From the Artist Tribe - Vintage Inspired Valentines

 Today, Linda Edkins Wyatt is joining us from the Artist Tribe with a gorgeous set of vintage inspired handmade Valentines

I love all of the gorgeous details that she incorporated on these! The bases of the Valentines are from the Khadi Papers cotton rag hearts, and Linda has added stenciling with my Ornamental and Art Deco stencil collections, along with some beautiful pieces of English scrap and Dresden trim!
Be sure to stop by Linda's blog today to see lots more photos and to get all of the information on how she pulled these beautiful cards together!

From the Artist Tribe - DIY Holiday Tags

Today Linda Edkins Wyatt from The Artist Tribe is sharing some fabulous DIY holiday inspiration with her beautiful tags! She's created elegant simplicity with her black and white color scheme on these first four, just using paint, stencils, and ribbon with lovely results.

DYI Holiday Tags - Black - Linda Edkins Wyatt

(The above two use my Christmas Cardinal & Holly stencil as well as my Ornamental Petals Mask while the two tags below use my Christmas Cardinal & Holly stencil again as well as my Decorative Medallion stencil.)

DYI Holiday Tags - Black - Linda Edkins Wyatt

Linda also added a vintage touch with German Scrap Angels and German Dresden trim on these two tags:

DIY Holiday Tags - German Scrap and Stamping - Linda Edkins Wyatt
DIY Holiday Tags - German Scrap and Stamping - Linda Edkins Wyatt

(This second tag above also uses papers from my Marbled Paper Sampler Pack.)

Make sure you head over to Linda's blog to see lots more details about her beautiful project!

Ready to make your own holiday tags? All month long Dresden trim and English & German Scrap are 15% off with the coupon DresdenScrap-15. Plus, I just added three new styles of Dresden and three vintage scrap designs, most of which work perfectly for Christmas projects!





From the Artist Tribe - Stenciled Holiday Fun

Today Lynda Shoup from The Artist Tribe is sharing the results of a fun and crafty party where she and some of her friends used my stencils and other supplies to make gift tags and all kinds of fun projects! Here's a little sneak peek of what they got up to using my Christmas Cardinal & Holly stencil...


Intrigued? I know I am! Head on over to Lynda's blog to read about the party and see what they came up with!



Artist Tribe Blog Hop - Making ATCs!

Welcome to the first ever blog hop for The Artist Tribe at Gwen Lafleur Studios! I'm so excited to see and share all of the fabulous projects from these talented ladies, and I hope you'll enjoy it just as much!

There are three posts today, and three tomorrow, and of course, there's a giveaway! But before we get to that, here's a summary of today's inspiring projects:

First up, we have Jackie Neal,  who's sharing some beautiful diary style art journaling!

Dear Diary (29)

Here's what Jackie had to say about her project:

"Today I would like to share with you a journal spread I put together using some of Gwen's yummy products.
Most times I gather my inspiration from things around me, something in my studio or from the beauty out in nature.
For this journal spread, I was actually was inspired by Gwen and her travels to exotic countries where she procures these gorgeous papers, trims and embellishments!
Thank you and please stop by my blog for more details on how I put this together."
Items from Gwen's Mixed Media Supplies store:


Next up in today's lineup, Lynda Shoup is sharing another fabulous project! Lynda took inspiration from a recent outing where prayer flags and beautifully carved paving stones helped bring everything together.

Mixed Media Elephant Banner - Lynda Shoup

Lynda used some Turkmen jewelry parts, newspaper yarn, an image from the Enchanting Elephants downloadable collage cut-outs, and some hand-printed paper I sent to the team that's similar to the ones in my themed collage and embellishment packs to make her beautiful banner!


Last up for today... it's me! I'll show you how I used my stencils and some goodies from the shop to make a set of ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) for my latest swap.

Here are the cards - believe it or not, I made all of these in one sitting... it just took a few hours (which for me is pretty fast!)


Ready for a little tutorial? I started with an 11"x14" sheet of heavy weight paper, then I blended some Distress Oxide Inks onto the surface, spritzed with water, and dried it. I wanted to do two different colorways so that I would have some variety in the backgrounds for my cards.


Next, I pulled out my stencils and just started adding designs all over the background without much rhyme or reason. Here, I used two designs from my Art Deco stencil collection: Art Deco Sunburst Background, Art Deco Sun Medallion, then the Decorative Medallion stencil and Decorative 6-Petal Flower Screen, and from my Ornamental stencil collection, the Ornamental Peacock Feathers stencil, Ornamental Floral Screen, and Ornamental Embroidery. I stenciled all of those with Archival Inks - I wanted the slightly more soft and transparent look of inks for this, plus they give a nice, crisp image and no drying time. 

With that done, I cut the sheet down into 2-1/2"x3-1/2" cards, then took paper scraps and adhered them along the bottom or side with matte medium.


Then I took different washi tapes and added those as another layer, sealing them with matte medium.

With the matte medium dry, I took some different Dresden trim border designs and added a small section on each card.


Next I cut out nine images from the collage sheets (these were provided as part of a kit for my swap group, but you can find similar designs in my Irresistible India downloadable collage cutouts.) I decided which backgrounds looked best with which images and then adhered them in place with matte medium.

