Monday, November 17, 2014

Hello! Is Anybody Out There?

It has come to my attention today that it's been a long time since I have posted anything here. Six months to be exact. Luckily for my family, I take better care of them than I do my blog.  My only excuse is work. Since I write for a living, often the last thing I want to do in my down time is write some more. Hence, my neglected blog.

I have come to realize two things over the last few months. First, as much as I love to scrapbook, I am, first and foremost, a card maker -- by necessity. I still love to scrapbook and am working on a slew of layouts in my head. However, I can't remember the last time I sat down and created a layout. As for making cards, there always seems to be an occasion that calls for my craftiness. And, I am grateful to have the excuse to create! Last week was the first time I actually bought a card in a long time. Wow! It cost $4 for one card! Maybe this hobby is actually saving me money. (Insert laugh here!)

Anyway, I digress.

The second thing I realized is that One Little Word is not for me. Remember this post? Well, lets just say that somewhere along the way I have lost my FOCUS. At least I have been keeping my emails to under 200, mailing cards more on time and focusing on family!

I am going to try to be less absent more present here and share whatever project I am working on at any given time. And, although I haven't been blogging regularly, I have been making lots of cards so I hope to have new content here once or maybe even twice a week. Stay tuned, there may even be a giveaway here to welcome you all back!

With that said, I do have a card to share today.

I made this card as part of the Stretch Your Stamps 2 class from Online Card Classes. If you are ever looking to jump start your creativity, these classes are great. This card called for making a stamped background from alphabet stamps.

To create the card, I lined up the letters for "Welcome Baby" on my stamp press. I really like the Lawn Fawn stamps for this technique. Since each stamp is a perfect rectangle, it's really easy to line them up and the set comes with multiples of commonly used letters. (Before stamping on the background, I tested the phrase on scrap and made the necessary adjustments.) Taking a piece of white card stock cut 5.5" x  3.75, I stamped the first sentiment in the middle and then filled in the background working from left to right and up and down. Once the background was completely stamped, I used blue distress ink to color the sky.

I stamped the adorable bunny image directly onto the background (for the balloon strings) and again onto a piece of white card stock. I fussy cut the bunny and the balloons, then adhered them to the card with foam dimensional adhesive. For the grass, I used a Martha Stewart drippy goo Halloween punch.

I am going to keep the supply list pretty simple. Leave a comment if you have any questions about a specific product.

Cardstock: Neenah Solar White.  
Pattern Paper: Lawn Fawn.
Stamps: Lawn Fawn (Milo's ABCs); Mama Elephant (Up and Away).
Ink: Memento (Tuxedo Black) Ranger Distress Ink; Assorted Copic and Spectrum Noir markers.
Misc.: Martha Stewart Punch.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Happy PINK Birthday

Recently I gave a PINK by Victoria Secrets gift card. Oh, how I love those hot pink and white polka dotted gift cards so I thought it would be fun to create a card to match.. Here it is:

To begin, I cut a standard A2 card, scored it, and adhered black and white washi tape to three sides. I cut another piece of white cardstock to measure 4" x 5 3/8". Using the Stamping Layering technique that I had seen Laura Bassen use in a recent Online Card Class, I stamped the the triangle background onto the white cardstock with white ink. Once that dried, I stamped the neon pink circles, overlapping some for added interest. See how the pink makes those triangles pop! After letting that dry, I stamped the sentiment in VersaMark ink and added black embossing powder. 

I decided that the polka dots needed something to ground them. Since I didn't have any pink cardstock in the right shade, I swiped the ink pad across a scrap to customize my own. I used a border punch to add the scalloped edge.After adhering it to the stamped image, I added a thin scrap of black cardstock for a finished look.

Finally, I felt that I needed a little more black so I used the outline stamp on the medium circles. I used foam adhesive to adhere to the card front. Here's a closer look!

I hope Victoria Secret's approves!

