Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Being a very linear stamper, ovals are out of my comfort zone.  But, that's what challenges are for, right??  Here's where the OCC sketch challenge #8 took me:

Again, the mother quote is computer generated.  I knew I would try it with the oval die, so tried to space it accordingly.  The lighthouse is from SU.  I couldn't decide on a background panel...but hope this gives a "sandy" feel!   Below is the oval's "well rounded" cousin...the bordering blue!


Pastels - pink, purple and green...oh my!

Another set of challenges out of my comfort zone!  As soon as I saw Pastels as the theme over at The Pink Elephant, I remembered borrowing a beautiful CTMH butterfly set from my friend Anne.  At first, the large butterfly in the set really struck me like a butterfly tattoo that a woman could have tattooed across the small of her who knows how I ended up "softening" them into a pastel card!!  I wanted to use chalks...but that went totally wrong.  Instead, I sponged on CTMH blush, petal and used a light green ribbon.  This way, the pastels are also meeting the requirements of the Color Chef challenge. 

Leaving the pastels behind...I had to finish one more Mother's day card that had a computer generated sentiment...and even a computer generated image!  It's a regular old MS Word clipart image with no color.  I just didn't have a good image to go with the quote...which I thought was too cute to pass up!

G is for Glitz....and for FTL 84!

On with the challenges...I had to try FTL 84 over at Clean and Simple Stamping.  I love when there are not a lot of layers to cut and adhere!  I was totally thinking something else when I remembered I could use Natasha's sketch and still incorporate the G is for Glitz week at the ABC Christmas Card Challenge.  (I make a LOT of Christmas cards and am so excited to have this challenge to keep me going as well as Christmas Cards All Year Round - who should be posting a new challenge for April this week!)  With the sketch, I tried to incorporate some silver (the "glitz").  The design on the CTMH ornament is embossed in silver, but it's not very I had to add some silver stickles to the punched border.  Great challenges to get your creative brain working!

Seems fitting when talking about CAS that I'll also post this VERY CAS Mother's Day card!  This is an angel from a very old SU set.  The computer generated quote says, "All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.  - Abraham Lincoln " 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mojo Monday...Lite?

I tried the Mojo Monday sketch.  I love the finished products everyone posts!!!  What great inspiration.  However, I don't layer as I made this on the "lite" side.  I left out that vertical panel down the middle.  I must say, though, I do love the little cloud background and the airplane!  Here's a closer look at the plane...not that it's any technique-y thing...I just thought it was cute!
Another Mother's Day card is posted below.  Not only am I not a real girly/flowery type stamper, I really don't have much as far as sentiments that say "Happy Mother's Day".  I think "I Love You" or any other thoughtful/loving sentiment would be fine...but I think others may be looking for those exact words.  So, anyway, this is my hybrid of that!  I found a lot of "mom" quotes online...and I incorporated them into the cards. 

Curtain Call - Act 23

In keeping with trying to get the mojo flowing again, it's challenge time!  I think I looked up all the challenges I could today and made notes and jotted sketches, etc.  I want to post a few but will also apologize for the pictures first!  I wanted to take them in front of a window with natural light, but all windows in our house today were filled with gray clouds and rain!  Boo! 

Here's my take on Stacey's Curtain Call Colors.  I LOVE those colors and the inspiration picture.  I think I may have stuck too close to the soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to use the Damask Designs set from PTI to make that wallpaper background panel.

I was asked to make some Mother's Day cards for a small craft show at one of our local hospitals.  Thing is, i'm not a flowery stamper.  YIKES.  I also know that what I would make my own Mother isn't exactly the kinds of things others would buy.  I'd make her something about gardening...but it doesn't have to SAY "happy Mother's day" on it to be a Mother's Day card.  But, I digress...I'm trying and I'll post a few here as they get done. 

This one was an attempt at a beautiful card I saw on Maille Belles blog, Simply Stamped

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's slowly coming back...thank goodness!

