Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Still Kissing!

Hello! Today's "Wild at Heart" sample uses the kissing technique again, but this time, I did not ink up the entire frame before kissing on another color. The stamp starts out clean and dry, and then I just kissed the inked up (Vivid Coffee Bean) herringbone strip from "Vintage Backgrounds" across, starting at the bottom working my way up, reinking the stamp each time. Near the top I started stamping off just a bit so the top would be slightly lighter, just to add more interest. Once the whole frame was covered, I stamped it onto White. Isn't that cool how much of the pattern it picked up and how textured it looks? The herringbone is well suited for this because the pattern is so fine and dense. You could also use a larger scaled patterned stamp with more spaces in between, but you will lose more of the flower details that way if you have n't inked the frame first, make sense? Even the border looks like it is stitched all the way around, love it! The result reminds me of some earthy, woven piece of fabric with a subtle, nature print...
Here is my finished card. I layered it onto Cranberry Tart and Soft Sand CS and added a greeting and label from "Versatile Verses". I kept it simple and finished it with some Chocolate Mix buttons and silk ribbon to add shine. I think I could maybe even get away with giving this to a man, guys don't notice much, those faded flowers might go right over his head LOL!

Have a great day, thank you very much for visiting me!

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Little Men

Just had to post a couple pics of my boys first day at school from last week now that we are done with all our new release peeks! We were blessed to get some great teachers and the boys are really enjoying it so far. Jonathan, above, normally hides when I get out the camera but thrilled me by striking a very GQ pose! William , below, has adjusted beautifully and made lots of friends already, as I knew he would, I have his wonderful preschool teachers to thank for getting him ready for this big change! (My mom thought he didn't look happy to be there, but actually I think he's just trying to play it a little cool like his brother, and is probably tired of me taking pictures!)
He is eager to be independent and walk into class himself but I am happy to report he's still my snuggly sweetheart in the evenings when he's home. I even brought some fish up there today for their tank during class time as a surprise and he gave me a huge hug and kiss in front of everyone, I loved that!

Be sure to look for my write up of how I am adjusting to the change to them being at school all day, my time management plans, goals and general observations in a post titled "Seven! Whole!! Hours!!" ;)

BTW, I can't leave you without some cardmaking inspiration for the day, so CHECK OUT this gorgeous "Wild at Heart" sample by the lovely and talented Sharon Harnist! It had me scrambling to go order that Scalloped Frame die set from Gina K Designs, heck I didn't even know that was in the store! Doesn't that look so cool framing that stamp? (and how perfect, it has some little flower dies, too!) I am eager to try it out with some of my other frame stamp sets like Arranged with Love and Festive Frame, too cool! :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Week 1 with Mary Ann Kelemen

Today I am sharing a little more about someone you probably know a bit already from StampTV, Mary Anne Kelemen (ma54k.) She posts such lovely samples, is very active in challenges, and always encourages others!! She will be sharing several of her designs with us this month using my new "Wild at Heart" set, the first few you can see here. Above is my favorite sample she created for the release party. Please take a few moments to read more about this beautiful lady:

Tell us about yourself! Family, pets, where you live, work, etc
My husband, Jim and I have been married since 1977, we have 2 grown children and a black lab named Jessie. I have lived in the same area of Pennsylvania for my whole life. I am currently an on-call supervisor for Goodwill Industries after doing the same for 14 years at 30+ hrs. a week. This allows more time for stamping!

Describe your style/what you think you do best:
Wow, this one is hard. I do like to create scenes, or combine stamp sets to get the most out of them. I am not a clean and simple stamper.

I enjoy sponging and distressing to give a vintage feel to my work.

I tend to gravitate towards earth tones, but many of the new papers are using reds, oranges, blues, and I am trying to go with the trends.

Some of my favorite yummies are flowers, dewdrops, paper & cotton lace, and ribbon.

It has to be A Year of Flowers, by the look of my poor tattered package. That would be followed by A Year of Leaves.

There are so many! Yipes! If you look at my STV gallery right now, it would be Friends Are Forever, by Gina. It fits my lifestyle right now.

Supplies I can't live without are, Stickles, Glue Dots, Pop Dots, and Pure Luxury card stock.

I went to my first stamp convention in 1995 and I was hooked.

I live on a lake and much of my love of outdoors and nature, show up in my work.

