Friday, August 27, 2010

Creamer AND Cherries in One Week?!

My friend Andrea Ewen, of EwenStyle, presented me with this award this morning and I was so surprised!  I had been visiting her blog (and I HIGHLY recommend you visit, too; she's got amazing talent) and just happened to see my name on yesterday's post.  Other people had presented Andrea with this same award, and it is the sort of thing that gets passed on.

To retain this wonderful title, I must do these things:
  • Thank my friend Andrea, without whom I certainly would not be blogging today.  We met through Splitcoaststampers and began 'chatting' with each other about blogs.   She gave me the ultimate push to get started on my blog in early June this year.
  • Post the Cherry Award, which I am most proud to do!
  • List 3 things I like about myself:
    • I feel I am doing a good job parenting my two beautiful daughters.
    • My organizational skills.  I organize anything and everything; it's a hobby!
    • My love of animals.
  • Post a picture I love. 

These are my girls when they were 7 and 3 years old.  We had just gotten a digital camera and this is among the first photos taken with it.  In the background are juice boxes and a booster-seat tray, symbols of youth.  The girls have grown so much since then, but looking back at the earlier pix make me all sentimental!  Someone hand me a tissue.

  • And finally, to keep my Cherry Award, I must pass the torch on to 5 other fabulous bloggers who provide tons of inspiration for me.  I choose, in no particular order:
    • LeAnne Pugliese - wee inklings - for her clean style that really impresses me, time after time
    • Emily Keaton - My Little Slice of Bliss - for her award-winning creations, sunny optimism and endless support (thanks, Emzi!)
    • Clare Buswell - Clare's creations - for some of the most romantic, shabby-chic, vintage creations I have ever seen
    • Sally Atkins - Cards For All Reasons - for absolutely amazing clean-and-simple cards that are beyond beautiful
    • Leslie Miller - Running with Scissors - for her soft, lovely creations that speak to my heart, many of which are made with Flourishes stamps - one of my fave stamp companies.
I can't name Andrea Ewen, since she was the one who passed this award on to me, but if I could I would!  Thanks again, Andrea, from the bottom of my heart.

See you all when I get back from Disney!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Love Coffee...Even Cream in Coffee

I just found out that my 'Cool Blue Get Well' card won recognition over at the Play Date Cafe!  Yippee!  They have a cute way of rating their picks for the week, like FAB4, Cup of the Week, and Cream In Our Coffee (they even have a Private Blend Designer). 

My card is one of the "Creamers" this week.   :)
I'm drinking my regular cup of coffee as I write this.  Godiva Chocolate Truffle is what's brewing here today.  And this new "Creamer" from Play Date Cafe sure tastes good with it!

I'll be back making cards after my trip to Disney World.  Have to hit Target tonight for those awesome little travel-size items, and cat food so my kitty doesn't starve.
This is Smoat, my 15 year old boy:

My kids love to dress him up.  This is an American Girl cap he's sporting here.  He sure is patient!  We think he kind of likes it.

Thanks for letting me share my news. I'm a happy girl!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Won at the Midnight Madness Sketch Challenge!

This news has made my week!  I won a Remarkables Award over at Midnight Madness Sketch Challenge for this card here, just posted yesterday:

Thanks to my friend Pam, a former Guest Designer over at MMSC and "pam124" over at Splitcoaststampers, for telling me about my win.  So glad you said something, Pamzi!

I had actually already visited MMSC today to check out the new sketch challenge and completely did not see the winners' names listed right below the new sketches.  Silly me!

This was my first time playing at MMSC.  Thank you, Priscilla and the rest of the team, for choosing my card!


One of These Things is Not Like the Others

Remember that song from Sesame Street in the 1970s, "One of These Things"?  It was always a highlight for me when I'd watch the show.

It occurred to me when I made this card last night (with already-stamped-and-colored images from my 'baggie') that I included one fish that does not look like the others.  See the different fellow on the top right?  His tail fin is orange, whereas everyone else has a yellow one.  It wasn't intentional, but hey, it's good to be different, right?

