Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sympathy Card and Fun Ribbon

It seems like it has been forever since I posted.  We took our new (to us) camper we got for Christmas to New Mexico for spring break last week.  We went to Tent Rocks, Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands, Three Rivers Petroglyph site, and Bandelier National Monument.  We had a wonderful time despite my food allergic son reacting to something he ate and needing his epi pen for the first time.  Talk about scary!  I think I had enough adrenaline running through me for both of us.  He is fine, though, and more aware of what a serious reaction feels like now.

Unfortunately when we got home, I found out I needed to make some sympathy cards.  I went straight for my Versamagic chalk inks because I love the soft look that results from using them.  They are my go to inks for sympathy cards.

The down side of using the chalk inks is there are no matching pens for them.  (At least not that I know of.)  Masking off the image twice for both colors was very laborious, but I love how this turned out.  I made a second card just like it, but used markers for coloring on the rubber before stamping.  It is pretty, but not as soft and comforting as this one.

I put a tiny drop of liquid pearls (I use Scribbles iridescent fabric paint) on the flower centers.  Normally, I would have used Stickles, but personally, I think sparkly bling is too much for a sympathy card.

Stamps - Thoughts and Prayers
Paper - Blushing Bride, Sahara Sand, GKD PL white
Ink - Versamagic chalk ink in Spanish Olive and Pink Petunia
Accessories - Scribbles fabric paint, SAMJ, Scotch tape for masking the rubber

Now, look what I found on sale at Hobby Lobby the other day.

Sparkly velvet ribbon.  Isn't it fun?  It is soooo soft!

I couldn't decide which color(s) to get, and since it was on sale for only $1, I had to buy every color they had in both widths.  It's a good thing it doesn't come in other widths - I'd need a whole drawer just to store them all.

There are a couple ideas for how to use them floating around in my head, and I am hoping I get a chance to play with them soon.  It seems like everything has kicked into high gear now that spring is here, and I am feeling myself not having as much play time as I would like.  That, and I have been sewing and doing some other crafty things lately.  My creativity is blooming along with all the spring bulbs!

Happy spring to you!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

RAK from Lisa

My BSF (Best Stamping Friend), Lisa, sent me an awesome package the other day.  We 'met' on SCS, and have developed a great online friendship.  She is a very talented stamper, and her coloring, shading, and sponging blows me away.  I can only hope to be as good as her one day.  You'll have to check out her blog to see what I mean.

Another thing that blew me away was what she sent me.  Take a look...

When I opened the package, things just kept coming out of the envelope.  I never thought I would get to the bottom of it!  Everything from handmade buttons, to paper, to stamps, to ribbons, and even chocolate!  (She knows me too well!)  And take a look at all the Distress ink she sent me!  Can you believe it?

I have to tell you, my favorite thing in the whole package was the adorable hand drawn original image by Lisa.  It is the scalloped die cut in the front row.  You are looking at the work of a future stamp designer if I do say so myself!

Well, I had to send her a thank you, so I used the stamp set she sent me and tried my hand at the Distress inks.  I have a loooong way to go to get to the level of sponging genius as Lisa, but I'm gonna keep practicing.

I used a Post-it to mask the table, and drew the table edge with a marker.  I used the Tim Holz blending sponges for all my sponging, and they take a little getting used to, but I like how they blend the ink so smoothly.  It's hard to see in the picture, but I used a Spica pen for the stems, and put a little Stickles on the flower centers for a little extra sparkle.

Do you like the faint shadow from the jar?  I was really impressed with how realistic it looked.  Shadows are very hard for me to 'see'.  One of these days I hope to have an eye for them!

Stamps - Everyday Jargon from Clear Dollar Stamps
Paper - Sahara sand, GKD PL white
Ink - Memento tuxedo black, various Distress inks for sponging
Accessories - Copic markers, Spica pen, Stickles, Tim Holz blending sponges, Post-it note, half pearls, dimensionals

Thanks, Lisa!  You are the BSF ever!


