Monday, October 31, 2011

And The Winning Ghoulie Is...

Ok, so I have the winner of today HUGE HALLOWEEN give away. 

frances joy said...
ahhh i love it!!! i will pray to win this hihi i want this for my ate jwels! dont know how to add a link here but i tried, hope it works!

thank you for the chance to win this!! i'm a follower!!

Congratulations frances joy!!!  You are the winner of FOUR brand new Tickled Pink Stamps!!!  I am sending you the notification email now.  Thank you to everyone who played along, I'm hoping next year's Halloween give away will be even "Huger"!!! :)  Happy Halloween everyone! 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Back To Basics


 Ok... here they are!!!  I am just having a BLAST going back to basics with shading and shadows using these wonderfully ADORABLE Stampendous Halloween images.  As I told you yesterday, that cute little Count Jack had some friends!!!  Pumpkinstein and Mumpkin in the house (I think you might be able to tell which one is which... LOL)!!!  Honestly, these cuties make coloring with Copic markers fun and easy.  And really, isn't that quote from Stampin Up's Smarty Pants just too perfect for this one?!?  The only thing that I want to add to this is a little reminder that when you are blending with Copic markers, remember that the alcohol ink takes a moment to "develop".  I think that when people begin coloring, they attempt to blend but don't see the development of the alcohol ink reaction right away, begin to over blend and then are not happy with the results.  Take your time when you first start with these wonderfully magic markers!  Lay down two or three strokes when blending, stop, then watch what occurs.  I PROMISE, the inks will begin to blend... you'll see the reaction... and your projects will just blend like magic.  Below is probably THE BEST demonstration I know of to show a time lapse of development.  Enjoy.  I'll be sure to post another video of actual blending too, so be sure to come back for that.

Don't forget to click the link at the top to enter to win the HUGE HALLOWEEN GIVE AWAY!!!  There's still time to win and odds are SOOOOO good (currently 1 in 13 will win!!!).

Friday, October 28, 2011

Beginner's Awesomeness


Some of THE BEST images to begin coloring with Copic markers are Halloween images!!!  So if you've just started on this crazy Copic ride, you've begun at the perfect time!!!  THE CUTEST stuff is available this year too!!!  Pictured here is Stampendous Count Jack... isn't he ADORABLE!?!  And he's perfect for learning basic coloring and shadow placement.  With the artist's helpful shadow lines in his little pumpkin face, this one is easy and fun to color as well. Stampendous also has a couple companion images to go with this little cutie... stay tuned for those!!!


There are only a few days left to enter the HUGE HALLOWEEN GIVE AWAY!!!!  Be sure to click the link at the very top of this post to enter... this is one you don't want to miss!  There are FOUR Tickled Pink Stamps up for grabs!!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Like Boys Who Sparkle!

So I'm working on a little technique tutorial while also putting together the Twilight Breaking Dawn Release party at Paper Vineyard... yah, this is getting pretty interesting, wouldn't you say?  HAHAHAHAHA! Well, OF COURSE, this was going to end up a Twilight project!!!  Honestly, could it REALLY have gone any other way???  Anyway, featured here is TGF's Edward and this little guy is PERFECT for my class on Hair:  Finding Highlights Even Loreal Would Love (I was going to add "Cuz We're Worth It" to my class title, but then that seemed like it might be a bit too long, and could possibly get me into trouble).  And what about that paper????  I've been having a BALL with that DCWV Immortal Love line.  The "Sparkle" sentiment is actually a chipboard piece from this line and then I took two brads, melted some Sparkle Glitter Embossing Powder on them before adding them to the sentiment to bling it up.  Not that it wasn't already blingy, the black glitter paper was a fun backdrop for this card.

And that brings me to the card... this one is another tri-fold shutter card.  I did one a short time ago with another TGF image and loved it so much, I thought it was worth a revisit.  Cards with special folds ALWAYS give a high impact delivery.  Maybe we should start using these in peace talks.... that's all I'm sayin.  Share the love people!

So that about does it for today.  I have more projects to come so stay tuned.  And there's only a couple of days left for the HUGE HALLOWEEN GIVE AWAY, so be sure to click on the link at the top to enter.  THIS ONE IS AMAZING!!!

