Friday, April 29, 2011

Kinda Prickly..........

............but Blooming!

Hello People!! Have you all just about given up on me EVER posting a new project?  I've had moments (usually when I'm at work and can't do anything about posting) when I've thought that maybe I should just put up a sign on my blog saying

Out for Life.  Will Return When Able

I, unfortunately, am NOT one of those mom's whose house is always organized and clean (I will spare you the details of the condition of my kitchen floor), who can manage to go to work more days than not, deal with the kids, laundry and all that other "life" stuff, exercise (because I can either exercise to relieve some of the stress or I can eat.  Actually, I'm stress eating and need the exercise to offset that little bad habit somewhat!) and still create.

Nope.  Somewhere along the line that particular gene skipped my family line.

I have been stressing working on a couple of projects in the few minutes I have found here and there.  I just can't share them yet.


A couple of weekend ago, we went with some friends out to Joshua Tree National Park.  A group of us went hiking  to the Lost Horse Mine after lunch.  While coming back down the trail, I happened to spot this cactus in bloom.

Don't ask me why, but it seemed so symbolic of my life. 

All kinds of "prickles" but still a spot of wonder and beauty.

I can decide if I want to focus on the thorny spines or the bright, wonderous color of the flowers.

I'm trying to focus on the bright flowers.  And sometimes, that means that some things have to be put to the side. 

But that is ok.  Because everything has it's season to bloom.  Sometimes you just have to be patient.

'Till then.....................

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

All I need to know

I learned from the Easter Bunny!

Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

Everyone needs a friend who is all ears.

All work and no play can make you a basket case.

A cute tail attracts a lot of attention.

Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day.

Let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits.

Keep your paws off of other people's jelly beans.

The grass is always greener in someone else's basket.

To show your true colors, you have to come out of the shell.

'Till then......................

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Winner!! And: In the Library

Since I know that you are all itching to find out who won the HoneyPop Stamp set and coordination Honeycomb Paper, I'll be nice and get to that first. 

Hopefully, you'll stick around for a tour of the Library. 

Ok....ok!!  The winner from my blog is (insert drum roll here___________)

True Random Number Generator

Min: 1

Max: 60



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Marilyn! (newfiecrafter)

Marilyn, contact me at (subject HoneyPop) and I will give you the information on how to collect your HoneyPop prize!!


Yesterday, I spent the entire day standing on a ladder in the Library. 

Nope.  I wasn't looking for a book.

I was painting books.  Yep.  I spent my day painting books and other knic knacks in the Library.

Easter is upon us once again, and our church is putting on a production, Once Upon an Eternity.  I have NO idea what the premise is of this production.  Except a very small sneak peek I got when I was talking to the gal who was in charge of the backdrop leads me to believe that the idea is making a favorite story come alive. 

I'll have to get back to you on what it actually was.

ANYHOOS!!  My friend Jen asked if I could help with the painting of the backdrop.  She actually did the majority of the work.  First, she built Library shelves out of some VERY large pieces of cardboard and added some decorative molding.  Then she did some painting.

pictures sent from Jen's phone

Jen wasn't happy with the lack of dimension on her painting.  She claims that adding shadows and such are not her thing.  I personally think she could do it.  But, being the good friend I am, I helped out.

Now here is the  hard part about painting backdrops: You can't get picky about the FINE details.  You know, all the perfect shading that makes a Trompe L'oeil painting so realistic.  One needs to keep in mind that A) one is painting on a piece of CARDBOARD, that may, or may not, be save in storage for another time.  B) the fine details are lost when viewed from the back of a church, auditorium or other large gathering place.  C) one is painting on CARDBOARD and how much time does one really want to invest for a temporary illusion? (about 5 1/2 hours it would seem in my case.  geesh!)

Some of you with sharp eyes will also notice that only the top three shelves of the bookcases were done.  That is because the  3-4 narrators sit or stand in the Library the entire time (the story takes place on the stage that is to the right of the bookcases).  I did not feel that it was necessary to "waste" my time painting an area that will not been seen for the most part.  And also, because, the viewer's eye is not drawn down towards the actors feet, but at their upper bodies.  Again, one must keep in mind that this is a cardboard backdrop!!

That's about it for me today!  I hope to be back with a b-day card for the Toad in the next day or so.  If not, you'll know that he has a flakey wife and that she didn't get it done! BHWHAAAAA!! 

