Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saying goodbye

Tomorrow is the viewing for one of my firehouse buddies from way back. He passed away on Thursday. I've known John for about 20 years or so. He was a chief at my fire department for a while and just an all around good guy. He had a Harley and used to bug Rick and I to take some motorcycle trips with him and his wife, Barb. He never really thought about the fact that Rick's motorcycle was not a comfortable one and gave me a sore butt after just an hour riding on it; he just wanted to hang with his friends. I went to high school with John and Barb's daughter, Tori. Their son Jes rode his first ambulance call with me. Although we might not have seen each other as often as we'd have liked, our lives were intertwined in so many ways. When Rick passed away, John and his family were there for me. Now, it's my turn to be there for John's family, as much as the reason pains me.

With them in mind, I set about making some sympathy cards. I have a wonderful set from Verve Stamps with some beautiful sympathy and loss sentiments and I put it to use, along with some scraps and embellishments from my stash.

Here is my favorite of the three, which is the card I made for his wife.
The background stamp is from Our Daily Bread. They have a whole line of stamps that are shaped perfectly to go with Spellbinders Nestabilities. This card is based after a sketch by Amarylis on
I made this card for his daughter and her family. The large flower is from the Dollar Store but the small ones are Wild Orchid Crafts. The butterflies and corners are done with punches. The ribbon is from Hobby Lobby.
 And finally, the card for his son and his son's family. I wanted to lean a bit more to the masculine side with this one. As you can see, I used various Spellbinders dies for all three cards. I love my Nesties! Thank you for stopping by today, and I hope my next post isn't nearly so depressing.
Rest in Peace, John. You will be missed more than you could ever know.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Playing along at Elisabeth Bell's World and first snow of the season

I can't believe it snowed on Christmas Eve. I think it's the first time we've had snow here near Annapolis, MD at this time of year in, well...years. Mind you, it didn't really accumulate, but it sure was pretty as it came down. So white and fluffy! And that really non-subtle statement takes me into the next thing. I'm a guest DT for Elisabeth Bell's World challenge this month, which is "fluffy white snowflakes". I am so excited, because I love Elisabeth Bell's work. She is amazingly talented. Anyway, what a fun challenge for the month, don't you think? I know that Christmas cards are mostly mailed, but you can start on your cards for next year or even make any kind of wintry card for those winter birthdays, thinking of you, whatever occasion you've got coming up. Just make sure to use an Elisabeth Bell image and snowflakes, and upload your card to the challenge blog. Details HERE. And while you're there, check out the beautiful cards but the EBW DT. I always find their stuff to be very inspiring and stunning.

This is the card I created for the challenge. Notice all of the little snowflakes hiding in the flowers?

Just in case you need a closer look at this adorable little angel, here she is in all of her glory:

I colored her with copics, added some liquid pearls, and then cut her out with a spellbinders die. Note to self: next time, cut the image first, before adding the liquid pearls. Duh.

I'm headed out to WV today to visit the cemetary where my husband is buried. Well, that's the hope, anyway. Depends on the weather. Right now, the snow has stopped and things are looking clear, so I might be taking a drive. It's a beautiful drive and always brings me a measure of peace to "visit" his final resting place. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas full of peace, love, family and friends. Huge holiday extended bear hugs (and in case you don't know me, that's saying something. I'm not big on that extended hug thing! I'm a grab 'em quick and let 'em go girl, usually). Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

I'm snow happy!

Ok, maybe not. Maybe what I am really hoping for is enough snow to go snow tubing later this month, but not enough to make me have to shovel my way out of my driveway. Is that even possible? I hate shoveling snow. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Driving in snow is even worse. Now, I love some snow if I can sit in my house and enjoy the warmth while I watch it fall.

Anyway, it's my turn to host over at Guylou's Inimitability. I decided on a snow theme, figuring everyone's pretty creations would show me the good about snow, right? Everyone knows I love kitty cat images, so I had fun with one of them from Guylou. Check it out:
I used Aleene's snow with glitter. I applied it with a speckle paintbrush. Then I added some liquid pearls for the snowflakes in the sky, and punches to create snowflakes in the corner of the image. This cutie is colored with copics, of course. The fur is C3, C1, and C0, with a bit of R11 for the cheeks and nose. I added glossy accents to the eyes, as well. The sentiment is popped up with pop dots on either end.

Now it's your turn. Show me some pretty snow, so that I don't dread it quite as much once it finally shows up for real!!! Enter your project at the Guylou's Inimitability blog for a chance to win a gift certificate to the store and the opportunity to be a guest DT in a future challenge. As always, thanks for visiting!

Oh, and I should note that this card is also for:
Papertake Weekly - white or snow

Sunday, December 9, 2012

FINALLY! Done, de done, done...DONE!

I am finally finished all of my Christmas cards. Ok, I probably spoke too soon. I will probably receive a card from someone and need to throw another one together quickly to return the sentiment. But, for now, I can feel happy, relieved and de-stressed because I am done (at least for now)!

My house needs cleaned, but I didn't have the energy for that today. Frankly, I didn't have much energy at all, as I'm still not feeling 100%. However, I pushed past the light-headedness, low energy, and headache to finish up my cards. Here's a few that I managed to knock out today:

If nothing else, I had fun coloring with my copics and playing with pretty papers. I have way more Christmas paper than I ever thought I could possibly buy. I just seem to gravitate towards it. As you can see, I also had some fun playing with my Nestabilities and some embellishments. I even found a few stickers in my stash that worked well (who knew? I thought I'd pretty much gotten rid of all of them).

Now it's time to get crackin' on the calendars I have to finish before my family comes over on December 22nd. What was that I said earlier about feeling relieved and de-stressed? I think I lied.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A wee little wish

Well, I guess the joy of being sick is that no one wants to be around to catch that crud, so they leave you to your own devices (with the exception of texts and calls, offering to suck it up and visit if needed, while probably hoping that you don't take them up on it. LOL). Ok, so yeah, this is me, just trying to make the most of a yucky situation. I've been sick for the last few days. It's one of those kinds of sick where you still have your brain power (no mugginess), so you don't want to pass the day on the couch, but your body doesn't have much energy to do much of anything else. In my case, I took my little lap desk down to the couch and tried to color some images. I'd color one or two parts of the image, then feel worse again and have to lay down, then color some more, lay down some more, and so on. Needless to say, the clean and simple card I'm about to post shouldn't have taken me nearly as long as it did. But hey, I've got another Christmas card done!

