Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New "TOY(S)!!!!

Ok Ladies-forget the cute little Cuttlebug---you've GOT to get the Big Shot!!! Mine arrived last week and I am so excited. It is TOO CUTE! The colors are way cool---slick black with girly-girl pink-and can you see those little crystals even on either side of the words "Big Shot"?! Those of you who have taken our classes know that I got my Zipe-mate (used) from Theresa. It was a good buy since she's a good friend! But then I ordered the TOP NOTE die from her (it's a new product from Stampin' up---see that shape that has the floral design and "thinking of you" stamped in it on the last photo---that's the new TOP NOTE SU die). Anyway---the die...was wider than my Zipe-mate! : O Not good! I had been looking at Cuttlebug's since they are sooo cute and fold up for storage---but the Big Shot wasn't that much more, is wider than the Cuttlebug...and it was cute, too-so I went for the gold! Now, I have to confess-I did not have an SU catalog---and what I read on-line led me to believe that the Big Shot came without the accessories. THAT WAS WRONG! If you order the Big Shot from SU (call Theresa--or e-mail her at kraftitee@aol.com) it does come with everything you need to start cutting and embossing. And...although I haven't ordered it (yet!)---there is an ADORABLE bag you can get to store it in, travel with it in, etc. I can't wait! I do have to say, however, my beloved Accucut slide mount die...does not fit the Big Shot...the"sandwich" is too thick. So--I will be holding on to the Zipe-mate as well. But I do know that I will get A LOT of use out of both the SU Top Note die and the Big Shot. So if you don't hear from me for awhile...you know where I am and what I am doing! ; )
Until next time, happy stamping and scrapping. Blessings, Sharon

Curosity and the Cat (er, Kitten as we call him!)

Here are some pics of my "Creative Consultant & Assistant" (aka Inky aka Kitten (even though he's almost 3!) When my DH (darling husband) upgraded our dial-up connection to high-speed, the computer et al moved from the bar to the desk---which is by the front door---which is where all the cats congregate to greet us as we come and go-and the fact that their food bin is right there doesn't hurt, either! This particular morning Inky was "supervising" the printing of return address labels for a card order I had. While I got the shot of him sticking his head in the paper input slot, I missed the one where his head was stuck up into the output feed tray! I hope you're help is as good as he is! I'd say the pay is cheap--but this is our "free/problem kitty" Dr. Travis has worked hard to save...so "cheap" is not the correct adjective in his case!
Until next time, happy stamping and scrapping. Blessings, Sharon

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Create JOY...

So this card was virtually impossible to get the full effect captured in the photograph despite my attempts with various settings! In the "window" is actually a dry embossed image of a bird sitting on marsh grass. It's Cuttlebug's Bird Call and has fast become a favorite of mine as it lends itself to numerous occasions. The hibiscus stamp and Create Joy are both Hero Art stamps. Unfortunately, I am not sure who the palm tree stamp is by. The inks are by Close to My Heart-Sweet Leaf (the light green) and New England Ivy (darker green). I love the way they compliment one another. That's one of the "pluses" of the Close to My Heart line-all the hard part of matching colors is done for you so this was really a "no brainer"! ; )Plain white cardstock makes the base, but the green Bazzill makes the circle pop!

Rather than opening like a traditional card, the tag pulls out, revealing the embossed bird image on the hibiscus background. It opens up to reveal a definition of celebrate (again, Hero Art stamp stamped in CTMH Sweet Leaf and the invitation information with a small cocktail glass stamped in the Sweet Leaf as well. I designed this as an invitation for a family reunion gathering (birds of a feather gather together-sorry, I couldn't resist! lol!) which will be held at a state botanical garden, hence the flower and bird theme. I have to confess---my original protoype was much different--and when my customer suggested changes, I balked. I wasn't liking what she wanted and since I had to make 60...well...you can imagine. But as I played with the inks and colors and shapes, I found a pleasant blend and compromise. And I was surprised at how quickly they went together!

On another note, today is certainly a JOYOUS DAY--it's Easter. And for believers around the world, we are celebrating the resurrection of Christ our Lord and Savior. Brook and I braved the cool April air and headed to the Sunrise Service at Ft. Caswell this morning-we were listening to a beautiful solo as the sun rose above the Cape Fear River. Awesome. We came home and thawed out, had some breakfast and headed to our church for the 9:30 service. This afternoon we will (hopefully) create some joy as we deliver some Easter baskets and goodies to friends. How about you...what will YOU do today to create joy? Until next time, happy stamping and scrapping. Blessings, Sharon

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Post on Products...

...I am SO NOT A FAN OF MR. HOLTZ! Read on...for the rest of the story...

  • I've been meaning to do this for sometime now and, after reading yet another post/blog RAVING about a certain well-known male in the stamping industry, its time to have my say...!

