Sunday, December 21, 2014

Wish upon a star... with Anything But a Card Challenges

Hello! It is week number three of our 'Celestial' challenge and my turn to share.  It was so hard for me to narrow down the direction I wanted to go with this theme.  With Christmas right around the corner, I could go with a Christmas star creation, or maybe something with angels and the heavens... But in the end I decided on something a little motivating to place in my crafty work area to remind me of where I am and the direction I would like to go.  I created an ATC to add to my growing collection (really need to do something special with them...) and decided to play with some long neglected supplies too.  Once again, I have found my photography skills severely lacking.  This really sparkles with the gold and glitter, but the photo turned out very 'eh'.

I colored the background of a piece of watercolor paper with some black, purple, and blue pastels.  Then I pulled out my stars mask and dug out my bottle of gold Smooch that I've had for ages.  After the ink dried, I stamped my mantra words for the coming year.  The whole thing was treated to a smearing of dazzling details to give it just a little more sparkle.

The three words are a gentle reminder to slow down and not allow myself to become so busy that I don't have time for dreaming, creating, and inspiring.

I will leave you with a quote and the hope that you will find time to play along with us at Anything But a Card.  You still have a week left to share your inspiration with us! Have a wonderful week!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Do you wanna build a snowman?

Anyone associated with young girls probably has the song from Frozen running through their heads now! Sorry!!  I am so very happy that you stopped by today!  We are counting the days (hours) until Christmas vacation begins and I for one am quite ready for the break even if I'm not finished preparing for the big day!  We have been baking cookies, shopping, and putting together gift bags for some very special people.  There was only one little snafu...  While I had made enough cards for our mailing list, I forgot to add the ones that we hand out with gifts. Doh!  So here I am, the week before Christmas making last minute cards!

As I was trying to decide what design I wanted to go with (obviously, simple was in order), I spied a box of sparkly card blanks that have been on my craft shelf for waaaaaay longer than I care to admit! A little dsp, a cute lil' snowman, some fun glittery snow, and taaadaa!!  

Cold Play is a very retired stamp set, but it is just so fun to make these little snowmen!  I also have to admit to a bit of an addiction to Snowtex.  I'm not sure which of you wonderful blogland people turned me on to this stuff, but it is awesome!!

Well, there are many things on my 'to do' list so I will leave with the promise to return soon and get some blog visits in as well!  Have a wonderful day!

Card Recipe: Paper-glittery card from stash, whisper white, Christmas Cocoa dsp (ret),  Stamp Set-Cold Play (ret), Inks-memento tuxedo black, garden green, pumpkin pie, real red, Accessories-cherry cobbler bakers twine, snowtex

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

We need a little Christmas-a little Christmas gift idea!

Hello! I am so glad you stopped by today!  As many of you already know, things have been pretty hectic in my household, so I'm especially happy that I have something to share!

Quite a while back, my fellow ABAC teammate, Lynne, was in the spotlight and shared how to create these cute post it note and pen sets.  I loved them so much I made 60 of them for our ladies group at church!!  Of course, I did not have them finished in time to post on her spotlight challenge, and then actually forgot to take a picture until this past weekend (right before I packed them up for our party!).  They were a big hit and are actually pretty simple to make.  You can see Lynne's spotlight here, see a lot of her other marvelous creations (She makes the most wonderful quilts!!), and get to know a little more about her.

In an effort to use up my Christmas papers, I opted to make a Christmas version.  I used the Trust God stamp set for the sentiments, and I found the perfectly sized pens at Wal-Mart in their Christmas section.  I wouldn't be giving them an advertising spot but it was the only place I found pens that would fit!

If you would like to make your own post it sets, you can click on the 'here' link above and Lynne has very clear instructions you can follow.

There is a new challenge on the ABAC blog too! Our theme is Celestial and we would love to see how you interpret this into your artwork!  I would love it if you would link up and play along!

I hope you have a very pleasant week filled with creativity!  I will be back soon with a few more creations!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Giving thanks and making ornaments

Oh, my poor blog has been so neglected lately!  Seems like crafting and blogging has been getting put on the back burner more and more.  However, Christmas will soon be here and this almost always gives me a good excuse reason to be creative.  I have several things in the works and have managed to partially complete several projects, but since none of them are finished yet, I have no photos to share.

