Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Top Note Love

I was browsing through the Splitcoaststampers site yesterday and was inspired to make another Valentine card with the new Love You Much set and the new coordinating heart punch. I found that the punch is pretty fun to use, especially with all the pretty DSP! Here's the card I came up with:

I got the idea of using the punch and another piece of designer series paper from this post from Melissa Sauls' card. Her card is gorgeous! I will have to case her design another day. For this one, I decided to change it up and just use the punch concept. Here's what I used for the card:
*Top Note Bigz die
*Love You Much stamp set and coordinating DSP
*Heart to Heart punch
*Craft, pirouette pink, and whisper white cardstock
*Button bouqet button and riding hood red taffeta ribbon
*Pretty in pink marker.
Oh - by the way - the Love You Much bundle is being sold at 20% off until January 31st, so if you've been eyeing it, make sure to take advantage of this offer :)

Hope you enjoy the last day of the year!

Looking back on 2008

2008 sure has been quite a ride. It was definitely filled with both fun times and some speed bumps along the way. We were fortunate enough to take a trip to Europe in the summer time, though as fall rolled around, I also experienced what it's like to be laid off and STILL looking for work. But in the grand scheme of things, that's not so bad. We just spend a wonderful Christmas with my family and I have lots to be thankful for. I am blessed with a wonderful husband and family and a great network of awesome friends. The silver lining has been my newfound time to spend on my stamping and jewelry hobbies, which I've found to be a great source of inspiration and motivation to what may lay ahead for me in 2009. While I am still focused on finding a "day" job, I do enjoy cultivating my stamping outlet - as both a craft and a business. I've enjoyed being able to put more time in doing my blog, which I've found has been a great way for me to hone and sharpen my marketing skills during this job search. I also like the ability of being able to plan and schedule stamp classes!

The whole blogging world has been fun to explore - I've met a handful of new "virtual" friends and bloggers and it has definitely opened up a new channel for creativity, friendship, and comraderie for me as well. It truly is amazing how the internet and common interests can bring people together!

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is, while 2008 was filled with lots of ups and downs in my world, I am excited and hopeful of good things to come. As we count down the hours and minutes til the end of 2008, I want to wish you all a safe, happy, and fulfilling 2009.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More Petal Pizazz..

In the midst of the unpacking, laundry, and my battling of the army of ants that managed to invade our house yesterday, I was able to squeeze in some stamping time to make a couple more cards using the Petal Pizazz stamp set. That was certainly much more fun and therapeutic for me than having to deal with ants!

Here's what I came up with. Since I had stamped a whole sheet of paper with the Pixie Pink, Chocolate Chip and Summer Sun combo, I stayed with that color scheme with these cards. I think my favorite so far is this one:

Hope you enjoy! I'm gonna go for a run now to try and burn off some of that Christmas food :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Back in California!

Hi all! We're back from a great Christmas holiday in Alabama. I can't believe how fast Christmas went! There was definitely lots of fun and merriment had by all. I will be posting some pictures from the trip a little later once I get all the pictures organized!

Now that Christmas is over, I thought I would post a Thank You card (since I need to get started sending those!). This is a card I came up with this morning using the new Petal Pizazz stamp set that will be in the upcoming Spring-Summer catalog. I was inspired to use Pixie Pink, Chocolate Chip, and Summer Sun color combo based on these accessory bags I saw at J. Crew during the holidays. While I like the layout, I'm not quite sure I'm happy with the color translation on the card, but will work on it a little more to see if I can come up with something that's more exciting...Funny, how the colors looked so cute and vibrant in the store! Maybe my creativity's a little rusty from being on vacation and in Christmas mode. I'll keep trying :)

Meanwhile, I've gotta get back to unpacking for now, so I'll catch up with more posts and pictures a little later today or for sure tomorrow. Have a great Monday!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My awesome gift from my Upline

I was so excited to receive this Christmas gift from my awesome upline, Michelle Halleen, the day before I left for Alabama! She decorated the top of the large turquoise tin from Stampin'Up! with cute Designer series paper with the sentiment "enjoy every moment".

And she also made this cool little game where you try and put the little silver balls in the slots. What a super cute gift! Isn't she's so creative!

