Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Still playing with SRM Stickers...

Hello, friends!

Well, I have been so inspired by the SRM Stickers I received in a prize package from Lucy that I made three more cards today for the CAS-ual Fridays Challenge to use stickers or rub-ons on your clean and simple cards. 

All three cards are birthday cards using a sentiment and a birthday image on pre-patterned, textured cards.  I've been struggling with these cards for so long because they have a subtle glossy finish and ridges, which makes it hard to stamp directly onto them or emboss; however, these SRM Stickers work great on them!

Here they are, three quick and simple birthday cards to add to my stash.


Two, and...


I used the #53001 Happy sticker set for all three cards.  I am really liking these stickers, I gotta tell ya!

OK, off to the beach for one final day before I'm back to work tomorrow.  Sigh. 

Take care!

P.S.: The bunnies are all doing well!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Stuck On You -- Times Two!

Hello, friends!

Well, we managed to survive Hurricane Irene with only some minor power outages and lots of tree branches and debris to pick up after the fact.  The winds were probably the scariest part for me, because the storm's strongest point was at night and I couldn't see what the large trees around our house were doing out there.  Thank God, we were all safe and sound.  Want to hear a really cute post-storm story?  Check out the end of the post if you are interested.

Now on to some cards.  I have been lacking my mojo since returning from an awesome vacation in Disney.  However, I received a blog prize package from the lovely Lucy in the mail today, full of awesome stickers!  Then I remembered the current challenge at CAS-ual Fridays to make a clean and simple card using stickers (or rub-ons).  I HAD to give it a try, even though this is way outside my comfort zone.  But I have so many wonderful stickers from Lucy...(thank you again, Lucy)...I had to try!

Believe it or not, I wound up making not one but TWO cards for the challenge.  They both used stickers from the Fancy Pants Love Birds Cardstock Stickers-Element set seen here:

I loved this set as soon as I opened the package!  The first card I made used the two owls on the branch...I loved the way the red hearts popped against the blue background, so I mounted the sticker against red card stock cut with my Nestabilities Labels Eight.  The sentiment is a sticker from none other than the sponsor of this week's challenge at CAS-ual Fridays, SRM Stickers (#53001 Happy) also from Lucy.  I have never used these before, but I have to say I REALLY LIKE THEM!  Here is the finished product...

The second card used two border stickers and the large image at the top of the set; I mounted all the stickers onto a kraft card cut with the Grand Nestabilities Labels One.  The sentiment is another sticker from the SRM Stickers set above; I added some pastel buttons with red floss knots for a final touch. 

OK, now for a sweet post-hurricane story.  (If you aren't interested, it's OK...I'll say good-bye and thanks for visiting!) 

On Sunday afternoon the storm had passed, with only gusty winds remaining behind.  I went around picking up tree branches in our back yard while my two sons kicked around a soccer ball (they were SO happy to finally be outside again!).  My oldest son soon came to me and said, "Mom, I just found a big hole in the ground!"  I went to check it out, wondering if lightening had struck it or if something had fallen, causing this unusual occurrence.  Sure enough, there was a perfectly formed tunnel-like hole in the grass.  A rabbit hole!  As we checked it out, a rather large bunny came along, stopping calmly nearby to eat some grass.  I, being a goofy mom, started to talk to the bunny, saying, "Don't worry, bunny, we aren't going to harm you or your new house.  Stay safe in this wind, OK?"  Bunny chewed on grass.  Boys went back to soccer.  I was afraid they might damage the hole with their ball, so I carefully layed some of the soft, leafy branches I had collected on either side of it and warned the boys to please play carefully.  Within a few minutes, we were all back inside when it started to rain lightly.

About an hour later, I told my husband about the new resident out back and asked if I could show him the hole.  The rain had stopped, so out we went.  But something was different.  The leafy branches had all been moved, neatly and carefully arranged over the opening of the hole.  As I explained how this was strange, he gently moved a branch to find several brand-new baby bunnies squirming around!  They were so tiny and CUTE!  Their eyes were still shut and they had no hair...almost looked like mice. They had definitely just been born!  I ran to get the kids ...and my camera...and here is what we saw:

Needless to say, the kids were in awe, and we have been keeping a vigil over our new little neighbors ever since this discovery.  They are so cute!  Now comes the really goofy part.  I felt this strange motherly bond with that was as if I sensed something was up and I'm glad I reassured her of her safety in our yard.   Please note that I don't make a habit of talking to rabbits, unless I am scaring them out of my vegetable garden.  Maybe it was because of the harshness of the preceding storm that I felt badly for the bunny, stuck outside through it all.  Who knows.  All I know is that I feel a very strong urge to protect her and her babies...funny how our maternal instincts kick in!

