Friday, October 29, 2010

For The Newlyweds

Hello!  My family will travel to Charleston, South Carolina soon for my brother-in-law's wedding.  We are excited to see the city.  Well, I am, anyway!  My kids are happy just to have several days off from school.  ;)  The happy couple have many events planned for us all and the reception itself is in the Aquarium.  Can't wait!

This is the card I made for them:

And here's the how-to:
  • Make a card base.
  • Make a slightly smaller layer to fit on base (my layer is 5" x 3 3/4").
  • Arrange four equal-size rectangles of embossed cardstock pieces on layer with tape runner (I used Perfect Polka Dots [SU] and Textile [Cuttlebug] embossing folders).
  • Use Big Shot and Lattice Bigz Die to make one die-cut.
  • Use Big Shot and Sizzlits Lots of Tags to create tag.
  • Stamp sentiment on tag.
  • Make 2 opposing slots in tag using Horizontal Slot punch (SU) and place dimensionals on back.
  • Run a piece of satin ribbon through the tag, then through the Lattice die cut. 
  • Secure ribbon on back of cardstock layer with Sticky Strip or glue or Scotch tape; anything with a stronger adhesive.
  • Adhere layer with dimensionals to card base.
  • Finish with pearls.
That looks like a lot of steps and a lot of work, but TRUST me -- it wasn't at all difficult.  Just ask me if you have any questions about it.

I'm entering Flourishes Timeless Tuesday Challenge 89 - to focus on the sentiment.

Gotta run.  My 9 YO is having her Halloween Parade at school today.  During her lunch hour, I need to feed and costume her.   It's a whirlwind of an hour!

Thanks for joining me today.  I really appreciate it!

Happy Stamping,

Stamps:  Teeny Tiny Wishes (SU)
Paper:  Whisper White, PTI white (for base)
Ink:  Basic Black
Punches:  Horizontal Slot (SU)
Other:  Big Shot, dimensionals, white satin ribbon, embossing folders:  Perfect Polka Dots (SU) and Textile (Cuttlebug), Sizzlits Lots of Tags (SU), Lattice Bigz Die (SU)

PS - Ever notice I use a lot of Stampin' Up! stuff?  For about two years, I was an SU demonstrator.  I never actually demonstrated, but hung in for the discount.  I am no longer a demo, but I still love their stuff!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Christmas Toile

Hello everyone!  Remember when Stampin' Up! introduced their stamp set, Elements of Style, several months back?  It was an instant hit in the Splitcoast galleries and I fell in love with the set even before it was available to non-demonstrators.  When I finally got the set in my hands, I used it once, maybe twice and down it went to the basement (my stamping storage).  I love Elements, but I have too many stamp sets (yikes, did I actually just say that?) and not enough time to use them all.

I'm pleased to say that Elements of Style saw daylight today for a Christmas card.  The idea came to me last night as I lay awake at, like, 3:30 am.   
Isn't it gorgeous?  This makes up for all my cards that I wasn't too crazy about.
As you can see from photos below and above, I made two versions of this card and each is subtly different (I tend to do that), using two stamps from the same set.  I think the flourish actually looks better because it's a bolder style, which works well with heat embossing. 

Here's what I did:
After stamping the images in Versamark, I heat-embossed them with white embossing powder.  (The hydrangeas in the picture - from the Because I Care set - did not make the grade.  They were too busy-looking after embossing.)  Then I used my Ornament Punch (SU) to punch out as many images as I could manage.  I actually got 11 out of the page you see here; not bad!

The foliage, from a Flourishes set called All That Glitters, was stamped multiple times.  The sentiment is from Mark's Finest Papers' Seasonal Poinsettias.

I am entering my card at:

I have turned the sketch on its side, of course.  This was SUCH an easy sketch to work with; thank you, Priscilla!

Thank you for joining me today.  I always appreciate your visit!

