It's Not All Black and White

Saturday, June 30, 2007

FYI: I'm Messing With My Blog

If anybody stops by and is wondering why my blog is a little cattywompus: I'm trying to change it up a bit. I have this lovely blog banner Amy Westerman made for me when I first started my blog. I'm trying to figure out how to use it. Blogger now allows you to simply add a picture to your banner. I'm pretty sure you couldn't do that before. Sorry if you have any problems viewing.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Strawberry Pot

I can't really remember the last time I did a Splitcoast challenge. No real reason. But today I actually managed to make this card for the Ways to Use It Challenge: SCALLOPS. Now, that, I can handle.

I started out knowing I wanted to use the scalloped trim stamp from Papertrey's Faux Ribbon, because I have yet to use any of the trims in that set. I've only used the sentiments. I did use it. You can see the two scalloped edges of Old Olive going across the horizontal piece. I colored between the trims with certainly celery and a sponge dauber, as Nichole Heady did in her sneak peaks before this stamp set's release. It gives a nice soft, textured look. Very nice.

Sticking with the scalloped theme, I used my corner rounder (take off the corner guard) to do the large scallops. I like how the scallops are not so deep when using the the corner rounder, as opposed to the slit punch. The strawberry pot was stamped in creamy caramel (stamped off once), then highlighted with really rust and pumpkin pie with an aquapainter. The plant is made of the stems and leaves from PTI's Green Thumb. The center strawberry is cut out and glued on. The strawberry hanging over the pot is cut out and adhered with a dimensional. I just now realized that I didn't do any shadowing. Oops! The sentiment is on Stampin' Up's large oval punch. The photo corner is a half of a 1-3/8" circle punch, sent through the cuttlebug with a swirls embossing folder, then folded around the corner.

I Used:
Stamps: Papertrey Ink Faux Ribbon and Green Thumb
Ink: Creamy caramel, real red, certainly celery, old olive, pumpkin pie, really rust, black Versafine

Paper: Papertrey white, SU certainly celery, real red, old olive, retired Sassy designer paper
Other: eyelets, cropodile, oval punch, corner rounder, circle punch, cuttlebug swirl folder, dimensional

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Just Smile

I was going to post earlier this morning, but I got distracted. My Stampin' Up! demo got her box of new catalogs. So I went to pick mine up this morning and have been busy browsing. Have you seen it? What do you think? I like a couple of things, but I need to look through it a few more times and let it all sink in before giving my opinion.

I made this card last night using Julee's (Poetic Artistry) latest card sketch for her Blogger Bingo. The primas are Daisy Embellishment Minnie Can from Target. The center is made of a chipboard piece cut with my cuttlebug and smooshed into Versafine black (edges colored with black gel pen) and a 1/2" card stock circle covered in glue then smooshed in clear glitter. The sentiment was stamped on a word window punch, then layered on the large oval punch (both Stampin' Up!). The black dots were done with a gel pen.

I Used:
Stamps: Papertrey Ink's Paper Tray
Ink: black versafine
Paper: Papertrey white, SU old olive, rose red, petals & paisleys dp
Other: cuttlebug, chipboard; large oval, word window, 1/2" circle, and ticket corner punches; primas; clear glitter, black gel pen, Santa's Workbench ribbon from JoAnn's

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My Weekend In Pictures

Hello! I don't expect most of you will want to read all of my lengthy ramblings, but I was in the mood to verbalize. I hope you enjoy the pictures at least.

I love the trail right by my house for walking. On Friday, Josh went with me and Buster on our walk. So I had a chance to take a few pictures. Long before we even hop into the car to head for the Montour Trail, Buster's already excited. The only time I wear tennis shoes is for working in the yard or going on a walk. So, when the tennis shoes go on, Buster starts running around the house. He'll go stare at his leash, then run over and stare at me. Back to leash. Run in a few circles. Etc, etc, etc. You get the idea. He loves his walks. It makes me feel bad when I'm planning to work in the yard, because he thinks he's getting a walk then too.

