Wednesday, September 26, 2012

DeNami Personal Style

Hi friends,

Today's post is a card I made for the DeNami Challenge 'personal style.'  For this challenge round we were to make a card using techniques that reflect our personal style.  I love using patterned papers, a fun layout, paper-piecing, copic coloring and embellishments.  Phew.  Yes, I guess my personal style is no longer clean and simple!!

So how'd you like to help a stampin sister out?

If you would be a sweetheart, will you click the link below and LIKE my photo?  There is a lady, Tina M., who appears to have a million facebook friends who is in the lead right now.  She won the last challenge so while I like to see a fellow stamper win some gift certificates, I'd like to see her take a back seat this time and let one of the rest of us get in on the DeNami free stuff action.

I do not know if you have to have a facebook account to like this, but would you give it a try for me? 

Thanks a million. 

Thanks for visiting today.  Make it a great day!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Papertrey Ink Blog Hop & my new toy

Hi friends,

Today is the 25th and you know what that means - don't you?  Okay, well a lot of you probably don't but play along with me okay?

The 25th means it's the papertrey ink blog hop.

Our challenge this month was to 'wrap it up' - using fabric and felt.  Hmmmm, not my forte, but I played along.  I decided to make a little jewelry gift holder using one of my tag dies and some bright pink felt.

This little heart bag is the perfect size for a pair of earrings or a small pendant.  To demonstrate how it would work as a jewelry holder I put in some cute little earrings that my second cousin Linden made.  No, I'm not giving them as a gift, I just wanted to show you how cute they would look in the wrapped gift holder. 

So what do you think of the photographs?  I ask because I am now photographing all my crafts with my new iphone 5.  I think the picture quality is better with this phone that my old olympus digital camera.  I also was starting to have trouble with my olympus so I'm very glad I got my new iphone.

Did you hear of all the things that potentially went wrong with my order?  It has a happy ending, but I had to go through hoops to get this phone delivered.

I got up at 4:30 in  the morning Friday September 14th to place my pre-order.  They were warning that demand would be high and they may sell out, so I didn't chance it and got up early to hit the Verizon website.  I had to place two separate orders so that I could get two separate phones shipped to two locations.  One phone to my son at Clemson (his belated birthday present) and another phone (white this time) for moi!

Verizon gave me a confirmation e-mail with a delivery date of September 21st.  Happy Dance!  But then on Monday evening I got a call from American Express.  They asked me if I just attempted a charge of 270.00 for cellnet (or something weird like that.)  They said it was suspected as fraudulent and they had denied the charge.  They also told me cellnet was Verizon Wireless and that if I had placed an order Friday, just to call them and have them re-submit the charge and it would go through.  I hunge up and then slowly the reality of what had happened dawned on me.  The first charge for Eric's phone didn't look fraudulent but when Verizon submitted another charge moments later - it looked suspect.

Crap.  Double Crap.  Triple Crap.  I realized that if Verizon didn't have my payment, they would put my order on hold and potentially throw me to the back of the line again.  {sigh}   So I called Verizon.  Sure enough they said Eric's order looked fine, but mine was on hold with a delivery date of 10/5.  NOOOOOOO.   After 2 more calls (and a nice conversation with a sweet chinese supervisor) they figured out how to get my order off hold and invoiced.  Happy Dance {again.}

So, then I got the happy e-mail that my order had shipped.  Yeah!  I got a tracking number from fed ex.  Yeah.  I knew I wouldn't be home the whole day friday so I wrote a big note, left it on the garage and signed it telling Fed Ex to leave the package at the garage or deliver it to a neighbor.

Friday I get an e-mail that says Fed Ex had a delivery exception on my order.  Noooooooo.  What about my note????  Delivery would be re-tried on Saturday (but we had plans Saturday.)  {sigh}  So then it's time to call Fed Ex.  After two calls I find out I can pick my phone up in West Boylston after 7pm, but before 7:30. I had plans to meet a friend, but my dear husband volunteered to drive 15 minutes out of his way home from work to get my phone.   Sweet man.  Lots of brownie points for him.  So Friday when I got home from my friends I got to play with my new toy.  Isn't it beautiful???

Thanks for visiting my blog today.  Make it a great day.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

50 followers and a nature card

Hi friends,

Last week I hit a milestone.  I now have 50 followers.  Thank you!  I am very amazed that 50 of you read my blog on a regular basis.  I'm also amazed at the diversity of followers.  Some of you follow me for the crafty posts.  Others of you follow me because you are friends or family.  Regardless of why you are following me, I am so glad you do.  I try to mix up my blog posts so you get a mix of content - updates on my life and family and regular posts of my card making. 

