Friday, May 30, 2008

Scarlet Letter

Mini VSN is tonight!!!!!!!! It's also Josh's birthday, so this is the one and only challenge I'll do tonight... we have a Wii tennis tournament scheduled before Battlestar Gallactica. In any event, the first challenge was to use a red letter on a card, based on The Scarlet Letter. Well, of course my card had to BE edgy...
Stamps: Paper Studio petshop alpha, Sanded BG
Ink: Basic Gray, VersaMark
Paper: Basic Gray, Real Red, Whisper White
Accessories: Basic Black grosgrain, Really Red embossing powder, Stampin' Dimensionals, Ice Circle Rhinestone brads, Prima flowers, Staples
NO PUNCHES {Can you believe it?!?!}
Card Size: 3"x6"
Well, I'm off to Wii....

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lots of Projects

So, this weekend, I was pretty busy with the stamping... you'd never guess it from the lack o' photos here, but I swear, I WAS stamping, and here's the proof...
The first is Latte's photo frame that I promised you...

Stamp Sets: Nursery Necessities, Short Order Alpha
Ink: Whisper White, Basic Gray, VersaMark
Paper: Basic Gray textured, Only Orange, YoYo Yellow, Creative License SSK DSP
Accessories: Wild Wasabi striped grosgrain, Fire circle rhinestone brads, pop dots, 5x7 photo frame with glass removed
Punches: Small Oval, Large Oval, Crop-a-Dile (for stay-put bow)

The next project is a card that I made for my great Aunt. She is completely addicted to the hard candies that See's Candies makes. Well, we just got a See's Candies! Too excited!!!! We went to the grand opening last weekend, and I, of course, had to get some for her. Here is the card that went in the surprise box to her...

Stamp Set: Always (I just got this, and I'm wonder WHY I waited so long!!!)
Ink: Chocolate Chip, VersaMark
Paper: Pretty in Pink, Soft Sky Prints DSP, Soft Sky Scalloped Note
Accessories: Light Pink Gingham ribbon, Pretties Kit half pearls, White embossing powder
Punches: Word Window, Crop-a-Dile (for stay-put bow)

The next 2 photos are of a card for my former secret sister. Tuesday was her birthday, so I decided to surprise her, as well, with a birthday package.

Stamp Sets: It's Your Birthday, Classic Stars jumbo wheel
Ink: Groovy Guava, Chocolate Chip craft
Paper: Chocolate Chip, River Rock, Groovy Guava, Blue Bayou, Ginger Blossom DSP
Accessories: Hodgepodge Hardware, Chocolate Chip satin ribbon
Punches: Large Oval, Small Star

This frame I got at Hobby Lobby {thanks Beth for giving me directions!!!}... it completes the pup trilogy on my desk at work.

And HERE is the frame for Gandy Good Boy!

Stamp Sets: Rough Edges Alpha, In the Stars, Classic Stars jumbo wheel
Ink: Real Red, Brilliant Blue, VersaMark
Paper: Brilliant Blue, Real Red, Whisper White
Accessories: Real Red striped grosgrain, Red/white/blue striped grosgrain (retired, but I love it!), Hodgepodge Hardware, White embossing powder
Punches: Large Star, Small Star, Small Oval

I TOLD you I've been stamping!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Remembering Those Who Paid the Price

I do not say "happy" Memorial Day, because there is nothing happy about it. Today is the day to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. In saying that, I leave you these words {the term "soldier" stands for ALL service men and women - sailor, marine, airman, ALL of them!}...

It is the soldier, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the soldier
who salutes the flag,
who serves under the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protester to burn the flag.

And one more...

A protest raged on a courthouse lawn,
Round a makeshift stage they charged on,
Fifteen hundred or more they say,
Had come to burn a Flag that day.

A boy held up the folded Flag,
Cursed it, and called it a dirty rag.
An OLD MAN pushed through the angry crowd,
With a rusty shotgun shouldered proud.

His uniform jacket was old and tight,
He had polished each button, shiny and bright.
He crossed that stage with a soldier's grace,
Until he and the boy stood face to face.

