Monday, September 8, 2014

Happy Monday

Hello, dear friends!

I can't believe how time flies and how summer is slipping away. Darn it! But, life is good and I'm not going to complain as long as it keeps happening - ha!

As you have noticed, I am not spending as much time in the craft studio or at the computer these days. There is just so much to do here where we have moved - I am doing so much fun stuff.

September is going to be busy (including my classes in Sacramento with the amazing Julie Ebersole - YAY!) But, my heart is always here.

I am crazy about Neat and Tangled stamps. The images are so great and the beautifully-lettered sentiments are simply stunning.

Here is a card I made recently with two of their stamps. I used water color pencils and Perfect Pearl mist on the background. So much messy fun! Very shimmery in person (as am I!).

I'm off to my ZUMBA class! Have a great week and thanks for the visit.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It's a Love/Hate Relationship

I made this card (using an Art Impressions stamp) for my personal trainer, who is such a patient guy. And, he gets me!

Exercise is funny.

I really do hate it - I have always been pretty sedentary, starting from the fact that my first home was upstairs above my Dad's mortuary. No running around the yard or riding a bike in the driveway! I had to sit quietly and read or do crafts so as not to disturb the families downstairs.

I really do love it - I love how it makes me feel and how healthy it has gotten me. I will probably always be fat, but at my age it is all about developing and maintaining mobility and strength. And, boy, am I ever mobile (even with a fused ankle and lots of OA) and strong.

Anyway, I still have to talk myself into exercising. I use little tricks, like no card-making unless I workout, parking the car in the far regions of parking lots, etc. I works - sometimes!

I am blessed to live where I do. There is every kind of exercise option one can imagine. My current routine includes Zumba (my favorite!), Low Impact Aerobics, Water Aerobics, Lap Swimming, and Cardio and Weight Machines. And, of course, you all know how we love to play Bocce and ride our bikes!

So, I encourage you to get out and move - then make some cards! Thanks for the visit.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Moxie Fab Smile

Hello, friends!

I hope you are having a great weekend. I decided to put together a camera card for the current Moxie Fab World Clicking Cameras Challenge.

I have always loved cameras and I did quite a bit of photography in college with many hours in the darkroom.

For this card I tried a technique that Jennifer McGuire demonstrated on her blog. I went kind of psychedelic using stamps from the Tim Holtz Travel Blueprints set from Stampers Anonymous and Inkadinkado's Camera set.

I made several layers, all of which glimmer with Perfect Pearls mist.
Thanks for the visit. Keep smilin'!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

All Aboard!

I am typically the last to hop aboard the trend train. This is no exception. The hot bokeh trend peaked somewhere between the chalkboard and watercolor techniques.

But here I am, now, just loving it. Although I generally do not use (or really like) the color yellow, I am just deLIGHTED with this card. It is difficult to see, but first I stamped the background with the Hero Arts' Starburst Background stamp in Hero Arts Shadow Ink.

Then I went to town with the Bokeh Builder set by My Favorite Things. I actually bought it for the coll sentiments, but I never imagined that I would have such fun with the bokeh. Love it.

I added some silver thread and a black-embossed sentiment which I highlighted with Distress Inks. I added some touches with my Wink of Stella pen to add some sparkle.

Thanks for the sweet visit - I do appreciate it! Hope you are having a great week.

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Twist on a System

Many of you follow the amazing Jennifer McGuire. She shares so many fantastic techniques, as well as generous give-a-ways (I still use the paper cutter I got from her years ago!) and storage ideas (plus an occasional sweet insight into her delightful family). If you somehow don't know her, you must connect with her soon.

A clear stamp storage idea that she shared went absolutely viral and I hopped on board. With my new studio space, I decided to employ Jennifer's "Fridge Binz and Avery Elle envelopes" system for stamp storage.

I basically used Jennifer's concept, but with a few twists of my own. I made my dividers out of Martha Stewart office files that were on clearance at my local office supply store. I like the designs and the weight, and I was able to trim them and get lots of "bang for my buck" (yes, I payed only $1 for a pack of six). I also decided not to use my label maker for all of the dividers and envelopes - my own printing is pretty good, and lots faster & cheaper, so I hand-printed some small labels. Plus, it makes my system uniquely ME.

But, in all honesty, after working with these bins for a few months, I find them heavy and a little awkward. I plan to keep the ones I already have, using them for lighter things (like handmade card and stencil storage).

What I like better are these perfect baskets with really strong handles that I got at Michael's. They are shorter than the Fridge Binz, but the same width, so the Avery Elle envelopes still fit in them nicely. This one (of two) holds my dies. I used 5" x 8" clear plastic zip-lock bags because they are more durable for the dies. I cut pocket inserts for the bags and, for dies with small pieces, I also used a piece of magnetic sheet.