The stamping mojo, that is!  I checked Mary Jo's blog for her Monday lunchtime sketch (I know it's SUNDAY, but like I said...I've been creatively "out of it" all week!)  and I had to run and try it.  This is a mix up of all of the ideas that swam around in my head this week, but never made it out onto paper!  I have been seeing orange/green/blue combos lately.  I LOVE THEM - considering my favorite colors are earth tones!  And I got some new blue ribbon (it's wide so I wasn't sure what to do with it) that totally fit this sketch!  (Remind me to tell you later about my new favorite place on earth - besides wherever stamps are sold!  Hint:  ribbon at discount prices!!  wuhoo!!)  Lastly, a friend at work (thank you, Emily) cleaned out her stamping supplies because she has no time to craft.  She gave me a whole box (like Christmas morning, I tell you!) and I found these cute little flip flops inside.  There were a lot of supplies I already had, so I passed them along to another friend that's just starting her lifelong obsession  addiction  sickness  hobby.  Anyway, I moved my scallops on over to the side and I ended up with this:

I stopped by my new favorite place on earth...the Offray Ribbon OUTLET.   YES, there is such a thing.  Near here, the Offray Ribbon company has a manufacturing plant, and extras, oops-es and overages make it into their little outlet store.  It's like going to Michaels with 8,000  40% off coupons and getting to use EVERY ONE at check out!  I'm thinking of sharing my good-ribbon-fortune (and there's lots of it) on my Etsy site (which I haven't updated in FOREVER)...anyone interested?  I'm thinking 4 or 5 yard lengths, priced depending on type of ribbon and whatever great price it happened to be.  I know I wanted every spool I found...but I'm HAPPY to share!!  I'll keep thinking it through and let you know!  I'm so happy to know about this, because I use ribbon on almost every card and I don't like when I have to think, "should I use's so expensive..." This ribbon solves that problem...using INSTEAD of hoarding...what a novel idea! 

Where, oh where, has my mojo gone?

Wow...last blog activity was March 15!  The big lag in posting?  We went to a 4 day (yes, 4!) scrapbooking get-a-way!  You would think this is a good thing...but it's having the opposite effect on me.  I totally enjoyed my time with my friend, Anne...but cleaning up, organizing and packing up all of your crafting goodies to take with you puts a dent in your creativity "flow."  (at least, it does in mine!)   And then, all of your goodies that you NEED after you get there - are home in the cabinets where you stashed them all because you were SURE you WOULDN'T NEED them when you got to the crop!  :) 

Then you pack it all up again and getting it all back out of the car to start stamping at home (I finished 2 event scrapbooks and stamped and colored a ton of images at the crop) I just didn't have the energy.  So it all sat there ALL WEEK.  UNHEARD OF!!  I'm hoping next week will be better...but it's Spring Break.  Kids at home!!

I was able to do at least one challenge this weekend.  A new challenge blog over at Picture Perfect Creations.  Megan is also looking for crafters (any craft will do!  love that!) to be members of her newly forming design team.  This weeks challenge was a color challenge...eggplant, pink and so saffron.  I have a bad "relationship" with purple as it throwing it into the mix like that threw me...but I gave it a shot.  And I actually ended up likeing it.  I think it actually looks better irl.

I need to get going on a baby girl card...those new neighbors I made the welcome card for...they have a new baby girl!  How exciting.  I also found out that another two teachers at our school are expecting!  Wow!  As I said before...I'm not drinking any water that comes from that school!  Enjoy the rest of the week!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Giddy - does anyone use that word anymore?

My parents used to use that word...giddy.  It was usually to describe my sister and me when we were being giggly and silly at the dinner table. You know, when you can't wipe away the grin or giggles?? Well, I've got that feeling...and it's thanks to Stacey and the Curtain Call Crew!  I was chosen as one of the top 5 Curtain Call Show Stoppers for this cardGiddy, I tell you!! (How many exclamation points can you use before it's just obscene?!) 

Well...back to the real world!  We visited my Mom for her birthday this weekend.  Still about 3 feet of snow on the ground out in Western Maryland.  ICK.  Before we left, there were new neighbors moving in, so I had to pop a card in their mail box before we left.  With not many houses are selling lately, and I've not had to make any "welcome" or "home sweet home" cards. So, now's the time! Here's a quick creation - a little monochromatic action.  I realized I don't really have many "home sweet home" type stamps.  (Do I feel a trip to the craft store??? hmmmm?)  Apparently I'll get to make a new baby card soon for them, too! They're expecting in just a few weeks. How exciting!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Loving the 4.25 x 4.25 square!

It takes me a while to embrace any change...even from a rectangular card to a square one...but I think I'm in love!  I had time today (water is back on and kids back at school if you saw my previous post about the water main break) in between 6 loads of laundry to complete a few more challenges and most turned out to be square!  I just want to share them quickly...since those loads of laundry are now begging to be folded.  (I'm trying my best to ignore them...)

