Creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives---when we are involved in it, we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Very Important Birthday

Can you believe that December is almost over? What a whirlwind month it was for us! We had many wonderful holiday related things to do and partake of but we also lost one of our family members in mid-December. A tragic loss of a 20-year old nephew made us all pause and reflect on the specialness of family and the true meaning of the holiday season. Along side that tragedy, we celebrated the milestone birthday of my son who turned 18 on December 13. Having just experienced the loss of someone so close to his age made us realize how precious it was to be celebrating his special birthday. I must say that I am so very proud of him and all that he has accomplished in his 18 years. He is such a talented young man and was just accepted to the college of his choice to study music. I'm thrilled for him and even though I know I will miss him terribly when he heads off to school next fall, I am so happy he will be following his dream.

Here is the card I made for my son's birthday. The trees and train are stamps from the gorgeous Life is Good set by the very talented Theresa Momber. I stamped them using Memento "London Fog" onto Pure Luxury Ivory paper. I colored the train with Copics and sponged around it with Vivid "Tuscan Tan". The sky is sponged very lightly with Vivid "Cobblestone" ink. I didn't quite like the way the trees turned out when I stamped them with the London Fog. They were a bit too bluish looking or something so I decided to use a glue pen and some glitter to make them look frosty. The focal image is layered onto a piece of Basic Grey Granola paper and that is layered onto Pure Luxury "Tan Leather" and Pure Luxury "Smoky Slate" papers. The word "Son" and the "Explore. Dream. Discover." sentiment are stamped in "Cobblestone." This was a fairly simple and quick card to create but it seemed fitting for a young man's birthday, especially one who was a huge train fan when he was younger!

Life is good and I am thankful for being able to celebrate my son's 18th birthday and to know that he is becoming a very special young adult with dreams to explore and many new things to discover.

Thanks for visiting my blog tonight. I wish a very happy, joy-filled New Year for each of you!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Recipe Blog Hop

Several members of the Center Stage Spotlight Team have joined together to share a special Christmas Treat Recipe Blog Hop event with everyone tonight! They have whipped up some treats in their kitchens and their stamp rooms over the past few weeks so we could compile our very first Recipe Book for StampTV!

I created a modified pocket card for my blog hop entry. This pocket card does double duty; it acts as a Christmas card and it holds the recipe card for the Toasted Almond Toffee Bars. I created it this way because I'm actually using these greeting cards/recipe cards for the annual cookie exchange I'm participating in tonight with my Beta Sigma Phi sorority group. (Anyone else out there a member of Beta Sigma Phi?). The photos show the Christmas card alone, the card with the recipe inserted, and the recipe card. I forgot to include a photo of the back side of the recipe card, which has the directions for making the recipe. It has simple snowflakes stamped along the bottom in black with some bling from a clear stardust pen.

The card is made from SU Real Red cardstock. The white strip at the bottom front is Pure Luxury White that was embossed with two snowflake border folders from Cuttlebug. The gingerbread people are from the First Christmas stamp set by Asela Hopkins and the gingerbread house and trees are from the Holiday Cheer Stamp TV kit. I stamped the gingerbread people and house, colored them with Copics, blinged them up with Stickles and Spica pens and attached them to the white strip with adhesive. The Peace, Joy and Love sentiment is from the Holiday Hospitality set and was stamped in Versamark and embossed with white ep. The trees were stamped with Shimmer Paint from SU and the whole card was spitzed with Shimmer Paint mixed with rubbing alcohol to give it a shimmery, sparkly look. Unfortunately, it doesn't show up in the photos.

Here is the card with the recipe inserted in the pocket. The recipe is printed on white paper and layered onto red cardstock. I stamped the smaller gingerbread people onto the recipe and colored them with Copics and Spica pens. I also stamped snowflakes onto both sides of the recipe card and gave them some sparkle with a clear stardust pen.
Here's the recipe card. Don't worry about trying to read it here. It is included in the recipe booklet that wonderful Jessica put together for this blog hop tonight. See the note below for where to find the recipe booklet. The booklet also includes photos of everyone's treats. That's why I didn't include a photo of the bars here tonight.

Thanks for stopping by my blog tonight! Now, check out these designer's blogs for the sweet projects they've designed around their treats:

Then, stop by GinaK's blog for a super sweet give-away she has tonight in honor of the hop!

The Recipe Book will be available as a free download PDF on StampTV tonight as well. Look for it on the Freebie Tab link.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Blizzard, Snow Day, and Stamping

We will not need to dream of a white Christmas here in southern Wisconsin! We had a huge snow storm last night that dumped 12-20 inches of snow on our area. The snow totals varied a bit depending on where you live in the area but everyone got over a foot of snow! Most of it came during the night Tuesday into Wednesday morning and pretty much everything was closed. All area schools were closed today including the University of Wisconsin which hasn't happened in about 20 years. My kids didn't have school and my husband and I decided we weren't going to try to make it out to work today since city and county officials were begging people to just stay home today. Well, you don't have to ask me twice when it comes to staying home in the middle of a snow storm! I had a fun day of making cards and doing some baking. I'll share one card with you that I made today but I'm also going to share some photos of all the snow we got. (Even though I hate snow it was quite beautiful!) This first photo is in our backyard.

This photo is of the pine trees that line our driveway. There was so much snow on them the branches were touching the ground even though they are normally about 4-5 feet off the ground.
This poor little guy was trying to find some food but the bird feeders were completely covered in snow. Isn't he pretty against the snow?

