In The Mood . . . .

. . . to *stamp* that is!!! I am trying to distract myself from the pain I am experienceing due to a forceful little wisdom tooth. This is the third straight day of it, and I am trying to get rid of it before this evening because hubby wants to go out. Or at the very least, by tomorrow so I can go to work. <> I can't say that it is really working . . . but at least *something* productive came of it. I made this card for the Limited Supply Challenge on SCS today. We were restricted to using snowflake images in shades of brown as our focus. I chose The Snowflake Spot, and decided to go for a vintage feel - inspired by Ahnna and WAXYO. I cut a 3x3 square from Naturals Ivory cardstock and stamped the "snow" in Creamy Caramel classic ink. I then stamped the smallest snowflake in Close to Cocoa, the middle one in Chocolate Chip, and the largest snowflake in the center using Archival Brilliance Platinum for just a hint of shimmer. I added rhinestone bling to the centers of the Chocolate Chip snowflakes and used Creamy Caramel to age the edges a bit, then roughed them up using the distresser tool. I mounted the focal image on Chocolate Chip cardstock. Next I cute a 2in. strip of Creamy Caramel cs and stamped the large rectangle sentiment from Glad Tidings repeatedly as a background. I inked (using Close to Cocoa) and distressed the edges of this piece as well. I used my Chocolate Chip marker to ink just the sentiment from the "JOY" square stamp from the Glad Tidings set and stamped it in the bottom right corner of the Close to Cocoa card base. For a finishing touch, I added some ribbon loops under the focal image using caramel gingham, twill tape, and sheer brown dotted organdy ribbon. Like many of my cards lately, this one opens from the bottom. Just a little something to make things more interesting. I've never seen chocolate snow before, but that *has* to be the best kind, dont'cha think?

Booglie Boo!

Hope these little guys didn't scare you! I think they're just too cute, and the *perfect* size I realized last night when I sat down to attempt my very first waterfall card!!! Yes, that's right . . . this is my first waterfall card! I was inspired to try one due to this week's Technique challence at SCS. While I am *addicted* to the weekly color and sketch challenges, I rarely venture into the others. I'm not entirely sure why, but I have kind of been in a stamping "mood" lately, and last night I decided to try to break out of it. This was the result . . . . Both my daughter and I are happy with the outcome. She thinks it is a toy, and really wants me to make another one, because I won't let her keep it. I'm happy because it looks good, *and* it didn't take forever to make! I was shocked at this, because I had convinced myself that they were impossible (yes, even though I had never *tried* making one before). The folks at Splitcoaststampers provided some pretty fool-proof instructions - if you haven't made a waterfall card yet, you oughta give it a try!!! Anyway, first things first . . . . I started with a Basic Black standard card base, and cut the Halloween Night designer series (ds) paper to fit and adhered it to the card front, leaving an 1/8 in. border. I then cut Only Orange cardstock in 9x2 in. and 3/4x4 in. pieces. The 9x2 piece is scored at 2in., 2 3/4in., 3 1/2in., and 4 1/4in. The white cardstock is cut into 1 7/8in. squares, and stamped with Witchie Poo, Frankie, Mummie, and Drac (short for Drac C. Ula - the "C" stands for cool!). I watercolored the images using my aquapainter and SU! classic inks in Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive, Vintage Violet, and Sahara Sand. I also used the black neutral Watercolor Wonder Crayon. Then I mounted the little guys (and gals) onto 2x2in. squares. Here's where it gets (a little) tricky! The smaller orange strip is adhered to the card using *only* the black vintage brads - you cannot use adhesive! So I attached it about 1/2in. up from the bottom of the ds paper. I then threaded the long, unscored portion of the larger orange strip through behind the smaller strip. I lined up the bottom of the shorter, scored portion with the smaller strip and adhered them together. I started with Drac, and adhered him to the first section on the long strip. Here is where it gets a little more tricky! The next, and all subsequent images, are *only* adhered at the top portion of the image. I just used one strip of adhesive here. So, Mummie is next, and I adhered her head to the next scored section on the long orange strip. Then came Frankie, and of course, Witchie Poo! I wanted to add a little ribbon to finish off the card (BIG surprise - lol!), so I pulled out the Vintage Violet stitched grosgrain I received as an IRAK from StampingSpud (thanks!) and tied two pieces around the small orange strip. Well, the inside of the larger orange strip looked really bare when it was pulled out, so I decided to add a hidden sentiment. I couldn't use the one from the Booglie Eyes stamp set, because those images are an IRAK too - from willosmama (AJ) at SCS, and I wanted the message to be stamped directly on the strip. After much deliberation, I decided to use *both* of the Halloween sentiments I own, from the Trick or Treat and Hey, Ghoul Friend sets. I also wanted to add a little something to hint that the larger orange strip needs to be pulled down in order to put the card into action, but instead of putting an eyelet with ribbon or cord pulled through and hanging down, I opted for a simple piece of tied black ginham ribbon. I *think* is is subtle enough, but still gets the point across! So, that's it - I tried something new (which I will *definitely* try again) and I had fun doing it, so maybe now I can get back to my regularly scheduled stamping!

