Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Welcome Back

Those of you who are regular readers of this blog will recall that I mentioned that I have been working full time covering for our physical therapist assistant while she took a medical leave of absence.  Well, today is the day that she returned to work.  I wanted to make a "Welcome Back" card for her.  BUT!!  Before I show the card you have to read the disclaimer in the fine print:

Disclaimer: I, as a physical therapist, deal with patients in pain on a daily basis.  I realize that pain wears a person down.  I realize that pain is no joking matter.
BUT~~with that said, you, the reader,  must realize that being in the medical field does not mean we are excluded from "One of THOSE Days".  The following card is something that someone in the medical profession has to deal with on a daily basis.  And still smile.

This card is a LARGE card.  I made a the base layer from a piece of 8 1/2" x 11" pure luxury 120# in white scored in half.  The front was made using my favorite technique, wrinkle free distress using distress inks in Shabby Shutters and Faded Jeans.  I decided to add a true wrinkle when I taped it to the front of the base layer for my required OOPS! that is needed for each homemade card I make!  (OI!! I'm tellin' ya....)  I stamped the image Madge from Art Impressions using Memento Tuxedo Black onto  120# pure luxury cardstock from Gina K. and colored it with my copic ciaos.  The image was mounted on Wild Wasabi and Chocolate Chip from SU.  I then printed out the different "sayings" onto another piece of card stock that I had wrinkled free distressed using the same colors.  They were cut out and some matted on wild wasabi and chocolate chip. 

The inside reads:  "Did 'ya miss us?!  Welcome back!"  and was signed by everyone in the office. 

I was hoping that I'd have the rest of this week to catch up on house work and creating.  But life loves curve balls!! Seems that our other office is a bit over booked and I will be helping out there for a day or so.  Sigh.  Maybe next week I'll get the yellow caution tape off the bathroom doors! LOL!!

Thanks for dropping by again today!!  Remember to try and explore something new today!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Precious Metal

Hello Peoples!! I hope that you are all finding some time to enjoy some creativity over this weekend!  Today is a wet and dreary day here.  Perfect for finishing up some projects that have been sitting on my desk for over a week!!

Super Bowl weekend I decided to take another stamp and emboss it on metal.  I went through my collection of stamps and realized that I really don't have many stamps that fit my beginner's level of metal embossing! I think I might have to do some shopping and change that! LOL!!  I found a more open and bold image in Just Fun Stamp's Floral Oval II and thought it might fit my requirements of a fairly easy image to practice my metal embossing on. 

 Now you need to remember that at this point, I only have 4 basic tools for this technique! And this is only my SECOND attempt at metal embossing! BUT, with that being said, I'm pretty dang happy at how this turned out!!  (Uhhhh, it would seem that SOMEBODY forgot to take step by step pictures of the makings of this project.  SOMEBODY was too busy trying to watch the football game at the same time as embossing.  SOMEBODY promises to do another project later this week with step by step pictures.  Not that SOMEBODY is an expert at this.....just willing to share my mistakes!! Insert wink here______!hehe)

So, the details:  I stamped Floral Oval image onto scap copy paper and used my stylus to trace around the image on the metal.  I then flipped the image over and placed it on a piece of suede and used a paper stump to start puffing out the metal.  I keep flipping the image from front to back, refining the edges and adding more "poof" to the embossed portions.  I got a little confused on one flower petal and have my detail going the wrong way (meaning I debossed (or indented) when I should have embossed.  Oh well!! Gotta make sure to always have at least one mistake on a homemade project or someone might mistake it for factory made! BWHHAAA!!).  After I finished the embossing, I used the fine wire bristles on the end of one of my tools to burnish the flat portion behind the embossing.  Then I used some cheap Folk Art acrylic paint in Metallic Sequin Black over the entire image.  Wiped off the excess with a paper towel to give a distressed, aged look to the metal. The paint gets down into the etching to add some detail.

 Here is a closer shot showing the fine details a bit more with the paint accenting the etching.  I deliberately left some of the paint a little heavier on the background to add to its "aging".  I REALLY need to practice going around curves, LOL!! My frame is not at all smooth and I have heavier pressure in some areas and lighter in others, but I figure it will improve one I do it a few hundred times!

