Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Top Ten Lists for 2010

I have been busy working on some special projects so since there's nothing new to share I'm following the lead of my buddy Barb and posting my own Top Ten lists. Did you notice that, I said lists! And ten is a bit relative too...some have more, some have less.

First up is the....
Top Ten Reasons to have a blog:
10- keeps me out of trouble
  9- allows me to meet lots of wonderful creative people
  8-gives me a reason to take lots of photos
  7-it's my place to brag about my family
  6-I love reading all of your sweet comments
  5-keeps my creativity fresh
  4-I learn lots of new stuff
  3-sharing my cards and other projects
  2-sharing my faith in Jesus Christ
and the number one reason to have a blog....
  1- I finally realized I have something to say and I don't want to be one of those women who wanders around talking to herself....better to get it out now!

My Ten Favorite Cards from 2010:

My Top Ten Favorite Cards by Friends:
(okay, this was tough because I loved so many more than just 10 so this is a random list from my 100's of faves...check out my Flickr faves, I'm a total maniac with the faves)

  • Inchies by Jacqueline
  • Sweet Strawberry Basket by Lin 
  • Exquisite Hydrangea by Pia 
  • Fab Shabby Chic by Carole  
  • Fresh One Layer by Tiffany
  • Gorgeous Color by Agata
  • Charming Beauty by Kath
  • Colorful Masterpiece by Anne
  • Heather's Cracked Butterflies
  • Jill's Butterflies too!

and an extra 3 from Christmas:

  • Dawn's Starry Night Collection
  • Tomo's Adorable Reindeer
  • Barb's Gorgeous Tag

2010 has been a year of highs and opportunities and difficult challenges. I lost my dad, sent Ben back to Iraq, said goodbye to my sweet Bruno, experienced some extended-family drama and turmoil. Finding a job still hasn't happened, Al continues to work for himself and our finances are becoming strained after more than a year without regular income. On the happy side, we welcomed Ben home (no more trips to Iraq for him), I had the wonderful opportunity to be a Hero Hostess, and I met many more wonderful friends through our shared love of crafting. I also have found opportunities to teach stamping and to help build up my favorite local stamp store. 2011 brings with it the fun of going to CHA to scout new products for Stamp Fever, and I've been given the opportunity to work with the ever ebullient Kelly Marie Alvarez in the Lawn Fawn booth.
Through all the good times and difficult times, the constant in my life is my faith in Jesus Christ and I know that all things will work together for good (Romans 8:28). I'm happy to leave 2010 behind....bring on 2011!
Wishing you all blessings and joy in the New Year,

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I'm sending love and blessings to all of my sweet and wonderful blog buddies! I'm so sorry I've been absent a lot these last few weeks. I caught a virus that hasn't let up yet, I'm hoping to be well enough to celebrate Christmas with our families. Luckily I carry Christmas in my heart year-round and every day is a day to celebrate Jesus and His wonderful gift of salvation!
I had planned to share some more cards and tags but they never got here is my digital card to wish you all a Merry Christmas with love!
I would like to thank everyone who sent me a gorgeous  Christmas card, you really blessed me. I will treasure each one. I'm hoping to send you each something heartfelt and homemade just as soon as I can.
Christmas blessings to you all,

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Happily Making Tags Today....

I got the idea to make tags that can be used as Christmas tree ornaments to give as gifts to family this year. We normally don't exchange expensive gifts, choosing instead to focus on the true gift of Christmas ...salvation through Jesus Christ!
I'm sending thanks to Louise at Kard Krazy for the lovely Tag Tuesday challenge colors this week. The combo of Green, Yellow and Brown really inspired me to get creative.....
 I used papers from Graphic 45 and Websters Pages along with some of my older Christmas stamps. The Jesus stamp is a 1987 Stampendous stamp and Heaven and Nature is a 1998 Hero Arts stamp. I also used some new Hero Arts stamps: Holly Flourish border is stamped in Forest Moss Distress ink at the top and gold embossed on the bottom of the tag; the Music Background cling is stamped in Vintage Photo Distress ink on the green circle.
Here's a peek at those old stamps....

~ Luke 2:78-79 ~
"Because of God's tender mercy,
the morning light from heaven is about to
break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
and to guide us to the path of peace."

Happy Homecoming Picture of Ben....little Tia was so happy to see him!
Luckily he has already shaved the scruffy beard!

Monday, December 13, 2010

How about a little Rustic Christmas card.....

This one uses the papers from Cosmo Cricket's Wanted Mini Deck. I paired the paper with Hero Arts Holly Flourish that was embossed with Verdigris Antiquities embossing powder from Ranger. Christmas Red Stickles provides some sparkle and a pop of color. The sentiment is from the Christmas Expressions set from Cornish Heritage Farms.
I'm off to the airport to pick up Ben....yippee!

