Sunday, January 27, 2013

Anything But a Card Challenge 11- Tie it up!

Hello! I am so glad you stopped by to visit and  I hope you had a marvelous weekend! My youngest was not feeling well earlier this week providing me with an additional day at home. So while she rested, I managed to get a little housecleaning done and also squeezed in some crafting time. One of the things I finished was my project for Anything But a Card.  You still have time to join us with your own wonderful creation and the challenge is 'tie it up'.  We really love variety and there are so many different ways to approach this challenge.  I decided to use some bakers twine on my quotes journal page.

The 'tie it up'  portion of my page uses pool party bakers twine.  I braided three strands of twine and then tied that piece around my cardstock.  I also used some of my hand made stamped tiles. I used scupley clay and a stamp to create the tiles and then painted them with acrylic paints after they were baked.  I wanted my 'bling' to match the blues on my page so I colored some clear rhinestones with a blue sharpie.

My quotes journal is slowly being completed thanks to some inspiring challenges, and I am so happy that I will have such a pretty way to display these wonderful quotes when it is finished.

Project Recipe: Cardstock-very vanilla, Spice Cake DSP (ret), Ink-soft suede, Stamp Set-fabulous phrases, cute by the inch (tile), Accessories-large oval punch, decorative label punch, pool party bakers twine, basic rhinestones, sculpey clay, acrylic paints

Thursday, January 24, 2013

And the saga continues...

If you are a new follower to my blog, first of all...Welcome! So glad you joined me! and second, this post may make absolutely no sense to you at all.  I am providing back links in case you would like to understand it, but if nothing else, I hope you will enjoy my card for today!

It all started a little over a year ago when Chip met Rocky and they went on their first date...

Apparently it was quite a date because 10 days later, this card shared they were married and moved to Boulder...

During their next visit to my blog, we learned that the gestation period for lawn gnomes is around 5 months, either that or they were trying to keep a little secret from all of us...

The arrival of Chip Jr., (or Slip, as his family calls him) and another move, this time to Little Rock, was announced in June.  Since then, I haven't heard much from them. I assumed they were keeping pretty busy with their new baby and didn't have time to write or call.  

So imagine my surprise when Rocky sent me their latest family photo...

Seems they have been very busy!  You will notice that Chip Jr. had quite a growth spurt over the past 7 months.  That's him on the left and then there are the newly arrived twins, a sweet little girl named Pebble, and another little boy, named Flint.  If you can manage to read the sentiment on the card, you will notice that they have also relocated again... 'Snow Place Like Gnome'.  Rocky tells me they have family there.  When I asked her about the additional frog, she shared the sad news that the original pet frog was no longer with them (wait for it...) He croaked a few months ago.  But with the two babies, they decided to go ahead and get two new pet frogs.  Chip has a new job working in the mines, but he's not sure he likes working with all of the dwarfs.  He claims they are quite a 'dopey' bunch.

So if you have lawn gnomes at your home, be sure to keep a close eye on them because they are apparently more fertile than rabbits and grow faster too! Next thing you know, they'll be taking over your yard!

Well, I hope you have enjoyed the latest 'pun'-filled adventures of Chip and Rocky.  I can't be sure,but I thought I heard groans and boos coming from my computer.  Surely not...

On a little more serious note, this card was inspired by my blogging friend, Lisa.  She kept throwing out hints about the gnomes and I thought that it would only be fitting to use some goodies I received from her on my card.  The dimensional snowman and the alpha stamps for the sentiment were prizes I won from her fabulous blog!  I also used some brand spankin' new DSP on this!  Sycamore Street is a new DSP available during Sale-a-bration and it's FREE with a purchase of $50!!

Card Recipe: Cardstock-whisper white, Sycamore Street DSP, Ink-black stazon, various SU markers, Stamp Sets-Gnome Sweet Gnome (ret), tiny alphabet set from Lisa, Accessories-pastels, dazzling details, crystal effects, 3D snowman from Lisa

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Anything But a Card Challenge 11- Tie it up!

