April 30, 2010

ColourQ Challenge #30 and 2S4Y

Happy Friday! We're having a beautiful day here, so I'm going to make this quick post and then take the kiddos outside to enjoy the sun!

Today's card is for ColourQ Challenge #30 and is based on Kazan's sketch this week at 2 Sketches 4 You. Another tricky color combo for me! I must confess, I walked away from this one a number of times intending to scrap it altogether, but I'm glad I decided to stick with it. Does that ever happen to you?

I used what I had on hand, so my light green ribbon is not quite sage, but I think it works! I stamped a plaid pattern in Versamark on Scarlet Jewel cardstock and placed that on a white card base. The leaves are from Turning a New Leaf from PTI, and I stamped them with Evergreen ink from Clearsnap. The Evergreen was a darker green than I wanted, so I stamped the image first on a scrap piece of paper, then stamped it again (without re-inking) onto white cardstock. The flowers are these fabulous paper roses I seeing popping up everywhere, and for those I used Berry Sorbet cardstock from PTI.

Cardstock: Papertrey Ink (burgundy, coral), Bazzill (white, green); Stamps: Martha Stewart Crafts (plaid), Papertrey Ink (leaves); Ink: Versamark, Clearsnap; Punch: EK Success; Ribbon: Michael's stores; other: thread

You might notice the white polka dots peeking out from the underside of the ribbon--I didn't have any solid ribbon and the polka dots made things a little too busy, so I used the back side of the ribbon. I think it's a cute surprise to have them peeking out of the top of the bow!

I'm off to enjoy some sun! Thanks for stopping by!

April 29, 2010

CardPatterns Sketch 61 and Jacksonbelle Tuesday Challenge

Hello again! Can you believe it's almost the weekend? This week has really flown by for me. I've been trying to catch up on some scrapbook pages, so my card for today is very simple. I just finished a scrapbook layout and decided to use the same patterned paper and ribbon to make a quick card. I'd love to post a photo of the layout, but I'm still a little wary of posting pics of my kids online. Anyway, this card is based on the current sketch at CardPatterns, and as you can see I did very little in the way of embellishing! I also used kraft as the base of my card as required for the "Get Krafty" challenge at Jacksonbelle Embellishments. How could I resist any challenge that calls for kraft?!

I stamped the kraft base with an image from "Funky Flowers" by Autumn Leaves using Versamark to mimic the patterned paper. Unfortunately I don't have the name of the manufacturer for the paper (sorry!). I cut out the circle and scalloped circle with my Nestabilities and added a punched butterfly embellished with a couple of little gems. I adhered a couple of strips of ribbon, then layered the circles on top with pop dots. Finally, I added a sentiment in Chocolate Brown ink directly on the twill. This is the first time I've tried stamping on ribbon, and I really like the way it turned out.

Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned paper: unknown; Tools: Spellbinders (dies), Sizzix (die cut machine), Martha Stewart Crafts (butterfly punch), EK Success (corner rounder); Stamps: Fiskars, Autumn Leaves; Ink: Papertrey Ink, Versamark; Ribbon: Jo-Ann stores (blue), Portafolia (brown); Rhinestones: Me & My Big Ideas

I can hardly believe I didn't add any stitching or sponging! But I really like this clean and simple look, and it would be super easy to reproduce in several colors for a set.

So glad you could stop by today! Many, many thanks for all your sweet comments and encouragement. This little blog has been one of the most rewarding things I've done in a while! Hope to see you back here soon!

April 28, 2010

Curtain Call Color Challenge and Sweet Sunday Sketch

Hi there! I have a card to share today that is very uncharacteristic of me, but I had a lot of fun making it! I was inspired by the current color challenge at Stacey's Stamping Stage and the Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge.

While these colors are absolutely lovely together, this would not be my usual palette as I am not particularly girly. But I've been wanting to do a ruffled ribbon look for a while, and the Sweet Sunday Sketch was the perfect opportunity.

I started by stitching three ribbons on one side of my Sweet Blush cardstock, folding them as I stitched. For the focal point, I wanted to recreate a fun ribbon flower I saw in the current issue of Creating Keepsakes, made by the amazingly talented Jennifer McGuire. I looped three small pieces of ribbon to make the blossom, then stitched them together with a button. The flower stem is just a piece of green ribbon that I twisted and adhered with glue dots. Then I just added a little ribbon "leaf" and a sentiment from PTI's Mega Mixed Messages.

