Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday's Throw Aways - Chipboard Challenge

Chipboard.  You come across it on a daily basis, but not always in an artistic format.  Yes, you can get precut chipboard shapes and add ink or paper to them, but it also can be found in the form of cereal boxes, the backs of notepads, cd mailers, shirt boxes -  you get the picture.   Today's Way To Use It Challenge is to use chipboard and since it's also Thursday I thought it would be best to repurpose one of those everyday sources of chipboard.  Here's what I started with.........

A chipboard mailing envelope and a waxy piece of tissue paper that was used to wrap something glass I bought at the Dollar Tree.  I cut a 6 x 6 square of each and then ran the chipboard through my Xyron with the sticker cartridge.  Then I placed the tissue paper on top of the sticky side and burnished it until it was nice and flat - no wrinkles.  Once that was done I ran it through my Big Shot with the Circles 2 die to get the nice big scalloped circle you see here.........

The big Melon Mambo flower was made with the new Island Floral Bigz die.  Actually the center was another Throw Away - a button from an old shirt.  I fed some pink cotton thread through the holes and tied the ends in knots to look like stamens.  The other flower is from the Floral Fusion die with a center from the Three For You Punch.  I stamped the diagonal Ballet Blue piece with Boho Backgrounds in Brilliant Blue ink. 

The sentiment comes from Teeny Tiny Wishes and it was stamped in Melon Mambo and punched out with the fancy label punch.  I sponged the ends of the label with Ballet Blue ink.  The sentiment is popped up on dimensionals as is the large flower.  There is a half daisy under the large flower ...... you might say I was cleaning up the scraps on my work table and you would be right.  Most of what you see in this project was bits and pieces of what I had lying around unused. 

I added the white taffeta ribbon to the bottom left by putting little pieces of red line tape down and making rivers and valleys with it, sticking at the valley points.  The card base is Old Olive. 

This is kind of wild, but I like the drama of it myself and I'll be able to hand-deliver it to my mother on Mother's Day. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sketch Challenge Thank You

Last Wednesday was Administrative Professional's Day and the staff in my school gave my co-worker and I a beautiful hydrangea plant.  I had been mulling over an idea for my thank you card but had not been able to put it to paper yet as I was lacking inspiration for a layout.  Well, thank goodness for the Sketch Challenge today...........

I created my own little hydrangea plant with one of the new mini punches from SU available May 1.  I punched a bunch of the four petal flowers out of Pink Pirouette and then laid them down on my matt pack and pressed my embossing stylus into the center of them to give them some dimension.  I added the dots in the center with a Pretty in Pink marker and then glued them to a small oval and a 3/4" circle of Pink Pirouette.  The leaves come from the Little Leaves Sizzlit. 

The card base is Pink Pirouette stamped on the edges with Vintage Vogue and the 4 squares are some dsp layered with Pretty in Pink.  The center square is Certainly Celery and I stamped the sentiment from Tiny Tags in Garden Green.  That panel is popped up with dimensionals.   Lastly I added the pink taffeta ribbon.

I know, I should have a picture of the real plant.  Trust me, it's beautiful.  I intend to put it in the yard but we've got a frost warning for tonight so it's inside for the evening. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Teapot Tuesday 91

We're going the softer side this week which means that our cards are going to someone who needs a little pick me up.  Check it out here at the Teapot Challenge.  There's actually a lot of need for pick-me-ups this week as our hostesses' MIL passed away this weekend also.  Her MIL is also the mother of one of our teapotters as well.  Hopefully all the petals and all the ladybugs will cheer these ladies up.

So without a story of my own this week, and going just on the teapot itself, here is my card...........

It looks a little plain in the picture, but IRL the embossing of the Very Vanilla panel shows up much more. 

The card base is Kraft with a layer of Garden Green.  The embossed panel is Very Vanilla and the corner is punched with the scalloped corner punch.  I used the get well sentiment from Teeny Tiny Wishes and stamped it in Garden Green.

The daisy is of Whisper White and punched with the Bigz Daisies die. The leaf was punched with the leaf die twice, once in Garden Green and again in Certainly Celery.  I cut the Celery leaf in half and glued it to one side.  Then I took my stylus and ran it down the center and gently folded the leaf with a mountain fold to give it dimension.  The little ladybug is wooden.  (I've got a bunch of ladybug stuff left over from Rachel's sororiety days!)

