Saturday, December 29, 2012

I leaped...

I usually avoid entering into "contests" or such as I NEVER win. And, usually, it requires so many steps, emails, etc., that I don't find it worth the time or effort.

But, someone must have conked me over the head because I got the wild hair to try out for the Spellbinder's Explore Beyond contest.

To make a long story short, I leaped.....

.....but I didn't win.  Didn't even get one of the honorable mentions.

And really, while I will admit to disappointment, I knew as soon as I saw the two finalist's picked for the mixed media category, that they would be the project's chosen to move on to the finals.  Having been lucky to attend CHA (the Craft and Hobby Association showcase of all the latest and greatest crafting goodies in every medium imaginable) the last couple of years, I could see what trends were starting to take place and what "looks" companies were being drawn to in presenting their products.  Those two finalist products were perfect in that area!!

So, why didn't I create the "look" I thought the company was looking for?

Here are my rambling, creative thoughts that I am going to share with you in regards to what I created.

My creative Mojo has been missing for MONTHS.  I have had ideas, but no energy or desire to create them.  I have been feeling overwhelmed with trying to create what I think others want to see.  I have been overwhelmed with the over abundance of  supplies that I have accumulated over the years, yet the pressure of using NEW product to gain looks was stifling. I did not want to purchase new product just to impress. 

 I have been trying to find or rediscover a medium that I can express myself in a creative manner that excites me.   I took the title of the contest to heart.  Explore Beyond. I wanted to be inspired and let the journey complete the project. I did not want to create the  project for the journey.  I decided that if I was going to leap and try for this contest, then I had to create what came from the heart.  I could not allow the creativity to be what I thought the judge's expectations were.  

This first project that I made (yes, I ended up finishing two!) was my way of expressing the above thoughts.  The all white aspect symbolized the "expected".  Though lovely in itself, it is what everything else is. The bright blue butterfly symbolizes what I hope to accomplish. Breaking away from the "expected" and not being afraid to be ME.  

I will admit to one "fatal" mistake in submitting this canvas.  I was beyond rushed with the holiday season and  really, had no business taking the time to make this.  I was having a HORRIBLE time in photographing this piece with the all white and the metallic butterfly.  So I settled on the  photograph that I submitted.  It wasn't any of these photos, which I just re photographed.  It was against a white background, too much natural sunlight and a bit washed out.  Not that it would have made a difference, but the lesson learned was, if you are going to take the time to do something, DO IT RIGHT.  

Even though this canvas didn't connect with the judges, I REALLY like it.  I like what it symbolizes to me.  And once I gain the energy and courage to face the mess my office/creative space has suffered, I will find a spot on the wall for it, to remind me of my ultimate goals in creating.

Later this week, I'll share the second project that I created for this contest.  TOTALLY different look,LOL!!

'Till next time.....remember to ENJOY the creativity!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Joy

It's raining here in Southern California.  No snowflakes falling for Christmas Eve.  While I'd like just a light dusting of the white stuff just for today and tomorrow, I'm perfectly satisfied without the cold temps and dealing with the white fluff otherwise!!

So, today I'm sharing a very simple wish of Christmas Joy.  However you celebrate this season, I wish you Joy.

Basic details:  Base Gina K's Pure Luxury White.  DP:  BoBunny.  Spellbinder's Create a Flake One.  Metal:  Ten Second Studios.  Sentiment:  stickers from my stash.  

Until next time..............

Monday, December 17, 2012

Peace and Joy

I will admit that I've debated with myself over the last couple of days as to whether or not to post cards/projects right now.  It seems rather trivial in light of the horrible current events.

One side argues that a moment of silence or a profound, heartfelt post is more appropriate.

The other side argues that a moment of "normalcy" is what is needed for broken hearts and souls.

I am still stuck in the middle, unable to step over the line to either side.  So, I am going to just post the card.  And hope that the sentiment will be a moment of hope.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Chocolate Rose

OOOOO!! I'm doing good!  I have managed to get another card done today before the month has past, LOL!!

Seriously, I do consider this an accomplishment, considering my incredibly overbooked calendar!!

I needed to make a dear friend a birthday card.  I had an inspiration piece in my mind and thought I had mapped out exactly how the card was going to look.

