Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I tried my hand at a vintage card. I think I should have used a lighter brown ink to rub on the paper to make it look old, but it still turned out ok. I used a Tonic Studio punch that creates a border. The buttons added a nice center to the flowers. I tried to keep the colors more vintage and earthy rather than using brighter brads. I have had this lace for a long time and finally found the right card for it. The punch is the SU Designer label with a sentiment from Hero Arts. This is a very simple quick card that can easily be done in 20 minutes.

My studio is a mess right now. I tackled my stamp collection and went through all of them so see what I could do without. In total I was able to lighten the load by 74 sets. Yes- I said sets. I have not gotten rid of any stamps since I started stamping over 9 years ago. It made me a little sick inside to see that some of them weren't even mounted and quite a few are still virgins. And these were sets that I just had to have. I still need to go through my stamps that are not from SU and that I have acquired as singles over the years. I know there are quite a few of those that can be added to the "get rid of" list. Over the years my tastes have changed and I look at some of those stamps and wonder what was I thinking. Oh well- one man's trash, is another man's treasure. Someone will feel very lucky to have them.

I must say the state of the economy has me thinking twice before I buy stamps which is a good thing. Before I buy anything I ask myself if I really need it and do I have something similar at home that I could use instead. Most of the time the answer is I already have something I could use so back on the store shelf it goes. The stamp stores are surely missing my business. In the past if I liked it; I just bought it. I guess all things are possible if I can change.

I have a confession! I am a die hard "Lost" fan. It is hard to follow sometimes but it is certainly different than anything else on TV these days and I get real tired of the reality shows. I am trying to post this in between commercials so if this seems a little choppy I apologize.

Have fun and enjoy!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What..I don't see it.

Baaaaby it's cold outside! The thermometer is reading 7 degrees and it was only 2 degrees when I got up 2 hours ago. Looks like it is going to be a cold one today. It is hard to believe we had 60 degree weather just a few weeks ago.

I wanted to tell you a little secret about today's card. There was a mistake on this card and rather than throw it into the reject pile I decided to salvage the hard work I had already done.
I had the DS paper sewn on (which I do very little of because I don't always sew straight and I am a perfectionist) and the lace was already attached. I used a rub-on for the flourish on the white scallop and so far it looked great, until a stamped a Penny Black dove next to the flourish in the wrong color of pink. I almost never attach the layers until after they are stamped but for some reason this time I didn't. I looked around my desk to see what I had that could cover up the dove and I wasn't coming up with anything. I swung around in my chair and saw my punches looking right back at me. That scallop square couldn't have been a fraction smaller or it wouldn't have covered up the mistake. I can't tell you how many times I have saved a card by adding an embellishment to just the right spot and I bet you have too. Ribbon can also be a life saver. By the looks of my ribbon jars, I will be saved for life.

I used SU pink pirouette card stock and the printed paper is the Sweet glitter paper from the DCWV as is the polka dot paper. The sentiment is from a Hero Arts set. The small flower embellishment's were out of the dollar bin at JoAnns and the larger ones came from Hobby Lobby in the Easter isle. The lace was a great bargain from Mary Maxim. It was on a bolt with 40 yards on it. The original price was $23.60 but they clearanced a lot of their ribbon down to 75% off making it $5.97. The night of the sunset sale I was able to get an additional 40% off. What a bargain!

I am thinking that Carol has received her Get Well card by now so I can share it with the rest of you. By now the ole gal is up dancing and back in the stores. I have thought about paying her a visit in sunny Florida and after today's weather my bags will be packed. What a treat that would be; stamping and shopping in the mornings- sipping wine by the pool in the afternoons. Visa-versa it wouldn't matter to me. The embellishments on this card are actually green but they look clear.

I took today and tomorrow off of work. I would like to tackle a few chores and my stamp collection. The altered book will have to wait. I need to go through me stamp sets to see what I could get rid of. There are sets on those shelves that I haven't used in 3 years because they are on the bottom or in the back. I figured that if I haven't used them in that amount of time- I don't think I am going to. My son Elliot said he would sell them on E-bay for me. I am sure they are all retired by now and I know there must be someone out there looking for them. As a demonstrator I had all the popular sets. I don't do many demonstrations anymore so I don't buy as much. I can't believe I am saying this but "it is also rather insane to have this many stamps". There I said it- so I am sure my family will think I have finally cracked.
I am going to catalog them so I know what I have or should I say getting rid of. If there is a special set you are looking for, I might just have it.

