Friday, July 31, 2009

My First Blog Award!

It's been a very busy couple of days. I know, I keep saying that but it's true! I've been trying my best to make a card but I haven't found the time. I also had a little kitchen accident a couple days ago and cut half the nail off my left index finger. I know, so gross and painful that it's been difficult to do much without full use of that finger. Luckily the weather's been gorgeous so I've gone out to meet friends for lunch and organized playdates for my little guy.

No matter, I'm determined to make a card or two this long weekend (Civic Holiday) even though I have a ton of things scheduled! We have to get a new car seat for the baby, I have a massage and we're meeting friends for brunch. It's going to be so much fun! Then I have to decide if I want to purchase the QuicKutz Epic Six! Do you have this or have you used it and what do you think of it? This is a big decision because if I take this step to die cutting I'm going to be buying a whole lot of die cuts especially nesties. Uh-oh... :D

But...wait...look what I found in my inbox this morning before 8:00 a.m.! Yup, my days start at 6:00 a.m. (yikes) and sometimes earlier. I've been trying to catch up on my blog roll this week and I got this beautiful email from Alysabeth Johnston at Layin' Rubber Ink. Alysabeth, you're the best! You made my day and, best of all, it's Friday! I know, I don't work right now but it's nice to have my husband around on the weekends so I always look forward to the end of the week. I haven't been blogging all that long so I'm thrilled this is my very first blog award. I'm still clutching my heart. I know, I'm such a sap. LOL

So now, to pass this award on to five more lovely and creative ladies. It was so hard to choose just five as I've made so many friends in such a short time. In no particular order...



Michelle B.

Michelle Y.


Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hey There Cupcake

I've been wanting to take part in the Taylored Expressions Cupcake Challenge forever and I finally got around to it this afternoon. I had some extra time when my son decided to take marathon naps today. Yay! I had so much fun with this sketch since it gave me the chance to use one of my favourite stamp sets, Hey There Cupcake. I love the variety this set provides and I should really use it more often. It's hard not to own more than one cupcake set though. Taylor's For the Love of Cupcakes sure tempts my wallet! I'm sure I'll own it someday. ;)

I distressed the papers with scissors, then picked my cupcake parts and decorations. I coloured them in with Copics and chalks and assembled them. I punched circles for their back drop and the reason why I didn't use three of the same colours is because I wanted the centre cupcake to be orange and it would've blended in too much. Lastly I picked a sentiment I hadn't used before and decided to try something new. I haven't seen anyone do this with their tag but that doesn't mean it hasn't been done. I'd definitely give credit where it's due if I was casing it but I honestly haven't seen it done anywhere. Feel free to let me know if you've done it yourself or have seen it done anywhere specific!

Sources: The Paper Company (cottonwood), DCWV (sweet stack), Paper Reflections (orange) & Halcraft (smooth white) cardstock; Stampendous Hey There Cupcake; Memories Artprint Brown & Sky inks; Vivid Butterscotch ink; SU Ballet Blue ink; Copics; Pebbles chalks; dimension squares; Marvy-Uchida 1/8" long reach circle punch; Darice hemp cord

Monday, July 27, 2009

Together Forever

My life is getting a little more complicated! Ever since my son has figured out that buttons turn things on and off, he's been turning the computer on and off which makes it very difficult for me to do anything including uploading photos and blogging. ;)

This card uses the Stamps and Smiles Sketch 25. I started it yesterday and tried to piece it together with another Pink Cat Studio image in mind but it didn't work out so I switched to this one. I know these aren't conventional anniversary colours but the couple I made it for are super fun so they'll appreciate this quirky card. It's not perfectly aligned by any means and I wasn't happy with the stitching. I didn't check the settings on my sewing machine before I started and I didn't feel like recutting the papers and resewing so I just left it. Actually it was the bow that gave me the most trouble. Surprised? Not! LOL

Sources: The Paper Company (cottonwood), SU (chocolate chip), SBD (kraft) & Paper Reflections (all other colours) & Halcraft (smooth white) cardstock; Pink Cat Studio Lily & Billy Sweetheart; Memento Tuxedo Black ink; Vivid Red ink; Copics; Gutermann thread; McGill 1-1/4" circle punch; SU scallop circle punch; Urban Scrapyard ribbon; American Crafts brads; dimension squares

Saturday, July 25, 2009

It's a Junk Food Kind of Day

It keeps raining so I can't get in the mood to make cards. Plus afterwards I can't even photograph them properly because there's no light! Sigh... The weather this summer hasn't been the greatest but at least it hasn't been blistering hot like last year when I was pregnant.

