Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Home at last!

We arrived home last night, but I have been busy tying up loose ends today. All of my craft stuff is still in bags, so I haven't created anything yet. In lieu of a new project, I thought I might post a few vacation pictures.

Saturday, Sean Linda Nick and I broke ranks and visited a couple of museums. We saw the Mattress Factory and the Warhol Museum. Neither place allows photography, but the whole clan did go on an evening riverboat cruise that offered plenty of shutterbug time. Here are a couple of the highlights.

The whole group of us went to a Pirates game on Sunday. They lost to the Padres, but it was still a good game. Who am I kidding! I know nothing about baseball. All I know is it was HOT! Here's a photo of the field. I liked the giant hedge with "Pirates" carved into the top. It's too bad that I'm not a shrub fan or we could have one in the front yard that says "Joneses". Perhaps not...

This is a statue of Honus Wagner that stands outside PNC Park.

Then, on Monday, most of the family left, but Sean and I stayed in the city long enough to visit the National Aviary. Super Cool! The only problem is, most of the birds travel too quickly to be properly photographed. These images will have to do. You'll notice that most of the birds in these photos are stationary.

Well, that's all for now. Have a lovely night.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Round 3, here I come!

I made it into the third round of Paper Crafts Gallery Idol! I found out over vacation so I was spending my down time in Pittsburgh working on my project. Did you know that the best photography light in a Hampton Inn is in the bathroom? True story!

Anyhow, the challenge this round was to feature an attributable quote. Luckily, I had the Out On A Limb stamp set with me on vacation. There is a really lovely Helen Keller quote in that set that says, "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they must be felt with the heart." I used that quote with a chipboard heart covered in patterned paper and some pretty ribbon to create a really clean and simple card. I'm really happy with the way it turned out.

To view the cards in this round click here.

To vote click here.

I am CreativeCritter in case you choose to vote for me. Thanks so much for the support!

Cardstock: White - Strathmore, Pool - Paper Source, Kraft - Papertrey Ink, Brown - Bazzill
Patterned Paper: Heidi Grace
Stamps: Out On A Limb - Papertrey Ink
Ink: Dark Chocolate - Papertrey Ink, Moonlight White - Brilliance
Ribbon: Dark Chocolate Twill & Aqua Mist Saddle Stitched - Papertrey Ink
Other: Chipboard Heart - Basic Grey, Brad - American Crafts, Flower - Prima, Foam Tape - 3M

Thursday, July 24, 2008

In Pittsburgh

We're on vacation right now and it seems unlikely that there will be any card making done tonight. Jenga, yes...card making, no. Perhaps tomorrow. Also, tomorrow I'll know about the Gallery Idol results for the last round. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wuv . . . Twu Wuv

I made an anniversary card today for a friend to give to someone else. 50 years. Wow. Good for them. I don't really have any background information, so I'll leave it there.

Cardstock: White - Strathmore, Aqua & Turquoise - Bazzill
Stamps: Guidelines - Papertrey Ink, Love Sentiments - Cloud 9
Inks: Aqua Mist - Papertrey Ink, Water Lily Green - Palette
Die Cuts: Ring - Quickutz
Punches: Circles - Creative Memories, EK Success, Corner rounder - EK Success
Glitter Pen - Sakura
Rhinestone - Darice
Foam Tape - Scotch
Ribbon - May Arts

Monday, July 21, 2008

I made it!

I made it into the next round of the PaperCrafts Gallery Idol contest! The theme this round was to create a monochromatic card. It's so silly, I make quite a few monochromatic cards, but as soon as I was given the theme I couldn't find my bum with both hands. Not to mention, it's hard to design a greeting card when you spend your weekend sitting in hospital waiting rooms (hi, Mom). I just kept thinking "it's not easy being green" as a get well sentiment.

Well in any case, I finally got my project put together. It required an all-nighter, but the card did get finished. I emailed my photo with my last shred of energy and promptly fell asleep on my craft room floor. At some point I woke up and actually got to the bed...where I remain even now (thank Heaven for laptop computers).

Without further ado...my card:

My favorite color is green, so it only made sense that I pull out the verde for this round. I punched circles out of all sorts of patterned paper to make my tree. There is more foam tape on this card than any other card I have ever made. So much texture! My polka dotted papers have Glossy Accents on them and there is glitter pen all over the place. I need to figure out how to photograph glitter. I have varying levels of success, but rarely is it very clear. Oh, well. It's there.

Anyway, to see the whole gallery of Round 2 cards go here. Everybody did an amazing job! Their work really deserves a gander.

To vote for my card please click here. My screen name is CreativeCritter and the editors over at PaperCrafts are calling my project "Look Up To." I totally appreciate the support! Have a great day.

Cardstock: Vintage Vanilla - Papertrey Ink, Greens - Bazzill
Patterned Paper: Chatterbox
Stamps: Father Knows Best - Papertrey Ink
Ink: Dark Moss Chalk Ink - Colorbox
Circle Punches: Ek Success, Creative Memories
Glitter Pen: Sakura
Ribbon: Michaels
Glossy Accents: Ranger
Other: Foam Tape

Friday, July 18, 2008

Out Of Town

I'm going out of town for the weekend and I don't know whether or not I'll have access to the interweb. If not, I shall return Monday. By then I'll know the results of the first round of the Gallery Idol contest and be able to share my new project (if I move on, of course). Have a good weekend!

Who Doesn't Love A Cupcake?

