Sunday, December 28, 2008

Stocking Full of Love / House Mouse

This week over at the Monday House Mouse & Friends Challenge blog, the challenge is "embossing". Some where on your creation you must have some type of embossing whether it be dry embossing, heat embossing etc, and must also include a House Mouse or friend image. I chose to use the House Mouse image "Stocking Full Of Love" by Stampabilities for my image. Image is colored with Prismacolor colored pencils. My embossing was created by using Cuttlebug's Snow Dot embossing folder in my Sizzix BigKick. I chose to keep my card simple by embellishing it with some punch snowflakes and having the sentiment on the inside of the card. Sentiment is: "Wishing you a warm and snugly winter".
Stop over at the House Mouse & Friends challenge blog and check out the fantastic creations for this challenge!

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Teacher, My son - "The Artist"

I often get compliments about my coloring and quite often I will hear from those that know I have two very talented kids , "I know where your kids get their talent". Well, it honestly is not from me! I think I was born with a crochet hook in one hand and a sewing needle in the other. I have an amazing talent to look at something and grab the newspaper, make my own pattern and then sew it up with no problems. Sewing always came naturally for me. But I couldn't draw a straight line to save my life. My 19 year old son though is amazing and incredibly talented. He graduated high school last May. He has taken this year off from school to work some things out financially and will be leaving this coming August for art college to pursue a degree in fine arts. These past 6 months he was commissioned by some different people to do some drawings for them. The above one is one he just completed for one of his high school teachers. She wanted a rather large drawing of her dog. To the left is the photo she provided him and to the right is the completed portrait of the dog. The entire portrait is done with Lyra color pencil and took 41 hours to complete.
Thought I would also share with you his largest piece he has done entirely in color pencil. His junior year of high school one of his art teachers entered him into a national contest. 30 entries out of thousands nationwide were chosen to complete their entry onto a life size fiberglass cow. My son was one of them and yes I do mean a life size cow! His cow was Noah's ark with after the storm on one side.....

....and before the storm on the other side. The entire cow is done in Lyra color pencils and took 170 hours to complete. He is the only one in the history of the contest to ever do a cow in color pencil. He entered again his senior year and once again placed in the 30 national finalists making him the only one to place twice in the history of the contest. His second cow he chose to paint and was of Betsy Ross making the flag and Francis Scott Key on the other side writing our national anthem. It took him 162 hours to complete his second cow.

My son has has spent a great deal of time trying to teach me how to color with color pencils. I say try because I'm not the easiest of students to have. Those that know me well know that I have been fighting an eye disease that has been causing a slow process of blindness all my life. In the last few months my eyes have taken a turn for the worse leaving me with only light and shapes that I can see in my left eye and depending on my right eye which also has considerable vision loss. As of this past May I can no longer drive. Due to this I also have problems seeing some colors. Therefore I'm sure it hasn't been easy for my son to teach me how to blend and color with my color pencils. I love making cards and he knows that so I truly appreciate his patience in working with me. However, I will admit he can be one tough teacher! Many times I wanted to quit coloring an image but he pushes me to do my best.

I also have a daughter who is amazing behind the camera. Soon I will post some pics of her work to share. So now you all kids didn't get it from me....instead they are teaching me! Can you imagine what my cards would look like if I could see, draw and color as well as my son!!!!!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

House Mouse ATC

UPDATE: I wasn't quite pleased with my ATC as posted below and decided to add something. I took a white gel pen and colored the swiss dots then topped each dot with a dab of Stickles (crystal). Now the swiss dots look like rhinestones and I'm much happier with my ATC! Above picture is with colored swiss dots and the pictures below are of the ATC before I decided to color the dots.
Made this House Mouse ATC for a swap I'm in. I had a really hard time getting a good photograph / scan of this. Due to the black cardstock it is hard to see the embossing on the black part. I know the proper way to photograph this is to do it outdoors in natural sunlight but with the below zero weather we are having, that is not going to happen!

