Thursday, July 31, 2008

I Challenged the Giving Hand...on a Road Trip!

Quirky title, I know. But fitting. While the former is not something I'd ordinarily do (but in this case, it's true -lol), the latter is something definitely long overdue. I used CMTH's The Giving Hand set to make this card, which was inspired by one of Our Creative Corner's recent challenges. lol
And here's my interpretation:

The main layer is Vanilla Cream cardstock, but I customized it to look like it does by using the direct-to-paper method with Vanilla and White Daisy inks, and then stamping the sentiment multiple times using Goldrush. The flowers are done by stamping them first with White Daisy pigment ink and then a second time in Goldrush and yet again with Sunflower. I haven't done a lot with completely changing the look of a neutral cardstock, so this was really new and fun for me.

The lower portion of the card is done by stitching down the 'spindles' on top of some sanded Goldrush cardstock, and then attaching the scalloped-edge punched border with dimensionals.

The focal image was stamped on Colonial White cardstock, then adhered on top of different cardstock mats (the Goldrush mat was sanded). I also did some stitching.

This card is also airborne at the moment, on its way to thank a very sweet someone for recently GIVING me darling some HANDbag patterns (think Vera Bradley) that she'd designed at one time. I couldn't think of a more appropriate set to use to thank her.

With VBS last week and trying to get everything ready for our three-week summer trip, I haven't been online very much in the last two weeks and probably won't be online much (or stamping at all!) in the next three weeks either. ;( However, I'm having a different kind of fun, so that's okay. And I will have some cards to share with you while I'm away. ;)

I'm posting this from my vacation parents' home in Arizona -- my kids and I spent the better part of the last two days on the road to get here...stuffed into my hubby's teeny, tiny commuter deathtrap car, which is averaging 38.5 mpg --woo hoo! MUCH better than my car's not-so-economy/ecology-minded highway average of 10.5 mpg, so I guess it's well worth being a bit squished. lol And aside from getting to spend time with my parents, my mom goes to great lengths to spoil us rotten with her delicious cooking (even if I'm "good," I'll still likely gain the few pounds I finally just managed to shed --boo hoo)...and I always get to sleep in here! ;D And being here, I also get to see, in person, what my mom's been up to in her craft room -- that's always a special treat for me! Next week my hubby will fly down to join us in California where we'll be visiting with our four older kids, extended family, and some friends...all of whom we've been missing very much since we moved away two years ago.

Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog and leave a comment (reading them always makes my day!), and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy Boosters (just doin' my part! -lol):
Cardstock: Colonial White, Vanilla Cream, Goldrush, Goldrush, Olive (CTMH); Stamps: The Giving Hand (CTMH); Inks: Vanilla Cream, Goldrush, Sunflower, Garden Green, White Daisy pigment (CTMH); Other: edge punch (Martha Stewart), ribbon (May Arts), sponge (CTMH), sandpaper, foam mounting tape, pop dots, sewing machine, white thread

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Grateful for Challenges

Sorry I've been away so long.... I have been stamping a little this week but just haven't found the time to post or even blurf much. I'm not sure why this summer seems to be so hectic, but it just is. Is it just me, or do you all feel that way? This week our church is having VBS and I'm helping out each day ("Jerusalem Marketplace" is the theme this year, and my friend Kathy and I are shopkeepers and heading up the "Pottery Barn" -- super fun, but kinda messy, and very *warm* since all the craft shops are outdoors and we're having to wear these long tunics over our clothes that were no doubt the height of fashion back in the day -lol!). It's been a lot of fun seeing so many kids (over 100 of 'em, and it's only our first year!) having such a great time and learning about Jesus while doing it. ;) Tomorrow is our last day of VBS and my kids have had a wonderful time, but because I am so NOT a morning person {insert a really big yawn here}, I can't say I'll be sad to get to sleep in on Saturday. lol

Okay, back to the reason you're here.... ;D

I wonder if most stampers are like this...but if not for challenges, I don't think I'd stray out of my comfort zone very often. I'm pretty much a creature of habit, and I'm often too busy {and too tired} to really take the time to try new things and think outside the box too much. Not to mention most of my supplies are still securely boxed up in the basement just waiting for a place to call home, so they're not readily available and I can't hear them calling my name. ;) Maybe you can't tell, but this card is evidence that I sometimes need to be seriously challenged in order to give my brain a good workout where creativity is concerned (yes, I am certainly challenged in other areas as well, but we're not gonna go there right now -lol). I actually combined three different online challenges with one of my own. How's that for being seriously challenged?! lol

A couple weeks ago I received some Happy Mail from Kathy -- check it out! {Thanks again, Kathy!} In addition to being sweet, Kathy's also very talented and is a member of the Sarah Kay design team (and doin' some pretty good PR, I'd say! lol). Anyway, she sent me some of their super cute images (they're over there <---------) and this was my first attempt at coloring one.
I knew I wouldn't be able to use my markers on this paper (with my current skill level and because they're not Copics...yeah, it's because my markers aren't Copics, that's the reason -lol), so I went down to the basement and dug out my Prismacolor pencils and used some OMS for the first time (my self-imposed challenge). Now, as you know, I'm still not too comfortable with my coloring, so please don't look too closely. I'm not kidding.

