Feb 26, 2009

Don't Faint! It's Bellarific Friday!

I know what you're saying..."Holy Cow, two posts in one week!". :) Don't get used to it. My goal for the year (that I've already failed miserably at!) is once a week. I'd love to be able to do twice and if I can knock out some challenges, I may hit that. It's early yet though so I'm not making any promises!

In my blog cruising, I repeatedly came across what I first thought of as "Sup'd Up Stick Figures". I found them to be kinda cute in the first few instances, but over the course of the past couple of years, they've really grown on me. As I mentioned in a previous post, I got some excellent $$ in Christmas gifts this year. So when it came time to start spending my pennies, I went and took a serious look at Stamping Bella. Within a few minutes of browsing, it went from "should I buy a couple" to "which ones can I absolutely not own without breaking my budget. It turns out the answer to that question was 7. I limited myself to just the Bellas for that order and to be honest, I can't wait until I've got a few more pennies so I can order more. Next time I'm getting some Huggabugs (Tiddly Inks) and some Chichiboulie Fairies and definitely a couple of the Turtle Tots. I'm a "sistah" for sure these days. :)

Recently, Em started up her "Bellarific Fridays", which means, she posts a challenge on Monday and the resulting cards get posted on the following Friday. As 99.9995% of all my crafty, scrapbooky, cardy stuff is done in the 53 hours that fall between getting off work on Friday and going to bed on Sunday, I figured this pretty well not in my realm of existence. I was a bit surprised when I saw the challenge this Monday -

is this gorgeous?!

Bellarific Challenge for Feb 27

(excuse the code...I stole it from Em.)

I really loved the color combination, but even that would not have gotten a card done. To be honest, I'm not sure which fold in the fabric of time swept across my house that allowed me to not only find the cardstock and coordinating papers, but got it all assembled, photographed and actually emailed off to Em by 9:00am this fine morning. I'm hoping it will pass through again soon. I can't blame a rift in the time space continuum for the stamping. I actually had the image stamped on a bit of Gina K's Pure Luxury baseweight for a week or so. I just ran it through my nestabilities and added a bit of Prismacolor pencil and a smidge of paper piecing.

Pregabella - Challenge Card

The card is destined for the last in a long line (9!) of fire station baby showers. As I knew this little gem wasn't going through the post office, I made it a bit oversized at 5 3/4 x 4 3/4. It worked better with the largest size of nestabilities in that set. Paper is My Mind's Eye, ribbon is actually some hem tape. I had just barely enough for this card, so the tiny snippet I trimmed off the bow ends is stuck to my shopping list to see if I can get more. The "sup'd up stick figure" is miss Pregabella. Doesn't she look stinkin' cute, just in from her baby shower? The sentiment is from a 2001 Stampin' Up! Sale-A-Bration Set. I think it was a gift as that falls smack in the middle of my stamping drought and I don't remember buying anything around that time period to get it. The set is called Year Round Celebrations.

As a side note, I did discover during the paper piecing that my one and only glue stick had molded. Excuse me? Mold on a glue stick? Can you say "seriously gross"? I knew you could. :D It was moldy a good 1/4 of an inch down into the stick. (bleh!!) Needless to say, new glue stick and something in the way of liquid glue for paper piecing is also on my shopping list.

Feb 25, 2009

When dinosaurs roamed the earth....

That's when I started stamping, or at least it seems that way. When I started stamping, wood mounts were THE way and anything else was highly frowned up. Acrylic stamps didn't exist and if you wanted to go "unmounted" you used what I considered an insane system of grooved acrylic blocks and velcro called "halos". So long, long ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, or probably closer to 12 years I went to a Stampin' Up! party and fell in love. Over the course of five years I accumulated an amazing amount of stamps I didn't love, joined in more swaps than I can count and generally stamped my brain (and possibly fingers) out. It was a rare envelope indeed that left our house uninked. My husband insisted the bills go without stamping and as I'd never gotten around to buying a personalized address stamp, I let him have his way.

I stamped and even did a stint as a Stampin' Up! demo. The last was probably my downfall. I sat down one day and realized that most of the stamps I owned were not purchased because I loved them, they were purchased because they would hopefully benefit a business I no longer had time or heart for. I did the unthinkable...I stopped stamping. It wasn't a gradual thing. I simply stopped. I turned my love of paper towards scrapbooking and proceeded to spend the next several years (yes, years!) selling off an amazing collection of stamps. In all that time, I've only come to regret two sets that went the way of eBay. I haven't regretted them enough to hunt them down and buy them again, though. :)

I didn't sell off my entire collection of stamps. I simply kept those I absolutely loved. My collection is quite small now, and fits in a couple (three, I believe) IRIS drawers in among my collection of scrapbooking supplies. When acrylics made their big boom in the scrapbooking arena, I bought a few. Not a large collection and I was more selective. I bought only stamps I was sure I would use for my scrapbooking projects. I have frames, journaling blocks, swirls and the like. My acrylics fit neatly into 1 single 12x12x2" storage drawer, including acrylic blocks.

So where does this bring me? Well, back to my roots, so to speak. I never stopped loving stamps even though I walked away from them. About 2 years ago, in a fit of boredom, I strayed off my normal scrap blog roaming onto a blog of cards. I read and hopped and read and hopped some more, slowly renewing my love affair. I bought a few acrylic CTMH stamps through my friend Becks when she decided to try out her hand at demoing. I was very careful to stay the path of stamps I felt I could use in my scrapbooking, but it was a path my heart simply wasn't completely devoted to. Personally, I think the baby stamps did me in. It only took a couple of "welcome baby!" cards to pull me back to my beloved inks and stamps.

I'm in love once again. I've found my way back to the heart of my crafting spirit. It's pretty cool, really. As with any one who has seen a love put to the way side, I'm more cautious. It takes me far longer to consider a stamp for all it's merits and decide to buy. I have carts and wish lists littered across companies that are rapidly becoming my favorites. While I can see the appeal of acrylic, true rubber will always hold my heart. There's just something about the smell of deeply etched rubber that makes my heart go pitty-pat. The advent of EZ Mount cling foam has served to make them dearer.

And with all that said...I leave you with a card I made this weekend with one of the first stamps I ever bought. It's dated 1995 on the mount from Stamp Oasis.

Hi Mom!

Here's a shot of his little friend that's destined to grace a card front in the near future. Possibly on a different bit of paper, though. I'm not convinced that the one he's on now does him justice.

you give me wings

Both of these little guys (gals?) are colored with prismacolor pencils that are blended out with baby oil. The white cardstock is Pure Luxury baseweight, courtesy of Gina K Designs (love this stuff!). The waver is on BasicGrey Bittersweet and the flyer is on Prima at the moment.