Popping in to Say Hello!

Well, the furor around the house continues - I feel like I'm catching a ride on a Japanese Bullet Train. But it's all good! It's funny that I started a blog to help jump-start my stamping, and now I have so much stamping that I haven't had time to blog!

Things are exciting around here - workshops, classes, miscellaneous projects.

And another little activity that has been added to the schedule... Guess who's playing soccer? Quinn! Oh my, I'd never figured myself for a soccer mom, but we are having fun! And, since Quinn can't read yet, I'll let you know something: soccer is definitely not this boy's sport! LOL! But he's only four, so I guess time will tell. I figure he'll either end up being a great player one day and can laugh at mom for thinking this, or he'll look back and draw the same conclusion. Thing is, he's really good at doing things in spurts, not so much into the constant running. Maybe we'll try baseball....

But I'll tell you what, there is nothing cuter than a bunch of kiddos in over-large soccer uniforms all hunched over a little ball trying to get their kiddie-cleats into the mix. Of course, Quinn would much rather take a break to talk to the kids on the other team... he's such a diplomat....

So here he is - My little Number 7.

Isn't he just too cute?!?!?

And.... da da da dum... I had a birthday!!! Yep. I'm entering the last official year of my twenties.... I remember as a kid hearing the name of the show "ThirtySomething" and thinking that it must be really boring, since thirty is so old... LOL! So I better enjoy my youth while I can, I guess. ;)

For all my blogger friends out there in stamping land, I sure have missed you all this month.... I'm going to try to catch up as I can - you are all such an inspiration and source of joy for me!!! So thanks!

See you soon (I hope)!

Card Credits (Everything Stampin' Up!): Cardstock - River Rock, More Mustard, Real Red, Whisper White, Wild Wasabi, Chocolate Chip; Ink - Real red, Chocolate Chip; Stamps - Office Accoutrements, Happy Everything; Accessories - Staples, Wild Wasabi Double-Stitched Ribbon, Real Red Stampin' Write Marker, Tab Punch, Dimensionals

Whoopsie Daisy!

Whoopsie daisy is right! I somehow managed to way over-schedule myself for the end of August! Maybe I need to hire one of those $15/hour personal managers in China.... hmm... Seriously, people do this, at least according to one "Wired" magazine article....

What have I been so busy at, you ask?

Wedding invites for my sister-in-law (very cute! but I totally forgot to take a picture of them before I put them in the mail on Friday).

4 different card swaps - lots of fun... lots of work. Going in the mail today!

Prep for a workshop this Saturday! Yeah!

Prep for a Scrapbook Class this Sunday! Woo hoo!

So now that I've got 2 of the four major projects out of the way, I finally had time to post one of my swap cards! (of course, it took like a bazillion hours, since the moment I had a second to finally post, blogspot decided to conk out for a couple of hours.)

And, in the midst of the temporary insanity, I took this opportunity to remind myself that Christmas is coming soon! LOL! Nah... not worrying yet... just wanted to use this stamp for one of my swaps. :)


Card Credits: Everything Stampin' Up! Cardstock - Wild Wasabi, Soft Sky, Real Red, Shimmery White; Stamps - Linen Background; Sidekick Sayings (Hostess Level 1); Ink - Stazon Jet Black, Wild Wasabi, Real Red, Soft Sky (plus Close to Cocoa and Summer Sun for watercoloring); Accessories - Soft Sky and Wild Wasabi Double-stitched ribbon, Vintage Brads, Ticket Corner punch, Aquapainter, Dimensionals, Dazzling Diamonds

Be Happy!

It was a long time coming, but I finally found the secret to life. Wanna know what it is?


Be Happy!

Okay, I know it's not quite that simple. But, barring anything major, I've found that the secret to being happy in life is to just be happy.

Roll with the punches baby.

Smile. :)

Card Credits: Layout inspired by Celebra card on page 148 of Fall/Winter 2007 Collection Catalog; Cardstock - Stampin' Up! (Real Red, Whisper White, Bayou Blue, Soft Sky); Ink - Stampin' Up! (Real Red, Bayou Blue); Stamps - Stampin' Up! (Pick a Petal, So Many Sayings); Accessories - Stampin' Up! Blossoms & Basics Chipboard, Round Tab Punch, Scallop Circle Punch, Rhinestone Brad, Cuttlebug embossing

Feelin' a Little Scrappy

Boy howdy! I haven't scrapbooked in quite while! Not that I don't love to... it just seems like a major project compared to card-making, and then the boys are getting their grubby hands all over the pictures I have out, and grabbing my implements of creativity and turning them into weapons of mass destruction, and... well, you get the picture!

