Saturday, January 29, 2011

Birthday Sprinkles...

I wish I could still say "good morning" but the day has already begun to slip away from me. I was up at the crack of dawn (5:30am) to take my daughter to a dance competition and am just getting back to my computer. What is is with these early morning sports competitions- don't they know parents need their rest, too??

I have another bunny to share with you today from my friend Zlatina- such fabulous illustrations! She invited me to join the "Crafter's Digital Art Center" which is a site for people who create or just love digital art/stamps- what a nice group! One of the challenges involved using this stamp (which I had just purchased-yay!) so I thought I would give it a whirl.

I used some more of the yummy paper from Basic Grey's "Hopscotch"collection- I love the peachy pinks and cool blues paired with brown. I stitched the background papers together and added some crinkled ribbon with a button to bring out the blue in the paper. I printed the image on my Epson 3800 twice- once on Whisper White and once on a brown piece to paper piece the bottom of the cupcake. The top of the cupcake was colored with Copics (and Spica glitter pens for the sprinkles:) and completed image was mounted onto a blue piece cut with the largest square eyelet die on my Sizzix machine. The front was finished with a computer generated greeting layered onto coordinating circles and some pink pearls and rhinestones.

After the card was completely finished, I went back and layered Crystal Effects over the cupcake icing to give it a smooth, shiny texture and embedded some red rhinestones in some of the sprinkles. The most difficult part of using clear glue to make an epoxy finish like this is truly not touching it overnight- don't test it, it's not dry before that-trust me!

The inside is finished to coordinate with the front, using a smaller version of the main image. To make it easier to place the image where I want and re-size it, I convert the original drawing to a brush and save it in my custom brush folder in Photoshop- this makes it just like a "regular"stamp!

Hope you like my little bunny- he makes me smile every time I see him!

Have a great day~


Stamps: "Rabbit in a Cupcake"- Zlatoena's Designs
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Blushing Bride, Whisper White, Basic Grey "Hopscotch"
Accessories: SU: Sizzix Big Shot, Deck the Halls Big Designer buttons, basic rhinestones, dimensionals; Eyelet Square nested dies, Copic markers, pink pearls, crinkle ribbon, hemp twine, sewing machine

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I {heart} you...

What a busy start to the week! I was on call Monday and am just surfacing today-craziness! I am finally beginning to think about Valentine's cards and bought some fun new images from Zlatoena- I do have a fond spot for her rabbits:)

  I printed the rabbit image on Whisper White CS on my Epson printer and colored it with Copics, adding a little yellow Spica Glitter pen on the flowers to make them sparkle. The bow was colored with Copics and Spica glitter pen and popped on dots to give it dimension- so cute IRL!

 I used the sketch from MFT which fit perfectly with this long, narrow image (a little late now that it's a new Wednesday, but better late than never-lol!). The background papers are from a MME pack called "Love Me Do" which I've had in my stash for awhile now. The top border is trimmed with a white strip punched with the "Pinking Hearts" border punch and some thin, red ric rac. The flower is punch using a retired SU flower punch, centered with a brad from last year's Valentine's stash. I hand wrote the greeting (a million times before I liked the look of all three "letters" and cut it out using the smallest Labels 14 die.

The inside is finished with matching paper and the greeting stamped onto the blue dotted paper, cut out with a larger Labels 14 die to tie in with the outside.

This card will probably go to my daughter (who has already had her hot little hands all over it:) for Valentine's Day.

Hope you're having a great day- sunny and 60 here in Houston!


Stamps: "Rabbit with Daisies"- Zlatoena
Paper: Whisper White, Cool Caribbean, Real Red, MME- "Love Me Do"
Accessories: Copics, Spica Glitter pens, Copic Multiliner, Pinking Hearts punch, red ric rac, brads, flower punch, Sizzix Big Shot, Labels 14 dies

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wedding Wishes...

Good morning! Hope you're enjoying your Sunday. I have a few extra minutes this morning because hubby took my daughter to her swim meet for the warm-up time of 7:30am so I can enjoy my coffee at home instead of on a bleacher today! Em has a terrible cold and her parents would not have let her compete today, but she has become a determined little pre-teen, so we compromised to 3 of 5 events- we'll see if we live to regret that decision tomorrow!