Tell us about your FIRST stamping experience!!
It was a disaster, I did not know what heck I was doing. Things were just images on paper. There was no dimension, no texture, no life in what I did!

Tell us about your most MEMORABLE stamping experience!!
It was the day I joined Stamp TV and someone commented on my work. It felt sooooo good!

Don't be afraid to try new techniques. You are not going to like all of them. As a matter of fact, there are some I truly detest. However, The ones you enjoy, will stay with you and you will be able to pull them out of your learning library as needed.

My goals are to use some of the many stamps I have acquired, that have not seen ink yet. I am rather shy about trying to get published but I am truly blessed by being chosen as guest designer.

Try to avoid impulse buys. Pick stamps/sets that will have many uses. Don't be afraid to experiment with techniques, and just have fun.

I love making paper flowers, mini albums, tags, and decorating flea market finds.

I have learned how to properly use colored pencil for coloring and blending, and have recently been trying my hand at Copic Markers. Also, I am coming up on my 1 yr. anniversary of keeping a blog. It is uplifting to have people who care enough to follow you on a daily basis.

Of course, I do most of the daily STV challenges! I also like Joan's Gardens, Speedy The Cat's Friends Challenge, Moxie Fab World, Card Positioning Systems, etc... I will give them all a try!

On July 4th, I celebrated 10 years of being the mother of a child who beat the odds of a spinal cord injury. Sharing this process, has made me a better person.

Well, right now I am up to my eyeballs in planning a wedding! My daughter will marry in October of 2011. I never had a large wedding, so I had no idea how complicated this was! I also love to cook and bake.

Good Or Bad, Everything Happens For A Reason.

Thank you Mary Anne, for sharing with us, I know you will be a brilliant guest designer! You can see her first cards she made with the set here, and watch for more projects from Mary Anne later this week!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wild Kissed!

Hello! Today I wanted to show also how useful these bold chunky images like the leafy branch above from the new StampTV kit Autumn Splendor are for different stamping techniques, today I am going to kiss in onto Wild at Heart frame, another set that's all about techniques! Here I inked up my "Wild at Heart" background in aqua, and then kissed the branch on in three places to balance the desgin, going off the edges and around the flowers, inked up in Coffee Bean. I also took a brown makerer and swiped it around the border to make it pop from the rest of the background.
Huff on the image and stamp! The stems just pop out from the brown leaves, like an emboss or white crayon resist. Isn't that beautiful with the brown pattern added? You cna achieve soem really cool multilayered look this way. Another great set that would be perfect for kissing onto this wildflower frame is my "Pressed Flowers".
Here is my finished card, with the mat cropped to give it a 1/8" border all around, layered onto Chocolate Brown and Ocean Mist. I sponged aqua ink over my rectangle die to make the white edge pop out on my sentiment tag.

Very simple card, but really makes a statement!

I want to make sure you don't miss these beautiful samples from Rose Ann Reynolds, she has already posted some beauties to her blog with this set here , here and here. (wild, wilder, wildest, hee hee!) And, I am very excited to see the STV gallery already blooming with samples using this set, I will certainly enjoy watching it grow! ;) Be sure to add your own creations when you sets start arriving next week! :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

CSS Alumni Limited Supply Challenge Hop!

The CSS Alumni were sweet enough to let me join in the hop, thanks ladies!
This month's challenge was to create a card that contains only the following items and no others:

One Neutral color for your card base: White, Ivory, Black, Brown or Kraft (check)

Two different colors of card stock (check!)
One patterned paper (check!)
Three buttons (on flower centers, check!)
One color of ribbon (oops, does gingham count?! eek! it's just one ribbon, though!)
As little or as many images as you'd like (check!)

I inked over my flowers from "Wild at Heart" with a black marker, huffed then stamped them onto this Mariposa DP fron DCWV. I wasn't sure if the supplies were so limited that you couldn't use Nesties or punches, so I cropped my greetinginto a rectangle just to be safe! (Okay, now I'm wondering if my white and black count as colors?! hmmm...) This was my first time to try the gathered ribbon with Scor-tape, you like? It was fun to do!

Hope you are enjoying hopping! Please make you way over to Melissa Cash's blog!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wild at Heart Tip Sheet

Thank you for attending our release party! I am SO excited about this new set "Wild at Heart" from Gina K Designs! I will be uploading samples with all the following tips I mention soon! :)

The stamp can be turned any direction for your cards. "Sideways" or "upside down" will make the flowers look like creeping, or hanging vines, rather than rooted in the ground.

