Friday, May 29, 2009

Running around..... a chicken with it's head cut off!! This time of year is CRAZY around here!!
On Wednesday, I was asked if I could come up with something for k-12 to sign for the principal's 50th b-day. Did I mention that they want this by Monday? Did I mention that I worked yesterday? Did I also mention that my own DS turns 12 on Sat? (and have not missed his b-day card as IT IS NOT EVEN MADE YET!!)

DEEP BREATHS......I will NOT panic.....I am WONDERMOM who can juggle all of this.....stay tuned....I'm going to be CRANKIN' out the goodies today and tomorrow (but might not post until Monday....have to take time to celebrate the kiddo's day!!)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Altering Dreams

The end of the school year is just around the corner and since I was such the flake for Teacher Appreciation Day (*I did send a plant....just no tag.....nothing handmade. Is that allowed when you paper craft?!) I decided to alter some clipboards that I have sitting around. I wanted something that was a bit different than the usual altered clipboards that I have seen. Then inspiration struck (yes, it about knocked me over).

I went to Staples and bought some cork on a roll vs tiles (since this was just an idea, I needed to give myself plenty of material to experiment with!). I made a template to go around the clip and cut the cork. I used a mixture of acrylic paints in two/three different shades of brown (I put a bunch on a paper plate and dabbed my brush here and there in the paints). I tried using mod podge to adhere the cork board, but that wasn't working so I ended up using 1/2" red sticky tape along the cork board edges (between the two, it's sticking good!!). I then covered the bottom half of the clipboard with My Mind's Eye "Backyard "Just be You" Paisley/Teal designer paper. Used1/4" red sticky liner along the edge of the cork board to place the ribbon border. Using the patterned side, I made a "frame" for a photo that the ribbons can hold in place. I am still playing around with the grunge look that Tim Holtz does so well (actually, I believe he calls this "wrinkle free distress". Sherry Cheever just did a tutorial for this on SCS this week also. So, I decided to use this technique to alter some small, plain notepads that I had bought in bulk. I took some whisper white card stock, cut it to make a "cover" for the notepad. Using distress inks in Peeled Paint and Faded Jeans, I spritz them then placed my cover in the wet ink. Dried using my heat gun and repeated. I then stamped my French Script using the Faded Jeans and off stamped it before stamping over the cover. The hummingbird is from Tim's set Flight of Fancy (it was still out on my desk from the last project. Sometimes it works out not to clean up in between creations! hehe). I then used the "spray" from SU's Garden Silhouettes and stamped using Encore copper and embossed with copper EP. Stamped the sentiment (and yes, it is slightly crooked!! grrrrrr!! Hate when I do that!! That is what happens when I don't use my stampamajig!) Here is a close up of the note pad/photo area:I used a small scrap of the dp to make the RSVP pen look "purdy" and matchy. The ribbon to hold the pen is looped with glue dots and adhered. The final touches were using a large flower from the Pretties Kit and dying it with the distress ink (I swiped the ink on my craft sheet, spritzed with water and laid my flower down in it and "smooshed" until it was covered). I used one of the "diamond" brads for the center and added a couple of ribbon leaves. All were adhered using Glue Dots Super Strength dots. I thought that the cork board needed a little sprucing up so I found a couple of swirls from my grunge board collection and covered them with distress stickles in Peeled Paint and after finally letting them dry completely, I adhered those with glossy accents. Supplies: Paper, MME, Whisper White, Chocolate Chip. Inks: Ranger Distress Inks in Peeled Paint, Faded Jeans, Vintage Photo, Encore copper. Accessories: Copper EP, Pretties Kit, Grunge board accent elements, Distress Stickles in Peeled Paint, ribbon, glue dots, red sticky tape, heat gun.

I have another one of these to make. I'm trying to decide if I take the "easy" way out and just CASE everything I've already done or pull out all the papers and go for round two in a different pattern. Guess you'll know what I decided if I post another one or not!! hehe

Thanks for stopping by!! Hope that you all are having some free time this long weekend for some creativity!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Out of My Comfort Zone

My DH has a theory about artists. He feels that everyone has artistic abilities, but somewhere down the line, we are influenced by adults, teachers, parents, friends or what have you, and start to put our imaginations and creativity into a "box". This box is what tells us that we must paint the sky blue, stay within the lines and don't mix this with that. The younger we start to put ourselves in this box, the sooner we lose our ability to really "create". Those we deem "artists", are those who refuse to but themselves into that box and are still willing to take chances with their creativity.