But, with an upcoming "scrapbook-in-an-afternoon" class and a pile of pictures to get busy on, it was time to get a little scrappy!

If you know me, and my scrapbooking style, you'll know that these pages are way different from what I usually do. I'm one of those who tends to accessorize and patterned-paper-ize things to death, but I knew I couldn't on these, because we'll be making 10 of them in an afternoon.

I kind of liked having to go light on the supplies and make it quick - simple, but effective I think.

Oh, and all the blank space? Don't worry - that's for my journaling (which, as you can tell from my blog posts, tends to get a little lengthy..... :)

What about you? Are you a "scrapbook in an afternoon" or a "one-scrapbook-page-takes-a-week" kind of scrapper? I think I'm both, though haven't always been. I really need to focus on recording the memories in an attractive way, instead of trying to create the Sistine Chapel of pages each time I embark on the scrapbooking journey.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Credits: Home Again Simply Scrappin' kit, Round Tab Punch, Uni-ball white pen, Short Order Alpha stamps, Rough Edges Mini Alphabet stamps, Chocolate Chip & Bordering Blue Inks

Here, Piggy Piggy....

Okay, so I promised to have some slightly more uplifting news... and here it is!

We have adopted two new furry members into the family - a pair of adorable, fuzzy wuzzy, super-cute little guinea pigs!

They're still babies, and, my goodness, they are adorable!

This has been a little while in the making. Jason has been very gung-ho about getting the boys a little pet, but as soon as he would start talking about snakes or lizards or other cold-blooded things, my eyes would just glaze over, and out would come a clearly disinterested "hmmm".....

So we never really did anything about it.

But then I remembered my own little pet mice I had when I was a kiddo, and thought, hey... what about a little furry friend? So I asked Jason, he was all for it, and the rest is history.

Quinn has been such a big boy about the whole thing. First we went to the pet store last week and got everything we needed. I had explained to him that we would need to get all the schtuff it takes to care for the little buggers before we brought them home. Okay, okay, he kept saying, but I was sure that when we went to the store and he actually saw the animals, we would have a showdown about actually bringing him home that night. But nope! Nadda! Not a single whine or beg to bring home a critter before the cage was set up.

In fact, the morning after we were at the pet store, he hopped out of bed at 6:30 sharp, marched out to where daddy and I were and promptly began helping to get everything ready.

So on Friday, Jason and I began calling around to different shelters (much better to adopt some poor little furry soul), and sure enough, there were some baby guinea pigs up for adoption.

Except that they were in Connecticut.

Well, that wasn't going stop Mommy and Quinn. No way! We packed ourselves into the car, armed with a big box filled with bedding, timothy hay, treats and pellets and away we went. 4 hours later, we were home! The proud owners of two cutie patootie baby piggies.

Quinn claimed naming rights, so here they are.

Meet Charlie:

He is soooooo sweet! Lover of tomatoes and timothy hay and a good nose rub. He's the smaller of the two, but definately the braver and more adventurous one.

And, according to the source, Quinn's new best friend:

And this is Roufy:

He's the bigger one, but more shy, and not real keen on treats while we're holding him... I think he's on to our taming tricks.

The best part - Jason loves Roufy. And Roufy loves Jason.

Well, I'm sure you'll get lots of piggy stories over the coming posts - there is just too much cuteness in this house!

Have a Happy Day!

Stinkin' Mad!

I'm mad.

And I've been working really hard on that let go and let live thing... so I've haven't been really mad for a long time.

This one I have a really hard time coming up with jokes about (though my co-workers and I did manage a chuckle or two).

Here's the deal.

Someone broke into our house!!!!

They took the laptop. And the GameCube. And... the Nintendo Wii!

Why? Why the Wii? That's just not right - Jason stood outside in the freezing weather for hours to get it. Is there any decency left in the world?

Seriously, though, I'm over the "totally freaked out and want to get out and live in a hotel" thing. We've got additional "security measures" in place now (not revealing what - state secret), although the boys have been sleeping with us the past couple of nights.

Ah, well. Let go and let live, right?

Anyway, we have a teensy weensy exciting thing happening in the next couple of days and I will share with you when I can.

Really, dude, the Wii?


Dontcha just love a bunch of quick, easy and beautiful cards?

Of course, you do!

Last weekend I broke out my new Fall Flowers Designer Paper and Priceless stamps and got to work on a quick One Sheet Wonder set. These are great to have on hand, and I left most of them blank so I could quickly add a sentiment when needed.

These were specificially inspired by Cambria's take on Stampin' Up!'s template - see her fabulous SCS gallery for inspiration!

So what do you do with a boatload of cards?