The other three challenges I used as inspiration for this card are (1) Jen's Sketch for You to Try, (2) Our Creative Corner {dry embossing}, and (2) Color Throw Down week #2 (I had to do my best matching CTMH's paper colors with the selected SU colors: Pumpkin Pie, Cool Caribbean, and Barely Banana). Jen's sketch this week was really fun

and I love using my Cuttlebug embossing folders, so those two were fairly easy; but using my pencils with OMS is definitely something that will require a LOT more practice, and that color combination was quite a stretch for me as well. It's one I'd never have chosen otherwise, but once the card came together, I kinda liked the color combo.

The card's pretty basic, so the only thing that may not be obvious is that I colored the confetti flowers {thanks, Mom!} with my CTMH markers.

I wish I could go steal a little nap, but it's time to go check out the kennel where our doggie will be boarded while we're on vacation....

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

Economy Boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):
Cardstock: White Daisy, Breeze, Buttercup, Orange (CTMH); Patterned Paper: (ret.) Orange large gingham (CTMH); Stamps: little girl with kitten (Sarah Kay), Say It in Style (CTMH); Inks: Jet Black Staz-On (Tsukineko), Orange, Buttercup, Heavenly Blue, Desert Sand (CTMH); Other: Prismacolor pencils (Sanford), Odorless Mineral Spirits (Mona Lisa), blending stumps (Loew Cornell), Cuttlebug, Paisley embossing folder (Provo Craft), My Legacy Writer, sponge, (ret.) Apricot gingham ribbon (CTMH), word window punch (SU), Flame Dew Drop (Robin's Nest), Bridal Confetti flowers (Michael's), foam mounting tape, pop dots, glue dots

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mama Said...

Well, I don't know about you, but my mama said lots of things. And I've come to learn she's a very wise woman, so now that I'm older and can more fully appreciate that, I do try to take the things she says to heart a lot more than I did as a sometimes ungrateful and often self-centered child. (Did I really just say that about myself?!)

And as a mama now myself (to at least one who invites my opinions...yeah, I know!...I still have to pinch myself over that one, but I love it -- that I'm asked for my opinion, not being pinched! lol), I've said many things. Sometimes too many things (there's a definite learning curve involved here). And it's at times like this (see card below) when I strive to keep my mouth shut (unless I'm asked; and at times like this, usually I'm not...imagine that! lol).
When I first saw this In Hot Water image, it made me giggle. I had no idea what I'd ever use it for, but I just had to have it. (I'm sure you know the feeling...and if you don't, just humor me and pretend you do.) Then one of my kids got themselves into a bit of hot water (yes, I meant to say that -lol); and while it wasn't really all their fault, there's still some lessons to be learned and a rather large mess to contend with nonetheless. So once our hearts all calmed down to a normal beating rhythm again, I figured it was safe to bring some humor into the situation by making a card with this cute little chicken...and paired with this fun sentiment, I thought it was perfect. And then when I saw that the current challenge over at Caard{varks} is "On The Farm," I knew I had to make it. (I'm still not sure it would go over well, after all it would be still coming from "mom," ya know -- I don't want it to be viewed as an 'I told you so' kinda thing -- so I just may keep it and look at it for a reeeeally long time -lol).

I used the Perfect Plaid Scrapblock from Cornish Heritage Farms for the background, and the image was colored in using markers and my waterbrush on watercolor paper. Everything else is pretty clear cut, except I'm not sure if you can see that the Cranberry horizontal mat layer has been distressed by crumpling it -- kinda fun...unless it tears.

Oh, and I almost forgot to tell ya'll something really exciting and fun...if you like country/farm/old time/comfort-inducing things...and especially those that are FREE!! Dana over at Old Red Barn Co. is giving away a beautiful handmade quilt -- it's the one in this photo! Win a quilt at
If you stop by, you can enter yourself in the drawing...of course, then if you win you'll have to hand the quilt over to me. Just kidding. ;D I seriously can't believe she's giving away this quilt!! Wouldn't it be fun to use this photo as an inspiration piece for a card? Hmmmmm.... Who's up for this challenge? Anyone care to join me?

