Thursday, January 31, 2008

Yo Yo Yellow Gets Its Fifteen Minutes of Fame

What's up with all the Yo Yo Yellow in the gallery, I was thinking to myself the other day. Eeeeewwww, turns out it's part of this week's color challenge: Yo Yo Yellow, Going Gray, Basic Gray. I was definitely sitting this one out ... until I browsed the gallery and the combo actually began to grow on me. Take a look, there's some really pretty stuff!

I liked bunches's stamp set choice, A Little Birdie Told Me, and how she added in some Basic Black, so that's where I also started. The layout comes from Julee Tilman's Mojo Monday 21 sketch (last week's sketch). I kinda like how it turned out!

When I first started stamping, I ordered the assortments of all the color families (where you get 3 sheets of all 12 colors), and would you believe Yo Yo Yellow was the color I ran out of FIRST?! I was making birthday invitations for my son, and even had to go with postcards to get enough out of my three sheets. I don't think there was a layer on them. I'm telling you they were HIDEOUS.

One last thing, be sure to head over to Julee Tilman's blog, Poetic Artistry. I just saw that she's having a Verve Visual honored guest contest. You could be a guest designer for her march stamp release. Fun stuff!

Stamps: A Little Birdie Told Me, Crosshatch
Paper: Going Gray, Yo Yo Yellow, Basic Gray, Basic Black, watercolor paper
Ink: Palette Noir, Yo Yo Yellow, Going Gray, VersaMark
Accessories: Yellow grosgrain (retired), plain and scallop circle nestabilities, white gel pen, aqua painter, large oval punch, large black brad (by Close to My Heart), clear embossing powder, crystal effects

Great Tip Award

Marilyn nominated me for the Great Tip award. Wasn't that sweet? Thanks Marilyn! Before you run off and check the three people I tagged, check out Marilyn's blog. She's got some great projects in there AND she's figured out how to stop hoarding rub-ons!

I'm tagging these three:

1. Chris, aka cdjkssss on SCS, has some awesome info on her blog, Colorful Om, about using EZ Mount for unmounted rubber stamps. She even "unmounts" her Stampin' Up sets. Think of the space you could save. I just ordered a sheet of EZ Mount for some unmounted rubber stamps I've had for quite a few years and have never used, so her info and pictures were JUST what I needed.

2. Have you seen the alternate way you can use the scallop punch, where you punch, turn slightly and re-punch? My awesome upline, Sue, posted some pictures showing how to do this.

3. I love Angel's fact-a-day project. For 100 days, she is posting a random fact about herself, and at the end, she'll make a scrapbook page with those facts. Great way to get ourselves IN our scrapbooks instead of just creating them!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Have You Seen Today's SCS Sketch Challenge?

Late, late last night (or was it early, early this morning), I got two "comment notification" emails from Splitcoast on a card I had uploaded back in mid-November. I thought it was strange, since the card is so old, but didn't give it further thought. This morning, with bunches more new comments, I finally put two and two together and realized something was up. It turns out that my card was the basis for today's sketch challenge on SCS! What a nice surprise :)

I was planning to take today off from a new post (to give that many more people time to oooh and aaah over that sweet baby in yesterday's post ;) [just kidding!]), but of course, I had to play along with the challenge, right?

While making this card, I made a WONDERFUL discovery. The rest of you may have already figured this out, but for me it was very exciting. Whenever I want to edge my card stock in white, I always end up with a big mess. The white craft pad ink NEVER dries, it seems, and the heat tool will often cause ripples and bending and such in the paper. The white Staz-On, too, is messy, but worse is getting the pad ready to use in the first place (re-inking, waiting for the ink to settle, etc.)

Today, my ruby red dp and the ruby red card stock needed a little differentiation, and I was groaning at the thought of the white ink. I was just about to try the white chalk in the pastels (which I would have to dig to China to find) and then thought to try a white watercolor crayon. It worked like a charm. NO mess, no fuss at all :) Maybe a white colored pencil or even a regular white Crayola crayon would work, too. I'm also very curious to see if it might, maybe, could possibly (oh please, oh please) work to color the edges of photographs, cuz you know I'm just NOT goin' near my photos with a heat tool, kwim?

On a different note, remember my plea for help with black ink for acrylic stamps? Well, my Palette Noir ink pad arrived this week. I inked up a My Favorite Things acrylic stamp, stamped on watercolor paper, held my breath, picked up the stamp, opened my eyes, and .... ta da ... it was da bomb. Crisp, sharp, very black, and **did not bleed** when I colored it in with an aqua painter. Thanks again for all your suggestions. I've got a few other brands to try as well. One can never have too many black ink pads, right?

Stamps: Embrace Life
Paper: Ginger Blossom dp, Ruby Red card stock
Ink: Palette Noir, Groovy Guava, Ruby Red, Close to Cocoa
Accessories: Groovy Guava double-stitched ribbon, metal-rim tag, dimensionals, aqua painter, plain and scallop circle nestabilities (by Spellbinders), white watercolor crayon, sanding block

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

To the World You May Be ...

"To the world, you may be just one person,
but to one person, you may be the world."
-Josephine Billings

I've always loved this quote that's in the new Out on a Limb set by Papertrey Ink. Add these beautiful "build-a-limb" images, and you're looking at a set I could not resist.

How's this one for clean and simple? The images themselves are just so serene all by themselves, you really don't need to add much of anything.

