Thursday, October 27, 2011

PIckled Tink for HYCCT!

I was so honored when Lisa Lara, the newest member of the Splitcoast Dirty Dozen, asked me to make a sample for her Hope You Can Cling To Pickled Tink challenge, that of course I would have said "yes" no matter what the challenge.  The fact that the challenge was to make a punny CAS card (with a touch of pink) just sweetened the deal!  I started going through my stamp index, thinking maybe a bra card or a "hang in there" pun, when I came to Eat Cake Graphics's Marmie Decides to Leave, which led to the perfect card to sum up my feelings about cancer:
I printed the sentiment onto Soft Stone cardstock, stamped and colored Miss Marmie, then added a strip of Echo Park Dots & Stripes paper.  I do hope you'll play along in the challenge, or any of the HYCCT challenges!  

I've been falling behind on my book reports (and blog posts), so here's some more catch up....

Book #39: Just my Type was another birthday gift.  It is a book about fonts, which sort of made me giddy.  A review blurb on the Omnivoracious blog said it made him change the way he looks at words...ok, I think that's taking it a bit too far.  I will say it made me appreciate Comic Sans just a wee, little, tiny bit (I still don't think it should be on high school i.d. badges, but no one asked me for graphic design input on those).  I'd say this would be a library loan: fun and entertaining to read, but no need to keep it on your bookshelf.  Amazon Link.

Book #40: I had recently read The First Husband and enjoyed it, so I tried The Divorce Party by the same author, which didn't really have the same punch as Husband.  Probably another library loan book.  Amazon Link.

Book #41: This was the most recent book I've been reading to Mr Corgi as he drives.  Although a short book, I must admit it was extremely fascinating and we both have a hankering to go see the H1, H2, H3, and H4 in England.  Well written and researched, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a bit of science or history.

What are you reading?  I have some of your recent suggestions on my wish list at the library...someone else must have read your comments and scooped them up first!  I must be quicker this time. 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see some of your cards in the HYCCT gallery!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Market Street Says BOO!

Time for my Market Street Stamps post! As soon as I saw the Halloween release from Market Street, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for this post.  I even sent out an email calling dibs on the idea.  So I hope you're ready for the spookiness that is about to occur...
Yes, you totally just jumped out your seats, didn't you?  It's a Halloween tree filled with Market Street's Sweet Spooks and Night Owls, two sets that are so cute they make it hard to spook (so I admit I added some extra spookiness in Picnik).  The tree is just a discarded branch that I spray painted black.  I stuck some oasis foam in an old black container, stuck the branch into the foam, and then hot glued some moss on top.  Then I just started stamping, embossing, cutting and hanging!  Here are some close-ups:
I used some Echo Park paper for the owls (look how nice that solid one stamped!) as well as for the orange tags that I stamped the skulls onto (as well as some spiders as you'll see later).  I embossed the webs onto vellum and added a black rhinestone to each one for the "spider."  The bats were embossed onto dark gray paper, then I accented their fangs with a white gel pen.
Here you can see that cute spider hanging out on some polka dotted paper, as well as glimpse of the fancy pearl I added to the skull.  Mr Ghosty was a bit too ephemeral to catch on film, but you should be able to spot him in some of the other pictures.
I also made this sign to go with the tree.  I just love some fun fonts, don't you?  The bat paper was in a $1.00 pack at Walmart, which I used to cover an 8x10 canvas.  I cut the words out of vinyl using my Silhouette, then added some Market Street bats using glue dots.

Here's one more look at the whole she-bang:
Happy Haunting, everyone!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sometimes there's nothing else to say

This is for Bev's HYCCT "Looking in on You" challenge to make a window card. Sometimes there's nothing else to say except life isn't fair and sometimes it just sucks, and usually dealing with cancer is one of those times. The inside of the card has one of my husband's quotes: "Sometimes you're the windshield; sometimes you're the bug."  (Alternate version: "Sometimes you get the elevator, sometimes you get the shaft.")

