Sunday, July 31, 2011

It's Our Blog Anniversary! We Have CANDY!

My blog turned one year old last Thursday! Thanks to all of you who have visited, commented and been so supportive.
One of things I have often been asked is why I don’t have a “following” option on my blog? To tell you the truth, when I was setting it up I thought that if nobody followed it (and everybody saw that) I would feel so darn rotten! Well, I have just added the option. So, please follow me! I know that some of my loyal readers have told me that they can’t even figure out how to leave a comment, so this may be a whole new challenge.
To encourage you to follow me and in celebration of my first year, I am offering up some luscious blog candy. First, some great classic Hero Arts stamps:
  • I Heart U – A4964
  • Stone Flower – F5402
  • Canvas Stripes – CG196
  • Circle Pattern – CG149
Next, some other card-making goodies:

  • Watercolor paper pad, 9” x 12” by Carson
  •  Dainty Doilies – pack of 36 
  • Collage Pack of handmade papers 
  • Sassafraslass “Sweet Treat” stickers, one sheet
  • Recollections pack of “Assorted Embellishments” in red, black and white 
  • Package of 1.5 yards of Rick Rack, apple green color
  • Prima Flowers “Frosting Flowers” – jar of 30
Here are the steps to follow for your chance to win:
1.    Become a follower of Watermarks!
2.    Leave me a comment on this post of the blog
3.    Share my blog candy info with your friends by posting it on your blog, Facebook and/or Twitter -  or you can even let them know the old-fashioned way.

I'll keep this open through 10:00 PM PDT on August 9th and the randomly selected winner will be announced here on August 10th. This drawing is also open to my international pals!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sending Love to Japan

I have been thinking about Japan. Immediately after the terrible disaster we had so much news - sometimes too much - about it all, but now it is difficult to hear anything about the recovery efforts. I just can't even begin to get my arms around what it must be like there - so much grief, personal loss and economic destruction. My thoughts and prayers are with them every day.

A current challenge over at Lily Pad Cards is about making a patriotic card with a twist. So, I decided to make a card for Japan. It was a healing exercise for me. The stamps are Hero Arts CL476 and CL373. I used paper piecing, Stickles, a circle cutter, a die and that's a bamboo hors d'ourve skewer! Simple and sweet.

Now we have to send our best thoughts and prayers to Norway - what is this world coming to? Have a good weekend - I'll be back next week, God willing!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Let's cut through the red tape!

Hi, all! I am sharing with you today a card that was inspired by the Lucy's Lovely Lines Challenge at Lily Pad Cards. Here is the sketch: 
Is this cool, or what? Well, it just so happened that this weekend, while shopping in a neat Japanese store with some friends, I found some washi tape! My crafting pal Lisa Spangler has talked about this stuff FOREVER and I never knew where to find it. So, I had to use it on this card.
I got so excited that I even used it on the envelope. I could seriously get used to this cool stuff. It wasn't cheap, so I only bought one pack of two rolls, but it is such fun to use. I watercolored the paper lantern images to make them look more like colored tissue paper. The stamp set is Hero Arts CL373 and the sentiment is from CL515. I resisted the urge to reach for my "go-to" product, baker's twine and instead reached for some yellow raffia that was on my desk from a previous project. I love it! It was easy to knot and I think it looks really festive. Looks like a party waiting to happen, eh?

Thanks for looking!

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Banner Day for A Party!

Wow, summer is quickly passing! It is my favorite time of year. I especially love the longer days - I have so much more energy! Well, I should have much more energy. Sometimes the heat just makes me so lazy......

Today I have a cute banner which is perfect for a kid's party. This was a little difficult to photograph because I like to take my photos outside. Here are the sections:

The pennants are cut from the "Scalloped Banner" die (I don't know if you can see the dark purple scalloped background on each flag - it is tiny) from Memory Box and the tabs holding the pennants on are their "Pastry Label" dies. Memory Box dies are among my current favorite supplies.

