Sunday, June 28, 2009

MTCC 03 & some friendly little mushrooms...

Well, this color challenge was really a no-brainer for me! Dana's picture of her little childhood table for Lauren's My Time To Create Color Challenge is just too cute and brought back memories of my little table toppped with tiny square tiles....with the same '70's color vibe! My Dad has it right now...........hmmmmm.......I wonder what it would cost to ask him to ship it here???? Okay, before I head off on quite a tangent....which I do often, I'll stop myself!

Isn't that mushroom with the ladybug (in the pic) just adorable??!! I immediately thought of a little mushroom I have that has not seen ink in years. When I got it out, I realized it would be too small on its own, so I dug into an old foam set of stamps that also has not come out to play (this one since the '90's!) that I was pretty sure had a larger mushroom stamp. I was delighted when it did!

On some cream cardstock, I stamped my two old friends (aka friendly mushrooms!) with Versafine ink. Initially, I was going to color them in, but after I saw them on the chocolate cardstock, I just couldn't. I like their graphic look, I like them uncolored. I did pop them up though. I popped the middle mushroom up on 1/8th" adhesive foam and the little mushrooms are up on 1/16" foam.

To mirror the petite images, I wanted a smaller card, so I cut a piece of Dark Chocolate cardstock down to a 4"x4" card and then layered a strip of Really Rust cardstock atop a piece of More Mustard. Wrapping a piece of New Leaf satin ribbon around these layers completed the four colors that we were given from the picture. I tied a bow with the satin ribbon, separate from the piece wrapped around the card, and secured it with a button, threaded with hemp twine and adhered with Fabri-Tac.

My friendly little mushrooms, Dana's picture, and Lauren's color challenge brought me some happy little fun this afternoon! Quite honestly, after cutting hubby's hair for the first time today, I needed a little stampy ink time for me. Good news though......his hair cut came out really well! That is good news, right???? I think I just added another item to my 'to do' list. :>

Cardstock: Dark Chocolate & Vintage Cream - PTI; Really Rust & More Mustard - Stampin' Up!
Ink: Vintage Sepia - Versafine
Stamps: Small Mushroom (little one) - Leigh's Wishing Well; Medium Mushroom from Land of Make Believe - Rubber Stampede
Ribbon: New Leaf satin - PTI; Hemp Twine - Stampin' Up!
Other: green button - Stash (best guess, Autumn Leaves)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

KWerner Color Inspiration 1st time playing along!

Amazingly, I have never played along with one of Kristina's color challenges before. But, that ended today. I have a couple of new books by my bedside and I am so tired of pulling the nearest thing to mark my page....a paper clip, a barrette, and my old standby, a kleenex! So, a bookmark seemed to be calling my name.

With Kristina's colors in mind, I riffled through my stamps and pulled out quite an assortment that have most definitely not received the love they deserve. First, I cut a piece of More Mustard down to size. Next, I stamped an antique map of Africa. Then, I stamped the sentiment and the Tim Holtz clock with Versamark and embossed with russet embossing powder. I stamped some vines randomly all over the cardstock (these were not embossed) for a tone on tone effect.

Not wanting to add any cream cardstock to the bookmark, I went through my options to include the color. Cream ink? Nope, don't have it. Cream rub-ons? Nope, none in a shape that would work for me. Hmmmmmmm.......what else do I have?? Then it came to me!! Prismacolor colored pencils!!! PC914, Cream, at my service! I know this seems so simple, but its a major light bulb tip moment for me!!! With my pencils, I pretty much have any color that could be used in a color challenge, even if I do not have it in ink, cardstock, or ribbon! I used the cream colored pencil to color the edges, as you would ink the edges with an ink pad. This light bulb moment just tickled me oh so, um, cream colored?!

I finished the bookmark off with a Making Memories pebble clip at the top and matted the stamped More Mustard carstock on to a piece of Really Rust cardstock. One thing I want to note, I know that the embossing powder looks a bit different in color to the cardstock, but they really are the same color in real life.

I typically do not collage stamp. Yet, I had so much fun here and really like how it came out.....not to mention, all of the unused stamps and supplies that are feelin' the love with this simple little creation! :>

Cardstock: More Mustard, Really Rust - Stampin' Up!
Ink: Versamark - Tsukineko; Weathered Wood Distress Ink - Ranger
Stamps: Antique Maps - Sunday International; Decorative Flair (vine) - Stamped In Ink; Sentiment, Special Occasions - Marcella by K&Company; Clock, Life's Possibilities - Tim Holtz for Stampers Anonymous
Embossing Powder: Russet - The Herbarium
Embellishment: Travel Pebble Clips

Other: Prismacolor Colored Pencil

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Where I Wish I Was!

