Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone has a happy and healthy New Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's Cookie Baking Time!

Yay! I hope your week-before-Christmas is just as sweet.

I found an iPad/Android app called Paprika that has allowed me to consolidate all my recipes into one place. I've taken to cooking off the iPad so this is perfect; it's taking me a bit to load everything but I'm adding only as I cook, so it's not too onerous a task. It's extremely versatile and syncs with my Android phone so I can use the Paprika-generated shopping list in the grocery store. I could go on and on about the benefits of this app (I have a pros/cons list, actually) but I won't today. Maybe I'll do a review after Christmas for like-minded folks. 

Great day wishes to you.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Chubby Little Scrapbook Pins

In early May I visited my sister's house for a crafty girls weekend. There were four of us and no actual crafting happened but a lot of junk shopping and cooking did. My sister scored a box of these cool vintage 2" steel pins at one of the shops and shared some with me. (We won't mention that she found more on her very own studio shelves that same weekend... was it two boxes? three? She forgot they were there.)

Anyway, I sat down to make more scrapbook/card embellishment pins yesterday. When I make these (which isn't often) I usually use the thickest head pins I can find but they're still head pins and very bendy, which I don't really like so much. Sooo, I "discovered" these steel pins on *my* shelves (see? It runs in the family!) and thought I'd give a few of my beads a try.

Most fit! The pins are thick - probably 16 gauge; definitely larger in diameter than my 18 gauge 3" stick pins. I even have a bag of clutches that are too big for the stick pins but work well enough with these chubby little steel ones. Now the pins won't bend as they are glued in place!


In other news, I can't believe CHA is right around the corner! I've barely used any of my goodies revealed at the summer CHA - and still have a wish list! I can't imagine what will be introduced in January! Right now I'm stocking up on Graphic 45's Place in Time for a few projects. Isn't it great when something inspires you so?

(Image courtesy of StopAndScrap.com)

I've been checking out card blogs a lot lately. There's so much beauty, talent and creativity out there! I really miss making one-of-a-kind cards. I'm quite impressed with the mad Distress Ink coloring skills I've been seeing.You all amaze and inspire me!

Thanks for visiting today.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Turkey, Holiday Pins and Etsy Tips

Hi folks! It's been a busy weekend here in KC-land! We're still running on turkey, dressing and mashed potato re-runs. It was a particularly good cooking year for me, so I'm not bored with it all just yet... I tried a few new recipes and most will become "keepers". Plus, I haven't had to cook since Thursday - yay!

The challenge is to remember next year *where* the recipes are. Since I cooked off the iPad sucessfully (rather than print out the recipes), I now need a good iPad app to bring everything together along with my notes and changes. I'd love to add all the other recipes I use so I can ditch the recipe box, recipe pile and recipe notebooks as well as the magazines that I keep for one or two goodies. Does such an app exist for the computer/iPad? What do you use to keep your recipes straight?

I've also been restocking one of the shops with Christmas pins. I had a lot of fun with the kilt pins - the charms are gorgeously detailed TierraCast findings that are fully formed on front and back. The jingle stick pins tickle my fancy and make a tiny little tinkling sound when the wearer moves. Really, it doesn't take much to make me smile!

If you're gearing up for Cyber Monday and all the online shopping deals, don't forget Etsy.com! It's a great source for handmade and vintage treasures as well as a trove of supplies for the do-it-yourself crafters and artists. Many shops already have Cyber Monday sales in full swing. As a matter of fact, both of my shops are 10% off with coupon code TURKEY10. Bet you didn't see that coming, eh? *wink*

Here are a few helpful links and tips:
  • Search using "Cyber Monday Sales" - you can get more detailed with the search on the left column
  • Etsy home page, where you can Browse different sections. You'll need to click on a section to the left - like Women or Men or Kids or even the fabulous Vintage or Supplies. Oh how I love to browse those sections!
  • Know what you want? Use a Categories search instead of Browse. It can be a lot faster if you don't want to get distracted by all the pretties *wink*.
  • Coupon Codes - Always read the shop announcement to see if there is an active coupon code. Here is a link to one of my storefronts - the "shop announcement" is the gray box with this text: **Black Friday, Cyber Monday sale: use coupon code THANKS10 for 10% off your purchase of all items through Monday, November 26!**
  • Coupon Codes again, and this is really important: Don't forget to use it at check out! Look at your shopping cart (full of goodies!) and on the left under "How You'll Pay" is a blue link called "Apply shop coupon code". Click it! Yes, I've forgotten once or twice in the past... If you are buying from more than one shop you'll need to check out separately, but Etsy handles that for you. Just don't forget those coupon codes!
  • Have a question about Etsy? Shoot me an email and I'll gladly help!