Cardstock: Bazzill (Marshmallow); Papertrey Ink (Black);
Stamps: Hero Arts (Tiny Flags; Many Dots); Papertrey Ink (Think Big Favorites #12);
Ink: Color Box (Frost White); Hero Arts (Neon Pink); VersaMark;
Tools: Fiskars border punch (Scallop Sentiment);
Misc.: Zing embossing powder (black); Sandy Lion washi tape.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day with my Silhouette

Happy Mother's Day. I was looking for some quick cards to get in the mail this week so I turned to the Silhouette that Sal gave me for Christmas. I love it and, for the most part, it makes for quick and easy cardmaking, despite the learning curve. But, not this time. The cards I am sharing today took hours and maybe a dozen pieces of cardstock before i got the lacy pattern to cut correctly on my machine. I quickly came to realize that a clean cut is all about getting the settings right. And, with three numbers to play with (and the pre-set combination failing for this intricate cut) it took A LOT of tries. (For those who are interested, the setting that finally worked for me was 2/33/4 -- Double Cut.) Here is the card I made for my Godmother:

My card was inspired by this card on the Silhouette blog. It was a free cut of the week, so I guess that makes up for all the cardstock I wasted. LOL! I created the watercolor background using Tim Holtz distress inks and watercolor paper. There is something about this technique that makes me feel like an artist! The sticker is from a Simon Says Stamp card kit that I am trying to use up.

Once I got the cut right, I thought I would make a card for my mother. This time, I was inspired by the colors in Basic Grey's Highline collection. This may just be my new favorite color combination! Here's the card:

I will be sharing more of my Silhouette creations in the coming weeks.

Cardstock: American Crafts; Tim Holtz watercolor paper;
Silhouette Cut: 59440
Blue Card
Ink: Tim Holtz distress ink (Salty Ocean; Broken China; Squeezed Lemonade);
Embellishments: Basic Grey candy buttons; Lawn Fawn Sticker (Daphne's Closet).

Pink Card: 
Ink: Tim Holtz distress ink (Picked Raspberry; Ripe Persimmon; Squeezed Lemonade); Color Box Frost White; American Crafts pen;
Stamp: Papertrey Ink (Four Square);
Embellishments: American Crafts banner sticker (DIY Shop); My Mind's Eye enamel dots.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

NSD: Royal Fever

Wow! It's been a while! The year is just racing by and it seems that life gets busier and busier. I have been creating a huge number of cards.lately, which has left little time for sharing them.  However, since today is National Scrapbooking Day, I thought I would share a layout.

Did anyone have "Royal Fever" while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were on their tour of New Zealand and Australia. I was scoping out Kate's outfits on a daily basis. I just love her style. I have a long history of doing this and many coffee table books of Princess Diana to prove it! I even got up at 5 a.m. to watch Diana and Charles get married. With no Internet back then, what choice did I have!

With that said, I thought I would share a layout today about my visit to the Princess Diana exhibit that I went to when it was in Connecticut. Here's the layout:

Since I created this at a crop, I kept supplies to a minimum. I used just one collection pack (which included all of the banners), Gold Thickers, grey alphabet stickers, assorted brads, stamp, twine and a Maya Road envelope to serve as a frame for my journaling.  Here's a closer look at the journaling and stamping.

My fascination with all things Royal may be a little extreme but here are the facts:  Diana was born on my sister Diane's (pictured above in the pink coat) anniversary. She married Charles on Diane's birthday. William was born on my birthday. And, Diane saw Charles and Camilla on a walkabout while on vacation in Madrid! Yes, we are a little over the top! What about you? Are you a Royal Watcher?

Pattern Paper: Fancy Pants (Country Boutique):
Stickers: American Crafts Thickers; Basic Grey alphabet;
Stamps: Technique Tuesday;
Ink: Stampin' Up!
Embellishments: My Minds Eye brads; Maya Road envelope; twine
Tools: Fiskars border punch

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sweet Sixteen!

I have a Sweet 16 card to share tonight in honor of Melissa's birthday yesterday. It's still hard to believe that my little girl is 16! Here she is ready to blow out her candle at a small celebration at her favorite restaurant with her friends.

