Saturday, June 28, 2008

I've been tagged...

One of my favorite bloggers & stampin' idols, Nancy Riley, tagged me earlier this week and I'm finally getting a chance to play! BTW, if you haven't checked out Nancy's blog, STOP and do that NOW - she's amazing!! You can read the rules for yourself. It was tough coming up with 7 interesting facts about myself, but here goes...
1. I grew up in small town Oklahoma and from the age of 5 yrs old I didn't miss a SINGLE home OU football game until I moved to Maui 4.5 yrs ago. I feel the most homesick in the fall for this very reason - it's just not the same waking up at 4:00 am to watch football on TV on a Saturday and nobody else really seems to care! (it's about all we had going in the fall in Oklahoma!!) GO SOONERS!!
2. Skittles are my favorite candy. I have a method for eating them. When I open a bag, I pour them all out and seperate them by color. Then I eat each color group in order, starting with my least favorite and ending with my favorite. Purple first, then yellow, green, orange and finally red.
3. When I was in grad school at OU I worked as an athletic trainer for the Univ. of Oklahoma Athletics Dept. I worked mostly with the wrestling team. I didn't know a THING about wrestling before then. I have to say, being single at the time, it wasn't a bad gig...I was the only female in a room full of 19-25 yr old college wrestlers for 5-8 hrs a day, 7 days a week, 10 months a year (and in case you didn't know, wrestlers are YUMMY...seriously, none of them have over about 4% body fat, lots of muscles and by the time they get to the level of competing for a division 1 college they look pretty darn good). Anyway I digress....
4. My husband, Joel, wrestled for the Oklahoma Sooners (197 pounder for those of you in the know). We met, became friends, then started dating. It was somewhat frowned upon for a trainer to fraternize with his/her athletes, so we kept our relationship a secret (for the most part) for nearly 8 months. Then the head coach caught us making out (actually I would call it more of a very innocent kiss, but when my husband tells the story he uses the term "making out") in the deserted training room one day after a late practice and we were BUSTED. All's well that ends well. We've been together ever since.
5. I LOVE to surf, but don't very often because I get so seasick that even just sitting on my board waiting for a set makes me nauseous. I spend more time in the water hanging over the side of my board that it's almost not worth it. Almost.
6. I do have a "real job". I'm a physical therapist. I work 3 days a week and mostly specialize in outpatient orthopedics. Unfortunately, my job requires me to inflict some small degree of pain on my patients on a regular basis. I don't hesitate to tell my patients to suck it up and stop whining if they want to get better. I have virtually NO pain tolerance myself. I am the world's biggest wimp.
7. Prior to January of this year I had NEVER inked a single stamp.
OK, now for the 7 bloggers I'm tagging (if you have yet to visit these girls' amazing blogs, you HAVE to check them out...some serious talent here!):
2. Jaime at Cre8tive-or-Crazy?
3. Kimberly at For the Love of Paper
5. Nicole at Little Inklings
6. Stephanie at Steph's Stampin' Stuff
7. Anthonette at Chavez Designs

MoJo Monday #43

I was really disappointed that I missed last week's MoJo Monday. In the craziness of preparing for my in-laws' visit (they're here until July 10) I just didn't have time. I did get a little time to myself this afternoon and this week's MoJo Monday was on the top of my to-do list! I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.
I really like this bright color combo of Night of Navy, Purely Pomegranate, Old Olive and Soft Sky. All of the stamps were Verve Visual. The main image flower is from Fancy Florals Remixed paired with a couple of leaves from Thankful Blossoms. The sentiment, stamped in Night of Navy, is from Thoughtful Florals as are the 3 embossed flower images at the bottom. The main flower image was stamped first with Purely Pomegranate and then again in Versamark Ink and embossed with clear embossing powder. It really gave the card a lot of depth (that doesn't quite show up in the photo). I also broke out my Cuddlebug for this card...embossing the Soft Sky CS with the Swiss Dots folder and using my oval nestabilities for the main image panel. Some Old Olive grosgrain and 3 little half pearls were the finishing touches!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Double Yay for Me!!

