" I am a dreamer. I am , indeed, a practical dreamer. My dreams are not airy nothings. I want to convert my dreams into realities, as far as possible. "

Monday, February 28, 2011

Yippee! Yemasee...

Traffic Jam
   We drove forever today. A traffic jam outside Washington D. C. held us up for a time. We got through after about 30 minutes. Bummer.
We headed towards Virginia, which was easy sailing. Hardly any traffic there.
   We ate lunch at Cracker Barrel in Wilson, North Carolina. Good eats. The cornmeal muffins and homemade biscuits hit the spot.
Cracker Barrell rocks!
I couldn't help but check out their gift shop. It was full of great ideas for possible future cardmaking once I get back home. I loved the saying about chocolate. That could find it's way on a card,too.
   I saw green grass for the first time in a long time. The weather was lovely. We started out in the morning at 45 degrees, but ended up the day at 81 degrees. Nice.....

So true!
   We drove some more... alot more. We ended up in Yemassee, South Carolina. We are only about 5 hours from Disney. Can't wait to get there.. It's really been a fun road trip. Haven't seen any craft stores, but I know there is one in Florida. I hope to talk my husband into a little side trip...

Thanks for checking out my blog.. More to come tomorrow...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Almost There! Not really.....

   We are on our way to Disney in Orlando...Yeah!! We traveled through snow for about 3 hours 'til we got to the southern part of Massachusetts. We stopped to eat at Friendly's in Danbury, Conn. Check out the pictures. I know you want to see the food. That's pretty much the excitement when you are on a road trip.
   The weather continued to improve  as we kept driving. I reached 54 degrees and we hardly saw any snow. We ended up staying at Bel Air, Maryland at a Comfort Inn. Very nice...

Friendly's fare: grilled chicken/w salad

Dinner at Ruby Tuesday...Yummmy!

Who can resist garlic rolls!

Only 572 calories.. Delicious...

A Zentangle pattern
I took a picture of the lamp at Ruby Tuesday because it had a zentangle design that I could use on a card or some other craft project. Always looking for inspiration for my craft. Can't wait to get to Disney... Well, the bed is calling to me, so I am going to stop blogging and start snoring... Check in tomorrow to see where we end up. Thanks for looking....

                             Cindy's Birthday Party  
  What a great time we had at my sister, Rochelle's home celebrating our friend, Cindy's birthday. We brought salads and Mark, Rochelle's husband grilled the best beef tips. They practically melted in  your mouth. My sister, Chris, brought her grandson, Ezra, who was very entertaining and very polite. He even wore his Mickey hat 'cause Cindy loves Disney. Check out her blog on my blog list: Disney Lover. We all gave her a Troll bead of Donald Duck. She loved it!!
   Mark and Rochelle did an excellent job on the meal. The pink tulips reminded me of how much I am anxious for Spring to come. Rochelle had made some wonderful favor holders out of the Scalloped Spellbinder's die cut. I believe she is going to give directions on her blog: See my blog list: Creative Corner. I f she hasn't posted them, just leave a comment that you would like to see them. Later, we  worked on learning new tips for our blogs. The guys watched basketball. It was a great evening full of laughter and stories.

Cindy with her Doanald Duck bead!

  It was wonderful to see everyone  before we start driving out to Orlando,Florida. Russ and I are looking forward to seeing green grass and warm temperatures. I am leaving my last card project unfinished on my studio table ready for me to finish when I get back. It's the drawer box card. I've finished the drawers, so now I just need to get chipboard to finish the top and bottom.
Waiting for me.....
   I'll be blogging all the way to Florida and while we enjoy Disney in Orlando. Check in to see how the trip is going. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Pampered Chef in the Studio!

   I am not presently working on any cards because my husband and I will be taking off for our Florida trip soon. I am actually cleaning my studio 'cause I hate to come home to a mess after a lovely vacation. I thought you might like to see one of my storage ideas that I think works very well for me.  My studio is located in the loft of our condo. Very convenient to the bedroom and bathroom next door. It's not a huge room, so I have to really keep finding ways to store my materials.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Black & White Card

My Inspiration
   I was looking through some of my old photos when I came across a picture I had snapped while shopping at Home Goods . I knew I liked the picture, and thought it would make an excellent card.
   So I spent this morning working on a black & white card. I used my very first Stampin Up set that I purchased about ten years ago. I didn't know that you were suppose to keep the sticker with the name on it,so I don't know the name of it. It's these leaves you see here that I stamped in SU (craft) white ink. Love the effect.
My Finished Card

   I used my Inkessentials white opaque ink pen to make the branches. My branches aren't as white as the picture's, but I didn't have anything else to use. I am going to be on the look out for some white tools
to use in the future.
    Next, I stamped the "flowers" with Stampin Up's Garden Silhouettes in SU's (craft) white ink. I used the white Enamel Accents to make the dots bigger and whiter anywhere I could. White ribbon, silver cord, pearl hat pin from Mark's Finest, Martha Stewart's butterflies, and diamond gems finish the card. Paper is from Stampin Up mostly, but the silver gray, I think, I got at JoAnn's Fabric Store.
   I really like the look of black & white together. I used SU's tag punches for the sentiment. The sentiment is from Hero Arts, but I cut the words apart to fit on tag. I used the opaque white pen and the white Enamel Accent dots to echo the colors on the card.
   I like this card. Not sure who will get it or when, but it's in my collection 'til then. Thanks for looking...