So, back to today's card. It actually is one I made for her friend's birthday last month. It uses one of my favorite stamps sets, Papertrey Ink's Rosie Posie. You really can't make a bad card with this beautiful set. Here's the card:

I stamped a Hero Arts background stamp on the card base. After cutting the white cardstock down by 1/4 inch on all sides, I stamped a spray of leaves across the top. Next, I die cut the blooms from the same pink cardstock. For the flower's main image, I used an ink that coordinated with the pink cardstock. Then the darker accents were stamped with the same ink I used for the background. I adhered the flowers to the panel, popping the small ones on foam dimensional squares.  I put my Cricut to use to cut the word "Sweet." The cut file can be found on the Calligraphy Collection cartridge.Actually, it's part of a
phrase but I stopped my machine when the word I needed was complete. I adhered the word using a glue pen and added Thickers for the "16." Here's a closer look at the details.

So, do you have a go-to stamp set that never fails you? Leave a comment to let me know your favorite.

Cardstock: Stampin' Up (Pink Pirouette); Bazzill Card Shoppe(Marshmallow);
Stamps: Papertrey Ink (Rosie Posie; Rosie Posie Step 2; Turning a New Leaf); Hero Arts (Snow Dots);
Ink: Stampin' Up! (Pink Pirouette) Papertrey Ink (Hibiscus Burst; Ripe Avocado;
Dies Cuts: Papertrey Ink (Rosie Posie); Cricut Cartridge (Calligraphy Collection);
Misc.: American Crafts Thickers 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Lots o' Luck

It's almost time to bake Irish Soda Bread. But, before I do, I thought I would share a couple of cards that I made using some scraps of paper (I think it was My Mind's Eye), some tin pins I had picked up at Michael's last year and my Cricut. Here they are:

The four-leaf clover was cut using the Designer's Calendar Cricut cartridge. It is such a versatile cartridge and definitely one of my favorites. I also did some machine stitching on these. I am still trying to perfect those skills.

So do you make your own Irish Soda Bread? Here's a picture of last year's loaf baking in the oven.

Cardstock: American Crafts (green); Papertrey Ink (white);
Pattern Paper: My Mind's Eye
Tools: Cricut (Designer's Calendar);
Misc. Embellishments: Ribbon (Recollections); Tin Pin (Michael's)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Something Old, Something New: She Said...

I've been on a bit of a kick lately to use up some of my stash, but there's something about using up old product that doesn't excite me as much as using new. So starting today, I am introducing a new series on my blog. Yes, a in more than one! Something Old, Something New will feature projects made from old products from my stash paired with newer, trendier finds. Today's layout uses two older Studio Calico kits that I got on sale along with enamel dots and Crate Paper's fabric polaroid frames. Here it is:

I snapped these pictures of Melissa shopping while on a trip to the mall last Summer. It seems that no matter what I have planned for the weekend, Melissa ambushes me finds an excuse to tell me she "needs" to go to the mall. Lucky for her, we live close to the biggest mall in New York state. Unlucky for me,everyone and there mother (I guess that means me) goes there on a Sunday so unless we plan to go early, traffic and parking woes ensue. Then there is the actual time spent in the mall, where I get to stare at the dressing room door while Melissahas fun trying on clothes. Do you understand why this is not my favorite thing to do on a Sunday! Thank goodness for my iphone and American Eagle which has stools in the fitting rooms?

The journal cards from the kit actually said "She Said" and "He Said". However, I used one of the label stickers included in the kit to cover up the "He" and replaced it with an "I" sticker from my stash. The cards work as both journaling and a title. Here's a closer look .

If you want to play along and create a project using both your old and new stash, leave a link in the comments below.