~ Psalm 27:14 ~
"Wait on the Lord;
be of good courage,
and He shall strengthen your heart."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Catalog Preview Party at Stamp Fever

I just got home from the big event at Stamp Fever....what a great time with wonderful people!
I did 2 make n takes, there were refreshments and the NEW HERO ARTS CATALOG! Everyone enjoyed studying the new catalog...making lists and getting inspired.

Here's the photographic proof of all the fun and friends....
We set up a table just for browsing through the catalog....this was a popular place to be! They look pretty happy about the new catalog....Nicole couldn't take her eyes off the catalog even for a photo op.

Study those catalogs....there will be a quiz later.......

Enjoying a quiet moment with the new catalog.....

And now for some Make n Take photos.....

Linda and Ivy making cards.....

Anne and Nicole are all smiles.....

Playing with new stamps.....

Ivy with her finished cards......

Thana and Linda are all smiles in the check out line.....
Mercedes, Thana and store manager, Linda....just a few of the wonderful people you will find at Stamp Fever.

I had a fabulous time and I'm looking forward to doing it all again on Wednesday from 4-7 pm. 
I hope to see you then!!

~ Luke 2:14 ~
"Glory to God in the highest,
and peace on earth to those
with whom God is pleased."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Making Samples for the Hero Arts Catalog Preview Party!

Just a quick share of some of the cards I'm working on for tomorrow. The first 2 are the Make n Take cards, with a design and stamps supplied by Hero Arts.....
The bicycles are from the Joy Ride clear set and the background is a great clear set called Dictionary Greetings. It has 4 stamps with definitions for; happy, thank, friend and hello. I love them!
The other card uses the new woodblock Silhouettes trio. The background is a wonderful new Daisy Outline Pattern design block. 
This next card is an almost complete CASE of a card design in the demo kit.  It's designed by Tami Hartley and totally shows off the great Joy Ride clear set.....
I'm entering this card in the Wee Memories Challenge for this week to CASE a card.

And finally this last card is my own design using a Silhouettes stamp and the Daisy Outline Pattern.....
I snuck in a bit of the Thank definition from the Dictionary Greetings set, too!

I'll have pictures from the party to post tomorrow night....I can't wait!

Happy Birthday Andy!! My wonderful son was born 27 years ago today. That was one special Christmas.

I've been enjoying Psalm 33 lately, there is so much to ponder is this short chapter.
~ Psalm 33:4-5 ~
For the word of the Lord holds true,
and we can trust everything He does.
He loves whatever is just and good;
the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

In the Mood for a Little Lawn Fawn Challenge

The adorable Kelly over at Lawn Fawn has issued a challenge for any and all who would like their stamped artwork featured in the Lawn Fawn catalog and at the Lawn Fawn booth at CHA 2011! Go HERE for all the details and the rules.
One of those rules is that you can't use patterned paper...oh golly, I love my patterned papers especially for paper piecing. So I made my own using the stamp set, Sew Lovely.
I am going to apologize for the crummy photo now....the hubs has my camera today (yay, he finished the big Crystal Cove house, so it's time to capture the cabinet finery for posterity!). Anyhoo, he left me his abysmal camera...I did the best I could. Please don't judge the art by the photo....
I've got my fingers crossed...I'd love to have a card in the Lawn Fawn catalog!

~ Galatians 5:13 ~ 
"For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters.
But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature.
Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hero Arts is Having a Blog Hop!!

Do you want to see all the fabulous new stamps and products in the new Hero Arts 2011 Catalog? Join all the Hero Artists and their fabulous friends for a Blog Hop this Friday!
I can't wait....can you?!!!

The Woodland Fairies Come Clean....

About a year ago, the uber organized Deborah Nolan, assembled a group of card makers from the Hero Arts flickr group for a months long card shower for Ruth, one of our own group who was facing difficult circumstances. Deborah started another of her famous spreadsheets to make sure Ruth got a card twice a week for 9 months and that even her adult children got some card love too. To keep our identities secret and to keep Ruth guessing we all took a fairy name as a pseudonym.
I was Merry Morning-glow. I sent this card in March.....
We are all so thankful to hear that Ruth is doing much better and Deborah thought that in the spirit of the Secret Santa it was time to reveal our identities. I was very blessed to be part of this out-pouring of encouragement and love!

