Friday, August 27, 2010

Inspired by nature BC 166

Happy Friday everyone,

Today's challenge was the color scheme Red, Yellow and Green.  So during my walk with the dogs yesterday I was brainstorming what to do.  Where do we see Red, Yellow and Green together in nature?  Well the garden of course!  So I dug out my A*muse really rosy stamps (rose and rose leaves) and whipped up this quick and simple flower card.  It's pretty simple, but it's growing on me.

I also included some of my garden photo's that inspired me.  No, I don't have roses in my garden but I have some lovely yellow and red flowers blooming strong.

Card Recipe:
Stamps:  A*Muse really rosy - rose and rose leaves, Friends make life blossom (also A*Muse)
Paper:  Wild Wasabi, Pear Pizzaz DSP, Wild Wasabi DSP,  Daffodil Delight
Ink:  Real Red, Wild Wasabi, Daffodil Delight
Accessories:  Martha Stewart eyelet punch, Pear Pizzaz ribbon, Nesties circles, modern label punch

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Junior Year

This week (on Tuesday) Eric had his first day of school for the 2010/2011 school year.  He is a junior this year and hopefully will be graduating in 2012.  Isn't he handsome ( - :  ?

I am posting these pictures on my blog because he would die of embarrassment if I posted them on facebook. Just for kicks (and because I'm a mom) I also posted the pictures from his first day of kindergarden.  Awww, wasn't he just a cutie pie???  I miss those adorable chubby cheeks!

If you have a little one (either son/daughter or grandson/granddaughter) give them a big hug.  Once they turn 16 they won't be nearly as affectionate!  Enjoy it while you can!  Thanks for looking and I love to get comments!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

BC 165 - Back to School Challenge

Hello Bloggers!  I have two cards to share with you today....  Why you ask?  Because I have no 'back to school' stamping stuff whatsoever - that's why!  Today's bloggers challenge was to make a back to school card.  What a challenge!  So, I looked around and started improvising.  I started by looking at my new PTI embossing folder with alphabet letters and thought - yes that could work for back to school.  I ran it through the cuttlebug and with a darker paper (like crumb cake) the image was barely noticeable - so I used a brayer and added a top coat of crumb cake ink to the top.  Voila - the depressed letters now stand out on the card.  Good start.  So then, I'm looking, looking, looking at my cards and finally settle on the chairs.  I thought they looked like classroom chairs that might be behind a desk.  I know, it's a stretch, but it was all I could come up with.  So, i did another embossed layer with the other side of the letter folder that has book writing.  I did that one in soft suede with the brayer.  And I added the aqua blue.  I just got this stamp set for my mom - it says 'be the change you want to see in the world' by Gandhi.  I figured she wouldn't mind if I inked it up before giving it to her and I thought it was an inspirational message for a teacher or student.  so then i show the completed card to my daughter and she says 'it's nice, but it's not back to school.'  {sigh} she was right.  So, I went back to the drawing board.  Still no back to school stamps or paper {sigh again} but this time I'm inspired to use the mason jar and paint brushes.  Hey, don't you always think of art class when you think back to school?    The stamp set is from PTI and is called Friendship jars and Friendship fillers.  I love this set.  Just got it last week and this is my first card from it.  Too fun.  It's done with Copics and the A*muse aqua blue.  The brown matt is creamy caramel (retired su) and the sentiment is SU.  Don't you love the bakery twine in brown?  It came out nicer than I thought. 

And really, neither of these are Back To School, but I am trying to be better about my stamping budget so I did not go out and get a back to school stamp.  At least not this year.

Thanks for looking!  Enjoy your weekend.  This is our last weekend of summer.  Both Eric and Sarah start back to school next week.  It feels really early this year {sigh again.}

Card Recipe:

Card Stock:  A*Muse Blue, SU crumb cake, soft suede, creamy caramel, basic black
Stamps:  PTI Friendship jars, Friendship fillers, Chairs.  Sentiments:  AC Moore, A*Muse
Accessories: copics, twine wide ribbon, bakers brown twine, punch, PTI embossing folders letters.
Ink:  Soft Suede, Crumb Cake, Momento Black, tempting turquoise (SU marker)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My craft room

Over the last year, I have been inspired by many of your craft rooms and the craft spots I've seen on some peoples blogs.  So today, I will post photos of my craft spot.  Warning - this is a long post!
First, an overview.  My craft spot is down in our finished basement.  We have a big room that has a room divider inbetween.  You see the couch, my craft table is behind the couch, in front of the columned room divider.  What you can't see is that if you sit on the couch, you see the big screen T.V., so I can see the T.V. just fine from my crafting table.  This is great winter, spring, summer and fall because my family loves sports, but I don't find them especially attention holding, so I can sit and craft with the baseball, basketball, golf going on and still be part of the family, always catch the instant replay, but still be productive.  Perfect.  You'll notice I didn't mention football.  That is because I really like football and tend to watch those games 'full attention.'  Go Patriots!

