Monday, March 31, 2014

Bright Birthday Wishes (CCM296 and RS108)

Hi friends, I had so much fun playing an actual challenge on Friday that I decided to take the plunge again. I've been so busy this last couple years that challenges have seemed to go to the backseat as far as priorities go. But playing challenges is SUCH a good thing to do as a designer, that I'm going to try and get back to them as I can. It really helps me to think outside my box as far as color and composition go. :)

I'm playing 2 challenges with this card. Create With Connie and Mary 296 and Retro Sketches 108. Here's the colors for Create with Connie and Mary.  You may remember from my days as a designer at ColourQ that I am a sucker for any color combo with Pacific Point in it. It's my very favorite shade of blue :) This Smoky Slate is a nice shade, I sadly don't own any of it yet, so I ended up using Basic Gray instead. But my son, Collin, and I painted his room over the weekend and it's almost that very shade of Smoky Slate gray, it looks so good, I LOVE IT! :) Post to come on his room once I finish the final touches.

The CCM challenge is also an all Stampin' Up! challenge, meaning no use of non-Stampin' Up! product. That in and of itself was a good challenge for me, as my SU! stuff has gone largely untouched these last months, time to dust off and use some of these CUTE stamps! :) I believe this stamp was previously uninked.

As mentioned above this is also for Retro Sketches 108, here's the sketch!

and here's my card again:

a detail shot:

That owl hardware is from a few years ago, it really needed just the perfect project, and I think it looks great on here. :)

I hope you like my card! Thanks for stopping by today! 

Recent Birthday Cards

Hi friendlies, just stopping by today with a couple recent birthday cards! Both are made with some of my Cat's Pajamas goodies! :) 

This first card might look..... familiar, it's pretty similar to this card from the release we just had. ;) It's actually heading to the same family too! I added the birthday boy's name to the front of the card.

used the Gift Card Envie on the inside (I flipped it upside down so it didn't look quite as frilly for this boyish card). Teenagers LOVE gift cards, I'm finding! So nice and easy, plus no wrapping! :) I also used one sentiment from a PTI set, the "HB2U." 

This second card is for my little cousin, Jacobi. He just turned 3! Such a precious little man, he really holds a special place in my heart. I used some fun Circus themed goodies from a few years back! :)

That's it for me today. Thanks for stopping by! :) 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Can't..... Resist.... The Sketch...... & Liebster Blog Award

Hi friends, I hope you all are doing well! It has been a little cray cray around my world lately. I've been teaching theater a lot, and gearing up for another class that starts in April. Also, I'm training for my triathlons this summer, I'm hitting a longer one this year and am both a little anxious and excited about it! :) And you may have noticed not only Sneaky Peek week, but TWO Blog Hops 'round here last week? Yeah, busy has been an understatement, but as I told a friend last week it's all good busy and I feel that my life is really wonderful and I am so blessed to get to do what I love. :)

So, I admit to not having played an actual challenge in a long long time, maybe even months. But when I saw this sketch at Lesley's blog, I was a smitten kitten and just knew I would love to make a card with this! :) I used some of my new Cat's Pajamas goodies from the release we just had. 

Here's the sketch:

Here's my card:

The little flair button was freebie I picked up at the Doodlebug Designs booth at CHA. They had loads of these fun buttons there! I thought the glasses were a fun accent since the stamp I used says "you don't look a day over."

You know me and bright colors, so of course this is done in bright colors ;) 

And, I was also given the Liebster Blog Award by my friend Katie! Thanks Katie, you are a doll, I really appreciate this! :) 

 The Liebster Award is nominated for bloggers that you admire, 
it is all about perusing blogs, betting to know crafty new friends for 
bloggers that have less than 300 followers.

This award is all about getting to know new crafty friends and perusing their blogs for new ideas and to get your mojo into high gear.
Part of the process is to answer a few questions about yourself, then to select a few blogs I visit and nominate them.

I was asked to answer these questions:

1.  The three supplies you use most?

Hm, I would have to say first of all dies, I used to be huge into punches, but now find I primarily use my punches for scrapbooking only and dies on almost every card. Next is Memento Ink in Tuxedo Black, it really is the best black and I like to use Copics so it's the perfect black for that. Stampin' Up card stock in 8 1/2" x 11" size is the third, I must own 50 colors, but for white card stock I like Neenah brand in Solar White.

