Friday, July 30, 2010

Well, Jasper may be able to lie around and enjoy the peace and quiet of a vacated house, but I have a scraproom to restore to order. 

Actually, I enjoy organizing - definitely not the same thing as cleaning.  (I believe housecleaning was a punishment wrought on Eve in the Garden of Eden, it just didn't get recorded, only passed down from mother to daughter in the form of guilt.) 

I have already worked on my paper and underbed storage for non-scrapbooking stuff.  Now I have extra drawer space and am once again stumped as the best way to organize my stamps.   Good problem to have, right?

Happy Friday, hope to have some projects back on the blog in the next day or so.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

TIPsy Tuesday - Out with the Old

When I return my guest room to a scrap space, I have many plans for how it should be organized.  This of course means getting rid of some stuff.  I've already started clearing out the non-scrapbook related items I really don't need in that room.  Periodically, I do purge scrapbooking items and I'm sure there will be a few more to go with this clean up.

Here are some ideas of what to do with your old scrapbook/card making materials:

  • It is almost time for school to start.  Do you know a teacher who might like some crafting supplies? 
  • Donate supplies to a friend who is new to scrapbooking or card making.
  • Sell items on E-bay - my experience has been that name brand collectables like Creative Memories sell very well.  It is easier if they are sized to fit in those fixed price boxes from the post office so you can control shipping costs.  Keeping shipping costs under $5 is desirable.  You probably won't make a great fortune, but you can get rid of stuff and know that it goes to someone else who will really appreciate the find.
  • Re-arrange your storage.  I have some SU! designer papers that I plan to store with the color of cardstock they match rather than continuing to keep so many packs of specific designer paper.  For example, I have several designer papers I've used most, but not all, of that have 'old olive' papers. Why not just store those with the 'old olive' cardstock and have fewer paper organizers.
  • Have a "use it up" day/week where every card or project concentrates on using up older supplies.  It is a great opportunity to make cards for charity like Operation Write Home.
  • Donate to a friend's yard sale or church sale if you don't want to have one of your own.
  • Try to think of a new purpose for your items.  I have some very large chipboard letters that made great photo frames. 
  • Stop hoarding supplies for the "perfect project" and put them to good use.  I know that one is hard to do!
Just a few ideas for making more space - well, until the next order from Two Peas gets here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Handwriting challenge

The Finally Friday challenge from Kristina Werner's blog was to use handwriting on your card.  I didn't have a good "get well" sentiment for these images so I thought I'd try it out.  I've always disliked my handwriting so this was a good challenge for me. 

Project Notes: 
  • Before writing on the card, I tested my writing on scrap paper and measured the space needed.
  • These images are stamped with Staz-on ink in Timber Brown and then colored in with markers.  I stamped a bunch of images as something I could work on while my scrap space is a guest room.  To choose the ink colors, I picked out a selection of designer paper from Basic Grey to match to.
Thanks for stopping by!

Ingredients:  Stamps:  Occasionally by SU!
Cardstock:  Pumpkin Pie, Bashful blue
Markers:  Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie, So Saffron, Ruby Red; Zig chocolate marker
DSP: Offbeat by Basic Grey
Chipboard:  Stampin' Up! On Board

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Wedding Flowers

For our outdoor wedding 9 years ago, we gave packets of zinnia seeds for favors to continue our gardening theme.  We planted our seeds even though it was a bit late in the season and they came up and bloomed.

Zinnias are supposed to be annuals but ours have reseeded themselves every year. Every year I wonder if these flowers will come back. My husband always assures me that they will and he's always right. Actually, they are spreading and now cover parts of two flower gardens. Along with the coneflowers I started last year, our garden has become a butterfly and moth haven.

So now we not only enjoy a variety of zinnias, we get to see an increasing variety of winged creatures enjoying our flowers, too.

Friday, July 23, 2010

live, laugh

I'll be honest.  I really don't like this card.  The Splitcoaststampers color challenge was to use Regal Rose, Old Olive and the new Peach Parfait.  Regal Rose has never been a favorite.  Also, I'm working without a dedicated craft space.  I have stuff in my bedroom, stuff in the guest room (my craft space), and I'm trying to work on a desk without sufficient light.  Yet, I wanted to try to do some cards downstairs while we had a guest to see if I could come up with a way to do crafts in our living room when I had a few spare minutes rather than having to run upstairs each time.