First I stamped the leaves in celery. On a second piece of white I stamped the branch in chocolate, then added the buds using blush blossom craft ink and clear embossing powder. The branch is trimmed and then popped up on dimensionals.

Stamps: Out on a Limb by Papertrey Ink
Paper: Stamper's Select White (Papertrey Ink),
Chocolate Chip, River Rock

Ink: Chocolate Chip and Blush Blossom craft inks,
Certainly Celery classic ink

Accessories: clear embossing powder, dimensionals,
velvet ribbon (May Arts), paper piercer, key tag punch

Edited to Add: Whoopsie ... Evidently, I was keeping my eye on the wrong thing (computer screen), and turned to see that my darling little 9-month-old had gotten a hold of this card ... take a look at it now ...

A little extra dimension and some good ol' distressing never hurt anything, right? Sigh. But really, could YOU be provoked by a face like this? (And yes, I'm indulging in a little proud mama moment!)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Choir Practice

Doesn't it sort of look like that's what these birds are doing?

I think I'll use this for teacher appreciation week in May. My oldest has both a male and a female teacher this year. For once, I have something that will work nicely for both!

Not feeling real chatty this morning, so I'll keep this short and sweet.

Birds were all stamped on watercolor paper, then colored and cut out. I positioned them on the card, most of them with dimensionals, then hand-drew their legs back on.

Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!

Stamps: A Little Birdie Told Me
Paper: Soft Sky, Whisper White, Enchante dp (celery and close to cocoa designer prints would work well, too), watercolor paper
Ink: Jet Black Staz-On, Chocolate Chip, Barely Banana
Accessories: small oval punch, saffron brads, paper piercer, dimensionals, aqua painter, pumpkin pie marker, wide chocolate grosgrain ribbon
Size: 4" square

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Gator Love

Here's a fun little non-traditional Valentine card inspired by a placemat I found at Target this year. I like getting these little seasonal placemats for my kids -- inexpensive, easy-to-clean, and a little bit special since they only come out for the given holiday.

I mostly used SCS sketch challenge #160, which was also a recent Jen del Muro "Sketch for You to Try." For the trio of glittered panels, I just smooshed the card stock into a VersaMark pad, sprinkled with heat-and-stick powder, heated, then sprinkled with dazzling diamonds glitter. Instead, you could also emboss the panel with iridescent ice embossing powder for pretty much the same look. One, or maybe both?, of these techniques is called Dazzling Diamond Dust.

Stamps: Wild things
Paper: Soft Sky, Tempting Turquoise, Real Red, Whisper White
Ink: Certainly Celery, VersaMark
Accessories: red crystals (Card Candy by A Muse), ticket corner punch, dimensionals, heat-and-stick powder, dazzling diamonds glitter, heart sticker (Target $1 spot [last year]), silver brad, vinyl flowers (American Crafts)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Answering Questions

I just wanted to take a minute and tell you that I love getting all of your comments. I read and appreciate each one!

There have been some questions lately, too, which is great. If you include a way for me to reach you, I will respond directly through email. If I have no way to respond to you directly, then I go back to my original blog entry and update the post to answer the question. (I usually put new information in [brackets] labeled "Edited To Add," and often with red text, so it stands out from the original post.) So if you've asked a question here recently and haven't gotten a direct response, check back on the blog entry to see if I've updated it with the information you were looking for.

Now, on the flip side, sometimes I ask questions here in my posts, so I want to thank each of you who has provided information I'm looking for. I received some great feedback on black ink to use with acrylic stamps, for example, as well as suggestions for a paper cutter/trimmer. Thanks! I appreciate all your help!

Hip Hip Hooray

Three things to celebrate this week:

1. I won some GREAT heart candy from Cindy Vernon. Be sure to check out her blog, Creating with the Heart. Fun projects, lots of inspiration, and more giveaways (every Friday, I think).

2. I let the submissions deadline for the June issue of CARDS come and go (January 15th) without sending anything. Of course, after the fact, I was kicking myself, wishing I had at least sent something. So it was a surprise to get an acceptance email from them anyway. They selected something I had sent in the month before. So for me, an unexpected extra happiness!

3. This one is so fun! I passed 100 subscribers through FeedBlitz! That's a big deal for me :) To celebrate, I'm putting together a package of goodies for Robin, who was subscriber #100. Fun! To start, she'll have her choice from a few extra stamp sets I have sitting around. And then, just for a little extra fun, I added one item from each of my color drawers (where all of my embellishments are stored by color). I hope she enjoys getting a bunch of random little embellishments.

Here's what I chose:
metallic: two silver and two copper swirl paper clippies
clear: set of 8 acrylic frames/slides
brown: this drawer is a little sparse, but I found some magic mesh that looked fun
purple: surprisingly, this drawer is a little sparse too (maybe dd has been raiding the stash), but I found a paper flower
black/gray: roll of black and white gingham ribbon
white: two snowflake brads
blue: library card
green: metal arrow
red:partial package of red Stampin' Up eyelets
orange: partial package of Heidi Swapp flowers
yellow: skein of funky fringe knitting yarn ... neat to use any place you'd put ribbon or fibers
pink: Heidi Swapp pink-tinted ghost flower
chipboard: one large circle with cut-out flower by Bazzill

Today's card is also for Robin. It uses the same Seeing Stars set from Verve that I used yesterday, as well as one of the $1 clear stamps from Michael's. Circles are done with nestabilities, stitching was with a machine, and all the stars are popped up on dimensionals.

