Saturday, November 27, 2010

Gifts For You

Today's card features an adorable Stampavie Penny Johnson image, Gifts For You. I colored the image with Copics and Prismacolor pencils. The scarves and stockings are paper pieced. The patterned papers are all from Crate Paper's Snow Day collection. Other details include snowflake accents (Martha Stewart punch and MFT Let It Snowflake Die-namics) that have been glittered with Frosted Lace Stickles, liquid applique on the furry parts of Santa's suit, an open scallop border (another MFT Die-namics die), and a random sprinkling of bling.

The layout bears some resemblance {wink} to Jen's Sketch For You To Try for this week:

I modified that main circle panel to suit my image and adjusted the placement of the circle accents just a bit.

More sketch inspiration ...

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

To play along with the sketch, just link up your creation to Jen's post. Remember to use keyword SFYTT when you upload to online galleries. This is the last weekend of the month, which means next weekend we'll have a brand-new guest designer getting sketchy with us. Will it be you? Play along and it could be!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Indie Girl PI

I seem to be on a bit of a Pure Innocence kick lately! This one is called Being Cute Is What I Do. Most of this card is just the result of playing around with some Sassafras Lass Indie Girl border stickers and 6x6 papers. For the stamped image, I colored the skin and hair with Copics, then paper-pieced her outfit. The Kraft mystery mound (maybe a rock? a hill? a mountain in the distance?) was die-cut with a Spellbinders Labels Fourteen Nestabilities die and dry embossed with Cuttlebug's Seeing Spots embossing folder. In front of that is some green felt grass cut with My Favorite Things' Fresh Cut Grass Die-namics die. The clouds were also done with an MFT Die-namics die, Clouds Trio. The banner is from an Indie Girl flag banners 12x12 sticker sheet.

On the inside ... more of those pretty Indie Girl papers, a blank space to write a message (die-cut with a Spellbinders Lacey Circles Nestabilities die), and another piece of a flag banner sticker.

My daughter *loves* these Pure Innocence girls, so I can't wait to tuck this into her lunch box one day next week!

Have a fantastic day, and thanks for checking in!

Stamps: Being Cute is What I Do Pure Innocence (My Favorite Things)
Paper: Sassafras Lass Indie Girl, Papertrey Kraft and Enchanted Evening card stock, Neenah Classic Crest Natural White card stock
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Memento Tuxedo Black, Ranger Antique Linen and Brushed Corduroy Distress Inks
Accessories: Copic markers, Spellbinders Labels Fourteen and Lacey Circles Nestabilities, My Favorite Things Fresh Cut Grass and Clouds Trio Die-namics, Papertrey ribbon and button, May Arts burlap string, corner rounder, paper piercer/needle/thread, foam adhesive

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans!

And to my readers of all nationalities, as I reflect on all that I have to be grateful for, I think of each of you, the many unique individuals who collectively make this papercrafting community a warm, cozy creative home for so many. May your year ahead be filled with good health, prosperity and abundant blessing!

Hugs and much love,

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hairy Potter

I've had this fun Emerson Quillin Hairy Potter stamp by American Art Stamp for, gosh, at least two years, and, having just seen Deathly Hallows, Part 1 last night, it seemed not just appropriate, but somehow necessary, to ink this baby up finally. The paper are from Crate Paper's Restoration collection, and the notebook border punch was die-cut with My Favorite Things' Notebook Edge Die-namics die.

So, the movie ... loved it, "flaws" and all! Can't wait to go again. Have you seen it yet? Are you planning to?

Off to get started on my Thanksgiving preparations. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cheer Coach Gift Idea

First, let me apologize for the photo quality. My family was half a mile out of the neighborhood with these photo album gifts in hand when I realized I had forgotten to photograph them. I persuaded my very punctual husband to return home so his not-so-punctual wife could make the family late for the party just for the sake of her little ol' blog! He's a dear :) I didn't have time for my usual set-up, so I tossed them on the dining table and shot a few quick ones. Hopefully, you'll get the idea!

