Monday, October 31, 2011

My Favorite Things Wed Sketch Challenge

Good morning bloggers,

It's Halloween here in the US today and the snow is still on the ground.  It is going to be sunny and warm today so hopefully by the evening most of the snow will be gone.  I laughed and said I was going to dress up as a snowman to greet the trick or treaters at the door. 

Today's post is a fun teacher card using the MFT A La Mode 'make a list' stamp.

My daughter Sarah is teaching in Ukraine, so this is a perfect card to send to her.  Inside it says 'to my favorite teacher.'

Thanks for stopping by today.  Have a great day.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chillin with my gnomes - so stinkin cute!

Isn't this card the cutest darn thing?  I love all the images on this 'There she goes' stamp set ' 'My little friend.'  And these little guys are very fun to color up and paper piece.

Today's post is for the There she goes challenge for fall colors.  This is my first time playing along with their challenge.  This card is heading to upstate NY tomorrow with a gift card as a thank you for my dear cousin's husband.  We headed up to NY earlier this month for a wedding and while there, my husband and Rob started talking computer talk.  Seems Rob had recently replaced a hard drive and had one he didn't use.  He mailed us his old hard drive and we were very grateful.  This will be the thank you card to acknowldge their generosity.

So, I can't end this post without a comment on our New England fall snow storm.  We got about 3-4" of snow and now the sun is now shining brightly and melting it all away, but this morning, it was a strange sight to see all that snow on some of our still green trees.  I have a few pictures of my surprised late blooming flowers getting hit with a white substance.  Even though I would have preferred to save the snow till next month, it's hard not to love the beauty.  There really is nothing else on the earth like a fresh snowfall combined with a sunshiny day.  Everything glistens and sparkles.  Beautiful, but often very inconvenient.

You guys can enjoy the photos without the hassle... unless you also live on the east coast.  I heard this storm came all the way from PA up to Maine.






















Thursday, October 27, 2011

A complete re-do

Hi Bloggers,

Today's post includes a total botched job and then the re-do.   The re-do is for the cat's pajama's acetate challenge. The funny thing?  I was so sure the first card was going to be fab-u-lous.  I'm working away on it thinking to myself, this is going to be GREAT.  For sure, it will be chosen as a 'pick of the litter' by The Cat's Pajama people.  And then it got close to be finished and FAIL.  Kind of the like the souffle that crashes as you pull it out of the oven - not that I've ever tried that - but I've heard.

So, first I'll show you the reject.




I should have known when the design got complicated.  See, to do this, I had to cut my circle inside the double layer argyle paper.  And there is a space between the two.  And I wasn't mounting on cream card stock.  No, I was going to put a cream circle under the acetate layer and put it on patterned paper.  What I forgot was that I was going to have to put the acetate layer with the shake it material on the colored circle piece blind.  I had to turn the image down to keep the shake it materials in. And even as I'm carefully placing it, I'm still convinced it's going to be great.  Only when I flipped it over did I see how crooked my image became.  And then, the flower soft was too thick and stuck and didn't shake.  Total failure.  Good thing I can laugh at myself.

So, even though it was 9:15 at night, I embarked on another project.  This time I took some of the complexity out and added in some fun.



So, here is my final birthday card for my brother in law.  I used the same image, but kept it simpler.  I inked up the image directly on the card.  I also gave myself a penciled circle to ensure I kept my scene within the window.  Then I added only ONE layer of paper.  This one is so fun, it doesn't need any more.  I added fine flower soft as my shake material and it sits nicely at the bottom of the scene but when shaken, it playfully moves all around the camp ground image.  My brother in law is a big camper so I added the sentiment I'm a happy camper, but took out the I'm and replaced it instead with this B alphabet letter to make it more appropriate for a birthday card.  I had fun with the banner and the TCP flower dies as extra embellishments on the side.  Inside is a fun birthday sentiment mat layered on the same patterned paper.

So, what are your fail stories.  Everyone has them.  I'd love to hear about yours.  I hope when you had your fail you had the common sense to laugh at yourself.  Although I do realize that some fails have much more significant consequences than mine.

I hope you have a great day.  Thanks so much for stopping by.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Make it Monday Challenge

Good morning bloggers,

Today's post is for this week's make it monday challenge.  The technique we learned this week was adding color using a brayer to an embossed surface.  You can watch the video using the link below:

http://nicholeheady.typepad.com/capture_the_moment/2011/10/make-it-monday-38-brayer-and-impression-plate-techniques.html

One of the things I love about this card is the colors.  Sometimes you find a color scheme that is so appealing, you feel like anything you make with it will be wonderful.  That's how I feel about Aqua mist and brown.  These colors are so soothing and elegant together.


