Mar 31, 2016

Let's Party!


I love the Confetti Bold Print background stamp by Hero Arts.  Stamped black on white, it reminds me of dalmatians  (I used to collect dalmatian stuff).  Paired it with a pink balloon image from Balloon Animal Birthday.  This would be cute for a little girl.



MOOD WHEN DONE =  Today is the 1st anniversary of the day I retired.  Let's party!!!




Mar 29, 2016

Get Rich Stamping -- It Could Happen


True Story

Like thousands of stampers, I bought the MISTI.  And, the magnets crashed into each other and broke because I did not realize that these magnets are weapons of death masquerading as a craft supply. So, I went to Home Depot to buy magnets and they were out. And the Home Depot guy said to me:

"What's up with these magnets?  All of a sudden we can't keep them in stock."

Later that week, I went to a local art supply store because I like to support the economy, and noticed that the Copic markers are now locked up. So I asked about that, and the Art Supply Store lady said to me:

"We didn't used to sell many Copics until a few years ago.  
Now we have to lock them up or they walk out the door."

And then I found myself in Michaels looking for large white foam sheets because Jennifer McGuire and Laura Bassen use them in place of foam tape to pop up their layers, and I always do what I'm told.  Sure enough, no large white foam sheets.  And, yes, the saleslady said:

"I don't know what's going on.  That stuff sat there and
 then, boom, we can't keep the shelf stocked."

$$ Tip:  When a product not designed specifically for stamping suddenly becomes the "it" thing for stampers, take the money that you would have spent on the "it" thing and, instead, immediately buy stock in the company that makes that product.

Then buy more stamps.




Mar 28, 2016

Another March My Monthly Hero Card

Enjoying the March My Monthly Hero kit so much!



Watercolored some of the blooms and leaves and adhered them to a white layer that I had shaded with PTI Hawaiian Shores ink. That ink is a perfect match for the base card that comes with the kit.




Later this week I hope to post a comparison of some black inks that I have, including the new (at least to me) Hero Arts Intense Black.  I used that to stamp the sentiment on this card.  It's good!

MOOD WHEN DONE = Happy!  Hope you have a good week.



Mar 27, 2016

Stamping Destroyed My Life: Chapter 17

To start this story at the beginning, please go here and follow the links. And thanks for reading! Sorry for the delays.  I get distracted by stamping!

****

When we last saw M, her friend, Francie had emailed M asking her if she wanted to go to CHA...

Chapter 17:  "This hobby was a goldmine."



As soon as I saw Francie's email, I picked up the phone and called her.

"Francie, what's CHA?"

"You don't know what CHA is?," Francie asked.  "Guess!"

I hate when people ask me to guess.  I never get it right and it just makes the conversation longer than it needs to be.

"Dance lessons?

"No, silly.  It's the Craft and Hobby Association's trade show!

"What's that?"

"Well, craft companies set up booths displaying products that they will be selling later that year.  It's not open to customers.  It's only open to people who work in the industry."

"Well," I said, last time I checked neither of us work in the industry."

"I know.  But, I know the owner of a stamp store, and she's willing to get us in by letting us represent her store at the show.  All we have to do is pay for our travel and then take notes and photos of products we think she should order.  It's totally legit."

"You mean we'll see new products before anyone else?"

"YES!, and I think we might get some free stuff!" Francie squealed.

I started jumping up and down. There is nothing better than seeing a stamp set before anyone else. Nothing.  John doesn't understand this.  I don't understand this.  But, it's true. Add in free stuff and this was good enough to make me cry.

"I'm in.  Where and when?"

Francie explained, "It's next month in Los Angeles."

My heart sunk.  I couldn't just fly off to LA without making arrangements for the kids.  And after Vermont, I wasn't sure how John would react.

"California?  I'm not sure I can do that."

Francie said, "M, you have to find a way.  It's CHA!!  Talk to John and let me know, ok?  And should I ask Susan too?"

"Definitely.  I'll deal with John.  I'm sure I can work it out.  I'll be in touch.  And Francie?"

"What?"

"Thank you!!"

And we both started screaming.

*****

My mother in law agreed to come and stay with the kids and John went along with the idea.  It was almost free, particularly since I would pay for my plane and hotel with the money from the MAN.

