Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy Almost New Year's Eve

Can you believe that we are just a few days away from 2011? Ouch, kinda hurts to type that. The years are zooming past. I think I want time to move a little slower or somehow add more hours to the day. How about a thirty hour day? I would LOVE that. Now, that would make the years move a bit slower.

I am pretty sure you are not impressed by my time challenges since we all face them. I do have something that just might impress you, and it is the Martha Stewart corner and border punches--but used on circles and ovals.  Now I can have more than four shapes on a piece. Yippee!!!

Here is a quick look at what I was able to accomplish using just a corner punch. 


You can see the complete Vee-dio here. Caution, it is LONG, but I did cut out about 10 minutes worth. lol

For your enjoyment I have also posted a tutorial on using the border punches and making small snips to place them on an arc --Circles and Ovals--which results in breathtaking pieces. Vee-dio below these pics. Just a bit shorter but not by much.

Double Arches



I know that 2011 will bring new and exciting changes and challenges to our lives. Hold tight to your faith. I don’t know how people who do not believe in a power higher than themselves manage. It is ONLY through the grace of God, that I am lucid and able to function on a daily basis. It is not my purpose to preach to you or anyone else, this is an expression of my faith in God. The Bible says that if we don’t spread the Good News and acknowledge God, the very rocks will cry out.  Luke 19:40.  I am not giving the rocks a chance.

Thank you for stopping by. Although the tutorials were about the punches, you know I had to throw in a bit of ink. Love the Tim Holtz Distress ones.

Until then.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Good evening everyone. If you have finished dinner, polished off a second helping of pie, played with the little ones (if there are any) or just simply relaxing, thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog. While waiting for my pie to finish cooling (the ice cream will melt completely if I don't), I figured it was the perfect time to make good on my promise to post a past Christmas Card greeting.

Before doing that I would like to share this Crafter's Poem that was posted to one of my Yahoo Groups a few years ago. Don't know the author, but if I find out I will post it.

Twas the night before Christmas, I'm glued to the tree.
I'm wondering what Santa brought just for me.
Could it be cardstock or chipboard or lace?
Or a Cricut, I said, with a smile on my face.
And that's when I heard him, "Hi Santa, " I said
"You know....good little girls should be in their beds."
"I know I should Santa, and now I've got caught.
But I was just so excited to see what you brought."
"Well, let's take a look in this room where you work."
He shook his head quickly and left with a jerk.
I heard him exclaim as he put it in gear.
"You've got enough crap, I'll see you next year!"

Each year, I would take something that I have learned from my life and share it with my friends and family in my Christmas Card. The following is from my 2005 greeting. It is my prayer that you will be Blessed also.

For the past five years it has been my custom to share thoughts and memories of Christmas’ past in hopes that it would inspire you, uplift your spirit and edify God. This year the Lord laid something different on my heart. Here is my story.

On this dreary, rainy evening I was on my way to class. There was limited visibility and the traffic was a bear. At any rate I was going to be about 15 minutes late which would be considered an absence. 

I turned off the road looking for a shortcut through a neighborhood and became lost. I got the bright idea to follow the other cars. After all, they looked like they knew where they were headed. They did. All four turned into their respective driveways. I tried several more roads with each turn causing me to become more confused and hopelessly lost. 

Feeling stressed, agitated, and not able to read any street signs I was ready to throw in the towel. In desperation I finally prayed, ‘Lord, show me the way’. I could hear His voice saying turn here. A right here. Go left. Another left. Now keep straight. I came out at the stop sign across from the parking lot of the school. I had five minutes to spare.

Why do I tell this story? As we approach a new year we try to change the course of our lives with a promise and a shortcut. Like me, you get off the right road and get lost because you think you know better than God.  

‘Trust the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.’ Proverbs 3:5-6

Let me encourage you to stay on the right road. We can not see what is ahead of us. 0nly God can and He wants to show us the way. He is the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6)

Additionally, we attempt to follow others because they must know what they are doing and where they are going. Unless their eyes are on God, we just might end up following them straight to Hell. Besides God has His own unique plan for our lives. We just have to stay on the right road. 

Matthew 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Oftentimes, we bear right or left when we should stay straight.
When we try to do things under our own power, failure is the reward. 

