Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Here we go again!

Spellbinders is at it again! Its their 5th anniversary and they're practically giving away the farm! Starting next Monday the sneak peeks at the new release die templates are starting. Just like last summer, visit the blog, send the email from the link to register to win the die. But this time you will win not just that day's die template, but each die that has been show up to that day. So every day the prize package gets bigger. If you go to each designated blog on the designated day, and enter to win, you will be entered for the jumbo prize. Here are the official details.

See that tiny little sneak peek die template at the above link? I'm doing that one! And its super cool and fun and so versatile! I can't stop playing with it! But you'll have to wait until January 15 when I get to reveal it. I've been playing with the other new die templates too, and when I first got them I thought, hmmmm, this is interesting. I grabbed some scrap paper, started cutting and embossing, and DING DING DING, how cool is this? So very cool! You all will love these new releases, and the artwork too!

No cookies for breakfast today, I had leftover pizza. Cindy had a bite too, but now she's back upstairs by her daddy. He's been home for almost 2 weeks on vacation and she couldn't be happier. Me, I'm about ready to throw everyone out. These vacations bust up my routine and nothing gets done. I'm ready for work and school when I can finally dig out of the holiday decor, laundry and clutter. And I'm soooooo done with this weather! And 2008. OK, so it's ending on a better note than where it started, but I'm ready for 2009. Enough venting.

Here's to a great 2009 with lots more cookies, artwork and Cindy stories!

Cindy says Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Spellbinders DT contest!

Spellbinders is on the hunt for their 2009 Design Team! All the details are on the blog there!

I'm back from Florida and wondering why I live in the frozen tundra. Its 4 degrees, with a -15 windchill, the garage door was frozen shut, and the salt I put on the driveway blew away. I had to drive Sparky and Spunky to their bus stops. I think its time to move to the Caribbean. But first I have to clean up the house. The boy's bathroom is almost done being retiled. When its done I can ride the vacuum around upstairs and tackle the dust and clutter downstairs. And someone is going to have to decorate the Christmas tree before Santa comes. Yikes, that 's next week, I better get going! This morning, I think I'll have fudge for breakfast!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Eye Candy for Breakfast!

Just a quick post to say head on over to Tim Holtz's blog. He's at it again this year, with the 12 tags of Christmas. I love his work, his products, and him! I've had the opportunity to take a few classes from him and have learned so much. He's got tutorials and giveaways each day.

Keep checking in at the new Spellbinder's Blog, that's were I have been posting tutorials on the Wizard. I'll be back with some Cindy photo stories, just as soon as I get back from Florida. I'm going with my BFF "Dude". I have no idea how the name Dude started, but that's what we call each other. Her mom, Jude-a-babe, and her BFF are tagging along. I can call her mom Jude-a-babe because Dude and I go wayyyyy back, way back to like 2nd grade, all throught grade school, high school, bridesmaids, children, up to now. I'll be sure to say hello to the sunshine and 78 degree weather for you all.

Back at the homestead, we've got about 2 inches of snow and more in the forecast, chilly cold wind, and one high energy Cindy who does not approve of the weather. Bull Terriers are not built for snow, although they do love a good romp around in it. That is until we get about 3 inches of snow, then we have to shovel a path for her to walk along, so she can take care of Cindy things outside without gettin her entire underside cold. And we have to keep the patio shoveled so she doesn't bring snow in on her feet. She likes comes in the house to finish the romping, running, and ball playing, around the sofa, nearly missing the Christmas tree, sliding on the wood floor, rebounding off the nice furniture... Good times, good times.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cake for Breakfast today!

I'm serving up some cake for breakfast today. If you like the cake I posted earlier, run on over to the new Spellbinders blog and get the recipe. In today's Savvy Saturday post I've written out the directions and included some additional photos.

Happy Saturday!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Spellbinders News

Yes, that's right, I've got new news! Spellbinders has a new website! You can find it from the old web address, which was www., or the new address, www. . Take a look-see around. There's more coming, and a few things to change and add. We've worked hard to make it more user friendly and attractive, I hope you like it.

Who wants a free Spellbinders Die Template? Be sure to enter a comment, your email address wont' show up online, and we won't sell it or use it, unless we need contact you when you win. To navigate to the Blog, go to Show and Tell, then Blog. Or just click here.

Guess who's writing it? Go ahead, guess! That's right, me! I'll be sharing some of my own artwork and and highlighting Design Team artwork to show off techniques, projects and other fun stuff. See the cake there? I made it (cue hair flipping). I'll be sharing how I made it soon, first we have to go over the basics, so keep checking in!

