Monday, May 31, 2010

CASEing Cathleen (yet again)

When I feel like creating but feel low on creativity, I head to the many blogs I follow for inspiration. So today I went to my Google Reader  -- a blessing for simplifying my life, as I follow over 250 blogs at this moment -- and selected just the entries that I had “starred” to find something to CASE. Lo and behold, I found (not a surprise) this card by my wonderful and amazingly talented friend Cathleen. She is so often a source of inspiration to me that I should know to just go straight to her blog!

I loved the simplicity and serenity of her card, and of course the butterflies. And I remembered that I had in my stash, from many years ago, a little pack of Japanese washi papers that would work beautifully with this idea. You can’t really tell from the photo, but the centers of the flowers are metallic gold. It’s just gorgeous, and I only had one 6x6 piece of it.

japanese-butterfles Allow me, if you will, to share a few tips I used when making this card.

1) When the paper you’re using is expensive and in short supply, use this trick: cut your layers first, then punch or die-cut your shapes from the part that will be hidden behind another layer. That’s what I did with the butterflies and the large panel.

2) This washi paper is very porous, and its surface does not take well to tape-runner adhesives. Remember the mulberry paper that was so popular several years ago? Like that. So I used Mono Multi liquid adhesive. Worked like a charm.

3) I didn’t want to worry about my greeting having to span different thicknesses of layers that would have been caused by layering the large panel over the smaller one. I trimmed the small layer along the left edge so it could just butt up against the large layer. Voila! – one level surface.

What I used:
Stamps: greeting from Delightful Dahlia (
Ink: Memento black
Paper: Japanese washi paper,
PTI white, black, and Spring Moss
Other: butterfly embossing Sizzlet (SU!),
self-adhesive pearl lines (Zva Creative)

Hope all of you here in the U.S. enjoyed your 3-day weekend! Back to the grind tomorrow…


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Happy Birthday, Sis!

lilyofvalley-suz10 Today is my “baby” sister’s birthday, and what a beautiful day it was! The weather here in the northeast is just gorgeous – a little on the hot side, but not oppressively so.

We celebrated with a scrumptious buffet brunch at this awesome place in Westchester called Kittle House, courtesy of my dad and stepmom. 

And because no occasion is complete without cake, I made some cupcakes. suzanne-roseThese are chocolate cupcakes, topped with a double dip of chocolate ganache and little fondant rosebuds. But the surprise is that there’s a mini Reese’s peanut butter cup in the center of the cupcake! Yup, I baked ‘em right in. I put them in the freezer first, and then pressed them gently into the top of the batter before sticking the pan in the oven. The part of the candy that didn’t get completely swallowed up by the batter is nicely hidden by the topping. What a happy little experiment that was! Although I confess that I haven’t tried one yet. I hope the cake isn’t too dry – I never used this particular recipe before.

Oh, if you’re wondering about the card, I used PTI’s Lily of the Valley set, copying Nichole’s idea of stamping on kraft and filling in with white craft ink. I found that using q-tips like she did didnt’ give me enough control, though. I had a few Fantastix laying around since forever, and that worked much better for me. The leaves are colored with Copic Markers YG95 and YG97. The butterflies (of course there had to be butterflies!) are punched out of one of the patterns in Pink Paislee’s Bayberry Cottage pad. It was a little too bright for the background, so I toned it down with a W3 Copic. Tiny rhinestones adorn them. Of course.

Hmmm. I think I have enough WW points left for a cupcake. Happy Birthday, sweet sister! This year has GOT to be better than the last!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Color Throwdown #94

Today’s Color Throwdown Challenge is being sponsored by Kate at i {heart} papers, so I’m using a Chicken Girl Designs digital image that is available exclusively through IHP. cgd-ctd-5-26

CTDswatch 94These were a lot of colors to play with, but I think I made it work.

This adorable giraffe image is from the April digital release, and it’s colored with Copic markers (E25, E42, YR18, Y23, YG95, BG10) and cut out with oval Nestabilities. The sentiment is from the CGD photopolymer set Into the Forest. The patterned paper is from PTI Polka Dot Parade pad, and it has 3 of the colors in the challenge. I feel like I should have added something to the yellow panel, but nothing I could think of was working. Oh well.

The other thing that’s bother me is that I used a sketch challenge for this too, and I can’t remember for the life of me which one it was. The ONE time I just follow from my iPod Touch and don’t print it out, I completely lose the reference! The actual sketch used a circle instead of an oval, but otherwise I stayed true to the sketch. If anyone recognizes it, please let me know so I can give credit where it’s due.

Feel free to play along!


Monday, May 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, Daddy-o!

DSC00981Today is my sweet Daddy-o’s birthday. He truly appreciates the cards I make. He’s an engineer, so he looks really closely at them to try to figure out how I did everything, and then when he sees me he asks for details! So every card I make for him, I try to make a little better than the last. Oh, the pressure!!!