Stamps: Seeing Stars (Verve Visual); sentiment from Studio G $1 set from Michael's
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Paper: Confetti Tan, Sage Shadow, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla, Outlaw dp
Accessories: wide chocolate grosgrain ribbon, dimensionals
Size: 4 1/4" x 4 1/4"

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Masculine Birthday

I know I'm not alone in finding masculine cards to be among the hardest to make. When I got my Seeing Stars set by Verve Visual, I knew it would be perfect. (By the way, this was the free set I chose for winning Julee Tilman's Mojo Monday contest a couple of weeks ago. Thanks again, Julee, for your generosity!)

As much as I may like the busy look, I also like a clean and simple composition as much or even more. And most guys I know don't care for a whole lot of floof anyway. So this one's for the guys.

When was the last time you saw a metal-rim tag on a project? Definitely not one of today's "in" products. I'm hoping it doesn't make my card look dated. Here's the truth, though ... I need some masculine birthday cards for the shop I'm hoping to begin selling in next month. The average card buyer out there isn't going to know or care whether an embellishment is totally hot or so last year, you know?

Stamps: Seeing Stars (by Verve Visual)
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Blue Bayou
Paper: Blue Bayou, Soft Sky, Very Vanilla, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: distressing tool, metal-rim tag, sponge daubers

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Double Challenge

Jennifer Meyer at Jennifer's Sweet Designs has posted a RAK request for her step-mom, June, who was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. So this one's for June. I love the idea that she will get loaded up with happy thoughts from perfect strangers! Check out Jennifer's blog if you'd like to send something too. Be sure to tell her I sent you :)

I stamped the flower onto a scrap of designer paper from Stampin' Up's Ginger Blossom pack, then trimmed, an idea still fresh in my head from stampin_melissa, whose blog I found from the sweet comment she left for me yesterday. Thanks Melissa!

The layout is from last Wednesdays sketch challenge #159, and the colors are from Saturday's Inspiration Challenge #111.

Stamps: Embrace Life
Ink: Basic Black, Old Olive
Paper: Confetti Tan, Basic Black, Old Olive, Very Vanilla, Ginger Blossom dp
Accessories: 1/4" circle punch, Ruby Red brad, dimensionals, black grosgrain, sponge dauber

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Forever in Love with Baroque Motifs

In an effort to find my groove again, I pulled out the no-fail Baroque Motifs set. It's just not possible to create anything less than lovely with this set.

I stamped the swirly part of the background in VersaMark, then clear embossed. The various medallions are stamped in VersaMark, then embossed in black. They are layered with dimensionals. The largest one is hand-cut so that the points could overhang the edges. Also, look closely at the top layer ... is that a flower?! Moratorium -- lifted. (I'm feelin' my groove again just typing that!)

The yummy ribbon once again comes from my local Recollections. And once again, I did not get the manufacturer. Sorry! But isn't it the coolest?!

Now for the bottom part, I did something new to me. I don't have a polka dot background stamp, so I had to improvise to get a similar look. First I marked the dots using the template from the mat pack. Then I used the Crop-A-Dile to dry emboss. Last, I colored over the raised part with a VersaMarker and clear embossed.

One last thing: I edged the outermost black mat on the focal image with silver metallic ink to help it stand out a little against the black card base.

Stamps: Baroque Motifs; "Forever" sentiment from Spiral Bouquet set by Papertrey Ink
Ink: VersaMark, encore silver metallic
Paper: Basic Black, Very Vanilla
Accessories: clear and black embossing powder, ribbon (manufacturer unknown), corner rounder, dimensionals
All supplies Stampin' Up unless otherwise noted.

Yesterday's Little Joke

So I "got" some of you (at least for a second) with the whole workspace thing. If you're a blog "skimmer," then shame on you! (Just kidding! I am too sometimes [grin] ).

That was NOT my workspace on the cover of Ballard Designs. (I said "in my dreams," I really did.) To make it up to you, take a peek at my real workspace...

Much more believable, eh? I'm embarrassed to post this. But I think I've said before I'm a messy crafter! You should see the rest of the room - yikes. My Stampin' Up customers keep asking me when the next scrap club starts ... as soon as I dig out, ya know?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ballard Inspired

I forgot to tell you that my crafting workspace is featured on the cover of the January 2008 Ballard Designs catalog (see below). Yep, that's my workspace ... in my dreams! Seriously, I love the "look," and wanted to see if I could re-create it on a card. I love how this came out!

The swirly green background was created with a stamp from Artifacts (retired Stampin' Up). I used a stamp positioner to line everything up. Side note: I LOVE my stamp positioner! I never understood how it worked until I had the pleasure to watch another demonstrator use one to finish up swaps for a leadership conference a couple of years ago. I must be a visual learner. If you've never used one, take a look at this tutorial by Kristina Werner. It's the next best thing to watching someone in person.

[Edited to Add: I didn't realize the link to Kristina's tutorial didn't go to her blog. Her blog,, is one of those must-sees that will rise to the top of your list right away. She is amazing!]

Back to the card ... the black embossed medallion-type main image is from a retired set called Mostly Flowers. The two bands of ribbon are a scrumptious velvet ... not sure you can see that very well in the photo. It adds an unbelievably rich and textured feel to the card. I wish I could say for sure who makes it, maybe May Arts. I got it at my local Recollections. Gotta say, I wish I'd bought the whole spool. It's that delish.

