Friday, April 27, 2012

Mother's Day Skit




We are performing this fun little skit at our Mother's Day service this year.  I am having older teens and kids take the roles.  They are looking forward to dressing up as babies.  I even have bald caps for two of them and giant soothers for others.  It takes about 10 minutes to perform and requires 5 actors.  The theme of the skit is that mothers love their children unconditionally just as God loves us unconditionally.  Have fun reading this one.

Here's the link.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Birds...

For most of my life, I've had this thing about birds!  I saw the psycho movie, "The Birds", when I was in my late teens, and it scarred me, I'm sure, but it really only confirmed what I already knew:  Birds are something diabolical when you take them out of their usual context.



Don't get me wrong, I love watching birds, hearing birds sing, watching them play in the water of my DH's pond, even identifying and noting them.  But take them out of their natural habitat and they inspire fear in me that rocks me to my core.

When I was a child, my neighbours would ask me to look after their house and feed their pets when they went away on vacation.  They had budgies, in a cage.  They looked harmless enough.  Then, one day, when I was feeding them or changing their water, they escaped!  Oh, the fluttering and swooping and bashing into windows!  How was I going to catch them again??  I think I finally, on the advice of my dad, threw a tea towel over them and picked them up and put them back in the cage, but I was terrified that they would do themselves serious harm and it would be all my fault.  I could just see myself confronting my neighbours when they returned with:  "So tell me, did your budgie seem depressed to you?"



We have a species of bird that nests around our area in the spring and summer.  We think they are called Brewer's Blackbirds, but they must be related to starlings or crows.  They are aggressive and unpleasant.  They have several guttural, unmelodious calls and one that sounds like someone is slurping soup.  They take over and drive all the nice birds away, and then, if you get too close to their nests, they dive bomb you!  Fuel to the fire!

All this background was important so you would understand my consternation when my cat, Beetle, brought a live bird into the house on Monday!  Of course, Ken was away and couldn't deal with it, so it was up to me.  With my heart beating a million miles an hour, I managed to corner it in Ken's office, where I shut the door and scooped up Beetle, who was zeroing in for the kill, and dumped her outside, with a glare that she knew meant business.  At this point, the terrified bird was thrashing around and continually dashing itself against the window in the office.  Gathering my courage, I went in the office and opened the window, and removed the screen.  All the while the little sparrow continued to thrash and dash!  Naturally, it wouldn't go near the opening to the outside that I had provided, so I used the screen to try and gently move it in that direction.  I guess the bird hadn't heard that insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results!  Finally, I had no choice but to pick up the fluttering ball of terror and toss it out the window.  Much to my surprise, I was able to do that which I most feared and I survived!!  So did the bird!!

But when my husband mentioned that he was going to install the cat door he had purchased a couple of years ago this summer, my response was, let's just say, a little more than he bargained for.

And speaking of birds...

Here is an anniversary card I designed for my middle daughter and her husband:



Birds on cards are nice!  I used Marina Mist cardstock for the base and the blue heart, cut with Framelits Hearts collection.  The Whisper White heart was cut with the next smallest size.  The back panel is a scrap of older, discontinued DSP I found in my stash, but there are many that would work well.  The stamp is from a set called Nature Walk.  I inked the flower stamp using Stampin' Write markers and stamped off once before applying to the two hearts, and the sentiment oval.


I used the Boho Blossoms punch to make the flowers and the Little Leaves sizzlit to make the - you guessed it - leaves from Certainly Celery cardstock.


There you have it, and I'll leave you with this thought:  May we work toward a world where chickens are free to cross the road without everyone questioning their motives!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Change is Good


Stampin' Up has just announced the list of retiring accessories from the catalogue to make way for all the new and better accessories in the 2012-13 Idea Book and Catalogue coming out June 1.  Check the list for any favourites, because not only are there some tremendous bargains (from 25% up to 70% off on some items), but they will only be available while supplies last.  You will need to act fast if there are things you want.  You can email me or phone me with your orders.   

