Friday, August 31, 2007

Snowy Windows are a sure sign of Xmas...

This is one of my all time favorite Christmas cards and my biggest seller during the holiday season (yes, I sell my cards). I posted this on SCS yesterday and had a ton of request via email and comments asking for details on this here it goes! It's actually quite simple, the card layers can be done in advance, Night of Navy for the card base, Brocade, Ballet or even Bashful Blue can be used for the next layer, then Shimmery White for the next layer. The focal image is a small piece of Glossy white paper, the only trick is that you'll want to make it 1/2 an inch shorter in width rather than the usual 1/4 inch because you'll be spreading it out to make the windows. I used the Blue Frost spectrum pad from SU, inked up my brayer and just went back and forth until it was a really rich color. I lightly rubbed over the glossy paper to remove any excess ink and then using Staz-on Black, I stamped the trees in the center. I set it aside to dry for a few minutes and went ahead and stamped my Xmas phrase on the bottom using Night of Navy ink. Next I took my paper cutter and sliced up my trees horizontally and then into thirds vertically. I layered them in the window pane position and adhere them to the card. Be sure you test your placement first before actually sticking them down, I work from the center out. The last step is to apply Crystal Effects on the bottom sections of each 'window' and then add glitter. Be careful, as they take a long time to dry...I usually just set it aside overnight to be safe. That's it! I'm so thrilled that you all loved this card as much as I do. It just makes me want to snuggle in by the fire and sip on some hot chocolate. Mmmmm

Thursday, August 30, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like....

XMAS!!!! Yes, I said it! I love Christmas time.....the baking, the decorating, the shopping, the card, love, love it! And this card couldn't be any easier and yet so adorable....The Snowflurries set makes for great backgrounds AND foregrounds so you can do a lot with it. Just add a phrase to the bottom and you're done! The colors used here were Bashful Blue and Night of Navy, the really light blue was 2nd generation of the Bashful Blue. :) I miss that gorgeous snowflake punch from Stampin Up. It retired a while ago but I still use it all the time, it's my favorite snowflake!!! So get ready, there will be more holiday stuff coming....I can feel it. ;)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Oh what a night!

"....late December, back in '63....what a very special time for me. Cause I remember what a night! Doo doo doo doo-doo, doo doo doo doo-doo"

Every once in a while I start out telling a story or saying a phrase and it just reminds me of a song so I sing it and get it out of my system. ;) That being sung, last night was NUTZ!

We left Saturday morning to head out of town for a wedding in San Jose. We stayed at this really great hotel, Hotel Montgomery....if ever you head to downtown San Jose you MUST choose to stay there, it was great! Anyway, the wedding was kinda low key, the weather was perfect, the ceremony and reception were held on the 17th floor of the Silicon Valley Country Club. What shocked me the most was the was horrible!!! I was expecting this fabulous meal and oddly enough I had to fill up on bread because the food was just gross! They had a mixed green salad served with blue cheese and shredded onions (who does that at a wedding?) and this very bitter vinaigrette. Luckily, they served a second course of lime sorbet to cleanse our palettes, but with those onions they should have just passed out some Listerine in shot glasses. The main course was either salmon, filet or chicken. My hubby got the salmon (I won't touch seafood and he loves it) and I got the filet. My mom and dad both got the chicken so I thought if my filet was too rare (very common) that could trade with them. The chicken had this peanut sauce drizzled on top with pine nuts.....again, who does this?!?! Those are VERY different flavors and just do not mix well at all!! The filet was rare, REALLY rare and was served with 2 sliced carrots and purple potatoes. I never knew there was a purple potato until this weekend, interesting but not very appealing. I have to take my hubby's word that his dinner was unpleasant since he never passes up seafood and he actually pushed his plate away after two bites and proceeded to eat my filet.