I hope you are warm, safe, and dry where you are tonight! Enjoy the photos and for those of you with the sense to live in warm places like California, Arizona or Florida, please send us some warm thoughts! The temps are going to drop here tonight to around zero and the wind chills are going to be -20 to -25! Brrr!

Thanks for stopping by. Here is my card made with the gorgeous Festive Frames set from Gina K Designs. I used gold embossing on Pure Luxury Cranberry Tart paper and, yes, I did cut out the oval in the middle. No easy task! I only made four cards like this and I don't think there will be any more! Other papers used are Pure Luxury Ivory and Good as Gold.

I'll share the other cards tomorrow when we have a special blog hop so be sure to stop back tomorrow night after 10 PM.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Time for Another CenterStage Spotlight Challenge Blog Hop

Wow! Where has November gone?! I can't believe our last CenterStage Spotlight Challenge Hop was on November 4 and that was the last time I posted here! Thanksgiving is over?! Really? How can that be! Even worse -- Christmas is less than a month away and I'm totally unprepared. It has been such a busy month and I've had very little time to do anything for the holidays. I'm hoping to have a bit more time in the coming weeks to do some 'creative' things. If I don't, people may be getting New Year's cards from me instead of Christmas cards!

Here is one Christmas card I can add to my stack. I made this for tonight's challenge blog hop. It was fun to stamp and color on patterned paper, although I have to admit I didn't end up doing a lot of coloring! LOL! Take a look at the card both inside and out. All card info is below. Be sure to hop along and see all the gorgeous things the past and present Spotlight team members have made and are sharing tonight.

This is the outside of the card, which was difficult to photograph because the ornament is covered with Crystal Lacquer. I stamped the ornament onto the candy cane striped paper and then stamped the sentiment in the middle. I colored the lines with a red copic and covered them with red crystal lacquer. I sprinkled glitter onto the wet lacquer and then used clear lacquer on the rest of the ornament. Since the dp wasn't very heavy, I got some wrinkling from the lacquer. If I were going to make this again I'd adhere the dp to some heavier stock before cutting it out and putting the lacquer on it. I taped the silver cord to the back of the ornament and then popped it up on pop dots. Note the ivory frame here and the green striped frame on the inside of the card. These are the left over pieces from cutting out the Top Note die on the Big Shot. I went to a holiday card making event and we made some cards that used the center piece but I decided to keep the frames just in case I could make use of them and I did! I like it when I can "recycle" pieces like that!

Here is the inside of the card. The ornaments are blinged up with Spica red, green, clear, and silver pens. I never embellish the insides of may cards so this was quite a challenge for me!

Card Recipe:

Card base: SU Riding Hood Red
DP: All from SU
Large ornament and Merry and Bright sentiment: Holiday Hospitality from Gina K. Designs
Happy Holidays sentiment: Holiday Cheer Stamp TV Kit - Holiday Greetings set
Small ornaments on inside: Vintage Borders set from Gina K Designs
Embellishments: Silver Cord from Gina K Designs; brads from Basic Grey Wassail; ribbon from SU

It's time for another CenterStage Spotlight Challenge Blog hop!
Hostess: Jessica Fick {Design Team Coordinator} Theme: Stamp and color the image on Patterned Paper { any occasion card acceptable, it doesn't have to be Christmas themed} { image may be cut out and layered, but must be stamped and colored on patterned paper} Requirement: any GinaK Designs stamp set & Glitter Bonus Challenge: decorate the inside of your card to coordinate
Participating Designer's links:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Center Stage Spotlight Design Team Past and Present Blog Hop

Welcome to our first Center Stage Spotlight Design Team Blog Hop!

Jessica Fick, the Design Team Coordinator for GinaK Designs has issued a challenge to all of the past and present team CSS team members to make a Christmas card with one of these sketches:

I'm so excited to be able to participate in this hop tonight as a past design team member! I chose to make a card that follows the more "embellished" sketch. Here it is:

I used Pure Luxury Rocket Red as my card base and Pure Luxury Ivory as the next layer. I embossed the ivory layer with the Cuttlebug Snowflakes folder and then randomly colored some of the snowflakes with a Stardust Pure Glitter pen. I used Tim Holtz's Distress Ink in Antique Linen around the edges of the snowflake layer as well as around the edges of the focal images circle. I used a strip of the Rocket Red with a piece of music paper from the Cosmo Cricket Jolly by Golly paper pack layered on top of it under the focal image. The scalloped circle is Pure Luxury All Spruced Up and the plain circle is Pure Luxury Ivory again.

I stamped the house image, which is from the Gina K Designs set, Let It Snow, with Memento Tuxedo Black and colored it with Copics. I sponged the sky with Memento London Fog and Paris Dusk. I added some falling snow to the sky with a white gel pen. The snow on the ground, rooftops and trees was created with crystal snow glitter by Stampendous. The oval was punched out using a Stampin' Up punch, was edged with Vivid Dye Ink Brick and "peace" from Let It Snow was stamped with the Vivid Brick ink also. The two buttons are from the Gina K. Holiday button assortment collection.

This was a really fun sketch to play with and I can't wait to try a couple of other variations with it. Now hop along and see what other Design Team members have created for tonight's hop! You're going to LOVE what everyone has designed!

