Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sneak Peek 1: Warm & Cozy MAGIC Christmas!

Here's a peek of my new favorite set of Rupa's: "The Magic of Christmas"! I am so excited for you to see the whole set as there's a little something for everyone...this card looks so pretty in real life, difficult to photograph it properly being so tall!

The images are stamped in Memento ink on Shimmery CS and colored with Copics. My new favorite RIBBON is wrapped around, isn't that color and satiny finish scrumptious ?! (Edited to add: I just learned it's actually organdy) It's just ONE of 12 beautiful ribbons you'll get in Gina K's Pure Luxury Ribbon Assortment, available for purchase this Thursday, wait til you see the rest!!! I added one of her adhesive rhinestones to the "o"in Holidays and on the new fancy corner punch (another new(ish) must have!!) at the top. The edge I did with the threading water punch, stopping short of going off the edges so that the outer strip is still attached, I thought this cut out looked kinda cool and different (the holes are covered by my white layer). It probably looks like this strip would be too fragile and tear, but because of the length and width of the card, and the layering, it's actually quite sturdy (but don't go pulling on it!;) I love finding ways I can make my punches work a little differently for me every once in awhile! I also added just a bit of the Cuttlebug Leafy Branch embossing to the bottom corner to echo the little branch the dove is holding. To get just part of it like this, I tried going over it with a rolling pin like I'd read about, and I'll be darned if that didn't work just swell!

You can see more samples of these set from Gina K, Jessica, Emily, Carolyn, Lee (In the Spotlight!!), and Kurtis! But before you do...

Bundle up and get ready for the cold with me and the next set! I adore the little figures in Gina K's new "Warm & Cozy Christmas"! (reminds me of the holiday favorite "A Christmas Story" with Ralphie's little brother so layered he can't put his arms down, hee! Being this covered up also allows the image to be gender neutral, a big plus!) We never get to dress like this in Texas, even on the chilliest day, so creating a little card like this allows me to enjoy a real winter's day vicariously (minus the cold!)

For the holidays I enjoy making a lot of simple cards, love just classic red and white, it's so crisp and festive (and conveniently fast, when during the holidays, time is a luxury!) Here I cut out my Copic colored focal point with a Classic Circle Nestabilities (circles are perfect for Christmas and these images, make me think of ornaments(and snowballs!)) and mounted with dimensionals on my white base. This GORGEOUS red ribbon is ALSO from the new Gina K Pure Luxury assortment! The sheer middle and solid edges were perfect with the stripey scarf I made, allowing my white on the base to peep through. The polka dots (falling snow!) on the left are created with one of the new CB embossing border strips, isn't that fun?
Here in closeup you can see the Stardust Stickles I added around the boots, sled and bits of the tree for crunchy, shimmery snow, plus a little Crystal Lacquer on the candy cane. (I love this card and I love this set!!) Here are more projects by Gina K, Joanne, Jessica, Emily and Lee!

Stay tuned for sneak peeks of two more sets tomorrow, can't wait! (sorry, I can't stop saying that!) Now if you're in a typing mood, please tell me your first (or favorite) memory of snow or, if you have none LOL*, guess what my next set will be!! Release party is almost here, are you ready to (jingle bell) rock??!!
* because you've never seen snow, or because you've seen so MUCH snow you'd never put it together with the words "favorite memory"!

Monday, September 29, 2008

We're Not Scared

After piecing together this pumpkin head from "We're Not Scared" using the Basic Grey Sugared pack (don't the stripes make it look like I spent a LOT of time coloring?? LOL I outlined the underside of the hat and shirt with a More Mustard marker to create a shadow) and coloring his face and the perching owl with my Koh-i-Noors, I made a little stick from black CS to mount him all askew against this, once again, Target Dollar Spot DP background (and stamped "Trick or Treat!" from this set on the moon.) Easy, eh?

Gina K Designs new release sneak peeks start tomorrow!! I will be previewing ALL of our new release sets right here the next three days leading up to our BIG release Thursday night!!!! I am completely out of projects I can show you until then, what timing LOL!! Gotta go, off to stamp more new peeks!!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Thanks from the 'Hood!

Here's a quick card for my dear hoodie-wearing friend and neighbor who was kind enough to run out and buy medicine for me when I was sick last week, and then wouldn't accept any money for it!!! So I had to make her a thank you card and slip a gift certificate inside for the equivalent in ice cream, I know she won't turn that down! I used Basic Grey "Cupcake" paper for the background (aren't those green cones fun??) and the hoodie, tracing the undersides with a green marker to give it more dimension before cutting. Areas inside the sleeves are easily removed with a craft knife. I used the threading water punch for the scalloped bottom and notched out the top corners with my ticket punch before adding some little red adhesive rhinestones to match the cherries. Ribbon and CS are SU!

I think this snuggly hoodie would also be nice for a get well or "take care of yourself "card, too. Any bloggers out there who have hoodie-wearing weather yet? I could happily live in one year-round if weren't so darn hot here LOL! My favorite is a navy blue one I got at Oktoberfest in Munich back in 1998 when Paul and I toured Europe (and got engaged), has a little kangaroo front pouch like this one. A close second would be any of my more blinged out, zip up hoodies! Please tell me what your favorite hoodie looks like (or would look like) and have a great day!

