Tuesday, June 12, 2018

SSS Beautiful Flowers

Simon Says Stamp Beautiful Flowers
Hello there!  I am so happy and excited to be moved (mostly) and I am ready to get back to card making.  I am pretty irritated with myself this morning because I had a whole blog post done and accidentally deleted it when I went to put my affiliate links in.  A new post is not going to write itself so I just have to chalk it up to experience and move on.

Since we are in a new subdivision, there aren't any mailboxes yet and we're having to pick our mail up at the post office.  I was excited when I went to get last week's mail yesterday and in there was my order from Simon Says Stamp!  I could hardly wait to get home and ink it up but there were a lot of other things requiring my attention yesterday so it was late in the day before I got to ink it up.  I need to get back to those things soon so I have to be brief here - or at least try to be brief.

This week's Simon Says Stamp Flickr Challenge #99 is Coloring in honor of  Kathy Racoosin's 30 Day Coloring Challenge.  This is her 10th Challenge that she is hosting.  Kathy says that even if she only has 5 minutes to color each day that it makes her feel better and that's how she started these challenges a few years back.  I actually think I came on to the scene after those started so I didn't even know about them for a while.  The current challenge is on through the entire month of June, so check it out and join in if you like.

My particular coloring of the Simon Says Stamp Beautiful Flowers Stamp Set was inspired by a rose that my mom had when I was little called "Peace".  You can check it out on Wiki if you like here.  You can see other derivations of this rose there as well or by googling Peace Rose Images.  The particular derivation I like is called "Chicago Peace".  I actually painted this from memory before I thought to google the images and I am pretty happy with my results.  I could have added a bit more pink to the edges of the petals but I love how the rose goes from deep rich yellow to coral to pink all in one bloom.  There's also a recent release of the Peace Rose Forever Stamp. 

I heat embossed the bouquet using Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  I kept my coloring very simple using my Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens in Bright Yellow, Olive Green and Dark Green.  I think I could actually have used a fifth color in Pink, but I am going to leave well enough alone for this time.  I'm really happy with how mine came out.


This card is for a friend of mine who celebrates her birthday today.  We met each other 34 years ago as our husbands are great friends and have been for even more years.  She knows we've been moving so she isn't expecting a card and it will definitely be late but she'll still enjoy it and appreciate it.   That is kind of the story of my life this month as I think I've missed quite a few birthdays during this process.

Just for your information, this is a 5 x 7 card.  I couldn't bear to cut off any of the beautiful design to make a smaller card, so I didn't! 

I am thrilled with my new studio space and even have a logo on the way to put on the door so folks will quit asking if it's my "craft room".   The men kind of roll their eyes as if there's no way they'd let their wife have such a room.  I'm still trying to figure out my arrangement of furniture and I can't do it 100% until all of it is here.  My bookcase is the main thing I am missing right now and to be honest, I'm not sure there is anywhere it will fit. I hope it does or else I have to figure out something else.

By the way, this photo was taken at 4:30 a.m.  You can see in the background that it is night outside.  How awesome is it that I can take photos with no flash because of the lighting I put in my studio space?  That was the plan but sometimes plans don't work out so I was excited!  If you're wondering why I was up so early, it's because the dogs woke me up needing to go to the bathroom.  My sweetest little girl, Holly, licks my face until I wake up. When I tried to ignore her and go back to sleep, she kept licking me so I won't fall back asleep until I let her out.  That was the end of my sleep for today. 

I have the latest Altenew Build-A-Flower Release to play with this week and some old favorites that I want to visit so I'll be back soon. 

Thank you so much for stopping by today.  The supplies I've used are linked below for your convenience (Affiliate links may be used).