Image is House Mouse "Monica Romances" from Stampbilities. It is colored with Prismacolor colored pencils. The red heart is coated with Judi Kins Diamond Glaze for a glass like look. An oval die nestability by Spellbinders was used to cut the oval window on the black cardstock. The black frame was then embossed with Cuttlebug's Swiss Dot embossing folder. I sure wish that would show up better in the photo. Red satin bow was used for a touch of embellishing.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Pucker Power / House Mouse

The challenge this week at Monday's House Mouse & Friends Challenge Blog is a sketch and is also in memory of a participant on the challenge blog who recently passed away. We are also to include a kind sentiment on our card and then give it to someone in need. I'm sure my sentiment may not appear kind in the way that the challenge required but the friend I have this card in mind for has been dealt one bad thing after another this past year. Through it all though she has managed to hold her head high and keep going. I thought the image I chose with the words (on front) "When life gives you lemons" (inside) "make lemonade", somehow seemed appropriate for this friend and what she has been through.
With the sketch you could flip it. stretch it, rotate it, whatever you wanted as long as you could see the original sketch in your work. I had trouble with this challenge. Although I enjoyed coloring the image I had trouble getting this sketch to work for me. I also had problems getting a good photo showing the true colors of the card.

Cardstock is Bazzil - Printed paper is DCWV - Image is "Pucker Power" by Stampabilities - Sentiment is computer generated - Green cardstock is embossed with Cuttlebug's Swiss Dots embossing folder - Image is colored with Prismacolor Color Pencils. Colors used are: light peach, beige, blush pink, henne, french grey 10, french grey 50, french grey 70, french grey 90, crimson lake, black cherry, ginger root, canary yellow, juane deco and white
Sentiment is pop dotted for dimension and edges inked with Colorbox pigment inks.

Don't forget to take some time to check out the House Mouse Challenge Blog and see all the fantastic creations everyone made for this week's challenge.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Santa's Helper / House Mouse

The challenge this week over at the Monday House Mouse & Friends Challenge Blog is "Let It Snow". You could make anything you wanted as long as you featured a House Mouse & Friend image and used something that represented snow. It could be printed paper with snowflakes or painted snow, even the word snow on your creation would count. I've been pretty busy finishing all my Christmas cards this week and didn't think I would be able to participate in this week's challenge. I wasn't too happy with not participating so I quickly found a way to incorporate the challenge into making my Christmas cards. I changed the background on the cards I was making to an embossed image of snowflakes. It worked!

The embossed snowflakes are made using a Cuttlebug embossing folder that I ran through my Bigkick die cutting machine. House Mouse image is "Santa's Helper" by Stampabilities and is colored using Prismacolor colored pencils. White gel pen was used to outline the scallops on the green / red oval. I made a LOT of these and I'm almost done and ready to mail my cards. Maybe next year I will be smarter and start much earlier on making my Christmas cards. I say that every year.

Don't forget to check out the blizzard of creations for this week's challenge on the Monday House Mouse & Friends Challenge Blog.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Awesome Blog Candy On Crafting Magic's Blog!

I would like to post today about a new friend of mine and some awesome blog candy she is offering on her blog in celebration of reaching 5000 hits/ views. My new friend is Rosette, who lives in Malta. We met online a couple of months ago through a one on one image swap and my life has not been the same since. Thanks to Rosette I am blogging and enjoying it tremendously. Through her I have learned of challenge blogs and have even joined in on some of the challenges. I have met some people with some awesome talent through blogging.......and I owe this all to Rosette.

As I mentioned, Rosette is currently offering some fun blog candy and all you need to do is check out her blog and follow her simple instructions to enter for a chance to win her blog candy. She ships worldwide! While your at her blog, Crafting Magic's Crafting World, please take some time to check out her creations. Rosette has so much fun creating her beautiful cards and it really shows in her creations. She is an amazing person with an awesome talent!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Faux Postage - "Snowflakes"

With the hustle and bustle of Christmas, I haven't had much time for card making this past week. So I thought I would post another one of my older cards but still a favorite of mine.

I often frequent a site called SplitcoastStampers that is just chocked full of information, inspiration, tips and techniques for the paper crafter. One of the sections on SplitcoastStampers is a technique how to section. This past year I hosted a series of swaps featuring several of the techniques that are found on the SplitcoastStamper site. The first technique swap I hosted was for the "Faux Postage" technique. I chose to do snowflakes. The background snowflakes on the card base are stenciled on using a brass stencil by Dreamweaver. The snowflakes used on the faux postage are by Hero Arts. All ink used to stamp and stencil with are Versafine Pigment Inks. I enjoyed trying the faux postage technique and it is a technique that I have used a couple times since my first adventure of trying the technique. If your looking for something new to try or feeling adventuresome, I recommend checking out the SplitcoastStamper site for ideas and inspiration!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Surprise Party / House Mouse

The challenge for this week over at the Monday House Mouse & Friends Challenge Blog is "glitter & glitz". I knew immediately what image I wanted to use when I read what the challenge was. There is a special little boy turning 5 this month and I had planned on making him a card using this House Mouse image. I thought why not make his card to work with this week's challenge and glitz it up a bit!
I used the House Mouse image called "Surprise Party". I colored it with Prismacolor colored pencils, gamsol and blending stumps. I then used Stickles glitter glue to glitter up the confetti and pom pom on the hat.

The number 5 is chipboard which I painted with Lumiere Paints in the color Aqua. I then used Stickles glitter glue over the paint. Cardstock is Bazzil and printed paper is from my "stash". I pop dotted the 5 to give the card more dimension. I think I have just enough glitz but not too much for a young man of 5!

Be sure to take some time to check out all the amazing creations over at the House Mouse & Friends for this week's challenge.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Oh my! It's a Winter Wonderland outside today!

We had our first significant snowfall of the season during the night. Woke up this morning to a winter wonderland outside my window. It's very beautiful and I do enjoy the first snow of the season. I also enjoy a beautiful snowfall on Christmas Eve. Other than that, I could do without! No more snow for me. Sadly though, due to where I live I know I can expect more before winter is over.

I made this card awhile ago but thought of it this morning when thinking of places I would love to be for Florida....or California.....Hawaii would be fantastic! A girl can dream....right?

The flamingo is a brass stencil by Dreamweaver. I paste embossed it with white embossing paste also by Dreamweaver and then stenciled it with chalks. Fern image is by Rubber Stampede and stamped with Versafine pigment ink. Sentiment is by Hero Arts. I'm not sure who the printed paper is by, I do recall though that I purchased it from Hobby Lobby. I sure wouldn't mind enjoying some tropical breezes right now!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Santa's Helper / House Mouse

Over at the House Mouse & Friends Monday Challenge blog, there is a new challenge weekly. This week's is polka dots. Polka dots here, polka dots there, polka dots every where! The challenge is to make anything your heart desires, a card, an ATC or maybe a page layout but two things are a must. Whatever you create must have a House Mouse or friend image and polka dots. I immediately thought of my recent card candy that I made (see post below) and knew it would be perfect for the challenge. I then challenged myself further by digging through my Christmas scraps of paper looking for polka dots to use for my card.

The polka dot printed paper is by DCWV, cardstock is Bazzil and image is Santa's Helper from the House Mouse line by Stampabilities. I colored the image with Prismacolor colored pencils and used puff paint for the white dots around the scallop circle. Simple and quick easy card!

This is my first time to join in on the House Mouse challenge. I have enjoyed looking at the amazing talent every week . If you haven't visited and seen all the amazing creativity over there, please take a moment to check it out. Warning: it can be addictive getting into these little critters and the House Mouse Challenge Blog!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

No Red & Green Christmas Challenge

The challenge was to make a Christmas card with no red or green on the card. This card turned out to actually be a triple challenge for me. Challenge 1) I stamped the image on cardstock that is a color other than white or cream. Challenge 2) Colored the image with only one color using Prismacolor colored pencil in white and only coloring the snow. Challenge 3) Make the card using no red or green. I chose to go with a vintage photo look topped off with black photo corners. You might even say it is a bit retro. Simple card but I liked the end results. Image is by PSX.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Four Seasons

This is an older card I made but made within this past year. I am so often guilty of seeing rubber stamps I like in the store, buying them and then never using them. This set by Hero Arts from their Petite Prints called Four Seasons is a classic case of that! Joining some swaps that forced me to use some stamps I never used, I chose this set and finally put it to good use. The picture does not do justice to the colors I used. Each image is stamped with Colorbox Chalk Ink in a color that represents its season. The card base is a cream color. I used Clear Stamps Swirls to stamp the background using the same color chalk inks as used in the four season images. I wanted this card to be able to be mailed without additional postage so I chose to add no embellishments or bling. Sometimes it is a real challenge not to add embellishments such as ribbon, eyelets and brads. When you do though it cost more to mail your card. Here in the US we get charged for "lumps" & "bumps" that we call embellishing and bling!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My First Blog Award!

