Sunday, February 27, 2011

These Songs I Sing, I Sing For You

Inspired by  pair of new artsy, nature-theme images from Stampendous (specifically Bird Frame and Dragonfly Vine), I set out with today's card to make something a little more artsy/collage-y than my normal style. I stamped the beautiful Bird Frame image in Walnut Stain Distress Ink onto a piece of neutral patterned paper from Basic Grey's Nook & Pantry paper collection, trimmed it out, inked the edges in Frayed Burlap, Vintage Photo, and Walnut Stain Distress inks, and then roughed up the edges with a distressing tool.

The image includes a nest down at the bottom, but I wanted to make my own nest embellishment to go over top. I'll tell you real quick how I did that. I punched a circle, made one cut from the perimeter to the center and then overlapped the cut edges to form a very shallow cone. Then I rolled some hemp into a nest shape, filled the cone with hot glue, and pressed the hemp nest down into it. I also added a few short pieces of burlap string sticking out around the edges, so it would be messier looking and more realistic. Inside, I glued three pearls for the eggs. Here's a closer look:

I arranged a scrap of cardboard, some burlap, burlap string, tickets, and torn music paper as a background for the image and then adhered the whole collage to a pretty light blue paper from Melissa Frances. The edges of the background paper and the cardboard have been lightly painted with white acrylic paint and then aged with a combination of distress inks and a distressing tool.

The sentiment was inspired by a sentiment I saw in an older Stampington & Co. publication. It reads, "These songs I sing, I sing for you." It just melts my heart!  Is there a song with those lyrics, does anyone know? I really wanted to put the first half on the outside of this card and the rest on the inside, but artful arrangement of title collages is evidently not my thing -- or maybe I just don't have the right supplies. I went with plan B and added just the word "sing" out of chipboard letters from The Girls' Paperie. Right now the card is blank inside, but I'll be putting the full sentiment on a decorated inside, just as soon as I figure out how I want to decorate the inside.

Thanks so much for visiting!

Stamps: Bird Frame (Stampendous)
Paper: Papertrey Rustic White, Melissa Frances dp, Basic Grey dp
Ink: Ranger Old Paper, Brushed Corduroy, Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain Distress Inks
Accessories: distressing tool, hemp cord, Kaisercraft pearls, Prismacolor pencils, white acrylic paint, burlap, tickets (from Michelle Wooderson's etsy shop), cardboard box, The Girls' Paperie chipboard letters, old music paper, Papertrey buttons, May Arts burlap string

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Home Sweet Home

This month's Sketch For You To Try is such a great one that I had to sneak in at least one more card before the March sketch comes out. Have you played yet? Entry form and details are HERE! The year-end prize pack available for one lucky participant who completes all twelve sketches is phenomenal! Only a few days left to enter February's challenge (deadline is the last day of the month).

Whenever I see a circle focal point on a sketch, my first thought is always JustRiteBirdhouses, a recent release, is a definite favorite -- the birdhouse images are so sweet and just sing Spring! I stamped the birdhouse trio center on Copic's X-Press-It blending card stock and colored with Copic markers. The blue sky shading was done with a combination of Prismacolor pencils (Sky Blue Light and Muted Turquoise) and sponging (Tim Holtz Tumbled Glass Distress Ink by Ranger). I wanted to give the card a little bit of a rustic look, so I inked and distressed the edges, added some random taupe stitching, and, just for fun, used a piece of burlap for one of the sketch panels. The open scallop frame around the main image was cut with Spellbinders Lacey Circles Nestabilities, and the red scallop border was cut with the Open Scallop Border Dienamics die by My Favorite Things. The "home sweet home" words were on a tag that was included in a Doodlebug Designs "Welcome Home" Cute Cuts sheet of die-cuts, and the pretty red and yellow papers are both from Cosmo Cricket's Togetherness Mini Deck.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great weekend!