Stamping rocked.  I had two friends.  I had money from being a demo and from the MAN.  We no longer had to pay for Christmas or birthday or National Donut (or Doughnut) Day cards. I was going to California, and was representing a stamp store.

This was going to be fantastic.

****

Our tickets to CHA came with a map of the floor of the convention, indicating the location of each vendor.  The night before, huddled in our hotel room with a giant bag of Twizzlers, Francie, Susan, and I spread out the map and discussed how to divide up all the work.

Susan piped up first, "If it's all right with you, I'd like to check out the booths with bling and white cardstock. I'm really not interested in anything else."

Who flies all the way to LA to look at white cardstock?

"Um, I'm not so sure about that," I said.  "This place is huge and we have a lot of ground to cover. Why don't we divide it up by thirds?  We'll each take one third of the aisles and take notes and pictures of whatever is on those aisles?"

Francie weighed in. "Well, I think Susan is making a good point. It will be hard for her to recommend products she doesn't care about. But you make a good point too.  How about we divvy it up this way?  Susan will take all the bling, the adhesives, solid color paper, and one third of the stamps.  I'll take another third of the stamps, ribbons and twines, patterned papers, and paints and inks and other coloring mediums.  You get the last of the stamps and all the tools.  My understanding is that there will be a lot of new tools this year.  With your experience with the MAN, that seems logical. Is everyone ok with this?"

As usual, Francie made a lot of sense.

The next morning, after breakfast of chocolate waffles, we hit the show.  It was HUGE. Bright lights, booths decorated with bright colors, and women running around in bedazzled jeans and pastel sweatshirts with sayings like "Hug me, I'm a stamper" or "Does this stamp make me look fat?"  I wondered where I could get one of those.

Every few minutes a pack of women would run up to one another pack and start screeching and hugging.  Smiles everywhere, group photo shots, laughter.  I started to feel bad for anyone who wasn't at CHA.

The first booth I visited had paper trimmers.  Who cares about paper trimmers?  Apparently everyone, because the booth was packed and every once in a while someone let out a big whoop.  I was curious so I made my way up to the front. 

A big sign read "The CROP - The Last Trimmer You'll Ever Buy".  The suggested retail price was $399.  That seemed like an awful lot for something to cut paper, but it was turquoise aqua and everyone knows that anything aqua bumps up the price by at least $50.  That was fair; plus, it was electronic!

The CROP, which stood for Cut Reams Of Paper, looked like a printer with a screen on the side. You plugged it in, hit one of two buttons and the machine cut the paper.  No more dragging a blade over cardstock.  You had two choices for cut size, 4.25"  x 11" or 8.5" x 5.5".   Oh, this was Posh Pink Perfect - it would cut card bases!!!  It only cut one sheet at a time, but you could put 25 sheets of cardstock in the feeder, and it would cut them all in only 15 minutes.  This would be perfect for Get Down demonstrators!  I was hooked.  I took a picture of the CROP, got a card from the company, and managed to chat with one of the company reps.

"What's the minimum a store can order?"

"There's no minimum.  However, we provide a discount for bulk purchases.  The wholesale price for one CROP is $200, but if you purchase at least 10, we'll give them to you for $180 a piece."

Hmm, I did some quick math.  Ten CROPS would cost $1800 to buy.  The store would make a profit of $2200 if it sold them for $400 each.  But I could undercut stores by selling them for $300 each and still make $120 profit on each one.  If I bought 10, I could make $1200 for doing almost nothing! If I used $18K from the MAN money and bought 100, I could make $120K in profits! Why is everyone always whining about how much it costs to stamp?  This hobby was a goldmine.

I was tempted to order 10 to begin with and have them shipped directly to me, but I decided to wait. This was the first product I had seen.  I might see something better later on.

Next on my map was a new stamp company, Clearly Superior.  Not many people were stopping at the booth, so I walked right up to the front.  The designs were beautiful, but the stamps were made out of something called photopolymer. The stamps felt like soft plastic and were clear so that you could see where you were stamping.  The owner kept telling me that clear stamps would take the market by storm and that I should get in on the ground floor.  Um, no thanks.  I took a brochure to be nice, but got out of there right away.  I didn't see any future in clear stamps. Did these people think I was born yesterday?

