Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Just cards

I finished a work project this morning and will start another one tomorrow, so this afternoon was my chance to do cards today. The first one is the last card for Rachel. I hope she is happy with her choices! This also fit two challenges - the sketch challenge for today on SCS and the fiber challenge at Caardvarks. It was my first time using fiber and the fiber I chose was actually the starting point for the whole card. I flipped through my papers and once I settled on this Daisy D's blue paisley floral pattern, it pretty much established that it would be monochromatic. I also thought that to go along with the fiber, a distressed look would be perfect. The sketch was tough since there were so many elements that had to coordinate. I ended up doing a light blue card with the main stamping on the same CS (Bazzill), and then distressing a navy piece of APW CS by getting it wet, crumpling it into a ball, and spreading it out to dry. I tore it for the background and the center panel, which is stamped with the paisley from Stampin' Up's Itty Bitty Backgrounds in VersaColor baby blue. The stamping is done with Tombow markers, and I used two colors of the markers and tissue paper to sponge the shadow effect around the images. I cut out the images with deckle-edge scissors. The sentiment is by Inkadinkado.

This next card I actually made last night, when Todd went to bed early (his annual review was today and he was really stressed, poor guy). I wanted to make a cupcake card, and the Doodlebug paper was perfect. I used Brilliance orchid ink for the stamping (SU's Little Layers Plus and Year-Round Fun II) and accented with Gelly Roll pen. The cupcake is punched out, placed on a larger pink punched circle, then placed inside the scalloped window I punched from the paper. The organdy ribbon (from JoAnn's) is a piece of bright pink and white knotted together on the silver spiral clip. I couldn't find a place for the sentiment so for once I actually stamped it on the inside. This seems like a fun card for a little girl.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Kid stuff

Today I decided to take the kids to the park, since it was a beautiful day and we hadn't been in a while. I even remembered to bring the camera so I could share some pictures! They really had a great time. Ben spent most of the time running away from me and giggling whenever the camera would come out, but I managed to get a few good shots when he wasn't looking.

I also wanted to share a quick little funny Sarah story. We were at the grocery store and Ben always likes to stop at the lobster tank and watch the lobsters. (One of his classic lines from quite a while back: "They look happy." Um, maybe not if they knew where they were going to end up.) We were just standing there and all of a sudden Sarah piped up, "Bow wow." I guess lobsters look like puppies to her!

Here's some kid stuff of a different kind: kid cards. I made this trio of baby cards the other day. They're pretty simple but I think cute. I'm realizing if I'm going to have a good supply of kid cards by the 15th of September, I need to simplify at least some of the time! It's a little hard to see but the squares at the bottom each have different little images from Stampin' Up's Year-Round Fun II - star, diaper pin, umbrella, bunny, and flower. The tags are punched and have rub-on letters - in case you can't read them, they say "sweet girl", "cutie pie", and "sweet boy" from top to bottom. The ribbons are the main card color and white combined. The background papers are from the Nana's Kids collection by DCWV. They were fun to make - baby cards have a special place in my heart since I don't expect to be having any more of my own.

My latest project was to cut up a 12x12 sheet of Karen Foster pirate scrapbooking paper and do some pirate cards. I got two that I think are good - I'm still trying to decide what to do with the rest of the scraps. The first one is very simple - just a white card, a layer of cardstock, a layer of pirate paper, and two stamped images attached with foam dots. The second is a bit fancier, with some distressing and brads. The two pirate stamps are by The Cat's Pajamas and the "Ahoy" is by Rubber Soul.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Fussy, fussy, fussy

I have such a literal mind. I am a real rule-follower - drives me nuts when people don't use turn signals or try to go straight from the turn lane. So I should have known that when I decided to undertake this card project, it would take me all evening to finish.

This is another case of being inspired by Sarah's wardrobe. She wore this dress to church this morning (please excuse the not-so-great photo):

I looked at the colors and thought, that would make a pretty card. Then I remembered this card that I fell in love with on SCS this morning and thought of combining some of the features of the card with the patterns in the dress.