This card will be mailed off the Ukraine for my Sarah.  She is such a book lover, I know she'll love this PTI image of the child under the tree reading.

I hope you have a wonderful day.  Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Seasons

Good morning bloggers,




Today's post is for two challenges.  First, this card uses the weekly sketch by Karin Giron.  This is a fun 'inchy' sketch, meaning that your focal point is five 1 inch squares.    You can try a card with this sketch and post it on her blog before Friday.

http://kgiron.blogspot.com/2011/10/sweet-sunday-sketch-challenge-140.html

The other challenge is from stamping sisters in christ.  Their challenge each week is based on a specific scripture.  This week it is from Ecclesiastes 3:1 'there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.'   This passage always reminds me of that song 'to everything turn, turn, turn...'  Love that song.

My card is therefore an intrepetation of the seasons.  I start in winter, move to spring, then summer, then fall and end again in winter.  I pulled my sentiment from my papertrey bitty bird card. I thought it was a good reminder to make the most of each day and live in the future, not held back by the past.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great day.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Impression Obsession Challenge - The color purple

Good morning bloggers,

Did you have a good weekend?  We did but it was awfully busy.  My DH and I went to Brimfield MA Saturday to do some tornado relief work.  We went to an auto shop where they had a lot of damage to their property.  My husband worked the chain saw all day cutting up wood to get to additional debris.  Some of the others and I spent the day seperating out scrap metal, useable wood, burnable wood, and items for the dumpster.  I'm a little sore today from all that bending and lifting, but nothing a little advil can't fix.

It really is amazing how much damage a tornado can do in such a short time.  The very forested area was completly leveled and crews have been out helping clean up since July and it's not done yet by any stretch.

Oh and Friday night, my son had some friends over.  They were very resourceful.  They assembled the second TV next to the wall mount set and had 4 boys all playing on two screens their 'zombie' game.

Photo's of both activities are at the end of this post.

Today's post is for the Impression Obsession Challenge.  You can get all the details about the challenge on the website below:

http://mitrafriant.typepad.com/impression_obsession_news/2011/10/our-purple-challenge.html

The challenge will close Wednesday so you still have a few days to submit.





When I saw the color challenge I knew I wanted to ink up my Thistle Garden Stamp set.

For this one I used SU's new Wisteria color and put an embossing folder on it and cut a window out.  I added some very vanilla seam binding ribbon and a tag punch sentiment.  I love this I/O sentiment 'you're one of a kind.'   It works perfectly for so many occassions.
I hope you are having a great start to your week.  Thanks for stopping by.



Below is from Friday night.  There were many soda cans, candy wrappers and other junk food debris left for clean-up on Saturday but it was fun to hear the sound of boys laughter in the house and I love having them all over.




Below is a shot of Bob in his chain saw glory, standing on the pile of debris we were trying to sort through and clear.  He would cut the giant tree limbs up that were covering the debris, we would move the logs and then start digging through the rubble.



Bob is standing on what's left of a camper.  You can barely make out the trailer base.  In the background, and below, you can see the flat landsape and the devastation of all those tree's down.  The storm cut a 1/2 mile wide path through.

Above you can see one of the ladies digging around the pile.  There were many piles to go through, but we made a good dent in the big pile.  The business owner now has a big pile of scrap metal he can sell to help off-set the significant cost of clean-up.  He told us he spent $75,000 in dumpster fee's and he's not nearly done yet.  We went with our church group.  There were 65 from our church, but many other volunteers from other groups.  There were many home sites that needed help.  Friends of ours were at an older women's house clearing the road so the plows will be able to get through this winter. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Papertrey Ink Make it Monday Challenge - Snowman shake it card

Good morning bloggers,

brrr, it's chilly here in New England today.  The perfect day to snuggle up and read a book - which I may very well do this afternoon.  It's also a good day to make Christmas cards, which I have a lot to make.





Today's card is for Make It Monday.  This week, the technique/challenge was a double die cut.  You cut your die once, then cut again to get a window effect.  I decided to take the technique to another level and make a shake it card with the double cut.
Isn't he just the cutest little thing?  To get this effect, I added an acetate circle to my double die cut patterned paper.  Then I  used double sided foam tape and wrapped a thin layer under the acetate along the border.   Before I adhered my colored in snowman to the back, I added some Martha Stewart clear beads to be the 'shake' material.  Then I adhered, the snowman to the back, adhered everything to the red background and then added my scallop, mat layer, ribbon and sentiment to the card.  to finish I added two large rhinestones.  When you pick this card up, the snow moves all around like a snowglobe.

