Friday, April 24, 2009

Blogger's Challenge #96 - Alter It!

I have a confession to make - this project is 3 years old. I had zero time this week to make a new altered project - although I had many ideas floating in my brain - so I reverted to this piece of artwork that resides in my studio.

I created this in early 2006 with what was then new SU! product - Looks Like Spring stamp set (still one of my all time favs!, now retired), Spring Flowers Designer Series Paper (the first double sided paper - you would be amazed to know how much of this I hoarded, ok, am STILL hoarding!) and Hodgepodge Hardware in Pewter.

This piece has been on display in my studio ever since I made it and when I took it out to photograph, I realized that I love it even more now than when I created it. I began with a black wood framed picture from everyone's favorite store - Tar-jeay. (Target. Really, don't you read French!) I sanded down the $$ spot find with some fine grit sandpaper which brought out a brown undercoat and then painted it with some soft pink acrylic paint. After it dried I applied crackle medium to the surface and that created the aged look on the frame.

I think the original picture was of an elephant or something jungle themed, so I just covered it with a piece of my DSP and built the collage from there. I stamped the large flower twice on Naturals Ivory cardstock, once in So Saffron and once in Blush Blossom then trimmed them out. Yes, it was a pain - don't you remember doing that? But the results were SO worth it! I then curled my petals upward with my Bone Folder and tipped a few of the edges with a Stampin' Sponge and Always Artichoke ink. I added a punched out Artichoke flower to the middle and held this focal piece together with a Hodgepodge brad. It's mounted on another piece of the DSP and then again on Always Artichoke cardstock, also aged a bit with some more Artichoke ink.

All the other little flowers were punched out of the DSP or stamped and punched out of co-ordinating cardstock. A bunch of dimensionals were used to get the height differences there and then I added a couple of Hodgepodge pieces and some ribbon bits to finish it off.

So, yes, this is an oldy, but a goody! I hope you like it and will enjoy the look back at one of my all time favorite stamp sets and dsp combos. Maybe it will even inspire you to dust off your Looks Like Spring set ( I KNOW you kept it!) and cut out a few of those flowers again! Leave me a comment and tell me what you think - I love to hear from you! And thanks to those of you who have signed up to follow my blog - I really appreciate that you want to keep up with me!

Be sure to check out all the other Blogger's Challenge players by clicking on the link in my sidebar - they are a great source of inspiration!

Happy Friday, ya'll! I'll try and be back with a new post tomorrow. My hubby gave me an idea to try and if it works out, I'll be posting that! Now you're really curious, eh? :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Little Spring

That's all we need, just a little spring today. As I write this, the sun is trying to come out between the clouds and oh, my I hope it succeeds! I get to spend the day out today and sunshine is always a lift for me.

This sweet little card was inspired by a photo of four Gerbera Daisies in my daily devotional journal magazine. I immediately knew I wanted to turn it into a card and since my friend Andrea's baby shower was on Sunday, I made it into her card.

The Whisper White card base is 4 1/4" square and is sponged on the edges with Pixie Pink ink. I stamped the greeting on the lower right corner in Pixie Pink as well using the baby greeting from the Short and Sweet stamp set - another must own set! SU!, if you are listening, please don't retire this workhorse stamp set - it rocks!

The four daisies are cut using my Big Shot and the Flower, Daisies #2 Die, just like the purse box from yesterday (yes, I'm a bit obsessed at the moment!). I cut them with Pink Passion, Pixie Pink, Gable Green and Orchid Opulence. The centers are punched with the 1/2" Circle punch in Chocolate Chip. All the flowers are mounted on Stampin' Dimensionals so they pop up above the one layer card front - I know, that's unusual for me, but I loved the simplicity of it this time.
To finish the card, I stamped the baby sentiment from the God's Blessings stamp set on the inside in Pixie Pink.

I really loved how this turned out and we will probably be doing this card in my Just Cards camps next Tuesday. Oh, what is that? You haven't registered yet? Well, whatcha waitin' for? It's just $15 for 5 projects, all supplies included. You can RSVP with your $5 deposit by Saturday, 4/25.

Have a sunny, stampin' day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I'm Late, But It's Worth the Wait!