I used this week's Mojo Monday sketch:

and played at Let's Ink It Up, where you are supposed to use yellow somewhere on your card.

I used Crystal Effects by SU on the fishes' black stripes and also on their bubbles.  Here is a close up so you might see that better:

The designer paper is courtesy of my 8 year old daughter, Kerry.  It is a sheet from her fashion designing kit.  She wanted me to have it.  Isn't that sweet?  So Kerry, this card is dedicated to you, Punkin!

I hope to stamp another card soon, but forgive me if I don't have another post this week.  I am packing for Disney World!  There is much to do before we leave.

Have a wonderful day!

Stamps:  Very Punny (SU), Absolutely Fabulous (SU)
Paper:  Whisper White, YoYo Yellow, Tangerine Tango, Kraft, dp by Kerry Dietrich
Ink:  Stazon Black, Basic Black
Punches:  1 1/4" and scalloped squares, Modern Label, Designer Label
Other:  twine, silver brads, dimensionals, SU markers, Crystal Effects

Monday, August 23, 2010

Woodland Birthday

These two stamps, the fern and pinecone, are loose stamps that have been sitting in my Single Stamp Box for much too long.  I like them a bunch, but you know how it goes:  so many stamps, so little time.

Recently my friend Benzi featured a card similar to this one on her blog.  I believe it's even the same pinecone stamp.  Benzi, thanks for the inspiration for this masculine woodland birthday card. 

No challenges for this one!  Just stampin' for the fun of it.  :D

Happy Stamping,

Stamps:  acorn from Touch of Nature; It's Your Birthday - both by SU; pinecone and fern by Inkadinkado (I thinkadinkado)
Paper:  Old Olive, Very Vanilla, River Rock, Kraft (for acorn)
Ink:  Close to Cocoa, Old Olive, Basic Black
Other:  Big Shot, Lots of Tags Sizzlit, sharp scissors, dimensionals, Stampamajig

Fabulous Chandeliers

What a relief it is to finally ink up some new stamps!  I got these when my mom visited in early July and they have just sat patiently in their box waiting to be played with.

I rolled together a few challenges to come up with this:

Now that I think about it, this card isn't as 'clean and simple' as they come, is it?  I was really focusing on the colors and not the fact that it was supposed to be CAS.  Oh well.  It's sorta CAS, so I'll stick with it!

See you soon,

Stamps:  Chandeliers by Inkadinkado, sentiment by Anna Griffin
Ink:  Whisper White craft, Baja Breeze, Basic Black - all SU; Distress Inks in Frayed Burlap and Antique Linen
Paper:  Kraft, Baja Breeze, Whisper White
Punches:  Modern Label
Other:  Big Shot, oval and scalloped oval Spellbinders Nesties, dimensionals, sponge, blue rhinestone stickers, Stampamajig

Cool Blue Get Well

I need more Get Well cards in my stash, so I made 6 of these today.  The originally-planned stamp was a little bandage with a face on it, from the Stampin' Up! set called Wellness Wishes.  The bandage is more 'cutesy' and it really wanted to be used, but after this card was assembled, cutesy just didn't seem right.  Thankfully, this set offers different styles for a get well message.

Remember my sympathy card here?  I relied upon that sketch layout once again because it is easy.  But instead of using one large piece of embossed cardstock on the left of the card, I divided it up into four equal sections of differently-embossed pieces.

My inspiration today is here, from the EtsyInspired Challenge:
Block Prints from Global Child Collection / Etsy

And here, at The Play Date Cafe:
Play Date Cafe inspiration

We might get some rain here today in New Jersey.  We need it pretty badly.

Have yourself a wonderful day!

Happy Stamping,

Stamps:  Wellness Wishes
Paper:  Whisper White, DCWV bright blue, Soft Sky, other two are SU but names unknown
Ink:  Basic Black
Other:  Big Shot, ribbon from my grandma, SU embossing folders

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Waltz, with All the Trimmings

I thought I was pretty clever with the title of my post!  The sketch for this layout today comes from Waltzingmouse Challenges, and I've used SU's set Tree Trimmings for the first time. 

