Thursday, December 21, 2017

Christmas with Mari Ko creations and more

It's official. I'm terrible about this Christmas card thing. Every year, I buy more stamps; I buy more stamps than I could possibly use on several years' worth of Christmas cards. I buy paper. I buy embellishments. I plan cards. I make lists of where I'll send them. I color images (or at least stamp them off). That, my friends, is where it stops. If I get ten cards together, I'm lucky. I don't know what's happening with me. Maybe it's the holiday hubbub and getting caught up in other stuff. This year, I could even use the excuse that the need for sympathy cards jumped to the top of the list (unfortunately). It's just an excuse, though. I need to admit it. Here. Publicly. I am terrible about the Christmas card thing. I wholeheartedly suck at it.

That being said, I did manage a few this year. I joined a few swaps and a card was a requirement, so I knocked some out for that. I also wanted to play with my box card die from Lawn Fawn. I needed to make some cards for the Mari Ko DT (always fun to do). Every single image I used on the below cards was new to me this year. I have images from last year (and years prior) that I have yet to use, but everyone needs something new, right? lol

Here goes:

Let's start with this little guy because...Oh my. How stinkin' cute. This is an adorable little Unicorn from Mari Ko creations. You can find her right here. I colored her up with copics, adding Journey Glaze to her eyes and the lights. I did the background with Distress Inks (I need more oxides. It's a NEED, I tell you!). I wanted to keep her kind of simple. I think I managed that, although it's difficult for me.

While working with Mari Ko's images already, I decided I just had to throw another one into the mix.
The front closes so it looks like an iphone case. lol. Again, rather simple but hopefully effective and fun for the recipient.

I placed an order with CC Designs this year. They have some of my favorite images right now. Beyond precious stuff over there. Go see here.
This one was for one of my secret sister swaps. I wanted to make a little snow scene like these cuties were playing in the snow together. They were so easy to color and I love their little frolicking selves. What's not to love about them? You know you need them. They have so many cute Christmas images over there. I might have bought a few more (or maybe more than a few).

Then I had another secret sister. She's big into camping. I mean, loves it! I didn't have any camping stamps. At first, nothing grabbed me when I hit the great and powerful Google. And then....

Come on! Look at him!!!! He's roasting marshmallows with his own fire. It's no secret that I love cutesy dragon images. I have loved dragons since I was young (I'm going to digress here, but hello, Game of Thrones and dragon awesomeness). I pulled out some pink and green Christmas paper and embellies, and went to town with him. I just love him! He is calling to me to try a black or purple dragon. Maybe dark grey with purple stripes?!?! My brother's birthday is on Jan 3. He is also a huge dragon fan. Hmmmmmm.....

And finally, I pulled out my Lawn Fawn scalloped box die. I am so in love with it that I haven't even used my magic slider or shadow box dies yet. They're calling out to me from their packages! I made four of these guys, just moving the characters around a bit. They are from a set at Simon Says Stamp. Take a peek:

If you read through this whole long post, I am impressed and appreciative. Thank you so much for taking the time. Merry Christmas. Happy holidays! I hope your days are full of love, family, friends and laughter. Oh, and crafty goodness!!! Yay for crafty goodness!!!!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Well, hey there, foxy mama!

Just a few more days and it will be time for our first ever challenge at Mari Ko Creations! I am so stoked. Oh, wait. Guess I need to tell you a bit about this new company, huh? My dear friend Mari has started a digi stamp company with a variety of images. She's got foxes, snowmen, flowers, sentiments, and then some in her etsy shop. The prices are super reasonable, too. I get the pleasure and privilege to be on her Design Team. This is going to be so much fun!

For our first challenge, it's Anything Goes. Easy peasy, right? Only thing you gotta do is use her mama fox and baby image. It's so cute, it won't be hard to use. Plus, you get it for $1 HERE. You can find a buck. I know you can.

