Friday, October 31, 2014

Fuzzy little guy....

Happy Halloween!  I've been so good, I think I may cave in and go purchase a very small package of "fun-size" Milky Ways.  They are my favorite Halloween treat. Have you been munching on the goodies for the kiddos?? 

 I'm happy to be back in business with blogging.  Sorry for the little glitch in my posts, but thanks to my tech-savvy son-in-law Eli, I'm able to blog again.  Hope your week went smoothly and that you are getting back in rainy-weather mode after our fabulous summer and early fall.  Even I have given up on sandals and capris, but I think I was one of the last hold-outs.  I just don't enjoy closed-in shoes and long pants all that much, but when the rains start, I'm forced to knuckle under. 

I've got an "interesting" card for you today... interesting because I've never seen a hairy bird like this.  Yes, I know we don't have cardinals here in Oregon, and I must confess that I don't get out much, so I've never seen a cardinal up close.  But I'm pretty sure they don't have little hairy things sticking out of their feathers. I don't know what the artist who drew this image was thinking.
Maybe this little guy is a baby bird and he still has his downy fuzz.  Or maybe he's cold and his feathers are fluffed up.  Whatever the reason, check out the card and you'll see what I mean.

I used the Beauty of the Season stamp set from the holiday catalog and stamped it in Staz-On ink on watercolor paper.  I colored the bird with an aqua-painter and Cherry Cobbler ink.  The branch is colored in Soft Suede and the berries are done in Cherry Cobbler.  
The strip of printed card stock along the side is from the Under the Tree collection of extra-heavy card stock (page 5 of the holiday catalog).  The greeting was stamped on watercolor paper with Jet Black Staz-On ink.  Mossy Meadow goes so nicely with Cherry Cobbler that it's my new favorite for Christmas.  

Thanks for stopping in today!  You might want to make a last-minute trip to the store and get yourself some goodies that you actually like.  It's a lot of work running back and forth to answer the doorbell and you're going to need the energy to keep up.  So I've just given you the excuse you need to purchase and consume your favorite Halloween treat.  I think I hear a chorus of "thank you's" out there and I want you to know that you are entirely welcome.  
Hugs to all,

Monday, October 27, 2014

Clean and Simple Christmas

Hi there stampers!

Wow... what I busy weekend I had!  But it was all fun... first at my Gifted Stamper class on Saturday and then at Charlotte's party on Sunday.  It's always fun to get together with my stamping customers.  They are the nicest people and so much fun too!  When we get together, I'm 100% sure that I'm going to laugh and since laughter is healthy, then it just stands to reason that stamping is healthy too because the two always seem to go together.  

After a short break of non-holiday cards, today we return to Christmas cards.  I received this card at a recent meeting of demonstrators and I just love it.  This clean and simple card is the work of Shannon Carrier. Everyone at the meeting loved it too.  
Check it out...

I don't think this photo really does justice to this card, but hopefully you can see it well enough to appreciate it. I know I need to get a better camera, but let's not go into that right now.  The folded card base is is Crumb Cake, with a thin border of Early Espresso setting off the focal panel of more Crumb Cake.  The stamps are all from the Endless Wishes stamp set (page 32 of the Holiday Catalog).  The snowflakes are stamped in Soft Suede, while the words "a little dash of cheer" are stamped in Early Espresso.  The word Christmas is stamped in Cherry Cobbler.  Adding the rhinestones to the snowflake centers proves to be the perfect finishing touch.  Nice work, Shannon!

I'm excited to be meeting with my SOS (Stamp Out Stress) friends today at Symposium Coffee in Old Town Sherwood.  We took a break from our get-togethers over the summer, and then I was on a trip on the last Monday of September, so this is the first time we've met in ages.  It will be good to get back to our regular routine of stamping on the last Monday of each month at 1 o'clock in the afternoon.  We talk, stamp, drink coffee, stamp, laugh, and stamp some more.  If you like coffee, stamping, talking, and laughing, you really should join us sometime.  I promise that your stress level will drop dramatically!

