Return from Cape May

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jan 29, 2007 in Crafts


I’m finally back from my weekend of stampin’, craftin’ and croppin’ at the Crop Classix event in Cape May, NJ – I had a blast!

Seven of us all went together and we had such a great time….well – in the scrapping room anyway. We stayed at the Grand Hotel right on the beach and I’m afraid to say – the facilities and staff were terrible!

We got stuck in the elevator TWICE! Here’s a photo of Angie using the elevator phone to call for help (this was the second time we got stuck):

And as you can see by the look on Jennifer’s face, we were not very happy to be stuck again:

But eventually, help did come and we managed to escape. Good thing we aren’t claustrophobic!

Anyway…we also were treated very rudely by the wait staff – especially by the food and beverage manager – she actually cursed at us under her breath when we had the nerve to ask what kind of cereal they had – imagine the nerve of us!

We had a very nice time in spite of all that. We also got some GREAT ideas (and very little sleep) – I can’t wait to try them! I’ll be sure to post photos when I do.

Here I am with Denise holding one of the great ideas we saw – a scrapbook made from a record album!

Here is Chris holding up her adorable tag book:

And Angie still stressed from the whole elevator experience:

She looks a little crazed in that photo, don’t you think? But I am happy to report that she did not actually cut her own hair…and we didn’t let her have any scissors for the rest of the weekend.

Here’s my buddy Fran:

Fran was a little upset with me whenever I shouted the lyrics of the current playing song across the table at her. Hey, come on Fran – I only did it once or twice…or a thousand times – it was a LONG weekend!

And let’s not forget my friend, Marie who was covered in glitter from head to toe all weekend:

And poor Jennifer sat next to her and was covered in glitter by no fault of her own:

Can you see the sparkles in her eye?

Here they are looking like they get along:

And here’s a nice photo of Angie and Fran – now known as “Frangie” – trust me – you can’t leave these two alone! They look innocent enough…but if they wander off alone together – especially late at night with very little sleep – there will be trouble for sure!

I do have to say that they were quite helpful the night I did my make-and-take – thank you ladies for staying late with me! And for getting up and walking out of the restaurant with me after we got such bad service at breakfast. And again for supporting me while I told that woman exactly what I thought of her! :)

Then there was Denise who elected to sit next to me – I hope she didn’t mind all my stuff TOO much…

Plus, she was VERY helpful during the scrapbooking class I taught. She ran around and helped everyone with their projects and really helped to sell the products!

So I have to go now and unpack all my stuff. As soon as I can, I’ll post some of the fantastic ideas I got while we were there…

Goodbye, Cape May!


Submissions Are Done!

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jan 24, 2007 in Uncategorized

I am SO excited – I stayed up late last night and finished my submissions for the acetate-and-tissue technique for Take Ten Magazine!

Unfortunately, I can’t post photos of them here (publishing rights and stuff), but I have to say…I LOVE how they turned out!!! I really think this is some of my best work ever, if I do say so myself. :)

I did 16 cards in all. There are four color groups with 3-6 cards in each group.

I really hope they use they use these – even my husband Mike said they were too good to send away and that I should make sure I send a SASE so that they can send them back to me again.

Just had a flashback – do you remember the PBS show ‘Zoom’? I think it’s still on, but in a different format. I just remember some song about a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope). I used to love that show – and The Electric Company – remember that show? I think Morgan Freeman was on it way back when. It was that show that taught me how to read! Ahhh…memories!

Anyway, today I must pack and get myself ready for my scrapbooking weekend in Cape May. I can’t wait to go! I have 5 people signed up for my class so far – I hope it goes well.

I mounted all my new Stampin’ Up! stamps yesterday while I was helping my son Matthew catch up on the homework he missed from his sick day on Monday.  It was a painful process (the homework, not the stamp mounting) – he tends to be so easily distracted!  I still don’t have room for the stamps – they’re sitting in a box on the floor of my craft room.

