Sunday, April 29, 2012

Monday Musings -- An Early Edition

Hi, everyone,

Thanks to everyone who visited this last week. Extra thanks to those leaving such kind comments.

Hope everyone had a chance to get outside this weekend. Yesterday was a rainy, kind-of-raw day here. But, today's been gorgeous!

Yesterday's weather was perfect for tinkering with this week's CAS-ual Friday challenge. And, in spite of today's beautiful weather, I managed to squeeze in an OWH card.  :)

Card #1: OWH Sketch #119

Sketch #119 was the inspiration for the Any Hero below. Of course, I turned the sketch horizontally. I swear that one of those circles is is 2.5 inches in diameter! (And, what would I ever do without my Creative Memories circle and oval cutting system?)

Papers: Bo Bunny Liberty, Bazzill Admiral and Watermelon, BasicGrey kraft; jute and blue mesh; border punch
I played a little with the layering of the papers for the circles before deciding on this combination. Other than that, this card came pretty easily. The criss-cross patterns of the jute, mesh, and kraft paper really seemed to work well together.(Sadly, it;s about the last of my blue mesh.)

Card #2: CFC50
This week's challenge is a spring-inspired challenge to make cards featuring flowers or trees. Since I'd been wanting to try out a technique shared by a Stampin' Up! consultant at the recent Pizazz It! scrapbooking event, I was pretty excited to work on a flower card. And, I must say, I'm really pleased with the way the card below turned out!

card base and sentiment oval: core paper; Punches: Stampin' Up!: all else: garage sale finds

Stampin' Up Technique: Secure end of twine/floss with tape at back of flower; loop twine/floss across diameter of flower, moving around the circumference of the flower, and taping the end of the floss to the back of the flower to secure it. The consultant used baker's twine in her demo, but the lighter weight of the floss seemed a better match for the delicacy of this paper.

There are three things that I love about this card:
  • The way the embellishments came together so nicely. And, the fiber I used for the stem has a natural fraying element to it, which made for a perfect leaf. :)
  • The image was taken with our new digital camera. I decided to forgo the usual scanning because I knew the shadows would not do justice to this little flower.
  • Most of the elements were made from garage sale finds: the funky fiber, the buttons, and the lovely Stampin' Up! paper. 
The one thing I don't like is that the card is probably a little too delicate and a little too thick to send to OWH. Feels like mail fail. Guess it'll just have to go to a friend who is need of a smile. :)
Speaking of Garage Sales...
Yesterday was the first garage sale of the season for hubby and me.
  • The good news: I always enjoy spending the day with hubby.
  • The bad news: The sale itself was disappointing -- aside from a couple of cute magnet stocking stuffers.
But while I had my camera out to photograph Sure to Bring a Smile, I took a couple of photos of some of my best scrapbooking/card-making garage sale finds.
A great cabinet that holds brads, gems, buttons, Distress and Alcohol Inks and their applicators. The little clown is a souvenir from a visit to FAO Schwarz in NYC 30 years ago -- and is a constant reminder to be as creative as possible!
Not quite sure what the original owners used this for, but it's been a CD holder and is now a card organizer. Years of tole painting classes came in handy when I changed its appearance to better fit the room's decor.
a wonderful cutting board and the book full of dies that came with my $25 Zip'e Mate
a pair of chairs that came painted white with butcher-board-like seats that matched perfectly with the room decor
A fabulous find! A drawer for punches, another for stamps... The top actually folds down (to make a changing table), which I originally used to layout 12 by 12 pages. However, the baskets from Pottery Barn fit the space so perfectly it's as if they came together. So, the baskets now hold stamp pads, pens, rulers, etc. I painted the drawer fronts and sides to better fit the room decor, but the base color was already white.
So, what are your favorite garage sale finds?  I'd love to hear about them!

Parting Thoughts
Not quite sure what the week holds card-making wise. I still have a couple of Tim Holtz's classes to watch. And, I'd like to try to use up some scraps with last Monday's {Mojo}Mondays challenge.
Have a great week and happy scrappin'!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Night Writes

Hey, everybody,

It was a pretty good week around here. Hope that you can say the same.

Tonight, I have 4 cards to share.

Card #1: OWH's Midweek Challenge

This week's challenge was to make a sweet summertime card for our heroes to send home. The card below was one of the last ones that made it in my box sent to Kris this week. And, those of you who visit regularly might recognize it as the card inspired by one of Ashley Rock's designs.

