Saturday, May 28, 2011

I'm Growing Roses

Trisha too posted What's Growing Friday on her blog.  She wants us to play with the new linky thingy she's trying out.  We're to post something growing in our yard, craft room, etc.  So now that Blogger seems to be working again, I thought I'd post the flower arrangement I made today for my dining room table--knock out roses from the bushes along the front of the house, one lone peony from the bushes in the back yard.

So what's growing over at your place?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Livin' the Cowboy Code

It's another week of the American Wild West, Gingersnap Creations style! Today it's the Color  challenge, GC104 Color: Denim, Rust and DustHere is my design team example.  Please visit the Gingersnap Creations blog to see what the rest of the Rusty, Dusty Gingers  (design team)  created to inspire you.  And once you make your wild west color submission, please link it up to GC104 by June 19.  You may just be the next home page artist or one of ten Ginger Gems!

This is a layout of my hubby, his oldest brother, and two cousins.  I entitled it Buckaroos because my dh grew up a Gene Autry fan.  Gene always called his little cowboy fans buckaroos.

And we have a sponsor this month: Technique Junkies Newsletter
There will be some amazing prizes from Pat Huntoon, the original Technique Junkie!

For this layout, I used the Faux Denim Tutorial from the Technique Junkies Newsletter.  I kept the layout simple to show off the denim technique on the paper.

In addition to creating the faux denim paper, I also created my own embellishments.  I used my Martha Stewart scoring board to make the rosette from printed paper and added on top a dime store "tin badge".  I distressed with ink the Maya Road Mini Pennant Banner Canvas Pieces, added scrabble tiles, and strung them together with twine.

Additional Materials:
Ranger Distress Inks: Faded Jeans, Tumbled Glass, Fired Brick, Antique Linen
StazOn Opaque Ink: Cotton White
Paper:  Tim Holtz distressables: Rulers 
             Sassafras Vintage Yummy
             FlairDesigns Red Bandit Striped Paper
AMM herbanella trimmings: All Boy
 Provo Craft Letters:  Kid's Black

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Red Lead Art Sisters

A few weeks back, I posted here the three tags I made for the Red Lead Hello Spring Tag Swap. This one caught the eye of Red Lead sisters Chris and Sharon, owners of Red Lead Paperworks in St. Louis, MO.

I belong to the Red Lead Yahoo Group where they featured this tag on the home page, making me the Home Page Diva for a few days.  My swap sisters are very talented, so when I'm chosen as Home Page Diva, I consider it quite an honor.  The Yahoo Group also is the place to sign up for the Art Sisters Swaps.

The Red Lead swaps feature products offered by Red Lead, either from their brick and mortar store or the on-line store.  For example,  for the tag above, I used the ATC fragile stamp, Ranger distress inks, and the tag itself, all purchased at Red Lead.  We also send a $5.00 check which covers the cost of return postage and some great extras.

The swap mail arrived a few days ago.  Let's start with the awesome way Chris and Sharon package our swap exchanges.  Everything is wrapped inside a cellophane bag and tied up with a pretty bow.  Presentation is everything!
And here are the three tags I received in the swap from my Red Lead Art Sisters, Debbie, Dottee, and Lisa.  Each tag has fantastic detail, special elements, and wonderful trims.  I treasure all three of them!

 And here are the extra goodies.  The bunny is a Red Lead exclusive stamp.  What fun!

The Language of Flowers ATC swap and the Chotski Pin Swap are going on right now.
If you love swaps and Red Lead collage sheets and stamps, then this is the art group for you!  I try to do at least two swaps a year with this very talented group.  And it's a real treat for me when I actually make it into the St. Louis store.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


You are not going to want to miss our Bella Creations blog hop! It's going to be a heavenly ride on the wings of this butterfly, with lots of fun along the way!

Each Bella Creations Design Team member will be giving a prize on her blog. And at the end of the HOP there is a GRAND PRIZE that is a must have!

You are not going to want to miss out on this hop, so SAVE THE DATES June 3rd, 4th and 5th!
We all are excited to do this first hop as a Bella Creations Design Team!

footnote:  original image from Magic Moonlight which I altered.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Milwaukee Memories This Mother's Day

On Mother's Day, I always think of my mom and grandma who were domestic engineers extraordinaire. 

