Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rally for Robin!

I've recently learned that a dear friend of mine and fellow demonstrator, Robin Castagnola, has been diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. She's been my roommate at the last few Stampin'Up! conventions I've attended and she is a wonderful and kind hearted friend. I would do anything for her. As you can imagine, the news was a lot to bear in a short amount of time - for her, as well as her family and friends. But thankfully, with that news came a plan of action from her doctors that lays out the process by which she will conquer this beast. She begins her treatment this week, and I wanted to join the rally of support for her by posting the "Wear Pink and Support Robin Castagnola" event this Tuesday, February 2nd. Please include Robin in your thoughts and prayers and wear Pink on Tuesday! Feel free to post comments or words of encouragement on the link as well, as I know she visits that page and reads it daily.

Here's a picture of us from convention this past summer - we had a blast!
Don't forget - wear Pink on Tuesday :)

Tinkering with the blog

Hi all! Hope you're having a better weekend than I am. I'm a little under the weather, so I haven't been very productive. I'm finding that being sick, achey and coughing is no fun at all! So, I've basically been lackadaisical at best and confined to the house {mainly on the couch}. Although, if you've visited my blog at various points this weekend, you'll have noticed that I've had some spurts of energy and have been tinkering with the background and changing my blog header. I think I like the one I've just created now with the little Cheep Talk bird. I've been playing with MDS and my new Sweet Pea download, which has the cute paper and felt flower images. They're super cute! But, I was drawn back to the bird from the Cheep Talk stamp set, as I wanted to simplify my header and make it smaller. Here's the other header I had on my blog yesterday, in case you missed it: What do you think? There are a lot of fun elements, but I think it turned out bigger than what I had wanted. So, my latest blog header is a little less "chunky" so you can see more of the page when you come and visit :) For those of you that have blogs and are curious as to what size my header is, I export the MDS image to a JPG and resize it in my Adobe Photoshop. I have a fixed width of 880 pixels across (since I have a 3 column blog), and I just keep the the length and width ratio aspect, so the length ends up being whatever that ratio maintains it to be. Hope that makes sense. If you guys have questions, feel free to leave me a comment and I'll answer back in the comments as well.

I hope to have another post later today, but I still gotta finish up the project, so we'll see. Hopefully, I'll get another spurt of energy! Thanks for visiting :)

Friday, January 29, 2010

January Final Friday Winner Announcement!

Hi all! Happy Friday! Can you beleive we're already at the end of our first month in 2010? Time sure does feel like it's flying! Well, let's announce the winner of the first Final Friday giveaway, shall we?

I was very excited to see that there were 59 comments! Thanks so much for leaving me some love and sharing some kind words :) The lucky winner for the January Final Friday Giveaway is.. lucky number 16 who happens to be Wanda G! Congratulations Wanda!!! Here's what she had to say:
Thank you all for playing! Another thing I really appreciate is everyone complying with the rules about leaving an email or valid URL that I can reach you at. It makes contacting the winners much easier for me! Wanda - I'll be sending you an email soon!

Have a great day, all!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

{love you much} Valentine

2/11/10 - ETA: I thought this card fit the Moxie Fab Tuesday Trigger, so I thought I'd play along! Here's the inspiration photo..

Happy Saturday, blog peeps! Hope you're enjoying your weekend so far. It's a beautiful day today in Southern CA - the rains have gone and the sun is shining on this clean and crisp winter day. I've already had quite a productive morning, too! I went out for a run and also got a chance to make a card today.

