Tuesday, March 30, 2010

True Beauty is Found Within Cake--with Lots of Frosting!

I made this ATC for six challenges.
Gingersnap Creations is celebrating its one year blog birthday.
1) This little creation of mine fulfills the GC46 Spicy Supply frosting blog challenge well as  
2) the GC Yahoo Group Cupcake challenge.

How perfect is this digital image (#534 Marie-True Beauty) from Paper Imagery Designs which I purchased especially because of those yummy cupcakes?!?!?!  It was a given for me to use it for
3) Monday's PID butterflies and flowers weekly blog challenge. And let's not forget

4) the Oh Alice challenge to use the Queen's Fine Print.  I just love the sentiment on this ATC: True beauty is found within cake.

Marie definitely is vintage so I entered this in the
5) Lots to Do vintage challenge. And finally,

6) The Shabby Tea Room Wk#3 challenge Let's Get Scrappy.  I used old sheer ribbon which I cut up to fit as a bow behind Marie for a little more sheen. We didn't have to use the colors for inspiration, but they are in the ATC. 

I printed the ATC PID image twice in order to cut out Marie and place her on the ATC with pop dots.  This allowed me to place the sheer ribbon bow behind her as well as the rhinestone butterfly in the lower corner.
In addition to the PID image and sheer ribbon, materials used are:
glue and white glitter on the ATC; Diamond Stickles around the edges
Pink and Holly (green) Stickles as frosting on the 2 cupcakes
Rock Candy Stickles: thick on the butterfly; thin on cupcake liners and two pink flowers on Marie's headdress (I left the flowers on her dress alone so that they could be seen better for the flowers portion of the PID challenge.)
Sakura Gelly Roll pen for the gold necklace, bracelet and roping on Marie's dress
Lots of rhinestones. The teal ones are Hero Arts.  (I found it funny that you can see the camera and my hands reflected in the clear rhinestones that I used for cherries on the cupcakes! LOL)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Mary's Paris Couture

Design Team Member (DT) Alda presented us with another great sketch at Pages In Time (PIT).  Just click on the PIT sketch in my sidebar which will take you right to it.  If you wish to play along, post your layout on the Pages In Time site by joining the Thursday Sketch Group.

I used the sketch to complete DT Maggi's March PIT Challenge to challenge ourselves. Here's what you need to do:  Describe what you think is your most typical SB style.  THEN:  Challenge yourself to do something completely different from your norm!!  Why would you want to do that?  Well to expand your abilities, it makes you a better artist to be able to embrace more than one style.  The mastering of different techniques allows you to include them in your repertoire and enables you to use them in your own style. I decided to challenge myself to add journaling.  That always is a tough one for me. I usually go with a picture is worth a thousand words.  But sometimes I have to actually explain the rationale behind the layout.   Today's layout is a typical example of how journaling explains the photos.  And I'm not fond of my hand writing messing up a layout, but that's the only way I could get all those sentences on those tiny strips of paper. 

I live in the Land of Lincoln and did a layout of our town's new Lincoln statue.  I thought I should give Mary Todd her own page.  I actually got to see the display of her dresses at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield.  The photo card of her that is used in my layout was purchased at Tinsley Dry Goods (since 1840, where the Lincolns probably shopped since it's next door to Lincoln's law office).

Mary Todd Lincoln was quite a fashionista.  Historians say she loved to shop and her extravagance included spending $2,000 for one dress.  She had a lavish wardrobe and jewelry.  Washington society thought it scandalous that she presented herself in the latest European fashion of off-the-shoulder low-cut bodices, as made popular by French Empress Eugenie de Mortijo.  Dresses made to the First Lady's specifications were sewn by Madam Elizabeth Keckly, former slave turned successful seamstress who also became Mary's friend/confidante.  The small photos in the layout are of Eugenie and Elizabeth. (Note: Elizabeth wrote a book about her dressmaking for Mary Todd Lincoln.  I found her life fascinating and would like to read the book.) (Information and 2 smaller photos found on the internet.)

