Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jingle Belles 39

Have you heard the song by Rosemary Clooney "Here Comes Suzy Snowflake"?  Well that's our prompt for this week's Jingle Belles card brought to us by Marie Bingaman.  What a cute little song and a fun challenge. 

I didn't do any stamping on this card, but don't think that it didn't take some planning and preparation.  Those snowflakes that make a snowflake where punched out of Baja Breeze cs with the Simple Snowflake punch.  Then they were carefully lined up to form a larger snowflake with six points as every snowflake is supposed to have.  I didn't glue them down completely, just mainly in the centers as you can see below.

It was after I glued them down that I thought about adding the Dazzling Diamonds glitter and did so by using my Tombow glue just on the end tips of the flakes.  To finish it off I added the sticky rhinestones in the centers of the flakes.  The card base here is watercolor paper - a thicker paper I thought necessary to be able to stand up nicely.  I just so happened to be gifted some old watercolor tablets this summer and they have come in handy for some card bases recently.

This card could double as a quilt square - minus the glitter of course.  As much as I don't particularly like working with glitter, sometimes it helps get things straightened up.  How is that you might ask?  Well, usually I wind up changing the paper mat on my work table after I'm done with the glitter because you just can't get every little speck up.  It's nice starting fresh now and then.

So, let me get over to the gallery and take a look at all those other snowflake inspired works of art.  You can check it out too here

Monday, September 26, 2011

Teapot Tuesday 165

It's time to Tickle a Teapotter again.  Must be the end of the month!  Here is our inspiration teapot.......

Might be a Christmas inspiration, might be an inspiration for a sock hop - let's see - you need to check out the story here.

Before I go on, let me say that this card is much better looking in person.  Something about the color - Lucky Limeade that my camera just doesn't like - or maybe it's just the photographer!  Oh, and I chose to use Melon Mambo instead of red....... and polka dots instead of stripes.... and well, I guess it's good that there are no rules cause, well just cause.

Oh yeah, and that bow is really more impressive than it looks and those dots all have micro beads in them to make them sparkly.  This little pooch is perched on a pillow per se.  A little piece of that foam packing stuff surrounded by some Melon Mambo mini ball fringe.  The card base is embossed with stripes (ha, but they're not red and white). 

I'll be checking out the gallery now.  If you'd like to join me, click here.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


This is the card I made for HWNSNBP for our 34th anniversary today.  It's not easy making cards for men.  I didn't want any flowery stuff and I had already used the birds and cages for his birthday and lighthouses in the past.  Then I thought about these chairs and hearts.  The background is run through the Big Shot with the Herringbone embossing folder and then I used the text stamp from French Foliage very lightly on the raised areas of the embossing to give it some contrast and add to the texture.  The smaller hearts are made using the owl punch.  The sentiment comes from Teeny Tiny Wishes.

These dahlias below came from our garden.  One of the few things that survived the crazy summer weather.  The purple one is about 6 inches across.  The pink ones will be linked to Pink Saturday

I was reminded today, when HWNSNBP brought them in the house for me, of the time our son Christopher, then all of four years old, was invited to a birthday party for our neighbors' twin girls down the street.  I took him to the garden and had him help me make two little bouquets for them from my flower border.  He asked why we were doing it - making the bouquets - and I told him that girls like it when they get flowers.  After pondering this for a bit he stated his observation.  "I get it" he said.  "You bring girls flowers until you get married and then you make them grow their own".  Very logical for a four-year-old.

So that was not the only thing that HWNSNBP shared with me today.  He told me that there was something he wanted me to see outside by the shed and to bring my camera. 

They're called stinkhorns and they were about 6 inches tall.  And yes, they look like what you think they look like!  And boy do they smell.  Apparently those white puffs close to the ground will also become, um.... erect in the next day or so.  (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Peaches, Limes, and ...... Pumpkin?

Fall will be here in the morning.  Already some of our trees are dropping leaves like it's raining.  One maple in particular has continued to cover the driveway making it a crunchy mess on a daily basis.   I love the colors of fall - the oranges, golds, reds, and rusts.  Each tree turning from it's verdant green into a warm and sometimes fiery color.  The sun giving just the right light exposure for us to enjoy the beauty of those colors. 