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Less is More week 7 - Masculine

Today's card is guessed it...the Less is More challenge to make a masculine card.  I woke up with a card in my head this morning, and was able to adapt it to this challenge.  I love it when that happens!  This card took less than 10 minutes to put together.  And I really love it when that happens!

I stamped the shadows of the wheat like I was stamping off the excess ink on scrap paper before I clean my stamp.  Really fast and with reckless abandon.  I think it gives a great effect.  Add a little twine and a square button, both masculine IMO, and you are done!

I used my Sakura clear glaze pen on the button, and I like it for several reasons.  First of all, it dries with a little texture to it and isn't super shiny.  Sometimes I prefer this look, especially on a masculine card.  Secondly, it dries super fast which translates to no waiting to finish your project.  Yea!

I added a couple tiny pieces of a dimensional under the button to give it stability.

Stamps - Stampabilities, PTI Birthday Basics
Paper - crumb cake, soft suede
Ink - Memento rich cocoa
Accessories - Baker's twine, buttons #5 Sizzlets, Big Shot, Sakura clear glaze pen, dimensionals

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have a great weekend!


Friday, March 18, 2011

Peppermint Penguin Package

Say that three times fast!  LOL!

My daughter's Kindergarten class is having a pajama party today, and each student was to take a small gift that starts with a "p" for a gift exchange.  She wanted to take a penguin.  Well, seeing that we had less than an hour to try to find a penguin before her gymnastics class last night, I immediately thought of decorating a "p"eppermint "p"atty with a "p"unched "p"enguin.  She liked the idea.  Except for the peppermint patty part.

O.k.  Then what to decorate with a penguin?  While we were at the store, she decided she wanted to use a roll of breath mints.  Those were peppermint, and they would work just fine.

So she gets dropped off at gymnastics and I was left to figure the whole penguin thing out.  Not that I minded.  It meant I got to play and not feel guilty about it!

Without further ado, meet Mr. Penguin...

Isn't he the cutest?  And so simple to make.  Nestabilites ovals and a few punches for all the parts, huge googly eyes, and he's done!

I made the box to hold two rolls of mints, and it wasn't hard to do even without a template.  I just put the rolls of mints on my scor-buddy and scored where I needed the folds.  The box turned out to be 3/4" x 1 5/8" x 2 3/4".

Here he is from the back side.

A perfect fit!

The penguin was attached to the box with a loop of blue painter's tape so he could be removed and saved by the recipient if they wanted.

M was very happy with my little creation, which made me very happy because she can be quite picky.  I hope her classmate likes it too.

Supplies for penguin:
Paper - basic black, pumpkin pie, GKD PL white
Accessories - Nestabilities ovals (body); Boho Blossoms (feet), Blossom Petals (wings), and small oval (beak) punches; googly eyes

Supplies for box:
Paper - basic black
Accessories - ScorBuddy, corner rounder, 5/8" circle punch, red line tape


Thursday, March 17, 2011

An Unstamped Project

While I was browsing at Joann's the other day, the thought occured to me to buy some fabric to recover a stool my aunt gave to me many years ago that I use at my sewing table.  It was in pretty poor shape and needed a makeover...badly.  The paint was chipped and dirty and dingy looking, and the fabric didn't even come close to going with my made-over craft room.  The legs were all wobbly and every time I sat on it, I was afraid I was going to end up on the floor.

See what I mean?  This is the only picture I had of it because I was in such a hurry to start my project, I forgot to take any before pictures.  Oops!

Now, I have never refinished a piece of furniture in my life, and I was a little leery to venture into uncharted territory.  That is one thing I don't like about myself, and it is directly related to my fear of failure.  If I haven't done it before, I want someone to hold my hand through the process.  And that comes from someone who used to take vacations to foreign countries by herself.  What's up with that?  Looks like there is something I need to work on.

Sorry about that.  Probably a little too much information.

But anyway, I did it!  And I survived.

And so did the stool.

