Wednesday, December 10, 2008

That wasn't so bad...

I expected to be tarred & feathered by the Pazzle-lovers out there, but the great majority of commenters were very positive. It's too bad, really... I wanted to like the Pazzle. I'm sure they're a lovely company. It just didn't work out. It's not me, it's you. I just can't accept you for who you really are. I'm sorry.

Now then... I think (pending the ability to return this beast), I'm gonna get the Cricut Expression, and load the Sure Cuts A Lot software on my computer, and have the best of both worlds. And before the Screaming Meanies from Cricut arrive, yes, I know, the SCAL isn't sanctioned and will "void my warranty" - a chance I'm willing to take.

I'll let you know how it works out... thanks for all the positive comments!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It will probably get ugly...

I'm expecting some fireworks due to the article I wrote over at Craft Critique today... give it a read and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

lol...

I feel like every time I start a blog entry, I have to apologize for being a sucky blogger. So, here I am again, being a not-as-sucky, but still-pretty-sucky blogger.

I've been keeping really busy over at Craft Critique... those chicks keep me hoppin'

I also got a Pazzle Inspiration, and when I'm not beating my head against a wall over the damn thing, I'm figuring out the software. I paid $500 for the thing, it damn well better be worth it. I know, once I get it right I'll be singing its praises, but for now... ergh.

I'm doing a craft show this Saturday (at the Red Lion United Methodist Church from 9-3), hocking these Christmas balls (scroll down). Well, not those exact ones, because those are hanging in the window of the cutest little bridal boutique in Delaware. But some similar ones. Stop by if you're local, I'd love to meet some of my readers (she says, laughingly, because she probably already knows all of her readers).

So, I'm covered in glitter, and have ink stains on my hands such that it looks like I've injured someone. But, I'm nearly finished with the new batch, and I'm pleased.

I'm about ready to make my CHA flight arrangements, and am mucho excited! I can't wait to breathe the same air as some of my crafting heros, as well as meet some of the women I've only ever talked to online! Plus, Cali in the winter is never a bad thing!

That's all that's new with me... what are YOU up to?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Craft Critique article

is up right here...

I finished all of those wedding invitations, AND the birthday party invitations, and they've all be shipped to their appropriate hosts. My craft room is a heinous mess, and it's going to take me days to dig it out.

I got a tetnus shot today, and two flu shots, because the first time she stuck me, the syringe blew up, and none of the vaccine actually made it where it was supposed to go. It did, however, make it all over my sweater. So, both my arms are sore, and my fingers are inky, and I have a meeting today that I'm totally excited about, but can't talk about yet ;-)

Pictures someday soon, I promise...

Friday, November 7, 2008

I've been neglectful...

but for a good reason! I'm in the midst of finishing up 100 wedding invitations, complete with response cards, maps, directions, the whole nine yards. AND THEN I got an order for 40 birthday party invitations. So, I'm all inky, but I can't really show anything yet.

In other news, we got a Wii, including the Wii Fit, and I've been WAY busy Wii bowling with my kids, even baby Jenny, who at 2 years old, is quite the competitor. And, according to the Wii Fit, my Wii Fit age (a so-called measure of my BMI, balance and strength) is (dun, dun dun) 54. Well isn't THAT a kick in the teeth. Actually, I suppose if I could get my leg up high enough to kick someone in the teeth, I'd have a more reasonable Wii Fit age. So, I've got some work to do, but at least this is a fun way to do it.

Can anybody recommend good Wii games for kids... must haves? I've heard raving about MarioKart and the Olympics one; any other suggestions?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I voted today... did you?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Craft Critique Give Away!

Hey! Want to win the Bo Bunny Craft Knife that Emilie Ahern reviewed on Monday? Click here to read all about it!

Also, my latest article is up --->here

Friday, October 24, 2008

We interupt our regularly scheduled program

to bring you this message...

I don't tend to talk about my politics unless directly asked. But, this is MY blog, and I'll talk politics if I want to! As it turns out, I can talk politics AND crafting at the same time. I saw this on the Sew, Mama,Sew blog today, and it blew me away... I'm not a quilt kinda person in general, but this one may change my mind.



I donated to the cause, and if I win this quilt, I'll display it with pride! Many thanks to contemporary American quilt artist Denyse Schmidt for the opportunity!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

YAY!

My favorite crochet designer (and yes, I know how dorky it sounds to have a favorite crochet designer... I never thought it would happen either...) Robyn Chachula, is coming to Philly to teach classes in November. I think this is going to be my Christmas present to myself. Or from my design business to me. Educational expenses are tax deductible, right?