And I'll keep posting here, I have a ton of hilarious Cindy stories and pictures, and I'll be doing some artwork too.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Storing My Spellbinders Dies

I keep my current dies in a metal CD box from Target. I put each die on a magnet, that keeps it from rubbing up against another die and keeps the parts together on the Nestabilities and Shapeabilities. If there are several parts to a die I also put them in a ziplock type craft or sandwich bag. The magnets are from my dad, he's a realtor and gives out 5x7 magnets with yearly calendars and Bears schedules on them. I've been able to grab stacks of outdated magnets at the end of the year.

I keep similar dies together in categories. I just recently added to the categories when the new dies came last week. Now, I change my mind like the weather here in Chicago, but today I'm using the following:
Borders & Frames
Labels & Tags
Flowers & Nature
Food & Drink
Butterflies & Birds
Accessories ~ another word for Misc.
Geometric (Includes Nestabilities by shape)

The 12" border dies will hang out at the end of the box for now.The categories are separated by a thick piece of chipboard. On each magnet I have the die's identification information. For my Design Team work I have to make a note of each product used. It's so much easier for me to have that at my fingertips than to look it up later. I put the SKU, the die name, the type of die, and the number of pieces it has. For the regular die user, knowing which SKUs you own will keep you from buying duplicates of dies that look similar.
For dies that look very similar, and I'm talking to you, Mr. Nestability, I write on the back side of the die and also mark that on the label. I tried to remain consistant with the pen color. For the small Nestabilities, I used a red Sharpie marker, for the large, a purple. See the little scribbles?
That helps me put the sets back together when I've got dies spread all over the table. Just be careful that when you are wielding Sharpies, you are not wearing your favorite jeans. And be sure not to drop said Sharpie point down onto said favorite jeans. I'm just sayin'.
I am careful to put the dies back in their bags and in their categories so I can find them again, but I can't say that for the rest of my art supplies. We will not be addressing the organization or lack thereof in my scrapbook room.

I do need to thank Cindy for keeping my feet warm while I type. You see, its raining out. Cindy doesn't like rain and hides in the basement from it. She gravitated to the area under my desk, so we put a dog bed there. Now I have a foot warmer and I always know where she is during bad weather. Ok, sometimes she gets tired of the dog bed and sneaks onto the couch. She's all about the cozy. But she would rather be outside playing.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

All Treats, No Tricks!

Spunky and Sparky celebrated and ate candy with their friends, we hosted a sleepover of Spunky's 3 buddies. Wow, talk about a haul of candy! There was a wicked candy trading session upstairs, away from the sensitive schnoz of Cindy. I bought 2 bags of mini's, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and a combo of Snickers, Milky Way, Twix and Nestle Crunch. Then we ate them. Then I bought a bag of Nestle Crunch, because I don't like them anymore, and I did not let anyone open the bag. Then I caved and bought one more bag of Skittles and Starburst on Halloween day. We don't have a lot of trick or treaters here so I had to buy something that takes a while to chew, unlike the chocolate stuff that gets inhaled. Trust me, I only eat chocolate for its medicinal purposes.

On Halloween I got the best treat of all, my Spellbinders dies came! Yippee, I've been as anxious as the rest of the world, but I already had 7 prototype dies I got in June, unlike the rest of you. But you know how you have tons of scrapbook supplies, then you get this brilliant idea that requires that one thing you don't have?

So yesterday I released those dies into the wild, or the dining room table, that is. Yes, I do have a dedicated scrapbook room. At the moment, its all I can do to shovel a path to the computer desk. The work desk, um, there's no room to work on it right now. I need about 2 weeks worth of time standing still to overhaul the room. Anyhoo, the point of this is to say I'll be sharing how I have my dies stored. I'll take some pictures and get that up this week.

Sorry about the lack of artwork, I can't post recent stuff until I get the OK from the boss. A lot has been pulled for company use, and they get first dibs. I have not been creating regularly for a long time, but I finally feel so much better health wise. I expect to do more personal stuff to post here, bear with me.

AND in honor of Digital Scrapbook weekend, I have been doing my part for the economy at my favorite stores. One of my goals is to keep learning PSE, do more hybrid and all digi stuff, and eventually make my own kits. Can someone come over here and tag all my photos and digi stuff? It's rather tedious and I just don't have the attention span for it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cinderella Story, part 3

She was still livestock. She was livestock living in the house. She was crate trained, but didn't know the wood floor from teh grass outside. Our fence needed some repair so she was led outside on a leash. We tried to put Buster's harness on her to put her on a chain, but she wouldn't allow it.

I took her to the vet the day after she came. The boys came with, in case I needed help with her. There I was, taking this new dog into the vet, not knowing what she would do, how she would react, if I could catch her if she bolted, if she would bite, how she would react to to other dogs there. I was literally shaking as I filled out the forms. We got through the exam without incident, but had to get the full gamut of shots and heartworm pills. That trip cost a small fortune!