Have fun and enjoy!


Sunday, February 22, 2009

A little fun....

Today's post adds a little whimsy. I found this cute paper called Sweet by DCWV at JoAnns. It was an 8x8 pad but I think it also came in the 12x12. Most of the pages have a little bit of glitter and there are some browns in the pack that are just fabulous and a bit elegant. But for today I wanted something pink. The oval image of the cake was actually in the bottom right corner of the paper so I just cut it out freehand around the spiral and used that as the focus of my card. The pink background paper has little cupcakes on it. Just so darn cute!.

I used my Spellbinders Decorative Photo Corners and added a little bling to dress them up. A bit of SU close to cocoa run through my cuttlebug using "Swiss Dot" tied it all together. Jo-Anns also had quite a bit of their ribbon on clearance. I found this pink ribbon marked down from $3.49 a roll to $.97 for three yards. Looks like I have quite a bit of ribbon to roll onto clothes pins.

I have to tell you something that I found rather funny about the photo corners. I had seen these on a card on someones blog and wanted to add them to my collection. Yesterday my DH was going to the grocery store next to Hobby Lobby ( I wanted to stay home in my PJs) and I asked him if he would check to see if they had this set. Knowing I don't buy anything unless I have a coupon or it is on sale he said "do you have a coupon"? Well isn't that a silly question, of course I have a coupon. I printed out a picture of the set and I showed him a Spellbinders set I have that is still in the package so he would recognize the packaging. As I was trying to explain what isle to go down and on what side he would see them, he says to me "Oh I know where they are; they are right by the Cricut stuff". I thought to myself that this is pretty scary when he knows where items are in a craft store before he even gets there. All done and said they had this set so I went to work on the card when he got home. He also brought me a belated Valentine's Day treat. They had their candy 66% off so I was in pig heaven with Cherry Cordial Hershey Kisses and Tootsie Rolls.

What a perfect day. I stayed in my PJ's, worked on some cards and had my favorite scented jar candle burning (sweet laurel & red currant from HL) as it snowed like crazy outside. Add a few chocolates and it was pure bliss.

Have fun and Enjoy!


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Punch Storage

Tonight I want to share with you how I store some of my punches. This is the end of a storage cabinet that I have in my studio. The cabinet itself is about 5 ft tall and has two full length louvered doors on it. Inside there are four shelves and of course it is packed full. My studio is a spare bedroom that is on the first floor. It has it's own bathroom with a small walk-in closet. I have tried not to mount anything to the walls so I don't have a lot of damage and repair if we were to need it as a bedroom again. My son Elliot's bedroom is the loft over the three car garage and not that I am counting the days till he leaves the nest, but when he does, that room is mine. I will miss the large windows I have now that look out over the backyard and flower gardens. The birds come to the feeder I have right outside the windows and I really enjoy watching them. They seem to keep me company.

I purchased five curtain rods from Walmart. If I remember correctly they were $1.84 each. The end of the cabinet is only 14 inches wide but the shortest rod size was 18 inches. I took them apart and we cut the ends that you put together in the workshop. We mounted the brackets and voila, I had 5 racks to put my punches on. This didn't hold all of my punches so I chose the ones I use most often. The others are in the closet on the door in a shoe rack. My desk is just behind where I stood to take this picture so the punches are easily accessible. Below the last row of punches I have a rolling artbin storage rack with my scor-pal on top so I didn't want to put up more than 5 racks. On top of the cabinet I have glass candy jars that contain my ribbon. I have rolled the ribbon onto clothespins and store them according to color. I have 8 of the jars and the ribbons look so pretty all grouped together. I will share that on another post.

We received another 5 inches of snow today here in Michigan. It was a nice day to light a candle and watch the snow fall as I made a few cards. I will share those with you this week. I have been getting the itch to start another altered book. I am going to take a couple of days off at work this week so it might be a good time to start. Hope you are all having a good weekend.

Have fun and enjoy!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

A quick note

Just a quick note today before I head into work. I have our monthly stamp club tonight so it makes for a long day. I won't be home until after 8:00.

