Tuesday, March 25, 2008

blog candy for the cure

I'm offering up these newly released goodies for a good cause. I need your help to spread the word about some wonderful friends who are doing their part to find a cure for breast cancer.

My friend Teresa is walking in the 3 day race for the cure and my friend Ethel is hosting a silent auction of longaberger baskets to help her raise money. Our friend Lesa is in a fierce battle with breast cancer, and is an inspiration to all of us.

If you'd like to be in the drawing for this blog candy, link up Ethel's auction blog wherever you visit. It can be on your blog, or to a message board you visit, or I'll even accept that you emailed some friends. You do not need to make a bid in order to win this blog candy, you just need to help us spread the word. I'll put your name in the drawing a second time if you also make a direct donation to Teresa's page for the 3 day walk. No amount is too small. We can all make a difference.

Please leave a comment on this post to let me know what you did to help support the race for the cure . I will leave this open until my blog-aversary on April 15 when I will draw for the prize.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

spring flowers

Just about all of the snow has melted which means that the bulbs are coming up. A couple who live in the next little mountain town up the way take bulb planting to a whole new level. They have planted literally many thousands of bulbs on their property. They are kind enough to open their gardens for 2 weeks each year to let us peek at the beauty they have created. Today is the first day they are open this year. Here is a bit of what we walked through this morning.

Happy Easter to all of you. I hope flowers are blooming near you.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Celtic Arch

I'd like to talk about the process I go through in making an arch. If you just stopped by to see the arch, scroll on down to the bottom.

On Sunday morning the new challenge is posted for the week. I anxiously await logging in on sundays see what the challenge is. Occasionally, I just run with it right then on Sunday, but more often I sit with it. Sometimes I sit with it for so long the next sunday rolls around and I don't ever get to it. I'm working on that.

Today is Monday and my arch is finished before bedtime, not too bad. I looked up Celtic in the dictionary, did a google search, and basically thought about the theme. I came up with a few things that really appeal to me about Ireland- thatched cottages, waterford crystal, irish lace and linens, green, and the Quiet Man. Those are the bigs things I had in my mind. I also thought about irish eyes smiling, luck, guiness, potatos, family, and history.

All the things in the photo above were auditioned for the arch. They stayed around on the table all day trying to get in on the final cut. They didn't make it. Any one of the items would work with the theme, but none fit the collage. I had it all laid out with a few of those things...blah! Not the right thing, so I started over. Sometimes I need to just start fresh, because my first thoughts or ideas don't work.

I spied a sparkly green piece of felt on the table. Now that just might work. I tried out quite a few pieces of lace and finally picked up that great big one that is on the base now. It just arrived here from treasure hunting this week and hadn't even made it to the basket of good lace yet. Now we were getting somewhere. It is really old and I'm sure a fine irish lady made it a long time ago. I wove in a bit of green velvet ribbon that reminds me of Scarlet O'Hara's green velvet dress. Don't laugh, she was Irish.

So I kept thinking about family ties to Ireland. I pulled out some stock photo things that you see in the pic and they were too paper to go with my fabric theme. Then I remembered this little baby pin that I got in a jar of broken jewelry last fall. She is perfect and the round shape goes with all these crystal buttons to represent Waterford. But now I need a word. What kind of word I don't know. So I peek at all my word stamps on the wall...nothing. I go to my closet where all the Stampin Up stamps are and there is the word...Blessed. It's perfect and it fits and it's how I feel today. My arches are becoming very personal and emotional and a sort of art jounal with few words. Even if nobody else sees that, I know it and it works for me. So I stamp my word with my new green staz-on pad onto some vintage seam binding.

Really we should stop here to discuss my addiction to vintage lace and seam binding. It's getting scary how much I have, but on days like today I'm so glad I have it all. I think about adding it to my etsy shop, but I'm too greedy. I may need all of it someday. Okay, so back to the arch...

Now it feels just a little too hard, not quite finished. I remember a wonderful box of flowers I just received in the mail from May who is one of our lead fiskateers. There is a beautiful little stack of green flowers that aren't put away yet either. I think having things out on the table is a theme, too. Maybe I need all this mess. So, this perfect little green flower that reminds me of a 4 leaf clover and luck makes the cut. And one last thing a beautiful old pearl head pin. It reminds me of pearls and ladies having tea and it just works somehow to tie in The Quiet Man. The last step in the process is to stitch all the elements down by hand with invisible thread. This was actually the fastest part of the whole process.

So without further ado here is the final arch which has only one thing stamped on it, no other ink, and is all fabric, buttons, and lace.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

grungeboard continued

This is what happened to all those swirls I experimented with for my craft critique article. I used them on these tags for a swap I'm in to give our lovely hostess Jan some ideas before she takes her big cruise with tim holtz in alaska. It was a fun experiment. I used some vintage manilla tags for the base that I stamped with one of the new ATC stamps by tim for Stampers Anonymous using kaliedacolor fresh green ink. The flowers are all diecut here on my handy little cuttlebug and then colored with everything I could imagine. You'll see stickles and embossing powder used as well as lots of brilliance ink. The brads are from my stash. TFL

Do you etsy?

I was reading the new issue of cloth paper scissors last night and there is a whole article in it about etsy. I heard that Martha did a show about etsy. It seems it is everywhere lately. I opened my etsy shop last fall to help make a bit of Christmas money. You know I love to treasure hunt for goodies and that's mostly what I sell in my shop- ephemera and stuff like that. Things I love, but have too much of. I am happy to say that not only did I earn some money for holiday gifts, but just last week I cleaned out my paypal account to help pay for some new chairs for the living room. Etsy has been a wonderful experience for me.

