Thursday, April 29, 2010


Ten random things that spark my creativity, please, do share your sparks!

1. Real Simple Magazine
2. The boys' school rooms
3. Nature
4. Legos
5. Billboard Signs
6. Coffee Shops or Hole in the Wall Cafes
7. Beer Glasses
8. TV Commercials (especially the one where it goes from black and white to ladies in yellow swimsuits, yeah, the one with the annoying jingle...)
9. Antique Stores or Garage Sales
10. Memories!

Supplies Used: DSP (K&Co.) Stamps: Rough Edges Alphabet (SU) Ink: Chestnut Roan Chalk (Colorbox) Other: Cardboard, Typing Paper, Ring

To Everything

to everything, terns terns terns there is a season, terns terns terns
It's me, chuckling out loud to the description provided by bee things at their Etsy Store regarding the image that inspired me. I was drawn to the simplicity and graphic nature of the birds. I liked masculine feeling created by the contrast of black and white against the gray-with a touch of yellow. Perfect for a Masculine Thank You card for the Etsy Inspired Challenge. I was also inspired by Maile's card here-how she created a background pattern and chose to highlight the sentiment by stamping it on white. I kept embellishments to a minimum, using only some black twill and three staples for just a touch more masculinity.

Supplies Used: Cardstock: Marigold Morning (SU), Textured Grey (Bazill), White (Georgia Pacific) Stamps: Woodgrain Background (SU) Thank You (Heidi Grace-Clear Acrylic) Ink: Jet Black (Stazon) Embellishments: Black Twill (May Arts from Practicing Creativity Designs) Staples

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Am Honored

Kind of late to the game here with my announcement because of the long day at work, but I am so excited I still had to share!
I made it onto the inaugural design team at CAS-Tastic Wednesday Challenges! There is a great group of ladies that I get to share this honor with and we look forward to you joining us as we debut another challenge on May 5th! Please take a minute to congratulate and check out the work of these wonderful Clean. And. Simple. designers.
Bonnie Rose

In Wonderland

I read the real Alice in Wonderland to my oldest son for a bedtime story not too long ago. He was fascinated. I was fascinated. The story truly is amazing and full of eccentricities and characterization. The fabulous challenge image at Off the Wall Craftiness eluded to the Wonderland Tea Party and I pulled out the butterflies, bold colors and patterns with a clean and simple interpretation. I kissed the cute butterfly image onto some different patterned stamps to create texture and then randomly stamped the outline butterfly over the mask for a background. (Wplus9 has a great tutorial on masking here, a great technique for clean and simple designs.)

Supplies Used: Cardstock: SU Pixie Pink and Whisper White Clear Acrylic Stamp Sets: Woodgrain Silhouettes from Wplus9, For the Love of Dots from Practicing Creativity Designs Ink: SU Pixie Pink and Only Orange Pigment Ink, Colorbox Chalk Citrus Yellow and Lime Pastel Ink Other: Signo White Gel Pen Tools: SU Corner Rounder Punch, Staples


Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah Roma-Roma-ma Ga-ga Ooh La-la
The crafty blogging world is tons of fun, you know? I get so much inspiration, get to know so many new people and find loads of new things to try, including music from none other than Lady Gaga. A little bit ago I noticed that the wonderfully talented Brandi (YankeeBelleStamper) mentioned in her profile the Lady herself as a music fave and I thought, hmm...maybe I should listen to some of her music, I mean, if Brandi (and my sister) likes her so should I. And trust me, her music is great, upbeat and fun. Through email correspondence we challenged to ourselves to create a card based off on of Lady Gaga's famous costumes and here are our creations. Enjoy!
Brandi found this galactical image of Lady Gaga at the 2010 Grammy's for our inspiration:

Here's my bold take:

(Supplies: Cardstock: Georgia Pacific White, SU Summer Sun, Basic Black and Silver Clear Acrylic Stamps: Look Up and You're Dandy from Practicing Creativity Designs, Thank You from Heidi Grace Ink: SU Pigment Ink in Summer Sun, Versamark Ink Embellishments: SU Black Grosgrain Ribbon, SU Silver Cord, Button Tools: SU Black Embossing Powder, CM Circle Punches, Fiskars Corner Rounder)

And here's Brandi's beautiful interpretation:

This was tons of fun! I got to know another crafter a bit better, created a bright and fun card and now I have a new soundtrack that puts me in an upbeat mood!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Quite Contrary

Mary Mary quite contrary, How does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells. And pretty maids all in a row.

