Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Turquoise Pottery and Pearl Jewelry Set

Just a quick post tonight. Temperatures have risen and my office is like a furnace, so no card today. Instead, I'm sharing with you a necklace and earring jewelry set that I also made for my step-mom. It consists of turquoise and green pottery beads, olive green freshwater pearls and sterling and bali silver.

I thought the combination of pottery beads and pearls
 made for a nice "any occasion" set. Casual enough to wear with
jeans and a t-shirt, or dressy enough for a night out.

The sterling and bali silver also add a touch of earthy elegance, which is exactly the look I was going for.

You can see that I used larger pearls to accent the front,
then graduated to smaller, oval-shaped pearls along the sides
and back of the neck. This adds interest, but also keeps the piece from becoming too heavy.

A final look at the whole set.
I hope you all are having a wonderful week! Stay cool!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Birthday Kitty

Happy Monday, everyone!
Sorry I wasn't around more last week, I've been feeling under the weather. Nothing like a good summer flu to kick you in the pants, especially when it's your children's first week back to school! Well, at least for the younger two. Chaztin doesn't start back until after Labor Day. I can't believe he's going to be a third grader already!

Anyway, I do have a new card to share with you. Yesterday was my step-mom's birthday, and she loves cats.

The image I used is from Penny Black. I love these adorable little animals. I stamped it in Tuxedo Black Memento ink and colored it with Copics. The image didn't actually have any bushes, just the flowers, and a couple leaves, which didn't look quite right to me. I created the bushes myself by "stippling", or dotting the tips of five or six shades of green until the shapes I wanted took form. 

I mounted my completed image on some kraft cardstock and stamped the "Happy Birthday sentiment from the same set in Colorbox fluid chalk ink in Chestnut Roan.

I folded another piece of Bazzill kraft cardstock into a standard sized card, then covered it with this bright, festive patterned paper from Fancy Pants called "Roasted Sun". I trimmed it down to the same size as my card front, cut it in half off-center, then flipped the smaller piece over to the striped B side.

Then I put down two strips of Tacky Tape over the seam, and ruffled a strip of chocolate ribbon from The Ribbon Boutique over top. It's a technique that I saw over at Xiumaiyuki's blog, and wanted to try out myself. She passed along this link to Ashley Newell's blog, where there is a great video tutorial. Hers looks much better than mine, believe me.

I hope you enjoyed my card today! I hope to get back in my craft room a little more this week and have some new things to share with you soon. Until then, take care and be crafty!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Ahoy, there, Mateys! ;o)
How are you all today? Lots going on in our house, as today was the first day of school for my two youngest sons, Elliott and Dominic. Elliott started First Grade today, and Dominic started Kindergarten at our local Montessori school. We heard about Montessori toward the end of last school year, and filled out applications for all three of our boys, but only the youngest two made it in. They get a high volume of applications, and they have only limited placements available, so Chaztin is on the waiting list, and will hopefully get in next year. We've had zero experience with a Montessori school system so far, but we've heard wonderful things about them. In fact, I read on Jennifer McGuire's blog that her young son Collin attends a Montessori school, and they couldn't be more thrilled with it. So we're looking forward to this new adventure. I hope it will be a really positive one for all of us.

In other positive news, the roofers which have been here all last week should be finishing up today! It will be nice not to wake up at 7AM to the sound of pounding nails (not that I can sleep in until 7 anymore anyway, since school's back in session). Because of the thick black clouds of sticky dust coming down all around us, I've had to keep most of the windows in the house closed, including my office, which has turned it into a furnace. I've avoided it as much as possible, though I did go up the other night and make a quick birthday card for my Grandfather. His bedroom is decorated in ships, so I thought he might enjoy this.

I started with some kraft cardstock, folded into a standard sized card. I trimmed down a sheet of Moxxie patterned paper, then tore off the bottom and layered it over a strip from the B side. I sanded the top and sides to give it more of a distressed feel.

