Saturday, June 30, 2012

A whole gaggle of challenges for a Saturday

I got all the teacher stuff ready *phew* and will dole most of it out in pictures over the coming week - some of them are for things I can't show you yet *squeal!* Crafty secrets are so much fun!

I didn't get a chance to play along with several challenges last week due to the stupid sewage adventure (no sign of the backhoe yet, but we had a lot of rain this week as well.) I was determined to get in there & play this week, and so I have 4 to share with you today (for 5 challenges).

First up, Tuesday Morning Sketches #152 - as always, their linky is open until Sunday night. Here's the sketch, which I rotated to vertical:

Supplies: papers & die cuts from Kaisercraft "Class of 87;"
twine from Paper Smooches;
letter stickers from Basic Grey
This was for Riley's French teacher - he wanted for her greeting to be en francais. The checkered layer and apple notepaper layers are each on foam tape. 

Next up, IBSIC #15, which is to be inspired by this photo's colours:

Being in Canada I don't have any need for a fourth of July card, but I still loved the celebratory feel of the window display. I thought the striped cupcake wrapper was a fun substitute, and the Stardust pen & gemstones are my nod to the stars! IBSIC #15 is open until Wednesday.

Supplies: Autumn Leaves cardstock;
'you take the cake' from MFT;
'birthday wishes' from AmyR Designs (CC Designs);
cupcakeabella from Stamping Bella;
Palette Noir ink;
Sakura Stardust pen;
standard small circle Nesties; various size circle punches
Next is my card for Do You Stack Up #78, where *my Barbles* is a new design team member! This week we're to use blue skies & clouds- and my Simple Stories Summer Fresh pad is perfect for this - I am in love with this card!

Supplies: Simple Stories "Summer Fresh;"
white clouds stamp from The Greeting Farm;
Palette Noir ink;
buttons from Dress it Up
The extra gingham cloud is fussy-cut from another sheet of the collection. It's hard to see in the formatted photo, but the top 3 buttons are stars, and the bottom 3 are flowers. (You can clickit to bigit). I'm also entering this card over at Moxie Fab World's gingham challenge (which has been extended to Monday July 2).

I find it hard to put away my Summer Fresh (given that it's summer and all, lol), so I kept it out to play along with Crafty Creations Challenge #176,  to use at least 3 types of embellishments on your card. I've fussy-cut paper embellishments (the 'happy' card, the banner at upper left), used alphabet stickers, twine, and buttons. This card turned out super busy, but I love the patterns all mixed together. I hope to get a chance to play along again with this challenge -it's a fun one! It ends on Tuesday night.
Supplies: All the paper embellishments from Simple Stories "Summer Fresh;"
letter stickers from October Afternoon;
buttons from stash;
kraft twine from Paper Smooches
Off to tackle the neverending mountain of laundry, and have a nap! I was up at 3 AM this one remembered to let the dog out before bedtime last night. On top of that, I began day one of the Couch to 5K running program. I hate running. I plan on only running in the dark, so that the fewest people possible have to hear me gasp and sputter like a landed fish. My Zumba instructor is off for the summer, but I've got to keep moving - so it's worth a shot. I figure by putting it out on the blog, that may be enough to keep me doing it - whether or not I keep it up after Zumba resumes depends on whether I start liking it. I can do anything for two months. (well, not ANYTHING, and that's not a dare or a challenge, Lord, so don't get any ideas. Thank you!). I'm still pretty impressed with myself that even after getting up at 3, I still did what I said I would do, rather than using the early wake up call as an excuse not to run. Yay, me (that means I can have a donut now, right?)

Oh yeah, lots of coffee to make up for that early hour. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Playing in Paradise #73 - Inspired by Watercolour

You may not already know this, but our very own Angela is a very talented watercolour painter as well as papercrafter (and many many other titles, of course!). This week for Playing in Paradise #73 she's challenging us to be inspired by watercolour:
PPC #73

I printed out the inspiration photo - something I rarely do - because it was impossible for me to prompt myself with words this time. After carrying it around in my books for days, I tried to separate some of the elements from the final picture - wavy lines, colours, etc. When I did that, Konnichiwa came to mind:
Supplies: papers from Basic Grey "Konnichiwa;"
butterfly dies from Spellbinders;
scrap white vellum;
Martha Stewart butterfly punch;
Vintage Photo distress ink;
sentiment stamp from AmyR Designs
Get inky & play along with us - Playing in Paradise #73 is open until next Thursday, July 5 (holy cow, July already?!)