    I have bought and used a lot of products from a lot of different companies during my 15+ years stamping and scrapping. Some great, some so-so and some I wished in retrospect, I had saved my hard-earned money on. So, here's some insight from my personal experience that might save you from making the same mistakes. One thing for sure, being a red-headed German, when I don't like something, I make it known to the powers that be.
  • When my Fiskers border punch broke-I called Fiskers. No problem, Mrs. Russell. Send us an e-mail photo of what broke and we will send another right out. And they did. Fiskers will replace ANY of their products in a polite, timely manner.
  • I've learned to like Cat's Eye ink pads for color dusting edges. The problem is...they fall apart and there is no known adhesive to reattach them. Trust me, Theresa and I have tried them all. Called Colorbox. No problem, Mrs. Russell. Just tell us what you need and we will replace it.
  • I had drooled over Basic Grey's magnetic cutting mat and finally bit the bullet and paid the price. It was great-the magnetic ruler helped hold the paper secure for cutting as did the little magnets. Imagine my dismay, however, when I removed my paper and found the mat cut to shreds! Literally. That, and the magnets were chipping when they'd hit each other (don't want a metal chip in MY eye, thank you very much). E-mailed Basic Grey. No reply. About 3 weeks later a new mat showed up. At least I had a new and improved replacement (note: I still use this mat carefully!)
  • Cutterbee's papercutter's "arm" developed a crack after not too much use. They weren't happy, but they did replace it.
  • E-600 Adhesive that I love have changed their packaging---and the tubes split and crack-leaving me with 3 tubes that were useless at $ 3+ per tube. No reply or response from them whatsoever. So now-where I normally would suggest and use this product-I've turned to hot glue. It dries faster anyway and I will not endorse or recommend a product I am not pleased with...which brings me to...
  • The one that takes the cake, however, my all-time tick me off response, came from that well-known male-TIM HOLTZ. His Junk Bag was the hot thing to have---they were cute, had 5-6 zippered compartments and rolled up and velcroed shut. Adorable. You can store a lot of stuff in them. I bought two. Their name, however, says is all-JUNK. The zipper pulls break off completely, the zippers stop zipping...and Tim's response? OH, the company that made those are no longer in business. H-E-L-L-O!!! YOUR NAME is on the product. YOU, MR. HOT-SHOT HOLTZ, need to stand behind your product. So they went out of business. Well, then, how about "Gee, Mrs. Russell, I am sorry that happened--let me send you this and that to compensate." But NOOOOO---no apology, no replacement, no nothing, nada, ZIPPO (no pun intended!) So-while others rush out to buy RANGER products and anything else that has TIM HOLTZ' name plastered on it--not me. I will stick by companies that stand behind their product-and will save my hard-earned money for those that appreciate it and their customers.

Thanks for letting me "vent". I hope it was helpful for you, too! Lol! Until next time, happy stamping and scrapping. Blessings, Sharon

UPDATE: Since I first posted this post, I had contacted Scotch as three of my tape runner refills quit working half-way through. They were VERY nice, responded promptly to my e-mail, provided not only the three replacements but sent a package of self-adhesive hooks as well! Maybe Mr. Holtz could learn a bit from them...naw, he's a man afterall! (Sorry-there are a FEW good ones out there tho!)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Happy Easter...

Easter is "late" this year. Growing up, we always heard Easter was "early" or "late" depending on whether it fell before my and my cousins birthdays or after...this year its after! But I am ahead of the game yet again! Go me! My good friend, Theresa, trusted me with her wonderful stamp set from Our Daily Bread so I could make these adorable little baskets she taught in her class last month. They are so quick and easy-and can be adapted to hold all kinds of things-not just Easter candy! ; ) We have a number of friends and shut-ins that will be the recipients. Of course, I had my "technical assistant" trying to help! He was surveying the layout and, from the looks of it, drooling over the props (can you see the little pink tongue sticking out?!) Hope you and yours have a blessed Easter. Until next time, happy stamping and scrapping. Blessings, Sharon

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Would the REAL Sharon please stand up...

So--Friday was my ahhh-hmm---birthday--the number doesn't matter! Lol! My beloved was out of town (although to his credit, he was late for his class because he took the time to call me first thing in the morning to wish me a happy birthday!), I am on week two of a combo of the allergies and the "Brunswick County Crud"--so I really did nothing that day other than rest, read and treat myself to a dinner of Pad Thai. Yum. Then Saturday my good friend THERESA decided to brave my germs and break me out of my duldrums for an afternoon. We went to Shallotte and shopped at a wonderful antique/thrift store there---and I found this little treasure! I couldn't help but laugh out loud! It's really a key chain---was only $ 1.50 and she HAD to come home with me! Even the cashiers were laughing! I have a twin and didn't know it! The hair color-the curls and yeah, even the chubby cheeks! Hope YOU have something today to make you smile as this---and having good friends-did me. Until next time, happy stamping and scrapping! Blessings, Sharon