Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

It's been very, very quiet on the stamping front lately, so I thought I'd share this teacher treat that a few friends and I put together for the PTO to give the teachers and staff at our kids' elementary school (we made nearly seventy of them!). This little guy is a lot worse for the wear, having been transported several times and handled quite a bit by my 4yo (safekeeping efforts, of course), but you'll still get the idea. I used to think, "What did we do before the internet?"; now it's "what did we do before Pinterest?" I seriously love that site for inspiration of all sorts! I found both this skeleton cuppie project (courtesy of Woman's Day magazine) and the tombstone free printable (thank you Elle's Studio) via Pinterest. Because of my compulsive need to stamp anything and everything {grin}, I embellished the tombstone with an oval stamped with "Spooky Treats" (from JustRite's Halloween Mini Sentiments set). The grass along the bottom was die-cut with a grass die from The Cat's Pajamas.

I will say the white fudge-coated pretzel skeletons were a bit more involved than it appeared from the recipe. I thought I'd simply thread the lollipop stick through the pretzels and stick on some broken-pretzel arms. Turns out the holes in the pretzels were too large and the pretzels spun freely and wildly around the sticks. To keep everything nicely in place, I used Wilton candy melts to secure the pretzels to the stick, quite time-consuming for such a large quantity. In the end, it was worth it, though. It always is!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Color Throwdown #165 - Never Too Old

So happy that the family is on the mend. Harder to shake is that disoriented feeling of losing an entire day. We're all feeling loads better, though, and I'm certainly up for a good challenge. Here are the colors for this week's Color Throwdown #165:

Cool combo, huh? I worked with two of the patterns in Crate Paper's Farmhouse collection, two of the sentiments from Verve's Words of Wisdom, and this week's Mojo Monday sketch (#212):

Before I go, just want to thank the ladies at The Color Throwdown for having me as their guest this month. It's been an honor, not to mention lots of fun!

Check out all this scrumptious inspiration, too ....

Broni Holcombe - Splashes of Watercolor 
Barbara Anders - Paper Pursuits
Danielle Kennedy - Wild Dragonfly Designs 
Tammy Hershberger - Stamp Happy 
Kristin Beuter - Mindless Creativity 
Laura Pryor - Lil' Inker Designs
Carole Burrage - Mother's Little Helper
Keva Brown - How Now Brown Kow
Lori Tecler - Inking a Loud
Lynn Put - The Queens Scene
Wanda Cullen - Cullen-ary Creations
Joan Ervin - Stamping With a Passion

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps: Words of Wisdom (Verve Stamps) 
Paper: Crate Paper Farmhouse collection, Papertrey Rustic White and Kraft card stock, Stampin' Up Daffodil Delight card stock 
Ink: Stampin' Up Old Olive craft, Ranger Old Paper Distress 
Accessories: EK Success punch, May Arts wide ricrac and natural burlap string, Verve Tiny Sweet Scallop Tag die set, Recollections brads, paper piercer/needle/thread, Pizzazz Aplenty turquoise 2mm rhinestones, foam adhesive
Size: 4 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Color Throwdown #165

Laura is hosting this week's Color Throwdown challenge, and has come up with this beautiful combo for us:

Visit the CTD blog for inspiration from the CTD designers. So sorry, but I'll be posting my guest designer sample a little late this week due to an inconsiderate little stomach virus running through my house. Be back soon! [Update: My sample is posted HERE.]

