Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Make Merry

Here's my second run with the deer. I actually started this one first, based on "Sketch for You to Try" that was posted this weekend but just couldn't put all the elements together. I knew I wanted to use the Snowflakes & Holly paper but I kept fiddling with colors, etc and finally just left it alone for a day. I came back to it this morning and this is what emerged. I gave the deer a scarf with a bit of chenille fiber, and also accented the antlers with stickles (Diamond Ice). The deer was grounded with an oval from the spotlight solids set (which Louise gave as a suggestion to help out my other card!) The edges are all lightly distressed, and the red panel in particular was sanded down so that the words would be visible. The original phrase in the Reindeer set is "Make them fun... Make them merry... Make them last..." but I shortened it through selective inking and my handy dandy stamp-a-ma-jig. I'm kind of wishing I hadn't put the rhinestone brad there by the words, but I didn't have enough paper left to re-do it, and leaving it there seemed better than a hole :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pay It Forward

PAY IT FORWARD : handcrafted items

I will send a handmade item to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this "Pay it Forward" exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet (but it will probably be made of paper!) and you probably won't receive anything in '07 but it will definitely be within 365 days - I promise! In order to participate, though, you must pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog. So basically, if you comment, I’ll send you something crafty that I’ve made! Once you sign up, copy and paste the above paragraph on your blog, and three other lucky people will be recipients of your handmade work. I found this at Aged to Perfection and thought it was a great idea. So spread a little handmade cheer!!

(and please leave your email in the post so I can get in contact with you!)\

Still one more slot available - please join in the fun!

"You Are A Dear"

I love all things cheesy, which is why this card seemed like a good idea! I started out by creating the background by repeatedly stamping thanks (combo sentiments). By the way, you really must invest in a stamp-a-ma-jig if you don't already own one; they make creating backgrounds like this downright simple. Anyway, after doing the background I overstamped the deer (reindeer). Next I diecut the letters from a super thin metal sheet (I got in a share over at Serving the King - and she still has more available if you'd like some). The final touch was layering using a slot corner punch.

I still love the idea of this card - but I'm not really digging the actual results here. I need to play more with colors (I used chocolate chip and tempting turquoise on this one, but the card base is showing much more blue on my monitor), and either use alphabet stamps or a different alpha die set. I think it needs additional embellishment, too, but I couldn't figure out where to add ribbon, brads, etc. Thoughts anyone? I'm *very* open to suggestions!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Other Crafty Pursuits

Yes, I'm still here! Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Ours was blissfully dull - the past six weeks or so have been a whirlwind so we specifically chose to celebrate the day alone. My hubby had the week off (needing to use up some vacation time before year-end) so we puttered around the house and vegged. No stamping to share, but one of our friends came over on Friday and we temporarily became candle central. She'd been given boxes of wax, molds, etc. but didn't know what to do with them. The answer: bring 'em over! My hubby loves to make candles, and we have quite a collection of equipment ourselves. Anyway, I think we ended up making 20 or so large candles. We made one batch of orange wax and used some lemon scent that was buried in one of the boxes she'd brought over; the candles seriously smelled like Pledge. "And now for the newest trend in home decor: candles that make visitors think you've been cleaning!" The kids had a ball helping us sort all the colors and just generally getting underfoot. Most of the finished product went home with Holly - including the frog and tree shaped candles - but I can share these few with you.

We also managed to finish up one of our kitchen chairs. We were given these beautiful chairs when we got married. They are at least 75 years old, and they served us well for a few years but were getting rickety. My hubby took them all apart, sanded and stained, drilled new holes, and then I did the seat. Not bad for my first upholstery job! One down, three more to go...

Well, that concludes the crafty tour. Hopefully I'll get some time to stamp this week and I'll be back with a few cards.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tea & Cookies

It's time for another tea party with the smART cookies! Susan - the smARTworks queen - provided the sketch. When I saw it, the avalanche set came to mind as the phrase was the perfect size, plus I could use the snowflakes as embellishment. I played around with various colors and patterns, and finally settled on this simple design. I ran the white cardstock through my Big Shot with the snowflakes cuttlebug folder, then highlighted it with blue and silver ink. Next, I added the matted sentiment. The final touch was two layers of ribbon, then three lovely little snowflakes complete with a bit of bling. Voila!

