Jan 17, 2012

Jan 18th Mystery Swap

There is a group of swappers on Split Coast Stampers who participate in a Mystery Swap.  Every other month, one member (the host for the round) selects an image for us to use, maybe also some DP or a sentiment to go with it, and sends the Mystery kits to the current month's host.  That host includes the kit with the swap returns and we begin the process all over again.

Ok, have I confused you yet??  It's easier than how it sounds with my convoluted explanation.  Anyway, this round is my turn to be the host. So, last November, when our last Mystery Swap was due, I sent the hostess my Mystery kits and the gang has had December and part of January to create their cards.  The cards are due to me on Jan. 18th, which is also the date that we can reveal on our blogs or in our gallery our creations with the kit.

D. Morgan's illustration of the stamp image
 on the wood block
I chose to use a D. Morgan stamp (yes, I'm a big fan and have lots of her stamps) entitled "A Better Friend" marketed by Stamps Happen, Inc.  Here's a picture of her artwork (see left).

I am really excited to see what everyone comes up with using this image.  I'm sure to learn a lot from these talented women.

Here is what I made this round.  It's a 6x6 inch square card, colored with Prismacolor pencils and using Gamsol to blend.

At first I thought of making a winter scene, but, hey - it's January and I needed to think "Spring" .  So I tried to put the trees in bloom and dropping some of the flower petals on the ground.

The cats always gave me a hard time, but this time maybe I have had enough practice with shading to achieve a better look.  I haven't tried this stamp in almost a year, so maybe I'm progressing in my coloring technique.

Front close-up
Here is a closer view, showing the shiny dotted background paper.  It's from DCWV in their "Linen Closet" pack.  It's a great pack if you haven't seen it, check it out.  It's pretty versatile.

Inside panel

I also decided to add a corner punched piece of coordinating solid color stock on the inside for an extra touch.

I will post the returns from my Mysterious Swapping Friends as soon as they all come in. That way you can drool over everyone's creations.

Thanks for stopping by and wishing you all a week blessed with health and happiness!

Jan 15, 2012

It's the 15th - Time for Another Dueling Darling Round!

It's the 15th of the month, and that means it's time for the Dueling Darlings to post their creations sent to us by this month's hostesses: Melina & Joan!  (The Dueling Darlings are two teams of friends from SCS, The Dazzlers & the Divas) who take turns hosting a challenge.  The hostesses send a card kit to their team mates and we create and post our response on the 15th.

Kit Contents
Here's what the lovely Melina sent to us for the January duel.  The theme this month is "It's the Little Things" and she sent 3 tiny but cute little images, 3 little blue punched circles, 2 green pearls, a piece of tan ribbon & white baker's twine, a white button, yellow paper clip and 2 swatches of DP.

The challenge was to use all 3 images on our card, as many of the embellishments as we could and to add our own sentiment.

We are also to post the first thing that came to our mind when we opened the kit and read that "It's the Little Things" as our theme.   Hmmm, well, after 2 new babies being born to my co-workers this past year, I have to admit, I thought of making a baby card with the kit!  But once I started working with it, things went in another direction!

Here's my finished card:

I thought that a side step card would allow each of the little images a chance to be noticed. I punched them into circles and (if you look closely) you can see that the large panel has embossed circles on it.

Melina recently posted to her blog that she loves circle shapes and likes to use them on cards.  Well, it's the little things, right?  So, I decided to use circles!

When it came time to add a sentiment, I found two teeny, tiny sentiments among my vast array of SU sets, and Voila ~ not a baby card, but a "Hello" card instead.  What can I say?

Here's a glimpse of the inside where I used the ribbon and the rest of the striped DP:

I'm a bit proud that I managed to use all of the kit contents with one exception:
the paper clip.  Sorry Melina, I just couldn't accomplish that one!!  Ha ha, but you gals are sure teaching me about using DP, that's for sure!

