Monday, December 20, 2010

Vintage Christmas Wishes

Vintage Christmas Card
Originally uploaded by Zero Discipline
I just wanted to send along this dear guy who is about my age to wish you the very best Christmas wishes. My blog will be taking a holiday break until January 2nd. I will keep you all in my thoughts as we celebrate the Season. Thanks for stopping in here and keeping me on my twinkle toes. Christmas love to you all.

Gentlemen Ginger

Gingerbread Mix
Originally uploaded by mkmermaid (Maureen)
Here is another gift jar. As you may remember, I found these great air-tight jars at a thrift shop and I spray painted the lids gold. This one is filled with a yummy gingderbread mix. The label and tag were made with Hero Arts CG211, CG139 and LP177. I just love that kraft brown paper - it is perfect for gingerbread. The shapes were cut with Nestibilities (all except the boys, who were cut with my trusty fingers)
in my wonderful Cuttlebug.

Here is a close up of the tie-on label which is for the recipe.

That is a bright red silicone spatula tied to the side of the jar as a practical little extra. Don't you just love using silicone in the kitchen? Okay, maybe in other places, too?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Twinkle in Pastels

For those who know me - really know me - I am not a pastel kind of gal. Give them to me bright, sparkly and vibrant. So, Cath over at Moxie Fab World has done it again. A real challenge. She came up with this Vintage Pastel Christmas for the Tuesday Trigger.

So I decided to have a little tag fun. I got out one of my vintage classroom photos and selected an appropriately sweet subject. I gave her lots of pastel cuteness with a hat, some wings and lots of twinkle. Some torn paper and ribbon finish her off and now she is ready to eat fancy cupcakes with the best of them.

No stamping today, this is all me! Thanks, Cath for the inspiration and the challenge!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Raising Cane!

Hi, my pals! Here is a bright and festive jar that I put together for the desk of a sweet lady I frequently visit in a local insurance office (I also made one for my allergist's office). I actually found a couple of these nice jars with tight-fitting lids at a thrift shop. I love the handles on the lids and the jar shape.

First I spray painted the lids gold. Then I used two of my newest Hero Arts stamps (CG196 and CG119) with embossing powder and Distress Inks to create the patterns and distress the edges. The text was printed on my computer. The label and tag shapes were cut with Nestibilities dies in my Cuttlebug.

The jar and the tag are embellished with some vintage buttons from my stash, some cute red and white baker's twine and some thin red and white ribbon from Michael's.

Here is a better look at the tag. It is all ready for my greeting.

Quite festive, don't ya think?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Keep Your Day Job!

Okay, sometimes I think I'm funny......Here is a card that I made for my friend who used to own a wonderful scrapbook store near my house. I spent many happy hours (and lots of money!) there and she gave me such sweet inspiration. Thanks, Carina!

This was made with Jennifer McGuire's techniques and the free Hero Arts reindeer digi-download from TwoPeas. The inking (Distress Inks) and highlighting some of the dots in the background with Stickles are Jennifer's tricks. I printed the reindeer twice and popped up the head with dimensionals. I used Hero Arts CG139, CG119 and AR150 for the front of the card.

The answer to the riddle is in the inside of the card. More Distress inks on watercolor paper and Hero Arts S5067 (an oldie!). Yes, I think I will keep my day job. Oh, wait - I'm retired! Enjoy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Advent Calendar

Advent Calendar
Originally uploaded by mkmermaid (Maureen)
Here is an advent calendar I made for my little nieces (well, they are actually my cousin's daughter's children, but I have no idea what the correct reference is!). Since the box was white, I decided to do a snowflake theme, heat embossing in white using Hero Arts stamps CL357 & CG214. I inked it all up with Peeled Paint and Faded Jeans Distress Inks. To add a bit more interest for the girlies, I dug out some older HA stamps and decorated the corners and the center. It is wrapped all up with a ribbon and a matching tag. The tough part was finding tiny things to fill up all the drawers. I hope that they are enjoying the anticipation like I did when I was young. Love you, Jilly and Emily!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

You Can Get Anything You Want

Here is another Hero Arts & creation using the "Pinecone Holidays" set. Hero Arts supplied the embellishments and the Stickles. I added the pearly button from my stash to pick up the yellow of the leaves.