It's time for a new challenge at Anything But a Card Challenges.  For the next two weeks we are asking you to Tie It Up!  Here are the details straight from the challenge site...

"Challenge 11 asks you to incorporate things that can be tied: twine, ribbon, thread, wire, rope, cording, trim, chain, seam binding, etc!  You don't have to really tie it, but you get the idea!"

The Week 1 team has some wonderful projects to inspire you and I hope to see your creation linked up as well!  I will be sharing my piece next week, so be sure to pop back in to see even more great ideas for 'tying it up'!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Flashback Friday- Something Old, Something New..

Hello! It is another wonderful Friday and I'm back with more scrapbook pages featuring some of my forgotten supplies.  As this is being posted to my blog, we are in Ft. Wayne IN with oldest DD.  She is performing with the state Honor Choir this evening and has been in rehearsals all day yesterday and today.  We decided to take a break from the everyday and tagged along to enjoy a few days away and also help out for a few hours with the rehearsals.  We are so proud of how hard she has been working this year and can't wait to see what is in store for her future endeavors.

My pages today were completed during my Christmas break, but the snowy and gray weather did not allow for nice pictures (not that these are fabulous...).  I am hoping we will have some sunnier days ahead so my photographed projects have a little more natural light.  The photos are from several years ago and scrapbooking them was quite an emotional event.  

In April of 2009, my oldest brother was in a horrible motorcycle accident.  He was driving home from my daughter's birthday party and a deer ran out in front of him.  He was rushed to our local hospital before being life flighted to a larger hospital with a wonderful head trauma unit.  They didn't expect him to survive the flight...  But he did.  The doctors did everything they could do to stabilize him and told us that he could die tomorrow or he might live to see another day.  He managed to choose the latter.  After being in a coma for several months, he began running a very high fever.  In the middle of his ordeal, his gall bladder had sustained some damage.  Because of the head trauma and limited ability to be properly examined, this was not noticed immediately and his gall bladder became infected.  They rushed him into emergency surgery, again reminding us that his prognosis was not good.  Mike woke up the next day wanting to know where he was and what happened.  We jokingly call him the Million Dollar Man because of the bills that came from the hospital, but we most sincerely refer to him as our Miracle Man!

Mike's wife has 5 grown children from her previous marriage and one of the girls was engaged to be married when all of this happened.  She and her fiance insisted that they weren't getting married until Mike could be there.  So they unselfishly postponed their wedding until he was well enough to attend.  This was the first time the whole family had been together in one place since the hospital and it proved to be a very emotional day.  I realized while making these pages that I had subconsciously held off on these pictures because of that.  It felt really good to finally put everything in order and focus on the happiness of the moment.

In the tradition of the old adage 'Something Old, Something New...' I managed to use both old and new items on these pages! My old things were the orange cardstock bases that have been in my paper pile forever,  the black letter stickers, and the pretty peel and stick lace ribbon.  My something new came from my dear blogging friend, Sherry.  After admiring the enamel dots she uses on her pages, I was pleasantly surprised to receive some in the mail from her!  They had been sitting on my table taunting me for weeks and I finally decided I had to use some! Love them!!

Their wedding was in October and I loved the fall colored flowers in her bouquet.  Since I had some left over leaves from a different project, I chose to use them for my embellishments. I think they go well with the whole fall theme. I also added a brushed bronze button. My layouts were inspired by some older Page Maps sketches (love these!!).

It was so nice to get some scrapbooking done and hopefully I will continue to get a little more caught up on that giant file of pictures that are waiting for a loving home!

I hope your weekend is full of crafty goodness and fun! Happy crafting!

