Saturday, December 28, 2013

Merry Christmas

 Ok I am surprised no one has called the blogger police on me yet and if they did, I well deserved it. I had every intention of posting just before Christmas but I ran into some technical difficulties. Well at least I didn't. My son Elliot is the photographer in the family and while I was busy in the kitchen for 3 whole days making Christmas cookies, I asked him if he would go into my stamping studio and take some pictures of my Christmas cards so I could post them on my blog. I use a small photo tent and had added a different type of lighting over the top a few months back. He was horrified at the lighting and decided to take pictures of my cards with our Christmas tree in the background. He didn't like the daylight so he wanted to wait until the evening to get the right picture of the tree lights. The evening came and went as did he, four days later and I still didn't have any pictures of my cards.

My father left on Friday and my daughter left this morning so I headed up to my studio and took the photos myself using my photo tent. Now I know why some of the colors in my photos didn't look like the real color. I may have to look into some larger photo lights on eBay.

I made several different designs this year, but these are the only two that I got pictures of before they all got sent out. I was actually pretty proud of myself because I had my cards made and mailed 2 weeks before Christmas. The tree has been up since Thanksgiving and I had the cookies finished 3 days earlier this year. It was nice that we had some treats to eat a few days before Christmas. I sent everyone home with their favorites and a plate over to two of my best pals.

The navy card is a 5x7 and the red is 4x51/2. I used Spellbinders Opulent Ovals and the other dies are from Memorybox. The corners are stickers as is the Seasons Greetings on the red card.

No new stamping items for Christmas this year. I think I have all I need for quite some time. Now that the holidays are over I can waste away the winter weekends in my studio. I did have a really relaxing time the day I made the Christmas cards. It was snowing pretty heavy here and the snow was really piling up on the skylights in my studio. I lit a Woodwick candle and put on some Christmas music while I created like an elf for an entire day. It was like a little piece of heaven- listening to the crackle of the candle, the music and watching the snow fall. I love that I can create such wonderful experiences in my own home and it hardly costs me anything. Maybe it's just the fact of getting older and we learn to appreciate the simple things in life.
~have fun and enjoy!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Deco Labels

 I really need some education in working with colors in Photo Shop. The two colors I used for this card are Stampin' Up's Coastal Cabana and Strawberry Slush, but the pink looks more coral in these images. My son is great with manipulating the color levels to get the true colors. Little does he know I will be bartering Christmas cookies for Photo Shop lessons when he is home for the holidays.

I used Stampin' Up's From My Heart stamp set in Coastal Cabana ink for the sentiment and then cut it out using their Framelits Deco Labels. For the pink layer I embossed each end with the Framed Tulips embossing folder. The white layer was done with the Perfect Polka Dots folder and the background was done with the Stripes embossing folder. Several different textures on this card work well with plain card stock. I think it would have been too busy had I used any designer paper. The edges of the card I used the Scallop Trim Border punch and then a line of pearls. Very easy and quick.

It sure is going to be a busy December here at our house. As I said in my previous post, my father will be coming to stay the month with us. Our youngest is graduating from college and my in laws decided they wanted to come down for the graduation also. I am really looking forward to having them all here especially my dad. He hasn't been to our house in quite awhile. We always see him when we go to the cottage in the summer. I have the spare room all tidy and waiting for him.
It is bitter cold out today and there have been a few snow flurries here and there. What a perfect day to make a pot of homemade turkey soup with homemade noodles. The house smells absolutely  rummy and I have been hungry all day from the aroma.
I have a few thank you cards to make from my birthday last week. I had better get started or they will end up doubling as Christmas thank you cards and that just wouldn't be right.
~Have fun and enjoy!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Creating with a trio

Wow, my blogging is sure being neglected. I don't know if I am just getting burnt out or just so busy with other things. Maybe it's a little bit of both. I don't see getting any less busy with the holidays approaching but I will certainly try. I haven't even visited the other sites that I used to go to all the time. Maybe with winter coming I will settle back into it.
Our baby will be graduating from college next month. I guess this will be another phase of our life. Not sure I am going to like it but at least it should be less devastating on the finances. My father is coming down for the graduation and will stay with us for a month until after the holidays. It will be nice to have him here and be able to spend good quality time with him. The kids will all be home for Christmas so it should create some wonderful memories. Phone conversations with him just aren't the same and I plan on enjoying the stories of his childhood and life in Scotland. I want to journal his stories so they get carried down to my grandchildren. I can't think of any better legacy for them.

