Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sometimes, out of the blue.............

something happens that touches you deeply that you didn't expect.  Today was like that.  Mel & I decided to go to Chili's for lunch.  Nothing majorly odd or special about that.  Sat in our booth.  Had some conversation both serious and silly.  Still pretty well within the normal range.

And then the 3 of them walked in.  

He had a bright pink reusable shopping bag with something very square in it.  With Christmas just passed, I figured it was a final holiday gift.  I was curious what the little girl was getting and if she'd like it.  He started to slide the bag down.  I expected to see bright paper and maybe some ribbons.

It was dark.  
A wooden box.  
And I heard him tell her he'd made it.  It had taken him two weeks. 

ahaaaa.  A jewelery box for his granddaughter.

But it wasn't.
it was so much more

He lovingly pulled items out to show her.  Explaining about each one to her.
 A bronze shoe.  A small bible.  Several other mementos.
And photos.
Photos of the original owners of these small treasures that were priceless but had no real value.
He told her about each item.  About the person, many obviously this little girl had never, would never meet, that had contributed them to this treasure box.  And their connection to her.

She listened attentively. 
And lovingly helped him return each item to it's place in the treasure box.

I feel so very privileged to have witnessed the sharing of someone's history with them.  To hear what I could, and have Mel tell me what he saw and heard since he was facing them.  To know that Mel was as affected by the experience as I was.

And I choose to believe the small smile I exchanged with this grandfather as we left was an acknowledgment of how special and precious the moment was.  

Christmas cards 2010

Posting about the next set of cards for the Copic Club reminded me that I hadn't posted the Christmas cards I created for us and for some of my favorite people this year.  So I'm correcting that now.  :)

Several months ago while in Crop Girls I saw amazing cards created by Stacey Stevenson that used clear card bases.  And I knew immediately that I wanted clear card bases for our cards this years.  You'd think that after that it would be easy but no such luck.  I finally decided to forgo patterned paper and stamp my design.  Add a gorgeous Spellbinders Lacey Square and viola!  There were a couple variations on the theme with the stamped design changing between these 2 and one that featured the more traditional wreath from Papertrey Ink's Wreath For All Seasons.  Mel & I shared stamping duties on this which was kinda cool.  When you opened it up there was a family photo that said The Koenigs 2010.

I was also fortunate enough to be asked to create Christmas cards for my little sister, her hubby and their dog pound.  Those were pretty interesting as the only directions she gave me were no red & green and it needed to include the dogs.  I let it all percolate a little bit and this is what I came up with.   Check out what she did with the pictures inside.  Pretty cool!


I also created cards for my ex-step mom - long story.  She and her 2nd husband are some of the most amazing people I know.  I'm so lucky to have them in my life.  She had a great photo of the two of them sailing on the Margaret Todd on a vacation in Bar Harbor this past year.  She knew that was the photo they'd be using for their cards this year.  With a sailing theme & her chosen text in mind, this is what I came up with for them. The knots on the front are love knots.  These 2 are still as in love as when they first got together almost 30 years ago.  That's pretty cool. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside and a few other things

Ok. Ok. Ok.  I get it.  This is revenge for all of my glee and gloating about the great weather in AZ over the holiday last week.  After an amazing Christmas day at the football game...........................>
It's nothing but grey (perhaps a C3 in Copic speak) and cold and rainy today.  Definitely a day to go back to bed and pull the covers over your head!  You can have your yucky weather back.  And I won't gloat so much about wearing shorts and flip flops on Dec 25.  At least until next year.  :)

I'm very happy to have gotten my cards for The Copic Club at The Creative Quest done and in the store early.  Here are pics of them.  All the details can be found on the Class Projects page.

Our Christmas cards this year were created on 6x6 transparent cards - a big hit with the family.  I had some of the card bases left and used one for this.   The colors are fairly light and the scanner isn't helping them stand out much but hopefully you can get the idea.  I'll post the Christmas cards I did this year in a bit.  (Might have been a good idea to do that BEFORE the holiday huh??!)

This one was pretty fun too.  I got some awesome canvas from SAS a while back to create a banner with (that project is still percolating but it should come to life soon).  I used some of it to stamp and color on.  The Prima Fairy Flora collection was perfect to pair it with!

One last note for today.  I recently purchased the Dots & Dashes alphabet that Quickutz/Lifestyle Crafts put out as a limited edition.  While I do consider myself a Spellbinders girl, they don't do alphabets which I still like to collect.  I don't think I'm likely to use the Dashes half of this set and am offering it up for sale.  Will leave it listed here for a day or two before posting on various boards or Craig's List.  You'll get everything that came in the box, except the Dots alpha, as pictured.  I paid $55.84 for them.  Willing to sell for $30 and will include shipping to you.  You can these in pretty much any manual machine. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

PTI Dec Blog Hop

Nothin' but scraps for this challenge!  Details can be found here.   I really enjoy reusing and recycling "trash" in my creativity so this was a really fun challenge for me.  Especially since I'd gotten some awesome tissue paper in several gifts.  And as usual, when I'm on a roll I can't stop with just one.  Here is a trio of cards created with nothin' but scraps from Christmas day and my desktop.

This was the first one I played with.  Just love the polka dot wrapping paper!  Some tissue scrunched and ruffled for a border and a mat stack die cut (& matted) with a sweet sentiment.