Here is a link to the list of retiring accessories:

You should note that the Classic Ink Pads in all colours will still be available in the new 2012-13 Idea Book and Catalogue, but they are being reconfigured in a "firm foam" format to hold ink better and give better coverage on your stamp, and hence, a better image.
Other changes include:
Stampin' Write Markers will be available in color collections, but only some Markers will be offered individually. 
12" x 12" Textured Card Stock will no longer be available.
12" x 12" Smooth Card Stock will only be offered in color collections and some individual colors.
The entire Simply Adorned line of merchandise is being phased out
Decor Elements will no longer be offered.  (There is a separate Definitely Decorative Retiring List)

For a refresher, here again is a list of retiring stamp sets, first published April 15, 2012:


(These links are both PDF files you can download.)


You can contact me at hcooper52@gmail.com, or follow the links on my blog to my On-Line Store, where you can shop 24/7, and get delivery right to your home.

Here's to change! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

VIPs

Wow!  An absolutely stunning day today - shorts weather, really, although I don't think I have any that fit. So with the weather so much more spring-like than this time last year, I'm not too sad about the Canucks being out of the play-offs.  Who wants to watch hockey now any way? (Oops, was that blasphemy to some of you? Sorry!)

These next cards I made are for some Very Important People in my world - my Workshop Hostesses!    I want them to know how much I appreciate their support, so I work especially hard on their thank-you cards.  Here are the latest:


The Framelits Label Collection makes such elegant looking cards and that particular piece of Attic Boutique DSP from the Occasions Mini is one I've been itching to use ever since I saw it - so soft and pretty.  Don't forget that if you want to order something from the Occasions Mini, you have until April 30 to do so.  Follow the links on this blog to my website to shop 24/7!  The stamp set I used, Apothecary Art, is also from the Occasions Mini Catalogue, but I'm hoping it makes the cut to the new catalogue along with the Framelits.  They are so versatile.  I coloured the image in using Pool Party and Daffodil Delight Stampin' Write Markers. 

Here's another view:


 
Isn't Pool Party and Early Espresso a delicious combination?  The little butterflies adorning the front of the cards is made using the Beautiful Wings Embosslit and the Big Shot machine. I am entering this in the Our Creative Corner challenge: Butterflies.

I hope that Monday is kind to you! 


Apothecary Art Stamp Set

Attic Boutique DSP


 
Framelits Labels Collection

Saturday, April 21, 2012

MOJO Monday on Saturday???

Well, this is the latest I have ever done the MOJO Monday Challenge, but it was such an interesting layout, by Mary Fish, that I really wanted to complete it.  And now that I've done my first solo workshop, I've had an afternoon to catch up on my own crafting.  And I still have 22 or so hours to submit my card to the challenge.  This is how Sketch 237 looks:



Isn't it creative?  I decided to use this layout to design my daughter and son-in-law's anniversary card, which I have to get in the mail tomorrow, or it won't arrive in time!  How did life get so busy?  I sort of used a technique I learned from my upline, Tamara.  I say "sort of" because it was awhile ago and I couldn't quite remember all the supplies we used and I think I'm missing a few as it is, so this was my attempt at pansies made using the butterfly punch:



 
The card base is Old Olive and the back panel is So Saffron.  Basic Black punched with the Scallop Trim Border punch mattes both the flower strip and the sentiment in Whisper White.  The sentiment is from Something to Celebrate.


To make the pansies, I punched 8 of the butterfly shapes from Glossy White cardstock.  I inked it up using Stampin' Write markers and inks with the aqua painter.  Then I spritzed them well with water and let them dry, giving them a little help near the end with my heat tool.  When they were dry, I sponged on some Champagne Mist shimmer paint and let that dry.  I added the center details with Basic Black marker and put two together with a brad.  Quite simple really, but they are so sparkly and pretty.  A good reminder that spring is here!  I added some tiny basic pearls to the Scallop Border, quite extravagant of me really - but my daughter and her husband are worth it!  They've been married 4 years now and have a lovely little son, Parker. 

This is my wonderful family, including my so supportive husband, my three daughters and two of my sons-in-law, and my little grandson.

