Friday, January 29, 2010

Spam... grrrr

I hated to do it but I put the word verification back on my blog.  I love to blog surf & try to leave comments but the word verification to a person with mild dyslexia is a challenge for sure - you should see sometimes with those ones that are really hard to read after 4 or 5 tries I am calling my sons or throwing the mouse.  But it seems I have been bombarded by spam comments lately & I don't want you to have to look at that nonsense so even though I didn't want I am trying the word verification to stop it.

I see that a lot of blogs use the feature where all posts are approved.  Let me know which you use & if it has helped with spam.

A quick update on my health issues... I went to the hospital yesterday for conscious sedation during the MRI tests I needed. Apparently the nerve pain even when heavily drugged breaks thru & made me want to turn on my right side a bit & lift my shoulder to get more comfortable so I wasn’t able to finish even one test. I'm so discouraged by this & normally I can just tough it out gritting my teeth - this pain is honestly worse than labor pain or kidney stones passing (I didn't think anything was that bad). It's the same level of pain as waking up from surgery in both the shoulder & both legs. Anyway now I go to another hospital for total knock out sedation. I feel ridiculous for just MRI but I have to get these tests done & figure out what is wrong. My quality of life right now is really low & it's so frustrating. Especially with getting ready to move.

I've been dying to share... we finally got a signed contract on a house! Searching foreclosures has been a challenge to say the least. I cannot believe the competitive bidding wars that we've experienced during our hunt. But with a lot of work & prayer finally we are under contract. Now we just have to get thru the appraisal & closing.... I can't wait to move in - it has a wonderful sunroom that will be my scrappy space. Here's a photo of the front. (I'll share some others later since they aren't on this computer)

So with all the bad lately there is some good.

Hope you have a great weekend.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Everything Scrapp'n Blog Hop

It's the 28th so that means it's challenge time at Everything Scrapp'n!.  Once again it was my month to choose the topic.  So in honor of Valentine's Day approaching I am calling this challenge "Show the Love".  Scrap about  a relationship of a loved one.  It can be with you or their relationship with another.  Did I mention the prize? Every layout entered gets you a chance to win a $20 gift certificate to the Everything Scrapp'n Store! Check the store blog for more details & all entries are due by 2/7. Good Luck & can't wait to see your take on the challenge.

I went a bit out of the box scrapping the relationship of two of our dogs (lol).  Yes we're those kind of crazy dog people - but if you are a regular reader you already know our critters are family. 

The design team is showcasing Nikki Sivils papers from the Everything Scrapp'n Store.  As always each of us will link you to some products & pull out a couple we like the best.

The whimsy of the "Cherries on Top" background paper was the driving force behind turning up the fun in my design.  Adding the brads on each scallop helped to define the beautiful edges of the paper.  I further defined the frame by stitching next to the brown border.  Nikki's paper is perfect for distressing to make my circle layered "flowers".

Adding the brads on each scallop helped to define the beautiful edges of the paper.

I further defined the frame by stitching next to the brown border.

 Nikki's paper is perfect for distressing to make my circle layered "flowers". To keep continutity with other elements - a bit of stitching adds dimension and the buttons were topped with more brads over one of the border flowers. 

Shhh - don't tell that I was out of the letter "e"... I cut the "&" sign to make it work.  The fun design of the Jewelry Box font by American Crafts fits with the other letters.

I pleated the ribbon by running a basting stitch by hand then gluing with some liquid Tombow Mono Adhesive. 

I always love the dimension that Martha Stewart punched butterflies add to a page - the quick addition of a couple of gems define the bodies.

Supplies: Cardstock (Bazzill); Paper (Nikki Sivils - Cherries on Top, Nikki Sivils - Cherry Strips for You, Nikki Sivils - Cherry Sweet, Nikki Sivils - Cherry Blast, & Nikki Sivils - Cherry Tree); Letters (American Crafts - Thickers Jewery Box & Pink Paislee - Cardstock Alpha Stickers); Ribbon (American Crafts - Backyard Stem 1); Brads (The Paper Studio); Punch (Martha Stewart - Butterfly); Bling (Hero Arts); Die Cut Edge (Doodlebug - Frills); Circle Cutter (Creative Memories); Buttons (Misc Stash); Thread (Coats & Clarks)

For my next project I was in the mood to do some Valentine cards.  I don't have a lot of holiday stamps so I try to make it work with the everyday sentiments I have.

