Friday, September 30, 2011

World Card Making Day? How great is that?

I think this is such a fantastic and fun idea - celebrating something that gives me such peace in my life. To a lot of people, what I do is 'only' a hobby, but to me it means so much.

Choosing which cards to show as part of my stop on the WCMD blog party was a bit tricky! I decided to go with several that I really loved making, even if they didn't turn out quite like I'd intended. As so many crafters know, a mistake is simply an opportunity for embellishment. And as long as you're having fun and expressing yourself, the end result is just the proverbial icing on the cake.

First up is a card that got me inky:

Supplies: papers from Basic Grey "Out of Print;"
ballerina print from Degas book;
May Arts sheer ribbon;
sentiment banner from Martha Stewart; stamp from Studio G;
embossing folder by Craft Concepts;
Spun Sugar, Peeled Paint, Bundled Sage, & Worn Lipstick distress inks;
Sakura Stardust pen; misc. pink rhinestones;
flowers quilled by me

I found this oval cut-out of a Degas ballerina in my great desk clean-up a few weeks ago, and kept it in my 'ooh, I want to use that!' pile, along with the butterfly embossing folder. Something I don't really do much of is embossing on patterned paper, and once I'd run this piece through, I thought sponging the distress inks would bring out the pattern of embossing more sharply. Not so much, although I do like how it looks. The banner simply looked strange left flat, and the way I'd stamped the sentiment didn't allow for much wiggle room. The ribbon just really wanted to be a part of things, but all the bows I tied just didn't go. So, 'tails' for the banner were born. The card probably took 2 hours with all the fussing and fiddling, but for once I didn't feel frustrated when it wasn't doing what I pictured - I just kept fiddling and enjoying myself.

Supplies: Papers from My Mind's Eye "Lost and Found 2;"
'write' and typewriter rub-ons from Michaels;
'for you' stamp from Studio G;
Emerson quote from MFT; Memento Tuxedo Black ink;
velvet ribbon from stash; black rhinestones
This is a card that I made with no specific occasion or recipient in mind, just enjoying myself. And, for extra fun, I thought I'd finally try sealing the edges of ribbon with a flame. Eeps! Let me just say kids, don't try that at home. Also, grown-ups, matches probably aren't the easiest way to do that. 

Supplies: Papers from Fancy Pants;
stickers from Basic Grey;
crocheted mat by me (basic pattern here)
standard & lacey circle Nesties
Baby cards are some of my favourites to make, and this one includes crochet, my other favourite craft. I'd wondered what to do with these sheets of Basic Grey baby stickers for months, and when I saw them next the paper...*monkey clapping* 

Thanks for stopping by my little place, and know that I treasure each and every comment you take the time to leave. I can't wait to see what fun and exciting things are going on in blogland this weekend to celebrate!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Some serious occasions

Supplies: papers from My Mind's Eye Lost & Found;
label cut out from same paper;
sentiment from Inkadinkado; Memento Tuxedo Black ink;
velvet ribbon from stash

Supplies: Papers from My Mind's Eye Lost & Found;
Wilton doily brayered with Old Paper distress ink;
bird stamp from Inkadinkado, stamped on a cream paper scrap with Old Paper;
butterfly & rose stickers from Marjolein Bastin;
With sympathy stamp from Wordsworth
Supplies: white cardstock;
rose vellum from Susan Branch (?), old scrap from my stash;
bird stamp from Inkadinkado; stamped with Colorbox chalk inks & clear embossed;
feather, poem, and Hope stamps from Wordsworth & also stamped with Colorbox

Supplies: paper & label from Kaisercraft Chapter One;
Wilton doily; sentiment from Stampendous;
stamped with Memento London Fog ink

Supplies: paper from K &Co;
Dusty Concord distress ink sponged on edges & butterflies;
'miss you' stamp from Studio G;
butterfly punch from Martha Stewart;
Sakura Stardust clear glitter pen over sentiment

I think I may have caught the September Plague. 
Must crawl back into my cave :)


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Silly fun

Supplies: Paper from Basic Grey "Lauderdale;"
buttons from Basic Grey;
image & 'sentiment' from Sandra Boynton calendar

Supplies: GROVER!!!! and twiddlebugs are stickers from my ancient stash;
papers all from My Mind's Eye Lime Twist;
letter stickers from Basic Grey, coated with Sakura Clear Glaze pen
These just made me happy while I was making them. Plus, I kept hearing "Hello everybodeeeeeee" in Grover's could that not cheer you up?