Don't forget to check out what the other designers have been up to!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

This challenge gets a 10 from me!

This week's challenge at Our Creative Corner is a 10 challenge - in your creation, include the number 10, or 10 of the same items (buttons, flowers, etc). Check out the design team's fun takes on this challenge! My card is really quite CAS for me, even with ten buttons:
Supplies: stamps from Paper Smooches;
label die from Sizzix;
paper from Doodlebug;
flatback feet from Dress it Up!;
blue & white buttons from stash;
black Glaze pen from Sakura;
Palette Noir ink
This little dino is so FREAKING CUTE I can barely stand it! I stamped out several to play with colour combinations, and this blue one wanted to be a baby card. I actually forgot while stitching the buttons on that there needed to be 10, so consider my relief when I photographed it & counted...woohoo for my subconscious kicking in for that. 

The plumbing woes are continuing. No heavy machinery yet. Cleanup isn't finished yet...and yeah, I think I don't want to talk about it. The water and sludge are gone. The rest had better be soon. 

I've got lots of stuff to share but I'm also in panicked night-before mode for the last-minute teacher gifts. Everything's made, but not yet assembled (and of course the kids have to have a special message for each teacher) - and it doesn't matter how many times I regret this last-minute scramble, I will still do it. Every time.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Stickers, baby, Stickers!

I had all the best intentions to post these yesterday, and then I went downstairs to throw in some laundry....and found that the *(&&^&* sewage line had *&&^&*^&* backed up into the basement again. What is that, 6 weeks? The last time, the plumber told us we would have to have the pipe between our house & the main line replaced (and the front yard dug up) but that there wasn't any rush. I guess the trees had another idea, though, because the problem once again was roots.


(OK, not really, but I hate sewage in the basement.)
The only possible bright spot? We haven't come close to putting everything back in place, so for once, procrastinating has led to a good thing. Other than freaking disgusting cleanup, there won't be any losses with this backup. So, the kids' first partial week off of school will be spent hanging around waiting for (and then watching) a backhoe dig up our front lawn (and possibly walkway, and possibly front steps) and having pipes replaced. I was just thinking how it would be good to have to spend a big chunk of change on something like that. (Oh, wait, didn't we just do that? GROAN.)

At this point even with a new pipe I don't think I'm ever going to feel safe putting things back on that side of the basement. Can you get poop-related PTSD?


Soooo, how was your weekend?

I have cards ready for two challenges to share with you - Shopping our Stash #56, Stuck on Stickers, ends Monday night. I love stickers! I use stickers all the time, and hoard them too, so this challenge is right up my alley. I made two the same way, with different colours:
Supplies: stickers from stash - mainly Basic Grey, K &Co;
Cuttlebug embossing folder;
Digital Princess sentiment stamp;
Versamark, Spiced Marmalade & Barn Door distress inks, clear EP

I love how the multi-colour sentiments turned out!

Supplies: same as above, with Mustard Seed & Peeled Paint distress inks
Fun, right? I think that a baby card done with 'spare' alphabet stickers would be cool too. I love using alphabet stickers, especially when I'm personalizing a card with someone's name, but I also have a bad habit of hanging on to the sticker sheet well past its being useful (no vowels, etc). Super way to stash-bust. And the embossing after adhering the letters really makes them stick tight.

Now to this week's Crafty Creations Challenge - #175, Baby Baby. This year at Riley's school, three teachers are having babies. Two have already gone on maternity leave, and the third is due over the summer. Keep in mind there are only about 15 teachers at this school....and don't drink the water. Seriously! Even though this teacher is with the first grade, I want to make sure to include her in my tradition of giving a handmade baby blanket. (Previously, everyone going on maternity leave has been directly involved with one or the other of my kids...wait, maybe it's them?) ANYHOW, you can't give a present without a card!
Supplies: papers and chipboard flag from Fancy Pants;
buttons from Dress it Up;
sentiment from Cloud 9 Designs;
London Fog memento ink;
standard oval Nesties
With any luck I'll be back later with some more challenges - card related. You hear that, nature? CARD-RELATED CHALLENGES ONLY. Thank you.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Playing in Paradise #72 - Sketch Time!