Does anyone else experience the artistic curve ball of having your perfectly thought out idea totally fail? I actually experience this creative detour more often than not. And while I usually don't mind this creative detour, I happened to have just a teeny tiny time crunch staring me in the face.

As in I was down to a total of about 45 minutes to come up with Plan B, get into the shower, get somewhat presentable and head out the door.

I stuck with my color inspiration and desire to use metal.  I had to forgo the original focal point idea (had to do with various swirls and such) and went with Plan B to go to my basic card layout of late with a flower focal point.  

Sigh.  Sometimes you just have to stick with the tried and true!

Basic details:  Metal is from TenSecond Studios in Dark Chocolate and Peacock.  I cut a strip of the Peacock and scored with my Scor-Buddy.  Adhered to the card with Scor-tape.  The rose was die cut with Donna Salazar's/Spellbinders Create a Rose.  Embossed with Spellbinder's M-bossabilities Ornamental Iron.  Sanded off the raised portion to expose the aluminium.  The same steps that can be see in this Black Metal Rose post.    The swirls and leaves were die cut from more of the Dark Chocolate Metal using Spellbinder's Doodle Parts and the leaves from the Create a Rose set.  The rose was adhered together with a hot glue gun for time's sake.   The sentiment stamped and I called her "good enough"!

This is the last week of school before the Christmas break.  I have about a million things that need to be completed but am hoping to get at least a half dozen completed, LOL!! 

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

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Black Metal Rose

Howdy Strangers!! Oh wait!  It's me that has been missing for a while!!

 I was all set to apologize for my absence, but then I realized that I would be apologizing for the fact that I have been busy with family happenings that have trumped creating.

And to be honest, I'm working on NOT feeling guilty or feel that I need to apologize for that.  I sooo admire those who are busy with family, jobs and life happenings, yet are still able to create several times a week.

Nope.  That's not me.

But!  You didn't drop by to hear me ramble about my weird guilt trips!

This week the high school boys are gearing up to ask out dates for the Winter Banquet.  Oldest kiddo is going to ask a classmate who shares his preference for 80's rock and metal music.  When he asked other friends to find out her favorite flower, she replied she likes "black roses.  A single black rose".  

Now, I don't know if she was being silly, but a black rose she will be getting!!

A black metal rose, that is.  

I have made roses out of metal before, using die cuts.  But I wanted a larger rose than what my available dies  were going to allow me to make.  I went online and found this template that I felt would work perfectly.  

I printed off the template onto regular copy paper.  I then traced  the templates with a Teflon refiner (you can use a stylus also) onto the metal by layering a thin mat, the metal and copy paper.

After tracing and cutting out the different pieces, I ran each layer through my Big Shot with Spellbinders M-Bossabilities Ornamental Iron.  

I then used a burnishing block to sand off the raised portions to expose the silver aluminium.

Usually, when making roses, you glue the petals of the larger layers into a cone shape.  Since I was wanting to adhere the rose onto a "stem" (a bamboo skewer wrapped in more of the black metal), I skipped that step. Using a hot glue gun, **Warning** Hot glue on metal gets HOT!  Be careful when handling!! I built up from the center out, wrapping and gluing each layer as I went.  Sorry there are no pictures of this step.  My hands were a tad bit occupied trying to maneuver the metal over the hot glue without leaving too much skin!! 

I wish you could see the texture and layers better!! Trying to photograph shiny metal at night is a bit beyond my photography skills at this time! LOL!!  The layers and texture add an elegance, yet still edgy, look to this "black rose".  

Basic supplies:  Rose Template from  Metal, mat, burnishing block (sanding block) and Teflon refiner:   Ten Second Studios Rock Star Black.  Embossing folders:  Spellbinders M-bossabilities Ornamental Iron and Cuttlebug Swiss dots.  

Well, that's it for me today!  I need to clean up this mess and start thinking about a couple of other projects that I would like to get done by this weekend!  

'Till then.....

Saturday, November 17, 2012

50 Years

A family friend's parents are celebrating 50 years of marriage today with an open house.

50 years.

Sadly, that is becoming more and more rare in this day and age.

I definitely lack in the 50th year anniversary stamp sets.  It would seem that the snarky (but full of love) cards that I tend to make for the Toad, don't translate well to golden anniversaries.  So, I pulled out some gold craft foil that a friend sent me, some pretty paper that I had in my stash (I'm cringing at the thought that the paper was for another 50th wedding anniversary gift that never got completed) and my metal embossing tools.