First, here are the links for GinaK's Current CSS Team Members:

Deb Felts
Diana S. Queen
Karen Knegten
Melissa Cash
Sharri Seffens
Sue VanDeVusse

and the links for all of the past CSS Design Team members participating:

Brenda Turner,
Carla Suto,
Carolina Buchting,
Charlene Merrick,
Dawn Lusk,
DeeMarie Kelemen,
Geri Utterback ,
Giovanna Smith,
Janice Melton,
JenMarie Taylor,
Jennie Harper,
Joy Hadden,
Kay Simmons,
Linda Payne,
Lori McAree,
Melisa Waldorf,
Pam Imholz,
Selma Stevenson,
Shannon Bracken,
Shelly Wilson,
Sue Walsh,
Tina Gilliland

Some of GinaK's Senior Design Team Members and Illustrators wanted to get in on the fun tonight too:

Asela Hopkins
Carolyn King
Cindy Lawrence
Jessica Fick
Lee Murphy
Lynn Mercurio
Nina Brackett
Melanie Muenchinger

along with Nina Brackett's Guest Designer: Lisa Hjulberg

Last but not least, don't forget to visit Gina over at

All of these gorgeous cards from the entire team will be added to the StampTV gallery throughout the next few days with the tag cssjf1 (which stands for center stage spotlight jessica fick 1)

These sketches are also our sketch challenge for this week, so be sure to check out all the information in the discussion in our Challenge group over on StampTV Thursday morning. We'd love to see your cards with the sketch too!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It Has Been a While . . .

It has been a few weeks since I last posted here. I haven't been making cards during that time for several reasons. I have been extremely busy at my job, working on a large proposal that was finally submitted TODAY! Yahoo! I'm so glad that is out the door! Now just keep your fingers crossed that we hear something positive about getting the grant! It will mean four years of jobs, work, and money for the company at which I work so we are very much hoping we will get it.

On top of the proposal work, I have been spending a lot of time running back and forth from where I live to my parents' home, which is two and a half hours away. My almost 82 year old father had three bypasses done on his heart last week so he and my mother have needed a lot of extra help.

So, I have had very little time to spend with my stamps recently. It makes me an unhappy camper when I don't have time to play in my stamping room so I was very excited to get back to it last night. I can't share yet what I made -- it is for a special blog hop that will be happening tomorrow night! Stay tuned and stop back to join in on the hop!

Thanks for stopping by! See you back here tomorrow! :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Warm Winter Wishes Blog Hop

Tonight is my last blog hop as part of the Center Stage Spotlight Design Team. This is the official end to my 'duties' as part of the design team. I'm sad that it has come to end because I really had a blast being on the CSS. I hope to have the chance to do it again sometime or to participate on another design team. I learned a lot and had a great time. I'm really looking forward to finding out who the next lucky group is to be named to the Center Stage Spotlight! I'm sure we'll be hearing soon!

Now on to tonight's blog hop card. Tonight we are featuring the stamp set, Warm Winter Wishes, created by Carolyn King. This is, of course, one of my favorites because it has a snowman in it. I've already mentioned on a previous blog post that I collect snowmen so any stamp set that has one will find its way into my stamp room!

Do you ever find inspiration for your cards in odd places? My card was inspired by a bottle of bath gel that has been in my shower since last holiday season (I guess I don't use the stuff very much! LOL!). I was in the shower this morning thinking about the card I would make for this blog hop and I looked at the bottle and had one of those aha moments! The bath gel is from Bath & Body Works and is called Twisted Peppermint. The gel is a reddish-pink color and the bottle has three triangular trees in silver and red designs with peppermint stripes. For some reason I suddenly saw a card done in those colors with lots of bling. So, that is where the idea for my card was born!

Here it is:

To make this card I used Pure Luxury Rocket Red for the base and Pure Luxury Pure White for the next layer. I stamped the snowflakes onto the white paper with Versamark and then embossed them with a white EP that has silver mixed into it. I used my brayer to ink up the sky using Memento London Fog. All of the designer paper I used on the card is from the Cosmo Cricket Jolly by Golly pack. I stamped the coffee mug and two trees onto dp and cut them out. I also stamped the tree on Pure Luxury Silver Lining and cut that out. (The tree stamps are from the fabulous set by Nina Brackett, "Lord of the Season") The ground cover is also a piece of dp from Jolly by Golly that has these great curves in the design so it is perfect for cutting out and using on a card like this. I stamped the snowman with Memento Tuxedo Black onto Pure Luxury Pure White base weight paper, colored him, and cut him out. I purposely used base weight for the snowman because I knew I was going to cut him out and pop him up so I wanted him to be a bit more substantial.

As you can see, I got kind of carried away with all the bling on this card! LOL! It just seemed like it should be 'blingy'! I colored the snowman's scarf, hat, and holly with Spica pens to make them glittery. Even his nose is colored with an orange Spica! The trees have silver and red brads for some of their ornaments and Christmas Red and Frosted Lace Stickles for other ornaments. I used the Frosted Lace Stickles to put snow under the trees and in various places on the ground. I hope you can see all the sparkle in the photo -- it was a bit hard to photograph because of all that sparkle!

For even more inspiration visit Carolyn King - the Illustrator of Warm Winter Wishes and the Idea Center gallery HERE.

