Monday, March 31, 2008

National Furniture Refinishing Month

March is almost gone- it's the last day. I just wanted to point out that March was National Furniture Refinishing Month. I didn't really find any info or great links on this National awarensess topic but I have found some cool projects. Furniture refinishing really intrigues me and I think I would get much satisfaction from these types of projects, but my last attempt only brought great frustration. We won't talk about it. Instead check out this fabulous project by Jewel Faerie Creations. She has converted a hutch into a sewing center. These are the kind of projects that inspire me.

Here are some more from Better, Homes, and Gardens.




Sunday, March 30, 2008

Birthday card

Hope you all had a great weekend. Here is a card I made for a friend's birthday.



The image is clip art by Lori Lynn Simms from her Road Rippers Set at PCCrafter.

The card itself was inspired by a sketch (SC150) at Splitcoaststampers. It has lots of layers and eyelets. I might repeat this design so I can use up my stash of eyelets.

Friday, March 28, 2008

It's Friday!



Featured today is this adorable Note and Tote Set from my shop. This tote and everything in it was made by adding digital art images to templates in a photo software program. Everything was printed, cut, assembled, and then embellished. This particular set was designed with the art work of Debbie Mumm. The tote itself is made from two sheets of cardstock. The tote contains a bookmark, four note cards, a journal (journal is embellished with ribbon tied to the binder rings), a post it note holder, and a gift box that will hold snack size Hershey's chocolates with matching wrappers for the chocolates.

These make great gifts for teachers, administrative professionals, and moms! A closer look at all the items in the tote can be seen in my shop. If you love butterflies, you'll love this little set!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sketch inspired

It's Thursday and I don't have a particular technique to share this week. I just couldn't get it together, so I'm sharing just a tidbit about using sketches for inspiration. If you don't know where to begin in designing a card or layout, there is a wealth of inspiration in sketches. I use them all the time. This week I was doing some surfing and found this wonderful blog by Maria Bell. Actually there is more than one blog by her. I used this sketch she posted to create a card.
Here's my card:


The great thing about sketches is that you can use the same one to create another card with a different look. I used this same sketch for this card. Different papers and a different placement of the embellishments creates a whole new card.


Find some sketches and see how many ways you can use the same one. There are some links here on my blog for sketches. Have fun. Oh, and you can look for these cards to go on sale in my shop soon!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Stickles

Last night I tried a fun, new (new to me) product, Stickles by Ranger . This is the neatest glitter glue. I've used glitter glue before but some of the generic ones are hard to work with, leaving you with uneven lines or globs of glue. This glue came out smoothly and evenly. I had so much fun- now I need a bottle in every color.

I used Stickles to highlight the flowers and butterfly on this note card. I am making a set of these.






Here's a closer look:




If you have some ideas for using Stickles, please post here in comments.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter



Early on Sunday morning,[a] as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb.

2 Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. 3 His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. 4 The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.

5 Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. 7 And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”

Matthew 28:1-7

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spring


Springtime is the land
awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.
~Quoted by Lewis Grizzard in Kathy Sue Loudermilk,I Love You

Spring officially rolled in two days ago. How glorious. I began to notice the trees budding outside my window. It is so refreshing to see everything come back to life, except the weeds. And there are plenty of them here too. SO with spring comes the return of yardwork. UGHH. As I began my weeding and trimming yesterday, I took some photos just to remind myself that it is all worth it. It is fun to be out and watch the flowers return and the colors paint the landscape. One day there is nothing and then suddenly, color! My verbena is back with these bright colorful blooms.
And I did nothing for them over the winter. They just magically come back. Not really, I credit all this beauty to God. His love is like that- we do nothing and yet he comes back to us again and again. Thank you Lord, that we know there is new life!

Friday, March 21, 2008

It's Friday!

