Friday, February 29, 2008

Sassy Lashes!

I just had to write a special post: I've gotten several comments and emails wondering: are your animals all girls? Can boys have flirty lashes, too? Oh my, YES! Meet Exhibit A, my son William: a curly-haired, blond (green-eyed)boy, with the world's longest, curly, BLACK lashes. (No, it's NOT fair, but God gave US mascara.) I especially love this pic of him above (go ahead, click on it for the close up!)because being wet his eyes really look like they each have four or five cartoony lashes, like my illustrations! (and also for that ONE wet curl sticking up, but that may have been contrived for the photo op...!)

And let me tell you: he knows how to use them! He was batting those things and peering coyly out from under them at the ladies since the tender age of one(see below)! (amazing how they just *know* these things!) Women LOVE him, he's gonna be trouble!!
So, now you know! All my critters can go either way!* They're just BIG FLIRTS! ;)

ARE YOU A LEAP YEAR BABY?** Please leave a comment in this post if today is your birthday, that might deserve a very special, crazy fabulous card! ;)

* Get your mind out of the gutter! This is still a PG site!

** Don't say you are if you're not just to get a card! I might ask for proof! (But if you know someone who does, you might want to send them here...) There are plenty to go around later, I promise! :)


Another card blending my "Just So Hoppy" and Gina K's "How Sweet it is" ($7 of every set sold goes towards diabetes research!) Hurrying, I picked up the the wrong aqua marker for my shadow, realizing only after I put it to paper and was so surprised to see the dark color come out(ack!) I went really far out from my image(OOPS!) but I'd already colored most of it AND had trimmed it up, so there was no way I was starting over, just had to make the whole line thick. Oh well. I "sugared" the rim with Stardust stickles. The DPs are both SU!. I don't think I have ANY cards on my entire blog with this many layers, but I actually had someone in mind when I made it (so I was willing to spring for the extra paper and adhesive): my friend Vanessa celebrated her 30th birthday the other day, I'm taking her out on the town as a gift! (You can read all about and see pics of Vanessa's surprise birthday bash over at her blog*, which her DH forgot to invite me to!!! SAM? Helloooooo!!!) ;)

And here was some inspiration for this card below! Have you tried these? YUM! I've always thought Diet Dr.Pepper definitely has a very "diet" taste, but I REALLY like the chocolate and cherry together in this one. And love the can, of course! (although I never need an excuse to design with chocolate and red or pink!) Coke Zero still remains my fave, however. Why do they even still MAKE Diet Coke?

Thank you everyone who left post-blog candy comments, way more than I usually get!! And all I had to do was say "the magic word"**??

*Feel free to leave TONS of comments there (after my snarky one) about you really wish you could have seen ME misbehavin' in the pictures!! (They won't forget me NEXT year! lol!)


Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Stork Was Busy, So...

... the frog is filling in! Yes, it's about time I started letting all my Gina K stuff mix and mingle!! Look how perfectly the little sling fits in his hand! Now I realize this makes the baby* he's carrying incredibly tiny, or the frog terrifically huge, but I'm fine with that! Frogs don't have eyelashes either, but they do in my world!

I covered the baby blanket with Stardust Stickles (to match my glitter striped DP) rather than choosing a color, this way I can send it out for a boy or girl when the occasion arises. I used a Sakura glaze pen on his eyes. (I just realized I forgot to give the image a shadow, doh!(oh well, I will later, but not taking another pic!) I chose to put the stripes going horizontal since he's hopping along, and stamped my greeting on the two colored lines, look how nicely that fits!

Oh, did you want to know about the blog candy winner? I almost forgot! ;) Comment #64, Lee Murphy come on down! She writes: " second comment for my Google Reader-ing your blog.....Okay......I'm guessing there will be 4 new animals in the new set***!! I'll be at the release party!!!! :)" (Lee got to leave three comments BTW) Congrats, I hope you enjoy the candy! (I'll send you an email later today)

*I thought about coloring the little baby face green to match the frog, but a new mom might not really appreciate that...

** for the time being, I'm sticking with While I get what people are saying about how it "always picks in the middle", at the same time "the math person" in me says that it "always" picks in the middle because there are more numbers in the middle, while there's only one first and last number. So on some of these candy giveaways with let's say a 1000 plus comments, maybe 1 or 1000 has never been chosen, but probably also never 5 or 99 or 832 or whatever unless you've done 1000 giveaways to see...KWIM? I could be completely wrong here, though, it's been known to happen! Dad,(math major/genius/regular "Hands, Head and Heart" reader) can you help on this?? Either way, I STILL think you have a better chance with than random.DH (who will guess the same number every time because he really couldn't care less about my blog candy results) or random.Jonathan who only counts up to 100 so far, and while he says numbers like "10,000 million!", I'm not quite sure he's completely aware of all the numbers in between, ya know? oh, and printing out and cutting up 200 strips of paper for a drawing? um, let me think about not for me. Sorry!

*** Lee's a winner, but she's wrong!

PS It always feels so quiet and lonely AFTER a blog candy winner is announced, so maybe you can leave a comment congratulating Lee, or about the card, or even vent about how you never seem to win anything before you go? pretty please?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Many Hippys Return...!

NO, I'm talking about my next release! I realized I've forgotten to share some other notable and fun projects submitted for last month's contest (I don't have to stamp something every day, do I?) So glad I remembered becuase there are really some great ideas to be CASED from these entries, as well as I've been so hoppy lately I'm forgetting to still be hippy. Here are just a few, more to come!

This card was made by Heidi Schmidbauer. (I'm not sure if she has a blog or gallery, I can't find it! Heidi??) I loved the simplicity of this card, it colors (Real Red is my fave and with black and white one of my fave combos, Just So Striking!) and layout, and I HEART the way she wrote her OWN greeting in the three balloons! So sweet!

The following projects are both by Lisa Foust. First, I thought it was such a cute idea to wrap a MONKEY band around a gift loaf of banana bread! Have a slice and a smile :) Her next project is one for you serious hippy fans (and I know you're out there!*): a magentic tic tac toe set for the fridge!! Isn't that a hoot?! When I saw it I realized (after I stoppped laughing) they really DO look like X's and O's! Fun for little kids and big kids alike :) She explained that she used her xyron with the laminating magnetic cartridge to make it. Thanks, Lisa, I'm glad to see you** are playing with my kids every day!! ;) I think a little travel set for my children is in their future. :)

Expect to see more of these from time to time, yours may pop up here one day soon!

