Sunday, February 28, 2010

The cards we hate to have to make...

...are actually the subject of Sharon's challenge this week over at No Time to Stamp.  Sympathy cards. 

Like everyone else that's commented on her post, I also feel that whenever I need one, I never have one.  So adding to the stash, and looking at inspiring samples from other stampers is a great way to do that.  I had loved a simple sympathy card (with a twist) made by Susan on her blog Simplicity.  She used the tree stamp from the SU Thoughts and Prayers set *sideways*.  Yep...totally threw me.  But I loved it and have wanted to imitate it (read:  copy it!)  for a while now.  Now's the time.  And I will make add to that stash.  That's one kind of card we NEVER like to make.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sneaking in under the wire... the last minute with the Sweet Sunday Sketch! I looked at the original layout and figured I wouldn't even try this one.  I always love the way stampers and scrappers can mix and match patterns and make beautiful layouts...well I am not one of those designers!  Then it came to me...instead of mixing and matching on my own...I'll do it with pre-made patterned paper!  (Is that bending the rules or simplifying???)   

Bright challenges...

Not necessarily "bright ideas" mind you, but definitely bright colors!  The brights are not in my normal color "comfort zone."  But, that's why challenges are a good take you right on out of that zone.  Both of these challenges took me there this afternoon...The challenge on the Penny Black website and the Sweet Stop Sketch. 

The Penny Black Saturday Challenge (that I think I missed since they already have the new one posted...oops!) was a color combo challenge.  Pink and green and yellow...oh my!  I don't have many Penny Black stamps...though they are gorgeous.  I do have two cute sets and found a good image to use.  The sentiment is Amuse (I think) and I liked the "air" and "balloons".  But, in the long run, a perfectly simple "happy birthday" would've done just fine!

The Sweet Stop Sketch is a simple layout...but I just couldn't leave it alone - had to make it more difficult for myself.  Didn't really mean to...but I read that you have to use flowers...and I couldn't get this little digi stamp I picked up from Dulce's Ideas out of my mind.  Granted, the flowers are "hearts", but I had it in my head, and darn it...I was using it!  :)  Her ideas on her website are very creative and the little digis are too cute.  I also had to have the "love boat" one!  When I was linking...I saw she had a few Easter digis, too!

Because it's a digi...before I printed it, I added a sentiment.  It reads, "Thank you for helping me bloom".  Love that little bee...he may need a little glitter!  Hope you have a bloomin' good day, too!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Ready for the end of school?

Apparently I will be ready at the end of school for my Teacher thank you notes!  Thanks to a challenge from the Caardvarks blog to use a sticker - a "Stuck on You" challenge!  I started in paper crafting as a scrapbooker.  Then I met my first rubber stamp...and the scrapbooking goodies took a spot in the back of the craft closet!  In fact, I have a whole binder of stickers I *hoarded* when my boys were younger to use in their scrapbooks...but once I met rubberstamps...who needs stickers?  A sticker you use once...a rubber stamp  you can use tons of times!  Anyway...I dug out the old binder and pulled out some cute preschool stickers, worked them into the FTL 79 layout on Clean and Simple Stamping with some bright, primary colors and VOILA...I don't need to be a crazy lady in June!  Well, not because of needing thank you notes, anyway!  :) 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Curtain Call Cards

I just love, love, love the colors and the inspiration piece chosen by Stacey over at the Curtain Call Color Challenge on her blog.  They even remind me of the colors I had been working with on the cards I had made when I was so inspired by the beautiful Vancouver Olympics colors! 

I immediately thought of the Shore is Fun set I bought from my friend Anne - my friendly neighborhood Close to My Heart demonstrator!   It's a CTMH set featuring a sailboat with interchangeable sails.  I think they look great popped up on the card!  I have to start thinking summery and father's day, and I thought these colors would work.  I made a few of each with the Amuse sentiment "Life's a breeze" and one with the computer generated "You're the wind in my sails."  I can almost feel the flip flops on my feet when i look at these cards!

But then I couldn't stop thinking about the trivet that was the inspiration piece for the challenge.  I loved those colors on the kraft background.  So I dug out an SU! wheel and wheeled it on kraft paper and colored with pencils.  I do like the way the white pencils stand out!  The bling is a really light blue, but shows up clear in the photo. 