After that it was time to embellish! For this, I mainly used different trims, jewels, and charms from various ATC kits for my swap group and glued those in place.


Finally, I used Sepia and Jet Black Archival Inks along the edge of each card, then finished them with a line of gold from a Pen-Touch paint pen.

That's it! The cards themselves are quite easy to make - the key is the background, which adds a lot of complexity and depth without a lot of work. Then you just add a few layers on top, and voila! Fun ATCs, all ready to trade!

Here are close-ups of each of the cards I made:


And of course, one final look at all of them together:


I hope you enjoyed my project today! Of course, wow it's time for the part everyone is waiting for... a GIVEAWAY!

Blog Hop Giveaway Banner

One lucky winner will receive $20 Gift Card to the Shop at Gwen Lafleur Studios! All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on any or all of the blog posts during the hop - the more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to win! (One comment per person per blog please.)

You have until Sunday, October 1st at 11:59pm mountain time to leave your comments. The winner will be announced on the Gwen Lafleur Studios Facebook page on Monday, October 2nd.

 Today's posts:

Make sure to come back again tomorrow to see the next three projects!




All Occasion Handmade Cards with n*Studio Stamps

Hi everyone, welcome to my stop on today's blog hop with Stampendous and n*Studio! I'm excited to be able to participate today in sharing some fun project inspiration using Nathalie's Stampendous stamp sets.


For today's post, I decided to use the Elephant Foam Stamp, Cling Rubber, and Stencil Set to make some handmade cards. I can always use some fun all occasion cards; I like to keep a little stash of them in case I need a card quickly, and the elephants seemed like such a fun motif to use for these. Who doesn't love elephants?

All Occasion Elephant Handmade Cards - Gwen Lafleur

I put together a quick little overview of how I made each of these cards, along with a few more photos so you can see some of the details.

First up, I really wanted to make some kind of a window card. To start, I made my own card base from cardstock and sized it to work with the stamps. I took the stencil from the kit and inked through it with gold pigment ink, then I heat embossed with Aged Gold Frantage Embossing Enamel.

Elephant Window Card Steps 1-4 - Gwen LafleurNext, I used some gold paint in a dauber bottle to paint the solid side of the foam stamp - I centered that on the embossed area and stamped it. I wasn't worried about precision; I just wanted the outline so that I could use my x-acto blade to cut out the elephant shape.

Once I had my window, I used some gold foil washi tape to add a frame around the edge of the card.

Elephant Window Card Steps 5-7 - Gwen LafleurI found a fun printed transparency with purple foil polka dots, so I cut a piece of that to back the window. Then on the front, I outlined the cut-out area with gold dimensional paint. Once that was dry, I stamped the rubber stamp elephant on the inside, lining it up with the opening on the front. I painted around the elephant with gold matte paint, then added a sketchy outline around the image and a border around the edges.

To finish it off, I decided to add a little nod to India with some sequined trim and a fun sari applique. The perfect touch, don't you think?

A few more photos of how this card turned out - I think it's kind of fun, elegant, and eclectic all at once!

Stamped Elephant Window Card - Gwen Lafleur
Stamped Elephant Window Card - Gwen Lafleur
Stamped Elephant Window Card - Gwen Lafleur

Now for the second card... this one is actually reversible! I used the detailed side of the foam stamp plus the rubber stamp - they face opposite ways, so it makes it perfect for this type of card.

Reversible Stamped Elephant Card Top View - Gwen Lafleur

Here's a quick overview of how I made this one.

First, I lined up the two stamps on the cardstock, then stamped each one of them in black. I cut around one of the elephants, leaving about a 1/4" border. When I got to the point where the images met, I folded it in half (carefully - it takes a bit of checking to make sure they line up) then I used the first cut elephant as a guide to outline the second one so the edges would all line up. (I don't usually have much luck folding it in half and cutting both at once - it's almost always wonky!)

Reversible Elephant Card Steps 1-2 - Gwen LafleurNext up, I pulled out a gouache palette and added some watercolor to the stamped images. I used complementary colors to reinforce the reverse / opposites theme.

Once the watercolor was dry, I used glitter glue to add some fun sparkle and detail.

Reversible Elephant Card Step 3 - Gwen Lafleur

To finish off this card, I mounted it on another piece of cardstock to add some more stability, then punched some holes and threaded ribbon through the top. Here you can see each of the sides:

Reversible Stamped Elephant Card Side 1 - Gwen Lafleur
Reversible Stamped Elephant Card Side 1 - Gwen Lafleur
That's it! I hope you enjoyed today's projects, and that you're feeling inspired with new ways to use Nathalie's awesome stamp and stencil sets.

Before you go... make sure you comment below and stop at all of the blogs on this week's hop for even more chances to win one of three awesome prize packages from Stampendous!


Here are all of the blogs on today's portion of the hop... make sure you check in on the Stampendous blog each day so you can be sure and catch all of the fabulous inspiration this week.

 Until next time... happy stamping!




