Thursday, June 30, 2011

We Bought a House!!!

On Tuesday, after more than two years of house hunting, 200+ houses visited, frustration, two bidding wars lost, heartache, and hours of sleep lost to noisy neighbours, we were finally able to purchase a house that we're going to love! We close at the end of August and I'm looking forward to moving in so I can finally have my own studio space, not to mention lots of space and a backyard for my son to play. I won't have to work on my dining table and pack up everything mid-project after my son wakes up from his naps and every time we have to use the dining table. Woohoo! So this happy, happy news prompted me to make this silly card.

A few weeks ago, we were enjoying these amazing popsicles and when I saw that the sticks weren't the typical straight and narrow ones, I asked my husband to save them. He, of course, gave me the weirdest look so I think he'll have a good laugh when he sees this card. I used all Hero Arts stamps, including a sentiment from Essential Messages to create the background, A Village background that I fussy cut at the top and the Typewriter Letters for the custom black sentiment as well as the nose and mouths on the faces of the stick people. The arms and legs were made by knotting and braiding two different colours of baker's twine from The Twinery.

I highly doubt cards like this ever win anything but I'm entering it into the Hero Arts June Contest as well as Gallery Idol 2011. At least the judges will get a good laugh out of it, right?!

Tomorrow, I'll have some Jane's Doodles cards to show you. I hope to see you then! :)

Sources: Gina K Designs pure luxury kraft cardstock; SU Naturals Ivory cardstock; Hero Arts A Village, Essential Messages & Typewriter Letters; SU Crumb Cake, Rose Red & Pink Passion inks; Memories Black ink; popsicle sticks; The Twinery baker's twine in Caribbean, Honeydew, Pink Sorbet & Lemondrop; Craft Medley googly eyes; Stampin' Dimensionals

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My First Publication

Hello, friends! First, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support during my creative journey over the past two years as well as the growth of my blog. I appreciate you all for taking the time to leave me sweet comments every time I post a project. I love sharing my ideas with you and it means the world to me when you get inspired by me! Second, I'm here to show you one of the first two cards I've ever had published, and in a Paper Crafts Magazine! You will have to buy the magazine to see the other card. ;) Stamp It! Cards, Volume 8 officially hits newsstands today and I'm still as giddy as I was back in February when I received notification that two of the five cards I had submitted were accepted for publication. Yes, it's been a long wait to see my work in print but it's so worth it and I hope that all of you who've never submitted or haven't had success yet give it a go and continue to submit. You have nothing to lose if they say no but you have everything to gain if they say yes and you will never forget that feeling!

The card I'm sharing today uses all Unity stamps (no surprise, right?) and was featured in the Paper Crafts Connection Kraft Card Giveaway HERE. The reason I'm giving Unity a shoutout is that I never thought I was publication-worthy until Unity Stamp Company asked me to be their guest designer in December 2010 and January 2011. It was so inspiring to me that they thought I was good enough to design for them and of course they provided such amazing stamps for me to work with! To date, they are still the first stamps I reach for when creating. I'm in the process of making a video about my creative process so stay tuned for that at a later date. :)

So back to my card. It features a puffy paper heart, an idea that originated in January during my guest designer stint with Unity. You can view the video tutorial I created for making one HERE. The stamps are from Believe in Fairytales which I still think is Unity's best store kit ever and you can grab it at Eclectic Paperie for half price HERE!

I will have another post for you soon because I just got the best news today and it inspired me to make a few cards. I can't wait to share both the news and my cards!