New Craft Critique article

My latest article is up... I hope I don't catch a lot of flak from the pumpkin purists out there ;-)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Back by popular demand...

I did my very first Stamp Camp as a demo on Saturday (I've been a demo for several years, but only ever spent my own money, I had no customers), and by the time I got home (it was only 1 pm) I was completely whooped. Tired, tired, tired & sore. And my feet hurt. But it was fun, and I enjoyed helping people with their projects. I forced my sister to come, and she seemed to like it, and my friend Emilie came, and she REALLY liked it (of course, she REALLY likes a lot of things, she's very enthusiastic, lol!)

Part of doing a stamp camp as a demo is the opportunity to dump sell retired stuff to unsuspecting delighted customers looking for a good deal. Frankly, I was pleased as punch to dump some of the sets that have been sitting around doing NOTHING. In fact, a lot of them weren't even mounted. Tsk, tsk.

ANYWAY, these are the ones I have left... I linked to the SCS gallery of each stamp set, which I'm sure violates some rule or the other, but I'm at work (shhh) and can't take my own photo right now. If the SCS police are reading this, I'm sorry, I didn't know any better, I'll fix it asap. Please don't sue me.

RULES:
  • I accept paypal, either credit or bank account transfers, I don't care.
  • I ship priority because I'm lazy and don't want to trek to the post office with my kids in tow, but I will ship first class if you ask nicely.
  • I will unmount the sets if you want me to.
  • I will include blocks & cases if you want me to, whatever you want is fine with me.

If you want to purchase any sets, EMAIL me first with the following information:
Name of the set, whether or not you want Priority or First Class shipping, and whether you want the plastic SU box, blocks, no block, just the rubber, whatever.

Here's my email:
danavee@stampingscience.com

PLEASE NOTE: that is not the address I use for paypal; I will send you an invoice once I figure out your shipping cost.

Whew... that's exhausting... here's the list:
Greetings Galore $ 24
Wonderful Woodcuts $12
Polka Dots & Paisley $ 10
Friendship Blooms $10
Very Punny $10
Peace on Earth $18
Lots of Thoughts $12
A Little Bit of Happiness $12
The World Over $12
Def. Decorative Flutterbys $15
Sweet Dreams $18
Heart Art $ 8

Okay, Lisa, are you happy now?!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Nichole Heady is KILLING me. Hello?! Spending freeze?! Oy. It's bad news... for my wallet!

Here's to hoping I win the "I want it all" package, because, um, I definitely want it all.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Contrary to popular belief...

I am not dead. But I am super busy, and haven't had any crafting time in weeks. And the crafting I'm about to do is for a Craft Critique article, so you can't even see that. Speaking of Craft Critique, I scored myself a promotion to Copy Editor, which is super cool, and I'm very excited. And they tripled my pay, lol!

Okay, I've got work to do... I promise I'll post something fun soon... I'm expecting my new Stampin' Up! order today!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Epic WIN!

Okay, no crafting, but cooking (sort of). We're all coming off having the flu. I said yesterday I was feeling much better. I was wrong; last night was heinous... the last time I was that miserable, I was 12 months pregnant with my son (what? it felt like 12 months). Anyway, today, I AM feeling somewhat better. I knew I was going to have to do some magic to entice my family to eat though... no one has had any appetite at all since Friday. (hey, flu, my butt flab thanks you...)
So, because I have a boat ton of tomatoes to get rid from my garden (after MONTHS of no action, all of a sudden they're all, "PICK ME!" I decided to make homemade sauce using "The Best Tomato Sauce Ever. Yep" a recipe from Finny, of Finny Knits. I love her blog (note, she uses swear words. I use swear words in my real life, so it doesn't bother me in the least... just wanted to warn you if you're a sensitive type). We have the same sense of humor, and I love chuckling my way through her posts. I did make a couple of changes to her recipe:
  • I used parchment paper under my tomatoes during the roasting because the first time I used just foil and burned the begeezus out of them, and I was very sad.
  • I didn't have any red wine in the house, and I wasn't breaking into a bottle of Riesling that no one would drink because the thought of alcohol right now is just ick, so I hit it with a splash of balsamic vinegar.
  • I used a food mill, the real kind, not the kind she thinks is a food mill. It was the first time I had ever used it, and it was AWESOME. It was Curt's grandmother's, and holy moly, I'm mad that I waited until now to discover the awesomeness.
The verdict: ridiculously good. Better than I could have imagined. Seriously, it was awesome. Even a family full of sickies ate it up, yum. I might actually buy tomatoes to make this again, it was so good. And with all of the food allergies in this house, I love knowing exactly what's in it, 'cause I put it there.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Things are looking up...

