Saturday, June 30, 2012

Playdate at the Park Layout

****I'm on VACATION!!!! While I'm away, I have some art and non-art posts scheduled. I'm so glad you are stopping by to visit, and as always, I appreciate your comments, but I'll be a little slower to respond than normal.*****

This is a take another take on the technique I shared the other day: spraying reinker/water mixture on acrylic blocks to create your own paper. (Sorry the photo is a little crooked.)

I used a 3x3 block and topiary reinker to create the series of squares for the grid pattern (the pattern actually reminds me a little of camouflage). This was a really simple layout to put together, and I added some additional stamping using the stamp set from the Rock a Block campaign from earlier this year.

Grids are fun because you can use them to showcase a lot of photos, or a few. There's plenty of space for journaling, as well as to show off papers you create or have in your stash, and grid layouts just seem to come together more quickly than free form layouts.

Hope you had a great week, and are enjoying your weekend!

Supplies Used
Paper/Cardstock: White Daisy, Topiary, and Pacifica cardstock
Stamps: Rock the Block campaign stamp set, Cocktail Alphabet; A Typeface
Ink: Pacifica
Other: Topiary Reinker, Spray Pen, 3x3 Acrylic block; Tombow Adhesive; EK Success Blue Zig Marker

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Grateful for You

****I'm on VACATION!!!! While I'm away, I have some art and non-art posts scheduled. I'm so glad you are stopping by to visit, and as always, I appreciate your comments, but I'll be a little slower to respond than normal.*****

This is another card that I created for a publication submission that didn't get picked up. I really love the technique. To create the background paper, I used a spray pen (actually two, one with Cranberry reinker and water and one with Twilight), spraying directly onto a 4x4 acrylic block.

You can do this if you have one of those fancy craft mats also, but I don't, so I use the block. Then you just press your cardstock onto the block. It's fun to experiment with the spray - further or closer to the block to see the different patterns you can create.

This piece kind of reminded me of flowers, so I paired it with the stamp set from the Pemberley Workshop on the Go. I stamped the flowers using Cranberry ink in second generation, and I also added a little dimension to the sentiment by stamping in second generation using Cranberry just a bit to the side of where I stamped with the black.

An easy card to put together, and a really fun technique to try.

Supplies Used
Paper/Cardstock: White Daisy and Black Cardstock
Stamps: Pemberley Workshop on the Go stamp set
Ink: Cranberry, Black
Other: Cranberry and Twilight Reinker; Spray Pen; 4x4 Acrylic Block; Tombow Adhesive

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kid's Art

****I'm on VACATION!!!! While I'm away, I have some art and non-art posts scheduled. I'm so glad you are stopping by to visit, and as always, I appreciate your comments, but I'll be a little slower to respond than normal.*****

With a 4 1/2 and 1 1/2 year old in preschool/daycare, there is a steady stream (onslaught) of art projects that come home. Usually at least 2-3 items from the older one daily, and Carina's teacher batch processes, so about every other week, we get a big stack of art projects to bring home.

It's overwhelming to say the least.

We could wallpaper our whole home with this stuff, but frankly, most of it isn't worth saving.

So this is how we are currently tackling the art problem:

Step 1) Sort through and pick out the official art items (the ones that are actually made with construction paper/glue, you can tell they were part of a class art project) as well as particularly good drawings--the ones that have recognizable people/items. (A lot of what comes home are things Ellie traced and then colored in - all good for fine motor skills, but it can be rather repetitive.)

Step 2) Photograph all the pieces that weren't pitched. The plan is that one day I will burn a CD/DVD for each of the girls of all their art.

Step 3) Sort again to pick out the pieces I actually want to save. The bar for these is pretty high. Usually it involves handprints, family drawings, pieces where she was asked a question and drew the answer (for example when asked if she could have 100 of one thing, what would she choose, she said "dresses" -- things that showed her state of mind/things that are important to her at this age). I store these pieces in an Alex kids portfolio, and I have one for each of the girls.

