Thursday, November 29, 2007

Rolodex Calendar

Good morning. As I sit here, my Christmas music is playing, and I'm thinking about my holiday baking. My tree is up, and my house is decorated. Now I'm ready for Christmas. Obviously, my mom's co-workers are not even close to being ready; every day my mom yells out "__ days to Christmas," as she watches my Christmas tree countdown in the right side bar. Her friend's are threatening to throw her out of the department--LOL.
My rolodex calendar was made at a workshop at Lasting Impressions. Isn't it cute? Cathy Heslop, the instructor, comes up with some really neat projects. I'm going to make another rolodex, at home, and will substitute the Jolee Boutique stickers for rubber stamped images to achieve a more artsy feel.
The fun thing about this calendar is that each month was mounted with clear photo corners, so they can be replaced each year. On the back side of the file card there is another calendar which allows those important dates to be documented. With five nephews, two nieces, two children and four step-children, I need to keep important dates in one convenient place.
For those who are interested in making one of these calendars, I will post a tutorial in the new year.
The tutorial for this Tuesday is complete and ready for posting. I would like your input as to what you would like to see for the following week, so cast your vote. For those who don't craft, and wish to vote (yah, that's you mom), please feel free to vote too.

1. Decorating Christmas cookies with a rubber stamp.
2. Decorative wrapping for gifts.
3. Polymar clay tree ornaments.

Now I'm going out on a limb here--I've never tried any of the options before. Well, I have wrapped presents, but will use unique items for added interest.

Have a great day. Thanks for stopping by, and casting your vote.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Left or Right Brained?

I am definately right brained. By clicking here you can find out what side of your brain you use. I have read so many responses to this, on one of my yahoo groups, and people are amazed that they see the figure moving in the opposite direction as their friend or partner. Something I find very interesting, is that I can make this figure switch directions by concentrating hard. I'm curious to find out how many of you can make the figure switch directions.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tutorial Tuesday - Distressing With Acrylic Paint

How many of you have more than one or two bottles of paint hanging around? Did you know you can use them for your cards? Not only did I have paint lying around, but I had used vintage cards from my last trip to Pete's, my junkyard man. The minute I saw them, I knew I wanted to turn them into usable cards, and this tutorial was a great place to start. Distressing with acrylic paints are so fun, and a great way to get that shabby chic look with ease.


Collage material (ie. old greeting cards)
Acrylic paint
Ink pads
Rubber stamps
Paint brush

Swipe ink pads along cardstock in various directions.

With watered down acrylic paint, brush paint over complete background.

Glue collage items on background, and stamp images.

Continue adding collage pieces until satisfied. Once you added all your images, take a stiff, dry brush, and lightly cover areas of your cardstock. When you dip your brush into the paint, pat it on a paper towel to take most of the paint off. This is called "dry brushing." Dry brushing is a wonderful, and easy, way to distress.

Another option is to just dry brush over patterned paper, and then distress the edges with an ink pad.

When your card is dry you are free to add embellishments.

This example uses a stamped image rather than collage materials.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Check out my Girlfriend's Etsy Shop

Yahoo, Kim Hutchinson's Estsy shop is now open for business. Today she has a lovely collage piece for sale and you can see it here. Kim, I wish you all the success in the world girlfriend. Congratulations.

Christmas Countdown

Wowzers! Did you see that Christmas tree count down on the right side bar? Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat, please put a elf in a Christmas hat. Not right? Well, I need an elf right now to help me through the last few weeks of preparation. Okay, I know. Christmas comes on December 25th every single year. What I can't understand is why I leave the most important items for the last minute. Perhaps I work better under pressure. Are you the same way? Is there anyone out there that prepares earlier than me? I am proud to say I had all my Christmas cards made by May. Why? I was busy preparing cards for my sisters and mom, as one of their birthday presents. The cards in the photo are just one style I did for my mom. Or, I think I did. Come to think of it, I don't think I was pleased with them, and made a whole batch of better cards. Yah, there I go again. It's got to be better cards. Better presents. Better cookies. Better looking (well, I haven't lost the weight this year so there is no "better" in that department). That said, I better get working on a better tutorial for tomorrow....

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Pay It Forward

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this Pay It Forward exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow, or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog. So basically, if you comment and you’re on, I’ll send you something crafty that I’ll make! Once you sign up, copy and paste the above paragraph on your blog, and three other lucky people will be recipients of your handmade work. I'm getting paid forward by Kim and thought it would be fun to pay it forward to you.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Celebrating Thanksgiving Week With Family - Back November 24th

This is the card that I designed and will be teaching at Sarnia's Lasting Impression's store on December 11th, so if you're in the area, why not sign up. This is one of my favourite cards. Can you tell that there are shiny snowflakes hanging on thred from the top? And look at those little Hero Arts birds flying around.

