Monday, April 27, 2015

Scrapbook Expo + a GIVEAWAY!!!

Howdy folks! Friday I went to the Scrapbook Expo in Puyallup Washington. I had a good day. There was one disappointment, which I'll talk about in a bit, but overall I would do it again.

I decided to volunteer at the Expo, and I met some really nice fellow volunteers. The Scrapbook Expo staff are also very kind. In the morning, I volunteered at Will Call. The biggest thing I learned was: Don't come between a scrapbooker and her scrapbooking! =D  Overall, most people were happy and excited to be there. No matter where you go or what you do, you'll run into a Grumpy Gus or two. I've done enough volunteer work in my life to know that it comes with the job. I'm sure they'll never know I'm blogging about them, but a shout out to a couple of Scrapbook Expo employees, Jerry and Sam. Also, a shout out to my fellow volunteers, Diana and Michelle. Everybody was so kind and patient, even when I got into "Miss Bossy Boots" mode a little bit too much. ;) Have I ever mentioned I'm an anal-retentive, obsessive compulsive perfectionist? LOL.

Because Puyallup is over three hours from my home, I had left around 3:30 in the morning to be there for my 7:30 am shift. By the time I was done at 11:30 am, I was pretty tired since aside from a nap the day before, I didn't sleep at all Thursday night. After grabbing myself a yummy Fisher's scone from their booth at the fairgrounds, I went out to my car and had myself a nice little nap so I could enjoy the rest of the day.

The one thing I really really really wanted to do was the Make & Take at the Fun Stamper's Journey booth. They are a pretty new direct sales business in the paper craft industry. If it was open to Canadians, I probably would have signed up with them, instead of Close To My Heart (sorry CTMH, I still love you!) for the simple reason that they sell steel metal dies as opposed to CTMH who sells Cricut, which I don't own. I was excited to try out their product, they've been touting their new 'hybrid' inks which I really really wanted to try. Also, they were giving out a free stamp set to all participants. That's pretty sweet! I wanted it so bad, since I can't get it or try it up here without spending money first via an American consultant who has offered to ship to me. Now for the disappointing part. By approximately 3:30 in the afternoon, they had run out of supplies and had to shut their booth down. Apparently they had been short-shipped, and were expecting to have more the following day. Sadly for me, I couldn't afford to stay overnight, and it was just too big of a trip to go back on Saturday. I won't lie, I thought I was going to cry. I was still running on not much sleep and my emotions tend to come to the surface when I haven't slept properly. I basically just had to walk away, because seeing a grown woman cry is just not a pretty sight, and I didn't want to inflict that on anybody. I had hoped they'd at least have their stuff out for people to visit after the last Make & Take, but they literally packed everything up. I guess they figured it was easier to close their booth than to placate angry scrapbookers. I can't say I blame them, but by the same token it left a yucky taste in my mouth. Oh well.

One super fun thing I did was go the Creativity Center. Scrapbook Expo hosts an all-day continuous Make & Take showcasing a ton of different products. When I got there, they were going to die-cut and emboss a Tim Holtz Alterations butterfly out of plastic, and use Ranger Adirondack alcohol inks to give it some color. That was really appealing to me, since I've wanted to play around with those. Shout out to Scrapbook Expo staffer Lorraine for being such a great instructor, and her volunteer Rita who was very diligent in making sure we had the stuff we needed.
For those who've never used alcohol inks before, you squeeze out a drop or two on the felt bottom of the applicator, and dab it on the item you want to colorize. Because alcohol ink dries instantly and is permanent, this was perfect for using on plastic.

You can't really see it in the photo, but the matte was white cardstock, and I grabbed some Gelatos to play around with in matching colors. I rubbed them on a scrap piece of paper, and then rubbed them lightly onto the matte. I thought it was subtle but added a nice touch.
The show floor closed at 6 pm, and I had signed up to volunteer again at the Crop and Make & Take Extravaganza in the evening. My shift was from 8:30 till 12:30 (yes that's half past midnight! I'm a crazy gal, what can I say?!)

I spent about 40 minutes trying to decide where to eat, when I found out that Puyallup had been visited by Guy Fieri from Dinners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on the Food Network. Hubby and I love that show and we've always wanted to check out some of the spots he has showcased. The place in Puyallup was called Crockett's Public House. Not much to look at from the outside, but the service was great and the food was fantastic! There was a 40 minute wait, so I sat at the bar instead. I was happy to see that one of Guy Fieri's showcased meals was one that I really wanted to eat, Mom's Sloppy Joe, and dang was it amazing!!! It had just the right amount of heat. The hand cut fries were yummy, and the homemade ranch dressing was a nice cooling effect from the sloppy joe's heat.