Sources: SU Real Red & Naturals Ivory cardstock; Gina K Designs pure luxury kraft cardstock; Unity November 2009 Store Kit - Believe in Fairytales & Giving It All Meaning; SU Riding Hood Red; Memento Rich Cocoa ink; Versamark Watermark ink; Papertrey Ink woodgrain impression plate; Spellbinders Labels Eight; QuicKutz Epic Six; Fairfield polyester fiber fill; DMC floss; EK Success corner rounder punch

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Twinery Project {Jun 27th}

I had to make a last-minute gift set to thank someone last week so I'm sharing that project today. I only know this person on a professional one so I wasn't sure what his style was. Therefore, I kept the card design very clean and simple to allow The Twinery's baker's twine to shine. In fact, it was the twine that he noticed right away, especially the way I packaged it (similar to THIS project) and couldn't stop raving about it long enough to notice the sentiments or the shape of the cards themselves. LOL

I started this project by choosing a fancier shape for these cards because they were going to be stamped with only black ink. Then I chose a stamp set with large sentiments that would hold their own and that was Pretty Phrases by Paper Smooches. This is definitely one of my favourite sentiment sets. I adhered the card fronts and backs together and, using a Fiskars hand punch, punched a little flower into the centre of the area where the two pieces are glued together. Then I paired up two colours of The Twinery's baker's twine for each card. First, I looped them twice through the floral hole and then tied a bow, knotting the ends at different length before trimming off the excess.

So easy, right? It took me about 90 minutes to make all five cards. It's a great way to stretch your stamp sets and show off The Twinery's baker's twine! You could even use the recipient's favourite colours on all the cards. If you give this idea a try, let me know and I'll be sure to drop by and have a peek.

This project is also posted on The Twinery Blog today so I'd love it if you hopped on over there and left me a little comment there, too. Thanks so much!!

Sources: Gina K Designs 120lb pure luxury white cardstock; Paper Smooches Pretty Phrases; Memories Black ink; Fiskars 1/4" Flower hand punch; Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels Fourteen; QuicKutz Epic Six; The Twinery baker's twine in Maraschino, Blossom, Mandarin, Lemondrop, Lilac, Charcoal, Pink Sorbet, Peapod, Honeydew & Caribbean

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pink Cat Studio ~ Jun 23rd Digi Release!

Happy Thursday! Pink Cat Studio has a new release today but unfortunately I don't have a new card to share with you. I guess it's a sign that I'm getting old when quite a few of my injuries come back to haunt me every time it rains! My neck and back have been horrible this week, as well as my wrists, so I haven't done much crafting at all. I'd like to share an older card I made with the Kitty & Sweet Bird silhouette, much like the ones being released today.

I had made this one for Angela after her sweet Marty passed away. These solid images print beautifully and they definitely make an impact no matter what theme you choose to feature them in. You can find all the details for this card HERE.

I also have a story to share with you regarding this card (details HERE) that I gave to my Dad this past Father's Day. As you know, I've made cards for my parents ever since I was a little girl. They've never received a store-bought card from me. If that were to happen, they would hit the roof. Well, when they saw this card they both exclaimed together, "You bought a card?!" I said no and they said, "But it's so beautiful!" {Imagine me trying not to roll my eyes.} If you know anything about traditional Chinese parents of that generation, or have read anything about the Tiger Mother, you might understand what I've been going through my whole life! For 11 years when I studied piano and violin, I competed a lot. For a first place, I would get, "That's nice," and for a second place, I would get, "You should've won first place." I didn't get any positive encouragement. Yes, it was pretty horrible and still happens to this day! That's why I never told them about my paper crafting success until Sunday. That's right! It was very awkward when I told them about my design teams, winnings and publications. My parents were very quiet, stared at me and had only the slightest hint of a smile on their faces. I think they were proud but I can never be sure! LOL At least they really love the card, right? :Þ

Thanks so much for stopping by today! You can find inspiration for today's release on the Pink Cat Studio Blog or the design team links on my sidebar. Enjoy the rest of your week!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Jane's Doodles Blog Hop {Jun 20th}

Welcome to Jane's Doodles release day! We have a fabulous blog hop for you today, showcasing three wonderfully sweet stamp sets drawn by Jane herself. You are going to love them! Let me just say that not only are the images the cutest, the quality of these stamps is amazing and so detailed, second to none. Leave a comment on all stops along this hop and you might be the lucky winner of all three stamp sets! Become a Follower of the Jane's Doodles Blog and Like their Facebook Page for additional entries. The winner will be announced on the Jane's Doodles Blog on Friday. Ready to start hopping? :) Here's the line-up for today's blog hop:

Jane Beljo
Alice Wertz
Kelly Booth
Mariana Grigsby
Joy Taylor
Carly Robertson
Agnieszka Malyszek
Emily Leiphart <--- You are here!
Chan Vuong
Cristina Kowalczyk
Jennifer McGuire
Judith Gowdy
Jane's Doodles Blog

Wow!!! Let's get started.

