Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Chatty Chatty Day

How can I be so exhausted? All I did today was eat and chat with people all day...well, with the exception of spin class this morning, but that was only a small portion of my day. I had a fun time catching up with my MPH friends for brunch (see yummy stuff we ate below: fruit/yogurt, spinach salad, waffles, bacon, veggies/hummus. I brought my chocolate chip sour cream muffins). I came home, checked email, and then headed back out to see Robyn and Meg for dinner. Whew, busy busy!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Fall-To Layout #138

So, did any of you wake up super early to watch the Royal Wedding this morning? I didn't, but I woke up just in time to see the couple ride the horse-drawn carriage through the crowd-filled streets. Kate looked so elegant in her dress. Wow, what a classy lady. I think my favorite parts have to be when the couple finished walking out of the church and you can start to hear to crowd getting louder and when the couple was driving in the convertible "JUST WED" on the license plate with balloons and other trinkets tied to the car. I liked how the wedding have a nod to the past as well as had a modern touch to it too. Best of luck to them! :)

The fox was out again last night. I dunno what the reason is behind the howling. Maybe it's a boy fox and he's lonely. Can someone find him a girlfriend so he won't be sad? Thanks. Sincerely, The Neighborhood.

Dad and I met with the realtor after work today. She was such a nice lady. I really liked her. I liked that she explained everything at a pace and with words that I could understand. Oh boy. This is starting to look very real, but I'm okay with that.

I was going to go for a masculine card this evening by following Fall-To Layout #138, but then received the following advice.

[22:07] me: how do you make this masculine??
[22:08] sister: it has flowers, i don't think you can
[22:10] me: not even if they are masculine colored flowers?
[22:11] sister: masculine colored flowers... hah
[22:11] sister: don't force it

Ooook. I decided to go with a blue, yellow, brown color scheme so I guess it could go either way, to give to a male or female. I really refrained from putting gems in the center of the flowers, and instead went with Glossy Accents. I still get the dimension without going over the top with girliness.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Yellow Ochre, Blackbird, Chestnut Roan. StazOn in Azure.
Punch: Fiskars Apron Lace Border Punch, Fiskars Square squeeze punch
Stamp: Fiskars- Thank You (sentiment), K&Company- AB Lotus Floral Stamps, K.I. Memories-Blooms
Paper: American Crafts- Merrymint
Other: Glossy Accents

It'll be a very friend-filled day tomorrow: brunch with the MPH girls and then dinner with the W&L girls. :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Learning From Others

I finally got my lazy butt to the gym tonight for spin class. The last time I went was ::groan:: last week. Oops. At least I ran a few times in between! There must be something in the food that Mom brought home from Taiwan. I want to eat all of it and then when I do, I go into a food coma and suddenly napping is a wonderful idea.

For tonight's card, I wanted to take some techniques that I learned from fellow card makers. First, I did the embossed lines using the groove in my Fiskars trimmer. I saw this technique used in Kristina Werner's Make A Card Monday, April 18, 2011. Then, from Britta Swiderski, I learned that by using a square punch, you can create even banner ends. Well, provided that you line everything up properly, but it sure beats trying to cut them. The card didn't exactly come out the way I had planned, but I think it worked out just fine. The embossed lines were supposed to be on all four sides, but that set didn't turn out straight, so I cut them off. Then when I stamped the dots, the ones at the bottom got wonky so I cut them off too and added a punched border. Ta da!

Card Specs:
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Warm Honey. Colorbox chalk ink in Yellow Ochre, Blackbird, Maroon.
Punch: Fiskars Apron Lace Border Punch, Fiskars Square squeeze punch
Stamp: American Crafts- Boutonniere (flower), Fiskars- Thank You (sentiment), Hero Arts- Cling Dots
Foam adhesive: Thermoweb
Pearl: Queen & Co.- Pearl
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Food, Shopping and Lemons

Waiting, waiting...tapping fingers...Inbox (1)...ah, email!

Yes, this was a very important email that I had been waiting for all afternoon.

It was the email letting staff know that there was meeting leftovers in the kitchen! Whoo hoo! I even had my empty takeout container that I used for lunch washed out and ready to go. So I walked across the street and got a nice helping of Middle Eastern food. I was thinking that I'd have something leftover for dinner, but it was too good to pass up so I pretty much had a mini feast when I got back to my desk. Mwah ha ha.

And was in a food coma for the rest of the afternoon. But it was worth it. :D

Tonight was 31 cent scoop night at Baskin Robbins, did you go? I didn't, but then again, I've had enough food for today. :/

I went to New York & Company to pick up a present for a friend's upcoming birthday and of course, I couldn't resist buying some fabulous earrings for myself and a cute purse that was 50% off. Hello, impulse buying. This was great timing because my red purse that I carry everything in is starting to show wear. I mean, it had been for a while, but I was in denial and didn't want to entertain the thought of parting with it. I had my hands on some clearance nail polish at Ulta, but quickly dropped them and ran out of the store before I felt the urge to buy them. Whew, that was close!