Ok, in my last post I was glowing about my SEI win and my Verve Product Parade win earlier in the month with this project. What I didn't realize at the time I posted is that I was once again selected as the Verve Product Parade winner!!!! I can't tell you how flattering it is to know that Julee liked my stuff!! She's one of my stamping idols, so it is such an honor to know that I wowed her twice!!! :-) Thanks for all of the kind congrats!! Here's a review of my Verve card (and really, these Verve stamps make it SOOOO easy to create amazing projects!!):
On another note, I will be slightly MIA for the next 2-3 weeks. My in-laws are visiting for 2 weeks and my stamp room doubles as a guest room. It's not a large room, so I'll be packing away most of my stuff for a few weeks so they're not too cramped. I'm actually hoping to get my MIL to do a few projects and introduce her to the addicting world of paper crafting!!! She's already a VERY accomplished stained glass artist and seamstress (and she even re-upholstered my living room furniture the last time she was here lucky am I????), so I know she would pick up paper crafting very easily. Wish me luck in that endeavor!! Even though I won't have much time for paper crafting, I do plan to do some digital scrapping in the next few weeks, so I'll be posting a few digital pages. But be warned, I'm VERY new to digital!!! I'll also probably be posting more family adventure pics than usual....oh the excitement.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Yay for me!!!

Last month, I entered a design contest for S.E.I. and I found out yesterday that my notecard gift set won 3rd place!! The contest was to use one of the new collections, Penelope's Potpourri, to create a project. I entered a couple of scrapbook pages in addition to the notecard set. I'm so excited!! Head on over to the Penelope's Potpourri Gallery and you'll see my gift set featured at the top of the page just after the 1st & 2nd place winners! (Can you tell I NEVER win anything??....between this and my Verve winnings, June has been an AWESOME month for me!!!). Thanks for letting me toot my own horn for a minute!

Here are a few pics of my notecard gift set...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Enjoy Every Moment

I got a new stash of fun Scenic Route paper a few days ago and finally used it today. The layout for this card was inspired by one of Kristina Werner's cards, which you can see here. You can't see it in the picture, but "every moment" is stamped (versamark ink & white embossing powder) in the lower right corner of the inside.
Paper: Chocolate Chip CS, Ruby Red textured CS, Scenic Route grafton series
Stamps: Enjoy Every Moment by SU
Ink: Versamark
Other: American Crafts thickers, white embossing powder

Precious Little Boy card

I got this great gift wrapping ribbon from American Crafts last weekend and couldn't wait to make some baby boy cards with it!! I finally got a chance this afternoon. I think the card (long notes size) turned out really cute!!
Stamps: Nursery Necessities by SU!; Family Phrases by Verve Visual
Ink: Bashful Blue, Chocolate Chip
Paper: Whisper White, Bashful Blue, Chocolate Chip
Other: Slit punch, nestabilities, star punch, paper piercer, ribbon

CC171 and a CASE

For SCS Color Combo #171 I shamelessly CASE'd (Copy and Selectively Edit) one of my favorite stampers, Nicole at Little Inklings. If you haven't checked out her blog, you must! You can see her original card here. I didn't change much for my take on it. This week's color combo is Basic Black, Soft Sky & Kraft. I stamped the Stitched background stamp on Basic Black CS with Versamark ink and embossed with white powder (I love this look!!!). The sentiment is from SU!'s A Little Birthday Cheer. I used the slit punch to create to scallop the piece of Kraft CS and added some soft sky ribbon. I love how this turned out and think this card would be fabulous in just about any color combo you can think of!
Thanks for looking! Aloha!

Tart & Tangy Foursome...

...sounds a little kinky, huh? :-) I made this notecard set for a friend a few days ago and am just now getting around to posting. I have seen lots of amazing cards using the Tart and Tangy stamp set and Summer Picnic Paper, so I know there are similar cards out there, but I needed something quick and easy that I didn't have to think too much about. These stamps & paper are PERFECT for that!! In addition to the Summer Picnic DP and Tart & Tangy Stamp set, I also used Absolutely Fabulous for the sentiments and Real Red, Old Olive, Bashful Blue and Pumpkin Pie CS. Images were inked with Stampin' Write Markers, circle punched and layered over the scallop circle punch. I also used Old Olive wide grosgrain ribbon and brads on some of the cards. Here are close-ups of the individual cards...