The next booth on my map was packed.  I could hear all sorts of oohs and ahs, so of course I had to stop and get a closer look.  I fought my way to the front and what I saw next blew me away -- The Automatic Glitter Applicator.

It was small, only the size of a pencil case, and it did exactly what the name said it would do.  The AGA was like a tiny reverse vacuum cleaner.  It came with a can of adhesive spray.  All you had to do was spray an item, turn on the AGA, and poof, a tiny hose on the AGA would spray glitter wherever you pointed it.  Obviously, you needed to put the item in a box so that the glitter wouldn't fly everywhere.

The best part was that it was only $24.95 (wholesale $10). There was a special starter kit that came with a 3 containers of glitter, 2 cans of spray adhesive, 8 size D batteries, and an aqua pouch to hold everything.  The kit was $299 (wholesale $30).

I was writing down information and taking a picture when one of the AGA reps asked for a volunteer.

I raised my hand and shouted, "Ooh, I will!"

"Come on up."

This was fun.  I went up on a little stage, next to this gigantic glass booth.

"What's your name, honey?"

"M," I replied.

"And where are you from?"

"Fairfax, Virginia.  It's a suburb of Washington DC."

"Ooh, you came far.  Let's give M a big hand."

And the crowd clapped and cheered.  I hadn't done a thing, but I took a bow and everyone laughed. I was thinking that maybe I should look into acting for our local theater when the rep interrupted my thoughts.

She shouted, "Listen everyone.  Let's calm down and get on with the show.  I know your customers are going to LOVE LOVE LOVE the AGA.  Now, see this machine here?  This is not the actual AGA that is for sale.  This is a very, very, large prototype.  We know better than to try and sell you something the size of a generator.  Ha Ha.  But, we wanted to use this so that we could demonstrate it to a big crowd."

Then the rep motioned to the table stacked with boxes containing the real AGAs and said, "Here are the ones actually available to order.  You can see that they are the size of a large pencil case.  Very portable.  After the demonstration, you can come up and, one by one, try out the real AGA.  For now, though, we'll have M get ready and then step into our special see through booth."

I felt like a scientist.  I put on a hairnet, smock, shoe coverings, and goggles.  That seemed strange. But I was game.

The rep told me to get into the booth.  She explained that she would hand me an item, shut the door and have me spray adhesive over it. Then I would use a super large AGA to cover the item with glitter. Sounded easy.

I got in and the rep handed me a large poster board.  I covered it with spray adhesive and then, just as she showed me, I turned on the giant AGA and pointed the hose towards the board.  Poof!  Out came glitter and within about 10 seconds, the poster board was covered with glitter.  The rep motioned me to come outside with the board.  I stepped outside and she asked me to shake the poster board. Sure enough, no glitter came off.  The audience erupted in cheers!  Then the rep handed me an empty gallon milk jug.  I went back in the booth and came out with a perfectly glittered plastic milk jug. The audience went crazy.  I took another bow.

As much as I would have loved to stand there all day spraying glitter, I needed to move on.  I had a long list of places to check out, so I took off my AGA gear and started to leave.  As I was walking away, the rep hit my hair with a burst of glitter and everyone started to laugh.  I ended up with glitter over my hair and a free AGA kit for being a good sport!! I wrote down the info and told the rep that I would recommend that the store purchase several.

Next up were more stamp booths.  I saw a ton of flowers, owls, bears, and clowns.  And Santas. Santa on a motorcycle, Santa on the moon, Santa in a marching band; Santa everywhere, except the North Pole.  I saw background stamps and solid squares and circles, and enough sentiments with the word "bliss" to fill a bathtub.  Eh, nothing special.  But I got a bunch of free samples, took pictures, grabbed cards or brochures, and kept walking. I was getting tired and wanted to concentrate on tools.

I found mini staplers, maxi staplers, scissors that cut wiggly lines, circle cutters, gigantic paper clips, a heat gun with multiple settings for different types of paper, a machine that made any paper glow in the dark, a tool that claimed to extend the life of an ink pad by subjecting it to some type of special ion rays.  I tried out a tool that punched a hole in anything, like leather or felt, but I didn't know to many people who wanted to punch holes in leather or felt, so I wasn't too impressed. There were a ton of other punches, including a set of circles in different sizes with coordinating scallop punches.  Some of them were enormous.  And there were hundreds of border punches, including ones that spelled out words.  Some of them were kind of fun and I took pictures.  It was fun, but nothing amazing.

