Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Happy Birthday, With Love

I SO love these Wild Asparagus papers that I couldn't resist using them again this week for another card. They just speak happiness to me and are so soothing. I'm thinking I may need to run back to my LSS and pick up a few more pieces of each before they're no longer in stock just so I don't run out...cuz ya never know when you're gonna need to spread some happiness. ;D

This is a card I made for a dear, sweet friend (and former neighbor) of mine in California. Of course, being true to my "Last-Minute Lucy" nature I seem to have acquired, it's going to be a little late. ;( This unenviable trait couldn't possibly be due to my own inability to prioritize, so instead I blame it on my kids and my former boss who taught me that when you have too many things on your plate -- because you can't possibly ever say no -- you concentrate on putting out the biggest fires first. Given enough time, everything else will eventually become the biggest fire, so it all works out. lol NOT a great philosophy, but it seemed to have worked for him...although I think he did suffer from a very high stress level because of it, so perhaps I should do my best to avoid that strategy. Which reminds me of this other good friend of mine (also from my life and times in California) who is SOOO on top of everything that I would look bad even if I were actually on time for things (which I was, for the most part). I'm caught somewhere in the middle and just can't win. lol Oh, well, I'll figure it out...someday. ;)

Anyway, I used Taylor VanBruggen's Cupcake Challenge 17 sketch from last Friday (you'll have to scroll down for it after you get to her site, as I was unable to grab that post's link or bring the picture over here -- sorry -- but you'll enjoy the trip because she's very talented and you'll find a lot of beautiful artwork and ideas on her blog). I really enjoyed working with this sketch and found it to be fun and adaptable. The images are from CTMH's upcoming June Stamp of the Month set, With Love -- it's a really cute set! -- and the sentiment is from their Happy Birthday set and was stamped in Jet Black Staz-On.

The vase was stamped in VersaMark onto the "Birthday Girl" Dots paper and then covered with clear embossing powder, heat set, and cut out. The 'bouquet' was made using Hollyhock to stamp the flowers (first- and second-generation stamping) on White Daisy cardstock; the stems were stamped in Key Lime (some of them were curved to the other side before placing them on the acrylic block so they wouldn't all be heading in the same direction). The flower centers have a touch of Sunkiss Yellow ink waterbrushed on, and then some of them have some Star Dust Stickles for a little shimmer. I sponged the panel with some Heavenly Blue ink around the entire image, then inked just the edges with Hollyhock, and I also added some Grey Flannel ink using my waterbrush to 'ground' and shadow the vase. There are two little white grosgrain ribbon tabs secured to the right side of the focal image with Hollyhock brads. (I tried to color the edges of the ribbon with my Hollyhock marker but it bled too much to use it, so they were left plain.)

I stamped a few extra of the larger flowers (using the same process as I did for the ones on the focal piece) and cut them out to use as accents along the left side of the Dots panel, which also is sporting some cute scalloped waves made by my new Threading Water Punch by Fiskars (it finally arrived - YAY!!!). *NOTE: I'd recently read a review somewhere that there's a learning curve with this punch, and I thought to myself,, just kidding (yes, that was BAD, I admit it -- must be from watching too much "Emeril" lol).... I really thought, The Martha Stewart punches are set up just the same, so, seriously, how hard can it be? Well, let me tell ya, I had to eat my words...not once, but twice. Not sure what the deal is, but I definitely should've practiced a bit first. Oops. Fortunately, I was able to hide my hole-y rollin' (couldn't let that one pass by -lol) waves underneath the main focal panel (I sure didn't want to have to throw out that piece and use up more of that precious Dots least not until I have some backup!). So my best advice to any of you who are considering adding this cool little gem to your toy collection is that you may want to practice a little bit before biting into your beautiful designer papers.

The focal image panel, the vase, and the accent flowers are all adhered using dimensionals, and I did some stitching on the top two layers of paper. It was a fairly quick card (for someone who's painfully slow when creating). Hope you like it.

