Saturday, January 30, 2010

Inspirational Brights

Saturday's Inspiration Challenge site is ESPE. They have some really cool wallets and bags. Such bold colors and patterns are a treat for the eyes. I found a couple of wallets on their site that I could go for. The first one is hot pink with striking white daisy like flowers. I took my Big Shot Daisies die and punched some out of white cs and positioned them on Melon Mambo cs. The centers have a circle of micro beads. I added the sentiment panel stamped with Whimsical Words and layered that on Rich Razzleberry. The last touch was to add the polka-dot grosgrain ribbon accent.

The second one is a tall wallet and it's in bright purple which reminded me of Rich Razzleberry cs. This is a tri-fold card. I took a whole sheet of cs and scored it at 4" and 8". Then I trimmed the short side to the shape shown on the front of the wallet. I then lined that short piece with a piece of Whisper White about 1/2" larger on the two visible sides. The front panel is held closed by the flower that overlaps it.

The flowers were stamped with Vintage Vogue (yes, again!) in Melon Mambo, Bermuda Bay, and Crushed Curry. They were stamped off once and then rock-and-rolled in the same color again to brighten the edges. The leaves were stamped in Garden Green and also stamped off once. Then I punched some 1/4" circles from all those colors and added them to the flower centers and created the spiked flower with them.

It was a bit of a gloomy day today and I was glad to work with these bright cheery colors. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thursday's Throw Aways

Whew, it's been a while since I posted one of these.  I hope to get back on schedule sometime soon. 

The Ways to Use Challenge today is to use textiles.  Well, I just so happen to have a pile of old denim jeans handy and although I do have a certain purpose in mind for them, I thought that I would try something for today's Throw Aways and Challenge combined.

One of our teachers at school has been chosen as a recipient of the Teachers Who Make Magic Award from a local radio station.  They will be making that announcement tomorrow and I thought that I would make her a congratulations card.  Then I got to thinking that she deserved flowers.  So I took a pair of jeans and went to work.

I used the Flower Folds die to cut out two sets of flowers.  The biggest ones I set aside.   I took the other three sizes and paired them up alternating the petals.  Then I used a needle and thread to take a running stitch in the centers of each pair to pucker them slightly.   I did this because I didn't want the flowers to lay flat - I wanted some bulk.  Then all the layers were stitched together.

I took a piece of the jeans hem and rolled it to form the center.  It is also stitched together and then stitched to the center of the petals.  Lastly I stitched a pin backing to the back of the flower.  I recommend you use a good needle and quilting thread for this.  It's much sturdier and less likely to snap. 

I cut the center out of one of the large petals that I had put aside and before I adhered it to the embossed cardstock I made a ribbon loop and attached it as you see below.....

The pin goes through the loop and then is fastened.  Not that it makes any difference, because the card doesn't look very good without it, but this way it doesn't have to be torn off. 

The card base is Night of Navy and there's a layer of Bordering Blue under the Barely Banana which is embossed with the Paisley Texture Plate.  I used a Night of Navy reinker to dye white satin ribbon.  (I'm anxious to see how many days it's going to take my fingers to return to normal because I forgot to wear gloves!)

Inside the card I added another Barely Banana panel and used the Congrats stamp set to add the word Congratulations. 

Now I'm off to find a box for this! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Teapot Tuesday 78

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair.  Would you believe I used to have hair that went below my waist?  Yes, I was a child of the 70's.  Straight, dark brown hair parted down the middle.  Well, I still have the center part, but it's no longer brown and it's very short.  And.... I played the role of Rapunzel in our Junior Carnival in High School.  

So what's that got to do with Teapot Tuesday?  Well, take a look at Rapunzel's castle............

Cindy has woven a great story about Rapunzel and her hair, and her beau, and her beauty salon, and the knights, and the neighbors, and the gossip........... oh my, I don't know how she does it..... comes up with these things I mean.  You really need to go to her glob and read the story for yourself to understand what I'm about to tell you.

This is Rapunzel's neighborhood.  She may have a moat around her castle, but the neighborhood is rather commonplace.  That is, unless you realize you are only allowed to paint your house, white, red or blue, or any combination of those colors.  It's a very patriotic neighborhood.  It's also full of very nosy observant people. 