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Housewarming Card

   My brother, Hal, and his wife, Charlotte, have been busy moving from their home in Conn. to their new home in New Jersey. They have been living with their daughter, Jill and her husband, Robb, in New Jersey 'til they sold their home in Conn.  It finally happened ... so they are wicked busy moving from both places. Our family is so excited for them. I made this card to celebrate their "dream come true"!!!
Front door card!
I had fun punching and cutting. I used my Nestabilities circle die cuts,one smaller than the other. I cute both in half and then one half in thirds.  The paper was just a shade lighter than the darker green to give the illusion of light.
   The knob is a black brad. The real fun was making the door knocker. I used grunge paper. I just cut free hand, punched a hole in the middle, added a brad, and then painted with gold and distressed inks. The knocker part was hard..It looks a little off,but it was the best I could do.
   The flower pot punch I borrowed from my sister, Chris. Some of you might know her as figaro from Calla Lily Studio. She lives down the road from me, so I just take a short walk and Voila! I have a punch to use. We share alot. Love this punch. I used Tim Hotz's distressed inks to age the paper on the pots.
   The flowers and branches are punches from Martha Stewart and McGill. Enamel Accents is the black center.
   I love the clapboards. I cute them from one inch strips and distressed the edges. I layered them from the bottom up.
   I used gray paper for the porch and light brown for the doormat. The welcome stamp is from Stampin Up's Warm Words. I hope Hal and Charlotte get a "kick out" out of this card.
Inside the card.
   I found the poem for inside the card online. I really like that it's a prayer. They certainly do have a hectic life, at least right now.
   The flowers were stamped from Stampin Up's Upsy Daisy set. I got the idea for this card from a card I found on Splitcoast Stampers. Check it out here: http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/gallery/photo/492043?&si=nancystamps
   Russ, my mom, and I plan on stopping by their place on our drive home from Disney towards the middle of March. Can't wait to see them and their new place. I think the weather will be improving by the time we get there, hopefully.. Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tah..Dah... Finished the Set!!

Nature's Sketchbook stamp
   I have finished with the last stamp in the Nature's Sketchbook set from Stampin Up.  It took me a little while 'cause it was hard to come up with a design that fit these beautiful stamps. I thought Cuttlebug's embossing tree folder seemed to be a perfect fit. I rubbed the raised parts with Tim Holtz's Vintage Photo ink.
The zig zag piece on the botton is also from Cuttlebug's collection of embossing folders.
   Martha Stewarts's branch punch in green and brown  added a little detail with the pine cones. The cones were made from McGill's pear punch that I just glued pears together upside down. Stampin Up's tag punch helped with the stamped sentiment from Nature's Sketchbook.
   There, I have finished this set that I had not used before. On to the next one.....

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Don't Look, Cindy!!!

   I've been working on a birthday card for my good friend, Cindy. I am hoping she won't look at this post. She's pretty busy, so I think I am safe. "No peeking, Cindy!"
    Anyway, I've only made the sidestep card once, so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to try it again.  I found  the written directions from this blog: http://creatingcardswithandrea.blogspot.com/2009/06/side-step-card-tutorial_11.html  It really was not difficult with these directions at all.
     I used five different stamps for this card. The sentiment is a stamp from Stampendous. The "Happy Birthday" stamp is from Hero Arts, and the circle stamp is from Stampin Up called So Many Scallops. I used my SU scallop punch to get the white rim. The long gifts stamp is also from Stampin Up, but I don't know the name of it. If someone knows, please email the name and I will put it on the set.
For Cindy
   I added linked beads and lace around the sentiment. Pink is Cindy's favorite color, I had to use pink on her card. Pink roses from Prima gives the card a feminine look.
   I love Tim Holtz's rosette die cut. I have a heck of a time making it,though. I think I've said this before, but it's no better.  I found a solution that seems to work.  After I have the strip made from the die cut, I put clear postal tape over it. It seems to hold the strip together without ripping when I am folding back and forth. Yipee!!
  The frog is another favorite of Cindy's. I'm pretty sure she calls her car "Kermit" 'cause it's green. This is another stamp from Stampin Up called Pocket Fun. 
     I used Spellbinder's spiky circle and added the white enamel dots with Ranger's Enamel Accents. The paper behind the rosette is wrapping paper that came on a gift. I thought it was pretty, so I kept it and hoped I could use it on another project. Here it is...on this card. I love to recycle.
    I hope Cindy likes this card. She is a special person..like a sister. She helped to get me started into card making. She was our Stampin Up demonstrator for years. Isn't it nice when you can make lasting friends over
glue, glitter, and ink. Thanks for being there, Cindy... Oops....I hope she reads this after her birthday party..