Onto the card for today~ I have a dear friend who is getting married next week in Seattle and we just can't make our schedules work to be there, so I wanted to make her a special card to let he know how much we love her, miss her and wish her (and her new hubby:) the best on this adventure called marriage! When I was making my bathroom drapes last week, I saw some fabulous trim at the fabric store and immediately had a vision of this wedding card. The lady helping me gave me a "generous" sample of this trim when I told her what I wanted to use it for- love her!

I dug through my paper stack and found some paper from the Basic Grey "Periphery" collection that matched.I kept the card pretty simple because I wanted this pretty trim to be the focus. I generated a greeting in Photoshop, cut it out using an oval nested die and layered it onto a Buckaroo Blue piece cute with the Labels 14 die (love this shape!). A few pearls and some sponging and the front was done.

The inside was finished with pieces of the same patterned paper and a sponged Labels 14 shape, left empty so I can write our own personal wishes to the happy couple.

This card is so much prettier than in the pictures, but I hope they like it nonetheless! I'm off to the swim meet- hopefully the decongestant kicks in before Em has to swim the fly- otherwise, not a pretty day for anyone who lives with her!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sewing project...

Hi everyone! It's been a few days since I've had anything to post and that's because I have been working on something other than paper- don't say it's so! We finished remodeling our bathroom just before the holidays and I've been meaning to make some drapes to soften some of the "hardscape" of stone and cabinetry, so the long weekend was the perfect time to tackle this project (I needed that long so I could remember how to thread and use my serger-lol!).

I found a great fabric store here in Houston, called "Best Fabrics" up on Fondren- they have a huge collection of drapery and upholstery fabric and beautiful trims, all very nicely priced. I settled on a transitional print of a chocolate brown leaves on a sage green ruched background- the brown really goes well with the brown stone. I decided to keep it simple and make sheers for underneath with a simple swag piece over the top, draped over the rod- like a big scarf, actually.

The best part is definitely the trim- oh, la, la! Gorgeous beads and tassels- even my husband, who is not a frilly kind of guy, thought this looked amazing when they were done (I think it also helped that the entire project cost less than $200:).

The bathroom needed something to soften the hard look of the glass from the shower and make the tub seem more inviting and private.

I made a smaller version for the toilet area- you can see a bit more of the texture in the sheers here- they also have a bit of ruching and sparkle. I kept thinking what a beautiful bridal veil this fabric would make- too bad all my friends are past that point!

That's a look at my little sewing project- it was nice to get out my machines and sew on fabric for a change instead of paper-lol!

Coming up next- some Valentine's creations~ have a great day!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sparkly Winter Wishes...

Good morning! It was kind of nice to wake up to some real winter weather here in Houston today (I'll probably be egged for saying that!). I have to say I am a bit jealous of all my friends in the northeast who are socked in with snow and having a snow day- would be kind of fun to have a sledding day with the kids. I'm saying that from here, of course, because I don't have to live through the rest of the winter up there!

Onto my card for today~ I've been inking up some new images I bought recently and decided to give this cute little skater girl a whirl on the ice. I chose some paper from Basic Grey's new "Marjolaine" collection- the leaves in the background pattern look almost like funky snowflakes. The background papers were stitched together and distressed on the edges a bit. I realized I had stitched the argyle piece down before deciding to add punched borders, so I added some stitched ribbon to cover the transition zones.

My little skater girl was colored with Copics and cut out with an oval nested die. I added some snow glitter to the rim of the main image and to the snowflakes under the greeting to give it some sparkle.

The inside is dry embossed with some snowflakes using the "Northern Flurry" embossing folder from SU. I left the rest of the inside blank so I have plenty of room to write a note.

That's it for today- here's hoping for a snow day in Houston!

Stamps: "Girl Skater" Claire Keay, "Glad Tidings"-Verve
Paper: Not Quite Navy, Certainly Celery, Whisper White, "Marjolaine"-Basic Grey
Accessories: Stampin' Up: Sizzix Big Shot machine, Norther Flurry embossing folder, basic brads, Buckaroo Blue stitched ribbon, dimensionals; Ornate border punch, snowflake die, nested oval die, snow glitter (MS), Copic markers

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Warm Wishes...

