Friday, April 30, 2010

Life is a Picnic!

This set, Life is a Picnic, is undoubtedly my FAVORITE set of all of the current Our Craft Lounge releases. So much FUN to color, and absolutely made for Copics!  Hey, even when Life isn't a picnic, these cute images and sayings will certainly make you feel better!  Best of all, you can order them now from i {heart} papers!  :)

I was looking at that cool slice of juicy watermelon and decided that my entire card needed to be just big slice of delicious watermelon yumminess!  LOVE these Basic Grey colors.  The pink is from Green at Heart, and the green is from Kioshi. A few black rhinestone seeds and a big gingham bow are the only embellishments that this simple layout needed.  They let this adorable image speak for itself!

I don't normally squeal when I finish a card, but I sure did when I finished this one!  I love it when a clean design practically puts itself together the way this one did.  How could you not smile when you open a card like that?  It's just happy!

Make sure you review the guidelines for commenting (in this post) so that you are entered in this weekend's drawing for this cute set!   Entries end Sunday at 3:00 p.m. EST.  Here is the list of designers who are sharing designs and offering blog candy.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

You're Bloomin' Fabulous!

It's Day 2 of Our Craft Lounge's sneak peeks, and today I am sharing a card made with Pretty Petals, along with a sentiment from another new set, Say it with Flowers, which will be available along with the rest of the sets in this release tomorrow at i {heart} papers.  I used the out-of-the-box technique and Basic Grey's Green at Heart designer paper, whose bright colors are really speaking to me lately.  I feather-stroked with my Copics in both hot pink and orange to color the flower petals.  I used warm grays to add a bit of shadow, but also used cool grays to color the dots of that cute little lady bug!

That velvet corduroy ribbon has such wonderful rich color and is a little thick to tie into a traditional bow, so I added a button tied with jute instead.  The sentiment, cut with a nesties tag, is held in place with two glazed brads, one of which runs right through the hole made by the MS scallop punch.

If you were here yesterday, you know the guidelines regarding comments and blog candy...and if you missed them, scroll down to find them along with yesterday's peek of the set, Tweet Thang.  Be sure to come back tomorrow for another preview.

Here is the list of today's participating designers:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tweet Thang!

I'm so excited to be sharing a sneak peek of a brand new Our Craft Lounge set!  This one is a real cutie called Tweet Thang, and it's full of adorable images and sentiments which will be available at i {heart} papers beginning April 30th!  I think these birdies are absolutely darling!  I love how they look colored with Copic markers to match this fun Basic Grey Kioshi print.  I used this week's OCL sketch (except mine is a standard A2 instead of a square card) with some green herringbone ribbon and Kioshi buttons tied with jute thread.

Leave a comment today, tomorrow and Friday on my blog posts and you will be eligible for the Blog Candy I will have on Friday, (set will be announced then) You must follow the below directions:

1) you MUST be signed in to blogger or leave contact information in order to be entered;
2) you can enter on each blog once each day; and
3) you will only be eligible to win one new set. Blog candy will be drawn on each blog Sunday, May 2nd at 12 noon PST, (3pm eastern time). Winners will be notified by the designer & a full list of winners will be posted on the OCL Blog.

Here is the list of other designers participating in today's sneak peeks which include all 13 of the upcoming releases!
    Have fun being inspired!  Please come back tomorrow for a peek at another upcoming set!

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010

    Hip 2 Be...

    Square!  That's the challenge the design team from the {stamps} of life took on!  If you loved the original set Back2Basics, then you'll really love hip2be!

    For today's card, I took the square challenge to the nth degree.  I used a small outline star from all4dads (stamped off first) to make background prints to coordinate with hip2be's square of even dozen form a square frame around the All-Star Dad sentiment with layers of mats to emphasize the symmetrical, square layout.  The sentiment was stamped a little off kilter to keep things from being too totally predictable.  Tim Holtz distress ink brings the dark khaki accent color from the mat and stars into the rest of the design.

    Join our design team in the hip 2 be square challenge to make a square card!  Please feel free to play along! If you are playing along with the {stamps} of life stamps or digital images please upload to the gallery on the site – HERE — with the keyword TSOLD09. Please link to one of our blogs so we can see your stuff!

    Be sure to visit my design team mates Jeanne, Laura, and Joana to see more inspiration for today's challenge!

    Monday, April 26, 2010

    Lizzie Anne Sketch Challenge

    Today I'm hosting the sketch challenge on the Lizzie Anne Designs blog.  I must admit, I'm not too great at sketching sketches, and coming up with something unique is a challenge in itself since there are so many great sketches out there.  For today's card, I worked backwards, letting the stamps inspire me and then making the sketch from the finished card.

