Friday, December 28, 2012

Snow Thankful

   "Snow....snow...snow..." Are you singing along with the White Christmas movie song? I don't think I'd want to wash my hair in snow right about now though! We're enjoying a day of sunshine before the next round is going to blow through. Working on some thank you cards for everyone in the family to send out--thought I'd go neon this year for something bright and fun. 
   Finally using that ream of assorted neon office copy paper I've had for at least five years--ran through 4 sheets at once to get four different color backgrounds with the thank you embossing folder. Used my trusty craft stick to adhere it to some regular white card stock, and embossed my favorite Hero Arts snowman giving him/her a neon scarf set. Voila! A trendy neon card set in the making! 
   Happy snow to you--be safe, warm, and count your blessings if you can't sleep. [Better yet, watch yourself an old movie called "White Christmas" and share it with someone you love. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

All Set for Christmas

   Using my New Hero Arts stamps to make card sets to include in the gift vases for the executive assistants at my husband's work! The ladies loved them I hear and while I'm usually not into their favorite colors of pink and purple, I have have to say I enjoyed coming up with these designs! 
   Now, with just a few more holiday cards to make and post, I'll be all set for Christmas around our place! Check back soon for son's birthday card using another new Hero Arts background stamp...have I got an idea!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Holiday in Neon

   I have to say that the neon trend is growing on me. I didn't initially care for it much, but after embracing it, I'm finding some fun new ways to incorporate it into my card making! Here's the second card I promised for "tomorrow" which is actually several days later--hopefully it's a 'better late than never?!'
   Everything neon was colored onto my Hero Arts clear stamps with a dollar store set of neon highlighter pens! [I got 4 in a package!] So it was an inexpensive way to try out the inks without having to outlay any serious money. The snow on the roof is white liquid appliqué which I doused with fine glitter, let dry, and heat puffed--easy way to create dimensional "snow."
   This card was sent to my stamping friend Lin as part of the Hero Arts Holiday Card Exchange with the Flickr group. I have to say Hero Arts rocks with their support of our community.
   I also want to put out a shout to Cath over at Moxie Fab World for all her terrific ideas too! She's got a neon challenge over there that was the inspiration for this card! Happy holidays everyone!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

& All That Jazz...

   I love how neon ink just sings! Even in shadow it just glows and I think is a fun touch for this masculine card for our favorite Jazz Man! Cath over at Moxie Fab World put out a neon challenge, and I took the bait! Maybe you will too? [and don't worry if you don't have neon ink...I colored my stamp with a highlighter pen and was happy with the result!] Check back tomorrow for a holiday greeting card with a little neon cheer!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

No Pressure....

   It's been a little crazy around our place the past couple of months getting several deadlines met. It was college application time for dd, robotics, projects, essay contests, and now a partridge in a pear tree.... 
   The card above is one I made for my daughter to send the MIT professor who interviewed her. [No pressure to make something MIT-worthy!] Actually, we have spent a lot of time on campus, and I think this fits the vibe to a "T!" Did you know they still have blackboards there?!? I thought that was just too cool! [I am an old-school teacher though!]
   Since I was on a chalkboard craze I made another thank you to one of the many terrific people who went out of their way to write recommendations for my daughter. I think I'll make a few more of these just to have on hand since I liked the way they came out!
   To get the look quite easily and with little mess/fuss, I used plain old construction paper for the blackboard. I stamped in white pigment ink and let air dry--which it did quickly with the texture of the paper. Next, I broke out my chalks and used fingers, and cotton tipped sticks to rub dust where I wanted it. Easy and fun and it achieved the look I was after!
   Next up is a Christmas greeting I made for a trendy friend of mine:
   This is one of those sets I've been struggling with to achieve something "different" looking with it. I was inspired by all the pages of the Restoration Hardware catalog, and this came together nicely using another tool I bought long ago and have had trouble incorporating into my projects--these die cut banners. Bonus! Breakthrough for other ideas...I love when that happens! Hope you have some stamping fun with this technique, and let me know if you do. 
   I'd love to see how you put your own stamp on this trend!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's that time of year....