My 'new' stool looks awesome if I don't say so myself!  *pat, pat*

If you heard distant screams yesterday, it was probably me while I was trying to staple the fabric to the frame. For some reason, two of the sides were very hard to get the staples to go into all the way. I tried hammering them in the rest of the way, but no matter how softly or hard I tapped, they would bend. I kept thinking that it never looks this hard on all those home improvement shows I see on TV. I never see a pile of mutilated staples next to them while they are recovering something. What was wrong with me? I was actually sweating from using a staple gun!

So I screamed. Really loud. And then miraculously, the staples went in.

Well, almost. I still had to tap them in the rest of the way. But it worked this time.

I used Citristrip paint str*pper, and it worked like a charm!    The paint bubbled up and slid right off within an hour.  The label says it is safe to use inside (with lots of ventilation), but I took advantage of the 70 degree weather we had yesterday and did it in the garage.  Even with all the ventilation, the citris smell was pretty strong.  From my label reading at Home Depot, it has low VOCs compared to other str*ppers, so it is fairly safe to use.

The best part is I learned how to do something I have never done before, and nobody held my hand.  I did it all by myself.  And now that I have refinished something, my next project is to refinish my daughter's dresser and highboy that I have been putting off for about four years.

Yes.  It is time.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

OLW - What the Hex!

Jennifer Styles is hosting the OLW challenge this week, and what a fun challenge it was!  I have been struggling lately to stamp anything worth posting and this challenge got me out of my slump.

See the details of the challenge on Jennifer's blog here.  Even if you aren't interested in making a card, reading about the history of the signs was very interesting.

Ta-da!  Cool, huh?  This was really fun to make, and with the help of my quilting ruler and SAMJ, it wasn't really that hard to do.  The edge was colored with a Copic marker.

Stamps - PTI Heart Prints, Beautiful Blooms II, Amuse oval, Studio G tulip
Paper - GKD PL white
Ink - Real Red, Memento Danube blue, dandelion, cottage ivy
Accessories - Scallop circle Nestabilities, Big Shot, Copic marker, quilting ruler, SAMJ

I can't wait to see what everyone creates for this challenge.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Two for One

The card I made today is for two challenges; Less is More's week 6 challenge, Off the Edge, and Mark's Finest Papers Speedy the Cat's Friends Challenge #46, to use lime green and gray on a one layer card.  (Thank you Susan, a.k.a. LateBlossom.)

I got out some previously uninked sets from my New Stamp Basket, and stamped away.

Susan has used this color combo before, but I had never tried it.  Now I can see why she loves it so much.  I will definitely be using it again.

The tree might be a little small in scale for this layout, but I think the placement of the sentiment helps to balance the card.  And bling because a little bling never hurt anyone.

Stamps - Forest Friends, TPC Patterned Borders, PTI Sentiments
Paper - GKD PL white
Ink - Memento pear tart, London fog
Accessories - London fog marker, rhinestones

A little note about word verification for the Less is More crowd...I turned off word verification last week and was inundated with spam comments, so I turned it back on.  If you don't wish to comment, I'm ok with that.  I don't judge my work by the number of comments I get, I only hope you find inspiration from my creations.  Thank you for understanding.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Color Challenge

I made a quick card after I got home from work today for the SCS color challenge, concord crush, bashful blue, and pear pizzaz.  I thought the color combo was an easy one this week, and the colors do look good together.

I had to nix my original idea to rock 'n roll the flower because I don't have the Concord Crush ink pad; I just have the marker.  So I colored the center of the flower instead, and added a tiny blue rhinestone.   The sentiment was popped not because I made a mistake stamping it on the panel, but because I thought it added a little interest and looked better that way.  I do wish I hadn't stamped it on the panel, though, because now it looks like I did make a mistake.

Oh, well.

Stamps - Apple Blossoms
Paper - Concord Crush, GKD PL white
Ink - Bashful Blue
Accessories - Pear Pizzaz and Concord Crush markers, rhinestone, word window punch, dimensionals

Hope you're having a great day!


