Friday, July 29, 2011

I hate to brag, but...

Poster from Parada Creations
WOWZERS!!!  I made the Gallery Idol top five!!!!!  Thank you for all of your votes, comments, and blog postings about my voting!!  The next challenge is to make a party trio.  .Addison, crank up the tunes!  Mr Corgi, get your boogie shoes on!  It's a party, and I hope all my blog peeps will come!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Batter Up!

Vote here!
((If you're looking for my gallery idol sofa card, you can see it in this post.  Only one more day left to vote; it closes at 2:00 Eastern on Thursday!)

My nephew had his tenth birthday this month, which, for me, seems like a hard age to make a card.  But I'm lucky in the fact that he loves baseball, so I went with that theme and made this:
I just love that shimmery paper from DCWV.  It turns every card into a party!  To make this, I got a random picture of a batter and ball (wink, wink), traced it in Silhouette Studio, and cut it out.  Then I cut out the rounded rectangle with the letters, and adhered a red strip and a blue strip behind the letters, and adhered everything to the cardbase.  Don't forget to keep the insides of your letters if you do it this way (like A's and O's).  A pretty quick and easy card from start to finish, but I think he'll still get a kick out of it!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bathroom Redo!

Vote here!
(If you're looking for my gallery idol sofa card, you can see it in this post!)

We interrupt this paper craft blog to bring you the following DIY bathroom redo.  For the past few days weeks, my husband and I have been slowly working to update our guest bath.  It wasn't too shabby to begin with, but after I've been wanting to frame our mirrors after seeing this Southern Hospitality blog post and we decided that the smaller bathroom would be a good trial before the master.  So it went from this:

Ok, we did have doors, but I forgot to take the before picture before taking them off.  The artwork is a post-it that says "modern art" because I didn't like how my photo looked in that frame, so I was going to take it to get professionally framed, but I didn't want to leave a blank spot on the wall, especially since I've been meaning to get it framed for oh, about the last four months.  ANYWAY, here is the after:
Upgrade!!  We I painted the cabinets using Martha Stewart Burl-it's a beautiful dark brown.  They were laminate, so I'm not sure how well they'll hold up, but I've seen other success stories on the web, so fingers crossed.  You can also see in the mirror that I now have my picture up, and I even used the same frame, but I painted it with Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze finish.  It really classed up the cheap frame.  Here's another shot of the mirror and sink:
First, no, I don't know why the towel ring isn't centered; it was like that when we bought the house.  The clock is Martha from Kmart a long time ago.  The faucet is new (on sale at Lowe's).  I spray painted the photo frame and I also spray painted the foam soap dispenser a la House of Hepworths.  For the mirror, we followed the directions from the previously-mentioned Southern Hospitality and it worked great!  Ok, no, actually, someone thought that real wood would work fine since that was all Home Depot had, even though someone else mentioned that the blog post specifically said to get composite.  But then when we finally did follow her directions, it worked out great.  I think it's quite the upgrade for about $200, the faucet being the largest chunk of that.

What DIY projects have you taken on recently?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Gallery Idol Round 3: You're Sofa Away From Me

Vote here!

This was my brain on Friday morning:

WOOO HOOO!!  WOO HOO!!  PARTY TIME!  I'M IN THE TOP TEN GALLERY IDO-----insert record scratch sound----Fabric?  FABRIC?!?  Are you kidding me?!?!  I've never used fabric on a card before and only have about 3 pieces of fabric in the house and now they're going to make fabric the round three challenge?  Seriously?!?

Ok, ok, think, Meg, think.  What could you use fabric for?  Ruffles?  Flowers?  Or maybe, with a little luck and a little engineering and a whole lotta scor-tape, you could use it to make this:
Ok, ok, good thinking, Meg.  Now, what type of sentiment would you use for a sofa...sofa...sofa....oh, Mr Corgi, go cue up your Dire Straits!

(Ok, I promise I'm not usually this video-happy on my blog, but I couldn't not put this song on this post.)

