Monday, June 30, 2008

Reassessing Goals. . .

Well, there comes a time in life when you have to reassess goals. (sniff sniff) Sadly, I don't think I'll be making it to ten. On the upside though, I did make six, which I think was pretty good for three days. Monday just snuck up on me too quick! Stay tuned and I'll try posting them up here before the midnight deadline for the contest.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bringin' My "A" Game

Well, I'm moving right along. Here's card #3. I'm starting to wonder if 10 is really a realistic goal. . .

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Drink Up!

I'm back with another card! I didn't realize that making pocket cards is a little more time-consuming than a regular card. You have to come up with a good design for the outside, then coordinate the inside to match. I think it'll be about the same amount of time and work to send them (since I'm leaving the pull-out part white for the same amount of writing space), but it definitely requires more thought.

Here's my second entry:

I love how I was able to go a completely different direction with this one than the first one. This one uses stamps from the A Muse Party Time clear stamp set. I love the images in this set! (In fact, I think you'll soon be seeing a pocket card with my #1 most favorite image from that set, the knife-fork-spoon combo). Anyway, this card was made using patterned paper from Memory Box.

Although Geeta was able to get her 4-bar card to flip back down, when I tried it on a different card base, it completely cracked on me. So, I got creative and attached a separate piece of green paper to give it the look of a flip-down. I even used my deckle scissors from Fiskars to add a little jaggedy edge. 'Cause let's face it, if James Bond was to receive this card, he wouldn't take well to a girly scalloped edge. I'm sure he likes his cards deckled, not frilly.

See you soon with more cards!

Game On!

Well, this is shaping up to be a very stamp-filled week! First two good sketch challenges, and now a prize that I'm dying to win! Have you seen Geeta's mystery hostess challenge? Oh, I am dying to win that prize pack. I was just thinking about how much I *need* some other colors of 4-bar notecards, and the Music Player is too cute! I think I'm going to try and challenge myself to come up with TEN entries. Do you think I can do that many by the deadline? I don't have too much going on this weekend, but it'll still definitely be a challenge.

Here's my first one:

The notecard and ribbon are by A Muse (I actually won these along with Rock Star as part of Lexi Daly's Guest Designer series!), the image is by Elzybells (and distributed by A Muse), and the paper is by Bazzill.

Okay, back to making cards. 9 to go in 2 days!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sketch Round 2!

Well, I'm at it again. Last night, while I was watching Entourage with my husband (I {heart} Kevin Connolly!), I managed to whip out another sketch card. For this one, I borrowed one of my mom's Elzybells stamps. You can find out more about the sketch challenges here.

Cardstock by Archiver's, patterned paper by Doodlebug, image and sentiment by A Muse, stamped with Brilliance Graphite Black and colored with Copics and a gold Spica. I think I picked up the sheer ribbon at Michael's.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sketch Challenge

Oh, I am just loving the Amuseapalooza challenges going on over at the blog. They always get me thinking in new and interesting ways. I had some trouble getting into the challenges last week, but this week's challenges revolve around sketches, which I love. So, I'm back on the bandwagon!

Here's my first card using one of the sketches:

I am a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts and a very active volunteer, so I was super-excited when A Muse came out with their Girl Scout stamp earlier this year. I'm often asked to go to events celebrating achievements in Scouting, and it's always hard to go to a card shop and find a card for just such an occasion, so I thought I'd make a few of these cards for just those types of situations.

The notecard and stamps are by A Muse, colored the image with Copics, and the paper is by Bazzill. I also glazed the patches with my Sakura clear glaze pen.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sprinkle-y Goodness!

Well, I was able to get one more older project tied up tonight. This one had to do with an old challenge, a Taylor Cupcake Friday challenge, to be exact.

I love Taylor's cupcake challenges for a couple of reasons:
1. She always uses cupcakes, my personal favorite dessert of all time. I have two cupcake carriers because I bake cupcakes for my office so frequently. Someday I'll post some of my decorated cupcakes, but only by special request. ;)
2. Her layouts are AWESOME! There are a few that have really caught my interest (see this post!) and that I refer to again and again for inspiration.

That being said, here is my cupcake card for Challenge 17:

I got the main image (part of that Stampendous exclusive clear set I got at Archiver's!) all stamped and ribboned really soon after I saw the sketch, but the patterned paper really slowed me down. Turns out all I have is polka dotted paper, and I thought it would clash with my sprinkles. Tonight, I had some time to look around my craft room, and I came across this great paper by Creative Imaginations that I think complemented the colors pretty well. I added some sparkle to my sprinkles with a Spica (say that five times fast!), and there you go. Sprinkle-y goodness!

I'm Meeeeeelting!

Okay, not really, but it sure feels like it! We're experiencing a crazy heat wave here in northern California, and it's SO much harder to stamp when you're sweating all over! So, rather than stamping new images, I thought I'd try and put together a couple of older projects. It actually worked out pretty well.

For my first project, I thought I'd make a pocket holder for the free iTunes downloads I've been picking up at Starbucks.

I love iTunes, and I jump on any chance for free music, so going to the 'Bucks once a week is easy for me (and delicious!). While I'm there, I always grab a couple extra for my two best girlfriends, 'cause hey, everyone needs good music! Did you know that a few weeks ago they gave away the music video for "Mercy" by Duffy? It's just starting to get radio play, and I absolutely love it! Her sound is a throwback to old times, like Amy Winehouse, but with fewer drug stories in the press. ;)

ANYWAY, here's what I came up with:

I started by coloring the Rock Star by Amuse in crazy colors. I love that he's a little out of the normal color scheme, and I think my friend Kat will really like him too. Here's his friend, the conservative rocker:

To me, every traditional rocker should have a red guitar. I guess it's in homage to the true Red Rocker, Sammy Hagar, but to me it just makes sense.