This picture was taken on our recent trip east - I was so excited to finally see Arlo Guthrie's church (from his song "Alice's Restaurant" - I've been singing since the '60's) in Great Barrington, MA. A dream come true! The inside reads "Wishing you a 'You can get anything you want' Holiday Season". This was such fun! Thanks, Hero Arts!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tiki Christmas

I recently won a chance to play with some Hero Arts goodies which were developed in conjunction with and online photo card store, What fun! And the process is very user friendly. This is a great way to produce a hand-made photo card, since you are provided with all the Hero Arts embellishments and the photo layouts are really special. This is called "Red Scallop". And, gee - who do you think those happy folks are? Too much fun! Thanks, Hero Arts, for this chance to try something new.

Moxie Fab World All Occasions Challenge - Love!

Love, honor......but not obey! I just couldn't commit to that. But cherish? You bet ya - I sure do that. This card is for Cath's Moxie Fab World All Occasions Week - the Love Challenge. Check it out and come play along. I'm thinking cute, but still simple and elegant. Stamps and supplies are Stampin' Up. I like working in the square format but it takes extra postage to mail.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Silly Party Girls!

Silly Girls!
Originally uploaded by mkmermaid (Maureen)
So, I warned you that some of my tags are silly! As most of you know, I love all things vintage (including my hubby - ha!), so this set called "Make Your Own" (CG175) from Hero Arts is a huge favorite. Well, I just couldn't imagine these gals not enjoying the holidays, so I got out my collection of vintage cookbooks and planned a little party. Don't you wish you were invited?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Congratulations Challenge - Moxie Fab World

Here is another of Cath's Favorite Occasions Challenges over at Moxie Fab World. This one is for congratulations. My card is a real sparkly one! I used lots of super fine glitter, an Elizabeth Crafts outline sticker, some great designer paper and I colored with an aqua painter. I love this look!

Thanks for checking in - you are the best ever!

Tag - you're it!

I love making tags - little pieces of art that are so portable, so finite and just fun. The main problem is that before you know it, hours can be spent on such a tiny project! My tags have several very distinctive styles from traditional to very silly.

Here is one of a series that I made for a recent Hero Arts challenge using their "Merry Christmas Trees" stamp set (one my holiday favs). I also used two other Hero stamps - lots of layers and lots of glamor.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

All Occasion Challenge at Moxie Fab World

Our dear pal, Cath, over at Moxie Fab World is at it again! She is sponsoring "All Occasions Week" with a different challenge every day. Check it out an play along! The first challenge is for an all occasion card. I decided to use my most all-occasion stamp from Cornish Heritage Farms. It is so versatile because you can actually check off in the appropriate box depending on your message. Love it! And it goes perfectly with this cool outline sticker from Elizabeth Crafts. I placed the black outline onto sticky tape (such as Score Tape). Next, I put some very fine white glitter onto the sticker and tape and rubbed it in, then dumped of the excess. The image was colored with gel pens and an aqua-painter. See, I said it was cool. This card is finished off with some Heidi Swapp paper, Copics pens and a flower, button and ribbon from my stash.

A nice break from all the holiday stuff, eh? Enjoy!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Season's Greetings

This Hero Arts sentiment is so elegant - I love it! This card is one of the last I made at my wonderful scrapbooking store, the Scrapbook Depot, before it closed. Oh, how I miss that great group of creative gals and wonderful Carina and Julie, who were always so inspiring. Many fun hours spent in that back room!

This flower was cut with a Cricut (not mine - I still hand crank!) and the center is made with one of those little clear plastic bubble thingies stuck onto a small circle of designer paper. Some ribbon was crinkled along the bottom......pretty festive, eh?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's Snowing Gingerbread!

Today I have made a card for Cath's Moxie Fab World Tuesday Trigger, which this gingerbread snowflake from Martha Stewart.