Supplies: Cardstock & ink- TPC Studios, PTI stamps - Love Lives Here, die - Mat Stack 2

This is the second card I created.  I used lots of PTI goodies on it.  And despite the imperfect background stamping I think it's my favorite.

I layered 2 shades of pink tissue paper (courtesy of Victoria's Secret) and mixed in white & die cut 3 different butterflies from the layers.  A little stitching up the middle & some long threads for antenna & the butterfly was done.

Here's more of a side view to see more of the dimension from just layers of simple tissue paper.

Supplies: Cardstock & ink - TPC Studios, PTI supplies: stamps - TT: Valentines, Framed, Love Lives Here, Background Basics: Sheet Music; dies - Love Lives Here butterfly, SS: Butterfly, butterfly, spiral notebook page

And how could I not totally fall in love with this striped tissue paper??  It was stuffed into a beautiful, bright red wine bottle bag with pretty red handles.  That's one of the handles thru the middle.  :)  All that I needed to add was a quick, cute stamped image.  I found that one of the dotted Vintage Labels fits perfectly in the TT: Valentines opening. 

Supplies: PTI Stamps - BB: Sheet Music, TT: Valentines, Mat Stack 2 Collection, Vintage Labels  Cardstock & ink - TPC Studios die - Spellbinders Scalloped Circle

Sunday, December 19, 2010

What a weekend!! and it's not even Christmas yet

Sometimes it feels like I'm on full throttle and when I finally get to slow down I almost don't know what to do with myself.  This weekend has been a lot like that.

Thursday was filled with visits to Scrapbook Barn, Stamp Works & Paper Vineyard.  And within 15 minutes of getting home we were inundated with wrestlers.  I'm so happy to be able to have them stay the nights before and during the tournaments again.  And very happy that Bret is helping coach and wrestle with them.  Here's a shot of some of them playing a game with Tricia.  Thankfully they were all ready for sleep early since I had to get them up at 6:15! 

Friday had me visiting Crop Girls and trying out the new Culver's near the house with Mel.  Mel had a gig at Tailgaters so I was on my own until 10:30 when the wrestlers and coaches got here.  Spaghetti for coaches and fruit, yogurt and sandwich stuff for the wrestlers.  Mel was surprised to find us all still up when he got home.  I was delighted to overhear him chatting with one of them.  He usually hangs back from them so it was pretty neat.  I think he actually enjoyed having them this time.  :)

Saturday was spent at The Creative Quest and their Event to Die for.  I got to introduce several ladies to the benefits of the Grand Calibur.  While I was there I did some playing around myself.  Hello Shrinky Dink!!!  That stuff is super cool!  Of course that means some came home with me.  I'm (not so) patiently waiting for my newest PTI order(s) to show up so I can complete my shrinky dink project.  I'll be creating our Christmas ornament this year out of it.  Hoping it turns out.  Saturday was also the last 2SGNO for 2010.  With the holidays on top of us most ladies weren't able to come.  It was a nice chance for Julie and I to chat for awhile before Leann joined us.  Sometimes the best nights are the quiet ones.

Sunday started with some coloring.  I had an idea that combined Kraftin' Kimmie's Raychel and PTI's TT: Christmas.  And this time I actually made a card out of my colored image.  After all is said and done, I'm fairly pleased with it.  I airbrushed G24 around the image since I knew it was going to be a Christmas card.  After mounting it on this BasicGrey paper I wish I would have airbrushed the BG10 around it that I used to shadow around her.  That just means I'll have to color another one!  Aawww, to bad huh??!  A few other details to note: I die cut the image with my largest Spellbinders Label 8 die.  I wanted the sentiment to center in the side peak which would have cut off the end of her hair.  Since it's more interesting and dynamic when a part of the image "breaks the plane" I carefully cut around that portion of the image and slid the die over it.  That kept it intact but cut and embossed the label shape.  I added the sentiment by printing it on regular paper and moving it around and reprinting until I got it spaced how I wanted it.  Then I sent the sheet with the colored image thru.  Super easy!  A little stitching and a red twill bow with a tiny gold safety pin and it was done. I wonder if Mel will remember it if I give it to him?  :p

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's all mine!

Don't you love it when you unexpectedly make a fabulous find?  Driving home from class yesterday morning I had one of those hold everything kind of moments.  Doing nothing more than being happy about class and thinking about all the stuff to do to prep for the UFC party that evening, I saw it. 

And drove past it.  

And then got an idea.  

And made an illegal u-turn at the next light.  Waiting for the light to turn green just about killed me.  Because now that I wanted it, surely someone else was going to want it too and get there before me! 

Pull over at the bus stop, so what if there really wasn't anywhere to pull over? 
Just got as close to the curb as I could and put on the hazard lights. 
Run around the car to pick it up and start shoving.  And I do mean shoving!! to get it into the back seat. 

Slam the door I take off for home.  Huge smile plastered all over my face.  I'm sure the motorists and pedestrians I passed must have thought I was simple, suspicious or just plain weird.  But I couldn't help it.  I was just so darn HAPPY! 

