Saturday, October 20, 2012

Caring Thoughts

I needed a sympathy card and didn't have a lot of time so I reached for the prettiest glittery paper (from the same KandCo pad that I used for my in-laws anniversary card), cut it down to size and then stamped an old Hero Arts sentiment. I wanted to keep the sentiment small so I grabbed a label punch by Stampin 'Up but the entire sentiment "With Caring Thoughts" didn't fit. I found that if I limited it to "Caring Thoughts," it did fit. A quick punch and done. Even better was that the backside of my pretty paper was a colorful pattern of stripes that worked perfectly for the inside of my card. I used the stripes as a guide for my handwritten note. Perfect.

It reminds me of the type of cards that you can buy in a boxed set, but by making my own, I'm not committed to 10 of the same cards in the future.

Frugal tip: Cut 4"x 5-1/4" rectangles from your leftover papers so you have panels that are ready to go when you need a quick card. Oh, and if your paper is double-sided and you can cut two panels, you may be able to use one to coordinate the inside of your card.

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Oh Crab...

A belated birthday card for a cousin. Again, Paper Smooches came through. How did they know that from time to time I need that sentiment from Chubby Chum Pals? The little crab comes from the PS set called Surf and Turf. When I saw his little claws, it reminded me of the "L" people make with their thumb and forefinger to represent the word "loser" and I had to use it to express a little self-deprecating humor at my forgetting her birthday. Lol. I love creating scenes on cards, as you may know, so it was fun to use sky, water and sand papers to make this little beach scene. It made my cousin laugh. Whew! I'm forgiven. *smile*

Coming up next, a sympathy card that proves you don't need much time or product to make a pretty card.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Happy Bird-day....

A birthday card for a relative that has 6 cats. I thought a silly one that incorporated a Paper Smooches (PS) Party Posse cat hanging out with my favorite Ippity bird stamps would bring a smile. Accompanied by the perfect sentiment from PS' Birthday Buddies. Oh, and how can I not give credit to that Stampin' Up paper from the Big Top line that gave me all those pretty banners. I did have to add the numbers 6 and 1 to the banner flags to customize it more.

Coming soon, a belated birthday card....


Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Special Anniversary

Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans, said John Lennon. So true. I've been busy outside of the craft room until recently so finally I have some projects to share.

My in-laws are an amazing couple. At 88 and 89, they are still vibrant and active and enjoying themselves. They just marked their 68th wedding anniversary so that called for more than just a card. I put together a small accordion album with just 4 photos to illustrate the fact that I think they are still the glamourous couple they've always been. I used photos from their early years and a recent one as well to prove that. I had a K&Co paper pad with lovely embossed patterns to use for the outside (squares of paper glued to cereal box cardboard) and a different pattern for the insides. Black pages folded and glued together formed the accordion pages for the photos. Seam binding, a pocket embellishment and some acrylic numbers added the final touches. They loved it!

So easy. I hope it inspires you to try one.

Thanks for visiting. I do have a few cards to share with you in the next few days, so check back....


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Do a Good Deed Day

I received a card in the mail from a friend who never fails to send Holiday greetings at Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). In the past, there were times that I'd labor over almost 100 intricate cards for friends and family but rarely receive more than a handful in return. I've become disenchanted with the process. I'd decided that I would only send my labors of love to those that sent to me first.

But, in honor of the memory of the 9-11 tragedy, a group called Do A Good Deed is asking people to do  just that today. So, my good deed is to reconsider my decision. Instead of waiting to see who will send a card my way, I'll make some to send before. There are family members that enjoy them so I'll be good. And on that list will be my friend who never forgets.

I played around with text boxes and used an old font called CK Becky (designed by Becky Higgins) to computer generate a sentiment to coordinate with a Stampin Up banner punch. Add some cute patterned papers, bling and a Unity bird stamp that I adore and there you have a cute card with a lot of love but not a lot of labor.

Thanks for coming by. Who can you do a good deed for today?


Friday, September 7, 2012

Speed Limit 65

Wow. Long time, no post. Sorry. Went off on vacation. Came back to a pile of mail and a pile of scrapbook goodies from my CKC trip to still deal with. Then, wanting to continue working on some scrapbooking that I started on the trip, I just wasn't making cards.

But my b-i-l's birthday is next week so I had to crank one out. He's facing a milestone that I just couldn't resist turning into a play on a traffic sign. I hand wrote the details on the sign out of sheer laziness but I like the look, as a result. At first I thought that I'd have to find numbers to fit within the sign but settled for larger ones and I like that outcome too. The Paper Loft patterned paper was sitting out, I have no idea why so it became part of the card. The sentiment is from Sentiment Sampler by Paper Smooches. Oh, and my dh looked at the card and said, "I like the grass." Uh, thanks dear, that come from a die. Lol.

