Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm just a girl who can't say no...

to a good inspiration challenge! Steph always brings lots of fun to SCSers every Saturday, and even though I'm sick and should be working on other things, I had to play. From all the gorgeous stuff at Room Service Home I chose this lamp - and not just the lamp but the entire photo inspired me for this card. (Click the link and you get get a larger shot.) This is my first time playing one of Taylor's cupcake sketch challenges. I always look at them but I've never had time to do one until now!

I took my lead first from the lamp and embossed the lily and stem from Fifth Avenue Floral with baja breeze cardstock, Versamark, and white EP. I chose the white and kraft patterned paper from Urban Oasis based on the wallpaper in the photo. For a pop of orange I took the smaller flower stamp and embossed it with clear EP on a panel of tangerine tango cardstock. I did add black accents because I wanted all the fairly light colors to stand out.

To finish my card, I stamped the lovely sentiment from Fifth Avenue Floral on kraft cardstock and surrounded it with one of the Gallery frames, then cut it out. I put three vintage brass brads on 1/2" black circles and added them at the bottom of the tangerine panel. Then at the last minute I added the bit of tangerine ribbon. I was having trouble putting my card together until I had the aha! moment of making it a square card, and voila. This is 5.5" square, which is a very nice size card.

OK, I'll be getting back to my work now. Even though I'm still sick, creating something always makes me feel at least a little better. Thanks for visiting today!

Where *is* everybody?

OK, I'm going to have to include myself in that - it's been a tough week. And now I'm sick. So I apologize for not posting, and I'll warn you that next week is probably going to be more of the same. BUT... I'm so disappointed that I've had so few comments on this post. I know that lots of you out there reading love challenges, and ribbon, so I'd hoped for a better response. I'm going to extend the deadline again because I just don't have enough data yet to make a decision, and if I don't get any additional feedback, then I'll have to take that as a sign that my inspiration challenges don't have enough of a following to consider bringing them back at all. :( I would hate for that to happen - I know I've heard positive things from a lot of folks in the past, so please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


No, you are not on the wrong blog! My post title today is the formal "hello" in Korean, pronounced “Ahn-YOUNG-ha-SEH-yo." Why am I greeting you in Korean? Well, it's a two-part answer. Part 1 is the featured stamper challenge for today, featuring Jami (sgtStamper), who lives in Korea. Part 2 is that as a senior in college, I spent my last three months of school living in Taegu, South Korea. I chose to CASE Jami's beautiful Korean thank-you card partly out of my fondness for this country where I was lucky enough to spend a short amount of time.

Jami's card used one of Beate's sketches, so I flipped the layout and fiddled with it some. I used similar colors but did stamping instead of making my own flowers and stem.

I started with the largest image from the hostess set Echoes of Kindness. I stamped with jet black Stazon on watercolor paper, then watercolored with an Aqua Painter and riding hood red and kiwi kiss reinkers. The sentiment comes from the retired hostess set Best Yet. For the background I used a panel of black dry-embossed cardstock, embossed with the swirl texturz plate. Behind the flowers I put a strip of Scenic Route Sonoma paper edged with a strip of scalloped border in kiwi. I punched out the scallop circle punch to tie those elements together and added three vintage brads in the upper right corner.

Thanks for stopping by today, and don't forget to check out my ribbon giveaway post requesting feedback on my blog inspiration challenges. I was going to draw the winner tonight but I haven't received very many comments yet, so I'll extend it for a week. I'd really love to know your thoughts!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Feeling a little rusty

Here's my first challenge card since Sunday - I think I'm a bit out of practice! This card looked better in my head, but here it is anyway. I wanted to play along with the SCS inspiration challenge this morning, which is on a fun site called Flutter. I picked this pillow - the colors and patterns just jumped out at me. My layout is Beate's weekend sketch challenge - it's so nice having her challenges back!