I am away celebrating Thanksgiving week with Donnie's sister, in Ohio, and will return on November 24th. Unfortunately, there is no computer where I'm going, so I cannot blog. Please leave me a comment and let me know what tutorials you would like to see, and I'll see what I can do. In the meantime, can I put you in the mood to do some Christmas baking?

While I was baking shortbread cookies today, I had my Christmas music playing, and it really put me in the spirit of Christmas. There was just one thing missing--my daughter. She's all grown and away at university, but when she lived at home we baked together all the time.


1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup butter

Cream powdered sugar and white sugar together with butter. Add flour and mix well. Divide into two and roll into a ball, wrap in waxed paper and place in fridge for 30 minutes. Bake at 300 degrees F for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Friday, November 16, 2007

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year. My favourite part? Giving gifts. Whether they are homemade, or bought, hours of preparation and looking for that "perfect" gift is my objective. Over the years my children, and step-children have cried because they were so touched with a particular present that I gave. That is what I try to achieve every year for my friends and family.

There are two particular Christmases where my daughter, Sarah, had me cry. Today I would like to share one of those Christmases with you.

Sarah plays the piano and was in a Christmas recital six years ago, when she was 16. Sarah never, ever, agreed to play more than one piece for every recital she played in. This particular year, I was so excited because not only was there more than one song on the program we received, but there was three. Yes, three whole songs! All I kept saying was, "wow, I can't believe she is playing more than one piece. I'm so excited." Anticipation was building up. I was so excited to hear her play three pieces. Then it was Sarah's turn to play. What was she doing? She wasn't going to the piano like the others. Rather she came up to the front of the stage and looked down at me with the biggest smile I have ever seen. The moment she said, "tonight I'm not going to play the songs on the program" I started to cry, knowing very well that Sarah was going to surprise me some how. As I cried, in the front row for everyone to see, I heard her finish her speech.

"Tonight, I'm not going to play the songs on the program. My mom does not know this, but I have been practicing a song she has always asked me to play since I started piano lessons. Tonight I'm going to play Charlie Brown's Christmas. Merry Christmas, Mom." This Christmas present was so special to me, and it is one that I will always remember.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Double Take Thursday

Good morning. Wow, it's Thursday already. I'm finding that November is going so quickly. Here we are at double take Thursday, where Kim Prince and I are challenging each other once again.

Today's card reflects our challenge to use any Tim Holtz stamp, edge distresser and distress ink. This card style fits right into the shabby chic niche that is becoming so popular.

By clicking here you can see Kim's wonderful card. While you are there, check out her Outlines Christmas card in the post below today's challenge. Kim does elegant so well.

Thanks for playing Kim. I really enjoyed this week's challenge.

Recipe: Patterned paper is daisy d's. Cardstock is Real Rust and Bordering Blue. Paper embellishments are from daisy d's 6 x 6 paper and die cuts pad. Base card was distressed with distress ink. Image was distressed with distress ink. Distressed edges were created by using an edge distresser. Brads were added to corners.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tutorial Tuesday - Making The Most Out Of Collage Stamps

Do you shy away from collage stamps because you don't know how to use them? Do you draw a blank when you pick up a collage stamp? Do you wonder how to make the most out of your collage stamp? If you answer yes to any one of these questions, then this tutorial is for you. I used to be stumped when it came time to using collage stamps, thinking I had to add way too many elements and embellishments. Once I learned to accept the "less is more" rule, I learned to love my collage stamps. The stamp used in my first photo is from Magenta. In photo 5 I used an Inkadinkado flourish. All others are from Hero Arts.

This collage stamp had a background script that I did not want to use, so I used a Tombow marker to ink up the area of the stamp I wanted to use, and "huffed" on it to moisten the ink before the image was stamped. Next, I masked the image then stamped the diamond stamp over top of the masked area with Versamark, and embossed with gold embossing powder.
This is an alcohol ink smoosh technique. Using black Stazon, stamp your image onto acetate and let dry. Turn your image over and on the back, drop alcohol inks onto the acetate, being careful not to muddy the colours.
Take your second image and smoosh both backsides together to allow the ink to smoosh around.
This is the end result of the alcohol ink smooshing technique. One way to adhere the acetate to the card front is to punch two holes through the acetate and card front layers, and add a ribbon.
This vibrant card uses the baby wipe technique. Once the background is dry, stamp your image with Stazon and let dry completely and then matt your image in coordinating colours.
Carry the flourish from the collage stamp onto the card front by stamping a flourish onto the top and the bottom of the card front before adhering the matted image.

