Monday, March 31, 2008

Surf's Up!

April 1st is Russell's birthday. No fooling.

I work with Russell. He knows everything about plants. He knows all kinds of stuff about dirt. Russell loves to surf. He has surfed in some awesome spots in the WORLD! Since he loves surfing so much, I made him this birthday card with a surfing theme.

All stamps are Memory Box except the wave, which is justjohanna. Flip flop paper is Memory Box, too. It has blue and green flip flops on the back. The palm tree is all one stamp, but I stamped the fronds on green Prism paper and the trunks on brown Prism paper and then cut them out and ran them through my X adhesive thingy. The penguin and surfboard are colored with Prismas. The brown sand part of the card is 80 grit sandpaper. It gives the card a little bit of interest and a bit of a manly feel.

Happy birthday, Russell. I hope you enjoyed how we "decorated" your office for your birthday!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

An Unusual Card

A few weeks ago, Erin posted on the forum on the Stamp Shack about a couple of new stamp companies she bought stamps from. She loved the stamps and thought their customer service was outstanding. Well, being the shopper that I am, I clicked the links for those two sites and I shopped! This card is made from a sheet of rubber I bought on Red Eowyn rubber stamps. This stamp comes from a sheet called, Freaks. And yes, they are freaky stamps, but aren't they cool? I have no idea what this thing is, but I love that it is non-descript and it has a plate of frogs. Do you see the spoon in its hat? I also bought one of their sentiments sheets. The images are deeply cut on the red rubber, and let me repeat what Erin said, their customer service is outstanding! I received my stamps in 3 days. Yes, 3 days! The sentiment isn't from Red Eowyn, it's from Stamp Camp. Ok, on to the details of the card. I know some of you like to know what colors I use, so here is the list:
  • Cool gray 30%
  • Cool gray 70%
  • Dark umber
  • Burnt ochre
  • Salmon pink
  • Peacock blue
  • Peacock green
  • Limepeel (every card I make has limepeel in it)
  • Dahlia purple
  • Carmine red
  • Yellow ochre

I colored all of the clothing with the 30% gray and then layered on the 70% gray and the peacock blue. One thing I can say about coloring is, take your time. Don't be in a hurry to get it to look like what you have in your mind. I started out with the grays in mind, but thought it needed a color to "pop" so I added the peacock blue. Layer, layer, layer. Another thing I do when I color, is to turn the image in different angles when I color. I mean, sometimes I turn it upside-down and color. I think the brain sees a hat as a hat and when you try to color, you color a hat. I turn it upside down, and I see a shape and see the shadows.

By the way the stamps are made, you can tell that they were drawn with a light source in mind. You can see the small shadow marks on the image. Follow those shadow lines and then accentuate them. Extend the shadow out a bit more than it is drawn on the stamp. It'll give a little more depth to the image.

What else do I need to say, but do check out Red Eowyn stamps. Also check out the other stamp sites on their site. Very cool stamps there, too, and if they are anything like Red Eowyn, you'll get great product and customer service.

