is stamped on top with ink smudged around the edge using a sponge. My nephew loves old trucks, he's a master diesel mechanic, and lives in South Carolina.

Soccer Card

My great-nephew is nuts about soccer and this was his birthday card last year.

Cuttlebug Birthday Card

Here's a very simple birthday card - I let my Cuttlebug do all the work!
(I brushed the embossed surface with an inkpad.)

Riley Moose Zoom Zoom Card

My brother-in-law has a red sports car & I couldn't resist using these Riley Moose stamps from Hanna Stamps for his birthday card.

Anniversary Card

An anniversary card for my dear sister and brother-in-law using my favorite color CS from Stampin Up! - Elegant Eggplant.

Mother's Day Cards 2009

Two color combos

Birthday Card for Dylan

This is a birthday card for our great niece and I had to make a card as cute as she is!
Inspiration: Buzzy Bumblebee's twirling dolphins (SCS)