Friday, August 31, 2012

A Dynamite Dozen Of My Own

Hello! Club Scrap Design Teamer Kay here :)

Sticking with this week's Club Scrap Creates blog theme, here I am with a Dynamite Dozen of my own things that I like. I have to admit, I want to list several things my awesome co-workers have already. They have such good taste, so there may be some duplicates. Here it goes:

1. Miniature Stuff. Little bottles, tiny books, etc.... I seem to be drawn to tiny objects, so darn cute, they make me happy.

2. Club Scrap's White Pigment Ink. The reason is rather black and's just so cool stamped onto black cardstock.

 3. Heart with Wings. I have a necklace with a heart/wings charm, and I adore Club Scrap's From The Heart Wings Of Love stamp because it has that image on it. I'm glad my college roomates don't live in town because they probably would have talked me into a tattoo of it by now (LOL). I saw this wooden heart and wings piece (shown below) attached to a picture frame in the sale bin at a local craft store, I had to carefully cut and pry it off with a large knife (well, after buying it) so that I could paint and attach it to the lid of my altered book music box project.

4. Music Box Project. Speaking of that altered book music box project shown above, here is the inside. It's one of my favorite extra curricular projects. Still on a music box high from my retreat classes last year, I want to make even more! We still had the "Fur Elise" music mechanism in GHM, so it was fun to cut nooks into this old book and install the music box into it - one of my favorite altered creations.

5. Lunch or dinner outside at a local favorite restaurant. Once the weather gets nice enough in Wisconsin, I have to go enjoy the outdoor dining at Fratello's Riverside Restaurant. It's a cool old brick building on the Fox River that used to be a Vulcan Hydroelectric Power Plant waaaay back in its day. Anyway, they have couple of tables set up for outdoor dinning where I certainly like spending  some time.

6. Soldered Charms. Here is the little collection I happen to have on my dresser.

7. Flower gardening. I go to the Farmer's Market when I can for veggies, so I have more space to grow flowers. Marilee snapped this pic of me picking dahlias in our yard.

8. Giving flowers from my garden. I used the dahlias just picked to hopefully brighten a friend's day.

9. Book Board. I certainly can't forget Book Board with all its infinite possibilities. It would be difficult to count how many project prototypes I've cut and made from Book Board.

10. Anything with a cool quote added to it. That gets me every time.

11. Graceful angel statues.

12. Any kind of project that I can incorporate family photos into!

Of course, my favorites can change with the wind, but this concludes my dynamite dozen list for today!

Hoping your day is filled with at least a dozen "things you like".

Thanks for stopping by,
Kay Williamson of Club Scrap

Thursday, August 30, 2012

These are a Few of my Favorite Things

Okay, no raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens, but here are 12 things that I really like...

1. The People in my Life - David, my DSO of 32 years, my BFF Sharon who is like a sister to me, my Mom (who just turned 89!), my Step-Mom (who just turned 87 and is definitely a 2nd Mom to me!), and some really close friends (who are in many ways like family to me) - I'm very fortunate to have such special people in my life and I'm so thankful for each and every one of them.

2. Cruising - yeah, I love going on vacation, especially cruise vacations. I've been on about 30 already and I've already got one booked for next July.

3. Wine - red, white, bubbly or still, I really enjoy a nice glass (or 3) of wine. And recently, I've had the pleasure of drinking some very nice wines with some of my favorite people - it don't get much better than that (unless we were on a cruise, maybe!).

4. Club Scrap - oh c'mon, you knew that was coming, right? The products are amazing and the people - well, you probably know how great the people are already - so what's not to like?

5. Bourbon - I love good bourbon (Maker's Mark, Knob Creek, Booker's, etc.) - on the rocks, or with a splash of soda or ginger ale (or both) - yum!

6. Chocolate - preferably dark, but truthfully, I'll eat any kind at all. And chocolate is really good with red wine and bourbon!

7. The Greenwood Inn - a neighborhood restaurant here in RI, I've been a patron there for about 25 years and it's like visiting family whenever I'm there. And every Thursday, I post a photo of my drink (which usually involves bourbon) on my Thursday Night Beverages Facebook fan page - 95% of the time, that photo is taken at the Greenwood Inn.

8. Technology, specifically, Apple products - yup, I'm definitely an Apple fan - David and I each have a MacBook Pro laptop, an iPhone, an iPad, and various iPods and we now have an Apple TV, too - I can't imagine my life without Apple products!

9. Digital Crafting - I love Photoshop and Illustrator. I use Photoshop pretty much everyday (and Illustrator almost as frequently) and thanks to Jac (who is definitely one of those 'almost like family' people in my life), I've learned a lot about how to use Photoshop.

