Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Cards for the Troops

Some friends and I are supporting our Troops stationed overseas through a card drive. You can find the details Here.

And a friend of mine, Dawn creates awesome digi-stamps which she makes available on her blog, for FREE!

It was a perfect match to use Dawn's stamp on my cards for the Troops. These cards are being sent to the soldiers for Veterans Day, as a way to show my appreciation for their efforts and sacrifices.

Some cards for the "gals."

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And some for the "guys."

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Isn't this "boot monster" stamp just the cutest? Check out Dawn's blog for other adorable digi-stamps. She's so clever, that girl!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cards for Soldiers

In these trying times we probably all ask ourselves just what we can do to make life easier for someone else. And maybe easier or more rewarding for ourselves. Making cards to send to the deployed troops is one very simple, inexpensive way. Those soldiers, men and women, far away from their homes and families, in a foreign land, can really use our thoughts. And our cards. It is truly amazing to hear from the units about how much receiving our cards can lift their spirits. And also hearing from the recipients here at home of our handmade works of art. The connection between us, the service men and women, and their families is almost palpable.

If you have a few minutes in which to make some cards, please do so. Visit Cards for Soldiers to find our how you can get your cards into the waiting and very grateful hands of our deployed service men and women, and they in turn can get our cards into the hands of their worried and caring friends and families. It will warm your heart. Really, it will!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Grunge paper flowers

I think I'm in love! After watching Wendy Vecchi make flowers with her stamps, Tim Holtz's Grungepaper (Idea-ology) and distress inks, I had to make some. I love the way they turned out. Did you know that you can curl the grungepaper with your fingers and it will stay curled? Awesome! These flowers are for a swap, but you know I had to make extra for myself!

How did I make them? First, I stamped the flower parts on grungepaper using Wendy's stamps and black ink. Once they were dry, I cut them out using Tim's Tonic scissors.

Then I inked them with Ranger Distress Ink. Here's a tip from Wendy: don't tap your ink applicator on the distress pad. Rub it around instead. You get more ink and it's easier on the hand than tap,tap,tap. And she's right!

After inking the flower pieces (both sides) I stamped them with background images in black (both sides, again).

I ran the small brown flowers and large green leaves through my new Epic embossing machine with a small dot embossing folder. YES, you can emboss the grungepaper. It works great!!

I used a brad in the center to hold the layers together. The little leaves are attached with Tim's Tiny Attacher.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Prism cardstock, quality and variety

Prism cardstock has to be one of my most favorites to work with. The weight is just perfect - heavy enough to support a complex layout yet light enough to layer on that layout without creating excess bulk. Crisp enough to take light or heavy embossing. Plus the texture....yummy! There are several different lines of Prism: Prismatics (the basic line), Seaside (like mulberry paper only heavier), metallics, exclusives....and the list goes on. The most recent addition, Simply Smooth, is simply to die for if you're a stamper. It takes the best image I have ever seen!

I created this birthday card using only Prism cardstock. You see, you really do not need patterned paper to create a classic and classy card. The only embellishments are a strip of ribbon, a brass finding from Vintaj and a colored cupcake stamp. Who would not like to receive this card...raise your hand. Aha, I thought so!

Products: Prism Prismatics (white, frosted teal), Seaside (Pier), Simply Smooth (white); Brass finding (Vintaj); cupcake stamp (unknown), Markers (Sakura Glaze), Glitter (Ranger, Distress Stickles, rock candy), Embossing folder (CuttleBug), Die cuts (Spellbinders nestabilities, small labels).

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

eCraft cutting system

Everyone wants to know if there was a "WOW" or "gotta have" item at CHA and I have to say YES! The new cutting system from Craftwell really blew me away.

It will cut paper, cardstock, thin metal (like the sheets from TenSecondStudio), Tim Holtz's grungepaper, Claudine Hellmuth's sticky back canvas, thin chipboard. They are talking about adding a longer blade so that it will cut the heavier chipboard.

Unlike other electronic cutting systems (Cricut, Wishblade, Pazzles), the eCraft does NOT require a sticky mat. It can cut anything up to 12 inches wide, with unlimited length. That's right -- unlimited! If you can come up with paper 48" long, it will cut it or any other length, without limit.

The blades are easily replaced and cost only $1 each. The basic machine will operate with SD cards which will retail for under $30. However, for less than $100 you will be able to purchase software to connect the machine to your computer. Then you'll be able to create from the internet, using PNG files. Got a wealth of digital files on your computer? You'll be able to use them to create paper die cuts and alphas for your paper crafting projects.

