Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tags for Swap & where did the power go?

These are 3 tags that I sent to Elena in Hawaii for the Tag Swap that I've been participating in. I love these large tags (4" x 4"). They were cut out of red cardstock & then a corner of a Webster's Page was cut down for the image (owl or lamp post) & the To/From is from the Stampin Up Tag it All stamp set. I added some greenery on the left that remind me of miniature garland along with soem red dots on the berries of the stamp. With a little red/gold ribbon the card made itself. I hope that she enjoys these images ... I may try to get some made for my own gifts as they really reflect the warm, nostalgic style tha I like so much.
Today's one of those wonderful days that I'm learning to take a minute & savor. I have the day off from work in order to prep for the annual Thanksgiving Day holiday at our house. I've always loved Thanksgiving & even though it's a HUGE amount of work to feed 21 people -- it's worth it. This morning I got out of bed, enjoyed a cup of coffee with my husband & got right at it. The pie crust was chilling right on time. The veggies were cut & sauteed for the stuffing. David had gone out & picked up turkey #2 & the custard pie was in the oven ... and .... the power went out ... OH NO! Fortunately - the pie only had about 12 minutes left & I was left praying for residual heat. I thought about stomping my feet & demanding that the tree pull itself off the wires so that I could stay on schedule. Since I'm now almost 1/2 a century old - I took the opportunity of no electricity as a gift & curled up in bed with a book for about an hour. What a treat! By the time the power was back on I was rejuvenated & ready to get back to work ... The custard pie was no worse for wear & the afternoon still had some daylight left.
And so it goes ~

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Aviary Explosion Box

I'm teaching a class at Life's Memories & More in a few weeks. This is a photo of the Aviary Box that I made following the directions that I purchased (at Etsy) from Following the Paper Trail. I was inspired by all of the beautiful envelopes that I found at the Paper Source in Boston & papers that I began gathering from Tanya at Life's Memories & More as well Archiver's in North Carolina. I used the Tim Holtz Birdcage die-cut with vintage sheets of music. I LOVE the combination. Every one of the 10 sets of cardstocks/envelopes & papers that I put together is different. I tried to move between the whimsical fairy tale paper & the classical navy & white papers. I even tried to come up with a set that's vintage wanting roosters & chickens. This is fun, fun, fun & a GREAT gift for the person that you can't figure out what to give them. Anyone could add photos/journaling or even miniature bird houses or nests. It feels good to be presenting this project to the customers of Tanya's store.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Card for Ania

This is a card that I worked on while we were on vacation. I used the Outlines Ornament stamp & embossed with fine gold embossing powder on a chartreuse cardstock & a pale blue cardstock. I carefully cut out the layers from the stamped images & stacked them using pop dots for depth. The center of the star has a diamond bling. The primary image is mounted on black cardstock & then on white cardstock for contrast. The card base is a piece of matching cardstock from the blue layer of the star. I cut a piece of black paper to cover the top 3/4 & then attached patterned paper with star images to cover. I also added a piece of gold, sheer organza at the top (adhering under the layered star & behind the black cardstock) & used the same gold ribbon in a double layer to cover the joint where the cardstock/patterned paper meets. I had a sticker "happy holidays" in just the right shade of blue. This photo doesn't do justice to the card, but with shorter days (good-bye Daylight Savings time) I leave in the morning before it's light out & arrive home after it's dark. I love to make cards that can be shared, so I gave Ania this card with an envelope so she can decide if she wants to send it to someone on her holiday list.

Card for Giving Thanks Swap

This is the card that I made for the Giving Thanks Swap that I referred to in an earlier blog entry. This card was made using an Outlines stamp with various patterned papers. I love the phrase, "Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way." Isn't that a wonderful thought? I hope that anyone that gets this card knows that I've sent along good wishes with each one. I created 5 of the same pattern/theme, but with differing patterned papers. The cards will be packed up & sent off to Hawaii this week.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tag for November Swap

I'm not sure who will receive 3 of these tags, but I've got them ready to go when my partner for the November Tag Swap is assigned. This tag was created using one of the To/From stamps from the Stampin Up Tags for All set. I covered up the tree image on the lower right with a sweet tree that I made by cutting a scalloped circle in triangle shapes (keeping the scallops on the edge) & layering. I chalked with ColorBox silver & added Red Glass Effects Gel ornaments by Viva. I made the snow using Viva's Cream Pearl Pen. The tag is chalked with evergreen & tied with a piece of red crepe (sorry I don't have the label) & the red/white string by Martha Stewart. I'm pleased with this tag ... It's simple, but reminds me of an old-fashioned Christmas. To top off the tree I added a tiny sticker star, but it would be easy to stamp the star, too.
The swaps that I've been doing have been really fun. I received a RAK packet from a partner that I'd sent my goodie to in May. She hadn't responded & I'd forgotten all about it. What a great surprise to get her package. She included some Make n Take cards which is a great idea for a swap RAK.