This is where my rule-following got me into trouble. I wasn't satisfied until I found cardstock and coordinating ink or markers in the exact color of the dress, and I really tried to replicate the patterns in the fabric, and I even had to use grosgrain ribbon. Tell me, who would ever know except me? And the few people who regularly read my blog? But I couldn't let it go. I do think it turned out really sweet, though. I had thought this would be another Rachel card, but it really seemed to be a birthday card to me, so I used this cute Inky Antics sentiment stamp. The brown dot paper is by Scenic Route. The cardstock is Bazzill, with stamping on the aqua from Stampin' Up's Polka Dots and Paisley (dots, stamped in Color Box celadon ink) and Delight in Life (tiny flowers). Those itty-bitty flowers were done by coloring in the flower with Tombow markers, and the flower is actually part of a much larger stamp, but I really wanted to try to emulate the aqua print in the dress. There's one really fussy part. The main stamp is from SU's What Could Be Better? and is also done with markers, and to get the aqua I had to blend two colors together (more fussiness). The purple and white panels are inked with Color Box wisteria, and the brown is sanded, which came from the SCS card. It's a nice distressing technique that's so easy to do. The ribbon is by Making Memories.

Sarah seemed to be better today - she didn't really fall down, anyway. We're still keeping a close eye on her. The cool front moved through, although all the rain completely missed us. But the temperature was much better and we were able to play outside, which the kids always love. Hard to believe that fall is just around the corner - the cool weather from last week made the leaves on our trees think that it's time to start changing colors, so our back yard will soon be full of color. It's a lovely time of year to live in New England. Until the winter comes, that is...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Almost done with Rachel's cards

I think I'm going to do one more card for Rachel - exactly what, I'm not sure yet, but here is #7, which I just finished.

The challenge today was to be inspired by the artwork shown here. I decided to use a patterned paper that I thought of on seeing the artwork, even though the colors are quite different. I tried a few different directions with it but ended up here. The gold of the card and the blue of the background both came out of the paper. I thought the center stamp (by Hero Arts) was a nice complement to the flower images on the paper, and I mirrored the scrolls with the background stamp (from Stampin' Up's Carte Postale), using Versamark to get a watermark look. I mounted the center panel on foam tape to pop it up a bit. I glued on the ribbon and then punched holes through to add the brads. I have to say, I think it turned out beautifully, and it was pretty quick once I figured out what I was doing! Ribbon and brads by Making Memories; cardstock by Bazzill; sentiment by Savvy Stamps; patterned paper by K & Company.

I also wanted to share this card that I made early this morning. There are some biweekly pre-challenges going on leading up to a special event at SCS in a couple weeks - Virtual Stamp Night, where there will be hourly challenges Friday evening and all day Saturday. All cards for the pre-challenges and the VSN challenges have to be done in 45 minutes - that is a true challenge for me! Last night's challenge was to make a Christmas card in fall colors. I thought these two patterned papers would work well together, and for the stamp I needed a third color so I brought in the green. The stamp (from SU's Take Three) was inked with Tombow markers and then accented with Gelly Roll glitter pen. I learned about this tool at a stamping class I took on Thursday night, and I don't know how I ever lived without it! The grid paper is by We R Memory Keepers and the yellow is by BoBunny. Most of the panels have inked edges in Versacolor bamboo ink. On the red strip I used a paper piercer to do faux stitching, which involves piercing holes and then connecting them with a pen, in this case the glitter pen. Then I added the gold ribbon on top and put it all on a green card. This might be one of my Christmas cards to send out - it was really easy to do (it really did take less than 45 minutes) but I think it looks so pretty, and lots of color combinations would be possible.

It's been kind of a strange day - very hot, for one thing, which is horrendous after the really lovely weather we'd been having. And we're a bit worried about Sarah - she is looking really wobbly on her feet and she has been falling down a lot today. One possibility is an inner ear infection, which there is nothing to be done for, but we're not sure at what point we need to be concerned about something more serious. So we're just keeping our eye on her. I've been trying to restrict her interest in climbing today, just to be sure she's safe, and that is really not making her happy at all. We just hope this is something that will resolve itself, and quickly.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Oldies but goodies

That's the name of the limited supplies challenge today. It was supposed to be stamps that haven't been used in a while. Well, since I'm only two months old as a stamper, I decided that for me that would mean "stamps I bought off eBay that I haven't used yet." We were also supposed to use an old sketch challenge, an old color challenge, and one or two embellishments we've been hoarding.

