Happy Birthday!

This is a very busy week around our house.  Not only do we have some great Fourth of July activities coming up, but we are also getting ready for our family vacation, which translates into, “I’m getting everything ready for our family vacation”.  Raise your hand if you know exactly what I mean.

Yes, I thought so!

In the midst of everything that goes into the basic care and feeding and keeping alive of the child and the pets there is nothing that will take your busy quotient to an “11” like a vacation, at least when you are the mom.  I have made hotel reservations, procured theme-park tickets, done more laundry loads than I can count, and printed day-to-day directions along with maps so that we don’t get lost.  I promise, I do relax when we get there, it is just the getting there that is tough.

However, nothing could stop me from making something pretty for my niece, Haley, who has a birthday next week.  I started with our sketch over at Stamping Challenges and went from there:  SC27

Stampy Stuff: Stamps: Mixed Bunch, Itty Bitty Banners Cardstock:  Island Indigo, Pistachio Pudding, Whisper White, Venetian Romance designer series paper, silver glimmer paper  Inks: Crisp Cantaloupe, Pistachio Pudding, Island Indigo  Accessories:  Blossom Punch, Bitty Banner framelits, Basic Rhinestones

Stampy Stuff: Stamps: Mixed Bunch, Itty Bitty Banners Cardstock: Island Indigo, Pistachio Pudding, Whisper White, Venetian Romance designer series paper, silver glimmer paper Inks: Crisp Cantaloupe, Pistachio Pudding, Island Indigo Accessories: Blossom Punch, Bitty Banner framelits, Basic Rhinestones, Ruffle stretch trim in Crisp Cantaloupe

 

There are several things I really love about this card, and I know my niece will love, too!

  • The Venetian Romance paper looks almost like fabric on the card.  There are a lot of subtle-looking textures on it that you can’t really see until you get it in your hands.
  • The Ruffle Stitch Trim is so, so pretty!  I have been using it more and more and I have been really happy with the different ways that you can adapt it.
  • Glimmer paper!  Making that little shimmery backer to the “Happy Birthday” banner was super easy with this super-shiny paper.  Here is a closer look:  SC27 close up

I can’t wait to see her face in just a short time, and I hope that she has a great birthday.  Make sure to check out the other takes on our sketch this week, and take the time to stamp something that makes you happy, too!

Kim

Stamping Challenge Time!

Hi Stampers!  It is that time of week for another fun sketch over at Stamping Challenges.  This week we were given this cute sketch as our starting point:

SC26

 

My take on it this time was this:

Stampy Stuff:  Stamps: Flower Shop, Happy Day, Oh Hello  Cardstock: So Saffron, Whisper White  Inks:  Basic Gray, Daffodil Delight  Accessories: Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, Ovals Collection Framelits, Pansy Punch, 3/4" Daffodil Delight Chevron ribbon

Stampy Stuff: Stamps: Flower Shop, Happy Day, Oh Hello Cardstock: So Saffron, Whisper White Inks: Basic Gray, Daffodil Delight Accessories: Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, Ovals Collection Framelits, Pansy Punch, 3/4″ Daffodil Delight Chevron ribbon

 

This was a fun card to make!  Here are my favorite parts of it:

  • I love how easy it is to combine several stamp sets to get the look I want.  It gives me the added flexibility of either staying within one set, or mixing it up.
  • The Big Shot made quick work of the embossing and cutting out the oval after I had stamped it.
  • The new Pansy punch works great with all the images in the Flower Shop stamp set.
  • Finally, the colors came together without problem because I always start with my Color Coach!

I hope you like this week’s card!  If you want to play along, go on over to our website at Stamping Challenges and load up your own creation.  I hope you have a great weekend, and get a chance to stamp something that makes you happy!  

Kim

 

 

Kid’s Stamp Camp is a blast!

About a month ago I made a decision to try a new type of class to see how it would be received.  I have always had classes for the grown-ups, and have occasionally had a “mom and me” class where the mom works alongside her kiddo to make a few projects.  I guess I got some extra courage, or maybe it was just that I have known these kids since they were all in kindergarten together, but I made up my mind to have a Kid’s Stamp Camp.  The camp is two days long, and each day the kids come for 4 hours of stamping and lunch.  For this go around our projects consisted of a “This and That” album, complete with washi tape, Cute Clips, and the stickers that match, a decorated bird house, and a set of cards (so they can write to the grandparents this summer).