This photo doesn't have the glare off the metal, but looks bronze instead of gold

Here is the golden view!!

I had a brief thought that I should have taken photos of the embossing steps when I was almost done with the embossing steps! OOPS!! That's what happens when someone  is under a time crunch to get the card done!!

Basically:  I printed out the numbers on my computer and then traced onto some tissue paper. I die cut the metal with Spellbinders Fleur de Lis Squares and flipped my metal over to the back side and then used a pointed refining tool (or a stylus would work) to trace the numbers onto the metal.  I then alternated working on the back side of the metal, on a thin mat, with a paper stump and refining the image on the front side, while on an acrylic mat.  Here is a video that I did previously to show this in more detail.  After I was done embossing and refining, I filled in the puffed numerals on the backside with some light weight Spackle.  
The flowers were made from Spellbinder's Rose Creations by Donna Salazar using a combination of the gold metal and the background paper.  The card base is Gina K's Pure Luxury White, which is strong enough to hold all these layers without bowing.  

I seem to be in a little bit of a rut using the basic same layout and flower dies as my last card, LOL! Guess that is what happens when one hasn't cleaned up the tools from the last creation! HAHA!  I suppose I need to step outside my little box! Not to mention, CLEAN off my desk!! bwhahaaa!!

I enjoyed working with metal again.  I think I need to dust off those tools a bit more often!

'Till next time................

Friday, November 16, 2012

Just a Quick Note

Raise your hand if you HATE word verification?!

(picture Arnold Horshack here, raising his hand and saying OOOO, OOOO, OOOO!!) Yes, I just dated myself with that picture.  Does ANYONE remember Welcome back Kotter?

I really hate word verification as it is a pain in the patootie to figure out the weird fonts and combination of letters. 

But, I am going to have to turn it on for just a bit.  I'm getting several spam "comments" a day, and while blogger has done a great job at catching them, I'm hoping that by turning on the word verification for a few days, that they will just GO AWAY and I can turn it off again soon. 

I need to start working on a 50th wedding anniversary card or frame for tomorrow.

Should be back within a day or so with something to share unless Mojo flees in having to face creative demand on a tight schedule yet once again!! haha!!

'Till then..................explore some creativity!!


Friday, November 9, 2012

Vintage Rose

October 30.  Uhhh.  It would seem that I feel off the edge of the earth for a little bit!

In reality, while I haven't been crafting, I have been creating.

For the Annual Fall Fair:
250oz of homemade caramel.
150oz of Apple Pumpkin Spice dip.
Two pans of brownies, and 100 dipped S'mores marshmallows.

Before I even recovered from that tornado that hit my kitchen, I became "General Mom" and went into over drive, barking orders to the troops, aka The Toad and Kiddo's, to get a layer off the house to host a part for  the Oldest Kiddo's class that got changed to our house at the last minute.

This week, I TOTALLY went the opposite direction of being productive.

Unless you count the four books that I have finished since Sunday afternoon.  Which, for me personally, was a wonderful escape.

But I have warned myself that the mini book vacation is now over.  Time to snap myself back to reality.

My first reality check came in the form of a needed birthday card for my mother in law.  Whose birthday was actually on Tuesday, but will be celebrated tonight.

So, being the Queen of Procrastination, I waited until today to start thinking about it.

While the card took a bit of a different turn than I had originally started out with, I'm happy with the end results.  The card is kicked up a notch from CAS (clean and simple) but not too BAM! Does anyone besides me remember Emeril's cooking show?!

One of my goals this past year has been to use the vast amount of supplies that I already have, versus buying anything new.  I did break down a couple of months ago and bought Donna Salazar's Rose Creations, but justified the purchase with the knowledge that it was TWO YEARS ago released and has been on my wish list since!! 

Basic Details:  Card base is Pure Luxury Ivory (Gina K).  Designer paper is K&Company (oooold, from my stash), Spellbinder dies used for all the die cutting.  Stamp is from SU's retired It's Your Birthday. Tattered Angel's Glimmer mist in Vanilla Bean gives a slight shimmer to the rose.  Rose edges were sponged in Distress ink Victorian Velvet.  Leaves were sponged with Distress Peeled Paint while still in the die.  Bottom corners rounded with 1/2" corner rounder. 

