Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tag, I'm It

I've been tagged by Barb. I have to give one word answers to each of these prompts...seems like a Rohrschact Test of some sort. I hope I don't tell you anything you really didn't want to know. I won't tag anyone else, since I hate chain letters. If you want to play, consider yourself tagged!

Yourself: Contemplative
Your Partner: Creative
Your Hair: Short
Your Mother: Generous
Your Father: Smart
Your Favorite Item: Quilt
Your Dream Last Night: Naughty
Your Favorite Drink: Tea
Your Dream Car: Bug
Dream Home: Secluded
The Room You Are In: Craft
Where You Want to be in Ten Years: Still kicking
You’re Not: Follower
One of Your Wish List Items: Maid
The Last Thing You Did: Colored
You Are Wearing: Tshirt & jeans
Your Favorite Weather: Sunny
Last Thing You Ate: Corn pops
Your Life: Wonderful
Your Mood: Content
Your Best Friend: My sweetie
What Are You Thinking About Right Now: Summer
Your Car: Subaru
What Are You Doing At The Moment: Chilling
Relationship Status: Bliss
What Is On Your TV: Nothing
What Is The Weather Like: Breezy
When Is The Last Time You Laughed: Today

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Bit of Recycling

I am a collector of many things that sometimes get used in projects. Last year, at one of my favorite church rummage sales I picked up a huge bag full of pogs for a quarter. That's the little round chipboard like thing you see here with The Flintsones on it. The back side of it is white and is a bit slick & shiny. I figured out some time back that I can emboss these little goodies. For this card I embossed the pog, covered it with Brilliance pearlescent rust ink, then sprinkled with clear embossing powder, and heated with a heat gun. The background paper is made using the same Stylized Flowers embossing folder with my Cuttlebug. I used the same inkpad to add some depth...just smeared it around directly on the embossed paper. I have also used alcohol inks on an embossed pog with good results. I think almost anything you could imagine to color with would work. I hope you'll try your hand at this fun idea.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Color Challenge Monday ~ part 7

What can you do with neutral or basic colors? I'm thinking of just the colors we use to ground our cards-nothing bright or pastel. Let's try making something with black, grey, brown, and white or ivory. Don't feel obligated to use them all, but if you are inspired then go for it.

I am so inspired by everyone who gives these challenges a try. It's fun to see the variations on the color combos. Feel free to jump in on any of the challenges at any time. I still have to do my own challenge from last week. I've had a crazy busy week, but it's all good.

On this Memorial Day, I'd like to thank everyone who has been or is in the military and the families who are at home waiting for them. Each one of you is a hero in my book.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Friday Giggles

This just cracks me up...are we really this addicted to our blogs?

May Cards 22 & 23

I made these at a CTMH party yesterday. I wasn't familiar with their products. They make some beautiful printed papers which you can see in these two cards. The consultant said she got the pattern for the trunks on papercrafts magazine website. The other card is a pocket. The stamps from this company are acrylics and seem to stamp well. I love their acrylic blocks and they sell their embellishments in color themes including some beautiful flowers & jewels. The prices are reasonable, too.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I'm Still Coloring...

I have been busy practicing my coloring skills. Most of what I've colored hasn't found it's way onto a card yet. I finished May cards 19, 20, 21 today. The two botanicals are by PSX. The poppy is by Magenta. I've learned a few things as I've been practicing my coloring with prisma pencils. Here are a few tips for you:
~Be sure you keep your pencils nice and sharp, or you might go outside the lines.
~Use a metal hand powered pencil sharpener...not an electric dinosaur that will chew up your precious pencils.
~If you go outside the lines, use a utility knife to scrape off the unwanted area, followed by a little erasing with a white art eraser.
~Use staz-on ink to avoid ink smudges.
~Use a smooth paper, but not too smooth-the iris image paper is too rough.
~Blend, blend, blend to get a good looking image.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Color Challenge Monday ~ part 6

I am still enjoying playing in the color challenges. I am inspired by everyone's take on them each week. I'd like to try an unlikely pairing this week: turquoise, lilac, and brown. I actually have a shirt with these colors that I love. It also has a bit of ivory & a few little sequins on it which are optional extras for the challenge. You can make a card if that's your thing, but I get visitors who have other talents. It's completely ok to take this color challenge into whatever creative endeavor you find yourself this week. Please post a link here if you are inspired to play in the challenge.