Every year for our anniversary, hubby and I take off to Fort Bragg on the northern California coast. We absolutely love it there. I'm one of those people that has a hard time shutting off my brain and whenever I arrive in Fort Bragg, it always amazes me just how quickly I completely let go and relax! But, can you blame me? This is the view, looking to the left, from the deck off of our room at the Beachcomber Motel. Sigh. Gorgeous panoramic views, fresh ocean air, and sleeping with the door partially open at night (yes, there's a security bar!)....its like heaven, to me.

Thanks to this lovely economy that so many of us are experiencing right now, we have made the decision to not go this year. Booooo!! Boooo!! The pricey projects around the house that need to be done will thank us for the decision, but I'm not too thrilled about being a responsible grown up right about now. Hmph! Thank you for indulging me in my pout for just a moment. Now, I'll move on! :>

I love this large single tree that I always watch (and take a gazillion pictures of every year) the sun slowly set behind. Each year we come back we always notice which limbs have crashed down below. These pics are from our 2007 trip. Somehow I forgot my camera in 2008 and so the only pics I have are from a disposable and are not on the computer.

In 2007, we lost our sitter, my Mom, at the last minute due to a family gathering and so we brought the kidlets with us and made it into a little family vacation. Consequently, we altered some of our activities that we usually do to accommodate young kidlets interests and patience levels. Each year we gallery hop through Fort Bragg and Mendocino in search of a new piece of original art to give as our anniversary gift to each other. That particular year, we knew the kids would not be up to a long gallery hop, so we only visited about four or five. We also took them to the toy store, an ice cream cone after dinner, and a walk through town to eat it.

In the morning, after breakfast, we took the kidlets to what is always our last stop on the Sunday of our annual trip, Glass Beach. Our son had a blast climbing the rocks, checking out the sea critters, and looking for drift wood, cool rocks, and sea glass. While the larger pieces of glass from the old closed glass factory nearby have all been picked over through the years, there is a ton of little colorful pieces of ocean washed and smoothed glass all over the beach. And when the tide is out, there are great tide pools.....lots of sea weed to walk through, but wonderful treasures to look at!

You can see sea anemones, mussels, limpets, jelly fish, and a crab or two. Do you see him? If you can't, enlarge the pic by clicking on it. Say "Hi, Mr.Crab!!"

What? Are you coming to see us? Coming to say 'hello'? Hi Mr.Crab! Come closer, I want a better picture...please? Oh no, after this pic, he'd had enough and quickly scurried below the water.

Fort Bragg, Mendocino, and most of the northern California coastline is just a dream and I feel fortunate to live so close by. I know we'll make it out to the coast a few times this year and I really look forward to our next trip to Fort Bragg. Where are you looking forward to visiting soon?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Gettin' Inky!

Would you believe I sat down with a piece of plain white cardstock? Well, it was Papertrey Ink's white cardstock, so it was thick enough to hold up to some heavy inking and a little paint! But, just look how colorful white can be!

I cannot tell you just how much I love getting inky. I've been asked how I get so much on my hands or would I like gloves on more than one occasion, but truth be told, I want the ink and the paint on my hands! Looking down and seeing colorful fingers reminds me that I found time to play. And like the rush that I get when zooming down Splash Mountain, landing with giddy fits of laughter or whizzing around inside Space Mountain at Disneyland, feeling the air rush through my hair, grinning ear to ear the whole ride, I feel like a kidlet at play seeing the colors marking my hands. So, ink on, I say!!!

Now, back to how I obtained those inky & painted hands! Starting with a piece of white cardstock, I inked it up, first with the yellow, blending in the red, then two shades of purple. A light wash of yellow pearlescent paint went over the bottom yellow portion for just a hint of glimmer. Next, I moved to my tree. I grabbed some sheets of Grungeboard that the fantastic Tim Holtz has given us, drew (I so cannot draw, so I did my best!) a shape on the back of the sheet, and cut it out. Did you know that Stampin' Up!'s Craft & Rubber scissors cut grungeboard easy as pie!!! Large chunks, small slivers, it really doesn't matter. Now that we're not using them for rubber so much, its nice to know they won't sit neglected and lonely in my tool bag! Okay, back to the tree....when I achieved the shape I wanted, I painted on a coat of silver pearlescent paint, then a coat of black acrylic paint. I began sanding the grungeboard and did not love the effect I was getting, so I backed off to a really light sand and liked the amount of the silver pearlescent paint that was showing through. With one more really light coat of the silver, following with a clean, slightly damp brush (to make sure the final coat was indeed light and allowing a lot of the black to show through) my tree was finished and back to my background, I went.

