Saturday, June 30, 2007

Empressor Mat Tutorial

I'm working on my samples for my workshop this month and we're using the Empressor Mat, so I thought I'd add a bit of a tutorial here.

Here is the mat and the empressor tool:

The mat has gridlines spaced 1/4 inch apart on one side and 1/2 inch on the other side.

Place your paper on top of the mat and line it up on the appropriate line. Run your tool along the edge of the mat to create and embossed line on your paper. Slide your paper over to the next line you'd like to use and score again.

Once you've mastered the scoring you can experiment with different designs and styles.

Tip: Try scoring one line and then flip the paper over to score the next line. You can create raised frames!
We're headed off to a wedding, but I'll try to post some cards and other empressor samples tonight or tomorrow. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

7 Things about me.

I haven't had much time to stamp this week. I've been trying to get more exercise and Josh and I have been trying to work out our new schedule, now that he's a working man. I'm sure we'll settle into the routine soon.

But since I've been "tagged," I better get hoppin! If you're reading this and have been tagged yet... consider yourself tagged. Share your 7 random things about yourself in your blog and then leave me a comment so I can come check it out.

7 things about me... this is hard. I'm pretty much an open book and I tell everyone weird stuff about me all the time...but I'll try....

1.) I love ice! I think all drinks should come with ice. And crushed ice is even better! No room temperature water for me; the colder the better.

2.) I'm a navy brat, but we never moved out of Southern California. Somehow Dad worked it out so that he was always stationed here.

3.) I love the outdoors! The sound of the ocean, smell of pine trees, rustle of the wind, sound of the birds, gorgeous views...all make me happy and at peace and feel closer to God.

4.) I'm a numbers gal. I have never really had an "interest" in accounting or math, but numbers just seem to haunt me. I remember them. Seriously... you could ask me for the phone number of most of my friends and I can tell you. I can probably tell you their home number and their cell number.. and all my bank account numbers, all the ss#'s for everyone in our family... it goes on and on. Josh thinks it's hiliarious! I tell him not to tell me a number out loud because I don't want to remember it... so he'll repeat it a few times... He just added his bank account number to my repetoire. Who needs a pda when he has his mom?

5) I love public speaking. Put me in front of a crowd and I'm ready to go. Talk to me one on one before I know you very well... and I'm shy and uncomfortable.

6) I hate tomatoes and love salsa, ketchup and all things tomato sauce.

7) I love alternative rock. I'm horrible about remembering the names of the bands, but kids love it when I drive because we can listen to "their" music.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bulletin Race

One of my callings at church is the bulletin. That means I type it up each week, photocopy it and fold it. It would be my favorite calling if it wasn't for the folding part. For some reason, I just don't like folding the bulletin. Lucky for me, I have a kid. I drag him along with me every week and while I still don't like folding the bulletin... he at least makes it entertaining.....

Every week we have a race to see who folds more. Now, if I was smart, I'd let the boy win. But the only thing worse than folding the bulletins, is standing around watching someone else fold we just work fast and get it done....

Every week Josh dreams up some new way to torture me while we fold....this week....he discovered the bell.

Every time he folded a bulletin, he rang the bell. That got old FAST. I tried putting the bell in my pocket, but he just reached around and tapped the bell while it was in my pocket. Of course, it wasn't loud enough or annoying enough so he stole it back. While he was busy, I stole a whole stack of bulletins. The less he has to fold... the less rings of the bell..... That backfired. Then he started ringing the bell after every fold. (we have tri-folded bulletins).

The whole time we were fighting over the bell, I was frantically trying to catch up to him in folds... see, I got a late start and he was ahead...but he didn't know I was still racing.... Suddenly he figured it out and realized that the stack I stole from him would probably put me he stole 3 back....

And guess who 3??? I call for a rematch next week....

More WSW Challenges

I didn't quite get as many of the challenges done as I planned... life got in the way... but it was still a really fun day. Here's a couple more that I completed.

First Stamp - Yep, we had to drag out the first stamp we ever bought. I might've had some random cheapy kid stamps before, but This Much Bear was my very first D.O.T.S. stamp I ever bought. I used this bear so much!!

It was definately a blast from the past to stamp with it again. I actually had to ink it and stamp it about 5 or 6 times before I could get a good image. I cannot believe how different it is to stamp with wood again. It takes a lot more effort. At first I thought something was wrong with the stamp. I cleaned it, re-inked it, finally I stood up and stamped it.

Since it was such an old style stamp, I went with the look and pulled out old cardstock and paper lace! I haven't used paper lace in YEARS.

Next challenge - Alphabets

All day long I kept trying to think of a card to use an alphabet set on, when suddenly I smarter, not harder... I need to work on Dad's Navy Album and I'm planning to use Alphabets... Unfortunately I haven't quite put together everything else I need for his Navy Album so this page is a bit simple and plain...but it's using alphabets so it's another challenge done.

I Love a Challenge

I love stamping challenges. They help me to break out of my stamping rut and try something new. This weekend there are a ton of challenges over at Two Peas. The stamping message board is running a "worldwide stamping weekend." They have challenges and rak's all weekend long. Too Fun!!!

Here's what I've done so far....

Challenge - Stamped Background
I random stamped a piece of colonial white cardstock with C1234 Nature Walk. (Olive, Autumn Terracotta and Sunflower, sponged with Bamboo)

Then I used the stamped background to create little bag topper treats for my Croppin Safari crop in July.

Next Challenge - Stamps Only
You have to use stamps only. No background paper. No layers. Just stamps...