2. How long have you been making cards?

A really long time! I have scrapbooked since 1997, and then got into card making and stamping in the early 2000s when my (now 11 and 13 year old boys) were little! I just sent out an Evite for my hubby's 40th, and he reminded me that for his 30th I made custom invites with a chinese takeout box on the cover and a fortune cookie inside. I think it was a template from Paper Crafts magazine that I used. 

3. What do you do with all the cards you make?

Use them! I am not a card hoarder, one thing I love about this hobby is that it's useful. I haven't purchased a store bought card in over a decade. Sometimes I do custom orders for friends and family, and sometimes I gift a box of cards. 

4. What is your favorite technique when making cards?

Right now I'm into colored images, so it's a lot of stamping an image in black and coloring it. I'm self taught at Copics and it's something I wish I could do better. 

5.  What are your favorite color combos to use?

Bright, bright, and more bright. I love color, and I am not afraid to use it. ;) 

6.  How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to do so?

Since May of 2010, I started blogging because it looked like fun, and I love to help people tap into their creativity. One unexpected blessing is this amazing blog community! :) 

7.  How does your family handle your habit?

They are pretty supportive. One year for Mother's day my hubby and my boys all made cards for me with my supplies, and I LOVED it! :) 

***My turn to nominate some fabo bloggers that are worth checking out!  Some of my faves:

Kelli Hull-Stamping With a Dream: Kelli is one of my favorites! She is so fun, I love hearing about her adventures on Facebook, and her cards are always really creative, I adore her sparkling personality and her true PASSION for stamping! :)

Wendy McGaffey-Wake Up with Wendy: I feel like Wendy is a kindred stamping spirit, I love her style and her positive, sweet demeanor. So glad we get to stamp together for The Cat's Pajamas. Her cards are fab, and you should definitely check out her blog! :) 
Jenny Peterson-My Little Stampin' Spot: Jenny is seriously one of the MOST talented people I've ever met, plus she has three boys like me, and she's really funny. We began blogging around the same time. Her coloring is insanely good. Maybe I can be just like her when I grow up! LOL. Not sure of her number of followers, but she's getting this anyway! ;)

Tracey McNeeley-In My Creative Opinion: Tracy is a former DT friend of mine from the ColourQ. She rocks CAS like NO ONE'S business! She is so kind, and I love both her work and sweet personality. :) 

Nominees: Should you choose to accept this award, please answer the same questions as above. Just copy and paste into your post and type over my answers.

This award is about Paying it Forward to bloggers with a following of less than 300. It's a great way to thank those that came before you and help others attain more crafty friends/followers.
To learn about how you except the award and pass it on click here.

Thank you all for stopping in! Have a fabulous day! 

Monday, March 24, 2014

BLOG HOP for Sneaky Peek Week AND a Cloudy TCP Tuesday! (TCPTUES262)

**If you are looking for the Craft Storage Ideas Blog Hop, it is two posts below this one, thanks for stopping by!**

Hello there all you pretty kitties! Are you Hopping for the Cat's Pajamas Sneaky Peek week Blog Hop? It's also TCP Tuesday! I am your Hostess with the Mostess today, and the theme today is "Cloudy Day." Just use clouds on your TCP project! :) Easy Peasy. So sorry I missed you guys at the Pajamas Party. I work on Monday nights, so I was busy wrangling 13 small actors! ;) missed you all, though! Here are the TCP Tuesday deets:

  1. Each Tuesday a new challenge will be posted here on this blog as well as on our Splitcoaststampers forum and ourFacebook page.
  2. If you want to play along you just upload your design using the InLinkz button below*. If you want to display your pretties on Splitcoaststampers use keyword TCPTUES262. Only the entries uploaded to the Inlinkz button will be considered for Swanky Stamper at the end of the month.
  3. You must have your project posted by Monday, 12 midnight EST to be eligible to win the week’s Cat Cash.
  4. Cards and projects must have at least one Cat’s Pajamas Stamp or CutUps die in the project.
  5. On the following TCP Tuesday, the week’s winner will be chosen from the previous challenge and will receive a Cat Cash Voucher for $10.00.
  6. At the end of the month, The Swanky Stamper will be selected from all the weekly entries. The Swanky Stamper will receive some of the stamps from our next release and get to play along with us at our Pajamas Party and Blog Hop. AND… They’ll even get a special spot in the Gallery highlighting the project that won them the gig and a snazzy badge to display on their blog.
  7. The Swanky Stamper will be announced the First Monday of the month on Splitcoaststampers, Facebook page and the TCP Blog.

