Thursday, December 30, 2010

Life & Lemons

Sometimes life gives you "Lemons" and your just so surprised, you don't know exactly what to do with them. This card is exactly that, for me. I'm going through a "lemon" situation, and I am just praying God will see us through, Lord willing :)

I have had an idea for a few months now, about making a card with a window with something in it, that when you open up the card, the item/center piece is on the inside too. But couldn't figure out how to create it, but after some experimenting I think I came close to what I had envisioned.

I used Flourishes lemon tree from "Lemons Life & Love" and the sentiment from Flourishes "Berry Sweet". They work very well together and express my feelings exactly! 
I painted the lemon tree in with my Tombows and "Peeled Paint" Distress Ink,then placed it on popdots, to give some dimension from the back of the card. The paper is Basic Grey Sweet Pea "Double Cream" with some chocolate cardstock matting. I sponged some "Tea Dye" & "Frayed Burlap" Distress Ink, around the edges to give it an aged look. A Spellbinders Long Rectangle die was used to cut out the window. The finishing touch was some KaiserCraft "Latte Flourish" pearls.

Pardon the double stamped image, it just didn't stamp right the first time - bummer!! Don't you just hate that? :( I usually stamp out my stuff before putting it in the card, but I was so worried that my lemon tree would be crooked, I added it in first. Oh well :)

I submitted this card for Creative_Sketches "Anything Goes" Challenge, today, and Flourishes "Use Pearls" challenge, this week, on their blog.

Have a great weekend and have a Blessed New Year!!! :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

UQT (You Cutie) Birthday

My Favorite Things Wednesday Stamp Club is having a contest to challenge us to use our Die-Namics. I love Die-Namics, but I only own two: the Banner Die and the Open Scallop die. I really tried hard to come up with a card that was "different", but I just couldn't come up with anything. So I decided to sleep on it for a few days and think it over.
I woke up this morning with a slightly different view from today's inspiration: It's my Birthday, today, I'm the big 31 :) So I thought, what if I make my own birthday card? What would it look like? So I decided I would make something I would want to receive :)

I started with the idea of a pink Parisian theme, with the diecut news print all ruffled up (gotta love that!). Ballet Millie is Perfect for this card! She just brings a smile to my face every time I look at her :)
I used all MME "Lost & Found" papers that I cut out and around some of the glittered borders from them, and made a frame with it. I put some thin foam under it to pop it up off the paper so it looks like a "stage". I loved the look and enjoyed working with glitter so much that I used some RAK glitter on Millie's bow on her tail and her pretty ballet shoes. I Love, Love those cute details!
I double stamped and embossed her tutu and added rhinestones for some bling :)
I kept it simple on the inside, with just a remnant DP piece and Ballet Millie's stamp sentiment on it.

I kinda like the thought of writing on the DP, I have never done that before but I kinda like the idea :)

All in all, I love how this card turned out. I had the ruffled paper idea in my head, from the start, and just ran with it, not having any other clue about anything else or idea other then that.

I placed an order for some MFT dies last night and now I'm anxiously waiting for them to arrive in the mail so I can create some more things with them!! Two of them are the Rolled Flower dies, and I am Excited to see what they're like! :)
Too bad they didn't get here before the MFT Wednesday Stamp Club's challenge!! :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

An Early and Fun Christmas Blessing!

Merry Christmas, everyone! A week ago I received an early and wonderful Christmas gift: Julie from Flourishes stamps asked me to make a tutorial, of a wreath, that had I made from some stamps!!! A Very Merry Christmas indeed! I was so excited and honored (Still Am!)! I had a few stumbles along the way, having made only one tutorial before, but here is a link to the finished tutorial and pictures: Flourishes

This is so exciting! I have always loved Flourishes stamps from the get go, and to be asked by Julie to create a tutorial for a wreath that I had made, was a huge honor to me :)
It all started when I made a Blueberry Wreath last month with their "Berry Sweet" set, and had mused about what it would look like if it was a cranberry wreath. I had just decided to start it, when Julie contacted me to ask if I would be interested in creating a tutorial on it! Talk about great timing! I said I absolutely would love to, neglecting to mention that I had only made one tutorial ever :) I will admit to some heavy editing, on my part, as I tend to get pretty wordy, but I think it turned out as concise and to the point as I could ever get :)

I will be back in a couple of days to see what I can create and somehow fit Christmas in there too, somewhere - LOL! :)
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone!!!

