Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy Almost New Year!

And I'm kicking it off in style by posting a new creation, just for you...aren't I nice?




I made it with my 'Bug! I immediately thought of the Eat Cake sete when I saw this tag in the Fancy Pants Alphabet set.

I have to say that since the last time I posted, I've bought more embossing folders and dies....I have no sales resistance! Don't send me any websites with cool deals, 'cause I can't resist!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Bit by the Bug and Birthday Card Class

I've come down with a deadly disease. No it's not Glittertosis...that's my other deadly disease. Or Swapitis...that one is only a seasonal disorder.

Nope...this disease affects mainly my pocketbook (my what an old-fashioned word that is!) And the disease that is affecting my bank account so severely is (sob) Cuttlebugitis!

"What is that?" you say, "I've never heard of a Cuttlebug? How does one go about being bit by it?"

Well you may ask. THIS is a Cuttlebug:



I'm afraid it bit me over Christmas vacation. It was all my in-laws fault (ain't it nice to have someone to blame things on? That's why most people get married...that way, you end up with a husband to blame things on and when that gets tiresome, you have these handy new relatives...but I digress...) They sent money to buy presents.

So anyway, we went to Joann's to see if we could find a Christmas ornament for my mother on December 22nd (a day that will live in infamy.) William had fallen on top of all the Christmas presents that my kids had bought from the Santa shop at school and terminated the little ornament he'd bought Grandma Meeth. So we had to find a replacement. Not only was it my in-laws fault, as you can see, it's partly Williams fault, but he's cuter than they are, so I'm overlooking it....just this once.

We looked at Dollar Tree and didn't find anything and then Joann's was right next door. They put it there....ON PURPOSE!!! I even had my Joann's coupons in my purse, I was just set up for this, I tell ya! I almost never remember to put coupons in my purse...could it have been...ALIENS?!?!?!

There it was on a display they had put in the aisle...just to tempt me! I looked at it and suddenly, lust sprung up in my heart for this thing...it was $89.99. I'm sure they had some sort of machine inside the display that generates psychic resonance, much in the way that Shelli Gardner (may she live forever) does for SU! Could it be a coincidence that the Cuttlebug is made by Provocraft and Provocraft is in Utah, near the center of the known universe?!?! I think not!

And it doesn't help that there is a whole thread in General Stamping on Splitcoaststampers just talking about this thing! So...it's their fault too! All the people who post in that forum and are enablers! You did this to me!

I swear on a stack of Bibles (and I have a stack!) that I did not go in there planning to buy this thing...it just happened, honest! I would challenge YOU to resist when you have a) free money from in-laws, b) psychic resonance generated by the store display, c) enabler types posting their cool creations on Splitcoast and d) the alignment of stars, planets, and other circumstances which led me to be present at that very spot at that very moment.

Well, anyway, I had only $50 to spend, but I also had a 50% off coupon. Well, you can see where this went...

But the course of infection rarely runs smooth, much like that of true love. I took the thing up front with a couple of embossing folders and a set of dies to buy with it and they wouldn't take the coupon. I had my kids with me, so I didn't really feel like arguing and I left without buying it, but the more I thought about it the madder I got. The item was not on sale and was not listed as excluded on the face of the coupon. So I emailed Joann.com and complained.

That got me a call from the manager of the Joann's store while we were in Kalamazoo. She left a message on the answering machine explaining that this was a Cricut product, so it was exluded. Well, a) it's not a Cricut product, it's by the MAKERS of the Cricut and says so right on the box and b) the coupon says "the Cricut electronic personal die cutting machine", not all Cricut products. She said she would be out on Wednesday, so I steeled myself yesterday afternoon to call and argue.

Apparently, though, in the intervening time, she must have actually read the coupon and discovered the store's error. Because when I called yesterday, she simply told me to bring the coupon in and they would honor it. Within 30 minutes, I was at the store buyin' my 'Bug.

You'd think, with the time I had to cool off and get away from the psychic resonance generator, I would have simply changed my mind, wouldn't you? Nope, not me! Because the whole situation became a matter of principle! It was bait and switch! They HAD to sell it to me now, it was the only way to Teach Them A Lesson! It was not for nothing that I grew up in the 70's! Stick it to the man! Right on!

I also had gone to Michael's the day before with THEIR 50% off coupon and bought a set of alphabet dies and some embossing folders. I tried the dies and embossing folders in my Sissix and while the embossing folders worked well, the dies...not so good. So I had to buy it, right? You can see the logic, can't you?

Last night I played with it and ended up cracking a cutting plate on a derned Sissix die....but wait...are you still wondering what this thing does? Well, it embosses AND it does die cuts. It's cute. And, while I have a Sissix...I just had to have it, okay? Quit asking so many questions!

Anyway, I called Provocraft this morning because of the cracked B plate and they are sending me new ones. 'Sokay, though, 'cause after I stopped at Joann's and bought my 'Bug, I stopped at Michael's again and bought another set of dies with my Joann's coupon (hey...the sets of dies are cheaper at Micheal's, so it made sense!) and just happened to pick up a couple more embossing folders and another set of B plates...just in case I might need some more! Right?