I curled the leaves of the daisy and layered the petals.  The center is made from a 3/4" circle of More Mustard and a 1/2" circle of Summer Sun.  The edges of both were cut and ruffled up. 

If you look closely below you can see the embossing a little better and how I used the head of my stylus to add some more dimension to the flower center.

Before I put this all together I took a dauber and dabbed the edges with Bashful Blue ink. Now I have to figure out how to mail this without it getting completely flattened!  Any suggestions?

I had duplicates of most of my pieces of this card so I did another one using today's color challenge - Ballet Blue, Old Olive, Barely Banana and neutrals of your choice with a desert option of something red.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bluebird Update

I'm not sure if this is an old couple or a young couple but this nest is not like any other we've seen.  The nesting material that you see on the right is very high in the box and almost right up to the front opening.  There is little material under those eggs and you can see they are nestled into the lower corner.  She must like it that way!  The first picture was taken on 4-20 and the second one on 4-24.  There may be another egg but we won't know for a while as it's been raining all day and due to rain through tomorrow also. 

We haven't installed the nestcam yet.  We thought we'd let them have their first clutch uninterrupted and get used to us nosing around before we put something foreign in there. 

On Saturday we were in the garden almost non-stop from 2 to about 7 and Mr. and Mrs. Blue watched us from a distance and were very quiet.  They don't start incubating the eggs until she's done laying so that's why we're thinking there may be another one.  They usually have 3-5 eggs in a clutch.  We also wanted them to get used to having us around and trust us so she'll stay put when we do our gardening.   He'll have to feed her and there'll be a lot of chattering back and forth.  They make the sweetest sounds singing to one another.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Featured Stamper - GloriousGreetings

The Featured Stamper today is Gloria, one of our teapotters.  She has a great gallery you could get lost in. 

The rules for the Featured Stamper Challenge are to pick a card from the stamper's gallery and change at least two things about it. I visited Gloria's gallery and chose this one - Bee-utiful Ballerina.

The little ballerina on her card reminded me of the little fairy in the new SU set A Little Bit of Magic coming out May 1st. 

I changed the colors, the shape of the image panel, and the placement of the sentiment.  I also left off the ribbon on top and added a white punched eyelet border there and added a bow to the ribbon on the bottom. 

A friend at work just had her first grandchild.  She has three sons and now has a sweet little granddaughter.  I added some blue to this card and had the fairy holding a blue flower over the new pink flower as they now have a little girl in the family too. 

Here's a close up of the fairy........

Congratulations Gloria!  You're a great inspiration. 


Click on any picture to see it larger.

I ran outside to get this picture this morning.  Doesn't he look like he's posing?  The light was casting some cool shadows and I was able to move so I could get the shadow behind Mr. Blue.

Then I looked down and saw this little guy right about the same time he saw me.  He froze - I didn't....

I was about 10 feet from him.  Then we were off to the Great Swamp Nursery to start the flower beds....

There weren't too many people there today and we only bought a couple of things.  We'll be back.

It was a gorgeous day and perfect for working in the yard.  This is the Red Bud at the peak of bloom and starting to leaf out.......

Some Bridal Veil through the deer fencing......

A dried up Clematis bloom........

And some mystery tulips - don't know where they came from...........

While I was weeding in the garden, I lifted up a stack of dishes (yes, I have dishes in the garden - I used them as a border) this guy was burrowed underneath.  Unfortunately the camera focused on the weeds over the top of him but you can see his coloration.  It's salamander not a snake (I would not have been calm enough to capture a picture of a snake!).....

And one last picture that I took when I came home from work on Friday.  We had another bird visitor to the yard.  One we haven't seen in quite a while..............

We're expecting rain for the next several days, so I'm glad we got started in the garden today.  I have a ton of weeding to do as we didn't put the garden to bed in the fall as we should have and some things have really gotten out of control.  It's also very overgrown because I have a hard time pulling out the volunteers of the good plants even though they come up where they don't belong.  But, I've decided that I'm going to be better at that now.  Time to clear it out and try to keep it in check.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Same Stamp Two Ways

I still had the Inspired By Nature stamps out on my table yesterday so I decided to use the flower stamp in a little experiment.  I used the same colors of my SU markers to ink up the stamp and stamp it onto Whisper White cs. 

The first one I stamped in full color and added lines and dots to the image to show some definition of the flower.

After I inked the second one, I spritzed it with water and stamped it that way.