~ Proverbs 12:25 ~
Worry weighs a person down;
an encouraging word cheers a person up!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pirate Theme and a New Door

I spent a lovely day on Saturday with my sweet friend Sue. We were celebrating her birthday which was last Thursday. We started with breakfast at The Pancake House....oooh that was delicious. We split Blueberry Pancakes and Potato Pancakes and there was still some to take home. I had my camera but I was too intent on eating that I completely forgot to take it out of my purse. Maybe next time.
So after our feast we headed to Old Town Orange to do some window shopping in the fun antique stores and boutiques. While browsing through "Heavenly Hostess" I spied this.....
and I immediately thought of my son Andy...who is turning 27 on Saturday. He's got the pirate thing down and I knew it would be a winner, so the pirate cupcake finery came home with me.
Back to my day with we went to "The Perfect Circle" my favorite Cupcake store (they've competed on Cupcake Wars on Food Network) but alas they weren't open. (Sue and I promised ourselves another trip back for the best Red Velvet cupcakes and Banana Cupcakes ever!)
After a quick stop at Home Depot for insulation (I know, doesn't really fit with the birthday fun theme of the day, but I did get a new mailbox, so yay!)....we came back to my house to make some cards. Sue made a beautiful birthday card for her aunt based on a card she saw on my Hall of Fame wall. These are cards from my stamping/cardmaking buddies. For this card, Vanessa was the chosen muse. Again, I'm sorry, forgot to take a photo, DOH!
here's a peek at the inspiration though....
Thanks again, Vanessa!

After Sue went home I started plotting my birthday card for Andy. With the pirate theme in my mind I set to finding some pirate images online. I found these at Graphics Fairy....

I opened them in Publisher, cropped, sized and changed the color to grayscale to print on white cardstock.
Here's the finished Pirate Birthday Card....
I added color to the pirate images with Distress Inks and then coated them several times with Versamark and clear embossing powder melting the powder between each coat. I was going for a glossy shine like a sticker.
The background is an Impression Obsession map stamp that I stamped with Weathered Wood Distress ink on a Powder Layering Paper from Hero Arts. Then I layered more stamp images from Hero Arts: Fabulous Flourish in both Weathered Wood and Vintage Photo.....and a Happy Birthday sentiment in Weathered Wood.
I computer generated the pirate birthday greeting sentiment and printed it out, trimming each phrase closely. Then I over-stamped Fabulous Flourish, Old Letter Writing and a small shadow stamp to give some pattern and interest. Everything was edged with more Distress ink  before assembling on a card base made from more Powder Layering paper. I love how it turned out and I know Andy will get a kick out of it!

On to the next part of this way too long post....My New Door. The truth is it's not so new. The hubs and I bought it 3 years ago when we were remodeling the house (and we were both employed) but it has taken this long to install it. I have the patience of a saint as I've been told but even my long-suffering was being challenged. Finally today, the coldest day so far we decide to get the new door put in. Al is working on it with a friend who does this type of thing. It's not up's 3 pm....and I'm so cold I can't stand it; but it will all be worth it when I no longer have to look at this....
or this.....
Here's the new door getting ready to be installed, with 2 of my favorite people at the moment.....
That's the hubs on the left and his friend Ed on the right. They look like they know what they're doing...don't they? The door is Mahogany with a beautiful stained finish that Al custom mixed to get just the right color. It's a bit dusty and covered with saw dust at the moment because it's been languishing in Al's wood shop for the last 3 years.
Here it is hanging started to rain pretty hard shortly after they got it up....more parts are still needed for the threshold and the trim and frame and final stain and finishing.....hopefully it won't take another 3 years to get it done. I do love how it looks for now and luckily I am very patient.
Update on the cupcakes....they were delicious (triple chocolate with my secret recipe cream cheese frosting) and all were devoured before I had a chance to take a picture of them....suffice it to say they were a hit!

~ Ephesians 2:10 ~
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, 
which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."


Friday, December 3, 2010

Little Thank You Card

Just a quick post today....I made another little 3.5 x 3.5 inch card. I incorporated all of the categories for the current Hero Arts Challenge in this one little package.
Visit the Hero Arts Blog and join the Flickr group to play along with this month's challenge!

On to the card.....
It's a thank you card for my aunt and uncle who we recently visited. I used the challenge colors of kraft, cranberry, slate blue, pine and snow. And I added some fun little shiny bits with Glossy Accents (on the window panes and bow) and Frosted Lace Stickles on the tree and snow.

 Here's a different angle to see the shiny stuff better.

Stamps used: CL463 Get Merry- tree
CL464 Sending Holiday Cheer- house
CL389 Mi Casa - sentiment
CL446 Sew Artsy - stitching trim
LL635 Textures and Patterns - Dot Pattern
Inks used: Memento Tuxedo Black, Color Box pigment ink Frost White, Distress Inks- Forest Moss, Crushed Olive, Stormy Sky.
Papers used: Cosmo Cricket Mitten Weather (paper pieced house). Kraft and white cardstock from JoAnn's. Hero Hues Layering Paper- Punch.

~ Psalm 37:3-5 ~
"Trust in the Lord and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord,
and He will give you your heart's desires.
Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust Him, and He will help you."

Have a wonderful weekend!