The plate cracked, I think, because the Sissix die I was using was not full sized and that put too much stress on the plates...I'll know better next time. But I don't think I'll use this with the Sissix dies after all...I don't plan on getting rid of my Sissix anytime soon, so I'll just plan on using the Sissix dies with that and everything else with my 'Bug!

ANd then last night I went online, ya know, just to read up on my new toy and then Heidi (pinkhedgehog) on SCS posted a link to Happy Scrappin' Scrapbooking, where they have more embossing folders and dies and at such good prices! So I bought 4 more embossing folders...it's a disease? Where will it end??!?!?!

Well, enough of my ailments! On to the Birthday Cards....

My class was last night, and in true procrastinating fashion, I waited until the very last minute to make the cards. I was stamping by 10 AM yesterday morning and was done around noon. I started with this one:




Then as I was feeling singularly uninspired, I CASED this design by Crystal Erzen from Stamper's Showcase. She had used the Rebecca (or is it Sara? I confuse those two!) paper and pulled the colors from that, but I wanted to highlight the Loves Me paper from the Winter Mini, so I changed it (plus, I just think the colors are more birthday-like):




Then I wanted to use Taggers Dozen and I wanted to have at least one card you could give to a man without contaminating him with girly-ness (I don't know any metrosexual guys, so glitter was out!) This is what I came up with. I had to add the brads, 'cause guys like hardware!




And then I turned to Carte Postal and the French Flair background. I decided to stick to the color in the Enchante paper and I really like how it came out. I especially love how the punches work with this medallion: the 1 3/8" square punch fits it perfectly, then the 1 1/4" circl punch punches the circle out of the middle perfectly too! ANd then I cut the central floret from Vanilla (all these were stamped using Perfect Plum) adhered it on top and used 2-Way Glue and Dazzling Diamonds to add some bling:




Oh, and here's another card I made the day before; I'd actually started this card way before Christmas came along and hadn't finished it. It's okay...I'm not thrilled with it, but I thought you might enjoy it anyway.




So, today, my class is done, I have nothing scheduled until the end of January, my Christmas tree needs to come down, my house is a pit and needs cleaning, I have mounds of laundry waiting to be washed, dried and/or put away, all the Christmas decorations really need to come down and here I am posting on my blog and planning how much 'Bug and Stamp time I get to have today AND I'm watching several Ebay auctions for my Cuttlebug dies...I'm sick! Is there no cure? Do I want there to be one? Stay tuned.....

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!


Here it is Christmas Eve and if it isn't done by now, it ain't gonna be! So relax and enjoy what's left of the evening. ANd if that includes a little stamping, I'm not one to object! I did a little myself today.


We've been to church (twice) and had a really interesting service this evening, I will say. A new organist who missed the doxology (I told her she wouldn't be the first one to do that!) and my children: William, as he likes to be known now, singing at the top of his lungs in the choir, so loudly that people sitting in the back pews were turning around to see where the big voice was coming from, and Laurel, who was an acolyte, up front and yawning so wide over and over that I thought her head was going to split in half and the top half was going to fall down her back. Of such things are memories made.

Of course, once she got home, she couldn't fall asleep...I've just given her and Emily some melatonin to help the drop off! Only when they are totally zonked will the presents come out of the closet downstairs and make their way under the tree. I still have a few to wrap and stockings to stuff...yawn...I think I will be able to fall asleep quite easily!

William has been bouncing around, much like Tigger, and it's a blessing to have him in bed at last. It's also a blessing to have gotten some little gifts made for the ladies in our choir and our worship team AND to have sent out my Christmas cards at last. Family and friends went out Thursday and Friday and customers, downline and a few RAK's went out yesterday. I made 42 copies of one card on Friday night. Yikes!

Now, I know you guys...you want everything! And I'm SO nice, that even though, by the time I got around to taking pictures, the sun was allllll gone, I decided I would just have to take them using my natural light bulb on my stamping desk and fiddle with them in Photoshop. They aren't as nice as pictures taken by daylight, but they will have to do.




This was my first effort. I like it, but I rejected it because there is just too much work here to make 40 some cards. Onward and upward...er...I guess that would be downward for you!




Here is my second effort. I liked this quite a lot, but I still wanted to simplify things a bit, I wanted stitched grosgrain ribbon and I wanted to get away from the green sky. So I went on to this:



I liked changing the card so the fold was at the top, I liked the layout and the ribbon, but I thought this was just too dark and I didn't like the cranberry. So I went on and got my final edition:



The white gel pen star was not added until I got to this edition. I stamped the trees once with Buckaroo Blue and then overstamped with Whisper White. It gives it a nice dimension. This is what I sent to most of my customers, though some of them got extras of some other cards I made earlier. My friends and family got cards I had already made; either retired samples from previous years or extras from classes or swaps.

Today the kids and I went to buy a few more presents and after we came back I got busy making gifts. I had made a candle at my local stamp and scrap store and had stopped and bought similar candles at the Dollar Tree. So this afternoon I made five of these to give to ladies in our choir and on our worship team:



I don't usually give out gifts at church, but the ladies who have stepped forward to be worship leaders and to give me the chance to get off the altar for a change and back on the organ and in the choir deserved something. And the ladies in the choir, of which I am now the defacto leader, deserved something too. I hoped they like them. Just small enough to make them feel like they aren't obligated to give me anything in return, but nice enough to feel like they got something worthwhile and from the heart, I hope.