I do have some handcrafted ornaments that my girls made for our annual Thanksgiving/family reunion.  DD#2 is always so organized and knew what she wanted to do and had things to make them well in advance.  She would have been finished weeks before Thanksgiving if her mother had been more on the ball!  But I did manage to get her the rest of the materials she would need for her altered cookie cutter ornaments.

a gingerbread man complete with pearl decorations

Santa with his pack of goodies

After she finished, we discussed that a bit of glitter or sparkle would have really dressed these up.  She still has a few she will be making as gifts, so we'll have to see what she does with them!

DD#1 is most definitely her mother's daughter!  She was frantically finishing her ornaments Thanksgiving day!  Luckily, she went with a fairly simple paper ornament.  She is thinking about putting a decorative punch edge on the next ones she creates.

It was hard to get a good photo showing just how
pretty these were...  I love the papers she chose!

I know I am quite late with my Thanksgiving wishes, but shouldn't we be thankful every day?!  This year has been quite chaotic and it seems like we have very little down time, however, there have been so many positives for us that all of the stress has been viewed as a 'strengthening of the irons'.  My job has been quite the adventure this year and I am usually exhausted at the end of the day, yet it has also been so rewarding.  I am neck deep in the realization that I can make small differences that lead to great things for others.

I was also reminded of how amazing my girls are (moms need that sometimes).  We always sponsor a child at Christmas through our church's giving tree.  We do our best to get the things on the wish list while still keeping with our budget.  The girls were so caught up in shopping for a little girl they had never met (and probably never will) that the gifts were over our budgeted amount.  They both agreed that we could spend less on them so the little girl could have everything they picked out for her.  DD#2 even told me that she no longer needed us to get the game she had asked for.  She was going to save her own money and decide if she really needed it.  I love all of the little Christmas miracles that seem to happen every year!

My goal this Christmas is to make gift giving more meaningful.  Of course, this has added a lot more baking and creating to my list, but I'm looking forward to opening my busy schedule to do some fun things with my kids and sharing the love with others.

Well, it is past my bedtime and tomorrow is another busy day.  I hope you are also counting your blessings and preparing to celebrate this season with love in your heart! I also hope that you have a bit more luck than I at finding time to be creative! At least there is always Christmas break!  Thanks so much for stopping by! I am so thankful for all of my blog friends and visitors!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Anything But a Card Challenge 41-a bit late...

Hello there! So glad you stopped by! Did you ever have one of those months where things seemed to just creep up on you leaving you feeling totally inadequate and unorganized? November has been my month, or should I say 'has NOT been my month'.  But before I regale you with my story of woe, I'll share my creation for today.  That way you can read on if you like, but I won't submit you to my drama unless you're interested! You're welcome!!

Part of this has to do with my project for Anything But A Card Challenges.  We are having an Anything Goes Challenge (well, anything but cards!) and there is still time for you to join in!

I have a habit of buying things from the clearance section that generally sit and collect dust until I rediscover them during some random cleaning spree.  Today's mini Christmas album  is a chipboard mitten that I found in the 25 cent bin at Michael's, well after winter was over-a few years ago...  Since I am trying to use up my older Christmas papers, I thought this album would make a good project and possibly a little gift for someone as well.

This is the cover. The snow-tex made a wonderful
'fuzzy' cuff for the mitten.

I kept the pages blank in case this becomes a gift.

This page might hold an oval photo in the future.

a journaling page

The back of the book looks just like the front, so I didn't photograph it.  When it's put together, the ring is dressed up with red and white ribbons (didn't take a photo of that either!).

I used a lot of the Christmas Cocoa dsp for this album!  I finally feel like I might actually use up all of those older papers!

I'm not sure how but November managed to arrive and advance at hyper-speed.  One minute it was Halloween and the next thing I knew, my oldest was caroling for a local holiday stroll. She handed me the form and I commented that her choral director was really on the ball this year getting the paper to us so early.  I should have known from the confused and concerned look on my daughter's face that something was amiss. "um... Mom... It's next weekend..." What?!  So in less than a blink of an eye, two of my favorite shopping events have come and gone, and I barely remember enjoying them!  Then I got to thinking that it was almost my turn to post my project for Anything But a Card, only to realize that it should have been posted yesterday... Sorry, ladies!!

The sad thing is that there isn't really a 'good' reason for all of this.  For some reason, my brain is still thinking it's the beginning of November instead of almost Thanksgiving!  And to put the proverbial icing on the cake, we had our first snow day today-in November!!  Someone help me find the brakes!!!