'Till next time................remember to take time to explore some type of creativity, whether it be something that you create or the creative works of others!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Making ART

I'm so excited today!!

First:  I'm hoping with the e-Team as a guest designer today!!

Second:  OMG!! WENDY VECCHI is in the HOUSE!!

Today's hop will not only share projects made with Studio 490 products, but will also share some insight as to the inspiration and thought process that went into making the projects.

The eTeam is a wonderful group of talented women, each with their own style. Some are clean and simple card makers, others love scrapbooking, and still others are drawn to altered art and mixed media projects. The goal of this hop is bring each of the designers and their favorite mediums together and to share how they used these products to express their own individual styles through their projects. 

AND, as an added bonus, the eP store has some great specials to go along with the hop!

  • This week only save 25% on all Studio 490 products, this includes Wendy's stamps, stencils, Art parts, Book and Blossom Bucket embellishments. Use code WENDY25 when checking out.
  • During the hop, comment on each blog and you'll be entered into a drawing for a prize package worth $50! Your package will include a collection of Studio 490 products as well as paper and embellishments from the store. 
WAIT!  There's MORE!!

  • We want to hear about what inspires you! Share your thoughts about why you create, what styles you're drawn to, even share a favorite project on the eP Facebook page. Next week Kim will randomly select a winner from those who have commented on the eTeam Make Art Facebook posts and give away a $25 gift certificate to eP! 
eclectic Paperie--start of the hop!



I've been a big fan of Wendy's for a long time.  I love her unique style and her products.  I have to say that if the Clearly for Art Modeling film came in rolls, I'd be first in line to order (insert cheesy smile with a "hint, hint, Wendy!!" here__________________!!!!).  I have made a couple of projects as a previous designer for eP that combined Art Parts, TenSecond Studio metal and the modeling film.  If you are interested a couple of examples  can be found here and here.  

BUT, for today's project, I veered off to a different path.  I wanted to explore using Wendy's stamps in a bit of a different way.

Note:  Today I'm using some of Wendy's previously released stamp sets. But by all means! Check out all the NEW goodies that Kim has in the eP store!!

Let me give you a little peek as to how my brain (sometimes) works when I'm creating.

First:  I rummaged through my collection of Studio 490 stamps and Art parts.  The Art Parts just weren't calling to me (gasp!) so while I was pondering what direction I was going to go, I happened to catch a look at an open back bezel that has been waiting for me to do something with.  I then start looking at my collection of stamps to see what might work with the bezel.   The Visions of Art set and the sentiment "She only flew when no one could see" from It's Face Art set kept drawing me in.  

Both of these stamps were too large for the bezel.  But, by now, I'm stuck on the bezel idea.  Sooo, Shrink Film to the rescue!  I first lightly sanded the film with a sanding block and stamped the main image with Stazon ink.  I usually stamp an image a couple of times just in case I mess up.  

**Disclaimer:  most of these photos were taken at night. My work table is glass topped.  Clear plastic, glass tables, night lights and flashes don't mix!!

The image after shrinking.  

I then stamped another image from It's Face Art onto a piece of clear transparency that had been inked with various alcohol inks.  Since this piece was in my "possibility" file, I have NO idea what inks were used on it!! But it just seemed to fit the color main image!  

After a bit of finagling, I made myself a template for the inside of the bezel (it had a small lip on the inside, so it took a bit of trimming from a tracing to get it to fit right) and cut out the stamped image.  I decided that the background was too light, so I cut out another template from the unstamped portion of the inked transparency. Hindsight says I should have stuck with just the one layer....more on that later!!!

When I create mixed media projects, I tend to come up with a scenario or story line of what my project is portraying. I kept thinking about the sentiment, "she only flew when no one could see", and envisioned my Indian Princess (because, of course, she is a Princess!) allowing her thoughts to take flight to a different place or world that no one else could see or understand.  To symbolize the flight of her dreams, I stamped the butterfly, from Make Mine Mini Art, with black Stazon, onto a piece of the shrink film that I inked with cranberry, red pepper and rust alcohol inks.  I firmly adhered my bezel to a piece of duct tape and  then layered my two pieces of inked transparency and the Princess in the bezel and filled with Ice Resin.  I then added the butterfly and finished filling to the top.

This would be where hind sight should have spoken up earlier.

