Friday, September 27, 2013

feeling good and so very thankful

It's been a fantastic week... I'm feeling so very thankful.  Finished my first week at my new job, and its been great.  Wonderful people, fun work neighborhood, free coffee and snacks (!!!!), and it just feels so good to be back in the swing of things.

This card, which is being entered to CAS-ual Fridays and CASology, reflects exactly how I feel.

I was inspired by this yummy card by Pamela Ho.  Flawless.  Her sepia tones reminded me of the camera I had in college.  You could take a regular picture, or make it black & white, or sepia.  So when I wanted my photos to have a sophisticated look, I made them sepia.  And yes, by doing so, I thought I was all that. Ha!

This card was enjoyable to make...I finally got to dust off and use all these brown distress inks that I won on eBay several months back.  And, I got to use this super lovely wood grain paper that came in my goodie bag from Damask Love Live.  Yay!

Let's keep this good feeling going.  Thank you for taking a look!

Stamps: WPlus9 Fresh Cut Florals
Inks: Tim Holtz Distress Ink (antique linen, fired brick, frayed burlap, spiced marmalade, tea dye, vintage photo, walnut stain, wild honey); Memento Luxe (dandelion, espresso truffle)
Dies: Lawn Fawn Stitched Journaling Card
Paper: Lawn Fawn Into the Woods; LCI Paper Wood Grain

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

birthday cupcakes

This a sweet little birthday card for a sweet friend named Lisa.  Lisa is a really cool lady who lives on a farm full of chickens and goats.  She has named each and every one of them and can actually tell them apart.

Why the cupcakes?  Because Lisa has been a strong voice of encouragement for me in starting my own baking business.  She may have not been one of the first to nudge me in this direction, but she was definitely one of the most assertive.  On a visit to her neck of the woods she drove me to several different bakeries in her small town, asked for menus, and then told me to make me own.  Now, this exercise is something I could have easily done myself in the hundreds of bakeries around NYC...but, I didn't do it.  Lisa kinda kicked me in the behind and got the ball rolling.

So with these little cupcakes, I celebrate Lisa.  Happy birthday to you!  This card will be entered into the 10 Minute Craft Dash hosted by Pretty Pink Posh.  I stopped my timer at 9 minutes and 58 seconds to take pictures (seen above) before the 10 minute time limit.

However, I felt like the card needed more work (e.g., one polka dot wasn't colored, messy coloring in general), so I continued to work on it...fixed the coloring, added glitter, shadows, sequins.  The version below is what was sent to Lisa.

Thanks for taking a look!

Stamps: WPlus9 Sweets and Treats; Lawn Fawn Milo's ABCs
Inks: Memento (tuxedo black); Copic markers
Other*: Wink of Stella glitter brush (clear), enamel accents, sequins
*Only on final version, not being considered for 10m Craft Dash

thinking of you

A close friend of mine asked me for a card to send to a family that has taken him in as one of their own.  They are going through a tough time right now and I do hope that everything and everyone will be ok.

There's a lot of love and good thoughts in this card, and I'm sure the words my friend put inside convey how deeply he cares.

This card will be submitted to the Retro Sketches Challenge, which I turned to when I needed some help in starting my card.  I thought the layout was refined, yet simple, which allowed me to design something that was more about the message than anything else.

Thank you for stopping by.

Stamps: WPlus9 Fresh Cut Florals
Inks: Versamark, Delicata (golden glitz); Memento Luxe (espresso truffle, lilac posies, nautical blue, pear tart)
Other: embossing powder, embossing folder

Friday, September 20, 2013

sending smiles...with determination!

This has been a good week.  I received great news -- a job offer -- and will be a grants manager for a small family foundation starting next week!  Can I get a woot woot!

I immediately thought of sending thank you cards to the colleagues who recommended me for this job. The first on my list is my mentor, Jane.  She works for a community foundation in Chicago and was instrumental in my learning about philanthropy.

I made this card for the 10 Minute Craft Dash hosted by Pretty Pink Posh and the CAS(E) this Sketch Challenge.  The card was finished in 9 minutes and 57 seconds.   Talk about close!

I love the color combination and the sketch was approachable...


...however, I made lots of mistakes in earlier versions.  Lots!  I can't send a thank you card that I'm not fully satisfied with, so I kept trying until I finally got it right.  Here are the cards that didn't make the cut.  In this first card, I had some issues with the colors from the craft dash.  I thought my embossing powder was grey (i.e., it looked grey in its container), but it turned out to be silver.  So, I rushed to get a grey ink pad, rushed to stamp the sentiment, and well...messed it up.

Second try...rushed to write in Brooklyn, NY, and ended up not even finishing in 10 minutes.

Ok, I really really liked this one and was so sad that I messed up at the last minute.   After I put foam adhesive on the back of the main piece, I turned it over and saw all these blue splotches.  Unfixable splotches.  Waah!

Here they all are.  I'll go through the early versions and see what pieces can be saved and used for other projects.

