Friday, May 29, 2009

Worth A Read

Earlier today, a former employer encouraged me to read THIS article from the May 24th edition of The New York Times. The words the author wrote explain very well the importance I hold in paper, letter writing, and stationery. My relationship with my husband began and thrived on letters and often I wonder why we didn't continue that communication even after we were married. I encourage you to read the article, too. It is well worth your time.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Room With A View

Well, maybe if you want to watch my neighbors' hostas...

Anyway, I thought I might share a few photos of my craft room today. It is rarely this clean, but Monday was our annual Memorial Day party and I cleaned and organized it to the nth, fueled by the worry that Sean may want to give one of his signature tours. He loves to walk people around our house and say ridonkulous things like "It may not look like much, but this room is like a clown car. Just open that closet and you'll see what I mean." What kind of a mean boy shows guests a woman's closet?

So, like I said, the craft room is about as clean as it will be all year. An opportune time to share a few glimpses of my creative space, me thinks. Keep in mind while you're reading this post that the room is only about 7' x 11', so I have to make the most of every bit of space I can.

We'll start at the door. That giant pair of resin scissors is from Hobby Lobby. I saw them on Nichole Heady's blog and I was on a mission to find them. I think they're super fun.

Directly inside the room is an enamel table upon which my laser printer makes his home. I say his because it is stubborn and inconsistent and difficult. I'm only sort of kidding. My computer also lives on this table every so often. The nice thing about my computer is that it can live anywhere. Under the table is my waste basket and egg basket full of books, receipts, and business materials of all sorts (most of the business stuff is in my office downstairs). There is a giant dry erase calendar to the right of the table, but it's nothing to look at right now. I haven't filled out June yet and May was just messy.

Above that table is a little wall art thingie I put together using a bunch of mini frames I bought at Target some time ago. Inside each frame is a stamped, colored, or embellished image from my stamp arsenal. I wanted to stay with a nature theme. I quite like how that project turned out and will be showcasing these frames a few at a time over the next week.

Just to the left of that table is a little Ikea fixture and my Ivory soap box just under my window. Gus likes that window because it offers prime critter watching.

The fixture to the left of the window is a CD/DVD rack from Target. I knew I didn't want a regular bookshelf because the shelves are so deep and it would waste a lot of floor space. Nothing I use is more than 7 inches deep and this fixture is perfect for my needs. It's also nice because almost all of the shelves adjust giving me total flexibility. This shelving unit holds everything from clear stamps and ink pads to my my Cuttlebug and embellishments. That plastic drawer unit on top of the fixture houses my smaller punches and the chipboard templates I have designed myself.

The closet houses all of my paper and scraps. The wire rack has all of the 12 x 12 goodies and reams along with Sterilite drawers containing most of my envelopes and a Sterilite box containing all of my wood mounted stamps (I've been working on unmounting them to reclaim that space, but it's been a slow process). The larger Sterilite drawers contain chipboard, specialty paper sheets, and random tools (paper crimper, heat gun, etc). On top of that fixture are clear shoe boxes filled with paper scraps separated by color and 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock. That top box is full of greeting cards that I keep for reference. There are also some bags of fabric, alterables, and spent toner cartridges in this space.

The bookshelf to the left of the closet houses a motley crew of bulky tools, fabric, alterables, albums, and a giant basket of foam stamps. This bookshelf is really a piece of junk, but it's still sort of standing (for now) and will have to do until I can afford or find something more stable.

This wall may be my favorite wall right now. These are the Bygel rods, baskets, and cups from Ikea. This system has really helped me get a little more organized. My large punches can hang on the rods while the baskets hold spools of ribbon, adhesives, and stamp cleaning tools. The "S" rings are great for larger sets of dies and scissors. I'm hoping to go back again soon and get a few more rails and baskets.

Below that rail system is my sewing table and jars of ribbon wrapped around clothespins. My recycling bag is also there on the floor next to the table. I try to recycle every itty bitty paper scrap I can. The only stuff that doesn't make it into that bag is the tiny nonsense that gets imbedded into the carpet.

Well, that's all! You may have noticed that you've not seen any magazines or books. Those are on a short bookshelf on the landing next to my armchair (I'm sorry did I say "my"? What I meant was the cats' armchair). You may have also noticed that there are no work tables or chairs. I work sitting on the floor. I like being able to be practically on top of my projects, so this is the best set up for me. I'm also pretty much out of wall space so there's not a great place to put a table. When I need a hard, flat surface I will use my drawing board on the floor or work on the coffee table on the landing.

If you have any questions leave me a comment or send me an email and I'll be happy to address those questions in a future post. Thanks for taking a room tour with me. Have a great day!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Agora Recap

Agora was great. I love that they added craft vendors this time. I had a lot of fun hanging under the white pop-up with Wendel and hoping the weather would hold. There was one itty bitty storm, but it was gone as quickly as it came. It was windy though and the air got super chilly after the rain clouds passed. I was really glad I brought my jacket. I ate a Rad Dog and a tiny cupcake from Little Darlin' Cupcakes...I reveled in their nummy-ness. I did take my camera, but was foolish and forgot to take photos. The new card spinner made a huge difference. I'm glad I bought tent weights. It was a good day. I don't have an event for a little while, so I hope to get back in the swing. I'll also be taking photos of my newer products and adding those to the Etsy shop sometime this week. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and I'll catch you later.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Pretty Pastel Birthday Card

Today's card is actually a similar design to one I made back in February. I wanted to design a pretty, soft birthday card and the layout and stamp set just seemed to fit the bill.

I started with a white base layered with a piece of patterned paper from Crate Paper. I placed the brads before adhering the patterned paper to the base because I like to keep the inside of my cards "clean." These brads were actually white brads that I colored by rolling them in Spring Moss ink and setting the color with clear embossing powder. I love to use this technique for those times I just don't have quite the right color on hand. Then, I knotted a piece of stitched pink ribbon around the entire card before mounting the focal image with foam tape.

To crate the focal panel, I started by stamping the daisy in Frost white and Spring Moss inks onto Spring Moss cardstock. I wanted the flower's center to really pop so I stamped it in Sweet Blush ink onto white cardstock and sponged the edges for a little umph. I really love the way it makes the center look almost rounded. That was then mounted to the daisy with foam tape as well. I finished the stamping by adding a birthday sentiment from Faux Ribbon in Frost White ink.

The daisy image was adhered to a piece of Linen Vellum cardstock to frame it and make it a little more special. I love that the vellum has such a great texture and in this case it works better than regular cardstock because it's just a little softer. The scalloped edge was achieved by using a Martha Stewart punch. I generally gravitate toward more pronounced scallops, but I really like the wide, scooping scallop on this punch.

I hope you've enjoyed today's card. Please visit again soon!

Cardstock: Spring Moss - Papertrey Ink; Ultimate White - Strathmore
Patterned Paper: Blueberry Hill Collection - Crate Paper
Stamps: Floral Frenzy, Faux Ribbon, Beautiful Blooms - Papertrey Ink
Ink: Spring Moss, Sweet Blush - Papertrey Ink; Frost White - Colorbox
Ribbon: Pink Stitched - Michaels
Brads: White Mini Brads - American Crafts
Tools: Scalloped Edge Punch - Martha Stewart Crafts
Other: Clear Embossing Powder; Heat Gun; Foam Tape - Scotch