Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Secret of a Perfect Marriage

 Today's Sketch For You To Try is being sponsored by Totally Stampalicious! If you're not already familiar with this company, do check out their fun and hilarious stamps!! A $25 gift certificate to Totally Stampalicious will be given away to one lucky sketch participant. Just have your creation linked to Jen's blog by Friday.

Here's the sketch this week:

I think I have a little thing for stamps of old people, so it only took me two seconds to choose Gus and Stella to play with this week. If anyone knows the secret to a perfect marriage, you know this wise, seasoned couple will. Ready?? ....

Yep, that's gotta be it, right?! LMBO!

Be sure to visit the rest of the SFYTT gang for more fun Totally Stampalicious sketch samples.

Jen del Muro with guest designer Sandra MacLean
Amber Hight
Amy Rohl
Carole Burrage
Jenn Diercks
Jodi Collins
Kelly Lunceford
Leigh O'Brien
Megan Lock
Sonja Christoph
Susan Liles

Have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I fell head over heels in love with this Shindig image by Penny Black at CHA back in January. Seriously, how flippin' cute is this? Just look at those sweet expressions! And those eyes? Adorable! I colored with Prismacolor pencils on Neenah Classic Crest Solar White card stock. The sentiment is from on older Impression Obsession set called Mini Messages. The papers are from Pink Paislee's 365 Degrees collection.

Here's a detail shot:

Check out Shindig and other adorable Penny Black stamps at Stamper's Dream. Also be sure to check out the Sales & Specials section. CHA = sale time -- gotta make room for all the new goodies!

Thanks for visiting!

Stamps: Shindig (Penny Black); Mini Messages (Impression Obsession)
Paper: Neenah Classic Crest Solar White, Pink Paislee 365 Degrees
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Memento Tuxedo Black, Stampin' Up Soft Sky
Accessories: Prismacolor pencisl, Gamsol, blending stumps, sewing machine, Papertrey ribbon and button, May Arts burlap string, Martha Stewart Optic Dots border punch, Cuttlebug embossing folder, Spellbinders circle die, foam adhesive
Size: 5 1/2" square

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Love Bunny - Flirt

Hi friends, do you miss me yet? I'm trying to stamp, I promise!!  With one tornado, fourteen hours without electricity (or running water), four teeth extractions (not mine, thankfully), one {more} basketball loss, and nine stitches (let's just say the arm of a rocking chair doesn't make a very good ladder {eyeroll}), it's been hard! When it rains, it pours, right?

Speaking of raining and pouring, we're getting our fair share of natural hazards around here. Two weeks ago, we had an earthquake of all things (my first). Fortunately, it was a mild one (3.6 magnitude). The DC area isn't exactly prone to them, so a lot of people had no idea what it was ... low-flying aircraft, thunder, some kind of explosion, etc. I, on the other hand, knew exactly what it was ... the Volturi.

For about half a second, anyway. Then I did what I always do for the week or two after seeing a Twilight movie. I repeated to myself, "There's no such thing as vampires. There's no such thing as vampires. There's no such thing as vampires."  (Speaking of Twilight, or in this case, Eclipse, where are the Team Jasper t-shirts???)

So I did finally get a chance to stamp a little last night and whipped up today's card using Jen's SFYTT for this week (turned sideways), along with a super adorable Amber Ink digi stamp called Love Bunny - Flirt. Amber Ink is sponsoring the sketch this week, so just for playing along (deadline is Friday, July 30, 5 pm CST), you'll have a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to Amber Ink. You're also welcome to use code SFYTT&AmberInkC3P1GA to save 10% on any Amber Ink purchases. Amber has some adorable digi stamps and papers - check them out!

Here's the sketch (again):

Hope you'll play along!

Stamps: Love Bunny - Flirt (Amber Ink), Meet Emma & Wyatt (My Favorite Things)
Paper: Crate Paper Citrus collection, Papertrey Kraft and Vintage Cream, Neenah card stock
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Ranger Old Paper, Vintage Photo, and Frayed Burlap Distress Ink, Stampin' Up So Saffron
Accessories: Copic markers, Prismacolor pencils, 5/8" natural twill, Spellbinders Labels One and Labels Four Nestabilities, Creative Memories 1" circle punch, liquid applique, Making Memories button, May Arts burlap string, foam tape
Size: 5 1/2" square

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Julee!

It's Julee Tilman's birthday today, and several Verve friends are celebrating with a surprise birthday hop! If you've been hopping, you should have arrived here from Wanda Cullen. If not, head over to the Verve blog to get started. I know I can't wait to see all of today's birthday wishes for one of the sweetest people around!

