It's Not All Black and White

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Vintage Grapes

A friend asked me to make wine labels as part of a gift for her parents who make and bottle their own wines. She asked for grapes (She supplied the stamp set gladly, since I have none.) and vintage. The biggest challenge was not being able to add a single extra layer. Everything had to go directly on the label. I started with sticker sheets cut to 3-1/2 inches tall by 5 inches wide. I printed Java Wines using my computer and the Vivaldi font in Chocolate Chip coloring. The grape leaves were stamped in Old Olive with a bit of Close to Cocoa rock 'n rolled onto the edges. The grapes I stamped using Perfect Plumeria Versamagic chalk inks, so the color would layer over the green a bit better than classic ink. I used the corner rounder punch and drew the borderline with chocolate chip, using my paper piercing template as a guide. The background was done in Creamy Caramel with the Rough Texture wheel. I don't have many ink cartridges, so I just wheel it over my stamp pad, then over the paper. Lastly, I sponged around the edges with Close to Cocoa. Tah Dah: Vintage Grape wine labels. I showed her a very similar prototype which she liked, so I hope these work for her.

Stamps: SU retired definitely decorative Grapes, rough texture wheel
Ink: creamy caramel, old olive, close to cocoa, chocolate chip, versamagic Perfect Plumeria
Paper: Avery Ink Jet Sticker Project Paper
Other: corner rounder, paper piercing template

So, my mom just gave me a call to very calmly tell me that her doctor found a crack in her femur (top, thick leg bone) on the ball where it joins the hip socket. She had mentioned that the cancer in her bones causes them to be weak, so breaking is a concern. She's going to the emergency room of a very good hospital here in Pittsburgh to be admitted and have surgery to shore up that bone. I'm so glad we have excellent hospitals here in Pittsburgh. The hospital is probably an hour to an hour-and-a-half drive for her, then she (and my dad) will probably be in the emergency room for a while before she even gets a room. So, I'm going to try to get my lawn mowed and shower and get there in time for my dad to grab some dinner early this evening.

She's known she has cancer now for over three weeks. I don't know how this usually works, but I'm getting concerned that they haven't been able to pinpoint where the cancer is coming from and therefore haven't started treatment yet. They were planning on starting a somewhat generic chemo treatment soon, until they find out more specifics. I hope this doesn't slow anything down.

So, I'm a little busier than usual. Those of you who's blogs I usually visit, I do still stop by and scan over your gorgeous creations. I just don't have time to comment right now. But know that I appreciate your work.

{{{hugs}}} to you all. Thanks for being there.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Love Birds

Amidst a busy weekend, I squeezed in a couple of hours Saturday afternoon to go to my Stampin' Up! demonstrator's stamp camp. I'm so glad I did. I needed a little time with some fellow stampers. It's so rare I get to stamp with anybody besides myself for company. Since I added a few of my own additions to this card, I figured I could post it here among "my creations". The reflected birds were done by stamping one on each side of the lightweight vellum, then coloring them both on the one front side. Really easy way to get a reflection. The vellum was then layered onto white card stock with black eyelets. I added the fern stamps to the background in Going Gray (on the new Basic Gray), the black sentiment and piercings.

Well, before the week is out I have to design and make 24 wine bottle labels for a friend. And today is my day to spend with my mom. So I better get myself moving this morning. Have a great day. Okay, maybe that's asking a bit much, but at least shoot for a good Monday.

Thanks Rose Ann, Laura

I got a couple of beautiful RAK's within the last week or two. This first one is from Rose Ann at Paper Delightz. She's been a wonderful blogging buddy since I first started. I was admiring this card on her blog, to put it mildly. Okay, let's face reality...I was drooling and coveting. But come on, just look at it. Occasionally a little drooling and coveting is in order. So, imagine my surprise, and yeah...glee, when I opened my mail to discover it is now my very own! Yeah! Thanks Rose Ann.

