Sunday, December 23, 2012

I Like You a Latte

Today's inspiration came from a 6 x 6 paper pack from My Mind's Eye. I've noticed that the two Michael's stores in my area have started carrying these and each store has a different collection. The one I used today is named Follow Your Heart--Be Amazing and it's a pretty collection of papers in mustard yellow, teal blue, kraft and grey. 

There are a couple of papers that have the honeycomb pattern in it, which reminded me of my Geo-Graphic stamp set from Paper Smooches. Thinking about Paper Smooches reminded me of this week's Paper Smooches Sparks Challenge, which is a color challenge using the cool Mushroom pallet...and since there was yellow in the challenge and yellow in the paper pack, I had the basis for a card.

Now all I needed was an idea for a layout. Look no further than this week's Mojo Monday sketch #272 and voila, I had a plan!

This is a pretty simple sketch and so the only tricky part was figuring out what image to use from my Paper Smooches collection. I recently won the Cyber Cafe set during a blog hop from Emily Leiphart, so wanted to ink that up again since I haven't used it much. The sentiment though came from the Paper Company's clear stamp set called Coffee Cafe.

I donate most of my cards to Operation Write Home and am currently working to fill my box with year-round, all purpose cards. I think this one will be a great addition.
Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Santa Cake Pop Covers

With only a couple more days to Christmas...I  haven't had much time to get to my craft room. Last night, we got together with our three favorite couples...lovingly nicknamed the ABC group (for the first initial of each of their last names). It's so great when all of us get together, my girl friends, our husbands, and most importantly all 12 of the kids get along like one big happy family. So we were glad to be able to squeeze in a quick visit with them before Christmas.

We don't exchange presents, but I wanted to give the kids a little something to wish them all a Merry Christmas and I remembered seeing these adorable lollipop covers over on My Creative Time's 12 days of Christmas blog hop. Unfortunately, I don't own the MCT lollipop cover die (on my wish list, hint) , but I was able to make a more simplified version.

I bought the brownie cake pops from a local candy store here in town, Sweet Lorraine's and because they were a little taller, I had to make my cover larger too.

I took a 12 x 12 sheet of Recollection red paper and cut it into 3 inch strips. Working with one strip at a time, I scored and folded the strip at 5 inches and again at 7 inches, giving me the base to rest the brownie pop on. Bringing the two end together at the top (in a triangle) I used a standard hole punch and punched two holes about 3/4 of an inch from the top and centered about the same distance apart (you are going to tie the ribbon around the lollipop stick, so the holes are going to be on either side of the stick...make them as close or as far apart as you want).

To make Santa's buckle, I happened to own the Sizzix Buckle's die (which I got on clearance and have never used before). I cut that from a piece of silver glitter paper that came in a Martha Stewart Halloween pack from few years ago. For the band of white, I used a Snow Marker (made by Marvy Uchida). The pen goes on as a liquid, but puffs up when you apply heat to it. Finally, I cut the label with a Spellbinders Label 10 die and stamped the sentiment in Memento Lady Bug ink.

All the parents thought these were cute, but the kids were so excited for the treat inside that I'm not sure they really looked at the design :-) That's okay with me though.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Snow Many Good Ideas Out There

Created by Emma at
My Creative Time
There are so many cute ideas out there for holiday gift giving and I have been loving visiting everyone's blogs to see what creative projects they've come up with. 

Recently, My Creative Time (MCT) featured a wonderful 12 Days of Christmas blog hop where the design team came up with so many terrific projects. (Although the prize has already been awarded, all of the links are still live so pop on over for some holiday inspiration). On Day 7, MCT's own Ms. Emma, demonstrated how to make this adorable little snowman gift jar and I just knew I would have to give him a try.

My husband liked him so much that he asked me to make a few for his office and some others on his list. 25 in all! Well, that would mean that I'd have to tweak the design a little bit to make them a bit more portable. Emma's cutie was made with a glass jar she found at Hobby Lobby, but when I went there I actually found a slightly larger version in plastic in the Sand Art aisle. The only problem was that the neck of my bottle had the groves on I couldn't put his face right on the jar. No worries, a quick order to Peachy Keen Stamps and I had some Winter Faces en route that would work perfectly :-)

So here is my take on Ms. Emma's super cute snowman. These little guys are being transported in small gift bags, so I left off the little branch arms and the sentiment tag on the hat since they would probably fall off anyway. The jar that I bought holds about 5 1/2 ounces of M& it's a real sweet treat!

Hope you find some holiday inspiration today!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Last Minute Holiday Prep

As we wind down into the holiday home stretch, I am actually well ahead of my usual schedule. I have most of my shopping done, just a few little last minute items to pick up.  And since I didn't overwhelm myself with too many holiday craft projects, I can actually enjoy the ones that I am doing.

