Wednesday, April 30, 2008

So Very Sorry...

to all of my awesome blogging friends. Time got away from me this evening- my hubby is out-of-town on business and things are even more chaotic than usual! I will post the promised RAKs, BRAKs and blog candy tomorrow! It's ALWAYs a Stampin' Good Time! Take care!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It's All About Me...

No, not really. This was the theme for the April SWAP at the A Muse Addicts discussion Forum. Our cards were to portray something about us. My new Scout Girl stamp- an A Muse April release- was a perfect way for me to share a little bit about my life. I have been a Girl Scout leader since my daughter was a 2nd Grade Brownie in Fall of 2004. Currently, along with my 2 right hands (how lucky can a gal be) Laura and Susan, we have a troop of 23 girls ranging from the 2nd to the 5th grade (we have both Brownies and Junior GS this year.) We meet every other week, as well as, have a weekend activity once a month (this Friday evening we are attending High School Musical on Ice at the local civic center.) With a troop that large and that busy, it is truly like having a part-time job (although without the pay-teeheehee) and I LOVE it! I cannot image a life with out the special group of girls and women that make-up Troop 1434.

For those of you not familiar with Girl Scouts, the Founder of the organization is Juliette Gordon Low aka Daisy to GSs everywhere. You will notice that her nickname became the theme for the elements on my SWAP card. I started with stamping Scout Girl in Andirondack Pitch Black ink, masking her legs and adding a shadow of Basic Grey with the Essential Ovals clear stamp set. This is such an awesome, quick way to add a shadow to an image. Next, I colored her with Copic markers (her little badeges were quite the challenge) and punched the image out with an oval punch. To make the Garden Green mat, I stamped the daisy frame from the Oval Frames clear stamp set with Versamark then heat embossed with Seafoam EP by Ranger. I punched the frame with an oval scalloped punch then added yellow Stickles for the daisy centers. Everything else is pretty self- explanatory. The daisy trim and the little daisy photo corner are Paper Frills by Doodlebug. The photo corner punch is SU, the daisy center bling is Hero Arts and the sentiment and ribbon are A Muse. Tomorrow will be devoted to my good fortune with RAKs, BRAKs and candy and since in GS we are reminded to "do a good turn daily" I feel the need to pass on my good fortune with some blog candy- so stay tuned! It's ALWAYS a Stampin' Good Time! Take care!

Scout Girl card recipe:
Stamps: Girl Scout & sentiment, Oval Frame, and Oval "shadow" - a muse art stamps
Paper: a muse notecards, Garden Green, Stamper's Select white
Ink: Going Gray, Andirondack Pitch Black
Accessories: Scallop oval punch, oval punch, Photo Corner punch, a muse ribbon, Paper Frills Doodlebug, Rhinestone- Hero Arts, Stampin' Dimensionals, Copic markers

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Little Bit Different

I thought I would spice things up a bit from my usual linear style designs and add a card with a bit of distressed, vintage look. It seems like a majority of my cards find their way to children's birthday parties so my usual whimsical, bright looks are appropriate but I always admire the more collage style cards by you talented gals! I made this card with a friend's birthday in mind (the day celebrating the birth of friend- what could be more beautiful)! Inspiration for this card "blossomed" (pun) from the little floral branch stamp by Inkadinkado. I stamped it on a yummy green piece from Fleuriste by Cosmo Cricket, then on a whim colored it in Spica glitter pens (pink for the flowers and gold for the leaves) giving it the style of Asian silk paper. The "beautiful" sentiment is a brand new ( for me) from Inkadinkado. I really liked the way the font flowed with the look of the branch. I didn't want this simple focal point to become lost in a sea of patterned paper so I decided to a frame to highlight it. Recently, I found this wonderful tin of chipboard frames by Maya Road at my lss and after covering it with another print from Fleuriste, sanding it with my BG Precision File kit, and sponging the edges with Andirondack Pitch Black ink, I had the focal element that I wanted. The base of the card is Purely Pomegranate, which I layered with a black piece from Fleuriste. To add to the collage feel, I initially stamped the top of the page with a Pretty Pattern backgrounder from CHF and scalloped the bottom with my SU corner rounder. It is difficult to see in the photo, but the pink Spica gel pen has covered each dot of the backgrounder. The pink strip down the middle is part of a Fleuriste Strip Tease and the rubon in the corner is Fleuriste Rubons. The vintage look flower is by Prisma but the original stemma of the flower looked pretty wilted so I removed those, punched a hole with a Crop-a-Dile and added the Dejaview brad. The ribbon is May Arts- definitely high in yum. This is certainly a bit different from my usual look, but I think it is good to push your creativity! It's ALWAYS a Stampin' Good Time! Take care!