The leaves on this card aren't exactly what you'd expect to see at this time of year.  The aqua and turquoise shades paired with the lime and pear were inspired by the leaves on a card by Sandy McGiver.  (click her name to see the card)  I had to match those leaves up with their complimentary colors of pink and orange, or in this case Peach Parfait, Regal Rose, and some Calypso Coral.  The leaves are from French Foliage and the butterfly from Strength and Hope.  The leaves are embossed, the butterfly is not.  This card is for my Mother's birthday which happens to be today.

The card below is done in some of the similar colors, mainly because I had stamped a few of those butterflies and thought they were too pretty just to set aside.  Strength and Hope provides the flourish on this and the sentiment comes from Teeny Tiny Wishes.

I went a little crazy with the ribbon - it almost looks like some weird rick rack but it's just regular straight ribbon squiggled up.  I use sticky strip behind the ribbon here and recommend using a heat gun very lightly over the ribbon so it will adhere better to the sticky strip. 

So you've seen the peach and lime referred to in the title.  Would you believe that these two car washing mitts that I picked up at the $Tree last weekend will be a pumpkin?

You'll have to wait and see. 

Happy Fall!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Blue Tiles and Birds

I've got to catch up on some cards this week.   I need a couple of get well's, a birthday, and an anniversary.  I also wanted to get a set of cards made for someone who has done us a favor this summer.  I'm going to try to fit Teapot Tuesday in, but it may be a little late.  The Jingle Belles challenge I will be skipping this week as they are using digital stamps this week and I haven't delved into that yet.   

This card came together with some bits and pieces that I had on my work table for a while.  The Brilliant Blue tiles are stamped with white craft ink using the Baroque Motifs stamp set.  I did use the stamp-a-ma-jig to make sure the placement was the same with each tile.  They are mounted on a card base of 120 lb. watercolor paper to give it some stability.  The center is a beaded brad from a set that I had picked up in a clearance bin at Mike's.  You don't see the inside, but there is a stamped flower image that was punched out, glued over the pointed ends of the brad so you won't see it when you open the card. 

Yesterday I was catching up on some blogs and there was a post on beachcomber featuring blue and white decorating.  If you love blue and white as much as I do, check it out.  Oh, check it out anyway even if you barely tolerate blue and white - it's really pretty (and I have the very same blue onion dishes that she has!).

So, since it's also time for Blue Monday, I'll also share some of the bluebirds that I found at the quilt show this weekend.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Quilts By The Bay

The weather has turned a bit on the chilly side.  I do love the fall, but today was a little too nippy too soon for me.  We were down in Barnegat overnight and I took in the Historic Society's Quilts By the Bay event.  A quilt would be nice and comfy on a day like today.  Here are a few that I liked.

These first two are done with a block of the month pattern.  This one is done with the fabrics selected by the shop doing the BOTM.  The second one was done with fabric that the quilter had in her stash.  Each one is pretty in it's own way.

I liked this crazy quilt wall hanging.  There were so many interesting little "finds" that the quilter included. 

This piece below reminded me of a quilt top that I have sitting in a box in our closet, though it's not this colorful.  The piece I have was done by my paternal grandmother with triangles cut from the shirts of her five boys.  My mother asked for it when my grandmother passed.  I was one at the time.  Some of the triangles have moth damage as it contained various shirt fabrics including silk.  I really should get someone to finish it properly and get it out of the box. 

I love the oriental theme of this little wall hanging below.  The kimono and chopsticks are so dimensional and the flowers really take my breath away in that color. 

I have some more pictures I'll share in the future. For now I'll be joining these to Pink Saturday.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Jingle Belles 37

Yes, that's correct.  It is Jingle Belles 37.  I was so busy last week that I missed a day and totally missed the deadline to get my card in.  Well, to be honest, it wasn't even done, but the challenge was pretty straightforward and....... well, no more excuses.  I'm posting this today before I run out of time again (as I'm staying late at work yet again!).