PPC #72
Yep, it's official. I have gone over to the dark side - the sketchy side. I played with sketches enough that I began to like them, and have fun with them. Crazy! It's Allison's turn to host this week over at Playing in Paradise, and she's given us this fun sketch to create with. Still working on thank you cards (surprise!) so of course that's what I went with for my card:
Supplies: Papers from Basic Grey "Plumeria;"
vintage buttons from BG "Plumeria;"
sentiment sticker from Doodlebug;
Cicely Mary Barker decoupage illustration from Colorbok
Each week our winner gets a great prize (different every week!) and is invited to play along in a future challenge as a guest designer...this week my friend Barb is joining us, so make sure you say hello!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Inspired by Tuesday Morning Sketches!

A couple more cards to share with you today - squeaking in at the last minute for IBSIC #13, Beach Inspiration. I tried more than once to capture the scene in the photo (and filled up my little recycle bin...) and finally decided that I wasn't going to go with the beach theme, but rather with the colours. And then this happened:
Supplies: paper from Fancy Pants "summer soul;"
sentiment & cream lace from Hero Arts;
teal lace from the girls paperie;
button from Basic Grey; flower from Prima;
Sakura Stardust glitter pen;
Bundled Sage distress ink
The beach crept in anyhow. It's subtle, but I think I managed to include all the colours of the inspiration photo as well:

IBSIC #13 ends tonight, if you want to play along!

I have an early (for me!) entry for this week's Tuesday Morning Sketch (151), which is open until Sunday night. As I mentioned in my last post, I'm working on cranking out thank you cards:
Supplies: papers from Bo Bunny;
sentiment from Studio G;
Colorbox Frost White pigment ink; white EP;
Basic Grey brads; K&Co floral die cut;
standard & lacey circle Nesties;
crocheted mat by me
I love the diagonal pieces, and the triple embellishment in opposite corners. I think in retrospect the centre paper is pretty busy, though. Here's the sketch:

OK, time to feed the troops!

Inspired by Woodgrain

Good morning! Squeaking in on the last day again for the challenge over at Inspired By #28. This week is all about the thank you card. With my sons in different schools for the first time, I have double the teachers and staff to thank, about 20 in total. I've always thanked the classroom teacher, but over time realized that people forget the custodians, the secretaries, and what about teachers? Gym, library, French, we have a bit of a list. Anyhow, here's my card for a teacher who works closely with Connor in the Learning Centre. He's a musician and songwriter, and performed for Connor's Language Arts class during their poetry unit, so Connor calls him a famous musician. Fingers crossed that he has a position at the same school next year - he really is the kind of teacher that is worth his weight in gold!
Supplies: papers from Cosmo Cricket "Wanted;"
wood veneer banner pieces from Studio Calico;
twine from Paper Smooches;
guitar sticker from PSX;
letter stickers from Jillibean Soup
Here's the inspiration photo - for my card I was inspired by the woodgrain, and the variety of the colours in the metal wreath (although mine don't match). How cool would that be hanging outside?

For extra fun today, I wanted to share my dog adventure from Monday afternoon. First of all, a blurry picture of Abby with her crazy dog smile:

So we're out in the yard hanging out in the sunshine, playing Frisbee, burning my back to such a crisp that two days later I'm still wincing (yeah, way to go, I know...), and Abby the loony tune keeps racing back to the house and barking.
And barking.
And barking some more.

Finally, frustrated with how loud & persistent she's being no matter what I do, I get up and go over. "There's nothing there, you fool. Stop barking!! It's just a piece of wood!!" (Yes, I talk to her.)

Then I take a closer look at that piece of wood....

Can you see him?

He must have crawled up there to hide when we came outside - they tend to be shy, and definitely afraid of dogs. This guy's bum was wider than he perhaps thought, because he was stuck. I had to hold Abby with one hand (being bitten by wild cornered rodent? No thanks.) while moving the wood & basket so he could waddle as fast as his chubby self could go. 

Abby is very proud of herself - the yard is once again safe from fat furry things!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Shopping my crafty little red wagon!

**If you're here for my guest designer post at Our Creative Corner, please scroll down or click here**
OK, combining challenge names is getting a little too fun :)
(alright, as an aside, Connor just said "what the dickens?" Why is it so funny when they pop up with old slang? Riley says "gosh darn it" all the time & I laugh every single time.)

So, I have another multi-challenge post for you! I'm sure I'm forgetting something very important this week, but I am ON TOP of challenges. So it's all good ;)
First up, let's take a peek at my boy birthday card for little red wagon #137  (which is open until Tuesday):
Supplies: digital image & sentiment from Pink Cat Studio;
papers from My Mind's Eye (from my Emily!);
stick pin from Little Yellow Bicycle;

The owls are fussy-cut and popped up on a double layer of foam tape;
the stick pin is 'stabbed' into the foam tape and the sentiment flag is adhered
to the card, so little fingers don't get poked.
Can you ever really go wrong with googly eyes on a kids' card? Probably not.

