Saturday, January 31, 2015

Tangled in the Lasso of Truth

NEWS FLASH:  Aging Superhero Caught in Her Own Lasso of Truth!


 Although I'm usually more of a Marvel Comics fan, I just cannot resist this terrific stamp set, Diana Girl, from Unity Stamp Co. with that striking resemblance to the iconic DC Comics heroine.  Combined with a sentiment from USC's Gossip, Hot Flashes & Crazy, it makes a perfectly snarky card that I just MUST add to this fun challenge over at Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers, SOSS 26.



I just discovered the sisterhood from browsing Unity's Friends with Flair projects this week.  They are a funny group of craftistas who proudly strut their snarky stuff.  Thank you blogsters and commenters for leading me to find their blog.  I laughed out loud at so many of the posts and projects, I immediately set to join in their latest challenge.

It's Snarker's Choice, so I selected Challenge #18 from 2014, I is for Iconic, as my main theme.  


 When I was inspired to add her Lasso of Truth with some carefully placed gold string, a teeny tiny, gold star on her costume, and the comic strip style lightning bolt, I also thought it fits in nicely with the Embellishment Challenge, too.

  


I have so many ideas for other cards to share with the sisterhood.  I cannot wait to make more!
Enjoyed this break from my Valentine extravaganza.


Have a SUPER weekend!

Other card details if you'd like to know...
Stamp sets from Unity Stamp Co (aforementioned sets, see above)
Papertrey Ink Zappy Birthday die and EK success speech bubble die 
Cardstock, various
Papertrey Ink Comic Strip Patterned Paper (a must have for your comic strip inspired crafts!)


Friday, January 30, 2015

The Magic of Love


Hi, Unity Stamp Co. Friends with Flair and all my other crafty companions!
It's still Valentine-o-rama here in the Craft-a-torium.  

For the past three or four years I've made it a personal goal to create a large variety of Valentines to offer in my office's February charity sale.  I only have a couple short weeks to have them ready now, but many are already done.  I'm happy to share this card with Friends with Flair at Unity Stamp Co.  this week.  All the stamps are from Unity and two of the three I used are from a prize package I once won for FWF!  

I tried to find the original sets that the sentiment and hearts stamps were from, but searching "love" theme was daunting at USC... they have so many stamps! I know the little star cluster stamp is from Plenty of Pandas. Thought I would point that out as you'd never guess without seeing one of the little pandas (I'm letting them rest tonight, they've been used a lot).

I've made cute cards, boy themed cards, cards with doilies, cards with flowers, cards with puns... there are just so many types of Valentines to make it's one new idea after the other!  My office place will be getting the best selection of cards to choose for their family than I've ever provided before.  

Have a lovely, magical weekend.
TGIF!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

ARrggh... Matey... I Love Ya!


The little men in our lives appreciate crafty things, too, so I'm happy to share a boy-themed, love inspired card with the Shopping our Stash Love Theme challenge, SOS 186.   I have been on a Valentine binge all week. This one will go in that stash of cards because I think it's still sweet to say "love ya" without doilies, glitter, hearts or other mushy stuff. 

Grab Our Badge!

Darnell over at NBUS inspired me this year to showcase Never Before Used Schtuff and Shopping our Stash reminds me that I have lots of crafty things that need attention.  It's a Pirate's Life stamp set from My Favorite Things is unfortunately retired now.  I caught it in clearance sale quite some time ago, and it sat neglected in its unopened packaging far too long.  

Also very stash worthy, is shopping my kitchen drawers for embellishments!  Kitchen twine and toothpicks came in handy for this card.  I especially love to show off the little toothpick plank... check it...


The close up gives you a better look of the little sick pirate on the right.  He is intentionally colored a little green... My sister and I are slowly developing our coloring skills so I hope she has a chance to see my latest creation.  I used a variety of Copics (will regret not writing down which ones) and a wave die from MFT to complete my seafaring crew's scenery.


I'm sensing that once I'm satisfied with something I've made, I feel that calming, warm feeling that gets me in a relaxed and happy mood, so I think my insomnia inspired work will be laid to rest tonight as I do catch some Zzzz's... 

Happy Crafting and Sweet Pirate Dreams!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Valentines May Get the Best of Me...