Now all that was left to do was find a sofa template, cut it out, get fabric, then figure out how to cover it so it looked upholstered!  Well, I couldn't find a good sofa to use, so I made my own by tracing a picture of one in Silhouette Studio.  The legs didn't work from the picture, so I made my own by tracing a picture of a baseball bat, then adding a circle and an ellipse to the ends.   Then I used the internal offset feature to trace the inside for the two cushions.  I cut everything out and then spent some time at JoAnne's.  Did you know the smallest amount of fabric you can buy is one inch?  I need a little bit more than that, so my total amount for fabric was $1.25 and I have enough left over to make a bajillion more couches.

To make each cushion, I started by adhering three layers of interfacing to each cardstock shape (using scor-tape), then cutting to size.  Then I placed it, interfacing side down, on top of the wrong side of the fabric, then folded the fabric over and adhered it to the back, using lots of scor-tape and cutting off the excess.  Then I used my paper piercer and guide to punch the holes for the brads from the back of the cushion and inserted the brads for a tufted look.  The pillow was the same idea, only I used a 1.25 inch square and a button brad that matched perfectly!  Such a fancy couch need some wallpaper, so I used the long decorative stamp from Waltzingmouse's Very Vintage Christmas to make some.  This is why having a stamp index is so handy-I never would have turned to that set for this stamp, but there it was in the "background/flourishes" section, just calling out to be used!

I've got everything crossed over here that can be...even Addison's paws!  Thanks again for all of your support for the past two weeks!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

We have a winner!

I love the mathiness of this that shows that, yes, every number has the same chance, including the first and last:
And that person is....

Jocelyn!!!  Woot woot!  You get to pick from the following Unity sets:
Sending My Love, Bitty Backgrounds, Little Me, Bella Fiori, Homegrown, Hugs & Kittens, Handmade Holiday, Bella Trees, or Imagine It. 
with your choice and address!

I'm hard at work on my Gallery Idol card, so I'll probably be pretty quiet here until Monday afternoon!  Hope y'all are having a great weekend!

Friday, July 22, 2011

GIU: Only Pack the Good Stuff!

I'm posting this before I know the results of Gallery Idol Round Two, but no matter what the result is, I want to thank ALL of you for your fabulous support and comments this week and helping me make it to the top ten!!!  This has certainly been the busiest my blog has been since...uh...forever!  I've got a lot of blogs to visit and comments to pay back so it may take me a bit, but I'm going keep plugging away at it. And be sure to leave a comment today for one last chance at a Unity stamp set.  I'll draw the random name at 12:00 midnight (Eastern).
My CAS side has been feeling a bit neglected lately, so I decided to chillax a bit on this card. Then I remembered I'm not the type of person to either "chillax" or use the word "chillax," so I thought it would be awesome to make the middle suitcase into a shaker card filled with hearts.  Howsabout we let the fact that there is no shaker suitcase on the card answer the question about how well that went, and instead focus on the clean-and-simple-ness of this card instead.  Doesn't this stamp set, Melody Ross's A Girl & her Adventures, make you want to put on a hat and board a train?  I stamped the suitcases onto PTI cream paper using A Muse fern ink and the detail is just fabulous!  The sentiment is from the same set, and the heart is from the Blossom Soup set, stamped in Fresh Ink Pink Lemonade, cut out, and pop dotted.  I made a 3.5 x 6.25 Aqua Mist base, added a thin strip of Smokey Shadow cardstock, and rounded the corners.  I was so pleased when the finished product ended up feeling like it came right out of this book:
Click the pic for amazon link
(which, as a side note, I would definitely recommend, especially for $5.  I read it last year, passed it on to my mom, who then passed it on to one of her friends, and I think the chain is still going!)

I hope you enjoyed my GIU week. And I hope you only pack the good stuff this weekend!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

GIU: I got a pocket, got a...

(remember voting closes at 2:00 Eastern for gallery idol!)
I got a pocket, got a...
a pocket full of sunshine!

I couldn't have a Growing in Unity week without breaking out my first (and favorite) Kit of the Month, A Pocket Full of... (July 2009). 

Yes, I was totally inspired by Easy A:

(which, as a side note, I would recommend for anyone that is craving a good ol' eighties-esque teenage romantic comedy [but as a warning, I'm not sure I'd want my hypothetical young teenager watching it].)