My Hero

I'm a little late posting this, but oh well! I made this card last weekend for my Dad for Father's Day. I used Jen del Muro's Sketch for You To Try (visit her awesome blog here) with paper from Basic Grey's Archaic Collection. Stamps are from Paper Trey Ink's Father Knows Best set stamped with Chocolate Chip and Certainly Celery ink. I also used Chocolate Chip and Almost Artichoke CS and a strip of Chocolate Chip poly twill ribbon for some texture. The edges of the stamped images were sponged with Chocolate Chip ink (I need a little practice on my sponging). As most of you know, my Dad has Alzheimer's. He's only 57 years old and sadly the disease seems to be progressing much faster than we'd like. This Father's Day was especially hard for me... my Dad has always been so appreciative of the crappy gifts I give him but this year he just didn't seem to care or even be aware that it was Father's Day. It's hard to face the fact that we're getting to that stage of the disease. My Dad truly is my hero. He has always been the kindest, gentlest man I know and although many aspects of his personality are changing before my eyes I still see that kind, gentle man when I look at my Dad. The hardest part about dealing with this disease is the fear that as he forgets who he is, I might also forget the wonderful man and father he has always been to me. I worry that once he's gone I will remember him how he is now instead of the amazing man who raised me. On the bad days when he is at his most difficult (and oooohhh, can he be difficult), I pull out my scrapbooks and childhood pictures and am instantly reminded of the man he once was and deep down still is. And it's come to the point when making him a Father's Day Card is more for myself than for him. And that's OK.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Theresa's Weekly Challenge #11

One of my best blogging buddies, Theresa Forseth, had another great card challenge this week. I've been missing out on participating in her challenges the past few weeks, so I was excited to have a chance to play today. The challenge was to create a patriotic card in honor of our US service men & women fighting in Iraq. Theresa's brother was recently deployed and I thought this was a great way to pay tribute to him and all the other troops. Here's to hoping he comes home safe and SOON!!! So here's my patriotic card...
Paper is all from Scenic Route and the chipbaord star is SU!. I coated it with white craft ink, sprinkled on some heat & stick powder, heated and added some dazzling diamonds glitter. All in all, just about the quickest card I've ever done!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

MoJo Monday #41 & a Verve Challenge

I've had a nasty cold all weekend and it seems to have zapped my creativity. When I saw Julee's sketch for this week's MoJo Monday challenge, I couldn't wait to work on it. However when I actually sat down to do it, I just couldn't find my MoJo!!! I needed an Anniversary Card for my parents (their 36th wedding anniversary is June 16!!!!! Amazing.) and I since I already had all the stuff on my work table I decided to use Kristina Werner's color inspiration colors. To me, this card is lacking something, but I can't figure out what. Oh well. My parents will love it anyway!

I used Fancy Florals and Anniversary Birds from Verve Visual. Kristina's colors that I used are Whisper White, Going Gray, Rose Red, So Saffron and Old Olive. I used my corner rounder punch to make the scalloped edge, and added some Old Olive ribbon and half pearls to finish it up!

My amazing parents enjoying an anniversary dinner at Spago's:

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!!!

The next card is for the Verve Visual Product Parade Inspiration Challenge. Here's the inspiration photo:
It's basically this card, just redone in different colors. I liked how the filigree background turned out and when I saw the inspiration photo, I knew I had to do it again!! I used Floral Whimsy and Filigree Fantasy from Verve. The sketch is actually based on one of Julee's old cards, which you can see here.

I was planning on getting a lot more done this weekend than I have, but this cold is really dragging me down. I need to start planning and working on craft fair projects and preparing for our garage sale next week, but I think I'm just going to curl up in bed with a good book and rest!!

A Trio of East Coast Prep

I LOVE this paper, but for some reason have had trouble using it. I sat down last week and decided I was just going to force myself to cut into it. I created these 3 cards and overall and pleased with how they turned out.

This first card uses the Jumbo Outline Alphabet set and Polka Stars from Verve Visual. I added some paper piercng and colored in the letters with a blender pen and Tempting Turquoise ink. My watercoloring could use some work, but I like this layered look (thanks to Kristina Werner for the inspiration for this technique and basic layout of this card, you can see her example here).
This is my favorite of the group, and actually the easiest. I used the Always stamp set with versamark ink and white embossing powder, added a couple of silver brads and a metal rim circle tag and that's pretty much it. So simple.
This card was mostly inspired by Nancy Riley, who did such a great job showing the evolution of the card in this post. I used Real Red, Wild Wasabi and Tempting Turquoise CS. I would have preferred another layer of small stars on top, but I don't have the small star punch, so this will have to do. I added some real red ribbon and embossed the image from All Holidays with white embossing powder. A couple of large silver brads from Making Memories finished it up.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Kristina Werner Color Inspiration #11

