Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Batty For You

This is the other SCS Halloween swap card I made. I had already made these black cards with the SU Sanded background stamped in craft white ink, so then I just had to figure out what to do with them. I had also put together these little batty scallops for another project and ended up not using them then, so I didn't want them to go to waste. (Yes, I know, smiling bats -- but I actually do like this set!) But here's what I discovered (the thing that drove me batty, so to speak, as I alluded to in my previous post) -- this set does not lend itself to full-sized cards very well. It's great for treat covers and 3x3 cards, but aside from a few cute ideas that have been done many, MANY times since this set came out last fall, there was not much coming to me. In fact, I thought it was just me, so I went to check out the SCS gallery, and most of what I found was for treats and smaller cards. Hmmm... What could I do to make it different? Then I remembered a nifty trick I just saw on an SU stamping DVD. You can punch a large circle (larger than any of SU's current circle punches) using the rounded tab punch. You just punch it twice, at two different angles, and it makes a circle. A circle which the SU scallop circle punch will fit in very nicely. So once I had a home from my scalloped bat (adhered to a piece of white c/s on the inside of the card), the card was easier to finish. I didn't like the way any of the designer paper looked with it because the background was already busy enough as it was. So a plain pumpkin strip with two black brads, a couple more punched bats and a 'happy halloween' sentiment were all it needed. I considered adding some ribbon, but I didn't want to overdo it. Ha!

I've been watching QVC's papercrafting fair today, but, amazingly, I haven't ordered anything yet. There have been a couple of cute Halloween kits, but I've managed to resist. The one thing I really want is a set of the new Glue Dot dispensers (yes, Michelle, this is all your fault!) but there's other stuff thrown in with QVC's set that I don't need, so I'll just wait until I can find them on their own.

I'm going to start gathering up some unused/unwanted supplies this week to put in a crafting garage sale coming up at our local scrapbook store next month. I've got a few QVC scrapbooking kits that I've never used, among other things, that need a good home. And with ebay fees what they are now, you barely make any money there anymore. So with just a one-time $5 fee to display my stuff at the store's garage sale, it is definitely worth a try to free up some space here in the closet. Maybe then I could finally buy a Big Shot!

Stamps: SU Batty For You, All Holidays, Sanded background
Ink: Staz-On black, SU whisper white craft pad
Paper: SU Whisper White, Basic Black, Pumpkin Pie
Accessories: scallop circle punch, rounded tab punch, 1" circle punch, 1 1/4" circle punch, paper piercer, black (vintage) brads

Friday, September 19, 2008

Spooky Nights

This is one of the SCS Halloween swap cards I came up with. For such a simple card, it really gave me fits! I must have changed it at least half a dozen times. I'm not a big fan of cutesy Halloween stuff -- I prefer the creepy, weird, eerie images rather than smiling spiders, though I have lots of both -- which is why the new House of Haunts stamp set is one of my favorites. Even the jack-o-lantern in the set looks just a wee bit demented. Heh. Anway, since the bats in this new Halloween DSP aren't smiling, they worked well with my spooky tree. I sponged around the focal image with black ink -- but not the SU Basic Black classic pad. Why? Because it looks purple! Drives me nuts! I had the Staz-On black pad out anyway, so I just used that, even though that ink dries so fast it's not the greatest to use for sponging. At least it's a true black. And this was an all-SU swap, so I tried to stay true to that. I'll post my other card this weekend. It also drove me batty, but I'll explain that in the next post. I'm thinking maybe the creative juices just weren't flowing this week.
Still no Paper Crafts magazine. If it doesn't show up in tomorrow's mail, I'm going to go buy a copy at AC Moore!
Stamps: House of Haunts, Halloween Frights
Paper: Kiwi Kiss, Pumpkin Pie, Whisper White, Basic Black cardstock; Ghostly Greetings DSP
Ink: Staz On black
Accessories: small and large oval punches, circle punch, black (vintage) brads, sponge, stampin' dimensionals

