Thursday, March 31, 2011

Friends with Flair Friday!

Blog Hops are just plain fun. It's a quick way to see lots of creativity in a short amount of time and visit cyber studios all over the world. Unity Stamp Company is hosting its Friends With Flair Friday hop and I'm playing again. I made a couple of cards using the same Unity Stamp (love the sentiment) and so I'll share both of those with you. Thanks so much for taking time to look. I also took part in The Play Date Cafe's challenge this time. I hope you like what you see here. The Play Date Cafe challenge this week was to use blue, pink, and sliver in a design. After I designed the card I decided the same Unity Stamp I used for the FWF challenge would be the perfect sentiment for this particular card too.

I had a lot of fun creating this card. It's the most "elaborate" one I've done. I did the hat pin thing, I did the glitter thing, I did the flower thing, I did the brad thing... and I think it turned out quite nice. Sometimes you just have to have a challenge in front of you to make you step out and color outside the lines!
Stamp: Unity Stamp Company March Kit of the Month
Ink: Black Archiver's Ink
Paper: Silver card base from Archiver's; Rose and Slate Blue from DCWV mat stacks
Flowers: Remembrance Paper Flowers (found those at Michael's)
Colored Brads: Local Scrapbook Store "Crafter's Corner"
Ribbon, Floral Pin & Beads: From my Mama's sewing stash

This design just kind of came together as I went along. It's quite simple. It features lavender, blue and cream colored cardstock. Ribbon, the Unity Stamp I just love and some hand-drawn vines and leaves.

I punched holes in the center of the velum flowers and set a light blue eyelet in each one. I think this is one of my favorites.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Color Monday

...even though today is Tuesday. Sorry! I created this card yesterday but just didn't get around to uploading and posting the photo until today.

Christian Paper Crafts' Color Monday challenges are definitely a challenge. I've not created a design based upon a color scheme from a living room but this was a lot of fun. Here is the inspiration for today's designs:

Here is what I came up with for a greeting card:
The sentiment is one of my new Flourishes stamps from the Birthday Pennants set. It says, "So happy for YOU!" and I think this would be a nice greeting card for someone who has received good news or has accomplished a goal. The cardstock is from DCWV's various mat stacks.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Clean and Simple Saturday

Christian Paper Crafts is hosting its "Clean and Simple Saturday" (also known as CAS in the card-designing circle) creative challenge today. The goal this week is to create a monochromatic design. Choosing one color and various values of that one color card designers are to create an eye-catching paper craft with only white or cream as a neutral. Can you imagine what the gallery of entries will look like? I'm excited to see what all transpires from this challenge. Designers can create greeting cards, ATCs,(artist trading cards) scrapbook layouts, or other altered art... I think I'll probably stick with greeting cards for this challenge. Purple is my favorite color; however, yellow is such a joyful, "spring-y" color... and I am all about Spring today. So, here is my entry:
And while you're on the 'net, why not pop on over to CPC and follow the links to see what others have done with CAS (remember: Clean and Simple) Saturday. Perhaps you'll be inspired to get crafty too.

After I posted "Shine" I was going through my stash of cards I had made earlier this week and came across this one. I like it better than "Shine" and it still falls in with the Clean and Simple design. This one is shades of orange and white.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Welcome! It's Friends with Flair Friday

I'm so excited that you are here. Please, make yourself a cup of tea and join me in my parlor. I have something sweet to share with you. If you want to get in on the whole shebang then go to Unity Stamps' Blog first and then you'll be directed to Unity Stamps' Friends With Flair blog hop.

This is a birthday card I made for my cousin's daughter. She will be three years old. I used the ice cream cone trio Unity Stamp and cut apart the image after stamping so I could stagger the ice cream cones. I used a piece of cream colored card stock and cut a piece of "Funky Stripes" by Paper Pizazz Hot Off the Press, Inc. to fit the front. I love those stripes. They are cheerful and remind me of ice cream! Three 1x1 inch squares in pink, blue, and green are the background for three polka dot buttons. I used embroidery thread matching each button and the ice cream cones were stamped using Dew Drop inks in pink, blue, and green. I embellished the ice cream cone tops with coordinating miniature brads.