Such a lovely little rhyme I was humming in my head when creating this card, all these pretty felt flowers lined up in a row. Upon finding the correct verbiage for the poem, I ran into the historical origins. I don't care to find out the true meaning of a nursery rhyme again anytime soon. Oh dear, how complicated. I think I shall just remember the poem as I did when I was little, so much more fun that way.

These felt flowers fell from their container and were a perfect match to jump start a card for The Curtain Call Color Challenge. Along with the pink flowers, I added a celery green ribbon leaf and rose stitching to hold them in place, as I've seen some talented designers do with other shapes. I'm happy that I kept this card clean and simple instead of complicated, I think it's so much more fun that way.

Supplies Used: Cardstock: Georgia Pacific White, SU Pink Pirouette, Stamps: SU Wonderful Words Rubber Stamp Set Ink: SU Certainly Celery Pigment Ink Embellishments: Felt Flowers from Flower Fusion SU, Pearls from Queen & Co. Tools: Fiskars Scallop Border Punch Other: Thread

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Robin's Eggs

We used to live in the little yellow house on the corner and each year the robin would build a nest on top of the somewhat rusty lamp and lay a few eggs. Bright, yet soft, blue eggs. Our dad would let us climb up the ladder and count how many we were expecting to arrive in a few weeks. This would, of course, signify Spring and warmer weather. What significance two or three blue robin's eggs could have for three girls.
The colors of current challenge at The Play Date Cafe include a robins blue and terra cotta, along with cream and pewter. I pulled out the large stamp, inked and misted lightly with water and then stamped onto watercolor paper. I repeated the step with the blue and layered the two together. This card is just within reach of my comfort zone, but far enough away that I do need some binoculars...

Supplies Used: Cool Caribbean SU Cardstock, Watercolor Paper from Archers Paper, Really Rust and Cool Caribbean SU Pigment Ink, Medallion SU Stamp, Thank You Clear Acrylic Stamp Set from Heidi Grace, Pewter SU Brads, Fiskars 1/8" Hole Punch, SU Edge Distresser, Ranger Mini Mister

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Instant Human

The alarm goes off. And maybe it goes off again. I methodically do my morning chores and try to wake the boys. And then I maybe try to wake them again. I'm rushed. I send one on the school bus and drive the other to daycare. I punch in the code to enter the building. And I maybe have to punch it again. I drop off my purse, grab my most favorite mug and waltz to the coffee pot. I pour coffee. I maybe pour some more. Aah, now I can begin my day. Instant human. Just add coffee.
This card was created with the Moxie Fab World Get Sketchy Challenge in mind. Something a bit witty that perhaps might put a smile on your face? There are tons and tons of great entries so if you wanted to grab a cup o' joe and take a look see like I did, its worth your while!

I'm going to give this a whirl in the Caardvarks Monochromatic Challenge as well. I'll call it the coffee or coffee bean sack colors.

Supplies Used: SU Nutural White Cardstock, SU Linen Background Stamp, SU Pumpkin Pie, So Saffron, Close to Cocoa, True Thyme Pigment Ink, Ranger Distress Ink in Walnut Stain, Karen Foster Stickers, Sunflower Pearls from Queen & Company, CM Journaling Pen, Cardboard, Brown Linen Thread


Had I inked these dots in green I would be reminded of rows of corn planted before they tassle, Had I inked these dots in yellow I would be reminded of a glorious sunny morning, Had I inked these dots in red it would have reminded me of chicken pox (ok, so note to myself not to ink these dots in red...)
I've learned that colors choices along with composition really impact a one layer card. For Kristina Werner's One Layer Card Challenge I chose to ink these dots in blue to remind me of the sky and create a backdrop for the funky flowers.

Supplies Used: Georgia Pacific White Cardstock, For the Love of Dots Clear Acrylic Stamp Set by Practicing Creativity Designs, Flower Stamp Set from Heidi Grace, SU Sweet Little Sentiments Stamp Set, Ice Blue and Citrus Yellow Colorbox Chalk Ink, Stazon Ink Jet Black, Rhinestones from Michaels, Fiskars Corner Round Punch

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Veils

She felt pretty...beautiful. She took a step forward, then one back, then around and around she went. She twirled and twirled but stopped short of falling down. She couldn't ruin the pretty new dress or veil her mama made for her. She heard her name being called and went to stand by her sister. She was just as pretty, only with tiny purple roses on her veil instead of pink. It was their day...a special day. Two little girls were about to receive their first communion.