This week I decided to try the MFT My Favorite Challenge which is to finish a card inside and out! I've never done anything with the inside of my cards so I was excited to try this. I knew I wanted to use this bella image because I kept seeing PTI's On My Couch being used. Since I don't have that set, I couldn't stop thinking about paper piecing bella's big comfy chair. Then I ended up piecing bella's clothes, too. I can't even tell you how many times I stamped this image because I decided to piece and layer as I went. I popped her head, the bowl of popcorn and the chip bag! I'm not sure why I used a green base - only the chip bag matches?! Anyway, seeing this finished image makes me think of a giant TV screen. I guess I could be watching this girl eat on television or maybe I'm imagining myself pigging out. LOL

I didn't have any ideas for the inside except to use the same papers as the front as I've seen so many talented ladies do. It only makes sense! I double-stamped the sentiment in black and pink. I think it turned out okay for my first decorated inside of a card. ;) This was fun. Now I might be getting requests to complete the inside on future orders. Uh-oh...

Sources: DCWV (green, plaid), Halcraft (smooth white), Paper Reflections (pink) & SU (chocolate chip) cardstock; Provo Craft (bella's pants) & random (bella's top) papers; Stamping Bella pmsabella; Memento Tuxedo Black ink; Copics; Fiskars Threading Water border punch; K&Company Wild Saffron adhesive paper ribbon; American Crafts brads; dimension squares; SU scallop oval punch & large oval punch; HOTP Tiny Words & Images; SU Pink Passion ink

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Perk Up Your Day

{Updated July 25, 2009: I finally got a chance to take new photos and they are definitely better.}

It's been a busy couple of days but I'm back! I hope you all didn't miss me too much. ;) It's really early. Can you smell the coffee brewing? There's nothing like sharing a great cup of coffee with a girlfriend. That's what inspired me to make this card. I imagined sitting in a fabulous cafe on a rainy day after shopping with any one of my fabulous girlfriends. I haven't made a vertical card that opens from the bottom in a while and I thought that would add elegance to this card. I don't own a Cuttlebug but someone gave me a bunch of pre-embossed paper with swiss dots so I thought it would make a nice 'rainy' background. I created a pretty awning with my scallop punch to shade the bellas. Their stylin' clothes are all paper pieced and I added bling to their accessories. The table and seats are shiny with crystal effects. I finished this card last night and was rushing to photograph it before the sun went down but my husband kept urging me to have dinner instead saying that the sun would be up in the morning. Well, lo and behold, it's pouring rain all day today and there's no sun! I really didn't want to wait 'til tomorrow to post this so I apologize for the crappy photos. I'll try to replace them tomorrow. :) Okay, going to get my caffeine fix now. Have a great day everyone!

Sources: SU chocolate chip, Paper Reflections & Halcraft cardstock; Provo Craft, Making Memories Chloe's Closet & random dp; Stamping Bella javabellas; HOTP Tiny Words & Images; Memento Tuxedo Black & Memories Black inks; Fiskars Threading Water border punch; Straight 'N' Narrow ribbon; SU large oval punch; SU scallop oval punch; dimension squares; SU crystal effects; Gary M. Burlin & Co silver glitter glue

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cupcakes Again!

When I came across Jenna Millsap's blog the other day, I saw that she participated in a Stamps and Smiles sketch challenge over at The Fresh Batch and discovered that it was the cutest thing. I couldn't believe it took me this long to find it. Not only that, it also features Cindy Haffner! I've been addicted to Cindy's blog for a while now. I love every card she makes so I visit her blog at least once, if not twice, a day. Cindy, you are truly inspiring! I want to case all of your cards. If only I had all your supplies! LOL So thank you Jenna and Cindy for leading me to The Fresh Batch.

Mmm, cupcakes! Who doesn't love cupcakes? The one thing I miss most about work is baking cupcakes for everyone. I used to do this quite often but now that I'm home with a baby I can hardly find the time or the excuse to make 24 cupcakes. I certainly can't eat them all myself! All I can do is make cards with cupcakes and drool over them. LOL There's definitely no shortage of delicious cupcake stamps out there and I thought that this Pink Cat Studio version was just the perfect focal point for this sketch.