Stamps: Birdhouses (JustRite)
Paper: Papertrey Rustic White and Kraft, Stampin' Up Soft Suede, Copic X-Press It blending card stock, Cosmo Cricket Togetherness dp
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Tim Holtz Tumbled Glass and Brushed Corduroy Distress Inks
Accessories: Copic markers, Primsmacolor pencils, Spellbinders Lacy Circles Nestabilities, foam adhesive, Buttons Galore red buttons, May Arts natural burlap string, burlap, Stampin' Up twill, My Favorite Things Open Scallop Border Die-namics, distressing tool, paper piercer, needle, taupe thread, Seeing Spots embossing folder
Size: 4 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stamper's Dream Blog Hop - Jumbo Peony

Today, the Stamper's Dream Dream Team and some very special guests are putting on an amazing blog hop that you will not want to miss! It all starts on Michelle's blog, so run get caught up if you need to. I'll have the full hop order below for your convenience. Be sure to leave lots of comment love along the hop for your chance at two hidden blog candy prizes!

Today, I have the pleasure of showing you two fabulous stamp sets -- Jumbo Peony by Stampendous and Friendship Nested Sentiments by JustRite Stamps. I'm working out of character today and showing you a clean-and-simple design ready for mass production. Here it is ...

The Jumbo Peony set comes with a peony image and a flourish image that can be used either as a stem or as a design element. As you can see, the peony image is very large. It almost covers an A2 card front. If you like the large size, you may also be interested in Jumbo Hydrangea, also in the Stamper's Dream store. For this card set , I used the peony image more as a background pattern and then stamped the JustRite Friendship sentiments in black over it. The shaped bottoms were cut with a Tim Holtz On the Edge Plaque & Postage Sizzix die and then dry embossed with the Cuttlebug Swiss Dots folder. The accent is made of a May Arts natural burlap string bow, a die-cut leaf, a punched butterfly, and either a mini rose or a button.

As you scroll through these individual photos, I hope you'll pause at each one long enough to take in the four sweet, heartwarming friendship sentiments that I've featured, all from Friendship Nested Sentiments.

And last, here's a detail shot showing one of the sentiments and the embellishment cluster:

I love the simplicity of this design and how quickly I was able to put together this set of four! The Jumbo Peony image is one of those that you can just sit back and let it do its thing -- love that! Still, just wait until you see this beauty all colored up--dramatic! Sorry to be a tease, but you'll have to tune in another day for that, because right now, you've gotta get hoppin'! Your next stop is ... Tosha Leyendekker!

Here's the full blog hop order:

Amy Sheffer (you're here)

Remember what I said about leaving comments? Check out what you could win:

Epiphany Crafts Heart Punch and Epoxy Bubble Caps Stickers
A LaBlanche Rubber Stamp
The Rubber Café stamp
Webster’s Pages designer vellum pack
Webster’s Pages Sentiment Sheet
Mini 3-D Puzzle
Cosmo Cricket Togetherness Paper Pad

Stampavie Rubber Stamp (new release) by Gillian Roberts
Stickles Tropical Tangerine (new color)
Basic Grey Wander 6 x 6 Paper Pad
La-La Land Crafts Panda rubber stamp
Stampendous Clear Stamp Set
Sassafras Lass felties puddle jumpers
Mini 3-D Puzzle
Webster’s Pages designer vellum pack
Webster’s Pages Sentiment Sheet
Handmade heart pin from Fabscraps

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps: Jumbo Peony (Stampendous); Friendship Nested Sentiments (JustRite)
Paper: Prism Simply Smooth White card stock, Papertrey Kraft
Ink: Ranger Spun Sugar Distress Ink, Stampin' Up Barely Banana craft
Accessories: Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder, Tim Holtz On the Edge Sizzix die, May Arts burlap string, Stampin' Up leaf punch, Martha Stewart butterfly punch, Sakura Quickie glue pen, Art Institute crystal ultrafine transparent glitter, Michael's mini roses

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hi There

It's getting close to the end of the month, which means two things... first, the deadline to enter the February Sketch For You To Try challenge is coming quickly -- February 28 to be exact. Remember, those who participate in each sketch for the whole year will be entered into a mega prize giveaway at the end of the year. Have you played this month? You'll find the entry form and all the "rules" HERE. (You'll also find a sketch thumbnail on my sidebar, which links straight to Jen's SFYTT challenge post.)