Recently I was awarded with my first blog award by a new friend. I have been having trouble with my computer and completely forgot to accept my award. I'm back in business though with my computer and just happened to remember that I needed to post my award given to me by my friend Rosette. I haven't known Rosette very long but we have become friends fast. She lives in Malta (Europe) and has an amazing talent that she uses to create the most beautiful cards. I hope you will take the time to check out her blog.

I'm pretty new to blogging but it appears I need to now present this award to 5 people. Since I am new to this, I would like to reserve the right to hold off on presenting this award for a few days. There are so many talented and creative people out there that I would love to present this award to but that's not my problem. My problem is I'm still learning how to do things and I want to make sure I am presenting this award properly. So bear with me.....I'll get this figured out soon! LOL!

Meanwhile please take the time to check out Rosette's blog. She has been a huge inspiration to me....more than she knows! Thanks Rosette!

Monday, November 24, 2008

House Mouse Easter Card

I recently Hosted a swap called "It's A House Mouse Occasion". Participants were to pick a holiday or special occasion/ event and create 5 cards to swap using a House Mouse image to represent their chosen occasion. I chose to do Easter. My son challenged me to not use the bright pastel colors that are so often used for Easter but instead to try more of a vintage look. Image is colored with Prismacolor colored pencils and gamsol. I used Tim Holtz's Distressed Ink.....Old Ranger to ink the edges of the image and green cardstock as well as the printed paper. Happy Easter sentiment is by Hampton Arts. Card base is a cream color but unfortunately the colors are not showing very well in the picture. I topped off the card with some ric rac and eyelets for embellishing. I'm glad I accepted my son's challenge because I like the touch of vintage for this card!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

House Mouse Birthday Card

Tomorrow, November 24th is my cousin's birthday. I chose to make her card using my favorite critters....House Mouse by Stampabilities. The card is a gate fold style, printed paper is by DCWV. Image is colored with Prismacolor colored pencils. I hope she likes her card and has a great birthday!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tips & Techniques of the Week! Sharpen Your Punches

I love to search the Internet for tips and techniques on how to do new and different things in the paper crafting world.There are so many talented and gifted people sharing their how to tips on the net that it is rare that you can't find an answer to how to do something or solve a problem. This past week I had trouble with a fairly new punch not punching a clean sharp edge. Wouldn't you know it....someone posted on two different sites that I belong to, this awesome video with a solution to my problem. Click HERE for a tip on how to sharpen your punches. I'm off to drink a can of soda! Hope everyone has a great week.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Card Candy, Blog Candy...I'll have a truffle please!

There has been lots of talk going on for the past year on all the paper crafting sites about "card candy". Card candy are hand made embellishments to be used on cards or scrapbooking layouts. They are very much like the Jolees embellies and stickers found in LSS and crafting stores. Until recently I had managed to avoid this newest craze. But alas, a friend hosted a swap for making card candy and I could no longer pass up the opportunity to try my hand at making these cute little embellies I see posted in the galleries on swap sites. For this particular swap we had to choose a theme and then make 10 packages of at least 4 pieces of card candy in each package. So I chose Christmas and off I went to make my card candy. I chose to use a couple of the House Mouse images as well as a candy cane image and sentiment. All images were colored with Prismacolor colored pencils. I am glad I took the challenge and tried something new but I don't think I will be making card candy again in the future. At least not 10 packages at a time. I found it to be very time consuming and tedious. I was not happy with the end result. I will say though, I received the swap back yesterday and the other participants did an awesome job making theirs. I don't think I am meant to make card candy.
On the lighter side.....I saw something on another blog about blog candy. Having just completed my card candy swap and knowing that card candy meant embellishments for cards.....I logically presumed that blog candy must be embellishments for my blog! Being new to blogging I was very excited about this "blog candy" and wanted to know how I could get some. I posted a message on one of the paper crafting boards I participate on asking the other members if they knew how I could get some blog candy. I was quickly set straight and informed what blog candy is. In the crafting world, blog candy is most often a free crafting item or embellies etc. that the blog owner is giving away for winning a challenge on their blog or for visiting their blog. I learned that day that not all things can be figured out logically. I also gave my friends a good laugh!
Maybe one day I will make some card candy to give away as blog candy. Meanwhile I think there is some candy in the candy dish with my name on it! A dark chocolate truffle to be exact. Now that's my kind of candy!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Merry Go Round Swap