I chose pink flowers and pearls to complement the dress and jewelry in the photo of Mary Todd Lincoln.  Websters Pages and Petaloos from the Pages In Time store.  Thankfully, Karen's paper pack included two pages of each design because I used the second one to cut out the butterflies, flowers, leaves, and mannequin for a 3-D effect.  White flower, black felt frame, and pearled ribbon are from Pages In Time monthly kits.  This is my first layout done for my gig as Designer of the Month.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Spring Card for Challenges

Here is a spring card which I made for some challenges.
First, due up tonight:
Soartful Challenges http://jeanette-soartfulchallenges.blogspot.com/ which is where I snagged the image for inspiration. It originally is from Suzee Q on Flickr.
When I saw the umbrella, I knew I had to enter a card using the Spanish Marbling paper that I made in a workshop. The colors matched perfectly.

This card also is for the Bearydo Paperie blog contest to make a card that incorporates your favorite embellishment. I'd have to say I can't seem to do without the amazing free images I get to download from my favorite websites. (See my Blog Candy Jar to the right for more details.)

Finally, I put this card in the "Card Challenge Corner" on Simply Scrapping Crafts.com for the March-Second Week challenge to make a card using the distress technique. After cutting the oval image, I used the blade of my scissors to distress the edge. This is a very simple technique but adds a little texture and dimension.

(I've replaced the photo with a better one taken with newly purchased camera batteries.)  A special thanks to Angela Holt who sent me one of her fabric roses.  I added 3 pearls to it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Happily Ever After Tag

This tag is for Pages In Time Design Team member Barbara's challenge for the month of March. 
I really like our PIT featured artist Debbie's tags that are different shapes. So with that in mind, I made a tag to put on my next layout. The label shape (cardboard and graphic) are from a set, Kitchen Mail Vintage Postcard Kit by Crafty Secrets. The words happily ever after are cut from a 12x12 Love Struck by Making Memories from the PIT store. I photographed the label on Victoria Paper Fernwood by 7 gypsies from the March Pages In Time Kit. This will be the background paper for the layout I'm doing to incorporate this tag. I love the Making Memories crocheted flower because it reminds me of some potholders I inherited. I edged the tag with a couple different colors of ink to get the right shade.
I love to eat and appreciate anyone who cans produce from the garden, so I mean no disrespect with my cutesy saying. Canning just isn't for me, as I learned early on in my marriage when this city girl became country-fied.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Birthday Greetings

Gingersnap Creations is celebrating its first birthday with lots of challenges around a party theme. This card is for the GC44 Random Redhead: Birthday Greeting challenge. I found this delightful oops girl at Altered Artifacts. I used the free vintage postcard as is, distressing the edges with 3 colors of Tim Holtz for Ranger Distress Inks: Shabby Shutters, Weathered Wood, and Pumice Stone. I made up the computer generated greeting.

Can't you just picture this cute little girl not being able to wait for cake? I have several young great-nieces and nephews who are just tall enough to see over the top of the table. They spot the cake; then out stretches those little arms; and woosh--they're licking the frosting off their fingers.

I used generic yellow card stock and topped it with hot pink run through the Cuttlebug with the Swiss Dots embossing folder. Flowers are Prima with blingy centers resting on my favorite green vine trim. I thought the bright pastels were a good contrast to the vintage photo and sentiment. I love how these vintage images are being enhanced with bright pastel colors.  (My Blog Candy jar in the right sidebar is another example.)

I'm giving this card to a friend this week.  I like this little oops girl so much that I want to use her again on another card that needs to get mailed in the next few days.

I'd just like to say that I'm very happy to have discovered Gingersnap Creations.  Their challenges are in sync with what I like to create.  I'm very pleased to have been chosen as one of the Ginger Gems for the 3 Colors I Love Challenge (my Amelia layout).