Next weekend is the big yardsale kick-off here. I look forward to it all year. There are so many sales that you can't possibly go to every single one. We are having our own sale on Friday only as a fundraiser for all the goodies I'm hoping to find on Saturday. So, if you don't see me around much this week it's because I'm digging out treasures to sell. Gotta support my habits you know!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Much Ado About Colored Pencils

If you have absolutely no interest in colored pencils, just skip this post. I am completely obsessed after taking Terry Medaris' class yesterday. I learned how to color with prisma pencils the way that Debbie does in her gorgeous cards. I have been admiring her pencil work for a long time and she told me that Terry's class is how she got to be so good at coloring. Well, it was Terry's class and a lot of color theory and practice. I do have hope now that I can color and shade and blend and practice enough to do a decent job. Terry teaches art at a college in Arizona and designs wonderful stamps. In the summers he travels to teach. I highly recommend that you take classes from him if he is coming anywhere near you this summer. The schedule is on the link at the beginning of this post. You can also buy his stamps at that link. They really are unlike anything else I've ever seen and his prices are fantastic.

More about the classes yesterday. I took class #1 & #2. The first class was all about blending. He showed us his technique for laying down a heavy layer of pencil using 3 shades of the same hue. There is a ton of blending going on. It takes time, but the vibrant and gorgeous results are worth it. He gave us coloring sheets of his designs to color and practice our new found blending skills. This class was 3 hours long, and I needed all 3 hours to practice and then color one image. He gave us several large sheets of his designs to choose from and practice with at home. The large image of the woman wrapped in the blanket is what I completed in the first class. I'm a little slow, but I enjoyed every minute of it.

The second class was using our new coloring skills to make some cool goodies. We prepared and stamped on a domino, a 4" x 4" tumbled marble tile, and a piece of shrinky dink plastic. All of the images were stamped with staz-on and colored with prisma pencils. I was able to complete the domino & tile in the picture in the 3 hour class. The best part of this class was that there were only 7 of us in the class and he came around and gave individual instruction as we were working. He sat down with me on each project and showed me amazing ways to add interest, shadow, and light to my projects. The 2 projects posted here are colored by Terry and me. I stamped them both and laid down the base colors and then he showed me how to shade and layer and highlight. Then, I continued to use the techniques he showed me to finish them. It was fun to work with his stamps and to see all of his samples and the work of the other students. Everyone had different skill levels, but all of us walked out with gorgeous finished projects. The uncolored cactus is the shrinky dink piece that I still need to color. The stamps on the bottom are the ones that I had to bring home with me.

So, now if you feel the need to buy prisma don't walk to Joanne's. They have the open stock prisma pencils on clearance for 50 cents each. They are regularly $1.49 each or come in sets that can be purchased with a coupon. I bought a set of 24 and filled in with a ton of the 50 cent pencils. I think I have over 60 pencils now, and I spent under $40 for the lot. You have to go to the bigger stores to find pencils and I found them in the clearance section at the Redlands, CA store and at the front of the store at the Ontario Mills, CA store. They may not be marked as clearance, but take one to the register to have them check. I found a huge selection at the Ontario store because there was no signage saying they were clearance as of last night. Go there quick for a good selection.