Both guys were colored with Copics and their guitars were glammed up with Spicas. With a little Judikins Diamond Glaze to give their guitars some power, they were ready to rock out! I drew in the music notes to give them sound, too.

Rock on people, rock on!

P.S. If you want to see another approach to packaging these free cards, check out Linda's.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

On Creativity

I read a blog by Lisa Johnson yesterday that's been kicking around in my head quite a bit. It brings up some very valuable points about how we view creativity. You can read the posting here.

New Home

This past weekend, Phil and I went up to Oroville to check out his parents' new house. And what a home it is. The place had FIVE bathrooms and its own elevator! How fun is that! When I first heard about the place, I thought they were crazy to get such a grand space (can you imagine having to clean five bathrooms?), but once I got up there and saw how happy it made them and how they planned on retiring there, I couldn't help but be impressed.

Of course, I had to make them a card to celebrate their new home. After I submitted my card to Amy's challenge, I got caught up in her ideas for the latest Papertrey release, Boards and Beams. She had a card at the end of this post that really piqued my interest. I love seeing rows of houses lined up, and her card gave me the idea for a couple of my own. Here's one:

After I adhered everything together, it occurred to me that it probably could've used some ribbon, but oh well. There's always room for that on the next card!

I also used this card to try out a new accessory. I found this floral frog at Smith and Hawken and I thought it would be a good size to showcase cards (so their faces are not always tilted). What do you think?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I Love A Good Challenge!

I have been an admirer of Amy Rysavy's work for more than a year now. I first found her blog through Amuseapalooza, and I just fell in love with her simple style. She ended up becoming the Amuseapalooza Ambassador last year, and this year, she was asked back to host a challenge. You can find more information about the challenge here.

About a month ago, Amy had actually done a card very similar to this that I had been wanting to case. It involved bees from Papertrey instead of Amuse stamps, but I thought the idea was simple and stylish. So, I gave it a go.

I had no idea how complicated the alignment part would be! I measured off my square (4 inches), then made Xs at 1 inch and 3 inches. I popped those out of the blue paper with my 1 3/8 punch, then made littler circles with my 1 1/2 punch. I cut out a white piece of paper that was 4x4, then used a pencil to draw the circles. I used my Stampamajig to align each ice cream, then masked the other two sundaes each time I stamped one. I colored them with Copics, added red twinkle dots, and adhered the two papers together using pop dots. Then, the whole thing went on a square Amuse notecard. Phew! Mission accomplished!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Coffee Anyone?

Last week, I had a very funny interaction with our mailman. After being gone on vacation (and putting our mail on hold), we couldn't find our vacation mail. Being the worrier that I am, I immediately jumped to the worst possible conclusion: that our mailman had delivered it and someone had stolen it. That would have been doubly bad, as I knew our mail had both bills and more importantly, my ATCs from Kristina Lewis. After three days without our vacation mail, I left a note on my mailbox.

"Do you know where our mail is? Check one: Already delivered, At the post office, Don't know." (I know, it was very fourth grade, but I was desperate!)

Luckily, our mailman is very nice and checked the box, "at the post office." I wrote him another note, asking if he could deliver the mail, and voila! we had our mail (and my swaps!) back. To thank him for saving me the trouble of running to the post office, I gave him a $5 gift card to Starbucks. I needed a note to go with it though.

This card was made using the Stampendous "Tiny Teacup." I think it's super-cute, but it's always hard for me to figure out ways to make small images the focal point of a card. In this instance, I thought I'd use it as part of a monochromatic background as well as the focal image, and I think it turned out decent. The flag idea was the result of seeing the "Celebration Kids" set by Amuse everywhere.

I hope I can find new ways of incorporating that little stamp into more fun projects!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

Oh, where do the days go? I swear, once summer hits, it feels like someone has hit the fast forward button. Then, whoosh! it's over.

This weekend, I had every intention of stamping with my new sets from the East Coast (they're super-cute!), but for some reason, I just couldn't get my mojo going. So, I figured I would try and get it going with a good CASE.

I'm in LOVE with the stationery set that Michelle Wooderson did on her blog a few weeks back (you can see it here). I love everything about it, the coloring, the layout, the simplicity. So, I tried to replicate it. I've been hooked on strawberries all spring, so I figured my mini strawberry would be perfect for a set like this.

I tried to do some shading on the strawberries, but I can tell that there will definitely be a learning curve to this. Can you see my shading? (You can click for a bigger view.)

After making four of them, I figured I should package them up just in case I need a quickie gift. Here they are all tied up:

And, at the last minute, I FINALLY got my mojo working enough to try and participate in the color challenge on the Amuseapalooza blog.

I think this snow angel is so cute!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Back in the Saddle!

Well, I'm back from North Carolina and slowly getting back into the swing of things. Vacation really wears me out! :) Anyway, the trip was great. We went to Raleigh, Durham, and even spent a day driving out to Cape Hatteras (which we thought was 2 hours away but turned out to be 4.) Yikes!

Anyway, I got to see my lighthouse, and it was all good.

However, while I was on vacation, I made a startling discovery: Life is not fair! Why is that, you ask? Because of this:

Oh sure, in California we've got nice weather, environmentally-friendly people, and the like, but why oh why don't we have ARCHIVER'S?!

This trip wasn't my first time being in Archiver's, but every time I'm there I'm constantly reminded of how amazing that store is. They have everything, and some exclusive stuff too. In the next week, I hope to show off some of the goodies I picked up there. See you soon!