Monday, August 31, 2009

Forgetful Fish Card

I giggle every time I look at this card.  No, it doesn't look exactly like Dory in Finding Nemo but it was similar enough that I couldn't resist adding a quote from her to this belated birthday card.
Do you recognize the punch?  It is the new ornament punch turned sideways. (available Sept.1). If you were thinking an ornament punch isn't versatile and you don't need it - think again! You have already seen me make an acorn and a fish in the last few days - who knows what else can be created?!?  
The details:
Punches: For fish -ornament, modern label, half inch circle, standard hole punch. For card - 1 1/4 circle, 1 3/8 circle, 1 3/4 circle, scallop border.  
Cardstock: Bermuda Bay, YoYo Yellow, Basic Black, Whisper White. 
Ink: Bermuda Bay.
Markers: Black, Bermunda Bay
Accessories: Bermuda Bay grosgrain ribbon, mini library clip, dimensionals
Other tools: sponge
Sentiment and quote were computer generated. 

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Daddy's Girl on her Soapbox

This is the last layout from the Splitcoast challenges that I completed (it was a busy Saturday).  I have all week to finish the challenges if I'm playing by the rules (and I am) so you might see more BOM layouts.  This challenge was to use a photo of yourself as an infant or toddler AND as an adult AND include a flower that you made yourself.

What I love about this simple little layout, besides my Daddy, is that my Mom had saved a dopey poem I had written as a Girl Scout (age 10) and I know this because I have it in her very own handwriting on the front of the index card.  Good job Mom!   And I'd recognize her handwriting anywhere.  A reminder to me to include my handwriting in my scrap booking (even though I hate it).

Technical info:  done on retired River Rock paper and the rub-ons are from the Paper Studio. The flower is the Build a Flower die and I used a jumbo brad (I just love these big ol' brads - they make me happy).

Make room now, I'm dragging my soapbox over here and climbing up again.  "Oh geez Ellen - again?  So soon?".....  Yes!  (clattering, and grunting noises here - as I get up on the box)  This layout is a perfect example of why I hate chronological scrapping.    If I scrapped chronologically I could never have put these two matching photos together - they were taken almost 30 years apart. 

My memories are not chronological - they are rattling around randomly in my little brain.  They are brought to the front by music, scents, conversations, events and happenings.  They are not neatly filed away under all this gray hair.  So why should I have to record them in my books "in order"?  Well, the answer is, I DON'T HAVE TO!  Making the decision to scrapbook randomly (and put them in albums randomly) has been one of the best things to happen to my crafting.

I still keep a chronological Christmas album so you can see the girls grow up (and the house decor change) as time progresses.  But in the rest of my albums you might see my brother's 40th birthday followed by a Thanksgiving layout from 3 years later, chased by a park playday from 12 years prior.  As long as I record the date on the layout - does it matter where it is in the book?  I scrap more knowing that I can work on whatever, whenever I want.  I still have my younger daughter's chronological kindergarten book - unfinished - stuck on the Cinderella Ball.  I had no inspiration and I stopped working on it.  She is a Junior in high school.  If I scrapped chronologically there would be no more layouts about her. Ever.  Or at least until I went back and conquered my Cinderella issues.

I still give vacations their own albums and I still create themed albums for gifts but all my Children and Family and BOM pages are random, mixed up and make me wonderfully happy.

If you ever feel the constrictions of chronological scrapping consider giving it up.  You have my blessing and my encouragement and my full support.

Mix it up!  And enjoy your Sunday!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Scrappin' the Night Away....

I TOLD YOU... I was excited about the VSBN on Splitcoast this weekend! So far 5 challenges have been issued and I have completed 3 of them.  (Silly family thinks I should pay more attention to them than I do to my scrappin' or I'd have all 5 done.)

For each challenge you have 2 hours to complete it.  This keeps your perfectionist ways from slowing you down.  Honey, I am no perfectionist but I do have a tendency to try every possible colored paper combination before selecting the best one, so having a time limit is a good thing for me - I pick something that works and GO!

