Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Answering a couple questions.....

Hey all! I got a few email questions since my last post so... I thought I'd take some time to answer them here!

Q. What is that "contraption" in the corner of some of your photos?

A. This is my makeshift light kit..... total cost was between $40 and $50 but you could get away with a lot less.
The light is one of those clip on lights that you can find in the hardware store - ($5) I put a natural light bulb in and then covered it with a light diffuser screen that you can find at a camera shop ($15-25). I bought mine on line at B & H Photo. It is like THIS one. They come in smaller sizes - all you need to do is get one larger than the light source you are using.
The stand was one I found on ebay and I paid no more than $20 for. I just searched "light stand" and found it. It can reach to a 7 foot height. From here, you clip your light onto your stand and you can see I use a fancy schmancy clip to attach my diffuser. I raided my husband's desk drawer at work! ;-)
When I said you could get away a lot cheaper - you really don't need the light stand since the light is a clip on light. Attach the light to a chair back and-- you could be good to go! I just like the fact that I can adjust my light to height. I don't do that often, but it's nice to have.

Q. What kind of camera do you use?
A. I use a Cannon Powershot G6. I bought it for work about 5 years ago. I love it, but if you have a macro button, that's really all you need now a days to get great pictures of your cards/creations. Cameras are so much more sophisticated now that you can pick a similar camera for a LOT cheaper. I think now they are up to the G10!

Q. How do you store your border punches?
A. Honestly, that is becoming a problem!! ;-) I have them in one of the plastic drawers in one of the rolling carts and I won't be able to fit one more punch inside. I love the new EK Success punches that lock down to a slim size -- those rock! Anywhoo, no real great ideas on that front! LOL!

Q. What does the sign on your window ledge say?
A. Well - it says 'Everyone is gifted, some just open the package sooner.' It made me laugh and realize that hey.. we all have our moments. So, if some day I finish a card and accidentally smudge ink all over it - I'm only human, maybe I'll get to open "the package" some other
day! :-)

And, to answer my friend Cheryl who said - if you are anything like me, you won't want to create for a while for fear of messing it up! Well, I am happy to report I have 8 new cards to show! hehehe! I just need to get my camera out so I can show you all!
Happy Tuesday! See you back here soon!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My wild hair is.... OVER!

Ok, I got a lot of funny flack for showing pics of my stamp room this week. BUT, guess what? I found some deals and figured out some storage solutions that I am soooo jazzed about! I thought I would share because who knows -- maybe it would be useful for other stampers in blog land! :-)

My first find is what I consider a BIG FIND! I was flipping through one of my craft magazines -- Crafts 'N Things I think-- and I saw an ad for a company called Unikeep. They advertised some fun little two and three ring binders that were perfect for craft storage. They were trying to showcase this for photo storage but I thought -- OH MY GOSH-- I have been really looking for a system for my cling stamps. So, I logged onto their website and found THESE! And, they were on sale! Only $1.07 per binder! They measure roughly 5 by 9". I thought it was a perfect size! After shipping (super duper fast shipping I might add) I got 20 cases for less than $30!

I bought the white folders but they come in clear and black too. It has a clear wrap overlay so that you can customize your binders -- I decided to make mine for my Impression Obsession stamps and organize them according to categories. See?

This is what they look like open. It's basically a two ring binder that is about 1-1/4" thick. Here's an inside look...

As luck would have it I had some large EZ Mount sheets that you can stick cling stamps to. I wasn't aware of this but you can't or shouldn't stick cling stamps to acetate for storage. It creates a reaction that will ruin your cling. Anywho - I cut some of my larger sheets to fit inside. Then, the fun began as I started to put my stamps inside. Look how many stamps you can fit in these babies! I have the sheets full on both the front and back of my EZ Mount storage sheets. Each binder can fit between 30 - 50 cling stamps.

As I was trying to figure out where to put my new binders, I realized, they fit perfectly into one side of my craft desk. WOW! Can you see me jumping up and down??? Sorry, I am easily excitable! That bottom clear box is a container I put all my acryllic blocks in.

The next big find was these photo storage boxes - just $2 a piece at Hobby Lobby this week! This was my storage solution for my Flourishes clear sets!
I have been buying some of Flourishes Clear Storage Boxes a bit at a time to put all of my clear sets in. You can see those boxes HERE. They fit two 4 by 6 sets in each one! I organized the sets according to category and when all was said and done I was able to fit more than 70... yes MORE than 70 sets into five photo boxes -- with plenty of room to spare! Each box will fit up to 30 clear sets if you use the clear boxes. If you keep your clear sets in a plastic sleeve - you could probably fit upwards of 100 in each photo box.
I had some old baskets from my son's room that he wasn't using and put all my BasicGrey pads in one....
And ribbon spools in the other!