Cardstock: American Crafts
Patterned Paper, Stickers, Journaling Cards: Studio Calico Kit Add-Ons (Herald Square; Penn Station);
Embelishments: My Mind's Eye Enamel Dots; Maggie Holmes for Crate Paper polaroid frames; Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Runway Inspired Challenge ric#54

Today's card was created for this week's Runway Inspired Challenge. Here's the inspiration:

And here's my card:
To create this card, I used stamps from three different Simon Says Stamp kits. I stamped the line of circles onto white cardstock using five different color inks and adhered it to the card base. Next, I stamped the banner pattern and sentiment. After cutting it out, I adhered it to black cardstock and trimmed around it leaving a slight border. I tied the twine and adhered it to the card base using foam adhesive.

Here's a closer look:
This card went right in the mail to my nephew who just had his appendix out. Funny how a masculine card was inspired by a Diane Von Furstenberg dress!

Cardstock: Bazzill Card Shoppe;
Stamps: Simon Says Stamp (Thinking of Your --- circle stripe; Best Mom Ever -- banner; Happy Every Day -- sentiment);
Inks: Memento Luxe (Teal Zeal; Morocco); My Favorite Things (Lemon Drop; Gumdrop Green; Berrylicious); Memento (Tuxedo Black)
Twine: The Twinery (denim)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Look Up!

Last month, My Scraps and More had a design team call. You had to create a layout using the sketch below:

I decided to use a very loose interpretation of the sketch. I know...bold move! And, while I didn't make the design team, I am really happy with the layout I am adding to my album.  Here it is:

The picture measures 4"x12" -- a size that really captures the magnitude of the giant sequoias from our trip to California in 2009! The journaling reads: The Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park is aptly named. With trees over 200 feet tall, you couldn't help but look up!

I started the layout with Basic Grey's Persimmon collection and added some other embellishments from my collection. Since I didn't have navy blue Thickers in my massive stash of alphabets, I inked up raw chip board letters. Let me tell you, this was messy business! To avoid having to do that again, I ran to Michael's the next day and bought the new Heidi Swapp navy mist!

Below is a closer look at some of the embellishments:

Looking out on another couple of inches of fresh snow that has fallen today makes me long for summer vacation. Since that is still a few months away, I will have to settle for scrapping pictures of summer instead!

Patterned Paper, Chipboard and Alphabet Stickers: Basic Grey (Persimmon);
Alphabet: American Crafts Thickers
Stamps: Papertrey Ink (Library Ledger)
Ink: Stampin' UP! (Night of Navy) Ranger (Coffee)
Embelishments: Studio Calico wood veneer; October Afternoon tidbits: Basic Grey sticker (Lucille); flairs (American Crafts and October Afternoon).

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Nifty at 50!

As soon as I saw the "Nifty" page in the the Basic Grey Hipster Snippets, all I could think of was, "at 50!" Luckily, I had a friend who was celebrating a milestone birthday. Here's the card I made for him: 

Using both the top and bottom portion of the Snippets page, I stamped the man and the row of numbers. While there were banners already printed on the ledger half, I wanted mine to be dimensional so I cut them out from coordinating paper and adhered with a Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher. I added Glossy Accents to the male figure and finished the card off with some Studio Calico wood veneer and Thickers and strips of pattern paper along the top edge.  Thanks to the minimal supplies used, which were all leftover from a Simon Says Stamp kit, this card came together in 15 minutes -- plus drying time!

Paper and Stamp: Simon Says Stamp June 2013 card kit; 
Ink: Color Box (Chocolate);
Embellishments: Studio Calico wood veneer;  American Craft Thickers
Tools: Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher; EK Success  Edger punch (Postage Stamp)
Misc.: Glossy Accents.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Welcome Baby

In my last post, I mentioned another sweet baby boy that our family welcomed with love last fall. That's four great nephews, for anyone that's keeping count! And, they truly are great! I love spending time with these little guys and watching them grow. Anyway, I've been remiss in posting the card I created for Luke. Here it is:

I used the Onesie4baby  stamp set from The Stamps of Life by Stephanie Bernard.  i stamped the image twice -- once on the monkey paper and once on the solid orange. After fussy cutting the entire onesie image from the pattern paper, I cut the orange details and layered them on top. This stamp set comes with several different icons that you can use to decorate your onesie but I really wanted to use this monkey paper. As luck would have it, my choice was serendipitous since my niece decorated the nursery with jungle animals that included monkeys.