Another day, another challenge

Well, today is Wednesday . . . . At SCS, that means a new Sketch Challenge - yippee! Today's challenge was quite interesting and well, challenging! I decided to take this opportunity to showcase the new DaisyD's patterned paper I got this week at a local scrapbook store (LSS). It is from the Harvest Gypsy line, and I love the rich, textured look it has. I wanted to incorporate that texture into my card, so I began with stamping the Linen background from Stampin UP! in Very Vanilla craft ink onto the So Saffron base card. I then embossed it using clear embossing powder (ep). The result is a texture you cannot only see, but also feel! You can get a better look at it by clicking on the card. I then cut panels from the patterned paper according to the sketch proportions and mounted them onto Basic Black cardstock. On the center floral panel I stamped the sentiment from Best Blossoms in Versamark clear ink, then embossed using black ep. I adhered the panels to the card base, and added black vintage brads in the lower left and upper right corners. The result - a very simple, yet elegant card, full of rich color and touchable texture!

Blissful Garden

Aaaaaaah! Can't you just feel the warmth of the sun shining down on this row of flowers as a gentle breeze sweeps through the field? I *know* that in most of the country it is almost fall, but here in Florida, it is still blissfully summer! I am not a cold weather kinda girl, so it really is the perfect climate for me! We only have about 6 weeks of the colder weather in January and early February . . . the rest of the year is, well - bliss! I made this card for the weekly color challenge on Splitcoaststampers: Mellow Moss, Bravo Burgundy, and So Saffron. I am a *bit* flower obsessed, so anytime the challenge includes a green color, you can usually bet I'm gonna pull out the flower stamps! This lovely stem is an image by Penny Black, a part of the Brushstroke line. These babies just *beg* to be watercolored, so that is exactly what I did. I misted my stamp with water, then colored directly on the stamp with my Watercolor Wonder Crayons (WWC's). Let me just say that I love these soooo much for their versatility! They are fabulous!!! I also misted the watercolor paper, then stamped my image and repeated 3 more times. The stems and leaves were very faint, so I inked them with Mellow Moss ink and then stamped over the watercolored image, to give them a little more definition. I then watercolored the surrounding sky with So Saffron ink and the WWC's using my aquapainter. I used WWC's for the grass also. Then I mounted the main image on Bravo Burgundy cardstock. I stamped the sentiment from the Noteworthy set in Bravo Burgundy on a small punched oval, sponged it with So Saffron ink, and adhered it to the Antique Brass Hodgepodge Hardware piece using my new Sakura Quickie Glue pen. What a wonderful creation!!! You can put glue in even the smallest of places with this - amazing! I looped moss narrow organdy ribbon through the hardware, and adhered it to the main image using dimensionals. It is a little hard to make out, but I stamped the argyle background from the Looks Like Spring set on the Mellow Moss base before adhering the main image for a gate effect, and voila! A blissful summer day in the garden, complete with bare feet and plenty of sunshine!

Too Early?

