Saturday, January 31, 2009

Farewell To Another January

My card today was inspired by the last card I posted (see "Transferring Thoughts Onto Paper", Jan. 28th). And while making it, I was thinking of January- and Eccleastes 3:1

It's the last day of January. How did that happen so fast?
January can be a tough and rather unpopular month. The after Christmas let down. After Christmas bills. Time to think of resolutions and things we need to do- or must try not to do. There's talk about taxes. And of course there's the oh-so-cold weather. Yep, January can be pretty harsh. But not unlike any other month, the days do pass quickly. Maybe it's just my age. Or the lifestyle in which we live. But time does pass quickly! And, as is written in Ecclesiastes, everything has it's time. God has a plan for all people. Thus, He provides cycles of life, each with it's work for us to do. We may not like January as much as, say May when the sun is shining and the flowers are blooming, but it has it's purpose. We have purpose- in every month! God is so good! His plan is perfect. His timing is perfect. We need to be as thankful for January as we are for May, June or any other month of the year! So, as we put this January to a close, let's not have the attitude of "I'm so glad January is over", but "Thank you God, for January!".

Paper: SU! Bravo Burgundy; PTI white c/s; designer papers from Basic Gray "Perhaps"
Ink: SU! Bravo Burgundy craft
Butterfly: SU! Dreams du Jour stamp set- stamped in Bravo Burgundy craft ink on SU! vellum c/s and embossed with SU! clear EP and colored in with Regal Rose marker
Sentiment: SU! Words Of Wisdom stamp set- stamped in Bravo Burgundy craft ink and embossed with SU! clear EP
Ribbon: SU! Bravo Burgundy 5/8" grosgrain
Flowers and gold leaf: Prima glittered floral embellishments; top white stemmed flower from SU! Pretties kit

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Challenge Time!

Okay- Tracey tagged me for this challenge and I hope she won’t be mad at me, but I am going to change the rules a tad. I have a thing about three 6’s- Eeewwww! So, I figured I'd do it, but with 5’s or 7’s instead. Okay- lucky seven. This photo is of the 7th picture in my 7th folder. My daughter took it a few years ago on the stairs in our house. I think it is a perfect example of the classic “A boy and his dog”. These two have been great buddies since day one. Can’t you just see the loyalty and friendship this wonderful canine has for his master? I just love this shot! Thanks, Katie for capturing the special relationship in this picture!

The rules for this challenge: Go to where you store your photos on your computer. Go to the 7th folder and pick the 7th photo. Post that photo on your blog along with a short story about it. Tag 7 people and leave a comment on their blog or email them letting them know you chose them.

I thought this was a fun challenge. Hopefully, these people whom I have chosen will think so, too! :-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Transferring Thoughts Onto Paper

I usually have such a hard time creating the kind of card I originally set out to make. I start with a thought, picture or feeling in my mind and try to turn that into a card, but almost without fail, the end result barely- if at all- resembles what I had in mind.
This time, however, things went surprisingly as planned. So much so, that I decided not to stop with just one, but ended up making three cards- all reflections of one another- in a 24 hour period. That's record for me, lol! I am typically not a quick designer- at least not of things remotely worthy of posting! Anyway, with all the distractions of my daily life and with a sick kid to boot, I am surprised I got these done in a relatively short period of time.
This one is the first of the three I made.

I think what I really like about this are the details and embellishments.
The flowers and leaf have more sparkle than show up in the photo. They are really gorgeous.
I like the gold embossing on the gray paper.
The pearls add nice dimention, too. Overall, I like the card, and it really is pretty much what I had hoped. But the details are what I really had fun with. The Bible verse stamp is from an unknown company. I found the stamp on eBay and just had to have it. But it took some time before I finally used it. I have had it on a shelf in my studio and have read it often, knowing I needed to use it. So the other night I put on some favorite Christian cds and got a picture in my mind of how I wanted to have these beautiful words displayed. Then, it just all came together.

Isaiah 41:10. Isn't it great? How can you not feel secure and be comforted as well as feel His power when you know this?!