Cindy walked. Caesar says a dog needs exercise and lots of it. Walk that dog. Let him learn the scents of the neighborhood so he can find his way home if he gets away. Walk the energy out of the dog, its his job to walk. Cindy was walked by DH. She bonded with DH. She walked proud and happy with DH. She didn't with me. We would get 2 houses down away and she would stop to roll in the grass, stop and not budge, would go down on her front legs like she was challenging me to play. She knw I was scared to death she would get away, and she liked to mess with me.

The fence got fixed, the yard was her playground and she was happy. She was so very happy that she ran and jumped and bit. Not a mean bite, but she didn' know her own strength (and Bull Terriers have a very strong mouth), but she didn't know the rules and limitations about what we considered play. NO BITE MOMMY! She would mouth my arms, but that caused bruises, her jumping up scratched my legs, and she tore shirts. The boys were afraid of her. Excellent. I have this wild beast in my house and DH is at work 12 hours a day. I called our trainer for some immediate private lessons.

Behavior improved over time with consistent effort. Then there was Puppy Class, six pups and Cindy. She was the class clown, the one that didn't focus, the social butterfly. Our poor trainer, she tried so hard, used all the tricks in her book on Cindy. Cindy played the Bull card and resisted. We did the homework - and there was a lot of it! Do we really have to do all of it? I would be happy with a "sit, stay". We used the clicker training method, and the rewards were food. Not just any food, we had to use hot dogs, cheese and other high level treats, kibble just didn't cut it. Armed with the clicker and treat bag I had her full attention, and by golly, this dog wanted to earn those treats. We've cracked the code!

Now I'm not saying she was perfect after a few weeks of puppy school, not at all. But it did seem like every 2 months there was a change, a wave, an adjustment in her. She decided she would stay for a while because the food was good, and the belly rubs were nice. Then she decided she would trust us a little, then a little more. We could all relax a tiny bit.

Socially, she has a lot to learn. She was selective in who she liked, an dfor no obvious reason. She was afraid of my mom, who loves dogs, is small framed, and definitely not a threat to a dominant dog. My mom has cats. Cindy would smell her purse, her things, and back away from them fearfully. She avoided going near my mom, even to get food from her. Maybe she had never seen or smelled a cat before? That fear has since been resolved and Cindy and my mom are good pals now.

Dusting off the blog

I know, I know, the dust bunnies have taken over, and I am sorry that I have not been posting. I've been hearing about it too, right Mom? and Lisa in Iowa? and Kim's sister in law? I'm heading out to the gym and I promise I'll have some cookies for you this afternoon. It's been pretty crazy around here, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cars, cookies, and unfrozen waffles

Here I thought the stress would end when I got home from CHA, with many events done and over with. But wait, there’s more!

The Monday I got home Visa called to say there were suspicious charges on our credit card, they canceled it and would send a new card. I only have one major credit card, and that was it, so no school shopping last week. Saturday I was out and about getting some supplies for my altered project when my car up and died on a busy road. Guess who still doesn’t have a Visa in her purse? DH came and rescued me, along with his business credit card. I told him, while we were waiting for the tow truck, to turn off the hazards on his car, the cop had the traffic under control for the 10-15 mins – make that 40 mins - for the tow to get there. No, its fine he says.

The car was towed to a chain auto repair place. I’m a dealership repair person, but that was not an option apparently, the tow truck driver didn’t want to go that far. Heck, I get sweaty and uptight getting the oil changed. My early days of driving beater cars put me on edge with every quiver of the gauges on the dashboard, and I prefer to be able to hold someone accountable for my misery. Car failures are enough to commit me to the insane asylum. Strap on the straight jacket, sit me down in the padded room and serve the all-chocolate diet.

My mom came over on Sunday to hang out and go to the new Whole Foods while DH and Spunky went to see Batman at the movies. DH is not one to check up on me, but he called while we were in Costco, all ‘where are you, what are you doing?’. His car was dead at the theater. We hustled out of Costco as fast as you can hustle out of Costco on a Sunday afternoon and attempted to jump his car, which remained dead. We all crammed into my mom’s car, us, the dead battery and the box of 60 frozen waffles that didn’t fit in the cooler and were no longer frozen. $85 later he put a new battery in his car and it started up like a charm.

