Sunday, December 26, 2010

Closing out 2010

Okay, it was brought to my attention I've not updated this blog since September. It's just been a really crazy, unusual year for me all the way around. But things are FINALLY settling into place and I've learned some things along the way.

Beginning the first week of January I will have specific types of things posted every day. Some days will have pictures, some days not. This will have to be based on the days I'm able to travel to WiFi. I hope you'll follow along on my new journey. I look forward to sharing it with you.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, September 27, 2010

A-Z Grunge Tags

Wow... very chilly morning in Nashville. I wound up not getting into town last week so just decided these pics could wait until I got to my daughter's in Nashville. I can sit comfortably on her sofa and use the WiFi. I'm so spoiled. But I'm headed back to MO today... with my granddaughter as my co-pilot. She gets to spend the whole week with grandma so I probably won't get much creating done. Though she does like to play with my stamps, so.... maybe.

Here are pics of the Grunge Tag swap, I promised. I had the letters R and W. I had to make 26 of each letter and I'd get 26 tags back - 1 for each letter of the alphabet. Well... I wound up making 52
of each! The first set I mailed out, never made it to NY so 2 days past the deadline I was frantically recreating the 26 tags. When I create something, I keep a 'recipe' card of how I made it so when I post it to a gallery I can list what stamps, inks, papers, etc I used. Good habit to get into if you ever plan to submit for publication -just a tip. :-)

Well, it's time to pack up the laptop and head for MO. I'll check in later in the week with a couple of links I think you'll like.
Creative Blessings!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Creations

I was so excited to have the house to myself a couple weeks ago with nothing on the agenda except create. I managed to create 9 of the 17 cards for the Splitcoaststampers AUG. VirtualStampNight challenge. Each of the challenges had something to do with summer. Many suggested using a specific technique.
The first one I'm going to show today were were given a color pallet to work with and what we think of when we think summer. For me, it's camping. Of course, now that my house sits amongst 24 acres of timber I don't camp as much as I'd like. But I have the view from my back yard on any given clear night. The stamps I used were from 2 different SU sets. In The Sky is a retired hostess set and the other is one of my favorites... Lovely As A Tree.

One more card to show you. This one was to be reminiscent of the beach. We were to use a shell of some type. The only 'shell' I had was a stencil from the art box I used to use for daycare. I pulled out the light box, dry embossed several, then cut them out. The flip-flops are a Michaels $1 stamp. The netting in the background is drywall tape!

I'll be going into town in the next week and be able to share more with you. I've recently taken part in an A-Z Grunge tag swap. I made 26 identical tags for each the letter R and the letter W. In exchange I got 2 each of every letter of the alphabet made by some very creative gals. Can't wait to show you!
Creative Blessings!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Blog Hop

If you've never experienced a Blog Hop, then you really need to get a glass of your favorite beverage and pull up a chair. They are a BLAST! And so full of creativity.

A Blog Hop is usually put on by a several creative people within a particular group. Sometimes they are sponsored by a company blog to feature their design team members and new products. I've been on Blog Hops with as few as seven designers and as many as 36! Now that's a lot of creativity. With my dial-up, I don't get to visit as many as I would like.

This week you might want to visit the PPA gang. Their theme is Fall/ Halloween. You can find them by clicking on Carla's button to the left of this page. She is #7 on the list. Look for the Blog Hop post for Sept. 14th. At the bottom of the post, she has a list of all the designers participating. I recommend clicking on Ann's link at the top of the list and working your way through. Make sure you leave some love on their blogs. They like to know you stopped by.

Happy Hopping!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Creative Juices Flow


Once I'd finished the Handy Manny headboard, I spent the final four weeks between then and July 4th soaking up all the grandma love I could get before my granddaughter moved to Nashville with her mommy. The house has sure been quiet without her giggles and constant activity.

The day she left, I dug into the office/ creative space. I love my daughter to pieces but she leaves behind a real negative energy sometimes and my space just needed a good cleansing and reclaiming. I needed to make it something it hadn't been in over eighteen months - MINE.