Ok enough about that, let me fast forward to Sunday. We slept in until 8am, mainly because I was up all night with a tummy ache and there wasn't a soda or antacid that would make it go away. So once again, bread was my best friend. By the time we got home that afternoon I was just exhausted, so I decided I wanted to just relax around the house and be lazy. WRONG! I totally forgot that I had to bake a cake for my final class on Monday and make two batches of icing in three different consistencies. And then I checked my email and completely forgot that SIYJ (Stamping in Your Jammies, a virtual stamp night by Paper Pretties) was Sunday from 6pm-9pm and I was NOT going to miss that! Ok, so it was 4:30pm so I had time to clean up my stamp table and whip up this cake and get it in the oven. WRONG! No eggs.....wait, let me correct that. I needed 3 eggs and there were 2. So, in my eyes...NO EGGS! So I waited until the SIYJ began, whipped up the first sketch challenge and then ran to the store. Got back, prepped the cake pans, took a photo of my card and then ran back to the computer and posted it. Next challenge, sewing!??! I don't have a sewing machine! Oh and can I tell you that Faux stitching probably takes LONGER than using the real thing!!! Ok, card....focus, you can do this. Layout design, done. Color choices, done. Paper choices....done. Cake....OH CRAP, NOT DONE! So I run back in the other room, finish mixing up the batter (luckily I did preheat the oven) and threw in my two cake pans. Ok, 25 minutes til those are done and 10 minutes left to cut everything and finish my card and post it. I run into the stamp room, finish up my card, run into the kitchen to photograph it and then back to the computer to post it (15 minutes late). BUZZZZZER....CRAP!

Ok, run into the kitchen, where are the toothpicks?!?! Ok, toothpicks found, cakes tested and they are done. Pull them out and set them on the counter to cool. What was I doing? Oh yea, last card challenge....back to the computer, what's the challenge? Ooooh colors, ok light green, light blue and light it. Only 25 minutes left?!?!!? I need an hour!!! Ok, focus, go back to simple and just stamp it! Ok, breathe....simple, simple, think simple. GOT IT. Stamp, color, punch, layer....I'm done! I'm 5 minutes late but hey, I finished. Run to the kitchen, take the last photo, run back to the computer and post.
TAH DAH! But what about the 2 batches of icing?

***anyone else exhausted yet?***

So I decided to just use the canned stuff, can you believe it?!?! I threw it in my Kitchenaid, added some meringue powder and slapped it onto my cake. At least I did add some raspberry filling to the middle so hopefully no one will notice the fake frosting on the top, right?'s gooey!!!! The whole point to adding the powder was so that it would harden up so I could smooth out the creases and lumps and take it to class. So, my class tonight should be very interesting to say the least. But I've learned a lot...I love stamping more than baking, I can't function in a messy stamping OR baking area, simple is still cute (especially when you only have 10 minutes and you've lost your mind completely) and lastly, I NEED to get my hands on that mini sewing machine!!!!! :)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Loving this MFT set!

I've been wanting to find time to dive into my August Paper Pretties MFT box for a few days now and last night I actually was dreaming about it (addiction perhaps?). So this morning I woke up at 7am and got to work. Isn't this just wonderful?? I can't believe how versatile this entire kit is. I can make cards for a baby shower, bridal shower, an under the weather card...just about anything! And how gorgeous is the Crate paper!!! So I'm going to crank out a few more of these and just leave the backside blank and when the time comes, I can stamp whichever greeting is appropriate.

This afternoon we'll be heading out of town for my cousins wedding so I won't get any time to stamp tonight or tomorrow morning (argh). But I'm hoping that with the 3 day weekend coming up next week that I can play catch up with all my new goodies. Oh and my FAB new cake pan should be here by then too!!!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fantastic Fun Friday!!!