I'm sure I'll be posting more pencil coloring in the near future. Oh, and I'm calling these three projects May cards 16, 17 & 18. I'm behind on my card a day project, but I think these will count. I hope you have a creative Sunday.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

May Card #15

I feel just like this today! Somebody sent me this funny image...not sure who it was now. So, I colored her up in my coloring frenzy this week. The rest of the sentiment is inside the card, "I've completely skipped my mother and become my grandmother." That one just cracks me up. The sentiment is by Art Impressions. Not sure who makes the funny woman.

I just recently learned how to stamp a partial image cleanly like I did with the sentiment here. You know how you want some of the words in one place and some in another. Well, you cover the portion of the stamp you don't want with scotch tape, ink up the stamp, take off the tape, then stamp the image or words. I'm probably the only person who skipped the take off the tape part and struggled with this simple tip. When I read someone's instructions somewhere last month that included the take off the tape part, it was an ah hah moment for me. So, if you didn't know this, please share a comment so I won't feel so silly all by my lonesome.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

May Card #14

I adore PSX botanical stamps. So, when Jennifer over at the stamp shack offered to share images of her sweet pea stamp in exchange for posting a card made with it, how could I refuse. This is called a virtual swap. The host sends images out to those who agree to join. The only requirement is to post your creations. She sent me 3 images of these fantastic sweet peas. This is my first attempt with them. I used tombow and zig brushable markers on this. The background paper is from Old World Stack by DCWV. I am so happy I had a chance to work with this wonderful image. Thanks for looking.

May Card # 13

Here is my card for my citrus color challenge. The image is by Magenta and the sentiment is a Joanne's $1 stamp. I had fun coloring this with tombow markers.

I have been coloring for days, so I'm a little behind on my card a day challenge. Sorry to keep you in suspense! I am practicing my shading and coloring in anticipation of two colored pencil classes I am taking on Saturday from Terry Medaris. Here is a link to his classes that he will be teaching all over this summer. He achieves a saturation of color with prisma colored pencils that I only dream about. If he is in your area, you should look into a class or two.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Color Challenge Monday ~ part 5

How about a citrus challenge today? I'm thinking of lemon, orange, lime, pink grapefruit, maybe even blood orange. I was playing around with my markers last night and these colors kept popping up. So, the challenge today is to use as many of these colors as you are able or as you desire to make something beautiful.

Thanks again to everyone who has been playing in my challenges. I am inspired by your vision and creativity.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

I Love Mother's Day

I love Christmas and 4th of July and all the other big holidays, but truly this is my favorite day. I love every single thing about Mother's Day. I love spending time with my mom and making a special card for her. I love the yummy breakfast my sweet hubby makes for us each year. This year it was french toast with fresh berries and crispy bacon. Yummy! I love that the dogwoods and lilacs are always in bloom. I love that the weather is warm and anything can be planted outdoors as soon as this day more cold snaps. I loved getting my tea served to me in bed this morning while I watched CBS Sundy Morning. I love that my sweet hubby cleaned the carpets for me on Friday which is what I asked for when he asked what I want for mother's day. I love that my guys sneaked away yesterday to the bird shop and picked out the loveliest hummingbird feeder for me even though I only asked for clean carpets.

Most of all I love that my son made me this beautiful card and yummy hershey's kiss rose. He came home each day secreting away little surprises this week, trying not to tell me what he had been making. I had a clue the day he came home with glitter on his jeans. There is something so sweet and fleeting about those little home-made gifts made in school for moms and dads. I have a whole drawer full of them that are true treasures. A big thank you to all the teachers who help our children honor mother's and father's day with beautiful little treasures. I hope you have a few treasures to bring you joy today.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

May Card #12

This is Mom's mother's day card. I gave it to her today, so I can post it now. I started out with glossy white cardstock and alcohol inks to create the flowers. I put some drops of alcohol inks on a teflon sheet along with some blending solution and pearl mixative. Then I dropped the piece of glossy face down on the teflon sheet and swirled & smooshed the paper around. This creates a fun background. You can pick up a teflon sheet near the irons at the big craft stores pretty cheaply. Ranger sells them, but they cost over twice as much. I'm all for saving my dollars when I can. Then, I stamped the flowers (Stampendous) with staz-on black ink and cut out the flowers. A little diamond stickles in the center, and curled up the petals on the flowers a bit. The sentiment is from the $1 stamps at Joanne's and is stamped on transparency with staz-on. I corner punched once and layered the DCWV cardstock to make the card.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

