Monday, January 28, 2008

"Butterflies are Free to Fly..."

That was a line in an Elton John song from way back when...and now it's stuck in my head (you'll soon see why) -- aack!

Happy Monday! Is that an oxymoron or what?! Well, I do have a daughter who absolutely loves Mondays...but only because her two days off each week are Tuesday and Wednesday; so for her, Mondays have become everyone else's Fridays. For most of us, though, Monday typically signifies the start of another five-day stretch filled with work and/or school. But it also means that most of us just had two days off to (hopefully) relax and unwind. Well, it was good weekend for me -- I got to play (read stamp) a little bit and so I now have another card to share with you. ;)

This one I made using Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge. I'm really enjoying using sketches lately. They seem to jump-start my creative juices and help me get moving, which is a very good thing for me when I'm short on time (which I always seem to be). I knew I wanted to make a sympathy card (I have a sweet friend whose father passed away recently and I've been putting this off because I've just had it in my head that I can't create something appropriate for such an emotional and deeply personal occasion -- do you know what I mean?). Anyway, she means a great deal to me and she's also a stamper, so I was determined to give it a try. First I chose a couple pieces of DP from BasicGrey's Perhaps line and thought they'd be perfect. After that, it came together fairly quickly-- nothing fancy or difficult about it -- but, much to my surprise, I was really happy with the way it turned out and I think (I hope) it conveys the essence of the spirit behind it.

I realize my picture-taking skills don't do justice to the color and shimmer here, but IRL it's so soft and pretty. However, thanks to a recent post on Amy's blog (see it here), I'm hoping to improve...well, more to the point, I'm hoping the lighting will make a big difference in the detail of my posted pics anyway. lol We'll find out before too long, and I'm excited! (Thanks, Amy!...if you're reading this.)

So back to the card...I used a White Daisy card base (standard size), layered with Cocoa CS and then with Bamboo CS, and then again with one of the more subtle-patterned (but very luscious!) Perhaps DPs (Note to self: Must. Get. More. Of. That. Paper!!). The butterfly image is from Close To My Heart's Butterflies set and I stamped it in White Daisy pigment ink on the gold-ish distressed DP and then dusted it with Prisma Glitter. I inked the edges in Cocoa and then matted this piece on White Daisy CS. Then I stamped another butterfly onto another piece of the same DP (which was inked and glittered just like the others); but this one I cut out, folded the wings upward, and adhered it (body only) exactly over the top of one of the butterflies on the focal image piece to give it some much-needed dimension and a more ethereal feel. I love how it looks like the butterfly is, well, um, 'free to fly' (there goes that song again...can you hear it? lol) right off the card. The White Daisy organdy ribbon was wrapped around the card and tied off to the right with the focal image adhered over it on the left side of the card.

I stamped the sentiment from Papertrey Ink's Paper Tray set in Cocoa onto the same gold-ish DP that I used for the focal image. I also stamped one more of those beautiful butterflies in the lower right corner using the same White Daisy ink and Primsa Glitter. I matted this onto Cocoa CS and placed it in the lower right-hand corner of the card, using pop dots, overlapping the focal piece just a bit. Again, this was quick and simple, but so soft and beautiful (well, in my opinion anyway -lol).

If you feel like trying out Beate's fun sketch, I'd love to see what you come up with. Here it is:

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope to see you again soon! Until then, many blessings!

Supplies: Stamps: Butterflies (Close To My Heart), Paper Tray (Papertrey Ink); Cardstock: White Daisy, Cocoa, Bamboo (Close To My Heart); DP: Perhaps (BasicGrey); Ink: White Daisy pigment, Cocoa (Close To My Heart); Other: organdy ribbon, Liquid Glass, Prisma Glitter (Close To My Heart), pop dots

Thursday, January 24, 2008

So They Say It's Your Birthday

...and if I were to have a birthday cake, it'd likely be considered a fire hazard. lol However, since hubby's no pastry chef (and would be hard pressed to think about stopping to pick up my favorite dessert), and the kids aren't old enough to be baking on their own just yet, I'm gonna have to forego the tradition of cake and ice cream with candles (galore, I might add -lol). Of course, it doesn't help that the kids are both down with coughs and sore throats...meaning they won't be going to Awana tonight (the one night a week when Bill and I actually have an hour and a half to ourselves -- such a wonderful thing and we really look forward to it, even if it means only having time to grab a quick bite and the literal sense, given our time constraints...some errands).

Tonight, however, we'd planned to use our gift card to Olive Garden, which has been gathering dust in my nightstand drawer for a year or two now. Oh, well. There's always next Thursday, right? And to further derail the evening (the kids are disappointed, but my waistline is actually thanking me), we'd also planned to stop at Cold Stone Creamery on our way home so we could all 'celebrate together' as the kids have been telling me they wished we could do -- they're so sweet! So, change of plans (not like this is anything new for us lately -lol)...we're settling for a delivered pizza and a nice glass of red, with the kids going to bed ON TIME (yeah, that ever happens), and maybe a movie with the warmth of the fireplace as our ambiance. I may live dangerously and have a handful of Dove Dark chocolate for dessert. That always goes well with red wine -- and what a taste treat!

I hope I'm not sounding too disappointed in today's twists and turns. We all need to be flexible, right? I'm truly a homebody at heart, so I'm good with hangin' out at home. I'm actually excited about the idea of not having to cook or do dishes...or go out in this COLD weather. And the kids are happy cuz we all get to celebrate together! And I'm really looking forward to opening my gifts after dinner -- I have a sneaking suspicion that there are some really fun {stamping} toys in the package from my parents (thanks, Mom!). All things considered, it's feeling like a very happy birthday indeed. ;D

Oh, and did I mention that the beautiful roses pictured here were a wonderful surprise that my ever-lovin' hubby brought home for me last night? Aren't they just gorgeous?! (You'll have to excuse the *lovely* vase, crystal ones are still packed away somewhere in the basement.)

