Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stampin', Bakin' and Wrapin'

Oh goodness, it's busy around here!  I don't think we've used the kitchen table to actually eat on for a week.  I baked all day yesterday, but I don't feel like I have much to show for it.  I tried some new recipes (bad idea), and some most of them did not turn out (ugh!).  I remember my mom having the same problem once in awhile when she was trying to do the holiday baking; sometimes you just have to leave it for another day.  Anyway, on to stamping.  I've been stamping with friends, family and by myself this week, tyring to finish up the Christmas cards.  Are you ready......?  I'm up to 6.  That's right, six cards.  Breathe Wendy, breathe!  Okay, so I'm an underachiever this year.  Here is what I've created recently:

This is for the Featured Stamper challenge today on Splitcoast:

I used textured cardstock for this, which turned out to be a bear to sponge on, but I kind of like the scene that resulted.  Very simple (the most difficult kind of card for me), but I think dramatic.

Here are the cards from earlier in the week:

An oldie but a goodie retired set from SU.  I stamped and masked my Santa and reindeer and added a masked moon, then sponged with Bashful Blue ink.  I paperpierced the mats and colored the images with Copics (still practicing).  I used that wrapped brad technique again on the bow.  I love this cheery card!

Lastly, I made this "Dear Santa" card, using a CTMH set called "Santa's List".  I colored the Santa again with Copics and cut he and the tree out and mounted them on sponged cardstock.  Added a bit of glitter and Liquid Applique for his beard, and there you have it.

Okay, I have to get back to wrapping...I mean baking, or is it stamping....if you don't hear from me within a few days, please come dig me out from under the mess.  Thanks!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Motivate to Create

Just finished my third Christmas card.  I'm so thankful for Splitcoast challenges.  They not only get the creative juices flowing, but also serve as a sufficient "booty kicker" for those of us that are, shall we say, bit of procrastinators?

Today's Inspiration Challenge is based on Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, where you can find everything Christmas.  This is a wonderful site for those unique Christmas items.  I had an angel image in mind, so I searched their angel ornaments and decor and found this beauty.  Here's my card:

This is from a nativity acrylic stamp set I purchased at Michael's.  I paperpieced my image using DP from K&Co.  I also added a new twist with the ribbon treatment.  My friend Hope showed me how to use a brad to twist around the center of the bow to create a unique accent.  The bow is secured using red sticky tape.  I think it adds a nice touch. 

Supply list: 
Paper:  K&Co.
Stamps:  Michael's
Accessories:  Gold ink for distressing, Copic for the angel's cheeks, glitter pens, Tim Holtz Distress ink, ribbon scrap, Making Memories brad.

Have a wonderful Saturday,


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Wednesday!

Well, we've made it halfway through the work week and I have a new card to post.  That means two people are receiving Christmas cards this year.  Yes, I better get moving.  Here's my Kris Kringle card:

The colors in this card are much more vivid than they photograph.  Unfortunately the photo came out a little overexposed.  Anyway, I watercolored this retired SU image and then used various glitter pens to highlight.  I then used Tim Holtz Distressing Ink (I believe it's called Old Paper?????) to age the image.  I cut it out and mounted it on a Top Note die cut and attached the Top Note panel to K&Company DP with brads over SU striped ribbon.  I then sprayed the entire card with Smooch Clear, which is probably why it's reflecting more light in the photo, but it sure is sparkly!. 

Well, two down, 18 to go....

Til Next time,


Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Homemade Christmas

Isn't that the best kind of Christmas, one that comes from the heart, not store bought, but created by your own two hands.  Well, my kids might have other ideas, as is evidenced by their extensive Christmas lists, but I love homemade gifts.  Before I move on to Christmas cards, I want to expound upon our Thanksgiving this year.  I was all for a take-out Thanksgiving dinner.  I know, I know, you're all gasping in horror right now and this statement totally contradicts my earlier statements in this paragraph, but I have been so tired lately that I really just wanted to relax over the Thanksgiving long weekend.  Okay, moving on, my family started in with "...but you are going to make your sweet potatoes, right mom?" and "what are we going to do without all the leftovers?".   So, you can guess what happened...I caved.  I ended up cooking Thanksgiving dinner, complete with all the family favorites and you know what...I realized I wouldn't have it any other way.  The house smelled amazing and the food was fantastic, as was the company.  We played games after dinner and laughed and laughed.  It was a good day, filled with memories.