Card for November Tea Swap

Here's a photo of the card that I'm sending to Becky in Indiana for the November Tea Swap. I have really enjoyed participating in this swap as you make a "tea-themed" card & send along 2 tea bags ... How much fun is that? This month the theme was "autumn colors". The image was stamped using archival black ink with the Inky Antics rubber stamp. I then colored using markers. The background patterned paper is Family Tree by Bella. The bottom dark brown cardstock is Coredinations & I cut using my Spellbinders dies in graduated sizes. I added 3 deep burgundy blings to hold the image on the page.
I hope that Becky enjoys this card. I have to give credit for the blanket color to my husband. I had originally colored it with a soft, blue blanket & he reminded me that blue wasn't a typical Autumn color.... I think he's right.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Aloha RAK

I'm participating in a RAK (random acts of kindness) swap that you can sign up for until 10/31/10. Here is the link as the actual sign-up is happening on Facebook. If you haven't done a RAK -- please try it.

It really is great fun to receive a packet of cards (we will each need to make 5 cards [all the same image] & mail them to Hawaii).

Have a terrific Tuesday ~

Saturday, October 16, 2010

November Kit of the Month

This is the cover for the November Kit of the Month that I created for Life's Memories & More in Palmer, MA. The kits sell for $10 each & this month the kit is of a 4" x 6" mini-album which can easily be expanded as needed. The idea for this kit came from the thought that many of us have memories of Xmas cookies & some of us still begin baking cookies the weekend after Thanksgiving. For me - the cookie recipes are scattered in favorite cookbooks. loose pieces of paper & a couple on the backs of packaging. I knew that I could use a single place to house my cookie recipes & thought that at least one of my children (or grandchildren) might like to have these family favorites, too. I've included 5 recipes of cookies that I make each year to get the album started.

Each page is different & there's even a tag included for a batch of cookies that are given away. I tucked it behind a die-cut heart that can easily hold a recipe card when the tag's been used.

I have to thank Fern for this wonderful little gingerbread man. He's holding down a vellum envelope that contains a recipe for Pecan Tassies. This recipe only yields 2 dozen & I have to hide them when they're made as they don't make it onto a cookie tray.
I hope that you take time this year to make some holiday cookies. I'll be using my cookie album to finally put the family favorites in one place.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Christmas Tag for October Swap

I was partnered with my friend Mary for this month's swap & I'd seen a card in the newest Stampers Sampler (pg. 59 by Lynn Stevens of Kuna, ID). I loved the image she created & wanted to utilize some of the elements as I knew I had a pine cone stamp that I'd picked up at a Customer Tag Sale at Life's Memories & More... Thanks, Lynn for creating the original card & I hope that you consider this tag a compliment.

This tag is much more defined than it appears, but I couldn't wait for the sun to rise & give me natural lighting, so you'll have to crisp it up in your mind.

The elements are:
Vintage tag naturally aged
Border punch from Fiskars using a scrap of pale green card stock
Border chalked using Color Box pigment color: Celadon
Black piece of cardstock
Page from old Hans Brinker book
All Night Media pine cone stamp
Archival Ink
Vintage Photo Distress Ink sponged on the pine cone
Pale grey Prismacolor colored pencil for snow on the cone
Tiny holly leaves
Holly berries using Ruby Red Stickles
Soft fibers

I began this project yesterday after work & finally added the stickles at 6:30 this morning. I'm so pleased as it's just the final touch I was looking for. Mary loves bling, but this image is so natural that a crystal or even a flower didn't seem right. I played with the idea of a small cardinal, but didn't want to distract from the star of the show. I think a delicate chickadee would work with the color combination, but Katie taught me to add a "pop of color". The holly berries are because of you, Kate.

Mary's receiving 3 identical tags (per our organizer's instructions). I would add a separate To: From: tag attached with a brad so that I could keep the original tag intact ...