We're expecting more snow tomorrow.  If Mother Nature delivers on her promise, there could be some crafty time coming my way...but no flip flops in sight.  Right now, that's a fair trade, I guess.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Two quick cards

I didn't think I'd be back on this weekend, but had to take part in two more challenges I found while looking at so many beautiful stamping blogs out there!  (Yep, my husband is figuring out our taxes, and I'm rubber-stamp-blog hopping.  Sounds like all is right with the world.  This will come back to haunt me, you know.)

Anyway, I saw the SPCC color challenge on Melissa's blog.  Loved her card!  And like her, I also say "ACK!" when I see those bold, bright colors.  As soon as I saw the colors for the challenge, I thought citrus...summery lemons, limes and oranges.  You know, tropical drink garnishes...but I digress.  I had to pull out a bright green for the lime...and it's Citrus Leaf ink from CTMH...the absolute last ink pad on the bottom of the tall stack!!  You can tell I never use that one!  This card probably took me 5 minutes...which would also qualify it for the KISS (keep it simple, sweetie!) challenge at Pals Paper Arts.  But I have another 5 minute one for that!

This is a "leftover" from an idea I had earlier this week that I used for an FTL layout.  I stamped extra mailboxes thinking I'd do something with them.  Well, that time is NOW!  I "simply" stamped and colored the mailbox, added a sentiment and a ribbon (and I wasn't even sure I wanted the ribbon...but then it seemed to bottom-heavy) and mounted on a black panel.  Very happy with the result...and the fact that it was KISS-able!! 
Enjoy the rest of your weekend..."sending you smiles!"

Saturday, February 20, 2010

sketches done...check!

Happy weekend, everyone!  I wanted to try a few sketches that came up this week...or at least that I thought came up this week.  I had seen this OCC sketch on Teresa's blog earlier this week.  I immediately thought of a tall flower for the tall rectangle panel.  When I went to link it...I found out that Teresa was the winner of LAST week's challenge!  oh well...what have I said about being late with these?  :)

The next one is right on time...Sharon is having a challenge at her blog to make a "recipe card with a twist".  I was happy to see that it didn't have to include a recipe!  It got me to thinking, the only real "food" stamps I have are lemons, gingerbred men and the new "chocolate bunny" from SU!  Slim pickens, huh?  The lemon is SU! with a PTI influence - the heart in the middle from their Tiny Treats Valentine set.  The tab says "pucker up".  

I also tried to play along with the Clean and Simple sketch yesterday while getting my daily dose of the Olympics.  I ended up with two cards for this one.  The cupcake just seems to be "missing something".  The leaf  punch negative looks better irl, I think, but I like the idea behind it.

Have a great weekend...thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Those GORGEOUS Olympic colors!

I can't stop thinking about those GORGEOUS Vancouver Olympics colors!  I've been watching the coverage and those greens and blues are so beautiful.  I was already thinking about these, so I had to give it a try.  My own color challenge (you know how I love those!) for myself.  Of course I had to use Medallion from SU...made me think "medal".  Then I had to try to copy those beautiful is olive (stamped off), baja blue and not quite navy - all SU.  All of what is showing up black due to my poor photos are actually NQN.  :)  Then, I had to find a sentiment.  "good luck" would have been great...but if I'm adding these to my stash...I wanted a sentiment I'd use more often.  I went with "You're the BEST."  Sums it up...and I had to stay up to watch the figure skating, womens downhill and the awesome snowboarding.  I'm loving it...but it's messing with my beauty sleep!   Hope you're enjoying the Games, too.  

I saw on Susan's blog, Simplicity, that there is an "Olympic" themed challenge for the Clean and Simple Design Team at Splitcoast.  So I had to go and look.  One of the challenges is to  design a card inspired by the Olympics...some really cute cards were entered.  Have a look!

A few challenges...and back to work...

OK.  HOW do all of you wonderful, creative bloggers out there in stamp-a-holic land find time to maintain your blog regularly?  Obviously I'm new to this - but I started my blog over our blizzard time off from school.  Now that we've finally gone back after more than a week off, I can't imagine coming home and being ready to blog after the long day, making dinner and whatever other mommy tasks happen between dinner and bedtime!  Congratulations to all of you who make it work!!  Funny thing is, I can still manage to find a bit of time to participate in some weekly challenges!  Yay!!

