Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolution #1 - Stop Procrastinating

Well, the top of my Resolutions list is "Stop Procrastinating!" A perfect example of this is the current state of my Christmas Tree:

Pretty sad, huh? We pulled the tree out of storage and set it up a few days before Christmas. The tote full of ornaments was in the living room, only three feet from the tree. There was nothing "keeping" me from decorating the tree... but here it sits. And it's New Years Eve. That's pretty pathetic. I'm sure you've seen the fridge magnet that says "I understand the concept of cooking and cleaning, just not as it applies to me!" Mine would read, "I understand the concept of finishing things..." *sigh*

Maybe next year... ;)

Thanks for looking!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Black & Pink Birthday

I recieved an awesome compliment this weekend. A few years ago I was given my first gift of hand made cards by my niece. I had never received a hand made card before, and was completely oblivious of the world of stampin! Seems so long ago, but it was only a few years back. Well, needless to say, that got me interested in the whole process and the rest is history! Well, this same neice asked me to make cards for HER! Granted, she has an almost-two-year-old and no time really to stamp, but still! It made my day!

Anywhoo, I was having fun playing with the pink fabric paper last night, and happened to still have my scraps out, so here is what I came up with!

I used this sketch at SCS, and tried to keep things pretty simple. I had a hard time getting the skirt to stamp clearly with no blotchy parts, so I pulled out the VeraFine since it's a thicker ink. I think it turned out pretty well!

I used these items:

Be Yourself - Close To My Heart SOTM
VersaFine Ink - Black
Basic Gray cardstock - SU!
Pink fabric paper - stash
Swirl Paper - paper stack (not sure which)
Silver Pearls - Recollections
Black card base

Thanks for looking!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Flutterby Thank You

I made a couple of Thank You cards tonight for my sisters in law, since they both hosted dinners for the holiday. I have a ton of this fabric/paper for cardmaking, and I've been looking for different uses for it.

I made two of this same design, and just changed up the card base and the mat colors. The other card I used a black base and a light gray mat under the pink and stamped pieces, but I'm more fond of this version. Once again, all the pieces on the card were scraps, even the white panel. I just shaved a smidge off the edges to make nice clean cuts. I used one of my Go-to sketches from SCS and pretty much built the entire card around the swirly stamp. I used my butterfly die set from Spellbinders, and used some Scor-Tape to attach the butterfly. I'm beginning to love the Scor-Tape I ordered recently; just as sticky as the red stuff, without the irritating static cling liner!

Here are the items I used:

Thank You Swirl - Stampendous
Black Ink - Memories
Pink fabric paper - scraps
Solid Pink - scraps
Solid Dark Gray - scraps
Gray card base
White Pearls - Kaisercraft
D'Vine Swirls - Cuttlebug
Flying Beauty dies - Spellbinders

Thanks for looking!


Monday, December 28, 2009

My Little Snow Gopher!

Sadie had a blast playing in the snow we got this weekend. She actually dug her nose under the crust of snow and buried her face in it! I almost expected her to lift her head out of the snow and say something about making "a left turn at Albuquerque!"


Friday, December 25, 2009

"Snow" Place Like Home for the Holidays!

We got BLASTED with snow overnight, and it's still falling! I took a few photos before the hubs started up the snowblower. I don't remember the last time I made a snow angel, but I'm willing to bet my butt was a little smaller then!

Merry Christmas, everyone!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Winter Wonderland!

We had dinner with family tonight, and they go all out with the holiday decorations. Their house has become a bit of a tourist attraction locally, and they have a blast doing it! This shot is of a tiny portion of their back yard, where no strangers even see it. I love this little moose! You can see how much fun they have!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

We are expecting a fair amount of snow tonight and over the next few days. I caught a shot of a few snowflakes that seemed to float instead of fall to the ground. I do love this part of winter!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ugly Paper Challenge!

I wanted to recreate one of my donation cards for the monthly card swap I do with the girls. I pulled out another scrap of striped Christmas paper, which looked really pretty by itself, but made my eyebrows raise when it came to matching it with solid colors. The red is more of an orange than a red, but I'll be generous and call it "Tomato."

The photo didn't turn out as well as I hoped it would. The green card base is much darker in natural light, and it really tones down the red. All in all, I think the colors work pretty well together, given that I used as little of the "Tomato" color as possible. The Stamping Divas would be proud of this Ugly Paper Challenge, I think!