Make a box for them, of course! I love making chipboard boxes for my cards (see this post and the great bloggers linked there) and I decided to make another one to match this set.

A couple of people, including my fabulouso sister-in-law, Kim, have asked how I made my particular take on the good old chipboard box, so here it is.... My First Tutorial! Hope you enjoy, and I would really love any comments or advice you have. Frankly, I don't anticipate making too many tutorials, as I am too busy trying to keep up with everyone else's fabulous ideas. But, should some rare moment of genius strike, I'd like to know what I could do better.

First, though, I need to set the scene. My workspace is a little too crowded to make one of these boxes and keep the area clean enough to take pictures, so I moved to the kitchen table. So that's where we are.

Let's get started.

Step 1. Gather your supplies.

Here's a list of things you'll need-

1. Chipboard: I got mine from A.C. Moore, but, sadly, they don't carry it anymore. I'm sure it's available somewhere online or maybe at another local store (check there first, of course!)

2. Patterned Paper

3. Glue: I used Tombow mono multi for attaching the paper to the chipboard and the Zipdry glue for holding the box together.

4. Guillotine-type paper cutter or very sharp craft knife and ruler.

5. Crop-a-dile or other hole punch.

6. Sanding blocks or other file (I used the Basic Grey file kit)

7. General stamping supplies for decorating your box (stamps, ink, etc....)

Step 2. Cut Chipboard Pieces

You will need 5 pieces - 4 sides and a bottom!

Here are the dimensions I used (in inches).

1. 5 1/4 x 4 5/8 - cut 2 pieces this size

2. 5 1/4 x 3 - cut 2 pieces this size

3. 4 5/8 x 3 - cut 1 piece this size

I designed the box to hold standard 4.25 x 5.5 cards and envelopes. Of course, the dimensions can be easily changed, but I really like this size. I make the box a little short so you can see the tops of the cards peeking out - so cute!

Also, the chipboard I used (like all chipboard, I guess) is really tough stuff. There is no way my regular fiskars cutter would do the job. So I used my Tonic Guillotine. If you're using a guillotine-style cutter, you'll really need to hold the chipboard firmly in place as you cut, as it will move around as the blade goes through it. Another option would be to use a craft knife (keep it sharp!) and make a couple of passes.

Step 3. Cut Patterned Paper Pieces

You will need 2 pieces of patterned paper for each chipboard piece - one for the outside and one for the inside.

Here are the dimensions again:

1. 5 1/4 x 4 5/8 - cut 2 pieces from outside pattern and 2 pieces from inside pattern.

2. 5 1/4 x 3 - cut 2 pieces from outside pattern and 2 pieces from inside pattern

3. 4 5/8 x 3 - cut 1 piece from outside pattern and one piece from inside pattern.

Step 4. Glue Patterned Paper to Chipboard

Pretty self explanatory here....

As mentioned above, I used my Tombow Mono Multi for this step, and I have also used my Zipdry glue for this as well. But any good glue or adhesive will do the trick!

If you use a wet glue, make sure it doesn't buckle the paper. You can use a brayer to smooth out the paper and remove any bumps or wrinkles and to ensure a good bond.

Now, wait. wait. wait for that glue to DRY! Don't be too impatient. If the glue is wet on the next step (sanding), it could be very messy and frustrating (trust me on this...).

This might be a good time to make any embellishments you're going to use on the box (you can see how I did mine below).

Step 5. Sand the Edges.

Sanding the edges is important for 2 reasons. First, it will remove any excess paper hanging over the edge of the chipboard. Second, it creates a nice clean finish. You can sand a little (as I did here) for a subtle effect, or a lot, for a more distressed look.

For sanding, I used my "emery board" type file from the Basic Grey file kit. Stampin' Up!'s sanding block will also work, as would a regular old emery board or sanding paper.

A little tip: since you will be sanding both sides of your pieces, begin by sanding the inside first. That way, you finish by sanding the outside and can better control how it will look.

Step 6. Mark Hole Placement with Pencil Lines

Draw a light pencil line on the inside of each panel. This line will mark how far in from the edge your ribbon hole will be. For my box, I drew a vertical line 3/8 inch from the edge.

If you're using a Crop-a-dile to punch your holes, this is the only line you'll need to mark. If you're using another hole punch, i.e., the kind you need a hammer for, you will need to also draw two cross lines - one on the top and one on the bottom - to mark how far you want your holes from the top and bottom of the box, too.

You will only need to punch holes on the Four Side Panels, and not the bottom panel of the box. However, if you're paying attention, you will notice that I accidently punched holes in the bottom of my box, too. (got a little rambunctious, I guess). I just left them, since they can't be seen when the box is standing up. But I'm not using them for anything, so don't bother drawing your lines on the bottom panel.

