Thursday, January 31, 2013

Timeless Tag

Hi, guys! It is tag time again!  I am participating in the Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2013.  I had such a blast participating last year and even was a winner in December.  My friend Ruth loves my tags.  She has asked that I make them for her, so when I can, I will be making two each month and will be giving one to her.

I am very happy with how they turned out.  Distress inks and Distress stains (even the metallics) were used.  I didn't have the cute finger stamp Tim used, so I decided to use various arrows on mine.  Being the klutzy person I am, I was hesitant to cut my embossing folder as instructed. Now, I know X-Acto knives and myself do not play nice together.  My late hubby used to hide them from me.  I didn't cut myself, but I did cut my folder completely in half instead of just enough to insert the tag.  I was able to do this to another of my folders with no incident, but not this time.  Packing tape came in handy to mend it.

If you would like to learn some cool techniques and have a lot of fun, I would highly recommend you take part.  I can't wait to see what Tim comes up with for February!

Until next time!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WOYWW - My First Submission

Hi, guys! Short post today. I decided to join in at WOYWW and show you what is on my desk.  This is a feature done on Wednesday and everyone shares what they are working on with a snap shot of their work space.

Tonight I am working on my January Tag for the 12 Tags of 2013 by Tim Holtz.  You can see the desk is loaded with distress inks, stains and various other goodies.  My hands look extremely inky to say the least!

I am asked often what my desk looks like when I am creating things.  Now you know!

Until next time!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Butterfly Wishes for a Happy Valentine's Day

Hi, guys! Today I am sharing a Valentine I made.  My friend Chris asked me to make her a Valentine for her granddaughter.  She wanted it to have her name on it, as the girl loves seeing her name show up on cards.   After thinking about it for awhile, I decided to use an stamp from a Valentine set from Stampin' Up from awhile back.  I thought these butterflies would be fun for a girl and I added bling and popped up the wings as well. I put Deanera's name in a butterfly to personalize the card.

Stamps: Stampin' Up
Paper: Papertrey Ink, Stampin' Up, Authentique
Ink: Archival Black, Distress Ink
Misc.: Gems, Martha Stewart Butterfly Punch, Prisma Colored Pencils, Gamsol

Valentines are so much fun for me to make.  I love that you can express yourself in so many ways. It really makes me happy when someone chooses to have me create a card for such a special day.

Hope you have a great one!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Two Hearts Entwined

Hi, guys! Hope your weekend was a good one.  I can't believe it is over so fast! I am looking forward to next weekend as I made it a three-day weekend.  Next Saturday is my husband's monthly show, and Sunday is the Super Bowl.  I will need an extra day off for sure.

For today, I thought I would share a wedding card I made.  My friend Christine asked me to make a personalized wedding card for her to give.  I embossed the card and then heat embossed the focal image.  I wanted to tie polka dots in throughout the card.

Paper: Stampin' Up
Ink: Versamark, Distress Ink (Peeled Paint)
Stamps: Stampin' Up
Misc.:Ranger Gold Embossing Powder, Cuttlebug Embossing Folder, Gold Cord, Mini Rectangle Scallop Punch, Pop Dots

I wish the happy couple many years of happiness!

Until next time!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

On Top of Spaghetti (Nope, Penne!)

Hi, guys!  Thought I would share a find with you today.  My husband and I LOVE meatballs. It is a shared love, and I still haven't perfected my mother's recipe.  But, luckily, I have discovered a great recipe by a family located here on Long Island.  They were featured on Bobby Flay's Throwdown Show, and I figured if they can beat Bobby, I would try them. Oh my word!  They are delicious and easy.  The Maroni family recipe was a hit with my husband as well.  The problem for me is that he cannot have tomatoes.  He is allergic, and so I can't simmer them all in a pot of sauce.  I take the batch and divide it and put mine in sauce and leave his plain (I get the better end of this deal!). They are very moist, so he doesn't mind them not being in a sauce.  I normally serve his with the pasta on the side sauced with pesto, alfredo, or butter and cheese.

I have NOT made their sauce yet, so I can't comment on it yet.  I have so many sauce recipes I keep trying them out and having fun.  This weekend I made a sauce from Stanley Tucci (yes, the great actor)'s cookbook.  It is a new book for me, and it is a fun one.  I made the recipe for Joan's Basic Sauce and it was so delicious and not a large batch.  I found the addition of a tablespoon of bell pepper to be an amazing touch. You don't taste "pepper" but it gives it a nice taste.

Off to get my fingers inky, and hopefully have some fun stuff to share with you soon!