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Christmas Birdcage Tag

{Updated to Add: The Stamper's Dream store closing discount has increased to 30% effective immediately! Everything must go! Get while the gettin's good, girls! Use discount code SDClosing30 at checkout. $20 minimum order.}

I was inspired by a plethora of YouTube videos to pull out my Tim Holtz Caged Bird die, a definite favorite, but sadly underused. No longer, though -- I plan to make a bunch of these to have on hand for the holidays. My end result could work as a gift or treat tag, an ornament, or even as a card element. The rosette was something I rescued from my leftovers pile and the flowers were from my stash (Bo Bunny for the rolled-style flower and Prima for the poinsettia). The bird (part of the Tim Holtz die) was cut from My Mind's Eye's Lost & Found Christmas collection. I added a sentiment flag with "From Our Family" using JustRite's Christmas Mini Sentiments set. At the top is a hemp bow topped with two rusted jingle bells. The snowflakes were diecut with MFT's Snowflake trio Dienamics die and topped with glass glitter. Sorry for the not-so-great photo -- I'm working on it! [Nevermind! :grin:]

Thanks for visiting,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Color Throwdown #164 - Boo To You

Verve just released the most adorable Halloween set yesterday -- Boo to You. I know, surprise!! Here's the thing: due to manufacturing delays, the current supply is limited. More sets will arrive in the coming weeks, but they're not guaranteed to be here in time for Halloween. So if you’ve got to have it, grab it fast!

My card is also my guest designer sample for this week's Color Throwdown Challenge, #164, hosted by Broni! Hope you'll join us!

Check out all the fabulous inspiration from the Color Throwdown design team:

Broni Holcombe - Splashes of Watercolor
Barbara Anders - Paper Pursuits
Danielle Kennedy - Wild Dragonfly Designs
Tammy Hershberger - Stamp Happy
Kristin Beuter - Mindless Creativity
Laura Pryor - Lil' Inker Designs
Carole Burrage - Mother's Little Helper
Keva Brown - How Now Brown Kow
Lori Tecler - Inking a Loud
Lynn Put - The Queens Scene
Wanda Cullen - Cullen-ary Creations
Joan Ervin - Stamping With a Passion

 For my card, I opted to incorporate the colors in small amounts against lots of white. The damask pattern is from Echo Park's Apothecary collection. The kraft circle behind the ghosts was done with a Spellbinders Picot Circle Nestabilities die. The ribbon tails are all Stampin' Up ribbon and the black ricrac is by May Arts. I cannot for the life of me remember the source of the green pom-pom trim, but it sure is fun! I dotted some two-way glue onto the ghosts and sprinkled with Stampin' Up's Dazzling Diamonds glitter, Paula- and Linda-style. The dry embossing was done with the Seeing Spots embossing folder by Cuttlebug.

Wishing you a beautiful day ...


Stamps: Boo to You (Verve Stamps) 
Paper: Papertrey black, kraft, vintage cream, and rustic white card stock, Echo Park Apothecary collection 
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Ranger Pumice Stone Distress Ink 
Accessories: Stampin' Up circle punch, Spellbinders Picot Circle Nestabilities, two-way glue pen, Stampin' Up Dazzling Diamonds glitter, SU ribbon, May Arts black ricrac ribbon, hemp twine, foam adhesive, Cuttlebug Seeing Spots dry embossing folder, pom-pom trim (unknown), corner rounder, Papertrey button
Size: 4 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stamper's Dream Blog Hop: You're the Best

Stamper's Dream and friends are joining together for a final Stamper's Dream blog hop. Sadly, Michelle has decided to close her store. As unfortunate as it is to lose one of my very favorite places to shop, I absolutely 100% support Michelle and her decision. She has posted a little bit about it today on her blog.

You know the drill ... everything must go! Save 20% on EVERYTHING with the coupon code Farewell2U. Just enter the code at checkout and you'll receive 20% off the lowest marked price of the items in your shopping cart! $20 minimum purchase to activate the coupon. Sorry, no free shipping during the liquidation. 

A proper farewell hop wouldn't be complete without the Dream Team and some very special Dream Team alumnae:

I dedicate my card to Michelle. She is the best, and I am so blessed to call her a true friend. I have the utmost love and admiration for her, and know our friendship will remain long after the store's doors have closed! The sentiment I used is from JustRite's Friendship Nested Sentiments, and the yellow oval frame is from JustRite's Song in My Heart. Some of the details include Kaisercraft Aqua Rhinestones and a postage border done with Spellbinders' Classic Postage Stamp Edgeabilities. The beautiful papers are from Prima's Alla Prima Collection. I used various flowers from my stash, but this collection does have coordinating Avon Rose Alla Prima Flowers.