The loose ribbon went into some fun jars. I grouped the ribbon according to color and I used some baby clothes pins to secure the ends. The jars were on sale at Hobby Lobby for $2 each.

And... here's a peek at my stamp closet so you can see how it all fits together!

I use small hooks I got at Lowe's for my Nesties and an old cafe curtain rod for my larger punches...

Here's a shot of the room from one side....

And a wider shot of my closet. The plastic rolling storage carts house my papers. I have solids and dp organized now by color. Easy breezy to find what you need! The smaller storage drawers are for emellies.
Here's the room from one side so you can see the closet and how big of a part this is to my room.

The fun thing? Close the door and... bam... out of sight!
I know some of you have seen my room before but, with these new storage systems, I had to share. I had been struggling for a long time to find something that would make it easy. And, I am thinking this is going to be easy!
Hope you all are having a fabulous weekend! Take care and I'll see you back here soon! :-)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Twice As Nice Friday!

Hi all! T.G.I.F.! I can't tell you how much I need a weekend! We've been so busy here at the Koerber house that I just want to sit on my tuchas! ;-)

Well, I've got two little challenges for you this Friday! First things first, the ever-so-talented Leslie Miller is hosting the Flourishes Focus today over on the Flourishes Newsletter. Her showcase? To show just how versatile one stamp set can be if you just look at it with a different set of eyes. She challenged the rest of the DT to do the same!

You'll have to check out what the DT did for this fun challenge! I am sure you'll get tons of inspiration just by seeing their take on one set/two looks! Click on:


and don't forget to check out Leslie's tutorial on the Flourishes Newsletter.

For my card, I picked up the new Seasonal Wreaths set from Flourishes and decided to turn sunflowers -- into daisies!
I wasn't quite sure how my "daisies" would look when I got them all colored up, but I have to say, I like them! It's a soft and sweet look that will be perfect for spring cards.
I stamped my wreath onto Flourishes Classic White cardstock using Memento London Fog. I used Copics to color them and picked up the Buttercup and Spring Greens Copic Collections to color them up. I also used the Copic Pastel Collection to add some shading to my petals with the pale blue. After I was done, I used some soft blue ink (Memento Summer Sky) to sponge around my wreath while my circle Nestie die was still on my paper. After that, I grabbed some fun paper (scraps from my patterned paper drawer) added some gingham ribbon, and my Bow Easy to create my bow, and I was almost done! I did some paper piercing and added a button and.... Voila!

Here's a close up of the wreath....

My next card is to show another way to use the Seasonal Wreaths set. And, this time, I used this week's Stamp Simply challenge (ssnotime106) as my inspiration! This week, Sharon challenged us all to use the rich colors of autumn for our creation! I realize I didn't have a ton of leaves in this wreath, but the leaves I did have, I made sure to color up with an autumn feel -- as if they were just starting to change for fall. The second part of the challenge was to make the project even more rich in color by adding sponging to create a little extra depth of color.

So.... here's my card!
I used the same layout as my daisy card but swapped the colors for rich fall tones. I used the Evergreen, Daffodill and Skin Tones 2 collections to color up my sunflowers. And, while my Nestie die was still on, I sponged on some Antique Linen and Tea Dye Distress Inks on my circle. The paper is Scenic Route and Prima and the ribbon is some of the beautiful Silk May Arts ribbon in an olive green. Add some paper piercing and a button and.... done!
Here's a close up.....

Want to see what the rest of the Stamp Simply team cooked up? Just click on their links to see their fine work!

Charlene, September Guest Designer

Tammy - is taking the night off.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you make time for some creative fun this weekend.... see y'all back here soon! :-)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I got a really WILD hair....

Ok... Want to see why there is no way I could stamp today???? If you have a weak stomach, you might want to avert your eyes!!!

OH MY GOODNESS... can you believe this mess?? I honestly can't!!

First off, I went on a creating spree last week and then...l didn't clean. And THEN, I decided to pull everything out of my stamp closet and organize -- while the place was a pit. Does that make any sense what-so-ever???? This is exactly how it looks at this very minute. Hopefully this weekend my organizing will be done and I might even have an "after" shot!!! I decided I needed a leaner, meaner stamp room. One that had a bit more organization! :-)
I will say, I have FOUR -- maybe FIVE boxes of stamps that will soon be on my SALE link here on my blog. I decided that there are some stamps that need more love than I can give! :-)

Remember how I was telling you earlier this week that I have been playing with Impression Obsession's new Cover-A-Card backgrounds? Well, I have another super dooper easy peasy card! Wanna see???
This card couldn't be any easier! I stamped the Cover-A-Card Tapestry background onto a piece of white cardstock and then used a Heart Nestabilities die to cut the image out. Use a Swiss Dot Cuttlebug Embossing Folder to emboss part of a mat - leaving about an inch at the bottom for my "Love" sentiment. Add a fun punched border courtesy of EK Success. The ribbon actually was a saved piece from a wrapped package I recieved! I thought that silver ribbon was far too pretty to throw away! Mat it all up and add some fun pearl accents to the heart and... voila... DONE! A perfect card for a "silver" anniversary!