There are several access points to the trail, with parking. The closest one is only a couple of minutes away. But I prefer driving a few more minutes so that we can walk the prettier (and more shaded) part of the trail. That's what these pictures show.

Buster is such a creature of habit. There's this little creek that comes down the hillside and forms a small pool, before running under the trail. It's pretty close to the point where we turn around and head back to the car. Every single time, Buster stops for a drink on the way back, although never on the way out.

At one point, we walk past the most gorgeous horse farm. It's acres of white fencing set over rolling hills. My photography really doesn't do it justice.

Saturday: Jimmy Buffett

The Key Lime Martinis. Mmmmm. And my goofy husband, Josh.

Having fun with the girls. I love my girlfriends. Sometimes a silly afternoon is just the thing to keep my sanity. That's me in the pink. Besides the key lime martinis, we also had crab legs (my fave), brandy slush (oh my word, that was good!), Greek pasta salad, and some Croatian hamburger/ sausage kind of thing (also delish). I ate better at a tailgate party than I had all month.

I plan on another walk today, then some "carding" time. So I should have actual stamping to show you later. Thanks for stopping by peeps.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Blogger Bingo, Finally

Have you checked out Julee's Blogger Bingo? I am having so much fun with it. I'm just getting around to making a card for the first sketch challenge though, and she already has a new sketch out.

I started this card with Julee's sketch and knowing that I wanted to use brown to go with my Crate Words rub-ons. They've been sitting here for too long. I just had to give them a try. If you've never used rub-ons, these were quite easy. Just rub each individual letter until it slightly changes color. This shows it has adhered to your card stock instead of still being stuck to the window sheet it comes on. Next time I'll plan to use the rub-on on colored card stock. It has a white shadow effect that got lost here.

The horizontal paper is one side of a piece by My Mind's Eye: Bohemia Blossom "Angel" Small Damask/Pink. The back is the textured pink on which I stamped Rhonna Farrer Swirls. The sentiment is on a Stampin' Up oval punch, layered on chocolate chip, which I then trimmed using ProvoCraft scalloped scissors. I colored the flower with Versamagic dew drop inks and a blender pen.

I Used:
Stamps: Stampin' Up! Sassy Stems
Ink: timber brown stazon, versamagic pink petunia, malted mauve, sahara sand, sage, tea leaves, gingerbread
Paper: SU! vanilla, close to cocoa, chocolate chip, Papertrey white, My Mind's Eye Bohemia
Other: crate words, prima, Lasting Impressions brad, crate words, SU! large oval punch, provocraft scalloped scissors

Thanks for stopping by. I took some pics from my weekend. I'll try to post a few. The whole picture process is so time consuming for me right now, with learning how to use Photoshop. Today I found a button though that says something like "Save for web". WooHoo! It saves it at the right size and everything. I'll probably never find it again, but at least I know it's there.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Doodles on Doodles

Hi All. Today's the Jimmy Buffet concert. We start tailgating around two or three o'clock, I think. Get this, we're doing CRAB LEGS at a tailgating party. I'm so excited. Last year I took a blender and made strawberry and/or mango margaritas. This year my friend's making Key Lime martinis. Sounds good. I've got my brightly colored shirt and my lei. I'm ready! P.S.: I don't even like Jimmy Buffet that much. It's just such a fun time.

Here's a card for your viewing pleasure (at least I hope so). The pink and yellow flowers were colored with a blender pen and versamagic dewdrop inks. The blue-ish flower was sitting on my desk and I decided it would work as well. It had been colored with Almost Amethyst classic ink and an aquapainter. The flowered flower (hehe) is cut from DCWV Posies glitter print. It was looking washed out, so I started adding black accents: brads, mini brads, black layer, ribbon, and doodles with my Zig Millenium pen. Primas are Petite Flamingo, a small, very easy to work with size. I used some circle punches and a sentiment from Papertrey Ink's Faux Ribbon set.

