Monday, April 30, 2012

A Tiny Taste of Alcohol (ink)

Pin It Ok, so like most paper-crafters, I am easily excited about new (to me) products and techniques and generally eager to "try my hand" at these at my very first opportunity.  I have admired (from afar) alcohol inks and all the ways they can be used, but have always considered them to be not really "my style..."

That is, until one of my blog-heroes, Virginia Lu, started posting cards like this and this and this on her blog.  (Pretty darn spectacular, no?  :)

So then, you guessed it, I just had to give them a try!  My first attempts were not so great, to say the least -- definitely not blog-worthy.  I learned that I needed to learn when to stop; I had a serious tendency to over-blend, creating murky pools of ink that dried into crusty pools of murky inks!

So, after quite a bit of practice, I decided to use my blossoming skill-set (ha!) to create a card for this week's challenge over at The Play Date Cafe.  I used the alcohol inks on vellum to create the layers of the flower and then heat embossed in pewter.  Here's my take:

The inspiration color story at TPDC

Anyway, I'm continuing to play with these inks (and have already extended my collection of colors!), so there will be more to come!  Have you tried them yet?  Would love to see what you've done with them!  Thanks for stopping by!  :)

  • Stamps:  Hero Arts "Layered Flowers"
  • Paper:  Neenah "Solar White" Cardstock, Vellum
  • Sentiment:  SRM Sticker
  • Inks:  Ranger Alcohol Inks - Purple Twilight, Sunshine, Gold Metallic Mixative and Copic Markers
  • Pewter embossing powder, ribbon, adhesives

Butterflies and Basketball!

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Hello!  I hope you have had a fab weekend!  I know I have (and still have one more day off before going back to work!  Yesssss!  :)  ** {I am a die-hard NBA fan (Go Spurs GO!) -- so now that the playoffs are here, I will be intermittently interrupting my crafting to give a big "whoop, whoop!" to my home team!!  :)  } **

I wanted to sneak in this quick post of a card I made for the Tuesday Trigger challenge over at Moxie Fab World.  This week's theme was "Watercolor Butterflies" and I went pretty darn literal with the inspiration...  Here's my take:

Moxie Fab World: Tuesday Trigger: Watercolor Butterflies
The inspiration piece -- am digging the mottled inks on the white!
I created the watercolor background (behind the HA Lattice heat embossed stamp) with Distress Markers and Perfect Pearls mist.  The butterflies were created similarly, also with my Distress markers.  I loved the subtle tone-on-tone look paired with the patterned paper from SEI's "Mimosa" line...

I had planned a sentiment, but decided the card didn't need one --  **.... ahem, that's my story and I'm sticking to it! **

Thanks for stopping by!  I would love to hear your thoughts!  Have a great Monday!  :) 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

"Whoooo-ooo-oo" Do You Love??

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"Whooooo-ooo-oo" doesn't love an adorable owl???  I sure do!   And this set by Darcie's is one of the cutest around!!  (check this previous post featuring this little owl!)  This time, I used the same set to create an adorable chipboard shadowbox *girlie* owl for my sweet niece!  (sidenote:  this little girl stole my heart 10 years ago and has had a tight grip ever since -- love you to pieces, Special Agent K!!  :)

I love the colors here -- all papers from the MME "Penny Lane" collection -- and the subtle shades I was able to get using a mixture of distress inks and my new distress markers, which I am crazy for, btw!!  :)

A sweet little Something for a sweet little Someone, no?  :)

Hope you like it!  Thanks for stopping by!  Would love to hear from you!


  • Stamps - Darcie's "Owl You Do"
  • Chipboard and Acrylic Shadowbox - Darcie's "Raine - Small"
  • Papers - My Mind's Eye "Penny Lane"
  • Inks - Tim Holtz Distress Inks and Distress Markers, Memento "Rich Cocoa"
  • Gemstones, Glossy Accents, Ribbon, adhesives

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Fun with Paper Smooches

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(I think I'm supposed to tell you here that this post is pic-heavy, but I don't really understand why people do this -- it's the pics you wanna see, no?  You're not here to listen to the inner ramblings of my mind, are you?!?)

