Friday, July 23, 2010

Christmas CRAZY in July!

Susan's OLW challenge this week is to make a one layer Christmas Card.  It's that time...Christmas in July.  I'm happy to make Christmas cards all year, so that's fine with me!  Susan's post is hysterical...about Christmas stamping on a hot day...sweat dripping where you don't want sweat...etc!  Well, I knew I was going to participate, but I didn't know I was going to dive off of the deep end! 

Since I also like to participate in the Christmas Cards All Year 'Round monthy blog challenge, (and I got carried away with the OLCs!) I decided to combine the two challenges.  This month, CCAYR is re-vamping the DT, etc., and are having an anything-goes-holly-and-pine-and-turtledoves free for all. 

So there are 6 one layer Christmas honor of Susan's sweat and to play for the prize at CCAYR (you need to have 5 entering for the prize, but one is good for just playing along!)  To be honest, one was also for the bling it up challenge at Christmas Stampin All Year Long...but (of course) I missed the deadline!  Here we go:

This angel was in a "junk" bin at the Repeat Impressions booth a stamp show a few years ago.  The guy even joked with me about buying the "junk"!  I love her!  She's sparkly and I love that.  The hearts were added from Memory Box Valentines stamp.  Her dress is painted with gold paint. 

This is a CTMH set.  I know it's not traditional christmas, but it looks a little old fashioned with the brown ink, gold embossing and vanilla paper (looks more beige irl).

This little guy was my first attempt at Susan's challenge.  I had gotten this TAC stamps set a while ago and hadn't even used it yet.  More traditional colors here!  Ooops...blur on the photo.

For this one, I went for simple, but wish I had some small olive branch or holly that wouldn't dwarf that dove!  The sentiment is amuse, the dove is smARTworks, and he's colored with twinkling h2os.

Sheep from MFT, sentiment AMUSE.  Just love that liquid applique for sheep!
This is the image left of a chipboard snowflake that I placed on the cardstock and sprayed with glimmer mist.  It's very sparkly and festive irl. 

Thanks for looking...hope these give you a feeling of winter as we're about to hit 100 tomorrow here in the Baltimore area! 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

An SU-only challenge

Being an equal-opportunity spender when it comes to stamping, playing along with an SUO challenge was different for me.  It really made me think of what I had that I could use.  I do buy SU products, and my friend Michele Reynolds called for a challenge to make birthday cards. (She doesn't have all of the submissions posted on her site because she's heading out to the SU convention this week.)  

Luckily, it came just in time, because I needed a few cards this week.  I made a few cupcake cards (you don't usually see a lot of designer paper in my designs - but I had this from SU and the cards needed to be girly!) and the Wish card was for my husband who had a birthday last week, too.  I love when you can use a floral stamp and still have it turn out "masculine enough".   The Wish card is a case of a wonderful card I found here.  Love the CAS of it and that dotty ribbon!  So I made it work with some SU products I already owned!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ocean-y OLW

Well, it's just WRONG that I haven't been posting...even worse is not having time to stamp and create, let alone blog about it!  Kids are home for the summer...silly me thought there'd be time to do EVERYTHING.  :)  How are YOU getting it all done???

Luckily, there was time for a few this week.  Susan's OLW challenge was to use watercoloring on your one layer card.  Funny how she posted just today about ocean-y colors. (Hope you get to the beach soon, Susan.  LOVE that wave-y card!)  I love the beach, and need to send a thank you to someone who helped us out planning for our own beach time this month.  The shells are heat embossed and then wet brushed with SU baja breeze over top.  Sentiment is PTI in SU soft suede.  Simple and summery!

My brother in law is in need of a peach upside down cake (one of his faves from childhood) to help him get well after surgery yesterday.  The boys and I went to get the peaches at a local orchard today and we're baking tomorrow.  I had to have a get well card to go with it, of course!  The peach is a $1 stamp from Michaels...I added the sentiment on the computer.

I WILL (I have to keep reassuring myself!) be back soon...and be creating in between.  Hope you find time this summer to get inky, too!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cool cards on a hot day!

