Tuesday, January 29, 2008

DeLish!!! Luxe Ribbons...GIVEAWAY

Yep, I'm blogging about Luxe Ribbons. Believe it or not, these are not a new release, they came out at the last show. I didn't think the pictures in the catalog & online quite did them justice, so today I set off to take "the ultimate" picture of our ribbons to show people just how very cool they are. They are perfect pantone matches to our papers and we have them made in the garment district in New York so they're top quality - you can incorporate them into any sewing or knitting project. They're true garment grade. They're fabulously bendy and great for book binding. Some are elegant, others just plain fun. We tried to stay as timeless as possible with the designs so they can always look fresh. All of them take ink really well. A lot of times we swipe an ink pad over the black and white patterns to create our own custom colors. The black shows through all the inks we've tried & it looks like it was made that way. We have two widths 3/8 in & 5/8 inch. They come on 20 yd spools and run around $1 per yard.

Have you seen or tried Luxe ribbons? I'm curious...if you they're new to you let me know what you think. I will give away a yard of each of all the Luxe ribbons {24 yards!} to someone who comments on this post with their opinion of them - have you seen them? have you tried them? does your LSS carry them?

I'll announce the lucky winner Friday morning!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

"Sense"-ational Sundays...

Our senses tell a story. I've committed to recording my 5 senses once a week to explore my sensory world. I challenge you to do the same. If you choose to do so, just blog your 5 senses every Sunday & let me know, I'd love to read them.

I know - I missed my regularly scheduled Saturday Etsy tutorial, but as you will see in my "touch" section, I was a very busy girl this weekend. It will return next Saturday.


Not much, this morning. I had to drive to Kinkos to get some paper cut around 9AM today & I think it was the thickest fog I've ever driven in.

My Space. I finally got on & figured out my My Space account and added a music player to it that shuffles through forty-something of my favorites. It's nice to pull up My Space on one screen for tunes & then work on another. And another great sound - I was at my aunt & uncles' Friday night when Amy called & they were able to put it on speaker & we all got to visit for almost an hour. She is headed for jump school around CHA time.


Cupcakes. I went over to work at Jen's on Wednesday & she took me to The Cupcake Cottage in Ft Worth. They had itty bitty cupcakes! I tried them all {there weren't very many} and my favorites were amaretto & strawberry!

Buttons, buttons & more buttons! TWO THOUSAND EIGHTEEN to be exact...Matt's been working on the CHA buttons for Luxe & an etsy order this weekend so we figure that's 2,018. I love to run my fingers through the giant box of buttons. It feels so good to have them done early! We also packed FOUR HUNDRED class kits for ScrapBowl this weekend {150 to go}! Let's see...in my spare time *lol* this weekend I made another class sample, worked on samples for the booth, did the grocery shopping, went over to help out my parents with some stuff & grabbed a chai frappucino with my step sister... and I am feeling really good. Life seems much more in control since I've been able to be so productive this weekend.

Wet air. Is that a smell? It's nose related...I got my cpap machine this week {so attractive, I know} & I'm having a bit of an "adjustment period". It's strange to fall asleep with 12 psi of air pressure being pumped through your nose. Once I fall asleep I wake up feeling great - although the first night it felt like I'd been punched in the nose for about eight hours. It's getting less tender every night. Now I just have to get over procrastinating going to bed...

Friday, January 25, 2008

My vintage obsession...

Here is another layout I've done recently with some of the new Luxe. I wanted to do a page about my obsession with vintage beads - or more specifically, flower cabochons. I took the picture when I was out bead shopping with Jen. If you're not sure what a "floral cab" looks like - well, here is a photo collage of my flower cab ring collection. See why I call it "my obsession"? They're my mood rings. I wear one every day. It's like picking out candy - a treat you can wear. I found all these babies on Etsy {they're really reasonable}.

Don't forget to stay tuned to the Luxe blog for more previews...we've done 2 now - out of EIGHT. Lots of good stuff to come!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Look of Luxe...

I've been scrapping A LOT lately, but haven't been able to share because I've been working with prototype. We just previewed Luxe's new line of acrylic stamps yesterday, so I'm finally able to share a layout with you today. I used Luxe stamps with brown ink on pink cardstock, then cut them out & distressed them. I also added some Luxe ribbon & a rub. It's simple, but I love the look.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Introducing SIMPLY LUXE...