Thank you all so much for following me and continue to leave me comments periodically.  I love to hear your feedback on my posts.

I have a card to share with you today for the Impression Obsession Challenge.  The challenge this week is NATURE. 

Impression Obsession makes a lot of beautiful nature themed stamps.  Most of the stamps I own though are a mix of nature and other stuff.  I don't actually own a 'pure nature' set.  So I decided to ink up this image with the fall themed front porch.  The leaves, flowers, pumpkins and pets are certainly nature so I think it counts.

The stamp I used is I/O Fall Porch H1846.  You can enter the challenge too.  Just click on the link below and submit your card or just look at the other beautiful nature themed creations.

Thanks for visiting today.  Stop back later this week for an update on my new toy (hint - it came from Verizon Wireless) and some more crafty goodness.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

One last card for TE Last Card Standing

I made one last card for the Taylored Expression Challenge.  I had stamped and colored this deer image on Monday and couldn't come up with any good layout that night for how to use it.  tonight I just threw this together using my October Afternoon gingham paper, a scrap of embossed paper (die cut into a notebook cut) and some buttons, flocking, stickles and shiny glue.

I think this guy is adorable with the country theme.  I'm thinking country bear jamboree christmas.  Are you feeling it too?

Thanks so much for visiting my blog today.  Have a great day.

More Taylored Expression 'last card standing'

Hi friends,

Well, I seem to have gotten my mojo back.  I had some free time last night and while watching a bunch of previously recorded Voice episodes I got out my Taylored Expression set for Thanksgiving and got crafty.  Again, I don't know if any of these will be worthy of making the finalist stage, but I like them and will put them to good use as either a hostess gift set or cards for friends.

I like the apple card the best I think.  I did more shading with the apples than I've done in the past.  It does take some self control to not keep coloring and blending until the apple is all one shade.  Up close it looks blotchy and un-even but at the normal viewing distance the contrast makes it so much more life-like.  I keep practicing my copic skills that I learned last summer at my copic class and it does seem to be getting better. 

So do you watch any of those talent reality shows?  I like them because they are entertaining but do not require a lot of focus.  The Voice is perfect for card making since you are listening to the singers and judges  I like Adam and Blake Shelton the best for judges. 

Thanks for visiting my blog and have a great day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Taylored Expression 'Last Card Standing'

Hi friends,

Today's post is a christmas card I made for the Taylored Expression Challenge 'last card standing.'  Boy did I have a mojo cramp last night.  The pressure of making a card good enough to be the BEST card really crippled my creativity.  I must have inked up 4 or 5 different TE images and colored them in.  Then I was playing with card designs and papers and nothing was coming together.  I finally put it all down and went to bed.

Today this card started to come together.  I love the tree's on the pale blue card stock.  I love the stickles glitter and liquid pearls on the branches.  I love this little mouse with his chrismas hat sitting on snowflakes.  I don't know if it will be THE card that is the last one standing but at least I was able to produce a card I would be happy to give to someone. 

Thanks for visiting my blog today and have a great day!

Monday, September 17, 2012

College Football in the deep south

So I had the wonderful opportunity to go to my first ever college football game on Saturday September 15th.  What a treat for me that my first college football experience would be a large southern school.  It did not disappoint.  Those southern folks really know how to throw a party.  I was impressed.

So, want to ‘experience’ it with me?  Follow along…
It started in the early morning hours on Saturday.  The Clemson-Furman game was at 3:00-pm  and we were going because it was family weekend at Clemson and the parent’s council arranged for the family to get tickets to the game.
We were heading to campus to visit with Eric early leaving the hotel at 8:30am, but along the way, we saw many, many cars, trucks, party busses and the like on the road from I-85 to the school.  These people are INTO it.  Every car had at least a tiger paw on it.  Most had multiple flags, bumper stickers and the like.  And some were OVER THE TOP.  We saw one ‘tail-gate’ bus that was painted orange and purple, Clemson written all over it with speakers on the outside. Yup, they were sharing their music (my husband was not a fan.)  Sorry, didn't get a picture of that one, but I did get pictures of some of the others.
Once we got to campus, at 9:00am, some of the tail-gates were already set up and cooking – all throughout the campus.   If there was a patch of grass or a parking space, there was a tail-gate going. The real professionals hd a generator, satellite dish and tent.  All had food, tiger decorations and a lot of orange.
So let’s talk about the fashion.  Oh my word. I thought Chatham MA was preppy.  The men and women of South Carolina really dressed up for the event.  Honestly I had no idea there were so many different styles and patterns for an orange sundress.  And the men.  What a crack-up.  No red necks here.  No sir ee.   We are talking button down shirts, ties (often bow ties), jackets and khaki’s.  And this is the college kids!  The college girls were wearing either an orange sundress with purple jewelry, a purple sundress with orange jewelry or a white dress with orange accessories (belt, flower pin…)  Some of the girls had nice shorts on with a fancy orange top, but mostly it was dresses.   Oh and cowboy boots.  The moms were wearing white capri’s with a fancy orange top or a more structured orange sundress with sandals.  

