Thursday, April 30, 2009

Divine Diva Special: Meet the Team!

We have an extra Thursday this month, so unfortunately it's not yet time for our next challenge. But I have something a little special for you today. I've asked the Divine Divas to answer a few questions about themselves so we can get to know them a little better! These are the questions I came up with:

(1) Where is your hometown?
(2) Where do you live now (if different)?
(3) How long have you been stamping?
(4) What is your favorite stamping/cardmaking style?
(5) What do you find most challenging or difficult when you're making a card?

Then for fun I gave the Divas the option of suggesting a question for us to answer:

(6) What is your all-time favorite color? (from Chat)
(7) What is your favorite technique? (from Chris)
(8) What is your favorite embellishment? What do all of your cards have to have? (from Keri)
(9) What do you usually start with when designing a card? The colors, the image, or something else? (from Julie)

Ready? Here we go!


1) Where is your hometown? Brampton, ON

2) Where do you live now (if different)? Brampton, ON

3) How long have you been stamping? It's getting close to four years since I was introduced to stamping.

4) What is your favorite stamping/cardmaking style? Clean and Simple

5) What do you find most challenging or difficult when you're making a card? Colouring images. I just can't get the hang of shading.

6) What is your all-time favourite colour? Stampin' Up!'s Chocolate Chip

7) What is your favorite technique? I'm not much into techniques but I guess I'd have to say embossing.

8) What is your favorite embellishment? What do all of your cards have to have? It's a tie between dimensionals and ribbon. It's unusual for me to make a card without one or the other.

9) What do you usually start with when designing a card? The colors, the image, or something else? It depends, but I'd have to say the image most often. I like to do challenges, though, so I can have different starting points based on them.


I consider Glendale, Arizona as my hometown since I have lived here for so long, although I was born in Manila, Philippines. I have been stamping for the last 13 years and became a Stampin' Up! demonstrator shortly after. It has been the most fun and rewarding job ever.

My style in stamping: I love the clean and simple look but every now and then I go for some detailed elements that combine colors, technique and my signature style.
What is challenging for me: more than anything is following directions. I am so visual that sometimes I can't seem to follow directions and measurements. But once I see a card or a project, I can pretty much copy it and alter it.

My all-time favorite color is Chocolate Chip.


1. and 2. I was born in Newton, New Jersey, and lived there with my parents, older sister and younger brother on a dairy farm until I was 13 years old. At 13 we moved to upstate New York. I attended college in Grand Rapids, MI for my BA in Elem. and special education. When I returned home to New York I met my hubby who lived downstate New York. After 6 months of a long distance relationship, I moved downstate as well where we married (11 years ago). I currently live in downstate New York in Bloomingburg, 60-70 miles from the city.

3. I began stamping when I was introduced to stamping by my sister who is a Stampin' Up! Demo 6 years ago. I have been addicted ever since. It is a hobby and a way of escape or relaxing for me.

4. I have been told that I have a certain style about my cards and you can always tell that I made a particular card because of that style. What that style is I am not sure. I like to make shabby chic, elegant and cutesy cards with a lot of detail.

5. What I find most difficult when stamping is making clean and simple cards. I love the details and embellishments so clean and simple is difficult for me.

6. My favorite colors are Baja Breeze, teal, and pink.

7. My favorite tool is the cuttlebug because I love using my embossing folders to create textures and my nesties for die cutting. It adds so much detail to a card.

8. My favorite embellishment is bling, lace, and ribbon. I love extra glitz!

9. I usually start with an image and cardstock or designer paper when I begin my card. I guess I look at my image and think of what colors would go and then go from there.


1) Where is your hometown? I was born in San Antonio, TX but I grew up in Corpus Christi, TX

2) Where do you live now (if different)? northeast of Atlanta, GA

3) How long have you been stamping? seriously about 10 years, but casually a lot longer. I guess I was first exposed to a form of stamping way back in High School art classes. We carved linoleum blocks for our images. For years after that, I carved erasers, made lino blocks, even used felt glued onto wood for stamps.

4) What is your favorite stamping/cardmaking style? I love it all, but I'm partial to lots of layers and lots of details. I love to make backgrounds.