    Our new monthly mix, Dream Big, has some great images...this majestic tree and beloved quote are so beautiful!  I thought they would make a lovely clean and simple masculine card using some vintage TPC paper.  The muted browns and greens seemed to go perfectly with this theme.  Everything is sponged with Tim Holtz tea-dye distress ink to give it that warm, time-worn look.

    I just want to share with you my photo set-up, because with today's card, it made me smile.  I usually take my pictures just outside our front door, propping my bi-fold background against either a pillar or the bricks, depending on the light...and this is the view from the front door this morning.  Love that giant oak overhanging our front yard.  It is a beautiful, sunny Florida morning.  :)

    I hope you'll visit Lizzie Anne Designs, the Lizzie Anne blog, and play along with the challenge!  There's lots of inspiration at Lizzie Anne Land, and with the new sixlets just released, there is some fabulous, fresh eye candy! 

    Sunday, April 25, 2010

    Another Shell in Your Pocket!

    Here's another card using Melanie Muenchinger's set, Gifts from the Sea. I wanted it to be soft and almost monochromatic, so I stamped the shell border in stamped off Memento Rich Cocoa onto a scallop-edged strip of vellum.  The ribbon and pearls hide the adhesive.  :)

    The sand dollar was stamped onto Pure Luxury card stock, cut out, colored with Copic markers, then given a dusting of gold with a Versamarker and Pearl Ex.  IRL it is so soft and shimmery...simply lovely!  Love this sentiment!  I just love this set!

    Hope your having a fabulous Sunday!

    Friday, April 23, 2010

    New Lizzie Anne Sixlets!

    It is release day today for EIGHT new sixlets at Lizzie Anne Designs.  Every single one is a squealer!  LOL!  You know what I mean, right?!  I am doin' the happy dance over these stamps!

    This card features a beautiful sentiment from Vintage Verses.  From the first moment I saw it I knew exactly what paper (TPC Studios) and stamps I wanted to use with it.  I love these deep, rich colors, the soft distressing, and the ageless images.  I stamped the clock from Singing in the Rain repeatedly, layering the colors (both tea dye and vintage photo) and stamping off to give even more depth.  Then I stamped the sentiment at an angle on ivory card stock, colored and shaded it with Copic markers, and lightly sponged the edges with tea dye. The mat for the sentiment started as a square set on the diagonal, then trimmed to fit. I added a pretty Basic Grey swirlie to the corner, along with a beautiful, shimmering gold bow.

    With my room in upheaval it has been a challenge to stamp...since everything has been moved around at least once already it is hard to find things, plus right now there are two rooms full of furniture in one.  Today we are going to Town Center to pick up the remaining desk pedestal.  Getting that in place will be my goal for the weekend, and then I should have a more workable space again!  Can't WAIT!  And I'll be back with more sixlets samples soon!  Look at the sidebar for links to the rest of the Lizzie Anne team and their creations with these stamp sets!  You don't wanna miss their inspiration!

    Gifts from the Sea!

    I am so thrilled that Melanie Muenchinger, who illustrates for Gina K Designs, invited me to guest design for her for this release! The set that she illustrated this month is one that reflects the love that we share for Gifts from the Sea, and the power of the ocean to convey our love for each other.  Having grown up in Louisiana, meeting my husband (a USN guy!) in Pensacola, getting married in the Virgin Islands, spending our first four years in Hawaii, and living the majority of our lives in Florida, the sea has always been a big part of our lives. 

    I first stamped an assortment of sea shells and starfish on a scrap of Pure Luxury card stock, colored them with Copic markers, cut them out,and then gave them some soft sparkle with a Versamarker and some gold Pearl Ex.

    Next, I stamped the card base with Versamark ink and the sand image, and gave it a light dusting of Pearl Ex for some soft shimmer.  I stamped the sentiment with Memento Rich Cocoa ink after stamping off first.  I added a scrap of fishermen's net (left over from one of my very first Dirty Dozen projects, a wedding shadow box filled with sand dollars from the first week we met in Pensacola!) and tucked the starfish and shells into it, finishing the card with a soft, sheer bow.  I love how it turned out.  I think it will make a nice anniversary card when October 6th comes around!

    I'm sure you can see why I love this set so much!  Thanks so much, Melanie, for sharing it with me!

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    Ring Around the Rosies!

