Thursday, April 29, 2010

So Honored to Make This Announcement!

I am absolutely honored
and for my UK friends, so chuffed, 
as I have been asked by  
Susan Rothamel
the owner of US ArtQuest,
to be her Senior Design Team Coordinator.

 Sue and I go waaaay back to the days
when I had my store.  They have of course,
developed many products since then and
I am excited about assembling a design team
who will be able to share these products with you
in a very, practical way.

If you've seen or better yet, used the product above,
then you ARE familiar with USAQ.
Perfect Paper Adhesive is a flagship product
and the finest, all-purpose adhesive on the market.

I know my altered artist followers out there have used
Mica Tiles in their mixed media art.

USAQ is also one of the biggest distributors in
the country for the Pearl Ex brand.

There are wonderful video tutorials over at
the USAQ website...and they are FREE!

I share all that to share this....

It is my goal once again, to be able to share
practical and even the odd wild and crazy projects
(because after all, we are all artists  : )
via some of the most experienced and
talented designers in the world. the world...stay tuned!

So here is what I want to know:

Have you ever used 
a USAQ product?
Or is it NEW to you?

Please leave a comment and share....

And please stay tuned...I am super excited 
and I am hoping you will be, too!
More to come....

The Cutest Little Baby Face...Inspired by a Friend

What a fabulous 'color story' for this week's

My friend Mona Pendleton was the
for my contribution this week!

Not only was she the Senior Design Team Host,
but her colors inspired me to create something 
that, to me, feels a bit like a 'Mona creation'.
I have always admired her style   :  )

I really enjoyed using a variety of elements 
to make this card come to life.

I started with Designer Paper from The Paper Studio's
'Sweet Pea' collection.  After zig-zag stitching 3 layers
together, I used Martha Stewart's Deco punch to create
the frame for the baby bottle piece, which is also from
the Paper Studio collection.

  I layered an additional
baby bottle to give a dimensional effect along with the
pearls and ribbon.  The sentiment tag is my
BOO element and is from Daisy Hill.
It definitely qualifies for BOO as I have had
a couple packages of them for at least 3 or 4 years.
I thought it was a perfect fit for this little creation.

I hope you will pop over to The Play Date Cafe
and see the rest of the design team's creations.
You can't HELP but be inspired by
their creativity!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Are you Ready for Some 'Sweet' Color?

I'm just a waitin' for my two oldest grandsons to come
by for a visit while their mom attends a bridal shower,
so not much time to share today.

I definitely have some eye-poppin' COLOR, though!

There are a variety of challenges going on right now
that are calling for a cupcake-theme, so I thought
I would create something that was fun and out
of the box for me.

I really wanted to show of those fabulous Martha
rhinestones, but you know photos just can't get
the right light...well, my camera doesn't anyway.

Here are the challenges I am entering
(it's a bit of a fun!)

City Crafter has a brand new challenge.
Mona Pendleton is the Guest Designer this week.
We are wonderful friends and I love her work!
My cyber-friend Heather Jensen is on the team
over there and she is WAY talented!

Card Patterns is being sponsored by 
this week so I designed this card with their
sketch in mind.

The Crazy Challenge also has yummy goodness
on their minds with cupcakes!

I am also entering the following:

Pile it On ~ 'Sweet' things
Penny's Paper Crafty ~ Anything goes
Sew Many Challenges ~ Anything goes
Fussy & Fancy ~ Birthday with a Sweet Treat
My Time to Craft ~ Quick Quotes
Crafty Catz ~ Stitching
I think that's it!  How about that!
Many of you know, color challenges are my passion
but it's been nice to go outside the box a bit and play
with these wonderful challenges.

Of course, don't forget that
for this week.  We have a wonderful sponsor
and there is still time for you to play!

Have a great day!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Happy Saturday ... What Have YOU Been Up To?

It's a bit of a dreary Saturday here in Northern Illinois.
A little papercraft shopping always brightens my day,
so that's how I spent a bit of today.

I love working with these colors and thought I would
make a card for a few challenges.

I used the fabulous 'sequin background' from
I love, LOVE this background!
I used a sweet little Studio G set for the flowers
and the sentiment is from Wordsworth.

Here are the challenges:



Sew Many Challenges #12
(anything goes)


Penny's Paper Crafty Challenge #27
(anything goes)

Pile it On #15
(think spring)

Before I go, here's something I would LOVE
to know.....

Please leave a's always fun to see
what YOU are working on  : )

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Being in Love...and The Play Date Cafe Challenge

As I type this post, my 16 year old, 15 lb pussy cat, Lucy is 
sitting smack in front of my computer screen.  So I apologize
now for any typos.  I don't have the heart to move her
because she is being so 'clingy' after sleeping all night
long on the pillow next to the computer.
She gave me all the time I needed to get tonight's post
ready for The Play Date Cafe Challenge, which is
about a 3 hour job.  So it's the least I can do for her : )

As this week's color host for the challenge, I must say
that I had fun working with this color story.
It's not going to be everybody's cup of tea, but that's
the beauty of a challenge, isn't it?!