I stamped the image from Hampton Arts and colored it with Copics. And that's when a happy accident occured. While attempting to trim it down, I misjudged the placement and sliced right through the right side of my image. After throwing a mini silent hissy-fit (this was somewhere around 2AM and the boys room is right next door to my office), I realized that I could restamp and color the image, or I could calm down and find a way to make it work. I think you can see for yourself which one I chose. I carefully sliced up the rest of the image (LOVE that on this new Fiskars trimmer, I can get such thin, straight strips. Never could have done that on my old one.) and mounted it on a scrap of silver-gray cardstock. I popped that whole piece off with pop dots, and threaded some white embroidery thread underneath three times, then tied it off in a little bow. Simple, stylish, and masculine.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my card for today. I can hear the workers out there taking down their ladders, so maybe I'll even get a little crafting time in tonight. Throw open those windows and let the inspiration flow in with the breeze. :o)
Have a great evening, everybody!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Birthday Bytes

Hey, everybody, happy Friday! I want to start by thanking you all so much for all your support during the Lawn Fawn Hearts Cards For Kids Blog Hop on Wednesday and Thursday. Last I checked, I had 110 comments! Which is over a hundred more than usual.
I was totally amazed and touched and honored by all the love you wonderful ladies showed me. Thank you so very, very much. :o)

Moving on to today's card. This was actually made yesterday, but I didn't get a chance to post it until now. One of the guys in my Thursday night writer's group had a birthday this week, so I made him this card for the group to sign. He's into SciFi and robots and all that, so I thought this great image by Christy Croll would be perfect for him. Isn't it hilarious? I love that apple with the "bytes" taken out of it on the laptop.

I colored my image with Copics, too many to list tonight. I used some white Georgia Pacific cardstock as my base, folded it into a standard-sized card, then covered it in this gear patterned paper from Adorn It. I thought they looked festive. Almost like robot chinese lanterns, if you could imagine such a thing. ;o)

I needed this to be a birthday card though, so I stamped a cupcake and some balloons from a Bentley Bear set and popped all three images plus a Studio G sentiment up with dimensional adhesive. I drew some strings in for my balloons, rounded the corners with my We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, and called it a day.

I hope you like it! If you commented or participated in the Lawn Fawn blog hop, dont' forget to head back over to the Lawn Fawn blog tonight or tomorrow and check to see if you won one of Kelly Marie's great prizes. I'm crossing my fingers! I adore Lawn Fawn stamps and I want to own them all! They're so cute.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lawn Fawn Hearts Cards For Kids Blog Hop!

Hello everyone! Welcome to the Lawn Fawn Hearts Cards for Kids Blog Hop! This is my first time ever participating in a blog hop, and I'm so excited you're here! If you're following along from the beginning, you should have just come from Art Is My Sunshine, but if not, that's okay too! You can hop back and forth and all around if you choose, and remember, if you get lost you can always find your way back at the Lawn Fawn blog where it begins and ends. Be sure to visit as many of the blogs on the hop as you can and leave comments, as there will be prizes given out to both commenters and participants! For a chance to win some Lawn Fawn goodness, I'm definitely in! But more than that, it's a great cause for some really great kids who deserve all the cheer we can send them. So let's get on with it, shall we?

This is my card for Gavin, a 4-year-old little boy battling Tay-Sach's Disease. I wanted something fun and festive for him, and this is what I came up with. I fell in love with Lawn Fawn's Critters in the Burbs stamp set the moment I laid eyes on it. It instantly sparked so many card ideas, including this one. Tell me, what's more fun than a snail race? I know, right? My original idea for the background (Hero Arts clouds and Soft Pool Shadow ink) fell through when the supplies I ordered didn't arrive in time, so I decided to improvise. ;o) I typed up a little story about a snail race on my computer and printed it out on white Georgia Pacific cardstock. I cut out a few clouds freehand and ran the side of my BG10 Copic marker around the edges to give them some definition, then layered them with dimensional adhesive.