Until next time!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

House Mouse Valentine

Hi, guys! Hope this finds you warm and toasty indoors as we have been in a deep freeze here in NY this week. It doesn't look like it will ease up until next week, so I am spending more time inside with my supplies and plenty of hot tea! I want to take a minute before I share the card today to thank you for all the visits and kind comments about my stamp room.  It was fun sharing it with you and I hope some of the information was helpful.

One of my crafty resolutions this year was to participate in challenges and be more active in the blogging community.  I haven't been blogging a year yet, so I am cutting myself some slack.  So, I decided to start with my first entry today.   Simon Says Stamp is holding a challenge "What are you known for?"  I found the question a great one as I am often asked what my "style" is, or, what do I like to make the most? I am a card maker at heart.  If I had to say what others know me for, I would say personalized cards for various holidays and often sweet, cute or punny sayings, and at the other end of the spectrum, distressed or Vintage images.  I love all different types, but these are the most often requested.  My mom pointed out to me a few months ago that I use a lot of "mice" in my cards.  It turned out she was noticing my House Mouse cards.  I have acquired a large collection of these guys and they are the first ones my nieces go to when they stamp with me.

For my entry in the challenge I am submitting this card.  It is a Valentine I made for a fellow blogger to give to her husband.  She noticed my House Mouse stamps and said she would like a Valentine using them.  I used my Prisma color pencils with gamsol to color the image.  It is a large stamp, so not much more needed to be used on the card.

Stamps: House Mouse, CC Rubber Stamps
Paper: Stampin' Up
Ink: Archival Black, Stampin' Up
Misc.: Prisma color pencils, Gamsol, Corner Rounder, Stampin' Up Label Punch, Ribbon

Aren't these guys adorable?  I sure hope Bee's hubby likes this Valentine!

Until next time!

Monday, January 21, 2013

My Stamp Room is Finished!

Hi, guys! Hope you had a nice weekend. I am so happy to say that my stamp room is now complete!  It has been a project that my husband and I have been working on since the spring.  I thought I would share how it has turned out.  What I love most about this room is that there is a place for everything and I was able to arrange my supplies in a way that I can easily find what I am looking for.

The desk was from Ikea.  We had a glass top made to protect it from inks and paints (and me!).

My Tim Holtz shelf my husband put up so I could keep his books out to inspire me.

My husband was able to snag two sets of patent drawers from his office that were going to be tossed out. The metal drawers are sturdy and shallow which makes finding stamps very easy.  The stamps are sorted by type and/or stamp company.  Finding stamps has never been easier for me.

Distress Inks, anyone?  This is how I store mine.  The shelf is lined with brown paper and the pads are laid out on top.  This cabinet is from Ikea as well.

I keep my various punches in a couple of the drawers as well.

The use of Billy bookshelves (Ikea again) along the wall made it easy for me to lay out the supplies.

I really love the use of lazy susans on the bookshelves to arrange my paints, sprays, stains and various powders.  It cuts down on the "searching" for a specific item, and leaves more time for creating.

I surrounded myself with images of Paris.  I have always been so fond of Paris; even as a little girl I would dream of going there.  So when I was fortunate enough to go there, I was officially hooked.  My husband is happy that I have now have a place where all my Paris stuff can reside (I don't know why he doesn't love the Eiffel Tower).

My hubby was so helpful by making labels for all my binders and drawers.  I decided to use mini binders to store my embossing folders and my Tim Holtz stamps.

We used an Ikea CD tower for housing my acrylic stamps that are kept in CD cases.  I noticed that my Tim Holtz steel rule dies also fit great and it is an easy way to keep them orderly as well.

Every stamp room needs some aprons!

Love my Ott Light on the desk!  

My tool chest which houses all my Tim Holtz embellishments.  It is a good way to find all the goodies without too much digging around.  I love all his metal embellishments and before I was keeping them in jars and it was time consuming to locate any specific thing.

My chalkboard is fun for me.  I love to make notes to myself as well as reminders.

Last but not least, here is my roomwarming gift that my husband gave me.  It has been a blessing as I am very short and I am able to pull things from all the shelves and even from the top of the bookcases.  I love this step stool as it is on wheels but they lock down when you step on it.  For someone like myself, who is known to be clumsy, it is safe.

I have a few pieces of advice if you are going to make a stamp or craft room.  Make sure you measure, and then measure at least two more times before you look for furniture. It will keep you from buying things that will not fit in your room.  My husband kept an eye on this for me and so everything fit together like a dream.  Surround yourself with what inspires you and makes you happy.  Think about how you work, and plan to re-organize your supplies a few times until they will be in the perfect spot for you. Make sure you have good lighting.

