Click on photos to enlarge.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Birthday Greetings


Today's card is a birthday card for my mother-in-law whose birthday is this coming Saturday.  My husband gave me carte blanche, which delighted me because she and I have very similar tastes.  This was a fun one for me.

I started with a kraft base and layered patterned paper with a red mat.  The music is vintage from when I first learned to play the piano a zillion years ago (or so it seems), and I've distress inked the edges of all the papers.

The greeting is by Inspired by Inspired by Stamping and the shape was cut on my Silhouette Cameo as was the shadow mat.

The lace trim has been topped with some large flat back pearls I had in my stash.

The triple loop bow is lovely seam binding from Really Reasonable Ribbon and has been adorned with one of my little handmade charms for an added dose of cute.  

A leafy flourish in one corner and some red stitching (red is her and my favorite color) and the front was finished.

The inside has contrasting card stock and some birthday-inspired stamping.  I hope she enjoys it and has lots of cake.  I might have some too to honor her.

Thank you for joining me, and here's wishing you a lovely week ahead!

Happy crafting!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Blue Birthday


Today's card is for a guy.  No one in particular, it's going in my Etsy shop which has a shortage of cards suitable for men.  As usual, I had a rather tough time with it.  I hope to do more so that there's a selection from which to choose but also so that I'll get more comfortable doing them.  Because guys deserve nice cards too, right?

This one is done in shades of teal and brown and features distressed edges, distress inking, a curled corner and a wonderful background stamp heat embossed in gold onto the teal base layer.  (It's by Flourishes but is no longer carried in their shop.)  

The sentiment tag has inked edges, gold embossed edges and sponging in the center for a halo effect.  Gold eyelets have twine threaded through them and the whole unit is topped with a few tiny gears and then layered over a bit of distressed netting.

The inside, as always, is kept simple with layers of contrasting card stock and inked edges.

Thank you for joining me and I wish you a fantastic, crafty weekend!

Happy crafting!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Merci Beaucoup


"Merci Beaucoup..."  That's what today's card says in a most elegant font.  This was a commission through my Etsy shop by a lady who loves pink and purple and wanted "elegant and ladylike," a style which is dear to my heart.  I don't work with a lot of purples, so this was a fun challenge.

Let me say right now that this is a tad more vivid than it is in real life.  The purple of the base cardstock and handmade stick pin is not "in your face" as these are here, but I don't know what is happening, so you'll need to get the gist of the card.  At least the other colors are showing true.

I've dry embossed the base layer then heat embossed the edges with gold  Then I followed a sketch and added the patterned papers, matting them with contrasting card stock and stitching as I went along.  I love stitching on paper - it adds so much personality and character to a card.

The greeting is stamped on white paper then die cut with a lacy rectangular die.  If you've followed my work at all you'll know that I just don't DO white, either the color or wide open spaces, and this piece, small as it was, was no exception.  It was so...WHITE.  So I added the pearls to the corners and then added clear Stickles to all of the flourishes which shows a little bit here.  The sparkle in real life is subdued (this is a ladylike card, after all), but it's still there to diminish all that white a bit.  Phew.

The bow is where I had the most fun.  I LOVE bows.  I don't know why as I hated wearing them as a child (just ask my mother), but they seem to belong on cards as much as possible, and this one was no exception.  I used a delicious 1" wide silk ribbon to make a luscious double bow and adhered a small lace rosette behind it, then finished it off with one of my handmade stick pins which I thought was the perfect jewelry for this card.

The inside was finished simply with contrasting card stock and a small stamped greeting, the English version of what's on the front.  Just in case.

Merci beaucoup for joining me and I wish you a lovely day full of summery delights.

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Life in Your Years


Today I'm featuring a card that I've made for my former boss whose birthday is fast approaching.  I've used another of my favorite famous-person quotes, this time one by Abraham Lincoln.

Because THAT is the truth.  Make those years count.

I first embossed the words in black on white card stock and then sponged various shades of yellow, orange and red on top.  I barely inked the edges in black to make the oval stand out from the orange mat behind it, then adhered them both to the black background which I first dry embossed in stripes and then wiped a gold metallic ink pad over it for a bit of depth and character.  That layer has an orange mat under it as well for continuity.

I added gold eyelets (grommets?) to the corners and then a teal flourish as the final ornamentation, the same as the teal card base.  I tried my best to add some sort of textile, say black ribbon, but the card wasn't asking for it.  My former boss is a conservative man, so I kept the embellishments to a minimum preferring instead to use the vibrant colors as the main attraction.  And that quote, of course.

