Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy Day

Hi! This is for the Sketch Challenge on SCS. I used one of the sets I got from My Little Stamp Shack a couple of weeks ago. It's called Feather Flourish from Stampendous. This card makes me happy:) The DP is from Me and My Big Ideas and the sentiment is from a clear stamp set from Fiskars (I think). I stamped the images onto watercolor paper and colored it with watercolor pencils and a blender pen and then cut them out. I added Crystal Effects to the bird and the little stamped flower to give them a little sheen like the buttons. The felt flower is from a RAK I recieved and the paper flower is from a Sandylion sticker pack. The buttons are Making Memories. I used my Fiskars scallop edge cutter for the edge of the trimmed white liner paper and oval Nestabilities for the main image and the sentiment. I think that covers everything.

I had a card class last night that went very well. The participants seemed to have a great time and liked the cards I had ready for them. Considering there was fabulous food and wine involved, you really can't go wrong. I hope you all are doing well. I think this will be my last post of the week. I have decided, completely last minute, to go to Dallas, TX to hang out with a bunch of people from SCS participating in a Shoebox swap. I am going to just help out, not play in the swap, but you can all imagine how excited I am to be hanging out with some our stamping friends. I know for sure I will be meeting Jessie (Knightrone), but will have to fill you in on who else I will be hanging out with when I get back. Hopefully, I won't forget my camera, which I have done more times than I care to admit.
Thanks for stamping by, have a fabulous week!

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Hi there! I think I have titled at least 5 posts Smile, not very creative, huh. I am doing a SU! card class on Tuesday night. The girls coming to the class are veteran stampers and wanted cards that were more advanced, I hope they like this. I had ordered some of that Wild Wasabi cut cardstock from SU! last month and hadn't even opened the package yet. Since they were cut and scored I thought my job was half done, not so. They are bigger than the standard size so I trimmed it to be 4 1/4 x 5 1/2. I used the bicycle form Time for You stamped on watercolor paper and then colored with ink pads and a watercolor brush. All the DP is from K&Co. Wild Asparagus pack. I stamped smile on a small scrap and stapled it onto the main image and add eyelets and twine to the flap. Thought the corner needed something so I add a vanilla cs triangle to the corner.

2 people said they would like to see the printing job I got. This is it for the Principal of my daughter's elementary school. They are simple and perfect for what he needs, I think.

I have been remiss. I got this beautiful RAK from Jessie (Knightrone) last week and was going to post it with my last upload and completely forgot, even though I have this beauty proudly displayed in my stamping area. Thanks so much Jessie!

Well, I think that's it for me today. I need to take my puppy on a walk and enjoy the beautiful weather we are having today. How is it in your neck of the woods?

Thanks so much for stamping by!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Always on my mind....

Hello! I needed to make a Mother's Day card...I have had 3 commissioned and I also need some for I have so much more fun designing them when it is for a challenge and since I haven't got to play since Monday, you know I HAD to combine them. One of the reasons, in case you are wondering is that I got a new printer yesterday and between buying it and setting it up I didn't get any stamping time in. I got an HP 3 in 1 and am looking forward to better printing! I got an order for about 300 cards for the elementary school my daughter goes to. The Principal wants personalized cards to send out, but when I told him how much stamped cards would be, we settled on a regular print job. I used the school logo and added his name for a personal touch. I used my PrintShop program. If you want to see them, I will make a separate post. I am just happy my new printer will be mostly paid for, kwim?

Oh yes, the card. I combined the color, sketch and the way to use it, to use scissors in a fun way. That is sort of a stretch for what I did here, because it really isn't special, I just cut the heart out 2 times, but I did use my them so I am going to post it in that gallery, let those gallery police come get me:) I colored the heart image with my SU! markers and cut out along the main heart. I then used a chocolate chip ink pad to ink the entire image and then cut that out. The first heart was then layered on top of that. I stamped 2 of the other images from Always on the background panel and then added dots with the tip of the chocolate chip SU! marker to mimic the dots around the heart. I did a little sewing on the celery panel and added a ribbon and a flower and there you go, all done!

