Monday, October 31, 2011

Holiday Mojo

Well, it is a holiday of sorts, at least in our household. Happy Halloween to all who do celebrate! We've got our house decorated to the hilt, one thousand pieces of candy (I'm totally serious...we do hand out handfuls to the kids that make it to the door) and all ready for some of those trick or treaters to be scared out of their wits! But in the mean time, I've made a Thanksgiving Mojo Monday card in preparation for the next holiday that will be here in light speed. Here's my take on the sketch, using the Shabby Tea Room's inspiration photograph:


I've included a few close-ups of the accents:





Mojo's sketch:



Shabby Tea Room's inspiration photo:


My "British" zombie...that's what she claims she is:


Here are a few pumpkins that my husband carved last night for tonight's festivities:





It's a ritual in our house, every Halloween, we go out trick or treating, then come home {frozen} and make some homemade pizza. The party includes mothers, mothers-in-law, grandparents, kids...it's a lot of fun. However this year I was informed that I wasn't allowed to go trick or treating...the kids want to go with their friends. Alright,  I can take a hint...sniff, sniff. Haha...actually they're going to be so cold that they'll be home quick...  ;)
Well, for anyone interested in my card (which I'm sure is why you've hung in so long), I just kept adding little trinkets to my floral spray that would enhance the colors and style of the flowers. Whenever you have a bunch of round flowers, it looks good to add some pointy, stringy, stamen-type things to add interest. I also mixed up the textiles, adding felt and paper together. I wanted to keep the whole layout neutral so that the splash of color would be more dramatic.
Ok, off to sample uh, check and make sure we have enough candy for tonight :)
Have a wonderfully crafty, fun holiday!




Stamps: Happy Fall (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Botanical collection (Prima), Going Gray, Kraft, Vintage Cream
Ink: Cocoa (CTMH), Antique Linen, Vintage Photo distress inks (Ranger)
Accessories: Pearls, felt flower (Maya Road), paper flowers (Wild Orchid Crafts, Recollections), jute twine, doily, Doily die cut (MFT), Rosette die (Ranger), sewing machine, Scrollwork die (Memory Box), paper distresser, dauber, Frond punch (Martha Stewart)
Size: 5 1/2" square

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Greetings

Happy Saturday! I can tell you that the Ewens will be preparing for their traditional Halloween scare-fest today as the 'holiday' approaches. My husband decorates our whole walkway, porch and front door in an array of spooky sights and sounds. Every year he gets more and more "stuff" and at this point some of the younger trick or treaters won't even come up to the door! (We go and meet them at the street.) My daughter mans the candy and my husband and son oversee the smoke machine, mechanical ghouls and the sinister sounds. It's all really quite fun and we get a TON of kids...our street is pretty busy. To commemorate our Halloween hijinks, I've created a card in the holiday spirit, although not as frightful as our front yard:



I've used Jen Shults' Deconstructed Sketch from last week, yes, I'm a wee bit late, but I just love her sketches and don't want to miss an opportunity to use them.



This card is also the first time I've included a "Digi" (not one I've had to color myself, mind you, that would require more learning on my part :) ...I know lots of crafters use these all the time, but I've been very resistant to them...and in thinking about it, I really don't know why. It was so easy, but now I just have to learn how to resize images before I print them. I guess in due time. I also flipped Jen's sketch 90° to accommodate my image.
Have a great day and thanks for visiting!


Stamps: Boo To You (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Stella & Rose (My Mind's Eye), Black, Cream
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Antique Linen distress ink
Accessories: Charming Banner die (Verve~A Cut Above dies), Halloween Vintage die cut (Made by Janet Etsy), doily, black, pearls, Maple Leaf Nestabilities (Spellbinders), Black Satin ribbon (Offray), Jute twine (Ribbon Carousel), flower button (Dress it Up), Doily Lace border punch (Martha Stewart), gems, dimensionals, dauber
Size: 5 1/2" X 4 1/4"

Friday, October 28, 2011

Viva La Verve...A Lifetime of Happiness

It's Friday! I'm hostessing this week's Viva La Verve challenge over at Splitcoast and this week marks the fifth and final week of the October sketches! I've designed a pretty straight-forward sketch to design with, I'm pretty amateur-ish at Microsoft Word, so I couldn't add any really funky shapes anyway (good, right?). I'll first show you my card, then the sketch that I followed:


And the sketch:

 I have an old bag...wait...I'll show you a picture...