BTW, Sneak peeks start in just two days(Tuesday)!! I am stamping up a storm of stuff Ican't show you yet!! Can't wait, can't wait! Release party begins at 7 PM CST Thursday night in our forum!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

DIY Pumpkin Patch Tutorial

Super easy home-made jack-o-lanterns using "Spooky Silhouettes"!!

1. Create oval cut-outs(or circles, but I like using the oval shape both vertically and horizontally) from orange CS (Pumpkin Pie here) with your Nestabilities in different sizes. I was able to run all three dies through at once on the same sheet (odd numbers make the most "pleasing" groupings) No Nesties? Free-hand cut some wonky pumpkins on your own, lumpy pumpkins are fun, too!

2.Stamp your silhouettes on the pumpkins in black ink.

3. Draw some arced "ridges" (parallel to the oval's edge) with a marker or colored pencil (orange Koh-i-Noor) Optional: Lightly go over the whole pumpkin with just the side of your pencil's tip to give it a bit more texture (click on pic).

4. Sponge the edges, concentrating mostly at the bottom, with a deeper orange (Really Rust) or brown ink to create depth and shadows.

5. Free hand trim some chunky stems and punch out some Large Flourishes from green DP or CS (Basic Grey Ambrosia, one of the solid distressed colors) for the pumpkin tops and tendrils and adhere.

6. Pop your pumpkins onto card with dimensionals!

I used the D'Vine Swirls CB folder for my black background and ran my card front through my paper crimper to mimic the pumpkin ridges, swiping my Pumpkin Pie pad over the ridges. I also could have made some scores with my Scor-Pal, but I don't use my crimper often enough!! SU! Hodgepodge frames the "Boo!" greeting.

These pumpkins can be attached to a multitude of Halloween projects, candles, candies, treat bags, etc! If you make some of you own pumpkin projects with this, please let me know here so I can come check them out! :)

TRIVIA: I won third place ($25 GC) one year for a pumpkin carving contest at my husband's office Halloween party after we were first married. I spent 6 hours creating an "Austin Powers" pumpkin with Mike Meyers and his funky teeth carved on one side and "Yeah, baby!" with a bunch of groovy flowers on the back. Trust me, it was shagadelic. (I'm told I didn't get first because they thought I must have used a store-bought pattern... but I didn't!!) Wish I could find the pic...

Here's fun link , appropriately titled Wack-O-Lanterns to get you in the mood before you start "carving"!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Spooky Hideout

I got the idea for this card from the little roof top deck on the spook house in Monster Squad, it got me a thinking a few of the little monsters would be cute up there, so I grabbed some Post it Notes to mask off the house (stamp house first, cover, then stamp kids and remove Post it) and just inked up a few little kids at a time (the ones peeping out the side are inspired by two my little boys who LOVE hide and seek and almost ALWAYS choose the same hiding spot!*) The popped up children in front and the circle punched moon are mounted on dimensionals, as is the focal point. The images are colored with Koh-i-Noor and Copic Spicas for sparkle the colors were a great match!

I took my color combo from the DP, isn't that paper fun? again from the Target Dollar Spot!! (oh BTW, Amy Johnson won the DP pack from last weeek, sorry I forgot to post, Amy congrats , please send me your addy!) The punched corners are from another sheet in the pack as well, and several of the sheets are embossed or have glitter.

PS Kim is having a special on her Halloween sets, check out the deets here, ends today!

*I still take my time looking for them, though, as I finish up a card... while counting .... really.......S L O W L Y...... :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Guest Designer: Week 2

Another sweet and sporty project from Pamela today, this time she created a charm for her scissors to make sure they never get lost again and let the world know about her hockey obsession LOL! Simply stamp on polyshrink, color, punch a hole and heat to shrink, and you have an adorable charm to hang on your keyring, zipper, chain, cellphone, you name it! (At last, "guy bling" when you need it!) :) Tip: Pam recommends putting a little Crystal Lacquer if you need to create a smooth ,shiny finish over your coloring upon shrinking, some coloring media work better on polyshrink than others, here she used her Prismacolors.

Now check out Pamela's blog for another "Just So Sporty" project, I can't wait to see!

PS Can you believe our next Gina K Designs release is just one week away??!! It's a biggie, in more ways than one, so exciting! I'm going to have start dropping some hints, hee hee! Check her for clues and then of course early sneak peeks, starting on Tuesday!!

PPS Check out this adorable cheer outfit from Donna with JSS! (Just So Sporty)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sporty Packaging and Tag

Jonathan got invited to a fun "Olympic" themed party over the weekend for his classmate, who just turned 7. I've stamped a lot of gift wrap in my time, but I've never made anything that even came close to how boyish this turned out to be! :)
It was very simple to do, I've had a roll of plain white paper for years I can pull out any time to create a wrap in the colors and style I need, but haven't had a lot of "cool boy" options before my "Just So Sporty" set. I stamped the jersey and "All Star birthday" in different angles in black all over my paper. I chose three primary colored markers and colored in just the collars and stripes, it went really fast! Last I added the "07" (for his) age in the corresponding color on each jersey, plus stars in the same color on the background. In though it turned out so cute (uh, I mean, cool! LOL!
If you've never made shaped gift tags using stamped images, they are a snap! Stamp your image on the right side of your CS (Garden Green here). Now line up a straight edge of your image (like the edge of the sleeve or across the shoulder) with a track in the Scor-Pal and score along it.
Fold on the score and cut though both layers along the the edge of the stamped image.
Here's what it looks like inside.
And it stands up! (These would be fun as little personalized place cards at a party) I added "07 BIRTHDAY" from the set and colored in the stripes with my white Koh-i-Noor Pencil. A glue dot is all you need to adhere it to the package firmly, but still makes it easy to pull off if the recipient wants to save the card. A little shaped jersey like this is a fun thing for a child to keep on their shelf :)