The challenge this week is call Deck the Halls brought to us by Ms. Sue Culloti and we are to:

"make a freestanding (2.5 x 3.5") xmas-themed Artist Trading Card


add an ATC-sized element to your holiday card


incorporate a playing card into your design


use a recycled xmas card (or an element from

one!) on your (newly made) holiday card!"

I had purchased some ATC watercolor blanks over the summer - for what I do not know - so I scrounged around and found them - lucky for me - and used an image from a stamp that I had recently purchased at a stamp store I visited recently.  (I'm a sucker for bird images you know!)

Then, feeling in a dreary mood (from the week I was having last week) I decided to go really out of the box and use some "different" holiday colors.  Well, really only one unique color - yellow!

Do you like it?  I know it's out there a little, but I just got a book from one of those book thingy's that sends you a Christmas book each year and one of the featured sections was Christmas in Yellow, White, and I think Gray.  Not what I would choose, as yellow doesn't happen to be one of my favorites, but I think it worked for this card based on the background paper.

Okay, maybe I'll be back to add more rambling on to this, but I've got to get going and finish up.

You do want to see the rest of the cards for this week right?  Click here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Teapot Tuesday 163

This looks like something I would have in my possession, but alas, it is not.  It is, however, the inspiration for this week's Teapot Tuesday Challenge.  And.... you should check out the story HERE.

Cindy has a keen eye and she knows how to weave a story and if you look at this little snatch of a tea set those motifs do appear to resemble tattoos.  So, to make a long story short, tattoos were on tap for this week.  Oh, and we get extra cookies if we use the colors pink and blue.

Can I say that I love my card this week?  It uses just one set - Creative Elements and it came out so much better than what I had pictured in my head. 

Believe it or not, I have actually designed a tattoo.  My daughter got a tattoo on her back at her belt line when she turned 18.  Yes, I know some of you out there are anti-tat, well, while I wasn't thrilled at the fact, I was relieved that it wasn't something that was going to be highly visible.  It was small and tasteful and for the most part hidden. 

A couple of years after that she wanted to add to it and asked me to design the addition.  It took awhile for me to wrap my creativity into that, but I did and she got it done.  Do I have a picture to show you?  Sorry, no.  Maybe the next time she visits.

Marina Mist is my Blue and I have used Pink Pirouette cs and Regal Rose ink for my pink.  The strappy looking images are stamped in Night of Navy.  The flourish is a line art image which I colored with my Marina Mist marker.  Then, look carefully for all those little sticky pearls. I'm going to make another one of these. Yes I am. 

I'll be visiting the gallery tonight.  Join me here.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Blue Monday's Lucky Fish

A few week's ago I was lucky to come across a couple of new blogs to me.  One of them featured Pink Saturday and the other Blue Monday.  And through those blogs I have met a couple of pretty neat bloggers. 

When I visited, Pat Kumicich of The Artful Diva to comment on her addition to Pink Saturday she was having a giveaway.  She had this beautiful fish that she had created and was willing to share with a lucky participant.  Well, lo and behold, I happened to be that lucky participant.  Please check out this post of hers where she shows the actual steps to creating this gorgeous fish. 

I'm adding this to the Blue Monday gallery this week so Pat's work can be shared once again. 

Thank you Pat for sharing your creativity with me.  I can't wait to get this fish up so everyone can enjoy it.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Double Anniversaries and Pink Saturday with a Little Bit of Rambling Thrown In

My cousin and her husband and our dear friends R&L have anniversaries at this time of September.  I have been so busy with getting ready for school to start that I almost didn't get these done, and really, if I hadn't been able to sleep and gotten up early on Thursday I don't know if I would have them done yet!  More about that in minute, but first to the cards.  They each use the image from Easy Events which I stamped onto Whisper White cs that had been embossed with my Designer Frames embossing folder.  I cut one of them out and tore the other.  As you can see, one of these cards is done shabby and the other sharp.  The pink layer has a motif from Elements of Style stamped in VersaMark ink to give it a subtle impression. 