How do I know that?  Well look at those houses.  Not one of them has curtains  and there are no trees obscuring the view.  And that's not just because they like to watch the fireworks every other weekend.  They like to keep an eye on each other.   They like to keep the terrorists or would be terrorists out of their neighborhood.  We should all hope to live in such a safe and caring neighborhood.

So Rapunzel, you are very lucky and shouldn't have any problem getting your hair salon up and running!

This is a side-step card and here is the recipe:

Stamps:  Good Neighbors, Quilt Quips
Paper:  Summer Sun, Garden Green, Whisper White, Real Red, Brilliant Blue, Brocade Blue, Ballet Blue
Ink:  Brocade Blue, Ruby Red
Accessories:  Barely Banana, Going Gray, and Garden Green markers, Silver brads, Red Gingham ribbon, small and large star punches, large oval and scalloped oval punches

Now, go take a look at the gallery!!! 

Monday, January 25, 2010

Nightgown Valentine

I received a beautiful cotton nightgown as a gift from a friend recently.  It has the cutest pattern in gray, pink, and coral and it's so soft and comfortable.  This became my inspiration for this card. 

Using stamps from Tiny Tags and my SU markers I made my own background paper.  The hearts come from the new set I {Heart} Hearts, and the sentiment from Well Scripted. 

The base of the card is Basic Gray stamped with VersaMark.  Pretty in Pink and Cameo Coral were the other colors in the palette.  I also managed to use the new Pinked Hearts border and corner punches on the Pretty in Pink paper, as well as the tiny heart punch in gray.  The ribbon is Basic Gray Taffetta. 

Now, here's a picture of a word verification screen I recently got while posting a comment on another friend's blog.  Funny thing was that that particular post was about birds!  I just thought it ironic that it was an actual word and the word was.................

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Featured Stamper Challenge

This is something new for me.  Splitcoast features a stamper every Sunday and you peruse their gallery and choose one of their creations to be inspired by.  There are rules for this, like - you must change 2  or more things, be it the layout, the colors, the image, etc. 

Why am I doing this today?  Well, because the Featured Stamper is Karen B. Barber.  I love her work and I've actually met her at one of our INKredible gatherings.  She's so creatively gifted and she's a hoot!

Take a little time to go visit her gallery in the link above and you will see what I mean about her gift.

I chose her Wildflower Tiles card to CASE.  I changed the colors, the stamp set, and some other little details.

I don't think I've used any other SU set as much as I've used Vintage Vogue already.  I love the images and it's so darn easy to use the new clear mount stamps with the acrylic blocks. 

Let me start with the background which is Bermuda Bay stamped withVersaMark.  Next I used the flowers and leaves from Vintage Vogue to make my own DSP.  The large flowers are Cameo Coral rock-and-rolled in Ruby Red and the smaller flowers are Bermuda Bay, stamped off once and then also rock-and-rolled in the same color.  The leaves are stamped in Garden Green twice.  I added some speckles in Soft Suede using the Itty Bitty Backgrounds stamp set.

My squares are a little smaller than Karen's because, I think, I'm mathematically challenged.  I thought my square punches would work.  Thought wrong!  But I do like the way it turned out anyway with the larger white space between.   The flowers are punched with the 1 3/8 square punch and they are layered onto Riding Hood Red CS. 

The centers of the flowers are punched out of CS and I added white dots with a gel pen.  And, I guess you can tell that I couldn't quite make up my mind about the ribbon.  All Bermuda Bay was too blah, and all Riding Hood Red was too much, so I compromised and used them both. 

This is one of those cards that's going to have to go in a bigger envelope because of that bow! 

So, how do you think I did with my first Featured Stamper challenge?

Saturday Inspiration

The Inspiration Challenge for today comes from the online store ECHO.   I chose this pillow as my inspiration..........

I wish I had some textured Basic Gray card stock, but I don't so I used a ruler and a stylus to create some texture on the gray square.  The flowers are from Vintage Vogue and are stamped in Lavendar Lace, Summer Sun and Cameo Coral. I stamped them off once and then rolled the edges in the ink to highlight the edges.  They have centers punched with the 1/4" circle punch to which I added some Crystal Effects to make them look glossy.

The borders are made with the new open scallop punch to which I added several rows of white cotton thread to give it some more texture. 