"Beautiful" card recipe:
Stamps: Inkadinkado, CHF Pretty Print backgrounder
Paper: Purely Pomegranate, PP - Cosmo Cricket Fleuriste
Ink: Versa Fine black, Palette Noir
Accessories: Hero Arts Rhinestones, Spica gel glitter pens, Maya Road chipboard frame, Cosmos Cricket Fleuriste rubons, corner rounder punch, Prisma flower, Deja View brad, Mary Arts ribbon , Mat pad, Jumbo dauber, paper piercer

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

ATC Sneak Peak

As if I needed something else I enjoy creating... I have recently been joining SWAPs for making these cute little ATC cards. It started very innocently. I simply wanted to see what they were all about. Next thing I know, I'm joining 2 ATC SWAPs a month until I reach the pinnacle of my addiction and am acting at hostess for a SWAP sponsored by the awesome Mrs. Lindsey of Jacksonbelle Embellishments. (The details for that SWAP can be found here.) The above card is my contribution to a SWAP hostessed by Tracy Durcan of Durcan Designs blog. This is the 2nd SWAP that I have completed with Tracy as hostess and I've signed up for a third- the quality of every card that I have received has been tops and Tracy does such a fa-bu-lous job organizing and keep everyone informed.
I fell in love with these 2 little Eat Cake Graphics stamps the minute I laid eyes on them at my lss. Yes, that is 2 different stamps. I simply made a mask for the little frog when I stamped the mushrooms under his dancing feet. The images are colored with Prismacolor Pencils and Gamsol and his beady little eyes each have a small drop of Crystal Effect to enhance their beadiness. I was flipping through my new BG 6 x 6 paper pads when I found this sweet little flower print in the Sultry collection. It was this paper that has spurned a new love for Garden Green and Pink Passion. These color just remind me of warm weather- hot pink impatiens, strawberries, watermelon- you get the picture! And they are my color inspiration for this card, along with a Chocolate Chip mat cut from a scalloped rectangle Nestabilities. I used a striped hot pink May Arts ribbon as an embellishment, then added a little Pink Passion circle tag with green stitched ribbon (source unk.) for my PTI sentiment. Finally, I felt that I needed one more embelli in the right upper corner for balance. I could not settle on just "the one"- call it AR or detail oriented. Well, I decide Froggie needed a buddy to share his bliss and went to my Quickutz dies to see what I had. This little dragonfly was just the ticket. I cut it first in Certainly Celery then painted it with Lime Green Stickles. While that dried, I cut the die again this time with vellum. I cut the wings out alone then added them to the CS dragonfly. Voila, a friend and embellishment, all in one! If you feel you would like to give these a try, please check out the link I suggested above. I will share the beautiful merry-go-round style ATC holder that I got for my birthday, as soon as I get it loaded with all the fabulous ATCs I have collected! It's ALWAYs A Stampin' Good Time! Take care!

Frog ATC recipe:
Stamps: Eat Cake Graphics, Sentiment- PTI
Paper: Garden Green, Pink Passion, Certainly Celery, Vellum, Stampers Select white CS, PP- Sultry by Basic Grey
Ink: Andirondack Pitch Black
Accessories: May Arts ribbon, Slot punch, 3/4" Circle Punch, Cuttlebug, Nestabilities, Prismacolor Pencils, Quickutz, lime green Stickles, Crystal Effect, Stampin' Dimensionals

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Fairy Happy Birthday

This weekend has been very low key (gasp in utter amazement.) Actually, my back is hurting and it has forced me to take it easy. This has been frustrating because it was a beautiful day yesterday and I so wanted to work in the yard. I am scheduled for a steroid epidural tomorrow so after a couple of more days I should be back to normal (or at least my version of normal-lol.) Tonight my family is taking me out to dinner for my birthday which is actually tomorrow. After my epidural procedures, I usually don't feel like doing much so we are going to celebrate tonight.

Today's card is one that I made last night for Mary Elizabeth's friend, Eve. Her 11th birthday was Friday but they are celebrating it with an indoor pool party this afternoon. Eve is a super sweet girl and member of my GS troop to I wanted to make her card extra special. I paired Stamping Bella's Eloise (I am so in love with their chichiboulie line of stamps) with Basic Grey's Sugared PP. This collection is one of my favorites of the most recent Basic Grey release. The adorable little fairy was first colored with Copic markers. I just added 10 more markers to my collection and although, it is difficult to see in this photograph, I am really starting to feel more comfortable with my coloring and shading when I use these incredible markers. I stamped the skirt twice more on PP and cut the skirt "petals" out, added some Dazzling Diamonds for wonderful sparkle. Next, I adhered some directly to the image while popping others with Stampin' Dimensionals. I felt this gave her a fluttery look. The base of the card is Pretty in Pink CS covered with 2 different patterns of the Sugared paper and joined in the middle with a piece of More Mustard that has been stamped tone on tone with Scalloped Lace Backgrounder from CHF. As those of you who follow my blog know, CHF Backgrounders are some of my favorite stamps and I am excited to say that they are having a Backgrounder Blitz this week leading up to the release of new Backgrounders. Be sure to check on the fun details! Well, sitting is probably one of the most uncomfortable positions for me right now and since Rachel is down for a nap, I think I'll take advantage of some heating pad time! It's ALWAYS a Stampin' Good Time! Take care!

