Friday, February 27, 2015

Hey Y'all...The Tale of the Stamp n' Chat

My card this week inspired me to share a short story with you...(purely fiction)...

There once was a young stud named Jim.  Jim was single and independent, but he was also lonely. Young Stud Jim had recently relocated to a new town to get a fresh start in a booming industry when a very special young maiden (we'll call her Mercedes) caught his eye. After many "chance" encounters and passing sessions of small talk, Jim could tell that he was starting to attract the lovely lady's attention as well. As the days and weeks passed, "small talk" turned into hours of conversation and "chance encounters" turned into many "dinner and a movie"s.  As weeks turned into months, Young Stud Jim continued to spend as much time as possible with his newfound sweetheart. The activity didn't matter; whether it was sitting in traffic during a commute, sneaking in to her workplace on the weekend, or giving her rides to and from night classes at the local community college, Jim was happy when he was with her.

One day, Mercedes said that she wouldn't see him that night. She had made plans to go with her coworker to a "rubber stamping party." Jim wasn't sure what that really meant, especially since "rubber stamping" and "party" weren't typically heard together in the same context, but he knew that he wanted to be there too. After all, a party's a party, and if it meant being with his dream girl then it was a win-win. So they went together but it turned out to not be much of a "party."  There wasn't music and dancing. I don't even think there was food. It turned out to just be a few ladies sitting around a table playing with paper and rubber stamps and making cards. Oh and when the cards were made and Jim thought that they would leave, the catalogs came out. Which in turn brought the "oohs" and "ahhhs."   Which in turn brought out the checkbooks. And a hobby was born.

The "parties" changed to "Make n' Takes" which then turned into "classes" and month after month Mercedes would go the the same house and sit in the garage and stamp away. And of course Jim would be at her side. Eventually  the "classes" turned into something called a "Stamp n' Chat."  From that point on, the third Thursday of the month became a rush to create, cut, and present a project that was suitable to impress the group. When the babies came, Jim would continue to tag along to help both of them have piece of mind that babies were fed and diapers were changed in a timely manner.  Eventually the honeymoon was over, and Mercedes started to drive away alone, leaving Jim to fend for himself with the little ones. 

Now years were passing and Jim would reminisce over the good old days when he and Mercedes would stamp in the lady's garage. He would feel the rush of excitement on the third Thursday when there would be a whirlwind of paper cutting and exclamations of "I'm so late" before he would look out the window to see the tail lights of the minivan as Mercedes would drive off without him. Alas, he longed for the days of the Stamp n' Chat...

One day Mercedes reminded Jim that her Stamp n' Chat was next week.  As usual, a tear started to drip from his eye, his smile turned to a frown, and he started pleading his case for her not to go.  This time, he tried the "I have to work late" excuse, but since her mother had moved in and the babies had turned into kids, this reasoning had lost all of it's power.  But this time, instead of her normal "I'm going and you'll be fine" reply, he heard something wonderful.  Something he thought he would never hear again.  And it brought a tear of joy rather than sorrow:  "Do you want to come with me?"  And Jim was happy again.


So coincidentally, I recently got invited to my wife's monthly Stamp n' Chat!  And much like the Jim of our story, I too was swept up on Thursday with the last minute paper cutting, shouts of "We're so late," and the thrill of hoping that the ladies would like my card.  Here's what I made for the group:


I drew my inspiration from the Yee-Haw stamp set. The rustic look of the Baked Brown Sugar thick baker's twine and the Craft cardstock complimented the stamp set perfectly.  All ink was Soft Suede and the background texture is Woodgrain, and the Star Strip was part of the Irresistibly Yours DSP using an emboss resist technique. 

Hope you enjoyed and thanks for hangin' out.  I'll be back in a few days with a sketch challenge from Can You Case It? so I hope you come back to check it out and play along!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

CYCI#58 Designer's Choice Challenge

Hello, World!  Welcome to my first post as a Design Team Member for!  In case you don't already know, this is a site that features a weekly card making challenge for you to participate in. If you're anything like me, sometimes you're in the mood to make something but you need a little push in one direction or another. If that's the case, then this challenge site is perfect for you! Our themes include sketch templates, color selections, and more - so if you need a little nudge and are up for the challenge then head on over and check it out. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!  In addition to motivating you with a theme, you can peruse samples that have been specially designed just for you by a panel of talented stampers. BUT WAIT, THERE'S EVEN MORE!!  Aside from just playing along at home, we want you to share your creations with us...and of course, since this is a challenge site, every week there will be a Challenge Winner selected and announced!! So please go check it out and get the full details from the site.

