Sunday, October 28, 2012

Falling Autumn Leaves

As "Sandy" approaches, and I look at multiple 16 hour work days looming ahead, I wanted to get some crafty time in this weekend!

The Simon Says Stamp Challenge this week was Autumn Leaves... with the high winds forecast for this week, I envision skies full of leaves blowing wildly about.

I added a new set of tools to my arsenal last week - a heat gun, versamark ink pad and clear embossing powder - and got them out to play.  SO MUCH FUN!!!!  I was surprised as I looked through my stamp sets, I don't have many, but as a lover of all things autumn, I was stunned that I don't have any stamps with maple or oak leaves.  So my falling leaves are less traditional looking, but let me play with the emboss-resist technique when coloring them in.

To color the leaves I used my Tombow watercolor markers and a water brush.  I swept several colors onto the back of my stamping block, mixed as desired with my water brush and applied in varying patterns onto the embossed leaves.

I really wanted the leaf design to shine, so I kept the sentiment small and simple with a tiny brad to set it off.

Hope that hurricane Sandy doesn't do too much damage, and everyone stays safe!

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Grand Canyon Rejuvenation...

Nothing crafty to post today...  but thought I'd share a quick picture from our vacation in the Grand Canyon - we went completely off the grid for a week!

Back to "reality" and the cold, but feeling very refreshed from the trip on the river!

Hope your weekend is filled with sunshine!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Taping it up at the last second...

The Simon Says Stamp & Show blog's challenge this week is to Tape it up - using any kind of tape you desire.  I have a small assortment of tissue and washi tapes that just joined my stash and I've had a few ideas in mind all week.  I also used the tutorial to make my own tissue tape.  I'm saving that for a travel journal I'm working on for my in-laws though...

In the end I went with plain and simple, because artsy and creative just wasn't working for me this week.  I used a pretty floral Recollections Washi tape from Michael's as a border for the Hero Arts floral silhouette stamp (stamped with broken china distress ink), and combined pieces from two of Tim Holtz's tissue tapes for the butterfly sentiment.

And I'll leave you with a quick shot of the dining room table - proof that I was all over the place working on this card!

Thanks for visiting - hope you're all enjoying the autumn weather as much as I am!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dance in the Rain

After watching the Tim Holtz video on the Simon Says Stamp blog for their Stamptember celebration I was motivated to fill a blank space on my living room wall...

Have you been following along with all of the guest bloggers over at Simon Says Stamp?  Fabulous tips and designs!

The past couple of weeks I've been taking full advantage of sales and coupons for the A.C. Moore to stock up on dies, stamps and papers (it's a little too convenient, since it's in the same location as my gym!).  I love that they're starting to stock Tim Holtz and MME products!

Anyway - I decided to play with paints, canvas, paper, chipboard and stamps to create a mixed media piece of art to hang on the wall in that empty space.  Here are some additional photos from the room that were used as inspiration for my artwork.

 The hardest part for me (well, aside from waiting for paint and glue to dry) was letting go of my perfectionism! 

And here it is...   My final product (note this is not in it's final location, I need to put a hook in the wall):

I love the quote, and to play in the rain - Tim Holtz seems to have the perfect products and images and it all went together pretty quickly when I had the time to work on it...

Some close-ups of different areas on the piece:

The craft resist letters are sooooo neat!  brush the paint on, and wipe off of the resist....  Love that you can make them whatever color, using whatever product you want!

I played with acrylic paints on the stamps - stamping onto scrap black paper to test the affects before applying to my canvas. The process required painting the stamp with the paint (layering the cream and red colors for the umbrella and the man with the umbrella impressions), spritzing with some water and finally stamping the image. 

Thanks for visiting!

Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz stamps
Acrylic paints:  black, parchment and burnt sienna
BoBunny back to back 12x12 sheet Mama-Razzi Shutter design paper
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Kraft Resist Chipboard letters
The Paper Company Iridescent Silver Transparent 12x12 paper
16x20 canvas
Colorbox 12x12 brushed silver paper
Sizzix Tim Holtz Alterations Vintage Market Alphabet
mini mister (with water)
Mod Podge

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Power of Observation

Earlier this week I saw that the Simon Says Stamp Challenge had the option to use one of the following:
     - Hexagons
     - Neon colors
     - Chevrons

And the first thing I thought was - PERFECT!  I just bought a new set of Spellbinders dies - hexagons.

So today was the day - and when I sat down to play with them I noticed....  they're octagons.  Apparently I need to work on my power of observation!

