Sunday, March 30, 2008

Gimme Some Lovin' Day 7 - whew!

I made it to the end of the week and did seven cards! Today has been tough and I wasn't sure I was going to make it. I have some sort of stomach thing going on and I'm just not feeling so hot. But I started this one earlier this morning and I was determined to finish it. It's been fun trying out some stamps I'd never used - I think I know which ones I'll reach for again and which I'll probably be passing on when they retire!

I combined three challenges again: my own challenge, Sharon's Stamp Simply challenge to use paper piecing, and the featured stamper challenge at SCS. Today's stamper is Laura (scrapnextras, which is her name on SCS and also her blog). I have noticed her beautiful cards before, so congrats to Laura! I'm not sure she'd recognize which of her cards I chose to CASE (click here for the original), but here it is anyway.

I picked this card because I liked having three different colors featured, and I had already decided to use the Bitty Birthday set. I thought having lots of colors would work well with the little bag stamp. It was really a trial and error card - mostly errors. I was playing with all sorts of glitter, stickles, embossing... nothing was coming out right. In the end I remembered Sharon's challenge and decided to try paper piecing. I'd picked up this SEI paper when I was thinking of what direction I wanted to take, and then I'd set it aside, but I came back to it for the final version and I think it adds a cute touch to the bags. It was a little fussy but worth it!

I still wanted some glitter so I went over all the stamped lines with my Sakura glitter pen and also added a little to the sentiment. It's hard to see in the photo but you can just catch a glimpse here and there. Before I added the paper piecing, I colored in the skinny stripes with my ink pads and blender pen, using a contrasting color from the stamped image. The four colors I used are pixie pink, pumpkin pie, tempting turquoise and certainly celery.

I decided to add a sentiment and this gave me a little trouble as well. I finally hit on the circle idea with the stamp from Think Happy Thoughts and my circle punches. I finished the card by attaching double grosgrain ribbon (wide in celery and narrow in turquoise). I didn't have room for a knot so I did without it. The gift bags are mounted on foam tape, as is the sentiment. How's that for a cute and cheery birthday card?

This coming week I will have some freelance work trickling in so you may not see me posting quite as much, but I'll hopefully be making Mother's Day cards and have a few things to show you. Have a great week!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Gimme Some Lovin' Day 6

Well, I have a card for you - it's a quick and simple one, but it'll have to do! We've been running all day and we're off to the circus pretty soon.

I made my card to also go with the SCS inspiration challenge for today, which was to be inspired by something in your home. I have another idea which I think I'll use for Wednesday's challenge, but for today I used a beautiful quilt that my grandmother made for me. She passed away in 2006, so I treasure this quilt even more now. She made one for each grandchild and we received them as we reached adulthood. I wish I'd had time to get a photo of the whole thing, but for today this will have to do.

The quilting is really pretty - I believe that my grandma had her quilting group assisting with that part of it but she pieced it herself. (I'm sure my mom will correct me if I'm wrong about that!)

The colors in my card are my main point of inspiration - I used soft sky, barely banana, and whisper white. But I also thought the flower stamp from Together Forever resembled the pattern of the quilted flowers. My unloved stamps are in the monogram - "M" for mother, since I hadn't made a Mother's Day card all week! The frame comes from Frames with a Flourish and the "M" from Lovely Letters, which is so pretty that I need to find more ways to use it!

The recipe should be pretty self-explanatory. The sketch here is Beate's weekend sketch - I think this one works better than yesterday's! The card base is soft sky with the linen background stamp. The panel is stamped in soft sky to make a repeating pattern, then mounted with foam tape on a white panel that I pierced across the top and bottom. The monogram is mounted with dimensionals over the wide white organdy ribbon. Then I stamped Happy Mother's Day on a white panel for the inside, and that's it! I think it was a 30-minute card.

Friday, March 28, 2008

A quick kid post

I haven't shared any kid stuff this week so I thought I'd post a couple cute things. First, a Ben story: Tomorrow his uncle Greg is taking him to the circus and I'm going along. Ben is very excited about this event. We were surprised to learn that the circus actually doesn't have any big animals like lions, tigers, elephants - only dogs and horses. I thought that was a bummer, but Ben didn't care. Here's how the conversation went from there:

Ben: "I can't wait to see the dogs!! (pause) What will the dogs do in the circus?"'

Me: "I don't know... they'll probably do some tricks."

Ben: "What kind of tricks?"

Me: "I bet they'll do some tricks with balls or something."

Ben: "Maybe they'll EAT!"

Todd said, when you don't have pets at home, watching animals do anything at all is exciting!

Sarah did something so cute this morning, and I actually managed to get a photo of it. She sat down on this wastebasket, and I thought, what is she doing?? And then she said "Sing 'Baila,'" which is a Spanish song we did at music class that was her favorite, and I realized she was sitting there like our beloved teacher Tom sat on his drum, which is called a djembe (never mind that she should be sitting on it the other direction so that she could play it!). As for Nemo, well, he's pretty much her constant companion, so I have no other reason for his presence. Guess who will be having a Nemo cake for her second birthday!