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Supplies: Cardstock: Hollyhock, (ret.) Summer Cloud Blue, White Daisy (CTMH); Patterned Paper: Wild Asparagus "Birthday Girl" Dots and Plaid (My Mind's Eye); Stamps: With Love, Happy Birthday (CTMH); Inks: Hollyhock, Key Lime, Heavenly Blue, Sunkiss Yellow, Grey Flannel (CTMH), Jet Black Staz-On, VersaMark (Tsukineko); Other: clear embossing powder, heat tool, paper piercer, sponge, waterbrush, Hollyhock brads, white grosgrain (CTMH), Threading Water Punch (Fiskars), Star Dust Stickles (Ranger), foam mounting tape, pop dots, sewing machine, white thread

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Moving Experiences...from earthquakes to tornadoes to a new nest

Being a native California girl, I've lived all my life VERY aware of (and freaked out by) earthquakes. And one of the reasons I was happy to leave California almost two years ago was that I was fairly certain we would no longer be living on any major fault lines -- no more worrying about where each of my kids were at any given moment and if I could get to them in time to 'save' them when the earth began to shake. I'm glad to say that I've greatly relaxed since then; however, I wasn't expecting to find myself in tornado territory! That's a horse of a whole different color...but at least we have warnings for tornadoes. lol

Thursday morning we watched as the winds came up, the thunder boomed, the rain began, and then the hail started falling. Up to ONE INCH pieces of hail (we were used to little pea-sized pieces or smaller, so this was a new experience for us). Then we were given a tornado warning and told to get down into the basement, which we did...although being kinda new to this, I wasn't really convinced there was an imminent threat and so therefore wasn't rushing (after all, I was told tornadoes only occurred on the OTHER side of I-25). Well, by the time I'd gathered the laptop (to follow the storm updates...not to blurf! lol), a flashlight, the house phone, my cell phone, and the dog, I discovered my 8-YO daughter had been filling her backpack with her favorite things (her stuffed "Shadow" -- I'll have to tell you about this darling little ragamuffin some other time as it's quite sweet; her Bible; her fleece blanket; her notepad and take notes -lol; and miscellaneous other toys); she also had her 10-YO brother packing his backpack! It was pretty cute actually -- she's such a little mommy...already!

Okay, so we're down in the basement just hanging out for awhile. The dog was a bit freaked, though it may have been more to do with the fact that she's never been down in the basement before and wasn't sure what to make of it or why she was being kept there with nothing to do but lie down and keep us company. ;) Noah and Chloe were supposed to be reading (I mistakenly thought we might be able to get some school work done while we were "just sitting around" -lol), though I think they were fairly shaken up too and kept thinking of questions to ask me about the tornado. What concerns me is that we really don't have anything 'secure' in the basement to get underneath or to hang onto should, heaven forbid, a tornado actually cut across our path, but of course I didn't tell the kids that. I think the only thing strapped down in there is the water heater, and that's definitely not a place where we'd be seeking shelter.

So after our encampment in the basement was over, I turned on The Weather Channel to follow the tornado and try to get a little more informed about tornadoes. I mean I'd seen the movie "Twister" a couple times, and I know that sounds lame but never had I thought about it in terms of something I'd have to deal with in real life because earthquakes, floods, and fire storms were the only natural disasters I was familiar with (although I just found out they had TWIN tornadoes in Southern California that same day!). However, in seeing the damage that this tornado had done in the town just south of us (and only four blocks from where some friends live), I came away with a sobering new appreciation for what can come from thunderstorms and wind...and baseball-size hail! That's right -- our friends had hail literally the size of baseballs crashing down onto their house and car and travel trailer, causing quite a bit of damage...and that was FOUR BLOCKS from where the tornado actually touched down! It completely wiped their church off the map, many homes and businesses were destroyed, the main road in/out was blocked by downed power lines and trees, and that area of the city is still without power two days later. Surprisingly, I believe there was only one fatality. We are so thankful that there wasn't more damage than there was since that same tornado touched down in a couple other places after that (one just a handful of miles north of us in a town where my kids are normally there taking art classes on Thursday afternoons!; the other, I believe, in Laramie, WY). And as scary as Thursday afternoon was, I think I'd still rather face a tornado than an earthquake. At least you know when a tornado is coming...though I think next time I'll be better prepared (and my kids won't have time to pack!).

Okay...if you're still with me, thanks. ;) Here's the card I made for my 20-YO daughter who just moved into a new apartment a couple weeks ago. The colors are so much more beautiful in real life.

