Saturday, March 28, 2009

Look What I Did

Okay, I know it isn't spectacular by any means, but hey, I am a beginner at this. Here are photos of the first two cards I made.

On this first card I used regular card stock, Sizzix Textured Impressions Embossing Folder - the set is called Dots & Flowers, I don't know where the rubber stamp butterfly is from, and the embossing ink is called Distress Embossing Ink, clear with some gold embossing powder. They are Ranger brand. I first stamped the image using brown ink, then inked the stamp, trying to get just the butterfly inked with the clear embossing ink. Now the tricky part that I am amazed I did, I stamped the image on top of the butterfly previously inked. Embossed just that. It came out pretty well. I don't have a heat embossing tool, couldn't find one under $30 offered close to the house so went the alternate route. Tried a blow dryer. It worked a little bit and had I not seen the demonstration video would have thought that it was finished. I however, remembered that my hubby had a heat gun in the garage, somewhere in his tools. He used for applying shrink fit film to the wings of his Radio Control planes when he was in to that. With in seconds that butterfly really popped. I know I will be playing with that again soon. Can't wait to get some of Stampin Up's embossing supplies.

I know it needs a little more bling, but I am just starting out and my supplies are a bit limited. I am so thankful that the lady at my local scrapbooking store was so willing to help me out this evening. They are in the middle of renovating, adding more space to the store for classes and crops, and she went in the back to find her supplies so she could demonstrate how to emboss. I ran across some packets of colored powder that I am sure is embossing powder that was gifted to me which got me wanting to try it out, knew I had to have something for it to stick to, so off I went to the scrapbook store.

Came home with my embossing clear ink pad...a black embossing ink pad, gold embossing powder (can't wait for the copper to come in) a Sizzix embossing folder (mentioned it earlier) a glue stamp pad that was in the clearance bin, two tubes of glitter to go with that, and paid for the beginning scrapbook class, there are three others signed up already so know it will take place this time, oh and signed up for an awesome crop night. They are having a rock n crop, listen to the oldies while you crop, dinner catered from a great restaurant, Italian food, and I saw the make and take project that was just awesome. Not sure what you would call it, but I just loved it. Not to bad on the pocket book either since the store is having 15% off total purchase this weekend.

On the other hand, last night I blew the budget. Bought a new cartridge for my Cricut, it is called Stretch Your Imagination and is just AWESOME. Can't wait to play with it some more tomorrow. I also bought a pound pack of scrap card stock, a scrapbook kit that includes just everything, some pastel colored paper, a big package of multi colors of card stock and some ink pens to place in the Cricut where the blade goes so that it draws the image instead of cutting it. I am thinking that it would be kind of neat to draw each image off, then mark it and put it in a notebook. I would know what I have and what it does in a glance.

Okay, now here is my second card I made tonight.

I really like this one alot. Pretty much used the same supplies, just added a bit to it. Had some flowers that I cut out with the Cricut when I first got it, so used those. I am drifting off as I type so it is time to get a bath and hit the bed.

Feel free to leave a comment.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

It has arrived

My Stampin Up start up kit has arrived. I should have taken a photo of everything, but was so excited and so exhausted when I went through it that it just never entered my mind to do that. It is all a learning experience.

I was able to mix and match to a certain degree the stamps that would be in my kit, the inks, and some of the paper and such. I am well pleased with my choice of stamps, feeling that those sets will be used often. I tried to think ahead to what I would be doing with the stamps. I am so new to all of this that I was really not even sure what I would be stamping or how I would use them. I now know however that I made a few really stupid choices in the ink department. What was I thinking to not have at least one of the ink pads be black? And what on earth I thought I would do with Pixie Pink on the rolling wheel stamp? I am anything but a pink person, and my wheel design is called cheers, the bar variety, not at all pink. Oh well, live and learn. I can however see getting a different design wheel and using the pink for something with a baby girl theme.

So here is the saga of my mini journey last night as I started seeing and working with some of what I got in the kit.

I started with the set I wanted to use the most. But, before I could start, I gathered up some supplies to use. The sketchbook: I purchased this inexpensive spiral bound sketchbook at Walmart. I stamp an image of each of my stamps on a page, keeping sets together. I then write a little bit about the stamp, what color ink, and the date. It is very helpful to me, mainly because it is a true image of what the stamped result will look like. Especially when it comes to size. Stamp set: This stamp set is part of my start up kit as I said, so is from Stampin Up and is called From the Kitchen. Mainly meant for making recipe cards. Now, I don't particularly want to take the time to mass produce blank cards to fill in, but for a special request, a new bride, or something similar, this is the way to go to make it a little more special. Card stock: for this project I bought a package of blank 3 x 5 index cards from the dollar store. They are glossy on one side and not so much so on the other side. I stamped the glossy side. I was especially pleased to find that the stamp just fit the index card. I might even get some blank index cards that are a size larger. With the extra size, I could use the "from the kitchen of" stamp and the "Yum Factor" as well. The Yum factor design has 5 stars and you can fill in the amount of stars according to how well you like the dish.