Stamp the frame onto your envelope front or flap for perfectly coordinated ensembles.

Ink up the background with a brayer and a spectrum pad (check out this beautiful Autumn Leaves pad, new at Gina K Designs!) and stamp, for a gorgeous, gradient effect!

Ink up the different sections with different markers where they are divided by the stems. Completely filled in, when you stamp it the frame will look like panes of stained glass.

With markers, ink over just the borders and trace over the the flowers and stems images. When you stamp, you won't see a solid background, just the borders and flowers.

Ink up the background in a light color, then use a marker in a darker shade to go around the underside of the flowers and stems for a beautiful monochromatic embossed leaf that will really make the images pop!

Stamp the background in one color. Now stamp it again in a different color and cut out the blooms to pop up over the first background you stamped. Or, cut them in half or into sections and place one colored side over the other like the Split Negative technique.

Ink up the background and kiss patterned stamps all over it in a darker color before stamping, example polka dots or crackle, your flowers will really pop away from the pattern!

Kiss a very dense, tiny texture all over the uninked frame stamp, for example the herringbone pattern from "Vintage Backgrounds". This will make the frame look like it's been woven with a stitched border, a gorgeous textured look where you can still see the floral pattern! (I'm very excited to show you this one!) :)

Swipe different colored ink pads across the background and stamp like improvising your own spectrum pad.

Mist the inked background with water and stamp it for a watercolor effect.

Stamp and cut out the blooms to embellish other mats with flowers.
Pop up the cut blooms over the stamped background for dimension.

Stamp the background over patterned or colored paper, the print or color will show through in the flower and stem areas.

Use the stamped frame and a perfect background for any stamped flower focal points or nature scenes you create, the flowers are arrange in a rule of thirds fashion that creates a beautiful, balanced backdrop no matter where you place your new stamped flowers!

Stamp in a darker color over lighter colored cardstock for a brocade or embossed look, example, dark blue ink on powder blue paper.

Stamp frame in Versamark onto colored cardstock for a subtle watermarked effect. This is also a beautiful way to stamp the inside of you cards for subtle florals behind your written message.

Stamp frame in Versamark and coat with Pearlex Powder, the result will look like shimmering silk!

Emboss the background with clear powder or colored powder and then go over the areas not embossed with markers, filling in the stems with green, flowers in the colors of your choice, making a negative of the stamp!

Ink up the background in a light color, and stamp one of the greetings directly over it in a darker color.

Stamp in two different colors and then die cut or punch different shapes out from one color, example circles, hearts, flowers etc and line them up over the first stamped background. Or, use these cropped or die cuts parts of the background as layers on your other cards.

Die cut a large window into the stamped frame and add the greeting.

Die cut the greetings in a different shapes and pop up over the stamped frame.

Stamp the background out two of three times in different colors on the same color paper, example, white. Now cut them up into sections and layer or puzzle them back together so the flowers line up but the sections are different colors for a very modern color blocked look.

Sponge different colors onto smooth white or glossy cardstock, then stamp the frame over it in black or brown , allowing the colors to show through the flower areas, a faux "Joseph's Coat" look, without embossing!

Emboss the frame in metallic powder for a quick and truly elegant card!

Crop out the middle of the frame into any die shape you want for beautiful printed die cut.

Add different colors to the frame quickly by keeping them all in the same warm or cool color group, example: ink up the whole frame with a yellow pad, then go over the flower centers in orange and the petals in red, then stamp. (But if you try to add blue over the yellow inked stamp, this area will turn green, so keep them in the same color family when you are inking over something already inked so the color stays true.)

Stamp the "Thank You" or Friend" up along one of the stems.

Ink up the parts of the sentiment in the different font with a different color to make them pop.

Add glitter, micro beads, fun flock or flower soft to the flower centers.

Add rhinestones or pearls to the tiny round buds shooting off the stems.

