Thursday, January 28, 2010

Emma's Team Made the Final!

WARNING! This is a very non-stamping related post and I am one PROUD Mama right now! So be prepared for little EXCITEMENT!!!

For the first time ever in Emma's 4 years with the National Blades Synchronized Skating Team - they qualified for the Final Round of the USFS Eastern Sectional Championship!! This means that her team is one of the top 12 teams at her level on the entire EAST COAST!!!

Here is a photo I took of them in the locker room just before they went out to take the ice.
As you can see, they were a little loose and happy - which translated to FUN during their program. We do bring them back to focus as they leave the locker room, but too much 'serious' just makes them nervous.

And here is them after their AMAZING skate, getting their official photo taken.

Look at those smiles! They knew they had done a great job, even without knowing the results at that minute.
Mark was upstairs in the arena where the results are posted and I called him from the locker room to find out where they'd placed and you should have heard the ERUPTION from the girls when they found out! You'd have thought we'd told them they'd won a million dollars and a visit from the Jonas Brothers!

So, tomorrow at 12:59 pm est, they will take the ice again for the final round. No matter the outcome, these girls can hold their heads high and be proud of their accomplishment tonight.
Go National Blades!!!

A Blog Award - How Cool!

I had the sweetest thing happen yesterday when we were driving up to Lowell - I got an e-mail from my cyber stamping buddy Elizabeth telling me she had given me a blog award and it was because I inspired her! Wow, it's so cool to know that others like what I do - thanks Elizabeth!

Here is the award: (isn't it yummy looking?!)

And these are the rules for receiving it:
1) Copy and paste the award on your blog
2) List who gave it to you and link to her blog (see link above)
3) List 10 things that make you happy!
4) Pass the award on to others who inspire you

10 things that make me happy:
1) My relationship with Jesus - to be sure of my salvation and knowing He is faithful is just the BEST!
2) My husband Mark - he is my rock and best friend - not to mention a great chef and he still makes me laugh after 18 years of marriage.
3) My daughter Emma - she is the light of my life for so many reasons and she hasn't learned yet that it's not cool to like your Mom!
4) Music and singing - my life should be set to a soundtrack, music inspires me and sets my mood like nothing else can.
5) Being with my friends who love me, warts and all - you know who you are! :) It's great to have people in your life you can be completely real with and they don't hold it against you - we're not in high school, after all.
6) A blue sky with big, white, fluffy clouds and the sun just shining bright! Really, it makes me so happy!
7) Color - bold splashes of color just make me smile.
8) My fireplace - I love to snuggle up with my family (and the dogs) on the couch in front of the fireplace and just be....
9) Chocolate - really, if you know me I don't have to explain this!
10) Shoes - again, if you know me......... What?! I just love shoes - don't you?!

My friends who deserve this award because they make me happy:
1) Tiffany Bauer
2) Selene Kempton
3) Patti Chesky
4) Nancy Clark

Have a great day everyone! What makes you happy?

UDI Inspiration Challenge - Cupcake Time!

Now who wouldn't be inspired by cupcakes?! Better yet, cupcakes that look like ice cream cones - that's like my dream dessert - as long as they are chocolate of course!

Well, we've just pulled into Lowell, Mass., for my daughter Emma's Synchronized Skating competition. We are here for the 2010 Eastern Sectional Championships and even though we are tired from the long 10 hour drive, we are very excited about our girls' chances tomorrow in the qualifying round! They will be skating at around 9 pm tomorrow night so send out good thoughts for them, ok? For those of you who follow my blog, you may remember this post from last February. Eastern's was not the triumph we'd hoped for, but some great life lessons were learned in the process and the team is better for it today. Tomorrow we hope the girls will finish in the top 4 of their flight so they can move on to the finals on Friday! I'll keep you updated, so keep your fingers crossed!

Now, on to the card. First here is the yummy inspiration photo that Maria sent us:

And here is my card interpretation:

I have to honestly say that I'm not sure I really like this card all that much, so I won't be upset if you don't either! Ha! But please find something nice to say about it anyway! :) I drew my inspiration from the colors in the photo and of course, the cupcakes. The photo looked a bit stark and masculine and the images reminded me a bit of the retro style. So I went with that and created kind of a retro stamped background with the cupcake image stamped multiple times on the cardstock, tone on tone.
The splashes of Bermuda Bay and Crushed Curry also seemed rather retro to me and leaned more toward the masculine side rather than the pinks I originally wanted to go with.

You know I had to throw some bling in there somewhere, :) , so I overstamped the image in Versamark and added Iridescent Ice embossing powder to each cupcake.
So, let me have it - do you like it? Would you change anything? Yeah, I'm not sure either, but hey, ya gotta break some eggs to make yummy cupcakes! LOL~!
Be sure to check out the other challenge players on UDI by visiting the blog. I'm sure they will inspire you to make your own cute cupcakes!

In the meantime - Go National Blades! :)

Supply List - all SU!:
Stamps: Out of the Box
Inks: Soft Suede, Versamark
Cardstock: Kraft, Soft Suede, Bermuda Bay, Crushed Curry, Very Vanilla
Accessories: 1", 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" Circle Punches, Big Shot and Polka Dot embossing folder, Crushed Curry Polka Dot Ribbon, Stamp - a - Ma - Jig, Iridescent Ice EP, Heat Tool, Stampin' Dimensionals

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Red Satin Makes the Valentine!

Ooh - La-La! If Red Satin Ribbon doesn't make you think about romance I don't know what does! My bff Tiffany Bauer posted a very ooh - la - la card on her blog yesterday - go check it out if you dare! :) It's really very cool and clever!
So today, I decided to show you my very tame by comparison, romantic Valentine card!
This is one of the cards my stampers made in the Very Valentine class on Saturday and they loved it. We had such a good time at that class - you should come stamp with us some time! Next month, I am holding a "My Heart" Personal Scrapbook class. You will leave with a beautifully decorated heart shaped album that is photo ready. The class is only $20 which includes all your supplies and a yummy lunch by my personal chef, Mark! Only 8 people can sign up, so be sure to RSVP soon. It's set for 2/27 at 10 am.

