Jolie Hello . . .

I found this little stamp at Joanns over the weekend - isn't is adorable??? It is made by Stampendous and there is a whole line of them! *giddies* I thought it would be perfect paired with these papers from the Tres Jolie collection by My Mind's Eye. The colors are so fresh and summer-y, n'est pas? I decided to give today's sketch challenge another try, so I started by cutting strips of the patterned paper and using my scalloped scissors to create a decorative edge on the striped piece. Next I stamped the image in brown StazOn ink on a piece of Fabriano Mediovalis paper - so luscious! I colored the image using my Watercolor Wonder Crayons and an aquapainter. I matted it onto Chocolate Chip cs and popped it up on dimensionals. Before adhering the patterned paper to the Certainly Celery card base, I added some pink brads to the bottom of the floral piece and tied some chocolate grosgrain ribbon across the striped panel. I think it turned out so cute and it is the perfect thing to send to a very special friend! *wink*

Shimmery Flowerfly Wishes . . .

Whoo hoo! I got another challenge done this week!!! I decided to try out a few of my new goodies on the Sketch Challenge for today over at SCS. I started by grabbing this Morning Meadow patterned paper by sei. I thought it would be perfect for the accent strips. Next I stamped my new Stampendous Flowerfly in brown StazOn ink on shimmery white cs. I used my Watercolor Wonder Crayons and aquapainter to color the image to match the patterned paper. I added three rhinestones to make the body of the flowerfly and matted the image onto Chocolate Chip cs. I matted the strips of patterned paper onto Creamy Caramel cs and adhered them to the Blush Blossom card base. I stamped the sentiment, from the Butterfly Kisses set by PaperTrey Ink, on the bottom strip in brown StazOn ink. The main image panel is popped up on dimensionals. I finally unpacked all of my new goodies last night, now I need to find homes for them! I have lots of ideas and hopefully I will get to share them soon!

Lily Hoppin' . . .

Yippee! Today is the first time in weeks that I have been able to participate in the challenges over at SCS. I have just been soooo busy!!! I wanted to play with some of the other images from the Artful Inkables line by my friend Kristin and these lily pad images fit perfectly with the color challenge: Garden Green, Cool Caribbean, and Chocolate Chip. I started with a panel of watercolor paper and stamped a few lily pads in brown StazOn ink. Next I made a few masks using sticky notes and added two more lily pads in the background. I watercolored them with Garden Green ink and my aquapainter, and then colored the "water" in with Cool Caribbean. I made little "wave lines" with my aquapainter and then blended them to cover all the white space. Next I stamped the frog image from Unfrogettable and watercolored him in. I added googlie eyes and then stamped the sentiment at the top of the panel. Then I stamped the water lilies onto some scraps of watercolor paper and colored them using Cool Caribbean and Garden Green inks. I cut them out with my paper snips and popped them up on dimensionals. The main image panel is matted onto Chocolate Chip and Garden Green cs. The card base is Cool Caribbean and the ribbon is by American Crafts. I think the plant image from the Artful Inkables collection will be up next, so stay tuned!

New Product Spotlight . . .

Check out this calla lily - isn't it gorgeous? OK, I admit, I am a sucker for flowers, but this is one flower that doesn't seem to get much play. So you can imagine how excited I was to find it featured in a new line of stamps called Artful Inkables! Starving Artistamps produces these beauties, which just happen to be designed my friend Kristin Soboloski!!! Kristin is a super talented stamper, but she is also an artist who often sketches images for her products. Check out her blog, Artfully Inking, through the link at right to see what I mean! Several of us urged her to find a stamp company to produce her images, mainly for selfish reasons - we couldn't wait to get our hands on them!!! *wink* Well, Jody Morrow is on the design team for Starving Artistamps and she put Kristin in touch with the owner, Tracey - and the rest is history!!! OK, you have got to go check these beauties out for yourselves:

