Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Back to Reality

It's been awhile since I've posted.  My husband and I took our son, Dylan, on his first trip to Disneyland last week.  Two days in Disneyland, three at Legoland.  It was so wonderful to experience everything through the eyes of a 4-year-old.  All of the ticky tacky elements melt away and you can't help but be immersed in the fantasy of it all.

The sore feet, aching backs, and sensory overload were completely worth it when the magic finally hit Dylan.  Sitting on the concrete sidewalk of California Adventure, waiting for the electrical parade to start.  As the first float rounded the corner, Dylan's little hand grabbed mine and he bounced up and down while he squealed, "Look, Mommy, it's Tinkerbell.  AND SHE'S REAL!!!"  That was it. Blissed out.  Magic.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Photo Challenge

Melissa Phillips has come up with another great photo challeng to play along with.  She's taken another simply beautiful picture from A Creative Mint as our inspiration.

These colors are just so cool and relaxing to me.  Makes me think of peonies.

I have two friends who are on my mind this week for various reasons, so I decided to use this to inspire cards for them.

The flowers are K&Co die cuts and they came in such bright pinks that I had to use them for this.

The stamps are all from Unity - Regal Greetings, thanks Michelle!

Enjoy the sunshine and all of the flowers that are sprouting around us right now.

Oh, and don't forget the allergy pills!

Have a great evening.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Old World Imaginings

So, I've been reading historical fiction lately.  The book is set in 18th century England and France.  There are very vivid descriptions of once-lavish palaces being left to disuse as the formerly rich families fall on economic hard times.  My creativity has been leaning toward the vintage French flea-market feel.  Tarnished metal and dim crystal, etc.

You couldn't pick a more perfect image for my mood than my new Unity Stamp set - Regal Greetings.  I've also been experimenting with mixing different embossing powders together to make custom colors.  I wanted a really tarnished metal look for this card.  So I mixed 3 parts clear EP with 1 part Zing Gold EP.  I stamped the image with black pigment ink and heat embossed.  The result was fantastic!
Hard to catch in a photo, but the gold sort of puddled and seeped into the clear, and the black showed through.

Gold leaf pen and some bling added just the right elegance to the whole thing.  Sigh...

How cool would it have been to live in a big French palace with acres of gardens and obsene amounts of gilt and filigree everywhere?

(Without the bothersome small pox, plague and pestilence of course.)

Have a wonderful day everyone.  Enjoy the luxuries of the 21st century!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cards for Auction

Our neighbor's daughter attends an art-focused elementary school.  They're having their annual auction and she asked if I would contribute something.

After much futzing around, I decided on a vintage/distress/glittery kind of floral thing.  Here's what it ended up looking like.

The other day I had some extra  time to cruise around the craft store and explore areas that I normally don't go through - sewing and floral.  Nothing much in the sewing area except a pair of scissors way too expensive for my budget.

The floral section turned up some nice surprises, though.  Along with a lot of green foam, wire and tape, I found lovely tiny birds and nests.  Miniature eggs, butterflies and lots of moss.  I also found a roll of burlap.  10 yds for 3 bucks!  Now I'm dreaming up all kinds of things to do with it :)

What do you think of these cute little frames?  Guess what?  They're not really made to be frames.  They're tag rims.  Saw them in the clearance bin and wondered why couldn't I just glue them right on the card?

The trick to getting all of these weird textures to stick together turned out to be Mod Podge.  I used clear gel glue to get the frames to stick, though.

I also found a new use for my Cuttlebug plates - I laid them on top of the cards until everything was dry.  Kept it all nice and flat.

I just love how strange bits and pieces can come together to create something wonderful.

Have a wonderful evening.  Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Cigar Box Project

Hi all.  A couple of days ago I told you that I was creating a cigar box for a gradeschool auction.  Well, I finished it today and just couldn't wait to show it off!

I decided to go with a garden theme.  Everything you see on top of the box is made from paper - except the dragonfly.  He came from the craft store along with the tiny flowers.  The roses are ones I made by hand.  The butterflies are German scrap on a cardstock base.

I used an antique chandelier crystal for the pull to open the box. 

Yes, the dragonfly is "floating" over the "water".  Isn't he just great?

I had so much fun making this over the past week. What you can't see - and what really makes the box - is how shimmery the whole thing is.  There is glitter on the "stream" and Glimmer Mist on the flowers and greenery.

The box will be filled with gardening gloves, seeds, a windchime and an apron.  It's going to be tough giving this away - it's the most ambitious project I've done yet.

I guess that means I'll have to make another one, right?

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.  If the sun is shining where you are, enjoy it and all the bright, shiny new things sprouting all around.

Lilybean Blue and Pink Photo Challenge

Thanks, Melissa, for another great inspiration from Creative Mint.

I was loving the blue in this photo.  And the pink gave me a chance to use some of my new K&Co die cuts.  Can't believe you get a package of 178 die cuts for $5.  My favorite thing is to open the package and spread them out all over my craft table and just admire them for awhile.

This is the card that I came up with.  I tried putting it together all nice and symetrical, but that's just not my thing, is it?

You're seeing hot pink lokta paper, some DP, some blue CS embossed and inked, and some seam binding (love it more than ribbon, thanks Melis).  Someday I will figure out the secret to Melissa's lovely bows!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lokta Paper Flowers

I finally got to sit down last night and play with my new paper.  I got several great colors of handmade lokta paper.  It's heavy in weight, but very soft.  The colors are vibrant and the texture is just wonderful. 

I made some small flowers that will be part of my cigar box project, which you'll see in a few days.  I tried making the flowers in a larger size.  The small ones look sweeter, but I think the large ones would be nice in a bouquet.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Birds and Butterflies

It's a sad day for me...
I just discovered (probably belatedly) that my absolute favorite paper in the world has been retired.  Let's have a moment of silence for Basic Grey's Periphery.

So, although I'm hoarding my stash of said paper, I did make a couple of cards to pay my respects.

If you like pretty seam binding, you should check out 5 Dollar French Market.  You'll be in seam-binding bliss!

Sigh...combining this paper with black elements always looks so elegant to me.

I'm off to work on a special project for an auction at our neighbor's grade school.  Our assignment is to decorate and fill a cigar box.  I've gotten so far as to cover the box with Gesso.  Tonight I start on the fun stuff. 

Have a wonderful evening.  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cupcake Inspiration Challenge #48

It's been awhile since I played along with the Cupcake Inspiration Challenge from Hope Stamps Eternal.  This week's cakes were so cute and really appealed to the "spring-iness" I've been feeling.

How about those berries?

You've gotta love Webster's Pages.  They had just the right lattice-work design that looked very country kitchen to me.

The berries are hot pink lokta paper sprayed with Indian Corn Glimmer Mist.  And I finally found a use for those odd green Primas - cut 'em in half and use them for berry tops!

Well, enough of this silliness - I do have a "regular" job that I should be doing.  Just wanted to take time to play along and wish you all a great day.

Thanks for stopping by...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lilybean Photo Challenge

One of my very favorite designers, Melissa Phillips, does an informal challenge based on a photo by Creative Mint.

Orange is not a color I use very often, but this pic was just delicious.  So I gave it a shot.

I had imagined something very much more white and orange - clean.  But, as usual, things evolved as I was creating.  This paper has been hanging around waiting for me to figure out what to do with it.  I'm still not sure what the verdict is in my mind.

If you're looking for some inspiration, check out the Creative Mint blog - her photos are just wonderful.

Yesterday a package arrived with my order of yummy new handmade paper.  I have something special planned for it, so stay tuned...

Wherever you are, enjoy the budding flora, and have a wonderful day.