And thanks to my friends, I spent WAY too much money yesterday at AC Moore!  I had a 50% off coupon so I just HAD to buy something (and I was out of a few things so I had to go anyway)…I ended up getting a bunch of embellishments at half off.  But those new embellishments inspired me to do all those cards last night, so I think it was worth it, don’t you? 😉


Ink and Acetate and Glue – Oh My!

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jan 22, 2007 in Crafts

First, a quick update on my son Matthew.  He was at the ER for only 2 hours last night – they said his breathing was okay, gave him some cough medicine and sent him home – yay!  We were able to head off his asthma attack with a dose of Prednisone at home and regular nebulizer treatments before it got really bad.  But he is still home from school today – he is not feeling well and has had 2 treatments so far today.  Poor thing – he hates to miss school!

On the plus side, it snowed last night and I didn’t have to clean off my car this morning to take him to school! :)

My crafting goal today was to work on my submissions for Take Ten magazine.  Several weeks ago, the editor called me and asked if I would send in some more card samples using the acetate-and-tissue technique (you can learn that technique and lots more on SplitcoastStampers in the ‘Resources’ section.  They wanted 10-15 cards using the acetate technique and grouped into color groups of about 3-4 for each color.  The deadline for the next issue is February 1st which is quickly approaching…

So I finally sat down today to play.  I grabbed a whole bunch of transparencies, a whole stack of tissue paper, all of my ink refills and some stamps.  Boy, this is a MESSY technique! 

Unfortunately, I was almost out of Crystal Effects (poor planning on my part), but I did as many samples as I could until I ran out.  I played with all kinds of different color combinations, different styles and several different stamp types until I got a nice mixture – here’s what I ended up with:

These will take while to dry.  Then all I have to do is take these elements and make them into 10-15 beautiful, original, show-stopping cards somehow.  Hmmm…we’ll see about that!

I won’t be able to post my finished cards here on my blog if they are going to be published, but I can show you those that I decide not to send in.  Here’s one of the pieces that I know I’m not going to use:

I like how it turned out in the photo, but in real life, it’s much darker and you can hardly see the starfish.  But you get the idea – glue, re-inkers and glitter on the back of a transparency with a backing of tissue paper.  I also have to trim off the excess tissue paper around the edges. 

I used brown StazOn for this one – but it just didn’t come out dark enough to send in.  I may make a card with it just to have as a sample – but it didn’t fit in with the rest of my color combos.

The stamp used in this photo is actually one from Stampington.  I used several stamps from them for these projects – I figured that if I did, I might have a better chance of getting published in their magazine!

So…while those are drying, I get to mount some new stamps!!!!!  My Stampin’ Up! pre-order from Leadership arrived today – can’t wait to go play with my new stuff.  Wait…I don’t have time to play!  Oh well…maybe just mounting them and adding them to my stash will be enough satisfaction for now.

And speaking of my stash…my stamp shelves are now completely full!  I don’t know what I’m going to do – I either need to find more storage or sell some of my older sets.  I’m such a collector, though – I don’t know if I could part with any of them.  I’m sure that as soon as I do, I’ll realize that the stamp I just sold was PERFECT for some project I need to do…

Oh, well – I need to figure something out – there’s no room for my new stamps that just came today….


Make-And-Takes for Crop Classix

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jan 22, 2007 in Cards, Crafts, Scrapbooks

Whew! I’m done in my craft room for today…my back is KILLING me from being hunched over in deep creative concentration for so long!

Plus, my husband just had to take my dear son Matthew to the emergency room. He has asthma that really flares up when we have extreme temperature changes – last week it was in the 60s here in NJ and this week it’s only in the 30s. And since it’s Sunday night and his doctors aren’t in, he ended up in the ER. He has been admitted for asthma a few times and it’s just AWFUL having a child in the hospital – it disrupts the entire family and poor Matt gets so scared. He’s a good sport though, and takes whatever medicine they give him. Here’s hoping that they can just treat him and release him tonight. I’m staying here with the other two kids and Mike will give me an update from his cell phone when he has a chance.

