Monday, November 30, 2009

Love You, Pure Innocence

Today was the MFTeaser day for four new Pure Innocence sets from My Favorite Things. Be sure to hit Kim's blog for a full list of designers who posted teasers earlier today. I'm sneaking in an extra teaser here at {literally} the eleventh hour ... just finished it up and couldn't wait to post!

This little cutie is called Heart Stripes - isn't she precious?! I colored her with Copics and Prismacolor pencils, then sponged on some color with the Nestabilities die still in place (too bad that part is way washed out in the photo). The blue and green patterned papers are from Cosmo Cricket's Early Bird, and the yellow dot paper is BoBunny.

Nine new MFT sets, including four Pure Innocence sets, will be released on Wednesday, December 2, at 10 pm EST in the MFT store. Prior to that (at 8 pm EST), we'll be having a New Release Par-Tay right HERE in the MFT Forum on Splitcoast.

Thanks for taking a peek!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

MFTeaser Time!

My Favorite Things is just a few days away from a brand-new release (this Wednesday, 10 pm EST), and you know that means ... time for MFTeasers! You're going to love this month's sets! Even more, you're going to love the fresh faces we have in our design team line-up! Every December, Kim so graciously and generously gives her regular design team the option of a lighter load and invites some of MFT's very talented "junkies" to help out as part of a December temp team. Thank you, Kim, and thank you, temp team!

Here's where you can find all of the teasers posted so far:

Saturday - Love at First Sight
Today - Truffles Flopsey, Love Machine, plus some new Digi Stamps & Paper

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas SFYTT

If you're looking for the Verve blog hop, go HERE.
For more of my Verve projects, go HERE.

Even though I've been making Christmas cards since the end of August, the Christmas season didn't really begin until yesterday. I listened to Christmas music for the first time this year while my family headed back home from a wonderful Thanksgiving visit with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Now it's time to pull out all the holiday decorations. I'm feeling inspired to go all out this year! We'll see what "all out" actually looks like by Christmas Eve. Time has a way of getting away from me ;)

Case in point, here it is Saturday afternoon, and I'm just getting around to posting my sample for today's Sketch For You To Try. Sorry about that! To see the sketch, Jen's sample, and guest designer Amy White's sample, visit i{heart}2stamp. And then for more inspiration, visit the rest of the SFYTT sisters: Amy Rohl, Kelly Lunceford, Leigh O'Brien, and Susan Liles. We'd love to have you play along, too. Upload your creation to Jen's post and remember to use keyword SFYTT in the online galleries.

As soon as I saw the two squares in the sketch, I knew I wanted to play with JustRite's new Square Decorative Frames - LOVE these!! I used two sizes of square Nestabilities to cut the stamped images into true frames. I switched the accent on the sketch to be my focal point - the large snowflake and sentiment in the center. For that, I painted a Bazzill chipboard snowflake with ivory acrylic paint, then coated it with clear glitter. The sentiment is from JustRite's A Merry Little Christmas set and is cut with a Spellbinders scalloped circle die and sponged with Soft Sky ink.

Here's a close-up where you can see the glitter better. SO sparkly in real life!

In case you haven't seen the great news, Stamper's Dream is having a Black Friday through Cyber Monday sale! Among many other things, all the JustRite Christmas stamps (including the A Merry Little Christmas set that I used today) are on sale for 30% off! And then, all next week, Stamper's Dream will host a brand-new JustRite Week featuring all the new sets JustRite recently released (including the awesome square frames in today's card). Tune in Monday through Friday as the Dream Team struts its stuff ;) Michelle always posts the full schedule on her blog, so that's a great place to start on Monday. (I'll be posting projects on Tuesday and Friday.)

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you're enjoying a fabulous weekend!

Stamps: A Merry Little Christmas, 2" Square Decorative Frames (JustRite Stamps)
Paper: Papertrey Dark Chocolate and Vintage Cream, Cosmo Cricket Jolly by Golly 6x6 pad
Ink: Stampin' Up white craft, Chocolate Chip craft, and Soft Sky classic
Accessories: Bazzill chipboard snowflake, clear glitter, Martha Stewart snowflake punch, Kaiser Bliss adhesive pearls, Spellbinders square, scalloped circle, and Labels 1 Nestabilities, Stampin' Up ribbon, EK Success dotted wave border punch, clear embossing powder, foam adhesive

Marisa said...Fun card, Amy :D Love the snowflakes and the colour combo is great. Wonderful layers too.
November 28, 2009 3:34 PM

jan said...Pretty colors on your snowflake!
November 28, 2009 3:47 PM

maiahs_momma said...Gorgeous card :)!

