Friday, September 30, 2011

Puppy Love, with Daisies

Can you believe I haven't colored anything in over a month?! I got into paper piecing and then kinda didn't feel like crafting for a little while...sometimes that happens, but now I'm back in full force!

I was recently introduced to the Stamp and Create online store, through the very generous prize they sponsored for Top Tip Tuesday's birthday celebration, and part of my delicious haul was this polymer stamp by Mo Manning. The stamp came just in time for me to break it in for this week's Bronte & Bella's Challenge (Mo's challenge blog). The theme is "Furry Friends," and since this stamp actually depicts Belle and Bronte it seems like kismet! (Although I used my own color palette.) I love how the dog is sitting ... it reminds me of a game we play with our dog Walt (which my husband invented), where we say "Show me your belly" in a funny voice and Walt rolls over for us to scratch his fat little belly. It's the sweetest show of submission from a dog that has quite a personality. Seriously, I can say it from across the room and, if he's in the mood, he'll roll over and give you a look like, Well come on then! That's him in the photo on the right, wondering what Mommy is up to this time!

I'm entering this shaker card into the following challenges (thank you for the wonderful inspiration, all!):
Craft Your Passion #77: Green, Yellow, Black and White
My Sheri Crafts Challenge #69: Sew Simple
DP2 Challenge #102: Furry Friends
Cute Card Thursdays Challenge 184: Animal Crackers!
Going Grey with Scrap-Creations Challenge: It's a Girl Thing

I took the card outside to take advantage of the lovely sunshine for the photo. The other day I was taking a photo of a card on the back porch, and I heard someone across the street say, Now what's she doing?! We live across from a halfway house (really lovely folks, and there's always someone around to keep an eye on things), and between me & the dogs & the squirrels, we provide quite the entertainment for them!

The paw-flowers and sentiment are heat-embossed (see my supply list below). I used my Sew Easy tool to pierce the holes for the stitching. It really is relatively easy! The only trick is the surface you use; I found a really helpful review at Scrapaganza, and she suggested using corrugated cardboard for the mat. So now I have an old mailing box in my craft space for just that purpose!


And here it is "all shook up". This was my first time using micro beads, and although folks have been telling me how easy and fun they are, I ended up getting covered in them. Those little buggers can really move! For the card base, I used the very handy Shake It set from Impression Obsession. So, the card, the base, and the plastic piece we are provided for me. Easy peasy!


And here's the inside. Wow, the light yellow really matches our house!


Stamps: Bella and Bronte by Mo Manning (manufactured & distributed by Stampavie), Paws to Remember set by Raisin Boat
Paper: Recollections, Hammermill
Tools: Fiskars papercutter, stamp block, MS detailing scissors, Marvy heat tool, Sew Easy piercing tool, needle, awl
Other: ZipDry glue, variegated embroidery floss, Recollection adhesive rhinestones & micro beads, Stampendous embossing powders, Versamark & Memento inks, Shake It set from Impression Obsession
Copics: B10, G02, YG41, G07, BG09, BG49, BG15, YG03, YG63, Y000, Y08, Y06, Y17, YR12, E13, E35, E33, E37, E11, E31, YR01, E51, E000, RV42, RV02, C-1, C-5, C-7, 100

Update: This card won an "Ooo-La-La" Blog award for My Sheri Crafts Challenge #69. Thank you!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Feline Thankful Blog Hop Winners

Wow, the Party at Feline Playful has been a huge success! Thank you all for your lovely comments on my card and in praise of Feline Playful. It's such a great resource for us challenge junkies, and I'm so pleased to be able to help keep it rolling along. A special thanks to Shelley and the team for all their hard work!

Be sure to check out the Feline Playful blog for all the daily and grand prize winners, as well as the other blogs on the hop. We're all posting at different times, so check back if the winners are posted yet.

Here are the two random winners from the lovely comments on my blog:
The winner of the Guest Design Spot at Die Cut Dreams is...
#15 Cindy

The winner of the $10 Gift Certificate to StampFairy.com is...
#28 Tracy

Thank you everyone, and happy crafting!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Feline Thankful blog hop stop #5

**This Blog Hop is now closed**

Hello there, and welcome to your next stop in the Feline Thankful Blog Hop! I'm so lucky to be part of the great team at Feline Playful, where 500+ challenges are tracked each week. If you're not already one of their over 1800 members, now's a good time to start!

If you stumbled upon this post, please go the Feline Playful blog to read all about this big party; there are so many fantastic prizes to be won, including two right here on my blog.

I just want to take a moment to thank all you crafters & Challenge hosts for not only helping me grow as a crafter, but for always adding a bit of sunshine to my days. I'm certainly thankful for ya'll!