Here's my card for today. I wanted to use a Studio G stamp set that had yet to see any ink. I stamped the images and added the rhinestones, but something still seemed to be missing up at the top, so I put a little patterned paper there and added some faux stitching. I'm a little uncomfortable with the white space on the upper portion of the card, but I knew that if I started putting stuff up there, the card would be too overwhelming. Better stop when the card's in a good enough place.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Yellow Ochre, Blackbird
Stamps: Studio G (all)
Paper: American Crafts- A La Carte
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Other: Black Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday Trigger: Polka Dotted Hullabaloo

Yep. Just as I suspected.

I was demoted back to #2 now that Mom's home from her 3 week vacation. Thanks, Ginger. I'm really feeling the love here.

Moving on.

I saw one of the girls that I went to the leadership conference with at the elevator today. "We should do lunch soon!" Yep, we should!

Here's my take on this week's Tuesday Trigger: Polka Dotted Hullabaloo. I decided to incorporate the dots and color scheme as much as possible. I didn't want to go too overboard with the dots, so I just have a strip at the bottom. A trick with using StazOn ink on clear stamps is to prime the stamp first with Versamark and then stamp on the StazOn ink pad. The sticky Versamark will hold onto the ink more and prevent it from pooling too much.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Yellow Ochre, Charcoal, Warm Red, Blue Iris. StazOn in Dove Gray
Stamps: Martha Stewart- Patterns (dots), K&Company- AB Lotus Floral Stamps (leaves), Inkadinkado (sentiment, flower), Studio G (hummingbirds)
Paper: American Crafts Specialty Paper in Pearl (blue)
Punch: Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment border punch, We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Pearl: Queen & Co.- Pearl
Other: Black Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker

P.S. My sister passed her thesis defense. Yay! :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Robot Good Luck Card

Today, I bit the bullet, called the mortgage loan officer that my real estate agent recommended, and filled out a pre-loan application. Good thing I had my docs ready! Whew.

Tonight's adventure was taking my computer semi-apart to clean it. The fan was getting really loud and I was worried that the dust was just out of control in there. I think I got some of it out, but I had to stop in my excavation because one of the panels wasn't coming out and I didn't want to break anything. Maybe my sister or cousin can be persuaded with cookies or cupcakes to clean this thing out for real. My dark blue manicure didn't hold up very well. Sigh. It was fun while it lasted.

Here's the card that I made for my sister. She's presenting on her Master's thesis tomorrow. The card arrived in the mail today, so it's safe to share the card tonight. This was an opportunity to use my new robot stamps. I used some scraps to paper piece color into the image...he's a cute little guy.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Yellow Ochre, Prussian Blue, Blackbird, Warm Red. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Broken China.
Stamps: The Paper Company Studio- Greetings (sentiment), Recollections- Robots (everything else)
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Paper: Die Cuts with a View- Stack 7
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Standard Circles Large

Sunday, April 24, 2011

CPS #215

This morning started out really weird (and early). I was woken up around 5 AM by some shrieking outside. I thought it was a hurt animal that had gotten hit accidentally by a car. When I peeked out the window, the animal that was making the noise seemed to be doing just fine, sitting in the middle of the street. I went downstairs to take a closer look. The animal had perky ears like a cat but it was too big to be a cat. I did some quick research online and found out that it was a fox. o_O Huh? Ooook. It ran off, but I could hear the shrieking again up the street and then later, down the street. This continued for about an hour. I hope it found its way back to the woods. The neighborhood, or at least I, need sleep. This was a very Over the Hedge moment.

I spent most of the day in bed, reading my book (and finishing it). Yes yes, the weather was really nice outside, however, I wasn't feeling 100%. I think it must have been a combination of a non-restful night and the temperature change. :P

Here's my take on CPS #215. I wanted to use a Martha Stewart stamp set that I haven't used in a while. I think the theme of the stamp is more boyish with the cars and airplanes, but with some rhinestones, I think anything can be made girly. Beep beep!
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Yellow Ochre, Prussian Blue, Blackbird, Warm Red, Warm Green
Stamps: Martha Stewart- Toy Transportation (car), American Crafts- Dear Lizzy- Warbler (cloud), K.I. Memories- Garden (sun, grass), Hero Arts- Thinking of You Messages (sentiment)
Paper: Recollections- Blue Argyle
Punch: EK Success Circle punch (1 3/8 inch)
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 8
Sticker: EK Success- Animals
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials
Embossing Folder: Cuttlebug (Swiss Dots)
Foam adhesive: Thermoweb

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Wee Memories Challenge #53

I had intended to go to the gym this morning for spin class, but I realized that I didn't have any gym clothes left. Oops. Minor laundry crisis. Instead I made the best of my morning...I completed the following all before noon, suh-weet!

a. Did 2 loads of laundry.
b. Vacuumed 2 levels of the house.
c. Went grocery shopping. I saw my uncle and aunt there. I couldn't tell if my aunt was monitoring the items in my cart. I hadn't gotten very far in the store so she must have thought I don't eat very well. I think the only items in my cart were random things like chocolate chips and mayo. My uncle saw me in the dairy aisle, trying to decide what kind of spreadable butter I wanted. I bought a pint of the Ben and Jerry's Red Velvet Cake ice cream and was underwhelmed (say what?). I should have gotten Phish Food.
d. Went to the bank to get some docs ready for house hunting.