Card base and ribbon: Michael's stores; Cardstock: Papertrey Ink (Sweet Blush, Raspberry Fizz), Michael's stores (white); Stamp: Papertrey Ink; Ink: Autumn Leaves; tools: Spellbinders (dies), Sizzix (die cut machine); other: DMC floss

Very girly, yes, but I love it anyway! This one will definitely need to be hand delivered due to all the textural elements and the pop dots under the focal panel. What do you think? I appreciate all of your comments so much, please keep them coming!

I hope you have a crafty day! Thanks for stopping by!

April 26, 2010

Taylored Expressions #110

Hi there, friends! I was super excited this morning to find out that I made the Super 6 at Card Patterns this week! I highly recommend that you check out the other top cards at the Card Patterns blog today--they are so beautiful and inspiring!

Today I'd like to share the card I made for this fabulous sketch at Taylored Expressions.

So many possibilities! Since a college friend of mine recently had a baby boy, I thought that this sketch would be perfect for using up some patterned paper scraps I've had for a while. I first used a 1 5/8" square punch to cut out the nine squares and adhered them to a coordinating light green, 5" square of paper. Notice the stitching around the edges? You may think I'm crazy but I actually pierced the holes with my sewing machine (unthreaded), then used them as a guide to hand stitch with white floss. Why the extra step? For some reason, when I tried regular machine stitching it wound up looking not so straight, but the machine worked perfectly for piercing holes quickly. I think it must have something to do with the tension on my machine when it is threaded, but I'm too impatient to try and figure it out!

Next I adhered the block to a dark blue, 5 1/4" square card base. I used a Nestabilities circle and scalloped circle to cut out the focal point shape, then stamped the sentiment (from PTI's Mixed Messages) in blue pigment ink. I used dark blue embossing powder and a heat gun to finish the sentiment. Then I stamped a star (from PTI's Star Prints) in red over the top. I adhered a strip of blue ribbon and the circle with foam squares.

Cardstock: Bazill; Patterned paper: Deja Views; Stamps: Papertrey Ink; Ink: Clearsnap; Embossing powder: Hampton Art; tools: EK Success (square punch), Spellbinders (circle dies), Sizzix (die-cutting machine); other: thread, ribbon

To finish the inside, I just adhered a light blue square and a strip of patterned paper from the same set.

And that's it! My instructions are a bit long-winded, but it was pretty simple to put together.

Thanks for stopping by, and for your much-appreciated comments!

April 24, 2010

ColourQ #29

Cardstock: Papertrey Ink (burgundy), Bazzill (all other); Stamps: Autumn Leaves (flowers), Fiskars (sentiment), Papertrey Ink (polka dots); Ink: Clearsnap (burgundy, green), Martha Stewart Crafts (orange), Autumn Leaves (yellow), Jo-Ann stores (white); tools: Cuttlebug (embossing folder), Sizzix; other: thread

Hi there! We had a gorgeous day today and spent the afternoon with the kids at a nice little park on the ocean in New Hampshire. So nice to relax and enjoy the fresh air!

Today's card is for the color challenge at ColourQ. This one was SO hard for me. Lots of bright colors in challenges lately, which take me way outside of my comfort zone!

I also used the bonus sketch for the week at 2 Sketches 4 You.

This one is pretty straight-forward. I embossed the white background with swiss dots from Cuttlebug, stamped some white polka dots from PTI's Polka Dot Basics on my colored strips, and stamped a few flowers and sentiment on the main panel. It seemed a little flat until I added the stitching, which unfortunately is not as straight as I would like! Guess I need to work on that!

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

April 23, 2010

Curtain Call color challenge Act 26 & Card Patterns 60

Hello again! I have a card for two more challenges today. First up, this color combo at Stacey's Stamping Stage really appealed to me. I've seen a lot of home decor and accessories lately with this combination and I think it looks really elegant.

I used this sketch from Card Patterns. I had a basic layout done very quickly, but then the embellishing took me forever! Does that happen to you? I just had a hard time giving it a finished look that I was happy with.