Anyhow, making masculine cards is always incredibly difficult for me, so gender-neutral is usually about the best I can do. I was itching to use my new Up, Up and Away set from PTI, and this was the perfect occasion. I LOVED the way Maile Belles used the negative space for the clouds, so I took her idea and raised it by one layer. I wanted to use felt for the top layer of clouds, but I didn’t have any – I did, however, have some white fun foam. I absolutely love how it this card came out!

dadBD10 Sorry if the photo looks a little washed out. I had to take the picture quickly and get it into the mail! I hope he got it today.

I paper-pieced the balloons, and punched the border, from papers in the s.e.i. Jocelyn pad. The greeting is from the PTI set Signature Greetings.

Hope YOUR day is fabulous!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Many Thanks


When I got my box of goodies from Kate at i {heart} papers this week, one of the things I couldn’t wait to play with was the new Cosmo Cricket DeLovely papers. The bright, summery colors and clean designs were just what I needed.

I’ve noticed crafters using their Cricut cutters to cut out words for their cards and scrapbook pages. While this is very cool, I do not own a Cricut, and probably never will. (I know, shocker – a toy I don’t have and don’t think I even need.) But I seemed to remember that one of the alphabet sets (I think it’s called Olivia) that I bought for my Cuttlebug way back when I first got it, had a few words in it. So I dug it out and sure enough, there was “thanks”. Perfect! I would make a set of bright and cheery thank you cards with my new papers. The nice thing about using the die-cut words is that they have enough substance to stand out on even the brightest, busiest papers, as you can see here.

Since I could get 2 cards out of each 6x6 sheet of paper, I made a set of 6. I changed up the layouts a bit for the different papers. Just because I could. Here are pictures of the individual cards, in case you want to see better:




Of course, I had to add some butterflies. I’m hopelessly addicted to butterflies these days! And of course the butterflies needed some bling. I had some Hero Arts rhinestones that came with 4 colors in the pack. I used the fuchsia ones on the bottom card, but for the others I used my black Copic marker to color some clear ones. I love being able to do that – have perfectly matching accents in seconds!

The stamped greetings all come from the OCL set Big Thanks. And the strips are not ribbon – just 1/4” strips of cardstock.

OK, I have the day off again today, so I’m gonna try and take a little walk on this gorgeous day, and maybe make something to show you tomorrow. Have a wonderful day, and thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Shabby Chic Baby Girl

I would tend to describe my papercrafting style as clean & simple, so shabby chic is not something I’ve ever felt comfortable with. Which is why the Shabby Chic CAS Challenge on Splitcoast Stampers kind of scared me. But I had this beautiful Memory Box Gossamer paper from i {heart} papers, and it seemed like a great way to use it. I also took the opportunity to use the Paper Crafts Go-To Sketch Challenge #3 to make this card. Nothing like compound challenges to get the mojo going!


I must say, I kinda like the way it came out. But don’t expect to see a lot of sponging or {shudder} distressing from me!


What I used:
Stamps: Baby Button Bits (
Ink: Creamy Caramel, Memento Rich Cocoa
Paper: Memory Box Gossamer,
PTI White and Sweet Blush
Other: Vintage Buttons (
PTI), 1” circle punch

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

IHP May Challenge: CASEing Kimberly

As you may be aware, the uber-talented Kimberly Crawford just came out with her own line of photopolymer stamps called Mint Motif, available exclusively through i {heart} papers. To pay homage to this exciting and remarkable achievement, the IHP Design Team was challenged to select one of the many awesome cards on her blog and use it as inspiration for our own.

Now, what I realized when I sat down to tackle this is that the real challenge was picking just one! It soon became clear that a huge percentage of the cards I have been inspired by, whether in blogs or in magazines, have been created by Kimberly. Since I don’t have her new stamps yet (waiting not-so-patiently for mine to come in the mail) I finally settled on this one, from back in March. I loved how she combined the two patterned papers (I do love my patterned papers!), and I love having a way to showcase a special embellishment.

IHPmayDT For my card, I used papers from the BG Green at Heart 6x6 pad, and one of the pretty ivory tulle butterflies from IHP. I used a Copic marker (V04) to color it to match the paper. I airbrushed the sentiment panel with YG21 and YG23 while it was still in the rectangle Nestabilities to pick up the greens in the paper as well.

Please go check out the rest of the design team to see what inspiration they’ve gleaned from Kimberly’s creativity. 

If you’d like to play along and CASE one of Kimberly’s cards too, please let us know. If you post it to one of the online galleries, you can use the keyword ihp0510 so we can find it.

What I used:
All Occasions Messages (Hero Arts)
Ink: Plum Pudding (
PTI), Copic markers V04, YG21, YG23
PTI White, BG Green at Heart 
Other: Rectangle & Labels Two
Nestabilities, tulle butterfly, linen thread 


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Yay, Cathleen!