Sorry for the poor quality picture, I didn't feel like moving this albatross to the window sill :)

This bag is full of cast-off paper cuttings, experiments, procedures, etc. Every now and then I take a gander through there for inspiration. Usually, I come away with nothing. Sometimes, though, a pearl is peeking at me. That's what happened with today's card. That center panel with the Mixed Martha's on there was a panel that I had made and then sponged with ink. It didn't go with the theme of my card then, so I held onto it. And here it makes an appearance again. Thank you cast-off pile!

Here's just a few tidbits about the Viva La Verve challenge:

Every Friday, a Diva will post a sketch for your enjoyment. Your cards, using the sketches, must be uploaded by the last Thursday of the month (check for the due date below!) The winner will be announced on the next day and will win a $100 gift certificate to VERVE! How awesome is that?! Just a reminder, Verve stamps are NOT required but we love to see you use them. Feel free to flip, rotate, resize, or otherwise alter the sketch as long as we can tell you USED the sketch!

For October, we'll have FIVE sketches! All FIVE cards must be uploaded to the VLVOct2011 gallery by midnight, CST on Thursday, November 3rd to be eligible to win this month's prize! Winner will be announced on November 4th! GOOD LUCK!

Keywords for the entire month will be VLVOct2011 and Verve (if using Verve stamps).

Have a great day and thanks for visiting!



Stamps: Love Story (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Botanical collection (Prima), Vintage Cream
Ink: Cocoa (CTMH), Antique Linen distress ink (Ranger)
Accessories: Curvy Bookplate die (Verve~A Cut Above dies), Labels One, Oval & Scalloped Oval Nestabilities (Spellbinders), Seam binding, Layered Arches corner & Deco Fan border punches (Martha Stewart), pearls, paper flower (Kaisercraft), jute twine (Ribbon Carousel), gems, crocheted lace, dimensionals, dauber
Size: 5 1/2" square

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Guest Designing for the Deconstructed Sketch

**Here's my PDCC post and here's CASE Study, or scroll down...thanks~

Hi and welcome to my 3rd post of the day and it's not even 8am! I am lucky enough to be joining Jen Shults and her group of fabulous designers at the Deconstructed Sketch challenge as a guest for the next 3 months! I'm so excited to be creating with these ladies, they are all super talented and as you know I adore Jen's sketches! So without further delay, here is my sketch for this week (although I'm not "official" till next week):


And here's Jen's sketch:

I added so many layers to this card, I lost count after a while. I had a few of these shapes already cut out and for one reason or another, they did not make it onto the card that I was creating at the time. Who knew that I'd be able to layer them all onto one card! Starting from the bottom... MFT's Doily die cut, two Lacey Circle Nesties (one dimensionalized), an Oval Nestie, then a black Circle Nestie and lastly, Martha Stewart's Doily die cut. In between the layers are some crocheted lace and seam binding that I made myself (as an experiment) and if it hadn't matched this card so well, would be still gathering dust in my ribbon bin.

**More exciting news to share***


Beginning November 1st, I will be designing for Zva Creative! I feel so fortunate to be creating for such a fabulous company with absolutely wonderful products! All I can say is "Bling it on!"



**And** starting November 1st, I will also be a designer for Heartfelt Creations!



Heartfelt Creations designs and manufactures a unique and creative line of Rubber Art Stamps for all stampers and scrapbookers.
They also carry many accessories that will add the finishing touch to all your projects.

I can't wait to share with you all of these wonderful products!

No more posts today (I promise)...but I will see you tomorrow for Verve's Viva La Verve sketch...hostessed by me~
Have a great day and thanks for visiting!