Page Recipe: Cardstock-daffodil delights DSP from Brights stack, real red, daffodil delight, Ink-soft suede on leaves, black marker for journaling, Accessories-Autumn Accents die, woodgrain embossing folder, brushed bronze button, white bakers twine, whisper white taffeta ribbon, enamel dots from Sherry, Flashback Items-orange cardstock, white lace peel and stick ribbon, black letter stickers

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Anything But a Card Challenge -Things With Wings

It is time for week two of the 'Things With Wings' challenge at Anything But a Card Challenges and that means that it's my turn to share a project!  If you click on the link above, you will go to the post with Mr. Linky (I'm trying to make it super easy for you to join us-wink!wink!), which is week one. I hope you take a minute to check out all of the wonderful inspiration and projects that have already been linked up!  
I had so many different thoughts running through my head for this challenge, and my dear blogging sister, Lisa did nothing to help!!  One of my first ideas was butterflies with a quote for my journal and it also was the first project I tried -yes...I did more than one!  

I have quite a collection of various brands of glitter glues, and a few bottles of liquid pearls.  Unfortunately, the clear and silver are the two glitters that I use most of the time, leaving all of the other colors feeling quite neglected.  I also realized I have never used my yellow pearls...  Well, I made a promise to myself over the holidays that I was going to play, and so I did!  I found my quote first (in a rather large stack of vellum quotes) and wanted to make a pastel background to be slightly visible behind the vellum. I had shaded the right corner to have the illusion of sunlight and it looked great until I put the vellum over it, then it just looked kind of muddled. I thought the yellow pearls would possibly make a nice sun.  I tried a 'dot' approach, my version of pointillism, but it didn't look right.  So I took my blending tool (aka pointer finger) and smeared the dots together, kind of a funky effect!  Then came the two tone ribbon (new SU goodies!!), a ribbon flower with some felt pieces tucked in for leaves and a punched butterfly to ensure that the whole wings thing was covered!  I didn't like the naked edges of the vellum and pulled out the green glitter glue to frame it.  When I was done, I was thinking maybe I should have bypassed the liquid pearls and just used all green, but oh well!  I have to say that the page is growing on me the more I look at it and it was a lot of fun playing with the different materials.

A few days later, and an unfortunate but necessary trip to Wal-Mart, I found myself in the craft aisle.  My youngest DD had Christmas money to spend and wanted some new art supplies and while she debated her options, my eyes landed on a package of Sculpey Oven Bake Clay. Hmmm... I know that many crafty people out in Blogland use this stuff to make all kinds of wonderful things and I did make that promise to play... (can you see this getting me in hot water with DH?)  So into the cart it went and somehow some metallic acrylics ended up in there too... Don't know how that happened!  I would love to say that the clay came out as soon as I got home, but the truth is it sat there all week taunting me.  Which may have been a good thing because in the mean time, I came across a very retired stamp set called Nature's Wonders.  There is this absolutely beautiful dragonfly stamp in this set and suddenly inspiration hit! I was going to stamp my clay!!  Didn't know if this would work; didn't know if it would clog up the stamp; didn't care! Well... I would have cared if it ruined my stamp, but I really wanted to try this!  So I kneaded the clay until it was really soft, then patted it fairly flat (a little less than 1/4") and then gently pressed the stamp onto the clay.  I had to wiggle it a little to get it to release, but I liked the slightly uneven appearance.  Then I trimmed the edges and set it aside to bake.  I tried this with a few different stamps and it was so much fun!  I followed the baking directions on the package and when they cooled, I painted them with the acrylics.  My girls asked if they could paint them and I selfishly said "Nope, not this time." But I did promise to let them make their own, so everyone was happy!

Here is my dragonfly-not sure it's completely done being painted, but I still like it!

and in keeping with the 'wings' theme, an owl...

Both of these are much smaller than they appear in the picture.  The owl is about 1" and the dragonfly is a little larger.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with these yet, but I'm sure that will be fun too!

Have a great week and happy crafting!

