Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Party Down!

I thought that I would take a break today from all the holiday fa-la-la. Here is an invitation to join us at our tiki bar. We aren't big drinkers, but we thought it would be hilarious to have a tiki bar and now we do - in full Hawaiian fashion with far too many tiki mugs and vintage memorabilia. Wish you all could drop in!

I had this amazing tropical textured paper in my stash - I've been hoarding it for years. There is some sparkle to it, if you can see it in the photo.

The stamps are from Rubber Soul and Rubber Anarchy/Toad Hall (both oldies). I used a Memory Box die (Marquis Border), the drink is a Jolie sticker and the happy bartenders.....well, they are way too famous to mention without agent approval!

I made this for the Moxie Fab World Random Fun Challenge - if this isn't fun, I sure don't know what is! Check it out an play along - you have until December 12th. I am also entering this in this week's Simon Says Stamp! Challenge, Anything Goes.

Thanks for looking! I love giving a peek into my blessed and happy life every once in awhile!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Goodie Bag!

Every year I attend a little holiday get-together with some lovely gals and we bring small gifts for each other. I make a couple of thank you cards for each person and I like to present them in unique and special ways. This year I saw an idea on Julie Ebersole's blog, Paper Trufflez. If you don't know her, check it out. She is so talented and fun. She decorated ATC-sized brown bags (available from Ellen Hutson - a great store!) for tiny gifts and I loved them.

I was able to find some larger brown bags on etsy - I love the kraft paper look and they are perfect for tucking in a couple of cards and envelopes. I used white paint (which looks so great on the kraft) for the snowflake and I had fun with my Tim Holtz die and made double-decker medallions (or rosettes) out of some vintage-looking patterned paper. These are so much fun to make - see Tim's video here! The snowflake and the sentiment (embossed in white) are both Hero Arts stamps (CG214 and G5453).

I have tucked two cards in the bag and still have room for a candy cane - can you believe I found one that is color-coordinated? Hershey's chocolate mint! I have a stash of tiny clothespins and used one to secure everything. This will be my last entry in Hero Arts monthly challenge for November!

Now I need to get cooking on making the cards to place into these cute bags.......mass production is not fun.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tag Along!

I don't usually post on the weekends, but I quickly wanted to share another gift tag that I made. I love the Tim Holtz dress form die and I thought about Mrs. Claus getting ready for Christmas....I cut the Santa Hat out of an old and very sweet Hero Arts Santa stamp (E853 from 1994!).

Other HA stamps are S5067 (another oldie) CL359, E853, CG211. I used the new "limited edition (seriously, please!)" Holiday Distress Inks and some vintage buttons and ribbon from my stash.

Lots going on here - maybe too much?! A little busy. At least it is festive! Thanks for checking in. Have a lovely Sunday.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Silent Night

I love holiday tags! I bundle up a few and they make the perfect little gift because people can really use them. Every year I make and gift lots of them.

The Hero Arts monthly challenge and the Simon Says "Tag You're It" Challenge both encouraged me to get going on some and I had fun with them!  I bought some huge boxes of manilla tags from an office supply place, so I am ready.

For this one I used a clear emboss resist with my new Ranger Distress Stains. Love that stuff! I sprayed it with Perfect Pearls for some extra texture and shine. You all know how I love this Hero Arts stamp, Silly Scape. I stamped it on water color paper, colored with water color pencils, cut it out and layered it (I'm not sure you can see the dimension on this photo) onto the tag. I also used Hero Arts CL270, CG299 and K5425.

Thanks for looking and have a wonderful weekend. Neighbors already have their Christmas trees up and their yards illuminated. I guess I'd better get the fall wreath off of the front door!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

Seriously, would you even think that I would be out shopping today. No way! I do very little shopping and most of what I do is on the internet - thanks, Amazon (no shipping and no sales tax - sorry, California)! I actually bought a new camera yesterday - I've been researching them for months. It was half price for early Black Friday shoppers. Soon you will see much better pictures of my crafting. Yeah!

Anyway, I have a girlfriend who is a very serious shopper. She waits all year for today. I made her this card to commemorate the big day. And to enter into the Moxie Fab World challenge inspired by a new Paper Crafts publication called 365 Cards. Get your hands on a copy - it will knock your sox off! This card is for the "Celebrating Relationships Challenge" for National Girlfriends Day! You have until December 12th to play and enter - do it!