When I got home, I was diving into my roast beef sandwich. Ginger was being very needy behind me. She had the "I wanted to remind you that I'm a fan of roast beef too. Do you want to share? :D" Yeah, I caught the hint, thanks.

I made another batch of the chocolate chip sour cream muffins I made yesterday so that my cousin could bring some back to campus with him and then settled in for a very nice afternoon nap. Got woken up by said cousin, who was outside, ringing the doorbell and calling my cell. "Are you home?" Yeah ok ok. Dad was vacuuming downstairs so he didn't hear the doorbell either. I had to get up anyway, and much to my surprise, it was sunny outside! I thought it was going to be rainy. Huh.

Since some of my gym/running clothes had air dried from this morning, I went for a 4.85 mile run around the neighborhood this evening to make up for not going to the gym this morning. I saw a bunny and petted on of the neighborhood cats. :)

Currently reading: The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella. I had read it before when it first came out, but found it for $1 at a recent used book sale.

Here's my take on Wee Memories Challenge #53:"Girls Just Wanna Have Fun- So for this week you will create projects with a girly theme i.e. dresses, purses, shoes, hairbows, girly colors, etc. Anything Girly!!" I decided to use this opportunity to use some Asian themed stamps that I bought on clearance recently. I used paper piecing as a way to add color to the girl since I don't have markers. As for accessories, I cut out a couple of fans from scraps of patterned paper. Finally, the sentiment. I should have done the sentiment first, but I instead adhered everything and then thought "Ok, what about a sentiment?" I didn't want to use embossing powder and risk getting the powder everywhere on the card and I didn't want to stamp a sentiment because what if I stamped it wrong? Fortunately, I had a pack of Thickers that I got at TJMaxx recently that I hadn't used yet. Ah, perfect. Ta da!
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Tattered Rose
Stamps: Recollections- Kyoto (girl, fan).
Paper: American Crafts- Letterbox, Dear Lizzy
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 4, Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 8
Embossing Folder: Cuttlebug (Swiss Dots)
Stickers: American Crafts Glitter Puffy Thickers in Bumble
Foam adhesive: Thermoweb

Friday, April 22, 2011

Fall-To Layout #137

When looking for new recipes to try, I've been going to Tastespotting recently. For example, today. I wanted something sweet. I had my eye on a lemon poppy seed recipe, but because of the rainy weather, I didn't really feel like going outside to do some grocery shopping. Instead I went on Tastespotting, and when I was browsing, I saw a recipe for chocolate chip sour cream muffins. I never thought to put sour cream in muffins, but the reviews were positive and I actually had some leftover sour cream in the refridgerator that I didn't really know what to do with but also didn't want it to go to waste. This recipe was a great solution, and the muffins turned out great! I think it's the sour cream that made them so moist. Yum!

Have you seen the new Simon's Cat video? So cute and funny!

I went to my uncle's house for dinner tonight, and it was sad to not have Petty there :(

For Fall-To Layout #137, I knew exactly which embellishments I wanted to use. My sister had given me some cherry blossom stickers, and I wanted to use them for a card that I'm sending to my friend for her upcoming birthday. Purple is also her favorite color, which worked out fine because it jives with the pink blossoms. The purple patterned paper was added on at the last minute because I thought there was too much plain cardstock...the black, pale blue, and purple. I think it balances the visual interest.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Rouge
Stamps: Fiskars- Birthday (sentiment), K&Company- AB Lotus Floral Stamps (flower)
Stickers: Jolee's Boutique- Together Blossoms
Paper: Die Cuts with a View
Buttons: Bucket White from Michaels. Favorite Findings in Pink.
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials

Thursday, April 21, 2011

At the Office Goals, Part 2

Well, today didn't get off on the right foot (woke up late, left the house late, got to work late) but it got better as the day went on.

a. Got an Etsy sale this morning. #561. I'm creeping up to #600, yay!

b. Attended a really good presentation on public speaking at work. This was a very timely event because I talked to the Executive Director this past Monday about starting a speech club at the office. The idea would be to give staff an opportunity to practice their public speaking, while sharing what they've been working on either at the office or in their personal lives. The ED brought that up at the end of the presentation today and a part of me was like "Uhhh, that was MY idea." Then he asked the group "who thinks this is a good idea?" Of course, I raised my hand. "Of course you think it's a good idea, Tina. This was your idea in the first place." Oh, good. He remembered.

c. My other pet project at the office is starting to get some support too...the idea of having the junior staff getting together once a month to talk about stuff we're working on. The senior staff have a similar monthly meeting, but we need that type of venue to trickle down to my level. If I can get this group and the public speaking club running by the summer and have it catch on, I will be very happy.

d. Ended my work week with a 4.85 mile run around the neighborhood. I decided to give myself the day off of work...I need to recharge and make a conscious effect to step away from my work email. By the way, catcalling a runner while you're riding in a beatup minivan isn't really sexy, mkay? Dumb boys.

e. Painted my nails tonight. China Glaze: Little Drummer Boy, which is a dark dark blue.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

At the Office Goals

Instead of working on a card tonight, I worked on outlining my accomplishments at work. With performance reviews coming up and budget cuts looming, I want to make sure that I can articulate what contributions I've made so far and what contributions I can make in the future. Whether or not I actually get a promotion isn't really up to me, but at least I can do my part and document what I've been up to and put that information forward.