Oooh! Oooh! I love a cupcake! I do! I do! I also love these cupcake stamps from Papertrey's It's A Celebration stamp set. They are such sweet little things. Bite size even. I'm hungry....Anyway, I stamped these cute little guys and added Liquid Applique to their tops. That stuff is so nifty because, depending on how you use it, you can get two totally different looks. This is the heat set method. You squeeze your Applique onto your project and blast it with a heat gun for a few moments. Voila! You can also leave it alone and let it dry and it is all slick and shiny. I use the heat set method quite a bit because I think it looks like frosting. Every card I've made in the last 6 months that featured a cake or cupcake used heat set Applique.

The cupcakes are on layered bases that are mounted on foam tape (love that foam tape). I also snuggled a little rhinestone on the top of each cupcake to give it a little pizzaz. I think the color scheme is neutral enough that this could be a boy or girl card. Even boys like a little rhinestone action once in awhile. Have a good day!

Cardstock: Kraft - PTI, White - Strathmore, Blue & Brown - Bazzill
Ink: Dark Chocolate - PTI, Moonlight White - Brilliance
Stamps: It's a Celebration, Birthday Basics, Polka Dot Basics - PTI
Liquid Applique - Marvy
Rhinestones - Darice
Punches: Circles - Creative Memories, Corner Rounders - EK Success
Other: Foam Tape

Thursday, July 17, 2008

PaperCrafts Gallery Idol

I'm involved in year two of the PaperCrafts Magazine contest Gallery Idol. The contest is based on American Idol, hence the name. By some stroke of unbelievable luck I was chosen to be in the Top 20. We are currently in the middle of voting for Round 1 (challenge: incorporate scallops). Here's my card...

Technically, this is the second card I have done for this contest, but the first one didn't count. The voting got all messed up and we had to start over. The voting this time is much better. It is done through a third party survey website and somehow your computer is only allowed to vote once per round. Nice. If you'd like to vote for me before 12:00 noon MST today, click here.

So, a little bit about this card. The center image is stamped using the Piece of Cake stamp set from Papertrey Ink. The polka dotted background is done with the Polka Dot Basics set from the same folks. I love that company. I embellished with some punched flowers, rhinestones, and glitter. The pretty little scalloped border around the cake was pierced with a pin using one of those plastic mesh embroidery circle thingies. I used one of the smallest rings and created my own pattern. Time consuming...yes. But I love the result. The darker teal scallops were done by punching 1/2" circles out of cardstock and adhering them to the back of that chocolate layer. I stamped a sentiment on the inside too (with a few flowers). I love this card muchly. I think I've posted enough today. Enjoy!

Cardstock: White - Strathmore; Aqua, Teal, Brown - Bazzill
Inks: Water Lily Green - Palette; Dark Chocolate & Aqua Mist - Papertrey Ink
Stamps: Piece of Cake, Polka Dot Basics, Everyday Blessings - Papertrey Ink
Punches: Corner Rounder, Flower (larger shown on card), 1/2" circle - EK Success; Flower (smaller shown on card) - Fiskars
Rhinestones: Darice
Glitter Pen: Sakura
Other: Foam Tape, Embroidery Circle Thingy

Newton Would Approve

This is one of my favorite cards ever. I loves me some rhinestone action! I made this card for a Papertrey Ink Guest Star Stamper contest back in May. I used the Father Knows Best and Faux Ribbon stamp sets. I masked off just enough of the stitched stamp in Faux Ribbon to create the border on the inside of the card. It's nothing super shmancy, but I like it just the same. I've realized that the red/green/kraft/chocolate color combo is a favorite. I use it a lot without even noticing. I also use a lot of foam tape. I think I could single-handedly keep 3M in business. I'm just sayin'...

Cardstock: Kraft - Archiver's, Brown & Green - Bazzill
Ink: Landscape & Burnt Umber (Dark Chocolate for you PTI junkies) - Palette, Red Pepper - Adirondak
Stamps: Father Knows Best & Faux Ribbon - Papertrey Ink
Rhinestones: Darice
Ribbon - Michaels

Ok...This Time I Fell Off The Wagon And Was Run Over

Oh, boy! Has it been nearly a year already?! Quite a bit has happened in the 10 months and 26ish days since I last checked into this blog.

I left one job, got another job, left that job, then started working from home. I'm really not a job hopper, but it needed to be done.

I've put a concerted effort into magazine submissions and contests. I won the Papertrey Ink Guest Star Stamper Contest in June for a baby mobile that I created using their Bitty Baby Blessings stamp set (which is adorable!).

I am currently battling it out (with scissors in hand - not recommended) in the PaperCrafts Gallery Idol Contest. Voting got a little messy in Round 1 (theme: patriotic), so they started over. We're in Round 1.2 (theme scallops - not the mollusk) now. If you click on the round numbers you can see my submissions. I'll add another post about this whole process soon.

I've attended some small indy business workshops hosted by Wholly Craft. I went to a class about getting a business started and to an open discussion about marketing a small indy business. The workshops were great and I really learned some fantastic stuff.

I applied to my first juried craft show. I didn't get in, but it was good for the experience. The show organizers said something about making the show bigger next year and suggested that they had too many stationery people apply. It was my first year applying to that show so I can't be too disappointed. I am going to apply for several that happen this fall/winter season. Hopefully something will work out there.

Sean and I are back on the farm again this summer. I really enjoy going out and harvesting the veggies. It feels nice to get out of the city once in a while. It's just...cleaner out there or something.

I had a birthday. Sean took me to the Ohio Caverns. It's so amazingly cool down there. I highly suggest a visit. The tour is guided and takes about 45 minutes. If you enjoy taking photos this is totally the activity for you.

We got the house painted! No more blue house! It's yellow and rust now. I like it. Sean says we're a beacon in the neighborhood. I enjoy beacon-dom. It's pretty.

Maybe not as much happened as I thought. I'm sure I'm forgetting things. Oh well. Until next time...