Any fun, terrifically creative "Just So Sporty" projects you'd like to share? Please link it below!! I love this one of Lee's, check it out!! Ooh, another, this referee shirt from Theresa, complete with striping tuorial, too clever!!

Tomorrow: another sporty project by Pamela!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tricks and Treats

Here is a super simple candy tin made with the label and "candy is dandy" stamps from my "What's in Your Tin? 1" set stamped onto fun Target dollar spot Halloween paper. A few bats from "Spooky Silhouettes" round out my design at the bottom, balancing that top border.

I got the idea to fill the tin with Reese's peanut butter cups from this post of Gina K's. She mentioned putting a gift card in it with the candy: wouldn't it be fun to "make it a Blockbuster night" and include a $5 or $10 GC for some scary or not-so-scary Halloween classics to go with the eats? Decorative toppers are made for each cup by stamping out the inked up circle in different colors from the "Spooky Silhouettes" set onto white CS, punched with a 1" circle punch, then stamped with the different sayings and bats from same set before adhering. Got a girlfriend with a really good sense of humor? That witchy woman might just enjoy this little beauty, hee hee! ;)
So how many more days to Halloween?? (I don't think my candy I've stocked up on is going to last that long!)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Shower Flower Power

Do I love this new Black Market Let it Bloom DP so much I forgot to add a stamped focal point on my card??

Oh, THERE it is! (but I DO love this paper! aren't the colors yummy! and the texture and double-sided prints work so well for this concept, like designer wallpaper and shower curtain hee hee!)

This design is not what I originally intended: I struggled with trying to make this way-cool pull card that looked like you were pulling the shower curtain ASIDE to reveal the tub (My Favorite Things Presents Chill Out , but it just didn't come together for me...oh well! In the end I scored the top of the DP with my Scor-Pal and used the 1/8" Scor-Tape to adhere to my embossed nestie cut rectangle, lift the flap books anyone?? LOL!

I also used the threading water punch for the bottom of the curtain and cut out a bloom from the paper you see at the bottom. Gina K Self Adhesive rhinestones accent the flower. I grabbed my Aquapainter to custom mix the tub color to match my paper using Creamy Caramel and River Rock from my pad lids. Dots are Taken with Teal and the fuchsia color in the flowers is a Koh-i Noor Pencil, hope this helps you matching this DP :) I really like how it has the white on several pages, it's a nice fresh pop and I DO have that color CS LOL!

Anyway, I'm going to be sending this card to a caregiver, and it is also my entry into Carolyn's Heart To Heart Blog Candy Giveaway, please take some time to participate in this challenge, you'll make someoene feel special with your card and you could win over $1000 in stamping stuff!! Need I say more? Go enter*, it ends this Friday!

*If you don't enter, cross your fingers that I WIN becuase I like to share!! :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Faux Football

I woke up in the middle night with some inspiration for the Dirty Challenge yesterday to make a single layer card, but upon completion, I realized I hadn't done any masking (one of the requirements) so I couldn't use it. Oh well, I like how it turned out!! A tutorial with just one pic and just a few easy steps, it is very straightforward!

1. Punch 8 holes down the side of your scored and folded CS.*

2. Stamp your "logo" in black, here I used three stamps from "Just So Sporty".

3. Draw a curvy "three-humped" line to the right of your holes in black, then pierce along the line for faux stitching. (Here's a football to look at, or just copy my card!) :)

4. Run your CS through your Cuttlebug using the Tiny Bubbles folder.

5. Sponge on brown ink to to shade the sides and make the pattern pop.

6. Make a slit at the top left to thread your white grosgrain (or twill or shoelace if you have it) through. Start at the top, go down under the bottom edge with your ribbon and then pull around the left side to go through first hole at the bottom, repeating up until the ball is completely laced. Attach the end of the ribbon inside with a glue dot.

7. Round of the top and bottom right of the card by trimming with your scissors.

That's it! (Does it bug you that you don't see the entire football shape? I debated on whether to make the whole thing and then decide I like this kind of close up, "snapshot" of a football.) Down, set, HIKE!

Another shaped card coming up, (I've been getting lots of requests for it!) with a tutorial and template! Please check back! Now I'm off to check Carolyn's blog for the mother of all blog candy deets!!