Add buttons to the flower centers for a more whimsical look.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 4: Lean on Me and You are Not Alone

Hello, thank you for joining us for our final day of Gina K Designs sneak peeks! Today we have two sets from Gina K, a card kit set and Free with Three. The first is "Lean on Me", an elemental flower set with clean and simple lines and sentiments. I love the "Lean on me" sentiment, so I chose to stamp the smaller flower leaning into the other, one of the stems has a perfect little curve at the top to do this. Ink up the images with your waterbased markers and thump a darker color over the bottoms of the flower before stamping.
I loved the lines of these tall graceful flowers so I framed them in a tall panel and kept the card free of prints, just gorgeous solid Pure Luxury (White, Black Onyx, Red Hot, and Fresh Asparagus) to make these colors really pop. I stamped just a few of the leaves tone on tone to the green layer.

Next we have the Free with Three set (which means this set is FREE when you buy three other sets!) "You are Not Alone" , heartfelt sentiments that we all need for our cards, plus bold nature images each framed in an open circle. They have a really serene, Asian feel to me so I went for another clean layout. This is a 5 1/2" square card made from Pure Luxury Ocean Mist.
Start with a piece of Pure Luxury White cardstock measuring 4" square, then cut in half, and half again so you have four 2" squares. The circled flowers fit perfectly on these. Stamp in four colors and stamp our greeting in the darkest color over the lightest colored image. Adhere these onto a 4 1/4"square panel (Chocolate Brown) and use your Scor-Buddy to add scores at 1/2" on each side to add more detail and frame up your stamped mat. Last I added a clear taupe button in the middle tied with jute twine for texture and shine, placed in the middle it also unifies the four elements and echoes the round images.

For more samples with the stamp sets being previewed tonight, please check out these participating designer's links:

You are invited to join us for our Release party tomorrow night, August 26 from 7-10 central time for contest questions, challenges, and chatter along with tons more samples! The party leads up to the new products featured this week on our blogs being available for purchase online through GinaK Designs at 10 pm. See you there for all the fun! It's almost time to party!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 3: Autumn Splendor Stamp TV Kit

Day 3 of our Gina K Designs peeks, welcome back! Today we have the StampTV Kit "Autumn Splendor". This set is full of greetings and images to remind you of harvest and abundant blessings. For today's sample, I chose this bucket of juicy apples. Spilling over, this image was perfect with the sentiment "We give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way".
I colored the image with Copics (Cardinal, Coral, Strong Red, Moss, Olive, Sand, Light Walnut and W-3 for the shadows, almost exactly what I used for the barn yesterday LOL!) Cardstock is Pure Luxury White, Black Onyx, Red Hot, Green Apple and Fresh Asparagus. I stamped these bold leaves in the kit over both green cardstocks in olive ink to make a subtle leafy background and added some stitched red ribbon. Sides of the Fresh Asparagus panel are stamped with In Stitches to give it a more homespun feel. The little wire clip worked perfectly with the bucket handle and the different buttons from the red mix mimic the apples and remind us of our many blessings, great and small.
For more samples with the stamp sets being previewed tonight, please check out these participating designer's links:

You are invited to join us for our Release party this Thursday night, August 26 from 7-10 central time for contest questions, challenges, and chatter along with tons more samples! The party leads up to the new products featured this week on our blogs being available for purchase online through GinaK Designs at 10 pm. We hope you'll make plans now to be able to join us in all the fun!

Thank you for visiting me today, just one day of previews left and then it's time to shop!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sneak Peek Day 2: Farm Life, Boo, and Faithful Florals

Welcome back, thank you for hopping through Day 2 of our sneak peeks this month! Lots to share today, first up is the newest set from Theresa Momber, "Farm Life". Drawn in her signature vintage style, you will love these charming pastoral images. I started with this beautiful barn, which is stamped on Pure Luxury White, colored with Copics (Cardinal, Coral, Strong Red, Moss, C3), and sponged with Antique Linen Distressing Ink.
I chose a very fancy label for this stately image (Labels Four) to die cut my image and then used my Scor-Buddy to score lines every half inch on the Lipstick Red CS to make the planks of a barn. I swiped a Cream White pad over the paper to tone down the brightness of the red as well add a few more lines and give it a worn look. The little photo turns add the hardware to create the illusion of the door. Card base is Pure Luxury Ivory and Stitched ribbon. Greeting is part of a sentiment from Tami's set, which you'll see in a moment! I almost added more to this card, but restrained myself, thought the simple life depicted here should be presented somewhat simply. :)

Next up we have Asela Hopkins "Boo!" I don't think I noticed the scaredy cat up in the tree until Gina peeked it the other day LOL! I knew I wanted to use the little haunted house framed up in a circle, and she has this straight little row of BOO pennants like a banner, but when you cut the rubber out you can curve the image on your block so I stamped it this way under the die cut. I colored them with Copics and added a shadow to give it dimension, then sponged over the house with yellow and orange inks.
I stamped some of these fun swirly bats, added some gingham and made my own little pumpkin embellishment to finish the card, very easy to do! Locate a two hole button from orange assortment and draw on a nose and mouth with a black glaze pen (which I also used to draw the little loopy ties on the sides of the banner). The grooves and stem were done with Copics. Isn't he sweet? Card base is Vibrant Violet.

