If you have two loaves of bread sell one and buy flowers. For although the bread will nourish your body, the flowers will nourish your soul.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ribbon Challenge

For this supplies challenge, I sent each of the other members of CCEE (a group of 8 friends from all over the world who do a stamping challenge each Monday) a baggie of printed ribbons from which to choose. We were to design a card around one of those ribbons. If you ever want to see 8 different styles and personalities doing the same challenge, click on the CCEE link on the left side of my blog. I think it's so interesting to see the variety. This is mine. In real life, the cardstock is more of a pink lavender and matches the ribbon exactly. I used the circle and oval cutting system from Creative Memories for the oval. The two stray flowers were cut from the ribbon and glued onto the cardstock.

Recipe: paper- lavender (Bazzil), bright green; ink- black archival; stamps- Rubber Stampede; accessories- Cuttlebug, ribbon (Offray), pop dots.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Now That's What I Call A Moth!

I admit it. I was a hard sell on digital cameras. I was so happy with my Canon T-50 35mm camera we bought way back in 1983. It took great pictures, was easy to use. Never mind the fact that sometimes it took me ages to get the film developed. But now that I have my digital, I am constantly taking pictures. I love taking pictures of nature and being able to look really close up at things. This huge moth was on my patio today. He very obligingly walked onto the ruler so I could measure him. I looked him up on the internet. He's an Imperial Moth (Eacles imperalis). You may want to know that some day. Make sure you click on the picture to see the close-up. He's furry!

Friday, July 25, 2008

My Favorite Thing

I found, through a friend, a delightful blog called "My Romantic Home". If you love the romantic, shabby chic look, you'll love this site. Cindy is wonderfully creative and inventive and has a fabulous eye for design. Her home is so beautiful. She also has great tips on refinishing furniture. Anyway, she is having an "our favorite things' weekend, where you can share one of your favorite belongings. You can find her blog at http://www.romantichome.blogspot.com/

I had to think a little, but definitely one of my favorite things in my home is this chair. I bought it at a yard sale for $25. It was covered with a very 1970's orange and green upholstery fabric. I can't believe I didn't take a before picture. This was my first attempt at reupholstering and I'm very pleased with how it turned out. Even the fabric was a bargain...purchased for just a few dollars at a remnant sale. A few weeks after finishing, I found this pillow that matches perfectly at a gift shop while on a trip.

Cake Inspired

One of the challenges on SCS this week is inspired by a stunning cake. If I can figure out how to do it, I'll include a photo of it. This card is my interpretation of the inspiration. Am I allowed to say that I love this card without sounding too egotistical? lol!

Recipe: paper- black, apple green dp; ink- white pigment; stamps- Brocade Basics, Wonderful Words (SU); accessories- satin ribbon (Offray), green crystal brad, white ep, pop dots.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Same Card, Different Colors

Last Wednesday I posted a card using Basic Grey designer paper. This is just the same design using a different color scheme. Most of the time, when I ink up a stamp I stamp it several times. This gives me a supply of stamped images I can draw from when I need a card. I also love to do a card I like in different color schemes.

Recipe: ink- black archival; stamps- French Script, Essence of Love (SU); paper- Not Quite Navy, Blue Bayou, black, Basic Grey dp; accessories- ribbon (Offray).

A Week of Challenges

Splitcoaststampers is sponsoring a week of challenges hosted by the Dirty Dozen design team. I've been trying to do a few. What I love about doing challenges is that it stretches you out of your comfort zone...making you try techniques and styles that are not your usual fare.
This first card is the result of the challenge to keep a lot of white, the design simple, and layers to a minimum. I combined it with a challenge to design a card around ribbon. I've been wanting to use this ribbon since I got it. The size and boldness of the pattern is such a statement on it's own, it was perfect for a simple card.

Recipe: paper- white; ink- black archival; stamps- Essential Sentiments (MFT); accessories- ribbon (Offray), crimper.

Watercoloring was the technique of choice for another challenge. I don't watercolor very often, so it was good practice for me. I used a blender pen and a water pen, pressing on the closed lid of the stamp pad to use the ink gathered on the lid as my palette.

Recipe: ink- black archival, various colors dye inks; paper- pale grey, white, lavender Bazzil; stamps- Inkadinkado; accessories- Cuttlebug, ribbon (Offray).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Music and Tea

Another Monday stamping challenge. This time we were to make a card with a music theme and to use tea staining. The photo on my card came from the back of a calendar featuring paintings of angels. The sentiment is one I stamped ages ago, borrowing a stamp from a friend...so I've long since forgotten the company that produced it. All panels are distressed with Tim Holtz Distress Ink. I used both Tea Dye and Antique Linen. Although difficult to see, the kraft panel is lightly stamped with the Irish Blessing in mellow moss.

recipe: stamps- Irish Blessing background (SU), sentiment (source unknown); paper- rust and green Bazzil, vanilla, kraft; ink- mellow moss, close to cocoa, Tim Holtz Distress Ink (tea dye and antique linen); accessories- cuttlebug, copper brads, pop dots.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend At Jan's

Can you imagine having 21 overnight guests? My brave sister, Jan, just hostessed a lovely weekend of houseguests at her home in rural New Jersey. I love the house and property. We just want to pick it up and move it closer to "home" here in Maryland, to have her closer. She had a baby shower for her soon-to-be-here grandson and his parents, Jeff and Sarah.