My grandma (Babcia) came to America at the age of 15.  My babcia was a seamtress who made me wool pleated skirts and wool bathrobes. This family was always styling.  I wonder what they'd think of my daily wardrobe of sweats or jeans and a tee-shirt. The entire family of women crocheted beautifully.  I've inherited bedspreads and tablecloths.  The stitches are so perfect you can't tell the right side from the wrong side (where stitches are finished off). I can't sew or crochet. But I can scrap some.
My grandpa died the year I was born.  My mom and youngest sister lived at home.  My aunt and her family lived in the flat upstairs.  My uncle died when I was quite young.  This was a matriarchal family.  So when my mom married in her late thirties and moved away, visits back to babcia's were quite special and eventful.  I remember the first stop was the deli/bakery on 13th Street for Polish ham and fresh kielbasa.

I struggle to make pierogi once a year on Christmas Eve.  But, unlike crocheting, this is one thing I was able to pick up from my mom.  Babcia could whip them up like nothing when my sister and I came to visit and requested them.  We'd sit at the table in the basement kitchen and visit with her while she made them for us.  In a matter of minutes, we'd be eating the best pierogi ever.  The fillings she made were typical of the region in Poland where she grew up: either cheese and raw onion or ground beef, hard boiled egg, and sauteed onion---never, ever mashed potatoes.  
This is my grandma in her garden.  It was a postage stamp sized garden in the city but it was filled with flowers.  Here she's standing in front of the trellis where she grew parsley and lettuce. I don't remember the veggies but I do remember row upon row of beautiful flowers.  I was always amazed that my mother could identify any flower.
This garden also is where family photos were taken.
What I remember best about the back yard are the kittens under the back porch and this bench where we always posed.
Note my crocheted sweater in the first photo.  Note my sis holding one of the kittens in the second photo.  This is my entire family plus my cousin Mary who grew up living in the upstairs flat with my aunt and uncle.

This seems so long ago.  I found a song by Connie Francis to play while this post is up.  She was popular when I was growing up, and I remember this song well.  "Mama" seems appropriate for today.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I'm Part of the Notorious Ginger Gang!

Welcome to the American Wild West, Gingersnap Creations style! We're starting May off with the Chestnut Theme challenge, GC101 Cowboys/CowgirlsHere is my dt example.  Please visit the Gingersnap Creations blog to see what the rest of the Notorious Ginger Gang  (design team)  created to inspire you.  And once you make your cowboy/cowgirl submission, please link it up to GC101 by May 29.  You may just be the next home page artist or one of ten Ginger Gems!

Our May muse is Amy Kinsch of Beeswax Stamps.  You can see her work at her blog, Chatterbox.  Our Visiting Artists for May are Electra, Toni Burks and Sue Drees.

And we have a sponsor this month: Technique Junkies Newsletter
There will be some amazing prizes from Pat Huntoon, the original Technique Junkie!
For this card, I used the Faux Tooled Leather Tutorial from the Technique Junkies Newsletter.

burnt orange card stock
D'vine Swirl Cuttlebug embossing folder
Versa Mark
Ranger Clear Embossing Powder
StazOn Timber Brown ink
Gecko Galz cowgirl image
Recollections Butterfly Sticker (metal)
Stampin' Up Grosgrain Stitched Ribbon
brown card stock
Misc. items from stash: flowers, button, twine, pearl, lace

Monday, May 2, 2011

1928 Jazz Scene

For my Design Team Work at Bella Creations, I decided to get ambitious and make a 12" x 12" collage on stretched canvas for our Bella Unique Challenge example. Now the actual unique technique is the chalked chipboard flourish which is under the flowers....  Bella members who are participating in this challenge are to make chalked chipboard for any project of their choice.  I just put mine on this multi-faceted project.
I got this idea for a canvas collage from the Creative Blocks concept both on Tim Holtz' blog as well as other examples both on blogs and at my stampers' club meeting. (Some of the members got to make the Creative Blocks canvas on Tim's fall cruise.)  I must admit after seeing these Creative Blocks in person, I was hooked to try one. LOL!  What was I thinking? Photos of individual elements are below.