"Is worth dying for, good men are dead,
So you can stand on this courthouse lawn,
And talk us down from dusk to dawn,
But before any Flag gets burned today,

My father died on a foreign shore,
In a war they said would end all war.
But Tommy and I wasn't even full grown,
Before we fought in a war of our own.
And Tommy died on Iwo Jima's beach,
In the shadow of a hill he couldn't quite reach,
Where five good men raised this Flag so high,

I got this bum leg that I still drag,
Fighting for this same old Flag.
Now there's but one shot in this old gun,
So now it's time to decide which one,
Which one of you will follow our lead,
To stand and die for what you believe?
For as sure as there is a rising sun,
You'll burn in Hell 'fore this Flag burns, son"

Now this riot never came to pass
The crowd got quiet and that can of gas,
Got set aside as they walked away
To talk about what they had heard this day.
And the boy who had called it a "dirty rag,"
Handed the OLD SOLDIER the folded Flag.

So the battle of the Flag this day was won
By a tired OLD SOLDIER with a rusty gun,
Who for one last time, had to show to some,

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Latte Photo Card

Ok, so I showed you *how* to create the altered photo, so what do you DO with it?? According to the latest Papercrafts magazine, putting photos on cards is the latest trend. So, here you go! I made these for the Stampahowlics gathering last Saturday. I, of course, kept one for my desk at my new job (which is going great, btw - thanks everyone for your encouraging words!). That one is slightly different. Of course, I just realized that I forgot to take a picture of it before bringing it to work. But, that will be fixed. I've gotten quite a few comments on it already. Now, for the deets...
Stamp Sets: Fundamental Phrases, Nursery Necessities
Ink: Basic Gray, Whisper White
Paper: Basic Gray, Only Orange, Yo Yo Yellow
Accessories: Wild Wasabi striped grosgrain + Crop-a-Dile (for stay put bow, of course!)
Punches: Large Oval, Small Oval
I love the way the Whisper White looks on the Basic Gray... reminded me of an old school chalk board.
I've had to put my Photoshop Elements learning on hold right now while I learn Lotus Notes. The new job uses Notes, and I haven't used it in YEARS. If you have NO idea what I'm talking about, Notes is like Microsoft Outlook, only made by IBM. There are some similarities I've found, but I didn't want to mess something up HUGE... you *know* that's pretty simple when you're unfamiliar with an email program. But, I will be picking up the (hefty) Elements book again this weekend. {Thanks for your patience! *hugs*}
Anyway, until next time...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

How'd She Do That???

Good morning! So, I got quite a few requests on HOW to make that one object color like I did for the tulip yesterday. Well, here you go... my FIRST Photoshop Elements tutorial. Remember - I have Photoshop Elements 6 for a PC, so if you have an older version or a Mac, the steps might look slightly different. I will try to talk you through the steps, though, so you can adjust as needed. Click on the pictures to make them bigger, so you can see what I'm talking about. Pay special attention to the RED CIRCLES, as that's where you'll find the clicks you need to make. Let's get started...

The first thing you need to do is select a photo that has a colored object slightly separated from the rest of the "stuff". This will make it easier to select that object later on. Here, I've chosen one of my favorite subject - my Pug Latte. Isn't she cute?? This was her Easter duck. Ok, I digress... Make sure you are in Editor, and the Quick Edit tab is selected. For the view, we only want "After". We're going to take all the color out, so do we really care what it looked like before??? And that's Step 1.

The next step, we're going to remove MOST of the color, using the "Saturation" tool. You're going to move the slider ALMOST all the way to the left. You'll see in the photo that the duck still has a tad bit of color. This will help when selecting, as well. I just kept inching to the left until the parts I didn't want colored weren't anymore. Follow so far?? After you've got the color you want, click the check mark to accept your changes. You can STILL undo if you need, as long as you haven't saved. And you're done with Step 2.

