Friday, July 31, 2009

Spreading The Love

Isn't this little silk flower pretty? It started out white with a hint of baby blue around the edges, but I needed something rainbow-like in color, so I used my Colorbox Chalk Inks and dabbed directly on the flower until I had what I needed. Just thought I would share that with you because it's always good to experiment.
I continue to call it
'inking outside of the box'!
I have a few people that I want to honor with a little blog award.
I am impressed with every single blog that I visit because each one has something different to offer. No two are alike, each are unique and all have a wonderful purpose.


Sarah host of The Art of Moodling...many of you know that Sarah is one of my very best friends. She is from the U.K. and we have a very unique history(see the June archives).
I thank Sarah for encouraging me to get my blog 'in the air' as it were. I told Sarah just yesterday that if it weren't for her, my blog would still be just living inside of my head.

Paulette host of Beedeebabee...I met Paulette when we were both experiencing 'technical difficulties' with our blogs. Since then, she has been such an encourager
and quite probably, (and I say this laughing) one of my biggest fans! She and I are prime examples of how any type of art or craft can bring friends together.

Mona host of Cupcake's Creations...I've said it before, I have no idea how I stumbled on to Mona's blog, but it is pure eye-candy and I have quite a sweet tooth! I love her creativity and her world travels make you feel like you are traveling right along with her. She loves her followers and is always kind enough to take a moment to respond to each and every comment left on her blog. For that, we all thank you, Mona!

CelticWoman host of Paper Trail...she has such a lovely blog and always takes the time to leave comments when she visits. Make sure you take time to stop by and say hello.

Kelly host of Kreative Korner by Kelly...She has a really sweet blog, very colorful and fun projects are posted there. When you go to her blog, there are 2 things that will immediately catch your attention. Her colorful background and her 'sparkling' guestbook.
Make sure you 'sign in' when you stop by!

Thank you to these lovely ladies and to all who continue to support The Open Window.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I LOVE THIS PLACE!

Quick Color Challenge for You

Thought I would share the outcome of this color challenge from The Color Throwdown. Had fun using lots of layers for the Victorian-style card, which could be used for a wedding or anniversary. Think I'll offer it in my Etsy store,
so if you kinda like it, head on over!

Happy Friday!

What a busy week this has been for me. I am blessed to be able to work from home on all things creative (but of course, I do have my house-wif-y things I love to do as well). Some days just run into others and the weeks just meld together, and now here we are at the end of July! I have mentioned several times that our summer has been on the extreme mild side, so it feels as though we haven't quite reached summer and yet it's 3/4 over....but I digress......

Back to the busy week....There was the big Artful Inkables DT announcement, so I have been working on a variety of ideas....Answering a boat-load of messages of well-wishes from followers here and friends by email...I've been getting alot of hits at my gallery on SCS, so I have been following those and my Etsy store has been busy. Of course I check in over at Facebook, posting my projects and having silly conversations with my 'friends'. So I can honestly say, for the first time in awhile, I KNOW it's Friday, and I am glad it is! Paul isn't working at B&N today, so while I play, he is going to find a good movie from his DVD library (which by the way, takes up a better part of the living room wall, but I have a whole studio in our spare bedroom, so......). I think all in all, it's going to be a really nice day!

So onto the card....I thought it was fitting for the mood I am in today. The sun is shining here, the temp is near 80 degrees and the sky would look extraordinary with these heart-shaped balloons flying through the air.
I love Heidi Grace Stamps. These are from the Cheerful Bee set. I used VersaMagic Chalk Inks and and Martha Stewart rhinestones to set them off. The title transparency is from Making Memories.

Hope these colors put a smile on your face today! For now, I need to finish a couple of projects, but I'll be back a bit later to pass on some blog awards, so I will see you then!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Color Challenge Accomplished!


After all of the celebration of my latest announcement, I thought it was time to buckle down and get something creative accomplished, so I decided to give Dawn McVey's Color Challenge a try. If you've never participated in a color challenge, this one is so fun and easy. Dawn always chooses fabulous color combos and her inspiration comes from very unique places. The inspiration for these colors comes from a decorative tin of soap that she recently purchased.