 I wanted to share with you the centerpiece my son and I created together.  I found the idea in Family Fun magazine.  I had my DS collect pretty fall leaves, and DH halved a few walnuts for me (this was after I tried it on my own with disasterous results).  We glued twigs in the walnut half shells with a glue gun and then threaded a leaf onto the twig, creating a boat.  They sailed happily for a little while and then sadly, my little Thanksgiving boats sank, yes, they sank.  I found that walnut shells become waterlogged after a time.  Don't worry, I found that sealing them first with a matte spray sealer will keep them sea-worthy.

Along with celebrating Thanksgiving, I've been working like crazy on my Christmas Cards this week, which brings us to the title of this post.  I created the card below for the Inspiration Challenge over at Splitcoast.  I always get so excited when I have the opportunity to participate in one of the challenges, as it really gets your creative juices flowing. 

I used Copics to color my snowman image.  Copics are new to me, as my coloring medium of choice is usually watercoloring.  However, I find that I can take my Copics to work with me or to a friend's house much easier than I can my watercolors, so I will be using them more and more I think.  The inspiration site is called The Country Porch, which is just loaded of beautiful country decor.  I was particularly inspired by the quilts.  I used SU DSP and a CM square punch to create "quilt blocks".  I then glued them to a piece of cardstock and die cut this with the Top Note die.  I used a red pen to make stitch marks.  The card is embellished with punched snowflakes, button, ribbon and chunky glitter. I hope you like it.

Here is a list of materials used:
Stamps:  Flourishes
Paper:  Walmart cardstock, SU DSP
Misc:  SU ribbon, Top Note die, button, pen, chunky glitter (unknown brand).
Ink:  SU black, Tempting Turquoise.

Thanks for stopping by.


Saturday, November 13, 2010


Hello Friends,

I hope you're enjoying the autumn weather as much as I am.  It's always my favorite season.  Today I have a couple easy projects that I made for my DH's birthday.  Now, DH doesn't frequent my blog very often.  He specifically asked me not to EVER feature him on my blog, but since the Giant's won the World Series this year and this is a baseball post, I don't think he'll mind to much being a participant in my little blog entry.

I don't know if you have this problem, but I deplore having rolls and rolls of wrapping paper around, only to discover nothing fits the occasion I need.  Well, I found a new (well probably just new to me) way to decorate a package to suit the individual you're celebrating.  A few years ago, I invested in (huge) rolls of butcher paper.  I ordered them online through a paper company.  I have both white and kraft.  Let me tell you, these rolls will last me a lifetime of wrapping and the total was about $50 for both.  I originally ordered them to stamp decorate, which is wonderful, but I thought of something different for my DH's birthday gift.  I went on-line and printed out vintage baseball adds, cut them out and used Craft Bond (new fave adhesive) to adhere the adds to the butcher paper.  This took me all of about ten minutes and just look how great this turned out.

This idea is not only good for wrapping paper; you can also coordinate your card with your gift by using this simple technique.

I wanted to keep the card fairly simple, so I tore the printed adds and adhered them, again using Craft Bond to the card stock.  I added the white and black diamonds to use as a backdrop for my title and used my Cricut to create the title.  I found this quote at site, which pretty much sums up how much DH likes baseball.  I printed it out on regular copy paper and cut into a banner.  I added a button and some black and white checked ribbon, and there you have it. 

Hope you enjoyed this post. 