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Delightfully Random

I love the name Cath picked for this round of Tuesday Trigger: Delightfully Random. It just SOUNDS fun, you know?

Here's the Trigger pic:

So many fun and trendy elements to choose from here: birds, buttons, embroidery, banners, doilies....the list could go on & on. I drew inspiration from the colours & flowers, and decided to go with quilling.

Supplies: papers from Basic Grey "indie bloom;'
misc. rhinestones in red & aqua;
birthday stamp from Kaisercraft, stamped with Memento London Fog ink;
flowers quilled by me 
I'm out of colour ink, so I didn't print out the Trigger this time, and I remembered the paint background as being more teal/aqua than minty green. But, the birdie matches! lol

I also wanted to share the card that I made for my friend Cheryl, whose scarf was modeled here. I couldn't give her the card I showed there, because it's from my stash of unblogged projects & I don't have it anymore. I think this one will do:

Supplies: Papers from Kaisercraft "Chapter One;"
scallop edge scissors;
birthday stamp from Studio G, stamped with Broken China distress ink;
aqua rhinestones; Sakura stardust glitter pen;
(envelope) letter stickers from Basic Grey; misc. cream glitter paper;
Martha Stewart butterfly punch
And now to walk the tired dog - she & I walked for about two hours this morning, lolled in the sun for a few hours this afternoon while I chatted with my Mom & Gramma, and now I think we'll go play ball. It's 24 Celsius today, and there aren't going to be too many more warm lovely days like this, so she's my excuse for reveling in it. It has nothing to do with not wanting to be in my house...nothing, honestly ;)


Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Cheryl!

....who doesn't read my blog, so I can post this even though she doesn't have it yet!
I haven't wrapped this, nor I have I made a card yet (eep!) but wanted to share this on Allison's Little Lovelies post. I have made a lot of these scarves, maybe 5 or 6 now, and I can't for the life of me remember where the pattern came from. I did alter the original, though.

This particular scarf is crocheted with a 4 mm hook, using 100% cotton yarn. It's the first time I've done something other than a dishcloth with this weight of cotton, and I found it rather unforgiving. The end result is still nice & soft & cuddly, but making it was a bit of a pain.

And, now for my goofy dog/model:

Look at those disbelieving eyebrows...'mom, do I have to?'

This is ridiculous. I demand treats.

Your idea of a treat displeases me. I hate your scarf.

Supplies: patterned paper from Bella Blvd;
butterfly stamp from Autumn Leaves;
watercoloured with Broken China distress ink;
rhinestone border strip from $store;
standard circle Nesties
And let's about a card to finish off? Ooh, lookie, it even goes with the scarf! {seal clapping} Apparently today is going to be a goofy one.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Give Thanks, Darnit!

It has not been a banner week around here, I've got to say. If I had to pick an overarching theme, it would be "what can go wrong, will." And then it will, again.

As only one example, the tired sad old car died. Kaput. Bought used Blazer, had it for two days, the brake line busted today.

That's it. No more venting. Instead, I want to give thanks. Thanks that my kids are healthy, and that Rob & I are still kicking. Thanks for the gorgeous weather we've had for the last few days. Thanks for the roof over our heads, food on our plates, and unconditional love from our pets.

And thanks to those of you who keep coming back - I can't even express how much it means to me that you come back to visit.

So, to go along with my thanks, some cards for Thanksgiving and autumn.