Of course, this was a great excuse for me to use 'the bug' to make the dotted, scalloped circles.

I've been thinking about sponsoring a color challenge through The Open Window. Would you be interested in participating in one?
Leave me a comment and let me know. I think it would be a lot of fun and a great way for us all to get to know one another.

Before I sign off, if you missed my big announcement, make sure you read the post from this morning. I am very excited about the next 6 months with Artful Inkables and I think you will be too!

I was going to pass on some blog awards today, but I would like to wait until tomorrow so that can be the sole focus of my post. The girls that I am passing these on to deserve all the attention for these little awards, so make sure you stop back tomorrow and help me celebrate with them!

Have a terrific night!

In Case You Haven't Heard the News!


The news is certainly spreading quickly, so time for me to catch up with it....

I am pleased to announce that I have been asked to be a Design Team member for Artful Inkables. It's a fabulous opportunity to now be called an 'INKgirl' and work along side some very talented paper artists.
After I was contacted by Kristin and the gang, the entire team was welcomed and encouraged by the outgoing design team as well as the Senior DT members who will be staying on. I can tell you it's been a busy 24 hours since receiving the news.

I hope you will go on this fabulous adventure with me.
I think it's going to be a blast!

I have already planned out some great ways we can learn together and in the near future,
I will be announcing some 'play dates' for you to put on your calendar.

These are the other members of your INKgirl team:

Kristin Soboloski ( AI owner/designer )
Holly McMillin ( Senior DT )
Joy Stagg ( Senior DT )
Sherry Campbell
Crystal Irwin
Lisa Kind
Emily Niehaus
Jen Pahoulis
Jackie Rakoski
Deborah L. Young

Please visit their blogs often and I'll make it easy for you...their links will be on my sidebar!

And just let me say one more thing.....I thank YOU dear followers! One of the requirements to be on any DT is an active, thriving and fun blog and YOU make that happen here at
The Open Window each and every day. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and now....
LET THE FUN BEGIN!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This Week's Favorites & a Surprise Around the Corner

I thought it was a fun coincidence that I happened to be working on this travel card while I was thinking about my new favorite blogs to share with you. When I spend time blog hopping or 'blurfing' as my friend Mona calls it, I get this sense that I really am traveling. You know what I mean...you're sitting at your computer, the next thing you know you are reading about the artwork of someone in say, Long Island and the next thing you know, you've linked to someone in Manchester, England. Of course, I am talking about Paulette from 'Beedeebabee' and Sarah from 'The Art of Moodling', but I do feel like the sky's the limit and the things you can learn are amazing.

Today I was contacted by the ladies from Candelle Creations, a mother/daughter team who's blog is fairly new. They are from Banbury, England. Little did they know that my mother-in-law lives in the same little town! I love that kind of 'stuff', and the truth is, we can have those little 'coincidences' happen everyday when we spend time with other bloggers. So I hope you will take some time to check out these 3 new favorites from my list this week.

First up, 'My Artful Adventures'. It's a fabulous, colorful world that features a love of all things Marie Antoinette. Cassandra posts beautifully photographed creations including collage art, silk ribbon roses and so much color, it's a real feast for the eyes. The links to her own favorites feel like a never-ending journey as well, but in a very delightful way!

The next favorite new place is A Nostalgic Halloween. I found this sight while posting on my gallery over at SCS. Kris Dickinson, from Colorado, who also hosts A Nostalgic Collage, has created some pretty fantastic artwork, which has been featured in a number of publications. If you love the sense of 'yesteryear', then you must make a visit.

Last, but not least, we hop on down to the state of Texas to a place called Stamplicity. I came across this beautiful place while participating in the 'Where Bloggers Create' party this past weekend. What a lovely, lovely blog! Besides the handcrafted creations Barb features, she also has a lovely sidebar with prints that are simply beautiful.

