Wednesday, September 29, 2010

VIntage Halloween...

I finally got my baby out of the Apple Store hospital, complete with new hard drive, so I'm up and running again-yay! I've been an Apple user since about 1984, so not much surprises or impresses me at this point- except the Time Machine backup system. Now, my computer has been set to do the automatic backups to our Time Capsule and I haven't been 100% confident if there was really an issue that this would work out. Yesterday, however, I took the plunge and let it "restore" my entire computer from the backup- applications, settings- the whole deal. Results? It took a really long time, but when it rebooted, it was exactly where I left everything the day it died, down to my desktop picture and the web browser pages I had open- seriously amazing!

OK, onto stamping! This Friday is my monthly class so I am trying to make cards that are not too complicated and can easily be finished while we gab and eat, because that's a part part of the deal-lol! Restraining myself from lots of layers and embellishments is a major challenge- I have a hard time feeling like a card is finished without some extra bling!

This set called "Greeting Card Kids" was one of the few from the main Idea Book & Catalog that immediately grabbed my eye- I love the vintage feel and the cute, chubby little kids- too sweet! I dug through my Halloween paper for some not-so-scary looking paper to go along with her and found some perfect pieces from a retired pack called "Halloween Nights". I used some simple layers with silver brads in the corners to set them off.

I stamped the little girl witch in Memento Tuxedo Black and colored her with Copic markers to match the background papers. The image and the background layer were cut out using nested dies on my Sizzix machine.  A sheer dotted ribbon bow and a greeting from the retired "All Year Cheer" set finish it off.

The inside was finished simply with a bottom border and a leaf from the retired "Autumn Harvest" set- definitely an old favorite that will be converted to clear mount!

Have a wonderful day- enjoy the sunshine and beautiful weather if you're here in Houston- it's about time!

Monday, September 27, 2010

If the shoe fits...

Every Halloween I don this fabulous pumpkin colored sweater with hand crocheted bats around the collar and cuffs, a witch hat with a sequined pumpkin and black cat on the front and a black cape that my mom made me when I was a teenager. My kids asked recently why I always dress as a witch- I told them you need to go with what you know-lol! There was no disagreement, BTW...

When I saw this image from the "Wicked Cool" set I knew it was one I needed to add to my collection. Now I already have an insane number of Halloween stamps, and the worst part of it is I almost never get any of the cards I've made into the mail. Maybe this year...

This card started with a Rich Razzleberry card base onto which was layered Basic Black and the striped paper from the "Wicked Fun" designer series paper pack. I hand gathered a 10" strip of the Raven lace trim and adhered it to the green polka dotted paper strip with 1/4" Sticky Strip. The greeting was stamped in Memento Tuxedo Black and punched out with the Large oval punch.

I used Craft Basic Black to stamp the witch's shoes and embossed with clear EP, then colored with an Old Olive marker. The shoes and the Razzleberry layers underneath were cut out using nested dies on my Sizzix machine. Her hat was stamped in the Craft Black, but embossed with Iridescent Ice EP to give it some sparkle, then finished with Tangerine Tango for the brim. The hat was cut out and popped up on dimensionals and some rhinestones from the Black Flourish set accent the scallops of the background piece.

The inside was finished with a strip of the polka dotted paper and a spooky candelabra in the corner. The greeting was cut out with the Large oval punch, layered onto a Fancy tag die cut piece with a few of the black rhinestones added on the flourish for sparkle.

I love this card so much it probably won't make it into the mail either-lol!

Hope your Monday is painless~ praying that I get my computer back today....


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sparkly Christmas...

Hi Everyone! I can't believe it's already been a week since my last post- how time flies! This weekend has been the usual business of swim team practice, homework, play dates and helping my mom with her physical therapy. The wrench in all my tenuously balanced life came when my computer began acting wonky on Thursday then all out died on Friday-ugh! Now most who know me would expect me to appear a bit more over-wrought that my darling MacBook Pro had died- except two very lucky things. First, I had just backed everything up in 3 different places a few days before (whew!) and it's still under warranty, so the nice people at the Genius bar are busy replacing the hard drive as we speak.

I have been busy making cards for my class this coming Friday that I can finally share with you now that I stole back my old laptop from my children-lol!When I start preparing for a class, I first pick the stamp sets I want to use and any patterned paper that is special or just came out. The hardest part for me is often getting the stamps and paper into a "card" and that's where sketches can be very helpful. This morning a sketch from Jen DeMuro (SFYTT) came out that seemed a perfect place to start.

I wanted to use the tree stamp from the "A Cute Christmas" set and some sparkly paper from the "Candy Cane Christmas" pack, both from the new Holiday Mini catalog (so fabulous, you must check it out!).

Although I really liked the original sketch, I had to turn it sideways to make the tree image work. The trees were stamped in Memento Tuxedo Black and colored with Baja Breeze, Pink Pirouette, Wild Wasabi, Real Red and Soft Suede markers. I used a deckle edge die to cut out the main image and the rectangle underneath on my Sizzix machine. The greeting is from the retired set "Warn Words", punched out with the Modern Label punch.