I wanted to take a moment to share with you something new & wonderful from Luxe Designs. It's our new sub-brand Simply Luxe...

It’s the simple things in life that make you smile. Simply Luxe is a new brand from Luxe Designs, created with you in mind. It’s a mix of products in basic colors and timeless patterns perfect for mixing and matching or using on its own. The simplistic designs in these patterns were designed to pair with all of Luxe’s current assortments as well as papers from other manufacturers to offer the ultimate versatility.

Think of it as the new cardstock. It’s a simple solution for your scrapbooks, projects and cards. It’s simply wonderful…

All of the products in our preview will be in ALL SIX COLORS. That means we'll offer each whole collection in black, red, turquoise, green, blue and pink!

These carefully chosen colors are Luxe's "core colors" - they mix and match with all of our past lines and new releases. They also blend well with several other manufacturers paper collections which we love. Here is a closer look at just some of the pieces from Simply Luxe...

Here is what you need to know about the line:

  • SIMPLE PAPERS - Six double sided designs on our heavy weight paper - positive & negative images of the same pattern. Timeless basics - lines & dots.
  • SIMPLE ALPHAS - These are 12x12 cardstock STICKERS! Solid colors to match the papers. *BONUS* Maya Road is doing the matching chipboard alphas so you can stack the stickers on the chipboard to create dimensional letters if you want to!!!
  • SIMPLE EPOXIES - Yep, I said it. Epoxies. A great value, too - over 30 on a sheet!!! Use alone or add rubs to the top to customize.{I know, totally flat in the picture - not here yet...}
  • SIMPLE LABELS - Cardstock stickers in classic shapes - great for adding touches of text.
  • SIMPLE JOTTERS - These punch out journaling die cuts will be in coordinating styles and printed in COLOR!
To see more previews from Luxe designs, be sure to visit the Luxe Blog. I'll be sharing some of the pages I've done with the new stuff on my blog as well so stay tuned!

This Simply line is very near & dear to me and I'd love to hear what you think!

Monday, January 21, 2008

A MIRACLE of modern technology...

...and the SIM card survived, with all my contacts intact! I am shocked, as was the amused girl at the phone place looking at my melty-screen phone. I told her it was the first time I hadn't donated my old phone after getting an upgrade...and she just looked at me, disdainfully, with her black lipstick and blue fingernails and said "well now, we don't want that." I don't know, maybe you had to be there...she sounded just like my grandmother. I was tickled...got the serious giggles.

I am very thankful I was due for an upgrade (I had only become eligible for a new phone 2 days before the incident) and had the insurance to boot. I've had the same service & cell number since I was 20 (and yes, my phone was gi-normous - if you're trying to do the math that's almost 17 years), so I have an awesome plan and it was hardly any out of pocket. For someone who's generally at the end of the technology curve, I sure have been a cell phone girl from the very beginning.

I got the basic don't-you-dare-text-message me cell phone & stereo ear buds, because I'm a little dorky like that & I love it! Now comes the fun stuff, picking a ringtone. I think I need some Apples in Stereo...

The MOST STUPID thing I've done in a very long time...

...yes. I have just washed and dried my cell phone. The screen is all melty...it's totally fried. I'm saying a prayer for the chip, but I don't have high hopes. I also don't have a hard copy of my phone list. {Dad, I know...I know....sorry}. If you were in my phone please email me your phone numbers. I'll try to get this mess replaced tomorrow night after work.

Take this as a lesson - check your pants when you do laundry! and never do laundry when you're really too tired to be doing anything...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

"Sense"-ational Sundays...

Our senses tell a story. I've committed to recording my 5 senses once a week to explore my sensory world. I challenge you to do the same. If you choose to do so, just blog your 5 senses every Sunday & let me know, I'd love to read them.

My BFF Angie & her family dropped by last night & we had our late Christmas. I was excited to get a copy of "You Can Do It! A Merit Badge Handbook for Grown-Up Girls". Angie found out about it through Stacy's Big Picture book. I was a Brownie & a Camp Fire Girl {all the way up through Indian Maiden} and loved earning badges & beads. The book looks really cool & it's like, huge & it looks like it tells you how to do, well...everything. Awesome! You did good, Ang - thank you!


