Thursday, July 30, 2009

Eastern Blooms

I was able to make another card tonight. I'm so glad because I will be going to the CKC Convention at Valley Forge, PA for the weekend. It'll be a paper crafting and shopping extravaganza. I probably won't be posting anything else till I'm back home. I'll be going with my good buddies Edna, Eileen and Maddy. Whenever I travel with this group we laugh so hard we cry and our stomach aches. We are notorious for getting lost but we have some very funny stories that go with being lost. This trip Eileen should be bringing Ramona, that's what we call her GPS. Would it surprise you to read that we've been lost even when we've had Ramona with us. Well, you gotta turn it on, duh! Hopefully while we're out there we'll hook up with our friend and SU demonstrator Cyndy and our friend Pam. We've all been looking forward to this trip and can't wait to pile in the car.
Ok, you'll hear more about CKC when we return. Now onto the card.
This one is for the Pink Elephant Challenge #25, it's a sketch challenge. I used the Stampin' Up set Eastern Blooms, this set was a gift from Edna. Lucky me, to have friends who give the best presents. The sentiment is also and SU stamp but it was a party favor from Cyndy so I don't know what set it's from. The image and sentiment were stamped in Versamark and embossed in black. The paper is Foofala Autumn Leaves and the embellishment is Robin's Nest silver bells Dew Drops. Since I used black card stock for the card I finished the inside by placing a small piece of the designer paper inside and piece of white card stock with the bottom edge punched with a Fiskar's punch.


This week's Pile It On challenge is to Watercolor. One of my favorite stamps to water color is the hydrangea arrangement from the Stampin' Up Bloomin' Beautiful set. My good buddy Maddy gave me this stamp set so I love it even more cause it makes me think of her whenever I use it. I piled on two more challenges. The Our Creative Corner sketch challenge for this week and the Color Throwdown challenge #53 to use Bordering Blue (a color I took a shine to recently), Rose Red and Pink Pirouette. The image was stamped on Stampin' Up Confetti White card stock. The base color of the flowers is bordering blue and the container is rose red. Several other shades of blue were laid over the bordering blue. Glitter dust was placed in the centers of the flowers. The paper was cut with a Creative Memories cutting system oval and then mounted on a oval cut from bordering blue card stock. The sentiment was stamped in /bordering Blue on the confetti white card stock. A Stampin' Up scalloped eyelet border punch was used on the bordering blue card stock that the sentiment is mounted on. The background paper is Stampin' Up DSP Bella Birds. Basic Gray half pearls are mounted on the sentiment and the paper ribbons.

Blog Candy

If you'd like a chance to win a Martha Stewart Border punch, some pretty paper and a Slice, yes I said a Slice well hurry over to Creating from the Heart. That's Melissa's blog. She was voted first Guest Diva by the Midnight Madness team. So I went by to see her blog and what did I find but an offer to win some fabulous prizes. It isn't hard to enter her contest, just head over to her site and follow the instructions. It's Easy.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Howling Time

It feels like forever since I've been able to sit down and make a card. The first card I wanted to make was for the Midnight Madness challenge. This week the sketch included a tag. Yikes! I have a horrible time with big tags, I love to add little tags with sentiments on them but full size tags are not my thing. There are about six challenges I'd like to complete but most of them are sketches so they can't be combined, but I did find the 2 red bananas challenge to "spell it out" using your letter stickers. So I combined these two challenges.

I used Basic Gray Wisteria papers for the card base. Then I made a pocket out of Stampin' Up Vellum for the tag and ran a strip of ribbon across the top of the pocket. I made the tag out of plain white card stock, I put a purple eyelet in the top and ran a purple ribbon through it. I punched hole up the side for the whip stitch which I made with lavender floss. Then I spelled out "read" with Making Memories Alpha Periwinkle Shimmer stickers. Lastly, I made a triple layer flower out of Prima flowers and stuck a button in the center of it. Well, it's not my finest card but at least I pushed myself to make a card with a tag and someone will be happy to receive a card with a book mark in it.

This card is also for two challenges. The Mojo97 sketch challenge and the Cat's Pajama's challenge TCPTUES69 color challenge to use blue, orange and pink and the Mojo Monday Sketch challenge MOJO97. I just got this the Cat's Pajama's "Relaxing" stamp and was anxious to ink it up. I stamped it in Memento Black ink on white card stock, colored it it with copics and cut it out with a circle nestibilities and then put it on pink card stock that was cut out with a scalloped circle nestibilities. I stamped the sentiment with Stampin' Up Only Orange cut it out and put it on a piece of the pink card stock. The stamp is from Studio G Series 31 Clear Stamps. I dotted the edges of the pink card stock with an orange marker. The corner piece was cut out from that card stock also. I have several sheets of it which were saved from the garbage at work. The dotted paper doesn't have any markings on it. The other paper is Water Fun Word from P. Etc. The buttons are from MFT spring collection.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Sunday Drive

A Sunday drive conjures up images of childhood and everybody piling into dad's car to go to the beach or on a picnic. Well in the summer on the weekend my father's whole family (he came from a family of 8 children) would pack up the kids and go to my Uncle Joe's place. He owned a restaurant and a bowling alley back then. He had a swimming pool with a huge patio built in his yard so that all his family could get together. And we did! All summer long my aunts, uncles and cousins would go to Uncle Joe's house on the weekends. There were the aunts and uncles, over twenty cousins, and assorted friends. There was always a crowd but it never felt crowded. We always had a good time. Last Christmas at my cousin Donna's Christmas party she played some old home videos she found of a day at the pool. How great it was to see us all young and vibrant, all our parents still alive. What a nice remembrance that was.