I took another try at the green and purple challenge over at No Time to Stamp.  This makes it official.  Purple and I just do not get along!  Doesn't mean I won't keep trying!  :) 

So after that color challenge and trying the color challenge at Stacy's Stampin Stage (curtain call color challenge:  Act 17), I'm realizing that sketch challenges may be better for me than color ones!  It's fun to try to stretch my brain around these, but I think I'm an earth colors girl at heart!  But THAT, my stamping friends, is why they are called CHALLENGES!

I also tried one of the Mojo Monday (Mojo125) sketches.  I'm late, of course, but...whoa...there's 270 challengers playing along!  Funny thing is, I didn't even realize that's what it was when I tried it.  It was a great layout on Lynn's blog, The Queen's Scene, that I thought would work for a card I needed to make.  I needed one of those "generic" baby blue or pink, but green or yellow or pastel.  Again, my brain had to work hard for this one!  But then I remembered a SU pack of paper from last year that met the criteria.  And it gelled.  So, here is the stork card with the green and yellow.  Wanna know what happened?  The baby was born during the first blizzard.  It's a girl.  So now I need a girly pink card.  :)  I guess the other can go into the stash!

I know I've mentioned the weather 9 million times, but pretty much that's news around here.  The other thing is we just got mail delivery back!  (so now I can get my bills...hooray!)  But there is so much snow piled up around the mailboxes on our court, you have to climb "mount postal" to get to the mail!  The other day, my neighbor, Penny, climbed up there and was gracious enough to also snag our mail (which included a package from Amuse stamps, thank you very much!)  So I used this FTL77 layout from Clean and Simple Stamping to make her a thank you note.  Of course it's late for the challenge, but it wouldn't be made by me if it wasn't!  I was really inspired by the layout and by Teresa's version on her blog.  (Thanks, Teresa, for that reminder that spring will come!)  This one also can be used for the Pink Elephant challenge to use ribbon...I LOVE ribbon!

Hopefully I'll learn to balance work with FUN...and if I don' heck with work!  :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sweet Sunday on Monday

Wanting to play along with challenges is the reason I started to blog.  However, I'm finding, that with the more I browse other blogs, there are so many challenges and other bits of stamping goodness out there...when will I ever have time to do the challenges?  *smile*  I did have time for the Sweet Sunday Challenge this week.  (I thought it was funny that the Valentine card my husband gave to me looked a bit like the challenge!)  I love seeing what the team comes up with, but I am not a layer girl. So I tried to take out at least one layer. These are made with a cute digi stamp...again from following others challenge posts...that I found the other night at the DigiStamp Boutique.  A good number of ladies I work with are having babies soon, so I thought this would be a good time for me to add a few baby cards to the stash! 

I tried the baby in blue and pink...knowing I'll need both!

Baby close up:

I also used these cards to play along with the Our Creative Corner challenge - Something old is new again.  What??????  you can't tell me that people actually buy supplies and then never use them???  ha, ha, ha!!  I'm soooo guilty of that!  I found this perfectly new Martha Stewart backgrounds set in my stash.  I got them on clearance at Michaels...and I know I had shorts and sandals on at the time! (unlike the FEET of snow outside currently...)  I used one of the stamps as a background on the smaller squares under the baby image - looking for something reminiscent of bubbles. 

Well, looks like school will happen tomorrow.  We were off for a week due to the snow and it's been prime learning-to-blog time for me.  But, when the kids go back, I go back.  Funny thing is, tonight it's supposed to snow!  But I can honestly say I'm tired of it now...and ready for some kind of normalcy.  Ok..."normal" may be to much to ask for...I'll just go for life without snow.  Come on SPRING! 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Heart Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

Now, this is the way every stamper wants to find her workspace...a card, a single red rose and no sign of all of the men in the house! They went to the auto show...a total testosterone I was able to find some valentines day stamp love!

I had already made Valentines, so I tried a challenge - and it was TOO challenging for me! I, apparently, was born with a severe dislike for the color purple. Sharon's challenge over at No Time to Stamp was to use green and purple! I'm not a pastel girl. This was hard for me. I went through lots of ideas...but they just don't work for me. I had to go back to the earth tones where I find comfort and go from there with a little purple highlight. (the butterflies really are purple...though they seem a little gray here!) I could use some "gifts of spring" as we are expecting a little more snow here in Maryland tomorrow!