The colors were chosen by this week's Color Challenge over at Splitcoast:  Always Artichoke, Pretty in Pink and Cherry Cobbler, with a dessert option of pinking shears.  I don't have any of the new cardstock colors by SU yet, so I subbed in Riding Hood Red.  At Caardvarks, we were challenged to create a Christmas mini card or tag.  In my book, this is less than a normal sized card:  it measures 4 1/4" x 4 1/2".  I meant to cut it as a square, but I kind of liked the shape once I was finished.  AND it will still fit in an A2 envelope; no extra postage required!

The sketch:
Some close-up bling and glitter.
It may be several days before I can stamp again.  My brother and sister-in-law are coming for a visit from Texas tomorrow, and I have lots to do in preparation. 

You have a wonderful weekend!

Stamps:  Tree Trimmings, sentiment from Little Hellos
Paper:  Pretty in Pink, Very Vanilla, Riding Hood Red
Ink:  Always Artichoke, Riding Hood Red, Pretty In Pink, Basic Black
Other:  dimensionals, iridescent glitter, Zig Two Way Glue Pen, Stampamajig, Big Shot, Cuttlebug Holly Ribbons embossing folder, pinking shears, pink bling, circle nesties

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Flourishes-Style Card

Aside from Stampin' Up!, my favorite stamp company is Flourishes LLC.  The stamps are gorgeous, the design team is fabulous, and the whole company image has such panache, if you ask me.

The card I made today looks like a Flourishes' card to me, but it was made with my new hostess set from SU called Because I Care.  I did follow a Flourishes sketch challenge for this, and I have also been inspired by other challenges:

I used my limited Copic marker selection to create a pink hydrangea, then used some iridescent glitter on it 'cause it just needed something extra.  I ran the pink striped designer paper piece through the Big Shot with the Finial Press embossing folder, used Flower Fusion Sizzlit to create some flowers, and scrunched up my ribbon - first time I've done ribbon that way, and my attempt looks a bit haphazard.  Think I'll do better next time.  :)

I am quite pleased with the card; hope you like it too!

Happy Stamping,


Stamps:  Because I Care
Paper:  Nana's Kids by DCWV for all dp's; Whisper White
Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black
Punches:  Modern Label
Other:  Flower Fusion Sizzlit, oval and scalloped oval nesties by Spellbinders, Copic markers, glitter, pink seam binding ribbon from Martha Stewart, brads by SU, dimensionals, Big Shot, Finial Press embossing folder

Monday, August 16, 2010

Another Color Throwdown, 'Just Because'

Today's Clean and Simple Challenge #80 at Splitcoast is a sketch challenge, using this card by Emily (aka Stampingout on SCS) here as your sketch.  I combined it with the colors from Color Throwdown #105 here: 

And here is my card:

The sentiment "Just Because" is from SU's new Notably Ornate set, and the medallion, crown and other decoration is from Artistic Etchings, also from the new catalog.  I am totally happy with these two sets!

Thanks for peeking at my card.  For a change, it was quick to make!

Happy Stamping,

Stamps:  Artistic Etchings, Notably Ornate
Paper:  Always Artichoke, Very Vanilla, Soft Suede
Ink:  Elegant Eggplant, Soft Suede
Punches:  Morocco Lace by EK Success
Other:  Stampamajig

Friday, August 13, 2010

Playing Around with a Kid Card

A couple of years ago, before I even heard of Stampin' Up! (can you imagine there was a time??), my friend made a card for my daughter.  I thought it was the cutest thing ever, and saved it.

Last night, I approximately CASE'd it, subbing one punch that I don't own and switching up the color just a bit.

For versions that would be given to boys, I used white and yellow for the lily pad flower instead of pink.

Punches used:
  • 1 3/8" circle
  • large oval
  • small oval
  • 1/2" circle (white eye and flower center)
  • Boho Blossoms (use one medium size flower, cut in half, for the feet; large one for lily pad flower)
  • 1/4" circle (black eye)
Hope you enjoy this little critter!  He's easy to make in quantity.