For this card I used Hero Arts stamp CG265, lots of dies, a very vintage button, some tea-stained lace, sparkle letters and some colorful bling. I also used the colors for the Hero Arts November contest. That contest closes on November 27th, so I am getting in under the wire. Check it out if you have time - it is big fun!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

One More with Texture!

I am enjoying this month's Simon Says Stamp challenge at Lily Pad Cards to use lots of texture. Lily Pad is the neatest spot - so many great ideas, videos and grins. I love "getting my toes wet" over there! Check it out.

For this card I used one of my current favorite Hero Arts Stamps, Designer Woodgrain, S5208. It is great for masculine cards. Other textural elements include twill tape (I dyed it with tea), rough twine, Tim Holts' Tiny Attachers and Distress Stickles, tiny buttons from my stash, and - my favorite - a rusty washer salvaged from my toolbox! I knew it would come in handy someday. The candle and the sentiment (cut with Spellbinders Labels 8) are also Hero Arts. Lots of Distress Inks and the black is Versafine's Onyx Black.

Thanks for checking in and thanks, Lily Pad & Simon Says Stamp, for the great challenge.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

to all my American readers and here is my final fall card of the year.....yeah! And it is a large one - almost 6 inches square.

This is another lovely image from Northwood Stamp Company, #08023. The image was colored with Copic pens, highlighted with glitter pens and distressed with inks. I matted it with some plain and patterned papers, added some twill tape that I dyed with tea (attached with Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher) and I added a fall flower from my stash.

Nice, but I am ready to retire fall and see some bright colors - I want to see some Christmas colors, some ocean blues and greens and some soft pastels!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Folded Flower

Today's Thanksgiving card uses a folded flower technique that I used to use quite a bit. I love the look, but the extra postage is a killer! Ha!

There are many versions of folded flowers, but I like this one which uses heart-shaped punch outs (a tutorial here). I just fold them in half and adhere them to a circle background. Easy and fun.

The sentiment is from a Hero Arts set, LL775. The patterned paper makes this design work, but I don't know the source.

Thanks for checking in - there are still more TDay cards on the way!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Returning to Thanksgiving....with some "oldies"

So many of my blogging buddies have long since completed their Thanksgiving cards and are well on their way to Christmas cards, but not this girl! So, this week there will be more Thanksgiving cards.

This simple card uses one of my all-time favorite old (from the year 2000!) Stampin' Up sets called "A Harvest Hello". It is just so cheery and cute.

I put the scarecrow together on parchment paper with some photo corner punches (Paper Shapers), a rickety fence punch (Martha Stewart that I got for 70% off on Halloween at Michael's!) and a distressed Spellbinders die cut for the sentiment. I used some patterned paper, bling and a button from my stash to complete the look. Not an award-winner, but I sure like him!

The next card uses another of my favorite older fall stamps, this time from Inkadinkado (90797-K).  I simply colored the image with Copics, highlighted it with Stickles, and matted it onto a kraft card base with Spellbinders used with patterned paper.

The bright button and hand-dyed silk ribbon are from my stash. Easy, simple and sweet.

Sometimes getting out the old favorites is fun...keep this quote from Betty Friedan in mind today: Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.

Thanks for looking! Have a great week. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fifty and Very Nifty!

I have gotten to "know" a most amazing gal through the Hero Arts Blog. Her name is Virginia Lu and she is such a whiz at so many things (visit her lovely blog and her flickr page now)! She is a wonderful designer and an inspiration to so many of us, she has the greatest family (and she shares lots of great pictures and anecdotes with us!), she's a terrific cook (she shares that, too), a super photographer, a kick in the pants and all-around kind soul.

And, she is now published! Yep, In Paper Crafts, A Card A Day, 365 Cards. When I bought my issue and saw her remarkable card - I did such a happy dance! I hope that Barnes and Noble's security cameras captured it all. Yeah, Virginia! YOU did it! Here is a peek at her published card.

