Tuesday, December 30, 2008


This is going to be a short post, but at least it will make it up before the new year! The reason for the shorty? I've got a full arm cast on my left arm, from the tips of my fingers to about 4 or 5" below my shoulder! There are not enough words to describe how I feel about this, this THING! Arrrgghh! OMGoodness, I can barely type, it's a one-handed effort as the left hand is stuck in the permanent "handshake" position. Great for a door greeter, not-so-much for a crafter. Evidently, according to the MRI, I have moderate to acute tendonitist and a torn muscle in my elbow, or however you might describe that. The orthopedic surgeon thought that "immobilizing" my arm would help it heal, but I am here to tell you that I'm pretty sure the only thing this cast has done is make me feel like a feral animal. The urge to gnaw this thing off is overwhelming. Grrrr.

Have you ever thought about turning an accountant into a hair dresser? It can't be done, uh-huh. He is hair dryer impaired. Not happenin'. Sigh. Only six more days to go. SURELY I can distract myself with enough Hallmark TV and sleep to get through the next six days. I tried working on my projects, as most of my Christmas was supposed to be handmade, but I gave up after I painted the table--several times, glued my Kleenex box to my leg, and then inked more of my cast than I did the project I was working on. The handshake position is not condusive to holding anything other than someone else's hand. I give up.

I did get my lengthy tutorial done on my Birthday Book (Days to Celebrate) before being "casted", so go take a look. It's on Lori's blog at clearlyistamp.typepad.com.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I've been promising a picture of this project for quite some time, so enjoy the photos of this particular version. I have another one using patterned paper that I'll try to post when I finish it. I'm working on a tutorial for this project, and if you know me, you know I am nothing if not thorough when it comes to documentation! :-)

Here is a brief synopsis of some of the tools I used to complete this project.

*Zutter Bind-It-All with brass 3/4" wires
*Cricut Tags, Bags and Boxes Cartridge to cut the tags (I also trimmed 1/2" off the bottom of each tag)
*Stamps from Clear Dollar Stamps; Log It, Days to Celebrate, Colossal Title Outline and Coaster Calendar
*Ribbons are American Crafts
*Buttons, eyelet and brad from Hobby Lobby
*Inks used; Memento Tuxedo Black, Memento Lady Bug, VersaMagic Jumbo Java for aging, Versamark for clear embossing, and the Kaleidacolor Autumn Leaves for the book title
*Paper is Bazzill and Neenah Solar White
*Copic 0.35 black multiliner pen to write in Date, Name, Birth and Anniv on the tags (there are stamps included in the Days to Celebrate set that you can also use to stamp in those headers)

Finished size of the book is 4 x 6.

What I really like about the Log-It stamp set is the grid can be used for all kinds of things. I chose to use it for this project and in the right-hand columns I put the year the person was born (so I don't foget how old they are) and used the last column for anniversaries. If you put the year the person was married, you won't let their 25th wedding anniversary go by without that special gift... like I forgot my brother's 25th wedding anniversary because I did not reference my handy little book. Sigh.

Look for more hints and tips in the full project tutorial, coming soon-ish.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


We all had some crazy fun on Saturday! Things got rolling about 2p and then the paper was flyin'! We took on Rodney Reindeer first and learned there IS a difference using Copic markers versus regular markers like Marvey markers when it comes to coloring and blending. I wish I had the investment in Copics that Marianne has when she teaches classes! Things you don't think about until you have 15 people all wanting to use the same three or four markers! I think we succeeded in enabling some folks with Copics! If you want to learn more about these fantasic markers, check out Marianne Walkers' blog http://ilikemarkers.blogspot.com.

After Rodney, it was down to business with the Celebrate book and Advent Calendars. Everyone was busy scoring, folding and inking, and even the kids were working on magnetic notepads! For once, we got out of there before 10p after several crafters and their spouses stayed late to help clean up, what a wonderful group!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Here are some additional pictures of the Advent Calendar and one includes a pic of the container used to store your boxes to keep them pristine.

Here are some suggestions of the types of things you may want to put into the boxes; money, miniature ornaments for a small tree, Bible verses about Christ birth prophesy and fulfillment, beads, candy, scavenger notes, or a lump of coal. Just kidding on the last one! You could also make lists of nice things to do for someone else and have your kids do it that day, like send a card, make some cookies for the neighbor, do a chore for mom, play some Christmas music, etc., the ideas are endless!