Blog candy announced tomorrow, still time to enter!

* out there AND "OUT THERE!" s'okay, I am, too! :)

**She SAYS it for her daughter, but I'm sure Lisa is always ready for a quick "pick up" game each time she opens and closes that door! ;)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Basket of Happiness*

I have been struggling to make something for this week's sketch challenge for you tonight and it just not working out the way I'd planned so far (and my camera is in my car!) Luckily I do have a few new cards I made for the Gina K release I have not yet blogged about! The flower basket image from "Baskets of Happiness" above was a great match for this a pattern on the DP and all the colors came from the paper, I didn't have to think abut it at all(YES!) I used my watercolor crayons and Aquapainter to color my flowers red and turquoise to mimic the flowers on my paper and used a bright pink for the basket. I have a tendency to put too much color on when I'm watercoloring and not allowing enough light or white space for my highlight spot, here I think I did a better job than usual on the basket and stopped in time. If you manage to catch the light this way, I think it is the most striking part of a coloring job, the part that HAS NO color!

I decided not to use my Nestabilites this time, layered with the Coluzzle instead. As much as I love scallops, i thought a simple round frame fit the big circles in the paper flowers. I centered it in the middle of 4 flowers on the paper to frame it (so if you could see through it there would be a brown cross right in the middle of my focal point, and the flower edges all hang out the same amount like the tops of little hearts, see?)

I ran a long strip of Cool Caribbean CS into my key tag punch for the greeting because I wanted the corners to be rounded like the other elements on my card. Here I also centered the strip in between the brown cross pattern. Two green Primas (for a total of three round things on the card, including my focal point, a pleasing odd number) pulled in that lovely lime from the DP and turquoise brads in the centers were the finishing touch.

I was going to do two cards, but I'd better save that one for another blog emergency! ;)

Don't forget to enter below for Blog Candy if you haven't already, Wednesday is the last day! :)

* Sorry I don't have a funny title for you. At first out of desperation and lack of time I called it "Short Post Tonight!", but then when I was done, I realized it wasn't so short after all! Trying to be witty, I then thought I'd call it "I'm a Basket Case!" but that made it sound like I CASED this card. Which I didn't.

PS A few have correctly guessed the number!! ;)

Blog Candy Update

So hoppy some of you are excited about the candy! (30 minutes after I posted I'd had visits but no comments, and I was sweating a little that I might have crummy candy!) WHEW!

But now that they're pouring in, I am enjoying reading your comments IMMENSELY! In fact, it's a little spooky how close some of you are in your guesses, as well as the reasons you give for why you think they'd make good stamps*, is there a spy cam in my house I should know about?! Among yesterday's responses I spotted 4 animals from a soon to be released set, 4 from another, and 4 from another!! (exact dates TBA on all these, we wanna spread 'em out a little, but yeah, I work way, WAY ahead on some of this stuff) Which animals?** You'll have to wait and see, but I tell ya, there are a few of you out there really thinking like a stamp designer! :) (please feel free to go back and make yourself crazy rereading the comments to figure it out!)

However, NO one yet has correctly guessed the number of animals in my March release! muwahahahahaha!!

Here is a card included in my blog candy package that I have not yet posted "Up, Up, and Away!"(or "Hanging by a Toe"(Toad!), which is how I feel at the end of most days except without the big grin on my face!) Similar to "Air Mail" but this one has a friend hitching a ride! I finally got on the Wild Wasabi train, too, as you can see here, don't have the ink(I blended my WWCs to color) but I'm loving the CS and striped ribbon! The plaid is from the self adhesive DCVW mat pack (boy, am I getting some good use out of this thing, thanks for enabling, Donna!) The aqua background was done with the Pale Aqua copic (I think I will definitely be getting more of the BG colors I love how pale they are , no stroke marks, perfect for backgrounds(hence the BG I suppose!)

Still have to finish the "Hoppy Treats" and photograph!!*** Check back tomorrow! Don't forget to comment on the BLOG CANDY post below if you haven't already, winner will be announced on Thursday!

*This is very exciting, because I'm confident at least some of you are SURE to buy these sets!! ;)

** No fair guessing if you are part of my " 'hood focus group"! ;)

***Can I be frank? I ATE all the Sugar Babies, gotta go buy some more now, sorry about that!!

Monday, February 25, 2008


I'm SO excited about celebrating 2 months of blogging and over 20,000 hits!! Thank you everyone who checks in on me each day! (I must say I'm enjoying it too much for my own good!)Leave a comment on this post to be entered for a chance to win this:

3 handmade cards using the 3 newest Gina K release stamps PLUS one Hoppy Treat Box filled with Sugar Babies(not shown here, still working on it, I will post along with a tutorial later!)

20 resealable clear A2 envelopes (I get mine from clearenvelopesambershaw)

20 5 1/4" X 4" precut sheets of Wild Asparagus Designer paper(perfect for matting your cards)

2 sheets 4 1/2 x 6 1/2" DCVW glitter DP mats

3 sheets 4 1/2 x 6 1/2 DCVW self adhesive glossy DP mats (great for paper-piecing!)

20 yards assorted SU! grosgrain ribbon (1 yard of each color 20 colors total!)

1 packet of Fun Flock in Caramel Latte Tan

1 packet of Fun Flock Pixie Pink

1 packet of Fun Flock Lemonade Yellow (all of these are perfect for the Hoppys!)

1 Anna Griffin brass stencil for embossing (gorgeous flourishes and corners)

1 pack Bold Bright SU! Fancy Fibers

1 packet silver assorted frames and brads from the NEW SU! Hodgepodge Embellishment Kit

1 packet of assorted select Gina K Dazzle & Bling tags and one flower outline

1 red rubber wood mounted plaid backgrounder by Stampabilities

If you are a subscriber to my blog*, leave two comments, and if you are someone who regularly leaves comments on my blog(you and I know who you are!), feel free to leave THREE comments! :)

Things I would love to know:
what has been your favorite post/project here,
your guess at how many animals you think might be in my next release,
and/or an animal you'd like to see me include in a future set!