I started on the office side, emptying out the filing cabinet, sorting everything as I went, and donating it to my hubby for the hard work he had ahead of him. I designed a low, deep bookcase to replace the stereo cabinet and the filing cabinet. I wanted a smooth line from my counter top desk across that whole South wall to the book cabinet.

So on the way back from a writers conference, I stopped at the home improvement store for the lumber he would need. In the process of getting into the back of the truck to secure the load, I tried to blow my left knee cap. By the time I'd gotten home my knee was the size of a large cantaloupe. So for the next 3-4 weeks I spent lots of time with it elevated... not making trips up and down the stairs to the 'dungeon'. Although I still have to watch how I step, the knee is better. I'm slowly making progress in the office and hope to finish it up this week.

I've also been getting some creative time in, which I hope to show you pics of soon. But for now, I just wanted to let you know that posts will becoming through on a weekly basis again. Sometimes even more if I have the opportunity to upload pictures of a project. So check back on Saturdays to see what's going on in the dungeon.

Creative Blessings

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Handy Manny Headboard

My granddaughter is a Handy Manny fan. If you don't know who Handy Manny is, check out the DisneyChannel. This is an animated daily show on Disney. Manny is a handy man in the little town of SheetRock Hills. His 'talking' tools - Phillipe (phillips head screwdriver), Turner (flat head screwdriver), Dusty (hand saw), Pat (hammer), Rusty (pipe wrench), Squeeze (pliers), Stretch (tape measure), Flicker (flashlight), and Fix It (robotic dog made from various parts around the shop). The show has a Latin American flavor teaching basic words in Spanish as well as life lessons. If you watch, you can see traits in each of the tools that will remind you of kids you probably went to school with. Some of the voice-overs are provided by characters from our own past. Remember Mrs. Cunningham? (Richie Cunningham's mom on Happy Days)She provides the voice for Mrs. Lopard (her son owns the candy store).

As my granddaughter prepares to leave the nest she's occupied for the past 16 months, she'll be leaving her crib behind for a 'big girl' toddler bed at her mommy's. The bed is a white wrought iron with open grilling. I decided it needed a little comfort. So with nothing except a full size comforter for Handy Manny bedding to be found, I created a headboard and side rail covers.

My initial intent was to use the center panel from the comfortor for the headboard but Manny's head wouldn't even fit, let alone all the tools. So I bought a coloring book at WM and inlarged one of the pages to fit. Using a light box and a quilter's iron-on pencil, I transfered the image to white broadcloth. Then I colored it with Crayola crayons, and heat set it with an iron. Once the front panel was complete, I quilted it a backing fabric sandwiched with 4 layers of cotton batting. After creating a band and a back panel, I handed it off to my husband to place 5 sturdy gold flathead snaps to the bottom edge. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

And it's still raining...

... though I guess I shouldn't complain. I could be living in Nashville with my daughter. Her work and living arrangement were unaffected by the flood but I guess everything in downtown is a real mess.

My creativity has still be spent in the yard. I've added a new rose bush which is just gorgeous. The roses start out a very pale yellow at the base but the more they open, the softer white they become. The garden (all I'm doing this year) is in. I've planted 20 Big Boy tomato plants, 4 Big Bush tomato plants and 4 Brandywine tomato plants. Brandywine are an 1885 Amish Heirloom tomato. They look like they'll be big slicers for buns and very meaty. I also added 2 cucumber plants... salad type, not pickles. The strawberries are going gangbusters. They are early this year and I'm picking almost a quart every other day. Adrian has discovered the difference between the red and green ones. She loves to go pick her 'snack'. I still need picks of 'strawberry face' for her Many Faces of Adrian album. The carrots don't seem to be doing very well, but the beets look good. The first dry day we get, I need to get them thinned. I have to do that while Adrian is napping. I can just see her watching me thin them out then going behind me and pulling the rest of them up! LOL She just likes to do what grandma does.