Jillibean Soup Watermelon Gazpacho Collection; Core Paper Flower Power collection

Card #2: {Mojo}Monday Sketch 238

I loved this week's {Mojo}Monday sketch. Isn't it interesting how the cards for some sketches come so easily?

In her post, Teresa Kline writes that this was a great sketch to use up scraps. And, I can think of some scraps that I will be using to make some really cute cards using this sketch. 

However, what first came to my mind was cutting a 3 inch by 4 inch section of some adorable toy-themed paper into 12 1-inch squares. A few stickers from one of my crop garage sale stash made for some cute embellishments. The only thing I struggled with at all was the tag part of the design. But, I think I worked that out, too, after a couple of tries. A funky fiber provided the final touch for the sketch's tag.

Paper: Crate Paper Toy Box collection; Stickers: Stickabilities by Paper Studio
 I really want to make more kid cards for OWH. And, this little card is the first of my next shipment! 

BTW  It would be interesting to get a little feedback on this card as it wasn't one of hubby's favorite. He just didn't get it.  Oh, well...   :) 

Cards #3 and #4

What these two cards have in common is that they were both made for friends. Card #3 was made for a friend at work who is leaving Ohio and headed back to her hometown state.  I'd actually made this card awhile ago -- and really liked it -- but didn't think there was enough room for a hero's handwritten message because the top of the card is only about 3 inches wide. (Sorry about the irritating shadow in the bottom third of this scanned image.)

Materials: if only I knew/remembered  : (
Since spring reminds me of rebirth and new beginnings, it seemed perfect for Anne as she embarks on a new adventure.

Card #4 was the top of my to-do list this week -- a sympathy card for family friends who just said good-bye to their beloved family dog, Duke. 

Paper: Provo Craft Paws-itive Thinking collection, core paper, miscellaneous card stock; Embellishment: The Paper Company Paws and Claws matteboard stickers; Sentiment: Jillian Vance, stamped in StazOn jet black
I think I'm headed in the right direction. I don't want it to be too frilly or whimsical. On the other hand, I don't want it to be too maudlin. But, the card doesn't feel quite yet finished. Maybe some Versamark paw prints... Hmmm... Any suggestions? 

Parting Thoughts

Tomorrow marks the beginning of Christmas in April and May for hubby and me -- aka garage sale season. There are really only 2 sales we try to hit every spring. And, the first of these is tomorrow! :)

So, what are your favorite garage sale craft finds? I'll share a few of mine on Monday.

Until then, happy weekend and happy scrappin'! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Musings

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  I'm excited to have Package #3 ready to send to Kris. I'm mailing off 22 Dad cards, 22 general sentiment cards, and 7 Any Hero cards. :) 

For those of you making Dad cards for OWH, the deadline for Father's Day cards is fast approaching.

I have 3 cards to share today.

Card #1: Inspired by Ashley's Sketch of the Month

Last Saturday, I had a chance to catch up with Ashley and Tiffany from Pizazz It! When we were talking about their new sketch book, I mentioned that one of my favorite books is one that shows a 12 by 12 layout and a card inspired by the layout. 

Ashley is sponsoring a monthly sketch contest -- with the winner getting a copy of her new sketch book. The card below was inspired by this month's sketch!  

Jillibean Soup's Watermelon Gazpacho collection; Core Vintage (Flower Power) collection; unknown red cardstock
I'm especially excited about this card for two reasons. The first is that Ashley and I going to make this a regular thing. She's going to post her monthly sketch and I'm going to create a sketch-inpsired card!  Very cool!!! [And, seriously, if you haven't checked out her book, please do. It's sooooo well done. I'm pleased to say that I am a proud owner of an autographed copy!  :) ]

My second reason for being excited about the card is its the first Jillibean card that I've designed and liked. I love the bright colors and whimsical looks of her papers. But, for some reason, I seem to struggle putting the patterns together. (I think it might be in part that the pattern sizes are not as distinctively different as in a Bo Bunny collection.) This time, however, I think I got it just right. Using the red and Core card stock made such a difference. I actually really, really like this card. :)

Card #2

This is the last card that made it into this week's shipment. And, it was the last of my Saturday crop cards that needed to be finished. There are a few of those irritating scanning shadows... but this card's shadows aren't too bad.