Well, we stayed in the U.S. with today's list, but there is no shortage of amazing blogs all over this world. So make sure you plan to stop by each Wednesday night for more fabulous places to visit....and please don't hesitate to point me in the direction of some of your favorites.

In the meantime, let me tell you a bit about the Travel card. It features beautiful cardstock from DCWV by designer Debbie Mumm. The stamps are from Cloud 9 and Martha Stewart and it was embellished with miniature pearls and a little daisy punch from Fiskars.

ONE MORE THING....SOME EXCITING NEWS!
I am happy to tell you that I will be sharing some very exciting news with you sometime tomorrow. I made a promise I would wait until then, but I wanted to give you a little something to look forward to. I will be giving out a few blog awards as well, so I do hope you will stop by and take a look into The Open Window...you never know what you might see!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Inspiration in the 'Mirror'


If you haven't been able to tell, I am a bit obsessed right now with 'shiny' mirror cardstock. I love the look you get using unexpected themes. I was trying to think where I had seen this technique used recently, and then after Julie over at Huxter's House in the UK stopped by (you may remember she was one the recent blog candy winners of those cool high heel shoes), it dawned on me that she has been doing some awesome creative things with mirror card, the 'bug' and a variety of embossing folders.

So I went from cute little Holiday gift tags to an elegant Congratulations card to a Fall-themed all occasion card. It's been fun to see what comes to mind as I start on a new theme.

Of course, I placed these cards in my Etsy store, so hope you will take a quick look.

Hope you had a great Monday! Look forward to visiting with you again tomorrow.

Just to Say Hello

Thought I would share these little tags that I just finished. They're going straight into my Etsy Store. It's that time of year to think ahead for those who are early birds when it comes to holiday preparations. These were really fun to do. I used mirror card and the 'bug' to emboss the dots. It doesn't show as well in my photo, but the reflection makes these really unique. I also used the brand spankin' new Harvest & Holiday Mat Stack designed by Debbie Mumm. These weren't even on the shelf yet when I stopped in at JoAnn Fabrics the other day. I saw the box on a cart with the description and said "I'll have that please". It's full of fun designs for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love the ribbon with the miniature snowflakes from American Crafts.

If you are still on the fence about the tag swap, we'd love to have you join us. I have 4 spots left, so click here, make your decision and let me know. Those of you who have signed up, I will be getting in touch with you later in the week. Please send me a private email with your email address. You can reach me at here.

I'll be back a little later, but in the meantime I hope you will pop over to Etsy and see what's new!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Few Other Thoughts...


If you read my post from Friday morning, this flower may look familiar. I had made it to use on another project, but decided to 'deconstruct' it, add to it and use if for this card instead. There are 5 layers of really pretty papers here. It seemed just the right focal point for this simple card.







I've been trying to think of a 'clever' title for our Wednesday night get-together where I share my NEW FAVORITE BLOGS for the week. So far, nothing is rolling off the tongue, so if you have any suggestions, I would certainly welcome them. In the meantime, let me just say that many of you have been busy forwarding some of your recommendations which has been quite fun for me. So I hope you will plan on stopping by here each Wednesday evening and you just might find a new favorite to add to your blog list.

A GENTLE REMINDER...

There are still openings for you to join in the fun for my first 'Open Window Tag Swap'. I have space for 5 more players for this swap. Click HERE for the details. We have players from Europe, Canada and of course, right here in the US. This should be a lot of fun and a fabulous way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Well my friends.....that's it for now! Hope you have had a great weekend. Mondays tend to be a bit slow on the blogs, like anything else on Mondays, I guess. I will have a message to share tomorrow so I hope you will have just a minute or two to swing by!

So Many Things to Share...Get Your Cuppa First!

Where to start this morning....

Huge thank you to Alysabeth for the blogger award she sent my way yesterday. What a lovely surprise. Make sure you get over to Layin' Rubber Ink and check out the creative mind of this Canadian. Don't miss her sidebar comments, they will definitely put a smile on you face! Once again I am reminded that as bloggers, we really do thrive on the comments left when you visit, so make sure that you leave a note for Alysabeth...let her know you stopped by!