The colors were repeated in the little tags that I punched with the mini tag punch after I stamped them with a sentiment from Tiny Tags.  I strung them on some more white cotton thread and tied them up with a bow.  The bow was stuck on with a glue dot.  I added a panel of Whisper White embossed with the new polka dot folder behind the pillow piece.  You can see the textures in the close up photo below. 

Okay, help me out here.  Was it the Three Stooges or Alvin and the Chipmunks who sang "Hello, Hello, Hello" when they made an entrance?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

January Visitors

Today started off pretty crazy.  There was a house fire a couple of blocks from here and the sirens woke me.  I don't know how many fire companies responded but there were a lot and there was a lot of smoke.  When we did try to get out that way we were turned back but you could see that the house was very damaged.  I'm just hoping that no one was hurt. 

Then we were off to the races, running errands and trying to get back in time for HWNSNBP to get ready to start his basketball officiating duties for the day.  When we came back to the house around lunch time the yard had some visitors.  You can see the deer in the background, several of whom were fighting over three soft apples that I had thrown out there.  I intended for some of the apple to go to the chipmunk who also made an appearance today. 

But the nicest surprise was seeing that the finches finally found HWNSNBP's new finch feeder.  These are goldfinches with their winter coloring.  They become more yellow as the days get longer.  That feeder is full of thistle seed and has been out there since New Year's.  It has taken them a while to find it.  The feeder in the front has seed for the other birds (and the pesky squirrels who will swing on it until that seed is on the ground!). 

We got a little bit of the promise of spring today - that was nice.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Teapot Tuesday 77

In all the tea parties that we've had I don't think we've ever had a celebrity at one, unless you consider Santa a celebrity that it.  This week, we have Miss Audrey Hepburn as Miss Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Isn't this a cute teapot?  Cindy has challenged us to use the theme of Breakfast at Tiffany's this week.  Check it out here on her glob or here at Challenge Headquarters.  We have quite a variety of directions to go with this one.

I've taken Cindy's challenge a bit literal.  I usually have a packet of instant oatmeal and some tea in the morning so I've created a little Top Note pocket card out of Thoroughly Modern DSP for some teabags and will attach that to the oatmeal.  Now I can share my favorite breakfast with someone.  (Truth be told, my intention was to slip the oatmeal into the pocket card, but I should have measured first!!!)

My backdrop is an actual bag from Tiffany's.  About 15 years ago, HWNSNBP won an award at work and in those days, that meant a trip somewhere (with spouses) to meet with other company members and be honored.  We got to go to California, stay at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Beach and each night there was a box from Tiffany's left in our room.  There was a crystal dish and a paperweight, and I've forgotten the other thing (and I'm too tired now to look for the scrapbook-sorry!). 

You should have seen the looks from the other passengers on the airplane when the entire east coast group boarded carrying the signature Tiffany's blue bag filled to the brim with more blue boxes inside.  (Actually our bag was full of empty boxes, we packed the crystal in our suitcase hoping it would be safer there ..... and it was.)  Of course I saved those boxes and that bag!  I do believe that that was one of, if not the last time spouses were allowed on those trips. 

Of all the colors that SU has, the closest that came to Tiffany blue is Bermuda Bay, one of this year's In Colors.  I stamped the flowers from Vintage Vogue (can you tell I'm really liking this set!!!) and added the sentiment "Sweet Treats" from Teeny Tiny Wishes. 

Okay, I'm off to visit the gallery and make as many comments as I can before I fall asleep at the computer!  Please check out Cindy's glob linked above and the Teapot Tuesday gallery for this week.  I know you'll enjoy it.

CAS Challenge - Teal's the Deal

HWNSNBP and I had the day off today and he was nice enough to take me a couple of places while we did some errands this morning.  One of those places was AC Moore.  There was a coupon in the Sunday paper for 50% off one item today...... and I had two of them.   I found these cute little bird brads and had to have them.  It helps having HWNSNBP along when you have two coupons because he can also use one - and if I'm really lucky, he'll actually pay for the item too!  Dare I tell you that I also talked the cashier into letting me use a 40% off coupon too.  She quietly rang me up twice to do so.  Wasn't that kind of her!  I'll show you another time what else I got.