One of my favorite swaps to host and participant in is one called "Merry Go Round" Actually the Merry Go Round has become my favorite type of swap! How the swap works is all the participants choose a stamp they own that they would like to see what other people will do with the image. You could choose a stamp that you bought and just never used because you have not been able to decide how to use it or it could be a favorite image of yours but you have run out of ideas and would like some new ones. Either way, you stamp an image for each one of the players and mail it in to the host of the swap. The host then in return will send each participant one of every one's image for the exception of your own. Once you receive the images you then proceed to make a card using each image. Once done you mail your card creations to the host who then will send your original images back to you now made into cards by all the creative players in the swap. This is always the most challenging type of swap for me. Most often you will get images to work with that are not your style and taste or something you would never buy. So it becomes a real challenge designing a card with that image. There have been many times that I have worked on an image only to find that I liked it after I worked with it and wanted to go buy the stamp for myself. It is also fun to get back your original image and see how the other swap players interpreted your image and what they did with it. I am currently hosting a Merry Go Round swap on the CK site and there have been some fun and challenging images sent in. Below are some samples from some of the past Merry Go Round swaps I have been in. All but one are images that I would never thought to buy. I found a couple of them to be quite challenging....which is what makes this type of swap so fun!
I colored this image with Prismacolor colored pencils and added some lace and ribbon to add to the Victorian look of the image.
Also colored with Prismacolor colored pencils, I found this image to be fun to work with.

This image is a sunflower collage and I thought it would be fun to cut it into thirds, double mat it and add a plaid ribbon. Image is colored with Derwent Inktense Watercolor pencils.

I really struggled with this image and had a hard time deciding what to do with it. Image is colored with Prismacolor colored pencils and tripled matted on printed paper.
If you enjoy a challenge and the opportunity to work on images you don't should try a Merry Go Round Swap sometime. They can be a lot of fun!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Asian Theme Cards

I think I am finally getting the hang of this blogging thing! My original plans were to wait till after Christmas when I had more time to start blogging but....well...let's say I had a little encouragement from a new friend to go ahead and figure out what blogging is all about it. I have been active on a couple of paper crafting swap sites for the past 3 years. One of which just recently merged with another site causing all the sites participants to loose all the pictures we had uploaded to the gallery on the site. So I am going back and picking out some of my older creations to post first on my new blog.

One of my favorite styles and themes for cards is Asian.

The first picture is a collage style card I made using both Asian theme stamps and brass stencils from Dreamweaver. I have stamping, stenciling and both dry and heat embossing on this card.

The second card was made for a swap I hosted that required you to make an Asian theme card using only the colors red, black and gold. The cranes are stenciled in gold pigment ink by using a brass stencil by Dreamweaver and then heat embossed with gold embossing powder. I made the tassel from black embroidery thread.
The third card was made also for a swap I participated in. We were to stamp on printed paper. I happened to have a Chinese newspaper and thought it would be fun to use that to stamp an Asian theme on. It's a simple card but also one of my favorites. I must admit, I am having fun strolling down memory lane while posting some of my older creations and remembering some fun swaps I participated in.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Patchwork Christmas

Well I'm back for day two of learning how to set up my blog. I think I figured out how to load a picture. This is an oldie but favorite of mine. I was in a swap a couple of years ago that a friend of mine hosted that required us to use only scraps to make our card. We were allowed to cut into a new piece of cardstock for our card base though. I decided to use my Christmas paper scraps and use up some spools of thread by sewing on my cards. I call this "Patchwork Christmas". It has always been a favorite of mine. Hmmmm.....maybe I should make some more patchwork cards,
Welcome to my blog and a "lil bit of me"! I'm new at blogging and learning my way around so please have some patience as I learn how to do things. For now I'm excited that I can post and have music on my blog! Be sure to check back soon to see if I have learned how to post pictures of my creations.