July 31st, 2009
Happy Friday! Yesterday morning I dropped my sweet Tessa off at the vet’s office to have her spayed. I cried when I left and I’ve really been missing her. I get to go pick her up in a couple of hours and I can hardly wait! I had a bit of hard time getting started stamping yesterday, but I pulled out my TE July 20th Key Ingredients Kit featuring Early Bird papers to inspire me. (Both the papers and the KI should be back in stock at the TE Store any day now.) I ended up really having fun creating this card for Taylor’s sketch today – TECC76. You can play along too by going to Taylor’s blog to get the sketch, all the details and to see her sample too.
I stamped the house from The TE/SASI set Frightful Night onto cardstock from the KI and cut it out. I colored some of the details with Copics. The house is popped up on foam tape for some dimension and layered over a scallop circle punches with a Marvy Mega punch. I just got the SU Playground Designer Buttons and they were sitting out on my table. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well they coordinated with the Early Bird papers!
The little sentiment is from a retired SU set called Cute Converse. I use that set for so many different things, it’s really too bad they retired it so quickly.
Now it’s time to see what the rest of the Cupcake Crew has cooked up:
Home improvement update: The drapes came back from the cleaners…sort of. The main valance in our big bow window is somewhat complicated and mounted on wood strips. They had that valance all wrong and had to take it back to the shop to work on further. They said they’ll call me in a couple of days. The rest of the drapes are up and look good, so I’m crossing my fingers for the big valance.
Thanks for stopping by. Have a fantastic weekend!
July 28th, 2009
It’s Tuesday and I’m getting ready to go into the office to work while many many of my friends are in Florida or on their way there to attend CHA this week. I can’t complain because it was my choice not to go and I promised myself I wouldn’t pout all week, but I am feeling just a twinge of *out of the loop sadness*. So to get my mind off all that I thought I’d share some photos of some of what we’ve been doing around here for the past month and you can see why I haven’t had much time to stamp!
Besides painting the kitchen red – which I LOVE btw – we had professional painters come in and paint the living room, dining room/office, hallway, bathroom, kitchen ceiling and trim, back entry way. Except for the bathroom and kitchen everything was painted Warm Cocoon with one accent wall in a darker color called Sahara Shade. The trim and ceiling is a creamy almost-white called Eggshell Cream. The entire house started out Navajo and I could live my whole life and never see that color again! We took up the carpet in the office and washed the existing hardwood floors with Murphy’s Oil Soap (that stuff ROCKS!) and this weekend we purchased a rug. We got new plush mossy green carpet for the rest of the house. Here are a couple of overview pictures – click on them to see them larger.
The first photo is standing in the office looking through the pocket doors into the living room. On the right is Curt’s desk (where I am sitting now at the computer.) If you look carefully you can see R.B., our Greenwinged Macaw sitting on his play tree in the living room. The second photo is the opposite view taken from a position in front of the mantle.
There was never supposed to be a dining table in Curt’s office, but since I teach a stamping class once a month and this is the only room to do it in, a table ended up here by default. This dining table is part of an entire house full of furniture that my great-grandmother bought in the early 60’s and it is one of the last pieces that remained in it’s aged once-creamy french provincial finish. We are amazed at how good it looks refinished! It’s oval (which is one of the things I love about it) and it has 3 leaves so it can be made as big as needed when I teach. I plan to get a runner to go in the middle of it along with some sort of decorative centerpiece. We also re-covered the chair seats which is an easy-peasy DIY project with a staple gun!
Our living room has a mantel for a fake fireplace. It has a fitting for a gas ceramic heater so there was never a real firebox. We have candles set up in it. Above the mantle was a huge frameless beveled mirror. When we took the mirror down there was wiring for two sconce lights and an electrical outlet – perhaps for a mantle clock or something? We were excited to get new sconces lights and finally use that weird switch that previously seemed to go nowhere!
In the photo above you can see Beaker (our Red Fronted Macaw) on the left and R.B on the right. I’m expecting my drapes back from the cleaners tomorrow (who knew it could take 3 weeks???) and the room will look very different when they are re-installed. I’ll try to remember to share another photo after they are back. Oh and we’ve ordered an oval frameless mirror for over the mantle and hope to have it up this weekend. The next project on the list is to have the gold antique chairs re-upholstered. After bringing home tons of swatches, I found fabric last week but it was on hold by a designer so I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get it. I was so excited when the store called yesterday to say it had been released and I could come and get it! These chairs were given to us by a friend several years ago as he was going to get rid of them. They were tattered when we took them with the idea that we would *try them* in our house and if we liked them we would get them re-covered. For the past 7 or 8 years I’ve felt the need to explain this to anyone visiting our home for the first time. Sheesh! It sure will be nice to have them finally done!
