Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Andrea's Blog Candy

Who doesn't love some blog candy? I know I do! I wanted to let you guys know about a GREAT giveaway over at the Impressions Are Made blog. Andrea has graciously put up a wonderful selection of items for grabs. Just look at all this stuff!

Those Belle's 'n Whistles stamps look adorable! I've never seen them before, but man, are they darling. There's some great unmounted backgrounds from Alota Stamps. TONS of gorgeous patterned paper, and what looks like bunches of ribbon and metal charms and doodads (isn't that a funny word? lol.), paper doilies, plaques, flowers, and pearl embellishments, not to mention a sweet handmade box.

I don't know about you guys, but I have had Christmas cards on the brain today. I spent the last hour or so watching Kristina's Holiday Card Series videos for inspiration. I figure I should get a head start if I want to make all my Christmas cards this year. So I was psyched to see that Cosmo Cricket Nutmeg mini deck in there! It looks like it holds some great non-typical Christmassy patterns.

This is one of the nicest groupings of blog candy that I've seen. Andrea really outdid herself. I don't know how to post links within a post, but I've added her's into my sidebar, so be sure to pop over to Impressions Are Made and pay Andrea a visit. Giveaway deadline is July 12th.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sophisti-Cat Thanks

So, I recently found myself in need of a thank-you card for a wonderful lady we know. A lady who is vibrant, fun, and works with children on a daily basis. I wanted to keep her card fresh and fun and youthful as well. Here's what I came up with.

I started out with some black Bazzill cardstock. To break up the flatness, I stamped a distressed dot clear stamp from Glitz Design with linen white ink from Inkadinkado. It was the first time I used both of these supplies, and I have to say, I wish the white would have come out a little whiter. I'm not sure if it was the stamp or the ink, but I'm guessing the ink. If anyone knows of a great thick, even coat white ink, please let me know! Trial and error can be costly. ;o)

Anyway, I stamped this sophisticated little cat from Rubber Soul in black StazOn on a little square of white GP cardstock, colored in her eyes with Copics, and gave her a little collar with a silver sharpie and a tiny gem from ADT. I adhered that to some hot pink cardstock and punched it out using a scalloped square punch. I put dimentionals on the back, but before I attached it, I tied on a bit if black and white polkadot ribbon which I believe is from American Crafts, but I could be wrong.

For my final touches, I added some faux stiching lines with my Signo white gel pen, to sort of reinforce the bright white on the other areas of the card. I wrote "thanks" and drew a little paw print. Then I chose two flowers from Sandylion essentionals to give it a bright, feminine touch.

I hope you liked my card today! Please continue to keep Grace in your thoughts and prayers and consider sending her a card or two in this extrememly difficult time in her life. To read about Grace, please see the previous post below.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cards for Grace

Last week, a beautiful, bright-eyed, brave little girl named Ellie lost her battle against cancer. I heard about Ellie over at Jennifer McGuire's blog, and then learned more about her on her mother's blog. To quote her, "Ellie had a way with people on earth and now in heaven. Ellie made everyone feel loved and special by just being near her... and hanging." Sounds like she was one very special little girl, and I can't imagine the heartache that her family must be going through. I imagine it must be especially difficult for Ellie's sister Grace. You see, Ellie and Grace were more than just sisters. They were twins.

Jennifer is graciously hosting one of her Cards for Kids drives, this one directed at Grace. All I can think is that this little girl needs to be surrounded by love right now. Unfortunately, there is nothing that we can do to fill that emptiness she must feel -- we can't bring Ellie back. But we can let Grace know that she is loved and cared for by people all over the globe. Strangers, yes, but also sisters and daughters and mothers who know how to pull together and offer tenderness and compassion when one of our own is hurting. Will you join with me in lavishing some love on Grace? Please visit Jennifer McGuire's blog for more information. The link is on my sidebar.

Bulldog Birthday

Hello everybody! How are you this fine Monday? Eager for a fresh, new week to begin? I have a lot of plans for this week, as far as personal life goes. This afternoon I want to take my boys to see the movie, "How To Train Your Dragon." It's playing at the discount theatre, and Monday is their bargain day -- just 75 cents a ticket! They also have a Monday Movie Meal -- a box of popcorn and a small drink for $2.50, so even with snacks included, it's still extremely affordable. I'm hoping they'll sit through it. My kids must be the only kids in America who don't like going to the movies! I practically have to drag them there. Lol. But it's been a while since we've gone so I'm hoping they'll do better.

