Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Guess who is DIRTY?!!

.....with inky fingers that is!! BWHHAAAAA!!

I'm still trying to get all the Dare to Get Dirty Challenges done. Today, I had SEVERAL ideas in my head. Guess what? The card I made isn't ONE of them!! I don't know if I got stage fright from all the bright lights going off in my head or what~~but for the life of me, I couldn't get my FABULOUS ideas onto paper today. I had a TOTALLY different idea for the sketch layout that I wanted to use. But, finally, I just let it go and this is what came out instead.

(UGGGHHH!! Why does the pic look blurry here?!! Believe me~~it was sharp when I previewed it!!.....moving on......just move on.....)

This card is for the sketch challenge posted by Susan (aka Rainy). It also covers the make your own designer paper, using punches/dies and blue embellishments. For those of you who like to pretend you are the challenge police~~YES!! I know that I flip the sentiment layer. YES!! I know that I didn't put on the "ribbon" layer. But, ya know what?!! You will just have to give me a ticket because this is what came out after spending all day fighting my brain. Sooooo there (hehe).

I used alcohol inks on glossy white paper to make my background paper that I used to punch out the butterflies (the small butterflies are made using the Martha Stewart punch. The large butterfly was made using SU's exclusive Beautiful Butterflies die and the black layer is textured black paper). I then chose to use Tempting Turquoise as my base for my card, but I did some sponging with Distress inks in broken china. Since I used my sponge that had a little bit of peeled paint distress ink...there is a very slight tint of the green IRL. The make your own dp was then completed with the use of some Cherished Memories Rub Ons that SU retired (sometimes it pays not to clean up your area!!). I then dyed two half-backed pearls from the Pretties kit using the alcohol inks in a little zip lock bag. There is very slight sponging in the broken china along the edge of the textured white panel but it is hard to see in the picture.

The "twisted" sentiment is on dimensionals and is also a rub on from the same Cherished memories rub on set.

This is a little "busier" look for me, but I rather like all the subtle colors in this. And of course I like all the dimension (another card that will probably have to be hand delivered)

ok....off to get youngest ready for swim lessons (DRATS!! DH came home early!! Now, how in the world am I suppose to pretend that I was busy doing housework all day?!!)

hehe....have a good one! (I'm soooo busted! LOL!)

Monday, July 27, 2009


I'm still trying to play in SCS Dare To Get Dirty challenges. While cruising blogs last night, I came across this wonderful creation on the Cosmo Cricket blog by Natasja. It was the perfect inspiration to get a few more challenges done!! This card combines a sketch, texture, non-traditional sized card, paper tole and a color challenge to use black and white with only about 15% red. And if I stretch....the challenge to use dies/punches.
This card actually started out to be a wedding card. BUT!! In all my "hoarding" goodies, I did not have ONE STINKIN' wedding sentiment that the style of this card. I even drug out some stickers~~but NOOOOO!!! All my stickers seem to be geared towards little boy layout/projects (go figure). So, I had to change this card to an anniversary card. Only I don't think that I would ever give this to my DH. Too frou~frou for us. Now to find someone who will appreciate all the pretties on this!! hehe
This is a 6x6 square card (good thing this would require a "box" to give....don't think I'd ever find an envie to fit it!!). I used SU's 12x12 textured white for my base. Then I cuttlebugged the background squares from more of the textured cs. I made my roses out of real red and whisper white card stock (I just drew my spirals like Natasja shows on her video). I had in my head three of each color to represent past, present and future joining together (you know, like the anniversary rings that you'll see in magazines?! This was when the card was still a wedding card. But I guess it could represent the same on an anniversary card). The leaves are free hand cut (that does not sound proper) from scraps of the textured CS. Then I got out my favorite embellishment of late~~my Pretties Kit (I'm going to have to buy a new kit pretty soon at this rate of use!!) and strung the pearls and baubles on silver 26 gauge wire. The scalloped black circle and large white circle were cut using my Spellbinders nestabilities dies. The sentiment is a rub on from the retired Cherished Memories rub on set. In all honesty, I will keep my eye out for another sentiment/style that I like better and will probably replace this. I really don't like it, but again~~I had nothing that was even REMOTELY close to what I had in my head for this!! Everything is adhered with glue dots.
Despite the so-so sentiment layer, I am pleased with how this came out overall.
Ok!! Now that I've totally made my craft area a disaster zone, I'm going to ignore this mess and try and get the needed fixings for dinner going in the crock pot.
Hope your week is starting out grand!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Taking Dares

This Thursday started the Dare to Get Dirty challenges on SCS. Each day thru Saturday, eight challenges will be hosted by previous/current Dirty Gals. Welllllll......................I will admit that there is a teeny tiny person inside me who would love to be a Dirty Girl on SCS (ok...she is probably bigger than I'd like to admit, but I'm all for denial of my weight!! hehe). So, I had to pull out that inner dirty girl and play!