GRACKLES! These birds drive me batty some times...When Jane came to visit back in November she said it was like a scene from The Birds. They're such a part of life here I never thought they weren't just a normal thing for people to see {and hear}. They migrate here for the winter and move in these intense clumps. Very loud. Lots of poop. A little unnerving how they move in unison. And notice - they all face the same way. See what I mean - slightly creepy...

Pho Ga...and that means one thing. Matt's out of town at his uncle's this weekend. I always indulge and get pho or thai when he's gone since he doesn't care for it much. They're building another custom go kart from a modified riding lawn mower. Like this world needs another lawn mower that can go 60 mph...Other than that, though we've been doing great with the cooking & are really sticking to it. I had a coke on Thursday and I actually didn't like the taste. I couldn't bring myself to take more than a few sips...can it be? Am I over my coca cola habit???

It's that time again...I hate shopping for clothes and try to limit it to only before CHA's. Since the Luxe dress code is black & white it makes shopping a lot less painless. I miss my mom so much when I shop for clothes. I always thought she was driving me crazy with her opinions on what I should wear or shouldn't - but now that she's gone I feel like I can't pick anything out with out her. I met a couple of very nice maternal-types in the fitting room and they helped me figure out some fun pieces. All I need now are some dressier shoes to go with the skirts I bought...and, yes those are graffiti shoes. :)

Red Baron's Microwavable Five Cheese & Garlic individual pizzas. They were on sale last week so I thought I'd try them for lunch one day at work...and, ahhhhhhhhhhh. The office smelled so good. They were pretty tasty as well.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Mini Me & a question...

This is the other mini class for ScrapBowl, made with Luxe's Stiletto collection, jotters, transparencies & ribbon, some custom print pieces & office supply tags. I have to admit, I *love* mini classes. These projects {this & Birds of a Feather} were some of my favorites in a while. I designed a printed piece sized to run through a xyron to make matching custom stickers to embellish the little book. I've wanted to do a small about me book for a while & call it "mini ME" & this was the perfect opportunity.

I'd love your feedback - I'm thinking of selling these mini class kits {and the birds and other ones like this} with b/w instructions and a link to a project photo gallery online on my blog after ScrapBowl {range $10-15 with free shipping in the US}. Would any of you be interested?

ETSY Pick of the Week - ANNIE AND OLIVE

Of course I picked shop with darling stuffed things for my etsy pick of the week since I have stuffie projects on the brain. Annie and Olive does darling stuffed and stitched pendants & hair clips as well as precious twisted fabric bracelets. I love all the patterns & especially that these are pendants, not pins. She also has cute hand painted paper mache boxes - in cupcakes and mushrooms (my kind of woman). Check out her shop and enjoy! Happy Saturday...

SET - Pounce...

This is the second of my Saturday Etsy Tutorials (S.E.T.s). This week I'm going to tell you about POUNCE - a great way to browse through popular items sold on etsy.


Pounce is listed under "Buy" and "Ways to Shop". It's a feature I never really looked at until recently, but it's addictive once you get started "pouncing". Pressing pounce will bring up 3 items that were just purchased. What I like about it is it also shows other remaining items from the same shop. It's a great way to expose yourself to things you would probably never find on etsy on your own. Go ahead, mark sellers and items as your favorites. Not only will it help you find the shops again, it is an important way for you to build your social network on the site (especially if you are a seller as well). Pounce keeps "shuffling" items so keep pressing pounce until you're head feels like it's going to explode. It's dizzying how creative people are, the things being bought and the sheer volume of purchases going through this site in a steady stream from all over the globe.

Happy homemade weekend & have fun on etsy this week!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Feeling the felt...

I've been into felt lately and am dying to start making little stuffed things. I ordered the book Plush You from amazon and just thought to search for free felt patterns online (man, I wished I had thought of that first).

I found a free pattern to make this fabulous owl on Anna Maria Horner's blog (which is just gorgeous). Here's another free owl pattern from the Flickr's Embroidery blog.

If you need to brush up on (or learn) how to do that easy, awesome looking stitch that makes felt art so cool here is a good tutorial on the whip stitch from futuregirl's craft blog.

I really want to make one of these with my camo felt and send it off to Amy where she's stationed with some fun buttons on it as a surprise...but I have to start smaller & work my way up. Maybe I'll make one of these too...and this! OK, I gotta stop...have fun!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Out of Bounds, Valentine Edition...

