Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Very Blessed Christmas

My Christmas will be one of those memorable ones--for various reasons. My parents, little brother, and sister and her hubby all came to my house and slept over on Christmas Eve. Overall, it was a splendid time--but it was not without hardships.

My morning sickness (aka ALL DAY sickness) started a few days before Christmas. I had lots of sewing projects that had to be done before Christmas, so I slaved away on my serger and sewing machine for more than 12 hours, I think. Because the Butterick pattern said "Very Easy," I didn't not expect one little nightgown to take more than 4 blasted hours. But it did. (BTW I taught myself how to use my new serger, and I am hooked!)

We had our big dinner on Christmas Eve. The turkey smell filled the house and eventually made me sick. All the good smells made me sick. But we had great company.

My parents '95 Crysler LHS, which has been through everything short of a war in its 200k lifetime, encountered new troubles. It clipped a herd of bison in Yellowstone one black, rainy night and survived my parent's chestnut tree's untimely demise in their driveway, but somehow wasn't liking the four hour drive to my house. So on Christmas Eve day, my mom worked on our Turkey dinner and my DH and dad worked in the garage. Apparently, something went amiss and the gasoline got spewed all over the garage floor. They tracked it in the house. The whole house was full of fumes and I had to spend most of the day upstairs, trying not be sicker than I was. I can still smell the fumes in my house today--even in my pantry. And in the process of replacing the spark plugs, they broke the fuel rail and had to replace the entire thing--pistons included.

I happened to enter the toxic garage looking for a Pepsi and noticed my $20 SU craft and rubber scissors in their array of tools! Are you kidding me? I reclaimed and hid those right away. And then I see my daughter's beautiful altered lamp covered in grease smudges hanging upside down from the hood. If I wasn't feeling icky, I might have yelled at someone.

The day after Christmas I finally corralled my girls into the bathtub. The two year old took a flying leap into the tub from the ledge and landed on the 4 year old, which gave her a bloody nose so bad it was draining out of her mouth. Blood poured out of her little nose and mouth for several minutes. I wanted to pass out. I don't like blood--especially when I have morning sickness.

Today we went out to breakfast, or at least tried to. We had just missed McDonald's breakfast. (Who eats burgers and fries at 10:30 am? I will have eternal issues with Breakfast ending at 10:30 am. What about cravings, people?) And then we realized our Jeep's front tire was flat. My DH dropped us off at Sunrise Cafe and took the Jeep to Les Schwab a block away. Whew. Glad we were so close. It was just a leaky valve stem and only cost $11 to fix.

Anyways, I'm feeling pretty ill these days. I don't know when I'm going to get energy to stamp. And even though we had an "eventful" Christmas, the blessings were overflowing and it will be one of my favorites for a long time to come. Best wishes to you all for a blessed New Year.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My Latest Stamp Designs

I'm still looking for someone to carry my varied line of stamps (to make more stampers happy), and I applied to be on a design team for JessicaLynnOriginal. She contacted me back in November about my stamp sets. However, I've been wondering if I just shouldn't go into business for myself. I've done a little bit of research on it, and I think I could make it work. I would value your expert opinions on the following:

1. Should I make clear acrylic or rubber cling stamps?
2. What about the name: distINKED Lee or distinkedables or alana lee lovelies?
3. What kinds of stamps or styles of stamps is there a need for?
4. Any ideas on getting started?

Anyways, here are some country kitchen stamp sets: Baker's Dozen & Add-Ons

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tagged 2

My SBS sister, Aimee, tagged me a few days ago. I have to come up with 7 interesting facts about me. And then I am supposed to tag 7 more people. Okay, here goes.

1. I once accidentally drove a riding lawnmower into an empty in-ground pool when I was 15. I was in the process of cleaning out 10 years of guck, driving in reverse near the edge of the pool, and I slipped. I thought my dad was 1) going to kill me, and 2) never let me get my license if I lived past that day. So I called the radio station and told them the story and asked them to play "It's the end of the world as we know it" on my behalf. They totally didn't believe me, but played my song anyways. I made a double batch of peanut butter cookies (my dad's favorite) and my dad actually laughed at the scene while dipping fresh baked cookies into a glass of milk. Whew! (Sorry, that was long winded of me.)