Hope your week is shaping up nicely! I'll be back tomorrow for another Twice is Nice Friday -- two fun challenges -- just for YOU!

See you then!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I've been MIA!!!

You know those times in life when you just need to buckle down and get a bunch of stuff done? Well, I have had a few days like that and that, my friends, is why I have been missing in action!

I did have a super dooper quick card to share though! It's so quick, it you blink, you might miss it! But, I thought - having some 10 minute cards on hand for any occassion is just what a gal needs in her stash. They don't take long, you can whip them up and.... viola!

Basically, this card is just a strip of paper, a mat with a punched border (Apron Lace Fiskar's Punch), a base card with half of it masked so only part of the background shows, a slice of gingham ribbon and a fun Making Memories epoxy button! The little tag is actually a set of tags that I got at Mikes from the Martha Stewart Collection -just grab one, stamp it up, add it with al little glue dot and done! Here's a peek at the stamps I used! Red strip stamped with Cover-A-Card Petals using Brick Vivid Ink; card base stamped with Cover-A-Card Gingham with Versafine Black Onyx. The sentiment is Celebrate! All of the stamps are by Impression Obsession!

There you have it folks! Hope you have a fabulous day and I'll see you back here soon!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The details are.... sketchy!

This week the gals over at 2 Sketches 4 You and Flourishes are teaming up for 2S4Y's weekly sketch! Kazan drew a wonderful sketch and today for our Flourishes Focus - our design team is going to show you our take on it!

If you want to play along - all you need to do is follow this sketch....

There's only one catch! If you want to be in the running to be honored with the Card of the Week title, you need to have your card linked up with Mr. Linky HERE by Saturday, September 19th at midnight MST. Time is running out! But, if you win, you will walk away with two stamp sets courtesy of Flourishes! Enter as many times as you like! All you need to do is use the sketch!

Want to see my take on it?? :-) I used the new Cottage Home set for my creation!

You can see that most of my card is layering paper with a little sentiment added and a little paper piercing! I used a mix of Prima, October Afternoon and Bella Blvd. The ribbon is some of my favorite silk ribbon that can be found HERE! I stamped my image using Tuxedo Black Memento ink and then colored it using the Evergreen Collection and the R49 color from the Dusty Rose colleciton of Copic Markers grouped by Flourishes. The road was colored with a light brown watercolor pencil that I then blended with a Tombow blender pen. I purposely didn't color my image up to the edge because I wanted it to look like it had a natural border. Just wanted to do something different! :-) The edges of the strip with my sentiment and my image were both sponged with some Antique Linen Distress Ink. And that, my friends, is it! Voila!

If you want to see what the rest of the Flourishes Design team cooked up, all you need to do is pay them a visit!

Christine Okken
Cindy Lawrence
Faith Hofrichter

Latisha Yoast
Laura Fredrickson
Leslie Miller
Stacy Morgan

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have the best of weekends and I'll see you back here soon!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Clean and Simple.... Stamp Simply!

Hi all and TGIF! This week the Stamp Simply Challenge courtesy of the fabulous Sharon Johnson (ssnotime105) is all about making it clean and simple! And... on top of that -- BIO -- black or brown ink only! So, keep it clean and keep your ink to either black or brown, which means, no coloring!

So, here's my take!
This card could not be easier to make. The image is from Impression Obsession and is called, Solid Florals. I just love the modern, yet classic look of these images. Perfect to just stamp in black and bling up! :-) And... that's exactly what I did! The paper is a mix of dp from my scrap drawer.The blue polka dot is Fancy Pants, but I am not sure what the black pattern is. Sorry! I need to find a way to identify scraps! :-) The silk ribbon is May Arts from Flourishes. I did score around the edges of my blue polka dot paper and then used a sanding block to help accent the score lines. The shape was done with the Labels 8 die. And that, my friends is it! Isn't it great when a fun image can just be stamped, layered up and done? I am so used to coloring all my images that just stamping and layering seemed almost strange! LOL!

