Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sometimes You're the Windshield...

Oooh!  It's my first official Design Team post (ever!) over on the Market Street blog today!  I hope you go check it out!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

"Play" Time with Market Street Stamps!

I hope y'all had a chance to check out all the new releases from Market Street.  If you haven't, make sure you check them out here- and if you order before 11:59pm CDT on September 1st, you can 15% off each set, or 25% off the whole bundle.  But what if you already ordered them and are patiently awaiting your happy mail?  Don't fear, because Angelica cooked up a new linky party called the Market Street Block Party, where you can link up a new creation made with MSS stamps you already have for a chance to win a prize pack or even a guest DT spot!  Wowzers! And if that's not enough, Market Street is sponsoring this week's Play Date Cafe challenge:
The challenge colors are mint, ivory and coral.  I combined three new MSS sets to play along:
I started by stamping the cane background onto PTI's Melon Berry using Vintage Cream ink (and it inked up like a dream!).  Then I stamped and embossed the milk bottle from For All It's Worth onto Echo Park Springtime paper and cut it out.  I stamped the sunflowers from Autumn Greetings onto Vintage Cream paper, colored the centers with RV42 Copic, and added just a touch of shading to the petals with E00.  I adhered the stems to the back of the milk bottle, then popped the whole thing up with foam tape, and then decided to cut out another middle flower and pop it up.   I cut the little sentiment banner and stamped "thankful," also from Autumn Greetings, using A Muse Bermuda ink and attached a coral button.  I even remembered to cut a 1/4 inch off of my card so it will fit in an envelope with the tag hanging off the end!   Score one for Meg!

So I know I have been very remiss in blogging and commenting.  School just wipes me out!  Plus I spent all of last weekend reading two very good books (#34 and 35):
Happens Every Day and A Year and Six Seconds: A Love Story, both by Isabel Gillies.  I like her style of writing, which was much like reading an email from your best friend.   The first one made me really thankful that I have never had to deal with divorce, and the second one made me really thankful about my first six seconds with Mr Corgi.

Plus Mr Corgi is so nice to me: he made me an early birthday dinner on Friday so I could open my present early.  He got me the pancake lens I've been eyeing for our camera!  I haven't had a chance to take it outside yet, but Addison was a willing model last night to test out the low-light capabilites:
I know what you're thinking, and yes, her eye liner does cost us a fortune every month.  ;)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Market Street Sneak Peek: Autumn Greetings

Hooray!  It's Market Street release week sneak peek time!  This is my first time to be participating as a Design Team member, and I must admit it's so exciting to be the first to see what fabulous stamps Angelica designed.  Now it's time for y'all to see some of them in action!  I hope you joined in the fun yesterday to see Comforting Florals (if not, make sure you head over to this post on the MSS blog to check that set out).   You can see all of today's sneaks of Autumn Greetings in this post.  There is one more set to sneak peek tomorrow on the MSS blog, then all the sets are revealed and released Thursday at 7:00 Central.  There is also a special release sale!  You get 15% off each individual set, or 25% off if you purchase all of them  (Promo Pricing valid 8/25 7:00pm CDT - 9/1 11:59pm CDT).

For my sample from the Autumn Greetings set, I went a wee bit crazy with the paper piecing:

Do you like to paper piece?  Recently I have been preferring paper piecing over coloring; I find I get much less frustrated with paper than with Copics.  Here are my secret tools of the trade:
Yes, the $0.88 bowl is important if you have a messy desk like mine: that's where I put all those little pieces until I'm ready to start gluing.  And speaking of gluing, here's a little collage showing each step.  If you notice in the first picture, I colored the straw using a light yellow marker, since I was going to ruffle up the straw.

To finish the card, I cut out windows using Nesties Label 4 in red cardstock and brown woodgrain cardstock, then layered them.  I tied some twine around them and added the sentiment.  Then I put foam tape on the back and popped it up on the card base.

Hope you enjoyed your peek today!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Market Street Sketch Challenge

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  And not just any Wednesday, but the third Wednesday, which means it's Market Street Sketch Challenge Day!  Please come play with us on the Market Street blog!
Here's the sketch:

and here's my card:
Like everyone else in the entire world, I love Market Street's Gone Campin set, so I stamped the camper and colored it in using copics and prismacolor pencils, using the tiny heart stamps from the same set in the doorway.  The background paper is, appropriately, from October Afternoon Campfire paper pad.  For the orange strip, I cut a rectangle from a post-it to use as a mask, then stamped Bit of Burlap background stamp.  The sentiment is from the jam-packed Simple Joys sentiment set (which is definitely unlike any other sentiment set I've seen before).  I hope you can see the words on the heart which say, "if this van's a-rockin', don't come a-knockin."  I typed the phrase and copied it repeatedly in MS Word, printed it out, then cut out the heart.