Today we took a Sunday drive to points south to visit another garden state family spending some time in Florida. Tony and Mike are also going back and forth between states. Tony and my husband met while teaching in the same school and they hit it off. When I met Tony and Mike I understood immediately how they became such good friends. When you're with them you feel like you've known them forever. Tony has moved on to a Principal's position in another school district but her daughter is still a teacher in Elizabeth. Well they were the most gracious of hosts, they wined us and dined us, and made us very comfortable in their home. We shared that it's odd that we summer in Florida when we'd like to be here in the winter, but that's the job. We all get to spend Christmas here but none of us are crazy about going back to the cold. At one point I said something with my maiden name in it and Tony told me that she went to school with one of my cousins and that her mother was close to my aunt. She described my cousin to a tee. What a small world it is. The time spent there flew but we needed to get back to Bradenton so that I could get packed for my trip back North tomorrow. ugh. I'd really don't want to go back to work.
And here's Liddy. I haven't taken many pictures lately and forgot I took this. This was last Sunday after she got her hair cut. It was harder than pulling teeth to convince her to cut it. Does anyone know who Veronica Lake is anymore? She's even before my time but I know she had some fame about her hair covering her eye or something like that. Liddy likes to wear her hair covering her eye. Drives teachers nuts, makes me a little crazy but I can live with it. Here she's doing her roar. Don't know why, but she likes to roar. Maybe it's genetic and she's easily amused too!?
With the visiting today and travelling tomorrow I probably won't get around to card making till Tuesday. I'm feeling withdrawal pangs already.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

$50 House

You could own this house for $50. Yeah sure, what's the catch. Well you can't buy the house for $50 but you can purchase a chance to win it in a raffle and if you're lucky you will own it. What's the downside? You will be living across the street from me, hehehe. Seriously, I'm not a lawyer, I have nothing to gain from any chances sold. If you have any questions of a legal nature I suggest you contact a lawyer.
What I can vouch for is that this house is gorgeous, I went to the open house this afternoon. It is decorated to the nines, and I understand that the furnishings will be available for purchase at a discounted price. It does not look exactly the same as the pictures on the website, I think it's nice. The pictures are probably of a model house.
The Harborage is a beautiful community, I love being here. I love palm trees and flamingos. I've got the palm trees, but there are some rules for living here and pet flamingos don't cut it. I do have a few nick knacks of the flamingo persuasion. Just can't help myself.
The house is being raffled to benefit the Manatee Children's Services. They are a non-profit social service dedicated to meeting the needs of abused and neglected children and breaking the cycle of child abuse. If you think it's a worthy cause maybe you won't mind spending a few bucks for a chance to win the house. I think it's worth it.

Wanna Win Some Blog Candy?

I've been following the Craftypagan blog for a little while now. I saw some of Rowena's cards on another challenge site and linked to her blog. Don't let that name put you off, her cards are often sweet, usually complex, perfectly crafted and always a delight to view. So Rowena is celebrating her new design team position with Sugar Nellie by giving away 5 Sugar Nelly stamps. Don't you just love when people give you stuff because they are celebrating. Well, one lucky person will win those stamps. You can read the details and decide if you want to enter by clicking the link at the beginning of this post.

It's an Other Winged Something

This week's Stamp Something challenge is to create a project featuring bugs, butterflies or other winged somethings. Well If I were back in the garden state I might have chosen a butterfly or a dragonfly but here in the sunshine state my stamps are limited. The choices are birds or a skull with wings. I'm not feeling too rock star today so I went with the mellower choice of a bird. I will rock on another occasion. I combined this challenge with the Sketch Saturday challenge.
Since I knew the stamp set I was going to use my next step was to find the paper. The Basic Gray Granola pad seemed a nice match for the bird. So I started off by stamping this bird from the Inkadinkado (I love that name, I cannot say it too many times, be prepared to read it any time I use one of their stamps) Birds Galore set. It's stamped in Stampin' Up Bordering Blue on white card stock, the edges of the paper have been brushed with Close to My Heart Desert Sand. I drew around the flowers on the bird with a Gelly Roll Stardust clear pen. This hasn't been showing well in my photos. It adds a very subtle sparkle to the image. The image is double matted on solid papers from the Granola pad and is mounted on dimensionals.
When I cut the first piece of background paper I noticed the edges were a little rough, but I liked it on this paper and decided to rough up all the edges. Some days the distress look works for me, other days I gotta have clean crisp edges. The lined paper side bar is distressed and matted with a tan solid and has a piece of Close to My Heart ribbon down the center. The solid papers in the Granola pad have a spray of black on them so they I didn't edge them with ink.
The oval was made with a Stampin' Up punch. I wrote the sentiment with a gray marker, edged the oval with the bordering blue ink and then popped it up on dimensionals.
The last element in the sketch is flowers down the sidebar. Now I actually have flowers that would work with this paper, I sprinkled some of them around the card in the picture but I just didn't like the way they looked when I put them on the card. I kept looking at the paper pack, there is a page with flowers on them and I thought about cutting them out and using them but they were too big. I don't know how I got the idea to use the mosaic squares instead of flowers but I did, and I'm glad of it. I think they work really well on this card. Again I distressed the edges, I cut in the sides for a petal effect, popped Close to My Heart brads ( not really brads but I'm not sure what to call them, they have 5 prongs on the back, if you know what they are called leave me a comment with the name) in the center, smooshed (extremely technical procedure) them around a little more and then popped them up on dimensionals too. I thought I'd get this card whipped out in no time but it took a few hours, there were some interruptions along the way, but I spent most of my day working on it, thanks goodness I'm easily amused.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This Makes Three

I made three cards today, if you read today's first post you know that this was a hang around the house kind of day. A lot of stuff got done and the house is shaping up nicely. In between the deliveries and picking up the screws for the guy on the ladder I got three cards done.
This is another of the MFT old sketch challenges, that are being brought around again. This one is MFTSC14. I also used this stamp on the first card I made today. I'd like to make two more cards with it to make a set to give as a gift. This one is also paper pieced, with all the paper coming from the Basic Gray Granola pad. Again I drew in the floor and colored it and the parts not paper pieced with prismacolor pencils. I punched the edge of the background paper with a Martha Stewart border punch, and the white card stock interior piece was also punched with that stamp. The sentiment was stamped in Stampin' Up bordering blue and was adhered to the flower from Mulberry Street. The brad and the ribbon are by Close to My Heart.
It's getting late and I am tired so I may have forgotten a detail. If you have a question about the card leave me a comment and your e-mail address and I'll get back to you. Promise.