Now, here's the card:

Isn't that satin ribbon da' bomb? And it is nice and satiny on both sides too! Oooh!
My cardbase is Real Red cardstock and it's layered with Close to Cocoa cardstock. The next layer, Whisper White was partially dry embossed with the Polka-Dots embossing folder and my Big Shot. I then layered a strip of Close to Cocoa cardstock that was punched with the Sale-A-Bration Scallop Border punch - that's the FREE one you know! That wonderful Real Red Satin ribbon was wrapped around these layers and an additional piece was tied around in a pretty knot.

The hearts were created by running Real Red and Chocolate Chip cardstock through my Big Shot with the new Heart Embosslit in the Mini Catalog. I used my Full Heart punch to add a piece of the Sending Love Designer Paper - the sparkly stuff! - to the Chocolate Chip heart. It was sponged a bit before being adhered. These hearts were adhered to the card front with Stampin' Dimensionals and then I used one of the New Real Red Epoxy Brads as an accent below the ribbon. The little 'love' greeting is from the cute new stamp set, Tiny Tags and was stamped in Real Red ink in the bottom corner.

Have a very fun day today - stamp if you can! As you read this, we are probably still on the highway driving from Virginia to Lowell, Mass. Emma has her Eastern Sectional Championships on Thursday with her synchronized skating team, so we are hoping for a great skate from the girls! Go National Blades!
If you are interested in seeing what synchronized skating is all about, you can watch her team do their program live tomorrow night. Yes, broadcasts this competition live on their website for free. Just click on the box on their homepage and you can see streaming video of the performances. Emma's team is scheduled to skate in the 9pm est flight on Thursday night, we aren't sure yet what order the 9 teams in that flight are in. Her team is from the Washington Figure Skating Club and they skate this year to 'Copacabana".
If you watch, be sure to let me know what you think!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I {heart} Patti Chesky!

Well, I know that Patti will Love the title of this post! Ha!
Patti is not only one of my dearest stamping friends, she is a wonderfully talented stamper who never fails to inspire me. Her work has a distinctive style that just says "Patti" when you look at it. She is one of the design team "operators" at our Stamping 411 blog AND she is a valued Charter member of my GoDivas private swap group.
One of the things I love about Patti's work is that it is beautiful, but not ever so complicated that you don't think "I could never do that!"
This card is a case in point. I received a super cute swap from Ms. Patti at Leadership this year and it was one of the first cards I turned to to CASE (copy and share everything) for my Just Cards class last week. It also turned out to be the most popular!
Anyway, here is my version of Patti's original card:

I just loved the bright, fun colors of this card and that fun little bookmark element just MAKES it! I used Chocolate Chip cardstock for my card base and layered on a piece of Pumpkin Pie Cardstock cut at 4" x 5 1/4". That layer is randomly stamped with the multi-hearts stamp from the Owl Together Now stamp set in Pumpkin Pie ink.
The DSP layer is from Razzleberry Lemonade and it's layered with a piece of Whisper White, punched with the Eyelet Border Punch. I then added a piece of Melon Mambo Polka-Dot ribbon with a knot accent over that layer.
Before adhering these layers to the card front, I took my Modern Label Punch and working from the top of the Pumpkin Pie cardstock, pushed it all the way into the punch and added the 'window' by punching right in the middle of the cardstock sides. Just remember not to add adhesive anywhere in the middle of this layer or your bookmark won't slide in! Ask me how I figured that one out! Duh!

The book mark was cut from Melon Mambo cardstock with the Big Shot and my very fun Two Tags Die. I stamped the owl image from the new Fox and Friends stamp set on Whisper White cardstock with Chocolate Chip ink and added a bit of Pumpkin Pie marker to his beak. It's punched out with the 1 3/8" circle punch, sponged with a bit of Chocolate Chip ink (a Patti signature!) and mounted with a Stampin' Dimensional. Cute, eh?

The greeting is from Owl Together Now and is stamped on more white with Chocolate Chip and I added some more hearts with Pumpkin Pie stamped off one time. It's punched out with the 1 1/4" Circle Punch and added to a 1 3/8" Circle of Melon Mambo. It's also mounted with Stampin' Dimensionals to the card front.

Here's a peek at the inside of the card:

I added a piece of Whisper White cardstock and just stamped that cute little owl buddy again in the lower right corner. Doesn't he look like he's in love with all those hearts swirling around his head? Yeah, love will do that to you!

I hope you were inspired today and the fun colors here added some sunshine to your world wherever you are! Be sure to leave some comment love so Patti will know that you {heart} her too! You can visit her blog by clicking the link in my sidebar - she would love that too!
Have a great day!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sweet, Sparkly and Chocolate!

Hi everyone, did you have a good weekend?
Ours was crazy busy - I had my Very Valentine Class on Saturday morning, and a fun stampin' party on Saturday night, so stamping was definitely the highlight! We also spent Sunday visiting my Dad in the Veterans hospital in Richmond. Some of you already knew that he was not doing great and have been praying for him and I appreciate that so much! Please keep praying for him - we can feel it! We know that God is faithful and is in complete control.

I have a very 'sweet' share for you today - it's a RAK from my friend Kerin Sylvester. Kerin is one of the newest members of my private swap group the GoDivas and look at what she sent me along with her swap package at the end of December!