Baby Jenny & I are feeling MUCH better, Max & Curt are going to need at least another day off from school/work. I just took Curt's temperature: 104! Eeek! No wonder he's crotchety! Max is too, but mostly because I kept him home from school. "Mommy. I want to go to Kindergarten!" ha ha ha, I'll remind him of this moment when he decides in 7th grade that he's never going to school again.

I'm slowly feeling the mojo ebb back in... we'll see if I can get anything done tonight!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

the plague?

Oh my word, we're ALL sick in these parts. High fever (like 103+), terrible headache, feeling like a truck hit you. I hope it passes soon... mama is tired.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Crocheter?

I have a new article up at Craft Critique: Clover Soft Touch Crochet Hooks">Craft Critique about my favorite crochet hooks...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Blog candy for a good cause (and ATHLETA Challenge too)

I'm sure you've seen Carolyn King's blog candy in honor of her grandmother. While personally I've not had any loved ones affected by Alzheimer’s, I have seen the toll full-time caretaking can have on a person and a family. I made six cards inspired by page 6 in the Athleta catalog:



here's one of the cards:



I'll be sending one to:
To the Staff at the Artman Home 250 N. Bethlehem Pike Ambler, PA 19002

in honor of Cammie's grandmother,
one to my grandmother (who cared for my grandfather, before his passing), one to my friend Joan, and three to Hospice Delaware, which was a great support to our family.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Back in the saddle...

I told you I'd be back... Athleta challenge day 5...

Look how cute these shirts are...


and the cards they inspired...



I liked the design so much that I made a whole set of 12 with coordinating envies... not crafty & can't live without them? They're in my etsy shop.

Are crafty and want the details? Here ya go:

Stamp credits: Stampin' Up! Baroque Motifs, My Favorite Things Boho Blossoms
Card upper left: Close to Cocoa CS, PTI Stamper's Select White CS (base), Choc. Chip ink, VersaMagic Turquoise Gem, Ranger Superfine detail powder, clear.
Card center: Pale Plum CS, PTI Stamper's Select White CS (base), Basic Gray ink, Brilliance Rocket Red Gold, Ranger Superfine detail powder, clear.
Card upper right: PTI Stamper's Select White CS, Brilliance Pearlescent Olive, Lightening Black, Ranger Superfine detail powder, clear.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

COMPOST!

I'm sure you're all wondering why you bothered to add this blog to your reader, since I hardly ever talk about stamping, and lately I've been blathering on and on about dirt. Warning: it will get worse before it gets better.

Now that my horrendous ragweed allergy is in hibernation for the year, I was SO ready to get back out there and close my garden up for the year... although the tomato and pepper plants are still producing, so they can stay, and the watermelons are only the size of grapefruits, so they can stay too. But the raised bed with the (former) corn, yellow squash & cukes... your time is up.

Task 1: Finish sorting compost from bins, re-layer the stuff that needs to continue to cook, segregate the stuff that is good to go (or nearly good to go), and add it to the corn bed to let it finish cooking in situ.

By the numbers:
Compost bins: 3

Kiddie pools filled with finished compost: 1

Approximate volume of finished compost: 35 cubic feet. Really. No, Jane, I didn't use calculus, that's why it says "approximate"

Times I told Lexi (the dog) to get out of the compost: 53


Spiders, millipedes, centipedes, prehistoric-looking crickets: eleventy-hundred

Moles requiring dispatch by vegetarian husband: 2

Gold stars earned by husband: 2

Instrument of mole dispatch, the first:



Instrument of mole dispatch, the second:



well, actually, it probably looked more like this:


Number of tired, sore, dirty, and slightly skeeved out mamas: 1

Saturday, September 20, 2008

ugh...

I spent close to 4 hours today emptying, sorting, separating, and reloading compost. I suppose this is the part where I tell you how wonderful and fulfilling it is to be as one with Mother Nature, and to give back to the earth. Yeah. Mostly it was dirty, and gross, and I'm more than a little freaked out by the fauna living in my compost bins. But, there is a bit of that self-satisfaction, so I guess I'll continue the mess tomorrow. That's right... there are two more bins to do! Ergh.

I did manage to have a dinner (with drinks! and adult conversation! well, not THAT kind of adult conversation!) with my husband, AND a movie. I wanted to see "Burn After Reading" because I have a thing for Brad Pitt, but compromised and saw "Dark Knight" instead. Meh. I lovey me some Brad Pitt...

