Simply Summer

    I would first like to acknowledge the significance of this day, Memorial Day.  It is a day to honor those Americans who gave all in defense of our country; the fallen, the families left behind, the wounded and those currently serving. For all of them and to their families, I say "thank you" and may all who still serve return home safely and soon.
      For my card, I chose "Blue Pearl" by Joanne Schempp for Sweet Pea Stamps. I just love this image. I know I am forever coloring mermaids, but I could not resist this beauty. I love how she is stringing her pearls and the bling all around her!

           I colored her with copics and just a few Prisma color pencils (see "recipe" for specific colors below).  I colored the background with Tea Dye distress ink.  The paper comes from a 12x12 paper pad by K & Company called Traveler by Tim Coffey. It is simply gorgeous. It features great ocean themed paper and is actually a good choice for a masculine card as well.   I had a cut out Spellbinder Classic Frame (made from sand colored glitter paper) that I saved. I wanted to use it but it was too small so I cut the frame in half to place behind my image which ended up looking better than on top.  (I don't think the frame die is available anymore :(  How odd that the shape of the frame mirrors the shape of her crown... cool! I added Recollections Bling on a Roll-Rhinestone and Pearls on the top and bottom of the frame. I love this embellishment. It comes on a roll (in several colors) and you can cut apart and use in all sorts of ways. I also cut three irregular shaped pieces from the roll and placed it in all three corners.  Flowers and metal embellishment are from WOC.  "Fern" die is made with a Punch Bunch punch that I cut out with dark green cardstock and then sponged with Tsukineko gold Delacato ink.  Gold netting from Funkie Junkie.  Viva Decor Pearl Pen in Cream and Glamour Dust.  (Warning: I sprinkled Glamour Dust on the Viva Decor "pearls" as soon as I applied the pearl pen, and the glitter made the "pearls" go splat in some places. Soo... note to self... let the Viva decor Pearls DRY first, then tap with glue pen and add glitter.)

Color used:
Skin E12. 11, 00, 000 and R20
Hair: E19, 15 and YR 20
Fins and top: B0000, 00, B12, and B21
Fauna: YG25, 21, 03 and G24
Crown: Y26, 11 and 00
Prismacolor Pencils: Indigo Blue, Copenhagen Blue, Process Red and Pink

Dying Cheese Cloth- My First "Tutorial"

     What a great day to be outdoors....I have been outside in my backyard getting the patio ready for the summer... cleaning lawn furniture and.... yes, dying cheese cloth!  Talk about avoidance behavior!  In any event, while doing so, I thought I would grab my camera and show you what I did in case you, too, want some diversion from having to clean or do any other chores!!! This actually took no more than 15 minutes, including clean up!!  It probably took longer to write this post!
    Let me begin by saying while I love Glimmer Mists, and I have quite the collection, I have become hooked on DYLUSIONS sprays- the colors are beyond vibrant!  I used them here to dye Cheese Cloth.
     So... here is my list of supplies- Cheese Cloth, Dylusions, Glamour Dust and Spray Glue (although you can use any glue):
   For clean up, I recommend TWO products that work and work well... Ranger Scrubbie and Masters Paint Soap that I got at AC Moore YEARS ago... I swear the bar never wears down.  Together, they will get any Ink off your hands  and under your nails (even my fake ones) in seconds (and I have pics to prove it)!!
   1.  First, lay out your craft sheet or use waxed paper. Another idea is to get a piece of cardboard and cover it with heavy weight plastic... this way you can wash off after use.
   2. Cut a section of cheese cloth the size you want.
   3.  Spritz with sprays of your choosing... Now when I used the gold and blue, guess what? Yup, GREEN!! So be careful if you are "mixing " colors.  Not to worry, however, as I just re-sprayed with Blue Dylusions and got the "ocean" color I was after!

    4.  Let dry briefly and spray with Glue Spray or apply glue to the cloth.  The spray allows an all over adhesion without being too sticky.
     5. Sprinkle Glamour Dust or glitter... possibilities are endless. Isn't the glitter beautiful!

