Sunday, February 27, 2011

S&S Sketch Challenge #58

Here's a birthday card I did for Stars and Stamps Sketch Challenge #58 and the sketch.  Everything on mine is a little bigger than the sketch called for.  That's how we roll in Texas - - bigger is better!  LOL

My First Attempt at Shading

Yesterday Sandy Allnock (A Colourful World) hosted a tutorial on UStream Live TV.  We used one of her freebie digi stamps found on her blog (see link above) and followed along while she colored the bunnies.  Since this is my first attempt, I am soliciting REAL CRITIQUE for my coloring.  I would like to know which bunny looks better and why.  I would appreciate knowing if I colored/shaded appropriate parts of the bunny and other specific comments that will help me to improve the next time I try to shade something.  I have absolutely NO formal art instruction and really have a hard time grasping shading.  We did have art classes when I was in grade school/high school 30+ years ago, but I must have been daydreaming because I don't remember a thing!

The bunny on the left was colored with Bic markers.  The bunny on the right was colored with SU watercolor pencils and a blending pen.

Thank you in advance for your honest and specific comments.  :-)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

S&S Sketch #57, OWH Midweek Throwdown and Any Hero Cards

Here are this week's Operation Write Home Sketch and Midweek Throwdown Challenge cards.  First are two birthday cards that follow Sketch 57.  When I saw the circle on the sketch, I knew I had some round digital stamps that would go perfectly there.  This Happy Birthday sentiment is from Wendy.  I love the simplicity of it.  I used Nestabilities small circle and small scalloped circle to cut the layers for the sentiment.  I tried to make one card more masculine with reds, blues and yellows (The paper was in my stash of scraps.  I have no idea where it came from.) and one more feminine (This paper is Rusty Pickle Candyland.  I love the bright colors with the black - such a stunning contrast.) 

I loved doing the Embossed Flower Tutorial from Pam so much that I made about 6 more cards and will probably do more.  This card works for the OWH Midweek Throwdown Challenge to make an Any Occasion card, the Wee Memories Challenge to make a card for OWH (all my cards are for OWH so that's easy!), and the Stamp Something Challenge to use flowers.  I used Prima flowers and Cuttlebug embossing folder along with a sentiment from SU stamp set called Holiday Blitz.  I punched out the sentiment with SU circle punches at 1" and 1-1/4".

These last two cards are Any Hero cards I made.  I made lots so that some could go to OWH and some could go in a care package I'm sending to a serviceman whose address I received through  I found out about through a series of links that began from a link in a tutorial on the OWH Stars and Stamps blog.  Now I have ANOTHER great way to support our troops!

The hero sentiment is from McMahon Five Designs.  The plaid paper just came from my pile of scraps.  Dudley the Dragon as a soldier came from Doodle Dragon Studios by Dustin Pike.  This image was already colored, but I added the sentiment in Word using WordArt.  That paper is actually the back side of some zoo-themed paper from Moxxie, but I thought the colors were masculine-looking.  These two will go in my AnySoldier box since I know I'm sending to all guys!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

OWH Embossed Flower Card Tutorial

An OWH'er (Pam) posted a sample of a beautiful embossed flower card as a way to use up her funky colored flowers that were lying around.  If you're anything like me, you end up buying a whole bottle of flowers and use two or three on a particular project and then never figure out a way to use the rest of them.  Well, here's the answer.  The link to Pam's tutorial can be found here.  And, here's my first attempt which is also being posted on OWH Stars and Stamps!

Update:  I had a question about the swirl stamp in the comment section.  I don't know the brand because it doesn't say on the packaging but it's a very large clear stamp set with a Christmas theme.  Here's a photo of the set.  If anyone knows the manufacturer, please let me know.  Thanks!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hambo Hoedown Challenge #4

This week's Hambo Hoedown Challenge image is perfect for Any Hero cards for Operation Write Home!  In addition to using the image on a card, part of the challenge was to follow a sketch which I have also included below.  The patterned paper is Little Boy from Echo Park Paper Co.  I love the colors and used this paper on a scrapbook layout with a photo of my daughter!

Monday, February 21, 2011

More cards for OWH

The images on the cards below are all from Melon Headz Illustrating.  I just love Nikki's fun images.  To me, they just all scream for bright colors so that's what I went with.

The first card also uses stamps from the SU Party Hearty stamp set.  The words on the left say "you take the cake" and on the right say "party hearty."  The pearl strand on the third card is from Theresa Collins.  I found it difficult to adhere to the paper until I remembered I had Diamond Glaze.  That worked great!  All of the cardstock on ALL of the cards is from my scrap stash, usually either Colormates or Bazzill.

The cupcake card below is entered in:
                           Cupcake Challenge 130 - Cake n' Ice Cream

The images on the two cards below are from Meljen's Designs.  The thank you stamp is from an SU set called Holiday Blitz.  I also used SU 1" and 1-1/4" circle punches with the sentiment.