This was so fun! I might make a couple more. It made me reach back into my stamping past. I used a creme cardstock base and placed a post-it in the middle of the card. I used the Nature Walk stamp set to stamp a border along the edge of the card. I used New England Ivy and Olive stamp pads. I sponged around the edges of the card and the post-it with New England Ivy. After I sponged, I removed the post-it and it left a nice little frame.

I stamped the saying in the middle, but it still needed something... so I trimmed the post-it down, put it back on top of the saying and sponged a little frame.

Time for a stamping break. I have to go take the recycling in and photocopy the bulletin for church tomorrow... be back later for more stamping fun.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

It's Safari Time

Next month's crop theme is "Safari." I'm using our new expedition papers and showing some fun jungle/zoo ideas. I've had a few people ask me to show random stamping/one sheet wonders again, so I thought I'd oblige. Besides, it helps me to grow my card stash quickly!!!

Monday, June 18, 2007

What happened?

Ah, well... life was a bit crazy last week and I felt like I didn't have anything to post...even though I had plenty. Weird eh?

First up... I've been playing with sculpting foam! I've tried all sorts of clays over the year and scultping foam is my absolute favorite. It is so easy to work with and it's very lightweight.

I sponged the edges of all of the papers with Desert Sand Ink. For the letters I stamped them in Desert Sand, rolled them in Outdoor Denim and stamped them into wet foam. I cut them out with scissors and then let them air dry overnight. After the foam dried, I sponged the edges with Desert Sand. Super Easy and fun!

(All products, except twine are Close To My Heart. Paper is the Majestic Blue paper packet.)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I win the vending machine war!!!

Ok, so I have this issue with a particular vending machine on campus. I've visited it about three times since I started working here. One day it thought my quarters were nickels. It counted them as nickels as they went in and then to add insult to injury, it returned nickels when I hit coin return!

Then I tried to buy sunchips and they got stuck.

Actually I think I've tried to buy some sort of bagged chip items a couple of times. I think I was successful once.

Why am I walking down onto campus to visit said machine? Well because for some reason the soda machine in our office is always out of diet soda. It's been out for about a month. We kept thinking they'd refill it. Today the situation got serious. It's out of diet and caffeine free diet!!

So I walked down to campus. I had to walk over construction tape to get there. (They said I could. It was either that, or scale a hill in heels.) First I bought a snickers bar. Think what you will...but I'm not tempting fate with any sort of bagged item from the evil machine! Then I went to the soda machine and I pushed the button for diet. Clunk, clunk... one diet coke emerges....clunk, clunk... another diet coke. Cha ching!!!! I am victorious. I have won. I hit the vending machine jackpot. I laughed and jeered at the snack machine as I walked by...

Sadly, I had to clean a section of my desk to find someplace to take this photo.. it's like a bomb went off. Also pictured are these yummy mango flavored pineapple pieces. If I had remembered I had these, I wouldn't have bought that snickers! But flavored pineapple. Why not pineapple flavored pineapple? For $1 a box...these things are absolutely delicious!!!! Notice how the box is open for easy snacking access...

This is what spoiled is.....

One of the perks of changing jobs is that my new job is just a couple of minutes away from Bren's house and I have an hour long lunch... so I suggested that we meet once a week for lunch. (She's my CTMH upline and I'm her personal assistant.) We figured we could challenge each other, share ideas and brainstorm meeting stuff. Now, when I suggested this idea, I thought we'd meet at a restaurant. Bren had other ideas. Each week I come to her house and, no joke, this is what I see....

(Menu - Yummy salad with all sorts of fun stuff, Egg Salad sandwich, chips, strawberries topped with whipped cream and a cookie!, and a sparkling pomegranate drink)

Not only does she make lunch, but she uses a variety of cute plates and fun little touches. It's like dining at a nice restaurant every Monday. Not only have I been inspired in my business, but I have learned a great deal about food presentation and fun ways to make an ordinary meal, extraordinary. Occasionally her mom joins us and shares a fun family recipe.

I am sooo spoiled....

We also have another regular visitor. Her name is Ruby. She's the neighbor's dog, but she thinks she's a two family dog. Ruby can be VERY sneaky. It's not wise to leave food unattended. One day Bren's dessert was eaten before I got there. Ruby, Ruby, Ruby...

Ruby is actually a very happy dog... you just can't see her tail wagging in the picture. I tried taking it a couple of times and she always looks sad......

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Fried Pickles

I was just deleting some photos off of my card and I saw some stamp camp photos. I don't think I ever shared much about the adventure... I guess I was tired when I got home and I kept thinking I would go back and write about it...and happens..

This was THE best stamp camp ever!! It was so relaxing and fun. Part of it is because I really tapered down what I did (more freestyle and less planned projects) and part of it was the group of people. We had such a great group. Everyone was so fun. It just made the whole weekend a great experience.

Every year we go to lunch in Julian and every year I see the appetizer called "wagon wheels" on the menu. Wagon wheels are deep fried pickles. I have always wanted to try them, but I could never find another adventurous person to do it with me. Well this year we had a whole table of adventure and we ordered two plates of wagon wheels. Too fun!

Here's the evidence...

They were good and I'm glad I tried them. I'd probably have them again, but they weren't so good that I'll be craving them.

I put a vase of lilies in each room/cabin to welcome everyone to stamp camp and they finally started opening on the last day.

And here's the "corner of fun" where we put all the stamp sets, stamp pads and the ever popular cricut