And since I whipped these out so fast (dang, I'm GOOOD!) I had enough time to whip up some gift bags and tags too:



It was good to get some more use out of those Holiday Mini sets, including Quick Cards, which I decided I will keep because it made making these tags sooo easy. The back of the tag is done in Old Olive and the front in Real Red, then you just cut it out and fold it. Super easy. A quick wheeling on a white lunch sack and I had a great gift package.

Well, my husband tells me that I don't need to make a big dinner tomorrow, so I think, after we get the present opening out of the way, that I'll clean up my stamp room and start cards for Thursday's class, as well as trying to actually use all those Winter mini sets and Sellabration sets I bought, but haven't even had a chance to play with yet! But before I go tonight, I'd like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Panic mode and...I won, I won, I won!!!

Okay. All you folks that have those tickers in the bottoms of your email and forum posts that have a Christmas countdown..you know, "5 MORE DAYS TO CHRISTMAS"...I want you to stop...right now. I'm in major panic mode here. I just realized that my children's last day at school before Christmas vacation is Wednesday, not Thursday. I don't have my Christmas cards done. I don't have any presents wrapped. I don't have them all BOUGHT, now that my mother-in-law sent me money to buy presents from them because she can't get around right now. So cut it out.

BUT...on a better note, did I mention I won? Well, just in passing, but I'll enlarge on this subject...



I FREAKIN' WON!!!!



I won the Wonderful Winter Mini contest with this card, which I showed you a few days ago:



How holy coolio cow is that?!?!?! I've never won a contest with Stampin' Up! before! I've gotten on the "BIG SHOW" (Stamper's Showcase) 3 times, but never a contest. And all because I forgot to order the set I signed up for to begin with!! I had signed up to use Perennial Friendship and, in the process of engineering my preorder for maximum hostess benefits, took it off my main order meaning to put it on the hostess bennie part or 'tother way 'round, I can't remember, ANYWAY, I forgot to put it back on. So I had to use something else and this is what I picked! As part of the swap, Lisa, our gracious swap mom, sends a copy of every swap to Stampin' Up! if we put an extra one in for them, which I always, always do.

When I got the email yesterday, I was already riding a high from getting the free set in the mail from Shelli as well as receiving my Dirty Dozen Gift Exchange present from Chantel...this:




Is it not just gorgeous? How lucky am I? HOLY COW!!!! Not only did I get this in the mail, plus the free set (more of that when I get a chance to stamp with it), but then, oh then...

I'm cooking dinner (humble hamburger stroganoff) and I sit down at the computer to check my email and obsessively check this blog to see if I got any comments on yesterday's post, and there it was in my inbox...the email from the editor of On Stage mag saying I won. I won, I won, I won...a MAJOR AWARD!!! (Yes, I am A Christmas Story freak!)

For this achievement, I get my picture in On Stage magazine next to the picture of my card and...it gets better...3 free stamp sets! Yay!!!! I'm dancing around the living room and Dan is on his cell phone thinking, "What is up with my wife?" Then I started emailing and calling people. Because I'm so....freakin'....excited!!!

So, my gracious public, Life is Good...except for the panic. I could do without that. Think of me, rejoicing and panicking, panicking and rejoicing. Today I am going to be SUPERWOMAN and bring the Christmas tree inside the house, start my Christmas cards, do laundry, wrap presents, panic, make cards, panic, and don't even ask about bringing home any bacon and frying it up in a pan, 'cause I just don't have time....

Oh...did I mention I won? Ooops...guess I did!

Monday, December 18, 2006

THEY ARE DONE...JanTink's Laws of Swapping

First, let me thank those who came to visit in the past few days. If you didn't notice the Stamping Top 50 button further down on the right side, you folks took me from lowly 332 to 68 in 3 days!

Of course, this puts enormous pressure on me, you know (and it's all about me, let's just admit it!) How do I follow up such a successful post? But, I'm so nice (you knew that!) that I just have to try and do my best.

The swaps are done, done, done; in spite of swapitis, church obligations, having to take a bash at cleaning and cooking now and then and dealing with whining children ("Mom, I don't have any clean underwear!", "Mommy, I don't have any warm pajamas and I'm sooo cold!", "Mom, I need a Secret Santa gift for school tomorrow!!" (it's 6 PM on Sunday when I hear this, BTW), "Mommy, I need you to put the sheet back on my bed!" (ya know, if you didn't JUMP on your bed like Kevin in Home Alone, you wouldn't have to have me putting your sheet back on all the time!!!))



ANYWAY, here they are, ready to pop in the mail. Are you looking, Lisa? You don't need to worry about getting mine in time and you can call off the hit squad of stamping goons you were poised to send after me. You don't think Lisa has a squad of stamping goons? Well, you just try and send your swaps late and you'll find out! Lisa, I really, really like you...please don't hurt me!