::crossing fingers::

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

CPS #214

Ok, it's time to get serious. I officially signed up for the Capitol Hill Classic 10K tonight (race date: May 15). No more dragging my feet. No more "I'll register later." No more "Uhh, that scary scary hill at the end of the race." ithinkicanithinkicanithinkicanithinkican. On a related note, the HR director at work is a hardcore runner, and she's been encouraging me to do a running training program. Errr. Running with people? I dunno about that. What if I slow them down? I think she sensed my hesistation when I was talking to her in the hallway yesterday. She offered to put together a training program for the 8K I'm shooing for in the fall. With her and Meg (who texted me earlier today "Did you sign up for the 10K yet?"), I'm very lucky to have motivators.

Janice the Tuesday night spinning instructor was out today. The substitute was a lady who used to be a student and then she decided to take the instructor class. You go, girl! It was a good work out. I would totally take her class if she was subbing again.

I finally watched "The Hangover" last night. Yes, yes, I'm very behind. My former officemate let me borrow it and I felt bad that I hadn't returned it yet. It was funny, but I don't think I would shell out $10 to see it at the theater.

Here's my take on CPS #214. I was determined to use some chipboard elements so I dug out some cherries from American Crafts. I wasn't so precise with my stamping and accidentally got some on the pale green part and mis-stamped a pink flower. Solution: cover up the ink with the border strip and double stamp flowers so that they all look like the one that I goofed up on. Heh. Crisis averted.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Rouge
Stamps: Hero Arts- Thinking of You Messages (sentiment), K&Company- AB Lotus Floral Stamps (flower)
Punch: Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment border punch, We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Paper: American Crafts- Dear Lizzy (green), American Crafts Specialty Paper in Pearl (blue)
Chipboard: American Crafts- Fieldhouse- Glitter Blue Skies
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials
Foam adhesive: Thermoweb

Song of the day: "Shark In The Water"- V V Brown. Nancy the substitute spin instructor played this tonight.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Leadership Conference Follow-Up

I had a meeting with the Executive Director and the Chief Operating Officer this morning to debrief them on the leadership conference that I went to about a week ago. I told them about the new initiatives I had in mind, and they responded positively to them and gave me the green light to pitch the idea to the senior staff. At the end of the meeting, the ED said something to the effect of how I was quiet and won't really get in people's faces about getting things off the ground. I was laughing on the inside because of course he'd think I'm quiet. That's because a) he's the ED and b) we're not related. I'm glad that I had a meeting with the leadership this morning and I followed through with my plan. I'm not one to go straight to the top, but I guess in order to get stuff started, what better way to make yourself vulnerable and bring it up to the Big Boss? My next goal is to find some partners-in-crime.

Today's card is another one that started out with what I already had on my desk. The floral patterned paper was from the 1st try of this card, but I cut it too small. It was too big a piece to put in the recycle pile, so I decided to put it to good use. I wanted the flower to be the main focus of the card, so I decided to embellish it with some glitter glue and white faux stitching. I didn't want to cover patterned paper with glitter because a) it'd be overwhelming and b) the paper would probably start to warp. I don't use glitter a lot because I don't like risking it falling everywhere, but the glue helps set it.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Warm Green
Paper: American Crafts- A La Carte
Stamps: SEI- Winter Song (sentiment), Hero Arts- Cling Dots
Punch: Martha Stewart Doily Lace border punch
Glitter glue: Studio G
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials

Song of the day: "Heartbreak on Vinyl" - Blake Lewis. Heard it at spin class tonight.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fall-To Layout #136

Here's my take on this week's Fall-To Layout (#136). I think that any cardmaker needs to have a few sets of go-to alphabet stamps. That way, you're not restricted to just sentiment stamps, you can make your own sentiments. Today, I wanted to use what was already laying around my work space. I started out with a card base that had a yellow piece of cardstock adhered on it. I masked off about 1/3 using a Post-It and stamped some berries on the remaining 2/3rds. I liked the tone-on-tone effect brought about by the Yellow Ochre ink. I added other elements from my scrap pile. I started out thinking that the sentiment would be "Celebrate" but then I realized that I wouldn't have enough space, so I did "Call Me? Miss You" instead. Even though the sketch has a button as an embellishment, I decided to use the tiny rhinestones for a little sparkle.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Prussian Blue, Yellow Ochre, Blackbird.
Stamps: K&Company- AB Lotus Floral Stamps (leaves), American Crafts- Rue (alphabet), Fiskars- Friendship Garden (flower)
Paper: American Crafts- Abode
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, Martha Stewart Doily Lace border punch

Song of the day: "Some Kind of Wonderful" - Grand Funk Railroad. I went to Janice's 1-hour spin class this morning (I had to get my fix because she'll be on vacation for a little bit) and at the end of the class, when we had one song left, she called out my name, "Tina, Jessie J or old people music? Jessie J?" I shook my head no. I don't like that "Price Tag" song. I figured any old people music would have been preferable to the Price Tag song. This was the old people song she played. I think it'd be a good running song.