I Used:
Stamps: Doodle This, PTI Faux Ribbon
Ink: Certainly Celery, almost amethyst, versafine black, versamagic pink grapefruit, mango madness, persimmon
Paper: whisper white, papertrey white, basic black, almost amethyst, DCWV
Other: circle punches, vintage brads, Queen & Co. mini brads, petite primas, 1/8th hole punch, dashes dots and bows ribbon, zig millenium marker

Did you notice my watermark? I just loaded my new Photoshop Elements 5.0 yesterday. I foresee a long and difficult learning curve. But I did manage to get my photo from my camera to my computer, edit it, and add the watermark (HUGE THANK YOU to Stampin' Kub for his watermark tutorial). I hope the picture is the right size. For all I know, it may be too small to see, or so large it's taking up all of my online storage space. I'll figure it out...someday.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Flowers in Circles

I hope you're enjoying your Friday today. Josh (my husband) managed to arrange no work for today, so we're going to enjoy the day. We're planning on playing tennis, taking our dog for a walk, doing a little yard work. Then I'm going to *try* to get him to take me shopping. I find shopping alone kind of boring.

Today's card uses Stampin' Up!'s Big Blooms. My first card with this set, even though the mini catalog will soon be retiring. I used my two circle punches to layer the big circles. The 1/2" circle punch was used for the flower centers. I used a Stamp-a-ma-jig to extend the middle flower's stem and repeatedly stamped the stem off the edge of the paper for the grass. The designer papers are from the Palette o Prints pack.

I Used:
Stamps: Big Blooms, Papertrey Paper Tray
Ink: Versafine Black, SU! certainly celery, rose red, cool caribbean
Paper: Cool Caribbean, Rose Red, Palette o Prints, Papertrey White
Other: SU! black grosgrain, vintage brads, primas

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Way Out of My Box

The June 2oth challenge is up on Caardvark's. It's called crop circles. This is the challenge for which I was a Guest Designer. Be sure to check it out and enter a card. The prize is awesome. The challenge is to use circles as your focus. I love the look, but this was a major challenge for me. Every time I try to use circles, I end up scrapping the project.

This is one of the cards I made for the challenge, and it is *way* out of the box for me. Not only did I use circles, and plenty of 'em :), but I also tried a style that was a bit of a push for me. It's a little more bold and modern. The large bird is by Rhonna Farrer (a JoAnn's $ stamp). The smaller birds are from Hero Arts Decorative Birds set. All of the circles were done with 1/2", 1", and 1-3/8" circle punches. I colored the birds with Stampin' Up! markers in, get this, YoYo Yellow, Brilliant Blue, Real Red, and Glorious Green. Other than the red, I never use these colors. The brads are by making memories and the ribbon is all Stampin' Up! I wasn't sure how much I love the card, but it's growing on me. And I'm ridiculously proud for pushing myself to try something new.

By the way, the inspiration for this card came to like this: I wake up one morning with these little birdies on the brain and The Partridge Family theme song in my head. HA!

The Goods:
Stamps: Rhonna Farrer bird, Hero Arts Decorative Birds
Ink: Black Versafine, markers: glorious green, real red, brilliant blue, yoyo yellow
Paper: Papertrey White, basic black, glorious green, real red, brilliant blue, yoyo yellow
Other: circle punches, SU! grosgrain ribbons, Making Memories brads

So, all day yesterday (literally from about 9 am to 4 pm) I installed Windows Vista on my desktop. Internet works fine, but no sound. It seems my sound card isn't compatible and there is not yet an updated driver to download. Bummer. I reinstall Windows XP. All is well. Everything's working. I'm downloading all the updates, reinstalling my security program. WHAM!!! The internet goes. For no reason. It still works on my laptop. I can not get it to work on my desktop. And I am not very computer savy. Today I'll be on the phone with my ISP seeing if they can help. So frustrating! At least the laptop still has internet. Be thankful for small favors.

Thanks for stopping by. See ya.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Pretend Stamping Friends (PSF's)

So, do you have people in the virtual stamping world that you feel like you "know"? Maybe you don't even have any contact with them in the sense of emails, PM's, etc. I follow Julia Stainton's blog, Belle Papier, regularly. I'm pretty sure she wouldn't even recognize my name, except maybe as somebody who comments on her blog occassionally. Well, she posted a couple of days ago that her mother has passed away after a lengthy illness. So, I made this sympathy card for her. Now I feel kind of silly, because I don't actually know her at all. I think I'll still send it if she's listed in the RAK group at Splitcoast. It's always good to know you've touched someone's life and she's concerned for you.