2. I am normally NOT long winded and can hardly stand when people dominate conversations, especially when I can see right through their know-it-all-ness. I usually get right to the point. Learned this in business school.

3. I am a SAHM to two girls (4 and 2), and I was NOT given the maternal gene. (I don't "get" kids, but I love mine.) But I stay at home for the benefit of my kids, hoping to raise responsible, moral children.

4. Even though I didn't get the mommy gene, I am the Primary president (over all children's Sunday school) of my LDS Church ward. Hah! Now I have to manage over 100 other children and all of their teachers--in addition to my own kids. This IS funny if you know me.

5. I suffer from depression. I got PPD really bad after 2nd baby. I'm not completely cured. Today was rough. I spanked my kids for the first time in over a year today. (I gave up spanking because it only infuriates me more and doesn't work on my kids.)

6. I have a goal to get a book published some day. You probably cannot tell by my blog, but prior to mommy-brain, I was quite the writer. I was known in my MOB (that's me in the middle of the back row) program for my writing abilities and quite enjoy tapping the keyboard.

And 7. Holy cow, I am PREGNANT! We just found out on Saturday. It's one of those "How in the Hades did that happen" things, and my hubby lovingly claims it's the milkman's child (I went on a week-long vacation and he's been working the overnight shift at Target). But I'm so happy and I consider it a miracle from God. Shame on me, but I'm hoping for a girl. I have 4 sisters and love it (plus, girls like to play with My Little Pony and Strawberry Shortcake. They're about the only toys I love seeing on the floor).

I hereby tag:
Sue at (SBS 5)
Alana at (SBS 2)
Maren at (SBS 3)
Deb at (SBS 4)
Jany at (SBS 5)
Tami at (SBS 6)
Dawn Marie at (SBS 7)

Pop-Up Christmas

Today was the day of rushed stamping and my first pop-up card. I'd seen a tutorial somewhere, but I can't remember where. My kids were supposed to be taking a nap, but they were noisy, disobedient, and I ended up changing one's diaper three times!! So I was rushed. I wish I had had more time to spend on the pop-up image, but these will have to do.

1. I started with the inside of the card with a sentiment, the cardstock measuring 3-3/4" x 8" and then I folded it in half.

2. Once it is folded, figure out how far from fold you want the pop-up image to stick out without interfering with your sentiment. I chose an inch, and even drew a pencil line on the back to help guide me.

3. Using your word window punch, slide the folded cardstock all the way into the punch, aligning with the pencil line and punch. Repeat on other side.

4. Now score between the rounded holes and reverse the direction of the fold (from inward to outward) of the pop-up portion.

5. To adhere to the inside of the card, I folded the white cardstock and only put adhesive on one side. I slid it in the card while mostly folded. Then I opened it up, applied adhesive to the other side, and folded it closed and pressed down. (Otherwise it won't close because it fits too tight.)

Decorate and embellish as usual. Sorry if this is scatter brained. My kids are driving me nuts right now. Early bedtime for sure!

By the way, I used DP from the dollar store as well as dollar-store scrapbooking stickers to decorate my card. I was in a hurry, and sure enough, when I got my groove on finally, my kids started invading my stamping area.

Click here for an even cooler pop-up card tutorial.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cards by the Inchies

Let the "Inchies" Obsession begin!
I am newly acquainted with the term "Inchies," but I have used them on my cards before.

What are inchies?
Where can I see more inchies? 1 2 3 4 5 6
(Visit 1 2 3 4 5 6 for some really cute ideas, even if you're familiar. Did you know Quilters make fabric inchies that are quite splendid?)

Unfortunately, these cards don't use true inchies. They are more like inchies x one-and-a quarter inchies. I embossed the red leaves on the black cardstock with Red Dragon EP, and they are exceptionally sparkly.

I usually use my inchies images to decorate gift cards or card fronts (1 2). The more creative bunch from SCS has made Christmas decorations, necklaces, magnets, and more.