The second thing it means is that things are going to get pretty busy here on the blog over the next few days, including a super fun Stamper's Dream blog hop tomorrow. I have lots of February to-do's that still need to be checked off -- can't wait to get crafty! I wish I could tell you I've made even more progress on my studio reorg and purge, but I decided to uncover the treadmill instead (which, incidentally, was covered with papercrafting stuff!), so that I could add the Couch to 5K running program to my schedule. I typically prefer pretty much any exercise over running (so boring, if you ask me!), so wish me luck!

Anyway, back to today's card. February's SFYTT is being sponsored by Anita Be Stampin. If you're not familiar with this company, check 'em out! The stamp set I chose to work with is called Monster Hugs -- too adorable! For today's card I colored the image with Copics, added a little glitter, trimmed it out, and popped it up onto an orange dotted panel from Basic Grey's Sugar Rush 6x6 pad. All the other papers came from that same collection. I tied on my newest addiction, Divine Twine, finishing off with a bow, white crochet flower, and a green button. I cut the sentiment apart and adhered it just below the twine.

Oh, and here's the sketch again:

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps: Monster Hugs (Anita Be Stampin)
Paper: Papertrey White and Smoky Shadow card stock, Basic Grey Sugar Rush dp
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black
Accessories: Spellbinders circle and lacey circle Nestabilities, Copic markers, Quickie glue pen, Art Institute ultrafine clear glitter, Stampin' Up crochet flower, Papertrey button, Divine Twine, foam adhesive

Saturday, February 19, 2011

You're Simply Amazing

If there's such a thing as a busy season for moms, I'm smack dab in the middle of it! If you're reading this, thanks for not giving up on me this past week :) I've actually been spending a ton of time in my studio the past few days, too, but my time was all spent reorganizing and purging. I'm sure you crafty types can relate ... I have an obscene amount of stuff! I've made lots of improvements restoring order to the chaos that's been crushing my mojo, though, and am anxious to get crafty again. Hopefully without restoring the chaos {grin}, although I suspect the two are mutually exclusive for this crafter!

In the meantime, I have a card to share that I made a little while ago. This began as a project for Embellish Magazine's recent pub call (aqua, shades of orange, brown, and neutrals, plus ribbon), but I wasn't happy enough with the initial results to actually submit it. Maybe next time! And I can't wait to see all the projects that *did* get submitted and then accepted!

After letting it sit for a while, I spent a little time earlier this afternoon re-doing some of the components, and I'm liking it better now (but now the submissions deadline has looooong passed!). The sentiment is from JustRite's You Inspire Me set, as are the two beautiful doily-style frames. I stamped the sentiment in Ranger Vintage Photo Distress Ink and cut it into a circle with a Spellbinders circle die. It's popped up onto the smaller doily frame, which has been stamped in Stampin' Up's Dusty Durango, hand-trimmed and sponged. That layer is popped up onto the larger doily frame, which was stamped in Stampin' Up's Bermuda Bay, hand trimmed, and sponged. The two doily frames are accented with colored rhinestones -- Kaisercraft Aqua Rhinestones and Mark Richards orange rhinestones. Behind the two frames is a Tattered Angels chipboard frame that has also been inked around the edges.

Three little banner pieces adorn the top, along with a seam binding bow topped with an American Crafts/Dear Lizzy metal flower brad. Peeking out from behind the turquoise panel are a few layers of old book pages that have been torn and distressed. The polka dot ribbons are from Stampin' Up, the crochet trim is from Jo-Ann's (Wright's brand, maybe?), and the bottom curvy brown piece is a die-cut within the Devonshire paper pad, which is what I used throughout for the designer papers.

Thanks so much for visiting, and have a great weekend!