Okay, second, on to the storage system.  I originally had all my stampin up sets tucked away inside an Ikea desk, nestled in target CD storage baskets.  That worked fine, until I started by A*Muse stamps and other single stamps.    So below you see the SU sets in the desk and then you see the printer desk turned on it's side and hung on the wall with the A*muse

I love having these stamps up on the wall.  They are quite decorative and make a nice piece of artwork, but I also love how easy it is to see them all and pick them out for cards.

My paper storage is new.  I used to keep all my paper in metal banker boxes (see lower left photo) but again, I really wanted to SEE the papers without having to shuffle inside something, so when SU came out with new colors I got several paper organizers from 'The Container Store.'  These are the white vertical units.  They have sliding drawers but they are open so I can easily see and grab the paper.  The bigger units are from Michaels to hold 12X12 DSP.  I have my retired colors still in the banker boxes and the plastic bins hold punches, in process cards and scraps.

Next is tools.  We are no longer interested in pretty.  This becomes purely functional.  The metal shelf here is tucked away in a corner and it holds many of my tools including the embossing heat element, the flowersoft, the smooch, etc.

As for my cutting and scoring, I took over the pub table and am always fighting for table space here.  My family uses this workstation a lot, so when I'm in the middle of crafting, I put my paper cutter and scorer there, but often move it off, when not in use.  I love using the pub table because it's high and it's very comfortable for cutting since I don't have to bend down.

A lot of my other tools wind up in the plastic drawers next to the desk or on top of the desk.  I struggle to keep the desk neat enough to work!

And lastly, I'd like to point out one final feature of the craft room and that is Eric's corner.  Eric is almost 17 so he spends some of his free time playing video games.  He has a separate T.V. for this and his corner is right next to my craft spot.  I like it because we are often both down there together.  It's not quality time, but I like it better than being alone.
So, there you have it.  My delightful craft spot.   If anyone has any good ideas about how to store SCRAPS - I'd love to hear it.  I find scraps a huge challenge.  I won't throw them away, but if they are not readily accessible (and color coordinated) I waste huge amounts of time searching through them.  I'd also love to see your craft spot.  Some of you are very clever with dual purpose spots and small spaces.  Send me a link to your crafts spot post if you can!  And comments are always welcome!

Oh and for those who want info on these items - where to buy listed below:
Desk: Ikea
Shelves:  Target
Plastic Shelves and bins: Target
Sliding Paper Drawers: The Container Store
Wood wall units (sideways printing press drawer) e-bay
black rolling desk chairs: Target
Metal bins including bankers boxes, stamp set holders and ink pad holders:  Target
12X12 open paper storage: Michaels

Friday, August 13, 2010

BC 164 - Birthdays - Does it happen to you also?

It happens.  If you are like me, it happens more often now that I am a card maker. I'm late with cards! Before I made my own cards, I visited Hallmark frequently.  I also had a stash of birthday and other cards to pull from when I needed one.  But now that I'm a card maker, I can't use just a store bought card.  NO!!!  I will make a card.  And not only will I send a handmade card but I will make a card with the person I'm sending it to in mind!  Even though I have a huge stash of cards made at workshops & for challenges I can't use an existing card - I have to make a custom card!  So what happens?  I flip the calendar to a new month and {gasp} such and such's birthday is upon us!  And I have not made the card yet.  Nor have I done laundry, grocery shopping or housework.  So then what?, I intend to make a card tonight.... or first thing after work tomorrow or on my day off Wednesday, but inevitably, the card is not done in time to put in the mail BEFORE the birthday.  So I'm late.  Sometimes I'm so late, it needs a belated message - like this time.  BUT, it will be gorgeous AND it will be a card made with the person in mind AND it is to someone I care about so HOPEFULLY they appreciate it all the same - even if it is late!

This card went out with a hand made gift included (all the more reason why it was late!!)  I wanted to make some blank cards to go along.  I've seen a lot of bloggers making the same card with different color schemes so I had so much fun playing with colors for my cupcake cards and my kimono kid cards.  Below is the sampling of the gift pack enclosed.
Clean and Simple and Fabulous (if I must say so myself!)

All of this went out to my dear cousin Lin.  Happy belated birthday Lin.  I had so much fun making these for you!  I hope you enjoy sending them to family and friends and I hope you don't mind that they were late!

Are you late or on-time with your cards?  Are you better now that you make cards or worse?  Please tell me I'm not the only one!

