Sunday, January 30, 2011

Card Collections and Corgi + Camera

Last weekend I spent some time making a set of cards for my mom's birthday gift.  I started by CASEing two cards I listed in my 2010 favorites post on Splitcoast that both used the Stampin' Up Manhattan Flower embossing folder: this one by hskelly and this one by jovialjudy. I made a couple more with the same embossing folder to round out the set, but I admittedly do not like them as much as the CASE'd ones.  Here's the whole set:

(Ha, sorry for the random background.  Were you wondering what my pantry door looks like?  Mystery solved!).  Here are some single shots of the two cased cards:

(watercolored with SU markers and aquapainter, PTI Fillable Frames sentiment)

(Embossed and sanded pre-patterned Core'dinations cardstock, Waltzingmouse sentiment, white pearls colored black with copic)

I also made her the OH-EM-GEE-CUTEST mini composition notebook.

I mean, check out that one bird reading her name!  This is some Cosmo Cricket paper, Sage Shadow modern label punch, and PTI bitty dot ribbon.

Now, I hate to brag, but I know many, many of you will be very jealous of my next statement: we hit seventy degrees yesterday!  So after taking Addison to the v-e-t (all clear!), I had a photo session with her in the backyard.  Here a few favorites:

Happy Sun-dog, everyone!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Three Things You Need To Know Right Now

1. Will Ferrell is going to be on The Office this season!

2. ZooBorns is the most ridiculous website ever.  I want to send out every post to every person in my address book.  So I thought it would just be easier to send y'all over the website so you can add it to your own blog reader.

3. My close, warm personal friend, Emily, aka Artsy_Em, is the Featured Stamper for this week's Splitcoast Challenge! Her gallery and blog are both amazing--so much awesomeness to pick from!  I chose this card to case since it involves two Emily trademarks: stamped background and kraft!  Here's my re-imagining of it:

I used most of her color scheme (I couldn't bring myself to break out the yellow, and used Antique Linen distress ink instead), cut the flowers out of PTI's Distressed Dots using the Peony Nestabilities die (instead of stamping), and used the Happy Birthday sentiment from PTI's Enjoy the Ride.  It's so easy to make a card when you have such great inspiration!

I hope everyone is ready for the weekend--I sure am!  More good news: we're supposed to hit 60+ degrees on Saturday!  Woot woot!  Stay warm wherever you are, my friends!

AmberInk's InKredible 21 Day Challenge!

Woohoo!  A new InKredible 21 Day Challenge is up from AmberInk.  The challenge this time is "Birthday Bash," since it was Amber's birthday last week.  Join in the fun, and YOU could be designing a set with Amber next!

Here's my inspiration for you:

It's retro-licious!  This oven is from Amber's new Mod Kitch Kitsch set, which was designed by winner of challenge #3!  I enlarged it (using Word) to about 5 x 5 1/2, then added the "Happy Birthday" and "I made..." using text boxes.  I'm sure many of you know this hint, but it was a "A-ha" moment for me when I first read it: print your image or sentiment on a sheet of cardstock (thinner works better for this), then use removable tape to tape down a scrap of patterned (or colored) paper to the cardstock where the image printed, then send it through the printer again.  Like magic, you now have perfectly printed patterned paper images!  I did that twice, once with the diamond paper and once with the blue paper (both of these are some old American Crafts sheets).  I used a silver marker to fill in the knobs, handle, and thingy-on-the-bottom (yes that is the technical term), and a silver prismacolor pencil for the burners.  Before attaching the blue door, I cut the top and the sides and scored the bottom of the original door to have it open (which I totally stole from Sue--go check out her adorable original!) so I could reveal my specialty...

Cue the wah-wahnnnnnn "cheesy joke" sound effect!  I printed "reservations" on another scrap of paper, making a blue outside-original card-blue inside sandwich.  I lined the back of the entire oven with some more American Crafts paper and since I didn't have a gift card handy, slipped in my Warrior card.