So many stamps got to see some ink for this card!  For the Baja Breeze base, I stamped and embossed the clouds in white.  The sentiment was made from the "a pocket full of" and "you are my sunshine" stamps (using tape to mask off the words that I didn't want inked and also breaking out my stamp-a-ma-jig), with the "sunshine" clear embossed.  The pocket was stamped onto textured paper, embossed with tan powder, cut out, and distressed.  The sun was clear embossed onto Echo Park patterned paper.  As a final touch, I embossed "love" from the "sending you love" sentiment from August 2009's KOM in tan onto a strip of red that I folded over to make the Levi's-esque tag, and also added two eyelets for the pocket rivets.

Besides sunshine, I've also had my Kindle in my pocket a lot recently, so it's book report time!  Click on the book to be taken to its amazon page.
Book #24: I admit it, I am powerless against Goldens, so this book has been tempting me at Target for quite some time. Then I figured out that Tuesday is still with us, so it also passed the PIP (pets in peril) test.  The synopsis: dogs are AWESOME and war is not.  The story about how Tuesday and the author both got to where they were was very interesting, but the writing (and the story of them after they met) was not very interesting, if you know what I mean.  It also puzzles me that the author went to Columbia for journalism yet had a co-author for this book.  If you like true dog stories, get it from the library and read the first half.

Book #25: Incendiary was recommended to me by Lindsey of Bashful Blogging, based on the fact that I recommended Little Bee by the same author.  Like Little Bee, this is not a happy story, but a good one:  A mother who has lost her husband and son to a bomb attack write a letter to Osama about her story.  It kept me turning the pages and rooting for her.  Recommended, but if you'd can only read one Chris Cleave novel, I'd make it Little Bee.
Book #26: I really am a happy person even though I seem to be reading some not-happy stories recently.  The Girl Who Fell from the Sky started off very good, with an eleven-year-old girl, the daughter of a black father and Danish mother, being the only survivor of her family.  The girl goes to live with her black grandmother and the story covers most of her teenage years in snippets.  The ending felt a bit too coincindental and abrupt, but I enjoyed most of the book.  Maybe it felt abrupt because I wanted to know more of what happened to the girl, which I guess is a good sign.
Book #27: Even though I love going out to eat at nice restaurants, sometimes I have a craving for some Ruffles potato chips.  This book was my most recent Ruffles book.  Three months after her long-term boyfriend breaks up with her, Annie gets married to a new man.  Of course the old boyfriend decides he wants her back and Annie must choose what type of life she wants.  I felt so silly because I was crying at the end of the book and then when I went to tell Mr Corgi about how silly I felt for crying, I started tearing up again.  When did I become That Girl?

As always, I love to hear what you're reading!  (It also counts as a chance to win a Unity stamp set, too!)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy Birthday, Amber Ink!

 ETA: Contest is closed.
(This is my second post today! See my Growing In Unity Post here and if you're looking for my Gallery Idol post, it is here.)

Amber Ink is turning one today and celebrating by having a party train blog hop with TONS of fabulous "torchbearers" from the past year.  If you're following along the hop, you should have just seen Lindsey's fabulous Bashful Blogging creation.  If you're just joining us, make sure to visit the Amber Ink blog to start at the beginning, since there will a PRIZE drawn from the comments on each blog!

The entire time I was making this card I was giggling to myself.  Can you guess why?

Did you guess this clip? (It was either embed the whole eight minutes on here, or link to the six minute mark, so I went with the six minute mark link.  But seriously, go watch the next ten seconds.)

YES!  CHEAP SEATS!!!!!!  Do not even get me started on DirecTv cutting out ESPN Classic.  That was the only sports channel I watched!  Can't I trade The Fishing Network out for some Randy and Jason?  If you need to go watch all the spelling bee episodes right now, I completely understand. 

But back to my card, I used Amber Ink's new "It's a Trainset" set.  I imported the jpgs into the Silhouette software, then used the trace feature to make the separate parts to cut out, then of course good ol' Elmer's came to the rescue again.  The presents were a Silhouette cut file, but I did make the train tracks all by myself!    I had to break out the math and everything.  Here's a close-up, don't you love how train-y that metallic paper looks?
Don't worry, under the silver rails all of the railroad ties are connected, plus I cut it out of self-adhesive paper, so I did not glue each one of them down separately.  Elmer said things would be moving a bit too fast if I had tried to do that.