Gimme Some Lovin' Day 5

Whew! I got a card done. It's tough on Fridays. I did another combo, this time with the SCS limited supply challenge. Today's was to use an unloved embellishment, so that fit right in with my theme! I intended to use Beate's weekend sketch challenge but I think I got too far away for it to count. I'll have to try again!

This whole card began with the ribbon, which is by Basic Grey and coordinates with the Lilykate papers. I do have those papers, but have I ever used the ribbons? Nope. And I have a whole bunch of ribbon collections that are gathering dust. I should do a card this way more often!

The pink in the ribbon seemed to coordinate best, to my surprise, with blush blossom. I've only used it twice now but I'm really starting to love this color, and it looks beautiful with chocolate chip. It's rare that I only use two colors on a card, so that made for an interesting challenge in itself.

I had already pulled my Be Happy set to use during my week of challenges. It seemed to be perfect for today's card. The background (dots again!) was done this time with my Hot to Dot wheel - and till now I had no idea that one was retired. Oops! Well, at least it's something different than the polka dot background, LOL.

For the main image I stamped the label four times without reinking so that it would be really pale. Then I colored the "laugh" with a Tombow marker and stamped onto the label. The flower is just stamped in chocolate chip on the blush cardstock and cut out. I added the copper brads (Making Memories) for just a bit more embellishment.

The center background panel is an Inkadinkado stamp - it looks like aida cloth with fringed edges. I stamped it twice, overlapping in the center, and then cut off the fringe part of the image to make a rectangle. I distressed the edge with my fingernail and edged with chocolate chip. I wrapped the ribbon around and taped onto the back - this ribbon is quite thick grosgrain so I don't think I could have tied it. I mounted the two stamped images with foam tape to cover the overlap between the two aida stamp images. Then the whole center panel was also mounted on foam tape, due to the thickness of the ribbon.

This was a quick one, since I was in a hurry. I'll cross my fingers that I'll be back with a challenge card for you the next two days!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Gimme Some Lovin' Day 4

And now for something completely different! I have several unused things in this card. One is the colors: the yellow is barely banana, which I only have in my soft subtles cardstock pack, and the flower squares are stamped in cameo coral, which is just one of those colors that makes me a little squeamish. But here it seems to work somehow. The green is mellow moss. I was inspired to put these colors together after I saw a bedding set in the Land of Nod catalog (click here). I should note that the polka-dot background panel is not coral but groovy guava - the ink and cardstock didn't look the same at all! The layout I used is SCS sketch challenge 168 from last week - I think I may have strayed somewhat but I'd say it's close enough to count, LOL.

I inked up a couple of unused stamp sets here. The sentiment comes from the hostess set For a Friend. It seemed perfect for this sketch and the feel I was going for. I stamped it in moss on banana cardstock and then used my blender pen to color with a little coral.

All of the flowers come from the Happiness set that I mounted with my blocks from The Block Guy. I stamped the flowers and then cut them into the three different panels. The moss strip behind them uses the row of single flowers stamped repeatedly. Then I put that over the guava panel. Some moss taffeta ribbon and dimensionals for the sentiment and it was all done. This one was pretty quick and easy. I think I'll be doing more of these in different colors!

Don't forget your keyword DSGSL if you play along today. Happy stamping!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Inspiration Challenge #14: HomeGoods flyer

This week's inspiration challenge is one of those times when nothing showed up at the last minute and grabbed my attention, so I went to a flyer I'd received in the mail several weeks ago. It's from HomeGoods and I just loved the image on the cover. Upload keyword for today is DSIC14, and if you're playing along with Gimme Some Lovin' it's DSGSL.

For my card I don't think I interpreted the piece as literally as I often do. My inspiration came from the colors, the script font, the scrollwork on the banister, and the baroque-looking motif on the left edge. This card also is for the SCS sketch challenge today - it's a toughie! - and for my Gimme Some Lovin' challenge day 3.

The color combo here is very vanilla, chocolate chip, and certainly celery - some of my favorites. I loved this combo from the moment I saw the Tie the Knot scrap kit that uses these colors. Once I chose those, I decided to go with a large panel of celery designer paper for the main background. I'm not sure I've ever used this particular print - maybe because it's the reverse side of the little dot print, which I always seem to run out of first! But I think for this card, it's perfect.

I wanted the smaller panels to have some different visual textures, so I sort of created my own designer paper. The largest panel uses the En Francais background in its debut on my cards. It's gorgeous and I have no idea why I hadn't pulled it out yet. I stamped it in chocolate chip and then took the large swirl from Baroque Motifs and stamped on top of the background in both chocolate chip and celery.

