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Seasonal thanks

Seasonal thanks published on 8 Comments on Seasonal thanks

One of my dear friends was over stamping on Tuesday and left a couple of sets accidentally.  I admit that “borrowed” stamps are almost as fun as new stamps and it could not go back to her house until I had put a little ink on the rubber.  Now add to it that one of the sets was Lovely as a Tree and you can understand why I couldn’t resist.  Yes, I know what you are going to say.  How is it that I don’t own this set??!!  Good question and no good answer!  Furthermore, I didn’t even use the trees.  Yes, I know…I SHOULD hang on to it for another couple of days just so the trees get some ink too!  But, she is a really, really good friend and I’m sure she’ll be missing this and what kind of demonstrator hijacks her friend’s stamp sets and…well, you get the point.  I’m just glad I got to play a little with the set!

I recently discovered a challenge that I love called the Stampin’ Sisters in Christ Challenge.  Their challenge this week is Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everthing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.”  With the changing of the seasons, you are to use fall colors and/or leaves.  Wait…I have leaves from the Lovely as a Tree set…hmmmm.  Pals Paper Arts posted their PPA61, a sketch challenge created by the wonderful Margaret Moody.  I always love her sketches (hop right over there to see it!). 

I originally intended for this to be a much more complicated card.  I have been playing around with the idea of doing cracked glass for my next club meeting and I thought this might the right card for it (maybe it still will be).  But when I held the stamped panel up to the layout, it just seemed done.  I think it is good to go with your gut feeling on that so I did.  I used the wonderful Watercolor Paper and my blender pen to put the color on the leaves.  Conveniently enough, some of my trees are starting to turn already so I looked at a fallen leaf for my color inspiration.  With the lack of rain we have had in VA, my leaf had a bit of brown on the edges and I incorporated that in.  My ribbon is the retired Chocolate Chip 1 1/4″ Striped Grosgrain Ribbon.  I have to admit this would be prettier with the current Early Espresso ribbon but I had to finish up this before I would allow myself to buy it.  I simply can’t encourage my own ribbon hoarding.  I’m sure you have your own little stashes and know what I mean!  In any case, here is my final result:

You can click on the picture to see more detail.  I have always loved this quote from the Inspired by Nature set and it really seemed to fit with the biblical quote for the challenge.  You see, I find that when challenges present themselves, good friends always step in and help you know that God is watching over you.  It also seems like those are the times when you don’t have a spare moment to make a meaningful card.  This one is going into my little box for one of those days.  I hope that you find some inspiration in the words from Ecclesiastes, too.  Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day!

Stamps:  Inspired by Nature, Lovely as a Tree; Paper:  Early Espresso, Cajun Craze, Watercolor; Ink:  Early Espresso, River Rock, More Mustard, Cajun Craze, Soft Suede, Stazon; Accessories:  Wide Striped Ribbon, Neutrals Designer Buttons, Linen Thread

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Rejoicing in CAS

Rejoicing in CAS published on 11 Comments on Rejoicing in CAS

Now I have to admit that I almost didn’t post this card because it is similar to another I’ve already posted.  The reason I changed my mind is that I wanted to show you how the addition of a textured panel can really take the card up a notch.  My layout today is a slight modification of the OWH Sketch #35.  They post wonderful sketches every Sunday, most of which are the Clean and Simple style (all the better to make lots of cards for heroes).  I mentioned last week that there is a new challenge, SUO Challenges, and they have a new challenge up – SUOC2.  They are, in fact, the reason I decided to post this card.  While my little panel is a small example of how much the Big Shot can add to your stamping, I thought it important to show how this tool can help you add dimension.  When I am stamping in monochomatic or subdued tones, texture becomes very important.  I love how the Square Lattice Embossing Folder adds that certain something to this card.  On the stamped panel I used watercolor paper for its lovely blending qualities.  On both Mary and Joseph’s headpieces, I finished the watercoloring by adding shimmer paint.  Champagne Mist was used on Joseph and Frost White on Mary.

Here is a closeup of the shimmer paint.