I wanted to try the Techno Stamper Monday lunchtime challenge.  Very square, no?  But I love clean perfect for me!  I just love pink and brown together - especially with a little stickles sparkle.  It's threatening to rain here, so all of the pictures look a little dark.

I managed a two-fer with the next square.  The CPS sketch challenge and Cute Card Thursday - Celebrations!  I would say it's an Easter card (which would qualify it for many challenges this month!) but I like to keep my sentiments a little more neutral in case I can use the card for another reason.  In this case, it could be for Easter, or even re-purposed to send get well wishes to a sick friend.  Either way, I like that bit of stickles on the little chicks!

I also loved (as I always do) Silke Ledlow's sample for her OCC sketch challenge this week.    Her cards are very clean yet sophisticated,  and have a pop of color!

The last one that came through today isn't a square!  But it is a challenge!  It's a combo of the sketch from the other OCC layout (seen on Chupa's blog) and the color challenge at Pals Paper Arts.  These were both hard challenges for idea what I was thinking when I lumped them together!  I think the sketch is a very loose interpretation (and even a little upside down?) but it ended up working out. 

Ok.  I can no longer ignore the laundry.  Taking the kids this weekend to visit my parents...who still have a bunch of snow on the ground.  Me...I'm ready for sandals!

A few quick notes on techno bloggy stuff.  I'm new to this as I've said.  I'm really enjoying it.  I am amazed by all the work that people put into their blogs...especially NOW that I understand more how much time and organization it takes.  But I am having fun!  I loved my little live traffic feed gadget...but it wasn't working for about 2 weeks.  I worked with the feedjit people and it still wasn't working.  Today it's back!  I'll just be happy for that!  My kids LOVE to see the flags pop up and the "dots" on the maps.  (honestly, so do I!)  Also, I tried a little survey gadget.  It just seemed like fun. I'll have to see if I can do that more often!  Feel free to cast a vote!  I love seeing visitors from all over the world and love seeing comments pop up!  (so much better than notices from school or payment reminders!)  Thanks SO MUCH to those of you who are visiting and commenting. 

"Picture Perfect" attempt... a blatant CASE!  Even though CASEing is the sincerest form of flattery...something always changes from the original design to make the new product "your own."  I LOVED Maile Belles card here.  (In fact, I could just link her WHOLE blog because her work is wonderful!)  When I saw the colors for the challenge at Picture Perfect, my first thought was to somehow make line art flowers with black centers...well, that, too, got changed along the creative process!  A big "thank you" to Megan for alerting me to her great (now weekly!) challenge blog.  Be sure to check out Picture Perfect Creations Crafty Challenge so you can give it a try, too. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Christmas in....March?

Yes, in March!  I'm so glad I found the Christmas Cards all Year 'Round blog!  This is a procrastinator's dream come true.  If you make the monthy challenge cards (five of them) you'll end up with 60 cards by Christmas!  This is my first time entering in the challenge...I can't wait for next month's challenge.  I set aside a box to keep them all in so I'm ready to go come Christmas!

Above is a Snowman on a mostly green card (the challenge requirements).  He has a green stickles scarf and hat and a little frosted lace stickles for the icy coating on the snow at the bottom.  There he is below with his little snowy friends.  Hope they don't melt before Christmas!

What??? Three posts in one day??  Yep.  There was a major water main break here in Baltimore...there are still 15,000 of us without water since SATURDAY!  YUCK!  I'm finished living like a pioneer...heating water on the stove for a "shower".   It's trying to come back on today...cross your fingers for me!  But it made for lots of time at home since businesses and schools in the area are closed.  (I work at the school my youngest son we're all home.)  Sam (12) is hoping against me that the "drought" continues...since he could care less about showering (eeewwww!) and he's geting out of school, homework and mandatory state testing that was supposed to start Monday! 

Charlie tried Aimee's Challenge!

I don't know how many of you have kids that like to craft with you, but I do.  My sons are interested in anything "art."  They get just as excited as I do over Cuttlebug Folders and Prismacolor Markers.  They help my husband pick out gifts for me because they know the stampin lingo.  Last week, I came across Aimee's Challenge Blog.  It's the blog of a little girl and her mom and they sponsor a Mother/child challenge.  My son, Charlie (8) wanted to join in this time.  The challenge is for "things with wings."  He thought butterfly, then he wanted my dragon stamp.  Finally he chose for a duck image.  He colored, picked his nesties (I cut!) and his papers and ribbon!  Then he said, "where's your card?"