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Enjoy Every Moment

I finally got to do some stamping this past week, though I'm still woefully behind on my projects. This was a birthday card I made for a friend whose birthday was three weeks ago -- eek! I didn't want to use a 'happy birthday' sentiment since the card was so late, so I pulled out my SU Enjoy Every Moment set for the sentiment. The background of the card is CASEd from a card by Jill Hilliard. I loved the Baja Breeze, black and white combo with the flowers from the Embrace Life set colored in with the white gel pen. I just changed the sentiment and its presentation on the card. Initially I had stamped the little flower in the middle of the "O" in "enjoy" in Baja Breeze, but it was just sort of floating there and didn't look right. So then I thought it would pull everything together nicely to punch a circle in the Baja Breeze cardstock and place it within the letter "O" then stamp the flower in black and color in the middle of it with the white gel pen. Except none of the SU circle punches are the right size to fit just inside the "O" without covering it up, so I had to dig out every circle punch I had until I found the one that worked -- the Paper Shapers 5/8" circle punch. Perfect! On the inside I used a sentiment from a retired SU birthday set that says "Life is not a matter of counting years. It's a matter of making years count." I tell you I am going through this Baja Breeze cardstock VERY quickly. I love it!
I stopped in Michaels yesterday on my way to work to pick up a magazine with my half-off coupon. Turns out they have now stopped accepting coupons for magazines! What?! AC Moore tried that restriction for a couple of months earlier this year, but then came to their senses and began allowing it again. Probably because it's bad for business when there is a Michaels store one block away! So yeah, I probably won't be making nearly as many stops in Michaels now. Craft magazines cost way too much to pay full price -- especially the Cards and Paper Trends mags. Maybe I should look into subscriptions... Speaking of which, I have seen the new issue of Paper Crafts magazine in the stores for two weeks now, but my subscription copy has yet to appear in my mailbox! Ack!! I have to have it! It's the Halloween issue!
And finally, in my never-ending quest for the best in Halloween stamps, I have discovered THESE new wood-mounted stamps by Inkadinkado. I especially had to have the Katmoondu stamp! They are on their way to my mailbox as we speak! I have to say I am VERY happy with all the Halloween crafty goodness that has been released this season. I don't think I've ever had such a fabulous selection from which to choose before, and it's been pretty much across the board with so many different companies coming through with must-haves for my most favorite of holidays! Love it!!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Everyone knows it's windy

So I finally got my tropical weather last night when Hanna went up the coast and brought lots of rain and a nice breeze. If I hadn't had to go to work in it (and then drive back home in it), it would have been the perfect night for stamping!

Ever since the news came out that Stampin Up would sell the Big Shot and a nice collection of Sizzix dies, at least once a day I see a post on SCS or a group list with someone asking if the dies will work in the Cuttlebug. And inevitably someone will give some bad info. I have a Cuttlebug (and still haven't splurged on the Big Shot, mainly because I have no place to put one here in the closet) and already own a couple of the Sizzix Bigz dies, including the scallop circle (which is offered by SU). This die DOES work in my Cuttlebug. See? I punched several of the them the other night with the Bug, using two 'B' plates. I'm waiting on an SU Top Note Bigz die that's on backorder and would expect that it will work as well, though since it has score lines it might be slightly different and may need a different 'sandwich' to make it work. (And after having seen too much bad info online regarding the regular Bigz dies, I really don't trust anything I read now and will just wait to try it out for myself!)

And speaking of dies, I bought my first set of Nestabilities! They just came today so I'm looking forward to trying them out this week. I ordered the complete rectangles set for a GREAT price from Cut At Home. You need to sign up for their VIP coupon at the web site and then once a month they will e-mail you a coupon for 40 percent off, which you can use on the Nesties. And they shipped right away. Great service! I'll be back with my September coupon as soon as I can decide which set to order next!

I need to whip up some Halloween swaps within the next few days since they are due on the 15th. But even more pressing -- birthday cards for my two 12-year-old nephews. Their party is tomorrow -- yikes!