My sister and her boyfriend of 8 and a half years got engaged today! YAY! I love planning weddings, and long as it's not my own, ever, ever again.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I just can't stop sewing...

Okay, I think I have my pattern tweaked enough to make me happy... this bag is about half the size of the ones from yesterday, but I wanted to make sure the change I made to the bottom would work. It does. Yeehaw!






















































Alrighty then... back to stamping!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

11:30?!

How did that happen? Anyway, it's been a long, snot-filled weekend, with lots of nose wiping and cuddles for my kids... first cold of the season!

I didn't stamp, but I was crafty... I worked on two bags, and I'm pretty happy with them... I'm still working out the kinks and trying new things, but I would carry both of these without being embarrassed... (um... not at the same time).























































These bags were both made with home decorating samples that I bought by the trash bag full when a local fabric outlet was moving... $5 for a full bag of samples. Now, not all of them are big enough to make full-sized bags (these totes are pretty roomy), but I have LOTS of fabric to play with without freaking out about how much it cost, and when you're a crappy sewer like I am, that's a relief!

I'm headed to bed... back to the Altheta Challenge on Monday night (I FINALLY found the perfect stamp, and, as luck would have it, I already own it!).

Friday, September 12, 2008

No stamping, but...

I did clean off my stamping counter top. But just so I could get my sewing machine out. I took a page from Erin K, and made a cute little bag. I used Nichole Heady's method, and I'm so pleased with how this turned out.




By the way, these remnants aren't from JoAnn's... I have an entire room full of fabric that in my head are glorious purses. The pattern was super easy, and now that I know how to get all my unfinished edges on the inside, between the lining and the outer material, I'll be adapting the pattern to the one in my head.

The bag turned out way cuter than the gingerbread cookies that I made with my son last night.






He's been obsessed with "The Gingerbread Man" story for weeks, so I finally found a vegan gingerbread recipe (I'm not a vegan, and neither is he, but he is allergic to dairy & eggs, so I use vegan recipes a lot) by one of my favorite vegan cookbook authors, Isa Moskowitz. This batch was the other half of the dough from a few days ago. Martha Stewart, I am not. But, as ugly as they were, they were delicious. I'm trying to keep myself from eating the rest of them, so there's enough (read: one) for Max's after school snack.

Craft Critique is running my Mother of All Black Ink Tests today... be sure to check it out!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

about that spending freeze....

clearly I cannot be held responsible when JoAnn's has the remnants marked an extra 70% off. Ergh.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

yeah, so...

okay, I know what I said yesterday. But, today I'm caring for a couple of extra kids due to a friend's medical emergency, and oh my word, I'm beat. I'll get back to it, honest...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Epic fail...

but not for lack of trying... The picture in my head looks so much cooler than what I'm turning out that I can't bear to post just anything and call it a day. I need clean surfaces! I'll clean up and try again tomorrow... and I'll do two, just to prove I'm worthy!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

feeling a bit supermom-ish today...

I've gotten a lot done! I banged out 60 "save the date cards" for a client (I say client, but she's really a friend, and this is part of her gift), took my mom to a bead show (and didn't spend any money!), went to the pet store, Costco, took a two hour nap, and then baked gingerbread cookies with my son. And then I made this card, AND posted it to my blog. So, yeah... I'm a little full of myself right now!

Anyway... here's today's inspiration:




























and my card:





























Stamp credits: PaperTrey Ink-"Remember" by Lisa Johnson
Card stock: PTI Kraft (leftover from yesterday's card) SU! Pale Plum, Night of Navy
Ink: SU! Baja Breeze (under flock on flowers), Brilliance Med. Blue, VersaMagic Tea Leaves, Spanish Moss, and Night Sky.
Accessories: Colonial Blue flock that I've had for at least 9 years because I used it on my wedding party gifts, Offray ribbon.

So, you
probably can't tell, but the flowers are flocked (inspired by the fuzziness of the blue coat), and then overstamped (poorly) with Brilliance ink, which I attempted three times with three different inks before that one took. Ergh. I wish I could say it looks better in person, but it really doesn't. Oh well, I need a thank you note for my inlaws, and they won't know the difference.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

HA!

You didn't think I'd make it, did you? Well, I DID make it. And I made this card. But I'll do the blah blah blah bit tomorrow, I'm sleepy...

