Thursday, September 29, 2011

Play Date Cafe 101 - Faded Fall

Wine, smudge, leather and parchment....don't those color names sound so rich?  Welcome to the 101st challenge of The Play Date Cafe! 

I love these colors together, but they stumped me for a while when it came to making a card.  I pulled together a few things to help form my creation:  two older stamp sets from Stampin' Up! (With Gratitude and Well-Worn Words), a piece of patterned paper in the 'leather' color (K & Co.), a sketch by Iwona Palamountain (aka Chupa), and a free digital download of a ticket.

Our sponsor this week is

To find out what the fabby prize will be for one lucky winner, head over to The Play Date Cafe!

Thanks for joining me today.  :-)


Stamps:  Well-Worn Words, With Gratitude - SU
Paper:  Crisp Cranberry, Whisper White - SU; patterned paper - K & Co.; white - PTI
Ink:  Basic Gray - SU; Memento Tuxedo Black - Tsukineko
Other:  free digi download ticket; twine; Copic markers; antique brass brad - Mark's Finest Papers; dimensionals

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Bluebird for My Father-In-Law

Today is my father-in-law's birthday.  He loves birds, and enjoys watching them from the deck on his house.
I made a card featuring a bluebird for his special day.

The bird and branch are from Touch of Nature by Stampin' Up!.

I used a Hero Arts script in the background, on the gray card base.  I used light pressure in some areas on the script stamp, and some heavy, to give a worn look.

The ticket is a free digital download, and do you think I could remember where I got it from ?  No.  I have a terrible memory, and it's only getting worse!  LOL  I stamped a sentiment from Mark's Finest Papers Flourishes and Frame on the ticket.

Thanks for taking a peek at my card today.  :)


Stamps:  Old French Script - Hero Arts; Touch of Nature - SU; Flourishes and Frame - MFP
Paper:  Basic Gray, Basic Black, Sahara Sand, Whisper White - SU
Ink:  Versafine Onyx Black, Memento Tuxedo Black - Tsukineko; Sahara Sand - SU
Punch:  Wrought Iron Gate - Martha Stewart
Other:  Copic markers; digi download ticket; black satin ribbon - Offray; dimensionals

Friday, September 23, 2011

Embossed Nature

Hello!  Thanks so much to those of you who are still reading my daughter's story of anorexia and leaving supportive, encouraging comments for me.  I truly treasure each comment I receive, but in particular on that post.  Your comments are part of my own therapy, so thank you!!

I have to admit this was a pretty quick card to make.  The bottom portion, which is brown with a tone on tone pattern, and the glittery yellow strip, was cut from a Hallmark card.  I adhered it to a Close to Cocoa card base (which I already had lying about) then zipped the whole thing through the Big Shot with an embossing folder.  The leaf (from SU's With Gratitude) was already colored and cut out (because you'll soon see this same leaf on another project).  The little die cut tag is from a retired sheet of die cuts (also SU).   All I had to do was stamp it and distress the edges with a little ink.

I used a nail file, the squishy block kind, to distress the bottom of the card.

Challenges entered:
  • Paper Issues (my first time!) - Tree Hugger theme
  • Tuesday Throwdown - Fall theme
  • Ribbon Carousel - Fabric of our Lives theme - include fabric (mine is the abaca natural woven material)
Thanks so much for joining me!  I hope you have a wonderful day.  :-)


Stamps:  With Gratitude - SU; Butterflies and Wisteria - MFP
Paper:  part of Hallmark card; Close to Cocoa, Whisper White - SU
Ink:  Antique Linen Distress - Ranger; Versafine Onyx Black - Tsukineko
Other:  kraft die cut tag - SU; Copic markers; twine, abaca ribbon; Big Shot; Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder - SU; dimensional; sanding block

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Play Date Cafe 100 - A Little Pie

It's the 100th challenge over at The Play Date Cafe - whoo hoo!  We've got earthy, fall colors for you this week - terracotta, sunflower, and olive.