*Copics used:  W0, W00, W3, C0, C2, C4, C7, R89, R27, R22, E30, E37, E49. 
** I don't really like boys who sparkle... I prefer the ones who growl.  LOL!**

Monday, October 24, 2011

The BEST Copic Storage


Ok, so I've done posts in the past about various Copic storage solutions, but I was given THE MOTHER of all storage ideas by my friends Jennie Black and Krista Koenig!!!   Let me share with you the construction of the storage box and then I'll finish this off with the BRILLIANT solution my husband came up with.... cuz I married a GENIUS!!!

What you'll need to create the AWESOME storage box pictured here is:
1 Double Deep Art Bin
1 plastic grid for ceiling lighting (found at your local home improvement store)
1 half inch thick wooden square dowel (also found at your local home improvement store)
Dimensional adhesive squares
Wire cutters or sheers
Screws with corresponding drill bit

So I first cut the ceiling grid down to 19 squares by 19 squares using my wire cutters.   You will need two 19 x 19 sections of grid material.   The wire cutters went through the plastic material of the grid like butter and I was able to get exactly one and a half 19 x 19 segments cut from one sheet!!!  I then cut the half inch dowel rod into four, 2 inch segments (and painted them white... optional).  I used a saw for this, but if you don't have a saw, ask your home improvement store if they can cut it down for you.   Adhering dimensional squares to two adjacent sides of the dowel is the next step.... yes, the kind of dimensional squares you use in scrapbooking.... make sure that you are placing the dimensional squares where you want the grids to be placed (1 - 1 1/4 inches of space between the two).  I secured the dowel into the corner squares of both 19 x 19 grids leaving that 1" to 1 1/4" space.  I then used more dimensional adhesive squares to "prop" the grids in place so they couldn't slip down.  Because I need a little "play" in the structure so that the pens go in and out easily, these adhesive squares worked PERFECTLY to "cushion" the grids.  Finally, and here's where my husband's brilliance comes in..... screws were used to attach the grid structure I created to the container!!!!!

Holes were drilled in the bottom of the case so that the four dowels supporting the grids could be attached with the screws to the Art Bin Box stabilizing the whole thing.  Those screws made this storage solution SHEER PERFECTION!!!!  It really was the key to making this whole thing work for me.

Now I can pull my pens out EASILY without worrying that my organizing grids will shift.  And I don't even mind the saw dust that he left in the bottom, although you might want to blow out the extra dust before tightening those screws down on yours.  I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this solution for storing my pens and here's why:

I've got the security of a latch-able container (drop your storage container once and you'll appreciate the beauty of being able to latch a container closed). Its also perfect for on-the-go!  When not in use, my pens are stored in the horizontal position* (Art Bin handle points up) and when I want to use them, I can either sit the Art Bin flat as shown in the pictures above, or I can turn the bin on it's side because the grid structure holds all my pens in place... for those who like the pen caps facing them when they color, check out the pic below.  The other benefit of this storage solution is that ALL my pens can be stored in one container and each pen has its own slot no matter HOW MANY Sketch markers I buy because 19 x 19 = 361.  How many Sketch markers are available.... 346?   This is particularly helpful when I'm cleaning up after teaching a Copic class.  Because each pen has its place, I easily see if one of them is missing.

The final reason I love this storage solution is because the whole thing cost me less than $20 (God bless Joann's coupons).  Honestly, need I say more? :)  If you need further instructions, I found some good ones HERE and Krista's blog HERE with some additional, helpful hints.  Have fun with this one gang! 

*While Copic markers can be stored vertically or horizontally, I prefer storing them horizontally.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

YES, YES. Let's See!


So I talked yesterday about the super fun gifts that I've received.  Among those gifts was this WONDERFUL mini album that Dana gave me.  Well, I did a little personalizing and wanted to show it off.  Thank you Dana, you are an INCREDIBLE designer!!!

 Ok, first I just want to point out that Dana and I CLEARLY share the same tastes as she picked out the out-of-this-world papers from Authentique's Halloween line.  I LOVE this paper!!!  I just simply pulled a sheet of Echo Park's Apothecary Emporium paper to cut out the Tim Holtz Rosette and finished the rosette off with a Teresa Collins Haunted Hallows brad.  I also attached a piece of grosgrain ribbon and a skull and crossbones charm to the spine.  I love adding the little details!!!

 The inside is ready for a picture and some journaling.  I don't think I want to touch the webbed paper!!!  That was a nice design element to use the gauze with the plastic spider ring Dana!!!

