Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Now, that's a big patio!!

The weather finally cooperated, and they were able to pour the concrete around the pool. It really was fascinating to watch how they stamped the concrete. Although, I am so glad that I don't have to put all that physical effort into my stamping...LOL!!!

The kids are already asking when they can go into the pool. I keep telling them a few more days. The weather is iffy for the rest of the week. Let's all hope for a warm weekend!!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

A Challenge!

A great way to get into a stamping groove is to participate in the almost daily challenges on Splitcoast Stampers. For example, yesterday's "Ways to Use it" challenge called for the color YoYo Yellow to be used on your project. YoYo Yellow is often a hard color to work with as it is SO vibrant.

So, this card is my take on this challenge. I took some Whisper White cardstock and burnished it with YoYo Yellow, Gable Green and Only Orange. I then stamped the beach chair image from Sparkling Summer (retiring June 2007) with Basic Black. It definitely needed some highlights so I used my Signo white gel pen to highlight different areas of the image. It kind of resembles "Crayon Resist". I doodled with my Black SU marker on the edges of the focal image in a line-dot-dot pattern. I tend to do a lot of line-work on my projects.

The base of the card is Only Orange stamped with the On the Spot background stamp in Only Orange. The Green Galore piece is heavily sponged with Green Galore ink to give it some depth and definition. In keeping with the circle theme from the background stamp, I stamped the "You're Invited" from All Year Cheer II (also retiring in June....bummer) and punched it out with the 1 3/8" circle punch. That too is then sponged with Only Orange to give it some oomph.

These colors are definitely not my everyday colors, but it is sometimes fun to work outside your comfort zone. I am challenging each of you to give it a try!!! Let me know how you do!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Pool Update

I've had a request to post the latest picture of the pool project. This picture shows the layout of the stamped concrete. The bottom right extends past this picture and will merge with an existing concrete patio.

This picture shows the concrete contractors laying the re-bar to stabilize the concrete. We had our inspections yesterday so the concrete can get poured as soon as the weather improves. The current plan is to pour tomorrow morning. Let's hope Mother Nature cooperates.
I will post pictures during the pouring and stamping process. We didn't have stamped concrete at the pool in the NY house. So, this will be interesting to watch!! I can't wait for the dog to stop dragging all the mud into the house!!!

Give Thanks!

I have a lot of things to be thankful for. I have a wonderful husband and two great children. My family is all together in MN now, and we see each other frequently. I am truly blessed!

My daughter has been taking photos of some cards I have made over the past year. She is very excited about photography lately. The picture of this card was taken by her a few days ago. We have to work on the lighting, but I think she did a really good job!!

This card uses one of my all time favorite wheels: Leaves Awash. I am SO glad that it is not retiring. The focal image is stamped with a basket of leaves from the "Give Thanks" stamp set (also not retiring). The focal image is colored with my aquapainter and SU markers. I love how I can watercolor with so many different options: markers, reinkers, watercolor pencils and watercolor crayons. If you have not tried watercoloring, you really have to add that to your list of things to do. If you mess up, that's fine. It's just a piece of paper. Chuck it and start over!!! I find watercoloring very relaxing!! Lord knows, we all need a little bit of stress relief!!

It's rainy here today in MN. It's a perfect day to stamp (or clean.....but I'd rather stamp)!!!

stamp sets: Give Thanks, Leaves Awash jumbo wheel
ink: Certainly Celery jumbo wheel cartridge, Basic Brown classic ink pad
paper: Whisper White, Certainly Celery, So Saffron
accessories: Celery grosgrain ribbon, SU tool kit, jumbo wheel handle, Color Spritzer Tool, SU markers

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

We All Scream for Ice Cream!!!

"I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream"!!! I am in a summertime mood (even though it is raining here in Minnesota). I guess that has to do with my inground pool being built. I can't wait for the lazy days of summer eating ice cream by the pool. My kids keep reminding me that they only have 8 more days of school left!!! UGH!!!

I did the inevitable task of separating out my retiring stamp sets from my non-retiring stamp sets. I came across this set called "Sparkling Summer". It is so adorable....ice cream cones, popsicles, beach balls, flip flops, sunglasses, etc....all reminders of summer. Unfortunately, it is also retiring next month. So, I pulled it out and made a cute little 3"x3" card with it.

The base card is Pink Passion. I used my corner rounder punch (sans the punch guard) to make the scalloped border on the Only Orange. I then punched a circle using my 1/8" circle punch in each of the scallops. The scallops are then highlighted with my white Signo gel pen. The image was stamped with Basic Black on Whisper White cardstock. I watercolored the image using my Aquapainters and SU's markers. My watercoloring tip.....use the gray marker to "ground" the image and to give a little shadow on one side of the image. Trust me, it makes a difference!!!! A little yellow grosgrain ribbon to finish it off, and it's done.