Then, I turned the corner and saw a booth with something called the Big MoMo. The booth was crowded and, since I was a little tired, I just stood there and listened.  I couldn't see much, but I could feel the buzz.  It turned out that the Big MoMo was something called an affordable, portable, die cutter.  No clue.

Eventually I made my way up to the front of the MoMo booth.  Now this was something!  There were these flat metal things in square and other shapes that were called dies.  Put the die on top of your paper and place the die and the paper between these heavy metal plates called "sandwiches." Crank a handle back and forth, and in a few seconds the sandwich came out the other side.  Remove the paper and die, and you had a perfectly cut square!! And the MoMo was only $99.99.  

The MoMo's crank handle caused the plates to kind of jerk back and forth.  If you didn't hold onto to the plates, they kind of shot out of the MoMo, so it was important to be careful. I decided to wait around and see if I could get more information. Maybe I would buy a bunch of these and sell them on my own!

Eventually the crowd thinned out and I managed to talk with the rep, Gail.  Her sweatshirt said "I'm not cranky, I'm MoMo."  After a few minutes, Gail confided that her feet were killing her and she really needed a break. Would I be willing to work the booth for a half hour while she rested and got a bite to eat?  In exchange, she would send me a Big MoMo.  Well, of course I agreed! She gave me a MoMo sweatshirt to put on and I got to work.

The first few minutes went by just fine.  Another crowd started to gather and I demonstrated how to die cut using the MoMo.  This was so fun and easy and it worked!  I loved demonstrating the thing and at one point had the whole crowd laughing and taking brochures.

But, as I was cranking through another piece of cardstock and set of dies, the crowd at the next booth started to shout and that startled me.  I forgot to hold on to the MoMo sandwich, and boom, the heavy plates flew out of the machine.  Luckily, the MoMo plates were pointed at the back of the booth, so none of my audience got hurt. However, apparently the plates shot right through the back curtain of my booth and into the AGA booth behind me!

The rest seemed to happen in slow motion.

source:  tumblr.com
I heard a big crack and then a gigantic blast.  I looked up and a HUUGE mushroom-shaped cloud of glitter shot up into the air and slowly spread until it was suspended over the entire convention floor. There was total silence for just a moment.  Then the cloud burst, raining glitter.  It coated everyone and everything. Every booth in the convention center had a thick layer of glitter. There was so much glitter that the lighting turned purple.  The floor had at least 6 inches of glitter coating it.

People began to cough, and then hysteria set in.  Some folks started yelling for their inhalers.  Others were crying.  A few took their tote bags and started shoveling glitter into them.  I saw one guy calmly walk over to the MoMo display and shove a MoMo down his baggy pants!  One woman appeared to be having a good time.

source:  unknown
Then I heard the fire alarm go off. The sound of the alarm took me back to Vermont and I panicked.  I was afraid someone would blame me when all I had done was demo the MoMo.  I ran towards the exit, but before I could escape, I bumped into Susan, who was freaking out.

Susan yelled, "This is a disaster!  It's so messy!! And, all the white cardstock is some freakish orchid color!"

"Susan," I yelled. "Pull yourself together.  The cardstock isn't orchid, It's purple."

"Oh, thank goodness. I was living a nightmare there for a moment."

"Besides," I said. "It's the lights. Everything looks purple because the glitter is covering the lights."

Then Susan asked, "M, have you seen Francie?  We have to find her and get out of here."

So we took off and started to look for Francie but we couldn't find her among the chaos.

"Susan," I pleaded.  "I have to get out of here.  This place is freaking me out!"  The alarm had stopped and dozens of firemen were flooding the place.  I was terrified.  It was deja vu all over again. What if they tried to make me pay for the damage?  I might have to give up stamping!

"Ok," Susan said. "You go back to the hotel.  I'll find Francie and meet you back there."

You can always count on Susan.

****

I had already taken a shower, and was trying to relax in the hotel room, sipping a Diet Coke with my Twizzler straw, when Francie and Susan came back.

Francie said, "M, I think the fire department may be giving you a call."