I find it amusing that people find me "creative". I know that I can paint or draw a picture, but I usually have to look at something for inspiration. I'm such the "visual" person that I don't think I can "see" the details enough to create something out of my head. I love to put together ideas for a room, yet, I'm always afraid that I might not like the outcome (what is the worse that can happen? I have to repaint?!! Throw out something that I thought would be perfect?!) I think that I am in my creative box, but the flaps aren't locked down. I can see out of the box, but I'm just scared to actually STEP out of it!!

I love the grunge look that Tim Holtz is famous for. I'm just in awe of how he can take all these different colors, elements and make them look FABULOUS!!! I have quite the collection of trinkets (haven't noticed them being used, have you?!!) and inks from his collection, but I just find myself afraid to go in the opposite direction of my usual CAS.

BadSherry, aka Yoda to this padawon, is another person who I so admire for her skill in making grunge look soooooo fab!! I think my fear of "being too cluttered" gets in my way of just letting go when I try to create this look. Sherry is another one who can combine all these different patterns, embellishments and make them work!

But!! I today I decided to give it a go. If I don't start pushing those box flaps aside, I will never grow in my creativity. Here is the beginning of a journey out of my comfort zone

I took Distress Inks and swiped them along my craft sheet. Used a spray bottle to mist the inks and laid my vanilla shipping tag in the ink (BadSherry calls this "that inky thing she does"!). Dried with my heat gun and laid it down again in the ink to get the missed spots. I stamped the images from Tim's set "Flights of Fancy" using Black Soot Distress ink. Since these stamps are clear, it is easy to position them where I thought I wanted them without using my favorite tool, the stampamajig (tho, I will confess to using the printed backer sheet for a rough visual placement before stamping!!). I then lightly sponged some Vintage Photo distress ink along the edges. Remembered that I had some cool fibers from my friend Melody (aka Laceyquilter on SCS), had given me a while back. Knotted those on.

Definitely not my CAS look that I've been doing lately. But I tried something new. And I rather like it (didn't say LOVE it....but like is a good way to continue on the willingness to try this again).Supplies: Stamps: Flights of Fancy, Tim Holtz. Inks: Ranger Distress Inks in Spiced Marmalade, Worn Lipstick, Faded Jeans, Vintage Photo and Black Soot. Accessories: Spray bottle, multicolored fibers.

Thanks for stopping by again!! I love your feedback and I hope that today I can encourage you to try something out of your comfort zone when creating.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Baby~It's HOT Out!!!

97 degrees to be exact. Geesh!!!!!!!!!!! We just got back from watching a friend's daughter play in her final softball game before the championship game. These girls played in the hot baking sun starting at noon. The winner gets a little break and heads to the championship game. Uggghhh!! Unfortunately, "our" team lost by one point. But my selfish brain said to itself, "at least I won't have to sit in this dust bowl and broil any longer!! (bad, bad attitude!!)

When it is hot like this, I only want cool. Cool foods, cool drinks, just everything cool. Including my cards!! But, ya know~~sometimes you just have to add a POP of color to add some sizzle!!

Can you guess what was my inspiration for this card?!! Yup. The flower pots that I just got done planting. Now, originally, I had planned to add some type of stitching so that I could use this for the Rubbernecker Blog Challenge for this week. But then I got hot. And needed cool. Which means CAS (clean and simple) to my way of thinking.

This is a 5x5 square card. The image was stamped using Ranger's Archival Jet black ink on Gina K's 120# pure luxury paper. I colored it with my copic ciao's and cut out the image and placed it on the base layer. Supplies: Stamps: Rubbernecker. Inks: Ranger Archival Jet black, copic ciao markers. Paper: Gina K's 120# pure luxury, whisper white.

Thought I'd share a blast from the past using this same stamp. But this one must have been made when it was cooler. Got some HOT background colors!

I really can't decide which one I like better. They are both CAS. And in some ways I like the coloring on the blast from the past better. But I think I like the POP that the newer version holds with using just the white. Hmmmm.................guess I should be happy that I rather like both of them!!

Thanks for dropping by. Hope the rest of you are staying COOL!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Why I don't get manicures

Guess what?! I have no card AGAIN for you!! (don't look so surprised!! By now you all should know that I can be such the flake when it comes to making cards!!)
Actually, today I did a different type of creating. My front room has french doors flanked by two LARGE windows. And every day I kept looking at my patio pots and cringing.
I have two of these large pots on each end of my patio. Not only do the pots need to be re-painted (that will be another day's project) but obviously, the plants needed to be replaced.

So, today I decided to spend my morning at the local nurseries (yes, I went to three different ones trying to find something that inspired me).