This elegant card background is one of my favourites. It is known as Tapestry. Edges were torn and left white to match the white embossing powder. To complete the elegant feel I was looking for, I added silk ribbon.
This is another card using the Tapestry background.
This is one of my favourite collaged cards. Although there are a lot of elements used in this card, it maintains an elegant look. How did I achieve this effect? By sticking with similar elements by using two colours: Cool Caribbean and pink; and matching flourish stamps. The collage stamp was stamped onto three colours: Cool Caribbean, pink and white. The white background was lightly sponged with coordinating ink. The definition was cut from the pink paper, and the flower was cut from the Cool Caribbean paper, and adhered on top of the white image. The Inkadinkado flourish was stamped onto the white background, and the Hero Arts flourish was stamped onto the top and bottom of the card front.
Why not make a tag? This is a fun way to add beauty to that gift you are giving. This tag was cut with my Cricut. The image was stamped on top of the mulberry paper batik technique and adhered to the tag.
(I apologize for the quality of this photo). Direct to paper, or polished stone, was the background used for this card. The image was stamped onto the background with black Stazon.
This card uses the shaving cream technique in the background. To carry on the orange in the background, an orange Prima flower was added, and orange flourishes were stamped along the side of the card front.

I hope I was able to show you new ways to use your collage stamps. By remembering the golden rule of "less is more" you can create beautiful cards. Now, go create.

Monday, November 12, 2007

My First Magnolia Card

Good morning. Did you have a nice weekend? I finally had a chance to use my new Magnolia stamp, all the way from Sweden. This is such a darling line of stamps. Image was coloured with Prismacolours. Won't a little boy just love receiving this card? Have a great day.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Guest Designer - Kathryn Dodkin of Willowgrove Stamps

Let me introduce my first guest designer, and a very good friend of mine--Kathryn Dodkin. Kathryn is the designer behind her successful line of stamps called Willowgrove Stamps.
Here is the Jolly Santa card that was published in the Nov/Dec 2007 issue of RubberStampMadness on page 45.

This Earmuff Snowman is published in December's magazine gift guide on page 58. He is also on the cover at the top listing what is inside.

Kathryn has been stamping for about 10 years. She added, "I have always loved creating. Even as a child I loved to draw animals and it is this love that has inspired my WillowGrove Stamps."

Kathryn also loves to scrapbook and says scrapbooking is a wonderful way to re-live vacations and important events. She enjoys photography which she says definitely ties in with scrapbooking. Would she like to take photography to another level? She would indeed and added, "I would also like to incorporate my photographs with card making. I love how every art form can be connected."

"My honeymoon scrapbook on Hawaii is my latest favourite project. I enjoy challenging myself creatively with each project and it is very exciting when I complete one."

This is not Kathryn's first time being published; she was was published a few years ago in Stampers Sampler, using a using a cross stamp from The Artful Stamper. "It is still one of my favourite cards because it used many types of Embossing powder in a unique way" she said.

"My stamp line began because I enjoyed drawing animals. I started with an Easter Bunny and it snowballed from there. Soon I was drawing countless animals and recently expanded my line to include florals, holidays and wedding stamps. I now do custom orders. There are many dog and cat breeds so it is almost impossible to have every one. If somebody has a pet that they cannot find on my website, they may email me a picture. I will create a custom stamp from a caricature of their pet. It costs a bit extra but it is fun to have a one of a kind stamp of your fuzzy friend."

"I love clear stamps. Once I began to use clear stamps I soon found that I much prefer them to the original wood block stamps. For one thing, you can see exactly where you are stamping. There is no guess work at all. Clear stamps are also easy to store because they are thinner than a wood stamp. They fit great in calendar cases and you can store them like your CDs. Its fantastic!

In five years I would like to see my stamps as a common stampers'household name. It would be fun to open a magazine and see a card that somebody submitted that uses a WillowGrove stamp. But really, in five years I hope to be having as much fun with card making as I am now. I can't wait to see what new products will be available in five years! Rubber stamping has already grown so much in the time that I have been stamping."

You can visit Kathryn's blog here.

I hope you enjoyed reading about Kathryn's Willowgrove stamps. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Double Take Thursday

As promised, Double Take Thursday starts today with Kim Prince and I challenging each other to use a product, technique, and even tools. Today's card reflects what we had in mind and that was to use heavy duty kitchen tin foil and the Cuttlebug.

Tin foil was embossed with the Cuttlebug and then alcohol ink was dripped onto the tin foil and spread with a paint brush.

