Thursday, April 25, 2013

Just Believe...

...and everything will be just fine!  

This is a great week for stampers everywhere, because the Stampin' Up retiring lists are here.  This means that stampers everywhere are either celebrating, "'Lovely as a Tree' made it again!", or commiserating, "Really?!?  You are taking away 'Elements of Style' and 'Tea Shoppe'?"  

My personal thoughts?  This is one of my favorite times of the stamping year because I get the chance to say goodbye to some of my favorites, like Just Believe, by making something I love with them a few more times.  And, really, let's be honest...we get to keep the stamps!  I think sometimes people forget that retiring a stamp set isn't like retiring from something like the mob.  They don't just "disappear" one night while we are all out for dinner.  We still get to play with them whenever we want, for as long as we want.  

So I took the sketch from Stamping Challenges this week:  

...and made this:

Stampy Stuff:  Stamps:  Just Believe, Cardstock:  Summer Starfruit, Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Print Poetry DSP, Ink:  Island Indigo, Whisper White Craft ink, Accessories:  Linen Thread, Designer Natural buttons, Bitty Banners Framelits, Apothecary Accents Framelits, Big Shot

Believe it or not, this is card you can make in under 10 minutes, start to finish.  

I hope that you will take the time to check out the retiring list at my online store, and if you order be sure to enter the hostess code 2RTKV69E to get a chance to win the hostess benefits for all online orders that are placed using this code.  The beauty of it?  Your order ships straight to you!  No waiting for everyone else, so you can get those great retiring papers, accessories, and other goodies you want and not have to hope they aren't all gone before the order closes.  I am going to keep this event open until May 6th, and once I close it I will notify the winner of the amount of free hostess dollars they have to shop with.  

Thanks for stopping by this week!  I hope that you will take the time to make something that makes you happy this week, then share the happiness with someone around you.  And, if you feel so inclined, leave me a comment here on the blog.  I love knowing that real live people (other than my mom and husband) take the time to pop in and see what I am saying about  

Be sure to stay tuned here for information regarding my big open house at the end of the month!  I would love to see you here to pick up your new catalog and enjoy a fun evening with some great people.  

Until next time, Happy Stamping!  


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Retiring Lists are here!

Want to see what won't be here anymore after June 2nd?  Then go to my website by clicking here, then click onto the banner that you see above to see the list.  You can order online, and enter the hostess code 2RTKV69E to place your order today and get a chance at hostess benefits.  Your order will go in without delay, and once the combined orders make it to hostess level I will pick one person from those that entered orders to get the hostess benefits!  

If the page doesn't load right away, please check it again.  There are a lot of people checking this out today so the servers are a bit slow!  As always, you can call or email me if you have any questions, and until next time, Happy Stamping!  


Thursday, April 18, 2013

From class to challenge...

...just like that!

Today, good readers, I am going to share a secret with you about how I approach almost all, some of our challenge cards.  Our design team has a deadline each week of Tuesday to get our cards completed, photographed, edited, and uploaded so that our amazing team of webmistresses can do their magic and put them all together for you to enjoy.  I know that the deadline is Tuesday, and the sketches are typically put up in batches, which means that I have seen this week's sketch for no less than 4 weeks now.  

Now, knowing all of this, the thing that would make the most sense would be that I would have my card done well in advance of this deadline.  That way, I can shoot my pictures in the really good northern light that comes into my stamp room, have a leisurely cup of coffee while I edit my photo, and then do an easy-peasy load to the group's page and just wait for everyone to tell me that it is a cute card and how much they love ME it.  

What really happens is more like this:  

I have my sketch, this week it is a single-layer so all you really see is the design element of the card against my white background.   

I wait until after the news on Tuesday night and think, "Hey, self, maybe you had better churn out the card you have to have linked up in an hour-and-a-half or else suffer the ridicule and shame of your friends calling to make sure you haven't been abducted by aliens."  (Or, even worse, that your stamps haven't been abducted by aliens.  Shudder.)

I then come into my stamp room and start trying to figure it out.  That is when I notice that I have a perfectly good, almost up-to-the-sketch ready card from my ombre technique class sitting right on my table.  (Insert heavenly choir singing and my Ott light shining down on the card as if it was divinely lit.)  

Stamp:  Just Thinking Cardstock:  Basic Gray, Whisper White, Silver Glimmer paper Ink:  Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose, Melon Mambo Accessories:  Canvas, Organza Ribbon, Smooch Spritz

At 11 p.m. this card did not have the ribbon or butterfly on it.  At 11:03 it did.  It involved me pulling up the canvas that I lovingly glued down earlier, and then propping it up on a bunch of dimensionals, but y'all were worth it.  Not just one, not two, but three whole minutes of extra "work".  That's me, problem solver, people pleaser.  

The point is, sometimes you just have to put down what you are working on, walk away for a bit, and then come back to it to dress it up and get what you wanted out of it.  And when that happens, I promise that you will hear those choirs singing in your head, too!  

I hope that you will take the time to play along with us at Stamping Challenges this week. We love seeing your cards, reading your stories, and letting you know how much we love that you took the time to share your vision with us!  So, until next time, Happy Stamping!


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Look Honey! It's the...

...leaning tower of our mailbox.

Awesome, no?  I know that secretly, really deep down you all wish you had a leaning mailbox like mine, with a faded cedar slat missing off of one side.  You don't have to admit you are jealous, I understand.  Oh, and the dead lantana around it?  Yeah, that is a specialty of mine, killing plants that are designed to live in Texas.  It's a gift really.  