 So, what about the game?  Well Clemson is known to have the most exciting 3 minutes of college football because of the exciting way they start their games.  The buss's pull up outside the stadium (known as Death Valley.)  The players get out and they open the gates.  The players all touch ‘the rock’ and then run down the small grass hill (that later becomes the student seating area) and take the field, all while thousands of orange balloons are released in the air following a cannon shot.  The band plays, the players take the field and the crowd goes wild.  They announce each player and then it’s time for kick-off.  You don’t want to miss it folks. It was very cool, even from our nose bleed seats.

The balloons are poised and ready to go... they are putting down the 'orange' carpet.

Here comes the marching band.....
 The balloons are being release.
 Then the game begins.  It was an easy victory for Clemson.  Furman is a much smaller team and didn’t stand a chance.  Every time Clemson scored, the Tiger (mascot) would do push ups for the number of points.  I’m sure the poor tiger was not thrilled that Clemson won  41-7.  Every touch down, every field goal meant a significant push-up effort for the guy.  The crowd would go crazy when he did them, but it was hot and then add the tiger outfit, he was working.
Half time found most of the audience leaving.  What they do is they go back to their tail-gate and watch the second half from the TV they mount on the back of the truck.   I’m not sure why they watch the second half from the tailgate and not the stadium, from what I could tell many of them had great seats, but that certainly seemed like the tradition.

We stayed through the end of the 3rd quarter.  It was clear we would win and it was hot.  We headed out and found a pizza place.  The party continued all over town all evening long.  We saw tail-gates still going when we left the campus at 8:30pm.
Thanks for visiting my blog.  I hope you can get to a southern football college game sometime in your life.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Facebook friends - help me out!!!

My card is a finalist in the DeNami fall challenge.   If my card gets the most 'likes' I'll win a DeNami gift certificate.  If you are on facebook, would you 'like' my card????   To do so, click the link below to go to DeNami's site.  Then click like.

Thanks for visiting and thanks for 'liking' my card!!!

another bright cheerful card

Hi friends,

I decided to make two cheery/bright cards for the Stampin Sisters in Christ's challenge.

I forgot to mention yesterday that my card for yesterday (and this one today) are made using Karen Giron's sweet sunday sketch #167.  This is a fun sketch but sadly I don't have a die or punch to make that triangly piece so I am always spending tons of time hand cutting it.  I read that if you get a corner punch, you can get these results.  Next time I'm out at Michaels or AC moore with a coupon I'll snag one.  This triangly image is really a nice element on a lot of projects.

Thanks for visiting my blog today.   Have a great day.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bright and Fun

Hi friends,

The challenge over at Stampin Sisters in Christ is to make a bright card based on Romans 3:23-24

"For everyone has sinned, we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Jesus Christ when he freed us from the penalty for our sins."
Romans 3:23,24

What better stamp set to use for this 'bright' challenge than my new Taylored Expression set - Adventure Land.

 I combined this with my October Afternoon papers and went with a very girly pink theme.  I think this is adorable for a young girl.
So, let's talk for a minute about my stamping budget, my desire to branch out to different stamp companies, the concept of rubberdultery and how great an experience I had with Taylored Expressions.

So, first, my budget.  I can go a little over-board with the stampin supplies.  It's sooo easy to do.  I mean each item isn't expensive by itself, but when you fill an on-line cart or a basket at the local stampin store, suddenly your total is over $50.00.  And if you go on-line or to your LSS more than once a month, before you know it you've spent over 100.00 a month.  And that equals 1,200.00 a year.   And believe me, it can be well over that by the time you add in gifts and holiday supplies etc.  So, I really, really, really try to stick to a reasonable stamping budget of around $50.00 a month.  