Cuttlebug Die Cutting Machine
Cuttlebug Die Cutting Machine
Shop at:
SSS
Finetec Mica Watercolors - Golds
Finetec Mica Watercolors - Golds
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SSS
Gemini Full Size Die Cutting Machine
Gemini Full Size Die Cutting Machine
Shop at:
SSS
Kokuyo Long Dot Runner Adhesive
Kokuyo Long Dot Runner Adhesive
Shop at:
SSS
PTI Berry Sorbet Cardstock
PTI Berry Sorbet Cardstock
Shop at:
PTI
Spellbinders 5 x 7 Matting Basics A
Spellbinders 5 x 7 Matting Basics A
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SSS
Spellbinders Embossing Mat
Spellbinders Embossing Mat
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SSS
SSS Antique Gold Embossing Powder
SSS Antique Gold Embossing Powder
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SSS
SSS Beautiful Flowers 6 x 8 Stamp Set
SSS Beautiful Flowers 6 x 8 Stamp Set
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SSS
Teflon Bone Folder
Teflon Bone Folder
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SSS
Tim Holtz Tonic Paper Trimmer
Tim Holtz Tonic Paper Trimmer
Shop at:
SSS
Versamark Ink
Versamark Ink
Shop at:
SSS
Wagner Heat Tool
Wagner Heat Tool
Shop at:
SSS
Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers - 48 Set
Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers - 48 Set
Shop at:
SSS

Monday, June 11, 2018

We've Moved!

Hello and welcome back to my blog! We finally closed on our house the day after Memorial Day and moved in about half of our furniture but things are not going as fast as I would like with my studio space and it is taking longer than I want to get organized.  My work is important to my overall well being, so I'm trying to get back at it this week.  Primarily, I am waiting for the glass top to my double work station so that I can finish figuring out what to put where. 

The bookshelf that holds my stamps and dies in their bins is on the next load which is coming later this week.  The garage of our other house is not yet empty, but the house finally is.  The puppies do not know what to think of the chaos all around us but they are very happy to climb in bed with us at the end of the day.  As you can see, it is still very messy in this studio.

I have to figure out how I want to set everything up but I have a hard time doing that until I actually have stuff in front of me so the bookcase is an important part of this process.  I am not certain it will fit where it is intended for a long term solution so I need to get that figured out quickly.  The only thing I know for sure is that I need to have the work surface protected so I am reluctant to set anything on the work stations until the glass is in place.  I also set up a temporary heat embossing station on the counter top until everything is in place in the room and I figure out where to set that up permanently.
 
Another piece of the puzzle is figuring out new lighting for my photos.  With the back-lighting from the windows, it makes the front tougher to capture accurately so that's another piece of the puzzle I don't have figured out yet.  The furniture in this room is very heavy so I can't really change it once it's in place.  As you can see in the photo above, I placed my frequently used colored cardstock on the shelves of the grey work station but that's really the only thing I've set in place.  I am getting three more Ikea Alex Drawer Units for the area that is currently covered with stamps dies and whatever but this time I am getting the wider width ones.  Three will fit across there nicely and I will have a die cutting station there (that Gemini takes some serious space).  Primarily, I still use my Cuttlebug most often but that was due to the fact that my Gemini was in the kitchen since I got it earlier this year.  I plan to have one of the Sizzix Sidekicks on my desk where I do most of my work and the other one on the grey work station.   

One of the big things we did was to plan for a lot of outlets in the studio so that I would not have power strips going everywhere like in the other house.  I'll have to let you know how my plan works out in a few months. 

I know you won't believe it, but my plan was to keep this short today so that I can sit and actually make a card.  We don't have mail boxes at the new place yet, but when I went to pick up the mail from the Post Office earlier today, I had 2 new stamps to play with in that bundle of mail — Altenew's newest Build-A-Flower - Larkspur and the newest Simon Says Stamp Beautiful Flowers set.  I am itching to heat emboss and color that one this week so I'm keeping this post fairly short. 

I'm hoping in another week or two I will be more settled into my new, luxurious space and have my set up figured out.  For now, this is what I have and my desk is a total disaster area even though I have more actual working space here. There are just certain things I like to have at my fingertips, so I have more stuff on it than I did before.  But that will likely change in the next several days. 

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  I really appreciate it if you've stuck with me and I'm getting back to work today. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Moving Along - An Update Part I

Hello there!  I wanted to pop on with a post to show you the progress on our move.  This week was a big week and we close in about 10 days.  A lot happened this week, some of it not so fun.  But some other things have happened that are fun to see.  

