September 29, 2007

A girl needs some rubber galoshes!

Today's post will be short, I need to hit all the last-ditch-effort yard sales in town today! Plus we're going to the Falling Leaves Festival this afternoon and I need to make some leaf and acorn shaped hand pies.

I finally inked up these galoshes! I love the Green Thumb stamp set from Papertrey, but I hadn't ever used these adorable galoshes so I decided it was about time. My inspiration came from the PP that I used. It's from Memory Box and I won it from Julee at Poetic Artistry in one of her Mojo Monday challenges. The funny thing is, is that I actually had it in my cart over at! It's so luscious! Very vibrant and thick. THANK YOU JULEE!

This card is going out to my BFF who is going through a very rough spot in her life. She's a shoe lover, but I'm pretty sure she's never owned a pair of these boots. Maybe it's about time!

Hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend!

September 28, 2007

Laugh and Live more!

Do you ever have a great idea in mind but can't quite execute it onto paper? Well, this is one of those times. I know how I wanted this card to look...but it didn't! *chuckle*
I started with the CPS sketch for this week, and then dug out the main image I wanted to use and a piece of PP (7 Gypsies). I was having trouble deciding on colors and tried 3 or 4 different ones. This card was torn apart so many times last night, I think it might have identity issues! But I'm leaving it alone for now, because I DO like's just not what I started out to create. Something about that blue book-plate is not right.
I love this main image stamp used here. I try to reserve it for special occasions so I don't get bored with it! It is from a sheet of UM rubber by PaperBag Studios, called "Laugh". I last used it here for a swap in February.
Sentiment is by TAC. All CS is Bazzill, Impress ink, Palette Hybrid ink and versamark were all used, ribbon is from my stash, button brads from MM, sponging, piercing, and my Sizzix were also used.

I'm wishing everyone a wonderful weekend, it's FRIDAY!

September 27, 2007

Don't try this at home!

Okay, so it's not really Merry, but it sure is bright! I'm not a big Christmas card maker, (we send out New Year cards), and I don't care for the whole "red & green" bit around the holidays, but I had so much fun with this simple card. This was the first thing I made when I received my newest Papertrey stamps last week. I like non-traditional holiday colors, and this pink CS from Bazzill was just crying to be used!
I LOVE how the branch looks when stamped on textured paper...more realistic! I used a white gel pen to add snow to the branch and highlight it a bit.
Here's a closer view:
I stamped the ornaments on whisper white CS and cut them out. After gluing them to the card base, I used a versamark marker to "color" the entire ornament and then embossed with a clear glitter EP. It raised them a bit more and added a nice sparkle too. I used gold EP to emboss the hanger part, and I also white embossed the sentiment "Merry & Bright" onto the wide grosgrain ribbon. That didn't work as well as I planned, but I left it anyway because I liked the concept!
PP is from Basic Grey...not sure which collection, but I think an older one, ink is Palette Hybrid and Ranger Distress, ribbon from my stash, EP from Sparkle n Sprinkle.

September 26, 2007

Loosing my authority...

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to command authority from your children and your DH when you can't talk louder than a stage whisper? *chuckle* Argh, this being sick thing is not fun. I can't discipline the children, I can't call them in to dinner, I can't let the little one know that I hear him when he calls for me. All because I'm losing my voice and have the worst sore throat ever.

I made this card in triplicate a few weeks ago because I wanted some classy, yet simple TY cards. Actually, the other two have a different ribbon, but when I received this pretty kraft ribbon in the mail I couldn't resist replacing the original on at least one card! Stamps by Verve Visual, PP by 7 Gypsies, CS by SU and Bazzill, ink is Ranger Distress walnut stain, brad is unknown.

DID you see??? Check it out! The Verve Visual card contest deadline has been extended until Friday night, so get your entries in! The prizes are amazing, and you can't win if you don't enter!