Do you do inchies? I'd love to see yours--leave me a comment.

Blue Christmas

Some of my favorite cards that I made were these simple Blue and Red snowmen cards. The stamp set is from inkadinkado. I used real red and bashful blue.

The Santa Claus image is a retired one from SU! I believe. I just stamped it in Brilliant Blue on some blue mulberry paper that my sister got from Hollo's in Ohio.

These cards are easy with only three layers and two colors of ink (can you see the blue snowflakes as background image?). Perfect if you have to make a lot in a short amount of time.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Oiled Paper Experiment

I'm doing a little experiment. NOTE: this technique is not recommended for scrapbooking. The other day I was helping my kids do a Nativity stained glass window using oil. And then I got an idea. (We'll see how bright it is a few days from now.) I'm oiling paper to give it a translucent look, which kind of mimics vellum. But my method is much cheaper thus far.

So the first picture is my stamped images on white cardstock. (Use thinner paper for more translucence. Prolly 24 lbs. paper would be nice.)

Stamp your images as you'd like them to appear. You can use black ink, watercoloring or whatever.

The second picture shows that I flipped the images to the back side of the paper, because we're going to oil it from the back. It reduces any chance of ruining the image. Place image face down on a Viva paper towel. Now pour some vegetable oil over the paper and rub it in with a wadded paper towel or cotton ball.

In the last picture you can see that the wrong side of the images are a muted version of the original.

Place your oiled paper in between two layers of paper and then paper towels and let sit under a heavy book for a day or two. The oil *should* all get absorbed so that you can use it for card making. I'll post my results in a few days so we can see how my little experiment worked.

I'm thinking that you could oil a sheet of paper and then stamp on it with craft ink, too.

*My kids' stained glass window pictures set on paper towels for two days and are now hanging on a window with no oil marks. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Paper Poinsettias

Over Thanksgiving break, I had a hankering for Poinsettias. Luckily, I had brought along my SAB "Delight in Life" stamp set. I just stamped the flower image on a redish paper and greenish paper (I think Real Red and Garden Green would be perfect) and adhered the two flower images with a dimensional. Then I added some Stickles. (However, I noticed that anything stamped with red or pink ink bleached out from the Stickles. Anyone else have this problem?)

I know these aren't the best color combos, but I was running out of paper away from home. So I just made do.

It's a fun way to make a Christmas card, embellish a gift tag, or even a Christmas Thank You--heaven knows we'll need plenty of Thank You cards after the Holidays.

If you have made paper poinsettias before, leave me a comment with the stamp set and a picture! I'd love to check it out.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Newbie's Cards

My sister in Ohio, who is also my best friend, just fell in love with card making. Apparently, she has found the coolest paper store near her home where they sell it by the pound for dirt cheap (Hollo's*). And it's nice paper, too.

Here are some of her cards that she made with only three weeks of experience. I am very proud of her.

The bottom two cards are embossed with silver. Pretty good, for a newbie, huh?

*As Heather mentioned on her comment, going to Hollo's is a must if you are visiting Ohio!

Monday, December 3, 2007

More Christmas Sticker Cards

I used Dollar Store stickers for these cards. I got in a hurry and stamped the flourish badly. They aren't elegant or anything, but they were great for me when I was in a hurry.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Shadowed Snowflakes

These stamps are from Inkadinkado. For the background, I stamped the snowflake in the same color as the cardstock (or versamark ink), and then stamped the snowflake in craft white a hair off of the first image. The snowflakes look like they are floating on the page.

This year I have been experimenting with unusual colors for Christmas cards. How about Pink (Regal Rose) and Purple (Orchid Opulence)? For the pink snowflake card, I stamped the snowflake in craft white on the vellum square and heat set it with a hair dryer. Then I added some stickles to them. Both "Merry Christmas" tags were sponged on the edges and adhered with a dimensional.

Snowflake Sticker Cards

Here are some better pictures of the Sticko (from Joanns or Michaels) Snowflake cards referenced yesterday (one post below this one). Huge difference, huh?!