Inspiration:




























My card:





























Stamp credits: Stampin' Up! "One of a Kind"
Card stock: PaperTrey Ink Kraft, SU! Riding Hood Red, Pacific Point, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla
Ink: SU! More Mustard, Pacific Point, Riding Hood Red
Accessories: SU! Boho punch, some cheapo swirl punch I've had for a billion years.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Altheta challenge, day 2

Or page 2, I guess...

Here's the inspiration (in the real photo, you can see more of her cranberry suede-ish pants):





























and the card it inspired:




























Stamp credits: Ginko branch - Beeswax Stamps, Stripes - Hero Arts, Mulberry Texture and Faux Ribbon - Cornish Heritage Farms, Sentiment - Prickly Pear Designs.
Card stock: Stampin' Up! Cranberry Crisp, True Thyme & Marigold Morning (all retired)
Ink: Stampin' Up! Cranberry Crisp, Marigold Morning & Old Olive.
Accessories: Prismacolor Marker - French Gray 20%
, SU! markers Old Olive & Barely Banana

I have a story about ginko trees, if anyone cares, lol...
When I was in college at the University of Delaware, there were three gorgeous Ginko trees on campus, all in a row. Unfortunately, two of the three were female ginkos, and produced the most foul smelling fruit imaginable. Have you ever smelled ginko berries? We referred to them as "vomit balls" because that's what they smelled like. Try to imagine thousands of ground up pieces of stench fruit stuck to students' shoes, tracked all over campus. Horrible. But, later in the fall, the leaves turned the most beautiful color yellow, and all was forgiven. Until the next year. I went back to visit, and the trees had been cut down. I was sad, but totally understood.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Turning over a new leaf...

So, the annual onslaught of catalogs has already begun... my first one of the season:
Athleta, a company specializing in active/exercise/yoga gear for women. I have no idea how I wound up on this list. I wonder if there's a catalog for formerly fit women who ran track in high school and now only run to catch the ice cream truck. Whatever.

Anyway, I like the catalog. I think it has great colors & layouts. They say inspiration can strike anywhere... and here I am, inspired. I've decided to do one card/project a day (didja hear that? ONE A DAY), based on each page of the catalog, and, here's the kicker, ACTUALLY POST IT ON THIS BLOG. Ha! We'll see how long this lasts. There are 64 pages in this catalog, maybe I can get a flying start on holiday cards & gifts.

So, for your viewing pleasure, here's the photo from the cover of the catalog:



























and the card it inspired:



























Stamp credits:Technique Tuesday Boho Buzz and Handful of Henna, Stampin' Up! Love Matters

Card stock: SU! Bordering Blue and Going Gray
Ink: SU! Basic Gray, VersaMagic Aspen Mist
Accessories: Signo white gel pen, Copic Spica clear glitter pen (oh my word I love this thing).


So, why don't you take the challenge... find yourself some inspiration, and get cracking! Be sure to link back here if you do, so I can check you out and cheer you on!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Thanks for not thinking I'm a crappy mom...

There's no Hallmark card for that occasion, is there? That's why I make 'em myself! This card & little boxy bag (again, full of basil, or will be in the morning), is for the other mom at my son's bus stop who helped corral my run-away circus of a family today, including my barefoot 2-year-old, my unleashed dog who snuck out of the house while I was running down the street (also barefoot. Me, not the dog. Well, actually, the dog was barefoot too, now that I think about it.), and a five-year-old little boy who was very sad that I didn't get to the bus stop to get him off the bus in time (the bus driver makes a loop around the neighborhood and swings back around when this happens. Ask me how I know.) I felt like a giant ass. Still do, actually.

BAH! Oh well... at least I sat down and made something!


























Stamps: Wow Flowers by Stampin' Up, Beautiful Blooms and Borders & Corners, Circle by PaperTrey Ink; Cardstock: Stamper's Select White by PTI, Kiwi Kiss and Baja Breeze by SU!; Ink: Going Gray, Kiwi Kiss & Baja Breeze Classic dye ink by SU! Ribbon: It's a sheer greenish gray that looks awesome in person. Probably Offray, but I'm not sure; Punches: Threading Water by Fiskars, Tag Punch (small & large) by SU!.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I stamped something...

It had to happen eventually!

My oldest child starts kindergarten tomorrow. I'm a little freaked out. He's determined that he's not riding the bus, but the police helicopter will be picking him up instead. Oh really? Where does he get this stuff?