So my hubby worked from home today so I asked him to come take me to lunch. California Pizza Kitchen was my selection for the day and as always it was DELICIOUS!!! We shared the Margherita pizza: cheese, basil and tomatoes...that's all you need for the perfect pizza. Mmmmmmmmm And of course a side salad to get some sort of healthy element into my daily consumption. But it's the California eggrolls that keep me coming back. Alvocado, Jack Cheese, Chicken and Bacon..........mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I could actually hear myself gaining weight while I was chewing. ;)

Oh, did you want to hear who won? Ahh that's right, I knew there was a reason I was meeting up with Scott today. Let's see, what did he write down on this napkin???

Denise... said... I subscribed...and I am hoping and hoping that I get picked. I don't have any bellas!!! Love the blog...always great inspiration. Thanks so much!

I have truly enjoyed spreading the fun and candy around this week and I have already started to get together some more fun goodies. I have a bad habit when I go to the craft stores, I pick up one for me and one to give away. It's just such a good deal I must share it, right?!?!

Any Stalkers??

Is anyone checking back regularly to find out who the big winner is?? It's awfully quiet out there....I wonder if anyone even remembered that today was the big day. Hmmmm

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Drumroll please.....

tbreanna said...
Jillian... pick me, pick me, pick me. :) Love your blog, it's 1 of my to do list for daily blog checking.

Tbreanna, send me your addy so I can send these lovely ladies to their new home.

TOMORROW IS THE BIG DAY!!!! Make sure you ALL check back to see who the grand prize winner is.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Yup, that's today's lucky winner!!!! I'm not sure if it irritates me or makes me laugh....but when I ask someone "pick a number between 1 and 10" and their reply is either 1 or 10, I roll my eyes and tell them to get serious. Granted, today it was between 1 and 87 and she said "86!" but still, I know those type of people that pick the ACTUAL numbers you tell them to choose between.....if I wanted those numbers I would have said "ok, choose either 1 or 10". Sheeeesh!

So congrats to Wednesday's Winner!!! CHATTERBOX!!!
chatterbox said...
Hi, I subscribed to your blog a week ago - simply because I LOVE your sense of humor, down to earth (ok, my earth)chatter, and your creative projects. Some day's I just need a little inspiration - and this blog sure has helped me out of my mini slump. BUT... when I saw your bellas in the candy package...OMG! I didn't even know what a bella was... I have a new mission...Bella collecting!Thanks for sharing your ideas, not sure my husband is going to like my new hobby though.

Chittery Chatterbox...send me your info missy!!!! :)

Some updates & notes: I was incorrect in my previous post stating that Aug 20th was the last day to sign up for the Sept bella box. Christie over at Paper Pretties has moved all the dates back to normal so you have until the end of each month to sign up for the next month's box, which is great! Not to mention the fabulous discount at the Paper Pretties Corner Store just for being a subscriber! ;) Also, yesterday's winner Whimsey, well her name is Michelle...not Ida. So I apologize Michele for changing your name...although you did offer to let me call ya Lula so I might just have to take you up on that!

2 more winners are in the making!!! Be sure you check back to see if it's you!!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Total Bust...

So my cake class last night was a bust, I know I should enjoy each moment of "learning" but when I can't USE it then I get frustrated! So we were able to either bring a cake or I chose cupcakes! Then they showed us how to make faces (those freak me out) and clown bodies (another freak out) and dots and star flowers and drop flowers....the flowers were what I was looking forward to but I was highly disappointed when they didn't look nearly as nice as the did in the book. Apparently THOSE are made with a different icing, not buttercream so that's why they look nice and smooth in the book versus icing blobs that I was making. So, I turned my boring white icing into a pretty turquoise color and swirled icing on top of my cupcakes and threw on some white sugar crystals. Oh, and I did scrape up the scary clown and put it on top of one cupcake to give to my sister (she has an odd fear of clowns). So in true sisterly love fashion, I gave it to her. :)

Ok, now to the good stuff..............*drumroll please*

Tuesday's mini-bella-blog-candy winner is......................................
#72 Ida!!!
Whimsey said...
I LOVE the cake pan and the results-how stinking cute is that!!!!! I subscribed to your blog a week or so ago - can't remember how I came across it, but I love your work!
August 18, 2007 8:01 AM

Ida, send me all your details and so I can send you some goodies. :)

My hubby is going out of town starting tomorrow on business so I'm hoping to get a LOT of stamping done. No more cake talk until next Monday....I promise!!! *fingers crossed*

Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday's winner is.........

