Monday, February 28, 2011

STV Sketch Spotlight 15

Happy Monday! Welcome to another StampTV Sketch Spotlight Challenge! This week we have a fun sketch, with three little panes to fill!

These windows inspired me to do some little "Basket Blessings" bunny vignettes and split the little "peek-a-boo" sentiment into three parts using a marker to ink up the stamp and cleaning it after each stamping word. Hide and PEEK!! :)
The DP is Basic Grey Sugar Rush and cardstock is Gina K Pure Luxury Innocent Pink, Black Onyx and White. The border I threaded the 5/8" gingham through is NOT a punch, but a piece of PLASTIC I salvaged from when my kids were opening Christmas gifts, you know those pieces all the parts of a plastic toy that needs assembly are attached to before popping off? I thought it looked really pretty and might come in handy later! (If it looks good,why not?) ;)
TIP: I used B60 and BV31 (Pale Blue Gray and Pale Lavender) to add shadows to my bunnies, these colors look a lot fresher and coordinate better than gray would with the periwinkle in the DP.
Please upload your creation using this sketch to the STV gallery with the tag STVSKSP15, I hope you'll play along, you could win some FREE stamps! Hop to it! ;)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

"What Are Words"

Chris's song "What are Words" is in the top 50 on iTunes (most downloads)! A wonderful song about their journey for only 99 cents with a portion of each sale going toward Juli's recovery. Here is part of a very heartwarming post from Juli's mom on Facebook about how much Chris doing the song on TV has done for her:

"Can you really think of a better medicine for depression than have the handsome talented love of your life sing a song about how devoted they are to you? Then take it a step further and have that same man go on national TV and talk about you and sing that song? I certainly can't. In fact, all the pills and therapies Juliana's had up to this point have not amounted to the quality of improvement this single event has had on her emotional state. When she heard the song she said, clear as bell,"This is the best I've heard him sound. He's singing about me, right?" (My note: if you have not read more about them before, her speech has been very difficult to understand since the accident and she hardly spoke at all before Chris auditioned; so sweet, Chris was quoted in an interview saying her new found desire to talk was from Steven Tyler's "magic kiss!) She cried when she watched the video and asked to go on Facebook... she could comment on his song and video. She is so incredibly proud of him as we all are but we are seeing it on Juli and that visibility is overwhelming us all.
If you have not yet heard the song you are missing out on one of the most emotional experience so Juli's recovery. It is the affirming evidence of all the prayers that have been said for Juli, Chris, and our whole family."

Read the full post here. Download the song on itunes, let's get it in the top 10!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

"Spring Basket" and "Basket Blessings" Tip Sheet

"Spring Basket" and "Basket Blessings" have to be two of my favorite coordinating sets I've illustrated, and I have a LOT of coordinating sets! I look forward to sharing the possibilities and fun you can have with these die cut sets! I will continue to give you ideas about how to take these two sets well past spring...

Stamp the basket onto scratch paper and cut out to use as a mask. This way you can cover your pre-stamped basket and then stamp images over the top, then remove to look like they are inside. To save time on your mask, just cut the top edge since this is where you most likely will be needing to mask anyway! :)

Stamp out the bouquet arrangements on scratch paper and do a careful trim around the bottom only. This allows you to stamp the flowers, cover them with your mask and stamp the basket over it. When you remove the mask it will look like the flowers are spilling over the edge.

Stamp, cut out and pop individual flowers to layer over the bunches for a fuller look.

Use the bouquets on their own as borders. Turn them so the curved edge is on the outside so they can curve around a circle or oval die cut.

Stamp the bouquets on the inside of your card and/or the flap of your envelope for complete coordination with you card front.

Snip the bouquets apart so you have several sizes of each type of flower to work into your card layout in any way you choose.

Use some of the individual flowers that match the bouquet you choose to stamp into your basket, leaving them out around the bottom of the basket, like you have not finished arranging them or like one fell out, a beautiful, casual look!
Put two of the same bunches opposite each other so they can "frame" up a greeting, like the mirror image top and bottom of a label.

Stamp the flowers collage style over plain, colored cardstock or patterned paper to create gorgeous floral backgrounds.

These flowers can be used with almost any stamping/coloring technique, have fun!

Trim the basket down to make it shallower or have straighter sides. Removing the very top fluted" part makes a more "masculine" looking or less Easter specific basket.

Make petite arrangement with the single flower elements. The single flowers make a beautiful little accent whenever you need a little something on your card. same for the tiny leaves, work like little flourishes.

Enjoy mixing the small single flowers with the larger "A Year of Flowers" images.

You can also use the "Buds and Vases" flowers in the basket.

Use the woven handle at the top center to the basket or have two hanging diagonally to either side, meeting in the middle.

Use a little brad to accent the handles.

Tie a little bow at the top of the handle or at the bottom.