Paul has been on vacation for nearly a week and returned
to his work at Barnes & Noble today.  I must admit that
I created this card with him in mind.  I even managed
to keep it from him while creating it.
We enjoy our life together SO much that it's hard
to part for even 8 hours when the vacay is over.
I LoVe being THAT in love  :  )

I used a metallic cardstock and ran it through 
'The Bug' using the Scalloped Nestibilities die
and the Cuttlebug Swiss Dot EF.
The image stamps are from Studio G
the sentiment is from Paper Inspirations.
I added some texture by adding this great
'fuzzy' cotton fringe, which happens to be wired,
so it was flexible to wrap around the cardstock so the
edges looked more finished.
By adding a few pearl rhinestones around the border
and for the flower centers, it gave just that bit of
finish I felt it needed.
Another CAS from Julie Ranae!

I am very excited to share that  
Amy Anderson from  
is our sponsor this week over in The Cafe.
Stop by over there and take a look at the 
fabulous prize you can win.
Then...go over to Amy's blog and say hello.
It's a fun, fabulous, COLORFUL blog
and I think, you just might get hooked!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Love this Challenge...Love Count Basie...PERFECT!

I am ALWAYS looking for an excuse to use this fab
set from Memory Box.  When I saw the latest
challenge over at Tenia's blog, I knew this would be
a perfect fit!

This as a great color splash-style
challenge using 2 colors with the
black & white.  Based on the album cover
(yes, ALBUM cover...YAY)
above, it was an easy selection for
what to do next...Clean & Simple.

I love these stamps!
Using just 2 VersaMagic inks in
'Pixie Dust' & 'Thatched Straw'
and Memento ink in 'London Fog'
it was 1...2...3...

Thank you Tenia for fabulous inspiration
over at Jazzy Paper Designs.

I am also including these in:
CAS-tastic CAS challenge
Stampin' Royalty CAS challenge
SCS CAS sketch challenge

These are all fabulous challenge sites so
I hope you play along with them soon!
Tell them Julie Ranae sent you : )

Monday, April 19, 2010

Vintage Clean & Simple

Now it's time for two completely different creations.

This first one if for a few of different challenges.

Over at Wee Memories.
Jenny challenges us to use ribbon and have a vintage
theme.  I can say that the ribbon IS vintage, as it's
going on 25 years old  : )

I thought I would also enter this for the
Pile it On challenge...'Think Spring'
The Cuttlebug EF flowers with
the background vines have an
'air of spring about them'
which inspires me, anyway   : )


I am also entering this card over at
365 Cards.
This challenge is 'Digging Deep' and
requires 3 things:
1.  Something over 1 yr old
(my ribbon, of course)
2.  Something you were given but never used
(the tissue paper was an RAK)
3.  Something you forgot you had
(the fabulous Martha DP, which I will be using now!)

365 Cards


I am also entering the above card for:
Both are Clean & Simple challenges.

Another take on CAS is this little baby card.

I am sending this over to Stampin' Royalty and

I must say, I am SO thankful for challenge blogs
right now.  When you are having trouble getting
your creative juices flowing, using a challenge to give
you a framework to start in is the perfect solution.
I know that we hear that all the time over at
The Play Date Cafe...speaking of which...

There is still a little over 24 hours for you to play with us
this week.  It's an easy CAS challenge as well.
Black & white with a 'splash' of orange.
So if you are looking for a quick JOLT of creativity,
get your fix over in The Cafe!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Jump Starting Creativity...A Couple of Challenges

As you know by now, I have been out of commission
for over a week, so I was delighted to find a few challenges
that peaked my interest and I thought it would be a
great way to jump start back into my art studio  : )

I thought I would enter this card in 2 different challenges.
First, Paige over at the CARDS blog issued a
challenge using 'woodgrain'.

I used DCWV's 'Green Stack' and with
Earth Day just around the corner, it's great to use
something made from 70% recycled material  : )

Then the girls over at OCC are getting into the
'Spring' of things with butterflies.
This fabulous butterfly stamp is from the UK company
Elusive Images (thank you, Sarah)
and was stamped in two parts.  
The sentiment is from Scrappy Cat.
I used Martha's Loop punch and
assorted pearl and rhinestone embellishments
to finish it off.

 See you soon!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

10 Things that Make me Happy

This is just a quick note to thank one of my newest
friends and design team colleague, 
Savannah from Savannahland 2
for this sweet award.