Happy Stamping,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Yummy Valentine

I know:  by the title of this post, you're expecting to see a cupcake or some other delicious food item on my card.  I actually named it with a challenge in mind.  The Paper Players' challenge #10 is to use Early Espresso, Crumb Cake, Cherry Cobbler, and Very Vanilla.  Sounds yummy, right?  (Just like in the food industry, I had to make some substitutions for my 'foods'; I don't own any of the new colors yet except in marker form)

While trying to roll together some challenges, the idea for a valentine just came naturally.  I used a Mojo Monday sketch:

Over at City Crafters, the challenge is to be inspired by the song, "I Left My HEART in San Francisco" and use hearts.  And at the etsyInspired challenge, we were to check out Cathy Walters' fabulous shop and be inspired by something there.  I chose two things:

Aren't these pendants gorgeous?
I had just received some of my new goodies from Stampin' Up! on Monday, and a stamp set called Artistic Etchings contains both a crown AND an Eiffel Tower!  How cool is that?  So that is how my card came together.
Edited to add:  I stamped an Eiffel Tower twice on my handmade designer paper, but after assembling the card you can't even see it!  Boo hoo.

I have some close-up shots so you can see my homemade designer paper, using a variety of stamps and inks.

My handmade designer paper.
The Filigree Background stamp, using Versamark ink.
The simple inside of the card.  I love how the sentiment fits perfectly in the circular flourish!
I finally got a chance to use one of my new-to-me free stamp sets from that awesome Stampin' Up! sale recently, A Happy Heart.  I'm lovin' that large heart!

I do hope you have enjoyed my Valentine.  I'm way early on that, but at least my hubby's card is done now!

Happy Stamping,


Stamps:  A Happy Heart, Artistic Etchings, French Script, Filigree
Paper:  Riding Hood Red, Kraft, Very Vanilla, Chocolate Chip
Ink:  Riding Hood Red, Chocolate Chip, Old Paper Distress Ink (kind of close to Crumb Cake), Crumb Cake marker (used on stamp, then huffed on it before stamping)
Punches:  Wrought Iron Gate by M. Stewart, ovals: small, large and scalloped by SU
Other:  dimensionals, Stampamajig

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Homegrown Harvest

Yesterday, the goodies I had ordered from Stampin' Up! arrived.  We all know that feeling - new toys to play with!  This fun stamp set called Homegrown is awesome.  I love it. 

I used this Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge #9:

And the colors in this photo as inspiration, from The Shabby Tea Room #22:

Because of the oval sentiment and shapes of the tomatoes and the artichoke, I was also able to play at Alphabet Challenge Blog's "O is for Ovals". 

Can't wait to play with more of my new stamps!
Have a wonderful day, and thanks for joining me.  I really appreciate your time.  :)

Happy Stamping,

Stamps:  Homegrown
Paper:  Whisper White, Basic Black, Sahara Sand, retired SU dp
Ink:  Basic Black
Punches:  double scallop and picket fence by M. Stewart; wide oval and large oval by SU
Other:  sharp scissors, dimensionals, twine from Stamp Simply Ribbon Store, black brads, paper piercer

Monday, August 9, 2010

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

Oh, was I excited when the idea for this card came into focus!
So many things all just fell into place at once.

See the petals that have been plucked off?
Do you remember my stamping bargains?  Some of the goodies I occasionally pick up from my Stampin' Up! demonstrator are $1.00 Bags full of the most wonderful scraps ever.  The die-cut flowers and stems you see on these cards were in those bags, just begging to be used.

I have many more of these die cuts, in various colors, so that I can make multiples of this card.  How convenient.  :)

The petals that have been 'plucked' off are little cast-offs from using a Bigz Lattice die from SU.  These little ovals fall out of the lattice once you run it through the Big Shot.  (I'm telling you, I save almost EVERYTHING!)  I simply ran a Lovely Lilac SU marker over each one carefully to give the petals a natural appearance, shading some of them a bit.