This next two steps are the most time-consuming one. You're going to select the object. The first thing you need to do is ZOOM IN until your object is pretty much the only thing in your window. {The zoom tool is the little magnifying glass in the upper left corner.} Then, click on the "Quick Selector" {looks like Harry Potter's wand in the upper left}. Photoshop Elements is pretty good a "figuring out" where your object is, so just click somewhere at the top of the object, and then drag it to bottom. Don't worry if you don't get everything inside, we'll get the rest in the next step. You're done with Step 3.

Here we will get what Photoshop Elements missed. To select something else, just click there. Compare the picture in Step 3 to the picture above. All I did was click where the red circle is to add that area to the selected area. Now, if something is selected that you don't want to be selected, hold down the ALT key and click where you don't want selected. Just keep clicking and removing until your whole object is selected. You're done with Step 4.

Now, we need to get the color back to our selected area - the duck in my case. So, we just return to the "Saturation" slider, but this time, we're going to the right. You have to go pretty far to get any color at all back, so go 3/4 down the slider all in one move, then start inching to get the color you want. Once you've got the color you want, click the check mark to accept. You're done with Step 5.

Zoom out on your photo to make sure you've got it how you want it. Awe, there's the Latte puppy again... isn't she cute??!!

The last thing you need to do is save your photo. WAIT - this is IMPORTANT! You need to "Save As", otherwise you're going to write over your original photo. I usually choose to create a version set. That keeps all my edits with the original photo, kind of like a file folder. If you want to do that, make sure the box with the red circle is checked. And YOU'RE DONE!

I told you it wasn't complicated! Have fun playing!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Messing With Photoshop Elements

Hi there! So, while I had the creative juices, I had to try to mess with the Photoshop Elements 6 program I have. I'm only on Chapter 5 of the book, so it's not all that advanced, but I had to try something. This is a photo I took of the first tulip of the season. Too bad a bunny beat me to the pretty flower. Where it bloomed was a complete shambles (we're *still* trying to make the landscaping look half-way decent), so the rubble-effect of the black and white seemed appropriate. I returned the flower back to color. Look at me go!

Two New Projects

Somehow, I was hit with a creative bug yesterday... probably explains the migraine today, but anyway... this first project is completely my own creation. I thought it up all on my own. It's a business card stand. NOT a holder - a stand. I was thinking of dropping business cards with waitresses and such, and I thought - make it pop! So, I did.

Stamp: Riot of Petals BG
Ink: VersaMark
Paper: Pink Passion (I actually had to look up the name for this color - I never use it... bad me!)
Accessories: Black embossing powder, Whisper White grograin
Punches: Corner Rounder, Slit, Crop-a-Dile (to make the stay put bow)
Dimensions: 4" x 3"

The little fin on the back makes it stand up on its own, but leans back a touch, so you can view it on a table when you're standing. Look how clever I am!!!

The next project is for the upcoming Stampahowlics gathering. We're doing punch art, as seen HERE on Di's blog. I am SUPER excited to do this... punch art has always looked cool to me, but I've been too afraid to do it. Now, I get my chance, and there will be someone there to help (and laugh at me)! We're supposed to bring an art journal, so of course, I had to bust mine out of the package and DECORATE it.

Stamp Sets: Best Friends Alpha Lower, Seeing Spots
Ink: Basic Gray, Wild Wasabi
Paper: Basic Gray, Regal Rose, Crew Kids Girl SSK DSP
Accessories: Sticky Cut letters, Sprinkles Chunky glitter, Crew Kids Girl SSK stickers, Basic Gray taffeta ribbon, Pretties kit (crystal bead), On Board Art Journal
Punches: 1 3/8" circle, 1 1/4" circle, Crop-a-Dile (for stay put bow)

And here are the inside pages thus far... These pages just show the punches {that I currently have... that will be changing soon!}

