January 31, 2008

Anniversary Contest!

Today is my one year blog anniversary, and to celebrate we have a contest! I love card contests, don't you? *grin*
See this card? I made it based on the Verve Visual Sketch that Julee came up with for the contest. The name of the contest is:
The Verve Visual Honored Guest Contest!
If you've ever wanted to design for a stamp company, now is your chance. One lucky winner will be chosen (based on their card submission using the sketch below) to be the guest designer for the month of March for Verve Visual. The winner will receive the entire DT package that the rest of us do, including the pre-released stamp sets, and will need to submit 6 projects using those stamps and papers and other goodies!
Here's the sketch, courtesy of Julee Tillman.

To enter the contest, just submit a link to an online photo of your card to the post over at the Verve blog, here, by Friday, Februsry 15. Only links submitted throught the January 31st post on the Verve blog will be accepted. And remember, you DON'T have to use Verve stamps to enter, we want everyone to have a chance
A winner will be announced on Monday, February 18 and will be the Honored Guest for the month of March. I think there will also be some random prize drawings throughout the contest, so be sure to get your cards submitted! You never know what you might win!
There is no limit to the number of cards you can submit, and the contest is open to everyone, so get crackin' folks!
If you need some inspiration, check out the gallery here, where each member of the DT created a card using the same sketch! Remember to submit your entry to the Verve blog post of January 31.
So happy blog anniversary to me, and happy card contest entries to you!

January 30, 2008

Pop-up Surprise box

Man O man, the power has been out here since last night and so my office was closed today and so was the ski resort where my youngest attends daycare. It just came on at 10:15 am! All I could think about was not being able to post to my blog! *chuckle* I guess I know where my priorities are!
Today I posted a really cute pop-up box over at the Verve Visual Blog that I made a few weeks ago. I found the directions to construct it here. After scoring and cutting the template, I stamped and embossed some hearts on it.

Then I made a front piece and after constructing the box, covered the attached lid with ribbon.
Isn't it cute? Wait till you see how it opens! This is my favorite part!

The lid is attached, so it won't fall off or get lost. You just lift up and the center opens and you can see your goodies! I filled this one with some fun pink embellishments for my best friend for St. Valentine's Day.
This little box is not difficult to make at all, and it's perfect for teacher's gifts, or family and friends. All stamps from the clear Wild Thing set by Verve Visual.

January 29, 2008

Mojo Monday Sketch # 22

Has anyone noticed my blog colors and banner have changed? I was feeling slightly dated, so I played around with some colors and a new banner...not sure yet if I like them, but would LOVE some feedback! I think my banner has issues....
I really got into Julee's Mojo sketch last night! I even used the colors she did in her original drawing!

Isn't this fun? I dug out my really old (5 yrs.) Bazzill scraps and made this (almost) monochromatic card using the sketch she posted yesterday. I sewed the four rectangles onto black CS, and then stamped and embossed some of the panels before adding the sentiment, which I embossed in silver and white. I added the popped up heart embellishment in the perfect spot to look like it belonged over the row of hearts I stamped underneath. Then I stamped and cut out a few small hearts to add visual texture. *sigh* I used to HATE the color pink. What was I thinking? All stamps by Verve Visual. I used the Wild Thing set, it's fast becoming a favorite in my studio!

January 28, 2008

You...light up my life

Can't you just hear Debbie Boone singing this song? *chuckle* I used to have a 45 (that's a small record for you young folks) of that song as a kid, and I played it over and over!
I'm posting a bit late today...work has been hectic and this is my first chance at my computer.
The trouble with being on a design team, is that you make all this great stuff but can't show it to anyone until a certain date, so I have nothing I can post that's new today.
This card was made for the last Verve Visual release. I LOVE these colors together (pale peach, red-ish and dark grey)! I embossed some of the stars with sparkling ep, and stamped some in grey. The velvet grey ribbon adds a lot, I think. All stamps by Verve Visual, the Polka Stars set.