Monday, November 10, 2008


If you would like to take a look at the Rodney Reindeer Nugget Make-n-Take, hop on over to Lori McCroskey's blog, Clearly iStamp, for her super-cool tutorial on how to make this project and a peak at what we will be doing at the event. We're going to use, by permission of course, Lori's tutorial to make a nugget and a card during our Craftaganza.

If you want to take a look at our wood block place setting Make-n-Take, surf on over to Lori's web site, Clear Dollar stamps (links to her site and her blog are in the sidebar) and check out her "Eat More Ham" stamp set. Click on "Go to Eat More Ham" and from that page click on the link for "Go to tutorial for Place Cards by Laurie Wilson". Laurie is a card and stamp designer for Clear Dollar Stamps and when you click on that link, it will take you to her blog, Clearly Delightful. This is a great blog to learn new techniques in stamping and to see some of the prettiest cards around! So after looking at her tutorial, check out the rest of her site! We will be doing a Christmas version of the placesetting. Both Make-n-Takes are free since we are doing a sample and not a complete project.

If you want to purchase any of the stamps we are using, we will have them at the event along with any accessories shown in the tutorials., or you can order direct from Lori's web site. If you look in the sidebar, you will see links to both her web site and her blog, just click and go!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Here is a quick peak of the Advent Calendar Countdown to Christmas. This project kit includes everything but adhesive. You'll need to bring some quick drying liquid glue (I used Scotch's Quick Dry Adhesive, available at Hobby Lobby), a full tape runner with STRONG tape or something like Terrifically Tacky or Wonder Tape (red double-stick tape)—anything that is double stick, and a package of foam squares. I don't bring a lot of extra adhesive, so make sure you bring more than you think you need! The ribbon that goes on the boxes already has adhesive, we're primarily sticking paper to the canvas and the boxes. The boxes come with a separate plastic container that holds all of them for safe keeping between seasons, I'll post a picture of that later along with some additional pictures of the calendar. This project will take between three and four hours to complete. Tools you will need are a pencil, ruler, detail (small) scissors, a corner rounder, and a brayer (if you have one). Please bring a corner rounder if you have it! I only have three, the brayer is not a necessity, but it makes things go faster by flattening the papers being glued together. A folding bone would work as well. Lots of gluing...

If you want to do this project, please let me know by Wednesday if possible. There's a lot of paper cutting... and I have a limited number of box kits, so speak up early! Your background canvas can be gold, red or white, you'll need to tell me which one! Finished size is 16" x 20" and the canvas will hang on the wall or can be set in a frame holder.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I don't even know where to start, it has been soooo long! I could lie and say I've been really busy crafting, but it's more like busy doing everything else BUT crafting! So, to remedy this situation, we are getting ready to have a Craftaganza Event at NorthBridge Baptist Church, just north of Valley Watermill Road on North Glenstone. We did this last year here at the house for a smaller group of ladies but we've already outgrown the basement space this year and we're opening it up to anyone who would like to attend. Since the church is so close to the house, I can still fetch (or better yet, have the DH fetch) anything I didn't think to bring (as IF!!). Plus, the four-footed party crashers will be left at the house, so we'll be cat free for the evening. Since there are so many details to relay, I'll dish on the generalities of the event and then continue to post on the details, including pictures of the projects available and costs for each project.

This open event will be a great time for you to get away from the everyday and spend some time working on Christmas projects and cards with friends and church family in a Christian atmosphere. We know times are tough and finding cute, economical and personal gifts for our friends and family can be difficult, so let us make it easy! Whether you scrapbook, stamp, or work on paper projects, we'll have plenty of project ideas in all areas. We will have oodles of samples on display to inspire your homemade gift giving and card making. Several of the project display samples will be available as class kits you can purchase at the event that you can work on during the event. You can also feel free to bring your own projects to work on during the event, so don't feel like you have to purchase a class kit to participate. We will also be conducting make-n-takes of several projects and cards so you get the feel of how to do a part of a larger project or how to use a new tool or technique. Bring yourself and be prepared to have a good time visiting, playing and, of course, snacking the afternoon away.