Let's start with the not so fun stuff.  Last weekend, my washing machine bit the dust as I was trying to wash all the towels and linens before I packed them up.  This was bad timing for sure and so expensive to fix that we were better off just buying new.  So of course, for someone who is pretty matchy-matchy that also meant a new dryer.  My husband had just asked me if we needed a new washer and dryer when we moved but I had said no.  Our last washer and dryer was a Whirlpool Cabrio set and I have always loved it.  It's still a top loading machine, but High Efficiency and I never had any problems with it before.  We got it when we lived in Frisco, TX.  Now, let me say there are varying models of the Cabrio system and we had the top of the line, so that's what we wanted to replace it with. So on Monday of last week week, a new Cabrio Platinum Washer and Dryer were delivered. This particular wash is a high capacity, heavy duty washer and I didn't have this previously, but now I need a step stool to get to the bottom of the tub.  While I had the appliance guy here, we wanted him to take a look at the refrigerator in the trailer that my hubby will be living in during the week.  It wouldn't cool anything even though we left it for 48 hours and came back.  So the appliance guy went over, took a look, ran a few tests and determined that it had no free-on in it -- at all.  So somewhere there is a leak and just to track it down and find it would be about half the cost of a new refrigerator, plus whatever parts were needed on top of that, so we opted to go ahead and get a new fridge for that too. 

Fast forward to Tuesday when DH got up at the crack of dawn to take a little load of things down to the new house so they can be installed for us; my desk which is huge and our water softener which goes in the garage.  Initially we had planned to put my desk in the center of the room, but once it was put together, it didn't work that way at all. It just takes too much space.  Finally he moved it up against the wall and headed back home.  About 45 minutes before he got home, one of the new hoses on the back of the new washing machine burst and I had water all over the laundry room floor again.  Anything involving water makes my husband crazy and I knew he would pop a cork.  I had asked for stainless steel hoses with the installation but our guy didn't recommend them and put the crummiest possible rubber hoses on there.  Needless to say, when they came back to fix the problem, they brought stainless steel this time.  It was an expensive few days and stressful to boot.  


So, since I get a lot of questions about my desk, I'll share the story here.  Many years ago, I worked for a large employer in Topeka, Kansas — AmVestors Financial Corporation and it's subsidiaries one of which was American Investors Life Insurance Corporation.  My boss was the Vice President of Human Resources & Administrative Services (a.k.a. anything nobody else wants to do) and I was his Executive Assistant/Company Training Coordinator.  Clayton was in charge of overseeing the construction and day to day operations of our multi-million dollar new national headquarters and he and I had our offices in a building next door to the job site.  Because the building we were in was on the State Register of Historic Places, we were required to have furniture that was in keeping with the building and it's period.  Primarily, nothing modern at all but we still needed the space to be functional.  That's where the oak desk enters the picture. With the new building would come new office furniture once we moved into it.  It was a lot of fun to work with the design firm Andre Design Associates on those day to day operations selecting everything from the color and style of paint to the color scheme for the furnishings.  The furnishings were all new Herman Miller cubicles and when we finally moved into our new offices, my boss asked if I wanted to buy my desk from the building we were in. I was thinking there was no way we could afford to buy it, but when he offered it to us for $80.00, we were all in.  For more than 20 years now, we have moved and dragged this desk with us from each of the homes we have lived in since that time.  Then and now it was an incredible buy. Another good thing is that it comes apart so that you can move pieces.  It's still incredibly heavy and there is no way to move it once it is fully assembled so a lot of pre-planning was required for this part of our move.

The only problem with this desk is that it does take quite a bit of space. When DH got it in the room and assembled, there wasn't enough space to open the drawers of the cabinets that we had built into the room.  We had also thought we were going to have to cut a hole in the hardwood floors to bring the electrical and CAT6 wiring in.  The best part of moving the desk against the wall is that we can also bring the electrical etc. in through the wall and don't have to cut a hole in the floor.  I was really not wanting to cut a hole in the hardwood floors so I was quite happy about this.

When we originally started looking at houses and floor plans, I knew I needed to have a work space and I definitely needed something that was made with my work in mind. There are so many choices available to us in paper crafting and so many tools although most are fairly moderate in size.  Several years ago, I purchased a few clearance game tables from Target that are made in a similar fashion to the Ikea Alex Drawers that we had built in to this room. The top 4 drawers are shallow and the bottom one is about twice as deep as the top one. They are sized well for 12 x 12 Scrapbook paper and accessories, or as is the case for me now, card making supplies.  At the time I got those three tables for $25.00 each. They have been moved around with us all these years and will make their final move back to Texas next week sometime if everything goes according to plan.