Monday, March 7, 2011

Hee Hee!

If you haven't checked out the new CAS design team at Splitcoast, you have to take a look.  Congratulations to Lisa, Maureen, and Regina...three very talented ladies!!  Here is a link to this week's CAS109 challenge, Tickle Your Funny Bone.

Every once in a while I come up with a humorous card, but it is usually twisted.  I guess being a nurse comes with the price of having a weird sense of humor.  My card today is clean.  Well, at least I think it is.

I hope the person who receives this can appreciate the humor.  heehee!

I tried to keep the layers as simple as possible because there is a lot going on.  Using a kraft card base helps the images pop without any additional layers.  I had to restrain myself from adding any bling because I really wanted to.

Stamps - Stampingbella, Rubbernecker
Paper - Crumb Cake, GKD PL white
Ink - Memento tuxedo black
Accessories - Copic markers, dimensionals

Have a great week!


Not Too Shabby

I really love the shabby, vintage look, but find it quite challenging to execute in a clean and simple style.  So I have been playing.

Here are a few cards I made with my new Elizabeth stamp.  They are a wee bit vintage (only because of the style of the stamp), but not very shabby.  I wanted to make something more shabby, so today, I just started stamping.  I rarely start a card without having an idea of what the finished card will look like, but not this time.  I just let loose.  (That is downright scary for an AR/OCD perfectionist!)

And look what I made...

White cardstock - not the best choice for vintage/shabby-chic.  But then that's what happens when you just start stamping.  This card isn't too bad, but I knew I could do better.  (If I were to make this same card over again, I wouldn't leave as much space between the images on the lower part of the card.  All that white bugs me.)

And I did do better.

Vintage.  Shabby-chic. CAS.  *Shriek*  The more I look at this card, the more I love it.  I may never give it away.

Stamps - Bliss, Very Vintage jumbo wheel, Elizabeth, Happy Harmony
Paper - Baja Breeze, GKD PL white and ivory
Ink - Crumb Cake, Baja Breeze
Accessories - lace ribbon, half pearls, dimensionals

If you are trying to go for a certain look, don't give up if it doesn't come right away.  Keep playing, because you never know what will happen, and you just may learn something in the process.  (I learned not to use white for vintage cards - duh!)  Too many times I get caught up in the end result and forget to enjoy the process of getting there.  Some of the best opportunities for creativity present themselves in 'mistakes', so embrace the journey!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sweet Baby

Today's post is my card for this week's Less is More week 5 challenge, to use pastel colors.  I finally used my Itty Bitty Bits set that has been sitting in my New Stamp basket for months.  This card also qualifies for the Ways to Use It challenge (WT312), polka dots.

I wasn't planning on making a baby card, but that is what this evolved to be.  Anyone having a girl soon?

The colors are a lot more vivid IRL; it was hard to get a good photo of this card.  The popped up images looked a little nekked, so I added a few half pearls and balanced them with a couple more by the sentiment, and the celery and daffodil images were stamped off once to make them more pastel-y.

Stamps - Itty Bitty Bits, Short & Sweet, Spunky Spots jumbo wheel
Paper - GKD PL white
Ink - Pink pirouette, celery, daffodil, Memento lavendar
Accessories - Scor-pal, mini pop dots, half pearls, Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack

Now that I've used my Itty Bitty set, I'm not so afraid of it anymore.  Have you ever been afraid to try or use something?  Please share.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Quick and Easy

I made a quick set of cards using my new Elizabeth stamp that I just got today.  The stamp is very Victorian-ish, but I went with very clean and simple cards.

The image is stamped so the sentiment is on the lower right 'sweet spot' of the card.  I felt this was the most visually pleasing of all the possible placements.  I could have fancied up the cards with bling or pearls, but really liked the clean look without any added embellishments.

I was just playing around with different color combinations, and this is what I came up with.

I used my Versamagic chalk inks and was reminded just how much I really love them.  The colors are soft, yet very rich.  They take a little longer to dry completely, but the look is worth the wait.

