Monday, November 29, 2010

Life is Good!

Yes, it is! I'm in a really good mood right now. I think my trip "home" to Mississippi to visit my family was just what I needed. Suddenly, I feel revived and hopeful and excited again... something I haven't felt in the past couple of years. It's awesome!

Plus, it's time for another fun challenge at Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps!

You all remember Central Perk, right? The hang-out on the tv show Friends? I wonder how much they had to do with the Starbucks craze. (*grin*)

I thought the patterned papers from the Max & Whiskers collection by Basic Grey captured the colors of the inspiration piece perfectly! Street Corner Josh definitely looks like he's enjoying life as he sips his coffee... this time, I'm thinking it's a Gingerbread Latte. Have you tried one? Mmmmm!!!

Please do come along and play with us this week! You'll definitely be inspired when you see what the rest of the design team have created!

Mercy Kerin (Guest Designer) 
and Sparkle herself!

Thanks so much for stopping by! I'll be back soon with some pix from my vacation!

P.S. The sketch is Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge #94.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Hello my friends! Have you missed me? Paul and the boys and I spent the Thanksgiving holidays with my family in Mississippi. It had been 7 years since our last visit; much too long. We had the BEST time. I will write more about that later and share a few pictures. For now, it's time for the Stampin' Sisters in Christ Challenge.

I am honored to be the challenge hostess this week. I chose the scripture Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." The challenge is to make a card/project of encouragement or congratulations.

I've noticed that lately there are a lot of people facing extreme challenges in their lives; health problems, the passing of loved ones, loss of employment, family crisis. Actually, it's not just lately, but always. We are regularly asked for prayers, and are more than willing to oblige, but it can become a bit overwhelming, can't it? We feel empathy and heartache. We realize that "but for the grace of God, there go I." In the most extreme cases, we re-examine our own lives and pledge to be more grateful and treasure every moment.

And, of course, we have lots of prayers of our own.

But here's what Paul said to the Phillipians: "...I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength." Phillipians 4:11-13

This is the peace that passes all understanding. By the grace of God we are saved. By the blood of Christ we are redeemed. By believing in Him we will have everlasting life (John 3:16). By clinging to God's promises -- having faith in His word -- we can get through anything that life throws our way.

"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26 That is my prayer for each of you!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a blessed day!

About my card: cardstock and greeting by Papertrey Ink; background paper and chipboard from the Curio collection by Basic Grey; brown Candy Dots.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Yes indeed, TGIF!!! Why? Because we're back with another Taylored Expressions Sketch Challenge!!

I love this sketch, don't you? I couldn't resist pulling out my November Taylored Expressions Key Ingredients Kit. I'm in love with Modern Homemaker by October Afternoon, which is part of this month's kit, AND the new What's Cookin'  stamp set and coordinating dies! Everything except the buttons was in the kit, so my card came together quickly and easily. I love it!

Why don't you come along and play with us this week? You know you want to! Especially once you see what the rest of the Sketch Crew has created:

Alice Wertz: Alice's Little Wonderland
Jami Sibley: More is More
Lori Craig: Make a Difference
Melissa Sauls: In Stamping Mode 
Monika Davis: M.A.D. Stamper
Rachel  Sztonyk: Gingerbread Gallery
Sherrie Siemens: Card Creme 
and of course Taylor herself: Taylored Expressions

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a fabby day!!!

Note: This is my second post for today. Please scroll down for my La-La Land Crafts post and announcement. Thanks!

Enabler Alert * Enabler Alert * Enabler Alert!!!

Nov. 19th only!!  20% off on all Marci, Luka and panda rubber stamps.  Digis are excluded.

Woo hoo!!! Now's your chance to grab your first (or second, third, fourth...) Marci and Luka rubber stamps at La-La Land Crafts! But you'd better hurry! The sale lasts only one day... today... Friday, November 19th!!!

What's on SALE? 
- ALL Marci Stamps
- All Luka Stamps
- Panda stamp
- Super Hero Window Stamp Set
- Tuffy Stamp Set

* digis exluded

- no coupons or special codes needed!! 
- your 20% OFF Discount will be automatically applied in the Shopping Cart!!

How can you resist these cuties? I know I can't. I love coloring them up, and all I want to do is pinch their cute little cheeks!

I'm sharing a card today featuring Fancy Marci that is currently only available as a digi, although rubber is on its way.

Isn't she adorable? And you can also get Formal Luka in digi. He's a cutie, too!