Happy Stamping,

Stamps:  Seasonal Poinsettias by Marks Finest Paper, Elements of Style (SU), All That Glitters by Flourishes
Paper:  Whisper White, Basic Black, white by PTI (for card base; nice & sturdy!)
Ink:  Bravo Burgundy, Basic Black, Handsome Hunter
Punches:  Ornament (SU)
Other:  pearls (black and white), dimensionals, Bravo Burgundy grosgrain ribbon

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


This clean and simple card took longer than it probably should have.  It was just one of those days, I suppose.  I wanted to make another card for the Off The Wall Craftiness challenge, using this picture as our inspiration:

I used (finally) my Sizzix Blossom Party Bigz Die and the Big Shot to crank out all those flowers.  This means I can play in the Mark's Finest Papers challenge:  to use die cuts or punches.  The sentiment panel is from Spellbinders Fancy Tags dies.  A strip of sheer, dotted ribbon from the Stamp Simply Ribbon Store winds under and through the beautiful curlicues of the tag and attaches with a dab of craft glue on the inside.

In the OTWC inspiration photo collage, there are many golden tones.  I picked up on that with my touches of glitter, courtesy of Martha Stewart, in Florentine Gold.  My Zig Two-Way Glue Pen has a chiseled tip that allows for delicate placement of glue in small areas.
A sentiment from Teeny Tiny Wishes by Stampin' Up! finishes the tag.

Time for dinner --- I'd better run!  Thanks for joining me.  :)

Happy Stamping,

Stamps:  Teeny Tiny Wishes by SU
Paper:  Garden Green, Soft Suede, Whisper White
Ink:  Basic Black
Other:  Big Shot, dimensionals, ribbon from Stamp Simply Ribbon Store, Sizzix Blossom Party Bigz die, Spellbinders Fancy Tags dies, Stampamajig, Florentine Gold glitter by Martha Stewart

Visiting Halloween Past

Hello everyone!  I am finished making Halloween cards for this year (time to focus on the upcoming other holidays), but I wanted to share some pictures of cards I made in the last year or two.....the years before blogging became part of my life.

This was Kerry's birthday card last year:
I'm still very proud of this one, and it has over 1,500 views in my gallery at Splitcoaststampers. 

I began with a piece of white cardstock, then sponged So Saffron over the whole piece.  I punched a circle mask out of an adhesive-backed note and held it in place as I sponged on different colors (blues and black).  The witch and trees were stamped on last, then decorated with glue and glitter.

I shake my head when I look back at my photographing style:  lay a card on the rug, then click away!  I'm glad I have evolved.

One more picture to leave you with today.  This bookcase in my upstairs hall is one of the few areas I have in my small house to decorate with nothing but "pretty things."  Most other table tops in the house serve more practical purposes, such as drink rests, lighting to read by, a place to put one's glasses (and all four of us have them!), magazine drop, etc.  And so, this bookcase is among my favorite areas because it 

Just don't look too closely for the dust, okay?  ;)

Thanks for joining me.  I always appreciate your time and any comments you might leave!

Happy Stamping,

Monday, October 25, 2010

Thank You, Deer

I feel lucky when I find some goodies that catch my eye at Target's Dollar Spot.  This designer paper is part of a package of eight 12" x 12" sheets of the cutest DP...for a buck.  Ha ha - a deer for a buck (get it?  I love puns).

For once, I let my designer paper do the work for me.  Usually, I enjoy stamping my own DP and getting all fancy and creative with punches.  This time, I wanted a quick card and I got it.

This card fits in the following challenges:
  • Play Date Cafe - Happy Anniversary to you!  Color challenge is pink/yellow/orange

The tag is made from Whisper White cardstock that has been sponged with Old Paper Distress Ink, to try to match the shade in the designer paper.  I used my Stampin' Up! markers to color the stamped image.

This card also uses some silky twine that I recently won in a contest over at Splitcoast.  It's the Monthly Commenting Contest, and there's still time to play for October!  See this page here for the easy details. 

I will be sending this sweet thank you card to the kind folks at Rothman Animal Hospital in Collingswood, New Jersey.  They did what they could to help save my cat, Smoat, and they did it with such compassion.  After we had to put Smoat down, they sent us the nicest sympathy card.  I want them to know how much we appreciate all they have done for us.  They even called recently to offer a kitten that needs a home, but for a small variety of reasons, we are not ready yet.  In time, we want to adopt again.