Friday, March 19, 2010

Guest Designer at Pages In Time

Beginning today, I'm the Guest Design Team Member at Pages in Time.  I'll be spending the month creating some layouts and other art, mostly using the Pages In Time kits.  I'm so excited about this assignment.  I love the PIT on-line ning site where great talent gathers to share their work.  Also on this PIT site, I'm moderator of three groups:  All Things Vintage, Fashionistas, and Hybrid and Altered Artists. Please join us.  I have lots of links to these places on my right side-bar.  Starting tomorrow, you'll be seeing more layouts posted here as part of my guest designer work.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

S2GSC47 Cheshire Cat page for Paper Bag Album

S2G (Shirley's 2 Girls) Twisted Thursday Cheshire challenge provided me with my very own free DIGI of their new CHESHIRE CAT.  The challenge this week is an 'optional sketch for me to use and their TWIST...which is to use STRIPES....and guess what the CHESHIRE CAT already has STRIPES built in! As they said, no excuse not to enter. To follow the sketch, the green horizontal stripe actually is my Maya Road twig colored purple and entwined with leaf trim (which really isn't horizontal).  Or you can say it's the lace and flower trim along the bottom.

The Alice image is cut from free artist paper (One & One created by Chrysti Hydeck for Stampinton & Company) in the March/April 2010 Somerset Studio magazine. Since I cut out the digi image, I replaced the swirls with EK Success Dainty Black Flourishes. Background paper is Karen Foster purple houndstooth. Various shades of purple ink for distressing.  Various Copic markers.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My First ATC Swap

I made two different Valentine ATCs in February, wanting to try my hand at making these little thingies. Several of us at Pages In Time decided to give them a go.   Don't ask me why, but I decided the best way to learn and get comfortable with making them was to sign up for two different swaps.
 The first one due is in the Everything Wendy Vecchi group.  As the group's title indicates, I need to use Wendy's techniques and Wendy's Studio 490 stamps. This ended up being quite a challenge for me because my imagination went beyond the 4 stamp sets I own. 

Here's the artistic journey: (All inks I list are Tim Holtz Distress Ink. I used 2 stamps in the Studio 490 Dimensional Rose Art set and the scrolls from the flower in the Art of Making Merry set.) After I decided to distress the background with Tea Dye and Broken China (cloudless sky), I used Fired Brick (the color of red tulips) to stamp the numbers background.  This was comfortable as I used this idea on one of Tim's 12 Days of Christmas tags.  Then I stamped the small flower with Coffee Archival Ink and inked it with Mustard Seed.  I wanted it to look like the sun and bright spring daffodils and tulips.  Ooops.  Now I don't like how things are coordinating, so I go back over the Tea Dye with Mustard Seed.  Much better.  I stamp the scrolls with the new Pumice Stone and go over the dots with a clear Glaze pen.

Although I originally wanted to use a larger flower in the center (Wendy stamp, of course),  in the end I went with the gypsy girl from the Graphics Fairy (on-line free images).  I love the look on her face.  She definitely is counting the days til spring.  I used a computer generated sentiment, Think Spring.  I edged the entire card with Broken China after I decided against trim. I'm happy with my design, especially since it's my 3rd ATC and first swap. Seven identical ATCs made, 6 mailed off.  I can't wait to see what I get back.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


A book made with thick cherry wood covers (Creative Imaginations) and Japanese stab binding technique.

Today I had the good fortune to take a workshop from Angela Finet at Prairie Art Stamps in Springfield, IL. All I can say is Angela teaches a stress-free, laid back workshop.  No rushing.  Excellent instructions.  Perfect results!  

Since I'm showing the cover first, I'm using Angela's instruction sheet to list what she provided for our use (this really was the last step):  Memory Box Flower Bundle stamp, Tea Leaves Versamagic Ink, Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink. 