Thanks for dropping in. I'm not worthy. (hee hee)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Our Daily Bread meets Memory Box

When I was at CKC Lancaster last week, I won lots of drawings. CK really aims to keep you happy. There are drawings in classes, at the crops and on the vendor floor. I won this blingy necklace at the Friday night crop. It has a ring and lobster clasp on the end so I use it when I'm crafting so that my readers are always nearby. (Sad, but true.)

Luckily, that night, I sat at a table with a friend I hadn't seen in a while and her co-workers who worked for a week on the sea theme decorations for the table. They were vying for the Grand Prize for best table.  Well, wouldn't you know they won? So I won, too, because there were prizes for the whole table. A big bag of SEI goodies. I'm telling you, CKCs are a ton of fun.

Anyway, the prize that was even more fun was a vendor door prize I won that gave me a gift certificate to shop at Our Daily Bread's (ODB) booth. I had a tough time deciding on what to get so I just had to pick up more than what I had to spend (that's what they are hoping for, right? Lol.) I settled on a Butterfly Branch stamp that is normally part of a set called Faith and it's accompanying ODB die. Then, of course, since they carry Memory Box dies, I gave in to a set I've been wanting for awhile. The Grand Madison window, shutters and flower box dies. They are all starring in today's card. I can imagine so many different window scenes to do with these dies. The only problem is that when they are placed side by side, the card size required is at least 6"x6". There is a smaller version I might have to go looking for in order to fit a standard sized card base.

Before I show you the card, I have to tell you that I was blown away by the intricacy of the branch die. I don't think I'd ever have the patience to cut the detail that it does. See for yourself below. I'm sold on dies that coordinate with stamps!

So here it is. I made it with Stampin Up paper for a friend of the family who's birthday is coming up. I preferred the Hero Arts greeting I chose over a traditional Happy Birthday because it matches the special glittery butterfly that I popped up.

Here's a closer look at the dimension I gave the window and butterfly.

Thanks for sticking it out to the end of my rambling. I just want to tell you it all!

Oh, and I have a tip for you that I learned from the people in the ODB booth. Let's call it Crafty Tip #70. Place a sheet of wax paper between your die and your paper before you cut it and it will slide off the die much easier. Can't wait to try it on a doily die!

Til next time.... *smile*

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hero Arts Scramble

I've never done one of these over on Hero Arts Flickr page so I used up a good chunk of the alloted time. I think I was the last to post! Lol. I also didn't realize that I didn't need to make a blog post about it, just a URL link to my Flickr upload. I learned that lesson.

Anyway, the challenge was to make a card in 90 minutes that combined two different sentiments or created a custom sentiment. I don't have many Hero Arts stamps but luckily enough to put together this card. The sheep are from Happy Day Animals, the snoozing cat from I Love My Cat (I don't even have a cat....) and the sentiments are a combination of "Seize the Cake" from a birthday greeting set that only calls itself CL139 and letters to form the word "nap" from A Happy Hello.

See the cat? Under that paper pieced cat is a very badly colored first cat. Don't tell, okay? Lol.

Thanks for checking in. That was a fun way to avoid all the other projects I have to get back to!


Friday, August 3, 2012

Collage #1

I've always admired Claudine Hellmuth's work so when I saw that she was conducting an online Composition for Collage class over at Big Picture Scrapbooking, I had to jump in. Learn from the best, they say.

So we started with week one yesterday and this is what I came up with. She gave us images to work with so that was a start. As in my cards, I tend to like to tell stories so I combined some images that worked well with a story in mind. (The word "Stuff" comes from a Smashbook pocket folder. Loved the retro feel.)

I've got a card idea germinating so maybe you'll see it here soon. Thanks for dropping by and have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What's on Your Workspace today?

All around my workspace is the treasure trove of goodies that I brought back from CKC Lancaster on Sunday. I have so many unfinished projects that my muse will be on duty for a while, but that's okay. It's gonna be fun to get them done.

Here's the top of the workspace though.

Closer, closer....

You'll find a spur-of-the-moment project I had to do with a new Spellbinders die that I picked up. It's Spiral Blossom One. Cut it, roll it and it looks like a flower. I thought I try my hand at making a flower to sit on top of a pen for my desk. A friend inspired me to Shop My Stash (a challenge to use what we have!) So this flower is for the Shopping Our Stash #62. I used some old Stampin Up Petals and Paisleys paper, butterfly and dragonfly charms and stem wrapping tape... all gathering dust in my stash.