Today's card is all Stampin'Up products. The stamp set is Papaya Collage and the sentiment is from Sweet Essentials. The card stock is always Artichoke, Tangerine Tango and Baked Brown Sugar. I used one of my favorite punches Artisian Label for the butterflies and Modern Label for the sentiment. The embossing folder I used on the Baked Brown Sugar is Square Lattice. I colored the pearls with Copic Markers that were close to the Always Artichoke and Tangerine Tango ink I stamped the butterflies in. There is something about repeating the image that I like and to give it a pop, I stamped one of them in a different color. It would have also looked nice with all of them in the Always Artichoke.

Looks like winter is just around the corner for us. Won't be long before we see the snowflakes I'm sure. The darkness early in the evening is hard to get used to. We just changed the clocks last week and I am ready for bed at 8:00 every night. That's the one thing I don't like about winter but it's the one thing that makes Spring so wonderful. Can't have one without the other!
~Have fun and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A bit of copper

 OK can someone officially stop the clock! I don't know where the days and months are going. I know I had been MIA but I was shocked and ashamed of myself that the last time I posted was a month ago. The DH was on vacation last week in Hawaii with his parents. He asked me if I wanted to go and I told him I never dreamed I would go in my lifetime let alone twice in one year. I figured having the house to myself was a vacation in it's self. Every night I was coming home from work to let the dog out and then leaving for the evening. I ended up with a nasty cough that has kept me home from work yesterday and today. I don't think the couch has seen this much of my behind or my head.

Today's card is rather a different color combo. I myself would have never thought of copper and royal blue. I used the Framed Labels Eighteen 3D M-Bossabilites on copper card stock. I then had to figure out what color to use with it. Several colors I laid next to it just weren't cutting it until I saw this blue. I used the Memorybox die Riviera Corner and matched the seam binding ribbon to pull that corner together. The main image was cut using the Spellbinders Labels Eighteen and the matching stamps from Our Daily Bread called Bird & Butterfly Labels. The sentiment is from Northwoods using the same Labels Eighteen to cut it out. I didn't go with the dark ink only because I didn't have a dark blue to tint the flowers. I sprayed the cream flowers with Perfect Pearls- Blue Smoke. I decided to keep the ink and flowers all in the same color pallet so it would pull together. I find when there are too many color variations of the same hue it can look like it was just thrown together. It just depends on the style of the card. Elegance usually requires some uniformity.

No much to talk about even though it has been some time since I last posted. We made a trip over to Grand Rapids to see my son at school. He has an internship with a company called Bar Fly which is a design company the owner of four local bars has formed for all of his print work. Including the Grand Rapids Brewery. They do the menus and all promotional items. I was dumb founded when we visited Elliot's work (that is right above the brewery) and the receptionist asked him if he had offered us a beer. The area is very industrial. It has an open concept with exposed brick and  heating ducts. Off to the side is a full kitchen with stainless steal appliances. They have a kitchen bar with several stools but in it is two beer taps so there is always two different kinds of beer on tap. What else would you expect from the owner who owns the brewery right underneath. I guess it must have something to do with creativity and  I think this is Elliot's dream job. I just hope he has one when he graduates in December- beer or not!
~Have fun and enjoy!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Friends are flowers...