I am a lucky lady, as my husband worked so hard to make this room a reality for me.  Painting the room and assembling all the furniture was such a big job.  All the details he added by labeling, hanging artwork, etc. has made the room so comfortable and a pleasure to work in.

Hope you enjoyed the tour of the room!  If you have any questions,  just ask.

*Added 7/4/2013:  My Distress Markers are now located on my "Tim Shelf" with his books - laying down.  He mentioned that they should be stored that way to keep the ink in both ends equally distributed.   Thank you to Belinda for reminder! 

Until next time!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Lawn Fawn Valentines

Hi, guys! Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays. It could be the card maker in me, but I love the giving and receiving of Valentines.  Taking the time to write a card and letting those you love know how you feel is very important to me.  I hope I do a good job of letting the people in my life know how much they mean to me.

Today I will be sharing two Valentine's Day cards I made using Lawn Fawn stamps.  I enjoyed using these stamps as they had such cute images and sentiments.

On this first card I decided to use my Prisma colored pencils to color the pears. The background is embossed using a Cuttlebug embossing folder.  The focal image was distressed and then inked using Distress Ink.

The next card is for my father-in-law.  As I was making it, I noticed how touchable it was.  I used white flocking on the bunny (so soft!) and the background was done in a faux letterpress style.  I used an embossing folder that had white pigment ink rolled on it and it gave the red card a softer look.  Along the bottom of the focal image  I added Dew Drops.  The focal image was also distressed and inked with Distress Ink. 

This weekend is a three-day weekend for us to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. here in the United States.  My hope is for a world of peace and equality for all.   Enjoy your weekend!

Until next time!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Big Hunk O'Love

Hi, guys! For today, I decided to make a friend a Valentine's Day card.  She is an Elvis Presley fan beyond compare.  I thought it would be great to make her one using a vintage stamped image of Elvis that I had.  The stamps on this card are from a company called Stampsmith.  They are a company that I discovered while at a stamp convention.  They stamp like a photograph.  The trick to using them is to make sure you have a "cushion" underneath them.  I bought a 99 cent mouse pad I use for this purpose. The sentiment is one of a sheet filled with Elvis sayings and song lyrics.

Stamps: Stampsmith, Viva Las Vegas Stamps
Paper: Gina K (Black, White)
Ink: Versafine, Distress Inks, Archival 
Misc.: Tim Holtz Tissue Tape, Gems

I decided to use some fun tissue tape by Tim Holtz with music on it, and some fun bling that reminded me of the white jumpsuit Elvis used to wear.

For fun I decorated the envelope.  The sentiment is, appropriately enough, from Viva Las Vegas Stamps.

I wish Irvina a very Happy Valentine's Day and hope she finds her special "hunk o' love."

Until next time!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Love for QVC, David Venable and Meatloaf

Hi, guys!  The holiday time almost always makes me the lucky recipient of a few things.  I can usually count on receiving teas, crafty items and cookbooks. These are some of my favorite things.  I am known to enjoy watching and shopping off QVC (home shopping via television).  The only in-store shopping I enjoy is grocery shopping and shopping for stamps and other crafty items (no surprise there, right?). One of my new cookbooks this year was written by David Venable of QVC.  I get a big kick out of watching him on Sunday as he is one host who likes to eat and is very enthusiastic. His happy dances just crack me up!  While flipping through the book I decided to make his meatloaf.  What made me happy about it was that it was tomato-free!  My hubby cannot have tomatoes and all my standard meatloaf recipes use them.

I really loved that he topped his meatloaf with garlic mashed potatoes and made a brown onion gravy. My husband and I really enjoyed it, and have made it again since.

Here is the recipe from the QVC website:

My suggestion is to make sure you use low sodium beef stock.  I like to use sodium free or very low sodium ones and adjust later.  I used cheddar cheese to top the one in this picture and I preferred it!

This cookbook is a basic, comfort food one.  It is not a gourmet style one, but fun and easy.  I have so many new cookbooks this year and will share more of them with you as I cook from them. 

Just to be clear, I have no affliation with QVC, or David Venable.

Off to get my fingers INKY so I can share some new creations with you!

Until next time!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

"Swell" News

Hi, guys! Hope all is well!  Today I thought I would share a special card I made.  My stepson is having his first baby and I wanted to send them a card congratulating them on the big news.