I might have to make more of these for my own gift-giving.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Just in time for Halloween

How's this for a wonderful spider web? During the summer I would try to go out on the boat before going to work. It was 6 a.m. on the water & this was one of the webs on our boat. The reason that it's visible is because of the dew on the web spokes. I loved the image & knew that Mary would want it for her Halloween cards. I kept it on my desktop wondering when I'd share & today seemed like the day. I've got cookies in the oven, an apple cake just out & plans for a pot roast over the weekend with the leftover meat & broth recycled into Minestrone soup on Sunday. It's my favorite time of the year ... I get to bake without overheating the house & we share the chocolate cookies with Paul, the oatmeal-based or anything with macadamia nuts cookies with Mike D., & wonderful cups of hot coffee with Mary. I think that I'm partial to apples & Jan & Dennis picked up Macoun apples for me & the aroma of them just baked in the cake is a little bit o' heaven. My hands head for the cookbooks .... I don't seem to run out of recipes when it comes to baking.
Watch for a new image. I was partnered with Mary C this month for my Christmas tag swap & I saw a card in a magazine that I'm going to recreate as a tag ... I think it will come out rather vintage (which I like) ... Hope she does, too.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Halloween Card for Tea Exchange & Xmas Tag

As everyone who knows me is fully aware - I don't like Halloween. I don't think I ever liked Halloween. As a kid it always felt like begging ... As an adult - it's the time of the year when I've made more Halloween costumes than I can count. I do, however, love Snickers candy bars & look forward to the after-Halloween candy sale.
I did love making this card to send to Fran in Hawaii for this month's Tea exchange. The card is slightly oversized (6" x 5 1/2") I built it on black cardstock & layered as follows: a small piece of recycled dryer sheet that was washed, bleached & lightly pressed on the left hand side. The frame was cut with my Sizzix out of My Minds Eye Spider Web paper that I then distressed with Wild Honey distress ink. The image underneath is stamped with archival ink on a scrap piece of muted orange cardstock that I had. The stamp is from Magenta & is on a wood block. I LOVE the image. I then added a gold organdy ribbon on the left side to anchor the dryer sheet & put 2 orange & spice tea bags inside with a removable glue dot. I hope that Fran enjoys it. I've seen her projects on her website: Little Paper Studio & love her techniques so I know this is different from what she makes.

I also sent out my 3 Christmas Tags to Loretta in Sugarland, TX ...
This is a simple tag but I LOVE the Santa image. My husband has his own Santa suit & Xmas is his favorite holiday. I once described him to someone as having Santa-blue eyes. This image is from a large stamp (about 4" x 6") that I printed onto a piece of white paper & then reduced on our copier & printed onto bond. I didn't want to fuss with the simplicity so only edged the white card in gold leaf, mounted onto green cardstock with a close border & added a scottish ribbon at the bottom. I hope that she likes it, but she can also add color, flock, etc if she wishes. I used a gel pen for the blue eyes.
As you can tell - I'm busy creating. I went to a scrapbook tag sale at Inspiration Station in CT & came home with a bag of treasures. Probably my favorite find was a pile of old Papercrafts magazines for .50 apiece. I love to look for inspiration, color combinations, techniques that I can try.
It's starting to feel like Fall. The colors on the trees are changing at our Lake. This morning it was in the high 30s. Soccer season is well underway & 2 of our kids are at college in Boston. Life feels like it's slowing down just a little - time for soups in the crockpot & cookies in the tins.
Enjoy this time of year ... winter is coming & this is Nature's last chance to flirt with us.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Recycling Class Samples

I'm teaching a class on 9/26 at 1:oo at Life's Memories & More in Palmer, MA. I'm so excited about this class as it's the challenge of finding ways to re-use without it looking like trash. I think that I've come up with some fun projects that accomplish just that. I have to confess that my favorite is the card to the left. This card's recycled elements are the dryer sheet on the right side & the glossy accent circle that occupies the center of the timepiece. There's 1 more project that isn't shown here (a floral embellishment using a used brown bag, button from the "extra button" & a piece of rubber band). Curious? The little mummy box with the big eyes looks even better with a piece of orange plastic bag (from our newspaper delivery) & chocolate candies peeking out. When I saw this project it was made with a 12 x 12 piece of cardstock. My "green" version uses a 1/2 gallon juice carton, leftover white paint to cover the pattern on the carton, 2 prescription lids for the outline of the eyes & extra buttons for the inside. It's a sweet project perfect for Halloween. The birdcage card & flower with the pearl center were both made using old sheet music that I Glimmer Misted after adhering to the subscription cards that are found inside magazines. The bird in the cage is from a leftover Capri Sun bag that I put in an embossing folder & then inked with alcohol inks. The background for the cage is a paint chip & I wove a twist tie through the holes in the bottom of the cage. The pearl in the center of the flower is from an old broken necklace that was sitting around. No big secrets, but just another way of putting things together.
I hope that anyone reading this will take a couple of minutes & look at what they're adding to the trash. Who knows - you might think of another use. I knew I had made a convert when my husband handed me a small container from his recent Orvis purchase. The small acetate container is ideal for a shaker card. I'll post a photo after it's made.
Watch for my 3 Xmas tags that I'm sending off to my swap partner in Sugarland, Texas. I'm so pleased with how they came out ... I just need good natural light to take the picture.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Card for Tea Swap

