Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Watercolored Winter Card

Often when my family camps, I take stuff to watercolor with me, so that I have something to do without packing an extra trailer full of stuff. I have a small space that is my Stamping Cubby, and it is just right to bring my watercolor crayons, colored pencils, and Aqua Painter brushes and clipboard. That's how I found time to come up with a card with all the watercoloring detail in December, that part was done last August! Wanting to keep a coutry homespun look to it, I opted to use the Ivory Naturals card stock and cuttlebugged the dotted texture onto the card...I love how these textures look on the Naturals card stocks. The Stampin' Up! set "Quilted Quotes" was a Level 3 Hostess set of 4 ~ Way. way, way back in 2001. Has it been that long?
C-Ya Later!

Flopsy Bunny & Puppy Cards

These cards were the result of a sketch challenge tangent that I went on a few weeks ago. Splitcoast Stampers skech challenge (SC207). I have a box full of pieces of work I started and then went a different direction, or stamps several of one thing and put these aside until 'later' when I figure out what to do with them next. In my flipping through looking for one I could use on this card, I had pulled out a few possibilities and when I was done with the first one, I finished these also. The panels are glossy paper, with the background being made by scribbling a few markers on acetate, a quick spritz of water, and squashing the glossy side on it. (Can't think if the name of that technique!) Then I stamped the critters over the background and watercolored them, punched the corners, layered them and stored the in my S&F box, until now. Knowing how to mount them with the ribbons made it a quick job to do these two cards...wonder if I'll get that box emptied by next year...naaww! not a chance! :)
P.S. The little stuffed animal images were from 'The Angel Company'

Sheetloads of Cards Challenge

This is the card I did to get the December Challenge Card done, before the month's end. I found this great fun little blog in November and have become really enthused about it. They have taken card making to a new level of creativity, by coming up with these card sketches, once a month. I do quite a few challenges to broaden my idea pool, and a sketch is kind of like a map that gives you a layout to use for your card. "Sheetloads of Cards" has gone one step better and besides giving us the sketch, they give you the measurements for one card, and also for a batch of cards. This sketch gives you the cutting guide for 8 cards, last month it was given for 6. i think it goes by the convenient size to get the most out of your cardstock and pattern paper. They (SOC) even tell you exactly how much ribbon you will need. You can read about this here. Please look at a few posts to get the gist of it, clicking on the e-magazine you can save it or view's a free publication and you can go back to their earlier issues as well too.
I love "free" and sharing "free" is fun too!
C-Ya Later!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Very Fast Ornaments on Cards

I finally finished mailing out all my Christmas cards yesterday - I did it a little differently than I usually do this year. I wrote out all the envelopes first and wow did I have a lot to mail out! I had made many cards throughout the year, but not quite enough to fill them all. So, when I was looking last Friday for some quick cards to mail to local friends and relatives (I mailed the out-of-state and Lower Peninsula cards last week), I came across a few challenges I thought I would like to try - but NO inspiration at that moment. Later in the day, when I was at the local St. Vinny's store, picking up some furniture for my daughter's apartment, I saw they had Christmas stuff marked 75% I took a look and as soon as I saw these ornaments, I "saw" my cards.
The challenges were (1) to make a card that was at least 75% blue, and only one embellishment that wasn't paper...which would is the single brass ornament. (2) to make a card that was beyond quick, or average about 5 minutes per. I set my timer for 30 minutes and went to work.
Once started, the framing and attaching took a bit longer to figure out how to get the look I wanted, because the ornaments I used were slightly varied in sizes, and I had to use a combination of a colluzzle circle first, and then the scallop punched around the circle hole to make the frame. Next I needed to figure out how to attach the ornament so that it would be simple to take apart, and not show the string on the front. So, I when I attached the ornament, I pierced a hole through the middle of the card front and poked the string through it, pulled the string up (which would be down on the inside) and taped it with clear tape, and then covered the hole with the scalloped frame on the front, which makes it nearly invisible. As I was finishing my first card, the timer went off. I was amazed time went so quickly, but realized I had to put some design-time into the "little glitches" which seemed to be worked out.
So I re-set it, and started on the remaining 5 and was done with them before the timer went off. A set of Nestabilities Circles would have definately made things much quicker, but I don't have the circle set in my collection yet!
So there you have them! And they are all on their way to dear friends or family. Today - my daughters, Gretchen and Natalie and I are going to do all our baking, so I better clear the decks!
Enjoy your day!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Last Minute Gift & Tutorial (attempted)