We'd love to have you join us in the fun!
See what everyone else has created: In the Works, Mama Dini's Stamperia, Dee's Studio, Sweet Somethings, and Susiestampalot.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I actually managed to make a few cards to send out to family. Nothing too complicated - just a couple stamps and some watercoloring.
As I was making them, our son announced that he wanted to make one for his cousins in AZ. He stamped and colored this all himself - like those purple grapes? :)

stamps by SU (Always on My Mind, Happy Harmony), sepia versafine ink, watercolor crayons, Fabriano notecard

Monday, November 19, 2007

For Sale

I've done some more purging, and am selling off a HUGE pile of shtuff. Click to see what stamps and supplies I am selling (the list is way too long to post here!)

Simple Thank You Notes

Two more cards that were mass produced - each set uses colored notecards (DCWV), a sheet of patterned paper, and a single stamp. Quick and easy!

Coral card - American Crafts paper, sentiment SU Everyday Expressions, giga & mega scalloped oval punches

Green card - Chatterbox paper, sentiment Impression Obsession

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Mass Warm Wishes

I don't enjoy mass production. I prefer to make 1 or 2 of a any given design and move on - but sometimes multiples are called for. Anyway, I made these cards for the Moppets workers (those wonderful ladies who take care of all the kidlets while we moms get a break during our MOPS meetings every other week). I picked up this adorable stamp from the $1 bin at Joann's. Unfortunately when I went to use it I realized there was a rubber bubble by one of the words. A little surgery with an exacto knife took care of the issue, though, and I paired up the now wordless snowmen with a new sentiment (SU). Slap on some ink, accent with the prismacolor pencils, and we're all set! Ten done in less than an hour. Now this I can handle!

Friday, November 16, 2007


I know I've been unusually quiet these past few days - just too much happening to allow for stamping or even yammering on about it :) But I'm back, and I really want to share this lovely card I received last week.

I had ordered some extra stamping goodies from smARTworks, and Susan included this great card in my package. Simple, lovely, and a true day brightener. I am so blessed to be on the design team for this wonderful company!

Monday, November 12, 2007

With Sympathy

I just found out that a friend of mine lost her grandmother; I generally have a number of cards for birthdays, etc. made up and ready to go, but I've depleted my Sympathy stash over the past few months.

I kept the design relatively simple. I used the Brocade Background designer paper (SU), and stamped a single swirl (Autumn Leaves). I cut a strip from one of the other papers in the pack, and added just a bit of distress ink to help it stand out from the background. I stamped the sentiment (retired SU set - Hope for Comfort) on some River Rock cardstock, and then glued it all down and added a single prima. I matted the panel and then mounted it to the card base. I added another River Rock panel to the inside so that it's easier to read the sentiment. I used another stamp from the HfC set, and it reads "May you find comfort in God's word and in the knowledge that others care and sympathize with you."

I do like how it turned out, and I may have to make a couple more to keep on hand for these difficult times.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sweet Sixteen

Our niece - the adorable little flower girl at our wedding - turned sixteen yesterday. Man, I'm feeling old! I put off making her card to the last minute, and grabbed the BasicGrey Blush card kit that has been sitting on the back of my workspace for months. As pretty as it was, I could't bring myself to actually use the pieces. Well, yesterday was the day! I started with a square Fabriano notecard, then layered on the paper pieces and hearts. After I came up with my basic layout, I accented it all with some distress inks. I die cut the numbers from some shimmery paper, so they actually stood out quite nicely. The final touch was the velvet ribbon and stick pin.