First challenge was to create an acrostic using your name.  I assume this is intended as an intro page for an album about yourself. I used my Serif Essentials Alphabet in my Big Shot, my label maker (same one I label my stamp sets with) and some of the new Night and Day Specialty paper from the new Mini Catalog (Sept1 - Jan 4)  I have got to order MORE of this paper, it is going fast 'cause I LOVE IT!

Goofy picture of me and goofy acrostic - a perfect match!

The next challenge was to do a page about your siblings and include distressing.  Of course I already have pages about my brother in my Book of Me (BOM) so I just focused on one aspect of our relationship.  I'm very happy with this one.  I love the title (Just Perfect Alphabet) and the bracket is from Stampin' Up! Hearts & Brackets (new in the 2009-2010 catty)  I snuck in some old labels from that have been in my stash for years.   And I would never have used distressing on this clean layout but I did since that was part of the challenge - and I really like it.  SU has a distressing tool that makes this so easy.

When you are as old as I am you don't have a lot of photos to chose from - you just go with the old stuff  and do the best you can.

The third challenge was to create a layout about any TOP TEN.  That is pretty wide open - but I looked down at my desk and saw all the black and white scraps from the previous layouts so I came up with this.  It was hard to pick just 10 old shows that I remember watching in Black and White - I needed this to be the top 15 instead. 

You will see the new modern label punch on here twice - once as it is intended and once as the legs to the television set.  I think the only ODD thing I did was to round the corners of the TV screen by sticking them as far as they would go into the 1 3/4 inch punch - I just need more "rounding" than the normal corner rounder can give.

It is late and I'd love to try another challenge but I just don't have another 2 hours in me.  Have a great weekend ladies.  More scrapping and stamping next week!

Friday, August 28, 2009

How to Grow an Acorn

I didn't know what I was going to post today if you hadn't begged; new ideas can be illusive.  So thanks to you beggers and to my Dano who promised me a PRIZE, today I will reveal the "How To" directions for the acorn from yesterday's post. 

It is so easy you will wonder why you didn't think of it.  I used Kraft and Soft Suede paper but Creamy Carmel and Chocolate Chip look great too!
Punch your ornament from Kraft paper, sponge the edges with Soft Suede ink (come pretty far down on the top with your sponging since the very top will be covered by the acorn cap and that is where your shadow would be)

Stamp a scrap (photo scrap is way too big) of Soft Suede with the Sanded Background stamp in Soft Suede ink.

Besides the ornament punch, you will use the large oval and the wide oval punches.

Along the edge of the SS scrap, punch 1/2 of a large oval (turn the punch over and you can SEE what you are punching) You can throw the 1/2 oval away - I just kept it for educational purposes.

Now you will punch the wide oval "around" the half oval you just left in the paper.  Stick it in the punch (punch upside down so you can see), push into the punch just so the edge of the paper hits the edge of the punch right at the "corners"  (sorry, no better word is coming to me)

Should look like this after your punch.  Can you see what I meant by corners?  This piece is your acorn cap and fits beautifully on your  'ornament'

But we still need that little stem.  So take your scissors and just snip a little bit right off the edge of the hole in the paper.  You are taking advantage of the "curve" left by the oval punches.  Should look like this.  Or something similar - could be longer or thinner or wider - whatever looks good to you.

Just one more step - sponge a little more Soft Suede ink on your "cap" and "stem" then attach to your acorn - in this photo you will see that you really don't need a big scrap of Soft Suede or that first half oval you punched.

Ta da - you have grown an acorn right out of scrap paper.  Wish I could figure out an easy way to punch an Oak Leaf.  Oh Inspiration Fairy..... where are you?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

An Ellen Punch Original

I didn’t think I was going to have a post today – my latest project was for a contest, so I can’t show it to you just yet.

But I didn’t want to disappoint the dozen of you who actually read this thing, so I pulled out my newest SU punch which you can buy for $15.95 beginning September 1. It is an ornament punch and of course, there is a great stamp set to go with it. (One demo benefit is that we can have things a little early so we will have samples to show you – our dear customers and friends.)