Thanks so much for stamping by!


p.s. I haven't forgotten about the watercoloring tutorial, give me a few more days...mmm weeks, I will show you I promise:)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Thanks a Latte Gift Card Holder

Hi! This is my version of the gift card holder for the Technique Challenge over at SCS today. I combined it with the sketch from My Favorite Things Monday Sketch Challenge. I stamped the image from Hot Stuff onto watercolor paper and colored it with classic stamp pads (cocoa, chocolate chip, baroque burgandy, eggplant envy) and a blender pen. The background might look familiar to you, it was a discard from my previous card, but was perfect for this one. I hate to waste paper:) The brad on the paper strip was covered with sticky strip and then dipped into the micro beads, again I had done that for my previous card but couldn't find a place to put it yesterday, but it found a home today. The paper clip was in a package I picked up at the Target $1 spot a couple of months ago. I removed the decorative circle sticker from the top and added sticky tape and then micro beads to coordinate. The flower was just because. I needed the paper clip because I couldn't figure out how to keep the holder closed.
I will hopefully have a watercoloring tutorial by Friday. Happy Monday everyone!
Thanks for stamping by!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Successful Woman

Woohoo! Remember how I told you about the order I placed with Carrie owner of My Little Stamp Shack last Wednesday...well I got my stamps on Friday and this was one of the sets I ordered from Impression Obsession, called Smell the Coffee (this was the set I used my 40% off coupon for). I made this card for the Limited Supply Challenge posted on Friday, to make a long and tall card, this card measures 4 x 8 1/2. I used Versamark to ink the image and then embossed it with copper ep. I used my SU! chalks (really rust) to lightly color the coffee mugs. I also embossed the sentiment with copper ep. I used my cuttlebug and the negative inking technique to emboss the vanilla panel. For the bottom detail I used 2 rows of red sticky tape to adhere micro beads that I have been hoarding for an embarrassing amount of time. Simple and fabulous and I just love that sentiment! Click on the picture for a closer view. I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend, see you tomorrow.
Thanks for stamping by!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Wonderful Mother's Day

Hi there, I can't believe I am posting 3 days in a row. This is for Beate's Weekend Sketch. I needed to make a Mother's Day card for It is for a challenge they are having that is due today, nothing like waiting until the last minute. I stamped the very wonderful image, (April release from My Favorite Things.) onto watercolor paper with brown StazOn. I colored it with my watercolor pencil and a blender pen. I added Liquid Applique to the flowers on the frame corners so they would pop a little. I just love these little heart paperclips, but rarely find a suitable use for them, if you try to put them with paper you can't see the heart, aarrrrgghhh! Well, I think it's perfect with this soft pink ribbon. The dp is from BasicGrey (green print) and Me & My Big Ideas (pink print). I cut out the blocks and then stitched them to piece of vanilla cs. and put that onto celery. The sentiment on the frame reads "Thank you for... being a gift in my life loving without condition giving all of yourself"

Someone asked the other day how I used my watercolor pencils with a blender pen. Is this something you would like to see a tutorial on? It is really my favorite way to color, mostly because I don't own $200 worth of Copic Markers.:) Let me know.

Thanks so much for stamping by!


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hello Kitty!

Sorry, I couldn't resist that title! This is for the MFT Sketch Challenge and this week's Way to Use It Challenge, to use some kind of acrylic in your creation. The decorative paper (Die Cuts With a View) has got a really fun coating on some of the elements on the paper and if that's not enough for you I added Crystal Effects to the fishes and the cat's eyes. The cat and the background were colored with watercolor pencils and a blender pen, my favorite way to color right now. The cat was stamped an extra time so I could cut it out and pop it up on dimensionals. I wanted the detail at the bottom to resemble a collar. What do you think?
A few more bits of business...several people asked what I submit to magazines with the picture. Here is a brief example of what I send (Please remember, I am just sharing how I go about this)