I chose the colors riding hood red, sage shadow, and bordering blue and the stamp set Simple Friendship to make my own designer paper. In the end I only used a tiny bit of it, though! Under that strip I added a piece of sage cardstock stamped with just the swirl in sage shadow. I stamped the butterfly in riding hood red and cut out, then did the sentiment also in red and cut with Nestabilities.

To finish the card I first ran some bordering blue cardstock through the Big Shot with one of the texturz plates and used that for the background. The designer paper on the right is from Scenic Route's Sonoma collection - if you haven't seen these papers, check them out because they are fabulous. You'll be seeing them on my blog a lot, I think. The ribbon and bow are sage grosgrain ribbon, and for just a bit of sparkle I added some blue A Muse twinkle stickers.

Thanks for visiting my blog today, and don't forget to check out my ribbon giveaway post asking for feedback on my own inspiration challenges! Deadline for leaving a comment is Sunday night at 10 p.m. Eastern.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I've made a difficult decision

I have decided that I am going to discontinue my weekly inspiration challenges--for the time being, anyway--the reasons being:

(1) My life has gotten busier and it's become harder to find the time to do the challenge - and then it feels more like an obligation and it's just not as fun.

(2) The lack of participation is just too disheartening to me. :(

If anyone out there is reading and is really disappointed by this news, let me know, please! I may decide to bring the challenges back someday. Or I may just do them when I feel led to and not on a weekly schedule. I know that I will not stop seeing inspiration everywhere I go, so I'm sure that the concept will still be around on my blog.

In the meantime I plan to keep posting SCS and other challenge cards, SU club projects, and fun stuff I make for my Etsy shop - so I hope that will keep you all coming back to my blog. I know I love sharing my stamping with all of you! Thanks for your understanding and your support.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Cheep Hello

Hey, it's my first chance to really play with some goodies from the Sale-a-Bration catalog. There is great stuff to choose from this time around - I honestly love all of it! I broke out the designer paper, Delicate Dots, and the ribbon (so saffron wide grosgrain; you also get certainly celery poly-twill), and paired them with the Cheep Talk stamp set for my featured stamper challenge card. Today's featured stamper is juliemlacey - I'm not sure I've been to her gallery before, but her creations are gorgeous so I don't know how I could have missed it! This is the card I chose to CASE. I fell in love with the layout and thought it would be good to showcase this stamp set.

I mostly kept the layout except that I flipped it to make room for my bigger stamped panel, and then I had to fiddle with a couple of the other elements to make it all work together. I was bummed that I didn't have room for a knot on my ribbon. I used different colors and images (obviously) and added a little paper piercing. I used the new 5/16" white brads - aren't they cool?

To make my stamped panel, I first stamped the branch in certainly celery, then colored the bird with bashful blue, so saffron and chocolate chip markers. For dimension I cut out another impression of the bird's body and popped it up. The flower was stamped in saffron, cut out, and mounted on dimensionals. One of the last things I did was stamp the flower again with chocolate chip ink and cardstock, then I punched out the center with the 1/2" circle punch. I think it really made the flower pop.

I think that's it for today. I have a really busy week ahead - and it's also school vacation week so Ben and I are going to have a lot more time together than usual... wish me luck! Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great week!

Friday, February 13, 2009

How do I love thee?

That's the theme of this card, which I made for today's limited supply challenge and also to give to Todd for Valentine's Day. The challenge was to stretch ourselves and do things we don't normally do. So here are what I consider to be my "stretches" for this card:

The card size. It fits in a #10 envelope. I needed to make a card this size to fit Todd's Valentine's Day gift of some concert tickets, and since I've never made a tall and skinny card, that fit today's challenge perfectly!

Very little stamping. My initial idea was to cover the white rectangle with the word "love" over and over with the same set of rub-ons. But then I had the thought to use all the different rub-ons that I had, to fit with the Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem. I used three sets of American Crafts alphabet rub-ons, one set of American Crafts stickers, and the word "love" and more alphabet rub-ons from as many retired SU packs as I could lay my hands on. It still looked a bit sparse, though, so I filled in the spaces with more "love" words from any stamps I could find that had it on somewhere. I count six that are stamped. I just colored only that word with a basic black marker and stamped it where I wanted it to go. The two hearts are from the Always set, stamped in basic black and riding hood red.