September 25, 2007

Long time no Mojo

Although I have lots of other things to post, I want to get this week's Mojo Monday (courtesy of Julee) up before the week is out! My camera is doing well, me...not so much, but enough that I got out of bed to make this card last night *wink*!It looks all wonky, because it is! *chuckle* I dropped it on the floor without realizing it and ran over it numerous times with my rolling stool. Can you tell I'm not feeling well?
I started with a piece of Basic Grey PP, and my favorite tree stamp (100 Proof Press), and it just built itself from there. I added the webbed key hole stamp (Leavenworth Jackson), and it became a creepy type of card so I grabbed my Papertrey stamps and those little spiders just JUMPED out at me! The doodle around the scalloped oval is by Papertrey too.
After embossing the tree image I sponged green ink around it and matted it with black CS. I added the two sheer black ribbons to keep in line with Julee's Sketch and called it done.

I like it a lot. It's simple, but I love the colors together and that tree is one of my most favorite stamps ever! (I know you aren't supposed to have favorites, but we all do, right? It's NOT just me, is it?)

September 24, 2007

I'm BACK! I'm sick.

Hello all,
I'm back from my business trip and I'm sick. Blahhhh. I haven't been this sick since my college years. I guess that's what happens when they cram 20 people from all over the country into a conference room the size of a guest bathroom! All week long I was breathing other people's germs that they brought with them from their respective states. Yucky.
I sure have missed reading all your blogs and posting to mine, but hopefully tomorrow our camera will be fixed and I can post again!
I'm going back to bed now....

September 17, 2007

computer problems

I have LOTS of things to post and my laptop is giving me a hard time! ARGH! For some odd reason, my pictures aren't transferring from my camera. I've tried everything, numerous times. Now I'm just waiting on tech support.

I will be gone all this week in Michigan. I'm going to a conference on the the Emerald Ash Borer for work. I will attempt to post from my hotel, but I'm not making any promises!

I've got some blog candy to give away, so keep your eyes peeled!

Oh, and did you see that I won Julee's Mojo Monday sketch??? AWESOME! I couldn't believe that she picked my card from all those amazing entries. Watch the slideshow and see for yourself!

September 14, 2007

Revisiting the rejected

Recently I've been pulling things out of my "crap" pile and playing around with them a bit, hoping to make them into beautiful (or at least functional) cards! It really helps to put things aside and come back later, or at least it does for me. I can see things in a whole new light and sometimes I know just what to add/remove to make the card better.

This one is NOT one of those cards.

This has been in the "crap" pile since the day my Papertrey Green Thumb set arrived in the mail. I've had that small piece of PP (from Paper Mojo) for a long time. When I saw that Papertrey Ink was going to be releasing a set with a pea pod in it, I knew I wanted to use this PP to compliment it. After it arrived I sat down and immediately came up with this card.

I hated it.

It was awful...or at least it WASN'T what I had in mind when thinking about the stamp and the PP together! So it was rejected. I've taken it out of the pile many times to try and re-do it somehow, but just can't seem to "fix" it. So here it is, in all it's embarrassment, proclaiming it's badness to the blogging world. Or at least to my crafty blog readers!

Personally, I think the entire thing needs to be dis-assembled and new CS, new colors and a new LO need to be put into place before this card will ever make the A-list. Maybe the peas need to be stamped in a hot pink, or a blue, maybe the extra curly-cues need to go, mabe it needs some metal embelishments...I don't know. What I DO know, is that I'm done. I do not want to look at this card anymore. Not even while it's in the "crap" pile. So beware. This monstrosity might just be showing up at your door soon! *evil cackle*

Busy pink day.

I've not got much time this morning, but I wanted to share this photo that I took on my way into my office this morning. I saw this Pink Underwing Moth on the floor of the front porch to my office building. I gently picked it up and placed it on the railing to get a closer look. Then I grabbed my camera out of the car!
I have never seen a Pink Underwing up close before, and the only reason I did so this morning is because it was obviously in the process of dying. They are a northern species, mostly living in Eastern Canada, but do occasionally fly as far south as New Jersey. I felt so lucky to experience this moth today.
This is the most vibrant pink color I've ever witnessed on an animal in nature! I'm talking HOT PINK here folks!