Thanks for stopping by this last Monday of October.  Didn't this month just fly by?   Please come back on Wednesday for another classic card.
Hugs to all,

Friday, October 24, 2014

Yippe, it's Friday!

Hi and happy Friday, everyone!

Are you feeling a little soggy around the edges yet?  There are parts of the country that are flooding, while others, like California, are experiencing a terrible drought.  So I guess we really have nothing to complain about.  This is just our typical fall weather and as I watch the rain, I'm thankful that we are not drought-stricken like they are in California.  

As promised, I'm bringing you another non-holiday card today.  I will probably get back to showing you Christmas cards on Monday, but for today we'll take a look at another one of the cards that will be made at The Gifted Stamper this Saturday.  I'm excited that I have a full house for this class.  We're going to have a busy afternoon of stamping, as everyone will be making 6 cards plus a 
folder to store them in.  This will make a great gift for friends this holiday season.

I'm hoping I haven't shown you this card yet... I'm having a bit of trouble with my computer and I can't access all of my recent posts.  If this is a repeat, I apologize.

This is a gatefold card that opens in the center, just for something a little bit different.  The stamp set is Kinda Eclectic and the colors are Blackberry Bliss, Hello Honey, and Mossy Meadow... all stamped on Very Vanilla card stock.  The greeting is from the Hostess Set "Hello There," on page 237 of the annual catalog.  The Vanilla and Blackberry panels are cut with the Label Collection Framelits on page 231 of the annual catalog.  The butterflies were punches with the Elegant Butterfly and Bitty Butterfly punches on page 219 of the annual catalog.  

With all the rain in the forecast, I'm hoping that you'll use that as an excuse to stay inside this weekend and stamp.  You can even stay in your jammies if you want to, drink tea, coffee, or hot chocolate and just generally goof off.  That's what weekends are for, unless you're a Stampin'Up! demonstrator.  I'll be stamping all weekend too, but definitely not in my pj's!

Have a relaxing weekend, and please come back on Monday for another classic card.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Holiday Break

Hi there and happy Wednesday!

I've been showing you fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas cards for quite a while now and I think it's time for a little break.  After all, life goes on and we need all sorts of everyday cards, such as birthday, get well, thinking of you, and sympathy cards.  

Today's pretty card was made by one of my team members, Mary Peterson.  Check it out below and then I'll give you a run-down of all of products she used to create this beauty.

The colors Mary used are Soft Sky, Whisper White, and Early Espresso.  Those pretty little vines in the background are from the Bordering Blooms set on page 162 of the annual catalog.  They're stamped in Early Espresso.  The larger flowers come from the Flower Shop stamp set on page 67 of the annual catalog and are punched out with the Pansy Punch. The smaller flowers in the center are from the Petite Petals stamp set and they are punched out with the matching Petite Petals punch.  
The sentiment is from the Perfect Pennants set on page 16 of the annual catalog.  The Early Espresso Cotton ribbon is the perfect finishing touch.  As pretty as this is done in Soft Sky, I can imagine this same design done in So Saffron or Blushing Bride, with the same Early Espresso ink.  

If you've got a bit of time today to stamp, why not pull out some flower stamps, a nice sentiment, and stamp up a pretty card?  You must know someone who could use a bit of encouragement.  You'll feel good just by sending it and your friend will be so appreciative.

If you are at work today, just think... it's "hump day" and you're officially over the hump and it's all downhill to the weekend!  

Thank you, my faithful readers, for stopping in today. Please come back on Friday when I'll have another non-holiday card to inspire your stamping.  

Choose happiness,

Monday, October 20, 2014

Oh boy... Halloween!

Whoa!  It's Monday again!  The days are zipping by too quickly for me.  Don't you wish we could slow things down?  Wasn't Sunday the most glorious autumn day?  I'm sorry I didn't get a chance for an afternoon walk in the sunshine, but I did go to the grand opening of the new Home Goods store in Tualatin, along with about half the population of Portland.  My goodness... what a mob!  