So there you have it, MOJO Monday 237.  Let the games begin, and may the odds be ever in your favour!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sneak Peeks

I've been neglecting my blog a bit because stamping as a business is keeping me really busy.  I guess once I learn the ropes, life will settle down a little, but there is sooo much happening.  I've been coming up with projects for my upcoming workshops and Stamp Club Technique Night, so thought I'd share them quickly.  Here is a card I've designed for my workshops:

 

I love the two colours, Pool Party and Certainly Celery together, and Elements of Style is such a pretty stamp set.  I'm so glad it's not on the list of discontinued stamps!  The back panel of Certainly Celery is embossed with the Framed Tulips embossing folder, using the Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine.  The images were stamped with Pool Party and Lucky Limeade ink.  I added the oh-so-lovely Lucky Limeade Organdy ribbon from the Sale-A-Bration catalogue.  (I know it's not available now, but it is so pretty and I have to use it up, right?)  A few basic rhinestones added the requisite bling and voila!

The next card is for my Stamp Club Technique Night, which is spotlighting Vintage techniques this month. 

I wanted to keep it on the simple side, but still be able to use some basic aging and distressing techniques.  The stamp set is Nature Walk, another of my favourites that made the cut and will be around for another year.  The background DSP is from the Beau Chateau collection on a card base of Crumb Cake, which was also used for the Little Leaves Sizzlit.  The Marina Mist echoed the colour in the DSP and was punched with the Modern Label Punch, which also cut out the sentiment (from Teeny Tiny Wishes).  I used some more Certainly Celery as a matte for the DSP and all the panels, including the image and sentiment on Very Vanilla, were sponged with Crumb Cake ink and distressed.  Pearls always add to a vintage look.

Have a great Wednesday!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Summer Smooches and Retirements

A quick post tonight to remind you of two important Stampin' Up Promotions. 
To get the special pricing on these products, order by April 30.

Every year at this time, Stampin' Up retires several stamp sets in order to make room for new designs in the next Idea Book and Catalogue.  This new catalogue must be a real doozy, because so many stamp sets are retiring this year.  I can hardly wait to see what's new!

Be sure to check the list here to see if any of your favourites are being retired.  If so, you have until May 31st to order them.  After that, they will be gone for good!!

See you tomorrow with some sneak peeks of some workshop and Technique night projects.

Friday, April 13, 2012

More Craft Fair Stuff

I was a busy bee yesterday, preparing for the craft fair tomorrow.  I wanted to share a couple of things I made for display and door prize purposes.  I just took delivery of my Petite Purse die, from the Summer Smooches collection, and I had so much fun playing with it yesterday.  I will use these for displaying the 3D capabilities of the Big Shot.


I got the idea of the backpack from Mary Fish at Stampin' Pretty.  I think it's a great way to add a masculine touch to the container!  The directions are on the link.  I just changed the colours to Soft Suede and Always Artichoke, with splashes of Real Red. 

For the other two purses, I used DSP, but found that you don't want too much pressure on them as they go through the Big Shot, because the scored lines have a tendency to cut through.  I had a shim, but really should have taken it out.  I love the look of the Pretty in Pink Satin Pleated ribbon on the middle purse, and I echoed the butterfly on the Everyday Enchantment brad using the Beautiful Wings Embosslit.



The second thing that I wanted to share was a card holder that I'm giving away as one of the fair's  door prizes, to hold three hand-crafted cards and a gift certificate.  I got the direction for this right from the Stampin' Up website. 

 

This holder made use of the new Adorning Accents Edgelits.  Don't they make an elegant finish on the flap?  I used Soft Suede with accents of Daffodil Delight.  The scoring was done using another so helpful and versatile resource- the Simply Scored tool!  I have to say that I haven't regretted buying the Big Shot and the Simply Scored tool for a moment - I have used them so much.




The stamped image on the front is from the Creative Elements stamp set, which I am constantly going to for the kind of images I like to use.  I inked it up using a Soft Suede and a Daffodil Delight Stampin' Write marker.  I closed the flap using some Velcro I had in my sewing kit, but had a hard time finding the adhesive that would be stronger than the cling of the Velcro, so one side or the other wouldn't pull away from the cardstock.  I ended up using Glue Dots, but trimming some of the little hooks on the Velcro, so they wouldn't cling as tightly.