I left the pale grey plant (which is developing buds for the yellow flower that blooms on it) and spent a HORRENDOUS amount of time trying to dig out the green grass. Geesh....for something that wasn't growing, it sure had put down a tough root system!! I had found two of these BEAUTIFUL red grasses and filled in the spot left over with the red/yellow plants (that will spread way too big...but I'll just cut back...these puppers are hard to kill!! I have some in my front yard beds and even the gopher that tried to move in couldn't kill them!!) I just realized that I probably should have made note of what the plants are: but I have already thrown out the plant stakes. I just liked the pop of color that this combo provides.

While out on the patio I decided to weed my other flower beds and get them ready to plant. I know that I should wear gloves when pulling weeds (especially since we do have black widows and rattlers (obviously poisonous) and bull snakes (not poisonous) that like to hide under the agapanthas). But I HATE wearing gloves!! I have really short, stubby fingers and finding work gloves that fit is really hard. Plus, I just don't feel like I can grab the weeds as well. Wellllll......this is the reason I don't spend money on manicures~

Lovely, eh?!! I was trying to weed under my ground cover roses and they decided to bite me!! I think a manicurist would faint at seeing my poor cuticles!! hehe.

I do have a couple of card ideas floating around in my head (yes, there is lots of room for them to float!). I even have an idea that was inspired by my planting today. Tonight will be spent helping DS put his presentation board on the Galapagos Islands together. Maybe tomorrow afternoon I will have some time to play with stamps of plants!! (cringe!! That one was bad!! LOL!)

I hope that you find inspiration in something new today~~whether it be a card, a plant, a picture or a memory. Take it and create something!! Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Framed on Mother's Day

DH requested a card for his mother that was CAS (clean and simple). He also wanted a card that mimicked some framed photos that my mother-in-law has on her wall behind her couch. There are nine b/w (actually, they kind of lean towards sepia) photos of leaves, flowers, tree branches artsy type photos framed in black. My MIL changes the matting with the seasons. For spring/summer she uses a sage green color.

I had a general idea of what I wanted to do. Then, while cruising blogs, I came upon this wonderful creation by Tracy. Which led me to this wonderful creation by Linda. Using the recessed window was just what I needed for my take on this technique.

I think that my inside framing corners are pulled apart some because I taped down my frame to make it look as though it was on the "sage" wall. This card has a 5x 5 sage base that uses the DTP (direct to paper) technique with the sage ink pad to give it some "texture". I made my frame using the directions from SCS TLC206. The outside frame corners were scored so that I could fold them up in order to tape the edges to the base. I used the leaf stamp from Rubbernecker's Floral Silhouette and stamped it first in the middle, masked the top portion and stamped it again further down in the corner to extend my leaf (yes, I misjudged a hair and have my "new" leaves a tad too far apart from the original). Using my stampamajig, I figured out my placement for the other "stamped" off leaves. Supplies: Stamps: Rubbernecker Floral Silhouette, Inside stamp: SU's All Holiday's Happy Mother's Day. Paper: SU's sage shadow, basic black, whisper white. Ink: Ranger archival jet black. Accessories: Stampamajig, craft knife.

Best part of this card? DH said "It's perfect. I REALLY like it!"

Thanks for stopping by!! I hope all of you have a wonderful Mother's day!

Friday, May 8, 2009


That's me. I am a disgrace to all stampers. This week I already pushed the envelope by not making even a TAG for teacher's appreciation day (I did buy a plant for my kiddos teachers.....ok, ok!!! Even that was a day late!!) But last night I did the unthinkable.

Last night I broke the unbreakable rule for all stampers. I asked DH to go buy a card today.

I am not sure that the stamping jury will even listen to my defense. But I'm going to make mistake number two and represent myself and give the following in my defense:

At the beginning of this week, my oldest DS was invited to a b-day party for today. So? You reply. Here is my problem. I usually only work a couple of times a month. This month, I have 9 days scheduled (I know, I know! All you full-time working moms are already saying to yourselves~ "suck it up girly"). This week I will have completed 4 of those 9 days, with today being a 9 hour day (that does not include the 40 min drive each way to the job). The one day I had off this week, I spent trying to find my kitchen again and then a couple of hours in the afternoon volunteering at the school selling script cards. The other evenings have been spent trying to get a soon to be 12 y/o boy to write/type up a report on the Galapagos Islands (which is due Tue of next week....and no, it is still NOT DONE!! grrrrr) and help him paint his presentation board (which also, still has to be completed).