The cause of such joy?
This beautiful, bright red, small sized shopping cart will be PERFECT for holding everything for current big projects.  I'll be able to pull it all close to me or push it out of the way depending on what I'm doing.  Not only that, but it'll be so much nicer to bring things back and forth between the extra bedroom and office.  And it works like a charm, I've already tried it out.  :) 

And if you noticed the Fancy Pants box in the basket, that's my next big project to begin working on.  I'm so very, very excited about it.  It'll be personal, it'll be creative and it'll be an amazing class and experience for everyone that participates.

The UFC party was fantastic.  Lots of food, lots of awesome people, good fights and the main attraction went all 5 rounds.  Much better than the 21 seconds at the last UFC party.

Today is about party food leftovers, football & Christmas card production.  Looks like I'm on my own for that.  *sigh*  But it's ok.  I just look over at my little red cart and smile.  Now to find a name for her..........

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December Copic Club at Quest

I was delighted when I saw this new stamp set from Our Craft Lounge called Sending Love.  You'll be among the first to see and color this set on Saturday morning!  Our technique is watercoloring with your markers.  Very cool and I'm pretty sure you can only do it with Copics because of their unique properties.

Full details listed in the Class Projects tab. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

First attempt........

Got home from the Holiday Boutique this afternoon about 1.  Mel was so awesome and had lunch waiting.  I was starving and BLT's minus the T with mustard was perfect.  Then an attempt to nap.  Up, cleared the desk (didn't put anything away - that would take waaaay to much time!  I just shifted it to the side.) and coloring.  Just wanting to relax after the last few weeks and ahead of classes the next two days.  So I got a glass of cold white wine, put on my oh so soft! new red scarf - picked up at the boutique today - and stamped some images to color.  This is my first attempt at monochromatic coloring.  I'm actually kind of pleased with the results.  I can see where I can improve but for a first time, it ain't as bad as it could have been.
This is one of my favorite images from The Greeting Farm - Cheeky Rockabilly.  I'm happier with the gray monochromatic coloring.  I have more Earth colors but the E colors don't follow the same kind of rules as the rest of the colors so they can be a little trickier to blend.  I can see some areas that I'd like to try some different shades in on the left image.   I may actually have to see about die cutting these and creating a card with them.  What do you think?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Taking a break.....

from tying tiny twine bows for a minute.  My eyes are crossing and my fingers are fumbling so it's time to take a break.  :)  It's been a busy and productive weekend.  Still don't have as much done as I'd like but I wasn't going to give up my nap today.  Not with as little sleep as I've gotten lately!

I wanted to post some of my favorite cards from the creative chaos, frenzy and disaster area that my office has become.  These cards were shamelessly CASE'd from 3 of my favorite Papertrey Ink designers - Betsy Veldman, Michelle Wooderson & Melissa Phillips.  I've linked their creations from the PTI Gallery to their names - if you're asked to login feel free to use my info to do so Krista/scrappy - you don't want to miss their cards.  I'd love to hear what you think about my versions of their beautiful cards.

Here's my version of Betsy's card.  I loved the colors and was drawn to the star on it.  Betsy's card has a beautiful stamped background.  With only 3 weeks to prepare for the Holiday Boutique I didn't have enough time to order the PTI stamp set she used - Silent Night.  (This set was also used for Michelle & Melissa's cards too.)  One thing I like about my version is that I was able to use a non-Christmas paper for the background but still get a Christmas feel from it.  And I LOVE being able to create the open star shape with my Spellbinders dies.  Crafty Tip: Using the simple and common sewing pin is a fast & economical way to embellish.  To make sure no one will get poked by the pins, cut the pointy ends off AFTER putting them thru your ribbon - this will allow them to slide thru the ribbon cleanly and easily.

When I saw Michelle's card I just fell in love.  Simple but beautiful.  And a glittery snowflake - how can you not love that??  I pulled out the Sizzix snowflake dies that have gathered dust for so long in my room, some fine, white, iridescent glitter (now pretty much on EVERYTHING in my office) and went looking thru my stamp sets.  The Elegant Flourishes set from Autumn Leaves that's been forgotten about gave me the mix of thick and thin flourshes and I used a small snowflake from TPC's Snowflake set in place of stars.

Melissa's card, as usual, was elegant and had such pretty details.  This one shows how good design still works when you change almost everything out on it.  Again, without the stamp set I wasn't able to create a stamped background.  This gorgeous paper from My Mind's Eye stood in beautifully.  And I opted to use another of the images cut from the Graphic 45 paper instead of a stamped image.  I really like that strip of kraft cardstock that the image rests on and the ribbon covers.  It was literally a scrap cut off from a previous project.

 And one more Old Fashioned Christmas card.  This one tickled me because I the purple paper I used to mat the Graphic 45 image on has lived at my house since sometime in 2002.  No kidding!  It was from an old Club Scrap kit that had an architectural theme.  How cool does that little bit of embossing look peeking out from around the Santa image??!!  You'd never know it was a non- holiday paper!  And it picks up the little bit of purple that is in the image's frame.   I added a few embellishments to the image - some Liquid Applique heat set to give it a puffy appearance, some rhinestones on the large holly and covered the whole thing with Liquid Laminate to give it a glossy look and finally some twine and a button.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Papertrey Playhouse Challenge #5 - Just in CASE

This challenge had me stumped.  I had to CASE, or copy, the featured card.  CASE actually stands for something but my brain is blank right now.  :)  The design of the card is simple, straight forward and so pretty.  But I was stumped as I didn't have any PTI flower images.  So I let it percolate in the back of my brain.  And as is usually the case something came bubbling up when I least expected it.