This card is being entered into the following challenges:
  • Flourishes FLLCAUG10 - Kids' Games (this is 'He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not')
  • Flourishes FTTC78 - to use no embellishments
  • Aud Sentiments #8 - to interpret the word 'Relax' (hey, if I had lots of free time, I might just pluck petals too!)
  • Splitcoast Clean and Simple #79 - gardens
Hope you enjoyed my latest creation!

Happy Stamping,

Stamps:  none on outside
Paper:  Lovely Lilac, Kiwi Kiss, Whisper White
Ink:  none on outside
Punches:  punched scallop border/SU
Other:  Big Shot, Sweetest Stem/Cherry Blossom/Flower Burst Sizzlit Dies

Greetings from the Jersey Shore

Yesterday my husband, the girls and I took a day trip to the Jersey Shore. 
We like to go to Longport.  It is not too far from Atlantic City, but it is so different. 
As we travel through the small towns to get to Longport, it is like traveling through a game of Monopoly.  We see Marvin Gardens (it is a real, and really pretty, neighborhood), pass by Pennsylvania Avenue, the Boardwalk, and go through the town of Ventnor. 

In Longport, multi-million dollar homes are part of the neighborhood.  I wish I could have taken photos of the many gorgeous houses I saw, but I wasn't sure if that was legal, or if homeowners would have appreciated that.  So, I stuck to a photo of a lifeboat near the lifeguard's station.  Not as exciting, I know.   :)

One of the unique things about Longport is its smiley face water tower.  I found this photo on the Internet:

If that doesn't say "Welcome" I don't know what does!

It felt good to take a day trip (and find two pieces of sea glass - yay!), but I'm glad to be back home stamping again.

Hope you're enjoying your summer, too!


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sweet Stamping Relief

Okay, I know I'm inundating you with posts tonight.  
I had no access to my stamping stuff for most of this past week (due to construction around our house) and I have been in stamping withdrawal.  Today I had snippets of time here and there to craft.  Otherwise, my day was spent pasting wallpaper for my husband to hang in our dining room.  May I just say that stamping is far more fun to do! 

I broke out my DCWV Luxury Stack paper to do this card.  I believe I have mentioned before that I tend to hoard designer paper.  It is actually difficult for me to cut into those luscious sheets of vintage beauty.  Once I managed to cut it frugally, so there was no waste, the card went pretty fast from there.  

In order to get a picture-hanging effect with the lace ribbon, I covered a plain silver brad with a chocolate pearl.  Even though the pearl is already sticky, I highly recommend using a craft adhesive such as Aleene's Tacky Glue to secure the pearl to the brad.

I looped the lace over the brad before securing it in place.  Loose ends are glued under the oval sentiment punch.

The ivory bow was made with the Bow-Easy, and glued down carefully using Aleene's, once again.

This card is elegant enough to be used as an anniversary or wedding card, and so I am entering it into the Crafty Creations Challenge #79.  And because of the color scheme, it also fits in the Shabby Tea Room challenge #21, "House and Home."

Well, that's truly it for tonight.  I am heading to bed now.  We're hitting the beach tomorrow and I need my rest!

Happy Stamping,

Stamps:  Vintage Labels
Paper:  Very Vanilla, DCWV Luxury Stack
Ink:  Soft Suede, Basic Black
Punches:  wide oval
Other:  Big Shot, Top Note die, ivory ribbon, ivory lace, chocolate pearls, dimensionals, Stampamajig, Aleene's Tacky Glue, silver brads

Simple Vintage Sympathy

I had this card on hand in my stash, in the "Sympathy" category.  It sat for a long time unused, which was just fine, because no one ever wants to find need for a sympathy card.

The father of a super-nice, super-sweet co-worker of mine passed away recently.  This card went out today to Brandon and his family. 

I CASE'd (copy-and-share-everything) the design of this card, and substituted some stamps for those I did not have.   I believe I saw the original of this card on Stampin' Up!'s website, when I was still a demonstrator.  I'm sorry I do not have a name to give credit to.