I KNOW! More Chocolate! And isn't it just darling?!
She used that yummylicious new Designer Paper called Sending Love to make the envelope with the Scallop Envelope Die and her Big Shot. That dsp has glitter covering one side of each sheet, so in addition to being gorgeous, it's sparkly too! And who doesn't love a little bling with their chocolate?!
The ribbon is the Very Vanilla Satin Ribbon and she tied on a little tag made with the 3/4" Circle punch and the new Small Heart punch. Isn't it cute?

Here 's a closer look at the little card she wrote. It was made with the new I {heart} Hearts stamp set and the Heart to Heart punch. Just too, too cute!
I loved my little gift Kerin and I'm so glad you are part of our swap group too! :)

For all my clients out there, did you know that Stampin' Up! is doing a fundraiser to help the people of Haiti? Since the devastating earthquake they experienced two weeks ago, Stampin' Up! has not only sent over 5000 hygiene kits packaged by the SU! employees in Utah, they are also donating $2 of EVERY purchase of the I {heart} Hearts stamp set to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund. This donation period doesn't end until February 28th, so you have time to help make a difference with your purchase of this stamp set.
If I am your demonstrator and you'd like to participate in this effort, simply go to my website and place your order in my online store or you can call or send me an e-mail and I'll take care of it for you!

Have a great Monday evening!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge #SSC135

It's time again for the fun sketch from the mind from our sketch queen Selene! Yes, she comes up with all our fabulous sketches each week for the Stamping 411 team to design around. This week's sketch was a great one for me - lots of straight lines to work with! hahaha! Here is the sketch:

and here is my card:

I love this new stamp set from the mini catalog "With All My Heart" and couldn't wait to get home from leadership and put it to use! Bonus - they gave it to us FREE! Yippee - gotta love being a demo! Anyway, I used the color combo of Real Red, Chocolate Chip, Pretty in Pink and Whisper White. Perfect for the Valentine minded cardmaker!

Here is a close up of the main elements:

I am very happy with how this one turned out, but I think I will go back and substitute the Rhinestone Circle Brad for another one of those Chocolate Chip Epoxy Brads! Yummy!

This sketch was also perfect for doing a 6 x 6 scrapbook page:

I simply moved the offset element to the bottom of the focal image to suit my photo for the page. I then added another Chocolate Chip Epoxy Brad next to it for an additional accent.

The scalloped edge on both the card and scrapbook page were made with the new punch that is a FREEBIE during Sale-A-Bration! I've been enjoying using that one a lot!
The scrapbook page uses the same color scheme as my card, I only changed the sentiment and the punch (Wide Oval) All the stamps are from the same stamp set though - I love when a stamp set is versatile like that!

I'm posting this early so the link will activate when Selene posts the sketch for YOU over at Stamping 411 tonight so I don't have all measurements handy. I'm actually headed out to a nice dinner and movie with my hubby. It's been kind of a trying week for us both and since Emma has a sleepover tonight, we are taking advantage of the time to escape for a bit.
I'll be back and edit this tomorrow for you with the measurements and supply list. In the meantime, be sure to check out all the other operators projects over at the Stamping 411 blog. And be sure to play along with us this week! We had 53 entries last week and did you know we gave away surprise blog candy? You never know if that can happen again!

Stamped blessings,

Blogger's Challenge - A CASE for Die Cuts!

Oh, I'm so, so glad it's Friday! Aren't you? I don't have a lot of chit chat for you today, other than a shout out to all of you who have prayed for my Dad and my family this week. We feel it - thanks!

So, for today's Blogger's Challenge, we were supposed to use Die-Cuts on our project. First off, I need to tell you that I CASED this card (which means copy and share everything) from my fab Canadian friend, Caroline LeBel. She had posted it on our new Demos ONLY website -Stampin' Connection and I knew my stamp campers would LOVE it as much as I did. I asked her if she would mind me sharing my version of her card and she said "Go for it!" So, with a few modifications, here is mine:

It's one of those cool easel cards that have been popping up everywhere and since I've been wanting to use up this dsp for the longest time, this card seemed to be the perfect place to start.
My supply list is below for you, but here are the measurements for the card base: cardstock cut at 4 1/4" x 11"; scored at 5 1/2" then again at 2 3/4". Fold cardstock in half, then fold the remaining scored section into the center fold. (I almost wrote centerfold, but that would be for a different publication now wouldn't it! Ha!)
Anyway, I cut a separate 4 1/4" square of cardstock and it's adhered to the card base section that is folded in towards the center fold - got that? Good! I knew you would!
The dsp pieces are cut at 5 1/4" x 4" for the inside/bottom layer and another piece at 4"square for the easel front piece.

I cut the butterflies out with my Big Shot then ran them thru again with an embossing folder. The color was applied using my CHALKS! Yep, I haven't used them in a hundred years, so it was high time to see if I still could. The ribbon is Whisper White Taffeta and cut at 8" long. It's folded in half, then knotted upon itself - like one of those Girl Scout knots - I gently moved the knot towards the butterfly so the knot would look like its head. The ends were snipped and separated and both butterflies were adhered with Stampin' Dimensionals.
The greeting on the bottom was also popped up with dimensionals so the 'easel' would have something to push against.

I hope you have a great weekend and be sure to check out all the other 'cutting' edge projects of the Blogger's Challenge players if you have time. The link to their projects is in my sidebar at right!

Stamped blessings,

Supply List (all SU!):
Stamps: On Your Birthday
Inks: Tempting Turquoise
Paper: Flock Together DSP, Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White
Accessories: Chalks, Big Shot - Beautiful Butterflies Die, Finial Press embossing folder; Whisper White Taffeta Ribbon, Sponge Daubers, Stampin' Dimensionals, Paper cutter with scoring blade

Thursday, January 21, 2010

UDI Inspiration Challenge - DivaIC79

Wow, Thursday already! Where does the time go?
Did ya'll watch American Idol last night? How about that last guy to sing? Wow~! Great voice, great story - I love that he's trying to make something out of his life AND he's got the chops too! And what about the guy with the autistic son? Weren't you teary eyed when his little boy tried to follow his Dad into the audition room? Oh, man, that got me. I know the show producers do it on purpose, but I'm such a sucker for a touching story. I even cry at commercials sometimes. Mark laughs at me a little bit, but he says he loves me for it. Yeah, he's a good guy!