I actually had a card from last week that qualifies - I just finished it today because I didn't have enough of the red rub-on dots to go all the way around and had to order some more. I think this is the wildest card I have ever made, so I'm curious to hear what folks think of it. Too over the top? I cut the red card first, and then realized that I'd really given myself a challenge - I don't own any truly red ink and none of the coloring tools I had were cutting it. I hope the red layer under the sentiment is enough to pull the color into the main part of the card. The other inks are Color Box ice jade and turquoise. The stamps are from Stampin' Up's Perfect Party, except for the Anita's sentiment. All the panels in the center are cut with deckle-edge scissors. I decided to add the silver star brads for fun - they started out only on the two A's in the sentiment, but it didn't seem like enough. Maybe now there are too many! The present is mounted on foam tape.

Now here's the new one - it's another card for Rachel. (She is going to have lots to choose from!) I chose the layout first, and then the stamp, which is from SU's Greetings Galore. It seemed to dictate a fall color scheme, so that led me to this combination of SU sage shadow, Vivid! coffee bean, and Color Box dune (subs for SU chocolate chip and sahara sand). The layout called for using a tag, and this is also something I've been hoarding and have never used. I distressed the tag and stamped the sentiment and then did a color wash with my sage ink. I used another leaf from SU's Year-Round Fun II as the background stamp. The mulberry paper was actually a recent gift from Rachel, so I thought she would enjoy seeing some of it on one of her cards. And the dot ribbon is something I've had for a while but had never cracked open. Hope you like it as much as I do!

Finally, in family news - our house is painted at last! It was actually finished on Wednesday but I just now had time to get some photos of it (before all those Midwest storms make their way out here). Here are some shots of the outside - it's a very similar color to what we had before, although the deck is a lighter gray now. It looks so nice and clean and fresh now, and the painters did an excellent job.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The best sketch ever

I really loved the sketch (layout) challenge at SCS today. I think it will be a consistent favorite of mine because there are so many possibilities. I played with three different ideas today and just had a blast.

Here's the first. This is a Rachel card and I feel quite sure she will love it because these are the colors of the walls in the downstairs of her house! The patterned paper (by Sandylion) was the inspiration. For this one I followed the measurements on the challenge sample, which is smaller than the cards I usually make, but it really simplified the assembly. The center stamp is from Stampin' Up's Good Things Grow and the sentiment is by Savvy Stamps. The ink is SU's cranberry crisp.

The second card is a kid card. I went in a different direction, using a stamped background for the tiles. This is SU's Wild About You set. The green is a Tombow marker but the others are ink (Color Box charcoal, VersaColor cocoa and smoke blue). The cardstock layers match the colors of the animals (brown, green, gray and blue). I went back to my usual larger size so I had to figure out the dimensions myself - if I'd had to take a test on the Pythagorean theorem today, I would have failed!

Finally I thought of doing an Asian-inspired card. The patterned paper again gave me my direction. This is from DCWV's Far East collection. For this one I inked all the edges in black and used gray, black and purple cardstock to coordinate with and set off the Asian paper. The sentiment is by Penny Black. The ribbon was the hardest part - I first tied the silver organdy around the panel and made it into a bow, but I just couldn't get it to look right and in the end changed the bow to a knot. It still looked lackluster so that's when I thought of adding a bit of black organdy and silver cord knotted around the first knot. This is a technique I never would have thought of myself but the experts on SCS use it regularly and I love how it looks. I'm very pleased with how all of these turned out, and I'm sure you'll be seeing this sketch again in my work.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I'm on a roll today

It's one of those wonderful days where I get a break from work and have lots of time for stamping! I'm really having fun making these cards for Rachel. I just finished #3 and had to share it.

I was inspired by this card, which when I went back to look at it again, found it was inspired by this card so thanks, ladies! I wanted to do something more on the masculine side so I chose this stamp from Stampin' Up's Good Things Grow set. I stamped three times in VersaColor cocoa and baby blue and Vivid! coffee bean (my favorite dark brown) on a very pale blue Bazzill cardstock. Next I stamped the background (stamp by Hero Arts) on cocoa cardstock, inked the edges and mounted on a blue card. I had the cocoa grosgrain ribbon that matched well so chose two blue panels to mount the stamps on. First I tore out the stamped squares then cut the blue panels and tore along the bottom edges. I inked the edges of both blue panels and just very lightly on the stamped images. I mounted the stamps and tied on the cocoa ribbon, then (why do I do this?) mounted it all together. Finally, holding my breath that I wouldn't screw it up, I stamped the sentiment and fortunately, it worked! I really love this card and I have a feeling I'll be doing it again, maybe for Christmas.

