Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Case of the CASEs

I've been doing a lot of CASEing around here recently...I love it when my blog peeps do all the heavy lifting of creating a card and I just copy it in my own way!
First, a birthday card for my dad:
based on this card by Lindsey of Bashful Blogging (see her post here).

Of course, I had to use that same Echo Park paper because it is awesome, and I also used the reverse side for the red and white stripe border.  I used a Silhouette file for my airplane.  I also notice that Lindsey is way better at taking pictures of long cards than I am. 
I also cased two cards recently from Emily of Art from the Heart, starting with a New Year's card

based on this card (see her post here).

When I commented that I needed that skyline die immediately, Emily was kind enough to tell me it was on sale this week, but the $10 price tag was a bit too steep for me, so the Silhouette came to the rescue.  I found a good image of the Birmingham skyline with lots of contrast between the sky and the buildings, then traced it in the Studio.  I added some squares for windows using the duplicate and space vertically/horizontally functions (added bonus: instant confetti!).  I embossed the Market Street sentiment onto some black shimmer paper.  The best part?  The little heart bling is the building (and floor) where we had our wedding reception.  Awwww! 

The second card that I cased from Emily was a thank you card for one of my students who gave me a de minimus gift (because, yes, the new Alabama ethics rule says you cannot give teachers a gift that is worth anything, because couldn't a teacher be bribed into giving a good grade if they got a cruise for Christmas from one of their students?  Could someone please tell me what school district is having parents give cruises at Christmas, and do they need any math teachers there?)

based on this card (see her post here).

I feel somewhat bonded to Emily's card, since I helped Em make the logos on the Silhouette.  I kept mostly the same layout, but added the Market Street Vintage Notepad in blue because I thought it made it look more high schooler-y.  The "thanks" is an old Cuttlebug die, and I used a Martha Stewart border punch on the ends.

So what are you doing New Year's Eve?  Mr Corgi and I have a nice grilled steak dinner planned and hopefully some good crafting time (well, for me, anyway.  Mr Corgi will probably get some good X Planing time!).  Stay safe out there, kids!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Silhouette Freebies!

I finally got around to sprucing up my original Silhouette files and uploading them to  I've made a page with a photo, original post link, and file link for each card that you can get to by clicking "free silhouette files" at the top of my blog (or just go here).  In cases where I did use some Silhouette downloads, I deleted those from the file and told you which images to buy from the store.  It's the first time I've tried sharing Silhouette files, so if you find something that doesn't work, let me know.  I'll try to keep it up to date as I make new files.  Let me know if you use them, too, I'd love to see what you create!

In other Silhouette news, they are offering 20% off online subscriptions with code YEAREND until 11:59pm December 31st, which means you can get $25 worth of downloads for $8 a month, i.e. each download will cost you about 32 cents instead of a dollar.

In other other Silhouette news, the Silhouette Santa was good to me and bought me a Silhouette hook for weeding vinyl.  He also bought me some starter kits (fabric ink and heat transfer) that each came with a weeding hook, which means I have 2 more hooks than needed.  So I will give them away to "beta testers" who download one of my silhouette files and try it out.  Let me know which one you tried and if it worked in the comments by 11:59 December 31st ETA: extended to 11:59 January 8th and I'll use to pick 2 winners. 

In other other other Silhouette news, I can now attest to the awesomeness of glass etching with Etch-All.  Check out the mug I made for my brother- and sister-in-law:
Yeah, I know it's not a great picture, but you try taking a picture of a glass!
I admit I was a bit scared by the "may cause burns that are not immediately painful or visible," but I just wore some rubber gloves and tried to be careful.  I just used a paintbrush to apply it and to remove it (you can put it back in the jar to reuse it again and again), and don't really think the squeegee is necessary.  I was also a bit worried about getting the vinyl to behave on the round concave mug, but it worked like a charm!  I used a frame image from the Silhouette store, then added the stars, which is the Bailey family crest (thanks, Interwebs!).  And what couple gift is not complete without a "est." date on it (although next time I will be doing EST. because that little part in the middle of the "e" was the most frustrating thing in the whole process!)?   Here's a close-up:
Of course, they just loved 'em.
Total cost for a complete set of 4 personalized mugs: ($2.99/mug x 4 mugs) + (1/2 foot of vinyl at 40% off) + (4.99 etching cream * 40% off) = 11.96 + .25 + 2.99 = $15.20 (plus I can reuse the etching cream)  When compared with buying personalized mugs online, I'd almost consider them a freebie, too!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Favorites