Puppy Love

The Pink Elephant Challenge #24 is to use animals as your theme. I love house pets. I grew up in a house full of dogs and as an adult I came seriously close to being the crazy cat lady who lives up the block when I had 7 cats and a dog. Poor Dougie, that dog was always getting wapped by a cat, they'd jump over him and tease him. Dougie was adopted and didn't last too long at our house. He didn't like the cats, the cats didn't like him, most importantly hubbie didn't like him. Hubbie found a home for him with someone who had a dog that looked like his twin and as far as we know they lived happily ever after.

Over the years the kitties have passed on and now we have 2 kitties. Memphis who is at least 18 years old and Shamus who is 3.

My darling daughter would love to have every animal that made it off the ark. One time she came home from a carnival with a beta fish. It was very pretty but when you have several cats and back then we must have had 4 cats, you usually don't keep fish. So we found a secluded spot for him. Guess who feed him and cleaned his tank. hmmmm.... still thinking..... well being his keeper over the years I actually grew fond of him. He shocked me by living three and a half years. When Liddy asked if that was a long time I told her that in my experince with fishies anything over a month was gravy. Last week she came home with a hermit crab. (shiver, yuk) I've got to keep her away from carnivals.

Back to the card. I found a cute set of clear stamps from Inkadinkado (I just love that name) called "Dogs" on sale at the local Michael's. All I needed was an excuse to ink them up, they are just adorable. One of them has an argyle pattern on his body, another polka dots. One of these has squares and the other swirls. I stamped them in Memento rich cocoa on white card stock then brushed Stampin' Up bordering blue around the edges. I used a Stardust clear gelly roll pen over the squares and swirls on the dogs. It's basically writing with clear glitter and it looks great in real life but doesn't show up very well in the picture. If you click on the picture to enlarge it you can see the glitter a little better. I chose a background paper by 3 Bugs in a Rug called Jovial Cheery-O. I didn't have any matching paper so I made my own by stamping the bone stamp in the set with the Memento rich cocoa ink onto beige card stock. I cut my background pieces, tied a blue ribbon around the bone paper and hung a little tag on it. I wrote "puppy love" on it with a brown marker and then drew a heart on it with a pink Souffle marker. I hung the tag off the bow with Stampin' Up Twine. I mounted the dogs on dimensionals and then finished off the card by doing the inside, that's the challenge over at MFT this week so I'm carrying it on with this card too. I used the beige cardstock and stamped the bones on the bottom edge with the rich cocoa.

Digital Girl

Right now I wish the Digital Girl could help me figure out what's going on with my inability to upload this card onto Splitcoast Stampers. I hate when this happens. Usually if I reboot I can get it to work but that isn't helping today.
We're having a boring day. Sitting around waiting for repairmen and furniture deliveries, putting up ceiling fans, setting up garage door openers. How thrilling can it get? It's not the most exciting but it's not the office either so it is true that a boring day of doing nothing is better than a great day at work.
MFT is approaching its 100th sketch challenge. Julie posted this thread where she has challenged us to submit a sketch for each of the challenges. In the thread there's a link for a master file of all the old sketches that's in a printable file so you can have them all on hand to work with. It's a pretty heafty challenge but I'm willing to try.

I used MFTSC8 for this card and combined it with the current MFTMFC9 challenge to finish your card inside and out. I used the MFT stamp set "Digital Girl". I stamped it on white card stock with Memento black ink. I paper pieced the dress with KI Memories My Guy Disco Fever and used the coordinating KI Memories My Guy Funky Stripe for the wall. For the desk I used a piece from the Basic Gray Granola pad. I drew the floor in with a black fine marker and then colored it with prismacolor pencils. I also colored in the shoes, chair, monitor and keyboard. Since the inside was going to be finished I was able to use a dark brown cs for the card base and the bases for all the individual papers. I used the same papers that I pieced the image with for the card elements. I attached a Close to My Heart ribbon to a CTMH clip and attached it to the image. The sentiment was stamped in Stampin' Up Bordering Blue and punched with an SU oval punch, then the edge was inked with the bordering blue and popped up on dimensionals . The blue Half Pearls are from Basic Gray. For the inside I used a strip of the striped paper at the bottom and a piece of white cs with the edge punched with a Martha Stewart border punch. And that's it, a card finished inside and out.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Simon Says Perk Up

This perky little coffee pot is from Crafty Secrets Coffee and Tea clear stamp set. They have a line of vintage stamps that are too cute for me to resist. Good thing the store I picked this up in isn't nearby cause I already know which set I MUST HAVE next. If you see a card with a women in an outfit from days long gone you'll know I got it. But again I digress.

This week the Simon Says Challenge is a sketch. So first off the image was stamped on white card stock in Memento black. The cheek is colored with Memento Angel Pink and the rest of the pot is colored with prismacolor pencils. Then I dirtied it up by running the edges across Close to My Heart Desert Sand, then brushing it all over with the desert sand. To give it an aged look all of the papers have been given the desert sand treatment as well. I had picked out this cheery cherry paper (it's DSP by October Afternoon, Cherry Hill Tea Towel) to use with this stamp set because it has a timeless look. The fact that it is double sided makes it easy to match. The card stocks are from DCWV. The ribbon I stumbled across in Michael's in a $1 bin. It also got the desert sand treatment. It's very bright white and looked completely different before I dirtied it up.

