Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It's all about the grapes!

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. It sure doesn't seem much like spring here in northern California! In fact, we cut our trip to the Napa wine country short because it was so rainy and cold. We came home and did some home projects and had some home-grown fun. Gary worked the parade on Monday - my hero! I am sorry that it is so hot and humid in the east - what a bizarre year for weather!

Here is simple little note card that I made (I made an entire set) for one of my wine country friends. The grapes are heat embossed on water color paper in silver, colored with water color pencils and mounted on some cute wine paper that I found. Yep, I tied that bow with my "Bow-Easy" which has helped me out of so many design binds!

Thanks for checking in and have a great week!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dressy Tag

Happy Thursday! When I saw this great How-To-Video over at one of my favorite new websites, Lily Pad Cards. I go there almost every day to see what's splashin'. Lots of great tips, interviews with amazing folks and tons of sweet inspiration! Check it out.

Anyway, when I saw the image on the cute card on the video I was reminded of a Tim Holtz die I had that hadn't see the light of day in many, many months (why do we do that?). I save empty cereal boxes for chipboard - pretty "green", eh?

I used lots of Ranger Distress Inks and Stains and Hero Arts Stamps (Friendship Definition CG125 and Flourish Background CG119). Lots of vintage goodness!

I went to an amazing used stamp sale at my local scrapbook store last weekend - I actually went twice! I scooped up lots of great used stuff ("green" again!) and I hope to share some of them with you soon. I even found some new Hero Arts stamps and some "vintage" stamps that I actually owned in the 1960's. Does that make ME vintage? So fun.

I am currently working on prepping some cards to make with my sweet 11-year old third cousin (not sure if that is correct) who I will be visiting soon. She wants to make some cards with me. I love that!

Take good care and have a great Memorial Day weekend - don't forget what it is all about.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My "Old Lady" Card!

Roses by mkmermaid (Maureen)
Roses, a photo by mkmermaid (Maureen) on Flickr.

Doesn't this remind you of your Granny's house? It does me! I can just smell that combination of old roses, gingerbread and moth balls! Ha!

Not my normal style, but fun. Love the texture of this paper. I used a friend's Hero Arts set called "Two Birds (CG152)" and I stamped a bird on the inside. The background is Hero Arts "old Letter Writing (S4878)". Colored with Copics.

Guess I will go and have a cup of tea and so some crocheting! Thanks for looking and have a great day.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

ATC 's - Artist Trading Cards

This month's challenge at the Hero Arts blog includes making ATC's. I have never made them, but they have been quite the rage among paper crafters for some time. They are miniature works of art created on 2 ½ X 3 ½ inch card stock (the size of a standard playing card). They are originals, small editions and, most importantly, self-produced. The idea is that you trade them with other people who produce cards.
I gave it a try this weekend, inspired by the work of one of my favorite assemblage artists, Tim Holtz. He is the master of the distressed look. For these cards I used Tim Holtz dies and lots of dauber paints, Glossy Accents, inks and stains by Ranger. It is all about layering the colors. For the Butterfly Card I used the Hero Arts Friends Definition stamp (CG125) and some clear printed tape by Tim Holtz. For the Hardware Card I used Hero's Flourish Background stamp (CG119). I may have broken the ATC rules by having an element extend beyond the limits of the card, but it is what I did.

While this was a fun exercise, I will more than likely make greeting cards out of these ATC's. Somehow I just don't see myself getting into making these in a serious way. But, one never knows! Thanks for checking in and have a glorious day.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sharing Some Love

First, we are sending prayers to all of those in the tornado's path. What sad devastation!

Today I thought that I would share with you a couple of very special cards that I recently received. I just love to get beautiful handmade cards. They go on display in a special place in my house and I keep them forever!

This card was made for me by by dear crafting friend, Antoinette. She loves the images of the 1920's and often uses them in her cards. Isn't this glorious? Can't you just hear what is being discussed at this fancy soiree? All of the details here are so classy and glamorous.  Thanks, sweet friend.
This vintage beauty was made for me by my Aunt Barbara! Her style is so fluid and fun. She has used lots of cool vintage pieces for this beauty. This is the Aunt about whom I have already shared - she taught me to sew. We craft together whenever we can, sharing supplies, fun and so much love.

I am so lucky to have both of these dear ladies in my life and to share such a fun and love-sharing craft with. Love you both!

My card today is a little gift card that I made with a Stampendous cling stamp set. I recently posted another card that I made using this set and my blogger friend Barb told me that she calls these pinwheels! Ever since I was a little girl I called them whirly-gigs! Now, which is more fun to say? Ha! Whatever you call them, they are fun and bring back so many happy childhood memories. Thanks, Barb!

Hope you had a good weekend. We sure did, but I can't help but feel a bit guilty as I see the sad images of the massive devastation to the east. My husband and I never take a single day for granted - we are ever grateful for each and every moment we have together. Take care and thanks for looking!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dolphin Pod

I have a dear friend who just loves dolphins. Actually, I do, too. I had the opportunity many, many years ago to swim with a pod of wild dolphins in a huge bay on the Big Island of Hawaii. I was with a small group of women under the leadership of a woman named Joan Ocean (seriously!). It was a truly magical and life-changing experience.