I have a couple more projects to share that I created for the Paper Smooches Sparks DT Call!  I'm super-excited about both of these 'cuz I think they're both a lot of fun (which, btw, is why I love Paper Smooches Stamps so much in the first place!  :)

(Note: there are TWO submissions on this post -- make sure to keep scrolling!!  :)

The first card was inspired by these fabulous fabric tomatoes!

I love the colors, the textures, the patterns -- all of it!  So I decided to apply all of these to the cutest little luggage set from Paper Smooches' "Get Outta Town" stamp set!   (Oh my -- this would have to be the way to travel!!)

(I also used the "Way to Go" sentiment from the Paper Smooches Sentiment Sampler.)

Now, on to the next!  For this next card, I knew I wanted to use the following inspiration photo:

This pic just screamed "guy" to me -- perrrfect, 'cuz I just happened to have the "My Guy" set from Paper Smooches.  My dad's a golfer, so I made this card that'll be going out to him for Father's Day.  (I also used a couple of the trees from the "Spring Groves" set.)

So stinkin' cute!  (If I do say so myself!  :)

Thank you for visiting!  I hope you like these as much as I do -- would love to hear what you think!  

You're Tree-riffic!

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Ok, so I am super-nervous about announcing this, but waaayyy excited about the opportunity, so I'm taking the leap:  I am submitting some projects for the Paper Smooches Sparks DT Call (whew...  now it's out there!) and have spent the last couple of days creating some pieces just in honor of this.

When I saw the inspiration photo below, I knew instantly what I had to do!  Check it:

The lime green!  The teal!  The stripes!  Oh my!  :)  And I had just gotten in my new Spring Groves stamp set -- and was dying to ink it up!  So here's what I came up with:

Ok, truth time:  I seriously modified the sentiment here by combining a couple of sentiments from the super-cute My Guy stamp set.  Here's a pic of that set:

Can you tell I combined the "tee-riffic" and "reel great" sentiments?  (Just for the odd occasion in which you would find yourself in need of a "You're Tree-riffic" sentiment??)  :)

Anyhoo, I hope you like it!  Methinks I do!!  :)  Thanks for visiting!  Please let me know what you think!

  • Stamps:  Paper Smooches Spring Groves and My Guy, Hero Arts Designer Woodgrain
  • Paper: Neenah Solar White and Prima "Alla"
  • Inks:  Hero Arts- Hero Hues Black Dye and Mid-tone Shadow "Cup O' Joe" Ink, Tim Holtz Distress Ink- "Shabby Shutters"
  • Twine, Stickles, adhesives

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Happy Place

Pin It Happy Wednesday!  I just wanted to share a quick card I made for this week's challenge over at CAS-ual Fridays.  The challenge this week was to use colors on opposite ends of the color wheel...  Interesting!

My natural tendency was to go toward the blue and orange (especially when you could really go turquoise/tangerine which is kinda hot!  :)  -- but then I laid eyes on this super-cute stamp set from Paper Smooches (called "Get Outta Town" -- how cute is that?!) and just knew where I had to go!  So, purple and yellow it is!  (Sounds like a really bad band uniform, huh?)

(Note:  contrary to what this card would have you believe, I am NOT a big drinker -- however, I have been known to sip a fruity adult beverage from time to time!  :)

Additionally:  (BIG News!!)  I am submitting this card for the Paper Smooches Design Team Call.  I was inspired by the following inspiration photo and used it as a sketch:

The frames reminded me of my favorite embossing folder (!) and I loved the pop of yellow in the bottom right...  (But man, I wish my parties could look this fancy!)