My spinning buddy had her baby at the gym today. "Can you say hi to Tina?" And my friend wiggled her baby's feet and the baby smiled. Awww, yay! The baby had cute rubber ducky pjs.

Link: Cute marriage proposal story.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sad, Rainy Day

Sad news: I came back from volunteering with my friend Robyn this morning to find out that my uncle's cat, Petty, passed away overnight. She's been sick for a while, so maybe this is for the end her suffering and all that. My dad and another uncle (who's housesitting for my uncle aka Petty's dad) took her to the vet to be cremated. The sad news kinda coordinated with the gross rainy weather. :'( Rest easy, Petty. We'll miss ya.

Friday, April 15, 2011


I decided to put myself on lockdown today and work from home. This way I could really concentrate on coding some survey data without any distractions or temptations to be chatty. There's no one in the house today...only Ginger, who slept most of the time anyway. If/Then statements in Excel isn't something that I've done before, but after I got into my zone, it was fine. I would say that I'm about 70% done. Of course, the Survey Team will be met with a bunch of questions on Monday.

I'm hanging out with my friend Robyn tonight. We're doing a volunteer event together tomorrow morning and because the event's more in her neck of the woods, I thought it'd be smarter to carpool with her in the morning together. She has a pair of Bengal cats. They definitely aren't your average tabby. This should be interesting...hope your weekends start off on a good note! :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Resist Embossing Technique, Part 2

Funny things that happened at the office today:
  • I went to go visit my former officemate in the main building, and one of my co-workers walked by and asked her is she missed me. "No, because she's over here all the time." Ha ha. It's true. I was in the main building a total of 4 times today. There was leftover meeting food, so that was an extra incentive to go over and also visit.
  • When a bunch of us were getting leftover lunch, one of the guys said that he was having a snack. I asked him if what he was getting was within his new dietary restrictions (he recently found out that he was diabetic). "Yes, Tina..." Then another person noted that my comment was very mommy-ish. Oops. I can't help it!
  • My boss and I are going to be traveling together for work in May and renting a car. me- "Do you want me to bring my GPS?" Boss- "Um, sure, that'd be great. I use maps." Oh, gosh, is she talking about a fold out map? How old school.
I decided to try another emboss resist card with the same stamp I used on Monday. This time, I stamped the music score stamp first and then I used clear embossing powder to stamp the bird image on top. I was expecting the music score to stand out more, but you can't even see it through the clear embossed part of the card. Maybe I needed to zap the music score image with a heat gun before moving on. Oh well. I went over the card with some Distress Inks, expecting the colors to be more vibrant, but they are definitely more toned down. It's definitely not my style, but I think the teal, tan, and red kinda work together. Same stamp, totally different look.

Card Specs:
Embossing powder: Stampendous! in clear
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Broken China, Warm Honey, Barn Door, Antique Linen. Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird.
Paper: Die Cuts with a View- Stack 7
Stamp: Hampton Art- Bird Collage, American Crafts- Rue, Stampendous (music score)
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

One-Layer Wednesday #49

I was having a "I need chocolate" moment today so I caved in and ate the chocolate wand that my cousins got me from the Harry Potter amusement park. Word on the street is that a CVS is being built near my office. I will have to exercise restraint against the easy access chocolate.

Here's my take on this week's One-Layer Wednesday challenge (#49). The assignment is "Make a one-layer card with any stamp (or stamps) that have never seen ink and include the colours green and pink. You may use other colours in addition to the green and pink." I took this opportunity to use a new stamp set that I got last weekend. I think the butterfly image is so pretty with the intricate design. I used a circle die and some scratch paper to mask off the outside of the card, leaving a circle space for the images. I like how the music background helps define the circle, instead of me having the draw the circle.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Warm Green, Dark Peony, Yellow Ochre, Blackbird. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Antique Linen.
Stamps: K&Company- AB Lotus Floral Stamps (butterfly, leaves), K.I. Memories-Blooms (yellow flower), Stampendous (music score), Fiskars- Friendship Garden (heart), The Paper Company Studio- Greetings (sentiment)
Buttons: Bucket White, Bucket Red from Michaels. Favorite Findings in Pink.
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Standard Circles Large
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday Trigger: Porch Play

Today was Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry's. Did you cash in? I certainly did! I went with two of my co-workers and we were lucky to not be in a long line. I'm not sure what was the reasoning behind the short line. Maybe it was the dreary weather. A little rain wasn't going to come between me and my ice cream though. I got "Stephen Colbert's AmeriCone Dream", which is "vanilla ice cream with fudge covered waffle cone pieces and a caramel swirl."

