Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fishing for a Happy Birthday

Making cards for boys (little and big ones) can be difficult for me sometimes. I'm not sure why that is, except that most of the time I don't want anything overly cutesy, and using embellishments, particularly ribbon, on boy cards can be tricky.

That said, I love the Ian stamps from The Greeting Farm. This little guy makes me smile every time! I made this card for my daughter's classmate, who celebrated his sixth birthday yesterday. The designer paper is from Stampin' Up's Jersey Shore collection, which is retired now, I think. The sentiment is from SU's Hip Hip Hooray set, also retired. I colored the image with Copic markers and highlighted the fish with a Spica Atyou Glitter pen.

I'm looking forward to some time spent in my craft room later today, so I should have a few new creations to share with you tomorrow. Hope you all have a happy Sunday!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Bookmark for Karin

This week, I am hosting the Crafty Secrets' forum challenge over at Splitcoast Stampers. I challenged everyone to use pockets on their projects, and the gallery is full of wonderful creations.

I made this bookmark pocket card for my best friend, Karin, who's a nurse. She told me yesterday that it had arrived, so now I can share it with you. I used CS's Feeling Yucky set and colored the images with Copic markers.

I was so thrilled to see that my card was featured on Sandy Redburn's blog this week, along with a bunch of other really fabulous creations. That really made my day! Not only is Sandy the owner of my favorite stamp company, she is also an amazing, generous person.

Hope everyone is looking forward to a fun, relaxing weekend!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Mum is Amazing!

I took this photo of my Mum painting at an on-location watercolor session of the Lakes Area Art Guild last summer.

My mum is a constant source of inspiration to me. As an artist and a writer, she continues to push her own boundaries, to experiment, to venture out of her comfort zone, to allow herself to make mistakes and learn from them. She is bold; she takes chances.

By example, she encourages me to do the same.
I need to leave the excuses behind, to attempt new techniques, and embrace new materials, to allow myself to fail...and to succeed.

Okay, you see this painting on the right? The photo she is working from is of a greenhouse. It depicts the many-paned glass wall filled with dozens of glass bottles, vases, etc. Light is being reflected off a myriad of surfaces.

Did I mention that she doesn't like angles or geometry? But she was determined to learn more about painting light, glass, and reflections. The fact that she would attempt this daunting subject is impressive to me, and not only did she attempt it, but she completed the painting beautifully. May I develop just a smidgeon of that kind of determination and desire to push myself.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Jack's World Thank You

Here's another simple card using an image from Cosmo Cricket's Jack's World line. Isn't that baby lion the cutest thing! This is an end-of-the-year thank you for my daughter's school administrator.

I aged the main image using an edge distresser from Heidi Swapp and swiping it with Ranger's Antique Linen Distress Ink. I carried through the school theme with ruler ribbon and plain, old, ordinary staples to decorate the corners.

We'll tuck a Dairy Queen gift card in there , and that will be one end-of-the-school-year gift we can cross off our list. :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A New Hobby

Our daughter's school has a fundraiser auction every spring, and one of the things I bid on this year was knitting lessons from one of the other mums. I was so excited to win!

I had my first lesson Wednesday night, and Kristi is a fabulous teacher. She taught me how to cast on and to knit. I finished this scarf on Friday (it's much longer than it looks in the photo), and I'm looking forward to learning how to bind off. :)

I have a feeling this is the beginning of a fun, new hobby. It certainly is relaxing, and like Jell-o, there's always room for just one more hobby. Right? ;)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Buggy Birthday for Dad

Yesterday we celebrated my dad's birthday with a "big, fancy family dinner" (as the kids like to say) at our house. At 67 years old, my dad is one cool dude. Retired from 30 + years of teaching high school social studies, Dad is probably even busier in retirement in some ways. He runs or exercises every day (yesterday it was running for 67 minutes in honor of his b-day), and he is an antique dealer with spaces in two shops. He has a quick wit and loves groan-inducing puns (I think that's a teacher trait!) No matter how old I get, he'll always beat me hands down at Jeopardy, and he always knows what to say or do to cheer me up, even if it's just offering a hug. Love you, Dad!

I made Dad's card using Crafty Secrets' Bugs Life set. On the CS member forum at Splitcoast Stampers, Lori proposed an inspiration challenge. Basically, we choose something to be inspired by and make a project reflecting that inspiration. For this card, I chose my Pfaltzgraf Pistoulet dishes for my color inspiration. I colored the image using Copic markers, added shimmer to the wings with Stickles glitter glue, and made the eyes glossy with Plaid Clear Glass Finish.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Kitschy, Kitschy, Coo!