Here's what I did with it.
I am on a shadow box/diorama kick lately. This is my second one and I am having so much fun. It's hard to tell in the pic, but the papers bow out; it's not flat across like a tv. Mama fox and her baby are featured right in front. Then I added in some foxes with their pumpkins and plain old pumpkins behind them. I colored everything with copics: C00, E07, E08, E21 - 25, E33, E37, YR 07, YR12 and YR14. This is the first time I've colored pumpkins with four or five different colors. How did I do?

Mari's going to sponsor a new challenge every two weeks. This first one will run November 5 - 18. The image is available NOW, though, so you can start working on your project. Go on, go get it! Upload your card to the Mari Ko Creations Facebook page for a chance to win. Come on, you know you wanna.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Look what I made with my t-rex arms!

Tomorrow, Dave has another birthday. You know, that annual thing. He doesn't like to make a big deal out of his day. He's one of those people who genuinely hates when you give him gifts for his birthday or spend your money on him, but he loves when I make him a card. He keeps them all.

He loves monkeys so my original plan was to make him a monkey-themed card. I even bought a special stamp set and some paper for it. Then I found this stamp set and it screamed at me to make a card for Dave. T-Rex Love is an adorable set from Fun Stamper's Journey. I guess I should explain why it called to me, huh? Suffice it to say that Dave tells me that I have T-Rex arms. It's a standing joke between us that when it comes time to pay at restaurants, my arms miraculously get shorter so I can't reach the check. Of course, he'll fail to mention that's because he won't let me pay, anyway, but that's beside the point. Now the joke has extended over into our daily lives. I can't reach something? It's my T-Rex arms. I can't carry something? It's my T-Rex arms. You get the picture.

I wanted to do something a little different. Lawn Fawn has this amazing new shadowbox die but unfortunately, I don't own it (yet). I did some searching, found a tutorial, and voila! A diorama card. Check it out:

Now, it's hard to get a good picture of it because of the dimension, so shadows got thrown all over the place. Sorry about that. I used some distress inks to make the background sky and I love how it turned out. I used loads of die cuts, copics to color the dinos and bees, and tons upon tons of red sticky tape to make sure this sucker doesn't come unhinged. So much fun! I'm already planning my next card in my head. Your turn. Stop playing and go get crafty! (thanks for reading my blog first, though. lol)

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Spacey Birthday

I've had distress inks for years. I mean, since they first came out kind of years. I'll admit that I haven't done much with them. That is, until all of these cool tutorials started popping up for backgrounds. I even took time to watch some videos (I don't have much patience for them unless they get right to the point. Kind of ironic and hypocritical of me, honestly).

Let me set the scene: it was late at night, though you might not know it because of my bright-as-the-sun Ott lite. I decided it was the perfect time to get inky, so I gathered my supplies. Well, I tried. I realized I didn't have any white acrylic paint to make a good splatter of stars. I figured it wasn't a big deal. I have a white sharpie. I'm an idiot.

My space background was looking pretty wicked, if I do say so myself. Then came the Sharpie. Damn the Sharpie.
Look at what I did to my pretty space background! Well, that just didn't go as planned. I took some time to sulk (said time also included messaging the pic to two crafty friends to whine). Then I took it to a crop and decided to make the best of it.

I figured a shaker card would hide some of the awful. I yanked out my My Favorite Things set and got to work. My brother will now get this card for his birthday:
And he'll like it. Dammit.

P.S. this cutie is for the MFT color 72 challenge, which you can find HERE.

Friday, June 2, 2017

I guess sometimes thank yous are sad

So, I was going to go into this long post about my furry children. I started to type it. I got two paragraphs in and realized, "dumbass. You're at work and crying here is not cool. Not cool at all" and so, I decided to delete all of that and just keep it simple. Isn't that some kind of acronym or something? KISS: Keep it simple, stupid. Yeah, I think that's it. So, here's me, keeping it simple. I will not comment again on the stupid part.