We had the opportunity to meet his teacher tonight, so of course I busted out my "best mom of the year" goodies to spoil her before she got to meet my kid. As I was doing the background check on her (you think I'm kidding...), I discovered she has a blog, wherein she stated that she loves cooking Italian food, and has been to Italy several times. AHA! As it happens, my garden is completely overrun with purple & green basil. So, I whipped up this boxy bag, inspired by TexasJodyLynn (mine has different measurements, but it was definitely her idea...), cut a bunch of basil, stuck it in a baggie, and voila, my kid gets straight A's right out of the box. Bag. Boxy bag.
























And here's the matching card


















both of them together















never let it be said that I can't stamp....

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hey kids...

New post up at Craft Critique...

Ergh. It's the 14th. I was SO going to enter PaperTrey's guest star stamper thingy with the 3 sets I bought last month, but I just didn't get to it. Oh well... maybe next month!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The MOTHER of all black ink tests...

Well, I finally did it... a no-holds-barred look at 14 different black inks, 3 different markers and three different card stocks.

I did a similar study back in early 2007, and posted my results on SplitCoastStampers; holy moly, was I ever a rock star then! The biggest names of stamping commented on that post, and the queen herself, Julie Ebersole, mentioned little ole me on her blog. Then I passed out.

But, I knew my work was not finished... there were MORE black inks out there, and clearly I needed them. So, now I've got them. I'm up to 14 black inks, some I've had for years, a few I just opened today (don't tell my husband!).

Here are the players, in alphabetical order by manufacturer:


Papers:
Georgia Pacific White
PaperTrey Ink Stamper's Select in White
Stampin' Up! Whisper White

Markers:
Copic Lemon Yellow
Prismacolor Deco Yellow
Stampin' Up! Barely Banana (yes, I know, this is not an alcohol-based marker).

Weather conditions:

79 degrees F, 44% humidity, a perfect August day in Delaware (just above sea level), and why am I inside again?

The process:

  • Created a grid and printed it on the three different card stocks with my laser printer.
  • Stamped each ink into its appropriate box.
  • Carefully cleaned the stamp between inks with a three-step process:
  1. Ultraclean, then dry
  2. Stampin' Mist, then dry
  3. Swipe with a baby wipe
  • Allowed grids to dry for 30 minutes while starting this post
  • Colored over the lines (on purpose) with the appropriate marker
  • Cleaned each marker nib, each time, by coloring on a sheet of printer paper
  • Swiped a line of the matching colorless blender pen through each colored area
  • Checked for bleeding, feathering & smearing
  • Ranked the inks 1, 2, or 3 on each grid
  • Entered the results into a spreadsheet, tallied and averaged the results
**Please note: I did not heat-set any of the inks, because I wanted to see the results of the average (lazy like me) stamper. Heat-setting the pigment inks would probably improve their performance**

Results:
  • A ranking of 1 indicated no black ink movement with the yellow marker or associated clear blender.
  • A ranking of 2 indicated no to minimal movement with the yellow, some movement with the clear blender.
  • A ranking of 3 was a hot mess. Movement with both marker and blender.
  • I threw the SU! marker results out of the averaging, because they were the true definition of hot mess. So, the averaging only took alcohol-based markers into account.




I was VERY impressed with Ranger's Nick Bantock Ink and Tsukineko's Memento... that stuff didn't budge with either of the alcohol-based markers or their clear blenders. Ranger's Adirondack and Distress inks also fared very well. As for the rest of them, well, you can be the judge (click for a larger view):




As for the papers, the PTI smeared the least, followed by the Georgia Pacific, and then the Stampin' Up! Whisper White.

Between the alcohol-based markers themselves, the Prismacolor smeared less than the Copic by 0.05 of a point (averaged), so I'd call that even.

Recommendations:

Ranger Nick Bantock or Memento on PaperTrey Ink. Anything else, you'll need to heat set or stay within the lines.

So what do you think?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Get ready...

That's it. Enough procrastinating. I'm doing it. THE GREAT BLACK INK CELEBRITY DEATH MATCH is ON!

Check in later today for the results!

*Edited to add*
By the way, I own 13 different black inks. Thirteen. Insanity.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Does she even stamp anymore?

Girl, I stamp so often, it's frightening. To my bank account.

Now then... here's a montage of the diaper cake: Not pictured= the bottle of wine in the center, for those new mommy emergencies




And the flowers... there were 22 of these bad boys, and, as usual, I was finishing them up on site. Ugh! Oh well... the only one who can see the picture in my head is me!



And then I came home and took a nap. Because oy, I'm beat.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Can you stand it?!

Look how frequently I'm updating this week... I'm gonna be one of those "must read" blogs in no time!

My Stampin' Up order arrived today. It was just enough to get me out of pending, and hang on for another quarter. I'm looking forward to the new catalog, and have seen a few sneak peaks of some must-have punches. I love punches!