I used a wooden snowflake which I painted with Ranger's Crackle Paint and Stickles. I added a vintage button, some hand-spun yarn and a pearl stick pin. The stamps are Hero Arts Magical Background CG211 and LP177 (I love to decorate these little guys!). I printed the ingredients on my computer. Lots of Distress Inks and we are ready to munch!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Seasonal Necklace

Even though it isn't yet December I guess I have to accept that the Christmas Season is upon us. Dear Hubby is going to help me get out the tree and all of our decorations this weekend (I plan to scale down and haul much to donations - think simplify!) and lots of crazies are out this morning shopping.

So, it's time to switch out my "Seasonal Necklace". You may remember that I shared this necklace with you when it was decked out with pumpkins and leaves for fall. A quick switcheroo and it is now a Christmas necklace! The stamped image (with some added bling) in the beveled glass locket is Hero Arts (AR150) and I made the peppermint dangles to hang on lobster clasps so that they can be easily changed with the season.

I reluctantly say "Happy Holidays!".

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

The year has turned its circle,
The seasons come and go.
The harvest all is gathered in
And chilly north winds blow.
Orchards have shared their treasures,
The fields, their yellow grain,
So open wide the doorway -
Thanksgiving comes again!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving with an Island Flair

Boy, is it cold here today! A perfect day to share with you a Thanksgiving card that I made with a bit of an island flair. The warm beach is sounding pretty good right now! This is made with some Hero Arts stamps (Large Flower CG134 and Happy Thanksgiving G5463). THe flower was stamped and embossed on designer paper and inked with Distress Inks. The sentiment was stamped onto kraft paper and colored with Copic pens. The vintage button and embroidery are from my secret stash.

Have a great day and think warm ocean breezes!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

More Leaves!

And, if you could see my street, you would really know what I'm talkin' about!

This card uses blocks of color to set off the leaf images. Quite simple! Some torn paper and a piece of twine (love the look for fall cards) complete the package. I was thinking that I might turn this guy on his side.....will think about it.

In the meantime, go kick up some leaves and have a great fall day!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Serious Countdown

It is almost time for Thanksgiving, which is my very favorite holiday. It is a time for blessings, fellowship, family and friends. Oh, yeah - there IS the food! I love every thing pumpkin (this year I have even found pumpkin coffee which is much better than it sounds) and it is the only kind of pie I eat. Yum!

I have sure been blessed this year. Thanks for all your support as I try to figure out this blogging thing - it has been a challenge.

Here is simple little card which uses several different patterned papers. The leaf was stamped and embossed with clear onto kraft paper and trimmed and applied with dimensionals. A simple greeting stamp and a twined button finish it all off in all its fall glory!

Have a great week and get your grocery shopping done!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thank You (again), Hero Arts!

Most of you know that I am a big fan of Hero Arts stamps and paper-crafting products. I participate in their creative challenges every month. Last month I won the "fresh face" award for folks who have never won a challenge. I just learned that I won the current challenge, "Gift Tags & Handmade Gifts" in the digital category (see the November 18th blog entry)!

I used the Hero Arts "Children's Christmas Set", which is digital, and combined it with CL331 and LP177 to make this plate. The gingerbread cookies looked so good that I took a bite out of one! It is difficult to see, but there is a layer of casting resin on the plate to make it crumb-proof.

This is such an honor for me - to be in the company of such amazing crafters! Hero Arts is so generous, so inspiring and so supportive! What a wonderful company. Three cheers, many thanks and lots of hugs and smiles!

Happy Birthday, Daddy-O!

This weekend is my Dad's 85th birthday. We will not be able to be there (but we have planned a visit next month), so I wanted to make him a special card. His memory isn't all that good, so I thought I would include a picture of his favorite (okay, ONLY) daughter. Who isn't cute at four years old? I loved that old peddle car. Even though it was a Christmas gift, it was old - and used. My Dad (always thrifty) had taken it all apart, fixed it all up, painted it and made it just like new. It was the best. He could make and fix anything! I think I got some of my creative genes from him.