I took a strip of green polkadot paper from My Mind's Eye and cut fringe for grass, adhered it to the card, then ruffled it up a bit to give it a more natural appearance. Then it was time for the fun part! I stamped the little snail five times, and the butterfly twice and colored them in with Copics. I drew a start and finish line, then adhered three of my little speedy snails directly to the card, and popped up the remaining two plus the butterflies with pop dots. I stamped the "yay!" from that set by the winner (Slinky), and spelled out "hey, champ!" for my sentiment with Harold's ABCs. Love that set. Endless possibilities with that one. For a final touch, I was looking around desperately for some blue thread or twine, knowing I didn't have any. Then I spotted the green and blue strings that Kelly Marie uses to wrap the Lawn Fawn stamps together for shipping. Tied it in a little bow... Perfect!

I hope you enjoyed my card for today! The next hop along the way is at Banu's blog Stamping With Passion. I checked her out last night -- very talented lady. I can't wait to see what she's come up with for today! Thank you so much for stopping by my little corner of the blogosphere. Have a great day, and best of luck!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hello, Love

Hey everyone! How are you all today? I am super, crazy busy this morning so I am going to jump right into things here. Tomorrow is the big Lawn Fawn Hearts Cards For Kids Blog Hop and I'll be participating! Woohoo! It's my first ever blog hop and I hope you'll come back and visit me and show your support tomorrow. I know that there's going to be prizes given out along the way, so plan to join in the fun!

I had the BEST idea ever for my card for the Hop tomorrow, but apparently there's some glitch over at the company I ordered the supplies from because it's been over 10 days since I placed my order and it still hasn't even been sent out yet! I had a few days of panic over whether or not it would be resolved and make it in time, but now I know it won't so I'm calmly trying to improvise. I'll be headed upstairs to get to it as soon as I finish posting this card I made last night.

I don't know, I seem to be having allignment issues. It's not letting me justify to the left anymore. Hmm. Just switched to the updated version of blogger, maybe that has something to do with it. Oh well, no time to fool around with it now. I started this card by folding some white Bazzill cardstock to a standard-sized card, then covered the front with this darling xs and os pattern from Basic Grey's Olivia collection. I added a strip of blue from the same collection a little lower than center on the card. Then I stamped my image from Penny Black and colored it with Copic markers. Here are the shades I used. (The Ciao is YG03 Yellow Green.)

Here's a closeup of the image. Isn't he sweet? I stamped and colored the rose twice, then cut out just the center and added it over top with a mini glue dot for some dimension. I traced a circle around my image with the lid of my googly eye tin ;o) and cut it out with Cutterbee scissors. Because I can't cut a straight circle to save my life, I roughed up the edges with my scissors to hide any flaws. Then I took my 3/4" circle punch and punched out a bunch of circles from the other side of the blue paper from front of the card. It had a whole bunch of border designs, which are a little too busy for me to use in full, but cut down on a small scale like this, I think they work. I added some adhesive to the backside of my image and then started making a scalloped edge with my circles, adjusting as needed. I added a bit of Orsay ribbon behind, then popped the whole thing off the card with dimensional adhesive.

I didn't seem to have just the right sentiment, so I decided to just write "hello, love" with my Signo white gel pen. Yeah. I think I spent more time doing this than I did on the entire rest of the card. I didn't realize when I started that my Signo pen is almost out of ink! It still looks like it's half full, but it wouldn't write nicely for anything. Never had that problem with my Signo before. Luckily I discovered that a white Magic Rub (is that the coolest name ever or what?) eraser also removes white gel pen. This here was my third attempt. I found that applying almost no pressure to the paper seemed to make the ink flow better. I will definitely have to order another right quick. Last step: rounding all four corners with my We R Memory Keepers Corner Rounder. Great tool. And here's another look at the final result. Not too bad, eh?

I hope you'll come back tomorrow and join in the Lawn Fawn Hearts Cards For Kids Blog Hop! It will begin and end over at the Lawn Fawn blog, and you can even head over there now to get the details if you like. It'll be a lot of fun! See you then! I'm off to work on my improvised card now. Eek! Crunch time!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nice To Gnome You

Is it really Thursday already? Wow, this week is just flying by! Well, except for today. Today has taken up too much of my time and I am so ready for it to be over! Four words for ya: BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING. Now, normaly this is my favorite time of year. Better than Christmas. I just love the smell of new pencils and notebooks and the sight of so many pretty folders and crayons all lined in a row... Going by myself? Sheer paradise. Going with my three boys? A trip in the other direction, if you get what I'm sayin'. Not fun. Not fun at all. But completely necessary. I vowed last year when I brought home stacks of new shirts and pants that were met with cries of "Ew! I'm not wearing that!" that from now on they would have to go with me. Choose their own clothes if they're going to be so dang picky! So that's what we did today. My head feels as though someone drove a railroad spike through it, but at least they have some school appropriate clothing that they're happy with. Which means I'm happy. Or, at least I will be once the Advil kicks in. Can any of you moms out there sympathize?