Some cards for the stash

Today was a good card day. I dug into my stamp stash and made some cards for the card box at work. This first one is a stamp by I Brake for Stamps that I got at the Riverside Expo. It was fun and quick to color. I colored it with my Prismas. The sentiment is by Sunday International and I inked it with three colors of Versamark chalk inks. The little sun in the corner is a bit from a GWO bag at Yankiwi. I think it's perfect for the card. What I don't think is perfect is my stupid scanner! It hates 3D objects and blurs around the object, even if it's just a bitty brad. Ack! Guess how I did the scalloped edge? Well, I learned that trick by Dawn on one of her video tutorials. It's a cool trick. This is a 5" square card using up some scraps. I had a bit of this cute very narrow pink and white ribbon. I love pink and black together, don't you? I colored the image with Prismas and then put some pink Stickles on the flowers. I added a big pink gem brad and a small green gem brad in the lower corner. I got a woody at Cat's today. The woody is a car. Get your mind out of the gutter. Geez! lol Cat has a bunch of really cool old car stamps in right now. I bought this old woody, but I think I might need to go in and get a few more, including the Mustang. The stamps are by Putting on the Ritz. Colored with my Prismas. I added those teeny tiny brads in the corners. The sentiments are from Hambo Stamps. The inside sentiment says, "You however, do". haha! I thought it was a good two part sentiment for an old car. The solid cardstock is Prism and the gold cardstock is Lasting Impressions. Another pink and black card. I love pink and black, but I already told you that. Here is the Lovely Skull and Bones by justjohanna. It is one of the coolest stamps ever. It goes really well with so many of her sentiments, but I like it with the Rock n Roll stamp best. I don't have that stamp yet. Better add it to my list. I colored with Prismas and added a couple of pink gem brads next to the sentiment. You can't tell they are pink because MY STUPID SCANNER BLURRED IT!!! The sentiment is from the Hero Arts alphabet collection. I have all 26 letter sets. I'm a pig and I know it. I'm also a bit insane, but don't tell anyone. This paper is from the DCWV matstack called, "All Dressed Up". Get it at your local Michael's or Joann's store. Here's the Woody again. I wanted to see if I could do a card in less than 10 minutes. I promise this card is more color-coordinated than it shows in this picture. This scanner really sucks. No wonder it was free with my laptop purchase. It prints well and is easy to use, but scanning is not good AT ALL! So that's it for Saturday. Tomorrow, John and I are going to drive out to the Anza Borrego desert to see if we can see the desert in bloom. I hear it's really pretty this year. I'll take pictures and share tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Here's a little-known fact about me: I have always wanted to build and furnish a doll house. I found THIS BLOG today as I was blurfing. I don't know what language it is, but there are lots of pictures. How smart of them to make the dollhouse out of a cabinet? Wow, you don't need to buy a dollhouse kit, just get an old cabinet or bookshelf and divide it up. I don't know how to make furniture and stuff, but it would be fun to learn as you go along. I would have fun decorating the rooms, too. This post has nothing to do with the movie, Welcome to the Dollhouse. Have you seen that movie? My son has that movie and when he was at home I would watch it every so often. It is funny and disturbing at the same time. It's one of those cult-like films. You know the kind. It's like a hangnail that you just can't leave alone. Another movie like this is, Ghost World. Yes, folks, these movies are weird, but you gotta put them on your list of movies to watch. Watch them while you build your dollhouse.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring is in the air VS

The newest virtual swap is now going on over at the justjohanna forum. The theme for this virtual swap is Spring is in the air. The only requirements for this swap are that you have to use at least one justjohanna rubber stamp and that it follows the theme. Here's a link to the post over on the forum. You only have to make one card and post it in the gallery there. It's easy! Come and join us, won't you? Check out the cards from the last virtual swap, Feeling Fruity.

You Make Me Laugh

This is how I feel sometimes, especially this time of year. Yeah, tax time. Every year I say I'm going to be more organized with my taxes and every year it's the same thing. Oh well, I is what I is.

This is one of the new Stampabilities line of stamps, Gruffies. This stamp is called Bear-ied in Paperwork and features Biggly bear. I stamped him with black Versafine ink on my new Papertrey cardstock. Man, I love that cardstock. It's heavier than most cardstock I've used to color on, and it's smooth. It's fantastic if you're using markers or pencils. I haven't tried chalk yet, so no review on that today.

I colored Biggly with my Prismas. I colored him from head to toe with Ginger Root and then put on a light cover of light umber and then filled in the darker areas with dark umber. I used a bit of blush pink on his cute widdle face and then blended with cream and sand. I also used cream and sand on his tootsies. I colored all the papers with white first and then put used blush pink, light cerulean blue, cool gray 50% and 70% on various papers. After I was satisfied with the colors, probably about 2 hours later, I took my black VeriThin pencil and went over the stamping lines that were covered up with the white and grey pencils.

Here's somthing about the VeriThin pencils. One thing that is different from the Prismas and the Verithin pencil is that there is a lot less wax in the Verithin pencil. It is a very hard lead and is excellent for putting accents on certain areas and for outlining. It is excellet for touching up eyes, eyelashes, and other tiny stamped areas. You can buy the black Verithin separate from the other Verithin pencil sets. I get mine at Aaron Brothers or Dick Blick.

The base cardstock, the lime green, is Prism and it measures 5-1/2" square. The cardstock on top of that is Prism, too, and I Cuttlebugged it. haha that sounds funny. Say it: Cuttlebugged. The dotted paper and circle paper is Memory Box. I had this little tag in my embellishments drawer and added some narrow brown ribbon. I inked the edges of the stamped piece with Brick Red Brilliance ink.

I love Craig Ferguson. He's the host of the Late, Late Show that comes on after Letterman.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Easter is a-comin'!