No stamping on this card. I used vintage-looking paper (love these colors), a dimensional sticker, some twine and vintage lace and a button from my stash.

Love ya, Daddy - happy Birthday! Thanks for all you have been and all you did for me for so many years.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Starry, starry night

Okay, so I told you that last week we were going to the Impressionist Exhibit at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. It was most amazing! I have been a huge fan of the Impressionists for years, even having gone to the Jeu De Paume in Paris to see originals. The entire exhibit was wonderful, but I just could not walk away from Van Gogh's Starry Night. It is so rich, textured and sparkly in person, unlike any print you have seen.

Although I believe that it is a bit early to be featuring Christmas cards, this is my little homage to Van Gogh's masterpiece. The image is a great Hero Arts stamp used with Zing embossing powder and sprayed with Glimmer Mist. It is painted with Ranger Distress Inks and embellished with some Stickles. I plan to make other similar cards, but with more embellishments, before the season is fully upon us.

If you are anywhere near it, go see this exhibit!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Homespun Fall

Here is a fairly simple card made using a Stampin' Up image which was colored with colored pencils. As much as I love my Copic markers, some images just work best with my good old box of colored pencils (the same ones I used in college - they may qualify as vintage!).

I wanted to keep this card fairly flat, as it will be going out to my Aunt in Upstate New York. Wish I could send along some this amazing California sunshine!

Have a good one!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Seasonal Necklace and Another Tuesday Trigger

It is that time again, the Tuesday Trigger. And I thought that I had put away all my fall crafty supplies. NOT! Cath set us up with this pic from Martha Stewart.

Well, I AM a paper-crafter. But I also make jewelery. This project combines both of these skill sets. This is what I call my seasonal necklace. I added this cool locket (Stampin' Up) to a chain - it snaps open to allow a little tiny image to be added. For this November image I used a stamp from Papertrey Ink and another tiny one from an old set I had; colored with Copics. I embellished it with sequins and snapped it into the locket (I added my signature mermaid on the back of the locket). It is a little difficult to photograph because the glass is beautifully beveled.

Then I made some dangle thingies with crystals and some leaf beads. I attached them to the chain with lobster clasps so that they can be changed, with the season, along with the locket image. Too cool? I will be sharing with you the other seasons as the year progresses.

I just love the inter-activity of this personalized necklace!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's Recycling Day!

Good morning! This is what I call a scavenger card - some may call it recycled, green, re-purposed - but it is what it is. It was made from a piece I salvaged from a non-handmade card I received last year (thanks, Sharon!). I just loved this leaf so I made a new card around it. I added a background paper, some wonderful ribbon, a button, some twine and a sentiment from Cornish Heritage Farms.

I'll be spending the Holiday with dear hubby tomorrow. We are going to the Impressionist Exhibit at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. I'll share my impressions with you next week. Have a lovely weekend.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

All dressed up!

I have a dear friend with an amazing Barbie collection. So, when I saw this day planner I had to get it for her. Of course, I had to embellish it - nothing leaves my house unadorned! Here she is, ready to go out and ruin the confidences of many normal young girls! HA!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Whooo do I love?

Who do I love?
Originally uploaded by mkmermaid (Maureen)
Isn't this the cutest little owl? You all know that I am a big fan of Hero Arts stamps and products and their owls are sort of their corporate logos. They just pop up all over. I love this one, HA5156.

I have been wanting to try making a round card - this is finally it! It was fun and a bit of a challenge; I cut out with Nesties. I used tea to stain the white binding, added a small piece of twine and colored the image with Copics pens. The sentiment is from Cornish Heritage Farms.A little distress ink and some bling and the owl is ready to fly. Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ribbon Fun

Ribbon Fun
Originally uploaded by mkmermaid (Maureen)
Can you believe that I found this amazing hand-painted 3-D button in the clearance bin last year? I also found this ribbon there - love it! I have been wanting to try some of the ruffled ribbon techniques that I have seen on websites. I am not sure that I have the knack. I am even less sure how to get it all into an envelope! Ah, well.......I will work on it.

