Monday, March 31, 2008

April Showers....

What do they say, March is in like a lion and out like a lamb? This year- not so much. We had some beautiful Spring-like days in the first part of the month but the end of the month has been chilly with some pretty strong winds. As for April Showers bring May Flowers, well, that remains to be seen as rain has not been too forth coming in the past couple of years. I spent some time this afternoon working on weeding and trimming the landscape bed in the front of the house (bribed my daughter and 2 of her friends to help bag and haul trimmings.) It was so... great to see the new growth on the shrubs. I could even see some new shoots coming up from my peonies- total bliss! I love to get out and work in the beds in front of the house- if I have the right tools. We planted everything about 4 years ago and I am definitely in need in some lawn tool upgrades! My shoulders and back are screaming at me right now! Anyway, Spring is here and that makes me happy! In honor of this season, Spring is the theme for the April Home Page contest for the A Muse Addicts Forum. I love this little Seattle girl stamp by A Muse and wanted to use it in my entry. Granted, she is cute but I think the reason that I like this image is it reminds me of a Colorforms set I had as a very small girl- Wendy the Weather Girl. I can't for the life of me remember what Wendy looked like, but she did have some nifty rain gear for you to cling on to her. I love the saying that was inspiration for the sentiment. To me, it is a promise of better times ahead when life becomes stormy. Since I didn't have room for the entire saying on the front of this darling 4 1/4 x 4 1/4 a muse notecard, I decided to add a little tag to place inside my focal point. I figured the little gal would look funny walking around with that giddup without some form of precipitation so I added some Cloud 9 acrylic drops and splats (the splats are cut in half to try to keep the puddles from looking like they were floating in mid air, not sure it worked but, oh well.) The voting for the Home Page Contest ends today. There were some really awesome cards entered this month so I am not exactly hopeful but your always a winner if you get to do something that you love to do! It's ALWAYS a Stampin' Good Time! Take care!

April Showers card recipe:
Stamps: a muse- Seattle girl, Karen Foster Snap-Stamps (small formal)
Paper: a muse notecard, Bashful Blue, Summer Sun, white shimmer from lss
Ink: Brillance Black, Stampin' Write markers in Pumpkin Pie, Summer Sun, Always Artichoke, Bashful Blue
Accessories: ribbon- a muse, Copic markers, Cuttlebug, Nestabilities, acrylic "splats" and raindrops-Cloud 9 Design

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Sneak Peak...

Just a quick post this evening. I am completely tuckered! I can usually just go, go, go but then all of a sudden it will hit me and I have to crash. Down time becomes mandatory (well, as mandatory as it can be with 2 kids.) I was up pretty late last night working on these SWAPs for the a muse addicts discussion forum. The theme for the month of March was to use the color green. I didn't have very many green supplies from a muse so I had to improvise a bit but I felt the card was pretty cheerful, anywho. Since tomorrow doesn't slow down very much, I'd better take advantage of Rachel being in bed and get some rest. So I'll leave you with the card recipe. It's ALWAYS a Stampin' Good Time! Take care!

March SWAP recipe:
Stamps: Elzybells Spring chick, and sentiment
Paper: a muse notecard, PP Making Memories, Stamper's Select white cs
Ink: Andirondack Pitch Black
Accessories: Marvy circle punch & scallop circle punch, Copic markers, ribbon- a muse, American Craft acrylic flower, small scallop punch, Junkitz chipboard photo corners, Jesse James glitter dots

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I Should Have Been Stamping...

this morning while my oldest DD was working on her school work, but what was I doing instead...
stalking the Jonas Brothers Fan Club site to get my code word to buy pre-sale tickets for their summer concert tour! Much to my almost 11-year-olds excitement, I was able to purchase 2 for me and her and 2 for her bff and her mom (did you hear her squeal) for the Atlanta show! Although, I am only paying for 2 of the tickets believe me they weren't cheap but this will count as her 11th birthday- party and presents. And when you think about it, the concert is not until August 20th so I have a tool to keep the pre-teen hormones in check for the entire summer (insert evil snicker)! Hopefully, I will have a card to post tomorrow! It's ALWAYS a Stampin' Good Time! Take care!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

My Final Week in "Simply Great Card Design"