Simon Says is European. I think it's based in England but there are crafters from all over the world sharing their work on the site. It's also a store so you can shop there too. You can surf from the challenge page over to some blogs which aren't always written in English but somehow aren't that hard to follow, and some of them have translator gadgets to make it easier. It's things like this that make me marvel at what you can do over the internet. Today I visited a blog that was written in Hungarian (I think, could have been a lot of other languages I don't understand) I looked around awhile and even left a comment, and that was without hitting the translation gadget. Well that's how I spent my morning, making a card and surfing thru the Simon says Design Team's blogs and it was great fun for me cause I'm easily amused.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

To Beach or Not to Beach

We've been in Florida since Saturday. We left New Jersey on Friday night and met up with rain for a good protion of the ride and it's been raining off and on since we've been here. Last I heard this area was in drought condition so maybe this is the end of that.
Earlier today hubby and I went to the pool and when we came back he and the Lidster went to the beach. My skin is pretty fair and I burn easily while they both have complexions that tan. They can sit in the sun much longer than I can so I decided having been in the sun at the pool I should stay home and make a beach card while they play in the sea and surf. I guess this downpour has put an end to that fun. Would you believe I just got a call from them, I figured I was going to hear how awful it was but it's beautiful at the beach. Hey, that's Florida for ya, pouring in one town, gloriously sunny in the next.
I picked up this stamp back at Scrapper's Cove in NJ. I love all the little images on it, so many coloring oppurtunities. I brought only a few stamps with me, and this is the only one mounted on wood. I have to carry my supplies back on a plane and this stuff gets heavy fast but this stamp needed to come along.
Over on I Heart to Stamp this week's The Cat's Pajama Tuesday Challenge is an inspiration challenge. Design team member Leigh picked two waverly fabrics for inspiration. One is covered with flip flops and the other is striped. I have some beautiful paper that's perfect for this cahllenge. It's from Paper Adventures, Carolyn Holt Designs, Island Lagoon Flip Flops. The bottom edge was punched with Stamping Up scalloped eyelet border punch. I paired it up with some left over striped paper from Imaginisce, For Peep's Sake, Color Me Happy. I don't have a Cat's Pajama stamp here so I am using my beach stamp, it's allowed to use another company's stamps but it is preferred to use the challenge company's product. Makes sense. The beach stamp doesn't have a name on it but it's made by Outlines Rubber Stamp Co. I stamped it with Memento black and colored it in with Prismacolor pencils. I used Close To My Heart photo turns and brads to hold it down, and CTMH ribbon and button for embellishments. I tied the button to the ribbon with Stampin' Up twine. After it was mounted I used stickles to highlight it. A little bit of sparkle makes it so pretty.
This card is also perfect for this week's CCEE stamper's challenge to create something summery. I just love it when I can combine more than one challenge. So many challenges, so little time.

Rock and Howl

It's Tuesday and another howling good sketch challenge is up on the Midnight Madness site. Do you see the badge over on the left. Well, last week the lovely and extremely talented Priscilla (go take a look at her site and you'll see what I mean, go ahead, I'll wait right here for you) left me a note to tell me that it's a cat not a wolf, and she should know cause she desinged it (see what I mean about talented) now I gotta tell you that while I clearly see the cat when I look at it but in my mind it instantly morphs into a wolf's image, so maybe I am little mad, but what's wrong with that.
So here's the story on the card. I'm on vacation and away from my craft room so I don't have everything I would have liked to use on this card. The image is from the "Rock Star" set by Inkadinkado (I love that name, eh, what do you expect from someone who's easily amused). I stamped it in Stampin
Up Close to Cocoa ink, if I had all my supplies I would have embossed it and maybe I'll make another one and do just that. The image is stamped on K & Co. Daydreams double sided desinger paper. I used the grid print side for stamping the image and the guitar side for my background paper. After I stamped the image I crumbled the paper and distressed the edges by running a scissor down the edge then tearing and poking it a little here and there to give it that grungy rock look. I also stamped a star in the Close to Cocoa and the skull border in Memento black. I cut out the star, mounted it on a dimensional and then coated it with glossy accents. To hang the guitar I poked a couple holes in the corners and tied some Stampin' Up twine thru it. I put some dimensionals on the back and then hung it over the star. Lastly, I cut out the skulls and mounted them on dimensionals and decided that they needed a little bling so I gave them red Taylor's Tiny Twinkles for eye sockets. If you click on the picture it'll enlarge the image so that you can see the tiny twinkles, they don't show up very well until you enlarge it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Orange You Glad

Orange is my favorite color. Many years ago Rosemary, Janey and I went to a house party out on the Island (that's Long Island) thrown by Ro's then current beau and his housemates. Well, Janey had her share of hospbitality when this really cute guy in an orange tee shirt came in and she said to him "Orange is my favorite color" and ever since then that is a line that has gone down in infamy.

I actually like orange and even had an orange convertible beetle and boy was that a fun car to ride around in, but that's another story.

So the Pile It on Challenge is to use Orange and to use at least one more challenge. So you can see that I've used orange cardstock and orange dew drops, and one of the girlies has orange boots and the writing on the tag is orange, I tried an orange pin but it got lost in the orange ribbon. The other challenges are the My Favorite Thing sketch challenge MFTSC90 and the Our Creative Corner challenge to use three embellishments. I found a pad of adorable paper by K & Company called Daydreams. This DP is covered with umbrellas but they seem to have been covered up by the squares that the heads are stamped on. I adhered the orange cardstock to the umbrella paper, then I stamped the image from My Favorite Things "Rainy Day Friends " onto it. I also stamped it on three pieces of white card stock. The faces are colored with Prismacolor pencils and the edges of those squares are inked with Close to My Heart desert sand. Then they were mounted on dimensionals. Then I added the ribbon and the tag and that's that.
Orange you glad I didn't say...ah, what can I say, I'm easily amused.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