Thanks for looking!


Monday, December 21, 2009

Mailing Christmas Cards

I didn't get much crafting done today, other than taking photos of the cards I've made or received in swaps. I cleaned out my card stash in order to have enough to send out, and STILL had to make an extra 20 cards! I figured I'd take photos of each one to keep as samples, that way I'd free up a bit of room in my card storage. I mailed out 78 Christmas Cards today... and the worst part is, I do this every year! I have visions of having the cards addressed and stamped and ready to go out on December 1st, and somehow it always ends up being the 21st instead!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Cocoa Cards for Chris

This, ladies and gents, is the reason I was inspired to tidy up my red scraps. I made a set of these cards as a Christmas gift this year.

I had a few yards of this red striped ribbon that I've been holding on to for I don't know how long. I saw this sample over at SCS and knew I had the perfect use for it! I also had a set of JustRite stamps that I hadn't used yet, and things sort of fell together once I put those two things together! I stamped the images in VersaFine Black, then embossed in clear. I used a red marker to color in the candy cane stripes, then covered the candy canes in Crystal Lacquer. I also used a Stardust Pen on the snowflakes on the mug, and on the top and bottom "rim" of the mug. The silver panel is out of my stash, and the white pieces are embossed with my Cuttlebug. To get the ribbon to gather in the middle, I tied a piece of dental floss around it. Dental floss is very handy when you're trying to tie knots by yourself, since the floss is waxed and sticks to itself! I used a piece of red line tape under where the ribbon is gathered, just so I could keep the folds where I wanted them. I used foam tape for the circle with the sentiment on it, and another piece of foam tape to add the mug on top. All in all, I'm pretty pleased with these!

I used these items:

Something Sweet - JustRite Stamps
VersaFine Black
Clear embossing powder
Nestabilities Petite Scallop Circles
Nestabilities Circles
QuickCutz embossing folder - Snowflake
Martha Stewart marker - Ruby
Gelly Roll pen - Stardust
Crystal Lacquer
Silver, red, and white cardstock scraps
Red striped ribbon
White card bases

Thanks for looking!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Seeing RED!

So I was inspired to tidy my drawer of red scraps. It's surprisingly difficult to make a "set" of cards when you are having a hard time locating enough of a specific solid color... I went through and divided up all of my reds by actual color just to make things a little easier. I ended up with 21 (yes, twenty-one!!) different groups where I had several cut pieces of the same shade. Sheesh! I hate to see what's in my Pink drawer!!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I (heart) my scraps!

Now, I really love my scraps. If you've ever seen my stash you know that I have a Pile-O-Scraps, not just a little bucket or box. If you need a particular theme or color scheme, I probably have it. If you need that specific shade of puce solid card stock, I probably have it. If you need a mirror paper in hot pink, I probably have that too! It's fantastic not having to run out each time I need that special something.

But I gotta be honest, some times my scrap stash can be a little overwhelming. This is just a small part of my Christmas scrap stash:

Yes, all of these are actual "scraps." There isn't a full sheet of paper in this drawer, some of them are even as small as 1"x1"! I get into creative overload when I dig into things like this. It's kinda like the Kid in the Candy Store, a whole world of choices but only a dime to spend! In my case, I already have the entire world of choices, and my one dime is the fact that I can only make one card at a time! Where do I start?!?

Christmas paper is also one of my major downfalls. I have another 7-8 inches worth of full 12x12 sheets of Christmas paper that I'm not allowing myself to cut into until I've used more of my scraps. I will admit, though, that I will occasionally pull out the whole sheets and look through them to get into the creating spirit! And then, of course, I'll go back to my scrap stash and find I already have a cut piece of the same design as I was looking at in the full sheets!

How did I get so much paper, you ask? I worked at a stamping store here in town, and I was lucky enough to inherit all the scraps when it closed down in April. Now, when the owner said "I have some scraps for you to pick up" I was expecting maybe a small box or two. The "small box or two" turned out to be 7 wine-bottle boxes FULL of paper! Jackpot! It took about two months to go through everything and organize it by color, but it was definately worth the effort! Thanks again to Sue for her generosity! You rock!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sneak Peek - Auction Card 3

Here it is - the third and final card set for the auction tomorrow!