This is Wee and reindeer from Whiff of Joy. You can find this little cutie here. I colored the image with copics, after stamping in Memento ink on cryogen paper. The patterned paper is some Basic Grey from my stash. I added a sentiment from Stampendous. Even though Wee is technically a gnome, I think the sentiment still works. I added a little button with some twine, punched out a border to go around the image and ta-da! Like I said, this little card took way longer than it should have, but that's what happens when the crud invades your territory. I hope everyone else is having a wonderful, crafty, illness-free weekend!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The definition of insanity

So, from what I am told, the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over, and expect different results. By that definition, I might just be ready for a straight jacket. Each year, I swear I am going to start my Christmas cards in January, with plans to make 2-4 cards per month so that I have more than half of them done by the time Thanksgiving rolls around. Each year, I start them after August and wonder why I am always rushing to get them finished on time. Every single year. I don't know why I expect to actually have them done by Thanksgiving each time. It's that insanity thing. See?

Anyway, I went to a crop last weekend and managed to complete 8 cards. I kept them relatively simple and used images I had previously colored. Here's a sample of the 4 I like the best:
These are pretty much a good representation of what I got done during that crop.
I used up all of the images I had precolored, so I took the time towards the end of the crop to color up some new ones, including a new Magnolia that I got from Oozak. I love that store! Anyway, I think she's the cutest little thing. She was fun to color and I love the idea of using her to peek around ornaments, or through windows, or even around a Christmas tree. Oh, wait, do you know which Tilda I am talking about? Sorry. Guess I should show you. Here's what I did with her over the next few days:
 I used my new Tilda stamp, plus a Spellbinders 2010 stamp set and die for the ornament and sentiment. Here's a closer look at one of the cards, so you can see the cuteness that is this Tilda just a little bit more easily:

Isn't she precious?

Another reason to highlight this card - she is for some challenges:
7 Kids College Fund - holiday inspired
Oozak - anything goes plus red
Papertake Weekly - anything goes with option of a gift for Christmas
Pretty Little Ribbon - Christmas
Clear it Out - Happy Holiday
Ribbon Carousel - the Holidays

All of my images are colored with copics. Now I'm off to see if I can add some more cards to the pile, because I've still got a few to make in order to have enough for everyone on the list. So much pressure! If only I wasn't insane, I'd start these danged things in January. I'd make it my New Year's resolution, but everyone knows I still wouldn't do it!

Friday, November 30, 2012

I'm twisted!!!

As if you didn't know that already, huh? It's okay; I embrace my neuroses. I'm in my own little world, but they know me here and it's all good. Anyway, it's time for another challenge at Guylou's. It's time for a twisted Christmas, courtesy of our host and awesome illustrator (as well as my good friend), Guylou. The twist? Make a Christmas card using non-traditional Christmas colors.

When I think of "traditional" Christmas colors, I think of reds and greens, even silver and gold. I don't tend to associate brown with Christmas, so when I found this brown paper in my stash, it called to me for this challenge. And what looks better in brown than puppy fur? Heck, who doesn't love a cute little puppy? Check it out:

I colored the image with copics. The fur is E51, 53, 55, and 57. The bow is B91, 93, 95, and 97. Then I grounded him with some greys. I am trying to make some cards that are flat and won't cost extra shipping. Everyone knows how hard that is for me, the embellie-happy queen. (Ok, so the title a friend gave me was actually "the embellishment queen", but in true embellishment-loving fashion, I...well...embellished it).

Now it's your turn to be twisted! Post your card to Guylou's Inimitability for your chance to win a $10 gift card to her store (so you can get your own cute puppy) as well as a chance to be a guest DT on a future challenge. And while you're add it, check out the blogs of my fellow DT members. There's some fabulous, inspiring work to be found!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Veteran's Day RAK

It's Sunday and it's Veteran's Day here in the US, when we honor all of our military, past and present, for their dedication, commitment, courage and sacrifice. As you all know, I like to support military causes. Today, I finished packing up my care package for my soldier and yesterday, I ordered some girl scout cookies that I'm going to send out his way, too. Who doesn't love Girl Scout cookies? Tell me something you have done for our military in the last few months. I don't just mean sending cards or care packages (although that's awesome, too), I also mean any kind of support - are you a military mom, aunt, grandma, dad or grandpa? Did you verbally thank a soldier that you saw in the mall? Did you hug a soldier's family member or listen while they vented their fears? Are you a soldier yourself? Tell me what you did for a soldier and I'm going to randomly draw a special RAK for one lucky person on Saturday, November 17th at 8:00 pm. No need to be a follower of my blog, although that's nice. No need to post anything on your sidebar. No need to have a blog of your own. Just post a comment about how you support our military (include your email, so I can contact you if you win). Anyone who knows me knows that my RAKs aren't small. I like to shop and the scrapbook store down the street is having a killer sale...

***okay, ladies! The winner is Kim!!! I will be sending you the RAK within the next few days, I hope. Roxann, Tracy, and Trina, there might be a little something coming your way, too (although Kim wins the larger RAK, I wanted to show my appreciation to you guys, as well)***

Friday, November 16, 2012

Always so thankful...

...for our troops! On Veteran's Day, I was putting the finishing touches on my care package for my adopted soldier. I needed a card to send, as well. I'm so thankful to our troops for all that they do for us, plus his care package should get there right around Thanksgiving, so a thank you card seemed very appropriate. Luckily for me, Carla is challenging us to make a thank you card for this fortnight's challenge at Guylou's. I love when things fall into place like that.

Every once in a great while, I get the chance to search out some blogs that are new to me. I love to learn from and be inspired by other people. This time, I lucked upon Mariska's blog. Talk about some serious talent. She does this really cool technique where she paper pieces and layers different parts of a stamped image for this awesome 3D effect. I decided to try it, but I don't have the patience she has. She cuts each and every tiny piece and layers it. I mean, every tiny piece! For the image I chose, she would have probably cut the hat band, collar, and arms into separate pieces. Yeah, not happening in my house. I've got patience, but not that much. LOL. So, I left the hat as one big piece. I kept the two arms together rather than separating them, etc. I still think it turned out pretty cool, though. If you want to try it, she has videos on youtube giving step-by-step instructions.

