Monday, August 25, 2008

It's a Blogoversary Celebration!

And it's happening all day today over at my new location! Come join me - lots going on today - hope to see you there!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I've moved! Come visit!

Although I'm nowhere near done setting everything up the new blog site, I've opened it up and we're ready to go! I'll probably post a few more reminders here on Blogger, but all new content will be going on my brand spanking new WordPress blog! Click on the link and check it out! Don't forget to bookmark the new site and sign up for the RSS feed over there as tomorrow is the big Blogoversary day! All kinds of fun stuff planned so you won't want to miss out! See you on WordPress!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Moving!

Ok. So now that I've frustrated myself all morning with Blogger and trying to make it do what I want it to do, I've come to the decision that it's just time to move. I'm going to work on the new site (it will be Typepad) and make the switch once it's totally ready (hopefully on the 25th). Until then, I'll continue to post here and when I move I'll put the link up. Soooo, in the meantime, bear with me on the partially re-designed blog, lol!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Housekeeping

Well, I think I'm ready to take the plunge and get the blog re-organized! I've spent the past several days trying to figure it all out and copying down code I don't want to lose. Eek. Wish me luck! I'm going to start this in the morning but since my son will be home this weekend I anticipate it probably taking all weekend to get it all tweeked since I'll have to do it in spurts in between entertaining him, lol. So please excuse the dust while I renovate - and if I have to take the blog down temporarily, rest assured it will be back! :) Crossing my fingers it won't come to that...

Meanwhile, I thought I'd leave you with a couple of jewelry pieces I've made semi-recently.

Nothing difficult about this one - it's just strung - but I just LOVE these stones!!

This one isn't difficult either and because I used wood beads (which are REALLY inexpensive) and some Czech glass, it's super light and has been a staple this summer!

What's in store for year 2 of my blog?

Yup, getting organized is at the top of the list! Starting on my blogoversary (August 25, 2008 - don't forget to go to the link and post there to win!), I'll have a nice, neat little schedule of posts for during the week. Of course, I'll throw in other posts (there are those crazy days when I just want to blog every five minutes, lol), but I'm going to start working ahead so that you can always expect SOMETHING from me on Mondays through Saturdays. What will you be seeing? Here's the breakdown:

Material Mondays - Here's where I'll share a product, new or old, that just begs to be played with. Now remember, I do all kinds of crafts, and love to use products from one for another, so you can be sure I'll be showing you all kinds of ways to mix and match your products for different uses!

Totally Challenged Tuesdays - There are a gazillion challenge blogs around. I bookmark them, I get their feeds, I get inspired, I MEAN to do them, but I never get around to it. This will be my way of making myself pick at least one challenge, actually DOING the challenge, and sharing the link so you can play along too! Rather than try to keep up with one challenge blog, I thought it might be fun to just jump around a bit and dabble in all of them.

Who What Where When Why Wednesdays (aka WWWWW Wednesdays so I don't have to type that out every week, lol) - I get quite a few questions here and there and I wanted to have one place where everyone could benefit from the answers rather than just replying to one person's email. Anyways, ask away! Email me, post it as a comment under whatever post you'd like and on Wednesdays I'll compile all the Q's and A's in one handy reference guide. Where to find stuff, how to do stuff, why I did stuff, personal stuff (lol - within reason, folks) - I'll do my best to answer everything! Oh - and on that note, just wanted to interject here that if you've emailed me and I've NOT answered, I'm having some weird spam issues. I've got tons of stuff going to spam (sigh and tons of spam making it to my inbox) that shouldn't be and I've been trying to wade through my spam box to find the real messages but I have had this email addy for so long I get about 500-600 spam messages (really!) a DAY. So it's a disaster to keep up with. If I haven't responded within a couple of days, try emailing again!

Technique Thursdays - So as not to be confused with Technique Tuesday (whose stuff I LOVE...plan to see some of that on a random Material Monday!), I thought I'd pick Thursdays to share with you some random techniques - again, remember I do it all so expect to see everything from altering to beading to...whatever other craft is turning me on at the moment! This is the section I really want to add some videos to so stay tuned!

Festive Fridays - Let's celebrate the end of the week together! Here I'll have seasonal projects, cards, party ideas, etc., as well as giveaways and such. Grab a cocktail and sit down for a visit!