And I do believe it was the very same day that this lucky girl also received a second wonderful card, this one from the lovely Laura at Lu-La's Corner. Be sure to stop over and see her creations. They range from quick, cute creations to more intricate designs. It's so pretty. Thanks Laura.
THANK YOU ladies. Receiving a hand made card is such a great feeling.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Long Time, No Sea

Really, "Long time, no sea!" I haven't posted to my blog too much this week. It's been so busy. Right now, some of our friends are still here. Josh had a fantasy football draft here at the house tonight, so about ten of the guys were over. And some are still in the basement playing ping pong. I've been working on this card in bits and pieces over the last couple of days. I have so much new rubber, I don't even know what to do with it all. I've barely used my two new Papertrey sets. I got my first Stampin' Up order since the "new" catalog in July, and I ordered a few Hambo stamps when they were having a great sale. I feel like I buy in spurts.

These are a few of my new Hambo stamps. This is my first time buying from Hambo, and I really like them. I stamped the seahorse on pearlized white card stock, drew a water line with my micron pen (and a few water ripples), and colored with an aquapainter. Same with the happy little clam. I just love that little guy. The flower center is a piece of Taken with Teal, covered in crystal effects, with a brad on top.

Oh yeah, I used Beate's Weekend Sketch challenge for my layout.

Stamps: Hambo stamps
Paper: papertrey white, paper accents pearlized white, brilliant blue, taken with teal, sahara sand, arctic frog, basic grey
Ink: Versafine, pumpkin, brilliant blue, taken with teal, sahara sand
Other: cuttlebug dots embossing folder and scalloped circle die, ticket corner punch, giga scalloped oval punch by Marvy, coluzzle, circle punch, may arts ribbon, creating keepsakes flower, JoAnn's brad

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Simple Set

I wanted a fairly simple set of cards for a friend who doesn't do too much stamping any more. So I pulled out my Verve Visual set, Fancy Florals. With it's four sizeable sentiments, it's easy to put together a card set. I also used this great Gretel paper by Cosmo Cricket. The two rounded corners give them a modern, note card feel. Or at least I think so. I again used my FAVE new product (and it's so cheap at 2 for $4, hehe), the Sakura white glaze pen. The punches on the cards are on mini pop dots. And that's some more gorgeous May Arts ribbon.


Stamps: Verve Visual Fancy Florals
Paper: very vanilla, ruby red, Cosmo Cricket Gretel
Ink: Versamagic dew drops in pumpkin spice, wheat, oasis green, red brick and jumbo java
Other: Lasting Impressions antique brads, May Arts ribbon, coluzzle, marvy giga scalloped circle and mega circle punches, stamp-a-ma-jig, ProvoCraft mini scallop scissors, mini pop dots, sakura white glaze pen

Here's a quick shot of the cards in the box.

Monday, August 20, 2007

CASEing Melissa

Hi All! I've got a card for you! And I even made this one myself. It's for last Sunday's Featured Stamper challenge. I chose this card by Melissa to copy. You can see that I changed up the colors and sentiments.

The "thanks" is from the Cuttlebug Olivia alphabet. I cut it from medium weight chipboard covered in Bravo Burgundy card stock. The large scallops were cut with the corner rounder with the guard removed. And the tiny scallops were cut with ProvoCraft scissors. I used my Sakura white glaze pen again for the dots. I am telling you, I LOVE this thing. I know people rave about the Signo white gel pen, but mine never works. This Sakura pen rocks. All I had to do for the dots was press down. Yep, that's it. The ink pours out perfectly and dries white. The smaller sentiments are from Papertrey Ink's new set, Beautiful Blooms, stamped in bravo burgundy and the tiny flowers in Old Olive.

Stamps: Papertrey Ink Beautiful Blooms
Paper: blush blossom, old olive, bravo burgundy, papertrey white, chatterbox scrapbook walls Nook Garden Floral
Ink: bravo burgundy, old olive
Other: Cuttlebug Olivia Alphabet, sakura white glaze pen, corner rounder, celery grosgrain, pewter hodgepodge hardware, ProvoCraft mini scallop scissors, medium weight chipboard

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Thanks Charmaine!