On the inside of the card I continued the funky stripes and then stamped the sweet sentiment on light yellow patterned paper. This birthday girl is a girly-girl who loves pink, polka dots, and ice cream. I think she'll be doing the happy dance...especially if I include a gift certificate to her favorite ice cream place!

A few days ago, when I received my March Kit of the Month Stamps from Unity, I was so eager to use them. I love all things mid-century/housewifey so I knew exactly what I was going to do with my new stamps. I created a fun card for a friend who has just had one thing after another smack her head on. (Mama said there would be days like that!) She really got a kick out of it and it cheered her up... Here it is.

Please let me know what you think of my Ice Cream Trio birthday card! Have fun on the rest of the blog hop.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mama Said There Would Be Days Like This

So The Shabby Tea Room girls have a fun challenge on their blog. I took the challenge--and I'm a "go big or go home" kind of girl so I worked to get all 9 of the embellishments on my card design. Here is the "bingo card" I worked from.

Here is my finished design:

I managed to get all nine of the embellishments on this card. Let's start with brads. I have miniature blue brads acting as raindrops. Lace is acting as the window valance. Gems are brightening up the tie backs for the curtains. Two tiny yellow flower shaped buttons are enhancing the lace valance. I hand drew a bouquet of wild flowers in a mason jar sitting on the picnic basket. I used sparkly Mod Podge to add some glitter to the conversation balloon which is from a punch. Gold heat embossing is used to make June's (a Unity stamp) belt buckle, bracelet, buttons, and earrings stand out. And the red checked ribbon is the perfect picnic cloth... now, if it just wouldn't have rained! But, "Mama said there would be days like this." (That's what's in the conversation balloon but it's kind of hard to see in the photo.) This was a fun challenge and it took some work to get all the elements to work together.

Happy Birthday

More inspiration through card design sketches! This time, Christian paper Crafts Creative Blog has offered up a challenge in simplicity! 1+1+1=Fabulous! One piece of patterned paper, one embellishment, and one sentiment. That's it. Believe's more challenging than one might think! Here is my entry:

The "Happy Birthday" is actually hand written in a really neat embossing pen ink which goes on clear. Then I sprinkled some embossing powder over it, poured the excess off and used a heat gun to set the powder. Heating the powder kind of melts the powder particles together. It's really a neat technique. I did the heat embossing on the He Is Risen card featured here on the Scripture and the three cross image. I would like to invest in some more colors of embossing powder because right now I only have gold and purple.

He Will Rise!

I have found an amazing source for Christian stamps! Our Daily Bread Designs offers beautiful images and sentiments as well as Scripture stamps for card making. The company also holds card design contests (Oh how fun!) and I have entered their latest one. I used the 2011 Easter collection and used two of the stamps for this card. I used a sketch from CPS (that's Card Positioning Systems-- get it? Instead of GPS it's CPS! I thought that was clever!! LOL). Ahem... Okay so anyway, I am able to enter this one card into two separate design contests. Is that considered multi-tasking? I'm sure I could find a few more contests for this card but my family needs clean underwear and I'm behind on my college history class essay. So... ta ta for now.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

We all scream for ice cream!

Here is another card design I made today. This one is for a sketch challenge hosted by Verve Stamps. It also qualifies for another Stamp Something's "Sweet Challenge." I'm hoping to win a challenge soon because most of them give new stamps to the winners! Since I don't have any Verve Stamps (yet) I used the ice cream trio from Unity Stamp Company. The red "cherries on top" are miniature paper fasteners called "brads." I really like the sketch for this challenge. I love the vibrant colors in the card stock on the first layer and it was fun matching the subsequent layers with the colors in the base.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Chocolate is the answer...

Stamp Something is a weekly stamping blog which offers inspiration, tips & techniques, sketches, and PRIZES for card designers of all skill levels. I've entered my "Chocolate" card suitable for birthday or just because. I used Afternoon Tea printed paper from Chloe's Closet on a background of deep brown. I don't have too many stamps (yet!!) so I'm rather limited in what I can stamp onto the cards. For this one I used "have a special day" from a six-stamp sentiment collection I bought at Archiver's several months ago when I was first thinking about making cards.