By the way:  I know you must be wondering how Smoat got his name.  It's so unusual.  His real name was Oatmeal, but I am queen of nicknaming and I gave him the name "Oaten-Smoaten" when he was a baby.  The "Smoat" part stuck.  He never realized his name was actually Oatmeal.

Thanks for joining me today! 

Happy Stamping,


Stamps:  Tags So Much (SU)
Paper:  So Saffron, Tangerine Tango, dp from Target, Whisper White
Ink:  Old Paper Distress Ink
Punches:  small and large tags (SU)
Other:  twine, SU markers, dimensionals, pink bling from Queen & Co.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Our Halloween Decorations

I'm trying out a new look for my blog.  What do you think?  I may change it again.  To help put it in perspective, I am a person who has a candle "wardrobe" -- you know, different scents for different seasons.  It's just time for something different.  I am messing around with the blog template designer and am a bit stumped, and it may take several tries to get a look I really want.

Thought I'd show you what the outside of our house looks like for Halloween.
We've got a ghostly bride and groom hanging side by side, a "man" in a spider's cocoon hanging next to them, some pumpkin lights around the edge of the porch roof, and a large blow-up black cat whose eyes light up and whose head moves from side to side.  (Please forgive the lack of landscaping in the front garden's a work in progress.)

Can you see the mummy in the windows?  This, as well as the cocoon man and the light-up cat, is a new addition for us this year.  It's from a company called WOWindow Posters.   It is truly a neat decoration.  Comes in a pack of two vinyl sheets that you trim to your window size and adhere with the double-sided adhesive squares provided.  The mummy's body is in one window and his out-stretched hand is in the other.  Light from your interior lamps help him "glow" to outside passersby.
The quality of these shots in the dark leaves a lot to be desired.  I am still playing with my new-ish Nikon CoolPix camera, which my husband bought me a few months ago.   When it comes to me and technology, I take baby-steps toward really knowing my product.

No card to post tonight, but I hope to have another in a couple of days.


Kindness: Clean and Simple

Surprised to see me here on a Saturday?  Me, too.  I've got an hour until our little party guests arrive for my daughter's 9th birthday celebration (there are only 2 guests).  We are going to Build-A-Bear for a bear-making session, then to Cheeburger Cheeburger for burgers and fries.  Kerry is so excited!

I made these clean and simple cards yesterday (a set of 4) but did not photograph until this afternoon.  They are easy cards to put together, and make great use of your scraps.
When I buy $1 Scrap Bags from my Stampin' Up demo, I often find a selection of cardstock strips/layers and pieces of designer paper that all coordinate together -- from a project she had her club members create.  I tend to leave them together in the bag like this:
All I needed to supply were the card bases.
I made two versions, as you can see.  One features the flower up on the left, and one features the flower on the right down near the sentiment.  Which do you like better?

The sketch is an older one from Splitcoast - CAS80.  We were to be inspired by this card here, from Emily Niehaus.  Emily makes the neatest clean and simple cards.  She is known on Splitcoast as 'stampingout'.  Click on the link to see her gallery.

Half hour 'til party time; guess I'd better go clean something!!

Happy Stamping,

Stamps:  Vintage Vogue (SU)
Paper:  retired dp, Pixie Pink, Rich Razzleberry, Melon Mambo, Creamy Caramel, Crushed Curry
Ink:  Rich Razzleberry
Punches:  Deco Fan border by Martha Stewart, 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" square punches, 1/2" circle
Other:  dimensionals, Stampamajig

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Framed Spider

Welcome to my Halloween card using non-traditional colors.  Stampin' B challenged us to make a Halloween card with no orange or black.  Do you know how many times I wanted to reach for black?  Orange, I can skip, but black - hard to resist!  I picked shades of brown and green instead.  That spider is brown (even though my 12 YO thought it was black).   It was created with my old Martha Stewart punch, which rarely sees craft time.

This is the sketch I followed from Midnight Madness:

See the spider's glowing red eyes?  Well, I did not have the right size of red rhinestones, so I used clear and touched them with the tip of a red Sharpie marker.  I did not achieve quite the "ruby" look I was going for, but it worked in a pinch.  Stampin' Up!'s marker was my first choice, but it did not dry on the rhinestone and therefore smeared.  Thank goodness for Sharpies.