Using India Ink, I inked the edges, all the way around in black. Next I stamped some swirls up in the night sky and some foliage on the ground below. A night sky is in need of some sparkling stars to twinkle and shine above, so on they went. I used a combination of my ATG and Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive to glue my tree to my background and then matted it on Pure Poppy cardstock before putting the whole thing on to a True Black card base. And voila!

My little Princess, who is oh so girly, but can keep up with almost any boy is starting to get into all kinds of crafty goodness..................and I love it! She has a coloring printout of Disney Princess Jasmine that she has colored and intensely worked on cutting into the edges of it with my neglected decorative scissors and every time she sits down to work on it, she says, "Mama, I'm going to work on my 'Project'." It doesn't look like much when I read it in text here, but I hear her oh so cute voice saying it that just tickles me to no end!

When I inked up the cardstock with the yellow, red, and purples, she got so excited. She obviously had great plans. "Mama, you can put some pink on it and see?! Glitter!!", she says as she picks up the industrial sized Martha Stewart garnet glitter off of my table. When she got up the next morning, there was utter disappointment on her face and in her voice when she saw the black, inked on the edges. "Do you like it?", I asked. "Um, no." She doesn't hold back, "You can put pink on it! Mama, I tawt you were gonna put sparkle on it?!" Its more of a demand than a question. She's mildly satisfied with my end product, but does insist that the stars should be on the tree, rather than in the sky.

My craft desk is in our bedroom (thank you kind, tolerant hubby!), but I've been crafting in the living room lately (again, thank you kind, tolerant hubby!). Consequently, my creative process almost always involves my kidlets. So, I suppose my daughter would really appreciate seeing something sparkly and pink soon and my son would love it if those Star Trek stamps that I have from fifteen years ago would come out and make their way on to something for him. But, first I better get my act together and make some Father's Day cards....asap!

Cardstock: Stampers Select White, Pure Poppy, True Black - Papertrey Ink
Ink: YoYo Yellow, Real Red, Lovely Lilac, Elegant Eggplant Classic Inks - Stampin' Up!; India Ink Black - Stewart Superior
Stamps: Bronc Buster, Pocket Silhouettes - Stampin' Up!
Paints: Black - Delta Ceramcoat; Yellow & Silver Pealescent Paints - Yasutomo
Embellishments: Grungeboard - Tim Holtz; Clear bling - Bling It On by Lisa Bearnson

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Time Sketch Challenge.....a la Ribbon!

Sitting down to work on Lauren Meader's My Time To Create Sketch Challenge, I thought I would be able to make quick work of it.............well, I did, but only once I figured out how to make it work for me!

As someone who has been paper crafting for quite awhile now, you would think that it would be simple enough to sit down and put some cardstock and/or patterned paper (either pre-made or created) to a card and make the sketch work, right?! I don't know what was up with me, but I could Not make cardstock or paper work for me, not at all. I was getting grumpy, gloomy, and even a bit sullen. There was a lot of sighing. A lot of me putting my head in my hands. A lot of the kidlets asking Mama what was wrong. And even my hubby demanding, "What's wrong?!", like I must have had a broken limb or the mother of all migraines for my face to be contorted into a disgruntled squished up grimace like it was.

Coming to my senses, I realized that I needed to stop trying to force something that just was not working for me. So, I pulled out three different ribbon spools in Pure Poppy. I still followed the sketch, but used ribbon where I would have usually used cardstock/paper. Wanting more than flat ribbon, I decided to loop each piece and leave the ends unadhered, so they could have a fun little raised loop at the top and bottom.

For the horizontal strip, I used the backside of some swiss dot satin ribbon. I layered two pieces together so the polkas would not show through the front. It would be a shame to waste such wonderful polkas though, so I trimmed the left ends in an inverted 'v', folded it over to reveal the happy little dots, and tied it off with some twine. Staying away from paper entirely (other than the card base), I used flowers for the focal piece. I layered some Petaloo white velvet flowers, cut out the glued in green beads that were originally there for the flower center and added a pretty little red silk flower that I received in a flower swap I participated in about a year ago (thanks, Elise!). I glued all four layers together with Fabri-Tac. Remembering rub-ons (twice in the same month....holey camole macarole!) again, I cut out a 'for you' from the sheet and rubbed it on (you have to press pretty hard on the ribbon) to my ribbons. And two little white half pearls completed my ribbon card.

Considering the self imposed torment that I endured at the beginning of this process, I was amazed at how quickly the whole card came together as soon as I switched materials! I suppose that's true in life as well.........when we get stuck, sometimes its good to change things up a bit! Hope you are having a fantastic week and that Life brings you some happy little surprises along the way!