Ok, gotta run. We pulled all the Christmas from the attic and now I need to do something with it. :) Thanks for visiting today!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Hiya friends! I am working on Christmas-themed kilt pin/brooches these days as well as new stick pins. I always have a Thanksgiving sale in the shops and guess what? I think I've had my head in the sand because it was a bit of a shock to me that Thanksgiving is next week. Gah! Lots to do... lots to do.

Even more exciting is knowing my Graphic 45 Place In Time order is on it's way. I can't wait to receive it and put some of these ideas into action. :)

Oh, and have you heard that Etsy now accepts gift cards? You buy directly from Etsy and can use it at any shop that accepts gift cards! Click the photo for all the details. Hey, you know, I'll have to put one of these babies on *my* wish list this year!

I hope you are having a great day!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Lovelorn Halloween

The months fell away and he never returned to her.

Happy Halloween, folks! I'll be having chocolate and wine for dinner as the neighborhood kids shiver up to the front door. Bad example? Meh. :) Something has to keep me warm!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Introducing My Fabulous Sister Lora!

Hi folks! Today I'm excited to introduce my big sister Lora to all of you. I won't gush about her too much -even though I could write paragraphs about her wonderfulness- but I will tell you she is extremely important to me as a person and an artist. :)

Here are some of her recent works:

She is an Alpha Stamps October Guest Designer - you can see her tutorial on articulating skeletons HERE. I want the one on the far right SO MUCH, but it's not for me. *sadface*

It's hard to pick a favorite, but "Snow White's Heart In A Box" is really high on my list. This was made for a Craftster swap. The heart is polymer clay and the box is matchbox-size.

This is called "A Traveler's House" and is made from polymer clay. HERE is her original Craftster post with loads of photos!

8 inches tall... 8 inches!

This last share is made from a vintage matchbox that's even smaller than the matchboxes we use today. I actually can't wrap my head around the scale of this one... Click the photo to see the whole house on her blog post and HERE  to see the details on Craftster. It.Is.Amazing.

She has a new website to share her incredible work, Cackle and Hoot. Please visit. She will inspire you, too!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Alice In Wonderland

Hi folks! I'm finishing up my Grease-themed invitation order and will return to more paper-based bloggy fun soon (I can't wait to start Christmas cards!). I took a little time off to make 30 Alice-themed pins for a party. The crafty customer is making mini hats for the guests and will attach these pins along with other froofery. I'm dying to see photos!

Each pin has an Alice-themed charm!

I'll be scheduling tomorrow's post next. I'm over-the-moon excited to introduce you to my sister and her new blog. She's got crazy talent and mad skills all rolled into one wacky chick. :)

I hope everyone in Sandy's path stays safe. Maryland is under a State of Emergency and is a Federal Emergency zone. We're on the coast and even though neighborhoods around us are losing power, we still have it. The most worrisome part for me is that my dog won't go outside in the rain. *sigh* These big storms are tough on him.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pins, Glorious Pins!

Hiya friends! Thought I'd pop in and share what's on the work table. I've been busy with the baubles again and have sparklies in my eyes!

If you're a bauble kind of girl, I'll be adding loads of new stick pins to the Etsy shop today. :)

I have a neat skeleton shadowbox project in the works, also. I'm hoping to finish it BEFORE Halloween. Thanks for visiting!


Monday, October 1, 2012

Custom Invitations

Hiya crafty peeps! Here's a small stack of finished invitations on a big order. I have a wee bit over a hundred more to make and I'm thinking it will be one heck of a festive event!

