Friday, February 27, 2009

Ribbon Flower

Here's an example of a design that just popped into my head when I saw today's Limited Supply Challenge at SCS. The idea was to use one stamp set to create your own designer paper, so I looked at my limited stamp collection and saw a set I hadn't used yet - 4 "buttons" by Hero Arts. I used 2 of the four stamps to create the multi-colored paper, one of the same stamps for the green on green paper, and a 3rd stamp for the main image. Another "limit" was to use only ribbon and brads for embellishments, so I used both. The prongs on the brads were way too bulky, so I bent them off and glued the brads to the card. I cut slits in the cardstock and pulled pieces of ribbon through to make the flower stem, and attached the flower face over thin pieces of cardboard (a cheap substitute for dimensionals).

The sketch is from this week's Taylored Expressions Cupcake Challenge.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stylish Inchies

February is coming to a close and I haven't posted nearly as many times as I'd intended, but my focus has been on job-hunting. Hopefully next month will be better in both ways. These 2 cards are version #1 and #2 of the same card. I started with a Splitcoaststampers Sketch Challenge and added 3 inchies (1x1" piece of art). The inchie in the middle is one I received in a swap, the one on the left is one I made for that swap, and the one on the right is one I made to match the others. My inchies were made with punches, matted over grid paper I generated in Excel. All the checked paper is also Excel-designed and printed.

The version above has the inchies matted on just the bright blue piece. I felt something might be missing, so I matted the bright blue on black. Which do you prefer? If you design and make a card to give someone, they will probably not notice anything but the care and love that went into it. If you are creating art for yourself, you have only yourself to please. However, since I sell many of my cards, it would be great to have input from potential customers. So, if you were buying one of the two cards above, which one would you be more likely to buy? And would you like to see a sentiment on the front, such as "You've Got Style..." (with a Happy Birthday or other message inside)?

The round card below is one I made at Archiver's last weekend. The red piece was fed through a dry embossing machine and then sanded to expose the cardstock core. When I got home, I added a few more jewels to the front and changed the sentiment to "celebrate" so I could use it as a birthday card.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Two Of A Kind

These two cards were made for last week's Splitcoaststampers Sketch /Ways To Use It Challenges. Both have stripes of some kind. The card above was made with an adhesive mat stack by Autumn Leaves. The bottom layer is actually the glossy cover from the mat, complete with shadows between the stripes. I stamped the Anna Griffin/All Night Media rose in brown ink and colored it with pink markers and glitter gel pen, then punched it into an oval shape, sponged the edges and adhered to the brown piece with foam tape. The little "Happy Birthday" tag is metal - it was white and I inked over it to get it to match better.

The palm tree card was made with Me And My Big Ideas paper and another AG/All Night Media stamp. I used watercolor pencils and a blender pen around the image and highlighted the tree with glitter gel pen. The embellishments are a little cork circle stamped with a retired Stampin' Up stamp and 2 metal "snaps".

Friday, February 20, 2009

Art Shanty Projects - Part 2

I'll be back later with more details, but I wanted to quickly post the next set of Art Shanty photos. has the full story. And has a nice map of the shanty locations on the ice. These are the dIcehouses, the insides stocked with all sorts of games to play.

C outside the Nemo Shanty/U.S.S Walter Mondale (above). I didn't go inside because of the step-stool access that made me a little leary - just one more way to fall when I was already having a tough time staying upright on the frozen lake :). (C, send me a link to your pic of the inside, if you wish). Penguin on a flagpole (below) with a kite flying by.

Biology shanty (above). Inside, we found out we were standing on only 4 feet of lake, 3 feet of which is frozen! No chance of falling through here. Imperial Transantartic Expedition shanty (below). If this one looks like an overturned boat, it's meant to! It represents the rowboat that Ernest Shackleton and his 27-man crew used to survive one winter between 1914 and 1917 at the South Pole.

Sweat & Drink, Inc (above) - a sauna where I didn't dare take my camera. I was already having second thoughts about the cold/hot conditions to which I was subjecting the electronics. C - any pics? The Art Post (below) - claims to be the world's only post office on ice. Inside, I used the free stamps and supplies to make a postcard, and sent it to Mom. I forgot to sign it, but she recognized my handwriting :) The round shanty to the right in the photo is the Knitting Shanty. Photo of the inside in the next post.