How much is the machine, you ask? Just $199.00. Yep, you read that right. And when will it be available? It's scheduled for release at Winter CHA in January, 2010. So start saving your pennies, 'cause you're definately gonna want this! I can't decide between the magenta and the sage color. What do you think?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I think she read my blog

I think Cleo must have read my blog, because she's moved from my desk to the top of the refrigerator. This afternoon, she almost fell off. That will teach her to sleep in high places!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Doesn't she know......

I have work to do?????

Cleo is very happy now that she's come to live with me in San Diego. She is especially happy to spend her days and nights lazing around on my desk. Of course, it's hard for me to get any work done and now there are cat hairs on all my projects. But it is nice to have a cat purring next to me again. I missed her.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tim and Wendy rock the house!

I had a chance to go up to the Carson Rubber Stamp Show today. I try to make it there at least once a year, or more if I can. Tim Holtz usually demos with Stampers Anonymous (the distributor for his rubber stamps). This month, both he and Wendy Vecchi were not only demo-ing, but were doing make n' takes through-out the day. This was a first and WOW is all I can say!

In the morning, Tim was teaching a small Christmas pin/ornament that had soooo many doodads for such a small thing. The foundation was a 1" piece of memory glass with frame, both from Ranger. Inside the frame, we put a Memory Capsule (also from Ranger) with some glass glitter, patterned paper, a little printed word and a tiny acrylic star. We hung two tiny bells with a small bow (Thanks, KIM! You're the best bow-tie-er ever!). The top of the "house" features Tim's new metal corners from his Idea-ology line along with a trinket pin and jump ring. This cute little pin could be used as an ornament or pin; also the concept could be adapted for other holidays, Mother's/grandmother's photo pins and whatever..... Love it, Tim!!! For all of the Make n take's from the show, go visit Tim's blog

In the afternoon, Wendy Vecchi taught the most gorgeous flower pin created using Tim's Grungepaper and stamps from Wendy's newest stamp release. We cut out pieces, inked, stamped, and curled them and finally assembled the pieces to form this most beautiful flower! Be sure to visit Wendy's blog for more inspiration.

And speaking of Wendy's stamps....Oh My!!! Her new releases are gorgeous, as are their older siblings. Of course I shopped.... Wendy's stamps come on 6x12 storage sheets. These are 3-hole punched and Wendy also has a FAB-u-lous acrylic album set-up in which to store them. You can decorate the acrylic however you want. When I get mine done, I'll share it here.

The stamp sets also come with a full color sheet full of Wendy-style inspiration. I don't know where the girl gets her inspiration. She probably never sleeps.

Anyway, Carson was a total blast, made even better by two terrific make n' takes taught by two of the best teachers out there!

As Wendy says, "Make Art" to which Tim would add his sage advice, "Don't over-think it!"

Sunday, June 07, 2009

I love the look of the "inchies" that have become so popular and this technique featured on the Inchie Inkling blog really caught my eye. It's so easy, yet so dramatic when finished. Don't you think?

Here's the website:

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Two of my favorite songs combined into one, and one of my new fav arrangers!

Perfect Distress

On his Blog, Tim Holtz has posted an instructional video for an awesome technique partnering Distress Inks and Perfect Pearls. He calls it "Perfect Distress." It is an amazing technique, which I had the chance to try out over the past few days, creating tags for a small "words of wisdom" book for my niece who is graduating from High School.

Here are the tags with the distress ink (wrinkle free distress technique) and the perfect pearls.

And here you can see the shiny perfect pearls.

And finally, my completed tags. I made 24 different ATC-sized tags. Lots of work, but I love, love, love the outcome!

Love this. Thanks a bunch Tim for this great technique!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

New windows!

Yay, new windows. It's a great time to replace old windows, with the IRS tax credit for this year. Here are some photos of my newly replaced windows.

This is the picture window in the living room. I was happy that they were able to replicate the six small panels at the top, as this is an architectural feature of the era of my house.

Here are the new kitchen windows. These were jalousie windows which are very drafty. Now I can raise and lower the bottom section with just one hand!

And the bathroom window. There are two of these. They also were jalousie windows and very drafty, especially in the bathroom where there is no heat!

All in all, I have 21 windows in this tiny house and all of them are being replaced. Hooray!!

And, every single one of my windows is spotless! It's terrific, really.
I've got some more home improvement photos.

