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.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No Cards Tonight

I don't have any of my own cards to share tonight but I just have to say that I have seen some really awesome cards in the Gina K. May release sneak peeks. Have you seen some of those gorgeous cards over at Stamp TV?! I am dying to get my hands on that new set by Rupa Shevda with the beautiful cake! Such talented women!

I also have to mention that Melanie Muenchinger is quite a star in the new issue of CardMaker magazine. She has at least four cards featured in the July issue. If you don't subscribe, you can get your paper or digital subscription by going here. Check out her adorable giraffe card -- his head turns! Way to go, Mel! And, along with Melanie, there are two cards by Carolyn "Cammie" King. Cammie's holiday card is beautiful! You guys rock!

Despite the fact that I didn't get one single bit of stamping done during the long holiday weekend, I must say I did have a great weekend. My husband and I went on a mini-vacation to New York City minus children. We had such a fun time and what a great way to celebrate/forget about having another birthday. We saw two shows on Broadway -- Billy Elliot (you might remember the movie from a few years back about a young boy from a mining town who wanted to learn to dance) and God of Carnage, which stars James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano for all you Sopranos fans out there), Hope Davis, Jeff Daniels, and Marcia Gay Harden. Very different shows but both were wonderful. The young boy who danced as Billy Elliot was good beyond belief. How someone so young gets so good at something is really amazing. Here are a couple of photos from our trip. They probably are not the best photos because I took them with my phone camera. I had my good Nikon along on the trip but didn't have it with me when we went to the shows. They don't allow photos to be taken inside the theaters so I didn't think it made much sense to haul it with me. They are serious about the photo taking in the theaters; I saw one person get yelled at for taking a photo of her group before the show even started! I got yelled at by an usher at Carnegie Hall last year when my son's high school choir was singing there and I snapped a photo of the empty stage before the performance. Yikes! Union rules or something, I guess.

The marquee for Billy Elliot

The marquee for God of Carnage

James Gandolfini and Hope Davis signing autographs outside the theater after the play.
Hope you are having a wonderful day! I promise to be back with card talk soon!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Happy Trails

Where does the time go?? Here it is, a week since I last posted. Sigh! I guess I'm not a very good blogger or maybe it is just that I'm too busy at this time of year with all of the end of the school year things going on. I guess that is the price we pay for having active kids but I'm so glad my boys are involved in positive, creative activities. As busy as it gets sometimes, I know I'm going to miss it when my older son graduates next year and is "out of the nest."

I made some time tonight to make a card for a guy in our office who is leaving to pursue other things. Oh, to be young again . . . I decided to make use of my Gina K. Out West set, which was designed by Theresa Momber. I haven't played with it yet despite the fact that I've had it for quite a while. This seemed like the perfect time to pull it out and play since it seems to work well for a male card and for someone who is heading off to new things. I was inspired by a beautiful card created by Theresa that you can see by clicking here.
This card was really a lot of fun to make. I incorporated a couple of fun techniques, including the foil embossing technique that was featured on Stamp TV recently. I used my paisley Cuttlebug folder on the foil and then went over the embossed image with some silver metallic rub-on paste. I have a real love/hate relationship with that paste! It makes things look so cool but I inevitably end up with it everywhere because it is hard to clean off your fingers and every time you touch something to which it has been applied, it comes off on your fingers again! (If anyone has tips for how to keep the paste for coming back off onto your fingers, I'd love to hear them!)
I also used the bandana technique on the small red square behind the main focal image. Using various stamps from several stamp sets (a paisley stamp, swirl, circle and circle flower) I randomly stamped them in black ink on the red paper. Then I used my white gel pen to outline, fill in and make dots until it looked like one of those red bandana handkerchiefs. Easy to do and it makes a really fun background paper, especially with this set.
The red card base is made from Stampin' Up Real Red paper as is the bandana paper. The black is Pure Luxury Black Onyx from Gina K. and the ivory paper on the front is also Gina K. Pure Luxury.
I stamped the images and sentiment with black memento ink and colored them with Copics. It is hard to tell in the photo but the cowboy hat was cut out and popped up with a Stampin' Up dimensional. I used the silver rub-on paste around the edges of the ivory paper to help it blend with the rest of the card a bit better. The "lasso" is made from some twine and the little metal tag embellishment is from a Stampin' Up Hodgepodge Hardware kit (I think it is one that is retired).
So, there you have it! A fun, fairly simple card that is perfect for a guy, or for anyone who likes cowboys, the west, etc. I'm really looking forward to playing with this set some more and to trying the foil embossing on other types of cards. My eleven year old son came into my craft room and saw what I had done with the foil and had to try it with some of my other Cuttlebug folders. You know it has to be a pretty cool technique when an eleven year old boy wants to play with it!! LOL! Some of them turned out really cool so I can't wait to incorporate them into my cards.
I hope you are having a beautiful, sunny day today like we are here in southern Wisconsin. Spring/summer has finally arrived and I am loving it! Too bad I have to be at work today. Oh, well, tomorrow morning my hubby and I leave for a long weekend in New York City for my birthday. Woo-hoo! I can't wait! Four days of being grown ups without kids tagging along.
Have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Too Busy to Be Stampin'

