Thursday, April 22, 2010

Long time no post and a winner

Hi all,

I finally started my new job this week and has robbed me of every bit of creative energy.  I will start posting again this weekend, but in the meantime, I have April's blog candy winner to announce.  Congratulations, Allison V.!  You're our random Mo's Digital Image Gift Certificate Winner!!!!!

Send me your contact information and I will get that right over to you. 

Til next time,


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Favorite Flowers

Paper flowers are all the rage in crafting right now.  Though they can be time consuming, flower embellishments can give such dimension and unique appearance to a myriad of projects.  Here are some of my faves that I've come across in blog surfing lately:

My all-time favorite flower right now is one that Lollychops makes.  Here's the link for her flower tutorial, and here are some samples I've made in the past of this type of flower:

Lolly's flowers are fun and fast to make.  I love to fit them into my projects here and there.

Here are some other links for paper tutorials.  I haven't tried them yet, but can't wait to include them in some future projects.

In my last post, I told you that I would share how I made the pinecones on this card,
and since a pinecone is sort of a flower, I thought it would be a nice way to end my flower post. 

To begin with, you need a heart punch.  Any heart punch will do, just keep in mind that the larger the punch, the larger your pinecone will be.  I like small and medium heart punches for this technique.

I decided to use an SU three-heart punch to demonstrate the different sizes of pinecones. 

Start by punching out 16-20 hearts out of brown cardstock.  You can mix the shades of brown to give variation if you'd like.

Next, you will want to use a tool with a rounded end to create the toile technique (see this post for instructions).  Then turn the heart over and score down the center.  After scoring, fold the heart in half.

Next, you'll want to punch out a circle to use as your base.  The size of circle depends on what size pinecone you are creating. 

Fold up the pointy end of each heart to create a "tab".

Add a border of glue to your punched circle. I like Scotch Fast-Drying Adhesive for all my paper projects. 

Start adding your hearts to your punched circle, layering as you go.  Add the glue to the back of the "tab".   As the glue dries, start scrunching your pinecone together, bend edges to your liking, create a cupped shape.  At this point, you could also use this as a flower if you didn't want to make a pinecone, just use brighter colored cardstock and don't scrunch the blossom.

You'll want to glue the last two hearts together at the "tab, and then scrunch to make a flower shape.  Attach this to the center of your pinecone.

You now have your completed pinecones.
Here's a card I created using three medium-size pinecones.

I used Crystal Effects and chunky glitter to give my pinecones an icy/snowy appearance.  I also used some of the extra hearts to embellish my card.

Now, my pinecones created in a minimum of time with very few tools.  To make some very elaborate pinecones, as well as many gorgeous flowers, please check out The Paper Bouquet by Susan Tierney-Cockburn.  There are two different volumes with many different types of blossoms. 

Well, this has been a very long post, so I'll sign off now.  I hope you enjoyed my version of pinecone-making and will try your own soon.

Til Next Time,

Sunday, April 11, 2010

IC227 Northern California

I started working on my card for the inspiration challenge over at Splitcoast yesterday morning, and then received a call from a friend who wanted to take a walk together.  As much as I love spending time in my craft room, losing myself in my creative endeavors, I love my friends more, so I left my card for later and had a wonderful time at the farmer's market and walking the hills near my home with my friend.  I ended up finishing my card this morning, and here it is.

The challenge was to create a card that represented the things you love about your state.  Well, I have to say there are so many things to love about living in California, but my favorite things are the redwoods and the ocean.  Driving through a redwood forest can really transport you to another time and place, and when you combine the gorgeous Pacific ocean with those beautiful trees...well, it's just awe-inspiring.

I tried to capture the ocean beyond a grove of redwood trees on my card with the sun cascading through.  I used two stamp sets to achieve this:  Lovely as a Tree from SU, which is one of my all-time favorite stamp sets; and a Close To My Heart set, but, I'm sorry, I'm not sure of the name of that set.  I used lots of the techniques that Michelle Zindorf teaches.  See my sidebar for her blog.  I also added some faux stitching, punched triangle border and a cuttlebugged background.  The pinecones were handmade by using a heart punch (more on that in my next post), and greenery was from a MS punch.

I'm glad I was able to complete this card and still have time to spend with a friend.  Now, I'm off to do some much needed housecleaning.  Hope you are all doing something fun this weekend.

Til Next Time,

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bunny Under Glass

Hope you're all enjoying a relaxing Easter Sunday.  I'm just finishing up some last minute cards, easter treats and soon, Easter dinner will be underway.