She sent this to me last week when I was under the
weather and I have been looking forward to sharing the list of
'10 Things That Make me Happy' here goes:

1.  Jesus, who makes the rest of this list possible
2.  My dear husband, Paul
3.  My children, Mallory & Alex
4.  My grandsons, CJ, Caleb & Alex, jr
5.  The thought of our next visit to see Paul's mum in England
6.  Knowing that I am in a time of my life where 'the sky's the limit'
7.  The thought of seeing my bestie Sarah when we visit Paul's mum
8.  The sunshine
9.  The colors lime green & turquoise blue...together
10.  My friends here who continue to visit The Open Window pass this award on to 5 others
who bring a 'bright side to life'...

Tink of RockChickTink
(the youngest 'pal' I have)
Sharli of Sharli's Place
(always an encouragement to me)
(the only guy who plays in The Cafe)
Jill Tuck of The Stamp Man
(one store owner to another)
Julie Campbell of A Vintage Chic
(because I really miss her)

It's always tough to stay at 5, but you know how that
goes!  I hope you will pop by the blogs of these friends
of The Open Window and say hello.

I am VERY EXCITED to be back in my studio
and creating again after 8 days of getting back on
my feet.  I have a few new things that I look forward
to sharing with you tomorrow....YAY!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Missing in Action...The Play Date Cafe Challenge

First....let me say thank you for bearing with me
through a week-long absence from The Open Window.
Late last Friday evening, I was awakened in the
middle of the night with, what turned out to be,
a horrible flu virus that kept me in bed for nearly
5 days.  I am slowly getting myself back to
the land of the living, but am taking it really slow.

In the meantime, I have had some very messy
computer problems to boot, so all in all, not a great
start to the week.

The good news is....there is a new challenge over at
The Play Date Cafe!

Can I just say....


The girls have come up with some very clever ways to
do this month's 'Color Splash' which is black, white
and a 'bit' of orange.
My dear friend (and partner in crime) Sarah
made sure the post was complete over in The Cafe.

We are also THRILLED to have Kelly Marie of
as our Guest Designer and Sponsor
for this week's challenge.

So, although I am no longer contagious,
I'd still rather you head on over to 
and check out this week's challenge and better yet,

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Coffee w/ Kristen Powers...The Play Date Cafe Challenge

I've always loved the way Sherlock Holmes
introduced Dr. Watson to people.
He would say....
"This is my friend and colleague, Dr. Watson."

Although I met Kristen Powers when she
came and taught a weekend at my
store over 10 years ago, 
I will always call her a friend first.

Back then, she 'sorta' worked for me...
Now I 'sorta' work for her as she recently asked me
to be a part of her KPink design team.

This week, once more, the tables have turned and I have
asked Kristen to put her artistic talents to work for us
over at The Play Date Cafe as our
'celebrity' guest designer and sponsor.
She not only said yes, but she made 2 different
digital stamps for our design team to play with.

  One thing I really enjoyed about playing 
with this image, was thatI had the freedom to 's-t-r-e-t-c-h' it beyond it's
original shape so that I could make this unique-sized
greeting card.  I chose to do a little
'paper piecing' on mine and oh my goodness,
I went 'BOO' CrAzY on this one!
Let's just say that the copyright date on the back of the
floral paper was dated MM...yes, 2000!
The embossed satin ribbon is nearly 20 years old!
By the way, that ribbon is embossed satin...I wanted a hint of
green to match the greenery in the inspiration photo, so I inked
it with a bit of VersaMagic in 'Key Lime'.
Although it's hard to tell, the flowers and steam are 3-D
and I actually punched holes in the 'lace' doily.

I am SO proud of our design team this week as each one
who used a digital image, tried a different technique to make
it work for them.  So I hope you will stop by The Cafe
and then to each one of their blogs and
find out all the 'unique' things you can do.

It's not just about 'printing' anymore!


Monday, April 5, 2010

What a Lovely RAK!

Do you recognize these die cuts?
If you are a Tim Holtz fan, then I know you do!
I have been wanting these fabby die cuts
since they burst out on the scene, but have been 
struggling to find them locally.

Suzanne, who is one of our design team members
over in The Cafe 'heard me fussing' one day and asked
if I would like to have her cut a few of them for me and
she would send them my way.  What a kind thing to offer
and of course I said YES!

Here's what arrived....

and this.....

and this....

oh, and this...

and accompanying it all, her lovely handiwork...

Suzanne lives just down the road from me
(well, maybe 75 miles or so)
and I was so surprised when the package arrived.
I can't wait to play with my goodies and of course
Suzz's card will now take it's place on my shelf of
'famous creative people I know'   : )
(yes, I do have several of those shelves)

Thank you for such a lovely kindness, Suzanne.
It really made my day!

Check out Suzz's Stamping Spot and see her
creativity in will LOVE it!