5) What do you find most challenging or difficult when you're making a card? The most difficult kind of card for me is a CAS (clean and simple). I love them, but they are hard for me.

6) What is your all-time favorite color? That's easy, GREEN (any shade). I love color, especially jewel tones and brights. I have a little trouble w/ pastels.

7) What is your favorite technique? Watercoloring, particularly watercoloring w/ markers

8) What is your favorite embellishment? What do all of your cards have to have? I'm terrible about remembering to use embellishments. But my cards almost always have to have the edges finished. I like to edge my layers w/ a marker to finish them off.

9) What do you usually start with when designing a card? The colors, the image, or something else? For me, it's usually the image first, then the color. But I love doing the sketch and inspiration challenges.


1) Where is your hometown? Cleveland, Ohio

2) Where do you live now (if different)? Fort Gordon, Georgia

3) How long have you been stamping? For about 6 years

4) What is your favorite stamping/cardmaking style? Not sure but I like the look of fresh, clean lines and images

5) What do you find most challenging or difficult when you're making a card? Starting with the color or stamp set. I never know what to do and have a hard time deciding.

6) What is your all-time favorite color? It is a toss up for me between purple, pink and green. I love them all together :)

My favorite embellishment would have to be ribbon or primas.. It is much a tie between the 2 and all of my cards seem to have to have layers.. Lots and lots of layers...

And not to be left out, here is mine:

I grew up in Elkhart, Indiana. I've lived in a lot of places since then but now I call Littleton, Massachusetts, home. Believe it or not, I've not yet reached the two-year mark since I first picked up a stamp. I was hooked the first time I tried it, and I became an SU demo in September 2007. I love every minute of it!

My favorite style of stamping I would classify as elegant, shabby chic, vintage... or all of those at once! But I also like to mix it up and do cute and whimsical sometimes too. The biggest challenge for me has to be layouts. That's why you find me doing lots of sketch challenges - they take that problem out of the picture and allow me to create more freely. But sometimes I go out on my own and do OK. I'm learning. ;)

My all-time favorite color... that is a toughie. I really adore a lot of colors but right now I think I'd have to say Baja Breeze is my favorite. My favorite technique lately is coloring - I'm really having fun with my Copics. I love embellishments of all kinds but ribbon has to be my favorite, and I hardly ever make a card without dimensionals.

I have a lot of different ways I start a card - often it's from a challenge so that gives me a starting point. I probably start with layout, image, or colors, in that order. I rarely sit down without some kind of plan or idea, and if I do, I'll usually chase down a challenge to get me going!

I hope you've had fun getting to know all of the Divine Divas a little better. Come back in a week for our next challenge on May 7!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Late-night stamping

I've been really busy the past few days - no time to play challenges, unfortunately. But I did squeeze in one quick card, so I'm up past my bedtime to post it before I crash for the night. I made this card for the weekly Copic challenge. These were the colors chosen, and since I don't have R59, I went with the darkest reds I have. For the layout I used one of Lauren Meader's sketches from this post - I know I won't win any awards for creativity with the sketch, LOL. But I've been trying to get this card done for three days and I just didn't have the energy to think outside the box!

This cute flower from Eight Great Greetings (in the spring mini catalog) was stamped on PTI white with Memento tuxedo black and then colored with the Copics. I used lots of Nestabilities, retired patterned paper (pumpkin pie and Holiday Happenings) and Bazzill pomegranate cardstock. (I'm really frustrated with my camera tonight - it's making my colors look funky. IRL this red is very rich - not as pink as it looks in the photo. I didn't use to have this problem - any tips for me?)

The sentiment from Great Friend was stamped right on the pumpkin pie paper with chocolate chip ink, then I added the two chocolate chip 5/16" brads. I'm finding that my Copic cards tend to be simpler - maybe because I invest all the time up front and then don't want anything to take away from the coloring? I dunno. Tell me if this happens to you!