I continue to love this set!  It lends itself to clean and simple cards that put the focus squarely on the Holy Family itself.  I got a bit behind on my own Christmas stamping with my OWH card drive so this one (and the ones I will make like it) will go a towards my little stash of personal cards.  I hope you have a great day…thanks for stopping by!

Stamp:  Rejoicing in Christmas; Paper:  Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Watercolor; Ink:  Stazon, Early Espresso, Not Quite Navy, Always Artichoke, Crumb Cake; Accessories:  Shimmer Paints, Vanilla Satin Ribbon, Big Shot, Square Lattice Embossing Folder, Dimensionals

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Fall mushrooms

Fall mushrooms published on 15 Comments on Fall mushrooms

Ok, having mushrooms means that you have damp ground and goodness knows we can’t seem to get enough rain here in VA.  However, I can create little whimsical mushrooms!  While it was not my usual style of set, when I first saw Funky Four in the catalog I just had to smile.  Something about those little mushrooms (and the rest of the set, for that matter) are just really cute.  So I got it!  I didn’t think about it or rationalize it, I just bought the set.  I am so glad I did!

I saw the color challenge over at The Paper Players this week and knew that I had to play along.  Really, you must go look at the cards they made…gorgeous!!  The colors they chose were Old Olive, More Mustard, Cajun Craze and Early Espresso…oh so pretty together.  There is also a brand new challenge, S-U Only Challenges, and their first challenge is “Fall”.  So, my brain started crunching and realized how great those colors would be with my funny little mushrooms.  I had also found a great sketch over at Unscripted Sketches that would be perfect.  Ready with the three challenges, this card came together very quickly.  I colored onto the stamp with my markers and stamped the main image panel.  I then added the sentiment from Apple Blossoms (Hostess Level 2).  I liked the idea of color blocking for this layout but wanted to add a little more interest so I chose a piece of Play Date DSP for the side panel (it coordinates perfectly with the Funky Four set!).  This card is for my dear brother-in-law so I avoided the bow and put on a button instead.  Yes, I’m really glad I went with my impulse and got these mushrooms!

See, I bet they make you smile, too!  Nothing more for today…thanks for stopping in.  I hope you have a beautiful weekend!

Stamps:  Funky Four, Apple Blossoms (hostess); Paper:  Very Vanilla, Cajun Craze, More Mustard, Early Espresso, Play Date DSP; Ink:  Old Olive, Cajun Craze, More Mustard, Early Espresso; Accessories:  Espresso Satin Ribbon, Neutrals Designer Buttons, Thread

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OWH Birthday Bash Challenges

OWH Birthday Bash Challenges published on 8 Comments on OWH Birthday Bash Challenges

What a birthday celebration it has been for Operation Write Home!  The weekend held some serious challenges and there is still more to come.  Just check out this post for an idea of the fun.  Some stamping superstars have gotten in on the act too.  Karen over at The Sweetest Thing posted her Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge with the extra challenge to send the card to Operation Write Home.  Well mine will be included in this box:

It is almost ready.  My oldest son’s second grade teacher has agreed to have the class make some more Dear Hero letters so I’m making space for those priceless gems!  I must admit that I can’t wait to see them.

Karen’s sketch this week is great (make sure you make a card with it and send it on in):

My card today also uses Stacey’s Curtain Call: Act 47 colors.

 

Wonderful, masculine colors aren’t they?  Why yes they are and guess what?  Sharon at No Time to Stamp has a Let’s Hear It For The Guys challenge.  Her biggest stipulation is no bows.  If ribbon goes on, it goes on in a “manly” way.  Ok, well I think I did it within all the constraints.

If you click on the picture, you can see some more of the detail in the card.  One of my stampers this week is a wonderful “repurpose” fan and she brought over some tulle scraps she had and wanted to see what I would use them for.  I put it down and sponged over it to give some cool texture to a one-layer card (posted below).  I liked the effect enough to try it again here on the panels.  The way the texture mimics the Square Lattice Embossing Folder was something I wanted to see…and I think it works.  I stamped images from Le Jardin Botanique (retired) over the tulle as well.  I like how it took girly feel out of the florals.  The button was tied onto Early Espresso Satin Ribbon with the very manly Linen Thread.  With all those challenges in one card, this qualified for the Pile it On challenge site as well.  Wow, they put together some serious challenge combinations!