The double layer of the inked transparency seemed to get an air bubble.  And the double layer also seemed to deepen in intensity, so the main image blended into the background more.

And the butterfly.  The butterfly sank. There was no dreams taking flight here!!

BUT!  I did not toss the project.  I still liked the overall look.  It just needed a little road side assist!!

Another mini butterfly was stamped with Blazing Red Stazon ink onto the shrink film.  A second butterfly was stamped again on the red tone inked shrink film.  Both were cut out and shrunk with my heat gun.  While still HOT (and yes, I do mean you will singe your fingers HOT), I gently molded the wings to add dimension.  I adhered both butterflies with Beacon's Glass, Metal and More Glue.  The result:

Interestingly, the clear butterfly in her hair shows up the red coloration of the sunken butterfly in the picture, but in real life, you can't see the red !!

And the thickness of the butterfly wings is NOT so in your face.  I obviously need to figure out how to take photos of shiny objects better!! 

Originally, I was going to make this a piece of jewelry to wear, but without the light shining through the pendent, it is pretty dark and loses it's definition.  Instead, I think I will look for some multicolored fibers to hang the pendent from and make it into a book marker for myself so that the light can shine through the pendent.

Because books are another way to take flight to different places and  new worlds. 

I hope you take a couple of thoughts away with you today from my project:

First:  There are so many different ways to use your supplies.  Don't be afraid to go off onto a different path!  Explore creativity in a NEW way!

Second:  Even if a project has some mistakes, it doesn't mean that it is "ruined".  It may mean you just have to look at it from a different angle to see the light

and Third:  There really is no such thing as mistakes in Art.  They are just experiences to make the journey of Making Art more interesting!! 

Many, many thanks to Kim and the eTeam for inviting me to hop along with Wendy this week!!  I had sooo much fun Making Art!

Thanks for dropping by and for those of you on the East Coast, my thoughts are with you!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Giving Mojo an Ultimatum

I have decided that this extended vacation that Mojo has taken needs to come to an immediate end.  So I'm giving her an ultimatum.  I'm giving her a challenge she must show up for by Tuesday, October 30, for a guest spot on a blog hop with the new E-Team or she will be replaced.

Did I mention that this hop is with the incredibly talented Wendy Vecchi?!!!! Squeaaalllll!!!! 

I'm very excited to be joining the newly expanded E-Team and Wendy Vecchi (squeaaallll!!!) for this hop!!  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Twisted Birthday

I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but here, it seems more like late spring than fall.  Earlier in the week we had a glimpse of fall weather.  Yesterday, it was cool in the morning, then got to a nice mid to upper 70 level.  Today is suppose to be in the upper 80's.

I'm talking 86 plus degrees.  I don't think that is fall weather!  I'm ready for cooler temps that call for hot chocolate and warm soup in the evening.

But, I'll take upper 80's over mid 40's any day! haha!!

Since I don't think you dropped by to chat about the weather, I'll get to the card I'm going to share.  I actually made this card last week.  I've been debating whether or not to share it since.

Do you ever put unreasonable pressure on yourself to produce "WOW, BEAUTIFUL, AMAZING" cards  for your blog posts?  There are so many wonderful designers out there who seem to churn out one amazing card after the other.  Their creativity never seems to dry up.

I am NOT one of those designers.  Seriously.  I'm not looking for "this is fabulous, I don't know what you are complaining about comments".  I am in a creative funk.  There is no "WOW" creative thoughts coming out of my noggin. I decided to share the card because this is real life.  "AMAZING, WOW, FABULOUS" does not always happen.  Sometimes, creativity is only SIMPLE. BASIC.  FITS THE NEED.

And that is perfectly OKAY.  I'm giving myself, and if you need it, a break from the sometimes unrealistic goals we set for ourselves.  SIMPLE. BASIC. FITS THE NEED.

 I needed to make another last minute birthday card for a friend of the Oldest Kiddo.
Question:  is it only my children's teenage friends that decided the day before that they want to have friends over to celebrate their birthdays?  I now keep a stack of Game Stop and iTune gift cards on hand for these last minute celebrations!!  Since the Great Creative Funk of 2012 is still in it's prime, I was at a complete loss as to what new and exciting way I could make a birthday card from the same themes of interest of the birthday kid has had over the past 3-4 years (that would be basketball, music or Xbox). I saw a clever fold on one of my blog cruises and tucked it away in the brain files for later use.