Yes, I am still here! My house is full of company this weekend (picture hubby, me, our 2 daughters, my mom and my in-laws all in around 2300 sq. ft and you get the picture)! I have had no time to myself (heck, we're taking numbers for the bathrooms around here-lol)! Anyway, I hope to have a chance to create soon and "show off" some of the wonderful lessons I have learned from Julie Ebersole and her on-line class "Simple Great Card Design" at My Creative Classroom. And guess what? For those who missed this class the first time around, Julie will be offering it again! For the deets click here. What tidbits of knowledge, magic no less, did Julie share with us during this 5 segment (1 segment/week) class? Inspiration, design concept and components, composition and craftsmanship to point out some fancy words. Sound technical, sound tricky- not at all the way Julie presents it. Believe me, I had several "Duh" moments when a simple concept (and remember "simple does NOT mean easy") became crystal clear to me- a light bulb came on, I shouted "YES!" and I heard a Sousa marching tune in the background- lol. Seriously, IMHO, this course was well worth its cost. The information is presented via an A/V slide show with Julie narrating (for you audio learners), a PDF format (for you visual learners) and there is a discussion forum for Julie to answer questions while you are actually trying your hands on what you learned (for you kinesthetic learners.) The course even has its own gallery where you share your projects with the class- a show & tell, of sorts. Julie's comments in the gallery are so positive and helpful, and my classmates' were kind. Okay, disclaimer- I have received no personal compensation for sharing this information on my blog. This is only my opinion. I'm simply excited because living in a somewhat small town, I have not had an opportunity for an actual class on design and certainly count myself lucky for being instructed by a gal that is so well known in the craft for her talent and fun personality! Let's hear it for computer technology!

Wishing each of you and your families a Blessed Easter! Take care!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Be sure to check out my sweet bloggin' friend Jill's blog for some exciting news and some wonderful blog goodies! Way to go, Jill!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

And the winner is...

Congratulations to generated number

Becky Sorenson

Becky if you will please e-mail me with your postal address I'll get the goodies out to you!
Thanks to everyone for playing!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Working Tonight

Hi, All! I signed up to work tonight from 7pm-1am so I will not be drawing for the blog candy until around 1:30 am (CT.) So if you are not awake at the hour be sure to check back here in the morning for the winner! It's ALWAYS a Stampin' Good Time! Take care!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Acetate Glitter Tutorial & Ladies of Leisure Give Away

I promised a tutorial for the acetate glitter card that I made for the Ladies of Leisure Card Challenge, so here it is.... Keep in mind, this is my first tutorial and I am technically challenged, so bear with me. A few of my close-up shots are quite blurry but I think you will get the idea of what to do. The reward for muddling your way through my first tutorial?- a look at the blog goodies I'm giving away, as well as, the deets on how to win. Of course, you can scroll past to tutorial but what fun would that be- lol!

Supplies: Acetate sheet
Line drawn image stamp
Black Staz-on
Dries clear glue (I use Art Glitter brand)
Fine glue applicator tip (Art Glitter)
Fine glitter (Art Glitter)
Embossing Buddy
Powder Pals (powder trays)
* Note- I usually transfer my glitter from the PeeWee
bottles to larger containers so I can pour the excess
glitter from the powder tray more easily.

2. Stamp image using Black Staz-on onto acetate.
I like to use a stamping mat (mine is actually just a
thick piece of Fun Foam that I bought at Michael's)
on images that are detailed and large in size. You
want to be very careful that the stamp does not
slide on the slick acetate and blur your image. The
Staz-on will dry very quickly.

3. Depending on your image, you may want to flip
the acetate and work from the side opposite the
stamped image. Whichever side you want to be facing
the outside of the card should be face down.

4. First, go over the image with an Embossing Buddy.
With the fine tipped applicator on the glue bottle,
fill the image, one section at a time,with the dries clear glue.
You will want the glue to fill the image completely
but not go outside the lines.

5. Sprinkle your first color of glitter on the
glued section. I usually work with 1 color
of glitter at a time and fill in the sections that
I want to be that 1 color before moving to the next.
When dealing with an image where you are
working with both bold and soft colors, I will
do the soft colored sections first. After you
sprinkle your glitter, you may tap off
immediately. Now fill in the next section with glue, and
repeat the glitter process until you are finished
with the entire stamped image.
If you are coloring a part of an image that
has a smaller design inside a larger image
(such as the polka dots in the letter "s")
fill in the smaller design first.

