Monday, April 27, 2009

A Cow Story

My friend Traci in Colorado has been entertaining her blog followers by sharing her bear stories. I have a bear mace story, but no animals were involved and it isn't very exciting, although very painful for my DH as he discovered a can of bear mace can and will explode if dropped on the garage floor. 
As a Midwesterner, we have to be content with more domesticated animals. So as not to feel left out entirely, I will share my cow story. 
See that little critter in the photo? Isn't it cute? Yah, you only THINK so. 
Once upon a time (all the best stories begin that way) when I was in the corporate world and busily marketing dairy products on behalf of American dairy farmers everywhere, we corporate types got the chance to visit a real, live dairy operation. 
We were touring the cow barn, a long structure filled with these animals, when all of a sudden one of my colleague pointed to the end of the barn and asked, "Are they allowed to just roam around the farm like that?"
Someone had apparently left the gate open and a few black and white Holsteins had escaped to frolic and play in a nearby cornfield.
The farmer's son ran off like a shot and we were left wondering what to do. Being helpful marketing-type people we thought we'd do the farmer a favor and try to do a little cow round-up. 
Five of us went outside to chase the cows. Soon, only two of us were left standing by the cornfield as three of my colleagues, all of them with the unfair advantage of growing up on a farm, had scampered as quickly as possible to climb up a roof, combine, or any tall structure nearby and available. Once safely perched ten feet off the ground they screamed to the two remaining (stupid) marketing types (I was one of them) and screamed, "Run! Its a bull!"
Remember the bull from Saturday morning cartoons when you were a kid? He was always brown, had a ring in his nose and liked to smell the flowers. No one ever told me bulls could be white and black. So as this enormous creature charged towards me I cleverly ducked behind a barbed wire fence. Did you know a barbed wire fence won't stop a bull? Well, now you do.  
Luckily the farmer's son came zipping back in the nick of time on an ATV, which I believe the cows took for their mother ship, and chased them back into the barn where they belonged. 
Ha! Now try to get one of those Colorado gals to come visit here after that scary story! :)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Quilting Time

Each blog group is issuing challenges and one by one I'm trying to catch up. Fortunately, this is the first challenge for the Papertrey Princesses so I think I can call that 'caught up' now. 
Diane issued a paper piecing challenge to us and I chose one of the easiest sets to work out paper piecing, Quilter's Sampler. It almost feels like cheating. Actually though, once I had my central image done I had trouble deciding just what to do with it next. Then I had need of a particular style card for a friend of mine. It always makes it easier when you have someone specific in mind when creating, don't you think? 
The saying, the black thread in the buttons, the black backdrop for the quilted image and the tiny black butterfly all are meant to convey sympathy for someone's loss. I learned recently from the loss of my own father that sympathy cards mean as much in any color as long as you send them. Just the fact that people reach out to send a card means so much. So I'm trying not to make them quite so dark as formerly, but with a bit of a better balance. I popped up the quilt on dimensionals after cutting out the inverted scallop shape on the white-toned Euphoria cardstock and laid the black underneath, so it has a black 'shadow.' Then I could use the interior of the Euphoria piece as the square underneath the quilt blocks. Thanks for looking.
Stamps: SU Linen BG, Papertrey Ink Quilter's Sampler
Ink: SU black, Versamark Dazzle Frost
Cardstock: SU purple, black, Papertrey white, Basic Grey Euphoria collection
Other: Martha Stewart butterfly punch, Black Diamond stickles (on butterfly wings), SU vintage buttons, Lasting Impressions "all sorts of things' matte finish buttons in Boardwalk Blue and Raspberry, black thread, Spellbinders nestabilities inverted scallop square, 3/4" square punch. 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

April Papertrey Blog Hop

I have to preface my entry with the statement that I really stink at 3-D projects which just means I need more practice! I'm looking forward to seeing all the cute entries in the blog hop so I can devote some time to CASEing! You know how some months you see the challenge and right away you have ideas! And you can hardly wait to get to your stamping table! This wasn't one of those months!!! :) Also, I have had this set for so long, I just got used to using it with the SU inks . . . I really have to try it out with the PTI ink collection I own, but for some reason I like it in these colors. 

   Anyway, this does look cuter IRL. I pulled out one of my absolutely favorite sets, Green Thumb, and made a little card holder with it using the desktop template. This is the start of a set for a friend. I made one card to go inside and am going to continue making an assortment. I'm actually pleased with the card, the end result almost matches the picture I had in my head. See how the paper piercing leaves the kraft strip? The bee is wandering off to visit the flower. Thanks for looking. 
Stamps: Papertrey Ink Green Thumb
Ink: SU Turquoise, Brilliant Blue, Red, Green, black, white craft, PTI aqua mist
Paper: Kraft, red, random gingham DP, Neenah solar white
Other: white EP, scalloped long rectangle nestabilities, 1 1/2" circle punch, sponge, red gingham ribbon, paper piercing tool

Friday, April 24, 2009

Mother's Day

This is my card for Mother's Day. I haven't worked a lot with blue lately and I've missed the color, so I decided to see what the Rubber Stamp Tapestry cherry blossom set would look like in blue. Its funny that despite owning at least ten shades of blue I didn't find the exact look I had in mind. 
  Thanks for looking. 
Stamps: Rubber Stamp Tapestry Cherry Blossom, Papertrey Ink Ambassador Monogram, Stampin' Up! Belle Toile BG
Ink: PTI Avocado, Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip, Tempting Turquoise, Bashful Blue, white craft ink
Paper: Neenah solar white, SU Bashful Blue, SU DP, other random DP and printed vellum
Other: Spellbinders Labels 4, white satin ribbon, paper piercer, liquid pearls, Fiskars corner embossing punch, Martha Stewart butterfly punch

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Manhattan Flower Invitation

You gals were so kind with your comments, thank you! That really was a post so my DD could choose the style invite she liked best, but I thought I'd post the one she chose and answer a few questions people asked. 

I don't know what SAI stands for, but I know it is her music sorority at college. The rose is one of their symbols and she specifically wanted that included, so when I saw the Manhattan Flower die from Stampin Up I thought it would be perfect for this project. I actually had a lot of trouble trying to figure out how to incorporate music into the theme and then my colors had to be red, gold and white. I didn't have enough GG red ribbon so bought some of this style from Mike's. If you can see it, I used a liquid glue pen on the very edges of the roses and applied just a touch of glitter. There was a lot of drying time involved with this card because the gold craft ink, as you gals all know, doesn't dry very quickly, and it had to be completely dry to add the 'You're Invited' sentiment on top. The rose paper looks like saffron but its really PTI's gold, a very yellow gold with a subtle shimmer. And the prototype started with just white paper but it looked too stark for some reason, so I switched to confetti white, kind of gives it the look of hand made paper. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

SAI Invitations

My daughter needs invitations for a concert, so this is one of those 'private' blog posts. If such a thing is possible! Its the easiest way to show her choices for her to pick a favorite. Their colors are red and white with gold or pearls. What do you think? Give me a call tonight!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

You Are Loved

I was so excited when I saw the sentiment stamp, "You are Loved" on the Rubber Stamp Tapestry web site, I squealed. That is what our pastor tells us every Sunday before we leave church and it is painted in big letters above the doorway we exit as a final reminder. God loves us. What a wonderful thing!
  I wanted to play with my stamps and get comfortable with the peg style, so created a simple card before doing anything fancy. I would like a more rough edge on the side, if anyone knows how to achieve that, please let me know! 
  Almost forgot to mention a few things . .  the heart shape is a template they sell at Rubber Stamp Tapestry. Just lay it down on your cardstock, take a complementary color of chalk, in this case I used a light SU pink pastel, and dab around the inside edges of the template. When you lift it up, it helps guide you as you stamp.  I placed the heart a bit above card center, because when you put it direct in the center on a clean card, it looks like its too low. And I tried stamping it several times with just avocado, but a few touches of New Leaf really helped bring the image to life. 
  Thanks for looking.
Stamps: Rubber Stamp Tapestry Cherry Blossoms set and 'you are loved' sentiment block
Cardstock: SU confetti white
Ink: Papertrey Ink Ripe Avocado, New Leaf, Hibiscus, Stampin Up Pomegranate, Ranger Tim Holtz Vintage Photo
Accessories: ribbon (Mike's), stickles, distressing tool, RST heart template, SU pastel chalks, cotton ball

Ocean's 11 Sky challenge

I'm trying to get caught up on some of the Ocean's 11 challenges, one of two blogger's groups to which I belong, listed on the right. What a talented bunch of stampers! Please check out their work on their blogs.
  For this challenge we had to incorporate the sky somehow into our card, so here is my sky. I had some beautiful DP that I wanted to use but it is very bright and I had difficulty matching up the yellow. I only HAVE six or seven different shades of yellow, you'd think something would match. 
  I followed a sky tutorial from Mothermark's blog. She originated the idea. Basically you cut a template using scalloped scissors for your cloud shape, choose a blue inkpad and sponge and go for it. 
  Thanks for looking.
Stamps: Stampin Up Winged Things, PTI Life
Cardstock: SU Pink, Orange and Yellow, DP unknown, vellum, PTI white
Ink: Black, Melon Kaleidacolor (Life sentiment), Bashful Blue, Baja Blue
Accessories: Martha Stewart lace border punch, Fiskars threading water punch, ciao copics, black pen, SU pink GG ribbon, satin ribbon from Mike's

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tilda with Thistle

This card is for another sketch challenge, the Twisted Thursday #6, hosted by Shirley's2Girls. I was ready to punch, emboss, embroider, stencil, whatever, but the twist this week was a color challenge. In addition to the layout, you have to use eggplant, olive and rose. . . or some variation of those shades. For some reason, using the color purple is like pulling teeth for me and this is the second time in a month I've had to use it! 
  I ordered this Tilda stamp because my oldest daughter loves thistles . . . think of Mel Gibson in Braveheart and you'll understand why. I've not had the chance to color her in before this and I used, in addition to peach and rose for her cheeks and mustard and summer sun for her hair, eggplant and rose on her dress and olive and eggplant for the thistle she is holding. I like using SU reinkers for watercoloring objects and clothing, but I use SU watercolor wonder crayons for her face and such, less intense and gives a more natural look I think. 
Yet in all the time I've owned my SU watercolor crayons, I've never tried directly applying them to a stamp, spritzing with water and stamping on watercolor paper. I happen to own a Fred Mullet thistle stamp that seemed perfect for both the background and this technique, so I tried it out and I like it! I colored the thistle first with the eggplant crayon, added a bit of rose towards the bottom of the blossom and then used olive on the stem. Of course I decided to live dangerously and at the last minute add an embossed sentiment on the paper and as I was blissfully aiming the heat gun at it I noticed I was starting to curl the ribbon . . . not something I wanted to do. I share these ooops! stamping moments because its a great reminder that you are not alone. Even though I've been stamping now for five years almost every card has those oh no! elements and if you're lucky you can do a save. Thanks for looking. 
Stamps: Magnolia Tilda with Thistle, Fred Mullett lil' Thistle, Papertrey Ink Green Thumb (sentiment), Guidelines
Inks: Black, white craft, rose, olive (stamped off so they came out lighter), SU reinkers in summer sun, mustard, eggplant, olive, rose, creamy caramel and close to cocoa. 
Paper: Eggplant, olive, rose, confetti white, watercolor paper, Papertrey Ink guidelines
Other: SU watercolor crayons, aquapainter, random ribbon from my desktop, white EP, glitter, Fiskars threading water punch

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

He is Risen

I like sketch challenges, obviously! And this is for the sketch challenge posted weekly on Wednesday on SCS. 
  I just ordered the Life stamp set from Papertrey Ink and this provided a great format to try it out. If you can see it, I stamped 'life' in white over the flowers, matching up the sentiments. We have life because Jesus rose and died for our sins, so the two seemed to go together. 
  I am not completely convinced I like this particular color combination I put together, but it was kind of one of those things where you've got it all cut and stamped and then you're committed! :) For the small square sentiment I stamped off the Papertrey Hibiscus ink first so you get the shadow image or lighter version of the color behind the sentiment. It is a very strong pink! Thanks for looking. 
Stamps: Papertrey Ink Guidelines, Life, Studio G mini set
Ink: Papertrey Spring Moss, Avocado, Hibiscus, Vintago Photo and Su white craft
Paper: SU confetti white, pretty in pink, Papertrey Ink avocado, spring moss.
Accessories: white ribbon, white EP, square nestabilities, dew drops and crystal clear glue that I smudged. 

Monday, April 6, 2009

Rainbow Peeps

I made up these little peeps packages for the younger cousins and guests who will be present at Easter dinner. I took different packages of various colored peeps and separated them out into rainbow colors. A talented dork sister friend found a line drawing of a peep and copied them five times in a row and sent us each a copy. I reduced their size and chose different fonts for the saying, "to one of my favorite peeps" then printed it out on the computer. 

Colored the images in with copics to match the peeps and stapled the tags onto the bag tops. Very simple little project. Thanks for looking!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Blue Butterfly

This post is about authenticity. You might think its about the butterfly card to the left and it is mostly, but its about being real with my stamping. 
This is a card of covered up errors. :) I had fun making it but it is one of those ooops! what do I do now! cards. 
The piece of blue paper is covering up an unwanted line from the paper and cuttlebug folder going through my wizard. The butterfly? I colored it in and then saw that I missed a spot, grabbed the wrong color blue and had to color over the lighter blue I had originally intended for the butterfly. Then the sentiment, that 'thank you.' Ahhhh, I am always nervous about stamping directly on a large section of the card. How much easier is it to stamp on a little scrap and if that one doesn't work, toss it and grab a new little scrap? I stamped that sentiment six times on the back of an envelope for practice before I bravely stamped it on the card underneath the butterfly . . . aaaaannnd I botched it. So now you have the sentiment on a neat little oval glued over it instead. I could pretend to be a perfect stamper and a perfect person but I'm not. Isn't it nice we can go over things and fix and make it better? And tomorrow there is a fresh piece of paper waiting and a fresh new day. Thanks for looking. 
Stamps: Stampin' Up Winged Things, sentiment from Honey Bee by Papertrey Ink
Ink: black
Paper: Papertrey white for card base, neenah solar white for the scalloped lace (its thinner and goes through the punch better)
Other: cuttlebug edge folder, Martha Stewart punch, paper piercer, oval punch, SU dazzling diamonds glitter, ciao copic markers in various shades of blue and purple

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friendship Umbrella

I just found out last week that my friend Karolyn is posting a challenge every Thursday on her blog, a Twisted Thursday sketch challenge, and this card is for S2GSC5. I find sketch challenges the easiest, probably because its like following a recipe, the layout is all there, you just have to fill in the pieces! :) Its a sketch challenge with a twist and in this case the twist was to add some embossing. I used the SU background stamp Dots and Daisies and embossed it in white on the apricot, then used light colored copic markers to color in the daisies. I like how well the flowers in all three stamp sets coordinate when they were released at different time. The little bitty flowers are fom a stamp in the Pocket Full of Posies set, I colored them in and then cut them out individually. YOu need very, very sharp little scissors for that! The vellum kind of reminds me of a raincoat lining and of course, you need a button to keep the coat closed. Fun sketch, now I just need to find a good source for inexpensive large square envelopes and I can mail this to someone! Thanks so much for visiting. 
Stamps: Stampin Up Dots & Daisies (BG), Pocket Full of Posies, Blooming with Happiness
Cardstock: SU Apricot, Candy vellum, Designer paper, Pretty in Pink, Barely Banana, Papertrey White
Ink: Graphite black, white craft
Other: Copic ciao markers E37, Y00, R20, RV10, YR02, K & Co. 'Smitten' adhesive paper ribbon, Spellbinders petite scalloped circle and scalloped rectangle nestabilities, button, clear EP