     6. Move to a clean place to dry. I hung this outside over a chair (with protective plastic underneath) or place on another piece of plastic or clean craft sheet.
     7. With the remaining ink on your sheet, you can "wipe up" with cardstock or another piece of cloth, or better yet, dye MATCHING SEAM BINDING RIBBON- After all, the ink is already there!
     8.  Get out your soap and scrubbie and with warm water scrub away the ink. In a matter of minutes, the stains on your fingers and hands will disappear.  Hubby gets credit for taking these pics!!
   I really love to play with this technique. I have spent as much time doing this with seam binding but this is the first time I tried this with cheese cloth.  (Unfortunately, you cannot do this with tulle as the finish does not allow the ink to dry.)  Hope I have inspired you to get dirty (and clean) with these great inks!  Have a great day!

Looking Through the Window-Stamptacular Sundays Challenge

     Hope you are having a great weekend... it certainly feels like summer today!  This week at Stamptacular Sundays our theme is "Looking Through the Window."  You must create a card that has some sort of window or opening!  There are so many possibilities!  Oh... and don't forget to stamp! After all this is a STAMPtacular Sundays challenge!
     You will have from now until midnight (EST) June 2nd to complete this challenge and post a DIRECT LINK to your submission into our InLinkz in order to be entered into the drawing for this week's fabulous prize donated by:
     For my card, I selected a new stamp by Wild Rose Studio called "Baby Love."  It is from the"Annabelles' Meadow Collection."  They are so delicate and fun to color.

       The carriage was colored with copics - I blended some RV's and peachy R's to get the muted peach-rose color -sorry I did not note the colors :(   Greens G24, YG25, 03, 000.  I also used some E35 &31 around and under the lace to mute the pinks.  Spica pens in green and pink for the flowers. The design paper is from Pion Designs, "From the Heart II" collection.  Recollection pearls on a roll, Flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts and Fern/Leaf punches from Punch Bunch and EK Success.  Sentiment is from Lili of the Valley.  White "wood" corner from Prima.  Cardstock, Bazill Bling. DP edged with Tattered Rose distress ink. Deco Art Glamour Dust on image. The ink on the sentiment is new Tim Holtz "Rose Madder" Archival inkpad.  These are incredible colors - some are so unique and match the paper and copics beatifully.

      For my "Window" I used a great tutorial by Kittie Kraft on "frame cards."  Many of you may know her from Splitcoast Stampers - her tutorials are fantastic.  I wanted to play with this idea for awhile now, not too bad for a first attempt. I used BOTH sets of Spellbinder Oval dies as that is how you will get the 1/4" space between ovals. If you use just one set, the spacing is 1/2" apart. When you see the card examples on Kittie's blog, you will get an idea of the many possibilities. I will definitely be playing with this tutorial when I am "off" this summer!!!
      So head on over to the Stamptacular Sundays Challenge blog to see what the Design Team has created for your inspiration.  We can't wait to see what you create this week.  Thank you for your kind comments and don't forget MY BLOG CANDY here!

Computer Generated Sentiments on Die Cut Tutorial

     I wanted to share a tutorial with you that my friend, Ginger, from Ginger's Scraps of Heart posted on her blog.  It is how to print a computer generated sentiment on a Die Cut.
    I like to create my own sentiments when the ones I have on stamps just won't do.   I often print them on blank paper or cardstock and cut with a punch or die. In Ginger's tutorial, however, she shows you how to place your die cut label in such a way that the computer will PRINT RIGHT ON THE DIE CUT!  There are step-by-step directions and pictures to follow.
     Click on the tutorial here.  While you are there, say hello!  She has such neat ideas especially with all things Cricut!
     Also remember MY BLOG CANDY below.  All you need to do is add one of the ways you know you are "spending too much time in the craftroom" to be eligible to win!  Some of the comments so far have been hysterical.  You have until June 2nd to enter.  Have a great day!

Top 10 Signs You Are Spending Too Much Time in the Craft Room plus BLOG CANDY!