You might notice that nowhere here does it say display pieces of art. This will likely change soon, but I'm reluctant to display the pieces that I actually want to preserve....reason being is that Ellie often wants to go back and improve her or Carina's projects, or play with them, and then they are altered, get torn, etc. I'll put up things that I don't plan to keep, but I try not to do that with the good stuff.

So then we have this problem: Ellie really does want to hang up and show off her pictures. Unfortunately, we don't like to have a ton of stuff on the walls in the house. Andrew is minimal when it comes to wall decor, we don't want a ton of nail holes in the walls, and it's not like our house is huge, so we just don't hang much up.

Here's our solution

Those rings are just some curtain rings/clips that I bought from Target. Ellie got them in her Easter Basket this year. They are in her room on the window rod and when she brings something home, or draws something she really loves, we can hang it up there. It doesn't clutter up the walls in the rest of the house, create holes or pull off paint, and she is totally in charge of what goes up there.

This system has worked out really well for us so far, but I'm curious (for those of your in the same situation), what are your solutions for the unending supply of art your kids produce? How do you deal with and document the volume? I'm always looking for good ideas, so I hope you'll share. Thanks for stopping by today!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Hey everyone, just wanted to let you know that I'm going to be on vacation starting late this afternoon. They hubby and I are going to Eastern Europe for a belated 10 year anniversary trip. It's actually 11 years this year, but Carina was too little to leave last year.

This is a 'just us' trip. My parents are watching the girls while we're away. We love them dearly, but we're not quite ready to tour Europe with them, and we're grateful for a little one-on-one time together. Aren't grandparents wonderful?

I've pre-posted some things to share while I'm away, but I won't be able to be out visiting while I'm gone.

Hope you have a wonderful week and a half - we get home on the fourth - what a great day to return don't you think?

Have a wonderful end to your weekend and I'll see you soon!

Friday, June 22, 2012

My Funny Valentine Layout for ScrapFIT #70

This layout was so much fun to do. First, I just LOVE the photos, they are of Carina from this past Valentine's Day. Second, I got to play with some of my new stuff: the Keepsake Alphabet stamp set and Sweet Tooth papers from GCD Studio.

The ScrapFIT challenge is to use polaroids in your layout. I don't have any actual polaroids, and I wanted to do something a little different, so I cut three polaroid frames using my paper trimmer, but used them on regular 4x6 photos (I did trim those down a little bit, but only about 1/2" in any one direction).

I used three of the GCD patterns, that fun background print, a light taupe colored print, and a bolder print which I cut the decorative flower elements from.

I also have to say that I'm kind of in love with this new alpha set. I was a little concerned that it would be hard to line up the letters/connect them to look like cursive, but it totally wasn't. I am that girl that ends up having to stamp the same thing multiple times because I mess it up, and I did not have to do it for these words! The font is so forgiving, it really makes you look like a professional.

For the journaling I created a 'faux polaroid' element. I used that light taupe pattern for the frame and then put the journaling on the inside. I think it's a fun way to tie things together.

Hope that you had a wonderful week and are staying's been pretty sweltering here lately!

Supplies Used
Paper/Cardstock: GCD - Sweet Tooth papers; CTMH - White Daisy cardstock
Stamps: Keepsake Alphabet
Ink: Black
Other: Black Pigma Micron pen; CTMH - Cutting knife, Bonding Memories Adhesive; Tombow Adhesive; 3L Dodz small adhesives

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy Retirement Card

It's pretty crazy here. I'm trying to get packed for vacation, finish up some cards for publication submissions as well as some other challenge projects, so an older card to share today. This is a card I created a while back for a publication call that wasn't picked up, but I love the card as it's a great way to stretch your supplies, what you already have on hand.

I created the background paper by stamping with my acrylic block. I used my 1" x 6 1/2" block, and three different inks: Twilight, Desert Sand, and Garden Green.

The wide stripes were created by inking up the block with Garden Green, and then lightly swiping the inkpad against the block to get that texture.

Then I inked up the side of my block. The CTMH blocks are curved on the ends which is nice because it make it easy to grip, so there's a thicker line and a thinner line based on that curve in the block. For these thinner lines, I just loaded up the block and pressed (no swiping). I kept the pattern/color scheme very simple, but you could certainly add as much or as little additional color/layers as you like.

The sentiment piece is from the Card Word Puzzle set, and for the ruffle, I used some Cocoa grosgrain and a smaller oval piece. Then with a needle and thread I just loosely tacked it to the small oval piece gathering it with my fingers as I went along. The small oval was attached to the base piece and then the oval with the sentiment above that using dimensional foam tape.

Hope you are all staying cool today. It was 101 here! Hello Summer!

Supplies Used
Paper/Cardstock: White Daisy and Cocoa cardstock
Stamps: Card Word Puzzle
Ink: Cocoa, Twilight, Garden Green
Other: Cocoa grosgrain, Dimensional Foam Tape, Tombow Adhesive, Needle/thread

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Happy Mail for me and one of you too (Giveaway Winner)

This is kind of a busy week for me. I'm trying to get ready to leave for vacation, get some posts scheduled for while I'm out, as well as finish up some submissions for the current Paper Crafts call, so I thought I'd share a non-artwork post with you today.

I get happy mail a lot, but a couple extra special packages came last week.

First, I got a big old box from CTMH. A lot of it was supplies, but I also got these:

If you hadn't heard, it's Stampaganza this month: Buy 2 get 1 free. I'm kind of an alphabet stamp addict, but the large alphas are some of the priciest items in the CTMH catalog ($29.95), so I don't splurge on them as much as I would like....which was hard this year since there were a bunch of new ones that came out with the new catalog. Anyway, the Stampaganza sale was my excuse to load up on some new alpha sets. I got the (L to R) Keepsake, Varsity, and Trinity alphabets.

Next (and even a little more exciting), these goodies arrived:

You might be wondering what this is all about. Well, for my birthday this year, Andrew signed me up for this class:

I've been a fan of Julie's work for a while, and I LOVE the idea of being able to design, carve, and create my own stamps, so I am so psyched to start. I think I'm actually going to take the tools and some of the carving materials with me on vacation (don't worry I'm going to put it into the checked luggage) for some of the down time when we're on trains/in transit.

FINALLY, I want to announce the winner of my Birthday/Blogaversary Giveaway (I used to pick the number, but I couldn't quite figure out how to get the little picture of the box added here), and that person is.....

Congrats Ruth! Please send me your address (you have until Thursday to contact me, otherwise I will draw another name) and I'll get your package of goodies out to you.

Hope your week is going well, hope to have some other creations to share before we leave for vacation.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Market Street Stamps Paint the Town Challenge

For my Birthday/Blogaversary Giveaway click here.

I really love the color palatte for this month's Market Street Stamps challenge, so I pulled this card together to play along.

I used one of the retired Mayberry papers for that yellow dot base and sponged the edges with chocolate ink. The green is a piece of topiary cardstock that is lightly sanded. Then I scored every 3/8" and lightly sanded the scored lines. I also sponged the edges of that piece.

Wooden chipboard pieces are so in right now, but they can be hard to find in the major stores and pricey too. This is my cheap version. The shape is cut using the Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge. Then I sprayed some Dark Calico Mister Huey's onto a scrap surface, dipped a sponge in it, and quickly swiped it over the frame, repeating until I got the coverage I wanted.

The sentiment is one of my favorite from MSS's 'Faith in You' set, and it totally speaks to me since I'm always biting off more than I can chew, or at least chew comfortably.

The ribbon is from Michael's, and I used a CTMH Kraft button along with some May Arts twine as well as some Opaque Adhesives to finish the card off.

Hope that you had a wonderful weekend. Thanks for stopping by!

Supplies Used
Paper/Cardstock: CTMH - Mayberry paper, Topiary, and Colonial White cardstock
Stamps: MSS - Faith in You
Ink: CTMH - Chocolate
Other: CTMH - Cricut Art Philosophy Cartridge, Mocha Opaques Adhesives; Kraft Button; Sanding kit; May Arts - Twine; Studio Calico - Dark Calico Mister Huey's; Tombow Adhesive; Ribbon from Michael's; Scoring Tool

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Happy Flag Day!

For my birthday/blogaversary blog candy post click here.

I wanted to just sit down and do some stamping last night - without any challenges or contests in mind.

We live in Arlington, VA, and I'm not exactly who it is that does this, but every year for Flag Day someone plants a flag in our lawn, and at each house in many of the neighborhoods throughout Arlington. Ours showed up yesterday evening. I LOVE this. It's amazing to walk/drive down the street and see flags all along the way. What a great display and a great way to honor our country.

When I got home, I pulled out my American Celebration stamp set and created these cards. They were fast and easy, and they are destined for Operation Write Home.

If you've never heard of OWH, check them out here, and you'll also want to see this.

These cards are basically one layer, with just a little extra paper on top - OWH does have restrictions on types of embellishments that can be mailed, so be sure read their guidelines if you want to send some cards. Cards don't need to be patriotic in theme, they like to have cards for all occasions: holiday, birthday, get well, thinking of you, etc.

Check them out, have a wonderful Flag Day, and God Bless America!

Supplies Used
Paper: White Daisy and Outdoor Denim
Stamps: American Celebration
Ink: Cranberry, Pacifica, Outdoor Denim
Other: Sponge Dauber; Tombow adhesive

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Carina's Fall Festival/Petting Zoo layout

After all that focus on cards and Gallery Idol last week, I have really been in the mood to scrapbook. I'm continuing to meander my way through the events of last year.

I'm using a lot of product from Cocoa Daisy's January kit, Tea and Cupcakes, for this layout. One of the papers, Basic Grey's Home Sweet Home, features these beautiful flowers. I used a strip of it on the right page, but ended up cutting out a bunch of the flowers to use as embellishments. This is time consuming, but I love the way it looks.

The title was made using Taylored Expressions new Tall and Skinny Alpha dies. I love the font and I used some Little Yellow Bicycle Hello Spring Jewel Stickers as the dots for the 'i's. The letters as well as the cut flowers were all run through my Xyron 5" Creative Station - makes adhering them SO much easier.

I used some of the embellishments that came in the kit, American Crafts yellow ric rac ribbon and tag, adding some Lemondrop Twinery twine to the tag.

When I got to the journaling, it looked a little too blocky/solid, so I used the Purple Cows summer punch and a corner rounder to soften the block and added some Colonial White cardstock underneath.

And, since I always have more photos than I can get on the page, I used a 4x6 flip flap to add two extras.

This layout just makes me smile. Hope you like it. Sorry that the photos aren't the best. I still struggle to take photos of the double pagers....I think I need (want) a wide angle lens.....

Supplies Used: Cocoa Daisy January kit, Tea and Cupcakes

Additional Supplies Used
Cardstock/Paper: CTMH - Topiary and Colonial White Cardstock
Other: CTMH 4x6 Flip Flap; Taylored Expressions Tall and Skinny Alpha Dies; Xyron 5" Creative Station; Little Yellow Bicycle Hello Spring Jewel Stickers; The Twinery Lemondrop twine; Purple Cows Summer Punch

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Second Christmas Morning Layout

If you're looking for the ScrapbookSteals blog hop, please click here.
For my birthday/blogaversary blog candy post click here.

This is Ellie's Christmas morning layout. I'm still working with the American Crafts Hollyday layout, and I'm ALMOST done with the Christmas layouts. Just one more to go! (Not that I'm keeping track or anything.)

Anyway, I used a number of the papers on this layout, including what kind of looks like red ribbon/tape behind that silver trim (sorry I'm not sure who the manufacturer is, that was in a box of ribbon swag I won).

I also used some of the thickers for embellishments. There are all sorts of extra periods in the pack, so I used them as faux brads. I also used the asterisk as an accent on the vellum envelope.

Lots more crafting to get to tonight, so I'm making this short, but thanks for coming by!

Supplies Used
Paper/Cardstock: American Crafts - Hollyday collection Old Man Christmas, Bellsnickle, Pere Noel, and Santa Claus papers; CTMH - White Daisy cardstock
Other: American Crafts - Hollyday collection Vellum Envelope Bits, Red Reindeer Glitter Thickers, Garland trim; Silver trim (unknown)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Market Street Stamps Block Party

If you're looking for the ScrapbookSteals blog hop, please click here.
For my birthday/blogaversary blog candy post click here.

This is a consolation card. I was SO excited about the free digi that is over at Market Street Stamps this week (it's a really cute little camper image). I had all my papers picked out (CTMH Cruisin collection), and issues. Can't get my printer to work. SO disappointed!

I had to console myself with this little card. It's a 4x4 card, and uses the Faith in You stamp set.

The frame and circle piece were cut using the Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge and I colored it with Gingersnap Smooch Spritz.

The vase was stamped on a retired CTMH paper and then cut out. I also added some shading using my blending pen.

The flowers are from a May Arts flower trim. I cut them out and then used Plumb Thumb Mister Hueys and the Gingernsap Smooch Spritz to add color. I used a large 3L Dodz adhesive dot to adhere the flowers. First I attached them to the dot, creating a cluster, and then attached the whole thing to the center piece.

Pretty simple card. No sentiment on this one, just lots of color.

Thanks for coming by. Hope you are having a great weekend!

Supplies Used
Paper/Cardstock: CTMH - Dotty for You and Bliss Papers, White Daisy Cardstock
Stamps: MSS - Faith in You
Ink: Chocolate
Other: CTMH - Cricut Art Philosophy Cartridge, Blending Pen, Bonding Memories Adhesive, Dimensional Foam Tape; May Arts - Flower Trim; Fuschia Satin Trim; Studio Calico - Plum Thumb Mister Hueys; Clearsnap - Gingersnap Smooch Spritz; Tombow adhesive

Friday, June 8, 2012

Scrapbook Steals Blog Hop

I'm really excited about today's post. A while back Kristy from Scrapbook Steals invited me to be part of this month's hop. Scrapbook Steals has great daily deals on scrapbook supplies. I was pretty excited about it, but THRILLED when I found out that we were going to get to create with American Crafts Glitter Tape.

LOVE THIS STUFF! I pretty much used it all, I think there are only six inches left. My main project was this layout.

I used a circle cutter to cut out the spaces for the photos and then tacked down strips of cardstock around the circles. I went back in, trimmed the ends and machine stitched around the circles. Enter the glitter tape. I cut small pieces, kind of tall trapezoids and used them to cover up the areas where paper strips overlap.

To anchor the page I was going to use just one strip of tape around the bottom and right edge of the white cardstock, but I got a little carried away. It's just too fun, and I love how the colors/strips look right up next to one another.

The little stars around the title were made from the turquoise glitter tape. Just takes a great pair of fine scissors to make some little stars, the perfect embellishment.

I also wanted to make a some cards.

These were super easy to do. Originally I was going to have them say 'Shine on' and 'You dazzle me', but I loved how clean and simple they look with just one word.

The words were cut with my Cricut using the Plantin cartridge. I cut a piece of cardstock slightly smaller and adhered the tape to that, and then used dimensional foam tape to stick the cardstock with the cut out word on top. Then I took the whole piece, added more foam tape around the outside edges and adhered it to the card base.

So there you have it. I had a great time working with the tapes, and I also have to say one more thing. NO MESS. No sparkly bits all over my clothes/house/hair. LOVE how simple and easy it was to get some fabulous sparkle.

Thanks for coming by. Be sure to leave a comment (you have until Sunday, June 10th at 11:59 PM MST). Kristy will pick a random winner from one of the eight blog stops to receive a $20.00 gift certificate to your next stop is Cathryn, and the entire hop list is below in case you get turned around.

Scrapbook Steals
Becky Williams
Kimberli Bean
Maya Oren-Dahan
Ashley Newell
Miriam Prantner
Cathryn Hanson
Regina Mangum

Happy hopping, and thanks again to Kristy for having me!

Supplies Used

Paper/Cardstock: CTMH - Dotty for You and Stella papers, White Daisy, Olive, Chocolate, and Honey cardstock; Jillibean Soup - Homemade 6 Bean Soup 6x6 pad
Stamps: CTMH - A Typeface
Ink: CTMH - Lagoon
Other: American Crafts Glitter Tape; CTMH - Dimensional Foam Tape; Cricut/Cricut Plantin cartridge; Bella Blvd - Sophisticates Ciao Chip Brownie Simona Alphabet; Tombow adhesive; Sewing Machine; CM - Custom Cutting System Circles

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Quick card to share

I created this card last week to send to a dear friend who is going through a difficult time. I used three different mists (two Mister Hueys and one Smooch Spritz). The pink and orange I used on the two wooden shapes as well, just brushing the mist on.

The sentiment is from Verve, and I the small stamped butterfly is from A Tree.

I also wanted to thank everyone for the sweet and encouraging comments regarding Gallery Idol. If you haven't voted yet, you still have plenty of time (through Thursday noon), and you can just click the voting widget in the header.

Hope you have a having a great week!

Supplies Used:
Paper/Cardstock: CTMH White Daisy Bulk card base
Stamps: Verve - Psalm 121:1-2 Plain Jane; CTMH - A Tree
Ink: CTMH - Chocoalte
Other: CTMH - Garden Wooden Shape; Studio Calico - Dark Calico and Plumb Thumb Mister Huey's; Clearnsap - Gingersnap Smooch Spritz; Hydrangea Hippo - Dark Chocolate Velvet Trim.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Gallery Idol Round Two - You Color My World

It's been a bit of a whirlwind around here. After finding out that this card made it into the Gallery Idol Top 20, in between visiting with out-of-town family, I've been frantically trying to create something for the first challenge. (If you don't know what Gallery Idol is, I'll explain it a bit at the end of this post.)

The theme for this round is 'You Color My World'. I went through several ideas and finally settled on this one. I tend to be rather literal in my challenges, but I didn't want to do that here.

This card includes a TON of piecing. To give you an idea, here's what the stamp itself (from the Unity Ippity line) looks like:

I wanted to create rays and carry that through my card, so I stamped the image on four different pieces of cardstock/paper, and used a pencil to draw in the rays.

I cut out the ones I needed from each and adhered them to the card. The center of the sun, cloud, letters and outside border are also pieced. I also used Zig markers to color in the sun's little loops as well as the hearts on the cloud.

Once I had the center portion complete, I adhered it to the base piece and following the lines of the rays I created on the center image, extended them onto the base.

Some cranberry grosgrain and twine finish the look.

I used lots of different papers/cardstock pieces, so I won't try to name them all. Most is Close to My Heart, but there's also some American Crafts, Creative Memories, Bella Blvd, and My Little Shoebox.

Finally, I just wanted to send a BIG thank you to the folks over at Paper Crafts for letting me be part of this fun competition. I've really enjoyed getting to know the rest of the Top 20, and what a GREAT opportunity!

Please head over to the gallery to view all of the cards and place your vote!

A bit about Gallery Idol:
Paper Crafts Connection runs an American Idol styled competition each year. The first round is an open round where you submit cards to a Flickr group (this year's theme was encouragement). Then a group from PC selects the Top 20. Each week the finalists receive a challenge on Friday morning, and have until Monday morning to create a card.

The public then gets to vote on their favorite card. The field is narrowed by 5 each week, with an overall winner crowned at the end of the month.

Supplies Used
Paper/Cardstock: Various
Stamp: Unity Ippity - You are my sunshine
Ink: CTMH - Archival Black
Other: CTMH - Bonding Memories Adhesive; Cranberry Grosgrain; Tombow Adhesive; Small Dodz Adhesives; EK Success Yellow and Red Zig markers; The Twinery - Lemondrop twine