I love how Cindy popped the bars up in her card so I did the same. :) I paper pieced the cupcake wrapper but it's hard to see the chocolate words written all over it. A few things went wrong while I was making this card. The wave punch is new and the more I punched the more oil kept coming out of it. I've never had this happen before! I tried to pour some rubbing alcohol into it to absorb the oil but that didn't work. Luckily the residue dried or mostly evaporated after a few hours which is why I had to wait 'til this morning to photograph the card. Then I made the mistake of using the same safety pin to reopen the Stickles and the Crystal Effects so when I used the shine on the chocolate-covered strawberry, sparkles got all over it. Maybe that's not a bad thing but this card looks like a mess. I wanted to add some ribbon but couldn't figure out where to put it. Oh well, I guess they can't all be perfect. :Þ

Sources: DCWV sweet stack, Halcraft & Paper Reflections cardstock; Pink Cat Studio Sweet Treats image and sentiment; Memento Tuxedo Black ink; Copics; SU crystal effects; PSX Diamond Stickles; EK Success dotted wave edger punch; dimension squares

Sunday, July 19, 2009

One Hour Card

What happens when my parents call me up and ask me to make a card in one hour? Big time panic! They needed a decidedly masculine card with some red in it. What could I do? I quickly coloured a construction worker Billy but added crystal effects to the tools and it wasn't drying fast enough. (I will use that in a future card.) I'm not very good with masculine cards, especially when I'm under pressure and have only an hour! Karen's Sunday sketch came to the rescue and I was happy I had some tool embellishments left over. The inspiration for this card came from a simple architect theme of drawing papers and Getty curves. I bought a bunch of new cardstock in the morning and was having the hardest time picking which colours to use. I also wanted to use stars and not a flower but the stars didn't look right with the hammer. In the end, I ran out of time and had to finish quickly so this was the result. I'm a little embarrassed to post this card but since I made it I feel it deserves a quick mention, almost as quick as it was to make. :Þ

Sources: SBD, Halcraft & Paper Reflections cardstock; Making Memories Chloe's Closet dp; Forever In Time 2" hammer scrapbook embellishment; Darice hemp cord; HOTP Tiny Words & Images; Memories Black ink; McGill 1-1/4" circle punch; SU scallop circle punch; Fiskars Nostalgia corner edger; EK Success dotted wave edger punch; dimension squares

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Favourite Sweets, Part 2

While my baby was enjoying his afternoon nap, I finished the sweet set I started yesterday. I wanted each card to be totally unique just in case I ended up gifting them together.

The second card for this set - the tall one in the middle - uses a window style that I sketched out and wanted to use all week. This was the perfect time to use it! Does the top section look too plain? I thought about stamping plain donuts in a line coming down to the showcased donut in the window!

The third card was more difficult as I couldn't think of what to do with it. I was determined to use my scallop circle punch and wanted to use an additional embellishment so I came up with this.

Looking at the closeup of this piece of cake, I wish I had a tiny silver fork to put on the plate. LOL I can't believe that I used the entire roll of ribbon for these three cards. I guess it's time to buy more!

Sources for It's A Sweet Thing: SBD kraft cardstock, DCWV sweet stack & unknown cardstock; Studio G clear stamps; Memento Tuxedo Black & Memories Black inks; Copics; Atyou Spica Glitter pen; random beads; SU tearing edge; McGill 1-1/4" square punch; American Crafts ribbon; dimension squares

Sources for Sweetie: SBD kraft cardstock, DCWV sweet stack & unknown cardstock; Studio G clear stamps; Memento Tuxedo Black & Memories Black inks; Copics; Atyou Spica Glitter pen; SU crystal effects; McGill 1-1/4" circle punch; SU scallop circle punch; Fiskars Nostalgia corner edger; dimension squares; American Crafts ribbon; SU brads

Friday, July 17, 2009

MFT + Sweets = My Favourite Sweets

I thought I would venture out and try something new. I ended up at the MFT forum and decided to participate in this week's MFT Sketch Challenge. The layout just screamed out at me and I had to have a crack at it. I love sketches with little squares (check out this card) because there are so many possibilities. I decided to finally ink up a couple of stamp sets I got from the Michael's $1 bin. I wanted to use this cute American Crafts ribbon so I coloured in the images and chose the cardstock with those colours in mind. Lately, I've been addicted to using kraft cardstock as a base because I can always count on it to match and this was no exception.

I stamped out a few of each dessert on a big sheet of smooth white cardstock and coloured them all in with Copics. I did this because I had the intention of creating different variations of this card to use either as a gift set or individual cards. I used my Spica Glitter pen to shimmer up the icing on the cakes and donuts. Then I used crystal effects on the plates of the cake and all over the lollipops. I also used it to glue the tiny beads as sprinkles on the donuts.