Stamps: Artifacts, Mostly Flowers (Stampin' Up)
Ink: Certainly Celery, Versamark (Stampin' Up)
Paper: Basic Black, Certainly Celery, Very Vanilla (Stampin' Up!)
Accessories: decorative metal brad (Making Memories); black velvet ribbon (May Arts maybe?); ticket corner punch, dimensionals, black embossing powder, paper piercer (Stampin Up)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Jumping on the Birdwagon

I know they're hot right now, but I really didn't think birds were my "thing," until I started seeing more and more cards using Stampin' Up's "A Birdie Told Me" set. Now I, too, am hooked. I caved and bought the set. (It fits with my current "no flowers" mode, too, which, by the way, will SURELY end soon.)

Today's card isn't really my style, but it's good to break out of your box here and there ... if only to remind you why you have a nice, comfy box to begin with, lol!

It doesn't show so well in the photo, but I went over the bird with my clear Spica glitter marker. The sewing was done with my machine. I just went around twice in a not-so-linear fashion (obviously). The rest is pretty straightfoward.

Stamps: A Birdie Told Me
Ink: Black Staz-On, Barely Banana, Pumpkin Pie
Paper: Wild Wasabi textured, Pumpkin Pie, Real Red, Basic Black, Whisper White
Accessories: large oval punch, 1" circle punch, red eyelets, corner rounder, dimensionals, aqua painter, Wild Wasabi double-stitched ribbon, sewing machine

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Welcome, Little One

Most demos and SU enthusiasts have already placed and received their first order from the new catty. I haven't. It's an acute case of indecision :/ I did, however, sneak in a last-minute order from the preview brochure, so Nursery Necessities now has a home in my craft room.

The gray, blue, and green striped ribbon (from Michael's) dictated my color scheme. It's not what I would have thought of first for a baby card, but I really like it! The layout comes from Julee T's Mojo Monday sketch this week. And do you see that sewing?! I finally pulled out my machine again. It's a regular full-size model, not one of those cute little minis, so it tends to spend most of its time stored away in a closet.

As I was tearing some layers to make the water, I was reminded of Sharon Johnson's Stamp Simply Challenge this week, which is to tear. Or maybe her challenge was rattling around in my subconscious and that's why I thought of the water? I tore everything a couple of years ago ... when did I stop and why? I like the effect here, as much as I like the idea that babies come over the sea in a little, tiny sailboat :)

Stamps: Nursery Neccessities, Canvas
Ink: Brocade Blue, Certainly Celery, Going Gray, Basic Black
Paper: Basic Gray, Certainly Celery, Brocade Blue, Bashful Blue, Whisper White
Accessories: sewing machine, ribbon from Michael's, pewter jumbo eyelets, sponge daubers, dimensionals
Note: To get the outline on the sailboat shapes, I first inked the stamp with markers, then ran a black marker at a 45 degree angle along all the edges.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Polaroid Birthday

Still playing with that Doodlebug birthday set I got last weekend. I "borrowed" a scrapbook-style layout for this card. (Imagine a filmstrip of photos in place of the stamped images, with a Polaroid-style frame highlighting one photo.) I think it works here, too.

I have a question to throw out there. I've "collected" acrylic stamps for a while, but only recently have I started actually using them. I'm having trouble finding a permanent black ink to use with the images I want to color). I usually use Staz-On (as I did here), but I've read in places that the solvent ink can damage the acrylic stamps over time. I just picked up a Brilliance Graphite pad (I think), but it ends up stamping like a pale gray most of the time, instead of a crisp black. (I'm stamping on a cushion, too.) I'm looking for the Palette Noir pad next.... any tips, suggestions, recommendations?

Stamps: Doodlebug Birthday (Doodlebug Designs); Everyday Flexible Phrases (Stampin' Up)
Ink: Brocade Blue, Real Red, Barely Banana, Mellow Moss, Jet Black Staz-On
Paper: Real Red, Brocade Blue, Barely Banana, Mellow Moss, Confetti White
Accessories: dimensionals, Spica clear glitter pen, yellow "bigger brad" by Close to my Heart, distressing tool, flower by Close to my Heart, word window punch, red gingham ribbon

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Filigree Heart

Be nice to me today, friends. I think I left my mojo with Julee last week ;) So what's a girl to do in the middle of a creative drought? Keep on makin' stuff. Here we go ...

The large, lacy heart stamp is called Filigree Heart and is made by Impression Obsession. Fancy little image, yes? I picked it up last week when I had the occasion to re-visit an art store where I once worked many moons ago. The store used to be what I call a "real" art store, with fine arts supplies from wall to wall. Let me tell you working there was glorious. (Except for the pay!) It's definitely changed over the years ... almost half the store is now rubber stamping supplies. Woo hoo!