Bob will be home on Wednesday. I'm already looking ahead to the weekend when I'll have time to play and upload pictures. I've finished the Christmas Cards for the March CCC at Splitcoast. I haven't decided what I want to do for the April - and now May - cards yet.

For inspiration I sat and went through all my back issues of stamping/paper craft magazines this week. I put a little post it strip on every page showing a card or technique I want to try. When I do get to sit and play, I won't lack for ideas to channel the creative juices.

So this week I challenge you. Pull out the oldest copy of a scrapbook/paper crafting/stampng magazine you have and select a project. Make sure you let us know where you post pics so we can give you some love!

Creative Blessings!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hello Spring

I recently made a set of 12 ATC's for the MO stamping loop. When I heard the theme was SPRING, I knew instantly I wanted to use my favorite retired SU set - Hello Spring. With the help of chalks to create the background, my Stamp-a-ma-jig to position the tulips across the bottom, it took no time at all to put these together!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Creative Energies flow


With the assistance of my wonderfully supportive hubby, I spent most of three days down in my studio creating. It was so great to get to sit and play again. And I accomplished so much.

To start things off, I had an idea for a shelf I wanted on top of my SU cabinet. Hubby took the idea and added to it. I know have 2 shelves that almost form a pyramid. I did some rearranging than set to work. Unfortunately I might not be able to upload pics until he gets off the boat in three weeks (he left this morning). But trust me... it was an AWESOME three days.

My initial intention was to participate in Virtual Scrapbook Night and Virtual Stamping Night over at Splitcoaststampers. Over the course of an evening (or 3 in the case of VSBN), challenges are posted at specific times and you have a certain length of time to complete them. I thought what a great way to get some things done. I did the first VSN challenge which sparked creative ideas. From there I moved on to other challenges I was backlogged on and an ATC swap needing to be mailed this week.

Over the course of the three days hit and miss, I learned how to make a Joy pop up card.
See tutorial here:

From that one, I modified the design to create a second one to use as a graduation card for my niece who's graduating from nursing school. I made a pocket on the inside to hold an AppleBee's GC.

I made a set of 12 ATC's with a Hello Spring theme for a swap in my Missouri stamp group. I used my favorite spring set from SU... Hello Spring (retired), a couple of smaller stamps from Studio G and chalks. They were bright and spring. I'll hope to post pics soon.

I even found some time to finally unpack the Cricut Create hubby bought me back in January. I had fun playing with it but will get much more use out of it once I can start scrapbooking.

I won't be doing much stamping over the next three weeks. But my granddaughter and I will spend lots of quality time outside marking out creative ideas to incorporate into the yard...

if it would only stop raining!

Creative Blessings!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spring has sprung...

in the Ozarks and with it, my lack of time on the computer. So much to do now that I can finally get outside. Many things have had to wait until my husband got home off the boat, but there were still lots of smaller tasks I could do. Of course, right now those smaller tasks take a little more time than normal with the 'assistance' of my granddaughter. I don't mind though. Watching her wonderment at things this spring as opposed to this time last year is amazing.

Last spring when my daughter and granddaughter first moved in with us, Adrian was just walking good and being able to walk around outside was all new to her. So many things to touch, smell, and yes even taste. (Pig Nut Hickory nuts are not tasty according to her reaction on those.) Last year I took several pictures of her sitting in the tulip bed, picking the petals off each and every one. I loved watching her discover them. This year, not a single tulip came up. I'm blaming the mole on this one. She did, however, get to enjoy the daffodils and the hyacinths. But her interests this year at 2.5 years old are all about the dogs, the dirt and the sandbox. She loves to put earthy treats in the dogs water buckets. I'm not sure they appreciate it but they are patient with her. We have three outside dogs. Trixie and Buddy are brother and sister of mixed breeds. Both have a lab vein but Trixie (totally deaf and blind in her left eye) has some Blue Heeler and Dalmatian where Buddy shows Rottweiler and Dalmatian. Although they tend to argue with each other, they are very gentle with Adrian. Buddy is her favorite. Then there is Bear. My big wooly Great Pyrenees. She calls him Boo. He follows her around as far as his lead will allow.