The square doily is cut from Nesties and distressed with Rangers inks. The leaves are Hero Arts stamps (K5230), cut out and distressed.

Have a great day - a wonderful sunny one here in northern California!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Shadows of Fall

shadows of fall
Originally uploaded by mkmermaid (Maureen)
This is a richly inked card using a technique called embossed resist. The image (Hero Arts H5424) was heat embossed with clear powder on watercolor paper. Then several deep shades of Ranger Distress Ink were added to "pop" the image. The background paper is also done with Distress Inks using Hero Arts leaves (E2242) stamps.

A vintage button, some burgundy ribbon, a piece of twine and a Hero Arts pearl (which was colored with Copics markers) complete the picture. I may add a Thanksgiving sentiment before sending this along to my dear cousin in New York state (hope she isn't looking!).

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Distressed Turkey Girl

And why is she distressed? Is it because sometimes the holidays bring out the worst in us? Nah, it is the inking technique I used to give her a vintage and aged look! I love this little "Crafty Secrets" gal, so proudly riding in with a grin on her face.

This card has lots of layers and lots of distressing. I stained the twill with some tea to antique it. Two Hero Arts stamps (CG119 & K52850, a hand-cut doily I made with my Nesties, and some twine. It needed something else, so I dug out a little charm from my stash.

I may not give this one away......sorry, family!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cozy Girlfriend

I made this card for the Moxie Fab World Tuesday Trigger. This sweater is the trigger. Now I don't really like sweaters. They make me itch and they seem to highlight every bulge (and there are plenty!). But, I decided to play along. I love a good challenge!

For this card I used a square format; something I hardly ever do. It just seemed to work. The kraft background piece is stamped in Hero Arts White Chalk ink with Hero's Dot Background (CG139) stamp and I used lots of Ranger Distress Ink. The focus is one of my Hero Arts favs, "Girlfriend" (G5416). The doily and buttons were thrift shop finds and the pin and yarn are from my stash.

Now, tell me. What is more warm and fuzzy on a cold day than a chat with a girlfriend? Better than a lousey old sweater any day.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

May I just say.... I HATE haunted houses, spooky spiders, masked trick-or-treaters, wicked spirits and anything else that goes bump in the night. But I LOVE images and cards that bring a little whimsy and play into the spooky holiday of Halloween. Isn't it just the height of holiday crafting fun?

With that in mind, here is the last Halloween card I will be sharing with you this year. Here is a spider in all his Halloween glory!

Be safe out there in your haunts and remember, it is ALL about the candy corn.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Treat Boxes

Treat boxes
Originally uploaded by mkmermaid (Maureen)
I found these cute litttle metal tins in the clearance bin and got busy! I covered them with designer Halloween paper and added a moon and a 3-D bat on one side and happy Jack with googley eyes on the other side . The sweet little Ghostie on the tag was sprayed with Perfect Pearls mist to add some serious shimmer. Vintage lace ties it all together.

All stamps are Hero Arts, bat punch and funny stickers are Martha Stewart. Inside treats by M&M!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Originally uploaded by mkmermaid (Maureen)
Good morning all! This card uses a technique that I learned at a recent Stampin' Up party hosted by my craftin' pal Antoinette. The cardfront was dry embossed in my Cuttlebug and then it was inked in black with a brayer, which inks only the raised portions. Lots of paper layers, a fun sticker by Martha Stewart and Mr. Googly-eyed Ghost (Hero Arts stamp) complete this fun and textured card. Have a good one - only a few more days to add the finishing touches on your costumes!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Another Moxie Fab World Tuesday Trigger!

Cath is at it again! The latest Tuesday Trigger is Momento Mori - I don't want to be there after dark! My take on this is my card, which I call "Bells in your Bat Tree!". Too much fun! Okay, I did get a little carried away with the MS bat punch (thanks, Anne!) - but I love those little guys!