In other news, I was over at The Stampingbug blog earlier this week and Kerry was posting her card for the Woodware USA stamp company weekly challenge. The theme was to use the colors kraft, red, and turquoise. I thought that sounded like a yummy combination, so I decided to make a card for it. And in fact, it might even pass for the color challenge at the Dancing In Pajamas blog. Their colors are denim, kraft, and candy apple red. Though mine is more of a light wash denim. See?

I began with, of course, kraft cardstock, which was actually the leftover piece from the last card I made. I always just score and fold the extra as well when I cut a piece of cardstock, that way I have a blank one all ready to go for the next one. I even found a cheap and easy way to store them, which I might share with you all tomorrow. I'm all about cheap and easy storage solutions.

The paper I used was some My Mind's Eye scraps, the blue being the B side of the orange geometric also from the last card. Then I stamped this hilarious little gnome from Rubber Soul that I've had for a couple months now and have just been waiting for the right opportunity to use. Isn't he funny? I love him. I stamped him in a row with Colorbox Fluid Chalk ink in Chestnut Roan, then cut out an extra to pop off (the one below came out missing part of his hat. Shhh.). I wanted something punny for my sentiment, so I spelled out "Nice to gnome you!" with Harold's ABCs from Lawn Fawn. ADORE that company. Their stamps are so my style. Fun and whimsical. I want to own them all.

I ran some red tacky tape across the front of the card where I wanted my ribbon, starting at the left and overlapping a little onto the inside of the right, just to keep it straight, since I knew I wouldn't be tying it. Then I laid town some Pure Color beige grosgrain leaving enough to overlap nicely in front. Then I repeated the process with a layer of Studio 18 (dollar bin at Michael's) ribbon. I paper pierced a hole and added a corduroy brad from Paper Scraps to hold my ribbon ends in place, but after I was done I decided it needed a little something extra. So I cut two circles freehand from another scrap of the red polkadot, roughed them up a little with my Cutterbee scissors, and added them beneath the brad. Viola! A little flower! Cute, no? It's not like I invented it or anything, but it's the first time I've tried it for myself. I like the way it turned out.

And there's my card! Now I'm off to drown the day away with a big 'ol glass of ice water. How about you? How do you like to unwind at the end of a long day?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Beautiful Friend

Hey ladies! I'm back with a card that I made using all my lovely new supplies. It was so nice to be able to sit down at my desk again and surround myself with beautiful things. It made the inspiration for this card a snap! Check her out.

Aren't these papers just gorgeous? They're all from My Mind's Eye. The top floral is from the So Sophie collection, the strip of dandelions is the B side of that same sheet, and the bottom orange geometric pattern is from their Abbey Road collection.

The image I chose for today is "Ellie" from Stampendous. I just love her. She'd also be perfect for baby cards, don't you think? I colored her in twice, then cut out one and popped it over top for some dimension. The sentiment was from the mix-and-match sentiment set from The Paper Studio that I bought at Hobby Lobby. So many great options with that one. And for once I don't have to list my Copics! I remembered to take a photo before I put them away.

To assemble the card, I adhered my two background papers to some Bazzill kraft cardstock, then rounded the corners of my Ellie image with my We R Memory Keepers corner chomper (tip: A.C. Moore now carries it, AND you can use a coupon!), and centered her over top. I trimmed the light orange dandelion strip so that it would look like she was standing in them and popped that off with dimensional adhesive (and by the way, I've been spelling "dimensional" wrong all these months! Embarrassing!).

For my finishing touches, I tied on some ribbon from Buy The Yard ($1 bin at Joann's) and secured it with a mini glue dot under the knot and on each end so it wouldn't slip down. I thought it needed a little bling somewhere, so I added two gems from ATD on either side of my sentiment.

