Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A new challenge and a new card...

Happy Wednesday, everybody!  I can't believe this is already the third challenge hosted by Amber's Crafts and Stuff.  It seems like we just started a few days ago but in reality it's been two weeks since the first one posted.  We have had such a wonderful turn out for both of the first two and I anticipate there will be a large number of participants this week as well because the new theme is a common one... flowers!  If you know anything about me, it's probably how much I love flowers.  It seems that springtime has been on the minds of many bloggers lately because I see comments to that effect all the time as I'm making my rounds in Blogville.  Many of the other challenge sites have already used this theme but in my opinion, you can never have too many flowers so I was thrilled to learn that would be our challenge this week!

You'll notice that my card, which also happens to be my example for the challenge design team, doesn't have the usual paper flowers that I have been using so often on my recent projects... but never fear!  They will be making another appearance in a couple of weeks if not sooner.  So without further delay, here's my card.

Each one of the flowers is stamped and colored with Copic markers and mounted on deckle edged squares of coordinating card stock and popped up on a white cardstock background.  The stamps I used are actually from the dollar bin at Jo-Ann's.  I thought they were really cute and was tickled that I found 4 different designs that matched!  You usually don't find that in the dollar bins.  The lace border is created from a Martha Steward border punch and the center motif is stamped, colored and mounted on gold and green cardstock squares and the center is coated with Diamond Glaze to add dimension.  I left the inside of this one blank because I think it's suitable for a number of different occasions and I can select an appropriate sentiment when I decide to use it or leave it blank and use it for a note card.  That's it for today... whatdya think?  Your comments are always appreciated.

Happy crafting.

Monday, March 28, 2011

It's Monday again already and another word book...

One thing I have discovered since I was laid off from my job last August is that it doesn't matter if you're working full time or looking for a job (which is, in itself, a full time job!), the weekends always fly by and when Monday morning arrives, there is always something I didn't get around to doing on Saturday and Sunday.  I can't help but wonder if I have become so used to that inevitability that I subconsciously adjust my mental speed to ensure that I don't complete everything on my to-do list in those two days.  Or perhaps my brain knows that it needs some down time and therefore prevents me from spending all of my time "off" working on those weekend chores.  Another thing I have learned is that when my creative muse is feeling particularly frisky, I had better go with the flow.  If I don't, I'll undoubtedly miss the opportunity and then, when I really need to get a project finished, or started as the case may be, my muse may not be so cooperative!  The housework will still be there when my creative frenzy ends so why not take advantage of the opportunity when it's presented?  I'm a planner by nature and it would be nice to know what kinds of projects will be needed in the coming months but since that's not always possible, I try to take care of the ones I do know about in advance and then if I'm still going strong, I work on whatever makes me happy at the time.   

My younger sister, Patty, inspired me on many occasions to create what I feel is some of my best work.  She also made me realize that I need to live each moment as though it could be my last because none of us knows when that final moment may arrive.  She lived the last 6 years of her life in a way that was an inspiration to everyone who met her.  She maintained a positive attitude toward life and even in her final days, never questioned that her maker had a reason for making her suffer and she never blamed Him for her illness.  I'm not at all sure that I would be able to follow her example but I know that I would try to do just that.  This photo of her graced the front cover of Texas Health Harris Methodist Foundation's publication called "In Touch" in which she was featured in an article about the Bluebonnet Retreat Adult Cancer Camp, where she was a volunteer camp counselor twice a year.  The camp was extremely important to her and she attended the spring session just over a month before she passed away in May of last year. 

Here's a word book I made for her approximately 4 years after she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.  It was the first one I made and I took the pictures before her photos and some additional embellishments were added.  It's much prettier with them in place but I haven't had a chance when I've been at my brother-in-law's house to take new pictures of it.  I definitely need to do that though <making a mental note to take camera on my next visit>.    

Thanks for dropping by today.  I wish you all a wonderful week full of love and creative energy and I hope you'll visit again very soon.