I've been rolling diapers for days (not really... more like 30 minutes, tops), and the cake is nearly ready for prime time. For the flowers, I found the cutest little white buckets in the wedding section of the Dollar Tree (3/$1), so I'm doing 20 tiny arrangements, so each guest can take one. They're gonna be adorable. I'll do them tomorrow.

Fun news... my new friend Emilie and I are going to the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen event that's held here in Delaware (yeah, I know, we're not in PA... I don't get it either). Emilie is a famous scrapbooker, and I love hanging out with her and her kids (and her hubby too, but I see her & the kids more often!)

Okay, I've got 40 thank-you notes to finish for the mom-to-be... and it's not even Saturday yet... I'm WAY ahead of the game!

I'll post pics tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Baby shower goodies...

I co-hosted a baby shower on Saturday, an untraditional baby shower for a VERY untraditional mom-to-be.

Here are a few pics of the favors. I used the Spellbinders Seed Packet die to cut the pieces of kraft paper (I just used a roll of 3M mailing paper) that I printed with the favor info on the front, and seed growing directions on the back. (I thought I took a picture of this, but I guess I didn't ;-(

I cut a bunch of unbleached coffee filters into 6" circles, covered them with water-soluble glue (Elmer's School Gel) and sprinkled wildflower seeds over them.



The next day, I folded up the coffee filters while my husband folded the seed packets. People loved them, and the earth-mothery-mom-to-be was thrilled.

I also handled the flower arrangements: again, I went with non-traditional flowers and colors, and the room looked stunning when everything was in place.

Before:








After:




In situ:

(please note, I was not in charge of the cake. ;-)

I have another baby shower THIS weekend... I'll be making the diaper cake!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

More CHA goodies

via Craft Critique:

New Spelbinders


You want PRIMA? You Got It! :)

A Sampling of CHA

I gotta tell you... those new nesties have my name all over them! And the Hello Kitty dies from Sizzix?! We have much Hello Kitty love in this house... can't wait to get my mitts on them!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The first step...

... is admitting that you have a problem. I have a problem that I never in a million years thought I would have. I'm addicted. To yarn. YARN! Not just any yarn, though... it's much more insidious than that. I'm addicted to yarn ON CLEARANCE.

Maybe it's not the yarn. It's the CLEARANCE thing that gets me every. single. time. Clearance means that it's all gone... no more... I can't change my mind and come back for it later, because, THERE IS NO LATER. And I don't like that. So, I buy it. All of it. It's really an issue. Thus far there's been significant eye-rolling, but no stern talking-to out of the husband. Probably because he's given up before he even starts. He's a pretty smart guy.

Eh. Bygones. I have a billion things to do (two baby showers in the next week), and waning motivation. I have a kitchen full of flowers to deal with. And it's hot. Hella hot. My garden seems to like it though, so I can't complain. Also, my house is 72 degrees and has been since March, so I can't complain about that either.

What was I going to post about? Oh right... just in case you've missed it, Craft Critique has a series of sneak peeks of upcoming summer CHA releases. AND, we'll have reporters on the floor starting today, all the way through the show. I'll keep the links updated.

CHA sneak peek 1
CHA sneak peek 2
CHA sneak peek 3

Friday, July 11, 2008

Now this is just embarrassing...

It's not like I've not been creating anything... just last night I finished off 42 baby shower invites (my second set in as many weeks, two friends are due within a month of each other!), but I just can't manage to get this blog updated!

My basement craft studio/kids' playroom is THISCLOSE to being done. The walls are drywalled, mudded, sanded, primed, & painted; the flooring is in; the ikea furniture is nearly put together... just waiting for my husband to get off his duff and finish the ceiling (just kidding, dear).

My latest Craft Critique article is up... I had fun with this one!

Okay, starting today, I'm going to do better updating this blog. Really. I mean it this time!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Craft Critique article

is up -----> clicky here... let me know what you think!

Friday, June 20, 2008

FREE to a good home!

or a mediocre one even... I'll even spring for postage!

Today, I received my latest PaperTrey Ink acquisitions, including the labels from all of last year's sets. If you're a PaperTrey buyer, you know what I'm talking about. Contrary to my husband's belief, I DID NOT buy everything PaperTrey put out last year. Therefore, I have in my possession, the labels for the stamp sets that I DID NOT buy available, first come, first served...

Here's what I have (again, let me make it clear that these are for the LABELS for your cd cases, NOT the stamp sets themselves. Because I don't have them. That's kinda the point...)