Thanks for looking and have a great weekend.  Card recipes below:

Belated Birthday
Stamps:  Dog in purse from Amuse, Sentiment from memory box
Paper:  white from pti, pink pattern from amuse, green - certainly celery from stampin up
Accessories: Square Scallop from Spellbinders Nestabilities, Ribbon from May Arts White Silk, Copics and flower brads from stampin up.
Stamps:  Flower Cupcake from Lockhart, Sentiment from A*Muse
Paper: Yellow Card - Daffodil Delight and pumkin pie (SU), Gingham from A*Muse
Green Card - A*Muse card base, Tempting Turqoise (SU), Gigham from A*Muse
Pink Card - A*Muse card base, Old Olive (SU), Gingham from A*Muse
Accessories:  Ticket corner Punch, Green or White Pearls
Kimono Kids
Stamps:  Kimono Kids from SU, Sentiment on red card from A*Muse
Red Card:  Poppy Parade (SU) Poppy Parade DSP (SU), Rich Razzleberry (SU), ribbon: Rich Razzleberry
Green Card:  Pear Pizzaz (SU), Pear Pizzaz DSP (SU), Regal Rose (SU), ribbon: Regal Rose, Sentiment punched out with SU punch.  All colored with assorted copics.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Aunt Verna

A few weeks ago I got a packet in the mail from my cousin in upstate NY.   Her and her sisters have decided to 'shower' their mom with cards to celebrate her 90th birthday.  What a great idea.  Like many 90 year olds, Aunt Verna doesn't especially enjoy crowds of people.  She loves a visit with a grandchild, niece, nephew, godchild or daughter and does great for short periods of time with small groups, but it would have been inconsiderate to hold a large gathering for her.  I thought my cousins idea was fabulous.  And since I love making special cards for people, I was right in my comfort zone to participate! 

I have so many fond memories of my aunt.  She lived next door to my grandparents and since my mom is the youngest of 5, they were quite old when I knew them.  What a joy it was for me to go visit my elderly grandparents knowing that Aunt Verna and my two fun cousins Caroline and Noralee were right next door.  We would do the obligatory 'grandparent' visit for 30-45 minutes (it felt like much longer) and then run next door.  Aunt Verna would welcome us into her warm and cozy home and there were always homemade goodies to eat and laughter.  We often visited in the summer so most of my memories of Aunt Verna revolved around her garden.  In the summer she was most often there - in her garden - harvesting beans, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes and of course STRAWBERRIES.  Fresh off the vine, they were fabulous.  Especially to a suburban kid like me who lived outside NYC.  The produce from Aunt Verna's upstate garden was fabulous.  My other great Aunt Verna memories in the summer were at her lake house, but that's a story for another day.

I chose a strawberry image to use for my card to remember the gardening Aunt Verna.   I'll spend a little time tonight writing up a personal note to include in the card.  I was disappointed that I didn't have a lot of photo memories, but Aunt Verna memories are fresh in my mind, so I'll instead recreate the images with words to bless my dear Aunt.

Card Recipe:
Stamp:  Flourishes Strawberry
Paper: Amuse Red, Green Gingham, PTI white, PTI black
Accessories:  Silk White Ribbon, white flocking (for the white flower petals), copic markers, corner punch

Friday, August 6, 2010

BC 163 Bloggers Challenge Sketch Circle Tree

Hi all, Happy Friday!

This week our bloggers challenge was to use a specific sketch designed by Lisa Somerville.  This is a fun sketch and it was easy to make a fun and interesting card based on the sketch.

This week I decided to use my new stamp Birch Trees from A Muse.  This is one of their new fall/winter stamps and it's so fun to play with.  The base of the tree is the main stamp and then on the edge of the woodblock there are the leaves.  I just added lots and lots of leaves in three colors - old olive, perfect pear and certainly celery.  The tree trunk is done in soft suede.  The stamp came from Bella Art in Rhode Island.  My mom came for a visit this week and she and I both wanted to go to cheesecake factory for lunch so while we were in the area I thought I'd stop in and see what they had and yes we had salad for lunch and cheesecake (red velvet surprise and blueberry swirl to share with the family) while there.  Yum!  Anyway, back to the card and stamps!  I had a 20% coupon from my summer stroll card.  The local stamp stores in our area all pulled a promotion together where you buy the card for $5.00 and anytime you spend a min purchase (it might be 10, maybe 20 - I've never had trouble meeting the minimum {sigh.}) The discount applies to a one time  purchase at any of the ten participating stores, until mid-september.  So, the trees (and a few other goodies) found their way home Wednesday and then immediately got inked up for the challenge.

Hope you all have some fun plans this weekend.  Thanks for looking!