6/30/10

I like shiny things

I do. A lot. I put a fair amount of them on this card. See?
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I warned you. It started out as a one layer CAS design, but I just couldn’t stand it. So I stamped the butterflies and let it sit for a while. I came back and wasn’t happy with it. I added the gems to the bodies of the butterflies and walked away.
When I came back I still was not happy with it. So I added some more bling – the bluish gems. They needed some balance so I added the green gems. That made me happy. It is still only one layer. Does it still qualify as CAS (clean and simple) or did the bling knock it out of the ballpark? I don’t know.
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Shiny things. Sparkly things. It’s all good.

6/29/10

Nestie organization

I have seen several ideas for organizing these little beauties lately so I thought I’d share my method. This is version 4.5.2 – I have tried lots of different methods and as my collection grew I had to revisit my storage options. Since I have a relatively small space, a 10’ x 11’ room with limited wall space, baskets have become my BFFs. I like to keep most things out where I can see them, so I can remember that I have them – and you all know exactly what I mean – so pretty baskets are the ticket for me. At times it does get overwhelming, with so much out in plain view. I feel like I should be utilizing more of my schtuff on cards and find it difficult to be content with making simpler designs. I’m working on that :-).

I found these baskets on sale at Hobby Lobby a while back and they are the ideal size for storing Nestabilities and Cuttlebug, Sizzix and QK embossing folders.

My PTI dies are so small I just keep them in the original little zipper bags in the front of the basket. There are some larger QuicKutz dies behind those and then the Nestabilities. That large zig zag die in the back on the left side is a PTI die, too. The larger Nestabilities are in the very back – they are too tall to completely fit into the envelopes and still be able to close them, but that’s ok.

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These are the CD envelopes I use. I bought them at Staples or Target and they aren’t very expensive at all. They are a heavy translucent vinyl , several colors to a box, with a little half circle tab to tuck the top flap into for closure.

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They are the perfect size. I cut the packaging to fit (more or less) and slip it into the envelope, put the dies in and tuck in the flap. I have thought of putting in dividers for the various kinds of dies (circles, flowers, ovals, etc.) but haven’t found that to be necessary just yet. I started out color coding them – circles in orange, ovals in purple, etc., but that didn’t work out too well either. Too many of one kind of die, not enough of that color envelope.

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Cuttlebug folders fit into the baskets very nicely,too. I love the bright colors of the baskets – it adds a little color to my work space. The walls are still white and I am not about to paint them now so I will use containers and accessories to add pops of color here and there.

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Does anyone have any suggestions for avoiding the feeling of being overwhelmed by having so much schtuff? NO, purging is not an idea I am very open to at the moment. I did sell quite a bit at the last used stamp sale up at Stamper’s Alley and don’t miss any of it. But, seriously, the right tool for the job, the perfect color of ink/paper/ribbon/brad/flower….aside from going completely Stampin’ Up how else is there is to accomplish that?

I’d love to hear your ideas. Do you think that having cabinets and drawers is a better idea? Is NOT seeing too much stuff out in full view easier? If nearly everything was in cabinets and tucked away I would have to open the doors to look for things, so it’s not like I could forget I have them, right? Or do I just need to get over it??

Help me out here, I’m listening.

6/28/10

Butterflies are free to fly….

But not these. They are anchored down with glue dots. No flying away. Nyuh uh.

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Hero Arts Silhouette Grass stamp in the background, stamped using Distress Inks (Shabby Shutters and Tumbled Glass) and with the same technique I used for the backgrounds in this post. The sentiment is from Hero Arts, too. The line of dots is from a $1 clear set I found at AC Moore a few weeks back and I think it fills the space perfectly.

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The butterflies were cut an embossed with a Sizzix Embosslit from Stampin’ Up – Beautiful Wings. The antennae is/are a piece of twine that I colored dark brown with a Copic marker. They are so useful! What did we ever do before we found them? I don’t know either. I really like these little butterflies but they are smaller than I thought they would be – probably because I didn’t pay attention to the description. Embosslit! Hello! Small dies, small die cuts. They’re very pretty, I like ‘em.

That’s all I have for today. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your day.

6/26/10

Hi There!

It’s me again. Surprised? So many posts in such a short period of time? Miracles do happen, apparently.

I got tired of seeing all of those backgrounds I created a few weeks ago just laying around collecting cat fur, so I got myself in gear and made a card with one of them. Hey, it’s a start!