My first card uses three sweet little images and a sentiment from Garden Friends. I chose a Prima chipboard frame and centred the flowers and bee inside it. I used a pencil to draw the frame for perfect placement of the stamps.

After the images were coloured, I attached the twine with a loop on one side, adhered the frame in place with foam tape and tied off the twine with a knot. To finish, I used both the 1/4" and 1/2" chomps to round the corners of the card.

My second card uses Little Miss Mia who is modelled after Jane's own daughter! Isn't she a sweetheart? I loved colouring her and giving her hat a lot of dimension and detail with a simple line of crocheted baker's twine.

I also cut out a heart for her to hold which is from the large bird's wing in the Garden Friends set. I thought it would be a good match for the sentiment.

My third card features Noah's Ark and a lot of paper piecing. The animals are adorable and I can see myself reaching for this set over and over for both baby announcements and kid birthdays! All of the patterned papers are Echo Park's For the Record. I used the accordion fold to make the water and I also die cut scallops across the top to make waves but they are largely hidden by the boat.

I tied a twine bow in two colours before adhering the boat with foam tape. Since part of the paper along the bottom edge was already distressed, I sponged around the edges of the card to give it warmth. I love this card because it's way more intricate than I usually make my cards and now I need someone to have a baby so I can gift it!

Thank you for stopping by today! Now it's time to hop on over to Chan's blog for more amazing projects!

Sources for It's a Love Thing: Gina K Designs 120lb pure luxury white cardstock; Jane's Doodles Garden Friends; Memento Tuxedo Black ink; SU Riding Hood Red ink; Copics; Prima Chipboard Frame; The Twinery baker's twine in Mandarin & Lemondrop; Stampin' Dimensionals; We R Memory Keepers corner chomper

Sources for You Make My Heart Smile: Gina K Designs 120lb pure luxury white cardstock;
Jane's Doodles Little Miss Mia; Jane's Doodles Garden Friends; Memento Tuxedo Black ink; Copics; The Twinery baker's twine in Caribbean; Stampin' Dimensionals

Sources for Welcome Baby: Gina K Designs pure luxury kraft cardstock;
Echo Park For the Record; Jane's Doodles Noah's Ark; Memento Tuxedo Black ink; Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels Five; Papertrey Ink Medium Scalloped Border die; QuicKutz Epic Six; The Twinery baker's twine in Cappuccino & Charcoal; Stampin' Dimensionals

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Colour Block Birthday

I'll admit I'd never even thought about colour blocking in cardmaking (yes, to colour blocking in fashion) 'til I saw this week's CAS-ual Fridays Challenge #7. I was intrigued so I used this idea to make a birthday card for a very special blog friend. It's Lindsey's birthday tomorrow so I thought I would post this a bit early since the Jane's Doodles Blog Hop is tomorrow! I'll be meeting Lindsey in a couple of weeks and she'll be the first of a few blogland friends I meet this year. I can't wait!

I used one of my new Hero Arts sets, Words & Flowers, that I picked after winning the Hero Arts April Contest. I love these flowers combined with text! I also heat embossed. *gasp* I rarely heat emboss because I don't do it every well, although I think it turned out surprisingly well here. LOL I did this for Lindsey because I admire her heat embossing! I loved that Wplus9's Color Cue {16} included two of Lindsey's favourites, red and purple, so I went with those for this card. The flowers on the red and plum panels are heat embossed and the aqua and red ones are stamped with basic black ink. Also, the red and purple panels are popped with dimensionals, where as the other two are adhered flat to the card base.