Mine is not a la King Tim's style, but rather my own scrappy style using the Graphic 45 All That Jazz papers from the Curtain Call Collection. Most of my materials are from the flying unicorn on-line store.
Here is a photo of the prize from the flying unicorn for the randomly chosen winner of the Bella Unique challenge.

Warning:  this is a rather long blog post with lots of photos. Grab a cup of coffee and settle in if you want to read through it all!  You may also enjoy the song I'm playing while this particular blog post is up (the music changes with my posts.) I actually found a Louis Armstrong jazz number from 1928--The West End Blues.

 Wood ATC painted with Walnut Distress Stain, corduroy crackle paint, snow cap paint dabber, and some brown paint.  G45 papers cut to look like playbill and circle cut to fit bottle cap.  Tim's Ideaology word stick with snow cap Adirondack acrylic paint dabber. The brads look like little screws but the sunlight created a shadow causing them to look crooked--as if I couldn't hammer those nails in straight!

I took a 45 rpm record out of my collection and carefully opened the dust jacket to make a template for my jazz record cover.  The actual record is inside the jacket. ( I got this idea  from a  party kit post I saw that included making smaller versions of the jackets for CDs. I'm sorry I can't remember where I saw this cute idea.  I thought I bookmarked it but can't seem to locate it.  So if it was on your blog, please let me know so I can insert the proper credit here.)
I had fun filling a G45 memory envelope with a flower and bling brad, pearl trim looking like a necklace, and Tim's key.  What does that key open, you ask?
.....the lock on the jazz club door, of course! (It's another Tim Ideaology piece.)  Here's a side view of my smaller stretch canvas.  The sides are Tim's tissue tape along with a little Ranger black soot distress ink to blend it together.  Some silver punchinella with pearls and a Jolees music note dimensional sticker finish it off.
Here is my necklace.  I made a collage with some G45 papers, added Tim's tissue tape, black trim, and some pearls before encasing them inside Ranger Inkssentials memory glass and a black patina memory frame.  I glued the silver Treble Clef to the outside.  I couldn't properly display the ribbon cord on the layout, so I removed that part of the necklace.
Back to the entire piece sitting on a shelf.  Sorry 'bout the lighting but it was the only place in my house to take the photo.  The flowers are Prima, one brown Websters Pages bloomer, a metal G45 flower, and a couple of leaves.
Whew! Thanks for stickin' with me! What will I do with this?  I plan to hang it on the wall in my craft room.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Butterflies

Happy May First!  April showers brought us those May flowers and some butterflies!
For my Bella Creations design team work on the Tres Chic challlenge example for May, I created a Tri Shutter Card.  The Tres Chic challenge is a style challenge.  May brings us the Plain and Simple style.

I incorporated the elements required for the challenge--ceramic flowers, metal embellie, ribbon, and the colors black, green, red, and cream.  I also added a KaiserCraft wood cage which DD2 gave me for my birthday. She was quite generous with her gift so I have lots of these that you'll be seeing them in future projects.  The paper line is DCWV Mariposa, including the fussy cut butterfly on the cage.  I added two Sutdio112 butterfly stickers. 
This is my very first attempt at a 3-D type of card.  I knew I bought that MS scorepad for a reason! 

The Tres Chic challenge at Bella Creations is sponsored this month by
Entries will be in a random draw for this kit from them:

CLICK ON THE BLINKING BELLA CREATIONS BADGE IN THE RIGHT SIDEBAR.  The Tres Chic challenge is in the Forum on the Main Page.

Since today is May 1st, Bella Creations has posted the 3 main challenges for the month of May as well as the winners of the April challenges.  And our Bella groups have announced winners of the April challenges and posted our May challenges.  Details can be found on our new Bella Blog where Lacee's mini album kit goes on sale today.  Both the Bella Blog badge and the Bella Creations site blinkie are on my sidebar with direct links for you.  Hope you'll join in the fun this month!

I got the Tri Shutter card instructions from this Split Coast Stampers You Tube tutorial:

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