Wednesday, February 28, 2007

{ look what I found }

After seeing the new Stampendous stamps on Julie HRR's blog I knew I'd have to have them! Yesterday I found these stamps at Classic Scrapbooking in Chilliwack, BC! I thought they weren't going to be available until March so it was very exciting to see them on the store shelf already! The ones I got are called Ruffled Bloom and Fresh Bloom.

I can't wait to play with these! I think they will look beautiful watercolored or even the technique I used a few cards ago where I stamped the image with classic ink and then immediately paint over the stamped image with an aquapainter to give it a cool blurry look.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Hey Cupcake!

Here's a cute card I made yesterday using the adorable little stamp set from Jill. The 4 little cupcake images are by Denami. The "hey cupcake" is an A Muse stamp and the background is Stampin' Up! Wow, did I buy anything used on this card?! Yes, the card stock and the word window punch, not to mention the double sided tape and the circle punches LOL.

To see another cute cupcake card be sure to check out Nancy's blog! I convinced her to make a cupcake card yesterday as well.

There's some interestingly mysterious blog candy here. I'm not sure how you even enter, but the prize is amazing! If you can figure it out please let me know.

{ 101 organizational tips }

A couple of blog candies ago I asked everyone to leave either a paper crafting organizational tip or some other tip. I've just completed compiling all of the tips into a word document. It's now available as a free download:

Click here to download Organizational Tips.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

{ lost & found cards }

I made a batch of these cards a couple weeks ago at Andrea's house and then they went missing. I just assumed they were in my messy stamp room tucked away somewhere. I had also lost my bottle of stampin' mist. Yesterday when I was at Andrea's again I was re-united with my cards and my mist! I guess I left them there last time, oooops. ;-)

This design was totally inspired by a card I saw on Debbie's blog in January. I love her stamping style! Her designs are so elegant and pretty.

For this card I used all Stampin' Up! stamps & accessories plus my Cuttlebug to emboss the background.

If you have any questions about this card or any of my cards please feel free to leave a comment to ask me for more details. I am always willing to share with you what materials I use on my designs, where you can buy them and what techniques I used. Even if I don't post this info in the original post I sure don't mind answering any questions for ya. :-)


{ taylor }

One of my all time favorite stamp bloggers is Taylor. If you've never been to her blog you need to wander over and check out all of her creative works of art. One of my favorite features on her blog is Cupcake Day. Every Friday she posts a card she's made using cupcake stamps - and they are always very cute! I noticed that she now does a link exchange, so if you have a stamping blog and would like to trade links with her you can let her know.

Taylor's blog: Taylored Expressions

That reminds me, I also do a link exchange! If you have a craft related blog I'd be happy to exchange links with you.

Friday, February 23, 2007

{ beate }

Did you know Beate from Splitcoaststampers has a blog ? I've admired her cards in her gallery for a couple years and have enjoyed her tutorials on splitcoast and now I get the fun of visiting her blog! The way she photographs her cards totally inspired me to add a few accessories to the picture. I think it looks so neat! Anyway, check out her blog - you will be glad you did!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

{ installing a banner - tutorial found }

Thanks to Jovi on SCS I now have a tutorial to share with those of you who'd like to install your own banner on your blog!

Here it is!

{ nice springy card }

I bought this gorgeous Crate Paper - Birdie Collection last week when I had that amazing shopping day with Jill. Before the store even opened for their incredible 40% off the entire store sale I spotted this pack of paper through the window, but once we got in there it was gone!

Thankfully Jill was able to find it on another shelf for me! Isn't it beautiful! I had to show the inside of the card as well so you could see that the card stock is double sided. The clear scallop circle sticker over the main image is by A Muse. Pretty cool, eh? The narrow ribbon was from Costco and the wide ribbon was from Michael's.

To color the image I took Stephanie's suggestion and used a blender pen with chalk. It sorta chewed the paper up a bit, which is annoying. Maybe on different card stock it would be better. This is SU whisper white. I received the scallop circle punchies as a RAK. I'm still debating if I should get the circle punches. If one of my local stamping friends got the circles then we could use each other's (hint, hint). :-)

{ similar layout - different card }

Yesterday when I made the elegant card with the cuttlebug and encore copper ink I also made this card. You can see it has a very similar layout, but the results are completely different. I used the new SU punch to do the white border on the lower edge - how cool is that! I don't own this punch yet, but Stephanie's downline was kind enough to let us use it. Thank you!