Yes, this is for the same daughter who just received the Ass't Mgr of the Year award...and the same one who just called off her wedding indefinitely with less than three months to go...and the same one who's just now reuniting with her dad and his side of the family after nearly three years' separation) -- she's had quite a LOT of changes in her life this month. (I can't take any more! lol) I'll likely make her another card soon, an encouragement type, just because she's been going through so much and I know she'd appreciate the thought. My mother's heart wants to protect her and to be there for her and to help her through all this, but at the same time, I know she's learning and growing from all of these experiences -- and knowing her, she will emerge strengthened and become more confident in who she is. At least that's what I tell myself to help ease the guilt for not being there (of course it was her decision to remain in CA at the last minute...though it still doesn't change the sadness I feel). At times like these, though, I just wish I weren't so far away and could give her more than cards and encouragement over the phone. ;( UGH!

Anywhoo...I used a sketch I saw on Michelle Wooderson's blog a little while ago, and the image and sentiment are both from the Pretty Birds stamp set I picked up from Cornish Heritage Farms. The designer paper is more Wild Asparagus from My Mind's Eye that I recently picked up at my LSS (I seem to have a LOT of their papers). I just love the colors in this one -- they're soothing and yet bright and fun and they make me happy; I'm hoping they'll have the same affect on my daughter! ;)

I used Timber Brown Staz-On for the paper-pieced images and for the sentiment on White Daisy cardstock. (I think that little bird is one of the cutest birds I've seen!) Using my waterbrush, I added some Gray Flannel shadowing behind the images, and also sponged some Heavenly Blue ink for the 'sky.' The tree leaves are colored in with Key Lime ink, and the outer edge of the sentiment oval (cut with my Nestabilities) is sponged with Hollyhock ink. The crocheted trim is by Wright's -- I think I'm in love with that one!

I used two different sentiments from the set to make the "your" -- I added the "y" (from the "you're a hoot" stamp) to the "our new nest" stamp to make it work for my card. The "o" is covered with a Water Dew Drop. I have a layer of Summer Cloud Blue cardstock behind the plaid panel on a Hollyhock base, and the 'grass' is just a piece of White Daisy cardstock fringed with scissors and then inked with Key Lime. The sentiment piece, bird house, and sweet little birdie are adhered using dimensionals. Pretty fast and simple, but I'm pleased with the result. I only wish I'd figured out a place to include a "congratulations" on the card front, but instead it's on the inside.

Sorry for ALL the blabbing today -- I know that's not why you stop by. My life just seems a little bit more chaotic and a lot more emotional than usual and I just felt like I needed to get some of it out.... I won't do that to you again. I hope. lol I hope you're enjoying this Memorial Day weekend!

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Supplies: Cardstock: Hollyhock, (ret.) Summer Cloud Blue, White Daisy (CTMH); Patterned Paper: Wild Asparagus "Birthday Girl" Plaid and Dots (My Mind's Eye); Stamps: Kim Hughes' Pretty Birds (Cornish Heritage Farms); Inks: Timber Brown Staz-On (Tsukineko), Key Lime, Hollyhock, Heavenly Blue (CTMH); Other: oval Nestabilities (Spellbinders), trim (Wright's), Water Dew Drops (Robin's Nest), waterbrush, sponge, Liquid Glass (CTMH), foam mounting tape, pop dots

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Romantic Forget Me Not

Well, it's not really the way it sounds.... My 20-YO daughter was awarded "Assistant Manager of the Year" last week by her company! She's only been in that position since last fall, so it came as quite a shock to her that she'd win such an honor. She works full time, attends a community college part time, and lives on her own, and the word slow apparently isn't in her vocabulary. No matter what she does, she's a real go-getter, so her receiving this award really didn't surprise me all that much. That girl's got a LOT of potential (yes, I'm bragging a little...but it's true!).

Anyway, I wanted to make her a card to let her know how proud we are of her, and I thought this Rubber Romance stamp (can't for the life of me find it online to get the name of it for you though -- sorry!) would go well with several stamps in the new Great Expectations sentiment set by Verve Visual. What do ya think -- is it too hokey? It's supposed to be me talking on the phone to her (which we do nearly every day). And while I wish I had time to lounge around on the bed in a pretty slip once in a while, this image is quite a stretch to really be me (homeschooling two young ens seriously impacts one's 'down time' -- not to mention that since I quit my job as a legal secretary/paralegal ten years ago to be a SAHM again, I rarely wear anything but jeans -lol).