StencilGirl: Stenciled File Folder Mini Art Journal

I've got a new project over on StencilGirl Talk today - it's my monthly installment of Gwen's Gems! (I still giggle a bit when I type that.)

This month I've made a mini art journal out of a manila file folder. I've wanted to do this for a while, so I used my stencils along with my winter Art Bento Box to make this month's project.

File Folder Mini Art Journal Finished Cover - Gwen Lafleur

File Folder Mini Art Journal Inside 2 - Gwen LafleurMake sure you head over to read my post on StencilGirl Talk to see more photos and details as well as a tutorial so you can make your own!

Graduation and Birthday Cards

I've been taking a little break from scrapping to get geared up for my new classes and NSD (National Scrapbook Day) weekend (time to get down and focused on some projects!) So I've been reading and watching the Food Network... generally being lazy. lol. But I do have a few cards to share.

The first is the one I made for Rae's graduation last weekend:

Rae's Graduation Card
I pulled out my old QuicKutz Squeeze with the Studio alphabet to do the letters on the front. I need to use those things more - they're pretty great alphabets! I also made the medallion ribbon using my Score Pal and a Martha Stewart border punch. I even busted out that old Emagination Crafts grad cap punch! It was in my "to sell" pile and I'm trying to decide if it goes back there or not. Anyway, I'm pretty pleased with how this one turned out.

Next up is a birthday card for my mom. I wanted something fun and different but still elegant, so I did a tag in a glassine bag. This way I could slip in a picture of her gift, which hasn't been delivered yet. I'm going to pop the whole thing in a regular business envelope to send off.

Mom's B-Day Card 2012
I used an old Magenta background stamp on the tag (it's HUGE - I mean, this thing is like 7"x8" - wood mounted, and I have another that's even bigger - I've never seen them since I bought them like 10 years ago... you can bet I'm holding on to those suckers.) I added some patterned paper and stamped the flowered image on white and colored it with Copics before cutting out. I used a Martha Stewart label sticker and a Papertrey sentiment stamp (Women of Life). There's another birthday sentiment on the back with my handwritten message.

For the envelope, I used a small Magenta bird stamp on an old Making Memories tag, another Martha sticker, some baker's twine and another PTI stamp. I really love it!

Mom's B-Day Card 2 2012That's it for tonight... now I just need to get this baby into an envelope so I can mail it in the morning and then cross my fingers that it gets there in time. Nothing like cutting it close! But I was hoping the gift would arrive if I waited. No such luck. Oh well... the picture will be great until I get it.

Happy Spring!

The weather has been just lovely for most of the week, although it's supposed to cool down and rain or maybe even snow tomorrow. But that's March in Utah, I guess.

The last several days have been busy! Work, celebrating Melody's birthday, and trying to get caught up on sleep. That last part I haven't been too good at, so I've been taking a few early nights lately when I would rather have been playing in my attic. But it's part of finding the right balance, I guess. That's hard for me to do, but I hope I'm getting better.

Anyway, I did manage to do a few things, although I had to spread projects out over days rather than finishing in an evening. First up, a birthday card I made for Melody. Cards aren't my thing, so this was pretty directly lifted from Betsy Veldman.

Monkey with Balloons b-day card
Her birthday was Thursday so after work I walked over to meet with her and her family at the new Cheesecake Factory at City Creek Mall which had just opened that day. It's a sweet mall... I only work a few blocks away which could be awesome and dangerous all at once. lol. I took a few pictures on my phone - I just need to transfer them to my computer and see if any of them are any good - the lighting was pretty bad in there.

MOnkey with Balloons b-day card 2
We had a good time and I attempted to balance the banana cream cheesecake with chicken lettuce tacos from the skinnilicious menu. I tell myself that works. lol.

And I also finished a layout that I started a few nights ago - this one of the kiddos on a swimming outing. I used a Starting Point from Shimelle's Hitchhiker's Guide to Scrapbooking class as well as a few assignments from the sentiment stamps chapter in Jen Gallacher's Scrapbook Stamping workshop.

Little Swimmers
I used my Studio Calico Story Hour kit and add-ons to start, then added some other stuff - old epoxy circles, new stamps from Heidi Swapp, and some slightly old embellishments from American Crafts layered with really old washer accents from Making Memories.

Little Swimmers close-up 1
I got a little carried away with the liquid pearls on the Thickers - but they needed a little something to stand out. My hands were a bit shaky so it's not perfect, but I like it.

Little Swimmers close-up 4
I tend to really avoid sentiment stamps - the only ones I have are your basic "Happy Birthday" and "Merry Christmas" ones and a few others that happened to come in sets with the images I really wanted. So it's been good for me to find new ways to use them and appreciate them a bit more.

Little Swimmers close-up 2

I was going to get rid of those washers, but realized that I still really like them and they're fun in layered accents like these.Little Swimmers close-up 3k. I think I might need a nap now :)

Studio Calico Stamped Tag / Feb. Layout

I was listening to the Avalanche game tonight (a pretty awesome game too!) and wanted to do something fun, but I wasn't quite up for a layout. Lately, I just don't have anything I'm really wanting to scrap. Then I remembered this stamped tag challenge at Studio Calico this week and I thought it sounded like the perfect way to just play and have a little fun.