*I really want a Big Bite, but I was able to pull this off with my regular Cropodile, and actually I didn't even have to mark where I was going to put my holes. If you slide it all the way into punch(which is right about where I wanted it, hee!) all the holes will line up. You need 8 for a "regulation football" (wink) so make a hole in the center. Now make one close to either end. Now punch two holes between each. 8 relatively even spaced holes!!(okay, some of you may prefer just to get out your eyelet template!) :)

PS A teensy prayer request, not huge deal, but a little worrisome: I am having some severe joint pain and stiffness in my right pointer finger(the drawing hand!!) I haven't done anything to strain it but in the morning I had pain and stiffness in it like I jammed it (but I didn't), and it has gotten progressively worse, now the whole finger as the day has passed. I've been trying to finish up a future release this past week (which I have been putting off because of migraines) and now I have this little stumbling block. I often think about how important my hands are to me, but at the same time I think how my passion for what I do is bigger than an injury or the loss of my dexterity and if somethign happens to my right, I'll just have to learn to draw with my left (although I'd definitely miss some releases, I can barely write my name with that hand LOL!), and if something happens to my left, I'll have to put the pen in my mouth (like Joni Erickson Tada) or in my left foot (like Christy Brown!)! I'm sure it will all work out, but I have noticed the past few winters I have some trouble at times holding my blocks to stamp, I have poor circulation and my mother has fibromyalgia so it's been on my mind...anyway, thanks for reading.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Step by Step

I started out creating a card for the Dirty Dozen Alumni Challenge this month: a single layer card, with masking, and NO PINK! I love using classic nature images on single layer cards, so I selected one small leaf from Gina K's "Autumn Leaves", the new Free with Three set, to create this wreath. I normally don't do step by step coloring pics since I've never been (and will never be) known for my watercoloring, but this leaf is so fun and easy to color, here I go!
Tips for creating the wreath: I started at the 12 o'clock position and stamped my leaf in Palette Burnt Umber around in a clockwise motion. You can put a punched out circle in the middle to use as a guide if you wish, but I elected not to, since I didn't just want tit to a circle of leaves, but a bit more bushy, so I turned the stamp as I went and had a few that stuck out more or in a bit more than others to give it more random shape. Then I grabbed my Aquapainter and used the ink on my pad lids to start watercoloring. Fall leaves are about the easiest thing to watercolor in my opinion, you can't get the shading wrong because every leaf has it's own unique, mottled coloration! A dab of Pumpkin Pie in the middle of a few random leaves all around and pulled out a bit is my first step (I actually think just the few colored in orange looks pretty cool as it is, kind of like spotlighting, those few leaves really pop and monochromatic is always so elegant, but I'll keep going! ;)
Then I followed up making another third of the leaves mustard, and the rest of the leaves Old Olive. Once I had the majority of each leaf in a single color, I went back with all three pads on every leaf, just dabbing it in at random, I love how every one turned out! It is not necessaryto overthignk where to put the colors, this went very quickly, and love how easily and beautifully these three particular colors blend together. Looks just like the leaves out in my front yard...(I could have made a shadow, but didn't) Sweet and simple "thank you". You could stop here.
The same card with a torn edge, now it has that upscale "Fabriano" look. I searched high and low for my Tearing Edge to no avail, so this is my own custom rip. That tool is cool, but your fingers can do the same for free if you're careful. I just LOVE the texture this adds, especially how great it looks with that sawtooth edge on the leaves.
We were allowed to use any other embellishments we wanted, so I cut a slit through the top of my wreath with a craft knife and threaded my Pumpkin Pie striped ribbon through and knotted it to make it look like it's hanging on a door.
This next step may have been against the rules LOL! But I adhered a piece of Old Olive paper under the edge. The front is still a single layer, but I have another color cardstock, so...I uploaded the version of the step before. :)
Since it's a little on the plain side, but also because I love the smells of autumn, I decided to add some "natural bling" and make it aromatic to boot by inserting a single clove into my knot. It does smell like you're gearing up for Thanksgiving or brewing some spice tea, a lovely surprise for the recipient when they open the envelope...
SO what do you think, would you have gone all the way LOL?? Or stopped where...? I'm curious to know, each step appeals to me/looks finished in it's own way...
Tomorrow Carolyn gives all the deets for her big Prize Giveaway! I'm entering, because it's simply too big to pass up, but if I win I'll be keeping that Just Rite Stamper for myself and enjoy sharing the rest with my peeps and readers, hee hee!
PS I actually didn't mask, shhhh. The leaf is really easy to stamp and have it look okay even if there is a slight overlap because of the veins and the the thin, solid stem... there I go breaking the rules again!! :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Guest Designer: Pamela Smerker

I really miss having a big old guest design team this month, don't you?! ;) So here's a little extra talent I recruited to give you some fun ideas for "Just So Sporty", from... Pamela Smerker! I really enjoy her blog and all the unique ideas she has, and this first project certainly didn't disappoint! I never would have thought of changing the jersey into a karate jacket, isn't it adorable?? To do this, use a marker to ink up just the areas of the jersey you want, here she left off the ends of the sleeves and just the bottom of the v neck collar to allow her to connect a few diagonal lines across for the"wrap". The little black belt she made with satin ribbon is the perfect touch! I also really like how she used the "happy" "birthday" stamps offset this way and in a nice bright red to match her base.

And how do you like that dojo screen? She used her Scor-Pal to create the grid over a layer of tissue paper and white CS, how's that for trying to make it authentic? I love it!

I personally don't know anyone who takes martial arts, but I can think of a bunch of people I'd like to CASE this card for to let them know they really KICK BUTT!! KI-YAAAA! LOL!