Finally we have Tami Mayberry's "Faithful Florals", a set with three flower silhouettes and sentiments and scripture. use the direct to stamp technique and color the rubber with markers to get the different colored blooms and stems before stamping. this first card is clean and simple, cardstock is White, Red Hot and Ivory.
Next I have a "kicked up" version. I turned the card, stamped "Faith" in black over the image, which really pops, and added some gingham to tie in the black. Last I added a red button.
( If it looks like I got a smudge on the inside of the card, that is actually more of the flowers peeking out that I stamped inside, hee!) Totally loving these colors today!

For more samples with the stamp sets being previewed tonight, please check out these participating designer's links:

  • Miesje - *our CenterStage Guest Designer!*

You are invited to join us for our Release party this Thursday night, August 26 from 7-10 central time for contest questions, challenges, and chatter along with tons more samples! The party leads up to the new products featured this week on our blogs being available for purchase online through GinaK Designs at 10 pm. We hope you'll make plans now to be able to join us in all the fun!
See you back here for day 3, thanks for visiting my blog today! I hope you enjoyed these projects, such wonderful sets to work with!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sneak Peek Day 1: Wild at Heart, Fanciful Tags, and Grand Damask

Welcome to our first night of Gina K Designs Sneak Peeks! First set we are peeking is my "Wild at Heart", a new frame set with greetings that is sure to inspire! Symbolizing beauty and freedom, wild flowers have always captivated me. Planted by the wind and often growing in difficult, unlikely places, they are as lovely to me as ones that are cultivated. Whether they are weeds or flowers is in the eye of the the beholder! My mother had a little framed flower in our home when I was younger with the sentiment "Bloom where you're planted" (which I've included in this set) which reminded me growing up to do your best with what you have where you have it. I think these flowers and sentiments are perfect for creating cards for friends and loved ones to wish them a lovely day or to give them strength in hard times. The bold background lends itself to countless techniques, new and old, and will have you reaching for some products I'm sure you have but may not have played with in awhile!
This first sample was created with a brayer and a spectrum pad, I'd been waiting months to try one of those spectrums out with this stamp! Simply ink up your rubber brayer on the spectrum pad then roll over the frame til you've inked the entire image, and stamp! I love the beautiful blended look this creates and how the white flowers and stems pop out! If you don't have a spectrum pad, you can roll your brayer over a couple different pads to create a two tone look or use your sponges to daub on whatever colors you choose in the areas you want. Cardstock is Grass Green and White.

This next card I took advantage of how the vines split the frame into different sections like panes of glass, so I created a stained glass effect by coloring the different sections with markers.

Although it is difficult to see on the red rubber because I chose warm tones, this is a completely inked up stamp after coloring with my Memento Markers, it goes faster than coloring paper because the ink just glides over the rubber, you can go quickly without having to worry about going outside the lines, you just stop when you hit the edge LOL! Hopefully you can can see the dark and light areas, I hopped around so that the the same colors would not be touching each other, with Memento Angel Pink, Potters Clay, Canteloupe, and Rhubarb Stalk on the background, and Lilac Posies for the flowers.
I went over the border too before stamping with a black marker before stamping to make it pop. I added some yellow and orange Doodlebug glitter tothe centers. I'm in love with this look!

Just like in "Inspiration Mosaic", there are "open" areas in the pattern which are natural places to add a greeting to I've done in the sample above, but you can layer a sentiment or image over the flowers as well. Cardstock is Sweet Corn and Black Onyx.

Here I made a quick gift set of cards in different colors, these were SO quick and simple to make!
I stamped the frame directly onto Pure Luxury White in different colors and placing a small square of white onto the middle of the stamped off frame before cleaning it to get the lighter shade. Then mat it with a coordinating color, add your greeting and line it up over the frame to match up the flower images. Easy peasy!