...but first a big Thank you to Mnhyrkas who gave me the link to it chose post 34....Angel Wilde!!!

Angel Wilde said...
I subscribed and then almost forgot to come back and comment. I don't own a single Bella and Have wanted to play around with one for a while so I would LOVE to win those bella images. PLEASE pick me. :-)

CONGRATS!!!! Send me your mailing info so I can get these lovey's in the mail to ya.

Also, everyone please note that this is just a BONUS, this won't change the chances of winning the BIG prize on DH will be pulling a number out of a hat so it could be anyone!!! Don't forget to check back again might be Tuesdays winner!!

And how fabulous is this card??
I got home late on Saturday night from one of THE WORST trips ever (I'll tell you all about it later) to find this wonderful RAK in my postbox. My lovely fellow design team member Kristine made it and I think it's just simply divine!! Thanks Kristine...I needed that!!!!

"So make more stuff"

Those were the words from my darling hubby this weekend. We were discussing the blog candy (Friday is the big day!!) and I explained how shocked I was at how many of gals didn't even have any bellas yet!!! And also how excited I was to have him pick a winner so I could announce it, to which he replied, "Why don't you just pick a winner on Monday if you're so anxious?". Well, obviously because everyone needs time to find my blog, fall in love with it and then of course, subscribe! hahaha

So when I explained how it actually works and that I only have one package of blog candy stuff, my wonderful husband says ..."So make more stuff!"..... So I am!!! Starting today, I will be announcing a mini-bella-blog candy winner each day until the grand finale (Friday)! These winners will receive 15 bella images, including all featured Bellas from the Paper Pretties boxes...Jammybella, Diplomabella, Cruisabella, Veggiebella, Expectafellabella...and whatever other bellas I feel like throwing in. ;) Which reminds me, today is the cutoff for the Sept Paper Pretties Boxes so be sure to head over there and sign up!

Check in here daily cause you might be a winner!!!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Must have it!!!

So after reading through all the fabulous comments (which I am loving by the way, thank you all for the great feedback and comments!!!)... I've found that a lot of you are also into cake decorating too!!! So any idea what this is?? A friend of mine found it online at Sur La Table and sent it to me. Needless to say I was jumping up and down and screaming "I WANT ONE!!!!" and immediately forwarded it along to my DH to which his reply was "oh great, one more cake item for the kitchen". LOL Oh and mind you, he hates sweets. So the fact that he puts up with my "cake supply storage" issues and my weekly cake baking and icing mess, my constant sugar high when I get home from the cake class....well, it's just one more reason I love him. :)

This weekend we are taking a little trip to San Francisco to wander around, do a bit of shopping and consume way too much yummy food in celebration of our Holla-versary (yes, there is QUITE a story behind that). So I have requested that Scott (my dh, I figured I'd give him a proper name finally) refrain from buying me flowers and instead buy me this!!!!

Still curious as to why I'm so excited over this funky cake pan??? Well, this is what it looks like when you're done!!!!!!

Tell me this is not the cutest cake ever!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?! I LOVE IT AND I MUST HAVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sweet tooth for candy???

As most of you know I'm a bit of a "bellaholic" and luckily this addiction has spread to most of the stamping world. So, in honor of my new adventure joining the Paper Pretties Design Team, I am giving away this fabulicious blog candy (the best part of being a bella is making up fun words, eh?).

In case you're interested in the exact bella images included in this goodie box, here is a list. All have been stamped in Staz-on black on Ultrasmooth cardstock and there are 2 of each image listed...