I'm delighted by the final result.  I printed the background text on the computer, lined my card up over the text on the printer paper and put it back thru.  Viola! Background text that coordinates with my theme.  Then I stamped the candy cane image from TT: Christmas on top of it, colored the stripes on them with red Spica.  The focal image is from the Friendship Jar Holiday Fillers Set colored in with R46, shaded with R39 and the white colored with the clear Spica.  Stitched the image to some red scrap paper laying on my desk and tied a red satin bow.  One of my favorite things to do with bows is to add a safety pin to it.  Putting the safety pin thru the bow gave me a perfect opportunity to use the Friendship Jar Fall Filler label image with the matching jar label die and stamp a sentiment from the Holiday Filler set.

While my finished product doesn't include the beautiful flower images or even the soft ink distressing I think it does show that good design is good design no matter what.  You can change out colors, images and even elements (my pin & label rather than the original button) and you'll still have a good result.

And now that I've played a little today, I'm okay with getting some work done.  *sigh*  First more dishes from yesterday - one thing about having men over vs. women over for a dinner is that they don't do the dishes for you! and then I'll be trying to crank out more stuff for the Holiday Boutique.  Hoping to get a calendar or two done.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Papertrey Ink Blog Hop

PTI challenged everyone to create gift tags.  How'd Nicole know this was right up my alley lately??  I've been creating gift tags to sell at the Holiday Boutique.  Here are a few pictures of them.  I used a wide variety of supplies for these and really just had fun with them.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.  May your day be wonderful.

Supply List: Stamps -PTI Tiny Treats: Christmas, Friendship Jar Holiday Fillers, Autumn Leaves 'Tis the Season, Heidi Grace Christmas, KI Memories Noel Ornaments, Copics, Ink - Tsukineko & TPC, Crayola glitter glue, Papers - Fancy Pants, TPC, KI Memories, Kaisercraft, Sonburn, WorldWin, buttons - various unkn, white tags - American Tag, Dies - PTI & Spellbinders

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Old Fashioned Cards & some Crafty Tips

Sharing a couple of the cards I've created the last few days.  Still busy working away creating items for the upcoming Holiday Boutique.  I have so many ideas for things I want to do but am afraid that there isn't going to be time.  Someone stockpile the Mountain Dew!  I may need to pull a few all nighters!

Crafty Tips:
- If you need to make a number of cards but need to keep cost down, look for paper with multiple images in boxes like this one from Graphic 45.  There are 10 different images I can cut out and use to create cards with.
- Simple additions to these images, like rhinestones, Stickles or fluff, can up the wow factor quickly & easily.
- To really highlight the "olden" & shappby feel ink your image up and or distress the edges of it.
- If you'll be hand delivering your cards, don't be afraid of dimension!  And don't worry about stuffing it into an envelope either.  Create a matching paper bag to hold your card.  Check out these from one of my favorite crafty people, Michelle Wooderson.
- Just as you can alter the color of your paper, don't forget about altering the color of your embellishments!  The button on my Proclamation card was bright white.  I liked the style but the color just wasn't going to work for me.  Enter my Copics and airbrushing!  You don't have to have those items to recolor your embellishments - consider using alcohol inks, paint markers, acrylic paint or even fingernail polish!
- It's difficult to tell from the scan but this --> Santa has been given a glossy coating and had a clear glitter sprinkled over him.  Two little details that add big wow.

I've got a bunch more partially started designs sitting here beside me waiting to be completed.  I'll share them once they're done.

Lastly, I wanted to share what the house looked like at this month's 2nd Saturday Girls Night Out.  The "Girls" were completely outnumbered!  Mel ordered the UFC fight and told Bret to invite a few friends.  This picture was taken when I could still easily get into the living room.  :)  In the end there were over 20 people packed into the room.  Irony??  The big fight everyone wanted to see, lasted all of 21 seconds.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Crafting my Life Away.....

There's another song reference there.  Can anyone guess it?

I've been a busy little bee the last few days.  Running, or should that be flying?, hither, thither & yon and crafting.  I just wanted to pop on and share one of the things I've created lately just because I really liked it.  :) 

This one was actually so simple but detailed.  Very easy to mass produce - which I'm sure I will.  I like the non-traditional colors that I ended up with purely by accident.  I'm betting this would be sweet in the typical color scheme too.  I'll have to try it and see!

A couple of simple stamped images, 3 rhinestones, Silver Spica pen and some airbrushing with the brush end of my marker (hands down my favorite look) and the main image was done.  Mat, sew and viola!

Supplies: Papertrey Ink - stamps: Friendship Jar Holiday Fillers, Framed, eyelet lace border die, Spellbinders snowflake die, Core'dinations Rivulet Vintage paper, TPC Studios pink shimmer paper & rhinestones, ribbon & safety pin

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Papertrey Playhouse Challenge #4

Over at the Playhouse we were challenged to create a card with  no layers.  Yikes!  This one has actually been the toughest challenge yet for me.  I don't consider myself a stamper - though I was told yesterday I can no longer say that - so not being able to lean on my patterned papers, stitching and cardstock was daunting!