Studio Calico Stamped Tag

I used 4 different Studio Calico stamps on this one... 3 of them from kits, and the bird I bought on Two Peas a while ago (I think). I masked the stars to stamp the banners and then masked the banners to stamp the background. Fun! Some Stickles, tape, trims, and an American Crafts chipboard frame around the bird. A little crepe paper ruffle just for kicks.

And note the color combo... still on my mind after yesterday's 29 Days of Love album entry :)

Speaking of...

29 Days of Love Blog Header

Today's prompt was "I love happy mail days." And I do... it's so fun to come home from work and find a little box of goodies on my doorstep! I had a few things sitting out from some packages I've gotten in the last little while and used them on the page.

29 Days of Love - Days 21-22
I also used a chevron background that I cut on my Cameo from a piece of heart patterned Sassafras paper, added a shipping tag and some airmail colored twine, and then a little envelope I'd made for something else and then not used with some punched hearts tucked inside. The alpha stamps for the title are Swiss Girl Designs - I love them!

29 Days of Love - Day 22

The ink, however, was spreading weirdly on the tag. It was fine on regular paper. But whatever!

And now I'm all played out. Later!

Counting the hours...

Okay, I'm going to admit something rather shocking. Up until today, I wasn't all that excited for my trip. I know, crazy, right? But I've known it was coming for two years, known which trip I was going to be on for about 8 months, and I've been planning, preparing, shopping, making lists and piling things for my suitcase for more than a month now. It really hasn't been real. I've known all along that it's going to be awesome and I'm going to have tons of fun and I've been greatly anticipating the whole thing, but that adrenaline just hadn't kicked in yet.

But now, it has. Oh yes. And if I had needed any help getting that going, waking up to snow this morning (seriously? April 26th?) would definitely have done the trick. But wow am I ready now. Tonight I picked up one last thing at the store that I wanted to take with me and I've started packing. The rest has to wait until I do laundry and can finish up the toiletries, but it's so close I can taste it. It's a good thing I've been prepping things at work for the last two weeks or I'd be in trouble because I'm about 85% checked out right now. lol. But as it is, everything is looking perfectly on track (and I knock on wood as I say that so that some huge catastrophe doesn't come up tomorrow.)

In the meantime, I've been trying to use up stuff in my fridge since I'll be gone long enough that I need to worry about that. So what could I make with spinach, tomatoes and chicken besides a rather boring salad? I browsed on Tastespotting and found this post and I had to make something similar. I actually made it on Sunday and I've been eating leftovers, but it's really delicious.

I present to you, the tomato crostata.

Tomato Crostata 1

Aside from the fact that this picture reveals exactly where my egg wash ended, it looks pretty yummy, yes? I kept the recipe for the crust almost identical (I was out of corn meal so I used instant polenta instead. It's almost the same, right? Worked like a charm, in any case.) For the filling, I had about 1/4C of sundried tomato pesto and I used that with a whole bunch of fresh spinach, about 4 cloves of garlic (this baby was strong. awesome.) and as little olive oil as I could manage and whipped up a puree in my food processor. Then I threw in a small handful of blanched almonds and gave it another whiz. After that, I added in the chicken and the tomatoes and mixed it up (with a spoon, not a food processor. lol).I poured it into the center of the crust, put the grated Dubliner cheese on top, and then folded it over to make the crostata.

Tomato Crostata 2

I will make this again. Oh yes. The filling might vary, but it was really yummy.

And, because I keep forgetting to do this, I wanted to post the birthday card I made for Melody (who's birthday was last month. doh. Happy belated birthday!) I wanted to wait until I knew she'd gotten her package and then forgot. Normally I don't post cards because I kind of suck at making them, but I really liked this one (probably because I totally nabbed the idea from Erin Lincon's blog from when this stamp set came out on Papertrey.)

Doily Birthday Card

K. That's it for now... back to finishing up stuff on my to-do list and counting the hours until I'm off on my exotic adventure.

Back home and catching up.

The last week has been wonderful... no school, no work, no real worries.  Even the drive back and forth from my house to Monterey was relaxing since I could just kick back, put on some good music and enjoy the beautiful drive.  I've got tons and tons of photos to sort through and with my ancient computer it's going to take a while, but I'll get there!

In the meantime, I meant to put up a few posts before I left and it just didn't happen... too much to do at the last minute and I decided getting a little extra sleep before hitting the road should probably be a higher priority :)  Sorry for the picture heavy post.

First, I had a bridal shower for a friend at work and made her a fun little card for the gift my friend Melissa and I gave her... lots of fun American Crafts goodies:


IMG_2724 The second project is the one that sucked the majority of my free time over the last few months... Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh's birthday present.  My mom and I have been looking for a good quiet book for a long time and never found one that was as good as the one she made me when I was a little girl.  Then I looked for patterns but still couldn't find anything I liked.  So, I decided to just make one up for her.  I bought a few basics - duck cloth for the pages (it's like canvas), snaps, hooks and velcro and some clear vinyl and clear thread.  Everything else I already had... I just went to town!  I made some sketches of the pages but mostly made it up as I went along.  Almost everything is hand cut and stitched (with the exception of a few diecut flowers and the stitching on the edges of the pages).