The layout is this month's Sketch For You To Try, sponsored by Waltzingmouse Stamps. You have until the end of the month to play along -- link up your creation HERE!

A few more detail shots ...

I'll continue to post Stamper's Dream projects during the liquidation, so this isn't really a farewell ... yet! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Follow Your Dreams

I don't think it's actually been forever since I last blogged, but it sure feels that way. I had great expectations and a fun stamping to-do list that, unfortunately, remains untouched. But it's been a blessedly full week. One highlight: my first out-of-the-home paid employment in twelve years (woohoo!!), subbing at my youngest son's preschool. Five hours, times two days, with ten two-and-a-half years olds = ten times more worn out than usual, but 100 times blessed. Happy sigh ...

I did have a little stamping time last night. Bits and pieces of Prima's Londonerry collection (available at Stamper's Dream) have been spread out on my craft island from a couple of other cards I've made and posted, so it was an easy place to start. I have two friends who are embarking upon big life changes, both career-related, and so I designed this card with each of them in mind. It can be scary to follow your dreams, especially when it involves leaving a place of comfort and familiarity for the unknown. I want them to know I believe in them! 

The "Follow Your Dreams" sentiment is from JustRite's Dare to Dream set. "Londonerry" has several sheets in it of wonderful reduced-size elements such as the ticket that I stamped the sentiment on and the tilted square framed panel behind it (Finick Finack).

 There are also a couple of word borders that I cut apart to tuck here and there.

 Details include May Arts green velvet crochet-edged ribbon, a crochet trim bow topped with a purple Prima flower, and a crystal flourish. I don't know why, but I had never thought to tie the crochet trim into a bow until I saw it someone's blog a week or two ago. Of course now I can't remember whose blog it was, but a big thanks for the inspiration just the same!

 Thanks so much for stopping by. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Stamps: Dare to Dream (JustRite Stamps) 
Paper: Prima Marketing Londonerry, Stampin' Up naturals card stock for card base 
Ink: Ranger Walnut Stain Distress Ink 
Accessories: May Arts crochet trim and velvet crochet-edged ribbon, Prima flower, bling (unknown?), My Favorite Things bracket die, sewing machine, distressing tool, Martha Stewart butterfly punch, Stampin' Up vintage trinkets (safety pin), foam adhesive
Size: 4 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Color Throwdown #163 - Snow Buddies

The new Color Throwdown challenge, #163, is up! A fantastic combo inspired by Bo Bunny's Blitzen paper pack (but feel free to use whatever you have!). I thought this combo, and the Blitzen papers, would work perfectly with Fred Bear Snow Bear by My Favorite Things. Here's what I came up with:

I stamped in Memento Tuxedo Black, colored with Copics and die-cut with a Spellbinders Wonky Rectangle Nestabilities die. The sentiment is stamped on a Bracket Tab Dienamics diecut by MFT. I also added pearl accents to the falling snow using a Viva Decor pearl pen. You can kind of get an idea of the dimension in this close-up:

I hope you'll give this week's challenge a shot! Head over to the Color Throwdown blog for all of the participation details. And be sure to check out the design team's fantabulous samples:

Broni Holcombe - Splashes of Watercolor
Barbara Anders - Paper Pursuits
Danielle Kennedy - Wild Dragonfly Designs
Tammy Hershberger - Stamp Happy
Kristin Beuter - Mindless Creativity
Laura Pryor - Lil' Inker Designs
Carole Burrage - Mother's Little Helper
Keva Brown - How Now Brown Kow
Lori Tecler - Inking a Loud
Lynn Put - The Queens Scene
Wanda Cullen - Cullen-ary Creations
Joan Ervin - Stamping With a Passion

 Happy stamping!