Stamps: You Inspire Me (Justrite Stamps)
Paper: Kaisercraft Devonshire pad, Papertrey Rustic White card stock
Ink: Stampin' Up Dusty Durango and Bermuda Bay, Ranger Old Paper, Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain Distress Inks
Accessories: Tattered Angels chipboard frame, Spellbinders Classic Circle Nestabilities, Kaisercraft Aqua Rhinestones, Mark Richards orange rhinestones, Stampin' Up ribbon, seam binding, American Crafts flower brad, paper piecer, needle, thread, book pages, crochet trim, foam adhesive. corner rounder
Size: 4 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Just For You

Happy Valentine's Day, my friends! Today I have a card to share using Teresa's awesome Viva La Verve sketch from this past Friday. If you've never played along with the Viva La Verve sketches, do check them out each Friday over in the Verve Forum. If you complete all of the weekly sketches in a given month, you're eligible to win the Sketch Champions prize, which is the following Verve release in full!

For the focal panel, I started with a Classy Label die-cut, then stamped the "Just For You" sentiment and a sweet red heart, both from Verve's Sweet Treats set. I used a Tattered Angels chipboard frame as a decorative mat for the classy label die. In place of the adorable mini envelope on the sketch, I added a page tab that I punched from a book page using a Stampin' Up punch. I'm not sure where the shiny green ribbon came from (maybe American Crafts?), but I love the sparkle and shimmer it adds. Some rolled flowers (done with an MFT Dienamics die), crochet trim, trinket pins, acrylic paint, and a random sprinkling of pearls complete the look.

Lots of Valentine love and hugs from me to you!

Stamps: Sweet Treats (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Papertrey Aqua Mist and Ripe Avocado card stock, My Mind's Eye So Sophie dp, Basic Grey Basics, The Girls' Paperie dp (pink rolled flowers)
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Ranger Distress Inks
Accessories: Verve Classy Label die, ivory acrylic paint, distressing tool, foam adhesive, Judikins Diamond Glaze, Maya Road trinket pins, My Favorite Things Rolled Flower Dienamics, Kaisercraft adhesive pearls, Tattered Angels chipboard frame, green ribbon (unknown), crochet trim (maybe Wright's?), paper piercer, needle, and black thread
Size: 4 1/4"  5 1/2"

Friday, February 11, 2011

Live, Laugh, Love

There may be snow on the ground and a bitter cold wind, but this Impression Obsession image, Live, Laugh, Love Mailboxes Cling Stamp, has me almost fooled into thinking it's Spring! A girl can dream! I stamped in Memento Tuxedo Black onto Copic's X-Press It white card stock and colored with Copics. The designer papers are from Pink Paislee's Old School Petite Paper Pad (6"x6"). For visual interest, I distressed and tore some edges and added zigzag stitching, burlap string, yellow-gold ribbon, a large scallop border done with My Favorite Things' Jumbo Scallop Border Die-namics die, and a postage border done with a Tim Holtz Plaque & Postage On the Edge Alterations Die.

Wishing you a fantastic weekend!

Stamps: Live, Laugh, Love Mailboxes Cling Stamp (Impression Obsession)
Paper: Stampin' Up Early Espresso, Copic X-Press It white card stock, Pink Paislee Old School Petite Paper Pad
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Ranger Old Paper, Brushed Corduroy, and Walnut Stain Distress inks
Accessories: Copic markers, distressing tool, SU paper clip and brads, Papertrey ribbon and button, May Arts burlap string, My Favorite Things Jumbo Scallops Die-namics, Tim Holtz Plaque & Postage On the Edge Alterations die, foam adhesive
Size: 5 1/2" square

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Love Notes Mini Postal Drop Box

I've been having visions. Of something I want my Cricut to cut for me. I went looking for info on how to make a cut file (anyone? anyone? please, pretty please?), didn't find what I was looking for, but *did* stumble upon this freakin' adorable mailbox template over at Love at first sight!

