Saturday, May 30, 2009

DDIC4 - blog candy winner!

I'm excited to report that we had our biggest (at least as far as I know) challenge participation so far for our last challenge. Let's keep it up - tell your friends! :)

Anyway, I am so sorry to be late in posting this - the winner of the SAB stamp set blog candy is Lorraine! You should have received an email from me, so if you didn't, let me know!

Thanks so much to everyone who played, and please come back next Thursday for #5 - your work is beautiful and I can't wait to see what you come up with next time!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

To Teach

I wanted to share a card I made (actually I made two of them) for a custom order on Etsy. The customer wanted to use the quote "To teach is to touch lives forever" on a couple teacher thank-you cards. I decided to use yesterday's sketch challenge for these cards and I think it worked out really well.

My concept for the card began with two things. The customer requested there be some embossing on the card, so I knew I'd incorporate that with the stamped image since the quotation would be done on the computer. When thinking about what sort of image to use, I liked the idea of a tree, since they could represent longevity. So that brought me to the Thoughts and Prayers tree, which I thought would look beautiful embossed.

Not knowing the recipients I thought I'd go for something fairly clean and classic. I stamped the tree with Versamark on kraft cardstock and embossed with Ranger copper EP. The sentiment is printed to approximate chocolate chip, which is the cardstock I used for the layers, along with chocolate chip DP and an argyle print in kraft from the Manchester paper pack. To finish I added three copper brads and a bit of coppery brown organdy ribbon, then I cut and embossed the sentiment with a Nestabilities label die and mounted with dimensionals.

I hope the customer is happy with her cards, and the recipients as well! I felt a great responsibility to honor these teachers I've never met, since I have such respect for the wonderful teachers who have been part of my kids' lives so far, with many more to come!

I may be very quiet in the coming days - I have a few deadlines approaching and I'm insanely busy. But hopefully by the time the next DDIC rolls around on June 4, my life will be much calmer and I'll be back posting more often, because I really have missed doing challenges and making cards!

Divine Diva Inspiration Challenge #4

Can you believe it's challenge week again already? I can't! I have been totally swamped since the last challenge and I'm really missing making cards, so I was happy to have a good excuse! For this week's challenge I chose these adorable Nesting Mugs and Plates from Acacia. I loved the spring colors - although here in Massachusetts it's supposed to feel more like summer today than spring!

I went for a clean and simple look with this card. I combined our challenge with a sketch challenge that is new to me - the Clean and Simple blog's Fall-to Layout challenge #41. This is a cool blog to browse if you like CAS, or you aspire to like it! ;)

For my colors I picked ruby red, certainly celery, baja breeze, and chocolate chip. I decided to use the Branching Out stamp set - there is a bird in there, but I'm not a big bird stamper so I went for the tree instead! The sentiment is from Bird on a Branch - I think it goes really well with this image. I used the scallop edge punch and pierced the scallops, then added some piercing on the celery layer and mounted it all to a chocolate chip card base with dimensionals on both layers. And that's it - there ya go!

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






I am also going to offer everyone who links to a card on my blog a chance to win a little blog candy. Up for grabs is your choice of one set from the now-unavailable stamp sets that were offered during Sale-a-Bration. I will choose the winner on Friday, May 29, so please leave your comment here by 9 a.m. Eastern on that day to be entered to win!

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 DDIC4. Have fun and look for the next challenge the first Thursday of June!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm published!

I came home this morning to find the newest issue of Take Ten in my mailbox - so I knew that could only mean that they published at least one of my cards! This is my first time getting published, which was one of my goals for the year. I was so excited that I could hardly wait to get into the house to rip it open and find my card. They actually published two of the ones I submitted - yay! If you want to check it out when you get yours, I'm on pp. 91 and 99. I am so beyond honored to be in the same magazine as Laurie Schmidlin, Jen del Muro, Kim Hughes, and goodness knows how many other elite stampers - what a fun surprise! Now I just need to find more time to submit more stuff, to more magazines, more often... never enough hours in the day! Thanks for sharing in my excitement. :)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cottage Rose

Here I am doing cottage style again - for some reason today I felt like doing a sweet and feminine card. In honor of all the moms out there, perhaps?
I'm doubling up on challenges today - I am so busy that I shouldn't be playing challenges at all, but my Mother's Day gift to myself was taking time out to make a card. Yesterday's inspiration challenge on SCS was so cool that I just didn't want to miss it. My favorite pillow from Steph's chosen site was this one. This card is also for the featured stamper challenge, honoring Beth's friend Debbie (DbDoodle). Her style is so fun! I picked this card for my CASE. I kept the oval layout but I flipped it (and moved the ribbon accordingly). I used Nestabilities for cutting/embossing and cut out my flower as Debbie did. Then I added scallops and a dry embossed background, and I shrunk the size of the patterned paper for my card and left off the buttons.

I thought A Rose Is a Rose was the perfect stamp set for this inspiration piece. I stamped the rose in pretty in pink and regal rose, and the leaves in certainly celery and garden green. I used baja breeze embossed with the little dot texture plate for the background, and in the center added a strip of regal rose paper from the hostess Patterns Pack II. The white scallops at the edges of the striped paper were made with a long rectangle Nesties die that I just trimmed to fit. The flower is up on dimensionals. For my bow I used the celery poly-twill ribbon from SAB.