Here's one last view:


Must get going now, but be sure to come visit me at Our Lady of Lourdes school tomorrow for the Spring Fling Craft Fair from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm.  Maybe you'll win my door prize!  Hoping to see you there.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Craft Fair

This Saturday, I will be representing Stampin' Up at a local craft fair for the first time.  Well, almost everything I do with Stampin' Up is for the first time right at this starting point in my business (except for stamping, of course!).  I am really busy preparing for it and for the first workshop I am leading by myself, so just a quick post to show off some business cards that I made which are a little different than the run-of-the-mill 3x2 rectangles.  I wanted something that would stand out and showcase my product, so I made fridge magnets:


I created the centers using the 30-day free trial of My Digital Studio from Stampin' Up and punched them out using the 1 3/8" punch.  I also punched some magnet circles from Magnet Sheets.  I used the Blossom punch from the Occasions Mini catalogue to punch 2 flowers for each magnet, using several of the Brights collection Pattern paper stack DSPs.  I used the 1 3/4" punch to punch the leaves by first, punching a circle, then repunching the sides, top and bottom to get the leaf shapes.  I added either a Designer Series button or a Basic Rhinestone or Pearl for the finishing touch.  Now, I just need a magnetic display base....?  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Laundry!

As much as I love visits from all my family,  I do NOT love the laundry I do after everyone has left for home.  Bedding from 4 beds, towels galore plus my regular laundry made for a busy day yesterday, but it's done, and now all I have left is good memories of a wonderful Easter weekend! 

That being said, the laundry took precedence over MOJO Monday. (I know, where are my priorities??)
So today I will show you the card I created for this layout:


and also for The Paper Player's Challenge #90.  This was a colour challenge using the following colours:




Here's how mine turned out:




I really like this colour combination.  This was the first time I used my Stampin' Up Simply Scored tool to make the rosette.  I'm still not quite sure how long my paper strip has to be to make the rosette evenly spread.  I started with two 12" strips, scored and joined together, but that seemed like too much paper and I couldn't make the rosette close properly, so I cut off about 4" and that may have been too much.  Does anyone know the right proportions?? 




I absolutely love that Attic Boutique Designer Series paper from the Occasions Mini-Catalogue!  It's in Pool Party, which is my favourite 2011-13 In Colour.  The sentiment is stamped in Island Indigo Ink on Whisper White cardstock and the end of the flag, I manipulated until the layers separated and then curled each layer separately.  I sponged the edges in Island Indigo to give it some definition.  A little snippet of Certainly Celery 1/4" grosgrain ribbon with a faux bow, and some brads finish off the look.


But, speaking of laundry, do you iron??  When I was teaching and my kids were at home, I mastered something I like to call the "Chest Press".  I would take the clothes warm out of the dryer and fold and smooth on my chest until they were relatively wrinkle free.  Worked well until the fabrics went back to more natural fibres instead of permanent press.  Now that I'm retired, I have more time, but, strangely enough, I really don't like to spend it ironing, except when it is unavoidable.  I know that some people actually enjoy ironing, but I'm not one of them.  I've thought about starting up a Polyester Revival, but then I remember how we looked in the Seventies, and I think we'd better stick with cotton.  Have a great day!






Sunday, April 8, 2012

Guest Crafter

Happy Easter!  I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend with friends and family!  The weather was absolutely stellar here.  It felt like spring has finally arrived for real and is not just teasing us.  I've had all three of my daughters home this weekend and two of them got to meet their new little nephew for the first time.  I spent some crafting time with two of my daughters this week and it was so much fun to share my love of stamping and card making with them.

My daughter, Jaimie, the mother of my first grandson, Parker, created a card for her mom-in-law and I wanted to show you how beautiful it was.



She used some older Springtime Vintage paper (discontinued) matted with Early Espresso cardstock on a base of Very Vanilla.  The middle panel is crumb cake embellished with Victorian Crochet trim.  The images are from the Creative Elements stamp set and the flower is backed with a piece of Early Espresso punched with the Decorative Label punch.  Jaimie has done a little stamping before, but she has an eye for design as you can see if you visit her blog, At Home.  She posts a little less often now that she has a 3 month old, but browse through her older posts and you'll enjoy her ideas for decorating on a budget.




For the inside of the card she add some more of the same DSP and echoed the design of the Decorative Label using the larger Top Note die cut.  A very lovely card that her mom-in-law was delighted with. 