Step 7. Punch Four Holes on each panel.

You should punch two holes at the top and two at the bottom of each panel.

With the Crop-a-dile, I set the depth for the largest hole punch (3/16 size hole) at 1/2 inch, so my hole would always be that far from the top and bottom edges of the box. Simply line up the large hole punch over the line. Looking through the little hole on the side of the Crop-a-dile, make sure your pencil line is in the middle and squeeze the handle.

If you're using the hole punch + hammer thingy, you will need to line up the hole punch in each corner where your lines cross.

After punching the holes, erase the pencil lines.

You can also use a small round file to sand the hole edges, too, but that's really not necessary.

Step 7 . . . again. Glue the First Side Panel to the Box Bottom.

Yes, yes... I have two step sevens... whoops...

Okay, now it's time to put it all together. Start by putting your bottom piece flat on your work surface, with the inside edge facing up. (Now you can see my accidental holes on the bottom panel. Remember, you don't need them). Grab one of your Side Panels to work with; it doesn't matter which one you start with.

This is where I switched to using my Zipdry Glue. Zipdry is a great paper glue that is clear, very fast drying and extremely strong. I use it for these boxes because the only place the box is actually glued is at the very bottom edge, and I know that Zipdry will do the job and hold everything together while the box is being assembled. I'm not sure how the Tombow Mono Multi would work here, and it would probably be just fine, I just haven't tried it. If you use something else that works, let me know!

Apply glue to the outside edge of the bottom panel and the very bottom edge of your side panel.

Step 8. Place First Edge and Support it While it Dries

Place the side panel (with the glue on the bottom) firmly against the edge of the bottom panel (the edge with the glue on it, of course) and make sure it is lined up.

You could just sit there and hold it while it dries, but that's a pain the patoot. I use something to hold the edge propped up in place while the glue dries (here, you can see I used a jar of mosaic tiles... another craft that had to be set aside temporarily while the boys are young and prone to put things in their mouths...).

Step 9. Glue Remaining Edges to Bottom of Box

Repeat Step 8 for the other three edges. Here you can see that the glue is holding strong and I no longer needed the jar to prop up the edges. The panels may, however, start tipping inward or outward. If so, make sure you keep each edge propped upright so the glue bond doesn't break.

This is the most tedious part of the process, but really doesn't take too long. Have patience and work carefully.

Step 10. Have a Chuckle at Elizabeth for having 2 Step 7's and forgetting Step 10.

Step 11. Add Ribbon and Embellishments.

Once all the sides are attached, they will usually sort of "rest" on each other while you thread the ribbon through.

I find that it is easiest to work on one corner at a time, both the top and bottom pieces of the ribbon. I thread the top and bottom pieces of ribbon through one corner and tie loosely (you know, the over/under thing you do before you make the loops on your shoe lace... what's that called anyway? It's like half a knot...). Gently tighten your "half-knots." This will add stability as you move on. Don't tighten all the way yet, though, because it is easy at this stage to pull too tight and make the box a little wonky. So what I do is thread the ribbon through the next corner and tighten and tie those knots. Then tie my first ribbon into knots and repeat the process on the other side.

The ribbon will really "pull" it all together and hold your box in place.

I have also seen boxes where the ribbon was "threaded," through the holes, which is also pretty, but I like to just tie a knot and cut off the ends, 'cause I'm a little lazy like that.

Finally, add your embellishments and you're good to go!

I added the next couple of pictures to show you how I go about covering my raw chipboard pieces. I'm not sure if this is the best way to do it, but it works for me. Leave a comment if you have any other ideas or something that might work better!

First, I stamp my images on the cardstock I want and then roughly cut it into the shape of the chipboard piece. I suppose I could first trace the chipboard shape on the paper and then stamp inside the outline, but, again, I picked the "lazy" way.

I glue the rough-cut paper piece onto the chipboard, then use my paper snips to roughly cut close to the edge of the chipboard piece.

(Note the design change.... :) ... Last minute change of plans....)

Then I just sand the edges so that everything is smooth and flat and pretty.


A Chipboard Box!!!

Complete with a pretty set of cards!

And, yes, the envelopes will fit in there, too, but mine were still back in the office and by this time, my boys had gotten home and I needed to take this one last picture and finish before everything was destroyed .... (notice the slight blur to the picture... Cade was pulling at my arms and clothes, trying to tell me something that just couldn't wait. LOL!)

If you read this whole thing, thanks for following along. And don't forget to leave any comments with tips, suggestions, etc... They're always appreciated!

Have a Happy Tuesday, everyone!