Monday, May 30, 2011

Heirloom Tomatoes

I took a fun class on Saturday morning about growing organic heirloom tomatoes. It was at Dragonfly Shops and Gardens, a great little boutique in Old Towne Orange. Now anyone who knows me, knows I have a patented black thumb so it was with a bit of trepidation that I took home one of the plants. I hope he's a hardy little guy.
I got a Juane Flame variety which is a bit smaller and planted him in a pot with a bit of thyme and some marigolds:
He's grown quite a bit just since Saturday.

Here's a link to a blog post about the class: Dragonfly Shops & Gardens Enjoy!

I'm remembering all of the brave men and women who have served our country to ensure our freedoms.
Specifically,  I remember my dad and my Uncle Bill who both served in WWII.
And with gratitude I sincerely thank my father in law Al and my Uncle Fred who served in WWII,
and my son Ben who served in Iraq.
They all served this country with honor, courage and devotion.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Penny Black card with a French Flair

Since I've been watching the French Open tennis tournament and enjoying the sights of Paris on TV it seemed appropriate to allow some French influence into my stamping today.
Stamp Fever just got a new order of Penny Black stamps and this sweet Mimi stamp called Bonjour is the first one I inked up today.

I used Paisley Outline to stamp the card base and added some Dusty Concord ink for a shot of color.  I trimmed a piece of white cs to 3 x 4.25 and masked an oval in the center. I stamped Paisley Outline on this panel with a Jenny Bowlin inkpad in Cough Syrup and used Worn Lipstick to distress the panel. Then I stamped the cute image of Mimi in the masked oval and colored it with Copics. White gel pen highlighted the eyes and the pearl necklace.

The panel was matted with some patterned paper and then layered onto the prepared card base. The cute little sentiment is a freebie Lawn Fawn stamp. The rose is an embellie I made using some Premo polymer clay and a mold by Mold Muse (thanks Kelly Marie for the link).

I'm finally taking a Copic class at Stamp Fever taught by Jennie Black, a Copic Certification specialist, so hopefully my coloring will improve. Let me know if you would like information about the class on Wednesday June 22, 2011.

Now I'm off to play with two more Penny Black stamps: la soiree and two's company, after a walk with the hubs and furry kids.

~ 1 Corinthians 6:20 ~
You were bought at a price; 
therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, 
which are God's.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Inspiration Challenge- Lily Pad Cards

All my friends at Lily Pad Cards are so inspiring, and then there's all the terrifically talented people who join in on the fun challenges! I am never without inspiring ideas. 

This time I found inspiration to use some of the fab Cosmo Cricket chipboard shapes and papers I've been hoarding with Deborah's card HERE.

I love the Early Bird Collection, it's so 50s retro and fun. It made a sweet little ditty to give to my sweetie.
I've decided to make a little "love note" card for him every week. 

Deborah also inspired the buttons with THIS post. The sentiment is from the Lawn Fawn set: Hello Friend.
The sentiment label is a ek success punch.

~ Psalm 23:1-3 ~
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul,
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Storage Tip for Embossing Powder

I first learned to heat emboss many years ago and I loved how it made my stamped images stand out with that wonderful glossy shine. It's been a favorite technique ever since.

My process for using the embossing powder was to use a scratch sheet of paper to catch the excess powder and then to pour it back into the tiny little jar. No matter how careful I was I always wound up with embossing powder everywhere.

I few years ago I noticed that people online were using a lidded plastic container to hold the embossing powder. A spoon was used to pour the powder on the stamped image which was poured back into the container. I thought it was a brilliant idea and quickly tried it too.

This past Saturday I taught a stamping class with an emphasis on embossing. My samples used both clear and black embossing powder. I wanted to ensure that the spoons for the powders didn't get mixed up; no black in the clear powder. I had already been using a clear plastic spoon for the clear powder and a white one for the white powder. I didn't have a black spoon so I used a black Sharpie marker to color a white one.  It worked like a charm and my powders remained pristine in spite of being used by my 12 wonderful attendees.

 These are my samples for the class. I love seeing the creative twists that the attendees add to my originals.
(note: I added some white gel pen to dots to the circles above the flower on my finished sample.)

Here's everyone happily working on their cards. The table in the back was set up for embossing with several Versamark ink pads, the embossing powders and heat tools. My friend Sue was on hand to assist with the embossing. Love you Sue, you're the best!

Here's the plastic containers with their coordinating spoons and metal rimmed tags.

I'm having a great time with the delightful group of women who are taking my 4-session series, Rubberstamping 101.  So far we have covered, one layer stamping, designing with patterned paper, paper-piecing and heat embossing. I will begin the next series of classes, Rubberstamping 102, in July.