I hope you like it! Actually, after I was done taking the photos, I decided to round the bottom corners with the Corner Chomper as well. It looks better.

Well, my sister-in-law is gone now. Back home to Germany. We had such a nice time together, and I was really sad to see her go. While she was here, she and I did our traditional dinner and a chick flick. The movie we saw was Letters To Juliet, and OH MY GOSH! It is now our most favorite movie. If you haven't seen it yet, it's probably too late for the big screen, but as soon as it comes out on DVD rent it! Heck, even buy it if you have the money! You won't be sorry. Two beautiful love stories, beautiful scenery, a beautiful cast... I can't say enough good things about it. Put it on the top of your MUST SEE list. You can thank me later. :o)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Craft Trip Haul!

Hey everybody! How are you all this Monday afternoon? I am so excited to tell you guys about my recent trip to the Akron, OH area. Honestly, it was the best day I've had in a long, long time. Just perfect! It didn't quite start out perfect though. Last Monday, the day before we were set to go, I started getting really bad stomach cramps, and by afternoon I couldn't keep anything down. I stopped eating completely and tried to call in sick that night but one of my co-workers had beat me to it. We run the store on a very tight staff on Monday nights, and with one down already, I knew I had to go in. I made it through and woke up Tuesday still feeling iffy. Knowing that I wouldn't have the opportunity again (hubby had already taken off work and my visiting SIL was watching the kids) we decided to just go anyway. I'm so glad we did!

The first stop on our trip was Hollo's Papercraft in Brunswick, OH, and wow! If you are ever in the area, you MUST stop in. The inside is nothing to look at. Sort of like slightly run-down warehouse. But man, do they have paper galore! Cardstock in every size and color and texture imaginable. Ditto on the envelopes. And the prices for both can't be beat. The cardstock I bought was something around $1.89 per lb., and after I took enough to last me probably a year, it came to a whopping $2 and some change. Yes, that's right. A year's supply of cardstock for less than $3! The envelopes I picked out were 5 cents a piece, and I think I bought somewhere around 200 for $10. Patterned paper was no cheaper than anywhere else, but they had a TON of it, and I bought a ton. Really cute papers that I didn't see anywhere else on my trip. And look at that little grasshopper stamp! I just had to take him home with me. And you know what? By the time I left Hollo's my upset stomach had left too, and it didn't bother me again for the rest of the day!

My next stop along the way was the Hobby Lobby in Medina, OH. I've been to a Hobby Lobby once before, and I absolutely love that store. My idea of heaven. And the best part? Stamps, stickers, and patterned paper were all 50% off! I was able to buy twice as much as I would have been. I think I was in there for somewhere around 3 hours. My loving, patient husband lasted about 20 minutes before he headed to the car with his book and told me to take as long as I liked. I think he even caught a nap while I was there!

I got two new clear stamp sets, including the mix and match sentiments set which I was so excited about! I don't have nearly enough sentiments and I loved that I could use one set to create so many. I also got that cute little train stamp that will be great for boy's birthday cards. I picked up tons of adorable patterned paper (are you getting a feel for my addiction?), adorable doodlebug stickers, three rolls of ribbon, a set of corderoy covered brads, some Colorbox fluid chalk ink (love!), and the Basic Grey rub on roller tool. Notice my lack of Copics. They weren't on sale, so I regretfully decided to pass on them this time around -- well, except for the colorless blender. I was in desperate need of one, since my old one dried out. I used my coupon for that. :o)

After that, we made our way to Fairlawn, OH, to the Archivers. And oh my gosh, that store is AMAZING! I think I spent another 3 hours in there. Just beautiful. I would have bought so much more if I'd had a chance to save up a little longer. Again, I bought more patterned paper, distress stickles, Hero Arts shadow ink in Soft Sand, a leaf stamp to create my own backgrounds for jungle-themed cards, a roll of ribbon, and the Fiskars small stamp press, which I was really excited about. The only thing I left behind that I really, really wanted there was the Hero Arts Friends definition stamp, which has been on my wishlist forever, but online retailers seem to always be out of it. But it had to be done. After I checked out, I was down to about $20 in cash and $15 in my bank account, and there was still one more stop to make.