My, what Sharpie eyes you have!
The spider web is from an Inkadinkado set called All Hallow's Eve.  I stamped it four times around to create the large web you see here.  The frame is from the GlitzDesign set called Fancy Frames

I distressed and inked the edges of my sentiment, in accordance with the Flourishes Timeless Tuesday challenge.  And I used bling on the sentiment, spider eyes and upper right corner for the Pals Paper Arts "bling" challenge.  Edited to add:  I am also entering over at Off The Wall Craftiness, where the inspiration colors are these:

You know, this sentiment was a bit of an afterthought.  I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do down at the bottom, but once I used the wrong glue to secure my ribbon and it left a stain -- BINGO! -- I knew I needed a looooong sentiment panel!  A happy mistake.
After sponging on Frayed Burlap and Peeled Paint Distress inks by Tim Holtz, I used a dull scissor blade to help distress the edges.  Then I inked them once more with Frayed Burlap.

Thanks for joining me again today.  Time to go help my daughter with her homework!

Happy Stamping,

Stamps:  Fancy Frames by GlitzDesign, All Hallow's Eve by Inkadinkado
Paper:  kraft, So Saffron, Very Vanilla, brown leaf retired SU dp, green layer from Die-Cut Mat Pad "Wild Raspberry" by K & Company
Ink:  Chocolate Chip, Frayed Burlap and Peeled Paint Distress Inks by Tim Holtz
Other:  green rhinestones, clear rhinestones, brown pearls by Queen & Co.; red Sharpie marker; dimensionals; green ribbon from gift bag; sponge

What style IS this??

This is a very different kind of card for me.  I'm not even sure what the style is called:  vintage?  collage?  Help me out!

It began with a desire to use a stamp from my never-used set called Fancy Frames by Glitz Design.  My mom bought this set for me when she visited from Texas in July.  She's been asking for a card using one of those frames.  I don't think this is quite what she imagined I'd do with it!  (I'll try another one soon, Mom)

And then I wanted to play in City Crafter's Challenge #27 - Rome, with a vintage feel.  I wanted to try out a Roman-style stamp I bought at a yard sale a few years ago.  It is by The Stampsmith, and it is called Mary.  I really like it.  It has an Old World feel to it, which I thought went well with the frame.

I am not sure I'm liking these colors for this card, but I wanted to enter at Color Throwdown which has us working with this palette:
This sketch from Paper Players worked well with this large frame, too:

I know this card is so different from many of the things I usually make.  My blog gives me a wonderful chance to express all the artistic urges I have.  It gives me a way to expand my creativity and see what I can do.  I've enjoyed my crafting time this morning.  What therapy card-making is!  I'm so glad I chose this hobby.

Have a wonderful day,


Stamps:  Mary by The Stampsmith, French Script by SU, Artistic Etchings by SU, Fancy Frames by GlitzDesign
Paper:  So Saffron, Dusty Durango, Perfect Plum, Whisper White
Ink:  Basic Gray, Basic Black, Perfect Plum
Other:  Dusty Durango marker, dimensionals

Friday, October 15, 2010

Playful Bears for a Friend

Just a playful card this afternoon, for a friend's upcoming birthday.  She ADORES bears, and I own only one stamp set with bears in it.  It's an ancient set called Bear Mail from All Night Media.

I tried to wrap up a few challenges here, but I'm not lovin' the end result.  The bears are cute on their own, but all these parts just don't add up to a card I like.  (sorry, 'friend'!)  I think the part that bugs me is the sentiment area.  The image just doesn't look right.  Something a bit more clean-lined would have been better.  But because of my buddy, I wanted to use another bear stamp.

I made my own sentiment to go along with the theme.  It was hard to fussy-cut around that little bear.

Well, this goes in the mail to my friend tomorrow.  I hope she likes it!

Thanks for joining me this afternoon.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend.


Stamps:  Bear Mail by All Night Media
Paper:  Chocolate Chip, Whisper White, Real Red (instead of Poppy Parade), So Saffron, Certainly Celery dp (instead of Pear Pizzazz)
Ink:  Stazon black
Other:  Big Shot, Spellbinders Fancy Tags, dimensionals, SU markers

Happy Pumpkins & Top Mouse

Here are some happy pumpkins for you today.  I can't help feeling a little better when I look at those cute little faces.  I made this yesterday, which was a tough day for me.  The card took about 3 hours.  Wow.  I lost focus a lot.  In the end, however, I'm pleased with the result.

