Tuesday, December 27, 2011

PUNCHIN' TIME.......

The theme for the SUO challenge today was supposed to be make the focal point of your card a punched image.....hmmm... I sorta made the focal point a bunch of little punched things,,,,,squares to be exact - one inch squares. You need four of the dp, 4 of the early espresso, and 8 of vanilla. Then you cut all but the 4 corner vanilla squares in half from point to point crosswise. Then you start in the middle of SU's grid paper, and make your star by using the lines on the grid paper to keep things straight. Then you trim the edges, you have glued your quilt right down to the grid paper and you just cut the whole thing out. Then choose an embossing folder to run the whole thing thru your big shot and give it the quilted appearance. I used the wallpaper folder here, but the square lattice also works well, and so does the finial press. The first time I made one of these it was with a group of ladies I love from eastern Ohio, we stamped an entire weekend away, and this was the one card that tried our patience. Now after having done it a few times, I think, "Why did it seem so hard that first time???" Anyway- they are pretty fun to make and so cool looking when you get them finished. TRY one, when you feel patient and relaxed. Hopefully you will still feel that way when you are done! Happy Stamping!!! Until next time.....Karen

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

BIG CHANGES.....


At our house, we have gone thru big changes in the last few weeks. Our daughter has gone thru some extreme changes in her life, through no fault of her own. I will only say that I keep telling her, "Time heals all wounds, and yes, the flip side of that is Time wounds all heels...." Suffice it to say, my daughter has been badly hurt. So we have two new people living in our house, our daughter and her 2,1/2 year old daughter. Things are a bit rough right now, but I keep telling her, "Joy comes in the morning" - not sure what morning, but one day, some morning, we will all wake up and feel JOY again. For now, we must reach real deep for the PEACE that can be ours as children of God. The PEACE that passes all understanding, and yes, PEACE ON EARTH, GOOD WILL TO MEN. It won't be the merriest of Christmas's at our house, but there is PEACE and there will someday again be JOY. I just know it, and I will pray through it and to it. Say a little prayer for my daughter and grand daughter this Christmas, will you? Thank you, and hug someone you love, and appreciate them, and hold onto them!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

WITH THANKSGIVING......



So the blog challenge for today was a card of thanksgiving. I'm feeling really thankful today. I am trying really hard to rebuild my Stampin'Up! business. It's not like it's fallen apart or anything....in these last 5 years since moving to Ohio, it has amazingly held it's own but the energy I have been able to give it has been challenged by my full time job. It recently became a goal of mine to rebuild. I can grow old with Stampin' UP! I cannot afford to let this business slide. God has been blessing my efforts. I have 4 recruits so far this year, with another waiting to recruit during Saleabration. That's just since July, so I feel pretty happy. Today Jenna and I did a Holiday Bazaar. She was selling some cards, and I was just displaying some, and just looking for exposure. It was a pretty poorly attended bazaar. Maybe 15 people all day stopped long enough to say they stopped. One lady walked up to the table, looked at my display board, turned to me and said, and I quote, "I want to become a consultant, can you help me with that???" Is that not AMAZING????? Like I said, I do believe God planted this goal in my head, and as I am obedient to him, I am pretty sure that was HIM blessing ME!! Happy Thanksgiving everyone, there's always SOMETHING to thank HIM for, but today, I feel especially LOVED and BLESSED. Until next time.......Karen

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

PLEASANT THOUGHTS......

Of YOU!! This weekend I had four dear friends come from Eastern Ohio, and we literally stamped the weekend AWAY! One of these friends was one of my first SU customers, a very long time ago.....almost 15 years ago! Her daughter had my very first workshop when I lived in NY, and she lived in Ohio, but gave her daughter an order on her workshop. Thus began a long and wonderful friendship, until this weekend, 14+ years later when I actually talked her into supporting her own habit, oops, I mean HOBBY, and she is signing on as hobby demonstrator!! YAY!!! It's never to late to keep on trying!!! Anyway, it's nice to have stamping friendships with no pressure, where you can just make up stuff as you go along and there are grateful hearts all the way around. I don't think I've ever met a nicer bunch of ladies then Gloria and her stamping buddies. This year it was Gloria, Joanne, Terry and Margo. My mom joined us to round out a nice group of six - so much FUN!! Other years the group was larger, but even though we missed the others, we still had a wonderful weekend of stamping, food, fellowship and just plain FUN!! Thanks ladies!!! I love you all!!! Until next time.....I'll be thinking of YOU!!!!~~~~~