Speaking of glorious, the most wonderful thing happened to me last night -- my baby slept through the night! Well, he woke up once, but went back to sleep with just a pacifier. While he slept soundly, my middle one was up twice with a stuffy nose and a cough. One step forward, two steps back ;)

Stamps: Filigree Heart (Impression Obsession), Noteworthy (retired Stampin' Up!)
Inks: Purely Pomegranate, VersaMark, River Rock
Paper: Very Vanilla, Purely Pomegranate, River Rock
Accessories: clear embossing powder, circle nestabilities, liquid pearls, aqua painter, rectangle nestabilities, pomegranate satin ribbon, liquid pearls, dimensionals
Notes: The main image is stamped in pomegranate ink, stamped again in versamark (using a stamp positioner), then clear embossed. I also used an aqua painter to add a very pale wash of river rock ink on all but the outer edge of the ivory circle. Circles are cut with nestabilities (regular and scallop). The scallops are dotted with liquid pearls. I also used the rectangle nestabilities to emboss the river rock background. Nichole Heady has great instructions (including pictures) for this trick

[Edited to Add: The frilly border and sentiment are done with stamps from Noteworthy, which was a Sell-A-Bration set a few years ago.]

Monday, January 14, 2008

Cupcake Birthday

I finally made it to Recollections this past weekend. The good news is I got a lot of cool stuff. The bad news is that they're closing! I know, I know, we all know that, but I *still* can't believe it! Among other things, I got this cute birthday stamp set made by Doodlebug Designs at 30% off, and had to use it right away.

I used one of my favorite color combinations along with Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge #30 to create this card. The images are colored with markers, then colored over with a clear Spica for some sparkle. Circles are done with Nestabilities, and the scallops along the blue vertical strip are done with scallop scissors. The large jumbo brads in the bottom right corner are by Close to My Heart. I used the template from the mat pack for placement, I really did!, but they still landed on there crooked. Grrr.

On a different note, guess what?! Julee T. has another Mojo Monday sketch posted today ... which means ... she picked her winners from last week. I was one of them!! I'm totally flattered, completely humbled, and wickedly excited to go shopping for my free Verve set! Thanks so much to all of you who left such nice comments here when I posted my entry last week. I was smiling from ear to ear with each new comment.

I checked the other entries a couple of times during the week and really felt like it was anyone's game (good stuff, check out the slideshow)... until last night, when I saw JanTink's out-of-this-world amazing card. Julee described it best: "dripping with the kind of mojo that just leaves you begging for more." Lucky for me, Julee picked two winners ;)

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Birthday Note

Just a quick little birthday note using "Icing on the Cake" by My Favorite Things and Jen del Muro's "Sketch For You To Try" from yesterday. Dimensions are 3 1/2" x 3".

Stamps: Icing on the Cake (My Favorite Things)
Ink: Brilliance Graphite Black, Wild Wasabi, Barely Banana, Not Quite Navy
Paper: Wild Wasabi, Barely Banana, Not Quite Navy, Whisper White
Accessories: paper piercer, scallop punch, 1 3/8", 1 1/4" and 1/16" punches, so saffron brads, word window punch, aqua painter, dimensionals

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A V-Day Quintet

Once I did the "I Dig You" card two days ago, I started looking at the other images in the set for cute Valentine sayings. Ready? Here goes ...

"Loads of Love" (I know, predictable, but stay with me)...

"I'm On Fire For You"

"You're the Complete Package, Valentine" (the brown kinda wrecked my color scheme, but it was worth it, don't you think?)

"Police Be My Valentine" (my favorite, as DH is in law enforcement)

And last, but not in the least least: "Your Bed Or Mine?" (get your mind out of the gutter, ladies, this is a family-friendly blog! I was thinking of a Sunday drive in the country. Ahem.)

These are the last of the Fun On Wheels projects for a little while. Consider the set garaged ... unless anyone has a clever V-Day phrase for a cement mixer or a crane?

Stamps: Fun On Wheels
Ink: Basic Black, Real Red, Chocolate Chip
Paper: Basic Black, Real Red, Whisper White
Accessories: silver brads, paper piercer, word window punch, circle cutter, black gingham ribbon, 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" circle punches, red eyelets, white gel pen
Dimensions: finished cards are 3" x 4" each.

Note: I printed the sentiments on my computer using the Arial Black font at 10 points.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Are You My Mother?

Okay, so yesterday, as I was making the "I Dig You" card with the backhoe digger thingy, I kept thinking about the P.D. Eastman children's book "Are You My Mother?" The thought of making it into a card was cracking me up, so here it is!

Maybe it's just me, but I think it would make a funny "congratulations" card for a new baby, or a wacky, humorous Mother's Day card. Even better ... I'll tuck this one away for my birth mother, in the event that my twin sister's on-again/off-again search ever turns up someone. Wouldn't this be PERFECT? LOL! Go ahead. Say it. I'm a little wacky.

This second project is from a few years ago....

You may have seen the Scooby Doo/Mystery Van party invitation I posted about back in October. At the party, I had the kids follow a set of clues that, by the end of the party, led to the discovery of a phantom who had stolen all the birthday gifts. After the party, for thank-you notes, I came up with this sheriff's badge "wallet," commending them for their detective work. I can totally get into stuff like this ... hope you enjoy!

Tomorrow, I have a few more projects with this set (I'd post them now, except they're still just in my head) and then I promise to stop having fun with my wheels!