My middle daughter has been visiting with us for an entire week (not nearly long enough, as most of you moms with grown children well know).  She loves to craft as well, but her creations are very practical in nature.   She loves to garden, and raise animals, and preserve food and create things from scratch, as well as knit and sew.  Recently, she learned to weave baskets from willow and made her own baby bassinet.  (She is expecting my second grandchild in June.)


You can read about her adventures up north on her blog, Honey Nutbrown.

My oldest daughter is a very busy teacher/vice principal, which doesn't leave a whole lot of time for extra crafts, but she is very interested in fashion design and photography.  You can check out her blog at I Came Here to Count the Bells.  She is also a poet when she finds the time in her very busy schedule.

I'm very proud of my girls and love their creative natures.  Thanks for letting me show them off a little!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Packing a Punch!

I'm hoping today's post will pack a punch, but I don't have the punch I needed for the card I made today for my good friend, Dee's birthday.  I wanted a small 5 petal flower punch, but had to make do with a 4 petal Sizzlit die with my Big Shot.  Four petal flowers look stylized because of their symmetry, and I wanted something a bit more realistic-looking.  I made quite a few layers and staggered them to give the impression of more petals.  I decided to join the Pals Paper Arts Challenge#132 this week.  It was a colour challenge with our palette being Chocolate Chip, Pretty in Pink and Certainly Celery.

Here's my take on the challenge:



I like those three colours together and the stamp sets, Stampin' Up's Elements of Style and Elementary Elegance are beautiful.  I used the embossing folder Petals A-Plenty on the Certainly Celery and Pretty in Pink panels.  But those flowers just are not doing it for me, even with all the manipulating I did - curling, separating, crumpling, sponging and everything short of feeding them to the cats! 



I just need to order myself some new flower punches or dies, but that will have to wait for awhile since I just made a large order for some business basics.

I would also like to share a Get Well Soon card for my daughter, who is recovering from surgery.  She loves ochre and brick colours and so the palette I used for this card is More Mustard and Cajun Craze.  The DSP I used is from the Well Worn pack.


The stamp sets are Daring Adventure and Teeny Tiny Wishes, and even though the wishes are teeny, we're hoping that the thoughts and prayers are big enough to help her feel more like her lovable self! 

Have a wonderful Easter weekend, and I would just like to share one last thought with you:

Now THAT packs a punch!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Thank You for the Support

Where to go with this post?  The history of women's undergarments?  The evolution of the corset? 


Soooo glad I don't have to wear these contraptions!!  Doesn't matter, you say?  Of  "corset" matters - to the ones who had to wear them.

Okay, poor attempt at humour there, but humour is the theme of this week's Paper Players Challenge #89 - Tickle Your Funnybone.  At first I thought that I didn't have any funny stamps or sentiments, but then I realized that one of my newer sets was perfect for the challenge.  Here is my creation:



I also used the MOJO Monday sketch #235 for the layout.  I love how it turned out.  I was skeptical about being able to create real shabby chic style cards using only Stampin' Up products, but it turned out to be completely possible and so beautiful!  Yay, Stampin' Up!   Here's the MOJO Monday sketch: 



I used Soft Suede cardstock for the base and the large flag, which was embossed using the Stripes embossing folder.  (You can barely see it now, but that's the creating process for you.)  I used a piece of Beau Chateau DSP for the back panel and some River Rock cardstock for the middle panel, edged with some Pretty in Pink punched with the Eyelet Border punch.  I used Very Vanilla edged with Crumb Cake ink using a sponge dauber for the stamp and part of the sentiment and matted it with Baja Breeze cardstock. The stamps are from the Rues des Fleurs stamp set, from the Occasions Mini catalogue. 



The small flag was stamped with another stamp from the same set on River Rock card stock and the end was separated and curled.  I inked the Baja Breeze seam binding ribbon with Crumb Cake ink, misted it with water and scrunched it up, then tied a bow and added it to the paper over top of some leaves die cut using the Little Leaves Sizzlit.  The flowers are made from SU's Paper Daisies and sponged again with Crumb Cake ink! 



And I think the sentiment has just the right amount of humour - not overendowed, and it didn't fall flat either! And I'd better quit while I'm abreast of the situation!