Hope you have a great weekend!



Thursday, March 3, 2011

Birthday Greetings

My niece is turning 16 in a few days, so I thought I would make a card with a vehicle on it.  She is having fun driving with her learner's permit, and I remember how important it was to drive when I was her age, so in this case, a car is ok for a girl card.

Or a truck.

I had fun coloring with my Spica pens yesterday, so I used them to color this image.  Plus, having sparkles on the truck made it seem more girly.

Stamps - Loads of Love, Loads of Love Accessories, My ABC's wheel
Paper - GKD PL white
Ink - Memento tuxedo black
Accessories - Spica glitter pens, Copic markers, dimensionals

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a happy day!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Would the Real OLC Please Stand Up

Ok.  I'm back with a real one layer card for this week's ONE LAYER Wednesday challenge.  If you're not sure why I am yelling, just see my first post for today!

The challenge was to use shimmer on your card, but not in the form of glitter or rhinestones.  I wanted to use my Pearl Ex powders, but couldn't find them, so I decided to use my Shimmer Spritz again.

I actually have two cards.  I gave up on the first one after I had completed the image.  I was trying to put some shimmery organza ribbon on it, and it just wasn't working, so I made a different card.  Then when I was searching for a sentiment to put on my second card, I found the perfect finishing touch, a sentiment, for my first one.

I am lovin' life right now!

Card #1...

The sentiment looks much better on this than the ribbon I was trying to use.  Even though the ribbon was sheer, it was still too heavy.  I used sticky notes to mask off the left side of the card, and kept them in place while spritzing with shimmer spritz.  Only the image is shimmery.  I rounded opposite corners to balance all the straight lines of the card.

Card #2...

I made a template out of typing paper (did I just date myself or what?) to use for my mask.  A little repositionable adhesive kept it in place for sponging the background.  As with the first card, I kept the mask in place for spritzing.  All the corners were rounded to continue the curve of the oval for some added softness.

Stamps - Fast and Fabulous, PTI Simple Sentiments and Mega Mixed Messages
Paper - GKD PL white
Ink - Memento Rose Bud and Angel Pink for stamping, Soft Sky and Wild Wasabi for sponging
Accessories - sticky notes, petite oval Nestabilities, Big Shot, repositionable adhesive, daubers, Sparkle Shimmer Spritz

The shimmer on these cards was really hard to photograph, but it gives a very nice effect.

Hope you're having a happy Wednesday!


One Layer Wednesday - NOT!

I am feeling really stupid right about now.  I made my card for Susan's OLW challenge this week, and was really happy with how it turned out.  However it is so NOT a one layer card!  And that is what the challenge is all about!  Duh!  Somehow that slipped my mind as I was planning my card.  It didn't even occur to me until I was logging on to post it.  I would say something clever about losing my mind, but it seems I have really lost my mind and can't think of anything clever to say.

So I'll just shut up and post my card.

The image was colored with at you Spica pens (Copics for Fluffles), and I spritzed the card base with Shimmer Spritz.  It is really shimmery!

Stamps - Stampendous Grasshopper Fluffles
Paper - Sahara Sand, Real red, GKD PL white
Ink - Memento tuxedo black
Accessories - At You Spica pens, Copics, Nestabilities circle and scallop circle dies, Big Shot, Sparkle Shimmer Spritz

I will be back with a real one layer card later.  Right now, I have to go teach my crochet club at the school.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Missing You

I made this card on a particularly dreary gray day last week.  Somehow the mood of that day translated into this melancholy card.

I chose gray for the bird cages and sentiment to signify sadness and a yellow bird and bling to signify hope that we (whoever 'we' may be) will be together again soon.

Stamps - PTI Love Birds
Paper - GKD PL white
Ink - Memento London Fog, Dandelion
Accessories - yellow half pearls

Thankfully the gray weather didn't last more than a day.  Otherwise, I would be banging my head against the wall.