Kaiser Lush collection; border punch; embellished with sheer white ribbon and pearls
I'm actually glad that I took the rest of the week to finish up these cards. I was starting to get in a design rut towards the end of the day. New days brought fresh perspectives for different finishing touches.  :) 

Card #3: OWH Sketch #118 

For whatever reason, this week's sketch came far more easily to me than last week's. The Any Hero card below is the first card for OWH Package #4!  :)  As usual, I rotated the sketch to make a horizontal card. Other than that, I think my only other changes were to slightly adjust the position of the square and place the side banners on top of  the square instead of next to its edges.
Bo Bunny Liberty collection; Bazzill admiral card stock; Hero Arts gemstones
I just love this Liberty collection -- and Bo Bunny paper in general. As I mentioned before, the different pattern sizes just make it so much easier for me to mix and match layers. 

And, many thanks to Donna and Carol for their reassuring words about not worrying when I use sketches as inspirations, rather than as blueprints. (Ashley says the same thing in her book, too.)

Parting Thoughts

The family who lives next to my father-in-law had to put their beloved dog down a few days ago. Since hubby and I are big dog lovers ourselves, making a card for the family is at the top of this week's card to-do list. After that, I hope to get started on some kid cards for OWH using some of the stickers and embellishments I picked up at last Saturday's garage sale. 

As always, thanks for visiting. Have a great week and happy scrappin'!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Night Writes

Hi, everyone,

Hope it's been a good week for all of you.

More about last Saturday's Crop

On Monday, I mentioned I would give a little more information about one of the event's at last Saturday's crop.

Ashley and Tiffany are two of my favorite people from Pizazz It! days. They are both up-and-coming graphic designers -- and they have collaborated on an initial book of sketches. And, at the crop, they held a book signing. :) 

One more thing about last weekend's activities, I took some time this week to finish up a few cards from Saturday. This week's sketch at {Mojo}Mondays was a loose inspiration for the first two cards below. All three cards were made from Kaiser's Lush collection. 

Kaiser Lush collection

Kaiser Lush collection

Kaiser Lush collection, with a cut-out flocked flower from one of these pretty papers

For all three cards, I had already punched the borders and adhered the base paper and bottom strip paper. So, I didn't really have the real estate on the first two to add the banner strip on the bottom right of the {Mojo}Monday sketch.

While it would have been possible to go with something other than circles for the four featured elements, I really thought circles would work well with my background paper. However, I decided to go with an odd number of featured circles on both cards.

OWH Sketch #117

Okay, talk about loose interpretations...  I even considered not posting the card below for this week's Sunday sketch. I swear that I started off with every intention of being true to the sketch -- other than making it a horizontal card to go with my pre-written Any Hero card bases.

Bo Bunny Liberty collection
  • For the background, I cut out the middle of a 6 by 6 paper and then positioned the top over the bottom. I adhered the top to two other rectangular papers so that it would be a little thicker than the bottom. So far, so good!
  • Then, I played with circles -- and rectangles with rounded corners -- before deciding that the sentiment really need to be on rectangular paper.
  • Next, I tried the sentiment behind a ribbon -- as shown on the sketch -- but no sale.
  • Finally, I tried putting the sentiment in the center, but it really felt like it should go in the bottom right corner to balance out the flag's field of stars.

So, forgive me if I've posted an "illegal" card. In my defense, the sketch was the original inspiration. And, I am pretty pleased with the end result. Hope the hero who receives it will be, too. :)

CAS-ual Fridays

Remember all the wonderful challenges from the OWH Virtual Card Making Party during cruise week? Well, this week's CAS-ual Friday challenge brought back memories of one of my favorite cards. So, I think I'm going to post Beach Currency at CAS-ual Fridays.

This was the first card to have die cuts made from my garage sale Zip'e Mate!
Parting Thoughts

Just a couple more cards to make before I mail my Muscle Card challenge package to Kris. :)

Have a great weekend. Thanks for stopping by -- and happy scrappin'!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Musings

Hi, everyone,

Boy, it was gorgeous here yesterday -- simply gorgeous!  Hope everyone had a chance to get outside for a little while this past weekend.

Saturday's Crop 

What a fun time on Saturday at the all-day crop!  What can be more fun than cropping with my best friend and other scrappers?! As if that wasn't enough, there was a make-and-take, a raffle, a book signing, and a garage sale!  More on the book signing on Friday. But, as far as the garage sale went, I found lots of goodies -- including 2 new pads of 12 by 12 Core paper, 2 new Distress Ink pads, lots of kid-themed stickers and chipboard embellishments, and some "new" ribbons and gems. :)  

I spent my day putting together some Dad My Hero cards and working on general sentiment cards for OWH's Muscle Card Challenge for Father's Day. The first 3 cards were made from Kaiser's Hippy Girl collection, the fourth from Kaiser's Lush collection. (Again, I apologize for those annoying shadows that appear when I scan cards with dimensional elements.)


a little more adornment -- This one includes a few gems bought at the crop garage sale. :)
even more adornment -- Butterflies made with Martha Stewart's punch-around-the page and popped up with 3-D dots.
Adorned with "lush" flocked paper and pearls.