Good luck! I will post the winner on Thursday! This post will stay at the top so please be sure to scroll down when you check in each day for new cards and projects until then.

* you can sign up NOW and still be able to enter twice! It's fine if you use google reader :)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

This is the Day The Lord has Made...

We went to visit family in San Diego when my son Jonathan was eighteen months old (he'll be 6 this summer). These are photos I took of his first time seeing the ocean. Doesn't he look so thoughtful and serious? Some of my favorite pictures of him are when he looks so young, but so old at the same time. I cropped the picture below in half (as much as I love seeing my innocent child in it, it didn't quite fit the sentiment I wanted to use) and printed (on an HP Photosmart) on photo quality paper. I stamped the cross and "He is Risen!" from Gina K's set in Burnt Umber Palette Ink directly on the paper. I contemplated putting the greeting directly on the sun, which would have been a cool effect, but chose instead to put at the bottom right, better composition and it kind of looks like it is written in the sand, reminding me of the "Footprints" poem, a favorite of mine. The base of the card is SU! Chocolate Chip and I tied some natural hemp (which always makes me think of "beach!") on the spine. This is about as simple a project as you'll find, but I love how it turned out. Try stamping on some of your own favorite moments you've been blessed to capture on film, they make wonderful cards.

This next one is on glossy cardstock which makes it difficult to photograph, at most angles you'll get a glare from the flash, so sorry this is a little muted. I used the retired SU! Late November spectrum pads, one of my favorites it makes the perfect sunsets. I used my rubber brayer to roll it onto the cardstock in one direction, and once I got the colors blended to my satisfaction I reinked the brayer, turned the glossy paper and rolled it with the color facing the other way so I had a mirror image of the spectrum (KWIM? see how the yellow-orange area is the largest and it goes back to olive at the bottom...) This gave me the colors I wanted and allowed me to fill the whole space on the vertical card with the color stripes going across rather than up and down(since the width of the pad is better suited to go across the a horizontal card) I sponged on some white craft and little of the eggplant to make it appear a little misty, looks very atmospheric in real life. Last I embossed the cross and greeting and attached with gold brads on brushed gold CS and finally on the eggplant. I really like using brads as an embellishment with this cross, to symbolize nails.
I really love the simplicity and meaning of this set, so glad to have it. I've bought a few others with just scriptures in the past, but the artwork in many religious themed sets has not really inspired me before. I haven't yet made one with the scripture from John included in the set on the front, but I plan to, and know I will be pulling this set out again and again for various occasions.

I pray you have a blessed Sunday, and that you are well and happy. And, if you are crafting, know that God delights in the beauty of your creations! This is the one of the most important things I felt I learned from a class at my church called "Art & Faith" a few years ago. I plan on sharing with you over time some more of my favorite parts of this amazing course. :) I also wanted to share a blog that Kelly Watts shared with me, I look forward to spending more time there. :)

Can I ask for you that might pray for me, too? I need help in managing my time and my new responsibilities along with my old (and most important) ones, my family and home. I need wisdom and discernment about when to put my needs and wishes aside for others, and when I need to make time for myself. If any of you can share your experiences and advice about how juggle your family, work, and art with grace, I would love to hear it! THANK YOU! :)


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Keepin' it Together

It's been a long time since I've posted any pics of my desk, there's a reason for that! I'm sorry to say it was time for a serious intervention before I could possibly proceed with even one more project! So instead of a card* this afternoon, I am doing a little straightening up! (but for a great new hoppy project posted, look at Jana's frog in a box today for some inspiration! can I get a "WOW!"*)I have to say I am normally one of the last people on earth you should be getting organizational tips from! Although I like things to *look* nice and neat, there's almost always a big pile of somethin' underneath it, shoved in the closet etc! But I think most messy people have at least one or two things they love enough to take proper care of/want to create some kind of system for, and for me that is my stamps and select craft supplies! So today I share a few photos and tips...
First is this great article on how to keep your most-often-used unmounted stamps at the ready, appropriately enough, by the lovely and talented Gina K! And above is a pic of how you can keep ALL your Just So Hippys and Hoppys on one 8 1/2 x 11 holder, with room to spare! Since these sets coordinate, it makes perfect sense to store them like this to mix and match your sentiments, balloons, flowers etc. (wow, look at the hippo tushy! Now that has been a well loved/inked stamp in need of some serious UltraClean!)

Now this next tip is my own: Let's say you are working a on a card and your desk** is SO messy you can't find any of your acrylic blocks!! Now you only have ten minutes to work, and you cannot afford to spend them cleaning your desk! (be the good stamper that you are and make the right choice!) Here is a simple solution: stick your unmounted stamp to the clear lid of your ink pad(you DO need to know where that is!) and stamp away! How convenient that these are also clear, like your blocks, love the dual purpose!! At some point, I would recommend picking up and switching back to the real thing, but it will get you by in a pinch. :)
PS Did you know: spellcheck button is back in business! For awhile there I wasn't even checking anymore but then yesterday thought I'd give it a try, and BOOM! yellow boxes everywhere! This is very exciting, thanks for hanging in there with my alphabet soup every day the past few weeks!

*have you checked out my list of who's hoppy?? You'll flip! (Donna has about 2 pages worth, when you get there, just keep scrolling!!)
**not mine! ;)

Friday, February 22, 2008

How to Draw and Piece a "Onesie"!

I said I was going to share another froggy card next, but decided it could wait, after my frog paper piecing, I thought I'd share this one first: a bunny dressed as a bouncing baby boy! (Directions on drawing the onesie follow) I used the same DP for the background and my tulips. This time I decided to skip the safety pin and used the bashful blue brads and ticket punch for the corners. I did a white on white mat with my scalloped nestabilities.

For the onesie: first stamp your bunny on white CS and on your DP. Take a pen and make a vertical line across each arm to make a"sleeve". Add a curved line from one side of the neck to the other. Now a diagonal line from hip to bottom on each side for the leg holes (Next time I make a card like this, I would go a little lower with these, this was a bit high in the thigh, but I wasn't throwing away a perfectly good piece of DP to redo it!) Now this last step is optional but makes it more like a onesie than a leotard: draw a horizontal line(slightly curved like his bottom) and three little dots or circles below it to look like snaps. Stamp on your greeting or other image on the onesie front and cut, mount on your white bunny, a perfect fit!! (YES!!)
I think once I find a suitable frame or shadow box, I will frame this to give as a gift instead of leaving it a "card". Sometime they have nice pain white ones at the dollar store, not this week, so I will go check out IKEA. I will come back and post an after pic when the project is "just so", along with a couple other fun ways to dress up a plain frame.