I like these challenges because it gives me a starting point. For this particular challenge designers are to create something "sweet." Now, that's quite open to interpretation--it could be a "sweet" thought, a "sweet" image, a "sweet" treat, or the word "sweet." Lots of room for creativity there! When I was thinking about my design for this challenge I just happened to be mixing up some brownies for dessert tonight. So, my inspiration came right from my kitchen.

I also like these challenges because the company sponsoring the challenges often offer stamp sets or other tools of the trade and I think that's a fine way to grow my stamp collection. If you get a chance, head on over to Stamp Something and take a look at the other entries. There are many, many talented people creating cards. I have so much to learn but the nice thing is, everyone is quite supportive and helpful.

I'm still figuring out my new camera. I don't think I have the settings just right or perhaps it's the lighting in my home but the colors of the card are not showing up as vividly as the card is. The colors are brown, cream, raspberry, and kind of reminds me of these.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A First for Me

I participated in a blog hop today AND an online "Release Party" for a new set of stamps from Flourishes Stamp Company. During the sneak peek of the new stamp sets we participants were given a "Speed Challenge" to come up with a card design using an assigned sketch. I've posted a photo of my card. I used paper purchased at my local scrapbook/craft store, some beads I found in my mom's crafting stash, and some paper flowers I picked up on sale at Michael's on my last trip to the big city. I had fun putting the colors and embellishments together and have decided that having a "sketch" to play off of is rather helpful for speeding things up.

I'm Blog Hopping!

Today, I have many things I need to to and I will get to each one but I just had to mention that I'm doing my first "Blog Hop." It's just what it sounds like: hopping from one blog to another. Blog hops do have a theme and a beginning point and checkpoints along the way and a finish line. This blog hop is to celebrate a rubber stamp company's anniversary. The rubber stamps from Our Daily Bread Designs are lovely. So many times I want to create a card or design for someone and include Scripture but want something prettier than my handwriting! ODBD specializes in Scripture stamps and they have some beautiful graphics to enhance God's Word.

Anyway, if you'd like to see what some of the design team members and customers of ODBD have created with ODBD stamps and other paper crafting products just start here. It's not hard. You'll start at the beginning on ODBD's blog and then simply follow the instructions. You just need to leave a comment and then go to the next blog (you'll be it's only a click away to the next hop)...view the artwork, leave a comment for that designer and then hop to the next blog which is linked for you, view the artwork of that designer, leave a comment, and hop to the next blog. Get it? Easy peasy and you'll be blessed by the Scripture and your creative side will enjoy all of the variety of layouts, color choices, embellishments and fibers. Enjoy. Oh, did I mention Our Daily Bread Designs is giving prizes? That's always fun.

Ok-- go hop.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Happiness Found

I just had to share a link to this YouTube video some creative woman made. She made a darling little photo album out of things she found around the house and in her "stash" of scrapbooking materials. Wait until you see how stinkin' cute this thing turned out. And the pages?? She made them out of plastic grocery bags! You know, like the ones seen wrapped around fences or hanging precariously from bare tree branches? Yeah those plastic grocery bags. She has a tutorial for making the plastic bag paper too. But this album is so quaint...and lovely! Click here to see Laura's "Happiness Found" mini photo album.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

My babies...Morgan, Eli and Ethan

From the Front Porch Swing...

I am thinking about True Wisdom. Pure Wisdom. The Wisdom that comes from heaven. The Wisdom that is peace-loving and considerate. The Wisdom that is submissive and merciful. The Wisdom that produces good fruit from my soul. True Wisdom that is impartial and sincere. I want that kind of wisdom, Lord.

I am thankful for the warm sun shining on my face. You know how bright the sunshine is when you "look" at it from behind your closed eyelids? Yeah. That bright sunshine. I think that is what the earth will look like all over when Jesus comes again to claim me. I think that bright sunshine that we see behind our closed eyelids is just a
glimmer of God's Glory. I'm thankful for so many things: for good neighbors who share the front porch swing with me. For precious daughters and their husbands who are loved like sons. I'm thankful for rose bushes that need trimming and grass that is eager to become green. I'm thankful for "old elm trees" because they too have some worth. I'm thankful for birds and their singing...even the ones that sound like they are gargling earthworms. I'm thankful for boys who still play with Legos and tells silly jokes and for boys who tell me they like sushi even though I think they want to like sushi. I'm thankful for husbands who adore their wives and for wives who still believe their husbands are their knights in shining armor. I am thankful for the Word of God because it is what leads me safely through the mountains and valleys of this earthly world.