Til Next Time,  Wendy

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Need Help to Get Out of a Slump

You would think that I haven't been crafting with my lack of posts recently, but I have been struggling with loss of mojo.  This ailment is characterized by either no inspiration or not being able to follow-through with an idea.  In my case, I have been struggling with one project; a baby card.  I had this idea for a baby bib card, but after three tries, it ended up in the circular file.  Then I took a break and came back with an idea for a jointed teddy bear.  Again, it just wouldn't come together.  I was tempted to do the a card from Hallmark!  Of course there is nothing wrong with buying a card from Hallmark, but everyone knows I make my cards by hand and would feel slighted if I gave them a purchased card.  So, I completed the dreaded card tonight.  I told myself that good enough is and let it go.  My question is, what do you all do when you can't seem to get into the groove????

Currently Creatively Challenged

Sunday, September 19, 2010

From Owl of Us

Just playing around with my stamps today.  I have to say I'm rarely happy with the way solid image stamps appear.  I guess that's the reason I started watercoloring images.  However, I do like the way solid images look on patterned paper, so I paired up some Colorbok Friendly Forest stamps with cooridinating patterned paper and look what happened.
I added some acrylic drops for the eyes.  These can be found at Michael's in the floral section in big bags in a variety of colors.  The drops are attached with some Crystal Effects.  I also added some Crystal Effects to the leaves.  This card is very self-explanatory, so I won't go into it much.  There's just a ton of layering.

I hope you all have a wonderful restful Sunday.  I'm off to start my chores:)

Til Next Time,

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Embossed Watercoloring Experiment

m Good Morning All,

I hope you're having a lovely Saturday morning.  We have rain here, which is unusual for Northern California.  Usually September is our warmest month, but I have given up trying to predict what kind of weather we will have after the unusually cool summer we just had. 

I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to try combining embossing and watercoloring.  This is not a new technique, but I wanted to alter the technique a bit to make it "new".  So here we go....
I started out by stamping my image from the "Morning Soft" stamp set three times and embossing with fine black embossing powder. 

The next step is to watercolor.  I used a waterbrush and my SU re-inkers, starting with a light yellow wash on the background of one of my stamped images.  This will be my base.  It then watercolored three stamped images, starting from the lightest to darkest colors.  Let dry.

The next step is to cut out two of the stamped images.  To do this you want to look at the "depth" of the image; what is the closest the the viewer?  What is the furthest away.  The leaves in my images that are the furtherest from view are going to stay on my base and will not be cute out.  The next level of leaves and flowers will be cut out from the second stamped image, and then the last and closest leaves and flowers will be cut out to form the top layer.  Clear as mud you say?  It will become easier to visualize in the next photo.

Okay, so you see I have my flowers and leaves cut out and ready to attach to the base image.  I used a dark felt marker and went around the cut edges, so there would be no white showing.

The final step is putting it together.  I used a mouse pad and an embossing tool to shape the images from the back to give them more dimension.  I then used some fast-drying glue (or glue dots will work) before attaching the layers to my main image.

And here's the finished card.  I added some patterned paper, gathered ribbon and buttons.  I also added some faux stitching with a black pen to the edge of the image and then mounted it on the card asymmetrically to add more interest. Before I forget, I spritzed the finished layered image with a bit of Smooch Spritz in clear glitter to give a little sparkle and also added some black seed beads to the center of the flowers.  I'm loving seed beads lately. I hope you liked this tutorial and will try this technique soon.

Til Next Time,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Last Frontier

Back of house before remodel

As I might have mentioned, my family and I have been remodling our home for the past....well, you might say 10 years.  We moved into a house built in the early 1950's and it needed a total overhaul, as well as another bedroom. 

I have been an active participant in many of the projects and have learned so many new skills, many I hope to never use again!  For instance, I really, really dislike cutting moulding.  This probably has to do with the fact that I hate to measure, let alone make mitered corners.  I did enjoy tiling and painting wasn't so bad. It has all been a long, tedious process and though it was something I always wanted to do, I would never, ever do it again! Where is this post leading you ask?  Well, now that most of the inside projects have been completed, it's time at long last to attack the yard.  As you know, we've mostly used the backyard for vegetables over the past couple of seasons, but the front yard has really remained an eyesore as long as we've owned this property.  First of all there was that white quartz rock covering most of it, which not only dated the property, but made it dang hard to plant anything. 

Very brave man taking down the tree.