    Here's a card for today's SCS Ways to Use It challenge, to mix patterns. These prints are from Little Yellow Bicycle, and are actually left-overs from St. Patrick's Day. The reverse side has green clovers. In fact, if you look very closely at the vertical strip, you'll see that there is a small clover leaf pattern there as well.

    The stamps are from Lizzie Anne's monthly mixes...the vintage children are from Lucky You (how appropriate!) and the music is from It's Good to be Queen.  I used Tim Holtz distress ink to age everything, added a tiny hand-made flower with some tulle, ribbons and a trio of pearls.

    Fun challenge!  Hope you'll come back tomorrow for a peek at a new Lizzie Anne sixlet!

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010


    I love having cards in my *stash* that work for just about any occasion...especially when they are gender neutral!  This is just a happy card!  It could be happy birthday, or happy anything else!  The colors would definitely work for a fella, although I don't think they are so masculine that a girl would mind getting this card!  To me, it just looks like sunshine, and that always makes me happy (and I do mean literally!  Without it, I just don't feel as good!)!

    These sentiments are from the {stamps} of life's set, happy2beCircles.  Love how they all work interchangeably with Stephanie's other if I had wanted this to be happy birthday, that is definitely an option (among lots of others)!  The Ooh La La paper is courtesy of Eclectic Paperie.  (Thanks Joy and Daisy!)  Can't get enough of this American Crafts ribbon!

    Tomorrow we should be making another trip across the river with the truck to pick up two chairs, and a desk pedestal.  Still waiting for the lateral file and secretary.  I am kinda stuck on hold until the rectangular desk is in place.  Then I can start loading drawers and rearranging storage.  Yippeee!  I have got tons of deadlines so progress will be slow, but steady!  I am so excited!

    Thanks for visiting!  Hope to see you again soon!

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    i {heart} papers DT challenge

    You've heard the saying, "April showers bring May flowers." Most of us have had enough of Winter and are ready to welcome the warmth and beauty of Spring, even if only on paper! This month's ihp design team challenge is to use flowers...if you browse the store you'll find all kinds, all shapes and sizes!  There are floral papers, embellishments, even floral bling.

    I am in LOVE with this beautiful Pink Paislee Queen Bee designer paper.  To my friend, Elyse, it has a rich menswear feel, but it reminds me of a lovely decorator fabric.  I chose to let some Flora Doodle flowers be the focal point with a simple birthday sentiment.  A pair of Artisan Element swirls tinted with Copic markers gives the illusion of leaves or vine...a few clear rhinestones also tinted with Copics bring some sparkle to the design.  A pale yellow bow leads the eye diagonally from the flowers through the sentiment.

    Sunday, April 18, 2010

    Birthday Wishes!

    A while back I made cards for some nursing home residents with our confirmation class, and I had some left-over paper (We R Memory Keepers Hippity Hoppity Wicker)...I just love the spring colors of this plaid!  The reverse of the 12 x 12 print is four 6 x 6 coordinating designs.  I thought it would make a fun birthday card using the new set from the {stamps} of life, happy2beCircles!

    I adhered a rectangle of the plaid to the card front, then used a nestie to cut a circular window and stamped some dots around it.  Another rectangle of a coordinating print for the inside, with the sentiment on a circle to peek through...voila`! I added a strip of the dots to the front with a little pink ribbon, and inked all the edges of the papers just to dress it up a little.

    I have really been enjoying exploring the clean-and-simple style.  It is fun to be able to make a quick and easy card, or when time allows, to add more layers and detail.  I just love stamping and coloring whether it is simple or fancy, and it is fun to do something a little out of the ordinary!

    Several of you have been anxious to see pictures of the progress we're making as we set up my stamping studio.  Yesterday we took the truck over and picked up several more pieces of furniture.  Here's what it looks like so far (and of course, the rest of the room is a real MESS)!

    We are waiting for the arrival of a few more things before we can make any more the meantime, I am busy trying (key word here!) to purge and sort and organize.  I am definitely making some headway, although if you were to see the mess, you probably would not think so!  It is taking lots of will-power not to load up this desk and start using it!  I am *SO* ready!  Can't do it yet, though, or we might have to unload it to move it when the other pedestal arrives and we are ready to set up the remaining rectangular desk.  It's heavy enough to move when it's empty!  It will probably be mid-week or later when the rest will arrive at the store...I hope Patrick will get off work on time so that we won't have to wait until the weekend to go and get it!  After waiting all this time (I have actually been looking at this stuff for four years now, and seriously planning for the last 10 months), I'm getting impatient!

    I'll keep you posted!  ;)

    Saturday, April 17, 2010

    Not As It Should Be!