Happy crafting,

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Happy Sunday and two cards

Okay, I have given you a break from my card making so now it's time to get back to it.  As is my habit (though some of you probably think it's not a very good habit! LOL)  when I get a new stamp, I color several versions of the image because I'm still trying to perfect my coloring technique.  Besides that, I can make several cards at the same time and it gives me several different options for building my stash.  In other words, I'll color, say 3 of the same image at one time.  Then I'll make 3 cards... one birthday card, one thank you card and maybe a friendship or sympathy card.  Then when I need a card, it's already made and ready to add my personal note to the recipient.  The only kind of card I need to make more of are masculine ones.  I have the hardest time with those because they generally aren't as pretty and I enjoy making pretty things!  Haha!  I do have a son, grandson, 2 brothers, a brother-in-law and several nephews though so I really need to get my butt in gear and make some "guy" cards!  The problem is that I can't make them all using the same image because all of the men in my life are relatives and it's almost a sure bet that they would discover my secret!  Haha! Maybe I'll have to use my Cricut or Silhouette for those cards.  My machines have been rather neglected since I got the markers so it's about time to blow the dust off and use them anyway.

Here are two variations on the lilies card I posted a while back.  I colored the flowers yellow on the first one but I used the same basic pallette as I did on the card in my original post.  On the second one, the flowers are orange again but the pallette is a little different and I added lace and pearls.  I also layered the lilies to give them the illusion of being 3-dimensional and in case you haven't noticed, I love using butterflies on my cards, especially the ones with flowers as the main motif.

Thanks for dropping by today.  Have a wonderful weekend!  I'm off to do some blog hopping and some laundry.  See ya next time!


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring Eye Candy!

It was so warm today that I thought I was going to have to turn the air conditioner on!  But I'm glad I didn't because a cold front has now descended upon us and the temperature has dropped about 20 degrees in the past hour and a half.  Such is springtime in Texas!  My beautiful bearded irises have just begun to bloom so I thought I would take a short break from paper crafting and share some pictures of my garden that I took a couple of years ago.  If the irises bloom as profusely this year as they did then, I'll be out snapping pictures again in about a week.  Some varieties don't bloom every year so it's always a surprise to see which ones will put on their spectacular show for me.  I hope those of you who live in northern states will feel inspired to create and that you'll rest assured that warmth and color are on their way to you soon too.

Aren't they just gorgeous?  This is only a few of the different ones that may make an appearance this spring.  Every year when they start to show their colors, I think what a wonderful work of art they are... one of God's masterpieces as far as I'm concerned.  As always, I appreciate your popping by.  I hope you enjoyed this kaleidoscope of color.

Happy crafting,

Friday, March 25, 2011

DCWV Giveaway!

Hi, everybody!  Sorry I didn't post anything new today.  I spent most of the day running errands and delivering some jewelry pieces I was commissioned to make and just ran out of time.  It's almost 2:30 AM and I need to get some shut eye but before I turn in for the night, I wanted to let you know (in case you aren't already aware) that DCWV is giving away a box full of their product on Monday.  This giveaway is in conjunction with the Scrapbook USA Expo going on this weekend in Utah.  I would love to go to this event not only to meet Erin but also because I have never been to Utah and I hear it's beautiful there.  Here's a link to the DCWV Diary blog site:

DCWV Scrapbook USA Expo Giveaway

Check it out!  This is one of my very favorite paper stack/embellishment manufacturers and they have some reeeeeally awesome stuff!  All the details can be found on their blog.  Thanks and have a wonderful Friday!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Two new awards on the same day!

Much to my surprise, two of my paper crafting friends, Amber of Amber's Crafts and Stuff and Naush of Doodle Buddies gave me The Versatile Blogger Award!  Wow!  I'm so grateful and so humbled that they both find my blog deserving of such an award.  The rules for this one are that I must  thank the person who gave me the award, list 7 things about myself and pass the award on to 15 other deserving bloggers.  Because I Amber and I both received the award from Naush, I am going to take the liberty of combining the requirements of the two awards.  Otherwise, I would be here the rest of today trying to create a list of 30 bloggers to pass the award on to!

First, the 7 things about myself:

1. I am the oldest of 5 children, 3 girls and 2 boys.
2. I was born and raised in Fort Worth, TX, moved to Houston when my son was 6 weeks old and moved      back to Fort Worth 15 years ago to help care for my aging parents.
3. I was laid off of my job last August after 14 years of service and I am still looking for a new job.  :o(
4. I have been crafting since I was old enough to hold a crayon.
5. I'm also a doll maker and sculptor.
6. I make jewelry too.
7. I love ice cream and watch way too much television!

And now for the 15 bloggers I choose to receive this award.

