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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Flamingo Fever?

Okay so apparently the flamingo card was a big hit. Just thought I should make an annoucement (I will be sending out a distribution e-mail also) that I do appreciate all the e-mails and requests, but please know that the card was designed for my friend, Lisa, and not intended to be posted on my website for sale.

I will try my best to honor all the requests I've receved, but even for the non-personalized requests, the standard 2-3 business days before shipment policy will not apply. For those who need a quick turnaround, I will try my best. This really just depends on my time and the availability of my stock. I can also not guarantee that all cards will be exactly the same, but again, I will try my best.

Thank you for your patience and I'm glad you enjoyed the card so much. :)

~*Alissa*

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Well, Christmas 2009 is officially over and I hope everyone had a safe, happy and healthy one!

I can't believe it, but I was able to get all of my orders out in time, wrap all my gifts and bake all my cookies. It's funny how no matter how far behind you feel, it always gets done, right? I'm on "vacation" from work until January 4th now, so besides heading to Mohegan Sun with Brian and my parents on Sunday, the plan is to baracade myself in my craft room and gear up for Valentine's Day. However, I did get a YourStory for Christmas, so I have a feeling tomorrow will be spent playing with my new toy.  Kudos to my boyfriend for actually listening to something I said when I first saw the infomercial. I was shocked he even knew I wanted that.  :)

So... before I even think about this upcoming week, here's the Christmas wrap-up.

Christmas Eve at my grandma's house was great as usual. 

The woman is 87 years old and is still able to spend the entire day cooking the traditional feast which consisted of 7, yes 7, different kinds of fish, 5 brocolli and spinach breads, 5 Sicilian pizzas, veal cutlets, sausage, roasted peppers, and salad - besides the dozens of cookies she had already baked earlier in the week.  Something tells me I didn't get those genes considering I'm only 28 and I get tired just watching her.

Christmas day was at our house, but catered by my mom. (Good deal, right?) 

Favorite images of the day:

I got the boys these "Wreck the Halls" t-shirts at Joanns.

Grandma and Mikayla (my boyfriend's niece)

Dad and Mikayla

Mikayla feeding Spike from the cheese and crackers platter.

Mikayla right before she laid down on the dog bed with Oliver to take her nap.

Best cookies:


Best gift: 
Couldn't choose between them

         

       
       Coach Kally Boots


My Christmas Miracle:

Lisa's PET Scan coming back cancer free.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Thanks for visiting.

~ Alissa ~

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Warmest Wishes Flamingo

Something tells me I'm going to be crazy - I'm sorry, crazier - than usual this week.  The funny part about this is that I had the majority of my Christmas shopping done in October to avoid any type of stress.  It didn't help that I got the stomach bug on Friday, and then a mini-blizzard yesterday into today.  Ugh! 

The custom order Christmas cards are beginning to die down now, thank God. Actually, the last item I shipped out was a custom order based on the "Vera Bradley" Thinking of You card I posted the other day.  Someone who bought the Java Blue Vera Bradley bag for their sister ordered it to match her gift.  I notice when I post a new card, I have at least 1-2 custom orders based on that design the following day. This blog thing is quite funny that way. :)

Now I'm seeing an increase in Thank You card orders.  My inventory for my Mod Thank You notecards has dwindled all the way down to one lonely set.  I never noticed how many people send Thank You cards for Christmas gifts. It's a nice idea.

The plan tonight is to finish up two more orders and WRAP SOME GIFTS!  In the meantime, I'm posting a card I made last night for a flamingo-nut. Paper is from Stampin' Up.

Tomorrow is Christmas cookie baking after work with my mom. I'll post the recipe for her Italian Pitzelle Snowflake cookies everyone always asks me about.

Thanks for visiting!

~Alissa~

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Inspire me!

Vera Bradley "Vera" Bag Purse in Java Blue It's kind of funny to think of all the things that give you inspiration. For those of you who know me best, I am a complete Coach nut. In fact, the second walk-in closet in our master bedroom is completely dedicated to all my Coach paraphernalia. So it should be no surprise that my latest creation was inspired from Coach's new Tartan Spotlight bag.
Sounds funny but as I was sitting in the middle of my craft room last night watching the So You Think You Can Dance finale attempting to clean up some of my crafty crapola before it gets completely out of hand, it all came together.  I've had this chunky purple heart pendant I bought because I thought it was pretty (you're never supposed to do that, but I did), and in the months - if not years - I've had it, I've picked it up and put it down about 100 times. I just never could figure out what to do with it to make it "work." But suddenly when I saw the purple and pink in this bag, it all came together.  