I paired Fancy Marci with patterned paper and ribbon (the pom poms) from the Dear Lizzy collection by American Crafts. The pearls are from Kaisercraft and the flower is something I found in my stash. I hope you likey!

Now off you go to shop shop shop! Enjoy!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Taylored Expressions Blast From The Past Blog Hop!

Hey everyone! It's time once again to show our "older" Taylored Expressions stamp sets some love!!! The creative focus this month is Autumn/Thankful.

Once again the incredibly talented Sankari Wegman has created a wonderful sketch for us. I decided to lean a little more towards the "thankful" side of this month's theme for my card. Of course this time of year is when all the seasonal flavors come out at Starbucks, and all I can say is YUMMO!!! Have you tried the Gingerbread Latte? How about Peppermint Mocha? I can't decide which I love more. And then there's Egg Nog... hmmmmm....

But I digress! My card features images from both the Take Note and Let's Do Coffee stamp sets. I used cardstock, patterned paper and ribbon (red rick-rack) from the November Taylored Expressions Key Ingredients kit. You KNOW I love my KI kits! I also used a couple of Black Candy Dots on the label, and covered the coffee cups with Glossy Accents to make them look more like real ceramic. Some black zig zag stitching and voila!

You can join us next time! Just lick the blinkie on the left to find out how! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Friends of Waltzingmouse Stamps Blog Waltz

Welcome to the November Friends of Waltzingmouse Stamps Blog Waltz! The fun starts in the Waltzingmouse Stamps forum, where you'll find all the links to the blogs participating in the waltz. Be sure to play along in our game for a chance to win a stamp set of choice! The details are in the Chat thread. If you aren't already registered in our forum, it's just a couple of quick questions and clicks away!

Our theme this month is Christmas! I whipped up a quick card using the new Vintage Ornaments stamp set released this month. The patterned paper is by Crate Paper on a Kraft cardstock base. I stamped the background panel with a wee star from the Compliments of the Season stamp set in Tim Holtz Walnut Stain distress ink. I used the same ink to sponge around the edge of the "pink" panel (cut with a Spellbinders Labels Eight die) and ornament die cut, and to stamp the word "Joy."

For the ornament, I used my Juniper Adirondack Acrylic Paint dabber to apply paint to the stamp...brushing it across the stamp to give it texture...before cutting it out with the coordinating Spellbinders Heirloom Ornaments die. A bit of twine for the bow, and voila!

The sketch is FTL116 from Clean and Simple Stamping.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Now on you go to enjoy the rest of the waltz!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sweet Cupcake Ruby

Hey everyone! It's time for another fun challenge at Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps!!

Giving thanks. Always a winner! And what's even more fun is that SCRS is sponsoring Tuesday Morning Sketches this week, and the challenge is to use cupcakes on your card! The prize up for grabs is adorable Cupcake Ruby, who is featured on my card today.

My mojo felt a bit flat when I sat down to make my card, so I did the sure-fire thing...looked around for a great sketch to get me going. I found one over at Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge.

I paired Cupcake Ruby with patterned paper and a felt flower from the Marjolaine collection by Basic Grey. The greeting is by SRM.

Why not come along and play with us this week at Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps? You can always use one more thank-you card, and you might just win a prize! And if you combine it with cupcakes, you can also play in the Tuesday Morning Sketches challenge for a chance to win Cupcake Ruby!

For more inspiration, please visit the rest of the SCRS design team ladies:

Mercy Kerin (Guest Designer) 
and Sparkle herself!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a sparkly fun day!

Taylored Expressions November Key Ingrediens Kit Challenge!

What a wonderful way to start the week!!! Today Taylored Expressions ships the November Key Ingredients Kit to all subscribers and it is definitely one of my all-time faves!!! I am head-over-heels in LOVE with October Afternoon's Modern Homemaker patterned paper!!! And, of course, Taylor adds the perfectly coordinating cardstock, ribbon and embellies so that your papercrafting projects come together in a snap!

The November Key Ingredients Challenge: There's a modern homemaker in all of us, right? For our challenge this month, create something to spice up your kitchen, or anything featuring kitchen icons or food (food stamp images or real food!).

Haha, this is a funny challenge for me, who is NOT what you'd call a culinary queen. In fact, my husband does most of the cooking. I'm the one who makes reservations or phones in the take-out! lol But I've made a couple of things that I actually find handy in the kitchen. The first is a notepad! I need these to make shopping and honey-do lists!