1. Emily -
2. Jill -
3. Shannon -
4. Leann -
5. Ali -
6. Lolis -
7. Judy -
8. JanJan -
9. Irene -
10. Celeste -
11. Jess -
12. Jin -
13. Monica -
14. Kimi & Pamela -
15. Nicole -

Congratulations, ladies!  If you prefer not to participate, I'll certainly understand.  I know this award-receiving business is a lot more time consuming than it seems at first.  Still, it's nice to be recognized occasionally and other than comments, this is the only mechanism I know of to do that.

Happy Crafting!

A Layout for Amber's Crafts and Stuff Challenge #2

The theme for this week's challenge at Amber's Crafts and Stuff is to use a die cut from a manual or electric die cutting machine or that you purchased and to use it in any kind of project you want.  I decided to create a scrapbook page this week and I used one of my favorite pictures of one of my nieces.  I made a similar layout for her younger sister a while back and I think I'll put them in shadowbox frames and give them to the girls for their birthdays this year.  For this layout, I cut the cupcake and title "Cute as a Cupcake" on my Silhouette.  The butterfly is a store bought die cut as well.

All of the papers I used are from Nana's Nursery for Baby Girl by DCWV.  Most of the flowers are by Pima and the bling is by Say it With Crystals.  "Brittany" is spelled out in card stock stickers.  I used my Copic markers to shade the paper wrapper and frosting top on the cupcake and Crystal Glitter on the top to simulate granulated sugar.  Here's my layout.

Close-up of the cupcake die cut.

I haven't written anything on the journaling tag because I haven't figured out what I want to say. I love the green squiggle border because it reminds me of the white squiggle frosting on Hostess and Mrs. Baird's cupcakes that you buy at the grocery store! 

The other members of Amber's Design Team have created some awesome projects for your viewing pleasure so please drop by if you have a minute and get inspired.  Thanks for looking!  Have a fabulous Wednesday!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wow! Where have the days gone? At last... a new project!

Well, I had every intention of posting a new project every day last week but as is obvious, that didn't happen!  I have been on a crafting frenzy the past several days and when that happens, I just have to roll with it lest it leave me before I finish all I have in my mind to do.  One project is for my granddaughter's birthday, which happens to be today!  That one sneaked up on me!  I just got to take photos of all the pieces today so her gift will be late getting to her, I'm sorry to say.  Bad grandmother!!!  The extra time did allow me to make it extra special though so my hopes are that she'll forgive my tardiness.  I love you, Sheridan!  I also finished my project for the birthday blog hop I'm participating in next month (see the badge at the top of my left sidebar)!  Hallelujah!  I'm ahead of the game for a change!  And last but not least, I finished my sample for the next challenge at Amber's Crafts and Stuff at 6:00 this morning so I'm feeling rather zombie-like right now.  If I make any typos, you'll just have to forgive me until after I have had some sleep, a meal and a chance to proof read this post!

So without further ado, here is the gift I made for my granddaughter, Sheridan.  She turned Sweet 16 today so this had to be a super special gift.  I made this cute paper bag mini album from a kit I won from Emily at Create Serendipity on a blog hop a few weeks ago.  It was absolutely the perfect thing to make for this gift as it's very girlie and the colors are pink, black and white.  There are lots of pictures so grab a snack!  LOL!

Here we go!  Please note that the pink daisies and blue curly ribbon are not part of the album.  They're only there for dramatic effect! <wink>

The tags seen in the photos are tucked away inside the open side of the paper bags (what used to be the top of the bag), which are folded in half and stitched down the center to form two pages per bag.  To create more space for pictures, I created flaps on some of the pages.  I just hope my granddaughter, with the help of her mom, can figure out how to resize her photos on the computer to fit the appropriate spaces.  

So there you have it!  I hope you have enjoyed this little project.  It took about 3 days to get it all put together and the all the embellishments added but it was so much fun!  Emily sells some of her awesome paper bag kits and finished acrylic albums in her Etsy shop, to which you'll find a link on her blog.  Stop by there and check them out and while you're there,  please leave her a comment telling her I sent you.  

Check back tomorrow for my Design Team project for Amber's Crafts and Stuff.  I really like the way it turned out, even though I was really bleary-eyed when I finished it!  Thanks for looking.  Have a wonderful evening and a fantastic Wednesday!

Happy Crafting!