Monday, May 19, 2014


I ordered 2 sets of the new Blendabilities alcohol markers on my pre-order and have had a little time to play with them.  Here are my first 3 attempts to color a flower with them.  Can you believe my first attempt was better than my second???  I was basically just coloring with them and couldn't get them to blend.  I watched a couple of videos but didn't get the "magic" tip that could make my blending better.  Then I was at a friend's house who has had a lot of experience with the other alcohol markers and she told me to just color 1 or 2 petals at a time.  I was going over the whole flower with the dark, then the medium, then the light shades.  By the time I started on the next shade the previous one had dried too much to blend.  Makes total sense but I never thought about it while I was coloring with them before.  And none of the videos I had watched had included that tip.  It made a huge difference in being able to blend the colors, as you can tell with the 3rd attempt.  The coloring was kind of sloppy but you can see that the blending was much better.  I still need a lot of practice but I'm more excited about the markers now that I can blend them and have the shading look better.
I used the new Blended Bloom individual stamp to stamp the flowers with Memento ink that Stampin' Up has added to it's catalog because it is the best ink to use with the Blendabilities markers.  The markers come in sets of 3, a light, medium and dark shade so that the colors will be the right shades to blend well.  I used the Coastal Cabana trio to color the flower. 

After I got the hang of it I got out a second color set of markers, the Old Olive assortment and stamped up a card front from a new hostess set that will be in the new catalog that will begin on June 1st called Bloom With Hope.  It is an 11 stamp set that has 5 sentiments and 6 flower parts.  I used the largest flower and the stem and leaves.  The Happy Birthday also is in the set.  I stamped it a little crooked, it may need some intervention unless I get used to the tilt of it.  The blue cardstock and ribbon may look a little unfamiliar to you, it is from the new 2014/15 In Color collection.  It is called Lost Lagoon. I love the new Stitched Satin Ribbon that comes in the new In Colors shades, isn't it beautiful?  I will be using the other 4 colors in projects soon.  They are Blackberry Bliss, Hello Honey, Mossy Meadow and Tangelo Twist. 
I'm not saying I am now an expert at blending but I am very pleased with my progress.  I will get better as I practice and get more experience.  I wasn't being all that careful in my practice pieces either so I need to watch the lines more.  Another tip I heard was to not color all the way up to the lines because the alcohol ink tends to bleed some.  I think I need to pop open the small end more often too so I can get in the smaller areas and tight corners. 

The new catalog is an amazing catalog, I'm so excited about it!  There are still many of our favorite stamp sets from the past in it but there are so many new sets that will be so much fun to add to my stamp collection.  I hope to spend more time scrapbooking now.  I have neglected my scrapbooks for making cards the past couple of years.  Scrapbooking was my original passion but cards are so quick and easy, I have been going with the more instant gratification of seeing my art finished more quickly.  It is nice to have lots of cards ready any time I need to send one to someone too.

There are 12 color sets of the new Blendabilities markers.  The set of 3 sells for $11.95 so that is only $4 per marker.  That's better than the regular price of the other brand of alcohol markers in the local craft stores.  I was pleased about that.  Of course, having them in colors that match Stampin' Up's cardstock is a wonderful bonus!  I love not having to struggle to find something to match.  There is also a skin tone assortment of 6 colors so you can color anyone  :~)  I need to get the new Color Lifter pen too, I make so many mistakes! 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