TIP: Remember these small format "cards" ARE art and often warrant a beautiful frame! When you've spent all that time and worked that hard to create something, consider making THAT the GIFT and skip tucking it in an envelope. You can write your message with a permanent marker on the back of the frame (or if you have nice handwriting and a memorable sentiment, perhaps even on the frame's mat. :)
BUNNY PIECING TIP: If you are piecing the whole bunny(an example, with a "twist", to come in a few days!) cut off the whiskers and mount on a pre-stamped bunny(just like my frog tip in previous post)

Still working on getting my blog candy photographed it will be up later this weekend!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Look at all those fingers and toes just waiting to get put to work here, so many options I LOVE IT!!!! Here I "tied" three balloons to his toe and drew a curved line in his gripped hand to hold the sign from "Just So Hippy", which is popped up on a dimensional. I repeated the dot pattern by adding the matching SU! colored brads to one corner, and a photo corner punch of Bashful Blue to the other. Although I did a shadow outline with my Pale Aqua Copic (Gina K tip) on the frog and balloons(and added white gel pen to his eyeballs), this entire card is paper pieced* (SU! Designer Prints DP). Paper piecing BTW is one of MY FAVORITE techniques of all time! Just stamp on any piece of patterned paper, cut, and stick, that's it! (No matter how many times I do this, I can't help always think to myself: "YES!! it fits PERFECTLY!" Don'tcha just love the reliability of stamps? They never go changin' on ya... ;)

Speaking of mail, I'm completely caught up on all my Hippy Mention mailings, and will soon post the BRAKS I sent for last week AND this week (and you thought I frogot!) :)

Stay TUNED for another silly frog card tomorrow, plus blog candy coming up and samples made with all the other Gina K new releases sets! I also have a few organizational tips and pics to share...

Have a great night!

*FROG-PIECING TIP: You do NOT need to cut around the individual eyelashes! Stamp your frog first on your mat, then stamp on your DP and cut this one out, going right around the eyeballs(cutting OFF the lashes). When you adhere your frog lined up on the one you stamped on your mat, the eyelashes will be batting at you in just the right place! (Say it with me: "YES!! it fits PERFECTLY!")

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What's in YOUR Pouch?

I'm back with that hoppin' image from the other day (I sent this card out to one of my Hippy Mentions today, but changed the greeting, as I really have no idea when her birthday is!) I goofed and went outside the lines with my brown when coloring and couldn't get it to go away enough with the blender, so I just decided his shadow would have to be brown and piled a bunch more on(because you KNOW I'M not stamping it over again!) I needed some colors I didn't have Copics for and I'm just still much better with shading with my watercolor crayons, so I used them on the balloons with my Aquapainter. The rose and green balloons are popped up on dimensionals. When I drew this image I knew the pouch was ripe with possibilities, couldn't wait to have a bunch of balloons streaming out! (wait til you see my NEXT balloon card-HEE!) The DP is from my DCVW adhesive mat pack. I made the zigzag border with my deco scissors.

TIP: I only *just* cut apart my "hoppy" from the "birthday"! With these unmounted stamps it is so easy to get them lined up on the acrylic blocks if I want them "stacked" or next to each other, I'm so glad I did it, much easier than omitting and cleaning...

s you can see, I still need work with the Copics!! Some areas look pretty good, others not so much. Unsolved mysteries: Can someone tell me why some leave NO lines (pink) and others do(brown)? And why some practically disappear altogether when applying the colorless blender to them(brown) and others remain unchanged???(PINK!) I'd love to know!!

EDITED TO ADD: Thank YOU to all the Copic pros who took one look at my stripey kangaroo "emergency" and contacted me!! I will definitely be emailing back, calling etc later, but I have a little boy to take to the museum right now! The short answer to my problem is: Color in CIRCLES, baby!!! I will try tonight! :)

Froggy Went A Courtin'...

This is a card I created for the February Dirty Girl Alumni Challenge(DCS208 in Splitcoast gallery). Block out some time to enjoy all the amazing pieces of art in this gallery! Everyone had to use images fom a set designed by a DD alumni, as there are SEVERAL now who wear illustrator "hats"! (Cool, I had a set I could use!) ;)

This card was done entirely with Copics(all colors are listed in my SCS upload), my FIRST time to use them on a card. It may not have been such a good idea to use watercolor paper with them?? Anyway, I needed to make a card to send to Debbie Olson for designing such fabulous samples with my first set, so I wanted to use a three paneled sketch she had on her blog. (I wasn't able to do the notched out portion she had because I needed my frog to be at both the top left and bottom right, but I think it's still close enough to the sketch to count.) I thought the divided panels would be perfect for the little scenes I wanted to create (can't you almost hear a big "sploosh!" for the middle one?)

It was really sweet, while I worked, Jonathan came in and peeked over my shoulder to see what I was making. "Mom! is it a STORY?" Yes, it is. (What a clever boy.) :)

When I drew this frog, I thought a lot could be done with this pose! I love frogs and I had a few in my stamp collection already, but they're all just sittin' there, ya know? I mean, if you have a frog, you want to see some leg, right?? And a little "toe cleavage" while you're at it! So I really wanted to showcase "the assets", and have a sample to demonstrate how you can make him jump in or out*, cut or mask him to break the surface, or emerging victoriously with a little somethin' he picked just for you. :) (Doesn't he look so pleased with himself?) I've got plans to make some dancing frogs, too (tiptoeing with tulips!) and check out Lee's Frogstravaganza!

I colored the brads with my Copics and used the ticket punch to make the notched corners, and a piece of SU! DP to finish it off. Lots of Stardust Stickles on the water and butterflies,and it's hard to see here, but a Sakura glaze pen and his bulgy frog eyeballs. :)

* I skipped inking up the droplets in my puddle image on the first panel to look more like still water, since he has yet to make his big splash!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Top of the the Heap! (PEEP!)