Supplies & Instructions for "Are You My Mother?"
Stamps: Fun On Wheels, Canvas
Ink: Pumpkin Pie, Going Gray, Basic Black, Basic Gray, Brocade Blue
Paper: Basic Gray, Pumpkin Pie, Brocade Blue, Whisper White
Accessories: Spots and Dots Cuttlebug embossing folder, sponge daubers, pewter jumbo eyelets, orange and blue grosgrain ribbon, gray taffeta ribbon, paper piercer
1. Fold Basic Gray card stock in half. Sponge edges of Pumpkin Pie block with Basic Gray ink and adhere to card base. Dry emboss Brocade Blue block using the Cuttlebug and the Spots and Dots embossing folder. Sponge edges with Basic Gray ink and adhere to card.
2. Stamp Pumpkin Pie card stock with Canvas background using Pumpkin Pie ink. Sponge edges using Basic Gray ink. Use the plastic guide from the Mat Pack to mark positions for the jumbo eyelets on Pumpkin Pie card stock. Punch and set eyelets with Crop-a-Dile. Tie three lengths of ribbon through top eyelet: orange grosgrain, blue grosgrain, and gray taffeta. Adhere piece to card.
3. Print sentiment from computer in blue ink on white cardstock. Cut to size. Sponge edges using Basic Gray ink. Use markers to ink the stamp in different colors. Position and stamp. Layer onto Brocade Blue (edges sponged in Basic Gray ink), then Basic Gray (edges sponged). Adhere to Pumpkin Pie block, just to the right of the jumbo eyelets.

4. Draw a bird's body on Basic Gray card stock. Add eye using a white gel pen. Trim tightly. Draw a wing on Brocade Blue card stock. Trim tightly and adhere to bird's body. Adhere bird to main image panel. Use a black marker to add legs.

Supplies & Instructions for Sheriff's Badge Wallet:
Stamps: Fun On Wheels
Ink: Basic Black, VersaMark
Paper: Basic Black, Sahara Sand, Metallic Gold
Accessories: paper piercer, clear embossing powder
1. Pierce holes along all four sides of a 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" piece of black card stock. Fold at 3 1/2" and 7". Adhere the short side to the middle using tacky tape to make a pocket.
2. Stamp police car and siren in VersaMark along the bottom of the front and along the inside pocket. Emboss with clear powder.
3. Print official sounding language onto Sahara Sand and adhere to the inside of the wallet, left side. Adhere a photo just above the text.
4. Fold a 6" x 4 1/4" piece of Sahara Sand card stock to make a note card. Stamp three police cars along the bottom, the "Thank You" sentiment just above, and sirens at the top. Tuck in the pocket on the inside of the wallet.
5. Pin sheriff's badge to black circle. Mat with Metallic Gold card stock. Adhere to wallet front

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I Dig You

Here are some words I never thought I'd write: I'M SICK OF FLOWER STAMPS! This'll last, oh, say two seconds, but for now, it's true. So I went "digging" through my stamps (pun totally intended, lol!) for all things non-floral (they're few and far between, I tell ya), and pulled out this old, old, old Stampin' Up set called Fun on Wheels. Just to give you an idea of how old it is, there isn't even an SCS gallery for it. But with two young boys, I'm not likely to part with it for a good little while.

I started out planning to make a little boy birthday card. What I came up with could work for a kid birthday, but I'm much more excited about using it as a light-hearted adult card ... my husband's valentine, even. He's not a pink and red heart kind of guy anyway (shocking), so he'll probably appreciate the non-traditional colors and image.

I used this week's SCS Sketch Challenge, which is a "kick stand" card. Fun little things, they are. For instructions, click on the link. The colors came from a romper my sweet little baby boy was wearing yesterday.

I stamped the backhoe in going gray, sponged basic gray around the edges, then used a black marker to accent a few areas. All of the card stock edges are sponged with basic gray ink and distressed with the distressing tool. I was hoping for a grunge look that would complement the whole construction theme, but I'm afraid it just looks sloppy and messy instead.

The dry embossing is done with the Spots and Dots Cuttlebug folder. I used the Stampin' Up mat pack to mark the equidistant holes for the jumbo eyelets, then used the adjustable "stop" on the Crop-A-Dile to make sure the row stayed evenly spaced up from the bottom edge of the yellow strip. (If you want a visual on that, be sure to check out Kristina Werner's "How to set evenly spaced eyelets" video tutorial.)

For the sentiment, this might have been a good time to print from a computer and stamp around it, but I used a marker on select letters from the Amazing to Zany set instead. "You" was easy, as it came from the word "your." "Dig" came from the "delightful" stamp. You can see that even with the stamp-a-ma-jig, the word "dig" came out uneven. In the end, I thought the crooked letters fit the card, so I kept it. Thoughts?

Now that this set is out, I have some other cute ideas for it, as well as a fun old project (if I can find it), so be sure to check back in the next couple of days.

Stamps: Fun on Wheels, Amazing to Zany
Ink: Going Gray, Basic Gray, Basic Black, Brocade Blue
Paper: Basic Gray, Barely Banana, Brocade Blue
Accessories: pewter jumbo eyelets, Spots and Dots Cuttlebug embossing folder, ticket corner punch, sponge daubers, distressing tool

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Sparkly Mojo

I put this one together for Julee Tilman's Mojo Monday Sketch Challenge. This week, she's choosing two winners who will each get to choose a free Verve Visual stamp set from among the five new ones coming out tomorrow. Very cool prize! You have until Sunday (1/13) to enter, to be sure to check it out!

I started out by painting the chipboard flower with Making Memories scrapbook paint in "Daquiri." I smooshed into VersaMark, sprinkled with Heat and Stick powder, then covered with Dazzling Diamonds glitter. The Chocolate Chip and Soft Sky flower center are made with stamps from Close to My Heart's Rustic Flowers set.