The back of the embossed image was filled with a metal backing paste so that the embossed areas will not flatten out if they get some pressure on them.  I hand cut around the oval  and place my ribbon hanging behind it and mounted it onto a piece of DCWV La Creme matstack paper using terrifically tacky red liner tape.  That was mounted on a black card base 5 1/2" x 4 3/4".  Added the 1/2 back pearls (from the SU Pretty Kit) and the pearl strips from Kaiercraft and called 'er done!!

I'm going to clean off 3 inches of space on my desk and finish another project that I colored last night.  This weather has me in the mood to do nothing but read a book (oh yeah.....finished the one I just bought YESTERDAY!! snort) and do some creating!! As in the words of our famous Governor....."Aw'll be bawck!" ( I can't type out heavy accents.....can't be good at everything! LOL!!)

Thanks for dropping by again!! 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Paris....and Why I don't create in Pink

As I may have mentioned before, I am the "old lady" at work with me being 40something and everyone else being quite a bit below that.  Yesterday our billing girl turned 23.....HOLY MOLY!! 23!! Technically, I could be her mother! OI!!!! Thinking I need to move on from this subject before I go look for some serious alcohol or chocolate!!

ANYHOOS!!  I stamped an image earlier this week and colored it with my copics.  I added Glossy Accents to the vespa bike and carefully added a line to the trim on her shirt so that I could add some white flocking for a fuzzy texture.  I then decided to cut and emboss the image using one of my nestie sets.  WARNING:  one should NEVER decided to cut and emboss an image when one should be calling it a night instead.  Why?, you ask?! Because that  will pretty much guarentee that you will force the wrong sandwich thru your Big Shot, causing the image to slip and have funky embossed lines everywhere.  That will then require you to try and cut out the very TINY details of said image in hopes of saving it.  This will mean that you will not get the card done in time to give to the office girl before the weekend.  Insert HUGE heavy sigh here___________.

 I will admit that I pulled out a card that was made previously to give to *S, but, it just wasn't "her".  23 is fun.  23 is YOUNG.....(dang....digressing again).  So I stared at my "ruined" image and came up with this:

ignore the little ink blip near the bottom right must strive to always create a blip when creating homemade cards otherwise someone might confuse it with store bought!!

Have I ever mentioned that I'm not a "pink" type of girl?  Pink is just so, sooo, PINK.  But 23 y/o girls like pink.  So, I struggled to create with pink. Now, by not being a "pink" type of gal myself, I don't tend to buy papers with pink as the main color.  I looked at some "pink" DP at my local scrapbook store, but I could just not make myself buy the pink paper.  As I was looking at one particular (and expensive) design paper, it dawned on me that I could make my own pink paper which would be much cheaper (and more fun!) I pulled out my Distress inks in Warm Lipstick, Tattered Rose and Old Paper and did my favorite technique of late~~wrinkle free distress on a piece of whisper white cardstock.  I then lightly inked portions of SU's retired French Script with Worn Lipstick and stamped over the distress layer.  I added the tower from another SU retired set "Paris in Spring" and randomly stamped it again in Warm Lipstick and Old paper.  I softly sponged some distress Vintage photo along the edges to give it a more "shabby" look.  I then pulled Tattered Angles glimmer mist in Cherub pink, S.W.A.K. and Pearl and spritzed over the paper adding a  (if you are wondering how come I have glimmer mist in pink, yet claim not to be a "pink" type of gal, it is because I will go beyond the call of duty and purchase such colors just to make the "perfect" card! BWHHAAAA!!!).  Then the major struggle.  The layout.  After creating my own DP, I did not want to cover it up with a solid mat background for the image.  I finally cut out a small white frame using my Spellbinder classic rectangle nestabilities and taped my image somewhat off center in the frame.  I then the smallest daisy from the Spellbinder daisy die and cut three layers, one from plain white, one from white with Cherub Pink glimmer mist on it and one from a scrap of the left over background design paper I had made.  I layered the daisies using dimensionals and added the OOH la la! sentiment from the Paris stamp set.  Everything was then layered on a 5x5 120# pure luxury white card base. 

It's PINK.  It's done.  But I hope that maybe the background DP idea inspires you to pull out your supplies and make your own!!

Thanks for dropping by again!!  Hope you have a great week of exploring some new creativity!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cheryl? Cheryl? Bueller? Anyone? And a Big ol' Kiss.....