And make sure you don't come a-knockin', because the van really is a-rockin!
I used the tilt card tutorial from Splitcoast Stampers to make the van rock back and forth because, well, it just had to be done.

I hope you all are having a rocking week (wink, wink) and I can't wait to see your sketch creations!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Angel Dog

Last week, Maria of Crafty Creations had to say goodbye to one of her four-legged family members, Layla.  I wanted to send her a special sympathy card, and as soon as I saw on the photos she posted on her blog, I knew exactly what I wanted to do:
I just had to make an angel dog, which I did by printing out Layla's photo and using the trace feature in Silhouette Studio to cut it out, although it probably would have been easier and quicker to just cut it out myself.  The wings were a Silhouette file, and then I embossed the smaller wing using SU's Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder.  The background paper is a pretty shimmery one from a DCWV pack, matted with Smokey Shadow on a Soft Stone base (a pretty big one, too- 5.5 x 8.5 because I just could force myself to make it any smaller).  The sentiment is from Verve.  Maria did say she got a little teary-eyed when she opened it, but I hope it was in a remember-the-good-times way.

I don't even want to discuss how far behind I am in my blog comments; I had good intentions this weekend and then Every Word: Crossings on the Kindle sucked me into the couch for most of the day.  I also saw The Help, which I would definitely recommend (although the book is, as always, better).  I also saw Crazy. Stupid. Love. before school started and would definitely recommend that one, too, if only for the New Balance shoe joke (although the rest of it is pretty darn good, too).  I hope all of y'all are having a great week! 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Silver is the new awesome

Have I mentioned my love for Die Cuts With a View metallic paper?  It cuts like buttah on the Silhouette, has just enough shimmer to make things look fancy, and the silver color looks great on any card.  For example, this fancy-looking silver, gray, and black anniversary card for a friend:
To answer your most pressing question, the font is Algeria with the shadows removed (simply "ungroup" your text in Silhouette Studio, then double click the letter/number and delete the unwanted points).  Of course, while trying to find the link, I came across this font which is almost the same, but with the shadows removed.  Doh!  But at least I know for next time, right?

The rest of the card: Polka dot paper is My Mind's Eye Lime Twist Out of the Blue paper pack, black scalloped circle with Silhouette Studio file, I made an offset shadow of the letters in black, and the numbers are up on foam tape and they look fabulous:
That little swirl at the top of the five just kills me!

In other news, the kids show up today at school.  I'm pretty excited about my schedule, plus I'm having some kids for the second year in a row and they're the type I actually like to have twice, so I'm hoping it might be another good year like last year.  Plus with my new haircut, I can sleep in an extra 15 minutes!  Bonus!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bookmarks and books

My mother-in-law likes books.  A lot.  As in, she works at the Library of Congress.  So for her birthday I knew I had to send her this card, but I also wanted to make a gift set of cards for her using Papertrey Ink's All Booked Up set.  I never know quite what to do with that Mat Stack 1 die, so I went looking for some inspiration and found this lovely card by Stephanie.  After trying about 25 different sheets of patterned paper, this is my version:
 I used mostly October Afternoon Campfire, along with PTI's Distressed Dots and OA Thrift Shop (I think?) for the damask paper.  Hint: place the bookmark in the soon-to-be pocket (not too far down, though), and use some removable tape to hold everything in place.  Then when you sew up the edges, it won't be too tight to fit the bookmark into the pocket. Here are some pairs with their bookmarks:
And here they are all wrapped up (I also made four extra bookmarks for her to use):
Seems like this post is just calling for some book reports, doesn't it?  (Click on the book to be taken to its amazon page)
Book #28: Okay, technically this was probably book #25, but I had completely forgotten about reading it.  I think that says it all about how good it was.
Book #29: The Disappearing Spoon is a collection of stories about the elements of the periodic table.  I definitely enjoyed reading it and feel a little bit smarter, but I would recommend reading it in small doses--he packs a lot of information into this book! 
Book #30: GAH!  I remembered Seabiscuit being good, but I forgot about it being this good. After reading Unbroken to Mr Corgi; we decided to read this next and dare I say it is better than Unbroken?  If you haven't read it yet, go read it!  If you have read it, go read it again!  Three cheers for Biscuit!
Book #31: I bought Lost on Treasure Island when it was on sale for $.99 and I think I overpaid.  Okay, I take that back, the first three or four chapters were probably worth $.99.  Then he started  attending AA meetings to pick up girls, but then he started to attend them to really attend them, and then it turned into pages and pages of bad choices and belly button gazing.
Book #32: I thought this might make a good beach read, but it was pretty meh.

Book #33: Now this is a novel, my friend.  I don't know how he packed so much into 352 pages.  It tells the story of a Newfoundland town over the course of many generations.  If you're reading it on the Kindle, go ahead and copy down the family tree at the beginning.  I did notice it got a lot of mixed reviews on amazon, but I would still recommend it if you like sweeping family sagas.