Hope you're enjoying your holiday weekend!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Post Christmas Jewels

Hope you all enjoyed your Christmas! Now that all the presents have been opened, I thought I'd post some pictures of some of the Christmas gifts I made. I really do enjoy creating things, and perhaps that's the silver lining for as a result of being laid off. In any case, I've had a good time getting back into my jewelry and stamping hobbies! Here are a couple of earrings I made. This first one is a pair that I made my sister-in-law Jennifer. I call these Earthy Dangles and the stones are multi-colored quartz.

This little dainty pair is what I call Peridot flowers. They are made of Swarovski peridot crystals and I made these for my niece Marina.

Thanks for looking! :)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

We wish you a Merry Christmas...

From our home to yours - Hope you and your family have a very
Merry Christmas today!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas Eve Day!

Wow...we're in the final stretch before Christmas! Believe it or not, we're traveling to Alabama today via Tennessee and I'm hoping that the airports aren't too crazy. Yes, I know, so last minute, but we really didn't have much of a choice due to vacation days and great airfare deals and what not. Hopefully most everyone is at their Christmas destination already! Well, today I am posting a gift card tin I made for my neighbors. I'm really happy with how it turned out - and it's really simple too, which I love! It was inspired by a tag I saw made by Jenn Diercks, which I changed up just a little bit and then stuck it on a tin.

Here's the recipe:
-Punch Pals Stamp Set
-Frosty Day Designer Series Paper
-Top Note Bigz Die
-Tin (Special from Stampin'Up!)
-Bashful blue, going gray, certainly celery, old olive and real red markers
-Whisper White paper
Here's the full view of the full tin.

And now the finished package. Sadly, I didn't make the box, but I thought it was cute and went with the Snowman motif.

As part of the package, I also baked these yummy lemon/pecan cookies that I had just made for the first time. So, the story with the cookies is, we got a batch of them from a girl at my husband's office. They were so tasty, that we ate them in no time. Needless to say, I had to get the recipe! They were REALLY delish. Now, I am happy to say, they are part of my cookie recipe repertoire. With that, I am gonna say adios and get going...Happy Christmas Eve Day!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Valentine's at Christmas?!

Yes it's true. I'm posting a Valentine's day card 2 days before Christmas! Why, you ask? Well, it's because today is the first day of the Valentine's Day Bundle promotion and coincidently, also the LAST DAY of the Free Shipping offer from Stampin'Up! on orders of $70 or more. This Valentines bundle promotion is being offered at the special price of $41.48, so if you buy an additional $30, your shipping is FREE! Here's the little card I made using the Love You Much stamp set and the coordinating Designer series paper. I used the Scallop Bigz die for the big shot for the card. Cute, huh?

The little birds were stamped and then punched out with the curly label punch and then I stamped and cut out their bodies on another piece of designer series paper. I punched out the hugs and kisses with the scallop punch - and voila! You have a sweet little Valentine.

Well, I've gotta get going now. Lots of stuff to do today to get ready for the holidays in Alabama! Ciao for now :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thoughts and prayers

While the holidays are a great time of year to share with family and friends, it's also probably the hardest time of the year to lose a loved one. I want to send my thoughts and prayers to a good friend of mine who lost her grandmother a few days ago. This friend is one of the most cheerful people I know and her presence is infectious! So I want to let her know that I'm thinking of her. I remember losing my grandparents and it was difficult for me because I was so close to them. I think the best healing in a time of loss is to remember all the special memories that made you happy about that person. I know I miss my grandparents, but the precious memories I have of them keep them alive in my heart. Today's card share is the sympathy card I made. I hope it brings some cheer to my friend, who has a gift for bringing cheer to everyone else she meets.

I used the Eastern Blooms set and half of the Top Note Die. I sponged the edges of the confetti white cardstock with Chocolate Chip to get that aged-vintagey effect. I really love this set and don't use it enough. Now that it's resurfaced on my radar, I'll have to make more samples. :)

For today's thought, I want to pay tribute to all the loved ones that have passed on - let's take a moment to remember how much they've touched our lives during this holiday season.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sharing some champagne bubbles

For this last Sunday before Christmas, I thought I would share one of the gifts I made for a friend. These earrings were inspired by a pair of earrings that my friend Cathy made. She was wearing these beautiful white pearl dangly earrings and I loved how they looked. I decided to copy the design and made what I call these "champagne bubbles" because that's what they remind me of - as these little Swarovski pearls dangle on the fine guage silver chain.