IMG_2731 Inside pages:

IMG_2738 On the farm page, I bought the finger puppets... I thought about making them and then realized that was crazy.  lol.

For the butterflies, I used Creative Imaginations felt butterflies and embellished them.  For the paper doll page, I used my Cricut Dress-up Paper Doll cartridge to make patterns for the doll and clothes.


So that's it!  I put grommets in the pages and put it on rings so if I decide to make more pages they can just add to the book.  Now I've got about two years to make the next one for Nicole's little girl.

And to skip ahead into vacation pictures, I gave the book to Eraleigh on her birthday while we were waiting for family to join us at Phil's Fish Market in Moss Landing.  She loved it!






k, that's it for now.  Lots more photos to go through... unpacking and laundry... etc..  I'm really glad that tomorrow is Friday!  Getting back up to speed at work made me feel like I went through the first four days of the week all in one day.  I'm just glad there's no class tonight... such a nice little breather!

Happy Birthday Mom!

It's been quite an eventful day!  I have to admit however, that I'm deliberately posting this late at night so that my mom won't see it... she and Rick are on their way to SLC first thing in the morning so I'm betting that at this point, mom won't be checking my blog until after I give her her birthday present in person tomorrow :)  Although it definitely won't be the biggest surprise of the day, I still don't want to spoil it...

So, here's the card - I made a combined birthday / Mother's day card since I'm giving her both presents together.  She and Rick will be on the road driving his car back from Idaho on Sunday so we'll be celebrating a bit early.

Mom's B-Day and Mother's Day Card 

I just love this Sweet Pea image from Papertrey :)

And, for her birthday present I made a necklace and earring set (which probably won't be a surprise at all... lol.)  My mom has always liked jade, so when I found this carved jade flower I knew I needed to build the necklace around it.  I found a little set of light green jade beads to go with it and added some vintage pearl beads from some old broken strands of pearls that I unstrung.

Mom's Jade Necklace

And a bit of a close-up:

Mom's Jade Necklace - Close-up

Of course the biggest birthday surprise of the day was the present from Nicole and Brian... a card that had this in it:

 Blog - Nicole's Ultrasound
I'm going to be an Auntie again!!!  And Nicole, the little stink, is already in her second trimester and just dropped the news today!  Another wee one to spoil :D  The baby is due in the fall and I'm super excited to go home for Christmas now... I'll have TWO little ones to enjoy while I'm home this year!  So exciting...

Congratulations Nicole and Brian and Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Easter!

And of course, not to be forgotten, Happy Birthday Dad!  It was yesterday, but I was a non-posting slacker.  I did call home and I got to be on the phone to sing happy birthday with the family and listen while he opened presents.  They made me extremely jealous with all of the talk of the Baskin Robbins chocolate peanut butter ice cream cake.  Yum.  It sounds like it was a great birthday, and here's hoping for many more!  Here's a quick shot of the card I made to send with the present:

Dad's Birthday Card

Not my best effort at stamping words, but it's the sentiment that counts, right?

And... for today, I took my basket of froofy Easter eggs and added some candy for this year's grown up Easter basket (this is for Mom who was worried that I didn't have an Easter basket for myself.  lol).

2010 Easter Basket
I had Lindt chocolate mini eggs, a few saran wrapped pieces of my favorite Sees candy and a Hershey's bunny, a Cadbury caramel egg and a Butterfinger egg. Yum!

I spent most of the weekend watching General Conference, which was wonderful as always... but I still got a few other things done.  First, a layout.  I printed these photos of Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh weeks ago and never made the layout.  Since I was officially a few holidays behind, I thought I should get to it.

Valentine Sweetheart

I had some fun playing around with this one... I took the tags and cut out squares to make frames and then misted them and added fun trims and Japanese masking tape along with flowers and hearts cut from a sheet of Making Memories patterned paper.  Some fun vintage lace down the right side of the layout and Pink Paislee chipboard letters.

Finally, I decided that just because I was "finished" with a piece of jewelry didn't mean I couldn't go back and change it if I thought of something that would have made it look better.  I mean, duh.  It's not that hard.  So I made some changes to my seahorse necklace and updated my previous post with new pictures.  Nothing drastic - just subbed in some copper colored beads in place of blue ones to tie in the pendant better.  I like it even more now :)

I didn't complete any new pieces this weekend (that pesky house cleaning and laundry crap got in the way), but I started assembling a new pendant - I'm waiting for the E-6000 to dry so I can keep working.  Here's a quick look at where it's at:

Pearl - faux amethyst flower pendant 1

The flower is a mother of pearl carved one that I got for like $2 on Etsy... the jeweled part on the front was a pendant from a bunch of vintage necklaces I picked up.  I cut off the bail and sanded it down and glued it to the flower - I'll save the chain and either use it here or later.  I glued a new bail to the back of the flower and added some brass findings and jewels.  I don't know why the small jewels look so blue in the photo - they're violet.  I'm not entirely sure where I'm going with this one... I'm making it up as I go :)

