The little things that make me happy here on Bliss Road~~Emily Keaton

Friday, July 30, 2010

Christmas Kitty in July

Happy Friday, everybody! The weather is going to be perfect here this weekend, and I'm so psyched. I wanted to share my little bit of happy with you today to get a fun weekend rolling!

The stamps I used on this card are another sneak peek of the Mark's Finest Papers set Tweet Blessings, to be released in August. This set is not a holiday set, but the little flower elements remind me of poinsettias, so this was perfect for a couple of Christmas in July challenges I wanted to enter! Here's the scoop on challenges for this card:

  • Color Throwdown #103: These just screamed Christmas to me! I had to sub from my collection of generic card stock for the red and river rock, but I think I got pretty close.
  • Stamptacular Sunday #69: Christmas in July
  • Tuesday Throwdown #10: Christmas in July
  • Free for All #23 on SCS: Side-Swiped! To give some special attention or treatment along an entire side. I used a scallop edge border punch along the bottom and then dolled it up with lots of buttons :)
  • EBTKS Challenge #20: to use buttons (preferrably buttons you found around the house!). The 14 buttons I used came from my rather extensive button collection. About half the buttons are vintage buttons that came from the button tin I inherited from my Gramma.
  • Jazzy Paper Designs Challenge #11: card sketch based on this awesome jazz album cover.
Well, it's just about time to get our Friday pizza night started! My DH makes the most awesome hand-tossed homemade pizza. Yum! And afterward we'll have a movie night with the kids. Thanks for stopping to visit me on Bliss Road today!

Stamps: MFP Tweet Blessings
Paper: SU certainly celery CS, SU whisper white CS, various Paper Company CS, DCWV Christmas Mat Stack
Ink: Palette moulin rouge, SU certainly celery
Accessories: CM 1.25" square punch, SU curly label punch, SU scallop border punch, sewing machine, dimensionals, chipboard alphas from the Target Dollar Spot, assorted buttons from my stash
Techniques: machine stitching

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Back to School

I was in a panic earlier this week when my DH mentioned that our August vacation was coming up very quickly and that we would only have one week of summer break left after that before the kids go back to school. How could that be??? There are so many more things that I want to do with the kids this summer--it can't be over yet!!

Of course, it's not (over yet, that is) and they don't go back to school until September 7, so there's time, but I've got to make sure it doesn't get away from us. Adding to my panic was the matter of back-to-school supplies. My DD starts middle school in the fall, and she received her class schedule and supplies list in the mail this week. With my new awareness that time is flying, I was afraid that if we didn't get a handle on school supplies now--before our vacation--that nothing would be left in the stores (or on sale) by the time we get back. SO, we hit the back-to-school sales yesterday and today, and I'm happy to report that DD is now completely provisioned with her middle school supplies! She was a huge help in surveying what could be re-used from last year and is tickled pink over all of her new stuff, including her 3-ring binders, highlighters, calculator, Wite-Out, and 4GB USB flash drive, all of which are making her feel so grown up. She can't stop looking at it all and has been carrying her loaded school backpack around the house today. It's so cute!! DS hasn't received a supply list from his new teacher yet, but second grade supplies aren't nearly as complicated, so we guessed. New crayons, colored pencils, glue sticks, and an assignment folder are safe bets, so he got to pick out all of those. If he doesn't need them at school, we're sure to use them at home. When his list does arrive, we'll take a quick trip to buy anything that's missing at that point. Whew! I'm feeling a little less harried now!

With the fresh scent of school supplies still in my head, I had so much fun this afternoon kicking back to make this "Back to School" theme card for the Paper Sundaes #28 Challenge! I don't normally send back-to-school cards as such, but I thought it would make a great teacher thank you card later in the year, so I'll put it aside for that. This is also for:
  • today's SCS challenge, WT281, to incorporate woodgrain in a card. I don't have anything woodgrain, so I tried making some faux woodgrain (by dragging my burnt umber ink pad across a scrap of kraft card stock). Here's a close up. Not too bad, I thought!
  • this week's {ippity} challenge IHHC34, which is a your-choice 1-2-3 challenge. I chose 1 great sentiment, 2 punched butterflies, and 3 buttons.
  • this week's Unity Addicts' Challenge UAC11, to make a card with no designer paper. No problem! I ripped a page from an old dictionary as my background paper, plus used {ippity}'s A Bit of Burlap background stamp in several places, and, of course, a panel of my faux woodgrain!
  • Flutter By Wednesday #115
  • Card Patterns Sketch #74 Challenge, which was a bit tough. There's a lot going on in this one!
I'm looking forward to meeting a friend for dinner tonight. I've hardly seen her this summer! So it will be great to relax and catch up. We're going to a local grille famous for its barbecue. My mouth is already watering for one of their pulled-pork sandwiches!! Can't wait :)