The Valentine craze continues in the Craft-a-torium!
Proud to have saved a tiny scrap of red card stock that was part of a paper crimp project from a LONG time ago.  Look closer and I think you can see the crimped layer behind the sentiment strip.  I hold onto scraps with good intentions to use them, but most should just go in the trash.  This was one lucky, little scrap that is able to fulfill its card destiny!

I used the sketch over at this week's MFT sketch challenge to get me started, so linking this post with that challenge.   MFT Stamps Lovey Dovey Sentiments set appears to have been retired, but it's been a go-to for Valentines and great on a card for any loved one for any day of the year.
MFT Sketch Challenge


A few other details...the fun crossword patterned paper is from BoBunny, the bottom border die, heart shapes & button are from Stampin' Up!


So far, I am doing well with my new year resolution to get back into the card making fun.
However, I'm not sleeping much again.  While my insomnia continues to inspire, it may get the "best of me" rather than bring out my best soon...  Hope you're catching some zzz's!

Enjoy & happy stamping everyone!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Milk n' Cookies... Yum!


I'm still in Valentine mode and suspect I will be for awhile...
Love the Lawn Fawn food-theme sets.  Thanks to my lovely sister, I have the Milk & Cookies stamp set now (what a terrific little Christmas present that was!).

I used several of the images to randomly stamp a background to enter into the latest Lawnscaping Challenge.

http://lawnscaping.blogspot.com/2015/01/lawnscaping-challenge-create-background_19.html
Lawnscaping Challenge No. 98

I really thought my stamping looked very perfectly random with the milk carton, cookie jar, cookies and heart stamp.  Then I cut a heart out of the middle and found the pattern created a little cookie pair right next the opening!  Ha!


I was very proud of my Copic colors on the little cookies.  I love it when something turns out.  
I stamped the little banner then hand cut it and was thrilled that my sentiment fit perfectly inside.
The tiny heart hole puncher came in handy, too.  It covers up just some tiny imperfections in coloring (oh yeah, that's what embellishments are for anyway, right?).

Oh I've had fun making cards this gloomy Sunday...
Enjoy &
Happy Weekend everyone!


Other card details, if' you'd like:
Stamps:  Lawn Fawn Milk and Cookies
Cardstock from Stampin' Up!, Crumb Cake, Real Red, Very Vanilla, Naturals Ivory
Scallop and stitched rectangle dies from Mama Elephant
Framelits Heart & large heart punch from Stampin' Up!
Banner from Stampin Up! (retired set, I'll need to find the title later...)
Ink: Stampin' Up! Crumb Cake and Real Red, Memento Tuxedo Black
and Copic Markers.



Friday, January 23, 2015

Super Lazy Rib Mitts

Gotta share some more knitting!  This is another gift pair I created, loosely based on the pattern, Lazy Rib Fingerless Mitts by chocolate trudi, found on Ravelry.  I adjusted the pattern to add some ribbing on the cuff, top and thumb, and used a gusset-less thumb hole on these, so my versions are slightly different than the pattern.
 
 
Crafty friends, you'll find a pair of fingerless mitts can be nice to wear indoors in a cool environment, even during your craft and day time activities.  When I gifted my mitts to family, I included a little handmade tag to remind them how they can use them.  For my niece who is learning to knit, the tag on her mitts called her pair a set of Knitting Mitts - "keeping your fingers free for creativity!"
 
Ah, the joy of knitting, it is very easy to modify patterns to try new things.  Using a gusset-less thumb hole option makes the pattern Super Lazy Rib Mitts.  If you are familiar at all with creating a thumb gusset, the increases take a little extra work.  Even with that short cut on these, they fit surprisingly well, so I was pleased with the outcome.
 
 
One thing that is problematic on posting my hand knit mitt projects on my blog is taking a good photo while modeling them... I have to set a self timer and hope that how I'm holding my hands will at least demonstrate how they fit without looking too odd.  There is apparently no good lighting, and very little I can do to hide my wrinkly, craft hardened fingers, too!
 
Happy crafting, everyone!  TGIF.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Sentiment Says it All


My card challenge entry of the day is for the amazingly talented group over at The Paper Players.  


The featured Sentiment challenge has inspired me with more designs for the Valentine cards I'll be creating for my office. No, I don't send love cards to my co-workers, I just make many to sell for our department charity event.  Some people bake, I bring the calorie free cards.  
 
I'm thrilled when I see someone is excited to find the perfect card for their someone special from the variety of cards I make.   You can make a card with hearts, add glitter, maybe a cupid or something...but a Valentine greeting is not complete without the perfect sentiment!