Whenever I would try to build the design around the pendant before, it always seemed to be constructed around purple beads and stones only, but when I added some different shades of purple, and then dipped into the pink color family just a bit, I was actually pleased with the result.  Here's the finished product.
A similiar thing happened when my latest Thinking of You card came out looking an awful lot like Vera Bradley Java Blue Pattern bag.
Though not a Vera fan myself, I've spent a pretty good amount of time on the website buying gifts for my mom (who really should probably be a spokesmodel for the company at this point)  and I always seem to be drawn to this pattern.  I love how the blues, teals and browns all go together. Very pretty.


For the Thinking of You card it was inspired from, I knew I wanted to keep with a very simple pattern and let the colors do all the work. I basically just used two half-pieces of patterned My Mind's Eye paper, and tied them together with a plain strip of blue/teal cardstock.  I went back and forth with which stamp to use before digging through my chipboard drawer and finding this flower that I feel couldn't have been more perfect.

Related Hubs:


Thanks for visiting.

~Alissa

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Doggie Christmas Trees

That's right.  Doggie Christmas Trees.  Who would have ever thought these would be so popular?? Well, 10 spools of ribbon later, the last of the Doggie Christmas Tree orders are DONE, and I'm secretly hoping this is the last of it for this year, since they're such a pain to make :)


To start, I fluffed out the branches of a 24" Christmas tree and then added a string of 20 white lights.  I made the bows out of 1 1/2" paw print satin ribbon and topped the trees with them for some color.  Then I added various dog-themed resin ornaments, and for more color, I added multi-colored ball ornaments.


The "fun" part is in the milkbones.  First, a hole has to be made in the top of each cookie.  Sounds easy enough, but you won't believe how many you'll break in the process.  (Needless to say, my dogs really enjoyed this project.) I finally used one of my beading needles and an eyelet hammer with just a little bit of pressure to finally accomplish this task.  Once the holes were made in each milkbone, I glazed each cookie with a gloss-finish acrylic gel.  The gel not only makes them shiny but sturdy as well.  I let them dry for about an hour before I ran 4-5" of green wire through the hole and wrapped it around each tree branch.

I hope that the dogs that are getting these trees for gifts this Christmas enjoy them as much as my dog, Spike, who was determined to be in every shot I tried to take of these trees.  

Related Hub:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Merry Mistletoe Card


One holiday party, 6 custom jewelry orders, 1 custom scrapbook order, 4 custom greeting cards, 3 doggie Christmas treeshttp://starrynightsdiva.hubpages.com/hub/Christmas-Trees-for-Your-Pet and a partridge in a pear tree later, I finally had some "me" time on Saturday at midnight to work on my first Stamps R Us Challenge! (Well, before I got my migraine that is.) 

I have never done a challenge before so I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing, but I was given a sketch based on Mercy's Tuesday Sketch Challenge #50, and I'm assuming I was just supposed to follow it.  Here's the original sketch.


To start, I chose some coordinating My Mind's Eye papers and matted and arranged them according to the sketch.  Then, I decided to go with one of my new Alex and Felicity digi stamps, and colored the image with my Prismacolor pencils and blends.

After complete, I punched out the image with a 3" circle punch, chalked the background with some light blue chalk, and then inked the edges with my dark brown Versa to give it a more antiqued look. I didn't have a mistletoe stamp, so I quickly drew in a small branch and some berries with a very thin marker, and added some glitter to resemble snow (though you can't tell by the picture).


I matted the image to a red, 3 1/2" circle-punched scrap piece of paper and inked that with the dark brown Versa, too. For dimension, both the image and its red mat are attached with foam squares.

The sentiment was computer generated and inked, stamped and chalked, as well.