I was determined to figure out how to use the new corner punches with the coordinating border punch. I mean, theoretically, I know how to use it, but what's prevented me from using it sooner was having to figure out the dimensions to make sure that the patterns match up. Know what I mean? Thankfully, I discovered some instructions on Gretchen Barron's blog! She's awesome - you should definitely check out her blog for the details {and for lots of other great projects, too}! I have her to thank for my first card using the scallop trim border with the scallop trim corner punch! Wanna see? Now that Gretchen's demystified the scallop corner and scallop trim border punches for me, I have fallen IN LOVE with them!! For this card, I started with a 2 7/8" square piece of Pretty In Pink cardstock. Next, I punched out the 4 corners with the corner punch, which made it easy to align the scallop trim border punch to finish off each of the sides. As you can, see, they align perfectly! Here's a close up - you can check out the Pinking Hearts Border, too: Can you tell I've also been quite enamored with buttons these days? They are such a fun embellishment to add on projects. They definitely give a card some character. Hope you like the card! Here's the recipe.
{love you much Valentine}
All supplies Stampin'Up! except the buttons
*Stamp Set: Well Scripted
*Cardstock: Pretty in Pink, Sweet Pea Designer Series Paper pad, Whisper White
*Inks: Melon Mambo Classic Pad
*Accessories: Scallop Trim Border and Scallop Corner punches, Pinking Hearts Border punch, Scallop Heart of Hearts Embosslit, buttons {PTI}, corner punch
Have a great day. Bye for now!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

{masked} butterfly

Hi there blog friends! The weather outside has continued to be frightful here, but I've found some respite and quiet in making cards this evening. Lately I've been inspired to create cards that have clean and simple lines and today's card share is an example of that, I think. I also used the masking technique, so the card looks more complicated than it really is! I was in an experimental mode with the masking, but I'd have to say I was pretty happy with the final outcome. Here's a look at the full card. The crisp white background really appeals to me. I also have been really into smaller cards - the finished card is 3 1/2" x 5", and again, I used my new favorite SU Notecards that come in a pack of 20. Now do you want to see how I created this masked butterfly? Get ready to see my technologically engineered'll be amazed at how advanced my skills are {heehee}: Now are you impressed? Is it was you were expecting? Well, let me break it down for you. For the butterfly, I used the negative image of the cool new Beautiful Wings Embosslit die {and, as you can see from my scrap piece, I had used this scrap piece for other punches as well!} Then, I used my fancy post-its to cover up the other negative images of the smaller butterflies.
Next, I stamped the script image from the Charming stamp set, and then followed that up by using the sponge dauber to fill in the outline of the butterfly.
After that, I added some color interest to my butterfly by stamping a flower branch on the wings and a heart in the center. Both of these stamps are from the Tiny Tags stamp set {from the Occasions Mini catalog}.
Then, finally, I stamped the *{love}* sentiment after I peeled off the mask. I strung some buttons on linen thread to "embellish" my ribbon, and viola - finished my single layer masked butterfly card. It's so simple to make, yet I think it's such a sweet card. So...what do you think? Would love to hear your feedback! Here's the recipe:
{masked butterfly}
All supplies Stampin'Up! except where noted
*Stamp Sets: Charming, Tiny Tags
*Cardstock: Whisper White 3 1/2" x 5" notecards
*Inks: Soft Suede, Old Olive, Real Red
*Accessories: Beautiful Wings Embosslit (used the scrap of the negative image), Linen thread, buttons {PTI}
Thanks for poppin' in today. Hope you enjoyed your little visit!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Waterfall on the 405

This was taken on my horrendous drive home on the 405 freeway today. That poor car on the other side of the fwy got stuck in the lake beneath that "waterfall" from all the runoff from the road above. It was quite a treacherous drive home, but I'm happy to say I made it home safely after an hour and forty minute drive in these torrential rains! Gonna sit back and unwind a little bit....catch you all later!

Monday, January 18, 2010

sweet little bird

It's quite the stormy week here in Southern CA. We've got "Rain Watch 2010" on all our news channels because rain happens so infrequently here. But I have to say, I enjoy the rain every now and then (not so much driving in it, but if I were home, I would love hearing it tapping on the roof and windows). You see, for those of you not in CA, this is the extent of our winter - can you believe it? The roads weren't bad at all today, though, since lots of people had the day off for Martin Luther King Day. Sadly, I was not one of them. Oh well!