* Note: If my link doesn't work, and you want to view the tutorial and completed Cranberry Wreath, please go to this link:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Cardmaking Anniversary to Me :)

Ok, so Hallmark doesn't offer a card for someone's cardmaking anniversary, but it's mine! One year ago, this month, I attempted to make my first card...It was pretty awful. I had just had our second last October and my friend had scheduled some of our other friends to bring our family dinner every night, for 2 weeks. We were so blessed! I wanted to show my appreciation so I attempted to make some cards. I was a scrapbooker so if you have ever scrapbooked before making cards, you know that scrapbooking and making cards are in the same vein, but completely different! :)

This was one of the later cards after the first ones I gave out:

I saw this stamp image in the SCS Gallery and I knew I wanted it! So I bought this Sweet Pea set and the Strawberry set from Flourishes thinking I only needed a couple of stamps to make a couple of Thank You cards. I fell in love with them and stamping, and thus my love of cards and all things stamp related was started.

I know it's early, but I also want to share what my husband made me for Christmas (I had asked about it for a while). He made me a shelf to go over one of my tables, so I could store some things within reach. I LOVE IT!

Isn't it just Lovely??? It really helps me to have things at my finger tips and I love how it keeps everything off my table. Pretty much everything you see, was on my table before the shelf was made :( Don't ask me how I even found things - LOL! 
Here is my workspace where I create. I use the table to the left to cut and put my DP on. You wouldn't think so, but it gets messy quick! I only have about 12 inches of space to work on when I'm "in the groove" :)

Yes, my lighting is pretty awful even though I'm right in front of a window and it's day time. The window is under and eve and faces north, both don't help with the lighting problem. I have been on the look out for an Ott light to help me out when I work. Preferably on clearance - my favorite word and price - LOL! After Christmas I hope find one or two :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Happy Birthday

Today was my husband's birthday, and of course like any good crafting wife, I made my card at the last minute, this morning :) Poor guy, I love him very much, I just struggle with masculine cards.  He doesn't fish, hunt, or hardly golf, and vintage cars don't appeal either, so that really limits me in the images I can use. But I love the ship from Flourishes "A Guiding Light", the whole set is great, especially when used with the "Antique Map" set from Flourishes. I think it's a great set for a manly birthday or Father's Day card.

I stamped the ship out in Memento "Rich Cocoa", painted it in with my Tombows then cut it out with my craft knife. The map was stamped in Memento "Desert Sand" onto Neenah "Solar White" paper, that I lightly sponged with "Antique Linen" Distress ink.
I hauled out my Crop-O-Dial that weighs a TON. That thing hasn't been used or seen the light of day in 2 years!! Then I pulled out some old silver brads, which also has not been on my radar for a couple of years as well. I used the "Large Rectangles" and a "Classic Square" from Spellbinders to make the floating frame. Then I dry embossed a few ridges around the whole card to frame it out.

I hope he likes it! Happy Birthday, Hon :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

My Christmas Cards

I finally finished my Christmas cards - whew! Chris picked the design, saying he loved the layout of my "Life Without Love" card. So I used the same layout, per Chris's request, and changed out a few details to make it more Christmasy looking :)

On two pieces of Cream CS, I stamped over them with Hero Arts "Italian Poetry" in "Peeled Paint" Distress Ink. I heat embossed them, then I embossed one with a Cuttlebug embossing folder. Then I used a Large Scalloped Spellbinder to cut out "windows" on it, then I stamped the Italian Poetry in Staz-On "Butter Cream" ink on clear acetate, attaching to the backside of the CS with the "windows". I used my EK Success "Dotted Lace" punch on some green CS, then I put popdots under the window CS and placed it over the first stamped CS base. I placed some glittery reindeer under the windows, for something to look at - LOL :) Then I added some lace, a Pendant and a Fancy Tag from Spellbinders. The hat pins are from Maya Road, and the flowers are from Prima. The sentiment is Stampin Up "Home For Christmas", stamped in Versafine "Sepia" ink.