The latest challenge is hosted by one of my favorite stampers, LeAnne.  She will create an amazing project, post it on her blog, and instantly I want to try the style, the technique, or buy whatever she used.  Without reading her blog, how would I ever have known my microwave could be an important tool in my crafts (you'll have to search her blog to find out why - hint - think scrunchy seam binding).  So, hi Players, and hi, LeAnne!  Thanks for letting me play along.

Other  card details should you be interested...
Stamps used:  Up & Away from The Alley Way Stamps, Borderettes from Stampin' Up!
Paper:  Stampin Up! DSP (retired I believe, sorry)
Ink:  Island Indigo from Stampin' Up! (and a Copic red marker for heart)
Cardstock: Real Red, Pool Party from Stampin' Up!
Dies:  Stampin Up! heart die, EK Success Circle Punch, Mama Elephant arrow



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Watercolor Birthday Wishes

 
 
I'm still on my Card Challenge binge and inspired to play with Happy Little Stampers watercoloring challenge. CAS is my favorite style, although I don't always find it easy to create...  I'm just too messy!  Watercolor speaks to me- it's perfect for someone who isn't great at keeping simple white space clean & tidy.
 
 Today I am sharing yet another Unity Stamp Co. Plenty of Pandas inspired card paired with Simon Says Stamps Better Together sentiments. 
 
 For the watercolor technique I tried, I simply scribbled some Faber Castell watercolor pencil colors on the paper then painted over with plain water. Easy peasy. Sometimes the mixing of the colors blended better than others, but I was happy with the soft look of this effort. I was anxious to finish the card.  I need to dry the watercolor paper a little more next time before adhering, but it has flattened out since I took the photo. 
 
I spent an afternoon simply playing with this watercolor technique.  Now I am set with a few prepared backgrounds that are ready to use!  I am blessed with a supply of quality watercolor paper that I inherited from my late father's artist supplies.  I feel like I honor his memory every time I pull out his supplies, although I'm far from the accomplished artist he was... sniff, sniff...sigh.
 
Other card deets...I popped up the main Wishing sentiment, panda and balloon and glued the twine just so to make sure the curvy string stays put.  
 
Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Knit Wit

Well, when I'm not making cards, I'm trying to learn how to knit. Okay, I guess I have learned HOW to knit, but getting better at this new hobby is still a work in progress. Much like friendly paper crafters, there are wonderful knitters who share their skills and tutorials. After finding a really nice knitting group at work who got me started, the rest of my skills are coming from You Tube, and the talents of people like Nancy Wynn and Staci at Very Pink.com.

This past Christmas, I made an effort to create a pair of mitts for many members of my extended family for gifts. I started in July or August, and ended up finishing the last pairs in January (yep, some family got IOU's at Christmas!).
I am really proud of these fingerless mitts I made for my sister so I decided I must show them off...


The pattern, Fingerless Gloves "Leaves" by Valentina Georgieva, can be found on Ravelry.

One thing I am slowly learning is that different yarns will behave differently. These were made from Knit Picks Swish worsted yarn, a washable merino wool. They feel nice and soft, but I also fear that there will be quite a bit of stretch to these. SO, I am crossing my fingers that they continue to fit okay with use and wear.

Looking to combine your love of cards and knitting? Then check out this Valentine card idea from Morehouse Farm Merino that adds a knitting project to the card (it even has the free pattern on the post).

Any other paper craft/ yarn-a-holics out there? Oh, I know there are! Enjoy!
Happy Stitching everyone!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sending Hugs


It didn't take long for me to realize why I love card challenges.  I love how nice our craft community can be!  Darnell Knauss over at the NBUS Challenge is so sweet.  I had to join another one of her inspired challenges, especially since the latest honors her talent and joy of crafting.

CAS-ology is using her Never Before Used Schtuff for inspiration this week so I am linking my card to that challenge and her latest NBUS #3...  

     



My Never Before Used Schtuff includes breaking out some Scrapbook Adhesives black foam sheet, and the new stamps and coordinating dies from Simon Says Stamp, Better Together.  I actually pre-ordered the stamp set and forgot about it until it arrived in the mail.  It was a fun surprise and even better was finding out it came with not one, but two sentiment dies.  I paired the set with a really cute panda from Unity Stamp Co. Plenty of Pandas.  He's new, too, but have already used a lot (too cute not to stamp him over & over again!).

