Friday, April 30, 2010

Birthday Bash Friends with Caffinated Flair

Hey there everyone! Hasn't it be just a fantabulous week with Unity?? Did you SEE the new releases yesterday?? Are they not FREAKING FANTASTIC?? How many people bought them all? You know I did!!

I'm combining two loves this morning, since my internet time has been seriously restricted this week. I'm joining the Caffinated Cropper customer blog hop - so if you've come here from Jimmi's blog, you are in the right place!! Of course it's also Friends with Flair Friday, which I don't miss if I can possibly help it! For a full list of participants, check the Unity blog.

Everything on the card except the Unity stamp (which comes from the June 09 KOTM "Perfect in Every Way"), the card base, adhesive and thread, comes from the Caffinated Cropper kit "With a Cherry on Top". Amy still has a few left in stock, too!

Time to head over to see what Christi has to share! I know it will be wonderful! One random poster to one of these blogs will win a mini Cherry on Top kit.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

It Was Love at First Sight

It was August, 2008 when I saw my first Unity stamps. It was less than a week before I placed my first order online. It was a doozy! Three kits and a background bundle. It was over $50, even on sale. By the end of October, I had a full set of handles, several other kits and individual stamps, and had just received my third Kit of the Month.

When asked if I was interested in running a challenge for the big birthday bash, of course I said yes. For a few minutes I was stumped on what my challenge would be and then it hit my over the head like a giant clue by four. Of course!! Go back to the very beginning and use those first stamps from when I fell in love with Unity.

I started with this set of scraplings, in honour of Tanis, who is the first person I ever saw make them. I've been meaning to make some for the longest time, and just hadn't had a reason. These adorable little stamps were perfect! Unfortunately, I think Lovin' From the Oven is now discontinued, though at least two of the sentiments are now in Mix Up of Cuteness. The dp is Basic Grey Nook & Pantry.

For this card, I pulled out the Deco Hound background. These fit into a D handle, or you can use them as is, which is what I usually do. I have the D handle, but I've also got really small hands, so unless I've got a large unmounted stamp, I don't usually use that one. My A & B handles, however, are grody to the max!! Love is Toxic also came to join the party, getting crumpled, inked, misted and further distressed, before getting the look I wanted.
I hope you've all enjoyed my little trip down memory lane. My challenge is up on the Unity forum at SCS. You have until May 5 - and there is a prize. It's a Unity/Cosmo Cricket package!! Check out the thread here and good luck!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Birthday Bash Day Two!

Do the Unity Chicks know how to party, or what?? Can you guys believe all the lovely goodness Angela and the gang are sharing? I still can't believe I get to be a part of this. There is another blog hop today, with more reveals, so definitely make sure you check out the Unity blog this morning.

The Guest DT have been asked to host challenges on SCS. Maria started us off yesterday with this really neat sketch challenge - with a twist. The twist is that you have to use one ribbon and three buttons. I don't usually use buttons, so this was definitely a challenge for me.
I pulled out one of my {ippity} sets and had some fun!

More chatting today on the Unity forum at SCS - and who knows what Angela might do on Unity's Facebook page.

Gretchen is hosting today's Birds and Trees challenge. You'll have to come back tomorrow to see what I have up my sleeve! You definitely don't want to miss a thing this week!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Unity Anniversary Blog Hop

Hello Unity Peeps!! Are you ready to have some fun? This week is guaranteed to be amazing!! Angela and the rest of the Unity gang have got some really awesome things planned for
Unity Stamp Company's
- so if you've come here to start the blog hop this morning, you're in the right place!! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, head back over to the Unity blog and get all the lowdown. You are not gonna wanna miss a single minute!

I am so thrilled and thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this celebration. It is truly a dream come true for me. I have adored Unity stamps since I started stamping in August of 2008. I was lucky enough to have been taught about them in the Stamping 101 class I took. I came home, checked the company out via Google, found the blog, found the forum on Splitcoaststampers...and have spent hours with the people and way more money than I will ever admit to my family!! Every bit has been worth it.

Today, I get to share a brand new set with you!! OMG, it is so super cute!! Ms. Tanis Giesbrecht has done it again with Fizzy Feelings. Since this is a special occasion, I made a Criss Cross card.
Here is the card insert. The swirl on both the band and the insert comes from Growing in Unity.

Next on the hop is one of my fellow guests, the talented

Friday, April 23, 2010

FWF - One of a Kind

Did you guys have fun at Hip Hop yesterday? I know I did! I had fun sneaking in to the GinaK Designs release party, too. Shhh!!!