****We interrupt this card to bring you this special public service announcement: Go over to P.F. Chang's website and sign up for a free Warrior card. It's good for 10% off your total every visit.  Seriously, no catches!  Now back to our regularly scheduled card.****

To finish up my card, I added a kickstand to the back by cutting a strip of cardstock, scoring it, and folding it into a triangle:

So I now give you permission to make reservations for dinner!  What to do with all that free time you now have by not cooking?  Play in AmberInk's challenge, of course!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Answer to the Question that Should Never be Asked

Hooray!  It's my first Team Orange Torchbearer project, as well as my first ever Amber Ink project!  To start things off on the right foot (and to help you define exactly what being "snarky" is all about), I went with this fabulous Jumping Julian Rex image, which should be coming soon to a digi store near you.  Without further ado, here is the answer to the question that should never, ever, EVER be asked:

because, really,

I'm sure you can fill in the blank, there, right? :)   This cracked my husband up before he even opened it up to read the punchline.  Because I am never like this.  Ever.  Especially not if I'm hungry as well.

I started off by printing Julian onto some PTI distressed dot paper.  I colored in his teeth and mouth using some prismacolor pencils and cut him out.  The paper is from SU's newsprint pack.  I used a Cuttlebug city skyline embossing folder (one of those really small ones that you can never do anything with) twice on the "dictionary" paper and swiped some Peeled Paint distress ink on it to make the embossing pop.  I printed the sentiment, cut the end with a border punch, and attached with two brads.  Added Julian with some pop dots and lickety-split, it's OUTTA MY WAY, CITY!  NEED CHOCOLATE!

Stay tuned for some more Amber Ink Awesomeness and check out the other torchbearers here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


That was my rendition of the bugles signaling the start of a chariot race.  Why did I choose that as my sound effect of the day?
Because the Lovely Lindsey (of Bashful Blogging) chose me to be the next Team Orange Torchbearer for the amazing Amber Ink stamp company!!  There's going to be lots of fun cards coming up in the next month (starting tomorrow) from all the fabulous torchbearers:
Laurie Wilson of Soapbox Creations
JOEY McKelvey of Joey's World of Stuff
Brenda Rose of Rose Blossom Legacies
Sue Kment of Sue's Stamping Stuff

Addison was SO excited to hear the news, she ran to put on the perfect outfit for the occasion.

Let the races begin!

Monday, January 17, 2011

More Cake!

Because the only thing better than cake is, of course, more cake.

Eat Cake Graphics's Fargo Fradey can hear a crumb drop from a mile away, and that certainly gets him up and running!  I hope you can tell in the picture, but this is a REALLY 3-D card-Fargo is attached to a wire spring:

I mean, 3-D running dog, my favorite paper pack of all time (SU's Washington Apple), and someone talking about cake?  Until they develop edible cake paper, what more could you want in a card?

Fargo was stamped three times onto PTI's Harvest Gold.  I added some shading with Copic Y21, and used prismacolor pencils on his eyes, nose, and tongue.  Then I cut him out in layers (his back legs and tail; his body and front legs; and his head) and attached using foam tape.  I got the idea for the spring from my Scrapbook Embellishment Handbook.  I wrapped a piece of wire around a pencil about eight times, then used 3-D glue dots to embed each end of the wire and attach to the card and to Fargo:

Now, I'm not really sure what happens when you go to mail this--would the glue dots just stick to each other or would the spring be wide enough to keep them apart--so maybe it's an in-person type of card.  Although right now it's a keep-on-my-desk-there-is-no-one-worthy-of-this-card type of card.

Anyway, to finish it up, I added a row of the square paper to the bottom and added the Eat Cake Graphics sentiment, stamped in SU Bashful Blue.

And to finish my "Someone Say Cake" series, a quick fun CAS card:

Feathers MacGee wants to get in on some cake action, too!  For this card, I used PTI's Sunshine Impression plate on Harvest Gold cardstock (although this plate always makes my card wonky--does anyone know any tricks to help it stay flat?).  Then I cut out another piece of Harvest Gold using Nestabilities Labels 4 and stamped Mr MacGee onto it, and did some quick Copic coloring.  The sentiment was stamped with Memento Danube Blue.  I added a Labels 4 frame from some old SU patterned paper, popped up on pop-dots.