Today we had 4 campers, including my own kiddo, and here are some pictures of what they did today:

A great start to the day!

A great start to the day!

Hard at work on her journal.

Hard at work on her journal.

Not quite finished, but look at all the work!

Not quite finished, but look at all the work!

Enjoying stamping and working with her summer journal.

Enjoying stamping and working with her summer journal.

Lunch break

Lunch break

First of all, let me say that if you are a parent of one of these kids, you should be extremely proud of them!  These ladies behaved so nicely, shared EVERYTHING, and really had a great time working together.  They were so respectful of the stamps and ink pads that after a brief lesson in “here is how you stamp, and here is how you clean a stamp” I basically was just there to fetch more stuff as they had ideas and to make sure that they had plenty of pretty things to add to their journals.  In other words, I will gladly stamp with these ladies any day of the week.  Well done!

After they finished up today they helped me clean up the table, then settled down for a well-deserved treat of chocolate chip cookies (come on, it is stamping!  there has to be chocolate!), a little movie time, and a couple of rousing games of “Trouble”.  While they were doing that, I was adding a few little goodies to their take-home bags to surprise them.

I can’t wait to see them again tomorrow, and to see the birdhouses and cards when they are finished with them.

So, the next time you don’t think you are creative, please pull this post back up and check out what the 9-year old set is doing.  Because they are a pretty inspiring little group.  I hope that you have a great day, and that you get to stamp something that makes you happy, too!

Kim

 

It’s Officially Summer…

…here in Texas.  A lot of people would argue that summer doesn’t start until June 20th, but I can tell you that summer is a bit more fickle about dates on a calender here.  Sometimes summer decides that it is going to start in February, and more than one Thanksgiving has seen me buying a turkey and sage wearing shorts and flip-flops.  We are kind of used to being flexible here, since there are some days that we run both our heat and our air conditioner within the time frame of a couple of hours.  My daughter described it perfectly one day when she was four-years old as we walked home from the park in heat so intense that I felt like my shoes were turning into liquid.

“Mommy, would you carry me home?” (We were 50 feet into a walk of about 1/4 mile.)

“No, honey, you have to just put one foot in front of the other and keep going.  We’ll be there really soon.” (God please forgive me for lying to the child.  It was truly an act of kindness to keep her from fully melting down.  No pun intended.  Amen.) 

“But, my knees have gotten all bendy, and I’m just all melty!”

Bless her.  “Melty” made the official Williams’ Family Lexicon from that moment on.  Now that I am well into my 40’s I find myself getting melty more and more often.

So, back to summer, and card making.  Since it is challenge time over at Stamping Challenges  and my thoughts are focused on surviving another Texas summer I wanted to go bright and flowery.  Our sketch this week is this: SC25My take on it is this:

Stampy Stuff:  Stamps:  Summer Silhouettes, My Friend Cardstock: Tempting Turquoise, Real Red, Whisper White, Vellum Ink: Pear Pizzazz, Old Olive, Tempting Turquoise, Real Red Accessories: Tasteful Trim Bigz XL Die, Deco Labels Framelits, Mini Silver Brads

Stampy Stuff: Stamps: Summer Silhouettes, My Friend Cardstock: Tempting Turquoise, Real Red, Whisper White, Vellum Ink: Pear Pizzazz, Old Olive, Tempting Turquoise, Real Red Accessories: Tasteful Trim Bigz XL Die, Deco Labels Framelits, Mini Silver Brads

I like a lot of things about this card, but some of my favorites are:

  • Stamping on the vellum and on the white cardstock layer under it.  It is a great way to get depth and multiple images without overcrowding the main image.  By keeping the bold image up front and filling the back with leaves and small flowers you can achieve a great look.
  • The rick-rack from Tasteful Trim.  I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for this little element, on clothes and on cards, but there is something you can’t see here…it is hiding a little mistake I made lining up the image on the left.  That is what we call a happy accident in stamping.
  • The colors!  I love bright colors, and with a quick check of my color coach I had these picked out and was ready to go.  It is one tool that I use almost every single time I stamp.