How did I choose who got what?  I put them in my work folder in my bag and while we were waiting for our buses to arrive (more on that too) I addressed the envelopes in alphabetical order by last name and then reached into my bag and pulled them out one by one, thus determining which one they got.

And since it's Pink Saturday, I thought I share this 97 cent bargain that I got at Wal-Mart - new lunch containers.  Not leak-proof - ask me how I know - but what do you want for 97 cents!

I liked them so much I bought a set in blue too! 

So this week was the start of school here in our town.  The teachers came back on Tuesday and the students on Thursday.  On Tuesday, after the big district meeting, the teachers came back to the school and we had out annual "Hot Dog" luncheon.  This is possible, largely in part to the fact that I can borrow a hot dog roller from a friend.  When HWNSNBP went to pick it up the night before it was determined that it had been borrowed by someone else and not returned so a delivery to the school the next morning was arranged.  Thankfully the person delivering it remembered in the nick of time that it had to get to the school and got there because I was in a little bit of a panic wondering how I was going to cook 50+ hot dogs one at a time in a microwave and set up and serve the rest of the lunch!  But all was well and all enjoyed.

Since we had lost power last week for two days I was so behind on getting my teacher folders ready and there were 25 boxes of school supplies that had to be unpacked and stored in the supply room, so I wound up staying late on Tuesday and Wednesday to get that all done.  (Thankfully, HWNSNBP came in and helped me unload those boxes!)

On Wednesday night it started raining - heavy rain!  So heavy that HWNSNBP was up and down most of the night checking the pump in the basement and again had 2 going at one time.  Which is another reason why I was having a difficult time sleeping.  We got at least 6.5 inches of rain.  And when he went to try and get a cup of coffee in the morning (yes, I have a coffee pot, a Keurig at that, but that's a story for another time) he could not get through.  He came tramping up the stairs and banged on the bathroom door declaring that I had about a 10 minute window of opportunity before I wouldn't be able to get out of the street and get to school.  So I busied myself and thanked my lucky stars that I had had the forethought to pack my lunch the night before! 

I work about 2.2 miles from my house.  On a normal day it takes 8-10 minutes to get there.  It took me 25 minutes on Thursday.  This was due to the fact that there were many streets that were flooded and loads of traffic from people who were trying to find a way to get where they were going. 

Our school bell rings at 8:30 and at 8:30 there were exactly 0 out of 9 buses in the bus lane.  They came in in dribs and drabs along with the phone calls from distraught parents who were still waiting at bus stops or had seen the bus just pass them by and wondering if they should drive their children in to school.  Ring, ring, ring!  The last bus arrived at 10:15!  Not your typical first day of school by any means. 

Well, I was exhausted and actually got in bed well before I usually do hoping to get a good nights' sleep.  That wasn't to be.  I started having terrible pain in my lower abdomen and after trying to deal with it for about an hour and a half I had to wake HWNSNBP and we went to the emergency room. 

I'll spare the details and just say that I am fine now.  It was a case of cystitis and a bladder spasm the likes of what I've never had before.  Hey, but I got the good drugs!  Well, some would say pain killers are the good drugs but I personally hate taking any of them because the side effects are longer lasting than the pain. 

So my second day of school turned out to be a sick day. 

I am taking it easy this weekend - no running around.  The only thing planned is to meet my son's future in-laws for dinner tonight.  I think I'll be eating light!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Teapot Tuesday 162

Ahh, I can hear you saying "what kind of inspiration is that?".  Well, let me tell you, it is very inspirational and here is why.  This week our destination station is once again Mrs. Cousins.  She will be celebrating her 109th birthday on September 14th.  Last year Cindy and the Teapotters were so wonderful to help her celebrate her birthday by sending her a whole slew of handmade cards.  She thoroughly enjoyed them and would share them with whomever came to visit her.  She even had a special box made to store them in.  

One of the things that she liked the most about the cards was the notes and well-wishes that came along with them.  Mrs. Cousins is a well-traveled, well-versed lady who loves to learn even at her advanced age.  She, in her words, "loves life" and loves hearing about how people celebrate their lives.  