If this card seems familiar, I made a red version a while back for the Market Street blog.   This is some new Aspire Petallics shimmery paper I got--thanks for everyone's suggestions on where to find some metallic paper.  I will definitely be checking out Hobby Lobby and discount stores soon.  This Aspire stuff is pretty, but also pretty thin (almost copy weight).  So the good news is the Silhouette cuts through it like butter, bad news is you couldn't make a card base out of it.  This set uses Market Street's Gone Campin' set and if you've been eyeing up some Market Street, this week is definitely the time to do so!  Be sure to check out the blog for the newest anniversary deal AND sign up for the new "neighborhood" ning forum for an added bonus. 

This second card is for Wanda's "Hang in There" challenge. I colored and paper pieced this sweet little Sugar Nellie stamp, who now looks a bit tipsy when she didn't before.  I took advantage of the two sided Amuse paper so she'd have a night sky background color.  Although now I'm thinking I should have stamped some stars back there.  But I didn't and I can't because (YES!) I mailed off 12 cards to MD Anderson yesterday.  The postal worker only looked at me a little askance when she saw I had written "LOVE ENCLOSED PLEASE DO NOT BEND" on the envelope.  They should add that to their "anything potentially fragile, perishable, liquid, or hazardous" question.  I can't tell you how much mailing that package helped lift my mood during a difficult month and I would highly recommend playing along!

Only one book today since it's almost dinner time, and don't mock me for liking it!

It's the newest Chet and Bernie mystery!  As told by Chet the dog (aka "Chet the Jet")!  How could I not love this entire series?  Oh, except for the end of the one book where Chet has a suspicious lump which is TOTALLY NOT COOL!  Why would Spencer Quinn do that?  I think he got told to wise up, though, because within the first couple pages of the next one the vets calls and everything is ok. WHICH IS HOW IT SHOULD BE.  I would definitely recommend this series if you like (a) mysteries (b) dogs or (c) dogs and mysteries.  Amazon Link.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hello. Is it me you're looking for?

So sometimes I get something stuck in my head (like that Lionel Richie song that's in your head now--you're welcome!). The only problem is when it gets stuck in my head wrong. Like when I read the comments from this post, I had it in my head that my pal Lindsey asked for a phone instead of my pal Jessi.  So when Lindsey won some blog candy from me, I though I should make a phone card and sent it along.  DOH!  Maybe I'll make an Angry Birds card and send to Jessi, then Jessi and Lindsey can switch.  ANYWAY, here is the card!
Get it?!?!  Red phone!?!  You da BOMB!?!?  Hahahaha.  I laughed myself silly over that one. This was a Silhouette Studio file that I modified a bit to make it into a card.  I l.o.v.e. that DCWV metallic paper--does anyone know where I can buy something similar by the sheet?  Or at least in a pack with all metallic paper?

I also have been hard at work on some more Hope You Can Cling to Challenges.  Here's one based on Jimmi's sketch challenge.
I just love Eat Cake Graphic's A Scarf for Ferguson.  The holiday paper is from My Mind's Eye, and Ferguson's scarf was fussy cut from Amuse gingham paper.  I also used Amuse's "cardstock" vellum to stamp the sentiment onto. This vellum isn't really all that vellum-y, but you can at still see a hint of the gingham behind it.  The sentiment is from The Cat's Pajamas.

Ok, so now it's time for some book reports. I think I may spread them out over the next few days so this doesn't turn into a massive post! (click on the book to go to its Amazon page)

Book #36: This one was on my birthday wishlist because it was supposed to be THE book for any child of the 80's.  My mom gifted the Kindle book to me, which we both thought was so cool for her to do.  As for the book, it was definitely entertaining for a sci-fi book, but a little bit too action-adventure for me.  Plus I really didn't get a lot of the references.  I think what they meant to say was it was for any super geeky video-game loving child of the 80's.  I'm pretty sure the only video games I played in the 80's were Pong and Oregon Trail.  Oh, yeah, and Number Crunchers when our teachers were trying to be "educational" during our one hour of computer time every two weeks. I won't tell you not to read, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it.