But I have discovered some ways to stretch my budget.  First, I don't pass up opportunities to sell my cards. I don't advertise, I don't do craft fairs, I don't sell them etsy, but if someone asks me if they can buy my cards I say yes.  So this summer I got a job for 2 dozen cards and the money I got ($58.00) went for new supplies.  I also discovered that there is a market for used stamps and dies.  I don't know about you, but I don't always use all the stamps I buy as much as I think I will.  After I've had a set for over a year if I feel I've finished with it, I will list it for sale.  Last week I posted a bunch of PTI and MFT stamps on the PTI forum and got $60.00 in paypal money for them.  And that can go for supplies.

So with my cash windfall from the forum, I decided to buy a few new sets from Taylored Expressions.  I haven't bought a lot from them, but love the fun style of their stamps.  Are you a one stamp company kind of stamper?  I used to be.  When I first started I only bought Stampin Up.  Then I branched out to Papertrey and found that most of the time all my stamping budget was going to them.  But this year I am branching off and using all kinds of other companies.  You've seen me use DeNami, Your Next Stamp, There She Goes, Impression Obsession & now Taylored Expression.  My friend Karen said at Stampin Up there is an expression called Rubberdultery.  A play on words of rubber and adultery.  As a SU demonstrator it would often feel like cheating if you bought another companies products.  Since I don't represent any company, I feel like I'm 'single' and it's perfectly okay to play the field.  I like it that way.

And before I go, let me give a little plug for my awesome experience with Taylored Expression.  They had a new release Thursday night.  As part of their anniversary celebration, all orders of $50.00 would get a free belated birthday set.  I placed my order late on Friday afternoon.  I was so pleasantly surprised to get my box in the mail on Monday night.  That is just awesome.  So darn fast during release time.  And they sent me a small pack of starbursts with my order.  Yum.   So here is my goodie pack.

I am super excited to play with these new sets and am also happy that my old sets are now at new homes where they will get some good loving.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog today.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Love You

Today's post is for the Word Art Wednesday challenge and the DeNami Fall challenge. For WAW, the verse is 'we love him because he first loved us.'  this is from 1John 4:9.

I wanted to do a clean and simple card for the DeNami Challenge using this adorable tree stamp.

I started coloring the leaves various fall colors, but I didn't like the look it had.  It came out very childish.  But when I instead filled the leaves in with brown distress stickles, it had a whole different feel.  The emboss folder has a pebble effect that I thought added a nice little texture to the card but still kept the same clean and simple effect I was going for.  To add the twine I used my sewing needle and pierced two wholes at the base of the tree.  As I did that I was thinking of all the people who would tie a ribbon on a tree for a loved one who was away.  That worked just perfectly for my love theme.

You can check out the Word Art Wednesday Blog below.

And you can check out the DeNami Challenge below:

If DeNami selects my card as a finalist I'll be back encouraging you all to vote for my card.  One winner is selected by # of facebook votes to win a gift certificate.  But I have to make it into the finals to even get there.

Have a great day.  Thanks for visiting my blog today.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Impression Obsession Challenge and 'what's new in the {empty} nest'

Hi friends,

Today's post includes a card for I/O's challenge 'favorite quote or saying.'

I have this I/O sentiment called 'enjoy the simple things in life' that I love.

The weather turned cooler today (YEAH) so it seemed perfect timing to get out this beautiful autumn scene.

I split the image into three panes to add some visual interest to the card.  I also wanted to put my sentiment on top of the image but loved that pumpkin so I cut it out (there is a hole behind the sentiment) and adhered the pumpkin back on the card in the lower right.

This card uses I/O Fall Porch H1846 and I/O A11018B.   The papers are from my mind's eye and the frame around the sentiment is from Stampin Up.

So, there isn't a lot of news from the {empty} nest.  Bob and I (and the dogs) have settled into a new rhythm of life that is quite a bit slower and quieter than the pace we have historically enjoyed.  I really do miss the old life, but am embracing the beauty and quiet of the new.  Joey dog is really getting old and slowing.  Each month he shows more and more of his age.  We kid around a lot about him being annoying and smelling bad, but I'm starting to change my tune a bit with him.  I don't think he'll be around much longer and I'll miss him terribly when he's gone.  Tank is still adorable and puppy like.  I think when Joey's time comes, Tank will be a significant source of joy and companionship for me to help me deal with the loss.  I know many of you are animal lovers who have suffered through the loss of a pet.  I think it's going to be way harder than I want it to be when his time comes.  Even though I say he's going to live forever (just to spite us) I know that's not true and I am trying to keep him comfortable in his old age.  We got him just about 13 years ago this month.....  wow - that feels like a long time ago.....  He may have quite a bit of life left in him, but he is definitely showing his age lately.