I didn't realize as I was writing this post how much I would want "warm wishes" this morning- it was a cold 35 degrees and windy when I was getting the kids off to school. That's not so cold by many people's standards, but here in Houston that's chilly! Brrr!

It's dangerous to color and image before picking the paper because invariably something that you colored doesn't match the paper you want to use. I broke that rule when I had printed and colored a bunch of images this past weekend and am now left with the task of making them work with paper I have. I colored this little "Eskimo Rabbit" with a peachy pink, light browns and turquoise blue and added some white flocking to the collar and cuffs- so fuzzy and sweet!

Luckily, Mr. Brown just came with some paper I ordered over the holidays (so much for the resolution to use paper I already own:)' and the Basic Grey "Hopscotch" papers worked perfectly-yay! Some machine stitching and distressing later and the background was done. I embossed a leftover die cut piece with a small polka dot embossing folder, added some peach color pearls and a ribbon tied button for accents.

I finished the inside with some more of the patterned paper, a scalloped border and a computer generated greeting layered onto one of the new Spellbinders shapes, called Labels 14- such a great shape!

This little bunny is going to an old friend's mother who has been battling colon cancer this past year and who would miss my usual holiday greeting, even if it is late.

Hope you're staying warm wherever you are- time for some cocoa!


Stamps: "Eskimo Rabbit"- Zlatoena
Paper: Cool Caribbean, Close to Cocoa, Blushing Bride, Whisper White, Basic Grey-"Hopscotch"
Accessories: Stampin' Up: Sizzix Big Shot, Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, Candy Cane Christmas Big Buttons; scallop edge punch, brown dotted organdy ribbon, Labels 14 and 16 dies, sewing machine, peach pearls, white flocking (MS)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Flurries of love...

Good morning everyone! It's a dreary, chilly morning here in Houston and it was like moving earth and planets to get my kids out of their snug beds and motivated for school today . My poor hubby flew to Atlanta last night and landed in the middle of a snow and ice storm- not pretty! He said there was some very creative driving by people unaccustomed to snow on his 2-hour drive from the airport to the hotel-crazy! We're hoping it all gets cleaned up by tomorrow to get him back home safely!

Although the snow may be messy and unwelcome in some places, I love it on my cards:) I am still making "winter greetings"/holiday thank you cards and this little snowlady caught my fancy.

The image is another illustration from Zlatoena- I absolutely love her snow people! I printed the snowlady onto Whisper White card stock and colored her with Copic markers and Spica glitter pens for the red dots and the snow- so sparkly IRL! The ink in my Canon printer behaves like pigment ink and doesn't run or smear when coloring with either watercolors or alcohol markers, which make it perfect for printing digi stamps. The rest of the card came together with scraps from other projects and some sparkly red ribbon and rhinestones- a girl's gotta have bling:)

The inside has a computer generated greeting and some more of the patterned paper and sparkly ribbon. A simple, quick card but one that will brighten my AIL's (aunt in-law) day.

Hope you're having a good day~

Stamps: Snowman with ribbon (Zlatoena)-digital stamp
Paper: Real Red, Blushing Bride, Whisper White, Candy Cane Christmas (Stampin' Up)
Accessories: Sizzix Big Shot die cut machine, Dotted embossing folder, Metallic Velvet ribbon, rhinestones, Copic markers, Spica glitter pens

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Missing you...

Today was a day of missing, for sure- missing Mojo! I had colored the sweet "Eskimo Rabbit" from Zlatoena, had paper picked out and decided to try the first sketch of the year from Jen del Muro at "I{heart}sketches".
Sounds simple enough, doesn't it? Awesome sketch and all the other elements most of the way there-not! I spent most of the afternoon fitching with this card and I'm still not sure I love it, but it's done.