Then, there was a very, very ugly palm tree.  We removed the rock a few years ago and then a few months ago, we removed the palm tree and overgrown shrubs.  I was also lucky enough to have a friend who's husband graciously removed the old cracked walkway (thanks Dean).  Now, we have a clean slate to work with.  We have retaining walls to build and drip irrigation to lay, as well as a little picket fence I think will add a great deal of cottage charm to this place.  Over the coming weeks I want to share the transformation.  We will be doing all the work ourselves, so all you do-it-yourselfers stay tuned. 

On another note, I've had an idea for combining watercoloring with embossing.  I know it's been done before, but I want to see if I can make the technique my own.  Watch for the next post.

Oh, before I forget; I've inherited my daughter's laptop.  That means I'll be able to post more often, but also means some typos and getting used to a flat keyboard, so bear with me. 

Til then, I hope you're all having a great week.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Blogger Award

Hi Everyone,

I received this wonderful award from my blogger friend, Barbara Diane Ramsey at  Thank you Barbara Diane.  Barbara Diane has stuck with me through thick and thin with my blog. 

I am to list seven things about Christmas and send this award to seven other deserving bloggers.  So here we go.  I love Christmas, always have.  It's more than the gifts and festivities.  Christmas is all about magic and possibilities.

1.  I love the crisp Winter air when searching for the perfect tree.  Of course, this may mean the crisp air at Home Depot while searching the artificial tree aisle.
2.  Christmas cookies made by my brother, sister-in-law, me and whoever will join in.  My brother can make any cookie shape into something weird and amusing.
3.  Seeing the kids light up with anticipation of opening gifts.
4.  Creating the perfect Christmas menu.
5.  Unwrapping all the Christmas ornaments from when my children were young and even some from my father's youth.
6.  Sharing the hoilidays with friends and family.
7.  Packing up all the decorations and starting a new year.

And now for the bloggers:

I hope you check out all these wonderful blogs.

Til next time,

Goodbye Little Garden

I really truly  believe that the Bay Area never really got a summer.  Yes, we've had some warm days, but not a typical summer.  We have now moved into fall, and so with this card, I will officially move into Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Yes, I may even shed a tear or two.

On to brighter news, the recruiter I used to find my job recently gave me celebratory lunch.  It was really fun and filling and I wanted to send her a special thank you.  During lunch we talked of our love for organic vegetables, so I thought "Farm Fresh" would be the perfect stamp set to use for her card.

What do you think?

I used Gamsol and Prisma pencils to color the images.  The paper is from Making Memories.  I originally thought to craft some produce crates to place the labels on, but proved to be beyond me.  Isn't it funny how a card evolves as you work?

Til next time,

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Is Anyone Still Out There?

I never intended to be away from blogging this long and I've missed it terribly.  My goodness, it's been over an entire month since my last post!  I hope you have all been enjoying your summer as much as I have.  Over the last month, I have spent lots of time visiting with friends and family.  I can't wait to tell you of all my adventures.  First of all, I went to visit my best friend from high school.  We have known each other about 33 years (that tells you how old I am!).  We spent a lovely day together, taking a hike, wine tasting, shopping, laughing and finished it off with a lovely swim.  We packed so much into one visit.  Here's a picture from our walk in the Sierra foothills.

We had a lovely walk along the irrigation ditch.  It sounds funny, but it was absolutely beautiful out there and in the heat, the shady path was welcome.

Back here in the bay area, we have had unusually cold weather, and though it's been pleasant to work in, my poor vegetables are not liking it so much.  We still have produce, but much less than normal.

These are our favorite of the cherry tomatoes.  I believe they're Sungolds.  They turn a deep orange color when ripe and are just soooo sweet.  We've been having lots of tomato salads lately.  I combine tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, red onion, boxwood basil and sometimes some fresh mozzarella, sprinkle it with some balsamic vinaigrette and salt and pepper.  Oh, it makes my mouth water just thinking of it!

I'm very worried for the larger tomatoes and eggplant.  They are certainly pining for the heat.

I'm thinking maybe October these will be ready??????