And, of course, I can't get enough of the Eye Monster from Hambo Stamps.  This time I chose to color him blue and create my own sentiment in Word - "I'm so blue without you!"  I used Nestabilities to cut the circle and scalloped circle on the first card.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sick of Hearts and Red!

Give me a moment to rant, won't you?  I've been surfing around different blogs and checking out current challenges.  I am now officially sick of all card challenges asking me to use red or hearts, and I'm sick of looking at them, too.  Valentine's Day is over!  Thank you, Hambo Hoedown Challenge, for the pelican image for this week's challenge.  It had no red and no hearts!  WOOHOO!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hambo Hoedown & OWH MWT Challenges

This week Hambo Stamps provided a pelican digi stamp as part of the challenge.  I thought to myself, "What the heck am I going to do with a pelican that I can also use for a card for Operation Write Home?!"  So, I got on the internet to look for pelican puns or jokes and came up with this one that my 8 year old thought was funny (it's great to have my own test market at home!).  "Why do pelicans carry fish in their beaks?  Because they haven't got any pockets!"  The patterned papers are from Creative Imaginations.  So here it is:

This cute guy was entered in the following challenges:
                    Hambo Hoedown Challenge #3 - pelican digi, blue, brown, tan and a beach theme
                    OWH Midweek Throwdown Challenge - a masculine card

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I Got on a Roll This Weekend

Woohoo - The weather is warmer, but my child has a fever, so I got on a roll this weekend making cards!  Here's what I accomplished in just 2 days and Sunday isn't over yet.  :-)

S&S Sketch #56 and Hero Sentiment from McMahon Five:

These images are from Cuddly Buddly.  I also broke out the Nestabilities and a Cuttlebug embossing folder for the first time ever!  The Happy Spring sentiment is a SU stamp.

This image is from Little Scraps of Heaven and the sentiment is from Hambo Stamps:

This cute little guy is from Rustic Daisy.  There is also a girl gnome image there as well.  I came up with the sentiment myself - in anticipation of the Gnomeo and Juliet movie - and typed it in Word.  The heart is from a SU punch.

The above cards are all from Sunday.  As you can see, I got in a color combo rut (yellow, blue and red), but I was really diggin' the colors because they are so bright and cheery together!

Okay, now the cards from Saturday.  I did these pretty late at night but couldn't stop because they were just all coming together so nicely.  I was trying to do the flower images in more masculine colors or at least not all pinks and purples since they are going overseas to the troops.

The funky flowerpot image is from Nikki at MelonHeadz Illustrating who posts several free images daily, so surf on over and check it out!

The flower in the watering can image is from Sandy Allnock on her blog It's a Colourful World where she has many other free digi stamps:

The chicks and the pun are also from Sandy Allnock (see link above).  I *LOVE* me a good pun!  The first one will be my hubby's V-Day card tomorrow because he thought it was pretty punny, too!  I even entered this in a challenge:  CES Challenge #23 - Cute and Cuddly

Saturday, February 12, 2011

More OWH Spring Thaw Challenge Cards

I've discovered digi stamps and coloring with markers recently.  Here are a couple of my colored cards!  I've put the OWH Stars and Stamps Sketches that I used with each card as well.

This digi stamp image is from Elizabeth Dulemba at Coloring Page Tuesdays.  You can use the link or click on the badge on the right side of my blog to take you to her images.  My daughter has enjoyed coloring her images as well!  I used Bic markers to color the image.  I just love the bright colors.

This cute flower in the polka-dot pot is from Nikki at MelonHeadz Illustrating.  Again, I used Bic markers to color it.  I did about six of these little flowers in different colors, but this was the one I put on a card first!

The cardstock comes from my collection of scraps and the ribbon (purple and yellow) is from Michael's and was originally bought to make a birthday gift for my daughter's second grade teacher Mr. R. who is a huge Baltimore Ravens fan!

LCPL Kristina's 21st Birthday Card & Teacher V-Day gifts

This card is for a servicewoman overseas who will celebrate her 21st birthday while deployed.  I found out about it on the Operation Write Home Facebook page and knew right away I had to be a part of encouraging this brave, young woman.  Her mom said her favorite colors are pink and brown so I went back in my stash to long ago supplies.  Paper is Making Memories, rub ons on pink chipboard are from Heidi Swapp, molded rubber H negative is from Scrapworks, 21 is metal numbers (I think from Making Memories as well).  All oldies but goodies I've had around for probably the last 5 years.  Glad they are being put to good use!