I don't think I balanced the card very well so I added the little twine knots to fill out some of the white space when I was done. I thought about rounding the corner or using some rhinestones but I decided on twine knot embellishments. What do you think?

Sources: Gina K Designs 120lb pure luxury white cardstock; SU Tempting Turquoise, Real Red, Certainly Celergy & Rich Razzleberry cardstock; Hero Arts Words & Flowers; Hero Arts Sending Smiles Message; Memories Black ink; SU Whisper White pigment ink; The Old Island Stamp Company clear embossing powder; Hobby Hot Boss; Stampin' Dimensionals; The Twinery baker's twine in Caribbean, Maraschino, Honeydew & Charcoal

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all your husbands, fathers, brothers and friends who have children, furbabies, little brothers, etc. and are great caregivers and role models to them all! I hope you're having a fabulous day celebrating!! I have a couple of new cards to show you today as well as one older one. This first one is for my father-in-law and I'm afraid it never made it across the border before the postal strike so he'll have to enjoy it online for the time being.

I used Papertrey Ink's Masculine Motifs. I seem to be all over this set lately! You can see in the close up that I debossed the deer with the canvas side of the Linen & Canvas impression plate.

Next, I wanted to show you the sweet card my son made for his father pretty much all on his own! (Details for the Pink Cat Studio card on the left were posted HERE.)

The only thing I had to help him with was the die cutting but he did turn the crank on the die cutting machine all on his own. He's a very do-it-yourself little guy and likes to be hands-on with everything.

Last week, he discovered how to use scissors. He wanted to cut up some of his paintings and drawings and glued some of the pieces on the solid side of a piece of patterned paper to make a mosaic. Then he asked to cut out an oval from it, telling me exactly where to place it so he'd have three kitties in a train, and picked the red cardstock for the scalloped background. He also picked out the sentiments and stamped them himself on the inside. To finish, he drew a heart and some lines for emphasis. LOL I was smiling the whole time he described how and why he was making the card, "Love you, Baba! Happy Father's Day!"

That's it from me today! I hope you are all having the loveliest of Sundays!! See you tomorrow for the big Jane's Doodles Blog Hop! :D

Sources for Happy Father's Day, Miss You...: Gina K Designs 120lb pure luxury white cardstock; Papertrey Ink Masculine Motifs; SU Garden Green & Night of Navy inks; Tim Holtz Walnut Stain distress ink; Papertrey Ink Linen & Canvas impression plate; QuicKutz Epic Six; Stampin' Dimensionals; We R Memory Keepers corner chomper

Sources for Love You Forever, Father: SU Real Red cardstock; American Crafts Kids PB & J; PSA Essentials Hello Kitty On the Go; Papertrey Ink Heart Prints & My Hero, My Dad; Memento Tuxedo Black ink; SU Brilliant Blue ink; Crayola paint & crayons; Spellbinders Nestabilities Classic Ovals Large & Classic Scalloped Ovals Large; QuicKutz Epic Six

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Exciting News!

It's Saturday and I can finally tell you my big secret! I'm an official Jane's Doodles Design Team Member! I was ecstatic when Judith and Jane asked me to join the team. With all the amazing artists to choose from, I couldn't believe it when they said they wanted me! Of course I had to say yes to these two talented artists whose work I greatly admire. You are going to love everything about Jane's Doodles and the incredible team that Judith and Jane have put together. If you aren't already a Follower of the Jane's Doodles Blog, you must stop by for a visit and see the rest of the introductions as well as 'Like' the Jane's Doodles Facebook Page for a chance to win!

Be sure to come back Monday for a blog hop you won't forget. Jane's Doodles is officially launching with brand new clear stamp sets and there are some very special artists joining the design team for the hop. These are very big names and I can't believe I'm going to be hopping along right next to them! I'm so excited and I hope you are, too. You are going to love the stamps and everything we've made with them. Plus, you'll have a chance to win all three stamp sets! What could be better than that?