'Till then........................

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Honey Pop, Honey Pop!

(Just insert the words to the tune of  Lollipop by the Chordettes)

Honey Pop, Honey Pop
oh, honey, honey, honey
Honey Pop, Honey Pop.....
(inserty DEEP bass)
bah ump ump bah!

Welcome to another fun blog hop brought to you by eclecticPaperie and the E-Team!!  Today  the Team is featuring the cute and fun Honey Pop line from Inky Antics.  This stamp line is designed with a surprise "pop" that is added with the coordinating Honeycomb paper. 

To add to all the fun of this stamp line, there are prizes galore to be given out!! You will want to leave a comment on each team member's blog as well as the eP blog.  Why?  Because Jackie from InkyAntics gave each team member goodies to give away a chance to win from their blog one of the cute HoneyPop stamp collections as well as the coordinating Honeycomb Paper!!  PLUS~~ Daisy will also be choosing a winner from the comments left on the eP blog for a chance to win a $25 gift voucher from eclecticPaperie!!

Just leave a comment saying what you like about the HoneyPop collection and /or the projects you've seen on each team member's blog from today, Wednesday, April 20th, to Thursday, April 21st.  Winners will be chosen and announced Friday, April 22nd on each of the blogs. 

Starla Nelson (me!)


 Now, traditionally, the surprise "pop" is of this collection is discovered when you open, what looks like a flat card, and the special stamp that is used with the Honeycomb paper "pops" open.  When I first saw the Caterpillar set in the HoneyPop collection, I immediately thought teacher gifts.  And when I started messing around with the Honeycomb paper, I immediately thought 3D.  Put those two thoughts together along with the fact that I think it is rather fun to start new traditions and you get this:

Obviously, this is a gift set that is meant to be hand delivered! LOL!  Locally, we have apple orchards that sell the most wonderful apple butter, mixes and such.   How fun would it be to give a basket of "apples" that will never rot along with a jar of apple butter and a mix and a fun, 3D card that can hold a handwritten thank you note from a student and/or a gift card?! 

I started this project by first making the 3D apples from the Honeycomb paper.  I stamped the "apple" twice  from the Caterpillar set onto red Honeycomb paper, with the arrows on the stamp lining up parallel with the lines on the paper.  I then stamped it two more times on a scrap piece of card stock. 

After cutting out the honeycomb paper, I cut the scrap card stock inside the stamped lines so that the card stock was smaller than the honeycomb paper.  I then taped the card stock to both "apples" using Scor Tape. 

I then added more tape to the card stock and opened the halves and adhered them together, making my "whole" apple.  I free cut stems from brown Honeycomb paper and tucked them in the top, using some multi-medium to help them stick.  The leaves were cut out of TenSecond Studio's Poison Ivy metal with the leaves from Spellbinders Daisy Heads.  A tiny piece of Hummungo sticky tape holds the leaves in place.

The apples needed a basket to hold them and after a bit of searching I found this template/tutorial online.  I adapted the size to fit my needs.  I cut two circles (approximately 5 1/2" to 6"), from SU's Soft Suede, using my old Creative Memories circle cutter.  The basket strips were cut from more Soft Suede that had been swiped with Distress Walnut Stain ink.  Since the base of the basket was larger, I had to overlap the strips around the "stays" to make it completely around the diameter.  The handle was made from two 12" strips of Soft Suede that were overlapped and attached together with two jumbo eyelets.  Small eyelets were customed colored using my Copics and attached to each "stay" with the Cropadile.  The "straw" was thin strips of some pale yellow (? So Saffron?  Barely Banana?) paper from SU that I ran through my crimper then scrunched up. 

I decided that I wanted the card to have the same 3D effect on the outside versus the inside.  The card base is a 4 1/2" square piece of Pure Luxury.  SU's Real Red is the next layer and another square of Pure Luxury was added with the corners nipped with a ticket punch.  Spellbinder's Classic Circles and Scalloped Circles were used to make the focal area.  More Pure Luxury and Soft Suede (with Walnut Stain Distress ink sponging) was used here. 

The "apple" was again stamp as above and adhered with Scor Tape.  The stem and leaves were done as previously explained. 

The tag was cut with Spellbinders Ribbon Tags Trio.  I used the "Thanks" from SU's retired set So Much.  Red grosgrain ribbon along with black brads were added to the tag and a double layer of dimensionals were used to adhere the tag to the card.  Some small self adhesive pearls were placed in the corners to finish it all off.