Unfortunately the lighting is terrible today, so the yellow doesn't come out bright and cheery like in real life. I used 2 different background pattern stamps by Martha Stewart in white ink to give the yellow and light gray blocks some interest. I cut out the scalloped circle and label with my Nestabilities. The charcoal-stamped strips on the label are from TPC Studio, and the sentiment is from Papertrey's Mega Mixed Messages.

Cardstock: Bazzill; Stamps: Martha Stewart Crafts, TPC Studio, Papertrey Ink; Ink: Jo-Ann stores, Clearsnap; Tools: Nestabilities by Spellbinders, Sizzix by Ellison; Rhinestones: Me & My Big Ideas; other: ribbon

I thought this card needed a little sparkle to go with the elegant colors, but I had a difficult time integrating them into the design. I guess it's the tomboy in me--I rarely use bling on my projects!

I did manage to finish the inside of my card, choosing to go very simple and layer the same stamped patterned papers found on the outside, leaving lots of room for a personal message.

Okay, I'm off to run some errands before the weekend arrives. What do you have planned? I hope you find some time to be crafty! Thanks for stopping by!

Earth Day Challenge Winner!

Hi all! Just a quick post to announce the winner of my Earth Day challenge. Since there were only two entries I put both names in a hat and had my daughter pick one out. And the winner is....

Angie! She made this adorable card using a piece of mesh that was wrapped around her Valentine's Day flowers. So clever!

Angie, please send me your contact info and I will get your prize in the mail!

I also want to recognize Jo at The Crafty Nomad for her two cards. I highly encourage you to visit her blog and check out her creations!

I'll be back later with a card of my own. Happy crafting!

April 22, 2010

Taylored Expressions Sketch 109

Happy Earth Day! Did you know this is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day? Do you have any plans to recognize it today? If so, I'd love to hear about it! Hopefully you have it in your plans to create a card or project for my Earth Day challenge, which ends tonight at 11:59 EST. Click on the logo on my sidebar for more info and to link your creation!

Today's card is based on the sketch at Taylored Expressions, which appealed to me immediately. It looked like such a fun sketch, and the cards I've seen posted so far are so creative!

I recently ordered Papertrey's Star Prints stamp set and wanted to play with it, so I decided to have the stars peeking out from punched circles. And don't you just love the font in this set? This card was also inspired by all of the graduation cards I've seen recently, so I used my school colors of red, white, and blue.

Cardstock: Bazzill; Stamps: Papertrey Ink; Ink: Clearsnap, Versamark; Punches: Marvy Uchida, EK Success, Martha Stewart Crafts, Fiskars; White pen: Uni-ball Signo; other: DMC floss

I don't know about you, but I have this bad habit of putting off finishing the insides of my cards. I often feel like my creativity is drained by the time I finish the outside and I can't imagine opening the card up to stare at another blank surface. So today I challenged myself to finish the inside of this card. I saw the punched out blue circles laying in my scrap pile and thought it would be fun to stamp them up and arrange them on the inside, similar to the card front. I then outlined the circles with my white pen to mimic the stitched circles on the outside.

Do you have some ideas you'd like to share for the insides of cards? If so, I'd love to hear about them! I'll try to share more of mine here, too, and maybe it will motivate me to finish them in a more timely manner!

Thanks for sharing a part of your day with me!

April 21, 2010

Sweet Sunday Sketch 65

Hello friends! I have been absent for several days, did you miss me? I've been super busy lately and have had a real creative block to overcome when I do find time to craft, but hopefully that will pass soon!

Before I get to today's card, I want to remind you that Thursday night (that's tomorrow!) is the deadline for my Earth Day Challenge. If you're just hearing about it, click on the logo on my sidebar to learn more and enter your creation. I only have one entry so far, so your chances are very good to win some super-cute stickers and die-cuts from Doodlebug Designs.

Now for today's card: as I mentioned I have had a difficult time creating lately, so I decided to simplify things a bit and use just one challenge sketch and not try to combine it with a color challenge at the same time. I also wanted to try out some of my new stamps from Papertrey, the lovely leaf and vine images of Turning a New Leaf. This set has been on my wish list since I discovered PTI, so I was very excited to get a chance to play with it. I used the Sweet Sunday Sketch shown below.