Eloise Card Recipe:

Stamps: Eloise, sentiment- Stamping Bella, CHF- Scalloped Lace backgrounder
Paper: Pretty in Pink, More Mustard, Stamper's Select White CS, Bazzill (cranberry?) PP- Basic Grey Sugared
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, More Mustard
Accessories: Ribbon- May Arts, Hodge Podge Hardware- Antique Brass, Nestabilities, Cuttlebug, Copic Markers, Sakura Quickie Glue Pen, Dazzling Diamond, Stampin' Dimensionals, Spica gel pen- gold, Dew Drops, Mat pack, paper piercer

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Ladies of Leisure Challenge

Well, it's time for another Ladies of Leisure Challenge (eye roll upon typing the word "leisure") with my bloggin' buddies Chris of For Love of Paper and Jill of Inkgenious Inklings. This month it was Chris' turn for a theme and she challenged the 3 of us to make a monochromatic card. I love the look of this type of card but unless I am challenged, I simply forget about them! Recently, I placed an order from Dreamworks organized by a lss, The Rubber Stamp Lady. There were 2 stencils that were outlines of little Asian girls that I absolutely had to have. Last week, I was shopping at one of my favorite internet shops, Jacksonbelle Embellishments, (my sweet DH gave me a store credit as a present for my upcoming birthday.) Lindsey, the owner, had just received the new 7 Gypsies 6 x 6 paper packs. As soon as I saw Sushi Journey, I knew it was a "must have" and I wanted to pair it up with my new stencils! I find dry embossing to be a very satisfying technique. First, I ran a piece of wax paper over Naturals White CS to help the stylus slide over the paper. Next, I attached the stencil to my light table with repositional adhesive. After placing the paper on top of the stencil, I used several different sized embossing styluses to get to the different sized nooks and crannies of the image. Once done, I flipped it over and voila! my focal image was complete. Another element of interest on this card is the sentiment tag. The card consisted of so many right angles that I wanted a circle to soften and add interest. My Making Memories Tag Maker was perfect for this except the metal tags did not go with the theme of this particular card. The solution? Cover the metal rim with Versamark then heat emboss it using French Vanilla EP. The actual sentiment is a rubon from Hobby Lobby. Once the layout of the card was complete, I added some hand stitching with linen thread and a polytwill bow. The lush polytwill was something that I had in my stash and I am not sure where I got it which could be a problem because I absolutely love it! I used 2 little Heidi Grace straight pins to hold on some crystal colored beads from Michael's in an chris-crossed pattern which reminded me of a beautiful Asian hair accessories. This card was truly a fun project! Please be sure to stop by Chris and Jill's blogs to see their wonderful monochromatic creations. I hope to share some of the projects I made this weekend at the retreat on tomorrow's post! It's ALWAYS a Stampin' Good Time! Take care!

LOL Monochromatic recipe:
Paper: Naturals White, tan CS (from stash-unknown), PP- 7 Gypsies Sushi Journey
Ink: Versamark
Accessories: Linen thread, paper piercer, mat pack, polytwill ribbon from lss, Heidi Grace heart straight pins, crystal beads Michael's, double rectangle punch, glue dots, MM tag maker and silver rimmed circle tags, heat gun, French Vanilla EP, rubon sentiment- Hobby

Friday, April 11, 2008

I'm Still Here....

Just letting you know that I am still here. Rachel has been sick this week so she has been home from preschool. It takes a lot to slow Miss Rachel down. Even when she is feeling poorly, she keeps us all on our toes. Did you know that 1 upright canister vacuum cleaner bag holds 5 lbs of flour, so for 10 lbs of flour you need 2 bags- don't ask? Other than teaching Mary Elizabeth in the mornings, I haven't been able to get too much accomplished. I am getting ready to attend a weekend stamp get-a-way this weekend! I hope to complete a few SWAPS- 2 ATCs and 1 card. The initial design on those is complete so I don't have to carry my entire stamp room with me. Along with a couple of other projects that I have in mind, I should be plenty busy. Time like this is so precious it is important to me to be organized before I go so I can take full advantage of "me" time. Remember it's ALWAYS A Stampin' Good Time! Take care!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Out of this World

Edited: I had a question regarding the stars in the background of the card. The image is included in this wonderful set "Out of the World." I inked it up with an Encore Silver ink pad and randomly stamped the top of the piece of Night of Navy cardstock. I did turn the stamp in different ways to have the stars fit together sort of like a puzzle. Hope that is clearer than the mud that we sloshed through this weekend while camping with Girl Scouts- teeheehee. I hope to share more about that trip tomorrow. If you have any further questions feel free to e-mail me! Take care!