My projects were made using the goodies in the November Key Ingredients Kit. The notepad is actually half of a standard paper pad, which Staples was happy to cut in two for me. I used cardstock to make the cover, which required a bit of scoring and piecing at the top since the pad is a bit taller that 11" and I wanted to completely cover the top, going over the edge and a few inches down on the back. The cardstock is scored just above the red rick-rack at the top so that the cover lifts easily in order to write on the paper inside.

The apron is from the brand new What's Cookin' stamp set (which I LOVE!)... I stamped it on Choice Buttercream cardstock, and then again on two different patterns of  Modern Homemaker to paper piece the image. I die cut the apron using the Apron & Pocket Dies (which I also LOVE, along with the coordinating Kitchen Accessores dies).

 The oven mitt is one of the many adorable chipboard pieces that come with the kit. I covered the chipboard with matching paper, sanded and inked around the edges.

Speaking of which, if you haven't discovered this already, the very best way to get a really finished look when you cover chipboard with patterned paper is to sand a bit after gluing the paper to the chipboard. The very best way I've found to do this is with the Precision File Set. I've had my set for years and can't do without it! It comes with very narrow files (including one that is circular) which allow you to get into the smallest nooks and crevices of your chipboard piece, such as the measuring cup in my next project.

Yep, I made a Cook-Book-Mark! I'm showing it off with one of my treasures, a first edition copy of Pillsbury's Best of the Bake-off Collection published in 1959. My mother handed this down to me, so it is extra special. Some of the patterned paper in October Afternoon's Modern Homemaker collection reminds me of the typeface in this cookbook, which you can see here.

I've marked the page of one of my all-time favorite cookie recipes... Peanut Blossoms. I'm thinking this must have been the origination of that now famous recipe entered in the Pillsbury Bake-Off more than 50 years ago.

As you can see, I used one of the "cookbook page" patterns, which I adhered to a piece of the Blossom cardstock, and then finished each edge at the top and bottom with some of the yellow ribbon in the kit. I stamped images from What's Cookin' in black ink right onto the patterned paper. After inking around the edges in brown, I slipped the bookmark into a plastic protective sleeve I found in my stash.

I covered three chipboard pieces (chef's hat, rolling pin and measuring cup) in Blossom cardstock on the backs and patterned paper on the front, then sanded and sponged with brown ink before punching a hole in each with my Crop-A-Dile. I threaded the finished pieces onto ribbon from the kit, tied them together in a knot at the top of the bookmark sleeve, and voila!

Taylor has once again compiled all of the Design Team (and her own) cards/projects into a handy guide with step-by-step instructions on how to recreate them yourself, which will be a FREE download for all Key Ingredients Subscribers! Woo hoo!!! If you weren't already a subscriber, now's the time! You won't be able to resist once you see all the "kitchen" goodness made by these amazing ladies:

Melody Rupple: A Paper Melody
Jen Tapler: Jen Tapler Designs
Lynn Put: The Queen's Scene
Jessica Diedrich: Yeah, She Stamps
Rosie Hughes: Love my Craft Room
and, of course, Taylor herself: Taylored Expressions

Don't forget...whenever you need some inspiration or just want to stroll through some gorgeous eye candy, it's just a click away in the Key Ingredients Gallery!

Have a wonderful day, my friends!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps November Release!

Woo Hoo! It's new release day at Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps!!! Sparkle is releasing two ADORABLE stamps this month... Street Corner Josh (which we showcased for you yesterday) and Cafe Lucy, who we present today!!!

SCRS is sponsoring Jen del Muro's Sketch for You to Try (SFYTT) this week, and we're all using the sketch today. Isn't it yummy? You must come and play... there's a chance to win Rin and Snowman and Holiday Emily, two of my faves!

I paired Cafe Lucy with DP from the new Homemaker collection by October Afternoon... love love love!!!

I won't keep you long because I know you want to sail around and see all the goodness featuring Cafe Lucy from these lovely ladies. Just be sure to leave a comment at each stop for a chance to win Cafe Lucy for your very own!

I hope your weekend sparkles with delight!

A Little Christmas Tag For You!

Happy Friday afternoon! I only have a few minutes, as I'm in a bit of a rush today, but I wanted to pop in to share this little (actually, rather large) Christmas tag I made today featuring Marci's Panda from La-La Land Crafts. I've been experimenting with distress techniques... and this is the result of a major do-over! LOL

I guess I need more practice with some techniques I've been watching on video. Several attempts went right into the round bin. After running out of time, I finally resorted to the tried and true. Works every time! But I'm determined to master those other techniques, so stay tuned!!!

