Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm still in "Hawaii mode" when it comes to making cards, so I was finally able to use the palm tree image I received in a swap awhile ago. The SCS sketch challenge was to make a tall card with the oval and the front flap folded back. I added patterned paper to the front of the card under the flap. The palm tree image is matted on a brown oval that I distressed with the tool in my new distressing kit (this can also be done by running the edge through the blades of a scissors). I added copper embellishments with a little copper wire (I save everything that could possibly be used on a card!). The sentiment came on the same swapped card - I matted and distressed it (slightly) the same as the oval. I ran a sanding block over the green cardstock flap and the inside edge that shows.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Seaside Inspiration. I promise to get back to work on the Hawaii story, but this weekend I was working on a card design to sell. I will post a link to my Etsy shop as soon as I have a few cards ready. In the meantime, I made this card for three challenges at SCS - the sketch, the cutting (of the shell shapes that are layered in the center), and the inspiration from a seaside charm bracelet. Some designs form in the brain and you just have to follow your own direction, so to speak. I had no pre-conceived notion of this design. I only knew the colors and stamps I wanted to use and proceeded from there. I worked with the top layer first - remember, the sketch challenge gives the number and size of the layers. After the top layer was complete, I looked for a color for the next layer and it wasn't until that moment that I decided on the plastic netting. I added the shells and the fiber at the very end when I could see what was needed for more interest. Imagination is a great thing because it allows you to SEE things in your head before they exist, but creating a card without imagining it first is a little like magic...even I don't know what it will look like until it's done.

Monday, April 21, 2008

You Tube Whale Video. I finally uploaded my first YouTube Video and linked it to this blog - in the right column. After you watch it, there are other YouTube whale videos (posted by other people) that you may enjoy. I will have more Hawaii vacation photos in the next few days. If you want to read only the Hawaii posts, click on the word Hawaii at the bottom of any post you see and the non-Hawaii posts will temporarily disappear.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Garden Card made for this weeks SCS sketch challenge. Now I know what to do with that package of popsicle sticks I bought years ago! The sentiment stamp is by Inkadinkado, colored, cut out and matted on a piece of PC-generated checked cardstock. The blue and green are designer papers; I added Hero Arts flowers stamped over the white polka dots, then doodled a bit of green gel pen over the centers. Punched small flowers are from another dp.
Hawaii, Day One, continued... Inside Haleakala State Park, here is the park headquarters. Although it also says Visitor Center, there is another one close to the top. The silversword plant shown here grows only in Hawaii and is very rare. Signs warned us not to walk even close to them since it damages their roots and caused their near-extinction. Between May and October, the plants bloom with sunflower-like purple bouquets.

C and Mom are standing in front of the Visitor Center near the edge of the crater. As you can see, it is at 9740 feet. I took another photo of them at the summit, but the building is not as attractive since it is just a viewing shelter.


Before going to the top, C and I climbed this rocky hill for a view into the crater. The photo below is what we saw. There are walking trails going off in several directions through the red sand. Definitely a must-do for our next trip!








While we were at the top, we saw the clouds rolling in across the parking lot below - where Mom is waiting for us in the car second from the right in the middle row! :)
Here's a shot of C with the crater behind him. The wisps of steam are clouds - the volcano has not been active in hundreds of years.







Here is the Haleakala Observatory near the top. The domes of "Science City" can be seen from miles away reflecting in the sunlight.







The view from the top is spectacular in every direction. I included this one with the road in it to show a bit of depth. Remember we climbed from sea level to 10023 feet in a morning.









Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Aloha Lei Card. An SCS challenge from a few weeks ago asked us to use any flower embellishments that we may have bought and never used. These flowers are cheapie fabric die-cuts from Oriental Trading. I think they are meant to be used as confetti on tables, but I had seen the 'Primas' that other crafters were using and thought these would be a great budget version. However, Primas have a 3-D quality and these are flat, so I've been trying to come up with ways to use them that wouldn't look second-best. I think this works. The letters (Inkadinkado) were stamped on white cardstock, punched out and taped over the flowers. The flowers are strung together with embroidery floss; I also taped them directly to the card so the lei wouldn't shift or slide. The card base was sent to me in a swap...I added the 2 layers of designer paper with snap embellishments.
I will continue to edit my vacation photos and post more of them as time permits. At least my taxes are done - yaaaaay!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

On the road to Haleakala, a 10,000-foot dormant volcano in Maui. Here is our rental car license plate. We realized fairly quickly that the spot-the-license-plate game we used to play on road trips while on family vacations wouldn't work in Hawaii. It's the only state in the Union where you won't find people driving their own cars with their own state license plates. Even Alaska is within driving distance for many people.
Mom with the hibiscus bush behind our condo. She has successfully grown these at home in Minnesota, although they have to be taken inside for the winter.
The view of west Maui from the road up the side of Haleakala. That's not smog - we are already climbing into the clouds.


Along the way we passed through the town of Kula and C pulled over so I could snap this photo. We will stop here for lunch on the way down.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Whale Tail. I just have to share one highlight of my Hawaii trip with you. Last Saturday night, Mom, CR and I took a cocktail cruise at sunset off the west coast of Maui. The cruise was put on by Pacific Whale Foundation, but it was not a whale-watching cruise. So, it was a complete surprise when we started seeing several whales nearby. I had been whale-watching in California 18 years ago and had gotten glimpses of them spouting and a bit of their backs and tails - enough to know I'd seen whales. But, without a video camera and lots of patience, I wasn't able to take home a photo. Now, in the digital age, with all of our little cameras video-ready, I got this film complete with cocktail-cruise music in the background and the sound of excitement from me and the other passengers. See what you think.

Aloha Cards. I'm working on getting my Hawaii photos ready to post, so in the meantime, here are two cards I made for an SCS challenge using rub-ons. I bought these pineapple rub-on images several years ago without any idea of how I'd use them. The first card is simply a card base (orange), yellow designer paper with 'Aloha' printed from my PC and punched designs in the corners, and a blue circle of dp with the rub-ons applied over it.
The second card was actually the first one I made. I had no plan for it; consequently, it kept changing into something I wasn't sure I liked. The first layer is a paper bag I brought home from Hawaii. I crumpled it, smoothed it out, applied brown ink to the creases (dragging the ink pad over the flattened paper), and stuck it to my card base. The pineapple rub-ons were applied over white cardstock. I colored-penciled the blue/green oval and matted the image on brown paper. 'Aloha' is stamped in brown ink on vellum with Inkadinkado 'Carved in Stone' letter stamps.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

HAWAII!! That sums up in one word why I have been absent this last week. Check back later for photos and part one of my vacation journal. Right now I've been up more than 24 hours, so I'm off to bed where I can dream of palm trees, azur water, dormant volcanoes, black sand beaches and a little gecko that visited our restaurant table.