Wednesday, January 28

A Moose and a dragon

If you're reading this and suddenly something doesn't make sense, it's probably because I only slept for 2-3 hours last night. I came home from work and got busy on a couple of images that I wanted to use on Viva La Verve challenges over at SCS. The deadline was today before I would be able to get home, so I had to get them done before leaving for school this morning. I didn't intend to stay up so late, but once I got into a groove I lost all sense of time. Sooooo...I'll come back and edit later if needed! ;o)

This first card was the first time I've ever inked him up. He's from Whimsy, a newer stamp company that is releasing new images faster than you can say, "moosey moose." Being an Alaskan, of course, how could I pass him up?

I decided to watercolor him, but gave my water pen its maiden voyage. The last time I watercolored, I used my blender pen. I feel like I had more control over the water content with the blender pen, but maybe I just need to get used to the water pen before deciding. I'm chaperoning students from my school on a trip to DC next month, so maybe I'll take several stamped images, my watercolor pencils and water pen with me so I can practice my technique.

supplies ~ image: Whimsy Stamps; papers: brown scallop (POPTones), others (DCWV); ink: StazOn; flowers: stash; brads: K & Co.

The second card was also for Viva La Verve, but also for this week's High Hopes challenge: Hearts! At first, I considered making a pink card, but couldn't match up papers that at least LOOKED like they matched. In the end, I settled for the heart charm to the left of the sentiment.

Lenny, here, has been the star of one of my other cards; he got a new color here and (IMO) better shading. AAAAaaaaaand....I got to use my brand-new nesties on these two projects for the very first time!

supplies ~ image: High Hopes Stamps, papers: DCWV cardstock for the base & ProvoCraft Scrap Pad for others, ink: StazOn, heart charm: stash, rub-on: Joann's, colored with PrismaColor pencils & OMS

By the way, do you have High Hopes stamps? Don't have the money to buy more of the ones you want? Willing to stamp out 12 images and mail them off to get 10 back? Over at the SCS High Hopes image swap, we need more swappers to fill out our roster. There are lots of open slots, and you'll get back images from categories to which you didn't contribute. Just look at the list to see what's still open, leave a comment for Janet about what you'll contribute, then send your images off to her so that they arrive before Feb. 13. Easy peasy!

I'll be back tomorrow to put the supplies list up on these cards. I need to get my weary self off to bed.......

ETA: I also decided to enter these cards in the Stamp Something challenge: Summer in Winter.

Monday, January 26

Tryin' something new with Hedgehog Joy

Yep - I tried a couple of new techniques on this card. I bought this little guy on eBay for just $5. The stamp had a little bit of ink stains, but StazOn cleaner got it all squeaky clean! Once I got him stamped, I let him sit for awhile. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with him. I could use markers (but I'm not crazy about my marker set) or watercolor him (but I stamped him on cardstock, not WC paper) or I could use colored pencils.

In the end, I decided to try my hand at using my Prismacolor pencils with OMS. I've tried blending the pencils with just a dry stump, but didn't like the effect. I watched a couple of tutorials as refreshers, then away I went. Ta da!

This card will be entered in two challenges: Viva La Verve's Week One challenge sketch {with hardware!} and Penny Black's Frame It challenge.

The flower is actually a white Bazzill paper flower that I painted. I didn't have a flower this size in a color that matched the card, so I pulled out my Pearlescent Watercolors from Yasutomo. I picked these up cheap to supplement my Twinkling H2Os, which are WAAAAAY more expensive. I started with pink, but it was too bright for the pinks in my card. So, I painted over it a second light coat of cream (at least I think - no color labels on the case or packaging). Then I popped a silver brad in the center along with a bead cap.

After trying the pencils & OMS, I think this will become one of my favorite ways to color. I have a pretty basic set of 36 Prismas, but it's a mix of Verithin and Premier pencils with most colors duplicated. If you know how to blend colors you can get more bang for your buck. I muted the pink in the flowers with some light brown, colored his fur with white first then a light layer of black to get the gray, and mixed pink and peach to get a subtle rosey colored cheek.