Each year I struggle with what to do for my kids teacher's gifts. There is usually a group contribution to a class gift, but my kids also like to give their teachers something from themselves, which is great. However, my kids have A LOT of teachers. Neither of my boys is in a traditional (one teacher per room) class. My younger son is in a multi-age program with 3 teachers and 1 aid and my eldest son is in a Middle School cluster (with 4 primary teachers)...never mind all the specialists (art, music, library, gym, speech, enrichment, etc). So gift giving is always somewhat challenging since there is a lot to cover. 

But this year, I found these adorable gift bags filled with Ghirardelli chocolates at TJ Maxx, so I scooped up every bag that they had.  The bag is made of a heavy duty canvas, which is really terrific and can be used long after the chocolates are gobbled up.

Photo from website

So since I didn't make the gifts this year, I decided the least I could do would be to make a cute little gift tag to match. These were so simple to make, but I think they look really cute.

The tags were cut from the Cricut Plantin Schoolbook cartridge at 4 inches (for both the white tag and the colored shadow tag).  Then I drew a border around the inside of the tag using gel pens. The images are stamped from a Recollections set that I picked up on clearance at Michael's last season and colored with my Copic markers. The sentiment stamps are from the Paper Smooches Word Salad set and the twine is from Martha Stewart's Christmas collection. 

Super easy, but a nice way to personalize a store bought gift! 

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Peachy Keen Birthday Wishes for Kathy

PKS Challenge 47 ::
Happy Birthday Kathy Sketch

This week over at Peachy Keen Stamps, they are celebrating Kathy's (aka the Peachy Queen's) birthday and to do that they created a sketch for this week's challenge that we could use to send a birthday greeting to Kathy.

So I made a card for Kathy. Not because I wanted to participate in this challenge, but because Kathy seems like a really great person and recently, through a brief e-mail exchange, she helped me out.

See, I only recently discovered Peachy Keen Stamps. I've been seeing them used all over the blogosphere in a number of different projects. In addition to traditional clear stamp sets, PKS is probably best known for their "face" stamps that can be added to paper dolls or critter cutouts for Cricut, Eclipse, and Silhouette die cuts. Pretty much anything you want to put a cute face can with a Peachy Keen stamp.

PK 440-Cute and Cuddly
Face Assortment
As of this post, I only own one (1) Peachy Keen Stamp set...a cute assortment of critter face (PK 440--Cute and Cuddly Face Assortment). But I started making a little army of snowmen gift jars (I'll post pics next week) and realized that I "needed" to order the PK-521 Winter Assortment. So straight to the website I went.

Within minutes of placing my order, I received a confirmation
e-mail from Kathy letting me know my order was received.  I had a little "issue" with my order and sent a reply, not really expecting to get an answer back right away. I certainly wasn't expecting that in less than 5 minutes, Kathy herself had replied to my email and helped me out. Amazing!

I order quite a lot of my stamping supplies online. I never know if I am ordering from a warehouse or a nice lady sitting on her couch in her bunny slippers (not suggesting that Kathy does this by the way). But what I do know is that companies that have great customer service will get my business again and again.

So if you haven't visited Peachy Keen Stamps yet, you need to. They have adorable stamps and fantastic customer service. And without further ado, here is my card. Kathy, if by some bizarre chance you read this post, I wish you the happiest of birthdays and thanks again for your help last week! I will be back again.

Supplies: Bazzill cardstock in chocolate brown, Patterned paper from Basic Grey's Shine On collection, Beaver cutout from  Cricut Winter Frolic cartridge, Peachy Keen PK 440-Cute and Cuddly Face Assortment, Sentiment from Many Greeting by My Creative Time stamps,  Balloon punch from Martha Stewart, Inks by Memento.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I Dig You!

Hi everyone, back today with an entry for this week's Paper Smooches Sparks challenge. The second week of each month is a Designer Draft challenge. And to the right is the sketch they gave us to play with this week.

After I was lucky enough to win the Sparks Color challenge a couple of weeks back, I ordered one of the newer releases, Tweeters and Woofers and I couldn't wait to ink it up. I have to say this is one of my very favorites of all the Paper Smooches stamps...and I don't even have dogs. The images are just so cute (look at those eyes!)  
I did orient my card slightly different from the sketch, but here it is:

The inspiration for this card came from a design I saw on Beate Johns Fresh & Fun blog (click here).  In her card, she cut strips of various blue shades of paper for a skyline and then die cut cloud patterns into the strips (I am not doing the card justice with my description, so please check it out). I thought carving a tunnel out within the strips of grass would be a fun way to play with the strips in the sketch.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Lawnscaping Challenge Thank You

Tomorrow is the last day to submit your cards for the Lawnscaping Challenge #47, which is a color inspired challenge featuring turquoise, kraft, and red.