I used Amy's little trick for the ribbon tabs - what a neat idea!

To color the image I used Prisma pencil crayons and blended it with odorless mineral spirits and a stump (from China, even though I hear the ones from Taiwan are supposedly better). If anyone knows where to get the ones from Taiwan please let me know. I'm also looking for real Gamsol as well.

The oval floor that the main image is sitting on is from A Muse Artstamps. You can buy these at Precious Memories in Langley.

The background stamp is by Stampin' Up! I am pretty sure this is the first time I've used it and I've had it for at least a year.

What's everyone up to today? Any stamping plans? Don't forget to watch Grey's Anatomy tonight, it's going to be a good one! Will Meredith live? She has to, right?!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

{ an elegant design }

I think this card is a little more elegant than what I have been making lately. I'm quite happy with how it turned out. The main flower image is actually cuttlebugged card stock. I used my new stylized flower embossing folder and then lightly brushed the card stock with Encore copper ink.

I've made another card with this layout and will post it tomorrow.

Have a good day!

Cindy

Monday, February 19, 2007

{ it finally happened }

Tired of your messy ink pads? Organize them neatly with a Craft Rack!

My beloved Cuttlebug's B plate finally bit the dust! I've only had my Cuttlebug since Christmas, but I guess it's been getting quite the workout lately. To see all the gory details just click on the sad little photo to the left. Does anyone know if Provocraft gives out free replacements for these? What about Michael's? I think they should make the top B plate out of a semi-flexible material to prevent this breakage from happening. Maybe if we all bombard Provocraft with this idea they will do something about the design flaw.

ETA: I phoned Provocraft and they were all friendly and helpful and said they'd definitely send me a replacement - no questions asked.... UNTIL they realized I am in Canada! They flat out refused to send me a replacement because they said it would cost too much to mail it here. I find it a little frustrating that they don't seem to offer any follow up support to Canadians when we have a problem with one of their products. They suggested I try getting Michael's to give me a free replacement. I phoned Michael's and spoke to a manager and explained the situation. He didn't seem very eager to help, but finally he agreed to replace the broken plate for me. When I got to Michael's they gave me a package that had 2 of the B plates in it. So, I am happy now that my cuttlebug is back in working order!

Read more Cuttlebug Reviews at the Craft Critique blog!

See some of my Cuttlebug projects here.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

{ and the winner is }

The winner of my Friday blog candy is . . . Jana Weaver and she said:

Hi Cindy, Jana here! Thought I'd drop my name in the hat to win since I don't have any cuddlebug stuff over here yet!! :-)

Congratulations Jana! Please email me with your address so I can get your prize off to you.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

{ stephanie card }

Here's a card I made this afternoon for Stephanie! 'Looking forward to stamping with you later! Woohoo a fest-a-bella!

ETA:
Jen said: "Can you confirm how you made this card? I rec'd my Big Blossom stamp the other day too... love it. Thanks, cindy! "

Here's how I made this card...

1. I stamped the smaller flower by Hero Arts with Pixie Pink classic ink on confetti white card stock and immediately spread the ink around using an aqua painter.
2. While the card stock was still wet I cut out the flower... and as it dried the petals curled up nicely all by themselves.
3. I applied stickles to the petals and set it aside to dry.
4. Next I inked up the big blossom stamp with Pixie Pink classic ink and then "kissed" it with a clean stamp from the Big Pieces stamp set. I cleaned the stamp between each smooch. Then I put the big blossom stamp rubber side up on the table and put some white confetti card stock over it and rubbed it with a closed ink pad (you could use your hand or a brayer).
5. Then I drew the dashes around the edge with a black SU marker and then cut out the flower and attached it to a black card. I trimmed off the pieces of flower than were hanging over the edge.
6. Then I added the brad to the center of the hero arts flower and attached it to the big blossom with a couple of glue dots.

{ playing with new stamps }

Here's a card I made yesterday for Andrea H. (the giver of my blog candy below, don't forget to enter before tonight!).

Card Recipe:

Stamps: flower from Hero Arts, flourishes from Rhonna Farrer (UM clear stamps).

Cuttlebug swirls embossing folder.

The flower was watercolored with my aqua painter and SU watercolor wonder crayons. Then I applied a layer of crystal effects.

The faux diamonds are from A Muse and the fabric covered brad is from Making Memories.

The colors are So Saffron and Orchid Opulence.

