Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fly Away Birthday for PTI's Make it Monday Line Frame

Hi everyone,

Don't you just hate a spring cold.  I survived most of this awful winter being reasonably healthy.  Now that it's almost May, I get my awful cold.  I am such a dreadfully mean and grumpy sick person.  I am a huge baby.  I hate feeling sick, I take every kind of medicine available and eat anything and everything that may make me feel better.  And I don't want to do anything.  Which really stinks because I had big plans for today in the garden, cleaning my house and making cards.  I was also being so good about increasing my activity (which was giving me better results with my weight loss.)  Having a headache, body aches, stuffed nose and cough makes it really hard to have the energy for a 1 hour power walk.  Sometimes you just have to give in to the body and relax.  I can power walk again next week.

But anyway, on to today's post.  I have only watched a handful of PTI's Make it Monday videos, and this past weeks post really peaked my interest.  I love the clean and simple look of a line frame.  I love the card Nicole made when she demonstrated this technique so I knew right away I wanted to try it.  The key to making this work is you MUST have the right pen.   You also should practice your line drawing.  The first time wasn't so good, but by the third time, I had it down and could do it pretty well. I did it once with a regular pen and it smeared and bunched and was a sloppy mess.   For this time, I used a ZIG pen.  I think a fine point sharpie would work.  Nicole says to use an American Craft pen.  The brand doesn't matter, but it must be permanent, non-smudging and .5 mm.

So, if you follow my blog you will know that Friday I posted a similar card for bloggers challenge using Wild about you stamp set.  For today's post, I am using Fly Away from PTI.  I need to use PTI products to be eligible for the drawing for the Make it Monday challenge.  I inked the airplane up in Baja Breeze and added the Happy Birthday sentiment in black to tie the black in from the line.  I wanted to add a little something so I added in some celery grass and I felt a little button would complement it as well so I put a twine bow inside a PTI button and adhered it to the lower right corner.  This is quite simple, but really kind of nice.  Sometimes less is more.  The patterned paper is from SU and the card base is always artichoke.  Want to see how to do this?  Check out Nicole Heady's blog and watch the 9 minute video. 

http://nicholeheady.typepad.com/capture_the_moment/make-it-monday/

Now off to nurse this cold with some hot tea with lemon.  Oh yes, and some mucinex and advil as well!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Bloggers Challenge Rose/Green/Blue Colors





I was struggling to come up with an idea for this weeks color challenge, but then decided to use my retired SU Wild About You stamp set and go with pastel colors in the rose, green and blue family.  I was also on the PTI site and watched the video on the PTI blog for this outline/line technique.  I love the look that this rectangular frame gives.  It's so simple (but surprisingly harder to do than anticipated) but the results are so nice.  I just love the extra emphasis the simple black line offers a simple card.  I'll be posting another card using this technique this weekend.  In order to be eligible for some PTI prizes, I need to do this technique with a PTI stamp.   Since my PTI order arrived yesterday, I have a few new ones to play with.  I am planning on playing with my new 'fly away' stamp set with this border.

Well off to watch more about the Royal Wedding.  Have a great weekend and stop back by later this weekend to see my other post.

Do you want to try to use Rose, Green and Blue?  Make your card and add it in to the link below!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I did it! (finally)

Hello bloggers,

Have you ever given yourself a challenge that you try, try, try to meet and become so frustrated when the goal seems so allusive?  Well that is what has happened to me this winter/spring but I finally have reached my initial goal.  I decided in early February to go back to weight watchers and get my weight back on track with where my doctor thinks it needs to be.   While I probably should lose 30 pounds, my doctor encouraged me to lose 15.  So in early February when I went to do the new points plus program with WW, I was eager and excited to get started.  I set a first goal.  When I lose the first 5 pounds, I will buy myself the Grand Calibur die cutting machine.  I thought (in early Feb) that the grand calibur would be mine by the end of the month.  After all, everyone else in the WW meeting was losing 3 pounds the first week and a pound or two each week after.  Seems reasonable eh?  Well, here we are in APRIL and I have only just now lost the FIRST 5 pounds.  Do you know how many times I wanted to quit?  I so wanted to quit the week I went in (having followed the program all week) only to see my big 1.8 weight loss the week before gone with a gain that week of 1.8 pounds.  I finally talked to my leader and she said not everyone can eat the weekly 'extra' points allotted.  So this past week, I did not eat any extra points.  Not one.  Only the 29 points I get every day.  The good thing is that with the new WW program, I can be satisfied with 29 points each day.  The program keeps me eating well balanced foods, moving more and all those other healthy habits that I should do.  So, I really shouldn't complain about not getting those extra points, I'm just mad that everyone else in my WW class can eat 29 points plus have 49 points each week and still lose.