Thanks for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I'll have a post for Impression Obsessions 'the color purple' challenge.  I hope you stop back by.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Miss you card for Sarah

Hi bloggers,

Today's post is a cute card I made for my daughter Sarah.  As many of you know, she is 1 month into  a 27 month assignment with the peace corps.  She is training right now, but she will get her final assignment in December teaching English to high school students - somewhere in Ukraine.  She just got an address where she can receive mail, so I made this fun card to let her know she is loved and missed very much. 








This card uses a fun stamp set I just got from 'There she goes clear stamps.'  The picture doesn't really show it, but this set includes lots of fun gnome images.  I chose the motherly gnome next to the mushroom house to reflect the miss you theme for the card.  Next week I hope to find time to ink up some of the other cute characters.

Today, my husband and I are off to do some work in Brimfield MA.  That area was hit very hard by tornado's back in June and a group from our church is going to do some clean up work to help out.  The bible is very clear that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, so it seems appropriate for us to put our faith into action and help these neighbors out - even if they are 45 minutes away.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bloggers Challenge

Hi everyone,

Happy Friday.  Are you having a good day?  I hope so.  I had the day off so this morning I went to a new yoga studio nearby called Bcalm yoga in Hopkinton MA.   They do HOT yoga and it's a 90 minute class. Normally I do 'regular' yoga (82 degrees) for 75 minutes so I knew this one would be a challenge, but it was good.  The instructor was very good, the facilities great and I surprised myself by getting into the pose 'wheel' for the first time.  It took me till the third try and I'm sure it wasn't pretty, but it was progress.

Then I headed over the brand new Wegman's that just opened in our area.  This is the first wegman's grocery store in New England so it was mobbed, even though the grand opening was Sunday.  It was a little overwhelming since the store has so much stuff and there were so many people, but I was glad to go and I filled a shopping cart with goodies for the family.

So, on to my card...





This card is for the bloggers challenge of 'fall blossoms.'  Don't you just think of chrysanthemum's when you think of fall blossoms?  That was the image that came to my mind so I inked up this papertrey ink anniversary set and did some masking to get the three color mum's into the wild flower scene.  I also used my new PTI button die to make these fun buttons using a layer of cardboard and then a top layer of patterned paper.  The beauty of the hand made buttons is they are MUCH thinner so you don't have extra postage.

Well, I'm off to Eric's soccer game.  It's beautiful today - sunny and 60, then over to a stampin up event.  Overall a fun-filled day.

Make it a great day.
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Celebration card

Good morning bloggers,

Today's post is a celebration card.  My 19 year old brother just found out he passed his GED exam, so he is now a high school grad.  This is great news for him.  Saturday he went to Southern Maine Community College to check out their programs on auto mechanics.  He is very excited about the prospect of college and we are all praying that everything comes together for him to continue his education.  It's very challenging to find work in this economy (especially in rural maine) without a specific skill or education. 

To celebrate his accomplishment, I made this fun, cheerful card.





I used a new die (that I WON) from The Cat's Pajama's.  The die includes three flower cuts and as you can see from the above it's fun to mix and match papers (especially double sided ones) to create a fun flower.

Thanks for looking, have a great day.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A simple Christmas card

Good morning bloggers,

I have a super simple christmas card to share with you today.




I actually love the simple look of this.  I used the SU pinecone from the peasant stamp set and used my markers to have the pine cone brown and the branches green.  I cut this out into a 2X2 box and layered it on 2.25X2.25 mat layer of chocolate chip.  I added the ribbon (with the loops) and popped up the pinecone to give it a zing.  The sentiment on the bottom is so perfect with the clean and simple card.  Sometimes I forget that simple cards can be just as eye catching as the complex ones.

Thanks for stopping by, have a great day.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bloggers Challenge - Cardboard


Happy Friday,

Do you have any plans this weekend?  We will have a family gathering Saturday night with some aunts, uncles and cousins that I haven't seen in a while.  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and catching up.

Today's post is for the bloggers challenge.  Our challenge was 'cardboard.'  I had some used up cheez it boxes and poptart boxes that I decided to reuse for this challenge.  I put them through the cuttlebug with my nestie die and got this adorable mat layer for under my wheelbarrow image.  I had just gotten my new SU spice paper and this SU stamp from the holiday mini and I love this fall themed card that came out.  I decided to only color some of the image.  Pale Sepia is a great copic marker color - it works for many things and it looks great on these pumpkins.  I actually fussy cut the wheelbarrow so it would fit in it's entirety on the mat layer.  I popped it up with dimensionals to add a little additional visual image.  There is a layer of more mustard ribbon over a scallop edge at the meeting point of the two spice cake papers.  I plan to use this as my thank you card for my Aunt who is hosting our dinner.  I think I'll also make a few more of these for thanksgiving.