The next panel was done with celery ink on my Baroque Border wheel, which I also have never used on a card till today. I added the chocolate chip taffeta ribbon to this panel before mounting. I'm always a happy girl when I get to use this ribbon!

The long and skinny panel is done with the small stamp from Baroque Motifs, in second- and third-generation stamping. I wanted it to be lighter so that it would allow the sentiment and the other panels to shine through. I like how this looks - when I saw the sketch I first had the idea to use a long and skinny image stamp, but I decided to challenge myself not to do that and see what else I could come up with.

The sentiment comes from Many Happy Returns and is oval-punched. To put the card together I layered everything on chocolate chip cardstock and also inked the edges with chocolate chip. The first three panels are mounted flat, then I put dimensionals on the top and bottom of the skinny panel and also mounted the oval sentiment on dimensionals. I love this one. I guess you could say that elegant cards are really the mainstay of my cardmaking style - but the rest of the stamps I've picked for Gimme Some Lovin' week are not elegant ones so you'll see something different the next few days. I always have a harder time fitting stamping into my day the latter part of the week, so I hope I can keep up with my challenge!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Gimme Some Lovin' Day 2

Well, this was one of those cards that actually came out better than I envisioned. I am really happy with this one. I actually started it yesterday and then hit a snag, so I planned to finish it today. And it's a good thing, because it worked perfectly with today's SCS color challenge and I think it's even more wonderful than I planned!

I wanted to make a card with Julee's Mojo Monday sketch and two of my unused stamp sets: the wedding cake from Fun and Fast Notes, and something from All Scallops. I'd planned on using only bashful blue and whisper white. Then I saw the color challenge of soft sky, basic gray and white, and it occurred to me... I could use soft sky instead of bashful blue. I could add basic gray - heck, it's all still out from yesterday's card! Serendipity is a wonderful thing.

The first thing I did yesterday was emboss on a white panel using the polka-dot background stamp and clear EP. I don't have a Cuttlebug but I keep seeing all those dot backgrounds that others are making with theirs and wanted to see what I could come up with. I'd come up with the idea for the square panel yesterday but redid it today for the new color scheme. It's the largest Marvy scallop square punch in gray, with piercing around the outside, then a 1 3/4" white square and in the center a 1 5/8" square with the cake embossed in white on soft sky cardstock.

The narrow panel started out with the embossed scallops. I was disappointed to discover that you can't punch this border out with the slit punch - I didn't check the others but they seem to be the same size. Oh well - now I know not to use these stamps if I'm mass producing! It wasn't hard to cut out two of them, and I love how it looks on the card. I had to cut one scallop off each edge to make it line up with the white dot panel. I cut a gray strip and adhered the scallops to the back, and then I happened to have a scrap of the embossed dots that fit in the center. You might just barely see the dots if you look close. I love any opportunity to use the gray taffeta ribbon.

The sentiment was the only bit that gave me trouble. I realized when I'd put the scalloped panel together that I had to deviate from Julee's sketch. I ended up stamping the words from the cake stamp in gray, then cutting each one out and mounting on a tiny piece of foam tape. The samples in the catalog use this technique all the time but I think it's my first try at it - what do you think? To finish off I mounted the cake square on foam tape, then put it all together on the white, another panel of soft sky, and a white card.

Hope you're having fun trying out some unused stamps this week. If you want to share your card for my week of challenges, don't forget the SCS keyword DSGSL - and come back tomorrow for my inspiration challenge!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Gimme Some Lovin' challenge week!

This was an idea that came to me as I was supposed to be meditating this morning... I thought, I should challenge myself to spend this week using stamp sets that I had to have but haven't used yet. I figured I could easily fill a week's worth of posts, LOL! So I'm challenging myself to ink up those stamps, and I'm putting the challenge out there for anyone else who wants to join in. It'll last all week, and I'll even try to work it into my inspiration challenge on Wednesday. If you want to upload to SCS, use keyword DSGSL so we can all see!

So, here is my first card. The main set I used is True Friend, along with Boho Backgrounds and a sentiment from Warm Words. The colors were a recent SCS challenge: purely pomegranate, basic gray, and basic black. At the time I didn't play since I was buried in work, but I love these colors together and went with them today. The sketch is Jen's Sketch for You to Try from Saturday, and it was lots of fun! Of course I once again veered off from the sketch since it wasn't in front of me. But I like this variation, too.

Here's a quick step-by-step: First I stamped the small flowers in black on gray and punched out with the 1 1/4" square. The background on pomegranate is also stamped in black. I stamped the large flower in pomegranate on whisper white and cut out. To mount it I used one layer of dimensionals for the gray squares and two layers for the flowers. I inked all the edges in black and finally added three of the silver vintage brads at the bottom and put it on a white card. I'm lovin' it! (And I'm gonna be singing that Blues Brothers song in my head all week long...)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Getting back in the stamping groove

Well. How long has it been since I uploaded a challenge card to SCS? Not counting my own inspiration challenges - three weeks! I hope to be able to get to more of them this coming week.