Journal Page Recipe:  Cardstock-sahara sand, Stamp Set-Butterfly Prints, Ink-concord crush, Accessories-pastels, basic pearls, very vanilla seam binding, jumbo sticky round, vintage tag and green felt flowers (ret), butterfly punch, green glitter glue, buttercup liquid pearls

Clay Tiles Recipe:  white Sculpey clay, metallic acrylic paints kit, Stamp Sets-Cute By the Inch, Nature's Wonders

Friday, January 11, 2013

Flashback Friday-WAAAAAY Back!

Hello! So glad you popped in to visit me today! I actually have a scrapbook page to share that has a little bit of a story behind it.

While most of the cleaning world does their big cleaning during the spring (aka Spring Cleaning), oddly enough, I find more motivation in January.  This is most likely from the influx of toys and clothes that enters our already crowded home around Christmas time.  While I would love to say that my house is now perfectly clean and clutter free, this is not the case, however... I did manage to attack the girls clothes and part of the kitchen.  I also managed to find a small space on my computer desk that actually shows the woodgrain finish!  But my most exciting cleaning project was a plastic drawer tower holding crafting supplies.      This thing manages to be the catch all for any material that doesn't have a permanent home and also had a good sized cardboard box on top of it that hadn't been open for ages.  I emptied and reorganized the drawers, finding many forgotten treasures that are now on my table waiting to be used, and then tackled the box.  Most of it was art projects from the girls and various paraphernalia for their scrapbooks.  I sorted these and found a new home for the 'keep' pile.  I also found three copies of this... 

I made this page AGES ago! Like before I really got into cardmaking!!  It was part of a page swap that I did with a group of scrapbooking ladies.  I guess I made three extra so the girls and I would also have one.  Now I could be resourceful and hunt for the names of the stamps and punches and ribbon, but I think we'll just go with the fact that any Stampin' Up product on this page is now retired!  I decided to post this not only because it is a bonafide Flashback, but it also shows how simple a layout can be and still work.  I love that the Friends title is very banner like even though it was created way before the banner craze hit!

So, this is my little trip down memory lane, and now I need to find some great pictures to put on these layouts so they can have a proper home as well!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend and happy crafting!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Anything But a Card Challenge 10

It's time for a new challenge at Anything But a Card.  Challenge number 10 is...

Things With Wings  

There are so many different ways to go with this! If it has wings, it works!! Animals, Machines, Angels... Just remember, no cards, but ATCs, tags, 3D, and scrapbook pages are perfectly OK! The design team has once again come up with some marvelous inspiration for you, so be sure to stop in and check out the challenge!

I will be posting my project for week 2 of the challenge and I've been doing a bit of playing with this one.  I have a project completed, but like I said, I'm still playing with some other ideas, so we'll just all have to wait and see what I decide to share!! In any case, it has been a lot of fun thinking of my options!

Thanks for stopping in today and I hope I see your wonderful take on our challenge linked up at the challenge site!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Not really a Flashback Friday, but I'm calling it that anyway!

In case you didn't know, IT'S FRIDAY!!! Not only is it Friday, but it is the first Friday of our return to school after Christmas Break, which makes it even more precious!!!  I missed my 'kids' and I think they missed me, but WOW! The overabundance of energy and temporary amnesia of all classroom rules and routines really wore me out!  I am so glad that I have a two day break to recover and recharge!  Plus, I am taking a little time this weekend to get some much needed scrapbooking done.  But that's not why I'm here today!

Over Christmas break, I knew I needed to make some thank you cards for my students and others who had so generously shared the holiday spirit with me.  If you read Tuesday's post, you know that most of my break was a mojo free period, but fortunately, I located it before returning to work and finished the cards on Sunday.  I also had a little help from my blogging friend, Heather.  She had the cutest punch art snowman card and when I saw it, I knew that I wanted to do something like that for my 'kids'.  If my post title was a bit confusing (and drawn out), it is because technically I didn't use up any old stash other than some glitter glue.  But I did use a retired stamp set and a TON of whisper white scraps that had been accumulating in a bag to make 30 of these, so I'm calling it a Flashback!