As anyone could predict, I bought this punch first thing. Yet here it sat because I just cannot think “Christmas” when it is 100 degrees outside. Here in North Texas, it could be 100 degrees outside for yet another month. Ok, maybe only 95 degrees in September, but that is still no time to be humming Jingle Bells.

So why then am I yammering about this punch if I’m not going to show you a fabulous ornament?

Because the Inspiration Fairy FINALLY fluttered by my desk and I am going to show you something to do with this punch that is NOT for Christmas. I haven’t seen anyone else do this yet so we are calling this an Ellen Original! You can make an ACORN! 

The card sketch came from something I printed awhile back but luckily I printed enough so I can give credit to Julee Tilman at The paper is called Autumn Traditions and I love it! But how did I do the acorn? Can you tell? Do you need the details? If someone leaves a comment begging me, I’ll give you details tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Just Sparkle!

I did it!  I did it!  I got my desk "sparkling" clean.  I confess about midnight I resorted to my no fail cleaning method, which was to take that last stack of stuff that I didn't know what to do with and put it in a box and put the box in the spare bedroom.  Surely you have done that too, right?  Shhhhhhh.... don't tell my hubby and I won't tell yours.

However my desk was in SHOCK and just cried out to me to cover it with something.  And I had new rubber that NEEDED to be inked, so being the team player that I am, I made just a tiny, one project mess that will disappear in just minutes.  And this is what I made------------->>
I've got to get some better lighting for taking photos for this blog because she is much more vibrant in real life and has sparkles that I don't think you can see.  This is a stamp I just bought from  I colored her with copics, which I am still learning to use.  I have made progress and I'm pretty proud of the shading I got on her scarf.
This will go to my dear friend Liz, a real sweetie that I was lucky enough to eat lunch with today.  Ha, we have known each other for 16 years, ate dozens and dozens of lunches together, attended a zillion meetings and enjoyed countless adult beverages together and yet it wasn't until we shopped a bit after lunch that I found out she has a real attraction for "shiny" things.  Who knew?  Obviously not me.  But now I do and so she will get this sparkling card.  I think I'll even add a little more bling - her shoes are looking a little blah, don'tcha think?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gonna be a late night...

Ok, I’m sitting here blinking and thinking but not doing any inking because this place is a dump. Kid went back to school on Monday (YES! - I get my quiet “do what I want” life back). But the first week back to school is always my “DEEP CLEAN” the house week. If I deep clean now, I can play all Fall and do the bare minimum and not feel guilty (great system - try it!)

But the actual cleaning is no fun - you know, it’s the baseboard, mini-blind, ceiling fan, oh gross – I can’t believe I let it get that bad – kind of cleaning. Let me say here that the compressed air stuff that they sell to get the dust off your computer really does work on silk plants, and the wicker inserts of trunks, and the mesh fire place screen. (Please make note of this; it is likely to be the only house cleaning tip you will ever receive from me) Anyway, the living area was first and it looks FAB except – my desk.

I scrap and stamp in what used to be the dining area of our very open floor plan house. It is great because I can be stamping and still feel like I am with the family. It is horrible because all my mess is out for the world to see. And after a summer of swaps, challenges, contests, and RAKs for VC_Rocks, (hi, girls!) it is now time to dig out. And we don’t own a backhoe. Darn.

I have promised myself to get this done before I go to bed tonight. But it is so hard – cause I can’t put those cards away until I show them to my upline – and if I put that stamp set away I might forget to finish the tags for that scrapping swap – and if I move that stack I’ll lose those addresses before I RAK them back – and I hate cleaning background stamps and I can’t put them away until I do – and that was such a great idea but it needs something else before I send it….

And it is so much more fun to check email and look at blogs and type this entry than it is to deal with all that. I did sweep the floor, so at least something is improved. I think I will be up late…..

It is all about YOU!

I'm really excited about this weekend on SplitcoastStampers - they are having a virtual scrap book night - and it is all about ME!  Look HERE!  Oh no, I guess I interpreted that wrong,  it is all about YOU, too!

