Tuesday, April 29, 2014

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Bird & Duck Clear Set

Now that the pond past our back yard is no longer frozen and it's possible the weather may turn warm in Minnesota before July, I'm inspired to share some lovely cards that carry the promise of spring with them!
 
Let's start with this beautiful one, where the main image is stamped on vellum using a Graphite Black Brilliance Ink Pad and colored on the reverse side with colored pencils:
 
 
I love how vibrant the colors appear on the vellum. If you'd like to try this technique, make sure to lay down a fairly heavy layer of colored pencil to give it a rich, saturated look.
 
Not in the mood to color...or wanting to make a super quick card? This one-ink design takes advantage of pretty patterned paper to provide a foundation for the main image:

 
Last but not least, this nesting bird was heat embossed with white powder, which acts as a resist for the watercolors:
 
 
Inky artist Nancy Baier used 11221MC Bird & Duck Clear Set from her Scissor-Cut Scenes collection to make all three of today's projects:
 

Do you think that you'd enjoy having this stamp set, too? Just leave a comment to let us know, and you'll be entered in our BLOG CANDY drawing. On Sunday, May 4th, I'll randomly choose the winner and post the lucky person's name here on the blog, so please check back to see if you've won!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Funnies: National Telephone Day

According to my secret sources, today is National Telephone Day. Apparently it's also National Arbor Day, National DNA Day, National Hairball Awareness Day (I kid you not), National Hug A Plumber Day (again, no joke), and National Zucchini Bread Day...but we've only got so much room for this blog post, so we'll focus on the first one regarding our jokes.
 
 
A Very Busy Lawyer

Joe grew up in a small town, then moved away to attend college and law school. He decided to come back to the small town because he could be a big man in this small town. He really wanted to impress everyone. He opened his new law office, but business was very slow at first.

One day, he saw a man coming up the sidewalk. He decided to make a big impression on this new client when he arrived. As the man came to the door, Joe picked up the phone. He motioned the man in, all the while talking. "No. Absolutely not. You tell those clowns in New York that I won't settle this case for less than one million. Yes. The Appeals Court has agreed to hear that case next week. I'll be handling the primary argument and the other members of my team will provide support. Okay. Tell the DA that I'll meet with him next week to discuss the details."

Finally, Joe put down the phone and turned to the man. "I'm sorry for the delay, but as you can see, I'm very busy. What can I do for you?"

The man replied, "I'm from the phone company. I came to hook up your phone."
 

The Lady & Her Dog

An elderly lady phoned her telephone company to report that her telephone often failed to ring when her friends called. On the few occasions when it actually did ring, her pet dog always moaned right before the phone rang.

The telephone repairman proceeded to the scene, curious to see this psychic dog or senile elderly lady. He climbed a nearby telephone pole, hooked in his test set, and dialed the subscriber's house. The phone didn't ring right away, but then the dog moaned loudly and the telephone began to ring.

Climbing down from the pole, the telephone repairman found:

1. The dog was tied to the telephone system's ground wire via a steel chain and collar.

2. The wire connection to the ground rod was loose.

3. The dog was receiving 90 volts of signaling current when the phone number was called.

4. After a couple of such jolts, the dog would start moaning and then urinate on himself and the ground.

5. The wet ground would complete the circuit, thus causing the phone to ring...which just goes to show you that some problems CAN be fixed by pissing and moaning!
 

Fun With Telemarketers

One thing that has always bugged me, and I’m sure it does most of you, is to sit down at the dinner table only to be interrupted by a phone call from a telemarketer. I decided, on one such occasion, to try to be as irritating to them as they were to me. This particular call happened to be from AT&T, and it went something like this:

Me: Hello?

AT&T: Hello, this is AT&T…

Me: Is this AT&T?

AT&T: Yes, this is AT&T…

Me: This is AT&T, right?

AT&T: Yes, this is AT&T…

Me: Is this AT&T?

AT&T: YES! This is AT&T. May I speak to Mr. Byron, please?

Me: May I ask who is calling?

AT&T: This is AT&T.

Me: Okay, hold on.

At this point, I put the phone down for a solid five minutes thinking that, surely, this person would have hung up the phone. I ate my salad. Much to my surprise, when I picked up the receiver, they were still waiting.

Me: Hello?

AT&T: Is this Mr. Byron?

Me: May I ask who is calling please?

AT&T: Yes, this is AT&T…

Me: Is this AT&T?

AT&T: Yes, this is AT&T…

Me: The phone company?

AT&T: Yes, sir.

Me: I thought you said this was AT&T.

AT&T: Yes, sir, we are a phone company.

Me: I already have a phone.

AT&T: We aren’t selling phones today, Mr. Byron. We would like to offer you 10 cents a minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Me: Now, that’s 10 cents a minute, 24 hours a day?

AT&T (getting a little excited at this point, by my interest): Yes, sir, that’s right! 24 hours a day!

Me: 7 days a week?

AT&T: That’s right.

Me: 365 days a year?

AT&T: Yes, sir.