Of course, I incorporated my stamping on the tag as part of the packaging!

Hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend. And if you're out and about shopping for any last minute Christmas presents, I wish you all the luck battling those mall/store crowds! Ciao for now!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cardinal Birthday card

Just in case my brother didn't get his card in the mail on time, I wanted to wait a day to post his card. Now, hopefully he's already seen it! I decided I had to try making the cardinal bird with the punch! I've seen so many card samples that looked so cute, it was time for me to give it a whirl. The paper for the cupcake wrapper part is a sneak peek of a hostess set'll be coming soon in the new catalog!

Hope you have a great day and a nice last weekend before Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

New Stampin'Up! Sets..sneak peek!

Here's a sneak peek of a hostess set and a new stamp set that will be in the new upcoming catalog!

With all the holiday activities going on, I haven't gotten a chance to play with these sets yet, but once things settle down a bit after Christmas, I will post some new samples for you!

I also wanted to remind you all that Stampin'Up! still has its FREE SHIPPING PROMOTION going on until December 23rd. So, if there's anything you want to order, as long as your merchandise total is $70 or more, you'll get your order shipped for FREE. There is also a new Valentine's Bundle promotion that will be launched on December 23rd, so if you want to take advantage of that and the free shipping, you can do that as well! Just go to my Stampin'Up! website and click on the "Shop Now" button to get started!

Here's what the Bundle comes with:
*Love You Much stamp set - $25.95
*Candy Lane Designer Series paper (Close to Cocoa, Pink Pirouette, Riding Hood Red, Very Vanilla) - $9.95
*Heart To Heart punch - $15.95

Bundle Retail Value - $51.85
Love You Much Bundle (20% off; item 115405) - $41.48

Happy Birthday, Bro!

I want to wish my brother a very Happy Birthday today! Here's a picture of him from our trip to Kauai in 2007. The reason he's glistening is because we just finished a super tough (rigorous, shall we say) 11 mile hike and this was towards the end of it. What a view though, huh? It was a very memborable day...we had the soreness the next few days to prove it!

So since it is my brother's bday, I just wanted to share some exciting things that he's been up to. He and Carrie opened their CrossFit Birmingham gym in Oct. and just this past Monday, they were highlighted on their local Fox News program! WooHoo for them! Here's the clip:

Find more videos like this on CrossFit Birmingham

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Baby, it's cold outside

After a few days of rain here in CA, the forecast today is clear, but chilly! My kitty Oliver clearly has the right idea staying under the covers!

For my card post today, I am posting one more oldie but goodie. I really loved this set - I liked the Christmas tree and snowflake a lot. I also like how this particular card has a country feel to it.

Christmas is only a few more days away. Are you ready? Surprisingly for me, I am pretty much done with my shopping! Now, all I need to do is create a few more jewelry pieces and bake some cookies and bread and I'll be good to go! Woohoo! Well, I better get my day going. Have a good one!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My 2008 Christmas card

I knew I wanted to make a penguin card, and after I saw this penguin candy dish created by nuznannie on the Splitcoaststamper's gallery, I was inspired to use the top note to create my little penguin. Here's the first one I made:

I was really happy with him! I liked how his feet made him look like he was standing on his own. Here are the punches I used for him:
- 1/2" circle for his eyes
- large oval for his beak and his arms
- curly label for his feet
- corner rounder to round out the top of his head
- top note die for his body

Unfortuantely, time was of the essence if I was gonna get out my Christmas cards anytime soon, and he was pretty time intensive to create! So, I decided to make a few modifications to streamline the process and still do a penguin card for the masses. Here's the final card I came up with - while he lost his arms and his sign, I thought he was a pretty cute guy even still:

This is what my penguin army looked like when I was done making them and ready to start writing!

Hope you enjoy! Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A couple more cards from Christmas past

Hello there! Here are a couple more cards from past Christmases. I had fun looking at my old stash of Christmas cards. Hope you enjoy!