The inside was kept simple with contrasting card stock and the simple urge to "Celebrate."  I hope he does.  He works hard and deserves lots and lots of cake.  I had already written my greeting to him when I took the photo so had to photoshop it out.  The paper isn't smudged, I promise.

Thanks for joining me and I wish you all a lovely day!

Happy crafting!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Pins and Bling


Today's post is about one of my favorite crafts, that of making blingy stick pins.  Stick pins, also known as hat pins (though who wears them that way any more?), are a wonderful accessory with so many uses.  They can adorn cards, scrapbook pages, tags, altered art, hats, handbags, name it, a stick pin can probably embellish it.  Here are a few examples of past stick pins I have made and the cards they dressed up.  This one was from March 2013

I started making them a couple of years ago and use them from time to time on my own cards, but now my daughter and I have both decided to start adding them to our Etsy inventory so that others may share in the blingy goodness.

See how prettily they can dress up a card?  They add that little extra pizzazz and I think of them as "card jewelry.  This one was made in July 2013 and I've added a little charm to it.

This one was also made last March, only I didn't use a stick pin, I used one of my little handmade jeweled charms, the two of which I often make together.  

 So here are the ones I made this weekend.  I hope they find good homes.

 Pretty greens and teals.

Blues in the shades of varying ocean depths.

Can't go wrong with pink and light blue.

And some guardian angel charms for good measure.

Thanks for joining me today and I wish you a lovely week full of blingy, charmy goodness!

Happy crafting!

These pins and charms are all for sale in my Etsy shop, as are many more!

(The cards in the photos are for illustration purposes only and are not for sale.)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Thank You, Pt. 2


Today is the second thank you card in this miniseries for another lady who helped me out recently.  I suspect she won't be looking at the blog, and if she does, she's probably going to know who it's for, but I'll pretend like I'm keeping the secret anyway.  

This one was fun to make.  Unlike yesterday's card (here) which used colors with which I'm pretty unfamiliar, this one is shabby vintage all the way which is my card making bread and butter.  The two printed papers have a lovely linen texture, and I do love texture on my cards.  The red paper is faux distressed (it's printed that way) and looks wonderfully old.  I inked the edges of both and distressed the edges of the red even further before matting them both on dark brown card stock. 

The greeting and its matching shadow layer were cut with nesting dies and the shadow layer was heat embossed all around the edges with my favorite metallic copper embossing powder.  So was the greeting.  I do love the copper, it's got more character than a simple brown embossing powder.  I sponged inside the smaller die for a bit of a halo effect with Antique Linen and Tea Dye distress inks.

I added a couple of bits of net ribbon and a delicious Colleen bow (directions here) for the decoration and topped it with a vintage button.

The inside was distressed but left blank for my personal message.  This card and yesterday's will go in the mail on Monday.

Thank you so much for joining me and here's wishing you a lovely day with a big THANK YOU from me for stopping by to visit!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thank You, Pt. 1


Today's featured card is a thank you card for a very lovely lady.  I can't be any more specific than that because, on the off chance that she's checking out my blog, I don't want to spoil the surprise. 

Believe it or not, this card was quite difficult for me.  I'm thinking it's because I don't use a lot of green of this shade in my cards, and I had quite a time figuring out how to incorporate it into a cohesive whole.  The image was easy enough to work with, and I knew I wanted to make the card blue and white with yellow accents, but that pesky green nearly got my goat.  In fact, I had the bow adhered to the card with some other bits of ribbon attached underneath, and it screamed "hot mess!" at me so loudly that I took it off, took it apart, retied the bow (no small feat with bits of glue dots still adhered) and simplified the whole decoration a bit.  The patterned paper is just plain white card stock with my favorite flourish from the Stampin'Up! stamp set "Everything Eleanor" stamped all over it.  This was layered onto green card stock and sewn with a nice "U" stitch.  In green, of course.

The image was colored with Copics and the flower centers have a bit of gold glitter added for pizzazz.  It was then layered onto a yellow lacy oval die cut and decorated with a green satin bow.

Sooo...when reading a tag, one reads from left to right, correct?  Note to self: stamp the words backwards on the tiny tag so they don't show upside down on the finished card.   <sigh>

Rhinestones finish the front of this fresh, springlike card.

The inside has been completed with contrasting card stock and some stamped-off flourishes from the same  stamp as was used on the front.

I hope she realizes how grateful I am for her and the assistance she gave to me recently.

Thank you for joining me today and I wish you a lovely, floral fresh spring day full of crafting goodness.