Then, check in with Carolyn's special guest designers:

And, finally stop by these GinaK Designer's blogs participating in the hop tonight:

and our CenterStage Spotlight Team:

Joy Hadden
Kay Simmons
Linda Payne
Lori McAree

GinaK will be giving away a copy of Warm Winter Wishes on her blog tonight - so pop over there to leave your comment on her blog for your chance to win the set for free! (If you've already purchased the stamp set, we can swap it out for another GinaK stamp set valued at $19.95 or less.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Special Delivery Blog Hop Tonight

Tonight we are featuring the fun stamp sets of Tami Mayberry whose first two sets for Gina K Designs were part of the September release. They are Special Delivery and the Add-on set that coordinates with Special Delivery. As part of the September Center Stage Spotlight Design Team for Gina K Designs, these were the sets I helped to preview before they were released. If you go back to late September you'll see that I had a holiday card made with these sets but tonight I made a baby card with the same set! This is quite an unconventional baby card -- kind of bold and wild but it was fun to make and I look forward to giving it to just the right someone when they have a new little one. Don't know who that will be yet but I know it will be perfect for someone!

This card was made using Stampin' Up Green Gable as the base card and for the scalloped circle. The yellow layer, circle, and strip are all made from Stampin' Up Yo-Yo Yellow. That crazy dp is from the wonderful Basic Grey Lime Rickey paper pack (I just love that collection; some great colors and designs!). I stamped the Sweet One image with Gable Green ink from SU on Pure Luxury Pure White layering weight paper and punched it out with the SU scalloped punch. The postage stamps, designs on the postage stamps, and Special Delivery were stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black. The buttons are also from the Basic Grey Lime Rickey collection. I colored the stars on the carriage wheels with a yellow Spica pen and colored the moon and stars with a clear Spica pen to give them some shimmer.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my wild card tonight! It's a bit out of the ordinary for me but I was feeling in the mood for something colorful and fun tonight. Now take a hop along the blog trail to see what the Gina K Designs team and friends have created tonight.

Tami Mayberry, the Illustrator of these two stamp sets has invited a couple of her friends to join in on the blog hop tonight, so click on their blog links to see the projects they've created for us tonight:
Then, check in on these GinaK Designer's participating in the Blog Hop tonight:
After you're done hopping to all the Designer's blogs stop by GinaK's Idea Center here: Special Delivery & Special Delivery Addition for lots more ideas on how to use Tami's stamp sets. And, don't forget to check in on GinaK's blog so you can leave your comment to be entered as a chance to win these two stamp sets too!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Lord of the Season Blog Hop

Tonight is another blog hop that features the beautiful stamp set, "Lord of the Season" by Nina Brackett for Gina K Designs. This set really does feature the four seasons, giving you options for many different cards. For my card tonight I chose the fall topiary but made it into a birthday card for a friend with a fall birthday.

This card was made with the Pure Luxury Pumpkin Spice cardstock. I used a Cuttlebug edge folder to create the design on the side of the card and used a glitter pen to fill in the indentations and the scallop line to make it pop. The dp is a piece that came in the Signs of Autumn Stamp TV kit from Gina K Designs. The scalloped green is Pure Luxury Green Apple. I stamped the focal image onto Pure Luxury Pure White that I cut out and embossed with a rectangle nestie. Before removing the nestie, I sponged with Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Antique Linen.

I colored the image with Copics and stamped the sentiment in Memento Potter's Clay. The purple ribbon is from the Signs of Autumn Stamp TV Kit from Gina K. A couple of copper brads finish it off. A clean and simple card but I felt the image was so pretty and detailed that I didn't need to add a lot of extra bling. I like to make cards like this when I know I need to mail them because they don't need extra postage or special handling.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my card tonight. Thanks for stopping by my "Creative Lane!" Now hop along and see even more ideas with Nina Brackett's Lord of the Season stamp set. Visit her blog as well as the GinaK Idea Center here: Lord of the Season

GinaK Designer's joining in on the hop tonight:

September's Center Stage Spotlight Team:

Nina's Guest DT and friends:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Very Merry Blog Hop

We are hopping again tonight! The featured stamp set is Theresa Momber's Very Merry Christmas set. I'm sure you will see many different cards on tonight's hop because this set has so many different options. During the release party I posted three different cards made with stamps from this set and tonight I have another one using a completely different stamp than I used on the others. You could easily make all of your holiday cards with just this set. Enjoy the hop tonight! I hope you get lots of great ideas from all the great designers who are participating tonight.

Here is the card I made for tonight's blog hop. I decided to use a gate fold card just for something different than my usual card. It was a fun way to get a card that looks different but wasn't difficult to make. I'm always on the lookout for cards that look good and have a unique element but that I could easily make to use for the holidays.

This card is made using the Pure Luxury All Spruced Up paper from Gina K Designs as its base and for the strip onto which the tree is stamped. The scalloped rectangle and circle are Pure Luxury Silver Lining (that is some gorgeous paper!). I stamped the tree and snowflakes with Colorbox Silver ink and the Magic of the Season circle is stamped with Tsukineko Brilliance Pearlescent Ivy ink.

The tree and snowflake stamps are from Theresa's wonderful Very Merry Christmas set. The Feel the Magic of the Season circle stamp comes from the Holiday Cheer Stamp TV Kit set called Holiday Greetings. I stamped the circle and punched it out with a 1¼" punch and then punched out the center snowflake. I stamped the circle again onto a scrap of the All Spruced Up paper using the silver ink and punched the center snowflake out with a 1/2" punch. I glued the greeting circle onto the silver scalloped circle and then adhered the snowflake dot in the center of the circle with a glue dot. I then popped the whole thing up with pop dots so the tree flap could fit under it. That way the circle acts as a closer to hold the card shut.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my card! Now for even more ideas with Theresa Momber's A Very Merry Christmas stamp set, visit her blog link below as well as the GinaK Idea Center here: A Very Merry Christmas. Theresa's tip sheet has been added to the Idea Center as a PDF so you can print out her tips and suggestions for a handy reference tool. We've also included her Copic coloring links too.