Take a hobby blade and cut some vertical slits through the middle of the basket. Thread some narrow ribbon through and then tie, it will look like it is woven through the reeds.

Pull colors from your color scheme or DP to color a few bands of the reeds in the same color for a very customized, matchy basket!

Flower Soft makes beautiful filler/Easter grass! It also makes beautiful pollen for the flower centers!

Have fun going through your stamp images to see what else can go into the masked basket!

Invert the basket and have something hiding, peeking out underneath and use the peek-a boo greeting from "Basket Blessings".

Use the different borders from "A Year of Borders" to make a beachy basket full of shells, basket full of fall leaves etc!

Use the different greetings from "Basket Blessings" with "Spring Basket" to make flower basket cards fro any occasion: baby, birthday, bridal etc!

Not just for brown: use soft pastels in spring for a dyed basket, earthy colors for natural or fall baskets, reds and greens or even metallic colors for painted holiday baskets etc.

Emboss the basket in gold or silver and color for a gilded look.

Tip the basket on its side to change your layout and have stamped images spilling out.

All the animals can be used on their own, or placed in the basket. use you basket mask to make them look they are stamped inside. Or stamp the animals first then cut out your basket and pop it over it for a more dimensional look.

Have fun piecing the ruffle with patterned papers like a liner. This will make your basket snuggly soft for those stuffed animals!

The stuffed animals are super fun to paper piece. try using two coordinating patterns on an animal to really emphasize it's different parts. or use on patterned paper and then go over certain section, example ears or trunk with a darker colored marker, this will look like second coordinating print.

Add dimension to your paper piecing by tracing around the edges with a marker in a similar color to create shadows.

To place the stuffed animals in the basket, trim around the trunk on either side and around the floppy rabbit ear, then slide down into the basket, this allows the little limbs to hang over.

Use the peek-a-boo sentiment with these animals as well as your other stamps and have just the top of the image showing, then do a reveal inside the card like they are popping out.

Stamp the images for inside the basket onto a tag that you can pull up out of the basket to reveal the full image, peek-a-boo!

Stamp the chicks and eggs more than once so you can cut out and color extra eggs to fill up your basket or Easter layout. Feel free to trim one or both chicks off your stamped images or omit inking them with a marker to suit your layout. have fun mixing the chicks and bunnies together.

Use a pale yellow and a dark yellow to color the chicks and give them a fuzzy dimensional look.

Stamp the animals in row a row or fill up an entire mat in a light shade or watermark to create a cute matching or baby theme patterned paper to go with your colored image. "Blessing Borders"! ;)

Use a marker, colored pencil to draw a few simple blades of grass below and around the bunnies and eggs and chicks to make a charming little outdoor scene on your project without using the basket.

Nestle the bunnies and chicks just under some hand cut paper grass (trimmed like fringe) or die cut grass border.

Have fun giving the bunnies patches, making ears the ears or feet different colors, etc. They are very easy to add shadows to, leave white and trace around sides with grey or color with grays black or browns and trace the edges a shade darker than the body color.

Try stamping the animals on velvet paper for fuzzy texture and cut out.

After stamping the bunnies, snip them apart so they can be in different position in different places on the card or used alone depending on the expression you need, smiling or giggling!

Invert the ruffle to look like a tissue paper liner standing up and place your flowers above that.

See what else your ruffle can be! The valance of a window for a tall, scenic card, the covering over a small table to you could rest a vase of stamped flowers on, etc.

Use Fun Flock or Flower Soft on the chicks and bunnies tails. Try tiny pom poms on the bunnies.

Enjoy coloring the decorated eggs with colors from your color scheme. One egg was left plain so you can paper piece it.

Take cues from the eggs to find patterned papers that will look good for mats with it: plaids, stripes, flowers, polka dots, etc.

Accent mats with the daffodils or make floral backgrounds. Use them with the stems and leaves from "Spring Basket". Or layer them over the bunches in "Spring Basket" for lush, mixed bouquets.

Add dimension to the daffodils by stamping them twice then cutting out the center part of one to put up on a pop dot over the other image, the center will now look dimensional.

Make cut tags with all the tiny greetings using your punches and die cut,s they will fit most any shape.

Create adorable Easter gifts and projects using the images as tags or embellishments to decorate little boxes, bags or Easter baskets.