What I found ironic about this card is that the two designer papers I'd selected to use are from two different Bella {Bohemia} collections from My Mind's Eye (that I picked up recently at my LSS) called "Mother" and "Little Girl" -- kinda cool. Now, I know at 20 she's not literally a little girl anymore, but hey, she's still my works for me. ;)

The sketch is from last week's Sketch Challenge on Splitcoast, and was presented by Amy Rysavy. I really like this sketch and was especially happy to find that it still worked well (I think it did anyway -lol) after adapting it to accommodate the size of what must be a king-size bed.

I stamped the image in Timber Brown Staz-On on watercolor paper. I then attempted to color it in with my CTMH markers and waterbrush (I'm still looking forward to having time to practice with this don't give up on me just yet -lol). I cut out the headboard and let the Mini Harlequin designer paper act as "wallpaper." The matted image was then layered onto Twilight and again on Cocoa cardstock. The card base is Petal cardstock. The luscious Dots designer paper has layers of Petal and Cocoa behind it, and the stacked ribbons are wrapped around that piece. (BTW, among the goodies my mom brought me last week was this dusty blue with brown trimmed ribbon by Martha Stewart -- perfect timing! Thanks, Mom!) The sentiment was stamped in White Daisy pigment ink onto the back side of one of the designer papers and then adhered to layers of Petal and Cocoa. Both the stamped bed image itself (not the entire panel) and sentiment piece are adhered to the card with dimensionals. The Dew Drops were added for balance.

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Supplies: Cardstock: Petal, Cocoa, Twilight (CTMH); Patterned Paper: "Mother" Dots, "Little Girl" Mini Harlequin {Bella} Bohemia collection (My Mind's Eye); Stamps: image (Rubber Romance), Great Expectations (Verve Visual); Inks: Timber Brown Staz-On (Tsukineko), Smoky Plum, Twilight, Cocoa, Black, Vanilla Cream, Blush, White Daisy pigment (CTMH); Other: Cocoa organdy, watercolor brush (CTMH), blue/brown ribbon (Martha Stewart), Water Dew Drops (Robin's Nest), foam mounting tape, pop dots

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Vanilla and Animals on the Moooo-ve

Happy Saturday! I thought this was kinda fun (and different), given the fact that we have some delicious vanilla homemade ice cream in our freezer. Hmmm...wonder how they knew? ;) It read: "You're Vanilla.
You're as popular and relaxing as vanilla ice cream. You go with the flow, and get along with all sorts of people. You appreciate peace and simplicity, so you sometimes find crowds and loud noises overwhelming. You are a chilled-out, calming influence on the people in your life, and your friends appreciate how supportive and flexible you are."

Click on the icon and take the quick quiz for yourself (it just takes a minute or two) and see what flavor you are...unless you've got something better to do with your time -LOL! ;D

I hope you're having a nice weekend. I sure am -- beautiful, WARM weather (finally!), I get to stamp, and we also got to go see some cute baby twin calves (born 13 days ago) at the farm of one of our youngest son's friends this morning. We were invited over to see them last weekend but just never made it, so we were told the calves have grown a bit more since then. I took a couple pics of the sweeties (us city-folk just aren't used to seeing livestock in one's backyard -- never mind petting them! -- so we tend to take pics of what is otherwise considered 'normal' to many people who live here), and I thought I'd share them with you.

The female calf was really friendly and would let us pet her and she'd lick our pants, shoes, and hands.

Her brother, on the other hand, was acting kinda shy and just wasn't all that sure about us.

And then there was "Flower," their goat. She is used, more or less, as their lawn mower. lol She wasn't too thrilled with us trying to pet her. Her 'trick' was to stand up on her hind legs like a fighting longhorn sheep (just before trying to head-butt you! lol).

Well, back to the "Paper Playground" for me...I've got a card I need to finish before dinner. ;)

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Owl Be Graduating...Again

Thanks so much for the kind comments on my rather sad first attempts at this card, but I like this one SO much better. Hopefully you will too. My parents were here visiting us this past week and my mom was my sounding board and helped me get it right. (She also proved to be quite the enabler, as she brought me some fun embellies, and we also got to go shopping a few times this past week too.) ;D

The colors are basically the same as on the first card, although I found some orange patterned paper (it's a softer orange color, and I actually like it -lol) when "the girls" went shopping at my LSS on Saturday (our first excursion -lol)...which reminds me of something I just have to share because I'm guessing some of you can totally relate to this....