 I have to say, this fall weather is doing wonders for my crafting and creativity. Today's card may look difficult but it really was rather simple. I used Core'dnations Pink Pearlized paper from JoAnns. I was told they are no longer going to carry this which is a bummer. It  makes very elegant cards and really seems to show off the detail in the embossing. The embossing folder I used is a Spellbinder's 3D M-Bossabilities called Persian Splendor. I wanted to use one of my coupons and I had this one in my hand and then didn't think I would use it that much so I put it back. I walked around the store and didn't really see anything that caught my eye (notice I didn't say "anything I needed") so I went back and got this folder. The first time I used it I fell in love with it and now it is one of my favorites. A diamond in the rough you might call it. The black frame is Spellbinder's 5x7 Elegant Labels 4. This one I did not raise with pop dots as I did on the wedding card in a previous post because the colors of the two layers were so drastic I thought the pop dots would show. I did however raise the sentiment tag which is also a Spellbinder's called Fancy Tag Two. The sentiment is from TPC Studio called Secret Garden Collage. The butterfly is from the Ashland line at Michaels. Very simple yet it looks like it took a lot of work.

I spent the day brushing up on Beeswax techniques. I am going to demonstrate using this at our stamp club next month. I haven't done it in awhile and I really like the technique. I can't believe I haven't had the wax out in such a long time. Since one of my favorite things to do is collage, this is perfect for adding texture. I am going to show the class this technique using a very small picture canvas. I have found that if I teach them on a smaller scale they don't get too overwhelmed. Once they master this, they can go onto larger pieces when they get home. Just getting started is the hardest because we don't think we can do it. Hopefully I will alleviate that fear so their creativity can shine through.
I can't believe the weekend is already over. I did get a lot accomplished along with some cleaning and organizing. Always feels good to get that done. A made an angel food cake and some fresh raspberry pure' to go on top. It will be a nice treat as I watch Duck Dynasty. Yes folks, I am a follower. I can hardly believe it myself. Out of all the things that are on TV- I surprise myself. Never would I have thought that I would watch a show about redneck duck hunters. I guess it is the humor and I can always count on ole Uncle Si for that.
~Have fun and enjoy!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

White Lattice

I found something as great as sliced bread. These lattice diecuts from the David Tutera line at JoAnn's. They came in a package with the same design in kraft. I was able to make this card in less than 30 minutes. I used light blue pearlized tectured card stock for a different look. The flowers are from one of the dollar stores, which was another great find. The white tag was punched out using the new SU Bracket Punch and layered on a SU Night of Navy tag cut from Spellbinders Labels Nine. The sentiment is from a retired SU set. I really liked the cleaness of this card. I think when you use white, it has a tendency to create that look.

I got a phone call this evening from my friend who is in Florida right now and she called me because they are having the lightening storm of the century. She knows how much I love lightening and yes I would have loved to have been there. I can't tell you how many times we have been predicted to have storms and we get nothing but a few drops of rain. Bums me out every time. I think I must have been a "weather chaser" in a previous life.
The nights are starting to get cooler and I am looking forward to all that Fall brings. Sure there are several things about Summer that I will miss, but as one season ends, it brings on a welcomed change. I even look forward to winter for the coziness in the house and the beauty of falling snow. Call me crazy! Some days I think I might just be that. This week I looked out into the backyard and there were 11 turkeys and then all of a sudden a red fox came running across the tree line and one of the turkeys flew up into a tree. Is that natural for a turkey to fly up into a tree? Now I know being chased by a fox will make them run for their lives but really- flying up into a tree. And what is even crazier is that I live in a subdivision. I guess these are the things that keep life interesting.
~Have fun and enjoy!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Prima paper doll tags

 I just love these paper doll stamps from Prima. I remember playing with paper dolls when I was a child so I think I am enjoying the fact that it is bringing out the kid in me and I don't need an excuse.  A friend let me borrow this stamp and I stamped her on Prima tags and designer paper. I think this stamp is one of my favorites along with one that was just released. The new one has the girl wearing a long dress that can be embellished to look like a wedding dress. Can't wait to get that one.

Take a look below to see the different looks I came up with the one stamp. I lined these tags up on a shelf on my studio for inspiration every time I am in there. They just make me smile. Speaking of my studio, I spent the whole day in there yesterday. It was gloomy and rainy out yesterday and there wasn't anything that needed to be done around the house so it was a good day to create. I bought some of the new Spellbinders and I was in heaven. I will share my creations with you in the next couple of posts. I didn't even get out of my PJs all day yesterday so you know I was in a creativity mode.