http://starvingartistamps.com/artful_inkables_blossoms_and_petals_1.html

http://starvingartistamps.com/artful_inkables_bugs_1.html


http://starvingartistamps.com/artful_inkables_plants_1.html

I have ordered several of Kristin's stamps, two of which are featured on this card. I kept it simple, because I really wanted to focus on these gorgeous stamps. I started by stamping the calla lily in black StazOn ink on watercolor paper. I colored the image using Certainly Celery and So Saffron inks and my aquapainter. Next I used my Sakura Stardust glitter pen to highlight the edges of the flower and the stamen. I tied a piece of sheer black dotted organdy around the stem and matted the image on black cs. For the card base I used celery cs. Next I took a piece of saffron patterned paper from SU!'s Palette O' Prints collection. I notched it with my 1/4 circle punch in the corners for a faux ticket corner effect and matted it onto black cs. Finally, I stamped the sentiment, which reads "Friends, like flowers, bloom year after year", underneath the main image in black ink. The main image panel is popped up on dimensionals.
One more thing about these and other stamps from Starving Artistamps - you can purchase them mounted or unmounted! A girl's gotta have options, right? And lemme just say that I purchased my Artful Inkables on Wednesday night, they shipped right away, and I had them in my hands by Friday! Talk about service!!! If you have any questions, drop me a line ok? I'll be playing with my new rubbah a bit later today, and I can't wait to share them with you!

Swapabellas . . .

Hello, my name is Teresa, and I'm a swapaholic! I am finding myself a bit overextended lately. I just can't say "no" - lol! I have been working furiously to complete my swaps that are due next week. Unfortunately, life is keeping me pretty busy right now as well. There is never enough time, right? Oh well, two down and four to go! These cards are for a Bella swap I was invited to participate in. I just love these cute little gals, and I am excited to see some new ideas for using them. The first card features Flowahbella. I started by stamping her in brown StazOn ink on some Bazzil white textured cardstock. I watercolored the image using an aquapainter and cranberry, artichoke, saffron and pumpkin inks, as well as my watercolor wonder crayons. I matted the panel onto Chocolate Chip cs and popped it up on dimensionals. Next I cut a strip of Bo Bunny patterned paper and matted it onto some Always Artichoke cs, which I frayed the edges of using my edge distresser. I adhered the strip to my Cranberry Crisp card base, and stamped the sentiment from Green Thumb by PaperTrey Ink in chocolate ink in the lower right corner. Finally, I attached some saffron, pumpkin, and burgundy stacked Prima flowers with an artichoke brad. The second card features Cakeabella. I started with a turquoise piece of white core DCWV textured paper and ran it through my Cuttlebug using the Happy Birthday embossing folder. Next I sanded the background to give a more distressed look. I tied some American Crafts ribbon around background layer and adhered it to the shimmery white card base. For the main image, I stamped Cakeabella in black StazOn ink on shimmery white cs and punched her out using my mega scalloped oval punch. I watercolored the image using my watercolor wonder crayons and an aquapainter. The Bella image is popped up on dimensionals. I hope everyone likes my swaps, and I am moving on to my next project. Have a great weekend everyone! *wink*

Little Lady . . .

It's here, it's here!!! I am so excited to finally get a chance to play with this adorable stamp set - the newest by PaperTrey Ink! It is called Little Lady, and isn't she just divine??? I knew that the first thing I wanted to do with her was to separate her wings to make it appear as if they were fluttering. I started by punching a scalloped circle from some shimmery white cs. I stamped the solid wing image in Rose Red ink, then added just the head and rear portions of the body image using black StazOn. Then I stamped the wing image again on a scrap piece of shimmery white cs. I stamped the body image on top, and then cut out and separated the now dotted wings. I attached the wings slightly askew to the main image with a black brad, and popped the ends up on dimensionals. Next I added the antennae, and notched the scallops using my 1/16" punch. The card base is a 4 1/4" square of shimmery white cs. I added a strip of Rose Red dotted patterned paper from SU!'s Palette O' Prints collection and matted it on black cs. I adhered some sheer black dotted organdy ribbon, and popped up the scalloped circle on dimensionals. Then I stamped the flight trail so that it continued from the scalloped circle piece onto the rest of the card. Finally, I inked words from two different sentiments to creat my own in the bottom right corner. This set is just too cute! I know I will have lots of fun playing with it in the future! *wink*

Striking flowers . . .