Today's CAS (Clean and Simple) Challenge was to use Teal.  I punched out some 1/4" squares from Taken With Teal, Bermuda Bay, and Cool Caribbean - all shades of teal to me.  This wasn't as hard as it may look.  I put the squares into my Xyron sticker maker which meant no gluing and lined them up using post-its and the graph from my work space.  The sentiment is from Teeny Tiny Wishes and it's stamped in Taken With Teal.

I added a strip of Cool Caribbean that I used the Spiral Hole punch on.  I must admit it was hard to leave the background solid, but I did.  Without ribbon, I think this can be for a guy or a gal.  What do you think?

Red Chocolate Box - Thursday's Throw Aways

Okay, I know it's not Thusday, but I wanted to post this project.  Bear with me, I'm trying to clean up some stuff that is overtaking my craft space.

Cleaning up after the holidays also meant getting rid of the sweets.  No, I did not eat them all!  I packed up what I could and took them to work for the seagulls staff to enjoy.  This included three partially filled boxes of Gertrude Hawks Smidgens.  I was going to cut apart the boxes when they were done to use them in a Thursday Throw-Away segment, but I was challenged by my co-worker and our mail lady to repurpose the box.

This first one is Ruby or Riding Hood Red and Cameo Coral - at least that's what I think they are.  I carefully cut out the circle from the front of the box and took my Ruby Red marker and ran it on the inside of the cut away so the edges did not look so ragged.  Then I added a piece of acetate on the inside.  I stamped the flowers and border piece from Vintage Vogue.  The flowers are Cameo Coral rock and rolled in Ruby Red.  The border piece was colored with markers.  The centers of the flowers are 1/4" punches with Crystal Effects on them to make them shiny.

Inside the box I have a pair of flamingo socks and a butterfly scrub.  On the back you'll see the sentiment from Whimsical Words (You're Never More Than a Thought Away) and some more of the Vintage Vogue elements.  I punched holes in the lide with my Crop-a-Dile and tied it up with some white taffeta ribbon.

This will make a nice little pick-me-up gift for a friend. 

Okay, one box down and two to go.  Stay tuned for more in the future.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

January Visitors

I was blessed by two visits this weekend.  The first by my lovely daughter who came up Saturday afternoon and stayed the night.  We took her to dinner for her birthday which is next week and she and I did some errands together.  It's always such a pleasure spending time with her and it still saddens me when we say good bye.  

The second visit came just before she called to say she arrived back at her place safely.  It wasn't a personal visit, but rather a visit to the yard.  I saw the first bluebirds of 2010.  It was raining quite steadily and it's been a little warmer the past day or so and the ground is thawing.  I looked up to the garden around 3 this afternoon and there were birds flying in and out of it.  I haven't seen that much activity up there in months. 

Imagine my surprise when I saw a bluebird light on the font of the nesting box, and another on the fence........ and another on top of the box.  I had the binoculars handy on the counter, but my camera was not there, so you'll have to take my word for it.   I think they were all males - they will stay together in groups in the winter, but prefer their own territory during nesting season. 

It's the beginning of the year and the beginning, hopefully, of the bluebirds returning so I decided to start a bluebird journal.  I dug around in my stash and came up with a spiral bound notebook just the right size.  

In my idea book I came across a drawing I had made of a bird using punches.  The bird quickly became the focal point for my journal.  I embossed the top note panel with some flowers and used my SU pastels to color them.  They represent the purple clematis that surrounds the nesting box during the summer and they are much more vibrant in real life.  I punched out the date with my Big Shot, added a courduroy button to match and here you have it............

I showed HWNSNBP and explained to him that we will make notations in this book when we see the birds and keep track of them throughout the year.   This will go along perfectly with the gift I gave him for Christmas - a nestcam for the box!   He's going to try to set that up within the next couple of weeks.  If it's not too muddy tomorrow we'll start by measuring the distance from the box to the house.  The camera came with 100 feet of cord and we don't know for sure if that will be enough.  We're going to try to set it up with an old tv and vcr that the kids left behind so we can do some serious birdwatching.

I'll be keeping you posted on our little project.

Downline Meeting Inspires Thursday Throw Away

We had another wonderful downline meeting this week.  My upline Debbie was preparing for her open house to welcome in the new Ocassions Mini and the start of Sale-a-bration.  She picked these wonderful projects for us to do..........

We used the new milk carton die, the scalloped heart embosslit, new dsp, and new stamp sets and much more.  Not shown is a Valentine box from the preprinted Valentines in the new catty. 