~ John 10:14, 27-28 ~
"I am the good shepherd; and I know My own sheep, and they know me,
My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.
No one can snatch them away from me."


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cruising Through Life.....together

The first time I saw this new Lawn Fawn set I fell in love! That bicycle, pinwheels, the flag, the fabulous sentiments; they all brought me to a happy place.
I made this card for my hubby...I do love cruising through life with him. Just today we were noticing how much gray hair we are both getting and we remembered how when we were young we looked forward to growing old together. Then we laughed about how we didn't think we were old enough to look so old! Life is good!
So here's my "love note" to Al...

I will be entering this in the Stampin' Sisters in Christ challenge to make a card that encourages and use a touch of silver. I used a Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen in silver on the bicycle handlebars and wheels; and I think knowing someone loves and appreciates you is very encouraging.
The landscaping is created with Hero Arts Large Solid Flower cling stamped in Grass Chalk Ink over the Friend Definition, which was stamped on Matte Coate cs with Versamark. The result is a fun resist effect. The coloring was done with Copic markers and the flower centers are red Stickles. The card is sized to fit a business size envelope.

~ Psalm 16:11 ~
You will show me the path of life; 
in Your presence is fullness of joy;
at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Birthday Card for a Special Lady

Here's a birthday card for my wonderful Mom-in-law.

I've entered this in the Hero Arts challenge for May. The theme this month is Flowers ~ Coloring with Pencils ~ ATCs. I hit 2 out the 3 with my card.
Stamps used: La Letter, Flowers and Swirls, Find Joy.
The die is a new Nestabilities Labels 20.
The orange pp is from the Sweet Threads collection by Basic Grey.
The background stamping is done with Pumice Stone Distress ink.

~ Isaiah 26:3-4 ~
You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in You,
all whose thoughts are fixed on You!
Trust in the Lord always,
for the Lord God is the Eternal Rock.

This verse is for my sweet friend Jacqueline, I'm thinking of you and praying for you today!

Thanks for your visit today

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lawn Fawn/Sketch Challenge

It's another Lucy's Lovely Lines sketch challenge at Lily Pad Cards. This week the Design Team used stamps from our featured sponsor, Lawn Fawn!! I am a big fan of Lawn Fawn stamps and the wonderful people who bring us these happy, whimsical designs. I am seriously loving all the brand sets that Kelly and her DT premiered this week!

I paired the sketch and the Lawn Fawn set Happily Ever After with some Girl's Paperie patterned paper (yes, I'm still hoarding this fabulously feminine paper). I completely gave in to my inner Girly-Girl......

In addition to Happily Ever After, I used stamps from Bannerific, Sophie's Sentiments and Smitty's ABCs.
I stamped the gown on textured vellum and colored with Copics, flipped the edges up, then layered it to a white cs cut out. I stamped a sentiment from Happily Ever After lightly on the yellow gingham and added the self adhesive crochet lace by Hero Arts. A bit of machine stitching is the final touch.

I hope you will play along with the Lily Pad Cards community. I can't wait to see what you all do!

~ Matthew 11:28-30 ~
Then Jesus said, "Come to Me,
all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, let Me teach you,
because I am humble and gentle at heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light."

Al and I are celebrating our 33rd wedding anniversary today, I love that man still more every day!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

It's a perfect day..... watch tennis on TV and do some stamping! I promised, Dawn, my friend in New Zealand that I'd do an ATC swap with her and the one she made has already arrived here in the OC. So it was high time to find some creativity and get an ATC off to her. Since the Challenge theme this month at the Hero Arts blog is ATCs, Fabulous Flowers and using colored pencils I mashed them all and came up with this little number....

I stamped and black embossed the Flower Text on kraft cs and white cs. I trimmed the kraft cs around one of the flowers to approx. 2x3 inches. I matted this with a corner section from a Spellbinders Lace Edge Square die cut and then a 2.5x3.5 white cs base. I colored the white image with various brands of pencils from my pencil stash. I was going for bright and I think I got there. The flower and leaves were then cut out and pieced onto the kraft image. A bit of Tropical Tangerine Stickles is the finishing touch.

A glimpse of heaven....
Revelation 21:4
"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, 
and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.
All these things are gone forever."

Friday, May 13, 2011

New Lily Pad Cards Challenge with The Craft's Meow

Time for another Lily Pad Cards Challenge!

We're doing some embossing this time and I had some old-school fun with a set of stamps from The Craft's Meow. Old-school, meaning stamping the focal image with colorful pigment ink and embossing with clear embossing powder. Then I mixed in some white embossing on the sentiment and clear embossing on the card base. I used some pretty coordinating papers and layered everything on kraft cardstock.