I needed a few "get well" cards this week but I can only share one of them. Carol hasn't received hers yet so I don't want to spoil it for her by seeing it on my blog. It's in the mail! The older we get I am realizing I had better stock up on "get well" cards, unfortunately.

The local stamp and craft store (Mary Maxim) where we have our stamp club is having a "Sunset Sale" tonight. You get a certain percent off your entire purchase if you wear your slippers, a percent for your PJ's, robe and curlers. If you wear all four you get 40% off your entire purchase. I will be heading there after work and if I were to put those items on right after work, that would be it for me. I would be asleep under a table faster than you can say "stamps on sale". They do have four coupons this week one 25%, 30%,35%, and 40%. Getting four items on sale will be it for me tonight. The store is usually closed during our club and it is every stampers dream to be locked in a stamp store. Since the store is closed for the day we can't do any extra shopping, we have to take care of that before club but it is just the atmosphere of being locked in.

I'm sure we will see quite the sights tonight as a lot will come in fashion. They also do a "Sunrise Sale" which I bet can get to be downright scary. Anyway it out to be fun.

Enjoy and have fun!


Monday, February 16, 2009

Thank you...

I needed to make a quick thank you card so I went for my trusty MS edge punch and Marvy scalloped punches. I haven't used my scor-pal in a long time and thought it was time to put that to use. It added just enough to the bottom of the card. I used Papertrey Ink (PTI) paper for this project- polka dot parade and ocean tides and a piece of SU so saffron. The little flowers were punched out using an EK Success small punch. I added a few small pearls and white polka dot organza ribbon.

I have to admit I don't say thank you as often as I should. I am very appreciative of what others do for me and I always feel it in my heart, but I forget to put it into words. For anyone out there that has felt that I didn't properly acknowledge them, please know that your kind gesture did not go unnoticed or unappreciated.

This week is starting out to be very stressful at work. Sometimes staff and management aren't always on the same page or we get so focused on our own issues, that we have a hard time understanding where the other party is coming from. Being in middle management is putting me right in the middle and to tell you the truth, sometimes I wonder if it is worth it. Working right along side those you supervise is more challenging than I had ever envisioned and there are some people who make it more challenging than others, but that's life. When you add economic stress into the equation you have to understand how this impacts people's behavior. I just wish they could offer me the same courtesy. If there was one of life's lessons that my parents taught that I am most grateful for it would be "life isn't always fair-it's not always apples to apples". I think I need to buy that stamp that says "put your big girl panties on and deal with it".

This is why I stamp. It takes away the stress of everyday life and I would like to argue that it is cheaper than a therapist, but when I take a look at all the stamps on my shelf I'm not so sure . Soon I will have to rent a storage unit for all my creations. Now that's a lot of therapy. Thanks for letting me vent. I think I just heard someone say "the doctor will see me now".

Have fun and enjoy.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Not stars in the sky...

I made this card for a co-worker whose father-n-law passed away this week. With all of the cut-backs at work we knew this person would not want us to spend money on flowers or a memorial gift. The most caring gesture we could offer were our words of sympathy. I was very honored when they asked me if I would make a card to pass around.

I love to use braid on my cards but because it frays I don't use it as often as I would like unless I am going to put something at the ends. I do use a bit of fabric glue on the ends. If anyone out there has any tips or suggestions I would love to hear from you.

I found the silk flowers in the bridal isle at Jo-ann's . There are 12 in a package and they even have a sticky back. They were clearance down to 97 cents. I believe they come in white also but that spot was empty. I used my labels nestabilities and my MS punches. The DS paper by "The Paper Company" (I think I got it at Michaels) was very hard to match so I went with silver rather than trying to match the smoky teal color.

The sentiment is one of my favorites. I chose to put it on the outside so it left more room inside for people to sign. Inside I used a simple "With Sympathy". I really would have liked to use one of the new stick pins I made but I didn't think a pretty bow would hold up well with as much as this card will get passed around to for signing.

Just a little forewarning. I am looking at updating the design of my blog so it may look very different in the upcoming weeks. This current look is a generic template that I chose just to get me started and off the ground. I am going to try to do this myself rather than hire someone to design it for me. Wish me luck. The name isn't going to change, just the look.