So the UDI Inspiration Challenge today is not only a cool photo, but apparently its a weather report for my area for the next few days! Ha!

Isn't that a great photo? Love the stuff Maria comes up with to challenge us each week. Here is my card project:

I loved the cool blues in the photo and went with that as my starting point. I used Brocade Blue cardstock as my card base, cut at 4 1/4" x 11". It's folded in half to make a standard A2 card. The white layer is Shimmer White cardstock, though you can't really see that in the photo too well. For the dsp layer I dove into my stash of retired papers and found the Brocade Blue Patterns dsp from one of the little hostess packs. Isn't that the greatest paper? I love choosing that as a hostess item!
The dsp was adhered to the Shimmer White then I used Whisper White Taffeta to create my bow accent.

The snowflake is cut with my Big Shot using Shimmer White cardstock and I added a Square Rhinestone Ice Brad to the center. To get it to lay flat, I bent the legs back and forth till they fell off (sounds like exercise!) and attached it to the center of the bow with a Mini Glue Dot. Another glue dot attached the snowflake to the bow and yet another attached the bow to the flat ribbon. Love me some Mini Glue Dots!

For the inside, I turned to two different stamp sets, Sweet Season, which is current, and Winter is Calling, which is retired.
The greeting is from Winter is Calling - I just loved the whimsical look of the font and of course the sentiment was perfect for this card!

I used my Brocade Blue Stampin' Write Marker to color just the inside of the snowflake stamp from Sweet Season and stamped it a few times on the Shimmer White cardstock to add the finishing touch.

This card came together really quickly and I just love it! You really don't have to stress over a project, just go with your gut and create! And the best part - if you mess it up, you can start over again! It's only paper and ink - like kindergarten! :)
So, why not try your hand at this challenge? And while you are at it, be sure to stop by the UDI Blog and see the other design team projects! I know you'll be inspired!

Have a creative day!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Rant and a Card

Welcome to Wednesday peeps! I am not feeling very witty or fresh today - I am mad at Wal-Mart! I stopped in to our wonderful, new, HUGEmongous Wal-Mart this morning on my way to an appointment because I needed to pick up candy and chocolate for my Very Valentines Class this Saturday. Long story short, I picked up all that I needed, went to the register to check out and when the clerk scanned all my items, 13 of them rang up at .50 more than the sign and the shelving said they should be. Well, in my book, that is $6.50 that I should not have to gift the big blue box with so I pointed it out only to be told that she, the clerk, wasn't authorized to make that large of a price adjustment.
So, I'm a pretty patient person and said, ok, could you call someone who can take care of it because those items are definitely not signed at that price on your display. Well, you can guess the rest, and fortunately I was able to get the items I needed at the price they'd advertised, but only after holding up the 6 other people in line behind me for over 10 minutes. Plus I was 5 minutes late for my next appointment, which just happened to be the oh, so much fun eyebrow waxing - just what I needed after that first lovely experience - to have my eyebrows ripped out of my face - and you know, when you are late at the salon, it messes up every appointment after yours............ ahhh, I could go on, but you've listened to me rant long enough and I do feel ever so much better now! Thanks! AND, bonus, my eyebrows look fabulous! :)

So, since you stopped by to actually see some artwork, I think I can handle that! Today's card is actually a case of myself - I did a 4 1/4" version of this card for one of my Leadership swaps - without the Silver Cord. Did you get one? Do you like it?

This is the version I did for my stampers at Just Cards yesterday and they loved it! The main image and the greeting are both heat embossed and isn't that really just the coolest technique? It truly never gets old. I just love seeing the magic of that powder turn into shiny, raised, elegant images!

The main panel is popped up on Stampin' Dimensionals and the greeting is popped up over the panel. The Silver Cord is wrapped all the way around and is secured with regular old tape behind the panel since that stuff is tough to hold in place with any kind of glue! I've listed the supplies below for you, but really, this card is easily duplicated just by looking at it - love that clean and simple look!

So, that's it for today - thanks for hanging around to read this far and forgiving me for my rant. I'm sure I'll feel better tomorrow when I get to do some stampin' again! That makes it all better now doesn't it? :)


Supplies used, all SU!
Stamp Set: Wedding Sweet
Cardstock: Night of Navy, Brushed Silver, Whisper White
Ink: Silver Encore, Night of Navy
Accessories: Silver Cord, Stampin' Dimensionals, Silver EP, Heat Tool, Modern Label Punch, Stampin' Sponge

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chocolate RAK from Ashley!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - the BEST thing about being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator is the FRIENDSHIPS! Honestly folks, in the 4 1/2 years I've been with this wonderful company, I've made lifelong friendships with women that I never would have even crossed paths with had it not been for our mutual love of stamping and paper crafting.
Many of these friends are close by and are a wonderful part of my client base, but many of them are from all over the US, Canada and Australia! The project I'm showing you today was a gift from one of those friends, Ashley VanCamp who lives in Utah, very near the SU! headquarters. (Ashley, can you feel the creative vibes in the air?!)
She is one of the newest members of my private swap group - the GoDivas - and when she sent me her swap package, it contained this fabulous package of goodies!