Yesterday we planted beets and carrots in an old galvanized wash tub. She loved shoveling in the dirt and later, helping me water the strawberries. Today will be a bit less 'muddy' as I begin the creative adventure of mapping out the yard. I love to draft plans for things. I did the ones for our house, right down to the outlet placement. (I did learn something in 9th grade Home Ec my step mom hadn't already taught me at home) Now it's time to put landscaping plans to paper. Where will all of my new flower beds go? How far out into the back yard will the new studio protrude? Where do I want to put the pond? How many more Strawberry beds can I add? Do I have room for grape vines? What shape will my Herb beds take? (I'll need one for healing, one for cooking and one for crafting)

And from all of these things will sprout endless opportunities to create.
How does your creative garden grow? Plant your seeds today and let the creative growth flourish!

Creative Blessings

Sunday, March 28, 2010

An added Bonus - OSW Christmas Cardss

The individual shots of the OSW Christmas cards I showed a couple weeks ago have been uploaded to my gallery at SplitCoastStampers. You can see them here...

I hope you'll pop in and leave a comment or two. ;-)

Creative Blessings


It seems as if I've had this head cold for ever though in reality it's only been a little over a week. I've had stamps and playthings sitting here on the table to work with and no energy. I've spent the biggest part of my time either in my chair watching TV or here at the desk chatting with creative friends.

Thursday I began a 3-day tour of 88 blogs featured by JustRiteStampers... 88 extremely creative people from all over the world. The designs they were to create had to feature Jan/Feb release stamps by and SpellBinders.

Along the tour I saw a lot of innovative cards and other ideas filled with color and embellishments that were spot on... nothing too over the top. Every item was a representation of why these designers were asked to participate.

If you go to and look on the right hand side of the page, you'll see 3 2" Buttons labeled Day 1 Day 2 and Day 3. Within each of those links you'll find links to over 25 designers and the items they created for the Hop. I don't know how long these will be valid so you don't want to delay in your journey amongst some awesome examples of stamped creativity. The Blog Hop and Prizes part is over. It ended yesterday, but the links should be archived for awhile so you can visit.

Beginning next week as part of the Creative Souls spotlight, I'll introduce you to some of the gals whose work really caught my attention.

What did I learn from my travels? That I really need to step up my game and just let the creative juices flow. I've been keeping it really simple while my play time is limited but that won't last forever... or so my daughter tells me. ;-) In the mean time, I have an order with JustRiteStampers to place ;-) That 20% off Sale is too tempting to pass up.

Creative Blessings!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

15 Christmas cards

A few weeks ago I issued the One Sheet Wonder challenge to my S2S group at Splitcoast stampers. Here are the cards I came up with....

All of the striped papers are from the OSW I designed (see previous post). I accented with scrap & full sheets of Valu Cardstock from their Heritage and Garden collection. The chipboard embellishments were from a K & Co. Chipboard Tag collection I purchased while on vacation last summer. I used SU Always Artichoke and Bravo Burgundy inks for stamping images, distressing and edging. I used a variety of stamps from sentiment collections and $1 stamps. I can't upload to Splitcoast today (Sunday) but when I do, I'll let you know so you can check out the complete supply list and single pictures of the cards.

Have one piece of paper you're not sure what to do with? Turn it into a OSW and a whole lot of cards!

Creative Blessings

Tools at my Fingertips

Next on my list of organizational duties has been to declutter the workspace. I like having everything where I can get to it easily. When I began teaching classes at Michaels several years ago, I invested in the scrapbook tote to keep all of my essentials handy. I could set it on the table during a crop or next to me on the floor - within my reach but not taking away workspace from my students and cropmates. Now that I no longer haul my tools anywhere, this bag didn't seem practical... and it was overflowing.