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Copper Beauty


Today's card was a special commission that my husband wanted to give a co-worker who is in need of encouragement, and he asked that I make a card that was full of STUFF, which is my favorite kind to make.

I've used one of my favorite stamps, this quote by Audrey Hepburn.  I've heat embossed it in metallic copper and layered it on a contrasting layer having also heat embossed the edges in the same color.

See that metallic glint?  It adds a nice shimmer to a card.  I even embossed the edges of the patterned base layer for continuity.

I knew that I wanted to add a nice big fat double looped bow to this card and I used a metallic copper ribbon from Really Reasonable Ribbon to do the job.  This is the Silky Crush Rust Ribbon and it's a dream with which to work.  I've topped it with a mulberry paper rose from Wild Orchid Crafts which I've glittered with a bit of champagne glitter.

When I really want to pull out the stops on a card I will add one of my handmade stick pins.  To this one I had added what I call a "guardian angel" charm.  I thought it fitting for the occasion.

Some stitching and a few pink pearls finish this card.

The inside was kept simple with contrasting layers and some subtle stamping.  I hope this card made the recipient feel a bit better and know that nothing truly is impossible.

Thank you for joining me, and I wish you a happy, healthy week. 

Happy crafting!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Organized at LAST!


Do you mind if I dance a little jig?  Because that is what I've been doing pretty much every day since last Friday which saw the final day of The Great Craft Room Makeover.  I've been crafting for 2 1/2 years in a small bedroom which was formerly a nursery in its past life (before I bought the house).  This room had been many things in my early years in this house - a sewing room, a gift wrapping room, and more often than not, a place to throw things to get them out of sight when company came.  You know, the JUNK room.  I would periodically go in and clean it out just to have it get messed up again a few months later.  Then I retired a couple of years ago and started crafting and I cleaned the room out again, though, not being the DIY type of person, I never put any shelves up.  I just started crafting, having moved an antique table in there, and things progressed from there as I acquired more and more craft supplies with no place to put them.  Or should I say they DI-gressed from there.  What had initially been a lovely room for using my Viking embroidery machine devolved into an ever shrinking circle of functionality until, at last, I could function no more.  (If you've wondered why my production and blog posts have been decreasing, this is why.)

And one day I said enough is enough.  I hired a top-rated local firm, Get Organized!,  to come in, gut the room, and put it back so that I could find everything AND have a pretty room in which to play, and I had only two requirements:  I had to be able to either sew or craft at will without moving anything around, and I had to be able to have a space for another crafter.  And the wonderful ladies of the team did JUST THAT (with lots of "go-fering" from me).  They used products from The Container Store and IKEA, and I provided some vintage and antique storage pieces as well.  They took what to me was an insurmountable task and turned it into a fun adventure with a fantastic result, much like when Mary Poppins straightened up the Banks children's bedroom.

So without further ado, here is my craft room, before and after The Great Craft Room Makeover.  The pictures will be worth thousands of words, so I will stop talking now.  Except to say...

don't judge me please.  Ha!

Isn't that nursery border lovely?  It was there when I moved in 14 years ago.

My ever shrinking work space

The embroidery table cum storage surface

No words for this area

At least it was colorful.

Where it all happened.  HOW, I wonder now.

The only sewing I could do was on cards while sitting on the stool.
Two DVD towers.  And a blocked window.

The closet

Because you wanted to see the disaster up close, right?

And then...after 2 full 8-hour days and another half day (not including the day I took the border down and cleaned up the bare room)...

TA DAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Check out the dual work station!
The Big Shot station including punches, dies and embossing folders.

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

My countertop is clean!  These buckets are from IKEA.

A vintage shelf, painted the perfect color, found in East Texas

Sewing central

One of the DVD towers, now a statement piece of decor.

It holds all of my ink sprays, ink refills and most of my shimmer paints.

Glitters and small shimmer paints.

Heat tools hidden out of sight until I need them.  And all in one place.


Gift wrap station and all of the non-pretties

The other DVD tower hidden in the closet.  It holds all of my glues and other media.

Out of sight, but still handy

The joint work table, or a second surface for project overflow.  The little trays are brilliant and hold my crafting essentials!

My trusted crafting companion.

And the darling ladies who made it all happen.  THANK YOU S. & S.!!

I still need to hang some decorative items, and I'm in the process of organizing my clear stamps in binders, but my crafting life has definitely taken a turn for the better.  My husband's delighted too as he now hears nothing but happy sounds coming from the room instead of the sounds he heard before.  (What's said in the craft room stays in the craft room.)

Thank you so much for joining me today and I wish you much crafting pleasure this week as I know I'm going to have!

Happy crafting!