Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Paper Players Blog Hop

Well, hello there! ;) Welcome to your first stop on the first-ever, Blog Hop at The Paper Players. *Woot Woot!* First of all, I want to say a big "Thank You" to Lesley and the fabulous gals at The Paper Players for inviting me to play along. These gals are truly awesome and I am SO happy to share in the fun. They all have some AMAZING projects to share with you today!!! 
My card to share is using a stamp set from the new Occasions Mini Catalog, Thanks for Caring. I think this set is just beautiful and offers so many options for the cards we all wish we didn't have to make. Whether it is a sympathy card or a card for someone going through a tough time, these are the cards that truly mean so much to the recipients. So often, a kind word from a friend offers so much comfort.  Yet, for some reason these are the cards that are SO challenging to create, well at least they are for me. I just don't want to add "too much" to the design to take away from the sentiment that is being shared. 
For this one, I decided to try something a little different with a Joy-Fold Card. (Click here for a tutorial on Splitcoast) I had a tough time with the colors and while sifting through my patterned paper library, something about the Blueberry Crisp DSP just felt like a good choice. Funny because Pacific Point is one of the colors I tend to shy away from.
One of my new favorite products in the new Occasions Mini are the *Rosettes*. They arrive to you in a Very Vanilla color but you can actually change them up to whatever your little heart desires. I had a little less then 1/4 of a bottle left of Vanilla Shimmer Smooch Spritz, so I decided to add a few drops of Pacific Point classic, re-inker to the bottle and *voila* I was able to instantly create some, sparkly flowers that perfectly coordinated with my project. (Ps: if you would like to place an order anytime 24/7, please CLICK HERE)
Thanks for stopping by! Ok, I have a few tidbits to share with you now. From here you mooooove on along to the super, fan-tab-u-lous, Ann Schach's blog (I'm kind of giddy that I'm her opening act, actually!!). 

BUT WAIT, before you run along to Ann's about a little BLOG CANDY to sweeten your day?? I am offering up to one *randomly-chosen* hopper, the following:
Yup, it's THE card I shared today and a brand spankin' new package of SU! Pearls. (The perfect accent for ANY occasion!) Also included in this prize package will be a one, two, ok, maybe a FEW sweet treats that may, or may not, be of a "chocolate nature". After all, what fun is blog candy without some REAL candy?? How do you win it, you ask? Well here is what you have to do (by 11:59pm PST on Friday 2/4/11) to be entered:

*1* Leave me a comment on this post. Easy-peasy, right? Share some bloggin' love! 

*2* Another entry if you play along with the "Anything Goes" Challenge over at The Paper Players site this week. Seriously, how easy is THAT? Just make something to share! YOU can DO that!! 

*Also, if you would like to become a new follower of my blog, you would really make my day...but it is not required to win. :)

Winners will be announced Sunday, February 6th, on The Paper Players blog (my winner will also be given a special "shout-out" here, on my blog). Will YOU be a winner? Stay tuned! 

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Hopping on to Ann's blog

**SU! Supply List: 
Stamps: Thanks for Caring
Ink: Not Quite Navy classic ink
Paper: Blueberry Crisp DSP, Pacific Point, Sahara Sand and Very Vanilla card stock
Accessories: Scallop Trim Boarder punch, 1" Circle punch, 1 1/4" Circle punch, 1 3/8" Circle punch, Color Spritzer Tool, Sponges, Crumb Cake marker, Roettes sprayed with Vanilla SMOOCH Spritz with a few drops of Pacific Point Classic ink, Kraft ribbon (ret.), Watercolor Pen, Dazzling Diamonds and Pearls. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Got a CASE of CAS Swap

Hello and happy *fabulous* Friday! Today I thought I would share two cards that I made for a swap on Splitcoast. Patty was our hostess for this swap and the theme was "Got a CASE of CAS". Here are the deets of the swap:

"CASE stands for 'copy and share everything' and all you need to do for this swap is to find a CAS ('clean and simple') card in the gallery and CASE it. The idea of casing a card generally means that you will use the main concept of the card and then change at least 2 things about it in creating your new card. This can mean changing the color of card stock, maybe use ribbon instead of brads, you can use a different image, or change the layout a bit, etc..."

My first card was a CASE of a card I saw HERE on Susan's blog, Susan's Day Off Creations. Funny thing is, I think I picked the only card from her blog that she did NOT post in her Splitcoast gallery. Oops! I have had the 2-Step Owl punch since it came out, but this was my first time to actually use it for a project. These little guys are SO stinkin' cute! I added some Crystal Effects to their eyes and to the heart on the wee dude in the middle to make him a little more "one of a kind".
My second card was a CASE of this card HERE from Paula on SCS. I completely over-complicated the flower element on the first 2 attempts...I had to keep reminding myself it was a clean and simple swap. I was making some crazy 3-D flowers that would never actually fit in the envelope to ship them out. I saved them for another project though. (*wink*) I have to admit, I had to resist the urge to add lots of layers to both cards but in the end, I was happy with how they came out. Hope you like them, and my attempt at "clean and simple"! Thanks for visiting today! :)
Card #1 SU! Supply List:
Stamps: One of a Kind
Ink: Rich Razzleberry classic ink
Paper: Cottage Wall DSP (ret), Orchid Opulence (ret.), Rich Razzleberry, Old Olive and Whisper White card stock
Accessories: Owl punch, Perfect Ploka Dots Embossing folder and Crystal Effects

Card #2 SU! Supply List:
Stamps: Whimsical Words
Ink: Wild Wasabi classic ink
Paper: Afternoon Tea DSP (ret.), Groovy Guava (ret.), Wild Wasabi, Chocolate Chip and Whisper White card stock
Accessories: Sizzix Flower Layers #3 (ret), Groovy Guava stitched ribbon (ret.), XL Oval punch, Scalloped Border punch, hemp twine and button (non SU!)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Criss Crossed Crazy Cat

Hello everyone! Yes, I am actually posting 2 days in a row...maybe I'm back on track again. :) This morning while sorting some things in my craft room, I came upon some scraps of patterned papers that I used for a Valentine's Day card last year (before my bloggin' days). I really loved how the card turned out. Problem was, I made it for a small swap with some friends and the ONE extra I made was abducted by that evil, little cat of mine: Benjamin Maxwell. He is fascinated with ribbon, it is a problem if I leave any within "paws-reach". He can completely destroy a card in less then 10 minutes. He has done it a couple of times. Look at the attitude in the photo I snapped this morning. Yes, he was just sitting like that (you can't really see it but his back foot is actually sticking up in the air).  
Enough about that bad kitty, let's get back to the card. After finding the paper scraps this morning, I remembered how much I liked that card and decided to try to re-create a new and improved one (based on the original)

I'm entering this card in 2 fun challenges this week: 

I originally saw the tutorial HERE on Splitcoast, for the Criss Cross card. I think it is a pretty cool that the design is like a card AND an envelope all in one. 
For the inside card, I used the I {Heart} Hearts stamp set and the Totally Tabs set (clear embossed with Chocolate Chip Craft ink). I also used temporary adhesive to adhere a die-cut oval as a "mask" while I sponged Chocolate Chip Classic ink around the oval shape. I also distressed every edge on the card with Chocolate Chip ink for a more vintage-look.
On the outside, I used the Holiday Best set (ret.) for the sentiment. That lace trim is one of my new favorite things and you just can't ever have enough pearls, can you? 
Thanks for stopping by and letting me share a card that I never had a chance to the first time around. Haha! I actually like the new and improved version SO much better, so I guess some things...and some kitties...happen for a reason.

Have a great day! :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday Morning Valentine

Hello and Happy *terrific* Tuesday! Hope you are enjoying your day out there. Well, I realized today that I am slowly on track to earning the "Worst Blogger EVER" award because I have been horrible about keeping up since the holiday season. Nope. No way. Can't let that happen. No more slacking!:) 

This morning I saw this week's sketch had posted over at Tuesday Morning Sketch Challenges and was immediately inspired to get my craftin' groove on! 
I have had a bunch of new Stampin' Up! goodies just sitting on my desk for entirely too long now, including this pretty DSP. It's called Love and even though it isn't in the catalog, you can stil order it (item #124156). I kept the card pretty clean and simple, because I think it lets all of the cool elements of the sketch stand out. Sometimes simple is a good thing, right?

I did run the Real Red strip through the paper crimper for some added texture. Ok, is it just me or does using the paper crimper for anything immediately make you want to take a trip to Starbucks? The texture reminds me of the little sleeves they add to the cups. Just me? Hmmm, maybe I am just looking for an excuse to get a mocha today. I also added some glitter to the heart in the sentiment (from A Happy Heart, ret.) then covered the little circle in Crystal Effects for some shine. 
Here is the inside of the card, too:

Thanks for stopping by today! :)

Stampin' Up! Supply List: 
Stamps: A Happy Heart (front and inside sentiment) and Filled With Love (inside image)
Paper: Love DSP, Whisper White, Real Red and Pretty in Pink card stock
Ink: Real Red classic ink
Accessories: Paper Crimper, 1 1/4" Circle punch, 1 3/8" Circle punch, Scalloped Circle punch, Scalloped Border punch, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, Crystal Effects and Jewels
Non-SU! Accessories: ribbon


It's that time of year again! 
Time to earn FREE stamps, through Sale-A-Bration at Stampin' Up! 

Sale-A-Bration lasts from January 25 thru March 31, 2011! 

Contact me today to place an order 
just CLICK HERE to go directly to my website to shop anytime, 24/7! 

Have a great day! 
Anne Marie

Monday, January 24, 2011

Who's Ready to Hop?

Greetings, everyone! I thought I would post a little "sneek peek" today with some fun, hoppin' news! No, no, not a "Bunny Hop" (...eek, I'm not even finished with my Valentine's Day cards yet!) but rather a BLOG HOP!!  
Be sure to stop by The Paper Players blog this coming Sunday to join in the fun! 

There will be LOTS of fabulous inspiration from the *New* Occasions Mini catalog (click the link on my side-bar to see more) and there MAY be some delicious blog candy involved, too. Shhh...that's all I'm going to say for now! You have to come visit Sunday for the rest of the details! I was really, REALLY excited to be invited along to share a new project for this hop. I'm 100% certain that the lovely ladies at The Paper Players are cooking up some amazing new creations, too. So be sure to come visit on Sunday and see what's hoppin'! :)

Thanks for stopping by! 
Enjoy your day, 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Crock-Pot Swap

Hey there, bloggin' friends! No, I didn't take another vacation. Far from it, actually. I wish I could take another vacation to escape the craziness that has been going on here lately...busy, busy! Today, I wanted to share another recipe card I made for a swap at Splitcoast Stampers. The theme for this swap was to share a recipe to make in your Crock-Pot. I don't know about you, but I LOVE my Crock-Pot! There is something so fabulous about throwing a bunch of ingredients into it in the morning, then *POOF* dinner is magically ready 8 to 10 hours later. No fuss, no mess. :)

Well, enough about being in awe of the fantastical powers of the Crock-Pot. I decided to share a recipe for Swiss Chicken. I received this recipe a few years ago on a scrapbooking website and it has been a favorite every since. Although I make a few tweaks to make it a wee bit on the heathier side. You know, like using the "Healthy Request" soup, skim milk, low-sodium stuffing mix and that butter that really isn't butter (...but you just can't believe it). Haha! We don't usually go fat-free on the cheese though...fat-free cheese just tastes rubbery and strange to me. Why is that?? Here is a close up of the recipe, if you'd like to give it a try:
Thanks for stopping by today! I apprecate that you took the time to visit. :) Hope you are enjoying your week, so far. I will be back real soon...

Have a HAPPY day! :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

The other day I was bestowed an awesome bloggin' award from the fabulous Nance Lempinen-Leedy. I KNOW, I was pretty excited, too. Nance is not only one of the most amazingly, talented stampers out there but she is super-sweet, too. Her positive energy is absolutely over-flowing! Thanks so much Nance, you made my day! 

The rules of this award are simple:

1. Thank the person who gave it to you and link to their blog (done) 
2. Share 8 things about yourself
3. Share the award with 8 other "Stylish Bloggers" and share the bloggin' love.

Hmmmm, so 8 things about me, huh? Here goes...

1. We have over 20 clocks in our house, yet I'm always running about 5 minutes late.   
2. I am completely addicted to Reese's Peanut Butter ANYTHING! My favorites are the holiday themed Reese's, like the pumpkins, trees, Easter eggs, snowmen...ugh, I'm hungry just thinking about them!
3. I love NBA basketball, especially my beloved Spurs. As a native New Yorker, I will always root for the Knicks, though. Maybe one day they will have a come-back...maybe?? ;)
4. I have naturally curly hair, but I straighten it every day. 
5. I love to swim, but only in a pool. Swimming in fresh water kind of creeps me out, especially the ocean. I was knocked under by a wave once, while on vacation in Florida. I don't think I have ever recovered from the experience. 
6. I am a huge fan of The Dave Matthews Band...HUGE! I have seen them in concert too many times to count and have been lucky enough to meet them twice. My friend Melanie is probably the only person who comes to mind that is a bigger fan. I had to give her the shout-out or she would probably come after me. :)
7. My favorite drink at Starbucks is a *grande,soy,white chocolate mocha, no whip cream, extra hot, with one pump of sugar-free hazelnut syrup*...yup, I'm one of those people you get stuck behind in line, haha!  
8. The strangest pet I have ever had was an iguana. Well, technically it was my husband's iguana, while we were dating/engaged but, I took care of him alot while Dave was deployed. That lizard was a mean little bugger, I don't miss him. 

Now, 8 fabulous bloggers to share this award with: 

(If you have already received the award, please enjoy it all over again!)
1. Ruth from Stamp Off, Eh! 
2. Hannah from Sparkly Pink Star
3. Amy from Stamp-N-Paradise
4. Gina from Makings and Musings
5. Andrea from Ink Paper Princess
6. Kim from Stamping for LIFE! 
7. Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Craft Room
8. ...and (the notorious) TEE from Green Isles Crafts

Stop by and check out the amazing work of these Stylish Bloggers. You will be inspired by their creativity, I know I am! :)

Thanks for visiting today! 
Be happy, 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Love Is In the Air

Hellooo stampin' friends! Today I decided it was time to start on some Valentine's Day cards to ensure they (hopefully) go out on time. We will NOT discuss my "belated Christmas card situation" in today's post...yikes, I am still trying to catch up sending out holiday cards...ok, now they have been deemed New Year's cards. Grrr! Better late then never, right?

For today's card, I used this week's sketch from Mojo Monday, for the layout. I actually really like this layout, it is officially going into the "favorites file"...which is really just a little notebook where I attempt to recreate the sketch, in my own drawings (which some would say resemble hieroglyphics). It's just as awesome as it sounds...well, only if you can read hieroglyphics.  ;)
I also created this card, using the theme from The Paper Players this week: Valentine's Day! (*waving a BIG hello to the fabulous Paper Player gals*) I decided to bust out my all-time favorite (ret.) DSP, Sending Love. Further proof that I am committed to my New Year's goals of using up the supplies in my craft room. :)
When it came time to decide on the main image, I just kept stamping and punching until I was content with the result. It's a little "sentiment sandwich" using the heat-embossed sentiment from the With All My Heart set and fancy oval frame from the (retired, SAB) Vintage Labels set. Neither have been inked up since they arrived in my home. :) I have listed all of the items used to create the card at the end of the post, if you have questions about what I used. The little hearts were also embossed with Iridescent Ice for some sparkly fun. 
To round it out, here is the decorated inside of the card, ready to share some Valentine's Day love: 
SU! Supply List: 
Stamps: With All My Heart (front sentiment), Vintage Labels (retired SAB set, on front oval punch) and A Happy Heart (inside sentiment)
Inks: Chocolate Chip Craft ink and Pretty in Pink Classic ink
Papers: Pretty in Pink, Chocolate Chip and Very Vanilla card stock and Sending Love DSP (ret.)
Accessories: Clear Embossing powder, Iridescent Ice embossing powder, Modern Label Punch, 2 x 1 3/8" XL Oval punch, Decorative Label Punch, Heart-to-Heart XL punch, Pretty in Pink 5/8" Satin ribbon, pearls
Non-SU! accessories: border punch (inside of card)

Please, drop me a comment and let me know what you think! Can you believe that Valentine's Day is a little more then a month away? Where does the time go? Hope you are having a great week and thanks for visiting today. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Spicy Punched Shrimp

Hello friends! Hope you are having a great start to your week! I wanted to share some recipe cards from a swap I am participating in, over at Splitcoast Stampers. Thanks to Kari for being an awesome host. The focus was on good ol' Southern / Cajun comfort food. YUM! I shared a favorite in our house: Crockpot Jambalaya. I found some super-cute cooking paper while I was out and about last week, but was struggling to find the PERFECT embellishment for the card. 

I thought a shrimp would be fun but how in the world do you create a shrimp accent? Hmmm...not really something you need every day, is it? About a half hour of searching on the web, I found an awesome tutorial for the cutest little bugger, EVER, from Kathleen Hopperstad's blog, My Happy Stampin' Place. She is a punch genius! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful idea, Kathleen!  Click ---> HERE <--- to see her fabulous tutorial on how to put this little guy together. 
Below are the punches I used to create my shrimp, punched out of Regal Rose card stock. Kathleen uses the SU! Snowflake Punch for his "tail", but I don't own that punch. I opted to use the (ret.) Horizontal Slot Punch...and a LOT of glue, to achieve a similar effect. I also used a Sponge Dauber with Real Red ink, to add that "just cooked look". Haha! 
Here is a shot of the whole "shrimp-tastic" gang, ready to be popped in the mail and sent to their new homes, with fellow swappers:
If you are interested in trying out this yummy, spicy Jambalaya, here is a close up of the recipe: (If you have any tips or additions to the recipe, please let me know, I'd love to try them out.)  
Thanks for stopping by today! Please drop me a comment and let me know what you think...about this project, your favorite recipe, or anything else that is on your mind. I love hearing from you! Off to enjoy the rest of this chilly and rainy day here in Texas. Jambalaya would be perfect today, actually. Hmmmm...

Have a HAPPY day, 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Kitty Mojo

Howdy blogging friends and Happy New Year to you! It has been quite a while since I have had a project to post. Holy creative hiatus, Batman! We are back from our holiday visit to New York and let me tell you, we had an AMAZING time with family and friends. As with any vacation, there is always so much to catch up on when you return home, so that has been keeping me uber busy this week. (Oh, and my attention-deprived kitty, Benjamin, has finally decided to forgive us for not bringing him along...ugh, that cat!) Today, I decided it was finally time to ink up my fingers for the first time in 2011, with a birthday card for a feline-lovin' friend. I used this week's fabulous Mojo Monday sketch for some much-needed inspiration:
My mom sent me this adorable, little stamp set last month and I have itching to try it out. One of my New Year's Resolutions, ok...GOALS (since I never really stick to those pesky resolutions anyway) is to buy less and use more of what I have stockpiled in my craft room. I just dug through a few drawers and found a fun mix of papers and accessories to go with the stamp set. I also added some Crystal Effects to the eyes and the tiny heart on the collar of the kitty, for some added interest. 
Below is the inside of the card, with the cutest sentiment EVER!! Eeek! Gotta love some "Hugs and Kitties"! 
That's all for today! I have oodles and oodles of blog visits to catch up on, so get ready...I'm coming to visit YOU. Thanks for stopping by today, I'm so excited to be back in creative action again and can't wait to catch up with my bloggin' buddies! I hope everyone out there had a wonderful holiday season and a great start to the new year. Cheers! 

Have a HAPPY day! :)