Inky Hugs,
November 28, 2009 4:45 PM

foxyenglishcrafter said...I love your card and projects. Love the snowflake on the card. Thanks for sharing the card and post. Will start your christmas season with a Merry Christmas.

Happy crafting!
November 28, 2009 6:01 PM

pescbricosaid...I never get enough of your cards and style! I love them all :) Thanks for sharing and have a great day!
November 28, 2009 8:22 PM

Radhasaid...Awesome card... Love it!
November 28, 2009 8:46 PM

Amysaid...This one was worth the wait, Amy! Love, love, love that sparkly snowflake, and it pops against the red and chocolate--yum, yum!
November 28, 2009 9:39 PM

Cindy Haffnersaid...Amy your work is always so inspiring. Wonderful job.
November 28, 2009 11:22 PM

Julie Marshallsaid...So, so pretty! Love the snowflake and the color combo. TFS!
November 28, 2009 11:37 PM

Denise Youngsaid...Beautiful, love your colors and the softness of your papers. I decorated today I'm not going "all out" this year. Good luck on your decorating.
November 28, 2009 11:43 PM

Jackie Pedrosaid...Wowee!! This is one beautiful card, Amy!!!
November 29, 2009 12:42 AM

Only by His Gracesaid...Beautiful Amy. Love those snowflakes.
Hugs marion November 29, 2009 2:12 AM

Allisonsaid...Beautiful! Love the colours and sparkle!
November 29, 2009 4:04 AM

Vivsaid...How DO you do it, time after time, after time Amy!! I'm going to get lock-jaw at this rate, looking at your fabulous cards! LOL
Hugs Viv xx
November 29, 2009 5:08 AM

mochamamasaid...Beautiful card Amy, I really like the colors you went with.
November 29, 2009 6:14 AM

Leigh OBriensaid...This card is just gorgeous, Amy! Everything about it yells "WOW"!
November 29, 2009 9:52 AM

Lorettasaid...Love the snowflakes...and...this is becoming one of my favorite color combos.
November 29, 2009 10:36 AM

Kelly Luncefordsaid...This is so beautiful! I love the colors! Great little details oozing everywhere! Absolutely gorgeous! November 29, 2009 8:14 PM

Heather P.said...*sigh* I wish I could layer like you! What an unbelievably ~gorgeous~ card, Amy!!!
November 29, 2009 8:27 PM

KathyJ (Wattle)said...WOW!!! This is GORGEOUS Amy!!!! LOVE how you used the JR stamps for the square BGs!!! Love the snowflakes too!!
November 30, 2009 6:18 AM

Denise (peanutbee)said...Totally gorgeous!! So many amazing details. TFS the detail shot, too. :)
November 30, 2009 7:42 AM

Silke Ledlowsaid...Fantastic looking card - Amy!!! I actually love everything you create :)!!! Hugs ~S~
November 30, 2009 8:37 AM

Dawn Eastonsaid...Amy, this is absolutely gorgeous! I love that vintage looking snowflake!!
November 30, 2009 9:02 AM

Michellesaid...How in the heck did I miss this post? Girl, this is GORGEOUS!!!
November 30, 2009 9:04 AM

Meahnisaid...Hi Denise, I don't know how you manage to get so much detail on your cards, it is just fabulous! Love them all!
November 30, 2009 1:20 PM

Meahnisaid...Sorry I meant Amy, I need a holiday, lol! Sorry about that...
November 30, 2009 1:22 PM

PixieVonAziasaid...This card is BEAUTIFUL!
December 3, 2009 3:42 PM

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thankful Hearts Blog Hop

The new Verve sets are now officially released, and we’re topping off today's Thankful Hearts festivities with a blog hop. If you arrived here from Julee, you’re right where you should be. If you’ve just happened by, then you’ll want to go one step back, to Poetic Artistry, where Julee kicks things off for us tonight. To make this hop even sweeter, we’ve got a special treat hidden along the way for one lucky commenter. So if you see something that makes you smile, be sure to give a little shout-out in the comments for a chance to win our entire release!

For my project, I combined stamps from Thankful Accents and Celebration of Thanks to make a vintage-style thank you card.

The sentiment, from Celebration of Thanks, is stamped on designer paper from the Life Stories Collection by My Mind's Eye. Behind that is a vertical strip made from some of the punch-outs in the same MME collection and some dark brown twill. Then behind that is the circle image from Thankful Accents, which has been stamped onto one of the other punch-outs. Last is the card base, made of brown card stock topped with a piece of Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossed Kraft card stock with EK Success Scalloped Diamond borders. I embellished with some lace, buttons, and machine stitching.

Some of the design elements are carried over to the inside, where I added another sentiment, this time from Thankful Accents:

Your next stop on the hop is the oh-so-talented Mercy! I know she'll have something gorgeous for us to drool over!