This will probably be my last post for a week. On Wednesday I'm taking the kids to see the Indiana family. Ben is very, very, VERY excited to be flying on an airplane. I won't be able to upload photos so I'm planning to bring some Copics and other things to color and assemble while I'm gone. Hopefully that means I have fun stuff to post when I get back!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Divine Diva Inspiration Challenge #2

Welcome to the second installment of the Divine Diva Inspiration Challenge! We all enjoyed bringing you our creations last time and hope that you feel inspired to come and join us this week. Plus, just to make things a little more interesting, Angela has offered up a prize for this week: a $15 stamp set from There She Goes!

This week our challenge features this Napa Valley print. I'm not really a wine drinker, but I was lucky enough to visit when Ben was just five months old. If you want to see some photos from that trip, you can click here. Talk about a blast from the past! Wow, it's hard to believe Ben was ever that little.

Anyway... on to my card! I decided to go vintage with the set Le Jardin Botanique. I loved that it had a tree, leaves, and berries - could be grapes, who knows? I also used a tag from the Tailor Made scrap kit. These colors had such a rich, masculine feel that I decided to make a Father's Day card.

The card base is 5 1/4" square and cut from sahara sand. I covered the left edge with two generations of stamped leaves in chocolate chip, then I dabbed a crumpled paper towel into the ink and "stamped" a pattern all over the card base. I finished off with lots of sponging. (Note: when I say "sponging" I usually use a paper towel. It's my favorite tool for the job. I just rub the paper towel over the very edge of the paper until I get the coverage I want.)

Next I stamped the tree (also two generations) on artichoke cardstock. I layered the panel onto chocolate chip cardstock with more sponged edges. I stamped the sentiment (Memory Box) directly onto the tag, then layered it on cardstock and added the jumbo pewter eyelet. I knotted a bit of hemp twine through the eyelet and mounted the tag with dimensionals. The final touches were the artichoke leaves and chocolate chip berries/grapes, which were stamped on sahara sand and cut out. Those were mounted with dimensionals also, and here I used a double layer since the tag was already up on dimensionals.

Be sure to check out the cards made by all the Divine Divas for this challenge!


***Leave a link to your card on Angela's blog to be entered into the random drawing for the challenge prize!***





Hope you are inspired to come and play along. Just leave a comment here with a link to your card. We can't wait to see what you create! The keyword for uploading on SCS will be DDIC2. Have fun and look for the next challenge the first Thursday of May! (Yes, that's a very long way away. Maybe I will see if I can cook up a little something special for April 30...)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cute Cupcake

I am multitasking today - I'm combining the sketch challenge with a card for my upcoming club meeting. The idea I had been thinking of for this card worked really well with the sketch. I also don't usually post club cards before the club meeting, which is on Friday - so if you club members are reading you're getting a rare sneak peek!

I based this card around the Big Bold Cupcake die set, which I cut out with Sweet Slumber papers and so saffron cardstock. I added a little Dazzling Diamonds glitter to the candle flames. With the sketch it seemed perfect to use the Top Note die for the large panel, then I added a baja breeze tag (from the Lots of Tags dies) stamped with the Birthday Wish stamp in ruby red. Using the Stamp-a-ma-Jig allows exact positioning of the stamp, which fits perfectly in the tag's oval. To finish I used another panel from Sweet Slumber with baja breeze ribbon (not exactly where the sketch had it - sorry!) and a saffron card base stamped with the canvas background in saffron.

That's it for now - don't forget to come back tomorrow for Divine Diva Inspiration Challenge #2!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I hate being late

I really wanted to play the SCS inspiration challenge yesterday - but the day got away from me and I just didn't get it done. Today I managed to make time - I kept the card pretty simple, though, since my to-do list is longer than I even want to contemplate.

My inspiration piece was this wall art. I loved the rich colors and bold flowers, even though I ended up only using red. The flower and leaves come from the hostess set Dream a Little. I stamped the flower with Memento tuxedo black and colored with Copics (R27 and R29) - I was attempting to match riding hood red and I think it worked quite well. The leaves were stamped in old olive and the cut-out flower was mounted on top with dimensionals.

The damask background is by B Line Designs - I stamped it with Versamark on kraft cardstock and embossed with clear EP. The black cardstock is the linen textured cardstock from the Taste of Textiles specialty paper pack - it's really nice. Then I used a 5.5" square kraft card base and added three copper brads on the damask layer. The sentiment (stamped in riding hood red) is from Sincere Salutations, oval punched and mounted on a black scalloped oval (love this punch!!). I added a bit more hardware and a little riding hood red ribbon.