I wrapped up another class - the valentine edition of Out of Bounds. I'll be teaching it in California during CHA at Ever After and both locations of Strictly Scrapbooking. This was originally a class of Jen's that I got to convert since I'll be teaching it this time round and I really like how it turned out. It's gonna be a blast - so if you're a Cali girl, please come join me in this fast & fun 2 hour class!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Austen obsession...

I loooooove Jane Austen. Always have. I've read Pride & Prejudice at least twice a year since I was...I dunno...8, 9? I had it (and Emma) on cassette in 4th grade and listened to it every weekend until they finally died in 9th grade. I have it in audio version on my mp3 player right now. (Come to think of it I also have the modern Jane Austen Book Club.) Sense & Sensibility is one of my favorite movies and Clueless, with it's clever adaptation of Emma makes me laugh every time.

PBS is running ALL the Austen novels on Masterpiece Theater (and I'm clearing out the DVR...) on Sunday nights. Some they've filmed new adaptations, others are showing the classics (can we say - Colin Firth is Darcy?)
  • Jan 13 - Persuasion
  • Jan 20 - Northanger Abby
  • Jan 27 - Mansfield Park
  • Feb 3 - Miss Austen Regrets
  • Feb 10, 17 &24 - Pride & Prejudice
  • March 23 - Emma
  • March 30 & April 6 - Sense & Sensibility

...this makes me sooooooo happy. I had to share. If you're an Austen lover, hop on this thread & tell me your favorite Austen novel (or movie) - or tell me if you've read AustenLand. I'm thinking of getting it. And here's a little Darcy-candy to brighten your day...and if you'd prefer a little Colonel Brandon-candy click here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Priority Mail...Because I Love You Edition

I wanted to share another updated class design...every once in a while I like to shake up a class with brand new product right before I teach it, because I figure my students want the latest and greatest new stuff. This is my new version of Priority Mail I'll be teaching at Pink Pineapple & ScrapBowl in February. This is a crazy class - in 2 hours we'll make 6 cards, 2 gift card holders, 4 tags & a purse mini album. Tons of left over goodies & lots of fun.

Monday, January 14, 2008

New Mini Class...Birds of a Feather

We did a bit of a juggle for Scrapbowl in February and swapped out my home decor class for a pair of mini scrap classes instead. I just designed this one & I'm all in love with it right now. I'm finally hitting my bird phase. It's called "Birds of a Feather". We'll be offering it to 150 people at ScrapBowl.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

"Sense"-ational Sundays...

Our senses tell a story. I've committed to recording my 5 senses once a week to explore my sensory world. I challenge you to do the same. If you choose to do so, just blog your 5 senses every Sunday & let me know, I'd love to read them.

I reread this after I wrote this I realized most of my senses dealt with food this week...there's a reason for that. As a new year's resolution Matt & I committed to cooking more at home, cooking healthier and planning meals & grocery shopping together. We're going on week three and have only had Chinese food one evening (we're allowing ourselves the occasional treats) - but everything else has been 100% made by us. With the planning ahead we're both less stressed & Matt's even picked up more of the cooking. We also have stopped having sodas in the house and at work...so now instead of 1-3 cokes a day I'm down to 1-3 cokes a week. Matt doing it too, but he's coming off a 6-10 Mt Dew a day habit (!!!). We feel great (shocking, we were expecting nasty headaches) - drinking lots of water & water with the "to go" flavors (my fav is Lemon Propel to go).

I got an unexpected squishy envelope in the mail this week. Inside was a yard of this fabric and this tiny note. It's from my mother-in-law...she sent me lime green skeleton fabric. Wow - she really gets me. Too cool.


I love the funky sound of The Apples In Stereo - "indie-rock sunny-pop". It keeps me going. I've also been listening to the fabulous Madeline Peyroux, who I was lucky enough to see in concert in my 20's when she opened for Sarah Mclachlan.

Best taste of the week - hand's down the Pepperoncini Roast. I've tweaked the recipe now to where we really enjoy it. Get a pot roast and sprinkle it with garlic powder. Get a jar of pepperoncini peppers and drain half the juice. Cut up the peppers (cutting the stems off) and add remaining juice & peppers to crock pot with the roast. Add 3 beef bullion cubes and water and cook on low all day. OH. MY. GOODNESS. Serve over mashed potatoes or white rice - the leftovers make the best sandwiches or wraps...so, so good. You must try it!