Enjoy the rest of the hop!

Stamps: Thankful Accents, Celebration of Thanks (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Close to My Heart Cocoa, Papertrey Kraft, My Mind's Eye Life Stories Day 257 dp
Ink: Ranger Antique Linen, Brushed Corduroy and Walnut Stain Distress Inks
Accessories: Papertrey button, May Arts burlap string, Offray brown twill, Stampin' Up large oval punch, sewing machine, lace trim (unknown), Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder, EK Success scallop border punch, foam adhesive

Thankful Accents

Have you stopped by the Thankful Hearts Blog Party on the Verve blog yet? If not, be sure to check in and catch up on all the challenges and set reveals that we've been posting all day long. You just *know* there are lots of fun chances for prizes, as well as some pretty yummy eye candy along the way!

We just now revealed the final set for the evening - Thankful Accents. What an awesome set!! I had so much fun working with it. Here is the sample I'm showing on the Verve blog:

And a detail shot:

To see the rest of the set and Amber's sample project, go HERE. The color combo came from Mercy and Teresa's color challenge from earlier today. Details on that are HERE.

Next is a card I made for the sketch challenge that Laurie and Tosh posted earlier today. Details on that challenge can be found HERE.

The little hearts in my bouquet are from Thankful Accents, and the heart border on the yellow strip as well as the sentiment are from Thankful Hearts, which was revealed earlier today right HERE.

We'll be wrapping up our blog party in an hour (9 pm EST) with a Thankful Hearts Blog Hop. See you again then :)

Color Challenge:
Stamps: Thankful Accents (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Stampin' Up Whisper White, Basic Black, Old Olive, and Bermuda Bay
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Stampin' Up Old Olive and Bermuda Bay
Accessories: Martha Stewart butterfly punch, Kaiser black pearls, Spellbinders oval dies, Spica black glitter pen, Offray black ricrac, Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder, Stampin' Up ribbon, Papertrey buttons, May Arts burlap string, EK Success scalloped border punch

Sketch Challenge:
Stamps: Thankful Hearts and Thankful Accents (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Papertrey Dark Chocolate and Vintage Cream, Bo Bunny Flutter Butter dp, Basic Grey Nook & Pantry dp
Ink: Memento Rich Cocoa
Accessories: EK Success scalloped border punch, Spellbinders tag and deckled rectangle dies, Papertrey Aqua Mist satin ribbon and Dark Chocolate button, DMC white floss

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Hi friends, just wanted to pop in and wish my fellow Americans a very Happy Thanksgiving!

And to all the many kind visitors to this little blog of mine, whether you've come just once or you come every day, whether you leave loads of comments or prefer to observe quietly, I just want to say thank you for sharing this wonderful papercrafting journey with me. My life is so richly blessed by each and every one of you. Who knew this little hobby would provide such treasure? Thank you!

Hugs and happy thoughts ...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Home For the Holidays Project Parade

Today, over on the Verve blog, I've shared the final project in Verve's November Project Parade. Our theme this month is Home for the Holidays: Gifts, Decor, and More. If you haven't seen all the budget-friendly holiday projects, you really should have a look. So many wonderful, creative ideas! The Divas have been taking turns posting projects each day since November 11, so there's lots to see. With every Project Parade, you're invited to play along for a chance to win a Verve gift certificate. There's still time - the deadline is midnight (MST) Thursday.

You can read more about my treat-filled glass jar and see some close-ups HERE.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Q & A - Part II

This one is not a reader question, since no one actually asked, but I wanted to address it anyway ... Where was I during Verve's October release?

My dear blog friends, were you too polite to ask or did you not notice my absence {sniff, sniff}? Earlier this Fall, I actually resigned from my spot on the Verve design team. I know, WHAT was I thinking??!! Fortunately, my loss of all reason was temporary ;) I soon emailed Julee asking to "un-quit." She graciously said welcome back (thank you, Julee!), and now I'm thrilled to be participating in the current "Home for the Holidays" Project Parade (my day to post is tomorrow) as well as getting samples ready for Friday's release! I {heart} Verve!!

By the way, details on Verve's Friday release festivities are posted on the righthand sidebar of the Verve blog. Hope you can join us for a day of challenges, giveaways and a blog hop nightcap! If you're a Black Friday shopper, no problem, just remember to carry your iPhone or other Internet-friendly phone of choice and a few stamping supplies with you. You should have plenty of time to whip up a few challenge cards while circling the parking lots (always take a designated driver along with you) and waiting in checkout lines. Just kidding ... you can still participate because challenge entries are not due until Monday. Unless, of course, you're still standing in the checkout line come Monday.... I can't help you with that ;)

(Can you tell you won't find me anywhere near a retail establishment on Friday?)