The DP is from the Jovial collection by Basic Grey, all mounted to a big manilla tag. I did do some distressing by sponging around the edges with Tim Holtz Walnut Stain distress ink. The tree is cut from a Sizzix die. It's hard to see, but I cut the tree topper from some gold glitter paper. The poinsettias are by Prima.

I paper pieced Panda's vest and added a little gold bow for good measure. Isn't he cute? He's waiting to go home with you, along with new Fancy Marci and Formal Luka, who were just released today in digi... but only for a short time! The rubber is on its way!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a la la lovely day!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps November Release!

Hey y'all! It's that wonderful time of the month again (*grin*), time for a new release at Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps!!!

This month we have TWO new very cool stamps to share with you! Today we're showcasing Street Corner Josh. He's chillin' with his coffee (I'm guessing it's a Pumpkin Spice Latte!) and tunes while he waits for the bus in the big city. Isn't he great? I already have more ideas about how to use him and can't wait to give them a try!

Today, I paired him with DP from the Wander collection by Basic Grey, which BTW I love love love! It's perfect for Street Corner Josh.

For a chance to win this cutie, you'll want to hop around to all the blogs and leave comments along the way. You have until midnight Eastern Friday night. The winner will be announced Saturday on the Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps blog. Good luck and have fun!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps Birthday Blog Hop!

Edited to add: The winner of my blog candy... Cocoa's Pumpkin digi image... is Anita! Congratulations Anita! I've emailed the image to you! Enjoy! And thanks to all of you for stopping by and leaving such sweet comments. You made my day!

Happy Birthday Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps!!!
Smiley from

Three years ago today, Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps opened for business with just four clear stamp sets sold on a simple blog. Today, they offer more than 100 clear stamp sets and 100's of digital stamps!!! Congratulations Korin!!!

Korin invited her past design team members to join in the celebration, and I was only too happy to oblige. Korin gave me my start in the wonderful world of Design Team work. I'll be forever grateful to her for giving me the chance, and I'll never forget how happy I was when she called me... it was a dream come true!

The fun starts at the Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps blog.  You'll definitely want to begin there and follow along because EVERY single blog in the hop is giving away a prize! You'll also find the complete link list there in case of a break along the way.

So let's get started!

My card features two digi images... Cocoa's Pumpkin and Pumpkin Patch. I used my photo editing software to combine the two.

I thought this was the perfect opportunity to play in The Sweet Stop sketch challenge! Korin offers a fabulous new sketch challenge every Saturday.

I paired Cocoa with DP from the Apple Cider collection by Imaginisce. The greeting is by SRM.

The prize I'm offering today is the Cocoa's Pumpkin digi stamp! All you have to do for a chance to win is leave a comment on this post and I'll draw a winner on Friday, November 12th at noon Pacific time. How does that sound?

The next stop on the hop is Melanie's blog. Enjoy!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Merry Christmas To You!

Hey everyone! Time for another FUN challenge at Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps!!!

What a perfect challenge for this time of year... Gift Cards seem to be a winner every time if you're not quite sure what to buy someone for Christmas!!! So why not make a special holder for them to make the gift more personal?

I decided to try the Pop-Up Look Here die by Sizzix for Stampin Up! (Thanks Alicia for the loaner!) It did take me a couple of tries before I got it right, and I still managed to adhere the pop-up a little too tightly, but I think it turned out kinda fun! I also used SU's Candy Cane Christmas paper that I like so well.

Holiday Emily is featured on the front of my gift card holder. I think she's just the cutest thing with her big ole candy cane and bell. The die cuts on the front and on each side of the interior greeting are by K&Company. The greeting is by SRM.

Why don't you come on over and join us in the challenge this week? I'd love to see your favorite gift card holder technique. Plus, if you use a Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamp image, you might win a free stamp!

For lots of inspiration, check out what Sparkle and the gang have created:

Mercy Kerin (Guest Designer) 
and Sparkle herself!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope your day sparkles!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Waltzingmouse Stamps November Release Blog Waltz!

Hurray, the day is finally here! Waltzingmouse Stamps is releasing FOUR incredible new stamp sets (Vintage Ornaments, Festive Foliage, Around Christmastime, and 'Twas the Night Before Christmas) which Claire and the design team have been previewing for the past few days!!!

