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, February 23, 2009

Monday Supplies Challenge

Tosh sent each of our CCEE group supplies for this week's challenge. They consisted of stamped skunk images (SU), double sided designer paper (Dream Street Papers), scalloped velvet ribbon, various sentiments (Studio G clear stamps) and decorative die cuts, which were optional and I didn't use.

I didn't have the right shade of green for the grass, so I colored white paper with a green galore SU marker, and tore the paper. The skunk is colored with Prismacolor pencils and odorless mineral spirits, the stripe is colored with white gel pen, and cut out.

remaining supplies: paper- black, white; ink- black archival; accessories- thin grosgrain ribbon (Offray); Cuttlebug embossing folder.

Keeping Green

I've talked about how I love to repurpose. Now, I know you can probably go out and purchase these little buckets or some other organizational container, but these were formerly citronella candles. Instead of ending up in the landfill, they're serving a purpose in my craft room. Hot water and soap gets rid of the wax residue. They could be used to hold utensils on a picnic table, or lined with napkins and filled with pretzels or crackers.

Finding Treasures

 Every once in a while, you hit the motherlode when flea marketing. I found (for the first time) a couple pieces of my crystal pattern, Lenox Antique Blue. When this pattern was discontinued years ago, it was selling for thirty some dollars a stem. I also collect blue and white dinner plates, both new and antique. I love to mix them on a table. So I found this plate and two stems of the Lenox crystal at an antique mall, marked $5 apiece. I was so excited, both at the find, and the price. Imagine my joy at discovering a sign that said everything in the booth was 50% off!!!! I found two of the stainless steel utensil holders at a local secondhand store for 50 cents each. So that comes to a grand total of $8 for everything you see. Woo-hoo!!! (You can click on the photo for a closer look.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Those Monday CCEE Challenges

Challenge: Use the spotlight technique.
The background on the black cardstock is almost impossible to see in the photo. To create texture and depth, I stamped Fine Lace in versamark and embossed it in black. The black button is dotted with 3D paint.

Recipe: Stamps- Upsy Daisy, Delight In Life, Fine Lace (all SU); Paper- black, white, pink passion (SU); Ink- black archival, versamark; Accessories- pink passion and always artichoke SU markers, circle punches, Prima flower, black button, white Scribbles 3D paint, black ep.

Challenge: Use pink, white and kraft as the color scheme.

Recipe: Stamps- Warmest Regards (SU); Paper- kraft, vanilla, DCWV (Old Work Stack), My Mind's Eye (Bohemia); Ink- basic brown (SU); Accessories- blush pearls (Kaisercraft), scallop edge punch, foam dimensional tape.

I'm trying to remember if I ever actually explained the CCEE I frequently mention. And I just realized that I'm not sure I remember exactly what the letters stand for, lol! One of the c's is for challenge and the e's are definitely for "eager eight". Anyway, it's a group of eight stampers who met through the SCS website, mostly by mutual admiration of each other's work. Some of the girls got the idea to put together a group to do weekly challenges. A challenge is a great way to grow in your art because it forces you out of your creative box...to use colors you might not normally put together, a technique you've never tried, change your stamping style, focus on a particular subject, etc. Over time, we've adopted a basic format. Each member is the hostess for a month and creates the weekly challenges. One is usually a supplies challenge for which she mails out the desired supplies we are to use for that particular project. That might include cardstock, or designer paper, or stamped images, or embellishments (ribbon, brads, charms...) in any combination. I think this is my favorite. It is so fun and amazing to me how different the cards are, using exactly the same materials. Another standard challenge is the 'featured name'. An unusual, fun, or creative screen name is chosen from among the posters on SCS, you create a project inspired by that name, and then mail the cards to her. The rest of the weeks are left to the (sometimes whacky) imaginations of the monthly hostess.