Here's my take on this week's Tuesday Trigger challenge: Porch Play. I wanted to incorporate the colors in the trigger photo as well as use some of my new crafty items. I don't really have any teal ink that matches the pillows, so I decided to use some teal paper that had some scallops in them which would match with the ruffles on the pillow. While the flowers in the photo are red, I had a yellow fabric flower on my desk that I had made for another project but ended up not using. It fit perfectly with this yellow, red, teal theme. I chose a cheerful celebrate sentiment because I'm sending this card to my friend Page. I got a text from her today saying that she has been admitted to pharmacy school. Hip hip hooray!
Card Specs:
Embossing powder: Personal Stamp Exchange- Black
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Warm Honey. Colorbox chalk ink in Yellow Ochre.
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Paper: American Crafts- Abode
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 4
Stamp: American Crafts- Boutonniere (flower), Fiskars- Sentiments (sentiment)
Brad: Recollections
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials

Monday, April 11, 2011

Resist Embossing Technique

I decided to go visit my cousin after spin class and I'm SO glad that I did because he had one cupcake left from Georgetown Cupcake!!! What perfect timing (or not so good timing, depending on how you want to look at the situation)! He must have subconsciously known that I was coming to visit. I think the one that I ate was the Cherry Blossom one...very seasonally appropriate.

I recently saw this blog post about Resist Embossing Technique, and I wanted to try it out with some of the items I purchase this past weekend: watercolor paper, 2 stamps, and patterned paper. I've also seen Jennifer McGuire do something like this too, but I couldn't find the specific YouTube video that she talks about this. I don't think there was any logic to the colors that I used or the placement, and while I'm a person that appreciates order, I kinda like how the colors are dispersed across the bird image.

Card Specs:
Embossing powder: Personal Stamp Exchange- Black
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Peeled Paint, Broken China, Tattered Rose, Warm Honey, Barn Door.
Punch: Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment border punch, We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Paper: American Crafts- Abode
Stickers: EK Success- Hearts
Stamp: Hampton Art- Bird Collage, Studio G (sentiment)
Foam adhesive: Thermoweb

Song of the day: "If I Could Turn Back Time" - Cher.


No judging, mkay?

P.S. Tomorrow is Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry's!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Since Mom's been away, Ginger the cat's been hanging out with me a lot lately. It's nice to feel wanted. I wonder how the dynamic will change once Mom gets back in a few weeks. I'll probably be demoted back to #2. She's been more touchy-feely too. She's been trying this new thing where if she REALLY wants my attention, she'll stand at the end of the bed and get up on her hind legs so she can reach to touch my back with her paw while I'm sitting at my computer. It's kinda cute, but creepy if I'm not expecting it.

I was so happy to be able to go to spin class this morning, since I missed out on TH and SAT classes. I even went for a 3.8 mile run this evening because "hair being a pain to wash is a poor excuse" to not go for a run, says my sister. It was nice to be finally outside instead of cooped up inside for the last 2.5 days. Two-a-day, woot!

I made some shepherd's pie this afternoon since ground beef and potatoes were on sale this week. Yum!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Leadership Conference, Day 3 + Fall-To Layout #135

Today was the last day of the leadership conference, and I think it ended on a really good note. You know how sometimes you go to a training conference, and you leave feeling like "ok, what do I do now?" I didn't come away feeling that way. I had a list of books that I'm interested in reading (hopefully, the library will have some of them) and ideas that I'm eager to bounce off of my colleagues when I get back to the office on Monday.

When I was saying good bye to the 2 people from the conference that work in the same building, we all agreed that we'd probably see each other in the Ben & Jerry's line for Free Cone Day next week. :)

Since the conference was kind of a trek from home, I decided to take that opportunity to scope out the craft stores in the area before and after the event. I came away with some loot, and every item I bought was discounted or on sale. Ready? 2 American Crafts paper collections (like I don't have enough AC paper), 1 American Crafts alphabet stamp set, 2 rubber stamps, 1 clear stamp set, 1 pad of watercolor paper, 1 Colorbox fluid chalk ink pad. The ink pad was a great find because I was planning to get one online. I guess it pays be patient.

Ginger the cat was very needy when I got home. Maybe Dad didn't give her enough petting attention. I was pleasantly surprised that the house wasn't in disarray when I got home. Dad kept things in order. Yay!

Here's my take on Fall-To Layout #135. I really wanted to use some of my new American Crafts paper, so I chose a yellow/red floral one. I created my own layered flower using some Primas and then added some garden insects to give some life to the white panel. The sentiment was a little tough to come by because I didn't want to add another panel in and I wasn't sure a sentiment with black embossing powder was going to stand out enough. I decided to use two different sets of black chipboard letters to create the sentiment.
Card Specs:
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Vintage Photo.
Paper: American Crafts- A La Carte
Punch: Martha Stewart Doily Lace border punch, EK Success Scalloped Circle punch (2 inch)
Brad: Recollections- Silver Circles
Flowers: Prima
Stickers: EK Success- Animals, American Crafts Chipboard Thickers (Tenant Phrases), American Crafts Chipboard Thickers in Typo
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials
Other: Brown Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker

Friday, April 8, 2011

Leadership Conference, Day 1+2

Hello, blogosphere. I haven't forgotten about you. I've been away at a leadership conference...the one that my boss mentioned last week.

**This will be a blog post about work related stuff. Card making will resume either tomorrow or Sunday. This would be a good time to close the window if you don't want to read my babble about this leadership conference.**

This has been a really good conference so far! I know that sounds kinda cheesy, but wow, I'm actually learning stuff. The facilitators are really energizing, and their positive energy has been inspiring and infectious. I came to the conference with a colleague and to be honest, we don't talk much at the office because our programs don't really collaborate. This was a perfect opportunity to get to know her better and do some bonding. I've also met some people that work in my building, but for a different organization. I hope that the group of us can meet up around the office and catch up sometime in the future. I think that'd be really great for networking purposes.

