Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!!

I haven't been into my art studio in over week so I thought I'd share with you the only artsy, craftsy thing I've done this week. A couple of days ago, my best friend showed up on my door step begging me to help her with "her wedding dress". I said "wedding dress??!!!!"... thinking she might be getting married... but no... this is what she had in mind:
Cool, right?! She couldn't find a used dress anywhere for weeks so she finally went to David's Bridal and bought a BRAND NEW wedding dress! She found this perfect dress on the sale rack for only $99 and although we didn't get a "before" picture, it WAS a gorgeous dress.
After a glass or two of wine, I was feeling better about destroying this beautiful dress. We used razor blades to slash it up and we cut some gashes in the bodice of the dress. We took it outside on my back patio and rubbed ashes from the barbecue grill into it. We burned the end of our wine cork and used that make some black streaks on it. Then I borrowed my hubby's blow torch and scorched the edges, blackened some pearls and sequins and burned some holes in the lace. Some red acrylic paint made for some realistic blood and there is no picture of the back, but her man was able to roll a spray painted tire over the back to give her a nice tire mark!

She did a great job on the makeup herself and the veil is actually MY wedding veil from my wedding two years ago- what else was I going to do with it now?! It's been wadded up in a ball in the attic for two years so we cut and burned it up a bit and it looked perfect!
So here's the coolest part... she won the costume contest last night! Here she is with her $100 prize (paid for the dress!) and two Delaware River rafting tickets in hand!

I did not go out dressed up last night, which is so not like me... Halloween is MY holiday. Instead, I took my husband on a nice dinner date for his birthday. We had a great time.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mojo Monday #109 & A Bit of News

I know I've been missing in action for almost a week. I've been in a bit of a creative rut that I'm trying to climb out of. There's been way too much sadness and stress going on here and that is a sure fire way to make your creative mojo pack up and hit the road. In the hopes of luring my mojo back, I participated in this week's Mojo Monday Sketch. The sketch is on the right and you can click here to check out the Mojo Monday Blog and see all of the other wonderful entries.

Here's my card... a Christmas one. One down... too many to count to go! (Who am I kidding? My cards will be from Sam's Club again this year, no doubt!) Supplies and an exciting announcement are listed at the bottom.

Here's a quick little tip: Do you see that lovely little holly charm? It's colored with green nail polish and red acrylic paint. If you paint a charm with acrylic paint, seal it with clear nail polish and it will stay beautiful and shiny! Click here to see what that charm looks like not painted. What a difference some color makes!

The inside of the card.

Paper: Artichoke, Burgundy and White Cardstock, K & Company Christmas Cheer Designer Paper
Stamps/Images: none
Ink: none
Accessories: Burgundy Grosgrain Ribbon, Scalloped Circle Punch, Christmas Tree Charm, Holly Charm

Okay, before I go... here's the exciting announcement. Well, maybe it's not that exciting.... I previously had a little blog with listings of brass charms for sale and I've decided to move them to my store on I'm not finished with "the move", but I do have a few charms up on my etsy store and the two I used on this card are there. Click here, or click on the charm names in the supplies list above to see the store. Very soon, I'll have them all moved over from my blog and then I'll be able to add more to the etsy store. I'm really loving etsy and I hope you'll check it out!

Have a great day!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Kazan's Sketch 37- 2 Sketches 4 You

I'm am in need of more sympathy cards this week as I prepare to attend the funeral of a friend. My creative mojo is in a bit of shock and starting with a sketch always helps when I'm not in a creative mood. The card I'm sharing is based on Kazan's Sketch 37 over at 2 Sketches 4 You.

The sketch is above and here's my card (supplies are listed below):

Image: With Sympathy Stamp (from my old stash)
Ink: Black Pigment Ink Embossed with Clear Embossing Powder
Paper: Brown Cardstock Base, Designer Paper from K & Company Life's Journey Stack, White Cardstock for Inside Layer
Accessories: Sewing Machine and Sage Green Thread (Zig Zag Stitch), Circle Nesties, Stitched Ribbon (from stash), Paper Flowers (Oriental Trading Company), Flat Back Pearl- Chocolate

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Eiffel Tower

I have a quick and easy card to share today. I made this one for Cards for Heroes, which is now called Operation Write Home. Check them out by clicking the link on the side bar. It's a great organization that I am proud to support.

Here's a few more pictures and supplies are listed below.

Stamps/Images: Eiffel Tower stamp from old stash
Paper: Burgundy and White cardstock
Ink: Burgundy pigment ink embossed with clear embossing powder
Accessories: Burgundy Grosgrain Ribbon, Fleur De Lis Embossing Folder with Cuttlebug, Homemade Gold Glitter Dew Drops

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My Heavy Heart

Tonight I'm sharing a sympathy card, which I never enjoy making. I don't ever keep them on hand. Every sympathy card I make is for a reason and every one of them I hope will be my last, even though I know life doesn't work that way.