I wish I had time to do each challenge separately, but reality is: that is just soooo not happening!!

So I straining my brain I came up with a project that includes 7 of the 16 challenges already posted (if I really s...t....r...e...t...c...h....e...d I could get two more in on the list, but I really consider that cheating in my case as I know the challenge was meant a little differently!!)

Here's the list (condensed) that I completed so far: Tag art (using tags in the creation), Making it clear (as in transparency sheets/windows etc), Creative Packaging using premade or invented boxes/bags, Using Wings (butterflies, angels, birds, etc), Food related creation (packaging, displaying recipes, etc) and Use of Texture (embossing folders, embossing, beads, glitter, etc) and last but not least~make your own designer paper.

And my creation:

I made a clear box from a transparency sheet (that I get from Office Depot). The box is 4 1/4" high by 2 1/2" wide. It was made with the idea to hold snowballs (those little white cookies) or fudge. But all I had to show was chocolate chips (FYI: this little box will hold a 11.5oz bag of chocolate chips). I would have LOVED to have baked some real goodies to showcase this clever little gift box. But it is like 95+ degrees here. My oven is SOOOO not getting turned on. And the fact that baking would have required me to go to the store (with two boys) And then bake. And this project is already on day two in trying to get completed!! ANYWHOOOS!! The base and lid are SU's Ballet Blue. I tried Cool Caribbean at first but I felt that it looked like a Tiffany box and I was going for a richer/Christmas blue look. I love DP that has texture on it. So I made my own DP by stamping with SU's white craft and embossing with Iridecsent Ice (this is of course after I first tried stamping with my glue pad and using Dazzling Diamonds. Which looked ok, except a little lighter than I wanted and of course, someone didn't center her images and it looked all off). Then I made the scalloped edge with SU's scalloped edge punch. I used white Stazon to stamp the bird from Inkadinkadoo's Winter Birds on the front. BTW: stamping on transparency is HARD. Very easy to smear. Obviously, I could have tried again to stamp a better image...but in reality this is the third time this was stamped. The first time I had added some more snowflakes/swirls to the entire box. Put it together to decide that it was just too busy. Re-stamped. Messed up. Re-stamped again. Good enough (now you know one of the many reasons why I will never make the Dirt Pile. It takes me six times to get something half way right and then I just get lazy and say forgetaboutit!!!). Where was I?

The tag. This (of course) is not the first tag that I had in mind. I actually have a lovely oval tag stamped with the new Christmas Punch set. Problem? I don't actually have the punch that goes with the image I chose. No biggie~~I have Spellbinders nestabilities with the oval in plain and scalloped. Great. Except that the tag ended up too big for my little box. I couldn't get it to look right on the box (of course). This whole project is just starting to wear on me at this point!! So, I pulled out my tag punches (WHICH if I really stretched, I could claim I did another of the challenges which was to use dies/punches in the project. But my brain says it should be more of a punch/die creation vs just a small punch accent). Made the bow from a silver fiber ornament hanger (AGAIN!! I could claim another challenge here which was to use ribbon/fibers in the project, but!! I know the hostess was hoping for something more creative than a little bow!!). Using my Cropadile, I punched a hole at each corner of the lid, threaded some silver cord through the holes and the tag and then added some TEXTURE with the beads.

FINALLY!! It is done. Of course, I will be able to whip out more of these cute boxes much faster now that I've made all my mistakes (and now have my templates in hand). I think these might make cute teacher gifts or for the neighbors. (HOLY COW!! I just made something that is Christmasy in July....geesh!!! I might get ahead of the game at this rate!! BWHHAAAAA)

Thanks for stopping by!! I'm going to see if I can find 2" of clean space on this desk so that I can maybe do a few more of the challenges.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I TOTALLY SCORED the winning touchdown on this idea! I know that its been a while since I've posted an actual creation. But seriously, I'm doing the end zone dance on this one!!