   Ah...the holiday season! Time for making things like cookies, cards, presents, and of course--just making merry. I try to get a few card sets together to have around just in case I want a little something to share on the spur of the moment, or to bring along when we're invited over. I made a hostess gift set with different designs so that my friend can write special notes to her daughter away at university. It's so nice to stay connected, and it's always great to get "real" mail instead of just a text or an email! For this Hero Arts clock card I wanted to use this fun color combination with an old-fashioned sentiment! 
   And  then Big Eyes wanted to join in on the fun too! Nothing says, "You Hoo!" like an owl! Hope you're up to some fun too!

Monday, November 26, 2012

All Washi-ed Up!

   Anyone who knows anything about me knows I love a good--okay, any--pun and I couldn't resist the title for this post! Just using my washi tape to camouflage a dud card from a set I was making similar to these others I've made before. One of the stamped off sentiments under the top teal stripe of tape [yes...I also enjoy alliteration] was smudged and would not do for the crisp look I was going for...so I did what all experienced paper crafters do: I improvised. I saved the card and the inking I'd already finished by breaking out some tape for a fun look that I actually will produce intentionally sometime!
   Do you have a favorite story of covering something up? [and I do mean in the paper crafting realm only please...] I'd love to hear it if you're willing to share.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Nuts!

   A funny thing happened while my husband was away...besides hurricane Sandy! After a couple of days without power--the only thing that happened to us up on our hill--I kicked the end of my bed as I often do. This time though, all was not apparently well when I looked down to view the damage and now the kids and I are adept at "buddy taping" to keep the littlest piggy straight with it's mates! We used painter's tape, but I'm thinking now I might actually try some washi...just for fun since I'm always touting the indispensability of my crafting supplies...
   I was nuts without my significant other, and now I'm just nuts about having him home again safe and sound! No matter how long he's gone, it always feels like a full six month deployment like it used to be in our active duty Navy days. 
   You might be wondering what inspired this particular card...or you might not be--but I will tell you anyway! Hero Arts' new challenge for this month is lots of fun to enter, and I did so with colors and a little bling on the acorn here! You should enter something too...especially if you're like me and staying put a little more with a broken toe!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

thanksGIVING


   Hey everyone! Just a little post to share what I've been working on today. I found that my realistic leaf stamps look terrific stamped in Distress Inks and the repeated impressions look as interesting as the fresh ones. I inchie cut these and had fun composing the grid designs. Next I took my little Hero Arts Printer Alphabet set and stamped half the sentiment and used a marker to ink up the "thanks" from another sentiment set for its size. I like the font graphics I see all over Pinterest and made one of my own. Sent these to my close friends for whom I'm grateful. Also entered them in a challenge over at Simon Says Stamp. Might be worth checking out if you haven't yet!

   I really had fun playing with the grid arrangements and found some interesting combinations using color both matching and mixed. Do you favor the same row/same color, or the mixed? I'd love to hear your opinion!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fall: Forests and Hurricanes

   Here are two of a set of fall forest cards I made using a small leaf stamp as a stand-in for a tree. I liked how the Distress Inks gave a quick watercolor effect and it was relaxing to stamp a little scene. I did a yellow version of the one on the right and I am happy with how they all came out. 
   Still catching up on fall a little at a time--but getting ready for another potential replay of Octsnowber. We can hardly believe it may be heading for us again, and we are preparing to batten down the hatches for Sandy's arrival. Good luck eastern seaboard!
   

Monday, October 22, 2012

In a Golden Moment

   We were privileged to live in northern Japan for two years and one of the things that most impresses me still is the ability of the people there to enjoy and live in the moment. They embrace each season and highlight and concentrate on the beauty it brings knowing it will change even as they are watching it. 
   I have been enjoying golden moments in our beautiful fall; I believe I can actually see the colors concentrating in the leaves then fading before my eyes. It inspired me to get out my leaf skeleton stamps and try to capture something different with them. 
   I keep many of my scraps around my desk as I am working with different projects because I am often mesmerized by their negative/opposite space. I had an hourglass shape in mind to finish this card 
and I was going to use the cut-aways to make another negative-space card in a similar design. I changed my mind when inspired by some geometric things I've pinned lately, and  I like the results even better. 
   Hope you enjoy a golden moment of your own today.
   