That's all I have for now! I hope this was helpful to get your creative juices flowing! Coloring tutorials and samples to support all these tips and ideas coming soon! :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Color Spotlight #13

Happy Friday! Forgive me for not posting my tip sheet and a few other things I promised yet, but we've been so sick here and I missed the last few challenges so I pushed this one to the top of my list!
Pure Luxury Creme de Menthe, Red Hot and Lemon Drop! These colors inspired a sweet Spring card with just a little heat!
I embossed the Red Hot with the Cuttlebug Flourished Frame folder and then die cut a Labels Eight from White to stamp my "Basket Blessings" sentiment on. (I don"t know anyone getting married now but I just HAD to include a bridal greeting in this springy set!) I sponged a bit of pale yellow and green inks (which I also used to stamp the daffodils for a subtle repeat of my popped up flowers) onto the label before removing my die. Popped up flowers are colored with Copics

TIP: To create some greenery from the "Basket Blessings" set, stamp the daffodils from the set in either size and color them green. Then snip each flower into 5-6 pieces and layer them under the flowers, leaves from flowers, fun and easy! :)
I added some little adhesive rhinestone bling trails after popping the flowers up. Don't forget to stamp up the inside of you card and your envelope with those pretty flowers!
Hope you play along, you could win new stamps! Be sure to use the tag STVCSP13 when you upload your new creation using this beautiful color combo to the STV gallery!
Have a terrific weekend, come back and visit for more basket stuff!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chris Medina Update

Well. I have not quite yet processed the information but Chris Medina did NOT make it to the top 24 on America Idol... :( We see so little of the whole audition process, but I am hoping his shocking elimination means that there were a few shaky performances from him, or that others simply "outsang" him...

Not only was I looking forward to seeing and hearing him each week, I was really hopeful there would be someone in the spotlight with a positive message and positive values in a time where stars so often begin and end marriages every few years, someone young people could truly look up to for both their talent and their choices, that you CAN succeed without just "looking out for number one".

I AM very thankful that the national exposure Chris got in auditions allowed him to share his story, in the weeks since his audition aired almost $30,000 in donations have poured in for Juliana's treatment to the Laurus Foundation, among other outreach his community is doing for him.) I have NO doubt he has a very bright future and God will continue to use him and bless him. Here was his final song for the judges, he voice does seem a bit strained after a grueling week, but it touches me still:

If you would like to follow Chris and Juliana's story they have pages on Facebook with updates on her projects and lots of photos of her, before and after the accident. I am happy to see Chris now has over 21,000 friends to support them on their journey. :) You can find more about Chris on this page his friends and fellow musicians have started for him:

I don't normally follow people like this, but he really made an impression on me, as he clearly did others.

I also read he will be on Jay Leno on Friday night singing a song written by Rodney Jerkins specifically for Chris, titled "What are Words" which will be available for purchase! Looking forward to that! If biggies in the industry are already writing songs and arranging performances for him, he is well on his way and can get going sooner with recording without the stress and months away from Juli on the American Idol stage! God is good!

Spring into Spring with Crafts 'n' Things!

The Spring issue of Crafts N Things is here, and the magazine has gotten a fresh new makeover, you will love the look! Lots of changes have been made to the features and layouts, clean and bright, easy to read, be sure to check it out and see all the new things inside!

I have two cards in this issue: a Mother's day card I made using Gina's "Notes to Mom" and "Picture It" & "Organize It" sets...
and one I made with my "Wild at Heart" set.

Gotta shout out too for Gina K peeps Michelle Woerner, AJ Otto, and Carolyn King who all have fabulous projects in this issue! Congrats ladies! :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chocolate Bunny Love

Last card from the party: This giggling bunny from "Basket Blessings" really inspires me to explore all the possibilites of what he might be laughing about! Asela's "Chocolate Bunnies" and greeting inspired this card, a real bunny smitten with a chocloate one, and his friend finding it all very amusing, without the heart to tell him!

"Spring Basket", Cardstock: White Sweet Corn, Black Onyx; Basic Grey Sugar Rush; Classic Oval and Beaded Circle Nestabilities

Thanks for you all your comments about William! He says so many sweet and funny things every day (Jonathan too, of course ) ;), I will be sharing more here to have a record of them until I have them on paper!

Monday, February 21, 2011

So Many Gifts...

William shared a little "pearl" with me the other day I had to pass along to you:

He had a fever for 4 days last week, as well as a very bad cough and cold. Despite being sick, we enjoyed some nice snuggle time and reading when he wasn't feeling so well, along with a few more active times in the yard when his Ibuprofen was keeping his temperature down and the weather was nice. As we were putting together a jigsaw puzzle on Thursday, while his brother was at school, out of the blue he said,

"Mama, God gives me so many gifts when I am sick: those frogs outside, that quarter I found, ... just so many gifts."