The fun in this is for you and I to see how someone else interprets the task at hand. Kim and I have two different styles which will make it even more fun to participate. Let's see Kim's creation here.

I had so much fun with this, and Kim I can't wait to see what we come up with for next week.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Baroque Motif Kaleidoscope Card

Can you tell I had a lot of fun with this tunnel card? Baroque Motif was combined with Groovy Gauva, Sky Blue, and K&Company's Debbie Walton designer paper. Stickles and brads were added to give the card shimmer and shine.

Wanda Vinson sent me these pictures of her interpretation of the card. Aren't those colours stunning?

I'm about to use my new Magnolia stamp, using this same style of card, and hope you aren't getting tired of the tunnel card yet.
Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Wine Anyone?

Good morning. Did you remember to turn your clocks back? This is a series of cards that I am making for my sister's Christmas order. I had a lot of fun making them because they are different from my usual style. The colours gold, burgundy, cream, and black, were inspired by this month's colour challenge at the Stamp-Shack.

Paper is from a K&Company pad and is designed by Brenda Walton. Unfortunately the mounted red rubber stamp does not have any information regarding the company it came from. Isn't that strange. Each card was embellished with brads and ribbon.

I have something fun in store for you. Kim Prince and I are going to be showcasing "Double Take Thursday", starting this Thursday. Each week we will challenge the other to create a card, or project, using a specific brand name, medium, or tool. Doesn't that sound fun? We are both anxious to show off our first creations this Thursday, so stay tuned.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Penny Wise Arts

Look at the gorgeous beaded cards I received from the Yahoo group of Penny Wise Arts. Interested in using beads, and getting the best price on them? Visit Pennywise Arts where you can shop and join their Yahoo group. See their side bar for listings. How did I find out about this wonderful group? Through Pat Huntoon's blog. I'm a subscriber of Pat's Technique Junkie newsletter.

When I joined the PAW Yahoo group, I was given a warm welcome by way of introduction by one of their members, right on the site. Then, I was pleasantly surprised with these cards in the mail. The pink hat card is from Terri Stewart, butterfly card is from Jami, flourish card is from Kathy MaDowell, and the oriental card is from Evelyn. The owner of Pennywise, Suzanne, sent me a card and I will post that one this week.

As a note of interest, the butterflies are covered in beads, the gray horizontal band across the top of the next card is beaded, and the oriental face is beaded as well.

Boy am I going to have fun beading. It is a new technique to me, and I'm anxious to join PWA in beading the world.

Friday, November 2, 2007

CD Calendar

Wow, is it Friday already? I can't believe what a stressful, and quick week, this has been. I know you can relate when I say "stress overload." This posting almost got missed because I was so involved in my card making orders that I completely forgot to post. Then, when I went to post, Feedblitz wasn't accepting my password and I started to freak out thinking someone changed my password. After three attempts, I finally got in. With the way the week has been going, that was something I could have done without. And, if things weren't bad enough, I had to delete two mean-spirited comments that were left on my blog. I was warned that I would open myself up to these kind of statements when I started to blog, but I simply don't have a thick skin. Have any of you had this happen? I'm curious to hear all about it. One last thing, if I'm a regular commenter on your blog, please forgive me for neglecting to say hello this week; I haven't been on the computer much at all this week. In fact, I may go on just once a day to see what jumped into my in-box, and clear necessary junk off of my blog. Anyho, enough of that grumbling, and on to better things, better thoughts, and better carma.

Have you seen those cute calendars around that use a CD case as a calendar holder? Don't you think they are so fun? This is my first attempt at making one of those calendars. What spurred me on? Well, Sunshine Designs had a contest that called for using one of their "sprig" or "branch" stamps, and this is what I came up with. The same stamp was used for both months. The pumpkin vines were made by colouring the stamp with Tombow markers, leaving out the flower portion of the stamp. Have a wonderful weekend. Don't forget to turn back your clocks on Sunday.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Love Is In The Air

It's fall and the birds are flying south, and the cold wind is swirling in the sky. Look, there goes one of them, right over the balloon now. Stamps are justjohanna. The balloon was stamped on the back of the paper and cut out. Fibre was attached to depict the ropes. To depict swirling wind I ran Cool Caribbean through my cuttlebug.
Look at those owls just sitting and relaxing in the tree, while they watch the birds fly overhead towards warmer weather. justjohanna owls are so cute, aren't they?

Well, it's Thursday and you know what day that is, don't you? Yup, beer and wing night. Mom, I wish you could be here with us again. Now that I'm in water aerobics I might allow myself one extra wing. Have yourself a great day. Thanks for stopping by!