Items used on this card: Card base: SU! Going Gray
Designer papers: from Basic Grey "Perhaps" 6x6 paper pad
Solid layers: SU! Brushed Gold & Brushed Silver
Ink on verse: Versamark
EP: SU! Gold Glory
Glittered flower embellishments by Prima
White stemmed flower: From SU! Pretties Kit
Center of white flower dotted with Gold Liquid Pearls
Pearls from SU! Pretties Kit
Edges distressed with SU! Cutter Kit
Cross stamp from PapertreyInk "Everyday Blessings" stamp set
Cross inked in SU! Chocolate Chip Classic ink
Ribbon: SU! White Taffeta

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mission Accomplished! (This one's for Mom)

I set out to meet a challenge and it is now done. I actually made some "simple" cards! I will admit to liking them, and I will also admit to having had fun creating them. However, I will also admit that I am ready to get back to my "lotsa"! I miss my layers and colors and most of all my bling!! I just find that it's those little "extras" that really make the difference for me. It's funny- I think I like "simple", and when I shop for things, simple is what I am most often attracted to. Yet, when it comes to card making or scrapbooking (especially scrapbooking!) I just find embellishments are where it's at for me! They make it fun- and I guess that's what it's all about in my book.

Anyway, I have learned to think outside my typical box a bit, and hopefully I'll continue to simplify from time to time.

So here is my third and final card for this challenge. This one is actually quite similar to a card I made for my Mom several months ago, but without all the layers and colors. I think I like this one best. The sentiment is my favorite part. Mom just loved it, too. It has been just 2 months since my Mom passed away. I am finding so many things that remind me of her that now take on a slightly new meaning. She so loved the cards I made and sent to her, and I know she would have loved this one, too. She was a great inspiration to me, not only in my card making, but in so many things in life. I will miss her terribly, but am so grateful for all the years I was blessed to have her. And even now that she's gone, I continue to be inspired by her through my many wonderful memories of her. So, this one's for you, Mom! ;-)

Items used for this card are: PTI white card stock; stamp from SU! Garden Silhouettes stamp set colored with SU! markers: Creamy Caramel, Mellow Moss and Pretty In Pink; seniment from SU! Refuge and Strength stamp set. Sentiment stamped in SU! Regal Rose classic ink onto Mellow Moss c/s die cut using scalloped circle Nestability die. Ribbon: retired SU! Old Olive organdy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Less Is.....Best????

Well, I am not convinced this is always true in card making, but this challenge to keep it clean and simple with a lot of white is getting me to realize that you don't need to layer and embellish a lot (or even at all!) in order to make a card pretty.
After I made the bird card, I decided to try another one using the same rectangle Nestabilities die for an embossed frame, and just use a different stamp. I have a darling SU! stamp set called "If The Halo Fits" but I have never used it. It has been driving me crazy, but it's just one of those sets that I couldn't seem to get any inspiring ideas for. But I realized the sweet little angel would fit into this frame, and all I needed to do was add the heart image and color them in. I used an Aqua Painter so it had a soft, blended watercolor feel to it. Again, I just couldn't help myself and I added some sheer polka dot ribbon. Oh, and I did use a little bit of Martha Stewart gold glitter around her halo. But I still think this falls into the "simple" catagory, don't you? I think I am kinda liking the effect. Plain and simple.

Tomorrow I'll show you my 3rd and final creation for the plain and simple challenge.
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Omitting "lots-a"

Habits are hard to break. And in my card making, I have one habit I just can not seem to break. It's what I call my tendency for "lots-a".
Lots-a color.
Lots-a layers.
Lots-a ribbon.
Lots-a embellishments.
And, of course, lots-a stamping!
I just can not seem to keep it "simple".
So, today I was working on my challenge card for the SCS DDSS. (I'll tell you more about that later.) The challenge for this month is this:
" send your sis a card that is clean and simple with a lot of white space on the card."
Wow. For me, that's a real challenge!
But, I came up with a few, actually. And this is one of them.
This has to be the simplest, easiest card I have ever made. I know- there's ribbon. But I just couldn't help myself. It's still very clean, simple, and has a lot of white space on the card. All I did was emboss a "frame" to the card stock with a rectangle Nestabilities die, stamp the bird image (in Bashful Blue ink using the bird from SU!'s Always stamp set), and tie the ribbon around the top. But, I have to admit- I actually like it.
What do you think?

I'll post the other two soon!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Raspberry Tart....Yum!

Raspberry Tart designer papers....gorgeous! The Big Shot Top Note die was used in all items, too. Stamp sets: A Little Somethin'; Dreams du Jour; (both from the Spring/Summer 2009 catalog) and French Script background stamp (retired).
I also used the scalloped square Stampin' Up! punch. Love it!
The butterflies are embossed on vellum card stock and colored in with a Pretty In Pink Marker.
These candy bag toppers are such a quick and easy little thing to make! Just fill a small cellophane bag with some candy (who doesn't like Hershey Kisses?!) and put on a tittle topper and it's done!