In addition to paying attention to the doggies, both Bob and I have been busy at church.  Fall is 'kick-off' time for many of the bible studies, events and groups at our church - Faith Community Church of Hopkinton.  Bob is busy with his work as a church elder and he still is a key person at our welcome desk for new families.  I lead a Tues Eve women's bible study.  We switched to a fellowship gathering during the summer - no formal study - just prayer requests and chatting.  We will start our new study on September 25th so I'm busy connecting with women to get them to join. I'm so happy that 3 of the ladies who participated in the study last year are going to lead their own study.  3 years ago I was the only evening leader.  For September we'll have 5.  So I am the mentor for some of the others and have been busy building their confidence and helping people choose which group to join.  If I do it right I may not have to lead a study at all.  Maybe I can get enough leaders so I am only the sub for all of them!!!!  We'll see what God has planned.

And, of course, the nest is busy with the sounds of football.  Clemson was on Saturday, but sadly we would have had to pay Direct TV $25.00 to watch the game.  I don't think so.  Instead we just got the scores on-line and saw the highlights on the sports stations.  Sunday, our beloved Patriots had their first regular season game.  They did great and we pulled off our first W for the season.  I felt bad for the rookie quarterback on the Titan's team.  If I was a rookie QB I would not want my first NFL game experience to be against Brady.

We have a nice new routine of skyping with Eric on Sunday afternoons.  He seems to be doing great.  He's got a group of friends and they seem to be enjoying all that college has to offer.  He doesn't seem as overwhelmed with his classes now that they have been going for a few weeks.  It's a big transition from HS to college.  I think it helps that he has most of his classes in the morning.  That way he's up and about and while his friends are in afternoon classes, that is his time to do homework and study.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

DeNami Back to School Blog Hop

Hi friends,

Today's post is for the DeNami September Blog Hop.  You probably arrived from Wendy Harrill's site.

Back to school for our family this year didn't involve pencils, notebooks or school buses.  My youngest son started COLLEGE this year.  He chose a big southern college so back to school for us means - FOOTBALL.

Can you guess what school he is attending?

 If you guessed Clemson then pat yourself on the back.  You know your college football teams.

So I got a little creative with this card.  I am not from the south (we are New Englanders) so the whole idea of southern college football is all new to me.  I understand that for college football in the south, it is a big fashion, dress-up event for the girls.  So I had fun outfitting the hula girl chickie in some orange and purple, glittery fun to represent all the young girls getting all decked out for the games.  Notice how each of their outfits is a little different?
And what would a dress up outfit be without some bling?  So, the girls each have some glitter on their skirt or hairbow.

So be sure to leave me a comment so you can be eligible to win some fun DeNami prizes.

Next stop on the hop is Barbara Murphy.  Click the link below to go there. 

Need to get back to the DeNami blog?  No problem.  Here is the DeNami blog link. 

Thanks for visiting.  Have a great day.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

More birthday cards

Hi friends,

I have two more 'There She Goes' birthday cards to share with you.

For day 4 of the challenge we were to use banners on our birthday cards.  I took the easy route and used this 'my minds eye' paper with banners built in.  I made the girls dress using copics and the colorless marker pen to remove color to create the polka dot orange for her dress.

For day 5, the challenge was to use at least 3 embellishments.  I chose to use 'beach bums' and add some nautical twine, eyelets and bling (3) to the creation to meet the challenge.  The close up shows how I added glass beads as sand under their feet and white glitter onto the clouds (from Oh Crop.)  These sets are super fun to create with.  Endless possibilities, but all good!

I had so much fun playing along with TSG's birthday bash.  I'm also hopeful that ONE of the $15.00 gift certificates or the $75.00 grand prize gift certificate will be mine.  Playing along with each days challenge puts you in the drawing for the $15.00 prize.  Playing along with all challenges (using only TSG's sets) puts you in the drawing for the grand prize.  I probably shouldn't be telling you this.  If you play along it will mess up my odds of winning.  But you are a friend, so I'll tell you, but shhhhh, don't tell everyone okay?

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog today.  Have a great day.