Monday, August 31, 2009

Eerie TLC

Yay! I actually played the Technique Lover's challenge today! Lynn featured a cool masking technique, and I thought it would make an eerie creepy crawly spider's web.

First I stamped the spider from Inkadinkado's All Hallow's Eve. Then I used the corner web stamp with a circle-shaped mask to stamp the web around the mask edges. I sponged Summer Sun, then reversed the mask to sponge the inside with Lavender Lace. I trimmed the entire thing with my large circle coluzzle, then sponged the edges with Lavender Lace and Going Gray. I went over parts with my glittery black Spica pen, adding rhinestones over the swirlies. I tied a bow with a Basic Grey button embellishment and then *fried* it with the heat gun to make it look spooky.

I wish I could capture the glitter and glow with the camera! Very fun!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Banana Split Sunday!

This week's challenge at 2RedBananas/Banana Blog is to use rub-0ns. I used a rub-on pack from Pink Paislee with the scraps from our Bella kit challenge to make this very sedate masculine card. The layout is Mojo Monday Sketch 101. I find that I really struggle to like the masculine cards I make because they just feel dull and boring, but honestly that is the way my guy likes them. He doesn't like anything busy and prefers just fuss, no frills. I thought these gray-blues and browns would be just perfect for him. I'll circle the dates for his upcoming birthday on the focal rub-on image, and he'll be happy as can be with this card. Simple, natural, and rustic...

It took me about 2 hours to unpack and prep my stamp room so that I could work on this project! It was left in complete upheaval after the flurry of stamping for last month's Dirty Dozen gallery and then the frenzy of packing for Michigan immediately afterward. It was so nice to be reunited with my Cuttlebug, corner punches, buttons and cording that I had left behind! There are so many little things we take for granted until they're out of reach and not an option! So even as basic and boring as this card seems, it still makes me smile!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Back from Michigan!

We just returned from a trip to visit my husband's family in upper Michigan! It was such a wonderful trip! The first few days were gray and cold...yes, COLD! It got down to 39 one night! It finally cleared and got warm enough for us Floridians to spend some time on the lake fishing, swimming and tubing. We had such a great time!

One of the highlights of our trip was that I got to go for an afternoon to visit Sharon Johnson and her guests Deb Saraanen and Trish. We met at Sharon's for lunch and after eating and visiting for a while, we went for a tour of Sharon's store and spent a little time coloring a few Our Craft Lounge images with some Copic markers. By the time we got around to taking a few pictures just as we were leaving, Trish was already we are in front of Sharon's beautiful, fragrant phlox!

We celebrated my sister-in-law's birthday the last day that we were there, so I made a little card for her. (I had taken a small suitcase full of stamping supplies including a few nestabilities, thinking that I would buy a Cuttlebug at WalMart and just leave it there for when we visit. Wrong! They didn't have any in stock because they consider it a SEASONAL item! UGH! Of all the stampin' stuff I didn't have with me, the nesties/Cuttlebug were what I missed the most! All of the cards I made while I was there are pretty bare-bones. It was like a 10-day long limited supply challenge!) I used Our Craft Lounge's set, Bee's Knees, along with JustRite's monogram stamper and small alphabet, all from i {heart} papers. The images were colored with Copic markers, cut out with a Creative Memories cutting system or Coluzzle (insert whine here!), and given just a tiny bit of glitz on the bee's wings using a blue Spica glitter pen. The stitches around the edges were added with a black multi-liner. She really loved it, and the bonus was that these are Mountaineer colors (their local HS...lucky for me because I didn't remember that and certainly didn't plan it this way!)

We made it home last night after a long journey from Iron Mountain to Escanaba to Detroit and finally to Jacksonville via MINNEAPOLIS! Heheh, talk about back-tracking! Lots of plane-changing and layovers. I brought a few sheets of stamped images and a baggie-full of Copics, so I spent almost the entire time coloring. When we finally arrived in Florida it was raining and warm, but we're sooo glad to be home! No matter how wonderful the vacation, home certainly feels wonderful!