It was a really fun technique to try, too. I didn't have the kind of glue she uses, so I used my always faithful KI Gloo. I think I need something a bit thicker and less runny, though. Maybe I just need more practice (that is the most likely explanation).
Here is a side view, to show you a bit better about how many layers there are:
So, the arms are a bit lower than the shirt, which is layer lower than the hat, with the face and hair on the uppermost layer. I tried to puff up each piece like she does, but it doesn't show as well in my pic; I think I needed to go over the pieces a bit harder before gluing them down next time. Anyway, this little guy is Dominique from Guylou's Inimitability digi shop. He's also the mascot for her store. I love how he can be placed on top of things, to look like he's leaning on them with his folder arms. Now it's your turn to show us a project to share your thanks! You have until November 29th to enter to win a gift card to G's store. While you're at it, don't forget to enter my Veteran's Day RAK. If you've done something good for a soldier, just leave me a comment with your email by Saturday, November 17th, telling me about it and you'll be entered to win my RAK.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hearty Thanksgiving

I planned to spend a good bit of today creating more Christmas cards. Well, the best laid plans and all of that...

What I am getting at is that it didn't happen. Instead, I spent a bunch of time stamping off my loose sentiments so that I could put them in a binder and thereby, see what I have more easily (rather than having to root through a pile of stamps each time to jog my memory). While doing so, I came across this "so thankful" stamp. My aunt hosts Thanksgiving at her house each year, and it is customary that I bring her a hostess gift. I decided to make her a quick and simple card to go along with this gift.

This stamp is another Elisabeth Bell image, this time from Belles n' Whistles, and it's called "Hearty Thanksgiving". I have so many Elisabeth Bell stamps, I could probably make cards with them every night of several weeks. I happened to color this one up so long ago (probably over a year!). It just seemed to fit the purpose I wanted so well that even though the coloring is not up to snuff, the image is so cute it carries it off, anyway. I added some flower soft for more texture.
I'd like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Elphine House: fall colors with Elisabeth Bell image
Paper Play: thanks a bunch

Merry, Bright, Green, Pink and White

A friend of mine was supposed to come over today and make some Christmas cards. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to make it. However, just the thought of crafting got me impatient to work on some Christmas cards again. So, I sat around last night and colored up one of my adorable Sweet Pea images. This one is from the very talented Elisabeth Bell. What do you think?
I think she's so cute with her little pom poms on her tiny boots. Apparently, my cat Athena thinks she's cute, too, because she is sitting right next to the card, purring away. This might mean a few typos here and there, as she tries to get my attention so I'll put her opinions on my blog post here. Sorry about that. She's a chatty thing who likes to express herself in the loudest way possible.
Anyway, I colored this cutie with my copics, using my favorite pinks: R85, 83, 81. I used my new snow marker that I got at the stamp show a bit ago. It isn't quite as thick and puffy as liquid applique. It comes out much thinner and much faster. Thank goodness I started with the snow on the ground, not any of the smaller spots like her earmuffs! I chalked in some clouds, then added some clear glitter around the edges. I colored the holly berries and her heart locket with a red spica, then added clear glitter overtop. The large snowflake is from a pack of them that I on clearance last year at Target, with hopes that I could figure out a use for them on my cards. It's hard to tell, but the snowflake is covered in glitter. The lace is from my friend Sara's mother-in-law. The card still looked rather plain, so I tossed on some pink rhinestones and some cute little buttons. I think it's done. One more Christmas card down; I'm scared to count how many more to go!
This card is for the following challenges:
Oozak: winter
Elisabeth Bell's World: glimmer, shimmer and shine

Saturday, November 3, 2012

That tickles!!!

Happy Friday, everybody. Let me tell you, after the stress of Hurricane Sandy and then rushing to get a grant submitted at work this week, I am really ready for the weekend. I am beat! What I am feeling is nothing compared to what the people in NY and NJ are going through, though. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

I'm digressing again. Let me get to the point of this post. You know that's hard for me. LOL. Anyway, it's time for another challenge at Guylou's. This time around, Roxann challenged us to make things a bit tickly by putting a feather on our projects. Well, I bought a bag of feathers from AC Moore ages ago. I cannot find that sucker to save my life. What I could find, though, was this tiny wreath that I paid a whopping two bucks for about 2-3 years ago. One of the store owners in Gettysburg has a corner where she allows her young grandchild to sell things and make her own money. I bought the little wreath thinking maybe I could pull the feathers off and use them. Lo and behold, I finally tried it!

Unfortunately, I had a hard time deciding how to use it. I am in full-on Christmas card-making mode. It took me a while, but I finally figured out how to incorporate a feather onto a Christmas card. What do you think?
I paper pieced the image, using metallic blue paper that I then added some stickles to. The little mouse is colored with copics. I used a Magnolia corner stamp on the sentiment border area, and made little rosebud out of felt.

Now it's your turn. Upload your project to Guylou's (details on the blog. Get over there and check it out!) Tickle, tickle, tickle!

Monday, October 29, 2012

I feel so old!

When I was growing up, we called our friend Jen the "baby" of the group, since her birthday fell after everyone else's. Well, the baby is about to turn 40, just like me. Man, I'm feeling old. I went to her surprise birthday party yesterday, just before Sandy touched down and decided to make us all listen to her bluster. This is the card I made for her:
I colored the LaLa image in my class with Suzanne Dean. I have no idea what colors we used; I honestly can't remember back that far! LOL. I do remember using my silver stardust pen on her shoes, though. Does that count?

For those of you in the path of Hurricane Sandy, stay safe! In my area near Baltimore, they're calling for wind gusts up to 85 mph through the night tonight. So far, I've got some water in my basement, but I am happy to say that I still have electricity and therefore, heat and the ability to turn on lights and craft! I hope things don't get any worse than they are now. I hope everyone is safe and warm at home. And if you are one of those who can't be at home, I hope you are at least safe and warm, wherever you are!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Seas the Day!