If you are Hopping this is the very beginning of the blog hop! You can always check out our TCP website here, where all these fun new sets are NOW AVAILABLE!

For today's cards I used the new sets "Hang In There, Baby" and "Flying By."

I made another Slider Card with the Slider die. 

My second card was made with the flag die from Framed Up 2. The background of this card is made by masking a piece of white card stock with several die cut clouds cut from scrap, and then just spraying spray ink all over the top. Then remove the die cuts and you have a fun cloudy background without all the bulk.

Next on the Hop is the FABULOUSLY talented Nancy! Enjoy all the fun goodies along the Hop!!!! 

Super Swanky PJ Party-TONIGHT!!!

Hello there, all you pretty kitties! This is the last day of Sneaky Peek Week, and that means it's time to PARTY! We are having a super fun Pajamas Party on Splitcoaststampers tonight! Sadly, I have to work and can't go. :( But I will be there in spirit! ;) And I have my Blog Hop post all ready to go for afterwards! Below are all the FUN new things that will be available to purchase right after the Party. And, if you go to the party, there will be chances to WIN some new fun things as well. So, check it out! :)

Craft Storage Ideas Spring Blog Hop

**If you are looking for the Cat's Pajamas Blog Hop it will be 2 posts above this one, thanks for stopping by!**
Welcome to the first ever CSI Blog Hop!

We're showcasing our favorite craft storage or organization. The hop starts at Craft Storage Ideas so if you would like to start from the beginning head on over to CSI. There's lots of great giveaways all week long and several of the blogs are offering blog candy. You should have come here from Laura's blog.

Here is my storage idea that I wanted to share with you:

Hi there all you crafty storage mavens! It’s Noelle with a peek at my new unmounted stamp and die storage. This article was originally posted by me on CSI a couple of weeks ago. 

A few months ago, I was chatting with some other designers about keeping it fresh and someone brought up that reorganizing their stash helps them clean out the old gear, see what they have, and inspire that creative “zip” once more. What say you, dear readers? Do you feel that some reorganizing can light up that creative fire under you? I have been struggling with some “stamper’s block” over these last weeks. Just SO much going on, and when I have time to stamp I have no idea where to start. I know that in the past, reorganizing and cleaning has helped me a lot! So, I decided to tackle a project that’s been on my mind for a while now.
I had read Jennifer McGuire’s article on how she stores her stamps. I decided to look around for a similar method for mine. I didn’t want a letter sized binder or something that when open was going to take up a lot of precious “flat space real estate” on my small desk. I have so many different kinds of stamps; acrylic, photopolymer, and cling rubber. All are from dozens of different manufacturers. Plus, the sets I have range from a tiny single stamp to large sets that might include 30 or more stamps on a 10” sheet. So, I figured that mine might not be quite as pretty as her photos show. I knew I would definitely need different sizes of pockets but still loved the idea of being able to quickly flip through them.
I ended up going with some CD sleeves from Office Max that are similar to these (see photo below for the exact ones I used) for the smaller ones which covered the bulk of my stamps. They don’t have the ones I bought online, however. These sleeves have a clear plastic CD pocket on either side of the sleeve, and some white fabric-y stuff in the middle. They were 10.99 for a pack of 50. At 21 cents a piece, that’s a pretty affordable solution! I ended up buying 4 packs of these with some leftover sleeves for the future. You may not have the stamp multiplying problem that I have and may not need nearly as many! ;) I’m grateful for the crafty design work I do, because it means I get a lot of fun free stuff in the mail.
Since I did this, I’ve seen the CD sleeves even cheaper (I believe the link I sent you to shows them cheaper), but it was a side load sleeve, meaning that seam that I ended up using for the labels would be on the side of the sleeve, not the top if you stored them so the pocket opening is at the top. If I had started out that way I wouldn’t have minded, but since I was already 70% of the way done when I had to buy more, I decided to stick with the original ones I had already purchased.
For the medium and large pockets I got these plastic pockets from Office Depot in 4×6 and 5×8 sizes. I have heard great things about the Avery Elle Stamp Storage Pockets too. But I had a lot of sets that were 8” tall, and I did not want them to stick out the top of the pockets. The ones I got are a bit more expensive that the Avery Elle ones, coming in at about 49-59 cents a piece. But I like that I can pick them up at the local office store, and they are really nice heavy plastic, with a notch at the top so you can easily pull the set out. I think I ended up buying 40 4×6 pockets and 60 5×8 pockets, which added up quickly. Can you say cha-ching? ;) Throw in 4 rolls of label tape for my label maker, and this was not the cheapest project. But I love it SO much, that the cost was worth it for me. You could also do something like this buying a pack or 2 of pockets every week until you had as many as you needed to keep your budget on track.
One thing I decided to change from my former storage solutions was that I opted to store the stamps and dies together this time. I used to keep stamps and dies separate, with stamps in their original packaging in metal bins. The small ones always fell to the bottom, and inevitably the cello packaging would tear. Some of my dies were on magnetic cards, but the cards would tangle, and the small dies tended to fall off. In many cases, I ended up slipping the magnetic card right into one of these pockets, so my cards are still valuable.