One of my favorite linky parties of last year was the year-end favorites, and Karin of With an "i" for Paper is hosting one again this year.  Make sure you go and link up your faves!   Here are mine:
Original Post
Dog, Eat Cake Graphics, Fun Quote, Fussy Cutting
Original Post
Dog, Eat Cake Graphics, Fussy Cutting
Original Post
Silhouette, Fun Quote
Original Post
(I know, not a card, but definitely my favorite project!) Silhouette, Fun Quotes

Original Post
Silhouette, Gallery Idol
Original Post
Silhouette, Fun Quote, Fussy Cutting, Shimmery Paper, Gallery Idol

Original Post
Unity, Fussy Cutting, Fun Quote
Original Post
Silhouette, Fabric (!!), Waltzingmouse, Gallery Idol, Fun Quote
Original Post
Market Street Stamps, Silhouette, Fun Quote, Shimmery Paper, Fussy Cutting

Original Post
Masking, Fun Quote, There She Goes Stamps, Papercrafts Reject

Original Post
 Eat Cake Graphics, Cat (!?!), Hope You Can Cling To, Fun Quote

Original Post
Eat Cake Graphics, Dog, Fussy Cutting, Silhouette, Fun Quote, Shimmery Paper

Fun Quote: 10
Silhouette: 7
Fussy Cutting: 6
Eat Cake Graphics: 4
Dog: 3
Shimmery Paper: 3

It's always so much fun to look back at everyone's creations over the year (and find some new blogs to follow), so make sure you link up your favorites over at Karin's!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Down to the wire...

Is everything checked off your list?  I have about 4 more cards to make, plus some boxes to cut with my Silhouette, plus stalking email tracking to see if my gift to Mr Corgi will make it in time...eek!  But I do have some more cards to share!
First, a couple more Eat Cake Graphics Christmas cards:

Oh, how I love A Scarf for Ferguson!  Especially with that awesome October Afternoon night sky paper and some Waltzingmouse stamps, too.
As much as I love Ferguson, I do have a special love for Zero, and for putting different hats on him.  I almost went with my Santa hat theme, but then these antlers from Paper Smooches just called out to me.  The doghouse with lights is a Silhouette file.  I colored Zero with prismacolor pencils to look like my sister's dog, Molly. 
Can you name the movie?  Hint: It starts with e, ends with f, and has a l in the middle.  When one of my friends mentioned it was one of her favorite Christmas movies, I hopped right on the computer to start making it with some tracing and a pair of elf legs from the Silhouette store. I had to use this sweet candy patterned paper, and the Paper Smooches sentiment was just perfect for it, too.

This last card is the result of Mr Corgi deciding on Sunday afternoon that he did want to send cards to all his coworkers (15 of them).  
Fortunately, I never have to look far for a theme for his cards. I know what you're thinking, how in the world does an airplane qualify for a Christmas image, but if you take a look at our mantle, you'd be surprised to learn that yes, any and all airplanes are suitable for the holidays.  This was a Silhouette file, and I was able to cut out all 15 planes using only two sheets of shimmer paper and a few scraps.  The stamp is from Amuse (I love the shadow font effect), stamped in SU Cherry Cobbler.  And, yes, they were all finished and in the mailbox by Monday morning! 

Now it's time for this elf to get back to work!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Find a theme and stick with it

In making Christmas cards this year, I started getting a little bit carried away with the theme of "put a Santa hat on it!"  Then I went a little crazy during Silhouette's latest online sale and bought all sorts of Christmas images, but it turns out this one was the best deal of all, just for the Merry Christmas circle, which I then paired with my Santa hat obsession.

Exhibit A:  Angry Bird with a Santa hat

Exhibit B: Panda with a Santa hat
Exhibit C: Mickey with a Santa hat

We still have three more days to go, so who knows where Santa's hat will end up next!  (Also, as much as I'm loving this Amuse candy cane paper, it is impossible to take a photo of it without it looking all wonky, so I hope you didn't get any vertigo from today's photos.)