Gotta run!

January 25, 2008

CPS #48

Can you believe that CPS has had 48 different sketches? Amazing! I used this week's sketch to make two quick cards for some friends.

The first uses a BG stamp (polks dots) by CHF, a small piece of PP by DCWV, and an old Sizzix die-cut that I just had to have and never used! I used prismacolor pencils to add some shading to the leaves and smoothed it with gamsol. The SUPER LARGE green twill came from a package of Martha Stewart pillows that I bought a few years ago, isn't it fun? I have about 30 yards of the stuff!
The second card is a bit more traditional.

I used SU's linen BG stamp, RubberStampede's Cherry blossom branch and Verve Visual's sentiment stamp! I used a blender pen to color the image, popped up three of the flowers (hard to see), and cut the entire image into three pieces before mounting it. Added some SU ribbon and called it done.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

January 24, 2008

Who's there?

Hello! This card is based on Julee's Mojo Monday Sketch #21. I really enjoy using sketches as a starting point sometimes, and lately it seems like I use them all the time! The lighting was a little off in this photo and the left side is a bit washed out, but you get the gist anyway, right?Last week while playing around with some new stamps I stamped, embossed and mounted this funky owl (Inkadinkadoo) and then didn't know what to do with him. Lo and behold along comes Julee's Mojo Monday and whaddaya know?! A perfect square in her sketch!

So even though he was already mounted, I added a few layers of matting to match the card base. I started with a base of Groovy Guava, because it is my least favorite color this year and I need to do something with it! I stamped it with GG ink using the CHF (Cornish Heritage Farms) houndstooth BG stamp, and then stamped the lighter brown CS with another CHF BG stamp (polka dots). The small "foot print" stamps on the sides are actually the leaf stamp from PTI's Out on a Limb stamp set, as is the moon above Mr. Owl.

I used one of my favorite techniques when heat embossing on the owl; I put a tiny bit of gold EP just on his eyes, and then covered the rest of him with the chocolate EP. I like the multi-color look when embossing, because some of it always gets where you don't want it to but ends of looking more realistic anyway! This card ended up looking slightly retro due to the peach and brown, so I added a fun sentiment to match. "You're Fabulous" is from the Uplifting Phrases set from Verve Visual.

My little one was home sick again yesterday, so we had all day to spend time together, and when I was looking at blogs with him on my lap, he said "where's me, Mommy?" every time he saw a personal photo on someones blog, so I told him I would put one on today.

Here he is this morning holding his lunchbox and attempting to eat snow while Mommy isn't looking!

January 22, 2008

Birdies, birdies everywhere.

I worked on some great stuff this weekend when I wasn't feeling blah, but I can't share pictures just yet!
What I can show you is my poor attempt at one of Jen's Sketch challenges. She posts a SFYTT (Sketch for you to try) on Saturday's and I gave it a whorl this weekend. What fun!

Because time was of the essence I tried to keep it fairly simple and straightforward. I glimpsed a corner of this PP in a pile in my studio and tried to build the card from there. It seemed so classy. Unfortunately my hands couldn't conjure up what my brain was imagining! *chuckle* I love this card though, regardless of how it was supposed to look. Bird stamp by Inkadinkadoo, sentiment by Papertrey Ink, PP unknown.

January 16, 2008

Mojo Monday!

Well it's been a while since I've had a chance to participate in Julee's Mojo Monday Sketch challenge, so last night I grabbed a few minutes to play!

I didn't have a lot of time and I just went with the first stamp set that I laid eyes on, but in retrospect, I don't think it was the "right" one.
The new Basic Grey paper is just gorgeous though! This piece coordinated perfectly with the new in colors from SU. And I used these adorable little gems called "Icons" from MAMBI that I received in my February DT kit from Verve Visual. They added so much sparkle, I may have to buy some more.
I've never been a real bling type person, but I think that's beginning to change! (I'm not one for trends, but lately it seems I like things that happen to be "in".)