Stampin' Up! has a brand new catalog coming out later this month, and I think some of the new Spring/Summer designer papers in it are among the prettiest yet! I just love the new Raspberry Tart papers and the colors in them: Real Red, Rose Red, Cameo Coral, Pretty In Pink and Kiwi Kiss.
So I played around with them last night, and came up with two cards and two little candy bag toppers. I figure the candy toppers could be used for Valentine's Day, but would be a nice "little something" for any time of year.
The Big Shot Top Note die is still one of my favorite accessories these days, and I used it in each of these. I am also a huge fan of Stampin' Up!'s wider grosgrain ribbons. Not only are they super pretty, but they are such a nice quality and easy to work with. I hope you can see the little butterflies; they were so fun to make! I stamped on vellum card stock in craft ink, then embossed with clear embossing powder. Then I colored in with a Pretty In Pink marker. I cut them out and folded the wings a bit. Attached with a bit of a glue dot. They look so pretty in real life. Just a real nice added touch.
So these are my first Raspberry Tart creations. What do you think?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dedicated To Tracey

This beauty was hiding around the corner of the front of my house.
Front yard Greenery
Side yard. In the Spring it is so much more colorful here.
This was taken from my upstairs balcony. This is bare, "brown" Winter.

Sorry. I just can't help it. I have hated Winter all my life. Cold, dreary, snowy, icy, windy, cold (oh yeah- I already said cold!) Winter. Not for me! I spent 40 Winters in New England. I was miserable. I have paid my dues.

Now, I am living in Southern California and lovin' it! Today is beautifully sunny, the sky is blue as blue can be without a cloud in sight. And at 4:30 pm it is 75 degrees. We are supposed to have bright sunshine and highs in the low 80's for the next several days. Honestly, I try not to talk it up too much to my friends who are stuck in the climate I so hated. But today my friend Tracey in New York shared a picture taken outside her window. Brrrrrrr! So, maybe if I share what is just outside my window, you will get an idea of why I am so happy here and have no desire to move back East. I just can not imagine living in that kind of weather again. To those of you who love the snow and cold, God Bless You! But I just thank my lucky stars that's a thing of my past!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Home Grown!

Who'd have thought I'd come to love the month of January?! Having grown up in New England, and being a person who always hated the cold, this is still nothing short of a miracle for me to say that January is wonderful! But it is! Living where the temperature is typically in the upper 60's (and often warmer) in January, what's not to love? And another thing I love? My little orange tree! But I have to tell you an embarrassingly funny story about it:

A few months ago I walked by the little fruit trees my husband planted not too long ago. I have wanted fruit trees since we moved here, and he finally planted some. We had not seen much sign of fruit at that point , and I had been anxiously awaiting an actual lemon, lime or orange that did not have the word Sunkist printed on it! Mmmm... real honest to goodness home grown citrus! I could hardly wait!
Well, one day several weeks ago, I walked by our trees and noticed the biggest, most beautiful limes I have ever seen in my life! Oh, was I thrilled! I grabbed on to one of them and pulled- then yanked pretty hard; the stubborn little bugger didn't seem to want to part from the branch. Well, I got that one, and a second one too. I was so excited to show them to my husband when he came in the door. I sure hoped they'd taste good. I was surprised at how little fragrance they had.
Well, my husband was certainly surprised, too. Because my big limes were not limes at all, lol! They were oranges! Silly me- they didn't smell because they were not fully grown, hahaha! Oh what a fool I felt like! Yep- just a city girl from the North East who can't tell an orange from a lime!

So, a couple of months pass by and finally! I picked a couple of beautiful, ripe oranges! Check them out! (Oh how I wish you could smell- and taste- these beauties! Yummo!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My Daughter, Jewelry Maker

I have been blessed by a wonderful daughter (make that TWO wonderful daughters!). The one I am talking about today is my eldest, Katie. She's not only a very talented aspiring photographer and artist, but I have just recently discovered that she can make great jewelry, too!
For Christmas she made me two awesome necklaces. This was her first time making jewelry, and I think she did an amazing job.
She and I had seen John McCain's daughter Meghan on t.v. wearing a fabulous Tarina Tarantino necklace. Katie checked it out and found it to be a bit pricey for our wallets. Well, I guess she could not just forget about it, and set out to make her own politically themed baubles! And what she came up with was great! She even gave two of her creations to me (and one with a picture of our dog to her little sister!).
So what do you think? Are these cool, or what?!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Movin' On To Valentine's

Well, I guess now that today is Epiphany, it's time to move on from making Christmas items. I hate it when the season ends, but time always seems to move too quickly. That's just life!

So, I have put away my Christmas stamp sets (for now) and am movin' on to Valentines!