This is just a quick post to show you the card I made for my wonderful friend Guylou's birthday. I made it several weeks ago, but mail takes a long time to get from Maryland to Toronto, so she just now got it. I didn't want to post before she saw it; it hardly seems fair that she'd see it online first or that others might see it before she did.

Happy birthday to a great friend who has helped me through some really rough times and continues to assist me with maintaining that tiny little leash that's left on my sanity. LUG!

About the card:
Image: Magnolia, colored with copics
Papers: Graphic 45
Other goodies: twine and pearls from my stash, mudd puddles around the image, edges distressed with distressing tool and inked with distress ink

Friday, October 19, 2012

If you're skeered, just say you're skeered!

I honestly have no idea where that line came from, but we started saying it way back when and it's just something that a bunch of my friends still say to this day. It's the perfect time of year for skeery things. My brother and I took two of his kids to Kings Dominion for Fear Fest last weekend. My niece is 12 and it was her first time. She reminded me so much of me at that age - scared out of her wits, but excited and having a blast at the same time. We had such a good time. I wasn't scared, although the corn men startled me - twice!!! I knew those suckers were there after the first one got me, and yet the second one got me, too. Sheesh.

Anyway, it's challenge time at Guylou's again. This time, my fab teamie Kim has challenged us all to scare her, and include on our projects: one ribbon, two embellishments, and three patterned papers. We're also supposed to go with a dark or gothic theme. Well, I used dark papers and colors, so I hope that works. And my card is not too scary, unless you consider how scary it is (in some ways) to get old.
This is a card for my father-in-law's birthday. The inside says, "I hope your day is electrifying!" I don't usually make Halloween cards, although I admit that I have tons of witch images. I've got a thing for witches. So, this scary, dark thing was definitely a challenge for me. Even though I made it into a birthday card, the papers and image are very Halloween-ish. But he's so darned cute, I couldn't resist using him. 

Papers are from my stash. Doodling was done with a white sharpie on the patterned paper, and with a black sharpie around the sentiment. I colored him with the following copics:
Skin: G24, 21, 20
Suit and Hair: C7, 5, 3, 1
Undershirt: BG57, 53, R46, 43
Shoes are colored with a black spica pen and then covered in glossy accents. I went over his stitches with a black spica pen, too, so they bling a bit.

Now it's your turn to try to scare Kim. Go on, enter if you dare! Just upload your project at Guylou's Inimitability for a chance to win a gift card and the opportunity to be a guest designer on a future challenge. And as always, thanks for looking and playing along! We really appreciate your participation on the GI blog.

Oh, I almost forgot, I'm entering him in the following:
Divas by Design - something spooky!
Simon Says Stamp - Eerie inspiration
Oozak - Die Cuts (spellbinders)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Slowly but surely making my way to Christmas

I'm trying to get more cards made this year. Last year, I pretty much only sent homemade cards to those who might come hunt me down and kill me if they didn't get them (yes, grandma, I'm talking about you. Well, you and a few others!). This year, I'd like to send them to quite a few more people. I guess maybe it's lucky that I don't know a lot of people who might want to kill me?!?

Anyway, this is one of the images that I colored at the crop over a week ago. This is another Sweet Pea stamps image, this time illustrated by Ching Chou Kiuk. Her stamps are actually the first ones that I bought from Sweet Pea Stamps a few years ago. I love her images. They are so full of mysticism and ethereal beauty. I love to color them, even though it seems to take me forever to color all of the tiny details.

On this card, I used a few techniques I've learned this year. On her wings, I did the feathering technique that I learned from Suzanne Dean's class back in the spring. Then I used a background technique with Goosebumps spray that I just learned today. This Goosebumps stuff is pretty darned cool. It leaves a really cool texture (you can see it behind the red rhinestones; it's that light green, marbly look paper). It's really fun to layer with different ink colors, although this time I kept it simple and just left one color. The image is colored with the following copics:

Poinsettias: R39, 35, yellow stickles
Wings: YG45, YG11, R85, RV11
Top: Y15, Y13, Y11
Skin: E11, E00, E000, R20 (cheeks), white sharpie for highlight on cheeks
Hair: E49, E59, E53, E25
Shadows: W5, W3, W1, W0, blender

If you'd like to learn some cool, fun techniques, too, check out the Technique Junkie newsletter. I got a few back copies today and they're awesome and informative. I signed up for a subscription. Who doesn't want fun mail instead of all of those bills, political flyers, and store ads?!?

If you want to see some more examples of the fabulous Sweet Pea stamps, check out the store blog.

I'd like to enter this card in the following challenges:
2 Sisters - anything goes (Oct 19)
Crafty Mess - anything goes (October 18)
Crafts and Me - anything goes (October 16)
Divas by Design - anything goes (October 16)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Throwback to warmer weather

The cold is creeping in and I gotta admit, I'm not loving it so far this year. I think it's because the weather can't seem to make up its mind. 40-something degrees one day, 70 the next. I can't handle it. I'm staging a protest and refusing to get my winter clothes down from the attic. Yeah, this means I'm wearing what few long-sleeved items I left out at the end of the last cold season. Over and over. I didn't say my protest was without sacrifice. In this case, I must look like I never do my laundry. Don't get all grossed out...I do wash them in between wearing them! It's just that I wear them entirely too many times!