The bookmark was created with some of the new punches.  I took this idea and some dsp I had on hand to create a cover for my new pocket calendar. 

I had bought a couple of these calendars last year to recover and give as gifts, but as usual, time got away from me and I put them aside.  Well, it's 2010 and I didn't have a new calendar so I dug this up.  It's a two-year calendar for 2009-2010.  I used a craft knife to cut out the pages for 2009 and then picked out my papers and got to work.  So you might consider this a Thursday Throw-Away that was rescued from the recycling bin.

Here it is before.....

and after........

and here's a close up ..........

It fits right back into the protective plastic sleeve.  I have to say that I love these new punches.  They are easy to work with and easy to store.  Don't you just love this bird!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Teapot Tuesday 76

It's apple-pickin' time.  Well, not here in NJ, but in Teapot Tuesday Land it is. 

Poor Annie Mae Appleseed, super apple picker extraordinaire, keeps getting dumped on her uh huh by, as Cindy (Mothermark) puts it, a bad apple.

I think the bad apple is just looking for a little love in all the wrong places.  He'd be better off taking the advice of the Pink Lady Apple rep and offer some Pink Lady apples to Annie Mae for Valentine's Day.  (Pink Lady's are one of my faves!)  She's bound to love the idea that he's looking out for her health, instead of dumping her on her uh huh! 

Just look what a little love will do...............

Here's the card details:

Stamps:  Sheltering Tree, Fancy Flexible Phrases
Paper:  Ballet Blue, Whisper White
Ink:  Ballet Blue, Close to Cocoa, Garden Green, Real Red, Bashful Blue, Certainly Celery
Accessories:  Sponges, Dauber, Tiny Tag Punch, Red Polka Dot and Red Striped Grosgrain Ribbons, White Cotton String, White Button

Now head on over to the Teapot Gallery for this week and see what the ladies are bringing!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Vintage Vogue Fan and Some Photos

This came about purely by accident.  I was playing with the border stamp from Vintage Vogue and the paper moved and this idea popped into my head when I accidentally overstamped the image ..... at an angle. 

I thought it might make a nice lacey looking fan.  What do you think?   I started stamping it from the right side and used a long post it to mask each piece.  Then I took a pencil and lightly drew the shape of the fan blades.  The flowers were rock and rolled in Cameo Coral and Ruby Red and I added the half pearls from the Pretties kit and some Old Olive leaves.  I popped a few of them up to give it some depth. 

The CAS challenge for today was to Cut It Out.   The flowers and the fan itself were cut out and added to the Cameo Coral background cardstock.  I lightly drew the corner swirls in pencil and then paper pierced them, erasing the lines afterwards. 

On a totally different note, I've been having these photo moments in the car lately.  Some of them I've been able to capture, some of them not.  I've shown you some of the sunsets I managed to snap.  Last weekend, on my way to a friend's house I came upon a field near the river that literally had hundreds of geese in it.  When they rose from the ground it was like watching the vortex of a tornado.  I stopped the car and snapped this...........

This was only a portion of what was in the sky. 

On the same road, in almost the same place Saturday morning on my way to my Uncle's funeral service, there were two white geese crossing the road.  They reminded me of an elderly couple out for a walk.  Although I had to stop the car, they were much too quick for me to get out the camera.

Then this morning as I was headed to work the sun hit the windshield of the car and illuminated the frost that I hadn't had time to remove.........

A little further down the road, there were a half dozen deer just standing in the middle of the road.   Again, it was a missed picture.  I'm thinking I should probably have the camera out of my purse from now on so I don't miss those animal pictures.

I attended the funeral of my Uncle Dick this weekend.  He was my father's twin brother and the last of five brothers.  In spite of the sad circumstances it was good to see cousins that I haven't seen, some as long as 45 years ago.  Somehow we got involved in a conversation about cameras and not printing pictures and I remarked how most of my pictures are not of people but rather nature.  I don't know why that is.  I carry my little Olympus with me all the time.  It probably has something to do with the fact that I don't like having my picture taken.   I'm going to try to change that this year.  (ETA:  I'll be taking more photos of other people, not myself!)