My dear friend had knee surgery this week and I want to wish her a speedy recovery! Get well Carol and I hope you are back on both feet soon- the stamp companies are missing your shopping.

Have fun and enjoy!


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Pretty pins

Look at these beauties! I was over at Sharon Johnson's blog last week and saw her "Something Pretty" post. Her card had a beautiful stick pin in the ribbon which really added elegance to her card. I ran to Hobby Lobby and JoAnn's for some jewelry/bead supplies and made a few of my own. I checked the clearance isle first and found some of the beads there. It wasn't until I got home that I realized I had magnetic beads (no wonder they were marked down to 64 cents from $2.99). I had a hard time lining them up to take a picture because they kept attracting each other. Oh well they should be fine by themselves on a card. So be careful if you get yours at Hobby Lobby. You can click on the pictures to enlarge them for better detail.

Before I knew it I had two dozen of them finished. The headpins weren't that straight to begin with and by the time I pushed the earring backs on the ends they looked rather uneven. I had to do a little straightening before I could take some pictures and it looks like I missed one. I also realized after I finished that I didn't add any beads at the bottom before the end goes on. Take a look at the one on Sharon's blog. I think I like it better with the extra beads. I still want to make some more to share with my friends so I think I will add a bead or two at the bottom. Of course you know there had to be one with a dragonfly. There are different kinds of headpins. Some have just a little ball on top, others have a fancy head. They come in silver, gold and copper/bronze. I chose the silver because that is the color of earring backs I found. You could glue a bead on the end also. The combinations are limitless but feel free to copy mine if you like.

Just a few pointers if you are going to try to make some yourself. Try to get the longer headpins because by the time you put a few beads and spacers on, it doesn't leave much room for the shaft of the pin to be inside the bow. What I mean is- some of your beads will be hidden in the bow. Also since these are headpins, they have a blunted end which is great for the fingers, but you can't poke it through the ribbon easily. You will need to tuck it through the center of the knot; depending on how tight your knot is you might have to take the end off and put it back on once you have it in place. The earring backs are rather hard to push on so you might just want to leave the bow a little loose and push the whole thing through. Also be careful pushing the earring back on because like I said I actually bent one in a 90 degree angle. You will need to add small dabs of glue to keep the beads from sliding down.

Have fun and enjoy!


Friday, February 13, 2009

Dream the Impossible

This is a piece that I created on a 8 x 10 mat board and covered with Anna Griffin paper. I used a Martha Stewart border punch to create the edging and added metal corners. The bottom panel is gold then I used an olive color and then sage. The top panel is a vanilla panel stamped with a Tim Holtz stamp. I had this metal gate that I mounted on top and used large eyelets to run chocolate ribbon through to help hold it in place. I used three Spellbinders shapeabilities symbology cut outs since this was one of the items I submitted for a place on the design team. I stamped the sentiment at the bottom and it is a stamp from Stampabilities. You can see the rhinestones and a better view of the Tim Holtz stamp in the picture below.

It certainly has been a long week. We have had to cut hours at work and the staff is very uneasy. It is very unsettling for most of us as we see companies struggling with lay offs and closings all around us in Michigan. The economy is being hit very hard here in the automotive state. I never thought I would see this in my lifetime. We all know times are tough right now; the scary part is not knowing just how bad it is going to get before it gets better. I am just so grateful to have a job right now that can provide food on the table, a roof over our heads, and the bills get paid on time. My heart aches for those that are less fortunate. Lets hope that this nation can survive what is to come and we can rebuild what we have lost.

I need to get some cleaning done this weekend as I have been under the weather for the last 2 weekends. I also need to get some get well cards made and a sympathy card. Looks like I am going to be pretty busy. Better get to bed early tonight.

Have fun and enjoy!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Queen of her domain

I like to call this piece the "Queen of her domain" because this altered bird feeder looks like a fortress for the little queen inside. I painted the unfinished wood and antiqued it a bit with brown ink. The little spoons creating the pillars of the entryway are actually small tasting spoons that I painted with brown iron oxide paint to make them look rusted. When we are at Sam's Club, my husband and son are on a mission to find and sample every thing at the demo stations set up around the store. I don't mind but I told them they have to save their little spoon for me. I get "the look" from them but they are always amazed what I do with the items I ask them for. I added copper tape and a few Spellbinders shapeabilities as well as some rub-ons. Below is a close up of her majesty inside. The alligator clip is holding an antique button and a rusted star is mounted up on the back corner. This was the altered project I entered for the Spellbinders design team.