Anyway, I went to a crop over the weekend and colored some images. Most of them were wintry ones, in preparation for making my Christmas cards (see my GI post two down for an example). However, in accordance with my protest, I also colored a few more pastel, warm weather images. Here's one of them:

Isn't she gorgeous? She's from Sweet Pea stamps, illustrated by Connie Fong. I colored her with my handy dandy copics, added tons of glossy accents, bling, and liquid pearls, and then finally put her sassy, pretty little self on a card tonight. Here's the card:

I used lots of goodies on it, as is my usual tendency. I just kept adding and adding until it looked done. There's silk roses from Walmart, paper roses from Wild Orchid Crafts, buttons shaped like seashells, lace, gold ribbon, cheesecloth, and even a little gold clock. Heaven only knows where I got that little clock; it was just calling to me from my stash, insisting it needed to sit in the corner. Maybe I was thinking of the clock in the Titanic movie. Who knows? I don't think there were any mermaids with seafoam green hair and sparkly pink tails in that movie, though....
Coming back in a few days later to edit because I happened to (finally) find my notes on colors used:
skin: e00, e000, r11
hair: bg15, bg13, bg11
fins: r85, rv11, rv000
pebbles: e42, e57, bv13, yr82, b04
water background: b00, b000

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cancer Sucks

Yet another person I know has been afflicted with "the Big C" (that's what my dad called it, after being diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer). I have known Lina, affectionately called "Ma", since I was in elementary school and she was the "lunch lady" in the cafeteria. I later met her daughter Michele and her husband, Fudd. Ok, so his given name is Edward, but his nickname is a story for a different day. As Ma told me today, I've been part of their family since day 1. Well, she was diagnosed with bladder cancer back in the spring. After several months of chemo, the cancer finally shrank enough to allow removal of her bladder and some other organs. I tried to get more info, but she's a bit doped up and loopy right now, so all she'd say was, "they took it all!" She was transferred to a regular hospital bed after a few days in the CCU and is starting to get really antsy now. She can't see well enough to read, and can't stay awake long enough to listen to books on tape, but when she is awake, she's itching to go home. Now that she's no longer in the CCU, she can receive cards and the like. After visiting her at the hospital tonight, I came home and made this card for her:
The papers are from my scrap pile. I think they were K&Co. I made the lollipop flower out of some fabric I had sitting around (some of which was a gift from my friend Sara's mother-in-law). The scallops were cut with a Stampin Up border punch. The leaves are Prima, and the stick pins are from JoAnn's dollar spot (flower) and Walmart (pearl). I snagged the little blue button brad from the freebie table at a crop. I guess that about covers it! Please help me pray for Ma and a full recovery. She's one of those people who loves to take care of everyone else, but it's our turn to take care of her this time. She's going to kick and scream the whole time, I'm sure!

To Die For!

It's time for another challenge over at Guylou's. First off, though, I have to apologize for being late to make and post my card. September just gets away from me every year, plus I was on a fabulous vacation to the Grand Canyon. When I got home, there was just so much to get done at both work and home that I didn't get the chance to even color an image until yesterday. I'm sorry to my team and G for being such a poke-butt!!! In all of the years I've been on G's DT, I have never been late to actually make the card before, but that doesn't stop me from feeling guilty. I don't make commitments lightly and try very hard not to let anyone down. I'd better shut up now, before everyone gets tired of my blubbering.

So, anyway, this time around, Chana is challenging us to make projects using die cuts. You can use any kind of die cut you want, from either a manual or electronic machine.

Everyone knows that I love my Spellbinders and have tons and tons of Nestabilities. I used two of them on this card, as well as some of my Stampin Up ribbon that I've been hoarding. I am forcing myself to let it go, but it's hard! This wide ribbon is so wicked cool and so much fun to work with.

As usual, the image is colored with copics, on copic xpress it paper. DPs are My Mind's Eye from last year or the year before (I'm still hoarding two of this paper pack, but I'm getting through them slowly but surely).

How about playing along with us this time around? You have until October 18th to give it a shot! More details on the Guylou's Inimitability blog. Check it out!!! Go on, get over there!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Whatever weather it happens to be...

in your life, it's time to craft about it! Whether you like summer, spring, winter or fall, it doesn't matter. I guess I should back up and explain. It's Trina's turn to host this time around at Guylou's. Now, we all know that Trina likes to think of unusual things, because she's creative that way. She's decided that we need to do a weather challenge. So, make a card about anything pertaining to the weather, post it over at Guylou's Inimitability, and you could win a gift card to the store as well as a chance to appear as a guest designer in a future challenge! Here's what I came up with:
The image is called "Jessica". I can't tell you what papers I used, since I snagged them from my scrap stash. The cardstock is Bazzill. The sentiment and sun are from a set by Technique Tuesday. I cut the clouds with a Spellbinders die. The ribbon is from the Dollar Tree.

Jessica is colored with the following copics:
Hair: E29, E25, E31
Outfit: R20, R21, R22, BG 11, BG13, BG15, BG0000, Y000, Y00, Y11
Boots: N3, N5, N7
Umbrella: N1, N3, N5 with signo for polka dots

I figured Jessica's got her umbrella down, but is still dancing in puddles, so the rain must have just stopped and the sun is coming out. If that's not how it goes in your brain, well, it's your turn to show us what you'd think with any of G's weather-inspired images. You can even use one that just makes you think of the weather; as long as you convey your idea well enough to suit the challenge, that's all good! Challenge details are on the GI blog. Check it out!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

For Eli and his new family

My friends Tiffani and Dave have been trying to adopt their son, Eli, for months and months. It's a long, drawn out story full of hope, disappointment, love, fear, and determination. Right now, Eli is stuck in Africa due to some government upheaval and policy changes. He is growing up in an orphanage, just waiting for the day when his parents can come pick him up and bring him home with them.

The adoption costs are astronomical, but well worth it. A bunch of us got together to provide a gift to help offset some of the costs, and I was asked to decorate the envelope. Eli's mom loves elephants. They are decorating his room in blue and brown, with baby elephants here and there. This image from Mo Manning has been hiding away in my files, literally just waiting for the chance to get on a card for my friends. I added the image to my collection specifically for them, knowing there would come a time that I'd use it, and here it is!

I only used part of the image because I like how he looks peeking up from the bottom of the envelope. I printed him directly on the envelope. Then I colored him with watercolor pencils that I didn't blend overly much because the envelope wasn't doing too well at holding the printer ink without smearing it. There's a hint of pink in his ears that didn't show up in the pic, but it's there. I gave him little freckles with a journaling pen, because, well, I have a thing for freckles. I added some buttons and a little house, since this gift goes towards the fund to bring Eli home. She's probably going to laugh at me for all of this effort on an envelope, but oh, well. She can put it in his baby book and use it to hold special notes or locks of hair, or whatever she chooses.

Now it's time to watch "The Voice." I am so addicted to that show, and it sure as heck doesn't hurt to see the hotness that is Adam Levine, either. Goodnight and as always, thanks for coming by!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Who wants cake?