I do a lot of insect trapping and moth surveying for my job. (In case you were wondering why I am so excited about this moth!) I've also loved insects since I was small...I'm just fascinated by most "bugs" and spiders and flying creatures!

September 13, 2007

Entering another contest...

I actually had no intention of enter the CPS/CardMaker Magazine contest, but this card came to me in a dream. Seriously! I dream of card layouts frequently, and Tuesday night I dreamed up this card. Strange, because I'm not what you would call Rah Rah Patriotic. I'm guessing that I had seen snippets of paper while making other cards and my brain remembered them, and assembled them in some sort of order!

Well who am I to ignore my dreams?! *grin*
ETA: Photo has been updated and gold chocolate wrapper covered heart button has been replaced. Sorry to disappoint those who loved the chocolate wrapper! *wink*

Can I tell you how difficult it was to cover those chipboard letters with Very Vanilla CS? Goodness! I've covered chipboard with paper lots of times, but never CS before. What a pain! It's so much harder to cut out! The stars are CS covered chipboard too. The PP is by Flair designs, lacing brads from Oriental trading Co., gold elastic cord from SU!, card base and blue CS by Bazzill. The small heart was a button that I covered with shiny gold paper and laced some red embroidery thread through. The shiny gold paper is from my is actually the wrapper from baking chocolate squares! Tee hee. I wanted to age things a bit, so I distressed the edges of both main pieces and also the chipboard letters with distress ink. I think it helps to tie in the aged bronze brads.

So are YOU going to enter?

September 12, 2007

Sticker Shock Challenge

Brrrr. It's cold here this morning. There was frost on the grass!! *pout* I am NOT ready to let go of summer yet.
In other news, I made this card last weekend for the Cardvaark's Sticker Shock Challenge. It didn't turn out the way I had hoped, so I "tabled" it and planned on doing something different. Well, knowing myself and my schedule I can foresee not getting another one done so I am going to submit this one anyway.

Now I love stickers. I use them on LOTS of things and I use them frequently! But I almost never use them on cards. This was a real stretch for me! If you know me, you'll know that red is NOT my favorite color. And I don't do Christmas all that much either (as far a cards go, that is!), but I've had this sheet of Flair designs stickers for a few years now (I received it in a monthly kit) and have been meaning to either RAK them or use them. While digging them out of my sticker stash I discovered, lo-and-behold, matching Flair designs PP! Ok, I can read the signs. It was kismet.

The "Ho, ho hos" are stickers, the "metal" frame and sentiment are stickers, the green twill looking stuff along the bottom are stickers, the red stitched mat is a sticker that I cut up and pieced together to fit my CS, and the snowflakes are clear stickers from Joanns. That's a lot of stickers, folks!

I used Bazzill CS, Stampington & Co. santa stamp, and stickers and PP by Flair Designs. All metal embellishments are from Joanns, ink is CTMH.

September 11, 2007

Is there such thing as too much Mojo???

I was bound and determined to get to Julee's Mojo Monday on MONDAY this week (not Saturday), so last night I got to work! Like her, I have a bin full of "almost cards." Images that I've colored, cut-out words, sticker embellishments stuck to CS and matted, etc.
I had made myself a note previously about some color challenges I wanted to try from SCS, so I started with one of those and went from there. Digging through the bin of images, I found this flower and leaf mounted on a white circle.
I stamped this image last year sometime, right after I bought it from my friend Barb. I remember sponging ink onto white CS and then stamping the flower on top. I wanted there to be more highlights, so I tossed it into the "later" bin. The reason I never used it was because I didn't have CS to match the magenta color. Well, not quite true, I'm sure in my hundreds of Bazzill papers, I could have found one close, but I'm sort of a perfectionist (surprise! Who knew? *wink*). Well it was PERFECT for last night because I was using one of the new "in colors" from SU, Purely Pomegranate.
Things were just coming to me left and right and everything was coming together so well. This is what I ended up with. I was pleased, but it looked too froofy. Is that a word? Ok, it looked too fussy. I wanted to get rid of something and I didn't know what.But then, I had another "light-bulb" moment and tore it all apart and re-assembled it without the pink/pomegranate BG piece. I did add a pink mat behind the green/grey to set it off from the card base, and I did change the ribbon, but otherwise it's the same!
Whatdaya think? I like the second one a bit better. More calm.
Anyway, if you've actually read this far you deserve a medal! I CAN ramble on can't I? *grin*

September 10, 2007

Song stuck in my head again...