I hope that you will play along with us this week, and leave a comment here, too!  I really enjoy reading your comments and always look forward to seeing the great cards that people enter over at Stamping Challenges.  Have a fun week, and until next time, Happy Stamping!

Kim

 

Stamping Challenge 23

Hi Stampers!  It is time for another weekly challenge from Stamping Challenges, so get out your ink pads and come play along with us.  This week’s sketch that we started with was this:

SC23

 

Lots of possibilities with this one!  I wanted to do something that was quick and easy for a couple of reasons.  The most pressing one is that my deadline for entering my card ends in 38 minutes, and the second one is that the last week of school has been kicking me hard!  There is nothing that will suck the life out of you faster than trying to get through the last two weeks of elementary school.  I can’t even imagine how the teachers are feeling right now, because as a mom, I’m kind of over 3rd grade.  Don’t get me wrong, my kiddo hit the teacher jackpot this year!  She has had probably her best year of school in the history of ever, and I am grateful for that.  But anyone who has ever had a kid realizes that those last couple of weeks are like counting down to send a rocket to the moon:  stress levels are high, the checklists you go through are a mile long, and one mistake can scrub the entire mission.

Thankfully her last batch of school stuff came home today, the final party was finished up, and I happened to have a nice collection of cards to add to our teacher’s “Thank-you-so-much-for-taking-care-of-my-child” gift.  I made sure that she also had a gift card that will keep her up to her eyeballs in Starbucks this summer as well, so it is all good.

Anyway, to keep my card quick and easy I decided to go with the Chalk Talk stamp set, and came up with this:

Stampy Stuff--Stamps: Chalk Talk Cardstock: Pistachio Pudding, Smoky Slate, Strawberry Slush, Epic Day This and That DSP Ink: Whisper White Accessories: Ribbon punch

Stampy Stuff–Stamps: Chalk Talk Cardstock: Pistachio Pudding, Smoky Slate, Strawberry Slush, Epic Day This and That DSP Ink: Whisper White Accessories: Ribbon punch

You’ll notice I did not list the framelits that coordinate with this stamp set.  That is because as I type this they are making their way across the country to me, so I expect to be playing with them very, very soon!  They were one of the first things in the new catalog that caught my eye, along with the new Big Shot magnetic platform.  I can’t wait to see how well it works in person, because the video of it is amazing!

If you would like to order the items for this card, pop on over to my online store and check out all the new goodies that Stampin’ Up has to offer.  Now, take out your stampy stuff and make a card for our challenge this week!  It is fun and easy and if your card is picked as our favorite you get bragging rights for as long as you want them.  I hope you have a beautiful weekend, and until next time, Happy Stamping! 

Kim

 

 

A Little Moment, Please…

I had a little moment tonight at the Randall’s store near my house.  I’m sure that every demonstrator and customer who has ever waited for a delivery from Mr. Brown (the universal name for every UPS man) can relate.  You see, over the years I have gone through several Mr. Browns.  I’ve had every type imaginable, so I’ll give you a quick primer on my various drivers.

First there was “the meerkat”.  This was the guy who had been met by one too many over-excited lovers off all things Stampin’ Up, so he approaches any house where he is delivering a box of stampy goodness like a meerkat trying to outwit a cobra.  He would start by peeking out of his truck 3 or 4 times to make sure the coast was clear (of me), the run as fast as he could to the door, drop the box, and sprint back to his truck, calling “Olly, Olly, oxen free!” all the way.  Like I would let that deter me from stalking him.  Silly Mr. Brown!

He was soon replaced by “the Flo-Jo”.  This particular flavor of Mr. Brown could be seen sporting the latest in high-tech kicks, stretching his hammies before loading up into a starting block and running a 3.5 second 40-yard dash to my door and back to his truck.  He was good, alright, but he also cheated because he would turn off the engine of his truck and coast into place in front of my house.  Much harder to catch, but so much more worthwhile.