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nature's Sketchbook Stamps

A Seaside palette

A Mediterranean palette
   I am almost finished with the Nature's Sketchbook stamps. Love these stamps and had not used them since I got them. One more stamp, the bird one, and I can check this set off my goal of using all my stamps at least once. I was trying to think of a design and color theme when I happened to pick up the latest Better Homes and Garden magazine. It had some colors put together by interior designers that I thought was quite lovely.
   I used the Seaside palette with the butterfly stamp. Colored pencils, distress inks from Tim Holtz, and Cuttlebug's embossing folder helped to give the card some texture. I made the bow using a simple method I saw on a Youtube tutorial. I will find that and add it to my blog for those of you who are interested.
  I used the Mediterranean palette on the strawberry card.  I love Spellbinder's lacy circle and the spikey circle, so I put them together. This time I used Copic markers to color the strawberries and leaves.
Cuttlebug's dotted Swiss folder gave the card texture. I used the Bow Easy to make this silk bow. I added a Prisma flower with other leaves punched from Martha Stewart's collection and McGill's collection.  The black dots are from Enamel Accents.

Here are more pictures of the cards to give you a better view.

Only one more card to go using this set. I hope to get it done before we leave for Disney. Thanks for looking.....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Puzzle Card

A picture on my wall.
   I am restarting my goal that I set on January 1st to use all of my stamps that I have not used. Since Valentine's Day is over, it's time to get going... I really love Stampin Up's "Nature Sketchbook" set. The tulip stamp in the set is wicked cute. I was sitting in my studio and was inspired by a picture my son let me have a few months back. ( Sorry about the glare.) I love this picture, so I decided to try and use as much of my scrap paper as I could.
   So it was like a puzzle putting together this piece and that piece until I liked what I saw. The punch is from McGill. I thought this might give it a little more interest.
Taahh..  Daaahh.. This is the Puzzle Card.
Anyway, this is the card that I came up with after piecing all the pieces.

   I like the flower piece in the corner to give it a little pizazz..This card could be used for many occasions. I might try a Puzzle card again with different pieces. It does use up your scraps. Thanks for looking!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

                                  CHA Show in Winter 2011
  I would love to go to one of these shows, but I think you have to be a retailer. These videos give you a sneak peek into what will be available soon. Doesn't this 7 Gypsies booth look interesting! Anyway, thought you might like to see what's out there.

                             Altered Laughing Cow Boxes
    I have been saving the round Laughing Cow boxes because I love their shape and size. I just hate throwing away a perfectly good container that I could alter somehow. Well, I had two hanging around and decided to give it a go... I love Spellbinders fleur de lis die cut. I used two and placed them at angles. Then I just used decorative paper and covered the sides and top. Spellbinder's nestabilities scalloped circles and lacy circles helped the give the top a little more detail. Then it was just adding prisma flowers that I liked and complimented each box. Lace helped to give each box more of a girlish feel to it.
   I am going to send the red/pink box to my mom for Valentine's Day, although it will be late. I want to fill it with candy. She sees my blog sometimes, so I won't tell you what kind of candy. That will be her surprise.
   I love to alter recyclable items. See what you can do to items around your house. Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Recipe Holder Project

    Hurray...I finally finished the recipe holder project that I have been dying to get done. The holder was built by my brother-in-law, Tom. He built a few of these for his sister-in-laws. I thought that was wicked nice. My sister, Chris, his wife.. got me interested in metal works. She covered hers first, so I decided to do mine; only nine months later.
I chose red metal and put brown on the inside sides.

I used several different molds.

Humungus adhesive keeps it on the wood.

The recipe holder goes over the dowel.

Just flip and you have a new recipe!

Ready right there on my kitchen counter.
    Anyway, here it is.  The pictures were taken outside in the snow 'cause I was having a hot flash and I thought " great place to take pictures while I'm dying from the heat". Worked, too.
    I used Ten Seconds Studio materials . Here is a link to their website; in case you are interested in this type of medium for your art work. It really is easy to use, and they have great tutorials on using tin on just about anything you can think of for projects. http://www.tensecondsstudio.com/
    Well, I am ready for my next project. Don't know what it is yet, but I need to clean my studio before I attempt anything else. That's a project in itself. Thanks for looking......

