Sunday, March 28, 2010

Thank you for being my sunshine...

I just wanted to pop in today to see how you are all doing? I am feeling pretty good because I finally got my stamp studio in order. Everything is picked up and put away, OK 99% of it is. I now find myself in a bit of a bind as to where I can store all of my Martha Stewart punches. Over the last six months I have been feeding my addiction to her punches and as I purchased them I would put a few on my desk and a few on a shelf. Now that I have gotten them all together I don't have a place large enough. It looks like I am going to have to put up two new shelves. Oh boy, my husband is going to love that. I am running our of wall space. I can only imagine what these walls are going to look like when I move up to the loft after the last little chick leaves the nest.

Today's card is one that I had made back a few months ago. For one of the stamp groups that I get together with once a month, we take turns bringing a stamp and we all use that image to make a card. It is nice to see how differently we each create something with the same stamp. It is also nice if it is a stamp that you have a hard time using because you can't really visualize how to use it. We all have those stamps that look great on the shelf but blocks our creativity when it comes time to use it. Anyway, it gives us ideas on how to get more use of that stamp.

I can't remember the name of this stamp or what company makes because it wasn't mine. It is just one stamp that looks like a collage. I didn't know how to color it so I just added a bit of color and then added some Perfect Paper Adhesive and a piece of tan tissue paper. I scrunched up the tissue paper and let it dry. That led to my kraft and red color scheme. The sentiment is from JustRite - Romantic Sentiments and you can purchase it at The Stamp Castle. I punched it out with the SU Curly Label punch. The cream layer is punched with the MS Eyelet Lace border punch and then I used Antique Linen Distress Ink on the edges of all the layers. The embellishments are from Prima.

I am getting very antsy for the nicer weather. Yesterday when I woke up it was only 16 degrees and went up to 47 by the afternoon. Today it started out at 42 but we are expecting some rain. By the end of the week it is supposed to be 67. Hamburgers and steak on the grill I say, maybe even some shrimp. I'm not holding my breath though, it is Michigan after all. It will still be a few months before I can get the planting started so for now I am in a holding pattern. I find this time of year the hardest but the most exciting. I am not a patient person so waiting to plant is very hard for me. It was easier up in the U.P. where I grew up because there was still snow on the ground until the middle of May. It takes a long time for 200 inches of winter snow to melt-don't ya know. Don't get me wrong, I really miss living up there.

I hope you all have a nice Easter and remember it is customary to eat the ears off the chocolate bunny first.
Have fun and enjoy!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A little vacation creation

So has your weekend been? It has been cold with a few flurries here in Michigan. Hard to believe I was just sitting out by the pool in the sun two weeks ago. These pictures are a nice reminder of warmer days. Hey isn't today supposed to be the first day of spring!

My good friend Carol had given me this Maya Road mini album for my birthday last November and I just got around to making it. I made it while I was at her place in Florida and I took the pictures outside next to the pool. Carol has a beautiful stamp room that faces the canal they live on and has sliding doors right out to the pool. I could even see the dolphins from her stamp desk. It is like stamping heaven with a view. She is one lucky woman. I don't have much to post today but several pictures of my mini book. I didn't turn this into a calendar which is what the album is meant for. Instead I themed the book around my favorite paper Mariposa which is from DCWV. The paper has embellishments of it's own so I just added a few do-dads here and there.

I made the bird nest embellishment on this next page. Carol had bought one for each of us and when I saw them I knew I could make one. I made some with three white round eggs and some with brown wire. They turned out pretty good for a first try.

I stamped the branch and bird nest on this next one. Notice the little blue eggs in the nest. The chip board pieces are from Prima's Raspberry Tea collection

This next one is my favorite page along with the cover. I like how the bird turned out with the crown. Since I like birds and crowns, this was a perfect combination. The egg charm was a finding at Michaels and the flowers are from the MS water lilies punches.

This next one I stamped the sentiment and then used my Sakura Star Dust pen to add some glam to it.

This is a side view of the book. Once you flip through the pages you can flip it over and look at the other side of the page. I was able to incorporate stamped images and glitter that makes it hard to tell if it was already on the paper or not. I am going to be teaching a class at our stamp club on how to collage a book. I know this is very intimidating for some people and I wanted to show them that the paper you choose can really be the start of the book and actually do some of the work for you.

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did making it. I guess the atmosphere I was in didn't hurt either. I was able to complete it in one full evening while waiting for my son's plane to come in at midnight. That is what is so great about these small books. I was a bit tired the next day but being able to sit by the pool in the sun with nothing to do but drink a margarita and a read good book cured that. Now I have to tackle my stamp studio. When I got home I just set everything that I brought with me and all of the new things I had purchased right in the middle of the room. Today I have to put everything away. That is going to be a challenge.

Have fun and enjoy!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Life is good....

Can you guess where this is? I have been on vacation for the last three weeks. I didn't say anything before I left that I would be gone from home for so long because I don't feel comfortable putting that information on the Internet as an invitation to a burglary.