While we were shopping on Saturday, "the boys" had gone out to do some shopping of their own. The following day, Mother's Day, my sweet husband presented me with a gift certificate to my LSS (guess he didn't like my idea of ordering the new Megabilities online -lol). The funny part is that the gift certificate was dated May 10 (Saturday!). It turns out they went to the LSS and my dad noticed my car in the parking lot. Always up for a challenge, my hubby, hoping to be invisible, went in anyway. He immediately spotted my mom and ducked while making his way to the cash register. (Can you just imagine? lol) He whispered to the clerk that he wanted to get a gift certificate, and she made him repeat it (she must've thought he was weird or something -lol). When he repeated it for her, she whispered back, "Is your wife here?" to which he replied, "Yes." Apparently then they both had a good {quiet} chuckle over it as he quickly took care of business. My dad said he was back to the car in about two minutes, and totally undetected by us! Too cute! All I can say is that it's a good thing my 8-YO DD didn't see him (I tell ya she doesn't miss much, so it's a wonder he made it), and the clerk must be fairly used to this kind of thing happening. lol here's the card (I'm using my photo light tent for the first time here too -- my dad put the tri-pods and lights together for me! -- I think it makes a difference): So what do you think? I'm MUCH happier with this version, and it went postal today so there's no turning back. ;D

I took Jeanne's suggestion and went with a much shorter card (thanks, Jeanne!). It was something I'd agonized over the first time around but obviously chose incorrectly, so her confirmation was a relief. I ended up with a 4x6 this time, giving me much less dead space. I also used a sketch this time, which helped a LOT. It was one of Mary Jo Price-Williams' Monday Lunchtime Sketch Challenges from last month, but I turned it on its side.

The card has a White Daisy base and the Outdoor Denim cardstock layer is sanded. I stamped the Lined Paper Backgrounder by Cornish Heritage Farms on the right side of the cardstock using White Daisy pigment ink (fun stamp -- I can see a lot of potential for this one!), and stitched around the orange block. I changed the branch from blue to brown by stamping it on White Daisy in Timber Brown Staz-On and then sponging it with Cocoa ink. I managed to peel the owl off of the first card so I wouldn't have to re-do him again, and I added some black Waxy Flax to 'tie' the diploma.

The sentiment piece was cut using the classic circle Nestabilities. The bottom layer was cut once with the orange paper and another time with some White Daisy. I cut off the right portion of the White Daisy circle and then inked the edge with some Timber Brown Staz-On ink. Next it was adhered to the orange circle, and on top of the orange and white circle is a smaller circle of the Boxer patterned paper by BasicGrey. The sentiment itself was stamped on a transparency (cut to the same size as the larger circle) using White Cotton Opaque Staz-On. The transparency was adhered to the Boxer circle using mini glue dots hidden behind the orange brad heads (I cut off the 'arms') and ribbon piece. This whole thing was adhered to the card using dimensionals. The '2008' was written using a white gel pen.

So I'm FINALLY done with it. I can't believe such a cute little critter caused me such anxiety -lol! If any of you do something using this darling U R A Hoot set, please let me know; I'd love to see it.

Oh, and before I sign off, I have to show you the beautiful card my mom made me for Mother's Day and the graduation card she made for my son. She does such beautiful work!
The Mother's Day card uses CTMH's Ocean, Breeze, and White Daisy cardstocks and grosgrain ribbon, Swiss Dots Cuttlebug embossing folder, computer-generated sentiment, oval scallop and rectangle Nestabilities dies, patterned paper and embellishments were from Marcella by K (sold at Target). And she stitched around the rectangle and the {small} oval (I can't believe anyone can stitch on a small oval, but if anyone can, it's her!)

The graduation card uses Black and White Daisy cardstock from CTMH; she computer-generated the background; and the ribbon, snaps, die-cut cap (and diploma -- on the inside of the card), and rub-ons were things from her stash.