This Friday's feature includes two items created with the same method- stamping. While I use stamping in my handmade cards, stamping lends itself to many other surfaces and items. Take a look a this tile trivet by SuSoap
A purple hydrangea was handstamped on a marble tile. It's a lovely kitchen item. SuSoap also has coasters in her shop created the same way. If you need a nice gift and card, or you are thinking ahead to Mother's Day already, I'd recommend the tile paired with this Thinking of you card. Perfectly coordinated!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Easter cards

I made some Easter cards for my family this week.

This one is a variation of the one in my shop.



Here's another one. (Sorry about the blurred photo. The card was already sealed up to mail before I realized the pic was bad.)


Here is a quick tutorial for making the trifold card.

Supplies:
Egg stamp
Bunny Stamp (Inkadinkado)
Happy Easter Stamp (Inkadinkado)
yellow cardstock
white cardstock
brush markers primary colors (Marvy Uchida)
ink

1. Make trifold card from yellow cardstock. Start with a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2 inch sheet of cardstock. Score and fold 2 1/4" from one end and 2" from the other end.


2. Stamp egg four times on white cardstock. Color with markers.

3. Trim and mat to bottom third of card front (2 1/4 piece).

4. Stamp bunny on white cardstock. Color. Cut out.

5. Adhere bunny to bottom edge of top third so that he extends below the bottom third inside.

6. Stamp Happy Easter on top third of card.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

National Craft Month


March is National Craft Month. It is a time to promote consumer awareness of crafting. If you're reading this, odds are that you are a crafter. If so, take some time this month to learn a new craft. I'd like to learn to knit. If you are not a crafter, I encourage you to try something. Crafting can be an outlet for relieving stress and can bring you a sense of accomplishment. There are lots of projects here, at craftideas, and craftbits. If you don't find something to suit your fancy, just search "crafts" and you will find a world of tips, tutorials, and ideas.
Don't forget to check your favorite craft stores for supplies. Many of them have sales to promote National Craft Month, so now is a good time to be on the lookout for some deals.
Also visit etsy, where you will find a world of high quality handmade crafted items. Here are some of my favorites.

Monday, March 17, 2008




May a rainbow gladden your eyes
May soft winds freshen your spirit;
May sunshine brighten your heart;
May the burdens of the day rest
lightly upon you;
And may God enfold you
in the mantle of his love.

- an Irish Blessing

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Friday, March 14, 2008

It's Friday!




GloriaLynnGlass specializes in fused glass jewelry, which are little pieces of wearable art. This piece in particular caught my eye. It's called Bright Blue Sky and it is absolutely stunning. The sterling silver wire wrap adds a unique touch. If you're looking for a neat gift, I'd recommend this. Pair it with my Celebrate card which has a matching pattern and similarly shaped clips , for a coordinating gift ensemble.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ways to use them

button - (but'n) n. 1. A disk shaped fastener used to join two parts of a garment, or for decoration. 2. A versatile craft embellishment.

As a child, I loved to sift through my grandmother's buttons, many of them vintage. Today I love to use them on cards and crafts. Let's examine some ways to use them.

I used buttons to create a border on these cards.





A button became a flower center on this tag

Many other crafters and fellow etsians use buttons in their work or to create whole pieces. Marymarsh uses fabric covered buttons in her hair accessories
as does CoutureBrewToo
Strings of buttons become earrings by liasaun1 and by nakedtile

MichellesCharmWorld makes bracelets out of buttons
and Crazy Dreams Studio makes these bracelets
Aren't these just so cool and fun?

Ambika has accented a purse with buttons
and if accessoire aren't your thing, how about the button eyes on this adorable monster by Tizzalicious

These are just a few ways buttons are used in crafts. If you care to share other ways, leave a comment!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What's the word?