I'm hoping to eek out a few more Halloween projects in the next week. I think the invitation process is streamlined enough that I can afford the time to get a little more spooky. Maybe... :)

I hope your creative juices are flowing!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Susan, Lately

Edit 9/27: So I didn't realize the photo failed to upload until I returned home. Duh! 

Hiya folks! It's been quiet around here but I just wanted to give you a taste of what I've been up to lately.  :)

We rented a flat in London and have been exploring. This phone bank is in a courtyard outside the flat. :) I'll be back to creating fun stuff and being inspired by all of you in a few weeks.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Charms of the Witching Hour

Hiya folks! I've been playing around with Graphic 45's Happy Haunting today. Look what flew in!

This cute vintage witch is layered up and glittered a little. Isn't she fun?

The black foam clock is cut from a Sizzix die, and the metal clock hands (on the flower) are the same blue as the night sky. I dyed seam binding as black as I could, and added strips of it to strips of pumpkin seam binding. Oh, the black and ivory background paper is G45's On The Boardwalk line. Mix and match G45!

The inside isn't quite done yet. Stickle'd stars are drying as I type. I'll add an "interior shot" when I can.Thanks for visiting today!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Skeleton's Cure?

Hiya folks! Have you seen the My Mind's Eye Lost & Found Halloween line? It's delicious!

I used a sticky canvas sheet for the background and MME Halloween papers for the rest. The skeleton is a Tim Holtz stamp that was stamped, cut with a teeny tiny blade, and embossed with clear powder.

I used Glossy Accents on both the potion bottles on front and the skull inside. It's a nice and creepy effect! The black paper swirl on the right edge is cut with a Sizzix On The Edge die and roughed up with Picket Fence Distress Stain and brown ink.

Of course there's a gift box to go along with it!

This is the second time I used a wee blade to cut the skeleton. I swore last time that I wasn't going to do it again... Eh, whatever! It was much easier this time and I'm glad I took it on. :) Speaking of glad, I do love having the card fold on the left edge. It is taking a little time to get used to, though. What do you think? Can you imagine your cards on the left?

Thanks for stopping in today!

Cheers, Susan

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Tilda Witch Shares A Little Magic

Hiya! Last year I missed getting Fancy Pants' Oct 31 paper line but was thrilled recently to find it on an online clearance rack. Yay! I dusted the cobwebs off the Magnolia stamps yesterday and found this little Tilda gem. I had fun coloring her up and pairing with Oct 31!

I've put the fold on the left side and let me tell you, it is taking time to get used to! I've made dozens of cards with the fold on top but not once have I turned it on the side. I like it!

Loads of layers on this one. :) My favorite part is the spider - he might look scary but he actually jingles!

Thanks for visiting today!


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Boo! New Pins... Eek!

Hiya crafty folks! Just a quickie post today. I've been MIA *here* but still busy as a one-armed paper hanger. While needing a break from other projects-in-progress I got hit by the Halloween stick and made up new pins for the shop. Here's a sampling, to be listed by the end of today.

I don't know about you but I've designed a handful of fun Halloween cards and tags in my head. If only I could get by without sleep... those hours would be very useful in the studio!

Thanks for visiting today.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

There's This Party, See...

Hiya! Up to my ears, folks. Having only one work surface and the penchant to spread out, I can work on one thing at a time. Here's a bit of what's on my table top now:

The lucky birthday girl is having a sock hop and inviting loads of cool cats and chicks. The music will go on to at least 10 o'clock. To spare you I won't break into song, but the soundtrack of Grease has been a staple in my head lately. I even sound like Sandra Dee when I sing... really.

This is a small fraction of the parts. There are a lot more to color and cut. For now I'm going to be "systematic, hydromatic, ultramatic...."


Thanks to everyone who voted for my neon pinks! I won 3rd place which means a $50 gift certificate to Bello Modo. Yay!

I put everyone's name in a bowl and out popped sweet Kira! I know exactly what I want to make for you. :) Please use the email button to the right and send your mailing address when you get a chance. I'll clear away a space and get crackin'!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Shameless Begging For Facebook Votes (and a giveaway!)

Hi folks! Remember this neon pink Swarovski bracelet set from a few weeks ago?

I made it to experiment a little, step outside my chainmaille "box" *and* to enter a Swarovski contest at a favorite bead shop called Bello Modo.