So the next page I added the same "Happy Halloween" sentiment that I used for Dana's mini book last year.  I think I might just make that my thing every year!  HAHAHAHA!  I also added an EK Success border punch and Sandy's dancing witch.  This is really perfect!!!

Ok, so here's the end.  I just simply added the black mat, the sentiment (actually there isn't a sentiment there yet.  I cheated and added text to the pic digitally... hehehe) and some bling on the last page.  This is a wonderful book and can't wait to personalize it with this year's Halloween party pics!!!

So if you've never seen Dana's crafty prowess and want to sneak a peek, check out her blog HERE.  There's more Halloween fun to come!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year 2


The Halloween season has just begun and ALREADY I'm showered with gifts!!!  NOW, can you see why I love Halloween so much?!?!  And I know some of THE MOST TALENTED people!!!  So pictured above are some of the things that I've received so far with a special "Thanx You Guys" for their wonderful gifts
Dana, thanks for the wonderful mini album.  It is SO AMAZING!!!  I placed it right next to the mini album you gave to me last year... on the shelf with my favorite things!!!

Sandy, thanks for cutting those wonderful dancing Halloween images for me.  I LOVED your tutorial on the Zing... I think I'm sold!!!

Cindy, thanks for the OH-SO-CUTE Halloween card!  You and those Tim Holtz dies... hahahahaha!  I love it!

Barb, thanks for the cookie jar.  What an AMAZING gift and ingenious too!!!  All the dry ingredients decoratively put together in that wonderful glass jar with the directions attached to the lid.  You know I love the handmade stuff!!!

And finally, thanks to my new friend Sandy.  I met her just once and she gave me that ADORABLE Halloween jelly bean filled tube with holder.  SO CRAFTY!!!

Now, I have to say, I AM missing a wonderful gift I received from Marijo at the Halloween Cricut Swarm.  She gave me the CUTEST goodie bag she created with her Cricut, however, it was filled with candy and suspiciously turned up missing.  The entire household claims that a ghost took it, so I called out to the "spirits" to return the bag unharmed and no questions would be asked about the missing candy.  Let's see if the "spirits" are willing.  Luckily though, you can spy Marijo's spooktacular goodie bag HERE.

Clearly with all the generosity around me this time of year, you can see why it's my favorite time of year.  High Fives to all the gals who showered me with gifts!  Halloween is just the funnest time of year!!!  It is definitely a time to celebrate.... but there will be more on that in the coming posts.  Stay tuned!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

What's In A Name?


What's in a name?  Well, a lot actually!!!  I mean really... a rose by any other name would not be as freakin awesome as this!!! 
I was recently perusing the web for interesting scrapbooking tid bits when I ran across THE COOLEST name for a blog (honestly, I'm considering buying it from her...hahahahaha)!  Get ready, the blog is:

OMG, I love it!!!  I won't lie though, her name sort of made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end, but checking out her posts made it worth it! You see, the name Tammy Nichols REALLY rung a super sonic bell, but being from Arizona and the backdrop of her profile pic being and ocean, I was instantly drawn (in a big way).  I love the sights, sounds and smell of the ocean... I rarely get to see it... so to see her posts of the ocean makes me forget the whole "Nichols" thing and makes me feel warm, fuzzy and like I'm on vacation all over again.  You can check out vacation pics HERE.   And I'll be honest, the Tammy Nichols I once knew did not live near an ocean.... confidence boost!!!

Well, anyway, she had made the comment that she was blogging to herself, and with a name like EENKSTAIND.... well, that seemed like a crying shame that she didn't have more followers to read her amazing posts.  So really, anyone who can come up with a name like that is CERTAIN to produce the goods... wouldn't you say?  And now,  here I am Blogland, encouraging EVERYONE to give this blogger a shot.  I was not disappointed!!! :)

Halloween Book Goodness!!!


WHAT to do with all those Halloween pics from this year?  Wouldn't it be great if you had a table book PERFECT for displaying all those wonderful photos?  I'm talking about a book where all you had to do was insert your photos and voila!  INSTANT gratification!!!  Yep, I've got the book for you.  Coming November 5th to Paper Vineyard.... my Halloween mini book featuring Echo Park's Apothecary Emporium AND Grapevine Designs!!!!  I also threw in a little HomePro (the beloved Purple monster) AND Glitter Ritz glitter!  Check it out:

I LOVE how this one turned out.  And before anyone asks... yes, it is a redo of the prize winning album I created for Paper Vineyard's Design team.  I just dressed it up a little more and OF COURSE used the Echo Park line.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that paper!!!!  So I hope you all will join me.  I will also be offering kits.  Contact Paper Vineyard for more information:  480-656-2058.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Give Thanks


Ok, the project for the November Copic Palooza at Paper Vineyard is complete and I gotta say, it was SOOOO fun to make!!!  I used quite a few Tim Holtz products and techniques for this super cute tag along with the new Vintage charms that are now available in the store!!!