Well, there is something about the natural beauty of these stamps in the Green Thumb set by PaperTrey Ink that make my creations lean toward the more simplistic. I was inspired by an article in the latest issue of Paper Crafts magazine, by none other than Nichole Heady herself, regarding the use of acetate overlays. Also, my friend Alli (Ally on SCS), who is the queen of black and white cards, has had me wanting to try out that minimalist color combination for quite some time. I could not get a good picture, but this card is really quite elegant in real life. I started with a card base made from Bazzil textured white cs, sized to 4" x 5 1/4". On it I stamped these flowers from the Green Thumb set in black StazOn ink. I added the sentiment to the left of the blooms, and used tiny rhinestone stickers for the centers of the flowers. Over the white cs is a standard A-2 sized acetate overlay. Everything is tied together with a piece of sheer black dotted organdy ribbon. To me, it has a simply stunning effect, although I am not sure it comes across well in the photo. It is also the first time I have used Bazzil cardstock, and I must say that I love the texture of it for a project like this. I am hoping to receive my Little Lady, PaperTrey's newest stamp set, in the mail today or tomorrow!

Mmmmm . . . chocolate!!!!!

I did it!!!!!!!!! I *finally* got a chance to stamp!!!!!!!!!!!! I spent this morning working on my cards for an upcoming swap I am in featuring the Green Thumb stamp set by PaperTrey Ink. I was browsing the gallery over at Splitcoaststampers yesterday and was inspired by Kendra (scrapstampindiva) to make chocolate covered strawberries - yum! I also too some inspiration for my background from Emily (emilymomto3boys). I started by coloring the berry image with my chocolate and red markers. After stamping them onto white cs, I cut them out and ran my chocolate marker over the bottom portion a few times to fill in the white from the "seeds". Next I punched a scalloped circle from white cs with my new giga punch. I stamped the stem images in Garden Green and then added the berry portion, which is popped up on dimensionals. I used my 1/16" punch to "pierce" the scallops, and I added the sentiment in chocolate ink above the strawberries. For the background, I used my Cuttlebug and new Spots & Dots embossing folder on kraft cs. Then I used a sponge and white craft ink to add some dimension. I added some sheer brown dotted organdy ribbon, and matted everything on to a Chocolate Chip card base. There is nothing better than a delicious chocolate strawberry! *wink*

A few of my favorites . . .

It is always good to go home again, isn't it? It has been two years since we were back in Chicago and it was so nice to visit with family and friends, and to revisit some of our favorite things about Chicago. Here's a quick rundown of our adventures in the Windy City.

1. American Girl Place - for my daughter, this is a mecca of sorts. This was literally our first stop after arriving in Chicago. We had been building this up for months before the trip, and Kaleigh has spent many hours browsing through the catalog and at "molly.com". She used some of her own money to make the all important purchase, and mom and dad chipped in for some accessories and a few gifts for her upcoming birthday. It was wonderful to see her eyes light up when she gave Molly that first real hug! Awwwww! Afterward, we stopped in at Garrett's Popcorn (a true Chicago legend) and had lunch at Water Tower Place in food life - another of our faves!


2. Marshall Fields - I have very fond memories of their flagship store on State Street in downtown Chicago, and although they are now owned by Macy's, the Marshall Fields plaques and clock still adorn this landmark building. When I used to work downtown I would pass by Fields every day. I even have a replica of the Marshall Fields cow from the popular citywide art display that once spanned the streets of Chicago. When I was younger I used to visit with my grandparents and I remember those lunches in the infamous Walnut Room with joy. I am still addicted to those luscious Frango mints, and can almost taste them melting away in my mouth! Isn't amazing how just a few pictures can evoke all those memories?