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Supplies: Cardstock: White Daisy, Outdoor Denim, Black (CTMH), watercolor paper (Strathmore); Patterned Paper: Villa Swirls (Chatterbox), Boxer collection (BasicGrey); Stamps: U R A Hoot, Lined Paper Backgrounder (Cornish Heritage Farms); Inks: Timber Brown Staz-On, White Cotton Opaque Staz-On, VersaMark (Tsukineko), Brown Bag, Autumn Terracotta, Goldrush, White Daisy pigment (CTMH); Other: classic circle Nestabilities (Spellbinders), Cuttlebug (Provo Craft), clear embossing powder, heat tool, sponge, waterbrush, black Waxy Flax, (ret.) gold cording (CTMH), ribbon (May Arts), brads (Making Memories), white Signo Uni-Ball gel pen (SU!), foam mounting tape, transparency, pop dots, sandpaper, sewing machine, thread

Friday, May 9, 2008

A CASE for Mother's Day

Well, it's not a total CASE, but I definitely was inspired by this card by Michele Boyer (I just love her work!). My mom adores irises and I was all set to make her a card with beautiful irises on it, but when I saw Michele's card, I decided it would be a fun change of pace (of course the thought of having to color in those irises was a bit intimidating, so that may have helped to influence my decision -lol). --BTW, Barb recently sent me a link for a coloring tutorial, so when we've finished with school for the year and I've backed up all FOUR years' worth of digi pics on my ailing desktop computer, I plan to send some time learning to color this summer -- thanks so much, Barb!

Okay, so here's my card (it looks a bit washed out here, but the colors really are much more vivid and prettier in person):

And here's the scoop: My parents moved to Arizona about ten years ago, and while my mom did go through a 'Southwestern' decorating phase, she's been over it for quite some time (hence, my wanting to use irises and going with a floral patterned paper). So this card doesn't have the decidedly Southwestern feel that Michele's card had, but I still wanted to use the cactus idea. Little did I know it would be such a process to put this all together...all because I couldn't figure out a way to use a cactus that my mom doesn't particularly care about one way or another. lol I don't think I've ever spent more time on a card than on this one (unless we're counting having to re-do Eric's graduation card -lol).

After looking again at Michele's 'how-to' notes, I decided I definitely took the looonnnnng way around. Instead of just masking a little and inserting the cactus, I paper-pieced EVERYTHING separately -- I think I stamped that image about four times! I had to draw in the left side of the dress and part of her right arm where the irises overlapped the image, the pot and arms are separate, and even the frame itself was cut out. Oh, well. It does have lots of dimension this way. ;) I'm pretty happy with it and I think she'll like it too (even though she probably would've preferred irises -lol). ;) I'm not sure if you can see all the layering and dimension of the paper-piecing, but here's a close-up:

The stamp sets used are Happy Mother's Day and Ride 'Em Cowgirl, both by My Favorite Things. The patterned papers are from the "Baby Girl" Wild Asparagus line by My Mind's Eye (I just love MME's papers!). The frame and much of the paper-piecing was done using Curious Iridescent Cryogen White (the arms, cactus, frame, and background), so it shimmers when the light hits it. ;) All images were stamped with Timber Brown Staz-On. I sponged the frame's background (guess it could be called wallpaper) with Vanilla Cream and Desert Sand inks (to give it a faux suede look that was so 'in' in many of the multi-million dollar homes we saw in Park City's Home Tour last year). The frame was sponged with Hollyhock and Barn Red inks (it came out pretty close to the color of the MME paper, so I was pleased with that); the cactus was colored using Garden Green and Desert Sand markers; and her arms were colored using my Vanilla Cream marker. The dress and the pot were cut out from the patterned papers and I didn't do any inking on them, though in hindsight I should've added some depth/dimension to the pot. ;( The little flowers were punched from the floral patterned paper using a little teeny tiny punch I've had for years -- I have no idea who makes it or where I got it. And another little hindsight item relating to the punched flowers: I think the one on the cactus might've been placed elsewhere...enough said. lol

I'm sorry I didn't have time to include all the links like I usually do, but I'm running out of time to get the house whipped into shape before my parents arrive. I hope that all of you who are blessed to still have mothers or have children of your own will have a wonderful Mother's Day! I'm not sure how long my parents will be staying and I want to enjoy every minute of their visit so I won't be on the computer much this next week, but I'll be back as soon as I can to show you the final rendition of that silly graduation card -- gotta get it made first though. lol