Let me give you a little history of this mailbox, because it is our 3rd one since we moved into our home, and the first of our home improvements that we are doing this spring.  

We live on the corner of Brodie and Accomac, so about every 2-3 years we get someone who meanders off the road and takes out our mailbox.  Our first one got all dented up by a tow truck that was trying to do a 50-point turn between our house and the neighbor across the street.  Our second one got obliterated by someone that I can only assume was being chased by Vikings in Lamborghinis because he couldn't stop to say he was sorry, let alone be bothered with paying for a replacement.  

Part of me hopes that the Vikings caught him a bit down the street.  

And this one?  I think (again, best guess here), that a mailbox elf came along and just kept rocking it back and forth on its rebar base until it ended up constantly tilted to the side.  It sort of looks like a pound-puppy that just heard a strange noise at the neighbor's house, with its little head all tilted like that.  

So, what to do when you have a fun house mailbox?


Point to postman delivered my mail yesterday.  Into this box.  As you see it right now, laying at the end of my driveway.  I don't know if I should give him serious props or ask that he be drug tested, but I'm going to err on the side of thanks that I even got mail yesterday.  

Right now, a very talented stone-cutter is working diligently in my front yard giving me a new, sturdy, GORGEOUS mailbox:  

The part that is covered in that tangerine colored tape (Come on y'all, this is a stamping didn't think I was going to say "orange", did you?) are the house numbers on cast stone.  

And, after a day of working, I now have this in my yard: 

Can I hear a "WooHoo!"?  No more sad little tilted-head puppy, we now have a strong stone sentinel standing watch at the end of the driveway, and hopefully the pizza guy will be able to see our house numbers now.  We like our cheese thermo-nuclear hot around here.  

Enjoy your weekend, and go stamp a card for someone.  That always makes opening your mailbox a lot more fun!  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

So, What's Up?

You know, a little this and that.  Or, I should say "This and That".

Actually, we have a TON going on at Chateau Williams' these days.  After years of wanting to do a lot of stuff to the house, this is the year.  More accurately, these are the two months.  While part of me is excited ("YES!  New paint!  New deck!  New stone mailbox that hopefully won't get run over!"), part of me is less than thrilled ("Oh, we have to empty out my stamp room, don't we?  The deck work is going to take about 10 days, during which time I have to walk my wild dog on a leash?").  I am going to just keep telling myself how absolutely worth it all of this will be once it is done.  I'm pretty sure I can convince myself, too. 

Now, onto a card!  I took the challenge design from Stamping Challenges which was this:  

And pulled out a couple of stamps and some goodies from the new "This and That" kit and came up with this:  
Stamping Stuff:  Stamps--Quint Essential Flower, Collage Curios; Cardstock--Pool Party, Whisper White, This and That Epic Day DSP; Ink--Calypso Coral, River Rock, Pool Party;  Accessories--Scalloped Circle punch, This and That washi tape

Pretty quick and easy, which is what I was going for this week.  I'm pretty sure I'll be leaning toward "quick and easy" a LOT in the next few weeks, especially when my house is in the middle of the chaos that proceeds the finished product.  You may want to be on the lookout for me in South Austin, because while we are in remodeling mode here I am likely to be hiding in the local house of coffee worship (St. Arbucks) enjoying a latte and some stamping away from the wonderful crews that will be here.  

And, I promise that there will be plenty of before and after pictures, with more than one amusing story to share.  Mostly amusing for you, dear readers.  I think I'll probably be able to laugh about them one day, but if Mr. Murphy is correct I'm guessing there will be some hiccups along the path.  

Stamp something that makes you happy, and be sure to share it with us at Stamping Challenges!  Until next time...


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spinning Round and Round

Welcome back, happy stampers!  I have had a spinning round-and-round kind of month, and not in the busy fun way, but in the extreme vertigo that won't stop way.  The good news is, all of my spinning feeling is because there is a minuscule little something in my ear, just floating around in there.  I never realized that one little out of place piece of whatever it is could wreak so much havoc on a girl.  The second bit of good news is, it will fix itself.  Always a plus!  It is when the doctor looks at you and starts scribbling down the name of a brain surgeon that things start taking a downhill turn, and since that hasn't been the case yet I'll count that as a blessing towards me. 

The bad news?  

There is not a thing I can do to hasten the process.  

So, I spin.  

Appropriately enough, this week's challenge was full of spinning circles to play with:

I took the sketch, rolled with it (you see what I did there?) and came up with this: 

Stamp set:  Easy Events
Cardstock: Gumball Green, Very Vanilla, Summer Starfruit, Print Poetry DSP
Ink: Gumball Green, Primrose Petals
Accessories: Summer Starfruit stitched ribbon, Designer Builder Brads, Big Shot with circle nesting dies

Not bad for someone who had to plant her feet on the floor to make sure it didn't move, right?  

Now, for some news to make everyone feel better.  This weekend, from April 6th-8th, Stampin' Up is giving free shipping on every order, no matter what the size.  Want to order a SNAIL refill?  NO SHIPPING!  Need a pack of Pretty in Pink cardstock (it is retiring!)...NO SHIPPING!  Anything you want, no matter how big or small is included.  So, pop over to my webstore, click on Products>Shop Now, and enjoy a weekend of free shipping for anything you want.  Oh, and anyone who orders will get a super-cute card from me as a big "thank you"!  

So check out the the specials, make something pretty, and until next time, Happy Stamping!