I purposely kept today's cards simple and only used this set in creating them and used almost no embellishments and very few layers to show how few supplies you need to create something gorgeous with this set, but I've made about 20 cards with it so far and haven't done the same technique twice! I really look forward to sharing how you can use your other stamp with "Wild at Heart" and go deeper into techniques after the release (kissing, anyone?), it is so versatile! :) To read more about how I came up with this set, read this post.

This next peek uses Nina's "Fanciful Tags", a set of three images to fit the Fancy Tags Nestabilities Dies, plus oodles of sentiments to fit in each. This is a wonderful stand alone set that you can use to create a greeting tag for any other stamps you have, the classic fonts will match everything. Below I used the "Just Because" over my "Wild at Heart" frame, this time I traced over just the border, flowers and stems with Memento Markers , spritzed with water and then stamped to create a water colored effect. Cardstock is Pure Luxury White, Pumpkin Spice and Chocolate Brown, ribbon is Stitched Last, we have Nina's"Grand Damask", which is a wonderful stand alone set as well, with flourishes and a large design element that will make all your cards look extra fancy inside and out. I have been waiting for a great flourish set from Gina K Designs, and this really fills that need! Here I used Pure Luxury Black Onyx and Ivory, stamping the damask and a single flourish in Memento Tuxedo Black ink.

I stamped the rectangle border and greeting from "Fanciful Tags" onto Ivory and trimmed it out to layer the Black Onyx Fancy Tag die cut. I used a border punch for the side and embellished it with just a few adhesive pearls.

So elegant!

For more samples with the stamp sets being previewed tonight, please check out these participating designer's links:

You are invited to join us for our Release party this Thursday night, August 26 from 7-10 central time for contest questions, challenges, and chatter along with tons more samples! The party leads up to the new products featured this week on our blogs being available for purchase online through GinaK Designs at 10 pm. We hope you'll make plans now to be able to join us in all the fun! More peeks tomorrow, thank you for visiting!

Behind the Scenes...

I hope you are having a blessed Sunday. This past week I have been entertaining my father who is in town, enjoying the last week of summer with my boys, readying them for school, and preparing for our Gina K peeks which start tonight. One of the sets we are previewing this evening is mine, and I want to share how it came about. Since I know you will be hopping and we have other sets to show, I thought I might go ahead and write a separate post about it so tonight's doesn't get too long! I have been having the most wonderful time creating with it this past week, and still am not sure which samples I will share with you first! Although I don't like choosing favorites, because I enjoy my sets for different reasons, I know if my house were on my fire there are a few I'd grab first, and this one would be one of them!

I drew this set while the pain and numbness I was experiencing in my hand a few months ago was at its worst. If you read my blog, you know it really threatened what I would be able to do in the future crafting wise, and was really a trial and test of my faith. (I have to credit attending my Bible study every week that I wasn't totally overwhelmed with fear about the pain or worry like I sometimes tend to be without God's help. I really wasn't sure if the injury was something that I was supposed to press through or a sign that I should put designing and illustrating aside to focus on my family. Even though I loved what I did so much, I was able to align my will with His and tell Him honestly I would give it up and be happy with or without it and grateful for whatever was in store for me.)

I was actually trying to finish up another set that I'd sketched over a year ago but never finalized, but was finding that I didn't have the strength or steadiness to make the drawings the way I wanted. (I'll admit, that was a little worrisome) I prayed and stepped away from it for awhile, before coming back to draw something entirely new, and using a different process: this time taking away color like an etching (much like I also had to carve away at my heart and remove some layers of myself!) The result is the set we are about to release, with an image and sentiments and scripture (which you see above) that are very personal, because something new and beautiful grew out of that hardship. The result of that time and this new set is so precious to me, because it really forced me to press into the Lord. As you know, he restored my health, but also made me dig deeper and become a different and better person and artist. He answered me, that I would not be the same afterwards, but that it would ALL be for my good.

One more verse on my heart today:
"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love."

Romans 5: 3-5

See you tonight! :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Wave your hands in the air

like you just don't care! Here's a cool pic of me and the boys Paul snapped turned around in his seat on Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom in Disneyworld.
My kids are such speed freaks, there is nothing they won't ride! Yup, my 5 year old rides the big coasters with no hands! (I keep mine up but poised near the grab bar for close calls) Yes, we are back home now and although I've missed you I am having a hard time getting back into blogging since I dug myself out from all our post vacation laundry! Ugh! Luckily, new rubber arrived today for our release next week so that should get the juices flowing!!
Here is a magical night of fireworks in front of the castle.... turned out like a post card!