The sentiment (so perfect!) comes from Verve's Love Notes set. I let the Cricut do the hard stuff, then just assembled the box and added the stamped sentiment, some die-cuts and a few simple embellishments. Easy -- really!

 The front has a little pull-down door. I decorated the outside of it with some Stampin' Up houndstooth paper, a Spellbinders Labels Fourteen die-cut, the stamped sentiment, a punched leaf/branch, silver cord, and a rolled flower that I cut with my Rolled Flower Die-namics die from My Favorite Things.

 I decorated the left with houndstooth paper (the houndstooth panels are all cut with handy optional extra files in the SVGcuts kit), a heart that I cut with Verve's Jotted Heart die, more rolled flowers and two more punched branches.

 The right side I left plain ... just a houndstooth panel.

On the top is a seam binding/silver cord/button combo. I think I'll hang a To/From tag from the bow on the top, fill up the mailbox with some chocolates, and give it to one of my kids' teachers for Valentine's Day. If I can part with it {wink}.

Happy Thursday! Thanks for visiting!

Stamps: Love Notes (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Stampin' Up Cherry Cobbler card stock and Love Letter designer series paper, Papertrey Vintage Cream card stock
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black
Accessories: Valentine Mailboxes SVG Kit (, Verve Jotted Heart die, Spellbinders Labels Fourteen Nestabilities die, My Favorite Things Rolled Flower Die-namics die, Martha Stewart branch punch,  Michael's silver cord, seam binding, Papertrey button, Kaisercraft black adhesive pearls, Scor-Tape, hot glue gun
Dimensions: 3 3/4"W x  5 1/4"H x 3"D

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

CHA Round-Up

Some things I {heart} .....

Webster's Pages


Graphic 45

Jillibean Soup
Great news for cardmakers ... lots of new 6x6 paper pad choices this year, including Jillibean Soup! See that new collection on the left, Dutch Mustard? ... one of my favorites of the whole show!

Ranger / Tim Holtz
Distress Stains and Core'dinations Card Stock in Distress Ink colors

DCWV paper dress, Melissa Frances booth, Maya Road zipper trim, Kaiser flowers, Bo Bunny trinkets, Pink Paislee "Soiree" display

I left so much out simply because I stopped taking pictures! I was too busy shopping with Michelle Rodgers for  Stamper's Dream. You won't believe all the new goodies that will be arriving over the next few months!

But you know, as fun as CHA is for all the eye candy, of course my favorite part is the people! And again, I didn't always have my camera out, so here's just a small sampling of some people I {heart}. And by the way, I'm really squirming over posting pictures of myself. But it's like I told one of the ladies at church the other day ... if you *always* (and I mean ALWAYS) look at pictures of yourself and think you don't look very good, it might be time to acknowledge that that just might be what you really look like! ROFL!

Clockwise from top left: 
Eva Dobilas ... oh my gosh, can you say MAJOR stamp crush? Love, love, LOVE her!

Lori Craig ... such a sweet, beautiful person! You know how there are just some people in the world that you wish lived right next door so you could get to know them better? I'd pick Lori in a heartbeat!

Diane Zechman, aka cookiestamper, fellow Dirty Dozen alum. I was so honored to meet her in the Stampavie booth! Hoping some of that talent rubbed off on me!

Becky Olsen ... After doing the whole "you look familiar ... no, you look *really* familiar" back-and-forth routine in the Pink Paislee booth, I checked out her nametag (hey, that's what they're there for, right?) and squealed. During the whole month of January, we were both guest designers over at Skipping Stones Design. Doh -- no wonder we looked familiar to each other! How fun to meet her in person!! (And I know, I know, she's totally famous and I totally should have known her without looking at her nametag!)

The Stamper's Dream girls! In the middle is Teresa Kline (a fellow Verve Diva, too), who I got to meet in person for the first time. (She's another of those Virginia girls that I have to go to California to meet!) On the right is Michelle, who I simply adore! I spent a lot of time with both Michelle and Kellie Fortin of JustRite (who I have NO pictures of - how did that happen??), and together they had me in stitches for just about the whole trip.