Yesterday we said our final goodbyes to my husband's dear, sweet father. He will be missed so much. He was such a wonderful man. It's so difficult to watch what cancer does to a person but I feel honored to have been a part of his life and to have been there at his bedside when he left us. He will never be forgotten.

I am also heartbroken over the news of a friend who died tragically at a spa retreat in Sedona, Arizona on Thursday. She was the life-long best friend of one of my best friends and she was one of those people that the minute you met her, you loved her. When I first met her, I immediately felt like I had known her forever. I think she was what some people call "an old soul". She was a free spirit and lived life to the fullest- always with a smile on her face. I will always remember her warm smile. My heart is aching for her family and for my dear friend who is feeling the loss so much. Unexpected things in life like this are so difficult and make me question the reason for it.

So, with all that said, here is just one of the sympathy cards that I made this week. Supplies are listed below.

Stamps/Images: from my old stash
Paper: Watercolor paper as base and for main image, black cardstock for mat
Accessories: Circle Nesties, Sheer ribbon from my stash, Stickles (glitter on hummingbird), Black Flat Back Pearls, Corner Chomper

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Which Witch is Which?!

Here's a Halloween card that I made last night. Cute, right?! The witch is fun! I was hoping to get to Salem this month but it doesn't look promising. Maybe next year.

Here are some more views and close ups and supplies are listed at the bottom.

Stamps/Images: From my old stash
Paper: Grey, Orange and Black cardstock, Marl paper (Do they still make Marl Paper?)
Ink/Coloring: Black Archival Ink, Prismacolor Pencils & Gamsol for blending
Accessories: Black Grosgrain Ribbon, Sewing Machine & Black Thread (zig zag stitch), Corner Chomper, Nesties (round), Pumpkin Button (from stash), Flat Back Black Pearls

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bride & Groom Card for 2 Sketches 4 You #36 & a Trick to Fix a Punch

I found out yesterday that my husband's brother had a surprise wedding this past weekend and we have a new sister-in-law. I wanted to make them a special card and I decided to use the current sketch challenge at 2 Sketches 4 you as my starting point.

The sketch is on the right and here's my card:
I have decided to start listing supplies and product info at the bottom of my posts so that you can quickly and easily figure out what supplies are used. I have been noticing a lot of blogs set up that way and it does seem to be a very clean way to do it. What do you think? I really would like your opinion on this idea. Let's try it tonight and see how we like it, shall we?
I would like to tell you a little story about the border punch I used. I used a coupon at Michael's to buy this Martha Stewart Doily Lace Border Punch at 40% off last week and I was so disappointed when I got home and the punch didn't work at all. All it did was rip apart any paper I put in it.

Since Michael's is so far away, I decided to try to fix the punch myself. I remembered watching a video a long time ago where a woman tried out all the suggested ways she could find to fix or sharpen a punch that has stopped working. After trying several things- including punching through tin foil- she found that the only thing that really seemed to work was punching through an aluminum soda can that was cut apart. So I tried it. What did I have to lose?

I headed out to the garage and rummaged through the recycling until I found a soda can (Miller Lite can actually!). The first thing I noticed was how surprisingly easy it was to cut it with regular scissors. It works best if you just poke the scissors into the side of the can and start cutting around the can to remove the top and the bottom.

Once you have a nice flat piece of aluminum can, take your punch and punch through it several times. I had a very hard time with this border punch but luckily my husband walked by and was so intrigued by what I was doing that he was more than happy to help me out. We (actually, he) punched through the can about 6 times and then I punched through some wax paper to clean the punch and lubricate it. I've heard that's a good thing to do.... I don't know if it's true or not.

To my astonishment, the punch was then good as new when I tried it out on some cardstock and it now seems to be working perfectly. So, now you know how to fix a punch that isn't working well or needs to be sharpened.

Okay, back to the card....
The cake is colored just a tiny bit with a marker and blender pen and it's also slathered with lots of Swarovski crystals which make it look so amazing in real life.

And here's the inside with a little bit of detail to match the card.

Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think of the new supplies format at the bottom. I've tried to (and will continue to) link any products that I can to a place where you can see them. In most cases, I will link either the manufacturer's website page for the product, or a reputable place to purchase the items, BUT, sometimes, if I can't find those things, I will link to a site that I don't know the reputation of because that's all I can find. If you want me to recommend a place to purchase any item, please email me or comment and I will do my best to provide that info for you. I guess what I'm trying to say is that just because I link a site here, it is not necessarily a recommendation of that company from me... it's more so you can see the product. I will tell you though, that I will NOT ever link a company that I've had a bad experience with. (I hope this makes sense... I'm waiting for a sleeping pill to kick in and maybe I'm rambling....)