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

Economy Boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):
Cardstock: Colonial White, Cranberry, Goldrush, Black (CTMH), watercolor paper (Strathmore); Stamps: In Hot Water (Lockhart), Feeling Groovy (Verve), Perfect Plaid Scrapblock (Cornish Heritage Farms); Inks: Jet Black Staz-On (Tsukineko), Grey Wool, Grey Flannel, Heavenly Blue, Buttercup, Bamboo, Cranberry, Orange, Goldrush, Hydrangea, Desert Sand, Olive (CTMH); Other: rectangle classic and scalloped Nestabilities (Spellbinders), waterbrush (CTMH), buttons (from my stash)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Cottage Floral Thoughts

When I saw the colors for this week's Color Throwdown Challenge, I couldn't resist. You know how much I {heart} these colors and the fact that they're in some of my favorite Wild Asparagus papers made it all the more irresistible to me. ;) And then I saw the current sketch over at Card Positioning Systems and figured I'd give it a try. So here you have the culmination of that combination (try saying that three times fast! lol):
I haven't worked with any florals in quite a while...or at least it feels that way, so I chose the Cottage Floral stamp set and used one of the smaller images for this card. The sentiment is guessed it, Say It in Style (I'm reeeeallly enjoying that set, in case you hadn't noticed -lol). Both of these sets are from Close To My Heart.

I think this beautiful patterned paper looks a bit on the shabby chic side, so, in keeping with that feel, I did a bit of sanding on the Baby Pink (base and horizontal panel) and the (ret.) Summer Cloud Blue cardstock. I also used an edge distressor on the edges of most of the layers. Throw in some stitching, piercing, and curling and it's complete. 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!

Economy Boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):
Cardstock: Colonial White, Baby Pink, Blush, (ret.) Summer Cloud Blue (CTMH), Curious Iridescent Cryogen White (Arjo Wiggins); Patterned Paper: Wild Asparagus "Sweet Little One" paisley (My Mind's Eye); Stamps: Cottage Floral, Say It in Style (CTMH); Inks: Baby Pink, Blush (CTMH); Other: White Opal Liquid Pearls (Ranger), trim (Wright's), sandpaper, sewing machine, white thread

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wishing You Well

In reading Courtney's blog a little while ago, my 8-YO daughter and I decided to each make a card for Courtney's cousin. If you haven't already clicked on the link or if you're not familiar with Courtney and her blog, her 6-YO cousin fell and suffered some serious injuries to her head. While Carli's recovering, we hope our cards will give her something to smile about.

Here's my daughter's:
She used some patterned paper that she had in her 'stash' (I love that! lol); she stamped the two butterflies with a stamp she got from the dollar bin at Michael's, and then carefully colored them in with some of her markers (she even practiced on scratch paper to be sure she liked the colors she'd chosen - so cute). I'm just guessing, but it wouldn't surprise me if Chloe's card isn't going to be one of Carli's favorites (you know, the 'from one kid to another' kinda thing...).

And here's the one I made:

The sketch was one of Lizzie Anne Designs' birthday sketches from last week, but because my image panel was a tad too large, I wasn't able to include a bow. ;(

The pretty (and sparkly!) patterned paper is from the Nana's Nursery Baby Girl pack, and the sweet little girl image is from Stamping Bella. My coloring still leaves a lot to be desired, but one of these days I'll figure it out. ;) The sentiment is from Close To My Heart's Say It in Style (a recent Stamp of the Month), and I messed with it a little by adding some white highlights with a gel pen. I got a little carried away with all the dots, but it went so well with the polka-dotted ribbon. lol

I hope by the time these cards made their way to Carli she was feeling a lot better already.

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

Economy Boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):
Cardstock: White Daisy, Blush, Sweet Leaf (CTMH); Patterned Paper: Nana's Nursery Baby Girl (DCWV); Stamps: Wendy Papillon (Stamping Bella), Say It in Style (CTMH); Inks: Jet Black Staz-On (Tsukineko), Blush, Baby Pink, Sweet Leaf, Vanilla Cream, Cocoa, Taffy, Grey Flannel (CTMH); Other: ribbon, waterbrush (CTMH), designer label punch (SU), gel pen, Stardust clear Gelly Roll pen (Sakura), sewing machine, white thread, staples, foam mounting tape, pop dots

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I'm 'Brilliante'?

I was given another award! (Does it count if both awards were bestowed by the same person? I know what you're thinking...and, no, I didn't pay her, I promise! lol) Barb, whose blog is always a source of inspiration for me, passed this award my way, so I'm posting it here to pass it along to some others.