As always, Kristina has a great Color Inspiration Challenge this week!! I needed a simple birthday card for my cousin and these colors were perfect....Rose Red, Old Olive, So Saffron, Going Gray and Whisper White. I think the details are self explanatory....
I used SU!'s Think Happy Thoughts stamp set with Versamark ink and white embossing powder. Ok, I BARELY got this done on time, so I need to get it posted. Thanks for stopping by!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lost MoJo...

...yep, it happens to us all I think. I seem to have lost my creativity. I just can't come up with anything I like the past few days. I did make a few cards on Sunday, which I wasn't crazy about, but thought I'd post them anyway. They were both for Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge.

I have to go to work, so I'll most the details later. After today I'm off until Monday (thank you to the state of Hawaii where we have more holidays than I thought possible....tomorrow is Kamehameha Day so no work!!). I'm determined to find my lost creativity before my super long weekend is over!! I'll probably have lots of posts (at least I hope so) the next several days.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Ok, so this post is completely unrelated to paper crafting, but I needed to vent. All of you "mainlanders" who complain about your high gas prices need to stop!! :-) I live on Maui. Maui County has had the highest gas prices in the nation for a long, long time. We are regularly $0.50/gallon higher than even Oahu prices. This morning I noticed that gas in Lanai City is now $5.11/gallon!!!! Really, when is this going to stop?
We moved to Maui several years ago from Oklahoma (possibly the cheapest cost of living ever) and the adjustment to the extremely high cost of living has been very hard for us. Even now, with the housing market so terrible most places (it hasn't hit us quite as hard as everywhere else...yet) the median home price on Maui is well over $700,000. Now, our home wasn't quite that much but it was easily FIVE times the price of the house we had in Oklahoma. Groceries are expensive too. I do a little dance in the grocery store when I'm able to buy a gallon of milk for less than $7!!! And utilities are CRAZY as well!!! Our first water bill in our new home was $389. Our electric bill just increased from around $250/month to $350/month (and we don't even have air conditioning!!!!). And trust me, we are NOT living in a mansion. Yes, we live in a new home in a nice neighborhood, but it's just your average middle-class neighborhood - nothing fancy. Our house is NOT huge (actually on the small side by mainland standards....1800 sq. ft).
I often feel extremely jealous when I read other paper-crafters blogs and see that the majority of you are SAHMs. I only WISH we could afford for me to stay home full-time with my son. I do feel fortunate that I am able to work part-time (3 days/week), but I feel like I miss so much when I'm gone. Sometimes I think that if we moved back "home", we could afford for me to not work. But that would mean leaving Maui, which has become home to us. When I start feeling frustrated, discouraged, sad, mad, etc about the high financial burden of living in paradise, I sit down and open up my son's scrapbook. Yes, the cost of living is extremely high here. But we rarely pay for entertainment. We spend Saturdays doing something outdoors as a family EVERY weekend of the year - summer and winter. Last year we spent Christmas Day at the beach! I thought I would share some of the pictures that make me feel better about the situation. I may complain LOUDLY and OFTEN about the price of paradise, but I'll keep paying it for as long as we can. It's worth every penny to see my son growing up in such a beautiful place!!

Smelling the flowers (red ginger) in our yard...

At the beach a few weeks ago....

My son and I hiking through the rainforest about 10 minutes from our house...

Dean LOVES trees!

Dean trailblazing through the rainforest (his favorite Saturday morning activity)

Checking out a "baby pineapple"

OK, thanks for letting me vent!! I feel much better now! I gotta run...we're headed to the beach!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Verve Cards

So I'm finding that my Verve stamps are quickly becoming my "go to" stamps - they're just so versatile!!