To keep the post down I am not going to go into detail what I used on each tag. If there is something that you need information on, just leave a comment I will get back to you.

Looking forward to a day outside. The temps are a bit cooler but the sun is shining and that is all I need. I am however looking forward to fall. I think I sleep better so I am in an overall good mood- most of the time. Hope you all had a wonderful summer so far. Hard to believe it is almost over. Oh well there is nothing we can do to make it last longer, we have to just enjoy it for what it is.
~Have fun and enjoy!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

For the Bride and Groom

This has to be one of most last minute cards I have ever made for an any occasion. I almost committed a stamper's cardinal sin by buying a card rather than making one. I had a wedding reception to go to Friday night and I made this card in 30 minutes. I haven't bought a card in over 10 years. This is how I justify all my spending on stamping supplies. I am always mentioning to my husband how much store bought cards are these days.
Thanks to my good friend Carol who let me borrow these two new Spellbinders and part of her idea. The new lattice is a bit different with a fancier edge to it. Hence the name Fancy Lattice. It isn't much of a difference when you look at the die but it sure shows up on a card. The frame is one of Spellbinders 5x7 dies called Elegant Labels 4. I layered the middle die inside the largest one to create the window. The smallest die was used for the image which is actually a tag. I ran a piece of satin black ribbon through it to give some black to the top and bottom of the tag. I had a devil of a time getting all of the pieces out of the frame and I sort of tore some of the delicate pieces in each corner. I wasn't about to toss it out or start over because I didn't have the time. That is where embellishments come in quite handy. I just covered up the mistakes with three glittered half pearls in the corners and added some flowers for a finishing touch. Can you believe that the only bling on this card are the glittered pearls. That is really holding back for me. I did use ivory pearlized card stock which had a shine of it's own. The pearlized papers make such an elegant project. The bride and groom are from the Inkadinkado clear set Wedding/Marriage.

Last weekend was the annual Float Down here on the river. There were thousands of people who took to the water including a 92 year old woman. Her first time was last year at 91. There also was a woman who has stage 4 liver cancer and she wanted to be able to cross this off her bucket list. She is deathly afraid of water and she said her grandchildren were at the side cheering her on. Below is a picture of just some of the floaters. They continued coming around the corner for a full 4 hours. The Coast Guard has to close this river to all boat traffic for safety reasons. This means the freighters coming from Lake Huron are even on hold at this time. There are boats from the Coast Guard and Sheriff to help anyone who needs it or anyone who starts to drift over to the Canadian side. That is the Blue Water Bridge in the pictures that connects Port Huron to Sarnia, Canada.

Below is a picture of my husband Gerry and me. My friend Carol has a place on the river and she gets to wake up to beautiful images of this water every morning.

The Fry pan Sisters

~Have fun and enjoy!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Just for You

It has been awhile hasn't it. I feel like I can finally sit back and enjoy the rest of the summer. It sure has been a busy one with all my trips. My daughter came home from North Carolina and we took a trip up to the cottage in the Upper Peninsula. About as far north as you can get- way up in the Keweenaw Peninsula by Copper Harbor. Some call it God's country.  We all ad a great time and it was nice to spend some time with my dad.

Now on to today's card. I used SU Indigo Island and So Saffron card stock. The background was embossed with the Damask folder from Darice. I used Martha Stewart's Deco Fan edge and corner punch to create the yellow square. The blue square is from Spellbinders' Decorative Labels One. The label sentiment is from the SU set Just for You and I punched it out with the matching Artisan Label punch. I used Indigo Island ink for the label. Don't you just love the lace. I have used it on several cards and I picked it up at Hobby Lobby. You can see more detail in the photo below.