 Cheryl? Cheryl?  Are you out there?!  It's been almost a week and I haven't heard from Cheryl yet on the blog candy.  Even tried to "trace" her back thru her comment but it didn't link to her blog.  SOOOOO, Cheryl!! If you are still interested in the blog candy, I'll give you until Monday evening to contact me (  Please put "blog candy in the subject line!).  After that!!  RandomKid will pick another name!!

Valentine's day is tricky when you have boys.  It's pretty much thought of as a mushy, gushy, girly holiday.  My oldest is at the age (12) where you have to be VERY careful at this time of year.  Heaven forbid that someone would get the wrong idea that a) you might LIKE someone in particular  b) that you still think handing out valentine's is "cool" c) what ever else a tween thinks (or doesn't think) about this holiday.  So, instead of adding to his stress of the day, I just bought a huge bag of candy for him to hand out in the classroom.  The relieved sigh that I got pretty much confirmed that is the right choice for this young man.  

My younger son, though, is at a different stage.  HE has someone "special" and liked the idea of making treat boxes to hand out to his classmates.  So, I pulled out my new Sizzix takeout box die.  He helped me cut out the 28 needed cuts, writing down who was going to get what color.  I pulled out my retired SU Toucan of My  Love set (not too gushy for a boy to hand out) and he chose the toucan to stamp.   Then came the HUGE step for me in this creative endevor.  *C asked if he could use my "special markers" (my copics!) to color the stamped images. WHAT IS A MOTHER TO DO?!!  I'll be honest.  My first thought was "NOOOO", but luckily I stopped and thought before my mouth actually opened (for once!!)  *C is very artistic in his drawing, ideas and such. He thinks that his mom can color "the best" (gotta luv him!) and he wanted me to show him how to do "that shading stuff".  In the brief seconds that all this is running through my noggin, one thought stood out:  They are only markers and here is a chance to encourage his ablilities that he is showing in his artistic endeavors.  Aren't a few "special" markers worth that?!!

*C carefully coloring with my "special markers"

I have to say I'm SO glad I said yes to him using my markers!! He was very careful in how he used them (all tips are still intact!) and he has now been introduced to shading.  He carefully colored and shaded the "(wink) "special" image and then decided that maybe he wouldn't put so much detail into all the other ones he needed to make (shading takes too much time! LOL!!)

Here is the final project (please note that the photos were taken Friday morning at 7am!! The sun is not shining brightly enough at that time to make up for my lack of photography skills.  That~and I just snapped a few quick shots....we were on a "get to school deadline, peoples!! LOL!!)

This is the "special" box.  This one got some extra stamping on the box itself and the heart has glossy accent on it to make it dimensional and shiny! This box was filled with chocoate heart candy vs. the mixed chocolate mini bars everyone else got (this special girl is in a different class, so no one will know! hehe).  I'm tellin' ya...this boy of mine is going to have girls sighing over him!!

(*C asked "is all of this going on the blog?! LOL!)

a bird's eye view of the goodies

 *C did all the coloring himself.  He picked out what color of wire handles he wanted for each box.  He started pulling out all the beads to spell out his classmates and teacher names.  Then his older brother and a friend asked if they could play the Wii.  Big ol' brown eyes looked like they were about to become somewhat wet with the thought that he was going to miss out on something more fun than adding name beads to wire.  I, being the wonderful mommy that I am, told him he could go play with his brother.  Let me tell you something:  a big ol' hug and kiss from a 9 y/o boy with the words "THANK YOU MOMMY!! You are the BEST mommy ever!" will make any mother's heart melt even when she is up past her bedtime working on Valentine projects by herself.  AND:  the morning hug and ANOTHER kiss on the cheek with "THANK YOU mom for finishing my boxes for me!  You're the BEST ever" will mean that I will gladly do it again!!

Thanks for dropping by again today!!  I hope that you all remembered to tell someone that you care/love them today!! (even if they didn't bring you chocolate! LOL!!)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Aaaannd the Winner is.........

........... CHERYL!!!

Cheryl, thanks for your comment and if you'd please e-mail me with your snail addy (with "blog candy in the subject line so I don't accidently "trash" it!!)  to ,I'll get your goodies in the mail!!

Got a couple of goodies in the works....but have to focus on helping youngest DS finish his valentine treat containers before I get to finish!!

