Thursday, June 30, 2011

Paris, New York, London Couture

Lately, I've found myself surprisingly homesick for the beautiful Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains that flank the Shenandoah Valley where I grew up, so I took the three kiddoes down that way to visit their grandparents for a couple of days. Their behavior (the kids', that is -- teehehe) was wretched, but even that couldn't rob me of the peaceful, restorative powers of the beautiful landscape. We also visited a museum where we watched a short movie about Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign during the Civil War. I've never been a big history buff, but I found myself fascinated and wanting to learn more about both the Civil War and the geographical region I still call home.

Enough chatter, though, would you believe today's card was supposed to be a 10-minute card? I've had a quick and easy idea I've been wanting to try, but I went in a bit of a different direction, I'm sure you can tell {grin}. See the tag? I started by making that out of watercolor paper, Distress Stains (Peeled Paint and Broken China), various distressing methods, then stamping with an image from Tim Holtz's Papillon stamp set (currently out of stock at Stamper's Dream - sorry!). The words "Paris, New York, and London" had me thinking fashion, so I pulled out a Maya Road chipboard dress form and Webster's Pages' Trendsetter 6x6 Petite Paper pad. I painted the dress form with ivory (or maybe white?) acrylic paint, then sponged the edges with Old Paper and Vintage Photo Distress inks, and last, coated the whole thing with Clear Rock Candy Crackle Paint.

Various bits and pieces tucked here and there finish up the collage look:

Maya Road tickets, stick pins, and organza rose ribbon
Prima bling (necklace on the dress form) and trim
May Arts trim (a prize from Embellish Magazine for winning one of their color trends challenges - thanks Embellish!)
Webster's Pages Bloomers (the turquoise flower)
a stamped and trimmed butterfly (also from Papillon)

I'm linking this up to the current CR84FN32 challenge. Aqua and green are well-represented, and I'm hoping the bling "necklace" fulfills the yellow :)

Thanks for stopping by today! Have a good one!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sky's The Limit

Laura Pryor, of Lil' Inker Designs, has done it again! She's something of a creative genius, I tell ya! First it was the sentiment flag die and stamp set combo, then the adorable (and ingenious) pinwheel die/stamps combo, and now she's got the cutest rainbow and clouds dies, with a coordinating stamp set, of course! I can't wait to see what future brilliance might be clanging around in that noggin of hers!

There's quite a lot to love in this latest set, Rainbow & Clouds ...

1. You get not one, but two rainbows ... one is the half-arc that I've used on today's card and the other is a smaller full arc
2. The same die cuts both of the rainbows and a second die cuts two clouds - large and small
3. Perforations around the perimeter of the clouds -- so cute!
4. Super cute coordinating sentiments in a most fun handwriting-style font -- love, love!!

I put together a quick and cute rainbow scene just by layering the rainbow and clouds die-cuts onto some cloud pattern paper, then adding a sun sticker and a grass border. Embellishments are minimal -- hand stitching, a jumbo scallop border, ribbon and a button tied off with yellow twine.

Here's a look at the smaller, full-arc rainbow, which I added to the inside of my card, along with a congratulations sentiment. I'm late getting a graduation card and gift sent off to a friend's son. He's heading away to college in the fall and this will be perfect!

I also made this for the current Embellish Rainbow Color Trends Challenge:

A pair of close-ups:

Have a colorful day!

Stamps: Rainbow & Clouds (Lil' Inker Designs)
Paper: Papertrey Dark Chocolate, Harvest Gold, Hawaiian Shores, and White card stock; Stampin' Up Wild Wasabi and Real Red card stock, My Mind's Eye Good Day Sunshine and Fly A Kite dp
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black
Accessories: Lil' Inker Designs Rainbow & Clouds dies, My Favorite Things Fresh-Cut Grass and Jumbo Scallop Die-namics dies, Simple Stories 100 Days of Summer sun sticker, Papertrey ribbon and button, The Twinery twine, paper piercer/needle/thread
Size: 4 1/4" x 5 12"

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fun in the Sun

Teresa's got a great Viva La Verve sketch posted over in the Verve Forum to round out our June batch of sketches. Check out the participation details HERE for your chance to win an upcoming Verve release in full! Speaking of upcoming Verve releases, mark your calendars for Friday, July 8 -- the wait for some new Verve is almost over! Yeeehaw!!