I absolutely love the designs in this MME paper pad!  And decided to play with a variety of patterns to push my comfort zone.  I think I managed to pull together the flowers, grid, and dots pretty well.

I'm hoping that octagons are close enough to hexagons to count for the challenge.

Thanks for visiting!

Spellbinders Octagon Dies
EK Success Border Punch
MME Stella and Rose Mabel papers (6x6 pad)
Corner rounder
Fiscars Laugh with Me Quotes stamp
Tombow marker to add some low lights to the sentiment.

Wall Art Sneak Peek...

I've been busy working on some art for one of our walls...   And learning that I don't have much patience when waiting for paint to dry!!!  LOL

Hope to have the whole thing done by the end of the weekend...  in the mean time, I think I'll go work on some cards while the paint (and glue) dries...

Hope you're enjoying the weekend - weather is absolutely gorgeous here today so I'll be crafting on the deck (hopefully the wind doesn't blow the pieces all over!).

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Winter's Butterfly Sketch

With the rain, I got to play a little more today with my crafting toys.  And I combined a couple of the OWH virtual cardmaking party challenges in my card:

Challenge #3 - snowflakes, but not Christmas - my DCWV design paper has snowflakes on it, as well as the sentiment being about snowflakes.

Challenge #6 - sketch with the added twist to use punches.  I used my EK Success butterfly punch and a corner punch to spice up the background paper a little bit.

Thanks for visiting!

CAS Butterfly

Here is another card that I started at least a week ago.  I wanted to try another CAS card using the clean & simple sketch #204, and OWH had a blog about pizazz (stitching, piercing, piecing, bling and the like). 

I have a rather large collection of embroidery floss from my counted cross stitch days, so I decided to try and embroider a card.  As much as I love the card, it will be a while before I make another one like this...

I stamped the variety of flowers and butterfly on a piece of scrap copy paper and used it as a guide to pierce the pattern onto the card front.  Once the embroidery was done I stamped the little hello, but I'm bummed that it's slightly tipped.  Ah well, hopefully all the stitching distracts from the crooked sentiment.

I managed to snap a picture of my supplies before I started:

One of the big lessons learned - adhering the front to a card base is tricky with all the string.  I tried running the front through my sticker maker - didn't work very well.  So I added a bunch of double sided tape to the back of the card front, and ran multiple rows of Tombow adhesive on the front of the card base.  I'm hopeful that it will all work together and hold together!

Hope there's some sunshine where you're at - it's raining here today.
Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Inspired Special Butterfly...

A couple of weeks ago an interesting caterpillar decided to cocoon itself on one of our windows...

And I've had the pieces of a card scattered on my table since then.  The pieces finally came all together this morning.

Originally the butterfly was just yellow, but it seemed to need a little extra punch, so I used the die to cut a second butterfly out of orange dp, cut the wings off of the body and attached them behind the yellow.  I also popped them up on foam tape for some dimension.  (please excuse the shine from the glue on the antennae...)

The Simon Says Stamp Challenge Blog theme is Anything Goes this week, so I've submitted my special butterfly.

I think it also fits the OWH weekend virtual cardmaking party challenge to include an uplifting sentiment... 

Thanks for Visiting!  Hope your weekend is full of sunshine and laughter!

Supplies:  Kraft cardstock, DCWV (the Cafe Mediterranean matstack), Sizzix (Sizzlits Butterfly #12), Spellbinders Labels Eighteen, Lili of the Valley (Vintage Sentiments - Just to Say)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bonafide Cowboy

I made this card quite some time ago, but since I'll be taking it to an OWH card party to add to the box, I thought it was time to get it posted.

The cowboy is a snippet from a piece of My Mind's Eye design paper, and the "sentiment" is a portion of a single 12x12 sheet from either Michael's or A.C. Moore - not sure which, but I thought it would be perfect for "boy" cards.  With 4 nephews it's perfect for personal use and for OWH cards.

Time to go pack up for tomorrow's crafting adventure.

Thanks for visiting-

Sunday, August 19, 2012

CAS - flowery smiles...

I found a little time to play with paper this weekend, and decided to try the clean and simple sketch from Friday.


I wanted to do something other than circles, which seemed to be the simplest way to make the sketch work, and decided to pull out some of my first stamp purchases, and some bright cardstock that I look at now and wonder - "What was I thinking??!!". 

In the end, I'm happy with my bright flowers on a pre-cut Kraft card base (the Kraft helps tone down the bright cardstock).  Fussy cutting all those flowers filled some tv time, and I have a few extras to use on another card.  As much as I like this card, I'm pretty sure I won't be making too many - fussy cutting is hard work.