So after sitting at my worktable trying to envision what would work the best, I came up with a design for a long stretch of upright cubbies. My husband and I make a great team. I draft it up, complete with measurement's (architecture lab from 7th grade home ec still comes in handy) and Bob puts it together. This is what we came up with....

This desk style window box is made from 1"x 4" trim boards. It measures approximately 45" in length. Each cubby is about 3 and 3/4" square. I have 10 compartments to separate, adhesives, glue, scissors, standard punches, piercing tools, pliers and anything else I use frequently in my card making projects. This opened up a lot of flat work surface. I just completed the OSW challenge (pics in next post). The stamps I was using lined up in front of the window box and still left me plenty of stamping space.
Gals, you can do this. Had my husband not been home for 4 weeks and needing projects, I'd have constructed it. If you need particulars, feel free to post and I'll give you more details.
And the organization continues.....
Creative Blessings

Thursday, February 25, 2010

One Sheet Wonder

I have seen templates for doing One Sheet Wonder card collections using an 8.5x11 but not for 12x12.

The concept behind One Sheet Wonder (OSW) is to stamp an image randomly all over a sheet of cardstock. Then cut it apart in various configurations giving you mats for 12-15 cards. I wanted to do 12x12 and instead of stamping CS, I am planning to use printed paper and then cutting CS mats to coordinate. (Yeah, I've been known to reinvent the wheel and do things backwards hehe)

So here's the pattern I came up with. Feel free to modify or post a link to your favorite version and the cards you make.

Creative Blessings


Card Creations

A couple weeks ago I took part in my first VSN - Virtual Stamp Night - over at Splitcoaststampers. The forum leaders would post a challenge every hour and you had 45 minutes to rise to the challenge. The theme for the evening was the Winter Games. For this card the challenge was to use Flower Soft or a homemade version thereof. The homemade version is a shredded Styrofoam ball.

I did a repeat of a Christmas card I designed for our final Christmas in the Victorian house. For the original I had used white embossing powder. I love the glisten and the texture of this so much better.

Another challenge required using RED fiber to signify the red mittens worn in the games. I pulled out a Christmas Slab and came up with this one... I used the cuttlebug folder - snow for texture and a twisted red fiber with a gold thread running through it.

I'll have more to share next week, I hope. My WiFi time is limited for a few more weeks. But I'll try to keep you at least updated on all the things I'm playing with.
Creative Blessings

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Organization Begins

My dear, sweet hubby offered to build me a studio - Creative Dreams. His offer came just before Christmas when he decided I needed out of the 'dungeon' (as he has dubbed the basement office) and into a more creative space. I probably won't sit at the desk and create in the studio for another year or so, but lots of other things can come in advance.

The floor plan is formulating, the colors are chosen and the organization process begins.
I've spent the past week cruising the 'creative space' gallery at Splitcoaststampers ( 5, 967 photos of people's amazingly organized (and not so organized- but works for them) creative spaces. I've amassed a wide variety of pictures of things I'm thinking of implementing into the new studio.

To start with, while I have only a few stamps (one gal on SCS has over 6000!) my first project is to compile a index and image sheet for all of my stamps. I am using a 3-ring binder as my Stamp Binder. There will be five categories:

* SU Stamp Sets
SU unmounted Sets
Clear $ and misc. unmounted
Misc. block sets
Misc. block stamps

*SU indicates Stampin UP (

The SU Sets will be indexed according to theme. At the top of each 8.5x11 sheet I have the Name of the set, catalog #, price and will stamp a Capital R if it is a retired set. Then I've stamped each image from that set in Night of Navy.

SU unmounted (new product) will be cataloged the same way and stored in photo pocket or baseball card sleeves

Clear $ and misc. unmounted are stored the same way

Misc. block sets will be stamped on an 8.5x11 sheet with their category (i.e. Christmas) stamped at the top of the page and filed in calendar appearance order.

Misc block stamps will be included in the 'block sets' category in the same manner.