Here's what I learned from this card:
  • Peach Parfait is a little darker than Apricot Appeal (the cardstock I used here).  However, Colorbox has an ink color that is very, very close - Amber Clay.  I have some of Peach cardstock on order from SU! but I'll probably just use my colorbox queue ink for now.  I don't see this one becoming a favorite anyway.
  • Stamp sets can be classics or be dated just like any other designed item.  This set called Funky Favorites is one I bought off E-bay when I first started stamping.  While I like the idea of the images - a watering can, a topiary tree, a chair - the artistic style is dated.  I would have been better to apply that money to something current or more classic.
  • I can not use my personal antique desk as a stamping space.  The light isn't good enough and there isn't room to house a good desk lamp or a decent cutter.
  • Don't use Craft ink with fine line images like these words.  I knew better on that one already. 
  • If I work downstairs, I have to invest in a second good paper cutter.  The Fiskers portable paper cutter is awful. 
So the card may not be a masterpiece but as they say, you learn more from your mistakes.

On a positive note, I finished cropping and touching up the Hilton Head photos.  A set is enroute to Jaime via Walmart's photo processing.  They have free shipping on home delivery of photos through the end of this month!

Ingredients:  Stamps:  Funky Favorites by SU!, greetings from Inkadinkado
Ink:  Regal Rose craft, Old Olive, Pumpkin Patch queue by Colorbox
Cardstock:  Old Olive, Apricot Appeal, Whisper White
DSP:  Regal Rose
Ribbon:  Old Olive taffeta by SU!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blog Candy at Artfuldelight

There is some great blog candy at  She has two different giveaways so be sure to leave comments for both!

Happy summer day!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mailbox Cards

Here are the cards from the mailbox images I watercolored for TIPsy Tuesday this week.

For this last one, I'm trying to use up some older pattern paper from Stampin' Up!  They have a lot of pretty new papers in this year's catalog.  More goodies to collect and use.

Ingredients:  Stamps:  Mailbox Greetings by Papertrey Ink; Thinking of You greeting from SU!
Ink:  Staz-on Jet Black; various watercolor crayons, Rose Red, Chocolate Chip
DSP:  Fly a Kite by October Afternoon; SU!
Cardstock:  Kraft, Naturals White, Tempting Turquoise
Ribbon:  yellow from ACMoore, Choc Chip Taffeta from SU!
Embroidery Floss:  DMC

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

TIPsy Tuesday - Filling in the Lines

If you miss a spot when stamping an image for watercolor, you don't necessarily have to scrap it.  If I have a marker color to match - usually black - I can fill in the missing lines manually.  However, I have learned to do that AFTER I color the image.  My black zig marker runs when watercolor is applied so I just add the lines after I color the image.

  1. Here is a Staz-on stamped image that didn't quite fill out all the lines. 
  2. I watercolored the image using watercolor crayons and blender pens.
  3. Then, I used a thin black marker to fill in the missing lines.  A light touch works best.

I'm doing more watercoloring this week since that is something I can do without having access to my craft space. 

Hope you are having a fun summer week!

Ingredients:  Stamps:  Mailbox Greetings from Papertrey Ink
Ink:  Jet Black Staz-on, various watercolor crayons from Stampin' Up!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

First Steps

We've had fun the last week introducing two midwestern raised kids to the ocean!  Here are their first steps into the Atlantic. 

They spent a lot more time in the ocean on floats and digging in the sand.  We also played miniature golf, played lots of other games in the condo during the hottest part of the days, biked on Hilton Head's extensive golf paths, went canoeing, ate way too much, and enjoyed catching up with each other.  I'm sure many of the other 192 (!!!) photos I took will find their way onto future scrapbook pages.  My stepdaughter also took photos so I'm anxious to see those.

I hope to be back to making cards some this week.  My scrap space is in use as a guest bedroom for a few days but I bet I can find a way to do some papercrafts.  I'm going through glue withdrawal!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Hidden amongst these sunflowers is a tiny bird feeder.  It is courtesy of sloppy birds that we get these bright flowers outside our bathroom windows. 

Happy summer day!  Stay cool.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

TIPsy Tuesday - Faux Stitching Guide

Typically, I just freehand my faux stitching lines using the smallest point of my marker or a white gel pen.  For those who want little neater finish, a perfect guide is Stampin' Up!'s mat pack that you normally use for paper piercing.  The edge has guide marks for an easy wide or small faux stitch.

Here's another version of the card with the wide stitch:

No need for a sewing machine or stamps to get a neat faux stitch look. 
Thanks for stopping by!

Ingredients:  Stamps:  Cheep Talk by SU!
DSP:  Basic Grey
Ink:  Old Olive, Riding Hood Red by SU!; Ruby Red Marker; light green from Primary Colors fluid chalk by Color Box
Cardstock:  Spring Moss by PTI

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summer Days

Just a few photos from Project 365 from late June. 

Project Notes:

  • Before printing, I added a border and some journaling to each photo in Photoshop Elements.

  • The little lawnmower is PowerPoint clipart. I colored it in with SU! Watercolor crayons.

  • Cricut and SCAL software cut the letters for the banner and 'days'.  I punched the holes with my paper piercer.