Tomorrow I'll be posting my Christmas card from this year, so stay tuned! Thanks for visiting :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oldies but goodies...

I was finally able to take pictures of a few of the cards I made for Christmases past. Here are ones I created in 2005, 2006, and 2007.


Weekend of fun with friends!

I have to say the holiday cheer was definitely in full swing this weekend! It started on Friday at lunch with a get together with my former co-workers from Candle/IBM. It was great to catch up! Then, we got to see our friends Jeff and Elisa who were visiting for the weekend. Saturday night, we got together with my dear college friends in Orange County and then on Sunday, I had brunch with my book club buddies at The Grove. Finally, we ended the weekend with a bang at the Manhattan Beach firework show Sunday night with our friends Chris and Sherri. We lucked out with a clear and beautiful California evening for the fireworks. It was an awesome jam packed weekend of fun! You can click on the picture below to bring up a larger view.

Friday, December 12, 2008

More posts from the Shoebox swap...

Just to change things up a little, I am posting a few non holiday cards from the Demonstrator Holiday party Shoebox swap. Afterall, birthdays and other events happen during the holiday time as well! This first card was designed by Janelle Lavelle. Such happy birthday colors!

I love the use of masking on this card - this was designed by Jennifer Shepard. It was fun to try this technique. It has a really pretty effect.

This last card designed by Liz Miller is such a fun use of the scallop big shot die! I've seen similar designs of this card as well on other websites and galleries - very popular! The cupcake was filled in using the watercolor technique.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Baubles and bling

Today I thought I'd share one of my other hobby passions - jewelry making! I picked up the hobby a few years ago from one of my friends who showed me a few basic steps on wire wrapping and I was hooked! While it's been tough to split time between my hobbies, there have been quite a few occassions when my hobbies have actually come in handy for gifts or special order requests. Here are two pieces I've made - both spoken for already - for holiday gifts. This is a jade and sterling silver necklace:

I was inspired to create these simple earrings from a cute pair of earrings I saw in Prague from our trip this past summer. This picture doesn't do them justice - you can't see how they sparkle when the light hits them!

I need to create a few more jewelry gifts for Christmas, so once I finish my stamping duties (ie finish off and mail the Christmas cards), I'm on to making jewels! :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Deck the halls with boughs of holly

Since we are going to my brother's house in Alabama for Christmas this year, we decided not to get a tree because our little kitty would probably have a field day when we're gone. So, I thought, I'll just deck the house and make it as festive as I can without a tree. I knew that I wanted to create a Christmas banner this year since I got the Big Shot machine, so in the midst of my decorating this past weekend, I made this banner and I'm really happy with how it turned out! You can click on the pictures to get a bigger view.

Here's a closer look at how I tied the letters together - I used the jumbo eyelets to finish off the holes and then connected the letters using the double sided satin ribbon.

I used the top note die for the background and I used the serif alphabet on chipboard for the letters. First, I covered the letters using the Certainly Celery Craft stamping spots. Then I went over the letters with the 2-Way glue pen and sprinkled dazzling diamonds on top. Viola! The letters look really cool at night and really sparkle with the Christmas lights from the mantle!

Here's another view of the full banner.

How are you all decorating for Christmas?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Retiring Stamp Sets and Free Shipping offer from Stampin'Up!

The retiring stamp set list is here! And, just in time for the holidays, Stampin'Up! is offering a 10% discount on these sets plus free shipping on all orders of $70 or more from Dec 9th-23rd. What a great deal! If you want these sets in time for Christmas though, you should place your order no later than Dec 16. You can always call me to place the order, or go directly to my website and click the "Shop Now" button for easy self service ;) Here's the list of retiring sets at the 10% discounted price.

Today, I am posting a sample from the Demonstrator Holiday party Shoebox swap. This card was designed by Corey Urey. What a great card using the Big Shot and featuring the Top Note and Pennant Bigz dies:

I'm happy to report that I am well in the midst of my Christmas card assembly, so I think I can get these out in a couple of days! How exciting. Anyways, I have a busy day ahead, so I'm gonna get going for now. Enjoy your day!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas spirit!