And the final gift set again

I had a lot of fun making my little gift set.  I'm already thinking I NEED to collect all the Honeycomb papers to see what other dimensional goodies I can come up with! hehe 

Till then....................

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Crazy, but Thankful

Yes. The ol' blog has gotten dusty this past week (a lot like my house!) I originally thought to make a quick post apologizing for my lack of posting.  But then I realized that I would be apologizing for my crazy, busy life.

And that is so wrong. 

My crazy busy life is just that...........crazy busy.  Crazy busy with end of the year projects, end of season games, band festival, filling out forms for Honor Society that oldest was nominated for, dentist appointments, MD appointments for broken wrists (still), teacher/staff cards from Home and School, dental appointments, and weekend hikes with family and friends.

Then just add the regular goodies of life, such as working more hours (which I really should stop complaining about.  After all, I'm lucky to have a job that allows me to work only part time!) laundry, a half attempt at cleaning and throw in an hour of exercise a day (which I was desperately needing for my mental and physical health) and POOF!  The week is done. 

And obviously, no crafting is done.

But even with all of this going on, I would not change it.  I'm very lucky that I have two healthy (minus one semi healthy wrist) kids, who are able to participate in so many extra activities, yet still get excellent grades.  I'm lucky that I'm married to the The Toad, who volunteers most of his "free" time coaching not only his own kids, but the older kids too, because he believes in the program.  And for the fact that he doesn't expect dinner on the table or a spotless house when he does get home.  'Cause that is soooo not happening! LOL

I'm lucky that I have a job that allows me to work part time, and in an atmosphere that is mostly fun, yet professional.

I'm lucky that I have friends, whose schedules are even more crazy than mine, yet who are willing to suffer along with me for an hour each night trying to get back into shape (versus round). 

I'm lucky that even with all of this, I am able to squeeze in some paper crafting, some photography, some type of creating at least once a week.

Nope.  I don't have time to create every day.  I don't have the energy or mojo to create every day. But maybe that is a good thing.  If I got to do it every day, maybe I wouldn't appreciate what it gives to me when I am able to do it. 

So, I'm thankful for my crazy life. 

And just to let you know~~~there is some mojo working over time today to finish up another fun project brought to you by the E-Team.  Oh yeah!  Tomorrow is going to be POPPIN'!! 

'Till thankful

Monday, April 11, 2011

How Does Your Girl Grow?

Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockleshells
and pretty maids all in a row

Happy Monday, People!  Another start to another crazy week ahead in my little corner of the world!  It just amazes me how much STUFF can get crammed onto the calendar for just one week, LOL!  Ahhhh!  The joys of having kids who are involved in so many different activities!

I did manage to sneak  some "just for fun" crafting in on Sunday. Ok.....maybe not "sneak".  More like blatant "I'm ignoring the dishes, the laundry, the weeds and the fact that I need to help youngest kiddo get his science fair presentation board done!"  I NEEDED to have some fun, hehe!

ANYHOOS!  As I was saying, I managed to get in some play time this weekend.  I have been looking at the demo tag sitting on my desk that I made (but never used) for Part III of the E-Team's Distressed series.  It was just yelling "weathered fence to me".  Then I started talking to The Toad about Wendy Vecchi's Clearly for Art Modeling film.  And all of this led to THIS

A recap on the makings of the tag:  I first painted the tag with some acrylic paint (not worrying about covering the entire tag).  I then used Distress Stains in Antique Linen and Weathered wood randomly on the tag, wiping the excess off between colors.  I believe I swiped some Distress Ink in Brushed Corduroy directly onto the tag (hey!  It's been a whole week!! Surely you jest in expecting me to remember what I did a week ago!!) 

I then dug out a flourish from an old package of idea-ology grungeboard plain elements.  I was able to quickly add color with the Distress Stains in Peeled Paint and Forest Moss.  Yes, these stains just might become one of my favorite color mediums!  Because I am impatient when Mojo starts working, I used my heat gun to quickly dry the flourish and adhered it to the tag with a bit of Glossy Accents.