Our fabulous sponsor is the ultra-adorable Lawn Fawn!  Each DT member got to pick a fun set to play with and I chose My Silly ValentineI totally love it!

I was going for the look of a textured kitchen tablecloth, complete with fringe, and a pie stand on the table.  Did I do okay?  I used Stampin' Up!'s Ornament Punch to create the base of the pie stand. 

I am in love with this little pie!  I colored him with Copic markers, then applied SU's Crystal Effects for a pie that looks straight out of the oven.   I drew a shadow under the scallops and along the base of the pie stand with a Versamarker, a tool I haven't used for quite some time.

Let these fall colors inspire you, and link up your creations in the gallery at The Play Date Cafe.  Can't wait to see them!

Thanks for joining me today.  :-)


Stamps:  My Silly Valentine - Lawn Fawn
Paper:  Crumb Cake, Summer Sun, Tangerine Tango, Old Olive - SU; white - PTI
Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black - Tsukineko
Punch:  Scalloped border, Ornament - SU; Dotted Scallop - EK Success
Other:  Big Shot; Petals A Plenty embossing folder, pom pom trim, Crystal Effects - SU; twine; Versamarker; Copic markers; dimensionals

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Quick and Easy Christmas Card

Hello everyone.  I want first to say thank you to all who left me comments on my last post, HERE.  Many of your comments made me cry.  It has been such an emotional year for my family.  I know that the prayers said on behalf of my daughter and our family have helped get us this far.  Thank you SO much!

Now, onto a quick and easy Christmas card. 
The tree is from Stampin' Up!'s Wishing You Cheer, and the sentiment is from Mark's Finest Papers Time To Chill.  I drew a line around the card as a border to match the whimsical lines of the tree image.

Challenges entered:
This took so little time to make, I made three in an hour (or maybe less?).   Whoo hoo!

Thank you for joining me!


Stamps:  Time to Chill - MFP; Wishing You Cheer - SU
Paper:  white - MFP
Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black, Versafine Onyx Black - Tsukineko
Other:  Copic markers; black journaling pen - SU

Friday, September 16, 2011

Celebrating My Daughter

I have a special post to share with you today.  Some of you might recall that I had some family issues earlier this year that made me very sad and worried.  With my daughter's permission, I am able to share more of that with you today.

In January 2011, my then-12 year old became very angry and moody ALL the time.  It was so unlike her.  At first we thought it was her age, becoming a teenager and all that goes with that territory.  Then she started skipping breakfast, which I fought her on nearly every day.  Then her lunches came home with more and more food in the lunchbox, until entire lunches were sent home untouched.  As February rolled in, I knew something was very wrong.  She looked thinner and thinner all the time, and spent a lot of time alone.  It used to be that she and her 9 YO sister were the best of friends, but she retreated inward, ignoring her little sibling.

In late February, she was diagnosed with restrictive-type anorexia.  We sought the best care we could find, and that's not easy when your child is only 12.  Many state laws ignore anyone under 14 years old.  Ultimately, we wound up at Woodland Forge in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, an eating disorder treatment center.  We are deeply grateful that we found it.  The doctors there helped bring our little girl back.  After intensive therapy, months of recovery, and pain and anguish for our entire family, she is so much better. My husband and I were a tight team that helped form our daughter's recovery plan, and had the loving support of our entire families and close friends.  My blogging friends have also been a tremendous source of prayers, support and love for me, which I needed to be strong for my child.

To show just how well she is doing now, let me tell you this.  As school has just recently begun again, our daughter found out she'd be having Health class in her first marking period.  One of the topics to be learned is Eating Disorders.  After class, she approached her Health teacher and told her that she had just gotten better about a month ago after having anorexia.  Her teacher was so pleased and touched that our daughter shared it with her.  Then, our daughter offered to speak to her entire class about her personal experience. (!!!)  Her teacher was shocked and so excited.  When my daughter told me, I had goosebumps, tears in my eyes, and pride swelling in my heart. 

My daughter gave her presentation just the other day, and had the complete attention of every 8th grader in that class.  Many asked questions, all looked sad, and some came up to her afterward to express how brave they think she is.  There's another Health class in the 8th grade this marking period, and my daughter offered to talk to those kids, too.  As I write this, she is scheduled to give her talk.