Book #37: Have you noticed that there's a bit of a fad going on with books about women with some sort of amnesia or dementia? This book falls into that category.  I would recommend Before I go to Sleep before I would recommend this one.  Actually, that statement isn't true, because I would not recommend this one.  At all.  This is a re-enactment of me when I saw this title in my Amazon account:

Ann who? from Steven Castellano on Vimeo.

 And, yes, I am peeing my pants about Arrested Development coming 2013!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dude, You Bling.

Two more Hope You Can Cling To cards today! Not only is this first one for Lori's Bling your Cling challenge, but also for Market Street's Special Edition Block Party.  What makes this Block Party so special?
A) It lasts until next Wednesday.
B) You get to vote for the winner.
C) The winner receives a $50 gift certificate to Market Street. Every month.  FOR A YEAR.
D) All of the above!

Plus Saturday marks Market Street's first anniversary, and Angelica has planned LOTS of awesomeness!  Check the MSS blog or my sidebar for more information.  Hope to see you there!

Now onto the card:
I really don't do bling a lot, so I spent some time going through my stamp index trying to find a good stamp to bling.  When I saw the little dots surrounding the compass and then found out that they were the same size as my tiniest bling, well, I just started a-blingin'!  (Ok, technically I stamped the image first, then started a-blingin'.  Well, to be truly technical, I stamped the image first, then colored the bling with a copic, and then started a-blingin'.)  And because I'm the type of gal that plans ahead, I ran out of bling with two dots left.  AAAAAH!!!!  Fortunately at the bottom of my bling pail, I had a small set of A muse bling that had the same size, plus a heart that was just calling to be used as well.

Now we go from pink, clean, and simple to masculine and grungy for Dani's Real Men Wear Pink challenge:
This card was just fun to make.  I used A Muse's Rock Star along with PTI's Grunge Me stamp sets.  Look how crazy I went with the Fresh Ink Slate Blue distressing!  Yes, rock stars may break guitars, but you know you're really a rebel when you have a 1/4 inch streak of blue and you don't start over!

What makes you feel like a rebel stamper?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Swimming For Katie

From October 10-12, the stamping community is joining together to support and encourage our friend and fellow stamper, Katie Renz, who is currently battling inoperable gastric cancer.  If you're not familiar with her, Katie’s cancer story started just before Christmas last year.  This young, beautiful, healthy, vibrant mother of 3 with her infectious smile was suddenly diagnosed with an inoperable cancer, virtually overnight.  A few tummy aches and then stage 4 gastric cancer.  Her first post about it is here.  The idea of “Swimming for Katie” came from her recent post here

I thought Katie might like a memento to wear while she's trying to keep swimming to remind her of all her cyberfriends that are supporting her, so I made Miss Octopus into a pin using some glossy accents:
This exclusive "Keep Swimming" stamp, designed by Becky Oehlers is available as a clear stamp, as well as a digis or a dig and SVG cut file.  100% of the profits go to Katie's fund to help her and her young family.  Her husband Kevin and her three young children need our help and support.  In addition to the Keep Swimming Octopus, Marianne Walker and True =D Doodle Designs both also donated digis that are for sale.  Direct donations are also being accepted.  Information central is HERE.  This is a permanent page that will stay active at i {heart} papers with current information and the full 3 day blog hop listing, as well as the donation button. 

Keep Swimming Octopus
Peachy Clear stamp

$5.50 with free shipping

Keep Swimming Octopus DIGIstamp
$3.00 with instant download

Keep Swimming Octopus DIGIstamp with SVG cut file
$3.50 with instant download

Keep Swimming Mermaid DIGIstamp
$3.50 with instant download

Keep Swimming Ribbon Fish DIGIstamp and DIGIpapers
$5.00 with instant download

To help raise money for Katie, Creating for Causes ( has generously donated a FREE ticket (value: $249.95) to one of their upcoming 3-day Scrap & Stamp Retreats.