I am so proud of the Autumn feel to this one (not to mention the  "Thanx" sentiment)!!!  This tag also features the final Anya in The Greeting Farms' Miss Anya Collection... I mean, come on!!!  What an INCREDIBLE stamp set!!!  Don't you just love those stamp sets that are versatile and can be used year round???  And, let me add, Miss Anya is REALLY fun to color.  So bring your Copics and your basic scrapper's tool kit with you November 30th at 5:30 p.m. to Paper Vineyard for two hours of crafty-Copic fun!!!  See you there!!!

***  Copics used for the above sample:  E00, E000, E21, E33, E37, E39, E59, YG17, YR14, YR16, YR21.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

HUGE Halloween Give Away!!!

Ok folks.... I promised another Halloween give away!  This one's HUGE!!!  One of my lucky followers is going to win FOUR (count em 1-2-3-4!!!) Tickled Pink Lil Haunt stamps.  Tickled Pink was kind enough to donate these brand new, unmounted rubber stamps and I've been ITCHING to give them away!!!  This give away includes the stamp used to make the beauty above (well, not THE stamp... hahahahahha)... Lil Haunts Lolita Vampire Lilith, I LOVE this one!  It also includes Lil Haunts Lolita Witch Lylah, Lil Haunts Lad Frankenstein Frankie and Lil Haunts Lolita Ghost Willow.  To see all these wonderful images in action, check out Tickled Pink's blog HERE!

So now, how to win these awesome images?!? 

1.  Be a follower or become a follower.
2.  Share this blog post with your peeps either in a Facebook shout out, on a forum or in a blog post.
3.  Leave a comment here with a link back to where you linked this blog post and an email address to contact you.  That's it!!!

On October 31st, Halloween Night, I will use to pick a winner and announce that winner on my blog that night before greeting the trick or treating lovelies!!!   Please be sure that you've linked this blog post, posted a comment here AND left contact info.  I would hate to have to pick another winner for this ghoulishly awesome prize!!!  Honestly, I think this might be the coolest Halloween prize I've ever given away!!!  It's sure to make a very Happy Halloween for someone!!!  Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

We Have A Winner!!!

But first.... check out the Halloween card that I made for Paper Vineyard's Design Team Challenge!!!  This time the DT was asked to use the new paper from the Authentique line with their favorite tool.  HA, yah right.... more like TOOLS!  I am gadget girl after all.  So lets get down to what I REALLY used for this baby!!!

First, I used my new toy, the Zutter DreamKutz to cut my 8.5" x 11" white cardstock in half.... LIKE BUTTER!!!  I love it!  Then I used my pink ATG to adhere my pieces.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my ATG!  Then I used my BELOVED Purple Monster to attach the decorative nailheads and finally I used my Basic Grey rub on tool (discontinued?  Really???) to rub on that AMAZING Danelle Johnson image from the Creative Impressions Trickery Impression pack.  I can't believe it's been discontinued!!! Finally, I used my Sizzix Big Shot with Spellbinders dies to create the mat shapes.  I think that about does it.  I think that I used every one of my favorite tool... well, except for my Cinch, my Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher, my Fastener, my laminator, my paper crimper, my I Rock, my score board..... OH WAIT!  I did use my Martha Stewart Score Board to score the card.  WHEW, I almost missed one!!!  Martha Stewart might be evil and tried to kill me, but she does make a MEAN score board.  Click HERE to see what the rest of the DT created for this week's challenge!!!