I'd love to hear about your etsy shop experiences. If you have one link it up and tell us about your shop. If you are thinking of opening one, what are you waiting for? Let's talk etsy...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

easter eggs, grungeboard, mom, and a new baby girl

What the heck do these things have to do with each other? Not a single thing except they are all things happening in my life right now. I'll start with mom who is raring to get out in the world now that she is finally feeling better. We went out to breakfast yesterday and did a little treasure hunting at our two favorite thrift shops. I've been waiting months to take her out to play. I'm so thankful that she is feeling well enough to go out for a couple of hours. We parked close and moved slow, but we did it. Then when I got home I got a call from my cousin telling me we have a beautiful new baby girl in the family. She does not yet have a name because her parents are getting to know her first before they name her. I think that is so wonderful. Her big brother wanted to know who was bringing the cake to the birthing day party. How adorable is he? So his meemaw went to the bakery and got a cake. Awwww.

This is the easter egg part of the story. I was inspired by my talented friend Jennifer's card that she sent me. I used her idea of silver embossing and painting on my egg basket for this card that I'm swapping with my card group this morning.
Supplies: Northwoods rubber stamp image, silver detail embossing powder, twinkling H2O's, K&Co pink patterned paper, Cloud9 green patterned paper, SU green & white CS, ticket punch, corner rounder, and pink ribbon.

And finally, the grungeboard. I did a review of this product today on craft critique if you'd like to take a peek.

Monday, March 10, 2008

a completely wonderful day

I spent the most glorious day yesterday with some very creative friends. Julie has been telling me and anyone else who will listen about Golden products forever. It's not that I didn't listen, it's just that I didn't have an opportunity to play with them until yesterday. Oh my goodness, really I had to raise up my arms and cheer right in the middle of the painting class. It's really that good. We took a class with Chris Cozen who is exactly the kind of teacher we all hope for when we pay for a class. First we painted some backgrounds. We used 3 different papers with the same paints to get an idea of the different effects you get with acrylic paper, watercolor paper, and canvas paper. My personal fave was the acrylic paper. Such a smooth and sturdy paper. It definitely has a future as some gothic arch bases. The paints were really incredible and gave a depth of color that I've never experienced with paint before. I have a bit of experience with painting, but this paint takes it to a whole new level. I forgot how much I love to paint. I really need a brush in my hand more often.

Then we used a part of the backgrounds to create a base for a paperweight. I have been playing a bit with collage, but really don't know what the heck I'm doing. I was so grateful to have Chris there to explain a bit of theory about composition. She is writing her next book on the subject. I now have a better understanding, but I have to take more classes from this teacher. I've already inquired into a class in June with her. The goodies in here under glass are layered on a piece of the canvas paper that I painted and include a postage stamp, some egg and nest images, a piece of an old ledger from Julie's stash, a dictionary word, and 2 coin charms.

After such a wonderful beginning to the day, I was on a creative high. We had lunch and did alot of treasure hunting and chatting. It was so fantastic to be in the company of like minded artistic women. I don't get that much here on my little mountain. It was good for my soul. Thanks Chris, Julie, Kim, Andrea, and Heather for such a beautiful day. I'm still smiling.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Elvis is in the building

I rarely get so excited about the newest stamps that I buy them on the release day. There is a first time for everything. I ordered my new Elvis stamp from CHF on Friday and it was delivered today. I love this image of the young sexy Elvis who held so much promise.

I had to get this stamp for my mom. You know she's had such a rough time lately that I just knew when I saw these stamps they would bring a smile to her face. She was in love with Elvis with all the other young girls of her generation. She loved to dance to his songs and won lots of dance contests. So, I made her this card today that I will take to her in the morning when we have our weekly day together while Dad golfs. Who knows maybe we will dance in the kitchen like we did when I was little. That was so much fun!

My mom rocks. She has been winning a war against a little spore that tried to take over and ruin everything. It isn't winning, she is. I'm so proud of her for not giving up even when it didn't feel like there was much hope. She is my hero, and I can't wait to give her this fun card.

supplies used: cornish heritage farms Elvis Stamp and backgrounder dots, studio g sentiment, black versafine ink, top boss ink, sparkly no name embossing powder, pale pink marker, pink, white, and black cardstock. I used the bind it all to cut the square holes in the black paper.

happy monday

What a fun busy weekend we had around here. I probably haven't told you this, but I usually have 3-4 day weekends. My sweet hubby works 12 hour shifts, so has a nice amount of time off. This was a long weekend for us. We got our taxes done and had a lunch date. We bought some new chairs....hurry up brown suited santa (UPS man). I learned how to make soap from my wonderful neighbor. We had our first BBQ of the year after hubby finished shoveling the remnants of snow from the deck. He made these amazing burgers with blue cheese on top and then a mixture of carmelized onions, apples, and pears. Yummy! I saw all my neighbors on our walks this weekend. I'm such a hermit in the winter that I don't know what is happening outside. It was nice to get caught up with everyone. I'm so sad that 2 of my favorite neighbors are moving over the next couple of months. I'm trying to look at it as an opportunity to get more great neighbors. I went to a demo training for fiskars and played with all sorts of new tools. I'm officially a Fiskar's Demonstrator now, I have a certificate and name badge to prove it. It was a wonderful weekend filled with laughter, fun, and good food. It doesn't get any better than that.

This is a card I made for a technique swap using the spirelli technique. That's the part where the glittery thread is wrapped around the scallop punch. I loved wrapping the thread in different ways to see what would happen. It reminds me of playing with a spirograph toy.
supplies used: SU, CTMH, and Stampendous stamps; Kaliedacolor fresh greens inkpad, Versafine imperial purple inkpad, green rickrack, purple grosgrain ribbon, purple glittery thread, giga oval scallop punch, prima flower, lime green stickles, white cardstock.