My heart just melted and was so thankful that at 6 William already understands and appreciates the Lord is always with him and looking out for him, and responsible for ALL the good small things, intentionally placed in his life, that lift his little spirit in both easy and hard times, caring about the things a child would care about. It is humbling and precious to receive these sweet messages from my son, seeing that God speaks to his heart, but also through him to me. I'd been sick too, and this was definitely a gift :)

So I am closing with this scripture:

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father
of heavenly lights"
James 1:17

(this verse was actually on this birth announcement, although I am not sure I have ever read that particular verse to him)

Bunny Blessings

I am still so happy with how this illustration turned out, they really took on a life of their own, one with a shy smile and the other's stifling a laugh, I just love when a drawing surprises me like that! Although I love the "giggle" sentiment from "Basket Blessings" intended for it, I really wanted to make the image the focus of the card so I left it greetingless.
Bunnies are stamped onto White Pure luxury and die cut with labels 4. Everyone loves white rabbits, so you can keep your coloring super simple by taking a light gray like c-1 or C-2 or a very pale Copic pastel that has a light blue or purple tint depending on what colors are in your DP you use with it, and just trace around the edges. Add a hint of pink to the ears and that's it! I used two prints from the Basic Grey Olivia pack, making sure to have a few of the whimsical bunnies in the print showing around the label. Cardstock is Innocent Pink and Ocean Mist. This would be sweet Easter card, but also a fun any time "friendship" card.

TIP: Behind this busy fantasy print there is a large dotted print, crop the mat through the middle of the circles on each side to reveal this inverted scallop around the edge, isn't that a fun look, like I did some pretty row of bling all the way around? OR, crop it just outside the circle rows and make the mat that goes over it small enough to cover the inside of the circle for a row of scallops around the edge. If you don't want to lose a lot of that pattern underneath, use your Nestabilities to cut out a shape to use later, the hole will be covered with the mat you place over it. Love saving time and paper this way, use your stuff and use your scraps!

Thanks for praying for Brenner, will get an update on whether he is coming home today or not soon!
I am feeling so much better today! Finally! Yesterday was really achy and concerned I might have been getting the flu, but I slept great for the first time in weeks and am about to head out for some fun with my kids on their day off! Be back soon, I have a lot to catch up on here!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Baby, Baby, Baby, Ohhhhhh!

This card uses the first image I drew for "Basket Blessings", with baby cards in mind (showers, welcome, announcements) based on a few of my favorite stuffed animals from childhood: "Hoppy"* the plush rabbit, which my mom made for me from a pattern, and "Snuffy"** the fuzzy teddy bear, a shower gift my mom got before I was born. We have some pictures with both these little lovies in the corners of my goldenrod 70's crib when I am just days old***, I really need to dig them out to share here! Don't know what became of poor Hoppy , but Snuffy is in William's room, with a hole in his side and stuffing coming out, pushing 38 years! I didn't have an elephant, I just really like them! :)
The bear and rabbit are colored with Copics, the "Ella" is paper pieced with two different prints from the Basic Grey Marjolaine pack, I am really getting lot of use from these colors and patterns! TIP: Use the same print from your piecing somewhere else on your card to tie it in. I popped them up over the Labels Eight die cut, wanted to use them on their own to show the "Spring Basket" is NOT required to make this image work, but if you want to place them in the basket, simply cut up around the trunk and under the rabbits arm and ear on the right side, this allows you to slip it under a cut basket but have these floppy limbs hang over, looks super cute! Will do another post to show you pic sof exactly what I mean...

The plaid is layered over Little Boy Blue and the White Pure Luxury base is embossed with Cuttlebug Swiss Dot folder. I put a few alpha letter beads onto the white safety pin, my embellishment of choice on baby cards (number 2 is buttons!) and attached it with glue dots.

This card celebrates the birth of a little boy to a mom in my small group, he was born several weeks prematurely (although still 8 pounds, she has huge babies!) and he is making so much progress, the Lord has answered so many prayers already, the doctors are quite amazed. If you are able, please lift up a prayer for little Brenner today he can stay off his oxygen and pass his swallow test today so his doctor will sign off on letting him come home tomorrow, thank you!

* perhaps a little inspriation for my "Just So Hoppy" set, too ;)

** named after Snuffy Smith, anybody remember that cartoon?

** on my tummy, before the whole "Back to Sleep" campaign

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Out of the Basket*

Okay, my head is too congested and I am too sleep deprived to complete my tip sheet or do that coloring tutorial for you, sorry for the delay! Here is a little hee hee in the meantime til I can finish up all these drafts in my dashboard...a favorite card from our party on Thursday, peek a boo!
When I added that greeting to "Basket Blessings" I knew it would get a LOT of mileage with so many things you can reveal just above the basket and then perhaps have your subject completely OUT of the basket on the inside of your card. Theresa's turtle from "Little Critters" was an obvious choice to me to go UNDER the basket, it's like a second shell! Can't you imagine the basket slowly moving by itself across the floor, "Toy Story" style, powered by this little guy? LOL! TIP: The basket is cut out and popped up to really give the 3D effect that he is under it. Shadow is W-1 and W-3.

"Peek-a boo" is super sweet for baby cards too, but also any time you need a bit of comic relief! (I need a little very day to keep me going!) Looking forward to more "out of the basket" giggles with "Spring Basket", AND with this turtle, oh wait til you see!

* Vicki said that

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Stamps Available Now!

Check out all the new release sets from Gina K Designs right here!

Here is one sample I shared at the party that uses BOTH "Spring Basket" and "Basket Blessings".