No, I haven't made any new cards to share with you yet. But I do have this beautiful creation by Charmaine that I can show you. I got it in the mail a couple of days ago. Charmaine blogs at Oodabug Alley, and you definitely want to check it out. Not only is Charmaine an absolute sweetheart, but she is an awesome stamper as well. This card has such a great color combo and little touches, like the shadow on the "thinking". Thank you Charmaine for the card and the smile. It's much appreciated.

I'm planning on visiting my mom tomorrow, so we'll see whether I can manage a new card too, or not. It takes a pretty big chunk of the day when I go to visit, because the drive is about three and a half hours round trip.

{{{HUGS}}} to you all. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Kick Stand Card

Have you seen Kirsten's Kick Stand cards yet? If not, check one out here. If you scroll through her blog, you'll see a few more. Aren't they too cute? I wasn't feeling overly inspired today, so it seemed like a good time to give her design a try. I stamped the bees on Paper Accents pearlized white card stock, because I wanted to see how it held up to the prismacolor pencils and gamsol. It did GREAT! This paper has rocked for everything I've tried it with so far. I love it! Sturdy a-n-d shiny pretty.

So, like I said, I wasn't feeling too inspired, so I just layered solid colors with Crate Papers and stamped the inside with Karen Foster Snap stamps. It says, "You're the bee's knees". I'm pretty sure I've also seen this sentiment used with these bees before. Nothing too original here today. The scalloped rectangle was cut with ProvoCraft scissors. I tied on my ribbon and decided to add the three brads. Since I already had everything glued together, and MonoMulti DOES NOT come apart, I cut the prongs off the brads and glued them down.

Stamps: Stampendous Bee Trio, Karen Foster Mini casual snap stamps
Paper: cool caribbean, pumpkin pie, Crate Paper Carnival collection, Paper Accents pearlized white card stock
Ink: black stazon, chocolate chip
Other: prismacolor, gamsol, Earth Elements brads, Cherries ribbon, provocraft scalloped scissors

Discount on Fancy Florals!

Already so many of you have shared your well-wishes with me about my mom. I thank you so much. It touches me to know there is such kindness and caring in humankind. I will certainly keep you all updated as there is any news or changes.
I wanted to take a minute to let you know about some good deals going on at Verve Visual. Pre-order the new set Fancy Florals here before August 20th and you'll get the discounted price, which is a great deal for all those stamps. You can even get a discount on EZ Mount regular or thin with stamp purchase. Be sure to check out the stunning samples in the design gallery too.
I really feel like I'm rambling, but don't miss the new Memory Box paper in the New Products category while you're there. I've been drooling over it since I saw it. And it's my fave 6x6 size.
Hope to have a card for you later today. {{{HUGS}}}

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

When a card is more than a card

What are the hardest words you've ever had to say? For me, to date, it was "My mom has cancer". She called me Monday night and told me. I couldn't get the actual words out when I tried to tell my husband. It took me several tries and a few minutes. She's been having a lot of pain for months in her lower back and can hardly walk. She shuffles along with so much pain. Finally, the doctors gave her an MRI and the results came in. She has cancer in her bones. They still don't know what kind or where it's coming from. She is the strongest woman I know, and I can't imagine this happening. I'm trying not to worry too much or be too hopeful until we know more. I went to visit today and help her do the grocery shopping. We live about and hour and 45 minutes apart, and it's never seemed as far as it does now. I made this card for her today.
I used CPS's Sketch #26. I colored directly on my Stampendous stamp with Stampin' Up markers (turquoise, banana, pixie pink, and olive), spritzed very lightly with water to remoisten the ink, and stamped. I went back over the flowers with the markers to keep the colors nice and dark. I used vellum card stock cut with Fiskars scalloped scissors for my sentiment. I attached the vellum with a little bit of clear scotch scrapbookers glue under the flower and two wee dots under the sentiment. The "faux stitching" was done with one of the All in a Row stamps. My slot punch wouldn't fit where I needed it. So for each slot, I punched two holes with the anywhere hole punch and used a hobby blade to cut between them.
This was one of those moments when a card is so much more than a card. I wanted to let my mom know how much she means to me and that I'll be there for her in every way throughout this illness. But we're not an emotional family. I didn't want to tell her in person and get all sentimental and emotional. She doesn't need any more tears right now. So I left the card with her when I was leaving for home today. I hope she liked it. She saw it as I was leaving and said "Ooh, that's a pretty card." I said "Thanks. Bye."
Card Recipe:
5-1/2" square
Stamps: Stampendous Tall Blossoms, Stampin' Up Curvy Verses and All in a Row
Paper: Papertrey white, SU vellum card stock, old olive, Petals and Paisleys
Ink: black stazon, tempt. turquoise, old olive, barely banana, pixie pink
Other: anywhere hole punch, sweet & sassy ribbon, hydrangea and petite flamingo primas, making memories crystal brad, fiskars scalloped scissors