And the result of forming the flower, perching it on top of a pen, then taping a wire with charms on it to the pen.

Now, I'll have a pretty pen on my desk. Back to the unfinished projects....
Check out Julia's blog if you want to visit other desks of the world. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Whooos ready?

Of course, a cousin's birthday is tomorrow. Of course, I was madly working on his card before heading out for an appointment this morning. Hence the wonky sentiment that used the word "Celebrate" from Paper Smooches (PS) Sentiment Sampler and was partly hand crafted with letter stamps from Alphadots and a new alphabet coming down the pike on Aug 1st. The tree, cloud, flowers and little bird are from Summer Groves. A cute set to use as a background for all the animals that PS has ever come out with. (Am I gushing? Lol.) Then, that owl. If you remember cards that I made about a year ago, I like owls. This one hails from another new set coming out in Aug. I paperpieced most of the card but I liked coloring him instead.

I'm hoping that the good ol' USPS will speed the card to him by tomorrow. I always reason, though, that there's no time limit for good wishes.

I'm off to a Creating Keepsakes Convention in Lancaster, PA tomorrow. Scrambling to get kits ready for the crop and some of the classes that I'm taking. I hope to bring back new inspiration to use on future cards and scrapbook layouts. Have a great rest of the week and thanks for dropping by!


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sunrise, sunset...

We were in college when dh's cousin's daughter was born. She was this adorable pink squiggly thing that I was afraid to hold. I remember visiting them while I was studying for finals and she, a toddler by then, came up to where I was studying and made a mess of my papers. Lol. Dh remembers visiting them one weekend to help do some painting. He woke up to find her sitting next to his bed with a book in her lap waiting for him to wake up so he could make good on a promise to read to her. Through the years, I made sure to send her special birthday cards. She surprised me when, as a pre-teen, she came over to me during a visit, sat down with a shoe box and proceeded to show me all the cards I'd sent her over the years. *sniff* I only started making my own cards in the last 10 years but you can bet she got handmade ones for special occasions since then. The most recent being a Congrats card on the birth of her first child last month. (I posted it on June 30th.)

Now I feel that her parents should get a Congrats card. This is their first grandchild after all and now the fun will begin all over again. So, I perused OWH's sketch library and decided to use Sketch #52. Then, out came the Paper Smooches stamps again. I used A Little Lovin' and Simply Said. The papers all came from a DCWV stack called Nana's Nursery. I would never have thought to put Stampin' Up's Mint Melody (retired) and Pumpkin Pie together on a card but I followed the lead of the color scheme on the top panel of the card and they worked well as a result.

So, I'll put the baby's birthday on my perennial calendar and make sure to send a handmade card each year. Who knows? Maybe she'll approach a grayer me one day with a shoe box and the chance to peer inside it with her.... *smile*

Thanks for dropping by....

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sorry, Lamby....

Friends invited us over for dinner last Saturday night. Our host served salad greens from his garden, grilled leg of lamb seasoned with his own garlic and a yummy mint jelly made from his own mint. A physician by day and a gardener by night. The free flowing wine complimented a deliciously lovely evening.

For that reason, I wanted to come up with a card of thanks and humor. Our host has a great laugh so I wanted the card to amuse.

I went with Sketch #20 from Operation Write Home's free library and three Paper Smooches sets: Party Posse, Alfresco and Simply Said. The paper is Domestic Goddess from Stampin Up.

To participate in Julia's What's on Your Workspace Wednesday, I must show my chaotic desk. (As soon as I focus on working on another baby book, that pile on the left will be addressed. :-)

Now for the card....

On the inside, I wrote a note of thanks and ended with "the lamb was delicious."

Sorry, members of PETA. But, in my defense, no lambs were hurt in the making of this card....


Thursday, July 5, 2012


This past weekend, my oldest attended his best friend's little brother's graduation party. I asked him later if he'd remembered to take a gift card. The answer was no. He didn't feel he had to. Besides, one of his other friend's probably didn't take anything either. I told him that that didn't make it right. Forget the fact that there were sirens going off in this card maker's head. Didn't take a card? I informed him that I would make a simple card for him to sign and tuck a gift card in. Then we'd mail it off. Because according to some etiquette book, I'm sure it's never too late.