More in the morning, good night!

Sneak Peek Day 4: Free with Three "Framed Greetings"

Hello! Welcome back to our final sneak preview before the party starts tonight! This morning we are sharing this month's Free with Three set "Framed Greetings", what card wouldn't look better with this gorgeous label on it?
I used Basic Grey Marjolaine for my background and took my colors from it, something I really like about this label is the thick and thin stripes, they give you space to add your own colors in between if you wish to match your patterned papers, isn't that a fun way to add color? But of course the stripes will looks beautiful stamped in one color, too... :)
TIP: If you want to add a fancy mat behind the label but don't have a pendant die, try making one from two Fancy Tags die cuts, this black print is also Marjolaine. Cardstock is Pure Luxury White and Black Onyx, 5/8" stitched ribbon and adhesive pearls to embellish.

Please go see more ideas for these "Framed Greetings" from our talented design team!

  • AJ Otto

  • Carolyn King

  • Cathy Tidwell

  • Deb Felts

  • Donna Baker

  • Emily Giovanni

  • Gina K

  • Giovana Smith

  • Janice Whiting

  • Jennie Harper

  • Lee Murphy

  • Melanie Muenchinger (you are here, thanks for visting!)

  • Michelle Woerner

  • Suzanne Dean

  • Theresa Momber

  • Tina Gilliland

  • Valerie Stangle

  • Vicki Dutcher
        • See you at the release party tonight, 7PM CST on StampTV! Hope you have enjoyed the previews so far this week!

        Wednesday, February 16, 2011

        Super Fun Deal, Have to Share!! (Expires Friday!)

        Do you like free money? How about getting paid to work out? I know that sounds impossible, but I saw a really fun product being offered at 50% off on Mamapedia (Sweet Deals) yesterday and wanted to pass it on to you, since you order it online, you can get it no matter where you live, it's not a local voucher. It's called the S2H Replay Activity Tracker, (click on that link to see the deal and read more about it) a cute little sports watch that records your daily activity in 15 minute intervals and gives you a code to add 60 points for an hour of exercise to your Switch2Health account online, up to one hour per day. Accumulate points to get gift cards to Barnes n Noble, Lowes and more! That's music to my ears! Rewards are posted so you can see what you'd want to work towards. I bought one and I think I'm going to get them for my kids today, too, they also have Toys r Us, Blockbuster etc. What a fun way to get small rewards and measure your activity! Until I came down with my cold last week, I was going to the gym everyday for 3 weeks straight. If I'd had the Replay I could have gotten $10 to spend on or Fandango (and I wouldn't have been tempted sometimes to cut my work out off like I did at 45 minutes)! That might not sound like much, but it's better than nothing and I like that you're not rewarding yourself for working out with food! :) Plus, the money back for that would already cover the cost of the watch with this half off deal!

        I know I always do better sticking with a fitness routine if I have small rewards along the way, and this way I won't have to pay for them myself! Also will motivate me to pick up the weights while I am watching TV to earn another 15 minutes, I like you don't have to do it all at once, too, they thought of everything. :) See what you think! I look forward to receiving mine (what color should I get?!) and really glad signed up for Mamapedia a few weeks ago or I wouldn't know about this program. Think my kids will love it! They don't have any problem being active, but how fun for them to track this themselves and earn their own rewards. One other cute feature i have to mention: the watch show a smilie :) when you've been active, a frownie :( when you haven' don't go upsetting your Replay!! :)

        Oh! By the way, mentioning my kids, Mamapedia also has a program that donates 5% of EVERY purchase to the school of your choice, so now that I've logged in my children's school, the school automatically gets 5% whenever I buy a deal. Nice! I like!

        I would love to know what YOU think of the S2H Replay or if you've heard about it before/or maybe even have one!

        Will be back with an OWH post and pics from William's birthday Sunday. Poor little guy is home sick with fever today and I still have this cold. Yuck. I am just so thankful we were able to enjoy his party Sunday before he got this.

        Tuesday, February 15, 2011

        Sneak Peek Day 2: "Little Critters" and "Chocolate Bunnies"

        Welcome back! On our second day of previews, the hop gets hoppier with "Little Critters" and "Chocolate Bunnies"! First up is Theresa Momber's beautifully drawn "Little Critters", they are storybook magical, with lots of little elements to help you create adorable scenes around the critters! I heart this little froggie and mushroom!

        These prints reminded me a of a spotty frog and FLIES, hee hee! :) I sponged some Vvid Brick ink over the heart die before removing it to make the greeting pop.

        Cardstock: Pure Luxury Soft Sand, Black Onyx, White, Basic Grey Marjolaine, Copics on Frog and Ranger Antique Linen and Peeled Paint Distressing Ink for stamping ferns and sponging, Nestabilities Scalloped Heart Die

        Next up we have "Chocolate Bunnies", illustrated by Asela Hopkins! How sweet for Easter! These really take me back to my childhood, what hunt or Easter Basket is complete without a little chocolate bunny (or two)?? She drew several to give you different shapes and expressions, I added some pink Copic to the cheek (coloring right over the brown) of this shy, blushing (loving!) bunny...