As far as other plans, I want to really start organizing my office/spare bedroom/craft area. My sister-in-law from Germany is coming to visit in four weeks and right now it is a disaster! I'm one of those people who needs to have a place for everything, but so far I have zero storage containers, so everything has no where to go but on every available surface. Well, that's changing. After hours and days of researching online, I finally ordered the Cropper Hopper hanging file caddy and folders, and I've picked up some desk organizers and I'm going to get everything squared away. It's going to be a job that extends into next week as well, since I don't expect the Cropper Hopper caddy to even arrive until then, but I'll try and take pictures when I'm all done and everything's got a home.

Well, on to today's project. This is actually a card I made in the wee hours of Saturday morning, for the son of a friend who's birthday party my boys attended this weekend (hubby had to take them, I had to work -- boo. There was even a bounce house!) Check it out.

I started out with this bulldog image from Inkadinkado, which I stamped with Colorbox Chalk ink in Chestnut Roan in Kraft Bazzill cardstock. I also stamped him in black Memento ink so that I could color his collar with Copics. Then I cut that out and paper-pieced over top of the original for some dynamic color. I loved the Kraft paper so much (my first time using it, that I decided to use it for my card base as well, instead of the white I was intending on using.

The patterned paper is from My Mind's Eye, called "Reach For The Stars," I believe. I stamped the sentiments from Studio G next to the bulldog on the Kraft paper and cut that out, rounding one corner. Then I added a little strip of the patterned paper's B side -- that blue grid -- just to break up the background a little. I cut out one star circle and adhered that next to the sentiment to reinforce the color scheme, then popped the whole thing off with dimentionals.

I thought I was done then, but I felt like it still needed something. I remembered that I had these little dog bone paperclips, so I added one, and tied a bit of blue polkadot ribbon around the corner. Not satisfied with the subtle shade, I decided to take an orange Copic to it and liven it up a bit. I was really pleased with how it turned out.

Well, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Thanks so much for stopping by. I love your visits. :o)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Kristina's Color Inspiration Challenge - Reader's Choice 4

A double post today! Please scroll down to the previous post to see my son Elliott's ocean birthday cake. Happy Birthday, sweet Elliott!

I wanted to get this posted today as well. For those of you who don't know, I stumbled upon a blog last December that changed my life. It was Kristina Werner's blog, and her Make a Card Monday and Finally Friday videos were so interesting and inspiring that I just had to try my hand at papercrafting too. I made a careful list of basic supplies and gave it to my hubby as my Christmas Wish List. Then I started this blog to document my journey. In other words, I wouldn't even be out here talking to you and sharing with you if it weren't for Kristina.

Kristina occasionally posts these color inspiration challenges, which I've always looked forward to viewing (and I've discovered some wonderful blogs as a direct result) but I've never felt confident enough in my abilities to join in. Well, last night I decided: Nothing risked, nothing gained. So here is me jumping in.

The first thing I did was to take the laptop upstairs to my office so that I could match the colors as closely as possible with the Copics in my supply. Next, I needed an image. I ended up picking this adorable Bentley Bear stamp that came in a free set with the June issue of Cardmaking and Papercrafting Magazine. It's not a magazine that's easy to find. It's published in the UK, but I have found it on occasion at JoAnn's, A.C. Moore, and Borders.

Once I decided this was going to be a play date with Mr. Bentley, I knew I was going to need some cloud paper. I searched through my scraps and found a perfectly-sized piece from American Crafts. I colored Mr. Bentley Bear using a wide assortment of Copics (E00 and YR21 for him, R20 for his ears and cheeks, a tiny dab of E25 for his nose, then B02 and B04, R24 and R27, Y11 and Y15, and Y38 and YR04 for the balloons.

I choose two coordinating papers from the Citronella Designer Mat Pad from K&Company, and adhered those to a white card base. The American Crafts clouds went over that, and Mr. Bentley got popped off with dimentionals.

I added a sentiment that in hindsight I wish I had trimmed around, but it wouldn't come back up without tearing the paper. It's a clear sticker that I've had lying around forever from back in the day when I tried altering tins. It's from Cloud 9 Designs. Oh well, live and learn, right?