There are three ways to win prizes during our party, which runs Sept. 21 - 27 (winners posted on the 28th):
  1. Visit the Feline Playful site (be sure to be a follower) and enter your name into the Linky list. You only need to enter your name once to be eligible for daily prizes, as well as a Grand Prize.

  2. Visit all the blogs on the Blog Hop and keep track of the Secret Letters provided on each one. Once you have all the letters (in order!), e-mail your answer to felineplayful@gmail.com.
    • Your letter for this stop is: E

  3. Leave a comment on the blogs as you hop along for chances at extra prizes.
All winners will be chosen randomly, and announced on Sept 28 at Feline Playful.

Your next stop on the Hop: Christi's Creations

Here's my "Thank You"-themed project:
Free-standing Pop-up Card Tutorial: Splitcoast Stampers
Stamps: Inkadinkado, Hero Arts
Paper: Recollections, stash
Tools: Martha Stewart punches & scissors, Fiskars papercutter, Cricut & SCAL, stamp block, Sew Easy, needle, Crop-O-Dile
Supplies: ZipDry glue, Recollections embossing powder, Versamark inks, Copic markers, Pink Paislee baker's twine, stash eyelet, acrylic gems


This card is very much inspired by one of my favorite cats of all time, Blue, our neighbor's tom. Although he's the toughest cat on the block (I caught him hunting a raccoon once!), he's also a big sweetie & lets me give him a scratch now and then. Just one of the many things in my life for which I am very thankful!

Your next stop on the Feline Thankful Blog Hop: Christi's Creations

Saturday, September 17, 2011

For a little Jedi

I just had to buy the adorable Little Luke digi stamp, all proceeds from which go a family dealing with the heartbreaking illness of their son. There are several sets of digis available for this charity, all available, along with the background story, at Stamp and Create.

Whenever I am overwhelmed by sorrow and loss, I try my best to completely give myself over to joy and wonder. It's pretty much the best coping mechanism I've found. So I decided that for my first project with this digi stamp, I'd make a baby card. I'm of the generation that's pretty crazy about Star Wars (you know, before it came back), so I know I'll get a lot of use out of this since my childhood friends are now becoming parents.

I received just the inspiration I needed from the "Song or Film Title Inspired" theme on the Simon Says Stamp Challenge Blog. A New Hope (the subtitle of the first, er, fourth Stars Wars movie) seemed just right for a baby card!

I paper-pieced the image, mostly because I really wanted a texture on his cloak. For some reason, I really remember that cloak from the movies ... all those fancy special effects and what I remember is the texture of the cloth!

For the card layout I chose the always-fab Deconstructed Sketch. I'm also entering this card into the "Baby Love" Pollycraft Monday Challenge.

The background DP and the center white paper are both shiny (as are his boots & light-saber handle). The "Congrats" is heat-embossed in green, and filled in with a blue marker.

May your day be filled with joy & wonder!

Update: I sent this to a couple of Star Wars fans, on the birth of their daughter. To make it a bit more "girly" I glued a bow on "Luke"! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Picket-fence Criss-Cross Birthday card

I've been making tons of Christmas cards recently, and probably have many more than I need, so I'm trying to make more Birthday cards. I was really intrigued by the "Criss-Cross Card" Challenge at Birthday Sundaes. I've never made one, but I love all the DT samples and just had to give it a try. It was fun! Instead of included a pull tab for the enclosed card, I secured it with a small clothespin that I colored & stamped.

This card was also largely inspired by this week's Cupcake Inspirations photo. Now, if you look at their photo and then at this card, you might think Really? but it really was. Originally I was going to incorporate bright-colored flowers, but found myself focusing more on the grassy elements. I occurred to me to add a flower onto the the front, but I really liked the clean simplicity of how it is. It's difficult to see in these photos, but the white is a linen-patterned cardstock.

I'm also entering this card into the Birthday theme at the Crazy Challenge.

Inspiration:
Birthday Sundaes #26: Criss-Cross Card
The Crazy Challenge #84: Birthdays
Cupcake Inspirations #127: Photo Inspiration

Stamps: Raisin Boat, Stampendous
Paper: DCWV, Recolections, stash
Tools: Martha Stewart punches & scissors, Fiskars papercutter, Cricut & SCAL, stamp block
Other: ZipDry glue, Recollections embossing powder, Versamark inks, Copic (for edging), stash wooden clip

Update: This card was a chosen for the "Super Sundaes" for this challenge. Thank you!