I'm gonna unpack and hopefully stamp today. And I'm not takin' that Cuttlebug for granted! ;)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

2RB 3rd Kit Challenge

I've participated in some really difficult challenges lately! Today's card is one I made for the last of 3 kit challenges issued by Jeanette to our 2RedBananas design team. I let the pattern of the Pink Paislee Eye-Popping designer paper dictate the lines of the layout, adding accents of Alluring and Spectacular and also using several of the chipboard pieces that were included. All of the edges of the papers and chipboard are distress inked, and a band of knotted May Arts ribbon covers the seam. If I'd had a transparency sheet I would have stamped a sentiment overlay before attaching the chipboard pieces, but I didn't so the card uses no stamps at all. I kinda like that because I can use it for any occasion at all!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

i {heart} papers design team challenge

Each month our i {heart} papers designers participate in a design team challenge. This month, with all the kids going back to school, we had an ABC's and 123's challenge. This was a difficult challenge indeed:
  • 1 ABC's stamp (a sentiment or images)
  • 2 embellishments (either two of the same or one of two different types)
  • 3 layers (for me, this is the hardest part!)

I have had this wonderful shimmery Heidi Grace paper for quite a while and decided that it would make a fun card given the right sentiment. I had decided upon *Life is Sweet!* (from Our Craft Lounge's set by the same name) but decided that it would be a funnier punnier card to use the sentiment from OCL's newly released Gingerbread Fun. Besides, you really want/need to start thinking about Christmas cards, don't you? LOL! I know I do! I used the new in-color Rich Razzleberry card base with a tiny bit of Rose Red and a single *cherry* embellishment with a strip of glimmer ribbon. Simple and definitely sweet! I am dying to add more to it but my nephew liked it just the way it is!

Since that card was so simple and therefore quick, I decided to make another! The colors and metallic paper of this one really confused my camera...this one is alot prettier in person!

I used some gorgeous Fall Leaves foil to make a tent card. In order to strictly interpret the challenge and keep the layers to only three, I had to trim a diamond from the foil paper, and also cut a window for the sentiment, but I kind of like all the interesting angles. Some paper piercing and inking of the edges with Tim Holtz distress ink helps emphasize the design.

Here are the links to see the rest of our team's designs for this month's challenge!

Carolyn (bklynstamper)
Cathleen (Crooked Card Creations)
Gretchen (Happiness Is. . .)
Kate (i {heart} papers)
Lynn (Stamperosity)
Megan (Megan Lock Designs)
Tracy (Who IsTracy?)
Loretta (Love To Create)
Judy (Joy in a JAR)
Tammy (Stamp Happy)
Lori (Inking Aloud)
Kendra (Kendra's Card Company)

Color Dare #31!

I am finally getting back on track with my Color Dare cards! This week's colors are Bashful Blue, Kraft, Chocolate Chip and More Mustard. Sounded pretty retro to me, so I went with this cool coffee image (Fueled by Caffeine) from Our Craft Lounge, available at i {heart} papers. I colored it with Prismas and Gamsol, distress inked everything and rounded one edge of all the mats to mimic the circular image. I added some adhesive brads to emphasize the design. A fun card to make...just a bit different, it certainly reminds me of my mom's Harvest Gold kitchen from the 70's!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Banana Split Sunday!

I would generally consider myself a less is more kind of stamper, but this card is extremely minimalist! I made it for today's 2RB inspiration challenge, which was inspired by this photo of some buildings in France. I was drawn to the colors on the right side of the photo, and to the repeated rectangular blue windowpanes. I wanted to keep my design rather sparse and industrial looking but it came out a little more harsh than I would have liked. I am hoping that as I continue to try different embellishments that I'll come across something that works just right! So far it hasn't happened!
Visit the Banana Blog to see the other designers' creations. I hope you'll play along and upload your link there so we can see what you come up with!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Color Dare...finally!

I am finally getting to post my Color Dare card! First one I've gotten to play in several weeks and I am happy to be back in the game! I missed it! Still struggling w/ some technical challenges, but at least I made a card!
Couldn't resist another granny card with these colors! The new curry just screamed broom and I thought the other colors (amethyst, coral, rose) would cooperate for a non-traditional Halloween twist. Still practicing coloring with my Copics.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

In the Dog House!