I used three Hero Arts stamps: CG119, CL468, & D397. The tombstones are a Michael's stamp on dictionary pages with 3 layers of UTE on top to make them curl and deeply shine in the moonlight (the lighting makes it difficult to photgraph the depth of the glow). Silver embossing powder, Stickles, some cool velvet ribbon from the Clearance bin and lots of Distress Ink complete the nightmare.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Come on down!

Those of you who follow me on a regular basis know how I feel about the paper-crafting and rubber stamp company Hero Arts. Their products are top quality (in fact I no longer buy stamps from other companies - I just do not do it!), their blog is most inspiring and their instructional videos are the best. I have been making cards with their products and submitting them to various challenges for several months. I actually developed this blog to help spotlight their products and the cards I make with them. Well, yesterday I learned that a card I made was a "fresh face" winner in the Holiday Card Challenge! Read more about it here.

The technique for this card came from Jennifer McGuire's great Two Peas in a Bucket series on Holiday Thinking Inking. She is the most amazing mentor! The dear deer (I stamped it twice and raised its head with dimensionals) is a Hero Arts digi image provided free by 2Peas and the city is one of my favorites, Hero Arts' Silly Scape. I used lots of Ranger Distress inks!

The sentiment inside the card is "Where are the reindeer games?" I am so touched by this recognition and I can't believe the quality of the work of the other winners. I still have lots to learn and Hero Arts will provide the tools and inspiration. Thanks, Hero Arts; love ya!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Returned and Re-boo-venated!

We just returned from the most wonderful little trip! The main purpose was to visit dear ones in NH, PA and Upstate NY but we also stayed in Boston - so much amazing history! - and Stockbridge, MA - where we saw the Norman Rockwell Museum and Arlo Guthrie's church from the song "Alice's Restaurant" - way COOL. We saw beautiful fall colors and ate lots of yummy seafood. It was all good, and it's good to be home!

Here is a simple little Halloween card made without rubber stamping. I love the crazy images, the googley eyes and torn edges. Scary!

Friday, October 8, 2010


Is there a "Scrooge" for Halloween? Let me know because that is me! I just don't get it - when did Halloween become more of a national holiday than Thanksgiving? It is crazy! So, even though I don't like the holiday, I sure think the images are all so cute - I love using them in my paper crafts. So, you will see a few more Halloween cards here later this month.

Here is a simple little card made with "Stampin' Up" products. I love their ribbon - it ties so nicely.

I am going to be unplugged for a couple of weeks, so be good. Get your costumes planned, your yards decorated and your candy purchased (buy it early so you can eat it all and still have time to buy some more - that's what we do).

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bonjour, mes amies!

I have a good pal lucky enough to be going to my favorite city of all time, Paris! A good excuse to make a little french card, n'est pas? I love anything and everything French!

For this card I decided to use some printed acetate (another friend gave me a tablet of it some time ago). It is difficult to work with, but it gives such a unique look. One must think about all the surfaces of the card at one time because the material is transparent! The paper stamped with the little tower is behind the printed acetate and appears to be "floating".

Ayez un magnifique voyage, Mary!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"Aged" Pumpkins & Mousie

This is a circle card - a new challenge for me. It is made by running the folded card with a circular die through the die cut machine(my Cuttlebug), but being careful not to cut through the fold. Fun. The background is a dictionary page (Sorry, Mrs. White, my elementary school librarian!) which I crumpled up and inked. The image stamp is very vintage Hero Arts (colored with Copic pens) and the swirl background is CG119. Lots of distress ink, some vintage lace, a MS punched bat and lots of bling. I guess we can finally call it Fall, darn it!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Thanks, my friend

Thanks, friend
Originally uploaded by mkmermaid (Maureen)
My friend returned from a recent trip to China and she brought me this amazing bookmark from the Great Wall. It even has my name and the date burned into the wood! Unbelievable. Also this beautiful bag and set of chopsticks. I made her this little thank you card with the paper-pieced little Asian girl to say thanks for thinking of me. I'm sorry that the gold coin reflected the light - it was a cloudy day and I had to use my flash. Thanks, Jill!


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