The flowers are a total experiment using Wendy's Clearly for Art Modeling film.  I started with the white film.  First I tried to ink the film with Distress Mustard seed ink.  While the white film FEELS like a thick paper, it has some type of coating on it that does not hold the Distress Ink color.  I then pulled out my alcohol inks (butterscotch and rust) and applied it randomly on both sides of the film.  After it had dried, I die cut the flowers with the two smallest Spellbinder dies Daisy HeadI sniped the petals to the center so that I could bend them to my liking when I heated the film.  Note:  I will admit that I had a difficult time holding onto the flowers, heating the film and trying to get the bend I wanted without burning my fingers to smithereens.  NOT that I think this film is difficult to work with.  I just think that I have gotten use to working with the flexibility of metal that I will require a BIT more practice on using this film.  AND I intend to use it again.  OFTEN.  This stuff is too cool!! I glued the flowers together with E600 glue.  The fumes might kill me, but that stuff STICKS! LOL!  The leaves (from the Daisy Head set) were die cut out of TenSecond Studios Poison Ivy metal.  Some large 1/2 pearls were colored with copics and adhered with some more Glossy Accents in the center of the flowers.

To finish off the tag, I pulled out Crafty Secrets creative scraps Farm Fresh.  Cut the image out, added a bit of Fired Brick sponging along the edges and mounted to the tag with dimensionals.  For once, I had some perfect gingham red ribbon to finish off the tag.  Though for the life of me, I can never get the tag ribbons to look decent in photos.  Maybe I need to use a bit of tape to make it "stand" up! haha

I must say I am rather pleased at how this turned out as it was an experiment!  I look forward to exploring more  possibilities with the modeling film!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!  'Till then..................explore something new!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sounds of Distress

The E-Team is bringing you another episode in the Get Distressed series!  Today the focus is on different ways to use the Distress Reinkers and the Distressed Stains.  Of course, Daisy is offering lots of goodies to make getting Distressed so easy!! hehe

2 fun prizes for this blog hop! 2 Distress Stains, 2 Re-inkers, 3 yards each of Maya Road lace trims plus 6 inches of Maya Road Large Organza Rose;

To be eligible to win, visit and comment on each E-Team member blog post;

Linda Duke
( Linda is sitting out this hop!)
Starla Nelson (that's me!)

You will have from Tuesday-Thurs to leave a comment; Winners will be posted on eP blog Friday, April 8th.


Daisy is offering some wonderful savings at eclecticPaperie!

Re-Inkers - 10% off

Perfect Pearls - 20%(includes kits & individual colors)

Distressed Bundle (won't probably ship until next week)

eP Bundle - This is a special bundle for this blog hop: 2 Distress Stains, 2 matching Re-inkers, a mini mister, 2 yds of seam binding and some lace trims, too.

Now that we've got all the yummy goodies out of the way, LET'S GET DISTRESSED!

I was blog cruising one day and came across Lin's idea to combine the Distress Stains and some paints (I don't have the specific paint she was using, but I DO have lots of acrylic paints!).  So, here is my version of her technique:

Supplies:  Tag, acrylic paint (in a light color), 2-3 Distress Stains.

Grab a tag and apply a somewhat dry coat of acrylic paint.  I used Folk Art's Spring White.  Don't completely cover the tag.

Next, apply your lightest color of Distress Stain in some random streaks along your tag.  Here I used Antique Linen.  Take a paper towel while the ink is still wet and "blend" it into the tag.

 Apply your next color the same way.  This time I used Distress Stain in Weathered Wood

Again, use a paper towel to blend the Stain into the tag. 

Your tag is then ready to use as your background!!  WARNING:  THE PICTURES YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE DOES not UTILIZE THE ABOVE TAG.  While playing around with different color combinations, inspiration was struck to use a different tag.  But I didn't have photos.  And, I KNEW you'd want photos.   

The tag background was created using a combination of Distress Stains in Wild Honey and Fired Brick.  Instead of making my streaks vertical, I went horizontal.  I then spritzed the tag heavily with Glimmer Mist Tuscan Sun.  In real life, there is a pink/orange shimmer to the tag that I could not capture in my photo.  After the tag had dried, I stamped one of the flourishes from Marah Johnson's Art & Soul with Distress Walnut Stain.  The sentiment is from TenSecond Studio's Life, and was stamped with Archival Jet Black ink. 

Then I made another wonderful discovery using the Distress Stains.  I pulled out Wendy's Art Part frames and painted a coat of Claudine Hellmuth's Sable Brown acrylic paint onto the frame (have I ever mentioned how wonderfully silky this paint is?!! Lovely stuff!).  I felt the frame was just a little too "brown" and grabbed the Fired Brick Distress Stain and applied it over the dried paint.  Perfect for adding that bit of red tint!!