I hope you all enjoy your weekend.  Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A cheery card for a rainy day

Good morning bloggers,

The gentle rain from the night has grown stronger and is now a full fledged rain storm.  It's still very dark here even though the sun is up.  My son doesn't want to get out of bed (can you blame him) even though he has to be to school early for AP calculus.  I had to go in twice even though his alarm had sounded.  And my hair, well, I did blow dry it, but I don't know why.  Immediately it started to do it's own thing and I already gave in and threw on the headband.  Yup, It's going to be one of those days.

So, let me share with you this fun and cheery card I made yesterday for the Cat's Pajama's sketch challenge.
Aren't these silly penguins adorable?  They are super fun to color up also.  This sketch design was a perfect backdrop to their Christmas antics. 

Well, I hope you have a great day.  I'm off to get the dogs outside and then off to my 1 hour commute.....  I'm glad I have a LARGE umbrella and a warm, reliable car.



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Make it Monday - Sunflower Card for a friend

Good morning bloggers,
Today's post is for Make It Monday - a Papertrey ink technique challenge.


This week, the MIM technique is to use your regular stamp pads and use a watercolor paint brush and water to faux watercolor your image.

I thought these sunflowers would do well with this technique and I do like the results.  The effect is very subtle, but trust me, up close and personal, you can see bleed lines on all the blossoms and leaves and the color is muted compared to when I first inked it up.

This card is for my old friend Melissa.  She moved to NC several years ago to be near her aging mother.  She is an avid gardener and for years has done lots of free lance landscape jobs.  Recently she got certified as a master gardener and recently got a job as a gardener at the Biltmore estates in the blue ridge mountains.  I am so happy for her and wanted to send a card to acknowledge her job achievement.  Now I just have to get her address.  She's moved a few times while down there and I'm afraid her address in my book may be out of date.

Thanks for stopping by today.  Have a great day.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Some Christmas Cards

Happy columbus day!

We have a beautiful, sunny day here in New England today.  Too bad I have to go to work!! 

I have a few christmas cards for you today and one nature tree card.



I can't take credit for the modern christmas tree card design.  This is pure Nichole from PTI, but I love the look - so fun and modern.  I played around with some extra's with it like embossed polka dots and green pearls.  Fun.  I'll be playing with this design over the next month.

The last one is my attempt at some shading on a nature inspired forest card.  I have been inspired to add more shading to my copic coloring and it does make a difference.

So, what did you do this weekend?

We had a nice time at a family wedding Saturday, but it feels like the weekend just flew by.  Driving 6 hours each way really eats into the weekend, but we are glad we made the trip.  We don't see that side of the family too much so it's great to catch up when we can.







Don't you just love a wedding?    This was a really fun one.  Eliza is my dear cousin's daughter.  She is one year older than my Sarah, so I couldn't help but think that Bob and I may be doing something like this in the near future.

She was a beautiful bride, marrying her high school sweetheart.  They were too cute together. 

Josh is a big 'tractor guy.'  He collects antique tractors - I heard he has over 5.  So of course when they came into the dance floor as they were introduced Mr. and Mrs. yup - they were playing 'she thinks my tractor's sexy.'   It was a blast. The DJ did something I have never seen before that was super fun.  He had the bride and groom sit with their backs to each other and their shoes off in the middle of the dance floor.  He had the bride hold one of her shoes and one of the grooms shoes and the groom did the same.  Then he asked some questions such as 'who will manage the checkbook?' Both the bride and groom were to simultaneously raise either their shoe or the other to indicate their answer.  It was very funny and light hearted.  We all busted up laughing when both bride and groom correctly answered that her family was the craziest.  No doubt about that!  Good thing at least his side of the family is normal!  The dj also played some super fun dancing music.  The whole place was hopping the whole night.

We headed back to my cousin Nor's house and fell into bed.  I didn't hit the pillow till almost midnight - which is way past my bedtime and we enjoyed visiting with her and her 3 darling girls over breakfast.

Saturday, October 8, 2011





Happy Saturday bloggers,
Today's post is a fun little card for Karen Giron's sweet sunday sketch challenge.  This is a darling layout and I inked up these sunflowers to be the main focal image.  I plan to make a set of these for my niece's auction - that is if I can find some time this weekend to make them.  We have several fun things planned (a wedding tonight) and the weather is going to be G O R G E O U S so I hope to be outside a bit.  Living in New England we treasure these fall days before the first frost.  My garden is still blooming like crazy - impatients, roses, cleone... the grass is greener than ever and the trees are starting to turn their beautiful shades of red, orange, purple etc.  I hope to take some pic's in the sunshine today.