I suppose I am lucky, the car is repaired and seems to be running fine, gas gauge included, and I even found an online coupon for $50 off the repair. And my mom was not only available to save the day, but happy to be of service, in return for some pool time and dinner. Luckily DH’s car decided to poop out on Sunday, instead of Monday, which made my existence infinitely better. They would have had to tow me away too. I think its time for extra cookies!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Good Golly, I've been MIA! Well, not really. I spent last Wednesday through Sunday at CHA with Spellbinders. We had a great show, and I met lots of wonderful store owners and artists that had to see all the new products and all the Sneak Peek artwork.

I was able to drive back home last Thursday night to attend Spunky's Championship baseball game, his 8th place team played the first place team. The game was close, but Spunky's team lost in extra innings by one run. All in all, a great season with great coaches and great kids and supportive parents. I can't ask for more!

Nothing soothes the soul like a trophy and a Krispy Kreme after a tough loss.

Since getting home from CHA late Sunday I've been catching up on sleep, and trying to find the kitchen counter tops and the laundry room floor. It seems trolls broke into the house, unbeknown to DH, Sparky, Spunky and Cindy, and ransacked the place pretty good. This has happened before, and I'm sure its the same band of trolls as the last time.

I'll have more art up, and more Cindy stories soon!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday Morning and a Bracelet

Good Monday Morning! What did you think of the Sneak Peeks? Which die(s) are your favorite? For me, its got to be the Labels 1, we've been asking for that one for a long time. I tend to favor the more general shapes that are versatile, instead of the more specific. I also like to use dies beyond their obvious shape. I used the Labels 2 die as an object, not a label, in a project for this week's show, I'll be able to post that picture next week.Today I'm sharing a bracelet I made using shrink plastic and Spellbinders dies and stamps, Copic Markers and Krylon leafing pens, among other trinkets and baubles. I found the bracelet base on sale at Kohl's a year ago and have kept it in my stash waiting for inspiration. Some of the items are 7 Gypsies (oh, do I love 7 Gypsies!), a typewriter key, and watch parts.

I used my Wizard to smash the bottlecap, filled it with loose watch parts and filled in with Glossy Accents. I punched the hole with my Crop A Dile. I used tags and rectangles to cut the shrink plastic (Lucky Squirrel brand), stamped the Spellbinders stamps with pigment ink and colored in random spots with Copic Markers. The stamps I used were parts of a butterfly, the wreath stamp and one from the clock set, going for more of an abstract pattern than actual shapes. I shrunk it with my heat tool and colored the backs and sides with Krylon paint pens to make it look more like metal. While the Copic markers go on semi-transparent, when shrunk they look much more intense.

I'm off to clean my house and get myself ready for CHA in Rosemont IL this week. If you are attending, please stop by the booth to see ALL the artwork from the Sneak Peeks, ALL the new dies, including dies that were not included in the peeks, and a few of the artists, including me! Spellbinders is booth 3909.

Friday, July 11, 2008

And the Winner Is...

Pam Davis of Colorado! Yeah Pam, you'll bet getting the Daisy Border Grand Die! You'll have to show us what you make with the new die!

Congratulations Pam, and Good Luck to everyone else entering today's drawing at Holly Craft's blog, tomorrow at Donya's, and Sunday at Trudi's.

I'm off to Spunky's playoff baseball game, have a great Friday evening!


You are all so sweet for visiting and leaving comments on my projects and Cindy story. I was really nervous about this! I would love to give everyone a prize, but I don't think my DH would love that, so instead I baked you some cookies. Feel free to take as many as you like, they're not just for breakfast anymore, and cyber cookies are fat free!

I will announce the winner of the Daisy Border Grand as soon as I get the word. Thank you again!

In the mean time, the Sneak Peeks continue, be sure to go see Holly Craft's blog today!


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

July 9, 2008 Spellbinders Sneak Peek!

Introducing the Daisy Border Grand, S7-003 from Spellbinders. The die cut measures 12 inches long and 2.5 inches wide at the widest part and retails for $19.99. This is a true 12 inch border and is the perfect partner to Daisy Patch Edgeability S4-043 die, both by longtime product designer Toni Kelly.

For instruction on using Spellbinders dies, I have downloaded the YouTube videos to my blog, see below, or click here to go to YouTube.

For supplies today I am using Spellbinders Premium Craft Foil, which is 12 inches wide and 36 inches long, $8.99 US retail, an awesome price! It doesn’t matter which color I use today, because I want the silver side. It comes in 5 colors plus pure copper, each color has silver on the back, except the pure copper. I used a tag from the Ribbon Tags Trio S3-150. The paper is Worldwin’s ColorMates in Deep Awesome Aqua, Deep Totally Tan, Light Heritage White, and Inkjet Printable Translucent Vellum, the Perfect Printing Pouch, photos are my own, font is Bickley Script, velvet ribbon is Basic Grey, sheer ribbon in white and yellow, and black acrylic paint. For adhesive on the metal, either a liquid glue or red line tape is preferred.