Today's card uses Verve's awesome summer-themed set Relax, which, by the way, is included in Verve's current For the Boys Sale (along with a whole bunch of other sets). Pick up any of the sale sets during the month of June and save 15%! Both the palm trees and the Fun in the Sun sentiment are from Relax. For fun, I stamped the trunks onto a woodgrain pattern. The papers, including the rectangle panel with the numbers on it, are from 100 Days of Summer by Simple Stories. I am head over heels for this collection -- so fun and bright and cheery! Thank you, Paper Posies, for sending it my way. (I'm a long-time Paper Posies kit subscriber, and the June 2011 kit especially ROCKS!)

Here's Teresa's Viva La Verve sketch:

And here's a close-up (I am ignoring the red smudges on the tips of my yellow "N" -- perhaps you will ignore them, too? {*grin*}):

Hope you're having a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

And Many More

While in a vintage/shabby creative mindset, I put together this card for a friend's birthday. The papers are from Graphic 45's Once Upon a Springtime, including the main focal image, which I just cut from one of the patterns, and the angled postcard behind it (mostly covered up). I stamped a birthday sentiment from JustRite's Forever Friends cling set, die-cut it with one of JustRite's Charm dies, and tied it onto a length of crinkled seam binding using some May Arts ivory burlap string.

To add a little somethin' to the focal panel, I cut one of the Spellbinders Fancy Tags Three in half and trimmed it a little in order to use it as left and right brackets. I also used a small accent image from Forever Friends to stamp a subtle border on the pink gingham pattern. I need to remember to stamp borders more often instead of reaching for punches and dies all the time!

I finished the inside, too -- haven't done that in a while, but I sure do love how the finished insides make the card feel so much more complete. The sentiment and frame are both from JustRite's Elegant Frames set. I accented again with Fancy Tags Three diecuts, one on the left and right and another on the top and bottom.

Thanks for visiting, and may you also have happiness today, tomorrow, and always!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Celebrate Your Day

A little more love today for Crate Paper's Emma's Shoppe 6x6 paper collection and the coordinating Eclectic Buttons I loved on a couple of days ago. Emma's Shoppe is just such a yummy collection! The sentiment is from JustRite's awesome all-purpose mini sentiment set Just Because. I die-cut it with a Spellbinders Ribbon Banners die, then gave the banner a pedestal by using just a portion of one of Spellbinders Elegant Posts dies. The birds are from Prima's Birdsong Script Collection. I originally intended this to be a birthday card, but the pair of birds sure gives it a wedding or anniversary feel, don't you think? More than okay, though, as I know a very special couple who will be celebrating forty-eight years of marriage in just a few days -- my parents.

Hope you're having a great week! I am, but I sure am finding stamp time hard to come by! Take care!!

Stamps: Just Because (JustRite Stamps)
Paper: Crate Paper Emma's Shoppe 6x6 Collection, Papertrey Kraft card stock, Stampin' Up Regal Rose card stock
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Papertrey Fresh Snow, Ranger Old Paper and Vintage Photo Distress Inks
Accessories: Prima Birdsong Script Collection, Spellbinders Classic Circles, Ribbon Banners and Elegant Posts dies, paper piercer/needle/thread, foam adhesive, distressing tool, Papertrey twine, Crate Paper Emma's Shoppe Eclectic Buttons
Size: 4 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Monday, June 20, 2011

Proverbs 31:28

Happy Monday, blog friends, hope you had a great weekend celebrating fathers everywhere! I put together today's card using Sankari's Viva La Verve sketch (turned on its side). It's a unique and fun sketch -- hope you'll give it a shot for a chance to win some Verve! Challenge details are posted HERE.

The Scripture stamp is Verve's Proverbs 31:28 Plain Jane and the papers are from the adorable Emma's Shoppe collection by Crate Paper. I love this Scripture and am so glad to have it stamp form -- great for celebrating mothers on Mother's Day or any other time! I'm hanging on to this card to give my mom on her birthday later this summer. She and my oldest son almost share a birthday. Cole, her first grandchild, was born the day before my mom turned 60. Ever since then, I've felt like her birthday gets a little overshadowed by his. She is, of course, more than happy for him to have the birthday spotlight, but even so, I want to make sure her day is special, too! So this is just a small head-start at making sure that happens!

Card details include sanded and distressed edges, stitching, baker's twine, paper curlycues, and some uber sweet Crate Paper Emma's Shoppe Eclectic Buttons. I've had these buttons quite a while and had to overcome major urge-to-hoard tendencies before using them on a card -- they're that cute! On the other hand, since they're that cute, USE THEM, share them, enjoy them, right?

Update to add: I forgot to mention that my mother is a retired librarian, an antique collector, and an extremely sentimental person. She has saved all sorts of things from my childhood and even hers. The Emma's Shoppe pattern that is a series of vintage children's book spines is absolutely perfect for her!