So this week the theme is Designer's Choice. I chose to use this opportunity to play around with Stampin' Up's Birthday Bash DSP. I complimented it with the balloons from Sketched Birthday and the sentiment from Big Day as well as a swoosh from the Ballon Framelits set of Big Shot dies.

So without further ado, here's my card:

The blue ballon was fussy cut and popped up with a dimensional, and the string was made using the silver string from the silver baker's twine.  The Birthday sentiment was colored with the Night of Navy set of Blendies. 

Hope you enjoy glancing through the other creations at and that you feel inspired to participate in the challenge!  For those of you who are new to me and arrived here from the CYCI site, please check out my previous blog posts to get my back story on the how and why I'm here.  Thanks for coming and hope that you'll come back in a few days for a new post!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hello, Baby!! (Late Night Ramblings)

Much like the card that you're about to see, this post should be fairly simple, short and sweet. However; I may ramble...I had a late cup of coffee earlier and I'm still wide eyed and bushy tailed as the rest of the household is lost in silent slumber. As I write this, I'm winding down after a long day of reorganizing our crafting areas. You can follow the story on my Instagram for those of you who haven't already seen the progression. Basically, my wife has decided that she has had enough of the "free-form" style of organization (aka piles everywhere), so now I have a chance to help her redesign and reorganize her (now our) crafting area. Part of me thinks that perhaps she has gotten the hint tired of me blogging about how messy things may seem around here, but the BIGGER part of me now thinks that she just wanted me to get familiar with all of her stuff so that I could stop asking her where everything is. I probably won't be allowed to post any pictures of our craft room until we get a complete remodel, but if you want to see my motivation for an impressively awesome setup, check out Stampin' Dolce and get ready to be totally jealous.

The card that I'm sharing with you tonight was completely inspired by Stampin' Up's "Little Sunshine" stamp set. It was the first card that I made after we returned home from Orlando, and I had gotten so much encouragement and positive feedback during the trip that I was Unstoppable! Hehehe...that reminds me of one of my favorite images; I don't know if I can post it here or not (I'm just a rookie - not sure about blogging etiquette and copyright legalities), so if you're not familiar with the Unstoppable T-Rex, just click This Link and let me know if you share my sense of humor.  Get it?  His only weakness is his little tiny arms, but since he has a T-Rex grabber thingy he is Unstoppable!!  Anyways, I warned you that I may ramble and I feel delirium setting in, so I better get back to the topic at hand...Hello, Baby!

As I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, we had just returned home from Orlando and I was still in creative mode. I wanted to keep the streak going and make sure that it wasn't just a fluke, so I asked Mercedes to give me a creative nudge. She pulled out a stack of about 4 or 5 stamp sets and told me to pick one. I guess that these were relatively new sets and she needed some samples to show at her classes, so I became her unpaid intern for the day.  I didn't care that she was taking advantage of me; in fact I was honored that she was actually letting me make something for her to show other people!  As I sorted through the short stack of stamp cases, this particular set kept catching my eye.  Perhaps it was because I hadn't seen the images before...I came to find out that this set was still brand new and unused, and I would be the first Weber to make something with it!  So here's what I put together:

I really just wanted to do a quick and simple card, but since my reputation was on the line, I also wanted if to have some texture to it. The sentiment was heat embossed and die cut with the Word Bubbles framelit then elevated with Dimensionals, and the stars are made from vellum punched with the Itty Bitty Accents star punch. The background "stripe" is a light stamp off of Hello Honey and the cloudy background is from the Sweet Dreams DSP pack.

I'm starting to yawn, and that's a good thing.  I need to get up for work in just a few hours. It's probably for the best since this was supposed to be a simple, short, and sweet post anyway.  I guess I'll be going now. Thanks for keeping me company tonight and too can be Unstoppable! Lol

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentine's Day!!! (Better Late Than Never)

Well, Valentine's Day has come and gone. Hope that your day was like mine and filled with boundless love and romance; a long walk on the beach, candlelit dinner, rose petal path leading to a jacuzzi tub topped with your favorite scented oil, that one bottle of wine that you've been saving for a special occasion, chocolate fondue fountain with an assortment of goodies for dipping, snuggling by the fireplace with romantical R&B crooning in the background and endless stares into the eyes of the love of your life...come to think of it, that just describes a normal weekend around here.  I'm such a lucky guy!