That's it for today, folks. I have more cards and challenges to complete this week if I have enough time, so watch this space!

Sunday, January 25

Maria's Studio: Celebrating YOU Blog Candy

Go check it out: Maria's Studio: Celebrating YOU Blog Candy!

She has two adorable Whipper Snapper stamps on offer!

Saturday, January 24

My first award

I just received my very first award from The Crafting Diva today. When I started this blog a few months ago, I never thought it would snowball like it has. I'm so very humbled when I see the fantastic work of other crafters and then discover that are others who are following what I create. I'm so thankful to all of you that you stop by my 'lil ole blog now and then to see my cards.

So, the rules are to pass on this award to five other bloggers. I had to think for a good long time since there are so many out there to whom I would love to give this award. In the end I picked
If you haven't visited their blogs, you really should. There's a ton of great inspiration!

So, I need to scoot. I have a ton of housework to do, lesson plans to prepare and papers to grade. Oh, yeah - and some image swaps to stamp up and cards to make for challenges/donations/stash. Ugh. When did I get so pickin' busy? I'll try to post some cards this weekend (I hope), and I still need to post my pics of some "friends" that stopped by our house. Soon, I hope.....

Sunday, January 18

I love you

I'm back to share with you another Valentine card for the Cards 4 Kids card drive (I think I'm up to three now).

I used the same papers on this one as the last, but I decided to use one of the VIVA la VERVE! sketch challenges for this one and a theme challenge from Crazy for Daisies. The heart was cut using a Cuttlebug die that produces one solid heart (the middle one) and two outlines (the outer pink & brown ones). I ran three different papers through at the same time. I can layer them or combine them in lots of ways (I did this with the last card, too). And I like the idea that I'm getting more bang for my buck out of the papers I use since there's nothing "covered up" as when you mat one image over another. The stamps are from Studio G again.

Some of you may be wondering, "What's with this lady's fascination with multiple challenges?" You may be in the same position as I am, with a dreadful shortage of......TIME! I love to enter challenges, and I think I'd prefer to make unique cards for single challenges, but I just can't manage it. Plus, I think that it's an even bigger creative leap to combine challenges in a pleasing way. Sometimes I'm really happy with the end result, sometimes not. In this case, I think I like it!

ETA: I finally found the blog where I got these papers! If you like these, head over to Snippets Ink. She plans to continue creating digi-kits, but so far the Bentley kits are the only ones she's offered.

Wowzers! A great giveaway

Go check out My Creative Cafe for an entry into their giveaway - $150 worth of AccuCut dies! (and YES, you can use them in your Cuttlebug!) They're having a blog party on their blog, so head over to enter!

Saturday, January 17


I was going to start this post with some amazing Alaska trivia for you, but I decided instead to save it for a post of its own. This one is dedicated solely to LOOOOOVE! ;o)

Remember that new blog I told you about, i{heart}2stamp? Jen had a sketch this week for us to try and some candy for a lucky challenger. I had agreed to help make Valentine cards for the Cards 4 Kids card drive, so I used her sketch to make this card. This one had a few firsts for me: first time I've ever used printable paper, first time I used this CB die, and first time I inked up this stamp. I can't remember where I downloaded these papers, but they're called Bentley Naturals and Bentley Girls. (If you can help me credit the maker, I'd love for you to leave a comment with their name). I just love this combo - it gives the card a more down-to-earth feel. I used two different Cuttlebug dies to cut the hearts, and the stamp is from Studio G.

OK - I'm off to bed for the night. I hope I can get some cards done this weekend for you to see. Keep your eyes peeled for my post about our crazy temps and a visit from a couple of four-legged friends (I got pics this time)!