Anyway my friend Carol, whom I visited last year in Florida, was going to Hawaii with her husband and they offered their place to my family for 15 wonderful days. I have to say it was a much more enjoyable trip this year- very relaxing and nothing but wonderful memories. We drove to Raleigh, N.C. first to visit my daughter and son-in-law for a few days. They just bought a new home in November so we had to go and check it out. From there we drove to Georgia and spent the night in a bed and breakfast. We ate lunch here at the above picture. Do you know where it is now? I'll give you a hint- Food Network. That's right, we had lunch at Paula Deen's restaurant. It was such a nice afternoon. We spent a few dollars in her store which is an attached building to the restaurant and then we walked around and enjoyed the beautiful sights of Savannah. We then headed down to Cape Coral and the drive went by faster than I thought because there was so much to look at along the way.

This is the view I had every morning on the lanai with my coffee and the morning paper. I have to say this is what I miss the most. Even though I was on vacation I was still up at 6:30 so I could absorb this image. My son Elliot was on spring break while we were down there so he flew in for a week. We saw a lot of dolphins. They would come up and down the canal looking for fish and as if right on cue, they would surface two and three times right out in front of us.

We went to Captiva Island for the day and this handsome young man (my son Elliot) braved the cold water in the Gulf of Mexico to find me some nicer shells out in the deeper water. I knew he loved his momma. It is hard to believe he will be 21 in May but he certainly looks like a grown young man in the pictures and handsome at that if I don't say so myself. We spent the day looking for shells and relaxing in the sun. I was playing with the camera and decided to take some pictures of the waves. It looks so refreshing doesn't it? The beach at the edge of the water is actually all small shells about the size of a quarter and smaller.

Captiva is known for their spectacular sunsets and after we had dinner at a quaint restaurant we were treated to this beautiful sunset to end a perfect day.

I did a bit of stamping and visited my two favorite stamping stores in Fort Meyers- Strawberry Fields and The Owl and The Pussy Cat. I had a nice little chat with Regina who owns The Owl and The Pussy Cat regarding a comment that was left on my blog last fall and my hunches were right all along. Sometimes my intuitions scare me when I see how true they are. As usual she had some wonderful findings that will find their way into my projects.

I have to say that this has to be one of my most memorable trips. To make it even better, I got on the computer and visited some of my favorite blogs. I happened to leave a comment on Tim Holtz's blog a few days earlier and I couldn't believe it when I saw that he had a random blog candy give away and I had won. I had emailed him back with my info. and told him how excited I had gotten when I saw my comment and that my husband came into the room and thought I had won tickets to Ellen- which I told him noooo, it was something better than Ellen. I told Tim that I was waiting to go dinner until after 7:00 when I could register for one of his classes in Novi. I told him I was going to have to throw my family a few more crackers to hold them over until I was registered. Yippee, I am now going to get to go to one of Tim's classes May 8th. Mario emailed me back and said he wished he had been a fly on the wall that evening and he would send me out a box of goodies when they returned home from Ranger. I can't wait to see what I won.

Sorry that I didn't post any cards today. I have some pictures of a book that I made that need editing and I was just too tired yesterday from the drive home. I will get those up and posted the end of the week.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. I will as I still am re-living some cherished memories.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A little bit of shabby

So how has your week been? As you can see from the lack of posting, mine has been rather busy. I did find some time to create this little rustic gem. As I had mentioned in my last post, I wanted to get out of my rut and spice things up a bit. So with one arm tied behind my back I put my Martha Stewart border punches away. But I didn't say I would put all my punches away.

Today's card is a bit on the shabby chic side but in more earthtone colors rather than the typical lighter softer colors. The DS paper is Double Take- Sweet Shoppe Collection layered onto hot pink card stock. I distressed the edges of the paper to pull in the shabby and then layered a piece of celery paper that had been embossed with Swiss Dot in my cuttlebug. It is a bit difficult to see but the ribbon is actually a metallic burgundy color, unless you enlarge the picture it looks brown. The pink flowers were punched out using the MS Water Lily punch and completed with Prima Velvet Heirloom Rose Leaves in Meadow. The brown flower is also from Prima that I sanded and then applied Beedz-Shimmer iridescent glue to make it sparkle. It is very easy to get the shabby look if you are using Prima or Melissa Francis products. Another product line that will help you achieve a shabby look is Maya Road. The "Strength for Today" sentiment tag is from Melissa Francis- Indexed Ticket Company the Lighter side of Breast Cancer. This was a great find in a clearance bin and there are several tags in the booklet. The scallop chipboard tag is from Prima's Raspberry Tea collection which I just love and I stamped the "best wishes" sentiment on it with sepia ink. A few embellishments and my card was complete.

Don't be intimidated by trying to achieve this look. If your are a newbie to shabby, I would suggest you start with something from Melissa Francis and build around that. Just rough up your embellishments and paper. You can even rub some distress inks on your paper to tone them down a bit or you can go the lighter side of shabby and use the whites and creams. I would love to see what you create, so send me a link to your projects. If you have any questions I would be happy to share my techniques with you.

I found time to create an easel book with my favorite paper- Maripso from DCWV which I will share with you in my next post.

Have fun and enjoy!