Two of the things that I've learned during this conference:
  • Personal observation: There was a discussion about personal change styles. I identified myself with the "conservers"- people who accept the structure, are conventional, are predictable, may appear cautious and inflexible, may focus on routine. The other options were "pragmatists" and "originators"...basically, these people are more open to change. The facilitator asked us to raise our hands depending on which category we saw ourselves in. Out of about 50 people, I was the only one that raised my hand and identified myself as a conserver. Whaaat? I didn't know that until the facilitator said something. I was sitting in the front of the room so I had no idea that no one else raised their hand. After about a 5-second pause, another guy raised his hand. Uh oh. Hm. Even though I semi-singled myself out during this exercise, I'm happy that I had the guts to admit that I'm a person that appreciates habit. However, the take-away message from me from that exercise was "change isn't always better, but in order to be better, you have to change."
  • General observation: Networking and being able to engage in small talk takes practice. I'm not really comfortable with small talk. However, I found that, at least at this conference, you just have to find something in common with the other person. It can be anything. For me, it was fashion (I complimented someone on her bag) and location (I started talking to one of the participants because I noticed that she worked in my building). This was a good exercise to get me out of my comfort zone.
True to conference protocol, I ate all day. There was food everywhere. To balance that out, I went to the facility gym to get a workout in and it went surprisingly quickly because I was busy thinking of two initiatives I hope to pitch to my boss next week (one about bridging programs and another about providing staff with a professional development opporutnity in house). I mean, I am attending a leadership conference and I'm feeling inspired to be more proactive within my organization. I needed to write this down and put it in public view so that I'd hold myself accountable for these goals.

Ok, that's enough work talk for now. I'm going to go watch Raiders of the Lost Ark on tv. :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gratitude and Food

I decided that I needed to create some Mother's Day cards for my Etsy shop, so that's what I did tonight instead of creating a one-layer card for One-Layer Wednesday. This week's challenge was focused on creating a sympathy card without using flowers or trees. Give it a try!

Today, I went out to lunch (Thai food) with people in my department. If you've been reading my blog for a while, food at the office is a common thing, but it's rare that I'd only eat with my department since two of the directors are off-site. It was nice to have a sit-down meal, chat and joke around. I'm very fortunate to work with a team of people that appreciates the value of camaraderie.

I'll be partaking in a leadership training the next few days. It'll be like a mini work adventure. :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday Trigger: A Burst of Blooms

Today just flew by! Did it for you? I spent the morning at the office in a long but productive meeting. I was learning about IF/THEN statements and how to do them in Excel...and of course the peanut gallery had to make a comment in the following excerpt from an IM conversation today.

[11:06] me: i'm learning about if then statements right now.
[11:07] me: i'm actually learning something new! :)
[11:07] sister: whoa, whoa
[11:07] sister: gasp
[11:08] sister: you are getting deeper into this geekiness

Anywayyyy. Here's my take on this week's Trigger Target challenge. I went with flowers and tried to stick with the color scheme and mimic the layer of colors within some of the flowers by using buttons.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, French Blue, Warm Red, Tangerine, Yellow Ochre. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Weathered Wood.
Paper: Die Cuts with a View- Stack 7
Stamps: The Paper Company Studio- Greetings (sentiment), K.I. Memories-Blooms (flowers)
Buttons: Bucket White, Bucket Red from Michaels. Favorite Findings in Pink.
Punch: Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment border punch
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 4
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials

Monday, April 4, 2011

Wee Memories Challenge #50

So, last Tuesday, after spin class, I decided to order something online. Some percentage of the proceeds was going to the Japanese earthquake/tsunami relief effort and I thought, "I get the item, and some of it goes to a good cause. Win-win situation. Love those." What did I get, you ask? An official Do Life t-shirt! :) It was waiting outside the house when I got home from work today. I quickly changed out of my work clothes so I could put it on and take a picture with it, complete with the BenDoesLife finger point.

This week's Wee Memories Challenge (#50) theme was color: "Tell us about your favorite color or use your favorite color palette ... any colors you want to mix up!" I would have to say that I use a lot of bright colors in my cards, but I am a big fan of red. I wanted to use some of the g.c.d. Studios paper and was inspired by this friend card from Kristina Werner where she used strips of cardstock. I, instead, used stripes of patterned paper for the visual interest. I also used a stamp set that I bought over the weekend on clearance. The entire Garden Greetings stamp set was $2.49, mwah ha ha. I paper pieced the butterfly and flower to tie them back into the patterned paper I used in the background and added some buttons for some dimension. Glossy Accents was added to the butterfly antennae, the flower stamen and dots.
Card Specs:
Paper: g.c.d. Studios- Chianti Collection
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird
Stamps: Inkadinkado- Garden Greetings (sentiment)
Buttons: Bucket Black from Michaels
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Other: Glossy Accents

P.S. Mom left today for a 3 week vacation to see her family and friends. Dad, Ginger, and I will have to fend for ourselves. This should be interesting...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cherry Blossom 10-miler + CPS #212