I'm also waaaaay behind on my books read list, aren't I?  Can I reach my goal of 52 for the year?

Book #45: Boomerang by Michael Lewis was the most recent book I've been reading to Ian in the car.  I love most all of Lewis's books and this one was no exception.  I just love his humor and I always feel smarter after I finish.  I'm not saying I'm an expert on the European financial crisis, but I can certainly follow the news better now.  Cheapie alert: after I bought this, I found out that it is a collection of articles Lewis wrote for Vanity Fair.  You can find the links here.
"Book" #45.5: Speaking of, I just found this site and am loving it.  It has links to some of the more interesting articles and essays on the web, with a super easy "read it later" button to send to your kindle or other electronic reading device.
Book #46: The Passage was recommended by quite a few people, so even though I was a bit put off by the page length (785?  Seriously?), I'm glad I read it and am looking forward to the next book in the series.  It's a vampire apocalypse book, but it's definitely more apocalypse than vampire.  I think he could have edited out about 200 pages in the middle where he introduced about 50 gabillion characters (I certainly hope he doesn't expect me to remember all 50 gabillion when I read the next one), but that's just my opinion.  It also reminded me a lot of the Coen brothers' movie True Grit, if that give you any indication of whether you would like it or not.
Book #47: The Gap Year was a novel told by a mother and daughter about the daughter's last year of high school.  It kept me turning the pages, and I like how Sarah Bird writes, but the end just seemed a little too wrapped up with a bow, if you know what I mean.  I certainly didn't think "oh I have to recommend this one," but I didn't think it should go in the burn bin, either.
Book #48: What Alice Forgot is a breezy novel about a woman who has a concussion and has forgotten the last ten years of her life.  She finds out she's one of those women who goes to the gym for hours a day and is the head of every committee at her children's school, and she's not sure if she likes being that woman.  If you're looking for a quick book to read on the plane, you'd probably enjoy this.
Book #49: The Worst Hard Time I've had this about the Dust Bowl on my "to read" list for about 3 years, so when it was offered a free book in the Amazon Kindle Lending Library, I thought I should probably get around to reading it.  I'm so glad I did--it was absolutely fascinating.  I knew the basics that everyone knows about the Dust Bowl, but I didn't realize just how many times they got knocked down and got back up again.  The writing was superb as well, it felt like your grandfather was telling you the story after dinner one night.

Well, I think I better get to working on some last minute Christmas gifts!  Is everything ready and wrapped at your household?  Or are you just going to give up and go read a good book?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Market Street December Sneak Peek

Angelica has planned a little mini-release for this month, and here is my sample of It Takes Love, which will be available starting Thursday at 7pm Central.  For one whole week after that, new sets are 15% off individually or 25% off if you buy the release bundle.
I'm almost ashamed to admit how easy this card was to make!  I made the card base with the heart cutout on my silhouette, then did an offset border and added a rounded rectangle cutout for the patterned paper.  I adhered the twine in between the cardstock and patterned paper, then sandwiched the twine between two stamped circles.  All that was left after that was to stamp the sentiment.

I want to thank Market Street Stamps again for such a wonderful time on their design team!

(and also thanks to everyone who left sweet comments on my last post-I'm hoping to find the right balance and still be able to do some craftin' and bloggin' next year. :) )

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dear Santa (from the dog)

Now that this doggy has Santa cornered, I wonder what she would like to ask him...
Oh, sweet little doggy, I'm sure you made the "good" list!  I had so much fun paper piecing "Santa's doggy welcome" from Eat Cake Graphics that I may have gone a little overboard, as in, yes, I paper pieced Santa's glasses and doggy's tongue.  The sentiment was cut on shimmery paper (the very definition of "good") using Chowderhead font.  The background paper is "Twas the Night Before Christmas" paper from Amuse.

Speaking of Eat Cake Graphics, my "four month" design team gig there is finally drawing to a close.  Holly has been so laid back and easy to work with.  I'm forever grateful that she chose me to be on her design team, especially since it was my very first one!  ECG images make me so happy, so you certainly haven't seen the last of them.  If you love them too, Holly is looking for a few good stampers for her next team.  See all the details here and don't hesitate to apply--I would love to see one of y'all on there!