ETA: I finally found the blog where I got these papers! If you like these, head over to Snippets Ink. She plans to continue creating digi-kits, but so far the Bentley kits are the only ones she's offered.

Wednesday, January 14

Add to the bumper crop of good causes!

I was out hopping today and ran across another great cause for some deserving people. As you may know, it's very unfortunate that many elderly folks in nursing homes seem to be "forgotten". They either have no family to visit them, or the family rarely/never comes. Karyn over at Stamping Stuff is asking the card-crafting community to send cards to cheer up the residents of a local nursing home. You can go to her post to get the full details and the address to send your cards. What do you say, folks - can we flood her mailbox with cards? I think we can!

Sunday, January 11

Another good cause for the kids

Pat over at The Rubber Maid is doing a Cards 4 Kids card drive for the kids over at Children's Hospital of Michigan. Here's an excerpt from her blog about what she's trying to do:

"I am offering you all a challenge that only you can help fulfill. I would like to have 1000 Valentine's Day cards for the children at Children's Hospital of Michigan. Yep, you read it correctly I did say 1000. There are 238 beds at the hospital and I would like to provide the kids with more then just one card. I would and so would the staff, like to get enough cards so the kids can exchange them, send them out to friends at school, or home to their parents and or siblings.

These can be cards with envelopes or just a post card style card. You don't sign the card as the kids and staff will be using them to make the kids have the best Valentine's Day ever. So if you want to get on the wagon and get those fingers inky I would love to have your help."
So 1000 cards for 238 beds...that's roughly 4 Valentine's per bed. Surely we can do better than that! Head over to Pat's blog to get the full details, and get to makin' some cards!

Sweet 'N Sassy release party challenge

I really wish I had more time this week...sigh...

Since I've started blogging, I've been introduced to so many wonderful stamp companies. I started stamping with my mom when I was in my teens, but when I moved away from home to go to college, then for a job, I got rid of all my stamps and gave it up. I've recently redisovered how much fun it is, and - WOW - has the stamping world changed! There are so many new techniques, embellishments and awesome stamps out there that weren't around when I was stamping!

Sweet 'N Sassy Stamps is one of the stamp companies I've discovered. I decided over the Christmas vacation that I was going to indulge in my newly rediscovered craft. When SNSS held an online release party, I decided to attend. I'm glad I did - it was a hoot! And they issued three challenges with more prizes (after they had already given a slew of prizes at the party!). I wanted to do all three challenges, but ran out of time and only got to do one of them.

So, here's the ONE card I got to do. It's based on Courtney's sketch challenge. As I've written in previous posts, I really love sarapapers, and this card features three of the coordinated papers from one of the sets. I don't remember which one, though - I threw away the cover when I was on a purging mission last summer. Anyway, I'm not usually a purple kind of girl, but I really like this combination. The purple mat under the patterned paper has a wonderful shimmer to it (and I have red and blue like this, too. Can't wait to use them!). I used a DCWV cardstock base that matched the blue flowers in the paper, some Marth Stewart ribbon I picked up on clearance at Michael's, some Darice gemstones and a Scrappy Cat blossom and sentiment. I almost didn't put any sentiment on it at all - this card is versatile enough to do for many occasions.

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you enjoyed looking!

supplies ~ stamps: Scrappy Cat thank you set, cardstock: DCWV, others: Paper Pizazz, gems: Darice, ribbon: Martha Stewart, markers: ZIG ColorTwin, adhesive: Glue Glider Pro PermaTac & ThermoWeb foam squares

Saturday, January 10

Spreading a little joy...and you can, too!

