Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hello -- Goodbye (and a great sale!)

I'll be back later with some cards, but I wanted to quickly take the opportunity to fill you in on some changes in the i {heart} papers design team. Two of our wonderful and talented members, Kendra and Sarah, are leaving us today to move on to other things. We’ll miss them! But we are oh so happy to welcome a new DT member today -- the wonderful and talented Lynn Mercurio! Please go visit her blog today and check her out. I think I can safely say you'll be happy you did.

In honor of these exciting changes, Kate is offering a 10% off coupon from today (April 30th) through May 2. Enter the code HGB10 to get the discount on your purchase. She's got some GREAT NEW STUFF in the store!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Soft Spring Wishes

We've been having some gloriously warm weather here in the northeast these last couple of days, and it's impossible not to notice the flowering trees all around. I know my allergies have certainly noticed!

On my way home from spending money, I mean running errands this morning, I was particularly struck by the cherry blossom trees that are in full bloom. So I pulled out my Flower Soft and set out to try and bring a little of that beauty into a card. I found that the Sweet Pea Flower Soft had the same colors in it as the Porcelain papers from Basic Grey. Both of these are available from Kate at i {heart} papers. I picked the soft, watercolor-like paper to tr to capture the soft spring air, and used the Nestabilities to mask a border while I airbrushed with my Mimosa Yellow Copic marker around the edge.

What I used:
Stamps: Out on a Limb (Papertrey), All Occasions Messages (Hero Arts)
Ink: Palette Burnt Umber, PTI Ripe Avocado, Copic Marker (YG00)
Paper: Porcelain 6x6 pad (Basic Grey), PTI White, Ripe Avocado, Spring Moss, Berry Sorbet
Other: Flower Soft Sweet Pea and FS Glue, Nestabilities, PTI twill ribbon

Monday, April 20, 2009

April IHP Design Team Challenge

Each month a member of the i {heart} papers design team hosts a challenge. This month it was Cathleen who came up with the challenge, and her theme was Going Askew. We were to make something with the image put on crooked. Makes sense, since Cathleen's blog is called Crooked Card Creations!

I thought I knew what I was going to do already, but as luck would have it, this week's Mojo Monday sketch challenge had a skewed image on it, so I decided to take advantage of the double-play! And I realized I needed to make a birthday card for my son-in-law, so I stepped out of my comfort zone and went looking for papers/colors to make a masculine card. I guess that made it a triple-challenge! I only inked the cake itself on this, since I didn't want the pedestal it was sitting on for this purpose.

What I used:
Stamps: Birthday Cakes (Impression Obsession) (just realized Kate is out of these - termporarily, I hope!)
Ink: Palette Noir, Copic markers
Paper: Marrakech (Basic Grey), Baja Breeze, Pacific Point, Summer Sun, Ruby Red (SU!), Papertrey white
Other: Scalloped border and star punches (SU!)

Go check out what Kate and the rest of the design team did with this challenge:
Sarah Anderson
Cathleen Torina
Loretta Lock
Amber Kroening
Kendra Wietstock
Lori Tecler
Deb Felts
Tracy Schultz
Meredith Socha
Dee Jackson

And now I'm going to go to sleep before I throw my @#^%@!&#^!%# computer out the window for getting bogged down with some background nonsense, making this post take 10 times longer to put together than necessary!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Chicken Love: The Cake

Strange name for a post, yes? Well to give you a little background, my son Yusuf is now the very happy husband of a very gifted children's book illustrator who goes by the nickname of Chicken Girl. They got married in a private ceremony this past Wednesday on a beach in St. Thomas, and had the reception here in NY yesterday. Jannie, my new daughter-in-law, nicknamed him Math Boy, as he was working for his PhD in Mathematics when they met, although he has since completed it (my son the doctor!).

Anyway, Chicken Girl and Math Boy met almost exactly 5 years ago on the corner of Houston and Mulberry Streets, and on their third anniversary of meeting, she created this illustration as an anniversary card for him. When we were discussing the details for the reception nearly a year ago, she said that the only thing that she really wanted was a chicken cake. Although I had not done any cake decorating in many, many years, and even then just a bit of dabbling, I offered to take on the challenge. I decided to use her own artwork, which I found on her blog, as inspiration for the cake. And so began several months of studying and practicing fondant cake decorating, all self-directed, using books, TV shows, the web, and a terrific DVD. This is the result:

Here's a better look at the chickens. I think if you click on it you can see it bigger:
These are pictures I took while it was still in my apartment, and not very good ones at that. When we set it up at the restaurant, I put some Belgian chocolate seashells on the sand to make it look, well, more beach-y. Here's a picture of them cutting the cake:

I had a lot of fun making this, but the very best part of it was seeing Jannie's face when she saw it for the first time yesterday. She agreed from the start to let me surprise her. She had absolutely no idea what I was doing, except that it involved chickens, and her trust in me touched my heart. I am indeed a very blessed and happy mother, and mother-in-law!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lovin' the Sweet Pea!