Yesterday, I was bitten by the Christmas decoration bug! It currently looks like our house exploded with boxes of Christmas stuff, which I'm sure was a common sight in many people's households this weekend. Needless to say, my preoccupation with decorating the house prevented me from finishing my Christmas cards :( I am determined, however, to make that my big goal today. I've got the Christmas music on, it's cold outside, and I'm filled with Christmas cheer and ready to go! With that, I thought I would share one of my concept Christmas cards for this year. It's a little too big for the regular sized envelope, so I opted not to go with this design. But a fun design just the same!

Hope you like it! Have a great Monday!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Better luck next year

Going to the game was a lot of fun, even though the Bruins lost :( Though, there is always next year. We had a great time tailgating, and watching the first touchdown of the game was fun too. Then it sorta went downhill for the Bruin fans after that. Like I said, there's always next year! At least, Michael was a happy camper!Here are a couple pictures from the game.

Tailgating with my friends Teresa and Gervie.

Michael and I at the game - the Rose Bowl was packed!

Time for some coffee....have a great Sunday!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Oh boy. Today's one of the big rival days in our household where one of us is typically a happier camper than the other by the end of the game. Can you believe 'SC is going to wear their home jerseys on OUR home turf? While they're clearly having a much better season than my Bruins, you never know what can happen in this game. I'm excited to be going and tailgating at the Rose Bowl with our friends, so either way it will be fun. GO BRUINS!

I may even post later today, when we know what the outcome is....maybe even add a picture or two. Ciao for now.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Friday!

Wow! This week flew by fast! And I am not done with my Christmas cards... Well, today I thought I would post a few cards from the shoebox swap from our Woohoo Stampers Holiday Meeting a few weeks ago. So, a shoebox swap for those that might not be familiar with the term, is a swap where you create the card and bring the supplies so that everyone gets to make that card. It's really fun! This first card was designed by Katy Pope. I thought it was ingenious to create a piece of candy!

This next card is by Whitney Watkins. She used the top note die. Very sweet card.

This card is by Robin Castagnola and she told me that she was inspired by a few other cards she saw with a similar layout. Nonetheless, it's a great card!

I will post more from this swap next week.

In the meantime, I wanted to talk college football for a second. So, the UCLA-USC game is taking place this weekend at the Rosebowl. Now, it's a big rivalry in my household because Michael went to USC whereas I went to UCLA. Even though my team is not having the greatest year, I still want them to win! We're going to the game tomorrow and I'm really excited because it's been a few years since we've actually attended this rival game. I am HOPING that UCLA is able to dig deep and pull out a win! For anyone out there who has a stake in this game, feel free to leave a comment! Of course, I invite you all to comment on any part of this post :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Polka Dots and Poinsettias

Today I was planning on posting my Christmas Cards of yore, but due to camera difficulties (needed to charge my battery), I'm gonna postpone that post to another day and instead post a Christmas Card I made for a set of cards I'm creating for my mom. I used the poinsettia stamp in the "Season of Joy" set. I also used the polka dot background stamp, too, to add some texture to the card. I used the scallop edge punch and added the gold metallic strip of paper to make it pop out a little more.

I'm still working on my own Christmas card design for this year. I think I'm close to finalizing it, but tweaking a few elements that aren't quite right yet. Back to the drawing board for me. Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Penguin Holiday Wishes

I just love using punches or die cuts to create a variety of images and objects. It's kind of a new found addiction of mine! I know that sounds weird, but it's actually pretty fun trying to visualize what animals I can create from my punches! I can't say I made this little penguin from scratch though - I got the basic idea from a demonstrator class that Mercedes Weber shared on the Stampin'Up! demonstrator site. So, with that, here's my Holiday Wishes card. Isn't he just such a cute penguin?:

I made a set of these cards for my cousin, but I've been debating on making a few more to send out to part of my Christmas list. I have yet to design my official Christmas card for this year. My goal is to mail those out by the end of this week! I think tomorrow I will post a flashback of some of my Christmas cards from previous years.

So on a personal note, I just got back into running after taking a break for a few weeks due to me tweaking my calf muscle somehow. Anyway, I can't believe how much 2 weeks can set you back in running! My calf's feeling pretty good though, so it was probably a good call to rest it for awhile. After all the Thanksgiving eating, it felt good to be out and about! Need to burn all the excess calories I've already started accumulating! Adios for now :)