The illustrations are from a Sandra Boynton daytimer that I recycled.
Supplies are beyond my concentration level just now, but if you are wondering leave a comment & I can look it up for you.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Emily's Moving Challenge

Best intentions pave the road to you-know-where, right? I kept reminding myself to link up to Emily's Moving Challenge, and then I kept thinking "oh, but I have until the 22nd to link up..." and now it's the 20th. Yep. Well, I do tend to be a last-minute Lucy, so I guess two days before the deadline is actually early for me. 
And, one of these will be making its way to Emily's new house shortly...once I get her snail mail address. I'm not saying which one, so it'll be at least a little bit of a surprise! I think I know what I need to get for my next tattoo:

Yep, perfect. I think I also have the arm hair to pull off the look ;)

So, Emily provided us with a picture of her sweet new house for us to work with as inspiration:

Supplies: papers from AC 'Abode;"
outline 'congratulations' from Elizabeth Craft Designs
The focal house is cut from another section of the patterned paper

Supplies: Papers from Basic Grey 'Out of Print;'
House & rose border stickers from PSX;
congrats! stamp maker unknown; Memento Tuxedo Black ink;
Tiny Type letter stickers from Cosmo Cricket;
adhesive-backed cork; Spellbinders butterfly die;
standard oval Nesties

Supplies: papers from AC 'Abode;'
Congratulations stamp from Studio G;
Memento Tuxedo Black ink;
brown rhinestones
My inspiration was (I think obviously) simply the idea of moving into a new home. If I could go back, I would take off the Tiny Type stickers on the second card - but at the time it felt like there was too much space between the 'congrats!' and the rose border. Ah well. I think it's still my favourite :)

So, if you feel some last-minute inspiration, scoot over & link up to Emily's challenge!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Another poke at Moxie Fab's Garden Glory

The inspiration for the flower centre came from Sally, at Cinnamon Sally Designs, with her Trigger card. It never occurred to me to combine gems & pearls, and I simply loved the look! I found this card hard to photograph, but there are 2 shades of blue gems, green, and then light blue pearls here. I was mainly inspired by the colours of the Trigger photo, but I also used velvet paper as my cream mat, as a nod to the soft pillows.
Supplies: patterned papers from Basic Grey "Lauderdale;"
'wish' stamp from Studio G, stamped with Versamark
and heat embossed with Stampendous Pearlustre Sapphire EP;
cream velvet paper; Basic Grey letter stickers;
misc. gems & pearls; flower quilled by me

 (Moxie Fab World's Tuesday Trigger photo)
Today is the last day to upload for this challenge. I have really found it an inspiration this week - this was the second card I made, and I have two more!

Supplies: papers from Kaisercraft;
die cuts, vellum, and resin egg from K&Co;
sentiment stamp from Anna Griffin, stamped with Versamark
and embossed with Stampendous Pearlustre Sapphire EP

This second card is once again inspired by the colours of the Trigger photo, as well as the botanical theme.

And the 'last' one (I'm not promising, but it's the last one I've made so far!) is a combination of things. One of the blogs I follow is Heather at Parker & Molly, and the other day she posted some cards she'd submitted to PaperCrafts. They're all fantastic, but the idea behind the last one really caught my eye. If you didn't go look already, go look now. I'll wait.

OK? Awesome, right?
So, I decided to CASE Heather's card, something that I rarely do. This week I'm really finding inspiration everywhere - which is lovely! I used the idea of the alphabet 'hi', and the birdie, and the polka dot border translated into using a dotty border piece & embossing folder. I also tried to use {gasp!} white space. Whoa.

In addition, I used Lisa Arana's sketch #1 for my layout. And the Trigger inspired my colour choices.

The sketch, from Dahlhouse Designs:

Supplies: polka dot green paper, die cuts from Kaiser Craft;
owl foam sticker from Walmart kit;
alphabet stamps from Studio G;
Adirondack Citrus ink; Tumbled Glass distress ink;
Cuttlebug embossing folder
Well! I can't wait to show you the autumn-inspired things I've been making - I think this coming week is going to have lots to inspire me as well. The air is crisp, the leaves are just starting to turn....


Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Sketch Card? Craziness!

So, Lisa Arana over at dahlhouse designs posted a few sketches last week in an informal challenge, and I loved her card & wanted to play along. If you've never been over to her blog, get over there. I'll wait.