Text Boxed (Joan B.)
Borders & Corners- RECTANGLES (Joan B.)
Borders & Corners- HEARTS (Joan B.)
Spooky Sweets (Joan B.)
Holiday Wishes
Piece of Cake (Alex)
Trajan: Monogram Edition
Ambassador: Monogram Edition
Borders & Corners: Monogram Edition
My Punny Valentine
Year-round Puns
Limitless Labels (why didn't I get this one? it's cute!)
Borders & Corners: Monogram Mini

PLEASE NOTE: if you don't already have these sets but are thinking of buying them, YOU DON'T NEED these labels, because now they come with them. This is only for folks who already have the sets, but don't have the newfangled newness.

Leave me a comment on this post if you want any of the above LABELS.
Thanks!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

But where's the stamping?!

Simmer down... I'll get to it!

This is what I've been working on for a while. I finished it up last night so I could give it to my dear friend Christine for her birthday. Of course, she was out sick (and really was sick), so she hasn't gotten it yet, but I'm pretty sure she doesn't read this blog, so I'm just going to post pics before I forget about them:



And here's her card.


She's the gardener I aspire to be... I knew VeggieBella was just the girl for the job. The background stamp on the top of the blue piece is from Unity Stamps, and I'm just IN LOVE with that company. I had a small issue with one of the stamps I ordered, and Angela fixed it immediately with no work required on my end. LOVE THAT!

I've been practicing with my Prismacolor markers that I've had for, uh, probably 7 years now (I used them in interior design school... poorly). I've been taking advantage of the proliferation of Copic coloring tutorials and applying them to the product I already have (look honey, I'm saving money!!). Be on the look-out for an upcoming Craft Critique article covering this topic (end of July, I think). Anyway, here's a close-up of VeggieBella:


"Good effort, B-" <---- I say this a lot... it's a quote from my thesis adviser in grad school. I was his teaching assistant for a freshman level geology class for non-majors ("Rocks for Jocks", if you will), and we used to read our favorite essay answers aloud while we were grading papers. "Good effort, B-" was his fall back line... this was before the days of "WTF?!" So there... now you know a little bit more about me.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Tee hee!

I feel like a rockstar! I stopped in my local stamp shop (White Swan Rubber Stamps) to see what was new (the new memento inks, and the long rectangle nestabilites, thank you very much...) and the owner, Marylynn, kept asking customers if they read Craft Critique, because I was a reporter, should any of them want to meet me. And, as it turns out, several of them do read Craft Critique, and I was recognized from my blog picture! I heard at least one, "Ohhh! I love the way you write! So engaging!" and I tried not to crawl into a hole and just said thank you.

By the way, I found my missing mojo, and was up late last night creating goodness. Pics later!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Hey kids....

My new article is up at Craft Critique. We did a topic switcheroo, so this isn't the article I hinted at last week; that will be published later this month.

Still mojo-less in the papercrafting realm, but I did do this for a co-workers retirement party today... not too shabby, if I do say so myself!





I need to find my mojo quick, I have 50 baby shower invitations to make this weekend (NOT for me, ugh...)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

no stamping, just venting...

I got these awesome stamps from Unity yesterday, and it turns out that they're looking for a new design team member... applications due today of course. I figure since I work best under pressure, I should go for it. And then life got in the way. Not life so much as the fact that even though I had a couple of awesome ideas, and have spent several hours on a couple of projects, I just can't get it together. It's just not working out the way that I want it to. So now I have bits and pieces of my great ideas just sitting around ticking me off. Meh.

The dumb thing is, I really already have plenty on my plate, thank you very much. I need a design team gig like I need another kid. I can't even update this blog more than every couple of weeks. So why am I so bummed?

Oh well... the kids need showers, and I need a drink. Maybe not in that order.

May your mojo be more flowy than mine was today!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Whoops!

Time has really gotten away from me! I forgot to post a link to my latest Craft Critique article... I had much fun with this one, and every word is true.

Oh, and this is the photo they wouldn't let me use... lol, WAY too much information!
I even grew in my toenails special for the occasion!

You can click on the photo for a closer look, but WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU DO THAT?!

All right, I can take the hint... this Stamping Scientist could really use a pedicure!

Speaking of science, I've been hard at work on my next article, which will run on Monday. I've been experimenting! Like, for real experimenting, changing one variable at a time, just like a good scientist should. My professors would be so proud, oh if they could only see me now!

Gotta go check to see how my projects are drying (there's a hint for ya... a crappy hint, but a hint nonetheless!)