The brown satin ribbon and the blue flowered ribbon (by May Arts) are just threaded through the jumbo eyelets. The rest of the card is straightforward stamping. The only thing you might not be able to see is a large outline-type flower stamped in white on the soft sky background. In real life, it's kind of neat because you can hardly see it at some angles, but when you turn the card, it's a bright white that really pops.

Stamps: Rustic Flowers (Close to My Heart); Warm Words (Stampin' Up!)
Ink: Versamark, Soft Sky, Whisper White, Chocolate Chip (Stampin' Up!)
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Soft Sky, Whisper White (Stampin' Up!)
Accessories: chipboard flower, heat and stick powder, dazzling diamonds glitter, brown satin ribbon, pewter jumbo eyelets, dimensionals (all by Stampin Up): Daquiri acrylic paint (by Making Memories); blue flower ribbon (by May Arts)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Really Great Finds

One of my resolutions is to spend more time visiting other blogs and leaving more comments. So I thought it might be fun every so often to share of few of my favorite finds, in case you missed them:

A good laugh:
Dear Paperlicious: 2008: The Year That...

What a blessing a good cry can be:
Angels are hard to find....

And a few other good things:

- Laurie's comment about the elephant's trunk had me laughing out loud. Plus, her card is a gem.

- Which of the nestabilities will look best on a given card? Donna has a helpful solution!

- I've been drawn to cards with lots of white space on them lately, and AJ gets the gold!

- YAAAAYYY! {{{{{Beate}}}}} is back with her Weekend Sketch Challenges.

- Mercy celebrates 20K hits with some scrumptious blog candy! But ya gotta hurry. I think it ends today.

- Pam shares a great tutorial for her signature "Ribbon Blossom." This is a MUST-try.

Featured Stamper - stampinat6213

I haven't done one of SCS's Featured Stamper challenges in a long while. It was well past any reasonable person's bedtime last night before I finally got started on any stamping, so this quick challenge was perfect. All you do is pick one of the featured stamper's cards to CASE, making only a couple of changes along the way. Start to finish time: under 20 minutes.

This week's stamper is Nancy Riley, aka stampinat6213 on SCS. Her gallery is full of fantastic projects! I chose to CASE one of her older cards, from August 2006. I liked the vertical strip she used for her greeting. I kept the overall layout, black gingham, and floral theme, but made these changes:

1. different color scheme (my color scheme comes from last week's Color Challenge: Taken With Teal, Certainly Celery, and Real Red)
2. different floral stamp
3. different sentiment and background
4. changed large orange triangle to a smaller photo corner and moved it out from under the focal point
5. added a word window punched piece for the second part of my sentiment

Not stamping-related ... have you ever forgotten to put the pot back in your coffee maker as it's brewing? I did this yesterday! There was coffee EVERYWHERE. I think it's the effects of prolonged sleep deprivation. I stamp late at night, my kids are up early, and my baby still wakes in the night. That's a candle that's burning at both ends and in the middle, too. Resolution #5: Get more sleep.

Stamps: Simply Said, Amazing to Zany
Paper: Taken with Teal, Certainly Celery, Basic Black, Real Red, Whisper White
Ink: Certainly Celery, White craft, Black Staz-On
Accessories: black gingham ribbon, paper piercer, word window punch, photo corner punch, Certainly Celery, Real Red, and Taken with Teal markers

Sunday, January 6, 2008


... kind of challenge is this? LOL! For this week's SCS Limited Supplies Challenge, you get to create a card without using any shades of white or vanilla card stock. Sounds like, well, a CHALLENGE! (That's a GOOD thing.)

I immediately thought to use the brown neutrals, mostly so I could slap some brown satin ribbon on there to offset any otherwise plainness. I used the foliage stamp from Embrace Life and stamped on some old SU Confetti Tan card stock (no longer available, but very nearly the same as Kraft). I watercolored in a combination of Old Olive and True Thyme (retired) with an aqua painter. I apologize for the poor stamping on the sentiment. The stamp comes from the Three for You punch box, and the rubber is VERY squishy so those skinny greetings want to wobble and roll on me every time.

At first, I was thinking "I've probably never made a card without either white or vanilla," but then I realized one of my all-time favorites, one of my Christmas cards this year, also used no white or vanilla. Cool.

Thanks to Jen70 for another great challenge! It really got me thinking.

Stamps: Embrace Life, Three for You, Cheesecloth
Ink: Timber Brown Staz-On, Old Olive, True Thyme
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Confetti Tan, True Thyme
Accessories: aged copper hodgepodge hardware brads, brown satin ribbon, dimensionals, sponge daubers

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Two More Sketch Cards

I'm back with two additional cards for Jen del Muro's sketch challenge this week. This first one was inspired by Sharon Johnson (No Time to Stamp) and her awesome samples using the "Fancy Corners" embossing folder for the Cuttlebug. You can see two of her examples here and here.

Stamps: Baroque Motifs
Ink: Basic Black
Paper: Whisper White, Basic Black, and Vellum Card Stock
Accessories: wide black organdy ribbon, sponge daubers, Cuttlebug's Fancy Corners embossing folder, vintage brads, dimensionals, corner rounder, black marker

Let's call this second one an "outtake" from my task this week to create a sample for Jen to post with her sketch today. Cute enough, but not cute enough, if you know what I mean.