We folded twelve 8-1/4" x 6" sheets of text weight paper in half with a bone folder, stacked, and punched them.  We put the folded side of the paper out as a finished edge.  I tried both the Japanese screw punch and the awl and hammer to learn the difference between the two for punching holes. We cut out a small piece of the cover to create a gap so that the journal would open more easily. We used the left over strip as decorative trim on the front.  One of the women ran her cover through the Cuttlebug, using the Bird Call embossing folder and then distressing with ink. This cherry wood is amazing--you can cut it, punch it, emboss it, without it ever cracking or splintering.  We learned the stab binding technique, leaving about eight inches of waxed linen thread at the top to bead and use as a book mark. Here's a side view of the binding.

This is the write-up from the Prairie Art Stamps on-line newsletter:  Angela is the owner of Angela's Happy Stamper, a paper crafting store in suburban Washington D.C. She received training at the American Academy of Bookbinding in Telluride, Colorado and has been teaching bookbinding and rubber stamping across the country for the past ten years. She has also trained extensively under Michael Jacobs, an incredible book artist. Recently, Angela was selected to the Memory Box Design Team and enjoys incorporating their stamp images and papers into her workshops.

There was much discussion in class about wanting Angela to return this summer to teach another binding technique.  

Monday, March 8, 2010

Alice, cover art for the paper bag album

In the last paragraph of the story, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland,  the older sister pictures Alice as a grown woman, gathering children about her, making their eyes bright with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago. Those last words became my album title.  This cover art work is only the beginning of many posts you'll be seeing here throughout the month of March.

Cover Art
My interpretation:  Alice muses about her childhood adventure as she sits under the tree, her cat Dinah beside her.  She leans her back against the Mad Hatter's teacup as she rests on the two volumes of Lewis Carroll's tales (the books my dh bought for me, which I photographed and printed on canvas paper), nestled in summer grass and flowers (crocheted lace covered with flower trim).
(Rings with ribbons and other embellies will be added after the inside pages are completed.)
Scroll down to see another photo taken in different lighting showing more realistic coloring of the distress inks on the edges of the paper bag album as well as a 3-D view.

Denise's Storybook Challenge for March at Pages in TimeI chose to make a mini-album out of the paper bag album that came in Karen's Pages in Time February kit.  I'll have to get the entire album made by the end of the month.  Today I'm showing the album cover which I'm entering in the...

Alice Color Challenge (OAC3) Painting the Roses Red at the Alice in Wonderland Challenge blogspot (direct link is teacup in my right sidebar). The three colors are red, blue and purple (inspired by the O.P.I. Polish collection, Wonderland) as seen in the photo to the right in my sidebar.

Brag Monday at the Graphic Fairy. I used two images:  tea cup (which I flipped) and knitting lady. (How perfect, she even has a cat to portray Dinah!)

Other Products:
Tim Holtz Distress Ink by Ranger: Fired Brick, Tea Dye
Color Box Chalk: Creamy Brown, Warm Violet, Lilac
ZIG black calligraphy pen
Stampin' Up Dimensionals (foam adhesive for teacup)
Therm O Web (1/8" thick foam adhesive for lady)
Memory Box gossamer happenstance patterned paper

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Wishing You the Best Things

I spent this Saturday making a birthday card for my cyberfriend Kathryn who's in the Everything Wendy Vecchi Yahoo! Group Birthday Club.  For inspiration, I used the Midnight Madness Sketch, the Saturday Spotlight SSHP21 theme Hey Girlfriend, the Simon Says theme (Mother's Day/Girly--just keep it feminine), and, of course, Wendy's Studio 490 stamp sets.

Even though the card doesn't look fancy schmancy, I used a lot of product.  My goal was to keep the focus on the flower in the oval.  I had my own personal theme of dots and a light, airy springtime look.

This is a card of many firsts.
First time I...
used punchinella itself as a background (rather than as a stencil),
used this flower from Wendy's Studio 490 By the Number stamp set, and
ran the entire card (front) through the Cuttlebug (rather than just a mat), using the Swiss Dot embossing folder.