OK. Back? Awesome, right? Look at all the Unity yumminess! And she's a sweet commenter as well :)

So, I ended up printing out the sketches in a moment of insanity. I rarely attempt sketches, because I end up staring at all the parts for far too long, instead of just creating. But, I love Lisa's blog, and I thought the sketches were fun (and easy enough) to give it a shot. And I like what I made, though it's a bit busy because of the patterns I chose.

Here's the sketch I used:
...and my card:

Supplies: papers all from Echo Park;
sentiment from MFT; stamped with a Kaleidacolor pad;
sentiment flag from Martha Stewart;
little skunk from Walmart kit;
Stampendous Fun Flock (Cotton Ball);
Standard circle Nesties & circle punches
Playing with the Echo Park papers was a lot of fun - I think I punched circles out of nearly every pattern while trying to decide which ones to use! And that little skunk just begged to be made fuzzy. Even though everything on this card is adhered directly to the base it still has the feel of dimension thanks to all the different elements in the sketch. I still have both sketches pinned up at my desk to see if I can do the first sketch too. Head over & link up until September 22nd. Thanks, Lisa!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Have I mentioned I love Moxie Fab World?

Probably least not often enough. I was planning on putting up my most recent Tuesday Trigger card today, and then early this morning at oh dark thirty I was checking out my blog reader....and I won Market Street Stamps from last week's Stamp of Approval post! That was a really nice way to kick off the day - it didn't last, but it was a nice start :)

The sharp downturn came from Miss Abby - despite my best efforts (and those of the dog training books) she's remained a persistent tugger when walking. (I have my eye on a harness but I can't pick one up until later this week.) So, this morning, she actually yanked so hard on the darn leash that the material snapped. I'm amazed I didn't fall over. Then she ran around practically shouting "I'm free! I'm free!" while dashing into the road repeatedly & finally surrendering in beside someone's garage. All this was of course before we had gotten Connor down to the bus stop, so besides worry about the dog (and the adrenalin rush) I was still thinking about whether we'd get him to the bus stop in time. I'm definitely thankful that I was the one walking her when this happened - I wonder how Connor would have reacted had he been alone with her? Ugh.

Anyhow, on to the Garden Glory Tuesday Trigger, which is a two-week challenge this time around, giving those of us with procrastination problems an extra chance to play ;) Upload until Sunday, September 18.
Here's the Trigger photo:

...and here's a couple of shots of my card:
Supplies: paper from Basic Grey "Urban Prairie;"
peacock clip art from The Graphics Fairy;
real peacock feather;
sheer yellow/green and purple/blue ribbon from May Arts;
medallion button from K & Co;
background paper & clip art sponged with
Broken China & Peeled Paint distress ink

I was inspired primarily by the bright colours of the Trigger photo - and by this lovely peacock image I found at The Graphics Fairy when I went to search for a sailboat for a special order :) Then my eyes lit on the peacock feathers I've been hoarding since I brought them home from Vancouver, and wah-la. I took about 20 pictures trying to capture the shimmer of the feather, and finally realized that I wasn't going to be able to. It feels cheesy to say that this looks much better in person, but it totally does.

Now to zip around & leave some comments - my desk cleaning project is proceeding slowly, and I've been trying to get that done & spend less time at the computer. That won't last ;)


Friday, September 9, 2011

Nice & Neutral

I really tend to be drawn towards bright colours when I create. I love the look of kraft paper, but I never feel all that comfortable with my own designs using it. Here's a few neutral coloured projects out of my great big "stash" of unblogged cards:
Supplies: patterned kraft paper from Basic Grey;
sentiment sticker from SRM;
floral stamp from Stampendous,
stamped with Versamark & embossed with white EP;
(stamped on envelope with Palette Noir);
making memories black brads;
Labels 4 Nesties; black sharpie for borders

Supplies: patterned kraft paper from Basic Grey;
fairy image & flowers from Cicely Mary Barker book;
standard & lacey circle Nesties;
sentiment from Studio G;
Vintage Photo distress ink;
brown & cream pearls;
iridescent sparkle fabric paint (on fairy wings & flower centres)

