Monday, June 29, 2009

Now That's More Like It!

This weekend finally felt like summer. The temperatures went over 100 degrees both days, and the days were filled with activity. I didn't get a chance to make any cards, but here's what I did manage to do.

On Friday, we did something I've been meaning to do for the longest time--we put up lights in our backyard! I always love dining al fresco under lights, and I thought it would be fun to bring the same experience home. So, we put up 5 strings of lights. Now we just have to find the time to eat outside and enjoy them!

On Saturday, I went on my annual blackberry-picking excursion. We drove 2.5 hours down the coast, almost to Santa Cruz to Swanton Berry Farm. We picked almost 8 pounds of berries, and then jumped over to their new strawberry field and picked little green baskets of those. I love picking my own produce!

Saturday night we went to the Sonoma-Marin Fair to see Bret Michaels. I have to admit, I know him more for his show Rock of Love than for his original band, Poison, but he really won me over. He was energetic and seemed to be genuinely happy to be performing and he even sang a couple covers, like "Sweet Home Alabama." Of course, he did also sing, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn."

On Sunday, Phil and I went up to a college art show (mandatory for the class he's taking), and then went to the mall to grab some lunch and pick out my anniversary present, a new pair of *fancy* sunglasses. Then it was back home to bake the blackberries into pies (7 pounds equals 6 pies!), and then drove around delivering them to family and friends. It's one of my favorite summer traditions.

We rounded out the weekend by celebrating our second wedding anniversary a day early with dinner at the Melting Pot.

Unfortunately, my posting will probably be a bit sporadic the next couple of weeks. Between the 4th of July and camping and prep for summer camp, I don't anticipate much time for stamping.

So, happy summer and hope to see you again soon!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I Will Not Procrastinate. . .

I will not procrastinate. I will not procrastinate. I will not procrastinate.

As you may have noticed, I'm a procrastinator. . .a big one. The last two weeks, I've waited until the very last minute before entering Tracy's Sketch Challenge. So, this week I thought I'd try and get ahead. I combined a couple of different challenges, AND I put them first, before all of my other cards.

This card was based on Tracy's Sketch Challenge this week, but also on one of my all-time favorite cards that she's made, this one. I think it's the one that won her Swanky Stamper of the Month with the Cat's Pajamas, and I've always admired it for its color and balance.

It's also my entry for Challenge #2 of A Muse A Palooza, to use ribbon as your inspiration. I've had this green and brown ribbon for a while now (a Michael's purchase I think), and I used it as the color inspiration for my card. It's looking a little bright in the picture, but it goes with the card better in real life.

And, because I couldn't decide where to put the sentiment on the outside of the card, I got creative on the inside. This image is in the center of the inside panel:

I stamped the sentiment, masked the text loosely, inked up the trees and stamped them off once on a piece of scratch paper, and then stamped them over the sentiment. I really like how it turned out.

Well, with those challenges out of the way, I'm off to enjoy the rest of the weekend. I think it may involve some baking, we'll see. See you soon!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tracy's Sketch #42

Here's my card for Tracy's Sketch Challenge #42. You can see her sketch HERE.

I used the same papers and general color scheme as the card I made last week (which I didn't even realize 'til now--I must be sleepy!) Hopefully I'll be able to get next week's sketch done a bit earlier! G'nite!

It's A Jungle Party!

Good morning!

As promised, here's another card using Jen del Muro's SFYTT.

Today's card came about as a result of trying to use up my scraps. I've generously been given a coffee table with shallow drawers to keep all of my stamping stuff in while I'm watching TV and hanging out in the living room. The problem is, I am already starting to overfill the drawers with paper scraps! Sometimes I have imperfectly colored images, duplicates, or just things in colors that don't go with the card I'm working on.

So, I'm (again!) resolving to try and make something out of those scraps immediately, or just give up and throw them away. I'm such a hoarder. (sigh)

The main panel on this card was a leftover piece that I had lying around. The giraffe was already stamped on it, but I thought it would be fun to add the grass around him. Then I thought, "Why not a birthday giraffe?" and this card was born.

The card base was another scrap that I had lying around, and the patterned paper is by Making Memories. The hat and the grass is by A Muse, the giraffe is part of a clear set by Hero Arts, and the sentiment is by Denami Designs.

See you tomorrow!


My Square Challenge card was one of nine featured on the A Muse News blog! Check it out HERE!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hello Friend!

And happy Tuesday!

For Monday movie night last night, we went and saw "The Proposal," starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. It was all right. I felt like it took parts of lots of romantic comedies that I'd already seen, and smooshed them all together to make a movie. Then again, getting to watch Ryan Reynolds for 2 hours wasn't so bad (wink!). I give it a 7 out of 10 stamps.