Stampin' Up! has come out with a really cute new stamp set called "Love You Much". It is available in a special bundle pack which includes a great co-ordinating 3 heart punch and a pack of designer series paper. I used these items to make 3 cards: a standard sized card; and long narrow card; and a little card made to put a tea bag or a Ghirardelli square chocolate into.

Here is a list of items I used to make these cards:
Love Birds card~
Very Vanilla and Close To Cocoa SU! Card Stock
Candy Lane SU! Designer Series Paper
SU! Riding Hood Red taffeta ribbon
SU! Light Pink 1/4" grosgrain ribbon
3- heart punch
X-Mas Red Stickles
Black Staz-On ink

Hugs & Kisses card~
Close To Cocoa and Very Vanilla SU! Card Stock
Candy Lane SU! DSP
SU! Scallop Circle Punch
SU! Light Pink 1/4" grosgrain ribbon
X-Mas Red and Cotton Candy Stickles
Black Staz-On ink

Friend To Friend Candy Holder Card~
Riding Hood Red SU! Card Stock and Very Vanilla Card Stock
Candy Lane SU! DSP
SU! 3-heart punch
SU! scallop circle punch
X-Mas Red and Cotton Candy Stickles
Black Staz-On ink
Versa-Mark and SU! black embossing powder

I hope you like these Valentines. They were really fun to make. I often CASE cards, but this time I made these before I even looked at any examples. I wanted to create something without having to use other people's ideas. Thanks for stopping by to take a look!

Monday, January 5, 2009

And Speaking Of Patriotic Gifts...

Here is what my daughter Katie and my son-in-law William gave to me (oh yes, and my husband, lol!)
This is the third one of this series for us. I am just wild about them! William gave us two others which are equally wonderful. But somehow, I think this one is my favorite so far. William, like our other kids, knows us well :-)

Ornaments for the Patriotic At Heart

My kids know me so well!
Every Christmas for the past several years, I have been given at least one wonderful, patriotic Christmas ornament by one of my kids or my husband. I just love them! And I now have enough so that hopefully I will have one tree next year with nothing on it but patriotic ornaments.
This year I was given a gorgeous sort of egg-shaped glass ornament with Lady Liberty on it. The front is flat, but the rest of it is curved around, kind of, well, egg shaped. It is blue that you can slightly see through and has glittering stars of Bethlehem on it. It is just fabulous. This one was given to me by my son John. He knew I would love it!

The other awesome ornament I received was from my eldest daughter Katie. She is quite the patriotic (and yes- Republican) one herself. I am almost surprised she didn't keep this cute little guy for her own tree! He is just so cute! It's a little elephant about 4 inches long and is trimmed with glitter. He came from Bonner's Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Oh, how fun it would be to go there some day!

Thank you Katie and John- I just adore my latest additions to my patriotic ornament collection!

Happy Feet

Christmas Gifts: For Stylish (and comfortable!) Feet
My sweet hubby always manages not only to get me the things I want most for Christmas, but some wonderful things I didn't even know I wanted! This past Christmas was no exception. He got me some beautiful shoes and boots that I never would have even thought to ask for. But I love them! And the best part about these gifts is the reason why he chose them: because he cares so much about me! You see, since I had my car accident in 2007 I have had a lot of back problems. And whenever I wear high heels my back bothers me even more. But I love boots and in colder weather wear them often. (I usually wear Rainbow sandals so when the Winter comes I am often unprepared as far as having warm enough footwear).
Well, I'd been wearing my great looking- but high heeled- boots and they were killing my back. So, come Christmas morning there were two boxes from him under the tree containing low heeled boots and flat shoes.
The boots are beautiful leather and remind me of my favorite leather Frye boots I had when I was about 20 year old. But these are made by Coach. I guess since Mike knew I loved the Coach handbag he got me for my birthday so much, he couldn't go wrong with Coach boots. Right he was!
And the shoes are really nice. Casual enough to wear with jeans, but so much nicer than the sneakers I sometimes wear! He got them at Bloomingdale's- a store I try to stay out of! It can be rather dangerous to my bank account when I walk through those doors!
I have not worn either of these great pairs of footwear yet- but just by trying them on I can tell they will be comfortable as well as look great.
Thanks Mike, for spoiling my feet as much as you spoil the rest of me :-)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

Okay- here I go again!
I am going to give this blogging thing a try- again! LOL! It's a new year and my biggest resolution is to become more computer savvy and get going on this blog.
I really don't anticipate having many people read this, but I think it will be fun to have a place where I can ramble on a bit about stuff in my life as well as a place to post some pictures and maybe show some of my card and stamping creations.
So- here I go! I hope this is just the start of many fun hours of blogging!