Cardstock: Kraft - PTI
Ribbon: Pure Poppy Satin, Swiss Dot Satin, Saddle Stitch - PTI; Natural Hemp Twine - SU!
Flowers: White - Petaloo; Red - Stash
Rub-Ons: Love & Happiness - SU!
Embellishments: Pearls - Kaiserscrapbook

Saturday, June 6, 2009

CPS 118

A card for our anniversary using Card Positioning Systems sketch 118 was in the cards today. Actually, this is Take Two on making my hubby an anniversary card. Don't worry, I won't upload this card on our family computer, like I made the mistake of doing last time!! We have been together for eleven years and are coming up on our ninth anniversary. Its amazing how sometimes it feels like we've been with each other for a lifetime and yet other times, it feels as if the time has passed in the blink of an eye.

The CPS sketch was my jumping off point. At first, I thought I might have combined it with Dawn McVey's color challenge, but I wanted to keep the pink out since I had made his Valentine's card full of light pinks! The sketch started me, but the materials really led me the rest of the way. Pulling the little game pieces for the 'U' and the 'ME', led to the brown painted ampersand wrapped in gold thread (yes, it took awhile, but it gave my hands something to do while I watched "Aladin" with my kidlets). I stamped the half circle piece with Papertrey Ink's Heart Prints in Versamark ink on Pure Poppy cardstock. And then when laying the card out, I could see where it needed a few small embellishments......a small piece of red felt, stitched in the same gold thread for under the 'U' game piece and some tiny red buttons also tied off with gold thread (if you enlarge the pic, you might see some white under the buttons....its the glue, it was not quite dry when I photographed it, but it will dry clear).

I am quite happy that this card uses so much from my stash! And I think hubby will like it, especially the game pieces! Thank you for taking a peek. I so enjoy your comments, they stamp a big smile on my face when I read them! Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!!

Cardstock: Lemon Tart, Dark Chocolate, Pure Poppy - PTI
Ink: Versamark
Stamps: Heart Prints - PTI
Chipboard: Ampersand - JoAnns
Buttons: Stash
Other: Red Game Pieces - Li'l Davis; Red Felt - Kunin; Metallic Gold Thread - Coats & Clark; Velvet (brown) acrylic paint - Delta Ceramcoat

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Postage from Norway

So, what does a package with postage from Norway on my doorstep mean? It means.....I won Siri's blog candy!!! I can't tell you how excited I was when I saw my name drawn by her Granny........I was doing the Happy Dance! You can see pictures of all the delightful goodies, from papers to 'fabrics' to buttons to trims and more that she included in this fabulous package HERE. I am floored by just how many wonderful goodies there are! Her blog candy includes materials that are very much like the way she crafts, mixing typical card and scrapbooking supplies with nontraditional materials. Siri's blog is full of creative spirit and an exuberance to keep learning more. Stop by, check out what she is up to, and tell her I said 'hello'! Oh yea, and if you are redoing your crafty space, studio, or room, she has also started a second blog that you might want to check out as well.

Just look at the beautiful card and gorgeous box that Siri included in my package full of a crafters treats! The box is gorgeous and I'm just blown away by her attention to detail in the packaging of....................................

................the most fabulously stunning handmade flowers I've ever seen!! They most definitely outshine any and all of the Primas and silk flowers I have! I know this picture does not do them justice. But, make sure to click on the picture so you can see them better! They definitely took my breath away when I opened the box!

And there was one more treat in my box full of goodies! Nothing like a little chocolate to keep the creative mojo going! Thank you again, Siri!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Another Teacher Thank You

We had another teacher to thank, Ms.Vicky, who was just simply wonderful to work with this year! She is kind, thoughtful, and really had our son's best interest at heart. I do not think I could say enough nice things about her. Just like with Ms. Connors, we really lucked out!

For Ms. Vicky, I decided to make her Lauren's Captured Card Case and fill it! This was the first time I used this template and I was delighted to find that it is Beyond Easy!! I made this in the wee hours of the morning, one night before school was out and even with lacking sleep, it was still super easy. I filled it with this, this, this, and this card. Initially, I was going to make a cute matching set, but as a lot of you know how fast the last couple weeks of school can fly by, I ran out of time. I didn't want to short change this fabulous teacher though and still wanted to give her handmade cards, so I just pulled from some that I already made.