And then for a final splash of color (okay, more like droplets) I stamped three butterflies from Hampton Arts with Colorbox Chalk Ink in warm red. I folded them in half so their wings would look more like they do in flight, and popped those off with dimentionals as well.

And that's it! I hope you enjoyed my card! If you'd like to take part in Kristina's challenge, please visit her amazing blog by clicking the link in my sidebar. You still have until noon tomorrow to enter.

Happy Seventh Birthday, Elliott!

First off, I want to wish a very happy birthday to my son Elliott! Elliott is turning seven today. He's a wonderful, bright, energetic child who loves playing firefighters, police, secret agents, and deep sea divers. Elliott admires his Uncle Jeremy very much and wants to go diving with him when he gets older. Since we've done the whole firefighter birthday a few times, Elliott decided to go with the deep sea theme this year. And as I do every year, I made his birthday cake. I'm certainly no professional, but I do enjoy trying my hand at it three times a year when my boys birthdays come around. Check out Elliott's ocean cake.

I made a two-layer yellow cake with cream cheese frosting tinted blue. I like everything on my cake to be edible, so I used sour apple strips trimmed to look like plants, peach jelly bellys and watermelon nerds candy for the rocks, and assorted sweedish fish for my sea life.

On the top, I wrote Happy Birthday and ringed it with some circling shark fins cut out from purple fruit slices. They had a blue rind (sort of looked like purple and blue half orange slices) which I trimmed off.

We even had a lobster, among other things, including starfish, sea horses, blow fish, and a wiggly, giggly octopus.

Elliott has been through so much in his short life, including being born with club feet, wearing casts, braces, and having lots of physical therepy, and eventually surgery at the Shriner's Hospital. He's doing so well now, and he's such a happy, lively, thoughtful boy, my heart warms over every time I look at his precious, freckled face. I love my boy! Happy Birthday, darling Elliott. Mama loves you so dearly.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Chum

Happy Tuesday, everybody! Yesterday seemed almost like a mini holiday for me. It followed on the back of my son Elliott's seventh birthday party on Sunday evening, and my husband happened to have the day off, so he took the boys to the beach for the afternoon. I would have loved to join them, but I had to go to work later on and wouldn't have had time to shower, so I decided instead to do something I haven't done in a long time. I took myself to the movies.

There's a discount movie theatre behind the mall, which is about a minute and a half's drive from where I work, and "The Last Song" -- the movie based on the book by Nicholas Sparks was playing. I'd been wanting to see it but it just hadn't worked out to go with friends, and it just happened to be letting out a half an hour before my shift started, so it was kinda perfect. Only bad thing was, I cried all my eye makeup off and of course, didn't have any more with me! ;o) But oh well. It was a really good movie.

When I got to work, I still had a few minutes to kill after I'd changed, so I wandered around the store and remembered to look up the name of that "wood block" paper I was talking about in the previous post. It's called "On the Boardwalk" by Reminisce, and the B side is the shark paper I also mentioned and will share with you today.

My baby brother Jeremy turned 30 last month. Yes, 30! I can hardly believe it myself. It means that I'm getting old, folks. He's nearly four years my junior, so that gives you an approximation. ;o) Anyway, Jer has been crazy about sharks since he was very little, and now that he's a grown man, he's become a certified scuba diver and instructor, and he travels all over the world to swim with these frightening creatures. He jokes that he thinks that the most glorious death for him would be to be eaten by a shark. Preferrably a Great White. So when I saw this shark paper, I knew immediately what his card would be.

For anyone who is not aware, CHUM is the word referring to that bloody meat/guts mixture that is used to attract sharks for observation. Basically, it's shark bait. So, this was my sisterly way of teasing him over his whole "glorious death" spiel.

I kept the card simple and classic, with not too many frills. Black Bazzill cardstock was my base of choice, because it really made the shark paper pop and also added that "deep, dark, sea" element I was going for. I typed the word "CHUM" in some strange font I found on my computer and played around with the coloring until I got this fleshy peach/pink shade. Then I stamped "Happy Birthday" in black StazOn so that all the attention was on the CHUM. He's not a ribbon kinda guy and it didn't "go" anyway, so I decided to just add some bubble stickers that I found in our clearance bin at work. I don't remember who they were by, sorry.