Thanks so much for bearing with me through another post today.  I have one more to do before I hit the hay tonight!

Happy Stamping,

Stamps:  Simple Delights, Very Vintage, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Paper:  Pale Plum, Perfect Plum, Whisper White, Old Olive
Ink:  Pale Plum, Perfect Plum, Old Olive
Punches:   modern label and word window punches, scallop edge punch
Other:  Perfect Plum ribbon, dimensionals, paper piercing tool, SU markers

Free Berries for the Picking


See the strawberries on the card?  They are free images you can download from Victoria Magazine.  I printed mine on a piece of Whisper White cardstock and punched one out for my card.  The 'sweet' sentiment/berry are from Flourishes' Strawberries set.

I used this sketch from Repeat Impressions:

And I entered my card in the Splitcoast challenge, Free For All #24, "It's Garden Pickin' Time."  and a challenge over at Penny's Paper Crafty Blog, "Anything Goes." 
Here's a close up of the white embossed sticker strip along the bottom.

I do hope you enjoyed my card today.  I just love strawberry cards!

Happy Stamping,

Stamps:  Strawberries by Flourishes
Paper:  retired designer papers by Stampin' Up!, white by Papertrey Ink, blue by SU (can't remember which blue!)
Ink:  Basic Black
Punches:  large oval, scalloped oval, wide oval, scalloped border - all SU
Other:  dimensionals, white embossed stickers by Martha Stewart, free strawberry image download, SU markers

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Play Date Cafe Color Splash

I love playing in The Play Date Cafe challenges.  I just made the deadline with this card.
The current challenge, #40, is to use black and white with a splash of green

The inspiration photo.

I used a sketch from the magazine Paper Crafts' Go to Sketches, page 36.

Other challenges I entered:
Close up pix of silver balls.

It's past midnight.  I've made cards all throughout today.  I am very tired.  What's that, Pillow?  Here I come!


Stamps:  Close to My Heart topiary; sentiment from All Holidays (SU)
Paper:  white from PTI, designer paper from My Mind's Eye
Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black for image; Basic Black from SU for sentiment
Other:  paper piercer, Copic markers, ribbon and Bow Easy from Sharon Johnson's No Time to Stamp, dimensionals, silver ball stickers, Aleene's Tacky Glue

Monday, August 2, 2010

Imagine Christmas

Here's a new size card for me:  4.25" square.  It fits into a regular A2 size envelope (which holds 4.25" x 5.5" cards), so there's no extra postage as there would be with a larger square envelope.  No extra postage is a GOOD thing at Christmastime.

My Stampin' Up! demonstrator, Gail Murray, had featured a card very similar to this one more than a year ago at one of her club meetings.  I changed a few things, including the colors so that I could enter this in the Color Throwdown Challenge #103.  This card also fits in Aud Sentiments #7 - choose your own Christmas sentiment. 
I used the spotlighting technique to highlight the word "Imagine" in red.  The poinsettias were made using only a 5-Petal Flower punch.  I layered two red ones, one right behind the other.  The leaves I made by cutting apart some of those 5 petal flowers and fitting them together to see what looked best.  I'm not totally hooked on the way the leaves turned out, but they're alright I guess.

The gold 'pearl' stickers stand in for the yellow flower of a pointsettia. 

Yes, those yellow things in the center are actually the flower. 

"One traditionally thinks of a Poinsettia as a red flower, however, the flower is actually yellow but very small and insignificant. The colored 'flower' that makes the display is produced by the large bracts that surround the little flower. The bracts can be red, cream, pink or white."  The quote is from this source on the web, WikiAnswers.

So there you go.  You got a card from me AND some (possibly-new-to-you) info about Christmas flowers. 

Happy Stamping!

Stamps:  Tres Chic background (SU)
Paper:  white by PTI, Certainly Celery, Riding Hood Red
Ink:  Riding Hood Red, Certainly Celery, River Rock
Punches:  5 Petal Flower, scalloped oval
Other:  dimensional, sponge
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