Here is the card where I first experimented with the tulle.  It may be my favorite one-layer card I have ever made.  Other sponging and stamping over the tulle, it is straight forward but that tulle adds so much.  Hope you like it too (it is already safely tucked into the OWH box).

Seems I have done quite a bit of typing yet again.  I guess the great cause over at Operation Write Home really has me inspired.  Food for thought:  As of September 13, 2010, Operation Write Home has sent 549,112 cards to our deployed heroes.  Think about making yours some of the next to be sent!

Card 1:  Stamp:  Le Jardin Botanique (ret); Paper:  Early Espresso, Always Artichoke, Crumb Cake, Whisper White; Ink:  Early Espresso, Always Artichoke; Accessories:  Early Espresso Satin Ribbon, Neutrals buttons, Linen Thread, Tulle, Big Shot, Square Lattice Embossing Folder

Card 2:  Stamp:  Le Jardin Botanique; Paper:  Naturals Ivory; Ink:  Soft Suede, Night of Navy; Accessories:  Sponges, Tulle

All products (except tulle) are Stampin’ Up!

Clean and simple fall colors

Clean and simple fall colors published on 10 Comments on Clean and simple fall colors

I’m still recovering a bit from my Operation Write Home extravaganza so this will be short.  This is one of the cards for my box being shipped to OWH later this week.  I’ll have a picture of the box all loaded up in tomorrow’s post.  The Clean&Simple layout 107 is a great one and I used it to create a card during my open house.  I also leaned on Stampin’ Celebration for some inspiration.  Believe me, with all that stamping, I needed the inspiration to keep the ideas moving!

I love the colors in this picture!  One of the things I did to help everyone maximize their stamping was to pull out all my sets (current and retired) and had people bring some of their stamping favorites.  You know the sets…the ones where every card is one you like.  One of my friends brought over her Watercolor Trio and I had to use it (I also used it in my previous post’s card).  I started with some Cherry Cobbler, added Soft Suede and Early Espresso, and then some Daffodil Delight as the yellow.  The card is pretty self explanatory so I’ll just show it to you.

I left off the sentiment because so that the recipient can use it for any purpose.  I found myself making more cards like this than usual to give our deployed heroes more options. 

Don’t forget to take a look at Operation Write Home to see if there is a stamping event near you this month!!  Have a great week.

Stamp:  Watercolor Trio; Paper:  Cherry Cobbler, Early Espresso, Soft Suede, Whisper White; Ink:  Cherry Cobbler, Soft Suede, Daffodil Delight; Accessories:  Cherry Cobbler Seam Binding (Holiday Mini), Scallop Trim Border Punch

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Patriot Day and cards for our patriot heroes

Patriot Day and cards for our patriot heroes published on 12 Comments on Patriot Day and cards for our patriot heroes

Here we are on Patriot Day.  This is a day that serves to memorialize those lives taken too early on September 11, 2001 and to remember the heroes that have stepped up to serve and protect our freedom.  I have mentioned before that in my “other” job, I am a pilot at United Airlines.  Before being hired at United, I had the privilege of serving in the U.S. Air Force flying C-130’s and T-38’s.  Never did I suspect that my job at United would put me on the “front lines” of an attack, but on the front lines all of us were on that September day.  Here is some of my story.

I must say that the first thing I remember about September 11, 2001 was that it was a glorious day to fly.  I took off in my B-757 with a wonderful Captain and crew out of Providence, RI.  As we flew towards Chicago, I remember seeing Niagara Falls from altitude and remarking to my Captain that days like this are why we fly.  Little did I know…  During that same morning, Capt. Victor Saracini and First Officer Michael Horrocks took off on flight UA175.  Along with their crew – Robert Fangman, Amy Jarret, Kathryn LaBorie, Alfred Marchand, Amy King, Michael Tarrou, and Alicia Titus – they were some of the first heroes of 9/11.  Another set of United pilots, Capt. Jason Dahl and First Officer LeRoy Homer, took off on flight UA93 that morning.  Having gotten word that the world was changing, they and their brave crew – Lorraine Bay, Sandra Bradshaw, Wanda Green, CeeCee Lyles, and Deborah Welsh – fought off the attack and bravely showed what everyday people can do when faced with incomprehensible circumstances. 