New Catalog, New Stamps and Tornadoes

I know this is long so if you don't have time to read just scroll down to the bottom to see a couple of samples with a brand new stamp set.
Stampin’ Up is an innovative company and always comes up with creative ways to do things.  I’m always amazed when I go to their conventions at all the little fun things they include to make it extra special.  They tried something new last month to show the demonstrators the new 2014/2015 catalogs.  They had a catalog premier show.  The live show was filmed somewhere in California but there were dozens of movie theaters all over the US that the live show streamed to.  We were invited to get a ticket to our nearest theater and attend and watch along with the ones able to attend the live event.  Pretty cool! 
The event was on April 28th.  I thought one would be in Nashville which is only about 50 miles away but there wasn’t one in Nashville.  The nearest ones were all right around 4 hours away, Knoxville, TN; Louisville, KY and Birmingham, AL.  I was thinking about going to Knoxville but a friend emailed me and asked if I wanted to go to the one in Birmingham with her.  I had been wanting to get to know her better so I went to the one in Birmingham.
We left about noon to give us plenty of time in case of traffic or getting lost, etc.  We found the theater with no trouble at 4PM.  We couldn’t get in till 5 and the premier didn’t start till 6 so we went across the street to a Moe’s we saw there.  Yum!  We don’t have one here so we enjoyed a nice fresh supper and went back to the theater.  We got back a few minutes after 5 so went on in.  There were 2 employees at the counter so we went to them to ask where to go for the premier.  They told us that because of the weather Stampin’ Up had cancelled it. 
I’m pretty sure my mouth dropped open.  I was having a lot of thoughts going through my head.  We had just driven for 4 hours, had a hotel room and most of all we wanted to see the new catalog!  I also had some very confused thoughts about how the tornado warnings that Birmingham were under would affect California and wondered if Knoxville was cancelled too.  Then they told us the feed would probably be interrupted at their theater so we wouldn’t be able to see it anyway and Stampin’ Up was concerned about our safety so wanted us to find a safe place during the storm.
We went back out to the car, terribly disappointed and thinking that if we just headed back home we could get here by 9:00 so we might as well cancel the hotel and go home.  There were some other demonstrators getting back in their cars and leaving so they had already gotten the news.  Then another car drove up so we decided to go talk to them.  As we were visiting and all feeling bad about the cancellation more people arrived.  Then we started calling Stampin’ Up asking about it.  The person I talked to told me that someone was on their way with the catalogs so we decided to wait for her before leaving.  At least we would get to see the new catalog and all the wonderful new stamps and other supplies it contained!
Then one of the people we had talked to in the theater came out.  She said that the feed was working so we were welcomed to come in and watch as much as the storms would let come through.  Yay!  We were hoping that we would at least get to see an hour or so of the premier show.  At this point I wasn’t even considering tornadoes.  So we all went in and got our seats.  The person with the catalogs showed up and since nobody knew how the evening would go she handed them out first.  I guess all the other demonstrators in theaters across the country without storm warnings had to wait until after the show to get their catalogs.  We also got a free stamp set.  It was a very versatile looking background set.  I liked it but didn’t have a clear vision of it’s many uses yet. 
That is the set they were using for the projects they demonstrated.  Every project they did with it made me love it even more!  It is such a versatile set, you will see lots and lots of samples made with it I’m sure.  The feed continued uninterrupted except for a flicker when lightning struck nearby.  We could also hear the thunder rumbling any time there was a few seconds of silence on the show.  We were able to see the video till the end so we were happy about that.  Once it was over we drove to the hotel and managed to get into the room just as it started to rain. 
It wasn’t long until a storm siren went off nearby.  It sounded like it was very close.  We decided we should turn on the local news and see what was going on.  A tornado had hit Tuscaloosa which is about 50 miles SW of Birmingham.  There were tornado warnings for Birmingham and all around the area.  The storm coverage on the news showed them getting closer and closer to our hotel.  And the siren kept going off every 10 minutes or so.  I live way out in the country so I don’t usually hear the sirens so this one so close and so often was a bit unnerving for me.  I don’t usually stress out over tornado warnings.  I just keep an eye on the news and listen for the “freight train” so I can head to the basement if needed.  We have a nice safe place down there.
Juanita and I put our suitcases in the bathroom along with a couple of pillows to cover our heads with if we had to hop in the bathtub.  Each bed had 3 pillows so we had plenty of extras.  We slept in our clothes and sat listening to the news and looking at our new Stampin’ Up catalogs.  Thank goodness we had that little distraction to keep us from freaking out too bad.  I didn’t feel nearly as safe in that hotel room as I do when I’m home.  I tried to call my husband but his new cell phone had some kind of problem and wasn’t working.  We often have that kind of wonderful timing . . .
One of the roving reporters was at a gas station not far from us.  He kept putting his microphone in people’s faces asking them if they were worried.  Duh!  After they had returned to him several times during the filming the whole place started shaking and pieces of the roof tiles started falling.  I had to laugh at the news reporter because he was so scared but didn’t want to show it on camera.  It wasn’t funny at all and It was headed straight at me but sometimes reporters can be a bit obnoxious so I couldn’t help laughing at him. I’m sure he was relieved when they turned off the camera and he could get in the back storage room where the customers had gone!  When they came back to him a bit later he was showing things that had blown down off the shelves and went outside and one of the gas pumps had been blown over onto a car that was parked beside it.  I guess they thought that would be a safe place to park while they sought shelter inside.
That was about 10:45. The storms were so close to us.  And that infernal siren kept going off!  Our area of Birmingham was told to get in our safe place.  The tornadoes were less than 10 miles away from us.  My daughter who lives in Colorado texted me about that time to ask if I was spending the night in the basement.  I told her I wasn’t home, I was in Birmingham. She had seen the news and knew that wasn’t a good thing.  I asked her to pray for us.  - Then we prayed for us.  About 10 minutes later they said the tornado warning had been cancelled!  Whew!  I could breathe again! We were so thankful for that news.
We took off our shoes but slept in our clothes with cell phones and flashlights beside us just in case another storm came along after we turned off the weatherman.  Once I fell asleep that was it.  I didn’t wake up at all until it was light outside the next morning.  This is a trip I won’t soon forget!  If you are still reading, thanks for sticking with my long story.  Now for what you come to my blog for, stamping!  Here are more samples with the Work of Art stamp set. 
First is a card with a simple background, inked up the swoop stamp once and stamped it 3 times so it is lighter with each stamp.  I think it makes a great background for butterflies to fly over!
Second is another card with the swoop, this time it is turned like an arch and is rainbow-like.  The sentiment and the hearts are also in the Work of Art set.  This one was a quick and easy card too.
Last is a card I used the technique to ink up the embossing folder before embossing the paper.  I used the circle stamp from Work of Art to stamp the white on the Blushing Bride background cardstock.  The Thank You sentiment is also in the Work of Art set.  I'm glad the Natural Chevron Ribbon is in the new catalog, I love that stuff!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