Stamps: Sweet Shapes
Ink: Soft Sky, Wild Wasabi, Blue Bayou
Paper: Soft Sky, Wild Wasabi, Blue Bayou designer prints, Whisper White
Accessories: Blue Bayou double-stitched ribbon, ice rhinestone brads, dimensionals

Sketch Challenge

Be sure to head over to i{heart} today. Jen has posted her weekly Sketch for You to Try (SFYTT), which I look forward to every Saturday. As part of the whole guest designer thing, she invited me to provide her a sample for this week's sketch. The sketch is a fantastic one, so my job was easy. Take a look!

I'll be back here later with a couple more projects. One of them became so smudged (think vellum and wet black ink) that even Photoshop can't make it presentable. Yes, I've been known to "remove" a smudge with the bandaid tool, something I'd dearly love to have for real in my craft room, LOL!

Right now, my daughter wants me to play Webkinz ... (and secretly so do I!).

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Eight for '08

Back in October, I made a Bible verse tag book on the theory that it would be easier to memorize the verses if they were prettied up a bit. (It didn't work .) But here I go again ... hoping I'll actually keep my New Year's resolutions if I have a pretty little package to keep them in :D

The nine cards that go inside are super simple. I have a title page and eight resolution cards.

My resolutions are mostly the usual ... lose weight, get organized, spend more quality time as a family, blah, blah, blah. The funniest is "Be on time," which is cracking me up since I couldn't even get this posted "on time."

There is one, however, that might seem strange at first glance. Number 7 is Stamp less and spend more time on the computer. And no, I didn't get that reversed. I want to be sure to set aside time for leaving lots of comments on other blogs and in SCS galleries. I feel like I've spent so much time making things that I haven't left comments as much as I would like. That's something I hope to change! So you might see a little less of me here on my blog, but a little more of me on yours ;)

And a quick look at the top and the inside:

Stamps: Euphoria Alphabet & Numbers
Ink: Always Artichoke
Paper: Holiday Harmony designer paper (retired); Always Artichoke, River Rock, Purely Pomegranate and Whisper White card stock
Accessories: 1 1/4" circle punch, 1 3/8" circle punch, 3/4" circle punch, 1/4" circle punch, scallop punch, gold cord, rectangle hand-held punch, Spring Bouquet punch, flat white pearls from pretties kit, bandaid tin (Oriental Trading Company)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Peaceful Snowflakes

My son was sick and missed the last two days of school before the Christmas break, so his teachers are getting their gifts today. Nothing fancy, just gift cards tucked inside this Christmas card. The card is old (I raided some boxed holiday cards leftover from a craft show two years ago), but it's still one of my all-time favorites. I can't say with absolute certainty it is my original design, but I believe it is. If I'm wrong, I'm all too happy to credit the original designer (of course).

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Snowflakes, Wonderful Words
Ink: Encore Silver, Night of Navy, Whisper White craft
Paper: Brocade Blue, Night of Navy, Silver metallic
Accessories: 1 1/4" ad 1 3/8" circle punches, silver cord, silver embossing powder

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


I've been keeping this secret all of December, but I can finally tell you (and I hope I don't sound braggy, because that is SO not my intention!) I am the January guest designer for Jen del Muro at i{heart}2stamp! Woo hoo!!

When Jen PM'd me back at the end of November, I kept thinking I should look over my shoulder to see who she was really talking to. Most of the time, I feel like a big pretender, just a wannabe when it comes to stamping. I really do. I get my best ideas and inspiration from other people and the collective "creative soup."

But Jen really did PM me! And I really did say yes. I was (and am) SO flattered. She is a fantastic artist, a stamping superstar, so for her to take notice of me was just so encouraging.

Take a look at her 1/1 post with the five projects that I made. They're exclusive to her, so I won't be posting them here or in my SCS gallery. Check 'em out and let me know what you think! A word of explanation... one of them kinda took on a life of its own as I was creating it. One after another "I-could-add-THIS!"-es had me laughing at the project (and myself) by the end.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone. I wish you each the best in '08. God Bless!

Today's card is made with a stamp (called Champagne Woman) from American Art Stamp. They have a ton of similar images in this same whimsical style. I like a lot of the ones from their website even better, but this is the one that was at my local stamp store, and she's perfect for today! Gotta love the whimsical style and those long skinny legs!

I stamped her on Shimmery White card stock, then used an aqua painter and ink from the ink pad lid to color in the glass, her body, hair, shoes, and gloves, and the champagne bottle. The dress is colored with VersaMarker, then embossed with a sparkly gold EP.

The scallop was punched out of gold metallic card stock, smooshed onto a VersaMark pad, then embossed with the same sparkly gold EP as her dress. To get the black mat for the scallop, I punched two more scallops from black card stock, then slightly offset them from the gold.

The card background is also shimmery white, which is so hard to capture in a photograph. The dry embossed border comes from a brass template that was a Stampin' Up Level 2 hostess selection many, many catalogs ago. It's long been out of its sleeve, and I can't for the life of me remember the name of it. Sorry!

Stamps: Champagne Woman by American Art Stamps; sentiment by Stampin' Up (one of the All Year Cheer sets)
Ink: Jet Black Staz-On, VersaMark, So Saffron, Summer Sun, Always Artichoke, Baroque Burgundy
Paper: Shimmery White, Gold Metallic, Basic Black
Accessories: VersaMarker, gold sparkly EP (source unknown), 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" circle punches, black brads, scallop punch, circle cutter, paper piercer, gold metallic grosgrain, gold cord, brass template