In other design team news, I am also stepping down from Market Street Stamps.  This week is the end of my six-month term, and although Angelica was nice enough to invite everyone back, she has such big plans for the next year that I wasn't sure I could keep up.  Angelica and Steph have been such fun to work with and I can't wait to see Market Street really take off to new heights this year!

As much fun as these design teams have been, I'm looking forward to starting the next year with absolutely no commitments but to enjoy my stamping.  I've gotten a little caught up in the howmanycardspublished/designteams/followers race and it's starting to take the joy out of crafting. I'm even debating about giving up blogging for a bit in the new year, but that does seem kind of drastic.  I do hope to have a nice big purge and clean up of my stamping room, then start the new year off with a fresh clean crafting slate.  That would be splendid!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

You are such a dorg!

My blogger friend Jessi mentioned a while back that her kids loved the word "dorg," which Mr Corgi uses to describe Addison when she's being a dork.  So of course I had to make her a dorg card, right?
Man, that dorg still cracks me up, and Jessi said her kids got quite the kick out of it, too, which I'm glad to hear.  I used a silhouette file for the dorg and another one for the glasses, then printed the definition using word (hint: I just copied and pasted the pronunciation from google).

So in the exciting world of teaching, I gave my final tests today and now just have a couple days left of crowd control next week.  Yippee!  Have I mentioned the farthest we're traveling over the holidays is to Atlanta?  I'm so excited to spend Christmas at home.  What's kind of funny is that Mr Corgi bought me a Charlie Brown Christmas tree since I've been wanting one, but they are always sold out.  I got to open it when it came about a couple weeks ago and we put it on the dining room table.  Then both of us said at the same time, "That's a good enough tree for me!"  So yes, the one year we're home to enjoy our tree and we're being lazy scrooges.  At least I bought Mr Corgi the Hallmark airplane ornament, so now there are two ornaments on our Charlie Brown tree.  And it makes me happy every morning, and isn't that what a Christmas tree is supposed to do?

Friday, December 16, 2011

This blog has gone to the dogs!

Well, ok, maybe it's gone to the dogs already, but this weekend there's going to be lots of mangy mutts hanging around...starting with these three chihuahuas from Market Street's Pawprints on our Hearts set:
If you're visiting from my Market Street blog post today, you may have noticed the addition of some hats.  The Santa hat stamp is from Paper Smooches, but it was the perfect fit for those pups!  I even added some Snow Writer for some fluff (and I hate Snow Writer, so the recipient better appreciate that fluff!). 

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you may have noticed the extravagant use of shimmer paper on this card--I used it for the letters, hats, and scarves because I DON'T NEED TO HOARD IT ANYMORE!  meredemaison gave me a good tip on some Hobby Lobby packs, which I finally got around to buying with a coupon (did you know the Hob Lobster is also selling some Echo Park paper packs now?  With a coupon, that's a pretty sweet deal. Make sure you check the scrapbook kits aisle, too, they were hiding some Little Boy and Walk in the Park packs there).  The same night, I went to Michael's and what do I spy?  A DCWV Shimmer Paper Pad!  Yes, I bought that, too.  The Paper Source (Hobby Lobby) one is nice because it has a solid core, but there were some colors in the DCWV I had to have.  Long story short, Christmas came early to Corgi Creations in the form of shimmer paper!

Other tidbits: The scarves are from Market Street's Cool Cats set and are a little snug on the chihuahua, but close enough for me.  The patterned paper is Echo Park and the sentiment is a Silhouette download. 

How are your holiday preparations going?  I think I have almost all of my shopping done, except for Mr Corgi.  Any ideas?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Best Comment Ever + Paper Sparks Challenge

I have been totally remiss in awarding my Official Best Comment of the Year Award, which was not really an award category until I saw Jenny's comment on my post about Maria's birthday card. The card read "Happy 39th* Birthday (*plus shipping and handling).  Here is Jenny's comment:

Totally awesome.  I wish I knew a nine-year-old stamper for whom I could make that birthday card. Jenny, email me your address so I can send you a fabulous prize package!