I know some of you out there are really reading this for the kid stories so here are a couple. There is just so much cuteness going on here sometimes that I can hardly stand it. First, here is something that Ben has come up with on his own while playing in his bed with his stuffed animals. Don't ask me to explain it because I really don't know! He takes all his baby blankets and piles them on the bed, and then drapes them into "mountains." This is called the "mountain schepchen." I'm just guessing how this is spelled, and honestly I have no idea where it comes from! And I know you're wondering - a mountain schepchen is a place where you buy mountains. So now you know. The mountains actually get blown up like balloons, by Kanga of Winnie the Pooh fame. (And Kanga in this case is actually Shasta, our stuffed snow leopard from the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, because we don't have a real Kanga and Shasta has had to assume the role.) Then once that is all done, the mountain schepchen turns into a bouncy house and all the animals have their birthdays. And finally they have to take a nap because they're tired from all the birthdays. There you go, evidence of Ben's imagination at work! It's just amazing watching what he comes up with.

Now, a Sarah story from earlier this afternoon. Sometimes Ben likes to pretend we're having our Music Together class here at home - he will put on a CD and play along to the music on a drum. He's actually pretty good at playing the rhythm of the tune on the drum, but he doesn't usually sing. Sarah has been going to music classes also, since she was about 4 weeks old, and she was really starting to get into it more when we finished our session in June. Today I decided I'd really play along with Ben, and act just like it was music class, so I put Sarah on my lap and sang the hello song (which begins every class) while trying to interact with both of them. Sarah was just wide-eyed, and at a few points while I was singing, she was moving her mouth like she was trying to sing, too! How my heart just leapt when I saw that. I will love them the same no matter what, but if one of them ended up loving singing as much as I do... it would just be such a blessing to me. This fall the music class will be happening while Ben is at his new preschool, so it will just be Sarah and me, and I'm very curious to see how that goes. I know Ben will be sad not to be able to go, but I think Sarah may really start to get involved in class, which Ben has always been reluctant to do.

Early-morning stamping

I seem genetically predisposed to wake up early - often before 6 a.m., no matter when I go to bed. As long as I go to sleep early enough, I actually really enjoy this time - it's quiet and I'm the only one up, with no one to worry about except myself. I often find myself working on cards at this time of day and sometimes I even manage to finish a card before the kids wake up.

I'm feeling challenged-deprived over at SCS - I have only done two challenges in the past week. But I've managed to get some of my kid cards done, and this morning I made another Rachel card. I used my Polka Dots and Paisley set again, focusing on the dots and paisley this time. I actually had the coolest paisley patterned paper that inspired me, but in the end I realized that it was too much paisley to use that and the stamps. It's so interesting learning about the artistic process and seeing how things evolve as I go along. Often the plan I start out with doesn't end up being represented in the finished product.

Enough musing and on to my card - I cut the card first - what color is that anyway, blue? green? I love it, whatever it is. I stamped the allover dots with Versamark. I stamped the paisleys in VersaColor bamboo ink and then colored the flowers with colored pencil. I really wanted to do a two-color stamp but it was just too fussy, although it looked so nice. This way was almost as good, I think. I stamped more dots on a green scrap in bamboo and then overstamped the sentiment (Inkadinkado) in Prussian blue from Color Box, then punched out into ovals. Finally I wrapped olive green organdy ribbon around the paisley panel and attached a bow - most times this is the only way I can get a nice bow, but whatever works is OK with me. I mounted it all and this is what I ended up with. I think it turned out really sweet.

Monday, August 20, 2007

I have a repeat customer!

My friend Rachel bought a card from me a while back and now she's placed an order for five more. It's incredible to think that I might actually be able to build a tiny little business doing something that I love - which is what I hope I can do with singing as well but right now that's really in the slow lane.