Have a happy day!

Stamps: Proverbs 31:28 Plain Jane (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Papertrey Kraft and Rustic Cream card stock, Crate Paper Emma's Shoppe dp, Basic Grey Ivory Basics dp
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Papertrey Fresh Snow, Versamagic Wheat and Aquatic Splash
Accessories: Crate Paper Emma's Shoppe Eclectic Buttons, Papertrey twine, Spellbinders classic circle Nestabilities, foam adhesive, sanding block, paper piercer, needle, thread, My Favorite Things Little Open Scallop Die-namics, distressing tool, corner rounder
Size: 5 1/2" x 4 1/4"

Friday, June 17, 2011


I love this darling image, Clementine the Teapot Girl, available at Stamping Bella, sponsor of this month's Sketch For You To Try. I adore anything with a teapot; add that sweet little girl with her precious pigtails and I'm a goner! Clementine is colored with Copic markers to coordinate with the Crate Paper Emma's Shoppe papers I chose. The letters on the sentiment banner were stamped with some old mini foam stamps from my stash. The layout is this month's Sketch For You To Try ...

To play along, just use the sketch, upload to your blog or an online gallery, and link up to Jen's June SFYTT post before the end of the month! Looking forward to checking out all the beautiful entries!

Here's a closer look at the coloring. I really need some help with pinks -- they never seem to come out quite like I want!

Keeping it short today ... fighting off some kind of bug (thinking maybe my youngest gifted me with his strep throat -- thanks, buddy!) and trying to deal with the bomb known as Last Day of School that went off in my house yesterday afternoon. How about you ladies? If you have schoool-age kids, are they out now? Anyone in a school district with year-round school?

Love to all!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Stamper's Dream & Friends Blog Hop

Today, the Dream Team at Stamper's Dream and some very special guests have teamed up for a blog hop. Along the way, you'll find more eye candy than you'll think is even possible, plus you'll have a chance to win some hidden blog candy. Let's get going!

Here's today's hop order:

Debbie Olson
Becca Feeken
Michelle Rodgers
Laurie Schmidlin
Amy Sheffer (you're here)
Denise Marzec
Tosh Leyendekker
Mona Pendleton
Cindy Lawrence
Silke Ledlow
Arlene Cuevas
Charmaine Ikach
Mariana Grigsby
Lea Lawson
Joan Ervin
Teresa Kline
Jeanne Streiff
Kellie Fortin
Christina Fischer
Jo Thompson

And here's the blog candy that will be awarded to one random commenter along today's hop:

Be sure to leave lots of comment love to increase your chances of winning! Michelle will announce the winner this Thursday evening, the 16th.

For my card, I wanted to play with some newish goodies: Spellbinders Grand Calibur, Grand Labels Four Nestabilities, and Tim Holtz's Papillon stamp set by Stamper's Anonymous. I also incorporated a sentiment from You Are My Anchor by JustRite, a set with which, I must say, I'm quite taken.

I started by making the shaped card base using the largest Grand Labels Four Nestabilities and my Grand Calibur diecut machine. Next, I cut the green panel (a butterfly pattern from Graphic45's Once Upon A Springtime 8x8 pad) using the next smaller Grand Labels Four die. The sentiment, from You Are My Anchor, was stamped onto a  layered circle and lacey circle panel. I strung a Melissa Frances Super Mini Envelope and Tag (aren't they *adorable*?) from some crinkled seam binding, then embellished with a stamped and colored butterfly (from Papillon), some trim, a Zva Creative pearl flourish, stitching, and a chipboard glittery star.

Thanks for visiting, and enjoy the hop!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Happy Go Lucky Tag Trio

I made some super quick, easy thank-you tags last weekend for some year-end gifts, and whipped up a batch of extras to have on hand. I used the same basic layout each time, just changed the paper combos and sentiments to make three variations. The tag shape is die-cut with Verve's Sweet Scallop die, and the sentiments are all from Verve's Sweet Treats stamp set. The papers are Happy Go Lucky by My Mind's Eye.
They were so quick to assemble that I made three of each:

 And here's one in action, tied onto a clear cello bag containing an amazingly fragrant handmade bar of soap that I found at the local farmer's market.

I gave these away by themselves, but they'd also be perfect along with a gift card when you need a bigger gift.