Also wanted to let you know that over at Simon Says Stamp they have featured one of my SCS/Etsy cards on their Heidi Swapp idea page. I don't have it posted here, so make sure you pop over there sometime today and have a look. It features a chandelier stamp that I recently picked up at Archiver's. There are other cards there also using the same stamp which is a great way to get different perspectives using one image.

What else to tell you.....did you participate in last night's PTI blog hop? I still haven't made it through to all the participating blogs, but I plan to finish up later today. Again, variations on themes are some of the best ways to find multiple uses for stamps that you have or don't know exactly what to do with. When we demoed in our store, that was the one thing that we loved teaching....how to use your stamp for more than one card and in this economy, it's more important than ever, don't you think?

So why a card about Fall in the middle of summer? Just because...Never mind that it is my very favorite time of year, but quite frankly we have had more 70 degree days lately at a time when we should be feeling the 90's. I stopped by Hobby Lobby yesterday and the first scent that hit me was 'autumn candles'. Are you 'scent sensitive'? I don't mean in an allergic way. I am very triggered by scents, some that go back to childhood, others that are season-to-season. I had to remind myself as I contemplated a candle purchase that I am still in my 'fruit-scented' time right now, not 'caramel apple'! So it ended up being Strawberry Shortcake that has found it's way onto my art table.

Will stop for now....I really feel as though I forgetting something that I wanted to tell you, so I will come back a bit later with a new creation or two and I'm sure by then, there will be more fun things to share. I love this place!


Friday, July 24, 2009

How Time Flies......
















I thought I would share with you dear friends that my husband Paul and I will begin celebrating the 20th anniversary of our very first date. It's a definite milestone but it's a time that we celebrate each year. You see, Paul and I met, fell in love and spent a very short time 'dating' before he had to go back to the UK to continue at university. In the span of 3 weeks, we charted the course for our life together in just 13 days. It would be nearly 2 years later before we would be married.

Yes, I absolutely believe in love at first sight...I've experienced it. God has blessed me with my soul mate and this is a time to be mindful that we should never take our lives for granted.

This card says it all....it's the title of one of my favorite old songs and I think I will give it to my wonderful, sweet husband. Believe it or not, I don't give Paul handmade cards all that often but tonight will be an exception.

I just have one question....how can something that just happened yesterday, already be 20 years ago? Here's to the next 20 celebrations!

Sharing Some Fabulous News With You

Great response to the Wednesday Favorites feature, so you can put that on your creative calendar. I have already received a batch of "you should take a look at these" from many of you, so look for one of your favorites in the coming weeks.

Today's post will be a quick one for now but I thought it would be fun to share a few of the papers I am currently working with. They are from Prima, part of their Vintage Nursery Rhyme collection. I bought the 'motherload' set, which include flocked and embossed papers, sparkly papers, all with beautiful muted tones. I made the flower last night and when I get this project done, I will share it here.

Change of subject....
You may remember reading in a post a couple of weeks ago about Paul and I spending the day in the Chicago suburbs. The part you probably remember most is that I spent the morning at Archivers, and why wouldn't you?! But the main reason for our little journey was because Paul had been asked to speak to district management about his next step with the company. I am happy to share with you that he did not have to wait very long to hear back on the next step in his career with Barnes & Noble and I can now proudly say that as of August 2nd, he will be the new assistant store manager here in Rockford. He has been a merchandising manager for nearly a year and this is just the next step.

The biggest question we were dealing with was where would we be willing to relocate if the need were in another store. So we are happy that we do not have to make that decision for right now. Thank you to those who have asked along the way if we had heard any news. One of the things that I love about this blog is getting to know one another enough to have an interest in someone else's life and to celebrate during the good times. This is one for my family so I am glad I have you to help me celebrate! What's going on for you that we can share?