I just checked the 7 day forecast for Portland and it's not looking so good, unless you are a stamper. For those of us who are addicted to stamping, the weather is looking pretty perfect.... rain, rain, and rain... with a 100% chance of rain on Wednesday.  

Last Friday I showed you the Halloween card I made for my granddaughters, so today I'm going to show you the cards I made for my grandsons.  Being typical boys, both Luke and Ben think monsters are pretty cool.  And they know "the count" (Count Dracula) from Sesame Street, so I'm hoping they'll like their Halloween cards.  Of course being typical boys they'll probably fling the cards onto the floor.  I'm pretty sure they'll be happy about the cash that's in the card, though. I'm asking Amy to take them to Menchie's Frozen Yogurt in the U Village or to Top Pot Donuts, a Seattle favorite, for their annual Halloween treat from Oma and Opa.

Here are their fun Halloween cards...

These cute cards are made with the Motley Monsters designer paper on page 45 of the Holiday catalog.  I simply cut out a strip of the monsters and glued the strip onto some Tangerine Tango card stock which I embossed with the Tiny Triangles embossing folder.
For the sayings, I used the Just Sayin' stamp set (page 109 of the annual catalog) and cut them out with the matching Word Bubbles Framelit Dies.  

I would like to have tied some of the new Tangerine Tango extra thick Twine on these, but we all know that lumps and bumps in an envelope are not appreciated by the US Postal Service.  I'm pretty sure the boys wouldn't notice anyway.  

Thanks for dropping by today.  Hope your week is off to a smooth start and that you'll find some time during the week ahead to do a little stamping.  When we take time out for creativity, it makes life so much happier!  

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sweet Halloween

Hi there stampers and may I just add a small "yippee" for the weekend that is just around the corner?
I've got a couple of events that I'm looking forward to... a party this afternoon with Sandy and her friends, and then another one on Saturday afternoon with Yoko and her friends.  There's going to be a whole lotta stampin; going on!

If you've checked your calendar lately, you'll see that October is just flying by and that soon, Halloween is going to be here.  Do you have your candy stash ready for the little ghosts and goblins?? I know that many of you have heard me say that, when it comes to candy,  if it's not chocolate, it's not worth eating.  Actually, I think many adult women feel that way.  Let the kiddos eat the Skittles, Jelly Bellies, Red Vines, and other non-chocolate schtuff, but give us the Dark Milky Ways, the Snickers bars, yummy Twix bars, and all of those other chocolate-y goodies.  Today's card, though, reminds me that I do love one Halloweeny thing that isn't chocolate, and that is candy corn! I don't know what it is about candy corn that I love.  Maybe it's just the association with childhood that make it so satisfying.  Of course I'd like it better if it was dipped in chocolate!

Here's one of the sweet Halloween cards I made for my granddaughters.  

Doesn't that candy corn make you wish you had some right now?  I used the Motley Monsters Designer Paper on page 45 of the Holiday Catalog and paired it with some Tangerine Tango card stock.  I love how the triangular shapes created with the Tiny Triangles Embossing Folder (page 227 of the annual catalog) echo the triangular candy corn.  I didn't want anything remotely scary on this card, so I chose the single stamp Halloween Street (page 47 of the Holiday Catalog) for my greeting.  
I stamped the pumpkin from the Fall Fest stamp set ( page 46 of the Holiday Catalog) in Tangerine Tango and added the carved face with Tuxedo Black Memento Ink (page 212 of the annual catalog). This is, by far, my favorite black ink.  I think if you give it a try, you'll agree that it is awesome. It stamps nice and dark and doesn't smear. It's also the type of ink you must use when coloring with the new Blendabilities alcohol markers. I cut out the pumpkin with the matching Fun Fall Framelit Dies. If you've got some small children or grandchildren to remember on Halloween, this could be the perfect card. 

Thanks for stopping by on this very busy Friday.  I know I'm not the only one with a lot on my list today, so I appreciate you taking some of your valuable time to read my blog.  
Have a relaxing and restorative weekend, everyone!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Blossoming in Blackberry Bliss

Helloooo Stamping Weather!