Now, the dark chocolate would really have been super special on it's own, seeing as it's my FAVORITE and all, but Ashley made it super-duper special by putting it in this uber-cute package!
I love the topper she created and it even sparkles since she sprayed it with shimmer mist made out of our shimmer paints. The topper itself was created with the Big Shot and she stamped it with words from the Wonderful Friend stamp set. She added a piece of Patterns Designer Paper to the plastic pouch to jazz it up a bit. The front flap is secured with a velcro dot so I don't have to ruin the package to get to the yummies inside!
I told Ashley that it was almost too pretty to eat and she suggested that I could just refill it.....!

I hope you all have a great day wherever you are. I have my two Just Cards classes going on today at 10 am and 7 pm, so it's a busy day for me, but fun since we'll be stampin'!
Don't you want to come stamp with me too?

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Special Gift for some Special Gals!

Hey peeps, it's Monday again but the best part about this Monday was that it's a school holiday! WooHoo! I got to sleep in till 7:30 this morning! AND my cruddy cold is almost gone - AND I got to stamp today! Does it get any better? Well, actually, no, but it didn't get any worse either! LOL! I'm currently sitting at the ice rink while Emma skates two freestyle sessions and works with her coach. She is working on her singles program for the season that starts on February 21st for us in Maryland. It looks like she will be doing 6 or 7 singles competitions this season running through June. Plus she has to take her next level Moves test in April.
I'm loving her music this time - she is skating to a medley of Shining Star by Earth, Wind and Fire and the "Wishes" fireworks music from the Magic Kingdom at DisneyWorld. Her dress is going to be pink and white and sparkly - like Dazzling Diamonds Glitter!
And kind of like the project I have for you today!
(How's that for a segue?)

One of the greatest joys of my Stampin' Up! year this year was the honor of being named to the Advisory Board. It's a truly amazing and humbling experience, and the best part of it is the close friendships that have developed between us on the board this year. We have found that we are in agreement waaaay more than we disagree and we love each other a LOT! So, for our recent Leadership conference, I wanted to do something special for my girls and found these cute sparkly owl necklaces that were perfect for our "Owl Together Now" theme that started with our matching pajamas back in September!

I had some really cool gift card boxes in the closet that originally came from a teen clothing store. I removed the ribbon and replaced it with our beautiful new Pretty in Pink Satin ribbon. The platform inside was covered with Tea Party Designer Series Paper and Tombow glue, then I used my 1/16" hole punch and Paper Snips to create the notches for the necklace.
The message was stamped from the Owl Together Now stamp set and punched out with the Small Oval Punch. It's popped up on a dimensional.

The box cover was done with the new Sending Love Specialty Designer Paper and simply adhered with more Tombow.

The girls loved their little boxes and owls and I hope you like this fun altered idea! It's not hard to do and you get fabulous results with just a bit of ribbon and paper. Oh yes, and love too!
Have a great evening everyone!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge SSC134

Hey stampers! We have successfully survived the week! Yahoo! Do you all have a long weekend too? I LOVE school holidays if for no other reason than we can all sleep in! It's the only time I think I'm actually ready for a Monday! Ha!

Soooo, since we have a long weekend and you get to sleep in on Monday, why don't you STAMP with us this weekend? It's time for another fab Saturday Sketch Challenge from your Operators at Stamping 411. Our sketch queen, Selene has thrown us a real doozy this week - she doesn't know I have a hard time with diagonal lines......
When I saw this sketch, my heart just sank, the more I looked at it, the more I didn't want to create a card for it. Have you ever felt that way? Well, that's exactly the time you need to put your big girl panties on and go STAMP something! So, here is the sketch:

And here is what I came up with after I changed my panties:

Is it possible to be in LOVE with a card? I so {heart} this card!
Here are some of the details:

1) Card base layer is Naturals Ivory cardstock - 5 1/2" x 8 1/2", folded to make a card measuring 4 1/4" x 5 1/2". It is sponged with Chocolate Chip ink.
2) Real Red layer is 4" x 5 1/4" and is sponged with Chocolate Chip ink.
3) Kraft layer is 3 7/8" x 5 1/8". It is stamped with the En Francais Background stamp in Close to Cocoa ink. I very lightly laid it on the inked up stamp which was placed rubber side up on my counter. Then I just lightly tapped and rubbed it to get an aged look. The cardstock edges were sponged with Chocolate Chip ink too.
4) Naturals Ivory layer is 3 7/8" x 5 1/8" but is torn and distresed diagonally to match the sketch. I ran this layer through my Big Shot with the Finial Press Embossing Folder then sponged it lightly with Chocolate Chip ink. The cardstock edge was rolled and crumpled a bit to make it aged and worn. I then highlighted some of the dry embossed areas with my Versamarker and embossed them with Iridescent Ice EP and my Heat Tool.

The focal point layers are Real Red, cut at 3" x 2 3/4" and is sponged with more Chocolate Chip as is the Naturals Ivory layer which is cut at 2 3/4" x 2 1/2". It is also stamped with the En Francais Background stamp. I didn't reink it after stamping the Kraft layer and used the same method as before so this would be even lighter in color.

For the heart accents, I used my Full Heart Punch and some dsp scraps from the Christmas Jingle Simply Scrappin' kit. I wet and crumpled them then sponged them with Chocolate Chip ink to age the paper. The odd heart is punched from the scrap of the dry embossed card layer and is sponged with a combo of Chocolate Chip and Real Red. I then added some Versamarker and Iridescent Ice EP to it as well for some more glitter! Oohlala!
All the hearts are attached using a combo of Mini Glue Dots and Stampin' Dimensionals.

For my ribbon and bow accent, I used the yummy Kraft Taffeta Ribbon and wrapped one piece around the large layers, adhering it on the back with SNAIL. Then I tied a bow with a second piece of ribbon, adding the Rhinestone Fire Square Brad to the center. I opened the prongs all the way and wrapped them around the middle of the bow, then folded them around and tucked them under the ribbon so they wouldn't show. A little snip on the ribbon ends for a crisp look and the outside was done.