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Favorite Places to 'Hop' and Other Creative Ponderings...

This could prove to be a bit of a long post and my 2nd one of the day...how 'bout that?! It's nearly midnight here in the unseasonably cool state of Illinois, but I am looking forward to some great sleeping weather.

I managed to get a couple more cards done tonight using my new toy that I talked about earlier. I now affectionately refer to it as 'The Bug', so you do not have to worry about catching anything when I share project ideas with the aforementioned 'Bug'.

Also wanted to plug these great background cardstocks from Fancy Pants Designs. The 12 x 12 sheets of Design Cards are terrific for building your focal points on. Both of the cards featured here and last night's card use the design cards which are slightly collage-oriented, so those of you who are a bit 'collage phobic' will really like what you can do with these.
What I have decided to do is post a few new favorite blog sites each Wednesday. Blog hopping is a fun way to spend an hour or two, if you have the time, but if you only have 15-20 minutes and have NO IDEA where to go, this will be a great way to get you on your way.

If you read my blog roll (favorites list) you will find what I call my 'must visits'. These are blogs that I visit at least once a day, but usually several times a day. So check those out because they are consistently fabulous!

Here are my picks for this week's My New Favorite Blogs:

Vintage Papers is a great blog by Nancy Maxwell-James. The creativity from this blog has been seen in a variety of Somerset Studio publications and the unique perspective Nancy brings when sharing her life will keep you looking through all of her archives. I am anxiously awaiting a set of ATC's based on Marie Antoinette that I ordered from Nancy's collection. I believe there is something for everyone on this blog, so check it out.

While I was there, I found My Desert Cottage, an outstanding blog by Karen Valentine of Scottsdale, Arizona. I am a real lover of shabby chic and it's non-stop exploration when I visit here. She has a couple of other blogs that she manages as well which include handcrafted cards and gifts. She is sponsoring the 'Where Bloggers Create' Party on Friday, July 24th inspired by the publication 'Where Women Create', so mark your calendar and make sure you stop by to see over 100 other blog sites who have signed on to participate, including yours truly.

Last but not least, I was over at Mona Pendleton's blog Cupcake's Creations (which I visit many times a day) and hopped from her blog to one of her favorites which eventually led me to Ross. It appears to me that Ross started out possibly as a scrapbooker, but then I'm not sure...Ross is from Italy and the majority of her blog is in Italian. She definitely loves color, whimsy and mixed media. This is one of the most eye-catching blogs I have come across in awhile and I think it's such a fun place to visit.

I mentioned the other night that when you go 'blog hopping' you will find yourself traveling all
over the world. I have followers from England, Australia, The Dominican Republic, Asia, Canada and of course here in the U.S. Art is one of the universal languages in which we can all say "I speak a little...". Inspiration is found everywhere you look, so I hope each Wednesday you will plan to stop by to see where we'll travel to next!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My New Toy!

It would not surprise me if I was the last person on earth to have one of these, but I finally have my very own Cuttlebug die cut and embossing unit. I have been using my original Sizzix over the years and decided it was time to make things a bit easier on myself. Now I know for a fact that there are some new die cutting units getting ready to be 'unleashed' on the community, but I've been watching everyone's "can't live without" lists and this little machine is at the top of most.

I decided to share my inaugural creation with you before I go back and start on some new projects. One of my favorite parts of this card is the polka dot brad in the center. Nothing to do with the die cut....I just like it! It's simple but elegant, I think. I like it enough that I will put it in my Etsy store.


In the meantime, I haven't forgotten about my promise from last evening. In fact, I had several comments left for me showing a great interest in some of my new favorite blog sites. So I am looking forward to sharing that list with you later this evening.

My husband is pulling an all-nighter at Barnes & Noble in hopes of doing some major relocation of some of the sections in the store, so I will have some alone time to spend with you. By all-nighter, I mean he is not expected home until at least 3am. Now I can't promise that I will be awake at that time 'chatting' here with you, but I will be back soon and I hope you will join me!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

We're Havin' Some Fun Now!