Let's move on to today's card. While I was working on the card you saw yesterday, I was also looking at some sketches online. Jen del Muro hosts a weekly Sketch for You to Try (SFYTT), and last week's sketch particularly piqued my interest.

Here's my pretty literal interpretation.

I used more of the origami paper and the kokeshi doll by Hero Arts. The sentiment is by Wordsworth.

I'll be back tomorrow with another take on this sketch!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bring It On, Monday!

Bam! Pow! Shazam! I am attempting to tackle my Monday with both hands.

After a very relaxing yet productive weekend, I am pumped up and ready to go this week. We're all caught up on our 3 Netflix discs (a constant battle), we helped my mom pick out a new couch, grilled burgers and shishkebabs, went grocery shopping, and washed my car.

On top of all those things, I actually had time to make several cards, and here's the first:

I CASE'd this card from this post on the Hero Arts blog. (Scroll down--it's the fifth picture in the post.)

The squares are actually made of origami paper that I found on a recent trip to Japantown in San Francisco. The kokeshi doll is part of a set of three by Hero Arts, and the sentiment is by A Muse.

All right, off to get some things done around here. See you tomorrow!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

It's Bar B Que Time!

Hello and happy Saturday! I am thrilled to report that I survived the week, and I have no plans for the weekend (for the first time in a while!). So, that leaves me plenty of time to stamp and play with my latest obsession: our new O-Grill! Have you seen this cool little grill?

It's little, but for two of us, it's perfect! It also inspired my Square Challenge Card.

I know, I know, the colors are different than our grill, but to me, grills are always in red and black. The stamps are of course by A Muse, the patterned paper too, the red cardstock is by Bazzill, and the base is a Licorice Memory Box card.

I hope to be back on Monday with lots more cards. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Better Late Than Never!

Here's a card I made for Tracy's Sketch Challenge this week. I based it more on her sample card than on the actual sketch, but I think it qualifies. Better late than never!

I made the 4.25 inch square card base out of a piece of Bazzill cardstock. The patterned paper is by October Afternoon--I'm starting to really like this company! The star was punched out with a ginormous punch from Paper Shapers, and edged with gold Stickles. The image and sentiment are both by A Muse, and the ribbon is from the SF Flower Market.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Gettin' Back on the Horse. . .

Well, it never fails. Just when I get into a good rhythm of making cards and doing daily posts, something happens. In this case, it was the stomach flu, provided by my mom.

On the flight back from her worldly adventures, she started feeling ill and ended up throwing up the last two hours of the flight. . . and in the airporter bus. . .and in my car on the way home. I couldn't IMAGINE how awful that must've been, away from home and a familiar bed and surrounded by strangers.

But within two days, I was sick too. After that, it was a lot of 7Up and bland foods and not a lot of stamping. I did manage to make one card with the newest A Muse release.

I love this little snorkel guy, and I have a bunch of ideas for him, but this is a simple start. The patterned paper is by Cosmo Cricket and it's all over blogs right now for summer. I love the circles, and I tried to replicate them in his circular shape and in the round tag. Here's a close-up:

I did color the starfish with Spica Clear, but it's always so tough to photograph the sparkle.

All right, off to face the rest of the week. I hope to be posting more regularly now, especially because there are some good challenges up on the A Muse blog.

Hope to see you soon!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Blog-Inspired Baking. . .

Well, it's not all fun and cards around here. Sometimes I like to mix it up and do other crafty/creative things, like baking. Here are a couple of recipes I picked up around Blogland.

I've been following Posie Gets Cozy for a couple of years now, and her photography always amazes me. From simple pictures of food to life in Portland, Oregon, she's a great source of ideas and inspiration.

I was particularly motivated by the pictures in this post to try out the Cherry Clafoutis. The recipe is listed in the post, and I used about 2 cups of cherries for mine. It was really easy to make and turned out pretty much how I expected it would, except that the crust looks bread-like more than custard. Nonetheless, cutting it open revealed a gooey texture that fit Alicia's description. Here's a terrible picture of my Cherry Clafoutis to prove it:

My other project was a bit more artistic than actual baking. Have you seen Bakerella's blog? My, that lady can decorate cupcakes like I've never seen! I have a laundry list of things I want to try off her blog, but I figured I'd better begin with the basics and tried out her Cupcake Pops. She was actually featured on the Martha Stewart show to demonstrate how she made them, can you believe it? Amazing.

Well, these were a little more time-consuming than I had anticipated. I suppose it didn't help that I started them at 8pm on a Sunday night, but between the baking of the cake, the cooling of the cake, the chilling of the "dough," the forming of cupcakes and the dipping in chocolate, it took four solid hours, plus overnight for hardening.