Say cheese!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mambo Trees

I was moving around some picture files and realized that I didn't post this project.  This was a card and little gift box that I made for a friend.  I had done it all in pink and decided to add the green this time.  These shipping tag boxes are really easy to make. 

I just found a great idea on someone else's blog and unfortunately I forgot to bookmark it to give them credit.  They were going to make one Christmas card a week until next December.  I'm thinking that I might give that a try myself.  What do you think of that idea?  Should I post pictures weekly, monthly, or not at all until December? 

Sunday Sunset at Five

I had to snap this picture as we were returning home this evening from a trip to the grocery store.  I know it's not the greatest but the clouds in the distance were really electric.  They had an almost fluorescent look to them.  Stunningly orange and pink they were centered right ahead of us while clouds of purple flanked us on either side.   Later this evening we watched a Nature Channel program about hummingbirds and the luminescence of the male feathers reminded me of how these clouds looked.  

Friday, January 8, 2010


Strange word?  Today is the one year anniversary of my hysterectomy.  Why am I advertising that?  Because I'm here and I'm well and my life has changed because of it.

When you get that dreaded call from the doctor's office that you have cancer you don't know what to do first.  There are appointments to be made, decisions to be made, and you need to remember to breathe.  In my case things happened very quickly.  I got the call on a Friday, saw the surgeon on Tuesday and had the surgery on Thursday - less than a week went by.  My cancer was considered very invasive and fast growing which is why we moved so fast. 

I had about 48 hours to get my life in order.  Order?  What is order when you're faced with your mortality?  I tidied up my desk at work and transferred some files.  Someone else would have to deal with that part of my life. 

Tidying up at home was not as easy.   It never is for me to begin with, but I did the best I could while I contacted those that needed to know what was happening in my life.

I won't go into the details of the surgery or hospital stay though much of it is as fresh in my mind today as it was then.  I am lucky to have a wonderful network of family and friends who gathered around me and showed me their support and love.  My husband (you know him as HWNSNBP) has gone above and beyond to make me comfortable in every way possible.

The results of the surgery showed I was in Stage 1 and did not need any further treatment.  Thank you God.  I will need to see the oncologist every four months for five years which is a little unnerving, but I will deal with that as time goes by.

Since that day last January, I have tried to live a healthier life.  Yes, I have changed my eating habits and begun exercising and have lost 45 pounds.  But I've also tried to eliminate some, if not most of the stress in my life.  I don't know what caused my cancer, but stress cannot be helpful.  That being said, I have begun to speak out when things are happening that bother me rather than sitting by and letting it eat away at me.  Has this helped?  I do feel more relaxed, but only time will tell if there are to be any long-term results.

So today I say thanks.  I say thanks to God, my family and friends, my doctors, and even myself for caring for and taking care of me.  I've got a lot more planned for this life. 

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Playing With Something New

I was thinking ahead a little in December and managed to order some of the new things from the new SU Ocassions Mini catalog and now I'm finally getting a chance to play with some of them.

Stampin' Up is now offering clear, unmounted stamps.  They are so easy to use.  I decided to combine some of the Splitcoast challenges this week and this is what I came up with..................

This uses the Challenge colors (Bermuday Bay, Certainly Celery and Hunter Green), the sketch of the week, and something new.  I watercolored the dolls and the flower.  It is very detail work but I find it very relaxing.  I fell in love with this set when I first saw it.  I can't wait to see what other people come up with!

What do you think?  I'd love to see you comment!

I almost forgot - my other inspiration for this is Kelly's Word of the Week - Kolo - a European Folk Dance.  These little dolls remind me of the costume that my mother wore when she was a child and was learning to dance the Polish folk dances. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Teapot Tuesday 75

Yippie Yay, Cindy's back today!!!  And we're off to Dodge City!  Miss Kitty, you know from Gunsmoke, she's done waiting for that Marshall Dillon to come through with a proposal and is looking for a hunk.  Well, it doesn't have to be a hunk.  It could be a cute little critter to keep her company, or something pretty to keep her mind off the marshall.  If you want the whole story, you really need to visit Cindy's glob.  Here is our inspiration teapot.............

I decided to make something pretty for Miss Kitty. 

It's a pretty flower, but........... there's a surprise inside

There's a hunk and his name is David.  David has come to treat the girls at the party to a little entertainment.  He's also there to make that Marshall Dillon jealous so he'll finally get around to doing the right thing by Miss Kitty.