You all know what a Pink Paislee fan I am... This Love Potion paper in the Cupid line is a sure stand out & is very versitile.  LOVE it - I bought several to keep in my stash.

Supplies:  Cardstock (Bazzill - Kraft & Bazzill - Chocolate); Paper (Pink Paislee - Cupid Love Potion, Pink Paislee- Cupid Bow & Arrow, & Pink Paislee - Cupid Bullseye); Lace (Prima by the yard); Trim (Wrights); Thread (Coats & Clarks); Punch (Stampin' Up - Tiny Scallop); Stamps Card 1 (Hero Arts); Stamps Card 2 (Unity Stamp Co); Ink (Ranger, Stazon & Colorbox)
I'm sure you will want to see what the other designers did with the challenge... head on over & leave them a bit of love.
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 25, 2010

CHA Picks

I'm so bummed not to be in California looking at all the great new products... grrr all these health problems.

Oh well it hasn't stopped me from looking at all the manufacturer blogs & seeing the footage that different scrapbookers are uploading.   Noell of Paperclipping & Christine of Scraptime can always be counted on for CHA videos.  Noell & Izzy Hyman's are very professional & they get awesome interviews with interesting people.

Ok now picks for must have best sellers this season....

Pink Paislee was the stand out Summer '09 CHA.  I used the heck out of 3 of the 4 lines released (the 4th was Halloween & I really liked it but just don't do a lot of layouts for that holiday now that the boys are grown)

Well Pink Paislee has outdone themselves.  All of the releases are gorgeous!  The colors, patterns, embellishments, & price show that Pink Paislees lines have it all.  I'm super excited about the pleated sewn ribbon (sure will take the work out of that on my pages)

I've been buying gaffers tape from 7gypsies for quite a while.  I'm so glad to have these beautiful rolls that will surely be added to my stash for use on pages & mini albums.

Tim Holtz is sure branching out into everything.  I could do an entire post about him... he's sure to be the star of CHA winter 2010.  Tim has a ton of great new products debuting.  He's teaming up with Sizzix with an awesome new diecutting machine, some fantastic die cutting shapes & embossing folders.  Here's some of my favorite shapes that are on my wish list.

Here's all the dies in the collection and a few of the embossing dies

Check out this machine that looks like a suitcase!

Here's a few of my favorite of Tim's new embellishments

Tim's even releasing 3 collections of papers!  Here's my favorite.

I haven't even mentioned the new colors of Distress Ink, Distress Stickles or his fantastic stamps.  Check out his blog for all the new products released.

Sassafras Lass has some of the most colorful & fun papers out there.  I love the diecut edges & I find that is what I use the most leaving the paper to sit in my stash.  Now they are offering packages of only the edges.  I'm doing the happy dance & will be buying these for sure.

Cosmo Cricket is teaming with Core'dinations Cardstock to offer these great embossed cardstock collections.

Teresa Collins is releasing 4 lines this time.  I'm so glad she is back with a bang.  Her elegant papers are double sided & include lots of tags/journaling spots yet they are always among the lowest prices of quality papers out there.  In the past you couldn't beat getting at least 12 journaling spots for $ 0.69!

The ecraft by Craftwell was sneak previewed last CHA.  It's not just another die cutter.  I was impressed by the fact that it DIDN'T USE A MAT!  Just stick a piece of paper (up to 12"x12") in the machine & it will cut anything from your computer.  This is why I haven't bought the Sillhouette.

Prima of course has some breathtaking products hitting the market.  Here's some beautiful flowers that seem to be frosted with sparkles & a beautiful bling flourish that they are famous for.

Tattered Angels has some beautiful new Glimmer Mist colors & is introducing some paint into their collection.  Heidi Swapp has joined their team & has some beautiful colors.

Other companies I will be buying:   Webster's Pages has lots of beautiful lines coming up (in addition to their beautiful paper, vellum & trim we all love they are going to offer unique embellishments, alphas, diecuts & more),  Lily Bee (love the sheet of 4 - 6x6 diecuts), Jenni Bowlin (no one does bingo cards & interesting embellishments better), Fancy Pants (their papers are great - there's a good mix of background & detailed papers).