Thanks for stopping by today.  Enjoy your day!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Bloggers Challenge - Falling for you/TCP Hype the Type

Happy Friday,


Today's post is for two challenges.  Our Blogger's Challenge this week was 'falling for you' and they said 'open for interpretation.  So, I thought of things falling from tree's and things I've fallen for (my husband) so I came up with this card with a bunch of acorns and the phrase 'nuts about you.'

The TCP challenge is 'hype the type' and they are asking us to make the sentiment the focal point.  I pulled these acorns and the 'nuts about you' sentiment from my happy camper stamp set and set the whole thing in a distressed, grunge theme with this fun new paper 'campy trails' from American Crafts, combined with some old olive, kraft and very vanilla.  A big chocolate chip striped bow sets off the card.  I fancy cut all those acorns out and set them randomly on the bottom of the card.  This one will be tucked away for my husband's birthday later this month.  I love when a challenge causes me to make a card well in advance of the deadline.

Thanks for stopping by today.  Have a great day.



Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Make it Monday - Make your own Washi tape

Good morning,

We are having a beautiful sunny day here in New England.  What a treat, it's been very rainy.  I am enjoying a quiet moment (with my laptop) and my doggies.  I love how my doggies sit at my feet and how Tank rests his head on the top of my foot.   ( - :

Anyway, today's post is for Paper Trey Ink's make it monday challenge.





This week, they are teaching us how to make our own Washi tape.  I love this idea because one reason I'm not really using any washi tape is because it doesn't exactly match my colors.  Now that I know how to make my own, I can create any type of tape to exactly match my cardstock and ink colors.  Very cool.

My creation today is a sympathy card using Gracious Vases and a sentiment from last years anniversary set.



To make Washi tape you put tissue paper on scor tape and then stamp on the tissue paper side.  I only had narrow scor tape (the video used a much wider tape) but this worked just nicely.  I put 3 strips next to each other and before I cut the tissue off, I stamped the orchid image in desert sand all over the three tissue paper/scor tape strips.  Then I cut the tissue off and got the 4 strips  around the frame. 

For the image, I stamped the vase in desert sand also, and then the image and sentiment in Baja Breeze.  To get the scallop edge, I cut 6 circles and glued the circles under the image mat to create this larger scallop effect.  The pearls between the scallops and the pearl accents on the flowers finish the card off.

This card is for a co-worker of my husband.  Her daughter (a young mom) passed away and he is headed to the wake this evening.   I will keep her and her family in my prayers.  I hope this card offers some encouragement.

Well, I'm off to my Yogalates class (combination Yoga and Pilates.) Since it's beautiful out, we'll probably be outside in the gazebo.  We probably will only do this one or two more times before the weather really turns, so I'll savor the fresh air today.

Have a great day.  Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fruit and One hour in the closet

Good morning bloggers,

I am playing along with a new challenge today.  The ladies at Stampin Sisters in Christ have a weekly challenge that always involves making a card based on scripture.  I thought it would be fun to play along.  The scripture this week is from Galatians.

"Gal. 5:22-23a "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."

The challenge, therefore, was to use fruit in my card.

I had gotten this pear stamp when I was at inspiration station for the memory box workshop and I had an idea to use paper piecing on the pears.  I grabbed the sketch from a book I had and voila... a nice thinking of you card that could be appropriate for any number of occasions.

So, that's my card.  Did you do anything fun this weekend?  I was so glad to get the windows in my bedroom cleaned.  I can see outside now!!!  I also finished cleaning out my craft closet.  Whoo - Hoo!  That closet has been a mess for a while and it got to be a really big mess over the summer.  I dreaded the thought of spending hours in there, so I came up with a plan.  At the beginning of Sept, I decided to spend 1 hour in the closet per week.  Here is what the closet looked like before I started.


Eeek, how embarassing.  This looks like something right out of the TV show hoarders!!!  Here is what it looked like after I spent 2 hours:



And finally, this is what it looked like yesterday after I spent my final hour in the closet.  I had about 3 garbage bags worth of stuff and 3 bags of items soon to go up on e-bay.  I also have a nice big box of office/school supplies.  Who knew I had so many pens, post it notes and rulers laying around?



I'm so happy to have it done.  Now, I can go in the closet (yes, it's a walk in and I can walk in) and find my extra ribbon, photo albums, games or scrapbook supplies.  Next closet up for cleaning?  My bathroom closet.