When I was waiting for the crystal effects to dry, I couldn't decide if I wanted to stitch up the navy blue squares and the peacock blue background. I hemmed and hawed and decided against it but looking at the card now it seems like something is missing. Oh, and look, I finally managed to tie a half decent bow without showing the reverse side of the ribbon! LOL This isn't my most precise or detailed card but I'm pleased with it and am now going to have some ice cream. :Þ

Sources: SBD kraft cardstock, DCWV sweet stack & unknown cardstock; Studio G clear stamps; Memento Tuxedo Black & Memories Black inks; Copics; Atyou Spica Glitter pen; random beads; Fiskars Threading Water border punch; McGill 1-1/4" square punch; American Crafts ribbon, SU crystal effects; dimension squares

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Celtic Birthday

When I looked at my calendar and realized I had to make nine birthday cards for August, I went into panic mode. Eeek! I haven't been making cards as quickly as I used to just because it's summer and I tend to move slowly when it's hot, plus my son is getting into everything these days and wants me to play with him all the time so I can't really concentrate on cards when he's up and about. I've also been lacking some serious energy so I've been napping when he naps which leaves me zero time for cards. That's life I guess and I'll do what I can! My family and friends all deserve fabulous handmade cards so I will suffer if I have to. LOL

Thankfully I have great sketches like Karen Giron's to help me make all these cards! I used her most recent Sunday sketch to make this card for my brother-in-law's birthday and I knew instantly what I was going to do with it - a scene from a Celtic soccer match! He's a huge Celtic fan and most importantly an avid soccer player himself. Being from Glasgow with that fabulous Scottish accent and footie talent, it's no surprise. The big rectangle was going to be a billboard. The dots were going to be two soccer balls because it's always nice to have a spare on the pitch. ;) They're all nice and shiny with crystal effects. I didn't have the exact colours for the Celtic kit but I did my best and used two Copic greens, one on top of the other to create the shade of green I needed. I thought the dp from Chloe's Closet worked fabulously for this card. I added a little bit of nicely groomed grass, lightly distressed the edges of the papers, used a thick stitch to frame everything, popped dimention squares on the back of Billy and the soccer balls and the card was done! It looks simple but it took a lot longer than I expected.

Sources: SBD kraft & Halcraft smooth white cardstock; Making Memories Chloe's Closet paper; Pink Cat Studio Dress Up Billy & Lily and Billy Accessories; Memento Tuxedo Black, Versamark Smokey Gray & Memories Black inks; Copics; SU crystal effects; Gutermann thread; dimension squares

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Cheung!

My friend Jenn came over for breakfast on Sunday and ordered a birthday card for her mom. I've known Jenn for 10 years now since we worked together way back in the day. Both Jenn and her mom love shopping as much as I do and they're both very fashionable ladies. She wanted something cutesy and stylish so I knew I was going to use one of my bellas. I decided to use cuppacakeabella because it perfectly combined the two elements. I decided to cut up this Cosmo Cricket dp and use a gorgeous adhesive paper ribbon that I've been saving for...this occasion?! ;)

I stamped the sentiments from two different sets and the teal ink matches the dp way better to the naked eye than it photographed. After I paper pieced bella's dress, I suddenly had this brilliant idea of using foil for the cupcake base and I don't know why I never thought of it before. Maybe because the ink doesn't adhere to it at all? LOL I ended up smudging the lines when I paper pieced it and figured out that it would either take (a) forever to dry or (b) never ever dry so I used a Sharpie pen to go over the lines. There is one tiny spot where I slipped so oopsy on the little booboo but thankfully it's hard to notice unless you look very closely. Having said that, I really need to stop pointing out my mistakes. :Þ It took me forever to decide what to do with the icing on the cupcake but I decided to go with alternating kraft and plain cottonwood for swirly double-flavoured icing. Yum! To finish off, I added crystal effects to the cherry and vanilla portions of the cupcake.

Sources: The Paper Company cottonwood, DCWV sweet stack & SBD kraft cardstock; Cosmo Cricket Girl Friday Wednesday & Provo Craft paper; The Japanese Paper Place origami foil; Sharpie fine black pen; Stamping Bella cuppacakeabella; Memento Tuxedo Black ink; HOTP (Happy Birthday); Verve Because Of You (Mom); SU Taken With Teal ink; Copics; SU Crystal Effects; K&Company Wild Saffron adhesive paper ribbon; SU scallop oval punch & large oval punch; Fiskars Nostalgia corner edger; dimension squares

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Happy Baa..thday

For this week's Mojo Monday sketch, I thought I would do another one of my scene-within-a-scene cards. The problem with having too many new stamps is I never know which ones to use. This sketch really inspired me and I kept changing my mind about which stamps I wanted to use and how. I'm pretty sure I'll be using this sketch again. I knew I had to make a birthday card because I keep running out of them. My friends have been so supportive and keep buying up all my cards! :)

I decided to eliminate the use of ribbon on this card because, well, you all know that I can't tie bows and I have no problem saying it. LOL I decided to create scene with a whimsical outdoorsy feel. For the two horizontal strips in the background, I immediately knew I wanted to use the clouds from Verve's Up, Up & Away set and the Martha Stewart picket fence border punch, two of my favourite products.