But today is my happy post.  I finally did it.  I finally lost my first 5 pounds.  And, I'm planning on sticking with the program another 3-6 months to lose the other 10.  Heck, as long as I'm not hungry, eating right and on track, the important thing is that the number on the scale is going down.  Slowly, but still going in the right direction.

So below are pictures of my new baby.  I can't wait to use it.


For those who are unfamiliar with it, here is the description.  I am most interested in using it so I don't have to pre-cut my paper for die cuts.  I'm looking forward to putting several dies on the page and then running it through the machine.  Now, with my cuttlebug, I have to pre-cut all my papers, then put them through.  I may also invest in one or two Grand dies (larger die cuts) to so some fun shaped cards.

'The Grand Calibur is the latest in Spellbinders' line of innovative cutting machines. It is compatible with all Spellbinders die templates and accepts 8-1/2x11 inch paper without trimming plus cuts or embosses up to 8-1/8 inches wide with just the turn of a handle. The Grand Calibur uses the same two-pass process as the Wizard (cut on one pass; emboss on the other) but the Grand Calibur allows many more die templates on the larger plates. Perfect for use with Grand Nestabilities dies (not included). This machine is also compatible with many other popular dies and embossing folders. This package contains one Grand Calibur Machine with handle (measures 7- 1/2x14x4-1/2 inches); one grey base plate; one white cutting plate; one pink embossing plate; one tan embossing mat; and instructions. Dies and folders sold separately.'

Monday, April 25, 2011

Polka Dot Birds

Today's post is for Impression Obsessions challenge.  I have a wonderful IO stamp that is so flexible and fun to use.  I often color this stamp up with blues and purples, but I wanted to go with a more tropical theme so I picked oranges and yellows for the challenge card with polka dots.  This one was super fun to create.  I used the impression obsession Thistle Garden stamp.  I included the stamp image below my card so you can see how the image is on the stamp since I modified it for this card.





To get this effect, I put my circle nestability through the cuttlebug, but then I left the white card stock with the nestie still in it and stamped the image in black. Then I took the die cut out and started coloring both the circle image and the surrounding thistle/grass/bird images.  When I finished coloring, I matted the circle on a layer of white (one step larger nestie) and then another mat layer on daffodil (the next larger nestie.)  Then I trimmed off the extra from the outside to get this nice square shape and started pasting.  I used my scallop die to get the daffodil yellow layer and added some daffodil thin ribbon with a bow for the lower horizontal accent.  The sketch is from MFT's wed sketch challenge.  I loved the sketch so much I decided to use it here also.  Lastly I added a nice sentiment 'Wishing you the best day ever' to make this a great all occasion card.    The challenge was polka dot and I think this definitely fits the bill.  It is very polka dotty and bright and fun.  Thanks so much for looking.  Have a great week.

Want to play along?  Go to the Impression Obsession website (below) - get the details and then add your link to their site.  Winners get a $25.00 gift certificate.

http://mitrafriant.typepad.com/impression_obsession_news/

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter/MFT Wednesday Sketch Challenge

Happy Easter everyone,
Today's card is another MFT creation for the Wednesday sketch challenge.




This sketch was really fun to play with.



I used MFT's Pure Innocence 'Being cute is what I do' girl and inked her up with my copics.  I left my spellbinders die on top of the circle and then sponged some antique linen all over the white circle.  Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great day.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bloggers Challenge Ribbon/Lace

Today's challenge with my BC group was super easy.  The challenge was to use ribbon or lace on the card.  I think over 75% of my cards have ribbon on them.  So since I needed to make a 50th wedding anniversary card for my in-laws, I created this card with this nice seam binding ribbon from SU.  I love the SU patterned paper here with this PTI stamp set and die.  It is just so classy!  My in-laws are in Kauai Hawaii for the month celebrating their special anniversary. They love it there and I am envious.  I have never been to Kauai, but I have been to Maui twice and it is just so nice there.  So tropical and exotic.   This card will go in the mail this weekend and it will be waiting for them when they return in a few weeks.  My hubby and I called the resort and had a floral arrangement sent to them.  I hope they like it.  They were adamant about not wanting any of us doing anything for the event, but who doesn't like flowers?