Anyway, Rachel asked for "thinking of you" cards and I made one tonight. I'll probably make more than five so that she can choose which ones she likes best. This card was CASEd from (copied, or maybe inspired by) this card from SCS. I thought the original was stunning, but I needed something a bit simpler. I cut a tan card first, then cut two panels from Basic Grey's Blush paper collection. After I cut the card I realized I'd just used my last sheet of that color cardstock, and I needed something to stamp on, so I took white cardstock and rubbed on light brown ink with a paper towel. I cut a 3" square out and then punched out the corners using a circle punch. I did the same with a larger square of aqua cardstock, and inked the edges of both in dark brown. I stamped the flowers (from Stampin' Up's Polka Dots and Paisley) using Color Box rose coral and VersaColor celadon ink for the flower and Marvy English red for the outline. Then I stamped the sentiment (Savvy Stamps) in English red at the bottom. I tied a peach ribbon around the first background panel and then mounted it all together. Looking at the original now I realize I completely forgot to put the dots behind the flowers, but it's done now - I'll have to do that next time since I really like how this came out.

In family news, the painting of our house started today. It already looks worlds better with just the tinted primer up. We're a little hot and woozy from not being able to use air conditioners (they're covered up outside) and having primer fumes inside, but I think this will all be done on Wed. or Thu. Can't wait! Sarah was very annoyed that all the windows were covered with plastic since she loves to look out. She was so funny today - she brought me her shoes this morning, and it was so cute that I put them on, but then she went to the door wanting to go out. Since we couldn't I just let her wear the shoes inside. Our sitter came today while I was at my lesson, and when I got back I was told that Sarah refused to take her shoes off at naptime so she just slept in them! She also attempted several new words today - most notably Eeyore, Tigger, and hole, which were while I was reading a Pooh story to Ben. She also fed herself a little applesauce from a spoon at dinner - she seems to prefer sitting on my lap and munching after she's gotten down from her high chair, and tonight she insisted on doing it herself. Which reminds me of another new word from today - spoon. We are just constantly amazed at how many words she's saying and how much she is communicating.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Kid Card Project

I'm signed up to sell kid-related stuff at a tag sale here in my town on September 15, and it seemed like a good opportunity to test the waters for selling some cards. I've been making kid-appropriate cards for a while now whenever one of the SCS challenges seemed right for it, but now I'm realizing that I probably won't have enough if I just rely on that, so I'm going to get busy on this project, starting today.

The inspiration for this card came from a book published by Stamp It magazine, called Treasury of Tips and Tricks. I stamped the pocket on tan textured cardstock in brown ink and then colored with brown pencil. I cut a shape like a folded handkerchief from patterned paper, inked the edges in brown, and mounted to a dark brown panel with distressed edges. (I really like the distressed look - it's a fairly new thing for me but it seemed perfect for this card.) I didn't have a sentiment stamp that seemed right so I typed the words on the computer and printed on tan cardstock, then colored in with brown pencil. I punched out a tag shape, sponged on brown ink with a paper towel, distressed and inked the edges, and tied through a piece of string that I stamped with brown ink. Finally, I cut the background panel, distressed it and added copper brads, and mounted it all on a tan card, with the tag mounted with foam tape. This was a really fun card to make!

Technical details:
Stamp: Pocket Fun by Stampin' Up!
Ink: Ranger Tim Holtz Distressed vintage photo
Paper: Bazzill cardstock, Flair patterned paper
Accessories: Making Memories brads, foam tape, colored pencil, old string

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Adventures in the life of Sarah

Wow, I had a really busy day. I woke up pretty early and Mommy got us ready to go to Costco. I was already tired so I slept a little on the way there. It was kind of chilly today so Mommy made Ben ride in the basket of the cart so we could go fast. I still had the kid seat all to myself, just the way I like it. Then Mommy loaded the cart up with so much stuff that Ben didn't have any more room to ride! He wouldn't walk and had to ride in the seat next to me. I shoved on his arm and said "Out! Out!" to Mommy but I guess she didn't hear me because he didn't get out. That made me really mad but Mommy finished shopping fast and then we went home.

When we got home we played outside. I love playing outside. Ben was happy because the rocket that Mommy got stuck in a tree yesterday blew down because the wind was blowing so hard. He drew with sidewalk chalk and Mommy drew him a really big elevator.

I walked around for a little while and sat in the chalk and got it all over me. Then I decided to splash in a really dirty puddle. It was so much fun! Mommy didn't seem too happy about it, though.