I spent most of the day making these babies! Fussy cutting 30 hats was a job in itself! It ended up being something of an assembly line production, but for whatever reason, what normally would have been tedious was actually relaxing as I watched my girls 'bust a move' with Just Dance as I colored, cut, punched, stamped, and glued.

I stamped the snowflakes in whisper white craft ink on the background and also sponged a little whisper white to make the snow covered ground under the snowman. It's hard to see in the picture, but I added some silver glitter glue to the hat band and put a dot of pink glitter glue in the center of the flower.  I think you can probably figure out the rest!

Well, that's it for me! I hope you have a wonderful weekend and find lots of time to be crafty!!

Card Recipe:  Cardstock-wild wasabi, whisper white, rose red, bashful blue, Stamp Sets- Snow Swirled, Curly Cute, Cold Play (ret), Ink-whisper white, black stazon, Markers-bashful blue, wild wasabi, pumpkin pie, Accessories-3/4", 1", 1 3/8" circle punches, non SU snowflake punch, corner rounder, pink and silver glitter glue from stash, rhinestones

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year and sharing some others creations

Hello and happy new year! We have managed to complete another year and that is reason enough to celebrate for me!! Our new year's eve was extremely low key.  We stayed at home and I made some of the family's favorite snacky foods.  We were all in bed shortly after midnight and my poor husband had to get up bright and early to go to work.  Quite the party animals aren't we?

If you have been following my blog since last new years, you know that I really dislike new years resolutions.  Not that I don't think I need to change things and improve myself, but too often the resolutions are made and then quickly forgotten and abandoned.  So I don't make resolutions as much as I do an inventory of my life and see what needs work.  Then I just make an effort to do the best I can. Yes, I know, that sounds a lot like a resolution, but it's usually a lot more than just one or two promises, and they are constantly changing throughout the year!

Last year, I really wanted to get more pictures scrapbooked and use up some of my much neglected supplies.  My Scrapbook Monday and Flashback Friday really helped me stay on track for a good part of the year.  I have used a lot of my older supplies (not that you can tell), and I am slowly but surely reducing my older stash!  Since scrapbooking is a never ending process, I can never truly say that I'm caught up (not that I'm even close to that), but I am very proud of the fact that I completed our Disney/Summer Vacation album in the same year as the trip!

So what is on my plate for 2013? I'm still hoping to make a bigger dent in my stash, so I'm sure the Flashback Fridays will continue to be a frequent part of my blog.  I am also continuing to work on recording all of those memories so scrapbook pages will also be regular projects, just not on any one specific day.  But my most important reflection for this year struck as I was sitting on the couch late one evening after everyone was in bed and I was semi-meditating while looking at the Christmas tree lights.  If you want to bypass my musing and view the handmade Christmas cards I received from others, feel free. I won't be offended in the least.  But, if you have ever been in a slump and wondered if all of this work was worth the effort, please read on...

I am a huge Warehouse 13 fan and after my little mental road trip I found myself relating to Claudia in one of the episodes.  For those who do not watch the show, Warehouse 13 is a super secret, hush-hush warehouse that secures the world's mystical artifacts, like Lizzy Borden's compact that makes anyone who looks in it want to hack the ones they love to stuff!!  Claudia works at the warehouse, but before that, she and her brother had an encounter that left her feeling like she had lost her mind.  Since most people didn't know about the warehouse and the artifacts, everyone thought she needed some special help and she spent a lot of time in a hospital receiving treatment for her 'imaginary' encounter.  In one episode, she is affected by an artifact and has to face her hospital demons again, but this time she comes out on top a much stronger woman.    When everything was back to normal, she turns to her colleagues and says "Well, I wasn't expecting a catharsis today but that felt pretty good!" and quickly shrugs off the entire situation.   Now, moving on to how this relates to me...