Just checked today's forecast and it is definitely looking like you'll have a really good excuse to stay in your jammies longer than usual and stamp away a few hours.  Since I spent the entire day yesterday in my stamp room, prepping for upcoming parties and classes, I need to get out of the house today to run errands, shop, and go to Curves.  Sometimes it's necessary to pay attention to things other than stamping.  Sad, I know, but necessary.  So while I'm out braving the rain today, I give you permission (in case you need it) to stay inside, keep warm and dry, and stamp to your heart's content.

I have another card from my next class, The Gifted Stamper, to show you today.  This class is at my house on Saturday, October 25th at 1 o'clock in the afternoon.  You're going to create your own designer paper, and then cut it up to make 6 great cards.  You'll also make a quick and easy portfolio to store the cards and envelopes, making this a perfect holiday gift for friends.

Here's the card

The stamp set is Kinda Eclectic (page 164 of the annual catalog) and the sentiment is from Another Thank You (page 148 of the annual catalog).  The flower was punched using 4 different punches:
the Blossom Punch, the Pansy Punch, the 7/8 inch Scallop Circle Punch and the flower from the Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack.  The flower was textured with the Fancy Fan Embossing Folder, as was the Hello Honey panel behind the stamped panel.  The colors are Blackberry Bliss, Hello Honey, Mossy Meadow, and Very Vanilla.  These new In-Colors look so gorgeous together!

We'll I'm off to run my errands.  Hope you'll have a wonderful Wednesday and even if you have to be out and about in the rain, I hope that at some point you'll have a few spare minutes to stamp something pretty.  There's nothing like a little stamping therapy to make a day happier!
Thanks for coming by to read my ramblings and I hope you'll come back on Friday for more stamping ideas.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sunshine for a Cloudy Day

Hey there, stamping friends!

Hope your Monday is off to a happy start, even though it is a bit cloudy out there.  The forecast is calling for rain, but inside my sunny yellow stamping room, things are bright and cheery.  Just in case you are in need of something bright and cheery, I've got a very sunny card for you today.  Check it out

This tri-fold cut-away card requires 12 by 12 card stock.  I cut it in half at 6 inches, then placed it horizontally on the scoring board and scored it at 4 inches and 8 inches.  Then I placed it on my cutter and cut from the 8 inch score line diagonally to the opposite edge, ending the cut 2 inches above the  lower edge. 

The colors I used are Daffodil Delight, Tangerine Tango, and Early Espresso.  The stamp sets I  used are Mixed Bunch, Flower Shoppe, and Sassy Salutations.  To get the color variations on the large flowers, I first inked the stamp with Daffodil Delight, then used a sponge dauber to apply Tangerine Tango ink around the outside of the petals.  Then I used another dauber to daub Early Espresso onto the center of the stamp.  Then I stamped the image, which revealed the three different colors.  I used the Blossom Punch, the Pansy Punch, and the smallest punch is part of the Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack. 

I think you probably know someone who would enjoy getting a warm and sunny card like this on a cold, gray, and rainy Oregon day.  And while you're sending some warmth and cheer, why not include a gift card for a latte or other cozy drink.  Your friend will be delighted!

OK, stampers, that's it for today!  I've got lots on my "to-do" list and I'm sure you do too!  Look for an email from me tomorrow (Tuesday, Oct. 14th) when I'll be sending you a flyer about the newest stamp set from Stampin'Up! as well as the Weekly Deals.

Thanks for stopping in today and please come back on Wednesday for another classic card.

Happy day!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Classic Christmas

Happy Friday, Stampers!

Hope all is well in your world today and that you are happily anticipating the weekend.  It looks like our gorgeous Indian Summer is almost over, but wasn't it wonderful while it lasted?  We should see some sun today, but Saturday is looking like the start of "stamping weather."   Are you ready for it?  Let's see... here's a list of things to do to get ready for stamping weather. You know how I love lists!

1.  Check to see if you have ink refills at the ready.  There's nothing more annoying than running out of ink in the middle of a project.  Email me if you need ink refills.