Tentatively, we are looking at Saturday, November 15th from 2p to 8p for the first date, at NorthBridge Baptist Church, at the corner of Hwy H (3765 N. Glenstone) and StoneRidge. If we have enough response, or enough people who need an alternative date, we'll schedule an additional date and time. In traditional Baptist fashion we're asking that everyone bring a snack dish, and we'll provide the drinks (tea, coffee and water, bring your own soda if you prefer soda).

Finally, here is a list of class kits that will be available. Each project will be sold as a kit with everything you need to complete the project, including instructions. Purchase and complete your first one at the event and if you want to do more, buy a few more to do in your spare time! No time? We can do them for you for an extra fee. If you are interested in doing any of the projects below, PLEASE contact me BEFORE the event to reserve your kit. Otherwise, it will be first come, first serve! You will need to bring some basic tools and adhesives, we'll detail those with each project as we finalize them this week and post final pricing for the projects.

Tools we'll have on hand will be the Cricut Expression (12"), Cuttlebug, Crop-A-Dile, Big Bite Crop-A-Dile, Zutter Bind-It-All with supplies and whatever else I can dig up. Bring your own dies, embossing folders, and cartridges. We will have some on hand.

Advent Calendar
This is an AWESOME project and I have a very limited number of kits. This is LARGE 16 x 20 canvas with pull-down containers ready to be filled with goodies and to help your family count down the 24 days before Christmas. The containers store away in a nifty box so they don't get lost or damaged during storage. We use Basic Grey Christmas papers, glitter, Star Dust pens, lots of ribbon and paper, velcro and paint for this one. You won't see another Advent/Countdown Calendar like this anywhere in Springfield! Watch for pictures of this one!

Days To Celebrate Book
This is a wire bound book that keeps a list of birthdays and anniversaries. A great gift with limitless opportunities to stamp and embellish, or leave plain, whatever suits you and your recipient. We'll learn how to use the Zutter Bind-It-All with this project.

Monogrammed Mini Magnetic Notepad
A cute mini notepad to fit in your purse or pocket with a magnetic flap complete with your monogram or a Bible verse. A great gift for a friend or co-worker, easy to make.

Old Time Christmas Place Settings (we will have a free sample make-n-take)
This is a unique project using wood blocks as place settings for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Make them elegant or fun, each includes a card for the name and an additional card with a Bible verse. You can even use these on a daily basis to display a picture or card. Super cute, super easy!

Rodney Reindeer Nuggets (we will have a free sample make-n-take)
This a a super cute gift to fatten up a friend! We'll be making a sample "nugget" using the Rodney Reindeer stamp from Clear Dollar Stamps and some Avery labels and Copic Markers. Once you learn how to create these super cute nuggets and see other examples on display, you won't be able to stop yourself from making them. Just don't eat all the candy first! Another Super cute, super easy idea courtesy of Clear Dollar Stamps! Of course, everything you need to make a complete gift can be purchased at the event.

We will be doing card make-n-takes throughout the event, if I get REALLY energetic, I'll post those samples, but no guarantees! We'll be using stamps from Clear Dollar Stamps for our make-n-takes, you can preview their selection at www.cleardollarstamps.com. We will have the stamps we are using for our make-n-takes available for purchase during the event, as well as some embellishments and other basic supplies.

Watch for more details and pictures of each of the projects. If you have questions or requests, email me at vconquest@conquestkeepsakes.com and don't forget to reserve your class kit, only a limited number are available. Again, we will try to have some supplies available for sale if you find yourself without, along with stamps that go with each of the projects. To reserve your seat, call 350-4569, or email me at my Conquest Keepsakes email address given above.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Here is hoping that I can post more often in 2008 than I did in 2007. OK, don't hold your breath. I'd like to say I am so busy I can't find time to post, but that would probably be a bold face lie. Possibly and exaggeration or two. I'm really too busy because I spend too much time watching my cats sleep. It's hard to be motivated when everyone around you is sleeping, and in some cases snoring and even growling in their sleep. I don't know what cats dream about, but Mr. Sniffy growls in his sleep. The rest just plain snore. Maki is the loudest, probably because of her shmushed in nose. I know that's not a word, but it fits!

So, I'm off to watch more sleeping and some HGTV. Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares is over and it would last longer if he would quit cursing all the time. The guy needs to get a vocabulary as the word he overuses isn't really a conversing type of word. I'm tired of bleeping the whole show. Oh well. I don't cook anyway! He'd have a cow in my house! Or at least tell me how to carve it...