I love hearing what you're reading, so let me know in the comments!

Friday, August 5, 2011

What You Do.

 In case you haven't heard, the talented Cristina Kowalczyk was named the Gallery Idol today.  Her projects have been stunning for the entire contest, and she always stayed true to her CAS style, so the win is very well-deserved.  I'm still shocked and proud that I made it to the top five.  Plus, I don't need to go on a cruise to make new stamping friends--I've got all my stamping friends right here in the interwebs, right?  Y'all have made me so happy with all your encouragement during this contest, whether it was a blog visit, a comment, or a vote!  I'd especially like to thank those of you who posted a link or a voting suggestion on your blog for me by sharing some of prize loot, so please contact me and include a link to your post and your address.

I made this card for the new Embellish coloring color challenge and am also linking it up for Unity's Friends with Flair.  The butterfly is from Unity's Jillibean Blossom Soup set and the sentiment is from August 09 KOM.  I stamped the butterfly onto kraft and colored it with colored pencils.  A PTI Mat Stack cut from Echo Park paper, a green sentiment, and, tada!, a fun happy card.

Breaking up this happiness is the fact that school starts on Monday, which definitely cuts into my crafting/blogging time.  However, I found a new website that should keep you entertained: sporcle.  If you have anything to do in the next three hours, I suggest you don't go to their site! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

More Retroness!

Last chance to vote!  Closes at 1:00 Central Thursday.
Before I get to my card, I've spent some time working on some new pages on my blog, so check them out.  My favorite one is the "Inspiration" one because I got all geeky and turned the blogger blog list sidebar widget into a page (if you're interested, I just followed these instructions which were really easy once I realized the "edit HTML" for your template is way down at the bottom in the new blogger), so now you can go see snippets of my favorite blog peeps (and you may be on there!  If not, remember these are still in work.).  I also added a blog list of challenges (which is really sparse, so hook me up with some good ones in the comments) and where I like to shop (which again is also sparse, but that's probably a good thing for my wallet).

Onto the retro card!  If you enjoyed the pink radio from Monday, you're probably the right age to enjoy this card.  I actually made it for the Gallery Idol die cut challenge, but somebody thought it was a bit too obscure-pop-culture-y.
If you get this joke, you're a nerd just like me! And I have to interject this fact: TWO HUNDRED AND TWELVE LINES, B%)(*&!  (speaking of being a nerd....)

Again I did this with my Silhouette, but yes, every single square was cut out and placed individually. I made multiples of the seven different tetris shapes in Silhouette Studio, then played around with them in the software until I got them to fit.  I took a screenshot of it and printed it out so I could use it as a reference for gluing down the squares.

After that, the rest came together easily...some more rectangles, circles, and rounded rectangles for the buttons, Neuropol font (cut out of self-adhesive cardstock for "you complete me", printed directly on the green paper for the score [which is also our anniversary]), plus a pixelated heart.  I made three copies of the buttons and stacked them for a 3-D look and also added some acetate for the screen.
I've also added all the Market Street Stamps design team gals to my sidebar, which reminds to me, if you didn't see it yesterday, there is a Super Sale going on until Friday!
Do you know what's really cool?  Angelica went back and gave everyone who bought during the reveals yesterday the 20% off because isn't it the worst when you buy something only to have it go on sale the next day?  That just really impressed me and I know a lot of unnamed stamp companies that would never dream of doing that.

Also you have until Thursday night to leave a comment on each Market Street Stamps DT Reveal post from yesterday for a chance to win a MSS set and there is also a new Color Cue Challenge today.

So remember you need to fill me in on: Do you like the new pages? I'm always open to suggestions of how to blog better.  Can I make an open suggestion to everyone out there? Please no music (even if you're a really popular stamp company) It always scares the bejeezus out of me when it starts playing. What are some challenges you like to play in?  Can you beat my highest line total? What other retro thing would you like to see turned into a card?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Market Street Stamps Design Team

(psst...you can see my Gallery Idol post here and vote here.)

Unnamed Koala Joey was right when he said I had some big news to share today...I am now officially a
I just found them a little while ago (I know, what rock have I been living under?) and I fell in love with all the cuteness of their stamps.  And then I saw their backgrounds--gorgeous AND big enough for a card front.  What more could a girl ask for?

Well, maybe to be on their design team.  So I asked and they said yes!  Then I saw the rest of the crew and HOLY MOLY are you going to be excited when you see all the fabulous gals that are on the team with me!  I feel stampier just by being on the same team as them!  The senior design team was announced last month, and today they are revealing one new member every hour on the hour starting with me (eek!) and ending at 5:00 Central with an awesome super-secret announcement.  Even awesomer, with every DT member reveal comes a chance for you to win that DT member's favorite stamp set!  To enter, just leave a comment on each post on the Market Street Stamps blog! (Just to be clear, comments on my blog will not enter you to win the stamp set, but they will win you my love and affection and really, what could be better than that?  Although I admit it's difficult to make cute cards with just my love and affection.  Maybe if you rub an eraser over my love and affection and then use pigment ink, that might help.  Long aside short, go to the MSS blog to enter!)