Limited layers and a quite simple layout. I used the long rectangle Nestabilities and that's really it! I was surprised how much I struggled with placing the elements on the card - I couldn't believe how hard it was.

Finally, colored brads - I've had these American Crafts brads, which are a great match for riding hood red, for a very long time and I'd never cracked them open. I guess I just prefer metallic or neutral brads, but I should use these more often! (FYI, American Crafts also makes some that look great with baja breeze.)

I'll finish my card by putting the first two lines of the poem on the inside. I know Todd loves Romantic poetry and the Brownings, so I hope this will be a hit with him.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Inspiration Challenge #47: L.L.Bean throw pillows

I saw these pillows on the back of an L.L.Bean catalog and just loved them. I'm really digging springy colors right now - maybe because I'm sick to death of winter! (They also have a lobster, crab, and starfish - I didn't include those here because, well, I wasn't sure they would be inspiring for a card, LOL. But if they are, go crazy!)

My favorite pillow is the Garden Vine - the blue one. I love the crispness of the pale blue against the clean white background. For my colors I chose always artichoke, mellow moss, brocade blue and bordering blue, with lots of white. I used the sketch challenge for my layout, although I flipped it so I could use the flower from Live Your Dream. A year after it came out and it's still one of my favorite stamps.

I started by coloring the stamp with markers. I used the side of the brocade blue marker's brush tip to "rock 'n roll" on the flowers, and did the same with the artichoke marker on the leaves. To imitate the green piping on the pillow, I used moss cardstock for all my layers. The background panels are white cardstock run through the Big Shot with the tiny dot texturz plate, bordering blue with a strip of white organdy polka dot ribbon, and white with one edge run through the Big Shot with one of the Nestabilities Victorian border Piercerabilities and pierced according to the die template. I added the bow after assembling all the layers together, and I added some more piercing to tie things together.

I tried a few different sentiments but this is what I settled on. I colored the "many thanks" stamp from Lots of Thoughts with the bordering blue marker and again edged the letters with brocade blue - I'm not sure this came through too well, but I tried. I pierced the scallop circle to go along with the rest of the piercing.

Whew, this card took a lot of time - but I think it was worth it, even though I probably should have been doing other things this morning. Oh well! Come and play along with the challenge this week - your SCS keyword is DSIC47, and be sure you leave a comment here with a link to your card! Thanks for visiting today!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Retired stamps for sale

I'm listing the retired stamp sets that I've decided to part with. Here is the list. First to pay gets the goods!

If not new, these stamps are in great condition. The older stamps may have slight staining on rubber or wood but nothing too noticeable. Lots of stamping life left!

Cheap shipping not included - contact me for a quote on the sets you're interested in. I can accept funded or CC Paypal but please cover fees for CC. Thanks and happy shopping!

REDUCED PRICES! Take $1 off any set $10 or less, $2 off any set over $10!

Beautiful Life $10 SOLD
Bitty Basics NUM $8
Bundle of Joy $12 SOLD
Bundled in Love $18 SOLD
Classic Backgrounds $5 (argyle UM)
Deer Friends $20 SOLD
Delight in Life $8
Eat Cake $8
Greetings Galore $6
Happy Birthday wheel (goes with Eat Cake) $6
Live Like You Mean It $10
Live Like You Mean It NUM $14
Merci $10
Merry & Bright NUM $12
Organic Grace $10
Paisley $14
Serene Spring NUM $20 SOLD
So Many Scallops $10
Stitched $12
Sweet Stars wheel (goes with Bundle(d) sets) $6
Take Three $8
Wonderful Words $20

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Parisian Freesia

Wow, I am really challenge deprived these days. I've been working on a freelance project and stuff for my Etsy shop, but I haven't been able to play a challenge in a while. I always love the featured stamper challenge so I'm glad I had time for this one. Today's featured stamper is K (Karen) Dunbrook - congrats, Karen! I'm not sure I've been to her gallery before, but she does lovely work. This card was right up my alley. I kept the layout and the black accents, and used similar stamp placement and embellishments but changed the images and the colors and used slightly different treatments of the various elements. This is a BIG card - almost 6" square. But I needed that much area to pull off this design and I love the result.