I used a Tim Holtz distress tool to muck up the edges a bit and of course did DTP on the edges as well. What's a card without DTP?!

Be sure to read the next few posts below.... there's blog candy, free stamping gift, card class in a box... lots of good stuff! I'll be back online later tonight to announce the winner of the blog candy!

If you're still in need of a personalized custom watermark I can create one for you!

{ free stamping gift }

I want to sell some Craft Racks! So, what I'm going to do is offer a free stamping gift to the first 10 people who place an order for one of the amazing organizational units.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Blog Candy

This week's blog candy is compliments of my friend Andrea H. She's giving away a brand new Making Memories paper piercing tool and a piece of plastic canvas to be used as a template for poking your holes. And to celebrate the exciting order I just got today I'm going to include a stack of cuttlebugged card stock (card stock that I'll put through the cuttlebug with a variety of different embossing folders). Please leave a comment on this post with your first name to be entered and then go tell a friend to enter as well! :-) If I get over 200 entries I will give away a second surprise package! The winner will be announced on Saturday night. (Feb. 17 - tomorrow!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

{ blog candy alert }

Stampin' in the Prairies blog has some great looking blog candy right now! Be sure to pop over there before Sunday and leave a comment to be entered in her draw.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

{ exciting announcement }

I'm very excited to announce my new business venture! I will be taking orders for these amazing organizational units called "Craft Racks!"

I'd love it if you took a peek at my Craft Rack website to see firsthand what I'm talking about.

The pictures shown here are of my Craft Rack loaded up with all my ink pads. The one I have holds 70 ink pads... but the new version holds 75!

There are 4 different Craft Racks available. You can see photos, read detailed descriptions and more at my Craft Racks site. Please email me if you're interested in placing an order. We can ship anywhere in Canada & USA.

Baking :: Andrea's Sugar Cookies

Andrea's Sugar Cookies

Cream 1/2 cup butter with 1 cup sugar. Add 1 beaten egg, 2 tbsp milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla. Beat until fluffy in kitchen aid mixer.

Sift together 1 3/4 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt.

Add dry ingredients to wet, combine. Chill.

Roll chilled dough 1/4" thick and cut with cookie cutters. Bake in a 375 oven for 6-8 minutes. Do not overbake. Cookies will not look brown when they are done.

* Thanks for the recipe, Andrea! They turned out great! *

For the icing I used the recipe on the icing sugar bag. I forgot the salt when I made these and they still taste delicious. Weird, eh?

{ jill's new blog }

Today Jill came over so I could help her set up her blog and, of course, we stamped, too! Here's a little prezzie I gave her for valentine's day. I can't say what's in it since she's not allowed to open it until tomorrow.

I made this little box using the coasters I received from Keri (see the blog candy she sent me a few posts below).

Monday, February 12, 2007

{ and the winner is }

The winner of my Bella Card Kit is:

mishkismom said...

I keep all my little things in tilt bins with clear fronts from QVC I have a ton of them and they are all filled!That way I can see (which means use)all that I have!

Please email me with your address so I can send your prize off to you! Congratulations! :-)

{ readers blog candy }

Look what came in the mail today! Am I spoiled or what?! When I saw there was a parcel with my name on it I was thinking, "hmm I don't remember ordering anything." And the envelope is all stamped nice & pretty so, of course, I was very excited! Then I opened it to find yards and yards of beautiful ribbon and 8 valentine stamps. To top it all off there was an absolutely gorgeous card, but I still didn't know why I was receiving this amazing parcel until I read the card....

"Surprise! Your turn to be on the receiving end of blog candy! This is readers blog candy! The stamps are for Laura & Rachel - I'm sure they will loan them to you! Thanks for the blog - Lois".

Lois, I can't thank you enough! Wow, this is so amazingly generous of you. The girls will be absolutely thrilled as well. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

{ blog candy }

I'm ready to announce my blog candy! It's a Bella Card Kit! This kit includes everything you need to create 6 unique bella cards; card stock, embellishments, stamped images, cuttlebugged backgrounds, punched out scalloped circles and ovals, etc. All you'll need to do is color the bellas and attach everything together and you'll have 6 cards. I'll even include 6 envelopes for you, too.

How to Enter:
Simply leave a comment on this post with your first name and tell me 1 organizational tip. Your tip can be craft related or not, it's up to you. How easy is that?!

I'll randomly pick a winner on Monday February 12 after 6:00 pm PST. Be sure to check back then to see if you've won. The winner will have to email me with their address.