Since layers and embellishments go hand in hand with the vintage style, this card was a stretch for me. There are so many beautiful vintage creations out there...I'm glad I tried it out and I'm happy with the results. I was inspired by the beautiful images in the Wee Memories Challenge and the sketch at Card Patterns and decided to try out the spiral flower technique that has been popping up. I also distressed each element pretty heavily with a walnut stain wash, which was fun but left my hands looking like I've been playing in dirt with the boys. Pearls and satin ribbon finished the look.

Supplies Used: Rose and Kraft Paper from Archers Paper, SU Sweet Pea DSP, SU Sincere Salutations and Baroque Motifs Stamp Set, SU True Thyme Pigment Ink, Ranger Walnut Distress Ink, SU Ivory Satin Ribbon, Doily, Half-Backed Pearls, Thread

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Winter Babies

Winter babies require winter hats and I was completely unprepared for the test of winter when my first born arrived to greet -20 degree weather. Thankfully, a kind and wonderful relative brought over the tiniest, most perfect winter stocking cap for him shortly after we arrived home. The hat was white and fit him snug as a bug in a rug. Six years later, I think of him wearing this tiny white hat and know that 1. it would be no bigger than a skull cap 2. it wouldn't be white anymore and 3. the ties would reach under his nose and tickle.

I tried my hand again for the sketch at Everything but the Kitchen Sink, this time taking a more subdued and literal approach. The card base is cut to shape, I added the hand-made pom-pom (the kind that my grandma makes) and cotton (from the Emergency Room visit for the said mentioned boy) to complete the look of the cap. The visible edges of the card and the tag are distressed with ink and some have marker lines for definition and dimension.

Supplies Used: Georgia Pacific Cardstock, Kraft Cardstock from Archer's Paper, Me & My Big Ideas DSP, SU ChitChat Rubon, Colorbox Chalk Ink in Creamy Brown, SU Close to Cocoa Marker, Yarn, Cotton

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Barns

There was the barn where we fed lambs with a bottle and asparagus grew on the outskirts. There was the barn that housed all the veterinarian farm animals on the college campus. There was the barn with the baby calves that licked my hand. There was the barn that housed hogs and on warm days the smell waifs down our road...

This money card holder generated from the sketch challenge at Everything but the Kitchen Sink. I was having a tough time deciding what to do that wasn't done already. On my way home from work I noticed that the ten or so barns along my thirty minute drive all had a similar silhouette as the sketch. The barn is all made by hand, starting with woodgrain stamped on red, distresss inks and scored panels. I am sure I'll be trying this again, as it is really realistic in real life (huh?). The sentiment is my handwriting and there is faux stitching. Not really sure you can go hog wild with $2.00 but it is the only cash in this house. And it came from the boys' piggy bank. Hmm, how appropriate.

Supplies Used: Georgia Pacific White Cardstock, Kraft Cardstock from Archers Paper, SU DSP, CM Red Paper, Woodgrain Silhouettes Clear Stamp Set from Wplus9, You're Dandy Clear Stamp Set from Practicing Creativity Designs, So Punny Stamp Set from SU, Versamark Ink, Colorbox Chalk Ink in Creamy Brown, Ranger Distress Ink in Walnut Stain, SU Close to Cocoa and Chocolate Chip Markers, White Gel Pen by Signo, CM Black Journaling Pen, SU Mat Pack

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Private Plane

Someday my sister and I are going to travel to Ireland. I understand it is as beautiful in real life than in the novels. We are going to fly and we are going to have one amazing time. In the forty or so years we have to wait, we'll just have a good time when I travel by car to see her!

This card was created with the Off the Wall Craftiness Challenge in mind-to create something related to travel. I've never made a card for such occasion but it was rather fun! I used the sketch at 2S4Y (flipped) and lots of layers and stitching. The pink panel and black and white panel or both zig stitched to the card base, the tag is also stitched. All the edges are inked to give it that well-worn, time to go home look. I think I shall give this to my sister who will more than likely fly somewhere exciting soon for her job, I'm sure!