Here they are up close............

And side-by-side.............

I used the Top Note die to highlight the image for each card.  Sentiments come from Teeny Tiny Wishes.  Both cards have a base of Chocolate Chip and use the colors of Ruby Red and More Mustard in cardstock and patterned paper.  The accents on the watercolored card are a Summer Sun corduroy button threaded with a fine strip of Chocolate Chip paper as the thread, and a little spiral punch out in the upper left corner.  The accent on the other is a knot/bow of Chocolate Chip grosgrain.

I can't make up my mind which one I like better.  Do you have a choice?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Thursday's Throw Aways

You know that I send socks to my daughter's old college roommates for holidays, well, I actually found some cool socks for Earth Day (which I forgot to take a picture of) and I sent them off to the girls late last week.  I hope they will receive them in time for today. 

While I didn't get a picture of the socks themselves, I did keep the packaging that the socks came in and what better than to use them for my Earth Day Thursday's Throw Aways.

They were a nice weight of light cardboard and you can see the printed picture of the Earth on them.  I decided that I should use scraps from my scrap bin on this to keep in the theme of recycling and Earth Day. 

As you can see I had to remove the hook carefully from the top without tearing them.  That left me with a hole on the top and the hole on the front and back in the lower half came from the plastic thingy that attached the socks to the holder.  You can't see it in the picture, but there is some very small writing in the upper lefthand corner which I needed to cover. 

I used a crimped piece of cardstock to hide the empty hole at the top.  The larger writing on the front was covered with some leaves and flowers punched from scraps in my scrap bin.  The finishing touch was to add a pink cotton string.

I managed to get three of these done and I'll definitely be saving one of them for myself.  I think I'll put it out on my desk for Earth Day. 

Go Green! 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Administrative Assistant's Day

You probably remember it as Secretary's Day.   It's now known as Administrative Assistant's Day or Administrative Professional's Day.  Either way it was today.  These are some little goody bags I made up for the clerks and secretaries, no wait, the administrative assistant's in our school district.  They have candy kisses, a flavored tea bag, a fancy binder clip and some of them had little note pads in them. 

It was a crazy day at work today.  More so than any other crazy day.  Our school budget was defeated yesterday.  Three mediocre (and I'm being polite when I say that) candidates were elected to the Board of Education.  We had a class trip to Philadelphia and one class left their lunches at the school.  And, I registered a new student who does not speak any English. 

But the highlight was the beautiful Hydrangea that the staff gave me along with a card signed by the staff with a lottery ticket in it.  Sadly, it was a loser, but the thought was there.  And my boss gave us a giftcard to Olive Garden.  Oh, and I saved a couple of candy kisses for myself!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Teapot Tuesday 90 and Thursday's Throw Away (Early)

And they're off! No I'm not talking about the teapotters being off, although you might take it that way sometimes!   This week we're off to the races.  The big one.  The Kentucky Derby, and yes, we are a week or so early, but Cindy says we need to practice and to shop, and to.....well, stay out of trouble too!  Here's our teapot for this week...........

Well, not having a horse stamp, it was a stroke of luck that my son got a letter delivered to our house this week with a stamp that had a horse on it.  Not just any horse but Seabiscuit.   Now Seabiscuit may not have won the Kentucky Derby, but I'm sure if given the chance, he would have liked to try again. 

I carefully cut the stamp off the envelope and mounted it on Real Red cs.  Then I ran a piece of Creamy Caramel through my Big Shot with the new embossing folder and highlighted that with my Creamy Caramel ink pad, direct to paper.  That piece was also backed with Real Red.  The Vanilla panel was stamped with some Kentucky blue grass - the grass stamp from Inspired by Nature stamped with Handsome Hunter ink.  Again, mounted that on Real Red and used a Barely Banana cs base.  I had this little horse charm that I attached to a piece of grosgrain and just tied a piece of hemp onto the ring.  The sentiment comes from Inspired by Nature and was stamped in Creamy Caramel. 

I was actually excited about how this card came out and how I was able to combine a "postage" stamp with a "rubber" stamp and come up with something like this.

So head on over to the Teapot Gallery to check things out for this week.  I just know there will be a lot of interesting stories as well as cards this week!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Big Black Bird

This is Kirby our Cockatiel. 

When we are at home, his cage door is open so that he can get out and sit on the top if he wants to.  He doesn't fly all around the room but he has been known to jump off now and then.  This is especially true if there is a loud noise that startles him.