Stamps: MFT Boho Blossoms, $1 Mike's
Paper: K&Co, Wild Saffron, Not Quite Navy, vanilla, Blue Bayou
Ink: Choc chip, Ruby Red, Baroque Burgandy
Accessories: brads, ribbon, twine, crop-a-dile, paper piercer
Techniques: faux stiching
If the card gets accepted, I give a detailed list of manufacturers and make sure I didn't leave anything out the first time around.
I was also asked if payment is involved. Yes! Either a check or product and then a copy of the issue. I actually haven't received an actual check yet so I can't tell you how much exactly (it should be $30+).
Also, I followed a link to Carrie who has been leaving some very sweet comments and it turns out she has her very own online stamp store called My Little Stamp Shack and offers a 40% off coupon (LOVE THAT!) and free shipping on orders over $40 (total after coupon has been used). I ordered 4 stamps sets and can't wait to get them and ink them up!
Okay, I think that covers everything...I need to eat!
Thanks for stamping by!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

So you want to get published?

Hi, are you wondering where I have been? Well buckle you seat belts and put your trays in the upright position cause this is going to be a long post.

I got a pretty big order from, and didn't have all the cards I needed in stock:( It took me the better part of Saturday to get those done and shipped. Please know that I am not complaining, I am totally thrilled, but just couldn't play at making new stuff.

The rest of Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were spent getting items ready for submission to several magazines that had deadlines on Monday and Tuesday. The card shown here is one of the cards I made for CARDS Magazine for a category titled Simple Sentiments. I will know by early next week if it has been accepted, if it gets picked up I will have to remove the picture. I am sharing this with you because before I made my first submission I wondered about how the process worked and couldn't find any information about it on blogs that I read. Frankly, the people who are getting published just say it after the fact and I wondered how they got there. Well, today my friends, I am going to share my very limited knowledge in the hopes that if it is your personal desire to get published that this at least points you in the right direction.

My personal rule is that I only submit items to magazines I really love. While it is a thrill to get an email saying your work has been accepted, it really means more to me that it is a publication that I have been drooling over for the past few years or if it's a new one like Home & Heart, that it has content I love. That is why my first submission went to Paper Crafts. I have been a subscriber for years and was kicking around their website one day when I noticed a category titled Send us Your Work under Create. They had categories listed that had a deadline coming up in a few days. I submitted 2 cards and got an email back in about a week saying one of them had been accepted, woohoo! "Well", I thought "this is a pretty easy thing to do." So the next time I sent 8 cards, one got picked up in that round. My batting average just took a plunge. The next time I sent 5 items, nothing got picked up. My point in sharing this is I really think I had a skewed view right off about how easy it is to get items accepted. My last 2 submissions, nothing has been accepted. You really have to have tough skin if this is something you want to do. I think there are a few things you can do to increase your chances, but beyond that you never really know what the editor is looking for at any given call. They might love your card, but the colors you used won't fit with the other card they have already chosen that it going to be on the same page (This is just my personal take on it, but I am pretty sure this is very close to the actual reality of it). So here is what I think you can do to increase your chances....

1. Be authentic, use your own style, don't try to mimic someone else.

2. Study previous issues of the magazine to see what kind of items they lean toward. You might think I am contradicting myself, but here is an example. Most of the cards I make I use stamps. If you study these magazines they tend to showcase cards that don't have a single thing stamped on them. That is why the card I posted today doesn't have a stamped image in sight.

3. Keep your creation relatively simple. These companies are trying to sell magazines to the paper crafting masses. Their goal is to have items that people look at and think, "Gosh, that is wonderful and I could copy/do that!"

4. Don't get discouraged. If you love stamping and your goal is to get published keep trying.

5. Be sure you are comfortable writing directions for you card or project and keep detailed lists of the products that you use while making your item.

6. Use current, trend setting products. Paper and other product that is several years old isn't going to cut it for magazines trying to get advertisers and buyers.

Well, I hope that helps and that this information is even relevant for you.

One other thing today. Kim at My Favorite Things is having a 10% off sale through Friday the 18 and is donating proceeds from the sale to a dear friend of hers that just lost his wife to a rare form of ovarian cancer. The story is heartbreaking, but Kim is trying to do some good by raising some money to set up a college fund for the 2 young boys this young mother left behind. So if you ever thought about getting some MFT stamps, now is the time to get them and support a worthy cause at the same time. Thank you.