Supplies: Paper from K&Co Mariposa Mat Stack;
bird clip art from Crafty Secrets;
'birthday wishes' sticker from SRM;
'hope this day...' sentiment from Kaisercraft,
stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black;
Tim Holtz distressing tool (bird panel)
Supplies: papers & edge stamps from Bo Bunny;
Old Paper distress ink;
sentiment from MFT; Vintage Photo distress ink;
brown brads from Making Memories;

Supplies: patterned kraft paper from Basic Grey;
stamps from Inkadinkado, Digital Princess, Studio G, Basic Grey;
Distress inks: Tumbled Glass, Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade,
Peeled Paint, Dusty Concord, Fired Brick;
Memento Tuxedo Black ink;
black Sharpie for border
My desk clean up hasn't gotten off the ground yet - and boy, it's bad. I've sat down to create a few times in the last couple days, and ended up taking some quilling supplies & sitting elsewhere. There's just too much piled up (and Sarah & Mom, I bet you're laughing right now...) For me to think there's too much clutter...yeah, it's bad. Maybe this weekend. Definitely before my new stuff arrives :)

School is starting out OK. Yesterday, day 3, we finally got the bus straightened out in both the morning & the afternoon. The timing is unfortunate - we leave at 7:55, Connor gets the bus at about 8:15, and then walk Riley to school - so Riley's reaaaallly early. Same thing after school - Riley's dismissed at 2:30, and Connor's bus doesn't arrive until about 3:10. Not enough time to go home in between, but a lot of just waiting around. We could request that Connor ride the special needs bus, and he would be picked up & dropped off right at home, but since he CAN ride the regular bus, we think he should. I wonder how I'll feel about that when it's
-30 C and I'm waiting around outside for several hours?


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

No ranting, I promise :)

Forgive Monday's rant - the beginning of school is a super-stressful time, and it seems to get worse every year. That said, yesterday did go more smoothly than anticipated. That was a nice surprise. We finally got bus information, so the next couple days will be a scramble while we try to organize ourselves to get out the door half an hour earlier than we've ever needed to before. Connor & I are definitely not 'move quick in the morning' people so this could be a challenge some days.

I thought I'd share the rest of last week's creations, starting with another special order for a special girl:
Supplies: paper from Echo Park;
bunnies & trees from Walmart kit;
"Beth" and number stickers from Basic Grey;
'happy birthday' with Cosmo Cricket tiny type;
MFT banner die (for sun rays); yellow glitter; yellow seed beeds;
Stampendous Fun Flock (cotton ball) for bunnies;
Martha Stewart fringe scissors; googly eyes

Supplies: papers (incl. speech bubble) from My Mind's Eye;
Watercoloured with distress inks;
Stampendous Fun Flock (Cotton Ball)
image cut & coloured twice, flower a third time & popped up on foam tape
digital image from Motivet

Supplies: rainbow paper from last week;
Martha Stewart butterfly punch, each edged with Sharpie;
black rhinestones;
stamps from Inkadinkado, Studio G, Autumn Leaves
Memento Tuxedo Black ink

Supplies: papers from My Mind's Eye;
sentiment stamp from Digital Princess,
stamped with Versamark & Faded Jeans distress ink, and embossed with clear EP;
tree stamp from Stampin' Up,
stamped with Vintage Photo, Peeled Paint, and Wild Honey distress inks;
random buttons from stash
That's the first time I've used multiple inks for this tree stamp, and I really love how it turned out. I think I'll have fun experimenting with more autumn colours. It's really time for me to do some sorting of my crap corner - rather than having piles of supplies for Christmas laying around for several months, I try to clean out a few drawers. I still end up with piles eventually, but at least I try to start out organized. I haven't done any sorting for quite a few months, so it could take a while. If I get really brave I might share before & after pictures.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Retail Therapy

A specially ordered card for a special little girl!
Supplies: Image from Mo Manning, Digital Pencil;
watercoloured with Distress inks;
letter stickers from Basic Grey;
Happy Birthday Outlines sticker

It's not nearly as gratifying as shopping in person, but I just placed a few orders yesterday for some Halloween and Christmas goodies. Now the stalking of the mailman! I can't remember if I mentioned it or not, but last week we went to visit Grammie in Miramichi. The boys had a great time hanging out in the pool and playing on the trampoline, and Abby had a great time with free run of the fenced-in backyard.