Supplies Used: Kraft Cardstock from Archer's Paper, Making Memories Just Chillin' Girls DSP Collection, Making Memories Passport Embellishments, Fiskars Airplane Stamp, Practicing Creativity Designs Look Up Clear Stamp Set, SU Sincere Salutations Stamp Set, Chestnut Roan and Creamy Brown Chalk Ink, SU Corner Round Punch, Thread, Envelope

***If you've made it this far: This is my second post for tonight and I would be honored if you wanted to meander down and see my first post!***

Little Things

After the birth of my first baby, my mother stayed a while and cooked meals (as well as completing many other chores). Enough meals for what seemed like decades to come. I didn't think anything really of it at the time, I was preoccupied with a certain little someone that kept crying, pooping and well, doing baby stuff that I had no idea how to handle. After Mom left, it was those meals that I simply pulled out of the freezer and reheated that made everything well,...better. It's the little things that make life big.

This card is coming under the wire for the Play Date Cafe, which is to create something with black, white and a splash of orange. I'm happy that I tried out another alternative technique for this stamp and kept things clean and simple. Am I off my rocker when I say I think the "big" orange button balances the flowers and sentiment?

Supplies Used: Georgia Pacific White Cardstock, DSP (unknown, from a really long time ago) Wplus9 Woodgrain Silhouettes Clear Stamp Set, SU Happy Harmony Stamp Set, SU Pumpkin Pie, Marigold Morning and Really Rust Pigment Ink, Jet Black Stazon Ink, Black Journaling Pen from CM, May Arts Black Twill from Practicing Creativity Designs, Fiskars Corner Round Punch, Button from In the Loop, DMC Black Floss

Monday, April 19, 2010

On Being Modern

We are supposed to be remodeling and my husband asks what color roof shingles I want. Black. What color siding. White. What color interior kitchen paint. Beige. What color carpet. Tan. Yep, not too exciting. But, if I were to be hip and modern, my color scheme would be bold splashes of yellow on a gray and white backdrop.
The Curtain Call Color Challenge appealed to the inner depths of my soul by featuring yellow, white and grays. I created a clean and simple (and I hope hip and modern) card through bold color points and quiet background patterns. (I paper pieced the flower.)

Supplies Used: Georgia Pacific White Cardstock, CTMH Grey Flannel Cardstock, SU DSP, SU Summer Sun Cardstock and Pigment Ink, Colorbox Charcoal Gray Ink, Woodgrain Silhouettes Wplus9 Clear Acrylic Stamp Set, SU Circle Punch, Rhinestones by Reminisce

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Warm Fuzzies

Sometimes people hit a rough patch in life and need someone to listen to them, to get it all out, and then to wrap them in warm fuzzies full of love, understanding and compassion. I'm proud to say that I was honored to give a warm fuzzy today-have you?

This card was inspired by this plate for the Etsy Inspired Challenge. After creating the card with warm tones of felt stacked squares affixed with cross stitching and placed under a raised frame, I realized that Cose Dolci also offered this plate. Ahh, even more warm fuzzies.

Supplies Used: SU Kraft Cardstock, SU Chitchat Rubon, DMC floss, Felt

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Grow Old Along With Me

Grow old along with me / The best is yet to be / When our time has come / We will be as one / God bless our love...

I hear the song in my head as I start to create this card for a bridal shower. I pull out the sentiment, peal the clean and graphic crocus flowers and stick them to the acrylic block. I cut the natural white cardstock and coral ribbon. I'm going to create a clean and simple card. The song plays over again in my head. I recall images of my own wedding almost nine years ago. A smile spreads across my face. I ink and reink the flower, creating a natural rhythm of them growing and growing. I stamp the sentiment and stitch the ribbon to the card. The song (or my version of it) is almost done, and the memories tuck themselves back to sleep. The card is finished. Back to reality...

I enjoy making cards for the journey each takes me to and for some reason this one came together quickly. I used the colors from Wplus9 Color Cue Challenge and my new stamps from the same company. I'm slowly chipping away at my wish list and am so glad that I picked these up. Love 'em!

There is also this awesome new challenge out there called CAS-tastic that I'm entering this card in it (because I love it)! Please go check them out.

Supplies Used: SU Natural White Cardstock, Wplus9 Woodgrain Silhouettes Stamp Set, SU Best Yet Stamp Set, SU Bordering Blue and Marigold Morning pigment ink, American Crafts Ribbon, Fiskars Corner Round Punch, Thread

Friday, April 16, 2010

Conquering Fear

I'll admit, I'm scared of a lot of things. Some of which I share (like clowns), some I keep inside. I can proudly cross off my fear of using a number of bold bright color in one small area.
For this card, I created my own patterned paper using pigment inks and large polka dots on white paper based on the colors from the Curtain Call Color Challenge. I went back and softened the white with a yellow rub. I heed and hawed around with what to do with the paper and decided on a birthday tag based off of the sketch at 2S4Y, bright and cheery! Not too much to share today, I've got to get back to being the nurse-it's a lot easier today.