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Supplies: Cardstock: Colonial White (base), Garden Green (CTMH), Curious Iridescent Cryogen White (Arjo Wiggins); Patterned Paper: Wild Asparagus "Baby Girl" Coral/Floral and Dots (My Mind's Eye); Stamps: Happy Mother's Day, Ride 'Em Cowgirl (My Favorite Things); Inks: Timber Brown Staz-On (Tsukineko), Garden Green, Desert Sand, Cocoa, Vanilla Cream, Hollyhock, Barn Red (CTMH); Other: classic and scalloped square rectangle Nestabilities (Spellbinders), ivory organdy ribbon (CTMH), green ribbon (May Arts), corner rounder punch (EK Success), sponge (CTMH), sewing machine, thread, foam mounting tape, lots of patience ;)

Owl Be Seeing You

Thank you SO much for taking the time to leave your sweet comments on my ugly graduation card (instead of unsubscribing and/or leaving me forever). I was able to salvage the owl, but the rest of the card is now in the trash. Sadly, I feel a sense of relief and I think the that rippling chunk of paper feels right at home there. lol Jeanne, I'm taking your suggestions to heart and am planning to go with a much shorter-sized card. ;) So 'owl' be seeing you soon with a new, hopefully much better version of Eric's graduation card. (Yep, I'm a dork and couldn't resist the pun.)

My parents are on their way and should be here about lunchtime, so I need to kick it in gear and get the house clean! (Ewwww...I'd much rather be stamping!) We haven't seen them since Christmas, so we're ALL excited about their visit. And it's such a blessing to me to be able to spend Mother's Day with my mom, especially since my older kids will still be in California this weekend.

One last thing I thought I'd daughter (the 20-YO who was headed to the alter in August) came to a decision yesterday that she wants to postpone the wedding for a while. Not sure just how long 'a while' is, but we're happy that she's thinking beyond the moment and praying for wisdom to do the right thing. It wasn't easy for her to voice her thoughts, as you can imagine, and I can only say that I wish I'd had her strength to do that when I was in her shoes. Of course then I wouldn't have had my three older children and my life wouldn't be what it is today. Okay, let's just say we're very proud of her for not going through with something that could have had potentially devastating life-long consequences down the road. We would love to see them wait until they're both through college and have a better sense of who they are themselves. (This decision also means that I'm no longer stressin' about having to get her invitations made in the next three weeks or wearing an ugly dress because I couldn't find one I liked! lol Bummer though that I finally got all her paper and envelopes ordered just a couple days ago and it's already starting to arrive....)

I'll be back in just a minute to share the Mother's Day card I made for my mom. (I had to wait until I was reasonably certain she wouldn't be able to take a peek at it ahead of time. Me thinks it may have been a mistake to let her know about my blog since quite a few of the cards I make are for her.) Hope you're having a wonderful, beautiful day! And sorry for such a boring post (and with no pics even!).

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Owl's Got the Graduation Blues...

Okay, the owl is probably just fine, but I really have the graduation blues, BIG time...especially when you add orange into the mix -lol. (I think it looks good in certain color combos, but overall I'm not really a big fan of the color orange.) My oldest child is graduating from college this month (and I won't be there...I won't bore you with the specifics, but the situation makes me sad), and unfortunately navy and orange are the school's colors. But I will bore you with the specifics of this card though -LOL! That's why you're here, right? ;)

So...I am going to embarrass myself by showing you what I did. It started out innocently enough -- I wanted to try my hand at the cute U R A Hoot set (Cornish Heritage Farms), and I thought I should go with a larger card size since the images I planned to use were kinda big. I also planned to use some of the BasicGrey Archaic paper, but discovered the school's colors wouldn't allow that. Bummer. I really didn't want to use orange (did I mention I really don't care for the color orange? lol). So...after regaining my composure I switched gears and began to rethink it all...Ah, ha! BasicGrey's Boxer collection has a beautiful navy designer paper I could use -- great! So off I went in optimistic, happy pursuit of making the perfect whimsical graduation card. (In hindsight, it was nothing but blissful ignorance. lol)

But...then I spent I don't know how long trying to color in that owl. UGH! I don't own Copics (yet - and I'm pretty sure they're going to be on my Wish List for quite some time to come *sigh*), the CTMH markers weren't doin' it for me, and my color choices weren't mixing well on the watercolor paper. Hmmm.... Do I give up, put the owl to bed, and go the traditional route? No way! After all the time it took me to cut that puppy out (that is one BIG stamp set!), I was going to use it!! lol Plus I'm determined that I WILL learn to color (even without Copics -lol)). So I finally got the owl lookin' good enough to use on a card. Okay. I was smilin' from ear to ear (well,not exactly, but you know the feeling, right?), and the rest went together fairly easily. Or so I thought.