When I saw those colors I immediately thought of the new Simon Says Stamp December card kit that I just won from the uber-talented and super sweet, Joy Taylor.  I realized that this challenge would be the perfect way for me to play along with the folks on the Lawnscaping blog and create a thank you card (or a tribute card) for Joy for sending me the card kit.  Simon Says Stamp is the sponsor of this week's it's perfect that I am using their products. I am a huge fan!

Going through my Lawn Fawn stamps, I immediately thought of the Making Frosty Friends stamps. That would be an easy card to pull together with the color scheme...but instead, I pulled out a stamp set that I haven't inked up in a long time, Just My Type. I think that old-fashioned typewriter is super cute and would be the perfect way for Santa to type up his lists. I also grabbed my trusty Hats Off to You set to create Santa's cap. And finally, I used Harold's ABCs for the type. Here is my card:

The blue paper in the SSS December card kit is a little lighter than the challenge colors, so I substituted a turquoise sheet from some Recollections shimmer paper I had and also used a patterned paper from My Mind's Eye Merry 6 x 6 pad to ring the typewriter. I thought the pattern helped tie the turquoise and the red together. I finished the card off with some ribbon from the card kit. This ribbon was so easy to work with and looks so great on the cards. I think I'll have to order some more. 

Thanks again Joy for the beautiful card kit. And thank you also to Kelly Marie at Lawn Fawn for creating such fun stamps to use in the challenges. Santa has put you both on the Nice List this year :-)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Another Day, Another Challenge (or 2)

I have been itching to get into my craft room after I spent a good part of the weekend running errands and trying to get some Christmas shopping done. So I had a few minutes today and decided to whip up a card for the The Alley Way Stamps Be Inspired Challenge #17.  I have a few TAWS stamp sets and think they are really adorable.  This is the inspiration photo for this week's and green packages. Unfortunately, all of my Christmas cards are done and I just couldn't work the stamp sets I did have into a birthday card. So I decided to go in another direction.

I really love the Tropic Topic set from TAWS and I thought the flamingo would go perfect with the color scheme. In my hoard of paper, I found a couple of patterns from two different sets of My Mind's Eye paper (Merry and Ooh La La Summer Days) that worked well together and tied in the green and pink. But that was it...a collection of products with no inspiration (or Mojo, if you will).

So I went online to my trusty sources for sketch inspiration and thought that maybe today's new Mojo Monday sketch #217 would be a good place to start. The layout was simple enough, I just needed to switch it horizontally and get to work.

Most of the cards I am making right now are going to Operation Write Home, so I try to make general purpose cards (thinking of you, miss you, or love cards). I decided a thinking of you card would be the best option. 

When I am making a card, I really like to try to match the image on the card with a sentiment that makes sense. So either my flamingo would have to have a thought bubble or some cute punny phrase to tie it all in, but there weren't any phrases that worked in the sets I own. And then it came to me.....I'll make my own pun! I used the words thinking, of, and you from TAWS Jibber Jabber Set (inking only the last part of the word...inking) and then "borrowed" a 'P" from the word couple in TAWS Mad Gab set.  Instead of a thinking of you card, mine is now a Pinking of You card. 

Okay, it's probably a bit corny and I'm not actually sure how this will go over with the troops. I'm hoping someone out there loves flamingos...then this card will find a happy home. 

Supplies: Patterned paper from My Mind's Eye (Ooh La La Summer Days & Merry), Solid paper from Neenah and Bazzill (Parakeet), Stamps from The Alley Way Stamps (Tropic Topic, Jibber Jabber, and Mad Gab), Stickles, Celebrate it Ribbon from Michael's, Memento Tuxedo Black Ink.

I hope you find something to inspire you today. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Big Day

Just a quick post tonight. It's been a pretty busy couple of days and I haven't had much time to be creative...but have lots to celebrate.

Yesterday was my husband's 50th (gasp) birthday! And this was a big one. Not only is the number big (a half a century big), but today, the day after his birthday we were expecting pretty big news! And I am very happy to report...the news was good. Michael's half-way through his 6 rounds of chemo and at the mid-point, the drugs appear to be doing what they are supposed to do and his tumors are shrinking. Not a bad birthday present at all (although he seemed pretty excited by the Bose noise reducing headphones that we bought him to keep him entertained on the commute :-)

Anyway, below is the birthday card that I made for him. Pretty plain and simple. Unlike my recent cards, this one didn't even have any stamping on it other than the sentiment, which is from a boxed greeting set from Joann's that I've had for years. The numbers were cut from the Alphalicious Cricut cartridge and the papers are from the Paris and Co. Six by Six collection by My Minds Eye.