After I sat down in the puddle she made me take off my shorts. I didn't mind running around outside in a diaper and it didn't stop me from sitting in the puddle again. But then Mommy made us go inside. I had to have a bath because I was so dirty from the puddle. That was fun to have a bath before lunch - I really like bath time.

We had a good lunch and I played with Daddy and took a not very long nap. There was too much fun stuff to do! Mommy played a fun flying game with me and Ben in his room when we woke up from our naps. She flew us up on her knees and then made us crash. Ben got to crash onto the floor but I just crashed on Mommy's chest and got a nice snuggle. For dinner we had Costco pizza but Mommy should know that Ben and I don't like pizza. Why does she keep making stuff we don't like?

I played with Daddy for a long time in the basement after dinner. He was zooming cars across the floor and I chased them. Then I read some books with Mommy and I was ready for bed. I'm sure I'll have another busy day tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

We love when grandparents visit

We just had a quick visit from my dad (Grandpa Dave) and stepmom (Grandma Chris). The kids and grandparents had a ball playing with each other for a couple days. Yesterday we went and hung out at a mall play area for a while and they were really impressed with Sarah's climbing and sliding skills. Ben had a blast there too but hardly stood still long enough to have his picture taken. We also enjoyed getting the kids a pretzel at the mall. Sarah always gets to have a little but Ben eats most of the pretzel. However, after he was all done he asked me, "Why did Sarah have to have some of MY pretzel?"

Last night the kids stayed with Grandma and Grandpa while Mom and Dad got to go on a date night (dinner and - gasp! - an actual movie! Ratatouille, so hilarious) and Ben helped clean up the whole downstairs and then insisted that they needed to clean his room. Then he proclaimed, "We cleaned up the whole house - and it's going to stay that way." Uh, good luck on that one, kiddo.

Sarah learned some new skills the past couple days. She can now point to several body parts - toes, ears, and nose (unfortunately usually when she points she does so by sticking her finger up her nose - lovely). She now says "up," "diaper," and "ta-da" (an imitation of her cousin Mary, after Grandma Chris told a Mary story). Ben just knocked their socks off with his verbal skills - and his puzzle skills. He has a huge 48-piece fish floor puzzle that he loves to do, and insists on doing all by himself (just ask Grandpa Dave).

I didn't have a whole lot of time for stamping while they were here, but when they arrived on Monday Chris said she wanted to see my cardmaking space. So we looked at all my stuff and the cards I've made since July, and she ended up buying $40 worth of cards from me! That was pretty exciting. She asked me to make an anniversary card for her brother and sister-in-law, and then it turned out so well that she also asked me to make one for her son and his wife. So here they are.
We did this one first. I had Chris give input on what she wanted - rich fall colors, the large copper brads, and some Hero Arts leaf stamps I have. We found a layout in the '06 Stampin' Up catalog that used the out of the box technique, which I've been wanting to try, so that seemed perfect. First I made the brown card, then Chris chose the background paper from a DCWV mat stack. I inked the edges with paper towel and stamped the sentiment (Stampin' Up All Year Cheer) on the bottom. Next I stamped the leaves on ivory, traced a box around, and cut out as shown. I inked the panel edges, put the brads in the corners, mounted the leaves with foam dots, and attached to the card.

Here's the second one - almost the same, except for a different color scheme and brads. Cardstock by Bazzill and DCWV; inks are Vivid! coffee bean, Marvy English red and ochre, and Stampin' Up cranberry crisp.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

This should have been a 10-minute card

Let's see, how long did I spend making this card? About 2 or 2.5 hours, I think. Perfectionism is a frustrating affliction.

Things started out fine. First thing this morning I got onto SCS to see the inspiration challenge for the day. The challenge was to make a card inspired by this rug:

I chose my colors, papers, and stamps, deciding to focus on the blues, gold, tan, and red in the card and use a flower motif. I stamped the three flowers and applied the gold stickles to let it dry while we were off doing other things for the morning. After lunch I came back, inked all the edges in not quite navy, and figured out the layout - putting the floral paper behind the diamonds, mounting the diamonds on coordinating cardstock, and using a blue panel with gold brads. I had some adhesive missteps along the way, but in the end I was very happy with how it turned out. Then I had to figure out what to do with the sentiment. It occurred to me that maybe I should just stamp directly onto the card, but I was scared to do that because it was already all put together and if I messed up the whole thing could be ruined. So I tried all other kinds of stamps, layers, colors, etc., and nothing was working. Finally, after way too much time, I realized I was probably right from the beginning and just decided to risk it. I think it paid off. But what a long road getting there! Flower stamp is from Stampin' Up Carte Postale; sentiment by Inkadinkado. Ink: Stampin' Up not quite navy, Marvy Matchables English red and ochre. Floral paper by Scrapbook Walls. Cardstock by Stampin Up', DCWV and Bazzill.