I thought that I would post my day’s efforts while I have a moment. I wanted to come up with at least 3 simple and cost-effective make-and-takes for this weekend in Cape May – I think these are pretty good. :)

First, I’m going to do a sour cream container and piece of chocolate with a stamped label. I like to use white cardstock for these – it seems to be a bit more flexible than color cardstock and seems to roll up more easily without creasing. So I used white cardstock and then used Cranberry Crisp and Regal Rose ink along with the Simply Said stamp set to make a cute little Valentine favor:

I also stamped an address label and wrapped it around Hershey’s Nugget to put inside the container.

I also thought I’d put out a few more containers for other upcoming holidays. Each of these was done using Simply Said plus another small stamp:

Then I also wanted to do a card make-and-take. I was inspired by a swap I received from Kathy Hilden at Leadership last weekend. Kathy is from Shelby Township in Michigan – thanks, Kathy! I loved her color combo and choice of stamps – I just simplified her design just bit to make it more cost effective as a make-and-take (hers is much more lovely – mine has fewer layers and fewer bells-and-whistles ):

I am going to replace the moss ribbon with some cranberry stitched ribbon – I have to place a last minute order for paper anyway and will add that on to my order. There is a bit of bling on the flowers with Dazzling Diamonds – not sure if that comes through in the photo, but it really adds a lot to the card.

So…now I’m doing a 3-D item and a card…I also wanted to throw in a scrapbook page. I’m just going to do a 6X6 single page and then show how to turn it into either an 8 1/2 X 11 or 12X12 with some samples. Here’s the page for the make-and-take:

It’s loosely based on one created by Stampin’ Up! when they carried the AHA stamp set special last year. That’s Bashful Blue, Old Olive and Marigold Morning with some Real Red too. And I used Big Deal alphabet along with Simply Said again for the heart.

That’s all for now – I hear the laundry calling my name…


Cape May Projects – 6X6 Scrapbooks In An Hour

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jan 21, 2007 in Crafts, Scrapbooks

I finally finished all the sample projects for my classes next weekend at Crop Classix!

I’ll be teaching a class where we’ll make 6X6 scrapbooks in about an hour (the template was in my last post).

I thought I’d post some photos to help with the template (plus, I can point my students here after the class is over for step-by-step instructions). :)
First, find a 6X6 album that you like. There are so many out there – everything from plain and simple to fancy and elegant.

Here’s one I found from K & Company at Michaels for $5 (after I used my 40% off coupon):

Next, pick your stamp set and colors. I decided to use the Roses in Winter stamp set with Mellow Moss, Cranberry Crisp and Blush Blossom (I wouldn’t go with more than 3 colors – it tends to get too busy). My background pages will be Mellow Moss – you’ll need 5 sheets of 12X12 cardstock. Stamp a design on each piece of cardstock to act as a background – here’s mine:

Then cut each 12X12 sheets into 4 6X6 pages – there will be 20 in all.

Next, choose either Whisper White or Very Vanilla cardstock and stamp a design in your three colors such that you cover the entire sheet. Try not to leave any white spaces. Here’s mine:

Then cut that piece according to the template in my previous post – here are all the pieces:

Next, take the pieces and arrange them on the 6X6 pages as shown on the first page of the template. You’ll end up with 2 blank pages for the front and back pages and 18 decorated pages ready to add your photos – here are two of my finished pages for this project inserted into the album:

You can refer to my previous post to see finished pages with photos, titles and journaling.

I decided to offer 4 different designs for the class – each person can choose the theme they would like to make during the class.

First is the sample in my previous post done with the Wild About You stamp set:

Then is the sample I just showed with Roses in Winter:

Then I’m also going to offer a vacation-beach theme with Balmy Breezes:

And finally, a sort of neutral theme with Artfully Asian – I started playing with this one in Pumpkin Pie, Night of Navy and Old Olive and really liked how it turned out:

Here are some more pages in a plain navy blue 6X6 scrapbook I found on sale:

I’m also going to bring a few other samples done on little 6X6 books I found on clearance at Michaels for a dollar – here’s one:

Then I did the inside pages with Night of Navy, YoYo Yellow and Ballet Blue (I didn’t make any background pages – I just adhered the stamped and cut pieces right to the pages in the book) using the new Doodle This stamp set:

Then I found another on clearance as well:

And did another variation – instead of stamping a neutral piece, I stamped on YoYo Yellow cardstock with Real Red, Perfect Plum and Only Orange using Little Pieces like this:

I think these make great little gifts for baby showers, birthday parties, etc – all the recipient has to do is to put the photos right inside and add a little journaling. And since you’re using stamps, they can be any theme and any color you’d like!