Giftabella w/Hat

And of course the items shown at the top; 2 gellyroll clear stardust sparkle pens (LOVE THESE!!), primas, colored staples, (2) clear mini-stamp sets and (2) clear acrylic blocks.

To win this blog candy, all you have to do is subscribe to my blog and leave me a comment on this posting letting me know that you've subscribed and also your thoughts on my postings & ramblings. :) If you already subscribe, then just leave a comment as well and you all will be entered in to win these delicious delights. :) I will have my DH randomly chose a comment from the list on....hmmmm, let's say next Friday!! Fridays are great but when you WIN something, doesn't that just make them a weee bit better?? So the deadline to subscribe & comment is next Thursday, Aug 23rd and a winner will be drawn and announced right here on Friday at 12pm PST!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My first Cake Decorating Class.....

Isn't it cute?!?! Sorry the pic is so big, I just wanted you all to see the detail. :) Ok, so it was my first class but I was really impressed with myself. Look at all those stars!!!! Only downside was that I can't move it onto anything without it falling apart because once the icing is on the petals they get really heavy. So I'm learning what works and what doesn't. For instance, 95 degree heat + black car + icing = sugarmilk.

My class is every Monday night so be sure to check back so you can see how it goes!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Stampin' Up! - Choose Your Family Promotion

Between Grandma Louise (who drips with sweetness) and your oh-so-suave brother, Vic, you know that in life you can't choose your own family. But at Stampin' Up!, we've found a way to bend the rules so you can!

Sign up as a demonstrator between August 10 and September 30 and with the purchase of your Starter Kit, you'll get to pick the family of your choice-color family, that is-of Classic Stampin' Pads FREE. That's a $57.95 value! And we've designed our exclusive coordinating color families (including our In Color collection) so that every color fits in. After all, it's all in the family!
New recruits may choose from the four color families (Bold Brights, Earth Elements, Rich Regals, and Soft Subtles) or choose a pack of our new 2007 In Color pads. Color family packs include 12 ink pads, and the In Color selection includes six ink pads.

Be sure to drop a note to me at if you're interested in getting a new family. ;)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Easy Embossing

So I recently purchased this box of gorgeous embossed cards from Michaels and I absolutely love them, but to buy an entire box of cards is pricey so I wanted to see if I could create my own. So after looking at the various posts on blogs & SCS about the Spellbinders Nestabilities and alternative ways to get similar effects, I decided I would give it a go. Here's how it went.....
I just grabbed a scrap piece of paper and taped it to my lightbox then I traced around it with my stylus, as I would with any template. Made a great embossed border for my card. And the smaller the piece of cardstock, the smaller the embossed edge....kinda like the rectangle Spellbinders embossing dies. So then I decided to try squares...

I did the outline of the 3x3 scrap cardstock on the center of my card first. Then I decided to add some circles using my new SU brass template...

An even cheaper way to do this would be to use various size circle punches and make your own template by using a scrap piece of cardstock and punching various size holes in it.
Here is my embossed card....and I must tell you that it looks EXACTLY like one of the ones I purchased in that box of cards from Michaels, only this one probably only cost about 10 cents. :)

And here is my finished card.....

So I challenge all of you to try this out, use punches or brass templates that have been sitting on your shelf collecting dust. Pull them out and see what fun you can have with them again!!! I'd love to hear what you all come up with!!!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Had to share....

So I have a list of blogs that I browse I stumbled onto this and I just started cracking up!!!
Isn't it just fantastic!?!?! The artist is Michele Boyer, you can check out her blog here for details. PLUS, she's giving away this very set and some other goodies along with it! This is one of the new sets just released by My Favorite Things and I just love it. I never win anything, but I HAD TO HAVE IT!!! So needless to say I ran right over to the Paper Pretties Corner store and bought it. (ooh, and if you're a subscriber to Paper Pretties then you get a discount in the store too!! so....I bought a few more things. Shhhh, don't tell the DH!)

Isn't this card just too clever?!?! Kudos to Michele for being so creative...I love it!!!