I've been on a kraft cardstock kick lately and seeing as how I buy new markers every chance I get, I wanted to do something with my Copics too.  So, no layers, kraft card base and Copics...........

This is what I came up with.  Not totally in love but I see some potential for building from.  And since I didn't like the first attempt, I had to try two more times.  :)  I'm thinking of adding ribbon or twine to these and then I'll like them much better.  Wasn't quite sure if the ribbon would count as a layer so I left it off for the challenge.

Supplies: ink - TPC Studios, Tsukineko, Copic markers, all stamps Papertrey Ink - Vintage Labels - new to me & I LOVE them!, Friendship Jar Fillers, Tiny Treats: Christmas, Wreath For all Seasons, Home Made

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Been a long time.........

Points to the first person that knows the musical reference in my title.  :)

I certainly haven't meant to be away from the blog for a week but life got in the way of talking with all of my imaginary friends.  Doncha hate it when that happens??!!

I wanted to post the cards for this weekends Copic Club class at The Creative Quest.  If you're still interested after that I'll share some of what's kept me away from the computer.

I just loved this image from My Favorite Things stamps and knew it was perfect for this month's colors and technique.  (You can find all of that info posted under the Class Projects tab). 

The next card that I created for class is this one featuring the Shake It! cards and stamps from Impression Obsession.  I LOVE these Shake It! cards and will be doing lots more of them I'm sure.  And because these are so thin, there won't be any extra postage!  Woo Hoo!

As for what's kept me away from my computer, I've been a busy girl!  I was fortunate enough to be invited to participate in a craft fair last weekend by my friend Julie.  As so often happens, it wasn't the event but the connections you make while you're there that make them worthwhile.  Julie & I met Holly Hunt, the Chief Leaf at Fleur de Teas.  Holly has a totally adorable tea shop at 16th Street & Bethany Home and asked both of us to bring our cards and crafts to her for consignment.  I've been wanting to do this for a long time and just haven't made it a priority.  Sometimes life comes along and kicks you in the behind!   I'll be taking advantage of this opportunity for sure!  So if you're in the area, heck even if you aren't!, stop in to see Holly, sip some tea and browse around.

I've also been busy creating and teaching the Peace Banner class.  I have to say I was amazed and beyond delighted with the creative changes students made to their banners in class.  That is one of my very favorite things about teaching.  Seeing where someone takes the project from my starting point.  Hope to be able to share pics when I get them.

I've also been brainstorming an album concept to turn into a class in the new year.  I'm beyond excited about it and hope others will be too.  It will feature this Artist Edition Notebook from Fancy Pants.  I fell in love with all of the papers in this notebook but was so sad to find out that the only way to get them was in this spiral bound form.  What's a creative girl to do??  Well, for starters, it'll be taken apart, reorganized and then turned into an album that features a TON of journaling - those awesome lines on the back are perfect for this! - and layouts about me.  Or you, if you're taking the class.  :)  It'll be a serial class to spread out the work and I'll warn you, there'll be homework.  But it'll be fun.  I promise.  Look for details in a month or so.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

State of Me Today

In honor of election day, I thought I'd share a State of Me with everyone.

Right now I am happy.  Just that.  Happy.  I'm happy to be married to one of the best guys you'll eve meet.  I'm happy in our home.  I'm happy.  Just that simple state has taken so much to achieve.  So I'm going to enjoy it.

Bret is back living at home.  Working at being sober.  I'm seeing something different in him this time. I truly hope that he's able to work his program and get better.  When the real Bret, aka Dr Jekyll, is here I'm happy.  He's such a cool kid.  It's just that Mr Hyde is not welcome here.  Ever.

A traumatic birthday passed me by with barely a notice. And it looks like I may get the one wish I really wished for but would never say out loud.

So there you go.  I'm happy.  I'll be back with something crafty soon.  Making pigs in a blanket for dinner.  How can you not be happy when you've got pigs in a blanket for dinner??!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vegas Baby....

Drove over the new bypass bridge today.  Totally fast & easy.  No view of the dam which I guess is a good thing since who needs looky loo's getting into accidents that high up off the ground.  Visited Scrappy Do, Viva Las Vegas Art Stamps & Scrappin' Time.  Checked into the hotel and had a stupidly expensive dinner.  Mel's gonna kill me for that one......

If you're in the area, come see me in the morning at Scrappin' Time.  I'll be demoing the Copic markers and airbrushing system and how cool they work with the Spellbinders dies and new Grand Calibur.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sharing a few cards

It's been a few days since I've visited the blog but never fear!  I haven't abandoned it!  Just been a super busy weekend.  Demoing & 2SGNO was on tap for Saturday and birthday parties galore on Sunday.  Our youngest niece, Kaytey, was celebrating her 3rd birthday at Rio Vista park.  Sadly we were only able to stay a few minutes as it was my birthday too (I am sooooooo going to spoil her since she shares my birthday!) and had people coming over to grill, chill & watch football.  Mel & I went a little crazy buying presents for her (please see the above statement) and I had a blast creating her card.  I did that Saturday night.  Here it is.