I also dove into that PTI cardstock I've been hoarding, choosing Ripe Avocado, Aqua Mist, and Vintage Cream. I think this combo looks very serene. I used three different images from Turning a New Leaf to stamp the background in Versamark and the focal image in Ripe Avocado palette ink. The sentiment is from Fiskars, and the ribbon is PTI. A simple stitched border seemed to pull it all together.

Cardstock: Papertrey Ink; Stamps: Papertrey Ink (leaves), Fiskars (sentiment); Ink: Versamark, Papertrey Ink (Ripe Avocado); Punches: EK Success; Ribbon: Papertrey Ink; other: thread

I really like the way this turned out. The design is very simple but the layers of different leaf images give it a bit more depth and interest. I imagine I will be using this set quite a bit!

Thanks for stopping by today! And as always, a big thank you to those of you who take the time to leave such sweet comments. I read every single one and enjoy checking out your blogs, too! Have a great Wednesday!

April 16, 2010

EBTKS and Wee Memories Challenges

Cardstock: Bazzill; Stamps: Martha Stewart Crafts (background patterns), Doodlebug Design (letters); Ink: Clearsnap; Tools: Fiskars (border punch), Cuttlebug (embossing folder), Sizzix (die cut machine); Ribbon: Offray, Michael's stores

Hello again! I have a second post for you today for two more challenges. This one is much more in keeping with today's weather! Jenny at Wee Memories posted a fun challenge to create a card with the theme of April showers, and the inspiration photo below.

I love those happy yellow umbrellas! I wanted to focus on the umbrella for my main image, and thought it would work well with this challenge sketch from Everything But the Kitchen Sink.

First I embossed some tiny dots onto my gray cardstock with a Cuttlebug embossing folder. Then I hand drew an umbrella and cut it into sections to stamp the alternating patterns in blue. I added some hand drawn "stitches" to complete the pieced look. The alphabet letters for the sentiment are from a whimsical little set by Doodlebug Design. The card itself is a bit more cheery in person, but the dreary weather made it hard to photograph!

Thanks for stopping by!

CPS 162 & Curtain Call Color Challenge Act 25

Happy, happy Friday! Are you ready for some bright colors today? We have had beautiful sunshine lately, until today. Now that it is rainy and cold, I decided to tackle the Curtain Call Color Challenge to chase away the gray! This card is also based on Card Positioning Systems sketch #162.

I have to admit, these colors almost killed me. A definite departure from my usual comfort zone! But that's what I love about these challenges, because I'm definitely learning to experiment and think in new ways, and that's a lot of fun!

The pink cardstock I used is Raspberry Fizz from Papertrey. I've been hoarding my package of PTI cardstock since I received it a month ago! I'm so impressed with the quality and weight of this cardstock, but I've been reluctant to start cutting it up--probably because I can't just run to the craft store and pick up a few more pieces any time I want. The pink, orange, and yellow paper strips are stamped with small polka dots in Versamark, but that's hard to see in the picture. I used three different flower stamps from the same set from Autumn Leaves and a sentiment from Fiskars.

Cardstock: Papertrey Ink (pink), Bazzill (orange, white), The Paper Company (yellow); Stamps: Papertrey Ink (polka dots), Autumn Leaves (flowers, leaf), Fiskars (sentiment); Ink: Autumn Leaves (pink, yellow); Martha Stewart Crafts (orange); Clearsnap (green); other: buttons, string

So glad you stopped by today! Enjoy your weekend!

April 15, 2010

Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge 64

Well, we've almost made it to the end of the week! I, for one, am ready for the weekend. How about you?

Today's card is for the Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge #64. As you can see, I kept to the design and tried to keep it simple.

I've had these patterned papers for a very long time and thought it was time to cut into them! I tend to hoard my prettiest papers. I punched three different sized circles and crumpled them a bit to make the layered circle "flowers". I also ran the cream cardstock through my Sizzix using a Cuttlebug embossing folder to give it some texture on the top and bottom. Everything was inked up on the edges with creamy brown chalk ink from Clearsnap.