I really enjoy altered art. I don't always have the finished product in my head when I start. Most of the time the creation just evolves as I go along. I like to just let the flow of creativity take me where it wants to go. That is all I have for tonight. This cold is still lingering on and draining my energy. I'm not taking antibiotics so hopefully I can kick this in the but!

Have fun and enjoy!


Monday, February 9, 2009

It didn't happen for me....

I was hoping to have some exciting news to share with you in the next couple of weeks but it doesn't look like it will happen. A few weeks ago I submitted four pieces of my artwork in hopes of gettting a place on the Spellbinders Design Team. Today they notified the top 20, but my call never came. The top 20 must create another project of Spellbinders choice to earn one of the final 8 spots. Oh well, there are more things to be greatful for than there are to be dissappointed over. For one thing I still have my job and family (wait that's two).

The positive side of this journey is I started my own blog. Spellbinders highly recommends that their designers have their own blog to share and connect with other crafters- thus the birth of Dragonfly Dreams.

This is the card that I submitted using the Spellbinders Label I Nestabilities. I colored a piece of tin with my Ranger Alcohol Inks and then ran it through my Cuttlebug using the "Stylized" embossing folder. Once it was embossed I used the largest Nestabilities. I used the smaller ones to create the black and white nested labels. The sentiment tag was also created using Spelbinders "Tags". Below is the inside of the card. It is somewhat of a pop-up card. I'm not even sure if there is a specific name for this type of card. Again I used the Label I Nestabilities and the "Swiss Dot" embossing folder.

I will share the other projects I submitted later this week. If you really want to see what these designers can create, skip on over to Becca Feeken's blog called Amazing Paper Grace. Becca is one of the current designers and I'm sure will continue on this year as well. Her work is absolutely beautiful. Look through her older posts for her tutorial on how to tie a bow.

This is only a minor setback in my artistic creativity. It encourages me to try even harder and dig a little deeper into my creative self. It also helps me to realize that just because it didn't get me what I wanted, it doesn't mean it's not good. If it makes me happy then that's all that matters.

Have fun and enjoy


Sunday, February 8, 2009

A new day!

I finally feel like I have some life back in me. At least I was able to get out of bed today without wanting to collapse right back in it. A good cup of hot coffee sure hit the spot this morning.

Papertrey Ink is celebrating their 2nd anniversary and Nichole Heady had another challenge on her blog. This challenge was to connect the dots that would divulge the challenge template. It added a little more fun and mystery. The card I posted above is what I came up with for this challenge. I used PTI Out on a Limb stamp set for this card. The bird is from Memory box. Again Nichole is offering a fabulous prize. If you haven't already checked out her blog, do it now. There are still more prizes to be won. If you have an addiction to buttons; now would be a good time to go and take a look.

The sun is shinning in through my stamping studio window and it feels so good as I sit back in my chair and close my eyes to suck up the sunshine. I can almost imagine I'm somewhere in the tropics if it weren't for my flannel jammies, fuzzy slippers and thick bathrobe. None the less it feels good.

So Valentine's Day is fast approaching. What are you going to do for your sweetie? I haven't decided yet. I did make an altered container that was on one of my previous posts that I can fill with chocolates. I'll have to see if I can come up with anything else. Right now I have to decorate a valentine box for work. Every department at the hospital is given a long narrow box which is just a little smaller than a shoebox. Employees can deposit little pink heart valentines into the boxes letting coworkers know how much they appreciate them. This is also Employee Appreciation week so it ties in perfectly. All of the boxes are on display in the lobby... waiting to get filled and it is a very nice collection of creativity. Now go get to work on your Valentine's Day cards.

Have fun and enjoy.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sleeping Beauty... well maybe!