Here's all the Designer's Blog Links to check out tonight:

September's Center Stage Spotlight Team:

and finally, Theresa's Guest Designers for A Very Merry Christmas:

As a bonus, two other stamping friends are playing along on tonight's hop. Check out the blogs and creations of:

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hip to Be Square Blog Hop Tonight

Tonight is the start of a bunch of blog hops featuring the Gina K Designs stamp sets that were released on October 1. Tonight's hop features Melanie Muenchinger's great new set called "Hip to Be Square." This is a really versatile set for making winter/holiday cards, Halloween cards and even baby cards. I have to admit that I didn't order it right away when I saw it because somehow my brain wasn't coming up with a lot of creative ideas for using the set but after I saw some of the absolutely adorable cards some of the Gina K design team made, I knew I had to have it! Some of the snowmen cards were the cutest I've seen! I'll be using this set to make some of those for my holiday cards but tonight's card is actually showcasing the Halloween option in this set.

To make this card I used Pure Luxury Black Onyx paper as the base and layered the new Pure Luxury Fresh Asparagus and Pumpkin Spice on top of it. I stamped the "window" on Pure Luxury Ivory with Versamark and then embossed it with black embossing powder. I cut the two Halloween scenes from a piece of Debbie Mumm dp so they would fit into the windows. You can't see it very well in the photo but the dp is really sparkly! Love that! I trimmed a small piece off the bottom of each one and put them into the window below so it appeared that you are looking out a window with four panes at the scene outside (well, at least that is what it's supposed to look like!) I stamped the circle that comes in the set and then added the jack-o-lantern face in the circle with yellow to look like it is lit up. I colored the pumpkin with Copics and punched it out with a circle punch. Then I stamped the pumpkin top, cut it out, and glued it to the pumpkin. The greeting is stamped in Tuxedo Black ink from Memento. That ghost, candy and 'Happy Haunting' strip is also from the Debbie Mumm dp paper.

For even more ideas with Melanie Muenchinger's Hip to be Square stamp set, visit her blog link below as well as the GinaK Idea Center here: Hip to Square. Melanie's tip sheet has been added to the Idea Center as a PDF so you can print out her tips and suggestions for a handy reference tool!

Here's all the Designer's Blog Links to check out tonight:

September's Center Stage Spotlight Team:

Melanie's Guest Designer for Hip to be Square:

and Special Guests:

Friday, October 2, 2009

Very Merry Christmas, Indeed!

Here's the last of my cards from the big release party last night. What fun! Could you believe all the fabulous cards the design team put out during the party. My mouth was hanging open at some of them because they were so amazing! I hope you enjoyed the party as much as I did and I hope you'll enjoy these last few cards I made.There will be a few more later this month for some blog hops, so stay tuned!

I am a huge fan of the holidays, especially Christmas. When I was a little girl my very German grandmother dearly loved Christmas, especially decorating her tree with all of those old-fashioned glass ornaments made in Germany. My mother is a close second to her in Christmas decorating, baking, etc. so I think I know where my love of the holidays came from!

This new set by Theresa Momber, called A Very Merry Christmas, is perfect for someone like me who never gets tired of making Christmas-themed cards and gift items. I have a ton of Christmas/holiday stamps but this set goes to the top of my list of favorites. I have three cards to share that I made with this set and I have ideas for several more! I love it when a stamp set inspires so many card ideas!
This Bell Card is the first one I made with this set. I used the jingle bells and the holly swag stamps. I stamped the holly first, then masked it and stamped the jingle bells, and then colored them with Copics. I added a little bit of shimmer to the bells with the gold Spica pen. I stamped the greeting with versamark and then embossed it with gold embossing powder to make it coordinate with the gold paper I used. (I really need to get the gold Colorbox ink pad that was part of the great Gina K Designs September release. I don't have a gold pad so I have to emboss if I want anything done in gold.) I cut the greeting out with a nestabilities rectangle and did a scalloped rectangle in gold behind it. Then I used my slot punch so I could thread the ribbon through it and gave it a curling twist to go with the ribbon on the bells.

Here is the rest of the detailed information about the card.
Base card is Pure Luxury Cranberry Tart
Gold is Pure Luxury Good as Gold
Green is Pure Luxury All Spruced Up
Ivory is Pure Luxury Ivory

Ribbon is from the new Gina K Designs Holiday Assortment (it also comes as part of the latest Stamp TV Kit)

My second card was made with the fireplace scene from this set. It looks so warm and cozy I just want to pull up a chair and enjoy the crackling fire! I stamped the image with Memento Rich Cocoa and then colored it with Koh-i-noor pencils and OMS. I decided to use the colored pencils on this instead of markers to give it a softer look. After I colored the image I sponged some Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Antique Linen around the image to soften it even more. If you like to color, you will love working with this stamp. There are lots of details and so many ways you could color it.