This morning, I witnessed some awesome athleticism at the Cherry Blossom 10-miler. My friend Meg was running it, and I went to go support her. She had been sick all week and still mustered the energy to do it. I couldn't do it even if I was feeling 100%! Anyway, a few things from the race...
  • Someone in the cheering crowd was wearing a macaw costume. o_0
  • There was a dog with her owner and she was barking the entire time (prompted by her owner). I think she was very excited and doing her own cheering, the only way a dog knows how. Wooo, wooo, wooo.
  • I was planning to meeting up with another friend Robyn to cheer Meg on, but our coordination wasn't going as planned. At mile 4, I was looking for Robyn while trying to keep an eye out for Meg. Meg runs by "Robyn's back there!" Oh, heh. Sheesh, we are a funny bunch. Leave to to the race runner to let me know where I need to be. I finally caught up with Robyn, and we walked to the finish line to see Meg finish.
  • I posted the pics on Facebook and a classmate from undergrad posted on my Wall,"Definitely saw you cheering this morning! Hope you're doing well!" Lol. I hope he had a good race too.

I went back to Meg's to get my car, and then I headed out to do some shopping. I hit up Michaels, Joanns, Ross, Marshalls, and TJMaxx. I only bought stuff at Michaels: 3 stamp sets that were on clearance (which I already knew about based on my YouTube haul watching research) and some kraft cardstock that was on sale (because you can never go wrong with kraft).

When I got home, I noticed that my mochi/red bean cake looked smaller than the day before! GAH! What the heck?! Did the intruder not read the sign?! That's what it's there for! I asked Mom what the deal was, and she told me that she gave a piece to my cousin when he was over yesterday. Oh, ok. Yeah, that's fine. Crisis neutralized.

I felt motivated to go for a run this afternoon (it's been about 2 weeks since my last run, erk!), but then, I dunno if it's the pollen or what, but I was feeling totally zapped of energy and so I took a nap this afternoon. I hope I'm not coming down with something...I got a busy work week ahead of me.

Here's my take on this week's CPS sketch challenge (#212). I was inspired by a scrap piece of paper on my desk that I punched a butterfly out of already. Ah hah! Instead of having plain triangle banners or plain box-y ones, I can have box-y ones with a butterfly punched out of them! Instead of using string, I used an embossing pen to draw one in and use embossing powder to make sure that it stood out against the purple.
Card Specs:
Embossing powder: Stampendous! in white
Embossing ink: Ranger Perfect Medium pen, Versamark
Paper: American Crafts- Dear Lizzy, American Crafts- Letterbox, Recollections, Die Cuts with a View
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials
Stamp: Inkadinkado (sentiment)
Punch: Fiskars Upper Crest border punch, Martha Stewart- Classic Butterfly
Pearl: Queen & Co.- Pearl

Song of the day: "What the Hell"- Avril Lavigne.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fall-To Layout #134

Random assortment of stuff that aren't involved to have their own paragraph.
  • I want to go see the movie "Hop" that came out today. While the bunny's cute, James Marsden is cuter. You'd think that in him playing Cyclops that he didn't know how to crack a smile, but really, after he played other roles, he has a great smile.
  • We had free breakfast at work today. Since the Global Health department was sponsoring it, they made it an international themed breakfast with crêpes, madeleines, and croissants with the usual eggs, bacon, fruit, etc. Yum!
  • I made creamy taco mac again. I added in another can of tomatoes and pretended it made the dish healthier.
  • Candy eaters surprisingly slimmer, says this article that I saw on Is this an April Fool's joke??? It sounds pretty official to me, but I'm not sure how that's really possible.
  • The grid card that I made last Saturday was featured on the NorthRidge Publishing blog yesterday. You kinda have to scroll down to the bottom of the post.
My uncle is visiting from Taiwan. He came last night and brought over some treats, and of course, we dug right in. I came home from work to find one of the treats (red bean cake with mochi inside) half gone! I have to admit that I had a 1/8 slice last night while watching TV. SOMEone else (::cough:: DAD!) was the culprit. In order to prevent WWIII in my house, Mom gave me my own cake and wrote a note to any potential intruders. Thanks, Mom.
After doing some scrapbook haul watching research on YouTube, I found out that some TJMaxx stores out there are carrying new American Crafts products. I went to investigate and after some major digging, I found a 4 pack value pack of Thickers ($5.99) and a small wedding related stamp set called Boutonniere ($1.99). It pays to do your homework ahead of time, huh? I'll have to see what other locations have to offer sometime this weekend.

Here's my take on this week's Fall-To Layout (#134). I used this sketch as an opportunity to make a birthday card for my boss because her birthday is next week. I rummaged around for some scrap patterned paper and found this floral one from the City Park collection. Then I matched the colors in the paper to the ink that I used for the stamped flower images. I rotated the stamp so that the images were all the same. Then I added some bling, a sentiment and some color around the edges. The white gel pen was added as a finishing touch. Super easy card and I love how colorful and cheerful it is!
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Prussian Blue, Yellow Ochre, Rouge, Dark Peony, Warm Green, Amber Clay, Blackbird. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Chipped Sapphire.
Paper: American Crafts- City Park
Stamps: Inkadinkado (flower), Savvy Stamps (sentiment)
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials