Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Holidays

Hello bloggin' friends! So sorry I have been missing in creative action. We are away visiting friends and family for the holiday and I haven't been spending much time on the computer, lately. I am really enjoying spending time with loved ones and snapping an over-abundance of photos to bring back to Texas. I hope everyone had a very happy holiday season out there! I wish you all a happy and safe New Year and look forward to more creative fun in 2011. See you all soon! :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

FOUR the Holidays

I received this via email from a (non-bloggin') friend today and thought it would make a perfect post. You basically share four answers to the questions asked. I have been completely CONSUMED with a Christmas gift project (for my in-laws) over the past few days, so this is what I am resorting to blogging about. I PROMISE to have a creative post tomorrow. This week, I just need a few more hours in the day. With that, here are answers to the questions:

1. Four shows that you watch:
~Grey's Anatomy...I'm HOOKED! 
~Man vs. Food
~True Blood, I am chomping at the bit for the new season! Nom, nom, nom...
~Top Chef...I have been known to spend an entire day caught up in a "Top Chef" marathon...scary, but true! 

2.  Four things you are passionate about:
~ my fabulously, awesome family! :) 
~ snapping a great photo 
~ NBA basketball (Go Spurs Go!)
~ cooking an amazing meal to share with great friends

3.  Four words/phrases you say a lot:
~I'm just sayin'
~Benjamin Maxwell, NO, NO, NO!

4.  Four things you've learned from the past:
~Life is too short to go through it without great lip-gloss!  
~No matter what you think, you NEVER sound as awesome as you think you do, when you sing in your car or in your shower! 
~There will always, ALWAYS be a missing sock in the laundry...Where do they GO??
~Don't give your time to those who wouldn't do the same for you! 

5. Four places you would like to go:
~Mt. Everest (not kidding, has been a dream of mine for years...)

6.  Four things you did yesterday:
~shop for Christmas gifts...I may need therapy from the experience! 
~edited photos for a VERY special gift 
~cooked a delicious dinner with the man I love! 
~laundry...although I seem to do laundry EVERY day...Why?? 

7.  Four things you are looking forward to:
~Going home to NY for the holiday for the first time in 16 years! So excited!  
~Going back to school! 
~A tropical vacation next year
~For now, I'm just going to leave it at three... ;)

8.  Four things you love about winter:
~cooler weather
~scarves...I LOVE scarves! 
~Cocoa....ugh, chocolate-y goodness! 
~that I will see SNOW in 2 days...SO excited! 

9.  Tag four people to play along:
Cheryl- She Stamps 
Xiumaiyuki- Xiumaiyuki

What are your answers? Leave me a comment with YOUR four answers to a favorite question, or share the fun on YOUR blog and let me know so I can visit you. 
I will be back tomorrow with something crafty-licious! :) Thanks for stopping by! 
Have a great evening, 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Photos of the Day!

Hello, bloggin' friends! It has been an absolutely CRAZY week in these parts, so my post today has nothing to do with stamping...sorry! Today my husband and I decided that we have been way too consumed with holiday prep and just put it on pause to simply enjoy the moment. We just stopped stressing about getting everything finished and had a wonderful day together! With that, I give you my "photos of the day":

Here is my Tomas, in his "relaxed-pose" (note the tongue):
 We caught Mr. Emmitt on the bed this afternoon sneaking in a nap:
 I actually attempted to give Ozzy a haircut today. Yup, I have decided that I am completely NOT qualified to consider dog-grooming as a profession. I was a wee-bit "scissor-happy". Poor guy! As with ANY bad haircut, it will grow back...I hope! :)
Here is the "before":

 This next photo was completely unplanned! I wanted to snap a few shots of Benjamin, to round out the fur-clan, and he was just too bored to cooperate with me! After posting it, I have decided that his furry face completely exemplifies how I felt finishing up some holiday shopping yesterday! Rawr
Tonight, my hubby and I enjoyed a great "date night", complete with a delicious dinner and a movie. Even with 6 sleeps left to the big day, it is so nice to slow it down and re-connect! I will be back with a creative post soon, but tonight, I just wanted to keep it simple! Hope you all had a great day! :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blueberry Crisp and Holiday Madness

Hello and Happy Thursday! Only 9 more sleeps until the BIG day! Are you ready? I have been all caught up in the holiday "hustle and bustle" this week and my stamp time has been very limited. I did have a little, creative get-together with my friend Sarah yesterday afternoon but didn't finish the boxes I made yet, so I will save those for another day. I needed to make a thank you card today and just couldn't get around some "stamper's block". So, I went to Stamping 411 for their Saturday Sketch Challenge since I had so much fun with them last week. I made their "Top 5", too, so that was REALLY exciting! 
Yup, I'm using Pacific Point again...along with that Decorative Label punch. But, hey, when you find something that works, I say you should just stick with it! Haha! I think the color combo probably had to do with the never-used package of Blueberry Crisp DSP that was sitting on my desk today. In the end I like how the papers kind of had a "distressed look" to them so I didn't really have to add a lot to the card. 

I did use, for the first time today, some amazingly, awesome seam binding! Whoo Hoo! My blogging friend, Cheryl (-->click right here to visit her blog<--) recently sent me some to try out, along with a few other crafty treats. Cheryl, you are the best! Thank you SO much for the great surprises! I am HOOKED! Seam binding is seriously so versatile and you can do so much with it! I used white seam binding on this card...what's that?...it looks blue? Well, that's because I Smooched it with Electric Blue Smooch Spritz, then dried it with my heat tool...I burned my finger, too! Typical! (Yes, it is the SAME blue Smooch I used on my LAST card! Please be kind, I'm a little over-extended this week!) Cheryl shared a cool tip that Smooch actually makes the seam binding much easier to pleat and tie. The best way to describe it is like when you use spray starch when ironing...with the added benefit of sparkle. SO cool! :)
I also decorated the inside for a handwritten note. Well, there you have it. What do you think? I'd love to hear from you, so please leave me a comment to say hello, when you visit. They make me smile! :) Now, I'm off to finish up more fa-la-la-la-la...
SU! Supply List: 
Stamps: Oval All
Ink: Pacific Point classic ink
Paper: Pacific Point, Sahara Sand, Very Vanilla card stock and Blueberry Crisp DSP
Accessories: 2" x 1 3/8" XL Oval punch, Decorative Label Punch, Scallop Trim Border punch and pearls
Non SU! Accessories: seam binding, electric Blue Smooch Spritz, lace trim

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

All Wrapped Up for The Play Date Cafe

I know I said I was finished with Christmas cards, but I made some Christmas tags for some gifts this morning and was inspired to whip up one more card. I'm sure I will end up needing it anyway, I always do. :) I love the color combo from this week's challenge at The Play Date Cafe:
I am wrapping a lot of gifts in purple this year so I thought it would be a great mix for the tags I was making. I used Elegant Eggplant, Tempting Turquoise and Pacific Point.  As I was thinking about a layout for the card, it hit me...why not just make one that just looked like a gift box? Then I could incorporate one of the fun tags I made onto the card. 

I love the Tags 'til Christmas set because it coordinates so well with a lot of different punches, including the new Decorative Label punch. I love, love, LOVE this punch! What is really fun is that you can actually layer the punch with a little creativity...and this cool video tutorial from Angela McKay's blog, North Shore Stamper. I also used the Medium Oval punch to punch out the "Dec. 25th" in Pacific Point, then added some Glass Glitter, jewels and popped it up on the tag. I also used some Electric Blue Smooch Spritz on the embossed background for some added sparkle.

(For the gift tags I made, I also punched-out another tag in white card stock and attached it to the back of the tag. I did this so I could both cover up the layered punch AND so I had a place to write the names of the gift recipients.)
 Here is the inside, jazzed up with some felt snowflakes and the sentiment from the Snow Swirled set:
Hope you like it. Thanks so much for stopping by today! Enjoy the rest of your day today! :)

SU! Supply List: 
Stamps: Tags 'til Christmas, Snow Swirled (sentiment)
Ink: Elegant Eggplant, Tempting Turquoise and Pacific Point classic ink
Paper: Elegant Eggplant, Tempting Turqiouse and Pacific Point card stock
Accessorories: Petals-A-Plenty Embossing Folder, Decorative Label XL punch, Whisper White 5/8" Organza ribbon, 1 3/4" x 7/8" Oval punch, Silver elastic cord (ret.), Silver glass glitter and Jewels
Non-SU! Accessories: Electric Blue Smooch Spritz, felt snowflake border 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Paper Players Challenge #28- Your Favorite Color Combination

It's Sunday (already? How did that happen?) and that means it's time for another fabulous challenge at The Paper Players! This week's challenge is a fun one: simply use your favorite color combination for a specific type of card. For example, you might pick Cherry Cobbler and Always Artichoke for a holiday card, Navy and White for a sympathy card, maybe Real Red, Daffodil Delight and Pacific Point for a kids card? We want to see YOUR favorites! All we ask is that your card is a new creation for the challenge. Please join us this week as this is the last challenge of the year at The Paper Players!  I have really enjoyed being a Guest Designer with this amazingly talented group of gals, too. Thank you SO much to Lesley, Ann, Jaydee, LeAnne and Nance for this great opportunity. :)
 For my color combo, I simply couldn't decide on just ONE favorite. When in doubt, I ALWAYS "think pink"! Shocking, I know! Haha! I went with a clean and simple combo of Pretty in Pink, Very Vanilla and Basic Black. It is a great, girly combo for any card for a friend. I decided to use a "Happy Birthday" sentiment on this fun, little party dress card.  
I got the idea for the punched dress from my wonderful SU! up-line, Kari. I just love it so much, I had to share it! (Thanks, Kari!) It is actually REALLY easy to put together and always gets a big smile from the recipient. Try it, you will see! :) I can't tell you how many of these tiny dresses I have made for cards. If I could figure out how to add some teeny, tiny punched shoes to complete the ensemble, I would probably pass out from excitement. :)  All you need to create the dress is some cute patterned paper (this is Love Letter DSP) and these punches:
 (I snipped about 1/4' off one side of the punched square for a cleaner fit, you can also use a tag punch, too!) 

To assemble, just put some adhesive behind one of the 5 oval punches (this will be in the center of the "skirt") and then just add the other ovals behind it, so it kind-of resembles a "fan". Then add your square behind the top of the skirt. The "hanger" can be made from craft wire (fashion it around a small ruler, then curl the "hook" around a pencil), or  you can buy them ready-made, too. Then just fold the 2 Word Window punches over the hanger for the "straps" and you just made the dress. Wrapping a piece of ribbon around the "waist" gives it a clean finish and then just embellish away to create that couture look! 
Look at that adorable, little silk rosette on the "belt" of the dress! That is actually my first "Sneak Peek" from the new Occasions mini catalog which launches in January. SO cute, huh?? Also, you can see in the photo below how I used the Color Spritzer Tool to create some more texture to the embossed pink background. 
There you have it, an adorable card that is really easy to create! What do you think? I'd love it if you would share a comment and let me know. I really enjoy hearing from you when you stop by to visit! Again, don't forget to join us at The Paper Players this week with YOUR creation. Oops, before I forget, I couldn't leave without sharing a photo of the inside of the card, too. Thanks so very much for stopping by today! :) 
SU! Supply List: 
Stamps: Teeny Tiny Wishes
Ink: Basic Black classic ink
Paper: Pretty in Pink, Very Vanilla, Basic Black card stock and Love Letter DSP
Accessories: Word Window Punch, 1 1/4" Square punch, 1 3/4" x 7/8" Oval punch, 1 3/8" x 5/8" Oval punch (for the sentiment), Scalloped Border punch, 3/8" Very Vanilla Taffeta Ribbon, Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder, Finial Press Embossing Folder, Color Spritzer Tool, Pretty in Pink marker, LOTS of Stampin' Dimensionals, Pearls and Very Vanilla Silk Rosette (coming soon, in the new Occasions Mini) 
Non-SU! Accessories: black wire hanger

Have a great day! :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sharing Some Love for OWH

I am so excited to post today! I finally completed my cards for Courtney's swap for Operation Write Home. Although, I think everyone decided to donate all of the cards so it wasn't really a swap. (Thanks for hosting, Courtney!) I have mentioned before that my husband is in the military, so OWH is something near and dear to my heart. It was a little odd to be whipping up 11 Valentine's Day cards in the height of the Christmas season but I was SO happy to share the love. My husband was also pretty excited that I was making these cards and he actually helped me get them put together.  Yet another reason why I love this guy...Honey, I know you read this, you are absolutely the best! :)

For many deployed soldiers, they may only have the opportunity to connect with their families (at best) once to twice a week...in some cases, much longer. Then, they have a "timed" phone call. Imagine having a *voice* interrupting your call at the 12 minute mark, telling you time is almost up, when you still have SO much to say! I have been there more then a few times. Anyone who has been through one of these deployments can completely understand that frustration...ugh. Operation Write Home is an amazing organization which provides the opportunity for deployed soldiers to connect with their loved ones. For those deployed, many don't really have the resources available to just "go to the store and pick up a card". Every time my husband was gone we actually made it "fun" to use what he had available, where he was (card selection was pretty limited in the desert). I had to laugh when I received a Thanksgiving card in early-February, a St. Patrick's Day card in June and an "I Love You" card whenever he could actually find one. It was what was written "inside" the card that made it truly meaningful, though. 

That's why Operation Write Home touches my heart. I love the possibility that one of my cards will be used to write a super-special love letter to a missed loved one...and it will (hopefully) arrive "on time". I kept them pretty simple so they would be easy to mail. If you have never checked out this site, I encourage you to. 'Tis the season of giving! Please remember those who give up SO much! 
Thanks for stopping by today! 
Have a great day, 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bright and Happy Congrats

Hello everyone and Happy Thursday to you! Time is certainly flying by this month...I wish a had a few more hours in the day, lately. *sigh* I am officially finished making holiday cards, though...phew! Now to get them all addressed and sent out, oh boy...

I created this bright and happy congrats card for a friend who just got some exciting news. Funny thing is, this card was not planned to look anything like it turned out. Don't you love when that happens? Haha! I knew as soon as I saw the "pennant-themed"sketch posted over at the Just Us Girls blog, I remembered the fun patterned paper I had sitting in my stash. Here is the awesome JUGS sketch:
I have never made little pennants before and I'm sure there is some fabulous technique to cutting them or punching them out, but I don't knew what it is. I just cut them by hand, so hopefully they are mostly even.  I initially wanted to spell out c-o-n-g-r-a-t-s but didn't have enough room for 8 pennants, so that's how "yippee" came into play. Still works, right?  Then after getting them all lined up I reached into the "chipboard drawer" (yes, I have a drawer filled with chipboard...) and guess what?  I didn't have chipboard letters that were small enough for the pennants. Ugh, now what? I decided to "kick it a little, old-school style" and dig out some of the alphabet stickers (yes, stickers) that I stockpiled in my early scrap-booking days. Aww yeah! :) 
To dress up the pennants, I tried border punches and they were just too overpowering so that's when I thought to bust out another "old school" supply...decorative scissors! Really! I have not used them in a long, long time but they actually did the trick. Ha! I added some embroidery floss bows with silver brads in the center to tack up the tiny banner and there ya have it. Sure I dusted off some "retro" supplies and It's not really how I envisioned it to come out in the beginning...but it is a happy, little card for the occasion! What do you think? Have you recently dug out any of those "forgotten supplies" yourself? :)
(Here is the inside of the card, too!)

I thought I would also share a recent photo of Emmitt Rowley von Bismark in a pose you can pretty much find him in, any given afternoon! What a mess, right? I think it goes without saying that he is fairly comfortable in his new home...

Have a happy day! :) 
Thanks for stopping by, 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Bring On the Pink

Ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt the regular "holiday programming" to bring you some L-O-V-E! (Read that in a Barry White tone...haha!) Yup, I am officially tapped out on Christmas card ideas...well, for today anyway. I needed a serious break from the holiday magic and decided to skip ahead a couple months to the next big holiday...Valentine's Day! Although, I DID look up a few other, lesser-known, holidays coming up, in January. Did you know:

1/5 is "Bean Day"
1/8 is "National Bubble Bath Day"
1/10 is "National Clean Off Your Desk Day"
1/14 is "Dress Up Your Pet Day"
1/16 is "Nothing Day" AND "Appreciate a Dragon Day"
1/22 is "Answer Your Cat's Question's Day" (Huh??)
1/23 is "National Pie Day" (mmmm!!)
1/31 is "Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day" :)

It'a amazing what you can find on the internet! Although, I did find a REALLY fun site recently, with lots of awesome, creative inspiration: Stamping 411. They do a new sketch every Saturday and I have been wanting to play along. Click on the link above to check it out. This sketch was the inspiration for my card: 
I think we all have our "go-to" colors when we are in a creative slump. For me, that color is...shocking, I know...Pink! I saw this sketch and a Pretty in Pink-themed Valentine's Day card came to mind. I pulled out some Sending Love (ret.) DSP (which I MUST love, I have 2 packs of it??!!) and got to work. I even punched the 2 hearts in the 1" square from those papers, because they were so sparkly and fun. I punched out one of the hearts from the Heart-to-Heart XL punch and the single heart from the Small Heart punch, then popped them up on the small square. How can you go wrong with a Pretty in Pink, Real Red and Very Vanilla color combo (and, of course, some pink bling)? That, plus a big bow, in my favorite satin ribbon...it just says HAPPY to me! :)

I inked up the A Happy Heart (ret.) stamp for the first time with Real Red Craft ink and clear embossing powder. You can't see it really well in the main photo so I kept snapping away until I got a shot of it, here: 
As always, my latest craze is to decorate the inside of my cards. Sure, it seems to add an extra stamp because of the added mailing weight, but it's fun for me to continue the theme of the card, all the way through. The sentiment is also from the A Happy Heart set (ret.) and I added just ONE more tiny punched heart, just for fun:
I hope you enjoy this one! I would love to hear what you think. I always appreciate the feedback and more importantly, the fact that you would take some time out of your day to leave it. Thank you SO very much for stopping by to visit! :) Until next time...

Happy Stamping! 

Peace, Hope and Love for the Holidays

Hi there, friends! Hope you are enjoying your Monday so far! I'm still trying to wrap up a few holiday cards to get out before the big day. I will get them done on time...repeating this mantra...I WILL! I saw the sketch at Tuesday Morning Sketches last week and I have to admit, I was a little stumped about how to make it work. Yesterday, I decided to use that perplexing sketch, along with the inspiration at a fun new site I just found, Paper Issues. The theme is "Holiday Hook-Up". There is some cool inspiration at their site, too, check it out.
I saw the Cherry Cobbler/Wild Wasabi color combo at LeAnne's blog yesterday and couldn't get it out of my head. For some reason, I have never grabbed Wild Wasabi for a holiday card...strange, right? I added some Brushed Gold card stock (whick looks more like Crumb Cake in the photos??) to the mix to sparkle-it-up a bit. Guess what? Are you sitting down? With this mix, I have officially embraced the red/green color combo for holiday cards. Yup, you read that right...it's a holiday miracle! Haha! :)
I tried to use Very Vanilla card stock for the stamped words but it didn't seem to really fit, so I ended up embossing them in gold on Wild Wasabi. The Medallion stamp is an all-time favorite and just seemed perfect with the sketch. This one was a little out of my comfort zone but I really like how it came together. I actually made it pretty quickly, too (although quickly for me means under 45 mins), when I noticed the deadline for the Tuesday Morning Sketches challenge. Thanks to Splitcoast Stampers, I was able to get it uploaded 5 minutes before the challenge closed...whew! 
For the inside, I used up some scraps, punched a snowflake, added one of the same jewels from the front and a sparkly seasonal sentiment sticker. (say THAT 5 times fast...) Peace, Hope and Love for the holidays...isn't that a really great wish? I hope you like it! :)

Stampin' Up! Supply List: 
Stamps: Medallion, Wonderful Words (ret.) and Wonderful Words 2 (ret.)
Ink: Versa-Mark
Paper: Wild Wasabi, Cherry Cobbler, Brushed Gold and Very Vanilla (inside) card stock
Accessories: Gold Embossing powder, Embossing Buddy, Gold Elastic cord (ret.), 1/4" Circle punch (inside) and Scallop Trim Border punch (inside)
Non-SU! Accessories: iridescent green jewels and snowflake punch

Thanks for visiting! 
Enjoy your day, 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Paper Player's Challenge #27-Make a Christmas Project

Happy Sunday and welcome to another fun challenge at The Paper Players! This week the theme is to make a Christmas (or holiday) card or project. Easy peasy, right? Please stop by The Paper Players blog and see what the fabulous design team has whipped up for your creative inspiration and join in the fun! I don't know about you but I am absolutely in the holiday spirit lately. Finishing up some last minute Christmas cards to send off to spread that holiday cheer. I couldn't wait to use my Jolly Old Saint Nick set from the Holiday Mini catty for this card. 

I decided to use a LOT of sparkle on this one...I just want someone to step in and remind me that EVERY time that I decide to play with glitter, to just STOP! Haha! It's SO messy, it gets everywhere, but it looks so....AWESOME! Took me two attempts to get this jolly, little guy perfect and it was completely worth it! 
I added some Dazzling Diamonds glitter to the trim on Santa's hat then decided that the rest of his hat needed some red chunky glitter to really pack a sparkly punch! I used a TON of glue because I wanted a 3-D effect. There is a tiny dab of Crystal Effects on his eye along with glitter glue around the scalloped circle. For the first time EVER, I was patient while everything dried. Well, we actually headed out to my husband's Christmas party earlier tonight so I had no choice...I snapped these pics right before we left. I had a FABULOUS time with my favorite guy tonight, thanks, honey! :)
You really can't see it in the main photo but I stamped the snowflakes from the set in Versa-Mark and embossed them in Iridescent Ice on the snowflake patterned DSP. (It is from the Candy Cane Specialty DSP, which is sadly sold out.) I also dragged the Versa-Mark pad over the Garden Green Scalloped borders and embossed them in Iridecscent Ice embossing powder for some added shimmer and shine.
The inside continued the theme from the front. I added some "Ho, Ho, Ho" sparkly trim that I picked up on a trip to a local craft store last weekend.
I distressd the edges of the main image and the sentiment with a mix of sponged Sahara Sand and Baja Breeze classic inks. I thought it gave an aged vintage look...maybe a little? I hope you like the result! :) Please come join us this week at The Paper Players with your Christmas project! 'Tis the season to CREATE! :)

Stampin' Up! Supply List:
Stamps: Jolly Old Saint Nick
Ink: Basic Balck classic ink, Baja Breeze and Sahara Sand classic ink and Real Red Classic ink (sentiment)
Paper: Blusinhg Bride, Real Red, Garden Green and Whisper White card stock...and 
Accessories: Med. Oval punch, Scalloped Oval punch, Jewels, Scalloped border punch, Iridescent Ice embossing powder, Crystal Effects, Dazzling Diamonds glitter, paper piercer
Non SU! Accessories: circle and scalloped circle dies, glitter glue, "Ho Ho Ho" glitter sticker (inside) and some fun markers....  

Thanks for visiting! 
Enjoy your day today! :)