I have been in a bit of a slump lately.  I managed to keep up with the things that I had to do, but the enjoyment of 'doing' just wasn't there.  Part of this is due to things going on at work and family obligations and just being overly busy.  But I kept finding myself thinking 'something needs to give'.  So I took a break from creating for fun and only worked on things that I 'had' to do.  So the other night as I sat and became one with the moment & the Christmas lights, my mind began to 'bunny trail' to all that I had done, what I needed to do, and what I wanted to do.  I also pondered blogging, leaving comments, and things I had read on others blogs.  While many of my thoughts didn't seem to go together, it was a bit of a revelation when I realized that my daydreaming had led me to a clearer understanding of who I am and what I need.

When I was in elementary school, I had the most wonderful art teacher.  I LOVED art class! I would love to say that I showed a lot of talent, but quite honestly, that was not the case, but I lived for those moments of playing with art supplies and seeing what happened.  I don't ever remember our teacher telling us she loved our work, but I do remember her offering thoughts and encouraging us to see what we could do.  Sadly, when I moved on to middle school, things changed. On reflection, it wasn't that the teacher wasn't qualified to teach.  As a matter of fact I have seen her work in our local gallery and she does the most wonderful watercolors.  But what was lacking was the element of fun.  I worked on projects, learned about technique, but my efforts never seemed to be what she was looking for.  I know now that she was encouraging those with talent to pursue their gifts, but I felt a bit slighted that my joy for creating was gone. So as soon as I wasn't required to take art, I stopped.  I went on to find that I loved singing and music in general and poured my soul into choir and theater, two things I still love today.  While this seems like a tale of woe and a strike at  my education, I actually found something very different upon reflecting.  Being honest, I did not have the natural talent to be a professional artist, and my middle school teacher made me see that.  I also know that while she didn't push me to continue, I was the one who let my love of creating for creations sake go.  I really wish I had been a bit more cheeky back then and stayed in the classes, even if it drove her crazy that I couldn't draw to save my life...  It reminded me of a quote by Picasso "Every child is born an artist, the challenge is to remain an artist as you grow up."   When I went to college, I was required to take an art class.  Thinking I didn't possess the skills it took for an actual hands on class, I safely chose Art History.  Imagine my surprise at learning that most of the Greats questioned their talent and wondered if they were good enough! Hmmm...  Guess who decided to start playing again!   I also realized that part of my decision to become a teacher was based on negative experiences and the conviction that I would not squash someone's joy based on my perceptions.

After that long trip down memory lane, I slowly became aware of two things.  The first is that I do have a God given gift  and desire to teach and regardless of what my future has in store, I will be teaching in some form. The second was that I had fallen back into the middle school trap of worrying about what others would think of my art and if it was good enough.  I decided that I really do enjoy the process of creating, regardless of the outcome, and I also enjoy my little spot in blogland.  If 500 people comment and love my work, great! If no one comments, no problem, because my art and my blog are the end result of the fun that I had while creating and that is what my soul really needs, not affirmation!  So what if it's cute, silly, messy, serious, slightly twisted, or even ugly!  These are the things that life are made of and in my opinion, the things that make life interesting.  How mundane would things be if we all made exactly the same thing, same style, same format? So if you happen by my blog and see something completely off the wall, don't be afraid, it's just me playing and feeding my soul!

If you have made it all the way down here, you either really love me or have some interest in psychology and are diagnosing me as you read. ;-)  and hopefully my musing was something you could relate to or gain insight.  

So as a reward, I will share with you, my beloved blog friends, the hand made Christmas cards that I received from some very special people!

made by my crafty sister, Christie

made by my blogging buddy, Heather
-my crappy photo does 
not show the sparkly beauty of this!!

made by my co-worker, Dawn

made by blogging buddy, Sherry

my by my crafty and slightly forgetful
sister, Christie (she gave me 2!)

made by my blogging buddy, and sister from
another mother, Lisa 
(the one who doesn't use air filters for 
her artwork, just ask her...)

I hope your 2013 is filled with peace, love, happiness, and health!  May your days be filled with crafty inspiration and fun!!  And thanks so much for stopping by and sharing the love in 2012!  While I don't thrive on feedback, it really is nice to read other's thoughts and opinions!