Have a great weekend and please feel free to spread the word about my blog candy.

Here's my tip:
I have a drawer called "Card Starters"... I started this drawer when I was an SU Demo to keep leftover cut up pieces from workshop make & takes, then I've added to it anytime I stamp and/or color extra images. So when I want to make a quick card I can just open this drawer, grab a few pieces and adhere them together.

I also have a drawer for each color family for my scraps. Recently I went through these drawers and put all the big pieces through my cuttlebug with embossing folders and then I punched out all the smaller scraps. I store my cuttlebug backgrounds and punchies in SU stamp boxes. You may be wondering why I have so many extra SU stamp boxes. Well, I've taken all of my background stamps & monograms out of the boxes... why does a single stamp need a box, right? :-)

{ new blog candy TBA }

Hi again! I know I promised everyone some exciting new blog candy this weekend and I just wanted you to know that I haven't forgotten. Please check back later... it's going to be good!

{ and the winner is }

The winner of my Purple Bella Card is Denise and she said:

I love that PURPLE Bella! So sweet!
My favorite meal to cook is CHILI - it's quick, easy, the ultimate comfort food when the weather is cold and blustery like it is today. Into a bowl with cheese and sour cream, or over tortilla chips w/cheese as nachos, or my husband likes to combine it with a hotdog for the best coney!

Denise, please email me with your mailing address so I can send your card out to you!

{ groovy give-away }

Please tell Erika I (Cindy Keery) sent you... when you go over to her blog to enter her amazing blog candy! She's giving away a brand new SU stamp set!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

{ pumpkin bellas }

I had to force myself not to use purple on this card! I didn't want you to think that bellas only came in purple. LOL. For this card I used a couple of the new stamps I got today.

I wonder whose birthday this is for... hmm... it's a mystery. :-)

ETA:

gremhog said:

"hey, it's my birthday today. thanx for the card. Now where do I get these bellas? I have a granddaughter named Ella."

Happy Birthday grem! You can order Bellas from StampingBella.com

{ de-stressify with stamps }

This morning I had an overwhelming (but fine) appointment. I started off by getting lost and driving around for 40 minutes.... so by the end of the appointment I was completely stressed out... thankfully I found a stamp store ---- ahhhhh relaxing. :-) You can see what I bought to the left. Can you believe that there is a stamp to go with my favorite punch of all time?? Scallop oval STAMP!! Wow, who woulda thought?! Then I got that scallop dotted border stamp. I figure I can pierce holes in it for a cool looking border. And I came across the flower stamp that reminded me of the one Amy used on her blog recently. I'll have to check to see if it's identical and then copy her gorgeous card. :-) The small oval stamp is going to be used as a floor for my bellas. And, lastly I finally found a piercing template that's as wide as a card! Yahoooo.... so I had fun and calmed down for the drive home.

ETA: The flower stamp is Hero Arts, the scalloped oval stamp is My Sentiments Exactly, the small oval stamp is Memory Box and the scalloped line stamp is A Muse. The piercing template is Lasting Impressions.

When I got home I found this awesome blog candy in my mailbox from Keri at Pink Lemonade. Thank you so much Keri! What an awesome prize. I've never used the coasters or giant paper clips, so it will be fun to play! Your card is gorgeous, too, by the way. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

{ stampabella card }

Here's a weird color combo I came up with yesterday. It started with the image of stampabella. I tried a new coloring technique. I used my versamarker to pick up color from my SU watercolor wonder crayons and colored with it. Then I applied pearl ex to the dress and suit case using a clean paint brush. Pearl ex sticks to versamark so this worked quite nicely. I'm not so sure about coloring with the versmark & watercolor crayons, though. The stazon ink bled a little. If you click on it and take a close look at her face you'll see what I mean. So the weird color combo is: rose red, almost amethyst and elegant eggplant. Her hair is barely banana. Don't you use love that little envelope? I used the punch I received at Christmas from my CST gift exchange.

Scroll down a few posts for blog candy!

Monday, February 05, 2007

{ Bows & Shrimp Alfredo }

This afternoon when I was driving to pick up the kids from school I was wondering what to make for dinner... so I came up with this recipe.

Ingredients:

Pasta:
-1 box Whole Wheat Bow tie pasta cooked in boiling, salted water until tender.