Yep, that's stitching all the way around it!  Was a lot easier than you'd think.  Just remember the turtle and that slow and steady wins.  ;)  The flower is a major favorite!  I'd just cut off the long sleeves of a shirt we got in California when we visited a few months ago and figured why not use that since it was right in front of me?!  My favorite Spellbinders Nested Poinsettia dies, a big button and some tulle and viola!  While I was pretty impressed with the card, I can't say the same for Kaytey.  Though she did seem pretty taken with the baby doll, two diaper bags, swing, carrier, highchair, stroller and assorted little pieces we got for her.  Again, refer to that statement about spoiling her.  :)  The adorable outfit, not so much.  Give her time though!

Supplies: cardstock - pink - Bazzill, green - Core'dinations, button - Autumn Leaves, floss - DMC, fabric - shirt, tulle - craft store

Another recent creation was for PTI's Oct Blog Hop.  I wasn't able to get it uploaded in time for the hop but I still like it and wanted to share it.  

It's pretty simple but I think that's one of the things I like most about it.  I printed the sentiment on the computer, double framed it with the square frame from the Framed set and added a gorgeous red & black pearl & rhinestone flourish.  Hard to see in the crooked scan but it's on a white 5x7 card base.

Supplies: card base & env - TPC Studios, cardstock - WorldWin, ink - TPC Studios, flourish - Prima, stamps - PTI, font - CK

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Papertrey Playhouse Challenge #3

Michelle Wooderson a.k.a. Mish, Mishee, Mish Mash - is one of my very favorite sources of inspiration.  I stumbled upon her blog from Spellbinders.  And got hooked.  Me who never had any interest or desire to read a blog was checking back each day to see what Mish had to say or check out her vintage finds or be inspired.  Mish is probably one of the reasons I started blogging.  And she's definitely the reason I started checking out and then buying Papertrey Ink stamps.  And then I found the forums over there.  And decided to jump in with both feet.  So not being very knowledgeable about blogging and having previously had even less of an interest in participating in blog challenges - I joined a newly formed blog group.

So far it's been kinda fun.  But my turn to pick & post the blog challenge came up quick!  I wasn't even thinking about how many challenges we'd have already done (or not as the case is) when I choose my date to host.  So here I am, starting to panic a little and decided to turn to tried & true sources for inspiration.  Nichole's blog always features such amazing cards the "Morning After" a release.  And then I went to the new release galleries to see what else could be found.

And was struck by all the tags the design team created as part of their very different projects.  Tags have been a favorite of mine for ages.  So there it was.  My challenge.  Create a card that featured tags.  And as an added twist, it should be inspired by one of the PTI designers.

Here's my entry for the challenge.  Inspired by none other than Mish of course.  I grabbed scraps - the red patterned piece was from a swatch book I picked up at CHAS from October Afternoon - a favorite of both of ours, the blue flower was a left over from a notepad a made a while back, another Mish inspiration.  The green backing is actually two pieces glued together and then I  covered the seam with the blue patterned piece - clever huh??!  The cream cardstock for the tickets was still on my desk from the card I created for our second challenge.

Mish also tends to use a lot of tickets - something the Just the Ticket stamp set was perfect to recreate! She also likes to embellish her tickets - lots of times with felt flowers and buttons. And lots of times her tickets are found on tags, kinda like the manilla tag here. One more PTI designer inspired detail is the ribbon tied with a Baker's Twine bow.  I just dig that.  I added the mini safety pin 'cause that's just something I often tend to do.

Can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with!  And even if you're not a member of the Playhouse I'd love to have you play along! 

Supplies: card base & env - TPC Studio, ink - TPC Studio, Just the Ticket stamp set & die cut - Papertrey Ink, red & white Baker's Twine - Papertrey Ink, blue ribbon - craft store, buttons - unkn, safety pin - craft store, manilla tag - American Tag Co, cardstock - core'dinations, patterned paper - October Afternoon, flower die cut - Quickutz

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Copic Swatch Book

I have to say this is probably my #1 favorite item from the Summer CHA show.  Yes, I loved plenty of papers, embellishments and other new products.  But this is just so stinkin' cool!  And no matter how small my purse is this baby goes in it!  You just never know when you'll happen upon Copics & I want to make sure I don't buy duplicate colors.

I'd been holding off coloring the cover of my Swatch Book but today seemed to be the day.  I pulled up Marianne's post about coloring her's to use for guidance.  I decided I wanted to do my own colors & I must say I'm pretty happy with it.

Colors used: text - B16; leaves & vines - G21, G24, YG63, YG67, YG03; flowers - V06, RV17, RV34; marker - C1, C3, C5, C7, BV23, BV31; shadow - B000

One more change to my swatch book.  I've found that when I'm in the store looking to see which colors I have I'm usually flipping back and forth to find the page I want.  Now I've got a color code on the side of each page so I can go immediately to the color family I'm interested in.

Tip: I've also made some notes on the pages to help me with a few things.  I need to know which colors are included in the papercrafting sets so I've added PCA or PCB next to each color to signify Paper Crafting A or Paper Crafting B.  I've also noted VI next to the colors I've got a Various Ink refill for.  That'll help me know which ones I still need to buy.  Tons of information right at my fingertips!

I've got some cash burning a hole in my pocket that I want to put towards more new pens.  I can't wait to pull my new & improved swatch book out to help me make my choices!