This is a Twisted card fold.  The tutorial on the making of this fold can be found here. Since the die cut basketball is almost 3 3/4" across, I had to adjust the size of my base cuts. I believe my base was 6 x 12".  I made a couple of stabs at getting the base the right size to fit to basketball and still fit the envelope.  And since it was over a week ago since making the card, my brain has totally forgotten what the final outcome was.  


I think this would have looked better with some type of sentiment flag.  But then the front started to look crowded.  So I skipped it.  

A helpful hint for this card. Use double sided design paper. My design paper was single sided.  That meant that I had to use another sheet of paper and reverse the cuts to get the inside panels.  Since my brain is not functioning at a high level of creativity, this took some extra brain power to figure out! haha!

Basic details:  12x12 chocolate chip base.  Design paper from LSS that I have had in my stash forever.  Basketball die is from Quikutz and was made from Dusty Durango paper and sponged with either Close to Cocoa or Creamy Caramel.  I had the basketball die cut for a couple of years for yearly basketball season notes on classroom doors.  Recycling!!

Simple. Basic.  Got the job done.  Sometimes, that is all one can ask of oneself. 

'Till next time....

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Spring Again

It would appear that the plants in my yard think the temperatures are more in line with Spring rather than Fall.  My day lilies, verbena and roses are blooming again.  Since Mojo continues to elude me for any paper crafting, I took advantage of the mid afternoon light to play around with my camera.

Click on photos to enlarge.  One of these days I'll change the format of my blog so that photos can be larger!! 

One of these days I will have to pull out my paints and repair the look of this statue's halo.  But then again, it does add a bit of worn charm

I think this may be my favorite photo of the day

This guy decided to photo bomb my picture!

'Till next time.............remember, creativity can be found in so many different mediums!!
P.S.  I forgot to say which version of the Trio of Thanks that was deemed the favorite by the Toad:
(drum roll.....) Version 3!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Trio of Thanks

Life continues to travel at warp speed around here.  Creativity has been along the lines of making Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costumes out of paper bags and 12 x 12 sheets of colored paper (for the "6 pack abs, shell and masks).  And the making of the belt, initial monogram and shirt stripes for Batman's sidekick, Robin.

And let's not forget the making of Hawkeye's (Advengers) forearm protector and arrows and what ever that thingamajig that holds the arrows on his back is called.  

All made by the request of Oldest Kiddo, who is the President of his class, so that his class could get as many as possible spirit  points on "Super Hero Day".

 I'm pretty much a sucker for my Kiddo's requests.

In the kitchen, I've been adapting and trying out some new vegetarian and even some vegan recipes, in the attempt to get the proclaimed carnivore males in my family to eat more veggies and adapt to a more healthy lifestyle attitude towards a plant based diet.  There have been some new recipes that have gotten the approval to be in the meal rotation.  And some recipes that need some "tweaking" to fit our taste bud's preferences.

And, of course, there are those recipes, that while they were edible, were deemed, "Thanks, but we can skip this one from now on". 

Notice how I haven't mentioned the creating of cards, paintings, mixed media projects?  Yeah.  Well, ummm.  It would seem that particular creativity is still basically non existent in my craft area.  The only showing I have is the CAS (clean and simple) Thank You cards that I HAD to make for the Youngest Kiddo's birthday.

Did I mention that said birthday was LAST MONTH?

Insert large, audible sigh here_____________________________.

I did notice a possible hint that Mojo may be thinking about moving home again.

Mind you, it was just a hint.  A little, tiny, teeny hint.  

I started with this very CAS card and was over all pleased with the layout, considering the lack of desire to create the cards in the first place.

I then mass produced all the required pieces and walked away to make dinner.  An Asparagus and red bell  pepper Quiche with a spaghetti squash "crust".  It made the rotation list.  Sorry, I digress.  When I came back to assemble the cards, I just happened to place my three pieces in such a way that I was inspired to make this version:

Then, I switched the order around and made version 3. 

All three versions together:

click on picture to enlarge

Which one is your favorite version?  Let me know! After your comments, I'll let you know which one the Toad voted on to finish the mass production of the thank yous.

Basic Details:  Card base is SU's Mellow Moss.  Flags are made from the last piece of dp that I found at my LSS and forgot to look at the company before slicing into strips.  Oooops.  The matting layer is faux.  I used a dark green Copic marker to outline each flag.  The sentiment is from Cuttlebug's Olivia alphabet.  

