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~

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Granny Square

My grandmother has tried to teach me how to knit - many times. For some reason I just can't get it.  My mother taught me to crochet many, many moons ago. This I can handle. 

I am right handed. My grandmother is right handed. My mother is LEFT handed. Somehow watching and replicating exactly what my grandmother's hands were doing hasn't worked. Watching my mother struggle to show me with her right hand, I was able to grasp the initial concept. 

My mind wants to believe that we sat opposite each other and I mirrored her as she worked with her left hand, and I worked with my right. Honestly, I have no idea if that's what we actually did. I do know that we sat and crocheted together when I was little.

Lately I've pulled out the crochet hook and took advantage of some sales to pick up some yarn.  I'm ready to play and make some more afghans.  My dad, and my sweet spouse are the recipients of my earlier afghans.  Below is my husband's, it's not granny squares, but it was a simple pattern [sorry for the un-interesting picture, I should probably stage better for any other inside the house pictures I plan to share].

I have come to the conclusion, that granny squares are perfect for me. I have bits of time in the evening to play, and it's nearly impossible to lose count while working on a granny square - though it's rare that I pull out the yarn and don't finish the full square before it's time to put it all away!

The project also makes me feel like I'm actually accomplishing something while sitting in front of the television in the evening. I can look up from the work and not totally lose my place, and for now, it's still cool enough to have a lap full of afghan and be comfortable. This summer I may have to resort to making the squares and not connecting them, but for now I can assemble as I go.

Here is my progress on a red, white and blue afghan that will be destined for someone serving in our armed forces, stationed overseas this fall:

Next up will be an afghan from the cream, green and peach squares to head to a base in Germany, and eventually I will finish this sunflower pattern for myself (with a different shade of green though {smile}).

While I'm relaxing here in my family room, the project helps me reflect on those who volunteer to serve and protect.  When the blanket is complete, I can send a little piece of home and a reminder that they're not forgotten.

With Memorial Day coming up, feel free to visit some of my favorite troop support sites and consider sending a hello from the home front:

          Any Soldier  -  you select a point of contact and send letters / packages

          Operation Write Home - hand make blank cards for the troops to send home, or send in "any hero" notes to troops for them to include with the blank cards 

          Soldiers' Angels - has a variety of programs to support active and retired members of the military

If you'd prefer, put a note in the comments and I will include it in one of my next packages.

With each stitch, I'm re-finding some of my country roots here in my suburban home...

Sending Sunshine your way~

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Re-vamping my blog...

OK - so really it's more of a re-start to my blog since I have neglected it for ages!  Lots of people make a fresh start on January first.  Apparently I'm more in tune with Mother Nature  - Spring with all it's new beginnings inspires me as color returns to our yard.

I initially started this blog in my zest for card making, but have come to the conclusion that I am eclectic like my mother, and flit from one type of project to another and back again. By limiting what I thought should be posted on my blog, I was stifling my creative side, both in blog land and in real life. 

So - from here on out, I plan to post whatever strikes me at the moment, with a focus on things that bring sunshine into my life. I love following Ashley at Under the Sycamore, and her posts have motivated me to explore what inspires me and what makes me smile.  

Today it happens to be a quick little card.

I tend to lurk in the cyber world, regularly visiting one of my near neighbors, Carol at Our Little Inspirations.  Her card - here - brought to mind the Operation Write Home Starburst Tutorial.  So I pulled out a My Mind's Eye 6x6 paper pad with bright and happy yellows and oranges to create this Hello Sunshine card:

Thank you! to my 10 existing followers for your patience. I hope that you will continue to follow me as I experiment with expanding my posts.

Sending Sunshine your way today~