The inside of the card has another sentiment from the SU "Home For Christmas" set, matted in the punched green CS, from the front of the card. The stamped brackets are from HOTP "Medallions & Corners" stamp set.

And you get to see our wonderful family on the inside, plus my poor excuse for handwriting - LOL :)

Next year, I'll start earlier, since these cards took me the better part of three weeks to make. They are simple to make but with all the details and the amount, I got bogged down quickly! :) My New Years Resolution is to start my Christmas cards in September :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bring Back Beautiful

Flourishes has a monthly challenge called "Bring Back Beautiful" and this months challenge is to use stamping to decorate your home. One of the things they suggested was a mantle piece, and that gave me an idea :) I'm not too good at the 3D elements yet, but I love to make my own ornaments, so I thought I'd make an ornament garland that I could drape on my mantle but switch out or move the ornaments if desired. The only glitch I ran into was the type of string to use. I wanted to use a ribbon, but they wouldn't drape nice at all, I needed something with weight to it but didn't look too heavy. I found some twine that worked nice enough :)

This was the best pic of all the lighting I could get, sorry :)
I love that I can use it on my mantle or string it around my Christmas tree as a decorative ornament garland! Thank You Flourishes for the great idea!! :)

Here are the close ups of each one.
Ornament #1:
I used Spellbinders Labels #1 and stamped Flourishes "Christmas Music" for my background, in Memento "Rhubarb" on the base. I layered Spellbinders "In Spades" on top of that with a small pendant from Spellbinders "Fleur de Lis" set, in the middle. On top of the very middle I used a Spellbinders Scalloped stamped with HOTP "Medallions & Corners" in Memento "Rich Cocoa" ink. I added a "Large Scalloped Circle" with the center cut out from a "Circle" die from Spellbinders, to frame it all.

Ornament #2:
The bottom piece is the largest Spellbinders Scalloped Circle, stamped with Flourishes "Christmas Music", stamped in Memento "Rhubarb" ink. Over that is a Spellbinders "Contemporary Hearts" from their Shapeability line. I layered another Scalloped Circle stamped in with a medallion from HOTP "Medallions & Circles" stamp set, in Memento "Rich Cocoa" ink.

Ornament #3:
The bottom is a Spellbinders "Fleu de Lis" Pendant die, with a Scalloped Circle under it. On top of the Fleur de Lis, I stamped a flourished medallion from HOTP "Medallions & Corners" and painted it in with my Tombows. I layered a Spellbinders "Contemporary Hearts" over that, with the center cut open from a Circle die. in the center of the open circle, I added a small Scalloped Circle from Spellbinders, stamped with another medallion from HOTP.

Ornament #4:
The bottom is a Spellbinders Shapeabilities "Renaissance Hearts" die. On top of that is a stamped diecut of Flourishes "Christmas Music" cut out with a Spellbinders "Classic Lace" die, scored, folded and fanned like an accordion. I had to hot glue it on top, to adhere it, so it wouldn't fall off. (I tried to get a better pic, sideways so you could see it:
The top is a smaller Spellbinders "Large Scalloped Circles" stamped with some Holly from an Impression Obsession stamp. The top is a "Scalloped Circle" with a medallion from HOTP "Medallions & Circles" set.

Ornament #5:
The bottom is a Spellbinder Shapeabilities "In Spades", under a Shapeabilities "Renaissance Hearts" with a center cut out and a "Fleur de Lis" Pendant center for a lacy look in the middle.

These were a quick to assemble, and fun to make! I antiqued them all on "Antique Linen" and "Tea Dye" Distress inks, to give them the old world charm and look.
The best part about making these is that both of my girls can play with them and help me decorate and I don't have to worry about them dropping one and breaking it, like alot of other ornaments for a Christmas tree. I'm hoping by next year, I will have enough to cover a tree and take a picture :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Overcoming My Fear...