And now it's on to the next stop on this party train: the wonderful Orange Torchbearer Cheryl Gorka at She Stamps.  (Oh, but before you leave, don't forget to vote for the Paper Craft Gallery Idol here!)

Unity Times Three!

Welcome to Day Three of my Growing in Unity Week!  In honor of Day Three, I have three of a kind to share with you, using the Undeniably You set.
After I made the first card, I loved it so much I made two more since I had three fabulous friends who had birthdays near the same time.  I made the cards using my Silhouette.  First I made a 5.5 x 7.5 inch rectangle, then welded "fabulous" to one edge, making it a standard 5.5x4.25 card once I cut and folded it.  Second, I made the rounded rectangle and since I couldn't find the exact label shape I wanted, I found one online and used the trace feature.  By aligning the label in the center of the rectangle in the program, I could then cut out the rectangle and the die at the same time, which meant (a) perfect placement and (b) you get to use the die from one card for the another (or flip it around if it's two-sided paper.)  I used October Afternoon, Echo Park, and My Mind's Eye paper.

Then I stamped and heat-embossed the dress and stand onto the label die cut, and again on another piece of patterned paper, which I then fussy cut for the dress.  I added a coordinating strip of paper to the inside of the card, and stamped the "a girl should be two things: classy and fabulous" Coco Channel quote on the inside.  Here's some pics of each card by its onesies:
I hope y'all are having a FABULOUS week yourself!  Remember to leave a comment for a chance to win a Unity stamp set and also drop by later today for the Amber Ink birthday blog hop (and another chance to win a prize!).  And of course don't forget to vote!
Click to vote!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Unity and Elmer's

As I mentioned yesterday in my Gallery Idol post, ( here) Elmer's Glue-All and I took our relationship to the next level this past week (which is why I felt I should refer to him with his proper "Glue-All" name instead of "white school glue.").  What started this new-found love?  Why, it was this gorgeous masterpiece from Craftastical:
Photo from Craftastical Blog
Isn't that the most gorgeous thing you've ever seen?  Really makes me miss my old monogram-"C" just doesn't do it for me.  Nonetheless, I thought it would be fun to try and use the same idea with a stamp: Unity's So & So Loves.  So while my husband sat down to watch Das Boot, I sat down with a bunch of 1/4 inch strips of paper, cutterbee scissors, tweezers, a foam brush, and Elmer's.  Three hours later the movie was over and this was finished (as well as some tasty chocolate chip cookies because that's the type of good wife I am):
I started off by stamping the image using PTI white ink.  Since it was a bit hard to see, I stamped it again on some scratch paper, then used that image as a reference to cut all the pieces to length.  I did one tree at a time, cutting all the lengths, then gluing them on to match the image.  The letters I did free-hand because I'm wild like that.  Extreme close-up:
I stamped the bird on red paper, cut him out, then put little support pieces behind him to hold up near the edge of the paper.  Certainly not as sophisticated and elegant as my inspiration piece, but sometimes I'm more of a camp-craft-y gal, know what I mean? 

Thanks again for all of your comments yesterday on my Unity & Gallery Idol posts and remember to leave another comment today for a chance to win a Unity stamp set!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Gallery Idol Round Two!

(pssst...make sure you check the post below this one for my Growing in Unity week and a chance to win a Unity stamp set.)
Click to go vote!

Whew, what a weekend I had trying to "creatively" use die cuts.  I made a card on Friday that involved probably 100 die cuts that just didn't do it for me when I finished it (but I'll still share it sometime soon).  Saturday I worked on another card in the morning that made me happy, but wasn't sure if everyone else would love it as much as I did (but I'll still share it sometime soon).  Finally, on Saturday afternoon, right in the middle of my shower (when all the best inspiration hits), I came up with an idea that resulted in this card:

I probably should have warned you about the sweetness level of this card, since it is pretty high.  Everything on the card except the sentiment stamp (from Verve) and the actual swing is a Silhouette die cut.  I used "autumn tree branch" multiple times for the tree, welding them together and cutting them out (the tree is about 8 inches tall).  I used PTI dark chocolate for the card base, and cut out the empty space, leaving about a one-inch strip down the right side and a quarter inch strip along the bottom to which I attached the tree and grass (probably should have taken a picture, but I'm sure you get the idea).  