Shout Out Saturdays - Here I'll share with you some of my favorite finds from throughout the week. Blogs, projects, articles, - whatever I've come across that inspired me and I hope will inspire you as well.

I'm also trying to give the ol' blog a makeover to make all this easier to find and all that good stuff. Eek. Just trying to figure out how to do it without making a mess of all the odds and ends I've put on here.

So there's the grand plan. Whatcha think?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

CHA - Maya (the roomie, not the Road)

Although I have a ton of pics from the Maya Road booth (their designers are AMAZING!), this is about my roomie and new friend from the show! Originally I had planned on rooming with a friend, who decided she couldn't go. So then I changed my plans and was going to room with another girl from 2Peas and two other girls she had found to share the room. Well, a few days before the show and the day before the show, two of the four of us had to drop out for family/health reasons. So it was down to myself and Maya (who I'd never met or spoken to!) and a suddenly too expensive room with just the two of us. Maya made some calls and worked on the internet and ended up finding us a room here
for actually less than we'd have been paying as a foursome at the other hotel. Well, the Hilton is IN O'Hare. And for a four-star hotel, their service was insanely crappy. BUT, Maya ended up being the most awesome roomie! We both drove in from opposite directions on Friday and didn't meet up until late Friday night checking in to the hotel. We got along fabulously! Despite being tired (hello, she's seven months pregnant and worked 3 days at the Fiskars booth plus walked the show!), and the key fiasco (it took until the next day to actually have keys that worked in our door...like I said, the service there was really not impressive...), we sat up each night, chatting and watching Pretty Woman while she made these...

Are those adorable or what! She just sat on her bed crocheting away and lucky me got a set!

Here's Maya while we were waiting (of course Saturday was rainy - oh joy) for a shuttle over to the convention center area.


And we FINALLY got a pic together just before I left on Sunday. Worn out and ready to go home (poor thing still had a couple of hours left to work there at the Fiskars booth!) but really glad we met!

AC Picture Frame

I made this frame to hold a picture I love of my grandparents. I pulled the red and black from my Grandpa's jacket (eek!) and picked out these papers from American Crafts. I put several coats of spray gloss over the frame not only to protect it, but I also really liked the shine to it for this project. I used felt flowers from American Crafts and added black Stickles (Ranger) to dress them up a bit and glitter brads from Making Memories for the centers.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Supply storage

I made this to keep some of my crafty supplies close at hand. I honestly have so much stuff that I will forget about it if it's not in front of me so this is my solution. Here I can keep a selection of rubons, stickers, and other similarly packaged embellishments handy. I left slots for seasonal, new, and favorites. This piece is actually pretty darned big (24 inches high) so it will fit a lot of goodies. It's freestanding, however could be mounted to the wall as well and cup hooks added to the bottom to hang even more. If I had wall space, I would, lol! The piece was originally just a craft store unfinished wood piece. Glossy spray paint is your friend when working with big items like this! It REALLY didn' photograph well, but the top edge and all the front edges are actually covered in black ribbon with white polka dots (if you click on the pictures to see the gigantic version you can see the ribbon) . The papers I used are from EK's Arte Blanche line - they come 3 to a pack on nice, big rolls. This happens to be my favorite set - just love all the swirlies! The flowers at the top...well they will probably come off. I just don't know that I like them there. The labels on each bin are done with Heidi Swapp chipboard letters.



Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Scrapbook News + Review August Issue has released!

Come on over to Scrapbook News + Review and check out the latest issue! Well over 300 layouts, cards, altered items, and more! Don't forget - by subscribing, you not only get the current issue, but also all the back issues!

SNR September Issue Altered/Home Dec Calls for Submissions

Scrapbook News + Review is looking for your altered and home decor creations. September's Issue will feature things to alter for your kids' rooms and Back to School.

In particular, we are looking for:

Artful Rooms – things you have altered for use in your kids' rooms – all ages from baby to teen, boys and girls!

Options – our Options item this month will be message boards. Chalkboards, bulletin boards, memo boards – whatever you use to keep yourself and your household organized.

Seasonal – Back to School. Teacher gifts, frames, comp books – show us the things you've altered for the back to school season.

Wearables – We're looking for the things you've made from your paper crafting supplies that can be worn. Jewelry, totes, barrettes – anything goes! While there's no specific theme, we're hoping to see some backpack tags, school colors, and other items your kids (or you!) will be wearing when they return to school.