It looks like this is going to be a beautiful weekend and the flower gardens are calling my name again. They haven't seen much of me either. Has anyone else noticed how big the bumble bees are this year and how many there are of them. My phlox has come alive with how many bees are on them. I don't mind them as long as there is a window between them and me. I am glad they are at least sharing the flowers with the humming birds. Now those I could watch for hours- window or no window. Well I've got to go if I am going to get anything accomplished this afternoon. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
~Have fun and enjoy!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Seeds of Kindness


I actually decided to come back from San Antonio, I just haven't found the time to post. I flew home last Saturday and then we had to head back to the airport on Wednesday to pick up my daughter who flew in from Raleigh, NC. The weather in Texas was hot but a nice hot, not that humid sticky hot. It was in the triple digits but we were either in air conditioning or the pool. We did manage to see the Alamo and do the River Walk which was a bit warm but very much worth the walk. The resort I stayed at was awesome and I think the highlight was the bathroom in my room. It was very elegant and it even had a rain shower in it. The tub was extra long. Long enough that the towels were at the back end of the shower on a shelf and they didn't even get wet. Now that is the way I wish I could vacation all the time. Every time I turned around they were feeding us. Needless to say I am going to have to do some extra walking.
Today's card has very little stamping. The designer paper is from Michaels and the black doily is a pre-cut from Wilton for cupcakes. The white doily is a pre-cut from Martha Stewart. I punched out the leaves with a Martha Stewart Frond punch and the flowers are by Prima. The sentiment and circle design is from the JustRite set Seeds of Kindness. It is an older set so I don't know if it is still available. I put down a strip of black satin ribbon and than layered a piece of lace trim on top. The lace just got lost in the designer paper without the dark color behind it. A few pewter pearls for some bling and the card was finished. Very quick once I had the design in my head yet very elegant. Isn't that how it goes. Sometimes it takes us longer to come up with the design than to actually put the card together.

I plan on spending some quality fun time with my daughter this week and the boys will be home next weekend so we can all be together. It is pure joy how well they get along now that they are all grown. Just glad those teenage years are behind us.

~Have fun and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A resisted doily


Today I have a different kind of doily and it's not a paper one. This card is using the "resist" technique. For those of you who aren't familiar with this technique it is created by resisting the ink. Sorry to bore the ones who know what this is but I am going to explain the process. After all my intention with my blog when I started it was to inspire and help those who are not as familiar with stamping.  I stamped SU Hello Doily with Versamark onto glossy card stock. Then I poured clear embossing powder over the image and went to town with my heat gun. You will now see a glossy image on the glossy card stock- does that make sense? If it doesn't it will in a minute. Next I used the following SU inks and with a sponge I just started rubbing on the color- Marina Mist, Bermuda Bay, Vintage Violet and Indigo Island. It is important to keep rubbing until the colors are blended well. Now the doily pops right out and it looks like it was done with white ink or white embossing powder when in fact it is just the white glossy card stock showing through. Magic, right!
I used Spellbinders Decorative Labels Twenty Two and then I layered Labels One on top with a sentiment from the Justrite set Signs of Life. The design around the sentiment is from the same set. It has several different circle designs and sentiments that can be interchanged. Speaking of Spellbinders, have you seen the sneak peaks this week on their blog. The one nice thing is these new dies are add-ons meaning they will wok with other dies to enhance the ones we already own. Check them out and get ready with a pen and paper to make your wish list (a big piece of paper).
Winner winner chicken dinner. The card in my last post was entered into a challenge and I won a background stamp from Justrite as a random drawing. I usually don't have the time to enter these challenges but over the 4th of July weekend I had the house to myself and I spent a good amount of time in my studio. I chose a lace background and as soon as I get it I will post a card with it. In fact it would be a gorgeous stamp for this technique.

I am flying to San Antonio on Monday for work. Being a Michigan girl I am not looking forward to the heat. Right now they are having a cold spell in the low 80's as their high. It came a week too early for my liking. Anyway the seminar is at a 5 star resort with several restaurants within the compound and several pools and waterfalls. I think I might be able to handle it and I am sure the conference rooms will be well air conditioned. From the reviews, this place caters to your every whim. Looking forward to a week of luxury. If I don't get a chance to post something new for next week you'll know why.