Thanks for popping in!

Q & A - Part I

I've been sooooo bad lately about answering questions, so I thought I'd attempt some catch-up today. Hopefully there'll be something useful here!

Regarding THIS CARD ... HOW do you get such nice fluffy bow with the tails going one up and one down?!

I'd been thinking perhaps a tutorial was in order and then I saw Joanne's awesome buttony bow tutorial. That is almost exactly how I do my bows. I mean it's so nearly identical it was almost freaky to watch -lol! Just like Joanne, I basically tie a shoe bow, then manipulate the loops and tails until they look good. Please, please, please check out her video - it's incredible! I love the casual, informal look of this style of bow ... in addition to Joanne, some of my favorite sources of inspiration for this style of bow are Betsy Veldman, Melissa Phillips, and Beatriz Jennings. For super formal, drop-dead gorgeous tailored bows, I love seeing what Becca Feeken, Sharon Johnson, and Jerri Jimenez are up to.

Regarding THIS CARD ... Can you advise us how you embossed with the Spellbinders without cutting through the paper?

To emboss only, lay the Spellbinders die cut side up on the plate of whatever machine you're using. Lay the paper on top, followed by the Spellbinders tan embossing mat. Create whatever sandwich needed for your particular machine. I can tell you the Cuttlebug sandwich, since that's what I use: A plate, B plate, die (again, cut side up), paper, tan embossing mat, 3-4 scrap sheets of 60-pound card stock, second B plate.

Your cuts are so precise. I would love to know what paper cutter you use.

I use an older version of THIS rotary Fiskars, which I bought for around $30 at Costco a few years ago. It's a full 12x12. I don't love it, but it's adequate. Replacement blades are around $5, I think. And there's also a four-sided replaceable black strip that the blade cuts into. I'm really bad for letting my blades get too dull before replacing, so when I get frayed edges, I will sometimes take a sanding block and quickly sand the edges. Either that or I'll distress the edges even more with a distressing tool. (I know, wouldn't it be quicker to just replace the blade? LOL) If I start doing a bunch of distressed cards all in a row, now you'll know the ugly truth - my blade is dull {grin}.

I just recently got those spellbinders tags [Fancy Tags] and I have a heck of a time getting them out of the die with out them ripping...any tips?

Yes, tricky little things, aren't they?? I've had a little trouble, too. I use a paper piercing tool (but something a little more dull would be better) to gently work the more intricate parts out of the die. From the non-cutting side of the die, I gently push the piercer point in between the die and the cardstock and then work it loose. I've found that the heavier the cardstock, the easier it is to get it out without tearing, wrinkling, or scratching up the paper. Good luck, and if anyone has any other suggestions, do share :)

[ETA: From Beth Pingry (Spellbinders DT member) ... to get the intricate Spellbinders die cuts out of the dies, you can cut/emboss with wax paper between the paper and the die. Makes it easy peasy to remove. Then you can make wax resists with the wax paper die cuts! Check out the Spellbinders blog for details. Thank you so much, Beth! Can't wait to try that!]

Regarding the new I-TOP tool by Imaginisce ... I am not sure about buying all the tools in order to make it work - seems pricey. Do you need all of them? Do you need the punch, templates and setter tool?

Some quick background for those new to the tool, here's basically how it works: You cut a notched circle of paper, wrap it around a domed brad top, tuck the ends up into the underside of the domed top and then secure a brad bottom (i.e., the part with the two prongs), which holds the wrapped paper in place. To make the process as quick and easy as possible, Imaginisce has punches for cutting the notched circles, tracing templates for the notched circles if you want to cut instead of punch, the squeeze tool for putting everything together, and of course the brad kits, which include the domed tops and the corresponding bottoms.

So, do you need ALL those tools and components? Well, You can definitely make your own notched circles without using either the templates or the punches. I like having the tracing templates so I know how big to make my paper covers, and I do have to say the punches would be nice and fast, but yes, you can do without either of those. You definitely DO need the brad pieces, of course. As for the squeeze tool, I tried making the brads without it, and got mixed results. The medium-size brads that I made manually were passable, but the small ones were just too small for me to manipulate successfully. I couldn't get the notched circle wrapped around the brad top tightly enough to be able to push the brad bottom up in there. If you're on the fence about the tool, try picking up some brad kits only and give it a shot. If you have trouble getting the paper wrapped tightly, you can get the squeeze tool. And, of course, if you end up making a lot of custom brads, chances are you'll want the squeeze tool and the other "convenience" tools, like the tracing templates or punches.

Would you share your secrets for taking such beautiful photos of your artwork? In all of my photos, the artwork looks so flat. Even if it has layers.

