Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It Required a Hunt! The Play Date Cafe Challenge

This has been a rather bold and bright week at The Open Window.
Lots of vibrant colors inspired by so many things.

Recognize any of this yet?  Yep, more of the new
'Mariposa' Collection from DCWV.
But I am happy to say that I managed a little BOO on this project.
Don't know what BOO is?  Click here to find out!

Before I go any further, here's an explanation for all the color...

This week's challenge is just that...A CHALLENGE!
All the designers said so...including our fabulous  
design team host, Sarah.
But there IS a story to go with these colors, so make sure you hit
The Cafe to read the inspiration behind this challenge.

So what did I come up with?

Here are the details...
The birdcage and collage-element paper are from DCWV 
Prima flowers centered with fabric brads
from My Mind's Eye (thank you, Sarah) and Melody Ross' Artsy Urban for GCD Studios.
The orange panel was stamped with a beautiful butterfly from  
Elusive Images (again, thank you Sarah)
and the BOO on this card IS that orange panel.
Get this...I wanted just the perfect shade of orange and I literally (yes, really) looked for over an hour through every last orange 'thing' in my stash and then...  
I found it! 
 A brand, new blank mini scrapbook still in the package.  It was a freebie that came with an issue of Simply Scrapbooks
(now out of print).
Yes, it required that I cut it apart, but I was thrilled to find it!

Thank you dear Sarah...not only for the goodies used that were
sweet gifts from you,
but for dragging me out of my comfort zone with  
one terrific challenge!   : )

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Get Your Sunglasses...And We Have A Winner!

I have decided before I go any further that I need to have
an acronym to let you know
when I am using my New Year's Resolution in my projects.
One more reminder of what it was.
I decided in 2010 to use at least one 'OLD SOMETHING' from my stash of papers, embellishments, stamps and more, 
in at least one project a week.
I've been doing really well with it.
In fact, for the most part, I have made this work
in just about EVERY project I've made so far this year.

So from this point on, when I 'BREAK OUT THE OLD' or 'BOO',
you will know exactly what I'm talking about!

Going bold and bright, so this is where you need your shades!

Lottsa BOO here!  Broke out my Heidi Grace from this past summer to create this fun Valentine card.  Still working on those cards that my mom needed and this is one of the final creations.  The only thing that is not Heidi Grace is the heart just under the 'love' heart.
That's a bit of Prima's Harlequin pattern from their
'Nursery Rhyme Collection'.

While I had the Heidi Grace at hand, I couldn't resist making another batch of these
fabulous layered flowers that I featured last week
(you can see those HERE).

And while I was at it, a little more BOO with very, very old  
Keeping Memories Alive paper.
I have to tell you that, these papers are so old,
they came in 8 1/2 x 11 was
BEFORE 12 x 12 was really on the market!
I believe the large polka dots were from
My Mind's Eye's 'Wild Asparagus' line....I think.

A little something new... the beautiful 'Mariposa Collection'
from DCWV.  I know, I know...a little crazy with the flowers!

But that brings me to the winner of the
'Using What You Have' Giveaway.

The contest was...
What can YOU tell me about the patterned paper that was used?
Take a good look at the photos above and really zero in on the patterned flowers on the left.
1. Who manufactures this paper?
2.  What makes this particular 'sheet' unusual?

 Kathy W  
Kathy had the closest guess.  
You all did a fabulous job and gave it some real thought.
 The actual answer to question # 1 is Prima
The answer to question #2 was a bit tricky, but I told you it was something unusual.
The flowers were actually made from 
the front cover art of the entire collection.

Kathy, I just need your mailing address so I can send out your
Prima Sampler Paper & one of my handmade flowers.
Email me at 

I know this has been a long post,
but here's what I want to know from you...

If you were to do BOO along with me, what would be one of the OLDEST
things from your creative stash that could be used?
I won't hold you to using it, after all, there are many reasons why we haven't! (Can anyone say 'emotional attachment?)
Please leave a comment 
and let's have fun with this trip down memory lane!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Romance...In More Ways Than One

Romantic Style...what does that look like to you? 
I think like anything else, it's different things to different people.

You know I love the 'shabby-chic' style...although pastels are a bit harder for my brain to work with,
when this card came together,
I just sat back and took a deep breath in.

I love the background stamps from Artistic Stamper.   I used the Polka Dots image for the bold background and the Simple Swirls for the subtle pink background and the gray foreground on the tag.
The sentiment is from Wordsworth.  There are all kinds of 'extras' that complete this card including the Martha Stewart Eyelet Lace Around the Page Border, Prima Flowers and silk ribbon.

As I continue to clear my stash, this is a very old die cut from Colorbok that I embellished with
'Carrera Marble' Tinsel Glitter also from Martha Stewart.

Now for romance of a different style.
I love the new 'Mariposa Collection' from DCWV.  The 12 x 12 stack is perfect for card-makers because there are so many wonderful images that can be cut out and layered.

Yep...more Prima Flowers.  Such a quick and easy embellishment.