Here is a shot of the new front walk going from the house to the gate. The fence is partially painted, yay!

Matt and I have started to plant the cactus area. Here is a view from the walk to the side fence.

Here's a shot of my solar post lamps.

And the gate from the outside, painted with the side fence sections completed as well.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Updates to the yard

Here is the gate for the fence, looking from the street. Love it!!

And here are some shots of the installation of the turf. First, the "before"

Then the "during"

Then the after, looking back toward the house

And looking toward the street. The dogs are so happy! And so am I, since they aren't tracking dirt in the house anymore!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A new home

Here, for those interested, are some photos of my new house. Notice the walls are bare. I'm working on that!!

This is a view of the living room from the door into the kitchen across to the front door. Behind the recliner is a fireplace with glass door shelves on the right and a built-in desk on the left, all topped with a nice wide mantle with two small windows. The two wicker chairs under the front window are antiques from my great aunt's house. All the rest of the furniture came from the other house.

Here is a view of the other end of the living room from the front door to the kitchen - the far end should be a dining room, but I'm not having one. The little desk in the corner is also old - belonged to my uncle who wrote his name in the drawer in about 1936.

This is my bedroom from the door. Like how my spread matches the walls? Purely accidental, since I bought this set in Florida before I saw the wall colors. Maybe it's a sign??? The wicker chair in the corner still needs cushions, and is the third antique chair from my great aunt. The bed and night stand are from IKEA. Love that place. A tenant was kind enough to leave the air conditioner in the window...

Here is the bathroom. Check out all the drawers! And the two windows. This house has SO MANY windows, lots of natural light. I love it!

This is the back hall/laundry area, that my dad and I worked on for the last two weeks. The door is new, the hot water heater is that silver box on the wall, and we tiled the floor. The new color is the brown you can see to the right of the hot water heater. I still have to paint the rest of the room. Thanks, Dad, for all your hard work, help and great advice!! You're the best.

This is the guest room/guest bed. Like how the spread matches the walls? That was pure luck, as this is a garage sale spread purchased by Ken before I even planned to move. I knew it would look great on this 3/4 size antique spool bed that used to be in my grandmother's guest room and that I spent many nights of my youth sleeping in when I visited her. The spread has ribbon-embroidered flowers and two embroidered pillow shams and matches the room perfectly! My palm tree embroidered valances were a great find, at Lowe's, of all places!

Here is the other side of the room - my "office/scrap desk." Kind of messy as I'm in the middle of a couple things. Like the two windows at the end? - I love the natural light I get!! There are two more windows just like those on the wall to the left of the bed.

This is the closet in the guest room. Some prior tenant installed a closet organizing system - and thanks to them, I have lots of space for all my scrap junk.

In this photo you can see into what was the original closet, where there is more storage space AND a small window for light. I'm still not completely unpacked and stuff is just stuffed on shelves for now. That's another rainy day project.

Here is the first of three views of the kitchen. The sink area with nice large, east-facing windows. The dishwasher, oven and stove are all new.

Here is a view from the back hall/laundry across to the door going into the living room.

This is a little built-in eating area, thus my reason for doing away with the dining room. The cushions came with, and I'll be recovering them to coordinate with the "mediteranean" look that I'm planning for the kitchen. Notice yet another window? I tiled the top of this table when I lived here in 1987. It's amazing that it's lasted through 15 years of tenants! I have a couple large Maxfield Parish prints that will hang in this area.

Thanks for looking!!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mission San Juan Capistrano

On Sunday, I met Matt half way to his school because he forgot some stuff when he went back. No surprise in that! We ate near the San Juan Capistrano mission, which I have never actually visited. I didn't have time to go inside ($9 entrance fee and I only had about 10 minutes to spend there), but it was a gorgeous day and I snapped a couple shots from the entry way.

This is the Mission where the swallows return each year. I'd love to be there to see that!

The Camino Real is the route that Father Serra took as he traveled from Mexico to San Francisco. It is marked with these Spanish style bells. The Missions are spaced along the route, about a day's travel apart.

And that's your California history lesson for today!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Lunch Date Blouse GIVEAWAY!!!!

The Lunch Date Blouse GIVEAWAY!!!!

Boy do I love this blouse. Simply gorgeous and very s.e.x.y!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Winter sunset

Our winter sunsets are some of the most beautiful we have, especially when the Santa Ana winds blow the polluted air out over the ocean, giving the sunset vibrant colors. Matt and I stopped on our way to San Marcos to snap this beauty.