I volunteered to make keepsake photo albums for the two cheerleading coaches this year to go along with year-end gift cards from the girls and their families. I was hoping to create something inexpensive, yet personal. That way the bulk of the money donated could go toward nicer gift cards, and hopefully the coaches would end up with a more meaningful keepsake than, say, a plaque or other commemorative item.

I started with $2 photo albums that you can find at stores like Michael's, Target, War-Mart, etc. These are the kind that have clear plastic covers with pre-printed inserts. I just replaced those inserts with my own. For the cover, I used the cute MFT Pure Innocence Cheerleader (a PI I had tried to resist, but found was just way too practical NOT to own {grin}) and cased Jen del Muro's awesome cheerleader pyramid idea, which you can see here. I tried to give each girl a unique appearance by varying the hair and skin tones (an interesting exercise, since I mostly just stick with my usual E0000, E000, E11 and R30 combo).

On the inside cover is a cool close-up of the pom-poms that I had taken earlier in the year. I added the dedication message in Photoshop before printing. And on the facing page is a group photo and all the girls' names.

I filled the album pages with photos and "stats" for each girl, thank-you notes they'd written to each coach, and some random pictures I took at the championship game (which our team won - woohoo!). What I love about these albums the most are the girls' notes. They're full of the kinds of superlatives you get at this age ("you're the best cheerleading coach in the whole wide world" type of thing), and the misspellings are adorable ("thank you for being my cerleting koch"). Here's the spread of my daughter, for example (and please ignore her hair - she insisted on doing it all by herself, eek!):

In the end, I was totally second-guessing myself with these and worried they looked a little cheesy. If I do something like this again, I'd love to upgrade the album quality. I saw some at Target that were much nicer. They looked more like mini scrapbook albums, with the hard "cloth"-covered covers, etc, but they didn't match our colors at all, so I opted for the clear plastic ones instead. Anyway, the price was definitely right at under $5 each, including photo printing, albums, and other supplies, and they seemed well-received :)

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Don't Open Until Christmas

Bet you'll never guess what I've been doing today? ;) Here, at last, is my sample for this week's Sketch For You To Try. I've been wanting to ink up this sweet little "Don't Open Until" Pure Innocence image from My Favorite Things for a while now, and Jen's sketch looked like a super fit. Here's what we're working with this week:

I colored my image with Copics and Prismacolor pencils. I colored a second image, trimmed around the girl and present and placed it down onto the first one. I didn't end up popping it up because the grass beneath the gift became a little tricky. Love how the sentiments in this set work for *both* Christmas and birthdays - so much added versatility there. I went ahead with the Christmas sentiment and even gave her some long sleeves for the season. The snowflake accents were cut with MFT's Let It Snowflake Die-namics die. I tucked in some Prima Cream Lace Trim behind the main image. Patterned papers are from Basic Grey's Jovial collection.

If you haven't seen the rest of the SFYTT samples, check them out:

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

To play along, link up your sketch card to Jen's post. Love this sketch - hope you do too!

Have an awesome weekend!

Sketch For You To Try

Hi stamping friends, can I buy an extra day on my SFYTT sample? An extra couple of hours even? You see, "well-rested" beat out "punctual" for characteristics I'm claiming today. Instead of making my sketch sample last night, I fell asleep on the sofa (for 6 hours! I must have been tired!). Anyway, I'll be stamping up something in a bit, but until then, please enjoy this week's
sketch ...

... along with a multitude of samples (almost the full gang this week - YAY!):

Susan Liles
Amy Rohl
Amy Sheffer
Megan Lock
Amber Hight
Sony Christoph
Jodi Collins
Jenn Diercks
Kelly Lunceford
Leigh O’Brien

See ya in a few!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Verve's Triple Play Project Parade

It's project parade time over on the Verve blog, and today is my day to share! Our theme this month is Triple Play, with the challenge being to create a terrific trio of yumminess. This could be a set of three things that coordinate, such as a bag, tag, and card, or three different cards, three different tags, etc. A fun theme! In case you missed the beginning of the parade, be sure to check out Sankari's and Shannan's projects from yesterday and the day before. We're only on Day 3 of 14, so there's lots more to come, too! It's all happening on the Verve blog. As always, we invite you to play along with us. One lucky player will win the entire January release AND join us as a Guest Diva! We're also hiding a $25 gift certificate for one random commenter, to be sure to leave some comment love (on the Verve blog) if you see something you like!