How many chicks are in my set? If you guessed "one", "chick" again! TIP: If you ink up just the outline and omit the face, you have a backward facing chick! :)

For my little pyramid here, I added an upside down dotted "v" to make a little tail, just to see, and it looks really cute either way! try and see which you prefer! I stamped all these on SU! Summer Sun CS and cut them out, all I had to color was the beak and use my white gel pen for the eyes. I did NOT have to cut out the legs, just stamped my "stack" on the white CS, then put my put yellow CS on top, went over the stamped legs with an orange marker. I adhered just the body so I could slightly bend the wings forward, almost like they're flapping or reaching out to hug you! I drew a faux zigzag stitch with my pen since I DON'T have a Jenome (yet). That gingham is actually patterned paper(either Wild Asparagus or Magnolia, it's from the Costco slab they had a while back)

You can also stamp several of these turned around in a little group , and then stamp the whole chick image hopping up out of the pile facing you: and that's you're favorite peep! :)

THE DIRTY DOZEN Challenge for February will be up tomorrow, 2/20. Type in keyword DCS208 to view all the cards made by all current and former Dirty Girls using DD alumni images! I'll give you a hint about the one I've submitted, it's called: "Froggy Went a Courtin"

Chick back tomorrow! (and don't forget to read the post below with all the details about my latest contest for a chance to win FREE STAMPS!!! Think you can be top of the heap?? :)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Just So Hoppy Contest: FREE STAMPS!

Here are the Contest DEETS!
  • Email photos of your "Just So Hoppy" entries to Please send these as a jpeg if at all possible, it makes for easier viewing and uploading if I want to share your pics of your projects on my blog.
  • Put "Just So Hoppy" as the subject of your email

  • Enter as many times as you like!

  • You MAY incorporate other stamp sets into the project, but you MUST use "Just So Hoppy" (and of course, it's fine if theyr'e a little " hippy", too!) :)

  • Contest end date: Saturday, March 8, midnight CST

  • Entries will be judged by myself.

  • Winner will be announced on my blog the day the new Gina K sets are released

  • Winner receives MY new release set FREE and a handmade project from me using the new images (no set substitutions for the prize, trust me, you'll LOVE it!!)
  • You must ENTER to WIN! I saw several projects I really liked on other blogs, but they weren't submitted for the contest!


  • You can't hate me if I don't pick your project!**

* kidding, but please give it a shot! there's free stamps at stake! My runner ups all got card from me, too... :)

**not kidding!

Get Hoppin'!

You may have looked at the image sheet and wondered "what is that?" A hop mark! (of course!) Betcha don't have one! But you really NEED one! LOOK:

you can use it for animals going this way...

or that way...
or over and over, hippity-hop!

Now almost any animal in your stamp collection can be set in motion!! This truly is a "must have" stamp! *
I'll come back later and post finished cards with the rest of these(you'll hop right out of your seat when you see the kangaroo!!), I realized equipping you ASAP with hopping info now that your sets are arriving was a stamping emergency!

*IMHO :)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

My Brush with a Celebrity (Artist)!

For Valentine's Day, my husband gifted me a a$50 GC to Jerry's Artarama, what a nice surprise! They have an online store, but they also have a huge location just a couple miles from our house. (I've been there before, it's where I got my Prismacolor pens I use to draw my stamp illustrations) While they don't carry crafty/stampy/scrappy things, they have a SERIOUS supply of things to COLOR with, so I had to run and redeeem my card for 10 Copics! I got there before the store opened and was sitting in my car waiitng when I looked over and noticed a man in his car also waiting, who I was sure I recognized (but didn't want to stare) The store opened and I QUICKLY forgot about this, as I had Copics to select! It took awhile (and I did wish I had done my homework on them just a wee bit more before I came!), but I ended up getting colors based on what the images I knew I'd be coloring A LOT for the next several weeks, whihc would be animals from my sets. I got a yellow(chick, giraffe), 2 browns(bunny, hippo, kangaroo), 2 greens(frog) a pink (flowers) and the aquas (water, shadows) plus the colorless blender (I will take a pic and list them tomorrow for you!) These colors will be nice for spring, too. :)

When I went to the counter to pay, THERE was the man I recognized before with some paint, so I had to ask, "Are you Joe McDermott??" Now if you live in Austin and you have kids, you know that Joe McDermott is one of the most popular (and our personal favorite) "kids" musicians in town! We've seen him play countless times at libraries, festivals etc and he always packs the house because of his hilarious songs that children and parents alike enjoy (and many of his songs are about animals! so you know I really dig 'em) There were plenty of times I could have stayed after the show to introduce myself(he's popular but it's not like he's got an entourage or anything) but in this setting I felt compelled to strike up aconversation. And it was him(I knew it) So then I HAD to ask what he was buying his paints for: turns out he's illustrating a book for one of his songs about a pet skunk named Stinky. So then I HAD to say, "I'M an illustrator, TOO!"* and started babbling about my new stamps and blog, gave him my card, dished about an illustrating class he's taking and recommended etc etc. What was so cool about this chance encounter: one of our favorite songs of Joe's is about a baby kangaroo, and I just drew one! HEE HEE!

Sample lyric:

"I think you should get a baby kangaroo

It might just be the perfect pet for you

They bounce bounce bounce bounce bounce bounce bounce

And they also hop"

but you really have to hear it for the full effect! (other faves are "I Got Stuck in an Elevator" and "Thank you, Mud" (not about animals, still funny!)

So if you want some songs your kids will LOVE and YOU won't mind hearing over and over (like some other children's groups that will not be named here), check out Joe McDermott's site, that's my TIP for today. And look for his books in the future, I guess!

So anyway, that's the story, I just love that kind of thing. (I don't consider myself a big networker, which is one reason I never had a booming SU! biz, but I definitely talk to strangers when my curiosity gets the better of me!) Maybe I need to start hanging around Jerry's more often now, mix and mingle in the local art scene, you know, start wearing a little beret and knot a scarf around my neck**

Yeah, ol' Joe probably had to call up a few of his friends and tell them he met ME, too... ***

ANYWAY, the card! I used my Copics here. I need practice with the blender. You can achieve lots of different shades with it, which saves money, but it can look blotchy if you overdo it...I'll keep working on it, I definitely like 'em though! I paperpieced the 'brella top with the background DP, using some of the adhesive DCVW DP I mentioned yesterday.