Next up is my How Charming card for Crafty Creations Challenge #174, also open until Tuesday night. I knew I had a bunch of little charms on jump rings, so I pulled them out and kept crafting until I got a card together that one would work on.

Supplies: papers from My Mind's Eye;
ribbon from May Arts; twine from Paper Smooches;
corner rounder for scalloped layer;
Doodlebug sentiment sticker;
charm from stash

The charm is hard to photograph - it's a tear-drop shaped faceted crystal. I used a twine bow
to attach it to the ribbon.
Now, I'm not sure if the above card counts as using 2 ribbons or not - since twine isn't actually ribbon...but all of the papers there are definitely stash. All bits & pieces of scraps from the very end of that pad of paper (with an order from Scrapbooker's Paradise on the way I knew I needed to make more room!)

Just in case the twine doesn't count as ribbon, I made another card for the Shopping our Stash #55 challenge to use Double the Ribbon (which ends Monday night):
Supplies: Ribbons from Offray;
papers from Basic Grey "Piccadilly;"
cameo flatback from the girls' paperie;
label die from Sizzix;
Faded Jeans distress ink;
Clearly Sentimental about Emerson from My Favorite Things

I feel so caught up! I hope you get time to kick back, relax, and enjoy your weekend :)

Simon Says Do you Stack Up, TMS?

**If you're here for my guest designer post at Our Creative Corner, please scroll down or click here**

Well, I cracked myself up with that title, anyway ;) lol!
First up, Happy Father's Day to my husband, who is a great dad, and since he doesn't read my blog anyway, that's enough of that nonsense!
My friend Barb just joined the design team over at Do You Stack Up, so I HAD to play along. In the last-minute spree of Father's Day crafting, I knew I could make something with a "boys/men" theme. I'm also playing along with Tuesday Morning Sketches #150 - this week is a judged challenge, so there's a twist: use black, kraft, and ONE other colour (I went with white), along with the sketch. Here's my card:
Supplies: Antique Linen distress ink; Palette Noir ink;
burlap stamp from Market Street Stamps;
sentiment from Ditto; Basic Grey buttons; hemp cord;
standard oval Nesties

TMS challenges always end Sunday night, so head to your craft room & make something quick! Here's the sketch:

The DYSU challenge is open until Tuesday at 5, so you've lots of time to link up there. 

And what did Simon say? Simon said to use this photo board as inspiration this week: (linky closes on Tuesday night)
I went with the over-arching theme of "summer" for my card, and I love how it turned out! Nothing says summertime to me quite like the beach, and bright fun colours:
Supplies: stamps from Inkadinkado;
Palette Noir ink; standard circle & oval Nesties;
buttons from Dress it Up!;
antique linen distress embossing powder;
papers from Fancy Pants "summer soul" 

Distress EP sets off my smoke alarm (it's right above the desk) so I've taken to using my little pot of it as sand. It's the perfect colour & texture for it! I adhere it using ZIG two-way glue pen, and it stays put through repeated touching.
In the interest of not having a post a mile along, I'm going to tuck my other challenge cards into a second post!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Buttons and bows and burlap, OH MY!

I am so excited to join the talented team at Our Creative Corner as a guest designer today!
The OCC is now on Facebook

The challenge is to choose two of the following: buttons, burlap, and bows. I've gone with buttons & bows, and is it ok to be so darn happy with how my card turned out?
Supplies: stamps from Unity;
Palette Noir ink; Barn Door distress ink;
standard small & lacy circle Nesties;
heart buttons from Dress it Up!;
Offray ribbon; Bow-Easy;
Sakura Stardust glitter pen

Shaky bits! microbeads and teensy itty bitty hearts
Once I got this idea in my head, I was determined to see it through. There were some interesting words said, though...I filled the cut-out piece with the shaker bits, and trying to line it up with the bottom layer without being able to see? Yep. Interesting words. I've never made a layer-shaker before - generally I use the entire card front. I took a photo to show the different layers:

All 3 circles cut using the same die; I used an Exacto blade to trim out the shaker detail on the top layer.
The acetate is unshrunk Shrink plastic - cuts like buttah in the Cuttlebug.
And just to let you know how dangerously I like to roll, when did I stamp the sentiment? AFTER ASSEMBLING THE WHOLE SHAKER. I swear, it's like I'm trying to watch the world burn.