Send-a-Snowman

I adore all the digis so generously offered at GTC's Crafty Corner, especially her "From the Top" images. When I saw her Snowman, I decided to use the Folded-Paper Frame technique to create a snowman-in-a-box card. If you live or have lived somewhere without snow, you know how awesome Snowmen are. Snowmen are pretty awesome if you do have snow, but they tend to remind one of shoveling. My sister-in-law grew up here in Maryland but lives in Florida, so every winter she brings her daughter up to experience snow. I thought she's get a kick out of getting a nice, dry snowman! I also sorta reminds me of the "Arizona Snowman" snowglobes they sell, that are just a plastic carrot & top hat in glitter (I think there are many other versions, depending on the warm place you are).

I used my idea for a card further inspired by the sketch at Christmas Challenges and the Tickled Pink theme at Stampin' for the Weekend. I also "piled on" PIO's Layer It! Challenge.


I punched the snowflakes out of white shrink plastic and shrunk them in the toaster oven. The sentiment is heat-embossed in pink and I added a bunch of tiny acrylic gems just for fun. Both layers of the snowman are covered in white flocking.

You know, for someone who claims to not care for pink cards, I sure have been making a lot of 'em! Anne-Marie, you've gotten in my head!

Inspiration:
Christmas Challenges {with sketches} Challenge #9
Stampin' for the Weekend Challenge #19: Tickled Pink
Pile It On #37: Layer It!

Stamps: Snowman FTT by GTC's Crafty Corner, sentiment from Build-a-Snowman stamp set
Paper: DCWV, K&Company, the Paper Co., Core'dinations
Tools: Martha Stewart punch & scissors, Fiskars papercutter, Marvy heat tool, HP printer & ink, toaster oven
Other: ZipDry glue, ZIG glue pen, Stampendous embossing powder & flocking, Versamark ink, stash ribbon, shrink plastic, Copics

Update: Wow, this card made second place for the Top 3 for Christmas Challenges {with sketches} Challenge #9. Thank you!

Sporty Slider Boxes

I've promised several of my friends penny-slider boxes, so the Slider/Shaker challenge at Here Come the Boys was just the incentive I needed to make a couple.


Both use paper & embellishments from Smirk for Men. The front of the Soccer box was created from the pre-colored digis from Crafty Ann's lovely Safe Pair of Hands set. That box is a penny-slider and a penny-rocker. The fisherperson on the fron of the second box is a stamp that I colored & cut out.

Hope everyone's having a great day.

Update 9/19/11: Wow! This project was chosen as one of the top 4 for this challenge. Thank you!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hey Baby

I'm almost embarrassed to mention that I won the Top Tip prize for Top Tip Tuesdays' Birthday/Easel Card challenge (thank you! Love Stamp&Create), but obviously not embarrassed enough to skip their challenge this week, which is Birthday Time. The theme is described as 'Happy Birthday' or a project to congratulate/celebrate a BIRTH.

I decided to make a Baby card with help from the sketch and Mellow Yellow theme at the Pixie Cottage. I've been a little blue lately (season change) but I've also been been thinking a lot about babies. This hasn't necessary made me less blue, but it's led to several cute cards!

Speaking of being blue, I hope you'll send some good thoughts to everyone at Stampin' Dymonz Scrap Shack, who is enduring a hectic move due to the recent storms. The Shack has really inspired me; for example, I learned how simple it is to manipulate soft, hot shrink plastic, like I did for this embellishment, on their Off the Page forum

Thank you for the inspiration, everyone! I had lots of fun making this. This adorable baby digi was given to me as a RAK (Random Act of Kindness) from Tellen's Place Designs. Thank you!



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Flasher Santa

As soon as I saw the Big Buckle Card (tutorial at Splitcoaststampers), I knew I had to make a Santa card. Now, I realize that doing so creates a card that basically requires the recipient to undress Santa, but who doesn't have a friend who would find that funny?!

♪♪ I saw Mommy unbuckling Santa Claus...underneath the Christmas Tree Last Night! ♪♪
[ref.]

Those arguments aside, I found the perfect opportunity to try my card idea, at this week's Winter Wonderland Challenge: Here Comes Santa Claus. (Oh dear my head just went to a naughty place again...) Assuming you're still reading this post and haven't blocked me yet, here's my quite innocent final card:

It's difficult to see in the photo, but the borders are cut from a polka-dot-embossed paper. I sewed the stitching on the belt by hand. It was really easy; I might make more!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hello Fall!