We lost one of our precious kitties back in April. Sophie became gravely ill to the point that the treatments would only prolong her misery and we had to make that awful decision to let her cross the Rainbow Bridge. She was only 11 and I miss that affectionate, crazy, sweet, smart, playful cat. Here she is, in a photo taken on her last day here on Earth:
She spent most of the day in bed with me (that big hump behind her is my rather large knee!) and then we made the trip to the vet that evening.

Her vet is amazing. Seriously amazing. So knowledgeable and skilled. So friendly and patient. The best part? She obviously chose the field because she loves animals (especially cats)...and still takes the time to show them that love whenever they come visit her. I know that sounds weird. I mean, what vet doesn't love animals? I assume that all (or at least most) of them do, but some just become jaded over time or just get so busy that they forget their patients need attention, too. Not Dr. Wozniak. She was stroking Sophie's fur, rubbing under her chin (a fave spot), and basically loving on her the whole time she was talking to us. Sophie was calm with her, not trying to get away or pissing herself in fear like she did with the last vet. I know it was hard for her to administer that injection.I could see that all over her face. She did it with compassion, though. Shit. I'm crying at work. Ok...back in a minute.

I'm back (it's been a few minutes, but hard for you to tell in blog land, I know). So, anyhow, I made Dr. Wozniak and her wonderful staff a thank you card. She has a hard job. I know it's rewarding at times, but sometimes, it just sucks. I wanted to thank them for all that they did...and still do...for our babies. So, I colored up this angel from the extremely talented Mo Manning. It's not my best coloring job, but I think it was appreciated. One of these days, I'll finish one class at Kit and Clowder so I can finally take another. I'm working on Skin and Hair. I've been working on it for over a year. I'm slow like that.
I love this image. I colored her with copics and tried to make her kitty look at least somewhat siamese. Her wings are blingy, but it's hard to tell in the photo.

That's all I've got for today. Thanks for taking the time to stop by, and if you made it to the end of my sad post, thanks for that, too. I think I failed at the KISS part, though. Not surprising, is it?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Eeek!!! I tried mixed media!!!

Ok, so I attended a wonderful, fun, informative retreat for Kit and Clowder way back in 2015. I made some amazing friends and learned way more than I could fit in my little brain. One thing we tackled was a mixed media project. I love how it came out and have it in my office now. I get so many compliments on it, but I was just too scared to try it on my own. Fast forward to earlier this year, when I joined a swap. Among other things, we had to make a gift to send. Yes, make it. And it couldn't be a card. Well, hell. What was I supposed to do? I searched pinterest. I bought a crap ton of supplies to make a button picture. I just couldn't get into it. Every time I looked at those supplies, nothing came to me. Nothing except dread, that is. In one of my many shopping expeditions, I came across these frames in the $1 bin at Michaels. The wheels started spinning. I went home and yanked out the lovely box of mixed media supplies from the retreat (let's be honest...I might have, maybe...I could have...bought quite a few more things to fill up that box. lol). Then I started playing. My secret sister swap recipient has a beach-themed craft room, in shades of aquamarine/turquoise, so I pulled out those colors first. Have I said yet how much I LOVE the Lindy's stamp sprays? You know, to the point that I went from owning one set to owning maybe 25 bottles?!? Many layers of gesso, stencils with texture paste, sprays and embellishment later, this is what she got:

It's hard to tell in the pic, but this thing is all shimmery. She said it shimmers "like mermaid scales." Well, alright then! Success! It's mainly turquoise with some gold overlay here and there. Here are a couple close ups:

 You can really see the gold here, and that big honkin' container of gesso. I used a coupon to get that from AC Moore for 50% off. Woot woot!

The word is a wooden one, and then I used some flat-backed pearls and rhinestones.

And then we have dolphins, seashells, crabs, flowers, and starfish, oh my! All embellies were adhered with e6000. That stuff holds anything. It's my new favorite. Thanks to my buddy Karen for introducing me to the miracle of it.

So, that's all I've got for you today. I've added some more goodies to my mixed media box, in anticipation of my next project. Ok, you caught me. It's no longer one box. It has expanded to fill three drawers. I'm a craft collector, what can I say?