At least I hope you think so! Hello everyone - I know I promised to post this on Saturday, and I did manage to get the photo uploaded, but it has just been crazy busy here. We have a two week Revival Summit going on at our church right now - check out to see what that's all about - AND two of their ministry team are staying with us, AND Emma's synchro skating season is winding down so she's had extra practices for the Spring Show coming up on May 2nd! Whew! It makes me dizzy just reading all that!

Anyway, here is the super cute purse box that I created ALL by myself! No Casing was done here! Amazing, eh? I had so much fun using the color assignment from Friday's Blogger's Challenge that I took a piece of the "To The Nines" Designer Series Paper and created this little beauty!

I cut a piece of DSP at 5 3/4" x 12 and ran it through my Big Shot with the Box #2 Die. I used my new Extended Crease Pad to make sure the score lines remained that way - kwim? no cut through - and assembled the box using just a tiny bit of Sticky Strip on one side.

The front flap of the box is supposed to tuck inside, but I cut an additional piece of the DSP and flipped it over to the opposite side and added it to the box front with some more Sticky Strip to create the purse flap. It was trimmed with the Corner Rounder. The embellishment was made with the Scalloped Oval Punch and a piece of Sahara Sand cardstock, sponged with Chocolate Chip ink. The pretty flowers are from the Big Shot Flower, Daisies #2 Die and just layered with a bit of SNAIL. The large Chocolate Chip brad is from the new Jumbo Neutrals Assortment 5/8". I love how it makes the flower look like a sunflower!

For my purse handle, I trimmed a piece of Chocolate Chip Double Stitched Grosgrain ribbon to 13" and adhered it to the box with Sticky Strip. To add the Jumbo Neutrals White Brads 5/16" to the side, I punctured a hole through the ribbon and box with my Paper Piercing Tool from the Crafter's Tool Kit. The final touch was just adding a piece of DSP to the purse bottom to hide the ribbon ends and finish it nicely!

I hope you like my happy little purse! Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think! I LOVE to hear from you - it's like getting a smile and it makes my day brighter!


Friday, April 17, 2009

Blogger's Challenge #95 - Color Challenge

Happy Friday everyone! Finally we have sunshine in Virginia and I'm headed out to enjoy lunch with my friend Christina! But, I wanted to post my creation for you first, so here goes......

Our challenge this week was to use the colors Chocolate Chip, Sahara Sand, Always Artichoke and Sage Shadow in a project. Well, when I pulled out the colors on Wednesday to start on my project, it was so dreary outside that these colors just didn't speak to me at all! My mojo was drowning in the rain! But, yesterday the sun was out and it was gorgeous, so I had a whole different outlook. These colors are the ones in the new Designer Series Paper called "To the Nines" and are very masculine and a bit somber, IMHO.

So I tried to take lighter approach to them and started with the Sahara Sand as my card base. It's a piece of 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 cardstock folded in half, then I trimmed off about 1 1/4" from the top edge. I took my Bone Folder and rubbed it against the edge, creating a distressed look. Then I layered a piece of To the Nines DSP on the inside flap. I went with a Sage Shadow piece. Next, I placed a piece of Chocolate Chip cardstock to the inside right edge of the card, so it looks like graduated layers from the front. I hope that description makes sense to you!

I then took my Sahara Sand ink pad and dragged it across the front of my card, giving it the weathered look you see. The stamped tree image is from a cute new stamp set in the Occasions Mini called "Forest Friends" and I inked it up with my Stampin' Write Markers using Chocolate Chip, Sage Shadow and Always Artichoke. It's stamped on a piece of Sahara Sand cardstock cut at 2 x 2 1/4" - the same size as the wood block the stamp is mounted on. I often use that guide to decide how big to cut my cardstock. Each layer underneath is cut just 1/4" larger than the stamped image so it creates a 1/8" border around it. It's easy to remember this method and you know I like EASY! My layers here are Always Artichoke and Sage Shadow. Each of these layers is also distressed with the Bone Folder all around.

I mounted this focal image on Stampin' Dimensionals so it would stand out over top of the Chocolate Chip Double Stitched Grosgrain ribbon I placed across the card front. Notice the right edge is frayed for texture. Lastly, the greeting is stamped in Chocolate Chip ink in the lower right corner. I used the "for you" from the stamp set "Great Friend" also in the Occasions Mini.