10. Coffee & Tea - yeah, I like both. Hot coffee - black, no sugar. Hot tea - ditto. Iced coffee - with cream and Splenda. Iced tea with lemon, no sugar. Now, you know it all!

11. Sabor - Brazilian churascarria (steakhouse) in Milwaukee. It's da bomb!

12. Weekends - I love to sleep in on Saturday morning. Then maybe grab my iPad and catch up on email and the news before I actually get out of bed - what a perfect way to start the day!

So there ya go - 12 of my favorite things - But I can't imagine dropping any of these things from my favorites list, so I think Ill just need to keep adding stuff to this list - 12 just won't be enough pretty soon!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Stuff I Like.

There are a few things in life that I would be very sad to live without. I wonder how many of them are the same as yours?

1. Cheese. Yep. I'm a Wisconsin girl through and through, and I adore cheese of all kinds. Aged cheddar, squeaky cheese curds, feta, blue, romano, parmesan, cottage, ricotta, string, whips, baby swiss, colby, muenster, brick. (Do you get the idea?) This is a picture of my "cheese drawer" in my fridge. I'm serious about my cheese.

2. MacBook Pro. I spend tons of time on my Mac. I made the switch from PC to Mac in March of 2011, and I've been loving it ever since. 

3. Running Shoes. I've been a Saucony girl for years, but I think I'm liking my new pair of New Balance. I track my mileage and retired my last pair after over 400 miles of running.

4. Netflix. Oh, man--I really like Netflix. Turns out that people make "Netflix Envelope Art". I'll have to try that sometime.

5. Wine. Red. White. Not sweet. (Unless it's Port.) Oh. . . out of a Riedel glass to match the varietal, when possible.

6. Bookbinding Glue. (My version of duct tape.) I don't leave home without it. I should have purse-sized bottles.

7. Coffee. Former Keurig user. New Breville user. Isn't it pretty? The poor Keurig just couldn't keep up with my family.

8.  Tonic Trimmer. I've been using the same trimmer for years and years. It knows me. I know it. We hang out together.

9.  Club Scrap. Pretty much goes without saying. I get to do what I love to do for my job. I'm a blessed girl. 

10. Nikon D60. My husband got me this camera for Christmas years 'n years ago. It's a little on the big side, but still fits in my purse when necessary. I dropped it on a ceramic tile floor, and it survived.

11. Anytime Fitness. My ticket to sanity. If I'm not running, or if it's too cold to run outside, you'll find me here five mornings a week. I've been a member since February, 2008.

12. Graph Paper. I carry it with me everywhere so that I can sketch formulas, ideas and cutting diagrams on a whim. Five squares per inch (quadrille). Not four. I keep my "to do" lists on graph paper, too. I like graph paper almost as much as I like cheese. Note: graph paper composition books are on sale during back-to-school time! Stock up!

I'm really looking forward to seeing the rest of this week's favorites! Be sure to check back!

Friday, August 24, 2012

My Crazy Digital Journey

I fought it. I fought it hard.

Digital Scrapbooking.

I finally caved about a year ago, but I was just a wee bit too frugal to commit to the PhotoShop purchase. Until just today. When I went to look up how much it was, and Elements was on sale for $66. Suh-weet! Before that, I used GIMP, a free software quite similar to PhotoShop Elements.

You know, I like it. Now that I have some really basic skills. Those include using the "Quick Drop Digital Layouts" where I can just slide my photo in, resize the photo to fit the opening, and add a title and a bit of text for a caption. Once the page is complete, I learned how to "flatten" and "resize" my layout so that it's not huge, and I can post it to this blog. ;)

Each monthly digital kit comes with a half a dozen Quick Drops (in addition to tons of other cool things). That's just enough to keep me busy for an evening on the couch with my laptop. The bonus is that I'm in the same room as my family. That counts as family time, right?

This is my first layout made in Elements. It's about one of my favorite people--Rita Braun, your member services gal at Club Scrap! We were leaving the office together one day and saw this beautiful rainbow. I love how it looks like Rita's got the rainbow in her arms. It just makes me smile.

August 2012 Club Scrap Bold Blooms Digital Kit, QDDL #3
Rita, thanks for all that you do to create sunshine in my day!

If you've been thinking about trying digital, don't be afraid. You're gonna love that club, too! (And your paper crafting supplies promise not to get jealous.)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Perusing Picture Perfect Projects

Hi, it's Thursday, so it's me, Ron, here to chat with you  today. (BTW, I worked extra-hard to come up with an alliterative title for today's post!)

A few weeks ago, I took a stroll through the Galleria during the Pro Scrappers League (PSL) Summer Camp, and I shared some really cool paper layouts, cards, and digital layouts that I found. Well, this week, I decided to just look at projects in the Galleria. I really love making projects, but I've been so busy lately, that I haven't really had any time to make anything, but I thought that a nice leisurely Galleria stroll, checking out all the really great projects would be the next best thing.