Thanks for dropping by to share my little slice of bliss today!!

Stamps: {ippity} Books a'Flutter, {ippity} A Bit of Burlap
Paper: PTI kraft CS, various Paper Company CS, book page ripped from vintage dictionary
Ink: Palette burnt umber
Accessories: SU tag corner punch, MS royal butterfly punch, colored pencils, OMS, paper blending stump, buttons from my stash, brown burlap string, glue dots, dimensionals
Techniques: gamsol magic, faux woodgrain

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What a Hoot!

A quick card today using today's SCS sketch challenge and yesterday's SCS color challenge: concord crush, daffodil delight, and pear pizzazz. I don't have any of the new SU colors, so I had to substitute.

I'm also entering this in:
  • City Crafter Challenge Blog #15, Garden Mail, to use a color from the inspiration photo and include something to do with mail. The owl is stamped on a small panel that I slipped inside a tiny handmade envelope. Making that envelope was SO much fun!!
  • Simon Says Challenge, Going Dotty!
This is a sneak peek of the Mark's Finest Papers Owl Be There set, which will be released in August. I love this cute owl! As soon as I saw him, I knew he would be perfect for the birthday of an owl-loving friend. The little flourish and both sentiments are from this fun set, too. I can't wait to make something else with Owl Be There!

Oh, can I share a little bit of fun with you? The kids and I made a trek to IKEA yesterday, which is a treat for all of us. We lunched in the IKEA restaurant and had dessert at the snack bar (fresh cinnamon roll for me, vanilla cones for the kids). I was on the hunt for a better way to store my growing collection of paper punches and hoped I'd find something good at IKEA. I hit pay dirt! This little Helmer metal drawer unit is exactly the kind of sturdy solution I was looking for: drawers are 9.5" wide by 15" long and, most importantly, 4" deep. They are just right for my punches! I can quite comfortably store 8 of the large old-style SU punches in a drawer, and because the drawers are metal, they can handle the weight of that many punches without bowing and deforming. I am SO thrilled. :) Oh, and DD couldn't wait to help me assemble the drawer unit. Wow--she is a natural when it comes to putting things together, and she figured out the direx faster than I could. Must be all that Lego building!!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Stamps: MFP Owl Be There
Paper: PTI kraft CS, DCWV DP, generic CS
Ink: Palette violette
Accessories: CM scallop corner rounder punch, SU large oval punch, dimensionals, sewing machine, colored pencils, OMS, paper blending stump, brad
Techniques: machine sewing, gamsol magic

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Flourishes Guest Hostess!!

Happy Tuesday, everybody!! I have had the hardest time keeping a secret the past few weeks (especially because there is a PRIZE involved!). But I can finally share it today: I am the Guest Challenge Hostess for this week’s Flourishes Timeless Tuesday Challenge (FTTC77)!! I love playing in the Flourishes Challenges, so I was thrilled and honored to be asked to fill their once-a-month guest hostess spot for July. As hostess, it was my job to pick the challenge, and I had SO much fun doing just that! My challenge for FTTC77 is to incorporate some kind of pin on a card creation. Any kind of pin will do: stick pins, hat pins, safety pins, straight pins, diaper pins, even mini clothes pins, or a brooch-style pin. Use your imagination! I can’t wait to see what you come up with! You can find all the details for this challenge on the Flourishes blog. I hope you will check it out—there is a random drawing for a $10 Flourishes store gift certificate from this week’s entries. Fun!!