The stamps are Hero Arts CL349, "World Dolls"  and S5213, "Dots and Flowers" for the background.

Each flag was distressed with two different inks, the kids were colored with Copics, sparkled with Stickles, cut out and mounted onto the flags. The butterfly punch is by Martha Stewart.

Aren't these kids the cutest ever? I could color them for hours.

Thanks for looking! 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Accessorize For Summer!

I have to say that I am so glad that Cath extended this week's Moxie Fab World  Tuesday Trigger for an extra week. When I first saw it, my initial reactions was "Ewwwww!!" I can't say that I hate any color, but bright yellow is probably my very least favorite. However, I continued to think about it all week and had an idea that I wanted to try. By the time I talked myself into it the week had passed.

When I saw that the Trigger was extended, I decided to play along. I actually had to go and buy some yellow card stock because I didn't have any. I also had to use my yellow Sharpie pen to color up some embellishments.....but it was such fun.

What goes with a "Perty and Flirty" trench coat? Why, a well-traveled bag, of course! This is actually a little treat bag, good for a party favor or a little gift. The second photo shows the side view and the bag for holding all the treats.

You can tell I really had fun with this! I first made one with the postmarks stamped in black ink, but with that bright yellow the contrast was just too severe. For this one I used Memento's London Fog ink, a color I really love. I added the pink rose bouquet to pick up on the floral background in the photo.

Rather than include all the supplies in this narration, I am going to list everything:

Spellbinders Nestibilities "Wonky Rectangles" die, ek sucess  square punch for the handle, Memory Box "Classic Tags" die, Hero Arts "Take a Trip" CG358 stamp set, Martha Stewart branch punch, Die-Namics "mini rolled roses" die, Papertrey Ink felt, Tea Dye Distress Ink and ribbon, embroidery floss & vintage buttons from my stash.

Now I seriously want to "step out" with the gal who is all dolled up with this great fashion statement! Maybe I should go shopping for some yellow for me to wear?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Nancy Takes Over and Offers Blog Candy!

In case you haven't heard, there is something really fun happening here in blogland. One of my favorite cardmakers, Jill Foster (the inking master!), is out of town at CHA and she has invited other amazing crafty gals to take over her blog, "Inspired by...." for the day. Check it out!

One of the gals who did an outstanding job of "house-sitting" Jill's blog is Nancy. A super-talented and lovely lady - and fellow Californian! I "met" nancy at the Hero Arts flickr group. Check out what she did with Jill's inspiration  here. Well, not only did she inspire us over there, she has her own terrific blog called Happy Heart Studio. Nancy always has a ton of inspiration of her own to share....check it out!

Nancy is offering some lovely blog candy - Wow! Here it is:

 Is that generous, or what? Run, do not walk, over to Nancy's sweet blog and check it out for yourself.

Thanks to Nancy, Jill and all of you craftin' souls sisters out there for the sweet inspiration!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Card Camp Week 4

Since it is the last week of Summer Camp, don't you think we should get S'mores? Come on! If not, I might just short sheet your bed.

Well, yes, it is the final week of my online Summer Card Camp - thank you, Jennifer and Kristina! It has been so amazing. This week's color combo is dear to my heart - ocean colors! You all know that I am a true mermaid gal, so I am in my wet glory.

In addition to the colors, Jennifer provided us with a video just bursting with ideas and techniques. I have incorporated a couple of them here, the acetate window and the letterpress techniques. Jennifer made this look so easy, but I had some troubles! After all, she is the brilliant professional.