Ok, on to the winner of the Echo Park Apothecary Emporium paper collection.  Using yesterday, the lucky winner picked was:
Lori Barnett said...
of COURSE I WANNA WIN!!!! Are you KIDDING ME???!!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS! It has my name on it ;) You KNOW I adore your projects! Thanks for offering such a wonderful prize. Somebody is gonna be VERY lucky...and I HOPE (fingers & toes crossed) that it's meeeeee! LOL
 Congrats Lori!!!  Give me a shout out to claim your prize!!!  Ok gang... stay tuned because I have ANOTHER give away to post tomorrow and this one you DEFINITELY don't want to miss!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Stupendous Stampendous

**Click HERE for Halloween Give Away**

Ok... so there should be a law against disrupting Halloween festivities with Christmas projects!!!  I had SUCH a hard time coloring this Tweet Top Hat by Stampendous for Paper Vineyard's Design Team challenge!!!  I was SUPPOSED to be doing a rather simple technique to make this hat look like felt using Copic Blender #0 (Color the image as usual and then do little "C's" with your blender to make the surface look textured and "felty"... sorry spellcheck, its a word today) but for SOME REASON my brain was shorting out and I just COULD NOT make this one happen.  I'm serious... my brain went on strike the minute I told it, "Let's do a Christmas card."  But, luckily, one of the many pleasing aspects of coloring with Copic markers is that even something that doesn't turn out the way you intended still looks wonderful and at the very least HAND MADE!!!  hahahahaha!

So for this one I used my Purple Monster for the metal corners, Graphic 45 paper for the background and Bazzill paper for the matting.  Copics I used were R46, R22, YG17, YG23, C0-C9 and 0.  The original stamp image has two cute birds, but I taped over them prior to stamping the image.  I didn't want to risk the birds not fitting quite right in my circle.  Its always nice when you have an image that is easy to alter like that!

Alright, that is it for today.  Be sure to head over to Paper Vineyard's blog and check out what the rest of the design team created with these wonderful, stupendous Stampendous stamps!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Doll's Tribute to Terry Gilliam

**Click HERE for Halloween Give Away**

This week's challenge over at BEYOND The Burtonesque Dolls is to create a project inspired by the artwork and/or films of Terry Gilliam.  Personally, I TOTALLY like this dude's style when it comes to his artwork.  It borders on bazaar with quite a steampunk-y edge... THAT I'm so drawn to!!!  Now while I ended up going "cutesy" with this card, it was not for lack of want for the bazaar.  I had originally picked Smeared Ink's Gear Head but with the holiday weekend and this user's less than stellar computer know-how, the image wasn't able to be downloaded in time for this challenge.  So inspired by Terry Gilliam's Steampunk Style, here's my project featuring a GORGEOUS alternative:  Tiddly Inks' Owlette.  I altered this one a bit as the owl that is supposed to be perched on Owlette's hand would have gotten in the way of that wonderful Tim Holtz sentiment.

 Ok folks... that is it!  Swing over to Beyond The Burtonesque Dolls to enter this challenge and see what the rest of the dolls created in tribute of the talented Mr. Gilliam!!!

**Copics used, Skin:  E00, E000, E11, E21, Hair: E02, E18, E59, Wardrobe:  E40, E43, E44, E47, E49, BG71, BG75, BG78, BG000, Misc:  W3

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fun With The Girls

**Click HERE for Halloween Give Away**

Yesterday turned out to be a pretty awesome day at Paper Vineyard's first-ever All Day Copic Coloring event.  Not only did I get to hang out with my favorite girl friends, I also got to meet some new ones!!!  That's just what Copic markers do... they bring friends together!!! 

The day was PACKED with activity beginning right at 9 a.m. with an UBER YUMMY breakfast.  Honestly, pancakes with whipped cream and blueberries?  Eggs and sausage?  Really?  At a scrapbook store?  YUP!!!  The owner Adriana has mad kitchen skillz!!!  Then Jennie Black (super star that she is) came all the way from California to hang out with us and teach a class.  She is such an incredible lady and a wonderful teacher!!!   She did a FABULOUS job teaching us all lighting to effect subject matter and mood.  LOVED IT!!!  Here are pics of her samples from class. 
In the pic on the left, of the boy sitting with his dog, Jennie pointed out that it was colored so that the light was illuminating the heads of both the boy and the dog whereas the boy, his dog and his plane are illuminated in the pic on the right.  Crazy how lighting in our projects can play such a BIG role in telling a story... like the one of a boy's bond with the things he loves!   Definitely a WONDERFUL class Jennie.  :)

And if Jennie's class wasn't enough, we also got to enjoy a ton of FREE make n' takes throughout the day.  Of course I got to get in on the act and created this fun card to do as a make n' take:

But then Dana Edwards gave us THIS cooler than cool canvas creation:

Kelly Wann gave us this BEWITCHING creation:

And Krista Koenig gave us this EERILY AMAZING gem!!!