K&Company's Brenda Walton Mira Specialty Paper Pad has the most fabulous papers I think I've seen in a paper pad! I had sworn off paper pads/stacks/slabs since I so often forget to use them and while they can bring the price of patterned paper Way down, if I'm not using them, then its not only a waste of money, but of storage space as well. However, this pad has tickled me so much that I'm running out of the first one I bought several months ago and actually went out and bought a second one recently!! The patterned paper with the bird came from a piece in that pack. I cut it down and then to add just a little bit of interest, I used the burnished glitter technique from Spike, which I learned from my friend Dana at Paperdaydream (you should see the Gorgeous butterfly with dry embossing she put on her blog yesterday!). I burnished glitter on the birdy's eye and her branch, both with Martha Stewart glitter.

I hope everyone is having a fantastic day so far! The sun has amazingly decided to come out and play didn't shine through the overcast sky until after 5pm yesterday. Would you believe that?! On June 1st?! It was a surprise, but the kidlets and I had a really fun day yesterday and as I listen to them play with a tub full of cars and airplanes, making every sound effect possible, I'm hoping for another great one! Just wanted to wish you one as well and thank all who craft some time to for a little blog surfing, a little creativity, and a little play! I know I will! :>

Cardstock: Kraft, Dark Chocolate, New Leaf - PTI
Patterned Paper: Brena Walton Mira Specialty Paper Pad - K&Co.
Glitter: Aquamarine Crystal, Brownstone - Martha Stewart
Template: Captured Card Case - PTI

Monday, June 1, 2009

Moxie Fab World Citrus Color Challenge

As I began pulling colors for the Moxie Fab color challenge, I saw just how many different directions we can go! I realize its more Moxie FAB to use current and new products, but I ended up with a couple of retired SU In Colors, River Rock (which I never liked, until now...yes, Elise, you can thump me now!) and Wild Wasabi, in combination with a current color from Papertrey Ink, Lemon Tart. There are several other combinations that could be made from current SU colors or using Lemon Tart, Spring Moss, and Ripe Avocado (or New Leaf) from PTI, and a huge number of combinations from Bazzill or any number of great companies out there with great springtime launching into summer colors!

Planning in my head what I wanted to do, I grabbed a one inch circle punch and started punching out Lemon Tart and Wild Wasabi circles. I started arranging them on the River Rock card base to match that picture in my head and no matter how hard I tried to put them in a larger circle, they kept inching back into a line......acting like the caterpillar that they looked like sitting there on my card. So, I decided, why fight it?! A caterpillar it is. Running the circles through a Xyron, made it easy to attach them to each other and the card. A little TIP: If you take a stylus and trace around the outside (and the inside, if it has any cutouts) before you remove the top liner/cover, you will not have any of those annoying little Xyron webs that used to drive me batty!

Looking for antennae options, I pulled out my Love & Happiness rub-ons that were an SU sellabration goodie a couple years ago. I'm embarrassed to admit, I had not used them yet, not a one!! Actually, I'm really horrible about remembering to use rub-ons!! Oh the horror!! I have them. I love them when I see them. I admire them on other people's projects. But, I forget to use them!! Consequently, it may be a very simple card, but I'm proud that I did indeed remember to check out my rub-on stash!!! I cut out one flower stem (in Old Olive, I believe), that I cut into two pieces and used that for that for the antennae stems and two little dots for the antennae bulbs. I then cut the same two dots from the Chocolate Chip sheet and used them for the eyes. And voila, a little rub-on personality for my caterpillar!

"Thank You so much" is a sentiment from Dawn McVey's fabulous set, Damask Designs and was stamped in Wild Wasabi. The edges were all inked with more of that great color (too bad it is no longer). After I completed inking the card, the sentiment was beginning to get lost, so I took a Spica Glitter Pen in Melon and traced over the top popping the sentiment back out and giving it just a little bling!

Time to get one kidlet down for a nap and convince the other that the sun really will eventually come out is 2:30pm on June 1st, afterall! Oh well, I took advantage of it being cooler as well as all the gardening inspiration that I'm finding on so many blogs this week by pruning and weeding out back this morning. We transplanted a graphed apple tree that will have six different kinds of apples.....once it starts producing fruit. Its a happy little guy and I love looking at him out my kitchen window. Even though its getting late, I want to at least get my herb garden going and hopefully, get back to growing some veggies. I SO do not have a green thumb, but I get points for trying, right? What are you all growing in your gardens, this summer? (Or, if you are on the south side of the equator....hi Sarah!....what do you like to plant during your growing season?)

Cardstock: River Rock, Wild Wasabi - SU!; Lemon Tart - PTI
Ink: Wild Wasabi Classic dye ink - SU!
Stamps: Damask Designs - PTI
Embellishments: Love & Happiness Rub-ons - SU!; Melon glitter pen - Spica by Copic
Other: 1" circle punch - EK Success
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