And here we have two drummers drumming at Animal Kingdom the next day.

If you have never been to that park, that Tree of Life you see behind Jonathan is just spectacular, hundreds of animals sculpted into that magnificent, ginormous trunk!!

My little Vikings in "Norway" at Epcot (we never miss an opportunity to get a photo in a cool hat)...

Be afraid, be very afraid!!

The three of us at Hollywood Studios. I know my smile is totally crooked, I think I was talking but glad it turned out as well as it did, could have been worse! (You know, I wish Paul had told me to crouch down a little bit, it would have totally looked like I was wearing that big sorcerer's cap behind me! hee!)

Finally a pic of all of us together! This was taken inside the Sci-Fi Drive in Dinner theater, I totally recommend it if you go to Hollywood Studios, what a cute restaurant, wish we had one in Austin!
They show old monster movie clips, previews and drive in ads from the 50's and it felt like you were out under the stars in these convertibles even though it's indoors, the kids loved it!

And just a couple more pics of the kids clowning...
William was throwing the peace sign/ bunny ears up in almost every pic, where do they learn these things??

Jonathan thinks he's getting a hug here, little does he know!
We did DisneyQuest, the downtown area and Blizzard Beach too, but I don't have any pics from these places. (I may share some other favorite pics later, but right now I am just pooped, ran errands all day in 100 plus degree heat and I am fading fast!) Still, a good time was had by all, no one got lost, and we were very happy to return to our home in Austin by the end of the week! What more could you ask for?

Thank you so much for your prayers for the Jensen family, I will update you on Jess's condition as soon as I hear from Nancy again. She posted her snail addy and a heartbreakingly beautiful poem her sister-in-law wrote for Jess on her blog, well worth reading if you have a few minutes! (and passing along to others you know who might get great comfort from it) I DID find my phone moments before we needed to leave for the airport, literally (thank you for praying about that, too!) and it was so precious to receive your emails that you were lifting up prayers for that family each day while we were away! God bless!

More later!!! Cards soon, I promise!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Urgent Prayer Request

We are leaving shortly for the airport but couldn't go without posting a very urgent prayer request for an online friend: Many of you might remember a young man who was dying and his family I did a RAK request for my first year of blogging, Marcus Russell. So many of you lifted up cards and prayers it really helped the family and him before his passing. This is a picture of him with his cousin Jessica, who just turned 22, but has been terminally ill her entire life and was not supposed to survive as a child, so her mom Nancy has always called her Miss Jess "Miracle Child". She really needs our prayers now. She has congestive heart failure and Ischemia of the bowels, plus a host of other medical issues I can't fully explain now, but she is currently in starvation mode, can not eat. Unless things turn around, she doesn't have much time left. You can visit Nancy's blog here, although she has not updated it in the past couple months as she has been so busy tending to Jess, so the extent of how bad things have gotten aren't recorded there, but she sent me an email the other night of how much pain her daughter has been in this past week, how much weight she has last and that she is now in hospice, many signs a couple days ago that the end of is near. However, she started improving a bit yesterday! Please, please pray for healing, comfort and relief from this pain will continue for Jessica Jensen and strength for her family, Nancy, Karl, Justen, and Brandon.

I will be gone all week and unfortunately can't help with sending RAKs but if you get in touch with Nancy you might leave a request for their address if you want to send a card. Thank you so much!!!!

PS a much smaller prayer request: that I find my phone! Lost it yesterday! has all my contacts, photos , videos I've taken since January of the kids events on it
:( Plus enabling me to check email and blog from it, I won't be able to do that while I'm away, so please understand if you email and don't hear from me! I am praying it will turn up when we get home!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pretty in Purple*

Hello! Here's a card I made with "A Beautiful Life", I don't think I'd done the tulips in these purples yet! (BV02, BV04, BV13) Cardbase is Lovely Lavender. I punched some wave flourishes out of Grass Green, I am really enjoying and getting a lot of mileage out of this new punch! I popped up the butterflies and did the gradient on the word beautiful with my markers, I love this effect!

I am on vacation with family this week, so hopefully I can get a few more posts up, but if not, see you soon!

oh PS! having fun shopping with that awesome coupon?? :0 what'd ya get? I'd love to know!