3. Wrigley Field (home of the Cubs!) - I was raised a Cubs fan, and will *always* be a Cubs fan! My grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and cousins are all Cubs fans. Ours is a difficult task, because the life of a Cubs fan is seldom joyous and full of disappointment. Still, we are tried and true, loyal to the end! May the spirit of the great Harry Carry watch over us! Chicago-style hot dogs, peanuts, yelling 'til your throat gets sore, uncomfortable seats, almost getting hit by a foul ball, and the seventh inning stretch are all in a days work. Afterward we walked a mile and a half for one of the best pizzas known to man - Chicago-style deep dish, sausage patty from Gino's East! No, the Cubbies didn't win, but a great time was had by all!!!


4. Brookfield Zoo - while technically not *in* Chicago, this has been one of my favorite places to visit since I was a little girl. I have spent many hours in the underwater viewing area for the dolphins. My family would literally abandon me there and come back a few hours later to retrieve me - lol! We were members of the zoo for a long time, and after my daughter was born I resumed that tradition. One of our favorite times of year there is October when we would visit for "Boo at the Zoo", a Halloween celebration. And although it was freezing on the particular day we visited, it was great to be there again as a family!


5. Friends and Family - This is the main reason anyone goes home, isn't it? We had a fabulous time catching up with our loved ones and I wish we could have stayed for another week! This is my former neighbor, sideline, and friend Toni (TSizemore) with whom I spent most of the day Saturday shopping! She keeps teasing me because she spent more than I did at every store we hit! Well, I did go to one more scrap store with another friend of mine, Nicki (up4stampin2). We always have a blast on the Chatter thread on SCS, and the few times we have talked on the phone we have chatted so much that my hubby has *made* me get off the phone - lol! We have alot in common, and it was so nice to be able to shop together, chat a little, and share a hug in person! Another big part of our trip was spending time with my family. We are very close, and it is hard to be so far away. I must say that they are good at visiting though, and we do stay in touch on the phone, but it is just not the same, KWIM? OK, here we are (front to back, left side then right side): my hubby John, cousin Jeff, youngest sister Kathy, brother Andy, sister Pattie, brother-in-law Ryan, me, daughter Kaleigh, brother Matt (they are twins, *only* 15!), and Dad. My dad's girlfriend Lori couldn't join us that day, but she spent some time with us too. Well, there you have it - a not-so-brief synopsis of our trip! I hope you enjoyed viewing Chicago through my eyes! And I'll be back next week with some stamping projects, promise! *wink*

Goodies galore . . . .

So, I promised you pictures of the new additions to my stash, and here they are!!!!! I had so much fun shopping and I am super excited to play with all my new goodies! *grin* Let me start by saying how much I *heart* Archiver's!!!!!!!!!!!! I could spend hours, even days in there!!! So, so many fun toys - it was honestly a little overwhelming. I actually gasped out loud a few times! I mean, the last time I was in an Archiver's was over 4 years ago!!!!!!! I was also able to venture into Hobby Lobby and
an LSS near my sister's house in Wisconsin. Overall, it was a great day! Now, lemme see if I can remember it all!!!!! In the patterned paper department, I found some real beauties by WeR Memory Keepers, Fancy Pants, Chatterbox, Basic Grey, Cosmo Cricket, MME Tres Jolie and Crate Paper. It is all gorgeous of course and I have been lovingly fondling it since I returned home! ;) I also got some MME Bohemia embossed chipboard letters, Cutterbee piercing tools (whoo hoo!), a package of WeR designer snaps, Simply Stated clear stamps by Fancy Pants, beautimous velvet and ruched organdy ribbon in caribbean and chocolate, sheer white dotted organdy by May Arts, orange gingham by American Crafts, teal/olive/celery varigated ribbon, Deja Views fresh prints in Blue Raspberry paper pack, Making Memories ribbon charms, 2 bare elements tag books, and some metal 3-D charms from a bead store.
I also found two of the new Stampendous stamps I have been wanting (flowerfly and
ruffled bloom), and this adorable Whipper Snapper puppy. I bought some American Crafts Boutique ribbon in blush, and some May Arts ivory and black striped ribbon. I was also lucky enough to find a Giga Scalloped Circle punch (yippee!) and some Bo Bunny ribbon I had been wanting for a friend! So, be on the lookout for some new creations using my new goodies in the near future!!! And stay tuned for more vacation pics tomorrow! I will share some of our adventures in The Windy City with you then! *wink*