Then I cut out the leaves.  I actually placed them where I wanted them in the Silhouette studio, then cut them all out in their places (instead of just copying 50 leaves and cutting them out in a line). Then I could use the negative portion of the paper to help place the leaves where I had planned.  I spread some Elmer's glue onto a piece of wax paper and carefully used a foam brush to dot the back of each leave and adhere it.  I have a newfound love for Elmer this weekend.  It dries quick and it stays!  I'm sure Elmer feels sad that he doesn't get as much love in the paper crafting world as he should.  

The girl was a silhouette on a swing already, so I edited out the swing portion and cut her out.  Then I scored her knees and attached her to the swing (which is a rectangle scored and folded into a box), then curved her a bit so she'd sit back in the swing. I punched two holes in the swing and used Twinery twine to tie it to the tree. I used scor-tape on the back of her hands so she could hold the "ropes."  I also added a little bow because every girl needs a bow.  Paper used: American Crafts brown and green, SU Sweet Slumber, October Afternoon 5 & Dime, and Echo Park Springtime.
I'd really, really, really appreciate your vote!  Go here to see all the lovely entries and choose your fave!

Growing in Unity Week!

I'm so excited that I was able to get on the list to be a Growing in Unity Gal!  Every day this week I'll be showing a Unity project and, yup, there's a prize involved. Every comment on a GIU post will enter you to win your choice of the following Unity Stamp sets: Sending My Love, Bitty Backgrounds, Little Me, Bella Fiori, Homegrown, Hugs & Kittens, Handmade Holiday, Bella Trees, or Imagine It.
(One comment per post please, but you can comment each day to increase your chances)

My first card I have to share was made with a stamp set I had coveted for quite a while: Melody Ross's Brave Girl Boots.  Because although I live in Birmingham now, I grew up in Texas and was even in FFA in high school. [1]  I finally bought it last month and then when the Splitcoast CAS Designers had a "state flag" challenge on the Fourth of July, well, I knew what had to be done and I did it:

I have a metal Texas flag in my garden and wanted to my card to have that nice worn look about it, so I used the direct-to-paper technique with PTI Fresh Ink, SU Not Quite Navy and SU Riding Hood Red, using squares of magazine pages to block off the sections. The full boot pair image looked too big for the card, so instead I stamped it twice and cut the same boot out to make a pair, using foam tape on the top one.  I decided to add a little dimension by stamping the sentiment in white first, then stamping it again and embossing it. It's not like I tried it without embossing first, and then failed to line it up correctly when I stamped it again. Nosiree, that's not what happened at all!

In other TEXAS FOREVER news, did y'all[2] see that Friday Night Lights got a nomination for Best Drama? Plus Coach and Mrs Taylor were nominated as well.  If you have not watched this show yet, what are you waiting for?  (The entire series is on Netflix streaming).  I may or may not have cried during the last episode.  Also Coach may or may not be a screen saver on my Kindle, and I may or may not play the theme song repeatedly in my car when I'm feeling happy.

Stop on by the blog again this afternoon (1:00 Central) to see my Gallery Idol card for round 2 and to vote.  CLEAR EYES, FULL HEARTS, CAN'T LOSE, right?!?![3]

[1] FFA used to stand for "Future Farmers of America" but its name is actually "FFA" now.  There's your little bit of trivia for today.
[2] Yeah, I'm totally Texas-ing it up today.
[3] OMG, seriously, at the end of the last episode?  When he tells the team we'll work on that next time?  Did your heart just fill up with happiness at that point like mine?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

An exciting week ahead!

Thank you so much for all the votes on my Gallery Idol card.  I made it to the next round, which is "creative use of die cuts."  Eek!  After seeing all of the fabulous DIY embellishments, I know there's going to be some tough competition. 