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Bold Hello...

Took a break at lunch today to spin through some of my favorite crafty blogs, and meandered from Denise's The Paper Landscaper page to some of her Color Throwdown team member pages.  When I opened up Barbara Anders' page I fell in LOVE with her thank you card (here). 

On my way home I had a bit of shopping to do, and noticed that A.C. Moore was having a sale on Tim Holtz products.  Of course I stopped in, and along with some tissue tape I found the PERFECT design paper to CASE Barbara's design...  DCWV - the Cafe Mediterranean mat stack.  A quick stop at the single sheets for some matching solids of Bazzill textures and I was heading home to create!

Here's my take on the design...

This card came together so fast!  I love it, and have TONS of other patterned papers to play with from the mat stack.  I'm pretty sure this layout will become a fall back when I need some quick cards.  I used my Hero Arts Everyday Sayings and Tombow markers for the sentiment.  The design can fit a variety of sentiments as needed, so versatile - another reason to love it!

The final touch was a butterfly from the EK Success three part punch to coordinate with the tissue tape.  My appologies for the dark photo.  Card, photo and blog post all in a few hours - a record for me, I think!  {grin}  I tossed all the parts into a little bin to tote along with me to the OWH card party in a few weeks.  I don't think I'll be able to put full kits together, but if someone wants to toss a few together they can.

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

CAS in the air

The heat, humidity and olympics have been keeping us indoors, so I decided to spend a bit of time playing with some paper.  To make it quick I decided to try another CAS card and went to the clean and simple sketch #202 from yesterday.  I scanned through the Feline Playful list of challenges for a bit more inspiration and saw that the CAS-ual Friday's theme was something you see in the sky.

Here's my take:

My back yard seems to have seeds flying around all the time.  And I have to admit, I can't stop myself from blowing dandelion seeds into the wind and making a wish.

I used a small piece of fiber paper from a huge stash I've had for ages.  This photo shows it a little better.

I think the design paper may overpower the main image, but I like it just the same.

Thanks for visiting - hope your day is filled with sunshine and laughter!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Brighten my Day....

My crafty friend Carol invited me to join a card making party in August, and I'm so excited I've been playing with ideas all week!  It's an Operation Write Home get together, and I want to bring along a kit to share...  It takes me a l-o-n-g time to come up with a card design, so I went to the clean and simple blog to look through their sketches for a spark of inspiration.

When I saw sketch #105, I knew it was the one I wanted to work with...  here's the sketch:

I came up with a couple of designs that closely followed the sketch, but noticed that I had gravitated to monochromatic in shades of brown.  As much as I like the cards, I thought that some bright colors may be appreciated more by the troops who will be using them.

With that in mind I thought something bright and sunny would work, and modified the sketch into this:

Once the sunshine idea was in my head, the card fell together quickly.  I pulled out a bunch of My Mind's Eye: Fine and Dandy - Boy scraps for rays of sunlight.  The Lili of the Valley Set 9 Mixed Circular Sentiments worked perfectly and was stamped with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  I popped the sentiment up on foam tape to avoid a lumpy look where the ends of the design paper overlap. 

Pre-made card bases and envelopes have allowed me to put cards together a little quicker, and since the majority of this card is plain cardstock and random triangular scraps, I should be able to pull together the supplies for card kits pretty quickly.  The hardest part for me will be stamping the sentiments... 

Thanks for stopping by - hope your day is filled with happiness and sunshine!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Art Card Garden

My mom's been doing cute little art cards lately, so I figured I'd try my hand at one this week.  Turns out, it took me longer to get out and put away the supplies than to actually splash the paint on the little 2.5 by 3.5 inch piece of paper.

It was a quick distraction from the heat, and I had fun playing without lines.  I think I might try this again sometime...

Hope your day is filled with sunshine and smiles!

Supplies: water color paper, acrylic paint, corner piece of a sponge, and small stencil brush with very stiff bristles.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Celebrating Dreams

A few weeks ago I mentioned needing a soccer image to make a card for my nephew.  He tried out for a soccer team, and was thrilled when the coach called to let him know he had made the team.  (He didn't think he had a chance to get picked.)

It's taken a while, but I finally finished his card.  I had a lot of fun putting this one together, and it took on a life of it's own.  The final result isn't anything like what I had in mind...