I even made the Valentine for my husband a "snowy" one! I do love the sentiment, though..."love you snow very much." There's also the one for my grandma...should we ever resume mail service over here! Can't get to the mailboxes!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Better late...

Than never, is how the old saying goes. I have a feeling I'll be saying that a lot when it comes to challenges. Well, card making challenges, that is. The daily "life challenges" won't wait till the cards are stamped!

Got the "most wonderful time of the month" email from PTI today. While I didn't make any deadlines, I had to play along anyway. I tried the paint by number challenge in recognition of the new paints they've come up with over at PTI. You have to use the color palette based on your user name...and I just use my name, Shannon. So my color palette was:

And here's what I came up with. I didn't have all the PTI colors, but they said you can substitute. I had their kraft and I subbed mostly other SU colors. I used the "smokey shadow" for a really pretty dark pewter silk ribbon and basic gray (su) ink for the sentiment.

(ETA: after posting mine, i went back and looked for other "s" folks that posted with the same color combo as me. it's amazing to see how the same colors and the same design look soooo different! give it a try!)

I also want to try the challenge to use the color palettes that the DT used for another post during their release celebration. Which ones did you like? I love the colors Michelle chose:

I also had to try to do at least ONE sketch challenge ON TIME! I love the Clean and Simple Fall-To-Layouts and jumped right on this weeks! I subbed a butterfly for the scallop circle element...and obviously took a little flutterby-liberty with the sentiment. But if a butterfly can't take those kinds of liberties, who can?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Olympic excitement, American pride!

Happy Friday, everyone! (Though in Maryland we're not feeling the relief that usually comes with Friday evening...the kids have been off school all week because of the two blizzards!) Anyway, my boys were totally excited to watch the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies. They actually remember Beijing and said they "can't wait" to see the Parade of Nations! I need to get back in there and watch with them. Hope you're watching, too!

I used a sketch I saw on iSTAMP which is actually a Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge...a few weeks late! :) The colors of the card are red, white and blue...though the blue wants to show up as black. We have a family friends that are hockey players, so this card will go to them. I didn't really grow up watching hockey, but my husband is from Detroit - HOCKEYTOWN, USA! Enjoy the games!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Clean and simple link...

with mr. linky. Don't forget, I'm new at all of this! Another blog I love is the Clean and Simple Stamping blog. They have a weekly layout/sketch challenge called the fall-to layout. I love the clean lines and fewer layers on the more simple designs. Though I've made some in my studio (read: kitchen table), I've never posted one before or linked to the challenge. Here's a recent one. This is actually SU soft sky paper, though it's hard to see! There's a little stickles on the butterfly wings for just a little shine.

Learning to link

OK...I have sooooo many blogs I love to follow or visit for inspiration. Well, sometimes, when inspiration isn't striking, it's purely for "find-an-idea-and-try-to-copy-it" purposes. Thus, I MUST learn to link to others' great ideas! Here we go!

This card was inspired by Susan (LateBlossom), whose blog was the first I subscribed to. (I'm sure she'd love my butchering of the English language here, too! Ooops!) Oh well. Though the idea isn't in the same "feeling", I loved the idea of popping the main panel up and having an image peek through! Here's my take on it:

Well, I'm about to finish this first post with a link and a picture. I can tell that there better be more snow here in Maryland so that I can practice! (I think I'm going to be come very well acquainted with the macro function on my camera.)

I guess I should've called this the blizzard blog...

because I finally have time to start one! well, the blizzard(s) of 2010 on the mid atlantic coast have helped me to realize one of my new years resolutions - to become a blogger! This is me freezing my tushie in the "snow lounge." wondering when I can go back inside! :)
My reason for starting this blog is to help myself grow...I need to learn to use technology and not be so afraid of it! My son will be 12 next month, and he'll know more than I do...never a good option!
I also want to be able to participate in all of the fun rubber stamping site/blog challenges. Not that I'll have time once school starts again, but when I do, I want to try! I see soooooo many talented, fun stampers, scrappers and card makers online. I have such a long list of blogs I love to read for inspiration, I figure it's about time to stop stalking and start playing along! I also hope playing along will give me an extra push in exploring my own creativity.
I can't guarantee regular posts or inky inspiration. But we know it's always an interesting journey!