"Love is kinda crazy with a spooky little girl like you...Spooky!" Who sings that? It's been running around my head since I made this card on Saturday. HELP!This card is really simple and I enjoyed making it. I've been neglecting my Papertrey Ink Spooky Sweets stamp set ever since it arrived so this weekend I inked up all that virgin photopolymer!

I used my Kodak photo program to brighten this photo up and I don't like how it turned the black to grey, but now I can't undo it.
I used a scrap of PP from Heidi Grace--doesn't it fit PERFECTLY with the bats?! I was delighted to see the scallops in black and green on this paper, and that's what made me use the bat stamps and this color scheme. I attached the PP strip to some vanilla CS and pop-dotted it to the black Bazzill card base. The green scalloped oval and yellow oval are Bazzill also. Only ONE color ink, can you believe it?! My perfect black ink; Ranger Archival. I buy the super-large inkpad size in this and I always have 2 more in reserve unopened just in case!

I wanted to add something though...some metal or an embellishment of sorts. But I also didn't want to "over-power" the simplicity of the card, so I went with a sheer vanilla ribbon tied around the seam where I attached the papers. Perfect!

I love the Halloween holiday. From the Samhain festival to All Hallow's Eve we celebrate it all!When I was a kid we celebrated the Fall equinox by gathering pine cones and walnuts and pretty dried leaves to create a display in our front hall. I've tried to carry on this tradition with our kids by explaining about the end of harvest festivals that our ancestors celebrated. Samhain (pronounced Sow-in) is a festival that celebrates Nature's cycle of death and renewal, a time when the Celts acknowledged the beginning and ending of all things in life and nature. Samhain marked the end of harvest and the beginning of the New Celtic Year. Being that I have Welsh and Scottish ancestors, I like to carry on this traditional celebration. I also love to make elaborate costumes! *wink*

September 07, 2007

Mojo Monday on...Saturday?

This was my second attempt at Julee's Mojo Monday Sketch. I guess I'm a few days late, huh? Ah well, the joys of everyday life get in the way of my stamping occasionally. (darn it!)
I really like sketch challenges, and recently have begun "thinking outside" the sketches and changing them up a bit. This is no exception. I liked the large square in the middle, but I wanted to simplify it, so I just used the flowers to show the general idea. Then I just stamped the sentiment in the lower corner in place of the tiny square she drew.
I based the colors scheme around the piece of gorgeous satin ribbon down the middle of the card. I bought this ribbon YEARS ago to use on a wedding card, and kept the last bit for someday. Well, "someday" arrived this week!
This card was for a lady who works at the learning center (daycare) my children attend. She the sweetest lady and really LOVES children so much. She's still there at 80! Can you imagine having the "get up and go" to play with tons of wild kids all day when you are that age? Goodness.
All stamps by Papertrey Ink, except "80th"(unknown), and the linen BG stamp, which is SU. CS is SU, PP is Basic Grey, ink is Versamagic, versamark, and ranger archival.

Feeling opinionated?

If so, I would love to hear your thoughts. I'm in an ATC swap with a Christmas theme and I've been playing around with designs for a few days.I can't decide which of these ATCs to recreate in multiple (I need to make 12). Leave me a comment letting me know which one you think I should make for the swap, or if you think I should try something else. (I do have a few other ideas in my head)

Please have some pity on me for neglecting my blog this past week! I work 40 hours a week outside my home (in uniform, I might add) in a somewhat stressful government position, am the sole chef for my hungry DH and two boys, and have to divide my "free time" up among keeping my house in semi-reasonable condition and crafting in my studio!
This week the house won. Blahhh. I also have some demanding card customers and need to keep up with orders that I'm behind on. Forgive me?