So…now that I have those done, I have to work on some make-and-takes for the weekend as well as a door prize…let’s see if I can get them done today too…


Getting Ready for Cape May

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jan 19, 2007 in Crafts, Scrapbooks

I spent most of yesterday morning preparing a sample scrapbook for my upcoming ‘Scrapbook in About an Hour’ class in Cape May, NJ next Friday – ahhh – just one week from today! No stress…no stress…(insert deep breathing here)…

I have a great template for taking just 6 sheets of 12X12 paper and one stamp set and making an entire 20 page 6X6 album – that’s what I’m teaching at my class. If you’re nice to me…maybe I’ll post the template here on my blog for download… :)

I have one sample that’s already in my SCS gallery – I made one for each of my friends who went on a cruise with me last January.

Here are two of my favorite pages from that scrapbook:

I used Old Olive cardstock as the background and Stampin’ Up!’s Balmy Breezes stamp set for that scrapbook.

I just did another one using Tempting Turquoise as the background and the Wild About You stamp set in Tempting Turquoise, Pretty in Pink and Certainly Celery – perfect for a new baby!

Since I don’t have a new baby right now, I decided to use some photos of my son Matt when he was a baby for the sample scrapbook. Here are some of my favorite pages:

This is a super-quick and easy way to fill a book – perfect for a gift with or without photos. I gave one similar to this to my neighbor for photos of her new grandbaby – since it’s already almost finished, she can just add in the photos.

For the book, I used a simple, plain white spiral bound 6X6 book from Michaels. I used ModPodge to adhere some of Stampin’ Up!’s new Loves Me designer paper to the cover and cut out the negative image of the chipboards letter “M” (from On Board Simon Lower). I inked it up and added some Close to Cocoa paper behind the letter and tied coordinating ribbon down the spiral – here’s the front cover:

I really like how it turned out – and so does my son Matthew!

I hoped to complete another book today, but my friends tempted me into spending a lazy morning at a local coffee shop – how could I turn that down? So I’m off to my craft room now to see how much I can get done before I have to pick my older kids up from school and then run my daughter to gymnastics…

Oh – and since you’ve been very nice to me (haven’t you?), here’s a link to the template (hopefully, this will work for you – if not, please let me know and I’ll try to post it another way):

Scrapbook Template


Stamps Save the Day

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jan 18, 2007 in Uncategorized

See…this is one of the reasons I have stamps – as I went through my daughter’s backpack this morning, I noticed the paper with her weekly preschool schedule.  And lo and behold, I was scheduled to bring a snack that has SOMETHING to do with the number 7!  Panic set in!!!!

Then…I thought about it for a minute and realized that all I had to do was put seven of something in a bag as a snack.  I searched through my pantry, desperate for an idea – and then I saw…..the Cheese Nips – eureka!  You see…not only is it ‘7’ week, it’s also ‘N’ week at preschool…

So I ran into my craft room, pulled out a plain brown gift bag and stamped the number seven all over it with different number sets.  Then I made a little title that said, “Cheese Nips” and stuck it on.  Tied some ribbon around the handle and voila:

I then counted out 7 crackers for each of the children and put them into individual plastic bags.

Okay – it may not be the crafty-est thing in the world, but they’re only 4 years old!  And the teachers were quite impressed anyway…

Gotta love those stamps!



Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jan 17, 2007 in Scrapbooks

All of a sudden, it feels like winter here in NJ!  The temperature was in the 60’s on Monday night when I held my Stamp-A-Stack – we had to open the windows , it got so hot in my dining room!  And now it’s in the 20’s – I really dislike the cold weather.  I have a Home And School meeting tonight that I should attend, but it’s so tempting to just stay here inside where it’s warm under my toasty down throw-blanket…

I did manage to accomplish some things today.  I got caught up on all my emails and finally went to the grocery store (yes, that’s right – now my family not only has clean towels, but we also have real food in the house!).  I tried to make a ‘Roast Pork with Citrus Sauce’ recipe in my slow-cooker – the pork came out great, but the sauce…not so good.  Couldn’t get it to thicken…

Anyway, I am the coordinator for my church’s (Pitman United Methodist Church) new scrapbooking ministry – it’s been pretty successful so far.  All of the money we raise goes to Victory House for Girls – a residential home for at-risk teenage girls. 

We invite people from all churches (or no church) to attend – we have door prizes, free classes and serve dinner.  We meet on the 3rd Saturday of each month (our next meeting is this Saturday, so I need to get started!) and open up our social hall for scrapbookers to come and work on their projects and spread out their supplies.  We also have lots of donated supplies available for those who are new to scrapbooking – and we try to help them as much as we can.

Each month has a theme – this month’s theme is ‘Hope’.  I usually try to make some project relating to the theme that I can share with everyone.  Then I also try to find applicable Bible verses to share as well.

Today, I worked on a scrapbook spread about hope – here it is:

Our church building burned down a few years ago and our new building is currently under construction.  The photos were taken at the raising of the new cross back in November.  I thought this would be a great project to share for ‘hope’ – we are so full of hope every time we drive by that new building! 

At the bottom of the second page, I stamped crosses across as a border – it’s hard to see that in the photo.  I used Stampin’ Up!’s Sell-A-Bration ‘Just Delightful’ Scrappin’ Kit to make the pages – I also used some Heidi Swapp chipboard letters and Making Memories rub-on letters.  The colors in the kit are a little too ‘springy’ for me, but other than that, I’m happy with how it turned out.

I also decided to make a scrapbook embellishment using a domino for Saturday’s class and made a sample on the page.  Here’s a close up photo:

I made it to coordinate with the page and will let the attendees make it as either an embellishment, pin or magnet.  I used the Sell-A-Bration ‘Delight in Life’ stamp set along with my Stampin’ Pastels, Crystal Effects and Dazzling Diamonds.

Aaaaah – the kids are all bugging me at once and Mike just walked out the door to have his bowling ball fixed or some such nonsense.  Looks like I won’t be going to the meeting after all….


Back Home Safe & Sound

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jan 15, 2007 in Cards, Crafts, Other items

Howdy, y’all!

I’m happy to report that I made it home from Leadership safe and sound! 

It was AWESOME!!!  I met so many wonderful people while I was there – Stampin’ Up! is such a fantastic organization and I’m proud to be a part of it. 

I also came back full of motivation and ideas for my business – I can’t wait to get started implementing them.

But first, I wanted to share some photos with everyone.

Here’s a photo of me in front of the main stage:

And I mentioned that I met Scott Nielson (sorry, Scott – I spelled your name wrong in my previous post), one of SU!’s new VPs and a former Yankees pitcher – here we are:

Here I am with my card on the boards:

Okay – that’s a REALLY awful photo of me!  But that was at the very end of the first day – I was SO exhausted!

And here are a few photos from the ‘Lowly Supervisor Dinner’ with the SCS ladies:

Oh – and here’s a copy of the door prize I made for the dinner – I used one of those little mailboxes from the Target Dollar Spot:

So…after I got home (after 1AM on Saturday), I had to get in gear to make cards for a Birthday Stamp-A-Stack I’m holding tonight.  13 women are coming and each is making 10 cards – EEK!  That means I had to come up with 5 new designs and whip up 130 cards yesterday!

But I did it (thanks in part to some of the fantastic swap I received at Leadership!)!  And it only  took about 6 hours to do (did I mention I’m tired?!?!)…

So here they are:

The card above was CASEd from a swap from Lorie Souther from New Cambria, MO – thanks, Lorie!

The fishy card was inspired by a swap I did with someone who unfortunately did put their info on the back – all it says is, “Hand Stamped by Sandy” – thanks, Sandy!