Today Splitcoast Challenge for "Ways to Use It" was to come up with a last minute gift that would be quick and easy to get done, little coloring and other fal-da-ral and foo-foo. I skimmed through my mind all the ideas I have meant to try to get done, and as I poured myself another cup of coffee, my eyes stopped on a magnetic phone number thingie on my know the kind of thing that school kids bring around on flyers to raise money for camp or new playground stuff? Anyway, when I got this thing, I really liked the idea of it because it kept my phone numbers hidden, some of which are unlisted numbers and was very easy to flip it open, like a child's 'little golden book.' I had planned to try do one "someday" which might turn out to be today. I looked at it again and wondered how quickly I could figure out how to cut and score the cardboard and get the covering designer paper to adhere without flubbing up at the corners and folds...quick? Not quick enough for I ditched the idea and came back into my stamp room and saw a CD case...AHA! Now I could carry on with the idea of making a phone # case but use a different avenue to get there.

Here's how I did it!
Materials you need:
1 fat CD case (not the skinny ones)
5"x 6" Pattern Paper (or whatever you have planned
Image/Sentiment to fit on PP
I used UHU Twist and Stick glue - needs to be clear
A business card sized magnet

First of all, my CD case measured 5-7/16" x 4-5/8" for the FRONT/LIST TOP and 4-13/16" x 4-3/4" for the BACK/LIST BOTTOM.
Please, measure yours and see if they are the same!

You will have to carefully remove the disc holder portion so you have a plastic box.
Now, let's get started!

1- Measure carefully the Larger side of your CD case and trim to fit as perfectly as you can. Add your Image/Sentiment to the front and set aside. (Keep the theme good for all year).

2- Next, create your Name/Phone List. I did this by setting up a paper (I used generic white cardstock) to print in an area 4-5/8" wide, then change all the margins and headers to "zero". Start the line in Bold and Underlined "Name & Phone" in the type you choose (I used Harrington 24). after the first line I just help down the underscore key and ran it down to the bottom of the page. Print it out.

3-Trim the sides of the down to the larger width of your CD case (my larger width was 4-3/4"). Then trim on the top of the list to where you want the Name-Phone list to start. Measure top to bottom and cut the list to make a perfect fit (or use your Image/Sentiment front to size). At this point, you can adhere the Image/Sentimet and the list top together but please MAKE SURE the Name/Phone list bottom is attached to the top of the Image/Sentiment, or it will be wrong when it is opened. Now, the bottom should fit as it is the wider piece.

4-Adhere the pieces to the case. I used UHU Twist and Glue and it worked great! The adhesive dries clear and it is almost invisable. If you have something else that works, use that.

5- I glued a business magnet to the back, and it was actually the thinnest one I could find, just to see how well it would hold, and it did. There really won't be any added weight to this, unless you count ink!

This would be a great gift for anyone with a refrigerator or metal file cabinets!

Please, if you make one, please send me a link to see yours!
Thank You ! Happy Stamping!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pattern of Friendship & Accident Update

This is a Sketch Challenge Card for today that I started out with the front most panel (from my S&F box, so it was already stamped, pieced and sponged), and worked to the back. My biggest challenge was deciding what colors to compliment the paper-pieced dresses with. My cold is still miserable and I am truly challenged for picking colors when I am sick. When I got to the ribbon, I was stumped, so I asked for the helpful advice of my stamping buddy, Natalie, who is also my 4&1/2 year old daughter. I gave her about 5 choices and she chose the one I least liked and based her decision on the white flowers matching the pinked white layer and daisies, and the pinks daisies matching the dress. I had asked, so I did put it on, added some buttons and made it "our" card. It's a cheery looking card if nothing else!

An update on my parents, who were in a car accident last week: I can not express my gratitude to all who have prayed for them...and me. All I can say is that God is truly merciful. My mom's face is continuing to bruise, but she is doing all right...probably overdoing it if I know her. My dad's shoulder and wrist pain brought him to the doctor's office yesterday to be examined again, and his wrist was broken after all. His shoulder also looks to have some rotator cuff?/cup? (not sure what she said) problems as well. So he is looking at having his wrist cast tomorrow, and not sure how long he'll have to wait for help on his shoulder. I dearly wish I could be out there to help out more, but until I recoup from my cold, I'm keeping my distance. The woman in the other car, has some neck injuries, 2 fractured neck bones, but not paralyzed, thank God! Still, she is restricted on what she can do, so Ill be continuing to pray for her too.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's just Stuff!