I may not be able to post as much as I'd like for the next couple weeks - there is a lot going on. I hope I will find time to do a couple challenges, but regardless, please visit this coming Thursday for the next installment of the Divine Diva Inspiration Challenge!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wishing for spring

I'm really enjoying playing some challenges this week. It's been so busy and I've missed out on so many! Today's sketch challenge was right up my alley - my favorite kind of layout. I did tinker with it some, though - I didn't realize exactly how much until I sat down to upload my card!

I felt like making a springy card today. I wanted to use the Great Friend set from the mini catalog, which I love but really haven't played with much yet. I started out by inking the butterfly with baja breeze and then adding basic gray with the rock 'n' roll technique. I cut out the butterfly and mounted with dimensionals over the frame image, which was stamped in cameo coral (stamped off once) and also cut out. I used a square of basic gray cardstock to set the frame and butterfly off.

For the larger rectangle I stamped the leaf image once in basic gray, and then covered most of the stem with a post-it note, inked the stamp again, removed the post-it, and added leaves where I wanted with the Stamp-a-ma-Jig. I know you can do this with a marker, but I find if I'm stamping with both the ink pad and the marker, the color variation stands out too much. I kept adding leaves until the branch looked nice and full. The flowers were cut out from the DP from A Walk in the Park, which is also used for the tall background panel. (Too bad they didn't give us this flower in a stamp - I would have loved that.) To finish this panel I added piercing, the sentiment in baja breeze, and a layer of cameo coral cardstock. I sponged the edges of the large panels with basic gray. Then I assembled all of this onto a top-folded baja breeze card, with the white satin ribbon from the mini catalog as an embellishment.

Doesn't this make you want spring to just get here already? At least in Massachusetts, we are still waiting!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sweet Little Baby Bear

I love these stamps from Cute & Cuddly - they were the first thing that came to my mind when I saw the color challenge today: bashful blue, so saffron, and close to cocoa. The most complicated thing about this card was the coloring, which gave me another chance to play with my Copics. I only used three colors: Y21, B21 and B23. The images were stamped in Memento rich brown on PTI white. I don't think I would normally color a punched-out sentiment but I love how it looks - definitely worth the time!

This was a pretty simple card to put together. I cut out the bear and mounted on dimensionals over a square of saffron paper from a retired scrap kit. The cocoa paper is from Candy Lane, and the blue stripe is from the Rock-a-Bye Boy scrap kit (still current). I added textured cardstock scallops that were cut out with Nestabilities, a bashful blue taffeta ribbon and bow, and paper piercing around the edge. I used textured whisper white for the card base since I'd used it for all the other layers. Easy and cute - now I just need someone to have a baby boy so I can use it!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Me and my girl

Today was our Easter egg hunt at church. I guess they do it on Palm Sunday because on Easter they have two services and think everyone will be too busy then. It's a fun tradition, and for once we had pretty nice weather. Easter in New England is usually pretty cold!

Ben wouldn't really stand still for pictures. We tried to get a family shot but the kids didn't cooperate. So I had Todd take some of Sarah and me and I love how they turned out. I hear so often how Sarah looks just like me - I actually think she looks a lot like Todd, but we do seem to have the same haircut, LOL. I can see the resemblance in this photo for sure! (You can click the photos to see them bigger.)

I love Sarah's expression in this shot.

And one with a silly toddler face, just for fun!

I had to do a little adjusting to this photo to make it look OK since Sarah was in a shadow. But I just thought she looked so sweet in it. She's our little angel - at least some of the time! :)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Doubling up

I got a visit from the Copic fairy today! Tonight I've been having fun playing. I found a couple Copic challenges and decided that it would be fun to try one of them out. It's the Copic Colour Challenge, and these are the colors they picked. It's a fun combo!