I recently discovered a really cool blog called i{heart}2stamp. Jen is the author, and she has packed her blog with some really inspiring projects. In one of her recent posts, she announces that she is helping one of her friends supply cards for international students at Dallas Baptist University. Here's a blurb from Jen's blog about what she's trying to do:
"Fellow North Texan and Splitcoaster Julie Carlisle {afancycat on SCS} works in the International Student Services Department at Dallas Baptist University {DBU}. They have students from over 50 countries at the University that they give cards to. I have donated several cards to her in the past and she was one of the first people that came to mind when I decided I wanted to do this blog tart giveaway, as she is always so sweet and grateful. Send your card to her at the address:

Dallas Baptist University
Attn: Julie Carlisle
3000 Mountain Creek Pkwy
Dallas, TX 75211"

I know that international students sometimes feel a little lost when coming to the U.S. for school, and this little card shower will definitely help them feel a little more at home. Will you join Jen and me in this card shower? You can get the full details from this post. If you're like me, you probably have some cards "in waiting" (waiting for a recipient). Won't you consider donating them to this very worthy cause? You will be glad you did!

Friday, January 9

Candy Alert!

You don't have much time left to enter Ewonne's blog candy - it ends on January 11 (Sunday)! See what she's offering?

RUN, over to her blog and get yourself entered!

While you're out hopping, make sure you check out Lim's blog, too - she's offering RUBBA plus some other treats! Depending on where you live, the stamps could be Hanglar (non-Norway & non-Sweden residents) or Whipper Snapper (Norway & Sweden residents). Her offer closes on January 24, so get a move on!

Just for fun, here's a giveaway for a very pretty bracelet:

Make sure you enter for it at Garies's Shop by January 15th.

AND, one more! Head over to Victoria Case Stamps for some stamps and other goodies! January 16 is her deadline.

Thursday, January 8

UHU December sample of the month

No new pics or projects to share tonight, but I do have a story/review/aha moment:

Last month, the folks over at UHU sent out samples of their envelope sealer. Now, I really hate the taste of that glue they put on envelopes, so I usually get a damp sponge, Q-tip or paper towel (or whatever I have around) to do the dirty work. My husband thinks it's so cute when I pull that oh-this-is-just-too-disgusting face, but I really do hate that stuff. I also know, however, that sometimes glue sticks are not all they're cracked up to be - teacher experience, ya know. ;o)

So I requested the sample, but wasn't so sure it was going to work out. I made some thank you cards after Christmas (the post is here) and decided to try out my sample. At first, the seal didn't seem to be working because it was a dimensional card and the envelope flap wouldn't stay down. So I tried some more glue - maybe I didn't get enough on the first time? - and tried closing it again...still wouldn't stay down. One last try - I held the flap down for several seconds hoping that the glue just needed to set before letting go. BINGO! But I did send the card off with a dreaded feeling that the glue wouldn't hold by the time it got to its destination.

I got that card back in the mail a couple of days ago...not enough postage...AND THE FLAP WAS SECURELY SHUT! Hello, UHU Envelope Sealer! Wanna be my new best friend?

Given that the glue held for several days while in USPS custody, I'm pretty sure it would also be a good stand in for any glue stick need. The post office doesn't exactly handle mail gently after all...

Have a good night, and I hope to be back sometime over the weekend with some new cards!

Sunday, January 4

Pink Gem Designs blog candy

Are you a fan of Pink Gem Designs? Never heard of them? Well hop on over to their blog to see their stamps - you're sure to fall in love with one of them, and you could win it in their blog candy draw. Hurry - the draw ends on January 11!

Saturday, January 3

Three challenges and a candy alert

It's been a couple of days since I posted, so I wanted to give you a little something to nibble on until I get my next projects up. This entire week I've been sick, so I haven't been as productive as I'd like, but I'm working on three challenges for Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps. Their release party was Friday night (what a hoot that was), and they gave away one of each of their 7 new stamps sets. I was the lucky winner of the "Purr-fect Day" set, but you still have a chance to win one, too, by participating in their challenges. All three challenges are posted here, and you upload your completed project to Splitcoast Stampers with the keyword provided in the challenge. Not a member of Splitcoast? It's free to join!

I also stumbled upon another candy offering from Starving Artistamps' blog. They're also releasing some new stamps, and you could win them all! Enter before January 6th.