So, I will try to keep you all posted on the bunny family status as it unfolds.  My daughter has been begging me to keep one as a pet, but that won't happen.  However, whenever we see little bunnies around I'll be sure to ask them if they were born in our never know!  (I realize this involves more talking to bunnies, but I sense a family memory forming here...)        

Have a great day,


Friday, August 26, 2011

What a Week!

Hello, friends!  I've missed you all as we have been on our week-long family vacation to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  While my DH and I have been there before, this was our first visit there with the kids.  What a great week we had! 

I took almost 500 pictures, so now I have the daunting task of going through them and hopefully putting together a photo book of our week.  We visited all the main parks, including Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, the Magic Kingdom...

and Epcot...

(We arrived when it opened at left after the closing fireworks...the kids were such troopers!)

We did every big ride, saw tons of 3D movies, and met a bunch of Disney characters.  We brought ponchos with us in case of rain, and we did indeed need them...the rain would come and go.  And BOY was it HOT! 

We decided to stay outside the parks in a condo that could accommodate our family size, and it was beautiful!   It had an awesome pool where we relaxed almost every evening after returning from the parks.  Here is the view from our living room...

I had a phone call from my mom while sitting out a roller coater ride with my youngest (he wasn't tall enough) and she told me they had just had an earthquake.  That rarely happens in New Jersey!  Luckily, she checked on our house and all was fine.  Her house shook and it is all brick...very scary.

Later in the week we heard about the approaching Hurricane Irene, and I was afraid we might have a problem getting home.  Thank God, we made it home this afternoon in time to get ready for the same hurricane that is now heading our way.  Luckily we are far enough from the coast that we do not have to evacuate, but it is still nerve-racking.  Most of our weekend events have been cancelled (birthday parties, soccer tournaments, pool) so we will be hanging out at home together for a few more days. 

School doesn't start until the day after Labor Day here in New Jersey, so I am cherishing these last few days together as a family.  It is so rare that we are all together at home with absolutely nowhere to go!  Maybe I'll be able to catch up on some blogs, make a few cards, and get through those 500+ pictures I took!  Honestly, my mind is still in vacation mode, so I'd be happy just playing board games and cards and goofing off for a few more days with the kids.  I cherish these days! 

Sorry I haven't been around to visit...I promise to start making the rounds soon.  Until then, stay safe and take good care.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Thinking of You - LIM Week #28

Hello, friends! 

OK, I've been stalling for some reason when it comes to this week's Less Is More challenge to make a one layer card using INK in a new way (if possible).  Mandi's card struck me as so unique and pretty...and she, like many participants this week, did it by inking an acrylic block and spritzing it with water for her background.  Lovely!  Finally, after seeing the gorgeous cards made by Ann at KingstonMamaCrafts, I decided to give it a whirl.  (Nothing like waiting until the last minute!)

I took out my 3" x 4.25" acrylic block and inked the bottom half with Peeled Paint distress ink, while I inked the top half with Broken China distress ink.  I generously spritzed the block with water and stamped it onto white card stock.  Cool mottled effect!  When dry, I stamped the Bicycle and the sentiment in Latte chalk ink and rounded the bottom corners.  I'm rather pleased with how it turned out.

I plan to send this to my Uncle Frank, who has been in the hospital for some time due to complications after surgery.  He is too far away for us to visit, so I send him cards to let him know I am thinking of him and praying for his quick recovery.  I'm thinking this is rather rustic and masculine, do you think so? 

Thanks for stopping by...and thanks to all the participants in this week's challenge at Less Is have really inspired me and I'm pleased to have tried something new!

Dreams Really Do Come True

Hello friends!  I want to share a card I made for Kim Hughes at Paper Smooches for the stamp set I won a few weeks ago during the blog hop (I won at Teri Anderson's blog).  Have you seen this sweet set?  It's called A Little Lovin:

I wanted to say thank you in some way, but this is the only set I of yet.  (Side bar:  I have several sets on my wish list for my birthday...can't wait!)  So I found one of Kim Hughes' free digital download and printed it to the bottom right on a kraft note card.  Here is what I came up with:

When I won this set my dream really DID come true! 