All in all, I'm really pleased with this card, not somber at all, but very appropriate for anyone. Let me know what you think, ok?

And be sure to check out all the other Blogger's Challenge Creations by clicking on the link in my sidebar - I know they will inspire you with these colors.

If you check back with me tomorrow, I'll have a 3-D project for you along a similar color scheme. What can I say? Once I got started yesterday, I was just having fun and kept going. Welcome back Mojo!

Stamped Blessings,


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More Hawaii Pics!

Wow! It's such a dreary, rainy day here in Virginia, it's a good thing I had planned to post more Hawaii pics for you today. I needed to see some sunshine!

The first photo is of the sunrise one morning from our balcony. Mark did not see this because he was still sleeping. And as one friend put it "A sunrise is just a sunset backwards!" But, I thought it was beautiful and am so glad I got up to see it!

This next picture is of us on the catamaran we were on for the Whale Watching trip. It was the perfect day to be out on the water, sunny, breezy, perfect temperature (everything today is NOT!) We didn't see many whales, actually, we saw more from the shore at our resort than on this trip, but this was one of the highlights for me. I simply love being out on the water and it couldn't have been better!

Here is a picture of me and two of my best buds (L to R) Selene Kempton, Tiffany Bauer and Me. I think we were on our way to dinner at Merriman's Restaurant Cafe. Yes, that was really the name of the restaurant! No family discount though! LOL!~

Here I am with two of my Blogger's Challenge buddies, Jeanette Swain and Claudia Perry. We were at the fabulous private breakfast that Stampin' Up! had for us on the patio overlooking the lagoon at the resort. Great friends, great food and gorgeous scenery!

Lastly for today is me with my friend from Iowa, Susie Wood. We met at my first Founder's Trip in 2007 and just hit it off right away. She is so sweet and I love getting to see her at SU! events!

That's all the pictures Blogger will let me upload again today, so I'll be back with more later this week! Enjoy this look at the sunshine if you are stuck in the gray clouds today!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Quilt for Julie

I have been seeing these fun cards all over the place and even have a few of them from swaps I've done. I just love how you can take a bunch of scraps and make something beautiful from them. So, when my hostess last Saturday, Julie, fell in love with the red gingham pattern from the Bella Rose Designer Series Paper, I knew I had to demonstrate a card with it. The only problem was that I only had a few scraps of that particular pattern in my stash. Thanks to the inspiration of my stamping friends, I knew I could make this fun, homespunny card with what I did have.

I took my scraps in 4 different patterns and punched out 3 squares each with my 1 1/4" Square Punch. I laid out my pattern on a piece of Whisper White cardstock, using SNAIL adhesive to stick the squares down. I did begin in the lower left corner of a piece of 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" piece and moved across towards the right, repeating the pattern for three rows. This made a nice rectangle on my cardstock and when I went to cut the Top Note with my Big Shot, I had two straight edges to line up over the die so it would cut properly.

After cutting out the Top Note, I took a piece of Chocolate Chip Taffeta Ribbon and adhered it the front of the card, wrapping the ends around the back and adhering with SNAIL. I then took a smaller piece of ribbon and tied it around the front in a single knot, making it appear to be wrapped all the way around the quilt piece. That's a nice little ribbon saver!

The greeting comes from the Oval All stamp set in the Occasions Mini Catalog. I colored the rubber with Chocolate Chip and Ruby Red Stampin' Write Markers then stamped it onto Whisper White cardstock. It is punched out with the new Scalloped Oval Punch, also in the Mini Catalog. After sponging the edges with Kiwi Kiss ink, I mounted it on Stampin' Dimensionals and adhered it to the card front.

The cardbase is made with Chocolate Chip cardstock and layered with a piece of Pink Pirouette cardstock. I used the paper distressing tool in the Cutter Kit to fray the edges of the pink and then ran my Chocolate Chip marker around it a bit to dirty it up. The quilted Top Note is adhered to the Pink Pirouette and after attaching a piece of Whisper White cardstock to the inside, I was done!