Next:  Chapter 18






Mar 25, 2016

Concord & 9th: Happy Day


There's something about this particular bird in Concord & 9th's Birdie Banners that cracks me up. What's up with this guy?  I can't get enough of him (or her??).  I purposely made the hat a little off center, because this bird looks like it can party!

In any event, I wanted to make a card with just stamps, paper, and ink I think it works. The bird and the hat have solid stamps that are slightly wonky and designed to color in those images.

I masked off a spot for the dotted banners that are in the set, chose some bright inks, and now I have a cute birthday card that is easy to mail.


I've really enjoyed my stint doing a little design work for Concord & 9th this month. Thanks to the owners, Angie and Greg!

MOOD WHEN DONE = Happy!

Mar 24, 2016

March My Monthly Hero Kit and Using Gouache



The fantastic March My Monthly Hero kit arrived yesterday and I got to work right away.  I'm a slow stamper, but that dragonfly got me thinking.

I wanted white dragonfly wings, but I also wanted the dragonfly to be on the same raspberry card included in the kit.  (I cut the card and used half to make the dragonfly and practice my gouache and the other half was adhered to a white card.)

I used Winsor & Newton Designers White Gouache to get the white dragonfly.  This is pronounced "gwash."  At least I think it is.  Plus it has the word Designers in it, so it must be good, right?



Steps to get this look:

1. Using a MISTI or stamp positioner, stamp dragonfly on the colored cardstock with the Hero Arts Intense Black ink cube included in the kit (this ink works with both watercolors and Copics.  It's pretty awesome.)

2. Mix a tiny amount of the gouache with a tiny amount of water and paint over the wings and body.

3.  Let dry (a few minutes).

4.  The black details on the wings and body are now lost under the opaque gouache.  But we have tricks to fix that.

 5. Stamp the image with the Hero Arts Intense Black ink again.  It will stamp right over the gouache, and voila, a white dragonfly with all the black lines will be back where it belongs.

6.  Die cut dragonfly.

The gouache also makes awesome white speckles on colored cardstock.  Added sentiment from Hero Arts Many Everyday Messages and a few sequins.


MOOD WHEN DONE = EEK

Mar 22, 2016

Hero Arts Antique Raspberry Rose


I just keep reaching for Hero Arts Antique Rose.  Eventually, I'll put it away, but until then, another card with this gorgeous flower.


1. Stamped the rose twice on watercolor paper.  
2. Embossed in white and watercolored with Raspberry Adirondack Dye reinker and a gold mist spray.  Here's what the inks looked like on my craft sheet. 


3. Because watercolor paper is thicker than I wanted for this rose, I carefully removed one layer of paper from the back of the roses after I fussy cut them.  Go slow and you shouldn't wreck your image.
4. Popped up the center and moved around the stems.
5. Added black speckles on the card -- apparently it's a law in my craft room.


MOOD WHEN DONE = I love the card.  But, of course, I join the civilized world in mourning the murders in Brussels today. 

Mar 21, 2016

Concord & 9th: Hi There

Quick and easy card using Concord & 9th Birdie Banners and the sprig from Wildflower.


Love the look on this bird's face!  I think we need a "get me out of here" sentiment.  That could work for a lot of situations!

Stamped the sprig 3 times, colored with Copics, fussy cut, and adhered on top of one another.  The bird was stamped and colored with Copics and everything was adhered on a watercolored layer.  Both the bird and the sentiment are popped up on foam tape.

Cute and easy!


MOOD WHEN DONE = Happy!

Mar 18, 2016

Friday = Happy Day


Now that I'm retired, Friday is just another day.  But for my hardworking husband, Friday is a happy day!  I'll be making him his favorite Martha Stewart Oatmeal Raisin Bars today. Given that he's had a tough week (sick, subway taken down for a day, etc.), I thought I'd slip one of the bars in this cute package (not sure he will care about the package, but I will).

I used the We R Memory Keepers Oh Goodie! Glassine Paper (food safe) to make this happy bag.  These papers are 12 x 12 and in a palette of fun colors and happy designs.  Love them! They'll work great on cards as well.

I trimmed the Oh Goodie! paper to 11" x 6.5" in order to make the finished bag, which is 4.5" x 5.5".  Used Concord & 9th's Bags and Tags Dies to trim the edge of the bag so there would be a cute top (and finished edge on the back) and to make the tag. Speaking of the tag, I added the stripes, tiny heart, and sentiment from Birdie Banners.  Oh, the cute gold sequin trim is also from Concord & 9th.