I found out rather quickly, as in with the first attempt, that the normal stamping technique would not work. Trying to center that large stamp on top of the index card was just frustrating. First it would be crooked as in the photo, then it would all to one edge, loosing part of the image, or a double exposure effect when moving the stamp produced a second image, or parts of.

So, I put my thinking cap on a came up with an upside down style. I am sure every one has done this and is not anything new.
As you see in the photo, I inked the stamp, placed it design side up, positioned an index card on top, then pressed down using the package of index cards. I found that the package of invitations that came with my start up kits works a bit better for this purpose. The interesting thing about doing this is that the plastic wrap around the invitations or cards is a bit charged and the index card clings to the package which helped prevent the double stamp effect. Then it was just assembly line style production of the blank recipe cards.
In no time at all I had a small set of the cards as a result. There is a stamp for each type of recipe as well. For example, meats, desserts, breads and such. I think it may be nice to make a set of these cards for a whole meal, then put the cards in a decorative little container or box and give that to a new bride with some cookware. On occasion I take casseroles to various places, like a funeral, some one having surgery, a new birth, or such and this would be a nice way to leave the directions for heating. Beats that piece of masking tape that tells how long at what temp, that is if the tape stays adhered to the dish. If I can get myself organized, there will be a card printed out for each dish in the freezer and then one of the kids or hubby can just pull it out and heat on the those hectic days they need to eat before I can get home from work. That is the goal anyway, is also what led to my scrapbooking/stamping new adventure. I had a lot of fun with this set of stamps, and actually just barely touched the tip of the iceberg with it.

Now, it would have really been nice if some one had told me that these stamps come unmounted. The smaller sets it just wasn't an issue, the details are larger and there are fewer stamps.
But for the larger sets, all those pieces,it was a real chore. Especially for the sets like this one, "Define Your Life", the print is small and reading it backwards no less as you are looking at the reverse image, it was truly frustrating at times. Almost so much to the point as vowing to myself never to buy anything like this again. This is where the journal comes in handy, I can read the stamped image in the journal instead of struggling to see if there even is a stamp with the feeling I am wanting to relay to the recipient.

To get the stamp ready for use, you take one of the die cut stamps, remove it from the sheet, it really is quite easy as it just pretty much pops out. Then peel the paper off the foam backing and then stick the stamp to a piece of wood. I really would strongly recommend that you kind of go over the sizes of stamps and the sizes of the wood blocks before mounting. There are clear stickers that show the stamp's design or letter or such to stick over an end of the wood part to identify the stamp. There is also a sticker to put on the box that shows the name and item number of the stamp set as well.

Then it is all done and you are ready to stamp.

I thought I would show you a couple of pages from my journal as well so you could see how that looks.
I know that for me, it really does help to have a record of the image. It is easier than reading the small print to see what the text is saying, I can see how the image will look printed out as well. This helps with determining proper left to right alignment and in the case of the alphabet I got it shows that the letter does not stamp solid. Not a problem as it it just part of the design, but interesting to note in case I am going for a certain style look in the end.

Next, I am going to attempt to make some cards. I had not intended to this way, but have had a very close family friend pass away this past week and another dear friend is in her last days. Both were awesome women to know and touched my life greatly.

I welcome any comments you care to share about my post.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pieces filling in

Well, life is like a big jigsaw puzzle. At the moment, I feel like I finally have two of the border edges all in place. You know, those pieces you know will go together and you know that they go along the edge so you build the outer edge border first then start filling in the pieces until you finally get to the middle and it all fits.

That is how I feel about my scrapping and stamping, it is a new adventure.

As I posted earlier, I bought some paper supplies. Although that might have been kind of like trying to put the middle of the puzzle together first. Then, I bought some nice toys like the Cricut and Big Kick, a Xyron as well. Except I don't know what to do with that either. Photos I have in over abundance.

On that note, this last camping trip my camera took like three photos and killed the batteries, then about two more and killed the second set. This is not a good thing. I did some looking around and found a great deal and now have a new camera.

This is an image I snagged from the website. It has all the things I want for the kind of photography I have planned. I'm not going to earn extra income photographing events, just want to save some images of things we do and see as a family to put in to scrapbook pages. After all that is the new adventure.

It takes awesome photos to, will post some of those at the end of the post. But I am going to have some fun with this little baby.

The other news is that I got my confirmation today, I am now officially a Stampin Up demonstrator. They are a rubber stamp and supply company. I should get my start up kit any day and that will be a lot of fun to play with. I love the look of rubber stamped cards and on some scrapbook pages I have seen. I just hope to be able to learn some of the basic techniques. The great thing with Stampin Up is while there isn't a lot of step by step instruction, they do have technique sheets which show some great ideas.