And that was Pat Catan's! Someone told me that Pat Catan's is like the Ollie's of craft stores, and that was pretty much right! Again, it wasn't much to look at, but wow did they have some great deals! I was walking around in there wishing I had budgeted better, but in hindsight, there wasn't a single thing that I regret buying, so I'm really glad about that. I picked up some great stamps from Stampendous, including the adorable Ellie the Elephant, a brave knight, and this great musical note background stamp which I LOVE and can't wait to use. They also had three sheets of EZ Mount, which I was thrilled about, since I have on my wish list some unmounted rubber stamps, and EZ Mount isn't that readily available. I bought two. And last, but not least, this sweet pumpkin paper, which my hubby actually bought for me since I was completely out of money at that point. He knows I have a thing for pumpkins. ;o)

And that's it! I had saved up a total of $150 for the trip, and had $25 in my bank account, and by the time we returned I was down to zero cash and $6 in my bank account. That's a LOT of money for me to spend on craft supplies, but this truly was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me and I don't regret a penny of what I spent. It was an amazingly wonderful day.

Hope you enjoyed journeying along with me! Come back tomorrow to see what I made with my new supplies! I'm off to work...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Blog Candy!

Hey all! Just wanted to stop in and tell you about this GREAT giveaway over at the Pink Piggy blog. The blog candy is three adorable Lili of the Valley stamps, and 10 Christmas die cut sheets. So stinkin' cute. I totally heart LOTV and I haven't had the chance to get any of their stamps or die cuts yet, so I'm super excited for the opportunity to win. Head on over there and check it out, but do it quick! The giveaway ends today.


One of these days I'll figure out how to post a link!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Baby Boy

Hello everyone! How have you all been? Sorry I haven't been much of a presence online these last two weeks. I'm having a wonderful visit with my sister-in-law. She flies back to Germany Friday morning, and I'm going to be so sad to see her go.

My one consolation is that I will have my office back, and my fingers have been itching to create something. So much so, in fact, that I asked her if she wouldn't mind me spending an hour at my desk this morning, while she was playing games with the kids.

I needed a card for some German friends/distant cousins of my husband's who just had a brand-new baby boy. I bought them a little baby outfit to congratulate them, and I made this card to go with it.

The stamp is a digi that I got for participating in the Pollycraft challenge a few weeks ago. Part two of the challenge was to make a card featuring this exclusive tortoise digi. Aren't they cute?

I colored them with Copics, and since I'm in a hurry to get back to my SIL (and I have to leave for work before too long) I'm not going to mention them by name. I used some leaf green Bazzill cardstock for my base, and paired it with some leftover scraps from Little Yellow Bicycle and My Mind's Eye.

I added some velvet rickrack from America Crafts, then made the flag using a sentiment from Fiskars Sweet Pea clear stamp set. I stamped it twice with Tuxedo Black Memento ink, then cut out the second set of blocks and popped them off with pop dots. To make the flag pole, I colored along the edge of a piece of white scrap cardstock with a Copic marker, then trimmed out a thin strip and adhered it with diamond glaze. I also cut out a small oval for the top of the pole. The flag looked too plain, so I gave it some polkadot treatment also with a Copic marker. Depending on how hard you press down, you get different sized dots.

After that, all that was left was to cut out my image and pop that off with dimentional adhesive as well. I thought it came out pretty cute for being more than a week out of practice. :o)

And that's it for me until next Monday, at least! Hope to get crafty over the weekend sometime, especially since I will be going on a ROAD TRIP tomorrow! My SIL has generously offered to watch the boys for a day so hubby and I can spend some much-needed alone time together. We're headed toward Akron and we'll be stopping at several new (to me) craft stores along the way, including Hollo's Papercraft, Hobby Lobby (I've been to one once), Pat Catan's, and Archivers. I am SO excited! Maybe I'll do a haul post, if anyone's interested. Show you some of my new goodies. :o)

Anyway, take care! Thanks so much for stopping by my little corner of the blogosphere!


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