Earlier this week I made this card and I LOVE how it turned out....
I had wanted to participate in Nicole's Inspiration Challenge last week, but just didn't get the time until a few days ago. I LOVED her inspiration photo and my new Verve sets were PERFECT for this! The bedspread instantly made me think of my Filigree Fantasy set and I used the little butterfly from Floral Whimsy. Do you recognize the sketch? The layout for this card was inspired by Julee Tillman's (one of my stampin' idols) card here. Don't you just LOVE that filigree background? And it really was soooo easy to make! I knew I wanted to try it, but was a bit intimidated at first. But trust me, the stamps practically line themselves up!! Here's Nicole's Inspiration Photo...
And now for this week's MoJo Madness Challenge over on Julee's blog. I have to admit that I REALLY struggled with this sketch! I tried to follow the rules and stay true to the sketch, but I just couldn't make it work. After I finished this card, I came up with something even better in my head, but it's too late to think right now so I may work on it tomorrow!! Anyway, here's my MoJo Monday #40 card....I realized after I was finished that I used the same stamp set Julee used in her sample. I normally try to do something a little different. I'd like to use the excuse that great minds think alike, but I think it's just a coincidence! (and maybe because I struggled so much with the sketch I couldn't get Julee's beautiful sample out of my head). I used DP from Scenic Route and the Verve stamp set Thankful Blossoms. I did end up changing a few things with the sketch - I flopped the bottom "circle" to the right instead of left and I chose to use a butterfly instead of a 2nd circle. I actually like the individual elements of this card a lot - it's just a little busy for me! What do you think?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

SCS Sketch Challenge #176

I'm a little behind on my Splitcoast Challenges, but I liked this sketch so wanted to give it a try. Here's my take on SCS Sketch Challenge #176.

I used Chocolate Chip and Soft Sky CS and some really cute DP from Creative Imagination, which I purchased from Island Paperie (link to their all-new online store coming soon!!). The main image (Imaginisce) and sentiment were also purchased from Island Paperie!

Here's the original sketch....

CASEing Marvelous Maren!!

This week's featured stamper over at Splitcoast is Maren!! The challenge is to CASE (Copy And Selectively Edit) a card from the featured stamper's gallery, changing at least 2 things. I check Maren's blog almost daily, and already had several of her cards bookmarked to CASE, so this was easy! You can see the card I cased at this link. Here's my take on it:

I used Not Quite Navy textured CS for the base and added some Old Olive and Bashful Blue DP. The main image is from SU!'s Fun and Fast Notes and the sentiment is from Absolutely Fabulous (still one of my fave sentiment sets). I used my scallop circle nestabilities to mat the main image in Old Olive and added some Old Olive grosgrain ribbon to the top. I love how it turned out!!

A few SEI projects

I got an awesome shipment of SEI stuff in the mail a few days ago and have been playing. I made a couple of scrapbook pages and a cute little notecard gift set using the Penelope's Potpourri kit. Here's a look at what I came up with...
You may recognize this layout as being very similar to another I did for a friend using the same picture. Well, I needed that picture in my own scrapbook, so I did this one for myself!! Here's a little closer view of the journaling pocket tag which reads "We spent Christmas Eve morning at Keawakapu Beach with good friends Lori and Mia. Dean had so much fun tormenting Mia and stealing all her toys. Little Mia was just adorable in her pink swimsuit!". I used Photoshop Elements 6 to enhance the photo to black & white, then "erased" part of the image to let the color of just the swimsuit show. If there's anyone out there who would like a tutorial on how to do this, please let me know and I'll post one.
I wanted to scrap a few more of the pics I had of my good friend Lori and her daughter Mia. I will be giving her this page.
Detail of the journaling, which is a definition of "Together".
And here's a cute little notecard gift set I made. It includes a box with belly band and 5 simple notecards that fit inside.
Detail of the open box with notecards inside and belly band off (notice the scalloped edge of the box top):

Kristina Werner Color Inspiration #10

Kristina Werner is back with another great Color Inspiration Challenge this week. The inspiration photo is below...
Here's my creation using the featured colors of Old Olive, Bashful Blue, Whisper White, So Saffron & Not Quite Navy.
I used Not Quite Navy textured CS for the base with a piece of So Saffron DP at the bottom, rounding the bottom corners of both. I covered a piece of On Board Blossoms & Basics chipboard with Bashful Blue CS and inked the edges with Bashful Blue Ink for definition. I stamped the Circle of Friendship (SU!) sentiment in Versamark ink and embossed with white powder. 2 sentiments may have been overkill, but it seemed to be lacking something when I finished, so I added the "Make a Wish" from SU!'s A Little Birthday Cheer to the bottom. Some Old Olive grosgrain was the finishing touch.