6. Once all of your glitter is in place, allow
the image to dry at least overnight (usually
12-18 hours.) You will know that it is dry
once you do not see the "murky" quality
that the wet glue leaves. Finally, dust any
remaining loose glitter away and complete
the card as you like.

Okay, now for the Ladies of Leisure Blog Candy Give Away....

I have the following goodies up for grabs- Flourished Words stamp set from Flourishes, K & Co. stickers, School related CS, Prima flowers and some yummy ribbon! I will select a winner on Saturday, March 15th at 9pm (CT) via a random drawing for anyone that answers the following questions in the comment section of this post.

1. What Designer Series Paper did Chris from For Love of Paper use for her Genie Bag Purse?

2. Where is Jill from Inkgenious going on vacation?

It's ALWAYS a Stampin' Good Time! Take care!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Ladies of Leisure Card Challenge

Initially, I began surfing the paper craft blogs to find inspiration for my own creativity. What came as a wonderful surprise was the inspiration I found for my soul in the wonderful assortment of friends I have met through these blogs. To me, it is totally refreshing how you can take so many different people with diverse personalities and stages of crafting expertise yet communicate and share on a level playing field. We all know the BIG names- those gals on numerous design teams with many publications to their resume. The wonderful part is I feel I can e-mail them for crafting advice or just to share a similar life experience and they are so pleased to hear from me. No prima donnas here!

This brings me to today's post. I have 2 friends that have blogs. The first one, Chris of For Love of Paper, is the gal that got me to start a blog. I met her at my lss 3 years ago and she has been one of my best friends since. While her move to Texas a year and half ago (is that right, Chris?) doesn't let us get together and craft, we communicate via phone and e-mail often and those are treasured times for me. My other friend , Jill of Inkgenious Inklings, is a gal that I met from her blog. She actually lives in Alabama and although we have never met in person, yet (can you say road trip, Jill?), I feel that our personalities would click very well and great fun would be had by all!

Besides paper crafting and blogging, we share another thing in common- we are all essentially SAHM raising small children. How any of us (like so many of you) find time to enjoy our crafting boggles my mind. I like to say my hobby/passion/obsession helps me to hang on to what remains of my sanity and hopefully, makes me a better mom!

Since I cannot get together with these 2 super ladies, I decided the next best thing would be to offer a monthly challenge between the 3 of us (yes, we really needed something else on our plates- teeheehee.) It is our hectic, busy lives that inspired the name for our challenges The Ladies of Leisure Card Challenge- it's so absurd it made me giggle! We are going to try to post these once a month, rotating the hostess each month. Right now anything goes, as far as the challenge. One thing we all agreed on- this was to by low key, low stress! I am the hostess for the month of March, and I challenged Jill and Chris to make an Easter card which included glitter. This sweet little card will go to one of my great-nieces for Easter. I will post a mini-tutorial on the transparency glitter card technique that I used in the next day or two

I would love to invite anyone that would like to participate with the challenge this month to do so. In fact, in celebration of our kick-off month, anyone that leaves a link to their card in my comments (either SCS or their own blog) will be entered in a random drawing for some goodies (just thought of this as I am typing so I will post the candy tomorrow.) Now I must get to bed. I'm taking 23 Girl Scouts to Club Libby Lu tomorrow (please have a good thought for me and my assistant leader, Laura and probably the staff at Libby Lu, as well)! It's ALWAYS a Stampin' Good Time! Take care!

