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.