For my Triple Play, I chose to make a set of Christmas ornaments (or tags, if you prefer - they'd work well as either):

Head over to my post on the Verve blog for more project photos and all the Project Parade details. Hope to "see" you there!!

Have a fantastic day, and thanks so much for visiting!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

JustRite 12 Weeks of Christmas Blog Hop 11

Welcome to the 11th week of JustRite's 12 Weeks of Christmas Blog Hops! Every Wednesday up until Thanksgiving, some of your favorite designers will be joining some of the JustRite design team for a series of Christmas blog hops showcasing JustRite's entire Christmas collection of stamps. This week, the Stamper's Dream designers are playing along!

For my project, I've put together some super quick and easy treat packaging. I started with a squarish glass jar (purchased at Target for around $5, maybe less), then spruced it up with a stamped label and some yummy ribbon. For the label, I used a border and center from JustRite's From Our House 2" Square Borders & Centers Set. I stamped the border onto Kraft and colored the holly with Copic markers, then stamped the "To/From" center on Ivory, punched it out and matted it with red. The curvy black mat was done with a Spellbinders Labels Sixteen Nestabilities die. A length of wide striped green ribbon is sandwiched between the stamped label and a paper doily. Last comes a red polka dot bow tied on with a black button and some red baker's twine.

I've filled my treat jar with candy-coated pretzel rods. To make these, just dip pretzel rods into melted Wilton candy melts. When the first color of candy has set, drizzle a second color back and forth. (You could also decorate them with seasonal sprinkles - be sure to add those before the candy coating hardens.) These are a perfect combo of sweet and salty, and festive too! Store at room temperature -- bet they won't last long!

Please visit all the designers who are participating in today's hop!

JustRite Inspiration Blog
Beate Johns
Debbie Olson
Michelle Rodgers
Sankari Wegman
Tosha Leyendekker
Kazan Clark
Lori Craig
Amy Sheffer ---you're here
Stephanie Kraft
Denise Marzec
Michele Kovack
Carolyn King
Barb Schram
Jenn Balcer
Cindy Lawrence
Angela Barkhouse
Christina Fischer
Heidi Blankenship
Mariana Grigsby
Terre Fry
Teresa Kline

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sparkle Creations Sponsored SFYTT

I couldn't be more thrilled with this week's Sketch For You To Try sponsor -- Sparkle Creations. These are some seriously cute and amazingly illustrated images! If you haven't been to Sparkle Creations, grab a beverage and plan on a nice, long visit - so much to look at. Keep reading for info on how you could win some Sparkle Creations images of your own!

I chose to work with Traveling Josh. He looks like a really sweet kid ready to have the time of his life! I love his old traveling trunk, too. I colored Traveling Josh with Copic markers on Copic's new X-Press It Blending card stock (two thumbs up), then added some extra shading with Prismacolor pencils.

The papers are from Basic Grey's Wandering 6x6 paper collection. Embellishments are a sun die-cut with My Favorite Things' Sunshine Die-namics die, some natural twill, and a buckle. On the sentiment tag, I trimmed a little car from one of the BG patterns and gave it a trail with a few paper pierced holes.

Here's the sketch this week:

I reversed the sketch to work better with my image, changed it to a square, and moved the embellishment in front of the image panel.

Can't wait to see what the rest of the SFYTT girls have done with this week's sketch!