Then, I got “the one”.  The Mr. Brown that every demonstrator dreams of.  He wasn’t afraid at all.  He was, indeed, quite sassy and would stroll up to my door unfazed, stand there proudly, ring the bell, and actually wait for me to answer it!  He would chat briefly, and make sure that if there was a little dent or ding in my package that I could scan it quickly to see if everything was ok.  I rewarded his bravado with his favorite Vitamin Waters on hot days, and the fact that I never, ever tried to stalk him in the front yard before he got to the door.  He was the perfect Mr. Brown.

And then he left me.

I don’t know where they sent him to.  I didn’t get a chance to even say goodbye or make him a card telling him how he had been the best UPS man in the entire world.  He was just gone, until tonight.

I ran into him briefly at the grocery store, as I was leaving and he was coming in.  He was proudly wearing his brown shirt and shorts, still standing tall and proud, and for just one minute we saw each other, said “Hello!”, and then he was gone again.  I’m glad that he is still making demonstrators and customers across South Austin happy, even though I am sad he isn’t in my neighborhood any more.  If I had the chance, I would have given him a “thank you” card just like the one I made this week:

 

Stampy Stuff:  Stamps: Pennant Parade Cardstock: Daffodil Delight, Whisper White, Island Indigo, Quatrefancy Specialty DSP Inks: Island Indigo, Pumpkin Pie, Strawberry Slush Accessories: 1'1/4" scallop circle punch, 1" circle punch, pennant punch

Stampy Stuff: Stamps: Pennant Parade Cardstock: Daffodil Delight, Whisper White, Island Indigo, Quatrefancy Specialty DSP Inks: Island Indigo, Pumpkin Pie, Strawberry Slush Accessories: 1’1/4″ scallop circle punch, 1″ circle punch, pennant punch

If you want to play along with us, head over to Stamping Challenges and load up your card.  Our sketch for this week is this:

Stamping Challenges Sketch 22

Stamping Challenges Sketch 22

And, while you are at it, make a card for your UPS man to tell him “thank you”.  After all, he brings those great boxes of stamping fun for us all to enjoy!  I hope you have a great week, and until next time, Happy Stamping!

Kim

Mosaic Madness

Hi Stampers!  Life continues to be busy here around Chateau du Williams.  The DH is back at work this week while I am home with the deck crew.

And their jackhammer.  Did y’all know that if you have tile on your patio that it takes a jackhammer to remove it?  No?  Me neither!

It has made for an interesting few days to say the least, and is a good lesson in patience, deep breathing, and exactly the right combination of caffeine and Advil to get rid of a jackhammer-induced headache.  (The correct answer is two large cups of coffee and 800 mg of Advil!)  The evenings are quiet though, and I took advantage tonight to break out some new stamps, new colors, and a new challenge from our Stamping Challenges site.  This week our challenge sketch was this:

Challenge 21

Challenge 21

I decided to take it, combine it with the new Mosaic Madness stamp set (available starting on May 31st) and do this:

 

Stampy stuff:  Stamps: Mosaic Madness, Trust God Cardstock:  Coastal Cabana, Calypso Coral, Smoky Slate, Shimmery White Ink: Calypso Coral, Coastal Cabana Accessories:  Mosaic punch, Dotted embossing folder, ribbon punch

Stampy stuff: Stamps: Mosaic Madness, Trust God Cardstock: Coastal Cabana, Calypso Coral, Smoky Slate, Shimmery White Ink: Calypso Coral, Coastal Cabana Accessories: Mosaic punch, Dotted embossing folder, ribbon punch

I just love the new colors, and the reminder that the sentiment conveys.  Now, if I can just remember that the nice deck crew are making our deck into a work of art while the noise is at jet-engine level, it will all be good.  Of course, if you want to make a little extra stamping cash out of this you might want to buy stock in Maxwell House and Advil.  I have a feeling I’ll be keeping them in business for just a while longer!

I hope you all will come over to Stamping Challenges and play along with us this week, and share your comments with me over here, too!  Until next time, Happy Stamping!

Kim

Back in my happy place!

This week has been such a pleasure, even though it has been a busy one!  I spent most of the weekend getting things cleaned up and furniture put together and moved into place, then I started loading back in my stamping stuff.  It was then I realized something:  I need doors on my cabinets.