This is the last post I will be making before my trip to Florida. We'll start driving down tomorrow night after dinner and expect to arrive in Bradenton late Saturday afternoon. I packed some card making supplies and hopefully I'll find some time to make a card or two and if we get our internet connection I may even get to post them. Of course there's a possibility that I'll be having way to much fun and sun to make time for blogging. Nah.
This card is for this week's CCEE (I'm not sure what those initials stand for) CNFS (but these mean Catchy Name Featured Stamper) challenge. Once a month a challenge hostess picks a user name from the Splitcoast Stampers and then the cards are created around that name. This week's username is "Footprints27". So this pawprint stamp was hanging around my "pet stash". It doesn't have a name on it but is marked with "Anita's" and a pricing designation that makes me think it came from AC Moore. It's stamped in Stampin' Up Close to Cocoa on beige card stock, punched out with a SU circle punch and adhered to brown cardstock that was punched with a 2" scalloped circle punch. I added blue dots on the scalloped edges with a Souffle marker. It's mounted on dimensionals to lift it up a little. The dog paper is KI Memories, Pet Shop Good Dog, the bottom edge of the paper is punched with a Martha Stewart border punch and the sides and top edges are rubbed with the Close to Cocoa ink. The houndstooth check paper is KI Memories and I used the blue marker to put faux stitching lines around the edge of this paper. The tiny tag was punched from the beige card stock with a Martha Steward punch. I wrote "You're dog gone cute" on the tag with a marker and hung it from the ribbon.
If you'd like to take part in this challenge you can click here to get to the site. My user name on Splitcoast is "cveneruso". What do you think the chances are that my name will be picked for the catchy name challenge.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wish I Had a Watermelon

A way long time ago they showed the Little Rascals on TV. One of those kiddies wished he had a watermelon and many a hot summer day I wished that too. I remember a day away at camp, (a summer school in archeology where you were basically paying to do the scut work) and it was record breaking hot, everyone was stripped down to bathing suits and shorts and just about dying. The professor secretly sent someone out to buy watermelon. When that melon showed up there were literally shouts of joy and the work came to a halt. You'd have thought we never tasted anything so sweet, we ate with reckless abandon, juices running down our faces AND THEN the seed spitting contest started. Well that was a lot of fun for someone who's easily amused.

Simon's challenge for 7/15/09 is to use summer fruit or summer fruit colors for your project. Of course last weekend I made not one but five cards with a strawberry theme so I wanted a change. I was searching around too see what other fruit stamps I have. You wouldn't believe how long I looked before I saw the Full of Melon House Mouse Designs stamp. It shouldn't have taken any time because the stamp sits right out in the open where I look at it every day AND it's a huge stamp. Oh well...
So the recipe for this card is pretty simple. The image is stamped on Perfect Panel paper in Memento black and colored in with copics. The red check paper is Stampin' Up DSP Bella Rose which I just tore down one side and up one corner and the green paper under it is from the Stampin' UP scrapbooking kit Just Delightful. And then I added a few buttons. Very easy.
If you're interested in participating in Simon's challenge there's a badge on the left sidebar that you can click to get to the challenge.

Monsters Need Love Too

Aren't these the cutest little monsters you've ever seen. These cards are for MFT challenges. New challenges are posted on the Splitcoast Stampers website every Thursday morning in the MFT forum. If you're interested in participating you can click here to find out more about them. The card on the left is for this week's challenge to create something for a kid. The card on the right is for this month's Ambassador challenge which was to use three of something in honor of MFT's third birthday. This set is a lot of fun to use. Because the monsters have lots of wide blank spaces they are ideal for paper piecing, a technique I'm very fond of. I have a hard time throwing away paper. One of the horrid nuns I had in grammar school told me I'd spend a long time in purgatory using up all the paper I wasted. Hah! It's much more likely I'll go straight to the hotter location and burn an eternity for many my sacriledges. But I digress...I was talking about paper piecing. It's a great way to use up paper scraps, and after all these years I still can't waste paper. If anybody has a therapist any good at undoing nun psychosis let me know. Anyway, paper piecing tends to be very calming to me, it reminds me of cutting out paper doll clothes. What fun that was so paper piecing brings good feelings for me.

Now for some details. The monsters were stamped with memento black ink onto scraps of Creative Memories papers. cut out and propped up on dimensionals. The background paper is from the Crate Paper Orbit collection which goes so well with the monsters. For the challenge to use threes I stamped three purses for the middle monster. It's very hip and chic in the monster community to carry three bags. Don't be surprised if that trend crosses over to the humans. Hey, it could work. She also has three blue Taylor's Tiny Twinkles around her neck, now that is something that has already crossed over to the human population. There's also three googly eyes on the card. Who doesn't love googly eyes, I can't imagine anyone not loving those silly things. The layout was taken from the week's sketch challenge. For the card on the left I used the same papers and stamps and on the bottom I tied some cord around the bottom bar hoping that it would look like a trap and then I stuck some metal dragonflies into it. I found a little bag of dragonflies in a clearance basket in Walmart. I got about 40 of them for 50 cents, couldn't pass that bargain up so you can bet your bottom dollar that you'll be seeing more of those little suckers. If you're having trouble seeing any of these details just click on the card to enlarge it.
Thanks for taking a look.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

It's Time to Howl

It's Tuesday, so there's another sketch challenge up on the Midnight Madness site. Ah, I love that name and the site is pretty wild and wonderful too. I'm blown away by the artwork you find there. If you'd like to participate in the challenge or just view some truly amazing cards you can visit the site by clicking on the Midnight Madness badge in the left sidebar. You can't miss it, it's the one with the howling wolf or you can just click here to get there.
I made this card for sketch challenge MMSC10. I used Leigh Hannan's Birdcages by Impression Obsession. It's stamped in versa mark with black embossing powder. The birds were colored with an Stampin' Up marker and I sponged Stampin' Up Barely Banana on all the white surfaces. I was pretty liberal with the sponging and in real life it looks subtle but visible. I took several pictures of the card, in different locations and from a variety of angles and no matter where I took it the yellow just doesn't show but it is around the cages and the edges of the papers. The paper is from the Making Memories Black and White pack. The border punch is by Fiskars. The buttons and ribbons I've had forever and probably got them at the craft store. I made two more cards and on one I put flowers under the buttons on the top left side. The flower look okay but I like this one better.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Life's a Beach