So, once I dreamed up this pins challenge, it was time to get started on my FTTC77 card. I had originally envisioned using safety pins on my creation, but pretty soon those safety pins morphed into homemade hat pins as my card plan evolved. I ended up making this birthday card for my mom, who loves tea and collects teapots. I kept thinking of the old-fashioned Victorian d├ęcor of one of her favorite tea rooms.
I used Flourishes’ Let’s Have Tea set and colored this wonderful tea tray image with colored pencils, including my prized metallic silver pencil for the tray. I didn’t have any fancy stick pins or hat pins (which I knew would be perfect for the look I was after) on hand, so I started looking through my sewing supplies. Most of the straight pins I use for everyday sewing have largish round white pinheads, but I also found a small stash of pins with colored heads, including a few pink ones. I put one of each of those aside while I poked around some more in my sewing stuff. Pretty soon I uncovered a jar of stray beads from beaded trims. (When you snip off a length of beaded trim, a few beads invariably come loose and fall off. I can’t bring myself to throw them away, so I toss them in a jar for “someday.”) So to make my “hat pins,” I just threaded a few of these pretty beads on my straight pins, then slipped the pins through the folds of my grosgrain ribbon. Simple!! But sparkly and just the Victorian-style touch I wanted for this special card. It’s going to be so hard waiting until Mom’s October birthday to give this to her!

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing in my BIG slice of bliss for today! If you play along with a pin card this week, don’t forget to link it up at the Flourishes blog. The FTTC77 challenge runs until Monday, August 2, at 6 p.m. Eastern time. And be sure to check out the blog team designers’ take on my pins challenge:
Stamps: Flourishes Let’s Have Tea
Paper: Basic Grey Nook & Pantry DP, Basic Grey Green at Heart DP, SU whisper white CS, SU pretty in pink CS
Ink: Palette noir black
Accessories: MS Deco Fan Punch Around the Page punch set, SU tag corner punch, SU word window punch, colored pencils, foam tape, dimensionals, pearls, sewing machine, emery board (for distressing), paisley grosgrain ribbon from my stash, homemade hat pins, Prima Lilliput Rose - Marshmallow
Techniques: machine sewing

Monday, July 26, 2010

Elegant Birthday

The kids and I were just rockin' in our stamping nook this afternoon, and I was able to fit in a fun second card today! I'm so happy to finally play this week's Play Date Cafe Challenge, PDCC39. Aren't these great colors? I immediately thought of something elegant like damask and searched for something along that line that would inspire me for this card. I found it in this damask ring bearer pillow from the Fantasy Vintage Bridal Etsy shop. My sketch for this card comes from the Get Sketchy Card Challenge, Sketch #48.Thanks for checking out my bonus card for today!!

Stamps: SU Vintage Labels, TAC Fantasy Flourishes (inside card)
Paper: PTI kraft, SU basic black, Paper Company gray, Miss Elizabeth's Romance DP
Ink: Palette noir black, Palette charcoal
Accessories: SU scallop border punch, SU curly label punch, sponge, dimensionals, kraft dotted grosgrain ribbon scrap, ribbon slide

One Blue Fish

The weather was just beautiful here today! So much drier than the muggy stuff we had over the weekend. For the first time in weeks, we didn't need the a/c and were able to air out the house. Why is it that (dry) fresh air smells so good???

The kids played outside this morning for a loooooooooooong time and I got in a good chunk of work done on my current freelance project. Woohoo!! Then the kids joined me after lunch in our "stamping nook" (read: dining room table no longer practical for dining purposes for all of the crafting paraphernalia covering it). We had a great time with today's SCS CAS challenge: to be inspired by the title of the Dr. Seuss children's book: One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. A fun challenge to be sure!

I was inspired to use this awesome seahorse image. It's another sneak peek from the soon-to-be-released Flourished Sea Creatures stamp set from Mark's Finest Papers. I am really having fun with all of the great images in this set, which includes the coral and seaweed images I used today, too.
My colors were inspired by this week's Curtain Call Color Challenge: Act 40. I thought these colors were perfect for a masculine card, so I'm also entering this in the MFP Speedy the Cat's Friends Challenge #13, to make--what else?--a masculine card.

To make this card ultra quick, I used the Poppin' Pastels technique on the seahorse panel, applying tempting turquoise chalk after stamping the images in Versamark ink. Simple! To give this some interest yet keep it clean, I added a few score lines behind the image. I couldn't resist giving my ocean floor a sandy bottom by adding a torn strip of my soon-to-be signature cheap-o Dollar Tree sandpaper.