Stamps: So Happy, Floral Whimsey (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Curio dp (Basic Grey), Black, Always Artichoke, Kraft, White
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Always Artichoke
Accessories: Charming Oval dies (Verve~A Cut Above dies), Doily die (MFT), Circle, Scalloped Circle & Oval Nestabilities (Spellbinders), Doily die, Embroidered Floral corner & border punch (Martha Stewart), homemade seam binding, crocheted lace, Bisque Liquid Pearls (Ranger), dimensionals
Size: 5 1/2" square

Play Date Cafe...Love is the Flower

The Play Date Cafe has a wonderful color story for us today, let's take a look at the beautiful palette that Jax has come up with:





I have to give a shout out to my friend, Lisa, for making the beautiful crocheted flower behind my Prima flower...she sent me a whole bag of flowers that she made by hand! Thanks so much Lisa!

The Fine Print:
Deadline for prizes is 11:59pm EST on Tuesday.
The 'Cup of the Week' will be announced during the next challenge.

**ALL SKILL LEVELS ARE ENCOURAGED TO PLAY! **

We want you to enjoy this challenge.
Interpret the colors the way you see them.
We do not use specific card stock color names or brands.
Break out of the box and have fun!
The main requirement is:
PDCC COLORS BE THE
FOCUS OF YOUR SUBMISSION
When using additional colors, please limit them to neutrals.
You are welcome to combine challenges,
but we do ask that:

1. The PDCC name and/or photo is used
2. OUR colors are the focus of the card.

Have fun and happy stamping!


CASE Study...Love You

Ah, and so ends another month with an incredible Muse at CASE Study! I have so enjoyed all of Niki Estes' creations and I enjoyed even more deriving wonderful inspiration from them! Chupa has picked out one last card that we are to CASE, a card that is absolutely lovely and really appeals to my flower-loving heart:


I love the design, the floral theme and the beautiful decorative border. I chose to CASE all of these items while changing the colors, the stamps and making the stitching a punched border. Here is my CASE of Niki's card:


I cannibalized a K & Co. card kit and ripped the heart off of a pre-made card. Luckily for me, it was already stitched. I kept the whole focal piece monochromatic with some satin ribbon and an almost matching velvet flower. The twine color is also pretty close.



Time to check out how the other CASE Study gals made some gorgeousness with Niki's card:

Chupa
Amy Wanford
Clare Buswell
Cristina Kowalczyk
Debby Hughes
Jean Martin
Julie Smith  <---taking a break for the next few weeks
Teresa Kline
Teneale Williams

Here are the deets for creating and uploading a project:
1. Create a paper crafting project (card, layout, off-the-page item), based on provided inspiration (being a featured creation, made by our Muse).
2. Post your creation on your blog or an online gallery (using a code CSC63), and link it to CASE Study Challenge blog with the inlinkz widget. Please provide a direct link to your post, not an entire blog.
3. A new challenge is being posted every Thursday at 12:01 AM EST, and you've got until the end of Tuesday to submit your entry.
4. You may enter as many times as you like, but you're asked to provide a newly designed project.
5. We will choose one winner randomly from the list of players, who will receive the prize provided by the sponsor. In addition, the authors of the four most impressive creations will be awarded the Winner and Top 3 awards. We will announce the winners on Wednesday.
6. Above all, have fun - and be inspired!




Stamps: You & I (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Lost & Found Blush dp (My Mind's Eye), Vintage Cream, Early Espresso
Ink: Frayed Burlap distress ink (Ranger)
Accessories: Vintage Floral corner & border punch (Martha Stewart), Word Window punch (SU!), Lables Eighteen (Spellbinders), pearls, Petal Pink Liquid Pearls (Ranger), Pink twine (Stamper's Dream), paper piercer, Velvet flower (Prima), Heart die cut (K & Co.), Rosy Mauve satin ribbon (Papermart), dimensionals, dauber
Size: 5 1/2" square

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Skipping Stones Design...I'm Always Here For You

And so wraps up a month of super fun stamping with Skipping Stones Design! I thoroughly enjoyed my time as guest designer and am very thankful to the Design Team at SSD for asking me to play along with them this month. My final card is based on a set that I absolutely fell in love with, a set with sentiments in beautiful fonts and gorgeous flourish-y butterflies. Here is my card based on Cristina's sketch and using the Always Here stamp set:



This card is really more my style of card and although Cristina is a wonderful CAS artist and her designs are more on the CAS side, I couldn't resist adding lots of lovely, vintage, girly detail to this card. There are lots of layers, lots of different textiles, lots of distressing and lots of old world charm.