MOOD WHEN DONE = Colorful! Have a great weekend.

Mar 17, 2016

Concord & 9th: Baby Gift Wrap and Tag

This is my second post as a guest designer for Concord & 9th and today I am featuring the super cute Birdie Banners and Banner Alpha Bits (linked below).

I needed a little gift for someone who just found out that, after 2 girls, she's having a boy, and she's pretty excited.

To coordinate the wrapping paper and tag, I stamped white wrapping paper and decorated a tag using Birdie Banners and Banner Alpha Bits, using the wonky circle that comes with Birdie Banners to fill in the body of the birds and to make the polka dots on the wrapping paper.


Added some shine to the birds and the banner with Wink of Stella Silver Brush.  Used Concord & 9th's Bags & Tags Dies to make the tag.  I love that set of dies!  And the fun Gold Sequin Strand is also from Concord & 9th. 


MOOD WHEN DONE = Babies are so cute!

Mar 16, 2016

Watercolored Window

Still loving the Hero Arts Antique Rose Stem.


Added a retired Hero Arts sentiment.  The rose is watercolored onto watercolor paper and inserted between a stamped top layer with a cut out window and a base A2 card.

Hope you enjoy.

MOOD WHEN DONE = Happy!

Mar 15, 2016

Right at Home National Craft Month Celebration

The very nice, and talented, Nicole, at Right at Home, has put together a blog hop -- with prizes -- to celebrate National Craft Month.  (Don't know about you, but in my world, every month is National Craft Month!)  You can get the details on how to enter the contest at the Right at Home blog. **



Nicole asked us to feature our current favorite products.  So, for this card, I used some well loved items:


The next blog on this hop is the fantastic Concord & 9th.  If want want to start at the beginning, click over to the Right at Home blog.

MOOD WHEN DONE = Happy!

**In order to win one of the amazing prizes, you must do the following...
  • Create a new project specifically for this hop using some of your current favorite crafty supplies
  • Link up your project and it's accompanying blog post in the link-up on the Right at Home blog.
  • The link-up will be open until March 22nd, 2016
  • Leave a few comments along the hop to support everyone who participated!

Mar 14, 2016

Hello



Paired some Papertrey Ink patterned paper with an Essentials by Ellen Brushstroke Hello word die and one of the flowers from Concord & 9th's Wildflower set.  Adhered the clear drops with Ranger gold Stickles.  Fast card!



MOOD WHEN DONE = Loving daylight savings time!

Mar 11, 2016

Concord & 9th: Bouquet Die, 2 Ways

So happy to be a guest designer for Concord & 9th, one of my favorite companies. 

Today I'm sharing 2 cards made with a new, fabulous Bouquet Die.  I used two different techniques -- 1. shrink and stamp, and 2. partial die cut.

SHRINK & STAMP


So where's the die cut?  Well, I took the die, which is 5 and 1/4" tall and die cut it out of fun foam.  (I got mine at Michaels).  Then I heat the fun foam with my heat gun to shrink it and then turned it into a stamp.  Pretty cool! (Learned this trick from Online Card Classes.)

Here is a picture to show you the difference between the die and the heat set fun foam


I adhered the fun foam "stamp" to my MISTI with double sided tape and stamped with Versamark onto watercolor paper. After embossing in white, I watercolored, using Tombow markers and Adirondack Dye Reinkers (and Ranger Black Soot Distress Paint for speckling).

See that cute tag?  It is from Concord & 9th's Bags & Tags Dies, and the little heart is from Concord & 9th's Love You, Mean It.

This is my anniversary card for the husband, and I'm happy to report he likes it.



PARTIAL DIE CUT


For the second card, I die cut just the top of the bouquet and used an Exacto knife to separate the top flower.  (Thought I was so clever to do this and then I saw that Concord & 9th posted a gorgeous card with these flowers cut out in white!  Ha!) Be sure to check it out  - just click on the Bouquet Die in the shop.



The orange flowers are double thick and all the flowers are adhered to soft gray cardstock, while the card itself is white linen cardstock.  I used a hint from Laura Bassen and sprayed the back of all the flowers with adhesive (I used an Elmer's product).  It is so much easier to adhere small pieces this way.