        TIP: Stamp bunny in brown before coloring with brown shades.

        Cardstock Pure Luxury Innocent Pink, Chocolate Brown, Basic Grey Nook and Pantry (I use this paper on my cake card last week, looks like I did a lot more work than I actually did!) Fancy Tag Die, Copics, Basic Grey Glazed Brad.

        Please see more samples for each of these sets from our talented team!

      • Asela Hopkins (Ilustrator of "Chocolate Bunnies")

      • Carolina Buchting

      • Carolyn King

      • Cathy Tidwell

      • Colleen Schaan

      • Deb Felts

      • Donna Baker

      • Emily Giovanni

      • Gina K

      • Giovana Smith

      • Janice Whiting

      • Jennie Harper

      • Lee Murphy

      • Melanie Muenchinger (you are here, thank you for visiting!!)

      • Michelle Woerner

      • Suzanne Dean

      • Theresa Momber (Illustrator of "Little Critters")

      • Tina Gilliland

      • Vicki Dutcher

        • Have fun hopping today! See you tomorrow for an Operation Write Home update!

        Monday, February 14, 2011

        Sneak Peek Day 1: "Spring Basket" and "Basket Blessings"

        Hello! Welcome to the first day of our Gina K Designs sneak peeks! I am thrilled to preview TWO new sets I illustrated this month: "Spring Basket" and "Basket Blessings"! The "Spring Basket" set contains smaller versions of your favorite springy images from "A Year of Flowers" (which you will LOVE mixing with your larger blossoms!), plus bunches of flowers (no need to mask!) and a beautiful basket to put them in!

        Cardstock: Gina K Pure Luxury Grass Green, Innocent Pink, White, and Basic Grey Sugar Rush

        There are endless ways to customize the basket to suit your taste and layout! (I couldn't resist sharing several, see how much fun I've been having playing already??) Crop it in half to create TWO shallow baskets (which I did on my sample above, using just the top half), handles or no handles, trim the sides to eliminate the fluted shape, or drop in a pretty "liner"! All the images you see below are from these two new sets! And I know you will find many other images in your stamp collection that will be super cute inside as well! ;)
        This next sample I used just the chicks and eggs (one image) and a greeting, both from "Basket Blessings". I wanted to show you that all these basket "fillers" are FULL images, NOT just the top halves to go above the basket. This gives you a lot more versatility so you can use these images by themselves.

        Cardstock: Gina K Pure Luxury Wild Dandelion, Grass Green, Bubblegum Pink, Ocean Mist, White, and Basic Grey Lemonade; Spellbinders Petite Scalloped Border, Petite Classic and Scalloped Ovals; Pure Luxury 5/8" Gingham
        I am so excited to show you the full sets on Thursday and more samples with each and paired together! These images and greetings will take you way past Spring and the basket is SO easy to color, I'll share how after our peeks are over this week, so stay tuned! :)

        Please check out more of our designers blogs for inspiration with these two sets!

      • Carolina Buchting

      • Carolyn King

      • Cathy Tidwell

      • Deb Felts

      • Donna Baker

      • Emily Giovanni

      • Gina K

      • Giovana Smith

      • Janice Whiting

      • Jennie Harper

      • Lee Murphy

      • Melanie Muenchinger (Illustrator of Spring Basket and Basket Blessings, you are here, thanks for visiting!)

      • Nina Brackett

      • Theresa Momber

      • Tina Gilliland

      • Valerie Stangle

      • Vicki Dutcher

        • Thank you again for stopping by! More peeks tomorrow!

          Saturday, February 12, 2011

          Pray, Love, Peace

          Another card from Trena Brannon today, and another one coming up! I love how she used three pairs of hands on this one and colored different skin tones!
          The words inside each of the hands are from "Where Your Heart Is" and "Inspiration Mosaic", together these three little words convey such a positive, hopeful message!
          The stamped uncolored hands are a perfect way to "bring the outside in", along with this message from "Hope is Faith" (you can also find this sentiment in my "Hand in Hand" set.
          Hope this inspires, I know it does me, and I have a LOT of cards I need to make with this set (along with other holiday cards I already have) to send to Operation Write Home, will be sharing on Wednesday how we did, thanks for all of your orders and support of this set, OWH will be getting LOTS of cards for the troops!!!!

          Full Disclosure

          I feel a little disingenuous now, after reading all your sweet, sweet comments about how radiant I looked after giving birth: I have to admit those pics were hours after when we brought Jonathan in to meet him (and all the blood had come back to my face, feeling well enough to touch up my makeup for pics change out of my hospital gown into some silk jammies!) Here I am just a couple minutes after the birth...