I ate every last bite of that sloppy joe, I just couldn't bear to leave any behind! When I was done, I headed back over to Scrapbook Expo for my volunteer shift. I was assigned to work in the 'Tool Shed', and my fellow volunteer was Rita, the same lady who'd been helping at the Creativity Center earlier. This was a pretty good gig, I got a chance to get up close and personal with a lot of stuff I'd never used before. They had a half dozen or so different die cutters and embossers, everything from the Ebosser to the Cuttlebug. They had a ton of Spellbinders dies, some Sizzix dies, and also some Little B dies which I'd been wanting to check out for some time. They also had four Canon Selphy photo printers that allowed you to print directly from your phone! They had a bunch punches, as well as We R Memory Makers Lucky 8 punches and Mini 8 punches. They had a ginormous binder full of embossing folders, and a ton of stencils as well. Last but not least, they had all of the We R Memory Makers punch boards. It was a lot of fun working with Rita, I think we were a great team, and between the two of us we knew how pretty much everything worked!

Finally midnight rolled around and the last of the scrapbookers had gone home, or back to their hotel rooms. We did a little clean up, which was very minimal since we'd been keeping it clean the whole evening, and then we were done!

All in all, it was a good day. I learned some new tips and tricks, saw some new stuff, figured out what I would do different next year. If I volunteer again, I'd want to sign up for a later shift, I would love to be in the Creativity Center because you're helping with one Make & Take after another, how much better can it get?! I'd also probably sign up for the evening Extravaganza, I think they got their money's worth with the amount of Make & Takes they were given... even though I'm not keen on cropping if it requires packing up my entire craft room on a wagon! LOL. I'd probably want to take some classes too. In hindsight, the Copics class, coloring on glitter would have been really cool. It just wasn't in the cards this year, since I didn't have a lot of money to spare.

Anyhow, down to the reason you're probably here: a giveaway! Thanks to my diligent volunteer work, I earned two free admissions to ANY Scrapbook Expo in ANY city in 2015! Puyallup was the nearest one to me, I'd have to fly to go to any other one. So I figured, why keep these two admissions just to go to waste, why not share them with my readers?! There are a bunch of ways you can enter the draw, see Rafflecopter below for more info.

San Diego, CA May 29–30
Chantilly, VA June 12–13
Akron, OH June 26-27 *NEW SHOW*
Kansas City, MO July 10-11 *NEW SHOW*
Duluth, GA July 17–18
St. Paul, MN July 24–25
Santa Clara, CA Aug. 7–8
Schaumburg, IL Aug. 21–22 *NEW VENUE*
Somerset, NJ Sep. 11–12
Marlborough, MA Sep. 18–19 *NEW SHOW*
Mesa, AZ Sep. 25–26
Denver, CO Oct. 2–3
Sacramento, CA Oct. 16–17
Ontario, CA Oct. 23–24

Please note that this giveaway is NOT sponsored by Scrapbook Expo. They gave me free tickets for volunteering, and I in turn am giving them away. I am not affiliated with any of the companies or products listed above, all links are provided as a courtesy to my readers, and I do not receive any compensation or product for anything on my blog.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Clara's 3rd birthday

This week, Tuesday to be precise, was my niece Clara's 3rd birthday. The big party is tomorrow, the theme is Disney princesses and will feature a real live princess! On Tuesday however, we had just family for dinner, so I gave Clara her bday card then.

I really love this little image, you'll have seen it a few days ago when I posted my practice one. It is by C.C. Designs, and it's called Swiss Pixies Birthday Gretel. I had so much fun coloring it! I'm also entering it in the C.C. Designs CAS sketch challenge.

I still have to figure out this whole photo thing, as you can see the colors are different between the two pictures. Granted, I was in a hurry, I was already late and almost forgot to take pictures! The top picture was after I remembered to open the blinds to get some natural light, so those colors are truer to the real deal I think.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Cat's Birthday - 2015

Today is my baby sister Cat's birthday, she turned 29! This is the card I made for her:

I was a little short on time after making her birthday cupcakes last night (of course I'm a procrastinator) and was lacking inspiration, so I used the C.C. Designs April challenge sketch, I just flipped it horizontally.
If you saw my last post, you'll have seen the cute C.C. Designs Swiss Pixie Birthday Gretel that I colored as a practice run for my niece Clara's birthday... that's tomorrow! I had initially intended to use this sketch for my niece, along with Birthday Gretel, and enter that one in the challenge. I suppose I could use the same design just flip it another direction perhaps.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

CC Designs Swiss Pixie Birthday Gretel

I've fallen in love with some of CC Designs stamps, particularly the Swiss Pixie ones. I only have two of their stamps so far, but I'm always on the lookout when people are destashing on SplitCoast!

I spent the day Thursday crafting with two of my sisters in Vancouver, making decorations for my niece's 3rd birthday party. Truth is, I sat at my die cutting machine and cranked out circles... all... afternoon... long... but it was still fun! I think I must have cut 150-200 circles! When I was getting ready to leave, one of my sister's disappeared and reappeared with a ziploc bag full of Copic markers. She said she didn't have time for art anymore, and did I want them. Did I want them? Did I want them?? HECK YEAH! I think there were about a couple dozen, mostly Sketch with a handful of Ciaos, and there were only 3 that I had already (not including a colorless blender, but you can never have too many, right?)