I mentioned having to still do my June cards for the Christmas Cards All Year 'Round blog challenge.  Their challenge for June was to use a bright color and your fave embellishment.  So here it is, heat index over 100 in the balmy Baltimore area, and I'm making Christmas cards!!  It was a little Arctic escape!  But I refused to go outside into the heat and take the pictures...and it shows!  The poor paper snowmen may have melted out there!  The cards are actually white, folks...even though they look cream colored!  (bad indoor flash!!)  Anyway, I used Kiwi ribbon and Pacific Point as my bright colors.  I always include ribbon...but lately, my fave embellishments are I used ribbon and stickles (on his nose and his popped up scarf)s.  I can always use thank you notes at Christmastime, so I actually made 6 of them! 

Here he is with all of his melting friends

And now for a complete seasonal U-turn!!!

I also went the exact opposite direction in season to do a summer challenge over at Stamp Something -- where this is my first time entering a challenge...and apparently I'm in GREAT company (which I always consider to be on all stamping sites!), as there are so far 244 entries!!  WOW!  Lots of summery challenges out there this week, with it being the first "official" week of summer and all...and certainly feeling like it around here.  This one went bathing suits and sparkle.  Again with the bad indoor photo...this is actually su! pink pirouette...and it looks way more peachy. (sorry...I wasn't stepping out into the sauna that was our backyard this afternoon, even if it was for bikinis!) 

Monday, June 21, 2010

A splash of baby blue... the theme for the Play Date Cafe challenge.  Black and white and a splash of blue.  The samples and entries are wonderful.  I remember seeing their splash of color challenge using orange...WOW!  Gorgeous!  So I tried to play along this time.  I used a tried and true SU background and added baby blue jewels.  I flipped around the layout and used the OCC Sketch for this.  It's a go-to type of sketch - which I love!  Makes the design process much quicker!  (Just move right on to the fun inky part instead!!)  I tried to use it for this Twilight inspired card, but don't think it actually all came together.  It's so heart-y and swirl-y that the Verve "with all my heart" sentiment seemed to go well.  (oooh...pic is a bit dark...hope you can see it!) 

Hopefully there will be time for stamping this week.  School is out and it's forecast to be 96 here this week.  YUCK!  Thank goodness stamping is an indoor activity...where there is air conditioning!  Which reminds me, I need to make my Christmas cards for the Christmas Cards All Year 'Round.  Always a good time to make snowman cards when they may actually melt!

A card for Team Edward...

...and the Pixie Dust Studio Challenge!  Though I'm definitely a card-carrying member of Team Jacob, my buds (Anne and Mary...this one is for you!) are fans (read: obsessed) with a sparkly vampire named Edward.  Ever heard of him?  :)  The challenge at Pixie Dust is to use red, black and/or silver in their Twilight themed challenge.  There are lots of cute little vampire-ish cards there...go see!  I didn't have an Edward likeness, so I had to stick to a little vampire I had.  But I tried to make him sparkle!  (and find out my spica marker is definitely out of ink!  boo!!)  I made two versions...and I think I like the extra glitter at the bottom better - more sparkle IRL.  The sentiment is computer generated after my friend Mary's t-shirt.  I'm surrounded by vampire lovers!  HELP!! 

Thank you so much for the encouraging comments on my last post!  I loved hearing from you about your husbands' ugly shorts, too!!  My husband got his father's day card and came down from getting dressed and proudly wore the nasty plaid shorts featured on the card.  He said, "look I'm wearing them!  I'm your inspiration!"  We'll just let him think that, OK? 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Possibly the fastest card I've ever made... to see them on others' cards...never know quite how to use them on my own!  And, of course, that was Susan's challenge for us this week on One Layer Wednesday.  My first attempt failed, as no matter what I did, it was going to be more than one layer.  (I liked the finshed product, but it won't work for this challenge!) 

Anyway, simplicity "flourished" when I thought of the new Cuttlebug folder I just purchased.  So my flourishes are actually embossed, not stamped!  I think it may possibly be the fastest card I've ever made...and I am already picturing more in my head!  Happy birthday, new baby, etc.  I can't wait to see how others use this you think you can put an image in the box, or only a sentiment??  I'll have to try it out...what do you think?

The wedding one is colored with a spica pen, so it's sparkly irl!  I went with the platinum bands on that one... :)

The other card is for a father's day submission to the CAS tastic challenge.  Funny thing is, just like Mother's Day cards, I don't feel that they actually have to say "Happy Father's Day" on them.  They are very personal...which is why handmade is a great way to go.  I mean, the designers at Hallmark do a great job, but they don't know my husband OR my dad and what they may like in a card, right??? !!