On another road of thought, so to speak, this is some really hectic times and am having to really do some soul searching lately and find some ways to put my very abstract life back in to some type of order. Not necessarily normal or traditional, but maybe what would be normal or ordered for me. Something that works for me. More important makes me work with and for my family. This week end the goal is to clean and organize. Like I haven't planned that before. I need to work on my menu plans and get some written down. I need to do laundry and as well as putting it up instead of the huge pile on the end of the bed, spilling down on the floor. You get the idea. The household is falling apart and I am overwhelmed with it all. Not my best way to work. I is to the point that it is not just a goal, but an essential task, to get organized. Oh that work, organizing, sounds so grand, so hard to achieve. I have to though, it has come to be that I will be busy almost every night of the week and if we are to get fed, clean dishes and clean unders, I have to get my head on straight. Which, between work the new round of physical therapy and my sweet wonderful neighbor being terminal, it is totally so overwhelming. Monday night is First Place at church, a weight management bible study, right after work. Tuesday is physical therapy, having to leave work a half hour early for that which is not going over well with work. Wednesday is daughter's confirmation night, her lessons start almost as soon as I get home from work and get her to the church, no time for supper so the plan is to crock pot it that night, or make ahead dishes from the freezer. Thursday is daughter's ice skating lessons, which hubby thankfully drives her to, and will be the other PT session. Friday is "I just want to sit and think about nothing, do nothing" evening. I know, you get the picture, you can see why I have to get my act together as far as the household goes.

On a lighter note, on Saturday, my daughter was involved in a vintage fashion show. I just have to show her off, the photos are really bad quality, but think you can get the idea.

This my girl in an original 1940's dress. Doesn't she look like she just stepped out of the Walton's? Remember that show? John, Olivia, their children telling each other good night every evening. Granpa getting frisky with granma. Not to mention the Baldwin sisters and their papa's recipe.

I do believe life was simpler then, not so insane. I have ancestors, as do all of us, that lived through those rough times. It made a proud, strong, country.

By the way, the hat was my mom's. Not sure it is correct for the vintage aspect, but my girl J had some fun wearing it.

Now this is the offering for the 50's. I wish my camera had worked a little better. She was so much cuter than this photo shows. Another one of my mom's hats as well, but you know, she does kind of remind you of June Cleaver, Mrs. Anderson, or even Harriet Nelson. If I had worn a 50's outfit, it would have had to be something Aunt Bea would have worn. Well, there was that plump cousin that came to care for the Walton's while Olivia went to get well from TB or such.

I should have lived in the old days, the pioneer days, with the long dresses and aprons. I could have given Mrs. Olsen a run for her money on the "Prairie" to be sure. Of course, I would have looked like Jethereen Bodine (Beverly Hillbillies - Jethro's sister).
More likely, would look like Hoss Cartwright in drag.

Okay, now I am going to leave you with some photos of flowers I took with my new camera.

Guess that is all I can load with blogger, it has stopped playing nice for the evening. I will post a photo from the panorama view next time.

Until next time, I am off to bed.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The saga continues

Well, went to the first scrapbooking class...only they were cancelled. Seems I am the only one to sign up. The scrapbook store Moments In Time near the house is the greatest though. They rescheduled my classes for next month and on a better night of the week so that worked out for the better. Also, one of the ladies that work there really knows her Cricut and was so very helpful with my problem. Last night I was very happy to discover after trying the things she suggested that the problem was a broken blade. Thankfully very minor. I was very afraid that it was the pressure or cutting mechanism, or something more electronic, and would have to get the machine replaced. I tried all the things that the wonderfully helpful lady had suggested. I could tell the differences in what I tried, so learned a little bit about the settings and how they work. She was so friendly and kept telling me to just play with the Cricut when I got home. I mean this point, if it was broken of defective, what would have mattered. I could tell from changing the settings that while it should have cut deeper, the tip of blade was disappearing from sight (and I had it on the #6 setting) then noticed it tear the paper instead of cut. That was a familiar problem to me from my quilting. The blade was too dull to cut. Now, I am not sure if I have to buy a new housing unit or if I can just buy the blade, or possible the blade is just inserted wrong from the previous user. You a way it kind of gripes my back side that I paid full price for a machine that was returned. But then...there is the bonus cartridge, I have it home, and at a substantial savings over buying it new from the craft store...think I still come out ahead on this one. At any rate, I removed the cutter unit from the new personal Cricut and inserted it in the new Expression. Logically, if I was right in my thinking, then it would have the same problems with the second cutter unit. Which I did not. I inserted the cutter unit, loaded up the cutting mat, keyed in my preferences, and that was that. Now to get the Expression's original cutter unit replaced so my Personal new small one can cut as well.