Feeding a 12 inch long die on 8.5 inch long mats is easy. Use the Spellbinders die cut sandwich, when stacked from your table up: white mat, white spacer plate, die, cut side up, material to be cut, white mat. A little tip, if you are concerned your material will move off the die, you can use a small piece of removable tape. It won’t harm the die, and it peels off the paper easily without damaging the die cut.

Feed this into your Wizard. With a 12 inch long die, part of the die will stick out the back end, and that is fine. Only the part of the die that sits on the Spacer Plate will cut, but it won’t leave a line or crease where the spacer plate ends.

After the first pass, lift the top mat, turn the border die 180 degrees so the uncut portion is on the spacer plate, replace the top mat and feed it in exactly the same way as before.

You can remove the excess cut foil from the outside of the die.

Embossing is done the same way. Leave the die cut in the die. Remove the spacer plate from the sandwich so the die sits on the bottom mat, place the tan embossing mat on top of the die, and cover with the top white mat. The tan embossing mat is 6.75 inches long and should cover half of the 12 inch border. Feed the embossing sandwich through the Wizard.

To emboss the other half, turn the die 180 degrees, cover with the Tan mat and white mat and feed sandwich again. The die will not have lines or creases or any indication that you do not have 12 inch plates.

What? You want 12 inch long plates? OK, twist my arm! They’ll be available at the 2008 Craft and Hobby Association Summer Show and at your favorite Spellbinder’s retailer in August!

Now we get to play with the die cut. Make sure that you are protecting your work surface, I use wax paper. After cutting and embossing, paint the entire die cut with black acrylic craft paint.

Paint it evenly, and be sure to get paint into all the nooks and crannies. Let it dry slightly.

Using a dry paper towel, wipe the paint off the embossed areas. Be gentle, but you don’t have to be perfect.

Do not wipe the paint out of the crevices, you want it there. You can always add more a little more paint if you took too much off. You can always take a little more off if you put too much on.

Allow the paint to dry completely, that will depend on the brand of paint you use, read the label for drying time. Cut, emboss, paint and wipe the smaller flowers in the Daisy Patch S4-043 die and one of the Ribbon Tags Trio S3-150.

I love to photograph the flowers in my yard, and I waited not so patiently for my daisies this year, they bloomed just in time to share with you! Photo editing was done with Photoshop Elements. The poem is The Daisy Field, by Ann Taylor, found on the internet.

To make this layout, I cut, embossed, painted and wiped a second daisy border. I matted the photos, arranged the borders and photos, wrapped the layout with multiple ribbons, and assembled as shown. Pull the ribbons over the tag, through the holes and attach to the back side of the page. I see this as a layout with clean lines and basic matting. The detail is in the die cuts.

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This is the album I mentioned earlier, put together as a Scrap For Hire Job for my friend and owner of Bags N Blings, a retail and home party company. I decided to make the album from scratch in the form of a purse. Using chipboard, Fibermark paper, a zipper, ribbon purse handles, album refills, an acrylic page, and my Bind It All, along with some girly rub-ons, pink paper and plenty of bling, I came up with this. I sure hope she likes it!

She allowed me to photograph the purses and bling and other goodies, and supplied me with a key photo and some of the advertising and brochures.

Thanks for looking and don't forget to come back on Wednesday for my Spellbinder's Sneak Peek!
Good Tuesday Morning, and thanks for stopping by again! Thanks for your comments and subscriptions, it keeps me from tapping the microphone and asking if this thing is on.

Cindy's story has a lot more to go, but it gets better and better. She's a silly girl and I have plenty of anecdotes and pictures that will make you smile.

I'm finishing up a project for a friend, I do some scrapper for hire work and I've made an album for her business. I'm sure she won't mind me posting here before I deliver it, so stay tuned for that later today!

How do you like the Spellbinder's Sneak Peeks so far? I think they are amazing! I have seen all the dies already but I am still delighted to see the artwork each day. MY DAY IS TOMORROW! That means I'll be hitting the Starbucks to keep my eyes open so I can post at midnight. All I can say is, are you ready for something completely different?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Cinderella Story Part 2

Buster had sisters, Peanut and Gracie, 2 small kittens. He never meant any harm to them, just wanted to sniff them. He liked Peanut, and he let her sleep with him and share his food. Peanut was a little slow, let’s just say the elevator didn’t go to the top floor, but we loved her. Gracie was definitely a cat, and she always a bit suspicious of Buster. Gracie certainly didn’t want that big ole snoot sniffing at her so she always kept her distance. Buster lived to be 9, and the cats lived to be 14 and 15.

