Monday, January 31, 2011

SOS February Challenge - Love

Dear Hubster - Stop reading my feed. I know you read this, I'll let you know when you can come back!

I can hardly contain myself! I just wanted to give you a heads up to make sure you pop on over to the Scrap Our Stash blog to check out my February challenge post. It's a case of Belinda's "framed" layout...which you'll be able to read all about here between February 1 and February 14!
Can you see the cased elements? (Make sure you come back to read all about it!) A few highlights and my description will be posted later today!

I'm so excited!

So, unlike the rest of the world (at least that's what Hollywood would have you believe) I actually LOVE Valentine's day! Maybe it's because I'm with the sweetest guy in the whole world. Although, I've always liked V-day, maybe it was the candy before boys were important. :D I'm guessing it's the repressed hippie in me, and what hippie would say no to free love?
Here's the deal, I'm doing what everybody else does for Christmas, I'm counting down...and I'm bringing you with me!
Yes, it will be sappy! 
Yes, it will be inspiring (hopefully)! 
Yes, there will be hearts! 
And yes, there will be cake! Woo hoo! 

Of course, there will be a little something in store for you, my loyal reader. (Make sure you're a follower!) Be sure to comment each day (there will be directions) and you'll be happy you did! For now, I'm leaving you with a sneak peak!
See you February 1, 2011!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

January Scrap Our Stash challenge - NEW!

For this month's challenge over at Scrap Our Stash, I designed this cute little birthday card! I've been on a bit of a streak for little cute cards, I'm terrible at sending cards if I have to make them in advance so I'm working to get better about that by making them in advance. 
Other than my work-ahead approach, you may be wondering what's new about this card? This card uses a cupcake from my favorite new paper pad (SEI, Happy Day Collection), my new lightbox (made from tissue paper, scrap fabric, and a cardboard box; approximate directions can be found here), one of my (few) new stamps from The Ink Pad, and a new technique (the shadowbox layout) that I picked up from the WMS Grand Calibur party!

I am working on my photos of my cards and I feel like the lightbox is helping a ton! Note: When I'm using it, I normally have the light directly above the box, but I needed light to take a photo of the box! Any suggestions on things I could try? I even added props to this darling little photo! (Keep in mind that about 40% of my problem is that these days I'm going to work and coming home in the dark, so I can't take advantage of that wondrous phenomenon called daylight!) The hubby's out of town so it's off to craft a bit more for me! If he's lucky, I may even think about cleaning off my table! Ha! If you're looking for something to create, you should check out the January New Challenge at Scrap Our Stash.  Check out all the details here!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Compact for 2011

After 5 days and 2000 miles, we entered Ohio on 7/23/2010. 

Last year was stellar. I graduated from college (finally with 3 fancy diplomas!), made it onto a design team (Scrap Our Stash), fulfilled a dream to be a summer counselor, and started my shiny new grown up job! That last accomplishment meant a 2000 mile cross-country move. So, the Mr. and I sold everything we could bear to part with, shoved our lives into a U-Haul trailer, loaded up the pets, and left Montana. Life has been quite different here in Columbus, Ohio; but it's made me a better person. I hope the hubby would agree with that! The best part of living here? That feeling to keep up with the Joneses has dissipated.
It started when we had our first moving sale. I realized that I was wasting a lot of space (and money, and creating a lot of carbon) with stuff I was never going to use, and I owned a lot of things just for the sake of appearances. It was stupid. And materialistic. Did I mention it was stupid?
After we moved we picked up new-to-us furniture from Craigslist where we got great deals, met some new people, and learned the lay of the land; a far better experience than we would have had buying a bunch of new furniture from box stores. That's when it clicked - I don't have anyone to impress here. I'm buying things that will make my life comfortable. Out with the LCD big screen tv we had in Butte, in with the freebie CRT tv that spends little time glowing in our living room, but isn't in the dump! Out with the lavish Pampered Chef pots and pans, in with a simple set of stainless steel pans that will probably last for decades instead of years. Out with the consumer mindset, in with local foods and a dramatic reduction on our environmental impact. The 5 months of 2010 that we spent in Columbus, will surely pale in comparison to the challenge we have set forth for ourselves in 2011!
Ryan and I made a compact for 2011. Nothing new! Nothing! Here are the rules we are using:

 - Allowed items
  • Food items - with an emphasis on eating and buying local. We're currently getting our groceries from Green Bean Delivery and selecting midwest and local produce. Eating seasonally will probably seem more exciting when spring rolls around! 
  • Toiletries - We have tried a few things and will continue to try others as the year goes, but the fact remains that we both need deodorant. Period.
  • Cleaning Supplies - This only applies to chemicals (vinegar, Nature's Miracle, bleach, soaps, baking soda, etc.) and not "hardware" (vaccums, steamers, etc.). Maintenance items are allowed, such as filters and belts when absolutely needed (ie - belt is broken, not stockpiling).
  • Safety Items - Headlights for the car, a fire extinguisher, smoke detectors, bike get the idea. 
  • Underoos - This should be self explanatory
  • Pet items - Someone argued that I wouldn't be consuming rawhides and catnip!
  • Entertainment and services - Movies, digital media, massages, zoo and waterpark excursions, hair cuts, etc.
- Not allowed
  • Anything new - We can buy items at secondhand stores, garage sales, off of Craigslist/eBay/Amazon (used only), and refurbished items. The idea is to turn away from the typical American Consumerist mindset and make only mindful, purchases of items we "need" rather than impulsively buying what we "want." (Note: We have decided that we can buy any item on eBay/Amazon that is used or is from a "private" seller (not a store). Similar to buying from a virtual garage sale.)
  • If something truly cannot be purchased secondhand, it can be purchased new at a local store or from a small business.
What does this have to do with crafting? Even though the original compact (link at the end of this post) allowed all crafty purchases, my better half and I decided that there were only 2 items that I can buy new:
 - White cardstock
 - Adhesive
but I only get to buy them when I'm completely out (this was my idea, not his, please be gentle!). At this rate, I will last through at least March! There is a third exception to that rule: I get to put in one order of Waltzingmouse Stamps since I never got to buy them at Christmastime. It's the hubby's belated Christmas gift to me. :) Fortunately, they are US made, high quality, stamps from a very small business!
There are a few saving graces to this situation, namely I live in a highly populated area where the "Art" section of Craigslist is well used, and I live near Scrapbook Art -- The most fabby scrapbook store ever! This is why: GARAGE SALE! (For those following my cake craziness. Please remember, fondant, meringue powder, and vanilla are all foods. I'll still be making cakes!)
Before we started this, we decided that we would consider having a "jubilee day" on the middle day of the year (July 2) where we would be allowed to buy anything we wanted, new or otherwise. There's only one thing I can think of that I would even consider purchasing at that time and it's only because I damaged my Big Shot in transit. I want the Big Shot Pro. However, until my Big Shot actually goes out, I only am at "want". (That, and it's going to cost more than my Cricut Expression did!) If you've followed my blog for very long you already know that I rescue buttons and ribbon from Goodwill, scavenge Freecycle, and have been known to modify stuff I find in my home for the sake of crafting! I'm looking forward to a year filled with "Frugal Friday" tips galore. Wish me luck with this adventure! I'll be posting an update on our successes and opportunities on a monthly (or so) basis here on my blog. It should be entertaining at the very least!

Useful links for The Compact and this post:
  • Green Bean Delivery:
  • Waltzingmouse Stamps:
  • Scrapbook Art:
  • Freecycle:
  • The original rules:
  • The original blog:
  • The yahoo! group:
  • The Wikipedia page:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A very inspired happy birthday!

Happy Sunday! Twice in one month, that's some sort of record for me! Well, you should get used to it. I have a lot of posts saved up and will be posting a lot more often! (Plus I start another cake class on February 1, I plan on sharing!) This week, I made this lovely happy birthday card for three fantastic challenges:

It's a sweet happy birthday card for my stash! It feels good to get these kinds of cards done when I don't even need them. Maybe now that I'm out of school and the hubby is away on a business trip I'll be able to give people cards on their actual birthdays! (I'm not off to a remarkable start though, since I missed Ren-Yi's early January birthday! Fail!) 

For those Cuttlebug embossing addicts out there, do you have tips on not trashing your pp when you run it through an embossing folder? Specifically the Cuttlebug brand folders. I like the pseudo distressed look it gives this card but it doesn't always work for me! 

One last shout out before I go look up hubby's next flight - I used the fabby NEW Just Rite stamps that Laurie gave me for Christmas. Perfect for the Scrap Our Stash January Challenge of playing with something NEW! Have you played along yet?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Will you dance with me?

ETA:  Hijacking this post to add to Glenda's RAC #100!

Welcome to my submission for the January WMS Blog Waltz!
It's been a while since I've participated but I'm finally getting in the swing of being a workin' person and I've figured out how to get some crafty time in! My card is a two-fer, it's perfect for the WMS Waltz (See the LOVE-ly participants here) and I used the Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge #30 (Check it out here). Here's the eye candy!

I rescued some pieces from my stash, that I have been eyeballing for a while. I never have a problem using my paper but for some reason, any type of ribbon or "embellishment" that I bought for a sewing project I can't seem to bring, even long after the fabric has been used or given away! The silver chain across the middle is something I bought in 2009 when I got this wild idea that I was going to make new stockings. I've since given away the red and white fuzzy fabrics and I sold my sewing machine in May. You'd think I would have used the chain by now, especially since I love it and think that it should be on everything!

The paper is typical fare for me, assorted DPP out of the clearance rack at my LSS, foam from a pack I was given as a stocking stuffer this year, and ribbon from my stash (most likely from the exact same place the paper came from!). The thing I'm really excited about it the adhesive! I used my brand new (Read: AWESOME Christmas gift from DH) Glue Glider Pro and I'm very happy with the results!

One last little thing, see that key? That's my Compacty effort on this card. The card really needed a key, and I really needed my house key, so I set out to buy a key for embellishing my card with. I had two options for this item 1) go to the LSS and buy a Tim Holtz pre-distressed super cute key. (Kind of pushes the limits of The Compact, but still ok) or 2) Find one at a second-hand store. I chose option 2 and spent an hour digging through boxes with my mom and my hubby before we found a few key options. I took my key home, colored it with black and red Copics and then used steel wool to rough it up and make it look a bit distressed. I think it turned out nicely! (Then again, I'm quite biased!)

I'm glad I played along this time! I have been stamping for the sake of my new year's cards (which I'm just going to send with the hubby when he goes to Montana next week) but I haven't been using WMS. When I sat down to stamp this card, I remembered why I love WMS. See that sentiment? Can you read it? Is it sharp and crisp and clear? Yeah, that's why I love WMS! Even a heavy handed stamper like me can get it right with Claire's awesome stamps! :D

Don't forget to check out the other dancers' cards! Have a super MLK day, I'm off to the zoo with my mom!