  • I stamped the hearts and stems on in green and then added some punched some flowers to cover the larger green hearts.
The lawnmower is a dig at Lenny for mowing over some of my monkey grass plants with his new lawnmower.  It is a walk behind with an optional ride-on platform that has many speeds.  He had it in a high speed that practically dragged him around the yard the first time through.  Fortunately, he has mastered it or he might be getting more exercised than he bargained for:   :-)

Ingredients:  Stamps:  Flourishes by Autumn Leaves; Whoo Loves You?  by Hampton Arts for flowers
DSP:  Thrift Shop and Fly a Kite by October Afternoon
Brad:  SU! Build a Brad
Fonts:  Impact, Arial Black, Bookman Old Style, Andy

Friday, July 9, 2010


Here is another Thank You note I did using the Cosmo Cricket Material Girl collection.  I sent this one to a customer.  You can find this collection at

I didn't add any extra distressing this time figuring this one was busy enough.  The sentiment is from the paper collection.  I love it!  Wish I had a stamp of it.  Perfect for a "material girl" like me.

Ingredients:  Material Girl Crafting Kit by Cosmo Cricket
Cardstock: Lemon Tart, Scarlett Jewel by Papertrey Ink
Ribbon:  Basic Grey
Buttons:  Fabric store

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Last stitch, last thread snipped and a few days ahead!  I won't say it is my most detailed quilt.  It is bright, soft and full of Nai Nai's favorite colors. 

I did get to play a little with my free hand quilting foot.  Clearly this needs practice but it is fun to do.

All the fabrics on the front are from Kaffe Fassett.  Finished size is 60" x 84".

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Spring Solitude Challenges

Often when I'm wanting to do the color and/or sketch challenge at Splitcoaststampers, I browse my stamp sets to see what jumps out at me.  This week it was the Spring Solitude set - a hostesss set from a couple of years back with a matching wheel.  I figured that little birdie would look cute in the small circle from the sketch.  I flipped the sketch so the birdie would face into the card.

I've unmounted the wheel from this set so it is very easy to use.  See this post if you want to unmount wheels --  Tipsy Tuesday Wheels to Unmounted Stamps

I resisted the urge to use dimensionals on some of these elements.  With no buttons or ribbon, this one is easy to mail.  In fact, this card needs to go in the mail to a family friend recovering from knee replacement surgery.  Such a painful process and I hope she will soon be home enjoying her independent life.

The flowers are colored with blender pens dipped in Baja and Razzleberry ink as well as a So Saffron crayon.  The "wheeled" image is embossed with Versamark on So Saffron cardstock.
Thanks for stopping by!

Ingredients:  Stamps: Spring Solitude by Stampin' Up!; Mailbox greetings by Papertrey Ink
Ink:  Versamark, Rich Razzleberry, Baja Breeze, So Saffron watercolor crayon
Cardstock:  So Saffron, Baja Breeze
DSP:  Sunshine Garden Simply Scrappin' Kit by SU!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

TIPsy Tuesday - Distressed or Naked?

So many designer papers have vintage patterns these days.  In addition to lots of small prints, this year all kinds of papers are showing up with old dress patterns, fashion and dress pattern ads, measuring tape and other sewing notions on them.  Cosmo Cricket's Material Girl collection is one of these.  I was fortunate enough to win this collection from as blog candy!  (Check out her blog and website.  She has some new blog candy and great prices on her paper collections: )

Yet despite all the vintage prints, many of these papers have a minimum of distressed edges.  I think this is a good thing.  You can always add your own distressing.  For me, if I'm looking for paper for scrapbook pages, I like the heavy distressed look - like Basic Grey papers have.  If I'm making cards, I'd rather have very little disressing.  The paper will be cut up in small pieces and I don't want one edge heavily aged and other edges bare.  Also if you are making multiples of a card, it is much easier to cut the paper if the finish is consistent.

My favorite distressing inks are:
Ranger's Antique Linen (very light), Old Paper, Vintage Photo
Distressing inks are dye inks.

Stampin' Up!'s Classic inks are also dye inks.  They dry fast and can be applied lightly.
Good distressing colors from SU! are:
River Rock, Soft Suede, and Sahara Sand

All of these colors give papers an older appearance which is terrific for the many vintage style designs on the market now.

For the card here, I used Ranger Antique Linen and Vintage Photo to sponge on some color to the edges after cutting my paper strips from the Material Girl collection and one October Afternoon piece.

So much about paper comes down to preference.  Fortunately, there are so many wonderful paper companies we can have it all.  Thanks for visiting today!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Gorgeous Day for a Hike

It's been a gorgeous weekend here after so many days of 90+ degree weather.  It was also a gorgeous day when we took these photos on two recent hikes off the parkway near Linville, NC. 