The winner of the free ticket will enjoy 3 days of non-stop fun and creativity with fellow scrappers, stampers and paper crafters, and can choose between the Charlotte, NC Scrap & Stamp Ritzy Retreat at The Ritz-Carlton on October 21-23 or the Orlando, FL Scrap & Stamp Retreat at the Marriott World Center on November 4-6. Both retreats promise to spoil you and provide 48-straight hours of creating, camaraderie and fun!  To learn more about the events, please visit:

Not only will you be raising money for Katie by making a donation, you get a chance to win a wonderful weekend getaway for yourself! And, because all of Creating for Causes' events are charity events that raise money for local charities, you'll be giving back twice!

Wow, a weekend retreat for you and two chances to help others. Does it get any better than that?

Here's how it works:

Simply make a $33 donation (or more) for Katie and indicate that you want to be entered in the Creating for Causes Retreat ticket drawing. Everyone who makes a qualifying donation will be entered into the drawing and one lucky person will be attending this 3-day retreat for FREE! That lucky person could just be you!  (If you have already donated and wish to be included, just email kate(at) iheartpapers (dot) com)

DEADLINE TO ENTER FOR THIS GIVEAWAY IS FRIDAY 9PM EST, although other donations will be accepted for weeks to come.

I hope you will join me in supporting Katie through a purchase or donation.  The following is a list of everyone who has projects posted today.  I hope you will be inspired by them and moved to purchase or donate.  
Amy Heller
Jackie Pedro
Julie Masse
Kecia Waters
Sandie Dunne
Susan Liles
Latisha Yoast
Laurie Schmidlin
Lisa Arana
Lisa Henke
Lisa Silver
Lydia Fiedler
Lyn Bernatovich
Maria Gurnsey
Meg Craig
Melissa Bickford
Michelle Woerner
Mona Pendleton
Niki Estes
Robyn Weatherspoon
Sarah Jay
Sarah Martina Parker
Savannah O'Gwynn
Stephanie Washburn
Susanna Boyd
Tobi Crawford
Julie Lacey
Kim Kesti
Shemaine Smith
Danielle Lounds
Debbie Carriere
DoBea A.
Fran Gumprecht
Geny Cassady
Gina K.
Holly McMillen
Jak Heath
Kimberly Crawford
Jeanne Streiff
Trudy Sjolander

If you would like to send Katie a card, her mailing address is:
Katie Renz
PO Box 5913
Bellingham, WA 98227-5913

Thank you for visiting my blog today.  The best comment you could leave me would be to take the time to donate to Katie instead.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hope You Can Cling To Two

No, I couldn't resist the to/two pun in the title. Two more Hope You Can Cling To cards today!  The first one is for Victoria's H.O.P.E. challenge, which stands for Having Only Paper Elements.  Of course I had to dust off the ol' Silhouette for this one!  I was inspired by Ellie Augustin's Green Christmas card on page 8 of Papercrafts Holiday Cards & More (psst...take a gander at page 61 while you're there).   Here's my pink take on it:
I typed each letter individually, made them all 2x2, then welded them together in Silhouette Studio.  I also tilted the O like the iconic LOVE statue.  Cut out from PTI Berry Sorbet (hint: this is a super-thick paper, so I told it to recut 5 times. And yes, I finally broke down and ordered a new blade.)  I adhered it  with foam tape, then added a punched pink ribbon.

The next one is for Lori's Colors of Hope challenge:
You would not believe the number of misstamps this card involved (which is the one issue with one layer cards).  Ugly green ink, crooked trunk, sun stamp falling off the block, inky fingers...arg!  