And is it just me, or does each and every one of these stinkin' photos looked blurry?!  Sigh.  I'm telling you, I don't even have the gumption to retake all the photos again.  Sorry folks.  I need to have a heart to heart talk to mojo and get back on track.  Or, at least parallel to the track!!

Ok! I'm off to finish unpacking from a weekend away with the Oldest Kiddo and his Cross Country team.  Tomorrow brings an all day field trip with Youngest Kiddo to see an exhibit on Cleopatra.  

Hmmm.  Wonder if mojo is hiding in Cleo's box of jewels?

'Till next time.....

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Using Maps

I get lost easily.  I absolutely have NO sense of direction.  While a college student, my "friends" would find it funny to lead me out a different door from the many buildings on campus and watch me try to figure out which way I needed to go.  

I swear I am the only person who can get lost while using a GPS.

But despite the fact that I have no idea where I am going (in more ways than one!), I have gotten better at knowing the general direction in which to head.

But I still print out maps and try to follow someone else if I possibly can.

I continue to be lost as far as having any "original" ideas for creating.  It is what it is.  Life is just too busy right now and I can't seem to push myself to explore a new direction.  I'm not really fretting over it.  I know the general direction that I would like to go. I just have to figure out which doorway I'm starting at.

In the mean time, I'm not above using what "maps" I can find to help me on my way.  I needed a birthday card for The Toad's grandfather and wanted something simple, as in, requiring very little thinking on my part!
I found this sketch from an old SCS sketch challenge (June 7, 2011) and it got me to a CAS finished project in time for the family celebration.

click on photo for larger image

Basic details:  Base is Pure Luxury Ivory, 5.5" square.  Timepiece Collection design paper from Bo Bunny. Some sponging along the edges with Distress Gathered Twigs.  Sentiment is oooold SU Warmest Regards stamped with SU's Cranberry Crisp ink.  After I took this photo and was editing, I decided that the card needed three more self adhesive black pearls under the "Happy" to balance the card better.  Just use your imagination on that.  I literally applied the extra pearls as I was putting the card in the envelope while walking out the door! LOL!

That's it for me today! I'm trying to take advantage of a rare day off from work to tackle the laundry and find my kitchen counters!!

'Till next time........remember there is no shame in using a map to reach your destination!!

Friday, September 7, 2012


Can you believe it?!  It's been less than a week (okay, I admit it, I'm scrapping the edge on that one!) AND! I'm posting again!!

Quick!  Someone grab the camera just in case pigs are flying!

ANYHOOS!  After surviving the traumatic ordeal of making a teenage GIRL card, I was able to get back into a more comfortable creative zone.  I needed to make a card for the youngest kiddo's birthday.

Now, while I am more at ease in making masculine cards, here is the reality check that I am dealing with lately; it would seem that my kiddo's and their friends are getting into a "rut" as to what their interests are.  When they were younger, each year was a different interest:  the latest action hero, DS (remember those?! snort), wild animals, race cars, Bionicles, etc.  Now, it is narrowed down to guitars/music, basketball, cross country with a bit of Air Soft thrown in for the oldest and basketball, Air Soft and Xbox for the youngest. Problem is, I have already made cards with those interests for a couple of years running now!  EEAAAKKK!  People!  There are only so many "YOU ROCK" cards one can make for the same kid!! LOL!

Since the Youngest Kiddo was receiving a new Air Soft gun for his birthday, I went with a "Commando/military" theme.  I pretty sure I still had some left over camouflage design paper left over from a previous project. Turned out I was sadly mistaken.  So, I pulled out a pale green paper, that I think might possibly be some old SU Mellow Moss, some Copic markers, a picture from the Internet of Camouflage patterns and made my own.

remember: you can always click on the picture for a larger view. 

Disclaimer:  IRL there did NOT appear to be all the streaks from the markers.  I keep staring at this picture, stare at the card, shake my head and just let out a sigh.  