I have to say I'm pretty doggone pleased with how this one turned out! The patterned paper is Making Memories - FaLaLa, and this is another card where every piece on here started as a scrap! The card bases were the only thing not "officially" in my scraps, since I have a ton of pre-cut card bases. Unfortunately, the picture is not lit well enough to see the detail or the shading, but then again, it's dark out and these are due tomorrow morning. This means I can't wait for a sunbeam to take a better photo! :)

I stamped and embossed the sentiment, and the main image is stamped in Versafine Black. I colored the image with my Prismacolors and OMS, and then accented the circle around the candle flame with crystal lacquer. Then with the help of my trusty Nestabilities dies and a MS border punch, it all came together!

I used these items:

Willow with Christmas Candle - Whiff of Joy
Making Memories - FaLaLa paper
VersaFine Black
Memories Black - sentiment
Clear embossing powder
Prismacolor pencils & OMS
Nestabilities Petite Ovals
Martha Stewart border punch
Solid red from my scrap stash
Green card bases

Thanks for looking!


Monday, December 14, 2009

Sneak Peek - Auction Card 2

Here is a sample of the second set of cards I'm doing for the auction at work:

I used this sketch over at SCS, it's one of my favorites. The patterned paper is Basic Grey - Wassail. Believe it or not, I actually had enough scraps to make 10 cards! Both the green and the cream panels are the back sides of two of the Wassail papers. I added the flourish stamp to the cream panel, because it just needed a little extra something to tie in the green. The solid green matting is also out of my scraps, and the paper I stamped on is the back side to some hideous stationary I inherited. I think it turned out pretty well!

First I stamped the sentiment in New England Ivy and embossed it in clear. Then I stamped the tree on the far left in New England Ivy, and second generation stamped the tree on the far right immediatly after. Next I stamped the tree in the middle in Olive, and finally the tree "behind" the leftmost tree in Garden Green. I distressed the edges in Garden Green, and also used my dauber to create the hazy shading around the trees and sentiment. I added a little Polar White Flower Soft to the leftmost tree to give it some extra oompf. I had tried glitter and stickles and even mica flakes; nothing looked right! I do like the Polar White FS, because it's not really "white." It's more of a clear, which is great because it doesn't overpower the green of the trees or clash horribly with the creams in the card.

I used these items:

Forest of Trees from Flourishes
Basic Grey - Wassail paper
CTMH Inks - Garden Green, Olive, and New England Ivy
Clear embossing powder
Flower Soft - Polar White
Antique Copper brads
Solid green cardstock from my scrap stash
Clove card bases - these were pre-cut, so do they count as scraps? ;)

Thanks for looking!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Little Blue Trooper

My poor little chalk ink pad! :( He sure gave his all in the call of duty.

This was the color I used for distressing the white pieces of the first card set I'm doing for the auction. Unfortunately, after distressing the edges of 30 pieces of paper the inkpad was falling apart at the seams. Poor little guy! At least I used him after 3 years of languishing in my "Cats Eyes" drawer!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Butters for auction

Here is another of my donations for the auction next week. I thought people might like some ready made gifts since it's so close to the Holiday!

I thought these would make nice little sets, so I pulled out my stash of scraps and had some fun! I try to do some canning each fall, and these were part of the HUGE collection of butters I have in my pantry. I hope they go to a good home, and that whoever receives them enjoys them!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I love winter!

I have to admit, I really do love winter here in the northland. Where else do you get beauty like this right outside your window?

This is one of my apple trees in the front yard. I just loved the way the ice clung to the branches. It looks like it's been dipped in mica flakes! I gotta find little things like this to be happy about since it's supposed to be below zero this weekend... brrr!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sneak Peek - Auction Card 1

Here's a sneak peek of the first set of cards I'm doing for the upcoming auction at work.

The patterned paper is Heidi Grace (of course!) Frost Blvd. The words and snowflake are actually both sides of the same paper, so this was another stash-using project. I am having so much fun coloring with my new Prismacolors! Thanks Sweetie!!

I used these items:

Willow with Hot Chocolate from Whiff of Joy
Heidi Grace - Frost Blvd.
CTMH Heavenly Blue ink (sponging on edges)
Dew Drops - dyed with Aqua Adirondack Ink

Prismacolor pencils
Versamark Black ink
White card base

Thanks for looking!