From the learning room we are plugging along with our unit study of the Revolutionary War. This next week we will focus on some of the major battles and put it all into perspective when we wrap up this unit by adding everything to our Book of Centuries.

In my kitchen breakfast dishes still litter the counter but I'm thankful for that because it means we have food to nourish our bodies. I've got pork chops in the oven and hoping for some left over pork in order to make green chili because I want a green chili slopper and last time I made them I wasn't hungry at the time...and the men in my house slicked up every last bite!

I am wearing my good "church jeans," a spring-ish sage green blouse, warm and fuzzy socks, and an apron. I'm praying I remember to take it off before I go to worship... ahem.

I am creating more ATC's. Surprise!

I am going to work on compiling a list of items that we can purchase that are MADE IN AMERICA. I know this will have a great impact on the scrapbooking supplies that I buy for my projects as well as many other things but that's ok. I'm still going to find things that are made in the good ol' USA and make a list and try to support those companies.

I am hoping for a weekend away with my dear husband.

I hear Jorja growling at a bird fart or something she supposedly hears or sees outside the big window in the living room. She thinks she is big tuff stuff. Ha!

Around the house I see things that belong to my Mama...and it makes me feel close to her even though she is 50 miles away. I adore her teacups and saucers, her tchotchkes, her motif* jars, and her vintage treasures.

One of my favorite things is the word "tchotchkes." (Who in the world came up with that spelling for "chachkees"??? Yes, I did have to google it in order to spell it correctly). It's just a fun word to know...even more fun to say.

A few plans for the rest of the week--I just want to greet each day with joy. School projects and assignments for both the boys and me need attention and Scout needs to go to the vet. I have Bible study on Wednesday and want to get together with Bev and Val to scrapbook.

If you'd like to join the fun of The Simple Woman's Daybook, then click here to get to The Simple Woman's Daybook blog and follow Peggy's directions. Have fun and let me know if you're participating...I'd love to read your entry. If you'd like to join the fun of The Simple Woman's Daybook, then click here to get to The Simple Woman's Daybook blog and follow Peggy's directions. Have fun and let me know if you're participating...I'd love to read you entry.

Friday, March 4, 2011

What's the Purpose?

As I sit and create these silly little ATCs I wonder to myself if I'm wasting my time. Time that could be spent doing something valuable. Like my college class assignments. Or folding laundry. Or clipping coupons. I mean, it's not like I can sell these things. I'm not going to become an ATC millionaire or anything. I'm not going to have people knocking on my parlor door asking to see my gallery of art. So, what is the purpose? They are totally unnecessary. Or are they? If they are then so are Terry Redlin prints...and Mary Engelbreit calendars...and Hummel figurines...and Justin Young sculptures...and music...and friendship. Because you see, none of these things is needed to survive this life on earth. However, can you imagine a life void of color and design and texture? Can you envision living your life without a good friend or two? Can you even think about living this life without your faith? I can't. Now, I certainly cannot compare my art with any of the great artists' work but creating these miniature pieces brings me pleasure. C.S. Lewis said it all when he said, "Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art.... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Art Therapy

Dinking around with pretty papers and scraps, ribbon, lace, rubber stamps, buttons, crystal stones, and a haphazard deck of playing cards is calming. Dare I say it? Therapeutic. I joined an online ATC community where members can sign up for organized swaps. The swaps have varying criteria for each which helps stir some inspiration and creativity. The first one I signed up for was for ATCs that included stickers in the design. I thought that should be pretty safe...I mean, I can stick a sticker on a playing card and work around it and come up with something interesting. The second one is for whimsical, colorful, un-realistic portraits. That one has been a challenge for me...for someone who likes to follow the rules it's hard to break away from an idea of what something is supposed to look like and just play with it.

It's been nice just to play and create. Calming. Peaceful. Geeze... this sounds like an ad for bubble bath or something! Well, it has been relaxing for me. I've posted pictures of the Artist Trading Cards I've made on the side bar. Enjoy.