I was reluctant to use these sheets earlier, since I stored my dies right next to my computer. Magnets and computers just don't mix! But in my new studio, my dies are at the other end of my work space, safe from the damage zone. These baskets are less expensive than the Fridge Binz and I find them much easier to grab and store. This is what works for me - now, anyway!

Have a great week! Cooler temps here, so I'm headed outside to play. Thanks for the visit,

Friday, August 8, 2014

Hope Times Three

A few weeks ago I attended a class at The Paper Garden in Sacramento, CA. It was taught by the amazing Peggy Jo Ackley of Pink Ink Stamp Company (formerly Lockhart Stamp Company). She taught us a bunch of different watercolor background techniques using Twinkling H20s and had us make a nifty little swatch book for future reference. Very cool.

I finally had time to give some of this a try. I have a difficult time with watercolor because I have serious control issues and I also hate messes!

I got out paints and some Twinkling H20s, created a big mess and gave it a try. Of the seven backgrounds I prepared, only five were salvageable.

I heat embossed one of my favorite current stamps by Neat and Tangled called Hope Anchors onto the backgrounds. I just love the message of hope and encouragement derived from Hebrews 6:19. I previously made several cards using this stamp for the friends we met when we went on a cruise with my sister-in-law's church.

Here are three samples. I used a Tim Holtz stencil on the green one to add some definition. To each I added a strip of glittery paper and some matching punched stars.

Hope you are enjoying the last vestiges of summer!
Thanks for the sweet visit & have a great weekend,

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Hello X 3

Hello, my bloggin' buddies!

Yep, I am taking baby steps back to blogging, so I thought I'd say "hello"! For these cards (no stamping!) I broke out what is my new favorite "go-to" general die - The Custom Panels Dies by Avery Elle. When you see it, you think "what on earth would I do with that?". But, oh, it is magnificent. If you have any doubts, check out Jennifer McGuire's video here, or the one by the designer, JJ Bolton. LOVE!

I also used the Simon Says Stamp "Big Hello" die with 2 layers of 120# paper plus patterned paper. Love the punch & depth! The same was done for the hearts using an old favorite Cuttlebug die - and I added some Wink of Stella.

I am usually not a pastel-kind-of-gal, but this just felt cool and summery. Good thing, as we are expecting temps over 100 degrees the next few days. I am still trying to find the perfect morning photo location here at the new digs - sorry, these are not great!

Thanks for the visit and, yes, the comment function is turned off.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Happy Birthday, America!

Hello, dear pals - American and otherwise!

Just a quick post to share a bit of Americana. We decorated minimally here because we are going to our place in Calistoga (Napa wine country) for the holiday weekend - an old-fashioned parade, fireworks, swimming and friends!

The great rock here was made by my crafty pal, Rebecca! She literally rocks! And that's one of our (many) vintage View-Masters (you know how I live for the 1950's).

The card is done (by me!) with Tim Holtz's "American Blueprint" and the sentiment (which I now realize should have more contrast!) is with an old favorite CHF set (America the Beautiful) by Kim Hughes. The stars are from Lifestyle Crafts' Nesting Star Dies.

Wishing all of my American friends a grand,
glorious and safe holiday! God Bless America!

Friday, June 27, 2014

In the Proper Perspective

Some thought that the previous office photo I posted was of huge cabinets on the floor, rather than desk-top storage under the cabinets. So, now you can see it in better perspective. I am loving organizing the new space. I may like it even better than using my stuff.

My Copics and Distress Markers & Inks have an "easy to grab" spot on the counter and my wonderful Vagabond is within arm's reach. Everything else is behind the cabinet doors, but still handy. Love it!

Some have noticed that the comment feature is disabled......yes, it is! I am givng this a try to avoid folks feeling as though they must leave a comment (and for those frequent visitors who never figured out how to do it). If you need to reach me, most of you know how. I am not really geared up for blogging yet, so this is working for now.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Still Settling In

Hello, my patient pals!
Counter storage by OrganizeMore and Michaels (modified by me).

I have been so busy these past months with selling a couple of houses, packing them up and moving. We have also done lots of traveling, enjoyed family time and we have been exploring our great new community.

Our new office/craft studio is almost settled. I wasn't going to post any photos until it is completed, but the Moxie Fab World Creative Spaces Link Party motivated me to post a photo of a portion of my new work space. Here is a part of the counter, under the cabinets.

I hope to return to some blogging (I may change it up a little) and commenting soon, now that I have my computer and work space. Know you are all doing great things and I hope to join you soon.

I bet you are enjoying your summer - we sure are! Thanks for the visit,


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