I had a pretty life-shaking experience on Thursday night. My Mom and Dad had their truck packed and ready to leave for the rest of this Michigan winter to their winter place in Mission, Texas. I always dread to see them leave as I know how much I will miss them over the holidays and during the winter when things slow down and there would be more time to play cards, dominoes, and other games we like to play; time that is not so easy to find in the business of summer. We agreed to meet them along with my oldest sister, who also lives in the area, at the local pizza parlor and have a few pizzas as a going-away dinner, kind of a tradition for us, and they will leave in the early morning. My sister joined us for a while and left a little early as her son (a star player!) was playing in the basketball game at the high school, and we finished up the dinner and the pumpkin pie my mom brought along for desert.

Earlier on Thursday, I had taken my 4 year-old daughter to my good friend, who is very good (and very patient!) with her camera, to get in on the Christmas background she had set up for her own two daughters Christmas photo shoot. I planned to print out a picture of Natalie so they would have a new photo in-hand when they arrived to show-off to all their friends in Texas. Tammy was to e-mail me the pictures so I could print them on our printer...but they hadn't arrived in my e-mail when we had to leave, so my hope was to have my folks drop by after dinner to print it out then, if my dad was willing to do that...otherwise it would have to be mailed.

So as we were leaving, the plan was to head up the hill to our house, and we got in our cars and we backed out of our parking spots and I followed. I had driven down the hill with my mom and my husband had ridden with my dad, so I assumed it would be the same going back up, but Mark jumped in the passenger seat and my mom got into the truck and we were right behind my folks. I watched them start across the road and pulled forward a bit and in the swirl of snow, I saw a car in the ditch down the road, a wheel traveling by itself down the road and a man jumping out of a car down the road a ways from where I was. I looked ahead and saw another vehicle in the ditch backwards, and debris flung everywhere. I surveyed and tried to make sense of what I was seeing. My husband jumped out of the car and ran and was across the highway when it finally struck me that I was looking at my Dad's truck. OH JESUS! To say I freaked out would be mild. I couldn't daugher was in the back seat. My husband was running around the truck and waved me to cross and put on my flashers by the truck to warn other drivers. Natalie was very quiet...and promised she would stay in her seat and not move...and she kept that promise. (A policeman gave her a stuffed moose for being good)

My dad got out of the truck first, with blood on his hands and mouth where the seatbelt must have restrained him. and a large lump forming on his head. He went to see about the other car, parents of people my sisters and I went to school with...My mom was tangled up between her coat and seatbelt and the mangled door. That the car had not impacted at her door was truly the Hand of God because the truck box was anihilated. Once freed, she started going around and picking up stuff. I did too. Police cars filled up the roadways, ambulances came. What else could we do? It was icy cold outside. She had a bump forming on her forehead, now the size of a small orange. It was freezing cold, and we were digging and kicking our feet through snow with socks on hands and shoes not made for snow. BRRR!!! Every plastic tote that they had packed shattered. Several pieces of Tupperware shattered like glass too. (I picked those up too, as they are lifetime garaunteed, and as a TW dealer, I can do that for them) I picked up my dad's socks, my mom's bras, shorts, spices, vitamins, chocolate chips, coffee grinders, shoes, sewing table, cookbooks, quilt projects and started pitching it in the back of my van. Others pitched in and found all the golf clubs out of the caddy and the caddy too. Shoe bags, a broken lazy suzan, both sets of binoculars were found (and although the tops and bottoms were blown off the cases, the binoculars were both in perfect tact!). It was amazing how much stuff was found. Really, at that time, there was nothing else we could do.

My parents agreed to go to the hospital as did the other couple (that woman needed a stretcher). After 6 hours, my parents were released from the ER and I brought them home and stayed with them until the next afternoon. My sister from 2 hours away came to check things out too. My sister that was out of town at her son's college graduation will be home today. I'll be calling my parents often as I am now thoroughly sick and don't want to pass that on to them. They are pretty banged and bruised up and will be sore for a while. My mom is predicted to have the bruise on the whole right side of her face, and it seems like the lump on her forehead slid down to her eye. My dad's wrist is terribly sore, but no broken bones for either of them. This whole thing could have been so much worse. God is so good!

My parents will heal. (The other couple will too.) I will recover from the severe cold I now have. But when I think how quickly they could have slipped out into eternity, I realize that I haven't told my parents (sister, brother, husband, wife, daugter, son, friend--insert your own word) nearly enough how much I love thankful I am that God saw fit to make me their daughter (son, grandson, grand-daughter, husband wife, brother, sister, friend, parent--insert your own word)...and how much time and energy I have wasted in my own life on things that don't really matter.

...Like I said before, we didn't know what else to do, so we kept picking up stuff but if not one thing was found from the accident it wouldn't have mattered. If we had found everything in perfect condition and nothing missing, that wouldn't have mattered either, because the four most important things that mattered weren't things, they were people...The rest? It's all just stuff.

C-ya Later!

Cedar Moose Card

I did a dozen of these cards in about an hour last week. So easy and simple, yet I do like how they turned out. I am a "gadget girl" and this card helped me play with a few of them, but it did make the job go quickly. I began with half sheets of Natural Ivory cardstock, creased with my Score-Pal, and then I cut my Chocolate Chip cardstock into 5.25" x 4.0" size. Next I used my Nestabilitie Ovals on the center of each. When that was done, I used the Stressed Stripes cuttlebug Folder on brown frames. I adhered the frames to the front of my cards and used my Stamp-a-ma-jig to place the moose...(***HINT: Do not lift the handle of the Stamp-a-ma-jig until you are satisfied that the image is dark enough! If you keep holding it in place with one hand, you can re-ink the moose and restamp until you get it as sark as you want it!***) Lastly, I decided to send a piece of "Home" to my friends and kin that are afar off at Christmas time, and picked a danglin little branch of cedar of a tree in our yard, picked it apart and and attached pieces and bowls with "Fabri-Tac" glue - (wonderful stuff at WalMart in the crafts - which also works great for gluing bulky stuff on cards, mending clothes, purses and gluing velcor back on my little girl's shoe straps. Like hot glue with out the hot!) On a second look back on the stack, I realized they would not be the same without some 'snow' with a little two-way glue on the branches, I added Dazzling Diamond Glitter along the top parts and these cards are good to go!
CHEAP TRICK: Save the ovals with your Nestabilities or with your Colluzzle templates, and you will save the time and paper of re-doing it when you need brown ovals or layers. Of course you were probably going to save them somewhere anyway, but if they are there with your tools, you may be able to use them sooner.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Di Hickman Sketch Challenge

I was able to participate in a Sketch Challenge posted by Di Hickman and this is the card I came up with for it. This sketch challenge celebrates her 2nd anniversay for doing her card sketches. Di Hickman is the author of one of my favorite blogs for inspiration and simplicity. She does a combination of digital and stamped pages and cards and one of these days I will figure out more about the digi-part of paper arts. (Right now, I'm still working on blogging-eese.)

This card is great to use up all those little scraps - My snowman was from SU's retired "Tags and More" set, and I think 'Happy Holiday's was from "Frosty." I used blue and green glitter to bring it to life. Although I wasn't sure of it, I did have a few people see it and tell me they liked this is the one I am putting up from the chalenge.

One of the perks of getting in on her sketch challenge was getting a free bottle of glue from UHU, a manufacturer of several types of glue. I was limited on choices and chose one I might not have normally chosen, but it was a good thing for me to try. I got the UHU "Twist & Glue", which came in a 3.21 ounch bright yellow plastic bottle, which makes it easier to find for its size and color on my very cluttered table. When I pulled the chunkier-looking top off, I was surprised to see that inside was a slim nozzle (much like sewing machine oil) sticking up to do the detail "spot-specific" (how do you like that term?) gluing I often need to do. Then, when I saw the arrow on the nozzle cap, I gave it a twist and the top raised itself up to make itself into a great glue spreader! It was a much thinner adhesive than I expected and flowed freely and quickly from the bottle and adhered all the pieces very quickly - so quickly and fast drying that I I had to start over again! ...oops! Knowing this though, I took heart that this isn't one of those products that you are going to squeeze and squeeze and wait and wait, so it is great for quick gluing. I did glue down the 5 area lightwieght pattern paper pieces onto my card and it did warp my card. I wouldn't use it for gluing lightweighted stuff to a card front, but I would use it on a heaver cardstock and get the strength one needs for good results. It would also work great for gluing things on your projects. Lastly, when I was to put the top back onto the bottle, I wondered if the nozzle would tend to get plugged and that's when I noticed that UHU designed the top to "put the needle in the nozzle" for you with a stem that goes in when the top goes on. This glue is great and the design of the bottle is terrific!