Do you have any special plans for Easter?  My daughter, husband and I went to our church's Maundy Thursday service last night.  It was very nice.  We'll go to Easter Services on Saturday night.  The church will be packed Sunday morning so if we go Saturday night, it will allow some of the guests to sit in the pews.  People will sometimes leave if there standing room only and if I can go on Saturday to allow others to enjoy the Sunday service, well I can totally do that.   Then Sunday, Eric is playing in a golf tournament in the afternoon and I'm planning a nice, elegant, but simple dinner for later Sunday.  I think I'll make coq a vin.  I can put it all in the pot and let it stew all afternoon.  Then if Eric is running late, it's no big deal.  Maybe add some ratatouille for my vegetarian daughter.  Add in some homemade french bread, a salad and a special dessert and dinner is ready.  It's not a traditional Easter meal, but I think it will work just fine.  What are you having for Easter dinner?
Want to add your ribbon/lace card to the blog hop?  Add your link below.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

State Championship Banquet

What a fun night we had tonight at the WCS basketball team banquet to celebrate the Div 3 state championship win last month.  They did a great job hosting a dinner/event at the Pleasant Valley Country Club.  The coaches and athletic director had so many nice things to say about all the players and it was fun to catch up with the other basketball families.  The funny thing was that my neighbor and I consulted each other about what to wear.  The invitation said 'semi-formal' and they boys were asked to wear dress pants and ties.  So Monique and I figured it was a dress and high heels event.  I even wore pantyhose and my pearls.  Well, we were the only females there in dresses. Not a problem, we figured it was better to be overdressed than underdressed so we weren't bothered.

I took a video of coach Bajema presenting Eric with the 'trophy' bag.  Inside was a nice jacket, a team photo, a DVD of game highlights, two tee-shirts and his varsity letter for the season.   Coach Bajema did a great job saying some funny and personal things about each of the boys.  I love that he encouraged all the boys - not just in their basketball training, but in being successful in life.  
video

And here is a photo of my two boys.  Aren't they handsome?
And for those who want to see a card - I got a nice package in the mail last week from my friend Kimberly.  She tells me that lots of people are using these big tags on their cards.  I put some patterned paper on mine, tore it up, added a grommet and pulled this card together with it.  It has a sort of masculine feel to it with a little french country too.  I did something unusual with this in that I stamped the image directly on the patterned paper and colored my copics on the paper.  Since the design is simple I think it works.

Monday, April 18, 2011

MFT sketch challenge

Don't you just love great kids books?  I remember so many of the books we used to read to my kids when they were little.  Often something will happen that will remind me of the book and it takes me back in time.  That is what happened with this card.  After I finished it (for the MFT sketch challenge) and after the clear shine dried off on the boots, I realized that her boots are just like the boots in the children's book 'Big Sarah's little boots.'


Below is a photo of the book.  Isn't she cute?  The story is darling - about a young girl who loved her rain boots, but then they got too small for her.  My little Sarah used to have so much fun playing in the puddles in our street at our house in Florida.  When it rains in Florida, it rains hard.  But then it stops and the sun comes out.  Usually the only evidence of the storm is all the giant warm water puddles in the low lying areas of the street.  My little Sarah would play for forever just running back and forth in the big puddles. 

My 'little' Sarah is now 22 years old, but when we used to read this book to her, she was as big as the girl in the picture.   Where did the years go?

Anyway, on to the card.  I whipped this up yesterday to get it in before the MFT sketch challenge deadline.  Below is a picture of sketch. 