Hope you all have a great week!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Just For Fun....Let's BLOG HOP!!

Edited to add that comments are now closed for the blog candy!  Thanks for all the comments!!
Hey Peoples!! I hope you are having a great week!  Let's just say that I'm really glad that I can see the weekend in site! (wink)

But hey!! The design team for Just for Fun Stamps ® thought that everyone might need a little end of the week "pick me up" so we are having a BLOG HOP!!

The image that I'm sharing today has been previously only available at the different stamp shows that Just for Fun ® attends, but they are going to be putting them on their web site soon for all you web savy shoppers to have access too!!

On to my card~~I'm sooooo excited to share this project with you!!  I totally went a different creative route with the stamp image that I want to share!! I've been "stalking" metal embossing art for a while now.  When I was at the Craft Supershow in Anaheim a couple of weeks ago, I found myself pretty much glued to MercArt booth.  Now, metal embossing takes some time and I never got myself in a good position to do the make and take.  Soooo, being the fearless crafter that I am, I bought myself the book, Metal Embossing Workshop by Magdalena S. Muldoon,  a very basic tool set, a sampler of metal and came home to create this:

 OHHHH!!! How much fun was this?!! Now, in hind-sight, I should have taken step by step pictures of how I did this.  But.....hind sight is 20/20 and I'm obviously lacking in vision!!  I will do my best to describe how I made this image using the this lovely stamp!   I stamped this image (D3355) on a piece of scrap paper.  I then layed it on my metal (placed over a piece of acrylic) and traced the outline using a stylus.  This becomes the "front" of the image.  I then turned the metal over to the "back" side and layed it on a piece of suede and embossed the image using either my stylus, a paper stump or plastic embossing tool.  I kept flipping the image back on forth working on both sides to refine the lines and add more detail.   I used a wheel to create the frame around the image (just excuse my less than straight lines!!) Once I was happy with the image I filled in the embossed areas with a backing paste so that they could not be squished flat.  I took a small wire brush and burnished around the image to give a contrast in the texture.  I have to say I'm pretty pleased with how this turned out for my FIRST attempt at this technique!!

I then used my go to technique of wrinkle free distress using distress inks in antique linen and old paper on a piece of very vanilla cardstock.  I then inked up the Michaelangelo background with distress ink in old mahogany and lightly layed my wrinkle free distress piece over it and "finger walked" along the paper to get a faded image.  I versamarked the paper and applied glassy glaze enamel and melted with my heat gun.  Repeated this step 3 more times and stuck the paper in the freezer for a few minutes.  Pulled it out and gently cracked the glaze (this is called the cracked glass technique).  I matted my metal image on a piece of chocolate chip and cranberry crisp and used sticky red liner tape to adhere it to the glossy surface of the cracked glass background.  This was adhered to a top scored pure luxury 120# vanilla card base.

Now~~ to finish it all, I pulled out an embossed piece of chocolate felt that I've had in my stash for a while.  I cut out a center frame (ok, ok...I'll admit, this is the second one as I decided I wanted a thicker frame along the sides after cutting the first one!).  I then layered this using foam tape over the main image giving it a recessed frame look in real life. 

I just LOOOVE how this turned out!!  This is just ONE "outside the box" idea for using my stamps!!  I can't wait to try it again (and practice my metal embossing) using other stamp images!!

GUESS WHAT?!!  I have some BLOG CANDY TO SHARE!  Yep!! I'm the lucky recipiant of some extra stamps that are waiting to be added to the Just For Fun Stamp® web site!! Included in this lot of 7 unmounted stamps (ready to be used on your acrylic blocks) is the image that I used for my project today! Leave me a comment listing at least ONE NEW creative endevor that you are considering trying and I'll have random. kid pick a comment Sunday evening and post the winner Monday, Feb. 8th. 

Now you are going to want to visit all the rock stars (hehe, that's my pet nick name for all the other girls on the design team....seriously, these girls are IT in the stamping world!!) and see what wonderful creations that they have to share with you!!  I heard rumors that some of the other gals may have some blog candy to give away too (not sure if that is all hear say or not!  Guess you'll just have to hop along and see for yourselves!! heehee
and last but not least!

 Thanks for dropping by again today!! I hope you enjoyed my new creative adventure using stamps and metal!!  Can't wait to read what your creative adventure plans are (one always needs some new possibilities!!)