It was difficult to photograph, but there is a strip of clear acetate (a Hero Arts clear acetate card) on the front of the card. It is stamped with Hero Arts "Magical Background" stamp (which I think looks like waves) using Stazon Ink. Doesn't it look like the turtle and the mermaid are floating in the water? For the letterpress effect I used Royal Blue Colorbox Ink in the Cuttlebug embossing folder with the wave design. It all makes a big splash!
The turtle is Hero Arts E996, the mermaid (don't you love her tan?) is A Muse 1-6134D and the shell is Crafty Secrets SL26 - all colored with Copic pens and highlighted with Stickles. The funny sentiment is from Memory Box, embossed in white. The seaweed is from a sweet Die-namics die and it is inked with Distress Inks. The tag is from Spellbinders "Ribbon Tag Trio", the pearls are from my stash, and the ribbon is a gift from my sweet crafty and Hero Arts flickr group pal, Barb!

Wow! What a line-up, eh? Maybe we should call this card the manufacturer's buffet, since so many different ones have been served up!

Summer Card Camp has been a truly great getaway - lots of fun and inspiration. Thanks again to everyone who taught us and for all the crafty pals who played along. Is that "Kumbya" I hear in the background?

Life of the Party!

Today Hero Arts is unveiling some new fantastic collaborations with Basic Grey so I decided to share with you a card made with one of their earlier ones.  This line is called "Life of the Party" and they are as cute as they can possibly be.

What says "summer" more than a county fair (unless it is my birthday - yeah!) and what says county fair better than cotton candy? There was some discussion on the blog as to if this was cotton candy or ice cream, but I'm in the cotton candy camp. This cutie is from Life of the Party Birthday, CG300.

The background is Life of the Party Dots, CG298. This makes such an interesting background with all the variations of dots. I have used a tone-on-tone color combo.

Next is the Life of the Party Words, CG300. I really like how the brown cardstock makes the white words pop.

I wish I could tell you more about the sentiment stamp. I keep a bin of all my tiny sentiment stamps and if they aren't marked I can't tell you where they are from, but my guess this is Stampin' Up.

The perfect hat topper is from my local scrapbook store - gotta love it! The image was colored with Copic pens, the pearls are Hero Arts and the ribbon is from my stash. Isn't this perfect for someone (hint, hint!) with a summer birthday?

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Big Move!

This has been such a crazy day that I will be glad to say "goodnight"! Lots of craziness. I decided to post this before calling it a day in case tomorrow is even more crazy.

I made a set of "We've Moved" cards for our niece and her husband. Since they moved to New Hampshire, the "Live Free or Die" state, I decided on a patriotic theme. My crafting pal Antoinette lent me this cute Stampin' Up set which is so perfect. If you haven't seen it you can couple the truck up with lots of different goodies and people. Very cute.

I used some papers and brads from my stash. I am going to enter this into the "Some Odd Girl Presents a Theme Challenge" at Lily Pad Cards. The trick is to make a patriotic card with a twist. What do you think? Probably not my best work, but I made 20 of these! The bar is pretty high over at that webiste. The gals there are something else.

Thanks for looking! I will be back on Wednesday with another card.

A Bird in the hand

Good Monday morning everyone! Hope you had a wonderful summer weekend. We sure did - perhaps the best ever! Lots of great cooler weather and outdoor fun. Calistoga, the sweet town in the Napa wine country where we live part-time, had its 125 Birthday Jubilee! It was such fun. Great music, food and friends. We also played some bocce ball - love it!

Now to today's quick post with a card I made using Stampin' Up products. Sweet, eh? I really love how their papers, ribbons and inks are so color-coordinated.

I am mainly a Hero Arts gal, but I have to say that Stampin' Up products are also very high quality.

I took a wonderful class last week at a nearby scrapbook store, Stampin' On Over  - Thanks, Bibianna! I hope to share those cards with you soon.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

One Ringy Dingy!