I'm sure by now you're wondering, "Meg, what is your favorite stamp set (so far)?"  Well, you may have noticed I'm a wee bit of a nerd.  Who is married to a geek.  And has a corgi who is a dorg[1].  Have you guessed my stamp set yet?  Here's a hint:

Yes, it's Computer Cutie!  I made this card as a shout-out to all of my far-flung interweb friends, so for the background I tried to recreate those pin maps that show where your blog visitors are.  I traced a (simplified) world map in Silhouette Studio and then did some massive continental drift to get as much as possible onto a square card.  After adhering the continents, I colored some small white pearls with a red copic to act as the pins--again playing a bit fast and loose with my geography as well as followers (although if anyone is following me from Ghana, I'd love to know!).  For the computer, I stamped it both in grey and red, then cut out the red screen and added glossy effects. 
Quite the cutie, right?  Just like all of my computer friends (that means YOU!)

I'm looking forward to getting y'all hooked on Market Street, so I hope you're ready!  Don't forget to check the MSS blog for a DT member reveals and chances to win all day today!

[1] dorg/dôrg/  noun.  Combination of "dork" and "dog" used to describe canines who exhibit such behaviors as: trying (and succeeding) of getting out of their travel crate while on vacation by unzipping the zipper from the inside; barking at the wind blowing the trees, but ignoring a cat sitting on the patio furniture; falling up the stairs.  Coined by Mr Corgi in 2008.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Gallery Idol Final Round: Totally Rad!

Vote here!
I'm, like, so totally stoked to be in the top five, dudettes!  I was waiting for someone to go "psych!" right after I found out! 

But since no one did, that meant I had to make a "party trio."  And since I've been at the beach all week (did my super secret robber-thwarting scheduled posts fool you?), I only had Sunday afternoon to pull everything together.  It was a little wild at the Corgi household for a few hours, especially since I've run out of both "good" white paper and ATG tape!  I went with an Eighties party theme and here is my trio:

In the Eighties, it was not a party until you brought out your pink radio!   I think it was the standard birthday gift for everyone I knew for a year, along with the Cocktail soundtrack.  So to get this party trio started, I made the radio card using my Silhouette.
If you're a bit fuzzy on the original, you can see it here on the Victoria and Albert museum website, which just makes my day that it is on there.  I made the entire radio (except the cassette tape) from scratch in Silhouette Studio, even trying the print-and-cut feature for the first time (which is awesome).  I scored the tape deck at the bottom and only attached the bottom portion so it opens to pull out the cassette:

You could easily put a twenty dollar bill in the cassette (definitely no gift cards in the Eighties, although they might have been better than trying to return 3 extra Cocktail soundtracks to Sam Goody's).

And what tune always gets a party started?
I modified a Silhouette studio bag download by enlarging it to take up two sheets and adding the song title cut-out.  Cutting the letters out of the bag and then backing it with a different color is about 1,000 times easier than trying to adhere each letter, my friend.  Plus it looks cooler, too, right?

Finally, I had great plans for a roller skate candy holder...which probably would have worked better if I had some "good" white paper.  Although I'm thinking now I could have adhered two sheets of "crap" white paper together to make it stronger but that is now, and this is then:

In real life it's a little lot wobbly.  I had a roller skate image from this Skate On card, so I just enlarged it and added some stripes and a velcro strap because, duh, it's the Eighties!  Doesn't hearing that rrrrrrrrrip just take you back in time?  I cut out two skates and sandwiched a box between them.  Then I went to fill the box up with Hersey's kisses and someone thought that was a good time to bring up how center of gravity works.  This is Gallery Idol, Mr Corgi; I've got no time for your science jibber-jabber!   Instead, I folded some skinny strips of paper into "L"s and adhered one to the back of each wheel to give it at least a little bit more stability (and then, shhh, filled most of the box with tissue paper and just put some kisses on top). 

I really am pinching myself over here--I cannot believe I've made it into the final round, especially with all the fabulously talented gals that have been playing!  And it's all thanks to YOU so I have a special present for you to enjoy:
Photo from Zooborns
Ok, so you don't get to keep him, but isn't seeing that little koala face enough of a present?  I thought so.  "What's that, Unnamed Koala Joey?  You'd like everyone to go vote?  Well, if you say so, Unnamed Koala Joey!" 

UKJ also wanted me to tell you to come back and visit tomorrow because I have even more exciting news to share!