I wanted to use the cute mushroom dp that I previously used in this card which interestingly also uses Pink Cat Studio images and similar colours. I guess that dp just inspires me to use Melissa's stamps. I picked one of the lambs from the Farm Animals set and got out my embossing pen and powder for the wool but for some reason it didn't work. I decided to stick with the weave patterned paper and go au naturel. I raised the lamb off the background with thin dimension strips, double-stamped the lamb's head and flower, and paper pieced the wool on its little head. I used thick dimension squares under the head and flower. I added Crystal Effects to the lamb's hooves, flower and icing on the cupcake in the centre of the sentiment. Then I reverse popped the sentiment by double punching the top piece and raised the ring of petals with thin dimension strips so it wouldn't compete with the lamb.

For the middle rectangle, I couldn't decide if I wanted to cut grass this way or with the tearing edge. I decided to go with the more subtle approach as I did here and here. Originally I was going to use a coloured background but it didn't look right to me. Leaving it plain didn't look right either so I settled on some simple stitching which represents a nice light breeze. I think it added just the right touch to finish off this card. I wonder who will be the lucky person to receive this on their birthday! ;)

Sources: SU chocolate chip, The Paper Company weave white, DCWV sweet stack, SBD kraft & Halcraft smooth white cardstock; Imaginisce twitterpated mushroom fancy & Provo Craft paper; Verve Up, Up & Away; Pink Cat Studio Farm Animals; Memories Artprint Brown ink; Copics; Martha Stewart picket fence edge border; SU crystal effects; SU tearing edge; McGill circle punch; SU scallop circle punch; Gutermann thread; dimension squares

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Smiles for a Baby Boy

I decided to use Karen's Sunday sketch to create a CAS card for friends of ours who just had a baby boy. As you know, I like to customize baby cards but their son arrived two weeks early and they haven't chosen a name yet. I want to get this card in the mail asap so I decided to go with a more generic one. This was another one of the nursery papers I collected and never used so I wanted it to be the focus of this card. The ribbon is also new and the colours go perfectly with the dp. It's so nice to finally have all my punches in order! I love how this card came together so easily. It was nice to do a clean and simple card for my first one back from vacation.

Sources: Bazzill Basics, DCWV & The Paper Company cardstock; Urban Scrapyard ribbon; SBD sentiment; SU Basic Gray ink; McGill circle punch; SU scallop circle punch; dimension squares

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Amanda Hamilton Jewellery

I thought I would do a little feature on my friend Amanda who is a very talented jewellery designer. I met Amanda several years ago when we were both fundraisers for New Leaders of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Canada's premier trauma centre. Every time I wear one of Amanda's pieces, I get so many compliments and everyone asks me where I bought it. Amanda's one-of-a-kind jewellery is very affordable even though they're all made from semi-precious stones and Bali silver. I just love Bali silver! If you've always wanted a custom-made piece made with specific colours and stones, you should consider Amanda's designs.

Amanda is currently working with Murano, sterling silver, vintage German, Lucite and semi-precious stones. Much of her extensive collection comes from her travels around the world. Aside from designing and making jewellery, Amanda is also a collector and is always on the lookout for Georg Jensen silver, Bakelite and anything with a retro sensibility. Amanda is a member of the Toronto Bead Society and The Bead Museum in Phoenix, Arizona where she often vacations.

Here are some samples of Amanda's lovely work:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Just Chillin'

Don't worry, I'm still here. I'm just catching up on things after our little vacation down to Indianapolis to visit my sister. It was so much fun meeting my two-month-old niece and getting to know her. My son loved having a little baby around and seeing him interact with his cousin made me think more about giving him a sibling. Well, not quite yet! ;)

I've been working on some cards and will finish them soon. It's only been a little more than a week now but I feel like I haven't made a card in forever! I really missed my craft stuff when we were away and it's nice to be home with it all again.

Stay tuned!