Don't worry, David's got his cowboy hat to keep him covered warm.

(You should have seen me trying to explain this card to HWNSNBP who thought the hat was a button and did not get it at all.  Hopefully the teapartiers will.)

Please go take a look at the gallery

Oh, and don't let me forget - the flower idea came from a card I saw on Splitcoast by Anne Harada.  Thanks for the inspiration Anne!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Combination Challenges

There were two challenges today I thought I could combine.  The CAS (Clean and Simple) challenge was to create a Valentine card and the TLC (Technique Lovers Challenge) was to do paper quilting.  I had a few ideas as to how to combine this, but when I went to get the new blade for my paper cutter out of the bag from Michael's it hit me - or rather it fell on the floor.  No, not me, the stamp that I had picked up from the dollar bin at Mike's this weekend.  You see, I was given a giftcard for Christmas and I decided to treat myself to some goodies and despite all my efforts (and all the stuff I already own), there are times that I just can't seem to resist the urge to use the 40% off coupon from the Sunday paper.

Anyway, while shopping yesterday I found this stamp with the squirrel that says "totally nuts for you" and added it to my basket, along with a new MS punch (Birds on a Wire), replacement blades for the cutter, and a selection of Valentine ribbons.  (Oh, I spent every penny of that giftcard plus a bit more!)

When the bag spilled open today and I picked up the stamp I knew it would be perfect.  The sentiment is good for Valentines and since it was square I knew I could build a quilt around it.

The stamp itself is a little over 1 1/2" inches.  I used my 3/4" square punch to punch out squares of some patterns from the new Welcome Neighbor paper that will be available from SU tomorrow.  I drew a grid on white CS and after running the punched squares through my Xyron, laid them down on the grid to make the quilted frame.  I added a simple white cotton string bow and some faux stitching around the edge of the card.  After I stamped the squirrel, I used my markers and blender pen to accent the image a little and stuck that to the back of the quilted piece.  Nothing like a pink squirrel!!!

I was pretty proud of this card and even showed it to HWNSNBP and told him it was his Valentine.  He nodded his head as usual and said "very nice" and then I went to take my pictures.  I even thought I'd provide you with a close up of the squirrel so you could actually read the background and then it hit me...... see if you notice the goof up............

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Handmade Christmas Cards

Thought I'd take some time to show you the wonderful handmade cards that we received for Christmas this year.  Thanks to everyone for sharing their beautiful work. 

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Saturday Inspiration Challenge

I thought I'd play along with the Inspiration Challenge today.  I'm going to try to fit more of these in during the course of the year - kind of a resolution for more fun.  And I'm going to use whatever I have on hand.  Surely I have enough to choose from!!!

Today's inspiration site is Design Spirit Studio.   The piece I chose is the Green Abstract Magnet Clock by Spirit Lala..........

I took the colors and some of the shapes and this is what I came up with............

You'll have to forgive the crummy pictures of mine.  I've moved all my "craft stuff" upstairs into what will one day be my "studio" and for now there is no place to take decent pictures. Guess I'm going to have to investigate making one of those light boxes. 

Back to the challenge.  I used a stamp that I got on a trip to Delaware quite a few years back.  That store, White Swan Rubber Stamps, has unfortunately gone out of business, but that's really where I got my start in serious rubber stamping.  It was a must go destination whenever I went to visit Rachel at school.

It's a Judikins stamp called Sand and Sea.  There are actually four stamps on a block.  You can see two of them that I used here.  I stamped the image in Basic Black and colored it with my SU markers.  You can add shading with these markers by adding layers in certain spots.  Here's a close up.....

I think the shading adds more dimension to the design.  The sentiment is from Teeny Tiny Wishes - I think. I say that because suddenly I have two stamps in that box that say Thank You and I'm pretty sure that the set only comes with one.  So sometime in the near future I'll have to go through and figure out where that extra stamp came from!

The 1 3/8" square punch just fit around the stamped motif and I used the curly label punch for the sentiment.  The rest is pretty self explanatory.

It's been a wonderful holiday and I've been the recipient of some very thoughtful gifts. And now I'm reminded that I really have to go and write out my Christmas Thank You's.  Some of them will be mailed and some of them will be hand-delivered when I get back to work.  It's never too late to say thank you - right?