I've said all of that to say this. Once you realize you’ve gotten on the wrong road just pray ‘Lord, show me the way’.  

If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. John 14:14

Praying the Lord’s will for your life: from our hearts to yours.

Until then.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Last Minute, Lucy

Yes, that would be me. I know that every year around this time Christmas cards should have been in the mail at least a week before I get them there. True to style, this year was no different. I waited until the last minute to do my cards and had to quickly throw something together. I only made enough for my immediate family and a couple of close childhood friends for a whopping total of 12 cards.

The base card is white with a layer of DCWV blue print paper weight and the top layer is Fancy Pants Frosted line. I spritzed the FP layer with Glacier Glimmer mist and dried using the heat gun. Next, I over stamped with two snowflake stamps --Sizzix and HOTP Christmas Swirls. I then put the top piece through the Cuttlebug Snowflakes folder and used the TH Distress Blue line to bring out the embossing.

The snowflake is from the cartridge, When It's Cold Outside. I chose the bottom layer to image #17. It was cut at 4 inches from the American Crafts foil paper. This was also used to cut the Spellbinders Fancy Labels tag. Some of the snowflakes received pearls some rhinestones. Remember that this is the last minute and I am using what is in my stash. Found the blue ribbon and tied a knot...don't know why. I even offset some of them. This was before I knew how my greeting would be attached. See how well I thought out this card? lol.

Could not get the lighting just right but the snowflake and the tag are cut from the same paper. You can see halfway down where the color adjusts itself.

I stamped the greeting on some of the leftover paper from the bottom layer--from which I removed the insides--you can't see it anyway. I placed the Fancy Labels die over the image and traced out the oval. I cut on the outside of the pencil lines and then erased them. I do have a few vanishing pens but where are they when you need them? Again, it is all about proper

The circle behind the snowflake is some of the Making Memories metallic paper. And can I say that it embosses like butter baby? It does. I placed that circle on an offset on the Cuttlebug folder. The rest of the discs were centered over a snowflake. I still like this one, just looks off, which is why it got to stay home with me. I cut the circles using the Cricut Mini monograms cart at 2 1/2 inches I think. You can really see the white that is the back of the paper, but that is because my camera was on super magnification. In real life, it all blends together. Both images were raised using Zots.

The inside greeting is from the bottom portion of a stamp that contained the image of Mary and baby Jesus. I only wanted the quote. It is by Kathy Davis and Inkadinkado-- part of a Tuesday Morning haul where they were all 99 cents. The other quote I stamped was Joy to the World also Inkadinkado. 

I must admit that in the past my cards would be completed by the first week of December. I would usually share a remembrance from a Christmas past. I have not done that for the last three years. In honor of that tradition, I will dig through my files and find one to share with you over the weekend.

Keep thinking and inking with love.
Until then.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Well the weather outside was not frightful at all. It was really very beautiful and our first official snow of the season. School was dismissed two hours early due to the snow and the awful traffic it would create during rush hour. 

These first photos are of a community maintained green space/wooded area/park that is just east of the tennis courts.We pass it on our way to and from school. Sometimes we walk through. It is truly like an oasis.

My darling son decided to play in the snow on our walk home from school. As luck would have it, my camera was in my coat pocket and of course I could not resist snapping a few shots and thought I would post them for you all. 
Here he is pretending to be a wild animal living in the tundras of Canada or Russia.

He thinks he has spotted something in the snow up ahead.

Yes, some prey for him to feast on in this frigid climate. Not many targets are out, but this one looks promising. 

He goes in for the kill. The prey is very unsuspecting.
And here comes the wind up. The weapon is ready to be unloaded. 
My heart is in my throat what is he attacking?

You guessed it!!! A big snowball for Mommy. Brrrrr.
Isn't he the cutest little thing? I had to fork over my scarf to him. Gotta keep him warm and healthy. A mini snow ball

fight ensued and we played the rest of the way home. Once inside we shed the wet clothing and tucked in with a steaming mug of hot chocolate liberally topped with mini marshmallows.

I love snow days. Gives me a chance to be a kid again.

Until then.

This is the only Turkey I'll ever eat

Hello again everyone. I know the title of this post might be a bit perplexing. Meant to post it some time ago, but life got in the way. As many of you know my son LOVES animals. I vividly recall the day he said to me, "Mom, I am no longer going to eat meat." I said, "Okay, but can you tell me why?" His response, "You know how much I love animals. I can't eat them." He was six at the time. 