There's going to be a part two for this post and I'm not sure when I will have time to write it but yesterday we decided to change things up with the studio furniture at the last minute - literally.


This desk is quite large and it's easy to see why I needed the additional studio space once it is in the room.  We don't really use formal dining so converting the dining room was the easiest thing to do without changing the actual footprint of the house.  When you start moving walls or plumbing or that kind of thing, it really adds a lot of money to the cost so we were were looking for something that that would be the simplest to do.  It meant creating the cased opening between the two rooms but I really like having that sight line. Beyond the front door is the laundry which backs up to the master closet and the door that comes from the house into the the garage.  A few months ago we decided we wanted to add the French doors with the frosted glass panes and the transom window at the top.  This gives me a way to shut out the mess that happens when I am creating and the frosted glass keeps the mess unseen.  I've mentioned it before, but my creative process is highly chaotic.  I like to clean up between projects though or I can't work. 


The single window looks out to the front porch so I can see who's there.  It was originally a wall but we added a window for this specific purpose. I designed the picture window to be my primary staging area for photos. It was a little tough to find something that was in keeping with the Craftsman style of the home but we eventually managed.  My monitor and keyboard will live on the left side you see here while the rest of the desk is my work area. Blogging is a big part of my work so I have to have space for both things. In the past, because of the lack of storage, my desk housed so much stuff that I barely had a 12 x 18 inch area to work in.  You have no idea how excited I am to move into this space and have a place for everything.


A couple of days ago, my husband mentioned that my mish-mosh of furniture was not going to look too good in our new house or really fit in with the style of the house.  Additionally, since we used the dining room space for the studio, I don't have anywhere to have one of my "Scrappy" friends to work and he knows this is really important to me.  There is an eat in area in the kitchen but I think the max it will have is a drop leaf table and two chairs.  It is very small and 99.9% of the time we sit at the breakfast bar anyway.  I started looking at my options.  I really love the stand up work stations that Carissa Wiley has but those are discontinued and I couldn't find one in white much less find two of them.  I also realized that I have a lot of trouble standing for very long so I really wanted something that was a sit down solution.  Most of the things I found were very small or else very expensive but I finally realized that Ikea was going to be my best option to find something in my budget.  And that is where I'm stopping for this particular post.

In the next post, I'll share more about my thought processes for the space planning.  We started this process 14 months ago, so I really had time to think about what I would need.

This week we are in Texas taking care of the grands while our daughter and son-in-law are in Cancun for the week.  They really never got a honeymoon to speak of so this is sort of a romantic get away.  Unfortunately, before I could finish writing and posting this our closing got moved out to Friday.  I am on the deep end of frazzled but I have to go home tomorrow morning and finish packing my house so I can't really think about it.  I don't dare stop to think about it.

My daughter just texted that they just finished going through US Customs and will be on the 7:30 flight from Houston to Dallas so I am going to wrap this up.  I hope you'll come back to see Part II of this post but it will be at least 2 weeks before I will have time to post anything.   

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Papertrey Ink April 2018 Blog Hop and The Card Concept # 91


Hello there! Thanks for stopping by for the April 2018 Papertrey Ink Blog Hop.  This will be my last blog post for a little while as we are getting very close to our move. I am not sure I'll have things unpacked and sorted well enough for the May Blog Hop, so I wanted to make sure I had a project for this month's hop. June should be no problem or at least I hope to be organized and back to creating by that time.

If you are here for the Keeping Christmas Blog Hop, keep scrolling down.

The photo on the left is our inspiration image for the Papertrey Blog Hop this month.  I love the fancy tea cups and they remind me of several my mother has but they also remind me of Chintz fabric.

I also noticed this morning, that my colors and florals happen to match The Card Concept Inspiration and so this card will also be entered into that challenge.  I'm on The Card Concept Design Team, but I took this term off because of how busy we are and how much travel has been required with our new house.

There is a whole lot of texture in the inspiration image and I wanted to bring some of that into my card so I chose to do a bit of inking on a panel of Linen Texture Cardstock using Hawaiian Shores Ink.  To get the effect I wanted, I ran the ink blending tool in straight lines all around the outside edge of the panel toward the center of the panel but I only went about half way with the ink leaving the center with a very light blend.  I mostly covered the center up in the end but the texture of the linen panel is definitely there.