Monday, March 6, 2017

Hanging with friends, the human kind

The purpose of this blog isn't to bring anyone down, so I'll make the sad part short (although this news is nothing close to sweet). We found out on Friday that one of our kitties isn't doing well, and she probably won't make it through the year. I am not handling it well at all; my cats are my babies. Anyone who knows me knows how crazy I am about them. Sophie was sleeping all day and I needed some distraction; I got it in the form of a crop with some new friends. My buddy Kelly (KraftinKelly) invited me to a crop near Philly, so I took the drive. It turned out to be a great choice. I had a blast; I laughed so hard that I literally came close to peeing my pants on a few occasions. Let me just say: jelly belly is entirely too good at flavored jelly beans, and you do not want to play BeanBoozled if certain tastes make you sick. I was tasting "vomit" and "rotten fish" jelly belly aftertaste the whole two hour drive home! EW. On the plus side, I woke up Sunday morning and spent an hour and a half loving on my girl, until she did the typical cat thing and got bored with me.

I wasn't super productive at the crop, but I got a few things done. Prepare for a bit of picture overload (fyi, as usual, all images are colored with copics and I was too lazy to note the colors I used). Here goes:

This cutie is called Daisy Fairie Marci, from La La Land Crafts. I think she might be retired now, though. She's for a dear friend who is going through some rough times right now, and I just want her to know that I'm thinking of her. My friend loves fairies and has a fairy garden, so she seemed perfect for her.

Another La La Land image, because I just love them. Also another card for a wonderful friend going through some hard times. Her issues are similar to mine, unfortunately. She has some sick furry babies at home. I wanted to send her some happy mail to give her a paper hug. To keep the La La Land love going:

Now, this one is kind of different than the others, because I tried something new. There's an amazing tutorial on the La La Land blog on how to make this fun rose pattern. So, I downloaded the digi of Lovely Marci (she really is lovely) and gave it a shot. You should try, too! It's so much easier than it looks! Thanks, Debbie, for the awesome tutorial. This was my first time using my new leaf dies from My Favorite Things, too. I love them because you can layer them or use them alone. It's hard to tell from this pic, but the one behind the red rose is popped up for some dimension.

And last but not least:
For this one, the image is Some Odd Girl's Crazy Love Tia. I tried to color her with long blonde hair and my girls are sealpoint siamese. Their tails only get fluffy like that when they're fighting, though. lol.

That's all from me today. I figure I've bugged you enough! I made more card kits and just never finished them at this crop. I was too distracted by new friends, laughter, BeanBoozled, Catchphrase, and yummy food. I figure those are all nice distractions, right?!?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Celebrating Birthdays with the Greeting Farm

I promised to be better about updating this blog, so here I am, just about a week after my last post. Yay, me (throwing arms up in the air)!

So, I went to a crop last Saturday. It's the crop to benefit Soldier's Angels. I go with my Aunt Connie and our friend, Angela. I came armed with my list of cards I needed to make for next month. I even managed to knock out most of them (I'm having a party for myself over here!).

Two cards I needed are for the same day; a birthday for twins. Virginia and Gianna came into my life 5 or 6 years ago. They're turning 11 this year. Though they may look alike, these two girls are so different! Therefore, I made their cards differently, too. Wanna see?

If you said "no", we'll, too late! Here they are:

As always, thanks for stopping by! I hope your day turns out to be fabulous and crafty.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Look, it's me again!

Are you shocked? I don't blog in AGES and then come back here with three (four? I lost count) posts in less than 2 months. Shocker, I know. I'm trying, though. I promise, I'm trying. I've been crafting like a madwoman but didn't take the time to upload any of it here, although you can find most of it on Pinterest.

Anyway, let's get down to it. Today, I have a new card to show you. I'm super excited because it challenged me to work with more limited supplies than usual. I have a craft room. Yes, I am spoiled. Friends have compared my craft room to a well-stocked store (so why does it always feel like I never have what I need?). Unfortunately, my craft room is currently under siege by a nine pound, howling, ticked off siamese cat. She had radioactive iodine treatment for hyperthyroidism and needs to be in isolation, so I can't spend more than a half hour total with her per day (insert huge sad face here, with hysterical tears). I can finally free her on Wednesday night! Woot woot.