Shortly after Peanut left us the inquisition started. I think it was the next day, actually. “When can we get a new dog?” “We need a new Boo Boo.” “Please can we get a dog? I promise to clean up the yard and walk the dog and play with it and, and, and (breathe, child!)…”

Correspondence with the local Bull Terrier Club informed us that no puppies were available, and none were expected soon. I checked the national breed site and looked up rescue dogs. There were a few on the site, at a location about 3 hours from us. We emailed back and forth about specific dogs available, and decided that on our vacation, we would drive down to “let a dog choose us”. The dogs had various stories, but most had been removed from abusive situations like puppy mills.

Cindy was the first dog we met. She wagged her tail and responded positively to all of us, but wasn’t overly excited. She took advantage of the opportunity to run the yard and then we met a few other dogs ready for a home. Fancy was led in and rolled over immediately for a belly rub. The other dogs did not make an impression on us, or vice versa. For the rest of our vacation we discussed pros and cons of these 2 dogs. We decided we wanted both. No, we can’t have both, they said. A couple more days of discussion later, and we decided on Cindy, knowing that Fancy would find a home soon, with her happy little disposition. Cindy had been in rescue for 9 months, much longer than most other dogs. She liked us, and she needed a home. When we returned from our trip, DH hopped in the car and drove down to get her.

When DH brought her home, he walked her around our yard, she immediately chewed the brand new leash I bought. He walked her to the back yard and she barked at the neighbor dogs, he led her to the back door, and she barked at her reflection in the glass. She barked at her reflection in the oven door, the dishwasher, and the fireplace glass. She barked at the ceiling fan. Her barking was of fear and self preservation.

Cindy was a blank canvas, so to speak. She was an almost 3 year old full size, 43 pound dog that had never had a chance to be a puppy. She had never been inside a house, but was crate trained.

We were never told how many puppies she had produced, but we knew that those puppies were taken from her shortly after birth to be nursed by another dog, so the birthing dogs could restart their cycles sooner, producing more puppies. We know the date of her rescue, because the next day is the first time she saw a vet. We know the USDA raided the puppy mill, brought in a truck, and filled that truck with as many dog cages they could fit on it, and distributed the dogs to their breed rescue homes. Of the 7 Bull Terriers at the puppy mill, one had to be put down and the rest were removed. The animals needed veterinary attention. Dogs should not be neglected and/or abused.

Cindy has scars. One is on the top of her head, small but visible. One on her flank, about 1 inch long. She has scars on her legs, where the calluses were, from lying on concrete every day, all day. The calluses are now healed and hair has grown over parts of them. When we see a new vet at the clinic, they always ask about the scars.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

What's better than Cookies for Breakfast?

A NEW WIZARD for Breakfast! Yes indeedy, Brown came through for me this morning! And what to my surprise did I see when I opened that box? My artwork gracing the top of the box! That's my card, the leaf card in the middle. I heard a rumor it would be there, but I wanted to see it with my own little eyes. Pardon me while I happy dance!

Ok, on to the rest of it, I lifted the colorful box carefully from the shipping box and ripped it open. Inside I found a pristine raspberry colored Wizard, yes, the very same machine you are entering to win. Being on the Design Team sure does have it's perks! I photographed the contents, so you know what your $99 US retail buys.

You get a User Manual, an instructional DVD, a die (this is a new addition to the box, it never used to come with any dies!), a Wizard, of course, and all the mats you need to cut and emboss every die on the consumer market. Be sure to check out the videos I uploaded from YouTube, you'll be a cutting and embossing pro in no time.

I also want to tell you what each mat is for.

See those 2 mats on the left? They are the largest mats in the package. Those are the top and bottom mats, or the Cut and Emboss mats. The white mat on the right is the Spacer Plate, it is used as a shim when you cut dies from Spellbinders and Quickuts, and any other thin chemically etched dies. When using Cuttlebug, Sizzlets and similar dies, with a plastic back to them, you don't need this Spacer Plate. The square mat in the front, on the angle, is the Universal Cutting Mat. That is for the Original Sizzix, and other thick dies. I can't forget the Tan Embossing Mat. Its the tan rubbery mat on the right. That is used to emboss Spellbinders dies, emboss brass stencils, emboss with just about anything. I'll have more details on embossing in the future.

I can't wait to run my new Wizard thru her paces, but first she needs a name. And I need to eat ribs at our local festival! And I'm going to have a frosty cold one, because today marks the end of my first 2 weeks on the South Beach diet. Hey, I lost 6 pounds! Just a couple more and I'll be happy, but first I want a Triscuit like nothing else. And a cookie.