One of the latest Paper Smooches stamp sets I received was Smarty Pants. All school and graduate related. First, I used the mortarboard stamp (which I realized could not be colored in with a black marker because the detail would virtually disappear so I chose a warm gray Copic color.) I stamped it three times on a scrap of white thinking that I'd fussy cut them but then realized that I could achieve that thrown-up-in-the-air look without cutting them out. I just tamed the whiteness of the square with a marker drawn border and mat. I put the cute sentiment on white and matted it for a little more white balance. The mini star in the set added just the right zing to the scene, too. The background papers were scraps from a lovely pad by My Minds Eye called Academy (all glittery school themed papers). I was inspired by Operation Write Home's Sketch #2. Simple, easy. The inside of the card has a notebook-paper-style panel for writing on.

I feel better now. This card will be a pleasant, although belated, surprise for a kid about to embark on a new journey. That makes me smile.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

What I Think of Dust Bunnies....

When I saw the latest Picture Perfect Paper Smooches SPARKS challenge (which ends tonight, yikes), I thought of pesky partying dust bunnies. Yeah, I'm a little crazy.... but I couldn't help it... one of the new stamp sets this month has these adorable prancing dust bunnies. So you see my inspiration? *smile*

Sets used were: Squeaky Clean (for the bunnies and the vacuum cleaner), Vogue Abode (for the lamp and chair), Sunny Side Up (for the cloud representing a moving vacuum cleaner, lol) and Alphadot (for the custom sentiment.) I hope this gave you a chuckle.

Party now, dust bunnies, I'm coming for you tomorrow....


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Small Things....

Splitcoast has a challenge going on to use scraps to make a card. It just so happens that I recently decided to take out a bag of scraps I had collected from a lovely pad by K&Co. called Olivia Rose. Here is the pad:

Notice the inset of images on the cover. Those represent cutouts found within that complement the papers. I figured that I could take scraps like these...

.... combine them with some cutouts and whip out an easy card.

So, some scraps and a couple of cutouts made up the base of my card. The sentiment comes from Unity's April 2011 retired Kit of the Month called, what else? Small Things Matter Most. I stamped it on another scrap, used my Decorative Label punch (Stampin Up), inked the edges, found a scrap of white seam binding and stapled it to the label. Added a bling heart and a couple of little crystals in the corner and I now have a cute baby card to send to my cousin's daughter.

Thanks for dropping in. Always more to come.... *smile*

Friday, June 29, 2012

Grillin' Good Birthday....

One of my brothers was born the day after the Fourth of July. I don't have a memory of that holiday but my mom tells a good story. She was very young. Already had two little girls, me and my sister. I'm not sure what her due date was but it was a hot Texas summer and my paternal grandmother loved to picnic, so, according to my mom, the holiday involved driving half an hour to the Guadalupe River to celebrate. She says that she remembers being hot and uncomfortable as she sat on a big rock with my 1 year old sister and watched us all swim. The trip back was spent in the back seat with us girls while my grandma sat in front with my dad. Sounds just like an old black and white John Huston movie, doesn't it? Well, the next day, she went into labor and gave my dad a namesake. He grew up to be a sweet soft-spoken ex-Marine who, strangely enough, loves the water.

Every year he gets a holiday-ish birthday card from me. This year, I'm celebrating his love of outdoor grilling. I used Paper Smooches' Al Fresco stamps, an old Hero Arts sentiment block, and Pink Paislee's Hometown Summer patterned paper. I made all the images fit within a 4"x6" white panel that I then cut up and glue onto the background with small margins. Inside the card, I expressed my wish that someone else does the grillin' for him on his special day.... but I know it'll be him wearing the chef hat, as always.

At least, every year since, my mom has been able to celebrate a little more comfortably....

Thanks for dropping by. I still must make that baby card.... so y'all come back now, ya hear?


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What's on Your Workspace #159

It's time again for What's on Your Workspace Wednesday. I haven't been able to submit for the last few weeks due to the craziness of the end of the school year but here I am now with a little backwards action. I took the photo this morning before I got down to the business of working on my dad's birthday card. When I finished it, I posted about it, so you'll actually find the card in the post before this one.

This post will just be about the mess desk in the studio. The large pile with squatter's rights on the left side of my desk is all types of baby-themed papers. It is there to shame me into making a few more needed baby books. The pretty flower topped accordion file is there because of my latest hair-brained idea to use it for small scraps. I do tend to use them for the "Made By..." stamps that I put on the back of my cards. A few Paper Smooches stamp sets are lolly-gagging about. I have a monthly subscription so there is never a lack of them around. The pretty brown card in the center of the desk is one of Hallmark's finest. I loved the design of it so I used it as inspiration for my dad's card. What looks like a big blue bloodshot eye in the top right corner is actually a wooden tortoise's shell. It decorates the top of a perennial block calendar that is showing the number "14". I guess I should change it to "20", huh? Lol. Finally, those pretty flowery paper is from a recently found set called Cutie Pie from Stampin Up. Recently found in my stash, that is. Lol.