Julee, I hope your day is filled with blessings and joy! You are one amazing woman and you deserve the very best!! Big hugs!

Here's my card, created with a sentiment and flourish image from Blessings, along with some new Oliver patterned paper by Basic Grey. It's pretty straightforward, so not much explanation required :)

I'm the end of the line for today's hop. Thanks for joining us, and if you'd like to leave Julee some birthday wishes too, head over to her blog, Poetic Artistry!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Amber Ink SFYTT

It's SFYTT Saturday, and a special one at that. (My sample will be a couple of days late, by the way. Hope you'll check back early next week.) No doubt SFYTT fans have already seen the sketch and three pieces of exciting news on Jen's blog as well as fellow SFYTT sisters' blogs. If not, let's get right to it!

First, congrats to Megan Lock, proud mama to one beautiful baby girl, Emma Grace, who was born on Tuesday! Second, we welcome back stamper extraordinaire Carole Burrage, who re-joins the SFYTT sample-making sisters beginning today! Last, this week's sketch is sponsored by Amber Ink! All participants in this week’s sketch will be eligible to win a $25 Gift Certificate to the Amber Ink store! Everyone participating in this week’s sketch is also welcome to use the code SFYTT&AmberInkC3P1GA for a 10% discount at

Here's the sketch:

Remember to link up your sketch card to Jen's blog and use keyword SFYTT in online galleries.

Happy stamping!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Live. Love. Laugh.

This is my second post today. 
For a Dare To Get Dirty challenge card, scroll down one post.

I love how well this floral image from Hero Arts' Real Flowers goes with the Citrus line by Crate Paper!  I inked the stamp with VersaMagic chalk inks (Thatched Straw, Mango Madness, and Jumbo Java). A lot of my stamping these days is with images that need to be colored or paper pieced. The images in this set are a refreshing change of pace!

The layout is Jen's Sketch For You To Try this week, which is being sponsored by The Wild Flower Patch. This is the same company that did the Tennessee flood relief fundraiser that I participated in a while back. Really cute stamps!! One lucky sketch participant will win five digi images of choice! Due to time constraints, I wasn't able to use their stamps this week, but look for something when I get back from the beach.

Here's the sketch:

Take a peek at what the SFYTT girls have created this week and consider playing along! Upload your creation to Jen's blog and remember to use keyword SFYTT when uploading to gallery sites.

Jen del Muro with guest designer Sandra MacLean
Amber Hight
Amy Rohl
Jenn Diercks
Jodi Collins
Kelly Lunceford
Leigh O'Brien
Megan Lock
Sonja Christoph
Susan Liles

Have a great weekend!


Dare to Get Dirty 2010

It's Dare to Get Dirty Week at Splitcoaststampers!  If you're a Fan Club Member, this is your chance to play along with Dirty Girls, past and present, in a ton of fun challenges beginning today and continuing daily through Friday, July 23. If you're not a Fan Club Member, this is the perfect time to become one! You can get all the info HERE.

There will be thirty-three challenges to choose from. Play one, play some, or play them all - whatever fits your schedule. You can combine challenges, too! Each day's challenges will be posted at 8 am EST - what better way to get your day started than with SCS?!

I made today's card as a sample for Kim Teasdale's challenge. Fan Club Members can read all about it right HERE! The stamps are from Verve's new Blue Skies set. The papers are from Crate Paper's Citrus line. The butterfly has been stamped twice, once onto the gold paper and once onto white card stock. The second one is colored with Copics (YR31, YR14, and YR18), trimmed out, glittered, and popped up over the first for some dimension. The cork layer was cut with MFT's Jumbo Scallops Die-namics die. Buttons are from Making Memories, wide ric rac is from May Arts, and the leaf trinket pins are from Maya Road. The various layers are sponged and stitched (with my machine this time, too.)

Thanks so much for stopping by! My family and I are heading out this morning for our annual beach vacation. I won't have much, if anything, to share in the week to come, but I'm taking my laptop along so I can catch up on my email and favorite blogs and pop in to the Dare To Get Dirty threads over at SCS! Hope to see you there!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Verve July Project Parade: My Hero

Verve kicked off a new Project Parade this past Monday, and today is my turn! Our theme this month is My Hero. That can be anyone -- a person serving his or her country, a family member, friend, public figure, etc. My project is a scrapbook page tribute to my deceased paternal grandfather, who served in the United States Army for fourteen years. Head over to the Verve blog for more about my project and the man who inspired it!