Have a great day and I will see you again next time!

Paper: White & Black Cardstock, DCWV All Dressed Up Stack (pink & black paper)
Ink/Coloring: Black Pigment Ink with Clear Embossing Powder, Pink Marker & Blender Pen
Accessories: Black and pink grosgrain ribbon, Martha Stewart Doily Lace Border Punch, Swarovski Flat Back Crystals (rose & light rose)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

World Card Making Day & Card Patterns Sketch #35

Today was World Card Making day and I got a little extra playtime to celebrate. I decided to play along with a card sketch challenge and I chose Card Patterns Sketch #35 (Click here to see the challenge).

Here's my card:
I have to say that I just don't even know how I lived without Prismacolor pencils before now... I cannot even tell you how amazing they are. The term "colored pencils" just doesn't do them justice. I am truly in love. I have some learning to do as I have never done much coloring before but I will enjoy every minute of it for sure!
This card was made with stamps from my old stash that I dug out and colored with Prismacolor pencils and blended with Gamsol. I added some machine sewing to the layering on the card for detail. I love the rich look it gives.
The acorn is cut out with nesties and layered on a scallop punch in black. The brass charm leaves are from my stash (for my jewelry business). The ribbon is grosgrain in black and green.
Those are homemade dew drops. Aren't they cool? Click here to see how I made them. They are super easy and come in so handy!

I hope you all got some playtime today too. I'm looking forward to some more tomorrow. I might go paint shopping to pick out a new wall color for my art studio too. I've been wanting to do that for a while and I have an offer for free paint from the manager of our local Sherwin Williams, so I might take him up on it.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Blingy Bugs!

It's the official start of the weekend and I had a little play time tonight. I finished up a card that I started the other night and I wanted to share it with you....
This is a sparkly, blinged out bug card that I made using some of my new clear stamps and colored pencils. I started with a piece of background paper that I had laying around from a previous project. The background is white cardstock that was misted with Stamp Zia Ultra Color Wash Jewels. Nothing special, just a fine mist of beautiful jewel colors. Easy and beautiful... can't beat that!
I randomly stamped bugs from the Inkadinkado set called Gemstone Insects with jet black Archival Ink and then I colored them using my new Prismacolor pencils and blended with Gamsol and a blending stump.

I embellished the card with grosgrain ribbon, paper flowers from my stash, punched leaves (EK Success Rock Fern punch), and rhinestone flowers from Oriental Trading Company.
I also added lots of Swarovski flat back crystals and stickles glitter.
Here's one more close look.

Thanks for stopping by... I hope you have a wonderful weekend. My husband and I planned a quiet, relaxing weekend for the first time in a long while and I'm looking forward to some down time and hopefully, some playtime in my art studio!

Until next time....

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Pencils & A Simple Card

Aren't they gorgeous? They even smell good! You know what I mean? It's like the new car smell but in art supplies. (Yes, I do know I'm husband seems to enjoy it though, so don't worry too much).

I'd like to take moment to introduce you to my new Prismacolor pencils. Readers, meet my pencils.... Pencils, meet my readers.... I think you'll be seeing a lot of each other from here on out.

I have been wanting these pencils for years and I just never sprung for them. Now that I've started selling off all of a certain company's stamps, I have a little fun money and I finally decided to spring for them. I got them for a steal on ebay, which makes the whole deal even sweeter.

To my surprise when I opened the tin of pencils, none of them were sharpened so I had to do that by hand. I'm too impatient to wait to buy an electric sharpener so I used the little tiny hand sharpener that came with the set. The colored pencil shavings looked so cool all piled up... check it out....
There's something kind of fun about that, right?!

Tonight I'm sharing a super simple card with you. Here it is:
It's a simple white cardstock base with designer paper from The Sweet Stack slab by DCWV. I just trimmed the paper to highlight the flower on it.
Some ribbon, a pearl and a thinking of you rub-on sentiment make this card perfect and simple. Perfectly simple perhaps?
Here's a closer look.

I hope your week is off to a great start. I'm getting lots of work done- aka lots of jewelry made and shipped to customers. All is good! See you soon!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My first Nesties Card

Don't get too excited... it's just a simple card, but it is technically my first card made with my new Nestibilities dies. I'm sending this card to my son at Fort Sill this week.
This card uses a white cardstock base with some blue designer paper to start. I cut a circle with my nesties and a scallop mat in black to go behind it. I kept the nestie die in place to add some blue ink to the background and stamped the owl which is from a $1 set of Studio G clear stamps.
I colored the owl with markers and a blender pen because my new set of prismacolor pencils isn't here yet (can't wait!). The "hi" sentiment is a rub-on from my extensive stash.