Monday, December 7, 2009

My own personal Mister Wizard

Now we've made our own laundry detergent for over a year now, and this afternoon the Hubs decided to make a batch since we were low. Of course, the man pulls out the power tools when HE makes it, probably because I made him stir it by hand the last time I made it. :) We now have this lovely green ectoplasm with tiny flecks of paint in it, since he used his paint stirring attachment on drill to mix it up. He's definately resourceful!


Friday, December 4, 2009

120 More reasons why I love my Husband

Christmas came early this year, in the form of 120 of these fabulous little sticks!

I've been trying new techniques lately, and came across this one using OMS and a paper blending stump. This works best with Prismacolor pencils, and unfortunately I only had 3 of them! I tried it with all the other colored pencils in my stash, and just didn't get the results I liked. So I did a little browsing online and found a rockin deal on Amazon for only $88! A (not so) subtle hint to the Hubs, including a demonstration with Prismacolors and the "other" pencils, and he was convinced I needed an upgrade! I love that man!

(Also, my apologies to the UPS guy. I'm sure he's not used to having women come running and clapping every time he pulls into a driveway. You'd think he'd be used to it at my house, but he still looks a little shocked every time...)


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Card Sketch Challenge 12/2/09

I'm a little behind in my challenges this week since I was finishing up the card drive cards. Here is the card I did for this weeks Card Sketch Challenge over at Splitcoast.

I've been trying to put together a card for a friend for a couple of weeks now, and I've had a hard time getting it to come together. When I saw this weeks sketch I knew I had the perfect stamp for it, and the rest just kinda fell together! I had a blast coloring this in with my watercolor pencils, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. :)

I used these items:

Cottage Home set from Flourishes
Close to my Heart Watercolor Pencils
Paper Loft - Grandma's House DP
Memories Ink
Clove Card base

Thanks for looking!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cards for Soldiers

Here is a project I just finished up on. My work is doing a card drive for the 148th Fighter Wing based out of Duluth MN. Some of them are currently deployed and the goal is to send them blank cards that they can then send to their families. I love projects like this! Not only do we get to give a little thanks for our soldiers, but I also get to use up some of my stash! I also find I have much better card-mojo when I'm working on a project like this. There are a total of 175 cards in the two boxes. The card with two owls and a balloon is one I made in a class here.

I made 70 of the owl cards special for this project, plus a few extra to round the total out to 175. Most of the rest came out of my card stash, but only a few (about a dozen) were cards that I didn't personally make. These were cards I received in swaps that I'm unlikely to use. (And I think my family is getting tired of receiving stacks of cards for Christmas!)

For the owl cards, I used a Cuttlebug embossing folder called Candy Cane Stripes on the blue, and the Cuttlebug folder Snowflakes on the silver piece. The owl is stamped in CTMH Outdoor Denim ink, and then overstamped in Versamark Dazzle Frost ink. The patterned paper is out of my stash, I think it was paper intended for teabag folding and I managed to use 11 whole sheets of it for this project! Yay for stash-usage! I'll deliver these tomorrow afternoon and they'll go overseas sometime soon. Then it's on to my next project; sets of cards for a fundraising auction at work! Thanks for looking! (and thanks to Liz for taking photos!)


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A little about Me.

Hello all! I figured the first day of a new month was a good time to start (and hopefully stick to) a new blog. I am a cardmaker, Close To My Heart Consultant, Certified Harry Pot-head, and loving mom to four sweet fur-babies. I am lucky enough to work from home, and that means I constantly surrounded by my rediculously large scrappy stash. This also means I don't get out much, and thus talk to strangers at the grocery store and take a LOT of road trips, but I'm okay with that! I'm also a big fan of the SCS Challenges, and try to participate as often as possible. I am an amateur photographer and have been taking a photo (almost) every day to try to capture more of my daily life. The trouble is, I'm very bad about actually printing out those memories and putting them to paper. If someone were to inherit my external hard drive, they'd probably think I was a madwoman!!

Speaking of my rediculously large scrappy stash, I am slowly working at chipping away the excess and focusing on the items I really love and enjoy. Now, if you're a friend of mine, you've undoubtedly benefited from this massive purge I've been working on. If you haven't, just give it time. I'm sure I'll do it again since I can't seem to stop myself whenever I see the word "Sale!" So my goal is to use what I have, instead of "collecting" new stuff all the time. After all, it's not about the size of the stash, it's the memories we preserve and the beauty we create, right? Thanks for looking, and thanks for the moral support!