May Cards 10 & 11

I'm still working on my card a day challenge & playing with markers. I used Tombow markers for these except for the 3 light toned markers I talked about yesterday. They are so easy to use and I am enjoying coloring in those rare sit down & rest moments. Both of the focal images are stamps I got for $2. The magnolia image is by Inkadinkado and I picked it up at Big Lots last year. The bucket of sunflowers is by Judith and I picked it up as a used stamp from a friend who sold boxes full of stamps this winter. The sentiment is a $1 stamp from Joannes. So, I guess these are bargain cards. Assorted papers and flowers from the old pint canning jar that holds the big flowers.

Thursday is thrift store day. I love to treasure hunt at the little community thrift shop and visit with the ladies that volunteer every week. I spent $8 today on my treasures. I scored a box of old poker chips which are sure to adorn a card soon, 2 pretty shirts, a pair of shorts for my son, May issue of Good Housekeeping, and an awesome rhinestone bracelet. That's a whole lot of fun for $8, plus the money goes to community charities. It's a win/win.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

May Cards #8 & #9

I have to eat my words. Apparently I do color now. It all started with a challenge kit swap and some wonderful instructions from Nancy on coloring with markers. She also included the 3 markers in the pic. Those are the most wonderful colors for skin tones and shading. They really have made all the difference in coloring for me. They are Zig Brushables in these colors: baby pink, fawn, platinum. The great thing about these markers is that they have 2 shades in each marker. Thanks Nancy for teaching me how to color!

These two cards are from images I received in a swap I am hosting. They were both stamped with black ink on white paper when I received them. I colored, cut, and embellished them to make these cards. I used a little diamond stickles & prima leaves on the house mouse image. The doll has a piece of ribbon I had in my stash behind the image. I used my cutter bee circle & oval cutters to cut out the images. TFL

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Take a look at this new blog...

My sweet hubby started a blog this week. He is the true writer and photographer around here. I just pretend I can do those things. There isn't alot there yet, but check back once in awhile. Plus, you can see how cute he is, if you go visit. The name of his blog leaves a little to be desired, but he's a guy and it's his blog. Here is the link.

In other news, I finally got to work out today for the first time in 2 weeks and it felt so good. This recovery business is slow, but every day is better. I'm still hoping to eat a big ole cheeseburger soon. The eating part is coming back slowly. So, I'll post a card soon. I took a day of rest yesterday. I hope you have time to make something beautiful today.

Monday, May 7, 2007

May Card # 7

Here is my card for my color challenge this week. I made multiples of this one, but since they are all the same, I'll only count it once. I used a set of fontworks stars clear stamps that I won~woohoo. The sentiment by stampendous was in the box of 10 cent stamps and the flourish is a favorite of mine by inkadinkado. I used versafine inks in satin red and deep lagoon. I just have to say that I'm in love with the crisp images I get with versafine ink pads. I ditched all my SU pads when I discovered these babies. If you haven't tried these pads, you must buy one. You'll be hooked on them like I am.

Color Challenge Monday ~ part 4

This one is a little easier than last week's challenge. I hope you'll find time to play along. This challenge is inspired by my friend, Cathy, who said goodbye to her oldest son on Saturday as he deployed to Iraq. My heart has been aching for her this week. She mentioned that she will be sending cards to him and his buddies while he is deployed and hasn't had time to make many. So, I thought I'd whip up some red, white, and blue cards with thinking of you type sentiments and blank inside. That's what she said she'd like to make to send.