Hopefully, the rest of the month will go by at a more normal pace and maybe December will decide to creep by (yeah, I know, but a girl's gotta dream!).  Have a fabulous week and may all of your creative moments go by at a much slower pace!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Vintage Christmas Card for Halloween!

Hello and happy Halloween, well almost!  I can not believe how quickly this month has passed and I am sure November has no intentions of being any different!  It's a good thing I managed to get a few Christmas cards made.  That gets me a little closer to being ready!  

I stayed true to my plan of using older papers, and while I'm sure my DH would still say I have too much, I feel better that I'm actually using up what I already had!  I did manage to squeeze one new product on this card-the silver sequins!  They are part of a winter sequins pack in the Holiday catalog.  I loved the wonderful snowflakes too, but they didn't quite fit the theme of the card!

Even though this card has layers, sequins, and ribbon, it is still quite easy to put together so I won't bore you with details!  I may end up adding some dazzling details to the berries before I consider this 'done'.  I think it will balance the shiny factor of the sequins!

I am so glad you took the time to visit today and I hope to return the favor soon!  But now I have to get our home ready for the trick-or-treaters that will be arriving this weekend!  Happy Halloween!

Card Recipe: Paper-sahara sand, very vanilla, Be of Good Cheer dsp (ret), Ink-early espresso, gumball green, cherry cobbler, Stamp Set-Bells and Boughs, Accessories-sequins, cherry cobbler seam binding

Sunday, October 19, 2014

ABAC Challenge 40-Springing into Fall

Hello there! Fall is in it's full glory in southern Indiana and I couldn't be happier!  This is my favorite season for so many reasons.  I love the beautiful colors that seem to appear overnight; the air is somehow 'cleaner' and cooler, and it is the perfect time for campfires. So needless to say, I chose to do a fall project for Anything But a Card's Autumn Magic Spring Wonder challenge.  Of course, if you are on the other side of the globe, Spring may be inspiring you to make something equally colorful but in a different way!  I hope you will join us in celebrating both Spring and Autumn with a project of your own!

I knew immediately what my project would be.  We have two wonderful friends who have done so much to help us over the past year, and while I know I can't repay their kindness, I can reciprocate with a special thank you gift!  I bought an unfinished wood birdhouse to alter for a fall decoration.

I started with a base of light blue acrylic paint to match the mixer in their kitchen.  DD#1 took one look and said "Isn't her mixer more of a greenish color?" AHHHH! So on went a coat of Bahama Blue acrylic paint which is a cross between mint and turquoise.  This was deemed closer to the shade of the mixer. The roof was painted with Antique Copper metallic acrylic paint and the base was painted espresso brown.

I glued a large piece of aluminum foil to some printer paper, then cut the pieces to fit the dimensions of the roofs.  These were painted with the antique copper paint, set off to dry, then ran through the Fancy Fan embossing folder. It made a pretty cool shingle-like pattern.  I added some bahama blue accents to the foil roof to give the oxidation effect.  The blue/green house was given a generous coat of clear rock candy crackle paint to age the paint job to match the roof.  When the crackling was finished, I brushed on some crumb cake ink to fill in the cracks and age it a bit more.

My final touches were adding a few punched leaves in pumpkin pie, real red, and chocolate chip dsp. and some buttons.  I rubbed a little of the copper paint onto two vintage buttons and threaded some coastal cabana bakers twine through the holes.

The ultimate compliment came when DH declared the house to be really cool! He couldn't believe that I made the roof. :)  

Whether you prefer Spring or Fall, I hope you will join us in this month's challenge.  We would love to see your creations!!

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you have a fantastic week!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Flashback Friday and a little Christmas too!

Wow! Posted twice in one week!! That hasn't happened in a little while!  I am also happy to say I used up a bit more of the stash of older Christmas papers to make a few more Christmas cards!

Once again, the card is quite basic and was quick to create.  Hopefully, there will be a bit more free time soon for me to make something a little more time consuming.

This was as simple as cutting a piece of dsp, adding ribbon and a punched sentiment.  Then a metal button from a collectables/antiques store was threaded with some bakers twine and glued to the ribbon.  Easy peasy!

As the title of the post hints, the dsp is very retired and now there is only a little bag of scrap pieces left!  I may have to come up with a little something to use them so I can say I completely used the whole pack!