Wednesday night I got home from work to find that my oldest DS was invited to a b-day party TODAY (you just have to love "coaches/mom's" who throw in a zinger putting me deep into my own end zone to start the offensive run). The invitation was in the shape of a football. Good game plan to start with. Then I RAN with it. Totally dodging blockers from all angles!! This quarterback SCORED!!

I used a full sheet of the new In-Color Dusty Durango and roughly drew out my football shape. Ran the front though my Cuttlebug with the embossing folder. Took my Creamy Caramel ink pad and ran it over the top for a direct to paper grunge look. Then I used a sponge dauber and some Chocolate Chip ink to darken the bottom edge to give it a more round shape. Cut out the strips from Very Vanilla and dirtied them up with some So Saffron ink. Then my first "down". Actually used some vanilla ribbon to LACE THE HAND GRIP!! (oh yeah, oh yeah!!). Added some black "stitching" and highlighted with my Inkssentials white opaque pen.

Now, at this point, I'm in the zone!! All I can see is the markers flyin' by!! Crossed the 50 yard mark and I'm dodging EVERYTHING!! Then I getting deep towards the end zone. END ZONE!! Oh yeah, BABY!! This one is gonna ROCK!!

(ok, some technical difficulties were experienced in trying to photograph the inside of this card. the top of the card is weighted down by the goal post....so I'm trying to hold open the card, get the camera in a position that it might focus AND get most of the picture to be the card and not my hand!!)

Is this just not the BOMB?!! I covered up the lacing on the inside with another layer of Dusty Durango. I drew out the football field on Wild Wasabi using my trusty Inkssentials pen again (and yes, I know that the one end zone is "short".....genius that I am....I did not design my football to fit my playing field, but rather I designed the playing field to KINDA fit my football!). Then I layered that onto some Garden Green. Made a slit about 1" to make the base for the pop up (I'm about at the 20 yard line now!! hehe). Then I made my goal post. The "pole" is actually a yellow craft stick that I had in my stash of junk (I mean STUFF). It's a tad difficult to see in the picture, but I made a transparency pocket (with a half oval punched out to make a grab area) in the middle of the goal posts.

SCORE!! It holds a gift card!! (oh yeah, oh yeah!!)

Now, I did not spike the ball in the end zone, but I sure did a DANCE!! I am sooooo excited how this turned out!! I'm already thinking about ideas using a basketball!!

I was going to put TOUCHDOWN in big letters across the top of the goal post...but I'm thinking that is about the only area for DS to sign the card!! (btw: I scored double on this card as BOTH my boys thought that it was just "AWESOME". Yeah, I'm going to have to ice my shoulder pretty good for all the self patting I'm doing over here!!) Supplies: Paper: SU's Dusty Durango, Wild Wasabi, Garden Green, 120# Pure Luxury in white. Inks: SU's Creamy Caramel, Chocolate Chip, So Saffron. Stamps: None. Accessories: Cuttlebug and embossing folder, 08 black micron pen, Inkssentials White Opaque pen, red liner tape in 1/4" and 1/2", Small oval punch (SU), transparency sheet, craft stick.

So, was it worth the game delay?! I'm on such a high, that I think I just might have to try creating something else just to see what wonders I can come up with again!! BWHHAAAAA

Seriously now. I hope that you found a little inspiration in my card today. It was a fun idea to run with. Thanks for stopping by!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Where's Walda?

Where's Walda? Is she hiding on the vacation page? Nope
Where's Walda? Is she hiding on the shopping page? Nope
Where's Walda? Is she hiding on the backyard page? Nope

Hmmmmmm.......drats!! That must mean "Waldo" is hiding on the "where do we work" page.
Can you find her? She would REALLY like to escape that page and move on to a more FUN page!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Decking the Halls In July

Anyone still hanging around wondering if I'm ever going to create again?!! Geesh....I'm tellin' ya~~it's just amazing what one must go through to not only get a card made but posted too?! (But, but, MOM!! We want dinner now!! We're s..t..a..r...v...i...n...g!!!!)