     I have always found comfort and strength in finding the humor in some (not all) of the stressful times of my life.  This past week, I seemed to have hit a wall of exhaustion with regard to the amount of time and energy I was devoting to work, home and my design team commitments. From reading other's blogs, I seem NOT to be the only one!  While I could not run away from home or quit my job (which at times was very tempting), it left my craft time as the only place I could cut back!  As a result, I had to step down from several dt commitments.
     I want to say that working with the team at Just Inklined has been wonderful. I have been inspired and challenged in new ways to create a project or present one of their many fun, edgy and beautiful digi images!  The girls are incredibly talented and so very funny - making my decision all the more difficult. For all they are, I want to say "thank you" from the bottom of my heart!
     I started this post on the topic of humor and  in the moments I thought about stepping down and afterward, I found myself thinking some of these funny (I think) little quips that soooo characterized my life these past few months.  I share these here with you so that you, too, may "find yourself" and have a little giggle at the ones that are so you.

Top Ten Signs You Are Spending Too Much Time in the Craft Room

1. You frequent the Emergency Room once a week to have shards of German Glass Glitter removed from your fingertips.
2.  Your children's (or grandchildren's) shoelaces are tied with dyed seam binding, AND in a double loopy bow.
3.  You don't recall the last time you slept longer than 5 hours or at night or in bed!
4.  You would rather run out of gas on a deserted highway at night than run out of adhesive.
5.  Your favorite "recipes" involve glimmer mists, spellbinder dies and flower soft.
6.  A "good deal" on mulberry flowers excites you more than a dozen long-stemmed roses from your hubby.
7. Hubby?  Who is that?
8. The only daylight you see comes from the bulb on your desk lamp.
9. You confess to have attempted to cut the cucumbers for the dinner salad on your Tonic guillotine paper cutter.
and number 10.....
10.  You've spent more money on your craft room than your daughter's wedding, son's college education and new car...combined!

And now... It's Your Turn to win Blog Candy!

    For a chance to WIN THE BLOG CANDY ABOVE, PLEASE ADD ONE OF YOUR BEST "SIGNS THAT YOU ARE SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME IN THE CRAFT ROOM" in the comments section by midnight (EST) FRIDAY, JUNE 1st.  You do not have to become a follower unless you want to. You do not have to post the candy on your blog unless you want to!  You can add as many comments as you want, as often as you want!
     The winner of the blog candy will be randomly selected and announced June 2nd. The full list of comments will be published on this blog on the same day. (Blog candy includes a MS Edge Punch, Glitz 8x8 paper pad, Pink by Design "Inner Princess" Sentiment Stamps, and package of Prima Marketing Labels.)
     They say "Laughter is the best medicine" and I agree!   Can't wait to read and share your comments.  Have a great day!

In the Garden - Stamptacular Sundays Challenge

     What glorious weather we are having this weekend... hoping to catch my breath and enjoy the sunshine and perhaps even plant a few flowers in my garden.  Speaking of gardens, that is the THEME this week at Stamptacular Sundays Challenge!
     For this week's challenge, you will create a card or project with a GARDEN SCENE.  This can be done with a stamp/image, or use the masking technique and create your own garden!  It's up to you.  Oh, and don't forget to STAMP as this is STAMPtacular Sundays!
     For my card, I used a new stamp that I thought would work well for the garden theme. It is "Garden Bunnies" by Wild Rose Studio.  These stamps are so cool as they are clear rubber but come on an acrylic sheet that is colored which really helps those new to copics know where to shade and highlight.
       I chose to color her in yellows (Y000, Y15, Y11 and YR26) and bright yellow-greens (YG25, 23 & 21).  I used Suzanne Dean's Copic Class 5 tutorial once again for coloring copper and terracotta.  Green grass (YG 95, 93 & 91and YG 25), Pink Flowers RV55 and pink spica pens.  I used the white gel pen to make polka dots on the top of her dress.  Bunnies are colored with W00, 5, 3, and R20.
      I also used the Whimsy Picket Fence die for my garden fence. I have had this little die for months and as I was organizing, it found me so here it is!  I cut it out with white cardstock then use Tim Holtz Distress Stains (mustard yellow, wild honey and a bit of tea dye). I like the watercolor effect of the stains. Again, another product I have not used as often as I should! The corner die is from Memory Box- Madera Corner
     The design paper is Pink Paisley's Butterfly Garden. I cannot tell you how often I go to that paper.  Cardstock is Bazzill- the new 6x6 cut Bazzill and Bazzill Bling (yellow) which shines so beautifully.  Flowers from Prima and Wild Orchid Crafts.   Sentiment is from Pink by Design.
      I hope I have inspired you to create your own garden.  Please visit the Stamptacular Sundays Challenge blog to see what our design team has "grown".  Our prize this week is from BUGABOO STAMPS.  The winner of this week's challenge will receive their choice of 7 DIGI STAMPS FROM BUGABOO!
      Have a great day, and thank you for your kind comments.