To celebrate, we're having a blog waltz. The fun starts at Claire's blog, so you'll want to begin there and follow along for some amazing eye candy and chances to win a prize! Two lucky people will win a stamp set of choice... one from all comments left on Claire's blog waltz post, and one from all the comments left on one of the Design Team blogs. The competition runs until 11:59 pm Eastern on Tuesday, November 9th, so you have plenty of time to make the rounds. ;)

My card features images from Around Christmastime.I decided to go with the heart theme. :) I stamped the small heart image a few times on the background paper using Tim Holtz Old Paper Distress Ink and then sponged around the edges, first with Tumbled Glass and then with Walnut Stain. The snowman is a Tim Holtz die for Sizzix called Winter Wonder. Since my paper has some faded music notes in the background, I decided to add more to the snowman with Musical Backgrounds, again stamped in Old Paper distress ink. The snowman is likewise sponged with Tumbled Glass and Walnut Stain, and then rimmed with some course glitter.

The rosette is made from another Tim Holtz die. This time, I put the LOVE circle from Around Christmastime (stamped in Barn Red) in the middle after first edging the rosette with course glitter. Voila!

I must say, I'm enjoying using Tim Holtz stuff these days. :) And why not? They coordinate perfectly with so many of Claire's images!

Your next stop is the amazing Anya's blog! Before you go, don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a stamp set of choice! Besides, I LOVE hearing from you! :)


P.S. Don't forget to join us for the Friends of Waltzingmouse Stamps Blog Waltz on November 17th. The theme is Christmas!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fa la la!

Happy Saturday! Time for another incredible sketch challenge at Sketch Saturday!!

I flipped the sketch on its side for my card. I love that you can do that with sketches... it gives you so many options.

My card features Rio Trimming the Tree, one of the six new Christmas My Kids Emo World stamps released yesterday at Simply Betty Stamps. I must say these Christmas Emos might be my favorites so far!

I paired Rio with DP and coordinating chipboard from the Jovial collection by Basic Grey. I sponged around all the edges with Tim Holtz Walnut Stain Distress Ink. The rhinestones are by Kaisercraft.

Be sure to stop by the Sketch Saturday blog to see what the rest of the design ladies have created using this sketch. You will be delighted and inspired! It's such a great sketch, I plan to use it again myself!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Note, this is my second post for today. Please scroll down for Waltzingmouse Stamps November New Release Previews - Day 3. Thanks!

Waltzingmouse Stamps November New Release Previews - Day 3

Are you having fun seeing all the peeks of the four new stamp sets being released tomorrow by Waltzingmouse Stamps? I do believe Claire has outdone herself once again!

Today I'm showcasing Vintage Ornaments. I thought it was perfect for this week's sketch at Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge.

I just realized that it doesn't really look like a sketch, does it? But it is! And it's subject to lots of interpretation. Why don't you join us this week and give it a try? I'd love to see what YOU create!

I stamped the ornaments using Claire's trick of first inking the stamp with Versamark and then with ink (in this case, Tim Holtz Barn Red Distress Ink and PTI's Aqua Mist hybrid ink) and then clear heat embossing. Mine don't look quite as smooth and rich as Claire's, but I didn't prime the stamps first. (By that I mean that solid acrylic stamps usually need to be stamped several times before they start showing a true solid image. I did, however, buff them a bit first with a nail file... the type that has varying degrees of roughness for everything from shaping to buffing your nails. This removes the factory residue from the stamp and gives it a bit of tooth so that it will pick up the ink better.) But I like the variation in color, so it didn't matter.

I then cut out the ornaments using my Spellbinders Heirloom Ornament dies. I just love those dies, and Claire is brilliant to have made such fabulous stamps to coordinate with them! The center of the center ornament in my card is the same size as one of the Spellbinders Classic Ovals Large Nestabilities, so I cut one out for the greeting and adhered it with pop dots to give the ornament a bit more depth.

The DP is from the I Believe collection by My Mind's Eye. I punched holes in the tops of each ornament and tied them with some Fun Fur yarn. I love the fuzzy effect. :)

Only one more day until you can fill your cart with these new stamp sets! We'll be back tomorrow for the new release blog waltz starting at 11:00 am Pacific (7:00 pm GMT). In the meantime, you'll definitely want to nip over to see what amazing things Claire and the rest of the Design Team ladies have cooked up for you today.

See you tomorrow!