Here's the recipe for this one:
Red: Pure Luxury Rocket Red
Brown: Pure Luxury Chocolate Kiss
Ivory Pure Luxury Ivory

Image and sentiment stamped with Memento Rich Cocoa
Sentiment is edged with Vivid Dye Ink Brick Red

Ribbon and Brads: The ribbon is from the Gina K Designs Holiday Assortment (also available in the Stamp TV Kit); the brads are from the Stamp TV Kit

Nestabilities: Labels Two and Double-ended tags

And, finally, the Holly Card. This one features the holly swag from the set as its focal image. The base cardstock is Pure Luxury Cranberry Tart and the white layer is Pure Luxury base weight in Pure White, which is fabulous for embossing like I did here. I used the Cuttlebug 'Joy & Cheer' embossing folder but only embossed part way down the card so I could stamp that lovely sentiment below the focal image. I used the nestabilities scalloped and plain ovals to cut out the cranberry and white ovals. I also embossed the white oval and then used silver rub-on paste around the rim for a bit of added elegance. I stamped the image in Memento Tuxedo Black and colored it with Copic markers. There is a tiny bit of Spica red on the berries to add some bling and the stars are colored with the silver Spica pen. To create the sentiment with the two words in silver I inked all of the other words with Memento Rhubarb Stalk and then did the other two words with Versamark. After I stamped it I very carefully poured silver embossing powder on those two words and heated them. I like how it turned out but would like some finer embossing powder if I were going to do it again. (Note to self -- look for fine silver embossing powder!) Once again, the ribbon is from the Gina K Holiday Assortment. The final touch on the card is the three self-adhesive rhinestones at the bottom, which are available from Gina K Designs.

Whew! That was a lot of ground to cover! I hope you enjoyed seeing these three cards as much as I enjoyed making them!

Don't You Love Snowmen??

I have to admit that I am a "snowman-aholic!" I collect snowmen figures and snowmen stamps and other assorted snowmen things, but here is the other part of my confession, I really hate snow!! My husband cannot understand why I want so many snowmen when I could totally do without winter, cold and snow. I am a born and raised Wisconsinite but every year I dislike snow and cold even more. With all of that said, I have to say that I think the snowman in Carolyn King's latest stamp set, "Warm Winter Wishes," is just darling. He is the focal point of my card today and I really enjoyed working on this one just because he was so fun to play with.

This is a simple card with a few fun detailsto add some pizzaz.

Here is the recipe for this cute guy:
Dark Blue: Pure Luxury - In the Navy
Gray: Pure Luxury - Moonlit Fog
White: Pure Luxury - Pure White (layering weight)

Snowman: stamped in Memento Tuxedo Black; colored with Memento Markers: London Fog, Paris Dusk, and Lady Bug
Sentiments: Memento London Fog
Background: Cuttlebug "Snowflakes" folder
Ribbon & Brads: These are from the Gina K. Designs Summer Stamp TV Kit
Snow on ground and snowman's belly: Flower Soft - Polar White

I added crystal lacquer on the red heart to really make it stand out and a tiny bit on the berries on his hat. I added just a touch of "snow" on the ground and on his belly using Flower Soft's Polar White. If you haven't tried that stuff you really must -- it is so fun to play with!

This is a card that I could easily make in quantity for holiday cards this year, if I ever get around to getting started on that little project! LOL! I'm one of those people who waits until Thanksgiving and then realizes I'd better get a move on to get my cards done by the holidays! Some year I will have the time (and will get motivated) in July to start making my holiday cards but until that happens, I need cards like this snowman that are quick but fun to create.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Holiday Mix

The brand new Stamp TV Kit is fabulous! It is filled with wonderful paper, ribbons and two stamp sets that will help you make a lot of holiday cards. I've had a great time trying out the stamps on various cards. I have two cards to share that were made with stamps from the two sets but they couldn't be more different!

The first one is simple but elegant card the would be an easy one to make in quantity and because it doesn't have a lot of thickness or embellishments, it would be easy to mail.

This card is made with the Pure Luxury All Spruced Up cardstock with a layer of Pure Luxury Ivory over it. I used the base weight of the Ivory because it takes the embossing so crisply. The embossing was done with the Cuttlebug "Holly" folder. The wreath was stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black, then was cut out and colored with Copics. I wanted the ribbon/bow on the wreath to stand out more than it did from just stamping it, so I stamped it again with Memento Brilliance Ivy ink, cut it out and layered it over the top of the original bow. The sentiment was stamped in the same Ivy ink and then I added the green ribbon, which comes from the Gina K Designs Holiday Assortment.

The second card from this set is quite a departure from my usual style but I had such fun with it! This card is much more whimsical and, dare I say, a bit on the wild side?! I used the cute little gingerbread house and tree from the Holiday Mix set to create this and the sentiment from Holiday Greetings, both sets are in the new holiday Stamp TV Kit. It kind of reminds me of the Dr. Seuss Whoville in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. See what you think!

The base layer of this card is Pure Luxury Chocolate Kiss and layered on top of that are two pieces of designer paper from Cosmo Cricket. The red is Riding Hood Red from Stampin' Up and the white is Pure Luxury Pure White layering weight. I stamped the house and sentiment in Memento Rich Cocoa and the tree stamp was colored with Memento markers. There are some decorations on the tree stamp, which I did in red but then I went through and added some extra red baubles with a red Spica pen. I colored the house with Copic markers and then added some glitz with Spica pens (red and green on the gumdrops, lollipop and along the roof edge. Then I used my glue pen on the white roof shingles, edging on the house, chimney, and white parts of the lollipop so I could sprinkle those parts with white glitter. The ribbons are both from Gina K Designs and the buttons are Basic Grey Bittersweet.

As you can see, the new holiday Stamp TV Kit is really versatile in its mix of stamps, and these cards only show a few of the options. You will love this kit, not only the stamp sets but the gorgeous papers, ribbons and brads you will find in the box. At $49.95 I think the set is truly a bargain because you will be able to make a lot of cards and gifts with it this holiday season.