I hope your Wednesday is fantastic!

January 14, 2008

Tagged and a Valentine

I was tagged by Julee of Verve Visual and PoeticArtistry fame (I know, I use that phrase almost every time I refer to her, but she IS famous in my book!) so I'm playing along here. If you want, feel free to skip over this part to see the card!

1. Name your two favorite scrapbooking topics?
Considering that I've only ever made 3 scrapbook pages in my entire life, and TWO of them weren't for me, I don't know. But when I look at other folk's SBs, I like reading the heartfelt honest journaling.

2. What are the two best places you've been to? Wow. Best can mean a lot of different things...I guess touring around China was cool, and I LOVED the time I spent in Costa Rica, but my favorite place to go/be/visit is my home: The Fingerlakes in upstate NY.

3. Name two things you do every day? Brush my teeth and drink LOTS of water.

4. Tell us two things that everyone pretty much knows about you? I'm an animal rights activist, and I LOVE to cook!

5. Two places you wish to visit? Venice, and New Zealand.

6. Two things you may not know about me are: I am the ultimate Balderdash player (I usually win), and I can't stand to use blue ink pens.

7. Two nicknames you've had at some time in your life: Sunshine and sweetpea.

8. Name two of your favorite drinks? Room temp water, and homemade freshly squeezed orange juice.

9. What are two interesting (in a good or bad way) jobs you've had in your life? I taught 1-2nd grade in a private Jewish academy and although most of my students could speak English, their parents could not. I learned a lot more Hebrew than I knew previously! At 14 I started working in the vineyards tying grapevines...let me tell you how HARD this actually is to do! Standing in a row reaching above your head and being cut all over your hands for 8 hours is no small feat!
10. What are two things you would like to learn? Fluent Russian, and to play the violin.

11. What two things would make your scrapping/stamping work space work even better for you? A personal secretary/organizer! and to purge a ton of dated stickers, paper and embellishments.

12. What are two of your best organizational tips for stampers that do not have a lot of space? Don't fall prey to the "newest, coolest"; stick to what YOU like to work with, use-up things before buying more!

13. What are your two favorite stamping toys? Versamark ink: couldn't live without it! and my stamp-a-ma-jig.

14. Here's my added question...If you could have TWO super-powers, what would they be? I've always wanted the ability to talk/communicate with animals, and I'd LOVE to be able to time-travel.

Okay, now that I'm done with my answers, I'm supposed to tag two people to answer the above questions and then to also add a question of their own. The only requirement is that the question must be in twos. I'm going to tag Mary because she needs to update her blog desperately, and Alli (because I secretly want to be as creative as she is!).
Here's the card I wanted to share with you today. I was going for a free-hand, weathered sort-of feel for this. I didn't quite succeed, but who cares, right? I had fun!
My favorite part was stamping the sentiment on and acetate sheet and then brushing some white acrylic paint on the back to make it show up when I glued it to the middle heart. I was so pleased with that little step! Stamps are by Verve Visual, this set is called Heart to Heart.

January 12, 2008

Anything is possible

Happy Saturday!
We are doing a major purge at our house this weekend. Anything not useful is going OUT! I just feel the need to seriously declutter and start this year off on the correct foot. I'm not a knick-knacky type of girl anyway, but I've noticed that having children makes for MUCH more "stuff" around the house, garage, car, yard, etc. Not to mention that my oldest can't bare to throw anything away. "But mom, I can maybe take this apart and use this side for wings when I build an airplane in my workshop! Or, or how about...blahblahblah?" He says this about everything I try to throw away, including the envelopes from bills! This kid is impossible!