My flight that day ended differently than theirs but it was a clear reminder to all of us at the airline that “there but by the grace of God, go I”.  Upon landing in Chicago (our intended destination), my Captain and I were faced with a new reality.  We had passengers whose loved ones were calling them to make sure they were ok.  We still did not have any idea what was really happening.  Knowing that my mother worries about aircraft incidents halfway across the world (now I’m a mom and I understand!), I called her first.  Her distress was apparent right away as she wanted to know if I was on the ground.  It then became obvious how bad things really were.  I called my husband of less than three months and he too was incredibly worried.  Of course, he always knows my schedule and knew that I was on a flight in the Northeast that morning.  Once my family was ok, I went back to work.  We went to Operations and saw with our own eyes what was happening with OUR airplanes.  There were frantic people “searching” for friends’ schedules on computers, knowing that some of our brothers and sisters had been killed.  My Captain and I went up to the terminal to help our passengers make some sense of things and show them how to get hotel rooms.  No one could begin to understand the shutting down of an entire air traffic control system.  The day was madness and we all finally ended up in hotel rooms…for days.  During those days we tried to figure out how to get our passengers back home, we waived duty rules, we didn’t want anything to prevent us from working.  Finally, my Captain and I got the call to go to Portland, OR.  When we got to the airport, our passengers applauded (we were applauding them for being there!).  The passenger I remember most was a man in his seventies, I think.  He was going to his daughter’s wedding and had thought he would not get there.  Instead he was on one of the first flights out of O’Hare.  We found out later that this was the first time he had ever flown.  Yep, his first flight ever was on one of the first flights out of O’Hare after 9/11.  He was a wonderful man and when my Captain got to meet him, the man was given some of those little plastic wings.  He laughed out loud and told us what a lovely flight and crew we had.  And THAT, my friends, is the piece to remember.  That spirit of kindness and generosity was overwhelming to all of us that day!  There are many more things but enough, I think, for today.

Speaking of the spirit of generosity, I had my open house for Operation Write Home yesterday and here is the final result:

Just take a look at those lovely cards!!  My wonderful friends created a box of 110 beautiful handmade treasures to send to the team at Operation Write Home who will make sure they get to our troops overseas.  We had such a fun time stamping and “tucking” and hanging out (although there is a bit more tucking to be done).  I suspect this will become an annual event.  I also have to show you some of the “Dear Hero” letters created by the children to be included in my box.  Such fantastic work that warms my heart!

Last, but not least, I wanted to show one of my favorite cards I made during the day.  It uses the colors from PPA59 over at Pals Paper Arts and sketch from the OCC Sketch Blog.  It uses the Watercolor Trio set, some Greenhouse Gala DSP (look at how beautiful the Pear and Olive are together) and a button from the Brights Designer Buttons.  I used the From the Heart words because it expresses how I feel about this entire Operation Write Home event. 

So you see, heroes come in a lot of forms…pilots, flight attendants, passengers, OWH volunteers, card makers, and most impressively, citizens who answer the call to military duty.  Make sure you thank a hero today!

In memory of:

United 93:  Jason Dahl, LeRoy Homer, Lorraine Bay, Sandra Bradshaw, Wanda Green, CeeCee Lyles, Deorah Welsh

United 175:  Victor Saracini, Michael Horrocks, Robert Fangman, Amy Jarret, Amy King, Kathryn Laborie, Alfred Marchand, Michael Tarrou, Alicia Titus

American 11:  John Ogonowski, Thomas McGuinness, Barbara Arestegui, Jeffrey Collman, Sara Low, Karen Martin, Kathleen Nicosia, Betty Ong, Jean D. Roger, Dianne Snyder, Amy Sweeney

American 77:  Charles Burlingame III, David Charlebois, Michele Heidenberger, Jennifer Lewis, Kenneth Lewis, Renee May