The voting will start Monday afternoon at noon Mountain (2 Eastern), which is also when I'll have my card posted here.  You'll also want to stop by all next week because I'm going to be the Growing In Unity Gal.  I'll be showcasing a Unity project every day and there will also be a Unity kit up for grabs.

I'm also going to be in a fun blog hop on Wednesday that you won't want to miss.  So much crafting to do, I better get back to it.

Thanks again for all the support, emails, promoting, comments, and voting.  The warm fuzzies from all of you are the best part of this competition!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I judge you and your plastic bags.

I admit it.  I'm a plastic bag judger.  A couple years ago we went on a sailboat ride with the Monterey Aquarium where they showed us all sorts of nasty plastic bits that momma birds feed their baby birds thinking that it is food and then the baby birds aren't hungry because their tummies are filled with plastic, and, well, you can see where this going, can't you?  So I use my reusable bags all the time and yes I judge those with a cart full of bird- and otter-killing plastic bags.  Anyway, every time I pick up these four out of the back of the car, I always think to myself, "this would make a great color combo!"
So when I sat down to make a set of notecards for my great-aunt's birthday (she's also getting yesterday's birthday card), I decided to finally use that color scheme, with an added touch of orange.
 This is a Stampabilities stamp, one of the first that I bought when I started stamping.  It always bothered me that it wasn't full-card size, but it turned out to be perfect for this.  I embossed it on PTI Ripe Avocado, Hibiscus Burst, Aqua Mist, Hawaiian Shores, and Summer Sunrise.  Then I cut each panel into thirds.  They're not actually equal thirds because the middle portion is a wee bit bigger, since there happened to be two little dots at the bottom that made it easy to cut each panel so they would all match up, plus it kept the center flourish mostly intact.  Then I wrote out a random pattern on a scratch sheet:
because otherwise I would have sat there for days trying each of the 24 different color schemes.  It turned out that the blue/green bordered a pink/orange and vice versa, which I think ended up looking really good for not being planned that way.  Matted with black, then added the sentiments from PTI's Vintage Picnic and Vintage Picnic Sentiments (special thanks to the Picnik photo editor for ruining my spelling of "picnic" forever).  Now I just need to (postage) stamp the envelopes, wrap a cute belly band around them, and send them off to my great-aunt!

Would you like to know who else I judge?  Water-bottle drinkers.  Oh, I know, I used to be one of you, too (and still am when there's no other choice, like behind airport security), until the aforementioned "Here baby bird, Momma caught you a nice colorful piece of fish, swallow it down!  I'll take care of you! Wait, why are you not hungry...?" heart-string tugging.  Now, instead of taking a plastic bottle to school every day, I fill up one of these:
Click the pic for the amazon link.
That price is the cheapest I've seen it--I paid about $20 for mine.  But it is AWESOME.  Let me give you my spiel about it:
1) No condensation!  I can stick it straight in my bag with all my papers with no worries.
2) Screw-off top makes it easy to fill with ice cubes.  
3) But don't fill it too much because this baby stays cold!  We use them when we drive to Houston (12 hours) and there is usually still ice in it, even if we only filled it halfway.  (note: this is not recommended for hot drinks, just cold ones)
4) You don't have to screw off the top to drink.  Instead you just unlock it and press the button and you have the perfect sized drink spout.  This is my favorite thing about it, since most bottles have either the sports-cap or a huge top that gets water everywhere.
5) You save baby birds and otters!  Hooray!

Before I go, one last shameless plug for a Gallery Idol vote!  Voting ends Thursday at noon with the reveal of the top 15 on Friday.  Thanks again for all the well-wishes and votes!  So many warm fuzzies! :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Market Street Color Cue

Am I the last one on the block to hear about Market Street Stamps?   I think I may need some in my life, stat!  Fortunately their color cue is open for all stamps, so I played along with the current challenge:
and used this week's CAS sketch challenge again, too:
I thought Eat Cake Graphics Callie would love to help decorate for a party (especially since she's wearing her party hat).  I used a Silhouette store download for the banner, cut it out of Echo Park Playground and My Mind's Eye Lime Twist Life of the Party papers, and attached them with the Tim Holtz tiny attacher.  I also added a wee bit of foam tape under a couple banners on each string.  I stamped Callie out of Sahara Sand, which I also used for the base.  I always forget about that color. Do you, too?  Anyway, because the stamp had a pattern on the hat already, I stamped it on the back of the patterned paper and cut it out.  Ink the edges with a marker, and voila-a hat with no stamped pattern on it!  The letters are from a Cosmo Cricket sheet and they are totally not centered on the sticker, so yes I had to trim one side of every sticker because it was annoying me so much and because I'm that type of person.