Stamps: Stampin' Up
Paper: Gina K, DCWV
Ink: Memento Black, Distress Ink
Misc.: Ribbon, Tim Holtz Pin, Corner Rounder

Since we do not know the sex of the baby, I went with a color palette of green, yellow and purple.   To accentuate the growing belly, I decided to stamp the sentiment directly on it.   The sentiment inside the card reads "Congratulations on your swell news!".

This is such an exciting time for him and the family.  I am so happy and excited for them and can't wait until I can show some love to a new baby!

Wishing Eric and Jackie all the best as they embark on this new stage in their life!  

Until next time!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My Prize From Tim Holtz

Hi, guys! Remember the other day when I announced I was one of the winners of the December 12 Tags of 2012 by Tim Holtz?  Well, I wanted to share with you the prize that was so thoughtfully sent my way by Tim and Mario.

I was thrilled to receive it.  The vintage hotel label stamps are so cool looking and ones I did not own. I can't wait to get them inky.  I had a chuckle when I saw the Christmas adornments enclosed.  I had a stash of them and used them this year and was hanging on to the last charm in the pack.  I didn't want to be without them.  It is funny as I know I can get more, but for some reason it is hard for me to use some of my favorite supplies unless I know they are going to someone who will appreciate them.  So, now I am all set for next year!

Hope you have a fun filled day!  I am hoping to break some of these goodies out this weekend and I will share what I create with you soon!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Tea With Ree

Hi, guys! Hope all is well. I thought I would share something fun with you today.  As many of you know, I love tea.  I collect teapots and teacups and enjoy the ritual of sitting down for tea.  This Christmas my friend Irvina surprised me with this teapot.

For those of you who do not know, the picture is of me and the Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond).  I was lucky to meet her this year and got my picture taken with her.  Irvina took this picture and turned it into a teapot.  It was such a fun surprise.  I can rightly say it is a one-of-a-kind!

My friend Elizabeth was kind enough to send me a handmade dish cloth she made as well and enclosed a teabag from Harrods of London. I decided to use this lovely cloth as a trivet for my teapot as I didn't want to get it wet.  Yes, I know, it was made for it, but I just love it too much.  Handmade gifts are always so special to me.

Off to have my tea now, and hope you have a great day!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Embracing My Inner Pooh

Hi, guys! Tuesday was my husband's birthday. Both Elvis Presley and David Bowie share the same birthday as well.  I fought the urge to make hubby an Elvis card for I knew he would expect one.  Instead I made him one using a Winnie-the-Pooh stamp and sentiment.With my name I am sure you can bet that I have Pooh stamps.  The sentiment is from Verve and is one that I love, as my hubby gave me a plaque once with Pooh and this saying.  It is very sweet and special to me.

Stamps: Verve, Disney All Night Media
Paper: Papertrey Ink, Gina K (White)
Ink: Memento Black, Distress Ink
Misc.: Cuttlebug Embossing Folder, Spellbinder Circle Die, Scallop Square Punch, Stampin' Up Hardware, Bakers Twine, Copics

When I was a young child I loved Winnie-the-Pooh as my mom would read the stories to me. Later on I disliked him (hard to believe) as I was teased with my name and would have the song even sung to me. Years later, I am back to loving him again.  Yes, I have heard all the jokes and trivia questions and yes, I do love honey!  I have now embraced my inner-Pooh!

Notice the bakers twine on this card?  It was given to me by my father-in-law!  My hubby has people saving their twine from their bakery boxes for me.  It is funny and endearing all at the same time.

Wishing hubby the best year yet!

Until next time!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Day of Crafting and Tea

Hi, guys! I am a very blessed lady when it comes to my family. I have 10 nieces and nephews and they love to craft!  I have had a few tea parties and stamping days with groups of them at a time.  Four of my nieces came and spent the day with me having tea, and crafting.  My older niece Tsubomi made cards for her swim team, while the other 3 made cards for friends.  I don't think I can have more fun than when I am spending time crafting with the kids.  Since I had 4 girls stamping I used my old setup in our basement.  It is a great space with two large tables and stools.  I have moved my stamping area to the main floor, but will keep this area in the basement for group stamping.

Isn't Tsubomi's card great?  Her team is the Brewster  Bears.

Aren't they adorable?  I hope in 2013 I will spend more time creating with them and my nephews as well. One of my nephews really enjoyed making a Tim Holtz Christmas tag last year, and so I am hoping to have a day with the boys soon!

Have you done crafts with kids?  Who has more fun, them or YOU?  For me, it is definitely me!

Wishing you a fun day ahead and INKY fingers!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy Birthday, Tim Holtz!