Riley and Connor, the unicorn.
I had an interesting experience as well. Rob's mom lives near the high school, which has an open parking lot perfect for driving practice. I've had a couple of parking lot lessons, but it's slow going as our car has a standard transmission. So, driving over to the high school was my first time practicing in reverse, and my first time driving on the road. On the way back, in a 30 km/hr school zone, a car came up behind me. I was driving at 25, so Rob hit the flashers so the other driver would realize I was going slow....and the guy PASSED ME, in a school zone, on a curve, with oncoming traffic he couldn't see until he pulled up beside me. I nearly had a heart attack. Back to the parking lot for a few more lessons, I think.

Oh wait, pictures of Abby the wonder pup!
But I want to go in the pool too!

Snuggling with Riley

Look at those fluttery eyelashes!
Training took a few steps backward last week, so I turned to the books once again for advice on housebreaking. The puppy pads are gone (she started going wherever she pleased) and now Abby is in the kitchen unless she's invited. Since we started that, she's now gone 4 days with no accidents in the house. With the pads she wasn't indicating that she needed to go out at all - she didn't have to. A few more weeks to see how well she's doing, and then a deep carpet clean is definitely in order.

Supplies: Image & sentiment from Mo Manning, Digital Pencil;
watercoloured with Distress inks;
star gem strip from $store;
mushrooms & flowers from Walmart kit;
Sakura Stardust pen - for mushrooms & 'wonderful days'
I love this image, drawn by Mo Manning, and it's fun to colour. I love playing with her hair colour, and dirtying up the knees of her sweet overalls. I printed the images out slightly larger than usual, and I found with the second card that I liked the simplicity of the white space.

School starts tomorrow. {Gulp!}
I am hoping for the best, but bracing for the worst. So far there seems to be confusion, a lack of planning, and a lack of information sharing. Connor is supposed to be taking the bus to a new school - but the website has no information on bus stops or times, and after repeated phone calls even the transportation supervisor said he wouldn't know until Tuesday. Seriously? I can understand juggling the times, but you can't even tell us WHERE he's supposed to get on the bus? And the school itself couldn't (or wouldn't) tell us who Connor's homeroom teacher would be, or the names of any children in his class, apparently because even on Friday they hadn't yet finalized the class lists. So, with no aide, a massively anxious autistic child has to sit in the gym with 2-300 other nervous kids & listen for his name to be called, and that's how he's going to meet his teacher for the first time. What could possibly go wrong?

And Riley...I must say that I'm quite glad this is his last year in elementary school. The current administration seems to believe that information is a precious commodity, and that as parents we shouldn't have access to any of it. Riley will not have an aide this year, something I'd speculated about based on the number of layoffs last June. However, no one has officially told us. Part of me wants to wait and see how long it takes for us to be notified. Then again, last March or so both boys had their part-time aides switched, and we have yet to be officially informed of that.

It's beyond frustrating to have to fight every single year for services, only to lose them without notice. Both boys may very well surprise me and adjust perfectly - but chances are, just like the last several years, September will bring regression, aggression, and lots of tears and anxiety. We're already experiencing all of those. We almost lost our respite funding this year as well, because the boys aren't considered intellectually disabled. As it is, it's been reduced by 20%. What it feels like, is that we are losing resources because the boys are beginning to succeed. If they had a reduced curriculum, they would qualify for more help. The problem is, I can't make up for the deficits they have at home anymore. Speech therapy, occupational therapy, we've done that and continue to. I can't go into the classroom with them and ensure that they are able to do the work. I can't  regurgitate the entire curriculum for them at home to give them the one-on-one instruction they often need, and I can't expect that a teacher with a full classroom can take the time to do that either.

You know, I just thought of the perfect ending here - regardless of the song's actual meaning, the title works. "Wake Me Up When September Ends."