And, WOW! -- I wasn't disappointed!

Here are 5 really great projects from this year (and there are several years' with of projects there, so there's an endless amount of inspiration!):

ScrapnBarbie posted this photo of the book project from Come Sail Away - Isn't it beautiful?

Next up, Cyndy made this great 5 x 7 Expandable Folder using materials from the Bon Appetit kit. I love how she decorated it with all those cool die-cut flowers.

This Flip Flop Photo Frame from the Tahiti Kit was made by Rhonda Vlahos - such a cute project. Rhonda and her husband, George, travel to the US from Australia each year so that Rhonda can attend  Retreat in Wisconsin - it was so great seeing them a couple of weeks ago!

Cathy Gray did an outstanding job making the Tri-Panel Navajo Project - what an amazing project! (I also got to meet Cathy and Mark Gray at Retreat this year - so nice to finally meet them in person after chatting with them in the forums for a few years!)

Finally, don't you just love this colorful tag book made by Esther using the Full Circle kit? I just love these colors!!

So there you have it, some great projects from a few of our Club Scrap members - do yourself a favor and take your own stroll through the Galleria - you won't believe how much inspiration you can find there

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Tale of Two Debs...

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away...oops...just kidding!

Actually, once upon a time, right here, in our own Club Scrap Community, lived a number of talented and creative people...people who generously share their talents with the rest of the world by authoring a blog. Today's story is about two (of these many), who both just happen to be named "Deb". I encourage you to check out their blogs as they are filled with awesome ideas and step-by-step tutorials. These ladies love papercrafting so much that they aren't happy unless they're sharing it with others!

A recent card by Deb Charlesworth.
Deb Charlesworth authors a blog called Liftbridge Cards and Crafts. ( Her blog is just chock full of fun card ideas and techniques offered up in easy-to-achieve tutorial format. When I read her posts I'm always inspired to try something new, or reminded to revisit a long-forgotten technique.

One of Deb Weller's "upcycling" projects.
Deb Weller writes the blog Deb Duz Scrappin'. ( Deb has a gift for seeing common everyday objects and turning them into something new, artsy and creative. Oftentimes, she'll take the monthly Club Stamp project and take it to the “next level”. You may have also seen Deb's work in national publications, such as the Stampington family of magazines, as well as several others.

These ladies are just two of the many talented members of our little Club Scrap Community. Whenever you catch a link to a community neighbor's blog, I encourage you to check it out, and if you like what you see, support them by sharing their blogs with others. We've got a lot of creative peeps out there . . . and sharing is what this craft is all about, right?

Have a crafty day!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sweet, Sweet Serenity

Quite literally hot, hot, hot off the presses, we get pretty excited about every new collection as it makes its way to the production lines here at Club Scrap. Our staff suffers from PKS (Pre-Kit Syndrome) just like many of you, but we are on an earlier cycle. ;)

We are so thrilled to welcome our newest babe to the mix. Serenity. It's a beauty, and I thought you might like to get a little sneak peek.

It's soft, relaxing, mellow and perfect for tons of events including things like a day at the beach, a wedding, newborn photos, a restful weekend away, anniversary, etc. I'm excited to see how you'll incorporate it into your life experiences.

The unmounted stamp images offer lots of great stamping options, too. Here is a little sampling from the Borders & Backgrounds plate. I really, really like the combination of the quotes and flowing images paired together.

Once the locally printed paper arrives at Club Scrap, it will be lovingly collated, bagged, loaded into a shipping box along with the rest of the kit contents, and shipped to your door. With the first of the month falling on a Saturday this time around, we're hoping this preview soothes the extra day or two you'll have to wait.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Little Nuts For Coconuts!

Things have been a bit nuts here at Club Scrap coming down from our August Retreat high--so much inspiration in one weekend! However, I wanted to sit down and whip up this card using the Castaway Coconut Anatomy Wood Mounted Stamp. Luckily it's still in stock, so why not go nuts with it?
I've got a friend that will enjoy receiving this "Just For You Coconuts" card, for sure.
I stamped the image using Club Scrap's Black India Ink, since this ink won't smudge when I use my watercolor brush with it. Then I added a little watercolor penciling....
..and a little water brushing.
After adding a greeting, my card was all ready to go.
I guess I am a little nuts for this cool stamp.