As with all Project Parades, play along with our theme and/or leave comments on each Project Parade post for chances to win. Full details are posted on the Verve blog.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

JustRite Week: Day Three

Hope you've had a chance this week to follow along with JustRite Week at Stamper's Dream! All week the Dream Team is featuring new holiday stamp sets by JustRite. Here's the posting schedule again:

Monday: LeslieChristinaMichelle
Tuesday: LeslieMichelle, me
Wednesday: KarenDenise, me
Thursday: DeniseLaurieMichelle
Friday: ChristinaLaurieKaren

Today, I'm working with Hearts Come Home, a set of six borders and six centers.

My heart always goes out to those who are separated from loved ones during the holidays, due to distance, deployment, or any other circumstance. The "Hearts Come Home For Christmas" sentiment in this set is such a sweet reminder that we're always in each other's hearts even when we can't be together in person.

The shapely die-cut behind the sentiment was cut with the new Frame Back Ornate #4 Bigz die by Sizzix. I arranged it where I wanted it and then just trimmed off the overhang on the left. I trimmed out the poinsettia (colored with Copics) from one of the other centers in this set and used it as a corner accent for the sentiment. I used the paper tole technique to give it some dimension and dressed it up with a crystal in the center and a dusting of ultrafine clear glitter on the petals.

Additional accents are some Zva Creative crystal flourishes (I used scraps left over from cutting the original flourish into smaller pieces), Kaisercraft adhesive pearls, satin ribbon, and distressing and hand-stitching around the perimeter.

By the way, I recently got an email asking about the hand-stitching. I haven't answered it yet and can't even find it anymore in the mess that is my inbox, so I'll share here for now. For some crazy reason, I've been hand-stitching on my cards instead of using my machine. It all started because my 3-year-old now scales the baby gate to get into my craft room, where he loves to squeeze the foot pedal on my sewing machine. Between him running out all of my thread and me being terrified he'd get his finger under the needle (even though it takes all ten of his tiny fingers just to squeeze the foot pedal), I decided to remove the the needle and thread from the machine altogether. Yes, I know I should just not let him play with the sewing machine, but that foot pedal will easily entertain him for fifteen minutes or more, so I've caved. Well, I went to machine-stitch on my card one day, but of course the needle and thread were missing. Get this ... I was too lazy to re-thread the machine, but not too lazy to hand-stitch - how wacky is that? The hand-stitching is WAY more time-consuming, but I found that I liked it better because I have more control at the corners. I am not normally overly neurotic about precision, but it was driving me crazy when I got to the corners mid-stitch. Please tell me I'm not alone! Or am I? 

On that note, I think I'll go thread my machine again :)


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

JustRite Week - Day Two!

It's Christmas in July! All week long, the Stamper's Dream Team is showcasing the very latest JustRite holiday stamp sets. Here's the schedule for the week:

Monday: Leslie, Christina, Michelle
Tuesday: Leslie, Michelle, me
Wednesday: Karen, Denise, me
Thursday: Denise, Laurie, Michelle
Friday: Christina, Laurie, Karen

I couldn't wait to work with Holiday Cheer. Such an abundance and variety of images! For my first project I created a fun card using the "Dear Santa, I can explain" sentiment. I faked a notebook page with Basic Grey's basics line and a spiral notebook punch. I even included a miniature pencil to the card front so the recipient can get started right away (extra pages optional {grin}). The rest of the patterned papers are from the Mistletoe collection by Making Memories. One of the patterns in that collection features the lyrics to "Let it Snow," which inspired me to create my own custom version using lyrics from "Santa Claus is Coming To Town." I used JustRite's Times Roman Lowercase Font collection for my lyrics.

As I mentioned above, the variety in this set is incredible! For my next card, I went with something much more traditional.

I started by stamping and embossing a white snowflake onto Prismatics Island Mist Medium card stock and a light aqua "Let It Snow" border on white (hard to see in the photo - sorry). Backing the stamped border and center are an accordian fold rosette and a glittery chipboard snowflake. The patterned papers are from a Memory Box 6x6 paper collection - Spearmint, maybe? For accents - some white crochet trim, satin ribbon, silver metallic string, and some die-cut and punched borders.

These are just two of ten border/center pairs in Holiday Cheer! I'm looking forward to lots of fun projects with this set!