Cardstock: Bazzill (pink), Papertrey Ink (cream); Patterned paper: Sandylion (dotted), Rhonna Farrer (pink floral); Sentiment: Papertrey Ink; Ink: Papertrey Ink (chocolate brown), Clearsnap; Punches: EK Success, Martha Stewart Crafts; Tools: Cuttlebug (embossing folder), Sizzix (die cut machine); Other: buttons, DMC floss

Gotta cut this short, as my kiddos need to go to bed! Thanks for checking in and for your sweet comments!

April 14, 2010

Taylored Expressions Sketch 108 & Embellish color challenge

Hello, and happy Wednesday! Thank goodness the week is halfway over! This has a been a very busy and stressful week so far, but it is almost over. I find it much more difficult to craft when my brain is in fifteen other places. Does this happen to you?

I did manage to combine a couple of challenges today for this card. Embellish Magazine's current challenge is to use red, black, white, and kraft while incorporating a party theme. I decided to use a sketch over at Taylored Expressions, which turned out to be harder than it looked! Like I said, it's been hard to get in the crafting groove lately! Here's the sketch:

I stuck to the sketch to keep things simple. I started by stamping some flourishes on white cardstock, then cut it up into three blocks. After adding the sentiment and ribbon, I thought it needed a splash of red on the top half to balance things out, so I added a few little red starbursts to match those under the sentiment.

Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned paper: Making Memories; Stamps: Inkadinkadoo (flourish), Fiskars (sentiment), unknown (starburst); Ink: Clearsnap; Ribbon: Michael's stores

I kind of wish I had heat embossed the flourishes and sentiment to add something extra, but I'm okay with it as it is.

Just a reminder to check out the challenge by clicking on the Earth at the top of my blog! Don't worry, you don't have to pledge to do anything radical, just use up some extra scraps laying around your house! And you'll have a chance to win some super-cute stickers and die cuts from Doodlebug Designs.

Thanks for stopping by!

April 12, 2010

Jacksonbelle Tuesday sketch challenge

Hi everyone! Before I get to today's card, I just want to remind you about the Earth Day challenge I posted over the weekend. If you haven't seen the post yet, you can get all the details here. I hope you'll participate!

Today I have a card based on this sketch at Jacksonbelle Embellishments.
The lighting wasn't the greatest for photos today, so the pale yellow looks more cream-colored here, but it's a very pretty combo in person. I started by scoring vertical lines on my cardstock base using the new Scoring Board from Martha Stewart Crafts. I am super excited about this, because in addition to using it to create this kind of subtle texture, I plan to use the handy envelope making guide to create my own custom envelopes. I also used this tool to score two horizontal lines across my brown scalloped strips. The butterfly stamp is also from Martha Stewart, and the sentiment is Fiskars. I used Clearsnap creamy brown chalk ink to sponge all the edges and added a few rhinestones for sparkle.

Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned paper: unknown; Stamps: Martha Stewart Crafts, Fiskars; Ink: Papertrey Ink, Clearsnap; Border punch: Fiskars; Rhinestones: Michael's stores; Scoring board: Martha Stewart Crafts

The center panel and sentiment are adhered with dimensional squares to pop them up, and I only adhered the body of the butterfly so I could fold up the wings a bit. I am loving this stamp, and I'm sure you'll be seeing the others from this set soon, too!

I hope you have a happy week planned! Thanks for stopping by!

April 11, 2010

Earth Day inspiration, take 1

Hello again!

Today's card is the first I will be sharing as inspiration for my Earth Day challenge. If you missed my post with all the details, you can check it out here. But first, I want to say a huge thank you to the crew over at the Curtain Call for selecting my card for the lead in its latest color challenge. I was absolutely giddy all weekend! What an honor to be featured among so many beautiful entries.

Now check out the fun color combo in my "Congrats" card. This was inspired by the challenge at colourQ to use navy, turquoise, tangerine, suede and white (I left out the white). I used sketch 161 from Card Positioning Systems. I wanted a masculine look, something a bit rugged. I was kind of stuck with a flat, boring design until I thought to use some corrugated cardboard. I love that rough texture--it really gives the card that extra something, don't you think?