Been a long day of blog hopping, comment-leaving, inspiration-searching and actual creativity. I'm a bit later than usual sending my message out to you, but I find that when I go to bed without posting something, then I lay awake thinking about tomorrow's post.

Over the past couple of days I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about the things that inspire you.

So how much blog hopping do you do? It's a great way to spend some free time and there is so much fabulous inspiration to BREATHE
in.

If you're not sure where to start, just take a look at my favorites list and start from there. Before you know it, you will have traveled all around the world and taken in some remarkable creativity. There will be dialogue written in languages you can only guess at, but the universal language of art makes for an easy translation.

Tomorrow I am going to share with you some blogs that I have just found and what makes them new favorites of mine. So please make sure you come back with a cup of tea, a pen and paper and a few minutes to spare. In the meantime, HOP on for the ride and let me know if you have a favorite blog you would like to share.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Creative Struggles...I Can't Be The Only One?!




I've been at this stamping 'thing' for many years. Let's put it this way, I've been at it long enough to know that I really don't need to ask the question.









But there are still times when I feel like I am the only one out there putting BLUE and GREEN together and coming up with PURPLE !

When was the last time that happened to you? What do YOU do when you are in need of serious 'SPARK' ?

Leave a comment and let me know. I think it could be an inspiration to us all!

In the meantime, I am still looking for people who want to 'play' in the gift tag swap. Scroll down to the post below for all the details. It's going to be a lot of fun. You never know if one of those tags will be the 'SPARK' to help keep your creative juices flowing!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Anyone Up for Some Fun? GIFT TAG SWAP!

Going through my gift tag collection, I got to thinking that I would really love to see what you can do with these little greetings, so I am proposing a swap...one where I would do all the work! There are a lot of 'swap' networks out there and maybe you already participate in one, but this will be pretty easy. Here's how it will work:

First, you will need to contact me to let me know that you want to 'play'. Just leave a comment below telling me that you want to play and I will get back in touch with you.
It would be a 3 for 3 swap.
Make 3 of the same style gift tag and send them directly to me. I will in turn, make sure that your tags get distributed to the other players, so when you receive your swap, you will get 2 different gift tags from other players and the 3rd will be from me. At the end of the swap, the collection of tags will be displayed on my blog.

For postage reasons, please stay within a maximum of 3" square in size, but feel free to create any shape and embellish however you would like.
Deadline for mailing to me will be Friday, August 14th and I will have yours mailed within 10 days.

Sound like fun? I said I would do all the work! Leave a comment below and let's go!

Big Things Come in...Well, You Know the Rest...


I am in the process of making a card for a graduation open house that I will be attending this afternoon and I got to thinking about all the times you and I have needed that 'little something' to include with a gift that really personalizes that it's from us...you know the dialogue in the middle of the baby shower...it goes something like this: "Oh, she always makes something handmade and we all wait to see what it's going to be!". No pressure there!?!

I think we get so used to working in standard greeting card scale, that we forget that we can pack the same 'Ooh...Aah...' punch if we think gift tags...with embellishments. I think the key is to embellish.

As we know with greeting cards, it's really easy to fold the cardstock (ok, I know some of you HAVE to score it first ), lay down a layer of backgrounds, use a brad or two for the 'flower centers', stamp the greeting and go. Why not do it with these miniature greetings. I guarantee, when you hand over a gift 'tag' that's just as embellished as the cards that people expect from you, it will go from being a miniature greeting to a miniature masterpiece!

I will be back later on with, what I think is a fun announcement. I hope you will stop back and be ready to participate. I only hope this post was enough to whet your appetite...hmmm...


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mallory!

Starting off my day by wishing my daughter Mallory a very happy 25th birthday! Mal is my first born and we are sorta 'connected at the hip', in a good way, of course. Nowadays, if she has trouble reaching my by phone, she refers to herself as the "orphan child" and that's after the first 4 calls of the day when she has managed to reach me.