After picking myself up from the floor, I set out to find some good vegetarian dishes for him. I still try to sneak him a piece of meat every now and again. I love meat...whose kid is this???? 

When we were home on Friday following Thanksgiving, he asked for his cookie. I ate the pumpkin one. Then he said, "See Mom, this is the ONLY turkey I will eat." He bit off the head and said, "Yummy!"
He is ADAMANT about not eating turkey. So, I thought I would share this photo with all of you. My BF BIL brought these to Thanksgiving Dinner. He got them from a shoppe in Georgetown I think. They were gingerbread for sure and maybe pumpkin. All I know is they were good and not a bit of ink to be seen. Unless you count the icing.

Until then.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The last of the Outlines Entries

In a bigger effort to be as brief as possible I am posting the final two designs submitted for the Outlines Design Team. Keeping it short for two reasons: I want to do Tim Holtz's tag #4 (it is soooooo cute) and DS will be ready for bed soon. This first one is done using one of their mandela flower type stamps.

I had a load of fun using my Sakura pens to color them in to create a unique design.

I used my craft knife to cut away the 'leaves' from the main image and curled them using a pencil. The underside was spritzed with Glimmer mist so there would not be any glaring white peeking out. I stamped a second image to use under the main flower.

I made a mask by removing one petal and used that to spray a different color of Glimmer Mist on each one. After drying them, I used my Sakura pens to mimic the pattern on top.

This reminds me of a lotus blossom. If I were to do this card again, I would stamp the main image and then remove the inside petal of the large petal and create a third level for added dimension. I secured the two with a brad and gave the upper petals a slight turn to the right. It does matter how you place the top. Make sure that the petals are aligned correctly prior to turning. This is another shot but with normal lighting. Look at how glistening it looks.

The Believe is from a metal embellishment from Pressed Petals. I simply used it in my Cuttlebug and was able to get the impression to show very well on the Bazzill cardstock.

I wanted to keep the background and the accessories as simple as possible so as not to detract from that breathtaking stamp. I lightly embossed a petal background using a Sizzix texture plate. You can really see the stamp's dimension.

The final card was a Halloween one. This one should be titled looks are deceiving. I stamped this image 5 times. Twice in black, once in green, orange, and brown. I did quite a bit of paper pieceing to make this one happen.

The image was built up from the cats. I went over them with a black embossing pen and heat embossed. They have a lot of solid dimension.

I distressed the pumpkins after heat embossing them. I used an orange Sakura stardust pen to highlight the veins on the pumpkins and to create the Jack-o-lantern face. The leaves and stems are all pieced to the main image. I traced over the leaves and vine with a Sakura metallic pen.

I distressed the edges of the card using a combination of Dusty Concord and Vintage Photo. I colored the moon with a Yellow embossing pen and then went around the cat to create a slightly scary shadow. Considered doing something wierd to the eyes, but decided to leave them alone. The paper is Halloween Echo Park Collection, ribbon is from a swap and the Boo is one of the EK Success slimline punches--love those. The pumpkin prop was borrowed from my son. :)

So, it is back to the drawing board for me.  I will either need to re-work my ideas or come up with something much more clever or have less talented people to compete against to make it for the next design team call.

In the meantime I will continue to create and ink in the name of love.
Until then.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bah Humbug

Well, not quite, but close enough. First I want to say a huge congrats to Laura Cox for being selected to be a guest designer for one month on the Cosmo Cricket Blog. She did some fabulous cards and layouts using the Cosmo Cricket Mitten Weather collection. Make sure you go and take a look at her work and leave her comment or two. I know that she likes getting them.

So why the 'Bah Humbug' you ask? Well a fellow scrapper and I submitted projects for the Outlines Rubber Stamp Design team but neither made the cut. Bummer. There is always next time.

To refresh your memory, this is one of the projects I submitted. The trees are from Outlines. I stamped them in clear embossing ink and then colored them using Distress Inks. I cut them apart and reassembled them onto a base tree stamped in black and embossed. The leftovers from the trees, (I cut them out) were used to create the presents at the base of the tree.