Back to the cards! I wanted to make my friend a little pack of 4 thank you cards. Can you believe that I found these older (1995) Hero Arts stamps (C992, E995) at a garage sale for 50 cents each? So perfect and so green (recycled). The sentiment is from Hero Arts set CL371.

I colored the dolphin with colored pencils, white embossed the star fish and went to town (or, under the sea!). I added the cork slices for an extra touch of marine (or, Maureen?).

I purchased these great clear card boxes from BellisMarket on Etsy. They are really high-quality and very reasonably priced. Love them! They hold four A2 cards (if they are not too heavily embellished) and envelopes. Check them out! It makes a really nice presentation, don't you think?

I hope your weekend goes just swimmingly! Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Floral Favorite

Floral Favorite by mkmermaid (Maureen)
Floral Favorite, a photo by mkmermaid (Maureen) on Flickr.

I can't help it - I keep coming back to this wonderful Hero Arts stamp (CG271). I love to heat emboss it with white and color it up with Distress Inks (I used the little finger sponges). Love it! I added some paper layers and lots of vintage embellishments. I made the tiny tag and added a hand-written note. Thanks for looking and have a great day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lily Pad Inspired

Lily Pad Inspired by mkmermaid (Maureen)
Lily Pad Inspired, a photo by mkmermaid (Maureen) on Flickr.
For the layout of this card I was inspired by the card and video at Lily Pad Cards. I love all that is going on over there - thanks, gals! This card uses Hero Arts CG222, CL375, S5447 and CL371. I used my Prisma colored pencils blended with Gamsol (odorless mineral spirits) to color the flower. Some ribbon and vintage ribbon from my stash. Have a great day and thanks for looking in.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Emily Graduated!

Emily Graduated! by mkmermaid (Maureen)
Emily Graduated!, a photo by mkmermaid (Maureen) on Flickr.
Our dear friend Emily graduated from law school last weekend, so she deserved a special card. Now that she has received it, I can post it. It was such fun to make!

I used the great Hero Arts set CL336 - perfect! I punched out the school seal from the announcement to incorporate into my card and it is what I used to select my colors. The "wise one" is colored with Prisma colored pencils (blended with Gamsol, odorless mineral spirits) for this month's Hero Arts challenge to use colored pencils. Lots of layers made with Spellbinders. I added the little frills because it looked a bit too severe for our dear girl. Congrats Emily!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thank you, Lisa!

Okay, I know....a second post today? But I wanted to share something really special with you. I entered Lisa Spangler's first ever "Make It + Mail It" challenge called "Tag, You're It". And guess what? She drew my name and I received a Lisa original! Sooo excited!!! I love her work. You can see how she made this amazing card right here on her fantastic blog, sideoats & scribbles,  which is just full of great ideas, instructions and lovely photos. What a glorious inspiration she is!

So, now you get a little peek into my studio because I wanted to show you where I am showcasing the cute card. Right there where I can see it all the time. Isn't she the best?

Check out Lisa's blog, where I bet there will be more "Make It & Mail It" challenges for you to play along. Have a great weekend and another big shout out of thanks to Lisa!

Pretty in Pink

Good morning friends! This is a card that I made a couple of months ago at a Hero Arts Marathon class. Can you believe it - seven solid hours of Hero Arts? Wow - what a day! It is so good because we tried things that I would not normally do. Like this - I am really NOT a pink person. I don't believe that I even have a pink ink pad.

For this card we used Hero Arts Canvas Stripes, Dictionary Greeting and Three Dotted Flowers. The flower center is a Hero Arts flower embellishment. A nice little card.

Have a pretty and pink weekend and I will return on Monday. Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Stampin' Off with Stampin' Up

Here is a bright little card that I made quite some time ago but it is still stylin'. The stamps are from Stampin' Up and the technique is called stamping off, where you ink your stamp up and stamp it once or twice on scrap paper to lighten the ink load before stamping the image. Some subtle glitter and a cute button complete the look.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hey, Cupcake!

Hello there! Today's card is a quickie that I did many months ago (before the blogging began!) and happened to recently find. Nothing spectacular, but sorta cute. I almost didn't share it, as my techniques and style have significantly changed, but sometimes it is good to reflect.

Sorry that I don't even know the stamps used, but there are tons of cupcake stamps around for playing. The frosting is a product called Flower Soft. It is similar to the stuff we used for crafting in the 1960's called flocking (oh, the fuzzy pink poodles I have made in my day!). Just spread a little glue around and sprinkle on the product and shake it off. It adds a nice fuzzy dimension.

This little perfect holder was a gift from my pal Kathleen - perfect, eh? Thanks, girlfriend! 