Monday, October 18, 2010

That didn't work out like I planned.........

So there I was, in front of the mirror brushing my teeth last night.  And decided I'd start running in the morning.  Got up, got dressed.  Dogs getting excited when they saw me putting on my tennis shoes.  Uh oh.  The dogs are going to be a PITA.  Then an idea hit me.  Go out through the garage.  Even if the dogs get past me they'll be trapped in the garage.  I'm so smart.  Go out through the garage, jumping over the beam so I don't stop the door coming down.  Yeah!

Stretch a little on the front porch.  And I admit it that I flipped off the dogs in the front window.  Childish but it felt good.  Started with a brisk walk and then a slow ugly looking jog.  Run then walk a little, turn around at the stop sign and do it all some more.  And on it went.  Until it hit me.  I didn't have a house key.  I'd gone out thru the garage and didn't need one.  Except the garage door wall thingy doesn't work.  How was I going to get in the house?  And I really needed to go to the bathroom.  Aaaahhhhh, the doggy door.  I'd gone in that way before.  I could do it again. 

Except the bloody thing shrunk.  How's that happen??  And the dogs thought it was the neatest thing.  Pablo yapping and sniping at all of us.  Harley & Davis licking me and running in and out of the door.  Payback for flipping them off I think.  What am I going to do?  No phone.  I really need to go to the bathroom.  Even f I had a phone I don't know anyone's number. UUgggggghhhhhhh!!!

Did I lock the bedroom door the other day?  I can't remember.  Try it.  Oh, thank goodness!  I didn't lock it!!  I'm in. So, note to self, even going out through the garage (good idea) make sure to unlock a door or bring a key so you can get BACK IN the house.

Let's see if my resolve to do a salad for lunch goes better than my running.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Spent some time coloring this weekend....

This weekend was packed with some of my very favorite activities.  We got to go to the Centennial game Friday night.  Perfect weather and good times filled with good feelings.  Saturday morning bright & early at The Creative Quest for Copic Club - thanks ladies for coming!  Saturday afternoon was spent at the Coyotes/Red Wings game selling 50/50 raffle tickets for The Kenny Schall Memorial Scholarship Fund.  I had so much fun with it and amused Mel no end with my antics.  :)  Sunday started with waffles.  And had lots of football and Copic coloring in the middle.

I got 8 or 9 new markers this past week and have been itching to use them.  I wanted to share a few of the images I colored and a few of the things I learned while playing. 

This image is from Kraftin' Kimmy - it's the new Witchy Poo image from Annie Rodrigue.  Love her stuff.  Fun, playful and totally awesome for coloring!

Most of the time when I'm just coloring (which really means practicing and experimenting) I'll try to focus on one technique or concept.  I by no means, consider myself an expert with Copics but definitely feel that there's value in critically looking at my work and noting what I like and don't like about it.  It's the best way I know to improve.  I thought it might be of interest to others so I'm sharing it here.

I wanted to work on putting highlights in the Witchy Poo images as well as practicing more on skin & hair.  This is such a perfect image to practice these techniques on.  One thing I discovered today is that I'm not good at leaving white space.  Just have a hard time doing it.  Even though I know that sometimes that's just what's needed to give the look I want.  So how to reconcile my need to color everything with the concept of leaving white space to show highlights??

After a little messing around I colored with the lightest color of my series in the areas I wanted to show the highlights, then went in with the mid color and then the dark color and blended them all together with the lightest color to smooth them out.  I liked some of those results like with my orange Witchy Poo's hat.  I goofed when I was coloring her skin though.  And was very happily surprised by the results of my attempt to "fix" it.  I've found that I really like E000 for overall skin tone and shading with R01.  I inadvertently pulled R02 and started shading away before I realized my error.  Yikes!  Witchy looked like she had a really weird sunburn.  I went back with my E000 and started trying to pull the R02 out.  While I may not like the overall effect I do like how her cheek looks.  A little shading which was needed and a little like blush which gives a little more interest and dimension to her.  

Not thrilled with her hair but starting to find a method I like.  Witchy Poo 2 had me playing with one of my new colors RV17 - sooooo gorgeous!  I really liked her hair.  It still shows some highlights but not with a white spot which is just hard for me to do.  I was also fairly pleased with the overall color.  Red is  apparently not only the most difficult color to maintain in real life but it's the hardest hair color to recreate.  Leave it to me to always do things the hard way.

I found that I also really liked how R39 blended with the RV17.  But not so much with how it blended with RV14, R37 or R35.  Those images won't be getting uploaded to the blog though.  :)

I didn't particularly care for the leaves in my pumpkin & acorn filler image (Papertrey Ink's Friendship Jar Fall Fillers) but I do like the pumpkins overall and really liked the B000 shadow around it.  I have to remember to do that more and want to find more colors I like for this technique.  I also tried my highlighting technique in reverse - putting the darkest color down, then taking my mid color over it and further out and finally bringing my lightest color over them to finish the smoothing and add the highlight.  This gave me a smoother blend and used less ink, both good things.