I've got Florida on my mind. On Friday we'll be driving down to Bradenton. Yep, it's a little crazy to go during the summer but when your hubbie is a teacher that's when vacation time happens. I've been told that the temperature rarely goes over 95 in the Sarasota-Bradenton area which means it's pretty much the same temp if not cooler as here BUT there's usually a nice sea breeze. Okay that info comes from my brother who lives there and is slightly prejudiced. I've been there in August and it's hot but that's why air conditioning and swimming pools were invited. It is beautiful there, and I'm getting excited to be going back. I just love palm trees and flamingoes.

I'm ready for the beach and in anticipation I got out my Lockhart Company beach chair stamp and made a couple cards for challenges. This card is for theJuly 7th "I Heart to Stamp" sketch challenge. The image is stamped in Memento Black and colored with copics. The image and the card stock behind it were cut out with circle nestibilities. The starfish is from the Stamping UP recently retired Seaside set and seemed like the perfect choice for the layout's star shape. It was stamped in SU More Mustard with clear embossing powder over it. The design papers are from Marcella by K. The papers were a gift and are not my usual color scheme but it's good to try to use different things. Dew drops are on the corners of the the striped paper.

This next card also used the Lockwood Comapny Beach Chair stamp and is for the Mojo Monday sketch challenge MOJO95. It was stamped in Memento black and colored in with copics. I was die cut with rectangulare nestibilities and the card stock behind it was die cut with scalloped rectangular nestibilities. The SU standard stamping wheel Sandy Shells was used on the paper under the ribbon and was stamped in creamy caramel. The green card stock was run thru my Big Shot in the dotted Cuttlebug embossing folder. The adorable flip flop paper is Paper Adventures, Carolyn Holt Designs Island Lagoon Flip Flops. The sentiment was hand written with an SU Green Galore marker, the square and the scalloped sqare are SU punches and it's mounted on dimensionals. The card stocks are all from my scraps so I'm not sure what they are.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Here Kitty, Kitty

Pile it On's challenge #6 is a sketch challenge, if you're interested in playing there's a badge you can click over in the left side panel. As I mentioned in the previous post you need to combine their challenge with at least one more challenge. It seems to me the more challenges you combine the more directed you become and somedays I need a LOT more direction than others. I found two other challenges to use. The OCC (Our Creative Corner) challenge for 7/11 is "A Pet Parade" so I dug out the SU stamp set "Here Kitty, Kitty" because my pets are kitties. Shamus is an orange tabby and he leaps so I used him for my model. The third challenge to use hearts is form Spoonful of Sugar. Except for the green paper which is an unknown scrap, the cardstock is DCWV and the print paper is DCWV The Pet Stack pad. The image and sentiment were stamped in SU Close to Cocoa and the tag was sponged with SU Pumpkin Pie. The image was colored with SU markers.

Strawberry Friends

For the first Christmas in my own place I decided that I wanted my tree to have only hand made ornaments and they had to be red and white. Somewhere I found a pattern for a fabric strawberry which was very easy to make. My buddy Aguas (she got that name from her high school Spanish teacher cause her maide name is Waters, and well it stuck) thought they would be a great gift. So we got together and made a couple hundred of them. We were giddy by the time we finished and ever since then we've been giving each other Strawberry themed presents. When I got married she threw a strawberry themed shower for me. Did I mention that the year we started this was 1980. As you can imagine we've each got a lot of strawberry items around the house. No matter where I go I see something that reminds me of Aguas, and I always think happy thoughts when I think of her. She moved to the San Francisco area many years ago but we keep in touch and still exchange strawberries all these years later. Nowadays it's a challenge to find something different. Some year, I'm gonna start sending stuff she gave me back to her, see if she notices. Her birthday is coming up next week so I made a set of cards to include with the strawberry pie dish I picked up for her. The strawberry stamp is by Lockhart and is so cute that I had to get it. There are 4 cards in total, two of each of the styles in the picture but I switched the ribbons around so that all four are a little different. I colored the image with Prismacolor pencils and used DCWV Nana's Nursery papers. I also used some Martha Stewart punches on some of the edges. I hope she doesn't read this post before before she gets her present. Well Aguas, if you're looking here, happy birthday!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Midnight Madness

I used to take quilting classes called Midnight Madness and they were nuts (in a good way). They were always on Friday nights, about once a month and they always had a surprise fabric swap involved. The swap pushed me to use fabrics I would never have picked out and to see things I would not have seen on my own. It was an interesting way to grow in that craft.
When I saw this card challenge, called Midnight Madness I couldn't resist looking into it. The current challenge is a sketch challenge. I wanted to use Leigh Hannon's candy apple stamp by Impression Obsession again. I made this card using that image. The apples were colored in copics. Then they got dressed up. On the apple on the left I used stickles for the pink jimmies on its top. The drizzle of pink chocolate on it is covered in glossy accents as are the candy corns. Also the candy corns were stamped a second time, cut out and popped up on dimensionals. On the layer under the corns Taylor's Tiny Twinkles in pink were used. On the top apple the decorations were also covered with glossy accents, as well as the orange chocolate ribbon. The paper is DCWV Glitter stack pack, the card stock is also DCWV. The ribbon is MFT spring ribbon collection and they are held on with orange mini brads.
When I was putting it all together I thought the papers were really busy and at one point during its construction I didn't like it and almost bagged it but I pushed myself to finish it and in the end I like it. I hope you do too.
If you'd like to take a chance at winning a Big Shot die cut machine and a bag to carry it in you should take a look at the Midnight Madness site. I'll you have to do is leave a comment to be entered. You can get to Midnight Madness by clicking "here" or by clicking on the challenge button on the side of the page.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Triple Challenge