Rachel is quite the social butterfly this week. Tomorrow she is invited to her second birthday party of the week. This one is for a little boy turning 5 that not only lives in our neighborhood but his mother is Rachel's preschool teacher (have I mentioned how much we LOVE her preschool teacher)? I do not make very many boys cards so it was good for me to change up a bit from my usual ribbon, bling and frills. I used another Lizzie Anne Designs set today "Out of this World." I tend to collect space related materials living in Huntsville, AL and having a hubby that works at NASA. This is a very straight forward card. I used an Out of the Box technique with my Coluzzle cutting system to give the card a little something extra. Since I didn't want to use ribbon but want a "finished" look at the border of the PP and Night of Navy CS, I selected yellow Paper Frills from Doodlebug. I, also, like to use Karen Foster's Scrappers Floss for this purpose as well. Just have an issue with unfinished edges. The single strip of Paper Frills was not bold enough for the dark CS so I added an additional strip at the level where the Encore Silver stars end. The little screw head snaps were some I've had in my stash for a long time and not sure who they are by. This weekend I am taking most of my GS troop on a camping trip with the rest of our Service Unit. Please keep a good thought for me- lol! It's ALWAYS a Stampin' Good Time! Take care!

Astronaut Card Recipe:
Stamps: Lizzie Anne Designs- Out of this World
Paper: Night of Navy, Garden Green, Stampers Select white, PP by Reminisce
Ink: Andirondack Black, Barely Banana, Summer Sun, Encore Silver
Accessories: Coluzzle, Copic markers, 3/4 " circle punch, Stampin' Dimensionals, Doodlebug Paper Frills in Bright asst., screw top snaps from stash

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Crooked Little Birthday Princess

Have your ever been so excited about getting into bed early (10pm) only to realize that you need a birthday card for a party the next day? Well, that was me last night so I got up to make said card. I had already thought in advance about what set I was going to use for our little friend Madison who is turning 4 this week- Lizzie Anne Designs "Once Upon a Time." I had, also, been chompin' at the bit to use my new PTI papers, ribbons and ink. PTI colors, Sweet Blush and Berry Sorbet, just shouted out to me to be placed on a princess card. I started out by paper piecing the princess using Pink Patterns PP. After making the underskirt, overskirt/bodice, and the hat using this sweet polka dot PP, I embossed the image using holograms EP onto vellum. I cut the vellum pieces out then painted them with Stardust stickles for some extra shimmer (feel free to click on the pic to get a better look at the detail.) The hat and hem of the skirt have Liquid Applique applied which was coated with Dazzling Diamonds before fluffed up with a heat gun. The princess image and her scalloped oval mat were cut from Nestabilities via my Cuttlebug. The little sentiment tag is a Cuttlebug die and the sentiment is PTI. The wide white organdy ribbon is retired SU and the little Berry Sorbet polka dot ribbon in, you guessed it PTI! The photo corners are from the "Once Upon a Time" set stamped in Berry Sorbet. The flowers are colored in with a white gel pen and the little centers are bling from a muse. When I finished the card last night, I was pretty pleased with it (maybe just the fact that I was going back to bed is what was pleasing.) When I looked at it this morning, I noticed that the princess was a bit crooked. I thought about repositioning the ovals when I realized that she was actually cut out crooked with the Nestability. Oh, well! Nothing I can do about that. Our sweet little Madison will never notice! It's ALWAYS a Stampin' Good Time! Take care!

Princess Card recipe:
Stamps: Lizzie Anne Designs- Once Upon a Time, PTI Mixed Messages
Paper: PTI- Stampers Select White, Berry Sorbet, and Sweet Blush CS, PP- Pink Patterns
Ink: Andirondack Pitch Black, Berry Sorbet, Stampin' Write markers in Blush Blossom, Creamy Caramel
Accessories: Nestabilities, Cuttlebug, Hollogram EP, Heat gun, Liquid Applique, Dazzling Diamonds, Cuttlebug tag tie, white wide organdy- retire SU, Berry Sorbet Polka Dot ribbon- PTI, silver cording- retired SU, Corner rounder, Sakura Quickie Glue Pen, Stardust Stick