Be sure to enter Wendy's drawing for her Sneak Peek die, and get over to Heidi's, the bar keeps getting set higher on those projects! I'm shaking in my shoes here, I hope you will love my Sneak Peek on the 9th as much as I love the projects you've already seen.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

This is inspired by Sid Dicken's Memory Blocks, I have a few of these and love love love them. I constructed a set of my own blocks with a bit of foam, paper mache, modeling paste and the Architecture Column Spellbinder's Die (S4-122). I used some foam that was packing material, cut it down to size, covered it with newspaper and paper mache. When dry, I added texture with modeling paste, but left some of the newsprint revealed. When that was dry I painted the whole piece with Twinkling H20's, you can't really see the glimmery effect in the photo, but IRL its there. I stamped with an Autumn Leaves swirly set.

The word JOY is cut from Amaco Pewter and chipboard. I edged the chipboard with black ink then glued the metal letter to it. The font is Spellbinder's Caesar Font (L1-01), one of my favorites. I also backed the column with chipboard in the same way.

Working with Pewter is great fun, but be sure to wash your hands afterwards. The wonderful thing about embossing dies is that you can do so much with so many materials. First I cut and embossed the pewter in my Wizard. Normally with metal, that's all you need to do to get a beautiful crisp emboss. But pewter is a soft metal and it stretches if you work with it. I left the pewter die cuts in the die after I embossed it and grabbed a stylus tool. I set the front side of the die on top of my tan embossing pad (included with your Wizard) and from the back side of the die, using it as a stencil, I traced the embossing outline into the pewter. No need to "color" in the inside of the embossed area, just going along the outline will stretch the metal. Turn it over and you will love the result. Assemble by adhering to the chipboard, then glue the chipboard to the block and you are good to go!

As in the license plate on the Almost 13 layout below, I knew I was taking this to CHA and I wanted to protect the pewter from curios hands. Before attaching the pewter to the chipboard, I filled the back side with liquid glue and allowed it to dry. The glue hardens and fills up the embossed areas and keeps people from pushing fingers into the embossing.

If you need some photos of the steps, leave a comment and I'll get some shots. I'm between cleaning and baseball today, but I will check back!

Thanks for looking!

This Nestabilities Birthday Party has been so exciting! If you didn't get to Debbie's blog yesterday to see the new dies (drool alert), you can still go there today and sign up, you have until midnight Central time to do so. Then check out Jennifer's Sneak Peek, her project is so clever! You have until midnight tomorrow to sign up to win Jennifer's die set. The links are right over here ---->

I'll plan to post some more projects in a bit!


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Prim and Proper?

This one is an oldie but a goodie for me. It features both Sparky and Spunky. I had them dress in DH's suits and hold up a frame. I attached a sheet to the bed rail for the background. Jeepers, this was before I got my D-Rebel! I used B&W film for this!

Supplies include a large frame as a prop, glass removed, and clothes that don't fit. Scrapbook supplies include Mr. Ellie Pooh and Basic Grey paper, a shipping tag, Amaco Light Weight Aluminum foil and Rub N Buff (Spanish Copper), and some ribbon & fiber from my stash. Can't forget the Ranger Distress Ink and Cut N Dry foam.

Spellbinders Dies are Hinges, Buckles, Geometric Rectangles (or you could use Nestabilities, this was pre-Nestie, aren't we lucky to have them!), Graceful Font, Caesar Font, Playful Font, Mystic Font and Indulgence Font.

This is a pretty straight forward layout to me. On the corners and buckles I rubbed Rub N Buff to get rid of the shiny newness, so it would go better with the aged look of the page, and I used Vintage Photo Distress Ink rubbed onto the photo with a small piece of Cut N Dry foam, then edged it with Black Soot. I did the same to the background patterned paper, and the 12x12 piece too. The shopping tag was done with a combination of Vintage Photo, Weathered Wood and Fired Brick.

Check back tomorrow for more art and the start of the Nestability Birthday Party! Rules and details on how YOU could win the featured Die, or even a Wizard and $500 in dies! More of the Cinderella Story is coming soon too!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Nestabilities Birthday Party!

Happy First Birthday Nestabilities!
Spellbinders is having what we call in my house, a Hunky Birthday! That's were we keep celebrating long past the actual day. Starting Monday June 30, each of the following Spellbinders Designers will be introducing a new release die. And YOU can sign up to win the die! Each Spellbinder's Designer will debut a different die every day through July 13! Visit all the blogs and become eligible to win the Grand Prize, a New Raspberry colored WIZARD and $500 in dies! Just stop here for some cookies for breakfast, and click through to the Designer's Blog to enter! I have my new release dies, and OMG, you are going to love them!