Leave her some love here for this totally out-of-the-box idea and and then head over to Pamela's blog to catch another project with the set, and what a bonus, it just happens to be her "Friday Flick"!! If you haven't see these on her blog before, you're in for a real treat, you'll be able to see a video of her making the card from start to finish(and she always adds some catchy tune), so grab some coffee (or popcorn, depending on what time it is!) and sit back and enjoy! AND, be sure to check out Gina K's blog today to see who our "In the Spotlight" Guest Designers next month will be, SO exciting!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

You're a Star

Here's a card I made for my dear friend Vanessa, a UT grad and fan, who just went back to work part-time on UT campus. It's a big change for her since she has been staying home with her son the last two years, so I wanted to give her a little boost congratulating her on the new job and show my support. The background was easily created with the two star images in the "Just So Sporty" set. Line them up on you block and stamp away, leaving a space in between each pair that is equal to the distance you placed you stars apart for a perfect pattern. I used one of the diagonals on my Scor-Mat as a guide as I went.
The necklace was a chain and Longhorn charm I got at Hobby Lobby, after attaching the charm with a jump ring, I decided I really want wanted to use it as part of my design, so I used my rectangle punch from SU! in the score at the top (but you could also make a slit with a craft knife and thread the chain through) so it would dangle down in the front next to the shirt. Inside I mounted this big Fiskar punched Star on a dimensional with #1" and wrapped my chain around the dimensional to keep it in placeon the front where I wanted it. I think this is a really fun way to present a necklace (and easier than making a box LOL!)*

Thanks to everyone who visits my blog so faithfully, it's wonderful to have fans, I couldn't keep it going without your support! :)
* If you haven't noticed yet, nost of my best ideas are really just me trying to figure out a way to get out of doing more work! ;)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Spooky Tees: TTCs

Here's a peek of the Tin Trading Cards I made for the swap Joanne organized, they are slightly smaller than an ATC, but will fit into an Altoid Tin. I'm excited about this swap because I almost never send out a card I get from a swap (I like to keep them), so having this smaller format that will fit in a little treasure chest (tin) is perfect for storing them and going through whenever I want to take another peek...

I used the label from "What's in Your Tin? 1" and Gina K's Spooky Silhouettes to make this Halloween trading card. To save time on cutting, I just colored in the outer border with Koh-i-Noor pencils to match my tees (which are all pieced from Basic Grey's Ambrosia pack) This way I didn't have to cut out another larger layer of orange, ruby, and gray to put under my vanilla. To add some spooky cobweb-like texture, I stamped SU!'s sanded background in Silver Encore Ink over each cut-out label before adhering my shirt.

Witch is stamped in Palette Noir, along with some bats (some are stamped off and outside the border, looks like they're about to fly off the card) and "Boo" in the background. I used my Orange Spica to color in the fire and the bubbles and had fun arranging my googly eyes on each of the cards (they were a little big to really fit on her profile the way I wanted, so I thought I'd animate the cauldron, give the bat a perplexed look, and put a single eyeball in the witch's hand for her to add to the pot (the secret ingredient). If you click on the pic you'll see a little shading on the tee, I rolled my bold stamp in mustard or gray ink to add to the outlined shirt, to see the best way to line up the two shirts up for this effect, see this post.

These were really fun to make! Which (witch?!) do you like best?? I can't decide... (which is why I didn't commit to any one design, you can do that in swaps, you know, hee!) Hope you'll join us for a swap in the future, there's always something going on in our forum, check it out! :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Heart to Heart

Have you seen the Heart to Heart prize MOUNTAIN that is accumulating over at Carolyn's blog?? (which has grown since she and I both posted??) I emailed her to see if I can enter myself, no lie!! Be sure you play along on September 21st for a chance at some great goodies and forward the fight against Alzheimer's :) Here's a card I made with one of my favorite images from "Whimsical Autumn".

FYI The Target Dollar Spot has a terrific fall paper pack that goes GREAT with the leaves and apples Cammie's set, check it out! (Don't have a Dollar Spot? Just leave a comment on this post and I will randomly choose one person to send some of it to in 6x6 size to complement your cards, winner posted Thursday :) I used two of the papers on this card to make my background. If you follow my blog, you know I don't normally take the time to dot a whole card base border with a white gel pen, but I couldn't really NOT with the dots in that DP, could I?? and Carolyn's worth it...(BTW the dots on the DP are embossed, too pretty cool)

Several of the colors in this pack are actually a perfect match for some old In Colors (but blend nicely with others if you don't have them) I used my Cranberry Crisp CS for the Base, as well as the ink with my Aquapainter for the apples and stitched ribbon (I intended to make more than one apple green but eek, I realized too late there was only one left without Cranberry on it, hope it looks like a "special apple", and not the bad apple of the bunch LOL!) The basket is a mix of Not Quite Navy and Buckaroo Blue. True Thyme ink is sponged onto my focal point, I left my die in place while sponging to reveal the white rim after I finished. The Scalloped top and bottom was created with the Threading Water Punch.