I love how this quick and easy card turned out! Thanks a bunch for dropping by to check out my happy project for the day. :)

Stamps: MFP Flourished Sea Creatures
Paper: MFP Pensacola Sand CS, SU CS: real red, old olive, basic black
Ink: Versamark, Palette l'amour red
Accessories: Stampin' Pastels, sponge applicator, scoring tool, foam tape, Dollar Tree sandpaper
Techniques: Poppin' Pastels, scoring

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Neapolitan Thanks

My mind was working on a card in the background all day while we did some housecleaning and played games (Yahtzee, Life, and cribbage). It was hot and muggy all day long, which is perfect for ice cream, and all I could think of was Neapolitan ice cream. I just love those bright pink, creamy vanilla, and chocolate colors! Well, this amazing card sketch from Mandy Cheshire, owner of Limelight Papercrafts, merged with my Neapolitan ice cream vision, and out popped this yummy thank you card.
I made the pink panel by scoring a piece of cheap white card stock (it has quite a bit of texture to it, which helps in this technique) in the line pattern suggested by the sketch. Once again, I just used a stylus and the groove of my paper trimmer. Then I flipped over the scored card stock so the "mountains" would be pointing upward (OK, and this explains how the sketch got reversed) and swiped an ink pad across the scored card stock to make the score lines stand out and to add some texture. Hopefully you can see the score lines a bit better in this closeup.
So this card is for these challenges:
I can't believe how quickly this weekend sped past! But we got to spend it doing things we love: movies with the kids (Aliens in the Attic on Friday and Fly Away Home on Saturday), games, hiking, and a little crafting. It's all good!! Thanks for stopping by! :)

Stamps: {ippity} Now & Always, Unity Sentiments O'Simple
Paper: Crate Paper Blue Hill Collection DP , MFP ivory linen finish CS, Paper Company CS
Ink: Palette toile pink, Palette burnt umber
Accessories: SU scallop trim border punch, scoring tool, scissors, rhinestones
Techniques: scoring, paper piecing

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Out of this World

Well, we're off to a great Saturday here! We all went geocaching early this morning. It rained overnight so it was a bit foggy out and drippy in the forest, but it was much cooler than it will be later in the day. Today's geocache was hidden in an awesome glacial boulder deposit. So cool! DS came away with a neat little dice game (we'll figure it out this afternoon) and DD with a little Lego dude--both in exchange for swag from their own collections, of course.

So today I'm sharing a card I started last night and finished after geocaching this morning. This cute little astroboy and space alien duo is a digital image from Chickengirl Design that I won last week. I colored the images with colored pencils (but couldn't use my favorite Gamsol technique--boo hoo--because the solvent kept smearing the LaserJet toner). I also clear embossed the "glass" visors of their space helmets. So they could float against my deep blue, deep space background, I did some fussy cutting around both images and then adhered them down on a second image which I had already sponged with starry night ink.

Of course, I used several challenges in the making of this card!! Here goes:
  • Simon Says Sketch Challenge:
  • Just For Fun Friday - Color Challenge #21:
  • Stampin' B's Challenge #68, to use a background stamp. I used the SU Linen background stamp on my bottom blue layer.
  • Delightful Challenge: "It's So Simple." This is a challenge to use no designer paper or embellishments. This was definitely a challenge because I kept wanting to add brads or some such, and had to stop myself each time! I have some cool designer paper that would have been perfect with this card, but I had to settle for making my own. The background stamp was a help with the blue layer. I wanted something "cratery" for the gray layer. Having nothing that would fit the bill, I ended up sticking a button (well, two different sizes in turn) to my finger with a glue dot and stamping "craters" from the inked rim of the buttons. I love how it turned out!! Next time I use this image, I'll make a lunar surface for these dudes to spacewalk on using the same method.
Well, my kids are hovering now, so it's time to go squeeze lemons for the lemonade I promised we'd make for lunch!! Thanks so much for dropping by today and checking out my little slice of bliss.