Last night we had Back To School Night at the middle school.  My husband and I had a chance to talk to the school nurse and the Health teacher, who had such excitement on their faces as they told us how proud they are of our daughter.  They are amazed that she wished to talk about this in front of her peers, especially because they are a young group of kids, maturity levels being what they are in that grade. 

I wanted to make a special card to show our profound love, pride and amazement for her.  I have no "Proud of You" stamps, so chose this Verve sentiment instead.

I got the layout inspiration from the Featured Stamper at Splitcoast, llwright.  I kept the layout and hearts, but changed the color scheme, dressed up the card a bit with lace and punching, and of course, that special sentiment.

Thanks so much for joining me today.  I really appreciate you taking time to listen.  :-)


Stamps:  Celebrating You - Verve
Paper:  Certainly Celery, Sahara Sand, Lovely Lilac - SU; white - PTI; designer paper - Nana's Kids Nursery Boys - DCWV
Ink:  Versafine Onyx Black, Versamark - Tsukineko; Sahara Sand - SU
Punch:  String Lace border - Martha Stewart; Full Heart and Large Oval - SU
Other:  Big Shot; Heart of Hearts Embosslit - SU; venise lace; white rickrack - Wrights; Filigree and Ice brads - SU; dimensionals

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Play Date Cafe 99

Oh, what a pretty color story this week at The Play Date Cafe.  :-)   I just know we're going to see some soft and lovely creations from our players 'hanging' in our gallery there!
Our Design Team was blessed to receive some stamps from our sponsor, Paper Makeup Stamps.

My stamps included this sweet girl and a couple of sentiments:

I stamped the sentiment repeatedly in Barely Banana to create a customized background paper:

We have a new gal starting with us this week at The Play Date Cafe, Stacy Rodriguez.  Stacy is well-versed in scrapbook layouts and 3D items, as well as cards.  We look forward to all the goodness she'll bring to us each week!  Welcome, Stacy!

The prize this week at The Play Date Cafe:  a $15 gift certificate to Paper Makeup Stamps!  Hope you'll get a chance to play with us.  :-)

Thanks for joining me today!


Stamps:  Moody for Computers - Paper Makeup Stamps
Paper:  Lavender Lace, Barely Banana - SU; white by PTI
Ink:  Barely Banana - SU; Memento Tuxedo Black - Tsukineko
Other:  ribbon - Stamp Simply Ribbon Store; Big Shot; oval and scalloped oval dies - Spellbinders; Copic markers; pearls; dimensionals 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Inspired by a Curtain Panel

I love it when I am able to come up with a concept of a card, create it, photograph it, and upload it to the blog within a couple of hours.  That is SUPER rare for me!  It helps that this is a clean and simple design; makes things move along much quicker.

My inspiration came from two things:
  • and a curtain panel from Bed Bath and Beyond:
On white cardstock, I used an Anna Griffin stamp three times - in Going Gray and Basic Gray dye inks, and in Versafine Onyx Black.  Tied on a recycled gift bag handle/ribbon, put on a sentiment and bling, and there you go.

I have to show you the amazing difference between dye inks and Versafine, in case you don't already know it:

The Basic Gray ink is in the top part of this photo and has a more 'puddled' unclear look when used with this stamp.  The bottom row uses Versafine, which is meant to bring out the details better in a stamp.  It sure does!  I was thinking "Oh, these Anna Griffin stamps (bought on eBay a while back) are no good!"  But with the right ink, well, that is a different story.  Guess I'll keep 'em! 

The sentiment is one I need to remind myself of allllll the time:

Thanks so much for being here!  I hope your day is a good one.  No, make that a GREAT one!


Stamps:  sentiment - Here For You - Verve; design - Anna Griffin
Paper:  white - Mark's Finest Papers
Ink:  Basic Gray, Going Gray - SU; Versafine Onyx Black - Tsukineko
Other:  pink gem - Queen & Co; ribbon - recycled from gift bag

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Botanical Birthday

Today is the birthday of a good friend of mine.  She loves nature, and decorates her home in an earthy palette, with simple, elegant pieces.  I always feel peaceful in her presence. 