Today's featured stamper is another of my blogging faves - Beth seems to be channeling my blog reading lately with her picks! It's Amy Sheffer of Pickled Paper Designs. Congrats, Amy! She does beautiful work so go check her out! I looked at her gallery for about a half hour this morning before finally choosing this card. I had already mentioned that I tend to pick the simpler cards for these challenges, and I also try to look at some older cards and not pick one of the most recent. I don't know what it is - maybe the same part of me that gets bothered when I'm at a restaurant and I order the same thing as someone else at the table. LOL. I just for some reason gravitate away from what I think someone else might pick.

OK, enough already. Here is my card. I loved Amy's right away because of course it's my favorite color - soft sky. But then I thought, I use it all the time, so I went with a different combo. The base is pale plum, which I'm not sure I've ever used, and the accent color is not quite navy. I think it's quite striking with the black.

I already knew it was going to be a Mother's Day card (of course) so I stuck with a floral stamp set. I wanted to keep the watercoloring that Amy used so I chose Embrace Life. I stamped on watercolor paper with black Staz-On and then used my watercolor crayons and aqua painter. Instead of Crystal Effects on the flower, I decided to do a little accenting with a clear Sakura glitter pen. The flower is cut out and mounted on dimensionals.

I played with some different ribbons, but in the end Amy was right - dots were perfect. This ribbon came from JoAnn's $.99 rack. I stamped the linen background on both the card and the blue panel, and the sentiment comes from All-Year Cheer II. Don't ask how many tries of the base card I did before it came out right. Let's just say the little bit of pale plum that I had in my starter kit is pretty much gone! Well, I think this turned out quite pretty, and I hope it does Amy's beautiful work justice.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How I spent my morning

I realized a couple days ago that I needed a baby gift, and it had to be done by Thursday. Eek! I'd seen a couple cute album projects on various blogs and since I'd never done one, I thought it would be a good chance to try out something new. I chose the flip book album that can be seen on Chiaki Haverstick's site here.

First, a disclaimer: I am not a scrapbooker and I don't expect I ever will be. I like that cards can be done (if desired) in a fairly short amount of time; the thought of scrapbooking just overwhelms me! So I'm sure there would have been lots of other things I could have done with these pages, but I was time-limited and just kinda clueless. So be kind. :)

Here is the front of the album. I was trying to keep it gender-neutral because I don't know the sex of the baby - I hope I succeeded! I didn't want to just use yellow and green. I loved these papers and thought they were perfect. All the animals are colored with sponge daubers very lightly tapped into the ink and very lightly sponged onto the white cardstock. I found it very easy to get too much coverage but it was a quick way to color these adorable little guys. The inside ones are mounted on glue dots, but for the cover I stamped the bear once, cut out the colored image and attached on dimensionals.

This is what the first set of pages looks like. The bunny just had to go there since the dashed lines had been left over from the flowers I was trying to avoid on the "guava" DP! Still looks pretty simple, right?

Ta-da - the inside of this album is so cool. You have all these great areas to put your stuff, and I left the inside of the flaps blank for journaling. Tell me, all you scrappers out there, should I have attempted to stamp lines for journaling? I would love to know for next time - I didn't have time to fool with it today.

Here is one more photo of the inside, to try to give you an idea of how it fits together. It looks much more complicated than it is - the base of the album actually came together very quickly. Adding all the rest of the layers and stamped images, not so much - but I think this came out very cute.

Supplies used: Dream Street Forget-Me-Not papers; Bazzill cardstock; sage shadow, so saffron, mellow moss and groovy guava ink; Bundle of Joy, Bundled in Love, Nursery Necessities stamps; Paper Mart organdy ribbon; ticket corner punch; dimensionals

Inspiration Challenge #13: Poppy Meadow bedding

This week's challenge piece comes from the Company Store - I loved the soft colors in this Poppy Meadow bedding set. Keyword for uploading to SCS this week is DSIC13. I'd love to see your creations!

I decided I'd better get back to making Mother's Day cards for the May fair I'm doing. I had initially planned on using more colors in my card, but in the end I kept it pretty simple with sahara sand, soft sky, and very vanilla. I think I'll come back to this color combo since I think it's just lovely.

The first thing I did was the sand and vanilla flower panel. It's done with embossing resist to mimic the comforter. I stamped the flower from Heartfelt Thanks on vanilla with Versamark, then embossed with clear EP. I sponged sahara sand over top with a sponge dauber and buffed with a paper towel. I love how this came out! It did take a reallllllly long time, but I think it was worth it.

For my layout I went back to a sketch challenge from SCS that I hadn't had time for (#166). I really like this layout. I used a panel of soft sky paper and layered everything on sand cardstock. The center panel uses the same flower stamp, plus the outline that matches, stamped in soft sky and sand. I sponged just a little sand ink on the edge of the center panel - I didn't want this card to be *too* dirty!