So, when I asked Cindy if we could do a card shower for her, Cindy insisted that we do another Teapot Tuesday challenge.  The teapot is clear because we are supposed to give a glimpse of what our lives and interests are.  You really have to read the story that Cindy wrote - she is so creative and always comes up with the most fun stories.  Click here to see what I mean.   

Well, if I were to give a glimpse into my likes and life I would start with the color blue - my favorite.  I would add a blue chair so you could sit down and join me with a cup of tea.  Perhaps we would just talk, or maybe we might do a project together.  You could choose from a multitude of craft supplies.  Or maybe we could take a walk in the yard, check out the flowers that are blooming, maybe do a little birdwatching, take a few photographs.  I could tell you about my family and how they put up with my creative wackiness.  I could share some stories about raising cockatiels, or stories from the many years that I was a substitute teacher.  It would be a nice visit and it really doesn't have to be all about me........... I'd love to hear about you too!

This card is mostly blue and white - one of my favorite color combinations.  The chair image is from the SU set Cherish Friendship.  It's stamped in Basic Gray on watercolor paper and colored using ink and an aquapainter and straight markers for the flower arrangement.  The bird, sentiment, and flowers on the right are from the SU set Language of Friendship.  I used the punches that match up with the images to punch the bird and flowers out.  The sentiment is on Bashful Blue cs.  The Marina Mist layer is embossed using a texture plate and there is a bow made from white taffeta. 

Now, you don't have to be a stamper or card maker to send a birthday card to Mrs. Cousins, so if you'd care to write her a little note let me know and I'll get you her address.

Okay, I am anxious to go see what those teapotters have come up with for this challenge.  Want to see?  Click here.

Fleas, Fish, Finds, and Feathers

Last week's hurricane postponed the little Flea Market run by the Barnegat Historical Society to this weekend.  This was the second one of the summer.  I made a couple of neat purchases.

There was this clock - marked Delft Blue on the underside - for $4.  We just have to find a battery for it.  If I can't, I'll find something else to put in the opening or maybe even use it as a frame.  This will be posted in Smiling Sally's Blue Monday.

This nautical inspired collapsible cup was a steal at 50 cents.  I looked it up on the internet and a similar one is going for $22 on ebay.

These fish earrings were another bargain at 50 cents also.  I really didn't buy them to wear them, I like the fish beads and was thinking of saving them for a card embellishment. 

When we were done fleaing we took a bike ride and then headed down to the Grand Opening of the new location of One Little Spark.  These were the make and takes that they were doing that afternoon.   The glitter ornament will get trimmed and added to a Christmas project and the fabric flower will be repurposed also.  I wish I had seen all the parts that were part of this project before I started it.  These colors are a little out of kilter for me so I will be cutting apart the stamped flower and the rolled fabric one and salvaging what I can from this.  

HWNSNBP and I had a date to be on the dock by 5 o'clock to resume our fishing contest.  Once again we provided some entertainment for the senior crew who were milling about and waiting for the Saturday evening concert to begin.  That fish in the middle was caught by our friend J and is 11.5 inches!  The biggest of the season and I think the biggest snapper I think any of us has caught.  The other two were ours and measured in at 10.5".  See how it paid to throw back those little ones last month!  We caught 16 fish between the three of us and kept the four biggest for HWNSNBP's dinner.  He is ahead by three in the standings just in case you wanted to know.

Sunday morning found us on our bikes again before it started to heat up outside and we came across a garage sale.  These wooden boxes were in a free pile and all the rest of the items that I purchased below were a mere 25 cents a piece.

A stamp/pergamano kit and a little drawstring bag.  I've always wanted to try pergamano but didn't want to invest a lot of money into yet another craft.  The little bag still had it's price tag on it - 97 cents, so at 25 it was a good bargain (and pretty too!).