Last Sunday, I was sitting on the couch next to his cage quietly working on my laptop when suddenly he jumped off the cage and ran behind the loveseat towards the front of the room.  Usually when I say "Come Here" and tap the floor, he'll come running back and get on my finger so I can put him back on the cage.  This time he ignored me and kept going climbing up on some baskets so I had to get up and go get him.

I put him back on the cage and no sooner had I sat down than he jumped off again, this time right near my feet, but I wasn't quick enough and he took off across the room again.   

I got up and went to get him again and again he did the same thing.  This was quite peculiar behavior or so I thought until I walked over to get him one more time.  This time, before I picked him up, I took a look out the back of the house and I saw what was causing this behavior.  A BIG black bird was sitting on top of the bird bath.   I realized that Kirby had been running for his life and stupid me, I just kept putting him back right where he could see and be seen by this character. 

I let him stay on the baskets out of sight while I went to get the camera.  By that time the bird had moved to this flowerpot..........

And then he jumped onto the edge of the pool.  I was pretty sure that it was a vulture but it didn't have a red head like the turkey vultures do.  After looking it up, I determined it was a black vulture and I haven't the slightest idea what he was doing in our yard that day.  Usually vultures can be found around dead animals and there wasn't anything dead in the yard that we know of.

When I went outside to try to get a better picture the vulture flew overhead and circled once before flying off.  I came back in and reassured Kirby that the danger was gone before I put him back on the cage.  Poor thing.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I received a wonderful birthday RAK from none other than our Teapot Queen this week.  I am the most humbled recipient of the little tea set used for Teapot Tuesday Challenge 10 and the wonderful card that she made to go with it.  (And she even threw in several spools of craft ribbon!)

Her little note said that it was my turn to enjoy it and I will certainly do so!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart Cindy!

I received another random RAK this week from Maggie (aka StampinCatMom).  She sent this lovely card...

You see the inside and outside.  Now you don't see anything written in the card itself (that's what a lot of stamper's do when they send RAK's so that you can use the card yourself) however, she did send a note that gave me some information about her.  It was a lovely surprise and yes, Maggie, it did brighten my day!  Thank you for choosing me.

I challenge all of you, cardmakers or not, to send a RAK to someone this week.  Put a smile on someone's face, be it a stranger or a friend you haven't seen or spoken to in a while.  It's a great feeling.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Teapot Tuesday 89

Today our hostess for the Tea Pot Challenge is Kelly - aka schirmcat.   And according to her story, the Hostess for the Tea Party is Faith - aka Markie's Mom.   Does that sound confusing?  Well, it's not really.  Kelly chose a Tea Pot in Faith's honor because Faith is such a faithful commenter on Splitcoast that she has almost reached the monumental number of 100,000 comments.  I bet she wishes she had a penny for each of those comments! 

There's a lot more behind the story and I think I'll just let you read about it here.  Then you can view Kelly's tea pot and I'll show you what I came up with.  Here's the teapot for this week............

You see Speedy the Cat on the chair with the laundry?  Well, our job is to get Speedy to take a little vacation so that we can all meet at Faith's house for our Tea Party. 

And this is where it gets really bizarre.  I have a few cat stamps of my own, but not too long ago my mother gave me some stamps that were my sister's.  She loved cats and most of them are cat stamps.  Fortunately for me there was a stamp that I thought I could use for today's challenge.  I decided that I would try to lure Speedy the Cat on his vacation to Florida by showing him the dancing Kitties that are currently being featured in the Florida Gazette and performing there right now.  He can have his pick of the litter.  


But I think he really has his eye on the birds in the bushes on the left! 

This is a modified diorama card.  I only used two layers instead of three.  The "ballerina cats" were stamped on Whisper White, cut out and popped up on the Rose Red background.  (I used my SU markers to color each dancing cat.)  The front panel is Pretty- in-Pink and I stamped the flower stamp from Vintage Vogue in Pretty In Pink on the front. 

The bushes on either side were made with my MS leaf punches, and the birds in the tree are from the MS Birds On A Wire punch.  The sentiment comes from the MFP (Markie's Finest Papers) set Ferns and Chickadees and the cat is from SU's C is for Cat.

My dh, HWNSNBP said this is a bit over the top.  What do you think? 

This is going to my daughter whom I occassionally call Chickadee.  She'll appreciate my craziness.