Thanks for hoppin' in! Contest details soon to come! And hey check it out: the Hoppy sightings are starting!! :)

*That was so freakin' cool to say!!!! the first time! :)

** Too much?? you're probably right

*** NOT! (I looked like a BAG LADY that day...) :(

You Crack Me Up!

I made this card today for one of my Hippy Mentions (I'm almost caught up now with all the mail outs I have to do!) Where'd that EGG come from? IT'S MY NEW BALLOON in the Just So Hoppy set! Stamp it on CS, cut off the tied end and draw a quick zig line through the middle to make a"crack". Cut out and cut on your crack line. Mount on dimensionals, add your "hop line" from the set, and he's popping (peeping!) out! "You crack me up!" would be really fun as a just because greeting for ths card. TIP: You can also make really cute colored and decorated "Easter" eggs with this balloon using patterend papers*.

I don't typically use SU! Yoyo Yellow, but I have feeling I'm probably going to be using it more often now that I have this chick stamp! The pink patterned SU! paper here softens it a bit. I used the Copic* Y15 Cadmium Yellow and Colorless Blender for my chick, I think it turned out kind of fuzzy looking, so I'm pretty hoppy with it! ;) I added some dots at the corners with a marker and my piercing template to frame it up, kind of echoes the chicks dotted outline...

To all my PEEPS out there: thanks for keeping me smiling and laughing each day with all your comments!

(I slipped out of bed at 5:30 to made another card this morning before my kids got up for the Dirty Dozen Alumni February Challenge that took a looong time, but it turned out so cute! I wish I could post in now, but you'll have to wait until the 20th to see it! )

*I've had several people asking about the DPs I've been using lately, almost all have been from two DCVW small mat packs I got at Hobby Lobby recently, they're great. One pack has tons of glitter on every page which is fabulous, and the other has kind of a glossy finish to each piece and is adhesive!! So that one is awesome for paper-piecing and quick cards. :)

** I BOUGHT SOME! Wait til you hear, there's a a story...! :)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Under My Umbrella, Ella, Ella...

So you may have been wondering about the "Hoppy" umbrella: Where's the handle?? It's like the balloon and the flower, without a stem or string they can be short, long, however you see fit and no need to mask! A handle's just a line, you can do it! Stamp your image so the little tip sticking out the umbrella top will be in line with your handle will go, lay a straightedge on your paper and connect the line through the hands. There are so many different ways the animals in this set can hold it: up high, down low, over the shoulder, or as shown here behind the back...! How's that for singing and dancing in the rain? :) (And see how his little eyes are watching the butterfly?)
I decided I wanted to frame up this little "scene" in a circle. Although I have the circle Nestabilities, I still gotta have my coluzzle for some projects! This time I chose the "blue" track, (third one in) so his ear, the butterfly and umbrella will fall just outside the mat. Slide your blade around the track, up to the edge of the image, take it out and insert and cut again on the other side. Take your snips or scissors and cut around the outside of the image where it's still attached after you pull the template away.

To see more samples of the hoppy st and a read a little more about my design process, please go check out Featured Crafter Friday! (and then bookmark Andrea's fantastic blog!)

Have a very hoppy day!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

This is Dedicated to the One I Love...

My husband, Paul. My best friend, the love of my life. I am so thankful to have him forever.
He works tirelessly to give my children and I the best life possible. He is always fixing up the yard, remodelling our home, building our furniture, designing future additions to keep up with our changing needs as a family, and cooking at least 6 nights a week (spectacularly*, I might add!) I have stopped apologizing that I don't have dinner ready more often, because whenever I do say it, he always replies, "Don't you think over the next 40 or 50 years, it will even out?" What a sweetheart. He never complains about anything, or expects anything, just that he wants to come home to us every night. The pic above was takenof us together about four years ago in a biergarten in Fredricksburg, one of Paul's favorite places on earth...

He's also an amazing father. The kids dote on him. He is silly, kind, an expert tickler, wrestler, snuggler, and patient with them when they "help" in his workshop in a way I am NOT when they're in my stamp room!
Here he is with our first born, Jonathan (who is the spitting image of his dad now BTW!)

And with our younger son, William (who looks a little more, but still not much, like ME!)
Thank you, Paul, for all you do for us, and for being so supportive of my new venture! I love you!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! My interview on Featured Crafter Friday will be up tomorrow, 2/15, at 6AM CST, and I will have a new card with "Just So Hoppy" you have not yet seen, please check it out!

*If I ever share any recipes on this blog, it'll be his, not mine!! I was going to include one of my faves he made Sunday in honor of my stamp release, but I'll have to save that for another night, he's been waiting very patiently for me while I finish my entry, gotta run!

**it need not be this particular beirgarten to be his favorite, any beirgarten will do

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Frog Reverse Topper


I made a couple reverse topper cards for the Gina K design gallery this month, they are similar to tent topper cards, but instead of mounting your focal point on the outside of the folded card, you cut into it, so that you image will show inside AND outside(you worked so hard on it, you don't want them rushing to your message inside without appreciating your nice coloring job a little longer, do you??)
First, find the middle of your card. Lay your coluzzle with the center of the track on the middle. Cut just the top half of the circle (or oval)
Add your focal point. Write on the inside. Decorate the outside. The finished card (see above) can be displayed now with the outside showing or with your handwritten message. Easy, right? I used Stickles on the water, and popped up my images on dimensionals. I really like this "good luck" greeting, can be used for so many things: a new venture, expectant mom, etc! Hop on by tomorrow for some Valentine posts! (it might get a little mushy!)

Look, Moms: Fast, FREE Valentines!

Tomorrow's Valentines day-ackk!!! Despite me preparing all these projects for Vday these past two months for the set and the blog, it completely slipped my mind to make the 16 goodies I need for Jonathan's calss tomorrow! His school has a no candy policy(booooo! but that's okay, I've eaten it all anyway) so here's what I'm doing (because I do not have time now for 16 hippy treat boxes-urghh!) Here's a link I received for Chuck E Cheese Valentines, hope you can open it; if not, sign up on their website for email discounts, you'll never have to buy tokens again! There are 4 valentines to a page, you just print out on cardstock, cut, and each can be redeemed for 5 tokens! What kid wouldn't love that??