Do you ever just link from site to site and eventually don't know how you got to where you are and worse than that you didn't save every site you were at and there was one you'd really like to go back to. Today, I was jumping around looking at cards and for challenges and I managed to save a couple sites along my way. So I went back, made some notes and then made this card. It's for three challenges. The first challenge is the Mojo Monday sketch challenge (Mojo94). The second challenge is for Simon Says Challenge to paper piece, this is my favorite technique. I used the MFT stamp set "Girl's Day In" and used MFT summer collection paper to piece the image. The skin was colored with a copic marker. The third challenge is the Pile it On challenge. The basic premise is to use their weekly challenge and at least one more challenge in your project. This week's challenge is to use at least three embellishments. For this card I used Hero Arts pearls on the scalloped circle. a Heidi Swap Bling on the nail polish bottle, orange ribbon and a KaJinkers Jem hanging from the ribbon. My good buddy Eileen gave me a tagger awhile ago and I put it away and forgot about it. I'm glad I remembered it today cause that little white flower is looking mighty cute to me.
I noticed some blinkies on the sites so I'm going to go back and try to get them onto this site. Speaking of gadgets and doohickeys while you're here won't you please click on the free mamogram box, it barely takes any time or effort and you'll be helping a good cause.

Thursday on the MFT Forum

Today is Thursday and over on the MFT Forum at Splitcoast Stampers that means they are posting new challenges and announcing the winners of last week challenges. Last week the challenge was a Green challenge to repurpose an article from your house. I found a lucite utensil holder which I had purchased to use when we ate outside and needed to cart things out. It wasn't well designed so that whenever I filled it with silverware the pieces would fall out. I decided to do something with that.
My first idea was to make it a carrier for my Copic markers but it wasn't right for that purpose. My assistant Jill's birthday is coming up shortly. She's a devoted hard worker, and without her my job would be very difficult. Most importantly she has the temperment to stand my insanity and a good sense of humor, so we laugh a lot. Eventually I thought to make it into a carrier for mani-pedi items for her present.
The MFT stamp set "Girl's Day In" was perfect to use for images on each side. The WTG (Who's That Girl - the headless woman) images in this set are great for paper piecing which is one of my favorite techniques. I used the MFT paper set chocolate kiss for the woman in the chair, for the piecing on other image I used MFT summer collection for the cushion and Stampin'Up Pink Pirouette paper for the robe. I colored the rest of the images with Copic markers. I pleated MFT checked ribbon on the handle, that took a lot of time to do but it looks really pretty. I got the idea for that from MFT "HTDT" (How'd They Do That) forum. There are several tutorials on a variety of techniques.
I was very happy with the way the holder turned out and I was very happy to find out that this week my project was the winner of the challenge. It was bizarre to see my user name posted and it took me so by surprise that I lurched, lost my balance and came pretty close to falling off my chair. Fortunately for me no witnessed this graceful performance or I'd still be getting mocked.

A Night Out

Last night I went out with my friend Phyllis for dinner and a show. We went for dinner at Martini's in Milburn and then to see "The Full Monty" at the Papermill Playhouse. The Playhouse put out an offer for dinner and a show that we couldn't resist. This was my first time dining at Martini's. The food looked beautiful and tasted great too, my steak practically melted in my mouth. They had a list of around 50 martinis from which to chose. It'd be fun to try to sample them all, no, not in one night. The show was funny and cute. I saw the movie many years ago but the actors had such thich accents it was difficult to understand much of the dialogue. In the play the setting was switched to Buffalo, NY so I was able to understand what they were saying. The show opened with a male stripper and that kid was good. I don't think he had an ounce of fat on him and he could dance. Elaine Stritch was the piano player and had some of the funniest lines in the play and her timing was impeccable.
If you're from the area go see a play at the Papermill, the theatre needs our support.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ei's back, Edna too, Maddy never left.

Eileen's (aka Hazel) been off to Disney World with her family, her mother, and her sister's family. She was there when the monorail accident occurred but thankfully no one in her group was on board when the crash happened. Edna (aka Edan) was off to Virginia on a Girl Scout trip. Maddy (aka Ron) and I (aka MO) never left. They make up my scrapbooking, card making, Girl Scout Service Team co-member group and what a group they are. When we're together it's a laugh riot.

Eileen's birthday is 4th of July. I made this card for her. I didn't want to post it till I knew she was home and received it. This is the card that I mentioned in an earlier post. It was published in an on-line magazine. I posted it here in case it gets taken off the magazine.
This was made with the MFT Let's Picnic stamp set. The blue polka dot blanket is a scrap and the rest of the paper is MFT Summer Collection. The clouds were made with flock. I think this card captured the feeling of summer and the Americana colors are perfect for the holiday.
I'm so glad all the buddies are back in town. They've always got my back and it's comforting to know they're here if I need them.

I Resisted

As a follow up to yesterday's post (if you haven't read it, go now, you'll like it, and I'll wait for you) I'd like to answer some of the questions that came up most, first being "was it used?" Our buddy from the property room said it did not appear to be used. I did not persue that line of questionning any further. 2nd most popular question "who would want a coffin?" I replied that my daughter would. Does it come as any surprise that when I told the story over dinner I barely got any of it out and she said "Can I have it?". Pam was over for dinner and crafting. Her family is in the funeral business and so she regaled us with a coffin story, but it's too long and won't be as funny here as it was in person. So, that coffin has had a life of its own (no pun intended)
Today I went shopping for some items including chow for the kitties. While I was in the pet supply section I spotted these lovely flamingo ensembles. That's right, they are pet outfits not baby clothes. Do you all know that I love flamingoes? Well I do so my kitties are very happy to know that I restrained myself and did not buy them. I still have a ways to go before I become the "crazy cat lady", not a long ways, but at least a ways.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Never a Dull Moment