The bunny started out with a pink coat, but after it was all together it made the card seem too pink and blue, so a little marker magic and her coat changed to red. It's hard to see in the picture, but I added some white flocking to the cuffs and hood of her coat to make them fuzzy- this got some serious praise from my daughter! I sponged the background with Soft Sky and Going Gray ink then cut the image with an oval nested die.
I goofed around with a bunch of background shapes for the image and for the vertical piece, but finally ended up with simple shapes of ovals and rectangles- the fancier shapes competed with the patterned paper. I stitched around the plaid and added scalloped borders on the top and bottom, with some pink rhinestones for sparkle:) The Cherry Cobbler seam binding ribbon gives it some contrast while the pink snowflake and tinsel pom-pom ribbon add some extra glitter.

The inside was finished by "stamping" a smaller, lighter version of the original image and adding a computer generated greeting- this is the beauty of digital stamps- they can be resized to suit your needs with the click of a button! Some more of the plaid paper, a scalloped border and some more bling and it was finished.

Now I must finally tackle the job of un-decorating in earnest- really sad because it finally feels like winter in Houston-lol! A good day to light (or click on) a fire and snuggle with my bunnies:)

Enjoy your day~

Stamps: Eskimo Rabbit (Zlatoena- Etsy)
Paper: Bashful Blue, Blushing Bride, Whisper White, Riding Hood Red, "Eskimo Kisses"-Basic Grey
Ink: Soft Sky, Going Gray, Copic markers
Accessories: Stampin' Up-Cherry Cobbler Seam Binding Ribbon, Sizzix Big Shot die cut machine, dimensionals; nested dies, Open Scallop strip die (MFT); pom-pom tinsel ribbon, pink and clear rhinestones (M's); white flocking (MS), sponges, sewing machine

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sweet bundle of joy...

Happy Friday- it's finally here! I'm so ready for the weekend, although I suspect most of it will be spent "un-decorating" my house- a sad chore, for sure. Luckily it goes faster than the decorating part!

Onto the card for today! One of the women in my husband's work group is having her first baby and yesterday was her shower. We sent the gift from her registry, but I wanted her to have a pretty card to open at the party.

I pulled out an old Stampin' Up baby set called "Bundle of Joy" which has been my go-to set because of the super cute giraffe and bear images. The giraffe was stamped in Memento "Tuxedo Black", colored with Copics and cut out with an oval die. The background of the card was made with layers of Bashful Blue, Barely Banana and patterned paper from the "Sweet Pea" collection. I used a scallop edge punch to make the top and bottom borders, dotted on some small pearls and tied some ribbon I had in my stash around both ends for symmetry. The greeting was stamped on a scrap of the polka dot print and cut it out with a small circle die- I like the look of a patterned background for the words!

The inside was finished by cutting nested ovals out of the center of both the yellow and polka dot layers- it makes a nice little frame for the greeting and is a look I will definitely use again!

That's it for today- our weekend is supposed to be cold and rainy, so I'm looking forward to some relaxing time in my craft room this weekend- give me a fireplace in there and it would be perfect!

Stamps: Bundle of Joy- retired SU
Paper: Bashful Blue, Barely Banana, Whisper White, "Sweet Pea" DP
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Scallop edge punch, Basic Pearls, Sizzix Big Shot, dimensional, nested dies, Copic markers, blue ribbon

Thursday, January 6, 2011

You're the best...

Happy Thursday everyone! For a short week (we didn't go back to school until Tuesday) this one has felt very long. It's been hard for everyone in my family to get back into the routine- early mornings, homework, swim team, work deadlines- I think I'm more tired than before the break!

The last few evenings I've been finishing up some projects that I'll show  you over the next few days, most of them using images from my friend Zlatoena. Her digital images can be found on Etsy and some of the images have been turned into real stamps by The Cat's Pajamas.

I absolutely love her bunnies and there are so many cute ones to love! This one could be used for Valentine's but I decided to use him for a special thank you card, since that is my immediate need-lol! I resized the image in Photoshop, printed him onto Whisper White card stock then colored him with Copics. I wanted him to be a white bunny, so I colored around his ears with a little of the lightest blue to make them stand out.

After I cut out the image with a square nested die, I left the die in place and used it as a guide to draw a black line border around the image- that made the world of difference! The image was layered onto an eyelet square die cut piece and finished with a computer generated greeting (with all the stamps I have, I couldn't find a greeting that suited me- go figure!).