It's almost Easter, so why don't you treat yourself to something fun? Is this bunny basket too cute? Enlarge the picture and you can see all the justjohanna stamps that are included in the basket. Here's the list of stamps in this basket: White Bunny Gift Basket includes: 766B Happy Easter 996A Hi (jj mix) 136AA Spring 823AA Floppy Ear Chicklet Left OR 846AA Bunny Ear Chicklet Right. You also get four Carrot-Shaped Playing Cards and the White Bunny Basket. You get all that for only $16! You can buy it HERE or you can just sit there and drool all over your monitor with the picture on it, but it would be so much better if you bought it. The stamps work much better in person.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Surprise Wednesday

My sister sent me flowers today.

She sent them before she knew of our trip to visit her out there in PA again. hehe

My sister is the best sister in the whole world. There. That should make up for the fact that we are visiting again.

Oh, check this out. Click the picture. Look at what it says in between the flower stems/leaves. Oh yeah, that goes both ways, baby!! If you can't read it, it says Great Sister. Those are partial words from the whole card which says, "I hope you have a great day! Your favorite sister. "

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A cow and a peep

I've been going crazy today. Something happened to the transformer at the end of our street and we were without power for like 6 hours. I was able to do a little crafting while the sun was out, but after that, nothing. We ate dinner in the glow of the last of the sunlight tonight. Aww, how romantic! John bbq'd some beef ribs and they were delish! Ok, so on to the crafty business.... This past weekend was our monthly Girls Night Out craft and chat party and I was fortunate enough to get to play with some of the new images from justjohanna. How cool is that? I love all the new images from justjohanna and I was in a coloring mood, so I chose images I could chill out and color. This first card uses Priscilla Le Chef and chicklet right, which are older images and the newer images are the sentiment and the cafe sign. How fun are these images? I can imagine all kinds of cute sentiments on this neat sign. It's big, so you can stamp all kinds of stuff on it. This next card took me most of the night to make because we were taking lots of food breaks. MMMM, three different kinds of cake, wine, coffee and chatter. Fun, fun! Oh, back to the cards... I had this little scene in my brain since the first time I set eyes on the new images. The images I used in this card are big cloud, polka dot cow right, grass, barn, Emily's rooster left. Where's the rooster you say? Well, look at the next image. I used my X-acto knife to cut the barn door open. I stamped the rooster on a separate piece of paper, colored it and adhered it in the opening. I popped out the cloud, but I have to squish my cards on this *$%! scanner so it doesn't blur the rest of the image. I colored these cards with Prismacolor pencils. Sorry I didn't keep track of the pencils I used. Must've been the wine. That must really be true because the cow is purple. How does that poem go: I've never seen a purple cow and I never hope to be one, but if I ever see a purple cow, I'd rather see, than be, one. I don't think that's right. Johanna had it right but I forgot. Thanks for stopping by again.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

It's a Bird!