I played with some different things for the word "mom" - I knew that was what I wanted from the beginning, but I don't have a stamp that says that. I ended up using a clear stamp set from My Sentiments Exactly. I finished off the card by adding the vanilla ribbon and putting it all together, mounting the center panel on foam tape. The inside says Happy Mother's Day. Apart from the embossing, this was a pretty quick card, but I love the effect of it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hey! I stamped something!

My editing project is done! Yippee! I have no work lined up for the immediate future, either, so I'm hoping to complete some projects: more cleaning and organizing, listing loads of stuff on eBay, and making some cards!

Yesterday Todd asked me to make an Easter card to send to his great-aunt Easy (her real name is Louise, which is where we got Sarah's middle name, but Todd's mom always called her Easy so we do too). So the title of this card on SCS, "Easy Easter," is really a double meaning.

I used Beate's weekend sketch from last weekend (here) for a quick layout. I chose this lily stamp by Inkadinkado for the image, and stamped in basic brown on watercolor paper. Then I colored in with watercolor pencils. The petals are colored white - I just got the neutral crayons not long ago - can you see it? Well, I tried. The other colors are saffron and moss. I couldn't find my aqua painter and used my blender pen to color instead - not sure I'm happy with the results but we'll just move on.

The saffron panel is stamped with the linen background in saffron ink, and then I paper pierced along the top and bottom. I stamped the sentiment (from All Holidays) in moss at the bottom. The white card seemed too stark when I laid it out so I did the linen again in moss and liked it much better. The lily panel is up on foam tape and then mounted to moss cardstock, and the ribbon is moss as well.

I think this is a nice and simple but still pretty card - and if you want to see a metaphor in the tearing and piercing on an Easter card, well, it wasn't intentional, but it did occur to me as I was finishing what I'd done. I like that extra layer of meaning.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


I think everyone here agrees: it's just too early and too cold for Easter! It seems crazy. If you're like me and can never remember how the date for Easter is figured out, click here.

Our church has a tradition of doing an Easter egg hunt for the kids on Palm Sunday - I guess to do it on Easter itself would be too hectic. It was pretty chilly, though. It didn't stop the kids from having a great time. Here are a few photos from the event.

This was as good of Ben as I got. Sorry, not very good! I think he was moving too fast, LOL. He's holding the butterfly he made in Sunday school in his right hand. He really loves going to his preschool class.

Sarah was really being cute. She didn't really gather eggs so much as pick up one and carry it around with her the whole time. I wish I could remember what she's looking at in the one photo - even so, I still think it's adorable!

I haven't stamped all weekend. It's making me crazy! Tomorrow I should be able to finish my big editing job and then maybe I'll have some time to create. I hope so, anyway! I have the additional task now of practicing my meditation for the MBSR course. So far I wouldn't call it meditation so much as... well, napping. I just can't stop falling asleep - it happens every time! Clearly I really should start going to bed earlier. That will be my goal for this week and we'll see how I do.

America's next top model?

Sarah just cracks me up. I think I've already posted photos of her walking around wearing a hat and boots. Her latest obsession: her new Crocs. I got her a pair that fit now (well, barely) and then another pair in the next size up. She alternates between both pairs around the house and would wear them all the time if she could. I guess I know what she'll be wearing this summer! Here she is in a typical Sarah ensemble: her L.L. Bean fleece hat, her favorite Gymboree outfit with cupcakes, and her new Crocs! (Why is that I thought Crocs were hideous until I saw them on my kids' feet? Maybe they're cuter because they're small?)

Here's a cute photo of Ben just for good measure. Nice shots of him are hard to come by these days, but I think this one is kind of sweet!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I had good intentions, really I did...

I started out this card fully intending to do the SCS Ways to Use It challenge for today, which was to only use patterned paper, no cardstock, except for the card base. Well... you can see how it ended up. It just didn't work, I hardly had any time, so I went in a different direction. Tell me what you think! (Sorry the photo is not the best. I find it's hard to accurately photograph the rub-ons since they tend to reflect a little light no matter what I do.)

This card features all rub-ons from the Sale-a-Bration set - no stamping. Not much time left to get these so you better hurry! I really love that they have the chocolate chip in this set, which is not true for the ones in the catalog.

The dot paper for the scalloped strip comes from the Scenic Route Ashville collection. I applied the flower and word rub-ons to one end and then scalloped one side with my corner rounder punch. For the blue flowers I applied the rub-ons to a solid portion of a floral print in the same collection and then cut out.

The problem came when I realized that the chocolate chip totally didn't match the brown that was used in the floral print. That was when I abandoned ship and just used the panel of chocolate chip cardstock. The rest of the card is mostly one large white rub-on, except for the large flower in the lower right - I added that separately. Then the blue flowers are mounted on dimensionals.