Anyhow, I sat down with my newest CC Designs stamp tonight (last night? It's 3 am, lol) and decided to color it and hopefully use it for my niece's birthday card. I don't have any Memento Tuxedo Black ink yet, which I desperately need to buy... so I used Versafine Onyx black. I didn't heat set it, but I let it sit for 24 hours, but it still bled. Booo. Oh well, it really was a practice run anyhow.

So here is the end result. I'm pretty pleased, considering this is only my 2nd attempt at coloring with alcohol markers. And I'm not really artistic in that sense to begin with, so I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do, compared to others who have been coloring/painting/drawing their whole lives, you know?
I was looking for inspiration to color it, and I found a neat video tutorial for the balloons, using this very stamp! I think I did a pretty good job with the balloons, the video showed how to make them 'see through'.

One of the big challenges for me was figuring out the color scheme. Although I now have a good selection in some color families, others I have pretty much nothing. I have zero yellow Copics, and just one Shin Han Touch. I also don't really have any greens, just one Copic Ciao and one Shin Han Touch.

I applied some Perfect Pearls on the wings, and I think the shimmer is perfect for them. I was worried about the candle at first, it was looking too dingy grey, but I think I fixed it okay.

As always, I love feedback so please, positive and not-so-positive is welcome. :)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Um... Thank You? - TCPTUES288

Just a real quick post which I may come back and edit... I just feel as though if I don't post now, it could be awhile! ;)

I made this card for TCPTUES288 - The Cat's Pajamas Color Challenge: Saffron Celery Tangerine. This was good for me, helped me to step out of my color comfort zone!

I had some great Bo Bunny paper, and I used The Cat's Pajamas 'Official Grinch' stamp set.
I don't know how visible it is, but I used some Glossy Accents on some of the smaller 'bubbles' that were in the challenge colors. I was tempted to put Glossy Accents on Sprinkle The Cat's eyes... but I thought that might be just a little spooky when it's not even Halloween, lol!
The 'Official Grinch' set was released during Winter 2014 as a Christmas set, but it's fantastic and can be used all year round. Although it's spring time, it's still cold in a lot of places, so I loved that Sprinkle is bundled up in the um, tacky oversized sweater somebody lovingly gifted her. ;) I can't even recommend this stamp set enough, it was first on my list during that release!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

All Scotties Go To Heaven

There isn't much to say about this card, I think it speaks for itself. The stamp is from The Cat's Pajamas, it's a retired set which I've been chasing down from the moment I saw Poochie with wings. It's a Valentine's set, but that particular stamp has a whole different meaning for me. I hope that Alma doesn't mind the context that I've used it in, especially since I made this card with a lot of love and reverence for all the tears my friends and I have shed for our beautiful lost Scotties. Again today there was sad news. Right after I made this card I learned that Shamus, my friend Julie's boy is nearing the end of his battle with cancer. He was diagnosed with Transitional Cell Carcinoma (TCC) just a few short months after they lost Doughall, one of their other boys, to TCC also. TCC is canine bladder cancer, but it has now gone into his bones. I don't want this card to be for Shamus. I don't want it to be for any of our babies really. I just hope that it will bring comfort to whoever ends up being the recipient.

The 'rainbow' paper was hand colored using distress inks. It represents the Rainbow Bridge. 

I'm entering this card in The Cat's Pajamas' Spring Blog Hop. A little last minute, but I've been planning this card for weeks... just had to get some other cards done first. :) I'm also entering it in the Simon Says Stamps Monday Challenge: In the Middle. The middle is the center... and Scotties are the center of my life. I wish that cancer wasn't a part of that, but it will always be right there at the center too...

Monday, April 13, 2015

SplitCoastStampers - Canadian Card Swap

I recently participated in a card swap via SplitCoastStampers. It was a 7+1, meaning I'm sending 7 cards, and the +1 is the one I keep for myself. I thought I'd clarify, since that always confuses me... maybe there are others like me out there, haha.

I decided to make a masculine birthday card. I think generally speaking cardmakers struggle with masculine cards, and I thought it would be nice for people to have one on hand. It was also a good opportunity to use the Jackson paper from Close To My Heart's Seasonal Expressions which just came out on April 1st. I really don't do much in those colors (lots of browns, some teal, etc) so this was perfect. This is what I came up with.

The Jackson paper is the brown patterned stripe towards the left side of my card (bottom in the paper packet picture below). You can see it under the button in the middle as well.

The big strip of beige-y colored stuff is Core'dinations, the rest is just plain old Recollections that I had on hand. 

The stamp is also from a new CTMH set, super versatile, it's called Finding the Words (D1646).

The button is from an old Sizzix Embosslit, and the twine is literally from some burlap I bought last fall. I just pulled out a few 'threads' to use. :) Oh and the distress ink is Vintage Photo. That was the first color of distress ink I bought, and I don't regret one bit. I use it all the time!

A couple of the swap ladies are local to me, one of them being the organizer, so we met up at a Starbucks and swapped cards. It was lovely meeting them both for the first time. We agreed we should get together more often, card swap or not!