Anyway, in the process of getting these wonderful swaps done, I've developed the following:

JanTink's Laws of Swapping (or other mass production of cards)

Law #1: You will choose at least one material for your swap that you are going to run out of before you finish, necessitating calls to stamping friends, upline, downline, anybody that might have some of what you need. Mine is always ribbon. I had to make a run to my upline's house last night to borrow more black gingham. I picked her because she always calls me when she runs short, plus I had some stuff that was hers I needed to deliver. The last time, I came very close to running out of pink gingham, but I switched the positioning of the caramel and pink gingham ribbon on the very last swap and squeaked by, but just barely.

Of course, you will not discover your shortfall in time to order more. And that item will be the one thing that makes your card absolutely perfect, so you can't substitute or leave it off altogether. And on occasion, you have to resort to finding the next best thing at that store we all try not to talk about too much...you know, the one with the [whispers] C-O-U-P-O-N. Shhh...

Law #2: You will have at least one step on your swap that you hate doing. Sometimes it's more. You will ask yourself many times, "Why, oh why did I decide to (cut out, do polished stone, watercolor the image, emboss...fill in the blank) when I could have just done something much simpler instead???" These steps are not hateful when you only have to do one, but when you have to make many, many, many of them, you grow to hate doing it.

Law #3: Something that usually works brilliantly will stop working in the process of doing your swaps. Glue dots that stuck wonderfully when you made your sample will stop sticking. Dimensional backings start refusing to come off. Embossing powder will not melt the way it did before. You may find your own hands, that normally are so skilled, will betray you. Tying knots becomes a challenge, you burn yourself embossing, you end up with ink on body parts you never thought you could get ink on, glitter gets up your nose (not that there's anything wrong with that!), in your eyes, in your hair.

Law #4: You will spend a lot of time asking yourself, "Why do I do this to myself!!!"

Law #5: You will get your answer when you get lots and lots of lovely swaps back.

Law #6: You will get the swaps back and never mind that they whole point of doing them is so you don't have to buy so many sets from the mini catalog, it will cause you to buy more sets from the mini catalog anyway. It's inevitable. At least that's true when you swap with the awesome ladies I swap with. You know what I think? [lowers voice and moves a little closer] I think that Shelli Gardner (may she live forever) has some of these people on her payroll. They make these objects of psychic resonance and send them to me and then I have to buy more sets. It's the only explanation I have for it...yes, these ladies are talented, but I think there is more to it than that! It's a conspiracy!

Law #7: Your stamping space, after you are done making your swaps, will look like hundreds of mischievous elves were partying all night in there when they were interrupted by a herd of stampeding rhinocerouses who were all running from the cyclone that came sweeping in immediately afterwards.

So now this swap is over with. It only remains to package them up, print my label off the USPS website, and give them to my carrier.

But you know what? [glances around, furtively] I haven't made my customer Christmas cards yet, so you can guess what I'll be doing for the next few days! I have a ton of cards already made that I can send to my family and friends, but nothing for the customers yet...I feel a bad case of Christmas-carditis coming on....send chocolate!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Stamper Famous for Tearing Edge Collapses.....


Janine Tinklenberg, aka JanTink, who enjoys her very tiny fame as the creator of the stamping soap, "The Tearing Edge", collapsed late Thursday evening.

"I got up this morning," said Dan Tinklenberg, her husband, '"And she was lying on the floor saying, 'Forty friggin' flowers...I cut out forty friggin' flowers...forty...friggin'....flowers..' That's it, just kept saying that over and over. I've told her and told her...these swaps are going to kill her, but she just laughed." Mr. Tinklenberg shook his head.

Scattered on the floor in the living room where Mrs. Tinklenberg was found were Hershey kiss wrappers, the box to National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, which she was apparently watching last night, and the paper cuttings from many copies of a big flower which was stacked neatly in a box. A pair of scissors dangled from her limp hand.

Mrs. Tinklenberg was rushed to the emergency room. Tentative diagnosis: swapitis. Doctors think she'll make a full recovery, but they said Mrs. Tinklenberg is insisting that her husband bring her some stamps and cardstock from home. "We haven't seen a case this bad in years!" one doctor said.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Back again...didya wonder where I went, didya, huh? Huh?

Okay, I have again neglected you. I feel so rotten, that I'm going to eat some chocolate in your honor. There...do you feel better? I knew you would.

There has been some exciting doings around here. First, my SAB preorders came. I told myself that I would only buy a few sets; the one I needed for the Controlfreaks swap and maybe two more. But under psychic compulsion from Shelli Gardner (may she live forever) I ended up buying them all!!!

There was only one that I didn't want to have immediately and since I was ordering the other ones...I just didn't want it to feel left out, yeah, that was it. Can you imagine, the set finally gets here in January, tagging onto an order, and the other sets say, "She didn't really want YOU. She wouldn't pay to get you. You are not as good as us!" And this poor lonely set goes into a corner to cry...no I just couldn't do it. You understand, don't you? I had to buy it...I just have a big marshmallow heart (okay, my body looks like that too...mebbe I should stop eating so much chocolate for you guys!)

So now I have Lisa from Controlfreaks sending me emails, "You only have a week to stamp! These must go out before Christmas! Get your butts in gear!!!" Okay, she wasn't that mean, but that was the implication, the hidden message underneath the nicey-nice talk! (If you are reading this Lisa, I really, really like you...don't hurt me! ;-) ) That means I had to start stamping immediately.