Julie loved her card and I hope you love it too! Thanks for stopping in today to visit - let me know you were here by leaving a comment! I love to hear from you!


Sunday, April 12, 2009

HE is risen indeed!

Wishing you and yours a glorious and blessed Easter!


Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Few Hawaii Pics - At Last!

Good morning everyone! I have finally had time to start editing my Hawaii photos, but for some reason, Blogger will only let me upload 5 at a time. Don't know what's up with that, but I'll do several posts over the next week with pics for you. I got some great ones!

The first shot is of the sunset from our balcony on the evening we arrived. What a stunning way to begin our trip.

The next photo is of the inside of our room, you can see the view we had through the sliding door. What a blessing to wake up to that each day.

This next photo is taken from where Mark and I ate Breakfast each morning. There were pairs of chairs and small tables set at intervals along the waterfront so we took our breakfast out there everyday and just relaxed and enjoyed our meal. It was really heavenly!

From my chair at breakfast when I looked straight up. Wouldn't it be nice to have that canopy over my head every day?

And one of my favorite pics of all, my wonderful hubby Mark enjoying his hammock by the water. Doesn't he look relaxed?

Have a wonderful Saturday everyone!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Blogger's Challenge #94 - Any Technique

Good morning stampers! I hope you are having a great day where you are - it is very quiet around my house today, Emma is at her Grandma's house until tomorrow night and since Mark is at work, I have the house to myself. Never would have thought it during spring break! But that means that I can do some playing in the studio, I mean 'design work for future classes'. Yeah, that sounds better since I'm supposed to be working which doesn't sound fun at all!

Today's Blogger's Challenge was to use any technique to create a project. Well, I had a lot of great techniques I wanted to use, but just couldn't get the mojo going in the direction it needed. So, I'm posting one of my recent swap cards from the Occasions Mini swap I was in because it uses the Color Spritzer tool. I LOVE this tool and don't use it nearly often enough. I don't know if you would consider this a technique, but the Color Spritzer does have a bit of a learning curve to it and I think it takes a bit of technique to get just the right spritz amount from the marker in the tool. So, that's my story and I'm sticking to it! LOL!

My card started with a Whisper White card base and it's layered with Chocolate Chip cardstock. For the next layers, I used two papers from the new Walk in the Park Designer Series Paper in the Occasions Mini Catalog. The ribbon band is Chocolate Chip Wide Grosgrain and is simply adhered to the cardstock with SNAIL adhesive.

For my focal point image, I turned to the new 'Wagon Full of Fun' stamp set, which I HAD to have because of that great cupcake image in it! This time I used this simple flower in a pot and it just screamed Black Eyed Susan to me. We used to travel up to the Blue Ridge Mountains a lot when I was a little girl and would camp out. Those beautiful flowers grew everywhere on the hillsides in huge patches and I just loved seeing their pretty faces as we drove or bicycled by them. They just made me happy, what can I say? Anyway, I stuck to the traditional colors and used Basic Brown to stamp the image on Whisper White and my Stampin' Write Markers to color it in. So Saffron, Close to Cocoa and Old Olive are on the flower and I used Really Rust for the pot to make it a traditional terra cotta color.

To create the spritzed background, I inserted my Close to Cocoa marker into the Color Spritzer tool, brush side down. I gently squeezed the bulb on the tool and just added a fine mist of color over the whole image. It's important to remember to always cap your marker, don't leave it open in this tool. Forcing air through the marker tip causes it to dry out much quicker than normal which is one of the reasons some people don't always have good results with it.

This layer is mounted on to Really Rust cardstock and I added a So Saffron brad from the Rich Regals grouping. It's popped up on Stampin' Dimensionals and adhered to the card front. Lastly, I used the 'friends' stamp from the Garden Greetings stamp set, stamping in Basic Brown in the lower right corner.

It's a pretty simple card really, but sometimes the simple things are the best things! I hope it makes you smile when you look at it!

Be sure to check out all the other Blogger's Challenge players this week by clicking on the link in my sidebar. I know they will have some amazing things to show you!

I'll be posting again over the weekend, so be sure to check back, ok?

Have a blessed Good Friday as you remember the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

By His wounds we are healed.

Stamped blessings,


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Butterflies Again!