Supplies Used: Georgia Pacific White Cardstock, SU Pixie Pink Cardstock, For the Love of Dots Clear Acrylic Stamp Set from Practicing Creativity Designs, SU Only Orange, Green Galore, Yoyo Yellow and Pixie Pink Pigment Ink, SU Butterfly Die and Chit Chat Rubons in White, Swiss Dots Embossing Folder, Fiskars Scallop Border Punch, Making Memories Jumbo Eyelets, Gems from Reminisce, White Satin Ribbon from Offray, Button from Cloud9

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Frequent Flyer

I'll let you in on a little secret, which some of you might already know. The term "frequent flyer" floats around the ER area at our local hospital and refers to individuals that come back often to receive services. My family, unfortunately, is now part of the club. I got the dreaded call at work today stating my oldest had fallen. Ouch. Second visit to the ER this month. Ouch. One broken wrist. Ouch. My mother-in-law stating the fact that it won't get any easier with two boys. Ouch.

In light of seemingly spending more time in waiting rooms than at home, I haven't been able to finish a card I was making so I'll post one that I have laying around. Nothing too fancy, but I've got to say that the glossy accents make the apples really pop.

Supplies Used: Apple Cardstock: SU Not Quite Navy and Garden Green, Georgia Pacific White, Clear Acrylic Stamp Sets: Tree from Close To My Heart's Dream Big, Dots from Practicing Creativity Design's For the Love of Dots, Ink: Colorbox Chalk Ink in Ice Jade, Tsukineko VersaMark, Ribbon: SU Satin in Real Red, Tools: Fiskar's Scallop Border Punch, Ranger Glossy Accents, Other: Red Thread, Prisma Color Pencils

Oh, must go, I hear "mama!"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The GrownUp Conversation

Husband: What are you doing? Me: (as I am placing this card on our giant maple tree) Taking a picture of my card. Husband: Why? Me: To see if outside pictures really are better. Husband: Why? (he's a man of many words...) Me: Because a lot of people do it. Husband: Why? Me: It's supposed to showcase your cards better. Husband: Why? Me: I don't know. Are you writing a book or something?
Truth be told, natural light really does work. I didn't have to adjust my levels, contrast or color (for you photoshop fans!) Second truth be told, I rarely ever get to take photographs of my cards in daylight, as I like to spend what little time I have with my boys after work and am a late night crafter. Sigh. This card originally was created with the Color Throwdown Challenge colors on mind, but I was too pokey to post it and thus missed the deadline. I still love the simplicity, the spotlighted bird, and the ribbon tab that would appear to come out of no where but is grounded by the sentiment. It might even be my favorite card yet, and yep, the husband will write that in his book!

(Does any one know the name of the Stampin' Up stamp set where this bird lives?)

Supplies Used: SU Natural White Cardstock, For the Love of Dots Stamp Set and Pink Striped May Arts Ribbon from Practicing Creativity Designs, SU Sweet Little Sentiments Stamp Set, Bird (SU-unknown), Colorbox Chalk Ink in Olive Pastel, SU Going Gray Pigment Ink, Thread

Monday, April 12, 2010

Donut Be Sad

I never had a dollhouse growing up, and it didn't bother me one bit. Instead my sisters and I would place pillowcases on the floor and build rooms out of stuff for our Barbies. The furnishings came way of an auction, with the auctioneer being my oldest sister. By the time we had everything auctioned off and built, there was no time to actually play! Oh, good times...
The current Etsy Inspired Challenge features the shop of The Mouse Market who creates adorable little miniatures, and I was inspired by these orange colored earrings. I created a miniature card using a miniature stamp and sentiment and added a few layers and simple embellishments to finish it off. The tear is colored with blue pencil and the frosting has Glossy Accents to give it a bit of shine. The card is meant to be hand delivered or placed on someone's desk at work who might be having a rough day (or I might pin it to my own board at work!). Its so cute and tiny in real life, it makes me smile!

Supplies Used: SU Natural White and Kraft Cardstock, DSP (will update later), SU Comfort Food Stamp Set, Colorbox Chalk Ink in Chestnut Roan, Glossy Accents by Ranger, Prisma Colored Pencils, Light Blue Grosgrain Ribbon from Offray, CM Square Punch, Fiskars Scallop Border Punch