I just love these rub-ons. They are so quick and easy to apply, and I think they really make a statement. Tip of the day: Just watch out that you don't accidentally press down on the rub-on sheet before you're ready to apply, because they will start to come off with not too much pressure from a finger or two.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Inspiration Challenge #12: Floral Fantasy bag

Would you be surprised to learn that most weeks I only choose my inspiration piece a day or two in advance? (Probably not, if you're someone who knows me well!) It’s not like I would run out of options, since I have a whole bunch stashed away, but usually I look at everything that comes in the mail and by Monday there has been one thing that really grabbed me, and that’s what I pick.

That’s how it was with this purse, which comes from a company called Monterey Bay. We get sooooo many catalogs, and most of them I’d probably never order from, but I still look at everything since you never know where you might find inspiration! This purse is called the Floral Fantasy bag, and I just loved it right away and saw lots of possibilities.

I chose my Priceless set for this challenge since the purse looks kind of boho to me. The colors I picked are sahara sand for the background, certainly celery for the swirls, and tempting turquoise and groovy guava for the flowers. To get the stamping to really show on the sand cardstock, I decided to stamp in craft ink (where possible) and emboss with clear EP. For the guava, I first inked the stamp in Versamark and then in guava, and I think it worked pretty well. Maybe it made the ink look darker, though? It seems kind of off compared to the cardstock.

I liked the curvy edge on the bag and duplicated it using chocolate chip cardstock and a new item Todd gave me for my birthday. It’s a set of Fiskars decorative templates. Mostly it’s all sorts of shapes, letters, and images, but each template has a decorative edge. Aha! I tried a couple different things before I hit on this solution, and I love it. The embossed swirls on the brown panel were done with Versamark.

I like getting these boho cards nice and dirty and used my chocolate chip ink on everything, even the card base. I did this style of opening because that’s what was left after I cut my first piece of sand cardstock, LOL!

The sentiment is from Think Happy Thoughts, which is such a fun set to use with punches. I wanted some copper on the card and put a Making Memories brad in the center of my guava flower. A little piercing seemed like a good idea, so I added that on the scallop, then I popped the scallop on with dimensionals, added the turquoise ribbon, and put it all together. I am really loving how this turned out, and for once I didn’t CASE or start from anyone’s challenge but my own. It’s good to do that sometimes to remind myself that I can – even if my sketches are simple, I still feel good when I come up with a card that works all out of my own head.

If you want to play along, leave me a comment with a link to your card. Keyword for uploading on SCS is DSIC12 today. Please link back here from your upload. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

News! News!

My niece Hannah went home from the hospital today! Here she is in the most recent photo I've seen. This morning it seemed like she'd be going home soon, but I just heard from my mom that she's home. Everything went well and we're all hoping that they can have a bit more than 8 weeks at home before the next hospital visit! They think maybe her third surgery will be in about a year. Time will tell.

I'm a busy girl this week. Still editing (5 chapters to go) and a couple new things start up this week. Last night I started an 8-week class called "Raising Your Challenging Child." No, I don't have any of those! Riiiiight. I think I already learned some good things to do (and not do) in the first class. Tonight is the first session of the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course. I'm looking forward to that as well.

I just finished my card for tomorrow's challenge - I really like this one but you'll have to come back in the morning to check it out!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A little update

So I had my charity event today. Overall I think it wasn't quite the right audience for stamping. Everyone was pretty glam and a lot of people glanced at my table and walked right on by. But someone who was selling (knock-off?) Coach and Kate Spade bags was doing a huge business. Anyway, I actually got my first order, which makes me happy. And a few people took mini catalogs and asked if I did parties. So we'll see if anything comes of that.

The Easter treat bags went over very well, for the people that did them. I sold about 25 (it may have been just under but I donated $25 at the end). There were a few little girls who made them - one was about 4 and was just so cute! Now I have to think about whether to find another venue to sell the leftovers - I just didn't know what to expect and prepped way more than 25. There was one lady who made 9 of them (with help from me!) so if everyone had done that I would have sold out.

I'm going to be busy this week with my editing work. I really need to crank this book out. But I'll go crazy if I don't stamp *something* so I'll see what I can fit in. Stay tuned...

Friday, March 7, 2008

It's 11 pm and I'm still up

This has been a long day. But I couldn't go to bed without working on one more card for my display on Sunday.

One of the Sale-a-Bration sets I preordered was Merci. I got it for the large flower and heart image, thinking it would be nice for Valentine's cards. And it was. But otherwise I have struggled with this set. It's not exactly my style, so my goal of having a card to show using it was definitely a challenge. My starting point was the wide grosgrain ribbon in brocade blue. I don't often reach for the wide ribbon, or this color, so it seemed like a good starting point. I wanted a nice, fresh, springy color combo so I went with apricot appeal and very vanilla.