At my daughter's school today, they are having a surprise baby shower for the head teacher. So I broke into my stash of Jack's World stuff from Cosmo Cricket and made this quick square (4 1/4" x 4 1/4") card. I simply adore the Jack's World line. It's cheerful and kitschy, and it just makes me smile every time I look at it.

Hope you get to do something that makes you and someone else smile today!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Card Parade

Here are some more cards that I've made recently...
This one was for my best friend's daughter, who turned 10! in April. 10! Yikes! The images are from The Greeting Farm. I love their cute, contemporary look with the wide open spaces for coloring and paper piecing. Great designs for kids, tweens, and those who just adore cuteness. I colored the images with Copic markers, popped the chick up on a foam dot for dimension, and added Stickles glitter glue to the dp from Chatterbox.

Compare the coloring of this image to the two below, and you will get a very visual picture of the difference between watercolor crayons and Copic markers.

I made this card for my dear mum for Mother's Day. The image is from Crafty Secrets' Fairyland set. I used Stampin' Up Watercolor Wonder Crayons to color the image. The dp is from K&Company.

I had asked my dad, who is an antique dealer, to be on the look out for vintage buttons for me, and he came through in spectacular fashion, as usual. I now have a large collection of fantastic buttons, like the one I used in the center of this flower.

Here's a neat trick for altering metal embellishments: I only had a silver buckle left in my stash but wanted it to match the button. So to change the color and age it, I painted it with a gold leafing pen and swiped it with Timber Brown Stazon, and voila! an aged brass buckle was the result.
Finally, this week is Teacher Appreciation Week at my daughter's school. This is the card I sent in for Card Shower Day for her kindergarten teacher. I had this in my small stash of "extra" cards. I really need to work harder at making cards ahead of time, so I have them on hand. I typically make cards with a specific person in mind. While I'm creating, I like to think about the person receiving the card and pray for them. Besides being a creative outlet, this pouring of love into my projects is the main reason I love making cards and scrapbooks so much.

Wishing you all a lovely day!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Just Ducky

I've been cranking out cards like mad lately, but I didn't want to post them until I knew the recipients had received them.

This one to the left is a birthday card for our neighbor. I used this sweet vintage duck from Crafty Secrets' Feeling Yucky set. I stamped the image using Ranger's Vintage Photo Distress Ink and colored it with Copic markers. I made the scalloped circles with Nestabilities die cuts and embossed the pink one with the Cuttlebug Swiss Dots folder. The dp is from K& Company's Berry Sweet collection, and my beloved seam tape ribbon is from Rebecca Sower's Etsy shop.

I used the same basic layout and process to make
this Mother's Day card for my dear mother-in-law. I rarely make the same card twice, unless I'm making multiples for invitations or holidays. In this case, I was short on time, and I loved the way the first card came out so much that I wanted to make a second one. I changed the color scheme, and after I embossed the yellow scalloped circle, I swiped the dots with Palette Hybrid white ink to make them stand out more.

I have more cards to share with you tomorrow, so be sure to come back then. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope your day is just ducky too!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Day!

It's birthday party season! There's something about spring that seems to trigger the need to celebrate among the ten and under set. My 6-year-old's social calendar for the next few months puts my last 5 or so years to shame. But that's okay because if I'm lucky, like today, I get a little adult interaction in the process of dropping off and picking up my lil' social butterfly.

I made the card above for one of my daughter's classmates, who had a bug/insect themed party today. To make the space in the grass for the ladybug, I stamped half of the Row of Grass stamp (thank you Jason & Megan!) from Daisy Bucket Designs on each side of the paper. The ladybug and sentiment are from Heidi Grace Designs.

I colored the card with Copic markers, which are lovely alcohol-based markers that color like a dream. I have just a small collection of these markers, so I'm just a novice with them, but they are absolutely fantastic. I especially like to use them when I want bright, vibrant colors, particularly for kids' cards.

Wishing you a happy day too!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Finger Knitting

This afternoon, thanks to this great tutorial, I taught Shannon how to finger knit. She was so proud of herself for making this scarf.

It's what all of the well-dressed dolls and bears are wearing this season. :)

Shannon also posed her models and took the photos herself!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Arccivo, My Love!

One of my favorite scrapbooking tools ever is my Arccivo work surface. It's perfect for working on and storing pages in progress.

A lot of mums have told me that they don't papercraft because they don't have a dedicated work area and don't like having to haul out and pack up stuff every time they scrap or stamp. This portfolio is a great solution for that problem.

I love mine because I usually only work on layouts in very short increments of time, and the magnetic pads (keep away from cell phones, computers, and electronics!) keep everything in place and protected (no bent corners!) until I have time to finish a project.

The Arccivo may seem a little pricey, but to me, it's worth every penny. Just think of it as a portable craft room for under 60 bucks!