Monday, May 30, 2011

You Rock!

Making cards for teenagers is another challenge (maybe even more difficult than masculine cards.) The card has to be cool, not geared toward someone too young, and suited to the taste of the recipient.

My beautiful step daughter Nicole was just promoted to 9th grade and Jay and my MIL drove across Kansas to be there. Kendall and I had to stay back (boo!) because Kendall had finals and we had to go to Learning RX every night. The weather was absolutey awful during their trip (downpours, hail, tornado warnings....) but they made it and were able to be there to support Nicole and made it home safely. It meant so much to Nicole to have them there, which totally made it worth it and they created lasting memories.

Here's the card I made for her. I used this adorable Grunge stamp set I recently purchased from Papertrey Ink. It was my first PTI stamp set and the quality is incredible! I absolutely love everything from them that I have purchased (I am already hooked on their ribbon and CS) and love the versatility of their stamp sets. As soon as I saw the Grunge stamp set, I knew I had to purchase it to make cards for the girls. Nicole's favorite color combination is black and pink, so I just did a single layer card and played with the stamps. I added a few nail heads for a little added interest. I think the card is fun and cool and perfect for our little (big) graduate!

Card Base - The Paper Co.
Ink - Stampin' Up!
Stamps - Papertrey Ink
Nail Heads - Mark Richards

Masculine Card Idea

Why is that masculine cards are so difficult to design? Perhaps it's because of the abundance of floral patterned paper and gorgeous ribbon, elegant Prima flowers, and cutesy stamps? Sure you can make a masculine card out of some plaid paper (yawn) or just use some cardstock and a sentiment, but men deserve a card that required creativity as much as ladies do! I have had quite a few occassions recently where I needed a masculine card, so I have been flexing my creative muscles.

I made this card for my brother's birthday. He is not an army guy (although this card would be great for one!) but I wanted to make a masculine card for him and when I spotted this camouflage design in my Stars and Stripes Cricut cartridge, the idea struck me.

I started with some Sahara Sand cardstock from Stampin' Up! and then sponged on some Vintage Photo Distress ink to give it a dirty, sandy look. Then I cut the Camouflage pieces out of Always Artichoke cardstock from Stampin' Up! and then sponged the edges.

The dog tag was cut using the same cartridge, also out of Sahara Sand cardstock. After I cut the piece out, I used some Chocolate paint from a Ranger Spone Dauber and painted the entire piece, including the chain. Then I sprayed it with Caramel Apple Tattered Angels glimmer mist to give it a metalic look. The initials came from a sticker sheet from Basic Grey (Ambrosia collection.) They were a light cream color that almost had a pink tint to it, which obviously would not work on this macho card, so I painted them with some more Ranger paint using a paintbrush. I wanted them to have a bit of sparkle as well, so I painted them with some bronze Perfect Pearls. I was happy with the final results and will be playing with the images on this cartridge again soon!


Cardstock - Stampin' Up!
Cricut Cartridge - Stars & Stripes
Paint - Ranger Industries
Glimmer Mist - Tattered Angels
Perfect Pearls - Ranger Industries
Stickers - Basic Grey
Ink - Ranger Industries

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Life is Good

I made this card several months ago for my brother-in-law. I always have a heck of a time coming up with designs for masculine cards, but Graphic 45 to the rescue!!!! Who doesn't love the gorgeous designs by Graphic 45? Each sheet of paper is a complete work of art and one of my favorite collections is A Proper Gentleman. It is a classic collection reminiscent of days when men wore top hats and opened doors and treated women like true ladies. I love how far women have come in the work place and the opportunities we now have, but I do miss the days when men would stand up when a woman got up to go to the restroom (my husband still does that, by the way) and would hold doors open and take the hand of a lady when walking in the rain. This collection reminds me of those days.

I also love the pocket watches! When my husband and I got married, we got pocket watches for our best man and groomsan, which happened to be my father-in-law and brother-in-law. My father-in-law passed away 4 years ago and we miss him every day, but whenever I see a pocket watch, I think of him and my heart sings.

