Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I made this card last night to send to a friend.  I started with a handmade paper base that has flower petals in the paper.  I stamped the main image by Hero Arts with imperial purple versafine ink.  The sentiment by Stampin Up is stamped with shabby shutters distress ink.  I used the same shabby shutters to stamp the Hero Arts butterfly on a scrap of basic grey and cut it out.  I then added in more shabby shutters and milled lavender around the edges with cut and dry foam.  

In other news: I'm sorry I haven't shared an update about Kyle.  He went back to school last week for partial days and is in school for full days this week.  He's still tired and dizzy occasionally, so I'm driving him both ways. He's working hard to make up for lost time in his classes.  Thanks so much for stopping by today.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

giving back

I know I've mentioned my fun bunco group before here. I get together once a month with 11 other women to play bunco, and we've been doing this for 8 years now. It's wonderful fun and we learn so much from each other. Quite a few of the women I play with are Catholic and our last bunco night was on Fat Tuesday, so there was much discussion about lent. The closest I ever came to catholicism is the nice catholic boy I dated in high school, but I never really knew much about lent. So, I asked questions. It was a great discussion about reflection and honoring beliefs and giving back. Many of my friends take these 40 days of lent to give to others, in their families, in the schools, in the community, and in the world. Some also give up things like chocolate, but that's not my style.  I was inspired by the idea of helping others.

Yesterday, I met with my regular stamping group that's been meeting monthly for longer than the bunco group. There's a bit of crossover in these two groups, just a few of us are in both groups. I asked the group to help me with a project. I already had 35 cards made to send to Operation Write Home that I really need to get in the mail. OWH is having a half and half drive right now. They're asking people to send in half mother's day and father's day cards and half any occasion cards. The task of making 35 mother's day and father's day cards was a bit daunting to me, so I asked the girls to help me out if they had nothing else to stamp. Everyone jumped right in and we got inky yesterday. I'm happy to say that I'm shipping out 80 cards this morning. What a wonderful group of friends I have in both of these groups.  I love the idea of giving back all the time, but during this time after the holidays and in the last part of winter it's a nice time to remember others who could use a hand.  Thank you to my mountain bunco friends for explaining this beautiful time to me and to my mountain stamping friends for helping me get this box of lovely cards winging their way to our soldiers stationed overseas that they can write in and send to their loved ones waiting at home.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

It's Winterfest time over at the 2 peas stamping board.  Right in the middle of winter when I can't stand to see another snowflake or snowplow or snow shovel, well you get the idea, we have a little weeklong stamping party.  The members host challenges some with an RAK drawing and some just for fun.  I'm hosting a challenge called Spray It and this is my sample.  If you'd like to play along or just be inspired stop by this week and take a peek.

Supplies: Stamps: Stampington, Stampin Up; Inks: Ranger Distress; Flower: Maya Road.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Just a bit of grungy fun.  All the stamps are by Paper Bag Studios.  I really love their stamps. The paper is an old ledger sheet and the inks are distress. I used a Fiskars metal edge tearing tool for that tear on the left side.  I like how jagged it makes the tear.  The button and twill tape are out of my stash, not sure where they came from.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How about some stamped coasters?  I made these  from tumbled marble 4" tiles I picked up at the home improvement store.  I put self adhesive cork feet on the bottom to protect the surface they're placed on.  In the past when I've made stamped coasters I always used StazOn ink, which works great, but I wanted to try something different.  These are stamped with Stewart Superior Palette Hybrid ink.  I used a metallic buff bronze color that has a nice shimmer.  I first stamped the script background and then stamped the pines over in the same ink.  I like using the same ink for this look because you don't have to mask, it just blends in. You can also stamp a lighter background, then a darker focal image and it works great. These stamped up so quickly and easily, and make a nice hostess or thank you gift.  Sometimes I just can't get out to shop, so having a few of these on hand makes it easy to give a little gift anytime.  They can be made to suit the recipient's decor or the season.  I just picked up some 6" tiles that I'm thinking will make nice trivets.  Haven't gotten around to stamping on them just yet.

In other news, we didn't make it to Vegas this weekend.  My taller than me teenager has been battling some nasty illnesses and the battle continues.  We've been down the mountain 5 times in 2 weeks for various medical appointments.  He attempted to go to school this morning and made it through his first 3 classes before he just couldn't do anymore.  He's sleeping again.  Tomorrow we're going to try for the last 3 classes, so at least he can go to all of his classes once.  I'm meeting with his counselor in the morning to see if we can adjust his schedule a bit while he tries to get over this.  It could take weeks.  I really feel for him.  He's a normal teenager who wants to walk to school, see his friends, and play rugby.  This is a challenge we didn't see coming, it just hit like a train wreck. I'd love to have some magic elixir to fix it and help him get back to where he was.  My word for this year is Breathe.  I've been doing a bunch of that lately.  Not exactly what I had in mind when I chose the word.  Funny how life works sometimes.  I guess I needed more patience and breath than I thought.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Hearts Day

This is the card I made for my sweetie.  You may recognize a few goodies from my treasure hunting trip a few posts back.  The old label, bingo card piece, and bingo marker are from that trip. The flower is made with a scallop circle punch and old sewing pattern directions.  I really posted this to tell you a love story, not go on and on about the card.