Stamps: Chickengirl Design "You're Out of this World" digi, SU Linen background stamp, SU Oval All
Paper: handmade yellow paper, assorted CS from the Paper Company
Ink: Palette starry night, Palette charcoal, Versamark
Accessories: CM corner rounder punch, SU large oval punch, SU scallop oval punch, small star punch, scissors, dimensionals, colored pencils, sponge, clear embossing powder, buttons (for "stamping" the rings on the gray layer)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy Birdday! (An MFP Sneak Peek)

Happy Thursday, everyone! Today I am sneak peeking another new stamp set from Mark's Finest Papers, Tweet Blessings. It will be released in August. The sentiment is from another soon-to-be released MFP set, Owl Be There. I had a lot of fun adding a kinetic element to this 5.5" square card: my little orange birdie can "fly" back and forth above the birdhouse! I made a little "pendulum arm" by uncurling a paperclip, wrapping one end around a brad hidden underneath the birdhouse image, and adhering the bird image to the other end. So you can swing him from side to side like a metronome. Fun :)

My sketch for this card comes from the Get Sketchy Card Challenge, Sketch #47. A cool sketch, to be sure! All those triangles and circles appeal to my mathy brain :). And for my card colors? I'm playing along with the Just For Fun Fridays Color Challenge #20: Finally, because this is a "birdday" card, I'm entering it in the Caardvarks July Challenge, to create a birthday card.

That's all for my papery bliss today. Thanks for dropping in!

Stamps: MFP Tweet Blessings, MFP Owl Be There
Paper: MFP morning sun CS, MFP hazelnut tan CS, My Mind's Eye Magnolia DP
Ink: Palette burnt umber, SU pumpkin pie
Accessories: SU large oval punch, SU scallop oval punch, EK small scallop circle punch, CM circle cutting system, dimensionals, paperclip, sewing machine, orange rhinestones, hemp twine, assorted buttons from my stash, felt flower (Making Memories), glue dots, Stampin Pastels
Techniques: machine stitching, chalks

Get Out Your Sunglasses!

OK, I'll admit it. I've kinda been stalking the Play Date Cafe Challenge. The new challenge should post soon and I'm just dying to see what it is! So I made this quick and easy card to help me pass the time. I used a cute little cone flower from the {ippity} Faith Blooms set and a bold "thanks" sentiment from Unity's Sentiments O'Simple set. I based my layout on the City Crafter Challenge Blog's Week 14 sketch. And, finally, this is also for Crafty Creations Challenge #77, where the theme is something happy or sweet. Do you agree that this card is something happy?? Well, it's certainly bright. I hope I haven't blinded you with it. See why I warned you to get out your sunglasses?

Thanks for helping me pass the time while I stalk. :)

{ippity} Faith Blooms, Unity Sentiments O'Simple
Paper: SU tangerine tango CS, TAC Whimsy Blossoms DP
Ink: SU tangeringe tango, Palette reflection blue, Palette noir black
Accessories: SU large oval punch, scissors, dimensionals, swiss dot grosgrain ribbon

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Pair of Masculine Cards (and a SNEAK PEEK)

Up until about four months ago, I had never done any watercolor painting. Oh, sure, I had those cheap-o little eight-pot watercolor sets in elementary school, but in retrospect I hardly think that counts. So in March I did my first post-grade-school watercoloring for (what else?) a card challenge. This challenge was for using any kind of paint. Well, aside from poster paint, which hardly belongs on a card, the only kind of paint I had in the house, was--guess what?--a cheap eight-pot watercolor set that belongs to one of my kids. So I used it and rather liked the result, but noticed that the cheap kid watercolor paints are--surprise!--not that great. Plus, painting on regular cardstock is the pits: water soaks in too quickly, the color doesn't soak in uniformly, the paper warps horribly, and the colors don't mix well. So I started asking some questions and two SCS friends with lots of watercolor painting experience came to my aid. I discovered that there actually is paper designed specifically for watercolor painting (watercolor paper, who knew??) and that you could watercolor paint using dye inks (which is great because that I already have, in abundance, and wouldn't require yet another cash outlay for stocking up on all my must-have colors in yet another medium). So I bought a pad of good quality watercolor paper and some sable brushes, and ever since I've been dabbling in the joys of watercoloring.