But of course, Valentine's Day means Valentine's Day card. I know it's traditional to blog about and share your projects BEFORE any given holiday so that you can inspire ideas and creativity in others, but I'm pretty sure that most of you who are reading this don't need to worry about your blog being read by your Valentine and all of her friends.  Since I thrive on the element of surprise, I had to save my Valentine's post for today. I've been thinking, though, and I think that next year I may just create a "decoy" project so that I'll have something to blog about AND something to surprise her with. Good idea?  Now that I'm thinking about it, I'll need a decoy for Mother's Day, too.  Heck, since I'm fairly new to this whole paper crafting world, are there any other Holiday card exchanges that I need to be aware of?  I don't want to miss anything...

Anyway, back to Valentine's Day. You know how when you enter into a relationship with someone, there are certain pressures that you feel as the relationship develops? At least for me, that's how it's been. Maybe it's a guy thing. Mostly the pressures come with the significant Firsts: First Date, First Kiss, First Anniversary, First Time ;-), and of course the staple of all new relationships, the First Valentine's Day. My wife and have been together for 13 Valentine's Days now.  But this year I felt the pressure all over again.  It was Stampin' Stud's First Valentine's Day. It really hit me about a week ago. This was my first card that I had to make that had actual parameters. Before, I was just inspired by little piles of scraps and a loose stamp here and there, but this time I had 2 problems:

1. There was an expectation. I had to make a Love card and it had to be suitable to forever dwell in Paper Paradise. I couldn't make a birthday card, or a "Just Because" card, or anything else. It could be romantic, sexy, or cute, but I was making it for Somebody Special and for a Special Occasion.

2.  I had to make it in secret. I don't mean that I had to sneak out in the middle of the night, or smuggle stamps to work and make cards under my desk. It's just that I usually have some assistance navigating around since I'm not that familiar with all of the crafting stuff that has accumulated over the years and where it all can be found. I have relied on asking "do we have ____ ink" or "where is the _____ paper" and magically these items appear on my work station.  I always thought that I was just spoiled (and I am), but now I think that maybe she just realized that there was no way that I could have found anything by myself and there's no way that she could have described where to look. And let's just say that my wife and I are on the opposite ends of the organizational spectrum. So when I had an idea to punch out some hearts and I didn't want her to know, it wasn't as simple and going to the punch section and finding the heart. It was more like checking here, then checking there, then asking the kids, then digging through a few piles of stuff and settling with whatever turned up. But I'm going to stop talking about that before I get in any more trouble (I'm sure you get the idea). So in order to maintain the element of surprise, I had to fend for myself.

So here's how it all turned out:  
**That's a Sentimental Staple in the bottom corner of  the card (my Baby LOVES her staples!!)
Isn't he totes adorbs! (Lol)

I had the idea for the faux paper bag when I was doing the last minute grocery run for our supper one night.  I custom made the bag to fit a jewelry box and the tissue happened to accent it perfectly. I started out wanting to do some type of tag for the sentiment, but I was struggling to get the layout right so I went with a banner approach.  Everything else just fell into place after that. 

Well, thanks for allowing me to share our V-Day with you.  I was going to give a "shout out" to those people that may be suffering from Valentinesday-no-likey (you know, the ones that say that Valentine's Day isn't a real Holiday - just a commercial gimmick for Hallmark and the florists to take advantage) but I figured that they wouldn't have even started reading this post anyway, let alone have gotten past the sappiness of the first paragraph. But on the off chance that any of you have set aside your contempt to make it this far, just know that you can "stick it to the man" by supporting your local artisan and buying a handmade card, or better yet go to the link and get the supplies to express your unique self like no one else ever could!

That's all for now.  See you in a few days.  Let me know in the comments if there is a type of project that you would like to see or a product that you'd like featured. I'm always open to a challenge and it's a lot easier than digging through piles to come up with something on my own...

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Twin Babies! (Cards from Orlando Pt. 2)

Before you read any further, this post will not serve as the announcement of an upcoming Weber family expansion. Sorry if I got your hopes up (talking to you, Ma!), but "Twin Babies" refers to a pair of baby cards that I made on our SU! Leadership trip.  Those of you who have read my previous posts know that it was this trip that renewed and refreshed my creative urges, and these are the cards that started my run.