Assuming I did what I was supposed to, I actually really liked the idea of these "challenges."  It was kind of nice not to have to think, "Okay, where should I put this?" or "How should I arrange that?" I believe this was Karen's idea, so Karen, I'm not sure if I should thank you or apologize, but this was a great idea!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New Here Comes the Bride Mini Album and Card Set

I chose to feature this particular set because whereas the majority of my custom orders are based on my original designs, these were the two first products that have ever been designed around a custom order. 


I received an e-mail from Julie who wanted a mini album and card for her friend's bridal shower that featured a pink bridesmaid's dress, as well as a color scheme of pink, black and white. (My friend Jessica is getting married in May and her colors are pink, black and white, too, so it sounds like these are the trendy wedding colors right now.)

Luckily, I had this gown stamp from Rubbernecker to get the ball rolling. I watercolored the image, "glitterized" it, and then used foam squares to make it pop off the page.

Once we knew what the card was going to look like, it made the premade mini album a piece of cake -- no pun intended! We went with the same paper and bridesmaid's dress for the cover, and then added 10 more pages of the coordinating theme.  She requested that two of those pages be designated as "Gifts" pages to showcase the bridal opening all of her presents, and the rest of them just carry on the basic pink, black and white scheme.


Yesterday, I received a follow-up e-mail from Julie who told me she has now decided to save the mini album for later so that she can take pictures of the bridal shower and create the finished scrapbook to hand to the bride at the wedding itself. I think it's a great idea and I really hope the bride enjoys it.

Related Hub:

Monday, November 30, 2009

Be Teal My Heart Necklace

Okay so I know all of my designs are supposed to be one-of-a-kind, but for whatever reason, this “Be Teal My Heart” necklace has been special requested so many times at my boutique, I’ve cheated and made it just a few more times (9 to be exact).  :)

At this point, I’m extremely limited in my supplies so this will be the last "Be Teal My Heart" sold. Thanks to everyone who bought one. I’m glad you all liked it so much.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Awareness Ribbon Greeting Cards

Have you ever noticed that in all the greeting cards sold in this country, there really isn't a market for awareness cards? You can find a birthday card to your boyfriend from the dog before you can find an awareness card.  I myself never realized this fact until my friend, Lisa told me she had Lymphoma. When you find out your friend has cancer, there are so many things you want to say, but the words escape you... at least in my experience anyway.  And even though you're not directly experiencing what they are, you're going through it with them just the same. 

I knew I wanted to give her a card that she could keep on her desk as a constant reminder that she wasn't going to fight this alone.  But when I went to the store all I found was Sympathy, Get Well or Thinking of You cards, and none of them really said what I wanted them to.  And then, by pure coincidence, I found the My Favorite Stamps "Think Pink" acrylic set featuring two women in an embrace wearing awareness ribbons. The sentiment was simply, "We're in this together."  It was perfect.

I did a little research on awareness colors, found out that Lisa's specific type of cancer was symbolized by the color purple, and came up with this. 

I knew I wanted a pretty basic design, not to distract from the actual stamp and sentiment, which I think is the most important.  I'm happy with the way it came out. 

Since then, I have designed five others in pink, teal, lime green, blue and red and have a few more I'm currently working on.  Though the design and colors stay the same, no two cards are exactly alike. To this day, these cards are the products I'm constantly refreshing inventory for daily at my boutique. At the end of each quarter, I send my profits to their corresponding awareness charities which has been very rewarding. 

Here are examples of the five other awareness ribbon cards available:

Pink = Breast Cancer Awareness


Teal = Ovarian and Cervical Cancer Awareness


Lime Green = Non-Hodkins Lymphoma, Muscular Dystrophy,
Ivemark Syndrome, Lyme Disease, Sandhoff Syndrome, Mental Health

Light Blue = Thyroid Disease, Addison's Disease, Prostrate Cancer,
Graves Disease, Arthritis, Colon Cancer

Red = Heart Disease, HIV/Aids, Stroke


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Two more out the door!

Just finished two more custom orders. The first was based on my Get Well card featuring Whipper Snappers "Caught a Bug" stamp. It was personalized for Sarah who is feeling under the weather.

 

The other custom order was for someone who liked my "Out of Africa" necklace, but was looking for a black and white theme without a pendent.  After working with her, this is the design we came up with.

Here is the "Out of Africa" necklace that served as the inspiration.


I hope they're both happy with their orders!
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