And as you might have noticed, I'm lovin' my Copic markers, too. These Sweet Pea stamps from Pink Cat Studios are so much fun to color, and they are so darned cute!

It was impossible to get a picture good enough to show how glimmery this is. I used my Candle Light Shimmerz over the flower petals, the wings, and the star on the wand. It gives it such a lovely glow. I also put a dab of Glossy Accents on the ladybug.

For once, I picked a piece of patterned paper before I started coloring. Do you know how many images I have sitting around, already colored, and I can't find a piece of paper to match?!!! Oh, and I used my Copics with the airbrush to make a matching flower, too.

What I used:
Stamps: Sweet Pea (plate 2)
Ink: Memento Black, Copic markers
Paper: Papertrey white, Ripe Avocado, Summer Sunrise, and Polka Dot Parade
Other: Nestabilities, Ranger Glossy Accents, Shimmerz, Prima flower, bling (of course!)

Still alive!

Sorry for being MIA for the past several days. Almost every minute of my spare time has been taken up by preparing components for my son's wedding cake. The event is next Saturday, and even though I have 3 days off beforehand, it's a HUGE undertaking and I want to get as much prepared in advance as I can. And of course leave time for the inevitable screw-ups. I promise I'll share pictures next Sunday. But be prepared -- this is not your mother's wedding cake!

I have about half a dozen cards in various states of completion, but nothing to show you right now. If I can get enough prep work done today, maybe I'll be able to finish one of the cards later.

Hope you're enjoying a wonderful holiday, whichever one you're celebrating!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Passover Treats

I try to make a little treat every holiday for the people I work with. For Passover this year I decided to use the fabulous Top Note Treat Box that so many people have been showing, and for which Angie Tieman has a terrific tutorial on her blog.

I used SU! Night of Navy for the box, and some gorgeous K & Company paper that I got from Kate at i {heart} papers. It's from the collection pad called Blue Awning. (ALERT: she has 1 left and it's on sale!)

I also used my Mazel Tov set from Papertrey Ink. I love having something that covers every Jewish occasion that might arise. Comes in handy when you're Jewish and work for a Jewish-run school!

I filled the boxes with treats that seem only to be found around this time of year. They're chocolate-covered marshmallow twists, and 2 of them fit in the box beautifully! Because they are unwrapped, I lined the boxes with a piece of freezer paper, shiny side up.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hi there!

Wow, making this card was like being in labor for 6 hours. That's how long it actually took me to figure out what I was doing and get it done! You know when you have "kind of a concept" but have no idea how you're going to do with it? Different kind of pain, but pain nonetheless.

I have a BUNCH of stuff from i [heart] papers that I haven't gotten around to using yet (go figure). Anyhow, I knew I wanted to use this bright and happy It's Raining paper set from Piggy Tales, and I knew that I wanted to use this Froggy stamp with it. The rest just kind of evolved.

Now the cool thing about this paper collection is that it comes with all kinds of coordinating "stuff." Rub-ons, letter stickers, and these very cool frames they call "barn doors." There are 2 sheets of them, in all the various colors and patterns used in the papers, and different shapes and sizes. So at first glance, this card doesn't look like much. But when you open the secret door (which I raised up on foam dimensionals), WOW!

I used lots of techniques with the froggy. He's colored with Copic markers, and then dotted with the colorless blender to give him the textured spots. I also went to town with my Sakura Glaze pens. All those yellow dots and his smile are glossy. So is the leaf he's sitting on. I added some Glossy Accents on his eyes, which are punched out and glued on top of the image for a little dimension. I masked the leaf so froggy could sit on it, and then I masked the whole thing so I could airbrush it while it was stll nestled in its Nestability after cutting and embossing the circle. The top portion is airbrushed with blue, and the bottom with aqua. I then used that colorless blender to make a few ripples in the water, and went over them with my Spica glitter pen. Oh yeah, momma went to town with this little froggy!

What I used:
Stamps: Froggy (Hero Arts), Mega Mixed Messages (PTI), Garden of Life (PTI)
Ink: Memento black, PTI Lemon Tart, Copic markers
Paper: It's Raining, It's Pouring (Piggy Tales), Yoyo Yellow, Cool Caribbean, Brilliant Blue, Glorious Green (SU!)
Other: Nestabilities, SU! circle punches, Prima flowers, SU! mini brads

Hope you're enjoying your weekend!