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The dies are from Papertrey – Beautiful Blooms II, #1 Die Collection. I do love their dies. They cut like buttah and I like how they layer together so well. They don’t emboss and that’s perfectly fine with me. They create a very smooth edge on the card stock, too. Love it!

There’s not much else to say about this card, it’s pretty simple. I’m not sure I am crazy about the ribbon but, believe it or not, it’s the only one that even came close to coordinating with the green on the card. It does look better in person. I do have a few ribbons in my stash and I’m sure you do, too. C’mon, tell the truth. It’s ok, we all understand. Why is it, with all of those colors to choose from, sometimes I don’t have the color I need??? Can I get an AMEN? Thank you.

Now go create something. Use up some of that ribbon stash. Then you can justify buying more ribbon – like we need to justify it, right?

6/25/10

Another ten seconds of fame

It is an honor to be featured on this blog, it really is. Thank you!

Operation Write Home Stars and Stamps Featured Stamper

Sending Hugs

I love all of the new Hero Arts stamps and I have seen this one used a lot lately on different websites and blogs, so I had to ink it up and give it a shot. I guess I was in an Autumn sort of mood this time - wishing the hot weather would go away!

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I sponged Marvy inks on white card stock. I used 4 colors to get just the right shading – Pink, Bubblegum Pink, Brilliant Yellow, and Orange. I really like using these inks for sponging and blending because the blend so well. I don’t care for stamping with them for that same reason, they tend to bleed a little and make the image fuzzy or blurry. I wish they had more colors and especially more pastel colors, they are pretty vivid. I used a couple of different colors for stamping the branches - Hero Arts Hues Soft Brown and Memento Rich Cocoa (also used for the sentiment). No bling or ribbon anywhere to be found – what is the world coming to? Sometimes I just like to keep it simple. I should have embossed the sentiment, I think, but it’s too late now. It will just have to do.

What is the weather like where you are?

6/24/10

You Make Me Smile

Especially when you leave comments :-) That also happens to be the sentiment I used on this card. It is in a Papertrey set (Signature Greetings) and I have hardly used any of the other stamps in that set yet, I love this one the most.

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Hero Arts stamps on the background, wood grain background and the fern. Isn’t that felt awesome? The brown felt is from Papertrey and the green is one I bought from an Etsy shop – either Felt on the Fly or GiantDwarf, I can’t remember which. I cut the same zigzag (with a Papertrey die) out of the green felt and couldn’t bring myself to throw away the scraps. Never throw anything away, especially felt, right? I’m glad I didn’t – the brown felt fit in between perfectly. I used Scor-Tape to adhere the felt to the card and it’s very secure – love that stuff!

Nestabilities were used to cut the layers for the sentiment and the brown piece was embossed with a Cuttlebug folder before die cutting – the one with the branches, I forget the name of it. They are both popped up on mounting foam.

This is such an easy design, it would be appropriate for many occasions and perfect for sending to a male of the species – no flowers, no glitter, no bows, no fluff.

Enjoy your day :-)

6/23/10

Tropical Blooms

We took a little trip over to the North Carolina coast this past weekend. DH got to tour the Battleship North Carolina for the first time. He loved it! I had no idea how big those ships are – or how hot they are below decks. Whew! It was interesting and not as claustrophobic as I thought it would be, but I was glad to get back up on deck.

The beach was wonderful. It was so good to be able to dip my feet in salt water again. So relaxing. Most of the (HUGE!) houses along the beach were painted all different colors – they were just beautiful. Pastel blues, yellows, pinks, coral….yum. Many of them were brighter colors and it really put me in the mood to use some brighter colors on my cards this time.

As usual, I made a couple of the same design, using slightly different color combinations.

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The striped paper is by S.E.I. and has glittery strips on it, very sparkly although it is hard to see in the photos. The green flowers are Primas and the coral ones are silk ones that I probably got at M’s in the floral department and ripped apart. I put the circle with the sentiment off center and accented it with a little rhinestone. The sentiment is from the PTI Butterfly Dreams set which was released a few months ago. The border punch is from Martha.

Thanks for stopping by and for those of you who live at the beach – you are lucky ducks!!

6/11/10

Felt On The Fly

And interesting name for an Etsy shop, don’t you think? I ordered some felt from this shop, and it was delivered yesterday. She ships very quickly and the felt is yummy. It’s 100% Merino wool, very soft, the colors are really pretty….. and it cuts like buttah. I die cut a PTI butterfly and don’t have any photos to show you but there were no fuzzies at all like you get with the cheap craft felt from the big box stores. Exactly what I was hoping for!