I'm also using this card for the Moxie Fab Tuesday Trigger challenge.  I've never played their challenge before, but as soon as I saw that gave me the idea for my husband's card!  He has this ratty pair of plaid shorts that he LOVES.  Obviously, not my favorite.  He's lost some weight recently, and they fall off he's taken to belting them...a beautiful look, I must say.  NOT! 

Anyway, I photocopied his shorts for the card!!  It may not be the most artistic card ever, but it's TOTALLY HIM and he'll totally love it and that's all that matters!

Have a great you and all of the one-of-a-kind fathers in your life!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

FTL 94 for the end of school!

Hooray!  The end of school is Friday!  This year, going back to work part time at my son's school has been interesting to say the least.  I have that same end-of-the-year-itis that the kids get!  Having taught (in my previous life before kids!) I love to give little gifts to teachers that went above and beyond for my children during the school year.  I'd love to do more, but the budget is this year, I really wanted to get something useful, but thrifty. I settled on a set of 12 multi-colored dry erase markers.  Being in the building as a sub, I bet 1/2 of the rooms I go into the dry erase markers are dried up and worn out when I try to use them during a lesson.  Well, now there will be new ones for next year!  I wrapped them in kraft paper and attached a note that says "thank you for leaving a positive 'mark' on our child".  Simple, under $4 and useful.  I'm also including a card that uses the Clean and Simple challenge this week.  The samples people have entered are great!  I'll need to go back and case!!

CAS...the only way to stamp!

Well, recently...the only way I get to stamp!  Just playing along with Simplicity's OLW challenge for stamping a background onto your one layer card.  I had this idea in my head as soon as I saw Susan's challenge, selfishly because I had just ordered a new stamp set (ippity's fishy philosophy) and wanted to use that fish!  There are two takes on this one...the first is a little dark...and actually a lot of work for a one layer card!  The second I like better!  

The other is for the CAS-tastic Challenge this week which is to use buttons on your CAS design.  One thing I've learned through a few challenges...I'm NOT a button girl.  I'm thinking of listing quite a few sets of stamps for sale -- just housekeeping -- and I'm thinking all buttons need to go, too!  I love seeing them on other's creations, which explains why they are in my crafty stash...but I never seem to get them to work just the way I see them in my head!  (well, its' either the buttons, or my head -- so I'll stick with the buttons!)  (the small dots are raindrops!'s sprinkling!)

Baseball championships are this week and school will be over on Friday...maybe THEN I can reclaim some stamping time?  (a girl can dream, right?!!)  Here's the thank you notes I made for the Coaches of my sons' teams.  Not even time to stamp them, either!  I just printed out the sentiment in a cute baseball font...and made the "seams" on the baseballs red with a marker.  Of course, there's always time to I added stickles to them - hard to see on this cloudy day.  (I know...very manly!)  I'm sure the MEN that coached won't care...but I DO...and that's all that matters!

Monday, June 7, 2010

CAS again!

Hi!  Yes, the school year is winding down (which actually means more work for those of us that work at school!) and baseball season is in playoffs...which I'm late for as I type!  Luckily, my son Sam is not one to want to be late so my husband already has him up there at the field.  Long enough for me to put together a CAS card for the CAStastic challenge.  Since I only had 10 know it had to be quick!  The challenge was to make a card all about the sentiment.  We had been making jokes about coffee at work this morning...and I thought of this idea. I didn't have a stamp for either the image or the I used clip art!  I used an Amuse set for the steam, though - so there is some stamping!

Baseball update:  for those who are sports husband just called to tell me my son was pitching.  He was kind enough to give me the play by play over the phone so I join in the excitement!  4 up, 3 down, inning over.  Yay!  This is out of the ordinary for my son, he's usually the catcher. Darn, reminds me...need to make thank you cards for baseball coaches!!  One thing at a time.

I also wanted to play along with Susan's OLW challenge.  This time was to try "repeating" an image.  I loved so many of the samples!  What a fun idea.  I had this image in my head for a while and I think it worked very nicely as a CAS one layer card.  The image is from CTMH (thanks, Anne!) and is embossed on the cardfront. 