I tried and tried to make a sentiment fit on the card front, but nothing I tried looked right. So I did something that I think is a blog first for me - I decorated the inside. It's pretty minimal but I like it. The sentiment (in baja breeze) comes from Three Little Words, and the rosebud is from the same set and was stamped in the same colors.

Thanks for visiting today - I hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

My wonderful mother

I've been sitting on this card ever since my last club meeting, since I'd decided to send it to my own mom and didn't want her to see it too soon! I had a lot of fun with this card - I didn't necessarily intend to add all of this stuff to it but once I started, I just kept going, and I was really pleased with the result. The layout and ribbon treatment were inspired by this card by Laurie Schmidlin - isn't it gorgeous?

The whole card started because I wanted to do a different coloring technique with my club. I chose the marker technique demonstrated by Julie Buhler in this video tutorial. The basics are to stamp with Stazon on watercolor paper, color with your lighter marker color, then color over where you want to shade the image with a darker marker and blend with an Aqua Painter. I used this technique on the dogwood stamp from Soft Summer in the mini catalog, using pink pirouette reinker and regal rose, close to cocoa, old olive and always artichoke markers. I didn't blend the cocoa marker with another color, just colored on the image and then softened it with the Aqua Painter.

Now for all the extras. I used my fingernail to distress all the edges and added cocoa ink with a paper towel. The cocoa and pink pirouette DP come from Candy Lane - it's not just for Valentine's Day! I created my own sentiment and printed it on pink pirouette cardstock, then I punched it out and pierced the cocoa scalloped circle. I added a little more piercing on two of the corners. I added a strip of regal rose grosgrain ribbon. Then I got out my Pretties Kit and dyed one of the flowers with the pink pirouette reinker. Tip of the day: It took a long time, and a lot of ink from the reinker, until I thought the flowers looked pink at all. I think I let them sit in the water for at least 24 hours! This was my first time trying this technique - maybe it was just because this is such a pale color.

For final touches I used a hatpin and a couple more of the Pretties, and then I added one of the Latte buttons with a bit of hemp twine in the center. As I was making this card I remembered how much I love making shabby chic cards - it's really a style that speaks to me. I hope my mom loves this card as much as I loved making it, and as much as I love her. Thanks for everything, Mom!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Divine Diva Inspiration Challenge #3

Welcome to the third installment of our inspiration challenge! I think we have a fun challenge for you this week. Take a look at these great outdoor pillows from Pottery Barn and I dare you not to think of summer!

This challenge inspired me to get out a color I rarely use - summer sun. I wanted to use lots of green so I combined it with both kiwi kiss and old olive. I cut three strips of kiwi dot paper (trying to evoke the stripes on the pillows since I'm apparently out of striped kiwi paper! horrors!) and layered them onto a summer sun panel, then onto an olive card base. (I used a lot of textured cardstock on this card.) For the main panel I cut kiwi and olive leaves with the Little Leaves die - this die is so cute. I'm going to use it all the time! Then I added summer sun flowers from Petal Pizzazz. Every time I get this set out I swear I'm going to use a different flower, but I never do. This one is just too fabulous. After I cut out the yellow flowers, I stamped them again in olive and punched out the centers to mount with dimensionals.

To finish I added a sentiment from Best Yet, punched out with the large oval and scallop oval punches. The button treatment was inspired by something I've been seeing on blogs and in magazines lately - such as on this card by Jen del Muro. I did a different version of this idea: I took the white satin ribbon from the mini catalog and looped the ends under, then tied linen thread through the button holes and around the ribbon to keep the ends secure. The hardest part was keeping the ribbon from slipping out while I tied my knot - it took a couple tries but I managed to get it right!

I think I need to get out my summer sun more often - I feel happier just looking at this card. Be sure to also check out the cards made by the Divine Divas for this challenge!






This just in: Chris is offering a great prize with this challenge. Visit her blog to read how you can get up to four chances to win your choice of two packs of SU designer paper, valued at $9.95 each! Thanks, Chris - that's an awesome 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 DDIC3. Have fun and look for the next challenge in two weeks!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sarah at 3

Yesterday was my "baby" girl's birthday. Now that she is 3 I guess I have to actually admit that she isn't a baby anymore. When did that happen??

Sarah actually got three birthday parties. We celebrated with two different sets of grandparents while we were in Indianapolis. We don't usually get to celebrate with my nephew and nieces so that was fun, even though we kept it pretty low-key.

Here she is blowing out her candles - she did a good job that day!

We had a small party here at home today. Uncle Greg and Aunt Karen came from Stoneham to help us celebrate. I made Sarah a butterfly cake, and I think she liked how it looked. I know she liked how it tasted because she kept saying, "YUM!"
She had the funniest look on her face while we were singing "Happy Birthday" to her. I wish I knew what she was thinking!

We gave Sarah some Fancy Nancy books and a game, and she wanted to read one of the books right away. Ben crawled up with us to listen as well - and that is just one of my favorite times with the kids, when they both curl up with me to read a book. I really love those moments.

Finally here is a funny story for you. Yesterday evening Sarah came into my office and found a pair of sandals that are just about too small for her. I need to sell them on eBay or something. The girl does love shoes, and she put them on and came over to show me, saying "Ta-da!" And then she said to me, "They fit me!" I looked and could see that she just barely has room in the toes, so I said that they almost fit - "but you don't need any more shoes." Her answer: "So? They fit me!" I didn't really have an answer for that! She must be 3 going on 13. Should be a fun time!