Well that's enough enabling for today.  Share with me some links to YOUR favorite new products being released.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Everything Scrapp'n Online Crop

The first ever Everything Scrapp'n Online Crop has just started.

Join us for a weekend of challenges, tutorials, inspiration, chatting, games & prizes.

I just posted the first challenge here.

It only takes a few minutes to sign up to be a member of the forum.
Come and scrap along with us this weekend.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hop Along with the ES Gals

It's the 14th & that means .... the Everything Scrapp'n Blog Hop.   Thanks for stopping by.  This is the last stop but I'm sure you will want to start from the store blog - leaving comments along the way for a chance to win a $15 gift certificate to the store.

I'm still hardly able to use my left arm & hand so I've simplified my style a bit.  It's nice to have a page done in less than 2 hours lol.  I am also shaky with the camera so I scanned these - so sorry for the funky color/shadows. 

First is "Everyday Live Valentine's Day Love" is about my grandparents.  They taught me that your relationship is what you put into it each and every day.  That's why I chose the title because especially as they got older they really put the "holiday" effort into how they treated eachother.  I liked using the journaling spots & tags as part of the title.  The Little Yellow Bicycle Journaling Tablet is filled with different spots.  Since they are printed on white paper I used my Old Paper Distress Ink to match the other papers.

My favorite product in this layout is the Pink Paislee Cupid Press Ons.  They go on very eaasy & really added a lot to the page.

Supplies:  Cardstock (Bazzill Basics); Paper (Pink Paislee - Cupid Love Potion & Pink Paislee - Cupid Bullseye); Rub Ons (Pink Paislee - Cupid Press Ons); Tags (Cupid - Punch Outs); Journaling Spot (Little Yellow Bicycle - Journaling Tablet); Bling (Jenni Bowlin - Pearl Flowers Marashino); Ink (Tim Holtz Distress Ink - Old Paper); Letters (American Crafts - Thickers); Thread (Coats & Clarks); Adhesive (Zva - Pop Dots, Tombow - Mono Adhesive & Glue Arts - Permanent Dots)

My next layout is "Godchild" - using old photos from my sister's baptism.  These photos went really well with the green in Webster's Pages paper & the elegant look is perfect for the theme.  This is an 8 X 8 size layout.  That size gives you the best of a 12 X 12 without having to fill up those extra inches.

This paper by Webster's Pages really adds a lot of elegance.  It's hardly recognizable since I covered the chandelier & didn't use the bolder color floral portion (saving for another project).  I used the golden backside when punching out the butterfly embellishments.

Supplies:  Cardstock (Bazzill Basics); Paper (Webster's Pages - Romantique Chic); Letters (American Crafts Thickers); Trim (Prima - Lace); Thread (Coats & Clarks); Punch (Martha Stewart - Butterfly); Bling (Zva - Symetrical Flourishes Pearls Taupe)


I hope you are planning on attending our first online crop at the Everything Scrapp'n forum this weekend (Jan 15 - 18).  Heather has planned 4 fun filled days of challenges, games, technique tips, and lots of prizes!  Sign up today & let us inspire you to get those creative juices flowing....  The design team will be taking turns hosting 1 hour slots & will be online during that hour to answer questions & chat. See you there.

There will also be a sale all weekend long discount code "crop" to recieve 25% off your entire order.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Paperclipping Roundtable

I enjoyed Noell Hyman & Nancy Nally's show Paperclipping Newsbreak last summer.  After a break for the holiday they have revamped it taking the best from that show and have released Paperclipping Roundtable.  It's a fantastic audio podcast where real life scrappers who work in the industry "dish".  Joining hosts Noell & Nancy is regular panel member Ana Cabrera (Northridge Media - Scrapbook Trends online coordinator).  They will have guests each week & for episode 1 the guest is: Stacy Jullian (Big Picture Scrapbooking & the defunct Simple Scrapbooks Magazine).  I also always enjoy Izzy Hyman (Noell's Hubby) with his witty humor & technical skills.