It was a bird challenge. Johanna gave us these little wooden birds and challenged us to make something with them. My first instinct was to make something like everyone else did. Geez, I didn't want to be different, did I? What if it didn't work out, what if it WAS the same as everyone elses, what if , what if, what IF?? I'm learning to let my creations be ME. What if everyone made art like everyone else, how boring would that be? Right. So when I started to make this project, I thought, I'm gonna do what feels natural and this felt natural to me. I didn't make a sketch like Kim does for her projects, I just went with a general idea that I had. I knew I wanted to put it on/in a frame, so when I was at Wal-Mart the other day, they had these kits on clearance for $9 and this frame was in the kit. It was the perfect color I had in mind. I hit my fabric stash and came up with the plaid background fabric, so I covered the cardboard insert that came with the kit. The kit also included some tan colored felt, so I used that to pad the bird. I traced the bird twice onto the felt and cut the shapes out, cutting one a bit smaller than the other. I adhered the larger (same size) cutout right onto the wood and then adhered (with double stick tape) the smaller cutout onto the top of the other one. The reason why I made one smaller is so that when I covered the bird with fabric there wouldn't be a hard edge to pull the fabric over. The bird fabric is the fabric that came with the kit and it was perfect, too. I love the little polka dots. I put some double stick tape on top of the felt and then stretched the pink polka dot fabric over it and taped it to the back. I knew I wanted a button eye, so I got my button jar out and came up with this three-button combo. I think it's quite cute. I used a scrap of vintage cotton lace from my justjohanna special edition kit for the wing. I also used this same lace to decorate the hanging part. I was thinking I wanted to put feathers on the bird's head, but then thought that would be too obvious, so I got out my wire and fashioned some curly-cues. I also made the wire legs and feet out of a piece of wire. That was fun! I love his little feet. I attached the wire to the inside of the felt sandwich on the back of the bird with some more double-stick tape. Then I traced out another bird shape onto the felt and cut it out. I adhered this to the back of the bird to give it a clean look. Then I got out a piece of nice quilting muslin from the closet and ironed it. I experimented with my Brilliance inks so see which color I wanted and this blue was perfect. I inked up my sentiment and stamped. Perfect the first time, yahoo! I used the floss from the kit to sew up the simple borders. The green heart button was in the kit as well. This kit worked out perfectly for this project. With the floss from the border stitching, I made a french knot for the dot over the "i" and used it to sew on the heart button. I also used this thread to sew on the lace embellishment on the hanger. I attached this sewn piece to the plaid background with glue dots. They are very strong! I added some yellow rick-rack (another leftover from my justjohanna special edition kit) to the background and the hanger. For the lace part of the hanger, I also used some leftover sequins from my special edition kit and held it together with a little seed bead and the floss. I hope you are not bored to death by now. I know that when I see a project on someone's blog, I like to know how they made it and where they got their goodies for the project. I hate to throw anything away, and if you saw my craft room, you'd believe me. I love using stuff from various kits/projects on new ones. Makes me feel so creative. Thanks for reading all of this. It's been a fun project. Thanks, Johanna.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

justjohanna forum and virtual swaps

I just realized I've been keeping you in the dark. I didn't mean to, and I apologize.
I host a bi-weekly swap over on the justjohanna forum. It's just a virtual swap (VS) so you only have to make one card and post it in the gallery. The only requirements are that you have to use at least one justjohanna stamp for the theme. This week's swap (ends March 16) is Feeling Fruity. For my card, I used the jar labeled, berry sweet sentiment, tiny strawberry and Kim's barrette bird. I colored it with my Prismas and I put them away before I wrote down the colors. Oops! I did a bit of paper piecing on this card, too.
I will post here when I post the new swap over on the justjohanna forum board. Oh hey, speaking of the forum, there are many, many topics you can browse and learn about new happenings with the company and maybe pick up some new techiques, too.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

March Special Deal

Did you get a chance to order last month's special deal from justjohanna? It was the cupcake package. No? Well, here is your chance to take advantage of the special deal for March. You get all five stamps for the bargain price of $26.62 - you save 25%!! You can order it from the justjohanna catalog by following this link. If you'd like to see some sample cards made from this special deal, go here, to the justjohanna gallery. Happy shopping!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

justjohanna limited edition kits

I'm a bit behind in posting these cards. Sorry. These cards were made from stamps in a limited edition kit from justjohanna. This is the bright kt and there is a vintage kit as well. A few posts ago, Lookee Here, I wrote to tell you of some new stamps in a limited edition kit justjohanna has out. I wanted to share them with you because even though the special kits are sold out right now, I hear from a reliable source that he kits may be available again soon. Bookmark that reliable source to keep up-to-date. Those special kits are awesome. They include various printed papers, cardstock, ribbons, lace, vintage ephemera, buttons, sequins and rickrack. Also in the kit is a way cool sheet of uncut, unmounted stamps that you can combine to make so many different things. I chose to make fancy schmancy dancing birds, but you can make cupcakes, flowers and mushrooms with the stamps as well. Have fun with it. All of these cards were made with only things in the kit. I did not add any other papers or embellishments, and I still had tons of stuff left over to make more cards. The first card is one of my favorites because I love bright colors. I drew in the flower stems for the button flowers. I colored everything with Prismas. The second card was just fun. I used the head of one of the birds to make a circle. Can you tell they are birds? I colored them with Prismas, but since I stamped these bird on pink paper, I colored the whole image with my white pencil first so that the colors would be brighter. I cut out the circles with my Coluzzle and then hand drew the scallops on the white circle. I think that cards is a 6x6. The next card was quick and easy. Included in the kit are color copies of vintage fans and I stamped the imae of the bird head onto white cardstock, colored it and then adhered it over the face of the lovely girl on the fan. I added some of the included rickrack to the top of the fan. This card measures about 6x6 as well. This last one is my absolute favorite. You know how sometimes a card just comes together effortlessly? Let me tell ya, I'm not an embellishment person, but the more I put on this card, the more it wanted. I used two kinds of ribbon, lace, rickrack, a button and a sequin. I used scraps of paper for the background. When stamping the images, I had to use a stamp positioner and had to do a lot of tricky masking to position those cute dancing birds just right. I hope you are able to get one of the kits, but if you aren't, then check out the new releases. You'll see some of the ladies dancing birds and even some colonial men birds. So darn cute!! Here is what the sheet of stamps looks like. It's like playing dress-up with paper dolls. You get purses, a fan, shoes, skirts and heads. Fun, fun, fun!!