I made this card for her, using several beloved sets from Stampin' Up! - Nature's Pace, En Francais, and Botanicals (new to me, from eBay).  The sentiment is from Mark's Finest Papers Just Dandy

I used a page from my old Miss Manners book, too, as a background paper (which you can hardly see - doh!).  The lace - love it! - is from Mark's Finest Papers, and the velvet ribbon I think might be old SU stuff. 

Challenges entered:
Thanks for popping by today! 


Stamps:  Nature's Pace, En Francais, Botanicals - SU; Just Dandy - Mark's Finest Papers
Paper:  Always Artichoke, Crumb Cake, Whisper White - SU; Miss Manners  book page
Ink:  Walnut Stain, Antique Linen, Frayed Burlap Distress inks - Ranger; True Thyme, Crumb Cake, Mellow Moss - SU; Versafine Onyx Black - Tsukineko
Other:  lace - MFP; pearls; velvet ribbon - ?; dimensionals

Monday, September 12, 2011

All things are possible

When I created this card the day before the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the event was weighing on my mind.  As I watched the memorials taking place yesterday, I cried buckets.  I did, indeed, feel as if I were at a funeral.  It makes my heart very heavy to think of all that our country has lost since that day, and what American families and friends have lost. 

My husband is a great patriot.  He has told me countless times that when terrorists attack, we must not let them believe they have won.  We must get up and rebuild and move forward, because we are Americans.  We must never forget those who are lost, but we should not lie down in defeat.

I thought the Verve sentiment, "All things are possible", can reflect the courage we all share as humans. 

My sister went to school with a girl who lost her sister on 9/11.  She was 29 years old, worked on the 104th floor of the North Tower as a vice president for Cantor Fitzgerald.  Her name was Danielle Kousoulis.  On the news yesterday, I saw her sister and parents on television as they made their way toward the 9/11 Memorial.  My heart goes out to the Kousoulis family, and the thousands of others who lost someone that day.

Challenges entered:
Thanks for joining me today.


Stamps:  Here For You - Verve
Paper:  Basic Gray, Sahara Sand, Whisper White - SU
Ink:  Sahara Sand - SU; Versafine Onyx Black - Tsukineko
Punch:  Martha Stewart
Other:  Big Shot; Floral Doily Motifs die cut - Spellbinders; Vintage Wallpaper and Finial Press embossing folders - SU; gray satin ribbon - Really Reasonable Ribbons; pearls; sponge

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Play Date Cafe 98 -

Our new color story at The Play Date Cafe is TEAL, MUSTARD & NAVY.  Jax keeps coming up with the neatest color combos!  Although these deep, rich colors would not be my Go-To palette, my card came together really easily.

The Cafe's sponsor this week is

They kindly let us pick out stamps to play with, and I LOVE mine:

The Filigree Star paired so nicely with this sentiment, and I gave both a gleam with gold embossing powder.

We have some sad news to share as a team this week.  :-(  Two of our teammates are leaving the Cafe.  Libby and Tracey each have family matters that need attention, so they made the decision to retire from the PDCC.

I will miss Libby and her spunkiness.  She makes me laugh!  Her creations always have a fun look, echoing the wonderful personality of their maker.  :-)  And Tracey has the most beautiful, unique stamping style that amazes me each week.  She usually makes her own patterned paper and is addicted to embossing powder.  ;-)

I hope you will leave some love at their blogs.  And head over to  The Play Date Cafe to see our tribute to these wonderful ladies.  We will miss them very much!


Stamps:  Filigree Star, We Create Our Tomorrows... - DRS Designs
Paper:  Night of Navy, Taken with Teal, So Saffron - Stampin' Up!
Ink:  Versamark - Tsukineko; Night of Navy - SU
Other:  velvet ribbon - SU; floral ribbon - Michael's; pearls - Recollections; gold embossing powder - SU; heat tool; dimensionals

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

CAS Butterfly

This is a super simple card I have for you today.  The coloring took the most time, and it was a pure pleasure to do.