Lessons learned: (1) Use my embossing buddy to prevent messy embossing, (2) Constantly clean work area so that I don't get ink everywhere, (3) Keep trying until I get it right.

Thank you, Jane!  Only the best for you:)

Stamps: Mama Elephant Central Park, Up and Away
Inks: Memento (tuxedo black); Memento Luxe (rhubarb stalk); Tim Holtz (faded jeans); Versamark
Dies: Lawn Fawn Stitched Journaling Card
Other: embossing powder, pattern paper

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

hello, i heart you

Arrows are all over the place in cards these days...perhaps they've even replaced the banners and bunting?  Even with their popularity, it turns out that I don't have a single arrow in my entire stamp collection.  Gasp!  So, for the CASology challenge -- with its cue card "arrow" -- I had a make-it-work moment and took a different approach.

I followed the advice and pointers from CASology's talented design team and guest designer, specifically: using patterned paper sparingly (as suggested by Janet), arranging elements in a corner to leave open lots of white space (shared by Judy), and clustering elements together (brought to you by Melissa).

Problem solved.  I don't need no stinkin' arrow stamps (even though I want some, ha!). Even with my personal victory, I was tempted to add more.  More sequins, enamel dots, die cut hearts...more, more, more!  But, I listened to the inner CAS voice, put down my adhesive and just walked away.

This was definitely fun, and now I'm contemplating making a while set of these arrow cards.  Thanks for stopping by:)

Stamp: Lawn Fawn Happy Feast
Ink: Memento (tuxedo black)
Paper: Lawn Fawn Into the Woods petite paper pack
Other: Wink of Stella glitter brush (clear); sequins

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

monochromatic winter bunny

So what if we're still in September, I'm making a card with a winter bunny on it!  Ha!

The little bunny is full of love, just zipping  by to say hi:)

This card will be entered into the Lawnscaping Challenge, where we were challenged to create a monochromatic project.  For someone like me who has trouble with color combos, I was completely in my comfort zone and really love the simplicity of this card.

I picked blue as my color, which gave me a chance to use some of the blue hues in my Lawn Fawn Into the Woods petite paper pack.  Love this paper so much!

Look at the little bunny go!

Thanks for stopping by:)

Other: glossy accents, stickles

Monday, September 16, 2013

eat, drink, and be spoooooky!

I just can't seem to put my Mama Elephant Bootastic stamp set down!  It's too cute.

I'm entering this card into the CAS(E) This Sketch challenge...

 ...where I used this sketch for inspiration.

I was going for the chalkboard effect and I think the chalkboard "dust" (which I clearly overdid) actually adds a misty, spooky feel to this card.  I do wish the sentiment came out a little clearer.

How about those little mummies?  Is it possible for mummies to be cuties?  Apparently so.

 Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps: Mama Elephant Bootastic
Inks: Versamark, Brilliance (moonlight white)
Other: embossing powder, white gel pen

Sunday, September 15, 2013

silhouette - take 2

This card is dedicated to the little squirrel that lives in my backyard.  Let's be friends.  Please?

This is my second entry for the CASology challenge, where our cue card is silhouette.  After some technical difficulties with my first attempt, I decided to find some solid stamps.

I actually don't love my backyard squirrel, but I'm trying to get on its good side.  Thing is, I think he's out to get me.  There were several times I was working from home on the deck and he was directly above me in a branch over my head, just dropping things onto my work space.

Or another time when I was super stressed and working outside trying to meet a deadline, and the squirrel decided to just sunbathe right in front of me, right on the fence.  Eyes closed, all relaxed and stuff...I've never seen a squirrel lie flat on its belly like that.  

So, this is for that little squirrel.  Let's co-exist in peace.

Inks: Memento (tuxedo black); Memento Luxe (love letter); Versamark
Dies: Lawn Fawn Circle Stackables
Other: embossing powder, embossing folder (from Hobby Lobby, name unknown), Wink of Stella glitter brush (clear)

silhouette - take 1

It's my first time participating in the CASology challenge and I'm really struggling with the silhouette theme.  Here's my first try...

I really wanted to play on the sentiment "You're Boo-tastic" from Mama Elephant's Bootastic set since I've learned the many affectionate ways in which the term "boo" and "boo boo" are used by youngin's these days.  While I was playing around with my stamps, I saw that putting Frankenstein and the Witch close to each other made it look like they were holding hands....awwww, the little boos;)

I don't think I had the right kind of black marker, but you can kind of tell what I was getting at.  I loved the cuties so much that I tried another approach, this time without the silhouette effect, and I was so pleased.

Really, how cute are these Halloween characters?  I mean really now.

Stamps: Mama Elephant Bootastic, Midnight Letters
Inks: Tim Holtz (wild honey); Memento (tuxedo black); Memento Luxe (lover letter)

Friday, September 13, 2013


When I made the move from the west coast to the east coast, I had to learn how to communicate differently.  For example, days were no longer "hella" hot, but rather "mad" hot.  And, apparently it was redundant to ask for a "slice of cheese pizza" since in New York, a "slice" already meant cheese pizza. 