CAS-ual Fridays: CFC48

This week's challenge was to make a card using complementary colors. As I always do when I visit other sites, I started thinking about a possible OWH card. So, I decided to make the card below -- a card similar to a Father's Day card I made for our dads last year -- and reminiscent of OWH's necktie card.

Ranger Core Paper
To make a similar card last year, I sketched the design on an A2 envelope and then made templates for the shirt "halves", collar, and tie from an old gift box. (Luckily, I still had the design and templates.) When piecing together the shirt, I sanded the collars so that they would stand out but still be in the same color family.

Parting Thoughts

Kudos to everyone who participated in this weekend's Make Em Laugh blog hop featuring so many of OWH's wonderful vendor partners. Your creations were amazing!  Sorry I didn't have a chance to devote much time to this hop.

Plans for the week include finishing up cards from Saturday's crop -- adding a little glue and a few embellishments, doing some Stickling. My goal is to have cards ready to stamp, tuck, and box up Muscle Challenge cards next weekend. :) Once crop cards are done, I'll turn my thoughts to this week's sketch.

Hope everyone has a wonderfully creative week. Happy scrappin'!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Night Writes

Hi, everyone,

Thanks to everyone who left comments about last Monday's cards. The font change on Dad my hero and the layering on last week's Any Hero card seemed to be fan favorites.

And thanks to everyone who wished me well at tomorrow's crop. Your comments helped remind me to focus on treasuring the time spent with friends -- and not sweating the housework part quite so much. :)

About this time last year, a favorite LSS was forced out of business when the landlord choose to enter a new lease agreement with a national chain instead of renewing its lease with an established small, local business. Tomorrow's crop is a time for employees and customers of Pizazz It! to reconnect! I'm even more excited because my dearest friend in all the world is coming in tonight for a day and a half of gabbing, eating, shopping, and cropping. Who could ask for anything more?!!!

Again, thanks to everyone who reminded me to see the forest, and not focus on the trees. :)


Several of you have mentioned {MojoMondays}, so I decided to pay the site a visit and try my hand at this week's sketch.

Paper: Bo Bunny Liberty, BasicGrey kraft; Medallion: Bazzill painted with Midnight Blue acrylic; Fiber: garage sale Funky Fiber find 

A special welcome to those of you visiting from the {Mojo}Mondays site. If you're wondering why this card that looks like a hybrid of Father's Day and The Fourth of July, that's exactly what I wanted to create. My goal was to make a Father's Day card for a patriotic dad. :)

About 95% of my cards are made for Operation Write Home, a non-profit that makes cards for troops deployed over seas to send to loved ones back home. If you haven't heard of this wonderful group and might be interested in helping out, please take a minute to visit this site.

Two Cards fit for Puzzle Lovers

Have any of you ever used the puzzle maker at Those of you who are teachers may have already heard of this great little tool. I've actually used it to make cards.The first card below is a sample of Father's Day cards I made for OWH last year.The second card is one of two Valentine's Day cards I made for nephews aged 10 and 11.

After using to create the puzzle, I used some word processing magic to provide the solutions. Another option would be to provide clues and have a crossword-puzzle-loving dad fill in the squares himself. :)
In this case, I left it as a puzzle for the boys to do. I went with red, black, and white -- and "V-Day" text -- to not be too girly to get from their aunt and uncle.

There are lots more puzzle options at this great site. If you're into puzzles -- or know someone who is -- have fun checking it out!

Parting Thoughts

It's getting close to my friend Linda's arrival time. So, I'll sign off for now.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!  Happy scrappin'!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Musings

Hi, all,

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter celebration with family, friends, and loved ones. Hubby and I attended church services with my father-in-law. Then the three of us met my dad for an early dinner.

So, I only have two cards to share.

OWH Sketch #116

This week's sketch and SignifyPink's lovely paper inspired the Any Hero card below. (I was so happy when my LSS got in more of this gorgeous paper!)

Paper: SignifyPink's Pages of Honor collection; Stamped Image: Stampin' Up!

This week, I was pretty true to the sketch -- but decided to go off-center with the circle since the heat-embossed stars are asymmetrical.