My Sweet Darjeeling

I got my shipment of Gruffies this past weekend and I've been busy coloring them ever since. What is a Gruffie, you say? Oh my, oh my! It's the newest line of stamps from Stampabilities that I get from Dick at HMStamps. This is Pebbles, the bear. The stamp is called "All Warm and Furry". The sentiment is from justjohanna.

I bought some white cardstock from Papertrey Ink and it is fantastic. It is a bit heavier than the regular cardstock I usually stamp and color on and it has a very smooth surface. This cardstock is a bit heavy for card bases, but it is super for stamping and coloring. It's a bit pricey, $6 for 40 sheets of 8.5x11, but it is well worth it.

I colored this card with my Prismas. Here are the colors I used: For Pebbles the bear - peach, peach beige, burnt ochre, sepia, dark umber and yellow ochre. I started with a light-medium basecoat of peach over the whole bear. Peach beige was used to highlight the cheek & nose area and the pads of his feet. I then colored over the peach with the burnt ochre and then on top of that with the sepia. I used the colorless blender lightly over the bear body and using the dark umber, I highlighted his hairs on his body, making sure to color the hairs on the edge of him. I highlighted a few areas with the yellow ochre and then darkened some areas with the dark umber. When I was finished, I used my black Verithin pencil to outline his eyes and clean up some lines.

I used limepeel as a base and dark green for the darker areas on the teapot and cup and then highlighted a few areas with burnt ochre. I went over and over the teapot with each color until I was satisfied. I used aquamarine for the shadow under the teapot and the bear.

I used CPS Sketch #8 for the layout and used my new Hoop-La paper by Rubber Soul. The diagonal paper is Bazzill and the green circle is Prism. The green button is from my stash. Oh and I edged the top layers of cardstock with VersaMagic ink in Turquoise Gem.

Lookee Here!

Is this just not too cute?! It's a brand new image from justjohanna rubber stamps. This is the lady with a fan stamp and there are more that you can use with her. Check out Charity's blog to see the lady in a corset, or Erin's blog to see the colonial bird man stamp. Can't you just imagine all these dressed up birds doing the waltz?

How about Al swinging on a star? Check out Kathi's blog to see Al. Owls are oh-so-trendy now. He would look so cute hanging from the moon or from the spring tree.

Head on over to the justjohanna site and check out the new section to see all the new stamps. There are cooking stamps, animal stamps (Cows!!) and furniture. I don't know how you are gonna resist not buying them all, so go ahead, indulge yourself, buy them all!

Oh and to let you in on a little secret: These adorable lady and gentlemen stamps work perfectly with the stamps included in the Limited Edition kits. The kits come in bright and vintage and are temporarily sold out, but you can bookmark the justjohanna blog to be updated when those limited edition kits are available again.

Snuggle Cats

Introducing Chubby Butt and Fluffy Pants, also known as Cheeto and Frankie, respectively. In this picture, they seem to be the same size, but Cheeto is about 18 lbs and Frankie weighs only about 7 lbs. Frankie is extremely fluffy!

It's been chilly here at night and so I put the fluffy blanket on the side chair in the living room for the cats. Usually, it's just Gizmo on this chair, but when Cheeto decides it's his, well, it's his. No fighting. They have the hierarchy all figured out.

Cheeto is the big guy on the left and Frankie is our petite little girl. She loves to snuggle with Cheeto, even when he bites her on the neck when she cleans him too much or decides he needs extra snuggle time. These two usually sleep end-t0-end, but tonight they slept like this.

When these two sleep like this, Gizmo usually sleeps on the couch next to me, or if I'm up in he craft room he sleeps on the extra craft chair. If we forget to close the bedroom door at night, we have all three cats on the bed - on my side. It gets pretty crowded with me, John and the three cats on a queen-sized bed.