I had an unofficial, unwritten, and unspoken list of things to do during my first SU! trip and mini Florida vacation.  Of course, I knew I would get to hang out with Shelli...after all, what would a SU! event be like without spending time with She who started it all?  Right?  Well needless to say that when Shelli walked out on the stage and the theatre full of thousands of women erupted -- I realized that my expectations may not quite line up with reality. So I started editing the list and mentally crossed off "Wild alligator wrestling", "Day trip to Miami", and "Convince Mercedes to play hooky from the convention and spend the next 3 days at Disney World."  As the list got shorter and shorter, my Great Florida Adventure was becoming a little less adventuresome... but I did not get discouraged. Nope, I still had my ace in the hole, the pinnacle of the journey, the one thing that I knew could not be taken from me: "Late night card making."

So we get back to the hotel after Manager's Reception and it's around 11:30pm. Our counters were already cluttered with an assortment of ink pads, stamps, embellishments, and of course paper as far as the eye could see.  I instantly felt at home; surfaces covered with crafting supplies make up about 80% of our house. This time, however, I had a different view of the items that were strewn about - this time instead of just pushing stuff around to clear off a space to sit, I was going to try to make something. To be honest I got pretty overwhelmed by the selection of items to choose from. I sat and stared for a few minutes, not knowing where to start. I'm sure that Mercedes caught my lost puppy dog glance and wanted to help with a few suggestions, so she asked what I wanted to make and when I answered something about "baby" she got out the Celebrate Baby stamp set. It wasn't what I had in mind, but I ran with it and threw my simple "rookie cards" together:

It's hard to see in the photo, but I thought that the girl card needed a little shine, so I added some glitter to highlight the moon and stars: 

Just trust me when I say that the card looks totally more AWESOME in person and the photos still don't do it justice ;-)   

So let me know which card you like better - the boy or girl?  I know that I have a favorite (not sure if that's taboo or I just supposed to love them all equally?).
Also let me know if there is something that you would like to see me make or a product that you would like me to use.  While I'm still getting my Stampin' Chops I could use a little push or pull toward an idea until I become more familiar with the entire line of SU! offerings. 
Thanks for listening to another story, and I only have one more Orlando card left.  Hope you stop back by in a few days to check it out.  Ttyl!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Orlando Unveiled (part 1)

Good morning, stampers!  How are you today?  That's good to hear...I'm great, thanks for asking.

Well after work last night I was getting ready for today's Stamp a Stack; made some cookie dough, prepped for the pizzas that I'm going to make for the ladies, that kind of stuff. Don't know if you see my Instagram (bear with me, it's new), but I made a pan of mushrooms to use and unfortunately there's a late night snacker in the house so now most of my mushrooms are gone and I have to come up with a Plan B :-(   I guess that the good news is that they were delicious! Lol.

So I've been wanting to share my cards from the SU! Leadership Orlando trip with you, and here is the first. I got inspired by the honeycomb pattern and I was playing around with Blackberry Bliss and how it changed with the stamp-offs...


I really loved the way this turned out.  I had started by just messing around with the stamp-off of the honeycomb pattern on a scrap of paper, then I ended up laying awake at night trying to envision how I could finish it off. The torn paper layers really complimented the fluidity of the water coloring, and there is a perfect pop of shine from the silver glimmer paper peeking from out behind the sentiment (too bad it's hard to see in the pics). 
Although it wasn't her favorite from our trip, I could tell that Mercedes was impressed... as she would introduce me to her friends, she would dig through her bag and say something like "you should see what he made!"   I think that the biggest compliment that I received was when Jenni Pauli grabbed it and stuck it in her swap bag, not realizing that it was a limited edition one-of-a-kind creation.  It happened right around the same time that my wife was star struck from meeting all of the European demos (especially Jenni) and I think that she was ready to just let it go, so I had to sneak in and snatch it back out of Jenni's satchel. Lol! 
So just in in case any of you may be thinking that this is just a gimmick, or if  there is any doubt that I truly am a stamper, my wife captured proof...

That was taken when I was coloring the cake from the Life's Adventure set for a card that I will show you after I get a good pic of it. 
Anyways, I'm starting to get the Evil Eye from the boss because I'm supposed to be prepping for our SAS that starts in about 2 hours (yikes!).  Thanks for visiting and I'll be back later...