Some more rubber stamps - mounted and unmounted.  (A steal at 25cents each!)  It pays to have a couple of bucks in your pocket when you're out on your bike on the weekend.  The larger wooden one is one of those stamps that you stamp four times and then cut out, slide the flaps together and make a little box.  The flaps on this one will be a butterfly!  Can't wait to see how that comes out. The unmounted ones are of various themes, nature and sea life and I think one of them has a cow face, but I'll have to stamp it to see what it really is.

Before we headed back I wanted to check out the swans on the little side street.   That will be a separate post, but there was a gull there who was behaving very photogenic.

Don't you just love the pink tips of those weeds?  I hadn't really noticed the textural quality of the mud until I downloaded the pictures.  I was too busy trying to get the camera focus on the bird behind the plants. 

Although we have Monday (today) off, we headed home early on Sunday - gotta get ready for the start of school this week.  It's teachers back on Tuesday and we (the office staff) usually put on a little Hot Dog Luncheon, so shopping had to be done before the stores close for the holiday.  And today will be involved in some projects that I'll be posting later.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Odds and Ends

I've been trying to finish up some projects that I've had milling about both in my head and on my worktable.  This first one was headed overseas to my blogging friend Sabrina and since I know that it got there all right I'm going to share it.  

It's made from a domino.  I had previously soaked a set of dominoes in a light bleach solution overnight to take the shiny finish off of them so that I could stamp on the backs.  I used Stazon Ink to stamp the bird image and let it dry overnight so that there wouldn't be any chance of smearing.  The image and the background are colored with Sharpie markers.  For the background color I dabbed on the colors that I wanted to blend and then chose the lightest color to blend them all with.  I let that dry overnight also and then gave the domino several light coats of spray sealer. 

Then I drilled some holes from top to bottom with my little dremel tool that hasn't been used in ages.  If you don't have a drill bit that's as long as the thickness of the domino you have to be very precise when marking the holes to drill one side to the next.  I was lucky enough to get my drilled holes to match at the first try.  I took some silver foil tape - the kind you would use for stained glass - and wrapped the perimeter of the domino to give it a finished look.  You could also use a gold or silver paint pen, but mine had dried out and the tape happened to be handy.  (If you don't have a drill I've seen necklaces like these made by adhering a long thin bead to what would be the top so that you could string a cord or chain through it.)

I got out my beading supplies and found some beads and the bird charm to add to this.  I left the cording long enough so she could either knot it where she wanted or in this case, I think she is going to finish the ends with a clasp herself. 

The second project below went to a co-worker in my school district.  She has been diligently working with a new software package that our district instituted last year and has become the go-to person with our problems and questions.  While I think that she likes doing this kind of thing, I think that at this point she is being taken advantage of as they are not compensating her for all her work (a lot of which has been done after hours).  So this was supposed to show her that I appreciated all her help and to make her laugh, and I think it did.

I had asked our tech guys for a couple of old keyboards that were going to be discarded and they were all too willing to accommodate me, bringing me a box of 10.  Well, that was back in May, at which time I did sit and pop off all those keys and then I promptly put them aside to use for a couple of summer projects.  This necklace is not my original idea - the credit for this goes to Mich L. in L.A.   Check out her post here to see what genius things she's done with keyboard keys. 

Of course the necklace had to be boxed up, so I used the matchbox die and Pool Party cs - almost the shade of a Tiffany box.  I used the new lacy border punch to make a belly band in Whisper White cs.  The flower was made by punching 6 scalloped circles, scrunching them up real good and then using a sparkle brad to hold them all together.  The flower is popped up on the belly band (there's an Island Indigo scalloped circle under the lace).

This card has not been sent yet - no surprise.  I'm perpetually behind on things it seems.  But I included it here tonight for Pink Saturday along with the flower angel below that I finally finished.

I had the pieces for this little darling all ready to be strung together, and after I found the large pearls that I had purchased for "heads" I was able to finish this up.  Of course, I think that this stamp set is now retired like the Fabulous Flower did after I originally put together my first ornament like this.

She will get a bow at her neckline I think.  I plan on trying this with another current set and there might even be a die that I could use.  Something to look forward to!