As for crafting, I've done a little.  I have millions of ideas swirling in my head, but just haven't found a lot of time to craft.  I have one card to share with you.  I did a great deal of paper-piecing on this and I'm really happy with the way it came out.  What do you think?

The stamped image is from a retired SU set called Favorite Friends.  This set had lots of tiny images, which I found a bit difficult to watercolor.  So, I decided to try stamping on some yummy DP and paper-piecing most of it.  I did watercolor the little mice, cut them out and popped them up to highlight their tiny features.  The sentiment is computer-generated and I used some black seed beads and a black glaze pen to add more detail.  I'm dedicating this card to all the wonderful friends I have spent time with this summer.  You're all my BFF's!

I'm itching to get started on some fall and winter craft projects.  Have you seen Michael's lately?  They already have the Christmas displays up.  Can you believe it?

Anyway, sorry for the long post.  There was so much to catch up on.  I would love to hear about your summer adventures, so please leave a comment or sign my guest book at the bottom of the post.  As I sign off, here's some pictures of our begonias.  They are loving the cool weather.

Til next time,

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Love You Pug

Happy Sunday Everyone:

I got up with the dogs at 6 and started on this card.  I've been trying to color this Pug image since about Christmastime and it has just never come out to my satisfaction.  Well, I decided to resize it a bit smaller, and just like that, the coloring became more manageable.  I want to dedicate this card to my dear little friend, Biscuit.  She has been a loyal dog friend for 9 years now and is starting to show her age I'm afraid.  Even with arthritis, blindness and some ear problems, she still manages to give me a smile on a daily basis and she has the sweetest nature of any dog I've ever met.  I love you Biscuit.

and here is the inside of the card:

I colored Mo's Digital Pug Love image with Prisma pencils and Gamsol.  The heart portion of the image was paper pieced with DCWV cardstock.  I used an SU 3-heart punch to make the various hearts and inserted them along a Sizzix swirl border.  I also used a Sizzix die to do the lettering.  Just a couple of brads and some braid trim, and there you have it.

Hope you have wonderful Sunday.  I'm off to can some zucchini relish... more on that later.

Til next time,

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Good Morning,

Last weekend, I finally caught up with my brother to celebrate his birthday.  He's fun to treat, because he is generally a big kid; a 46-year-old kid, but still a kid, and what kind of birthday do you give a 46-year-old, science-fiction writer kid?  Well, a Spiderman birthday of course!

I went to this awesome blog for help Blinkin', Thinkin', & Inkin'.  You would not believe all the wonderful things this blogger, Ellen Kemper, has created with SU punches.  I searched her blog for Spiderman punch art, and wouldn't you know it, she had a wonderful example.  I followed her instructions and easily made a Spidey to be proud of.  I also used instructions from Splitcoast to create a backpack to house a gift card and then attached my Spidey to the front.  What do you think?

and here's the back
My brother was so surprised when he walked in and saw not only the decorations, but also the fun stuff we had created.  We had Silly String cans set out and goody bags full of fun things, like parachute men, stickers, bubbles and temporary Spiderman tattoos.  Of course, we had his favorite cake with a Spiderman candle on top.  It was amazing seeing kids and adults alike getting into the spirit, having parachute races off the upper deck and running around having Silly String wars.  My son had a great time helping me put this together and even created a drawing to give his uncle. 

We also served my famous teriyaki burgers, one of my brother's fav's.  I'll share that recipe with you soon.  As a side note to the party, the next day I arrived at work wearing a sundress, and as I sat at my desk typing away, a co-worker walked past my door and did a double-take; he looked at me more closely, and asked, "is that a Spiderman tattoo on your arm?".  Oh my gosh, I had completely forgotten!
Smiley from

Til Next Time,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cookies That Are Good For You?

Well, the zucchini harvest is upon us.  Luckily, I thought ahead this year and printed out recipes corresponding to all my crops.  I kept seeing recipes for cookies made with zucchini and was intrigued.  I guess if you can have zucchini bread and cake, you could also make a cookie.  So, I decided to give it a try.  Everything was a go until I realized that I didn't have any raisins.  I almost gave up, but then realized I had some Raisinets stashed in the cupboard for when I had a chocolate craving.  Hmm? Chocolate, zucchini, yeah that will work!