(which brings me to my post this morning: Anything is Possible)

I made this card after an impulse buy from the clearance table at Borders. These small, thick, felt shaped stars were just calling my name! *grin* I turned two of them over and stamped on them using my Seeing Stars clear stamp set from Verve Visual. Then I mounted them on tags that I punched and matted and stamped with the swirly stamp. I sewed a piece of Daisy Bucket Designs PP (from the Rock Star Collection) to some white CS and adhered it to my black card base. While searching for some pink colored ribbon I came across this polka-dot ribbon that I've had for ages and couldn't believe how PERFECT it was!
I hand cut the ovals after stamping the sentiment, and then thought to add some tiny ribbon to the three tags.
Wanna know another secret? I always thought that the Fastenater Decorative Stapler was ridiculous, but I secret coveted the fun colored staples that I kept seeing. That is, until I figured out a simple, cheap way to make my own! I just open my stapler, use a sharpie permanent maker and color a few in the exact color I'm looking for! Hence the bright green of the staples holding the black ribbon in place! Clever, no?

I hope everyone has a relaxing weekend! See you on Monday!

January 11, 2008

christmas reject

I'm not a Christmas card maker. I don't send them at all, and they don't seem to come naturally to me, so in trying to design a lot of Christmas cards for my stamping class in December, I "trashed" quite a few. This is one of the rejected ones.
I thought I'd share it with you in the spirit of "See what dorky cards I create sometimes!" My plan was to double stamped the branch to make it pop out and give it a shadow, however, as you can see from the larger photo, it just looks blurry.
I did like the color palette, (grey, red, black, white) and the red of the cardinal matched the twill ribbon perfectly although it doesn't seem to in the photo. The white pigment ink was a bit too juicy, so I tried to emboss it to make it less so, but that didn't work either! All in all, this IS a reject!
Anyway, stamps are by Inkadinkado (SILHOUETTES Clear Stamp Set). Paper is by SU!, ribbon from Joanns, buttons from Joanns, ink by Ranger, SU! and Palette Hybrid.

January 10, 2008

Wild thing

So, today's the day! Verve Visual is releasing FIVE new stamps sets! All clear photopolymer too! Head on over there and check them out, they are shipping as we speak! There is a special going on too: You can get all FIVE sets for just $60!!!!!!! That's $18 off the price of them individually! The sale will end on January 24th, so don't delay. You won't be disappointed. Here's the link to the hearts and Star's bundle price: Launch Pack.I made this card using the Wild Thing set releasing today at Verve Visual. Be careful, if you are anything like me, the song will get stuck in your head while you are stamping! *chuckle* I used PP by Cosmo Cricket, the Dutch Girl collection, and it matches Stampin Up's river rock so well! Don't you just love the sentiment? *grin*

Be sure to check out the gallery over at Verve Visual for lots of inspiring ideas using these new sets. Almost 100 new projects have been added using the five new sets alone! WOWSERS.

January 09, 2008


Some of you know that I was teaching a stamping/cardmaking class in November and December. This is one of the projects I designed for the class along with a small blessing mix treat bag (for which I have no photo).
I wanted to share this card to day because I had a small scare this morning, and am very thankful that it was quickly righted!
My DH leaves for work before 6 am usually, and I get myself and the kids up and ready for work/school/daycare and make breakfast and lunches. My eight-year-old walks to school (we live within sight of the elementary school) at the same time that I and my three-year-old drive out of the driveway on our way to a town about 15 minutes away (Where I work and my little one attends daycare). We were running a bit late this morning, but I waited in the car at the end of the driveway until I saw my oldest get to the cross-walk, and then I drove away. About 15-20 minutes later I was walking into the daycare when one of the staff greeted my youngest and asked where his brother was. I looked at her quizzically, and she said, "Well, Little Valley School is closed today, they have no power, so I thought we might see Crumbgrabber here this morning."
I screamed and fled out the door! While driving I frantically called home using my work cell phone (illegally, I might add), hoping that he was wise enough to just turn around and go home. Our answering machine picked up and I quickly yelled into that if he was there to please pick up the phone. His small, scared sounding voice come on and says, "Hi, Mom!" Phewwwww. He said he was scared and I told him I'd be there soon and not to worry.
Turns out a police officer saw him in the cross-walk and told him there was no school and that she would give him a ride home. He said that he wouldn't get into her car at first (GOOD BOY!) because "you and dad told me not to get into any cars", but that she convinced him it was alright and then drove him home. He said she was nice.
I'm glad things are ok, but I was slightly perturbed at a few things.
First of all, why would she need to give him a ride, when we live basically across the street? And second of all, why would she make him get in, after he wisely said no, he would walk home?
Thirdly, she didn't bother to check if anyone was home when she dropped him off either. And our front door was locked, so he had to go around to the back. *shaking my head*
I'm thankful things turned out okay, but I did tell him that no matter what, he was not to get into a car with anyone without our permission. I explained that some people can dress up to look like police officers, and that of course they will seem nice, but if he can see our house, to just run home!
Did I do the right thing? I'm so new at the "mom" thing that I wonder sometimes.
Oh, and the adoption was official 2 days before Thanksgiving! Now both boys have our last name and new birth certificates too. Another thing to be "thankful" about!