For Friends with Flair, I thought I'd play with the new April Kit of the Month - and try something new-to-me. Yes, with all the inspiration from yesterday's Hop, I finally broke down and sewed on my card!! As much as I sew, you'd think I'd have done it by now, but I was being a big chicken.
Not too shabby, eh? I thought I'd play along with EtsyInspired #84 to help wake up my mojo. Cose Dolci, this week's shop, has a lot of patchwork pillows, which, when added to the sewing I saw on the hop yesterday, kind of turned into a neon sign that said "Hey, Carole, sew on your card already!!"

All of the patterned papers (and the green cardstock) I used came from the Beeez Knees kit from the Caffinated Cropper.

Quick little FYI - the square images from the April KOTM (Together We Bloom) exactly fit the 2" nestability square if you want them cut out without any border, so stamp first, then cut. You can just barely see the inner outline when the nesti is properly placed.

Check out the Unity blog for a full list of Friends with Flair. Someone is hiding that blinkie!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Oh My...News!!!!!!

Happy Thursday, Unity Peeps! Are you guys getting ready for Unity's 2nd Anniversary next week? It's Unity, so you know Angela and the gang have got some special things planned.

I have been sitting on my news for just over a week. Ever have one of those days when you think your world is going to end and then something happens and the sun comes out, the angels sing and you find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? All at once? Yeah. Last Monday of all days.I got a little email with the most amazing news. EVER. Jimmi says "how would you like to be a part of the Unity Anniversary celebration?" Like I'd say no. Picture me falling off my chair, my jaw dropping, and then a shriek that brought my son running from the other room. Can we say emotional roller coaster?

So yeah. My biggest dream has come true. I get to be a Special Unity Anniversary Guest Designer!! EEEP!!!!!! I cannot tell you how honoured I am!!So for my post today, I thought I'd show you guys what I do with my Kits of the Month. Now, in doing this, I discovered that it probably would have been a good idea to have some help with taking pictures. But, since I do this really just to get an overall idea of what the stamps look like as far as size and spacing, it isn't that huge of a deal that they didn't come out perfect.

Unity's Kits of the Month are a full sheet of deeply etched red rubber, so when I first get the KOTM, I take it out and ink up the entire sheet. Next, I place a sheet of white card stock over the rubber and, while holding it down at one corner, run the brayer across, using even pressure. This is a lot easier when not holding a DSLR in one hand.
When I've gone across the entire sheet, I peel the card stock off the sheet of rubber. I do my best not to let it shift. It shifted tonight, because I didn't hold it still when I used the brayer. I still got enough of the images that I can use this for a reference sheet.
Now that that's done, I'll take the stamps and store them in one of the Scraponizers that Unity carries. I keep these indeces at my desk so that I can easily flip through them when I'm looking for images to use on a card or other project.
I'll have a project up for FWF tomorrow and then I'll be leading off the Anniversary Hop on Monday! Woohoo!!!

Here's a little sneak-peek of the set I'll be playing with next week. Guess's a brand new set!! And it's from Lady Talent herself, Tanis!! Wonder what it could be.....Check out the Unity Blog today to see what's up for Hip Hop and then head over to the Unity forum at SCS for chat and games and who knows what else! See you there!!!

I'm Back with AiFactory Animals

First of all, I would like to sincerely thank everyone who sent messages of good thoughts and prayers for my family last week. It was such a tremendous shock for us. We did find out the cause this past Saturday. Liz had Cardiac Amyloidosis. Although they did not find out the cause until after her death, it is unlikely they would have been able to prevent it had they known earlier. I am grateful that Liz was spared a protracted medical battle that she would have certainly hated.

The memorial was very difficult, particularly for Hannah. I've never seen my little girl so heartbroken. I have a hard time not crying now just to think of it. But we will get through this. Liz was a very strong woman with a zest for life. We will not let her down.
In an effort to jump back in with both feet, even though I have barely gotten back from our trip down south, I'm joining in with my Design Teammates at AiFactory. This week is Anything But a Card.

Okay, so I cheated a little. I went looking for inspiration and I found this cute fish mobile on SCS, which I thought would be the perfect thing to CASE, since I am working with cute animal images. Instead of bamboo skewers, which I don't have in the house, I, um, "borrowed" (with permission) some K'nex from my younger son. I think they work quite well!