I kept the inside pretty simple and stamped another piece of Kraft cardstock cut at 4" x 5 1/4" with the En Francais Background again, this time using Versamark ink. It is sponged with more - yep, you guessed it - Chocolate Chip ink. I then added the greeting from Holiday Best with Real Red ink as well as the vines from Vintage Vogue to finish it off.

So, now I just have to say THANK YOU SELENE for that great sketch! HA! You forced me out of my box again and I love what happened!
Now, it's YOUR turn stampers!
Get out those stamps, inks and papers, print off the sketch and let it inspire you too. We at Stamping 411 LOVE to see what you do creatively each week and you never know, YOU might just end up in the Friday Operator's Picks Showcase! Once you've finished your project, just upload it to the Stamping 411 blog using the Mr. Linky widget provided.
And while you are there, be sure to check out all the other operator's projects too - I KNOW they will inspire you!
Happy Stamping!

Baby Blogger's Challenge

It's finally FRIDAY! WooHoo! Can you relate? I am so looking forward to this long weekend, maybe by Monday I'll have shaken this yukky cold and feel like myself again. I am not a very patient sick person, mainly because I HATE to have anything mess with my already stacked schedule, but also because I don't SIT STILL very well. Isn't it Newton that said "An object in motion tends to stay in motion."? Well this object hasn't had much motion this week and boy, my mojo has suffered!

Fortunately, I had made this card back in December for my GoDivas swap group. AND it so happens to fit the theme for this week's Blogger's Challenge - using Pink, Brown and White on a project.
I used several new items from the Occasions Mini Catalog for this: Fox and Friends Clear Mount stamp set, Sweet Pea DSP Stack, Polka-Dot Impressions folder and the yummy new Pretty in Pink Satin Ribbon. Oooh, shiny!

I don't know about ya'll, but I never have enough ideas for baby cards, they just don't come easily to me and I don't see many of them via swaps or online either. The layout on this one is age old, but is such a good one and worked well for these stamps. I used my 1 1/4" Square punch on the stamped images and my 1 3/8" Square punch on the Close to Cocoa layers. They were simply adhered to the dsp which is on another Close to Cocoa layer.

My greeting is stamped with Teeny Tiny wishes (if you don't own this stamp set yet - put it on your list! It's a must own, go-to set and a good purchase for Sale-A-Bration. Just sayin'!)
I stamped in Close to Cocoa ink, punched it out with the Modern Label punch and sponged it with Pretty in Pink. It's popped up on Stampin' Dimensionals next to the satin ribbon bow which was adhered with Mini Glue Dots.

Since I had to make 30 of these cards, I didn't have enough pink dsp for all of them, so I did a blue version as well. Here is a peek at that one:

I just substituted the Bashful Blue cardstock, ink and striped grosgrain ribbon where the pink was in the first card. My turtle image was stamped with Old Olive ink instead of Certainly Celery and whale was done with Bashful Blue instead of Pretty in Pink.
These cards made me smile when they were all done - they were just light and sweet and made me happy to think of brand new babies! I hope you like them too!

Be sure to check out all the other Blogger's Challenge players by clicking on the icon in my sidebar. I know you'll be inspired by all their Pink and Brown projects too!
Come see me tomorrow for the next Stamping 411 Sketch Challenge too, it's a doozy!
Stamped blessings,

Thursday, January 14, 2010

UDI Inspiration Challenge #78

Oh, it is soooo good to be back to a normal - well, almost normal - schedule! With the holidays and then Leadership conference last week, I've been very sporadic on my posting and my design team commitments. You don't realize until you don't do them a few times how much the challenges and sketches keep your stamping mojo going!

So, my regular Thursday feature is the UDI Inspiration Challenge. Our challenge mom at the UDI blog - Maria, chooses an inspiration piece each week for us to use as a starting point for our creations. I love this type of challenge because it truly stretches me artistically AND I can do Anything!
Here is this week's inspiration piece:

And here is my finished card:

My color palette is Bashful Blue, Basic Gray, Whisper White, Creamy Caramel and Bordering Blue. I used Bashful Blue for my card base, sponging the edges with Bordering Blue ink then layering it with the Basic Gray. The Whisper White layer was sponged with Bordering Blue ink all over the front and then I sponged the edges with Bashful Blue ink. The ribbon is Basic Gray Taffeta simply wrapped around the Whisper White layer and adhered to the back with SNAIL.

My focal image is stamped on an oval that was cut out with the Scalloped Oval Die and my Big Shot. I saved the scallop part for another project and stamped my image from the Lovely as a Tree Stamp set in Creamy Caramel ink. Then I used my Aqua Painter to add some shading under the trees and to the sky behind them with Bashful Blue and Basic Gray. The trees were accented with the White Gel Pen although it's hard to see in the photos. Once I was done with the image, I used my Distressing Tool - (that's for YOU Tiffany!) and roughed up the edges then added some Bashful Blue ink to make it stand out. This piece was popped up on Stampin' Dimensionals and adhered to the card front.

My greeting was stamped with the Whimsical Words Stamp set that you can earn FREE with Sale-A-Bration! It's stamped in Basic Gray ink on Whisper White cardstock then punched out with the Large Oval Punch. I sponged the edges with Bashful Blue then added the Basic Gray Corduroy Button as an homage to the snowman in the inspiration photo. This whole element was popped up on more dimensionals and that finished off the card.

Please take some time and check out the other design team members projects by going to the UDI Blog for their links. And we'd love it if you played along as well! If you do, be sure to leave a comment on the UDI blog with a link to your project!
Happy stamping friends - be sure to come back tomorrow for my Blogger's Challenge project!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

GoDivas Leadership Swap Card

Well, we had an exciting day yesterday in the Stampin' Up! community - SU! unveiled it's brand new online site for Demonstrators ONLY called the Stampin' Connection. It's a facebook like site where we can connect with demos all across the country and share ideas, samples and messages in real time. Since I'm still feeling cruddy from this cold, it was just what I needed to perk up my day yesterday.