I embossed the elephants onto watercolor paper, watercolor painted them, and fussy cut the image.  I added a strip of patterned paper, dry embossed the top of the background, added a line of dots with a black fine tip Sharpie, and popped up the elephants.  I rounded  the bottom corners to finish.

So, thank you Kim and Teri...I love my new stamps and I have a feeling I'll be getting many more in the near future!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

SPARKS Challenge - Thanks Teacher

Hello, friends!  I was checking out the Paper Smooches blog yesterday and I saw the current SPARKS challenge.  I've never played along before since I just recently received my first Paper Smooches stamp set.  However, I do have a few free digital downloads such as the "Thanks Teacher" I  decided to give this challenge a whirl.

Here is the inspiration photo...

I went with the color scheme (fuchsia, white, baby blue, brown -- added a pop of red).  I used a kraft note card and printed the digital sentiment centered at the bottom.  Next I added four different squares of patterned paper (cut out with a Cuttlebug stamp die) highlighting the inspiration colors.  After adhering them to the card, I embossed the top half of the card with my swiss dots embossing folder.  Finally, I colored the apple with colored pencils (there's my pop of red!) and filled it in with Glossy Accents.  I tied the twine around the card and adhered the bow with a dot of Glossy Accents to keep it in place.

Here is a close-up of the apple with Glossy Accents:

I know it may seem silly to make a thank you card for a teacher during summer vacation, however I will hold onto this (and I made several while I was at it) and I'll plan to give them to my kids' teachers around Thanksgiving.  I like to let them know how much we appreciate them.

Thanks for stopping by...have a great day!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sweet Tooth - PDCC#94

Hello, friends!  Just stopping by with a quick card that I made to say thank you to Nicole at the Sweet Stamp Shop for the awesome "Sweet Tooth" stamp set I won.  I received it the other day and I am having so much fun with it!  If you haven't been by the Sweet Stamp Shop Blog yet, you MUST go visit!  They have a super design team and tons of creative inspiration going on there. 

As a way to say thanks to Nicole and to play with my new stamps a bit, I made her card using the colors from the current Play Date Cafe Challenge #94 :


I have to give credit to Donna Mikasa for inspiring me...I totally cased THIS lovely card of hers (using a different Sweet Stamp Shop set).   By the way, Donna is one of the Sweet Tooth Girls and is doing a great job!  I love her style...always have...she is SO talented!  Here is my card inspired by Donna's:

I had fun stamping the sentiment onto a kraft note card, and then I used Hero Arts capital and lower case Pixie Letters  to add the "You fill my..."  (I'm trying to say thank you here...does that make any sense?)  I stamped the tooth image on white card stock and embossed in black, then cut out and filled the entire tooth with Glossy Accents.  (Get it?  I filled the tooth?  Oh yeah, I went there.)  When it was dry I mounted it up on pop dots.  Here is a close-up of the tooth:

I am really enjoying this set and I hope to purchase a few more soon...if not, they are definitely on my birthday/Christmas wish list!

Thanks for stopping by... have a great night!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

More Red, White and Blue (LIM Week 27)

Hello, friends!

Well, I didn't think it possible to come up with a second idea for a card using the colors of my flag (in this case red, white and blue) but somehow I did.  The current challenge at Less Is More - Week 27 is to make a clean and simple card using the colors of your country's flag.  I made a card the other day, and I found it very challenging.  This, as I said, is not my go-to color combination for cards. 

However...I remembered this Hero Arts butterfly.  So I took it out, colored in the wings with red and blue Marvy markers, and stamped it onto a piece of scrap.  And I liked it!  One thing led to another, and here is what landed on my craft desk when it was all done...

Materials Used:  Hero Arts (C4783) Multi-Pattern Butterfly, (CL493) Live Life set; Marvy markers;
paper-piercer; Crafts-Too Daisy Flourish embossing folder.

I want to thank all the lovely ladies from the Less Is More blog community for all your lovely comments.  I really appreciate it!  I am going to put on my jammies early tonight and pull up a chair to my computer and start visiting each of your blogs...I wish I could do it more often, but I am finding it so hard when I am here with the four kids during the summer.  (We seem to be always on the go!)  Thanks for understanding...and thanks for visiting!

Have a great day,

Monday, August 8, 2011

Less Is More - Red, White & Blue

Hello, friends!  I'm here today with a challenge card.  This week's challenge at Less Is More (Week 27 - Colour) is to make a card using the colors of your nation's flag.  I live in the United States, and here are my flag's colors:

While I love the colors of the ol' red, white and blue, I dare say I don't usually go to this color combination for card purposes.  However, I tried my best to think outside the box and create a simple card using red and white with a touch of blue.