Okay – so now that I’ve bored you with photos, let me share a little ‘ blonde-and-menopausal-and-almost-40 moment’ (and I’m all those things, so I can say that) I had while in Houston…not sure if I should even admit this, but how many people are actually going to read this blog anyway, right? 😉

So I’m in the hotel on Friday morning and I’m getting ready to go.  The hotel had some really nice Crabtree and Evelyn LaSource samples in the room for soap, shampoo, etc  (and you can BET I brought them all home with me!).  I decided that I’d like to try the moisturizer after my shower.  I picked up the sample and without my glasses, could see that it started with the letter “M”, so I opened it up and poured it into my hands.  It seemed a little thin for moisturizer, but that didn’t stop me (can you see where I’m going with this?).  I rubbed it onto my elbows and thought, “Wow – this moisturizer sure does smell minty!”.  On goes the lightbulb (FINALLY) – I was actually rubbing MOUTHWASH onto my elbows, not moisturizer!!!!  Had to jump back into the shower to fix that one!

So now that I’ve totally embarrassed myself, I’ll end my post.  And if any of my new friends are reading this, thanks so much for making me feel so at home while away from home at Leadership!


Hello from Houston!

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jan 13, 2007 in Uncategorized

I’m posting this morning from the Stampin’ Up! Leadership conference in Houston, TX!

It’s been so much fun – but VERY busy!  There really hasn’t been any downtime – it’s just one class right after another.

I did have a GREAT dinner last night with the ladies from SplitcoastStampers – it was so much fun to meet everyone!  There were 40 of us who attended a ‘Lowly Supervisor’ dinner while the other more successful ladies went to the ‘Manager’s Roundup’ – but I’m sure we had just as much fun and didn’t have to dress up in cowboy outfits like they did (I’m not kidding – they even had a mechanical bull for them to ride).

My  SCS name is ‘curlycurlyhair’, but down here in Texas, it’s more like ‘frizzyfrizzyhair’.  It was almost 80 degrees here yesterday and very humid – not my best hair-days, that’s for sure!  But since the hotel is connected right to the convention center, I  didn’t have to go outside, so that helped.

During the opening session, I forced my way up to the front row and sat right behind Shelli Gardner (the co-founder and CEO of Stampin’ Up!)!  I was tempted to reach up and play with her hair (she has beautiful straight hair that wasn’t at all frizzy), but I thought that might be inappropriate.  I also spoke to her at lunch – we had a wonderful sit-down lunch complete with a great piece of chocolate cake and fantastic bread basket – our table called her over and thanked her for lunch.  We also asked if she wanted to join us, but apparently she had her OWN table.  Imagine that!

I also sat behind the new VP of finance, Scott Neilson, who used to be a pitcher for the NY Yankees in the 1980’s.  During the break, I asked him for his autograph for Mike and also had my picture taken with him.  I didn’t get a picture with Shelli yet – I’ll see what I can do (don’t want to be accused of being a stalker, though).

Everyone here has been so friendly!  Even though I’m here alone, I never feel alone.  Of course, you know me – I’ll talk to just about anyone who gives me the time of day.  In fact, on the bus on the way to the airport from the parking lot, I met a man who makes sailboats and sails them in regattas all over the world.  Hmmm..maybe I’m a bit TOO chatty – but you just never know who you may meet.

The swaps have been fantastic – and mine were more than adequate.  Before I came, I was feeling a little intimidated, but as it turns out I had no reason to feel that way.  Everyone loved them!  They posted all the swaps up on a board for everyone to see and I actually saw several people taking photos of MY pop-up card – made me feel good!

I’ve learned so much since I’ve been here – I definitely want to go to Convention this year in Denver.  I’d highly recommend going (if you’re not already a demo, you may want to consider buying the $99 starter kit just to go to Convention!).  I hope I can get all the members of my downline to go with me.

I fly out at 6:40 tonight – I hope that the flight home is better than the flight down here.  Right before we landed, we hit an air-pocket and fell down quite a bit – when we landed, the flight attendant actually asked for a ‘moment of silence’.  Not a good sign.

Well, they’re asking us to wrap it up now – I’ll post more and some photos tomorrow when I get home…

Can’t wait to see what I learn today!

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