And then there is the news that Shelli Gardner (may she live forever) is sending all of us demo-types a gift from the center of the known universe for Christmas!!! Speculation is rife as to just what this is; naturally I think it is a stamp set. So now I'm antsy...it's coming in the mail, so I have been stalking the mail man to just see what it is that I'm getting...

On top of that I signed up for a Dirty Dozen gift exchange for Christmas and I realized this weekend that I had to get my present for Sweet Miss Daisy done. Now, Miss Daisy, if you're reading this, don't scroll down if you don't want to see it! And those of you who know Anna...don't tell her what she's getting! I got it done, packaged it up and it will go out today priority, so she'll get it in a few days anyway.

And those Controlfreaks who don't want to see my swap before it comes in, don't scroll down either.

Okay...anybody who doesn't want to look has clicked away by now, right? Ready?







Here's my SAB swap for Control Freaks. No, I didn't kiss the stamp to the Paisley pad because I got such rotten results. I tried both craft and classic (craft was better for just one kind of ink, classic looked better with two.) It worked to a point, but then I started thinking...I have to make 38 or so of these, cleaning the stamps after each impression and cutting all these flowers out. Kissing the stamp is just not going to be possible in order to get them done when they need to be done. So instead, I stamped the background on Whisper White with Lavendar Lace ink, inked up Big Blossom in Pixie Pink and stamped it on top. It's virtually the same look as kissing, but the paisley is a lot more clear...so let's just call it Faux Kissing and be done with it. The Sweet stamp is from the Winter Mini set "Sweet on You" and it was stamped with black craft ink then embossed with Holographic Highlights...I think it adds just a little OOMPH to the card.




And here is Miss Daisy's gift. The snowflakes were stamped with craft ink onto mulberry paper that has gold threads shot through it. Then I used glitter Mod Podge to adhere it to the back of this glass plate. I used the Zig Painty to make a silver edge around the outside. The photo doesn't do it justice...it's very glittery, very pretty. I hope she likes it.

I had plenty of time to figure out what I was making while watching Happy Feet on Friday afternoon with my dear children, the only people I would be willing to undergo such mindless boredom for. If you like the movie...well, that's nice for you, but both Billy and I were bored out of our gourds after about 45 mintues. I liked the music, that was cute, but I kept losing the point of the whole thing. Seemed like someones idea of working out all their ideas for cool computer animation (why did they have to use that trick of the hero, being chased by whatever, racing past the camera lens lickity split and we see his open beak and terrified eyes racing towards us over and over again!!! It gets a big hackneyed!) The plot was distinctly lacking. The girls even said that it wasn't as cute as they were thinking it would be. And Laurel had to say that the adolescent Mumble was creepy and I, for once agreed! He never got an adult's head and feathers even by the end of the movie, he looked like a baby penguin stuck on top of an adult body...ick! Laurel thinks a lot of things are creepy, BTW...it's so charming!

We did get to see the trailer for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and the one for Eragon, both of which I will be getting bugged to see...Eragon opens this Friday and it has already started. I just finished the book and I have to say I want to see it too! The book was good; just hope the movie is as good.

Well, now I've got to go start cutting the cardstock for those SAB swaps. You be good now...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Glittertosis

I'm afraid I have some bad news.

After all those cards with glitter and the one I made for our group swap, I have had to declare my stamp room an environmental hazard zone. I was bored last night and did a search on google on glitter and to my horror, I found an entire website about the hazards of glitter! There was this description of a new syndrome doctors have discovered, called Glittertosis. There was this segment about a recent news conference held by doctors expert in this syndrome:

"Glittertosis is an addictive syndrome we have been seeing a lot lately," said Dr. Imnotastamper, "It's characterized by fits of giddiness, an incurable desire to sprinkle glitter on everything, and the tendency to look on the sunny side of life all the time. As everyone knows, life is serious stuff and this can be very dangerous. If more people were realistic and decided that life is a burden that must be born, we would all be better off!" Dr. Imnotastamper left the stage as a chorus of booing broke out and glitter was flung after him as he held a handkerchief in front of his face.

Back stage, Dr. Imnotastamper explained that glittertosis is pervasive and is contracted by breathing and, yes, ingesting glitter. He said that it starts slowly because most people don't realize that they are actually eating tiny particles of glitter that cling to their clothing and their skin and drop into their food. "Extreme care must be taken to use glitter sparingly and to thoroughly clean your hands, hair and clothing afterwards. I recommend a complete change of clothing and a shower after using glitter at any time. But even better, don't use it at all!"

Out in the audience, a skeptical glitter user said, "I don't think he knows what he is talking about! I've been using glitter for years. I can stop any time I want to!" She paused to sneeze and I noticed a lot of glitter flying about as she did so. "Glitter makes me happy!" she said with a manic grin. Turning aside as if to hide what she was doing, she pulled out a small jar and proceeded to croon, "Sooooo pretty!" as she stirred the glitter with a tiny spoon. "What are you looking at?!" she shrieked as my cameraman tried to get a closer look. She left the conference room and headed for the rest room. One hates to speculate, but when she came out she was rubbing her nose as if it were itchy and had a glassy, euphoric expression on her face.