          I WAS fortunate enough to have a very short labor (3 hours, woo hoo!) in the middle of the day 2 1/2 weeks before he was due, so I'd been awake and already "made up" (makeup) before my water broke. After my first son Jonathan's delivery, I didn't fare so well, looked positively g r e e n ! (and threw up all night)

          Here's a recent pic I love of him, from last season's soccer, my little man:

          He asked me yesterday after I picked him up from school (I guess he'd spent his birthday morning contemplating his existence, what a little thinker!): "Mama, why did God make me?" My answer: "Because there had never been anyone like you. He made you to be a brother for Jonathan, a joy to me and daddy, a delight to your grandparents and relatives, a friend to everyone you meet, and to do great things in the world with all your gifts and talents and work for God. You are so special!" He was happy with that answer. :)

          Thank you again for visiting and your comments! (My voice is almost gone today, so I have a feeling my hosting duties tomorrow at the party will be smile and wave, smile and wave...) Gotta run to pick up the ginormous cake from Costco! Hugs!

          Friday, February 11, 2011

          6 years ago today...

          a little angel named William was born! :)

          More about our big day and about William later this weekend, he and I both have such bad colds and I am struggling to improve before the big party Sunday (and we have some gifts form our family party tonight to put together!)

          Are you ready for sneak peeks?? They're almost here!

          Wednesday, February 9, 2011

          How Fabulous!!

          I received this beautiful card in the mail from Nicole, who wanted to thank me for the "A Year of Borders" set she won, how sweet!!

          I absolutley love how she cut the little groupings of butterflies to adhere them to the wavy curve she made from the black gathered ribbon, isn't that beautiful? I gotta try this! DP is Basic Grey Curio, lovin these colors and lovin' the glitter! The circle design is so pretty and punching out the negative butterfleis to bring the black and design around the top is the perfect touch!

          Thanks, again, Nicole! No, YOU are fabulous!! :)

          Time to Cowgirl Up

          So back in the fall, I thought both boys being at school 35 hours week would mean a very different life for me: one that would allow time to always have a clean house, errands done, stamping finished, PLUS leisure time to learn a new language, pick up an instrument, cook like a Master Chef, write a novel, maybe take an occasional nap, and have a grand adventure at least once a week. (Yeah, right, I know) Well! In reality, not so much. BUT, I DID buy a great Groupon (do you get YOUR Groupon??) in September to Bel Canto Farms for two private riding lessons, it's about a 45 minute drive south of me. I looked at my voucher the other day and whoops! It was going to expire in three weeks!! (Where did the last 6 months ago??) So I had to hightail it down to the farm and cross at least ONE adventure off my list!

          Here I am after my lesson with Archie (he looks great, I look super puffy in three layers, it was CHILLY that day!) It was English riding, I had never tried before, so I got to sit on the elegant tiny saddle (no horn) and wear the cute helmet (no cowboy hat today!) Vickie, my teacher, was a great instructor, and, she was REALLY impressed with how well I did, that was just so unexpected and awesome to hear! :) Will be going back next week for round 2!

          (I am walking like a cowgirl now too, and was instructed (before the lesson even started!) I would need to take a long hot bath tonight and drink a glass of red wine, gotta do what your teacher says! I like being a good student!!)

          What adventures await YOU, I want to know! (I HAVE learned one other new thing, will share soon!) :)

          Tuesday, February 8, 2011

          Happy Birthday, Gina K!

          Welcome to our design team's virtual birthday party today honoring Gina of Gina K Designs! Our team has everything we'll need to make it the biggest birthday blowout possible! You should be coming from Lee's blog (hop starts at Carolyn's, but you can join in anywhere and make your way around) Now it wouldn't be a birthday party without... the CAKE! So that's my contribution today!

          I found the sliding three tiered cake concept for this card in the book "Interactive Cards" (I've mentioned this book (which includes several of my designs as well) on my blog before), cake card sample in the book is made by Alice Golden. I changed up the colors, patterns and several of the details, but it was really fun to make! I used Pure Luxury White for the base layers. This card took quite some time, but as you know, very special people are worth it! ;)

          After adding some pretty Basic Grey Nook and Pantry DP (the striped deocarative elements on these pages made it so easy to create a fancy decorated and layered look!) and greetings from "Candles on Your Cake", I made the little pull for the tippy top using the cake image from the most recent Stamp TV Kit "Sent with Love, the layers were perfect for the look I wanted to create today.
          I stamped "birthday girl" in Rich Cocoa onto Pure Luxury White and die cut it with a Beaded Circle, sponging pink ink on before removing the die. I stamped two little flowers from the "Candles on your Cake" set, too and layered it onto a Petite Scalloped Circle I cut from the solid distressed brown DP in this same Basic Grey pack.
          I used the Threading Water punch on the DP to make the scalloped tops and adhesive pearls in various sizes to accent the papers.
          Another fun this about this pull design is that you can pull the layers up askew so they look like those wonky tiered fantasy cakes, like something out of Dr. Seuss, isn't that cool?