Whew, I told you this was going to be a long one...thanks so much for stamping by!


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Wishing you sunny days!

Hi! I finally got a chance to play the sketch challenge this week and add the way to use it challenge just 'cause I felt like it:) I got this Penguin Chick (from Imaginisce) at my LSS. Isn't she adorable? I stamped her 3 times. Once in with Chocolate Chip classic ink, once in Old Olive, and once in Chocolate Chip on cameo paper (for the flower). The palm tree is from Paper Salon (Summer Fun). the palm tree was also cut out after I stamped it onto white cs. I used my nesties for the oval. The DP is from Imaginisce. I used the paperpiercer template to mark where to make the holes for the eyelets. The lacing of the twine reminds me of the lacing you sometimes see on swim trunks, what do you think?

Thanks so much for stamping by!


Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Hi there! I finally got a card done for Monday's My Favorite Things sketch challenge. I had this paper lying around and thougth it would be super cute as the gardener's dress. This is one of the newly released sets from MFT call Can You Dig It?. I am planning on using this set for a couple of Mother's Day cards. I paper pieced the dress and gloves with Die Cuts With a View dp and did the shoes and hat using SU! Apricot Appeal. I used liquid applique for the flowers on the hat and for the single flower. I then added pink and blue stickles to the centers of the flowers. I did some doodling around the edges of the main image some faux stitching on the hat. I also used my cool grey copic marker for shadowing around the image for a little depth. The giant prima was a white one that I dyed sky blue with a classic stamp pad. It has actually been sitting on my desk for a couple of weeks so I was happy to finally use it.

Thanks so much for stamping by!


Monday, April 7, 2008

Twin Baby Boy Card

Hi there! I am back....I spent the weekend just relaxing and taking care of a little bit of business. Thank you all so much for your well wishes. I think a few people were a little bothered by the title of the last post. I was trying to keep it a little light because when I think about the worst case scenario, I curl up into the fetal position and cry. Seriously, I had my daughter in the car on the freeway with me, I really am trying not to think about what could have happened and am so thankful to God for the protection I had that day. Whew!

A wonderful friend asked me to do a baby card to welcome twin baby boys. She also wanted their names on the card. This is what I came up with. I used some DP from Close to My Heart and the bear from Bundle of Joy (SU!). I really love brown and blue together, I think it gives a nice vintage look. I stamped the bears 3 times and colored them with watercolor pencils and an aquapen. I cut one bear in a bunch of pieces and layered it on dimensionals between the two. I used my PrintShop program to create a background that said "Snakes & Snails & Puppy Dog Tails". I cut the DP to 8 1/2 x 11" and ran it through my printer. I don't know if that shows up too well, but it looks super cute IRL. I hand lettered the baby names using the font from the background as inspiration. I inked most of the edges with ranger ink and added faux stitching 'cause I thought it needed just a little something. I think she will like it.

Thanks for stamping by!


Saturday, April 5, 2008

A funny thing happened....

I really wasn't sure what to call this post or if I should even make it. But in the end I decided to share where I have been the last several days because I would want to know if it happened to you. A week ago Friday I was coloring a stamped image in my stamp room, which is my loft and I sit near a window. I noticed that it seemed very bright even though the blinds were drawn and I remember being a little agitated that I couldn't really do anything about it. I also noticed when I looked up that it seemed to be somewhat cloudy in the upper right corner of my right eye, again really annoying, but after 10 minutes or so it went away and I didn't think anything about it until a little later that day after this happened. I was taking my daughter for a couple of errands and lunch (it was the day that I had the steak salad from heaven). I was driving on the freeway and singing my heart out (I had to confess this in order for the story to flow) to a song I know very well when suddenly all that was coming out of my not highly trained voice box was jibberish. It was really somewhat fascinating, almost like I had the sudden capability of speaking another language. I tried for a probably a minute to speak clearly (my thoughts were perfectly clear) and tried to say my daughter's name which she didn't respond to because it was not her name that came out of my mouth. I tried to call my husband, it just went to voice mail, then I called my the time she answered I was back to normal and didn't mention what happened to her because she was literally on her way to the airport for a flight to China (this is another very long story that I might share in a couple of days). Right after that call my husband returned my call and I told him what had just happened. He thought I just needed some food, which I was happy to oblige with:) Later that afternoon I Googled searched the symptoms on web MD. When I clicked on the symptom of speech impairment, I had already added vision problems to my list, a red warning box came up that said seek immediate medical attention. So I called my neighbor who is a retired nurse. Now, please be aware that I am sharing my stupidity with you as a lesson, please don't judge too harshly. I told her what happened and she checked my blood pressure, normal, and looked at my eyes and my face, no problems. She said "You know your symptoms are classic signs of a stroke?". "Yes" I said "I am aware of that now! Do you think I need to go to the emergency room right now?" She told me she thought I was ok for the moment, but made me promise to go see a doctor on Monday. I told her I would. I didn't have any other symptoms or problems over the weekend and really didn't think about it.