I am visiting my sister this weekend and I stopped at Joann's, AC Moore's and Michael's on the way here, armed with 40% off coupons. I plan to do that again on the way home tomorrow. I got some great stuff today and can't wait to get home to play! AC Moore's had a sale on Inkadinkadoo clear stamps and I bought about 8 sets.... that should give me lots to play with when I get back home!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Did you miss me? I'm back!!!

(Warning: Long rambling post ahead... I think I was gone too long!)

Hello again! It's been a couple of weeks and I just couldn't stay away any longer! Did you miss me? *grin*

I have lots to share tonight but first, I would like to share a picture of my brave and wonderful son at his graduation from Army Basic Training last week. Isn't he handsome? I'm so very proud of him! He's still only 17 and has finished basic training and now has moved onto his advanced individual training. He should get some time at home around Thanksgiving before his first deployment. We don't know where that will be yet but I'm praying that he will end up where he is supposed to be and that he will stay safe.

It's an amazing thing when your child joins the military. I'm starting to realize the range of emotions that you feel. The immense pride that I feel is matched by fear... and then there's the missing him part. I miss him terribly!

Okay, let's move on before I cry....

I can't believe how many people have visited my blog in the past couple of weeks. I guess the controversy regarding a certain unnamed stamp company has caused a surge of visitors. I was surprised that the majority of comments left were positive and I was also surprised at how many demonstrators from that same unnamed company are not happy with me expressing my opinion. All I can say is C'est la vie!

My blog has a stat counter that tells me where visitors are coming from and apparently my blog and I have been part of some discussion on the demo only (private to demos only) forum over at Splitcoaststampers. I find this very interesting but again, c'est la vie!

My first round of ebay sales is done and shipped. It went very well. I have about 150 more stamp sets to go and hopefully I will get that done this week.

I've been using the funds from the ebay sales to start purchasing new things for my art studio and it's like Christmas here. While I was in Oklahoma visiting my son, I found a Hobby Lobby and I bought some great stuff there. I picked up a Corner Chomper, which is so awesome I just can't stand it! I love that it punches two different sizes of rounded corners and does it so effortlessly. I also got a Cropadile Big Bite. I can tell already that it's going to get a lot of use. I'm always wishing my hand held hole punches would punch further in on cardstock and this will reach anywhere.

I also got my first few sets of Nestibilites. I think I might be the last stamper on Earth to take the plunge! Heck, it wasn't that many months ago that I bought myself a Cuttlebug! I've been behind on the trends over here for sure.

But, I love the Nesties so far. When I realized that I needed a "tan embossing mat", I ran right out to Home Depot and picked up a package of "plumbers gasket material" instead. I remembered reading about that online somewhere and low and behold, it works perfectly!

Which leads me to the card I would like to share. As I was playing around with embossing with Nesties, I remembered that I still have some brass stencils around and wondered if I could emboss them with the cuttlebug and gasket material in the same way. Sure enough, it works great!

Here's the card I made:
Isn't this pretty? It' so simple. I used the gasket material (aka embossing mat) to emboss with a brass stencil on so saffron cardstock (there is a photo of the stencil and the gasket material below.) Once the stencil was dry embossed, I used a tearing ruler to tear around it and matted it with ivory cardstock.
I used a swiss dots embossing folder to emboss the bottom half of the card front and added ivory grosgrain ribbon to cover the edge of the embossing. A small piece of ribbon tied in a simple knot and added with a glue dot makes a nice "bow".
A couple of pearls finish it off nicely.
Here'a a photo of the brass stencil I used and the plumbers gasket material that works as an embossing mat. It was in the plumbing department at Home Depot and cost about $4.00-5.00 for 2 6x6 inch sheets of it.

Two other notable purchases: Last night I scored a set of 120 Prismacolor pencils on ebay for a great price and can't wait for them to get here. I am really looking forward to playing with those! I also purchased the 3M ATG714 adhesive gun and it might be one the greatest things I've ever bought. It is so smooth and easy to use and very economical once you spring for the gun. I'm still deciding on new stamps so stay tuned for more info on that.

I guess that's about it for tonight... if you are still reading this, thank you for being so loyal! I am looking forward to playing with new products and sharing new things here!

Edited to add:
Here's the sandwich I used in the Cuttlebug to emboss with a brass stencil:
A plate (thick white one)
brass stencil (see note below)
cardstock to be embossed
rubber gasket (1)
3 sheets of cardstock as a shim
2 B plates (thinest ones)

Note: If the stencil has the company name etched in it, face that down or it will emboss too.