Having doors on your cabinets in your stamp room is important for many practical reasons.  First, it helps keep dust/pets/kids off of your stuff.  Secondly, nothing says “neat and tidy” like just shoving all your scraps into a section of bookcase and closing the door on it.  But, the most important, overlooked reason for doors?  They keep your husband from realizing exactly how much stamp stuff you may or may not have.  Now, mind you, my hubby usually doesn’t ask about such things.  Sort of like how I don’t ask him about how many pool cues he now owns, or how much that last Maynard Ferguson record cost.  There are certain understandings you reach after more than a decade of marriage, and we both know what those are.

However, seeing all of my shelf space start slowly filling up I could see his wheels turning, so I had to remind him that technically this is my job, and I don’t send him off to work without a calculator and the ability to count to 30.  (He’s a pharmacist, and we have a running joke that all he does is count to 30 over and over every day!)

So, I figured I better show some work or else he might rethink that order that he knows I will be putting in on May 31st.  I started with the sketch from our Stamping Challenges site:

SC20Then turned it into this:

Stamps:  Summer Silhouettes, Label Love Cardstock: Crisp Cantaloupe, Bermuda Bay, Baked Brown Sugar, Whisper White Ink: Pistachio Pudding, Bermuda Bay, Crisp Cantaloupe  Accessories: Tasteful Trim Big Shot XL die, Artisan Label punch

Stamps: Summer Silhouettes, Label Love Cardstock: Crisp Cantaloupe, Bermuda Bay, Baked Brown Sugar, Whisper White Ink: Pistachio Pudding, Bermuda Bay, Crisp Cantaloupe Accessories: Tasteful Trim Big Shot XL die, Artisan Label punch

Quick and easy, and my hubby doesn’t know that this only took about 7 minutes to finish.  Which is perfectly fine and keeps us both happy.

Have a great week!  Be sure to hop over to Stamping Challenges and check out all of the designers’ cards, and then make your own this week to share with us.  I hope that you have a great day, and until next time, Happy Stamping!

Kim

Finally…

…the big inside project is starting to shape up.  If you have never had a “big” job done by a crew of skilled workers in your home, you should try it just once.  You know, like sky diving or a root canal.  You learn a lot about yourself and your family when the three main rooms that you live in are sealed off with plastic, covered in tarps, and you are not allowed to go into them.  Here is what I discovered:

1.  My dear daughter does not adapt well to change.  At all.  I had the crew take down a wood “scroll” that was above the entrance to my vanity area in the master bedroom and she welled up with tears.  Needless to say, she now has this piece of “art” in her room, and she assures me that she will find a place for it to go, thank you very much.

2.  My husband, when faced with dust, paint, and a never-ending lab rat-esque maze of furniture finds reasons to leave for work earlier and earlier each day.  On the up side, though, he also does not complain when he comes home to pizza, Chinese food, or leftover pizza or Chinese food.  In Vegas terms, that is a push.  You don’t win, but you don’t lose, either.

3. That leaves me.  I sit quietly at my kitchen table, drinking coffee and praying that I don’t hear any crashes, “ouches”, or “uh-ohs!”.  Then when they leave I obsessively dusted everything over and over again, because for some reason painting leaves more than its share of dust in its wake.

I feel extremely blessed, because the crew we used surpassed our expectations.  Here are some pictures so you can see a little before-and-after:

As you can see, I took the attitude of "oh, that might work" when it came to storage.  Nothing matched, and it was just scattered looking.  Except for my dog, Buffy.  She goes with everything in our house!

As you can see, I took the attitude of “oh, that might work” when it came to storage. Nothing matched, and it was just scattered looking. Except for my dog, Buffy. She goes with everything in our house!

The new improved stamp area.  The walls are a soft blue-gray color.  It makes me happy on the inside every time I see it!

The new improved stamp area. The walls are a soft blue-gray color. It makes me happy on the inside every time I see it!  I also removed one leaf from my table to save some space. 

 

I spent the bulk of my time today slowly bringing stuff back into the room.  I have come to the realization that I have a lot more stuff than I can ever use, so a good deal of it is going to get doled out in various ways during the next few weeks.  My goal is to not only clear out my stash of stuff, but to brighten some other people’s days with crafty goodness.  I guess it took me clearing out everything to realize the things that I really wanted to keep.  And my daughter, who dislikes change more than cheese on her sandwich, actually told me how very nice it looked, and that she thought I was doing a great job making the new room fun for us.  So, I’ll call that one a win this week, and enjoy my stamping tomorrow even more than I thought I could.