ArtCar Taxi Shanty (below) -"art car" taxi service from the parking lot to the shanties every weekend. One of the art cars is visible to the left in this photo. Bratwurst for sale outside.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Art Shanty Projects - Part 1

On Saturday, my brother C and I drove out to Medicine Lake to see the last day of the Art Shanties. There were over 20 ice-shack-like structures, each with its own theme.
K-ICE (above) is a micro-radio station, broadcasting to Medicine Lake

We got our photo taken in the Snap Shot Shack. When I checked their website early today (Monday), it had not been posted, but go to to see other attendees from this year and last.

The confessional was covered by "confessions" written by participants who found paper forms inside. Here, most of the bottom of the shanty has been cleared of past confessions to make way for new ones. I forgot to peek inside. Saturday was the last day of the exhibit, and a cold day on the lake, so sometimes the shacks were quite crowded - but toasty-warm!

Here's the Dance Shanty. And C dancing (right when the music ended). I'll be back with more later.

Stitches and Buttons Card

For Taylor's sketch challenge this week, I combined it with a challenge from SCS to "stretch yourself", meaning use some technique that you've never or seldom used.:
Buttons are rare on my cards.
I've never stitched on a card - the buttons were attached with actual needle and thread.
Imaginisce penguin was stamped, cut out and attached to background. His shorts were paper-pieced with one of the same papers from the card.
The sunglasses are also a button with the shank cut off the back.
The PC-printed sign is mounted on a toothpick.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Little Spring Indoors

After I made this card for a SCS Challenge, I noticed my shamrock plant had some flowers. That's not unusual - it flowers from time to time all year. But in the middle of February, it's such a wonderful reminder of Spring, I just had to photograph it.

There was enough light in my front window, but no backgrounds that seemed to work. So, the photo below shows how I set up the shot. I turned on my "daylight" lamp, placed a piece of blue paper behind the plant and rested the camera on the mini tripod. I always think my hand is steady enough until I see the final result. Most times there's no problem, but many times when taking close-ups, a bit of blur shows up when I zoom in on the photo. Sure, there are settings to change even on my auto-camera, but I've never been "into" settings and such. :)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Rockin' Valentine

My 10th Etsy sale is this Valentine with inside caption reading "You Rock My World". It's all made with cardstock by DCWV, except the vellum circle that I printed on my PC. With job-hunting taking over most of my days, I haven't spent a lot of time making cards to sell, but I will continue to add designs when I can.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

25 Things

Over on Facebook, I was tagged to make a "25 Random Things About You" list, and this is what I came up with. My aunt commented on a couple things I could have added if the list was longer, so there are 25 more after the first list.