Yeah, yeah, me too. However, I think if I ate any, my trainer might kick my butt. They had a client appreciation day at the gym the other day. Chick-Fil-A donated some chicken nuggets in their yummy breading. Matt (my trainer) put a sign in front of it that said, "If you train with Matt, TURN AROUND!" It cracked me up. One of the other trainers convinced me to pretend to eat a piece while she pointed to the sign with this shocked look on her face. Good thing for us that Matt has an awesome sense of humor. Now, after that story, we won't tell Matt that I did eat a small piece of carrot cake at a wedding yesterday. I left most of the frosting and just ate the cake-y part. Still bad. The treadmill calls....

And I am digressing again. In case you hadn't noticed, I'm good at that. My mother-in-law's birthday is tomorrow. I can't be there for dinner, cake and ice cream but I am going to drop a card and gift in her mailbox. Here's the card I made:
She loves orange, so I knew that Recollections Neopolitan Collection would be perfect. The image is House Mouse. I love them, especially when they have big, fat, overstuffed bellies. It just makes me smile. I got this one at Hobby Lobby, I think. I used my Creative Memories cutting system to cut the circle around the image, then my cutterbees for a little bit of fussy cutting. The scalloped circle is a Spellbinders die. Let's see, what else? Oh, yeah. The most important part! The copics!!!

Candle: R22, R20, R11 then covered with glossy accents for shine
Mouse: E000, E00, E02, E25, E31
Cake: Y23, Y21, YR0000, then liquid applique for the frosting. It burnt a little under the heat gun, but I think that just makes it look like toasted marshmallow or coconut. At least, I hope so!
Plate: C00, C3, C5

Thanks for popping in!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Moving forward

I've known Heidi since 7th grade. Ok, so that reveals my age when I tell you that was something like 28 years ago. Anyway, Heidi married Steve, had several children and was planning a future when Steve suddenly passed away a few years ago. He died 9 months before Rick, if I remember correctly (although I must admit that my memory of that time is kind of foggy). I am very happy for her that she has since found new love and happiness. I wish them all of the best and it makes my heart glad to see her smile again. Her wedding to Ray is this upcoming weekend, so I set about making them a card.

I colored the image at a crop I attended yesterday, but I was having a hard time determining how to design the card. Enter the wonderful Mojo Monday sketch 257. It is perfect! Here's what the sketch inspired me to do:

Papers are My Mind's Eye Breeze, which I picked up on a shopping trip with my friend Sara back in August. I didn't really like grey and yellow when I first started seeing that color combination, but it has since grown on me and now I'm loving it. Of course, this paper pack helped. :)

I colored the image with copics. My copics were a huge hit at the crop. I have quite a collection and I was sitting right next to the door. It seemed like someone was stopping at my table every 15 minutes or so to comment on the copics and ask what you can do with them. I sent quite a few people to Oozak for some shopping!

Anyway, the image is an Elisabeth Bell from Sweet Pea Stamps. I stamped him in Memento ink on Copic XPress It paper. Colors used:
Skin: E000, E00, E11, R20 (cheeks), then a sepia multiliner pen for his freckles
Hair: E31, E29, E25
Shirt: Y11, Y13, Y15
Hat, Pants, Shoes: N0, N1, N3, N5, N7
Heart: R25, R27, R29, R0000
Grass: YG67, G24
Sky: Very lightly chalked with blue chalk (hard to see in this pic, but it's there, I promise)

This card is for the following challenges:
Sketch 257 at Mojo Monday
Sparkle at Oozak: I used copic spica pens on the image (the airplane on his t-shirt), and added some blingy gems in the upper left above the image and in the heart
Fall colors at One Sweet Challenge and Cute Card Thursday: lots of yellow/gold!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Yeah, I'm a pokebutt for my own challenge

Sorry that my post for Guylou's Inimitability is so late this time around! What makes it even worse is that it's my challenge this time. I think I just need to get back into the groove of creating and posting and all of that hunky dory stuff. I apologize for the delay and promise to try to get my stuff together on time for our next challenge, which will be hosted by my fun teamie, Trina.

While you wait for Trina's challenge, how about taking a shot at mine? The challenge this time around at Guylou's Inimitability is an ABC Primer challenge. Basically, to enter the challenge, make a project with Apple red, Bling, and at least one Charm and post it to Guylou's Inimitability by September 20th. Details on the GI blog.

Guylou, being her usual generous self, is also giving away a freebie for 48 hours! Go check it all out at the site. Come on, do it.

Oh, wait. Are you waiting for me to actually post my card? Ok, here goes:
I used Leah because she is one of my favorite characters. I just love her sweet face, I think. As always, thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Oops, sorry!

If you're here looking for my Guylou's Inimitability project, I'm sorry about that. I forgot to post it last night and I don't have the image saved here at work. I'll come back to my blog later tonight, after I get home from errands and the gym. Please come back this weekend and check it out!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Missing the little guy already

As I mentioned in my last post, two of my aunts lost their furbabies in the last 10 days or so. This past Friday, my Aunt Connie lost her rescue dog, Tigger. He picked her. Literally. He was running up and down the road. A bunch of cars stopped to try to catch him so he didn't get hit. When my aunt opened her car door, he hopped right in and jumped into her lap before she even had a chance to exit the car. She did everything the state required to find his owner, but no one came forward. When he found her, Tigger was in a mess: he was underweight and extremely dirty. She took him to the vet for a check-up, where more than half of his teeth had to be removed. He was a bit food aggressive, but otherwise, one of the sweetest dogs you'd ever want to meet. He went on vacations with my aunt and uncle. In fact, the pic on the card is from a vacation we took to Myrtle Beach. Tigger lived with my aunt, uncle, and grandma for several years before his passing. I miss the little guy already! He had this way of prancing that cracked me up.