Mine took two more days to find some time!  And a sketch challenge!  This is my first time trying A Sketch For You to Try. Jen's sample springtime-y colorful or what?  Mine is a little ( a lot!) more subdued - but it has a cute spring chick - a "thing with wings" to go with Charlie's card over on Aimee's blog.  I'm glad Charlie is interested - it was fun to work on them together!

Curtain Call Colorful!

I had some time today to try the new Curtain Call Color Challenge - Act 20.  One thing these challenges do is make me think outside "the box."  My "box" in this case is very, very small -- not a lot of wiggle room and certainly we don't mix bright, beautiful colors! (But I'm trying...!)   I just couldn't resist this one - when I saw Stacey's inspiration picture, I immediately thought of this stamp from PTI's Autumn Abundance set and had to give it a try.    

Monday, March 8, 2010

Color Dare!

I came across the Color Dare just today...and found the perfect reason to use this beautiful ribbon I bought forever ago...and then couldn't figure out what to do with it.  (I'm sure that NEVER happens to any of you, right??!)  It's actually brighter IRL than it looks in the picture.  But it's the perfect colors for the color dare - celery, rose, turquoise and white!  What else can I do with this kind of thick/wide ribbon?  Any ideas?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Love Those Border Punches!

Sharon must love them, too!  And what a great idea for the No Time To Stamp challenge on her blog!  I use border punches all the time, but wanted to do something "extra" with it since it was a challenge.  How about "extra-patriotic?"  This is an older SU! set that I got from a friend last week.  It just put me in the mood for the red, white and blue!

This card uses the scallop border punch, but it's not necessarliy for the challenge.  It was supposed to be a CASE of a card on Lynn's blog...however, it morphed as I stamped!  The butterfly became a dragonfly!  Magic!  I wanted to catch that irridescence of the beautiful dragonfly I tried a black image with turquoise stickles over top.  It gives me that I'm happy.  (Always a good ending to a stamp outing!)   

Color and Layout Inspiration...

...with challenges!  I finally got a chance to get inky this week and wanted to participate in a few challenges.  I love the FTL81 layout on Clean and Simple stamping!  Boy, lots of ideas came to mind when I saw that one.  I made a few.  Nothing like a straightforward layout sketch to get your creativity flowing when I had no time to stamp all week!  The circles "said" so many things to me...strawberries, snowflakes, citrus slices, patterned paper, etc!  Here, they said "christmas ornaments!" (Then they said..."ha, ha...look at all that red glitter all over your kitchen table!") 

While these are all based on FTL81, one incorporates the Color Q challenge which I've never tried before.  The challenge was to use  navy, celery, sahara sand, baja and white.  Great spring/summer colors!  I was also inspired by Nadia's creation that I found while perusing all of the Mr. Linky submissions!  (Love to do that!  Very inspirational - lots of "ah-ha!" moments).

The last one has a spring theme, which was the idea on Pals Paper Arts challenge.  Pink and cotton-and-glitter-tailed bunnies definitely say SPRING is almost here! 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Seeds and Challenges - some on time...some late!

I wanted to play along with the new Poppy Seed Challenge on Lisa's blog.  The three "seeds" we needed to "plant" in our design were using a flower stamp, using the color yellow and using crystals/rhinestones.  Once the color yellow was mentioned, I immediately thought crocus or daffodil.  (Yep, spring fever has set in!)  Come to find out...I have neither image as a stamp!  I used an old SU! set instead and went for the yellow gladiolus - still looks like springtime to me!  Thanks to Lisa for the fun new challenge!  It may be my Mom's birthday card in March...she lives here in western Maryland where the snow this season has reached 265 inches...she NEEDS a little springtime!

I was able to fit two other challenges together this morning:  The FTL80 challenge on the Clean and Simple Stamping blog (I love the ideas others came up with for this one!) and the PTI Spring is in the Air color challenge on Nichole's blog.  Funny thing is, I loved the colors Lisa (see above paragraph!) chose for the challenge:  pink, cream, kraft and brown.  I used those colors to finish off the layout for the FTL80 - another great sketch!

I tried the inspiration challenge over at Pals Paper Arts, too!  I thought "birds" the whole time, but of course, it didn't happen!  Butterflies happened!  I'm too late for the Mr. Linky...but I wanted to post it anyway.  (The picture has a weird "crease" in it...I tried to upload 2x.)  These were great challenges and I have a few more I want to work on before the week is out.  I hope you get some crafty time, too!