Stamps: Fred Bear Snow Bear (My Favorite Things) 
Paper: Stampin' Up Early Espresso and Vintage Cream card stock, Neenah Classic Crest Solar White card stock, Bo Bunny Blitzen 
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Ranger Old Paper and Walnut Stain Distress 
Accessories: Copic markers, Spellbinders Wonky Rectangles Nestabilities, My Favorite Things Bracket Tab, Snowflake Trio and Open Scallop border Dienamics, Fiskars corner rounder, Papertrey button and baker's twine, Stampin' Up circle punch, sanding block, paper piercer/needle/thread, foam adhesive
Size: 5 1/4" square

Monday, October 10, 2011

Refuge and Strength

Good holiday (for some of us) morning! I have a quick post today to share a card I made using  Amber's Viva La Verve sketch challenge from two weeks ago (granted, a loose-ish interpretation). The weekly sketches aren't due until the end of the month, so there's plenty of time to get in on the action. The prize has changed a little bit, too! A $100 gift certificate to the Verve store for one lucky participant who completes all of the month's Viva La Verve challenges. Is that a prize or what?! And Verve stamps are not required, so our challenges are open to all!

Here's the sketch I started with:

I strayed a bit by changing the overall proportions of the elements, but everything is there.

The Psalm 46:1 sentiment is by Verve. I used papers from the My Mind's Eye Lost & Found Two Sunshine 6x6 collection. The sentiment is framed with an aqua Picot Edge Circles Nestabilities die-cut and a black Labels Twenty-Two die-cut. Such pretty new shapes from Spellbinders! I think I'm going to enjoy these two quite a bit!

Think Pink Sale

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and we're doing our part to raise awareness.We've got a special Think Pink SALE, with all in-stock stamps and dies 20% off October 1 - 16. And to sweeten the deal, Verve will donate 10% of proceeds from this sale to the
Susan G Komen For the Cure foundation.
A little something for you... a little something for the cure!

A few details shots before I sign off. I haven't included any in a while ...

 Spellbinders Picot Edge Circle (blue) and Labels Twenty-Two (black). Light sanding on the black Label Twenty-Two and light sponging (Ranger Brushed Corduroy Distress ink) on the sentiment circle.

 Papertrey Fine Linen satin ribbon, jute twine, a Papertrey black button, and two Maya Road trinket pins.

 Another shot to show dimension. To mail, I would put this in a clear box within a padded mailer. USPS classifies as a small parcel with a rate a little over $1 (I think).

 Big ol' bling  in the four corners, distressing, stitching, and scallops (I'm addicted!).

Thanks so much for visiting. Have a great day!

Stamps: Psalm 46:1 Plain Jane (Verve Stamps)
Paper: My Mind's Eye Lost & Found Two Sunshine 6x6 pad, Papertrey Aqua Mist and Kraft card stock
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Ranger Brushed Corduroy Distress
Accessories: Spellbinders Picot Edge Circles, Classic Circles and Labels Twenty-Two Nestabilities, Stampin' Up wide striped ribbon, Papertrey Fine Linen Satin ribbon and black button, jute twine, Maya Road trinket pins, gold rhinestones, My Favorite Things Medium Scallop border Die-namics, distressing tool, foam adhesive, sewing machine
Size: 5 1/2" x 4 1/4"

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Road to A Friend's House


I'm doing the whole Saturday run-around thing and almost forgot to post my card for today! I was doing some {more} organization this past week and had the chance to re-visit some of my older JustRite stamp sets. The beautiful sentiments in the Song in My Heart jumped out at me. Here, I've created a fairly easy card that features one of those sentiments. The open scallop frame was done with Spellbinders Lacey Ovals Nestabilities. The lavender background paper is from Prima's Londonerry collection. I accented with various Prima flowers, seam binding, a pearl flourish, and a Martha Stewart punched butterfly. I distressed the edges with a distressing tool and also crumpled the whole background panel, smoothed it out, and lightly sanded to bring out the creases. Along the perimeter, I added a few touches of Silver Crushed Glass Glitter by Stampendous. (Love this stuff! comes in Champagne, too! Click for a closer look at the sparkle.)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Can You Handle This?!