Well, anyway...there will have to be a lot of cleaning going on downstairs to make it fit for human habitation again. In the meantime, I know you guys...you always, always want more! And I can bet you have all been saying, "JAN!!! When are you going to start showing us what you are making with your new Winter mini sets!!!!" Okay, okay...I've really had a hard time getting going with this stuff, why, I don't know (well, see my last post for a good list of excuses.) But at last, I do have two things to show you...then you will just have to wait for me to do some more!




Okay, here's my swap for Controlfreaks...I understand that SOME of you in the swap have gotten yours already...mine BETTER be in the mail today or I will suffer a serious melt-down!!!





And here's what I made for last night's group meeting. The steam is embossed with Irridescent Ice EP after being stamped with white craft ink...sooo pretty....what are you looking at!?!?!?!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I've been neglecting you!

I know, I know...you guys always want more and more and I have neglected to post anything for a while...so let's wind up the excuse train and get it out of the way!!!

1) I have a cold and it sucks.

2) Thanksgiving...4 hours of cooking, 20 minutes of eating, 1 hour of clean up. 'Nuff said.

3) Shopping on Black Friday at 5:30 AM...a real recipe for a day full of energy...NOT!

4) I've been scrapbooking. Believe me, that has been neglected enough and had to be done.

5) The dog ate my stamps? Wait...no dog and if one ate my stamps, it'd be finding a new home right quick!

6) I had a class last night. Which is actually good news, since I *had* to make new cards for it; I had one Snowflake Spot one posted in an earlier post (Bashful Blue, Certainly Celery, Almost Amethyst), but I needed three new ones that all had some sort of glitter on them.

Glitter is like crack for stampers, I swear. I can go for a couple of months without filling up a class, but tell some of my students that we are using glitter on every card and they are there to get their fix! I feel like a Glitter Pusher some days (Rubber Pimp on other days!)

So here they are...



This one uses Holographic Highlight EP for it's "bling"!



This one uses Irridescent Ice EP; the technique is Faux Diamond Dust. Stamp, coat the cardstock with Versamark and emboss the whole thing with II. It's go-jus! And the greeting is stamped with black, then the stamp is cleaned and stamped agains with Versamark and embossed with II.



This is plain ole' Dazzling Dimonds and 2-Way Glue.



Now for my other experiments. These were not taught at class because I came up with ones that glittered more.


This one has not glitter at all, just wanted to do a bright cheery card. I get so stuck on blue for Christmas cards. I have to tell myself, "Janine (yes, I talk aloud to myself sometimes...now that I have no baby in my shopping cart, I get funny looks...the baby was for camoflauge 'cause people assumed I was talking to the baby when I was really just talking to myself...after all, what baby really is interested in whether you should buy Downey fabric softener or the store brand? But I digress....where was I...oh, yes) Janine, not every set needs to be made into a blue card. Yes it would look just fab in blue, but for pete's sake, not everyone likes blue as much as you! Get over yourself!!!"


Now this has no glitter on it at all, but I've had this idea for just forever and I *had* to do it!!!!


This had a bit of shine but no glitter.



And this was just not shiny enough either.

So there, I have placated my public, now can go do laundry.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Yeah, I'm so nice

So many of you wanted a look at the back of Pierre (as I have christened the chef from Voila!) And I'm so nice (yes, I love myself) that I took the time away from cleaning (are you feelin' the LOVE?) to take some pictures. It helped that it stopped raining so I actually had enough light coming in my windows to take pictures by!

Anyway, I hope this clears up the mystery:


Here's the back and here are two close-ups of the laminate tags...when you Xyron something with the double laminate cartridge, your image (cut out beforehand) is in the middle of all this clear laminate. Rather than trimming it all away, I left some as a tab at the top and the bottom.



Bottom tab.




Top tab.

Now, you're probably wondering what other go-jus project I will show you today. Well, I ain't got none. I mean...ahem...(for those of you in the grammar police) I haven't got any. I haven't been stamping...I have a pile of swaps downstairs to finish and a major case of swapitis, which I am planning on curing today. Stay tuned.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Alligator clips and a new tutorial!

Who knew? Who knew that my casual little mention of alligator clips last time would provoke such a furor of speculation? Over on Splitcoaststampers, there's a whole thread in the demo area about it. I'm amazed and gratified. And yeah, it was FUN teasing you all...hee hee.


So this is it...tada! Or maybe I should say, "Voila!"



"But Jan," you say, "what is that?!?!?!?"


It's a recipe holder....see?



The idea came about because I was thinkign of including something in the class with the recipe box (the one I showed you in a previous post) that could be made along with it. I thought of a recipe holder and googled "recipe holder" and came up with a number of different options. One company sells some that are pretty much like this with flowers on them. I saw it and said, "I can make one of those!" And the rest is history.

This is made with armature wire that you can find in the fine arts area of Michael's. Look for their extremely tiny metal working section and that's where you'll find it. It's quite easy to bend and manipulate. I used a little SU! glitter jar to create the circle at the top. Then I put the end of the wire through the hole in the alligator clip and crimped it back. The chef piece is cardstock that's been double laminated. When I trimmed the laminate around the chef, I left a little tab at the top and bottom, punched two holes in it and folded it to the back. That is what attaches Mr. Chef to the wire...it's threaded through the holes in the laminate tabs.