And I truly mean dabble--I have absolutely no training in this art; I'm just making it up as I go along. I do try to pick up technique tips, mostly by studying the (accomplished) work of others. I need lots of practice, and I'm learning through trial and error. But I've never had such joy in figuring something out as I go along. I am addicted to watercolor painting! It is so relaxing and calming. Every time I watercolor an image, everything else melts away, and I have this deep feeling of satisfaction. Because watercoloring is sort of inexact, it's also rather forgiving. Going "outside the lines" and leaving gaps in the color are part its charm. It goes quickly, looks so artsy, and gives me such a sense of accomplishment. I am in love!

One drawback that I've found with watercolor painting on stamped images, though, is that because good-quality watercolor paper is often highly textured, it can be difficult to get a clean impression on watercolor paper. I've found that deeply etched rubber images usually work best. It's not as easy to get a decent impression with clear photopolymer stamps. It's possible, but sometimes it takes me several stampings to get one that looks good (and I hate to waste expensive watercolor paper!). So I don't watercolor as often as I'd like, but today I figured I was due some watercoloring bliss and indulged in two cards. Woo-hoo!

With my first card, I used a wonderful Repeat Impressions image that I bought recently with a $25 gift certificate I won in the RI What If? Wednesday sketch challenge in May. It shows the Portland Head Light in Maine. We visited this lighthouse two summers ago, and I have a bunch of photos of my parents and kids standing in front of it. I knew this image would be perfect for watercoloring, and since we've actually seen it in person, I had to have it! Recently one of my best friends suggested that if I needed an idea for a birthday card for her son's upcoming ninth birthday, he loves lighthouses. Perfect! So today's card will go to him. I used the current RI What If? Wednesday sketch for this card. I also used this Embellish Magazine challenge:

Now for my second card, I am sneak peeking a Mark's Finest Papers set called Regal & Proud, which will be released in August. Both the mountain image and sentiment come from the Regal & Proud set. I made this masculine congratulations card for today's SCS sketch challenge. Can you believe that I used only one challenge in the making of this card? I know, so very uncharacteristic of me. But I seem to have gotten so wrapped up in making the sketch work with this mountain image I wanted to use, that I forgot about all other possible challenges that I could possibly work in!

I had so much fun with my watercolor painting today. I love how both cards turned out!! My mom loves all things lighthouse, so I'm thinking of [MOM SPOILER ALERT!!] making her a set of lighthouse note cards for Christmas using this RI stamp. I think that will be a lot of fun, and I know it's something she would love, especially if it features a lighthouse she's seen in person!!

Thanks for dropping by today and reading this looooooooooooooooooooong post of mine! If you would like more details about the supplies I used in these cards, please click here for the lighthouse card and here for the Mark's Finest Papers card. See you back here again soon!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vintage Roses

Can I tell you how much I enjoy coloring with the gamsol magic technique? (That is, coloring with colored pencils and then blending the colors with a paper blending stump dipped in odorless mineral spirits.) I just love the color coverage I can get, and it's so easy to blend custom colors. Here's the card I made today with gamsol magic. Working on it made me so happy!

I made it for the Flourishes Timeless Tuesday Challenge, FTTC76, which was to be inspired by this gorgeous photo: I thought the lovely roses image from Flourishes' A Year in Flowers Set 2 captured that bouquet perfectly. I also used this week's sketch from Card Patterns:
See that pendant die cut under my main image? It isn't really a die cut at all! It's actually a square that I border- and corner-punched using the Martha Stewart Topiary punch-around-the-page set. I just love those PATP sets. Super easy to use, too!

And what put the "vintage" in my card for today? Well, in addition to the old-fashioned roses, I used actual pages torn from a vintage history book that I bought at a second-hand book store for $3 back in the spring, expressly for deconstructing in papercrafting projects. (I bought a vintage hymnal and a vintage dictionary at the same time for the same reasons. Cheap and easy sources of sheet music and definitions to use in layouts!)

I also made my own paper flowers from scalloped circles punched from the vintage page scraps and then sprayed them with Pink Sprinkles Smooch Spritz, a new (50% off!) purchase yesterday. I've never used Smooch Spritz before and am still trying to figure out the best way to use it, especially with flowers. Make the flowers first, and then spritz the finished product? (Which is what I did today.) Or spritz the individual layers first and then make the flowers? Would you let these layers dry before assembling? So, now that I have this marvelous product, I'm wondering how else I can use it. Any ideas or favorite ways to use it? Please leave me a comment!!