I'm sooooo excited to let you in on a little secret .... I'm guesting with the girls at the Color Throwdown challenge blog all month long! Every Wednesday in October, you'll find me here (and there, too!) throwing down some color with some of my very favorite stampers in the whole wide world! Pinch me, please!

I'm a wee bit terrified, if I may confess, since color challenges are not at all my forte, but fortunately, I've been given some smooth waters for my maiden voyage. How about this lovely combo, brought to us by the aweome Tammy Hershberger:

Here's what I came up with:

For more color samples, a big announcement, and the participation details, visit the Color Throwdown blog!

I used papers from the My Mind's Eye Paris & Co 6x6 pad and a sentiment from Verve's You and I stamp set. Embellishments include some ivory burlap string, buttery yellow grosgrain, a sweet petite yellow rose and a Webster's Pages cameo stick pin. Both the doily and scallop border were done with My Favorite Things Die-namics dies. The sentiment label was done with Verve's Classy Label die.

The layout is this week's Deconstructed Sketch # 21:

Thanks for visiting!

Stamps: You and I (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Papertrey Kraft and Vintage Cream card stock, My Mind's Eye "Paris & Co." 6x6 pad
Ink: Ranger Walnut Stain, Versamagic Aqua Mist and Wheat, Stampin' Up Barely Banana
Accessories: Verve Classy Label die, My Favorite Things Decorative Doily Duo and Medium Scallop border Die-namics, Spellbinders Classic Circle Nestabilities, Stampin' Up Cream grosgrain, Recollections mini rose, May Arts burlap string, Maya Road trinket pin, Webster's Pages cameo long needle push pin, paper piercer/needle/thread, foam adhesive
Size: 5 1/2" x 4 1/4"

Monday, October 3, 2011

Verve Diva Inspirations Blog Hop

Welcome to the October Diva Inspirations Blog Hop! Our Diva Inspirations and Release teams are here to start your month off right with a little Verve inspiration! Take a little peek at each of the fabulous blogs below and leave a little comment love for their Verve-alicious eye candy and you just might win some Vervey goodness of your very own!

My card features the current Stamp of the Month, Harvest Blessings, which you can pick up during October for a whopping 40% off. The leaves are stamped and hand-trimmed, then layered onto a sentiment circle and a Kraft tag that I die-cut with Verve's Sweet Scallop Tag. Some olive green burlap fabric and burlap string add to the rustic look, and dry embossing gives some additional texture.

Be sure to check out what the rest of the Divas are showing today:

Diva Inspirations Blog Hop

Master Hop List
1. Julee10. Sankari
2. Betty11. Teresa
3. Dawn12. Andrea
4. Jen d.13. Tosh
5Lynda14. Maureen
6. Shannan15. Amy
7. Sony16. Laurie
8. Susan17. Jen T.
9. Charmaine

We've hidden a little mystery prize on one of today's hop spots, so be sure to leave a little comment love as you hop around for a chance to win!
Comment Deadline: 11:59pm Mountain, October 10
Prize: $30 gift certificate to Verve

Think Pink Sale

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and we're doing our part to raise awareness.We've got a special Think Pink SALE, with all in-stock stamps and dies 20% off October 1 - 16. And to sweeten the deal, Verve will donate 10% of proceeds from this sale to the
Susan G Komen For the Cure foundation.
A little something for you... a little something for the cure!

And last but not least, a new month brings a new
Stamp of the Month...
Harvest Blessings
Harvest Blessings
At 40% off during the month of October,
Harvest Blessings is one splendid deal!

Thanks for visiting!