Craft Room Cleaning Day

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jan 10, 2007 in Crafts

Today I was very brave – I decided to tackle my craft room. It’s been crazy around here with the holidays and all the many, many, many craft projects I am currently in the middle of. And I’m afraid I let my craft room get out of hand.

How bad was it, you ask? Well, get ready – it was this bad:

I told you it was bad! I couldn’t find anything, I had no room to work and I believe there was even a little mouse hiding amongst all that stuff (my cat kept staring at the pile – so either we have a mouse or he’s just a real neat-freak).

So after I cleaned up the rest of the downstairs (stamp club tonight – it’s so bad, my 4 year old daughter always says, “Mommy – you vacuumed – it must be stamp club night.” And she’s usually right.), I decided that I couldn’t even vacuum my craft room floor – I couldn’t get to it without sucking up lots of paper, ribbon and other assorted embellishments!

I began cleaning it at about 10 this morning – and I just finished at about 4:00. It really needed it! And we did indeed have a mouse. I found a little nest made with Stampin’ Up! cardstock scraps and ribbon WAY back in a corner – at least it had good craft taste!

Hmmm…re-reading this blog, you might think I’m a messy, dirty person. But really – I’m not! We have an old house and get about one or two mice a year – it’s not like our house is infested or anything.

Here – I’ll prove it – here’s my craft room after I finished cleaning it:

See – I’m not THAT bad!

While I’m at it – here are some more photos of my room. Here a shot from the same angle as the ‘before’ photo:

I emptied out all the boxes and re-packed them all. I have a LOT of craft stuff!

Here are my current SU stamp sets and some non-SU stamps on the side:

And here are my retired stamps:

I also have a bunch of non-SU stamps behind the door:

I also have my paper nice and organized:

And so are my inks in this great storage idea from IKEA:

And…for those who were concerned for the well-being of my family, we now have clean towels as well.

Happy, Marie?!?!

Now I’ve got to go finish cleaning before stamp club arrives and I need to pack for Houston.

I can’t wait to got to Leadership!!!! I’ll post from there and let you know how it’s going – wish me luck!


Bookmarks, Birthday Cards and Other Fun

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jan 10, 2007 in Cards


See – this could be dangerous!  Giving me my own blog…two entries in one day!  I guess I have lots to say and share after all. :)

I forgot to mention in my last entry the other massive project I’ve been working on.

At the end of January, I’ll be teaching a scrapbooking class at the Crop Classix event in Cape May, NJ.  Since I’ll be teaching a class, I get to put a little something in everyone’s ‘goody bag’ that they get when they check in.  So I needed to make something simple for 175-200 people. 

Well…let me tell you – NOTHING is simple when you’re making that many of them! 

I decided to make bookmarks and include them inside one of SU!’s Winter Mini catalogs in each bag.  Here’s what they look like:

I think they’re really cute.  Or at least I thought I did until I had to make so many of them – now I’m quite sick of looking at Suzy Stamper!

I still need to get working on the samples for my scrapbooking class.

But first…after much harassment from my friends (and you know who you are), I decided to hold a Birthday Stamp-A-Stack this coming Monday night.  What am I, crazy!?!?!  I’ll be in Houston all weekend – not sure exactly when I’m going to prepare for this one. 

But I could really use the money and I actually enjoy coming up with Stamp-A-Stack cards.  For one of the cards, I may use a sample I made recently for a birthday party for 4-year-old boy and girl twins.  I wanted to use the same stamp set on both of the cards, but vary the images and colors slightly. 

I like how these turned out.  I sent out an email this afternoon for the Stamp-A-Stack and have had 9 ladies register already.  I usually limit it to just 10-12 people due to the size of my small house.  Maybe I need to find a larger venue…

Oh, and I also had to come up with a simple make-and-take for my stamp clubs.  I CASEd the idea of a one-layer card from the SCS message board (that place is such a great source of inspiration!) and came up with this one:

The first club really liked it.  Sometimes it’s nice to try to create a card without all the bells and whistles of embellishments.  And those stamps are so pretty, it’s easy to make a nice card.

I also got a phone call last week from the editor of Take Ten magazine asking me for some submissions for an article.  So I need to come up with 10-15 cards for that.

Oh, and I need some make-and-takes for Cape May.  And door prizes for Houston.  And a lovely basket for a fundraiser for my daughter’s preschool.  And I’m teaching some sort of class at my church’s Scrapbooking Ministry event next Saturday – I need to choose a project for that.  And I just picked up some of those metal mailboxes from the Target Dollar Spot today…those women on SCS are enablers!  I may play with the mailboxes for a little fun tomorrow.

We’re still using those beach towels – who has time for laundry?