Tomorrow night is the Muse show at the E-Center and I'm SUPER PSYCHED!!!  I'm meeting up with Rae at my place where we're going to fix dinner and then meet Steph and Mike for the show.  I'm still trying to figure out how to get a camera in now that I just have an SLR... I'll think of something.  I can't wait, though.  They're sooooo amazing live.  Of course, I didn't put two and two together until earlier today when I realized that Muse on Monday night meant that I couldn't call into my Monday conference call with my study group and that also meant that Monday night was out for working on Finance homework.  Doh.  So I spent several hours this evening working on that.  Fun, huh?  (Maybe if I'd gotten online yesterday instead of slacking and doing housework I'd have realized that and started yesterday.  Oops.) BUT!  While I did homework, I witnessed my own little Easter miracle - the Avs actually won a game! They're still in the playoff hunt! (jinx!)  Obviously it was a bit of a non-traditional Easter chez moi, but it was still fun, peaceful, relaxing and very uplifting.  Now it's time to get ready for another week!

Not quite done with Christmas...

Since things were so crazy before the holiday break, our study group didn't really do much for Christmas so I'm doing a little post-holiday gift for the members of my group.  It isn't much, just a little something to share with them and their families.  I made my favorite fudge - it's Symphony fudge - I found out about it from Melody who I think saw it on Good Things Utah.  I looked up the recipe and I've made it a few times.  It isn't super rich, but it's smooth and creamy and totally decadent.  I'm going to make up a few small packages of fudge and then I made Christmas / New Year tags to go on each package.  Here are the tags... 

#1: Flourishes poinsettia stamps and Papertrey sentiments, colored with Copics and sprayed with Glimmer Mist.

Christmas Tag 1 

#2: Hero Arts stamps, Copic markers and some Christmas twill and scrap paper.

Christmas Tag 2

#3: I'm not super happy with this one - it turned out a little sloppy for my taste, but not so bad that I felt like I had to start over.  Papertrey stamps, a scrap of old Autumn Leaves for the background and embossed K&Co for the gold accents.  The top ornament has gold embossing and the bottom one I used a glue pad and some of Martha's glitter. The lacey looking stuff is leftover backing from paper lace - I used alcohol inks and a Krylon leafing pen to get the marbled color.

Christmas Tag 3

#4:  Papertrey stamps, MM flocked paper, American Crafts embossing powder (that stuff is like butter) and the background with my homemade Glimmer Mist and a glimmer screen.  May Arts leaf trim (love that!)

Christmas Tag 4

Finally, Papertrey Stamps, AC EP, and more Glimmer Mist with a different Glimmer Screen.  A little ricrac and flocked paper at the bottom, with a hint of phone book on the sides :)

Christmas Tag 5
That's it!  Now I've got just enough time to grab some dinner and settle down with the Food Network for my Sunday night ritual.  I'm ridiculously excited about tonight's Super Chef battle.  I know... nerd.  But I'm looking forward to it all the same :)


Why is it always the smallest things that cause the most pain?  I guess it isn't always like that, it just feels like it right now.  A while ago I had a very old filling fall out of a tooth and shortly afterward, the back of the tooth just fell off too.  It didn't hurt at all so I let it go, planning to get to it after I put some money in my flex spending account (dental work is $$$!).  I should have known better, it never works out that way, right?  This last week  my previously quiescent tooth went into full flare-up.  It was like 0 to 1,000 in a half a second.  I didn't realize it was the tooth at first since I just had sinus headaches - normal for me even if these were worse than usual.  Then the additional pain kicked in and I knew I was in for it.  I'm going to the dentist first thing tomorrow and I have a feeling the words "root canal" will be spoken.  Ah well, it's time.  At least they called in a prescription for some Lortab to get me through the weekend.  It's not perfect, but it takes the edge off and has been helping me catch up on some much needed sleep :)

I did get a few things done, however.  A friend from work got married yesterday so I met up with another co-worker for dinner and then we met the larger group at the reception.  It was beautiful and we had a good time.  I made this card to go with my gift for the happy couple.

Jana's Wedding Card


Today, in between drugged naps and light reading, I played a little bit more... first is a card to send off to Melody tomorrow (don't peek Mel!) in honor of the new baby that's due to make an appearance any day...

Happy Baby Card

Finally, I've been meaning to add to the "Watch her grow" album I've been making of Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh for quite a while but hadn't gotten around to it.  So tonight, I added pages for the last four months.  I can't believe how much she's growing!  She's already walking and everything...








With that, it's time to hit the sack!  Here's hoping everything goes well at the dentist :)


Weekend projects

I'm not entirely sure where the weekend went, but it was nice while it lasted!  lol.  I did do a little playing in the scrap room.  First was a card - just playing around with some of my American Crafts stamps and embossing powder. Sorry for the crooked scan... the downside of always working at night is that I never have good light to take pictures!

To You From Me Card
I also did a layout today... this is another from Disney, while we were in the Wild Animal Park.  We had some time before Finding Nemo the Musical so we hung out in the dinosaur area for a while... I'm just bummed we didn't have quite enough time for rides.  Those flying dinosaurs looked fun!