Password, that is. While driving to work Friday morning, I heard something on the radio that got me thinking. It was a trivia question- the average person has at least six of these. You can't touch it but you can give it to someone and they can use it. The answer is password. I started thinking, " that is really a small number". Off the top of my head I can think of way more than six that I have. And it's not surprising that people have six or more with all of the the online technology we use. So many things occur with a computer and online - banking, bill paying, shopping, selling, message boards, and blogs, just to name a few. I started trying to count the number of passwords I have. For work I have six. I stopped counting at twenty personal passwords.

I also did a quick search for password tips. Here's the best ones that I found:

1. Make it something you can remember. (DUH?)

2. Avoid using a word found in any dictionary. It seems hackers can figure these out easily. A password should be a random string of characters.

3. Make it lengthy- Yahoo says at least seven characters and Microsoft says eight to fourteen.

4. A password should be a combination of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Use the whole keyboard.

5. Don't use personal information that is easily obtained or easy to guess, such as birthdays, family names, address, etc.

6. Use more than one password. Don't use the same one for all your accounts. Some can be repeated for message boards and such if the site doesn't hold your personal or financial information.

So how the heck can you come up with a good password that is secure and strong and that you can remember? I found conflicting opinions on online password generators. They can create strong passwords but will be hard to remember. If you use password generators, make sure you trust the site and don't store personal info there.

Here's the best tip I found for creating your own passwords. Instead of the dog's name ( which could be guessed by a hacker) make up a sentence. My dog's name is Missy. Then take the first letter of each word. MDNIM. Then make some substitutions. MDN!M. ! substituted for i. Change some letters to lower case. The password is Mdn!M.

Lastly, write it down. Microsoft says it is more secure written down at home than on an online storage that hackers can access. Also, if you want to check the strength of your passwords, you can do so here.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Flying Higher



Just wanted to quickly share the card I made for the set I donated as a door prize for the ladies luncheon last Saturday at my church. The theme was "flying higher with God" and kites were used for decorations. I was asked to donate a set of cards. I happened to have the perfect graphics for this - images from the Honeyville collection by Gina Jane Johnson. I also used graphics from Harvest Angels by Debra Jordan Bryan. The kite was made dimensional with foam tape.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Spring forward


Did you spring forward? If not you're going to be late for church or work or wherever you planned to be. Daylights savings time began today. It's a little early because the daylight savings time period has been extended by a few weeks.
I don't have too hard of a time adjusting to this change. I think falling back is harder. I like this change because I can still go for a run in the daylight when I get home. Personally, I think the powers to be should leave it alone, nature lengthens and shortens the days on its own. But when do humans leave anything alone? They must control it in some way. So spring forward and enjoy the extra daylight and the coming spring.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Wings are Haute Couture

Body art, aka tattoos, has made it's way into scrapbooking and fashion. Stamps by Technique Tuesday, and rub ons by Heidi Swapp feature one popular body art item, wings.




Wings are not only popular in scrapbooking, but fashion too. And let me show you one fashion item that I think is "haute couture". It has a high "cool factor", and it's coming my way. This t-shirt by cloud9designstudio features angel wings screen printed on the back. My husband and I actually saw a girl with wings like this tattooed on her back, but this is as close as I'll get- I don't do needles and blood. Yeah, I'm squeamish. Anyway, check out cloud9designstudio at etsy. She has these hot items for mom and babe. And she's super nice and friendly.

While I'm pointing out high fashion with a high cool factor, here's another must have on my list- this cool folded wings ring by ragtrader. Visit this shop too. There are some very cool things here.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Technique Thursday

I hope to start something on this blog that I will refer to as Technique Thursday, not to be confused with the stamp company Technique Tuesday. Check in on Thursday, when at least once a month, I will be describing some technique or product that I use in my creations. This week's technique is direct to paper inking. Consider this card
It lacks "oomph" and the elements don't really stand out. By applying ink from an ink pad to the edges of the circles, they really stand out on the finished product.
It is as simple as rubbing the paper directly across the ink pad or vice versa.


Here's another card from my shop that features the same technique.
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