1. single and plan to stay that way!
2. won an award for drafting in high school - for 3 years of the best grades (I was the only girl in the class for 2 of those years).
3. was the first woman in the Air Force ROTC program at the U of MN.
4. hate fads, I prefer individuality.
5. if I could live on ice cream, I would!
6. lived in Calif for 3 months, other than that my whole life in the Twin Cities.
7. took the Ground School course (for the private pilot's license) when I was 15, and got to fly a small plane for a few minutes.
8. have 4 cats, who make me laugh every day.
9. took my brother up in a hot air balloon for his 30th birthday.
10. am the oldest of 3 children, also an oldest grandchild AND great-grandchild.
11. my favorite kinds of music are contemporary JAZZ, and rock & roll
12. have no favorite song or color - too many to choose from, and I love sooo many
13. have 1/2 of an architecture degree and 1/2 of an interior design degree
14. have had a few of my poems published in a local paper.
15. would love to pet a lion someday.
16. been an avid environmentalist ever since Hubert Humphrey came to my high school for the first Earth Day.
17. love mystery/scary books, ever since I read the Judy Bolton series as a kid, and Stephen King as an adult
18. didn't get my driver's license until I was 23 - my first car was a '65 T-bird, and I've only owned 4 cars, (one just for the winter), all used.
19. kept a journal for 25 years, and have every letter ever written to or by me (as an adult)!
20. have had a blog for over a year.
21. have traveled to Argentina, the Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, China, England, France, Hong Kong, Iceland, Peru, Portugal (the Azores), Scotland, and Spain, and one day in Mexico on a family vacation.
22. been a/an landscape/deck designer, cook, seamstress, account clerk, bank clerk, sandwich maker, inventory taker, graphics tech and started my own business
23. been on a Windjammer (sailing ship) and a river steamboat
24. don't drink coffee or beer, but give me a diet coke or a margarita and I'm in heaven.
25. see over 100 movies per year, my fave is the romantic comedy, but I like almost all genres.
26. have my own greeting card business and I've made many of my own cards more or less all my life
27. owned my house for 29 years - after I left my parent's house, I was a renter for less than 4 years when I became homeowner
28. love all kinds of foods, especially Mexican food - to go with my margaritas! - am allergic to none, and have eaten the foods of all the countries I've visited
29. rode a bicycle 150 miles in 2 days (Twin Cities to Duluth).
30. was in Honor Society in high school
31. volunteered to write to a prison inmate while I was in college. We corresponded for several years (and as I said above, I have every one of those letters)
32. can whistle along with any tune (and I'm IN tune!)
33. took ballet and tap lessons as a kid and was an Indian and "jello" in our recitals
34. been taking pictures since I was 10, and still have my first camera (see post below)
35. have less than "6 degrees of separation" from the last couple of Presidents = President to Senator Coleman to his wife to her father to me (went to his drafting school, and it was a small school, so, yes, I DID meet him)
36. have stuck my feet in both US oceans (not on the same trip, although I've heard of people doing it the same day, after a plane trip)
37. never got to see The Beatles perform, but have seen Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr play individually
38. have dabbled in most of the arts and crafts, including pottery, metal sculpture, needlepoint, crochet, knitting, cross-stitch, drawing, painting
39. voted in every Presidential election since I was of age and worked on McGovern's campaign against Nixon.
40. been hooked on Sudoku (I'm better now...but now I think I'm hooked on Cross-sums)
41. played violin and clarinet in grade school (although I wasn't any good at it...still hope to play the piano someday)
42. made all my own clothes while I was in high school - I wish I had a photo of me in that black fake-fur mini skirt and the turquoise blouse with French cuffs!
43. have worn glasses (and mostly contacts) since 4th grade
44. have no interest in hunting or guns, but won a turkey once by firing a rifle at a target (see ROTC)
45. sleep in a waterbed that my brother made for himself in the 70s - he sold it to me when he bought a new one and it's the only bed I've ever owned except for the French Provincial canopy bed I took with me when I got my first apartment
46. love winter and snow...must be the Norwegian in me...and I DO NOT like hot weather, as in over 70 degrees
47. have always had a huge "crush" on Robert Wagner and more recently, The Rock (Dwayne Johnson)
48. am a big Superman fan! I was never into comic books, but have watched every live action movie or TV show about Superman, starting with The Adventures of Superman that aired before I was born, but was re-aired in the 50s
49. Dad was a speed skater, so my brothers and I were all speed-skaters. We briefly fantacized about being in the Olympics
50. love making lists :)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Happy Groundhog Day!

A sunny day for Puxatany Phil to see his shadow...and another cold day to stay inside and online job-hunt and make cards. This is card #1 of two First Birthday cards for twin boy cousins. The designer paper is by DCWV. I had Martha Stewart train punches to coordinate, and I was pleased to find I even had a "cloud" punch to use for the steam coming out of the engine. The sketch was provided by Tayor Van Brueggen for last Friday's Cupcake Challenge. I haven't used a cupcake image in the past (it wasn't required), but since it's a birthday card, I was finally able to use an image by Imaginise. It's being towed by the train!

I was thinking about the ease of taking digital photos and uploading them to the internet within minutes, and then I thought of how many cameras I've had. I have 2 digital cameras, both automatic, one larger and with lots of zoom. The Canon I use for most of my photos is a pocket-sized camera, and I carry it everywhere. The camera below is my first camera! I've had it since I was 10, and I actually have some really nice photos taken with it. It took 620 film that was almost as wide as the camera itself, and had to be wound manually from spool to spool after each photo.

And the little glass animal was a later addition that I tried to glue on before the days of super glue. It was my way of saying "watch the birdie". I used to think it was a platypus, but I'm not so sure.

I threw in the photo below just to make it easier to look at the nine Valentines I made last week - all at once.