Over the summer, I posted a tutorial in the My Favorite Things forum on how to photograph your artwork using natural light and no fancy equipment and how to edit your photograph using basic photo editing software. It's in the "How'd They Do That" section. Here's a direct link:

Tammy left a comment on last year's anniversary card, which I just posted this year ... What did you come up with for hubby this year ;-)?

Betcha wondered if I got around to his card at all? As luck would have it, I was looking through my stash of cards for a different occasion and ran across this card [link fixed] that I made over the summer and forgot about. Perfect!

Thanks for tuning in ... part II coming in a bit!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I had a chance earlier this week to break out my favorite set from Verve's October release - Christmas in the Air. This is such a great set with a variety of images and some fantastic sentiments! Check out these snowflakes - each point is a mini tree - how cool is that?

For my layout, I worked with Jen's new Sketch For You To Try for ths week. It's a fun one, with lots of possibilities - hope you'll give it a try! For inspiration, check out the SFYTT crew:

Jen del Muro, with guest designer Amy White
Amy Rohl
Kelly Lunceford
Leigh O'Brien
Susan Liles

To play, link up your project to Jen's blog and remember to use keyword SFYTT in the online galleries so we can find each other more easily.

In other Verve news, have you been following along with the current Home for the Holidays Project Parade on the Verve blog? Some amazing ideas have been shared so far, and there are still a few more days left. Then, on Friday, there's a new release! Since it's the day after Thanksgiving, we'll be doing things differently. Stay tuned to the blog and forum as details unfold.

Stamps: Christmas in the Air (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Papertrey Kraft, Black, and Vintage Cream, Melissa Frances dp
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Copic markers (B91, B93, B95), Sakura quickie glue pen, clear glitter, Spellbinders classic circle nestabilities and fancy scalloped border piercabilities, paper piercer, Offray ribbon, Kaiser black pearls, Scor-Pal

Friday, November 20, 2009

Noel Faith

Happy Friday! Today I have a Sarah Kay image to share with you - Noel Faith. Isn't she a sweet one? The Sarah Kay stamps are always so much fun to color. Don't let the detail on the artwork intimidate you - it actually makes the coloring easier because a lot of the shadowing and highlighting are already there for you. I used Copics for most of my coloring, then then went back in and touched up with Prismacolor pencils. I first envisioned this image in soft pinks, so I don't know for sure how I got from there to here {grin}, except that these gorgeous papers from Graphic 45 were calling my name. Love the vintage look, and they seemed to fit the image so perfectly. I did a lot of sponging with my Ranger Distress inks and added in a lot of stitching to enhance the old-fashioned charm of the image. The lace trim mimics the ruffle along the bottom of the skirt, and buttons are placed at each scallop point for added interest.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful weekend! I'll see you tomorrow with my sample for a brand-new Sketch For You To Try. Until then, toodle-oo!

Stamps: Noel Faith (Sarah Kay from Stampavie)
Paper: Prismatics Brown Suede Dark card stock, Prismatics Simply Smooth Ivory, Neenah Classic Crest Solar White, Graphic 45 dp
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Ranger Antique Linen Distress, Ranger Vintage Photo Distress
Accessories: Copic markers, Prismacolor pencils, Gamsol, and blending stumps, petite oval Nesties, foam adhesive, lace trim, PTI buttons, May Arts ivory burlap string, sewing machine, paper piercer, Offray ivory satin ribbon
Size: 5 1/2 x 6 (a very odd size, indeed)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Honey Do Corkboard

Welcome to the My Favorite Things "Who's That Girl" Hop & Shop. If you've arrived here from Kim's blog, you're in the right place. If not, then jump right in! To catch up, you only have to go back one space, to Kim.

We're excited to announce the return of the popular VIP Bundle! Once again, MFT fans have the chance to get the newest "Who's That Girl" stamp set, plus an assortment of other new products, before they are released. And not just a week early like it used to be. Now it's a whole two weeks early! But remember, the VIP Bundle is available for ONE DAY ONLY (November 18) and quantities are limited.

What are we playing with this month? Maid For WTG? Such a fun set - and perfect for a honey do list project.

Do you have a honey do list for a guy in your life? I sure do! I love this Urban Dictionary example: "Nah, dude. I can't. I've got a honey do list long enough to keep me home for the whole summer and into deer hunting season." I guess mine isn't long enough, because it's all about deer season around here right now!

I started out with an 8x10-inch framed corkboard from my stash of alterables. It looks like something that might have come from the Target $1 spot, but I don't remember for sure. I did the honey do title in chipboard letters, then added a fun twist by surrounding the word "do" with the sentiment "Real men do housework." (By the way, the sentiments in this set are the BEST!) Along the bottom, I added the stamped image and a designer paper and ribbon border. For the image, I paper pieced the chair, popping up the arm for dimension, and the rest is colored with Prismacolor pencils and Copic markers.