A few of the sets were too large even for the 5×8 pockets. A few sets got cut in half and fit into the pocket anyway as to keep with their original manufacturers . The rest of the random large sets went into my Tim Holtz Unmounted Stamp Binder. They fit perfectly!

I now have everything arranged by manufacturer, so all my Paper Smooches dies are with my Paper Smooches stamps, etc. If there was a coordinating die and stamp set, I included the die in the sleeve with the stamps. On these CD sleeves, I actually could use the pocket on the backside of the sleeve, but on the larger sets with dies, I just dropped the die/s in with the set. I have these arranged mostly alphabetically by manufacturer. But, The Cat’s Pajamas product took up two entire baskets! Since I design for them, I have almost everything they make, so they get their own 2 baskets.

I used my own shorthand to label the manufacturer, so “TCP” is The Cat’s Pajamas, “PS” is Paper Smooches and so on. I know what each one is, so it’s all good. I labeled each one with the manufacturer shorthand and the set or die’s name. This way when I’m linking readers up to specific stamp sets, I have the right set name to find the link quickly.
One way to save space and money on this project is to put two single stamps or mini sets into one pocket together. I utilized this a lot. If there was a contact card, I sometimes put the card in the front pocket and the stamps in the back pocket.

One place I saved a little coin was on the containers. I found these blue baskets at my local Dollar Tree, so they were only a buck each. I can honestly not believe I got all these stamps and dies into 6 baskets. 238 stamp sets, plus dozens of dies. It saved a lot of space in my studio and each basket takes up only a small amount of room on my desk when I pull them out to flip through. The baskets also work nicely for my 6″ paper pads, so I used the two I had leftover for that. They also fit perfectly on my shelves. that was a happy accident, since I didn’t measure. But I love that they don’t overhang the shelf. :) After much debate, I kept my Stampin’ Up stamps in their original containers, as I wasn’t interested in “un-mounting” the wood stamps. Their cling stamps come in nice cases already. I may eventually move the Stampin’ Up! cling stamps to this kind of storage, I am still on the fence about that.

All in all, I am LOVING this, I can see so much better what I have, and it’s much easier to find what I’m looking for. I also love having things arranged by manufacturer, and keeping dies with coordinating stamps in the same pocket has been wonderful. I hope this helps you “stash your stash” a bit better today. 

Hop on over to Cicily's blog to check out more storage ideas. 

And be sure and check in with Craft Storage Ideas all week long for some amazing giveaways!

Here's the complete lineup

Rebecca - Scrapista
Hazel - Play As You Go
Noelle - paper & ICE (you are here)