Well, never fear. No children (or Toad) went hungry. All creativity and posting was put on hold until all pushed themselves away from the table proclaiming that they could not eat another bite.
I was pretty determined to make a card today. Printed out the sketch challenge from SCS last night and even came up with an idea. But then!! The Ways to Use it challenge threw me for a loop. First of all, Christmas in JULY?!! HELLOOOOO!!! I barley get Christmas out in December!! Secondly, my idea was SOOOO not Christmas. But!! I revamp the thinking and here is what I came up with:

I flipped the sketch to work with another challenge that I added to the previous two~~ use only SU (current or retired) product. I believe I have mentioned that I am a demo for SU, but I'm more the "hobby demo with a few friends/customers" than I am a business demo. But lately, I have gotten into the habit of combining all kinds of wonderful goodies from different manufacturers to make my cards. I just thought that it might be interesting to see what I could do with SU only.

Now for all the details: I used the the SU exclusive texture plate for the dotted layer (I ended up lightly misting the paper with water to get a more distinct impression). The swirls were stamped first in versamark then heat and stick was applied and heated (think that is why they call it HEAT and stick?!! snort). Dazzling diamonds glitter was then sprinkled over the warm sticky glue. All the matting layers are Wild Wasabi (that has to be one of my favorite colors. I am soooo sad that it is retired!). Made the scalloped border with the scalloped edge punch and added the dots with my white pen (not sure on that one...but what is done, is done). Decided to pull out (wait....are you sitting down? This is gonna knock you for a loop) BOTH my silver hodgepodge accessories AND the pretties kit!! I know, I know!! I've been hoarding both of these kits, but I finally decided to see what happens when you actually USE the stuff you buy!! Pulled out the old silver cording and looped it behind the main panel and through the hodgepodge to make my dangle for the pretties. All the stamps came from the Season of Joy set. Supplies: Paper: Whisper White, Wild Wasabi. Inks: Wild Wasabi. Accessories: Big Shot, SU exclusive texture plates, heat and stick, dazzling diamonds glitter, silver cording, silver hodgepodge kit, pretties kit, scalloped edge punch, white pen, 1" circle punch.

Thanks for stopping by again!! I'm going to go do the dishes from dinner and maybe think about doing the "original" card idea that I had. I don't know.....two cards in one day after such a long hiatus might throw me into a tailspin that I'll never find my way out of!! hehe

Monday, July 6, 2009

More Ramblings (but not heat inflicted)

***Really, I had every intention of posting some old cards as "blasts from the past" . But then I got the idea of remaking some of my first cards and comparing them to the original. But making a new card would require me to face the office. (Insert HUGE sigh here________). Soooo, today is the day. I'm going in. (I get a nauseous feeling in my stomach just typing that). I'm going to start to find my office. Notice I didn't say that I would finish it today. Have some other household chores to do today to prepare for my kids coming home tonight (yeah, I just can't face the idea of being holed up with that mess all day. I'm going to have to tackle it in sections).

***One of my goals for the summer was to start riding my bike again. While I don't miss the racing (95% of the time), I do miss being in that type of shape. I had a friend try and persuade me to do a sprint triathlon. While I could have probably bluffed my way through the 10 mile bike portion, I haven't run in about 12 years and swimming is soooo not my thing. But it got me thinking. I think I need to find some type of race to get me motivated to ride/train/lose that extra 15-20lbs that I'm carrying on my 5'1" frame.

Yesterday Dh was kind enough to go riding with me again. We rode road bikes on a portion of the Santa Ana bike trail. We actually started in San Bernardino and rode to Norco, CA, and back. About 35.96 miles total (but who is being specific?!). While we would have preferred to ride a portion of the mountain bike Santa Ana trail, I currently lack the fitness and skills needed to tackle the single track (but it is one of my favorite rides....but being "squirrely" on a single track that has a significant drop off is not only unwise, but just makes for a lot of cussing, foot dabbing and hike a bike). So, road riding it was. The path is nice in that you get to avoid car traffic. And yesterday, even bike traffic (which was really surprising, but I assume that the path from Yorba Linda down to the beach was crazy busy!!) But!! Here was the kicker on this ride: the Toad rode his single speed (as in one gear) while I rode my geared bike. Good thing: being single geared put a governor on his speed. Bad thing: his governor was about at my max speed. The sad thing is, we frequently ride the section from Yorba Linda to Balbo and back (about 50 miles). There is NO WAY my rear could have taken that ride!! Getting back into shape when you are in your 40's kinda sucks. No.....it really sucks!! LOL!! I have a LOOONG way to go to find the fitness of my 20's!!