Here are the colors I bought:

Tropical Blooms:

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Pansy:

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The Tropical Blooms set is gorgeous! I love those oranges and purples together. The Pansy set is very pretty, too but the pinks are not as pink as I had hoped. There’s always that chance when you are looking at colors online. Monitors differ in brightness, contrast, etc. All in all I am very happy with this felt. If you’d like to check out the Etsy shop just click here. I did order a few other colors from another Etsy shop yesterday and will report back on those when they get here. Maybe I will get a card or two done with some of it – I can dream, right?

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

6/9/10

Hero Arts Giveaway!

You don't want to miss out on this generous giveaway. Kathy is celebrating her one year blog anniversary with some wonderful prizes. Click the link at the top of the photo and enter to win. She has some beautiful cards on her blog, so after you enter the giveaway be sure to have a look around. You will be inspired, I'm sure.
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My ten seconds of fame

Over on the Stars and Stamps Blog, which is part of Operation Write Home, they have a Midweek Throwdown challenge. This week the challenge is masculine cards and each of the shippers for OWH got to choose a card for inspiration. Dixie chose one of mine! I am so excited and honored.

If you have not yet made cards for Operation Write Home, please consider becoming a part of this wonderful organization. Regardless of how you feel about the war, it is the troops that need out support. They are putting their lives on the line and doing their job every single day, far away from the comfort of home and family, something that most of us cannot even imagine.

I am glad to be able to contribute in some small way and hope that my cards will brighten someone’s day and bring a smile to someone’s face. We all enjoy making cards and what better way to share our good fortune than to help out those who are helping us out.

Click on over to the Stars and Stamps Blog, check out the cards for inspiration, and participate in the challenge. Make a few extra cards and send them on their way to the troops, too. It’s the very least we can do, people.

Have a wonderful day :-)

Embezzlements

Yes, you read that right. No, I didn’t misspell it. That’s what DH calls these. I know they are embellishments, you know they are embellishments. But he’s a man and we all know how they are.    (Hi, honey.)

I love to make paper flowers, crocheted flowers, crepe paper flowers, felt flowers, and may even give organza flowers a try if I can find some organza fabric. I have ordered some wool felt so you will be seeing more of those on the blog soon, too. The craft felt works ok sometimes but it is pretty thin and leave fuzzies on the edges most of the time. I have a couple of colors of the Papertrey felt, which is 100% wool, and love the way it looks when it is die cut. They don’t have very many colors yet, so I decided to check out some Etsy shops and found some really pretty felt. I will let you know how I like it after I have had some time to play with it.

In the meantime here are a few flowers I created the other day. The one on the left is made from card stock. I punched out eight or so scalloped circles, sponged them with some Wild Honey Distress Ink in the middle and Spun Sugar Distress Ink around the edges, spritzed them with some water and crumpled them up. I un-crumpled ( is that a word?) them, stacked them up, poked a hole in the center and put a brad through to hold them together. Then I crumpled them up a little bit more. I also sprayed a little Clearsnap Smooch Spritz on it but you can’t really see that in the photo at all. The nice thing about spritzing them with either water, Glimmer Mist, or some other spray is that when they are dry they hold their shape better.

The little yellow one on the right is made from crepe paper. It would get smooshed going through the mail, of course, but I just love the way it poofs up. I like poofy things. And shiny things.

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Martha Stewart tags from Michael’s. I saw these on Dawn McVey’s blog and after seeing the adorable things she did with them I had to get some, of course. They only come in white but that’s a good thing. You can color them any color you want! I colored the green one with Peeled Paint Distress Ink. I just sponged it on, and Voila! – green tag. I haven’t tried airbrushing them yet but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Glimmer Mist would work well, too, I think. They come 12 to a package – 4 of each design and are about 2-1/2” in diameter.

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Here it the green one paired with the paper flower above.

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Here it is paired with a flower made from old book pages and a button. This flower was inspired by Dawn McVey, too. It took everything I had to tear the pages out of that book. I bought it at Goodwill for the express purpose of using the pages this way, but it was not easy. I love books and I have to just think of it as recycling.

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This is one of the ribbon flowers I posted a few weeks ago. It’s the perfect size for this tag!

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Instead of coloring the tag you can punch a circle from coordinating card stock and place it behind the tag so that it shows through.

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This almost looks like ribbon threaded through the holes but it’s just a circle of colored card stock behind it.