I'll be honest, I tried to use supplies that I already had at home (including sorting out Christmas sprinkles to get colors I like!), so they're not perfect. But, they're a start.

After making them, I have a newfound appreciation for Bakerella's talents. As you can see, my pops (which were stickless) came out lumpy and imperfect. I think I'll have to go through a few more rounds before baking them up for friends and co-workers. A super-cute idea though.

Well, we can't live on French desserts and cupcakes, so I guess I'd better get out of the kitchen and let my husband get to cooking some real food. I hope to be back tomorrow with a new card to share. Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Hi, and welcome to a lazy Wednesday. For being June, it sure isn't looking like it around here. It was overcast and drizzly yesterday and this morning, it actually rained. Where's my summer weather, June?! I hope you're talking to August and September and giving me a credit for some later summer days.

Anyway, I made this card while I was THINKING about summer. This background paper by Doodlebug was just killing me with its cuteness, so I had to make something with it, and quick! Here's what I came up with.

The ice cream stamp is an oldie but goodie by Hero Arts. It was one of my first stamps when I really got into stamping, and I'm not even sure that they carry it anymore. Anyway, the colors in this picture are a little wonky, but the cardstock colors are all a little lighter in real life.

All right, off to go find coffee. I was up later than I should've been last night playing trivia at a local pub. I learned a lot though. Did you know that the angriest country in Europe is Great Britain? Or that the average age of a combat soldier in Vietnam was 19? Or that it takes 600 grapes to make a botle of wine? Neither did I, until last night. And now we know!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sending You Sunshine

Good afternoon! Did you have a good Monday night?

Monday nights are going out nights for me. My husband and his best friend have had a long-standing tradition of Monday Movie Nights. Every Monday, they do dinner and then go see a movie. I tag along most weeks, although I don't always see the movie. This week, we had dinner at an old-school Italian restaurant in Corte Madera and then saw the new Pixar movie, Up.

Up was cute, but the content was a little bit more adult than I expected. Without giving too much away, there was some death (that almost made my husband cry), and some pretty mean creatures. I don't know if I would take a child to it, but as a twenty-something viewer, it was pretty enjoyable. I'd give it an 8 out of 10 stamps. (I figure my ratings should be appropriate to my hobbies!)

Anyway, on to today's card. This card is reflective of an unfortunate trend in my world lately. Last week, a former co-worker passed away from colon cancer, and just yesterday, I heard that the Dean of Students at my former high school passed away from pancreatic cancer. So, it seems that sympathy cards are in my future.

I started by laying down the uninked long grass stamp about an inch above the bottom of my white cardstock. With it there, I eyeballed where the biggest gaps were in the grass, and stamped my purple flowers. Then (because I'm crazy), I stamped the flowers again on post-its, cut all six of the tiny things out and masked the ones on my cardstock. I stamped the grass stamp, and voila! The tiny butterfly and sentiment are also by A Muse. I made a little trail for him by dotting with my Copic Multi-liner.

Have a great day, and I'll see you tomorrow!

Monday, June 1, 2009


Hello there! Can you believe it's June already?

Well, after another three days off, I'd like to say that I'll be happy to be going back to work. . .but I'm not. There is something so nice about having free time all day to do anything. I guess I'll have to keep buying lottery tickets, eh? ;)

We tried two new burger joints (Mike's at the Crossroads and Flipper's). I love love loved Mike's, Flipper's was okay. We also walked Toby every day this weekend, three miles a day.

On Sunday, we went out for sushi in San Francisco and checked out the SF Museum of Modern Art. The main exhibit was a Georgia O'Keeffe/Ansel Adams show, but my personal favorite was a smaller exhibit featuring work by Robert Frank. He made a cross-country trek in the 1950s and turned the black and white photos he took into the book "The Americans." It was completely inspiring.

Anyway, I did manage to get some stamping in on Saturday. With a relaxing weekend underway, I was reminded of the feeling you get on vacation, and that brought me to my Hawaiian shirt stamp by Karen Lockhart. This is my second Karen Lockhart stamp and the first big one (the other one I own is three cupcakes and doesn't take much coloring). Oh, I loved coloring this one though! Check it out:

There's surfboards, palm trees, coconuts and flowers to color. Love it! The patterned paper across the bottom is by Memory Box, and the sentiment is by A Muse. I think they go pretty well together. So well in fact, that I made a second card.

I thought I'd mix it up with a completely different color scheme, and I like it! This stamp has so many coloring opportunities.

All right, time to get settled into "the grind." Have a great day!