Mallory is the mom to my two oldest grandsons, CJ and Caleb(see the archives regarding 'glitter'). She works full time at one of the 3 hospitals in our city and is going to school to become a nurse. Her goal is to get into flight nursing, but everytime she helps out in the neo-natal intensive care, it tugs at her heart strings, so we'll see. Plus our sweet Caleb spent many days there after he was born, so there is a real sense of gratitude for her.

For her 1/4 century birthday(which as the good mom that I am, I have been rubbing in all week), she and 15 friends have decided to go on a 3 day, 2 night camping trip. Now normally, in the dead of July, this would be a great adventure. But I think the main adventure is going to be enduring the unseasonably cool temperatures we are experiencing here in Illinois. If she managed to get to sleep at all last night, then she had the pleasure of waking up to a cool, crisp 50 degree morning this morning....only 1 more night to go, Mal!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Not As Much Stamping Today....

Had so many errands to take care of today, I have yet to get to my creative space to get anything new done. So when that happens, I try to go to my photo archives and bring you a batch of things to keep you inspired.

So what have I done today? I had the luxury of sleeping in this morning (and just so you know, I am NOT a morning person). After we had our morning cup of tea (remember Paul is English) we got in the car and headed off to the tire repair place. Boy, have you been in one of these places lately? I'm not talking about the corner garage. I'm talking about the fancy-schmancy chairs, BIG WINDOWS (love those windows), and not only did they have a bathroom, they had a GIRL'S bathroom! I had a flat tire recently and we needed to get it fixed. It seems I somehow ran over a nail or something. Seeing how are city is completely under construction, I don't see how THAT happened.

Anyway, got the tire taken care of, stopped at Barnes & Noble to see what new stamping magazines there might be, went to the grocery store, then headed off to Hobby Lobby to see what goodies they had. I came home just in time for my daughter to stop by. Her 25th birthday is tomorrow and she was leaving on a 3 day camping trip with 15 of her friends, so I wanted to give her a hug. So there has literally been no time to be creative today.

Well...the pizza was just delivered, so I am going to go have a slice or two and see if I can't get into this room for just a little bit so I can make a little something.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

One More Offering Before Bed...

This was a small square of the other background that I mentioned in my earlier post. Thought I would follow through one more time with the lavender theme, then will work on some new color inspiration challenges from some of my favorite sites. Once I get those completed, I will share them here with you and offer the links to those sites so you can participate, too!

And of course.....if you are in need of a very special card for a very special occasion, you will find this card in my etsy store. Have a great night!

My Purple Phase...

Just sending a quick note to you today as daylight is getting 'cloudy' and there are so many things to get done. Yes, I do have modern day electric lights, but...well, you know what I mean?!

I am definitely going through a purple phase with my creations lately. Not sure why, but it seems for the past couple of days I continually reach for some shade of the color and, although it may take 30 minutes or so, I find something to do with what is before me.

I stamped the pale green with a Heidi Grace floral background in a monochromatic green and yet another shade of lavender. I have another version of this handstamped background that I stamped in different colors (well, there is still a version of purple), so am hoping to complete that project a bit later today. The yellow daisy and leaves are also from Heidi Grace. As for the bird and greeting, those are Inkadinkado and The Paper Company.

Hope you enjoy and if you reeeallly like it, I do have this card for sale in my Etsy store. Have a great afternoon...evening for my European followers.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Monoprinting Backgrounds...Always Fun! TUTORIAL

I thought I would pull out a tried and true technique that people always enjoy. Probably the most famous demo that we did in our store was monoprinting using the reinker bottles for dye-based inks. Now there are so many great alternatives, such as Tim Holtz Distress Inks, Glimmer Mists from Tattered Angels and many others. Once you try the technique, you will be able to put your own spin on what you have on the shelf.