Hello! One last post for this week and it is for the Summer Card Camp weekly color challenge. Here are the colors – monochromatic with a splash of red. A real challenge!
I immediately thought of one of my favorite Hero Arts stamp sets, “Just Saying Hi (CL502)”. I stamped the phone image in Memories “mink” pigment ink and clear embossed it for the perfect shine. I used an ek border punch along the edge. I decided not to use Distress Inks this time – I wanted to keep the look fresh and clean.
The card back is stamped with my brand new Hero Arts “Flower Dot Pattern (CG330)” background stamp using VersaMark Dazzle Ink. It may be difficult to see because it is so subtle, but I think it adds some richness. I can’t wait to use this stamp again.
The strip is from a real phone book (just hope we don’t need to call anyone with the last name of Lin!). To the corner (for balance, as we learned from Kristina) I added a cute little punched heart with lots of Stickles.
Jennifer taught us how to make this cool stepped sentiment banner in this week’s Camp video. Don’t you love how it pops off the page? I added some vintage buttons from my stash for an extra punch of red.
That is it for this week. Thanks to all the happy campers for the continued support and inspiration! Have a great weekend.

It's Washi Day!

I simply can't help it - when I say "washi" I automatically think of "wash day". My grandma had each day of the week (except Sunday, of course!) dedicated to one household task. I believe that Wednesday was washing, Thursday was definitely baking day and Friday was housecleaning, to get the place ready for the weekend. What a life! I'm sure that she didn't have a crafting day, unless you call mending and ironing "crafting". She did not have it easy. Bless her heart.

Back to the card! This card gets its special look with come colorful washi paper. Beautiful stuff. I used a peel-off from Elizabeth Crafts and added some solid color with glittery gel pens. Can you believe that gold paper?

This makes an elegant and easy card that is easy to mail. Thanks for looking and have a great day. And get that laundry done!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer's Best Things

The Best Things by mkmermaid (Maureen)
The Best Things, a photo by mkmermaid (Maureen) on Flickr.
Good morning! For this card I used a new watercolor technique that I saw somewhere on the internet. I scribbled a water color crayon (they are such fun!) onto an acrylic block, misted it lightly with water and printed it on watercolor paper. The Hero Arts sentiment CG276 was embossed over the watercolor.

With this sentiment I thought it would be fun to add several embellishments that one might find in a summertime pocket. That is a very vintage pick, by the way. Love those garage sales!

Hope you are enjoying the summer. Have a great day and thanks for looking.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

It's Flippin' Summer!

Hope you all had a great weekend! I thought that I would post a card that I made for the on-line Summer Card Camp that I am "attending". Every week there is a new color challenge. This week's was to use these colors in a card. Fun and summery, eh?

I decided to really get my toes wet, so to speak. I used some great patterned paper from Pink Paislee called "Hometown Summer". Perfect. The stamp set is Hero Arts CL512. I embossed the flip-flops (can you believe it - we used to call them thongs?!) in white onto some of the printed paper. The banners are made by cutting some paper that I had punched out with an ek border punch. Easy! Some twine and tiny vellum flowers (K&Company) were added. Finally, for extra fun and texture, I added some Tahaiti Beach "sand" by Muddpuddles. It comes in a little jar and you just spread it on.

Because I used a border punch for the banners I plan to enter this is Moxie Fab World's Beautiful Borders challenge. Thanks for looking and have a great week!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Twisted Easel Card for Barb

As you may have read on an earlier post, I was lucky enough to win some fantastic Blog Candy from my online pal, Barb. I told you all about her and the special friendship that we share. I wanted to send her a special thank you and I was determined to figure out how to make an A2 size "Twisted Easel" style card.  Now that she has received it, I can post it here.

There are several instructional videos out there, but I found this one most helpful. I still didn't find exactly what I was looking for, so I modified what I saw and kind of made up my own design. After several measuring errors, I am really happy with the results.

The fun is when it is opened and displayed!  You open the card, give it a slight twist and the main design element stands right up! Cool! The easel portion is held in place by the sentiment element, which is elevated with dimensionals. I wanted to use a flower theme since Barb is a big flower fan. In addition, the flower image is one that can be viewed from any direction, so when it turns it still looks correct. I wanted to use orange, sine that is the color Barb used for my special gift package.