I've been having technical issues, so these will look a bit different than usual! Hopefully better than nothing though! (eta: original photo replaced...this one should be a bit better!)

This is my card for today's Dirty Dozen/Dirty Dozen Alumni challenge...I thought it would be a kinda funny pun to put Pat the Dog in the dog house because my husband's name is Patrick! He's actually in good graces (at least for the moment!) ;)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bella Bella!

It's time for another card kit challenge! Jeanette from 2RedBananas sent each stamper on her design team 3 packages, each filled with elements for a card. You can see my creation from last week's kit here.

This week's kit contained two pieces of double-sided Bella Bella paper (Floraleque, and The Rouge Bird...I love this stuff, ALL of it!), some gorgeous satin ribbon, a ribbon slide, and some matching Winter Retreat dewdrops. The bird image immediately made me think of the Bible verse that says how much more valuable we are than the birds, that God provides for us so we should not worry (see Luke 12:22-31)...and I thought this quote on Peace would be appropriate. I trimmed the paper around the image, cut a strip of the Floraleque and flipped a few pieces to make a simple geometric layout, inking the edges with Tim Holtz distress ink and distressing them lightly. The sentiment was stamped directly onto the designer paper using Memento Rich Cocoa ink. I arranged some dewdrops along a few edges. I tried to add the ribbon/slider but really loved the simplicity of it just as it is, so I reserved the leftover paper and embellishments for another card. I'll share that with you soon!

Hope you're having a fabulous week so far! It's halfway through!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Banana Split Sunday!

Today's Banana Split Sunday challenge is a sketch! I love sketches because layouts are the hardest part of card-making for me. A sketch gives me some framework to work within.

I just adore this darling image of Tree-swinging Penny! I mentioned in an earlier post why I love Penny so much! I don't know if I'll ever be able to color her with anything other than red hair! That's why I paired her with this Bloom and Grow paper! It is one of several lines of paper that I'm really stuck on lately...Pink Paislee's Captivating is another!

Penny was stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink, then colored with Prismas and Gamsol. A few shadows were stroked in with a Copic blender pen and marker. I used the blender pen and a bright orange Copic to add some color to a pale yellow Imaginisce flower, then topped it with a colorful knot of fibers for *pollen*. Very frou frou, but so fun! For the little trio of dots in the upper left corner, I used more of my flame dewdrops.

Head over to the Banana Blog to check out the sketch and play along!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Getting dirty...

I have not blogged much this week because I've been sequestered in my little guest bedroom-stamp studio getting dirty, or at least, trying to...I guess dirty is in the eye of the beholder ;) ! This is a little teaser...I hope you're a fan club member so you can see the rest! If you're not, what are you waiting for? Wait 'til you see what the girls have been working on! There are some amazing projects! This month there's a bonus...more on that later too! ;)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Alike but Different!

Summer has flown by! It's been a fun, busy one in our household...we have a few more weeks to go before its carefree, easy days will come to an end and the more structured routine of homeschooling begins. Blech! I'm soooo NOT ready!

My card for today celebrates the spirit of Summer! Jeanette from 2RedBananas sent each design team member a card kit for a fun challenge. The kit contained several prints of Imaginisce designer paper from A Shore Thing Collection, some beautiful lemon and light blue sheer twinkle ribbon and some fantasy fiber (mine was cotton cloud). I had never tried fantasy fiber's SO fun to play with something new!

I took a small handful of the fantasy fibers and ironed them for a few seconds between two sheets of wax paper. After stamping and coloring my Popsicle on a sheet of white cardstock, I used some ZipDry to glue the sheet of fibers to it and cut the Popsicle shape out. I love the way it turned reminds me of the way a Popsicle turns crystalline white with frost when you first open it.

The sentiment was stamped directly onto the designer paper. To make it a little more prominent, I shaded around the letters in spots with a very pale gray Copic marker and went over the letters with a blue Spica glitter pen. I added a bow tied with both colors of ribbon, along with a paper flower from my stash topped with a flame dewdrop. So what do you think?! How'd I do?!

I can't wait to see what the rest of the team did with their kits! Check 'em out on the Banana Blog! Be sure to visit 2RB online store too...the sale is still on!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

To My Color Dare Friends!