Nine years ago today, I met my sweet husband at El Pollo Loco for lunch.  I was working full time days and he was working full time nights so we could care for our son who was in kindergarten.  Meeting for a quick fast food lunch was a treat for us.  We met half way down the mountain most nights to switch off  the kiddo as I was coming home and he was going to work.  After doing this for 5 years, we barely saw each other.  We both felt like single parents.  I was burnt out from 12 years of social work and keeping up this crazy schedule.  I'd worked my whole adult life, gone to school, and this was my chosen profession.  The thing is it no longer worked and it no longer fit me.  Something had to give, but I didn't see it.  My sweet husband has a way of seeing what I need before I see it.  While we were eating our hurried lunch and wishing each other a happy valentine's day, he gave me a gift.  It was unexpected and intangible.  I was lamenting about the latest drama at work, and he said, "why don't you quit".  I laughed and he said he was serious.  You see up until that day, I never even imagined it as an option.  We began to ponder the idea. The more we talked about it, the more excited I became.  I sat down with our finances that night and figured out that it was possible.  It would be a huge lifestyle change, but it was possible.  We put the wheels in motion and 6 weeks later I became a stay at home mom who cooked dinner and helped in the classroom and drove her son to school, and began having a life I never knew I wanted or needed.

Over the last nine years many things have happened that wouldn't have been possible if we hadn't had that lovely fast food lunch that day.  I've been substitute teaching since about 6 months after I left my full time job.  I was able to homeschool Kyle for 2 years to help him through some learning disabilities that had gone undetected earlier.  I've been able to pursue my passion with crafting in ways I never imagined.  Mostly, though, I found my marriage.  I fell in love with my husband all over again.  Our family is stronger and I wouldn't trade one day of it for a fancy dinner out or a shopping trip to Nordstrom with a personal shopper.  Those things are fleeting pleasures.  This life gives me enduring love and contentment beyond my wildest dreams.  Happy Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Inspiration is a tricky thing.  Sometimes I really want to make something and there's no inspiration.  Other times, like today, I should be doing important things like shoveling snow, again.  Then, bam, the inspiration hits.  As much as I'd like to be out there shoveling the fresh berm of snow the snowplow so kindly left for me, I ran to the craft room instead. 

This is a piece of palette paper left over from our adventure in making a color wheel this week.  Kyle is still sick, so we've been doing a bit of homeschool to make sure he keeps up.  High school is much harder than I recall, especially algebra.  It definitely got harder in the last 30 years.  His lovely art teacher offered that he could make a color wheel using just the primary colors with black and white.  I loved showing Kyle about how to make darker and lighter hues with the black and white.  When he was finished with the color wheel, there was still some paint left on the palette.  I used a palette knife and smeared it all over a piece of acrylic paper for backgrounds for something else, and left this palette paper to dry.  Today when I was picking up the dry pieces, I saw flowers in this piece of throw away palette.  So I made these:

I used an EK success 5 petal flower punch to punch out areas of the waxy palette paper and then curled up the leaves a bit.  I stacked up 3 flowers and used a brad in the middle.  I think they're kind of fun.  I love trash to treasure projects.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Happy Valentine's Week!  If all goes well, I'll be in Las Vegas with my family and extended family for the International 7s Rugby Tournament this weekend.  Really I'm going for the rugby, not the gambling.  Ok, so if you know me at all, you know I'm going for the gambling.  I really really love to gamble, well play games of any kind.  So Vegas is like a big playground for me.  I don't know how I married a man that doesn't like to gamble at all.  I guess it's self preservation, more gambling money for me.  Anyhow, this is one of the tags I made for Valentine's Day.  We're having a big event over at Scrapbook News and Review Magazine featuring a new tutorial for a valentine tag each day of the month up until the 14th.  My tutorial for this tag is on day 4.  Here's where you can see all of the tutorials including this one.  If you register on the site (free), then you'll get an email each day with the tags.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I painted today!  I love painting.  Do you recognize the base for this ATC?  It's one of the vintage bingo cards from a couple of posts down that I picked up on my treasure hunting.  Ok, so it's not tons of paint, but it really made me happy.  A bit of titan buff with some glazing liquid gave me just the right amount of milky white to still see what's underneath. The little frame around the bingo babe is made with microbeads sprinkled over a line of glossy accents.  Did I mention that I painted today?  It was a good day.  Thanks for stopping by.  

I'm still drawing my way through these fun zentangles.  Here are a couple of ATCs I made last week before this dreaded sickness crept into my body.   The doc is taking good care of me and mom sent me chicken soup last night, so I'm sure to be back to my old self soon.  I just saw that the Zentangle books are available for sale along with Chris Cozen's newest book.  She's an awesome teacher that I've been fortunate enough to take classes from.  So, it you need a new book for inspiration this year, take a look at Design Originals new 2010 books.