Here's what I came up with:
Uh-oh. Looks like it's missing something, doesn't it? My thought was that there was a lot of dead space between the owl focal point and the sentiment block (I swiped some Old Paper Distress Crackle Paint on it and then stamped the sentiment from UR A Hoot in Timber Brown Staz-On), and I also wanted to bring in some more orange on the right side to tie it all together. While it may have been good in theory, I ultimately discovered the obvious...the 'Old Paper' wasn't the best choice in color and the Timber Brown Staz-On didn't make much of a statement, my defense options were limited and hindsight is a perfect 20-20 (too bad it doesn't help).

My first thought to the rescue was to use some orange paint and stamp '2008' sideways on the left side of the sentiment block. Follow me? But before laying a hand on it, I decided to get a second opinion and asked the hubster what he thought...I really didn't care for his suggestion (but I thought it was sweet that he put forth some effort to try -lol), and from there the card went in a definite southerly direction. Some rescue....

Aye, ca rumba! And I can't fix it!! This poor card has been saturated with so much glue and paint that it's actually starting to buckle. ;( I had to make the painted area larger to cover all of the 'Old Paper,' but I also thought I'd make it tall enough to be able to add the '2008' as well. Well, the orange area grew a little too large for the visual effect I had in mind, but not really large enough to add the '2008' to it like I wanted. And despite putting down two coats, I still didn't get perfect coverage. ;( So it is what it is. And I'm not a very happy camper.

Now, on the up-side, I do have another week before I need to mail it to him. And here's where you, my faithful three readers -lol, come in -- I figured I would enlist your help on guiding my options as I see them. ;D I can leave it as is and only cringe when I think about it (after all, it's going to my 22-YO son, who will likely set it out on his desk for a day or two...maybe...and then toss it in a drawer, and, thankfully, not for a publication submission -lol). OR I can re-do it -- resize, reshape, remove, rethink...but only if you give me your suggestions. I'm not looking for a pat on the back here because we all know it's not that pretty. lol My stamping time is limited, my brain is a little fried over this card at the moment, my parents are coming for a visit later this week, and my daughter's wedding invitations are going to be consuming most of my 'free' time for the next few weeks, so unless you give me something good to go on, I'm probably just going to leave it. But I just hate to put my name on something I'm not proud of, KWIM? (Especially when my ex-husband and his less-than amiable wife will also be examining it.... Is that sick or what?! lol)

Many thanks to anyone who cares to spend a few minutes brainstorming this for me. I really appreciate it...and my son might too. lol -- And it's okay if you're laughing at my sad attempts here. I'm laughing too. ;)

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Supplies: Cardstock: White Daisy, Outdoor Denim, Orange (CTMH), watercolor paper (Strathmore), Cryogen White (Arjo Wiggins); Patterned Paper: (ret.) Orange swirl (CTMH), Boxer collection (BasicGrey); Stamps: U R A Hoot (Cornish Heritage Farms); Ink: Timber Brown Staz-On, Jet Black Staz-On (Tsukineko), Brown Bag, Autumn Terracotta, Goldrush (CTMH); Other: VersaMark (Tsukineko), Clear embossing powder, waterbrush, (ret.) gold cord (CTMH), Platinum Stickles (Ranger), Stardust GellyRoll clear pen (Sakura), brads (Making Memories), sewing machine, thread, sandpaper, foam mounting tape

Monday, May 5, 2008

Under Construction...

Nicole is currently working on my blog, and so things are kinda messy at the moment. I see that I've lost a lot of blog links and other things I'd added recently, so once she gets things back up and running again, I hope to get it all restored. (That is, if I can even remember what blog links are missing -- there are just too many inspiring stampers to visit each one regularly!)

I have a few new cards to share with you, but I doubt it'll happen today (Mondays are pretty busy school days for us). Many thanks for your patience. Hope you're enjoying your day today!

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!