I hope that you have a great week, and come back to visit me because there is actually some time built into my schedule to make a card or two this week!  Yep, that’s me, being all productive and stuff.  See you here soon, and until next time, Happy Stamping!

Kim

 

 

Like a Butterfly

One of my favorite things about springtime in Texas is there are about a million butterflies flying around.  A couple of years ago we got brave and bought a butterfly house for our daughter, complete with a jar full of caterpillars.  One thing I learned about beautiful butterflies is there is a really ugly process that they go through to get those gorgeous wings.  It ends with the butterfly finally breaking free from its cocoon, and then as it is forcing its wings open there are a couple of extra gross moments that I won’t describe here.  Just suffice it to say the kiddo thought the butterflies were all bleeding to death for a few minutes until I assured her that everything was ok.  (Thanks, Google!)

The reason I am typing this is that right now my house is undergoing some renovations, and we are in the ugly stage.  The part where you just want to put your head in your hands and cry.  Or, you know, light a match a walk away.  Let me tell you, when you get here you just have to keep envisioning that beautiful butterfly that you know you are going to end up with and keep soldiering on.  The hardest part for me is that I planned to do some stamping over the next couple of days.  I had printed out my sketch for this week’s Stamping Challenges, I had a few crucial items laid out on my desk, and I was ready!  Then I went to swim practice for the kiddo and when I came back my stamp room looked like this:

The stamp room is closed!

The stamp room is closed!

Sealed off, with every single piece of furniture wrapped in plastic to protect it.  Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that our crew is so careful with our stuff, but at the same time I would have really loved to have gotten my hands on a few key item while I had the chance!

So, no card today, but I am hopeful that I’ll get my little inky paws on some stamps soon.  And, in the meantime, here are a few more pictures of what is going on over here so that y’all can see the caterpillar become a butterfly.

dscn8586

My vanity area “before”. Note the Laura Ashley inspired wallpaper.

After Hector worked his first round of magic. Wallpaper removed, and texture sprayed over the PINK paint that was under the wallpaper.

After Hector worked his first round of magic. Wallpaper removed, and texture sprayed over the PINK paint that was under the wallpaper.

There will be more pictures everyday.  As I type my den is getting sealed off so the ceilings can be painted, and the first coat of paint should be going on the stamp room walls today.  Now, I want you all to do me a favor.  If you have time today, go stamp something fun, and share it with everyone.  Put it on Pinterest, or Facebook, or even better head over to Stamping Challenges and check out the sketch and play along with us over there.  Do it for those of us that are separated from our stamps!  I’ll see you all soon, and until next time, Happy Stamping!

Kim

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the new blog!

Hi Stampers!

I have been waiting and hoping for this day to come, and decided that now is the time to just jump in and then make improvements as I go, so, welcome to my new blog home!  I have to admit, I pretty much came over to WordPress kicking and screaming, but my ever patient upline and good friend Meg finally talked me off the side of the bridge (or would that be over the side of the bridge?) and told me that it was ok to jump.  Right now things are still a work in progress, but I wanted to at least put some stuff onto here as I work out all the kinks, and I think in the end that we will all be better for it!

As many of you know, we are in the process of doing some big home improvements around here.  This means that right now a big hunk of my stamping supplies are piled up in my guest room, so here is a card from days gone by to enjoy:  Just Believe_Feb 11I love it because it is a 5-minute card, so you can turn these out in no time at all.  The general design would work well as a sketch…think of all the different images you could put into that white area and it would still work!  Plus, nothing says “clean and simple” like going monochromatic!

I hope that everyone enjoys the new blog.  Please feel free to leave comments and believe me when I say that the look will be changing as I go along.  There will be lots of additions as soon as we get through the home stuff, but I promise I will give this my best effort in order to make this a fun place for you to stop and spend a few minutes.  I hope you all have a great weekend, and I hope that stamping makes you happy, too!

Kim