We have a busy schedule for the next few weeks, but I do have a couple of posts scheduled so there will be a little activity on my blog anyway.  I am hoping there will be some free time for me to visit blogs!  Somehow, there never seems to be enough hours in the days this school year!  I hope you find plenty of time to be creative and have a wonderful weekend!

Card Recipe: Paper-chocolate chip, whisper white, Ski Slope dsp (ret), Ink-chocolate chip, Stamp Set-Good Greetings, Accessories-real red stitched ribbon, cherry cobbler bakers twine, decorative label punch, metal button from stash

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Now, how did that happen?!

Hello! I am so glad you stopped in today, and even happier that you haven't given up on my poor neglected blog!  Since school began, I have not been able to squeeze much creative time into my life, but I think things are finally starting to gel into a routine.  

My girls and I were recently talking about upcoming events and they mentioned Halloween.  I laughed and said we had plenty of time until Halloween was here...Ummm...Hellooooo! It's the middle of October!! Now, how did THAT happen?!  I don't usually make Halloween cards, so no worries about being behind on cards, but that does mean that the C word is just around the corner...

As luck would have it, I had a bit of free time last week to make a few cards, and I will be sharing them over the next few days.  I decided that I really need to use up my older papers before buying anything new for Christmas!  I made good progress last year, but there is still quite a bit there. Maybe by the time I finish scrapbooking Christmas, it will be gone!

Today's card is pretty simple in design because the paper had such a bold stripe pattern.  It might be a little difficult to see, but the banner is actually three dimensional.  I scored the strip on either side of the sentiment so it would pop up a bit.

Not much more to say about this one-pretty basic!  

We recently had a family reunion at a local park with a beautiful walking trail.  The leaves are just beginning to change and I managed to get a few nice pictures when DD#1 and I went for a walk.

Well, that's all I have to share for today.  Hopefully, I will get another post up soon so my poor blog won't feel so lonely!  Have a wonderful and creative day!

Card Recipe: Paper-old olive, whisper white, Holiday Treasures dsp (ret), Ink-chocolate chip, Stamp Set-Good Greetings, Accessories-circle framelits, scallop circle punch

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Steampunk Therapy

Hello! I am so glad to be back to my blog and creating once again!  I've been in a bit of a funk lately. Too many things keeping me busy and no time to create can make a girl grumpy!  I am so glad that it is my turn to share at Anything But a Card.  Gave me a good excuse to bypass laundry and cleaning since I 'had' to make something!

Our challenge this month is Steampunk and those of you who know me well, know that this is quite out of my comfort zone.  I had never made anything Steampunky before joining this team, but the ladies at ABAC are so supportive and encourage everyone to grow, so I can happily say this is my second Steampunk creation.  I still struggle with getting what I want in my head transferred to paper, but it is a lot of fun and a good excuse to buy new things or dig through your treasures for something that will work.

I honestly had NO clue what this was going to be when I started.  I'm still not sure I know exactly what it is, but it was a lot of fun to play!  All I can tell you it is an ATC that features some industrial flower- like things growing in an imperfect garden!

I started with a piece of watercolor paper since I wasn't sure how inky it would get and I wanted it to be sturdy with the metal that was sure to appear on a steampunk piece.  I used the dots mask and a stipple brush to apply so saffron,  crumb cake, and soft suede inks.  Then I added the background stamp Backgrounds Rule in soft suede.  I was sure I had some images or embellishments that would work, but couldn't come up with anything that I liked together. I had this cog image in my head at this point and had zero 'gears' stuff to use.  I improvised with the spoked wheel of a bicycle stamp.  When I finished stamping a row of them, they looked more like flowers than cogs... That got my muse going! Flowers aren't very industrial-unless they have metal centers and copper stems! I also came across a left-over die cut flower and colored it with a copper sharpie and stippled soft suede ink over it to dull it down a bit.  An old button and some metal brads gave the flowers just the right touch of punk, and the copper sharpie made some nice little stems too.  I thought the Tim Holtz tag was the perfect mantra for this piece.  Not everyone can make flowers from bicycle wheels...

I hope you have been inspired to step out of your comfort zone or at the very least, find a new way to use your stamps!  I also hope you will join us at Anything But a Card this month!  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Project Recipe: watercolor paper, Inks-so saffron, crumb cake, soft suede, early espresso, Stamps-backgrounds rule, bicycle from Paper Pumpkin kit, metal brads, crochet trim, TH metal tag, button from antique/collectable shop, copper Sharpie