Christmas already??? I generally agree that September is definitely too early to start thinking about Christmas. There are two areas of exception however: shopping and stamping! I *always* start my Christmas shopping early. I find it much less stressful to spead it out over the course of the entire year. If I see something that is perfect for someone on my list, I purchase it. The pile in my closet grows slowly each month, and by the time December rolls around, I am ready. No last minute scrambling for this girlie (unless I *want* to)! A few years ago, I began applying this principle to my stamping. For the past two years I have participated in an annual fall craft fair at work. It runs for two days, and I use that time to complete my personal Christmas cards. I usually cut the paper beforehand, and stamp the images and assemble the cards at the fair. I usually end up with quite an audience, because I find everyone loves to see crafting in action. Anyway, my friend Jody was kind enough to send me some ribbon I had been eyeing for my Christmas cards a few weeks ago. It was completely unexpected and I was so tickled to receive it (even though she shouldn't have!!!). I have had a concept for this card milling around in my head for weeks now, and seeing that I finally have all the necessary supplies, I decided to put it to paper to see how it would turn out. Well, this is not what I had originally envisioned, but I *do* like it! I used two shades of purple (Almost Amethyst and Vintage Violet) along with silver (which is hard to make out, but is the middle large snowflake). The images are stamped on Shimmery White cs to give it an added gleam, along with the two tiny crystal blings in the center of the Amethyst snowflakes. Very dotty, n'est pas? The images from The Snowflake Spot are composed of dots, and I used the Dotted BG as well as the sheer white dotted organdy ribbon. The sentiment comes from the Glad Tidings stamp set. The card opens from the bottom. I am pleased with it, and am glad to have it all layed out a little early. Now to finish up those Halloween projects . . . .

Ribbon galore!!!

I love ribbon!!!! I know, I am not the *only* one. In fact, my ribbon fetish would be considered pretty tame compared to that of some others I know. But still, I love it all the same! I found these awesome ribbon containers at a scrapbooking shop in Orlando. I was super excited because I have ziplock bags full of miscellaneous ribbons and I can never seem to find the perfect one when I need it. So now I am organized . . . at least as far as my ribbon is concerned!!! The ribbons are wrapped onto little plastic bobbin cards (I was able to fit 30), and the drawer slides into a little case that keeps everything clean and pretty. I think I will *need* to get another one for the ribbon swap the chatter girlies are doing. We are getting 30 colors, so it will be a perfect fit!!! By the way, this is *not* all the ribbon I own by any means. I have two other organizers that hold spools and they are both full. But do I stop adding to my collection? Never! I will *never* have enough ribbon . . . .

Once a princess . . . .

I wanted to share this pic with my chatter girlies, but I could not make it small enough to attach on SCS. So, here is my princess. On that day, she was Princess Jasmine, from the movie Aladdin. This was the weekend before her 4th Birthday, when we took her to Epcot for a very special princess lunch. Well, you can only imagine what a thrill it was to have her picture taken with "the real Princess Jasmine"!!! You'd think she had never met her before!!! I guess she just *needs* to be in like company. You see, Kaleigh is always a princess, be it Jasmine, Aurora, Belle, Ariel, Snow White or any number of others. It is in her very nature. And I wouldn't want it any other way! All hail princess Kaleigh!!! (and god help us when she is a teenager!!!)

Doughnuts, anyone???

I love a challenge! At SCS there is a different challenge for every day of the week! I think they are great, because it inspires me to try something new, and can get the rubber rolling if I am stuck for an idea. Plus, I accumulate lots of cards for RAKing!!! Anyway, Wednesday is Sketch Challenge day and this week, Roxie issued a bonus challenge - to make a doughnut card! I had seen one or two in the gallery, but had never given it a go myself. Well, last night I became inspired and this morning I got the chance to put it to paper. I won the Perennial Favorites stamp set and Four Seasons as my prize for a contest I won second place in at SCS. I love the rich colors, and I think they are perfect for creating these little four card sets. The cards are actually 4x4, but are mounted on a 4 1/4 x 4 1/4 piece of naturals ivory cardstock. I cut adhered the 1x4 strips of designer series paper and then punched the 1 1/4 circles. So the holes go all the way through the card - neat! I used a mixture of craft and classic inks, and added some colored brads in the bottom corners for just a little something extra. These are *really* simple cards, but I like how they turned out. For a complete list of products used, please visit my Splitcoast gallery.

I'm a Big Kid now!!!

I have a blog??? Yup, I surprised myself too!!! I am amazed at how easily I created this space for sharing my thoughts and creations with the world. Well . . . maybe that's a *little* optimistic. But at least my friends will read it . . . (I hope!) I am so *pleased* with myself!!! OK, look forward to all sorts of good things to come. Until then I'm inkfully yours . . . .