I used the Waltzingmouse Sketch:

And Colour Q's palette:

I wanted to make a moon behind my jack o'lanterns, and white just seemed too stark (but white is a requirement of the challenge).  Here's what I did:
  • Cut a circle out of Whisper White cardstock using Spellbinders Nesties
  • Ink up a Stampin' Up! Texturz Plate (Flourish pattern) with Barely Banana dye ink
  • Lay die-cut circle facing down on ink
  • Add a piece of scrap paper over the inked portion and die cut, to keep your supplies clean
  • Run through Big Shot using all appropriate pads used with Texturz Plates
Here's a closer look at that moon:

I tried to make curlicue pumpkin vines out of a skinny strip of cardstock and a pair of scissors, much as you would top a present with curling ribbon, but I was unsuccessful.  Instead, I fringed a piece of Old Olive cardstock and called it a day.  I do like how it looks. 

If I could change one thing, it would be to use a brighter yellow for the moon instead of Barely Banana.  I went with the light color because I was trying to keep all extraneous colors out of the palette, so I could play in ColourQ's challenge. 

A happy note:  my Leaf on the Wind card won in the Top 3 over at Waltzingmouse last week and now I have a blinking "Top Mouse" badge to display here on my blog.  This pleases me very much.  (insert happy dance) 

Thank you so much to all of my blogging friends who have showered me with kind words, thoughts and prayers recently.  I cannot express in words how much this has helped me deal with my grief.  You're all the best.  :)


Stamps:  Autumn Harvest
Paper:  Elegant Eggplant, Whisper White, black specialty paper from SU (retired), Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie
Ink:  Barely Banana, Memento Tuxedo Black
Other:  Big Shot, Texturz Plate 'Flourish', chipboard from Target's $1 bin, Copic markers, dimensionals

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Remembering Smoat

Our 15 year old cat, Smoat, died yesterday. 

It has been a very difficult, emotional time since last Tuesday evening, when Smoat stopped eating.  I had been to the vet with him Thursday and Friday.  We discovered he had cancer, probably thyroid cancer because he was a hyperthyroid cat who had been on meds for years. The mass was pressing on his esophagus and was above his heart.  He declined so rapidly, which is both a blessing for him, and a sad thing for us.

We took him to the vet as soon as it opened yesterday morning to be put down. He suffered a lot on Sunday, and couldn't breathe well. Our vet was not open on Sunday, and we did not want to take him to an unknown 24-hour pet hospital. It was heart-wrenching. We hoped he might pass on his own in the night, and I kept getting up to check. He worked his way from my bed to the basement, and it was a real labor for him to walk around. He hadn't eaten in almost a week, and was weak and sick. He lost his ability to make the litter box. 

On Sunday, I took him outside to sit in the garden, one of his favorite things to do. It was a really nice day out, perfect for him. He just laid under the rosemary and lavender and labored to breathe. I couldn't believe he actually wanted to go out. I asked him "Do you want to go outside?" and his ears perked up and I jingled his collar and he limped to the stairs. I feel peace knowing I could give him one last time outside.

Our poor boy.

We buried him in the catnip bed of our garden, his favorite place to sit and hang out. Several of his favorite toys went with him, and we sprinkled some flowers that remain in our fall garden on his body. We had one rose bud left on the bush, and that was included. Roses are special to us because when Haley was about 2 years old, she and I would bring Smoat outside on his leash and he would lounge happily in the yard. She picked pink rose petals off the ground and ever-so-gingerly, she would lay them on his back. He did not flinch and seemed to like it. So, I was glad there was one last rose for Smoat.

He was the best cat anyone could ask for. He was sweet, quirky and loving. He will be missed so very much.

I'll get back to card-making soon, because it is good therapy for me.  But my girls are home from school today, mourning, and I need to be with them.

Thank you to all of you who have sent wishes and prayers our way.  I am grateful with all my heart.

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