I want to whole-heartedly thank every one of the Skipping Stones Design Team members and owner Heather Engebretson for asking me to join them this month for some truly fun stamping and creating. I really enjoyed using these wonderful stamps and creating some wonderful projects!

Have a great day and thanks for visiting!


Stamps: Always Here (Skipping Stones Design)
Paper: Printery Collection (Prima), Black, Vintage Cream
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Antique Linen distress ink
Accessories: Labels Five, Scalloped Oval Nestabilities (Spellbinders), black velvet crochet lace, crocheted lace, jute twine, pearls, black pearls, paper distresser, Bisque Liquid Pearls, dimensionals, paper flowers, dauber
Size: 5 1/2" square

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mojo Monday ...Beautiful Everything

Hello, Monday...I've finally gotten to post my Mojo Monday card, it's been a day of running around and I'm actually on my way out the door now as well, but I'm gonna get this card loaded up first. I've only followed Mojo's sketch, no other challenges today, I've got a lot brewing behind the scenes, but not time to share yet. Anyway, here's my perfectly neutral, perfectly girly Mojo card for this week:


The sketch:

I added a couple of border punches on this card, one on the right side and one on the bottom. I was going to make them both on the bottom but I cut the paper wrong, and ended up having to put it to the right. I've learned to not fight the universe anymore, that was where the border was meant to be, maybe beyond my understanding, but none the less...it stays.
On a happy note, 25 years ago today, my husband and I started dating. I was only 15! I'm sure my mother loved that at the time...  I wouldn't change a thing...
Have a super crafty day!



Stamps: Ecclesiastes 3:11 (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Lost & Found Blush collection (My Mind's Eye), Early Espresso, Very Vanilla, Crumb Cake
Ink: Cocoa (CTMH), Antique Linen, Frayed Burlap distress inks
Accessories: Charming Oval dies (Verve~A Cut Above dies), pearls (Zva Creative), Fleur De Lis Rectangle (Spellbinders), pearl flourishes (Want2Scrap), Platinum Liquid Pearls (Ranger), paper flower (Kaisercraft), fabric flowers (Offray), Pinking Hearts border punch (SU), Dotted Scallop border punch (EK Success), edge distresser, dauber, dimensionals, jute twine (Ribbon Carousel), button
Size: 5 1/2" square

Sunday, October 23, 2011

SFYTT...Thinking of You

It's Sunday night, I'm getting ready to take things down and hit the sack early...midnights are not being kind to my body so I think a little {more} sleep may be in order. So...I'll make this quick~
I've made a card for Jen del Muro's Sketch for You to Try challenge, using some paper that my friend Colleen {loaned} me (I won't be giving it back in it's original form).  Here's my interpretation of Jen's sketch pictured below my card:


Jen's October sketch:



I really do love the color purple, but tend to struggle with it at card making. I'm not all that happy with this card, but I'm afraid that the only way I will be happy with it is to take it apart and do it completely different. Which I'm not in the mood for tonight...rock...paper...scissors...pillow wins....



Stamps: Kind Words (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Stampin' Up! dp, Early Espresso, Very Vanilla
Ink: Cocoa (CTMH), Walnut distress ink
Accessories: Rounded Scallop Frame (Verve~A Cut Above dies), Doily Lace border punch (Martha Stewart), Festive Fuchsia seam binding (Ribbon Carousel), jute twine, Sparkler (Webster's Pages), paper flowers (Kaisercraft, Michael's $1 bin), pearl flourishes (Zva Creative), Platinum Liquid Pearls (Ranger), lace, dimensionals, dauber
Size: 4 1/4" X 5 1/2"

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pink Pickle Pizza

Silly me, I had a 16 oz. cup of coffee at 8pm. So, it's 11:44 PM and I should be sleeping, but alas, the caffeine has a hold of me. What better time for me to make a card for this week's Featured Stamper at Splitcoast! Our lucky lady is Deb Saaranen and what a talented lady she is! As I was gazing through her beautiful gallery, my eye spotted this darling and I just knew I had to CASE it. Why? It's a Shabby Tea Room inspired card and I am all about that! Here's my take on Deb's beauty of a card:


Ahh, lots 'o pink...just like my perfectly girly heart loves it. The decorative background on the focal panel was made by criss crossing two Nestabilities Fancy Tags Two. On top of that I added a Scalloped Oval and then a plain oval, which I sponged and stamped my sentiment. The double bow is made with silk ribbon and I adhered a Prima Sultan gem to the middle.
Now I bet you're intrigued by the title of my post (or maybe not), but I'll tell you why I named it so:



Yes, our bad girl is at it again. Hence my new nickname for her: "The Bad Girl Show starring Miss Pickles". It's long, but oh, so appropriate.
Have a great rest of your weekend!


Stamps: Beautiful You (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Pretty In Pink (SU!), Vellum, White
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black
Accessories: Fancy Tags Two, Oval & Scalloped Oval Nestabilities (Spellbinders), Silk ribbon, pearls, dimensionals, dauber, Sultan gem (Prima), lace, Swiss Dot EF, Framed Tulips EF (SU!)
Size: 4 1/4" X 5 1/2"

Friday, October 21, 2011

Viva La Verve...Trick Or Treat

Welcome Friday! Friday means another sketch for our Viva La Verve challenge forum and let me tell you that gallery is just packed with Verve-y inspiration! Julee has come up with the cutest little new Halloween stamps, but because of some production issues, the bulk of her inventory may not come in until after Halloween is over :( The Divas were able to get a little sampling of this cute set , called Boo to You and I've used it to make a card with Charmaine's gorgeous sketch, pictured below my card:


There are some sets available in the Verve store, but once they run out, they won't be replenished right away.
For my card I used My Mind's Eye Mischievous collection and borrowed one of their images. I corner rounded the edges, stamped "Trick or Treat" in black Versafine ink and peeked a doily out from behind it. (I would say that the doily represents the circle that I initially ignored, oops!) I struggled to find a trio of chotchkies to put above the circle, but my challenge is that they would rest against black polka-dotted paper and any type of gem I would put there would be lost in the shuffle. So I went to exercise class, and in the middle of crunches it came to me! Use those sweet little ghosts that came in the set and have 3 of them lurking behind the image panel. Sa-weet! The border punching proved to be a little more difficult than I had anticipated, I needed a certain size and my black card stock is running low, so I pieced all the sides together and added the corner adornments. The cuts are hard to see, but those black gems aren't and they are covering a multitude of sin :)
Ok, enough yakking from me, I hope you all have a fabulous and crafty weekend!


Stamps: Boo To You (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Mischievous (My Mind's Eye), Black, White, Bashful Blue, Tangerine Tango (SU!)
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black
Accessories: Mango seam binding (Ribbon Carousel), Iron Gate corner & border punch (Martha Stewart), doily, jute twine, button, black gems, dimensionals
Size: 5 1/2" square

Thursday, October 20, 2011

CASE Study...A Lesson in Clean and Simple

Welcome to this week's edition of CASE Study, with our awesome teacher for the month, Niki Estes! Niki has a wonderful clean style, always so full of bold and vibrant colors and meticulous in every detail. I am certainly learning a thing or two (or more...yes, more) from her style and it feels good to step outside yourself and do things that aren't quite familiar to you.
And when I say that there is a lesson in CAS, I'm actually talking about myself learning how to embrace a CAS design. I have been making more of these lately and although vintage shabby is still my first love, the more I make these scaled down cards, the more comfortable I feel making them. Ok, blah, blah...here's my card based on Niki's pictured below:


I really liked the rounded corners at the bottom (I never do that), the floral design (I always do that) and the bold color (I did the opposite).