There will be series of challenges issued and they will involve scrap booking about ourselves. Oh girls, this is a subject that gets me stacking my soapboxes on top of each other so I can climb up and shout "DO IT!"

We spend hours scrapping birthdays and vacations and gardens and what Junior wore on Halloween and Sissy's dance recital but do you know what will have REAL meaning to your kids?  Layouts about YOU!

Think about it..... What would you give to have some details about your grandmother's day to day life?  Wouldn't you love to know what your Mom's favorite things were when she was 35 - what she was interested in? (After all, you were just a kid then, too busy with your own self to pay attention to her).

I think your children (and theirs) will treasure having that kind of information about YOU.  So don't leave yourself out of your scrap books.  In fact, make one just about you.  Start a Book of Me (BOM).  I have one.  I intended to make 50 pages while I was 50 but wound up only making half of that.  My "revised" goal is 50 pages during my fifties (much more do-able).

Here is a layout I did during that initial BOM project  =====>>>>> 

No, there is no picture of me - that is my childhood dog.  But a lot of "me" is in that journaling.  What a simple, simple page - yet it tells the story that I wanted recorded.  And looky there - I managed to use punches on it! (I am a punch-a-holic and I do NOT want any 12 step programs to cure me.)

So I will be poking about on Splitcoast this weekend - finding inspiration from the challenges to get back to my BOM.  Please consider trying this - you are leaving out a critical subject if YOU aren't in your scrap books!  And come back next week to see if I actual got any layouts about ME done.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Flashback Layout

Way back the summer of 2006, I became an SU demo.  I had lots of "stuff" but very little from Stampin' Up (yet).  This is one of my very first cards and I used a layout from a SU publication.
I had to borrow the square punch and use ribbon from my stash.  The set "Unfrogettable" has long since retired along with the Designer Series Paper.  BUT - the layout still works so I CASED MYSELF
(case = copy and share everything)
This card uses the Game Night Set and could be the front of an invitation or a thank you for a fun evening you have already had.  I will probably use the front of the card as a title for a scrapbook page.  Or maybe I'll use it for title and journal on the inside of the card.  I like that idea!  The paper, Night and Day Specialty, will be available in the Holiday Mini Catalog which begins on September 1 and goes until January 4, 2010.
What can you learn from this card? 
Let's talk punches for a minute.  The big heart is our Full Heart Punch and the small heart is one of the hearts on the Heart to Heart Punch.  But what about that spade? 
It is really simple - just turn the small heart upside down and add a little "stem" with the Slot Punch.  
(You can also make a club with 3 circle punches and a stem but I ran out of room on this card )
I also used a punch to make the black frame (where the ribbon is tied). 
I cut a 2 1/4 inch square then punched the center out with our 1 3/8 inch Square Punch. 
How do you get it right in the center?
Punch the 1 3/8 square from a piece of scrap paper.  Adhere your scrap right in the middle of your larger black square.  TURN YOUR PUNCH OVER and insert the black square so that you can see the scrap paper.  Line your punch exactly over the scrap and PUNCH.  You will have perfect placement.
So, you've gotten a couple of punch tips from me and a flashback layout. 
Take a look at some of your past cards - you might enjoying casing yourself too!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

And so I begin

For some strange and bizarre reason, several friends have requested that I start a blog. And so, I begin an adventure into "Blog Land".

With so many stamping blogs out there already, and so many TALENTED stampers, I am less than confident about what I can add but if nothing else, I will learn a new skill set setting up the blog.

And who knows? I might have fun. After all I can get on my stamping soapbox when the mood strikes. And I can share what I learn. And I can show off what I make. And... well, maybe this isn't such a strange idea.

This bear is an "award winner". It is one of two cards I made for a contest for VC_Rocks. The competition was tough but somehow I sneaked in the win. But I am proud of him - we were supposed to show the versatility of a stampset and most stampers don't put this baby on the beach. His sunglasses are from the Heart to Heart punch. Fun, huh?