Let's see, I guess that's it for today's post. For details on supplies and challenges that went into the making of this card, please click here. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 19, 2010


Luckily I got an early start on the card I wanted to make for today! I have lots to do later on. But I'm so glad I took the time to play now, plus I'll still have plenty of time for the to-do list this afternoon!
So this card came about from several sources of inspiration, including the Color Throwdown #101 colors: At first I wasn't sure I liked these at all. I usually keep a notebook of the challenges I like to play in and will jot down the current challenge of the week in my notebook when it's posted. Then I scan my list for inspiration when I'm ready to make a card. So when I jotted this one down in my notebook, I was pretty sure I'd be passing on it. But as I looked at the CAS sketch for today's Clean and Simple challenge on SCS and the Mark's Finest Papers Flourished Sea Creatures stamp set that I wanted to sneak peek today, it all clicked! Suddenly those CTD colors were perfect :)

I used my Martha Stewart deco fan punch-around-the-page (PATP) punch set to make a frame that would be in keeping with my ocean theme for today's card! Although it's probably hard to see in my photo, I made a grid to stamp my little fishies in by scoring with a stylus along the cutting groove in my paper trimmer. The poor stamper's equivalent of a ScorPal! I don't have kiwi kiss, so I used old olive ink for my fishies and stamped off once. The texture-y pattern on my crumpled paper flower comes from multiple stampings of the coral stamp in the Flourished Sea Creatures set.

Want a peek of the inside of the card? Well, OK, then! Here you go: The fish and kelp images come from the MFP Flourished Sea Creatures set; the sentiment is from Stampin' Up (On Your Birthday). For supplies and links to the challenges I entered with this card, please click here.

A friend of mine has a huge list of family birthdays that she and her husband celebrate. It's too much of a financial drain to give everyone on the list a gift, so she likes to send really nice cards to mark their loved ones' special days. For the past two years at Christmas, I've given her a variety pack of handmade birthday cards, and she loves them!! They have a great time sorting through the collection and picking out the perfect card for each recipient. And they use every card. I just LOVE that they use them rather than hoard them! I've been putting aside cards for her Christmas gift this year, and this one will be perfect for it. So far I've been lacking masculine cards (although I know this could be used for men or women).

Oh, I almost forgot! My smile for this morning? When my DS and DD called me outside to the driveway to show me the synchronized scootering routine they've been working on. The cutest thing ever!! :) Thanks for checking out my little slice of bliss today!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Exciting News (and a Crabby Card)

Today I have some news that I am so excited to share: I am the newest member of the Mark's Finest Papers Design Team!! I've just been added as a Jr. DT member at MFP for a six-month stint. This is my first time on any design team, and I'm so excited to dig right in.

So today's card is my first MFP DT project. I made this for the MFP Speedy the Cat's Friends Challenge #12, to use red, orange, and yellow. I've enjoyed playing this weekly challenge from its beginning back in the spring. The challenges are easy, don't require using MFP stamps (although you can score a second entry in the random drawing if you do), and there are PRIZES: free MFP stamp sets! For every 50 entries in the challenge, another random winner is drawn. Fun!

So what went into creating this card? I was inspired by the layout of this lovely card by Latisha Yoast as a result of today's Featured Stamper challenge on SCS. I was also inspired by this gorgeous sea glass necklace from Mermaid's Tears Jewelry through this week's EtsyInspired Challenge.

The crab stamp I used is a sneak peek from the MFP set Flourished Sea Creatures being released in August. I colored the little crab with colored pencils, odorless mineral spirits, and a paper blending stump. The sandy "beach" under him is ripped from cheap-o sandpaper from Dollar Tree, and I picked up that cute crabs background paper last year in Target's Dollar Spot. (Do you detect a "Dollar" theme here??) The gingham ribbon and seashell charm are from Mark's Finest Papers.