I hope to be back in a day or two with posts from the challenges I complete. I'm beginning to feel better but school starts back up on Monday, and I'll busy pretty busy. I didn't win the set I really wanted, though, so I'd like to try again.

Stay warm, stay healthy, and I'll see you again soon!

Thursday, January 1

Nine daisies and a dragon

I finished all four of the Jacksonbelle New Year's Eve challenges! I don't think I've made four cards in two days ever in my life! I also combined some challenges, so here they are:

The first one I CASEd from Becky Oehlers over at Hemidemisemiquaver Designs. So simple, but so nice! It was also for the Jacksonbelle challenge to make a card that reflects our New Year resolution(s) and the Hero Club Blog challenge to use a Hero Arts stamp in a thank you card with bonus points if you use a holiday stamp. I don't really make resolutions, but I do know I want to spend more time in 2009 being creative than I was in 2008. And the Hero Club Blog helped me see that my holiday stamps can be used creatively for something besides holiday cards! Can you see the holiday stamp? It's in the background. I used my Inkadinkado Christmas Silhouettes set to create a background before adhering the cardstock strips. I almost can't tell that it's holly leaves and berries! The photo didn't pick up the color right, but I used a shade of green a bit lighter than the green flowers, and the bottom panel of cardstock is pastel purple. The flower circles are a Hero Arts Daisy Border stamp that I colored and cut out then adhered with pop dots. Simple!

The second card with a little more labor intesive - I played with another one of my new High Hopes stamps, Lenny's Love Me Nots. I'm still not feeling great, so I decide to just use my ZIG ColorTwin markers instead of trying to watercolor again. I managed a bit of shading by using the same color in shaded areas, but going over it repeatedly to lay down more color. This one is for the Jacksonbelle challenge to make a birthday card. I also used a sketch I found on The Sketch Lover. I really liked the simplicity of it. After coloring the image, I matted it using some coordinating sarapapers from Hot Off The Press. I just love sarapapers! The camera didn't pick it up, but the darker purple paper has a shimmer to it that gives the card a little extra shine. The flowers were made from the same papers in two different size Paper Shapers flower punches with a little gemstone in the middle. The sentiment is a rub-on.

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope your New Year is off to a great start!

supplies for Nine Daisies ~ cardstock base: stash, colored cardstock: DCWV, daisy image: Hero Arts, background stamping: Inkadinkado Christmas Silhouettes.

supplies for have a great day ~ cardstock base: DCWV, floral and purple papers: Hot Off The Press sarapapers, dragon image: High Hopes, gemstones: Darice, rub-on: Joann's

And the blog candy winner is........

Wow! I am so amazed at the number of entries for my blog candy - 92! I started with just over 500 hits on my hit counter, and now I'm over 1000! Your commnents (I read each and every one) were so encouraging, your blogs (I visited you all) were so inspirational and your visits were truly appreciated. I am so happy I did this candy offering, and you can be sure I'll do it again in the future! And since my hit counter has ballooned with this candy offering, it will be sooner rather than later. Plus, my birthday is in February! So stay tuned - another candy offer will be coming!

Without further ado, the winner of my candy is.........

Random Integer Generator

Timestamp: 2009-01-01 09:02:08 UTC

#35, and that is.....

Donna from Donna's Den!

Congratulations, Donna! Contact me with your mailing address so I can send your goodies!

Ringing it in

I don't know about you, but I'm not much for the whole make-a-resolution-then-have-a-tough-time-keeping-it scene. I gave up making "resolutions" years ago because it seemed like a big waste of time. Instead, I look to the year ahead and savor what I already have planned, dream about what I'd like to do, and pray to the Lord that He helps me be more of what He wants me to be.

To all of you out there in blog-land, Happy New Year! May it be filled with laughter, joy, love and fulfillment. But most of all, I hope it's filled with Christ Jesus.

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