***The Toad and I experimented with some new recipes in the kitchen (get 'yer minds out of the gutters!!).....Definitely some keepers including: grilled fruit, fresh mango salsa and Mexican grilled corn with crema (yuuuuuummmm!!!).

***A MUST read is Michelle Richmond's "No One You Know". Incredible writing. I usually read books really fast (which enables me to re-read them a couple of times, since I miss some details with the first go around). This book made me slow down and THINK about what was being written. Great story to boot!!

***Ok....the morning is ticking away and I need to stop avoiding the chore ahead!! I hope you all have a great day and cross your fingers I find the desk top (that way I can make something to share once the kiddos get home with their cameras!!)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Rambling Thoughts

**Snails are REALLY gross. They have this sickening sound if you accidentally crunch them with your gardening shears and they "ooze" a bubbly substance. For the life of me, I can't imagine why anyone would stick one in their mouth and call it a "delicacy". Personally, I think that some poor shumk looked around him at the people he was serving and decided that they had more money than brains and convinced them that "escargot" was the "in" thing. And laughed every night with his friends over a beer on how all those "smart rich people" were eating garden snails.

**While there is a lot of ground cover that look like weeds, there are no weeds that look like ground cover. Weeds just look like weeds.

**Being a physical therapist does not make one exempt from using poor body mechanics while doing yard work. It just means that said physical therapist knows EXACTLY what she did to cause her back pain and can present the fact that she was just PLAIN STUPID in medical jargon.

**Owning land is a tricky thing (and in all likely hood, highly overrated). A small lot means that you don't have much room to move around but you also don't have much yard work. An acre is just wrong. Not enough land to let some of it just BE. You notice all the stuff that is overgrown, full of weeds, still needing to be planted, cleared or whatever. While you do have space for such fun things as a basketball court, a BMX track or a great place for a dog to run, it is a never ending job of trying to stay on top of it. Especially when you haven't given in to having the "gardener vs you" mentality that all your neighbors have. I think that owing 3-5 acres is probably best. You can have land that is just "natural" and it looks fine. (guess which category my yard is in?)

**Society garlic just STINKS

**Ant bites hurt

**Why is it that the couple that have NO life outside of their home live right next door to me? Their garage is cleaner than my kitchen right now. Not even going to mention the perfect lawn with no weeds in the flower beds. Or the fact that their house has been repainted, re shuttered, etc, etc.

**At least yard work gives you the satisfaction of looking good for at least a week. You clean the kitchen and IMMEDIATELY some child or DH will come to you loudly exclaiming that they are hungry and need to eat NOW. And then proceed to spill something on the newly mopped floor or get beaten eggs everywhere while trying to make an egg and bean burrito.

**Mountain biking is sooo much better than road riding (I'm thinking possible heat stroke at this random thought). Road riding means you have to deal with cars, people yelling at you or throwing stuff at you. Or thinking that they are soooo amusing by coming up right next to you and honking. Mountain biking means off the beaten path. A more laid back view on life and the ride. Mountain biking gives you time to stop and enjoy the scenery.

**I am out of shape for biking period, whether it be mountain or road. If I had been smart, I would have gotten on my bike again today vs doing yard work (mountain biked Sunday with DH....died, but enjoyed it. Rode my road bike on Tues......died, didn't feel like facing the pavement heat and cars again today. Should have taken my chances and gone mountain bike riding by myself.)

**Why is it that I don't have a problem riding on the road by myself but don't like to mountain bike by myself? Some demented thought process I guess that figures that when some idiot hits me on the road, hopefully, some kind person will drag my sorry carcass to the side and call DH. Where as in the mountains the possibility of a mountain lion dragging my carcass to the side and NOT calling DH gives me pause.

**While I crave the silence when my children are home, I crave the "noise" when they are gone. One day is sooo nice to have no noise. This being gone for a whole week thing is starting to get to me. I miss my kiddos. I can't imagine how quite and boring my life would be without them

**Too much time in the sun doing yard work makes for too much time for your mind to wander

**What does this say about me that I find the need to post SOMETHING in the absence of a camera that allows me to post a card that I have stamped?

**I really should take this time to create something (other than a decent yard) just for the sake of creating. Would that require me to confront my messy office/craft area? Is that why I am avoiding that room like the plague?

**I really need to get a life