Below is a close-up of the onesie. You can see that I adhered it to the card using foam adhesive and used gems for eyes.

If you want to see another card I made using this stamp, click here.

Cardstock: Bazzill, Tim Holtz Core'dination;
Pattern Paper: Hey Boy;
Stamps: The Stamps of Life (Onesie4baby);
Ink: Color Box (Chocolate);
Tools: EK Success Border Punch (Postage Stamp);
Misc.: Recollection gems

Friday, January 24, 2014

A New Cousin to Love

I am back with another layout to share. This one uses a couple of Studio Calico kits that I had gotten on sale. I loved creating with these kits. Keeping my choices limited and adding only a few elements from my stash made the process so much easier. It really made me think about joining a kit club. However, I can't even begin to justify that until I use up some of my stash. For now, I will just have to keep my eyes peeled for a sale. I think the next one should be before Mother's Day! Anyway, here's my layout:

I love this picture of Melissa with her new baby cousin, Nick. She has really grown up and is quite comfortable holding her baby cousin and playing with the older ones. I realized that I snapped this picture before adding the journaling to the label above the picture. Oops!

Below is a detail picture of all the tags and layers. I really loved the exclusive papers that were in these kits so I cut them in strips so as to feature them all!

Since this picture was taken last Spring, we have added another baby boy to our family tree! Be on the lookout for a layout featuring Melissa's newest cousin to love -- Baby Luke!

Pattern Papers and Embellishments: Studio Calico kits (Daydream Believer, Handmade);
Additional Embellishments: American Crafts Thickers: Dear Lizzy and Crate paper Tags; October Afternoon  and My Mind's Eye label stickers; Jillibean Soup word sticker; Chic tags mini tags; Studio Calico wood veneer; My Mind's Eye enamel dots;
Tools: Fiskars border punch (Scallop Sentiment).

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Holiday Tradition -- Just a Little Late

This weekend I plan to scrap Christmas pictures so I thought I would get in the mood by sharing a layout I did of our 2012 Christmas card. For more years than I can remember, I have been sending a holiday newsletter to family and friends who live out of state. At the time I started this tradition, it sure seem to beat hand writing an update in 25+ cards. However, once I started making our cards instead of using store-bought cards, writing the newsletter started to seem like just one more thing that had to get done before the holidays. I try to keep the newsletter tongue and cheek so that I am not thought of as one of THOSE people. And, yes, it does take time to write -- time that I usually don't have around Christmas. However, what was begun for others, is now something I do for me. Every year Sal tells me to skip it and just get the cards mailed. But since I don't keep a journal and I don't scrap in chronological order, the newsletter  is the only way I have of capturing a year full of memories on paper. 

Since I have a file filled with newsletters, I thought it was time to make them into layouts. Here it is:

Since I keep my layouts in page protectors, I decided to change the margins of my holiday letter and print it on vellum.  This makes it easier to read the letter without taking the page out of the book. (Click on the picture to embiggen if you want to read the newsletter.) With the exception of the thin strip of the black and red checkerboard (which is from an old Crate Paper collection), all of the papers are from the Echo Park collection  -- the same collection I used to make the card. 

I used my Cricut to cut the frame and negative for the word "Holiday" in my title,  and then backed the mat with another paper from the collection. To complement the hand-stamping on the card, I stamped the word "Greetings" on the title piece. On the Special Delivery sticker, I stamped "Eterno-ly Yours" which is something I stamp in the back of all of my cards.

I added a touch of red with machine stitching around the vellum plus a piece of ribbon and some holly berries. Usually I believe in the Rule of 3s. This time, however, I felt that adding another spray of holly was overkill.

Here's a close-up of our holiday card as it appears on the layout:

And here's the inside of the card:

Thanks for visiting!