That's it for me! I now have the pleasure of sending you over to the mega-talented Barbara Anders! While you're working your way through the hop, I think I'll add some more things to my honey do list and then give this corkboard a special place of prominence somewhere in my home. For after deer season ... of course ;)

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Birthday Girl

Shame on me! My darling little {new} 6-year-old ever so sweetly and gently reminded me that I hadn't yet made her birthday card, as I had promised way back at the beginning of the month. It's just like the cobbler's kids having no shoes :)

My Balloon from the new Pure Innocence line by My Favorite Things was perfect for her card. (No surprise, those darling Pure Innocence images have sold like hotcakes. Two are still in stock, including this one, and those that are out of stock will be back soon!) I stamped in Versafine Onyx Black, clear embossed, and colored with Copic markers. I stamped the image a second time, and popped up part of it to add some dimension. Okay, who am I kidding? I stamped the second image because I needed a do-over on her face, but I didn't want to color the whole thing again and sponge the background again :) While I was attaching the popped up layer, I thought it would be cute to add a little hand-drawn ruffle at the bottom. The layout is this week's Sketch For You To Try.

Stamps: Pure Innocence - My Balloon (My Favorite Things)
Paper: Papertrey Vintage Cream, Stampin' Up Dusty Durango, My Mind's Eye Be-Loved dp
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, SU Sage Shadow
Accessories: Copic markers, clear glitter, SU ribbon, Papertrey button, May Arts ivory burlap string, dimensionals, EK Success border punch

Sunday, November 15, 2009

SFYTT - Your Next Stamp!

Your Next StampI'm quite late with my sample for this week's Sketch For You To Try, but here it is finally! This week, some of the SFYTT sisters have showcased images from a new stamp company called Your Next Stamp. How clever is that name?? Learn more about how the company got started HERE, and check out all their cute images HERE. It's hard to find a snowman I don't love, but even so, some sure are cuter than others, and this one definitely goes in the cuter category :)

The snowman is just one of several images and sentiments in YNS's Christmas Digital Package. I printed him onto Papertrey's white card stock with my HP inkjet printer and colored with Copic markers. I thought the sketch lent itself well to a more clean look, so I kept the extras to a minimum: Polar White Flower Soft for the ground and the top of the hat, clear glitter along the outer edges of the snowman's face and body, and some clear crystals in the centers of the snowflakes. I included the sentiment (also from the Christmas Digital Package) on the inside. It's hard to see in the photo, but there are two scored lines along the bottom, just above the punched wavy border.

If you haven't already, I hope you'll take a moment to check out everyone else's creations:

Jen del Muro (with the sketch, her sample and guest designer Amy's sample)
Amy Rohl
Kelly Lunceford
Leigh O'Brien
Susan Liles

... and then play along. Just upload to Jen's post and remember to use keyword: SFYTT in online galleries.

Thanks for popping in today!

Stamps: Christmas Digital Package (Your Next Stamp)
Paper: Papertrey White and Hibiscus Burst card stock, Cosmo Cricket Jolly By Golly dp
Ink: printer ink, SU Soft Sky (sponged around image)
Accessories: Copic markers, clear crystals, Polar White Flower Soft, Sakura quickie glue pen, clear glitter, button from stash, Martha Stewart snowflake punch, Frosted Lace Stickles, SU Crushed Curry ribbon, EK Success dotted wavy border punch, dimensionals, Spellbinders rectangle Nestabilities

Friday, November 13, 2009

Penny Black Week - Day 5

Happy Friday, friends! Today I get to help conclude Penny Black week at Stamper's Dream. Also posting today are Tosh and Michelle. And in case you missed anything along the way, here are the rest of the week's links:

Monday - Michelle, Denise , and me
Tuesday - Michelle, Becca , Tosh
Wednesday - Michelle, Laurie, Denise
Thursday - Michelle, Laurie, Silke

The stamp I'm featuring is a wood-mount sentiment stamp called Star Noel, and what a gem it is! I've had a hard time putting it down this week! A zillion different ideas have been swimming in my head and filling my idea and inspiration notebook. I'll share two of them:

First is a decorative treat tin. On a recent grocery trip, I picked up a Gooseberry Patch Christmas 2009 idea book. Among many, many, many other inspiring holiday ideas was a project showing this very tin, dressed and filled with Peppermint Bark. I recognized the tin as one in my stash of alterables, and was so inspired I got busy right away making my own version. Here are a few additional shots:

Stamps: Star Noel (Penny Black)
Paper: Prismatics Simply Smooth white cardstock, 7Gypsies Gypsy Market dp (black stripe pattern)
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Stampin Up Real Red
Accessories: mini planter tin (Michael's, I think?), Spellbinders Labels 5 Nestabilites, Kaiser black self-adhesive pearls, SU red ribbon and gusseted cello back, Offray narrow black ribbon, Papertrey button, foam adhesive

~ ~ ~

For this next project, I went with a completely different look:

Some beautiful 7Gypsies Gypsy Market papers, my Ranger Distress Inks, and my distressing tool, and I was good to go. It's not a traditional holiday look, but I thought the papers were kind of "We Three Kings"-ish - earthtones for the dusty, arid terrain the kings traveled across, and fancy, elegant patterns for the opulent gifts they carried. Anybody else with me on that, or am I overthinking again? {grin}

Stamps: Star Noel (Penny Black)
Paper: Papertrey Dark Chocolate, Prismatics Simply Smooth Ivory, 7Gypsies Gypsy Market dp
Ink: Ranger Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain Distress
Accessories: Labels 5 Nestabilities, Stampin' Up ribbon and brads, May Arts brown burlap string, distressing tool, foam adhesive

In other Stamper's Dream news, check this out - all JustRite Christmas sets are on sale - 20% off!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ain't Too Proud To Beg

Tomorrow, my husband and I will celebrate our sixteenth wedding anniversary! Poor guy, he doesn't know this, but I have no card for him yet. There's still time, right? As I was thinking about what I might make this year, I remembered this card that I made him last year. It was for the Splitcoast Dirty Dozen gallery, so it never appeared here on my blog, but I can show it now. This is totally my kind of anniversary card. Not too sappy, but sweet and thoughtful just the same, and a little playful, too.

The Dirty Dozen theme was "For A Song," and my musical inspiration was "Ain't Too Proud To Beg." The images, from Anna Wight's Good Dog by Whipper Snapper Designs, were way too perfect, and I have to confess I ordered the stamp set just for this card. Anybody else do that? (I'm certain I'll use the set again - it's way too cute not to!) How fun to look back at my older work and see where my style has changed. Maybe I've simplified, or maybe I was trying too hard for the DD gallery, but this looks overdone to me now. Hope you enjoy it anyway :)

Earlier this week, my blog friend Kathy Jones gave me this award. What a nice surprise! If by chance you're not already familiar with Kathy's elegant, classy style, be sure to pay her a visit at her blog, Inspired to Stamp. Thank you, Kathy, I'm honored!

These are the rules to play along: Pass this award on to 5 people, post on their blog to let them know they won, and then answer the following questions in ONE word:

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse?
2. Your hair? Unruly
3. Your mother? Giving
4. Your father? Intelligent
5. Your favorite food? Chocolate
6. Your dream last night? Odd
7. Your favorite drink? Latte
8. Your dream/goal? Travel
9. What room are you in? Study
10. Your hobby? Papercrafting
11. Your fear? Loss
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Here
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something that you aren't? Patient
15. Muffins? Poppyseed
16. Wish list item? Silhouette
17. Where did you grow up? Virginia
18. Last thing you did? Blog
19. What are you wearing? Jeans
20. Your TV? Off
21. Your Pets? None
22. Friends? Cherished
23. Your life? Full
24. Your mood? Restless
25. Missing Someone? Yes
26. Vehicle? SUV
27. Something you're not wearing? BRACES!!
28. Your favorite store? Antique
29. Your favorite color? Red
30. When was the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Unsure
32. Your best friend? Laura
33. One place that I go to over and over? School
34. Facebook? Some
35. Favorite place to eat? Out

Hmmm, the hard part ... passing this on to only five other bloggers when hundreds inspire me so much!

... and anyone else who wants to play!

Happy thoughts,

Stamps: Good Dog (Whipper Snapper Designs)
Paper: Mellow Moss and Chocolate Chip (SU!); Ivory (Papertrey); Archaic dp (Basic Grey)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black (Tsukineko); Chocolate Chip, Close to Cocoa, Soft Sky (SU!)
Accessories: loopy brads (Karen Foster Designs); ivory natural twill (source unknown); dark brown twill (Offray); natural hemp, sponges, paper piercer, linen thread, dimensionals (SU!); Tiny Bubbles Cuttlebug folder (Provo Craft); Copic markers

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A First and A Last

It was a big day in the Sheffer house yesterday - my youngest started preschool! An exciting first for him, and a bittersweet last for mom. He's my baby, and now he's already in school! They grow up far too fast, and on some days that's more evident than on others. Of course, I was a Nervous Nellie the whole time he was gone, but he had a great day, and I wish every single one of you could have seen the strut in his step at pick-up time. This kid was seriously full of himself! It took most of the afternoon to get him back down to earth, and I enjoyed every last second sharing in his pride.