Although I didn't use them on this project, I also purchased the box of die-cuts that match this collection.  They are beautiful, so I am sure they will turn up here soon!

Quick little story...My dear grandmother, who was one of the biggest influences on my creative life, bought me a sewing machine many, MANY years ago and truthfully, the only time it was used, was when her machine had to go in for servicing.
She would borrow my little unit to get her by.
I finally broke out that machine a couple weeks ago, but for the life of me, I could not keep the bobbin thread from tangling with every effort I made to sew.  I mentioned it to my mom who said, "You know, I think your grandma had the same problem with that machine every time she borrowed it.  I have her machine stored away,
maybe you should give it a try."   
Grandma was a master, self-taught seamstress.
Well, grandma's machine had the magic touch!
I put it to use for the first time on these cards
and I just love the results.

My stitches aren't perfect....
but romance sometimes isn't either.....

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Retro Fun at The Play Date Cafe!

I am very excited about the color inspiration for this week's

And how fun is this inspiration photo?

Julie Campbell is actually our challenge host this week, but as she is away at CHA in Anaheim, I offered to fill her shoes with an offering of inspiration.

The verse I used for this card was from Scrappy Cat and it's in tribute to my UK friends, Jennie and Hels.  I serve on the creative team with them at Artistic Stamper and have been in LOVE with the grungepaper roses that they are so proficient at making.
Because I STILL need to get myself some grungepaper to make the actual roses, I decided to put my own spin on them using the same
'retro' feel of the inspiration photo.

I created the flowers using my Sizzix Flower Layers die cuts.  The patterns were created with Artistic Stampers' Houndstooth and Polka Dot background stamps.  Although houndstooth never goes out of style, I think it has a very 'retro' vibe to it.  I outlined each flower with turquoise and silver Stickles and centered them with zebra-print brads.!

So you have two places to visit.   
The Play Date Cafe of course, and then head on over to
Tell them hi from me!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Little Inspiration for Valentines

I don't have much to share today as I am working on a couple of fun projects that I look forward to sharing in the coming days, so I thought I would show you a few more 'peeks' of the cards
that I made for my mom.

I know in my last post I mentioned working outside the color 'box' for Valentines, but of course, it couldn't last forever.  Found myself right back into the reds, pinks and whites with a hint of
something 'extra' here and there.

Definitely getting some mileage out of my Sizzix Primitive Hearts die cuts, but once again, I have stuck to using papers that I have had for awhile.  The theme for me though, was to continue to keep these very simple so I could get a variety done in a short amount of time.

Love the new Martha Stewart punches for spring.
The 'eyelet lace' and 'pansy' punches will get a lot of use.
Also new for spring are the K&Company 'Ka-Zoo' foil sticker borders.  These fabulous hearts are from that collection and the tiny hearts in the photo before this one are the 'cutouts' from the border.

If you haven't entered your guess for the
you have until tomorrow to do so.
Just click HERE for the details. 
It's been a lot of fun to see what you have come up with for guesses and I think you are going to be
TOTALLY surprised by the answer!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Using What You've Got...It's a Giveaway!

One of my so-called resolutions for 2010 was to do my best to use a little 'somethin' that I have had for a long time.  My priority is to use my paper stash first followed by embellishments.  Oh my goodness!  As I organize, it's like Christmas everyday as I find things I forgot I had!
I know...that's your story too, isn't it?!

My mom called the other day and said she needed 12 valentines, 
any style, any color.  PERFECT!
I immediately began to think of ways I could put my plan to use,
but make the cards quick and simple.
One way to accomplish this is to get out of the box color-wise.
So here is the result...

 This is just one of the cards I came up with.  The patterned papers came with a British magazine that Sarah sent to me.  So I used the Sizzix Flower Layers die cut and highlighted the edges with  
Stardust Stickles.
My friend Mona sent me the rhinestone brads from Making Memories and the border punch is Eyelet Lace from Martha Stewart.
The colors are a bit unconventional for a typical valentine, but why not?

While I had the Sizzix die cut out,
I decided to continue on with my's what I made...

I have had the polka dot paper forEVER!
It's called Penelope's Potpourri from SEI.
The pink flower was made from the same paper on the card,
but now for my favorite....

THIS lovely flower is my favorite!  Adorned with Platinum Stickles.

The contest...
What can YOU tell me about the patterned paper that was used?
Take a good look at the photos above and really zero in on the patterned flowers on the left.
1. Who manufactures this paper?
2.  What makes this particular 'sheet' unusual?

Leave a comment with your guess.  Feel free to try and guess both answers.  I will take all correct answers and draw a winner.  You have until 11:59pm EST, Tuesday, January 19th to enter your guess.
The winner will receive a package of papers from this particular collection AND a completed flower embellishment.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Play Date Cafe Challenge #12

I don't know if it's nice and chilly where you are but no matter.
The Play Date Cafe Design Team is ready to inspire you
with these lovely shades of blue.
The January Guest Designer joins us this week
for a little added inspiration.