I have NOT forgotten you! My new in-colors have not yet arrived (I waited until the new quarter was well underway to order them) and I was not able to swap for some with a local demo, so I have not been playing so far this month...BUT they're on their way! I'll be back soon! Miss y'all!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

ihp and Chickengirl Designs!

Today's the day that the new exclusive stamps from i {heart} papers become available! You can finally see both sets in their entirety and access them on Kate's website! (I've made these pics direct links). They are 4x6 high quality photopolymer stamps that are manufactured here in the USA by the top manufacturer in the industry and they sell for $10 each.

Hopefully you've caught some sneak peeks on the blogs of our designers and guest designers...and if not, I encourage you to browse their blogs (see the sidebar for ihp Chickengirls Design Team and Guest Design Team) because I promise you, they will not disappoint! Be sure to include Kate's blog in your rounds, and get there before Tuesday, *hint*!

Banana Split Sunday!

Sometimes cards seem to take on a life of their own and dictate the direction they should go! This card was definitely that way! This week's 2RB Banana Split Challenge is to use card stock only. I looked through my stamps for something to make some background paper, and came across these paw prints and Gunther! I thought he would work great with the friendship quote from More Quotes which is what's on the inside of this card. So true, even for man's best friend!

When I came across Beate's tutorial for these cool paper flowers made with a strip of scalloped edged paper, the rest of this card fell into place. I used a strip about 3/4 inch wide, then made some streamers and a layered sentiment. The only other embellishment I added was a trio of flame dewdrops. I use these alot on my cards, so you can see that they go a long way! I still have over half a bottle!

I hope all you dog lovers like my simple design! Be sure to check out the rest of the Banana Bunch's creations! Visit 2RedBananas to see what's on sale!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

ihp ribbon winner!

Congratulations to Cathy, who won a beautiful selection of wide ribbons from i {heart} papers in our ribbon challenge! Thanks to all of you who played! It was so much fun and generated some great ideas for how to use wide ribbon! If you didn't see all the entries, you can check them out here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

OCL Blog Hop!

It's finally here! The day you've been waiting for! Not just a sneak peek, but the chance to actually see the whole set and even to WIN it!

Yesterday I gave you a tiny peek at Granny's Potion. I'm excited to tell you that it's my blog candy for today's hop, so I've made another card with the set and I wanted to show you what you can do with a few of the smaller images, a ruler, and a multi-liner! I'm not usually one to MAKE A SCENE, but with Granny it's SO much fun! Since this one is all straight lines, it is do-able for people like me who aren't the best at sketching free-hand. I was hoping that this would come across like a laboratory with cabinets that have spider-shaped knobs. I don't think it turned out too bad! I may go back and sketch in another horizontal line to give it the illusion of a back-splash! I think that would make it look a little more authentic!

Stamp Set: Granny's Potion
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, SU More Mustard
Paper: My Mind's Eye (from last Halloween--eeek!)
Accessories: Copic Markers, Queen and Company buttons, sheer ribbon, oval nesties, oval SU punch, sponge, cording

Be sure to visit the OCL Blog to find links to all 31 sets, which are individually available for blog candy today! (One set per winner! Just leave a comment and include your contact information on the blog featuring that set!) Winners will be determined on Sunday night at 9 pm EST and announced Monday morning. The sets are being released to stores and online retailers find a store near you, visit this listing on the OCL website, find your state and click more info. You can find the sets I've previewed online at i {heart} papers.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day 3 of OCL Sneak Peeks!

Are you having fun yet? I have been having a blast playing with all these fabulous new OCL stamp sets! I know you must be anxious to get your hands on 'em too! Just a few more days and they'll be available at i {heart} papers!