Me: I am definitely interested in that! Wow, that’s amazing!

AT&T: We think so!

Me: That’s quite a sum of money!

AT&T: Yes, sir, it’s amazing how it adds up.

Me: Okay, so will you send me checks weekly, monthly, or just one big one at the end of the year for the full $52,560? And if you send an annual check, can I get a cash advance?

AT&T: Excuse me?

Me: You know, the 10 cents a minute.

AT&T: What are you talking about?

Me: You said you’d give me 10 cents a minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. That comes to $144 per day, $1,008 per week, and $52,560 per year. I’m just interested in knowing how you will be making payment.

AT&T: Oh, no, sir, I didn’t mean we’d be paying you. You pay US10 cents a minute.

Me: Wait a minute, how do you figure that by saying that you’ll give me 10 cents a minute, that I’ll give YOU 10 cents a minute? Is this some kind of subliminal telemarketing scheme? I’ve read about things like this in the Enquirer, you know.

AT&T: No, sir, we are offering 10 cents a minute for…

Me: THERE YOU GO AGAIN! Can I speak to a supervisor please!

AT&T: Sir, I don’t think that is necessary.

Me: I insist on speaking to a supervisor!

AT&T: Yes, Mr. Byron. Please hold.

At this point I began trying to finish my dinner.

Supervisor: Mr. Byron?

Me (with mouth full of food): Yeth?

Supervisor: I understand you are not quite understanding our 10 cents a minute program.

Me: Id thish Ath Teeth & Teeth?

Supervisor: Yes, sir, it sure is.

I had to swallow before I choked on my food. It was all I could do to suppress my laughter, and I had to be careful not to produce a snort.

Me: No, actually, I was just waiting for someone to get back to me so that I could sign up for the plan.

Supervisor: Okay, no problem. I’ll transfer you back to the person who was helping you.

Me: Thank you.

I was on hold once again and managed a few more mouthfuls. I needed to end this conversation. Suddenly, there was an aggravated but polite voice at the other end of the phone.

AT&T: Hello, Mr. Byron, I understand that you are interested in signing up for our plan?

Me: No, but I was wondering...do you have that “friends and family” thing? Because you can never have enough friends, and I’m an only child and I’d really like to have a little brother…

AT&T: *Click*

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Town & Country

If you know from when you came,
there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.
-James Arthur Baldwin
 
Today's quote reminds us that remembering our past can keep us grounded but also give us wings to fly, and it's featured in this week's card on the main Inky website. I think this would be great for upcoming graduations, as well as other "best wishes for the future" cards you may wish to send.
 
Here is a better view of the embossing, which acts as a resist for the alcohol markers that Inky artist Nancy Baier used on her card:
 
 
She remarked how "the tissue tape reminds me of old-time newspapers, which really suits this scene well."
 
These featured stamps are from 11224MC Town & Country Clear Set, which is part of Nancy's wonderful Scissor-Cut Scenes collection:
 
 
Nancy also created a more monotone version using the same image and sentiment, except in reverse order. She kept the kraft cardstock but stamped with dark brown ink and used just a white gel pen and a clear glitter pen to color in the Town Scene (4516J in wood mounted) and create a completely different look:
 
 
The farm scene was also given some stamping love:
 
 
"The combination of red, black, and a golden tan...really complmented the scene," she notes. Nancy sponged the little wooden mushroom, and you can see the glitter pen accents that she added to the barn and animals:
 
 
Then she switched up the paper and used lighter shades in the image, resulting in "an entirely different mood":
 
 
Now that spring has arrived (hopefully for good), here's wishing that yours is bright and happy, Inky friends!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Square Cage Congrats

Congrats to Celise McLaughlin, whose name was drawn randomly from these blog candy entries. (Celise, please email me with your address by April 30th to claim your prize.)

Celise McLaughlin said...
I love the jungle animals, the colors used on the board are gorgeous. Especially the lion. What a great idea to use the square cage behind it. Love this technique.
April 10, 2014 at 9:46 AM

For her prize, Celise has won the IAD-008 Square Cage Die (designed by Michelle Cutts):

 
Thanks to everyone who left comments about this metal die and the sample cards. We really appreciate that you took the time to visit the blog and share your thoughts.
 
I hope you're having a wonderful weekend, Inky friends, and Happy Easter wishes to you!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Sue's Surprises

It's always exciting to receive happy mail, and I've had two wonderful surprises from our sweet blog friend Stamping Sue this year. First she sent this adorable card:
 
 
It was made using 10954MC Carrot Bunny Clear Set (drawn by artist Janie Miller):
 
 
Sue said the reason she colored the brown spots on the bunny was because she had one like that, which was named Sandy, when she was a child.
 
Besides her great personal story, I love the "floating pop up" inside this card:
 
 
Then last week I got this super cute whale tag:
 
 
Yeah, those confetti bits were in the package, so I had to include them in the photo...after I finished picking up each one from the floor (thanks, Sue, LOL!).
 