Anyway, he got a good kick out of it, and I hope you will too! Have a great day! And don't go near any shark-infested water! ;o)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

In honor of my wonderful, wonderful father, I made this card for him for Father's Day. The weekend before Father's Day, my dad and his father and brothers all meet up for a fishing trip. It's a tradition that's been going on for years. Since they're scattered far and wide throughout the rest of the year, it gives them a chance to come together and bond in the way that males typically do, over beer (not for my dad -- he doesn't drink), fishing rods, and wild stories made wilder by the aforementioned drink. He always comes home the Saturday evening before Father's Day, so I thought this would be the perfect card to give.

I started with some cream Bazzill cardstock for my card base, and covered it completely with this fish paper from Carolyn Holt. I chose one dapper looking fish and cut him out to mount onto the "wood block" as my focal piece. The "wood block" is in fact the B side of some shark paper -- I wish I could remember who it was by. I've used it all up, so I'll have to check at work tonight if I remember.

Anyway, it's thin (side note: is there a difference between "patterned paper" and "designer paper" and is it called differently if it's thin like regular paper or thick like cardstock?) so I attached it to some chocolate Bazzill cardstock for extra strength and punched some brads through to give it a more masculine touch. I popped Mr. Fish off with dimentional adhesive, and did the same with the "wood block" so it was an extra thick card. I still got it into the envelope with no problems, but it's probably not something I would have tried to send in the mail.

I stamped the "Happy Father's Day" sentiment from Studio G with Colorbox Chalk Ink in Chestnut Roan. Then I tied on a little hemp for added texture. Then I poured out my heart to my father on the inside. He must have enjoyed it, because he was moved to tears when he read it. But all the credit goes to him. He's a great man. One of the greatest.

I hope that you all had a wonderful Father's Day and were able to spend it with the specil men in your lives. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Catching Up - Mother's Day Card

I know it's nearly Father's Day, but I wanted to share the other Mother's Day card that I never got around to posting. This one was for my wonderful step-mom.

The flower image was made using a cling stamp from Hero Arts, which I colored with Copics to match my patterned paper. I added glitter to the center and all around the edges of the flower petals, but you can't really see it in the pics. I also curled up the petals a bit for more dimention. I used a cream-colored Bazzill cardstock for my card base, and added a little sentiment (which I probably should have popped off) and some sheer, sparkley purple ribbon.

The pictures really don't do it justice. It's much prettier in person where the sparkles catch the light.

I hope you enjoyed it!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Hey there, everybody! Have you forgotten about me yet?
Not completely, I hope. I'm sorry that I just disappeared like that.
Life had gotten so stressful with going back to work in the evenings, and end of the year school stuff for both my hubby (college) and the boys. Every single moment of every day was accounted for and then some. There was no down-time whatsoever and I was completely miserable. Something in my life had to give, and since it obviously couldn't be my family, and I needed the job, the only thing left was the blog.

For those of you who keep one, I'm sure you know how much time and effort goes in to each post -- from the choosing of a topic, to the photographing of it, the editing of photos, uploading, and then the actual blogging itself, and editing. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it. And I've been missing it. Missing YOU. Missing that interaction, the sharing of ideas, and the support of other ladies out there who are just trying to do their creative best like I was (am) every day. But at the time a break was absolutely necessary.

Now that summer vacation has started and hubby is back to work and the kids are out of school, there's a little more free time. I'm still working four nights a week (and the other three are spoken for as well with various activities between the five of us) but the mornings are a little less hectic, a little less stressful. First on my mind was testing the waters again here and seeing if anyone is still around, still interested in the amateur creations and ramblings of an average housewife, mother, and friend.

I likely won't go back to posting five days a week as I did before, but I will try to update regularly. I've still been making cards and things in the time I've been "away" -- not every day, but as often as I was able. So I have some new things to show you, and I'm eager to get back into creating more often, and living a more balanced life.

As I said in my very first post, creating is what makes me happiest. This last month I've been sad, stressed, and full of self-doubt. I know why that is, and I don't want to fall back into that.

So, forget-me-not. I'm back with a new look, new crafts, and renewed energy. I hope you'll come along with me for the ride.


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