Yep, too much time on the Internet.

Be sure to go check out how the design team interpreted this challenge, and join in with us - Our Creative Corner challenges end on Friday nights. (And, OCC is having a design team call....lookie!)
Thanks so much for visiting me today :) 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Playing in Paradise #71 - Under the Sea!

So of course, now I have little Sebastian the crab going through my head...want to join me?

You know you wanna :)

It's my turn to host the challenge at Playing in Paradise this week, and with summer fast approaching I thought this would be a great idea:
PPC #71
My first thought when creating ocean themed cards? Mermaids! It's true :)
Supplies: mermaid & bubble stickers from PSX;
paper from Fancy Pants summer soul;
Sakura Stardust glitter pen;
sentiment from Hero Arts;
Taken with Teal ink (SU);
Stickles (on the mermaid's tail)

I went over the sentiment & the wave pattern in the paper with the glitter pen. It adds just the right bit of shimmer :)
I'm looking forward to playing with my camera over the weekend & hopefully successfully incorporating some good tips - one day I'll live in a house bigger than a shoebox stuffed with 4 people, 3 cats, and a dog, and I swear I'm demanding a room WITH A DOOR that I can leave things set up in! Photo tent here I 20 years or 

So when you think of under the sea, what do you think of?
There's always a generous prize for our challenge winner, and excellent odds of winning - but you can't win if you don't play! This challenge is open until June 21st at noon - next Thursday.

Don't forget to check out what the other gals have been up to!

I should be back later on today (and tomorrow) with more fun stuff to share :) Busy times around here - now I'm off to help with Field Day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Last minute scramble times four!

For some reason, challenges that end mid-week just don't compute in my brain! So here are last minute entries for 4 different challenges:
Inspired By #27 - ends tonight
Inspired by Stamping Inspiration Challenge #12 - ends tonight
Young Crafters Unite Challenge - which ends Friday, not today like I'd written down...
Yes, Virginia, I'm Inspired (which I missed the deadline for, so 'after the last minute?')

Swear to peanuts, I might actually be organized about SOME things.

Stop laughing.

Seriously, guys!

OK, so I'll start with Inspired by #27, where we're to create something inspired by this photo:
I was primarily inspired by the colours (yellow and lime green), but also by the lovely sugar sparkles.
Supplies: floral stamp from Inkadinkado; sentiment from Studio G;
Adirondack Citrus dye ink; Mustard Seed distress ink;
Mod Podge Dimensional Magic; Martha Stewart coarse crystal glitter;
Sakura Stardust glitter pen

I dabbed Dimensional Magic onto the flowers with a toothpick, and then sprinkled glitter over them. The DM dries raised (like glossy accents) so it has more dimension than using glitter glue. I used the glitter pen over the stamped sentiment, and then inked the edges of the card with the Citrus ink pad. 

Tammy  introduced me to the IBSIC Challenges, and wasn't I lucky enough to be part of their top 3 last week? (Squeal! Does winning things ever get boring? I don't see it.) This week's challenge is a sketch, and here it is:

Supplies: chickie stamp & yellow fun flock from Stampendous;
Palette Noir ink;
sentiment stamp from Hero Arts;
brads from Basic Grey; washi tape from K & Co;
embossing folder from Cuttlebug;
star stickers from stash

Fluffy! Pet it!

This card does double-duty for Young Crafters Unite and Virginia's challenge - I used flowers for YCU, and rainbow colours for Virginia's challenge.

Supplies: Colorbox Frost White pigment ink; white EP;
Tsukineko Psst shimmer spray;
TAC sentiment; London Fog memento ink; assorted gems;
flower stamp from Stampin' Up;
distress inks: Barn Door, Spiced Marmalade, Mustard Seed,
Peeled Paint, Broken China, Dusty Concord;
Sakura Stardust glitter pen

Stardust pen along bottom edge of card, and the word 'whimsy'

Having endured the mother of all homework sessions - I'm ready for bed, and it's only 8 PM. Having two kids experiencing homework meltdowns at the same I don't recommend it. Especially don't recommend the part when, distracted by the children freaking out I ignored the dog's single solitary warning bark before she peed...on unfinished wood flooring by the back door.

Yeah, is it bedtime yet? Ah, it's all over & cleaned up now.