Monday, August 13, 2007

Something Brighter

I wanted to try something brighter with my Verve Visual Fancy Florals set, so I pulled out my pad of Basic Grey Perhaps paper and got to work. The layout is one I sketched the other day while doodling in my notebook. The folded card measures 3-1/2 by 6-1/4 inches and fits in a standard No. 6-3/4 envelope from the office supply store (or Walmart or where ever).

The bottom layer is pearlized white card stock, some good sturdy paper for the base. I layered on Rose Red and a paper from the Perhaps pad. The circle is another Perhaps paper, layered on close to cocoa, dotted with the Sakura white glaze pen. The flowers are stamped in Pink Passion, So Saffron, Regal Rose, and Close to Cocoa. I added May Arts ric rack and faux eyelets in the corner. The finishing touch was a sentiment from Verve's Thoughtful Phrases in Stampin' Up's word window punch.

Faux Eyelets: Just in case you don't know already, faux eyelets are so easy. Punch holes with your paper piercer, then go around the rim with a gel pen, white in this case.

Stamps: Verve Visual Thoughtful Phrases and Fancy Florals
Paper: Paper Accents Pearlized white card stock, Basic Grey Perhaps, rose red, close to cocoa
Ink: close to cocoa, pink passion, regal rose, so saffron
Other: May Arts ric rack, Sakura white glaze pen, Coluzzle, word window punch, paper piercer.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Fall Florals

Here's a second sneak peak of Verve Visual's new stamp set to be released on August 20th. It's called Fancy Florals. I started my card with the horizontal strip of designer paper (from Cosmo Cricket's Gretel line). From there I started stamping the flowers and stems in matching colors on pearlized cream paper. I wish you could see the way it shimmers IRL.

I just love all the different pieces you can put together in this stamp set. And since I mounted the rubber with Alene's Tack It Over and Over, I can even manipulate the long thin stems a bit, to curve how I want them. The leaves, I made by simply stamping the flower in greens, drawing in some veins, and cutting it into four pieces. I cut out a few of the flowers so I could layer them, give some dimension (pop dots), and mount some so they fell over the edge of the box.

I used a Stamp-a-ma-jig to keep the sentiment straight as I stamped it all over the sage background. And that gorgeous ribbon? It's the most beautiful, soft, silky material, and it's made by May Arts.

Stamps: Verve Visual Fancy Florals
Ink: ruby red, sage shadow, old olive, chocolate chip, really rust, more mustard
Paper: Cosmo Cricket Gretel, Paper Accents pearlized cream medium weight, very vanilla, really rust, sage shadow
Other: May Arts ribbon, pop dots

Friday, August 10, 2007

An Easy Treat

I was in the mood for a simple card today, so this A Muse popsicle pink note card seemed like a good place to start. The stamp is called Tiers of Treats by Stampendous, but I masked off the bottom tier (usually there are three) so that it would fit nicely on my card. I stamped on Whisper White with black StazOn and colored with prismacolor pencils and gamsol. I added white dots to the cake and icing with my white Sakura glaze pen and covered the strawberries with the clear pen so they're nice and shiny IRL. FYI--the white glaze pen goes on rather clear, but dries white, as you can see. The sentiment is from Papertrey Ink and I doodled the framing by hand. And, well, I guess that's it. Told ya I was in the mood for simple today.