Here is a close-up of the circles. I just printed them out on the computer and use my circle nestibilities to cut them out. Much faster than cutting them out individually! The set from AiFactory has 12-2" circles included. I used 10 for the mobile. Each strand has two, glued back to back with the ribbon sandwiched between. Not pictured are the dog, the tiger and the giraffe.
Don't forget to check out the rest of the team. All links are posted on the left side-bar. To enter the challenge for the week, see the details on the AiFactory Challenge Blog.

Monday, April 12, 2010

GiU Winner

I almost forgot to do this. seems to be stuck on 4 today. It picked the 4th post (so day 4) and then the 4th comment.

So congrats to StampinCathy!!

Email Eryn and let her know that you won Growing in Unity for the week of April 5-10.

Not The Post I Intended

This is not the post I'd intended to write today. Nor is it the post I started. I started one about how my ippity journal pages were going and some other things that seem so unimportant right now. You see, as I was writing and editing the photos I was going to put up, my mother called. Liz, my aunt by marriage, died last night. When Mom started with "there's no easy way to tell you this.." I knew someone had died. I just never expected it to be Liz.

Liz was only 54 years old. (I originally wrote 56, thinking should would have been 56 this year. I was wrong.) She was an avid horsewoman. She, along with her husband Tom, invited my middle daughter into her home to stay, even though they never had children of their own, and were unused to having kids in their house at all, let alone without their parents.

This photo is of Liz giving Hannah a riding lesson on Vinnie.
December 26, 2009Elizabeth Ann Morris Caulk
May 18, 1955-2010

It wasn't supposed to be Liz. And I have one big question. How am I supposed to tell Hannah?

Friday, April 09, 2010

Day 5 - Growing in Unity = Friends with Flair

Hey there Party Peeps!! I am so loving having Hip Hop back!! I cannot tell you how much I seriously missed everyone. I am still just over the moon. Thank you Angela!!

Today is Friends with Flair - so there is a list of fabulous people participating over on the Unity blog. Somebody's got the blinkie. Find it and you could win 25 random Unity stamps!

With the fab response to yesterday's journal page, I thought I'd take a pic and share another one today. This is my first journal, and it's kind of an experiment, so there are a lot of what might be considered odd looking pages. Yesterday's and today's are all Unity - well, except for the pine branch on today's pages. It's Tim Holtz, because I just love that particular branch.

On the Unity side, I've used 2 different Christmas sets, just playing around to see what things looked like. No challenges today. Just a page for fun.
I was going to say that today was my last day for Growing in Unity. And it officially is, but I have one more thing to share and I'll try to post it tomorrow. So check back. And then come back Monday to find out who the winner of the Unity single is!!

She's gonna be mad at me, but I just have to do it. Here's a pic from her birthday on Wednesday. Not the best picture of her, but her siblings were teasing her - as usual. I dearly love this child! Happy Sweet Sixteen, Meg!!

Mother's Day at AiFactory!

Welcome to my weekly AiFactory post! This week we're working with Mother's Day images. The team has been divided into 3 groups. I've got a pretty flower to use for my project. We've also been asked to participate in at least one other challenge. Twist my arm, why don't you!!

You guys are really going to laugh at me. You would not believe the hours I spent looking through my stamps to find a Mother's Day sentiment. I mean really, if you had any idea just how many stamps I have, rubber, clear and digital, you would be shocked that it took me so long. And, of all things, it was finally a Stampin' Up set that came to the rescue. It was literally on the other side of my house from everything that I use on a regular basis. I had to dust them off to look through those sets. Whatever, right? It worked!!

So, for challenges, I started off by checking out the current colour challenges. Color Throwdown #87 caught my eye. Pink, grey and soft olive. Those sounded like good colours for a Mother's Day card. Then I saw Belli Challenge #88 - use some type of colour spray. I did this one last week (it's a biweekly challenge) when I used my Copic Airbrush system to recolour a button. This time, I thought I remembered having some grey Glimmer Mist. Woohoo! Yup, it's in the drawer! Awesome! While I was checking out the week's challenges, I came across The Pink Elephant. Challenge #61 is Nature. I think my flower counts.

There was another one I found last night (Wednesday) that called for something glittery or glimmery, but heck if I remember what it was. If anyone knows, I'd really appreciate it if you'd drop me a reminder.