 Yep!  My friends are SOOOOOO talented!!!  It was a blast getting to play with them for an entire day (well, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. anyway).  

And I want to send a special "Thanx"out to the nice DPS officer who let me out of a ticket while I was out on my dinner break.  A speeding ticket would have been a little bit of a dampener on such an AWESOME day!!! ;)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

More Moss Please!

**Click HERE for Halloween Give Away**

Well you guys.... here's more vacation pics.
Paper Vineyard challenged the DT to use the new Grapevine Designs cutouts exclusive to Paper Vineyard to create a project.  We were asked which state we wanted cut out (don't you just love it when you can have custom cuts done?) and I chose Washington.  This was kind of perfect timing since Forks, Washington alone has three pages in my vacation album.  Now, to tell you the truth, I am not yet scrapping the Washington leg of our vacation, but to fulfill this challenge, I figured it was worth jumping around a bit.  And hey, it's one less page I now have to get done.... this one turned out better than I could have imagined!!!

So featured in the pic above is the "Twilighty" forest in Washington.  Full on with the mossy trees and the dense fog.... I'm transported to the beloved story that brought me here in the first place.  HOW COULD I NOT DEVOTE A PAGE TO IT???  LOL!  Anyway, I used American Craft Campy Trails Box Park Forest paper for the background, Grapevine Designs "Washington" as a stencil for my "mossy" title, Tim Holtz Distress paper in Forest Moss (ironically) for my picture mats, grunge paper for the faux leather embellishments on the pictures and HomePro nailheads.... uh, everywhere!!!  This layout turned out WONDERFULLY.... way better than I expected!!  Be sure to swing by Paper Vineyard's blog and check out what the rest of the design team created!!!

*** A special thank you to my friend Dana for once again, loaning me her Stampin Up Word Window Punch.  Turns out it was the perfect tool to create the faux leather handles!***

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

BEYOND The Burtonesque Dolls

**Click HERE for Halloween Give Away**

The new design team:  Beyond The Burtonesque Dolls!!!  Our first challenge for the "NEW" dolls was to create a project inspired by our favorite Halloween film, book or memory.  Mine is The Addams Family.  I grew up watching The Addams Family in the afternoons after school.  This show surely kick-started my interest in all things macabre and Halloweeny!!!

So my card is quite simple as I didn't want anything to detract from that AWESOME Moxxie paper from the Midnight Dreary line.  The stamped image is The Greeting Farm's Wednesday and the sentiment is from Tickled Pink Stamps' Halloween Sentiments.  To finish this one off, I added some Cuttlebug bats and sewing machine stitches.  This one is creepy, kooky and cute just like The Addams Family.

So what's YOUR inspiration?  Head over to Beyond The Burtonesque Dolls and check out what the rest of the design team turned out and to get the deets to participate in our first challenge.... and welcome to BEYOND The Burtonesque Dolls!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Easy Enhancements with PSE9

**Click HERE for Halloween Give Away**

I was chatting with one of my design teamies the other day about blog pics and she asked me how I make them looks so nice for my blog.  I told her my secret was Photoshop Elements 9.  She said that she had it but it seemed so hard to use so she would get frustrated and close it.  Well, she's sort of right in that when you open up Photoshop there is just SO MUCH TO IT that it was a bit overwhelming for me when I first started.  I ended up getting a book to learn how to use it.  Now, while I STILL don't really know everything there is to know about PSE9, I did learn a couple of simple tricks to make my pictures look SOOOOO much better!!!  So here's the video tutorial on what I do to enhance my pictures for my blog.  I hope it helps someone out in blogland! :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Calling All Crafters

Alright folks.... as is true of our wonderful community, we all have an opportunity to give to an AWESOME cause.  Betty, founder of Simply Betty Stamps and my beloved Burtonesque Dolls is dealing with a pretty unbelievable issue and WE can help!  Here's Betty's Story:

My son Christian 17, has had a sore throat for about a month now. The first doctor said it was tonsillitis's. Seven days of Amoxocillin was administered. Two days after the last pill, he was sick again, with a sore throat, and a fever. Back we went to put him on Caphlex... again seven days of antibiotics. On the fourth day he was not improving so we took him back. Ok it's strep now. They kept him on Caphlex but gave him a booster shot. Three full days of starting to get better, he was able to eat again, drink, and talk. He fell sick again on the fourth day, this time they took a culture and sent it to the lab. Monday I got a call that I needed to take Christian in to a specialist, well not just any specialist an Oncologist to go over his culture with me. That appointment was for today Friday, I have of course been stressed the whole time, day after day. When one is not given test results over the phone, one does not worry. When we are asked to come in to discuss the results something is up. The last thing I ever imagined, was to hear the doctor tell me that my 17 year old son has throat cancer. The first question out of my mouth was, "Is my son going to die?" I still can't believe I mustered enough energy to roll those words out of my mouth.