The shapes were cut with my Cuttlebug using Spellbinders dies. The flower was stamped, colored and cut with good old-fashioned scissors.

The stamps are Hero Arts, CL046 Clear Design Friendship Messages and CL375 Big Flowers. That flower set is one of my favorites. I used water colors and some bling and ribbon from my stash.

I sure hope that I can make another card of this style someday - I should have made two of them after I figured it out!

Here is one final photo to show the detail. I hope that I can add this style of card to the next card class I teach. There are so many possibilities! 

Thanks for looking and thanks again, Barb.

Inspired by Lin!

I have "gotten to know" the most wonderful crafter over the Hero Arts flickr group. Her name is Lin, aka quilterlin. Her cards are simply stunning! Here is the link to her lovely photo stream. And here is her beautiful blog. And not only is she super-talented, but she is so very knid. She is always giving us lots of words of encouragement and inspiration. Thanks so very much, Lin!

At one of my favorite hangouts, Lily Pad Cards, there is a challenge to make a card inspired by anything that we have seen this month on the website. I was so inspired by this card made by Lin. Isn't it the best? Lin is in a whole different league, but is so very inspiring. What is it that caught my eye with this adorable card? First of all, the vintage image - love it! And the stitching, the patterns, the scallops, the double bow in the seam binding, the cute button......WOW! So many rich details. So, I got busy.......
 My card is much more muted and funky. I had this great vintage photo - doesn't she look so proud of her outfit? I bet she was sewing for days! I know there is a real story here.

The photo is a garage sale find. I teamed it up with some great papers from October Afternoon's 5 & Dime Collection, which is just packed with vintage charm. I added some stitching with my new We R Memory Keepers "Sew Easy" tool. It reminds me of the sewing cards that I had as a child. I haven't had good luck with stitching cards on a machine - I have broken two sewing machines already and I will not try it with my good old trusty Singer.

The ribbon and vintage button - it even still has a piece of old fabric attached to it - are from my stash. I cut the card shape in my Cuttlebug with "Labels 8" from Nestibilities. I just learned about doing this and l like it for a change.

Thanks to Lin for the sweet inspiration, thanks to Lily Pad Cards for motivating me and thanks to you for looking!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Monkey for Mary!

I hope that everyone in the USA had a great holiday weekend! Ours was really nice - we had lots of fun and got some chores done, too.

About a month ago I shred with you a cute birdie card I made with a new product by Inky Antics called Honey Pops. At that time I told you that I had also made a monkey card with a pop-up inside and Mary commented that she couldn't wait to see it. Okay, my friend, this one is for you! Isn't that smile a total knock-out? How can you not love him? Great tropical colors, too. I made this card with my friend Kathleen on one of our crafting get-together days.

And, as you have learned, with these cards the big surprise is on the inside. Check it out! Too much fun, eh?

There is not much else to say other than these are really fun to make and I can't say enough about the quality of the product and the customer service of this great company. There will be more of these types of cards to come. I can't help but keep monkeying around!

Have a great week and thanks for looking!

Yankee Doodle Dandy!

My friend Sylvia was born on the 4th of July!  She is really good to me - she is a cashier at my local Michael's store. When I have forgotten my coupon or need to find something (they move stuff around all the time in there!), she looks out for me.

My husband doesn't understand how all the staff in Michael's know my name and what projects I am working on.......if he only knew the hours (and money!) I spend there. Shhhhhhh.........

I made Sylvia this combo Birthday and 4th of July card. I used my new Tim Holtz Mini Rosette die to make the miniature bunting. What a fun die - you just accordion-fold the pieces, glue them together and you have a cute 3-D element. Not too good for mailing, however. I used some paper from my stash, punched (Fiskars, the easy-on-your-hand punches) stars and some bling. I made the little flag out of a piece of flag ribbon and a hat pin!

I see that this picture is a little out of focus. Maybe because it is so hot?! Stay safe and same out there! Thanks for "popping" by!


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