Well, I wanted to splurge on a couple of $1 stamps at Michaels yesterday, but someone must have beaten me to the bins because there was barely anything to reject! So when I got home I made myself feel better by buying a couple $1 digis from Tiddly Inks. Worked out well! I've been really bad at keeping up with my blogs recently, so I missed her new cute school-themed digis. I have her SchoolGirl set, which I love, so I'm excited to have more school- and book-related elements. I have several ideas for these digis,but first thing I wanted to use them for the current Tiddly Inks Challenge. The theme this week is Say GoodBye to Summer, Hello Fall! so I decided to make a back-to-school/Autumn card. I always liked going back to school...at least until homework time!


Inspiration:
Tiddly Inks Challenge #64: Say GoodBye to Summer, Hello Fall!

Stamps: School's Out & Teacher by Tiddly Inks, Frame by TLC Creations, Stampendous! (tiny book), stash (leaves & sentiments)
Paper: Recollections, Hammermill
Tools: Crop-O-Dile, SCAL & Cricut, EK Success corner punch, Marvy heat tool
Other: ZipDry glue, Recollections embossing powder, Versamark ink, Celebrate It! ribbon, shrink plastic, Copics

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Two Grays and some Penny Black

The current challenge at the Penny Black blog is "Simple Stamping," and I decided to try a relatively Clean-and-Simple (CAS) card. I used the lovely if unusual color combo from Color Throwdown, and the intriguing sketch from Sketchy Tuesday.


Inspiration:
Penny Black: Simple Stamping
Color Throwdown #158: Island Indigo, Peach Parfait, Basic Gray, Light Gray
Sketchy Tuesday #92

Stamps: Stampendous!
Paper: Bazzill, DCWV, Core'dinations, stash cardboard
Tools: Fiskars papercutter, stamp block, MS detailing scissors, Crop-O-Dile
Other: ZipDry glue, Memento ink, tulle, stash eyelet, Copic for edging

Friday, September 9, 2011

Glittery Smirk

One of the owners of Crop Girls in Arizona introduced us to Trimcraft products, and I've amassed several long-neglected build-a-card sets. I finally pulled them out and made three cards for three challenges:
I'm very sad that this will be the last challenge at Fuzzy Wuzzy...so let's make it a good one and make lots of beautiful projects to share!

Scroll down for the individual cards & details.


Inspiration:
Creative Card Crew: Anything Goes
I stamped some matching doggies onto Pepper & Friends paper, and colored them in with Copics.
Stamps: Pepper & Friends
Paper: Pepper & Friends, Core'dinations
Tools: Fiskars papercutter, stamp block, MS detailing scissors, HP printer & ink
Other: ZipDry glue, Memento ink, Copics, foam tape


Inspiration:
Fuzzy Wuzzy September Challenge: Pink (plus an animal)
I decided to paper-piece these matching stamps, for some reason! I decorated a matching clothespin too, just because! I used photos of my dogs being adorable.
Stamps: Smirk
Paper: Smirk, Core'dinations
Tools: Fiskars papercutter, stamp block, MS detailing scissors, HP printer & ink
Other: ZipDry glue, Memento ink, Copics, foam tape



Inspiration:
Christmas Inspirations Challenge #32: Glitter
The little girl throwing snowballs (below) is actually part of the die cut set I used on the front. The images on either side are stamps that I colored with Copics (I added skin and highlights to the diecuts with Copics as well). I added lots of glitter to everything with gel pens. The "snow" is FlowerSoft.
Stamps: Smirk, Christmas stamps by Alys Paterson for Quick Cards Made Easy (for lightbulbs on clothespin)

Paper: Smirk, Core'dinations, K&Company
Tools: Fiskars papercutter, stamp block, MS detailing scissors, HP printer & ink
Other: ZipDry glue, Memento ink, Copics, FlowerSoft, foam tape

Top Tip twisted easel box card

I love the challenges, and especially all the tips, at Top Tip Tuesday and just had to participate in their Birthday Celebration. Happy 1st Birthday, Top Tippers! There are plenty ways to win lots of prizes:
  1. Enter an easel card or an easel box into the Challenge (deadline: 9/13)
  2. Leave a tip on your blog
  3. Visit a DT blog and leave a comment on there
  4. Leave a comment for another challenger on their blog
  5. Visit the TTT Facebook Page, 'like' the page and then tag us on a picture of your creation
I did them all! Hope you'll at least make a card for the challenge, as I'd love to see your take. Here's my Twisted Easel Box Card:

The bird was paper pieced; boy, those eyes were tiny!
I made matching embellishments & buttons with shrink plastic. The branches are stamped in brown StazOn on Bright White plastic, then edged with a green Copic; the flowers were stamped on one side on clear plastic with black StazOn and then colored with Copics on the rough side.