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you like it -- would love to hear from you!  Hoping you find your Happy Place tonite!  :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Speedy Smiles

Pin It Confessional:  I am not now, nor have I ever been, known for being able to turn out a card or a layout in a rather short period of time (witness: my near panic attack induced by a "90-minute scramble" hosted on the Hero Arts Flickr site a couple of weeks ago...  :) .  I have always marveled at ladies who can crank out several layouts during one crop session while my sister and I, often collaborating on our projects, could crank out one page in oh, say, maybe eight hours!  (Maybe that's why she has apparently moved on to other hobbies!  :)

Even now, as I have discovered a passion for card-making, I'm just not that speedy!  I'm dealing with it.  It's just who I am.  And besides, it's all about the process...  the journey, right??  Haha!

But newsflash:  Today, I completed a card in under 90 minutes!!  (65 to be exact!)  Woot-woot!!
It's not a complicated one, but it's complete!  
And I'm kinda diggin' it!  :)

I used the color inspiration from this week's challenge over at The Play Date Cafe:

and the sketch from Retro Sketches (super-helpful, saved me my most time-consuming step!)

Anyway, I hope you like it...  Thanks for visiting!  Here's hoping you are enjoying and making the most of however many crafty minutes you are getting wherever you are!  :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

"Whale" You Still Love Me...?

Pin It Welcome to the DeNami Design "Ravishing Ribbons" Blog Hop!  I'm certain you've already seen some fabulous creations, especially if you are joining me from Dana's ├╝ber-creative "Kismet, Art & Life" blog!  (Love her stuff!)

**DeNami Design is giving away two $20 Gift Certificates to a couple of lucky people who leave comments along the blog hop!  Make sure to leave comments all along the hop by 11:59 pm PST April 16th to be eligible!**  

Ok, so I admit I am a sucker for cheesy punny sentiments (and post titles, apparently!)...  :)  And one of my absolute favorites is this cute whale stamp from Denami Design!  I have used it again and again with this "Get Whale Soon" stamp also by DeNami, but wanted to do something different for this hop...  (I just couldn't "kelp" myself!  Ha!)  Take a look:

I used my Distress Markers to create the background on watercolor paper and spritzed the heck out of it with Perfect Pearls before tearing and layering on dimensional adhesives.  Same process for that cute little whale after I heat embossed him.  Once he dried, I flipped him over and rubbed his underside with a stylus on a mouse pad to give him his "curves!"  The sentiment is that "Get Whale Soon" stamp that I masked so I could change it up...  :)

Hope you like it and that you find lots of really great inspiration along the hop today!  Next up is the super-talented Michele Gross!  (If you get lost along the way or just want to start over from the beginning, you can always go back to the DeNami Design blog for that!)  But before you go, don't forget to leave a comment to be eligible for one of those DeNami Design gift certificates!  :)

Thanks again for stopping by!  I whale-y appreciate it.  
(ok, seriously, now I'm done...)    :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

You're a Good Egg!

Pin It Happy Wednesday!  Ok, so I know Easter has passed (hope you had a great one, btw!), but I wanted to share a quick card I made for this week's challenge over at CAS-ual Fridays -- "Let the Hunt Begin."  The challenge was to create a card featuring something you'd find in an Easter basket....  So here's mine!

I had fun with this card and it came together much faster than my cards usually do!  :)  I cut the grass with Martha Stewart's Fringe Scissors, stamped and heat embossed the eggs and chick, colored them with Distress markers, and then spritzed the heck out of them with Perfect Pearls mist.  Next I massaged the back sides of each egg with my dry emboss stylus to give them their rounded, "egg-y" shape and then, finally, more fussy-cutting than I almost ever undertake!

Anyway, I hope you like it...  It has fun, spring colors that make me happy!  Thanks for visiting -- would love to hear from you!  :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Forever Love

Pin It One of my really good friends is getting married in a couple of weeks and I am so thrilled for her!  She has been waiting for this day for so long and it's finally here, so I thought I would make her a card that speaks to the commitment she is making and the power of a love meant to endure!

I love the colors over at The Play Date Cafe this week -- they are perfect for a spring wedding!  

I also used this week's sketch over at CPS...  Just a simple, easily adaptable sketch -- my favorite kind!!!