I can't believe it has been a week since I last posted! I've just been so busy that there hasn't been time to stamp or to post but I finally got a bit of time the last couple of nights to stamp. I have two cards to share tonight. The first one is a thank you card for my son's voice teacher. The students are doing a recital on Friday evening and the parents are all going in on a gift for the teacher. She is a fan of orchids and the gift we are giving her is an orchid plant so, of course, I decided to use the beautiful orchid from the Gina K. Botanical Dreams set by Asela Hopkins. I used some of the Gina K. Rich and Shabby digital paper for the background and the Gina K. Pure Luxury ivory base weight paper for the card. I colored with Koh-i-noors and OMS. A fairly simple card but I think it turned out very pretty.

The second card is one I made just for fun to try out some new stamps I recently bought. Have you seen these stamps from Art Impressions? They are called Door Ways and Shoppe Windows and you can get stamp sets that are accessories to decorate the doors, porch, and windows. This was really fun to play with and I can't wait to make some other cards with them.

The red base card is Stampin' Up InColor Riding Hood Red. The background designer paper and the paper used for piecing the window awning and presents is from Basic Grey's Wassail paper pack. I colored everything with Copics and added some gold embossing on the lantern, door knocker and handle. The doorknob is a brad. It is hard to see on the photo but I used Stampendous Crystal Snow glitter on the steps and under the window to make it look wintery. The wreath, packages, tree and sentiment on the window sign are from several Stampin' Up sets. This was definitely one of those cards that was a lot of fun to make but one I wouldn't want to try to mass produce to send out at the holidays. It has a lot of detail work that took time but isn't it fun to play with cards like this?

Here's wishing you a wonderful, creative day! Enjoy the lovely spring day wherever you may be!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cupcake Day

Good morning! It's Wednesday and it's cupcake day on my blog. Why, you may ask, is it cupcake day? Sorry, I'm not giving away cupcakes, but I did make a yummy card with cupcakes that I'm sharing today. Everytime I look at it I want to eat a cupcake. Good thing I don't have any real cupcakes around or I'd have eaten about a dozen by now! LOL!

I made this card for a friend whose birthday is this weekend. I hope she enjoys it as much as I do. It makes me smile when I see it and I hope it does the same for her and for you. Here are the details.

The stamp set is Gina K. Designs "Sweetest Blessing" and the cupcake paper is the Gina K. digital paper pack "Sweet as Sugar." The black paper is from my scrap stash (might be SU) and the base card is made from SU In Color Marigold Morning. The brads are from Basic Grey's Marrakech collection. (I love the colors in that collection! Check it out if you haven't seen it.) The two scalloped circles were punched with my Marvy punches. The yellow sparkly circle is doodlebug designs sugar coated paper. I used Copics to color the cupcake bottom and the cherry on top. The frosting is made from white Liquid Applique that I heated with my heat gun to make it puffy. After puffing it up I used some Tombow two way glue and sprinkled Doodlebug glitter over it. Easy as pie, or should I say, easy as a cupcake?!

Now, to answer yesterday's tidbit question: What is the diffence between 'its' and 'it's'? Its is the possessive form of it, meaning you are referring to something that belongs to an entity, such as, "The library posted its hours" or "The organization posted its annual report." It's on the other hand is a contraction of 'it is.' For example, "It's a bright, sunny day." There's your brief tidbit for today! Hope you find these tidbits helpful in some small way!