Cardstock: Bazzill; Stamp: TPC Studio; Ink: Papertrey Ink, Clearsnap, Tim Holtz; Punch: Marvy Uchida; Corner rounder: EK Success; other: cardboard, paper cording

The cardboard, of course, is the recycled item for today's take on the Earth Day challenge. I took a box that was sitting in my mudroom and cut off one of the flaps. Then I peeled away the paper on one side of the cardboard to reveal the corrugated paper underneath. This leaves it with that distressed, unfinished look with tons of texture! The stars were punched out of cardstock, then I dampened them just a bit with a baby wipe (I always have those on hand!). Next I crumpled them up in a ball, then unfolded them to reveal a distressed, rumpled look. The edges were inked with dark brown chalk ink by Clearsnap to give them a little more definition. I finished it off with some paper cording and a sentiment from TPC Studio in Dark Chocolate ink from Papertrey.

I'd love to hear what you think! I hope you'll be inspired to find some "trash" to use in an unexpected way on your next project. And be sure to post a link here for a chance to win. Thanks for stopping by!

Earth Day challenge

As promised, I am excited to announce a little challenge here on my blog. First, the details about the challenge itself, then I want to give you a little more background about me and why I chose this particular theme.

As most of you know, Earth Day is approaching, and as a paper crafter you are certainly aware of the mounds of waste we produce when creating. Many of us try to use up our scraps in creative ways, but there are lots of fun and unexpected ways we can use the "trash" in our homes to make something beautiful. I'm challenging you to create a card, layout, or altered item that uses at least one item that was destined for the trash or recycling. Think about cardboard, tags from clothing, bottle caps, bits of string, junk mail, etc. Post the link to your project below by April 22, 2010 at 11:59 PM EST. One entry will be selected at random to win 3 new sheets of stickers from the new Doodlebug "Mother Nature" line.

Seriously, how cute are those? I can't wait to see the entries! I will be posting a few examples myself, with one coming up later today.

Now, I hope you'll give me just a few more minutes of your time while I tell you a little more about myself and why I chose to do this challenge. Let me start with the title of my blog, "Seaglass and Sentiments". The sentiments part is pretty self-explanatory, given that I make cards, but seaglass refers to those lovely pieces of colored glass that have been worn smooth by the ocean over time. The fact is that those pieces of glass were once trash: bits of broken bottles and such left to litter beaches and the ocean alike. Seaglass is one of those very rare examples of trash being turned into treasure by nature alone. Pretty cool, don't you think?

As crafters, I like to imagine that we do something similar every time we create. All those scraps of pretty paper and embellishments, while often quite lovely by themselves, are transformed into something totally unique and beautiful by our hands alone. Just like those pieces of glass in the ocean, "trash" is turned into treasure. I wanted to take this analogy a step further, by challenging myself and you to look around at what we already have available to us, that might have been thrown into the recycling or destined for the garbage, and find creative uses for it that will transform it into something beautiful and meaningful.

To sum it all up, I came up with a nifty little slogan that reflects 3 very important facets of my life: Conserve. Create. Connect. First, to conserve means to protect our resources, to care for our environment, and to reduce our impact on the world around us. As a former biologist myself and the wife of an environmental biologist, I am always looking for ways to live a "greener" life, but I am often conflicted when it comes to paper crafting. For many of us, one of the most enjoyable parts of the hobby is shopping for new products! But often we can stretch our creativity and be mindful of our impact on the environment at the same time by finding new uses for what we already have.

The word create is pretty self-explanatory too, as this is one aspect of my life that I have chosen to share with you here on this blog. For many years I put my creativity aside while I pursued other goals, and only recently did I realize how much joy and satisfaction the creative process brings me on a daily basis. I know that many of us find the act of creating so important that we stay up late at night or sneak it in while the kids are napping, whatever it takes!

Finally, the word connect refers to the end product of our creativity. We connect with our loved ones through the one-of-a-kind cards and gifts we make for them. And we connect with each other as crafters, including through our blogs. One thing that convinced me to start blogging about paper crafting was the overwhelming sense of community and sharing of ideas that exists through the internet. How fortunate we are to be able to support and encourage each other while doing something we love!

For those of you who are still with me, thank you so much for letting me share a bit of myself with you! As always, I love reading your comments and encourage you to share your thoughts. And be sure to submit your most creative uses for "trash" for a chance to win!

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