          Now please go see what AJ is bringing to the party! Hope you are enjoying your hop, and we are so glad you could join us in the festivities! After you are finished hopping along, don't forget to head on over to Gina's Blog and wish her a Happy Birthday. TWO lucky commenters will receive a party favor---a FREE stamp set!
          PS My son William, who turns 6 on Friday, fell in love with this card. When I was photographing it, he said, "It says "Happy birthday!"" "No, I corrected, "it actually says "birthday girl", sweetie." He was crushed to find out it wasn't for HIM. So I will be making a "boy" version of this card (he wants red, orange, white, green, light blue, yellow and black! oh my!), will share with you soon! ;)

          Monday, February 7, 2011

          STV Sketch Spotlight 12

          Hello and happy Monday! Time for another Sketch Spotlight, here is my interpretation of the sketch, using my "Mugs and Kisses" set.
          DP layers and cup is paper pieced with Basic Grey Nook and Pantry, (used E43 to shade the cup and E57 and E77 to color the coffe inside) Cardstock is Gina K Pure Luxury White, Innocent Pink and Chocolate Brown (this layer is embossed with Cuttlebug Scrollwork folder). Mug and sweet and popped up for dimension and I sponged the Beaded Oval die with pink ink.
          I used my scraps to decorate the inside and flap of the envelope. I used the tiny stamps from my set to create "coffee plus sugar equals love!" Write in your own + and = with a coordinating marker...

          Be sure to sue the tag STVSKSP12 when you upload your new creation using this sketch to the STV gallery. I hope you participate and best of luck winning some free stamps!

          Fun stuff this week, thanks for stopping by today, see you tomorrow!!

          Saturday, February 5, 2011


          Well, in answer to our prayer, we got our snow! (in answer to the kids prayers, no school on Friday!!) It was only an inch, but enough to have fun in. Most melted by late afternoon, except for patches in the shade.
          We were amazed at how our pond almost completely froze over, except for an area where the water was flowing by the waterfall. Our poor koi I wanted to crochet them some hats! Here are our little "frogs", snow covered in a huddle
          Paul got a huge mirror out the attic to try to redirect the sunlight onto the surface, now it looks like a bunch of choppy icebergs floating around...
          I have a few more pics with William and Paul and snowball wars, plus one humble "snow angel", but these didn't turn out that well, I had to use my camera phone.
          I hope you have a terrific weekend! Enjoy being indoors if YOUR snow is keeping you home bound! Stamping anyone?

          Friday, February 4, 2011

          STV Color Spotlight 11

          Happy Friday!! Time for a new Color Spotlight Challenge with these beautiful Pure Luxury hues!!
          On the coldest day here in years I decided it was time to get some butterflies, Spring IS on its way! :) I made this sample with "Fun Year Round", and my butterflies from "A Beautiful Life" and "A Year of Borders".
          I started stamping the frame onto White and then stamping in some of the butterfly border, masking some of the circles, but letting them overlap the circles in other areas. Next I colored in some of the butterflies and areas in and around the circles in R02 and YR16. On the butterflies I added YR18 and R83, R85 for contrast. I used 100 Copic in the corners.
          I layered these die cut circles over this large flower from The Paper Studio and added a few cut out butterflies covered with Stickles, adhered with pop dots.

          This card makes me happy, I hope it does you! :)
          Be sure to use the tag STVCSP11 when you upload your creation with this color combo to the STV gallery for a chance to win a free set of stamps from Gina K Designs!

          Thursday, February 3, 2011

          Come on, SNOW!!!

          Yeah, I know those of you who are buried right now are rolling your eyes that we are praying for some, but we haven't had any snow yet this winter, and this front is probably our last hope. My boys are foaming out the mouth at the prospect there might be 2 inches in the morning (60% chance) so I'm just really hoping they'll get to see a little bit, have a chance to play!!
          This afternoon we made these fun snowball cupcakes in anticipation (AND to soften the blow tomorrow if there's none, "hey, who wants a CUPCAKE?!") William got to decorate one like this after Christmas at the cutest little cooking shop here in town "Kids Cook", so I decided today we'd make our own. The different textures and flavors are really fun, and the popcorn is such a novelty and adds a nice salty crunch. Love how unexpected that topping is!

          Make a white or yellow cupcake from boxed mix and decorate with a tub of vanilla frosting. Add popcorn first (one mini microwave bag was just right for all the cupcakes), pressing gently into the frosting to stick, leaving some room for the other toppings. Next, add marshmallows, and finally white chocolate chips in the spaces in between. Voila! Snowball cupcake! To make it even more festive, add some of the little edible silver balls, we used these at Kids Cook for sparkle, but I didn't have any. Hope your kids (and you!) enjoy this kicked up cupcake!