The sentiment is from another fantastic Concord & 9th set, Sophisticated Script.  I see that it is sold out again, but it is worth waiting for.  Much easier to use than I expected. 

I'll be back next week to feature more Concord & 9th!

MOOD WHEN DONE = Happy! 

Mar 8, 2016

Gold Flowers


Quick card stamping  Penny Black Poppy Gems with gold Encore ink and a black sentiment from Hero Arts Color Layering For You Flowers.  Inspired by this gorgeous card from Aga.  Cardstock is white linen from Ellen Hutson.  Envelope from Paper Source.

MOOD WHEN DONE = Having a good day!  Hope you are as well. 

Mar 6, 2016

Stamping Destroyed My Life: Chapter 16

To start this story at the beginning, please go here and follow the links.  And thanks for reading!

Last week, I accidentally hit "publish" instead of "save" while in the middle of working on this chapter.  So if you read an earlier version of this chapter on feedly or elsewhere, this version is the correct one! Sorry about that!

Chapter 16:  "What a fantastic hobby!!"

To remind you where the story left off  -- a quote from the end of Chapter 15:

"Much of our first floor was covered with glue, and as advertised, it was permanent.  John called our homeowners insurance and they agreed to send a disaster recovery team to the house on Saturday.

He seemed a little upset, so I told him, "Listen, John, this isn't my fault.  I followed the directions!! And the MAN comes with a lifetime guarantee.  That must be worth something!  I'm sure the manufacturer will pay us a lot for all of this!  We should hire one of those disaster lawyers and sue them.  We'll make a fortune!"

John walked over to the counter.  He picked up his car keys, turned to me and said, "M, your stamping days are officially over.  Find another hobby."  And he walked out the house."

****
 
Find another hobby?  Oh, John, if only I had listened to you. . . .

I followed John out to the driveway.

"Wait a Perfect Peach minute!," I yelled.  "Don't be angry at me.  And where are you going?"

John stopped and replied, "I'm going to pick up the kids.  Get us a hotel for the next few nights.  I'll be back in 20 minutes."  

The next day we contacted our homeowner's insurance and, at my urging, John agreed to come with me to see Andy about suing the MAN.


Andrew Farther & Associates
Attorneys at Law


Dear Happy Craft Company:

This firm represents John and M on a matter related to the negligent operation of a product sold by your company that is "designed to apply adhesive in a unique manner," known as the Multiple Adhesives Now, or the "MAN."  M purchased a MAN directly from your online store.  M assembled the MAN pursuant to the directions and attempted to use it, again pursuant to the directions that accompanied the MAN.

Within 5 minutes of turning on the MAN, large amounts of hot glue suddenly and without warning cascaded onto a table and then onto the floor, spreading through a large portion of the first floor of the residence.  In an attempt to mitigate damages to her residence, M made an effort to clean up the glue, but slipped and fell, causing huge amounts of glue to spread throughout her residence.  In addition, some of the dangerously hot glue spilled onto her hand, causing serious burns to said hand.

During this incident, the MAN began to emit the odor of burnt plastic and 911 was called.  Police, firemen, and paramedics entered the home and, as a direct consequence of the faulty and dangerous operation of the MAN, these individuals stepped in the hot glue, which was then tracked throughout the home.

The permanent adhesive used in the MAN destroyed the floors on the first floor of their residence and some of the furniture.  In addition, M suffered the loss of, admittedly, just a few of her craft supplies.