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fall Friends


   Just having a relaxing afternoon creating greetings for fall [now that I am ahead on my Christmas cards ;) ] and this one is for Moxie Fab World's Trigger Tuesday. Cath put up a fabulous victorian house print which reminds me of neighbors, and I wanted to make something special for my daughter to send her BFF who lives on the other side of the country. I love the color combination in Cath's inspiration and the geometry in it. It really makes a statement.
Moxie Fab World Trigger Tuesday

   More tomorrow from my creative afternoon. Time to put my feet up and savor one of the many pumpkin beers I've stocked for the season. Mmmm...one of the only things that might be better than stamping is beer.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hallow There!


   Hey everyone! I hope you are having some kind of fall fun today! Since I last posted...and I realize I did mention it would be more often now...I've had the pleasure of watching my kids interview on a local radio program for their robotics; attend a Pumpkin Regatta; and visit our state's VA Hospital to meet some really wonderful people. It doesn't seem like that long ago yet weeks have flown by!
   I've had this little card waiting to be assembled on my desk since then. It's heading out in the mail today to bring a little "hallow" to my niece in her dorm room. I can hardly believe how time goes along and I don't feel any different inside.
   Hope you're having some fun passing the time yourselves!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Autumn View

   Hello Everyone! Just taking a little time out to watch the leaves. I'm pretty lucky to have such a view and I appreciate it every time I look out my window. Hope today finds you in good cheer and taking time to appreciate someone and/or something in your life! Make it a great day!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Shine On

   Today's variation on my holiday card theme is entered in the Moxie Fab World Card Making Day extravaganza! Cath and PaperCrafts magazine are pulling out all the stops to create a fun venue to celebrate and share our paper passion! Enter your own creations and have a chance to win the fabulous random prize drawings in many categories!
   Don't be confused when you see the name on the entry...my alias for papercraft's website is McGyver. My "real" name was already taken years ago when I signed on, and I went with my alter ego. Any other fans out there? I fancy myself a paper crafting McGyver--often having to make do and be extra creative to replicate the latest trends with the few supplies I had on hand...especially when we were living in remote northern Japan. You can see what I mean by checking this post for some extra fun and a handy household tip!
Shine On red
Shine On green  

    I wish you a shining day wherever you are!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fall to Holiday!

Hello everyone! So...figured I'd better get started on this year's Christmas cards now since I've been having issues staying current the past few months! And, Hero Arts Blog is hosting a terrific new challenge for the month involving holiday cards plus other themes. I highly recommend their site in case you've not seen it before! And do join the Hero Arts Flickr group for even more fun and friends all around the world. Here's my design for this year's family cards. I wanted to use my Zig Zag and More background for trees and other shapes which is what I had in mind when I bought it originally. Used my star punches and had fun with all my scraps, and finally the Typewriter Alphabet to make a variety of sentiments! Easy and fun to make!

Here's another one with washi tape...which do you prefer? I'd love it if you commented with your opinion, and I hope you're busy stamping your own life these days! 


Let the holidays begin...I think I'll be ready in time!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Set for Summer...er...Fall!

  The best laid plans.... They were big! They were bold! The creative juices generated more ideas than I would have time to make real--and they weren't kidding. Somehow "Set for Summer" has become "Set for Fall!" There is an acronym for this: OBE [overcome by events.] I did have a fun summer and the family was scattered to the winds. I stayed home and coordinated the comings and goings; visits/touring with company; keeping the home pool filter circulating....It was a grand summer that went too fast, and as I type this we enjoy an absolutely perfect New England autumn day...and I am watching the leaves turn! More soon...and more regularly too!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Just My Type!