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Stamps: Sweet Treats (Verve Stamps)
Paper: My Mind's Eye Happy Go Lucky, Papertrey Kraft
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black
Accessories: Verve Sweet Scallop die, Stampin' Up 1 1/4" circle punch, 1 3/8" circle punch, small star punch, and curly label punch, Papertrey buttons, The Twinery twine

Friday, June 10, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sailor

Nina's sketch (#118) over at Card Patterns was too interesting to pass up! I paired up JustRite's new You Are My Anchor with Webster's Pages Yacht Club papers to make a masculine card. Both the sentiment and captain's wheel image were stamped and diecut with Spellbinders Classic Circle Nestabilities. I then stamped the captain's wheel a second time onto white card stock, colored it with Copics, trimmed it out, and popped it up for dimension. The boats are part of the Yacht Club paper design. I embellished with a couple of sailor knots, a die-cut border, distressing, and stitching. It didn't quite turn out like I had hoped, but I'm glad I gave the awesome sketch a try!

I have to show you the full You Are My Anchor set, now available at Stamper's Dream. Love this set!!

And here's the Card Patterns #118 sketch (I moved the circle element to the opposite side):

Happy Friday!

Stamps: You Are My Anchor 2" Round Borders & Centers (JustRite Stamps)
Paper: Stampin' Up Confetti White, Papertrey Ocean Tides and Kraft, Webster's PagesYacht Club 6x6 dp
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Old Paper, Brushed Corduroy Distress, Papertrey Fresh Snow
Accessories: Spellbinders Classic Circle Nestabilities, Copic markers, foam adhesive, Stampin' Up rope twine, string, Papertrey Eyelet Border die, paper piercer, needle, thread
Size: 5 1/2" square

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Recycling Mojo

To everyone making "green" choices and reducing your footprint -- this card is for you! I printed the green recycling logo onto a ruled Basic Grey Basics pattern, then stamped the sentiment, from Verve's American Hero (currently 40% off as a June Stamp of the Month selection), on top.The little ribbon tails are a 5/8" lightweight ivory twill.

For the vertical strips, I tore up a page from an old architecture paperback. The horizontal strip is made up of some burlap, a narrow strip of corrugated cardboard, household string, and a scallop border that I die-cut with My Favorite Things' Open Scallop Border Die-namics die.

The layout is this week's Mojo Monday Sketch Challenge (#194). It's a contest week, which means there are lots of Verve prizes available to challenge participants -- good luck! (Click the link for all the contest details.)

This is a different style of card for me -- thanks for looking!

Happy Tuesday!

Stamps: American Hero (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Papertrey Kraft, text paper from recycled book, Basic Grey Basics White dp
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Walnut Stain Distress Ink, Versamagic Wheat chalk ink
Accessories: Spellbinders classic circle Nestabilities, 5/8" lightweight natural twill, MFT Open Scallop Border Die-namics, burlap, recycled cardboard box, household string, foam adhesive
Size: 4 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Monday, June 6, 2011

Happiness Is You

Your Next Stamp sponsored last month's Sketch For You To Try, and this adorable image, Tea Time Fhiona, is what I chose to work with. It may be a new month/new sketch/new sponsor, but I just had to show this image some more love - it's so cute! I colored with Copics, sponged around the outside with Aquatic Splash VersaMagic chalk ink (with the Nestabilities die still in place), then added some hand-stitching.

The layout is last week's Card Positioning Systems sketch, #220. Turned sideways, it was perfect for this image. I kept the layout clean, with minimal layering and only a few embellishments ... a white crochet flower topped with a button, some baker's twine, a punched strip, dry embossing, and a little tab in the upper right where the sketch shows three small circles. The card base and background layers are Papertrey's Smokey Shadow card stock. The designer papers are from My Mind's Eye's Happy Go Lucky 6x6 pad.

Hope you had a great weekend! I spent too much time (and money) shopping for the kids and just the right amount of time watching baseball and enjoying some of the best weather ever! Today, laundry, the yet-to-be-planted vegetable garden, two half-finished home improvement projects and a dirty car are calling yelling my name.

Here's a photo of my 10-year-old doin' his baseball thing:

Have a fantastic day!

Stamps: Tea Time Fhiona (Your Next Stamp)
Paper: Copic X-Press It card stock, Papertrey Smokey Shadow card stock, My Mind's Eye "Happy Go Lucky" dp
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, VersaMagic Aquatic Splash
Accessories: Spellbinders Rectangle Nestabilities, paper piercer/needle/thread, foam adhesive, Fiskars corner rounder, My Favorite Things Little Open Scallop border die, The Twinery twine, Stampin' Up white crochet flower, button from stash, Stampin' Up label punch, Cuttlebug Seeing Spots embossing folder
Size: 5 1/2" x 4 1/4"