I started with the large swirl from Carte Postale. First, on vanilla card stock, I stamped in pale plum, then slightly up and left, I stamped again with Versamagic Jumbo Java and clear embossed. The medallion was stamped twice. I used the entire certainly celery piece and only the circle punched portion of the perfect plum piece. Two small holes punched in the center allowed me bring the knotted ribbon down through and around the card. The medallion's layered on chocolate chip and attached with dimensionals. The designer papers are from Stampin' Up!'s Enchante pack. The faux stitching is done with a chocolate chip marker and the green designer paper is covered in swirls done in Irridescent Ice Embossing Powder.

I used:
Stamps: Carte Postale, Close As A Memory
Ink: versamark, versamagic jumbo java, su! pale plum, perfect plum, certainly celery, choc chip
Paper: pale plum, choc chip, vanilla, Enchante
Other: Irridescent Ice and clear EP, dashes dots and checks green ribbon, unknow brown organdy ribbon, circle punch, Lasting Impressions brads, dimensionals

By the way, I really like the dimensionals I just picked up at Target's Dollar Spot. They're not too thick like the one's I buy at Michael's. Thanks so much for stopping by. It's much appreciated.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

RAK Thank Yous

I feel so special! I got a few RAK's this week. What fun to open your mailbox and have a hand made card smiling out at you.

This first card is from Deb, The Crafty Turtle. You can find her at Life Out of the Shell. This darling card is made of the the MOST wonderful color combo! It just made me smile.

This beauty is from Christine (photobug) at It's My Life. Be sure to check out her blog to see more cute cards like this. Don't you just love how she colored all those flowers in the dress? LOVE it!
And, oh my gosh, look at all those gorgeous layers, even designer papers in this card by AJ (willosmama). I recognize the layout from a recent sketch challenge over at Splitcoast. Check out her blog, The Willow Garden. You'll be happy to find more great work like this.

Ladies, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! It's so refreshing to belong to an online community where people are willing to do kind things for virtual strangers. Your lovely cards are so appreciated. Now, I have to get on the ball and send out a few RAK's too. After all, I have a couple boxes (shoe box sized) of cards just sitting around waiting for some love.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Easy on the Eyes (and Brain)

Wow! Aren't summers just crazy busy?!? I have been stamping, really I have. A couple of weeks ago I won a Caardvark's contest, which means I'm guest designing for the June 20th (I think) challenge. When I was entering the original contest, I remember thinking: "you watch, I'll win, and then the guest designing challenge will be something I find really difficult, like 'such and such' ". Well, don't ya know it? The challenge is exactly "such and such", my stamping nemesis. But I've got four cards done now. So the only thing left is to decide which three I'll send them.

Today, I also squeezed in this card for this week's A*Muse*a*Palooza challenge, to use glitter. My brain was pretty fried by this point, so I altered an idea from page 24 of the June 2007 Paper Made Easy. I used this pretty chatterbox decorative cardstock so that the inside would look just as nice as the outside. I also layered some pink on chocolate chip inside, so there'd be a little writing space. The flowers on the outside have Fruit Punch Stickles on their centers (for the glitter challenge).

I used:
Stamps: A Muse
Ink: Brown stazon, mellow moss marker
Paper: Chatterbox Nook Circles, choc chip, whisper white
Other: fruit punch stickles

Now, speaking of crazy summers, I have to make a salad and head on out to a friend's Tiki Party this evening. And I'm supposed to "dress for the occassion". What exactly does one wear for a tiki party? I may end up wearing what I bought for next weekend's Jimmy Buffet concert. I'll let ya know how it goes. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My Favorite Things

Today's card uses stamps from My Favorite Things and papers from Basic Grey's Gypsy 6 x 6 paper pad, plus real red. The scallops were cut with Provo Craft scissors. The brads are layered on 1/4" black punched circles. Everything is stamped in black Versafine and colored with Stampin' Up! markers. The dress in the far back and the front, right bag were pieced in with more Basic Grey Gypsy papers. Ribbon by May arts.