Ok, not a bad opening line, huh? Did I get your attention? Lol :) Fear never makes sense, after you've overcome it, does it?  My fear? Coloring my images in with bold colors. Completely silly and unrealistic. I just couldn't get over it no matter how hard I tried. I would always start coloring my images in with the best of intentions to "Go Bold Or Go Home" approach, but would always "pull back". I often envied others who could do it and make it look great. I have many, many people I look up to who love color and are not afraid of it. And though I tried to emulate them, but just couldn't get my images to look like theirs. So how did I conquer this stumbling block? It started innocently enough, I saw a challenge that Flourishes was featuring on their blog: Feature flowers in some way. Sounds innocent enough, right? So I found some flocked MME (My Mind's Eye) "Lush" paper in my stash that I wanted to use, and tried to find a flower stamp I had that I could use with it. I don't have many Flourishes flower stamps, but I kept going back to their "Sweet Pea" set. Not that I didn't like it, I just thought that Sweet Pea flowers are usually a light pink color and it would be too light for the paper I was using. After some thought, I realized that I was going to have to try to color it in darker then I normally would like to, so it would match the paper better. You may think, oh well, it's just pink, no big color deal :) But I love to paint things in realistically so this was a big artistic leap for me, as I would've colored it in much lighter then this :)
Sweetpea Birthday:

*This little decision kinda freed me and inspired me to create my next card I will be featuring at the bottom of this post.**
After stamping out the image, I cut it out with my craft knife and put it on popdots to elevate it off the paper. I sponged the background paper, under the flowers, in Versa Magic "Pixie Dust", for some color. When I colored the flowers in, I only used three Tombow markers: 772, 850 & 098. The pearls are from Prima and the hat pin is from a trip to Le Temple du Scrap in Paris. I hoard those pins like Crazy, I love them so much!! The flat pink ribbon is from My Favorite Things, and let me tell you, I wish I had bought more of that stuff, it's AMAZING! But since I bought it from their clearance bin, there are no more left. My favorite part of this card is the ruffled pink ribbon at the bottom. Would you believe I bought that from a Garage Sale? LOVE IT! It's really that intense pink, and I was worried that I wouldn't find any paper that bold  (I avoid bold colors remember), but I think it works great with this paper and this whole card look. I think I just got lucky, thank goodness for that :)

I love how this inside turned out with the corner brackets, from HOTP (Hot off the Press) "Corners & Medallions" set. I really think they add to the decorative element inside. The Happy Birthday is from Impression Obsession.
I really love how this card turned out, and I learned somethings along the way. I love cards like that! :)

As I mentioned, after making my "Sweetpea Birthday" card, I really wanted to explore coloring an image in with more color. I had a stamp, also from Flourishes, called "Winter Bouquet" that I thought would be perfect for this expirament. I had this tamp for 6 months but could not seem to color it in right. I realized that not only was I worried about the bold colors, I was also letting myself get hung up on the "right" & "wrong" colors to use on something. So to really do it "right' I had to let go of my issues of everything looking realistic, just paint and take a few artistic liberties along the way :)

That being said, this was a huge bear of a card that I made many mistakes on. I had this idea of making a black & white card with red accents. So guess what happens AFTER I'm done painting it all in? I find out that I Don't have any black & white paper... Lovely. I think the only out of place thing , here is, my use of black stamping ink because it was going to go with my black & white card theme. It doesn't look bad, but I think it would look better if it was stamped in Sepia. But that's just me trying to make it look real :)
Winter Bouquet:

I entered it in the Flourishes Winter challenges: use mostly white and feature a flower ( I mean lets make lemon aide out of oranges here ;).
I used my trusty Tombows and did very little blending, and matted the image in with a light rusty/cranberry CS. I embossed some Neenah "Solar White" paper with a Cuttlebug folder for some texture. I used my Classic Lace die from Spellbinders to make a fancy lace border, added some velvet rick-rack ribbon for more color on top of that, and added some Prima pearls for elegance.
A simple card to make that wasn't so simple to do :)

Who knew a simple challenge on a blog, could actually change my views on how I make my cards? What's silly is, is that I think it was necessary to go through. How else was I going to learn? :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Blue Angel

As you can tell, I am having the time of my life with my new Flourishes stamps, and today's card, is no different.
I'm entering this card in two of Flourishes Challenges: "Winter Whites" & "Doilies"
Pardon the hazy look, it's a cloudy day and I had to Photoshop in some light. I don't like to tinker too much with pics, but it just didn't look good, it would've been pretty dark..