The damages include:
  • first floor hardwood and ceramic tile ($11,000),
  • furniture ($5,890),
  • craft supplies that were on the floor of the craft room, including, but not limited to, embossing powders, stamp cleaner, stamp scrubber, loose glitter, glitter glue, glitter paper, glitter tape, pictures of glitter, glitter wipes, self healing mat, mat needing bandages, glass mat, heat guns, dye inks, pigment inks, chalk inks, fabric inks, hybrid inks, waterproof inks, versamark, metallic inks, inks just for plastic, ink refills, teeny buttons, gigantic buttons, lace trim, paintbrushes, paints, markers, cardstock, glossy paper, vellum, mulberry paper, rubber stamps, felt, A2 envelopes, square envelopes, mini envelopes, clear envelopes, paper trimmers, patterned paper; ribbon scissors, paper scissors, scallop scissors, zig zag scissors, scissors to cut rubber, scissors for fussy cutting; round, square, oval, rectangle, heart, bunny, flower, leaf, butterfly, and border punches; organza, satin, and grosgrain ribbons; twines, cords, needle, thread, craft knife, extra blades for said knife, fabric bags, embroidery floss, beads, brads; small eyelets, medium eyelets, big eyelets, eyelets that are just right; eyelet setter, mini hammer, mini iron, tape, glue gun, glue sticks, dimensionals, colored pencils, brayer, watercolor pencils, feathers, light box, stencils, stencil brushes, sponges, pencil sharpener, ruler, t-ruler, masking tape, and 17 and a half mini snicker bars. ($23,000), and
  • medical costs for treatment of SCD (sudden craft deprivation); replacement housing and clothing; and lost income ($102,100).

source:  unknown

In addition, M and John and their children suffered emotional distress as the direct and predictable consequence of Happy Craft Company's negligence.  For example, M was unable to participate in several highly competitive stamping "challenges," depriving her of the opportunity to come in first place, and the ability to feel like an artist for an hour and a half.  Therefore, your company is liable for an additional $1,000,000 for the negligent infliction of emotional distress.

This letter serves as formal and immediate demand for $1,132,990.

Sincerely,

Andrew Farther, Esq.

********

We stuck it to the MAN and settled for $49,000. Got to love the law.

It cost about $17,000 to repair the house and pay for the hotel where we had to stay while the repairs were completed, and the cost of the co-pay to see a doc for my hand and treat me for SCD.

After paying our lawyer and reimbursing our insurance company, I ended up with $12,000.  Add that to the $5,000 tax refund I got when I wrote off my craft expenses as a demo for GDWS, and I had made $17,000 since I met Gina at Craft Stuffing.

Stamping was making me rich. What a fantastic hobby!!! And you can file that.

John was wrapped up in some big lawsuit at work, and didn't seem to remember telling me to get another hobby, and I wasn't about to remind him.  Once the house was repaired, I replaced my crafty supplies and got back to stamping.

I had found some forums on the internet that were all about stamping.  I still hadn't started a blog, but I took pictures of my cards and uploaded them to my gallery at Splitcoast. I was nervous at first, thinking that no one would comment, but stampers are so nice!  I got a ton of comments.  For example, one super sweet person wrote,

"Bless your heart, you do like a lot of eyelets, don't you?"

source:  cottageintheoaks.com


And then, just as things had settled back into an easy routine, I got an email from my stamping friend, Francie, the hostess for the first GDWS workshop I had attended. 

Francie wrote, "Hey M, want to go to CHA?"



Next:  Chapter 17

Mar 4, 2016

The Wonder of Cardmaking

I had the pleasure of going to see the Wonder exhibit at the Renwick Gallery earlier this week.  The Renwick is a small gallery located across from the White House.  Part of the Smithsonian, it currently is hosting the widely popular (with adults and kids) Wonder exhibit.

The exhibit is 9 distinct displays of contemporary art, each by a different artist, and each in a separate room of the gallery.  The artists were asked to use only one item to create their work.  For example, artist Tara Donovan used a million white plastic index cards to create this:

source:  the Renwick Gallery
Another artist used just embroidery thread; another green glass balls.  I could go on. Here's a picture of me standing inside part of a sculpture (sorry if you already saw this on Facebook).


Don't worry -- the gallery encouraged photography during this exhibit.   If you live or are visiting DC, it is worth your time.  And, it's free! 

Each piece of art will be dismantled in the next few months.  So that got me thinking.  All that talent and design and effort and materials and then, the work will be dismantled.  That idea bothered me.  But, then I thought that if these amazingly talented "real" artists can design just for the pleasure of doing so, why can't stampers?

I've always felt constrained by the idea that I should only make cards that would be mailed, or a tag that would go on an actual gift.  After seeing that exhibit, I'm thinking that making cards or tags or whatever is just creating little pops of art with no value other than the fun of making and sharing them. 

And that can be my own little wonderful.



Mar 3, 2016

Miss You



A soft aqua and peach color combination for a miss you card. 

Supplies: 
MOOD WHEN DONE = Good

Printfriendly