Friday, March 25, 2011

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Hallelujah! I actually stamped again! And I have an adorable card to share with you. Thanks to a little help from my dear (and oh so talented) friend Maureen, that is! I guess I can call her my first "Guest Designer" :-)

At one of our recent club workshops, Maureen had the cutest card for us to make! I absolutely fell in love with it and asked her if she'd mind if I copied it to put on my blog. I've been hoping for Maureen to start a blog of her own but she seems to have no interest in blogging herself. So, when I asked her permission to use her card design she didn't hesitate to give me the go ahead.
Thank you, Maureen!

Aren't these the cutest cards? It's funny- Maureen and I have very different stamping styles and rarely are attracted to the same things in the Stampin' Up! catalogs. She gravitates to the fun, cute, trendy and whimsical while I tend to be attracted to the vintage, romantic, flowery and elegant styles and images. However, we seem to be each others biggest fans, lol, and love what each other does.

The card above is the one I made at her house copying exactly what Maureen had designed.
I had no intention of buying the Stampin' Up! Create A Cupcake set she used, or the punch to go with it, but once again Maureen "made me" rethink my order! ;-) As I often tell her "It's all her fault!" when I end up buying way more than I had intended, lol!

As you can see here in this close up, her cupcakes have this awesome glitter on them. There was no label on the jar, so we are unsure where this glitter originated. But we seem to think this is one of SU!'s chunky glitters that may have just been out for a short time in a mini catalog. It's just like the chunky glitter now available in silver (and other colors), only it's got an iridescent look to it. Kind of like the dazzling diamonds but with a bit more pink to it and it's chunky. It's super pretty! If it is by SU! I sure wish they would bring it back!

And here is my version of Maureen's card. I made a couple of slight changes: I didn't have the same ribbon she used, so I substituted sheer polka dots. And I decided to raise the cupcakes a tad and stamp the "Happy Birthday" sentiment underneath.

And, since I didn't have the same kind of glitter, I had to concoct my own. I used Stampin' Up! chunky clear along with Dazzling Diamonds and sprinkled in a little fine pink glitter by Marcella K. This was added on top of the Pink Pirouette ink (Maureen had used Pretty in Pink).

And for this blue card, I used the same glitters except rather than the pink glitter, I added some Martha Stewart Blue Sapphire glitter stamped over Baja Breeze ink. I also stamped the bottoms in Crumb Cake ink instead of Chocolate Chip.

So there you have it. My CASEing of my friend's cards. I am so thankful for having an easy project to get me back into things a little. One that I could just copy and not have to do too much trial and error in the process of making it.

As I have mentioned previously, I am having a lot of trouble with my hands. I am currently going to an Occupational Therapist and hoping to avoid surgery. I have nerve damage in both of my hands and my left elbow. So, until I am better I am limiting my stamping. And typing, too. Uuggh... it's so hard to have to pull back from the things you love to do! But I have to remember to keep my faith and go by the little words I have up here on my blog: "In everything Praise God". I know He will never leave me or forsake me, and that He loves me. He is my strength and my shield. I am trusting in Him that I will be healed and back to doing what I so very much love to do. I also strongly believe in the power of prayer, so if you are a praying person, I would so appreciate your prayers for healing. This is quite a frustrating time for me, and I truly miss stamping and blogging. So, I will do it as often as I can without pushing myself too much.

Thanks for stopping by today. I will try my best to post again soon. I have a couple of other little cuties Maureen gave me to share with you for next time!

And thanks again, Maureen. I love you, Girlie! You are such an awesome friend! :-)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Stamp Room Reorganized!

Finally! I am ready to give you a tour of my stamping studio! Since I have not yet mastered how to do a YouTube video, you'll just have to take the pictorial tour ;-)

This room used to be my daughter's bedroom. When she got married and moved out, at last I had a chance to get my own stamping space. And our family got back their dining room! :-)

It is located downstairs, which is really convenient for me. I can scoot in and out all day in between whatever else I am doing. My computer is in here, my music is in here, along with pretty much anything I could want for making cards and scrapbook pages. I absolutely love being in here!

So come on in and take a look!
(Note: if you click on the photos, they will be larger and details will show better.) ;-)

There is just one window, but it provides a lot of sunlight. (I had to close the blinds for the pics.)

I love my desk area. I spend so much time sitting here. Many the things I use most often are close to my reach. I think my favorite thing here may be the paper rack. It was given to me by an incredibly generous friend. She gave up stamping and gave me more things than you could imagine- including her paper rack.
My contractor's father (and husband of my best friend) had a great idea when he saw it: to cut the top of it off and slide it into the cabinets! And it fit perfectly! He secured it in there and it is just wonderful.
I also love the ribbon holders. I first saw them on SplitCoastStampers. They are actually rain gutters! Brilliant, don't you think?
And I am crazy about the towel rails from IKEA to hold my Stampin' Up! punches. Thank you for sharing that idea, Pam! :-)

I have made use of the space above the cabinets by putting various baskets up there. Every single basket is jammed full of either loose stamps or embellishments (most are stamps).

I like not having doors on the cabinets as it allows you to see where everything is. Out of sight, out of mind, right? However, it's a real challenge to make everything look nice and tidy. Obviously I am struggling with that, lol! Any ideas you want to share with me to make this look nicer? I especially hate the cords for the computer things and extensions, etc. But I have not found a way around that (yet). Although, most of my Sizzix stuff is pretty well organized up top. It's the bottom shelves I have a problem with.