For more information on the supplies I used and the challenges I entered, please click here. Thanks for dropping by!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sweet One

Happy Saturday to you!! We made our Saturday morning a little (OK, a lot) happy by going miniature golfing at our favorite local course. It's a fun place with a tropical island theme, complete with tree house, grass huts, (fake) palm trees, a pirate ship, and a koi pond. We got there a little after they opened at 8 a.m. to beat the heat (it's 93F here as I write this now) and had the added bonus of having the place to ourselves. That was sweeeeeeeeet! In our fun game, DH scored 1 under par, I scored 2 over (but I didn't even care because we were having such a blast--plus I got a hole in one!), and the kids opted not to be scored. Afterward we picked up some free fish food in the clubhouse, and the kids fed the koi while I totaled our scores.

Once home again, I got right to work on making a baby card I need for Monday when I deliver a meal to the family of a newborn. Ever since seeing The Play Date Cafe Challenge colors for this week, I knew that I would be using purple and green on this card. I also wanted to try this cute sketch for this week's Crafty Creations Challenge. In additional challenges I was inspired by purple flower earrings, spurred to use felt, and prompted to use a sentiment as my focal point. OK, so if you throw all of that inspiration together, this is what you get:
Well, that's it for now. I hope it's cooler where you live! If you are interested in details about the supplies I used in this card or the challenges I played in (including links), you should click here. Thanks for stopping by! :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Happy Travel

I'm so pleased to announce that I have a new badge for my blog. I "Made the Fab 4" at The Play Date Cafe for my PDCC37 challenge entry last week. That's the kind of news that really makes my day. Yipee!!
I just got my first Unity order earlier this week and couldn't wait to use my new stamps. So I made this quick card this morning before getting started on my work for the day. The Unity Addicts Challenge for the week is to use orange, teal, and navy. I also wanted to try yesterday's SCS challenge for using chalks. The chalky look is really growing on me, and I'm lovin' the Poppin' Pastels technique! I also used this sketch from the Stamptacular Sunday Challenge.

We just bought a little pop-up camper trailer this year so we could take our kids camping. I just *had* to have this Unity "Destination: Happiness" stamp! This card will be for my DH's birthday in early September, right after we return from an extending camping trip. I think it will be perfect for him!

For details on the supplies used in this card, please click here. Thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Pearly Flower for You

My happy for the day is actually two things: I found two cool new paper punches on clearance (over 55% off) at Michael's today, and they followed me home! After hitting the arcade with the kids, we stopped at Michael's for a few scrapbook supplies for their layout sessions. I wasn't planning to get anything for myself (because a few goodies I'd ordered last week arrived yesterday--more on that in a minute), but while walking through the Martha Stewart section, I couldn't help but notice the clearance tags--on punches, no less!! Something near and dear to my heart. The clearance-priced ones that called to me were the Medium Double Embossed Car Punch and the Chrysanthemum Large Punch. Can you imagine the smile on my face right now? I can't wait to go play with my new toys. :)

I finished this card, for today's SCS sketch challenge, right after breakfast before heading out for the day with the kids. The sketch was a fun one.
I've really enjoyed getting to know the line of {ippity} stamps. I've won several sets in blog candy and from challenges. My current favorite {ippity} set is Now & Always. It has the most beautiful HUGE bloom images that are perfect for layering and paper piecing. Last week I found it on sale at {ippity} chick Emily Niehaus's blog, and finally took the plunge and ordered it. It came yesterday! Just in time to join in on this week's {ippity} challenge to CASE a card from the SCS {ippity} gallery using {ippity} stamps. Done!! I immediately knew just which card I wanted to CASE: this beauty made by JenMarie Taylor. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. I adore her paper-pieced flower with the pearl center! And her gorgeous, envy-worthy DP, too. I was definitely inspired. I don't think I did her card justice (and I know I could have picked better papers for this), but I learned a lot in the process and can't wait to paper piece this gorgeous flower again soon.

This week's Flourishes Timeless Tuesday Challenge is to use felt. I have LOTS of felt scraps in my sewing room, so I had fun thinking up a creative way to use it. I finally settled on cutting a thin strip of ivory felt, twisting it, and fastening it down with a brad at each end as a decorative accent. I rather like the dimension it added to my card.

Well, that does it for now. Even though we had a ton of fun, taking the day to go out and about with the kids put me way behind. For details on the supplies I used in this card, please click here. See you again soon!