*Just doesn't quite sound the same, does it? ;)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Blast from the Past Day 5

Day 5 of Blast from the Past! I hope you've gotten lot of new ideas for your favorite sets from our team this week as well as adding some new (well, new to you anyway!) sets to your wish list! :) Tonight I am getting Gina's "You Know You're Old When... " set inked up for the first time, I finally got it recently! This woman in the car cracks me up, and unfortunately, my friends and I are experiencing her problem all too often lately! (The punchline inside is "...when getting lucky means you found your car in the parking lot."LOL!) I found a sheet of DP in October Afternoon Boyfriend pack, that I thought with these arrows going every which way was too perfect!! I used this palette to choose my Copics for coloring. Then I punched out some circles to go over the dots spotlighting some of her possible locations (hee! this looks my path to find mine somedays, thank heavens for a panic button on my remote!) Cardstock is Tempting Turquoise, Black Onyx and White. I know this silly set will help me not take things so seriously sometimes...stamping should be fun!! :)

I also decided to use Tami's "Special Delivery" and "Special Delivery Additions" tonight to make a card for my husband, our anniversary is coming up and I wanted to create something reminding him of a special trip we took to the beach. The big postage block in the "Additions" set is fun to add different images to, I chose to use the small images from Theresa's new "Aloha" set. Instead of having to mask these scenes in, I colored the bold shadow stamp rectangle (which is used to fill in these boxes) that comes in Tami's set, making quick stripes with Memento Markers to make the different sunsets and kissed the little tropical images onto the rubber in black before stamping. Aren't these cute? Be sure to clean the stamp each time before inking you and adding your next little vignette!
I sponged the white layer with the postmark (from "Special Delivery") and journalling lines with Ranger Vintage Photo Distress ink, love the nostalgia and aging this pad adds! This would make a great layout for a larger scrapbook vacation page if you added a couple photos to it! Card base is Black Onyx.

For even more samples of some of our favorite 'Blast from the Past' GinaK Designs stamp sets, check out these participating designer's blogs:

And how about a coupon??? Is Gina the most generous stamping supplier ever?? Better go fill up those carts, stuff is going to be flying off the shelves tonight! :) Be sure to go check out our Blast from the Past Challenges and Questions in the StampTV forum this weekend! :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Blast from the Past Day 4

Hello! Welcome to Day 4 of our Blast from the Past Hop! Tonight we are featuring some favorite sets from Carolyn King and Asela Hopkins.

My first sample tonight uses one of Carolyn's earlier sets, "Framed Flowers". It is such a versatile set and so fun to use the little window to frame up the many sweet bold flowers in the set, grass and greetings. These images are perfect for the direct to stamp technique using your waterbased markers.
After going through my DP trove, while many would have been a lovely match, you can never go wrong making your own background to match using your stamps , especially with bold stamps, it goes quickly and couldn't be more perfectly coordinated! Aren't those little flowers so precious? In apricot on Ivory they have such a retro, vintage feel. TIP: If you want more contrast after coloring your rubber and stamping, you can go back and trace over certain parts with your fine tip markers. I first intended to make a card just using earthy colors, but then I reached for this Sweet Corn striped ribbon which had these lovely blues as well and realized using a Little Boy Blue card base would be so much more interesting! So thank you, ribbon! I masked the frame and sponged in a bit of blue ink to bring just a hint of that color into my focal point, then added some punched Grass Green flourishes, some punched curved corners, and a paper flower I colored to match. Finally a few Pure Luxury buttons and I'm done! :) Love this card, love this set!

Next I have this card using Asela's "The Journey". The quote about "faith unlocking the door" inspired me to try cutting the door open on three sides with a craft knife and fold back the last side so it could stand slightly ajar, allowing just a sliver of the golden yellow Wild Dandelion mat to show from behind...
Before coloring I also snipped some diagonals from scratch paper and placed them over the the left side of the door which I covered with sticky notes. I sponged on some yellow ink and then removed and colored my image. Now I have some rays peeking out, suggesting a glimpse of the glory and wonder that is revealed and doors that are opened when we put our faith in Him. What a comfort that promise it!
For even more samples of some of our favorite 'Blast from the Past' GinaK Designs stamp sets, check out these participating designer's blogs:

One more day to go!! Aren't you curious what will be at the end?!! Thanks for visiting today! :)