The rules for this award are:

1. The winner can put the logo on her blog.
2. Link to the person who awarded you.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links to those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of those you've nominated.

Even though I am very inspired by Barb and many on her list of seven, I'm going to share with seven others who maybe haven't received an award today this week...even though some of these talented ladies won't even know who I am (I do a lot of stalking admiring, but don't always have time to leave comments). ;)

1. Susan -- I love her versatile style and her creations are always inspiring.
2. Michelle -- She uses a lot of pastels and her cards are often a little on the 'country' side, both of which really appeal to me...and she stamps 'smart' (aka mass produces).
3. Tanis -- She's got her {inky} fingers in soooo many pies, and she does an amazing job with all her creative juggling.
4. Patti -- She does beautiful work and I love that she shares a bit of herself with each of her posts.
5. Courtney -- Her blog is so down-to-earth and fun; you never know what you're going to be treated to when she posts...but it's always good!
6. Laurie -- I want to be her when I grow up...enough said.
7. Lisa -- I love her fresh approach to paper crafting; her creations are unique and always eye-catching.

I could go on and on (you've seen my blog roll, right?), but the rules state only seven. Guess I'm gonna have to save the rest for future awards...should Barb ever decide to honor me with another one. ;D

I've had a lot going on here this past week, but I'll be back tomorrow with a card to share. Take good care. And thanks again, Barb! You made my day. ;)

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

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

I haven't made any patriotic cards in a while, so I thought I'd post the last one I made, which was from QUITE some time ago. It's a spinner card (my first and only), and because it was made for a swap with other Close To My Heart consultants (Hi, Sylvia!), all products used are from CTMH. Boy, this brings back memories...trying to finish these babies up at 3am! I've since learned not to procrastinate (as much -lol).

Whatever this day holds for you, and among the festivities and fireworks, be safe -- and don't forget to thank or say a prayer for those who so bravely fought (and are still fighting) for our nation's freedom. Freedom definitely is not free.

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

Economy boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):
Cardstock: Cranberry, Outdoor Denim, Colonial White (CTMH); Stamps: Snap, Crackle, Pop (CTMH); Inks: Outdoor Denim, Cranberry, Desert Sand (CTMH); Other: VersaMark (Tsukineko), Cranberry, Gold embossing powder (CTMH), dimensionals, natural hemp, (ret.) shaped eyelets (CTMH), sandpaper, penny (my penny jar)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Monkey Serenade and some Caard{varks} Candy!

Happy {almost} 4th of July to those of you in the good ole U.S. of A.! Before the weekend begins, I thought I'd share another card with you. But first, take a look at the fun surprise I had waiting in my mailbox yesterday: I had no idea what prize I'd be receiving (or even that one was offered) when I entered this card a couple weeks ago in the Caard{varks} Happy Birthday Dude challenge, but now I do! ;D It's a vintage-looking scrapbooking kit by Graphics 45...the Times Nouveau Collection to be many beautiful 2-sided! papers, several pieces of cardstock (plain and textured!), a page of die cut tags, and some really pretty ribbon, eyelets, brads, safety pins, and metal photo corners! What fun I'm gonna have with this! Thank you, Caard{varks}!!

Okay, so here's my attempt at singing (lol):
I made it for my 22-YO son, who plays the guitar. ;) (I couldn't very well send a card to one son and not the other, now could I?!) And since I can't sing, I thought he'd rather receive this than hear my vocal attempt at it. lol ...And, unlike his younger brother, this son of mine actually saves his handmade cards. ;) Maybe it'll be contagious one day. lol

I used Desert Sand cardstock for my card base, with the lower portion sanded and accented with a strip of Archaic patterned paper across the center of the card. You may recognize my soloist...he's fairly well known and goes by the name of Changito. He makes me smile no matter what he's doing. Today, however, he's been commissioned to play his guitar and convey an important message to my son. I stamped him using Timber Brown Staz-On and then used my waterbrush and CTMH ink pads to color him in on watercolor paper.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

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

Economy boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):
Cardstock: Desert Sand, Cocoa (CTMH); watercolor paper (Strathmore); Patterned Paper: Archaic "Fossil" (Basic Grey); Stamps: Changito Guitar (Stampendous); Say It in Style (CTMH); Inks: Timber Brown Staz-On (Tsukineko), Cocoa, Brown Bag, Autumn Terracotta, Baby Pink, Desert Sand (CTMH); Other: paper piercer, waterbrush, brad, Cocoa grosgrain (CTMH), dotted grosgrain (May Arts), mat pack (SU), sewing machine , white thread, sandpaper, foam mounting tape