Fellow Verve Diva and friend ... Michelle Woerner. Love her to pieces! And she's another one whose talent I'm hoping rubbed off on me!

Oh, and I have to show you the yummy tuna tartare appetizer we had at Wolfgang Puck our last night in LA ...

Oh my gosh, TO. DIE. FOR!!! Actually all of our evening meals were to die for. I arrived home well-fed both physically and creatively! A GREAT trip!

I'll be back tomorrow with some stamping :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Heart Is Yours

 Here's my take on this week's Mojo Monday sketch challenge (#177). It was a tricky sketch for me, but I tried to give it my best! The two hearts are die-cut with Verve's Jotted Heart die, one in felt and one out of some old, old, old red "velvet" Christmas ribbon - the kind you'd use on an outdoor wreath. The sweet sentiment is from Verve's Swirling Hearts set. For the angled panel, I decided to go with a faux pocket and pull-out tag tucked inside. The papers are by The Girls' Paperie (music) and October Afternoon (blue doily).

I kept the pull-out tag simple -- the Kraft label is die-cut with Verve's Vintage Oval die and the ivory embossed oval is die-cut with the Embossed Oval die. The hearts and sentiment are from Love Notes.

Here's the sketch:

Be sure to head over to the Mojo Monday blog and participate. It's a contest week, which means up to 7 lucky winners will receive Verve goodies!

Hope your week is off to a great start!

Stamps: Swirling Hearts, Love Notes (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Papertrey Kraft and True Black, The Girls' Paperie Tinsel & Twig, October Afternoon Thrift Shoppe
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Ranger Fired Brick, Brushed Corduroy and Vintage Photo Distress inks
Accessories: Verve Vintage Oval, Embossed Oval and Jotted Heart dies; paper piercer, needle, and thread; EK Success scalloped border punch; Stampin Up 1 1/4" circle punch, dimensionals, and red ribbon; Cuttlebug Seeing Spots embossing folder; Papertrey button and twine; Kaisercraft black adhesive pearls
Size: 4 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Saturday, February 5, 2011


{If you're looking for my Sketch For You To Try sample,
scroll down one post or click HERE}

It took me a bit longer than expected, but I've finally put together a card to go along with the Viva La Verve Sketch Challenge that I'm hosting this week. Have you checked out the sketch thread yet? If not, head over and jump right in to this week's challenge. If you're new to the Viva La Verve challenges, basically a new sketch challenge is posted each week. Those who enter all of the challenges in any given month are eligible for the grand prize, which is the next Verve Stamps release in full! And even though the sketches are posted weekly, you have all month to complete them!

Here's the current sketch:

I know, I know ... I'm already catching heat for the angled panel! Verve groupie Marisa has even banished me to the Bad Diva Dark Side. Ouch!! ;)

My sample is pretty straight-forward. The "Hugs" sentiment (love it!!) is from Love Notes and is stamped onto an oval that I die-cut and embossed using Verve's new Embossed Oval die (cutting and embossing are both done in one pass, by the way). The papers are from Basic Grey's Marjolaine collection. I distressed the edges and added in both some black zigzag stitching and some white straight stitching around the perimeter.

Lots going on at Verve ...

During the month of February, treat yourself right with
Sweet Savings on select sweet stamps and dies!
Plus, don't miss our February Stamp of the Month!
Sweet on You is 40% off during the month of February!
It's the perfect little set for treat giving!

Sale prices valid on in-stock merchandie
while supplies last.

Diva Inspirations Blog Hop

And in case you missed it, earlier this week, the brand-new Verve Inspiration Team put on the most amazing blog hop. If you missed the hop on Tuesday, you can catch up now! We also officially welcomed three new Divas -- Betty Wright, Dawn Easton, and Sony Christoph!
Master Hop List
1. Betty 6. Michelle
2. Dawn 7. Lynda
3. Jen d. 8. Shannan
4. Jen T. 9. Sony
5. Julee 10.Susan

That's it for me! Thanks for stopping by!