BTW, because I had such a hard time with my sentiment, my original card was scrapped and turned into this ATC. I think it's kinda cute. The grey, when done in glimmer mist, ends up kind of silver, but I like it that way. The ink is Ranger Watermelon. The lighter pink didn't show up at all. So this is ATC #2. Sometimes is just happens that way.
Check out the rest of the DT's work (links are on the left sidebar) and then be sure to play along. Link your creation to the AiFactory Challenge Blog post for this week and you could win 2 of the 4 images shown on the blog as well as a chance to be a guest DT!! You have until 10:30 EST on April 14 (that's next Wednesday.) Good luck!!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Day 4 - Growing in Unity

Hi guys. This is a quick one. Only one challenge today - and it's my favourite challenge. Yup. Etsy Inspired! I saw this gorgeous pendant in Until it Ends Studios' Shop on Monday. I just went to get the link, and it's already sold! It sure is pretty, though.

I've been working on an art journal for a swap. Unity....dragonflies...that could make an interesting page. Here's what I came up with. BTW, the coupon is *old* - it expired a year ago March. No trying to figure out the code. The dragonfly is actually discontinued. I had to ask Angela because I'd forgotten which kit it was from. That's just how long I've LOVED my Unity!! It's been given the shrink plastic treatment! Gotta love shrinky dinks!
I'll be back later with my AiFactory post for this week. I'm moving slow as my wrists are still bothering me greatly, hence the brevity of this post.

Don't forget, tomorrow is my last day for Growing in Unity - and it's Friends with Flair Friday! I'll give everyone through the weekend and announce the winner for the Unity single on Monday morning at the Ippity Hop.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Day 3 - Growing in Unity

Thank you so much for the birthday wishes!! You guys really made my day. The DMV...well, not so much. I learned a couple things. First of all, it's actually called the MVA here in Maryland. And secondly, due to all of the new Homeland Security laws, I need either a passport or my birth certificate in order to get a new "secure" driver's license. I had my birth certificate at one point early in my marriage. That was at least 12 moves ago. So I've ordered another one, all the while grousing that my military dependent ID is not proof of my identity. Whatever.

I went simple today as I kind of overdid it a little bit with all of the distressing on yesterday's card and my wrists are super sore.

I used the colours from both StampTV's Monday Color Challenge and this Star Magnet Duo from this week's Etsy Inspired Challenge shop. I went back to the sketch challenge from NinaB's bloggiversary because it is so CAS and elegant. I chose to pull out one of my {ippity} stamp sets, Regal Greetings. I do have this one in stock at my {ippity} shop, and all of my profits are going towards sending my eldest daughter, Meagan, to Europe this summer with a group called People to People. Meg is blogging about it here. Oh, and speaking of Miss Meagan, today is her Sweet Sixteen!The patterned paper and yellow cardstock both came from the Beeez Kneez kit from the Caffinated Cropper. Yes, I made a little booboo on the card, but I still like it. It's for my mom, because she got bitten yesterday. This morning she wrote, "they don't like to stitch dog or cat bites so only tacked it down with 8 stitches that were spaced out." Um...yeah. I don't like the way that sounds one bit, but she won't let me drive down. She's going back to work tomorrow. I'm trying not to worry. Much.

That's it for me today. Don't forget to leave a comment. Some lucky random commenter from this week will win a Unity single! Have a great day!!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Day 2 - Growing in Unity

Today is a special day for me. I think it's extra fun to host Growing in Unity during the week of my birthday. The first time I did it was during this same week a year ago. I was fortunate enough to host GIU on it's first anniversary. And now, on the anniversary of the first time I hosted it, it's my birthday! This is a week of birthdays. Yesterday was Sherry's birthday - if you missed it, head over to her blog and give her a little extra love. She deserves it!

So, since this is for my birthday post, I thought I'd have a little fun with the card. When I was checking out the Etsy Inspired Challenge a couple ddays ago, in addition to the ladybird , I also spotted this music charm necklace. Hmm, says I. I know just the stamp for that! It's one of my Unity favourites and it was designed by the ever-so-talented Lisa Hetrick. It's called My Heart Sings. I love it so much that I have 3 of them. Don't ask. Really.

I'm using this week's Mojo Monday sketch #133. To continue along with my regular theme of multiple challenges, it's time for this week's Oh, Alice! Challenge 7 is M.A.D. - monochromatic and distressed. Okay, I can do that, too.