ATC Alley – We'd love to see your latest and greatest ATC cards.

The Details:
-Projects due by Aug 23rd.
-Must include complete supply list
-Must be 650 pixels on longest side
-Please include contact info
- Projects may be previously seen. If chosen, we respectfully request they be removed from any blogs or galleries. An 'Out for Publication' sign will be provided upon request.

Send submissions to: jfranklin@scrapbooknewsandreview.com


Contrary to popular belief...

I have NOT fallen off the face of the earth. Feels like it though, huh? Just been insanely busy for some reason. And what should one do when they're so busy they can't think straight? Of COURSE...do a major re-do of the crafting workroom. Yea. I'm out of my mind, lol! And my house is now a complete maze as I have made little piles of product everywhere while I organize everything I removed from the room and now have to figure out how to get back IN the room. Soooo not doing anything for my creative spirit, lol! Just about everything I've done in the past few weeks is off limits for the blog until after publication but I've been busy!

Now that the August issue of Scrapbook News + Review is up, I can share some of the projects I had in the July issue. Here are a few of my cards (there were more of my cards in the issue but I'm trying to figure out where I filed them on my computer, lol) :

This one is simple, using Bo Bunny papers, some Prima flowers, some Queen & Co felt, and a velvet brad.

Again, a very simple card - Prima papers and flowers, and some Target $1 spot adhesive pearls! Ooh - and this could even be considered hybrid (lol) - the words are computer generated!

This one was for a technique article on using glitter. Zsiage papers and chipboard letters, Prima flowers and loads of glitter! The article gives a quick tutorial on each of the techniques I used for making this card glittery (yea, it made my hair and house glittery as well...) Wondering why I scattered pink flowers in front with the teal ones? That's what the small flowers on the card looked like before I glittered!

I guess I really was all about the easy cards this issue! This one features Fancy Pants paper and a bunch of their stickers layered on. I even used a border sticker to add a quick embellishment to a candle to match. Cardstock stickers won't really stick to candles so I just made about a 1/2 inch overlap in the back and stuck a short straight pin in to hold it in place!

For this card I used one of my favorite quick and easy techniques. By simply cutting a chunk of paper into even strips and then lining them up with a little space between them, you retain the pattern and give it a whole new look! Love these papers from Stemma! Oh - and the candle WAS a burgundy thing that's been sitting around my house for years and years. I wanted to use it because the candle holder just looked kinda cool with the card but the burgundy just clashed. So that's white alcohol ink (Jacquard Pinata Ink) toning it down! Please note I have NO idea what would happen if I tried burning it with those inks on it. The round design makes it (in my mind, at least) an un-burnable (my invented word for the day, lol) candle anyways sooooo...I guess I'm just saying if you try this at home I'm not responsible for any sparks, fires, etc.! ;)


There were some really great cards in the July issue! If you missed it, don't despair! Subscribing now gives you access not only to the August issue, but also every back issue we've done! So that's FIVE issues now!

Don't forget the giveaway for my upcoming Blogoversary here!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Yikes - it's August?

I know I've been a horrible blogger this week - I really do have a ton of stuff to get posted if I can just find some extra time!

But to make it up to you I'll leave you for the moment with my happy find of the day. The incomparable Suze Weinberg has a blog! Seriously, she is absolutely amazing and her blogging style will inspire you, make you laugh, and make you want to be her BFF (yup, I'm her new stalker)! I spent a good chunk of time at CHA (eek, PROMISE I will post more than just a few of the videos I took!) just watching her create (kind of a CHA tradition for me - spend some time soaking up the Suze inspiration!). I had a m
illion things I SHOULD have been doing but it's just so hard to walk away until you see what she comes up with next! Anyways. Go check out the blog. Subscribe to the feed. And don't forget her favorite saying - "There are no mistakes - just opportunities for embellishment!".

Oooh! And also, check out Irene's blog today for a great tutorial on distressing acrylic. Her tutorials are always great but I REALLY love this one and intend to play with this later today (sigh, in between errands, a quick trip to Champaign, picnic lunch at school with the kiddo...)!

And to wrap up this morning's ramblings, here's a semi-failed pendant. I used one of the pendants from Provo Craft. They are nice and heavy and sturdy and should have been perfect. And would have been if it didn't turn green immediately in spots from the Glossy Accents. Which if there had been any green in the piece to begin with might not have been so bad. But I just don't like green with this particular piece.