 This is a sample of the teacher gifts I'm giving out for Valentine's Day this year.  The paper is from Stampin' Up from a year or two ago, the tag is stamped with SU Riding Hood Red using a stamp from the SU Yummy set (it says "with love") and the tag is from the office supply store.  You can't see it but I punched a small heart using an SU punch and adhered it to the top of the lid.  I got the tube from my local scrapbook store in Mineral Wells, Texas: Cat's Creations Scrapbooks and they were only $1 each.  I filled the tubes with cherry sour balls - mmmm, mmmm, yummy!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

OWH Midweek Throwdown & OWH Sketch 55

I'm really liking the color challenge for this week's OWH Midweek Throwdown of red, white, blue and kraft.  I've made 2 more cards with that color combo!  The thank you cards also use OWH Sketch #55 - my favorite style - Clean and Simple. 

I posted both thank you cards in hopes of a little bit of feedback.  I instinctively like the one with the smaller brads, but I'm not sure "design-wise" the reason for that.  Is it proportion?  Wish I had taken more art classes when I was younger! 

I also did another card with the Eye Monster digi image from Hambo Stamps.  The OWH Saturday Seminar is still haunting me - Creating a Focal Point.  I played around with the Eye Monster card for quite a while because I wasn't doing a good job of having just one focal point.  Once I put the sentiment under the monster image, it seemed to be a much stronger focal point rather than when I had the image and sentiment in two different spots on the card.  Let me know how I did on that!

Hambo Hoedown & OWH MWT Challenges

This adorable eye monster and sentiment from Hambo Stamps made a cute card for the Hambo Hoedown Challenge.  The requirements were to include the eye monster, one of the sentiments that came with the image, and an additional heart (the heart ribbon is how I incorporated more hearts besides the one the monster is holding).  I also submitted the card for the Operation Write Home Midweek Throwdown Challenge.  The requirements for that card were to use red, white, blue and kraft.  The kraft may be hard to see, but it's the card base that's peeking through on the border.  I just started entering challenges last week during the big Texas snowstorm (if you could call it that!), and I'm really enjoying it!

I used Colormates cardstock (red and blue), Marvy Brush Markers for coloring the image, an SU punch to punch out the sentiment, the Hambo Stamps images, Crop-A-Dile Corner Chomper, and the rest of the cardstock (white and kraft) and ribbon were just from my stash. Thanks for looking.

By the way, you can still participate in the Hambo Hoedown Challenges and receive free digital stamp images each week for the challenges.  If you didn't join in last week with the first challenge, then just purchase the Eye Monster-digi on the Hambo Stamps website and start playing along.  The following week, you will receive the new free image!

This card is also submitted in the following challenges:
                   Cupcake Craft Challenge #128 - Seeing Red
                   Digital Tuesday Challenge #97 - From the Heart (Valentine's Theme)
                   Stamps R Us Challenge #14 - Valentine/Love
                   A Spoon Full of Sugar Challenge #138 - Let's See Some Love
                   Sentimental Sundays #41 - Happy Valentine's (with a sentiment)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Back to the Real World!

Well, it was back to work for me today and no time to craft.  I'm hoping that tonight after the kidlet goes to bed that I may be able to craft a bit.  I am planning on taking some images to color with me tomorrow when I sub because the rest of this week is pretty basic - subbing for the technology teacher.  Lots of free time on my hands when I sub for her because it's mostly monitoring kids' activities on the computer, not a lot of teaching.  I'm hoping to get an envelope mailed to OWH this week with another submission for the Spring Thaw Challenge - 1/2 Spring holiday cards and 1/2 general cards.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Scrapbook Room

Oh my gosh, I have spent nearly the whole day cleaning and organizing my scrapbook room, but it feels SOOOO good!  I finished up some unfinished projects which feels good, too.  My room is clean and ready to start creating in again.  Now I wish we had more snow days from school.  I actually have substitute teaching jobs all 5 days this week which never happens.  No worries though - I have printed out digi stamps to color during my breaks at school this week.  :-)

Valentine's Day Treats - Finished This Morning!

I had been working on these before the snow hit Fort Worth, but I was having some adhesive issues.  It seemed like no matter what I used I couldn't keep the paper from popping open around the boxes.  So, this morning I pulled out my Glue Glider Pro with the EXTREME adhesive cartridge in it.  Problem solved.  So, my friend Pam Conover made the first box with the hearts on the front (years ago probably!) and I finally got around to CASEing it for my daughter's Valentine's Party at school.  If you can't tell from the photos, you pull on the ribbon and the candy slides up so you can get to it.  Cool, huh?!

Last Night's Cards

These 4 snow days in a row and marathon crafting days/nights have me all off my schedule.  Last night was the second night in a row I stayed up until 1 AM, which never happens unless I'm at a crop/retreat!  The Missing You birthday card is for OWH and the I Dig Birthdays card is for a dog lover friend.  Both digi stamps are from Sandy Allnock, founder of Operation Write Home.