   This is a sample of one of many designs I stamped for my sis to use as a bit of personal stationery with her business name, Bravo Zulu, which means "Well Done" and that is her slogan!  Love these new typewriter alphabets, and I used my Just Rite hand stamp with the looping wheels--the old fashioned kind!  Since I use text often in my designs, I wanted to tell you about this week's challenge over at Casual Fridays which is all about that!
   My sis spends much of her waking life as an editor...and it's all about the text for her too!  In case you'd like some other ideas to use text in your designs, you might want to look here,   here, here, or here.  And this is one of my absolute favorites--this set!  And now I'm humming that song and heading out the door to put my own stamp on a little Boston afternoon adventure!  

Monday, July 2, 2012

Neon Doilies

neon doilies by debstamps
neon doilies, a photo by debstamps on Flickr.
   I wanted to do something a little neon for the Moxie Fab World Doily challenge! Used some of my wild typing paper to cut my own with some Die Namics thin dies! I love how they came out!
   Also fun to add to Hero Arts Summer Fun theme monthly blog contest! A wicked bright way to start out the week!  Check out what's new there!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Jazz Up Your Weekend...

   Here's a little tune to survive the rest of the afternoon into the weekend!  It's my darling daughter with her piano teacher.  We love our jazz...and this is an improvisation of an old disco song inspired by the Puppini Sisters!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Set for Summah!

   Hummin' Beach Boys tunes, stamping some fun "cahds" and getting ready to head out to the backyard pool to enjoy this first, real-life-heat-wave, day of "summah!"  This is for my friend Miss Patty Patty over in Maine--whom I'm wicked excited to visit!
   I am quite proud of myself finding an easier way to stamp maritime signal flags--which spell out F...U...N above!  I first had the idea to papercraft them when making something special for my sister's consulting firm, Bravo Zulu, which--in military terms--means "Well Done."  She works very hard to maintain a stellar reputation.
   For Christmas, I wanted to give her something unique, and so I had to make it myself:
   I cut these rather meticulously out of cardstock and adhered them on a square to piece them together...translation:  quilter's appreciation day!  The card bases are smooth white, and the layer under the flags is textured paper--very nautical feel! But, I decided I'd needed to find a faster/easier way to produce the same product so I could keep her in stationery!  Enter my extra rubber from Hero Arts cling stamps, and some small shadow stamps to create the flags in the first card above!  Voila!  I like the result even if it's a bit more casual.  And, I can also use my tangram stencil [thanks to a little Pinterest inspiration from my summer morning indoor 'surfin'] to draw/cut out cardstock for another set!  
   Speaking of "sets" I think I'll be doing sets for Summah!  Got the idea from a recent discussion thread over on the Hero Arts Flickr group asking about whether people make sets or individual occasion cards.  I find myself making sets most often, unless I'm entering a challenge like the one HERE over at Hero Arts Blog!  [can you tell I like Hero?!]
   So, for a whole bunch of ideas, stop by with your cool drink and take a little sip of inspiration sometime!  Feel free to share your bright ideas too!  I'm always interested in how you put your own stamp on life!  The pool beckons....oh, but before I leave, here's a link to learn about flags:  Maritime flags

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tips and Tricks

   In case you might be wondering about the promised 'tips and tricks,' I'm back to fill you in!  I have fallen in love with one of my favorite websites all over again when I remembered to use it to print out a polar graph which added just the right touch to the Father's Day card I made for my husband here.  It is such a nifty tool to have just for putting together anything with a curve...and with travel and maps figuring so prominently in current trends, it can be a great digital or hybrid element to use in cards and layouts.  I have several ideas in mind I'll try to share in the next month or so!
   Also tricky in the "Dad's" post was the contribution my son made while creating his special greeting.  I always--ALWAYS--learn something from him, and Sunday was so much fun!  He loves to hunt the scrap box and uses the pieces to make a composition.  Finding a scrap of security envelope, he thought it was quite sky-like and stamped an airplane on it.  [This after using my new embossing envelope which is wood-grain!  My son!  So excited to get his hands on the new stash!!]  Then, as the sentiment, he asked me to print out the definition to "dad" from the online dictionary...simple genius...AND he wanted to add his own 2nd definition:  "You!"  Talk about a creative little mind!  Of course I started thinking about all the possibilities for text backgrounds I could do adding/subtracting my own custom definitions; changing/adjusting font sizes and justification....and in case you didn't catch this card and post about the graph website, you might want to check it out for yourself and see how you could use it and put your own stamp on it!  
   See you summer tomorrow!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dads