I'm back . . .

Sorry that I did not get a chance to share any photos with you while we were actually *in* Chicago, but we were very busy and the only day I had an opportunity to upload them, the internet connection was down . . . :( I as currently sorting through the pictures, and promise to share some with you real soon! I also had a blast power shopping on Saturday and I will share my stampin' finds! *grin* In the meantime, what a fabulous treat to return to in my mailbox - another "bee-utiful" card from my new stampin' friend, Beate!!! Lemme tell you, I was droolin' over the rich colors and gorgeous shimmer of this card last night!!! Thanks so much, Beate! I just love these joy fold cards and the little bees and well, everything you do!!! Seriously, if you haven't checked out Beate's blog yet, what are you waiting for????? ;) And Beate - once I get settled back in, our little game of RAK tag is soooo on!!!!! *wink*

Sweet Home Chicago . . .

Well, I just wanted to give you all a heads up. Tomorrow morning (very, very early) we are leaving on vacation for a week. We are going home to Chicago to visit with family and friends. We are super excited and have lots of fun things planned. But, I won't be stamping (much) so I won't have any projects to share with you for a little while. I do hope to be able to check in and share some pictures though. There will be lots of shopping too, and I hope to find some paper craftin' goodies! *wink* So, if you'd like to see the Windy City through my eyes, check back soon! Otherwise, I'll see you when I return! Until then, I'm as always, Inkfully Yours . . . .

If friends were flowers . . .

So, I stamped a bit this morning! It think it was the first time this week *gasp* and it felt great! I needed a quick card for a friend, and I thought I would try out this week's Sketch Challenge over at Splitcoaststampers. I started with an Old Olive crd base and layered a piece of Petals & Paisleys ds paper on top. Next I cut a strip of paper from the same collection and matted it onto Cool Caribbean cs. For the main image I used my Flowahbella stamped in black StazOn on Whisper White cs. I colored her in using my Watercolor Wonder Crayons and my aquapainter. Next I stamped the sentiment, from the PaperTrey Ink set Green Thumb, in olive ink underneath the bella. I matted the main image panel onto caribbean and olive cs, and popped it up on dimensonals. Quick and cute, I hope my friend likes it too! *wink*

A sweet RAK . . .

I received this card in the mail yesterday from fellow blogger, and stamper extrordinairre, Beate Johns. She is one of my favorite "stamp stars" - I just love her style! Beate is also a supah sweetie, and this card (and some adorable buggie images) made my day! Thank you so much, Beate! *waves* Make sure to head on over to Beate's blog, fresh and fun, and check back daily for all the fabulous creations she has to share! The simplicity of this card just makes it all the more wonderful, and I apologize for the poorly lit picture. It is much more vibrant in real life! Beate used a Whisper White card base and added some Petals & Paisley ds paper as the background. She stamped the sentiment from You Make Me Happy in black ink on the white cs strip and pierced around it on the bottom, as well as the wntire length of the top. Then she stamped the dotted circle image from Polka Dots & Petals in Cool Caribbean ink and stamped the flower over it in black. Beate added a black brad for the center, and punched it out using the 1 1/4 circle punch. Both the strip and image circle are matted onto Old Olive cs. Thanks so much for thinking of me, Beate! I *love* it!!!!!