Wishing You a Day Full of Happiness

     Today is my last post as a Guest Designer for Anything Goes Challenge Blog. Thank you Tamara for inviting me to join your great design team for May.  I have learned so much, bookmarked a zillion more blogs from your team and talented entrants as a result of being with you this month!  Our challenge this week is:
     Now, if you know me, black is NOT such a stretch for me...I love wearing it and working with it!  It is choosing the other color that is challenging and then working only with one other color! While searching through my paper stash the other day for what papers and colors to use for this challenge, I discovered an entire collection that fit the challenge perfectly- and so I took it as a "sign" that this was the color I would choose... Black plus Blue/Green!  Since the paper is beach/sea themed, I thought mermaids!  I so love mermaids, but I had not yet colored up my Marci Mermaid from La La Land Stamps, so that is the image I chose to work with!

     I colored Marci with copics, which are available at The Craft Den.  I added Viva Decor Pearl Pen is white and transparent glitter all around her.  The embellishments are Dress It Up buttons (got them at Michaels - they have a great collection), but you can also see them HERE.   I removed the back and glittered some (the package includes some that are glittered and some that are not) and attached with glue. My gold netting is from Funkie Junkie. I used an EK Success border punch for my "waves" and stamped some gold scrolls on them.  Last, I used quilling paper for my "fauna".

      It would not be my card without a metal corner and some glitter dust, which I sprinkled everywhere! Sentiment is from Lili of the Valley. Design Paper is "Tide Pools" by Creative Imaginations. I bought this paper in BULK awhile ago, and some of the collection is still available online.  Here is one of the double-sided papers from the collection that I used on the front of my card without anything on it.  The link to the whole collection at the only online resource I could find is HERE.  It is a beautiful paper line for all things "beachy"!

     So, head on over to Anything Goes Challenge and see what the other design team members have created, then create your own project using BLACK plus ONE OTHER COLOR!  We can't wait to see YOUR designs!  Thanks always for your kind comments!

Pursue Happiness

     Happy Mother's Day!  My day will be extra special as my son is returning home from college and will get to spend it with me and the rest of my family at a party today.  Today also begins another challenge at
   This week's challenge is so much fun...we can't wait to see what you create. Our theme this week is...
     For this weeks challenge you will create a card or project that has at least one butterfly somewhere on it! We MUST be able to see the butterfly…it can not be hidden! Oh…and don’t forget to stamp! After all, we don’t call this STAMPtacular for nothing!
      You will have from now until midnight (EST) May 19th, 2012 to complete this challenge and post a DIRECT LINK to your submission into our InLinkz in order to be entered into the drawing for this week's fabulous prize donated by Anita, one of our DT members!
       For my card, I selected an Inkadinkadoo rubber stamp, "Butterfly".  It is an older wood-mounted stamp that I haven't used in a while, but I love the delicate flourishes on it.
     My butterfly is colored with copics.  I got some hints on coloring butterflies from a great tutorial here.  After reading the tutorial and seeing the beautiful butterfly creations, I played with my own butterfly- I kinda like it!  I am thinking next time to emboss in gold and try some distress markers on it!   The card base is from CutCardstock. The DP is 7 Gypsies - Gypsy Market.   Colored cardstock from Bazzill and PTI.  I really wish you could see this ribbon in person. I bought it at one of Diana Kovac's classes and it is spectacular.
     I embellished my card with a Recollections metal pearl flourish, WOC/Recollections flowers and swarovksi crystals.  I also die cut some MS punch butterflies, stamped script on them with Gold Delicato Inkpad and then glued on my card.  The sentiment is from Taylored Expressions.
     Hope you can join us this week at Stamptacular Sundays and share one of your butterfly creations!  Thanks always for your kind comments!