I was fortunate to attend a live show of Paperclipping Newsbreak at CHA summer 2009.  Noell & Nancy had a panel of guests talking about the industry, trends & just fun chatting.  It was exciting to get the insight into the publishing and industry sides of scrapbooking.  Hearing about this aspect of scrapbooking really spurred my creativity & helped me to understand how the magazines choose the layouts they showcase & what they are looking for.  The trend & quality of online publishing is advancing monthly; which will quickly take the place of paper magazines & books.  Ella Publishing's creators Lain Ehmann & Angie Lucas shared during that podcast how this allows the publishers to be more current on the material they publish since the lead time is much less than paper.  I think this was the best PCNB episode & I'm so glad they have chosen to expand on this format.

Paperclipping Roundtable will be taking the cues from the former show & bringing in guests each week to expand the topcis available to be focusing on.  I really enjoy hearing the guests talk about the future of scrapbooking & creating an online community to replace all those lost LSS  & crop groups we so miss.  It also is a treat to get to know the "celebrity" scrappers & listening to what they are up to.  Hearing about the past & present of scrapbooking from their eyes & where they feel that scrapbooking will go.  Sharing their asperations how they will "help" keep the industry fresh & exciting.  It amazes me how fostering my knowledge of the indsutry as a whole really sparks my creativy & passion.  Noell is great about digging deeper & asking the questions we all would want to ask if we were speaking to the guest.  Nancy brings a wealth of business& technical knowledge and everyday sensibilities to the conversation and asks things that I wouldn't even think of asking but it helps me to see the industry in a different perspective.

The Picks of the Week really is a great resourse.  I loved hearing the reviews of the products out there.  Since most of us are trying to be frugal it helps to take some of the guesswork about if a product does what it promises.  Ana's review of the Xyron Creatopia was fantastic.  You can tell she really put it to the test. 

Head on over & listen to the premier episode that is already the top hobby podcast on itunes & #35 of all podcasts!

Click here for more details.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Are you up for a challenge?

The monthly challenges are back up over at the Paperclipping forum.  I hope you will join in the fun.  Krisyn Gunter is joining Lesley Oman & myself as the 3rd judge to free up Noell to continue to focus on the video tutorials, blog, Tuesday live show & the upcoming Paperclipping Roundtable (which is fantastic - you'll love it!).  The winners each month are showcased in the Paperclipping newsletter (that is read  worldwide).  So head on over & check out this months topics.

Have a great Monday

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year & Unity enabling

Happy New Year!

I can't believe it's 2010... I'm hoping that it's better than 2009 because it sure was a stressful year.  I'm sure not going to say it can't get worse because that's just asking for trouble.... but hopefully things will be easier.

Thanks so much for all the emails & comments about my health.  I'm still in a lot of pain (I actually think it's getting worse not better with nerves pinching).  I see the doctor tomorrow & he will decide if I can lay in the MRI tube long enough to get the test done this time.  I didn't even last for half of the test last week - even with sedation I don't think I can lay on the hard table.  I feel like such a complainer....

I'm typing this on the netbook so with the small screen & not having mozilla firefox to correct my spelling I hope I'm not butchering words. lol

I also wanted to remind those of you in Georgia that Donna Downey will be up at my favorite LSS this weekend.... there may be a few spots left call Susan at EMI Scrapbooking in Cumming for more details.

Now for te big news....Angela at Unity Stamp Co. announced today that they are revamping the KOTM & pulling out the stops to spoil the customers.  You all know how much I love their stamps & even though I've given up all my scrapbook kit clubs I can't do without the stamp kit club.  Since I sell my cards I usually get enough to purchase the kit each month.  Anyway here's the details...

This kit is adorable & oh so useful....

Here's the benefits both new & existing KOTM subscribers will receive each month....

25% discount on all orders placed at the Unity online store

Free single or kit of your choice with purchase of $35

Also a referral bonus for existing members.... if you sign up make sure you tell them Suz sent you!

and for new members the first month they will receive:
10 unmounted stamps
6 sheets of 6x6 paper
1 Hybrid ink pad
(kit valued at $35 - FREE with your first month's kit shipment)

In addition you will have the opportunity to purchase a past KOTM at the discounted price of $26 (regular price $45).

Remember you can skip monthly shipments, resonable fast shipping & their customer service is super!

Join today... and start stamping up a storm

Have a great day.