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Birthday BBQ

Here are the BBQ invites, as promised. I finished them this morning. Here's something I thought of when I was just about finished coloring them... I could have just colored 4, and then used my color copier to make the other 36. When I thought of it, though, I was past the point of no return, so color on! The invite is, of course, grillafella. He is colored with Bashful Blue, Sahara Sand (doesn't that look like khaki shorts??), Ruby Red, Creamy Caramel, and Chocolate Chip Stampin' Write Markers. The grill is colored with a black watercolor pencil and blender pen. Grillafella is mounted on Ruby Red. The DSP is Western Sky, and the back is Night of Navy. The little tab says "Over", and on the back are all the details of the BBQ... there is no card to open, thus saving paper!
SU! Stamp Set: Hugs & Wishes (You're Invited)
Other Stamps: Grillafella (Stamping Bella), Office date stamp
Ink: Basic Gray, Ruby Red
Paper: Night of Navy, Ruby Red, Western Sky DSP, White (from Michaels)
Accessories: Silver brad, Paper Piercing Tool
Punches: Word Window, Slit

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!!!!!! I was lucky enough to be able to spend this mother's day with my mother! The last time was 2005, but I was completely out of it on pain killer following surgery. The last time before that was 1995. Needless to say, she was pretty fired up about this. So fired up that she, my father, and their 90-lb German Shepherd Dog (Leeza - Gandy's mom) showed up a DAY EARLY! It has LITERALLY been a 3-ring circus in the house since noon Thursday. So, will you forgive me for taking so long to post??? I was PLANNING on posting these, sending out some trade items, getting some more landscaping rocks for the front... yeah, a LOT of stuff went out the window when my parents showed up. In any event, to the left are the 2 clipboards I made for my mom (top), and Josh's mom (next). They are both Stampin' Up!'s 9x9 clipboards covered in two different sheets of Berry Bliss DSP. I used just a plain ol' glue stick to adhere the DSP to the clipboard. I wrapped the Purely Pomegranate satin ribbon around (it goes all the way around... the back too, adhered with Sticky Strip). I cut a piece of a cork tile (from Target, of course!)... use the acrylic graph & grid with a hobby blade on the cutting mat for best results (ironically - the cutting mat & hobby blade are on special this month... hmmm...). I used Tacky Glue to adhere the cork to the Chocolate Chip piece, and to adhere the whole shebang to the clipboard. I stamped the tiny flower from Stitched Exotics and punched it out with the 3/4" circle punch, then just stuck the silver brad through to adhere them to the cork. The heart-shaped post-it notes (Office Depot) were stuck on with glue stick. The monogram is one of the AWESOME sticky cuts letters with (my favorite!) Chunky Sprinkles glitter. I actually assembled in this order, and it worked just fine. For the finishing touch, I added a small bow around the clip, and stuck 6 pictures of the furry kids under the clip. This went inside a canvas bag with pictures of the furry ones on the outside.
Here is a small view of the chaos that went on inside the house this weekend...
I'm off to finish the invites for Josh's birthday BBQ... stay tuned for those... super cute (but manly, of course), and SUPER easy!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Support the Troops

I don't usually combine my Cookie Lee business with my Stampin' Up! business, but in this case, I just HAD to get the word out!
As some of you know, I am a member of the military. I'm currently a reservist and served in the Middle East for 2 years (2003-2005). This promotion that Cookie Lee has is something that is near and DEAR to my heart. With the purchase of the necklace on the left, Cookie Lee will donate $1 to the USO. The USO is an absolutely FABULOUS organization, and without it, the morale of all troops would be miserable. Just to name a few things... the USO provides celebrity entertainment to deployed troops, free phone cards, and a lounge at every major airport with phones, internet, and reading materials - all FREE of charge. Please contact me ASAP to purchase this adorable necklace, and help our troops' morale in the process.
Necklace cost: $28 including shipping to wherever you are!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Trading Stamps

Hi there! Once again, I am attempting to spring clean. Please check out THIS LINK to see what I have for trade. Retired items can be sold, but items marked current must be traded. Happy shopping!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Display Boards

Holy cow! How could I have forgotten to post the display board photos?!?!?!?! I am a horrible horrible horrible blogger! I have a few up-close photos of the stuff that I really thought was interesting. I took all the up-closes (is that a word??) of the So Much display board, since that was the set we got there. To make amends, here you go...

In the spirit of full disclosure, here are the swaps that I received at Regionals. Again, please note that none of these are my own work. I do not have information on who did some of these, but if you're curious, feel free to drop me a line.

And, here are the 3x3 cards from the swap I hosted...


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