My customers ask me all the time about end of year gifts for teachers. Why not make a gift pack with 6 of these adorable cards and matching envelopes? It's handmade by you, and it's gorgeous!!! School is out soon so don't hesitate to call your Stampin' Up! demonstrator today!!!

I am scheduling a "Kiss 'Em Goodbye" stamp camp in June. This is one of the cards we will be making there!!! I hope you like it!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Guy Cards

You know, guy cards are the hardest for me!!! I think a lot of it has to do with not falling in love with a masculine stamp set. I am not into vintage. I adore the "Lovely as a Tree" stamp set, but I can't keep sending all the men in our life cards made with the same stamp set. When Stampin' Up! announced the retirement of "Classic Pickups" I knew it was fate!!! I HAD to own this set.

This card didn't exactly come out as I had envisioned it. I stamped the truck with my black ink on whisper white cardstock. I debated about coloring it in with my reinkers and aquapainter. I decided against it as I wanted to show my stamping friends that you don't always have to color in line-art stamp images. I thought I had the ticket corner punch in my hand, but when I punched I soon realized that it was my corner rounder punch. Oh well, work with it!!!! I then sponged the edges with real red, but that didn't do it for me. I admit it, I was lazy today. Rather than re-stamp the truck, I sponged Not Quite Navy on top of the red. The result: it looks amazingly cool....the picture does not do the shading from the sponging justice. The base of the card is Not Quite Navy cardstock stamped with the Flannel Plaid background stamp using Not Quite Navy Ink. The remaining colors on the card are Real Red and Summer Sun. I really like the way this card turned out. When I showed my husband, all he could say was "Wow, that is a really cool card!!!". YEAH.....I love when he does that!!!

Let me know what you think about this card. I truly appreciate all your comments!!!

Happy Stamping!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Minnesota AIDS Project

Today, Amanda (my amazing daughter) and I walked 6.2 miles benefiting the Minnesota AIDS Project. Amanda's favorite teacher organized the team. Together, the team raised over $3300 to benefit those people suffering with HIV and AIDS. The weather wasn't the greatest....it was chilly and it rained on us several times, but it was a great feeling to have people on the sidelines cheering us on as we walked. Poor Amanda is now suffering from some wicked blisters (she had to wear sneakers a size too small....she left her good ones in her gym locker). The best part of the day: crossing that finish line knowing that we made a difference in someone else's life!!!

I will definitely stamp a project tomorrow!!! I am now in my jammies resting my feet!! I have no energy to go downstairs and stamp right now....sorry!!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday to You!

Today is my twin (and my godmothers') aunts' birthday. Happy Birthday Aunt Gladys and Aunt Bernice!!! This card was originally intended for my Aunt Bernice. The problem is that when I went to put these 5.25x5.25" cards into it's envelope, it didn't fit!!!! Bummer!!! So, I now know that I need to add the SU large square envies to my next order.

Anyway, this is my first project using the Palette O'Prints from Stampin' Up! It really is a great deal. You get 48 6x6" double-sided patterned papers for $9.95 if you make a $35 purchase. The hardest part is deciding which of the two sides to use. This Almost Amethyst piece of patterned paper is adorned with paisleys. I am just a paisley fanatic. Anyway, this card was made using the Crayon Resist technique. I usually do crayon resist on glossy white paper. This time I used regular whisper white cardstock. The result is more subtle, but it is still beautiful.

The greeting on this card is from my Papertrey Faux Ribbon stamp set. Yes, I know this is not Stampin' Up!, but I couldn't resist this set!!!! I finished off the card by punching holes using my tool kit and paper piercing mat on the Barely Banana layer. The prima is adhered with a mini glue dot over the greeting, and it is embellished with a small Certainly Celery button.

Stamp sets: Winged Thins, Papertrey's Faux Ribbon
Ink: Palette Noir, Pretty in Pink, Almost Amethyst, Certainly Celery
Paper: Palette O'Prints patterned paper, Whisper White, Certainly Celery, Barely Banana, Pretty in Pink
Accessories: sponges, button, Prima flower, ticket corner punch

Thursday, May 17, 2007

It's starting to look like a pool!!!

Well, they set the liner this morning, and now both hoses are running to fill 'er up. I just wanted to give all our friends the latest view of our new paradise!!! The concrete contractor is supposed to stop by today or tomorrow to take a look at what needs to be done. I'm not sure if the concrete will get poured early next week due to the forecasted inclement weather. For my new stamping friends, I will upload a card later today.....so stay tuned!!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Here's the latest pool picture

Well, the pool is really coming along. They put down the vermiculite layer this morning. Tomorrow they will set the liner. Then we can start filling her up. The weather is supposed to be warm all weekend.