Jane's Doodles is announcing the last design team member tomorrow on their blog and you are going to love her! Thanks for stopping by today and have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, June 16, 2011 Best of the Web Feature

It looks like I'm back already! This isn't the big announcement I mentioned yesterday but it is pretty exciting. A couple of weeks ago, I was blog-spotted by Brian Lee of Become. He loves my home crafting ideas and wanted to feature me in their home and garden blog, Be@Home, which has a weekly series recognizing the most informative home and life on the web. I was shocked, of course, and extremely flattered. I said yes, so here I am on their Be@Home: Best of the Web #27. I'd love it if you left some love for me there! Thank you so much!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Shine Brightly

I've always wanted some Lawn Fawn stamps so you can imagine my delight when I won a set from Donna a couple of months ago! I inked them up for the first time here to enter my first Lawnscaping Challenge. So many of you have entered these challenges and I've admired from afar but now I get to play along, too! The Lawnscaping Challenge #11 is Clean and Simple which is right up my alley. I coloured in three of the lanterns and popped them on with foam tape. Then I added some twine knot embellishments. I love easy cards like this!

This blog certainly wasn't quiet this week, was it? Well, now that there's another publication call out, I think I will go into a 'sublication hibernation'. Try saying that a few times really fast. Regardless, I will definitely be back on Saturday for a big announcement. Enjoy the rest of your week!

Sources: Gina K Designs 120lb pure luxury white cardstock; Lawn Fawn Lunar Lights; Memento Tuxedo Black ink; Copics; Stampin' Dimensionals; The Twinery baker's twine in Peapod; We R Memory Keepers corner chomper

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Love You Every Day

This card is a pick-me-up for my husband. To be honest, I could use a card like this myself but it was therapeutic making it so that'll have to do. We're both extremely depressed about not finding a house after two plus years of searching and losing two bidding wars. As if that wasn't bad enough, bully-offers are suddenly the norm! If you haven't heard of this, basically it's an offer substantially over the asking price in the first 48 hours a house is listed. Typically, a house will list on a Thursday and set an evening, typically the following Monday or Tuesday, for everyone to make their offer. Crazy, isn't it? It's hard for anyone to sympathize with us because they're not in our shoes and so I vent. I'm really hoping this is our lucky month, like maybe we'll find a house for Father's Day!

Oh right, you want details about this card. ;) After I used the monster floating in an acorn boat from Falling for You, I thought about using the top of the acorn again as an umbrella. When I started looking through my patterned paper for some clouds I knew I had, I stumbled upon the raindrops and knew I had to use that instead. All of these papers are from Echo Park's A Walk in the Park Collection. I attached little twine bows to the monster's horns to make it a girl (me) because I can occasionally be a monster. Don't we all have those moments? LOL The sentiment is a mix-and-match from Pretty Phrases. After I finished this card, I wished I had inked up the toothpick in a darker colour to make it stand out more. Oh well, lesson learned.

Can you totally tell that I'm addicted to making these 3.25" x 6.5" cards? I love them!

Sources: Gina K Designs 120lb pure luxury white cardstock; Echo Park A Walk in the Park Collection; Paper Smooches Falling for You & Pretty Phrases; Memento Tuxedo Black ink; Tim Holtz Walnut Stain distress ink; Vivid! ButterScotch ink; SU Old Olive ink; The Twinery baker's twine in Blossom; wooden toothpick; Stampin' Dimensionals; We R Memory Keepers corner chomper

Monday, June 13, 2011

Birthday Fishes

I have another Paper Smooches card to share with you! This one uses the set called Birthday Buddies. The story I created here is about a fish who meets up with a fishing net and, instead of getting caught in it, he uses the ropes to hang party banners which were made using the worm's hat. Pretty rebellious, eh? Not getting caught in a net is a good birthday wish - I mean fish - right? ;) The fishing net is, of course, The Twinery's baker's twine in Caribbean, Honeydew and Peapod. I love those three colours together and I mirrored them in the flags and fish scales.