Take care and have a great day.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Inspired by Jennifer

Good Monday morning! This is a quick post because I did waaaay too much crafting and posting on Saturday for National Scrapbook Day. This card was inspired by one created by the amazing Jennifer McGuire - she is always such a great source of inspiration. This uses my newest Hero Arts Stamp, Luscious Floral Background (I even love the name!). I love it - it reminds me of my trips to Hawaii. It is white embossed and inked heavily with Distress Inks. Aloha and thanks for looking!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

National Scrapbook Day!

While I don't consider myself a Scrapbooker, my buddies over at Hero Arts are just not going to let me get by without a challenge for this big today. At their blog they provided a sweet sketch (see right) done by the lovely Kelly and challenged us to design a scrapbook page and/or a greeting card.

                                                 I decided to give it a shot (plus it gave me two more chances to win the generous prize package they are offering). Before I even got dressed this morning (don't tell Gary!) I worked on the scrapbook page. I had actually been planning to try to scrapbook some pictures from our Adams family reunion this past summer. I had the cutest group photo that I wanted to spotlight . Well, I rallied to the challenge. It was really kind of fun, but I don't think scrapbooking will ever become my hobby.

For this page I used Hero Arts stamps F510, CL161 and CG298. The cork letters are Making Memories. I think they go well with the dots of the stamped background. For the wise ones I did some paper piecing, popped up the wings and added googley eyes (my favorites!), and highlighted with Copic pens. That is some hand-crocheted lace from one of Granny's pillowcases.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hey, Lisa! I Made It + Mailed It.

I usually don't post on Fridays, but I have a special post today. The adorable Lisa Spangler, who has an amazing blog called "sideoats & scribbles", has a fun challenge called "Make It + Mail It; Hey, Sweets"! She wants us to create and actually mail our cards - crazy thought, eh? Check it out and play along. Well, I got to work! But, you see, I had to make two very different cards.

The first one features traditional sweets (I used Hero Arts Stamps CL331- Birthday and CL346 - What's Cooking, DCWV Nana's Kitchen Stack paper). That one was mailed this morning to my little niece. Sweeeet!

But, some of my water aerobics pals and I are doing Weight Watchers (Yeah - I am down 13#!), so our lives now have an entirely different concept of sweets. I wanted to send one of those gals a special card of encouragement featuring the kind of sweets that we can enjoy without guilt. For this card I used Hero Arts CL440 - Kiss the Cook and CL442 - Simply the Best and Cosmo Cricket Early Bird paper from 2009.

For both cards I colored the images with my Prisma colored pencils, blending with Gamsol (odorless mineral spirits) and a stump blender. I love that technique! I am also submitting the cards to the Hero Arts May challenge which includes using colored pencils (see the multi-talented Shari's video on using colored pencils), making ATC's and using Fabulous Flowers.

Have a great weekend, especially you Moms. And seriously think about what type of sweet you really want to eat. Thanks for looking in!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sew, it isn't flowers.....

but this is the Mother's Day card I made for my dear Aunt. She taught me how to sew, so it is perfect. She loves vintage stuff, too. She will love it.

I used a vintage pattern, button and tape measure; that is fabric under the sentiment! The stamps are Hero Arts CL498 and CG175. Colored with Copic pens.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Oh, Pooh!

As I stated a couple of days ago, Cath at Moxie Fab World got me thinking about crepe paper. She has a challenge over there to use tissue and/or crepe paper in a project. Check it out and give it a try. You have until 5/9 to submit something.

When I went to my crafty pal Antoinette's house the other day she showed me how to make crepe paper rosettes. How fun it that? Wow - they so remind me of the 1950's!

So, what says childhood more than Pooh Bear? I made this card with the friendly bear. The inside says "Another birthday!". I added some glitter to the edges of the rosette to give it more of a vintage look.

Ah, the simplicities of childhood.....

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hydrangea Power!

Hydrangea Power! by mkmermaid (Maureen)
Hydrangea Power!, a photo by mkmermaid (Maureen) on Flickr.
I am so crazy about this stamp. I'm happy that this month's Hero Arts challenge includes flowers so that I can keep using it! This is a card for my special crafting pal, Antoinette.

For this card I used:
Hero Arts stamps CG139, K5376 and F2729 (inside and on the envelope). Also lots of Chipped Sapphire Distress inks, Copics, Cuttlebug embossing folder, Fiskars punch, a page from an old dictionary and a tag and ribbon (hand dyed and black velvet) from my stash.

Thanks for looking!

I Scream!

I was so inspired by this video at Lily Pad Cards  that I just had to play. Those gals are great! I hadn't yet inked up this cute new Hero Arts set. And, what screams party like crepe paper? So I added some and plan to enter this is the Moxie Fab World Challenge for using tissue/crepe paper.

For this card I used Hero Arts CL314 Life of the Party Birthday, Cosmo Cricket DeLovely Mini Deck and my new Martha Stewart fringe-cutting scissors (I am not a big fan of hers, but these are very cool). The rickrack and gems from my stash. My friend Kathleen shared the crepe paper with me - thanks, girlfriend!


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