(I usually stamp at night, when lighting conditions are bad, so my pictures aren't as dazzling as in real life. *conceited smirk*)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas Sticker Cards

I found some really cute glitter stickers at my dollar store (Honk's $1.05) and decided to use them to make more Christmas cards.

The top two cards are matted on black cardstock, and the french horn is matted on red and GREEN--not blue. I can't wait for the day that I can get a new camera. I have to use the "Night" or "cloudy" setting on my RAZR cam to take pictures this well--but it changes the colors on me.

The last one is my favorite. I bought some Stikopatamus vellum snowflake stickers a while back and never used them. Then I remembered I had this cute pink circles paper from the dollar store and put it all together. The vellum stickers have silver foil as an accent. I actually used pink passion and pixie pink, although the picture makes me look like a liar. I wish you could see the stickers in real life--they are so pretty.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Candy Cane Poem

For those of you who are Christian, you may be interested in this post. I just wrote a poem about the symbolism of the candy cane and created a printable file to help you make quick and easy gifts. If you are interested, here's the link to my freelance blog and the files. If you stamp your candy cane tags, let me know where I can view the final product. *excited grin*

I created three dozen gift sacks for teacher appreciation gifts. I got cute little Christmas sacks at Target (12 for $1.99; they had 16 kraft sacks for 3-4 bucks, I think), stapled the poem to it, placed a red or green jingle bell ornament (at Target, 6 for $4.99 less 20% sale--I had to buy metallic ribbon to tie on) inside with two candy canes (75 minis for $1.99). With my Target discount and sale price on ornaments, it came out to about $1.05 per teacher. Not baaaad. (The ornament goes with the following story: The Symbols of Christmas.)

Disclaimer: Because I was making 3 dozen, I didn't stamp the bags or the tags. I was saving myself time and sanity.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Have A Very Vintage Christmas

This is my first vintage-esque Christmas card. I'm not good at creating the look, but I'm practicing. (Or, maybe I'm way off and this isn't vintage to you. I dunno.)

Stamps from Inkadinkado.

If I had to do it all over again, I would not have stamped the ornaments in white on the background. Oh well. I stamped the other snowflakey-circles on the burgundy cardstock with versamark. The snowman is matted on Cranberry Crisp and Always Artichoke, which has distressed edges. I stamped the snowman in burgundy, as well as the snowflakes, but I stamped off to create a softer snowflake image. I sponged Bravo Burgundy to give it the warm, worn look. The Merry Christmas oval is on cranberry crisp with burgundy ink.

I really liked the way this card turned out, especially since I rarely use these colors. But I'm sure it would make some sweet soul happy to receive it.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Red, White & Blue Christmas

I had such a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend with three of my four sisters, two BILs, my brother, and my parents. The best part was getting to stamp with my cute sisters and seeing how different our cards were. I'll try posting a few of theirs later. I don't know if I got pictures of them all. (Darn it.)

My parents have a huge dining room table that we commandeered for our stamping supplies. We eventually had to bring up a folding table to make more room. I only brought a portion of all my stuff, and I took up half of the table. I bought the cutest Inkadinkado Christmas stamp set from Michael's. So you could say that I found my groove with my new stamp set. And here's a peek at what I produced.

Card 1 Recipe:
Cardstock: Whisper White, Brilliant Blue, Ballet Blue, Real Red, Glorious Green
Inks: Brilliant Blue, Ballet Blue, White Craft
Accessories: Hemp twine, eyelet, stickles (in center of snowflakes), dimensional

Card 2 Recipe:
Cardstock: Whisper White, Ballet Blue, Real Red
Inks: Real Red, Ballet Blue, White Craft
Accessories: Brads, Sponge

Card 3 Recipe:
Cardstock: Whisper White, Bashful Blue, Real Red
Inks: Bashful Blue, White Craft
Accessories: dimensionals, cute red staples

*Sorry! BLogger made my images disappear and now they won't insert again! Arghghg.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cutest Nativity Stamp Set

I just had to warn you that I just found the cutest precious-moments-like nativity stamp set at These would be perfect for making little Christmas cards for the children in my church where I serve. Or even for my Christmas cards that I'll send out. Adorable little people, huh?