~have fun and enjoy (I know I will)!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A doily challenge

 I didn't plan on posting again so soon but I did this card for a JustRite challenge and I needed to link my submission back to my blog. The challenge required a doily to be incorporated. I used a silver cupcake doily and then I cut out the sentiment with Labels Eighteen. The sentiment is from the JustRite set Hugs to You. I embossed the background with a 5x7 CuttleBug folder by Anna Griffin called Rosa. The flowers are from one of the dollar stores and the leaves were punched out with a MS punch called Frond.

I must say today was one of those perfect days. I have the house to myself and you all know how much I enjoy that. I sat out on the deck with my coffee and the newspaper and a couple of candles to start the day. Then I got into the garden and did some trimming of my rose bushes and I still had a few flowers that had to be put in the flower beds to add a bit of color here and there. All of that before noon. Then I spent some time on one of my favorite sites- Pinterest. Absolutely addicted. I came across a pin on how to clean your washer so I got up and headed to the laundry room. A cycle of hot bleach water followed by a cycle of hot vinegar water and I now have a sparkling clean washer. I can hardly wait to do the laundry now- not! I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow brings.
~Have fun and enjoy

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Paper doll

I didn't think this would be my kind of stamping but it was rather fun. It is called paper piecing and these Prima doll stamps designed by Julie Nutting are perfect for it. I couldn't fine a name for this stamp. I will just call her "Sally". I stamped the doll onto pink paper so I wouldn't have to color her skin. I have seen her body stamped onto word/text paper which gives a whole different look. Next I stamped her onto the paisley paper for her dress and then cut it out. I then stamped her one more time onto green paper for her pockets and headband. I did add some glossy accents to her shoes to make them look like patent leather but it isn't showing up in the picture. The border is from Spellbinders and the ribbon is from SU.

I wasn't that crazy about her not having a face so I drew some eyelashes and gave her some rosey cheeks. OMG- I just noticed that I forgot to color her bangs. I colored the rest of her hair with a Copic marker E37. Luckily I haven't sent this card out yet so I can go back and finish her bangs. Sometimes I wonder how I make it through the day.

This weekend I want to try a few more of these cards. I only have this one stamp but the nice thing is you can get her to look so different just by the different paper you use. I guess there are several samples on Pinterest so I will have to take a peak. I've heard they even put leggings on her which is a very cute idea.

Found some super buys on Sizzix this morning. I only went there because I received an email of their big sale and wanted to see what was new. Every die and embossing folder that came out before 2013 is 75% off with the code from their site. I can't wait for that package to arrive. I picked out several of Tim Holtz's dies, a few embossing folders and a few other odds and ends that I couldn't live without. It took a long time for the order to process (25 minutes and it says not to hit the back button). After waiting an unreasonably amount of time I ended the process and re-entered only to get two confirmation emails that my "orders" were confirmed. Great! I better make a phone call tomorrow because I don't need two of everything I ordered.

~Have fun and enjoy

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July
This card was actually made for a birthday that happens to be on the 4th of July. It will also work as a thank you for their kindness to my elderly in-laws. This birthday girl lives across the street from them and her and her husband keep my in laws driveway cleared from all the snow that falls in the UP. So you can only imagine how appreciative we are as that is quite a job. I thought it would be only fitting to make the card red, white and blue.
The background is the same Anna Griffin embossing folder "Rosa" that I used in my previous post for the anniversary card. It is a 5x7 and I really like working with this size folder. I used Spellbinders Decorative labels Twenty-Two for the tag and a few rhinestones for the bling to represent the stars. Keeping with the theme of the 4th, I kept the rhinestones in stripes rather than just the typical trio I would use. The sentiment is from Stampin' Up.
Not much new is happening here. Laying low and quiet for the 4th. So far it looks like rain the first part of the week. We'll see what the end of the week brings for the holiday. I can hardly believe the end of June is here already. The weeks have been passing quickly and I am afraid summer will be over before we know it. Better enjoy it while we can!
~Have fun and enjoy!