FYI:  The Distress Stains also work great applied directly to the Art Parts!  Yes, there is now another red frame just waiting to be made into another project!

Finally, I had to add some metal! If you don't have a piece of metal the color that matches your project, just make your own!  I started out with TenSecond Studio's Kiss Me Pink metal that was die cut using the Tattered Florals die.  Then, after scribbling on them with my pointy refiner, I applied two coats of Mountain Rose alcohol ink (allow the ink to dry between coats or you will just pull off the color).

I layered the Daisy pieces, curling the petals to my liking.  I then cut tiny strips to the middle of the six petaled flower, which makes the strips curl up. A large pearl was colored with my black copic for the center.  E-6000 glue holds everything together.  The leaves were die cut with Sizzix's Branch w/leaves out of Poison Ivy metal.  I used the small butterfly punch from MS on Rock Star black metal and scribbled some lines that were lightly sanded.  The butterfly was suspended by cutting a thin strip of Wendy's Clearly for Art Modeling film and winding it around a pen to make my spring.  Here are a couple of close up pictures:

Finally, the butterfly at the top of the frame was cut with SU's Beautiful Butterflies die out of Rock Star Black metal.  The metal was embossed with a Cuttlebug embossing folder (swiss dots) and lightly sanded.  I then die cut another butterfly the same size out of  the clear Clearly for Art modeling film.  I stamped it with Archival Jet Black ink with a Stampendous music stamp.  I attached only the bodies of the two butterflies with some Hummungo tape and heated the modeling film so that I could bend the wings over the metal.  Half back pearls were colored with a copic marker for both butterflies.

And the final outcome again:

I hope you enjoyed yet another week of being Distressed!  'Till next time.................



Monday, April 4, 2011

Hitting It Out of the Ball Park

Hey Peoples!! Are you ready for another week?!  How in the heck did we get to APRIL?!! I swear life is zooming past me over 90mph!  I'm to the point of just hoping to catch the draft and keep life in site!!

Saturday night the Oldest Kiddo received a text from a friend asking him if he could come to a BBQ celebrating his friend's 13th birthday.

Did I mention that the text came at 9:00pm?!

Did I also mention that the BBQ was for the following day at noon?!

You would think that by now I would have a stash of cards ready to go for such situations.  Guess what?!  I don't.  And in all likely, I never will. 

But!  Once again, I pulled it off and got the card done.  Do you think that Stamper's have creative lives?  I wonder if you get another 1/2 life for passing the test of having to make "That's cool" cards for your kid's friends on very short notice?  'Cause at this rate, I'm going to need all the extra lives I can get.  I think I'm pushing the limits on the regular creative lives!!

The Kiddo's buddy is a baseball player.  And a BIG boy.  I found this image at Bonibleaux Digital Designs.  PERFECT for the birthday slugger!

I resized and printed the image on Georgia Pacific #110 paper.  Have I ever mentioned how it destroys me that my printer refuses to accept my absolute favorite paper Pure Luxury?!  After coloring the image with my Copics, I used one of the Spellbinder Classic Diamonds to trace the frame behind the slugger.  Light sponging was done with Distress Ink in Tumbled Glass.  The image was then mounted on SU's Real Red.  The base is Pure Luxury 120#.

The Inside:

Just ignore my thumb in the picture.  I could NOT get the card to stay upright after I flipped the front over.  Have you ever tried to take a picture in focus while trying to hold something?  I lack those particular photography skills. 

For the inside, I printed the sentiment on my computer, leaving space for the number stickers. I die cut the baseball with Spellbinders Classic Circles. I used the direct to paper technique with Distress Ink in Antique Linen to "age" the ball.  Light shading along one edge was done with the ink that was left on my Vintage Photo sponge dauber.  I used a small Classic Oval to trace the shape of  the stitching line with SU's Creamy Caramel marker.  Real Red was used for the "stitching".  The number stickers were from my stash of scrapbooking goodies from a life time ago. 

I'm down to the ninth inning, with bases loaded for the next E-Team installment of the Distress Series. Hold on to your hats, People!!  Mojo is throwing a temper tantrum and the clock is ticking!!  I'm hoping to see you again tomorrow for the final pitch and the game outcome!!