In other news, I finally got around this weekend to playing in the Paper Smooches Sparks Challenge.  Here is the inspiration picture:

And here is my card:

Oh, shiny paper, how I love thee!

I arranged the snowflakes in the Silhouette Studio to mimic the plates, then cut them out of that gorgeous DCWV metallic paper, then layered some Aspire Petalics paper behind it.  I wanted to use Mr Mouse's cheese for that pop of yellow, but it just didn't seem to work.  So instead Mr Mouse (from Santa Paws) is staring up in awe of those huge snowflakes (which, as an added bonus, I have cut out to use on other cards).  I cut Mr Mouse out of grey cardstock, and I love how his tail got a little 3D curl to it while I was cutting it out, don't you?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Subway Art and Christmas Gifts

For my parent's anniversary (in June), I offered to make them a piece of subway art and, after showing them what subway art is, they decided on one showing all the places they've lived.  Of course, did I work on it in the summer when it was nice and warm?  Or on one of those nice fall days?  Nope, I waited until about two weeks before we were going to drive over there for Thanksgiving to get started on it.  But I did get it done and it was on the wall about 5 seconds after I gave it to them:
(I edited their full last name and their current city, but I think you still get the idea.)  I must admit it turned out pretty darn cool even if it was A HUGE PAIN IN THE BOOTY to make.  All of those "oh, it's so easy!" tutorials?  LIES AND DECEPTION.   "Just put on your vinyl stencil [that doesn't stick to canvas], spray paint a base layer so the top coat doesn't bleed under [which it will anyway], then just touch up a few parts [which will somehow just make the mistakes look worse]."  The good news is, unless you are 6 inches away from the canvas, you really can't notice the mistakes.  Since this one, I've tried making two others and they have been a disaster.  So I think I may just stick with vinyl letters (I made sure to stock up during the Silhouette Black Friday sale) and not try to get all fancy-pants-painty, because crafting is supposed to be about having fun, not feeling like a failure, right?

Speaking of not feeling like a failure, I thought I'd share a few gift ideas that would definitely not make you a failure on Christmas morning, because if everyone else on the interwebs can have a gift guide, why can't I?  These are all items that are readily available, but I did link up the amazon page for each one.

For: Anyone, any age (well, not for the wee ones, of course)
Price: $15 per season, $75 for the complete series
Why: "Clear eyes, full hearts, ..., well, we're work on that tomorrow."
For: The relative who surfs in bed
Price: $20 (white or black) to $25 (pink, blue, "vintage wallpaper"), often on sale at Target
Why: Because you can't do anything using a trackpad, slim and light enough to slip in a laptop bag.
If you're feeling generous, throw in a nice wireless mouse.

For: The hard-to-buy-for brother
Price: $20
Why: "That's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head."
For: Your husband, but secretly it's for you!
Price: $10-25
Why:  "You deserve better than the Gap."

For: Anyone who misses the Space Shuttle
Price: $6
Why: They will laugh, they will cry, and then they will share it with everyone they know.  I know this from experience with the last 3 copies we've bought (and that does not include the copy we originally read from the library).  

For: Anyone, but especially parents of young children
Price: $8
Why: Give this to parents as the first present of the day.  It can cut open plastic blister packs without endangering major veins, snip open those evil twist ties that are on children's toys, and has a screwdriver for opening those little battery compartments.  Added bonus: a bottle opener because don't you deserve it after assembling those 27 parts?
Snap Circuits SC-300
For: Science Whizzes age 8+
Price: $40
Why: I bought this for one of my nephews last year since he was enthralled when Mr Corgi showed him how to build a computer from scratch.  I wasn't sure if it would be a hit or not, but this year he asked for the expansion set, so I guess it was!  

Every Thing On It
For: Your favorite child.
Price: $12-20
Why: Two words: Shel.  Silverstein.

For: Moms, Sisters, Girlfriends
Price: Cheap, cheap to seriously?
Why: Support entrepreneurs, give gifts they won't already have, and find some nice stuff for you in the process!  I usually just search around, but to get you started, the above three items I've purchased and love: jersey scarf from Sweet Harvey; frog necklace from My Sweet November; bird necklace from Dreamy Vintage,

Do you have any awesome gift suggestions?  What is on your wishlist this year?