My Very First Blog Entry – Leadership Swaps

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jan 10, 2007 in Cards, Crafts, Other items


So now I have my own blog – now what?  What could I possibly have to say or share that would be important enough for another person to read.  Hmmm…

Well, here’s my attempt, anyway, to share my latest craft projects or attempts thereof.  Along the way I’m sure I’ll have lots of other stuff to share, too – I do tend to be a bit chatty, though, so be prepared to settle into your chair for a while and sip a BIG mug of hot chocolate… 

So…I am headed to Stampin’ Up!’s Leadership Conference in Houston, Texas this Thursday.  I have to admit, I’m a bit intimidated by attending an event with such talented demonstrators.    I’m usually the ‘expert’ at my workshops, stamp clubs and stamp camps – but now I’m going to be surrounded by hundreds of demonstrators who do what I do only much better.

I have been working on my swaps for the last week – I’m really trying to get them just right (or at least close to something I can swap without being embarrassed, anyway).

So…I came across this template in some stamping/scrapping magazine (I have so many that I fear I will be crushed by them falling over on me someday) where you pull on the top and the bottom folds in.  Perhaps a photo would help.  Here’s my first attempt at making this card:

Here it is closed:

And here it is open:

Not difficult, just a little time consuming.  Some extra cutting, scoring and lots of strategically placed glue!

So I was set to make a bunch of these for my swaps and then I realized that this stamp set (Double Line Doodles) will not be available until next year’s catalog.  But the colors I used included Cool Caribbean – an “In Color” from SU! that will be discontinued next year.

So…I redid the card using a stamp set from the big catty – Sweet Shapes.  But I still used my color combo of Cool Caribbean, Real Red and Chocolate Chip.

Here it is closed:

And here is it open:

Not too bad, I guess – I like it anyway.  But what a pain to make in large numbers – I only made 25.

And I thought I was doing pretty well…until I read on the SCS message boards that other demos were making hundreds of swaps!  Aaaaaaaah!

So…I decided to make another card.  But something simpler this time.  I started playing around with some color combos and found that I really liked Sahara Sand together with Cameo Coral and Always Artichoke.  And I wanted to use Polka Dots and Paisley since all the demos would be sure to have that one (and can use it with the Spring Mini).  I also wanted to use the new card size suggested in January’s Stampin’ Success – 3X6.

So…here’s what I came up with:

My original design was a little different – I used the 1 1/4 circle punch on it.  But like a stressed-out stamper desperate for the perfect swap, I grabbed the 1 3/8 punch instead and punched out and colored in all the circles in the wrong size!  I wasn’t about to re-do them, so I modified my design a little bit.  There’s Dazzling Diamonds on the last flower – hence the ‘Sparkle’. 

So now I’m good with swaps, right?  No – not me!  I decided I needed to do one more little project in case someone wanted to swap 3-D items.  I was inspired by Valentine’s Day and thought I’d throw together a quick little tag book with a more distressed feel.  It would make a great little scrapbook or maybe a valentine to list inside the reasons you love someone.  Here’s what I came up with:

I really like these, but they used up the last of my black and red gingham ribbon and the last of my narrow twill tape.  When the ribbon ran out, I decided to stop (Isn’t that always the way?  Why do we decide to do a design for a swap using supplies that we are almost out of?) – I only made 5 of these.

So now I’m done, right?  No – not me!  I glanced around my craft room and saw an unopened container of dominoes…see where this is going?  I decided to make just a few domino pins.  I stamped them, colored them with pastels then covered the tops with Crystal Effects and sprinkled on some silver glitter.  I really like how these came out.   I made 20 of them.

But…then I realized that I wouldn’t have enough room to list my contact info and supplies on the back, so I just had to make up some tags on which to put the info.  Now…I couldn’t just use a plain tag, right?  No,  I just had to stamp it too.  Sigh…

I finished these up this morning – I attached the pins to the tags – it’s a nice way to present the pins, I think.  A little top-heavy, but at least I’ll be able to include all my info on the back.

I almost started another project…I was experimenting with a bracelet idea that I had seen in yet another vaguely-remembered craft magazine (I have to stop reading those darn magazines!).  Something about a bracelet made out of tags…

So instead of folding the laundry that’s been in the dryer since yesterday, I made up a quick prototype:


Lousy photos, I know.  I may expand on this idea later – it might be fun for kids to do.  I laminated the tags so they’ll hold up to wear-and-tear.  Kids might like to stamp their names on the tags…I need to stop playing and move on…I haven’t even packed yet…and the laundry’s still there (you know it’s bad when you have to resort to using beach towels for your shower because all the other towels are dirty…)…

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