After I made it, I decided I wouldn't include it in the class, but I still think it's a nifty project and makes a nice gift for the cook in your family. The holder keeps your recipe card off the counter so it won't get messy and it's easy to see.

I worked on this this weekend so I could get it done and out of the way. Here's the dividers for my box:




And here's the recipe cards I made. My students will get three sheets of Sahara Sand, allowing them to stamp 12 recipe cards. They will be able to color them at home, or if they have enough time, at my class.




Here's a close-up:



I know you're going to ask me...what did I color them with? Prismacolor pencils. "But Jan," you say, "that doesn't look like colored pencil to me!!!" Well, it is. I've been using Prismacolors for a looooonnngg time and have found a nice way of getting them to look like paint. I don't use Gamsol. I just use the pencils. And since I know you guys, you want EVERYTHING, and being I'm so nice (yes, I love myself), I decided, out of the goodness of my heart, to make a new tutorial, just for you! Here it is:

JanTink's Ink-redible Painterly Pencils Tutorial

First of all, you'll need the following:

  • Prismacolor Pencils - don't be cheap, now. Yes, you can get good results with SU!'s Pure Color pencils...they just don't have as many purty colors. And you need at least a white pencil, if not several very light colors. A good set of Prismacolors will last for YEARS...the only ones I have to replace are the white and cream colors because I use them the most. Don't buy Verithin because they are not at all the same. Do I wish that Shelli Gardner (may she live forever) would put these in the SU! catalog? Oh, yes, I do wish, but I don't see it happening any time soon. Wah.
  • A mid-toned neutral cardstock, like kraft, Sahara Sand, or Creamy Caramel. You can use colors like any of the Soft Subtles...I just like the look of the light brown behind the colors...it makes them pop.
  • A stamp set that needs to be colored in...ie. line-art.
  • If you wish, a blending pencil like Lyra's Splender. This is a pencil that has no color itself; it only helps to blend your other pencil colors together. If you're looking for a very smooth look, get one of these and play with it and see how you like it. I didn't use it for this tutorial.
Step 1



Stamp your image on your mid-toned cardstock using dark ink like Basic Black or Brown or a color like Elegant Eggplant. Stop laughing! I should have cropped out the sticker sheet up there on top that tells you that I mounted this stamp just to make the tutorial. No, don't ask me how long that set has sat without being mounted...I ain't gonna say!!!


Step 2




Select the area of the image you are going to color first (in this case, the cute piggie.) Then choose three or four colors: a) your mid-tone in the color you want, b) your dark tone - a shade darker than the mid-tone, c) your light tone usually a very light neutral, in this case white, and d) if this is the part of the image you want to pop the most, choose a second dark tone from the color that is directly opposite what you are using on the color wheel. In this case, I'm using peach shades, which are a variant of orange, so I chose a dull blue...that helps to make shadows that recede, making your image more dimensional.

Step 3



Basecoat the image with your mid-tone pencil. Don't feel like you have to lay down a lot of color...just a basic coat.


Step 4



Decide where the light is coming from. Some stamp images don't indicate it, though some do, so look carefully...crosshatching usually will tell you that's where the artitst who designed the image meant for the shadows to go. For me, I like the light to come from the right. On here, the artist agrees, since she or he put just a little crosshatching on the left side of the snout. Then using your dark tone, color the areas where there will be shadows based on where the light is coming from. If the light is coming from the right, the shadows will be on the left and vice versa. Put the color down fairly heavily.


Step 5



Now, take your lightest tone and really lay it on. Scrub it on over the top of the mid and the dark tone. It will blend them together, creating that very painterly look. Be careful NOT to cover the black lines of the image; white Prismacolor is very opaque and it's easy to lose the details if you put too much on. Skirt around those.


Step 6



Now, retouch using your mid-tone, and dark tone. Adding the white will flatten it out a bit, so you may have to add more of the colors you just covered. Just go back and forth between the light and other tones until you achieve a balance that is pleasing. This is the point to add your opposite dark tone, just to the edges of the shadows, blending it in nicely. If you've covered a black line, try adding just a thin line of your darkest tone. Sometimes that will bring the dark line back up.



And here it is, completely colored in. You can add texture with your pencils, like I did on the wooden bed. I always like to put a little color behind the lettering...makes it look more like an integrated part of the image. I left it a little rough looking because I like it that way, but if I wanted to smooth this out more, I'd pick up my Splender and go at it.

There is a small difference when you are adding light areas like white. I usually basecoat using the white, then use light blue for shadows (light purple is nice too). Grey doesn't always work...it's okay for metal objects, but when you are coloring fabrics that are white or snow, blue or purple makes better shadows. Then I hit it again with white, coloring very hard on the highlights. Putting down a lot of color, so that it looks waxy and hides the cardstock is the key to getting painterly looks with pencils.

And here's the finished card. Your Painterly Pencil image is going go be so visually stunning that you don't need much embellishment. And forget about sending this to someone who you don't really like. Save it for someone who is worthy of it. If that turns out to be YOU, I certainly will not tell!


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Cue the theme song from Jeopardy....

I am waiting. Waiting for that big brown truck to show up with my goodies from SU! Waiting for my preorder from the Winter Mini catalog, filled with beautiful tools for making objects of psychic resonance.