I Hope You Dance... Paper Shelter Challenge

         I just love that song... one of the first times I heard it was at my son Tim's grammar school graduation.  Need I tell you he is 22 years old now and soon to! His principal, Ms. Adomsky, read it to the children and to the parents at the ceremony, and there was not a dry eye in the audience when she did.... I often think of the words to that song and what a wonderful sentiment it is for all of us, how it is so suitable for so many occasions when we want to say to someone, or to ourselves, "Catch the wind"!
        Today is my last post as a Guest Designer for The Paper Shelter and for this week's challenge, "Anything Goes", I selected "Tango".
     I absolutely fell in love with this image as soon as I got her! What is cool is that at The Paper Shelter, this digi image comes in a set of SIX digital images files - including stamped images(png & jpeg), colored images (png & jpeg) and digi papers- See below!  
      "Tango" was colored with copic markers on Cryrogen white paper - BV66, 63 & 60.  Hair E29, 25, 23, 31 and 50. Pebbles chalk outlines the image.  I just love the Black Millinery Netting that I bought at Funky Junkie after seeing it on Tosh's card last month.  It matches her fishnet stockings! I cut some corners out of matching black cardstock and added my ever-present metal filigree corners from WOC.  The corner flourish was stamped in gold ink with a Lili of the Valley corner stamp., and I added three purple swarovski crystals on it. The DP is a funny story... I colored Tango first with colors that I mentioned above thinking that with all the paper I have, there is sure to be some that matches that blue-purple copic color....NOT!  After searching every paper pad I had, I found a pack of 8x8 paper that I got months ago from who-knows-where and it was in a plastic envelope with no label... but,  it matched perfectly! Whew- the ONLY piece I had!  So... lucky for me, it all worked out.
     Parts of her dress, hair and shoes got a pinch of Glamour Dust and she is ready to dance!   Thank you Shirley and all The Paper Shelter dt mates for inviting me to play with you this month. I had a blast! Have a great day.


     It's that time again- another fabulous Blog Hop for Just Inklined!  Hope you are ready to hop with us.  Our hostess this month is Toni, and she has chosen a Single Layer Card for our theme.  Yikes!  Not too easy for someone like me who can't stay away from the layers and bling...but certainly a lot of fun!
           I have chosen the "Wedding Bouquet" digital image by Just Inklined.  Now combining any kind of wedding image AND limiting the requirements to ONE layer was quite a challenge for me, but I did it!

     I printed out my digi image on Copic paper and then embossed it with a Cuttlebug embossing folder.  Since I never labeled my embossing folders, I can't tell you the name of this one :(
     I lined up my image on the computer screen, then printed on scrap and once I knew my bouquet was where I wanted it, I printed on my cardstock. I embossed with the folder and colored the image with copics/spica pens.  I added some pearls, Deco Art Glamour Dust, Pebbles chalk, flowers (WOC) and a sentiment from StampinUp.
      Just to make the hop a little more interesting, there are two hidden spot prizes on two of the design teams blogs. We're not letting you know on whose blogs the prizes can be found, but if you leave a comment on each blog and your name is chosen from one of the winning blogs, then you win the digi image showcased on the card on that particular blog.
     Now if you've arrived from Jeni's blog, just keep hopping to the next dt member, Joyce.  Otherwise you might want to go back to the start and see what Toni created.  You are sure to find lots of inspiration and tips along the way, and thanks again for your kind comments.  Have a great day!

Make a Wish

     It is time again for another great challenge at Stamptacular Sundays!   We can't wait to see what you create!  This week's challenge is a SKETCH CHALLENGE!