The HARDEST part of this card is the dog tag.  I have had these dog tags in my stash for evah!!!  O...M...G!!! Pulled out the Stazon ink, found the Happy Birthday stamp in my forgotten stash of PTI (I only own a few sets from when PTI first started producing stamps...this is from the Borders and Corners, Rectangles set) and LITERALLY stamped the image AT LEAST  20 times before I got a half way decent impression.  I don't know if it was because I was trying to use a clear stamp and Stazon on the slick surface or what. I would either smudge the impression by slipping when putting pressure on the stamp or the stamp would stick, and I mean STICK to the tag and when gently pulled off, and would pull the ink off too, leaving a wonderful HUGE blotch, larger than the SMALL blotch I finally settled for!! I finally decided that this is a "worn out tag", applied the chain, strategically placed rolled glue dots to hold it in place and called the thing DONE!!  Originally, I had planned on stamping another tag with the Youngest Kiddo's initials and add it to the chain that he could then wear.  Uhhhh. NO.  After trying to get this ONE image stamped somewhat decently, I decided that this was IT!!  

Basic details:  Card base from SU's Chocolate Chip cut to 5.5" square.  Basic black mat.  Custom camouflage paper.  Tag, from stash.  Stamp: PTI (I don't know if they even sell this set was THAT long ago I bought it!!)

That's about it for me today!! I actually made another card last weekend too!! I'll pop that up here in a day or so.  I'm dragging out the posts as long as I can, LOL! 

'Till then..............enjoy some creativity this weekend!!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Thank Goodness for Mojo...

.....unfortunately, it's not MY mojo!!!

It has been three weeks since I last posted.  At that time my mojo had left for an extended vacation.

I think she has moved and has no intention of sending me a forwarding address.

Although, I really can't blame her.  I've been putting in full weeks at work (someone obviously forgot to let my secretary know that I'm only part time) and by the time I get home, I have no energy or desire to create.  And I won't even mention the state my room is in.  Let's just put it this way:  anyone who was brave enough to enter would think this room had been hit by Hurricane Issac.  Unfortunately,  I live across the country near the OTHER coast!!

Luckily for me (or unluckily, might be more appropriate) my kiddos continue to have friends with birthdays, the kiddos themselves are having birthdays and I just realized that Big Papa (great grandfather) is also having a birthday.

Sigh.  These are the only reasons that I am wading through the mess in this room to try to create.

My first challenge for the weekend (brought to my attention at 9:30 pm last night as Oldest Kiddo was texting) is to make a last minute birthday card for one of his classmates that he and a couple of other friends decided to treat to a movie tonight for her birthday.

Yes.  I said HER.  

If you have tuned into my blog previously, you might recall that I am the mother of TWO boys.  I am married to a boy who occasionally remembers that he is no longer a boy.  Even the dog is a boy.

In other words, I have NO IDEA how to do teenage girl cards that my teenage boy won't cringe in handing over.

I started by choosing the design paper, Black Orchid, from s-e-i.   I'm pretty sure that this particular paper pack is a couple of years old.  I'm really trying to use my over abundance of supplies instead of purchasing "new" supplies.   I admit this is a lot easier to achieve when one has no creative energy, LOL!!

Anyhoos!  After choosing the paper, nothing struck me for an idea.  No theme, no layout, no nothing.  I started looking at all my favorite links and finally found a layout idea on the Mojo Monday sketch challenge that I thought I could work with.  I chose sketch 243, from February 2012.

A tad "busier" than I usually tend to create, but I really wanted to use the background paper and could not come up with any other ideas, LOL!!

Here is another view that shows all the dimension on this.

Basic details:  Card base from Gina K's Pure luxury, top fold, cut 5.5" square.  Black mat from scrap pile.  All other paper from the s-e-i Black Orchid paper pack.  I used my score buddy to add the embossed lines to the panel behind the butterfly and the "flag".  The straight panel was edged with Martha Stewart punch.  Self adhesive pears from my stash.  After looking at these pictures, I went back and rearranged my "swirls" to have more of a curve, but no new pictures.  Kid has the card in the envie, ready to head out the door.
Butterfly die is from Quikutz.  Sentiment is retired SU.  The sentiment panel was die cut and embossed using Spellbinders.  

Not too shabby for using up some old supplies, if I do say so myself!

That is it for me tonight.  I have a very faint idea as to what type of card to make for the Youngest Kiddo's birthday celebration.  NO IDEA at all for Big Papa!  And both cards need to be completed by tomorrow evening's family celebration.  

If any of you have an over flow of mojo, could you please send it my way?!!  Thanks!!

'Till next time..............