Yesterday was also very sad for me personally as I attended the memorial service for my friend Natalie. She has been my neighbor and friend for 10 years now and was also a regular fixture at every stampin' class I've held for the past almost 3 years. She had been going through a number of personal challenges these past few months and recently contracted the flu, which is what took her life sometime last Tuesday. She leaves behind a 5 year old daughter and a void in the life of all her friends and family. She was amazingly creative and had a huge heart that she shared with all who knew her. She will definitely be missed and I want to dedicate my card share today to her memory.

One of my greatest joys as a demonstrator is found in the swap group I created about 3 years ago called the GoDivas (named by one of our members for my love of chocolate!). These ladies are all handpicked by me, all have different styles and strengths and are amazing stampers! We just wrapped up our swap for the New Occasions Mini Catalog and I'll share some samples from that one soon. This card is one I created for our small Leadership swap for the GoDivas attending.

I started with Close to Cocoa cardstock cut square. It's layered with Naturals Ivory cardstock which has been stamped collage-like with images from the new Vintage Vogue stamp set. I used Chocolate Chip and Bashful Blue, stamped off one time. It's edges were sponged with Close to Cocoa ink.
The next layer is Bashful Blue cardstock which was run through my Big Shot with the new Polka-Dot Impressions Folder, then sponged with more Close to Cocoa ink.

I've layered two ribbons over that piece of cardstock, Chocolate Chip Double Stitched Grosgrain and Bashful Blue Taffeta. The single knot bow is added at the bottom with Mini Glue Dots.
The focal image was stamped in Close to Cocoa ink on more Naturals Ivory cardstock, then I added some flowers in Bashful Blue, stamped off once. More sponging on the edges and then it's layered on a piece of Close to Cocoa cardstock, finally being popped up on Stampin' Dimensionals to finish it off.

I was so happy with the way this card turned out, so soft and pretty. If Natalie could have seen it, I think she would have liked it too!
Hug the ones you love today, it'll warm your heart and make you both feel good!
Love and blessings to you all,

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Butterfly Flourish Card

Good morning my friends - I want to quickly say thanks for the e-mails and comments with well wishes yesterday. I'm still feeling cruddy, but there is not much rest for the weary - I've got stampin' parties to get ready for! So, I promise to take it as easy as I can and take a nap and drink lots of water - really, I promise!

Today's card share was one I created the week before leadership and intended to post for you while I was gone. But, since the only place that had free WiFi was the hotel BAR, I knew you would forgive me for not wanting to spend much time in there! Ha!

I used Kraft cardstock for the card itself and ran the front through my Big Shot with that cool new Polka Dot Impressions Folder from the Mini Catalog. In fact, all the stuff I used here is from the New Mini Catalog!

The cardstock layers are Rose Red and Chocolate Chip and the stamped layer is Kraft cardstock again. I used the new Fine Flourish single stamp with Rose Red Craft Ink and embossed it with Clear Embossing Powder.

Those beautiful butterflies were made with the Big Shot and the new Beautiful Wings Embosslit which cuts and embosses the cardstock at one time. Love that! I used my Stampin' Sponge and Rose Red Classic ink to add some color to the Pretty in Pink cardstock butterflies before adhering them to the card front. The large butterfly had its wings curled slightly with my Bone Folder before mounting it with Stampin' Dimensionals. All of the cardstock layers were popped up with dimensionals as well.

The ribbon is that silky new Pretty in Pink Satin which is smooth on both sides, by the way. I wrapped a piece around the card front and then used another piece to single knot the bow which was attached with Mini Glue Dots. Lastly, the little tag greeting was stamped with the Tiny Tags stamp set and punched out with the Medium Jewelry Tag punch. A little more sponging and it's attached with a little bit of SNAIL for the final touch.

So, that's my story for today, a simply sweet little card. I hope you have a simply sweet day today and that the sun is shining where you are!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Back from Leadership Conference.....

and I've brought home a nasty little cold..... Uggh!
I'm laying low today, trying to rest as much as I can and drinking my OJ. If you e-mailed me or called me while I was gone last week, I'll be back in the studio tomorrow returning messages. And I promise to update my Saturday card post with the measurements and post something new for you too!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge #SSC133

Hi everybody! This post is short and sweet - I am still in Phoenix and I've been having computer problems which is why I haven't posted my pre-done projects this week!
But, I was able to get wifi to work for 90 minutes in a bar near the hotel, so I'm just posting real quick so you can see my project for Stamping 411 this week.
When I get home on Monday, I'll update with the measurements and details!

Here is my card for the week:

and a close-up for you of the greeting and bow.

Hope you like it!
Be sure to go by the Stamping 411 blog to see the sketch I worked from and the other design team members projects - I know you'll be inspired!
Blessings to you,

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Retro Owl Swap card

Howdy and hooray! It's Tuesday and by the time you read this, I should be on the airplane headed to Phoenix! WooHoo!

Today is also the first day of the NEW Occasions Mini Catalog and Sale-A-Bration too! In honor of that, the card I've posted for you today showcases NEW Designer Series Paper, NEW Clear Mount Stamps, the NEW Sale-A-Bration Punch and NEW Sale-A-Bration Stamps! Come to think of it, there is not much "retro" on this card except for the DSP! LOL!

I'm going to keep this short and sweet because I have to finish packing and then get some sleep before I head to the airport!
The cardstock I used here is Pumpkin Pie, Sahara Sand, Barely Banana and Taken with Teal. The Owl image from the NEW Fox and Friends stamp set was stamped in Taken with Teal ink on Whisper White cardstock and punched out with the 1 3/8" Circle Punch. The layer behind it is Chocolate Chip Cardstock punched out with the 1 3/4" Circle Punch.