2.  Take inventory of your card stock and Designer Paper.  Again, you don't want to run short.  Email me to place an order for more card stock.

3.  Clean your crafting area.  Put away paper scraps, wipe down your work surface.  There's nothing more inspiring than a clean craft space.  Then it just seems to be begging for you to mess it up again.
Please don't email me to come and clean your crafting space.  You messed it up, you clean it up.

4.  Make sure you have plenty of coffee, tea, hot cocoa mix, and chocolate on hand.  All of these things are necessary when creating, especially the chocolate.  If you eat enough chocolate, the ideas will come.  I promise.

5.  Go through the Holiday catalog again and see if there isn't something else you need to get started with stamping weather.... like maybe some more ribbon, buttons, washi tape, stamp sets, framelits, etc.  You get the idea!  Then email your order to me so you can get your new goodies asap.

All kidding aside, once the rain starts, you are going to be very thankful to be a stamper.  No longer will you feel guilty about the neglected yard work.  You'll have the perfect excuse to stay inside and stamp.

OK, I guess it's time to get to the card now.  Here it is...

Does this card look a bit familiar?  That is because I shamelessly copied the card on page 8 of the Holiday Catalog.  Uh oh!  That card has 5 rhinestones on it and mine has only 3.  Oh well, it is almost an exact copy!  I added a panel of Cherry Cobbler to the Very Vanilla panel, just because I love Cherry Cobbler so very much.  The sentiment is stamped in Versamark and heat-embossed in Gold Embossing Powder.  I colored some rhinestones with my Cherry Cobbler Blendabilities marker, being very careful not to damage the tip of the marker.  This simple card has an air of simple elegance and would be perfect if you need to create a lot of cards.  The one change I'd make if I planned to send these through the mail would be to substitute sequins for the rhinestones.  Flatter is better when mailing.

Thanks for stopping by today!  Please come back on Monday for more stamping ideas!
Have a creative weekend!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Zippety do dah...

Zippety ay, My oh my what a wonderful day!
Plenty of sunshine, headed our way,
Zippety do dah, zippety ay!

Hey, there, stampers!  Yes, there's plenty of sunshine headed our way and I'm happy about that!
And in honor of the sunshine, I've got a sunny card for you.  If you know me very well, you know how much I miss the sun during the rainy winter and spring months.  So you won't find it hard to believe that this was the first stamp set I purchased when the new annual catalog came out in June.  
It's called Ray of Sunshine and you can check it out on page 159 of the big catalog.

Here's my sunny card...

I used Crushed Curry and Early Espresso with Very Vanilla for the colors.  The spiky rays of the sun come from the stamp set Kinda Eclectic.  I used a double layer of ribbon... Crushed Curry Chevron with Early Espresso Cotton ribbon on top.  I added an extra sparkle of gold with the gold sequins, which I adhered with mini glue dots.  The sentiment is one of my very favorite quotes... "Keep your face always towards the sunshine and the shadows will fall behind you."  Walt Whitman

Hope you can get outside today for a dose of that good vitamin D!

Thanks for stopping by today and please come back on Friday for another Classic Card.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Hello Fall... are you there? Hello? Hello?

Hi there Stampers and a happy Monday to all!

Does anyone know what happened to fall?  It seems to be MIA, although I'm not complaining.  Wasn't the weekend weather just the best?  I'm sorry we stored out outdoor furniture, because it certainly has been warm enough to eat breakfast,lunch, and dinner outside.  Last night we enjoyed happy hour outdoors at our favorite spot, the Oswego Grill in Wilsonville.  Might as well enjoy time on their patio while we can, because I don't think this great weather will last forever.

OK, so let's get to the card, shall we?  This "hello fall" card seems a little premature, as our fall weather certainly hasn't materialized.  But here it is anyway...

Isn't Blackberry Bliss the best color ever?  While a deep, rich purple isn't what most people think of when they hear the phrase "fall color," it does play nicely with Hello Honey and Old Olive.  Normally, I'd use Cajun Craze and Crushed Curry or Hello Honey, with maybe a little Pumpkin Pie thrown in for good measure.  But those colors have been used in combination so much that I'm a little tired of them for fall cards.