Before you call it a day, be sure to check out the great creations from the rest of the Stamp Simply team!
Hope you make time for play time and join us with this challenge! You can check out all the details HERE over at Sharon's place! TGIF!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Back to Backgrounds!

Hey all! Hope your week is off to a smashing start! I have some fun things to share this week -- and it's all about backgrounds! Impression Obsession recently unveiled a couple dozen new backgrounds called Cover-A-Card backgrounds. They are over sized - so that you can cover the front of your card -- completely! I thought - what fun to just use these as focal points to make quick and easy cards!

So, my friends, here you have it!! I took a 12 by 12 piece of sea foam paper and literally just stamped on slices of it using black ink (Versafine Black Onyx) to make my high contrast card. The bottom stamp is called Tapestry 2 and the top background is Harlequin. Use a circle and scalloped circle die cut to create your mat for your sentiment (Love Life), mat it up and add some bling and.... voila... an any occasion card to send off whenever you need it! Just a little pizazz! Done!

News for Billings Area Stampers!

I do have a bit of news for you folks that live in the Billings area! Mary Finnicum is selling off the last remnants from Stampressions (sniffle, sniffle) - everything must go. And, here's the deal - it is well below rock bottom prices - stamps and accessories -- all for sale for just 25 cents! Everything is 25 cents!

Here are the sale details ~On Thursday, there will be a sneak peek starting at 7 PM. The sale will continue Friday and Saturday from 8 AM until 3PM! So, if there is a stamp you think you might "need" - you'll find her at 3712 Relay Drive - right here in lil ole Billings, Montana!

Thanks for stopping by! See you all back here soon!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The peeks are over!!!

Whew! When Flourishes' release week hits, I always feel like I'm on a roller coaster ride full of thrills!! I've got my arms up -- WEEEEeeeeEEEE! Sorry, I couldn't resist! The good news is -- the teasing is over and the new sets from Flourishes are in the store! All you need to do is click HERE to check them out! It's pure eye candy! :-)

I did want to show another card that I made with the THINK PINK: Fight Like a Girl set! This set is very special to all of us at Flourishes because a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation to help in the fight against breast cancer.

Now to my card!
I wanted to create a kind of peek-a-boo card where the circle on the front of the card concealed the message on the inside of the card. So that, when you opened it up, you found a message of "hope."

There's really not much to this card! The paper is a mix of BasicGrey Urban Prairie and Bittersweet papers. The pearls are also BasicGrey and the circles and scalloped circles are just punched from SU. I used Rhubarb ink from Memento -- and that is it! Oh, I almost forgot - the ribbon on the front of my card is paper pieced and I did add a little razzle dazzle with the help of some Pink Shimmerz!


That's it my friends! Thanks for sticking with me this week! I hope you had fun! Have a great weekend and I'll see you all back here soon!

The Feel of Fall -- the final day!

This year, more than a million women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Some will win the fight... others won't. Truth be told, not one of us will live our lives and not be touched in some way by this disease. I lost my God mother to this disease. I watched a friend at church lose her life fighting. I prayed for a colleage this year as she underwent surgery and radiation and is now cancer free.

Thankfully, when I send out words of encouragement to other "sisters" down the road who will face this fight, I will have a stamp set to make cards to honor their journey....


This spunky and fun set that will be released this Friday at Flourishes is what happens when one designer's idea collides with the talent of one of Flourishes' artists. I'm proud to say, I'm that designer. When you have an idea, and you have a friend that is one the most talented ladies in the industry - Marcella Hawley - you bounce ideas off of her! When I shared my "concept" of subliminally hiding the breast cancer awareness ribbon in different feminine images, she just took it and ran with it. The result is a set that sisters, moms, aunts, friends, grandmas and YOU can use to share encouragement to those facing breast cancer or to honor those who have survived it. It's a way for us to stand together to help eachother "fight like girls!"

When the "Flourishes" i.e. Jan, Nancy and Sharon talked about this set, they knew they wanted to use it to help others in the fight. That's why a portion of each stamp set sold will go to help STAMP OUT breast cancer and support Susan G. Komen for the Cure. This grassroots effort has, to date, invested more than $1 billion in the fight against breast cancer. Susan G. Komen for the Cure is an effort that is working to save lives, empower people, and energize science to find a cure. I couldn't think of a better group to join in the fight! If you'd like to read more, simply visit http://www.komen.org/.