BTW Does anybody have experience with this online store?

Blogging Tutorial: Adding A Watermark to Photos

For those of you interested in watermarking your photos like a profesh stamper, follow the link to my other blog. It's not a video, but a step-by-step picture tutorial that I think you'll find helpful. (I try to only post paper-craft related things here.)

I'll be going to my parent's house Wednesday morning for Turkey Day and probably won't post again until November 26th. (For a cool tutorial on how to create animated GIFs with Photoshop, visit SBS sister Savitri's blog. She stamps and digiscraps wonderfully.)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Blogging Tutorial: Adding Labels

If you want to learn more about labels on blogs and why you should have them, click here. If you're thinking "What the heck is a label?" This post is for you. This will take you to one of my other blogs.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I don't have any stamp creations to share, just some tidbits.

Blogging Hint: Galleries
If you are interested in including a gallery of all your card pictures on your blog, go to and get signed up. It will give the HTML code to put in a page element to include a link to your card gallery. Also, you can upload any pictures and create albums on this site. Very handy little feature. Thanks, google.

....And I have to share my cute little treasure. My DH works as a manager for Target (luv my discount). They all got some freebies two days ago. My hubby came home with a cute gift bag and told me it was all mine. I found some hersey kisses, EMPTY milkyway wrappers, and this cute tiny stapler with red staples! I am so excited. It even staples well. Now I'm anxious to get to work on my pretty red embossed images so that I can put my pretty little red stapler to good use. Isn't it so tiny and cute?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Red Dragon EP

Okay, you can't tell by these pictures, but all of these red images were embossed with Stamp-N Stuff's red dragon EP. It is spectacularly glittery, red with golden sparkles--perfect for Christmas. The star images really twinkle, and the other hard-to-see images are little Christmas trees. So I created all these UFOs and now I have more work to do today.

I get to see my parents, brother, and 3 of my 4 sisters for Thanksgiving this year. We're having a huge Un-Birthday party, since we're never together to celebrate each other's birthdays. We'll be making all of our favorite desserts and snacks and eating ourselves sick. Anyways, what I meant to say was that we'll be spending a day or two stamping Christmas cards. Which is why I made all of these images to begin with, but I don't know if I can wait another 9 days to use them.

BTW I am too cheap right now to buy and embossing heat tool, so I just use my gas stove. I turn a burner on about 6 or 7 and hold my paper with paper tweezers. I have burned more than one image before because I was not paying attention. But mostly it works just great. I know my sister puts her cardstock on the back of a hot iron to emboss, but it always seems to curl the cardstock.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tiny Gift Tags

These are smaller versions of the Gift Card Holders from yesterday.

Very Punny is one of the best sets for these cute little gift tags. (If you don't have the set, I have two extra that I'd be willing to trade.) The finished size of these cute chocolate chip and pink gift tags is 3-3/4" x 2-3/4" (scored at 3-1/4" and cut at 7"). I use them as little cards on the gifts my daughter gives to her friends. They love the miniature size! In fact, I made some of these for my mother, and she sent one to my four-year old on her birthday with a $20 bill, and she handed us the money and kept the card!

Stamp Set: Very Punny
Cardstock: Pixie Pink, Pink Passion, Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip
Inks: Pixie Pink, Chocolate Chip

Again, I'm sorry for the lack of picture quality. Read the disclaimer in the top right corner--it will take you to a post on my family blog that explains in a round about my current camera situation.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Using My UFOs

I decided to finish off some gift card holders/gift bag tags for my stash using my UFOs (Thanks for the motivation, GinaP). I try to keep about 15 on hand at all times for those emergencies that always seem to crop up.