SO is your calendar marked for the 21st?? Don't forget to leave a comment to win a little grab pack o' this paper :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Friends Make the Best Cheerleaders

I made this pink and black card not only to show how to make my "Just So Sporty" set a little more "girly", but also for a buddy who always boosts me up, she is one of many whose constant encouragement keeps me going every day. When I added these little "cheer leader" stamps to the set, I thought they would be perfect not only for those who wear the uniform, but also for all those people in our life who rally when we need it. (Thank you everybody who offered help and prayers for William, he is doing MUCH better now with the nebulizer!) Here's a closeup to see the Crystal Lacquer on the whistle. Here, instead of masking, I cut it out and adhered it on top the shirt, then drew a little cord with my black pen to make it look like it was casually looped over the corner of the scalloped mat. I love this little ball cap as an accessory! I stamped just the outlined star and colored it with a pink Koh-i-Noor and clear Copic Spica before mounting it on a dimensional. The sweatshirt is outlined with a warm gray 20% Prismacolor marker.

Have a GREAT day, and a big THANK U to all my cheerleaders out there! :) (Have somebody who does that for you? please tell me about them here)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Child of God

Here is a sweet and simple card using Sweet n Sassy's "Child of God" set by Chris Dickinson. The images of of a little boy and girl praying along with bible verse and prayers are perfect for family, baptisms, birthdays etc. I think it is such a unique idea, and she did a wonderful job capturing the beauty of a child who has a heart for God in her illustrations...

I used the Black Market Lucky n Love paper pack for my background, the colors and the "cherish" border on the page made for such a easy clean layout with my oval Nestabilitie focal point. I colored the little boy to look like my Jonathan with Koh-i Noor pencils and OMS. I tried to keep my embellishments on boy cards to a minimum, but to add interest I used my corner rounder at the bottom, and some Magnolia DP, a strip I faux stitched with a white gel pen (to match the stitching on the "Cherish" border, and a curved corner punch with a large white brad and more faux stitching. Card base is Certainly Celery.

Jonathan, which means "Gift from God", has always been a very spiritual child. Coincidentally, in the first picture we took of him just after he was born (he's very red and slimy in it, hadn't yet been cleaned up by the nurses!) his eyes were closed and hands clasped, fingers all laced together as if in prayer. A picture memory I'll always cherish :) (Not to leave my 3 year-old William* out, his first improptu mealtime prayer recently was a hoot: "Jesus loves me, welcome to dinner, ... and Cheers!" )

These are the first stamps Chris has illustrated, congratulations Chris, from one illustrator to another, I wish you the very best of luck with this set and designs to come! :)
*Since I wrote this post, William has been struggling this past week with croup and has had asthma attacks every night as a result, it has been a completely new and frightening experience for us and a lot of sleeplessness. (If I was a light sleeper before I now sleep with two eyes open and his inhaler in hand!) Do you suffer from or have a child who has asthma? Then girl, I just want to put my arms around you, I'm so sorry you have gone through this. Any advice you have, I would love to hear from you. And if anyone could include William in your prayers, I would so appreciate it. Thank you.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Surviving Game Day

After 12 years of watching games with Paul (or in the last few years more often wandering in every hour or so asking how it's going before heading back to stamp again!) and seeing what a funk he gets into when his boys lose, I myself have become a bit paranoid if there's no Abita Amber (Paul's favorite beer from Louisiana) in the house when the Tigers are playing! I made this window coffeebag into an emergency snack and beer stash to nosh on when things are getting tense and included this bottle opener to always be ready to open a cold one and celebrate a touchdown!* (This bag holds one bottle and homemade Chex Snack Mix. Place your bottle in first and pour the mix in around the sides so that lovely label shows through the window.)

The bag I quickly stamped up with "GO TEAM" and the whistle and star from "Just So Sporty" in Eggplant Envy**, turning the stamps as I went and filling in last with the smallest stamps to best cover the bag. I used my label and "Survival kit..." sentiment from "What's In Your Tin?2" and added "FOOTBALL" from Just So Sporty. All the stamps will fit on one large block so you can ink and stamp once. It is easiest to get it centered by stamping the label first, then your greeting inside. I colored in the outer edge of the label and stars and "ball" with my Yoyo Yellow marker and cut out. ( I refrained from adding ribbon to DH's "man bag", which I'm sure he'll appreciate LOL!)

Tip: After cutting the label, if you find in some spots you trimmed a little too close so you no longer have your complete outline (or have a little white left over around where you didn't trim close enough), simply run your matching marker around the edge holding the label on its side to fill in those gaps. (I tried taking a pic for you but I need three hands to hold my marker, label and camera, hope my directions makes sense! :)

Check back throughout the season for more game day gifts and ideas! Have a great day, I'm praying that this hurricane will come and go, my thoughts are with you if you're nearby!

* Plays the LSU fight song ending with "GEAUX TIGERS!"when you touch it to a bottlecap, very festive, a GRRRRRRRRREEAT gift for any Tiger fan!

**Can anybody suggest a really GOOD primary purple ink and CS? Now that I'm trying to make all this purple Tiger stuff, my Stampin Up! purples are all too dark or too light, it would be nice to find a real grapey, Koolaid-rainbow sort of purple. Thanks in advance!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Who's That Ghost?