Once I decided to go 'literal' with the sketch and use water and clouds in my card, I knew right away that I had to ink up this PI umbrella girl.  She is so cute and inspiring for spring.  I did three pass-throughs of my cuttlebug to get the 3 layers of scallops and did the clouds in the matching blue patterned paper.  The blue is Baja Breeze and the bright yellow as an accent is Daffodil Delight.  the others are just mat layers of white and black.  She is paper pieced and colored in copics.  The boots get shiny with a little dab of glossy glue - left to dry overnight.  Thanks for stopping by and thanks especially to those of you who leave comments.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mini-Courses

It's a windy and wet Sunday here for us in New England.  While many times this would make me sad, I'm actually kind of glad for the weather.  Now I won't feel guilty about not doing any yard work and instead head down to the craft room this afternoon to create some spring goodies.  Today's post is about the mini-course I taught on Friday.  My son's school has one day a year where the high school students get to choose 2 mini-courses. They don't offer regular classes.  The teachers and parents offer various 'fun' things to learn.  My son did 'super snacks' at one mothers home.  I offered card making.  There were also things like kayaking, helping the community food bank and table tennis.  So 8 lovely ladies (mostly Freshman but a few sophomores and juniors) came by my house at 11:30 and we made 4 cards.  They loved it.  Each one customized the cards to match their needs.  The stamp sets/prototypes I had were very versitile so the graduation example I used could have worked for new baby, happy birthday or wedding.

Which one is your favorite?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bloggers Challenge Sketch

Today's post is for this weeks bloggers sketch challenge.

I found this darling scripture stamp when we were in North Carolina last month.  They had a whole bunch of Hobby Lobby stores there and before we visited Elon, we stopped into the Hobby Lobby in Burlington NC.  It was a nice store - very similar to AC Moore, but it is owned by a christian and is not open on Sunday's so I was not surprised that they had a few more faith based stamps - especially for the easter season.  This is such a great sentiment/bible verse that I thought it could take center stage for my card.  I do have one regret on this.  I wish that I had not put the bud accents on the background.  Sometimes less really is more, but I do love the cherry blossoms in the background of the sentiment, don't you?





The sketch is right here.  I love a sketch challenge.  It still gives me the flexibility to choose my own stamps and colors, but adds a little structure around the artistic process.

Card Recipe:
Card Stock:  Always Artichoke, Easter Paper (SU),
Stamps:  Cherry Blossoms from SU's Easter Blossoms paper
Accessories:  Baja Breeze Ribbon, Very Vanilla ribbon, Baja Breeze marker, Tim Holz stickles for bud texture.

Want to play along?  Create a card using the above sketch and then add your blog link below to join the blog hop.

Monday, April 11, 2011

MFT Sketch Challenge

I just loved the MFT sketch this week and found the perfect image to fit in it.  My friend Kimberly has many of the PI stamps and she had stamped this image off for me last fall for a calendar project.  I didn't wind up using the image but now that spring is almost here, she was the perfect image for today.
Below is the sketch challenge.




Thanks for looking.  Have a great week.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bloggers Challenge Inspiration

This week, we had something new for our bloggers challenge.  We were to create a card using an inspiration photo.  I've never done one of these before, but found it quite fun.  I've seen lots of other blog posts with this type of challenge and have always loved the creations that come from them.





So here is my creation.  I used a new thing that my friend Karen gave me.  It's one of the SU Beveled Windowpanes.  At first, I had no idea how I would use this in a project, but when I saw that the image size matched this darling bunny from Forest Friends, I had my idea.

Here is the inspiration photo.



I picked up the blue green color from the wall with the Baja Blue card stock.  I embossed it to give the horizontal line texture of the wall.  I picked up the tree in the window with my forest friends tree set on the blue/white die cut out.  And lastly, I picked up the black and white photo's on the wall with the bunny.  I attached the beveled windowpane with some baja breeze taffeta ribbon.  So, that is how I interpreted the inspiration card onto my creation.

Below is a photo of the inside of the card.  Since it was black, I needed a white layer for the sentiment.



I hope you are all able to enjoy this Sunday.  We have a quiet day planned.  My daughter Sarah is home from college for her birthday, so we'll enjoy spending a little time with her and catching up.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we can go for a nice long walk with the dogs this afternoon after church.

So, are you inspired to try to make a creation using this inspiration photo?  If you do, just post your card on your blog and add yours below.  Check out what the others have done.  They are all so cute.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

MFT Sketch Challenge

Hi all,
Just a quick post to get my sketch challenge in before the noontime deadline.  This is a fun set from MFT - Who's that girl - what's cooking.  I loved coloring her to match this kitchen themed DSP.

Here's the sketch.  Try and play along yourself. 