Jen del Muro with guest designer Stepanie Muzzulin
Amber Hight
Amy Rohl
Carole Burrage
Jenn Diercks
Jodi Collins
Megan Lock
Sonja Christoph
Susan Liles

To play along, just link up your creation to Jen's blog using the linking tool. You'll automatically be entered into a random drawing to win two Sparkle Creations images (Holiday Emily and Rin and Snowman)! Good luck!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Stamps: Traveling Josh (Sparkle Creations), Are We There Yet? Pure Innocence (My Favorite Things)
Paper: Prismatics Birchtone Dark card stock, Copic X-Press It Blending card stock, Basic Grey Wandering
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Ranger Antique Linen, Peeled Paint, and Brushed Corduroy Distress Inks
Accessories: Copic markers, Prismacolor pencils, Spellbinders Mega Curved Rectangle Nestabilities and Tags Trio dies, My Favorite Things Sunshine Die-namics die, Stampin' Up clear button, DMC floss, 5/8" natural twill, Stampin' Up hardware, May Arts natural burlap string, paper piercer/needle/thread

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Day in the Country

"A day in the country soothes the soul" -- I couldn't agree with this sentiment more! It's from JustRite's A Day in the Country cling set. I just love the Fall images in this set, and before I get too lost in holiday card- and gift-making, these images needed just a little more ink!

I love the old farms with their big red barns and silos - reminds me so much of my childhood home town. Even today, I can look out my window and see three different barns and silos, two of them still operational. There's just something so pure and primal about tending the land and sustainability (well, okay, maybe not always -- don't even get me started on chemical fertilizers and all the genetic modifications in our food supply!)

I digress. As I said, this old barn and silo image is part of JustRite's A Day in the Country. I did my coloring with Prismacolor pencils. The papers are from Webster's Pages Wonderfall/Hollywood Vogue 6x6 combo paper pack. I haven't taken the time to separate this pack into the two different collections, so I'm not always sure which collection I'm pulling from, but I'm pretty certain the blue background pattern is from Hollywood Vogue. How's that for irony? A Hollywood Vogue background for my big red barn. Just goes to show the range and interchangeability of the Webster's Pages papers! I sanded and distressed the edges for a more aged, worn feel. Seam binding, buttons, trim and twine add to the homespun feel.

Next up is another card using both A Day in the Country and Webster's Pages papers. This time I tried something a little different for me -- I stamped the image in a taupe color and did not color it.

I know - way different for me! I've been seeing a similar look occasionally around blogland, where an image I would normally think to color has not been colored, and it's kinda refreshing! I love to color too much to make a habit of it, though {wink}. The sentiment is from JustRite's Nature's Nested Sentiments. The little red piece at the top of the image was cut out of a Spellbinders Fleur de Lis Pendant die-cut. There's a paper doily in the back, a torn edge on the striped strip, crinkled seam binding topped with a Webster's Pages Sparkler, and some stitching around the perimeter. My new favorite border punch, Martha Stewart's Quilted border gives the bottom a little extra somethin'.

That's it for me today! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

God Bless You

 I've had this idea for a bookmark card ever since I saw last week's Mojo Monday sketch #163:

For that long rectangle panel, I created a pocket out of a striped dp, then tucked a very simple bookmark inside. The flower is stamped with Verve's Kind Words, and the Scripture sentiment is Verve's Isaiah 61:3 Plain Jane. Here's a look at the bookmark:

The outside of the pocket is decorated with another Kind Words flower and a sentiment from Joy for the Journey. The pretty patterns are from Lily Bee Designs' Catching Fall line. See that decorative notch cut out of the top of the bookmark pocket? That was done with one of Verve's new A Cut Above steel dies - the Vintage Oval.

I did my stamping onto Papertrey's Rustic White card stock, which I love because of the little flecks in the paper. However, the surface isn't nearly as smooth as other plain {fleck-less} card stocks, so sometimes the more solid images don't stamp quite as solid as I would like. To remedy that, I just scribbled a little of the corresponding marker (I used Stampin' Up classic inks and markers) onto an acrylic block, picked up some ink with a water brush and touched up the image. If you don't have a corresponding marker, you can also pick up ink directly from the ink pad (dye-based) with either a water brush or a blender pen. Another way to improve the results is to ink up your stamp in VersaMark ink first, then ink with your desired color. (Thanks, Julee, for that tip.)

Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a great week! Except for a tenacious cough, I'm feeling much better, thankfully. Stay healthy, friends!

StampsJoy for the JourneyKind WordsIsaiah 61:3 Plain Jane (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Stampin' Up Old Olive and Baja Breeze card stock, Papertrey Rustic White card stock, Lily Bee Designs Catching Fall dp (Flannel Sheets)
Ink: Stampin' Up More Mustard, Night of Navy, Old Olive classic inks and markers; Ranger Antique Linen and Brushed Corduroy Distress Inks
Accessories: Verve Vintage Oval die; Spellbinders Scalloped Long Rectangle Nestabilities; Stampin' Up large oval punch, antique brass jumbo eyelets and Old Olive grosgrain ribbon; crochet trim; Cousin hemp twine; Making Memories button; needle and thread; foam adhesive

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Old School Harvest

I was admiring the patterns and warm, rich colors in Pink Paislee's new Old School Collection and couldn't help but think of the Fall harvest. (I can see Christmas in that collection, too.)

The stamped image, from JustRite's new *CLING*-mount (yes, you read that right!) A Day in the Country, was colored with Prismacolor pencils, then hand-trimmed, leaving just a thin ivory mat. For the sentiment, I inked just the word "Harvest" from one of the sentiments in JustRite's Nature's Nested Sentiments Centers & Verse set.

The little embellishment cluster includes a new favorite product -- Webster's Pages Netting. I particularly like the gold that I used here because it adds such a nice sparkle. Each package has eleven 8x8 squares of different nettings. On this card, I cut out roughly a 2 1/2-inch square, cinched it in the middle like a bow-tie, and tucked it behind the crochet flower. Really fun stuff, and a little goes a long way!

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

So many possibilities with this sketch - lots of room for interpretation with that circle panel. And that top rectangle would make a perfect pocket or envelope flap. Can't wait to see what you'll do with it! To play along, just link up your creation to Jen's blog.

Take a look at what the SFYTT sisters and our new November guest designer (welcome, Stephanie!) have put together for the week:

Jen del Muro with guest designer Stepanie Muzzulin
Amber Hight
Amy Rohl
Jenn Diercks
Jodi Collins
Megan Lock
Sonja Christoph
Susan Liles

(Carole, Kelly, and Leigh are all taking a break.)

Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Holiday Joy

Wow, friends, it feels like an eternity since I last posted! But I didn't want to jump on here and whine about being terribly under the weather until I had something new to show. Today's project is a holiday tag that I started way back on Thursday and finally put the finishing touches on this morning. I hope you'll indulge me in yet another Crate Paper Snow Day project - I'm loving these bright, festive colors! The trees are hand-cut from one of the Snow Day patterns, the tag behind them was cut with one of Verve's new A Cut Above steel dies. This one is called Sweet Scallop. The felt snowflake was cut with an MFT Die-namics die, and the pink one was done with a Martha Stewart punch. The sentiment is from Verve's new Holiday Phrases mini set - perfect for tags!

Holiday Phrases and ALL of the phenomenal new sets the Divas were spotlighting last week are now available in the Verve store. Purchase your favorite sets individually, or enjoy a 15% savings when you purchase the full Winter 2010 Stamp Collection. (Discount available until November 19, or while supplies last.)

Thanks for visiting!

Stamps: Holiday Phrases (Verve)
Paper: Crate Paper Snow Day collection, Papertrey Fine Linen card stock
Ink: Ranger Walnut Stain Distress Ink
Accessories: Verve Sweet Scallop steel die, MFT Die-namics Snowflake and Open Scallop border dies, Martha Stewart snowflake punch, Stampin' Up tab and word window punch, bling (unknown), Fancy Pants button, 5/8" natural lightweight twill (, Papertrey twine, foam adhesive