I digress. Back to it. I had packed up a bunch of stuff for a crop this weekend, including my copics and some pre-stamped images. I was a coloring fool on Saturday and one image just called to me to be put on a card. Check him out:
Isn't he cute? This guy is called Dragon Luka. He's a fave of mine from La La Land Crafts, and you can find him right HERE. You'd better hurry, though. He's on the retirement list and once he is gone, he's gone. Who would want to miss out on this adorable little guy?!? He just calls out to be colored up, doesn't he? I used copics, of course.
Costume: YR12, YR15, YR18 and YR20, with paws, claws, spots and horns in BG09, BG07, BG05, BG02 (spots are also highlighted with glossy accents). His skin is in my usual combo: E000, E00, E04, E11, E21 and cheeks are R20. 

I colored lots of La La Land images recently, but he's the one who was calling to me. These guys are waiting to go on a card yet:
I know you're not surprised that this post is long. Everyone knows what a chatterbox I can be. I should shut up now, though, and just get to the card. Again, I had limited supplies. My die-cutting machines (including my Scan N Cut and my Cuttlebug and Grand Calibur) were all upstairs, locked away from me. My button collection is upstairs. I basically had to make do with what I had in my crop bag. All of those excuses have now been vocalized, so I can also say that I am very happy with how this guy turned out. I think I need to challenge myself more often!!!
Tell me, what do you think? I appreciate any feedback; it only makes a person better. Have an awesome, inky day, and thanks for stopping by.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Getting all Zombie-fied, Walking Dead style

So, if you know me, you know I'm a big Walking Dead fan. I hesitated to watch it. Yes, that's true. I didn't get the love of all things zombie. I was pretty much coerced, pushed, and shoved down in front of the tv by the well-meaning words of friends and family. Turns out, they knew better than me what I'd like (shh...don't TELL them!). I was hooked from episode 2. Yeah, epi 1 didn't grab me as much as the second one did. And then I was off and binge-watching to catch up. Now I'm one of those people watching the calendar, wondering when I will once again get to feel my heart go pitter patter for Daryl Dixon.

Yes. Daryl Dixon. The one who is totally not my type. Until the episode where he gave Carol the Cherokee Rose, that is. That did it. The heart did that pitter patter thing, then melted all over the place, and it was just a huge mess to clean up. Well, my friend and her daughter are also fans of the hunky Daryl, so when I saw this image by Krista of Saturated Canary, I had to have her. Check her out:
I love her. Love her! She's called "Arrow Zombie" and to me, is a huge nod to the man, Daryl Dixon. Well, yeah...her shirt even says so. I colored this beauty with copics. The sad news is that Krista's store is no more. I feel so blessed that I grabbed her before the shop closed it's internet "doors." She makes me smile with her creepy cuteness. Is that a thing?!?

Let's see, what else can I tell you? I snagged the burlap flower at Hobby Lobby. The radioactive hazard paper is Recollections, and I think the zombie sticker is, too. I threw some cheesecloth on there and used black Nuvo drops. I made this card a few months ago, so I'm sorry I can't be more specific. As usual, I'm late to the party of posting. Sigh. What else is new?!?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Saying Goodbye

I've always found sympathy cards to be so difficult to make. When you knew the person and saw them somewhat frequently, it isn't just difficult; it's gut wrenching. It's a punch direct to the heart. The whole time you're making it, you're trying so hard not to think about what it means that you have to make this card. You're trying not to think about the hell his family are going through. Well, in this case, that's what happened for me. A coworker recently passed. He was young (48) and left behind a wife and two children. I wanted to send them a card to show just how much I cared about him. Well, let me just show it to you before I get all teary-eyed and can no longer see the tiny print on my phone. Here goes: