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May 2010

Queen of the Birthday

Hello there!  Thanks for stopping by to visit.

I have been a fan of Mary Engelbreit for years.  I love her whimsical style and all the wonderful details and fun colors she incorporates into her art.  I get the biggest tickle from her "Queen" character.  She's all over the place in Mary's art, from castle to kitchen to holiday decor; but in every art piece, she's in charge.  So when I saw the Favorite Thoughts stamp set in the Summer Mini Catalog and read the sentiments, I zoned in on the one I chose for this card.  It reminded me so much of Mary's Queen.


(click on the picture for a larger view)

I designed this card for my daughter-in-law for her birthday.  She's bright and shiny, full of fun and very much in charge.  Most importantly, she and my son are very happy with their life together.   The card base is Soft Suede Textured cardstock layered with a piece of Thoroughly Modern Designer Series Paper.  The crown from the Tiny Tags stamp set was randomly stamped using Soft Suede ink above the floral paper.  A brayer was used to apply Soft Suede ink to a strip of Bride Specialty Designer Series Paper.  This strip was placed on top of a strip of Bermuda Bay Textured cardstock punched with the Scallop Trim Border punch.  A small slit was cut along the top and bottom of the Bermuda Bay Textured cardstock next to the Bride paper to thread a piece of Bermuda Bay 1/2" grosgrain ribbon that was knotted on top of the Bride paper.  The sentiment was stamped on Very Vanilla cardstock with Soft Suede ink and then matted to a piece of Rose Red cardstock.  I used a 3/16" corner rounder to soften the edges of sentiment pieces.  The three tag outlines were stamped with Soft Suede ink and crowns of Bermuda Bay, Rose Red and Rich Razzleberry were stamped on each of the tags.  These tags were punched with the Medium Jewelry Tag punch and each tag was mounted onto a cardstock tag punched from the coordinating cardstock color to match the crown stamped on the tag.  Each tag was hung with Linen Thread from holes punched under the sentiment.


(click on the picture for a larger view)

The interior of the card continues the theme with crowns stamped in Bermuda Bay, Rich Razzleberry and Soft Suede.  The sentiment comes from the On Your Birthday stamp set and is stamped in Bermuda Bay.


(click on the picture for a larger view)

The left front of the Very Vanilla envelope was stamped with the crown in Bermuda Bay, Rich Razzleberry and Soft Suede.

So here's a special wish for a wonderful person on her birthday.  I hope it's the happiest yet.


Stamps:  Favorite Thoughts, On Your Birthday, Tiny Tags; Inks:  Bermuda Bay, Rich Razzleberry, Rose Red, Soft Suede; Cardstock:  Bermuda Bay Textured, Rich Razzleberry Textured, Rose Red, Soft Suede Textured; Designer Series Paper:  Bride Specialty, Thoroughly Modern; Embellishments:  Bermuda Bay 1/2" Polka Dot grosgrain ribbon, Linen Thread; Adhesives:  SNAIL, Stampin' Dimensionals, Sticky Strip; Tools:  Paper Cutter/Scorer, Paper Snips, Bone Folder, Craft Knife, Self-Healing Mat, Brayer w/hard foam roller, Medium Jewelry Tag punch, 1/16" hole punch, 3/16" corner rounder, Scallop Trim Border punch; Other:  Medium Very Vanilla Envelope

Itty Bitty Bits of Gratitude

Hi there!  Thanks so much for stopping by to visit.

I'm a sucker for the military.  The sight of my husband and children in military uniform sets my heart aflutter.  How could it not?  What you may not realize is that I wore the uniform, too.  When it comes to holidays that honor the military and their sacrifices, you'll find me front and center reminding folks that the freedoms that we all too frequently take for granted were, and continue to be, hard earned.  No matter how you feel about current world events, I will remind you that there are thousands of men and women (and their families) who are making sacrifices every day because they feel that it is their duty to "stand the post" for our great nation.  Every day, 24/7, no matter what.  It's what they do. We can never thank them enough.

So when the folks at Pals Paper Arts announced their Memorial Day challenge (PPA43), I just had to participate.  And when Gretchen Barron said that she wanted to celebrate her birthday by collecting greeting cards for the military, I just had to participate.  Here are the cards I'll be sending to Gretchen.


Here is the card I designed for the Pals Paper Arts Memorial Day challenge (PPA43).


As you can see, I combined some very simple geometric shapes to create a clean look with lots of interest.  I used the Itty Bitty Bits stamp set for the stars and heart.  The small circle punch from the Bitty Shapes Punch Pack was used to punch out the heart and stars which were then placed on piece of cardstock punched with the 1/2 inch circle punch.  These were placed, centered, on 1 inch squares of cardstock.  The squares were arranged with military precision on a piece of Whisper White cardstock matted with Real Red and Whisper White cardstock and adhered to the card base of Brilliant Blue.  

The sentiment comes from the Sweetheart stamp set, an extra stamp set that was released with the Heart Treat cups in January.  The sentiment was punched out with the Curly Label punch and then matted with the punch window center from the Movers and Shapers Curly Label die for the Big Shot.  This piece was tucked under the top center of the focal point.  A piece of Real Red 3/4 inch Polka Dot grosgrain ribbon was wrapped around the top of the card front and knotted on the front.


The inside of the card was lined with Whisper White.  More Brilliant Blue stars and a single Real Red heart were stamped and punched and matted on 1/2 inch circles of cardstock.  These were lined up across the bottom of the card interior.


The envelope flap was decorated with more Brilliant Blue stars and a single Real Red heart.

As we approach the Memorial Day weekend, please keep the men and women of the military (past and present) in your thoughts and prayers.  If you happen to see one of our fine warriors in uniform, be sure to thank them and their family for their sacrifices on your behalf.  They'll appreciate it. 


Stamps:  Itty Bitty Bits, Sweetheart; Inks:  Brilliant Blue, Real Red; Cardstock:  Brilliant Blue, Real Red, Whisper White; Embellishments:  Real Red 3/4" Polka Dot grosgrain ribbon; Adhesives:  SNAIL, Mini Glue Dots; Tools:  Paper Cutter/Scorer, Paper Snips, Bone Folder, 1/2" circle punch, Curly Label punch, Bitty Shapes Punch Pack, Big Shot, XL Cutting Plates, Movers and Shapers Curly Label die; Other:  Medium Whisper White Envelope

A Bright and Cheerful Get Well

Hello!  Thanks so much for stopping by to visit!

I knew it had been a while since I posted, but when I looked at the date of my last post, I was embarrassed!  Holey Shamoley!  I knew I had been busy the last couple of weeks, but...  In any case, I've surfaced and am diving back into the paper.  It feels wonderful!

One of the things I was doing the last few weeks was preparing for the "First Last Launch of [Space Shuttle] Atlantis."  What a beautiful launch!  I watched the launch of STS-132 outside the Launch Control Center.  The wind was blowing in from the ocean and carried the sounds of the launch to us almost immediately.  It was exhilarating to feel the vibrations at nearly the same time that the sound percussion reached us at the Launch Control Center.  OMG!!  We listened to the windows vibrate and flex as we watched Atlantis climb into the bright blue sky.  What an amazing experience!  I've seen so many launches, but I have to say that this one will definitely stand out in my memory.


Another project I've been working on is organizing my papercrafting stuff.  And by stuff, I mean STUFF!  It's all rather overwhelming, but it just has to get done.  I've been "working" on it for more than a year, and now the time is running out.  You see, I was established in one room of my house for a few years and am now establishing myself in another room of the house that was fitted with special storage for my papercrafting stuff.  I've been transferring stuff in a rather haphazard way; mostly as I needed the tools or supplies.  It's definitely a good way to figure out what you're using and what's really required.  The thing is, there's still a lot of stuff in the first room.  What to do?  I'm still pondering that as I go through all the boxes and totes and storage carts.  I have a deadline, though; my youngest son and his wife are coming to visit in a few weeks...

Enough of all that stuff.  Let's get back to papercrafting!  Today's project is a bright and cheerful way to say Get Well.


This card combines die cut flowers and stamped flowers.  The large Real Red flower, Pumpkin Pie flower, and Old Olive leaves are die cut.  The Tempting Turquoise flower, small Real Red flower, and spray of Old Olive palm fronds are stamped and cut out with Paper Snips.  The petals of the flowers were curled with a bone folder.  The edges of the die cut flowers and leaves were sponged with their corresponding color of ink.  The card base is Old Olive with a piece of Tempting Turquoise cardstock embossed with the Square Lattice Textured Impressions embossing folder (also sponged with Tempting Turquoise ink) adhered to the card front.  The card front (and Tempting Turquoise mat) were run through the Big Shot to create the punch window using the Movers & Shapers Modern Label punch window.  A Sanding Block was rubbed over the Tempting Turquoise mat to roughen up the cardstock.  The punch window was used again with a piece of Old Olive cardstock to make the base for the sentiment inside the punch window.  A piece of Tempting Turquoise was punched with the Modern Label punch.  The sentiment was stamped on Whisper White with Pumpkin Pie ink and punched out with the Word Window punch.  All of these pieces and the punch window on the card base were inked with their corresponding ink colors and Pumpkin Pie for the Whisper White.

The four-petal flower from the Bitty Bits stamp was stamped on a piece of Whisper White cardstock using Pumpkin Pie ink and punched out with the corresponding punch from the Bitty Shapes Punch Pack.  A small dot of Crystal Effects was placed at the center of the four-petal flower; then the corresponding button from the Bitty Buttons was placed on top of the stamped/punch button and pressed in place.  Once the Crystal Effects was dry, the button holes were pierced and Linen Thread run through the button holes and knotted on top of the button.  The flowers were assembled using Mini Glue Dots.  The large flower was placed in the upper left corner of the card front with a Pop-Up Glue Dot.  The palm fronds are attached near the upper right corner of the punch window with Mini Glue Dots.  The small flower was placed on top of the palm fronds with a Mini Glue Dot.


The closed card was placed flat on the tabletop and Modern Label Punch piece in Old Olive was pressed into place onto the Whisper White cardstock sponged with Old Olive ink lining the sentiment area of the card.  The sentiment was attached to the Tempting Turquoise Modern Label and then attached to the Old Olive Modern Label with Stampin' Dimensionals.  The Whisper White cardstock liner was stamped with the palm fronds using Old Olive and the small flower was stamped with Pumpkin Pie.  The small flower was stamped again on a scrap of Whisper White cardstock using Tempting Turquoise ink, cut out with Paper Snips, and then attached to the sentiment liner.


The palm fronds were stamped twice on the lower left corner of the envelope front using Old Olive ink.  The large flower was stamped with Tempting Turquoise and the small flower was stamped with Real Red and Pumpkin Pie.

Whew!  There's a bit of work on this card, but well worth the time invested for an eye-catching way to brighten someone's day.


Stamps:  Itty Bitty Bits, Teeny Tiny Wishes, Tropical Party; Inks:  Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie, Real Red, Tempting Turquoise; Cardstock:  Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie, Real Red, Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White; Embellishments:  Bitty Buttons, Linen Thread; Adhesives:  SNAIL, Stampin' Dimensionals, Mini Glue Dots, Pop-Up Glue Dots; Tools:  Paper Cutter/Scorer, Paper Snips, Bone Folder, Sponge, Crystal Effects, Mat Pack, Paper Piercer, Modern Label Punch, Word Window Punch, Bitty Shapes Punch Pack, Big Shot, Standard Cutting Plates, Bigz Island Floral die, Multi-Purpose Platform, Square Lattice Textured Impressions embossing folder, XL Cutting Plates, Movers and Shapers Curly Label die, Modern Label Movers and Shapers Punch Window; Other:  Medium Whisper White Envelope

Chocolate, Vanilla, or Strawberry?

Hi there!  Thanks for visiting!

One of the great things about being a Mom is that you may be lucky enough to become a grandmother.  I have to tell you that being a grandmother is AWESOME!  My husband and I have 6 grandchildren and each one is very special to us.  We see most of our grandchildren often; however, one of our grandsons, Aiden, lives in Ohio and we aren't able to see him as often as we'd like.  Aiden recently celebrated his 7th birthday.  Here's a card very similar to the one that I made for Aiden.


(click on image to make it larger)

The card base was stamped with the "sprinkles" image in Tempting Turquoise on the upper half and a piece of polka dot paper from the Island Oasis Designer Series Paper covers the lower half.  Pumpkin Pie striped ribbon was wrapped around the card front and knotted on the right side.  The Chocolate ice cream scoop image was inked with Close to Cocoa and then the squiggles image with Chocolate Chip; both pieces "kissed" and then the scoops image was stamped onto Whisper White cardstock.  The same process was used for the Vanilla and Strawberry scoops (Very Vanilla Craft ink kissed with Barely Banana ink and Pretty in Pink kissed with Pixie Pink).  The cones image was inked with Creamy Caramel and the edges of the image "rock and roll"ed in Close to Cocoa ink then stamped onto Whisper White cardstock.  Finally, the cherry image was inked with Real Red and Glorious Green markers and stamped onto Whisper White cardstock.  All of these images were cut out with Paper Snips and adhered to a piece of Certainly Celery with the sentiment stamped in Chocolate Chip and matted to Pumpkin Pie and So Saffron cardstock.  The Chocolate and Strawberry scoops were adhered with Stampin' Dimensionals, all the rest with SNAIL.  A drop of Crystal Effects was placed on each cherry to give it some shine.  The focal point was adhered to the card front with Stampin' Dimensionals.

(click on image to make it larger)  

The process for stamping the ice cream scoops is different for the envelope.  A scoop was stamped onto a Post-It Note near the top of the paper (where the repositionable adhesive is located on the back of the note).  The scoop image was cut out.  This image will be used as a "mask" to create the triple decker cone.  Stamp the top scoop first and place the mask on top of the scoop.  Stamp the second scoop with the top of the scoop image overlapping the bottom of the first image slightly (on the mask).  Press down firmly on the scoop stamp to ensure that you don't leave a space between the ink and the bottom of the mask.  Then move the mask to the second scoop and repeat the process with the third scoop.  To stamp the cone, place the mask on the third scoop and then stamp the cone with the top of the cone overlapping the bottom of the scoop slightly.  Finally, remove the mask and stamp the cherry on the top scoop. 

When I saw these stamps, I just had to have them.  For some reason, I struggle with designing cards for children and felt that I would be able to create some fun cards for kids.  I also saw some possibilities for scrapbook pages with Summer and party themes.  However, I should be honest and admit that the biggest reason really had nothing to do with children:  I just LOVE ice cream!  It's my favorite food group. 


Stamps:  Sweet Scoops; Inks:  Barely Banana, Chocolate Chip, Close to Cocoa, Creamy Caramel, Pixie Pink, Pretty in Pink, Tempting Turquoise, Very Vanilla Craft; Many Marvelous Markers:  Real Red, Glorious Green; Cardstock:  Certainly Celery, Pumpkin Pie, So Saffron, Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White; Designer Series Paper:  Island Oasis; Embellishments:  Pumpkin Pie 1/2" Striped grosgrain ribbon; Adhesives:  SNAIL, Stampin' Dimensionals; Tools:  Paper Cutter/Scorer, Paper Snips, Bone Folder, Sponge, Crystal Effects; Other:  Medium Whisper White Envelope, Post-It-Note

A Thank You for the Moms

Hello there!  Thanks for stopping by to visit. 

Last weekend I participated in a recent tradition in my family; The Moms' Lunch.  My sister and I proposed this event to our mother more than 10 years ago as a way to focus on all the Moms in our family while allowing us to spend time with our own families on Mother's Day.  The Moms' Lunch is held on the Saturday before Mother's Day and is attended by all the women in our family who have children.  (This year we held the event a week early to accommodate some special scheduling challenges for a couple of the attendees.)

Over the years, our daughters and sisters-in-law have joined us as the family has expanded.  There are no children allowed (with the exception of nursing newborns); it's just a special time for us to honor one another.  Some years we have quite a crowd and other years only a few are able to attend.  We all bring gifts for our mother (and daughters & daughters-in-law as applicable) and over the years many of us have expanded our gift giving to our sisters, sisters-in-law and nieces. 

Every year I try to make the gifts I bring and most years I succeed.  This year, I gifted decorated tins with coordinating note cards (a project that you can see here).  I received some great gifts, too.  My mother makes jewelry and made me a beautiful pair of earrings that include my birthstone, the blue topaz.   My sister and sisters-in-law brought gifts, too.  One gift was just for fun, another was a purchase made to support the hungry, and still another was a much needed travel item (for a trip my sister and I plan to make in a couple of months).

The best gift of all, though, is the time we spend at the lunch; catching up with each other, sharing stories, rejoicing in the achievements, and encouraging those who are struggling.  We see each other often during the year, but it's always in a large and noisy family group.  In this relaxed setting, we can focus on each other and the special bond that we all share.

Yesterday, I finished the Thank You cards for my Mother's Day gifts.  I still had A Flower For All Seasons on my work table, so decided to use the friendly sunflower image as the focal point. 


I've used this card design many times, in one form or another, and love it's versatility and simplicity.  The sunflower image was stamped with Staz-On on Watercolor Paper.  I used Watercolor Crayons and an AquaPainter to add color.  The Perfect Polka-Dots Textured Impressions embossing folder and a piece of Old Olive 1/4" grosgrain ribbon add texture and a simple sentiment from the Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp set completes the card.  I let the colors I used to paint the sunflower image dictate the card colors:  Really Rust for the card base and sentiment label and Crushed Curry for the embossed layer.  It's hard to see in this photo, but here's a small dot of Crystal Effects on the ladybug to give it some dimension and shine.


I embossed the envelope flap with the Perfect Polka Dots Textured embossing folder and sponged Really Rust across the envelope flap and along the edges of the flap.  I really like the look of embossed envelope flaps.  Don't you?  It's an easy way to carry the theme of the card design to the envelope and lets the recipient know that they're going to find something special inside the envelope.

As we approach the Mother's Day weekend, I'd like to extend a heartfelt wish for happiness and contentment to all of you who are Mothers, who are praying to become Mothers or who provide a Mother's Love to those in need.  I'd also like to ask you to add a special prayer for those Mothers whose children are in harm's way as they "stand the post" in support of our homes, our communities, and our great Nation.


Stamps:  A Flower for All Seasons, Teeny Tiny Wishes; Inks:  Crushed Curry, Really Rust; Cardstock:  Crushed Curry, Really Rust, Whisper White, Watercolor Paper; Embellishments:  Gold Brads, Old Olive 1/4" grosgrain ribbon; Adhesives:  SNAIL, Stampin' Dimensionals; Tools:  Paper Cutter/Scorer, Paper Snips, Bone Folder, Sponge, Watercolor Crayons (Chocolate Chip, Garden Green, Old Olive, Real Red, Really Rust, Summer Sun), Aqua-Painter, Crystal Effects, Big Shot, Standard Cutting Plates, Perfect Polka Dots Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, Multi-Purpose Platform, 1 3/4" circle punch, Modern Label punch, Word Window punch; Other:  Medium Whisper White Envelope