On Monday, the phones, both land and cell were down for most of the day and on Tuesday I simply forgot about making an appointment. On Wednesday it was on my list of things to do. I should mention that we recently changed insurance companies and the doctor I had seen, over three years ago had moved offices and I didn't know where they were and they weren't on my new provider list. I picked a neurologist off the new list and called and told the office person what had happened and asked if I could have an appointment. She said they would see me in 2 hours. "Wow," I thought "that's great customer service." I went to the appointment and told the doctor what had happened 5 days earlier. I truly believed he would say that I obviously had no lasting damage from what happened and that he would schedule me for an MRI in the next several days. That is not what happened. He said I am calling the emergency room of the hospital (located right next door) and you are going to be admitted right now. Oh. I called my husband and said I would be in the hospital for a couple of hours, the Dr. heard me saying this and said "No, you will be in the hospital for at least 3 days" I started to cry, he clearly didn't know that I had things to stamp and laundry to do:) They got me admitted really quickly and started with a CAT scan and a very large blood draw. The next day I had an Echocardiagram and a MRI. Both those tests came back negative, meaning that I was not in any impending stage of doom and that there was no conclusive reason for what had happened. It did also show that I didn't have any permanent brain damage, thank God! The last test to be done on Friday was a Transesophageal Echogardiogram, a very pleasant test in which they give you a mild sedative and shove a tube down your throat to get a really up close picture of your heart. They were looking for a hole that could have caused a blood clot. Nothing! I was released and was told that if I experienced any of these symptoms again to get immediate medical attention. I will be taking a baby aspirin from here on out. The actual medical diagnosis for what happened to me is called a TIA (Trasient Ischemic Attack) a baby stroke.

I didn't do the right thing when I first had symptoms and the result could have been tragic. The doctor told me that I could have lost the power of speech had the clot been worse. Please, please, please pay attention to your body and recognize when something is not quite right and seek help. Because I have lots of information on this, I will share the symptoms of a TIA

A temporary loss or change of vision.
Temporary numbness on one side.
Temporary inability to speak.
Temporary areas of weakness.
Weakness or numbness in the face, arms, or legs.
Dizzines or difficulty walking.
Slurred speech or difficulty swallowing.

Be well my blogging and stamping friends. I am going to take a walk and get caught up on my laundry. Hopefully I will have some cards to share in a day or two.

Thanks for stamping by!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Let's Dish the Dirt...

Hello! This is for the color challenge at SCS; Creamy Caramel, Mellow Moss, Cameo Coral, Apricot Appeal. You know I usually don't like the color challenges, but I like how this came out using one of the new sets that will be released tomorrow night at My Favorite Things. I used all scraps to make this card, even the card base was left over from another project. I used brown StazOn to stamp the images and SU! markers to color them. I stamped the hat 2 times and cut one out. I used liquid applique for the flowers on the hat to give a little dimension. I ran the moss layer through my CB with one of the new folders (I am still trying to track down the dots and the paisleys....why, why, why do I WANT more stuff). I did a little doodling around the images and some faux stitching with a Sakura white gel pen on the coral panels. I think that about does it. Have a beautiful day (the girl at Starbucks tells me that and it makes me happy!).

Thanks for stamping by!