I started with a piece of 7Gypsies paper (cut from the swatch book of the new line from CHA, lol, I was just so desperate to work with this line!) and added just a touch of Scribbles to glitter up a few of the lines. Then I added a tiny Prima and a faceted gem (note to self - Glossy Accents really removes any faceted effect - looks more like a mirror in person). I truly loved how it looked at that point and was excited to fill in the pendant with Glossy Accents and wait for it to dry. Well. This is how it dried. I guess you live and learn!

A quick funny

I passed this joke along forever ago and had to go hunt it down to post it here! Totally made me laugh and still does. :)

The Washcloth

This has to be read, laughed at and passed on. There is not a woman alive
today who won't crack up over this! I was due for an appointment with the
gynecologist later in the week. Early one morning, I received a call from
the doctor's office to tell me that I had been rescheduled for that morning
at
9:30 am.

I had only just packed everyone off to work and school, and it was already
around 8:45 am.

The trip to his office took about 35 minutes, so I didn't have any time to
spare. As most women do, I like to take a little extra effort over hygiene
when making such visits, but this time I wasn't going to be able to make the
full effort.

So, I rushed upstairs, threw off my pajamas, wet the washcloth that was
sitting next to the sink, and gave myself a quick wash in that area to make
sure I was at least presentable.

I threw the washcloth in the clothes basket, donned some clothes, hopped in
the car and raced to my appointment.

I was in the waiting room for only a few minutes when I was called in.

Knowing the procedure, as I'm sure you do, I hopped up on the table, looked
over at the other side of the room and pretended that I was in Paris or some
other place a million miles away. I was a little surprised when the doctor
said, 'My, we have made an extra effort this morning, haven't we?'

I didn't respond.After the appointment, I heaved a sigh of relief and went
home.The rest of the day was normal . Some shopping, cleaning, cooking.
After school when my 6 year old daughter was playing, she called out from
the bathroom, 'Mommy, where's my washcloth?'

I told her to get another one from the cupboard.

She replied, 'No, I need the one that was here by the sink, it had all my
glitter and sparkles saved inside it.'

NEVER going back to that doctor ever!!




Friday, July 25, 2008

Blogoversary coming up!

See that little countdown clock on the right side of the screen? Yup! One month from today my blog turns a year old! I've really been enjoying my little blog and hope you have too. I'm making some plans so you'll definitely want to check back to see what I'll be up to that day - giveaways, tutorials, a guest post or two...and whatever else I can come up with to celebrate!

To start the ball rolling just a little bit early, I'm starting one contest right now. As of today, I have had 18,731 visitors to my blog (that number just astounds me, lol!) and I want to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for sharing in the craftiness with me! Soooo, to celebrate, I have put together a little prize package for the reader who can come closest to guessing the number of visitors I'll have had by the time August 25th (my Blogoversary!) comes around! To enter, simply add a comment to this post with your guess and on 8/25 I will check my Sitemeter count (for an added hint, this was NOT added until my blog had been up and running a while - the flag counter is a new one I just re-added as well since my old one got messed up!) and the person with the closest guess will win!

I'll try to put everything together and get a photo a little later! :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yeah, I had to do the whole "sheeple" thing!

Because this is just too cool! A good chunk of my blog feeds were showing off their Wordle creations and I just had to have my own! Check out Wordle and join the "club"! ;) You can enter your blog addy and it will randomly pick words from your posts and make a collage out of them. You can change colors and remove words and tweak things OR rather than putting in your blog, you can just enter your own words! I can see this being a whole lot of fun for various papercrafting as well!Update - Ha! Thena was able to fix it for me, lol! Soooooo glad we've got someone like her working with us at SNR! Digi stuff (this is a PNG file...NO idea what to do with one of those, lol!) is just plain beyond me. But our adorably sweet Thena promises that making one's own paper and other seemingly impossible tasks are within our grasp. She's got tutorials on all kinds of fun stuff in the magazine (and, of course, her trademark poetry - just for us!) and one of these days I'll get the software to sit and TRY them!

Thanks, Thena!!!


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Some video demos from CHA, part 3

This was one of my favorite new toys released at the show! Around the Block always comes out with the most inventive doodads, lol! This is the BradMaker. Several companies have the little brads with center artwork under a flattened dome, but Making Memories comes to mind as having really done a lot with this look. Well, now you can do it yourself! Add ANYTHING - photos, pieces of patterned paper, bits of stamped images, whatever you'd like. You can also COVER brads with fabric and such, but we didn't get that on video (nor did I see it done, just know that it CAN be done).