    It's Lizzie Anne Designs' monthly challenge, and this month we're using stamps in different ways than they were originally intended.  I chose to use the three trees (which I *love*) from last month's mix (see this card) to make some leaves and flower petals for what sorta reminds me of a daffodil.

    Check out what the rest of our Lizzie Anne team (scroll down to the LAD list on the sidebar) has created for this fun challenge...and come play along!

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    Dream Big!

    I know it is a little early for a Father's Day card, but with all the measuring and storage/organization planning that is going on in our house these days, this image just spoke to me!  It's from the brand new Lizzie Anne Designs Monthly Mix, Dream Big!  There are so many fun images and sentiments this month!  The upcoming sixlets and singles are a real treat too!  You're gonna love 'em!

    The title of this set fits my life perfectly right now, because having my very own stamping space was a big dream of mine, and I can hardly believe that it's becoming a reality!  I've been busy sorting and shuffling and trying to purge at least a little bit of old product from my soon-to-be-studio!  Three of the four desk pedestals are in place, but we still have to take the truck over to pick up the tops and the lateral file.  Can hardly wait!

    There are a few pieces that I think I will try to build myself...hopefully I have the skills to build a dowel frame for punch storage and a little ribbon peg!  There is the perfect spot for each, and I'm trying to make the most of every inch of storage!

    Looking forward to a productive weekend!

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010


    It's challenge day for our team from the {stamps} of life and today's challenge is titled Phrase Fun!

    Please feel free to play along with us! If you are playing along with the {stamps} of life stamps or digital images please upload to the gallery on the site – HERE — with the keyword TSOLD08. Please link to one of our blogs so we can see your stuff!

    I must admit that I had a hard time deciding which phrase to use because there were so many fun ones to choose from! I ended up using a single word from the special release set, Hello2You, along with a Basic Grey Boxer men's wear print, button-front shirt, and a silk *bow tie* for a clean and simple masculine card.  I think I'll send it to Antonio, the young, handsome, and very patient designer at Pottery Barn who helped me choose the furniture for my soon-to-be-studio in what until now has been the guest bedroom. I have been researching this forever, and have spent the last four days seriously exploring options...I even went down to Orlando for two days to shop there, but came home empty-handed.  Finally I settled on several pieces from the Pottery Barn Bedford collection.

    I'll try to post some pictures as soon as I get things dismantled and put back together!  It may take a while!  It is a small space with A LOT of stuff in it, and my plan is to avoid having to totally empty it in the process of reorganizing.  It will have to stay semi-functional along the way, because I have design team deadlines to meet as well as several occasions for cards for friends and family.

    Be sure to visit my design team mates Jeanne, Laura, and Joana to see more inspiration for today's challenge!

    Thursday, April 8, 2010

    Planting Hope

    Here's a super simple card using diagonals for today's SCS Ways to Use It challenge, using Lizzie Anne Designs' current monthly mix, It's Good to be Queen and some of Cosmo Cricket's Material Girl diagonal plaid paper. The image was paper pieced, then shaded with Copic markers.  A few strategically placed black faceted jewels emphasize the sentiment and swirling design.

    Praying for You

    Hi friends! I am wrapping up a week of special focus on the OCL blog using the set, Prayers and Blessings.  This layout is also this week's OCL sketch...if you'd like to play along, you still have plenty of time!  A new OCL sketch is posted each Friday, but you have until the first of next month to play! 

    This Graphic 45 paper is so elegant and classic!  I love the way this card turned out!  The swirl from OCL's Vintage Swirls harmonizes well with the print of the paper, and the colors and patterns would work for a man or woman.  I actually made it with a certain couple in mind, and it will be just perfect for them!

    The cross was stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink...I stamped the center oval part on a scrap of card stock, colored it with Copics, stamped the sentiment and then cut it out so that it gives some dimension to the focal image, which was cut, embossed and matted with petite ovals nestabilities.  I stamped the swirls with Tea Dye ink, then heavily sponged everything.  I added three black faceted jewels to draw the eye toward the sentiment in the bottom, and also added jewel accents to the swirls of the design of the cross (those are hard to see in the photo)!

    Be sure to visit the OCL friend Amber was so sweet to share some of her cards made with the set, In His Name, so you need to go see 'em!  :)  And don't forget to go back there tomorrow for the new sketch!

    Wednesday, April 7, 2010

    Sending Sunshine!