Supplies: The Craft's Meow-Stamp Set; Basic Grey- 6x6 Papers- Sweet Threads, Kioshi; Basic Grey- brad;
Color Box Pigment ink-Violet, Moss Green; Color Box Chalk ink- Chestnut Roan; Versamark Watermark ink; Jute String from Stamp Fever.

~ Hebrews 11:6 ~
And it is impossible to please God without faith.
Anyone who wants to come to Him
must believe that God exists
and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Fun with Matte Coate Cardstock

I did some experimenting with stamping on Matte Coate cardstock. Stamping with Versamark ink on this cardstock allows your image to show through what is stamped on top. And it adds a great subtle texture pattern to the background.

For this first card I stamped Hero Arts Friend Definition on the Matte Coate cs and heat set it. Then I stamped the Large and Small Solid Flower Clings on top. It gives a great effect of the text showing through the flower. I'm entering this in the CAS-ual Fridays "Texting Skills" Challenge CFC#1.

I stamped the flowers using Hero Hues Chalk inks in Cerulean and Grass. A simple sentiment stamped on textured vellum with a button is all the finish this needs.

This next card used some more Hero Arts stamps and a great Lawn Fawn Alpha set- Smitty's ABCs.

The Friend Definition is the background for the Row of Houses and a bit of the Simple Frame. The heart is from Lawn Fawn's Sophie's Sentiments set.

On this last card, Penny Black's Paisley Outline adds the perfect background for the Hero Arts Solid Flowers, this time stamped with Hero Hues Chalk ink in Grass and HA Shadow Ink in Soft Pink.

Stamp Fever will have Matte Coate Cardstock in stock soon. Check the Stamp Fever blog for the announcement later this week.

~ Hebrews 11:1&3 ~
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen;
it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
By faith we understand that the entire universe 
was formed at God's command,
that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bright and Happy for Mother's Day

It's a really gloomy May day in So Cal today. I found myself all alone when the hubs had to head to San Diego to finish some cabinets and #2 son went to visit buddies at Camp you know what that means; CARDS! As always I waited until the last minute to make my Mother's Day cards. I think I'll enter the challenge at CAS-ual Fridays where the theme is Text.

Here's the first one.........

.......bright and bold to counteract the gloominess outside.
I started with a piece of Hero Hues Layering paper in Poppy that I found in my scrap box. I stamped the Flower Text in Poppy Chalk ink and left it sit there for a bit while I watched some tennis. I love watching tennis on TV and got a Sports Channel package for my U-Verse just so I could have Tennis Channel.

Anyhoo, after I watched Nadal beat Federer I came back to the plain, monochromatic beginnings of this card project. My first thought was to do some paper piecing but just didn't have the ambition for all that cutting. Then I noticed the Copics and thought "Why not". I had fun with this experiment not knowing how the markers would work with the colored cardstock and chalk ink. I loved the effect I got and kept adding more bright bold color. Then I finished it off with a Micron Pigma ultra fine point black pen. The Hero Arts sentiment is stamped on textured vellum and tied on with thin jute string.
I card down....3 more to go....

~ Proverbs 31: 28-31 ~
Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her:
"There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!"
Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
Reward her for all she has done.
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

Happy Mother's Day

Friday, May 6, 2011

5 Minute Friday

If you came from Lily Pad Cards, my Color Throw-down post is HERE.

I found a wonderful, inspirational blog called "The Gypsy Mama" ; every week there is a 5 Minute Friday Challenge.
Where we throw caution (editing, revising, and worrying) to the winds and just write. Without wondering if it’s just right or not. For five minutes flat. The rules are easy.
  1. Write your heart out for five minutes and show us what you’ve got.
  2. Tell your readers you’re linking up here and invite them to play along.
  3. And most importantly, go visit, read, and encourage the fellow five-minuter who linked up right before you.
    {Pretty please turn off word verification for the day to make this easier!}
This is my first goes!

Motherhood should come with......

I think motherhood should come with training wheels......
Remember when you were first learning to ride a two-wheeler bike and it was all so brand new. Learning to keep your balance, figure out the brakes and the handlebars. Coordinating everything to keep upright and moving forward took some practice. It all comes so naturally after a short while but that initial attempt is scary. You may never let those training wheels touch the ground, may never need to use them, but knowing they are there gives you the confidence you need to keep pedaling.

Motherhood is mostly instinct....but its scary too. Coordinating all the demands and the emotions of being a mother takes practice. I remember thinking how much easier having my second son was because I'd made and learned from so many blunders with #1. I believe God chooses first children knowing the resilience they will need. Wish I had training wheels to give me the confidence to keep upright and keep moving forward even in those moments of self-doubt.

Happy Mother's Day