 For this week's challenge you will create a card or project that uses the sketch  below as your inspiration! Feel free to flip it, flop it, twist it or turn it but make sure we can still see the original sketch in your finished project! 
     Oh…and don’t forget to stamp! After all, we don’t call this STAMPtacular for nothing!  You will have from now until midnight (EST) May 12th, 2012 to complete this challenge and post a DIRECT LINK to your submission into our InLinkz in order to be entered into the drawing for this week's fabulous prize donated by:

($10 Gift Voucher) 

     For my card, I chose "Fairy Fun" digi image by Karen's Doodles.  Isn't she the cutest?  I colored her with copic markers, YG's and R's for her dress, shoes and leafy skirt.  Y's for her polka dots and the flowers on her shoes.
     The design paper for Fairy Fun is Cosmo Cricket's "DeLovely".  The colors are so bright and full of energy- I love this 6x6 pad.  I shaded around her with Pebbles Iridescent chalk.  Die cut butterfly/MS Punch, Oval Dies, Spellbinders. The "pearl" in her hair is made from Viva Decor Pearl Pen in Gold, real pink pearls are from my stash. The sentiment is a wood mounted stamp from Stampabilities.  Swarovksi crystals in the little flowers on her shoes and the sentiment.  The flowers are from Wild Orchid Crafts. Double sided lace and ribbon from my stash. "My Stash"- for those who are curious- means "all the stuff I ordered, unpacked,  and piled on my craft table so that I don't know where I bought it from stash."  Do you have a "my stash" corner of your room or craft table, too?  LOL!
       And... it would not be my card unless it had a touch of Deco Art Glamour Dust sprinkled on top!   I hope I've inspired you to create your vision for our sketch! Looking forward to seeing your card.  Have a great day!  Now head on over to see what the rest of the design team created.  Thanks always for you kind comments.
Crafty Catz - April Showers-May Flowers
Emergency Crafters- Bold & Bright
Stampin for the Weekend - 4 or more layers
Moving Along with the Times - Summer Sunshine

Beautiful Bouquet

     How would you like to make just ONE of these roses???? That is what I thought when I saw this project. NO, I did not make this beautiful bouquet, but one of my dear friends, Ginger, just did!
     Ginger has just launched her beautiful blog, Gingers Scraps of Heart, and I would love for you to pop over to say hello, see her incredible projects and become a follower!  She has even posted a step-by-step tutorial on how to make this bouquet!  Here are just a few pics of a couple of other projects from her blog ...
     I am so excited that Ginger decided to join blogland and share her talent and creativity with all of us.  She is a whiz on all things Cricut and is a Close to My Heart Consultant as well - please go have a look and say "welcome"!

With Wings All is Possible

     Today is an exciting day as I am presenting my first post as guest designer for Anything Goes Challenge. Tamara Morton invited me to join her amazing team for the month of May.  What a talented group of women!  The theme for challenge 66 is "Flutter by Butterfly- Things with Wings." Right up my alley, right?  For my card, I chose "Fairy Child" by Morgan Fitzsimons for Scrapbook Stamp Society.
           Fairy Child is colored with copics (available at Craft Den) and spica pens.  I played this time with the Fluorescent copics in blue, pink and purple as they made the colors more vivid - an effect I wanted for her.  I added the fluorescent blue to the regular blues in her bow and dress, just as I did on some of the flowers.  One of the things I like to do on an image with so much detail is to print out two of them, and, as I work, I "try on" colors on the experimental image before I apply to the one I am going to keep. Not only do I see what the colors look like, but also how well they play together, especially on an image with many different elements!  Because of the intense colors of the flowers, I found the butterflies needed to be subdued with golden yellows- and I learned that after playing on my scrap piece.  Just thought I would share...
      The design paper is DCWV Mariposa. Cardstock Bazill.  The card base is from CutCardstock, Metallic Stardream Crystal, a phenomenal cardstock that holds up to all the layers and embellishments. Metal corner, black pearls and flowers from WOC, Recollections and Prima.  Gold mesh from the Funkie Junkie. I bought this when I saw Tosh's card featuring the Black mesh, which I also bought and will be using real soon- LOL. Blue Swarovski crystal from Jolees.  The sentiment is from a Kraftin Kimme set. Although it is hard to see in the pic, I also used Blue iridescent Pebbles chalk for the clouds around her.
     Thanks so much for stopping by- thanks always for your kind comments.
I will be entering the following challenges:
A Gem of a Challenge - Pink, Blue and Green
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