Anyway, I do have a card share for you guys today. It's one of the thank you cards I made to send to our friends and family to thank them for all our fun Christmas gifts. Lucky for me, these were quick and easy to assemble thanks to the 2 Step Bird punch. Can you tell I've taken quite a liking to it? I love the bird and I love the branch. Such a cute punch! Here's a view of the full card: I'm getting a lot of use out of the Sweet Pea Designer Series Paper pad, too. The yellow design print is the reverse of the cute green-and-yellow polka dot print that I used for the birdie's wing. The finished card is 3 1/2" x 5", which SU sells in a pack of 20 which includes envelopes. So handy! Here's the full recipe for you.
{sweet little bird card}
*Stamp Set: Thank You Kindly
*Cardstock: Whisper White, Old Olive, Chocolate Chip, Sweet Pea Designer Series Paper
*Inks: Chocolate Chip
*Accessories: Pinking Hearts Border punch, Extra-Large Two-step Bird punch
Have a great day! Bye for now :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

100,000 hits and January Final Friday Giveaway

Hi all! WooHoo - I just passed my 100,000 blog hits! With that, I thought it would be a great time to announce January's Final Friday giveaway! For those of you who've visited my blog before, you may be familiar with the Freebie Friday giveaways I did last year in 2009. Well, this year, I thought I'd change it up a bit and do one giveaway each month, where I would announce the winner on the LAST Friday of each month. How does that sound? Since I just hit the 100,000 milestone, I'm gonna throw in one of the brand new Sale-a-bration stamp sets! Here's a look at what you could win:
*Scallop Border Punch
*Good Neighbors Stamp Set
Now, in order to play, all you need to do is leave me a comment on this post by midnight Pacific Time on Wednesday, Jan 27th. You have to leave me an email address in the post or a blog URL where I can leave a comment (not just your blogger profile). If there is no way I can get in touch with you from your post, I'm gonna have to pick another winner at random until I have a winner that has all the info. Is that cool? For those of you that are uncomfortable with leaving an email in a post, you can write your info like this: yourname at emailaccount dot com. Hope that helps. The winner will be announced on my blog on Friday, January 29th!

You can leave me a comment about anything, or you can answer this question: What is one thing you want to do in 2010? Mine is to run a marathon. I have yet to register for one, but I am leaning towards doing either the Orange County Marathon or Palos Verdes Marathon, which are both in May. It's a tough schedule to get marathon ready by then, so I really need to be good about training. As a matter of fact, I need to get ready to go out for a 6 mile run this afternoon! I look forward to reading your comments and finding out more about you! Thanks for playing and thanks so much for stopping by!

Monkeying around with Stampin 411's Challenge

Hi all! So glad it's the weekend! Not only did I get to sleep in, but I then proceeded to make some cards while I had my morning coffee. What a great start to the day! I was hankering to do a challenge, so I created 2 cards for the Stampin 411 challenge. How do you like that monkey? Isn't he just too stinkin' cute? He's another stamp from the Fox and Friends stamp set, which I can't seem to get enough of right now! Well, here's a peek at what the sketch looks like and then I'll show you the cards I made. I like the simplicity of the layout and the diagonal background gives you a lot of options to play around with colors and patterns. Here's the full cards I made - basically the same card, but the focal points are completely different. My Monkey card is more kiddish or can even go masculine, while the Sweet Pea is definitely a girly card. Here they are:
I had so much fun playing with a bunch of my new toys from the Occasions Mini! :) Here are the recipes:
{Monkey Card}
All supplies Stampin'Up!
*Stamps: Fox&Friends, Cheap Talk
*Cardstock: Chocolate Chip, Whisper White, Sweet Pea Designer Series Paper Stack
*Inks: Chocolate Chip
*Accessories: Old Olive Satin Ribbon, Scallop Trim Border, 2 Step Bird Punch, Basic Jumbo Grommets, Sweet Pea stitched felt
{Sweet Pea Birthday Card}
All supplies Stampin'Up! except for the twine
*Stamps: Well Scripted
*Cardstock: Chocolate Chip, Whisper White, Sweet Pea Designer Series Paper Stack
*Inks: Melon Mambo
*Accessories: Old Olive and Pretty In Pink Satin Ribbon, Playground Button, Sweet Pea stitched felt
Thanks for stopping by today - have a great weekend!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mobile blogging - take 3