Christian has Stage 1 throat cancer, he will not die from it, but of course they can't ever say to me 100% no he is not going to die. That 99% that he is going to survive it, still puts a mother on edge. My son needs an operation immediately. We have had a series of bad luck, like everyone else due to financial situations. Our brand new Nissan broke down, no problem we will fix it when we fix it. Our house needs minor repairs, again no big deal it will get fixed when it gets fixed. My son needs an operation that will help him get well and be the class clown, kind hearted, silly kid he is... Now there's a problem! We can't just fix it when we fix it and let it sit. He will be going through testing for a week, as he has expressed his "bones" hurting as well. Doctors would like us to move quickly on the operation to prevent any further stages or other unpleasant issues. We live 1 1/2 hours away from the hospital, and you can imagine I do not want to be far from my son. I am not asking for a hand out, or pan handling is that the word? I am willing to offer my products at discounted rates in the hope that it will bring in what is going to be needed in the next week or two while we go through the motions. There are always extra medical bills as the insurance doesn't cover anyone 100%, we have a co-pay but have no idea where to pull it from, we don't have a magic top hat :(. I am not asking again, for a hand me down, just asking that if you ever wanted a Simply Betty Stamp, your purchase would be a blessing at this moment.

Thank you for taking the time to read and cross your fingers my son gets better.

The entire line is now available in both Digi and Clear stamp form, I am sorry I do not have extra discount codes on these as I am trying to bring in what is needed for my son's medical needs. However, I have lowered the prices and hope it is fair what I am asking for these fun cute characters.


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October Copic Palooza

OOOOO guys, just a quick post for today announcing the Copic Coloring Palooza on October 26th at Paper Vineyard in Chandler, AZ.  This time I'm featuring this oh so tempting treat box using The Greeting Farm's Miss Anya Collection.  We will also be playing around with the use of Spellbinder's dies in the Big Shot.... see how easy it is to trim around Miss Anya's feet and then put her through the Big Shot so it appears she's coming right off the die WITHOUT having to cut her out!  SUPER EASY!!!  I will also be introducing everyone to the new Echo Park Apothecary Emporium!!!  Just one of my new favorite paper lines!!!
And speaking of the Echo Park Apothecary Emporium.... how about a HALLOWEEN GIVE AWAY!?!?!?

Who wants to win an Apothecary Emporium Collection Kit???  Included in this kit is 12 - 12" x 12" Double-sided papers, 1 - 12" x 12" Elements Sticker sheet and 1- 12" x 12" Alphabet Sticker Sheet!  To win this, just tell me you want to win! HA!  Leave a comment here and on October 17th I will pick a random winner.  Be sure to leave an email where I can contact you.  Good luck everyone.  Stay tuned for more Halloween fun!  

* UPDATE:  Class was moved to October 19th!!! 

**Copics used for the Copic Coloring Palooza Treat Box:  E00, E000, E21, E30, E35, C1, C2, C6, YR12, YR14 and YR16.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Today is October first and the first day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  So in honor of this very special month and all who are fighting the good fight, I'd like to offer you this FREE Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon Digi.  It was created by me and was featured on my Breast Cancer Awareness Candle post (pictured below).  I promised that you could get your hands on it for FREE today so here it is.  I have also attached a donation button that links directly to FitterTwit Gives, and will keep the button available the entire month of October.  While this digi is ABSOLUTELY FREE for the taking, it is my hope that you will give generously and share with others where you got this digi from. Proceeds will be going to the National Breast Cancer Foundation in their efforts to find a cure.  But without further ado (and my usual babble):

I hope you put this one to good use and PLEASE come back and post a link to your fabulous creation.

Here is the pic of the candle that I'm donating:

BEAT THAT!  I dare you!!! :)

Life Is Beautiful... Countdown to Holiday Mini Release

Stampin Up's 2020 Holiday Mini Catalog release is in 4 DAYS!!!!  YEEEEE!  Today's Freebie Friday on Facebook featured one of my favo...