Seeing that time was in short supply - well, and brain power too - I checked out Beate's weekend sketch challenge. It's just wonderful knowing that these extra-talented stampers are out there giving challenges all the time, because it always gets me thinking in new ways. I wasn't sure about this one at first, till I remembered that the 6x6 hostess paper pack has apricot in it. I have used this paper so much - I think I will have to get another one at some point. I chose the stripe, since I used dots on my baby card this morning. Those two prints are the ones I always seem to reach for first. To make the layers, I first cut the brocade blue panel to 4x5.25" and then the apricot paper to 3.75x5". That way when I cut it into four equal pieces, I ended up with a nice narrow strip of blue between each section. I hadn't done any samples with corner treatments yet so I used the ticket corner punch on this one.

After trying a few different things, I decided to do a window card. I really love using punches in this way. I wanted to showcase the flower in the image rather than the heart, so this seemed perfect. I stamped it in blue and then colored in with apricot, and just a little blue right in the center of the flower. For the blue panel I did something new - I hate to say it but I don't like the single flower stamp that's in this set, but I wanted flowers on my panel, so I used Versamarker to color in just the flower. It's a little tricky since it's very easy to get uneven coverage. But I got the effect I wanted. I'll have to play with it some more.

The ribbon was another tricky thing, because as I was doing the card, I forgot that I wanted to use the wide blue ribbon. I couldn't think where to put it since the main panel was also blue. Then I remembered that I have apricot ribbon, and came up with this double ribbon knot. I just layered the two and knotted them as I would any single ribbon, with a bit of twisting at the one end to get the layers to show correctly. Tell me honestly, what do you think of this? I go back and forth on it. Since the ribbon is thicker than normal I mounted the panel on dimensionals.

I finished off with a sentiment from the Hugs and Wishes set - I think what I like most about this card is the crispness of the colors and the edges contrasted with the script in the sentiment and the curly lines of the image. Not bad considering I hardly slept last night. Now I have just one more sample to do, and hopefully I'll get that posted in the morning. If I can get out of bed in time, that is!

This really WAS fun!

And a challenge as well! I woke up super early this morning - I think my TMJ meds are no longer helping me sleep - so what else would I do but stamp? I'm sure that I'll be wishing later that I'd gotten more sleep, but stamping in the mornings always makes me happy.

I went in search of a challenge where I could also feature one of the Sale-a-Bration or mini catalog sets for Sunday's event. I found Stamp Simply challenge for today, to make a single layer card with a "fun flap" on the front. It took me a good while to figure out what to do, and then I didn't have a whole lot of time left! So this is what I ended up with - tell me what you think.

I wanted to use the In the Stars set from SAB since I hadn't made anything with it yet. In the end I only have one stamp from it on the card! I went with the Nursery Necessities for the boat and the stars. The colors are my favorite blue bayou and soft sky - I haven't used these in a couple weeks, LOL!

The largest panel is soft sky, then a layer of blue bayou designer paper. For the flap I cut a white panel, folded it in half, and then after I decided where to put it, I used my slit punch on the dot paper to make the closure. I put adhesive on the back of the white "card," slid it under the punched half-circle, and adhered. Then you can put the flap under the slit as well to keep it closed. Here's how it looks from the side:

The boat is stamped on white using soft sky, then cut out and reassembled on blue bayou cardstock. A few dimensionals and a bit of soft sky ribbon and I had to call it done. And now I'm off to start my day!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Some photo fun

Just had to share this sweet photo I got of Sarah this morning. She was being so cute - she lined these two chairs up like a bench, and then sat Pooh down and sat down next to him. She just looked so content sitting there! I ran to get the camera, since you know that usually those moments don't last too long. When I came back, she was still playing, and then she saw what I was doing. She said, "Take picture," sat down again, and gave me the nicest, sweetest smile. How I love this little girl! Those moments are good to remember when I'm in the middle of not-so-fun moments, like at the grocery store when she fought me for several minutes, refusing to sit down in the cart. Yep, we can tell she's almost two.

Inspiration Challenge #11: Mix & Match Swimwear

For this week's challenge I chose a swimwear collection by Athleta. Sorry (again) for the not-so-good picture; I really wanted to show you all the prints side by side. If you click here you can see all their mix and match prints and zoom in. You should be able to see which ones I was using, but hey, there are a bunch of other cool prints there, so if you see something you like better, go for it! I'm not picky!

For my card I used the pink on white for the background and the brown piping for the layers. I chose the Stitched background stamp - what a fantastic stamp! - and pixie pink ink. The rest of the images come from the coordinating set Stitched Exotics. The other colors I picked out were pumpkin pie, certainly celery, and chocolate chip.