Enjoy your 'cupcake' day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Livin' in the Crazy Lane This Week!

Whew! Is it really only Tuesday? It is gearing up to be a busy week at our house. The big deal (look out this is going to be some proud mom stuff!) is that my 17 year old son is in his high school musical this Thursday-Saturday. He has always been involved in music but I never thought he'd do musical theater. I can't wait to see him on stage! He also got a letter from the school board yesterday saying he is being recognized at their upcoming meeting for his selection to the Wisconsin State Honors Choir. Makes me teary-eyed, I'm so proud of him! OK -- enough proud mom blather and on to some stamping stuff!

Do you ever just wish you had days on end to play in your craft place? I do. I have these wonderful day dreams of quitting my job and just making cards/papercrafts all day. But, alas, they are just daydreams. My wonderful husband supports my crafting habits but I'm pretty sure he'd draw the line at that. Besides, I have to work to support my Gina K. habit! LOL -- don't you just love everything she comes up with? So, what do you do if you work outside the home or if you are at home with your kids all day? When do you find time to work on your projects?

Here's a couple of things I have done to carve out some time for my stamping. Sunday afternoon has become the one time during the week that I am able to have a couple of hours to focus on stamping. Our Sunday afternoons are usually spent at home, rarely do we have anything planned, so this is a good time for me to throw in some laundry and get stamping. Sometimes I can find an hour or so in an evening to squeeze in stamping time but quite often that is only if I know I really need to get a card done for someone's birthday or another event. I'm kind of a night owl so I don't mind staying up a little bit late sometimes if I have a project I want to complete.

Another thing I have found helpful in getting more out of the little time I have is to keep my craft room well organized. That isn't always easy, but I try very hard to make sure I put everything away when I finish a project. It helps me to have a clear space in which to work and to know I will be able to find my tools when I do want to work on a project. This is a little thing but I've found it a time saver; cut a stack of card inserts from white and cream paper. For the majority of my cards I use the same size inside piece so having a stash of pre-cut paper saves some time.

When all else fails and I really need a stamping fix, I take a half or whole day of vacation! That isn't always an option but once in a while it feels so good to take a day for myself so I can just play with all of my stamping toys! It feels so decadent! I have to admit that I usually feel guilty about taking a whole day off just to play so I will do some laundry or a bit of cleaning just to sooth my guilt!

Enough of that for now. Here's another card I made a while back for a friend. I'm sorry to say I don't recall all of the specifics. I do know I used Koh-i-noors and OMS to color the orchid, which is from the Gina K Designs set, Botanical Dreams. The DP and buttons are from Basic Grey's Euphoria. I used my long rectangle nesties to make the purple background piece and the scalloped white piece. I think the base paper is SU Taken with Teal but I'm not positive about that. Guess I need to write down these details when I make a card!Here's a parting tidbit for you to ponder . . . do you know the difference between 'its' and 'it's' and when to use each of them? They seem like such small, innocent words but you would be surprised at how often they are used incorrectly. Stop back tomorrow and I'll give you the answer!

Hope you are having a wonderful day wherever you may be!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My First Blog Post!

I'm really excited to be making my first post to my blog, Livin' Life in the Creative Lane! I'll be sharing some of my creations -- mostly cards and other paper craft items. I'll also add some tidbits and tips from time to time having to do with communication. I promise not to become your high school English teacher and I'll try not to bore you to tears with things you don't care about. Maybe you'll even find some of the tips and tidbits useful in your crafts.
Here's my first card posting. I made this card this afternoon for my mother for Mother's Day. It was a fun little card to make; a bit of a departure from my usual cards. I hope she likes it!

The card base is made with Stampin' Up's Groovy Guava paper and the DP is SU Ginger Blossom. I used a number of stamp sets to make this card. The flowers are from SU Embrace Life colored with Copics; Leaves are stamped on SU River Rock paper using the five leaf flower from SU Polka Dot Punches, which I cut apart to make leaves; the sentiment on the tag and the Happy Mother's Day are from Gina K.'s Notes to Mom; the bloomin' with love sentiment on the inside is from SU Blooming with Love.

Here is a great tutorial on how to make a flowerpot card. Thanks, Stephanie!