**above card credited to Donya Schroeder**

Friday, June 27, 2008

I've got a secret

I've got a secret...its TOP SECRET! I can't tell you, yet. I am only authorized to say stay tuned, I'll have more info on Monday. It has to do with Spellbinders, CHA and good stuff.

In the mean time, I'd like to share a layout I did of my charming and delightful son, Spunky. I used paper from Worldwin, Fancy Pants. Ribbon was also Fancy Pants, Foil and Rub N Buff from Amaco, Brads from Creative Impressions, and a black pen from Copic. The tag, stickers and rub ons are from 7 Gypsies, ink from Ranger, and a variety of adhesives.

7 sets of dies were used, including Indulgence Font, Excalibur Font, Star Nestability, Classic Circle Large Nestability, Tags 5, Blank License Plate, and Tags 5 stamps.

To make the Blank License Plate have something embossed onto it, I cut the letters from the Excalibur font. I was lazy and used some left over photo paper that was in reach. Next I ran the letters thru my Xyron 150 temporary adhesive machine thingy, with the front of the letters down to receive adhesive. I placed them adhesive side down and right to left on the license plate. Then I cut and embossed the license plate with a piece of Amaco foil in the Wizard Die Cut and Embossing System and got this result, a license plate with the textured side of the photo paper embossing the metal, and the words spelled out just as I planned.

Next I used some Amaco Rub N Buff to distress down the metal, to remove the shiny newness of it and to make the embossing pop. Check out the texture from the back side of the photo paper! From here you can put the layout into a scrapbook and move on. I had more work to do.

Since this layout was going to Anaheim for the CHA booth, I had to make the metal sturdy. I die cut a blank license plate from chipboard. I flipped the embossed metal license over and filled the back side with glue. You can use any acid free liquid glue you like or have on hand, I had some Plaid Papier handy and used that. I filled the backside and around the letters and let it dry overnight. Once dry, I used a few drops of the same glue and attached the chipboard plate (that I edged in black ink) to the back side. I inserted these cool brads into the plate and attached the whole thing to my layout. Yes, the plate was touched and pushed on for 4 days, but the metal & embossing were not damaged.
I recommend filling the back of embossed metal with liquid glue if it goes through the mail on a card or is in a place where curious fingers will push on it.

A Cinderella Story...

Once upon a time there was a family that adopted a Bull Terrier named Willie. They loved him and pampered him and he had a good life. Willie slept in the bed with the older brother, no matter how many times the younger brother switched beds just to snuggle up the big warm bed-hogging dog.
Willie joined the family as an adult dog and he did what he pleased, much to the dismay of his people mommy. He lacked manners. He ran through the house, slept on the furniture, and enjoyed every bit of Bully mayhem he caused.

Fast forward a few years, and the younger brother is a newly wed, with a new house and a nice yard. “We must have a fence around this yard”, he proclaimed. “We must have a dog to go inside of it!” he proclaimed. “Not just any dog, we must have a Bull Terrier!” he proclaimed. “OK”, said his bride, not truly knowing what she was getting herself into, having only heard legends of Willie’s antics.

There was a puppy available, he was 17 weeks old and weighed 17 pounds. Half of that was in his head alone! After several days of observation and many names tossed about, they decided to call the puppy Buster. It was a fitting name.

You may be thinking, I've seen that type of dog before. Yep, if you are 29 like me (and have been 29 a few times, like me) you will remember Spuds MacKenzie, the Budweiser Beer dog. Maybe you are thinking of Spot, the Target dog. Yes, both are Bull Terriers. They look so sweet, don't they? Bull Terriers are described accurately through the breed name. Bull, as in big hard head, body like a potato, and stronger than they think they are. Terrier, a perky, active, wiggly dog. Now put those together (think Tazmanian Devil) and let that run through your living room, circling the coffee table with your favorite shoe in their mouth.

To be continued...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Die Cutting on Video

Spellbinder's fearless leader Stacey Caron recorded some information on using Spellbinder's Nestabilities and competitors dies in the Wizard, and for using Spellbinders dies in the competitor's die cut machines. Grab some cookies and a Diet Coke!

Using Spellbinder's Dies in the Wizard:

Using competitors dies in the Wizard:

Using Spellbinder's Dies in the competitor's die cut machines:
(Sizzix, Quickutz, Cuttlebug)


Welcome to my blog, a wonderful world of papercrafts and other things that occupy my time. I am Beth, a scrapbooker, card maker, and altered artist, and I'm in my third year of designing for Spellbinders Paper Arts. I have been playing with cameras for most of my life, and I will paint anything that isn't moving. My boys keep me busy with sports schedules, homework and "hanging out". Cindy keeps me busy with playing ball, walking and demanding cookies all day long.