The layout came from Julee Tillman's Monday Mojo sketch challenge #27. I've never been brave enough to try one of Julee's sketches - her work is amazing and the sketches usually look, well, challenging! But I like to stretch my skills now and then and I thought this week's sketch was fabulous. Unfortunately I didn't plan ahead too well. I put the whole center panel together before checking it against the card for size, and it's bigger than the one in Julee's sketch. In fact it turned out to be exactly 5.5", the height of the card! But I'll still consider it to use Julee's sketch. I also had to cut down the number of flowers from four to three because that was all I could fit!

OK, on to the card. I picked out the pumpkin pie paper for the main panel from my Bali Breeze collection. Then I stamped the three flowers in pink and chocolate chip and cut them out. For the leaves I used my Stamp-a-ma-jig to line up the leaf and the stitched outline - I wish they had made the outline bigger so that it would turn out like the stitches around the flowers, but oh well. Once everything was cut I mounted it onto the paper. The flowers are popped up on dimensionals, and I used two layers for the brown flower so that it would be above the rest. The sentiment is from the Sale-a-Bration set Lots of Thoughts, and I inked only the large part of the stamp so that it would fit under the ribbon.

To finish off the layout I really wanted pixie pink paper, but I don't have any so I made my own with one of the swirl stamps. Once the panels were arranged, I wrapped some wide celery ribbon around the added the pink flowers, attached with glue dots. I think it's a very cheery and fun card!

Hope you'll play along this week. Here is a keyword for uploading on SCS: DSIC11. Come and find some inspiration today!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Stamping for a good cause

I'm doing something different this weekend - I was invited to take part in a fund-raiser for the Avon Breast Cancer Walk. It's happening at a hair salon nearby, and I'm hopeful that I'll get some good contacts and maybe even customers out of it - but it's great to be helping a very worthy cause.

For my donation I'll be giving the proceeds from a quick little make & take. I came up with this idea for a treat bag, thanks to a wonderful suggestion from another SCSer. It's a really simple project that I hope will be fun for the people there. I'll fill all the 3x5 cello bags with candy in advance, and then they can stamp the toppers. Since Easter is almost here (unbelievable!) I thought this set, called A Good Egg, would be perfect.

I will probably offer different color schemes using whatever colors of paper I have - this one is perfect pink from the 6x6 hostess pack. The background of this one is stamped in pink and the sentiment in chocolate chip. For the chick, I stamped it in chocolate chip three times - first on the topper, then on so saffron cardstock, and then on the dot paper. I used the scallop punch on the saffron and then cut out the egg portion of the stamp from the dot paper. When it's all lined up this is how it looks. I stapled the bag closed after stamping the chick onto the topper so that the scallop hides the staple.

This is my first make & take for something like this, where I don't have a lot of space and time for the project - I'm open to any and all suggestions, advice, etc. I'm really looking forward to it and hoping it'll be a great experience, and raise lots of money for breast cancer. If you're local to the Boston area and want more info on the event, contact me and I'll get the details to you!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Another familiar face

The featured stamper today on SCS is Petal Pusher - I didn't know her by name, but when I looked at her gallery I instantly knew her work! She is Mary of the wonderful blog Stampin' Pretty. And is she ever!

The card I chose out of Mary's gallery is this one. I confess, on Sundays I don't always get a lot of stamping time so I often gravitate toward cards that are on the simpler side. This one grabbed my eye right away because first, I loved it, and second, I thought it would be perfect to showcase the rub-ons from Sale-a-Bration. (Not too much time left to get these into your hands, now!) I really had a hard time getting a good photo of this card, for some reason - I finally had to just go with this one, which was the best of the lot.

First I cut my central vanilla panel to the 5.5" width, and then cut out the chocolate chip flower rub-on that I wanted to use. With the popsicle stick that came with the rub-ons, I adhered it to the paper. Then I added three olive rub-ons for accents.

Those solid images can take a fair bit of pressure, but I came up with this Tip of the Day: If you angle the stick so it's almost horizontal to the paper and press down with your finger, the rub-on adheres with a lot less work. I had always been holding the stick more like a pencil and "coloring" over the image, but when I tried it this way, it was a breeze!

I kept a lot of things from Mary's card, but here are the changes. I used a smaller dot background (the Polka Dot background stamp), which is done in chocolate chip on matching cardstock. I eliminated the river rock but added an extra panel of chocolate behind the main image. I did my piercing on the olive panel since there really wasn't room above the rub-ons. I went with an olive scallop circle and used a stamp from Think Happy Thoughts in chocolate chip with the olive flower in the center. The sentiment is punched with the 1 1/4" punch and then layered over a 1 3/8" chocolate circle. Finally, I went back to my Theatre ribbon originals for this lovely olive ribbon. (Ahem, couldn't find the narrow olive grosgrain that I know is here somewhere. Must finish that organization project soon!) It was a bit of a trick since the ribbon reverses to river rock and I didn't want that to be too obvious, but I think it works.

Now go look at Mary's fabulous work and blog, and CASE her yourself!