Monday, February 7, 2011

Thinking of Queenie

  I finally finished Queenie's card. Queenie is my brother-in-law's mother. She fell and broke her hip. She is in rehab to try and get her walking again. I thought a "thinking of you" card might make her feel a little better. I think getting a card from someone, just to let them know you care about them, is a great way to help in healing of the mind and body. 
  I used Stampin Up' Feathered Hope set. I colored with SU's markers 'cause the copic markers tended to blend outside the lines... It's probably my technique. I placed a circle on the back there to use Tim Holtz's Broken China ink. Then I took the circle away and colored the sun.  White enamel accents were used on the flowers.  I then colored them with yellow ink from Tim's collection. Nestabilities scalloped circle and round circle helped to capture the picture. Stampin up's border punch was used on the bottom. Cuttlebug's dotted  embossing folder gave the background some texture.
    I found a prayer for healing online that I am going to put inside. It ends with : Lord, we pray that you will wrap Your loving arms around her, giving her comfort, strength and peace, drawing her ever closer to You, as you lead her through this trying time. In Jesus' name we pray; Amen.
   I hope this makes her feel a little better.

Shopping at the Mall

  I love walking around the Maine Mall and looking for ideas that inspire my paper crafting/cardmaking or helps in my desire to make my home more homey.... Pottery Barn is one of my favorite stops; even though I can not afford to buy much there. The combination of colors they use in putting bits and pieces together are quite striking. Take this beautiful yellow centerpiece. This inspired me to make a "Thinking of You " card for my brother in law's mother who fell recently and is in rehabilitation. I thought she could use a little "pick me up" card. So yellow is "just the ticket" for thinking spring-like in this all white wonderland.
Another great idea!

Love this decorating vinette
   I will be posting that card later today after I put a few finishing touches on it.
   I couldn't help taking pictures of the neat carousel that is in the middle of the Mall. It's fun to watch the kids having fun on this ride. Although some preteens looked like they might be sick after twirling in the teacup so much.
   Anyway, I am ending this post with a picture of a chandelier that is in Brighton's store. It reminded me of Stampin Up's chandelier stamp. So pretty.
   The weather has improved but the melting snow from yesterday is now solid ice today. It should be melting again today. I see shoveling the slush in my future.  Oh well.. we will be Florida bound soon.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Urge to Cook..

I guess it's time to knock the icicles down.
   I had a good day today. My sister, Rochelle, our friend, Cindy, and my mom landed safely in Orlando, Florida. I hope they all have a great time in the 80 degree weather. The picture on the left shows you what kind of weather we are having in Maine now.
   But I am happy part of my family can enjoy Florida. Hopefully we will be going in March to help break up this dreary weather.
    Anyway, I decided to not work on my cardmaking, even though I have a few to make. I decided to cook. I really feel like cooking is another way to express your creativity. When it's good food; people appreciate your efforts.

They don't look that bad. Do they?
So I made this recipe I found in a magazine. They are raspberry bars. They have almonds, coconut, and raspberry preserves in them. My husband liked them. Not so much love, but liked. I have to agree that they were okay.Not sure why I didn't swoon over them... I hate to say it,but they didn't have a speck of chocolate in them. I guess I am a chocoholic.  If you have made them, let me know what you did to make them better.

P.S. I Love these Raspberry Almond bars now... I tried one for a snack right from the frig and they were yummy. I guess they have to be cold to really get the flavor of the raspberry... Who knew????

Friday, February 4, 2011

Remember When...

A different kind of Valentine Card!!
   I wanted to try out a different kind of Valentine for my husband. I really like the Summer by the Sea stamp set by Stampin Up. I had a bugger of a time coming up with a design I like with this stamp. I had checked out many cards made with this stamp on Splitcoast Stampers.com and got some ideas here and there.
   I used Copic markers to color and then brayered the sky and moon...I didn't really like it; so I scrunched it up to throw away, but then I thought why not make it look like an old photo. So I added some Vintage Photo ink from Tim Holtz's collection all over the picture. I used Stampin Up's Top Note die cut and then ripped off corner. I roughed up some of the
 edges to make it look worse.
   Low and behold, I liked it better. I added the crocheted ribbon and off white ribbon; along with a hat pin from Mark's Finest Papers,pearls, and some white netting.(It's hard to believe, but you use it on walls to sheetrock seems and corners. Sticks real well to paper.)
   I borrowed a  Stampin Up's stamp set , Elegant Beginnings, from my sister for the sentiment on the ribbon. Well, when I was done I thought it didn't stink too much. I am not sure I will use this card or the last one I posted to give to my husband. I am leaning towards the red one with the hearts on it.. Not sure .....What do you think?