My friend and fellow IHP Design Team member, Cathleen Torina, is this week’s Featured Stamper over at Splitcoast Stampers. I’m over-the-moon thrilled for her, and she SO deserves it!

The deal is that you pick one of the many amazing cards in her gallery and find one to do over your own way. I think you’re supposed to use a different image, but since I have the image she used on this card, and I’ve had a hard time using it, I figured I’d use her same basic layout (‘cause I loved it so much!) and just change the colors up. I also didn’t use quite as many layers or details as she did.


What I used:
Thank You (cling - Hero Arts)
Ink: Memento Black,
Copic markers RV06, YG25
Paper: White, 2008 Bitty Dot Basics (
Other: Buttons and ribbon from
PTI, Big Scalloped Petite Borderabilties

I hope you’ll go over and take a look at all of Cathleen’s gorgeous work – she’ll inspire you the way she does me!


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Fairy Door

Up until last weekend, I had barely heard of Fairy Doors and certainly had never seen one. But I was in Ann Arbor last weekend visiting my son and daughter-in-law for Mother’s Day, and as we were walking along S. Main Street my DIL pulled us aside to show us this magical sight:


Teeny-tiny. I don’t think it was more than a foot high! And absolutely perfect in every way.

I believe in fairies.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Bring on the Cake

Today i {heart} papers is releasing a new batch of Chicken Girl goodness! The May release of the Chicken Girl Designs digital stamps has such fun images that I couldn’t resist pitching in to help introduce them.

cgd-kittycake1 This is the Kitty Cake image, one of four being released today. The words are from the Hero Arts set Essential Messages. I just cut them apart and matted them for emphasis. The patterned paper is from the Basic Grey Kioshi 6x6 pad. I ruffled some white silk ribbon behind the focal image using i {stick} papers redline tape. As you can see, I didn’t do a perfect job of it, but I’m learning to forgive myself.

OK, here’s the full May CGD release. Tell me, how can you possibly resist these?!!

maydigicollectionGo check out what the Chicken Girl Design Team did with them:


And I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the other i {heart} papers design team members have something to show you too.

Now isn’t this a great way to start off the week?


Friday, May 7, 2010

Mint Motif at IHP

Today is a very special day at i {heart} papers! Yes, of course it’s Friday, but today also begins the sneak peeks for IHP’s newest exclusive stamp line, Mint Motif, designed by Kimberly Crawford. Over the coming week you will see peeks of the two coordinating sets, Very Square and Very Square Sentiments, which will be fully released on the 14th. I’m so excited for Kim, and I can’t wait to get my hands on my own set!

So do you want to see the peeks? Go check out Mint Motif’s fabulous design team:


Kimberly Crawford – designer
Charlene Austin
Latisha Yoast
Geny Cassady
Kazan Clark
Julie Overby
Kate – owner

Have a great weekend!


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Happy Anniversary, Laila & Roy!


Today is my daughter and son-in-law’s second wedding anniversary. Wow, time has gone by so fast! And it’s so wonderful to see how happy they are. My kids have excellent taste in spouses!

Since I am on a butterfly kick these days, I couldn’t resist picking up these gorgeous Martha Stewart stickers when I was wandering around my local paper crafting store last week. And then when I found an amazing pad of K and Co. specialty papers (Que Sera Sera) that went perfectly with them, I had to have that too. It’s very dangerous to wander around that store! I’m gonna have to find someplace else to aim for on my lunchtime walks.

I used one of the sketches from the Verve sketch challenges last month, so it’s only fitting that I used a sentiment from their Anniversary Birds set. 

Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend! Wish it could last a little longer…


Saturday, May 1, 2010

“New Life” Cake

 I know that most of you who visit my blog come expecting to see cards, but once in a while, for special occasions, I take off my paper crafting hat and put on my cake decorating hat.

Now, I am not a professional baker by any means, but I was honored to be asked by my sister to make a cake for the very special party she threw this afternoon celebrating her triumph over a serious health challenge. Throughout this one-year journey she has shown such strength and courage, and she asked for a cake that symbolized rebirth and renewal. After a great deal of thought, butterflies seemed like the perfect choice.
butterflies For those of you interested in the details, the tiers are 12” and 9”. The top tier is butter cake filled with chocolate hazelnut buttercream, and the bottom layer is chocolate cake filled with chocolate ganache, raspberry filling, and fresh raspberries. It’s covered in buttercream flavored fondant. The butterflies are completely edible – edible ink printed on edible wafer paper. I glazed them with a thin coating of piping gel and cut them out, bending them in the center, before they dried completely. They’re attached to the cake with little dabs of piping gel.

By the way, it was an AWESOME party, with a live band, and my super-talented brother jammed with them at the end. And I danced. A lot. And drank a lot of wine. I think I need a hot shower and a nap. OK, maybe a nap first.

Life is good.