Monday, April 12, 2010

It's a Technique - It's a Card - It's a Bookmark

The Technique Lovers Challenge today is called Save the Page.  We were asked to make a card that contained a bookmark. 

I used my perforating tool to create this bookmark card.  (And the ribbon really isn't that shiny!)

I used Herb Expressions for my image and sentiment.  I first stamped the image in Basic Gray on Confetti White.  Then I used my SU markers to color the image.  The card base was stamped on the left with Sahara Sand Ink.  I added some torn edge layers, repeating the color combo and this is what I came up with.  The bookmark on the right can be snapped or gently pulled off because I perforated the edge. 

If you haven't heard the announcement, Stampin' Up is going to go through a Color Renovation and these colors are among those that will be discontinued.  They are Sahara Sand, Mellow Moss, Perfect Plum, and Pale Plum.   The image was colored directly with SU Stampin' Markers.  The ribbon (Mellow Moss Tafetta) is not as shiny as it appears in the photo. 

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Featured Stamper - Pat Smethers

One of our very own Teapotters has been chosen as the Featured Stamper today on Splitcoast - Pat Smethers.  She was chosen by our fearless Teapot Queen Cindy Motherway and you just have to read the tribute and poem she wrote - here is the link.  And here is a link to Pat's gallery

The rules for the Featured Stamper Challenge are to pick a card from the stamper's gallery and change at least two things about it.   I visited Pat's Critter File and chose this one - Sweet Friend.

I've always admired her cowboy cards but I also love all her Gruffies and House Mouse cards.  They're all so sweet it was hard to choose from.  I just happened to recently purchase my first House Mouse stamp called Fragrant Friendship (I always make a serious dent in my wallet when I visit One Little Spark in Tuckerton!). 

I made a few changes - I changed the image, the colors and flipped the little cut out with the ribbon to the other side as it fit better that way with the image.  I haven't added a sentiment yet, but when I do it will go on the lower left portion of the yellow panel right below the image.

So I say - Great choice today Cindy and Congratulations Pat!  Your gallery is such an inspiration!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Birds in a Tree - Home Inspiration

Today's Inspiration Challenge is called Home Sweet _________ and the object was to make a card that was representative of where you live. 

I live in New Jersey - the Garden State.  Although much maligned at times in how New Jersey is portrayed as being a chemical wasteland and covered with macadam, I can tell you that the state has it's beauty from the hills and valleys of Sussex County in the north, to the cornfields and cow pastures of central Jersey, right down to the gorgeous sandy beaches of the Atlantic coast. 

My card gives a glimpse of the rich soil and the greenery that abounds.  Although not our state tree (which is the Red Oak) and not our state bird (which is the goldfinch) I chose to use this stamp as I bought it on a recent trip to a little stamp store in New Jersey.  I added bluebirds because right now they are again making a home in a nest box on our property. 

On our last trip to Barnegat I was able to stop at the stamp store in Tuckerton and picked up this Memory Box stamp - Dotty Tree Birds.   I stamped it onto Whisper White cs in Close to Cocoa ink and then colored in the leaves and birds with my SU markers. 

I added a backing of Bashful Blue that I punched with the open scallop border and corner punches - it makes a nice medallion of sorts.  The card base is Certainly Celery as is the ribbon and I added a panel of Close to Cocoa that I ran through the Big Shot with my Finial Press embossing folder. 

I learned a lesson after I bought this stamp.  When I went to use it I realized I had never even noticed that the rubber and the sticker were going in opposite directions.  Because I was stamping it on the square turned on end I was using the Stamp-a-ma-jig, but I guess I'll have to use the SAMJ whenever I use this stamp unless I get brave enough to peel it off and reposition it.  We'll have to see about that.

What do you think of this color combination?  I'm thinking of using this for Earth Day.  

Quick Snaps

I know he's a rodent, but he's still cute. 

Speaking of rodents.  HWNSNBP was cleaning out some flower beds and came across this, this, this thing that looked kind of like a dried up banana peel with fur.

 Upon closer inspection, we figured it to be a dead squirrel that didn't make it through the winter.  Take a look at those teeth.

Sorry if that grosses you out, but I found it interesting.

This morning I tried to get some pictures of the goldfinches at the feeder.  They are "yellowing" up very quickly.

I wish I could get closer.  Until now I had never noticed that moss growing on the tree branches. 

Thanks for looking today.