Now to my cards..... I couldn't make just one!
For my first card, I really wanted to play up the fun images in this set! And, what better way to have fun than to paper piece! I love how the breast cancer awareness ribbon is hidden in the lipstick, and in the purse handle! The message on this one is simple -- I wear Pink!! The papers are a mix of scraps from my pink dp drawer. The images were stamped with Tuxedo Black Memento Ink and some of them (the lipstick and green portions of the purse) were accented with a touch of color thanks to my Copic markers (RV14 and YG00)

Here's a close up! See the bling I added to the t-shirt? FUN!

Now to my second creation - I wanted a simple, feminine card so I picked this fun dress in the set. I stamped it with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink one time on my main piece of paper, I shaped this piece with the help of the new Labels 8 Spellbinders Nestabilities dies. Then, using Brilliance Orchid ink, I stamped the skirt onto vellum and cut out the flouncy parts to add as an overlay. Color up the body with some light pink Copic markers (RV00 and RV02) and add some fun pearls, a beautiful pink satin ribbon and you're almost done!

See the splash of glitz around the edge of my die cut white piece? After embossing my Labels 8 die, I took a clear Stardust pen and just colored that embossed ridge! I love how much punch this little glitter pen packs!

I wish I would have gotten a close up of just my embossed background. I used a fun technique to add some sparkle and pizazz. I embossed it using a Cuttlebug Embossing Folder that I inked up with Versamark ink. Yep, I inked the recessed side. I put my pink piece of paper through and after I removed it from my folder, I brushed on some Micropearl Pearl Ex powder. The powder stuck to the ink and not to the embossed areas for a really fun look!

That's it my friends! The rest of the Senior DT doled out some Pink Power and created some really fun creations! Be sure to stop by and check out...

Christine Okken
Faith Hofrichter
Latisha Yoast
Laura Fredrickson
Leslie Miller
Stacy Morgan
Nancy Kirk
Sharon Doolittle

Want to be tickled pink and win this set? All you need to do is leave a comment over at the Flourishes Newsletter!

DON'T FORGET, you still have a chance to win all four new releases by entering our Feel of Fall challenge! You can read all about it HERE! The contest closes today at 4PM Central... so hurry up and get your entries in!

We hope to see you tonight at our POWER HOUR RELEASE PARTY!!! It's sure to be a rip roarin' good ole time! It starts at 9 PM Central over in the Flourishes Forum on Splitcoast! And remember, all four new sets will go live in the Flourishes store - just as our power hour wraps up!

See you all back here soon!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Feel of Fall.... day 2!

As card makers, we love showering our friends with homespun gifts, We love creating things with our hands.... from the heart. If you've been looking for a stamp set to welcome new neighbors, offer blessings to old neighbors or even share a warm thought with a friend, this new and charming set by Lauren Pope for Flourishes offers just that!


Picket fences, a stony path, a country road and a charming cottage home - all of these things make up this one of a kind set that is sure to warm the heart. I can't wait for you to see it in its entirety! The good news is... you won't have to wait long! Cottage Home will hit the Flourishes store right after our Power Hour Release Party Friday night! The party starts at 9 Central right HERE on the Flourishes forum over on Splitcoast!

Now to my card! When I first saw the cottage home in this set, I immediately thought of a cozy winter home. The fire burning inside sets the home aglow and the snow covers all the trees and shrubs. So, here goes...
This card doesn't have a ton of coloring to it! I used the Cool Neutrals set to color my stony path, I used the new Snow Green from the Pastel Copic Collection (this is absolutely a perfect color for a "snow" accent!), I used R24 and R29 to color my door and Y13 and Y17 from the Daffodill collection to create the warm light in the home's windows. I also used the Cool Neutrals Copic Collection to color my roof as well. After the marker dried, I used the Inkssentials white gel pen to color some snow onto my roof. Add some Diamond Stickles to make the snow sparkle and... you're almost done! The paper is part of the Christmas Glitter paper from Flourishes' last year. The sentiment is from the Holiday Greetings set and the ribbon is the Christmas May Arts ribbon.

Here's a close up so that you can see the sparkle onthe snow...

And that my friends, is it! Now, let's hop down the path to some of our "friends'" homes in blog land! The Senior DT has worked its magic so be sure to pay a visit to.....

Christine Okken
Faith Hofrichter
Julie Koerber
Latisha Yoast
Laura Fredrickson
Leslie Miller
Stacy Morgan
Nancy Kirk
Sharon Doolittle

Do you want to win this charming set? All you need to do is leave a comment over on the Flourishes Newsletter! DON'T FORGET, you still have a chance to win all four new releases by entering our Feel of Fall challenge! You can read all about it HERE!

Tomorrow is a final look at our sneak peeks. This one will have sisters, moms, daughters, grandmas, aunts and friends banding together to "Fight Like Girls!" Come back to see how we are thinking PINK!

See you tomorrow!