Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Welcome to Stamps, Paper, Scissors

It's not enough for me to have a blog for my knitting pursuits, I decided. I have to have one for my other obsessions, scrapping and stamping.

People like me, who like to write, but don't have a novel in the works, are now blessed with blogs: a public way to air all the dirty linen or share what it is that makes us tick. Well, this is what makes me tick. I hope you enjoy it!

To get the boring biographical stuff out of the way first, let me tell you I've been doing paper arts almost all my life. I started out by painting on it, then I fiddled with sculpting things out of it, now I stamp on it and make scrapbook pages. I like paper. I also like color, which is my main inspiration and leads me into other avenues like cross-stitch, knitting, weaving, spinning, and quilting too, though I don't do much of that. I've always made things and I've always sold what I've made one way or another, starting with my pathetic yarn daisy hair ties and Indian bead weavings in junior high. My first sale was to someone from our local university who came to view the art made by children in our local elementary school. I had sculpted a hobo, his dog and his cat out of clay. She bought the cat from me for $2, something I was incredibly amazed by and I guess what set this whole train into gear.

I've been stamping since 1996 and scrapbooking since 1998. I joined Stampin' Up! as a demonstrator in 2003 and I've had a ton of fun doing it.

Now onto todays topic: swapitis.

Swapitis is what happens when you make a beautiful card to swap with other people. It's a lot of fun to make that first card, the problem comes when you have to do more than one. I'm sorry. I get bored...I only like to make a card once, and then I'm done. But for swaps you have to make many of one card, so it's a push for me to get them all done.

You swap with other stampers (or demonstrators if you are one) to get a variety of samples or cards. The group I swap with regularly is called Controlfreaks Swappers, mostly because we are all incredibly anal about detail. And there are a bunch of us. For the swap I've been working on, we are making samples from Stampin' Up!'s 2006 Holiday Mini so we can have a nice variety for our customers.

This is my swap for the Holiday Mini. I used Holiday Trim and I really like the results. To get yellow candle flames, I stamped the candle complete with the flame with Whisper White craft ink, then colored on top of the flame with a Yoyo Yellow marker. Nice trick, eh? The halos around each flame was done with a sponge dauber. It's one of the cards that turned out almost exactly like I envisioned it (a rare occurence!)

But it took me a lot of effort to finish these swaps; 29 of them. I always make a sample first, then cut all the cardstock and plan the different steps so I can make them assembly-line fashion. So I started out by tearing the edge off 29 strips of designer paper that's on the left side of the card, then sponging the torn edge of all 29 strips, etc. etc.

When I'm doing multiples of cards, I have to give myself little treats to get through them. Because after I've done 3 pieces of the same step, I start feeling desperate to leave, do ANYTHING but finish these things. I listen to Garrison Keillor do Prairie Home Companion monologues to take my mind of the horrible boredom of doing the same thing over and over.

And I'll say to myself, "Just do 10, then you can get up and get a Diet Coke" or "Get through this step and then you can go read your email." Sometimes I get encouraged by how quickly I got those 10 done and I'll do more. But sometimes nothing works and I run away from the swap and only finish because the deadline for mailing is upon me.

With this swap, I got stuck at the ribbon part. I got three of the cards completely done and simply could not stand it. I ran away to read a mystery novel and try to ignore the fact that I needed to get those swaps out of the way. I went back down and did two more and gave up again.

Finally last night they were done. They are labeled on the back with the recipe, packed up and ready to mail out. Phew! And I can rest until the next swap, which is much smaller; the swap my upline has every month at her meeting. Only 11 cards necessary for that one!

Here are the other samples I've done with the Holiday Mini sets I preordered...now I have that swap out of the way, I hope to make some more!

I've also been working on cards using the set Stampin' Up! has to benefit the American Heart Assocation, A Light Heart:


Alora Sweetser said...

I had to LOL when I was reading about *swapitis*! It's like you plucked the words right out of my brain. He he! I *feel* your pain as I am in the process of attempting to finish my Christmas swaps as well. Note the *attempting*, but I'm such a procrastinator that I'll probably be up till 3am finishing them the night before! Anyways, yours came out *fabulous* - well worth the hard work! :o)

stampin_melissa said...

Hey Janine, I love your work and am so glad to see that you have started a "paper" blog! Now, how can I get updates so I know when you add something??? :)

Janine said...

Click on the "Sign Up: Bloglines" button on the righ side of the screen...Bloglines can help you keep track of your favorite blogs and it's free!

Stefanie said...

Oh Jan, I love your CF swap card!! I can't wait to get them all back in the mail!