Hello everyone! I had such a great day yesterday with Emma. We did fun, girl stuff that included shopping and eating cupcakes from Cupcake Heaven in Haymarket. Yumm! While we were shopping, I saw a skirt that had this gorgeous deep orange panel around the bottom layer and it inspired me to come home and create this card. I rarely use the orange color palette and I have a whole pack of Tangerine Tango cardstock that is calling my name!

I started with the new "For a Friend" stamp set from the Occasions Mini Catalog and stamped the butterfly image in Apricot Appeal on Whisper White cardstock. I sponged the edges with Tangerine Tango ink after trimming it out with my Paper Snips. The large butterfly was die cut with my Big Shot and the Beautiful Butterflies die that is exclusive to Stampin' Up! I used a piece of Walk in the Park Designer Series Paper in So Saffron also from the Occasions Mini. It too was sponged lightly with Tangerine Tango. I used my Bone Folder to curl the edges of both butterflies and then used Mini Glue Dots to add the antenna between the two layers. The antenna are actually flower centers from the Pretties Kit. I've never used them for anything else, so this seemed like the time!

I set the layered butterflies aside and created the card base from Apricot Appeal cardstock. The next layer is Tangerine Tango layered with Whisper White that was also sponged with Tangerine Tango ink. I used the leafy stem from "For a Friend" to create the bottom images, stamped in Kiwi Kiss ink. The ribbons are layered with Mini Glue Dots. I used some of that cool Tangerine rik-rak from the Pigtails ribbon pack and laid it on top of the Kiwi Kiss Striped Grosgrain. These ribbons are wrapped around the Tangerine layer and secured with SNAIL. It was kind of bulky, so I popped up the whole Tangerine layer on Dimensionals and mounted it to the card front.

Lastly, I stamped the greeting, also from the "For a Friend" stamp set in Kiwi Kiss ink and then mounted my butterfly to the card front with Stampin' Dimensionals.

This card just makes me smile and reminds me that even though it doesn't feel like Spring outside, warmer days are coming! I love these colors together and can definitely see myself using them this way again.

Well, it's off to another busy day. I have to update my team yahoo group, send a client e-mail with an April Special offer and we have Big Shots Club tonight! Oh, yes, and I have to make my Blogger's Challenge project for tomorrow! Whew! Better get busy!

Have a wonderful day and take time to stamp!


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Better Late Than Never - Blogger's Challenge #93!

Isn't this a great sketch? Yeah, I think so too! This was the Blogger's Challenge for last Friday - to take this sketch and create a card with it. Well, sounds simple enough, right? Apparently not
for me because I created a card based on a sketch that is coming up NEXT month. (I blame it on jet lag) They were both in the file, I just didn't read the right week number!

Anyway, its bugged me all weekend that I did the wrong sketch, so I sat down yesterday to finally create this card and I really like how it turned out! I did end up changing the layout a wee bit, mainly because my focal image was larger than I had originally anticipated.

The card starts with a Chocolate Chip card base folded to make a 3" x 6" card. I layered it with a piece of Kiwi Kiss cardstock and a piece of Whisper White. I sponged the white with some Kiwi Kiss ink on the edges. The pink circle is a piece of Pink Pirouette cardstock cut with my Big Shot Machine and my Circles Die.

The ribbon I used here was actually my inspiration for the card along with the stamp I used. When we were in Hawaii, we had a chance to spin a prize wheel everyday and one day I won a package of this ribbon called "Pigtails". It has 5 yards of this cute, cute Kiwi Kiss polka dot pattern and 5 yards of some adorable Tangerine Tango Rik-Rak (can't wait to use that!) For this card, I just layered a piece over the front and wrapped it around all the layers, adhering it with SNAIL on the back of the Kiwi piece. The birthday greeting is from the ultra-versatile "On Your Birthday" stamp set - another must own - and is stamped in Chocolate Chip ink.

I have been dying to use this cute cupcake image from the "Wagon Full of Fun" stamp set ever since I saw it in the new Occasions Mini Catalog. It's stamped here in Black Staz-On ink on Whisper White cardstock. I punched it out with the 1 3/4" Circle Punch and then stamped the flame again on a scrap, trimming it out with my Paper Snips.