I went to Michael's on the way home to purchase art supplies for my oldest son, for his art class at the local college, and saw their stampbooking and cardmaking supplies offerings. GOOD GRIEF I think I have officially overdosed on the sight. I pushed myself past the aisles to get out of there before buying it all. And they did have aisles of it. Art supplies such as charcoal vine and drawing pads were the smallest supply I have seen. Honestly, he is quite good at his drawings, so much so that a couple of them I hope to scan and use before he gets rid of them. By the way...anyone know a good source for drawing supplies, sketch pads, and such online? If so, please let me know.

I will be kind of MIA for the next few days. Hubby has us meeting another couple...whole I have never met...for some week end dessert riding so won't be home until Sunday some time.

Okay, have to show it, you now I do.

This is my little buddy Kit.

I still just can't imagine the cold heart that could just dump this sweetheart on the road in the middle of nothing. A road which has an extensive amount of traffic to dodge and each morning is littered with the remains of those poor animals that did not make it out of the way.

I just had to type that three times to make any logical sense out of it. Nodding off to sleep as I type, legs are freezing, so am off to jump in a nice warm bath, then bed. If I hurry, I can get 5 hours of sleep before I have to get up and start it all over again.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Okay, boxed up the little Cricut cutter to take it back to JoAnn's and get the Cricut Expression. Why? I have no idea, it isn't like I have actually figured out how to use the thing. Oh such a wondrous thing it is too. I put it in the car and headed out, thinking about that nagging little one line in the sale ad. Bonus cartridge was only included if you bought it online. Also was thinking about the clerk telling me that they don't carry the Cricut Expression machines or the cartridges in stock, but can order them at any time. But...I want it now. So, suddenly, the car came to a stop and I found myself at Walmart. I had seen the Expression there first, is where the little bug starting biting me to start up scrapbooking, and just Friday had seen that they had two left, one with bonus cartridges, the other with out...and $10 cheaper for everyday price than the sale price at JoAnn's. I had already bought the little tool kit, found that I really needed that when I played with the little one. So, in I went with my head telling me that if I was meant to get the Expression at all it would still be there. It was there.

I know, obviously it was a return. I opened it up with the sales lady looking on to see if it was all there. I found the machine, tape still over door. Power cord, manual, two cartridges, cutting mat which didn't look like it had gone through the machine. So, all was well. One cartridge had been opened. The book and keypad cover was all there, so no worry. I can always bring it back if it doesn't work. So, off I go with my new purchase, in the car and down the street to JoAnn's.

I honestly wanted to take the cheaper little one back. I headed that way. The car just wouldn't make it. Instead, I drove toward the BBQ place to satisfy my craving only to find that they had gone out of business. No I am not pregnant, just fat thank you. At any rate, the weighing of the pros and cons of both machines started up in my head.

Cricut Personal Cutter Pros:
1. Small on space, easy to carry along
2. Inexpensive so to speak
3. Easier to learn for a beginner
4. The same machine the scrapbook store lets customers use for classes and Saturday crops.
5. Smaller cutting capabilities great for quick projects.

Cricut Personal Cutter Cons:
1. Small cutting area

Cricut Expression Pros:
1. Larger work area - opens up more projects
2. Few more design abilities

Cricut Expression Cons:
1. Cost way more
2. Size doesn't lend to easy travel
3. A little more intimidating for a beginner.

The way I see it, kind of like having a table saw and a hand saw. Both get the job done, how long it takes depends on the job. You know, if your are building a house then you want a good table saw. If you are building a fence, the handsaw is just fine.

I came home, promptly set it up, promptly realized I hadn't a clue. First, had a little trouble getting it to feed paper or mat in the proper way. Then, I only had 8 1/2 by 11 cardstock. So right away loaded some up and ruined the first two attempts. Then...I figured this or that out and soon had a page full of flowers. The second page would be a different color and smaller in size. Got one row of flowers cut, the the blade quit going through to cut. I know the machine was a little used, the blade was already set up. But will be looking at getting a new blade now. It came with a little DVD to show me all it can do, but couldn't watch it on the computer, some kind of something to make it run is not available . Oh well, guess You Tube will be my teacher. Of course...could take the brand new blade off the Personal cutter and install it in the Expression. I will be having some fun though figuring out the settings and such.

We will be gone for the weekend again. For this short of trip will not even take much to work on either. We have all been sick, some more than others, that I have just not gotten a thing done that I needed to. I still need to create my menu plans, update that blog, get laundry done, and all the while put in my hours at work.

If you are reading this, feel free to voice your opinion on the Cricut. Good or bad. Tell me your number one stand by book that you would not give up that deals with Scrapbooking.

I am nodding off as I type, need to take some meds, and am freezing so need to take a warm bath. Enjoyed the little visit, please let me know you were here and come back any time.