Here's my card. The layout is Taylor's cupcake challenge - so I had to go with the cupcake from Wagon Full of Fun. The colors were great for this image, I thought. Once I colored the cupcake (stamped on PTI white with Memento rich brown) I paired it up with some retired tempting turquoise DP and a sheet from a Marcella (K&Co.) paper pack I've had lying around. And lots of chocolate chip layers and Nestabilities!

These are the Copics I used. The yellows are only for the flame, which is hard to see since I covered it with a Sakura clear glitter pen. I also added a little glitter to the icing. You can see that better in the next close-up shot.

The sentiment is by A Muse. To embellish my card I added some vintage buttons I inherited from my mother-in-law. The turquoise one is tied with the same dot ribbon I used for the bow. I used DMC floss on the little brown button, and for the white button - it was a funky one with one big hole in the middle, so I stuck one of the chocolate chip 5/16" brads in the center.

This was really, really fun - a great way to spend my evening!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Welcome to the Divine Diva Inspiration Challenge!

I'm so excited to announce the new incarnation of my blog inspiration challenge. I've made some changes based on the feedback I received, and I hope you like what you will be seeing and will come play along!

OK, first, the schedule: Instead of being weekly, the challenge will now happen on the first and third Thursdays of each month. But feel free to play along at any time. We all know there are lots of challenges out there and hopefully this will keep anyone (including me!) from being overwhelmed.

Next: I've decided to add a design team who will make samples for the challenges and post them on their blogs. This group of fabulous stamping ladies will be known as the Divine Divas. They are:

Angela of An Ink and a Smile

Chat of Me, My Stamps and I

Chris of Twinkles Glow with Stamps

Julie of The Write Stuff

Keri of Got Stamps?

I know you will be impressed with their work and want to come and join us!

To kick off our new round of challenges, I chose this Bohemian bedding from Land of Nod. I just loved the colors and patterns.

On my card I used the colors tangerine tango, kiwi kiss, pink pirouette, and chocolate chip. I first made the background with this B Line Designs damask background stamp with chocolate chip ink on pink cardstock. The main flower image is by A Muse. I stamped it twice with chocolate chip so that it would cascade down, and then I put the sentiment oval (Paper Salon/Nestabilities) in the middle. The flowers and leaves were colored with a blender pen and kiwi and tangerine reinkers. To tie the oval in with the flowers I punched a flower with the McGill Perfect Petals Baby Blooms punch, then added a Martha Stewart half pearl. I made the last-minute addition of some extra stamped and colored leaves to the oval (the whole pink panel was already assembled - thank goodness it worked!) and then I put the tangerine flower on top. I finished off with kiwi and chocolate chip cardstock panels and a top-folded tangerine card base.

Be sure to check out the cards made by all the Divine Divas for this challenge!






OK - so you want to play along, right? Just leave a comment here with a link to your card. We can't wait to see what you create! The keyword for uploading on SCS will be DDIC1. Have fun and look for the next challenge in two weeks!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

You'll want to stop by tomorrow...

We have big news coming! The inspiration challenge will be returning with some exciting changes. Please be sure to visit my blog again tomorrow for all the details!

I've been bitten by the Copic bug

I resisted these markers for a very long time... but I realized that I really love coloring stamped images, and I am also rarely satisfied with the result when I color large areas with traditional markers. So I decided to take a Copic class at my local stamp shop, and now I'm hooked.

Today's sketch challenge seemed like a good chance to do some practicing. I don't have a whole lot of colors right now, so I chose an image that would work in the large panel with the markers I do have. I didn't really choose wisely when I bought them - that was before the class, and I really wish I'd waited to purchase until that day. But anyway - I thought I could work with these yellows and greens and this pear image from the Artful Stamper.

I stamped the pear once on Papertrey Ink white cardstock using Memento tuxedo black ink. Then I masked it off and stamped it a second time, and then colored the images very slowly and carefully! These are the Copic colors I used. The background is panels of Delicate Dots and chocolate chip DSP. I added a strip of saffron ribbon to cover the join. The sentiment is from Savvy Stamps and was stamped with chocolate chip. I distressed and sponged all edges and added paper piercing and a bit of copper Hodgepodge Hardware.

What do you think? I wouldn't say it's my favorite card I ever made but I decided to just jump in with my markers, practice a bit, and post something before I chickened out!