The inside came about kind of accidentally, but I liked the way it turned out so I left it- sometimes the best things happen that way!

Hope your day is going quickly- one more day until the weekend! Stop back tomorrow for a look at a sweet baby card...


Stamps: 4U (Zlatoena), Thank You Kindly
Paper: Baja Breeze, Riding Hood Red, Whisper White, Cosmo Cricket DP
Accessories: SU- white organza ribbon, Candy Cane big buttons, pearls, dimensionals, Sizzix Big Shot; Nestability dies; Copic markers

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A new look...

If you stopped by yesterday, you may have noticed I was goofing around trying out different blog backgrounds and themes. It's a new year and I felt it was time to change the look of my blog up a bit. I'm not entirely sure I'm in love with it, but it works for now!

Since I didn't have time to get out official Christmas cards, I'm taking the opportunity to send out some "Happy Winter" cards to friends and family that will miss getting a card and using some of these for holiday thank you notes as well.

I have some super cute digital images from a new favorite illustrator I met on Etsy, named Zlatoena,  that you will be seeing more of in the coming weeks. This little snowman has been sitting patiently on my desktop all through the holidays just waiting to be used:)

He's printed on Whisper White card stock, colored (or very little actually) with Copics and cut out with a circle nested die. I added some sparkly "snow" for him to stand on- somehow appearing a little pink tinged in the picture- ah, the wonders of digital imaging!

I kept it pretty simple because I didn't want to hide any of this great patterned paper from MME. I did add a strip of Riding Hood Red cut with a ric rac die and a rim of snowflakes cut with a MS edge punch, with some clear rhinestones to give it some sparkle. The main accent is the snowflake made from a layered snowflake die with chunky glitter adhered onto each layer.

The inside is finished with the plaid patterned paper and a strip of snowflakes with some more rhinestones. I left out a greeting for now, so I have plenty of room for a message/thank you. I'm sure most of my friends up north are getting a bit tired of all the snow and "winter", but it's nice to have a little sparkly snow, at least on my cards:)

Have a great day~


Stamps: "Fluffy Snowman"- Zlatoena

Paper: Marina Mist, Riding Hood Red, Whisper White, "The Merry Days of Christmas"-My Mind's Eye
Accessories: Sizzix Big Shot, Nestability dies, MS Snowflake punch, rhinestone brad/small rhinestones (Stampin' Up), ric rac die (MFT)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Year in Review...

Goodness it's been a long time since my last post! The holidays were so busy around our house, really a blur this year. There were many things I did not get to do this year: I did not mail out Christmas cards except to immediate family (a shocker given my hobby!), I did not make cookies and I did not get lights up outside. Things I did manage: went to the Houston Ballet's "Nutcracker" with my kids, mother and friends; made my famous eggnog to give to neighbors (serious yum!) and watched my children narrate the Christmas story at church on Christmas Eve- definitely a highlight!

As part of my New Year's reflection, I thought it would be fun to look back on my favorite things I have made this past year.

January: an alternate color for Valentine's Day

February: the first time I was asked to be a guest designer- thanks Sue!

March: Made my first easel card

April: fell in love with Pure Innocence images

May: School was out before I knew it

June: a simple card that became one of my favs

July: I finally made a good looking guy card!

August: a fun card for Emily at camp

September: a card to cheer my mom after her knee replacement

September: haunted house- my favorite project this past year!
October: became friends on Etsy with a new favorite illustrator, Zlatoena

November: bought my first Verve stamps-so pretty!

November: my favorite Christmas card of the year

December: Christmas was nigh...

December: gave up on paper cards and created a digital card to email

Well, that's my look back on the year- it's been an interesting one, challenging at times, some sad moments and many great memories. I'm not really one for New Year resolutions (too easily broken, I suppose) but there are some goals I have for the coming year: submit something I make for publication in a craft magazine; find ways to be more productive and happy at work- not an easy task some days; do more things with my kids- they're great and they're growing up fast!

What's your goal for the New Year? Leave me a comment with your resolution/goal and I will draw one person from the list for a little New Year's blog candy:)

Have a great day!