In addition to wonderful food, a beautiful setting and great fellowship, she also provided us with a great evening of entertainment. There are several perks with living next to a winery. One is scheduling your party to coincide with their wine festival. Nothing like sitting in your own back yard and being treated to an awesome display of fireworks! Very cool!!
We were also visited each morning by the neighboring guineas.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Faux Silk

After almost a hundred photos in every conceivable lighting, angle and position, I finally gave up and settled for this one. This card was done for my weekly CCEE challenge. This one was to use the faux silk technique. You do this by stamping tissue paper, balling it up, smoothing it out and glueing it to a piece of cardstock. It gives great texture to your artwork. The red panel has gold oriental writing stamped on it, plus I got a little gold ink on my finger and lightly rubbed it on the raised edges to highlight the texture. It's very subtle and looks great in real life. However, I had a terrible time trying to capture the effect in a photo. All three panels are done in the faux silk.

recipe: paper- white, real red, black; ink- black archival, real red, gold pigment (Ranger); stamps- Bamboo II (SU), scene and writing (PSX); accessories- tissue paper, square gold brads

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Oh, Those Designer Papers!

Two of my worst temptations when it comes to spending money...plants, and, yes, I admit it...paper! I love designer paper. And when it comes to designer paper, there is (in my humble opinion) no equal to Basic Grey. It took me a while to realize that BG was a paper company, not a color. Ala Will Rogers, I never met a Basic Grey paper I didn't like. I'm going to cry when I run out of this collection. It has been discontinued, but I continue to love it. The plain distressed papers, in particular, are so versatile and lend themselves so beautifully to the silhouette types of stamps. They make my job so easy.
Recipe: stamps- Essence of Love (Stampin'Up); paper- black, Basic Grey dp; ink- black archival; accessories- black sheer ribbon (Offray)

Solved Mysteries

I found it! I found it!

A couple posts back I posted a mystery flower I had in my garden that I couldn't find in any of my gardening books. After google-ing "white flowering perennials", I came upon a website that had twenty pages of them (50 to a page). I figured if I couldn't find it among 1000 varieties of white flowers, I was in trouble. And there it was....Gooseneck Loosestrife (Lysimachia Clethroides). And if you look at the flowers, they do look like little goose heads. How cool! I love answered questions.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Stella Ruby

I just love that name. What visual picture does that conjure up for you? I see a slender, middleaged woman in the 1940's who would never leave the house without every hair in place, a hat, gloves and earrings...with lips a little too red and cheeks a little too pink, and a heart of gold. But, I digress. Actually, it's the name of the line of Basic Grey designer paper used on this card. The papers are glorious, deep rich colors. This card is a culmination of three challenges on SCS...sketch, color, and a challenge to use scoring. It's difficult to see in the photo, but the pomegranate cardstock is scored in a diamond pattern, and the green panel is dry embossed. I love the textures this adds. The white sentiment panel has a soft leaf pattern created by first off-stamping with the celery ink. The leaf is celery stamped on celery, with the veining thinly outlined with Stickles.

Recipe: stamps-sentiment (Inkadinkado), leaf (Autumn by SU); paper- Basic Grey 'Stella Ruby', white, SU purely pomegranate, certainly celery, wild wasabi; ink-black archival, certainly celery; accessories- diamond Stickles, green crystal brads, Fiskars wavy texture plate, dimensional tape.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Unsolved Mysteries

Many years ago I was checking out the end-of-season 50% off plant sale at a local store. Amongst the sad looking half dead plants that were left, I found a very healthy looking perennial. Only one problem...no identification tag. Oh well, it was cheap and I thought it would be fun to see what it turned out to be. As of now I still have no idea what it is, lol! For years I've looked for it in plant books to no avail, and I have begun the internet search. But you know how that can be. Even typing in "white flowering perennial" you get "1 through 5" of 1,728,247 sources. So I still have a few sites to check out, ha ha. However, I thought perhaps there might be someone out in net world who knows what this is. Each flower is a single stalk, and it spreads like crazy. I like the plant, but you absolutely need to plant it where you can control it's growth. It sends runners out underground and can easily take over a bed.
I shall continue to investigate.

Simple Gifts

The very sweet and thoughtful mother of two of my piano students handed me this gorgeous bouquet of hydrangeas after lessons yesterday. I haven't stopped delighting in them. They have been moved around to wherever I'm going to be so I can enjoy them while they're here. I'm easy, aren't I? I don't need diamonds and rubies...just give me flowers. :)