The theme for this month's swap is, "Primary". It was a stretch for me to come up with a card within that limitation as nothing was really clicking. I started with an old rubber stamp that I had with a sweet teapot. I stamped it, cut it out & colored it in a cheery yellow. I thought that with the black & white & red & white polka dots it really felt like the primary colors were "popping". I kept playing with the idea of having some sort of math equation on the card to reference the fact that today was the first day of school. I came up with: 1 + 1 = 2 4 T. Only later on did I think that I should have put 1 + 1 = 240, but it's ok. With a window cut-0ut it makes for a nice, friendly card. I'll send it along with 2 tea bags that I hope my swap partner enjoys. After a busy summer I think that we're all ready for some Stash Mellow Moments tea bags. This card's off to Hawaii. I hope it travels safely.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mary's Pin

I hope that you can see what this actually looks like. I loved making it for Mary because she adores cats & Halloween & birds. The little "dream" word seemed to be perfect for what a cat would be thinking about. She doesn't wear necklaces very much so I made it into a pin. I pulled apart an old pin in my jewelry box to use on the back. She's a recycler so I knew she'd like that aspect. I've been so very busy with making cards. M & M are going to be vendors at a show & I wanted to provide them with some goodies for their table. I made additional card-fronts based on the design in the post right before this. They were all different, but lots of fun. Last night I made a card that I thought Mary would like. The quote is, "Til death do us part. Happy Anniversary" It's got a little skull on it ... If I can get my camera to load correctly onto my laptop I'll be able to upload the image & then you can weigh in on how tasteful/tasteless it is ~
I've also been hard at work on the projects for the September 26th class at Life's Memories & More. The samples should be there by the end of the weekend & I think that Tanya also loads images up on her Facebook account.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Rainy Day in New England

This card is the finished product after an entire morning of playing with paper. I was inspired by the need to come up with more ideas for an upcoming class that I'm going to teach (September 26) called, "Reduce without a Diet". It's a reference to reducing your waste (vs your waist) by re-using items that might otherwise end up in the trash. This card won't be part of the class because of the time involved, but the technique is definitely going to be used. The recycled items on this card are the re-used dryer sheet (washed, ironed & spritzed with Lime Twist Glimmer Mist), 3 random pieces of bling in the upper right corner, extra beads that were in my box & a small piece of wire (through the beads). I really wanted to use my new Tim Holtz stamp & there are several Distress Inks on the papers. I started with a simple cream cardstock & it's the same piece for all 3 pieces of the card (background, letter stamped torn piece & focal image). The variances are due to the inks used to distress the pages. I primarily used: Vintage Photo, a little bit of Shabby Shutters & some Faded Jeans. The image in the forefront was mounted onto a scrap of black cardstock. The number 13 was stamped twice. I cut out the rectangle (along with 2 more to add depth) & lightly blended some of the Faded Jeans over the top to just take a little of the starkness out. I glued three layers & put some Glossy Accent over the top to make it shine. I wanted to bring out the subtle blue in the Faded Jeans ink, so mounted on a perfect piece of dark blue cardstock that I had just the right amount of.
I love rainy days in New England & today is drizzly & grey outside. It's ideal for time spent playing with paper. I'm going to get to work on my next project. It involves some old sheet music & might incorporate some of the ideas I used for this card. If I like the outcome I'll post a photo.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Summer necklace design

My BFF Mary sent me this quote today & I knew it HAD to be incorporated into something creative. "In the summer, the song sings itself." So -- tonight I came home & put together this design for a 1" x 3" glass covered pendant (ala Tim Holtz). I took the photo before I put it in the frame because of the glare with the overhead lights on & use of a flash. I think that you'll get the idea ...The background piece is a scrap of paper that I'd used glimmer mist on for a little bit of twinkle. The piece was made with some Tim Holtz doo-dads & the bingo token with the #73 (our house #) is perfect. The butterfly seemed to be a good way to add a little movement to the card & it's from one of the Mariposa pages. With the vintage frame around & a key or metal note from the bottom ... It came out just the way I wanted.
I made Mary a pin on Sunday (using the same technique, but different images) but didn't get a chance to take a photo. If I think of it, I'll ask her to send me a photo to upload.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Western Fence

This view of the Grand Tetons was taken on a gorgeous July afternoon. We were at the beginning of our 3300 mile trip throughout the Southwest & I thought that it was important to start my new blog with a "fence" picture. Mostly this blog will be to highlight paper projects that I've either completed or received.

I'm going to be teaching a class this Saturday for the August Kit of the Month. David had the idea to offer a free class with the purchase of the kit. It's a multi-page mini-album made from envelopes. I'm looking forward to seeing how everyone makes the book their own. I filled the sample with flower/scenery/family photos from our summer trip. It was a lot of fun to make & there's room for all kinds of creativity.