Sunday, May 31, 2009

I Love You, Dad . . .

After years of chronic heart disease and a valiant life well lived, my dear sweet father returned to his heavenly home yesterday. I was looking through some photos on my computer this morning trying to find something that would be suitable for his obituary when I came across this photo of the two of us taken Christmas Day 2007. What a treasure this will be to me, as I didn't think I had any pictures of the two of us together that weren't from when I was 10 years old (as I am usually the one BEHIND the camera). This brought me to tears, yet I am so grateful that I have it, as I will treasure it all my days.

I love you, Dad. Your absence will leave a hole in my heart and you will be missed by so many who loved you dearly. I will always be your little girl . . .

Robert Ross Rantz
May 13, 1947 - May 30, 2009

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Wedding Favors & Update

My sister-in-law's niece is getting married on June 8. The bride-to-be and her mother found these lovely little embossed favor boxes (if you click on the picture it will blow up bigger and you will be able to see the embossing on the box) and asked me if I could come up with something in her wedding colors that would dress them up a bit. This is what the final product looks like . . . I thought that embossing the flowers and petals looked really pretty. I also ordered these super large pearl stickers online only to have them arrive MUCH smaller than the ones in the picture I had seen. Luckily, the vendor was able to correct the error on the order and ship me replacements. Whew!! I was a bit worried for awhile there . . .

I ended up making 140 of these (they are being handed out at the wedding lunch). This box shows you half of them . . . I think that they look pretty cool all lined up in the box. It makes me feel like I really accomplished something!!

Paper: Pumpkin Pie, Certainly Celery, Wild Wasabi
Accessories: 5-petal flower punch, 1/2" circle punch, 10mm pearl stickers, Textile Cuttlebug embossing folder, celery organza ribbon, glue dots, pop-up glue dots, favor boxes

I was really glad that I finished these up last Tuesday before my dad went to the hospital, which brings me to the update . . .

We have been keeping a steady vigil at the hospital. It appears, after all that has been done for him, that in all likelihood he is not going to wake up. We have a neurologist coming in today to give us an assessment, but I am not feeling too hopeful. My heart is breaking. I have always been "Daddy's Little Girl" and I can scarcely imagine what it is going to be like without him around to give me advice and great big bear hugs. I cannot express enough how much I have appreciated all of the well wishes and prayers that you all have offered to me over the past several days. They have sustained me through this very difficult time. You are all the BEST!!

I am hoping and praying for a miracle, but am resigned to whatever the outcome may be. I am grateful for the faith that has helped me through this, as I don't know how else I would have survived this week. Blessings and many thanks to all of you . . .

- Wendy :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Yet Another Hinged Card . . .

This card is going to be a very QUICK "fly-by" . . .

I did this card for TLC222, where Lynn linked my tutorial for how to make these fun little gems! I knew I had to play! Since it was Memorial Day, I was feeling patriotic . . . hence the theme of the card . . .

And here it is opened up . . .

I am not sure exactly when I will post again, as I am in the hospital on a vigil with my family on behalf of my dad. His heart stopped yesterday (he has had heart troubles for many years), and they weren't able to get it started until they arrived at the hospital. We are currently awaiting neurological testing (which won't start until late tonight/early tomorrow) to see if there is significant brain damage, as we are not quite sure how long his brain went without oxygen. Sorry for the personal nature of this post . . . it is just that I appreciate all of you who follow/comment on my blog and I wanted to let you know WHY there may be a lag for a few days. There is an internet connection at the hospital, but for some reason my Mac is not playing nicely with it. I have a few more things I COULD share with you, just not sure I will be able to (I will be doing a lot of sitting/waiting/praying over the next several days, so I am sure if I can get the 'net to cooperate, I will have time to share something with you all).

Thanks to all of you for all of your encouragement and support in everything I do. You are terrific!!

Stamps: Everyday Classics by Papertrey and Patriotic Background by Rubbernecker
Paper: Night of Navy, Real Red, Whisper White
Ink: Night of Navy, Real Red, Whisper White Craft
Accessories: tylized Silver hodegepodge hardware (star brad), 1/2" circle punch, zigzag border punch by EK Success, large and small star punches, red striped ribbon by SU, pop-up glue dots

Monday, May 25, 2009

Circle of Life

Well, it was my turn again to hostess the limited supplies challenge on SCS last Friday (LSC221). I really do have a lot of fun doing that! My challenge this time around was to think circular . . . circle-shaped cards, stamped circles, other images stamped IN a circular pattern . . . whatever they could think of! I also limited everyone to just ONE stamp set for everything . . . main image, background and/or sentiment! It was a lot of fun!

Truth be told, I almost didn't even post this card. I knew what I wanted, but was not very happy with the finished project. I posted it anyway, as I always like to have two samples. Well, guess what?? This card now holds the distinction in my SCS gallery as being the one with the most comments EVER (I think the last I check it was at 88!)!! I just can't figure it out!! I've made lots of other cards I have liked better that NO ONE seems to look at!! Go figure!!

I created this image by tracing a circle on my cardstock, then stamping the imagines around the circle. I have done this technique MANY times before, and I usually really like how they turn out.

Stamps: Pocket Silhouettes
Paper: Kiwi Kiss, Old Olive, Cameo Coral, Shimmery White
Ink: Kiwi Kiss, Old Olive, Cameo Coral
Accessories: 1 3/4", 1 3/8" and 1 1/4" circle punches, horizontal slot punch, olive polka dot taffeta ribbon, Scor-Bug

This second card was fun to make. I stamped the rose image from Fifth Avenue floral about 5 times, then cut out various portions of it and layered them on one another. I really like this stamp set. I would never have thought it to be so versatile! I also used the Manhatten Flower embossing folder in the background, along with some Nesties. I don't totally love this sentiment, but since I had already set the limits on this challenge, I just had to roll with it!!

Stamps: Fifth Avenue Floral
Paper: Perfect Plum, Pale Plum, Shimmery White
Ink: Perfect Plum, Pale Plum
Accessories: Spellbinders Large Scalloped Circle (S4-124) and Inverted Scalloped Circle (S4-194), Manhattan Flower embossing folder, wide oval punch, shimmery white organza, pop-up glue dots, sponge

Smiley from millan.netHappy Memorial Day, friends!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Simple Card???

I have the HARDEST time with simple cards . . . I always end up getting carried away. This is a card that just happened . . . I did it in about 15 minutes (an all-time record for me!). I really like how it turned out, too! I've been working on some grad announcements for my son and am embossing this same Nestabilities label die on the front. I really like this look . . . and it's SIMPLE!!!

I did this for WT219 on SCS - the challenge was to use the same image in repetition on your card. Cool! I do that ALL the time, so this was a snap for me! (And I'm back to one of my FAVE color combos, too! I think this is just so darn elegant!)

Thanks for lookin' and have a GREAT Memorial Day Weekend!!

Stamps: Thoughts & Prayers
Paper: Blush Blossom, Always Artichoke, Very Vanilla
Ink: Blush Blossom, Always Artichoke
Accessories: Spellbinders Large Labels (S4-168) Nestabilities, Mellow Moss taffeta ribbon, Pretties Kit pearl sticker, pop up glue dots

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Great Friend FAVE!

This is one stamp set that I am really hoping make the leap from mini catalog to "Big Catty" for Stampin' Up (guess we'll know pretty soon, eh?). I have made a LOT of cards using it . . . it's just so lovely and versatile. AND, of course, it has a BUTTERFLY!!

I also was able to make this card a "two-fer" . . . it encompasses TWO challenges - SC229 on SCS AND Jarons Creative Color Challenge #2.

I was able to stamp this card - start to finish - in less than 30 minutes. I LOVE it when that happens (which is not very often, mind you!)! Once in a while I even amaze myself!!!

Stamps: Great Friend
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Rose Red, Regal Rose, Pretty in Pink, Kiwi Kiss, Whisper White
Ink: Kiwi Kiss, Regal Rose, Rose Red
Accessories: Eyelet border punch, Matchbox Bigz XL die, Floral Fantasy Cuttlebug embossing folder, chocolate chip taffeta ribbon, pop-up glue dots

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tri-Fold Shutter

For any of you that have been following my blog for a while you will know that I LOVE funky folds!! Anything that makes a card a bit unexpected . . . well, the TLC on SCS Monday was right up my alley!! TLC211 was to create a trii-fold shutter card, and it is really MUCH easier than it looks!

Basically, you start with a piece of cardstock that is 12" by 5.5". THen, you score it along the 12" side at 2", 4", 8" and 10". With me so far? Using a ruler and an Xacto/utility knife, cut 1.5" inches from the top and bottom edges between the first score (at 2") and the last score (at 10"). After that, all you have to do is alternating according folds amongst the three sections have have cut and VOILA!! Then you can embellish and stamp like crazy!

This was almost a wedding card as it has something old (Porcelain Prints dsp), something new (Martha Stewart Butterflies - which are new at least to me!), something borrowed (I got the cardstock and dsp from Karen - imastampin) and something blue (Blue Bayou AND Not Quite Navy)! It also makes card #92 in my "Follow the Butterflies" challenge (again, see the sidebar to the right for more details). I will DEFINITELY be doing more of these tri-fold shutter cards in the future. Too-too fun!!

Here's a photo of the card closed . . . it was really fun trying to figure out what was going to "show" when it was closed and what was not.

Stamps: Upsy Daisy, All Holidays, Martha Stewart Butterflies
Paper: Blue Bayou, Not Quite Navy, Whisper White, Wild Wasabi, Porcelain Prints dsp
Ink: Not Quite Navy
Accessories: Scribbles/Swirls Sizzlet Die, white taffeta ribbon, Spellbinders Labels Four die (S4-190), EK Success Fluer de Lis border punch, sponge, pop-up glue dots

Monday, May 18, 2009

Summer Joy

Here's the last of the cards I made while I was playing at Karen's (thanks so much, my friend, for letting me come and stay with you!)! I did this last Friday for LSC220 - "Life's a Beach" - where we were to incorporate a beach-y theme in our cards.

I love this old "Summer by the Sea" set. I was so glad that Karen had it, as it was the first set I thought of when I read what the challenge was. I did this in kind of a hurry, too, since we were headed out the door to run errands (SHOP!), and visit our friends over at Spellbinders! (BIG HELLOS to Stacey, Jeff, Tobi, Terre and of course SAMSON - the World's Biggest DOG!).

This card also makes me long for Bear Lake . . . we should be up there some time next month for a little R & R and fun and sun in the sand!

Stamps: Summer by the Sea, Sanded
Paper: Blue Bayou, Baja Breeze, Creamy Caramel, Whisper White
Ink: Not Quite Navy, Creamy Caramel
Accessories: Spellbinders Labels Four Nestabilities (S4-190) and Standard Circles Large (S4-114), paper distressing tool, linen thread, dimensionals, blender pen

I guess since it's Monday I will be "back in the saddle, again" . . . that's the hardest part about running away . . . coming back!! :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pasta, Friends, and Happiness . . .

What could be better than this?? Spending several days with a good friend, enjoying each other's company, stamping and EATING pasta!! Here are Karen (imastampin) and I enjoying a super YUMM-O plate of shrimp/pesto pasta. We got the recipe from another dear friend of ours . . . Heidi Blankenship. You can see the recipe and what she created in conjunction with it HERE. Thanks, Heidi, for both your pasta recipe AND your friendship!! We love ya, girl!

Now, as promised, here is yet another butterfly card that is ALSO another hinged card (I truly think that I am addicted to these now . . . I just have so much fun with 'em!!).

I found this GAWgeous butterfly at a local store here in Phoenix (think it may have been Michaels, but we've been all over so I can't be sure). It's pretty amazing. I have to admit, that after playing with Karen's Martha Stewart border lace doily punch I had to finally give in and buy me one (luckily I had a 40% off coupon!). I have the feeling it is going to get a lot of love at my house!

I never bought this "fine lace" background stamp, either. Man, I wish I would have! It's MUI-purdee!! As I mentioned before, it is super fun playing with someone else's stash!!

And here is the card open . . . I hope my son can figure out how to open this one (as it DOES make "Follow the Butterflies" card #91!). "Tricky" openings baffle him (after all, he IS a guy!). I think I may have to label this card with sticky notes . . . "hold here" and "pivot to the left here" or some other such nonsense! Otherwise, he will probably disassemble the darn thing trying to get it open (I am pretty sure he destroyed the "magic window" card I sent him waaaaayyyy back at the beginning of this whole thing . . . he said later, 'I just didn't get that card!' which leads me to believe he pulled it apart instead of sliding the window up!)

I guess I am headed back to reality tomorrow (SIGH!). It sure has been good for my soul to do something totally random, unplanned, spontaneous and crazy! I cannot say how much I appreciate Karen for putting up with me! Friends are the BEST!!

Stamps: Fine Lace, Just B, Lots of Thoughts
Paper: So Saffron, Barely Banana, Riding Hood Red, Not Quite Navy, Whisper White
Ink: Not Quite Navy
Accessories: Butterfly rub-on by Tulip for Duncan Enterprises, Martha Stewart Lace Doily border punch, Cuttlebug Birds & Swirls embossing folder, 1/2" circle punch, hodgepodge hardware (brad), pearl (Pretties kit), double slot punch, Riding Hood Red ribbon

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bloomin' Good Time . . .

I think EVERYone should run away from home at least ONCE in their adult life!! WHY didn't I do this a long time ago?? Since Karen's husband is out of town, we don't have to answer to ANYone!! And I have come to the conclusion that putting your hair in a ponytail is the SAME as taking a shower!!

Here are a few of the things I have been playing with . . . this first card was the SECOND one I did yesterday for SC228. I am soo happy that Karen has "Bloomin' Beautiful" . . . I have been contemplating getting it. I think if I use it enough while I am here I might be able to save a little bit of money!! (hehehehehe!) She also has this ADORABLE "birthday" Sizzix embossing folder (it comes in a set with an embossed cupcake, "happy birthday" and two other images I can't remember at the moment). This background is kinda like eyelet . . . I just LOVE it!! NEED to find me one of these!!

Stamps: Blooming Beautiful, French Script
Paper: Mellow Moss, Blush Blossom, Always Artichoke, Very Vanilla
Ink: Black Memento, Mellow Moss, Always Artichoke
Accessories: Spellbinders Large and Small Deckled Rectangle dies (S4-202 and S4-201), Hodgepodge Hardware, ribbon (unknown), Cuttlebug Vintage Squares die, dimensionals, sponge, Sizzix birthday embossing folder

I made this tin for today's SCS challenge - WT218 - to alter a tin in some fashion. I was playing with the ink pads and blender pen last night and decided to color these "Bloomin' Beautiful" flowers (haven't done THAT for quite a while). I LOVE pansies, too, so this was really fun to do!

Stamps: Bloomin' Beautiful, All Holidays
Paper: Pale Plum, Perfect Plum, Old Olive, Elegant Eggplant, Watercolor paper
Ink: Memento Black, Pale Plum, Perfect Plum, Elegant Eggplant, Summer Sun, Old Olive, Always Artichoke, Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa, Ruby Red, Pumpkin Pie, Bashful Blue
Accessories: Spellbinders Peony (S4-193), Standard Circles (Large & Small - S4-114 & S4-116), large and small oval punches, gingham ribbon, dimensionals

I have another card I made today (a hinged one, by the way) that I will upload tomorrow. I decided that my son (the Butterfly Boy) was going to need to have one, so come back to see what I came up with!

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I Ran Away From Home!!

Literally!! I still can't believe I did it!!

On Monday, I was talking to my dear friend, Karen (imastampin on SCS). I was telling her I needed to get outta town and she said I should just come and visit HER . . . in Phoenix!! Guess what?? I got in my car that afternoon and just did it!! I drove halfway on Monday (stayed in our family's house by Zions National Park), then drove the rest of the way yesterday!! Can you believe it??? I still can't (although my backside can!)!!

And the sign of a TRUE friend??? One that gets up early (like me), and before EITHER of us dressed, ate breakfast or showered we RAN to the craft room to do today's SCS sketch challenge!!! hehehehehe!! (Karen wants me to point out, however, that at least SHE brushed her teeth!!)!

Which brings me to today's card for SC228. I LOVE that Karen has butterfly stamps that I DON'T have!! This one is SO darling!! This is officially card #90 in my "Follow the Butterflies" challenge, too!! WOWZA!!! (There's a link on the sidebar to the right if you have no clue what I am talking about!)

We are gonna stamp, watch old movies, eat junk, take naps and read . . . and stamp some more! I still can't believe I'm here . . . :)

Stamps: Thankful Thoughts, Polka Dot bg
Paper: Pacific Point, YoYo Yellow, Real Red, Whisper White
Ink: Black Memento, Basic Black craft
Accessories: Spellbinders Large Scalloped Octagon (S4-185), Large and Small Labels (S4-168 and S4-169), 1 1/4" circle punch, black/white polka dot organza ribbon, dimensionals, clear embossing powder

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!!

I big wide WONDERFUL hug to all you moms out there! If you aren't a mom, HUG a mom!! They totally deserve it today!!

As promised, here is another hinged card (see tutorial HERE). As you can see, I also used Patty Bennett's wonderful watercolor rose technique again as well! I made this card for my own dear mother. She is truly one of the most selfless people I have ever met. Truly a "one-of-a-kind" mother. She loves roses, too, so I know she will like this card (oh yeah . . . and the hand-dipped chocolates I bought for her as well!)!

Hope y'all have a wonderful day!! Hugs and smiles to all!!

Stamps: Fifth Avenue Floral, Bella Toile bg, One of a Kind
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Shimmery White, Cameo Coral, Barely Banana
Ink: Cameo Coral, Summer Sun, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White
Accessories: Clear embossing powder, EK Success Parisien border punch, D'vine Swirl Cuttlebug embossing folder, chocolate chip corduroy brad, chocolate chip taffeta ribbon, pop-up glue dots

And here is my mom's card with the hinge open . . . this is fast becoming my new favorite type of card!!
Smiley from

Friday, May 8, 2009

Hinged Card Tutorial - TA-DA!!!

I have been telling myself forEVUH that I was going to start doing video tutorials for y'all . . . and at long last I finally DID one! I am so proud of me!! :) (I hate to admit that this took me the better part of today as the learning curve was a bit CURVIER that I had planned!)

I have been seeing these darling hinged cards all over place (SCS, blogs, etc.). I finally broke down and made this one yesterday for WT217 - to incorporate kraft cardstock into your card. I really like how this turned out, and it was dang fun, ta-boot!! Between the hinges and the watercolor roses I have been keeping myself MUI busy this week!

Stamps: Fifth Avenue Floral, Thoughts & Prayers
Paper: Kraft, Very Vanilla, Not Quite Navy, Bella Blue dsp
Ink: Not Quite Navy

And here is what it looks like with the "hinge" open . . .

And here is the tutorial . . . come back on Mother's Day (this Sunday!) as I will have another hinged card to show you that I made for my mom!!

Have a wonderful weekend . . . :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Time for Another Butterfly . . .

I bought "Sense of Time" a while ago, then forgot I had it!! I'm so glad I pulled it out and inked it up . . . the large clock image is FABulous and will be used a lot at my house!!

This makes butterfly #89 (can you believe it??!!??)! More information on my whole "Follow the Butterflies" challenge can be found in the sidebar to the right of this post . . . :)

I TOTALLY "cased" the butterfly I did for this card from my good friend, Heidi. I kept trying to decide how to adapt her butterfly in making this card, but just decided to bag that and copy it outright!! She ROCKS!! Here's a link to her lovely butterfly creation:

Heidi's Butterfly

This card was also done for SC227 - the original sketch had an oval where I placed the butterfly, but I just did a quick substitution (creative liscence?). I really like this color combo, too . . . must use it again!

Stamps: Sense of Time, Occasions (butterfly - Inkadinkado)
Paper: Old Olive, Very Vanilla, Rose Red
Ink: Old Olive, Rose Red, More Mustard, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Martha Steward Lattice Border Punch, olive polka dot organza ribbon, sponge, pop-up glue dots, Stickles (on butterfly)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Watercolor Roses - WOW!!

I swear I have come across more people with GENIUS written all over them in the last couple of years. Patty Bennett happens to be one of them. I have been fortunate enough to be in a swap group with her for over two years and have not only grown to appreciate her talent, but her friendship as well (hi-ya Patty!)!

Here is a link to a terrific tutorial she did on her blog to create these wonderful watercolor roses. My first attempts weren't as good (I think it comes from living in a desert and having VERY dry cardstock!). After really spritzing the cardstock AND forcing a tiny bit of extra water out of the tip of my aquapainter, I think I am getting the hang of it. This is actually the SECOND card I did using this technique (I like it better than the first one I did below):

Patty's Watercolor Roses Technique Video

Cool, eh? I've been thinking about doing a dramatic black-and-white card ever since I saw the inspiration challenge on SCS last Saturday (IC178).

Stamps: Fifth Avenue Floral, Together Forever
Paper: Tangerine Tango, Basic Black, Shimmery White
Ink: Basic Black, Regal Rose, Tangerine Tango, Whisper White
Accessories: Scribbles/Swirls Sizzlet Die, keytag punch, shimmery white organza ribbon, Damask Texturz plate, aqua painter, clear embossing powder, pop-up glue dots

This is the first attempt I made at coloring the roses. I didn't use enough water, so some of the color came out kinda dark and blotchy, but I still like the effect. I did this for CC217 - Ballet Blue, Cameo Coral and Garden Green. A pretty vibrant combo, but I kinda like it!! I also have to say that I really like the lovely image left from the Damask Texturz plate AND the Sizzlets Scribbles/Swirls dies. They are really lovely (both of 'em!).

Stamps: Fifth Avenue Floral, Stem Sayings
Paper: Ballet Blue, Cameo Coral, Shimmery White, Garden Green
Ink: Garden Green, Cameo Coral, Pink Pirouette, Ruby Red, Whisper White
Accessories: Damask texturz plate, Sizzlets Scribbles/Swirls die, pop-up glue dots, white taffeta ribbon, clear embossing powder, aqua painter

Monday, May 4, 2009

Happy Monday!

Here we are again, back to the beginning of the week. I swear, sometimes time just flies right along, doesn't it?

These two cards are ones that I did last week for Thursday and Friday's challenge on SCS. This first one was for Friday's limited supply challenge - LSC218. I had a lot of fun with this. The idea was to use stamped images to create a border on your card. I guess I do this more often than I thought, but I enjoyed creating this card for a dear friend of mine who lost her husband a couple of weeks ago. I am hoping that the cherry colors at least bring a little smile to her face.

Stamps: Eastern Blooms, Thoughts & Prayers
Paper: Old Olive, So Saffron, Cameo Coral, Whisper White
Ink: Old Olive, Summer Sun, Cameo Coral
Accessories: Spellbinders Scalloped Oval Nesties - Large and Small (S4-110 and S4-111) and Classic Oval Small (S4-112), May Arts polka dot organza ribbon, pearl sticker

This kinda dramatic card was for Thursday's challenge - WT216 - to incorporate black into your card as a focal point. I have had this Baroque background stamp for at least a year and this was the first time I actually inked it up!! How sad! I really like how this came out, though.

Stamps: Baroque, Flexible Phrases
Paper: Basic Black, Real Red, Very Vanilla
Ink: Basic Black (classic and craft)
Accessories: clear embossing powder, Scor-Bug, large oval punch, scallop oval punch, word window punch, May Arts polka dot organza, pop-up glue dots