There's a chance I could win one of three huge gift certificates to the store and I need your voting help. Pretty pleeaase...

Here's the scoop: If you are on Facebook, please go to the Bello Modo contest page and vote for my "Summer Lovin' " bracelet and earrings set by Friday, August10th.

If you do get a chance to vote please comment here to let me know. I'll pay it forward by having a surprise giveaway for one random voter. Thanks so much!


{WIP} Butterfly Mini Album

Hiya friends! When I needed to start a new project last week I stood in front of the paper wall and waited until something jumped out at me. As I looked at the shelves and stacks of paper collections I focused in on the pack of Bo Bunny Gabrielle. I originally bought it to make an album, so an album I made.

Sort of...

It's been a while since my last big album and I forgot how much of a labor of love it is to complete. This one is 6 pages and has around 16 photo mats. I adore this paper collection and am so glad I saved it for the album. All the details aren't finished, but when it's complete I'll post it. I think I'm going to recuperate a bit first. :)

That's it for me - sorry to be a mini album tease.... :)


Friday, July 27, 2012

TweedleDee & TweedleDum: Punkinheads!

Hello hello hello! I think I can eek out a few projects for this G45 Halloween in Wonderland paper. As I said before I'm not a rabid Alice fan, but I do froth at the mouth a bit for G45...

The twins are popped up, and each layer sits high above the card, with lots of sewing. :) One of these days I should challenge myself to make a card without sewn edges.... or maybe not.

Ok, that's it for me. It's going to be a hot one today - it's already 84 degrees at 9am! The forecast is just shy of three digits by this afternoon. Yikes! I'm venturing out to find walking shoes and then hiding inside so I don't melt. :) Hope you have a great day!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #164

Or, What's (Not) On Your Workdesk, Susan? Sheeps. It's busy here, but I'm in the midst of a card and trying to figure out the embellishments.

Actually, I'm trying to figure out the embellishments with what I already have on hand rather than running out to the fabric or craft stores. I've always been woefully short on black lace, trim and flowers and always end up scrambling and scrounging. I can see a black binge coming on...

So, what's on the desk? A card using G45's Halloween in Wonderland and all the mismatched bits I'm trying out. On the floor is the adhesive bin from the black Iris stand behind it. A Cropper Hopper sleeve with orange scraps. Beyond that - see the clear plastic thing? - is an over-the-door shoe rack that I was using for wood mounted stamps and punches. I've had it around for about 10 years and it finally gave up on me and tore away from the hooks. Right now I'm just walking around it until I can go to Target for a replacement.

It's been hard to figure out what to do with this paper. I'm not a huge Alice fan *gasp* but got the paper on a screamin' deal a couple of months ago.

"Buy it and the ideas will come", said the voice in my head. :)

Thanks for visiting. As always, I will try my best to visit your desk before next WOYWW. If I sit at the laptop I can fly through like a witch on a broom, but the iPad (which I use 97.6% of the time) is a little wonky with commenting on blogger blogs so it takes longer. Anyone else have this problem?I use the iPad 2, but I'm not sure it matters.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gather 'Round - It's Story Time

Hiya dear friends! It's another scorcher outside so why don't we all just gather around (in this cool air conditioning) for a little story?

Make yourself comfortable. It's a little snug with all the fairies filling the small spaces, but I think we can manage! After all... it's bigger on the inside...

It's a 3 1/4" x 5" tin set up on a pedestal that was sanded, painted, distressed, painted and sanded some more until the colors were just right.

It's similar to another I made in February.  I had many leftover bits and pieces from the first that I just had to make another. :) This time I put it on a stand and used vintage tatting as trim.

Fussy cutting is a favorite technique, and there's a lot of it here! You can't see in the photos, but there are little flowers all over the inside corners. It's a nice little surprise if you peek in...

Thanks for visiting. Have a great day!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

We Will Look Fabulous!

Hello hello! I've been busy lately and want to share one of my latest cards. A while ago... a looong while ago I found a clearance stack of Marie Antoinette paper, all glitzy and glittery. How could I pass it up?

 Here's one in a short series of one-of-a-kind Marie Antoinette cards.