These fun little leaves are from the Fall Fest stamp set on page 46 of the Holiday Catalog.  The sentiment is from the stamp set For All Things on page 41 of the Holiday catalog, as is the little banner background.  I used the Arrows embossing folder (page 226 of the big catalog) to give a little texture to the Blackberry Bliss panel.  

Today is the last day to place an order for the Stamp, Stock, and Save promotion, where you can save 20% on 5 selected stamp sets and 15% on stamp pads, envelopes, and card stock assortments, as well as Whisper White card stock.  It's all over at 10:59 Pacific Daylight Savings Time, as Mountain Time is an hour ahead of us.

Hope you all had an enjoyable and relaxing weekend!  May the week ahead bring happy things your way!

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Card for my Baby Girl

Hi there, Stampers!

Today is my youngest daughter's 33rd birthday and I'm feeling pretty old.   It is shocking to think that my sweet baby girl is turning 33 today.  I know it is beyond trite to ask "where did the years go?"  Those days flew by one by one, just the way they do now and before you know it, your babies are grown and gone.  Now my baby is a mom with two little girls of her own.

Since she lives out of state, we won't be getting together to celebrate her special day, I thought the least I could do would be to make her a card to let her know that she's very special to us.  She's loves bright tropical colors, so I thought her card should reflect that.  Here's what I came up with...

Doesn't this just shout "happy?"  I used the very versatile Flower Patch stamp set to create this bright and cheerful card.  The largest flowers are stamped in Calypso Coral, the blue flowers are Bermuda Bay with the centers in Pacific Point.  The yellow "filler" flowers are stamped in Daffodil Delight.
I hope she'll enjoy receiving this card as much as I did creating it for her.  Oh, I guess I should mention that this is larger than the usual  5 1/2 by 4 1/4 card that I usually make.  This one measured  approximately 5 by 7.  When the card is a special one, sometimes it's nice to make it a bit larger. Because this has to go through the mail, I decided against using any embellishments that would cause a lump or a bump in the envelope.  I would have loved a pearl in the center of each of the Calypso Coral flowers, though.

Hope you've got some fun plans for the weekend ahead.  I'm excited that tomorrow is my World Card-Making Day event.  I'll be cooking up some yummy soups for lunch, not to mention my "famous" Pumpkin Squares with the most delicious Cream Cheese Icing for dessert.

Have a great weekend and please come back on Monday for more fun card ideas!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mingle All the Way

Hi again!
Happy October 1st everyone!

Have you chosen the design for your Christmas cards yet?  If not, here's one you might consider as it is fresh, clean, and simple.  Take a look and I think you'll see what I mean.

If you are making cards in quantity, there is minimal stamping on this card... just the sentiment.  I started with a piece of card stock in Whisper White that is 5 1/2 by 8 1/2, folded to make a card. The next layer is a panel of Cherry Cobbler, cut at 5 1/4 by 4.  On top of that is another panel of Whisper White, cut at 5 by 3 3/4 and embossed with the Decorative Dots embossing folder.  I wrapped the embossed panel with a piece of Cherry Cobbler Chevron Ribbon.  Next I cut two ovals with my oval framelit dies.... one in Cherry Cobbler and  a smaller one in Whisper White.  I stamped the sentiment from the stamp set Mingle All the Way ( page 17 of the Holiday Catalog) on the white oval with Cherry Cobbler Ink, I punched the tree using my Tree Punch (page 24 of the Holiday Catalog) and the Trim the Tree Designer Series Paper Stack on page 7 of the Holiday Catalog.  I popped the tree up with a couple of dimensionals and voila!  It's done!

By the way, this card is one that we'll be making on Saturday, October 4th at my World Card-Making Day event.  I think you'll enjoy making this one... super simple and not a lot of ways for things to go wrong.

Have a great Wednesday, everyone and please come back on Friday for a card with a fun fold!

Stamp something pretty today!