So this what I came up with:  Zucchini Raisinets - recipe at the end of this post.

I did learn something along the way, like next time I'll make my mounds smaller on the cookie sheet, since they tend to spread, but other than that, even my toughest critics loved them.

I also decided to make a recipe holder to celebrate my culinary triumph.  I used one of Mo's digital images, colored him with Prisma pencils and cut him out.  The base is 4-1/2 x 7 inches.  The recipe card is 4 x 5-1/2.  Wouldn't this be cute accompanied by a basket of cookies as a gift?

So here's the recipe.  Be sure to do the glaze on top of the cookie.  It really makes a difference in the overall flavor.

½ c. butter or margarine, softened      1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. sugar                                          1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 egg                                                 ½ tsp. salt
1 c, finely shredded zucchini              ¾ c. Raisinets
1 tsp. grated lemon peel                     ½ c. chopped walnuts
2 c. all-purpose flour                         2 c. confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. baking soda                             2 T. lemon juice

Cream butter and sugar. Mix in egg, zucchini and lemon peel. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in Raisinets and walnuts. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. Mix confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice, add water as needed to create a glaze consistency. Drizzle over cooled cookie and let set. Enjoy, these are good for you!

Til Next Time,

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Honey of a Holiday

Don't we all have grand plans at the beginning of a three-day weekend?  I had visions of stamping for hours and hours.  Well, I did get to stamp, but I spent a fair amount of time doing chores, sleeping and spending time with friends and family and that is how it should be be afterall.  I put together this bit of a tutorial for you.  I hope you like it.

I started out with this lovely set called "Honey Bear" that I purchased on ebay a few years ago.  With the multitude of new stamp sets to choose from, I'm still drawn to the older stamp designs.  They have such charm.

I ended up using all the images from this set for my card.  I stamped in Stazon Brown on watercolor paper and then stamped my main image on a large Post-It note for masking. 

I cut out my masking image with a small pair of detail scissors (believe me, the size of your scissors can make a difference in tight, detailed areas).  I added a bit more temporary adhesive to my mask and placed it over my main image.  You can see how my mask is cut slightly inside the lines; this is to eliminate any white areas when we add our next techinique.  Now, we need to add some fluffy clouds.

I used an SU scallop circle punch with another Post-It to create my cloud template.  Now, you can use any round or oval shape you would like.  I've also cut my own cloud shape freehand to make my clouds as well.
Again, I added a little more temporary adhesive to my template and placed it randomly in the "sky" area of my main image.  I then used a sponge and Bashful Blue ink to "pounce" the sponge around the template. Continue moving your template around, including over areas you have already sponged, until you are happy with the result.  I must say that this technique is not my original idea.  I learned it a few years ago at Splitcoast Stampers.  It's made it's way around in many forms and I'm not sure who originated it.  If any of you know the artist who came up with this, please let me know, so I can give them credit.

Now, remove your mask, and we'll continue with coloring our image.  I'm using SU watercolor markers for this image.  I normally use SU re-inkers to watercolor, but this is much faster.  I use both the brush tip and the writing tip to "shadow" the areas where I want color.  Keep in mind that the area you are adding color is where the sun would not be hitting, thus a shadow.  For the fence, since we want a white fence, we are just going to add shadows of gray in areas. We are then going to use a waterbrush to blend our colors, starting with the lightest shades and ending with the deeper colors, such as orange or red, allowing the different areas to dry before moving on.  Be sure to clean you brush on paper towel often.

And here is the finished card.  I added another honey bear, flying overhead.  He has been watercolored in the same fashion and cut out.  I added some Crystal Effects to his wings and honey jar.  Then, of course, I added the hive, flowers and sentiment to the top of the card.  I finished everything off with some DP from DCWV and a ribbon-tied button.

I hope you all had a lovely holiday weekend and are ready to attack your work week.  On that note, I better go get ready.

Til Next Time,