Cardstock (on Card): Papertrey Ink;
Pattern Paper: Echo Park, Crate Paper;
Stamps: Papertrey Ink; Hero Arts;
Ink: Ranger Archival black;
Sticker: October Afternoon;
Tools: Cricut Cartridge (December 25th); EK Success punch (Postage Stamp); Janome Sew Mini; Spellbinders Nestabilities (card);
Misc. Embellishments: Maya Road twine (on card); Stickles; DailyLike gingham fabric tape.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Fusion #1

It seems that challenges have really been jump starting my creativity lately.  Today's card is for the Fusion Card Challenge. You can either use the sketch, the photo, or both. I chose to use the photo. That red and blue pillow in the inspiration photo below was really calling my name. Here's the inspiration:

And here's my card:

I began by cutting and scoring a standard-sized card with a top fold. I don't know why, but I seem to gravitate towards top-fold cards.  I embossed the card base with a Papertrey Ink embossing plate. (See below for a close-up look.) After cutting the blue pattern paper (from the Studio Calico Blue Note kit) down to size, I stamped the image using Versamark ink and heat set Zing embossing powder in Rouge. Using the red embossing powder on the blue pattern paper is something I never would have done if it wasn't for the challenge. Next, I rounded the corners on the stamped piece, matted it on a piece of cardstock cut slightly larger, adhered it to the card base using foam dimensionals and tied a double bow using a trick I found on Melissa Phillip's Make It Monday video at about 12:50.

Using the other throw pillows as inspiration, I added brown accents in the form of pearl gems, a wood veneer heart colored with a Spetrum Noir marker, and the stamped image. The sentiment is part of a two-line image. I masked the phrase I didn't want. 

Thanks to the double bow and the wood veneer, this card required a padded envelope to mail to my niece for her birthday today. I am making some progress on my goal to FOCUS on mailing cards on time. At least this one got in the mail on her actual birthday. Baby steps!  

Cardstock: Papertrey Ink
Pattern Paper: Studio Calico Blue Note Card Kit
Stamps: Hero Arts (Classic Fabric Design); Mama Elephant for Studio Calico Blue Note kit (sentiment)
Ink: Versamark, Ranger Archival Ink (Coffee)
Misc.: Zing embossing powder (Rouge); Studio Calico wood veneer; Hug Snug washable seam binding (chalk white); Recollections gems

Friday, January 3, 2014

Wishing you JOY

I know I am a bit late but Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Christmas preparations were a bit harried this year as I tried to deal with year-end deadlines at work, a shortened holiday prep season thanks to Thanksgiving falling so late, and, did I mention that both Mark and Sal came down with a virus a few days apart which had them each laid up with a high fever. Of course this meant extra laundry and bathroom cleaning as I hoped to keep Melissa and myself healthy for Christmas. Needles to say, with all of that going on, the old blog went neglected. But I am back with renewed vigor to give this blog some regular attention this year. After all, my One Little Word is FOCUS. That means in 2014 I will:

  • Focus on eating better.
  • Focus on exercising more. 
  • Focus on crafting more. 
  • Focus on blogging regularly -- at least once a week.
  • Focus on finishing unfinished projects.
  • Focus on trying new recipes.
  • Focus on sticking to more regular work hours even though that is sometimes hard since I work from home.
  • Focus on reading at least one book a month.
  • Focus on pinning less and doing more.
  • Focus on organization.
  • Focus on deleting old e-mails so that my inbox never gets up to 1,500+ again.
  • Focus on using more of my scrappy stash and buying less.
  • Focus on mailing cards days early instead of days late.
  • And, most importantly, focus on the people I love most -- my family. 

While I don't make New Year's resolutions, that is my intent for 2014. Wish me luck!

I will leave you with the Christmas card I made this year. After staying up until all hours of the night in years past, I kept it simple. I adhered a 4x6 photo to the front of a kraft card base and added the Papertrey Ink die cut. I let the Stampin' Up! glimmer paper shine all on its own.  Here it is:

Thanks for reading! Happy New Year!