Postage Stamps in Gold

The Special Delivery and Special Delivery Add-On sets were two I helped preview this past week on the preview blog hop. I shared one card on the blog hop but I made another that I am sharing with you tonight. I plan to make more cards like this one for my holiday greeting card list because it goes together quickly, looks good (if you don't mind me saying so! LOL!) and will mail easily because it doesn't have a lot of bulk to it.

The postage stamp block is from the Add-on set and as you can see, I stamped the whole block onto Pure Luxury Ivory base weight paper with Versamark and then embossed it with gold embossing powder. The red "Happy Holidays" circles are stamped with Vivid Dye Ink Brick Red and the snowflakes and cancellation lines are embossed in gold. I added red brads that came in the Stamp TV Kit in the middle of the the snowflakes for some extra interest. The ribbon is ivory with a line of gold thread on each side and can be found in the Holiday Assortment of ribbon from Gina K. The card itself is made from the gorgeous Pure Luxury Good as Gold and the red paper is Pure Luxury Rocket Red. The circle that is adhered to the ribbon is actually two layers but I don't know if you can see the tiny little gold scallops peeking out from behind the ivory circle. I used my Nestabilities petite scalloped circle to make that (the smallest one in the set) and the smallest plain circle for the ivory one.

Let me just take a moment to say that I think the Good as Gold paper is the prettiest gold paper I have every used and I love that it has some shimmer but is still easy to work with. Other shimmer papers I've tried in the past were very difficult to adhere things to. I would find that after a short time whatever was glued to it would fall off -- not so with this wonderful paper! If you like to work with metallic type paper, give this one a try. You won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Are You Enjoying the Previews??

Have you been hopping along with the blog hops the past few nights? Talk about some awesome cards! The possibilities seem endless with the stamp sets in this release. They are so versatile -- holiday cards, fall cards, baby cards, snowmen cards -- so many stamps, so little time! I can't wait for you to see the full sets when they are released this Thursday. You will be amazed at how great these sets are. I've had a sneak preview of all of them as a member of the Center Stage Spotlight Design Team and I'm still wow-ed everytime I take one of the sets out to make a card. Now if someone could arrange for me to have more time for stamping, I'd be able to make a ton of cards with all these fun new stamps!

I have been busy making cards to share during the big release party on Thursday, October 1! Be sure to join the fun over at the Gina K forum on Splitcoast Stampers from 7-10 PM Central Time (8-11 ET; 6-9 MT and 5-8 Pacific). It will be a fast-moving fun evening with loads of great new cards by the Design Team and the Spotlight Team with some fun challenges thrown in too. See you there!

P.S. Don't forget! At 10:00 PM Central on Thursday (after the party!) all of the new stamp sets,including a great new Stamp TV Kit, papers, inks, ribbons and other accessories will be available to purchase at

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Gina K Designs Preview Tonight

I'm so excited to be participating in the Gina K Designs September stamp release! Tonight begins the previews by the Design Team and the Center Stage Spotlight Design Team for this month. I am helping to preview the new set called Special Delivery. This set also has a companion add-on set. This is a really fun, versatile set by a brand new designer for Gina K. This set is great for many different occasions, including the upcoming holidays.

My preview card was made for Christmas but you will find this set great for making cards for birthdays, new babies, valentines, and other events.
This card is made with a gorgeous new green Pure Luxury cardstock called All Spruced Up that will be released this Thursday, October 1. It is a deep, rich green that will be perfect for your holiday cards. The red paper is the Pure Luxury Rocket Red and that designer paper you see peeking out from behind the focal image is one of the beautiful new digital papers you'll see in the September release. The stamps are from the Special Delivery stamp set. I stamped the Happy Holidays circle in the Vivid Dye Ink - Brick Red and the others in Memento Tuxedo Black. I colored the ornaments with Copics, added a touch of sparkle with my Spica pens and then covered them with crystal lacquer to give them some shine. The ribbon, which didn't photograph very well, is also going to be released this Thursday along with several other beautiful ribbons that will be perfect for the holidays. This one is edged in the same green as the All Spruced Up paper and has a gold thread along with the red center. I tied a bit of gold cording on the bow also.

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek! There will be more to come all week and then the big release party is on Thursday over at Splitcoast Stampers. Be sure to check out all the sneak peeks tonight for the Special Delivery Set and A Very Merry Christmas.

Stop by GinaK's blog today to add your comment to her blog entry for a chance to win the new stamp sets being previewed tonight on our blogs!
Then, check in with the Illustrators of our two stamp sets featured tonight:
Theresa Momber: A Very Merry Christmas
Tami Mayberry: Special Delivery and Special Delivery Add-on

Design Team Members participating in the hop tonight:

CenterStage Spotlight Designers:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Fall Card

As promised, tonight I'm sharing a fun little fall card I made yesterday. I was just playing around in my stamping room and wanted to make something pretty but uncomplicated. So, this is what I came up with.
The base card is the new Stampin' Up In Color called Dusty Durango. I used the Dotted Swiss Cuttlebug folder on the front of the card to give it some texture and interest. The scalloped layer is Stampin' Up In Color Soft Suede that I used the scallop punch on and then pierced each scallop with a piercing tool. The plaid paper is from a Debbie Mumm paper pack that I picked up at Joann's recently and amazingly enough the orange in it matched the Dusty Durango paper and the lines are the same color as the Soft Suede. The layers under the focal image repeat the same colors and the pumpkins are stamped on Pure Luxury Ivory paper from Gina K Designs. The pumpkins are stamped with Memento Rich Cocoa and colored with the Dusty Durango marker and a SU Pumpkin Pie marker. The pumpkins are from the Gina K Designs Stamp TV Kit set called Signs of Autumn.