Stamps: Stampendous Tiers of Treats, Papertrey Ink Paper Tray
Ink: Black StazOn
Paper: A Muse note card, whisper white, real red
Other: sakura white and clear glaze pens, micron black pen, prismacolor pencils and gamsol, SU red grosgrain ribbon

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

My First Sneak Peak

Here it is, my first sneak peak of Verve Visual's upcoming stamp release Fancy Florals. It will be available for all of you hard core stalkers starting August 20th.

Yes, I know, there are no "florals" on this card. But these are some of the flower centers, and they just screamed snowflakes to me. Aren't the shapes so gorgeously modern? I stamped "Many Thanks", one of four sentiments in this huge set, with Night of Navy on Paper Accents pearlized white (light weight), then added my three sizes of snowflakes in Bashful Blue, Ballet Blue and Brilliance platinum. Then I used three sizes of the star burst stamp on the bashful blue border, again in Brilliance platinum.

That giant corner scroll is a chipboard knot by Maya Road. I smooshed it into the Brilliance platinum ink pad. This is a VERY easy way to cover your chipboard, but it takes a l-o-n-g time to dry, we're talking overnight. Then I just used the applicator tip of my Star Dust Stickles to haphazardly apply a thin coat to the chipboard. If you wanted it perfect, you could use a small brush. I finished with a bit of May Arts gold ribbon and three gold brads. So, with the Brilliance ink, the gold ribbon, and the pearlized paper, this card has some serious shimmer and shine going on.

By the way, this card is 5-1/2 inches square. And I use:
Stamps: Verve Visual Fancy Florals
Ink: night of navy, bashful blue, ballet blue, brilliance platinum planet
Paper: Night of navy, bashful blue, paper accents pearlized white lightweight
Other: star dust stickles, maya road chipboard, may arts ribbon, SU gold brads

Monday, August 6, 2007

Blog Candy Winner

Just a quick post. I put numbers one through 118 into and it spit out #77. JULIE MASSE. I'll drop you an email for your address Julie and get that in the mail right away. Thanks so much everyone for entering, and I can't wait to do it again.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Share the Wealth Blog Candy

(Hopefully this will stay at the top until Sunday, so you'll have to scroll down for newer posts.)

I passed 30,000 hits on this l'il ole blog! Can you believe it? It gives me the warm fuzzies.

AND, I am so stoked about my design team gig with Verve Visual. <---That's the Design Team page. Julee will be having the grand opening on August 1st. I can't wait to see my stuff on a real manufacturer's site. WooHoo!

AND, I made my own blog banner! It's the first thing I've made with my Photoshop Elements 5.0. I used a free kit from Shabby Princess called Sun Porch by Amy Teets and a font called Bleeding Cowboys downloaded from Scrapbook Village. I'm sure it's not much to most of you, but I'm just thrilled with my little creation.
ETA: Well, it seems my blog banner could be considered in violation of Shabby Princess's terms of service. Figured my first Photoshop experience was just going too smoothly. I do thank the person who kindly pointed it out though. So, I'm back to one Amy Westerman made for me when I started my blog, which is quite purdee.

AND, I just love y'all! Thanks so much for stopping by.

So, here it is. I'm sharin' the wealth of a recent online shopping excursion. Up for grabs is:
*12 sheets (6x6) Making Memories Boho Chic embellishment paper (two each of six designs)
*1 package Basic Grey [un]dressed chipboard mini monograms
*1/2 package (approximately) Quick Pick Hydrangea Strawberry Primas
*1/2 package (approximately) Carribean Collections St. Martin Primas
*4 Heidi Swapp ghost shapes flowers
*1 Studio G clear stamp set

U.S. and Canada only please, due to shipping costs. So sorry. Only one comment per person. Thanks!

Just leave me any comment you'd like. If you prefer a topic for discussion (as I do on blog candy posts), let me know if you scrapbook. Hands-on or digital, or a bit of both? What do you scrap? Any scrapping info you feel like sharing is fine by me. I'll do the online random number choosing thing on Sunday night and post the winner by Monday.