   Just a little post to share the Father's Day cards my son and I just finished.  We'll be off soon to guide my husband on a little treasure hunt for some things he's always wanted but circumstances haven't gotten around to providing...a motorcycle [inside family joke]; an airplane [since he isn't flying anyone else's at the moment]; and a new bird clock [not really something he's always wanted, but it was half off at Hobby Lobby and our last one broke during one of our many moves.]  My son and I had so much fun stamping together, and he always teaches me at least one great trick each time we create!  I came up with a few myself with this many ways to say dad...I'll share them all tomorrow since there's fun to be had offline today!  [Tune in tomorrow if you're interested in details!]
   You might notice "PA" and "abeulo" in the names above...we lost my husband's dad just before our daughter was born, so our kids know him only through our memories of him and he is "Abuelo" to them and "Dad" to us.  As a child, I grew up watching "Little House on the Prairie" and my dad always wanted to be called Pa after that...we lost him a couple of years ago just before Father's Day.  Dads are important.  I'm off to celebrate with my husband--"father" to our children and someday maybe an Abuelo himself!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Yee Haw!

      I made this for my friend Jeri down on the Three Ponies Ranch.  We got a fun t-shirt for her at a 4-H fundraiser that has a "Bucket List" printed on the front:  feed bucket, water bucket, grain bucket, mucking bucket, etc.  Since I wanted to make her something with a country feel, and try a little gingham on for size ala a recent Moxie Fab World challenge, I made a folder cover for a Jr. size legal pad and tucked some handmade cards inside the pocket!  I love the way the Hero Arts/Basic Grey Bold Flowers stamped on the gingham paper, and the two-tone look is oh-so-vintage--a favorite around our place!  I wanted to do something a little different with the lace border punch and I liked how the title came out too with the Tim Holtz alphabet die cut letters.   Sanded the Coredinations cardstock for a weathered look, and I was ready to send off a little something to my buddy!  
   Jeri was with me when I delivered my daughter, and it made for a special bond over the years.  We Navy wives stick together through all kinds of times, and I always smile when I think of them.  Here's a picture with Jeri at the 3Ponies:
   That'd be my daughter on the left, and my son on the right.  It doesn't get much better in life:  good friends, good times, and big smiles!  Yee Haw!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Glad for Grads!

   The graduation greetings have been created lovingly and sent on their way!  Today is the big bash down in Maryland for my niece's celebration.  We're there in spirit if not body!
   Using a Tim Holtz stamp for a graduation card made perfect sense to me--especially since the two ladies I made them for this year also happen to be incredibly talented artists as well!  I love quotes, and this one seemed a perfect commemoration of the occasion!
   And there's nothing like a little "moolah" for buying art supplies is there???  I love my Hero Arts alphabet stamps...have several different styles of them and they always come in handy for folks with...er...ah...unusual things to say!  [Made this tiny envelope with a Sizzix die--perfect size for a check or cash.]   
   For my Maryland-bound niece I made a few different designs of thank you's based on the Maryland state flag which looks like this:
   
You can see why I thought of the Hero Arts/Basic Grey Zig Zag and More background!
   I used a Hero Arts clear set of thank you's and came up with this variation for something a little different from the others I made!  It was so much fun--I really enjoy creating something unique and special!  [In case you missed the other designs, you can see them in earlier blog posts, or at my Flickr photostream!]