Patterned Paper - Graphic 45
Stamps - Stamper's Anonymous, Verve Stamps
Ink - Ranger Industries, Stampin' Up!
Hardware - Tim Holtz
Nestabilities Dies
Embossing Powder - Ranger Industries

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bare Essentials

I have been battling a rash around my eyes since sometime in November. I had never experienced anything like it in my life. I hadn't changed skincare products, had not used new make-up, didn't change linens or laundry detergent, hadn't changed my diet....nothing had changed yet I had this inexplicable rash around my eyes. I went to my PCP and he prescribed some hydracortizone cream and told me to apply it twice a day. The rash redness and swelling would lessen, but the rash would never go away entirely. After several months the rash was still present and the flare-ups got worse. I called my PCP and he was booked solid, so he sent me to urgent care. I saw a MD there and he prescribed steroids and antibiotics. I took everything as prescribed and the symptoms lessened again, but then they came back worse than ever. After several weeks and lots of experimentation (stopped wearing make-up entirely, switched to all natural face wash, eye cream, eye make-up remover, changed the sheets on the bed from the flannel winter sheets to the cotton summer sheets, stopped washing my face with Dove in the shower....everything I could think of), I was beyond frustrated and discouraged. I was tired of having swollen skin around my eyes, tired of not being able to wear eye make-up, tired of not feeling beautiful. I had lost 15 pounds and fitting into my skinny jeans, but my eyes (my best feature) looked horrible. I called my PCP again and he gave me a referral to see a dermotologist. He sat down, asked me questions, talked to me, and made me feel important to him. I am not used to that treatment from Tricare doctors, but this doctor was special. After our conversation, he diagnosed me with a rare form of rosacea that normally affects the area around the mouth. I read the symptoms on the pamphlet he gave me and was confident he was right. He prescribed some medication and cream (non steroid cream) and now 3 weeks later it is almost completely gone and I have not had one flare-up. I go back to see him in a week and to give him a big hug!!!!

Along my journey to solve the problem on my own, I decided to try some all natural face care products. Perfume free, chemical free, gentle products that my sensitive, difficult skin would agree with. I decided to try the Bare Minerals skincare line. My dear friend Kim swore by it and I have heard nothing but positive reviews from friends and family using any Bare Minerals products.

Initially I thought it was just ok. The cleanser lathers real well and you only have to use a drop, but the moisturizer didn't feel like it was going to keep my skin from drying out. Well, after a couple of weeks I understand why Kim loves these products so much. My skin looks younger. It is softer, it is smoother, it is even toned and it feels clean all the time. I still haven't worn foundation since January (I had stopped to try to help my eyes heal) and now I don't even need it. I wear a little bit of powder and some blush and my skin looks fantastic. The products are a little more expensive than the OTC Oil of Olay products I was using, but they are well worth it. The cleanser will last forever because you have to use such a small amount, but I am going through the moisturizer quite rapidly. I use two pumps in the morning and two pumps in the evening. Living in Colorado requires me to use extra moisturizer on my skin but that is the case no matter what product I use.

I am not here to endorse products, but when I find something I especially like, I want to share it with others. And this is a skincare line that has made a huge difference in my skin. I am 40 years old and my skin doesn't look a day over 30. Part of that is genetics and sunscreen, but I honestly have noticed a huge difference since switching to Bare Minerals.

I hope you will give them a try!

Verve Sketch 04-11

I recently discovered the talented Shannan Tuebner's blog and fell in love with this sketch I have been anxious to try making a card with sun rays but just wasn't sure what dimensions to use on the scraps and found the entire process rather intimidating until I saw Shannan's tutorial. She broke it down and used photos and descriptions to take the intimidation out of the process.

I made some Mother's Day cards and absolutely love how they turned out. I normally make a different design for each card for Mother's Day and Father's Day, but this year since our schedules are so tight, I didn't have the luxury of time to work with 3 different designs, so I made 3 identical cards using this sketch. The cards were still made with my hands and came from my heart and my Mom, Mother-in-Law and Step Mom all loved them.

I used this gorgeous paper from Stampin' Up! which has the most vibrant, lovely green hues which are complimented with some purple accents that make such a rich, elegant combination.

I also stamped some roses using a stamp set from My Mind's Eye and Versamark ink, to add some interest in the left corner panel for just the right touch!