The flower was made by die cutting two different flower shapes out of the "Candy Cane Christmas" fabric- yes, Stampin' Up has finally made some fabrics to coordinate with their paper-yay! There are soooo many projects in my heard for these (Christmas stockings, holiday decorations, hair bows...) and they come in the versatile "fat quarter" size. The flowers were sewn together with some Linen thread and a button from the Candy Cane Big Designer button collection.

This is one of the cards we'll be making at my class on Friday, so hopefully you can make it- if not, let me I can pack you a kit to go! I will be posting more cards each day this week that we will be making Friday night, so stay tuned...

Enjoy the last bits of your weekend~


Sunday, September 19, 2010

A girl's gotta have bling!

I bought this cute little chipboard purse pencil holder from Kaiser Craft awhile back and was planning to make it (someday...) for my daughter's desk. I convinced Emily that it would be a great gift for a birthday party she was going to today (which also meant that I could avoid going shopping-lol!). We made a trip to Michael's yesterday for lots of extra bling and sparkly paper to decorate it, which always makes my girl happy!

It comes unassembled, so I started by painting the individual pieces with pink acrylic paint. The purse was covered on both sides with patterned paper from the My Mind's Eye "Penny Lane" collection using Gloss-Luster Modge Podge, which really helped keep the sparkle of the paper showing through.

To assemble the purse, I used E6000 glue, which will hold anything together (including fingers as my daughter discovered- thank goodness for baby wipes!). My husband has these little clamps for woodworking that were perfect for holding it together while it dried, but you could easily just put it under a stack of heavy books instead.

Now came the fun part- adding all the glitz! We added clear rhinestone swirls to each corner, pink, green and blue rhinestones to random dots on the flap and handle and a white flower from the SU Paper Daisies pack with an enormous pink rhinestone brad in the middle- serious bling!

This is a view of the caddy in action- not the most glamorous shot, but darling daughter was itching to leave for the party so I was lucky to get photos at all! Before I assembled the purse, I coated the inner box with Modge Podge so pencil marks would wipe off the painted finish.

The other half of her gift was an iTunes gift card which we tucked inside this cute little purse card, CASEd directly from Melody's blog- luckily I had a friend with this set I could borrow!

I didn't like the font the set came with, so I generated my greeting in Photoshop- sorry MFT! I used the Word Window punch to create a pocket for an iTunes card (my VISA card was only for show, or so I had to tell Emily as she tried to make off with it-lol!).

Here is the set together- my daughter loved how it turned out and even better, her friend did too! Now I have to buy another one for Emily's desk (and maybe one for me too)- you know, every girl's gotta have some bling!

Now I'm off to conquer a World Culture project with Emily... it never ends! Have a great Sunday~

Friday, September 17, 2010

House of Spooks...

Last Christmas I made a whole bunch of these tall boxes to hold Christmas ornaments for our kids' teachers. I think the teachers liked the boxes as much as the ornaments and they were really fun and easy to make! I wanted to make something similar for Halloween to contain some treats and had a vision of a spooky house. After lots of computer paper and gnashing of teeth, I finally designed a roof for the "house" rather than the flat top the box pattern came with and was ready to decorate my spooky house.

I used a black Copic multiliner to draw the clapboard lines on the sides of the roof and punched 3/4" x 3" strips of Basic Grey paper with a scalloped edge punch to make the shingles. Everything was sponged with black ink to give it a worn, spooky feel. Now for the house details: The fence was made using a strip of Halloween night DP punched with a MS edge punch. The front door was black card stock folded in half punched with the wide oval punch with an aged copper brad for a door knob and a monster from the "Booglie Eyes" set inside (love the way he's peeking out the door!).  The windows were made by stamping ghosts from the "Twick or Tweet" set, punching out in 1" squares and layering on black 1-1/4" punched squares, with slivers of black cardstock for window panes.

Count Dracula is tip-toeing through the grave stones (wide oval punch trimmed up to make headstones) in the side yard- he cracks me up! I added Black Diamond Stickles to the headstones to make the R.I.P. stand out a bit.

No spooky house is complete without a black cat and my "creative consultants" at home (i.e. mom and kids) decided a half-moon window would be a nice twist! The background for all the windows and doors were sponged with Daffodil Delight for a soft yellow glow.

The other side yard is occupied by a bewitched pumpkin and some bats glittery bats. It's hard to see in the picture, but the hat and the bats are covered in Black Diamond Stickles and are so glittery!

The best part is that the roof comes off to reveal the treats, leaving the lovely box to cherish (it better be after all this work-lol!). Although this was pretty time consuming, it was really fun to make and I'm sure the subsequent ones will go together faster- definitely going to be the cool mom in my kids' classes this Halloween :)

Until I figure out how to post the roof pattern correctly, leave me a comment if you want a copy and I'll email it to you. Have a great weekend!