I am CASEing a morning glories card I found somewhere on the Web and saved to my computer.  The photo of the card didn't have a watermark :-(, so I don't know who made it.

I used a butterfly from an older Stampin' Up! set called Touch of Nature.  I LOVE so many of SU's older stamps.  I haven't even used all of them yet.  It bums me out that I can't use them when I make cards for magazine submissions.  They usually want current products, and although I have some things that are current, my heart lingers over older supplies/stamps that I hold dear.

At least Paper Players won't mind if my challenge submission uses an older stamp!  They want to see birthday cards this week.

Before I go, I want to show you a project I worked on this summer.  I made porch curtains out of all-weather fabric from Waverly.

Curtains closed to block the afternoon sun.

Curtains open and tied back.
It was an easy project and I am so happy with the outcome.  I used a pole from Plow and Hearth, meant for outdoor use.  The fabric was on deep discount at JoAnn Fabrics when I bought it.  I was lucky to find the same material that had been used to make the porch cushions a couple of summers ago.  A friend made and covered them for me, using foam made for boat cushions.  The wicker furniture belonged to my grandparents, and they purchased it used from a convent many years before.  I don't know how old it is, but I cherish it so much.  Not only is it beautiful, but it was part of the scene as I grew up.  The set had been painted bright orange, then mustard gold, then pea green, and then white in my youth.  I think I prefer the classic white, thank you.  ;)

Cristabel in my crafting area.
I'll be back in the wee hours of tomorrow morning with a new Play Date Cafe card.  See you then!


Stamps:  Timeless Tags - Craft's Meow; Touch of Nature - SU
Paper:  Wild Wasabi - SU; white - PTI
Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black - Tsukineko
Other:  Big Shot; Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder - SU; Copic markers; circle die cuts - Spellbinders

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Purple Asters

I do have real asters that will bloom in a few weeks in my backyard, but today's are blooming on my card.

Well, technically these are Black Eyed Susans, from the Mark's Finest Papers set Black-Eyed Susans for Encouragement.  ;-)  I think they make great asters!

Things to know about this card:
  • This is a CASE of my friend LeAnne Pugliese's card which you can see HERE.  Her card is orange, but I picked my fave color - purple.
  • I'm playing at Ribbon Carousel Challenge blog - my first time.  :0)  It's Anything Goes this week.
  • Also playing at Flourishes' Bring Back Beautiful - theme is Monochromatic.
Some more details --

Thanks for letting me CASE you, LeAnne! 

We went to Washington, D.C. for an overnight trip last week and I wanted to share some pix with you.
My girls in front of the (currently non-tour-able) Washington Monument.

The Wizarding outfit worn by Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter.

A crown featuring gems worn by Marie Antoinette.

Biggest doll house I've ever seen!

The Ruby Red Slippers worn by Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz."  That was my oldest daughter's very favorite movie for the longest time.

My husband next to Rutherford B. Hayes, US President.  We visited Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, which was a terrific tour!  My kids think this President looks my husband might in a couple of decades.

My daughter with Rosa Parks.

My children have been adopted by The Kennedys.

A bust of Marie Antoinette.  Madame Tussaud was asked to make a death mask of her at the time of her execution.

Honestly, doesn't Morgan Freeman look so real??

Me with Johhny Depp aka Captain Jack Sparrow.  I LOVE Johnny Depp!
Thanks for joining me!


Stamps:  Black Eyed Susans for Encouragement - MFP; En Francais - Stampin' Up!
Paper:  Lovely Lilac, Old Olive - SU; page from Miss Manners book
Ink:  Perfect Plum - SU; Memento Tuxedo Black - Tsukineko; Frayed Burlap - Ranger
Punch:  Scallop Edge - SU
Other:  Big Shot; Copic markers; pearls - Recollections, Queen & Co.; satin ribbon - Offray; Elegant Lines embossing folder - SU
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