Monday, April 4, 2011

Pure Innocence goes shabby

Good morning,
Did you have a nice weekend?  Did you do anything special?  We had a really nice LONG weekend.  The best kind.  My husband and I took a few days off from work and took my son, Eric, down south to look at some colleges.  He's a junior this year and we thought it would be fun to tour some campuses down south while it was still winter and cold up by us in New England.  We had a really nice time.  I love the Carolinas and my husband and I both decided that we would love to retire down there.  At the end of this post are some photo's and more insights into our trip.  But you are probably here for the card!  My Favorite Things is having a guest designer challenge and I decided to try my hand at it.  The theme is shabby chic.  This is not a style I normally do, but heck, a challenge is a challenge so I decided to give it try.  I inked up this darling pure innocence girl on some old, unused cross-stitch fabric.  I colored it with pastel copics and then crinkled it and dabbed it in antique linen Tim Holtz ink.  I cut it all up and ripped it up a bit.  Then I used some My Mind's Eye papers, distressed them up a bit and layered everything together.  To top it off I used some twill ribbon (dyed tea colored) under my antique brad.  She is so cute!  Don't you think?

So on to our trip.  I always seem to have some funny coincidences on my trips.  As a Christian, I often feel that coincidences are not really by accident and I try to see if God is speaking to me when they happen. In this case, I can't tell what he's saying, but I'm sure he's involved.  The below picture is of my son, Eric, in the blue (his back is to the camera) and his best friend and next door neighbor (Connor) in the black jacket.  Here is the coincidence.  We made our trip plans back in February.  We had no idea the Connor and his mother were also going to visit colleges during spring break.   We had no idea they were going to visit North Carolina State Raleigh on Wed.  So weren't we surprised to be at the 1:00 tour and see them walk in.  Very strange.  The boys were happy to see each other.  Maybe they'll both go there and room together.
I was so impressed with North Carolina State at Raleigh.  What a great school.  They have a great engineering program, very closely tied to the research triangle industry in town, with a heavy emphasis on internships and research.  My son is considering biomedical engineering.  He would do well with their program.  The only downside to the school is it's size.  I think they have over 20,000 undergraduates there.  But the campus is planned out well and it's right in Raleigh.  I was impressed.  Plus, I won a free NC state red tee-shirt for paying attention to the orientation meeting.  I was the only one who knew that you can apply for housing right after you are accepted.  Of course, Eric got the free t-shirt, but that was fine with me.
The other schools we visited were Elon and Clemson.  Elon was beautiful.  Very well planned campus and highly manicured.  At 5,000 students, it was much smaller than NC state, but had nice small class size and a broad listing of majors.  They don't really do engineering so if Eric decides to go with biomedical engineering, he probably won't end up there, but they had a strong science dept and he thought the exercise science program may be interesting.  We'll see.  I think he'd be much better off in engineering for job opportunities, but there may be a lot to that other program as well. The picture above and below are from Clemson. What a nice campus.  Clemson is in south carolina and it felt a bit more southern than the other schools.  They also have a strong engineering program with emphasis on internships.  I was impressed with that program also, and it's a bit smaller - everything on campus is walking distance and instead of being in a city, there is a cute little college town.  If it was me, I would want to go there.  They have a huge division 1 sports base there and the football games and basketball games looked like they would be awesome. So for now, we are telling Eric to keep an open mind, do well on his SAT's next month and apply to the school's he is interested in.  Let's see if any scholarship money comes in and then he can choose from several good options next spring.
 
Finally, to finish out our trip, we headed down to Pinehurst.  What a lovely town.  The boys played golf at Tobacco Road.  They did very well considering how difficult the course is and that it was their first round this season.  I headed to the Pinehurst spa and was treated to a wonderful hot stone massage.  It was a lovely day all around.  If you are in Greensboro or Raleigh NC, I highly recommend the short drive down to the spa for at treat.  It was so worth it!



Well, that's enough for today.  If you have any insights into Elon, NC State, Clemson or Biomedical engineering, let me know.  I'd love to know more about these.  Lastly, even if you don't, leave a comment.  I love to hear from ya all! 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bloggers Challenge Birds

I was so excited to see that our challenge this week is BIRDS.  I have so many bird stamps.  I love bird images.





I decided to try something a little different with this card.  I stamped the tree on vellum and instead of adhering it to the card base, I attached it with a twine bow on the seam.  I cut out the tree and then added grass and the birds (die cut) to the image.  It's simple but I kind of like it.  Not my usual card, but fun just the same.

Want to try your hand at a bird card?  give a shot.  Then post it and link it in below.