I'm also entering this one into the One Layer Wonder challenge this week.  The challenge is to make and send a one layer card to someone who needs some support.  Additionally, Jennifer is asking you to make a $5 donation to the cause of your choice.  May I recommend Swimming for Katie?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hope You Can Cling To

As you may or may not know, breast cancer awareness and finding a cure is a cause very close to my heart.  As one of my friends mentioned to me, October is both a good month and a bad month for those of us touched by breast cancer.  Bad month: I can't even break an egg without being bombarded with pink ribbons.  Good month: the love and support that is shown for fighting cancer: those who have won, those who have lost, those who are helping others to fight.  In that spirit, I've set a goal to try and complete (and mail!) all 33 challenges for Splitcoast's Hope You Can Cling to Challenges.  I've gotten seven done so far, and will be spreading them out through the week.  First up, for Lydia's Pink Critters challenge:
Yes, I've used this stamp and pun before, but it's a favorite of mine.  Quick and easy to make, too: print the sentiment and stamp the chicks across.  While I had this Rubber Soul stamp set out, I saw Mr Lion and thought he would make a perfect circle card for Beate's Encircled with Love challenge:
See how the blossom nestability now looks all mane-y?  Another easy card since I let A Muse's gingham paper do all the heavy lifting.

If these cards put you in a giving spirit, just in case you haven't heard, there are two big blog hops that are trying to raise money for two wonderful stampers.  The first happened this past weekend, but you can still go here to read all about Operation Julie's Smile and donate.  The second is going on today through Wednesday (I'll have a post for it on Wednesday).  You can go here to read about Swimming for Katie and donate.

And then give an extra hug to someone today.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dia De Los Mercados

Yes, for those of you questioning your 9th grade Spanish skills, it is the Day of the Markets.  Well, at least the day of the Market Street Paint the Town challenge!  Take a gander at the gorgeous color scheme:
So this was the thought process on my card...."hmmm, I'd like to use my new October Market Street stamps, but I'm not really sure if these colors could work for Halloween."  Then Angelica mentions on the October stamp reveal that the little skull from Spooky Sweets would be great for Dia De Los Muertas cards.  I vaguely remember something about this holiday from my Spanish classes, but then again, the only C I've had on my report card came from a Spanish final, so I asked Angelica to fill me in:
Dia de los Muertos is Nov 1st, and it's a holiday celebrated in Mexico. The idea is to celebrate the lives of loved ones you have lost. Dia de los Muertos art is typically skeletons (our loved ones) celebrating the things they loved to do the most when they were living. Or, just happy and enjoying the after life. In Mexico, people build shrines and visit cemeteries where they bring all of their deceased loved one's favorite foods, music, clothing, anything, really. I saw a shrine in Chicago one time of a soldier who had died overseas. This particular shrine was very elaborate and had me weeping. The beauty was knowing that building the art of the shrine really helped his family cope. I think it's a great way to grieve and still keep those you've lost close to you. 
You can also find more information here:  Doing a little more interweb research, I loved all the colorful drawings that celebrated the day and decided to try to create my own with that cute little skull:
Ok, I should have totally warned you about putting your sunglasses on to view this card!  And yes, I did add some yellow to the mix because I had to have four colors for my image.  Since I don't really do "random" or "doodles" (I mean, if I could draw, I wouldn't have to stamp, right?), I had to figure out someway of making a fun hand-drawn pattern and decided to try my hand at some Zentangle patterns. I thought the middle pattern was reminiscent of a marigold, a flower commonly used during Dia de los Muerta, and even though the bottom layer was named "feathers," it looked close enough to leaves for me.  It really was very soothing drawing and coloring in the pattern, especially since I did it while watching some Friday Night Lights.  I finished the card by tracing the Nestability blossom die onto white paper so I could add a tiny mat (otherwise everyone's eyes would have exploded from the patterns) and added a touch of bling to Miss Skully's headband.

Be sure to check out the rest of the samples and link up your own creation on the Market Street Blog!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Silhouette By Numbers

Q: So what do you get when you combine this picture of my parents' dog, Marley,
with this tutorial from dudecraft,
along with some Picnik and Silhouette magic?