The Journaling is computer generated and I like the look it adds to this layout. I used the Sakura white gel pen to create the look of snow on the font.

Here is a closer look at those awesome trees. I love paper piecing. It is super easy to do with Outlines. I stamped and embossed the trees with clear ink. I then distressed each tree, cut it apart and reassembled it. I used Sakura Stardust pens to bling them out. Added a bit of the same glimmer to the presents--Fiskars Squeeze punch.

In addition to the layout, I also submitted the following card. I really went out on a limb and tried to think outside of the box for this one. My aim was to show how versatile one stamp could be. I frosted the trees with a combo Flower Soft mix. The reindeer are from Joys of the Season. They are soooo cute that I can barely stand it. The snow drops are the new enamels from Ranger.

I did the same stamping technique on this one except I kept the tree whole, used a variety of the green Distress Inks, and blinged out all of the decorative elements. This is a pop up card and you are seeing the inside. I tried to attempt a winter forest look. So I added a few snow drifts to the scene. It looks very festive to me and quite woodsy.

It's getting late and I want to get my fingers inky before retiring to bed.
Until then.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Holidays

Hey y'all. In an effort to be better prepared, I started doing a few mock-ups for Christmas cards. I did this one and although I am blown away by the results, I do not think it is one I will make to send to everyone. It is not designed for assembly line style . Maybe if I cut the trees on the Cricut, it would work. 

Anywho, here it is and what I did. You can view the card from either side. I love it.

I will try to keep this write up is close to midnight. So I used the Fancy Pants Holly Jolly and Frosted line for the card base (although you cannot see it---I did some incredible stamp work on it). I created an accordion fold by scoring at 2", 4", 6", 8" and 10" on a 6 x 12 sheet of paper. I cut a 2 x6 piece of Frosted to cover the base and the acetate overlay which is from the Slice line. I punched snowflakes from the Spellbinder dies and did some overlays on the Frosted which was edged with Vintage Photo. 
The trees on the inside are chipboard pieces from Fancy Pants Happy Holidays printed chipboard shapes. They are pretty heavy, but the Fancy Pants cardstock is heavy duty and can stand up to the weight. Especially if you cut with the grain and score and fold against the grain. Makes for a nice crisp fold. 
I digress. You can see my Vee-dio on paper cutting to get a better idea of what I mean. 
The trees were already decorated on one side and when I removed the adhesive liner I covered the back with coordinating pieces from the Fancy Pants Line. 

On some of them I stamped, embossed and/or used glitter. I went around all of the sides with an ink cube to hide the raw edges. As you can see, I added Skittles/Dew Drops to one of the trees.

 I attached the trees with one of my favorite adhesives--Glossy Accents. 

The acetate overlay was cut to 6 x 12 and scored at the 6 inch mark. I did not want the acetate to go all the way to the bottom of the card.  It was attached using the Glossy Accents. I covered that with the Frosted piece and hid the line by covering it with a piece of really pretty ribbon--reminds me of the Martha Stewart double edge punch---it came in a holiday kit I purchased from QVC.

The journaling is also from the Fancy Pants Happy Holidays chipboard kit and was perfect to work as titles for the card. 

It has been my pledge to use my Cricut more and for some reason I am stuck on the reindeer. So I used it again but this time used some holiday rubons from Cloud 9 for the neck gear and on the white cotton tail. Enamel accents adorn those swirly antlers and black glitter covers the hooves. I also spritzed the reindeer with the Coffee Shop Glimmer mist. It is cut at 2 1/2" and has a shadow.


Gosh can you tell that I am gushing over this card? I glued the accordion at the top inside of the fold with the Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive. Here is a side view.

 I LOVE it!!!! Here are a couple more views.

Hope this card provides some inspiration for you and helps you to look at your stash just a bit differently. I was hesitant about the floraly overlay, but it is perfect for this card. Makes it look more like a winter wonderland.

It was a treat for me to envision this card and then bring it life. Getting to use my stamps, inks and sprays was awesome although much of it is hidden in the folds. I know why do the work only to hide it. Its kinda like what our mothers would say: Always wear clean underwear, you never know when you might have to go to the hospital by ambulance. Although you don't see the inside, I know that this is a finished card. 

Keep thinking of new ways to ink during this festive season.
Until then.