This tag features 11218MC Whale HoneyPOP Clear Set (drawn by artist Tammy DeYoung), along with White and Light Blue HoneyPOP Pads:
 
 
Sue also sent this lovely stamped canvas frame:
 
 
As you can see, it's decorated with 11145MC Coffee Time Clear Set (drawn by artist Nancy Baier):
 
 
I really perked up when I saw that! (Okay, sorry about the pun...I couldn't help myself.)
 
Sue had won all of these stamp sets and paper pads from previous Inky blog candy drawings, and we really appreciate that she took the time to share the projects she made using them (and even the confetti, ha ha!).
 
Would YOU like to win some blog candy for yourself? Well, it just so happens that we're currently taking entries for a chance to receive IAD-008 Square Cage Die:
 
 
I'd originally intended to do the drawing last Sunday but posted the wrong date by mistake. That means you can still participate until this Saturday. Click here to view the details and leave your comment, which will also serve as your entry. Good luck!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Funnies: Taxes

Yep, it's tax time. If you've already submitted yours, that's great. And even better if you got a refund!
 
For those of you more like me, who are procrastinators very busy people and still need to file, hopefully this post will give you a quick laugh before you tackle the dreaded task.

 
Suggested simplified tax form: How much money did you make last year? Mail it in.
 -Stanton Delaplane
 
 
There is also a fun article by humor columnist Dave Barry, which appears on The Baltimore Sun's website. I don't have permission to reprint it here, but I wanted to link to it for your tax-time reading pleasure! Please click here to access it.
 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Square Cage Embellishment & Springing Pop-Out Cards

Last week, you saw how we used the IAD-008 Square Cage Die to create three different card designs. Guess what? There's even more you can do with it! Yep, it's just one little ol' metal die:
 
 
It looks so unassuming, but it can help you make a pretty embellishment to decorate your card, too:
 
 
Want to give it a whirl? You can download a PDF file for the instructions by clicking here.
 
And check out this project that utilizes the same die:
 
 
When you pull the card out of the plastic sleeve, the piggy panel jumps out at you and reveals the "hidden" images and saying underneath:
 
 
It sort of works like an Action Wobbles spring...but on steroids, as you can see in this side-angle view:
 
 
Just click here for the instructions if you want to know how to make it yourself.
 
You may also have noticed we used some adorable critter stamps from Inky artist Janie Miller on today's cards. They're part of the April Inky Board Program:
 
 
The IAD-008 Square Cage Die and all of the stamps shown above can be found at participating retailers this month. Please click here for a list of stores who received this collection. We encourage you to call ahead to verify they have these products in stock, and then please visit them to make your purchase. 

Do you know a local stamp or scrapbook store that might be interested in our board program? Please ask them to email me for details. If they sign up for it and provide your name as a referral at that time, I'll send you a thank-you prize!
 
Hey, would you like a chance to win this fantastic Square Cage die? Please leave us a comment telling us which of the projects shown on the sample board is your favorite, and that will also be your entry for a BLOG CANDY giveaway.
 
On Sunday, April 20th, I'll randomly choose the winner and post the lucky person's name here on the blog, so please check back to see if you've won!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Funnies: The Smartest Dog Ever

Do you remember last month when we watched that little boy arguing with his mom about having a cupcake?

Well, I realize today's video shows a dog rather than a human...but he's an adorable and very obedient dog, with no back-talking! Let's meet Jumpy:


Pretty impressive, huh? And you just gotta smile at the last eight seconds, when he finally gets to play with the squeaky ball.
 
If you wish, you can also check out some of Jumpy's other tricks here or visit the website of his trainer. (No affiliation, just another fan of this clever canine.) Hope you have a paws-itively wonderful day, Inky friends!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Square Cage & V-Fold Pop-Out Cards

The concept of the cage card is based on a vintage paper engineering technique, which involves multiple tiered cuts on the top panel:


Pull the ribbon or string, and discover a hidden picture or sentiment inside:
 
 
This card looks tricky to make, but it's really simple when you use our IAD-008 Square Cage Die (designed by Michelle Cutts) to do all the hard work:
 

You can find basic directions for the cage card here. Or make a covered-panel variation, which is also fun and super easy:
 
 
 
Download a PDF file of the instructions, and grab your stamps! We used 11235MC Sick Birdy Clear Set (drawn by artist Candice Dillhoff): 
 
 
(By the way, our website special for April is a gift-with-purchase offer for a free roll of premium 1/8" double-sided tape. It's perfect for assembling the Square Cage cards.) 
 
I always like to get a big bang for my buck, and the dies in our Crafty Cutts collection are such a great value this way. Let's take this card, for example:
 
 
It features an image and sentiment from 11233MC Hoppy Easter Clear Set (drawn by artist Stacy West):
 
 
Cute, huh! When you open it, though, things get even better...because it turns into a pop-out card:
 
 
Yep, the same Square Cage die makes a completely different project! Get the PDF instructions to learn how to make the V-Fold Pop-Out card.
 
Which of these three versions will YOU be making, Inky friends?