I had sent this and one other card in for My Favorite Things card contest. I'm pretty sure it was just a random drawing pulled from all the cards sent in. Regardless, I didn't win, but I did have fun making this card. It came together so quickly.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

I'd Pick You

I made this for Caardvarks' current challenge: Mix It! The challenge is to use patterned papers from THREE different manufacturers. I found that to be a serious challenge, but here we go. The top paper is Gypsy by Basic Grey, the bottom paper is Star Fish and Dreams, and the sentiment is mounted on DCWV's Pocket Full of Posies Green. I stamped the poppies from Stampendous on watercolor paper (black stazon) and colored with a blender pen dipped in Versamagic Dew Drop Inks, including some shadowing with the color wheat. This gives a beautiful, soft coloring since they are chalk inks and blend very well. I went over the poppy centers with a black gel pen to make them stand out a bit more. The sentiment (from Papertrey's Green Thumb) was also stamped on a scrap of watercolor paper, just so it would all match, using Pumpkin Spice. The two flowers were layered, along with the sentiment, a ruby red circle and olive brad. The ribbon is from Stampin' Up's Rustic Retreat pack.

The Goods:
Stamps: Stampendous poppies, Papertrey Ink's Green Thumb
Ink: black stazon, versamagic tea leaves, wheat, mango madness, pumpkin spice, red magic
Paper: SU! ruby red, pumpkin pie, watercolor, DCWV pocket full of posies, star fish and dreams, basic grey gypsy
Other: blender pen, ticket corner punch, yellow flower by Heidi Swapp, red flower by Creating Keepsakes, circle punch, earth elements brad, rustic retreat ribbon, dimensional, black gelly roll pen

Thanks for stopping by. And thanks to those who wished me well after my rough week. I HATE talking about my problems, but just so you don't worry over much: I have Epstein Barr, which is like mono, but you have it forever. For the most part I truly don't even remember that I have it. But when it flairs up, I'm exceedingly tired and get ulcers. So, I basically slept most of the week. I hate it. Not only am I sleeping my week away, but I also feel lazy and have to remind myself that it's not my fault and there's nothing I can do about it. I'm so thankful that my husband can support us and I don't have to have a regular full-time job. So that's it. I'm feeling more energetic already, and I probably will never mention it again.

Now, I have to finish a fruit tray with amaretto dip (yummy), get myself ready, and head off to a picnic. It's at some friends' house in the country, about an hour from here. It's like a different world. I'm in the suburbs, but I'm heading to their OLD farmhouse, complete with barn and lots of land. It's beautiful. It was actually a bed and breakfast before they bought it. Sure to be a relaxing evening.

Friday, June 8, 2007

A True Friend

Hello! I've actually got a card for you today. It's been a pretty rough week. Hopefully I'll be able to post more frequently next week. Today's card is for A*Muse*A*Palooza's Challenge #6, to use heat embossing. The sentiment and all of the stamped flowers are done in black embossing powder. The top red flower, by the sentiment, is also covered in Star Dust Stickles. To even out the design a bit, I pierced along the large flower on the bottom left. A very quick card.

I used:
Stamps: A Muse flower and sentiment
Ink: versamark, markers: real red, bashful blue
Paper: Papertrey Ink white, SU! real red and bashful blue, DCWV Star Posies
Other: detail black embossing powder, dimensionals, star dust stickles, paper piercer, american crafts ribbon

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

I Won! and Another Card

I was so excited that I won the "Bling, Bling...Hello!" contest. There were some really great entries. You should check out the whole gallery at {caardvarks}, and they also have a new contest up and running. You can see my winning card in this post.