Here's my tip:
I love making matchboxes, but I worry about crushing when I mail them.The top piece can fold down flat (when the box is taken apart), but it's easy enough to get the bottom, slide-out portion to fold flat as well: Before gluing the box together, add diagonal folds to the inside sides. Glue the flaps onto the opposite sides, where you'll affix the brads, to add support (you can add paper on top of this to hide the flaps). If you use wet glue, I find that binder clips come in really handy to keep everything together during drying.


Inspiration: Top Tip Tuesday Easel Card Box Challenge

Stamps: Blubird by Carolyn Shores Wright for Stamps Happen, Inc., Great Impressions, K&Company
Paper: Core'dinations, stash, Hammermill
Tools: Fiskars papercutter, stamp block, MS detailing scissors, Sizzix Texture Boutique & embossing folder, Crop-O-Dile, Marvy heat tool
Other: ZipDry glue, StazOn inks, Offray ribbon, Copics, stash eyelets & baker's twine

Update 9/13/11: Wow, I won Top Tipper for this challenge! Can't wait to spend my $25 gift certificate to Stamp and Create!

CASE-ing with Lili of the Valley

I decided to try mixing monochrome coloring with the spotlight technique, and got plenty of inspiration from Lili of the Valley & CASE Study.

This is my first time using this stamp from Lili of the Valley. Isn't it adorable?! I thought it fit well with their current "Missing You" theme.

I don't usually participate in CASE challenges, partly because I find it difficult to reinvent others' work without copying it, and partly because the cards over there are beyond amazing. But I couldn't resist playing with Julie Lacey's gorgeous card.

I fell in love with Jen's card for the last Deconstructed Sketch, and just had to try using Linen cardstock (check out the link for info on what paper she uses - El Cheapo from WalMart!). I love stamping on linen cardstock, but I didn't know Copics worked so well on it.

In the spirit of the Stampin' Dymonz Scrap Shack Off the Page group's current "Shrink Plastic" theme, I made an embellishment out of a Stampin! Up stamp with Bright White shrink plastic and blue StazOn ink. I punched holes in it before punching it out and stringing it onto the tulle.


I stamped this {ippity] stamps sentiment onto the textured blue cardstock, but I wanted to emboss it to match the darker piece. However, once embossed it was difficult to read the sentiment; so I put that piece into my embossing machine on top of the folder and ran it through to flatten. The photo above captures the texture, but in real life it's nice & flat & subtle like below:


Just Some very early Spring ornaments

We're sure having fun with the "Shrink Plastic" theme at the Stampin' Dymonz Scrap Shack (SDSS) Off the Page group! Lots of tips and amazing projects have already been shared, and I can't enough of my new printable shrink plastic.

I decided to make some ornaments with some of my Just Some Lines digi stamps for their current Anything But a Card challenge. The ornaments are for an "Easter" (or Spring) tree; we always had one when I was growing up, and since I have a yard full of branches right now from tree-trimming (both purposeful and some with thanks to Hurricane Irene) it was pretty easy to find a tiny branch that would work.

The ornaments are matted with cardstock and colored with Copics.


Inspiration:
Just Some Lines Challenge: Anything But a Card

Copics: E17, E13, BV02, FY1, RV11, Y17, RV04, YG41, BG49, B63, BV04, V06, E33, RV02, YG03, G07, BG15, B00

Monday, September 5, 2011

Stampendously corny

Wow, I'm all about challenges this week, even more than usual. I simply can't stop creating! Mom just sent me some stamps, one of which is this cute Owl set by Stampendous! that I just had to use for their Sketch Challenge sponsored by Taylor Usry. In fact, it's so cute I used it for a Back to School card for the Come and Get It Challenge and for a Halloween card for Delightful Challenges.

I paper-pieced both projects, adding just a bit of color with Copics or Sakura gel pens. For the Back to School card, I used magazine pages. I generated the sentiment; it's a classy Krusty line from The Simpsons.

Inspiration:
Stampendous! Sketch Challenge #41
Come and Get It Challenge: Back to School

Stamps: Stampendous!
Paper: Hammermill, DCWV, Core'dinations, Urbanite magazine
Tools: Fiskars papercutter, stamp block, MS detailing scissors, Sizzix Texture Boutique & embossing folder
Other: ZipDry glue, Memento ink, Offray ribbon, Copics



Inspiration:
Stampendous! Sketch Challenge #41
Delightful Challenges: Halloween

Stamps: Stampendous!, stash (sentiment)
Paper: Hammermill, Recollections, Coredinations
Tools: Fiskars papercutter, stamp block, MS detailing scissors, Sizzix Texture Boutique & embossing folder
Other: ZipDry glue, Memento ink, stash baker's twine, Sakura gel pens