Believe it or not, Virginia is turning 50! I can't believe it - she has more energy and enthusiasm than someone who is 25 (or, maybe 49 - Ha!). There is a celebration happening over at her blog.
We are making special cards and celebrating the glories of Virginia. I wanted to make something as fresh and fun as she is to commemorate this big event. I selected a fun flamingo stamp from Impression Obsession (F7591) which I colored with Copic pens and dazzled with Stickles. The sentiment is from Stampin' Up's "Whimsical Words". The crazy "Loopy Flower" and "By The Numbers" dies are from MFT Die-Namics.

If you know, or have been inspired by Virginia, please join us. If you don't know her yet - get right on it! You will be So happy you did!

Happy Birthday, Special Lady!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Special Friend

For this joyous card for a very special friend I broke out my brand-new, never-before used Hero Arts and Sizzix sets, "Textured Impressions" (657766) and "Antique Flowers and Butterflies (65773) - a little pre-holiday gift to myself! What fun to ink up these wonderful images and be able to emboss and die cut them with my trusty Cuttlebug! I also used the Hero Arts Monthly Contest colors.

I hope you can see the wonderful dimension and texture that these sets provide. I printed the background image with Memento Rich Cocoa ink, then I rubbed Distress Ink directly onto the embossing folder to get the soft pink background color. I colored the images with Copics and called it done.

I considered adding some bling, but I loved the softness of the texture, images and colors and decided against it.

These new tools will get lots of use - that's for sure. Thanks for looking and have a great day!

I'm thinking of you, my dear friend!

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Break from Holiday Cards

Good Monday morning to you! I thought it was time to break away from the Thanksgiving cards (although I still have several to make and share). This month's contest on the Hero Arts blog includes a color challenge. The colors are: Pink, Pool, Green, Neutral and White. Lovely!

I made a card for someone very dear to us who recently opened a new shop in a little town not far from here. We visited it last weekend - it was cozy, warm and very inviting. We loved it.

Hopefully, this simple card reflects all that we felt. I broke out my Tim Holtz "Townscape" die which I used with some neutral textured cardstock. The background is Hero Arts' Magical Background (CG211)  a most versatile stamp. To reflect the new oval-shaped sign on the shop I used Hero Arts CL488 for the sentiment. The grass is a Memory Box die and the heart is freehand.

A sweet little tribute to Joy's lovely new shop.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Channeling Tim Holtz

Hi, gang! I usually don't post on Saturdays (we are often out of town or doing family things), but I put this little tag on the Hero Arts Flickr site to qualify for the first half of this month's contest and I thought I would post it here today.

One of the Hero Arts challenges for this month is gift tags. I have always been amazed at the work of Tim Holtz, although "distressed and inky" is not my usual style. I decided to channel some Tim with this tag for which I used 4 different Hero Arts stamps (CL108, CL233, CG214 and CL359) and some Snow Cap Acrylic paint (Ranger dabber) for the snowflake background. Lots of Distress Inks - 6 different ones, I believe. My fingers were extremely colorful when I was done. I used one of Tim's techniques of making an acetate mask for the snowman. It worked pretty well - he has a bit of a halo effect.

I popped up the scarf with dimensionals, added details with Glitter Pens and Stickles, and I made the tiny label with a die cut from Memory Box (I love these little dies!). The snowflake is a MS punch and the ribbon is from my stash.

Now, this issue is that I put so much into this little tag, am I really prepared to give it away?Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, November 11, 2011

One More - My Favorite - From Sheila!

I saved my favorite for last. Of all the stamped fall images that my buddy Sheila sent me (see the two previous blog posts), I love this one the most. I actually odered myself one earlier this week!  It is from Northwood Stamp Co., #M8168.

The image is so graphic and wonderful - I can't take my eyes off of it. Isn't that corn amazing? Thank you, dear friend for sharing it with me.

I colored the image with Copic pens, matted it with Nestibilities labels and used Distress Inks. The bows are hand-died silk ribbon with twine and buttons done according to the great Hero Arts bow-making video by Shari Carroll. It is so easy to follow!

One big final shout out to Sheila for sharing these great images with me - you are something else! Thanks again, dear friend.

Have a great weekend everyone. Hope you can join me and Hero Arts and make some cards for Operation Write Home in honor of Veteran's Day, 11/11/11.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Another Great Image From Sheila

Here is a Thanksgiving card that I made using another stamped image that was sent to me by my blogging buddy Sheila (see Monday's post to learn more about Sheila). She is one special gal and so kind to share!