Hi, guys!  Hope all is well!  I wanted to share a birthday card I made and sent to Tim Holtz.  As many of you know, I am a big fan of his.  I made this card using a few of Tim's techniques from both of his books (Compendium of Curiosities Vol. I and II).  I can't recommend these books highly enough as they are really great reference and inspirational books.

It is really fun to be able to just create something for the joy and love of creating and no pressing deadlines etc.

Stamps: Stampers Anonymous, Verve
Ink: Alcohol Inks, Archival Black, Distress Inks,Alcohol Blending Solution
Paper: Gina K Designs, Glossy White
Misc.: Tim Holtz Fragment, Brads, Tim Holtz Tinsel, Tim Holtz Embossing Folder

I just adore alcohol inks and how fun they are to blend. I don't find myself using them often lately and must remember to use them more.

Wishing Tim Holtz a very Happy Birthday and may the joy he brings to others through his sharing of his talents be his in the coming year!

Until next time!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Girlfriends and Cosmos

Hi, guys! I am sharing the last of my Christmas cards with you today.  I made these for two of my girlfriends.  The first one was made using the fun Christmas words by Dyan Reaveley.  Plenty of Distress Inks and a fun sexy stylish woman image by Hero Arts were used on this one.

Stamps: Hero Arts, Dylusions by Dyan Reaveley, Stampers Anonymous
Inks: Distress Inks, Red & Black Archival
Paper: Gina K Designs

One of my good friends loves to sip Cosmos when we go out and makes a wicked one herself,  so I made this card especially for her (she knows who she is!).

Stamps: Dylusions by Dyan Reaveley, Vap Scrap, L. Jackson
Ink: Red and Black Archival
Paper: Gina K Designs

You can tell I had fun using the Dylusions Christmas Words set this holiday season.  I found them hysterical.

Now that the holidays are behind us, I will begin working on some birthday cards and valentines soon! Valentines are some of my favorite cards to make.  I can't wait to begin them.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Obama and Elvis Christmas Cards

Hi, guys! Hope all is well!  For today, I wanted to share a couple of Christmas cards I made but didn't have a chance to blog.  I wanted the recipients to get them when they returned from vacation and didn't want them "out there" until they had them.

For this first one, I wanted to make a card for a fellow blogger named Debbi whose posts I have been enjoying this past year. I have not read anyone more passionate in her writing.   She was writing a lot about her desire to get President Obama re-elected.  My husband had a stamp of the President, so I borrowed it and this is the card I made. The inside read: White House Christmas

Stamps:Viva Las Vegas Stamps
Paper: Papertrey Ink, Echo Park
Inks: Memento Black
Misc.: Copic Markers, Computer Generated Sentiment, Santa Hat

The next card up is for my friend Irvina who was away visiting family in Oklahoma this holiday.  As you can see I had a thing with using random style sentiments this holiday!  Irvina loves Elvis Presley, so I thought this would be a fun card for her.

Stamps: Cornish Heritage Farms
Ink: Versafine
Paper: Papertrey Ink, Echo Park
Misc.: Clear Embossing Powder, Snowflake Button, Bakers Twine, Computer Generated Sentiment

Both cards were fun to make, and while the sentiments were both computer generated, they each had a unique look to them I thought.

Hope your day is a great one!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

House Mouse Christmas and Get Well Cards

Hi, guys!  Hope all is well on your end. I wanted to tell you some fun news with you today.  I was one of the 12 winners on Tim Holtz's blog for my December Tag that I shared here the other day!  I was so excited to learn this on New Year's Day!  What a fun way to start my New Year!   Being able to make all 12 tags was so much fun and I am looking forward to starting the new ones for 2013!

Today I will be sharing two cards I made using stamps by House Mouse.  The first one up is the Christmas card I made for my husband.

Stamps: House Mouse, Anna Griffin
Paper: Papertrey Ink, Gina K (White), Echo Park
Ink: Distress Ink, Memento Black
Misc.: Snowflake Button, Tag Punch, Brad, Copic Markers

The next card up I made for my husband to send to a co-worker who fell ill over the holiday.  I think this image is adorable and hope it will bring a smile to the recipient's face.  I used colored pencils and gamsol to color the image.

Stamps: House Mouse
Paper: Gina K (White), Stampin' Up
Ink: Archival Black, Distress Ink
Misc.: Prisma Colored Pencils, Gamsol, Ribbon, Corner Rounder

These were fun to make.  I love to use these stamps and do so when time allows for coloring.  For the first one I used Copic Markers which gave them a bolder look.  The second one got a softer look by using the colored pencils.

Have a great day!  Until next time!