I'm also the type of person that likes to win.  I'm also the person not above asking you yet again to vote for me for Gallery Idol here (it should take you straight to my card, but if it doesn't, I'm number 7-the spaceship).  If you already took to the time to do so, YOU ROCK!  Thanks so much!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Gallery Idol Top Twenty!

So the competition for Paper Crafts Gallery Idol starts TODAY!  You can see the top twenty and VOTE here. Our first challenge was to create a DIY embellishment.   I thought and thought and thought.  And thought.  Ate some chips.  Then thought and thought and thought.  Pinterested.   Thought.  Played fetch with the dog.  Thought.  Talked to Mr Corgi and of course Mr Corgi was talking about the last shuttle launch (sniff!) and finally it came to me!  I could make a space ship....
Out of a Coke can! I remembered seeing something about coke can flowers somewhere so I did a little google research and it seemed easy enough, since many of the crafts were recommended for elementary-aged children.

HA.  Maybe if you don't like elementary-aged children very much.  I'm not saying it was extraordinary difficult, but it was no walk in the park, either.  So I'm going to fill you in on all the ten mistakes I made so you can make your own metal embellishment with carefree ease.

1) Yes, these cans are sharp!  Especially when you first cut them (cut the two ends off with a utility knife, then you can use scissors to cut down the side and clean up the edges).  I never cut myself, but I'm pretty sure there are metal pieces floating around in me where they weren't any before.  Probably should have taken their suggestion to at least wear gardening gloves, except my gardening gloves are in the trash after a poison sumac encounter.

1A) BONUS MISTAKE!  Poison sumac does not always follow the rule of "leaves of three, let it be." Sometimes it can just look like a leafy vine.  You should probably not do any weeding in order to avoid it.

2) The embossing buddy is your buddy!  Don't forget to use it unless you would like a full embossed rectangle.

3) The can is metal. Metal gets hot when you heat it!  Adhere a strip of paper to the back (longer than your metal piece) to act as a handle.  Do this before you stamp it.

4) Even if you used your buddy, you're not going to get a perfectly clean embossing (or maybe you will and I'm just not lucky).  Use a small dry paintbrush to brush away excess specs. Use a black copic or sharpie after embossing to clean up any lines.

5) Cut it out before you color.  Depending on the size of your stamp, it may still want to curl.  I pulled it over the end of my desk and that helped a bit, then I stamped and cut out another ship from chipboard (aka cardboard from back of paper pad), then used glossy effects to adhere them and then sent them through the Cuttlebug.

6) A little glossy effects goes a long way.

7) Put some paper and blank chipboard (aka cereal box) in the Cuttlebug unless you want your rocket embossed with all the previous cuts on your B plate.
Doesn't this look like something you'd find in Dr Horrible's lair?

8) SHARPIE, not copic.  No, no, no copic.  Unless you're going for a distressed finish.

9) The flames are from ethernet wires that Mr Corgi was using to network the house.  They were different colors, though, so I used stickles to recolor them.  Curl the wires (I wrapped them around the paintbrush from mistake #4 and the sharpie from #8) before you stickle, otherwise the stickle comes off like a snakeskin.

10) Ok, not really mistakes but the rest of the stuff that I did: I accordion-folded a two-inch strip of paper and used that to attach the shuttle.  The letters I cut using the Silhouette from  DCWV metallic paper, and the background paper is October Afternoon Campfire collection.  The space ship is from The Cat's Pajamas.

11) BONUS MISTAKE:  FORGETTING TO VOTE!!  One mistake you DO NOT want to do.  :)  So go there now!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

CAS Guest Designer!