Today's preview is from the set, Granny's Potions. I think she's hilarious, regardless of the setting! Here she is with her cauldron and spellbook, colored with Copic markers and Spica glitter pens. Makes me wanna pull out the movie Hokus Pokus! We watch it every year! I used some Little Yellow Bicycle striped designer paper (almost too pretty to cover up!) as inspiration for the colors. Her cauldron is popped up and placed just a tiny bit out of the box. I punched a few bats to add for balance. Made me smile to use this punch which is probably over 12 years old! I got it when Matthew was a little guy extremely into Batman! For about 10 months he wore the bat-cape! I didn't see his entire face unless he was asleep or in the bathtub! ;)

Remember to visit the OCL Blog for the links to the rest of the sneak peeks for today...and come back tomorrow for the OCL Blog Hop with blog CANDY! Don't forget the ihp Chickengirl sneak peeks today too (see the sidebar)!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Day 2 of OCL Sneak Peeks!

Some designers are so organized that they are well ahead of their assignments...I'd really LOVE to be one of those people, but I am usually the one preparing a card on a short deadline. Like yesterday when I was exhausted after just coming back from CHA and needed a card for the very next next day! I tried hard to get it done before I left but it just didn't happen! (Teaching music for 2 VBS weeks in one month was more than I bargained for!) I do work better under a *little* bit of pressure...too much will make me cave!

I suppose sometimes being last minute has its advantages! This week, the advantage is a fun Mojo Monday sketch! I stamped and colored this fun Our Craft Lounge image twice from the soon-to-be-released set, Ghostly Greetings, using Prismas and Gamsol. I cut, embossed, and matted one image using nestabilities small and large circle dies (on sale now!), sponged the edges with Tim Holtz black soot distress ink, then matted it with a labels 3. I used the second image to cut and pop portions to give it depth and contour. I added a bit of sparkle with a Spica clear glitter pen and gave the cheeks of the pumpkin a little dot-dot-dot with a white gel pen.

The background was cut from some glittery Doodlebug Designs striped paper and some scallop-edged cardstock accented with lots of bling! I really love the vivid colors and the glimmer. The little bit of black makes everything seem brighter. I think these colors are some of my absolute favorites, and I just love the whimsical Halloween images. So much fun to work with!

Remember, these sets will be available at i {heart} papers very soon! I will have another sneak peek for you tomorrow, and then blog hop and blog CANDY on Thursday!

More OCL sneak peeks here at the new OCL blog! Don't miss 'em! 31 peeks in all over three days! And if you missed yesterday's be sure to scroll back as you visit!

Also...the ihp Chickengirl Design Team is showing sneak peeks this week, so be sure to scroll down to that list on the side bar to see the new exclusive ihp sets that will soon be released!

And finally, another reminder: you have until midnight tonight to enter our i {heart} papers wide ribbon challenge. See this post for details! The winner will be announced Friday!

Monday, August 3, 2009

2RB Sale!

Have you had your eye on a particular 2RedBananas stamp set? Have you been thinking about trying Shimmerz or adding more colors to your already established *stash*? Are you in *need* of some of the Spellbinders Labels dies that you have been seeing all over blogland? Now is the time. Our sale includes:
  • Shimmerz
  • Blingz
  • Spellbinders dies
  • even some 2RedBananas exclusive stamps
You can see it all here.

OCL Sneak Peek!

Whew! LOTS of excitement lately! I just got home from CHA in Orlando! I can't even begin to tell you how much fun it was! It all started Thursday night when many of the members of our i {heart} papers design team gathered for dinner at Carrabba's. We shared drinks, dinner and dessert and enjoyed visiting face to face. It is so cool to get to meet in person and already feel so close! Meeting IRL just made it better than ever! Things will never be the same! Love ya, girlfriends!

After breakfast Friday morning we hit the Supershow. I intended to browse around the showroom a bit, but then I was so excited to meet and greet all my Splitcoast friends that I didn't want to leave the SCS booth! Beate, Daven, Jenn, and Lori were probably sick of me! I did manage to leave long enough to spend a chunk of change at Papertrey! I spent the entire weekend hovering around SCS, meeting tons of people and helping with a few make-n-takes. I was so privileged on Friday to meet Joy and Cambria and help with the eclecticPaperie/OCL make-n-take in the Splitcoast booth. It was an adorable snowman notebook bound with the Bind-it-All! Sooo much fun! I also got to rub elbows with the Lizzie Anne girls...JeanneS was one of the first faces of SCS that I remember from my early days there, so I can't tell you how thrilled I was to actually work the booth with her! Neva and Shannon were my roomies...and I missed Asela who didn't get to go. I'm scared to list any other names for fear of leaving someone out! What a whirlwind weekend it was!