There’s still so much to do. There are big things like finding fabric and having kitchen curtains made and a ton of little things like bringing in all of our *stuff* from the garage and motorhome to sort through and find places for whatever we are keeping. I’d like to find some new artwork to hang on the walls and I have a bunch of photos to frame and hang in the hallway. It’s going to take some time, but it’s all worth it. I’m missing stamping, but if you saw the shape my stamp room is in you’d know why it’s hard to go in there and just spend a little time to make a card! I do need to carve out some time this week though to get in there and create! Thanks for hanging in there with me and thank you so much for all of your kind and encouraging comments on our home improvement projects. This has been a very exciting, albeit exhausting, time for us.
Before I go I just have to share this silly photo I took of Tessa. She doesn’t normally get up on Curt’s desk, but I couldn’t resist!
I’m off to work. I hope you have a fantastic day!
July 24th, 2009
Note: This is my 2nd post today. If you are looking for my TECC sample, please scroll down. Thanks.
This is Day 2 of SCS Dare to Get Dirty ’09. If you are a SCS Fan Club Member there are a whole host of challenges over 3 days for you to play along with Dirty Girls past and present – click here for all the info. If you’re not yet a Fan Club Member now is the perfect time to join! I am thrilled to be a sample maker for Deb Saaranen’s Texture Challenge today.
I made this card for my friend Darla who did so much work to help me paint my kitchen that gorgeous shade of red! That kind of work is above and beyond the call of friendship so I wanted a special card. I loved this SU Hostess set, Wings of Friendship, the moment I saw it. The big bold images on this single stamp are easy to color with SU markers. Here I used Brocade Blue, Certainly Celery, Ruby Red and So Saffron. The color combo was inspired by my kitchen colors of red, yellow and blue. The main image panel was covered with a piece of Sticky Sheet cut the same size as the panel and then covered with clear microbeads. The microbeads give a wonderful texture and a special sparkle. I have always loved this simple technique. Other elements of texture include the cuttlebug embossed background (Floral Fantasy), the distressed edges on the Brocade Blue layer, the clear embossing over the sentiment and the stickles on the scallops around the sentiment. I added just a bit of both silver and gold outlining with a Zig Painty Pen for that little extra touch.
Home improvement update: My nearly 50 year old dining table and chairs came back from the refinisher today. What was an ugly, damaged *french provincial* creamy finish is now a mahogany finish that looks brand new. Now I just need to get fabric and cover the seat cushions. The dining set is part of a whole house full of matching furniture that my great-grandmother purchased in the early 60’s. Many of the pieces have been refinished over the years and this table and chairs were long overdue! My drapes did not come back from the cleaners as scheduled. Turns out they are *more complicated* than the guy thought and he needs more time. No problem – I love having a sheet in my front window…..NOT! Maybe I’ll go ahead and try to get some pictures for you over the weekend. Yep – like I said this is going to be an ongoing process for awhile. I’m going to need to carve out more stamping time!
Thanks for hanging with me. Have a great weekend!
July 24th, 2009
Happy Friday! It’s time for another one of Taylor’s awesome sketches with TECC75! I tweaked the sketch just a bit by making into a 6 3/8″ x 3 1/2″ mini tall card. I pretty much had to do this after I had all of my flowers (from SU Petal Pizazz) stamped and cut out and discovered that they didn’t fit very well on a standard sized card. I’ve always liked this size card anyway and I have a box of envelopes stashed away for just such an occasion. *wink*
Cardstock and patterned paper are from the Taylored Expressions July 20th Key Ingredients Kit which features Cosmo Cricket Early Bird papers. I LOVE this KI and I’m looking forward to playing with it a lot more. When I was looking for images to use in the circle elements of the sketch, I was tickled to find how well Petal Pizazz goes with the Early Bird paper! I stamped this flower in three different colors of Versamagic ink (wow I just noticed that eclectic Paperie has these inks for 35% off!) and used circle punches for the two center layers to be adhered on top of the cut out flowers. Then I just embellished them with two colors of Stickles. The middle flower is adhered directly to the card, while the flower on the right is popped up on 1/16″ foam tape and the one on the left is popped up higher on 1/8″ foam tape. The sentiment is from Elzybells and it’s punched with the SU Modern Label punch. The ric rac started out white, but I colored with my BG72 Copic marker.
