Sunday, November 25, 2007

Practicing my ABC's - the Tutorial series

In the stamping world ABC means "anything but a card." This was my challenge to myself for my second craft fair, to come up with some cute and easy non-card projects. It's been fun playing around with different ideas. I thought others might like some tutorials for some of my new projects so I'll see how many I can get done before the holidays.

First, here are some gift bags I made. They are a take-off on the genie bag tutorial from SCS. I think they are really cute, and they're pretty easy to do. I'm using plain white lunch bags that I got here, the large size (7 x 13 3/4 inches).

white lunch bag (7" x 13 3/4" here)
two sheets 12x12 patterned paper (note: I recommend a heavyweight paper, like Basic Gray or Stampin' Up!, because the lunch bags are thinner than commercial gift bags would be)
coordinating 5/8" and 1/4" grosgrain ribbon (I use two different colors)
sticky tape (I like 1/2")
paper trimmer
1/8" hole punch
supplies to make a coordinating 3x3 card (cardstock, matching papers, punches, etc.)
tissue paper, if desired

1. With the bag folded flat, trim the bag to the desired height. For the 7" width I use a 10" height.

2. Cut each sheet of paper to a 7.25" x 10" panel. If desired, you can keep the scraps and use them on your 3x3 card.

3. Cut two 12" lengths of the wider grosgrain ribbon and staple to make a handle. I use the inner side crease as a sight line - I like to place each end of ribbon about 2" in from the edge. Position the stapler so that the front of the staple shows on the inside of the bag, since the paper will cover the back of the staple that way.

4. Place sticky tape all around the outer edge on both sides of the bag.

5. Remove tape backing from one side and VERY CAREFULLY line up the top edges of the paper panel and bag, then smooth it down from top to bottom. The paper will extend just slightly past the side edges of the bag; if it protrudes too much you can trim it down. Make sure you have it where you want before you press down on the tape!

6. Make your 3x3 card as desired.

7. In the upper left corner of your card, punch a 1/8" hole and tie around the handle with the narrow ribbon.

8. I like to sell these with a couple sheets of tissue paper stuck in so that it's a complete package. Here are the rest of my finished bags:

Monday, November 19, 2007


Here is the latest on my TMJ. It's now been about 10 weeks since my first visit when I was put on the soft diet. The past few days I've been having more pain even with chewing soft things, and more general discomfort in my jaw. Probably about what I was normally used to dealing with, actually. But I suspected that I needed to go ahead and get a replacement splint (retainer) made since the one I have just doesn't feel right. The doctor agreed that it was making my lower jaw jut forward and that isn't what he wants. The earliest I could get in to have impressions (from which they make the new splint) is December 6, which makes me worried I won't get the new splint before we leave for the holidays (date TBD, but I was thinking around Dec. 20). I guess we'll have to wait to make any plans until I find out how long it'll take.

The part of the checkup that made my heart drop into my shoes was before we talked about making a new splint - the doctor said that the next step in treatment would be Botox injections. I guess it must make the muscles relax, since that is still where I have my pain. But ugh - not something I want to endure, presumably over and over and over again! I will cross my fingers that a new splint will take care of things, and if everyone reading could do the same... that would be wonderful.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

One down, one to go

Had my first of two craft fairs today. I cleared $70 after paying for the table, so I'll take that. They said they had far fewer people today than usual because of some other fairs that were also happening today. My best sellers were snowman soup and little photo ornaments that I can personalize. What has me puzzled is that I only sold one single card and one set of cards. Those were by far the most popular thing at my open house. Here are a couple photos of my table. I think it needs a little work, but displaying cards is tough. And my signage is awful because my printer is acting up. I just about filled every inch of my 6' table. Glad I get 8' at the next one!
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I'm back from my weekend with my family and frantically working to get ready for the craft fair on Saturday. So much to do! I think I can safely say there will be no inspiration challenge for this week - sorry about that. I'm going crazy making cards and card sets from Stampin' Up! scrapbook kits. I cut all the pieces before my trip and took them along to work on - most notably in the airport when I had a 3+ hour layover coming home. I definitely attracted a lot of attention sitting and stamping in the food court! But I did get a lot of card fronts done. I can't turn them all into finished cards this week but I'll do what I can. I still need to make some candy boxes, snowman soup (cocoa mix with a few marshmallows, Hershey kisses, a candy cane and a cute poem), mini photo frame ornaments, and if possible Christmas gift bags and tags. Whew, I'm tired. I hope the craft fairs go well after all this work.

My visit with my niece Hannah was wonderful. She is just beautiful and hanging in there with her recovery. The doctors say she's really doing well, but she is becoming more aware of how many tubes she's on and it's been bothering her. I was there when she woke up on Sunday afternoon and was really glad that I got to see her with her eyes open, but it was harder to see her like that when we could tell she was realizing her discomfort. I think once she's off the ventilator she will be more comfortable. She will be in the hospital 2-4 more weeks, depending on how her recovery goes. I won't see her again until Christmas, and I know she'll have changed a lot by then! This photo of her is from Saturday, when the nurse for that day dressed her up with a bow and Disney stickers.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Inspiration Challenge #4: Mermaid shirt

I managed to get a challenge done for you all - aren't you shocked?!? I chose this shirt from Coldwater Creek for this week's challenge. This is not something that I personally would wear... but I thought it had potential for cardmaking. I really loved the softness and the colors.

Here is my card - I need some sympathy cards and this seemed perfect. (All except the sentiment are Stampin' Up!) I took a sheet of sahara sand cardstock and scored lines a half inch apart to replicate the horizontal lines in the shirt. Then I stamped the linen background over the lines in garden green. I chose brocade and brilliant blue and really rust inks for the flowers based on the colors in the shirt, and used one of the two-step flowers from Heartfelt Thanks to make a bouquet on sand cardstock. I added stems by inking another stamp on the stem only with a blender pen dipped in the green ink. I cut the image out and mounted to a brocade blue panel with side edges distressed, and I stamped the sentiment on the bottom. (Sentiment by Inkadinkado.) I thought about adding more but decided to keep it simple and understated.