Sauce:
-1/4 cup butter
-1 tsp olive oil
-2 cloves garlic
-1/4 flour
-3 cups milk
-1 tsp dried oregano
-fresh ground pepper
-seasoning salt to taste
-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
-cooked shrimp (I used a shrimp ring from M & M Meat Shops)
-green onions to garnish

To make the sauce melt the butter with olive oil (butter burns easily and olive oil prevents butter from burning), add minced garlic. Cook for a few minutes at medium-low heat. Whisk in flour. Cook for a few minutes while stirring. Add milk gradually, whisking constantly.

Meanwhile heat your shrimp on a frying pan with just a bit of olive oil. Add to thickened sauce along with parmesan cheese and seasonings. Serve over whole wheat bow tie pasta and garnish with green onions.

PS. Don't forget to enter my blog candy draw on the post below this one! And stay tuned because there is an exciting blog candy coming this weekend!! You really won't want to miss this one.

{ blog candy - win my purple bella card }

Please leave a comment on this post if you'd like to be entered to win my purple bella card (shown below). I will also throw in a few do-dads (embellishments of some sort)! In your comment please answer this question: What is your favorite meal to cook and why?

I'll randomly pick a winner on Friday, February 9 at 11:00 pm. Feel free to spread the news about my blog candy. If there are over 100 entries I will throw in and extra surprise. Don't forget to check back on Saturday morning to see if you're the lucky winner!

I'm working on a *really* exciting blog candy for the weekend, too, so you won't want to miss that!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

{ blog candy }

Tami has some really amazing prizes to give away on her blog right now! All you have to do to enter is donate $2 to her relay for life team (fundraiser for the American Cancer Society). So, pop on over to her blog, donate to a good cause and be entered to win her great prizes.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

{ purple bella }

Last night at byoc I used Jill's acrylic blocks to stamp a few sheets of bellas to hold me until I get the girls mounted on foam & wood. So tonight I used my aqua painter and SU watercolor crayons to paint a few of them.

I heard a rumor that purple is the new hot color in papercrafting, so I thought I might as well use it! I've got to keep up with the trends you know. LOL

ETA: I bought my Prismacolor Pencil Crayons at Michael's with a 40% off coupon a few years ago. I also bought a pencil sharpener there (non-electric) and it destroyed the pencil crayons. Thankfully Michael's let me exchange them for a new set and at that time I bought an electric pencil sharpener from staples and it worked great. I now use the SU pencil sharpener and it also works great. My electric one died.

The "Gamsol" I use is from Michael's also and this is what it says on the bottle: Grumbacher, Pre-Tested Odorless Thinner. It was in the art supply section. The stumps (also known as tortillions) were also in that section. They come in various sizes.

Here's a great tutorial for working with Gamsol.

Yes, that is a watermark I made just for my bella cards. Isn't it cute?

{ byoc }

Here's a pretty card I made last night while I was stamping with Jill & Sarah at byoc (Bring Your Own Craft). We had lots of fun and I hope we can do it again sometime!

For this card I stamped the image with stazon, colored with prismacolor pencil crayons and blended it with gamsol and a stump. Notice the diamond in the center of the flower? I love adding a little touch of sparkle to a card. And, of course, I had to add ribbon.

I gave this card to my Grandparents today for their 57th anniversary!

Friday, February 02, 2007

{ bellas are here }

My bellas made their way across Canada and arrived at my doorstep (OK, in my mailbox down the road) yesterday. I have a feeling I shouldn't have given this little darling black nylons LOL, but she was the first one I colored, and it was late.

For anyone who knows me you know I don't do un-mounted stamps, but these images were just too cute to resist. My plan is to mount them on foam and wood. In the meantime I couldn't just let them sit there un-inked so I adhered them one by one to the bottom of an altoid tin with double sided tape and stamped away.

I hope to have some time today to complete some bella cards!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

{ bon voyage mon chocolat quilt }

I'm very excited to be sending my quilt on a trip this weekend! Now that I've completed the quilt top, pieced the backing, and bought the batting I've decided to get it professionally quilted on a long arm machine.

Hopefully while quilt is away we can paint our bedroom and possibly even put new flooring down (but that may be pushing it just a little LOL).

On another note, you guys have sure been keeping me busy creating watermarks for you - thanks!! Keep the orders coming! :-) I'm extending the introductory pricing until midnight tonight. So any orders placed before then will be $8 CDN or $7 USD for 2 identical watermarks (1 opaque black, 1 opaque white).

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