Who wouldn't love this "Friendly Scarecrow" by Whipper Snapper Designs? While I am not a big fan of crows in real life, these guys are too cute. This was fun to color with my Copic pens. I embellished with some buttons and twine from my stash, some glaze pens and Stickles, and I made the bow with hand-dyed silk ribbon using the wonderful Hero Arts video by the amazing Shari Carroll.

Thanks Sheila and Shari and have a great day!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Yep, It is Really Fall

Those of you who know me know that I am not a big fan of fall. It means that my favorite summer days are gone, the days are shorter, the leaves need raking and the nights are chilly. What is good about all that?

We spend quite a bit of time in California's beautiful Napa Valley, specifically the charming small town of Calistoga. Fall is strikingly beautiful there. We were there this weekend and so was fall, in all its glory! Unbelievable. Who says that we don't have fall colors in California? We had such a wonderful time. If I have to "do" fall, I will do it in Calistoga for sure.

This week I am going to share with you some Thanksgiving cards I made using some fantastic images that were stamped and mailed to me by my blogging buddy, my stampin' sista, the super-amazing Sheila! You can check out her blog and her flickr photostream - she will inspire you, for sure! I feel so blessed to have her as a special friend. She is not only super-talented, she is a real kick and will get a grin on your face more often than not.

Today's card is from an image Sheila sent me several months ago. I colored it with Copic pens, added some Martha Stewart Glitter pen & Stickles highlights and a little die cut label from Memory Box. The tiny sentiment is from Hero Arts CL414. Thanks again, Sheila!

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Basket of Thanks

I wanted to do something a little special to say thank you to the nursing staff who took such good care of me during my recent hospital stay. Even though I do not like doing "mass production", I decided to make a basket of thanks using Peppermint Patties, with plenty for everyone.

The patties are decorated with circles and squares of fall-colored cardstock and patterned paper cut with my Spellbinders Nestibillities. The patties are sandwiched under the circles I cut for the pumpkins - the perfect size.

I stamped the pumpkins (with a stamp from the $1 bin at Michaels) onto orange cardstock and just quickly (it had to be quick - I made 60!) highlighted them with colored pencils. On the back I stamped "thank you" (Hero Arts) and my name stamp.

I think this makes a unique and cute fall presentation. The basket was on clearance and my dear crafting pal and friend Antoinette made the adorable fall bows for me. She is a master at bow-making - you should see her wreath-sized ones! Thanks, Annie!

Thanks to you for looking and have a lovely fall weekend! We are headed to the Napa Valley, where it will really look and feel like fall. Next week I plan to share some Thanksgiving cards.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

One Poofy Over-the-Top Puppy

There is a great challenge, sponsored by Simon Says Stamp, over at the amazing Lily Pad Cards. Check it out and play along - you have until November 24th. I made this card for my dear friend Antoinette. It is all about using texture.

Texture? For some reason, all I could think about was a fluffy poodle! I haven't used my Sizzix dies in ages, so I got out the adorable poodle dog for this "over the top" card.  Where to start describing this silly card? Let's start with the pooch.

I used two coats of white flocking powder (Reflections from Michael's) for her coat. The base coat is quite flat, but the second coat is "poofy" for added texture and character. I colored her softly with some chalks and used a black glaze pen for her face. The bow on her tail is some hand-dyed silk - I used the bow-making technique on the fantastic Shari Carroll's Hero Arts video (I used embroidery thread instead of twine). This video is wonderful. Finally, she sports some bling from my stash. Fancy puppy - down, girl! She may just have her eye on the adorable Freddie.

Other Key Supplies:
  • Stamps - Hero Arts H2141 & CL325, Sizzix 655731
  • Cuttlebug Embossing Folder - Fleur de Lys
  • DCWV textured cardstock with white core - sanded after embossing to add texture
  • Crepe paper (a garage sale find) cut with Martha Stewart Fringe Scissors (these are fun)
  • ek success punch
  • My Favorite Things Die-namics rolled rose die and felt
  • Martha Stewart leaf punch
  • Pink party toothpick

Thanks for checking in - hope this brings a silly smile!


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