I colored the cupcake wrapper with Close to Cocoa and Pretty in Pink Stampin' Write Markers and the flame was colored with Summer Sun and More Mustard. It was attached to the circle punch out with a bit of 2 Way Glue Pen. For the icing on the cupcake, I stamped the image one more time onto a piece of Tea Party Designer Series Paper. The pink polka dots were just perfect for this! It too was trimmed out with my Paper Snips and adhered with some SNAIL to the image. Lastly, I sponged some Kiwi Kiss ink around the edge of the circle. The image is popped up on Stampin' Dimensionals and mounted to the front of the card.

So there you have it - my Blogger's Challenge complete finally! Now I better get busy for the challenge that's due on THIS Friday! LOL! In the meantime, be sure to check out all the other Blogger's Challenge Players by using the link in my sidebar. I know they will have some other great ideas to inspire you with this layout.

Emma is on Spring Break this week, so we are going out today to have some Mommy - Daughter time. The sun is trying to come out here, so we are going to find a way to get out and enjoy it! Here's wishing you some sunshine today too!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Butterflies are Beautiful!

Hi everyone! I'm baaack! And boy it feels good to be back in the studio with no jet lag, no sickness and itching to stamp!

Thanks so much for being patient with me as I got back to normal last week. Our trip to Hawaii was simply put, amazing, and was just what Mark and I needed. But, re-entry was pretty crazy. I came home sick, Emma was sick, we had our final rehearsals for the church Easter Drama and then the 3 performances over the weekend AND Emma got sick again! Whew! Can I just go back to Hawaii? Please?! No? Oh well, I'll just have to post some pictures here this week so you can share my memories.

The card today is actually one of two swap cards that I made with items from the new Occasions Mini Catalog. The swap was due in the mail on Friday, but I didn't get them finished until yesterday and since I was late, I had to make two cards for each player. I'll show you that one later this week.

I took my color scheme from the new Walk in the Park Designer Series Paper. The cardbase is So Saffron, layered with Kiwi Kiss which has been dry embossed with my Texturz Plates in my Big Shot machine. I love these subtle backgrounds! The next layer is actually a piece of the Walk in the Park paper which I ran all the way through my NEW Scalloped Oval Punch and created the scalloped edge.

Layered on top of this is Whisper White and So Saffron which has been stamped with the swirl from Baroque Motifs (a classic stamp set! If you don't own this one, you NEED it! Trust me!) I stamped in Whisper White craft ink and heat embossed with my Heat Tool and White Embossing Powder. The ribbon on the left is the So Saffron Twill from the current Idea Book and Catalog. It's actually the first time I've used that ribbon, but it won't be my last. I love it's width and feel.

For the Butterfly, I went back to my Big Shot Machine and cut these with more Walk in the Park paper ( actually the reverse of the piece I used at the bottom) and my Stampin' Up! Exclusive Beautiful Butterflies die. I sponged the edges with Baja Breeze ink and curled the wings with my Bone Folder. It's mounted on Stampin' Dimensionals and placed on the white stamped 'vine'.

Lastly, the sentiment is stamped with the NEW Only Oval stamp set in Basic Black ink. It's punched out with the Large Oval Punch, sponged with Kiwi Kiss ink and layered on a piece of Baja Breeze cardstock which was punched out with the NEW Scalloped Oval Punch. It too is mounted on dimensionals.

So, if you are in this swap, you've now seen card #1 - hope you like it! They all went out in the mail today!

Until tomorrow~~


Friday, April 3, 2009

I'm Home! Really, I am!

Hey everyone! Just popping in here to let you know that I did NOT stay in Hawaii (though I was sorely tempted to!)

We made it home last Saturday night, but between jet lag, illness, church drama rehearsals and a really awesome opportunity that I had last night (I'll fill you in later), I just haven't been in the studio much this week. I did stamp a bit yesterday because I have a swap due TODAY, but that is all I could muster the strength for. Thank goodness my Easter Projects class is already done and ready to go for tomorrow morning!

Next week is spring break here, so I know I'll be a bit more relaxed around the house and will have lots to post for you. Hawaii pics, new stamped projects and some other fun stuff. Don't give up on me, just wish me back to normal!

See you soon!