January 08, 2008

Natalie Cole is running through my head...

This always happens to me. *goofy grin* I'll be happily stamping away and then all of a sudden the sentiment will make me start singing a song from the past! Without even realizing it, my brain will pick up on old song lyrics that I didn't even know I knew! For instance, "Miss you like Crazy" by Natalie Cole...this was a hit in like 1989 or something...I was 12. How on earth did I retain the words to a song I probably haven't even HEARD since I was 12???? The human mind amazes me.I whipped this up quickly last night for a friend who moved even further away than she was before. I stamped the poppy (SU!) in black archival and used a blender pen to color it in. The sentiment is from the Heartfelt Phrases set that Verve Visual released in December. The pink CS (SU!) matches the ribbon perfectly, although it doesn't seem to in this photo, and the base is made from Bazzill textured CS.
In personal news, my brother-in-law passed away on January 2nd, and I miss him too. My sister and my niece seem to holding up well, but John was only 58...too young. Cystic Fibrosis. He worked at Nazareth College in NY for 33 years, and so many of his co-workers were at his memorial service. It was the first time I've ever stood in a receiving line at something like that, and the line went on FOREVER. I actually had to leave before everyone had come through to speak their condolences. My sister is 30 years older than me, and folks just kept saying, "You're Janet's sister?"
So I don't end on a sad note though, I can't wait till I can show you the samples I worked up for the new Verve Visual release on Thursday! I'm so excited!

January 06, 2008

Shine On (you crazy diamond)

Well. How serendipitous it is that my last post was November 6th? Today is January 6th! A whole 2 months off from blogging. Seems strange. So much has happened. I'll play catch up later, I promise.

Isn't this card fun? It's a sneak peak! I used some new Verve Visual stamps that will be releasing on January 10th. FIVE new stamp sets will be releasing and they are all CLEAR!!!! They give really good impressions too, I'm talking high-quality photopolymer here! I cannot be happier.

I based this card on one I made last February for St. Valentine's Day. I just love the LO.
For stamps, I used at least one stamp from each of three different sets that will be released on January 10th. (ONLY FOUR MORE DAYS TO GO!) I'll even let you in on what these three sets are called, *wink*; Swirly Stars, Polka Stars, and Seeing Stars. Don't the names just make you want them?! *Sigh* I love stars. If you couldn't tell from the quote I have at the top of my blog under my banner!

I also used a pair of decorative edge scissors that I've had for longer than I've been stamping! I guess there's a first time for everything. Oh, wanna know a secret? I didn't have silver star brads, so I used white eyelets and painted them silver with a Krylon leafing pen! Worked like a charm too! And although you can't tell from this photo, the sentiment is embossed in silver also.

I'm glad to be back to posting and stamping...I've missed you all!
Happy New Year.