Here is what you will need for this project:
Reinkers or other 'water-based' inks as mentioned above
8 x 10 Acetate Sheets
8 x 10 White Glossy Cardstock, cut into quarters
plastic gloves(optional, but prepared for very inky fingers)

Take 1 sheet of acetate (known to those of us who have 'experienced life' as overhead projector sheets...a cheap box office supply store is the economical way to go) and 2-3 complimentary ink colors (or not, it's your experiment) and drop between 5-6 drops per color on one sheet of acetate.

Lay a second sheet of acetate directly on top of those colors and allow them to spread until you have at least half of the sheets covered. Sandwich two of your quartered cardstocks back to back, glossy side facing out and set aside. Now, lift top sheet of acetate very slowly and place the two pieces of cardstock onto bottom acetate sheet, then put top sheet back on.

Once cardstocks are fully covered, which they should do on their own, gently lift top sheet of acetate once more, set aside and remove your cardstock. You should have two pieces of what are now 'backgrounds' that are nearly identical.

The one in this photo was done quite some time ago and was done on a piece of shiny foamcore. It does have a twin somewhere in the universe. After dry, it was stamped using a fabulous stamp from Toybox.

This is a really easy way to create backgrounds en masse. I hope the instructions were equally as easy to follow. Any questions, you know where to find me...and while I have your attention, please leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

While I am Making New Cards for You, I Proudly Offer You our Family's Future Game Show Host!


I just couldn't help myself! I had to find a time to share this photo with you and this is it! Caleb is my 3 1/2 year old grandson who is an absolute stitch!

He and I were outside picking flowers from the field(see my very first blog posts for photo of my field). While I was shutting the patio door, he was busy with the next thing on his list, which was apparently putting 'mema's' glasses on for fun. Well of course my response was "stay right there!" When I returned with the camera, I asked if it would be ok if I took a picture and he was all over it! The first photo was posed, this second one, he was getting off the couch and I caught him off guard...the funniest photos are always taken off guard. Love that boy! He's always the one that wants me to show him on my blog where I put the photos of his brother, cousin and himself(again, see archives for those little blessings). So hope it made you smile!

Yesterday I was non-stop busy between my blog, etsy, ebay and facebook that today I just need some time to play and create. Paul is home with a day off and enjoying his latest Netflix offering, so I have a great opportunity to do some 'fun' work. Not that those other things aren't fun, especially this blog....I LOVE IT HERE!

Continued thanks to all of you who follow along. Still finding my own niche and enjoying the adventure.

Monday, July 13, 2009

And the Winners Are.....

Yes, that's right....we have 2, because it was TOO HARD to pick just one. Actually, before I end the suspense (and I know there is nothing stopping you from reading ahead), I want to just say that it was fun getting to know so many new people through this little competition. The cliche 'you're all winners' really could apply, but I only have enough 'stuff' at the moment to make shoes for two of you.

Congratulations to Cathleen at Crooked Card Creations and Julie H at Huxter's House. I enjoyed your blogs very much for many of the same reasons, but also for different reasons, which I think is important when you are being who you are. Cathleen is from my home state of Illinois, in fact, she only lives, oh, about 90 minutes from me. Julie H(my maiden name initials, go figure) is from a bit of a distance. She is from the UK where my hubby is from,but she is in South Wales(he is from Manchester...no where near one another). I hope you will take a moment to visit these ladies' blogs and leave a comment to let them know you were there. In fact, I hope you will check out all of the blogs that were linked in my comments. Of course, don't forget to scroll down my 'favorites' list as well.

One thing is definitely for sure....you all love shoes! Have a great night!

Here's Some Shameless Self-Promotion!


Here it is again! Your opportunity to purchase this Dimensional Daisy card from my Etsy store. I actually have 3 of these available right now, so I hope you will purchase yours today.

One more reminder.....Blog Candy Giveaway deadline is approaching...less than 4 hours away, so please check the details below and enter your blog link in my comments. I will check all comments from that post up to this one, so you can enter here. It has been really fun to see out all creativity out there and along the way, I have signed on as a follower to a number of new places. For those of you who are new followers here, I thank you kindly!

I'll be back a little later to announce the winner....hope to see you here!