OLW for OWH

OLW for OWH published on 6 Comments on OLW for OWH

Translated:  One Layer Wonders for Operation Write Home!  Yes, you read correctly…one layer wonders.  These are definitely NOT my strong suit but I am preparing for tomorrow’s Operation Write Home Open House and wanted to design some cards that will be easily made by my new stampers attending.  The biggest thing I see in one layer cards that I love is dimension without adding bulk.  That, my friends, is what I was aiming for today.  I found the ColorQ challenge for the week and thought that it was perfect for what I wanted to do:

All those blues together made me think of watercoloring and the blue/brown combination made me think of my hydrangea.  Sadly, my real hydrangeas are a little more on the brown side because of the heat/lack of water this summer.  That brown, though, gave me an idea.  I wanted to add the depth so I inked up my Size E Clear-Mount Block with Soft Suede.  I purposely didn’t ink it very thoroughly so that it would have a patchy feel.  Then, I inked up the flower from Because I Care (Level 1 hostess) in Soft Suede.  Using my blender pen, I added some Marina Mist first, then the Pacific Point and finally the Night of Navy to the flower.  I finished with a touch of Soft Suede watercolored on the leaves.  I debated the sentiment and finally decided on the words from my Silhouette Sentiments set (also Level 1 hostess).

I was so motivated by this one, that I kept on stamping.  This time I kept the stamping easier and simply used my Baja Breeze and River Rock markers to color the stamp and stamped the flower again onto Naturals Ivory paper.  The same sentiment, too (hey, it was already out).  I wanted to try another way to add texture so I used the ruffled ribbon treatment that has become so popular.  I put down a line of Sticky Strip and, after tying on the button, just pushed the ribbon onto the strip in a random way.  I tied on the button using some twine and that qualifies for the WT287 challenge over at Splitcoast.  I left the ends a little frayed to go with the aged look of the colors.  The flower is pale in real life but the picture seems to make it look lighter.

I’m off to straighten my house or at least make room for lots of stamping tomorrow.  I hope you have a great day…thanks for stopping by!

Stampin' Royalty Guest Designer

Stampin' Royalty Guest Designer published on 9 Comments on Stampin' Royalty Guest Designer

Yep, that’s me!  A Stampin’ Royalty Guest Designer!  Wow!!  Imagine my surprise when I got the e-mail asking me to do this.  I have never had the honor of being a designer so this was really big for me! (Yes, lots of exclamation points)  After my immediate reply to say yes, I had to worry about living up to the standard set by the Goddesses.  Before I got too panic-stricken, Sandra sent me this lovely picture as an inspiration challenge (you’ll recognize it from the catalog) and I knew this would be fun:

These little pennants are so cute!  I loved them the first time I paged through the catalog.  I started thinking about what to make and I couldn’t get the Birthday Bash Suite items (p. 52-53 IBC) out of my head.  Soooo….I went with it.  Using the Party This Way pennant as my guide, I cut out some triangles from my Play Date DSP and strung them together much like the little bucket on pg. 52.  The thread was dyed using my Chocolate Chip marker and I punched holes with my Paper-Piercing Tool to make it easy (and uniform).  Before I attached my banners, the words from the tag punch in Party Hearty were stamped on the So Saffron panel.  I’m sure you can tell that I used my Stamp-a-ma-jig to make that happen (what would I do without it??).  I then attached each pennant with a dimensional.  Something was still missing and I realized that part of what I love about the inspiration picture was the buttons.  So out came my Brights and Neutrals Designer Buttons!  Finally, I cut another panel from the Play Date DSP and added a border with my Scallop Edge Border Punch to mimic the scallop edges of the large pennants in the picture.

I just love the colors in this!!  It will be going to a dear friend of mine for her son who turns 1 next week.  How fast that first year goes! 

Thank you so much to the Goddesses for letting me join them this week.  Make sure you go see all the lovely work they have done with this challenge!  Thanks for stopping by…have a great rest of your week.