I was lucky enough to be chosen as a CAS Guest Designer again and this week we have a sketch challenge.  I hope you'll play along here--it is such a gorgeous inspiration card by Debbie!   I have the beach on my mind, so I used my good ol' The Cat's Pajamas surfing dog:
I made the waves using my A Muse Studio large scallop die.  I cut them from A Muse ocean paper, then inked the edges with PTI Fresh Snow ink.  Stamped, colored, and cut out Poochie, then added the sentiment.  Surf's up, dude!

Make sure you check back here today (Monday) at 2:00 Eastern for my first Gallery Idol card!  I'm so nervous!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Re-enactment

I made this card the other day and wasn't going to post it because it's a re-enactment of a very random you-tube video.  But then yesterday I found out that I made it into the Paper Craft Gallery Idol Top Twenty and it turned in to a re-enactment of me!!!!!  So first the video:

I could watch this video daily and still not get tired of it. Ok, maybe I have watched this video daily and still not gotten tired of it.  "The maple-flavored kind?" along with the "AHHH!" at the end have become conversational phrases between my DH and myself.  So now that you know the video, here's the card:
"Ok," you're thinking, "what does this have to do with finding out you're in the top twenty?"
Because this is the inside of the card:
(My AHH was of course a good-if-not-a-wee-bit-overwhelmed AHH, not a you-fed-it-to-the-cat AHHHH.)
I copied the shark pop-up from Robert Sabuda's pop-up website (a website about pop-up books, not about internet pop-up ads.  You should definitely check out his website and his books!) into the Silhouette studio and edited the mouth to get rid of the teeth.  The ears are the shark's fin.

The next challenge is DIY embellishments, which has my brain on overdrive.  Voting begins Monday and by the looks of the other top twenty cards, I've got quite a lot of competition, so I'll definitely be asking for your help.

The maple-flavored kind of help, of course.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Rain-delayed Fourth

We had some nasty storms come through yesterday afternoon, which resulted in losing power for about an hour and half, which meant I-gasp-actually stamped an entire card.  But you don't get to see that today.  Instead you get to see a couple of cards I made for Splitcoaststamper's CAS July 4th Holiday Challenges. They have 22 different challenges posted (along with some fabulous inspiration cards!).  You have until July 8th to play along, so you should!

This one is for Lisa Lara's "what a melon" color challenge of red, pink, green, and white, as well as fionna51's tea challenge:
Since my husband is addicted to Earl Grey, I thought this poster would make the perfect card for him.  Yes, it's foam taped again, which, yes, means I had to foam tape those stupid "A" triangles again.  I did use a little trick for the "steam" dots: I cut them out of adhesive-backed paper, then very carefully cut around them and lifted the backing off.  If you're very careful, the dots will stay in the main sheet until you press them down onto the card, then you can peel away the unused portion, and voila, your dots are perfectly adhered in your precise pattern.

This next card is for another of Fionna51's challenges; this time it was to use something sparkly.

(yes, I call my husband "babes" with an s. I can't explain it.)  I'm thinking of using "you light me up!" for the inside sentiment, but am open to better suggestions.  To make this, I used a rhinestone template from the silhouette store, designed the card in the silhouette software, then cut it out to use as a stencil on my cardbase, like so:
I didn't tape it to my face; it's an ad from the magazine I was using to tape everything down to because I am milking my SU grid paper pad for all that it's worth.  Am I the only one that gets excited when it's finally time to turn to a new sheet?  And then gets sad when something gets on that new sheet, even though that is its purpose in life? No?  That's just me?  Ok, uh, then let's just go back to the card: I drew some lines to help me remember what dots were which color, then went to town filling in the circles with stickles.  Cutting out the words also provides perfect placement of the separate letters, too. If you're smart, you'll adhere those before you get started on the stickles (of course I did the stickles first).  The silver letters are metallic paper and the red ones are foil paper from DCWV.

One more picture before I head back to stamping.  Addison is not a fan of the thunderstorms.  Or firecrackers.  Or cats.  To help with the first two, we bought her a thundershirt, and it certainly got a workout yesterday:

Teehee!  I tried to get a back view because it's pretty funny--all her hair sprouts up at the top like a historical ruffled collar. Good times. Good times.