Above is a picture of the Easter treat I designed for my daughter.  She's no longer a little girl, but you're never too old for a chocolate bunny!  I decided to forego the traditional Easter basket and use a container she can actually use after all the chocolate eggs and treats are gone.  It couldn't have been simpler, just add some shredded and crimped paper strips and then start adding treats.  You can make this as fancy or simple as you wish.  I added some gingham ribbon and a tag to the lid, with a few homemade paper flowers.

As I said, I put together a few quick, last-minute Easter cards this morning as well.  I always have good intentions of having everything done, but you know it never happens. 

Aren't these a hoot!  The images are downloaded from The Graphics Fairy blog (see sidebar).  I added some quick captions and highlighted the images with markers.  These were extremely fast and easy, great when you don't have a lot of time.  They are also great for those ever-difficult masculine cards.

I used a pretty vintage image for my daughter's card.  This took a little more time, because I made some paper flowers to embellish the border.  Although it's not apparent in the photo, the image was enhanced using fine crystal glitter. 

Before I leave you, I wanted to share one of my family favorite recipes.  My mom always used this mustard and brown sugar glaze on our Easter ham.  I've tried a lot glazes since, but never one this good.  Enjoy!

Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze
1/2-cup light brown sugar; packed
1/2-cup water
1/2-cup brown mustard

In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar and water.  Bring to a simmer over medium high heat.  After about 5 minutes, stir in mustard.  Continue simmering another 2-3 minutes.  Thinly coat ham with glaze.  Put in a 325 degree oven for 30 minutes, reglazing every 10 minutes.

This glaze comes out so crispy and delicious, it makes my mouth water to think about it.

Smiley from

Til next time,

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Saturday Inspiration Challenge

I just can't stay away from the Inspiration Challenge over at Splitcoast.  It just seems to set my creative juices flowing.  The site of inspiration today is William Chambers Millinery.  Hmmm?  Hats?  I didn't know I could be inspired by hats.  Apparently, yes, yes, I can!

In perusing the site, I came across this beauty, Magenta Flower Headpiece, and thought of cascading flowers down the front of a card, how pretty! 

I started with this:
Some punched flowers (Marvy and SU flower punches), that I inked, folded, and generally grundged up.  After a lot of playing around, I ended up here:

I stamped the sentiment (Kay Feley, River City Rubber Works) on burgundy CS, embossed and added a bit of raffia. I used a photo corner punch to add balance to the sentiment side of the card.  Antiqued brass brads were added to the centers of the flowers to give interest, dimension and because I really, really like antiqued brass with the grundge look :) Also, the flowers and BG DP is from K&Co.  I absolutely love this paper.  I think it adds a little pizazz to any creation. 

Looking back, I would have added some punched holes to the flowers in keeping with the inspiration piece, but otherwise, I'm very happy with the way it came out. 

I'm off to weed a bit in the garden, before it starts raining yet again. 
Smiley from

Til next time,

Enabler Alert For All You Bloggers

I have long been a customer of and now Kellie Winnell is celebrating 10,000 hits on her blog with some fantastic blog candy.  Check out All That Scrap's Swiss Pixie Kit below.

I can think of a a million things to make with this set.  Here's the link to Blog of a Craftaholic Waffler so you can enter too.  Thanks Kellie for a wonderful blog!

On another note, hope it's sunny in your part of the world.  It's going to be a rainy and wet Easter here.

Til next time,

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Blog Award, Blog Candy and a Card

Barbara Diane over at Barbara's World of Whimcees awarded me the "Your Blog is a Charm" Award.  If you haven't visited Barbara's blog, you're in for a treat.  Not only is she a talented papercrafter, but she also creates some incredible whimsical creatures  from cloth and clay.  Thank you for thinking of me Barbara, you made my week!

The rules are to place this on your blog, pass this on to 12 people and link to their blogs, notify the people, and link to the person who gave you the award!

I must say that I haven't had much luck in that department, but I'll give it a try.  Here are the twelve blogs that have been brightening my day recently.

Some of these are crafting blogs and some are decorating, all are wonderful. 

On another note, it feels so good to give prizes away, I have decided to give away some blog candy once a month.  Smiley from  Now here's the catch, I'm not going to tell you when I'm going to choose someone, sneaky huh?  I will just choose a random comment on a random day.  Sounds like a plan to me.  So, this month, I will be giving away a $10 gift certificate for Mo's Digital Pencil.  You all know how much I love to color Mo's images and I want to share all her creative goodness with all of you. 

To start this off right, here's a card I made with a free image I received from being a member of Mo's group on Paper Craft Planet. 

I colored with Prisma pencils and baby oil and then spent a lot of time cutting (it's okay, it's like therapy, right?).  I punched out the sentiment, added some stitching, brads, flowers and a couple of Nestability circles.   This image just makes me smile.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend everyone! 
Smiley from

Til next time,