I hope you're all having a fabulous week so far!

Sources for Birthday Fishes: SU Tempting Turquoise cardstock; Gina K Designs 120lb pure luxury white cardstock; Paper Smooches Birthday Buddies; Memento Tuxedo Black ink; Copics; The Twinery baker's twine in Honeydew, Caribbean & Peapod; Stampin' Dimensionals

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Peace, Love and Happiness

Did you know that Paper Smooches has a guest designer search every month? You can find all the details HERE. I'm playing along because it gives me the chance to play with my Paper Smooches stamps and encourages me to think creatively with them. They are so cute and make cardmaking easy! Would you believe it if I told you that this sheet of monsters makes me son squeal to no end? In fact, he loves them so much, he won't even colour them for fear of ruining them! LOL

How did I make my card? I used the monster, acorn and bat from Falling for You. I stamped the monster once without his arm and stamped his arm twice to make movable ones. Then I used the top of the acorn for the monster's makeshift boat. The flag is the topmost section of the bat's wing and the waves were stamped using the outer edge of the bat's wings.

The sentiment is from Pretty Phrases. The beautiful paper is from a kit I won from Donna called Just Chillin' Boy by Making Memories. I thought it made the perfect sunset to ocean background for the little monster who looks hopeful yet petrified all at the same time. He's so entertaining, isn't he? Just ask my son who commented on this card by saying, "That monster wave flaggy flag holding leav(es) in wa(ter)!" :D

Sources for Peace, Love & Happiness: Gina K Designs pure luxury kraft & 120lb pure luxury white cardstock; Making Memories Just Chillin' Boy Collection; Paper Smooches Falling for You & Pretty Phrases; Memento Tuxedo Black ink; Copics; wooden toothpick; Stampin' Dimensionals

Recent RAKs + Paying It Forward

It always makes me so happy when I receive cards in the mail. I usually know when something is coming because you've asked for my mailing address but sometimes it's a big surprise! I received all of these gorgeous packages in the past three weeks. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Kary sent this gorgeous card and bookmark all the way from Malaysia! I just had to take a close up photo to show you how intricate both the card and bookmark are. They are absolutely gorgeous.

I love Kary's attention to detail and if you haven't been to her blog, I'm sure she'd love for you to pop by and say hi. Thanks so much, Kary, for thinking of me!

Angela sent this beautiful card knowing that I love those houses. Hopefully it came with some good luck, too, on the house-hunting front. ;) She sent along some fantastic papers, chipboards, epoxy stickers and some Unity sentiments from a kit that I passed up a couple of months ago. What a sweetie! If you haven't been to Angela's blog, you need to stop by and check out her amazing scrapping skills. Plus, she has three cards in Paper Crafts' July/August issue out this week!!!

Meg bought a Silhouette recently and linked to her first card HERE which prompted silly me to ask for a panda version. She surprised me with this stunner. Plus, have you seen what magnificence she's been making with it? Now I want a Silhouette!

Cindy posted about Pay It Forward at the beginning of the year and I was one of the lucky recipients of a handmade item from her - this gorgeous album! I just have to show you one of the inside pages so you can see the lovely papers and details. Please stop by Cindy's blog to see her wonderfully cute and whimsical creations. Thank you so much, Cindy, for this beautiful gift!

The first five ladies who responded to MY post saying they would like to play along are as follows and will be receiving something made by me by the end of the year:

Angela H.
Lindsey M-P
Wendy ten Hove
Karen who said...

Please note: Karen, I have no way of contacting you since you don't have an email address linked to your profile and you don't have a blog. If I do not hear from you in the next month, I won't be able to send you anything but I do hope that you will get in touch with me!

Thanks for stopping by to enjoy these beautiful gifts from friends! I will have some Paper Smooches cuties for you shortly.