Chillin' in Dinoland
And lest you wonder what happened to my typical verbose journaling, here's a shot with the hidden journaling pulled part-way out :)

Chillin' in Dinoland - Journaling

And now, off to relax and feed my Food Network addiction before bed... tomorrow is going to be busy getting my checklist knocked out at work and home to get ready to head out to the SF office.  Busy is good, though!  It helps keep me occupied instead of stressing until I find out if my student loan came through.  It's not like they're cutting it close or anything... I mean, school doesn't start until August 3rd!

Eraleigh is One!

Yup, today is Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh's first birthday.  I can't believe it's been a year!  I'm looking forward to hearing about her big day and seeing lots of pictures.  In the meantime, here's the birthday card I made her.  I had to use these cute stamps from Our Craft Lounge (and my Copics) because they totally reminded me of her... when we were at the aquarium at Epcot, there was a giant sea turtle that swam right up to her and she was captivated.  I know she's too young to enjoy the card, but it was sure fun to make!

Birthday Fishes Card
In other news, I've been on a waiting list for a new laptop at work for almost 2 months now and yesterday I finally got it!  Good timing... my old one had decided to start shutting down randomly for no reason.  Fun!  I hadn't realized how slow my old one was until I started using the new one.  It's like the speed of light!

And now just a few more hours until my weekend starts... our office gets the 3rd of July off and I'm psyched for a 3-day weekend! I'm ready to bar-b-que, relax and maybe even scrapbook!


It's been a surprisingly busy weekend for me.  But fun busy, you know?  I ran a few errands (aka shopping), watched some good movies and did some crafting experimentation.  I've had the idea for a certain type of mixed media collage for months now and I've never done anything to see if I could create what's in my head.  I played with papier mache this weekend and it's looking good!  Nothing to share so far, but it was fun to get my hands dirty (literally!) with something new.

Yesterday, my LSS had a Make-and-Take / demonstration from Copic Markers and Our Craft Lounge stamps.  I love my Copics and I'm always looking for tips (and excuses to go to the LSS) so I headed out yesterday to participate.  It was lots of fun!  Here's the card we made.  Not my best coloring, but I was trying not to take too much time since there were people waiting for spots at the MITI table.

Copic B-Day Card

I was also able to sneak in a layout... here's a quick one from our Disney trip.  This is from the Safari ride in the Wild Animal Park.  We all loved that ride... it was a lot like a real safari!  And Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh was enthralled by the animals. 

On Safari
And now I'm just in time to watch "The Next Food Network Star" before bed. :)

Mother's Day Mini

I really love that my family enjoys getting little scrapbooks as gifts... it makes it so much fun for me to make personalized albums for birthdays and holidays.  Sometimes when I give a regular gift instead of a scrapbook, they're disappointed!  So for Mother's Day this year I decided to make a mini album of Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh for my mom as a Grandma's Brag Book that she could keep on her desk at work.  And, since Rick, Erin and Eraleigh are temporarily staying with my parents, I made a copy to send to Erin as well!  It was so fun to hear about their surprise... not surprise over the fact that my gift was an album (they guessed that before opening the shipping box!) but surprise that there were two of them!  It was almost as easy to make two as one, so it was fun for me to be able to do it :)

I love these 6x6 American Crafts mini albums.  I got them at Archivers in the $1.99 spot... that's a deal you can't pass up!  These are the completed albums with the cards I made to go with them.

Here are the album pages - lots of these were adapted from other layouts I'd already made for myself, so they'll probably look familiar:

Mothers Day Album 09
So that's it!  I've already scrapbooked all these photos except the ones on the last page (but I have a half-finished layout on my desk using those) but Eraleigh is just so darling that I loved scrapping them all over again.

Just because...

I'm not much of a card maker but I've seen so many fun projects using the Damask Designs stamp set from Papertrey Ink that I've been dying to make something with it.  Tonight I finally decided to use it to make a card just for fun.

And while I was at it, I made a matching envelope in vellum and stamped on it so that it would cover the design on the card while it was in the envelope. This turned out really cool but I can't claim credit... I saw this online somewhere :)

So that's it for now... I've got to get my dad's birthday present packed up and ready to ship off in the morning.  Hopefully it makes it there on time!

Day 16 and some Christmas Tags

This is the part of the blog post where I remind everyone that I HATE SNOW!  Every year at this time I ask myself why I moved to Utah.  Not only that, but why I moved to a townhouse partway up a mountain 25 miles from my office.  Whenever it's not snowing, I know the answer to that.  It's just this time of year that brings out the whiner in me.

Okay, that being said, on to the day 16 daily!  No surprise, yesterday I did my pages about my guest spot on the Prima blog.  I decided to include a copy of the post in an envelope, so I re-did part of what I did yesterday to include a big envelope that I could put it in and then put the journaling on top (see update to yesterday's post too).

December Daily 16

No layout to share today, but I finally started my gift tags!  This batch is going in the package that I need to ship off to Alaska before the weekend... I just need to make a birthday card for Rick now and that will be ready to go.

Blog - Christmas Tags 1

And another view...
Blog - Christmas Tags 1b

Tonight I have to make more cookies for another holiday party at work so hopefully I'll be able to finish up... hopefully the roads won't be giant skating rinks when I leave for work in a little bit!