    Whew! I've been on the go all day, and finally I'm home long enough to post the card I made earlier this of the girls at my Bible study has a friend who's been having a really hard time, and I wanted to take a card in to class so that the members of our group could each sign it and send it on its way!  I wanted it to be bright, happy, and encouraging.  It worked out lovely for me that one of the sets I'm spotlighting on the OCL blog had the perfect verse (Prayers and Blessings), which I paired with another favorite OCL set (Sunshine Cheer) that will hopefully bring a smile to her face!

    The verse and image were stamped in Memento Tuxedo Black ink, then colored with Copic markers. The papers I used are from Cosmo Cricket's Garden Variety 6 x 6 paper sunshine, don'tcha think?!  The edges were inked with Tim Holtz distress ink.  The orange and red accents provide such a great contrast and really heat things up!  I am so in love with this corduroy ribbon!  Cosmo Cricket makes buttons to match this paper, but I wanted a matching pair and couldn't find it in my already opened pack, so I used some Basic Grey Green at Heart buttons instead!  Worked out just fine!

    Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you'll come back often!  Until then, I'm wishing you sunshine!

    Exciting news!

    Couture Cardstock

    I am so thrilled to be able to share this news with you! I am joining the Couture Cardstock design team!  I feel so honored and blessed to be joining such a talented team of designers!  See 'em all here!

    Can't wait for my first box of goodies to arrive!  ;)

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010

    Color/Sketch Combo

    Today's SCS color challenge seemed like the perfect color combo for this cute little Lizzie Anne Designs single!  This layout is this week's LAD sketch challenge, hosted by Joslyn

    The image was stamped with Memento Rich Cocoa ink, colored with Copics, then cut and embossed with a nestabilities rectangle.  The sentiment was inked with water-based markers in three colors directly to the rubber, then cut and embossed with a nesties tag die.

    For the background, I used an impressabilities plate to emboss a pretty floral pattern...a bit of sponging through the template accentuates the design.  The green strip is card stock punched with a dainty scallop, edged with some twill ribbon.  I kept the embellishments super simple, echoing the sunflower from the design with a sunflower made from flower punches and a brown button.

    This was a fast, fun design!

    You're in My Prayers...

    While Easter is a joyous celebration, Lent is quite introspective and sometimes even difficult, and that was certainly true for our church family this year. Two of our members lost their fathers, and one couple lost their 23 year old son…our pastor lost two members of his extended family.

    Sympathy cards are often a huge challenge…it is difficult to find a design that balances a gentle mood with a bit of bright cheerfulness. I thought that these beautiful Queen Bee papers from Pink Paislee were simply perfect. OCL’s Prayers and Blessings has wonderful sentiments and images to give loving support and encouragement for those who are grieving.

    I stamped the sentiment with Basic Gray ink, then stamped the cross in Always Artichoke after first stamping off on a scrap of paper.  I used my new nesties label 13 to cut and emboss the sentiment, then layered it over a labels 3 mat in Going Gray to bring all the colors of the design together.  All of the paper edges were sponged very lightly with Tim Holtz tea-dye distress ink.  Love that pleated twill ribbon, which brings a bit of happy color, toned down just a touch with a strip of beautiful lace that I got when I met my friends for a stamping day down in Ocala.  I used some Zva swirlies to bring some sparkle to the design, adding a row of rhinestones over the edge of the lace and finishing off with a soft taffeta bow.

    I hope and pray that this card will bring comfort and peace to the one who receives it!  

    Monday, April 5, 2010

    Easter Blessings!

    I hope you had a wonderful Easter!  We spent the morning at church, then had a nice leisurely lunch and relaxing afternoon!

    This week on the Our Craft Lounge blog I am hosting a focus on two Christian sets, In His Name, and Prayers and Blessings.  My card for today uses a combination of the two, a sentiment from Prayers and Blessings, and an image from In His Name.

    The cross was stamped in Memento Tuxedo Black, colored with Copic markers, then cut out and adhered with dimensionals on some DCWV paper from the Once Upon a Time mat stack.  I thought the subtle Celtic print would work well with this image.  The card is a bit larger than standard A2 because I couldn't bear to cut off even a tiny bit of the glittery swirls on the layer underneath.  I heavily inked the edges of the papers with Tim Holtz distress inks in tea-dye and vintage photo.  LOVE my new border punch (an Easter present to myself)!

    I tied a three-loop bow with the Bow Easy and some sheer ribbon, and attached a small pearl-centered flower...I used my Copics to tint the flower with just a hint of the amethyst color.  I love that tiny splash of pale color in an otherwise monochromatic card.

    Thursday, April 1, 2010


    It's the first of the month, which means a new gallery opening for the {stamps} of Life! The new set, happy2beCircles, is gonna end up being a favorite!  So many fun versatile images!