You might guess that they're bunnies from the peeping ears...

but might be surprised to open the gate (creeeeaaakkkk!) and find them dressed as ghosts! Trick or Treat!! (I love interactive cards!)
Aren't these Flopsey bunnies from My Favorite Things the cutest? The bunny from "Who's That Ghost" is stamped twice with Palette Noir on Whisper White and shaded with a Gray Koh-I-Noor pencil. I staggered the bunnies so they would look like they're hopping, hard to see but Iadded a tiny shadow underneath each with my pencil on the black CS... Flopsey's little treat bag is pieced from the Basic Grey "Cupcake" pack.

The gate was very simple to make, simply cut a piece of brown CS the length of your card or mat and cut the top with a scalloped or zigzag edged pair of scissors for the picket tops. Then draw a line down from the "v" between each hump with a black pen to make the boards. Add some little dots for nails if desired. To create the wood grain, swipe your CS directly onto a brown ink pad, pulling the pad down the same direction as your lines, repeat with a black pad for even more texture . Now score 1/3 of the way over on one side and cut 1/3 of the way over on the other. Fold the score back, and adhere each side leaving the folded opening loose to open and close

I stamped my greeting from this set on a die cut circle, also from Basic Grey "Cupcake", and adhered halfway off the square card to look like the moon rising.
More spooky scary projects to come! Have a great day!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Cart Runneth Over...

The All-American simplicity and sweetness of this apple cart image from "So Grateful" made me want to create a very simple clean design on white to make those red and greens really pop. I inked up just the apples fro the top of the image and stamped, then grounded them using my little tuft of grass from "Hip Hop Accessories".

I wanted to recreate the " Never-ending kindness" by having it dump a huge bounty of apples again and again and contemplated making a kind of motion card where the wheel would be attached like a penny spinner and you could upend the back of the cart, but decided, "not today!" LOL! (so maybe in a future post...) Here I just chose to cut it out and pop up to make it dimensional. Images are colored with Copics.I realized when I went to mount my cart overlapping the apples, the wheel was going to cover part of the pile and make it look like they'd disappeared, not showing through the spokes where they should. Not good. My choices at that point were to cut out between each of the spokes to see the pile behind (mmm...no) , create a cut out mask of the cart andspokes and then stamp the apples over it again (mmmmm....NO!), or just taking a pen to make some little curves and lines for grass in between (we have a winner!! You DO not need to be an illustrator to pull that quick fix off!) I went back and added more of a shadow under the popped up cart later, but was too lazy to take another pic! Sorry!

A little SU! grosgrain and some stitched ribbon from Joanne finished it off.

Thank you kindly for visiting, it means the world to me! Have a wonderful day! :)
PS Please go vote for one of my my friends( or you know, whomever you like best, but aren't there projects AWESOME! I'm so proud of these ladies!!) in the Just Rite contest here : Donna Baker , Barb Schram, and Julie Koerber!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Big 39

I created this football card for my LSU lovin' husband who just turned 39. He's a huge Tiger Fan and I thought a lot about him and what kind of things I could finally make for a sports fan (freak!) while designing the "Just So Sporty" set. I started by coloring the jersey in purple and gold, and stamping on "happy 39th birthday". Unfortunately I got my numbers a teensy bit cockeyed since I stamped them separately (because I wanted them a little closer together since I was including the "th" suffix (that's okay, it's good enough for my honey LOL!) But to get them lined up perfectly place them both on the block at the same time and stamp once (but there will be a larger gap in between) Cutting tip: make straight cuts in between your numbers so that each stamp looks like a rectangle. Trim across the top, but don't trim any excess off the bottom! Since they are lined up at the bottom of the sheet, when you place two on the block side by side the bottoms will meet up and be aligned when you stamp. :)

To make the football field I used my Scor-Pal: score a 6" piece of Garden Green CS at 1/2" intervals 11 times. If using a white core CS you can sand the scores to make your yard lines pop, I was out of all my green white core CS, so I carefully rubbed my white craft pad over the lines to make them show up better. I stamped "all star" in each end zone in the white craft ink, matted it on Yoyo Yellow, and then on a piece of DCWV earth Elements textured CS I had Cutlebugged with the Tiny Bubbles folder, (it makes great pigskin!), sanding it to bring out the texture, and then mounted on a white folded card base (8"x7", scored at 4"). I placed the jersey in the center with dimensionals and added a few Nestabilities Stars attached together with matching eyelets, also on dimensionals at the top and bottom. The finished card measures 4"x7". It will fit in a large envelope or long business envy, or I could make a custom sized to fit (but I won't, just hand it to him since he lives here, hee hee! )

For a great tutorial on creating custom envelopes, check out this one by Lauren Meader. You can make a football field on a different sized card of course, but this worked well with all the proportions and layering I wanted to do and number of sections I needed to make my football look authentic, the 1/2" spaces were the best way I found to use the Scor-Pal without needing to move my paper to make this many (12) equal sections.

So, are you ready for some football???? (or to become a "football widow"?! show of hands, please...)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Just So Sporty Tip Sheet

Some helpful hints for prepping your set when it arrives and get you busy creating!

This set contains more stamps than any of my others: 64! Be sure to ink up the set and press to your cling sheet to help keep track of all your images before cutting. This helps you keep track of all your stamps, and every stamp has a place.