Ok. I'm hoping that the third time's the charm. Thanks to my friend, Rachel, I discovered the BlogPress app on my iPhone. The cool thing is that it's developed especially for Blogger and it's FREE! So, the true test is...will it post pictures? Here goes. This is the picture I attemped to post the other day:

These are the quick cards I made using the I {heart} Hearts stamp set from SU! This picture looks clear on my phone, but apologies if it looks blurry on the blog ;). I'll be excited if the picture posts! So here goes. Would love to hear what you think! By for now.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cute little giraffe

Wow - can you believe I got to do a little bit of stamping tonight?! I feel like I've held out on crafts for way too long already for this year, so I decided to just carve out some time and do it. My fabulously fun goodies I ordered from the SU! Occasions Mini Catalog have been sitting idle in the box just waiting to be I brought them out to play as you can see :) I'm loving Stampin'Up!'s new acrylic blocks and rubber stamp line they've introduced. How do you like the cute and sweet giraffe stamp? Isn't it adorable? I used the Vintage Labels Sale-a-bration stamp set for the sentiment. Now, these stamp sets are also available on the wood blocks, so for those of you that prefer the wood mount, you can still have that, too! How about another look at the card: The paper is from the Designer Series Paper Pad that's also in the Occasions mini and I have to say the papers are just scrumptuous! I'll even say it's one of my all time favorite paper packs that SU has put together so far. I used the Pinking Hearts border punch to step it up a little and finished it off with a button and twine. What do you think? Hope you like it. I thought I'd share a picture of what the acrylic stamps come in {BTW - how cute is THIS Fox & Friends stamp set!}:

It's a DVD sized case with all the images on the front. Inside, you can adhere the rubber stamps in the case, so you can keep all your stamps contained nice and neat in a low profile sort of case. Pretty cool. And, I'm not just saying that. I hope I get to stamp more this weekend!

Stay tuned for my new monthly Final Friday giveaway...I'll be sharing it soon and will announce the winner on the Final Friday of each month! Catch up with you guys in a bit ;) Bye for now!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010's the picture

I guess my first blog post was a true test. I discovered that I need to select the picture first, then compose my email. It's a good learning! On a positive note, I've discovered a new way to post! Yay!

Edited: Hmm..the picture didn't come through. I'll see what I can do to fix that. In the meantime, I'll stick to camera pictures {sadly, I don't have any ready to go for you guys right now..gonna try and work some in later this week!} Good night for's late for me!

My first mobile blog post

Hi there! Just wanted to test out how mobile blogging works. I'm trying to be resourceful and sqeeze in posts when I can, so I thought I'd give this a try.

Here's a picture I took on my iPhone. It's a set of simple cards I made using one of SU!'s new acrylic stamps! Hope you like it...bear with me on the pixture quality!

Have a great day!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Raspberry Suite 21 Card!