I must say, I liked using the kit, and will be using more strips like this on future layouts. Great way to use up scraps but they also make fabulous accents!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tea & Cookies

Can't believe it's already time for another "Tea Party" with the other smART cookies! We're doing a sketch again, this time provided by Donna. She also challenged us to do something "different" with the background strips

I'd been dying to use my new set Kings and this sketch was perfect. I started out with the card base, and stamped it with the crowns (using gold & silver brilliance ink), and overstamped with the script (One Smile). I also added some distress ink around the edges to age it just a bit. And then we moved on to the fun part! I stamped the sentiment, and added some gold around the edges. Focal point done! Now what to layer behind it? The horizontal piece was put through my Big Shot with the Fiskars leather texture plate, and then I accented the raised areas with silver ink. For the background strips, I used a variety of materials. The center is paper with silver cord, then gold organdy ribbon, and finally some pieces of a paint sample (thanks, Ralph Lauren!) I love the final result - very rich looking but still fun. And did you notice that I didn't use any printed paper?

We'd love to have you join us for our little party - what can you create from this sketch?

See what everyone else has cooked up: In the Works, Mama Dini's Stamperia, Dee's Studio, Sweet Somethings, and Susiestampalot.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Caffeine!! Caffeine!!

Since I already had my Fabriano notecards and watercolor crayons out yesterday, I made this second card later in the afternoon. This one uses Dawn Houser images (Inkadinkado) and are red rubber mounted with foam and a repositionable adhesive back. They work pretty well, but the index on this set is not accurately printed (I do, however, have another set that is spot on). My other beef is that there is quite a lot of extra rubber on the edges. I worked around it, though, and carefully inked up the mug and stamped onto a piece of a previously mucked up notecard. I added a bit of color with the watercolor crayons (prismacolor pencils obscure the fun words too much), carefully ripped the panel, then covered the edges with versamark and embossed with scented embossing powder (CHF). Mmmmmm... I added the sentiment to the bottom, and now it's ready to brighten someone's day!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Van Gogh inspired

So I have I mentioned that I am personally acquainted with superwoman? Seriously, she's a good friend of mine. She's our MOPS coordinator, worship team leader, teaches piano and voice, and is currently working on her master's. Oh, and did I mention that she has 5 kids? Anyway, this week is particularly busy for her, so I wanted to send her a little note. Since I don't have any superwoman images, I grabbed a Fabriano notecard, this great sunflower and my watercolor crayons. It went together very quickly, and the final touch was the sentiment (Wordsworth) and a bit of ribbon.

I love these type of stamps that look so great with minimal coloring!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Still More Flowers

I saw Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge and I decided to play along. I loved the asymmetrical layout, and immediately was picturing it with flowers and this great quote. I started with the main panel (watercolor paper), and the dried floral (Standing Tall). I used watercolor crayons and applied them DTR (direct-to-rubber), then stamped onto damp paper. The effect was very soft, and was a good start but it needed a bit more definition. I overstamped a couple more times, this time inking up with my pads (carefully applied with the corner; I used a mix of almost amethyst, lavender lace, and certainly celery). Although it doesn't really show in the picture, I also stippled over the entire panel with some iridescent blue twinkling H2Os just to give it some subtle shimmer - great effect! I then layered it (BasicGrey LilyKate papers), and went over the edges with antique linen distress ink. After I added the sentiment (Flowers Everywhere), it still needed a bit more so I added two rhinestone brads (Making Memories) and tied on some wide organdy ribbon at the spine. I know it's not exactly appropriate to the season, but flowers are never out of style, right? :)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Screen Flowers

Well, I just got a big ol' pile of new rubber from smARTworks, so you can bet it's been killing me not to play! I decided I'd earned some stamping time, though, so made this quick card this morning. I started with a square Fabriano notecard - I swear, the quality of the paper is just so wonderful that it makes almost anything look good! I stamped the screen down the side with old paper distress ink. Next, I overstamped the flower (from Vertical Love Comes) with black Versafine ink, and then the sentiment (Wonderful/Marvelous). I colored in the flowers with Prismacolor pencils, even adding a bit of green over the stems. The final touches were to add a copper dragonfly brad and tie on some red hemp twine. I managed to get my ink fix in under fifteen minutes! :)

In other smARTworks news, you've GOT to check out the fabulous specials this month - including 12% off all items. Wowzers! Plus there are some fabulous new images (love the vintage holiday stuff here and pretty much the entire supplement!) and they're even carrying these square Fabriano notecards now. Seriously, check it out!!