 Before and After

Remember the My Dad, My Hero card I wasn't happy with. Well, I did a little tweaking and am much happier with the new version. 

 Lee Mae suggested adding a gold border around the text to add a little panache to the sentiment part of the card. Great idea! Thanks, Lee Mae!

I also decided to change the sentiment itself so that it consisted of an odd number of words and two different fonts. 

What a difference!  Now that I have the design down,  I have the parts to assemble nine more of these. :)

Parting Thoughts

Looking forward to an all-day crop on Saturday with a friend. Hoping to make a serious dent in the OWH Muscle Card challenge. It'll be a busy week with work, preparing for my friend's overnight visit, and preparing for the crop.  So much to do and only one week to do it!

Hope everyone has a good week. Happy scrappin' to all! 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Night Writes

Hi, everyone,

It looks like it's going to be a pretty busy weekend around here. So, how about a quick post?

OWH Midweek Challenge
This week's OWH challenge is to make a Thinking of You card. I decided to rework the ribbon-stamped card from last week. It was just way too overworked to send as it was. It's looking much fresher now. :)

Bo Bunny Konstrukt paper, Kaiser rhinestones

Help Requested

The card below is my first attempt at a My Dad, My Hero card. I really like the gold embossed medals -- and embossing around the edge of the sentiment. I also like the ribbon -- although it didn't scan well. And, I like the sentiment itself, but not its appearance. It seems to need something, but I don't quite know what. Any suggestions?

Stampin' Around image by Stampin' Up!, computer-generated font

ODBD April Challenge

It's time again for another ODBD Challenge for OWH. This month's ODBD challenge is to create a card with critters. Since I liked these little song-inspired, lovesick CAS butterflies so much, I posted them for this challenge as well. 

BasicGrey paper, Martha Stewart punch
Parting Thoughts

Wishing everyone a blessed Easter celebration!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Monday Musings -- Another Early Edition

Hi, everyone,

Hope it's been a good weekend for you. The weather is absolutely gorgeous here -- just a tad on the chilly side, but the sun is shining and the windows are open. :)

I'm hoping to work on a design later today for that "My Dad, My Hero" card idea that's been rolling around in my head. But, for now, I have 2 cards to share. So, I thought I'd go ahead and post a little early. If this becomes a habit, I might have to think of a name other than Monday Musings. :)

OWH Sketch #115

Donna is the sample maker for this week's sketch cards -- and they are so cute. I just love the patriotic one! Nice work, Donna!

The card below is this week's Any Hero card. Again, I inked up the inside of the embossing folder. I love the texture and extra dimension that this technique gives. 

Paper: Bo Bunny Liberty, Bazzill Watermelon; Cuttlebug embossing folder; Stickles; Stampin' Up Night of Navy ink

This sketch might make for a great "My Dad, My Hero" card. And, I'll have plenty of patriotic paper to choose from when those Bo Bunny 6 by 6 Liberty pads arrive. Looks like I've got a little designing to do...

CFC46: Name That Tune

This week's CAS-ual Fridays blog challenge  is to create a card inspired by a song. After a little pondering -- and some internet searching -- I decided upon Love is in the Air. A pair of head-over-heals-in-love butterflies immediately came to mind. :)

The next decision was to find just the right paper with just the right color combination. The key palette ingredients were a blue background (so these little butterflies could dance romantically through the sky), a coordinating pattern fit for the lady, and a second coordinating pattern fit for the gent. This BasicGrey paper that I found in that unexpected Tuesday Morning spree a few weeks ago fit the bill perfectly. Finally, the inspirational song title (printed in graceful Lucida Handwriting), parallel flight paths that included hearts and loops, and some champagne-colored heart gems provided the finishing touches.

Paper: BasicGrey Granola 12 by 12 pad; Butterflies: Martha Stewart Punch around the Page; 
computer-generated font; mini champagne-colored, heart-shaped gems

I  debated about adding black rhinestones to ground the corners, but decided against it. It would be a shame if anything took away from the gems on the butterflies themselves. 

Love is definitely in the air for these little creatures. :)

Parting Thoughts

Those of you who show your cards to hubbies might get a chuckle out of this glimpse into my world. Hubby said that as he was driving home from Spring Break he realized he'd gone a whole week without hearing anything about cards, squares, triangles.... (Sound like anyone you know?) I just had to laugh -- and told him that his confession was blog-worthy!

My goal for the week is to have a "My Dad, My Hero" card to show on Friday. Until then...

Have a great week!  And, happy scrappin'!