I’ll be back in an hour or so with another post. I have a sample for one of today’s Dare to Get Dirty Challenges. I had hoped to play in the kick off yesterday, but I just didn’t get to it.
Thanks for stopping by. See you soon.
July 21st, 2009
Oh my goodness! Have you seen the Stampin’ Up! Deal of the Week this week? It’s the Styled Vanilla Hodgepodge Hardware at over 30% off the regular price! You can order it though Sunday July 26th for only $18.99 by clicking here to go my SU Business website. Once you are there, click on Shop Now in the upper right hand corner.
Be sure to also check my SU site next Monday for the last Deal of the Week.
So sorry that I do not have any stamped creations to share today. I can hardly catch my breath from all that’s been going on around here. Our carpet was installed on Friday and we spent most of the weekend begining to pull the house back together. It’s going to be a slow process since we want to evaluate almost every item of furniture and accessories before putting it back where it was. We will decide if it’s something we really love or something that needs to be passed along to someone else who might appreciate it more. Have you ever watched Clean Sweep or Clean House? Those shows have helped to transform my thinking about *stuff*. I want less of it for a more peaceful life, especially since our house isn’t all that big and we’re short on storage space. It feels good to have a fresh start! I promise to share some pictures soon. I’m waiting for my drapes to come back from the cleaners.
One of the next projects in line will be finding fabric and having kitchen curtains made. I did order some swatches online – can’t believe I forgot to share them here – they came almost 2 weeks ago. Click on this thumbnail to see it larger. The fabric on the far left is a vintage t-towel I picked up awhile back at an antique store. That is ultimately the type of fabric I’d really like to find – reproduction though – picks up the yellow and blue in our tile work as well as the red walls. I could go for a floral or fruit pattern. So far no luck. My favorite of the other three is the black, but it’s just too strong to use for all the curtains. Our front window is quite large. I might use it as a band across a solid or small patterned fabric – or maybe to cover the banquette cushions. I have a habit of making up products in my head and then not being satisfied with anything else I might find. *sigh*
I just order these canisters from Gooseberry Patch. They epitomize the look I’m going for in my kitchen and I can hardly wait for them to arrive! Do you get the Gooseberry Catalog? It’s always so fun to look through. If you haven’t seen one before, don’t look through their products on-line, just go ahead and request a catalog. It’s one of those little joys in life!
A couple of quick informational notes –
Taylored Expressions released the July 20th Key Ingredients Kit yesterday and it’s my very favorite one so far! It features Cosmo Cricket Early Bird papers and it’s yummy! Hope over to Taylor’s blog to follow links to samples from half of the Baker’s Dozen.
Dare to Get Dirty is coming up on SCS. Thursday July 23 through Saturday July 25 all SCS Fan Club Members are invited to play along with Dirty Girls past and present in a ton of fun challenges. Click here to get all the info. If you are not yet an SCS Fan Club Member, now is the perfect time to join! It’s only $24.95 for a year or $14.95 for six months. Click here for all the details.
I’m off to work. Thanks for stopping by.
July 17th, 2009
WooHoo! We are back to our regular Friday sketches from Taylor! You can find TECC74 on Taylor’s blog along with her sample and we’d love for you to come and play along! Today I have a simple card that I had fun really just *playing* with!
I’m sure it’s no surprise to most of you that my favorite new SU In Color is Melon Mambo. I’ve been wanting to spend some time playing with the In Colors to find color combos I really like. For today’s card I decided to work with Melon Mambo and create a color combo with some of the regular colors. I always love combos of pink, yellow and green so that’s what I decided to work with here. I ended up with Melon Mambo, Certainly Celery and So Saffron and I LOVE IT! I wish the photo did it justice, but I think Melon Mambo is going to be one of those colors that I just can’t seem to photograph well. I have the same problem with Rose Red. This combo is so much prettier IRL. I hope you’ll try it out for yourself.
ETA: I had to laugh myself as I was working on this post and hit save to preview it and saw how much the color combo on this card resembles my blog header. DUH! Guess I’m just drawn to these colors! LOL!
The Melon panel is embossed with the Birds and Swirls Cuttlebug folder which works so nicely with this image from the SU set A Flower for All Seasons. The image is stamped on shimmer white cardstock and watercolored with ink and an aquapainter. Doodling around the edges is done with a Going Gray SU marker using the fine tip end.