The flower stamp was too big for my Spellbinders Nestabilities Classic Ovals and Classic Scalloped Ovals--a perfect excuse to pop out that flower above and beyond the ovals.  To achieve that, I stamped the flower 2 more times; cut out the blossom on one; punched out the center on another; used pop dots on both for dimensional layering. (I used Memento ink in Dandelion and Cottage Ivy on the flower stamp.) I accidentally bought a clear Glaze pen, thinking it was white.  Finally it came in handy today for accenting the yellow dots on Wendy's flower, giving the flower a little extra ooph without altering Wendy's design.  I finished with Rock Candy Stickles on the center.  I also used my white gel pen to add dots to the green scallop oval.

I found the ribbon at JoAnn's Fabrics.  It's red, green and yellow, but the yellow blends in with the cardstock. As you can tell from the sketch design, I needed a little something to finish off the ribbon on that top left corner.  I used the smaller flower stamp from Wendy's Studio 490 Dimensional Rose Art stamp set, stamping it onto yellow paper with white dots, cutting it out and folding it in half.  I topped it with a premade flower and blinged it with a Hero Arts flower gem.

I tried something artsy with the words.  These little word strips are popular on ATCs and other altered art.  I stamped part of a saying from Wendy's Studio 490 Art of Making It Merry stamp set (the words Wishing You the Best) and the word Things from a saying in the Dimensional Rose Art set.

Woo Hoo!  That makes three stamp sets of Wendy's used on this card! And I get to show it off in three on-line challenges! Here's hoping it gets Kathryn's seal of approval when she opens it on her birthday!

Friday, March 5, 2010

It's All About Alice

I read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
My blog is Alice affected.
I'm impatiently waiting for a stamp set to arrive at the local stamp store so that I can work on my mini-album.
I'm anxious to see the movie.

My DH brought home for me: Random House 1946 special edition 2 book boxed set with color illustrations--excellent condition; Heritage Press 1941 2 books in one volume with partial glassine cover with cardboard sleeve somewhat worn--big print with companion paperback The Monthly Magazine of the Junior Heritage Club that tells the story of the story. DH told me I couldn't cut up the books for the illustrations but he wanted me to have something special for my project! What a sweetie!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

TWO BLOG AWARDS: #2Sunshine Blog Award

I look upon these blog awards as an opportunity to give my blog readers easy links to other crafters in my blogasphere.  I regret that these awards have rules limiting the number of blogs I can list.
I want sunshine, warm temperatures, and flowers blooming!  How fun to get this sunshine award from my artsy friend Denise.  
Here are the rules of the Sunshine Award to pass it on.
*  Put the logo on your blog or within your post
*  Pass the award onto 6 bloggers who are followers of your blog
*  Link the nominees within your post
*  Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog
*  Share the love and link to the person from whom you received the award
Queen Kat
Happy Scrappin and Sunshine!!

#1: Happy 101 Blog Award

My artsy friend Lori gave me this blog award today.  Now I need to list 10 things that make me happy and pass the award on to 5 more.

I started with some serious things that make me happy. You know, about family, health, money, etc.
Sound effects here of brakes coming to a screeching halt......
But then I wasn't sure those phrases defined happy for me as much as they described peace of mind.  The word happy makes me think of Donald O'Connor dancing with an umbrella in the movie, Singing in the Rain. So with that in mind, here's the my list:
1.   Watching the hummingbirds while sitting on my deck with a cup of flavored coffee.
2.   Listening to a song that moves my soul.
3.   Sitting back and thinking, Yes, this came together well....layout, card, altered art, etc.

4.   Modern Technology which connects me to the world via computer, cell phone, and television (um, how else could I blog, watch What Not to Wear, or text my dh that I need just 10 more minutes at the craft store?)
5.   Chocolate.
6.   A bottle of wine that tastes great and costs $10 or less.
7.   A pair of slacks that fit.
8.   A good joke that makes a laugh so hard I have tears running down my cheeks.
9.   A full tank of gas and a beautiful day for a road trip.
10. Artsy friends who have kind words and sweet thoughts with whom I enjoy good times, and who think I deserve a blog award. Thank you, Lori!

I would like to pass on the Happy 101 award to:

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