Friday, August 3, 2007

A Second Group Challenge

Rose Ann from Paper Delightz took this round to send out some stamping goodies to six of us, to see what we would create all using the same basic supplies. She sent four stamped images of this girl from My Favorite Things' Hit the Beach. Two were brown and two were black. I wanted to use three, so I traced over all of them with my black Sakura gelly roll pen. Voila! Three black images. Actually, since I didn't know if the pen would hold up to water, I watercolored them first, then traced in black.

The idea came from an old commercial. I don't even know what they were selling, but do you remember the commercial were there were a whole line of bikini-clad girls lying on the beach in a row, and they would all flip over at the same time? Well, that's what I was thinking of with my little row of girls here. And the striped designer paper looked like a beach towel to me. So under the girls it went. And then it sat on my desk until Lauren's sketch challenge showed up at the Dare To Get Dirty challenges for Splitcoast Fan Club members. So I finished off this simple card according to her sketch. I liked this sentiment by Verve Visual, because these girls look like they're enjoying a bright, sunny day. I threaded the ribbon through a pewter swirl clip and set a new jumbo eyelet in the center.

Here are the other bloggers joining in the challenge. If they aren't up already, they should have their cards up sometime today. Check 'em out. I know I can't wait to see what they've done.

Adelina, Well Said Cards
Angel, Angelosity
Lori, Make a Difference
Rose Ann, Paper Delightz
Tracy, Misplaced Texans

What I Used:
Stamps: Hit the Beach by My Favorite Things, Thoughtful Phrases by Verve Visual
Ink: brocade blue, elegant eggplant, pumpkin pie
Paper: bashful blue, elegant eggplant, shimmer white, whisper white, Story Time from Cosmo Cricket
Other: Offray ribbon, pewter jumbo brad and hodgepodge hardware, black sakura gel pen, aquapainter

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Shopping District

I've had this image stamped and colored and laying on my desk for probably a month or more. So I finally decided that today was the day to get it out of my way.
I thought the circles from this stamp set (Let's Go For a Walk by My Favorite Things) could look a little like a cobblestone walkway if I colored them correctly. So I stamped the lady with her dogs, masked them, and stamped the circles underneath. This was all stamped with black Versafine on Stampin' Up's watercolor paper, then colored with an aquapainter and inks, and markers. And then it sat on my desk, as mentioned. Today I decided that they looked like they're strolling through a quaint shopping district (ya know, the cobblestones?). So I added the "awning" and "shop sign". Doesn't the sentiment just look like one of those shop signs that hang over the sidewalk, under the awnings? Mounted it on a white card, and tah dah! Finished! Oh yeah, I made the awning by gluing saffron strips of paper on real red and cutting with scalloped scissors.
I actually have another MFT card for tomorrow. It's another blog group challenge. Rose Ann sent us all some Hit the Beach images to work with, along with some other goodies. Be sure to check back tomorrow to see what I, and the other girls, came up with.
I Used:
Stamps: My Favorite Things Let's Go For a Walk and Say Charge
Ink: Versafine black and various Stampin' Up inks and markers for coloring
Paper: Papertrey Ink white, Stampin up watercolor, real red, so saffron, basic black
Other: provocraft scalloped scissors, black eyelets, aquapainter

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Yvette's Tag Card Challenge

Here's another Dare To Get Dirty challenge card. This is for Yvette's challenge to make a tag card with only one stamp set. I used my review set from Rubber Stamping Fun. The entire card measures 9" x 5-1/2". I also used papers from Stampin' Up's retired Enchante. Everything is colored with Stampin' Up markers and a Marvy Uchida white paint pen (on the transparency). The first panel is stamped on a transparency with black stazon and colored on the back (rough) side. I then adhered it to the back of a Marvy giga scallop oval with the center punched out (mega oval punch), and set it on dimensionals. The second and third panels are stamped on whisper white in black stazon and colored with markers, then highlighted with star dust stickles.

Stamps: Rubber Stampin Fun
Ink: black stazon, perfect plum, various markers
Paper: Perfect plum, pale plum, sage shadow, enchante
Other: Marvy giga scallop and mega oval punches, 1/8" punch, transparency sheet, provocraft scallop scissors, paper piercer and template, ticket corner punch, dashes dots & checks ribbon, dimensionals, vintage brads