While I was working on the card, I took a break to check my email. The FeedBlitz update from Barbara Anders' blog came through. She was posting about Flourishes Timeless Tuesday Challenge (FTTC61). Apparently it's "Bought it? Use it!" week. Well. Funny thing about that. I'd already dug up some Memory Box dp that had been percolating in my stash since Valentine's Day 2009, but I thought, okay, let me see if I can find something specifically for this. I haven't located a good ribbon yet. I'd already looked in several places, but hadn't found The Perfect Ribbon(TM). So I went digging further. What I found made me laugh, because Bar is on the MFT DT. In the bottom of one of my ribbon drawers was a ribbon "nest" from MFT. From last year. The end of April even. And the brown matched perfectly. Score!! So, thanks to Bar, I didn't settle, and I think the card is much better for it.

That's all from me today. It's super late and I get to spend my morning at the DMV. Yippy...Not.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Day 1 - Growing in Unity

Hey there, party peeps!! I am back for my third round of growing in Unity!! Yes, when I say I love Unity stamps, I really mean it. If you guys could see the, er, collection, I'm not sure if you'd be impressed or appalled. I often have to force myself to use stamps from other companies. It's not that I don't like them. I have some that I dearly love. It's just that I get into that "Unity Zone" - and it's where I'm comfortable.

So, for my first project this week, I'm staying within my comfort zone and playing along with a few challenges. I'm sure you're utterly shocked, right? Of course I had to start with my favourite challenge, Etsy Inspired! This week, the shop is called Until It Ends Studios. When I say the items there are adorable, I'm not kidding. I chose this cute little ladybug crystal charm necklace as my inspiration. I'm such a sucker for ladybugs that there was no doubt that I'd do at least one ladybug card this week!

I used Nina B's Blogiversary Challenge sketch. She's right - it's a really good one that is very versatile. Other challenges I chose to follow are Allsorts #46 - no DPs, and Crazy 4 Challenges #31 - make the base Kraft (hahaha, that's almost too easy!)
Stamps: Unity March KOTM "Rockin it Unity Style"
Cardstock: SU Kraft, GinaK Luxury Black
Ink: Black Soot Distress Ink, Pearlescent Poppy Brilliance
Etc: Stylized Flowers Cuttlebug folder, GinaK ribbon, clear embossing powder, Copic/Spica markers

Now, two things. Don't forget to leave a comment each day for a chance to win a Unity single. Secondly, dear Ashley is taking part in a contest over at TGF and we would both appreciate votes for her group, most of whom are newbies who are local to her. They're called the Stampin Divas and their card is here. Voting for this round is only through Tuesday, April 6, so please hurry!!

Thanks and I'll see you back here tomorrow with more Unity goodness!!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Hip Hop, it's Friends With Flair!

Did everyone love having Hip Hop back yesterday as much as I did??? I was so glad to see everyone again! I have missed you guys!

It's Friday, and that means it's time for Unity's Friends with Flair blog hop. To see the list of participants this week, check out the Unity Blog. Somebody will have a blinkie. Leave love on that blog and you could win some Unity Stamps!!

Along with the return of Hip Hop, we were given the first Hip Hop Sketch Challenge. I thought it would be perfect to use that for my FWF post, especially since I've been absent from the FWF hop for several weeks.

Of course, being me, I had to see if there were any other challenges that would help me create my card. First of all, I found this purse from Ponder & Stitch, which is this week's Etsy Inspired shop. When I saw it, I was reminded that this week's SCS Colour Challenge (CC264) called for So Saffron, Bermuda Bay and Basic Grey. On top of that, CC264 has a dessert option - layered, crushed flowers. While I didn't really get the "crushed" part, I did layer a flower.

Bermuda Bay is kind of a teal-y green. Hmm...All Things Unity is asking for "green" projects. Hot dig!

When I was looking up challenges, I found one that asked for flowers. I just can't remember where it was! Next time I'll write it down.

And lastly, Gingersnap Creations issued a Blue Moon challenge yesterday, GCSP3, which was to take on a tutorial. I chose Distressing with Hels. I'm not sure if you can tell, but the butterfly was stamped and embossed with Distress Ink & Distress Embossing Powder in Mustard Seed. I also ink distressed the edges of the patterned paper layer.
Stamp: Unity Bevy of Butterflies
Paper: Neenah Classic Crest and SU
Ink: Ranger Distress Ink - Mustard Seed
Etc: Bermuda Bay ribbon, Distress EP, Prima flowers, yellow dew drop

Enjoy the hop and have a fabulous weekend. I'll be back on Monday for an entire week of Growing In Unity!! Don't forget to check back starting Monday morning!