Only the front is done so far and I love the bright colors! The elements are cut out and popped up for dimension. Now to finish the inside and make a box. :)

Thanks for visiting!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What's On You Workdesk? Wednesday #163

Hiya! Yes, I know, it's yet another post about my studio. *sigh* I have a couple of overdue posts in the queue but can't sit down long enough to finish them. They include stuff I've made as well as stuff other people made and sent to me {lucky girl}. 

Missed WOYWW last week *gasp* because I was in the THROES of throwing things out or shoving them into the hallway. You see, last Friday was the 4th Annual "Where Bloggers Create" kick-off (see this post if you'd like a long poke around) and I decided to spiffy up the joint, including the closet. It was scary, but everyone came out alive.

Right now, though, this is on my table.  

Yesterday I finished a sample for a potential customer. [Yes, I hate the ribbon, too... it's just a sample!] The card is based on one I made a while ago, which I dearly love. The order might include an album so I was playing around with ideas.

Since I didn't show this bit in the WBC post and it's the reason I missed you all last week, here's the closet.

Imagine all of those shelves filled high with a mish-mash of unidentifiable stuff. Now imagine that mish-mash all over the floor. Yep, that's how it was. I didn't touch the top shelf and the bottom still looks chaotic, but I  know what's there. The middle shelves are the important ones, containing shipping boxes and envelopes I don't have to dig for, stuff in my Etsy shops and ribbon to tie it all together.

If you stand on one foot, tilt your head to the left and squint you can see the original jukebox card on the bottom shelf. It's with all the other cards I can't bear to part with...

Thanks for visiting today! If you'd like to see more WOYWW  table tops visit Julia's Stamping Ground!


Friday, July 13, 2012

4th Annual Where Bloggers Create Party!

We all love to share our spaces and peek into others, right? Karen at My Desert Cottage makes it possible for many wonderful bloggers to have a walk around studio spaces from all over the world. I'm really excited to participate this year's event. Welcome!

The family story is that my father-in-law was weighed on this scale as a wee one. So sweet! Piled on top is my ever-growing collection of antique and vintage lace. I have a soft spot for doilies.

Now, on to the room itself. I've learned that if I can't see it, I won't use it. This is the view from the doorway. One day I'll figure out how to marry my love of old with my love of these metal racks so they don't feel so... metal.

Most of my art is paper-based. The communication-themed shadow box is my work, while the gorgeous greeting card was sent by a blogging friend. 

 I like to work on a small scale, so 6x6 and 8x8 paper pads are essential.

Of course, there are a couple of manufacturers I cannot resist in 12x12; half of these trays are Graphic 45 alone!

One can never have too many paper flowers!

I set up this die-cutting station so I don't have to move the die cutter to my work table. When I'm in the throes, there isn't usually much room on the table! The baskets on the left are filled with dies and embossing folders.

Another aspect of my art is jewelry. From fun hat pins to fine silver bracelets and earrings, I love detail work. These bins hold crystals and findings for my pins as well as semi-precious gemstones, lampwork beads and hand made Argentium silver jump rings for chainmaille jewelry.

I use this carousel for anything and everything that is small enough to allow it to spin. the bottom is filled with flowers and the top has anything from vintage ephemera to glass bottles and metal bits. The shelves below hold the "to be altered" items including tins, cigar boxes and mini album blanks. The art was a Christmas gift from my incredibly talented skilled sister. :)

I've agonized over lace storage. This seems to be a good way to keep the selection accessible and neat.

Here's my work table. It's a secondhand kitchen table found on Craigslist (plus an extra chair from my own kitchen table set). The wall shelves hold gifts, swaps and some of my own favorite pieces.

I've been fortunate enough to swap with very creative folks!

The drawers hold jewelry pliers and tools as well as an assortment of pens. On top are the first two chainmaille bracelets I made. Even though they need a good cleaning, they are sparklier than this photo shows.  The ATC octopus is a swap and the fairy bits are a prize won. (I'll have a blog post about it after this one.) The tin is mine, called "Fairy Stories".

Ready to start another project...

Thanks for visiting! The colmplete list of participating blogs can be found HERE. Enjoy!