I embossed the Hero Arts Wild Flowers along with "A Real Wild Poppy" in white on red card stock, then rounded the bottom corners and added the Traditional Butterfly watercolored in blue.  It may be hard to tell, but that butterfly is popped up for some dimension.

Thanks for stopping by...have a great day!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Happy Day

Hello, friends!   It is a happy day...I was able to make a card for the current Hero Arts Monthly Challenge using some goodies that I won from Vera W. Yates (Ling)...thanks again, Vera! 

I love these floral eyelets, and I immediately thought they would look so cute on the old Hero Arts "Row of Perky Flowers" stamp.  I started out with my favorite Clouds stamp in soft pool shadow ink, stamped the flowers, punched holes and inserted the flower eyelets.  I layered papers for grass and the matting, and stamped Cling Dots in soft vanilla shadow ink on the card base.  I added black stitching and dots (around the popped up MS butterfly) for a final touch, and added the sentiment from the Thoughtful Messages set.  I'm thinking this card would be a cheerful way to wish a child a happy day.

I might as well share a little side project my daughter and I made the other day, too.  She likes to dance to music stored on our iPod, and she asked her dad to burn her a CD with some of our favorites on it.  After she came up with her catchy little title, I typed up the cover for her.  Of course, once I cut it out it looked blank...we can't have THAT, so I took out a few trusty Hero Arts stamps and decorated a bit...

Don't soft pool and poppy chalk ink look pretty together?  Makes me think summer.

Thanks for stopping by...have a happy day!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Creating a Scene and Saying Hello

Hello, friends!  Just stopping by with a card I made for the Hero Arts August Challenge this month:

I watched the technique video by Shari Carroll (see this link) and immediately thought of all of my Hero Arts stamps such as my pretty little house and the new bird I received in a recent blog candy prize from Vera Yates (Ling).  I stamped the Clouds with Soft Pool shadow ink, then stamped the Home With Flourish in Punch chalk ink.  The sentiment is from the Clear Design All Occasion Messages set.  On two different shades of green cardstock (one is Bazzill dotted swiss) I stamped the Designer Woodgrain in Grass chalk ink, then I used my Martha Stewart grass edge border punch.  I used the Martha Stewart fence edger punch on pale pink cardstock (looks white in the picture but looks pink in real life!) and adhered it across the grass.  Finally, I stamped the Sweet Bird image and did it again on yellow gingham paper, cut it out, and adhered it to the card.  Here is how my little scene using a creature (a bird is a creature, right?) turned out:      

I also want to share a few quick cards I made yesterday during a visit with my crafty sister-in-law. (Thanks, Jen...that was FUN!)  I had some pre-stamped and pre-cut designs (balloons, bird, cupcake) in my stash, and I made a few quick cards using the trusty Hero Arts Clouds stamp and a few others you may recognize.  I like to have a variety of birthday cards on hand for the multitude of birthday parties my kids go to!

(Sentiment is from the Big All Time Greetings clear set; balloon is a Studio G $1 stamp)

(Sentiment is from the Truly Appreciated clear set; branch is Long Stem Blossom; bird is Sandylion)

Here is a close-up of the bird's eyes...I used little black gems.

Notice the subtle Music Background in white on the kraft card and the Friend Definition stamped behind the cupcake. There are so many versatile Hero Arts background stamps!  I find that no matter what stamps I use on my cards, I always seem to use at least one Hero Arts stamp.  Love them!

Ok, enough ramblings for today.  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Feeling Fruity

Hello, friends!  I made a card today for the current Less Is More is Week 26, the fifth week of the month (i.e., 'Lucky Dip' week), and the challenge is:
(They would like to see fruit or fruit colors on the card...easy peasy 'lemon' squeezy!)
My card is rather simple...not very fruity colors, per se, but it follows the color of the apple.  I cut several strips of patterned paper and ribbon, lined them up on an angle, and adhered them to the card before mounting the apple.  I stamped the Hero Arts apple from the Four Apples set with punch chalk ink.  The sentiment is also Hero Arts from the Big All Time Greetings set.  The black gem on the apple is actually very shiny, just hard to tell in this pic.  (Thunderstorms rolling by have darkened my natural light...what timing!)
As an aside, congratulations to Rosemary for being named the July challenge winner at Less Is More (see THIS post).  Chrissie and Mandi could not have made a better choice...way to go, Rosemary!
Have a great day!