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Thank U

   I couldn't be more excited about how the latest batch of graduation thank U's came out!  [Get it...Thank U for the graduate going to college...?]  I think I'll try making my own graphic for a change up from this Stampin' Up! sentiment stamp.  I could mix and match using some other words/letters and have a different design!  These circle elements are red embossed on yellow cardstock since the colors of the target university are those of the Maryland state flag.  The patterns in the Hero Arts/Basic Grey Zig Zag and More Background reminded me of the patterns in the flag, so I block inked them, masked a piece of white cardstock to have an open area, and printed them off.  A little time consuming but the result was worth the effort!  
   Used up some old patterned paper with silver glitter designs which added just the right festive touch, and trimmed them out with washi tape along the bottom.  They're nice and flat to mail out, but have so much visual interest!  I had fun using my giant hand stamp to get the "Maryland" and "Grad itude" sentiments.  Wicked fun!  Now to mail them off to my niece! 
   A lovely way to while away the afternoon!

Friday, June 1, 2012

ConGRADulations!

These were totally CASE-ed from Michelle Wooderson's wonderful blog
   I'll admit to being a little swamped at the end of May each year.  About half the birthdays in our close family occur then, and this year we have a couple of graduations thrown in the mix! A shout out to my very accomplished niece, Ashley, who is headed off to add her talents and energy to the University of Maryland!  I'm excited to make some thank you notes for her!  
   It's my first foray into the Wonderful World of Washi!  My recent Target recon procured these tapes, and  I can tell already that it will be fun playing with them!  I also had fun with the Zig Zag and More background masking a white space, and making my own "faux washi" tape strips.  I plan to make some more by inking the separate patterns in the background with different inks, then cutting them into different widths!
  As noted above, I lifted this fun design from Ms. Mish Mash [I've always loved her blog name!] and it appeals to my inner cottage/vintage chic style in a bright way!  This is a great way to use scraps too!  
   Here's a couple more and a few I made for my daughter's birthday thanks too.  I wasn't kidding when I mentioned it's a big time of year in our family!  Wishing you a safe and happy weekend wherever you are!
p.s.  Thanks again Michelle!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Birthday Fishes

   I had such a great time figuring out this birthday card for my nephew!  What to do for a boy turning 16 and a beach/surfing themed room?  Why...just whip up some birthday fishes!  I am a huge fan of all things pun-y and this older Hero Arts clear set helped me create to my heart's content!  I am only just now getting to play with my new stash from the latest Hero Arts/Basic Grey releases, and I love this graphic pattern background cling called Zig Zag and More!  
   I wanted to use my Kaleidacolor pad to ink this up, but the little lever that slides the different colors together sticks up and does not make for easy inking of large stamps...so out came my trusty rubber brayer!  I rolled up some color and then ran it over the background stamp to transfer it and I felt like an old fashioned print maker!  I've got some more ideas to play with that technique another day!
   Next I found some scraps of plain and patterned paper to emboss the different fishes...see the googly eye one on the left?  If you look closely you'll notice it is 'upside down' as I wanted it to face to other direction.  The design is forgiving with the fins, so I just masked the eye when I inked it up and embossed it, then used the googly one in it's place.  Easy peasy and it adds a little wiggle!
   May is the biggest month for birthdays in our small family, and this year we have a graduation celebration or two with friends to celebrate as well...no rest for the weary and there's more fun to be made!  Make it a great day!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Patriots: Old and New

   I made these for our piano teacher who recently became a United States Citizen and we welcome him heartily to our homeland!  Being a patriot in the Boston area has an added dimension that has nothing to do with New England's football team.  
   Each April we celebrate Patriot's Day--the commemoration of the opening battle of the American Revolution.  This year we took our family to reenactments at the Minuteman National Park.  It was really an awe-inspiring sight on a beautiful spring day to witness and remember the uniqueness of our America.  It is in our time period for homeschool this year, and studying our founding documents could not have culminated in a more poignant display of the risk and reward of pursuing freedom.  Standing and witnessing for a few hours took us all back in time and made us feel proud to be part of a tradition of military history and service.  Here's a few shots from our day:
on patrol

Patriots muster



The British are coming!
Fife and drum