This is the card I made for my aunt. And before anyone says it, yes, Tigger was a boy. But pink is my aunt's fave color, and Tigger had a pink towel that he snuggled in. Anyway, I printed a pic of Tigger on linen canvas from CTMH. The background is a doily I got in a lot on ebay. I scrunched up some lace kindly given to me by a friend's mother-in-law, added a button and a prima flower, matted some cardstock and tied twine around it (you can just see a bit of it in the bottom left corner), wrote a note inside, and it's ready to find its way into the mail.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Whoa, that was a heck of a hiatus

Sorry about that. Not that anyone noticed! LOL. I haven't been creating at all. Tonight was the first night that I plopped my fluffy butt at my scrap desk in ages. Unfortunately, it wasn't to make a fun, happy card. Two of my aunts lost their dogs in the last week and a half. First, my Aunt Fleabites' dog Bear died from lung cancer. Then my Aunt Connie's dog Tigger's kidneys failed and she had to make the tough decision to put him down on Friday. I know from personal experience how hard it is to lose our children in the fur coats. I still miss my cat Boo (a.k.a. Wolhemina Pretty Face - don't ask), even though she's been gone since 2006. Anyway, I wanted to send cards to both of them, to let them know I was thinking of them and sending them a hug.

This is the first card, for my Aunt Freda (Fleabites).

Papers are Memory Box "Minuet". Image is a Magnolia stamp, stamped in black Memento ink on Cryogen and colored with copics. The ribbon is just some stuff I got at Michael's. I used baby blue liquid pearls because I couldn't find any light blue pearls in my stash (I know, surprising, right? Especially given that I have a HUGE stash).

For once, I didn't use an image I had precolored, so I can tell you the copics I used. Here goes:
Skin: E11, E00, E000, R20 for cheeks
Hair and puppy: E25, E31, E50
Shirt: Y15, Y11, Y000, RV23, RV21, RV000
Jumper: G24, G21, YG11
Shoes: E25, E23, E31

Now I have to make a card for my other aunt. I'm trying to decide if I want to use a stamp or a really cute pic I have of her dog.

I hope it doesn't take me forever to post again. I've got a crop next weekend, plus some events coming up for which I'll need cards, so you might actually see me again before too long!

Saturday, July 14, 2012


No, this isn't about the movie "The Fantastic Four", which I have never seen. The title just came to me because I managed to complete five cards today, and to me, well, that is fantastic. I went to my first ever crop to benefit Soldier's Angels. I met several wonderful women there, and had a blast crafting with them. It was really fun to sit with Karen, Darlene, and Tara. I met them for the first time today. We were all working on different things and it was so interesting to talk to them about their projects and lives. What a great group of women. Karen was making dolls and she made me one with a cute little strawberry dress. I love her! Pictures to come later for that.

As usual, I spent so much time socializing, shopping, and organizing that I didn't do much else. Well, except make five cards. At first, I was really irritated with my lack of productivity. After all, I used images I had colored ages ago, so it's not like I had to take time to color (which takes me forever). My fellow crafters made me see that I got a lot done. I made new friends, organized some stuff that had been sitting as a mess for ages, and made cards for five soldiers to use when sending notes home. I decided that I'll take that and be happy about it.

Here are the cards I made (sorry if the pics are blurry or a bit dull. I didn't really focus on getting good shots before turning them in):

I deliberately didn't take much with me in the way of embellishments: just some ribbon, lace, twine, pearls and a tiny bit of bling. No flowers or anything that would add too much dimension. I tried to keep in mind that these cards will be shipped multiple times: once to the Soldier's Angels headquarters to be added to care packages, then to the soldier, then from the soldier to his/her family. I figured flat cards would be better for packing as well as durability. It's usually really hard for me to keep my cards so embellishment-free and flat, but today, it seemed to flow. I think being around all of those other crafters who were also there to support the soldiers and enjoy a day together might have turned on my mojo! What do you think? What makes your mojo flow?

Friday, July 13, 2012

You don't really want to hear me sing

So, the challenge at Guylou's Inimitability is to include something related to music or dance. My DT buddy Carla came up with the idea. She's always so chipper and happy, it's no wonder she came up with such a joyful theme. Me, I can be a bit of a cranker. Plus, I can't dance. I have no rhythym whatsoever. Furthermore, I can't sing to save my life. I mean, it's bad. People covering their ears and running bad. If I sent one of my friends or family a card that made them in any way think of me singing, they'd probably cringe instead of enjoy it. So needless to say, I didn't want to go with any images of someone with a microphone, although G has quite a few wonderful ones in her store (go check it out!). Instead, I decided to use music note paper and a bird, because everyone knows that birds sing all pretty-like. Except when they are sqwuaking (or however you spell that word. You get the gist). Then they sound like me.
I'm going to apologize now if there's spacing issues or anything once I inserted the pic. My computer at work (where I am posting from...shh...) seems to hate Blogger. I can only see half of the screen, so I'm working kind of blind here. Because of that, I'm going to stop this post now. You have until July 26th to enter the challenge. Head on over to Guylou's Inimitability for more details about the challenge, and you can also check out my sidebar for links to the blogs of my fab DT mates!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Birthdays, birthdays, and more birthdays!

Seems like I'm making more birthday cards this summer. I'm not quite sure why that is, given that I've known all of these people for ages and it's not like their birthday dates have changed! I think it just seems that way because I haven't had as much time to create (or energy/mojo, for that matter). So, then it hits the last minute and I'm like, "crap! I forgot! I have to make a card for.." Tomorrow is both my Aunt Connie and my brother-in-law's birthdays. This time, I made their cards and forgot to mail them. I can't win.

The first card is for my brother-in-law, who likes funny cards. He makes it a point every year to get me a card that makes me laugh and loves when I make him a funny card. He's one of those people that gets upset if I don't make his card and brags about my cards to people. With someone who likes and appreciates your creations so much, how could you not make him a card each birthday, right? Anyway, the inside sentiment says, "You're only young once, but you can be immature for a lifetime." This card is for the following challenges: Mo's Digi Pencil Too (DP2): anything goes with a Mo image and Papertake Weekly: Anything goes

And this one is for my Aunt Connie. She had an encounter with a moose on a trip once, so moose images are always a hit with her. I used liquid applique on the cupcake icing and colored the image with copics. Papers are Echo Park. The ribbon for the bow came from a lanyard I got at an event. This card is for the following challenges: Oozak: Bright colors and Paperplay challenges: birthday!
As always, thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you are having a wonderful summer!

Friday, June 29, 2012

I'm a girlie girl. I want a string of pearls.