Patterned Paper - Stampin' Up!
Cardstock - Stampin' Up!
Stamps - My Mind's Eye (Image), Stampin' Up! (Sentiment)
Ink - Stampin' Up!, Versamark
Ribbon - Papertrey Ink
Border Punch - Stampin' Up!
Nestabilities Dies

Jen's Sketch Challenge 05-11

I'm a little late to the game on this month's SFYTT by Jen Del Muro (Blogger is acting up....still and won't let me post links), but you still have a few days to play! Remember if you participate in the sketch challenge every month, not only do you have a chance to win the monthly prize (providing you use the sponsor's stamps), but you will have the opportunity to win a fantastic prize package at the end of the year. Go to Jen's blog for more details.

For this month's challenge, I made a card for a very crafty friend at work. It is always more challenging to make cards for crafty friends than it is non crafty friends because the non crafty friends are impressed no matter what you do and the crafty friends will always be supportive, but you know that they are noticing the details so you are extra conscious of any mistakes you have made.

I used the lovely (and I DO MEAN LOVELY) Stella and Rose collection from My Mind's Eye. I am seriously in love with this paper and have purchased two different 6x6 pads and may end up purchasing all 4 in time because it is just so gorgeous and the quality of My Mind's Eye papers in unmatched.

Since this sketch has a lot of layers I used plenty of layers, but I also created extra layers by placing cardstock behind the patterned paper and sponged the edges of each layer for additional interest.

The butterfly stamp is one of my favorites from Unity and one that I had never used for some crazy reason! I think I got it so long ago that I kind of forgot about it. I know this never happens to you, so please don't judge me :).

I finished off the card with some MME buttons, which are just so vibrant I couldn't help myself.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy and go and play along if you haven't already!

Patterned Paper - My Mind's Eye

Cardstock - The Paper Co, Papertrey Ink, Stampin' Up!
Ink - Clearsnap, Ranger Industries, Papertrey Ink
Stamps - Unity (Image), Hero Arts (Sentiment)
Buttons - My Mind's Eye
Nestabilities Dies

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Sam!

My sweet, wonderful, amazing nephew turned 8 this month. Sam has the biggest heart and always makes me smile. He's extremely athletic and loves and adores his family. He has a great deal of wisdom and has the most tender heart. He makes my heart sing and I just adore him.
Since Sam is all boy, I made this cute little rocket card for him. I had fun playing with the layers and think the faux stitching all around the card really made the elements stand out. Incidentally, my rocket scientist husband was nuts about this card....note to self, make hubby a rocket ship card for his birthday next year. Or perhaps Father's Day!

Cardstock - Stampin' Up!, Bazzil Basics
Patterned Paper - Scraps from scrap drawer (Sorry, not sure of the brand name)
Ribbon - Stampin' Up!
Cricut Cartridge - Just Because Cards
Pens - Zig Marker, Signo Broad Gel Pen

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Special Card - Special Lady

Kendall has been going through Learning RX since October now. I will have to do a separate post all about Learning RX, because it is really worth of its own post entirely. While you are waiting, you can go to to learn more. For some reason, the link function in Blogger is not working for me right now, so you will just need to copy and paste the address. The program has been life changing in so many ways!

Kendall's trainer Katie has been a gift from God. We originally heard about Learning RX from my friend Carrie at work. Carrie's son Kyle went through the program and she told us about it and we went and had Kendall tested and once we decided to move forward, they assigned a trainer for Kendall. As it turns out, Katie was Kyle's trainer also and she is absolutely amazing. She is so kind and patient and amazing at what she does. She is a Christian with a beautiful spirit. We just fell in love with her.

A little birdie (Carrie) told me that it was Katie's birthday, so I made this card for her and we bought her a Barnes and Noble gift card. Katie is an avid reader (also a reading major in college) and belongs to a book club so we knew that would be the perfect gift for her.

She was so grateful for the small gift and card. We are SO grateful for her, it felt good to do something special for her to let her know how very much she is appreciated.

Patterned Paper - My Mind's Eye
Cardstock - Stampin' Up!, Papertrey Ink
Stamps - My Mind's Eye (Image), Hero Arts (Sentiment)
Ink - Stampin' Up!, Papertrey Ink
Cricut Cartridge - From the Nest
Ribbon - American Crafts
Pearls - Basic Grey


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