Thanks for coming by. I did say that a baby card is next on deck. Watch for it coming soon.

If you'd like to see more workspaces, check out Julia's blog. You'll be inundated with choices!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hippo Hooray...

I know, I know. Hippos are usually happiest sitting in water and covered with mud, but this one is celebrating his birthday among the ferns of a jungle miraculously located somewhere in sub-Saharan Africa.

I had two birds to take care of with one stone (if you don't count the one on the banner.) One, my dad's birthday is next week and, two, Paper Smooches has a Color Challenge going on over on their SPARKS blog. The colors are a peanut butter and jelly throwdown of sorts. A bit of challenge on a jungle card but I made the ferns a little parched so they're yellowing. (Remember the rock and roll technique of adding color to the outsides of your stamp by rolling the edges around a darker color... well, that was what I tried to accomplish with the ferns...)

The design of the card was inspired by a Hallmark card that hubby got for Fathers' Day. The stamped image is on a separate folded card that attaches to the base under the red margin. Pretty cool.

I used Zoo Crew for the happy hippo, ferns and sentiment and Pip Squeaks for the banner string and little bird. I cut the pennants by hand and just added handwritten letters to each.

Thanks for stopping by. Next up, a baby card for my niece that is due to give birth any day now.

Back to the hippo party.... see ya later!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

How Harvey saved Fathers' Day...

I am the master of procrastination. And sometimes it gets me in trouble. But things always seem to work out. Maybe I have a mischievous 6 ft. tall pooka (in the form of a rabbit) named Harvey watching out for me. I should explain.

I was able to scramble this week and get a card off to my dad to arrive in time for Fathers' Day but I kinda forgot about my father-in-law. Suddenly it was Saturday and I realized that even if I made a card, I'd have to get hubby to fill it with heartfelt wishes and get it to the post office by 12 noon... and it would still be late. Sigh. Not gonna happen. Now all I could do was put one together that would be mailed on Monday. Oh the shame of it.

For months, the plan for this Saturday was to take dear son #2 to see Jim Parsons in the Broadway revival of Harvey, the movie made famous by Jimmy Stewart. We are all Big Bang Theory fans (of which Jim has won numerous awards for his character, Dr. Sheldon Cooper.) In addition, because of an invite to a Sunday wedding, that meant that we wouldn't be seeing my father-in-law for Fathers' Day. (My dad is 1000 miles away... not seeing him either.) Suddenly, as if Harvey intervened, dear son's friend couldn't go to the show and dear son deferred his ticket so that we could invite another couple to go with us. Eureka! Invite the in-laws, make a card to take with us and there you have a gift and the card delivered on time! Lol.

Now I still didn't have a lot of time to make a card so when I spied this card that I made for hubby a few years back (and he's nice enough to keep it in his bureau), I realized I had a very easy design to copy. I had used a Stampin Up set called In the Wild and one of their designer series papers.

In less than half an hour, I was able to dig up a Stampin Up set called The Back Nine (and found that I had stamped an extra image for future use), pull a few SU papers from my stash, stamp sentiments from Paper Smooches Word Up and Qwick Quips and call it done. (I tried to put a decorative clip on it but it didn't work.)

I had just enough time left to run upstairs, hand the card and a pen to hubby and dash off to get ready to leave for our dinner and that wonderful show with the in-laws.

Whew, thanks Harvey.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fathers' Day around the corner....

I read somewhere that a deadline is the greatest form of inspiration. Lol. That was true today. I had to get a card made to mail to my dad (Priority Mail, at this point) and I only had a couple of hours so I perused my stash of Paper Smooches stamps and found three sets that had all the right ingredients for a cute card. Zoo Crew had the giraffe and part of the sentiment, Whimsical had the tree branch, leaves, bird and clouds... and Word Up had the word "Dad" in that cool script font. Already lying on my desk was a scrap of blue paper and that branch that was originally intended for another card. I stamped and colored the other images with the exception of the leaves. I like how they came out when I used the same grass paper that is on the bottom of the card.

I think Dad will get a good guffaw out of this.

Thanks for coming by. Next, I have to make another Fathers' Day card for my father-in-law. Here we go again!