First off, sorry I'm not around much lately. I have been spending so much time on the road that I haven't been home enough to create. When I am home, I get caught up in other things that need doing or just don't have any energy left to put into crafting. I'm hoping things slow down in August. July looks to be another crazy busy month, but I've got lots of fun things coming up. Secondly, it's time for another challenge at Guylou's. I admit that I'm a bit of a girlie girl. Yeah, I have done the firefighter thing, and every time I got dirty after a drill or something, I wanted to run home and shower. I don't like digging in gardens, cooking with flour (well, any cooking, for that matter), working on cars, doing any household projects that involve getting get the gist. The only kind of messy I like is the kind that comes from playing in my craft room and letting the ink and glue fly. So, this latest girlie challenge "swirls and pearls" is right up my alley. Oh, yeah, I think I mentioned in my title about wanting a string of pearls. I love pearls. Rick got me a freshwater pearl and sapphire necklace for our one year dating anniversary. For our one year wedding anniversary, he bought me pearl earrings. I'd love to have a strand of the big, round fat daddy pearls, too. Now that Rick's passed away, I might just have to get them myself, and call them a gift from my girls. Cats love their mommas and want to buy for them, too, right?!? I'm digressing again, aren't I? Where was I? Oh, yeah, my card. Here you go:
I used Leah and the ice cream cone and just cropped her down to fit on my card. The cone has liquid applique as the ice cream (chocolate...yum....). The full sentiment is "Here's to Birthdays, hope we live to be 110 pounds!" Paper is American Crafts. Pearls and ribbon are from my stash. I cut the curlique with a spellbinders die. Don't ask me which one, because I don't keep the packaging. Well, okay, you can ask me, but I can't tell you because I have no earthly idea.

Challenge details:

You have until July 12th at 10 pm EST to enter a project using the "swirls and pearls" theme at Guylou's Inimitability. Easy peasy, right? You could win a gift card and a chance to be a designer on an upcoming challenge! And while you're at it, check out the work of my fellow DT members (links in my sidebar). They've got some great stuff to show you!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Kraftin' clean and simple style

Time for another challenge at Guylou's Inimitability! I swear, my fellow DT members take this "challenge" word entirely too seriously. They really, really end up challenging me every two weeks, I'm telling you! This time around, Kim decided to make us practice our CAS (clean and simple) styling again. Plus, she added the twist that we have to use kraft paper. Now, I'm okay with that part of it. I love kraft paper and I'm having fun learning how to color on it. However, CAS just isn't my thing. Frankly, I suck at it. I am always in awe of those crafters who have this style mastered, because it really is difficult. In fact, it's a misnomer. It's not simple at all!!! Ok, enough whining.

I needed a card for a dear friend who's going through some tough times. I saw this sentiment on a card somewhere and have been dying to use it. I figured this image was perfect for it. What do you think?
It's a little card, only about 4.5 x 4.5 or so. I didn't need a big card to write out a quick little note. I colored the paint with copics and added some glossy accents to make it shiny.

Now, please show me some examples of your kraft and CAS style, because I really need the inspiration!!! Upload your creation to Guylou's Inimitability by June 28th and you could win a gift card to her store. Pretty please - just do it! I really need the inspiration, people. Really.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Just a few layouts

I went to the crop at my aunt's house last Saturday. I couldn't seem to get in scrappy mode to pack for it, so I just tossed a bunch of stuff in my Creative Memories cart (love that thing!). I didn't get much crafty stuff done in the nine hours I was there: 3 layouts, started a fourth, and colored 3 images. However, I did laugh so hard I almost peed my pants, drank a few strawberry margaritas, had a yummy crabcake dinner, and visited with family. I played with my cousin's Cricut, apparently tried to break it, and then ran away like it wasn't me. Oh, wait. It wasn't me. It was my other cousin who cut so much the blade got dull and the sticky on the mat went kaput. Ha! For once, it was not my fault. Oh yeah, and in the midst of all of that, I got hit on twice: once while in traffic on the way to her house and once at the Petco on the way home. My aunt's response to that? "Well, you're an attractive young lady and the men in this county are perverts." Too funny! I think I liked being called young even more than being called attractive. Not so sure what I think about the idea that it's perverts hitting on me, but I'll ignore that part.

Here's what I finished:
This one is about the Steiff, Hermann and artist animals I brought home from my trip to Germany last year. Note the use of my tag that I made for Guylou's last challenge. I knew I'd fit that thing on something!

 The above is my brother-in-law's first Easter, and this one is the pictures taken when I finally met my online friend Sara in person. Not one picture turned out well, but I still treasure them because they represent our first official "meeting". Love that girl!

 And here's the scrapping girls from that Saturday. My cousins Kim and Tina, my Aunt Connie, and goofball me (also pictured below after I'd already downed my first yummy margarita!). Now if I could just find the time and mojo to scrap some more. I would love to make some cards for Operation Write Home, plus I've got birthdays coming up this summer that need cards. Instead, I'm headed to the movies with my mom, my brother, and two of his kids to see "Men in Black 3". Maybe the movie will inspire me to use some of my cute alien stamps....

Friday, June 1, 2012

TAG, you're it!

It's time for another challenge at Guylou's Inimitability. This one's easy peasy for most, but not so much for me. All you gotta do is make a tag. That's all. For some reason, this teeny, tiny task always gets blown out of proportion for me. I just have a hard time making them. This time, though, everything seemed to come together. I picked my image, found some fabric and fun embellishments, and broke out my new distress markers to color. They will definitely take some practice!!! I'm so used to copics, and these are a whole different animal altogether. Anyway, here's what I've got:

I used Nounours, printed him on watercolor paper, colored with distress markers, and added glossy accents to his nose and eyes. The tag was cut with a Magnolia doohickey die. Fabric is from my stash. The button ringed in brown is an antique one that I got in a lot in Gettysburg. For once, that's all I've got to say. I know, you are not used to short posts from me, are you? Now it's your turn. Go make a tag and post it to Guylou's Inimitability. Details are on the blog.

I'd like to enter this card in the Cutie Pie Challenge Blog to use punches or die cuts. The tag itself is a die from Magnolia. The key printed tissue paper behind the bear was punched with a Creative Memories square stamp-looking punch. I can't remember what it's called; I've had it for what seems like a gazillion years!