To mimic the feel of the florals, I wanted to use something that you might find on a Chintz print, so I used the Seasonal Borders: Spring Stamps and Dies which were designed by Betsy Veldman for Papertrey Ink.  I used Betsy's technique she showed on how to stamp the repeats with this set and it was pretty easy.  In case I messed up, I wanted to have a couple of them done, but I didn't mess any of them up so I had three borders to use.  You can find Betsy's tutorial here and the YouTube video here.  It was really easy to do this with my MISTI and a little bit of painters tape to hold the negative in place.

My pink flowers were all stamped with Lovely Lady and Raspberry Fizz with Lemon Tart centers.  The Lilacs were stamped with Lilac Grace and Amethyst Allure while the foliage was stamped with New Leaf Ink.

I die cut a panel of Hawaiian Shores Cardstock for my background panel and adhered that to a top folding card base made from Stamper's Select White Cardstock.  Next, I die cut the Linen Panel with a slightly smaller Stitched Rectangle and adhered that.

For the sentiment, I wanted to use this scripture verse so I looked for a label or similar die that I could fit the whole thing onto which led me to Basic Bookmark #3.  I love all the pierced and cut out detail on this die.

I adhered that to my card base so that I could use the Seasonal Border down the side of my card.  Once I got that assembled, I decided to stack all three of them using foam tape for a unexpected bit of dimension.  I'm trying to weed through all my extra pieces of stamped and die cut elements right now in preparation for our move so rather than just using one, I used all three and I love how it turned out.


Be sure to hop along today to see all of the beautiful creations from other Papertrey Ink customers.  We look forward to this monthly event where we get to share our love of the products and support each other as card makers.  Thanks so much for stopping by.

The supplies I've used are linked below for your convenience (Affiliate Links may be used at no additional cost to you).

Cuttlebug Die Cutting Machine
Cuttlebug Die Cutting Machine
Shop at:
SSS
Kokuyo Long Dot Runner Adhesive
Kokuyo Long Dot Runner Adhesive
Shop at:
SSS
PTI Basic Bookmark #3
PTI Basic Bookmark #3
Shop at:
PTI
PTI Fresh Snow Linen Cardstock
PTI Fresh Snow Linen Cardstock
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PTI
PTI Hawaiian Shores Cardstock
PTI Hawaiian Shores Cardstock
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PTI
PTI Perfect Match Amethyst Allure Ink
PTI Perfect Match Amethyst Allure Ink
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PTI
PTI Perfect Match Hawaiian Shores
PTI Perfect Match Hawaiian Shores
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PTI
PTI Perfect Match Lemon Tart Ink
PTI Perfect Match Lemon Tart Ink
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PTI
PTI Perfect Match Lilac Grace Ink
PTI Perfect Match Lilac Grace Ink
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PTI
PTI Perfect Match Lovely Lady Ink
PTI Perfect Match Lovely Lady Ink
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PTI
PTI Perfect Match New Leaf Ink
PTI Perfect Match New Leaf Ink
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PTI
PTI Perfect Match Raspberry Fizz Ink
PTI Perfect Match Raspberry Fizz Ink
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PTI
PTI Perfect Match Vintage Jadeite Ink
PTI Perfect Match Vintage Jadeite Ink
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PTI
PTI Seasonal Borders: Spring Dies
PTI Seasonal Borders: Spring Dies
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PTI
PTI Seasonal Borders: Spring Stamps
PTI Seasonal Borders: Spring Stamps
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PTI
PTI Vintage Cream Cardstock
PTI Vintage Cream Cardstock
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PTI
PTI Vintage Jadeite Cardstock
PTI Vintage Jadeite Cardstock
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PTI
PTI Year of Psalms - February
PTI Year of Psalms - February
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PTI
Scotch 3M Foam Tape
Scotch 3M Foam Tape
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SSS
SSS Antique Gold Embossing Powder
SSS Antique Gold Embossing Powder
Shop at:
SSS
Versamark Ink
Versamark Ink
Shop at:
SSS
Wagner Heat Tool
Wagner Heat Tool
Shop at:
SSS