Here's my little guy getting ready to leave for school. Not a great picture, but the look on his face is priceless.

Congratulations, Gabriel!

I've been working on a few different projects, but nothing is ready to share yet. Hopefully tomorrow, but definitely Friday, when I'll have a fun Penny Black project or two (or three?). If you haven't been following along with Penny Black Week at Stamper's Dream, here are some catch-up links:

Monday: Denise, Michelle, and me
Yesterday: Becca, Michelle, and Tosh
Today: Laurie, Denise, and Michelle

Thanks for stopping by today!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Penny Black Week at Stamper's Dream

Penny Black has introduced a wonderful new collection of cling-mount images called the Slapstick Collection, and the Stamper's Dream designers are showcasing them (and other PB images) all week long. Also posting today are Denise Marzec and Michelle Rodgers, and their cards are just sweeter than sweet!

I can remember going caroling as a child every December as part of my piano teacher's Christmas party. We'd sing to the neighborhood, botch a few lyrics (or tunes) here and there, freeze our fannies off (usually), and, of course, head back to her house for hot cocoa and cookies. Fun times! I haven't been caroling or welcomed any carolers in years, so I thought it might be fun to use this adorable Caroling Trio image to make caroling invitations for some friends and neighbors. I stamped the image in Versafine Onyx Black onto watercolor paper, clear embossed, and colored with Tombow markers. I added some perimeter sponging using Stampin' Up's Bashful Blue inkpad and a sponge dauber. The sentiment, "a-caroling we will go," is hand-written with a black pigment pen and cut into a banner. My Mind's Eye's Colorful Christmas paper collection had just the right bright, fun look I was going for, and the 1" teal sheer ribbon by May Arts matched perfectly. Martha Stewart punched snowflakes, silver brads, glitter, and some stitching provide the finishing touches.

[ETA: I was feeling a bit like the farmer's wife when my Spellbinders die cut off the mice tails. To fix that, I stamped the image a second time, cut out the tails, extending on into the body about a 1/2 inch. Then I used a craft knife to make tiny slits on the original image right at the base of the tail. I threaded my new tail sliver through that slit and secured on the back. Even in real life, you almost can't tell they've been added back on.]

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Old Fashioned Sleigh

Vintage, aged, antique, old-fashioned - whatever name you give it, it's HOT! My Mind's Eye has come out with two deliciously vintage/heritage collections called Life Stories 1 and Life Stories 2. What I love about them is that the beautiful patterns are printed on a Kraft base. Though neither collection is holiday themed at all, I couldn't help but think of the sleigh in JustRite's Old Fashioned Christmas as a good fit for the rose colors of the Life Stories 2 Collection.

I stamped the sleigh in Ranger Walnut Stain Distress ink onto Prismatics Simply Smooth Ivory card stock, omitting the sentiment that's included as part of the image, and then colored with Prismacolor pencils and blended with Gamsol and paper stumps. Then I inked each section of the sentiment (omitting the sleigh), stamped them separately, and cut them into banners. That left my sleigh a little "naked," so some layering, stitching, and a dotted border from the same JustRite set to the rescue. Each panel is sponged with both Vintage Photo Distress Ink and Walnut Stain Distress Ink, and some of the edges are roughed up with an edge distressing tool as well.

Why, oh why did I manipulate the image and sentiment this way? To fit with Jen's new Sketch For You To Try, of course :) Check it out at i{heart}2stamp, and be sure to visit my fab SFYTT sisters to see what kinds of inspiration they've come up with this week:

Jen del Muro, with a brand new guest designer of the month
Amy Rohl
Kelly Lunceford
Leigh O'Brien
Susan Liles

We love to see you play along! Link your entry to Jen's blog and remember to use keyword SFYTT when uploading to your online gallery.

Before I go, have you seen any of the peeks at what's coming soon from JustRite? If not, here's one:

Oh my heavens, are those squares I see?? YES! And a whole bunch more circle stuff, too! All the new products will be in the Stamper's Dream store in just a couple of short weeks. Way to change it up, JRS! These are going to be FUN!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps: Old Fashioned Christmas Borders & Centers (JustRite Stamps)
Paper: My Mind's Eye Life Stories 2, Prismatics Birchtone Dark and Simply Smooth Ivory card stock, page from an old book
Ink: Ranger Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain Distress Inks
Accessories: Prismacolor pencils, blending stumps, Gamsol, sewing machine, foam adhesive, Spellbinders circle and Labels 5 Nestabilities, papertrey buttons, May Arts twill and ivory burlap string, distressing tool