Alana's Gift Card Instructions
Finished size: 2-3/4” x 4-1/4”

Each card is 2-3/4” x 8” long, which means you can get 4 from an 8-1/2” x 11” sheet of CS. If you aren't worried about saving paper, 3" x 8" looks great.
  1. First score sheet at 3-3/4” (x 11”).
  2. Cut at 8” (x 11”).
  3. Cut into strips 2-3/4” wide x 8" long.
  4. Layer and embellish card. *Hint: I always use dimensionals to adhere the layered image to the card (it allows for more flexibility in opening and closing the card flap--otherwise layers tend to rebel and fall off).
  5. Use slit punch to create flap to hold card closed.
  6. Attach gift card inside with mini glue dot(s) if desired. If you want to hang it just as a tiny note from a gift, punch a 1/8” hole at the top left corner and set an eyelet.
  7. For a SMALLER CARD to attach to gift (without a gift card inside), you can score at 3-1/2” and cut at 7-1/2” OR EVEN SMALLER score at 3-1/4” and cut at 7”. (If they aren’t holding a gift card, they don’t need to be so long…in my estimation☺)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Paisley Peacock

Another sneak peak...

I know I haven't posted a card in a while, but I promise I've been busy. We had some family in town that just left today. *sad sigh* I just wanted to show you what I've been up to lately, besides trying to manage the Sisterhood of Blogging Stampers.

This is part of my Paisley Peacock stamp set. This is by far the most time-consuming stamp set I've worked on and I still need to add more detail to the feathers. But I've ignored my DH enough this afternoon, so I'm going to go watch football with him on the couch. Thanks for looking!

Thursday, November 8, 2007


My new SBS sister Meredith tagged me (check out her cute stamped tile coaster). And it's my first time being tagged! Let's see if I can do this right.

Here are the rules…………..

Please answer the questions on your blog and tag 5 more people to answer the same questions……….make sure you list on your blog who you are tagging….Thanks!!

1. If you could have 100.00 worth of scrapbook paper or assorted embellishments, which would you choose? Making me choose between the two? Since I just bought some cute bling brads and such, and because I'm running low on paper (to my standards, at least) I would go with paper.

2. If you had to choose between using only stamps or ribbons, which would you choose?
Stamps, hands down. A plethora of stamps!

3. If you knew how to do both awesome cards and layouts but could only do one for a whole year…which would you do? Um, just cards. Never done layouts.

4. Would you rather own a scrap booking store or have your own scrapping room at home…(can’t have both he he he). My dream stamping room! Right now all I have is a closet under the stairs to store my stuff. I have to drag everything out onto my kitchen counters and table, where the kids bother it.

5. What is your CURRENT card making or scrapping style? I'm not sure what style mine is. Any ideas?

Tag--You're It!
1. Lesa
2. Karrie
3. Jen
4. Marilyn
5. Maria

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Sisterhood of the Blogging Stampers

Get your SBS badges here!

Hi, ladies. It's already been a real treat getting to know you and your cards. This is how we'll get started. For those of you with a blog, click on the badge below that you want to embed on your blog and copy the URL (or right click on image and select view image). Go to your blog settings (for blogger template), click on add page element. Click on add picture. Paste the URL from the image in the appropriate space. Click on save. That should do it hopefully!

To make it easy, why doesn't each group member create a new post entitled "Sisterhood of the Blogging Stampers." Write a little getting-to-know you fact. Each of us will leave a comment to each SBS post with our blog address. Then we'll add everyone to our blog roll with the acronym SBS. And we'll all do the same for you, too!

If you don't have a blog, leave a comment and give us the link for your SCS gallery instead, and leave a little factoid about yourself. I hope that covers it. I'm retiring for the night...and it's not even midnight yet. Wahoo! Inky hugs, Alana

Edit: I forgot to post a factoid. I am 31 and have been married for over seven years and have a two girls, 4 and 2. If I could take a vacation anywhere, it would prolly be to a beach in Mexico. I would like to go back to the Netherlands for a fist full of stroop waffles, and to Belgium for a REAL Belgian Waffle (not the kind you eat for breakfast, but a rich pastry). I lived in these two countries for 16 months and learned to speak Dutch and Flemish. I love the rich heritage of these countries. I am going to branch out and try clear stamps for the first time...hopefully soon. And I love Little Caeser's 5 buck pizza.