Hope everyone is having a great Monday, and maybe even enjoying some cake!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Did Someone say..... CAKE?!?!!?

Making this card definitely got me craving some cake, so I finally caved and split a Great Wall of Chocolate at Chang's last night...yummy!

Cake is definitely a banner-worthy event, isn't it?  All the papers and stickers are from (where else?) Echo Park (I think from the Life is Good pack, but don't quote me on that).  I cut the banner using PTI's banner dies.  Little Miss Abigail is from Eat Cake Graphics, and I colored her with copics and also paper-pieced her bow, dress, and shoes.  The sentiment is also from ECG, stamped with Colorbox Rouge chalk ink.  The buttons are from Stampin' Up.

What is your favorite cake?  I LOVE the Hershey's Torte cake my mom makes for me every time I visit.  I can't even mess up this recipe; the hardest part is buying all the ingredients and chopping the Hershey bars.  Here it is:

1 box german chocolate cake mix
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1 c oil

Mix well.  Bake 30 minutes at 325 in 3 layers (make sure you grease the pans!).   Cool completely before frosting.

Cream together:
8 oz cream cheese
1 c confectioner's sugar
1/2 c sugar
8 oz cool whip
1/2 c pecans (optional)
6 Hershey's plain chocolate bars, chopped fine, or 1 bag Hershey's chips (I like the chopped candy bars better)

Frost between layers and on top.  Refrigerate.  Be prepared-after you serve this once, you will have a whole line of Abigails waiting for the next piece!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

That's a lot of ones!

The card I have to share for today was for my niece, who turned 11 on Tuesday, which was 1/11/11.
The banner and alpha stickers are from Echo Park "A Walk in the Park" pack, and the numbers were printed onto Cosmo Cricket "Girl Friday" patterned paper. 

Oh, and did I mention she got a hamster for Christmas?  So of course I had to use charming Inkadinkado stamp, which I colored with copics.   We couldn't have this guy scampering about all by his onesie, so I made a ball for him to play in.  I cut a circle out of clear cardstock, heated it a bit with my heat gun, then stuck it between two small melamine nesting bowls. I kept heating it through the gap between the two bowls, slowly pressing down on the top one.  It's not a perfect sphere, but I thought it was a pretty good imitation with what I had on hand.  Here it is in close-up:
Can't you just picture him saying "I'll go get my ball!" like the hamster from Bolt?

Hope you guys go get your ball and find some adventure this weekend, even if it is just in your stamping room!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Embellishments, Cameras, and Books!

To explain the following card, DH gave me the fabulous Scrapbook Embellishment Handbook for Christmas.  It has so many creative ideas (puff paint in buttonholes instead of threading = genius!) that it made me want to break out all of my embellishments at once.  Especially stickers, since Echo Park has made me like them again.  And I could. not. stop. using. stickers.

I was inspired by this card by Linda of Catered Crop (also a fellow ECG DT member).  I started with the simple idea of CASEing her card...did a little coloring and cutting of the Eat Cake Graphic image, then picked out some fun papers.  Then I saw the tree sticker.  And the flower stickers.  Hm....the top right seemed a little bare.  So I added the "true friends" sticker (I think from a K&Co sticker sheet).  Well, that seemed sad by itself, so I kept adding more.  Too much more?  Never!

In order to balance out this moreness, I made a CAS thank you card-my friend wanted a couple for her husband to use to thank some close friends after the passing of his father.

I versamarked the flowers from Wplus9's Woodgrain Silhouettes onto PTI's Ocean Tides and clear embossed them.  Then I tried out my distressing inks some more--this time using Vintage Photo.  I also stamped the sentiment (from SU's Upsy Daisy) using Vintage Photo.