Cutting tips for numbers: instead of doing a close trim all the way around, cut at right angles between each so each trimmed number stamp is rectangle,
then snip the whole strip off at once. Do not trim below the numbers, as you already have a straight edge. This helps you line them up for double-digit combinations.

for words: cut straight above the top and bottom of the words for easy alignment when stacking them on your block to make your name combos on your shirts.

All the words and numbers in this new "Just So Sporty" set will fit on the tee shirts from Little Tees (to make your t-shirts "sportier"), and the words and images in that set on this new jersey and sweatshirt (to make them "cuter")!

Create a non-sports related card with these images: a paper pieced hoodie or flower decorated jersey looks adorable for your friends, teens and tweens! Have fun mixing it up! Most of the stamps in your collection will fit on these images.

Unisex shaped hoodie, tee, and hat perfect for anyone, any age... Ex: "i'm a soccer baby" (I know some start 'em young!) ;)

A fabulous set for your masculine cards and projects and scrapbooking kids teams and sporting events.

13 sports and activities are included in this set, for boys and girls, men and women:
base ball
basket ball
foot ball
volley ball
(i'm a) gymnast
(i'm with the) band
cheer (leader)
Can't find your favorite sport here? Sorry, I squeezed in as many as I could (for now)! The generic "Sports" is included in "Little Tees" ... :)

Add "pro" "team" "all star", to the end of any of these to make personalized tags and gifts.

Additional relationship stamps have been added to show your support for these players:
Cheer Leader Mom
Football FAN
Swim Coach
Use the "I heart" from "Little Tees" with the new "mom" , "dad", "brother", "sister" included in this set!

Numerous combinations for your scrapbook scenes or congratulatory cards:
what a game!
good sport!
I'm a coach!
GO team!
All Star Dad

You have a new "U" plus "thank you" can mix and match with the "miss and "rock" in Little Tees: "Thank U" on a shirt is perfect for all the people it takes to bring a team through a successful season: managers, coaches, parents, fans, family etc, just add the stamp you need from this set.

Use the numbers to create ages (BIG 40), birthdates, anniversaries, alumni (ex: class of ' 91), your player's number, or the number of your recipient's favorite athlete.
# and st, nd, rd, th suffixes allow for any number combo you need, " happy 1st birthday", 34th, etc

The full number set included here can be used on any other cards and projects you need numbers.

Customize the jersey with your/recipient's school, team, or favorite colors (they don't have to be a sports fan, just "team of one" LOL!).
As always, the Internet is a great resource for finding the combos you may need. Here's one link to get you started for professional sports team colors: http://www.ssur.org/research/TeamColors/team_colors.htm

Emboss the numbers for a 3D iron-on look. Outline the numbers with a marker before stamping to give an outlined number you can color in.

Emboss the whistle or coat with Crystal Lacquer to give it realistic shine and dimension.

"It's a" and "boy" have been provided to allow for sporty baby announcements, thank yous, and invites for your newest little athlete! ("girl" in the same font is in the "Little Tees" set.)

Include your older athlete when the new baby comes by making "I'm a" (or "you're a") "BIG" "brother" or "sister" projects with the stamps in this set!

Let friends and loved ones know for any achievement (sports of otherwise) that they're "a star" and you're "a fan!"

The ringer tee in "Little Tees" can be layered under the jersey in this set, perfect for colder fall days! :)

Stamp the whistle on the lower portion of the tee or hoodie and draw a line or add cord to hang the whistle around the neck, the perfect touch for a thank you coach card!

The outlined and bold stars are two step, use them together or separately for great backgrounds and to accents your shirts or stamp on the hat.

Stamp or cut out the hat and place just above the jersey or sweatshirt, the angle looks like someone is wearing it with his or her head down...

Smaller hat and whistle images make great background or accents on tag on your layouts.

Draw a line up the center of the hoodie to make a zipped sweatshirt.

Cut the sleeves off the jersey to make a sleeveless basketball or volleyball shirt.

Try stamping the hoodie twice and cut out portions to layer onto the first to give the pocket, laces, hood a 3D effect.

Cut out your athelete's face and line it up in the neck of the hoodie for a palce card, magnet etc looks super real/fun!

Use the sweatshirt for cold weather/fall and winter projects or for get well cards, bundle up!

Create fun music-themed cards, projects and scrapbook pages using "i'm with the BAND" for your favorite musicians or groupies (or "Guitar Heroes"!)

More project ideas:
invitations and gifts for parties, tailgating
tags or wraps for water bottles
coach and team gifts
stamp up paper napkins, tablecloths etc for game day party supplies
tags on healthy (or not so healthy!) snack bags for after game
dress up spirit week and homecoming stuff
personalized tags for gym and locker bags
sports themed cards and gift wrap
coupons for sporting event tickets (or "interruption free" TV watching on game day!)
stamp up a schedule/calendar showing all your family members different practices and games (make a rotating calendar by creating magnets with the different sports to be used again and again each month, just move them around!)
decorate any thing and everything in your child's room with their "sport of the moment"
Polyshrink charms for players or proud parents/coaches
create athlete trading cards with photos for proud family members and friends
congrats card for a friend whose team won
humorous card for someone you have a friendly rivalry with when YOUR team wins (neener neener NEENER!)

etc... (I'm sure all those Sportier than I will have a million more great ideas, please share!) :)