I got some time this afternoon to sit at my stamping desk and make this card using Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge #4, eventhough the weekend has already escaped me. I, unfortunately, needed a sympathy card for a long-time older friend from back home whose husband recently passed away. I'm coming to grips with the idea of stamping sympathy cards.
It almost seemed wrong to me at first, to do something I enjoy (stamping) for such a bleak, sad occassion. But, really, you need a card one way or another. And under what circumstances could a from the heart, handmade card be more appropriate, to let the recipient know that you truly care? So, I sat down to make this card with the hopes of lifting her spirits. These sweet little birdies certainly make me smile!

I stamped the two birds (black Stazon) on Papertrey Ink white card stock, as well as on scraps of Autumn Leaves Shangri-La designer paper to paper piece the wings and body. I used an aquapainter and inks to watercolor. I colored the beaks red dots with markers. The Marvy giga scalloped and mega circle punches took care of the layered circles. "With" was stamped in NQN and "sympathy" in versamark and white embossing powder, both from Papertrey Ink. The brads are layered on NQN 1/4-inch circles.

The Stuff:
Stamps: Hero Arts Decorative Birds, sentiment from Paper Tray by Papertrey Ink
Ink: black stazon, not quite navy, more mustard, sahara sand, close to cocoa, real red, versamark
Paper: Sahara Sand, Not Quite Navy, white, Autumn Leaves Shangri-La
Other: Marvy punches, 1/4" circle punch, Creating Keepsakes brads, white detail embossing powder, aquapainter, american crafts ribbon

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Bling, Bling...Hello?

A little while ago, I made this card for {Caardvards} Bling, Bling...Hello? contest. Well, today is the deadline, and I'm squeezing another card in just under the wire. This is Melanie by Rubber Romance. Isn't she stunning? So stylish. I got her in my Eclectic Paperie order.

All the designer papers are from the Perhaps 6x6 paper pad by Basic Grey. I also used Stampin' Up's basic black and whisper white. I colored Melanie with prismacolor pencils and gamsol after stamping with black StazOn. I added a rock to her finger. Doesn't she just look like she's showing it off. And a couple more rhinestones on her shoes, which I had given a coat of Sakura black gelly roll pen. I also highlighted her bags with Stickles (Lime green, Fruit Punch, and Star Dust).

The white dots around the green circle layer are faux eyelets. You just punch a hole with your paper piercer and draw around it with a white gel pen. Lastly, I added a strip of beads to the bottom with Sticky Strip. The "hello" is by Papertrey Ink, done in Versamagic purple hydrangea.

The goods:
Stamps: Melanie by Rubber Romance, Paper Tray by Papertrey Ink
Ink: black StazOn, Versamagic purple hydrangea
Paper: Perhaps by Basic Grey, basic black and whisper white by SU!
Other: Halcraft beads, sticky strip, Stickles, Coluzzle, rhinestones, prismacolor pencils, gamsol, sakura gelly roll pen in black, white gel pen, paper piercer

Friday, June 1, 2007

Using the "Other" Stamps

I finally got some gorgeous My Favorite Things stamps. This card uses the Say Charge set. I wanted to make a card that didn't focus on the large main image that comes in most of the sets. I love the large image. It's gorgeous, but I also want to use the "other" stamps. So here we are with the sentiment and purses.

It's all pretty self-explanatory, execpt maybe the tabs and purses. The purses were each stamped on white and cut out. Then the bodies of the purses (not handles) were stamped on designer paper, cut out, and layered on top of the white cut outs. The tabs: the half-inch circle didn't look quite big enough, so I used the slit punch. I punched right on the edge of a piece of scrap paper, so that I would just have a loose half circle. I glued it on top of the sentiment layer and added rhinestone brads.

Stamps: My Favorite Things Say Charge
Ink: Versamagic black
Paper: Pixie pink, certainly celery, Papertrey Ink white, Memory Box ring toss and cherry blossom
Other: SU! slit punch, dimensionals, ribbon from Walmart, making memories rhinestone brads

I also got my first blogger's RAK! Isn't it so cute? I LOVE the felt rick rack and how the green is up on dimensionals with the cut outs for the frogs. It's from Shannon at Hoppy Creations. Thank you! I love it! Definitely stop by and check out her really cute stuff.

Have a fabulous Friendship Friday! Now, I have to clean the house to have the in-laws over for dinner tomorrow.