The design papers are from My Mind's Eye 6x6 paper pads (Fine and Dandy - boy and Quite Contrary - Jack and Jill).  The stamps are from Lili of the Valley (Football Crazy and one of the sentiments from the Vintage - Just to Say set).  My "ribbon" is a piece of a shower scrubbie - I thought it would make a good goal net.

I cut out three extra balls and glued them together in a fan type pattern, then popped it up for some extra dimension.  The sentiment is also popped up on foam tape.

Finally, I stamped the envelope with a pair of sentiments from the Mixed Circular Sentiments set.

Sending sunshine your way~

Friday, June 1, 2012

CAS - Fall to Layout 193

Had a little time this afternoon to play before my weekend company arrived.  (I got to work from home today too.  It's amazing what you can fit in when you cut 80 minutes of commuting out of the schedule!!!)

Decided to check out the clean and simple blog's fall to layout and see if I could use it for another thank you card.  Here's my take on their sketch:

I used the same Heritage card stock colors, but added some vintage photo Distress Ink to age it a bit more.  I played a bit with placement of the layered white and blue panels - it didn't feel right having it directly in the middle.  I settled on this for it's final location - still not sure how I feel, but the right most point of the large star seems to be reaching out to open the card... 

For the sentiment I combined three different stamps from the Lili of the Valley Mixed Circular Sentiments set.  First I cut out the spellbinders labels 18 shape, then I used my Tombow marker #992 to color the top portion of the "you make" circular sentiment and stamped it in the upper curve.  Next, I colored the bottom words in the "thank you" circular sentiment and stamped them in the bottom curve.  Finally, I colored the whole "the world a better place" sentiment and stamped it across the middle of the label. 

I also aged the edges of the label with distress ink.  I like how the watercolor marker is darker in some places - more of that antique look. 

This came together very quickly - even with all those steps for the sentiment, and I'll be making more of these!  I can play with the panel layout more that way too.

I'd send sunshine your way, but it's overcast here today, and feels like autumn after the mini heat wave earlier this week.  Hope your day is filled with sunshine and smiles!

Thanks for visiting~

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Red, Off-white and Blue

That baker's dozen of packages sitting on the shelves has me itching to get the letters done and get them on the road - but I want to add a hand made card to at least half of them.  I have plenty of paper to write on, but wanted a little red, white and blue for that little something extra.  So I pulled out my pack of Heritage color cardstock from The Paper Company and let my mind wander.  Here's the first creation...

I love the "aged" look of the off-white with the deep colonial style red and blue.  Bright white just doesn't seem to do it for me {grin}.  Unfortunately the color is slightly off in the photos - it's dark and the lighting in the room makes it look a bit more golden than in real life.  And it fits the OWH mid-week throw down for a thank you card to boot!
I was really hoping to come up with something that would be easy to replicate with a quick turnaround.  As much as I like the card, I'm afraid it's not a quick turn-around style for me.  So I put all my toys away and sat with my sweet husband for a bit.  He was in the midst of an on-line poker tournament, so back to my toys I went. 

I decided to play with layering and my Spellbinders Nestabilities.  Using both the positive and negative spaces of the die cuts and a few small star punches I came up with the following two cards.

CAS, pretty easy to replicate, and my favorite part - minimal paper waste!!!  I left them blank so I can add whatever sentiment works for me on the day I write the letters.

Sending sunshine your way today!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Thinking of a Baker's dozen

The humidity kept me inside for most of the day today.  I used the time to clean the house a bit, specifically the troop support shelves...  Here's the before (what a mess!!!):

Several hours later I have a baker's dozen of priority boxes ready for a letter and then they'll be off to the post office...  Here's the after (a bit neater):

After all that "work" it was play time, so I used the OWH sketch for the week - seen here.  I wanted to make a card with poppies to commemorate the day, but had to improvise with the flower stamps that I have instead and flipped the sketch to fit...

Thanks for stopping by~

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Follow Your Heart...

I've been building this card all week - working on it in fifteen or twenty minute increments.  I inked up my Lili of the Valley On the Garden Wall stamp for the first time - I think I've had the stamp for a year!!!  The OWH Sunday sketch was my starting point, along with my favorite My Mind's Eye So Sophie paper - Graceful. 

Yesterday my new Lili of the Valley order arrived - and I found a unique sentiment to meet the OWH mid-week challenge to make a love card.

That's all for tonight - time to snuggle with my sweet husband on our anniversary!

Sending Sunshine your way!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bear Essentials...

Hey there!  It's a beautiful sunny day here in south east Pennsylvania, and I've been out enjoying it most of the morning and afternoon.  I needed to come in for a bit when it felt like I was starting to bake - not a cloud in the sky - so I played with paper, ink and markers.