Yes, this was the special project that I was waiting to post until my parentals got it.  I call it Silhouette by Numbers since it's like a paint-by-numbers picture but using the Silhouette instead.  Um, did I just totally over-explain that?  Well, maybe I did, but I bet you still have more questions, like:

Q: How did you get the original picture into a paint-by-number looking one?  
A: Using Picnik's "posterize" option (near the bottom of the effects tab)
Q: How did you cut out the different colors?
A: Using the trace feature in the silhouette and playing around with the different sliders.  Once I had the cutouts for a certain color, I made sure to group them and cut them out as they were laid out (instead of ungrouping and scrunching them together to use less paper) so I could use the negative as a guide to place them.
Q: What color paper did you use?
The polka dot paper is from Echo Park's Life is Good.  I put the rest of the colors on a key shown to the right.
Q: How do you get the Silhouette to cut out thick SU and PTI paper?
A: You need more than just "double cut" for these.  If you select an object in the Studio while holding down control, it will add another cut to your image.  I usually have it cut about 3 or 4 times on 1 speed and 33 thickness.
Q: Wow. Shouldn't you just drop the $15 for a new blade?
A: Probably, but it would still take at least 3 cuts for thick paper.  I'd rather spend my money on new sticky mats, which are really necessary when you're making multiple passes.  I recommend buying the Cricut ones and cutting them down.
Q: How long did it take you to glue all those pieces?
A: Not as long as you would think.  Maybe an hour, hour and a half total.
Q: What did you use for glue?
A: I made my own mod-podge by watering down 3/4 cup of elmer's with 1/4 cup of water.  Just call me Martha.  Yeah, like Martha would ever use non-name brand Mod Podge.  Well, maybe if she used this recipe that starts from scratch with flour, sugar, and oil.
Q: What did you glue it on?
A: A cheap (like $1.50 cheap) 8x10 canvas.  They have value packs at Michael's right now with a different type of sale each week.  (I've stocked up on all sorts of sizes for future Silhouette crafts.)  I also wrapped the edges in ribbon.
Q: Were you ready to abandon the whole project after doing the mock-up in the Silhouette program because you thought it looked like crap?
A: Funny you should ask that, because: yes.  Then I had to go out of the room for a second and when I came back I noticed how great it looked from afar, which is definitely the key to this.  Even when I was gluing it together, I still wasn't sure until I took a couple steps back.  So remember that if you try this on your own.
Q: Should I try this on my own?
A: Most definitely!  And send me a link if you do!
Q: Are you going to make one of Addie?
A: Well, I'm sure the one of Addie would look really stupid with those big ears and stripe down her nose, so I definitely should not do one of her.  It's not like I even like the mangy mutt, right?
Q: You're joking, right?
A: Yes.  But I have a few more projects to work on before I can get started on hers.
Q: Also, shouldn't "mangy" have an e before the y?
A: You'd think so, but you'd be wrong.  I checked 
Q: Did your parentals like it?
A:  Uh....YEAH!  Plus I must also add that I told my dad about his cards making the "hot" list for the Embellish challenge and he read the comments on my blog, then called me up laughing out loud at some of the stuff y'all wrote on there! :)  So thanks from me and my dad for all those great comments!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Oh, hello, it's MSS Block Party Time!

Just dropping in to say hello on this fabulous World Card Making Day!  Not only is it WCMD, but it's also Market Street's Block Party weekend!

Woot woot!  Go here to link up your MSS creations for a chance to win an awesome prize pack or a guest designer spot!

I used the new Sweet Spooks set for this cute little spider--there's even a little web line stamp for him to hang from!  I stamped him on some A*muse Sleepy Hallow paper and paper pieced him with some Smokey Shadow.  The orange paper is Echo Park.  Aren't you in love with that fun Halloween-y but not scary font?

Would you like to know something I'm not in love with? Ugh, the new "titanium" blades from Fiskars. I bought a set to try in my cutter and they cut worse than the old non-titanium blades!  Look at that nasty edge!  Has anyone else had issues with them or is it just me?  I've even been trying the magazine-page-under-the-paper trick and it helps, but it's still a gross edge.   I think I'll be stocking up on the cheap blades for now.

Happy WCMD, everyone!