I'm going to go enjoy my cup of tea and breath a sigh of relief. Hopefully I'll get some more crafting done this weekend while Michael recuperates. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 3, 2012

3rd Annual Hol-ODD-day Hop!

Some Odd Girl is having their annual Hol-ODD-day blog hop and everyone is invited to play along! The hop runs December 3-6 and you can link up anytime before midnight on Dec 6th. Ironically, today's mail delivery contained a package from Some Odd Girl's Black Friday's that for timing? Nothing is quite as fun as inking up new stamps!

My kids were playing with my Cricut tonight and as I was leafing through the book, I found this little gift box on the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge and decided that might be the perfect package for some holiday treats. I don't make a lot of Christmas goodies, but I like to have a few small packages on hand to give to the milk man, the dry cleaner, the mail carrier, and the kids' bus drivers. I think I'll fill them with some holiday candy to match the sentiment.

I cut the box at 6 1/4 inches on paper from the Christmas Cheer collection by LilyBee design. I then stamped Little Tobie from the Deck the Halls Tobie set onto Neenah Solar White cardstock and colored him with an array of Copic markers that I couldn't begin to list. Because he has a lot of small features, I kept adding colors until I was happy with the result. Then I fussy cut him out (painstaking, but worth it) and adhered him on two circles cut with Spellbinders dies. Finally I stamped the sentiment and added a little red rhinestone bling. That was all! Super simple...the hardest part was cutting him out. (Note: if you look closely you'll notice the bag is stuffed with actual tissues--not tissue paper--I didn't have the right green, so for the photo, this was better).

Thanks for stopping by and make sure you stop by the Hol-ODD-day hop to see what all the other talented folks have created!

And The Award Goes To....Who Me?

Just a quick post to express my complete astonishment and gratitude to the crew at Paper Smooches Sparks Challenge blog. I just found out this morning that they had selected my card as last week's Picture Perfect Color Challenge winner. Now I get to proudly post my very first badge on my blog naming me a Paper Smooches Pro Stamper. Here's the card:

Until case you miss it on the sidebar, here it is...pretty huh?

I wonder how long I get to keep this title? Oh well, I'm milking it as much as I can for now. 


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Crazy About Copics

I have said it before and I'll admit it again, I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to my scrapbooking and card making supplies. I love the array of products available and now thanks to Facebook and blogs, I am constantly seeing new things that I MUST have.

Thankfully, I am an organized hoarder, and my compulsion to shop is matched equally with a compulsion to store my crafting supplies into neat easy to read boxes, drawers and carts. My label maker is my best friend.

So as my Copic Marker collection started to expand, I needed to find a way to store the markers. At first, I just used a small three drawer plastic storage container like this one. As I acquired more, I even crafted cardboard dividers so I could separate color families. For a while it worked great. But even though the drawers could hold quite a few markers, there was no way to find the exact color I was looking for without pulling the entire drawer out and culling through them. And the containers were rather bulky to put on my desk. I ended up storing them on the bookshelf of supplies to my left which meant I was always getting up to grab a color.

I started searching around Pinterest to see how other people organized their markers and saw a few designs that I liked made out of PVC piping....but I've tried cutting PVC before and always ended up with jagged edges. Then one day while making a cup of Crystal Light mojito juice a light bulb went off. I could use the empty containers to separate and store my markers. Sure enough, they are almost the exact length of a Copic Sketch marker. I used some pieces of UGlu (that stuff is so sticky) to secure the tubes together and voila! There are many things that I like about this storage system:

  1. The markers sit right on my desk so they are easily accessible
  2. I wrapped each tube in some extra scrapbook paper to coordinate it to my craft room design.
  3. I can easily see the endcaps of the markers (with the number and name) to grab the marker I need.
  4. The system can grow if I need more space...I can expand to the right or a row higher (already planning).

Design tips: Use the longer Chrystal Light containers. I stuffed a tissue in the bottom of each tube so that the markers would stick out past the lid of the container, making it easier to grab them. I also attached a couple of padded "feet" to the bottom just to tip the front of the unit up slightly so the markers wouldn't always slide forward.

So now that I have a great way to store them (with room for more expansion), I can happily shop for more to fill in my collection. And that leads me to my next tip....a way to make sure I don't buy duplicate markers. I used to carry around the color chart that you can download on the Copic marker website here  (you can actually see it on the far left of the second photo). I wasn't very good about keeping that chart up to date though. So you can imagine how happy I was to learn that there is "AN APP FOR THAT." To keep track of your Copic colors on your smartphone, you can download this great Copic Colors Mobile Application. (For Android users it isn't an app, but rather a bookmark that you can set to your browser). I can't take credit for discovering this great application. I read about it on a fellow blogger's website, but for the life of me I can't remember who's site it my apologies for not giving proper credit where it's due.

So that's a bit about my Copic craze! Thanks for stopping by.