I hope that you visit the blogs of the other Dueling Darlings!  There are links to their blogs on the right sidebar here.  While there, be sure to leave them some much-deserved love on this month's challenge.

As for posting our list of "Little Things"...well, with me, the list could become a book.  Much too long to post here.  Permit me to say this: I tend to take a big picture perspective on life and my relationships.  But the big picture is comprised of all the little things.  So little things matter a lot.
However, it's a double-edged sword.  While we take great pleasure in the little things, we also have to let go of the little things that cause us stress or anger.  I find that when I do that, life is a lot easier for me.  But, I do have to remind myself to let go at times!  Continual improvement is how I view myself!  Ha ha!  Thanks for visiting and putting up with my rambling.  Make it a great day!

Jan 8, 2012

Paper Coaster Sets

Well, here is what I managed to create this weekend, in between other household tasks.

I made sets of paper coasters using StazOn ink, clear embossing powder, stipple brushes and SU's Wonderful Wings stamp set (a true oldie but goodie!)

Here's a picture of all 4 in the set.  I made 10 sets, 6 go to a swap on Split Coast Stampers hosted by Lori (mybugandi45 on SCS).  The swappers are making hostess gifts and these are my submissions.

These are blank pressed paper coasters used by restaurants and the like.  I used SU Classic ink pads & VersaMark for the image and heat embossed with clear EP.  Then each image (except the dragonfly) was colored a bit with StazOn using stipple brushes, the edges were dragged across the StazOn pad to add some color and background color was also applied with stipple brushes.

Here's a close up of 2 butterflies.  The one on the left is stamped in Orchid Opulence and stippled with Iris StazOn.  Background is Cactus Green StazOn.  The one on the right is stamped in Marvelous Magenta, stippled with Mustard StazOn and has a background of stippled Hydrangea Blue StazOn.

The swallowtail butterfly to the right was stamped with Lovely Lilac and stippled with Mustard StazOn.  The edges and background are with the Cactus Green StazOn.  The dragonfly is stamped with Green Galore and the edges and background are Hydrangea Blue StazOn.

Well, that wraps up my chance to play this weekend and let me tell you, it was a bit overdue! Although, I do need to take some pictures of a few things I worked on last weekend.  Hmmm, the world may stop turning if I managed TWO blog posts in one day (I'm pushing it doing two this weekend LOL)  
But I think I'll take some pictures so that I can post later in the week.  
Thank you for stopping by!!

Jan 7, 2012

Bijou & Lou Enjoying a Sunny Winter Day

Well, it's been a little hectic around here with the holidays, work, and all the other things in life that seem to eat up every minute in a day.  But, so many of you are kind enough to ask after Bijou and Lou, so I thought that I would give you a little update.

Lou has been with us for 3 weeks now.  She has loads of spunk and doesn't pay Bijou much mind when he gets irritable and thinks that he has to be in charge!  Today is a warm winter day (almost 50 degrees!) and they are on one of their favorite play cages basking in the sun and napping after a little romp in the bird bath.

Here's Lou ignoring grumpy Bijou.
Lou showed Bijou how to take a dip in the little pool on top of their play cage.  With all of the sun streaming in the window, she just knew that it was the perfect opportunity!  I tried to get a picture, but every time they saw me get close they stopped and got out of the water.  Guess I was invading their privacy!  Ha ha.

Bijou sunning in the window, trying to nap.

Bijou watched Lou carefully, eventually he decided that it looked like great fun, playing in the  water.

When Lou was done, Bijou went in for a little splish-splash.  Then both spent the  requisite amount of time preening and fluffing their feathers.  (See his back?  All new feathers!  Hooray!)  

Then it was time for a little lunch and a nice nap.  I played with this photo for a while, but the sun is so bright that Bijou is washed out on the bottom there. 

Here's another shot where I tried to adjust the camera settings.  Bijou is giving me the evil eye - "I'm trying to sleep, crazy lady.  What's wrong with you?!"

Well, I'm off to get inky while they are occupied.  I'll be back here in a bit if I get anything created.