I haven't decided what I'm going to do with this card yet but I'm sure I'll find someone to send it to. I hope it brightens someone's day, whomever it is, and I hope it brightened yours as well!

Doing the Happy Dance!

I am so excited, thrilled, and honored to have been chosen to be part of the Center Stage Spotlight Design Team for Gina K Designs. I nearly fainted when I opened the e-mail from Gina K inviting me to be part of the Center Stage Spotlight Team for the September release. Now here is the funny part -- I was SO excited, but I couldn't tell anyone associated with stamping because it needed to be officially announced by Gina before we could breathe a word of it. So, I decided to share it with my husband. Now, my husband is a wonderful, caring man and he is very supportive of my "stamping habit." However, he had not a clue what a Center Stage Spotlight Design Team was! He tried very hard to be happy for me, but just between you and me, I still don't think he really understands it! LOL! I didn't really care that he didn't get it -- I just had to tell someone who wouldn't spill the beans to anyone who would understand it and I knew he most certainly wouldn't since he doesn't know anyone who would care!

I will be joining five other very talented women (see links to their blogs on the side bar) and the Gina K Designs Design Team in showcasing previews of the new stamp sets that will be released on October 1. We will also have cards to share at the release party that night. More details on the previews and release party later.

Thanks for listening to my news! Sorry I didn't have a card to share this afternoon. I do have one that I'm planning to share here later tonight or tomorrow. I'm just waiting to get a decent photo of it. I take my card photos outside and we are having a very much needed rainy day here so I have to wait until the rain stops to get a photo! One of these days I really need to get one of those Ott lights so I have good lighting for taking indoor photos!

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sometimes Things Don't Turn Out Quite Right . . .

Do you ever have an idea in mind for a card and when you try to create it with real paper and stamps it just doesn't turn out right? Well, my card today was one of those. Oh, I know, I could have just tossed it in the trash can or just not posted it for the world to see but isn't it fun to know that everyone has those "off" moments when trying to create cards?? Gosh, at least I hope everyone has those moments! Or is it just me? LOL!

I used Gina K Pure Luxury Moonlit Fog paper for the base of this card. The black and orange are from Basic Grey's Ambrosia pack. The white is also Pure Luxury layering weight white. I stamped the images and sponged the ground with Memento Tuxedo Black ink and sponged the sky with Memento London Fog. I colored the moon with Copics and created the little fences with my Martha Stewart fence punch. All of the images, except the stone path are from Spooky Silhouettes by Gina K Designs. The path is from the Gina K set called The Journey. The big orange brad and the fiber are also Basic Grey Ambrosia.

Here it is.
I suppose it isn't really horrible but it just doesn't match what I had in my head or wanted it to look like. Oh, well, hope you enjoyed seeing it anyway! And, if nothing else, it makes me want to try again to make something else that I really like! Whatever that is, I'll share it here!

Enjoy your day wherever you may be and no matter what you are creating!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturdays . . . don't you love them?

Ahhh! Saturdays . . . I love Saturday. Call me lazy but I love being able to sit around on Saturday morning and drink coffee, check e-mail, post things on my blog or Stamp TV, and just relax. I suppose it is because my mornings all week are hectic with getting up early, getting ready for work, getting the kids off to school, and making sure the cat is fed. (That is important because she will definitely let me know if she hasn't been fed!) So, Saturday is my day to relax a little and do things I don't get to do the rest of the week. I love Saturday and Sunday because they are the two days during the week that I can find some concentrated time to stamp and that really makes them great days! I did sneak in some stamping time last night (Friday) and I'm sharing that card here this morning.
I made this for the weekly color challenge over at Stamp TV. I don't always find time to do the challenges but I just had to do this one because I loved the color combo for this week. Orange, green and yellow -- lovely fall colors (or at least that was where my mind went immediately. I have fall on the brain!) I chose to use a fall palate of those colors as you can see and included some fall designer paper. Here are the details:

Base card is the gorgeous Pure Luxury Pumpkin Spice from Gina K Designs. It is such a lovely, rich orange-y rust color. I keep finding reasons to use it because it is so pretty!
Designer paper is from a paper pack I picked up at Joann's. It is from the Debbie Mumm Harvest and Holiday pack.
Green paper is the Pure Luxury Green Apple and the yellow piece is a Stampin' Up In Color from a couple years ago called Marigold Morning.

The images are all from Autumn Beauty a fall set from Gina K Designs that was designed by Theresa Momber who is an awesome artist. Check our her blog for some inspiration and great coloring tutorials. I stamped the images with Memento Rich Cocoa ink and then watercolored them using Memento markers and a waterbrush. I have a little plastic artists palette that I color on with the markers and then pick up the ink with the waterbrush. I haven't used that coloring technique in a long time and it was fun to do it again although I find I don't have nearly as much control over my colors as I do with markers or pencils and OMS. It's fun to go back to things once in a while just to get different looks (and to use some of those items that are sitting around collecting dust and feeling neglected).

The ribbon is from the Signs of Autumn Stamp TV kit. I'm not sure what it is actually called but it is like twine that is made into a ribbon. It is perfect for fall cards. The frame around the sentiment is from SU and that little leaf is from a button pack I picked up a long time ago at Archiver's.

That's the card. And now I am going to get up and do some baking -- apple kuchen for a dinner we are going to this evening. Yum! Enjoy your weekend all my stamping friends!