Now let’s see what the rest of the Cupcake Crew has cooked up with today’s sketch:
Carpet installation is due any minute now. You have no idea how excited I am about that. We’ve needed new carpet for several years and we’ve chosen a pretty mossy green. This weekend will be spent putting the house back together and then next week I can start the long process of sorting through all the *stuff* we boxed up to determine what stays and what goes. It will be so wonderful to have this fresh start. I promise to post some pictures soon. Have a fantastic weekend!
July 15th, 2009
WooHoo! I have internet back! I spent two days sequestered in my bedroom with Tessa while the interior of our house got painted a yummy golden color called Warm Cocoon. The painters had originally told me to plan for 3 days, but they finished in 2 and it looks wonderful. It’s exactly the color I’ve been dreaming of for several years. We had one wall done in a darker gold called Sahara Shade as an accent and all the wood trim (doors, windows, base boards, etc.) are a creamy almost-white color. They also painted the white trim in the kitchen to finish off my beautiful red walls. And heck while they were here, might as well paint our one and only bathroom too! I am beyond excited! The house will remain in disarray until the carpet is installed on Friday. Then we can get to work on getting things put away and back to normal…something I have a feeling will turn into quite a long process knowing us, especially since I want to re-evaluate all of our decorative items and somewhat start from scratch.
I am so glad the painting got done so I could get access to the computer and play in today’s super fun Taylored Expressions Christmas in July Blog Hop. The TE store has Christmas stamp sets on sale for 20% off for the next 10 days plus Taylor is debuting a brand new product! I am super super excited to be in on this product introduction as it’s something I’ve been dying to get my hands on ever since it’s conception. I love to make sets of cards to give as gifts and I’m always looking for just the perfect packaging to give them in. Finally here it is! The TE Perfect Package in A2 card size!! I hope you are already familiar with the TE Perfect Packages in Small Square and Large Square sizes which Taylor introduced a few months ago. The new A2 size has all of the fabulous features of those boxes, but is sized perfectly for sets of 4.25″ x 5.5″ cards and envelopes! In case you are not already familiar with Perfect Packages here are some of the features you should know about
- made from a very sturdy thicker-than-chipboard material with a wonderful white matte finish
- fold flat for storage
- no assemby required – just a couple of simple folds to go from flat to box and just tug on the ribbon tab to go back to flat again
- magnetc flap closure
- super easy to decorate with a variety of methods such as designer paper, paint, stamping, etc.
We were challenged to create a set of cards and a decorated Perfect Package OR a Christmas gift that somehow incorporates the Perfect Package. I had been dying to play with the Cupcake Key Ingredients so I decided to make set of super simple cupcake cards that any one of my sweet friends would appreciate as a Christmas gift. Click this thumbnail to see the entire set. I had so much FUN with this! Of course you know me – even simple cards take me quite awhile to design, but this set could be reproduced very quickly – I’m thinking maybe even in under an hour. I made 6 cards and kept them pretty much flat so they won’t need extra postage to send them. The Perfect Package could have easily accomodated 10 cards like this, or perhaps 6 heavily embellished cards. I used the TE Whimsical Wishes stamp set For the Love of Cupcakes for these cards, but you could also use any of the Key Ingredients even without any stamps (oops, did I say that out loud??). For the lid of the box I used the JustRite set Homemade Treats.
Something really cool that I discovered was that the 6×6 designer papers in the KI kits are perfect for decorating the top and inside lid of these boxes. I hope you can see what I mean in the photos above and below.
I have a little confession to make…I couldn’t wait till Christmas and I already gave this set to a dear friend for her birthday and she LOVED it!! *grin* But I know I’ll be making lots more of these before Christmas!
There are lots more creations to see for TE Christmas in July – let’s go check out what the other players have for us today:
And of course Taylor Van Bruggen (former California Girl recently back to her Iowa roots) will have an adorable sample, but that’s not all! Taylor also has a little prize give-away so be sure to head over to her blog and register right away!
If you are a cardmaker, you NEED some of these boxes…SERIOUSLY! All three sizes of Perfect Packages make great gift boxes as well as storage for all kinds of things. The fact that they store flat make them perfect buy ahead and have at the ready when you need to wrap a gift or package a set of cards. Please let me know if you have any questions about the Perfect Packages. This is a product I truly love and am looking forward to
playing with using lots more!
Thanks for stopping by!