I hope you'll play along this week - and if you do, don't forget to leave a comment with a link to your card so everyone can see!

Another baby card

I am loving making baby cards this week! I need to get some girl cards, too, but here is today's little boy card. It started out to be for today's SCS sketch challenge but it just wasn't working so I simplified things. The bear (by Stampin' Up!) is done with SU! watercolor crayons. The paper is by Heidi Grace. I thought this was so sweet, I made three of them! This is my new strategy to get lots of cards for November 17 - as long as I have the stuff out, I'm going to make 2-4 of everything. Because with my trip to Indy this weekend, I'm just not going to have that much time!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Shameless copying

Here's the first creation of the day (actually I made two of these). I need to replenish my stash of baby cards after the open house because every last one sold. The idea came from the Caardvarks blog - I have done a few of the challenges since they are always coming up with cool ideas. A challenge they had recently was to use eyelets, which I don't, but I loved the winning card and just had to CASE it. I don't think mine is quite as pretty as the original but still pretty darn cute. Cardstock by Bazzill, striped paper by K & Company, stamps and ink by Stampin' Up! Also used Marvy corner rounder punch and SU! oval punches, and Offray satin ribbon.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Weekend update

Well, the open house is behind me and maybe now I can get back to more frequent blogging! I'd say the event was a success, even though only 8 people came. I sold quite a few of my cards and card sets, and one person is going to order some stamps. I had prepared materials for everyone to make a couple Christmas cards (known as make and takes, or M&T's, in the stamping world) and people seemed to enjoy them - since I have extras and will be sending them out myself I will keep you guessing and not post them here! It was nice to see some friends and neighbors and be able to share stamping with them, and they even gave me some ideas about where I might sell some of my stuff. So I felt very good about it, and now I need to get busy replenishing my stock for the two craft fairs coming up.

It's been interesting to watch Ben in the past week or so - he seems to be coming out of his shell when it comes to new people. Someone I told this to had the comment, "Ben has a shell?!?" But he really has been quite shy when he was meeting someone unfamiliar, or playing with the neighbor kids, etc. A few days ago I took the kids to a park and Ben started playing with a girl there and talked all day about how he was playing with his new "friend." Last week the kids who live across from us were out playing with their mom and Ben said from the driveway, "Hi! How are you guys doing? Come on over!" And so they did, and they had fun having races across the yard and riding their trikes. I am just so pleased to see him opening up a little and hopefully he will start making some friends at school.

Sarah is constantly wanting to practice her words - every time we pick her up she has to name all the parts of our faces, and she is always pointing to things and naming them. If she doesn't know what something is called, she will ask, "Whazzat?" and then imitate the word after I tell her. A new word from yesterday: "uh-bulls" (vegetables). And last week she finally started saying a word that I expected to hear long ago: "Ben!" I can't believe she is 18 months old. She had her checkup at the pediatrician last Friday and she's doing great, although she is of course still petite. My friend Maria came to the open house with her 13-month-old who is just a little bigger than Sarah. But as long as she's healthy I'm happy!

I'm finally getting my voice back after a week of laryngitis. It was awful. I managed to talk through the open house yesterday but I definitely didn't sound 100% better. I need to keep myself well this week because this weekend I'm going to Indy to see my new niece, Hannah, who has her first surgery today. All reports have been that she's doing well and so they expect her to come through surgery fine, but the 48 hours afterward are the most critical. Brian and Christine got to hold Hannah for several hours yesterday and were just thrilled about that. I'm glad that I'll be able to go and help out for a couple days, and of course get to see this beautiful and special little girl.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Trick or treat!

I'm taking a quick break from my stamping frenzy to give the Halloween report - and then it's back to work!

Halloween sort of started on Tuesday with Ben's school party and costume parade. All the kids paraded around in a circle - it was really cute. Ben didn't seem to want to march in line with the rest of the kids so one of the teachers had a close eye on him - always doing his own thing! Then they had a group photo and all the kids told what they were. Ben had decided to be an astronaut a long time ago so we partially reused his costume from two years ago. The helmet we got from a catalog, and it's really huge so he didn't wear it. Todd used it to carry a flashlight.

Sarah's Halloween costume was supposed to be a little green alien. We had a friend from my online moms' group make it custom. Unfortunately it is lost in the mail somewhere, so we had to improvise. We ended up making Sarah an astronaut as well. Todd wanted to turn the stroller into the lunar lander but we ran out of time.

We went trick or treating in our neighborhood for the first time, and joined up with several other young families who live right around us. It was a lot of fun, but would have been more fun for me if I didn't have a horrible case of laryngitis right now. Here is most of the bunch:

Back at home Ben checked out his candy and Sarah checked out everything else. We were hoping to take a bunch more photos but no one was being very cooperative.

Now we are navigating the Halloween candy mine field with Ben. He definitely has a sweet tooth (don't know where he would have gotten that from) and it's probably good that our neighborhood's houses are far apart and we didn't make it to very many. It'll be interesting to see what Ben thinks of some of his candy because sometimes he just picked the worst ones (do people actually like Almond Joy? ick) so we need to give him a better education on which ones are good. I absconded with his one Reese's peanut butter cup (my favorite, and the only candy soft enough for me to eat) and later Ben looked in the trash and said, "I think you ate one." He caught on fast! Today at lunch he had some M&M's, which are his favorite candy right now, and I was tickled to see him eating them by color. I know at least one grandparent out there who will appreciate that!