It was from an image I had seen on Nichole Heady's blog (PTI).  I loved their idea to sponge white around a dandilion head.  I had to try.  I thought it looked soothing, so used it for two sympathy cards I had to have this week. (Also CTMH)

Thank goodness for CAS - now off to finish the dishes and head up to baseball! 

Sunday, May 30, 2010

CAS challenges

I love CAS cards.  Funny thing is, sometimes they are harder to come up with than layered, embellished cards.  There are many great CAS card artists...and I thought I'd play along with two of them this weekend.  I have long been a subscriber to Simplicity and was excited when Susan decided to challenge us.  This is the first one I've had a chance to try.  The challenge was to overlap an image and a sentiment.  And did I mention it has to be a ONE layer card?  Not only are Susan's ideas wonderful, but there is a lot of great inspiration in the submissions.  Check it out!

Newer to me is the CAS-tastic challenge blog.  Their challenge this week is using a "touch" of green.  So I tried to use just a touch!  This one didn't have to be one layer, but I tried to keep it simple and uncluttered.  I wanted "waves" for the border punch...but I'm not able to find that darn Martha Stewart punch around here anywhere.  Perhaps it's discontinued?  Oh well...I will continue my quest!  (Imagine waves when you look at the scallops!)  That's a SU bordering blue - which I'm sad to see retiring! - sea on that card...I've had the darndest time getting it to show up blue-r than gray-er in photos.

OK...enough posts for this weekend.  I just don't know when I'll have another chance...and I don't want to let it go for a month again.  It's the end of the school year and baseball season is still in full swing.  (no pun intended!)  If I can carve out some rubbah time, I'll be back to share with you soon!

Sketch Saturday - on Sunday

I found a new challenge to try today after visiting a few blogs out there for inspiration.  (love that...all of the great inspiration out there...thanks fellow stampers!!)  I tried the Sketch Saturday layout today.  I saw all of the embellishments at the bottom of the focal point image and (don't ask why...because I don't know!) I immediately thought butterflies.  I don't have an oval big enough to fit the sentiment I used, so rounded corners had to do!  I also tried to use The Pink Elephant's challenge color this week- orange.  And all of that chocolate chip brown (with a splash of color) is for the Just Scraps challenge this week. 

This card will go to Patti over at The Queens Ink in Savage. It's a Unity stamp I bought at her BEAUTIFUL shop a while ago. She hosted a great stamping "yard sale" last week.  It was soooooo fun to go there and be amongst "my kind."  (If you're reading this, they were most likely YOUR kind, too!)  It was a chance to talk rubber, techniques, sell a few older stamps and pick up a few "new to me" stamps.  What a great idea and a great day.  Thanks, Patti!

If you are local to the Baltimore area...another area scrapbook store, PhotoScraps, is hosting a scrapbook "yard sale" event next weekend.  I'd love to be there, too, but I can't.  I will be attending my friend's daughter's bat mitzvah.  She's so excited.  I made all of the invites, thank yous and placecards, etc.  for her as a gift from our family.  She is very active on her swim team, and her "mitzvah project" was to do a swim-a-thon to raise money for breast cancer research, as her mother (my friend) is a breast cancer survivor.  Nice young lady!  Here's the invite we decided on...had to be "watery"! 

Christmas in...May?

Oh, yes!  It's that time again to join in with the ladies at Christmas Cards All Year 'Round.  This month's challenge was to use flowers ("April showers bring May flowers"), ribbons and buttons.  Ribbon - got that under control.  But the buttons and flowers...I'll tell you, it's hard to incorporate a flower on a Christmas card!  (obviously why it's taken me the whole month to figure out a design!)  I actually thought I wouldn't participate...but today it finally hit me - thank goodness!  Wouldn't want to miss out on the fun!

Funny to be thinking Christmas thoughts on Memorial Day weekend...but I finally got time to stamp.  I'll take THAT whenever I can get it!  Thanks for stopping by! 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

CPS sketch...just under the wire!

No thunderstorms, neighbors over for a casual get together...great start to the holiday weekend!  But I almost forgot to post one of the challenges I was able to work on this week.  I tried the sketch at Card Positioning Systems.  There were already so many great submissions!  I've been trying hard to finish some cards for the Christmas Cards All Year ' I had some winter stamps out.  Funny thing is...I got this one done...but not the actual Christmas ones!  Oh well...maybe tomorrow!  (Helps to stay cool in 90 degree weather when you're working with snowy stamps!) 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Color Q and Aussie Thanks!