This was the first time I used my black foam.  I love the added texture and seamless look pairing it with black cardstock.  The only difficulty was setting it just right on my paper using my craft pick.  I am still a novice at taking really good photos of my work, but maybe you can see the dimension a little better on this close up...


Rest of my supplies were Stampin' Up! embossing folder and a Fiskars heart shape hand punch.
Thanks for stopping by.  I've added some links to the new schtuff I used... Have a terrific weekend!
Simon Says Stamp Better Together stamps and dies

 


Friday, January 16, 2015

TGIF - Cookie Time!

This Unity panda is adorable.  I'm so glad Unity came out with the Plenty of Pandas set.  I think I have collected a lot of bears in my stamping arsenal now... It seems I'm totally reverting back to childhood lately, so maybe that's what's drawn me to them.  I was that kind of little girl that always had her stuffed bear with her... I never had a panda toy, but any bear image still gives me all kinds of warm fuzzy feelings.

I made this card for my mom.  I bet she'll remember my love of teddy bears (and cookies) immediately when she sees this!  Just so ya know, the cookie, jar, and sentiment are from Lawn Fawn Milk and Cookies

Linking my card with Unity's Friends with Flair Friday tonight as my last fun task of the night.   

Happy crafting everyone!


Keep Cozy

Another sketch challenge means another excuse to play with some toys... I feel like such a kid when it comes to my craft supplies... I am surely not the only one who feels that way.  This week's MFT sketch challenge is this:
I started knitting a year or so ago, so I simply HAD to buy Pure Innocence Close Knit stamp as soon as I saw it.  The image pairs well with some of the Cozy Greetings stamps, too.  My evening photo isn't the best (my apologies)... but this card had to get packed up quickly to go in the mail with a couple hand knit gifts for my brother and his wife.

Felt is really cozy too, don't you think? I find my felt supply is too often neglected, so some Steel Grey felt was used for my scallop oval die layer.  I did some tone-on-tone background stamping using Nordic Knits on the top and bottom of the blue panel, but the stamping is pretty hard to see... 
I slightly adjusted the embellishment placement from the sketch.  On top of the banner die from Simon Says Stamp, I added a fussy cut ball of yarn (from a Gina K stamp) on the right side to look like the yarn was from her knitting project.  I am sending a gift that has a blue and grey tweed yarn, so I tried to simulate it with my markers as best I could.  Do you think my brother will notice?  Doubtful...but my crafty happiness is often in the details!  Now, back to playing some more... TGIF!!!

Happy crafting everyone!



Monday, January 12, 2015

The Perfect Fit? It can be hard to find...


I am going to do my best to get back into card challenges this year.  I really know they help me keep my stash of greetings fresh.  This year I found several challenges I want to follow. The first from the Card Challenges blog is chock full of inspiration using tools from one of my favorite companies, My Favorite Things.

I'm joining the MFT Sketch Challenge this week. Here's the sketch:
 I am ready for a break from shopping as I had both Christmas and birthdays to keep me busy (many December and January birthdays in the family).  I have a pretty big stash of returns to make, so I was inspired by both the sketch and my post-Christmas/pre-Valentine mood to make this card:


I used MFT's Comfy sweater die and Cozy Greetings stamp set, which are a perfect fit for my Sweater Weather paper from Lawn Fawn.   I think this makes a terrific Valentine that isn't overwhelming someone with a sea of pink and red.  
 
Next, I HAVE to link another favorite new creation with NBUS Challenge #3 , because after making this next card, my fun new dies won't be "new again," but I bet I'll be using it a lot in the future!
"Perfect Fit" was not on my side while shopping for husband's Christmas and birthday presents this year....  I am returning more than 3 pairs of shoes for him!!!  SO this theme inspires me to share a card that I made specifically for my husband and post for a second new challenge, Never Before Used Schuff.  I pulled out this terrific MFT die set for the first time to use for him.  I made these red high tops to look very much like the shoes he wore on our first date, oh so many years ago.  Oh how I love him, and these All Star High Tops... 
 
I used some adhesive backed metal sheet to make the grommets and even threaded a bit of string to give the shoes laces.  Gosh I love this die set. It took a VERY long time to get the pieces set perfectly, but it was worth it!
 
Happy crafting everyone!


Love my craft buddy!

Love my craft buddy!
Dog's view of the Craft-a-torium!