This way... when I'm creating, I only have to pull out the binder and flip through the pages (upon pages) of images to get an idea of what I want to play with. Once I've decided on the project, I only need to pull those stamps - not several taking up work surface space.

As soon as I've finished doing the cataloging this weekend, I'll post some pics. For now... I have a few images left to catalog.

How do you organize your inventory? Do you know EVERY stamp you own? Are there any you purchased but NEVER used? Tell us your story.

Friday, January 22, 2010

It's all in the colors

When I was little I was fascinated, as most children are, with the colors of Christmas. My first memory is of the old fashioned colored lamp casting it's rainbow upon the aluminum Christmas tree. Later, it was the big bulb lights and the bubble lights. As decorating yards for the season became the rage, I loved riding around in the old station wagon with the backward facing back seat to see all the light displays.

Carnivals are a huge attraction for me. My earliest recollections are from the mid 1960's and Longmont CO. Mom or Dad would take me at night when everything was lit up. Walking along the midway, I could feel the energy of every colored light from the rides and booths.
4th of July would find me sitting on a blanket at the park in Longmont oohing and ahhing at the firework display

As a teen, I lived in rural Platteville Co. Our house sat on a hill - the highest point in the county We could see for miles from the outer reaches of Denver where DIA now sits, across to Boulder and all along the front range and back to the northeast and the city lights of Greeley. I would sit on the picnic table in our yard just watching all the twinkling lights. Often times I could detect the flashing blue/red of an emergency vehicle. The view was incredible.

As I grew older and really got into crafting, I always blamed my varied interests on being a Libra... a creative soul. I love to sew and quilt. I can wander for hours among bolts of fabric. For awhile I was an UndercoverWear lingerie consultant. It wasn't so much the clothes that attracted me as it was the fabrics and the hues that drew me. Cake decorating wasn't so much about the creating as it was all the colors of icing I could play with. Floral arranging in high school again, put me in the heart of natures colors. Don't even get me started on Polymer clay colors and the possibilities with canes. Then I was introduced to stamping and paper crafting. Oh my! Between the inks, papers, cardstock, embellishments, chalks... I was in color heaven!

It took me a long time to realize it wasn't so much about wanting to try everything as it was the colors and all their variations. I wanted to play with anything that put me in touch with the colors. For Christmas I asked (and received) the Crayola 120 count box of crayons. Now if I could justify purhasing the 160 count tower I saw at Michaels last week! :-D

My rainbow is full of color. What color is yours?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Stamping Challenges

Finally, time to play with my stamps. I belong to three forums at splitcoast stampers.( One is a Stamp 2 Spend challenge. The idea is to be mindful of what we're spending compared to what we're actually using. Its much easier to find time to buy pretty new toys and bright colored papers than it is to make the time to actually use them. In Stamp 2 Spend, we hope to find a balance. So, out came my scraps and Valu cardstock Iwant to use up for these two cards.
One of the other forums has begun a kind f Use It challenge. With this challenge, we are encouraged to go back through and find stamps (parts of or whole sets) we haven't used. We just had to have them, but there they sit, ink-free. The stamps I used in both of these cards fall into this challenge. They are part of a retired hostess set from Stampin' Up calle Sculpted Style. In the case of this set, it might not have been one I 'had to have' but more of it was the best of the Level 1 Hostess set that fit my tastes or I didn't already have.
So here's a challenge for you...
What stamp have you never used or haven't used since it's initial purchase use? Pull it out, give it some ink and link us to your creation.
Creative Blessings!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Journaling Through The Year

Happy New Year, everyone!

One of my GOALS for 2010 is to journal 'regularly'. Over at my yahoogroup, The Artists Journey (see link on left sidebar), I have posted the 365 daily prompts from The Writers Book of Days by Judy Reeves. Each prompt will post to the group automatically.

I wanted a special place just for the Book of Days prompts so I created a journal from a recycled diaper box, scrapbook paper (DCWV Holiday Slab) and binder rings.
So far I've written every day of 2010. Only 360 days to go!
There's still time to take the journey with me.