So, there's the challenge this week....make something red, white, and blue. If you'd like to send a card or two for me to pass on to her to send to Iraq, just let me know. I hope you enjoy playing with these patriotic colors.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

May Cards #5 & #6

I got a whole box of stamps in the mail yesterday from my cousin, Terry. She called last week to tell me that she found a super-clearance at a craft store and they had stamps for 10 cents, so she bought some for me. I'm not sure what I expected, but certainly not as amazing as what I got. Yesterday a box arrived with 30 stamps in it...all wood mounted and wonderful. I feel like I hit the jackpot. Big hugs to you Terry for thinking of me at this awesome sale.

So, of course I had to play with one of them today. This Penny Black stamp was in the box. What a gorgeous stamp. I colored the image with tombow markers using 2 shades of purple and 2 shades of green. Then, I spritzed the stamp with water and stamped the card on the right. I spritzed the stamp again and stamped the second card without re-inking. I just love this water color look. The sentiment on the card on the right came from a $1 clear stamp set that Teresa sent me yesterday. Thanks Teresa and Terry for all the fun today.

Friday, May 4, 2007

May Cards #3 & #4

Oops, here it is only the 4th and I'm behind on my personal challenge. I laid out my card yesterday, but didn't finish it. After I finished this one, I used the scrap as the start to the second one. I just love this basic grey printed paper. For the second card, I used this great image that I got in a grab bag of stamps I ordered last week. The basket of eggs is by Northwoods Rubber Stamps. I'm in a bird mood this week, I guess. Thanks for looking.

Friday Funny

I'm not sure what it says about me today that this is funny. It just cracks me up. I hope you enjoy it, too.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

May Card #2

Oh this one was fun! Two days in a row of making cards. My inspiration for this layout came from May's gallery over at the Fiskateers. She posted a challenge to make something inspired by one of her gallery postings. I borrowed her layout design and those buttons & rhinestones going up the side of the main image.

The focal image is by Inkadinkado and the thank definition is by Hero Arts. The yummy papers are Basic Grey(thanks again Jan). Of course the buttons came from who knows where out of the button jars. I do know that the black button with the rhinestone came from a hideous blouse I bought at the thrift shop just for those buttons. The rhinestones are from my mom's stash(thanks Mom).

I'm thinking of all my wonderful girlfriends who helped me through these crazy few weeks with this card. Thanks to all of you :)

Musical inspiration for today's cardmaking is the soundtrack from Rent. I watched this fantastic musical this week. Sweet hubby downloaded the music for me last night (thanks honey).

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

May Card #1

This is the first card for my personal challenge this month. It is also my card for my color challenge this week and uses the layout design for CPS #11. Over at Card Positioning Systems they post an awesome new card layout challenge each Sunday. Check it out...the link is over to the left.

I used Old World Mat Stack for the papers and BG paper for the background (thanks Jan). The swirl & bird stamps are by Inkadinkado. Sentiment is SU. I used some diamond stickles here and that stuff! The blue jay feather is from the front yard and the brown feathers are from a bag of feathers I got on my regular Thursday visit to the thrift shop. It feels good to be stamping a bit...I have to stick with small stamps and juicy ink pads, but I can do it!

And in other news: the lab reports just came back from my surgery last week.....Benign....such a wonderful word.

Happy May Day

May is such a happy month...spring is really here, the lilacs and dogwoods bloom, track & field events fill beautiful Saturdays, and Mother's Day arrives-which means breakfast in bed. It doesn't get any better than that. Oh, and the most important event in May~yard sale season begins on Memorial Day weekend! It is definitely an event. My mom comes up early in the morning, chocolate donuts in hand, and we get our small change before and the newspaper with the big map and just roll all day from treasure to treasure. We have the best time playing all day.

I just perused my blog and see there are hardly any cards here. I've been side-tracked lately with medical stuff. So, I've challenged myself to make a card a day in May. I hope to get my creative mojo going and inspire you with something new.