I still planned on getting the card done. Really. I got up at 5 am yesterday and started to CASE (copy and share everything) a card that I saw in the latest Papercraft 225 Cards and Gifts issue. I even picked out one that would require little to no stamping. But of course, I took too long to pick out my papers (and since I was trying to use some scraps, I had to work on fitting what I had with what I wanted for the layout). I got some of the card layed out but then had to leave for work. No biggie. I planned on coming home and after dinner, finish up the card. Except I encountered a couple of problems.

Remember the previously mentioned report? Well, DS spent his evening (and mine) typing. At the desk that I do my stamping/cards one. I thought about taking my stuff out to the kitchen but the problem was, since I was putting the whole card together by bits and pieces, I didn't even know what to take out there to finish the card!! Told myself that after the kids were in bed, I'd finish the card real quick.

Then the phone call. A friend "threw out her back" earlier this week. I had been over to her house earlier this week to get her set up on a TENS unit (electrical current used to "block" pain) and instruct her in some modalities and postural awareness so that she might be able to return to work. Last night at the kiddos bedtime, she called and asked if I could go over there again. What is a friend to do? I went over there and spent an hour with her getting her into alignment and instructing her in some beginning stabilization exercises.

By the time I got home, I was tired, weepy at the thought of having to work 9 hours today. And the thought that the card was for a 12 y/o boy who wouldn't even notice the work entered my mind. And in that moment of weakness, I broke down. The request was made.

So I beg of you, the stamper jury, to have mercy on me when you consider my sentence. Please. I promise that I will stay up until midnight tonight making my MIL's card for mother's day ('cause I will be gone all day tomorrow with MIL looking at design houses and shopping! ) if you will just give me another chance. I PROMISE to be good from now on and never utter those words "would you please buy a card" again.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


......for all those mom's who work full time and still find time to create! I have to work everyday this week (wellllll......had Tuesday off, but had to get other stuff done since I'm gone all week), and all my creative energy has gone into making up new ways to make exercises interesting to my patients. Sigh.

DH did request a very specific style of card for his mother for M's day. Working it out in my head and hopefully, I'll be able to "whip" it out this evening (BWHHAHAAAA!!!!!!!!!! I crack myself up!! I don't know if I've ever really "whipped" out a card!)

Hope the rest of you are having a GREAT week!! Thanks for stopping and hopefully I'll re-channel that work creativity into card creativity

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I've Finally Cracked!!

I found a weekend sketch challenge on Jenn Balcer's blog and thought it would be a good one for a Mother's Day card. This card is a 5x5 square card. I decided to pull out some DP from Me and My Big Ideas that I've had staring at me for a while. This came from a cardstock "book" and all the papers have some special embellishment (on this particular sheet, the light "grey" in the background is flocked!! I just keep touching it! After finally getting the courage to cut it (YIKES!! What if I was to ruin it?!!) I thought that I would use one of my favorite sets and pulled out Garden Silhouettes from SU. Used my Bravo Burgaundy and Old Olive markers and stamped the image on Whisper White. I then used a small stencil brush with Barely Banana (I would have used a sponge dauber, but that would have required me to move my lazy rear and get it from across the room, whereas the stencil brush just happened to be on my desk! hehe) and worked it along the sides. I then scraped the edges along the Burgandy stamp pad.

I then thought I would pull out an old technique and do the cracked glass. Uggghhhh!!! First time I "cracked" it, I got a little over zealous and actually cracked a piece of the glaze off. So, I re-heated the glaze and cracked again. But the spot that came out wouldn't hold the glaze. Got the VersaMarker out and finally got some glaze to stick. Cracked again. But then the edges got a little thick. But it is what it is!! I was not in the mood to start all over!

I cut a thin strip of the DP and made my strip across the bottom. I used the mother's day stamp from SU's All Holiday's to stamp the sentiment. It looks a little faded over the flocking, but I was pleased that I was able to stamp over that portion without too much trouble. I got out my much neglected Pretties kit and colored one of the flowers using a copic ciao marker. Layered everything and put the sentiment strip on dimensionals. Wah-Lah!! One down!! Supplies: Stamps: SU's Garden Silhouettes, All Holiday's. Paper: Whisper white, Bravo Burgundy, Designer paper from Me and My Big Ideas. Inks: Bravo Burgundy and Old Olive marker, Barely Banana, Archival Jet Black. Accessories: Stampamajig, Glassy Glaze Enamel, heat gun, stencil brush, Pretties kit, copic ciao marker, dimensionals.
Thanks for stopping by! Have a crazy week coming up as I have to work 4 of the 5 weekdays!! That is going to make my day "off" a MUST stamp day!! I still need a couple of more cards for this coming week! Cross your fingers that my mojo will decide to stick around!!