I'm excited this morning to give you a sneak peek of an upcoming OCL set called Sweet Tooth Terrors! This is a really fun Halloween set that has lots of adorably sweet images of cute candy monsters! I used some Candy Corn and Dots designer paper left over from last Halloween along with some spare Queen and Company brads and photo turns to make a simple card. I didn't wanna cover up the Happy Halloween greeting printed in the paper, so I tried to be strategic in my placement and keep the layout uncluttered and open.

The next few days are going to be filled with lots more Our Craft Lounge excitement because today is only the first of several days of sneak peeks followed by a blog hop Thursday! You need to keep coming back to see all the cute sets (10 a day are scheduled for reveal!) and fabulous eye candy that our designers are preparing for you! To make it even more fun, there are lots of sets to be given away on Thursday's blog hop! Don't miss it! Visit the new OCL Blog to see a list of the participating designers for each day's reveal. The sets will be available online beginning August 9th...Kate at i {heart} papers has ordered some, so be sure to check the ihp online store to make your purchase! I can't wait until all the cool stuff that Kate ordered at CHA becomes available! You are gonna be FLOORED!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Banana Split Sunday!

This week's challenge is titled "And I Quote!" and 2RB certainly has some great quotes to fit this theme! I used some scraps of gorgeous Webster's Pages Shady Lane designer paper left over from an earlier project. I love this paper but I always have so much trouble with it! ;) It's just too pretty to cover up with anything! I decided to use my labels 4 nestie to cut a piece of vellum stamped with a sentiment from the newly released set, More Quotes. All I did was pierce the edges, then add a few flame dew drops and some sheer ribbon. It needs a small punched butterfly somewhere but *gasp* I don't have a punch like that! Gotta get one! For this card, the Spellbinders' butterfly that I used before just felt overwhelming.

Visit the Banana Blog to see my friends' creations and then upload the link to yours!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

ihp--the secret's out!

Today is a big day for i {heart} papers! We've been keeping a big secret, and finally we can share the news! ihp will soon be releasing its own line of exclusive stamps!

There will be a team of designers devoted exclusively to these new ihp join me in welcoming illustrator Jannie Ho of Chickengirl Design, and designers Natasha and Shelly. Two of our current ihp designers, Merry and Lori, will transition from our core DT to the Chickengirl Design Team. We're also thrilled to invite some talented guest designers to join them: Judy, Kendra, Loretta, Shannon, and Tammy. These girls will work with ihp's high quality photopolymer sets during release months, and will showcase other ihp products during *off* months when more new sets are in production. We have other illustrators, each with their own unique style, who will be joining us in the coming months, so there will be something for everyone!

Carolyn, from our inaugural design team, will be assuming the role of editor for the new ihp newsletter which will keep you up to date on what’s going on with releases, new products, SALES, COUPONS, and other good stuff. And to fill some of the spots vacated on our original team, we're welcoming Gretchen and Megan! While the other girls are working with ihp's exclusive line, our core team will continue to design with the great products that have been the hallmark of ihp from the beginning.

That is certainly exciting news! Be sure to visit the Chickengirl Design Team Members' blogs during the upcoming week, because from now through the 8th they'll be giving you sneak peeks of the new sets which will be released on August 9th. I can't wait to see what they've been up to!

Today is the deadline for submissions for the Dare to Get Dirty challenges that the Dirty Dozen and Dirty Dozen Alumni hosted at SCS, and I'm playing catch-up on my blog by sharing a card that I already uploaded to SCS. This is a simple card that I made using Rainy's sketch in combination with an Our Craft Lounge stamp set, (Life is Sweet, on sale now at i {heart} papers) for TruCarMa's good enough to eat challenge. The image was colored with Copic markers (I'm still trying to learn how to blend!).

I used some sparkly SEI Starry Eyed designer paper (from the Lovebirds Collection) along with some glimmer ribbon, a few turquoise rhinestones, and a Spica clear glitter pen to keep the sparkle going through the whole thing. Sometimes a simple uncluttered design just feels great! I thought that was the case with all this bling!