Just when I thought I was done with the flu, I got the nasty coughing cold thing. I came home early from work on Thursday and did a little bit of work from home. Yesterday I left an hour early and went straight to bed. I slept all night and pretty much today. Seems like deja vu of last weekend. If only sleeping was turning back the clock of time I would be a new baby. I saw one of the ER doctors in the hall at work yesterday and he said it's a virus going around and there isn't anything they can give for it. I loaded myself up with over the counter meds, vicks and a lot of tissues. I did manage to gather up enough energy to put together this card for
a Papertrey- Over the Rainbow Color Challenge on Nichole Heady's blog.

I don't have a lot of Papertrey Ink (PTI) paper but I did happen to have the colors needed for the contest and the prize is fabulous. If you get a change go over to Nichole's blog and take a look. I have a few sets of her stamps. They are clear unmounted and just adorable. She also has some really neat colors that compliment the SU colors. Go check it out.
For this card I used PTI paper (of course); my nestabilities and the stamp set "Beautiful Blooms". The sentiment is from PTI's "Out on a limb". The ribbon is also from PTI and is called Pure Poppy. The gold embellishments are from Michaels.

Not much to talk about today as this has taken what little energy I had. After sub-zero weather last week, we are in the high 40's today. Go figure- this is Michigan. I hope to have more to post for you tomorrow .

Have fun and enjoy!


Monday, February 2, 2009

Dream world....

I call this piece of altered art "Dream World". This little guy is in his own little world where all his dreams come true. I don't remember where I got the bottle from, but I have had it a very long time. Remember I don't throw anything away. I used a piece of clip art of a winged boy and he is layered on top of a large feather. You can just see the bottom edge of a letter "K" right above his head. There is a clear bird hanging in front of him covering his right wing; suspended from a tiny chain. There are clear and white small beads around the bottom and a rustic star is stuck in the middle. For the top I used a glass stone/marble (or more like a melted blob of glass). I have a page from an old book glued to the bottom of the marble and trimmed so you can see the words. Some cotton lace, an epoxy star, ribbon and some beads finish his glass world off in style. The over all height is about 5 inches and he sits on one of the end tables in my living room. The angle of the camera distorts it somewhat. The most difficult part of this project was getting the star to stay upright. I used a long pair of tweezers and a lot of patience to get it just where I wanted it.

I just love creating little projects like this. I believe you can make something out of just about anything. I interview employees looking for work in the health care field and I have always said that as part of their interview I would love to just put a box of junk in front of them and ask them to make me something out of it. It's not that I would judge them on what they could come up with, rather I would just like to see if they would try. Of course this isn't the standard practice of interviewing especially for a medical profession position and human resources would never allow me to incorporate this as part of the process, but it says something to me that a person would at least try. Maybe that's my dream job; a job that would require the interview process to include being creative. I guess I'll have to build my own glass jar where all my dreams can come true.

Enjoy and have a great day!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Giving Back

This card was created for a contest over at Jen del Muro's blog. She had a blot tart give away for international students at Dallas Baptist University. The cards were to be sent so these students could send them to loved ones back home. The prize for this contest is sensational but just knowing you're giving back is a prize of it's own.

I tried to keep it generic so it could be used for several different occasions. It seems like I have been using a chocolate color scheme quite a bit lately. I guess when I try to stay away from eating it, my craving comes out in a different medium.

I created this using SU brocade blue and chocolate chip. It looks darker in the picture that it really is. The printed paper is from The Paper Studio. The sentiment is a Hero Arts and the butterfly is one of Martha Stewart punches. I used my paisley cuttlebug embossing folder for the background and swiss dot on the chocolate Labels One nestabillities from Spellbinders.

It's hard to believe it is already February and with this being a short month it will be March before we know it. I hope everyone is enjoying the coziness of their homes this winter. I know I am. I have not been out of the house since Wednesday and loving every minute of it ( although most of it was down with the bug). Everyone seems to be feeling the chill this winter- makes you wonder just what is happening to our changing environment. My daughter and son-n-law are in Raleigh, North Carolina and they got 4 inches of snow last week. Both of them being raised in Michigan had quite a good laugh at seeing the city shut down with such a small amount of snow. Becky actually spent part of her childhood in the Upper Peninsula where it snows just about 4 inches every day from December to March. They are up at over 200 inches already up there. Now that is survival.

Stay warm, Stay cozy and enjoy!