I wanted to play along with the Color Q challenge this week.  They are always so much fun to see how everyone uses the same colors.  There were a lot of colors "required" this week, but the inspiration picture reminded me of some paper I had used for a baby book when my nephew was born...almost 4 years ago now!  (insert craft supply hoarding joke here.)  This is for my friend Mary (a teacher I work with) who will be very glad when the school year is over!  She just needs a little help getting there...and what better way to help out than a little lift in PTI's cute car?  (Mary has a yellow VW bug...but that just didn't fit in the color challenge!)  I added a little crystal effects for a "windshield". 

I also want to update everyone and express our thanks to Aimee and her Mom, Jessica, at Aimee's Challenge Blog.  The ladies run a challenge blog for moms and kids...which I've mentioned before is a wonderful idea.  I've seen a few more popping up.  Charlie, my 8 year old, played along a while ago and we were thrilled to see that he'd won.  Well, the excellent mail came a bit ago...and he was excited!  I don't know if you can tell in the picture, but the stamp has a kangaroo on it!  He loved it.  I think the postmarks and stamp were almost as exciting as winning and the goodies inside.  Also, I have to mention that there was a note inside from Jessica that Aimee thought with Charlie being a boy, he may not like the heart stickers that were the prize for the they included some cool sparkly blue star stickers.  Just so you know, Aimee, they are all over his school folder and agenda where he writes his homework!  Thanks again and continued success with your challenge!  I'm sure we'll be back to play soon as baseball season ends! 

I've been a baaaaaaaad blogger...

I have tons of excuses - some real REASONS, even! - that I've been a bad blogger!  Let's just say "little league baseball season."  'Nuff said. 

We've had quite a few things going on around husband is coming up on a year after being laid off last July (with no new full time job - he started his own consulting business).  Not that I want to get into that nightmare situation, but it seems that IT was sure the trigger for everything else!  We seem to be at "that point" where everything we own is in the "end of it's useful life" phase.  This includes A/C, mini van, water main (yep!) and living room furniture.  Obviously the furniture is going to have to if you come over any time soon, pretend it's not horrible!  :)  The only reason I get to update the old blog today is because I'm home with the A/C guys...replacing the A/C system.  When it rains, it pours, I guess.  But I'd like to move somewhere where it's not monsoon season!!!  Please?????

But it is allowing me to stamp for the first time in (dare I say it???)....a month.  YES.  And I do SOOOOO  love the challenges and seeing what everyone is creating.  Just couldn't get to it!

How handy that Pixie Dust Studio helped me out of my funk!!  Their challenge this week is to use a pearl on your card.  I can also thank my friend Beth who - like all of us - has waaaay too much to do and not enough time to do it.  She comes to baseball games for her son with a whole tote of projects to work on!!  She said she just doesn't have enough time to stamp, so she brought me a cute SU! set, some papers and some glitter!  Since I just HAD to make her a thank you note (with her set and paper!) got me stamping again.  I'm grateful to her for that, as much as the crafting goodies!  The pearl is for the center of the flower - and is just what I needed to get over my "purple problem."  The paper Beth gave me is plum from SU...I've mentioned before that purple and I don't get along!  But I'm happy with the finished product!

More catching up and housekeeping in the next post!  Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Exercise is a challenge!

Not the kind of challenges I like, either!  Here's a quick giggle for today.  I'm trying to watch what I am stuffing into my mouth these days (thanks, Anne!) ...but time for exercise escapes does desire for exercise!!  Once I get going, I'd be ok.  It's that first step!!  Here's the answer to my problems:

Enjoy your day...exercise or not!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Local to Towson/Baltimore Area?

If you are local to the Towson/Baltimore area, I just wanted to let you know that St. Joseph Medical Center is hosting a small Mother's Day Fair in their Cafeteria area on Friday, April 30, from 8 - 2.  They are having vendors that sell plants, flowers, handbags and jewelry so that their employees can shop at their leisure on their lunch break.  One stop shopping for Mom!  I'm going to be there as a vendor...hopefully with a few cards (some posted earlier here on the blog) Mom would love to get in the mail or with her gift.  Also, a few cards for those who are planning ahead for grads and dads, too!

Proceeds from the sales will go to the FANS Hospital Auxilliary.  Stop by, say HI and shop if you're in the area!