Lili of the Valley released a new set of boy stamps and sentiments - I just love their images!  I couldn't resist putting in an order (needed a soccer image, and celebrate type sentiment for one of my nephews - at least that's how I'm justifying it...  {grin}).  Unfortunately the sentiment set that I really wanted was SOLD OUT when I put in my order (of course it's back in stock now - here)!!!  Luckily, the Lili's Little Fairies challenge has them as the prize for the week -AND- I have a stamp that meets the task.

The assignment - use a Lili of the Valley bear image in your creation. 

I used Bear and Butterflies and the OWH sketch #23.  Not sure what happened to my picture - the top isn't cut off in my original file...  hmmmm.

I shifted the sketch a bit to fit the image, colored it all in with Tombow markers and a water brush, and fussy cut the butterflies to pop them up.  The flower design paper is a single 12x12 sheet of Heidi Grace Designs, the bottom green strip is also Heidi Grace Designs, from a 12x12 sheet of border strips, the rest are scraps left over from various packs.

My fingers are crossed that I'm the lucky winner of the tag sentiment prize;  if not, then they're on my wish list for my next splurge on Lili supplies!

Sending Sunshine and Smiles-

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Hoggie Love

Truthfully I have mixed emotions about our recently discovered guests... a family of ground hogs living under our front step. The babies are cute, and I'm always happy when wildlife finds our yard a safe place to live. However, I would prefer that they lived in the wild, brushy area out back and NOT under my step, where they could do severe damage to the foundation to my home! They've also given my malamute, Drakko, a case of O.G.D. - obsessive ground hog disorder! He is constantly going to the front window looking for the hoggies. When they are there he lets out quite the bark (he rarely ever barks normally). They are driving him nuts (hmmm - well, ok, nuttier than he started out at) !

With a bit of research I have learned that our lawn is the perfect smorgasbord for ground hogs, since it consists primarily of clover and dandelions, with very little grass. At least they were smart enough not to take up residence in our back yard where the dogs could find them. What a mess that would be!

They also inspired me to make not one, but TWO cards... I don't actually have any ground hog images, but I do have some cute Penny Black hedge hog images from the T for transparent set. Close enough I say.

Up first - momma and poppa... though I don't think I've seen poppa hanging around the den, he was definitely involved at some point! {grin}

Can I just say that I'm falling in LOVE with my spellbinders nestabilities?! I used one of the 40% off coupons for the local A.C. Moore store on this half set, and can't seem to get enough of them. I think I need to get some circles (plain and scalloped) next! During that trip I also picked up the My Mind's Eye Lost & Found Madison Avenue 6x6 paper pad. Not usually a pink fan, I am enjoying the color combinations in this pack, and the designs coordinate so well, it's easy to mix and match and get great results!

Up next - the babies...

We have seen four babies out at once, how ironic that the Penny Black stamp set has this little row of four different hedge hogs on it!  I think the sentiment should really say sending hogs and kisses for a little touch of humor...  {grin}  I didn't plan it, but after I got the card assembled, I noticed that the heart seems to be growing bigger as it progresses toward the front of the 'parade'.  I used more My Mind's Eye paper, this time from the Fine and Dandy Boy 6x6 pad with the scrap of left-over red from the reverse of a piece used on the first card.

I tend to be a "tree hugger" and do as much as possible to make my yard animal friendly, however this family must move out. We're working on a relocation option, and then I'll be filling the hole as much as I can, and sealing it off with cement. Hopefully any future ground hogs will choose to reside in the "wild zone" of our yard, and no more interventions will be necessary!

We're having a beautiful sunny day here today, sending some your way~

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wedding Photos

I look at life a little differently than most, and the photographs that I take at events and popular tourist attractions tend to reflect this.  After over fifteen years together, Joel has grown accustomed to seeing me point the camera straight up from the base of tall trees (or monuments, like I did on our trip to D.C.).  I also tend to lay flat  on the ground to see what that angle will produce.
Over the past weekend we had the honor of attending a wedding at Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies, and while most of the guests were busy taking pictures of each other and the bride and groom, I was busy pointing the camera in every other direction. 

Decor at the entrance set the mood with pre-wedding cracker jacks and foam fingers, next to the Phanatic statue.

Flowers and Flower Girls...

The reception really started to ROCK when a wedding crasher arrived...

And finally - courtsey of my husband's photography skills - the Phanatic in motion:

Sending sunshine your way~