One of our eight (Frances, who lives in Austrailia) created a blog on which we post our resulting projects every Monday. If you're interested in seeing our work, the blog is listed along the left side of my blog. The eight of us represent Texas, California, Michigan, Canada, Ohio, Colorada, Australia, and Maryland. Isn't that awesome? I'm old enough to still be in awe of modern technology. :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Card Catchup

This is such an easy card and a great idea for a collage stamp. They are always so beautifully painted on the stamp, but never end up looking good when I color the image myself. I did this one in three steps...stamping it with black ink, first on white cardstock, again on pale green, and a third time on red. Then I cut each section out and layered them, raising the rose on foam tape.

Recipe: stamps- Hero Arts; paper- red, white, pale green, black; ink- black archival; accessories- Cuttlebug embossing folder, foam dimensional tape.

One of my many blessings is a group of three wonderful friends who get together with me once a month at a local church for a day of stamping. At least, that's why we started meeting. We do stamp all day, but it has become so much more than that. The sharing of ideas, supplies, concerns, recipies, news of family, our faith, laughter and occasionally tears...what a treasure. I've learned so much from them.

Someone is always bringing something to share...something from the garden, a delicious goodie, or some kind of paper or ribbon bargain. This past time, Lois gave us each a pack of notecards she found at a local discount store. One is pictured in the photo above. Aren't they pretty?! I love the colors and pattern, and cut them up to make a couple cards.

Recipe: stamps- Say It With Scallops (SU); ink- black archival; paper- wild wasabi, white; accessories- square scallop punch (SU), Cuttlebug embossing folder, Prima flower, button.

I've had this gorgeous paper for a while and hadn't used it because I hated to cover it up. This small stamp seemed to work well with these old fashioned looking embellishments. This card is made with shared gifts, too. Ronda found the beautiful paper lace at a dollar store, and Tosh (a friend from California) sent these awesome pale pink adhesive pearls.

Recipe: stamp- Say It With Scallops (SU), paper- true thyme (SU), vanilla, Anna Griffin dp; ink- basic brown (SU); accessories- adhesive lace paper trim (Miss Elisabeth's), square scallop punch (SU), blush pearls (Kaisercraft), satin ribbon (Offray).

Friday, February 6, 2009

DaisyD and Friends

Just another card, using daisyd's French Market designer paper. The stitching around the white panel is faux. It's created using a piercing needle tool and connecting the dots using a black marker. Looks real, doesn't it?

Recipe: paper- true thyme, white, daisys's french market dp; ink- black archival, Tim Holtz's Distress Ink (antique linen); stamps- sentiment (source unknown); accessories- horizontal slot punch (SU), paper piercing tool, black marker, Offray ribbon.

One Man's Trash...

I love flea markets, yard sales, thrift shops. There are several reasons. One of course, is money. We made the decision early in our marriage, that I would stay home to raise our children. I had that choice. I know not everyone has that option, but I did and I've never regretted it. I loved being a stay at home mom. But it also meant being thrifty. A great majority of my home is furnished with yard sale, estate sale, second hand shop, hand me down stuff. But it has also been a lot of fun being creative in that way. Reading a lot of magazines and books, and watching a lot of home and garden tv has taught me to look at things with an eye for what it could be. Which is reason number two. It does make you more creative and gives you so much satisfaction to do something yourself. And reason number three. Over the years I have become more and more earth conscious. Recycling is really important to me. I do it with cans and bottles, etc, and I love to do it with cast off belongings. There is so much "junk" out there. But there is also an awful lot of reusable/repurposable stuff, too. And every time I repurpose something, I feel I have done something good in my own tiny little corner of the world.

I'm going to start posting some of my finds, both new and old, on my blog. For example, we stopped at a flea market two Sundays ago while on a drive. I found these two wooden, like new, paper sorters for only seven dollars apiece. Woo-hoo!! They fit perfectly on top of my work station and I finally have a way to keep my cardstock nice, with easy access. I'm easy to please.