Well, this is embarassing…

I went from a nice pace in the beginning to a very long gap between posts. The good news is life is good, the bad news is life is busy, and hobbies take a back seat. Our babies turn one tomorrow, and it’s incredible to look back on how our life has changed for the better with them in it. I definitely plan to take some time this winter to write a few posts about our journey and the early days with them. 

In the meantime, I’ve officially entered my first ever crafty challenge, and am coining a new term to describe it: embarrifying. Seeing myself on video is both embarassing and terrifying, especially when it may be shared with a larger audience. But I did it, and am now battling nervous excitement for the wait to see if I did okay. I had a lot of fun and challenged myself with some new techniques. I may post the full video eventually, but for now here’s a sneak of my project. Enjoy!

Supplies (PTI unless noted)

  • Stamps – Colorful Words, Grand Ampersand, A Thrill of Hope, Vintage Ornaments 2, Holiday Greens, Stained Glass, Petite Places: Nativity, Christmas Faith, Tucked In: Holiday
  • Inks – Americana, Enchanted Evening, Olive Twist, Saffron Spice, Smokey Shadow, Versamark 
  • Paper – Stamper’s Select White, watercolor paper
  • Dies – Cover Plate: Comic Strip
  • Other – Scor-tape
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Show and Tell Tuesday: Testing my new Claritystamps Stencil Brushes 

Craft supplies are one of my guilty pleasures. Most of the time it feels like I am collecting more than crafting, but luckily I am able to squeeze in a little time in my craft room from time to time. Today I got to do a quick trial run of what is going to be one of my new staples for ink blending: the Claritystamps stencil brushes.

Claritystamps Stencil Brushes

These things are ridiculously popular right now, and apparently they really do deserve their incredible reputation. Ink blending with sponges takes a good deal of practice before you have the right touch with it, and I know I’m still working on my own technique. These brushes have zero learning curve and achieve beautiful results with no experience required.

Exhibit A: (and please forgive my awful photography)

My first attempt with the stencil brushes

I chose a basic stencil, picked out some fun colors, and went to town. The blending took about 10 minutes, with two passes of each color to get a little more saturation. Added a sentiment and some accents, and mounted the trimmed panel over a strip of black shimmer cardstock. Total project time: 20 minutes. Not bad at all for a first attempt! I can already pick out things I would have done differently, but that’s what experimentation is for after all. I can’t wait to play with some other color combinations and other blending techniques. These brushes made blending easy and enjoyable – and completely without the stress of accidentally ruining the panel at the end of the process and having to start over.

I want to give a shout out to Tupelo Designs LLC for their amazing shipping. I ordered my brushes Monday afternoon at 3pm, and my order was in my hands Tuesday before 10am. The overnight shipping was free, and if you sign up for their free rewards program you get a $5 off coupon to use on your first order. I will definitely be shopping with them again!

Final side note: the big 3-0 is in two days. My twenties were an amazing decade, and I’m excited to see where my so Call life takes me in the next one and beyond.

 

Supplies (PTI unless noted)

  • Stamps – Scribbled Sentiments
  • Inks – Hawaiian Shores, Green Parakeet, Harvest Gold, Summer Sunrise, Melon Berry, Berry Sorbet, VersaFine Onyx Black
  • Paper – Stamper’s Select White, Onyx Shimmer cardstock
  • Other – Modern Background Stencils; adhesive gems; foam tape,

Show and Tell Tuesday: Stamp-a-Faire Project #1

One of my favorite things about my old job at the hospital was spending Tuesdays working in the Ambulatory Oncology Center. I made some amazing friends there, and we share a lot in common, especially our crafty hobbies. Since we only saw each other once a week, we had to cram a lot sharing into that one day. Thus began Show and Tell Tuesdays. Aside from the people, those days are what I miss most about that job. We still talk, we’ve even taken cake and cookie decorating classes together, but I still wish I had those Tuesdays to share our fun new things for the week. 

It’s easy to want to share with people you know. It’s a lot more intimidating to share with the rest of the world. I enjoy making all sorts of crafty things, and love giving handmade cards, but there’s still a level of self-consciousness about it that has kept me from starting a blog sooner. Now that I’ve gotten a whole two posts under my belt, here is my first crafty themed post with a card made today, for my first blogged Show and Tell Tuesday!

Papertrey Ink had their annual Stamp-a-Faire this past weekend, and I was only able to follow along online since we were out of town. It was exciting to play in my craft room with the first technique of the day, Starry Night by Amy Sheffer. Her card was beautiful, and I’ve always wanted to try watercolor on a card. 

Amy’s SAF card

 I know it’s a complete copy of her card, but for my first attempt I just wanted to see if I could come close to what it was supposed to like it. With the exception of the star sequins and thread, all of my supplies were the same. I think it turned out pretty well! There are a few spots at the top where the watercolor didn’t quite match, but I’m still satisfied with it. I am excited to try again with other colors, and am looking forward to trying get out the rest of the Stamp-a-Faire techniques!

My attempt at a starry night watercolor card

Definitely a few things I’d do differently on a remake, but I’m excited to have shared my first virtual Show and Tell Tuesday craft project! I’m hoping to make it a regular weekly post, but no promises on that just yet. My goal is to learn more about all of the extra options with blog posts to make them pretty with supply lists and better links. For now I’ll be satisfied with what I can do, with cards and posts!

Welcome to our so Call life.

I’ve always admired people who blog. They put their lives out for all to see. Their every word made public, subject to both praise and criticism, and the Internet is full of examples of both to the extreme. But despite this admiration, I never thought I would try it myself. Who would want to read what I have to say? What insight could I possibly be adding that doesn’t already exist on some other site that is fancier, more popular, and wildly more intelligent than mine?

Even though blogging for my own enjoyment is reason enough, I thought about how I use the Internet and read other blogs, and discovered a new reason to add my voice to the already saturated internet. No matter how many blogs I read, or definitive lists on baby registries or ultimate vacation destinations I tried to wade through, Google was always lacking that one person whose experiences matched mine. Why not add one more story to the mix? If anything I write can help just one other person, that’s good enough for me.

So, a blog is happening. But what am I going to write about? How do I pick a topic to offer up as support for a stranger in front of a screen half a world away?  It’s a running joke that I haven’t decided what to be when I grow up.  And another that Rich and I are into everything. Skydiving, beekeeping, scuba diving, DIY candy making, gardening… you name it, we’ve tried it, or it’s on our to do list! If that’s not enough to keep us busy, in October of 2015 we welcomed our amazing twins.  My favorite comment about our bundles of joy: “Of course Julie and Rich are having twins – they do everything in bulk!”  In the spirit of doing everything in bulk, and because everyone who has ever met me knows that it’s hard to get me to stop talking, I’ve decided that my blog will cover it all. We do it all, we try it all, we’re constantly busy with some crazy new project, and I want to share it all with the world.  Maybe someone will find something useful in all of this mess, but at the very least it will be a window into our so Call life.