My aunt & uncle are in a produce co-op and sometimes someone's out of town and we get to buy their share. It's like winning the food lottery...so this was in the box this week. I pulled out my bi-lingual cookbook (recipes side by side in English & Spanish - great practice for me. I don't want to speak Spanish, but I would like to speak Mexican food, lol) and looked up how to make salsa...we're going to try making it later this morning.

Clementines a.k.a. Cuties...I love it when they're in season! I love how my hands smell after I peel them and their fresh, sweet sunshiny smell. They are a glimpse of summer in winter and I love them for that.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

ETSY pick of the Week - PlanetMonkey

So, I love sock monkeys. I had one as a little kid that I loved to death...but I had no idea they could look like this! PlanetMonkey's shop Monkey House makes the cutest sock monkeys I HAVE EVER SEEN! This is Sylvia. You gotta check out Madge - who has the glasses, curlers & a cigarette hanging off her lips. There's also a Frankenstein monkey - "Frank" and a "Lodge Night" monkey that are equally hilarious. She doesn't have a ton of styles, but they all have such character...that makes her my pick of the week.

SET - The Color Picker

I love etsy. I read The Long Tail last year and this site really proves some of the future of selling. The premise of the book was that our tastes become more specialized (from choices i.e. "infinite shelf space" online - a great example is how the ipod transformed our tastes in music) the more we're exposed to, so the future of selling is selling less to more people. Similar with scrapbooking - when I started I made my choices based on what was on the shelves at the one store I went to...now I go to shops all over the place, look online make my own stuff, used found stuff, etc.

We opened our family Etsy shop, ManHandled, last April and I'm fascinated by the site. I could literally drop everything and learn the site for a week and still probably not understand all the cool things it can do. So I've decided to add another set "day" to my personal blogging schedule - the Saturday Etsy Tutorial (SET). Each week I'll share some new tool on the site that can help you be a better buyer or seller and open you up to the wonderful world of buying handmade. I'll add links to each of the tutorials in my sidebar for easy reference. Then I'll post my Etsy pick of the week on the same day so I get on a schedule.

Setting up a profile to buy & sell is free (I'll get more into selling after a few weeks). The stuff people make is amazing. You can also find craft supplies there - everything from vintage buttons & ephemera for collage to fabric and sewing supplies to felt piecing patterns and custom laser die cuts. Once you have a profile you can mark your favorites when you surf (better than shopping because it's free & you're able to go back to the ones you really like when you actually want to buy something). You can mark specific items as your favorites or shops in general, whatever works best for you. Shopping is easy - they walk you through paying with paypal, cc or check (clears through paypal).

Buying by Color - THE COLOR PICKER
First of all - I'm just going to say this is the feature that put me over the top, making me think this is one of the smartest sites out there. Drag your mouse across the "grid" and watch the rainbow follow it. If you see a color you like, click on it and it will "fish" for items that color. If the screen gets too cluttered you get to "throw things away" - so fun. "Grab an item with your mouse, pull back a little, then make a swift movement off the side of the screen and it will toss pictures back into cyberspace. If you do it to softly it will drift off like a weak throw and might bounce back into the screen. Just pick it up and throw it again - you'll get a feel for it (it's kinda fun). If you see a picture you want more info on double click it to get the description. Click on the photo itself shrink it back down or hit "more" or the shop name to go to the shop of the person who made that item.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Donna & the hair...

Some mornings are a surprise, they're so far outside the routine. I'm working from home today and took a quick break to meet Ashley, Virginia, D'uan & Donna at Sam Moons this morning & we all ended up buying hair! {like I needed more hair than the mop I have on my head...well, whatever, it looks fabulous} It's kind of a Texas thing...we Texas gals just looooove our big hair. So now Donna fits right in. It's amazing how well they can match you from the wall'o'hair.

Donna & the gang headed off for other adventures & I came home to get some work done. Donna shot some hair video will be going up on her blog (I'm a litle scared - I think it caught me accidentally slapping Ashley in the face with my faux ponytail & my own big hair down before they got me all pinned in...) Anyway - Donna will be teaching at D'uan's store Gotta Scrap in Rockwall this weekend. If you're a local to DFW, be sure and go!