On the back side of each I will stamp my hippys and color(or maybe let Jonathan color... I suspect he will embrace this project with enthusiasm, and then tire out after the third one, leaving it to me, that's kid of how it always goes.) I will add a pic later, I'm out of memory space on my camera, gotta transfer the pics and run some errands, I'll be later!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My William is 3: Goodbye, Terrible Two's?

My baby boy turned 3 on Monday, had to share a few pics of my favorite monkey at his party, and some non-stamping related birthday tips! But first, above is a little present he left for ME on my craft table chair, how lucky am I? Is nothing sacred?? (Cammie and Lauren are always sharing vile pics of things their kids stepped in, left festering in a lunch box etc, and I was feeling a little left out!)
But how could you stay mad at this face for long?
After Sunday's release party ended, it was time to get jammin' on the party planning! I made 20 froggy bags on the cheap with little doodads I got at Hobby Lobby (I was surrpised these were even less expensive than OTC, definitely worth a look and you don't have to buy more than you need or pay to ship) I want to make clear the frog tag was not just a shameless ploy to promote my new set to our guests, it was very appropriate because we had it at an inflatable jump place. The Hoppys are pretty sweet for this type of party, eh?? No, my stamps didn't come in time to make the invites:( (That's okay, I didn't have time for that this year anyway!)
My favorite place to get a cake for a party is Costco, 15 bucks for a huge, delicious, filled cake that serves 40. They decorate them for a free, and do a nice job, but I typically like to decorate it myself. Some themes are more difficult than others, but I found a really simple way to customize my kids cakes: whatever they're "into" at the moment, dinosaurs, licensed characters ,whatever, they have a lot of already laying around our home. So here's my big TIP: Instead of buying MORE cake topping stuff, put their toys on the cake (after washing them!) Here I used Go, Diego Go! Rescue Center Mega Bloks, and a bunch of candy coated chocolate rocks (these are so cool, they really look like tumbled stones) I was so pleased with how it turned out! The kids thought it was "the best cake EVER!!!"
I'd love to write a long, sappy post tonight about all the joy William has brought to my life these past three years, but I'm still sick and super tired, so that's gonna have to wait!! But he's the sweetest little maniac I could ask for, I will say that. :)
I will have to try to get my Reverse Topper card with the frog I made for the Gina K gallery posted tomorrow, I have lots of pics, just need to finish the post, but now it's time for bed, night-night!

This Tutorial ROCKS!*

The lovely and talented Charmaine is sharing her brilliance over at her blog with an incredible step by step tutorial of her Hippy Mention Tilt Card! Go see how easy it is, and then get your own hips ashakin'!

And speaking of rockin' tutorials, my Hippy Winner Linsey has graciously shared "the secrets of the magic lamp" over at her blog, with a list of supplies needed and just how she made those ribbons curl! I wanna see more lamps from all of you!

I give both these ladies the Great Hip Award!

Tomorrow I will be sharing a bunch of pics other 3D items that were submitted for contest, along with some other fabulous hippy sightings, thanks for stopping in!

*pun intended, hee hee!

Just So Hoppy Tip Sheet

A new stamp set calls for a new tip sheet*! I've actually thought of several other things to do with it since I wrote it up, but will have to come back and edit it to add (got a sick kiddo at home today, and I am, too. :( My next few posts might be on the shorter side as a result.)

Several of the tips on here I'd love to be able to wait and surprise you with a sample I've made illustrating it first, but I decided to go ahead and put it up now so you can get some ideas right away. If you missed the release party, the other night, you can see several more Hoppy samples here, and I will post and explain how I made them and more as soon as I am able. (In addition to the sniffles, I'm also a little swamped with putting the finishing touches on my next release(!) AND preparing something for Andrea Hays' Featured Crafter spot, which will be up on Friday, the 15th. I'm so excited to be intereviewed for her blog, please check it out!)

I still haven't figured out how to attach a word document here (I will attach one in the Gina K forum), but you can always find this post in my label section on the right when you need it. I recommend copying, pasting, printing it out and keeping it with your set. Fold it in half , it fits in the bag very nicely! :)

Just So Hoppy Tip Sheet
by Melanie Muenchinger

A "hop mark" is included that works with all animals, whether they are bouncing left or right! Have fun putting them in motion!

While a few of the greetings and images provided allow for holiday projects like Easter and St. Patrick's day ("good luck"), the set has been designed for year round use. Note the baby greetings and "thank you"!

All the images and greetings in this set are meant to coordinate with the Just So Hippy set! Mix and match the things the animals will hold, and create gorgeous MIXED balloon and flower bouquets when you have BOTH sets!

Three of the animals are great opportunities to try out Fun Flock for a fuzzy, "touch me" effect!

Cut out and pop up the different props for a great 3-D effect.

Try drawing curved or wavy stems with the tulips, which is characteristic for this "wandering" flower (which keeps growing after cut, did you know that??)

Stamp the images onto designer printed papers and cut out for a gorgeous paper-pieced effect (be sure try it with the umbrella, two coordinating prints for the top and underside looks very sharp!)

Draw in your own string for the balloon, stems for the flowers, clovers, and handle for your umbrella and you won't need to mask or worry about the image not meeting up with the animal. This gives you complete control over curved or straight, how long or short you need them. Stamp both images first, then connect starting from the prop to the animal using a straight edge (or just freehand to match the set.)

Use a toothpick instead of drawing a line for the handle, and you'll have "a drink umbella"!

The butterflies are meant to be cut separately, but by putting them on the same block you can make quick gorgeous backgrounds! Position them to have your animal watching them fluttering by, or omit the dotted trail and you can stamp them lighting on your animal's hands, head, ear, etc.

Stamp lots of flowers and clover at the bottom of your paper and then add your animal(s) and a "hop" to make it tiptoeing through the tulips, picking blossoms as they go!

The puddle can be used for the frog to leap out of (or into, depending on the direction you stamp him) The other animals can be jumping through them using the hop marks with the puddle.

Use the drops for rain, a spray behind the frog as he's coming out of the water, or on either side of the different animals' feet if using with the puddle.

Stamp the little greetings on the balloon or on the bunny's tummy. These greetings fit on MOST tags, punches and dies out there, have fun!