You'll really have to forgive me on this video - I probably should have watched her demo this a few more times to get a feel for where she'd be moving when so I could back the zoom out in time...it's a bit wobbly at times and at the end she just kept moving while I was trying to zoom (lol - listen for Jennifer from ATB in the background telling her to stay still at the end - she was watching over my shoulder). But trust me - looks JUST like the ones from MM!

Psst, might need to turn your volume up a bit too - she's a little quiet and they were in a high traffic area near an entrance.

The MSRP for the BradMaker is $39.95. Refill kits available as well.

Had to switch to YouTube - Blogger just doesn't seem to like videos to be uploaded directly!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Some video demos from CHA, part 2

Another interesting tool that I suddenly can't figure out how I ever lived without! Magic Mesh has come up with the coolest use for their own meshy technology. This mat solves several problems scrapbookers and cardmakers come across in everyday creativity.

First, especially for those who don't have a dedicated space (with a door that CLOSES, lol), you can use this to pick up your project and store it elsewhere EXACTLY intact until you're ready to work on it some more. Also safe from dust, small fingers, kitty fur...

Secondly, for those who like to layer things but then have to re-figure where everything went during the adhesive process, this solves the problem BEAUTIFULLY! Definitely a home run in my book!

video

Besides this cool contraption, Magic Mesh has added some really nice new weaves to their traditional product. And has anyone NOT yet figured out just how awesome Magic Mesh is with acrylic? MADE for it, lol! Remember the color is on both sides of the mesh! OR, you could color one side of the mesh (the non-sticky side) another color using inks, paint, etc. I could go on and on, but I think I'll save that for another day! :)

Some video demos from CHA, part 1

I kept forgetting I had my camera, much less that it was a videocam, lol! Then when I would pull it out I did get a couple of those "deer-in-the-headlights" reactions from people who could demo the product for hundreds upon hundreds of people live, but froze in front of a camera. Sigh. But I did get a few good videos. They'll have a permanent home on Scrapbook News + Review's site once we figure out where, but in the meantime, hope you enjoy!

This first video is of the new trimmer from We R Memory Keepers. Releasing in mid-October (I'll be doing a complete review in the October issue of SNR) and retails for $10! Soooo simple, yet completely astounded me in how useful it's going to be for ME! The base is magnetic. So WRMK has a magnetic mat, or you could use the Basic Grey, or whatever. You can put the darned thing anywhere and get a straight line. No longer limited by the sides of your trimmer etc. so you can cut on weird diagonals too. This just makes so much sense!

The circle cutter, also, is magnetic. The blade is a standard size (so you could get Xacto refills - I forget what size, but they are available) and straight-cutting rather than other versions of this (cough, Elmer's) that use a rotary and don't end up in the same place when you get round the circle. Ok.

Enough of my chatting - on to my buddy Mike (I've known him for years from back when he worked for Chatterbox and I first became a buyer in this industry!) showing you his wares! Remember I still haven't figured out how to edit video so pardon my fidgeting, lol!

video

These two products are part of an expansion to their Ultimate Cutting Kit - honestly, it's pretty darned cool! I really like their cutting mat and the diagonal lines built in! Oh, and that's the old circle cutter that comes with it shown in the link and the one in the video is the prototype for the new (the real thing will be purple to match everything else and not the ugly orange, lol - I checked to make sure!).

Monday, July 21, 2008

Back from CHA!

I have sooooo much to share I don't have a clue where to begin! I have to upload all my photos and video still and all kinds of things, but thought I'd share this quick photo of me with Cathie and Steve from Creative Juice! Can I just say he is soooo much yummier in person? But I was a good girl - I tried really hard to focus on Cathie just to avoid slipping up and asking if I could have his children, lol! I mean, come on - a man that looks THAT good AND is creative? Swoon...


And, of course, me with some of the girls from Scrapbook News and Review! On my left (looking at the picture) is Carla, who is our Advertising Manager, and on the right is Caitlin, our beloved Editor in Chief! It was marvelous to finally meet them both in person!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

More CHA Sneak Peeks

While I'm off seeing these in person, just thought I'd give you all more to drool over while you wait! :)