"Dear Santa" card:
Stamps: Holiday Cheer, Times Roman Lowercase Font set (JustRite)
Paper: Stampin' Up Cranberry Crisp, Making Memories Mistletoe collection, Basic Grey basics collection (can't remember if I used white or manilla), Neenah Classic Crest Solar White
Ink: VersaMark, Versafine Onyx Black
Accessories: 5/8" natural lightweight twill, pencil, My Favorite Things cork and jumbo ricrac Die-namics die, staples, clear embossing powder, corner rounder, embossing folder, spiral punch, mini library clip
Size: 4 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Let It Snow card:
Stamps: Holiday Cheer (JustRite)
Paper: Prismatics Island Mist, Neenah Classic Crest Solar White, Memory Box Spearmint (?)
Ink: Papertrey Aqua Mist, VersaMark
Accessories: white embossing powder, circle punches and dies, Scor-Pal, Bazzill chipboard snowflake, clear ultrafine glitter, My Favorite Things scallop die, Martha Stewart Optic Dots punch, white crochet trim, white satin ribbon, silver metallic string
Size: 5" square

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Shovel, Pail, Ocean, Bliss

I'm already looking forward to our family's annual beach vacation later this month. Until then .... a beachy card ...

The layout is Jen's Sketch For You To Try:

I did a mirror image of the sketch to accommodate my background papers -- Webster's Pages Petite Papers and the coordinating Vellum & Diecut Kit. I used a diecut that includes the beautiful text treatment (explore, ocean, shovel & pail, etc.) and the postage-style border you see along the left. The beachy image, from JustRite's By the Sea, is colored with Copics.

Great news -- this month's SFYTT is sponsored by Your Next Stamp! One lucky sketch participant will win an awesome prize package from YNS: ten Fhiona minis and an Ellie of choice. Not only that, but any SFYTT fan can use code SFYTT15 to save 15% on her (or his) YNS order! Thanks, YNS!!

To play along, link up your creation to Jen's post. Remember to use keyword SFYTT when uploading to online galleries.

For loads more inspiration, pay a visit to the SFYTT sisters:

Jen del Muro with guest designer Sandra MacLean
Amber Hight
Amy Rohl
Jenn Diercks
Jodi Collins
Kelly Lunceford
Leigh O'Brien
Megan Lock
Sonja Christoph
Susan Liles

It's been a challenge getting to my craft room this week, and a challenge IN my craft room once I got there. I hope today's card doesn't look as rusty as I feel! Looking forward to a stamp-filled weekend. Hope yours is a great one!

Stamps: By the Sea (JustRite)
Paper: Papertrey Rustic Cream card stock, Webster's Pages Petite Papers and Vellum & Diecut Kit
Ink: Memento Rich Cocoa, Ranger Antique Linen and Brushed Corduroy Distress Inks
Accessories: Copic markers, distressing tool, needle and thread, red buttons, 5/8" natural twill, May Arts natural burlap string

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Home, Sweet Home

Hi friends! Didn't mean to be absent for so long. Just returned yesterday from a fun week in Southern California vacationing with my older two kids and my sister (Aunt Pepper to them). I had the grandest of plans to get some things scheduled to post while I was gone, but time got away from me. I'm anxious to catch up on blog surfing as well as get back into my craft room!

I have a little good/bad stampy news, too...

The good news is that MFT's next release is tonight! Don't miss out on all the awesome teasers the team has been sharing the past few days (check Kim's blog for daily lists of all the teasers). The release party is tonight from 8-10 pm in the MFT forum on Splitcoast.

Now for the bad news -- It's been a very tough decision, but I've elected to step down from the MFT design team. I'd like to thank Kim for the opportunity to design for MFT the past eighteen months, and I'd like to thank all of the MFT designers for their friendship and camaraderie. I've enjoyed every minute of my time on the team, and hope to return soon! In the meantime, I'll be spending my new "free time" seeking that elusive thing called balance.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Kim's Birthday Bash!

Today, some very sweet and talented stampers are getting together for a surprise birthday bash to celebrate an amazing friend -- Kim van der Sanden, aka The MFT Lady! Kim, I wish you the very best birthday ever!

Visit Kim's blog to leave her some birthday love of your own. And to see more of the celebration, visit these amazing designers:

Stamps: Birthday Flopsey (My Favorite Things)
Paper: Papertrey Kraft and Rustic White card stock, The Girls' Paperie dp
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Memento Tuxedo Black, Ranger Antique Linen, Vintage Photo, Frayed Burlap Distress Inks
Accessories: needle and thread, May Arts burlap string, Papertrey button, circle Nestabilities, Cuttlebug embossing folder, Copic markers, MFT's Jumbo Ric Rac Die-namics
Size: 5 1/2" square