Happy Easter card recipe:
Stamps: Stampendous
Paper: Stamper's Select white CS, transparency, PP- K&Co. Wedding Multi Mat Pad
Ink: Staz-on Black
Accessories: Art Institute Glitter & Glue, May Arts ribbon, Cuttlebug, Nestabilities

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Elzybells Takes to the Road with a Flourish

As I have mentioned, I am taking a web-class called Simply Great Card Design taught by Julie Ebersole who is just the Queen of Simply Great Card Design. The topic for Segment 2 is "concept of design." The "classwork" for this segment has certainly increased my insight behind designing cards. On a subconscious level, I was using many of these ideas already but now that I actually am going through a thought process with my designs, I am finding my cardmaking to be more purposeful and possibly more organized. This is not to say that the lesson detracts from my personal creativity. I just feel that I can use my creativity much more effectively. Another fantastic aspect of this class is the class discussion forum. I have learned so much from "classmates" to include their trials and troubles on this journey and BONUS, BONUS, Julie is right "there" with us to answer our questions and to share with us her ideas, inspirations and yes, an occasional trial of her own and what she did to resolve it. She is truly an awesome teacher and gal! Needless to say, while I have many sketches and lists from this week's lesson, I do not have a completed project to share just yet. I do have a card that I made last week to enter in the March Home Page Contest for the A Muse Addicts' Message Board. I did not win this month but next month's contest is just around the corner and I hope to try again!

When I first saw this adorable Elzybells image, I knew it had to be mine. Mary Elizabeth (my 10-year-old) has been in love with the Volkswagon Beetle since the Christmas she was about 3 1/2 and Santa had to look high and low for the Lime Green Barbie Version. It is her goal to either have a light blue convertible Bug OR one that is red with black dots to look like a ladybug (she collects ladybug things.)

If y'all will excuse me, my eyelids are getting heavy so I am going to leave with just a quick card recipe. It's ALWAYS a Stampin' Good Time! Take care!

Friend Card Recipe:
Stamps: Elzybells- Girl in Car
Paper: Bashful Blue, Old Olive, Stamper's Select white CS
Ink: Andirondack Pitch Black
Accessories: SU rub-ons, May Arts ribbon, MM Tag maker & oval rim, American Crafts felt flower & brads, slit punch, Stampin' Dimensionals, Copic markers

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Love Nest ATC

Ahh, another tiring Saturday! I worked last night and didn't get home 'til around 2:30 am. Could not for the life of me settle down and finally fell asleep around 6 am. My DD and I had tickets for the Huntsville Symphony Orchestras family series and it was wonderful! The music surrounded an animal theme and not only was the music beautifully played by the very talented HSO but there were costumed players and interaction for the kids. Following this we stopped by the lss and picked up an a muse special order that had come in yesterday- can't wait 'til I get time to play with those. Finally, we went to a local gift shop where my daughter wanted to purchase some more Bella Sara trading cards (horse trading cards that have an interactive website for girls.) Unfortunately, the store closed early on Saturday (4pm) so we ended up at our local Hallmark store for a new Webkinz (okay, my Canadian readers- someone up there is laughing all the way to the bank on that one.) All and all, a most wonderful mother-daughter day but when I got home, I made it to the bed and collapsed! So after that nap and some delivery pizza, I am somewhat rejuvenated and ready to post. Here is another project that I have recently made using Flourishes- Love Notes. These are for a SWAP which Tracy Durcan hostessed over on her blog Durcan Designs. I love the clean lines and simple elegance of Tracy's creations and if you have not had a chance to visit her blog, you are in for a treat! My color combo was inspired by the beautiful Memory Box PP, Aerial. The sweet little love birds were stamped and colored with Copic markers then cut out and adhered to a More Mustard CS Nestabilities scalloped circle. The little bow was stamped in Almost Amethyst then cut out and added to the cage. The sentiment is from Crafty Secrets Bird Notes and the little safety pin is MM. Ribbon is May Arts. It is all adhered to a Almost Amethyst ATC that I ran through the Cuttlebug using the new Swiss Dot Embossing Folder. Well, I'm going to go try to start relaxing so I can have a "normal" nights sleep! Hope everyone is having an awesome weekend. It's ALWAYS a Stampin' Good Time! Take care!

Stamps: Flourishes- Love Notes, Crafty Secrets- Bird Notes
Paper: Almost Amethyst, More Mustard, Whisper White, PP - Memory Box Aerial
Ink: Andirondack Pitch Black
Accessories: Cuttlebug, Swiss Dot embossing folder, Nestabilities, Paper Trimming Buddy, May Arts ribbon, MM safety pin, 1/16" circle punch, paper piercer, Copic markers, a muse rhinestone