As promised last week, I have some photos taken with our new camera (Panasonic G1) to share.  I am in love with this camera.  It is so easy to use, takes fabulous photos in any lighting (the thank you card above was taken at night in my kitchen, which has both fluorescent and incandescent bulbs--but look at that gorgeous color!), and has some sort of awesome rubbery finish that I could pet all day.

Here are some photos I took at Denver's botanical gardens:

Same photo, cross-processed in Picnik:
and one of the corgi on Christmas night:
Tee-hee, I love the school photo/Olan Mills pose she has going on.  "And tilt your head just a little...and look over back this way...and smile....{click}..perfect!"

Finally!, this year I'm going to try recording my book reading on here, just so I can remember what books I've read and also let you know of any must-reads. 
Book #0: A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron  Technically I finished this book on December 29th, but it's so good I had to mention it.  There are PIPs (pets-in-peril) and you will need your hankies, but, oh, the warm furries!
Book #1: The Spellmans Strike Again by Lisa Lutz  I have devoured all four books of the Spellman series all in the past two months.  They're a great vacation read, kind of like Veronica Mars ten years after graduation.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Thank you!

Yippee!  Banner dies for Christmas!  Stamped using The Cat's Pajamas Coolvetica alphabet onto Echo Park Paper.  These banners end up being a bit big--this is an 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 card.  I also wish I could have figured out how to make the "you" string sag down instead of going straight across, but when I loosened the string it didn't work well.  Any ideas?  The birdie stamp is from a set I picked up for $1 at Big Lots.

So consider this my big thank you to all my stamping peeps who sent me wonderful handmade cards for Christmas:
Holy guacamole!  Can you believe all the awesomeness Meredith (aka Crafty Math Chick) fit onto this card?  The ribbon wrapped presents, the funny sentiments, and then to top it all off with that fabulously colored Eat Cake Graphics image?!?!  Plus she tucked in some new stamps and a couple Nylabones for Addison, which she certainly appreciated!

This fabulous CAS card came from Lindsey (of Bashful Blogging)  It's hard to see in the picture, but there is some wonderfully festive glitter accents going on.  I'm going to also assume she gave Addie and myself red stockings, and added the green one for DH.

Kraft?  Check.  Stamped background? Check.  Touch of sparkle?  Check.  Snippet of twine? Check.  Great layout? Check!  Yup, looks like Angela (of Paper Cupboard) made sure all of the appropriate Christmas card boxes were checked off with this wonderfully cozy card.

Thanks again, gals!

PS--notice anything about these pictures?  We gave ourselves a new camera (a Panasonic G1) and I'm in love with it!  I'll have some botanical garden pictures to share later in the week.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010: The Year I Became a Real Stamper

First, I do have a card to share:
I've had this card by Belinda Chang Langner in my google notebook for quite some time, and could finally CASE it since I received the PTI cloud die for Christmas. I also got the fabulous chock-full-o'-pups Puppy Love set from There She Goes.  I colored the image with copics, cut out the clouds, and popped it up onto some Echo Park paper.   Squee!

So, now for the reasons why 2010 was the year I became a Real Stamper.
1. Started a blog and now have 36 (!!) followers--you guys make me feel like a Real Stamper with every visit and comment!
2. Was a Splitcoast CAS Challenge Guest Designer twice (here and here).
3. Featured on the Splitcoast Facebook page eight times. Lydia of Understand Blue does such a great job highlighting cards on there. What an awesome gig that must be!   Splitcoast posts for the cards featured here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
4. Won an Embellish Magazine Challenge and a Taylored Expressions Challenge.
5. Made it onto my first offical Design Team for Eat Cake Graphics
6. Made all sorts of new stampy friends!
7. I was published!!!!!  I still can't believe it!  Must have had beginner's luck since it was the first card I'd ever submitted.  You can check it out now in the January/February issue of Papercrafts, page 42. :)

If 2011 is anything like 2010, I'm in for a wild stamping ride!  Hope 2011 brings all sorts of fabulous things your way as well!