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Maybe my next post will have some cards. I certainly have enough embezzlements to put on a few cards :-)

6/8/10

Still not inspired

No cards yet, but I did get out my Distress Inks and play a little. I saw this technique on Joy’s blog and had to give it a whirl. I don’t have the same stamp that she used (yet) so I improvised with this stamp. It’s from Hero Arts and considerably smaller but I do like the way these turned out. I used Spun Sugar and Wild Honey on the first two (the Wild Honey overpowered the Spun Sugar on the 2nd one), Peeled Paint and Tumbled Glass on the second one. For some reason the photos came out a little brighter than the backgrounds actually are. They are much softer in person.

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The rest of these were done with this stamp (Hero Arts).

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Spun Sugar and Wild Honey again

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I used some Glimmer Mist to stamp this one – I think it was Tutti Fruitti and Mango. You can’t see the shimmer in the photo but it’s there – and very pretty. Softer in person, too.

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Distress Ink – Peeled Paint and Tumbled Glass

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Glimmer Mist – Hula Hoop and Waterslide on both of these.

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I like both looks, I guess it depends on the look you are going for. The paper did warp on all of them when it dried but a good strong tape like Red Line or Scor-Tape will hold them down just fine. It’s not as messy as I thought it would be. I used my Ranger Craft Sheet and it is so easy to clean up.

Now go play. Have fun. Get a little messy. Let’s see what you can come up with.

6/7/10

Crocheted Bloomers

Doesn’t that sound incredibly uncomfortable? Fortunately I am talking about the flowery type of bloomer and not the kind worn as undergarments.

I haven’t been inspired to create any cards lately, in spite of having a few new stamps that need to be inked up, so I created a few more flowers. I was blurfing (blog surfing, technical term) the other day and came upon a couple of YouTube videos for crocheted flowers.  So I whipped out my trusty crochet hooks, grabbed some yarn and followed along.

These are so simple to make and they work up very quickly. The video is here.

The first 2 were made with embroidery thread and the third one was made with Paton Grace yarn. On the 2nd and third ones I think I did 3 treble crochets instead of two, for a wider petal. She added buttons in the video and as you can see, I didn’t. Maybe next time.

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This one is a different pattern which can be found here, and the video is here. I used the Paton Grace yarn for this one, too, but I will be making some with embroidery thread very soon. I think they would be prettier with either the thinner embroidery thread or using a larger crochet hook. This one looks a little bulky to me.

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So that’s it for today – get out those crochet needles and make some for yourself. They make cute little embellishments for cards or even small gift boxes. They would be adorable on hats or purses, too.

YouTube is a wonderful resource for all things crafty. I have a channel – here – and you can subscribe if you like. I have quite a few videos saved there – everything from card making and crocheting to funny cat videos. I have categorized some of them, but many of them are not. Another thing on my list for “one of these days”.

Happy crocheting!

6/2/10

A Wonderful Memorial Day Weekend

My daughter, Amanda (Sis), was here from Asheville for the weekend and we had an absolutely wonderful time! We laughed, ate junk food, shopped a little, laughed some more – until tears ran down our faces – and even made some cards together. Her roommate, Shae, is a beginning stamper and Sis wanted to make her a card. Which, of course, led to making cards for more of her friends. I sent some stamps and stuff to Shae to help her get started a bit, because this can be an expensive hobby and I was glad to be able to share my loot!

So, here are the cards that Sis made – I think they are excellent!

Hero Arts stamps, Papertrey butterfly stamp and die.

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The butterfly is the same Papertrey die but she cut it out of some Papertrey felt and used embroidery thread and a button for the body and antennae. Cute!

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Hero Arts stamps and the same butterfly again but I love how she colored it – with Copics, mind you! Both images are heat embossed, too. Yes, she is quite talented, if I do say so myself.

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Penny Black flower, Papertrey sentiment and leaf stamps. Nestabilities label die for the sentiment. The background paper was printed on the computer. We watched the video on Gina K’s Stamp TV and had to give it a try. Don’t ask me how many times we had to stamp the sentiment to get it absolutely straight.

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I even managed to make one more card – my version of the Gina K card. The stamp is by Rubber Stampede and I bought it at the Used Stamp Sale at Stamper’s Alley in May.

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Here is my beautiful daughter attempting to cuddle Miss Kitty, who is not much of a cuddly kitty – can you tell? I miss her already :-(

I love you, Sis!!!!!!!

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