For the center of the white panel I used an Inkadinkado canvas stamp in baja breeze, stamped off once first. Over that I stamped this gorgeous Cornish Heritage Farms freesia image in basic black. I added the sentiment from Short & Sweet then paper pierced a line under the words. At the corners I used some of the black ribbon from the Valet Ribbon Originals and a baja breeze button tied with black embroidery floss. I mounted this with dimensionals over a panel of Parisian Breeze paper. Instead of stitching I used some retired rub-ons in the corners. One more black layer and a card made from textured white cardstock - and that was it!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Inspiration Challenge #46: Miniboden Hotchpotch Dress

If you have kids then you might have heard of Miniboden. They have such cute things! For today's challenge I picked this darling hotchpotch dress. I loved the fun flowers and dots, and the colors.

I didn't choose the yellow for this week - I think I got enough yellow last week! I picked the colors not quite navy, almost amethyst, and old olive. I used the SCS sketch challenge for my layout.

This is one of the simplest challenge cards I've made in a long time. It was partly necessity - I don't have a sitter for Sarah this morning so I'm pressed for time. But I also wanted to play with the Pretties Kit, which I just earned through Great Rewards, and I decided to let the sentiment play center stage in the pretty frame from Frames with a Flourish.

I started by making a not quite navy card and embossing an amethyst panel with the floral SU texture plate for the Big Shot. What a quick way to make a big impact on a card! For my layers I used a square of not quite navy with dots, from the retired hostess prints, a bit of olive striped paper (also one of the retired patterns), and the sentiment, from the retired hostess set Best Yet. For embellishments I used olive wide grosgrain ribbon, flowers from the Pretties Kit (colored with not quite navy and amethyst markers), and half-back white pearls. I think this turned out really sweet!

I'd love for you to play along this week - come join in on the fun! This week's SCS keyword is DSIC46. And be sure to leave a comment here for everyone to see your creation!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Tin o' Tiny Tags

Here's a sweet little set of tags that I was working on this week. They're up for sale in my Etsy shop (the link is on the lefthand side of my blog). I was inspired by the tags on the last page of the catalog - I'd been thinking of making some tags to sell and these are what I came up with. I did CASE a couple of the catalog ones, but then I branched out with my own ideas as well.

For my colors I used so saffron, kiwi kiss, and baja breeze - I loved these colors on my IC card from Wednesday and wanted to play with them some more! I decided to make these with textured cardstock, which just adds a little more texture and interest. I used a variety of supplies, including the stamp sets Only Ovals, Cute & Curly, Say It with Scallops, Starring You, Pocket Silhouettes, and the Polka Dot Punches set from the Sale-a-Bration catalog. (Don't forget, SAB starts today! You can also get a free catalog if you order through my SU web site - click on my profile to get to the link.)

For each tag I used the Crop-a-Dile to set a small eyelet for a ribbon loop. I also added another little detail to each tag, such as piercing, flowers, rub-ons, brads, etc. Here are some photos of the tags. The curly label Pocket Silhouettes tag was stamped by using a reverse mask so I could just stamp the flowers inside the label.

For the layers I used a variety of punches and Nestabilities, and some hand-cutting for shapes that I didn't have a layering tool for. (Just a tip: it's harder than it seems to cut nice, even borders around curly labels and hearts!)

Then I decorated an altoid-style tin to hold all the little tags. I think this set turned out so cute!