Thanks for stopping by Club Scrap Creates, I love seeing you here!
Kay Williamson of Club Scrap

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Retreat Reflections

A week ago, I was heading to Green Bay, WI for the start of Club Scrap's annual August Retreat. Now I'm back home and I've just gotta tell you a little bit about it. I can't say too much, 'cuz there is always a Pinkie Swear involved - can't spoil the fun for the folks who are attending in October or those getting the RIAB (Retreat in a Box), but there are a few things I can share…

Here's Tricia with...well, that's not really important!
This photo has nothing to do with Retreat, but it was taken that weekend!
First of all, it was definitely one of the most amazing weekends I've ever experienced - you could just feel the excitement in the air! Everyone was smiling and laughing and hugging during registration - that's such a fun part of Retreat - if you hang around long enough (or actually get to work there selling uber-cool logo stuff!), you eventually see/meet/hug every person there!

And the workshops - oh my goodness - I've been to 2 retreats in the past, and got the RIAB in 2009, but let me tell you, these projects are absolutely amazing! And one of the workshops this year is just so very different and fun! What a great collection of projects and inspiration. Then there's this year's retreat kit - so very beautiful - and other gifts scattered throughout the weekend - such cool stuff that EVERYONE enjoyed! I lost count of the "Ooos" and "Aahhs" I heard in the course of the weekend.

And the coolest thing happened on Sunday morning at brunch - I was chatting with a few women who told me that they're trying to see if they can come back in October! How cool is that?!? I totally expect to see them there in 55 days!

Yeah, that's right, it's just 55 days until the October Retreat! And I'm so happy that I'll be back in Wisconsin again! I've said this before, and I'm gonna say it again - if there's any way that you can possibly go to Retreat this year, call Club Scrap® or go to their website and get yourself registered. You won't be sorry!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bold Blooms Stencil with Video!

Even with Retreat weekend, the calendar marches on, and our production staff is hard at work preparing for another shipping day! Club Scrap Junior's Bold Blooms collection leaves the loading dock tomorrow, and we are so excited about this gem!

It's a stencil month (we rotate the stencil between the Club Scrap kit and the Junior kit), and that's always a favorite for me. Kay and I snuck into the studio to film a quick video peek on how to use the poppy stencil with CS® inks and ink applicators. It's a blast! And it will make you look/feel like a genius!

See that background on Kay's layout? We did it with the stencil. And the cool part is that you can make the color of your poppies coordinate with the streamers on Marilee's bike. (Or whatever you've got going on with your photos, of course, cuz I'm guessing you don't have a stash of photos from Marilee's birthday.) Kay also added two of the title stamps from the Unmounted FontArt. She first stamped in the top center of the page, and then again on each side. Great idea!

Without further ado, here's your "spoiler video"!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Club Scrap Friendships

With the conclusion of the August edition of Retreat 2012 so fresh in my memory, I hope you’ll indulge me just a bit—but after spending time with all of the wonderful women and men who joined us this year, I just couldn’t help blogging about it! It even inspired my chosen topic for the Weekly Chronicles Challenge this week. (Hopefully y’all aren’t too sick of hearing about Retreat—if so, please forgive me, you have my sincere apologies.)

(My friends from "Down Under": Rhonda and George from Pegs Creek,  Western Australia)

What inspired me most over the weekend was hearing all of the wonderful stories of how folks met and became friends through their connection with Club Scrap: Through the Coffeehouse Forum and/or because of a Club Scrap Retreat event. On a personal level, I’ve been blessed with many good friends over the last 10 years...friends I have because of Club Scrap. I’ve had numerous opportunities to meet some really awesome people, both at the Retreats here in Wisconsin, as well as the Rolling Retreats we did years ago. We joke, “I have lots of friends…they’re just online”, but really, the statement is quite true! I may only see these friends once a year (or once every 2-3 years), but the beautiful thing is, we simply pick up where we left off and have a good ‘ol time doing it. I am forever changed, and I am truly blessed and grateful to have so many Club Scrap friends.

So, to my August Retreat friends: It was wonderful seeing you and spending time with you this weekend. You are an amazing group of people, and I am honored you chose to hang out with us here in Wisconsin. I hope you have/had safe travels back to your loved ones and I hope you’ll come back and see us again really soon!

To my October Retreat friends: Even though I am a wee bit tired from this weekend, I’m actually very excited and I can't wait to do this all over again! We had such an awesome weekend…I look forward to sharing all of the fun and inspiration of this experience with you, too.

To my friends who couldn’t make it to Retreat: I missed you! I hope all is well with each of you and that I will have the opportunity to see you again soon.

Finally, if you're reading this, and I haven’t met you in person yet, I do hope you’ll consider coming to a Club Scrap Retreat in the future, I’d love to meet you! We have such a great time at Retreat, you should really be a part of it. And when you join us, hopefully your time here in Wisconsin will leave you with a smile, some creative inspiration, a strong sense of community...and most important of all...lasting friendships.