September 06, 2007

Oldies but goodies

I have nothing new to show you guys! Well, actually, I do, but I can't post them because I haven't taken a picture of them yet!
I've been working on some ATC mock-ups to help me get in the groove for a swap I'm in. I did 2 last night and 2 the night before, but I keep forgetting to take my camera home from my office. I also made a card last night using Julee's sketch, but I didn't think it was "right" so I tossed it. Strangely enough it looks very similar to THIS ONE, that she posted today! Too funny! I'm going to dig it out and show her at least, even if I don't share it here.

What I WILL show you today is a collection of Christmas cards I made for a swap I was in almost FOUR years ago. I was so proud of these cards, and worked really hard to make one of EACH for every participant, and then the host turned out to be a flaker, and kept all the cards and never sent any of the swaps out. Grrrrr. It still eats me up today!
I wasn't a big stamper back then, but I liked working with vintage images and ephemera. I mostly used sentiment stamps back then, instead of images. And if you can't tell, I was really into aging and distressing! I sanded, tore, and DTP inked everything!

I love looking back on my older cards now. It really amazes me to see how my styles and techniques have changed. I also sometimes cringe! *chuckle*
It shows that I have great trust in you folks to be showing these older things on a public blog like this! So no criticisms on these cards, OK?! *grin* (I've done enough of that myself!)

September 04, 2007

First day blues...

Today was the first day of school for us. Stickyfingers was delighted and upon waking him this morning the first thing out of his mouth was "School!" I made him practie writing his new last name a few times for good measure.

I took this photo on our front porch. His younger brother is a bit sad though...he wants to go to school too. I tried to explain that daycare was more fun than school, and he seemed ok with that.

In other news, we got a new cat yesterday. Or, a kitten actually. We've been wanting another cat for a while; since our beloved third cat, Chester, disappeared. Now we have three again!

We've had Agatha for 7 years (she was adopted as a tiny kitten in Kentucky), and we added Barnaby (he was a very young stray from the streets of Buffalo) 3 years ago, and then took in another stray (whom we named Chester), 2 years ago.

Chester was fantastic. The most laid-back cat I've ever met in my life. He loved to be on your lap too, and would often curl up around my neck while I was reading. He and Barnaby were perfect for each other, as Barnaby gets lonesome and Agatha won't have anything to do with him. When Chester disappeared, we were heart broken and so was Barnaby. He just cried and moped for days. Barnaby is completely blind although he has INCREDIBLE hearing, and when he can't hear another cat near him he gets upset. He doesn't like to be alone for too long.
So this new kitten was long overdue in coming!
We realized sometime after taking in Chester, that unknowingly, we had named our animals in alphabetical order. When we explained that to our 8 year-old, he decided he wanted to call this kitten Dodger. So Dodger he is!

We put him up in Barnaby's tree house so see if they would get along...

Looks like things will be okay! I had forgotten how playful kittens are though! I'm trying to make lunches this morning and this little guys is attacking the backs of my legs, trying to wrestle with my feet and jumping at the hem of my nightgown! Argggh.

simply kind

I felt like experimenting with some of my never-opened embossing powders to see what colors they would be on different CS. In doing so, I popped this card out in 5 minutes! I used an orangey color EP, but on this dark green CS it looked coppery so I added some copper accents to match.
This is definitely an autumn's been down-right chilly here the past few days and I think the weather was rubbing off on my creativity.
Leaf stamp by SU!, sentiment by Papertrey ink. Copper flower frame from the Dollar Tree, CS from SU!, versamark ink, EP by Sprinkle n Sparkle, weird plastic raffia from Scrapgoods.

Wanna see an incredible art room? Check this out! Only in my dreams could I be this organized!

Amazing organized room.