It's soooo hard to wait! And in the meantime, there are bills to pay and a filthy bathroom to clean...hmmm...or I could go to Radio Shack to get those alligator clips.

"Jan," you say, "What do you need alligator clips for????"

Heh heh...that's for me to know and you to find out. Just know that GENIUS BURNS (and no, there are no funny weeds burning) yet again (yes, I love myself.) You'll see why in just a day or two.

So the question of the day is "Will cleaning and bill paying pass the time until the TRUCK gets here with my super cute UPS guy bearing in his arm the BOX with tools for making objects of psychic resonance faster than stamping?" Hmmm....

How wonderful it must be to be Shelli Gardner (may she live forever) and not have to wait for your stamps! She gets 'em when she wants them, as soon as she wants them. But then she misses the site of a cute UPS man in shorts on a hot day...too bad today won't be hot...ah well...

Can you tell I am deranged already? C'mon UPS...I'm getting deranged waiting for these stamps!!!

Update: 11:07 AM

Stamps are NOT on the morning truck...so (sob) I will not get them until later this afternoon. The bathroom is clean...the stress, oh the stress! Well, that plus the thought that my husband might engage a dampening shield on our bank account if he knew how much I spent on the winter mini...if the house gets too dirty, he might just start wondering how I spend my time while he's at work...that would be disastrous, I could see deprogramming looming in my future....

And it doesn't hurt that the mother-in-law made vague noises about coming over this weekend, so have to start somewhere, right?

In the meantime, I am waiting!!!!

Update: 1:55 PM

Stamps are NOT here yet...bills are paid and I am feeling slightly sick after seeing the balances on some of the credit cards...ack! Arranged for a consolidation loan at the bank, now just have to get spousal unit to call and give his okay to the loan and I can pay them off all in one go. I think we can whack the loan down pretty quickly, but I like the interest rate on the loan a lot better than the ones on the cards. I hasten to add that my SU! stuff is paid for out of my business account, but it certainly gives one pause as far as other scrapbooking things one might buy in the future...sigh...

UPS, where are you???

Update: 2:30 PM

THEY ARE HERE!!!!

but I can't even open the box because I have to leave to go to the meat market (for some stupid reason, my family still expects to eat on a day when I get new stamps!!!!) then go pick up my children.

Once I get home, THEN I can get those stamps and accessories out and start playing...yay!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Get a Jump on Your Jingle

This past Saturday I held my very first holiday open house under the psychic compulsion of Shelli Gardner (may she live forever), which I called "Get a Jump on Your Jingle" in order to indoctrinate more people into the cult of SU! Are you a demo yet? We got a speccciiaalllll!!! You know you want it, c'mon!!! You will be assimilated, resistance is futile...

ANYWAY...I assemblied all kinds of objects with a psychic resonance which would compel those attending to order in mass quantities, all with a holiday theme. And I did have 5 people come, 4 of whom ordered, so it must have worked to a point...just not to the mass quantity point. I think there was a dampening field generated by the banks of these ladies...or maybe their husbands. However, it was lots of fun and more profitable than most of the open houses I have had, so I will make it an annual event. Assuming I'm still a demo next year, if my husband has not decided to have me deprogrammed.

I spent all of Friday evening assembling these objects, so naturally did not get around to designing a make and take for attendees until Saturday, two hours before show time! I fiddled around with a couple of ideas and finally came up with this, in my favorite color scheme:



We learned to do a card like this at our major indoctrination event of the year, CONVENTION, in the center of the known universe, Salt Lake City, where I got to again meet my cult-mistress, Shelli Gardner (may she live forever) and she *hugged me.* I'll pause to let that sink in.

Here she is with me...she is really quite a wonderfully nice person. I thought about not washing after this event, but consideration for my convention roomate made me change my mind. For another thing, Shelli actually touched my shirt, not me. I thought about not washing the shirt, putting it in a glass case for all eternity, but then I'd have to explain to people just WHY I had the shirt in the case and I don't think, for some reason, that they would GET IT.




Of course, this isn't the first time I'd met Shelli Gardner (may she live forever.) Here we are in Toronto:



And I even saw Shelli (may she live forever) just last month in Lansing...but I decided to be magnaminous and let others get their picture taken with her. And I thought she might just say, "YOU AGAIN?!?!?" Well, no I didn't...but it sounded good when I typed it the first time. My camera batteries had actually failed long before. Dang camera batteries.

ANYWAY, as you can see by the insert in the card photo above, by slightly offseting the Riveting piece (mounted on a dimensional) so that it overlaps the notch in the card front, you can tuck the cardfront behind the the Riveting piece, holding it closed. The card we did at CONVENTION, in Salt Lake City, center of the known universe, actually was done 180 degrees the other way; the tuck was at the top and the front of the card opened like a drawbridge. Very cute, but I like this better.

Before this card, I had messed around with this one:


I like it, but it was too fussy...you have to line up the different pieces of cardstock (four 4 1/4" squares scored down the middle and woven together) exactly right or it will not close properly.


And while my customers were looking at the objects of psychic resonance or shopping in THE BOOK, I messed around with a new color combination and got this; a card which refuses to be fancy, no matter what I tried to do to fancy it up. Sometimes, you just gotta stamp.