Uh, yeah...I have to tell you that I have looked at this card several times, on several different occasions and absolutely could not come up with my own card. Don't get me wrong, Niki's card is superbly designed and vibrantly beautiful, but I just could not translate it to Andrea-style. Until, inspiration struck, out of the blue, at 11:30 PM when I should have been packing up for bed...and luckily my design took me mere minutes to accomplish. The background is a Cuttlebug Victoria embossing folder (45 seconds), the sentiment panel is a circle Nestability (12 seconds), the flowers are from a can of wedding confetti so I just glued them to the perimeter (3 min, 26 sec) and then I matted the card onto a Vintage Cream base (pre-made by me and discarded in the past, 23 sec to glue and mount). Ha! What does that add up to? Less than 5 minutes of actual making, 3 days of pondering, Oy!
Time to check out how the other CASE Study gals made some gorgeousness with Niki's card:

Chupa
Amy Wanford
Clare Buswell
Cristina Kowalczyk
Debby Hughes
Jean Martin
Julie Smith
Teresa Kline
Teneale Williams

Here are the deets for creating and uploading a project:
1. Create a paper crafting project (card, layout, off-the-page item), based on provided inspiration (being a featured creation, made by our Muse).
2. Post your creation on your blog or an online gallery (using a code CSC62), and link it to CASE Study Challenge blog with the inlinkz widget. Please provide a direct link to your post, not an entire blog.
3. A new challenge is being posted every Thursday at 12:01 AM EST, and you've got until the end of Tuesday to submit your entry.
4. You may enter as many times as you like, but you're asked to provide a newly designed project.
5. We will choose one winner randomly from the list of players, who will receive the prize provided by the sponsor. In addition, the authors of the four most impressive creations will be awarded the Winner and Top 3 awards. We will announce the winners on Wednesday.
6. Above all, have fun - and be inspired!



Stamps: Floral Whimsey (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Vintage Cream (PTI)
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black (Tsukineko)
Accessories: Table Confetti (Brides), pink gems ($1 bin @ Michael's...you gotta look through that stuff...sometimes there's some real gems (pun intended) buried in there!), Victoria embossing folder (Cuttlebug), dimensionals
Size: 4 1/4" X 5 1/2"

Play Date Cafe...Thanks

Hey there! Thursday means a new color story from the Play Date Cafe.  This particular challenge is extra special because it marks 2 full years of color challenges and we're still going strong! Jax has lightened it up a bit after last week's stormy, Fall-like colors to these beautiful pastels. Although I struggled with last week's colors, I thought after seeing this week's, I would breeze right through a card. Not so. I'm realizing now that I don't have many purple accents, which is weird because I really like purple. Anyway, here are this week's colors in all of their glory:


I decided to go CAS with this card, I think it really brings out the beauty of this color combination:


Had to try out a new embossing folder I bought last weekend, I'm always looking for some type of perimeter design and cutting paper doesn't always cut it (pun intended). The flowers were inspired by Pat Smethers, I saw this beautiful card she made and posted on Splitcoast so I decided to give a go at it. I used a MS Hydrangea punch and punched out 6 shapes into some K & Co. patterned paper. I used my paper piercing sponge and scoring tool to press down on each of the petals and make the edges curl up. I layered two together and added a gem that I colored with a Copic. Here are a few pics for a visual:








Easy Peasy!






We have a two new sponsors in the Cafe, we welcome Layers of Color and the Sweet Stamp Shop! We also have a former sponsor on deck as well, The Twinery! Lots of sponsors means lots of winning so click here to see the fabulous prizes being offered AND how the other Play Date Cafe gals made some gorgeousness with these colors!

The Fine Print:
Deadline for prizes is 11:59pm EST on Tuesday.
The 'Cup of the Week' will be announced during the next challenge.

**ALL SKILL LEVELS ARE ENCOURAGED TO PLAY! **

We want you to enjoy this challenge.
Interpret the colors the way you see them.
We do not use specific card stock color names or brands.
Break out of the box and have fun!
The main requirement is:
PDCC COLORS BE THE
FOCUS OF YOUR SUBMISSION
When using additional colors, please limit them to neutrals.
You are welcome to combine challenges,
but we do ask that:

1. The PDCC name and/or photo is used
2. OUR colors are the focus of the card.

Have fun and happy stamping!




Stamps: Amazing Wishes (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Watercolor Bouquet dp (K & Co.), White
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black
Accessories: Hydrangea punch (Martha Stewart), gems, Copic, scoring tool, Scrollwork EF (Cuttlebug), Branch  w/ Leaves die cut (Sizzix)
Size: 4 1/4" X 5 1/2"