Stamps: Booglie Eyes, Twick or Tweet, Halloween Frights
Paper: Basic Grey, Basic Black, Whisper White, Halloween Nights (retired)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Daffodil Delight, Copic markers
Accessories: Stampin' Up: 1" and 1-1/4" square punches, Wide Oval punch, Scallop Edge punch, aged copper brads, Stampin' Sponges; Lattice punch (MS), Black Diamond Stickles

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A little birdie told me...

I realized as I was frantically searching fro a birthday card this weekend that I am seriously low on girl and boy birthday cards. Now this is not to say that I don't have tons of cards that need stamps and a good home to go to (lots made, few sent...), but most of them are geared toward adults or are ones I am not giving up to a child who will promptly throw it away! My daughter's friends are a bit more discerning (and love to come play in my craft room) so I am willing to put a bit more effort into their cards.

I started with this cute flowered paper from Bo Bunny that's been sitting in my stash for awhile and added the polka dotted piece with ric rac for whimsy. This card was all out together, brads and all, waiting for a main image. I was trying to get away from using my favorite Pure Innocence stamps, and found these tree and bird stamps from my Unity February 2010 kit of the month. {The fact that I belong to a stamp kit of the month club is a sickness in itself- I tried to tell my husband that my stamping habit is cheaper than cocaine, but he's not sure about that-lol!}

The image was colored with markers before stamping and the buttons and brad were added to give the iamge some dimension. I couldn't find a greeting I liked, so Photoshop to the rescue!

The inside was finished with some of the same patterned papers, stiched around the edges and a computer generated greeting cut out on my Sizzix machine. One of Emily's friends has already laid claim to this as her birthday card, so I need to get moving to make some more!

An update on my mom: she is moving about a bit better and started PT yesterday at our house. I get to stay home this week to care for her, which is a blessing to be able to do, and I am sure will make me appreciate going to work more next week-lol!

Have a great day!

Stamps: Unity Kit of the Month- February 2010
Ink: Soft Suede, Almost Amethyst, Melon Mambo, Gable Green
Paper: Whisper White, Rose Red, Pretty In Pink, Almost Amethyst, Bo Bunny DP
Accessories: "Sending Love" brad, Button Bouquet, white ric rac, silver brads, 1-3/8" circle punch, Sizzx machine, nested dies

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Rest, Relax, Recover...

Why is it that it takes ten times longer to check out of a hospital than into one?? I spent 10 hours at the hospital yesterday trying to determine "if" my mom was going home, arranging all the pieces for her home care, then waiting 6 hours for the doctor to get out of surgery to sign her discharge orders-ugh! I don't think I like being on the patient side of things-lol!

This was the other card I made for my mom and her personal favorite. I used some of the last pieces of my Cosmo Cricket "Dutch Girl" paper that I have been hoarding (now that's love!) and paired it with Riding Hood Red and Baja Breeze card stock form Stampin' Up. The base layers were stitched together on my sewing machine using a longer stitch length and heavy duty thread to make the stitches stand out. I layered some red ric rac over white organza ribbon- I like the way layering different ribbons look (and it helps justify my enormous stash-lol!).

Cuppie was colored with Copics, then cut out with nestie dies on my Sizzix machine. I think the coolest accent on this card are the little homemade buttons in each corner. They were made by punching out a little flower shape with one of the Bitty Punches which match the shapes of these little clear Bitty Buttons- so much easier to make coordinating buttons than layering shapes and covering with clear glue!

The inside was finished with a strip of patterned paper and the greeting cut out with an oval die, layered onto a label die cut.

I'm off to play nurse, physical therapist and cook (and hopefully sneak in some stamping time!)- have a great weekend!

Stamps: Doctor's Orders (Taylored Expressions)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Riding Hood Red marker
Paper: Riding Hood Red, Baja Breeze, Whisper White (SU); Cosmo Cricket "Dutch Girl"
Accessories: Sizzix machine, Nestie dies, scalloped edge punch, Bitty Buttons, Bitty Punches, ric rac, white organza ribbon, sewing machine

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Get well Cuppie....

It's been awhile since I've had a chance to post- utter craziness around our house! My 80 year old mother had a total knee replacement on Tuesday and was up walking across the room less than 24 hours later- she is definitely the toughest person I know. I would still be in bed complaining-lol! She really has been a trooper, but today is the day that the pain is expected to be the worst and she is feeling the combined effects of poor sleep and bad hospital food. I have been bringing her a card each day when I go visit to cheer her up a bit and who better to make her smile than Cuppie :)

I used this week's Mojo Monday sketch as a quick place to start and threw in some coordinated papers from the retired "Sweet Slumber" designer series paper pack. After the various layers were assembled, I stitched around the edge and added some shiny brads as accents. Cuppie was colored with Copic markers, cut out with nested dies on my Sizzix machine and layered with some white satin ribbon. The bow was "tied" with some hemp twine and a button from the "Deck the Halls" collection in the new Stampin' Up Holiday Mini catalog (what a great mini catalog this year- definitely check it out!). A hand cut tag completes the sketch.

The inside was finished with strips of the same patterned papers and an encouraging message. Hopefully this card and a visit from her grandkids will bring a smile to her face!

Have a great day~