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's Turkey Day!  Or if you're at our house, a little prime rib :)  I'm all for breaking with tradition if it involves a good cut of beef.  lol.  I think we're having a little turkey too, so it's not a complete change.  So in celebration, a few funnies from an email I got from Nicole yesterday.

ATT17058861 ATT17058870

Maxine always cracks me up.  There were a bunch of these in the email, but these were my favorites.

And also, I had this cute little turkey stamp and I wanted to play with it so I made a few tags.  These could be cards or attached to food or drink being taken to dinner somewhere else, but I'll probably use them on a scrapbook page.  Or not at all!  lol.  We'll see.

Thanksgiving Tags

Off for my yearly dose of tryptophan.


Yes, I finished the entire album in less than two weeks.  So in celebration, I'm posting a few birthday cards I made today instead of more wedding layouts :)

But first!  A shot of the entire completed album in all its glory.

Blog - Wedding Album Complete
That's a lot of pages.

Okay.  And now, cards!  I had a lot of fun making these.  I think I might have to make some envelopes, though.  lol.

Blog - Party Hat Card

This is my favorite - it's based off of a picture of a funky cake I saw on the web the other day.

Blog - Funky Cake Birthday Card

Both of them have stamped birthday sentiments inside.  Now I just need to write in them and wrap some presents!  Time to get packing... I'm on a red-eye back home tonight and there's lots to do!

P.S.  Happy Birthday to my SIL Erin!  I hope it's a wonderful day :)

We interrupt this program for more cards.

This is what's been happening lately whenever a scrapbook layout isn't really coming together for me.  I get distracted by fun stamps and pretty paper and the next thing you know, I have cards.  lol.  The Hero Club blog did a focus on mini cards a few weeks ago that was really fun so I decided to try it with this fun little owl stamp set.

Blog - Mini Owl Cards
These would be really fun to give to someone along with a little plate of cookies or some other treat.

And with that, back to trying to make my layout work.  If I can pull it together I'll post it tomorrow.

Starting to get the holiday bug

It's hard not to want to do holiday projects when I start to see Christmas decorations in the stores and all of the fun holiday craft supplies everywhere.  So I decided to make a little Christmas card just for kicks.  Who knows?  I might even give it to someone!  lol.

Christmas - Bird Card
Well, I have early meetings today so off to work I go!

More fun with stamps

Tonight I was in the mood to do some more stamping so I decided to make a card for this week's Hero Arts Blog challenge.  I saw this tutorial the other day on making this decorative punched circle that used a punch I already had so I had to incorporate that into my card somehow; it was a lot of fun to do.  Here's what I came up with:

Blog - Hello Card

And here's a close-up of the stamping / coloring on the card:

Blog - Hello Card Close-Up

As you can see in the top picture, I also used chalk pastels in this one - I did a bunch of scribbling and blending to make the background.  As usual, lots of coloring with Copics and I stamped the flowers by coloring on the stamp with markers and then highlighting with Copics.  If you're interested in the tutorial for doing that punched frame, you can find it here.

With that, it looks like I'm actually going to get to bed before midnight tonight... yay!

Happy Halloween!

Just sharing a quick and simple Halloween card I made... I had fun working with the glitter on this one to change the texture and give it a little dimension.

Witch Card - Hero
I'm not sure yet what we're doing tonight... maybe meeting Steph and the girls for a party?  Maybe going to the movies?  We'll see... fun no matter what!  I hope everyone has a great one, though :)

Fall / Thanksgiving Card

This is another one I did for last week's Hero Arts challenge (which I'm going to miss this week... oh well!)  It doesn't look very good from the scan, but it's kind of cool in person.  Part of the challenge was to see if you could use a photo on your card so this is one I took last year of the fall leaves in the parking lot at work.  I also used crystal lacquer on the stamped trees which is what makes it cool in person, but you can't tell at all in the scan. 

Celebrate Blessings Card

That's it... first day of training today so I'm sure I'll be ready to crash tonight... not to mention the Avs game is at 9pm eastern time (like I would miss it, though!)

Feels like Fall

I love waking up on a Saturday morning with that cool, crisp feeling in the air.  If only Fall didn't lead to Winter!

Speaking of Fall, though, I've been working on this week's Hero Arts Blog challenge and I made this card with one of their leaf stamps and some other goodies from my stash:

Fall Card - Hero
I colored the stamped leaves with my Copics and then cut them out and added some Stickles for a little sparkle. 

And now, I'm off to cook up some nachos (the healthy for today's football game.  Go Cougars!  I'm hoping we can bounce back from that awful loss to TCU last week.

I know it's kind of crazy but...

...I'm posting two cards in a row!  That's right, I officially went on a mini card kick.  This has been pretty fun and I hope I'll keep it up :)  Here's card #2 this week:

Things I Love - Card
A bit of a style mix, but I really like this one.  I love those Hero Arts flower stamps and I'm getting way more mileage out of that butterfly stamp than I ever thought I would!  With that, though, I think I'm back to layouts for the time being... or at least until next week :)