*Blog Style Scattergories*

I snatched this from Kelly on Diaries of a Stamper and so I gave it a shot...kinda fun!!! For each question your answer has to start with the same letter that your first name starts with. For boy/girl names the name can't be the same as your own. I challenge you to try this out with YOUR name.

Your Name: Jillian
Famous Artist/Band/Musician: Justin Timberlake
4 letter word: Jump
Vehicle: Jeep
City/Town: Jericho, New York
Boy Name: Jack
Girl Name: Jessilyn
Occupation: Janitor
Something you wear: Jeans
Celebrity: Julia Roberts
Food: Jelly Bellies!!!!!!!!!!
Something found in a kitchen: Jelly
Reason for Being Late: Just forgot...
Cartoon Character: Johnny Bravo "yea baby"
Something You Shout: JERK!!!!!...especially while driving ;)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Big News!!!!

Patience is not one of my strong points, so this entire weekend has been TORTURE keeping this big news quiet. But now I can share it with all of you....I am part of the brand new design team for Paper Pretties!!!! Christie has asked some great gals to be part of this team.... Julie, Kristine and me!!! They are VERY talented and creative so I can't wait to work with them and design some great new things with the Paper Pretties boxes as well as other items from the Paper Pretties Corner store.

So to kick off this fabulous news I have created a new card using the Paper Pretties August Bella...VEGGIEBELLA! Isn't she just fab!?!?!? And the Corner Store has tons of great cardstock, patterned papers and even some great phrasing stamps to go along with your stamps!!!

Make sure you check back often, there will be some Bella blog candy posted soon...and no one wants to miss out on free bella stuff!!!! ;)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Bella Fun...

I stayed in all weekend and enjoyed every minute of it. I cleaned the house, did so many loads of laundry that there was not one dirty piece of clothing in the house! I cleaned up my stamp table and then decided to mess it all up by playing with some new stamps. :) There are Swarovski crystals for the headlights and her scarf is blowin' in the wind!!! Isn't she adorable?!?!?

I love getting my monthly Bella Box!! The best part about the Paper Pretties boxes are that they come pre-cut and ready to assemble and there are photos of various sample cards with each month's kit available online in the Members section, so you can view them anytime! So my brain doesn't feel fried just trying to come up with a card's already done for me! Go here to check out the available boxes

Once I get one or two of those made, I tend to break out of my box and switch it up a bit. Add a punch here or there, change the layout, remove an item....

I used my Prisma Pencils & Gamsol for coloring....added a bit of Doodle (can't get enough of that with the Bellas!!!) and just simplified it a bit so I could give it to anyone for their birthday....guy, girl, teenager, etc. I got a total of 9 cards of out my card box supplies, even though they include enough goodies for 6 you can actually stretch the supplies to get quite a few more. :) There are a few different boxes available and various stamp companies you can choose from, PLUS you get a discount on everything in the store when you're a subscriber! I just ordered some new MFT stamps from there and can't wait to get my hands on them!!!

There is some big news on the way so keep checking back during the week!!!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Boatloads of fun...

This past weekend was a blast!!! Each month I teach a "Stamp of the Month" class where everyone gets to make fun projects using one main stamp set AND they get to take the stamp set home!!!!
You can hardly see it in the photo but we used the retired Cloud Stencil to make a bit of a castaway scene. I used the layout from the Paperpretties limited edition samples....I love keeping it simple!! And I love the new textured white cardstock!!!! It really adds to the card without over doing it.

This design was from a fellow SCSer and I just switched up a few things but overall it was already darn close to perfect! And I'm absolutely in LOVE with the new Polkadot Background stamp from SU. By far my fav thus far. :)

And of course, the Love Boat....sadly the glitter doesn't show up at all in the pic but it's on the clouds and the water so it sparkles. I just love to watercolor with this many options. I can't wait to use more of the Loads of Love accessories with this new Boat set!!! They just match perfectly!!!