For those of you hoping for some family news, let me see... We spent the morning buying 30 gallons of paint for the house-painting job that's supposed to be happening in the next couple weeks. We'll keep it approximately the same gray color. While we were waiting on the paint I was looking at swatches, trying to figure out what to do with our kid/guest bathroom that is going to be remodeled sometime in the near future. I think we've settled on gold walls and dark red accents. I probably would have picked something else but the pine wood pretty much dictated really warm colors, and I think this will look nice in the end. Now that Todd's basement project is all done, we are hoping to move on to some other things. I so desperately want a screened-in porch, having had one in the house where I grew up, but that's going to have to wait a while yet.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Devastating news

We heard from my brother yesterday that their baby has hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which is extremely serious. The baby will require 3 surgeries, the first at 3-4 days and the last at age 2-3. If all that is successful then apparently quality of life is close to normal, but lifetime heart medicine and regular checkups will be required. Everyone is praying for the best possible outcome but in the meantime we just feel shaken and sad.

I had been working on this card yesterday and I felt a real drive suddenly to finish it - I guess it was a source of comfort and normalcy. I made it for the Caardvarks 1-2-3 challenge to use one embellishment, two patterned papers, and three flowers. It seemed like a great time to break out my new Lilykate Basic Grey papers.

First I cut a 5.5" square white card, then the yellow panel and a 4.5" square of the floral, which I cut into 1.5" squares for the mosaic. This is a technique I've been wanting to try. I took white organdy ribbon and made a couple knots, then placed it under the top middle square and over the other two top squares, then fastened in the back. Next I added the primas with crystal brads in the center. Then I stamped the tag (from Stampin' Up's Too Terrific Tags) in Color Box french blue over a white scrap sponged with Color Box daffodil direct to paper. I colored in the flowers and leaves with pink and yellow colored pencils. I knotted the tag onto a shorter length of ribbon and affixed onto the back, then secured in the front once the rest of the mosaic squares were mounted.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Pajama Time

I've been wanting to make a card for my dear friend Beth ever since last week, when her daughter Hazel was born 6 weeks early at only 2 lbs 9 oz. She's a beautiful baby and she looks like a fighter to me, so I think she's going to do just fine.

Finally tonight I got my inspiration - of all places, from Sarah's PJs. We were playing and suddenly I just looked at her shirt and realized how cute a card that would make. I didn't really have hearts, but I did have flowers, so I went with that as a theme.

The first thing I made was actually the elephant, which I did several days ago when I was playing around with some new techniques. This was done with kissing, which is where you ink a solid stamp with a light color, then use a smaller stamp (here, the flower) in a darker color and stamp directly onto the larger stamp. Then when you stamp on the paper you get both colors. I knew I wanted to use it for Hazel's card, but I wasn't sure exactly what to do with it. The elephant and flower are from Wild About You from Stampin' Up.

I cut the elephant out and set aside, then cut the two large pink panels to size. I chose my two Prima flowers and added A Muse rhinestone stickers to the centers. On a dark pink scrap I laid out the rub-on letters (from American Crafts), including the flower for the O, then trimmed to size and layered on a lighter pink panel. Next I added the stem, which is done with another rub-on (I think it's DCWV), affixed the pink flower, and mounted the elephant with dimensionals. Finally I decided the border needed something else, so I put the DCWV rub-on stitching around the outer edge, and mounted everything to a white card. I think it turned out really cute, and I hope Beth loves it. It was really fun making a card for her precious little girl.

It's been a tough week for babies, with Hazel's early arrival and the news that my future niece or nephew has some kind of heart defect. My brother is supposed to find out tomorrow more about what is going on. It's really been on my mind a lot - most likely this is the last baby coming in my family, and the thought of something being wrong has shaken all of us.