I also began to hear the term "boo" and "boo boo" used in other ways.  Generally, I think "boo" can be used to express disapproval or to try to scare someone.  And on the west coast, I remember my new mommy friends use the term "boo boo" to talk about the gift their babies left in their diapers.  On the east coast though, "boo boo" was used affectionately.  A term used for a loved one, a significant other.  So, I give you this Halloween card with a touch of love...

Frankenstein and the Witch are holding hands.  And, just like I've heard "boo" in the form of a verb, Frankie and Witchie are all "boo'ed up".  Ha!  Love.

When Mama Elephant came out the Boo-tastic halloween themed stamp set, I knew I had to have it.  I don't even make or give out Halloween cards, but I felt that the sentiment "You're Boo-tastic" could be used year-round.  Yes, I'm determined to stretch this stamp set!

This card will be entered in to the 10 Minute Craft Dash hosted by Pretty Pink Posh.  I finished this card in 8 minutes and 15 seconds.  One disclaimer: I already had masks of Frankenstein and the Witch (since I've been playing with this set pretty much since I received it), as well as a circle stencil for the moon...hoping that I wasn't expected to make new masks and stencils if I had them already?!?  Just wanted to be honest.

Ah, I love these little characters.  They are definitely boo-tastic.  And, so are you.  Thanks for stopping by.

Stamps: Mama Elephant Boo-tastic, Midnight Letters
Inks: Copic markers, Memento (tuxedo black), Memento Luxe (love letter), Tim Holtz (wild honey)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

golden lady

This card is a belated birthday wish for my friend, Shino, a super-talented photographer, cook, healthy living expert, and all-around beautiful person.  She is the wife of one of my first NYC friends, whom I met on the dance floor...come to think of it, I've met most of my NYC friends on the dance floor:)

Tomorrow, my friend is off to Japan to spend time with Shino, who traveled ahead of him.  I'm sending him off with this card along with some goodies from my job at Jacques Torres Chocolate.  Yum!

I created this card for the All that Glitters is Gold Challenge in the Moxie Fab World.  I decided to give the "washaker" (washi tape + shaker) card a try.  I first saw a washaker card on JJ Bolton's website, where she said she learned it from Donna Mikasa, who referenced a tutorial by Julie Ebersole ...I'm not sure who came up with the technique, but I do know that I have much respect from all the ladies I listed:)

The backstory to the "Hello Golden Lady" sentiment is kinda funny.  Last weekend at work, a customer dropped a box of caramels on the ground.  The box busted open, so we deemed the item unsellable and gave the caramels out as samples.  There was a strip of gold cardstock in the box that my manager was about to throw away, when she handed it over to me.  "I bet you can do something with this," she said half jokingly, given that I look at a lot of stuff we throw away and brainstorm all sorts of things we can do to repurpose it (e.g., plastic bags, acetate, cardboard).  So me being me, I took on the challenge.  The "hello" and the stars are made from the caramel box gold cardstock.

And, "Golden Lady"?  It's a song by Stevie Wonder that Shino sang to me on my 35th birthday.  At my birthday dinner, all me friends took turns grabbing the wooden spoon from the pitcher of sangria and sang me a song...because well, that's how we do.

Happy belated birthday, Shino!  Hope you're having a fabulous time back home.  Love ya, sis!

Stamps on card front: Mama Elephant Midnight Letters
Stamps on inside: Avery Elle Party Animal
Inks: Delicata (golden glitz); Memento (tuxedo black)
Dies: My Favorite Things Happy Hello, Memory Box Star Flourish
Other: gold gel pen, sequins, gold cardstock, washi tape, acetate. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

you're a star

This card is dedicated to all the 80s babies out there.  If you were a child of the 80s, chances are you once rocked a bowl cut.  And baby, you're a star!

Cue music: Prince's Baby, I'm a Star from 1982:)  I'm submitting this card into the CAS(E) this Sketch challenge.

I'm not sure how this happened, but somehow the glitter mist was sprayed in a way that looks like its coming right out of the Aquarius girl's pot of water.  Super-cool! 

I love Mama Elephant's zodiac themed stamp sets Cosmic Stars and Starry Night so much.  When I received them a few months ago (before I started blogging), I completed an entire zodiac birthday collection.  Now that I have a platform for sharing through this blog, I'm happy to present my work...

Love the little Sagittarius:)

And the Libra...such a diva!

I'm a Gemini myself, so the little twins are one of my faves, too.

I was happy with how the Pieces turned out...little fishies breaking out of their tank.

Thanks for stopping by!

Supplies for "You're a Star":
Inks: Memento (tuxedo black); Tim Holtz (dusty concord)
Other: Mister Huey's color mist (blizzard), Martha Stewart glitter, enamel accents