And last, but definitely not least, I am submitting this card for the Paper Smooches DT Call (announced today!).  I used the inspiration photo from the following Sparks Challenge (which I love!):

Thank you so much for stopping by...  I hope you enjoy this card.  I'll be back tomorrow with a new project to share!  See you then!

  • Patterned Paper - S•E•I's "Bridgeport"
  • Paper Smooches stamps - "Pretty Phrases"
  • Neenah "Solar White" cardstock
  • Hero Arts stamps - "Big and Small Flowers"
  • Hero Arts Embossing Powder - white
  • Tim Holtz Distress Markers - Stormy Sky, Broken China, Tumbled Glass, Shabby Shutters, Crushed Olive
  • Ranger Perfect Pearls Pigment Powder - "Perfect Pearl"
  • Ribbons, gems, adhesives

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Just for Fun -- Name that Tune!

Pin It Ok, so when I saw the challenge over at CAS-ual Fridays this week, my heart leapt!  A card inspired by a song?  For real??  I knew I had to play along, but what to do??  I have a verifiable smorgasbord of musical genres on my playlist...  almost none of which lend themselves to a greeting card!!
Including the song I eventually chose!!  Haha!
That's right craft fans, I created a card I can't see myself giving to anyone -- at least not anyone I would hope to keep as a friend!!  :)

I just had to go with what I loved -- and I love, Love, LOVE Christina Perri's "Jar of Hearts."  This song gets me everytime.  No, it's not a happy song -- it's actually kinda dark....  soooo... I had to try to put a more, ummm... colorful spin on it to make it me!  And I am thrilled with the results! (Even if it is a card that will just sit on a shelf and never be gifted....!)  

And here's the song (for the one or two people on the planet who may not know it!  :)

At any rate, I loved this challenge...  Hopefully, CAS-ual Fridays will do this challenge again sometime and maybe, just maybe, I'll choose Christina's much happier "A Thousand Years" as my inspiration!!  :)

Thanks for stopping by -- I'd love to hear your thoughts!  

Monday, April 2, 2012

My "Crafty Zen"

Pin It Whew!  What a week this has been!  I don't know about you, but when I've had a real mountain of a week, I need to find my "crafty zen" in order to harness my wayward chi.  :)

Well, I am happy to report that mission accomplished!  Though I experienced a near-disastrous set-back last night trying to complete a project in 90 minutes or less (read my confessional below!), I woke up this morning with a fresh sense of go-get-'em and have already tackled a couple of crafty projects I've had on the back-burner all week (one of which is a birthday banner I'm making for my sweet cousin's beautiful daughter's first birthday -- pics on that one to come later!)!

{Full confession:  I came home from work last night and was eager to participate in my first "90-minute Scramble" with the talented ladies of the Hero Arts Flickr group...  so excited!  I was about 55 minutes into the challenge when I realized I wasn't going to make it!  I tried to kick it into over-drive, but apparently my creative juices are not of the super-sonic variety and fervently resist the pressure of the clock!  :)  Today, I sit in amazement at some of the projects these women came up with in such a short period of time!}

Anywho, here's the card I created this morning (pressure of time-clock eliminated, obviously!)...  I was inspired by the color palette over at the CR84FN Color Challenge (and was shocked at how little "peach" I have in my stash!!!) and also loved the "Flowers" theme over at Lily Pad Cards.  And, of course, since I am a huge Hero Arts fan, I am going to enter this card over at the new, really fun A Blog Named Hero site!

And the CR84FN51 Inspiration Board:

Thank you for stopping by.  I would love to hear from you!  Here's hoping you're finding your "crafty zen" this week!   :)

  • Hero Arts stamps - "Tree, Birds, and Messages"
  • Inks - Memento "Tuxedo Black" and Tim Holtz "Vintage Photo" Distress and "Broken China" Distress Marker
  • Patterned Paper - My Mind's Eye "Miss Caroline" and Lawn Fawn "Bright Side"
  • Martha Stewart punch - "Double Loops" and small punch by the Punch Bunch
  • Copics - YG03, YG13, YG25, B02, R22, RV13
  • Kraft cardstock, sueded ribbon, pearls adhesives

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