Next week, they are coming to pour the concrete deck. That's when it will all come together!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Monkeying Around

The concept of the monkeys peeping through the holes was inspired by Sarsam on SCS. As the weather is getting warmer, I find myself compelled to use my Bold Brights. This time I used one of my favorite combos: Green Galore and Tempting Turquoise. I added some Apricot Appeal to break it up a bit.

I tore the Green Galore card front. I then punched the three circles using the 1 3/8" SU circle punch. I marked where I wanted the monkey faces with a light pencil mark. Using that mark, I stamped the monkeys from SU's "Monkey Business" using Close to Cocoa ink. I colored the bellies and faces with a Creamy Caramel marker. I then used the Riveting stamp set to make the "doughnut" part of the card. The sentiment is raised up on dimensionals. All three holes were embellished with simple dots using my Signo White gel pen. I really love how this card turned out. I hope you like it too!!!!

stamp sets: Monkey Business, Riveting (2006-2007 hostess set)
ink: Tempting Turquoise, Basic Black, Close to Cocoa
paper: Tempting Turquoise, Green Galore, Apricot Appeal, Whisper White
accessories: 1 3/8", 1 1/4" and 1/2" circle punches, markers, dimensionals

Monday, May 14, 2007

Well, they started excavating for our inground pool today. The entire steel frame is up. I love the lagoon shape. It's so exotic!! There will eventually be a waterfall. We are so excited about our new oasis!!!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Lilacs, Lilacs Everywhere

Since moving to MN last summer, the one thing I have noticed this spring is how many lilac bushes there are around here. Since I just ordered "Blossoms Abound", it seemed like the perfect idea to create a card with my version of lilacs. This set is SO easy to use. It's not like other stamp sets that scream "Where is my Stampamajig?". It's very easy to line-up the two step stamp images with just eyeballing it!!! Yeah for that!!

The box on the right is really an "explosion card". When you open it up, the box lies flat, and there is a greeting in the center. What would I have done different? Well, the explosion card definitely needs an organdy ribbon to dress it up. Unfortunately, my organdy ribbon is with most of my other stamping supplies in the garage (jeez, I really want my stamping area back.....still cleaning up from the basement flood over a month ago).

My next attempt with this set will be to recreate this card and use my new glue pad to overstamp the lilac image and glitter it up with Dazzling Diamonds. I will post that creation as soon as it's done. I can't guarantee it will happen this weekend. I want to plant some flowers and work on the yard this weekend!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Goodbye Old Friend

Well, goodbye to a "Fishy Friend", that is. This was the one stamp set that HAD to be my first purchase out of a new Stampin' Up! catalog. My demo (now my upline) had it as a door prize at her New Catty Open House. I didn't win it.....bummer! So, I bought it at my now-sideline Jenn's first SU event as a demonstrator. Oh, how I love this set. It will remain in my possession even though it is retired. It will be lovingly used along with Roses in Winter, Petal Prints, Mixed Bouquet and French Script. How dare SU retire so many of my favorites all in one year???? I was in a state of shock for days!!!

Stamp sets: Fishy Friends, Simply Circles

Ink Pads: SU classic pads: Basic Black, Tempting Turquoise, Green Galore

Paper: Whisper White, Tempting Turquoise, Green Galore

Accessories: SU markers, Dazzling Diamonds, 2 way glue pen, sponges

Happy Birthday Kim

One of my BFF's, Kim, had the anniversary of her 29th birthday at the end of April. I sent her this card to celebrate the big day!!! This card uses another favorite stamp set: Roses in Winter. It never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to create realistic looking roses with this set. This is especially true when using the "Rock and Roll" technique. For this card, I used Cameo Coral for the roses and rolled into Pumpkin Pie for the shading.

Stamp sets: Roses in Winter, Sincere Salutations
Ink: SU classic pads in Cameo Coral, Pumpkin Pie, Mellow Moss

Paper: Whisper White, Always Artichoke, Cameo Coral

Natural Beauty

Here is another card made with a retiring stamp set: Natural Beauty. I don't know why I didn't use this stamp set more. I guess the saying "You dont' know what you've got 'til it's gone" really is true. This card is a tunnel card. Okay, I know what you're thinking; what is a tunnel card? Well, it's basically a card that when open has the greeting inside a little "tunnel" (see the picture of the inside of the card). The picture really doesn't do this card justice....it's really sparkly in real life!!!