Monday, October 29, 2007

Back in Business!

Got my Mac back today (hooray!!). I had a problem with the battery . . . there was a bad cell in it or something. Anyway, all is well now, so I can post again. Not quite sure how I got stuck in the "Asian Language" loop, either. I kept changing it back to English, but it wouldn't stick for some reason. It's all good now, though.

First off, I made this fun little box as part of TLC139 on SCS - the template for it can be found here:

The colors and stamps for this were inspired by a great little card and nugget box created by my friend, Cheryl. Blue Bayou, River Rock, Old Olive and Chocolate Chip make a great combination. And who WOULD'NT love to receive a little gift with candy inside (especially when it is chocolate???)????

Stamps: Autumn Fest, So Swirly (Jumbo Wheel)
Cardstock: Blue Bayou, Whisper White
Ink: Blue Bayou, Old Olive, Chocolate Chip, River Rock

Okay, so I am getting a little weird with my "Follow the Butterflies" challenge. For details on THAT, see my post here:

(Scroll down to the post dated September 1, 2007.) I kept wracking my brain all month to try and figure out HOW I was going to incorporate a butterfly into a Halloween card. My new, fun friend, Anna (annablue on SCS) sent me some butterfly images right after Devan left on his mission. The one I used in this card is a great Penny Black image that she sent me. I got a little silly and put poor Drac's head on the butterfly! Devan will appreciate it, though (I know it will at least put a smile on his face!) I also realized that I don't own one single number stamp set (a horror that I have since rectified), so I had to create the 8 using two "o's" from the Whimsical Alpha.

Stamps: "Wings" (Penny Black), Best Fiends, Sanded bg, Whimsical Alphabet, Simple Serif Alphabet
Cardstock: Basic Gray, Soft Sky, Purely Pomegranate, Whisper White
Ink: Basic Black, Black Stazon, Purely Pomegranate, Soft Sky, Going Gray, Almost Amethyst, Pretty in Pink

I had a day last week where I just played hooky from everything all morning and did three challenges. It was really fun. This pumpkin card was made for WT137 - a challenge to use masking in your creation. I masked the pumpkins and did a little bit of the "rock 'n roll" technique to give the pumpkins a "two-tone" appearance . . . I used So Saffron with Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Pie with Real Rust to create the pumpkins. I also pulled out my spritzer tool, which I just got a couple of months ago. I really like playing with it, and I'm amazed when it does what it does every single time! I also used the jumbo "So Swirly" wheel to create the image on the background (Old Olive) piece. My dd, Amelia, had the sewing machine out to work on a project for her Home Ec class (although it is called something much more high tech now - FACS - Family and Consumer Sciences). I decided to play with that as well, since I haven't done any real sewing on my cards for quite some time.

Stamps: Carved and Candlelit, Fundamental Phrases, So Swirly (Jumbo Wheel)
Cardstock: Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie, Basic Black, Whisper White
Ink: Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie, So Saffron, Really Rust

Next, I completed a card I started almost a year ago. Right after the Cuttlebug came out, 11Valerie11 posted a card she had done on SCS using some copper metal sheeting. Having just completed my craft room (which included a magnet board I placed under the cabinetry on one of the walls), I had a little bit of metal "flashing" left over. I wanted to see if it would work in the CB, and it DID! I have had that piece of Cuttle-bugged flashing ever since (covered in snowflakes!!). I finally made a card with it, and this is what I came up with. The layout was one that was posted for SC147.

I used a punch I had just purchased from Creative Memories. It is actually a two-in-one punch, but I used both ends of it to make the snowflake and the swirly thing next to it. What can I say, I LOVE punches!!

Stamps: Snowburst, Fundamental Phrases
Cardstock: Soft Sky, Blue Bayou, Whisper White (plus some metal flashing I purchased at Roberts)
Ink: Blue Bayou, Soft Sky
Punches: Snowflake (Emaginations, I think); Snowflake and Swirl - Creative Memories

The third card I did on my morning "off" was this one . . . not sure WHAT I think of it. A few of us challenge stalkers (or Challenge Chasers, as we are commonly known on SCS), got kinda bored waiting for one of the challenges to be posted last week, so Barb (aka Babsnelson) posted a sketch challenge just for us (we called it SCSC01 for Stalkers/Chasers Sketch Challenge or something like that!!). I am not loving this card, but I really wanted to use the Fiskars circle border punch I got a while back. The sewing machine was still out, so I stitched a little on my card (again).

Stamps: Serene Sunflower, Fundamental Phrases
Cardstock: More Mustard, Old Olive, Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla
Ink: So Saffron, More Mustard, Chocolate Chip

On to the next! I made this card for the Featured Stamper challenge last Sunday (FS38). The featured stamper was nitestamper (aka Chat). I LOVE her gallery! I seem to be drawn to her cards quite often. They are amazing. I decided to try and "case" this darling "Cinderella" coach card:;ppuser=10116

I didn't have any pumpkin images that were large enough, so I created my pumpkin using some 2" circles I cut out using my CM circle cutter (LOVE this thing as well!!). The center section of the pumpkin was a circle I "tweaked" into an oval. I used iridescent ice ep on the coaches' wheels, as well as on the sentiment. The rhinestone stickers are made by Me & My Big Ideas.

Stamps: Wanted, Baroque Motifs, Gorgeous Grapevine (just for the twirly piece of vine at the top of the pumpkin), Stem Sayings, In the Spotlight (wheels)
Cardstock: Chocolate Chip, Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie, Very Vanilla
Ink: Chocolate Chip (classic and craft), Old Oiive, Always Artichoke, Pumpkin Pie (sponged on the pumpkin)

One more . . . I made this card yesterday (10/29/07) for TLC140. I don't really love it, but it was one of those cards that you visualize one way, and it comes out totally a different way! The technique was to use "cracked glass" - created when you do three layers of Versamark covered with heat-set Glassy Glaze (or UTEE - Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel). Once all three layers are done, you put the image in the freezer for a couple of minutes. As soon as you remove it from the freezer, you "crack" the paper by bending it. I originally did the brayered background piece, and then sponged it with some black to try and make the cracks show up . . . no good. It looked all dark and muddy. So I did it a second time and cheated a bit . . . I stamped my brayered piece with the Sanded bg stamp BEFORE I started making my embossed layers for the cracked glass technique (which I did do, only you can't see it in the picture). I brayered several colors, one on top of the other, to get the bg - Barely Banana, So Saffron, More Mustard, Pumpkin Pie, Really Rust, Lovely Lilac and Brilliant Blue.

The spiders are made using a Martha Stewart punch covered with ultrafine black glitter (even though I SWORE I would never buy any of her stuff at Michael's - I caved when they finally let us use coupons on it!) The ghost is an Emaginations punch, Versamarked and covered with Irisdescent Ice ep

Stamps: Bitty Boos, Too, Sanded bg, All Holidays
Cardstock: Basic Black, Glossy White, Whisper White, Pumpkin Pie, So Saffron
Ink: Basic Black, Barely Banana, So Saffron, More Mustard, Pumpkin Pie, Really Rust, Lovely Lilac, Brilliant Blue, Whisper White craft

Glad to be up and running again. I am hoping that I can get this battery to last (if not, I guess Apple will have to replace it for me again - but I doubt we will have to go there!). Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Bummer for Me!

I can't post any new pix on my site 'til tomorrow night 'cause my Mac crashed and that is where all my new pictures are stored! Dang it! No worries, though, as it was only a problem with the battery, so it should be good as new. The other problem I am having is that, when I log onto blogpost, all of my options are in Japanese!! (It could be Chinese or Taiwanese . . . not sure since I can't read ANY of it!!) I was able to limp my way through this post 'cause I kinda remember where all the buttons are! Wish me luck as I try to sort through changing the language back, and stay tuned as I plan to post new pictures by Tuesday.

Have a great day!!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Big, Black Hole!

Okay, I didn't REALLY sink into the "big, black hole," but I HAVE been running like a crazy person for the last couple of weeks and have sadly neglected my blog, so I am here to remedy that! I HAVE also been stamping (when I get the chance, which is not nearly as often as I would like).

BOO!!! Halloween is my most FAVORITE holiday. (And how can I RESIST making a card with a WITCH on it???) I made this card as an inspiration from Michelle (aka Zindorf on SCS - one of the newest Dirty Dozen girls). That girl can do some mind-boggling things with her brayer! I made my best attempt to make a lovely brayered background a-la Michelle. Mine doesn't look quite as cool as hers, but I think it came out okay. I used Barely Banana, So Saffron, More Mustard, Really Rust, Orchid Opulence and Brilliant Blue, I started at the bottom with the Barely Banana, and kept brayering until I got to the Brilliant Blue at the top (which actually looks almost black). I may just have to e-mai that girl to get a few pointers!! My witchy was colored using my plain ol' non-Copic SU markers (again!! - I am really falling in love with them all over!!). I created the "web" using some black twine. This was done for SC145.

Can I just tell you that Paper Trey Ink rocks??? I think their stamps are AWESOME! I made this card for my daughter's friend, Emma, for her 14th birthday yesterday. I think gatefold cards are sooo cool! I was inspired to make this 'cause my good friend Kathy (hey-howdy, girl!) just sent me the cutest gatefold card with a great marker attachment to use with my Cricut (thanks, thanks, thanks, my friend!!). To make a gatefold, cut a piece of cardstock 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" and score along the 8 1/2" edge at 2 1/8" and 6 3/8". Piece of Cake! (I know, I know, I'm sooo punny! - for those who don't know, this stamp set is called "Piece of Cake" - kinda sad when you have to explain your own jokes!!)

I have actually done TWO more butterfly cards for Devan since my last post. This one was done using "Tagger's Dozen" and "Fun Filled" (a set that I think it was a PITY for SU to retire). I thought it would be fun to punch the small flower images with a star - I think the kind of look like asters this way. (And I also realized, after I uploaded this, that I am on a ROLL with the Wild Wasabi, Groovy Guava and Purely Pomegrante cardstock - they are fun!)

This card I made for Devan almost two weeks ago (sorry for the delay). It was for SCS's TLC137 (using acetate in your creation). I already got an e-mail from Devan stating that he didn't quite get how to "do" this card. What???? Like, duh!!! You just pull the dang tab at the top! How hard can that BE?? He is a man (well, at least almost - he IS 19, but I still think of him as my little baby!). Maybe I should send him a set of instructions with my next card and letter . . . hmmmmm . . . I also used my really cool Creative Memories circle cutter to cut the hole in the front of the card (which is a little off center, as my side fold was a little goofy! Shhhh! Don't tell anyone!!) I don't have a lot of things that are non-SU products, but the cutting system from CM is really quick and easy! Love it!

For instructions on how to create a "magic" card like this one, see Beate's TERRIFIC tutorial here: These cards are kind of time consuming, but I think they are worth the effort. Lining up the images with the stamp-a-ma-jig is a little tricky, but not impossible. You will DEFINITELY get a "WOW" from whomever you give them to (unless, of course, they go to your 19-year-old son, who can't figure out how to "do" this kind of card!!)!! Patience is the key to making one of these dudes. Don't be afraid to try one, and stick with it, as the end result makes you feel pretty cool (I am speaking from experience - I felt a bit challenged the first time I made one of these guys - but I finally figured it out). Funny how the learning curve on some things is trickier for some people than it is for others!! I have confidence that you guys will probably breeze through this JUST to make me look bad!!

My dear, sweet, wonderful friend, Annette Kramer, died after a 5-year battle with breast cancer 10 years ago. I think of her often and can't believe that it has been ten years already. We were best friends from the time I moved to SLC at the age of 15 (she lived next door). She has been such an inspiration to me. As this is breast cancer awareness month, and as the color challenge this past week (CC136) was to use pink to create something to commemorate breast cancer awareness, I made this in honor of my friend (I actually ran over to the store at 6:00 a.m. to buy up some pink Jelly Bellies!). I kind of cased myself from the "Hugs & Kisses" tin I did LAST month. These are fun AND easy. The designer paper is from Rob & Bob by Provo Craft. Not sure where I got the pink grosgrain ribbon with the brown polka dots (maybe Roberts??). I thought it was too fun to pass up for this project.

Okay, hang with me, friends, I am getting there, and I have to admit I MUST BE CERTIFIABLY CRAZY!! I am going to do about 60 of these babies for my Christmas card! This is actually a tri-fold that's has finished dimensions of 3 1/4" x 6 1/4". I had a bunch of these envelopes left over, so I decided to put 'em to use. (For those who are math challenged, like me, start with a piece of cardstock that is 6 1/4" x 9 3/4". Score, along the 9 3/4" edge at 3 1/4" and 6 1/2". I know this seems like a funky size (which it is), but I got the envelopes at - they are 3 1/2" x 6 1/2". I was able to punch out the "window" with a LITTLE bit of help from some of my paper punches. I used the designer label punch to help me with the top edge of the window. It wasn't a perfect fit, as I had to trim the upper corners, plus I used a 3/4" circle punch to round out the little "bump" in the top. This was very helpful, as it is really hard to cut "pretty" through two layers of cardstock at a time!! The rest of the window I had to just cut out with scissors. I used the "stained glass" technique, which is achieved by stamping the image on vellum (usually with craft ink or versamark), then embossing with some embossing powder (in this case, white). You then color the image on the BACK side of the vellum. I used my markers (once again!).

I think it helps if you mount your completed image on a lighter color of cardstock (here I used Going Gray). It helps the image "pop" off the page better. I DO need to go and get me some vellum tape, as I don't have any and I can see where I adhered the vellum to the cardstock (which kinda bugs me - okay, it REALLY bugs me!!). I guess I can't escape that type-a attribute in my personality! Never thought I would make a gray Christmas card, either, but I LOVE Basic Gray and Going Gray together - soooooo pretty! I have already made a whopping FOUR of these cards. The plan is to do a little every few days so I can spread them out; to be honest, though, I know I will be cramming these babies together during the last part of November!!

This is a tag I made for a swap I was in. I am embarrassed to admit that I actually FORGOT I was in the swap until the swap's hostess, Amanda (hey, Brat!!) p/m'd me on SCS last week and asked if I was mailing my tags soon. YIKES!! Major embarrassment . . . egg-on-my-face!!! I was up VERY late last Friday so that I could zip these little guys in the mail on Saturday. I used my Cricut, Cuttlebug AND my wonderful new Nestabilities diecuts (these suckers are DA BOMB!!). I discovered that none of the Nestabilities templates were the correct size to fit on the little tag that I had cut out with my Cricut (Tags, Bags, Boxes & More). This turned into NO PROBLEM, as after I ran the diecut through my Cuttlebug (we're talking about the scalloped Bashful Blue piece), I was able to run it through a second time by sliding it down a couple of "scallops" and re-cutting it. It came out perfectly and fit right on top of my tag! I was stoked!! The embossed background is made using the Cuttlebug "snowflakes" embossing folder. I made my own glittery flowered brads for the snowman's hat with some red craft ink and glittery embossing powder (some that I bought 100 years ago from CTMH).

And as a little teaser . . . part of the reason for my long absence is that I was making creations to submit to Spellbinders for their 2008 Design Team Call. I won't post the items here until AFTER they announce who they picked (which, I am hopeful to say, will include ME - we won't know until November 15). I am sure that TONS of talented people applied, so I won't hold my breath, but I WILL cross my fingers (and my toes and eyes!!)

I will be back SOON, as I hate to lag behind myself!!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

I Can Hear You Breathing . . .

. . . okay, well maybe not literally, but I DO know you are out there 'cause my site visit numbers keep going up, but hardly anyone ever comments, so I am beginning to wonder . . . (not fishing for compliments or anything, just want to make sure that you aren't visiting my blog by accident . . . click in and think "Whoops!! This is SOOOO NOT where I meant to go!!" Just checking to make sure you are really out there!!

Another busy week has gone by and I have had the chance to play some more!! Did I ever mention that I LOVE the SCS daily challenges?? My technique has changed SOOOOO much over the past year, especially since I joined in on doing those challenges. I was helping my upline sort through some of her old "swaps" last night and we came across one of the very first (if not THE first) cards I ever swapped in her group. I kept shaking my head and thinking, "Did I really MAKE that??" I was pretty proud of it at the time, too! Just goes to show that we ALL learn and grow as we go, thanks to the help of others and their inspiration, right?

Gotta start out with a buttefly card, as I have now completed SIX cards in my personal "Butterfly Challenge". I made this as part of IC95 (for those who are wondering, "What the heck is that?" it means Inspiration Challenge #95 . . . the IC's are posted on Saturdays on SCS). I love gatefold cards. It is fun to be able to open cards in a fun and new way. Staring with a piece of cardstock that is 4.25" x 11", just score at 2.75" and 8.25" and there ya go!! (If you want to create a "vertical" card, start with a piece of cardstock that is 5.5" x 8.5" and score at 2 1/8" and 6 3/8".) I added some Stickles to the outline on the butterfly and the flowers. I kinda cased one of my old cards. Hey, at least I am giving myself credit!!

These cute pumpkins were done for TLC136 (that would be "Technique Lovers Challenge"). The object here was to remake an old card, using exactly the same cardstock colors and layers as before, but use a totally different stamp set! This was presented as a challenge because Beth, the challenge hostess, had just recently attended a shoebox swap where she had prepped everything and was ready to go, but had FORGOTTEN her stamps at home!! She had to borrow something else from the swap hostess. (Like none of us have ever done THAT before!) It was really fun. I also leaned on an old sketch challenge . . . one of my favorites . . . SC94. (A "sketch" is just a fancy word for "layout".) I have also been challenging myself to color with my SU markers. I ALMOST bought some Copic markers a few weeks ago. My ds (Garrett, who is 16 and quite the artist) was with me. As I was stewing over which two or three to buy (those buggers are over $5 a piece!!) he asked me simply, "Why do you want those? You do some great coloring and stuff with the markers and ink you already have." From the mouths of babes . . . he was RIGHT!! Plus, I would never have been satisfied until I owned all $500 worth of those babies so that I could have as much to choose from as possible! I have re-discovered my plain ol', non-Copic SU markers and am LOVING them! They work GREAT on watercolor paper. Plus, I have the whole set, so they match my cardstock beautifully and give me the creative freedom I like! 'Nuf said!

This has to be one of the most favorite cards I have ever created! I just LOVE these dang cute scarecrows! I'll have to admit, I bought this set off of eBay last winter and used one of the stamps (a snowman image) for my Christmas card. This is a very old SU set called "Great Groupings". These guys were soooo dang fun to color (again, using my new/old favorite SU markers). I created this for SC144 (that is the sketch challenge that is always posted for Wednesdays on SCS). I created the pumpkin using three 3/4" circles. It always helps to add a little bit of Bashful Blue around the edges of your image to give them a little bit of depth (which you can't see as well in this photo). That is a little trick I learned from my good friend, Kittie (aka kittie747 on SCS - Hey, girlfriend!! You rock!!). She taught me everything I know about watercoloring! If you use a blender pen and a little bit of ink from your reinker, you can really control the shading. It is fun, fun, fun!!

And . . . finally . . . this one I did yesterday for a combo challenge . . . I combined LSC136 (using limited supplies - only a sentiment stamp and a border stamp - the "dot leader" image from "In the Spotlight" - with some designer series paper to create a layout) and WT134 (the "Ways to Use It" challenge that featured twill tape). I am totally LOVING making square cards! Gives me a whole new "canvas" to work on! I embossed the sentiment and dot leaders with clear ep, as I used chocolate chip craft ink and have NO patience in waiting for it to dry! I also used craft ink on the chipboard flower, which I then covered with Irisdescent Ice ep. I miss the Au Chocolate designer series paper. Wait a minute! What am I saying??? I still have a bunch, so I don't have to miss it at all (YET!!)! Too bad it didn't make SU's big catalog . . .

Lastly, my good friend Deb (debils on SCS), tagged me with a fun little game. So, here are my responses (just gotta figure out who else to "tag" so they can play, too!):

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car) - Rusty Highlander

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fav. ice cream flavor, favorite cookie) Moose Tracks Pumpkin

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name) WWEI

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal) - Green Hippo

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)- Marie Hayward

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first) - Weiwe

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd favorite color, favorite drink put “The”) The Magenta Fresca

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)- Art Wilson

9. STRIPPER NAME : ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne, favorite candy) CK Milky Way

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ) Lorene Ross

Super silly, but fun, nonetheless! Have a great day!!