A few more newly discovered color combos I really liked: B02 & B05, B34, B95 & B99, R39 & R37, B66 & B99, Y26, YR21 & YR12, E51 & E30 and E42 & E31.  Would love to hear some of your favorite combos.  I want to create a sample book and would like to have a section on color combos to refer to.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Copic Club this weekend

I've just posted the cards for Copic Club at The Creative Quest this weekend under the Class Projects tab.  The samples will be in the store this afternoon.  And I know what I'll be creating for next months Copic Club!  Look for those samples on the blog and in the store as soon as I get the images.  Now to work on Dec's cards.  I'm hoping to stay ahead of deadlines not behind them going forward!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Papertrey Playhouse Challenge #2

The 2nd challenge at Papertrey Playhouse was to create a card with black & white and a pop of color.  I decided to interpret that a little loosely and used black & cream.  Mostly because I had Foof A La's Red, Black & Cream line on my desk from a project earlier this week.  I'd been hoarding this paper & the matching embellishments for over a year but finally had a project it seemed perfect for.  A really fun perpetual calendar that I'll have for sale at the Craft Fair on Nov 6.  So with the scraps still littering my desk and the challenge in mind, I created this card. 

I'm delighted with it.  It's actually pretty simple but doesn't look like it.  Gotta love cards like that.  Even if it did get scanned a little crooked.

Supply List: card base & env - TPC Studios, ink - Tsukineko, Copic - W1, stamps: Friendship Jars, Friendship Jar Fillers, Mega Mixed Messages - Papertrey Ink, dies: sm label Papertrey Ink, lg label - Spellbinders,  patterned paper - Autumn Leaves, cardstock - unkn, ribbon - May Arts, embossing powder - Mark Enterprises, adhesive - ZipDry, foam squares, stitching

Monday, October 11, 2010

What a weekend!

Wow!!  Great weekend.  Lots of chillin' like a villain.  Some of my very favorite moments:

- Winning the football pool.  As the only female in the pool I feel like I've got to represent.  And boy howdy! did I represent this week.  Woo Hoo! The winnings just about cover the participation cost for both of us to this point.  How's that for cool?  No more listening to Mel complain about how much it's costing him.  :)

 - Saw Jack Johnson Sun evening.  So cool.  Love the laid back, chill vibe I get from him.  I'll be downloading his new album To The Sea soon.  And I got to go with one of my favorite people.  That made me happy too.  Good time, good conversation and a good memory.

I'm not a big fan of tiny, blurry, dark cell phone photos but between needing blog fodder and wanting to have something besides the tickets to scrap, well, I couldn't resist.

- Finalizing plans to participate in a craft fair next month.  There will be 4 - 5 of us sharing booth space so it should be fun.  I've got the details on the Events schedule.

- So happy to have signed up to represent 2 new companies.  I CAN'T WAIT to start showing off these products and see them in stores.  You'll love them!

- Played with my Copics Saturday evening.  Check out one of the images that will be featured in my Copic class on Saturday on the Class Projects tab.  I'll be grabbing the remaining bits & pieces to complete the cards tomorrow.  And trying really, really hard to get the images and cards done for Novembers class sooner than the week OF class!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"You're Spoiled." he said...........

After some impromptu running around this afternoon with my youngest niece, we were on the way home when I mentioned that she likely wouldn't see Mel since he was going to be practicing with Ritchie.  Both of us were surprised to see his truck in the driveway.  Both of us literally walked into the front door after we found it locked.  Weird.  Get it unlocked and there's Mo.  He kept following me around & I couldn't figure out why.  Walk into my office, drop my purse on it's hook, sit in my chair.  Mel's still looking weird.  I saw something on my desk and asked him "What's this?".  "I don't know." he says.  I hold it out to him so he can see it better and still the blank look.  Then I face forward.  And literally jumped. 

Sitting right on top of my filing cabinet was a new HUGE 32" flat screen tv.  "Happy Birthday!" he said.  And explained how Tonya & I nearly caught him running down the hallway with the old tv to hide it. Surprised hardly describes what I felt.  We'd talked about getting a different tv for in here but I never really thought much about it.  Apparently Mel had been.

He even said maybe he'd see about getting the HD cable and a DVR in here for me.  And then he said "You're spoiled."  With a smile.

                                    Is that such a bad thing??

Monday, October 4, 2010

Papertrey Playhouse Challenge 1

Much as I've wanted to play lately it just doesn't seem like I've been all that happy with the results.  One thing that I've been struggling with is the first Papertrey Playhouse challenge.  Since this is the first time I've participated in something like this I'm going to chalk my uncertainties up to wanting to make sure I play well with others.  :) 

And since one is rarely enough, I created 2 cards in a theme.  Book paper is a big favorite of mine and I used it for the patterned paper on my cards.  I also embossed one of the backgrounds with the PTI book print impression plate.  Love those things.  But found that it's difficult to use on papers larger than the plate.  Anyone have any suggestions for this as I tend to prefer larger cards?

Supplies: card base - TPC Studios, cardstock - unkn, book print - vintage unkn, felt - craft store, ink - TPC Studios, buttons - Fancy Pants, flower - prima, floss - DMC, stamps - Framed, Mega Mixed Messages PTI, patterned paper - Melissa Frances, stitching, Impression Plate - PTI book print, adhesive - ZipDry

Look for a holiday wall hanging soon.  Mel found a great frame when we were at Ikea yesterday and made sure I grabbed a few to create with.  Gotta love a guy that's on the lookout for crafty projects and class possibilities.