National Scrapbooking Day

National Scrapbooking Day is the first Saturday in May.  Since today was that day I'm glad I got to spend the day at Lake Barkley in KY at a weekend scrapbook retreat.  I did a couple of layouts and 5 cards so far.  I took a couple of nice walks today and enjoyed the woods and the lake.  Lots of boats were out today, fishing boats, pontoon boats, sail boats and speed boats. It is a beautiful day and I enjoyed being to be outside and take a nice long walk.  Here is a picture of the lake and another one of the lodge we are staying at.  It is at a Girl Scout camp and is very nice.  I wouldn't say the beds are the most comfortable in the world though!  I did sleep well last night though. 
Here is one of the layouts I made today.  I used my new stamp set I got at the New Catalog Premiere party in Birmingham, AL Monday night.  That turned out to be quite the adventure and way too much for a post that I'm putting up just past midnight.  Anyway, I used the new Work of Art stamp set.  It is great for backgrounds.  I had fun with this layout.

 I also made 5 cards today.  Here are 2 of them.  I used the long, narrow stamp to make a plaid background on the pink/purple card.  A few dogwood blossoms from the Flower Shop card with a small flower punched from Silver Glimmer paper finishes off the top corner of the card.  The second card uses a more random design and then I stamped the same colors on a small scrap of Whisper White cardstock and punched it out with the Pansy Punch.  They were both pretty quick and easy.  It's late so I reckon I ought to head to my bunk.  Good night!