Trim or omit the TIED part of the balloon and you've got a perfect EGG! STamp the small images from the hippy or hoopy set on it for patterned eggs or balloons.

Ink up just the outline of the chick, omitting the face, and you can have a back view!

Stamp flowers coming out of the kangaroo pouch. Try cutting a slit in the pocket and insert a rolled up bill or love note. :)

Omit the handle on the handle of the basket, draw a few vertical lines on the top for candles poking out and you've got a beautiful birthday cake!

Flowers spilling out of the umbrella would be gorgeous for showers and announcements.

Try making the animals holding hands.

Make masks of your animals and store them with your set. You'd be amazed what other things these animals could hold, have fun looking through your stamp collection!

Substitute primas, velvet or punched blossoms for the flower stamp.

The flowers and balloons and basket can be held from their mouths, tail, or hands! (The basket can be looked over the elbow, doesn't have to be in the fingers.) Have fun coming up with your own fun compositions and combinations! The possibilities are endless!

Sponge a cloud background, add an animal and a cluster of balloons and they'll look like they're being lifted/drifting into the sky.

Every post needs a pic, so above is a project I created for the Gina K Design gallery this month, using my Just So hoppy set and the Free with Three set Tag, You're it! More deets about these little watering cans later, but I love thow the different tag borders and flower and heart stamps from that set work on the SU! Scallop punch!

*Some of these tips ARE repeats from the Hippy Tip Sheet, since I intended them to be used together and in similar ways, for anyone who doesn't have that set or tip sheet (but what are you waiting for? Look over there at how many cool people have gotten hippy! And that reminds me: my hoppy sighting search will begin in about 3-4 days!! ;)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hoppy Birthday!

Well, I was so surprised and pleased that so many people guessed a kangaroo, I'm hoping that means you've all been yearning for one for your stamp collection?? I'm guessing 95% of you don't have one! And why not? They're one of the cutest animals EVER! So I had to make you one, and that little pouch is going to have a LOT of uses! ;) )Did you notice the little heart nose?* It's subtle, but it's there) :) The set is now available purchase at Gina K Designs, I will be posting a tip sheet fo it tomorrow!

For this card, I wanted to use one of the new Gina K Bling & Dazzle tags, so I used the "happy birthday!" greeting from her new "Tag, You're it!" set but omitted the "a", drawing in my own "o" with a Sharpie to make it "hoppy" (I DO have a "hoppy birthday" greeting in the "Just So Hoppy" set, but it was longer than this tag, and I would have had to clean my stamp in between inkings to make it fit(now that's LAZY! LOL!) The "cake" is actually made from a basket of flowers in my set, I just cut off the handle (or you could omit inking that part if you don't want to cut) and drew three little sticks for candles, isn't that fun?! Not just for Spring and Easter, I told ya! And if you look carefully, there are flowers in the basket that match the one in the Just So Hippy set! I've got you covered, I think about all these things! :)

The left hand is hidden by the cake, but it's fingers form a nice litle "grip", so he'll be holding all sorts of other things, wait til you see! I wanted to show, though, here how you can mount somthing on top of the animals' hands and it will look like they are presenting something with a flat palm, works very nicely!

Finally, I mounted it on dimensionals and put it on this circle mat, which is fun with this DP, and added stickles to the cake and candles. What do you think? Are you ready to bring this sweet kangaroo home??

*My bunny has one, too :)

Hippy Mentions!

There were SO many fun projects submitted for the contest (I actually WASN'T prepared for how hard it would be!) but the following cards were my faves (in no particular order) and just outstanding in every way! I can imagine any one of them on the pages of a magazine. :) I will be sending ALL my hippy mentions a card I made using my NEW Just So Hoppy set, because I am just humbled by your fantastic work! So if you see you name here, please send me your snail mail addy and I will send your card :)

Lee Murphy-I love this soft, monochromatic card! All the piercing, the oval frame, ribbon, and patterned papers made for such a dreamy little baby card.

Lynda Bynden-There are so many things I love about this card. This funky heart paper she started with really made for a great card, and she pulled in so many different elements to showcase it. I love all the metallic bing she piled on, from the glitter on the heart spots and balloon to all those heart-shaped brads and shimmery ribbon. The little black bow she tied for the balloon was just right!

Lauren Meader-So very "Lauren"! gorgeous colors, layout, love all the flowers, and so cute the way she embossed the hiney with hearts and tied a little hemp bow around his tail, it's like he's trying to peek around to figure out what he was trying to remember! HA!

Charmaine Ikach-made a terrific interactive card(which I am always such a sucker for!), the "Rump Shaker"(my words, not hers, Charmaine calls it a "tilt" card, that sounds much better :)) She made it like a mini spinner with a penny and dimensionals so that instead of turning, the bottom just wiggles back and forth! She demonstrates in these pics how you tilt it with each "hip!" "hip!" "hooray!" Don't you love it?? So clever!!! I really like how she use the different colors for the words to set that off, too. :) Charmaine, I know people are going to be wanting a tutorial!!! *
Amber Hight- what a fantastic layout for this giraffe, I love the three sections. I also thought her scalloped edge, dotted paper and colors were so fun and fesh. And did you see the little flower she tucked behind the ear?? Now that's sassy!
Jessica Knight-This layout and colors on this next card are just so stunning! I love that black with the pinks! And the huge brads and alternating colors on the giraffes are just perfect. I also love how she spotlighted and repeated just the face in these scalloped punches. Outstanding work, Jessica!
I will be sharing SEVERAL other projects/3D items and gift entries on my blog over the next few weeks, there were so many cute unique ideas to share, thank you everyone who gave me a peek into what you've been creating!

If you played but did NOT win the free set this time (please keep playing!), I hope you'll still be inspired to get "Just So Hoppy" to enjoy with your hippys, don't let the fun stop now! If you thought you could do a lot with the first set, you won't believe what you can do with the second, and when you have BOTH, oh my! I can't wait to see what people will come up with for the NEXT contest! I also hope even more people participate for a chance to win one of my future releases! I am almost finished designing the set, but exact release date for it is yet to be determined. The competition starts as soon as the new Gina K release orders start arriving in your homes, end date TBA soon(I'm thinking April? maybe May...) Have fun!

* If you don't have time, girl, don't worry 'bout it! ;)