Project Notes:
  • I had these photos developed at Walmart.  For the photos of us, I had full 4x6 shots developed and I also did some with 2 photos per 4x6 sheet so I could choose from the smaller or larger ones depending on how the layouts went.
  • I use PowerPoint to type up my titles and journaling.  First these were printed on the green background paper to get the spacing right.  I was going to cover up most of this paper anyway so it was good scrap printing paper.
  • The cloud DSP is the bottom part of the tucan paper from Stampin' Up!'s Sweet Pea paper pad.  I just turned the paper upside down for printing.
I hope we will have time for a hike at our local park again soon.  Just found out that Riverbend park we love going to will be closed three days per week due to budget cuts.  My business has been better this year; I hope things turn around soon.

Ingredients:  DSP:  Sweet Pea by Stampin' Up!
Chipboard frame by SU!
Ink:  Brocade Blue for disrtressing.
Leather:  Walmart
Chipboard letters:  Basic Grey undressed

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th!

Happy Independence Day!  Here's a card I did to put in the next Operation Write Home box.  It's been awhile since I made Any Hero cards.  These are notes, thank yous for our service men and women to let them know how much their sacrifice is appreciated.

Project Note:

  • The stars were cut with the Cricut using SCAL software.  I created the file myself by just adding one of the built-in images for a star over and over again. I sized some differently, put some stars inside others to get the cut-out ones, and pushed them close together then welded the whole thing.  Most of it cut out as one shape and I was suprised and how quickly it cut.
  • I glued all this down with spray adhesive (3M Photomount, I think) - a tip from over at Two Peas.
Soon it will be time to get our cheeseburgers ready along with some locally grown corn-on-the-cob.  Enjoy your celebrations!

Ingredients:  Cardstock:  Real Red by SU!
DSP:  Night of Navy by SU!
Ribbon:  Navy from craft store; Red and white from SU!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Our State Bird

The other thing I got when Walmart was revamping their craft area was a set of bird stamps from Martha Stewart.  I stamped several of these cardinals days ago and have slowly - very slowly - gotten around to watercoloring the cardinals and magnolias.  I know cardinals are the state bird for many states including ours.  Our state flower is the dogwood.  Wonder who has the magnolia to go with the cardinal?  Sounds like a Jeopardy question - ah, Answer.

Anyway, we blew a transformer early this morning so with the power off and little else I could do, I finally put these cards together.   (Thanks to the wonderful folks at Duke Energy.   They restored our power while we were off doing an installation.)  I kept the card design simple focusing on the red bird.  I decided to break out the Close to Cocoa cardstock.  I love that color of ink, even ordering a reinker was soon as SU announced they were dropping it.  But the Close to Cocoa paper is often untouched.  It's a little rosy for me.  Soon I'll be collecting new colors so time to get some of the older stuff out the door.

Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend! 

Ingredients:  Stamps:  Birds by Martha Stewart Crafts; All Holidays by SU! for the greeting
Ink:  Staz-on jet black; various watercolor markers - mainly real red, bravo burgandy, close to cocoa, very vanilla
DSP:  Real Red by SU!
Cardstock:  Close to Cocoa, Basic Black
Ribbon:  fabric dept.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Progress and Frustration

On Tuesday, I introduced my friend Jeanie, a SU Demo and an amazingly talented crafter, to Mary Jo's fabric store in Gastonia, NC.  Mary Jo's is THE place to go for whatever type of fabric you are wanting.  They have particularly good selections of special occasion and quilting fabrics.  We went to another supplier in Gastonia to pick up some essential components of fabric shades I am making for a customer - items that would have cost me a fortune in oversize freight charges on UPS.  But since we were in Gastonia, no point in passing up an opportunity to go fabric shopping, right?

The only thing I needed was the backing fabric for Nai Nai's quilt and selected a tiny white polka dot on a purple background.  Purple is her favorite color.  Jean bought some really cute tulle and sparkly sheer to make a fairy princess outfit for her grand-daughter.

While waiting on some trim to come in for my next job, I was able to get the back pieced and the quilt sandwiched.  This morning I did the final basting so I feel like I'm making good progress towards getting this done in just a few more days.

The frustration hit when I went to machine quilt.  First I had accidentally disconnected the IDT on my Pfaff - it is the built in even feed foot. I love my Pfaff sewing machine.  It is without hesitation the single best purchase I've ever made.  I use it for everything now!  I soon figured out what was wrong but not before I had to rip about a half width's stitches.  Then I tried what I'd envisioned for the quilting.  That didn't work well either, but not because of the machine.  More seam ripping - ugh!  I'm not sure what was wrong but knew that I'd better go to a backup plan fast.  My husband had arrived on the scene to help me with my real work. 

So I've done some quilting in the ditch to get almost sufficient quilting for the top.  I still want to experiment with some other types of machine quilting.  Doing a project in a hurry sure means lots of compromises.
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