Stamp:  Party Hearty, Party This Way (as a guide); Paper:  Play Date DSP, Real Red, So Saffron, Chocolate Chip; Ink:  Chocolate Chip; Accessories:  Brights and Neutrals Designer Buttons, Stamp-a-ma-jig, Dimensionals, Scallop Edge Punch, Thread

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A Note for our Heroes

A Note for our Heroes published on 17 Comments on A Note for our Heroes

Ok, the final push is on!  Friday is the Open House for my Operation Write Home card drive.  I am trying to step up the pacing and actually create a few more cards at a time.  I am not known to make cards quickly so this is harder than I thought.  The effort is made easier when you have a good sketch and a challenge to stay Clean and Simple.  The sketch comes from the Operators over at Stamping 411 and it is another great one.  They have added some wonderful features over there so please go and check them out.  What a wonderful resource they are!!  The Paper Players threw out a Clean and Simple challenge for the week…perfect for me!! 

One of the things I have been trying to do with my Operation Write Home card making process is use all my lovely (previously hoarded) retired designer papers.  In today’s card, I used some of my old Parisian Breeze Specialty Paper.  I also pulled out one of my very favorite retired stamp sets, Branch Out.  I don’t hold on to many of them but this one sure is a keeper!  All I did was stamp the main image panel (3″x3 3/4″) and then cut it into 3 one-inch strips.  It adds a lot of visual interest with almost no extra work…translated, simple.  The ribbon is retired Kraft Taffeta Ribbon and I just tied on a retired Chocolate Corduroy Button.  Tying on a button is WAY faster than any bow…yep, more simple.  The sentiment comes from the Apple Blossoms Hostess Level 2 set and, other than the actual card colors, is the only current thing on this card.  I think this is exactly the kind of card that will be perfect for one of our heroes to send home!

Now I don’t feel so bad for having kept these beautiful retired products.  I’m so glad they can go to a wonderful cause!!  If you haven’t ever thought about it, consider putting together your own box to send.  The wonderful volunteers at Operation Write Home make it very easy.  Have a wonderful and safe Labor Day!

Stamps:  Branch Out (ret), Apple Blossoms (Hostess Level 2); Paper:  Parisian Breeze Specialty DSP (ret), Chocolate Chip, Whisper White; Ink:  Chocolate Chip, Baja Breeze, Crumb Cake; Accessories:  Kraft Taffeta Ribbon (ret), Chocolate Chip Corduroy Button (ret), Dimensionals, Thread

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Cracked glass Christmas

Cracked glass Christmas published on 2 Comments on Cracked glass Christmas

I’m back today to give a little more detail on the cracked glass card I did for the Stampin’ Addicts Holiday Mini Blog Hop.  I talked a little bit there about the stamped image.  I think what made me the happiest was how the sparkle of the Shimmer Paint came through the “cracked glass”.  I wasn’t sure if that detail would be lost after all the embossing but instead it seemed to intensify.  Here are some more pictures of the card:

I recommend that you click on the first picture and then click again in order to see all the details.  I kept the colors muted in order to give it a faded/aged feel.  While I had put Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint over the entire panel with a sponge dauber, I also added more Shimmer Paint with a Blender Pen tip on the star and the halos.  I am considering making more of these and putting chipboard on the back of them to create ornaments as gifts.  I just feel like this would be lovely on a tree!

I want to give you a little more about how I made the background panel, as well, since I discovered something cool.  I got the idea from watching a training video made by Stampin’ Up about the new Distressing Essentials.  In the video, it was recommended to used the stamp in the kit to apply the ink in order to control the application.  I don’t have the kit (yet) so I used one of the clear blocks and “inked” it with a Soft Suede ink pad.  Then I rubbed gently over the embossed panel.  The ink was a bit random and highlighted the raised sections.  It was easy to control and I could add as much as I wanted without overdoing it.  Just another reason I am glad to have those clear blocks! 

After stitching the Linen Thread onto the black panel, I put a line of Sticky Strip across it.  The Seam Binding was then randomly ruffled across.  If you have a ruffle that sticks up a bit to much or won’t go where you want it, just add a Mini Glue Dot. 

I think everything else on the card is self-explanatory.  Thanks so much for stopping by today.  Hope you have a great rest of your week!

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