Here is what I see if I turn around in my chair: The antique quilt is actually hung in front of a pair of French doors. I decided it was better to cover them, since I don't really need them, and make use of the space as if it were just a wall. I just got this love seat about a week ago. It's the perfect size and super comfy and cozy. Plus, it folds out to a twin size bed. Nice for if I am sick and don't want to get my husband sick. Or if he's sick and I don't want to catch it, lol! Or, if I have an overnight guest :-)

To the right of the sofa is just a small portion (yes, honestly) of my cd's. Most either belonged to my brother, or they were cds he sent to me. He kept the postman very, very busy with all the music he sent us over the years! :-)

And to the left I have a portion of my cd collection. Yep- only a portion, lol! But as you can see, I also have my clear stamp sets here, too since they are in the same size cases. And below on the bottom shelves I have my extra stacks of 8 1/2 x 11 card stock. Also, there is a rack for some of my 12x12 designer papers.

Hanging on the back of the door is a really neat wrought iron card holder. It is from Southern Living and was sold for displaying Christmas cards. It doesn't hold as many as I would like, but at least I can display some of the gorgeous hand made cards my dear stamping friends have sent me. They are all so pretty, and it means so much to me to have received them!

I also have a few miscellaneous items here and there in my studio of special significance or that have great sentimental value to me. Here, by his most treasured cds (many personally sent to him by some of his famous musician friends- some with hand written notes and/or autographs) is one of my brother's microphones. As some of my long time readers know, Rich was a very successful voice over actor, so having this along with many cd's of his voice recordings, is priceless to me. I also have his cross right next to it.

And, a couple of shelves below, there is a drum stick I caught at a concert by the Doobie Brothers in the 1970's. Fun memories! :-)

This is a special gift given to me by one of my very dearest friends, Sue. She pretty much did all of the painting of the walls in this room. I'd like to think I helped a little, but it was only a little, believe me! And she and her husband Ron (who put in the paper rack) laid my floor down. Now how many friends do you get in life that will do that for you?! They are one of a kind, I'll tell you! And, their son just happens to be my contractor and has not only done this room, but countless other projects in my house. (I'll share more later.) Sue helped a lot in the designing of this room. And she is so talented! After Rob completed his work, she gave this to me. I treasure it!

Here is another look at my desk area and above.
I have some fun things here, too: the old yellow rotary phone used to be in my bedroom when I was a teenager.
And behind it (well, behind the Valentine from my husband), is a framed picture of the words "I love Sarah" written in the sand with a heart drawn around it. My sweet husband did that for me (and took the picture right before a wave came!) when he was out here in California 13 years ago. It was during the time he was starting his job here and I had to be back in Connecticut while we sold the house. It was such a crazy time for us and we missed each other terribly. I think this picture is one of the most romantic things, don't you? :-)

I also have some pictures here- of some of my kids; my Dad; my husband with with Art Linkletter (wasn't he wonderful?!); my brother Rich and me when we were little kids, of Rich with Michael Landon.... pics that make me smile when I am in the middle of something and glance up. I just love them!

Here you can see some of the embellishments I keep on my shelves to the right of the card stock. Mostly flowers- oh how I love flowers!!! Oh, and dew drops. too. Aren't those great? My sweet friend Renee turned me on to those! She sent me a whole bunch of them in a darling little tin she altered for me. There's other "bling" there too, but mostly flowers and dew drops :-)

And to the left of the paper, I have more flowers, lol! And lots of other stuff that I love to embellish with, too. Like, Stickles and Liquid Pearls (thanks for enabling me, Tracey!); Flower Soft; Glimmer Mist, etc. In the canisters I have ribbons, fibers, twine and fringes; eyelets and brads and buttons. Lots of embossing powders and glitters, too. That sort of thing.

And here are most of my wood mounted stamp sets.

To the left of the stamps, I have my grandmother's sewing table. I remember it from her house when I was young. She was an amazing seamstress! She designed and made some of her own clothes- and hats! I well remember her often knitting socks for my uncle. Or making me clothes for my Barbie. I even remember her mending my "blankie" when I was very little. I adored my grandmother and I love having this table that was hers in the room where I am my most "creative".

On top of the table is where I keep many of the cards I have made. It makes it easy to have a stash ready for when I need a card to send (or when someone else in the family needs one, lol!)
Above that is an old antique type tray. A great and fun way to display some small rubber stamps.

Last Summer I had Rob put this in here. I love it! It's a great way to get more lighting (I really needed more at night) and the fan is perfect in the warmer weather. I just have to remember not to turn it on high if I have lots of papers out especially when scrapping! ;-)

Rob put lighting in under all of my counters, too. So helpful- especially here since I often work standing up.

And my latest addition:
A slip cover made just for pets for my new love seat! This thing is awesome! I just got it yesterday and already I am crazy over it. My sweet (but black and shedding!) dog took right to this love seat. I am positive she is convinced it was put there for her benefit only! She so missed the bed that used to be in here. Anyway, this cover is nice and comfortable yet lightweight enough that you can throw it in the washing machine. The color matches well, but I think it may not have been the best choice for black fur. So, I ordered another today in chocolate brown. It will be good to have one for backup though, if the other one is in the wash.

See what I mean? Whose love seat is this, anyway?
My sweet vecro-dog! She is always by my side all day long- and night, too. I guess she does deserve the love seat, doesn't she? ;-)

So there you have it.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing my room. I would love it if you'd share about your stamping space, if you have one too!
Thanks so much for visiting me today. God's Blessings to you!