For the front of my card, I used Flourishes "Alleluia Angel" stamped in Sepia ink and colored in with Tombow Markers. I placed her over a Spellbinders Shapeabilities "In Spades" Pendant, for a lacy look, since I don't own any doilies. Then I highlighted the embossed areas with Distress Inks "Tumbled Glass" ink.
I stamped "Christmas Music" for the background, in Opalite "Nordic Ice" and heat embossed it (Side note: I don't get this ink. Isn't it supposed to have a color to them? Am I missing something?).
The pearls are from Prima and the ribbon is from Walmart, that amazingly matches the sea green/blue color perfectly! 

I matted the inside with Bazzil's "Hazel" Cardstock. Then I sponged the inside of the card with more "Tumbled Glass" ink, and stamped the sentiment from the "Christmas Music" set. Then I stamped a flourish and some corner brackets from HOTP (Hot Off The Press) in "Desert Sand" ink.

I am really enjoying mixing and matching sets, I try not to mix different stamps from different companies but I just can't seem to help myself :) I'm loving my Flourishes so much I am so tempted to make another purchase, but it's near Christmas, so maybe around the New Year I can make another one.
Another thing I'm hooked on lately, is sketches. I never was one to enjoy sketches, but I've realized that just because you used a sketch, you didn't steal anyone's idea. I really struggled with that thought. I hate using someone else's original idea, but every once in a while I see a great card with a neat idea and want to try it, but I usually don't. No one likes an idea stealer :(  I'm having fun doing searches for unique sketches, for some new ideas :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Joy To The World

As you know, I received my Flourishes stamps order from their Black Friday sale, and I wish I had placed a bigger order from them!! :( In my haste to open them and create, I needed to come up with some ideas, so I made a card with the help of this challenge sketch from Creative Sketches.

This was a small challenge for me, as it's pretty minimal. So I decided this one was going to have be open to interpretation for my card :)

I used my new Flourishes "Alleliuia Angel" and the "Christmas Music" background stamp, and I really LOVE the combination so much, that I already have another card in the works with these two combined! :)

I stamped the "Christmas Music" background in Memento "Desert Sand" so it would be light. I colored the Angel in with my Tombows, then pulled out my new Spellbinders Lace die and diecut out some music, then added that to the bottom. I sponged some "Bundled Sage" & Tea Dye" Distress inks around the edges of the cream paper.

For the inside I used the "Christmas Blessings" sentiment from the "Christmas Music" stamp set, then used an Inkadinado stamp for the swirling snow.

I really love my new stamps and hope to be able to buy some more soon! Flourishes stamps are just so addictive and I love how elegant they are :)
I love the sketch and thank goodness I  figured out a way to join in on the fun!! :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Warm Winter Wishes

I had high aspirations to make a "wonderful" card today, but I woke up with a massive headache and I had to pull back my card expectations and just see what happened :)
I received my "Christmas Postcard" stamp set in the mail from Flourishes and I have been wanting to join in on their Timeless Tuesday challenge : Doilies.

Now that's a challenge. I don't have any doilies in my scraproom, so I had to improvise and make my own with a Martha Stewart punch. And the bottom diecut is made from using the Lace die from Spellbinders. I kept it all simple, since the image has so much detail. I stamped it out twice and cut out a frame, painted it and put popdots on and added it over the other image. It's painted to look like an old sepia print with a few spots of color. I tried my hand at "antiquing" my paper, but I think I had too heavy of a hand at it, so I'm going to try it again and make it a little less intense.
I'm so excited about my new stamps, and hope to get back on my card groove :)