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope to see you again soon! Until then, many blessings!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sweet Cakes

Hey there! I know it's been several days since I last posted, but that's probably going to be par for the course for me. Anyway, I made this card just in time to be mailed to California for a good friend's birthday coming up this weekend, using Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge #31 for inspiration. And, yes, I know it's a little past the weekend, but with my schedule, I'm lucky to get it made in the same month -lol! Most cards I make are for specific occasions and not 'just for fun,' though one day I hope to change that.

For this card, I chose this yummy-looking Three Cupcakes stamp by Lockhart -- so sweet and fun to play with! I wanted to use some of my papers from BasicGrey's Infuse line, and they went perfectly with Close To My Heart's Hollyhock cardstock so I selected that as my base. (BTW, all cardstock, ink, and markers used for this card are CTMH products.) I used my rectangular Nestabilities dies on this focal image for both the white piece and the Cocoa mat and then cut out the corners of the white piece using SU!'s corner punch. The white piece was pop-dotted onto the mat, and I added a red Dew Drop to each corner. I also paper-pieced the cupcake papers, though my choice of DP makes it difficult to tell. The strip on the right is just three pieces of paper, layered (Cocoa cardstock sandwiched in between two different pieces of DP from BasicGrey's Infuse line -- I love the luscious colors in that floral paper!).

I was having so much fun with this card, and then I hit a wall with it. :C I had it all planned out, but, for me anyway, sometimes things just don't go according to plan. Those are the times I like to think of as opportunities for 'happy accidents.' (Note: There were a couple of those on this card, but don't tell anyone.) Well, the biggest snag was that I searched high and low for what felt like an eternity trying to find the Liquid Applique that I JUST bought last week to make these cupcakes irresistible...but it's apparently walked off and is reeeallly good at hiding (please tell me I'm not the only one who loses supplies!). So I was feeling rather defeated, short on time, and thinking my icing was doomed to be flat and completely unappetizing until I found a little (unopened!) bottle of white dimensional fabric paint in my stash (now I have NO idea when I bought that or even what it was intended for, but I was really happy to have stumbled upon it, let me tell ya -- and see, there's yet another example of why we *need* to pick up those little items here and there when we're out just never know when you might need it! -lol). Well, okay, so it didn't give me exactly the look I was going for, but close enough to not scrap the whole thing and find a new stamp to work with. It probably could've used a second coat to build it up a little more, but I ran out of time. I don't think you can tell it from the scan, but the icing actually does have some dimension to it...and since my friend isn't a stamper, I figure I'm okay with it as is. lol You know what I mean, right? ;) Oh, and I also added a dusting of Prisma Glitter to the wet 'icing' and a splash of Fruit Punch Stickles on the cherries to make them glisten. Gotta love all that sparkle! ;)

For the sentiment piece, I used SU!'s ticket punch and one of the stamps (inked in Hollyhock) that came with the punch kit last year, then I used a couple stamps from Papertrey's new set Sweet Love on top of it, inked in Cocoa. I also added some Star Dust Stickles to the flowers on the stamped area of the punched piece and then threaded some gorgeous velvety ribbon through with the help of my slot punch. The ribbon is thicker than most so it actually gave the sentiment a popped-up appearance and added some dimension, which I like.

And so there you have it, my 'happy accident' of a birthday card. I hope she'll like it and that it will add some extra sweetness to her special day! Now off to track down that sneaky Liquid Applique.... ;D

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope to see you again soon! Until then, many blessings!

Recipe: Stamps - Three Cupcakes (Lockhart Stamp Co.), Sweet Love (Papertrey Ink), ticket punch stamp (SU!); Paper - White Daisy CS, Hollyhock CS, Cocoa CS (Close To My Heart), Infuse DP (BasicGrey); Inks/Markers - Cocoa, Hollyhock, Olive (CTMH); Other - dimensional fabric paint; pop dots; Liquid Glass (CTMH); red Dew Drops (Robin's Nest); ribbon (Wright's); ticket punch, corner punch, slot punch (SU!); Fruit Punch and StarDust Stickles (Ranger); sandpaper

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Mom's birthday card

Well, here it is. My first blog post. Nothing too exciting today, but I did get to go have my hair done. That's always fun. Well, I guess I should add a caveat to that statement: unless you're trying a new stylist and end up walking out looking a *bit* different than you were expecting. Since we moved here in August, I haven't yet found all of our family's new "service providers" (for lack of a better word), so I actually did try my luck with a new stylist today, and fortunately, that frightening scenario was not the (let's not go there, okay? -lol).

Anyway, I haven't stamped in about a week, so the card I'm sharing with you is one I made for my mom's birthday last week. I had a lot of fun using a couple images and a sentiment from You Take the Cake by My Favorite Things. I fell in love with the soft, warm colors in these Tudor DPs, and there's just enough red in there to spice it up a bit. You can't tell it in the scan here, but IRL the Stickles in the center of the flowers really makes the cake sparkle. Hope you like it. ;)

Stamps: (Icing on the Cake - My Favorite Things); Inks: Black, Lilac Mist, Barn Red, Cranberry, Vineyard Berry, Desert Sand (Close To My Heart); Cardstock: Lilac Mist, Barn Red, Colonial White (Close To My Heart); Designer Paper (KaiserCraft); Nestabilities; ribbon (WalMart); Dew Drop (Robin's Nest); stardust Stickles (Ranger); pop dots; stipple brush; sewing machine