Hey blog peeps! I am finally getting around to posting my FIRST card in the New Year! I know, I's already the second week of January, but it's been quite a busy start of the year for me. Lots to do and not a whole lot of time for dilly dallying, yah know? I'm SOOO missing my stamping and crafting time, but it is what it is, right? I'm glad I got to participate in Dawn's Raspberry Suite Challenge 21 before the deadline! So, shall we see what Dawn's got for us for this challenge? Here's the color scheme: I think this comor combo is just yummy! The buttons in the picture are so pretty! The colors I used are Stampin'Up!'s Barely Banana, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla, and the blue I used is from the SU! Good Neighbor Designer Series Paper in the Sale-a-bration mini {which is a pale version of the Bermuda Bay color}. Here's the card I created: It's a quick and simple card, though I was really pleased with how it came out! I used the Two Step Bird Punch from the SU! Occasions Mini catalog {sidebar - I LOVE that punch! It cuts so clean and crisp and has a great spring mechanism that really feels like it punches well}! The branch is also part of the punch, so I punched out the images twice - in Barely Banana the first time, then in Chocolate Chip. Then, I ran the birdie's wing through the Big Shot to emboss it with dots. The scallop circle is from the Scallop #2 Bigz die. Here's the full recipe for you:
{Hello There Birdie!}
All supplies Stampin'Up! except where noted:
*Stamp Set: Cheep Talk
*Cardstock: Barely Banana, Chocolate Chip, Good Neighbor DSP
*Inks: Chocolate Chip Classic Pad
*Accessories: Scallop #2 Big Shot Die, Dots Embossing folder, Two-Step Bird Punch, Satin Very Vanilla Ribbon, Buttons {PTI}
Hope you like it! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's Sale-a-bration time and the New Occasions Mini is here!

Hi all! Just a quick post this morning - it's time for Sale-a-bration! This is a great annual promotion that Stampin'Up! offers from Jan-Mar where you can get some cool FREE products when you order $50 or more! Check out the links in the left column of my blog for the Occasions Mini and the Sale-a-bration. It is truly awesome! And, for those of you that like the acrylic blocks, well, Stampin'Up! is now offering select stamp sets in the Occasions Mini catalog where you have the option of choosing acrylic or wood blocks! The images are still on the quality rubber that Stampin'Up! stamps are known for, although now if you go with the acrylics, you can see exactly where your image is going! Pretty awesome! I'll share pictures in a later post. Gotta get going for now. Have a great day!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A peek at the My Digital Studio program

As one of my 2010 resolutions, I was organizing around the computer today and came upon one of my favorite photos of my grandmother {="Lola" in Tagalog} and I when I was a little tot back in the Philippines. Looking at the picture brings back such a warm memory of my Lola. Thank goodness for technology - I got to scan the picture to save digitally for posterity! Anyway, I thought I'd scrapbook the photo to capture the moment, so I created a one page layout using Stampin'Up!'s My Digital Studio {MDS} program. Here's a screenshot of what the program looks like: It's a great interface that's very user-friendly. I love that you can add stamps, punches, embellishments, decorative papers....and they all coordinate with Stampin'Up!'s line of products. These options appear on the right column in the screenshot above. For this scrapbook page, I used the Cheep Talk stamp set for the birds and branch, and I incorporated some button and ribbon embellishments that are all part of the program. It was fun putting this together! Here's the finished product: See the birds on the top and bottom of the page, and how they are mirror images of each other? That's one of the super cool features of the program - you can flip and rotate images, and change the sizes of them as well. It's pretty awesome. I think I'll definitely be playing with this program more often this year.

Here's more info on MDS: Have a great day!

Friday, January 1, 2010

My favorite cards from 2009

Hi - it's me again. I can't believe it's my 3rd post already this year! Well, I was organizing my picture folders on the computer and of course, I sorta got distracted and started looking at all the pictures I posted on my blog this past year. It was a lot of fun for me to look back, so I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite cards with you. Hope you enjoy!

Last 2009 Freebie Friday Winner!

Hey there! It's time to announce the last 2009 Freebie Friday Winner! Thanks to everyone that played - I appreciate all the Christmas and New Year's wishes :)

The lucky winner is...

Congrats, Amy L! Here's the sweet comment Amy left:

Amy L - please email me your info and I will send you your Freebie!

Have a great day all!