I used some of the cool new DSP from the Sweet Pea Pack - which is 24 sheets in a thick, next to endless pad of paper! Yumm!

I used Chocolate Chip Taffeta Ribbon for the accent and the edge of the card flap is punched with the new Scallop Trim Border Punch that is FREE in the Sale-A-Bration flyer with any $50 purchase. The greeting is also from a Sale-A-Bration stamp set - Whimsical Words - and that is also a FREE stamp set with any $50 order. My set is one of the new Clear Mount stamps that I used with the see through Acrylic Blocks. Yep, they are VERY cool!

Hope you like the card - I think it's 'Owl'right! hahaha, I crack myself up.
Yes, I know, only myself.......

Have a great Tuesday everyone and check back tomorrow for another fun project using NEW stampin' goodies!
Blessings everyone,

Monday, January 4, 2010

New! Paisley Stencil Card

Good morning stamping friends!
I am frantically running around today getting ready to leave for Leadership Conference in Phoenix tomorrow morning. Every time I plan a trip I always say that I'm going to do stuff in advance and not get caught at the last minute - yeah, right! Ha!
I have clothes picked out and folded up, but not packed; I have my list of "stuff" to throw in the suitcase in the morning, but it's still scattered around the house; I have two piles of 'must take with me' papers, etc. that have not made it into a place that I'll actually remember it and worst of all - I've only gotten 30 swaps made for general swapping! I LOVE swapping, but haven't had any extra time to make a bunch - do you think anyone will take an IOU from me? No, I didn't think so either, but a girl can dream, right?.........

Oh well, I do have a card for you today using some of the new products that are coming out in the Occasions Mini Catalog TOMORROW~! If you are on my mailing list, you will be receiving this catalog in the mail from me sometime this week - the mailing was delayed by the company that handles that for SU! You can view it online on my website though!

So, today's card was actually going to be a swap card, but after stenciling the paisley image on the Kraft Cardstock, I decided that I didn't want to make too many multiples of this one! It's not hard, but hard on my hand using the Sponge Daubers with the stencil.

I used a folded cardbase of Soft Suede and after stamping my images on the Kraft layer, wrapped a piece of Very Vanilla 5/8" Grosgrain ribbon around the left side. It's adhered on the back with SNAIL adhesive. I then tied a bow with more ribbon and added it to the card with Mini-Glue Dots.

The little tag greeting was stamped with the New Tiny Tags stamp set and punched out with the Medium Jewelry Tag punch. I tied it around the vanilla ribbon with some Linen Thread. For the actual stamping/stenciling, I used the French Script Background with Chocolate Chip ink and the Paisley Patterns stencil was done in Rose Red. I added a brad from the Vanilla Hodgepodge Hardware to the middle of the paisley image.

It was really a simple card to do and I'm really happy with the Clean and Simple look. I hope you like it too!

I will be posting all week long while I am at leadership - I have been stamping a lot for some mail in swaps plus what I did for two special groups of stamping friends. So, be sure to check back and see what's new!

Don't forget that today is the last day to order from the Holiday Mini Catalog - contact me or your local demonstrator to get what you want before it's gone!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge #SSC132

Hi there! Welcome to another fabulous and fun sketch challenge from the Stamping 411 blog! Our sketch queen, Selene gave us a real doozy this week - I had, let's say, an interesting time creating my card! But when all was said and done I showed Mark and Emma and they loved it, so hopefully you will too!
Here is the sketch we worked from:

And here is my version of it:

Fun, eh? I love, love these colors together - AND they are from last week's Color Challenge at Stamping 411. This is a new feature on our joint blog venture and I hope you'll try it out!
Did you notice that I used some NEW stamps for this card? Yep - and they are the cool new Clear-Mount ones too! I am seriously in love with those clear blocks - I was able to have the cute little owls hold hands without using the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig! I know! So awesome cool!
Anyway, on with the card details - more on the coolness later! Ha!

My card base is Whisper White folded to make a card measuring 5 1/2" x 4 1/4".
Layer #2 is Melon Mambo cut at 4" x 5 1/4".
Layer #3 is Razzleberry Lemonade DSP cut at 3 3/4" x 5".

I sponged the edges of the DSP with Rich Razzleberry ink and adhered it to the Melon Mambo cardstock with SNAIL adhesive.
The ribbon band is a piece of Rich Razzleberry Polka-Dot ribbon wrapped around these two layers and adhered to the back with more SNAIL.

Now, for those cute little images....
It's a new stamp set called "Love Bandit"! Doesn't the name just grab you?! I stamped the images on Whisper White cardstock and punched them out with the 1 3/8" circle punch. This layer was sponged in one of the three colors used and then layered onto a co-ordinating piece punched out with the 1 3/4" circle punch. The orange I used is Pumpkin Pie which was what the color challenge called for.

After layering all the circles, I adhered the two side circles over the ribbon using SNAIL and then popped up the cute little love owls with two Stampin' Dimensionals.
The greeting was stamped on a Whisper White scrap, punched out with the Word Window punch and sponged before being popped up on a scrap of dimensional. Yep people, save the edges of your dimensional sheets! They are great for long, thin, popped up accents and can be cut to size easily with the Paper Snips. I told you I save everything! heehee!

So, there you go, my first sneak peek of the season here on the ol' blog! I hope you'll choose to play along with us at Stamping 411 this week. Just create your project and upload it to the Stamping 411 blog using the Mr. Linky widget provided. Stuck for a color combo? Just check out the new combo that Patti posted on Thursday - it's really pretty!
Have fun stamping and check back soon! I hope your weekend is wonderful!