I have to say a HUGE THANK YOU to Lisa Lectura
as I was one of the three winners
for her Blo'give'rsary giveaway!
I am so excited as I know a Lisa print is on it's way to my home.
Lisa is so talented and her creations are unique.  She has played along with us in The Play Date Cafe and has really been an inspiration for mixed media art.  Make sure you stop by Lisa's blog and see what all the wonderful fuss is about.  Here's to another year, Lisa!

I know I have been a bit MIA this past week, but life 'stuff' has kept me rather busy.  I hope you will forgive my absence and know that I am back in my studio and working on all sorts of new projects and ideas to share with you.
I have truly missed you.....

Monday, January 11, 2010

GCD Homespun Chic Giveaway Winner...

What a great time I have had getting to know so many new faces and saying hello to old acquaintances.
As the saying goes, 'I wish there could be more than one winner, but...'

Using Random.Org for this drawing...


Jean is the winner of a 12x12 Collection & 5 pkgs of Embellishments

Thank you to all who entered and all who found Julie's Open Window for the first time.  I hope you plan to stay awhile...I would if I were you because another giveaway is just around the corner!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Play Date Cafe Challenge

Just a quick note to share with you the newest challenge from
the design team at The Play Date Cafe.
Sandi is our host this week and 'metallic' is IN!

Are YOU up for the challenge?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Is it Snowing Where You Are, Too?

Happy Wednesday to You!

How has this week started out for you?  I know my friends in the UK are experiencing unusual amounts of snowfall and in the U.S. we are in danger of losing a lot of citrus trees in the South.  I heard that over 2/3 of our country would be affected by this new round of snow storms.
Our forecast here in Northern Illinois promises anywhere from 8"-12" of snow between 10pm tonight and lasting until at least 7pm tomorrow.  So here we go again!

I have been out doing a bit of shopping for some crafty things over the past couple of days.  I know, I know...I told you that one of the things I vowed to do in 2010 was to use much of what I already have here in the studio.  I still am.  Each project I make WILL contain something that has been waiting to be used.

For this little card, I pulled out the 'Weathervane' stamp set from October Afternoon and 'Life's Possibilities' from Tim Holtz...that is my something 'old' as I have had these stamps for quite sometime, but had yet to use them!  The paper is from Cosmo Cricket.
Not much to do here but a little layering and a little glittering.  Simple!

There are still a couple of days left before the big giveaway!
GCD Studios is celebrating their brand new collections and they have given us some 'Homespun Chic' JUST FOR YOU!
You do NOT want to miss out on this, so CLICK HERE and make sure you leave your comment at the end of the post!

Back tomorrow to introduce you to a brand new challenge from  
The Play Date Cafe!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Vintage Valentine for Embellish

OK...does this just scream vintage valentine?  I hope so.
It's just a glimpse of my entry for
Embellish's New Year Challenge.

I took a bit of liberty with my shade of red, but I think it works.

I used a few of the papers from GCD Studios'
'Artsy Urban Collection' to get the job done.

You recognize the vintage foil hearts from my recent entry for  
The Play Date Cafe Challenge.
Love playing with that foil! 
The silver metallic is embossed using a Cuttlebug EF.
I 'pinked' up my white crepe paper rosettes with a little VersaMagic ink.
Nothing says vintage like lots of flowers.
thanks to Prima and Making Memories for these beauties!

Add a few satin pearls, gathered trim
and button brads for flower centers.

Speaking of GCD Studios, if you haven't left your comment for the
BIG giveaway, you still have time.

One more thing then I am off to make my husband his favorite
Italian Chicken dinner...

Julie's Open Window is now on Facebook!
I would LOVE it if you would become a fan.
Just scroll down to the FB badge just under my
followers beautiful faces and click.
When you get to Julie's Open Window on FB,
click 'Become a Fan' and that's it!

See you soon!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Let's Celebrate! A Brand New GCD Studios Giveaway!

How excited am I ???
GCD Studios is having a Release Party
to announce their brand new collection!

I am thilled to announce that Julie's Open Window has been given the privilege of being the FIRST to offer you an opportunity to  

'Homespun Chic'
is the new collection by designer Melody Ross.
Many of you will remember Melody as the creative mind behind Chatterbox and most recently the designer behind
the 'Artsy Urban' Collection for GCD Studios.

of 'Homespun Chic'!

Here's what you can win...

1 ~ complete collection of 12 x 12 'Homespun Chic'
5 ~ sets of 'Homespun Chic' Embellishments



At the end of this post, leave me a comment telling me what  
YOU would do with this fabulous collection.
I would LOVE for you to become a follower
of The Open Window as well.


This contest closes at midnight CST on Saturday, Jan. 10th, 2010
Winner will be announced on Monday, Jan. 11th, 2010

There are always fabulous giveaways going on over at GCD Studios, so pop on over and see what's new!  When you leave your comment, make sure you tell Heidi that you came from  
Julie's Open Window!

It's Another New Year!

Wishing you a very Happy New Year!