After 25+ years at a job you think you've heard it all but this morning I got a new one. The Police Department found a coffin and want to know if they can't locate the owner is it something I have to auction or how else do they get rid of it. And whenever we get a question like that the first thing we do is look for the moon phase on the calendar. Two days to full moon, I don't know...
Anybody lose a coffin?
I'm not asking this bunch if anyone wants to buy a coffin cause I'm sure more than one of you do.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My Corner

This cozy corner is my favorite spot to hang out in the Poconos. The house is in a pine forest and there's no cable available. We once tried to get a dish but there was no place on our roof that could get reception. As much of a tv addict as I am I never minded. We do get a couple stations with poor reception and we have a DVD player which is enough for us. But when I'm there I usually go sit in this chair. It's in my bedroom and it's such a relaxing spot. I get a lot of reading done here but sometimes I just sit there and relax. When I look across the room from here I see another one of my paintings or I can look out the window at the woods. Sometimes there'll be deer in the yard and of course those are the woods where I found my dear little (did I say little, that sucker is huge, but he's a cutie pie) monster cat Shamus.

When we first got this place I sponged the back wall, it's starting to look a bit dated now, but I still like it. The quilt I made back in the 90's, the painting I call "Singing in the Rain" and I made it around 1984. I wish I had the time, space and physical strength to keep up with all my hobbies.

We (hubby, daughter and I) spent the night there with sister and brother-in-law Ellie and John. John is a workhorse and most of the time when he comes to visit he ends up doing a ton of chores for us. All he ever asks for in return is a cup of coffee, but it's gotta be good and strong coffee. But this visit was just a pop in and pop out. On our way home John and Ellie treated us to lunch at the Mount Airy Lodge casino. We had to have an "escort" take us to the buffet because Liddy was underage, in Vegas they never stopped us (they did kick us out of the Stratosphere, but that's another story). I must say that the buffet was really good. The only other thing I can say about the place is that they had a virtual croupier for roulette. I didn't see much else since the escort was determined to keep us off the floor. Ellie and John stayed behind so if they have any good stories to report back I'll let you all know.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July

It's the 4th of July and that means Party, Party, Party. All across America there are parties, who'd'a thunk my hubby could cause such a ruckus. So Happy Birthday to Vincent (many of you know him as Jim, including me, but that's another story). And to good buddy Eileen, Happy Birthday to you too! Eileen is down at Disney World with all her family having a great time despite the heat.

So here's a pic of the silver haired wonder holding a present he got from Megan Lock. He's never met Megan but he loves her already cause she sent him a gift card for coffee. So how's this possible. Well, over at Splitcoast Stampers, there's a whacky and wonderful group of stampers who have come together because of our love for MFT (My Favorite Things) Stamps. Julie set up a RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) for us. Because Megan saw a comment I made about her 4th of July project she sent it to me. How sweet is that? If you'd like to see more of her work you can visit her blog Megan Lock Designs here if you'd like to visit her Splitcoast Stampers gallery just click here to view it.who taught me how to do the linkie thingie with the word "here". Big thanks to Megan.
So happy 4th to all of you, I hope you all have great weather and lots of fun while you celebrate my hubbies birthday.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Got Candy?

Yesterday I took off from work and took a ride with Pam to a not so Local Scrapbooking Store. I found a stamp with an image of candy apples that I wanted to ink up right away. Don't they look like Mrs. Prindible apples. Thank goodness I don't like sweets (can you hear me cackling).
I found a website called Inspirational Card Sketches. I used the sketch challenge ICSketches#23 for this card. The stamps are Candy Apples by Impression Obsession, the candy corn if from the Winter Holiday set by Autumn Leaves and the sentiment is from A Muse. The apples and corn are stamped in Memento black and the sentiment is stamped in SU Close to Cocoa. I used Stickles for all the decorations on the apples and candy corn as well as Taylor's Tiny Twinkles on the apple with the candy corn.
The white dots were made with a SU white gel pen and the orange dots were made with a Souffle marker.
The sentiment is popped up on dimensionals, it was punched out with an SU oval punch and the cs was punched out with the SU scalloped oval punch. The candy corn on the lower right were also popped up with dimensionals. The background paper is Anchor's Away by Sassafras.
Some of the details on the card are hard to see, like the Tiny Twinkles on the apple with the corn but if you click on the picture you will enlarge it.

I got published, sort of

I received an e-mail telling me that one of my card's was used in an on-line magazine article. I don't know anything about this magazine but if you're interested in viewing it here's a link.
It's an article about Splitcoast Stampers and a slideshow. My card is number 8 of 10. If you don't want to visit there, no worries, I'll post that card here later.

Happy Birthday Kim

One of my favorite things is "My Favorite Things" stamps. Over on Splitcoast Stampers I've been chatting on the MFT forums and have made some wonderful stamping friends there. Today one of the MFT design team members posted that Kim (our fearless leader, actually the owner of MFT) is having a birthday on July 4th. So I had to make a card for her, it's too late to get it to her mailbox for her special day but maybe she'll see it here or in the MFT gallery.
Kim, thanks for all the great stamps, and more importantly for the conduit for meeting some very talented stampers and they're a bunch of fun to chat with.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Organic Grace

This is a card made for the Splitcoast Stampers Sketch Challenge #SC227. I've been posting my cards there in my gallery. If you want to view my gallery it's "cveneruso".

The leaf is from the Stampin'Up set "Organic Grace and is stamped in SU Sage Green craft ink. All the papers used for this card are scraps or out the package so the names are unavailable. The sentiment is from the SU "Pocket Silhouettes" set. An oval SU punch was used to cut it out. The flower border is a Martha Stewart punch. The edges are sponged with Close to My Heart Desert Sand. The ribbon is from Making Memories.

Getting Started

Isn't blog an ugly name for what can be the most interesting thing people do?

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