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

FROZEN LIPS AND LAME IDEAS

Okay, well just say the word, 3-D, actually that's not even a WORD.....but just say 3-D, and my lips freeze solid. They froze two weeks ago when the challenge was to make a treat holder. First I thought, gee, I could make a CARD, and the treat could be a stick of gum tucked in there.....hmmmm.....please don't say 3-D!!!!! Perish the THOUGHT!!!! So here you have my super simple mini bag here.....The way you make these is to take some dp, and wrap ONE end of a small box just like you were wrapping a gift box. Oh, and first you fold your double sided dp over to make the top cuff thingey. And I didn't like the colors in it so I sorta colored it with tempting turquoise so it would match my wee little good witch. And yes, she is a good witch.....how could anything that cute do anything BAD???? And since I am so not into witches, they have to be GOOD witches at least!!!! And since I am so not into 3-D, you get a cute little good witch sitting on a lame little gift bag....but then who knows, maybe you didn't know how to make one of these, and now you do????? And I hate that kind of candy, but I ate it anyway cuz I had a sweet attack, so now the poor little good witch sits on a lame and empty gift bag....now ain't that sad??? Until next time, keep on stampin!! ;)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

STAMP SOME AUTUMN!!

Fall, the very best time of year!! Here is my SUO blog challenge card, using a leaf image. I made this card by starting out with a full sheet of glossy white cardstock. First I put a pile of baby wipes in a pie plate. Then I made my own stamp pad using reinkers, old olive, pumpkin pie, and more mustard. I used the solid leaf images from Gently Falling and randomly stamped images all over the cardstock and let it dry. Then I stamped on top of those bright images using black stazon and the French Foliage stamp set, again, kind of all random. Lastly I took the word stamp from French Foliage and stamped it over the top of everything else in chocolate chip ink. Then I cut myself a square 4" by 4". I drew an X on the back corner to corner and cut it with the paper cutter. Then I mounted that on a piece of basic black cardstock 4,1/2" square. You can see how I finished it off. I made several sheets of this homemade designer paper and designed several different cards using it. SO MUCH FUN!!! I absolutely LOVE fall, don't you??? Until next time..... Happy Stamping!! Go stamp you some AUTUMN!!~~ Karen

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

SUNFLOWER SERENADE

This fall has been really special for my husband and me. Now do you say my husband and ME, or my husband and I? Once a teacher told me you say it the way it would stand alone right - like you wouldn't say special for I, you would say special for me so in this case it's me. Did that teacher give me a bum steer? Anyway, back to the subject at hand. For the past few years my husband was driving truck, and we didn't get to do much in the fall. This year, he got a new job and he's home again. THANK GOD!!! So we have been driving around a lot on weekends like we have always loved to do in the fall since forever, and just "exploring" as Keith has named it for as far back as I can remember. We have seen several sunflower fields. I have never seen that many sunflowers in one place. I am fascinated by sunflowers....the bright yellow color as well as the fact that there is a stem thick enough to hold them up- they just fascinate me for some reason and they are one of my favorite flowers ever. And fall, it's my favorite season too. Just the leaves, the crisp, cool air, a warm sweater (before my hot flash days) and maybe some hot steaming apple cider. We got married in the fall, had two of our kids in the fall, we just love fall!! FALL rocks! And sunflowers, well how can you look at one and doubt that there is a great big God who created them?? Somehow in fall, you get that cozy feeling that all will be right with the world. Until next time, Karen

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

VINTAGE BLOUSE TUTORIAL

Hey, how cool is it that the Paper and Pixel's online magazine decided to feature little old ME in their magazine this month??? Pretty Cool I tell ya!!! And how cool is it that that gave me the kick in the rear that I needed to do a THIRD tutorial.....I am getting to be quite the pro at this tutorial stuff, Doh, I take that back, pride cometh before the fall, and heaven knows this is the longest tutorial ever....and I am pressing my luck to get cocky at the beginning - I better wait till I'm finished before I start patting myself on the back, aka, tooting my own horn. Let me get thru this first and actually publish it, and then I may have to celebrate. If I don't wipe out any pictures, I will be so proud of myself! Here we go.....as you can see, this will be a kind of complicated card that you might choose to make once, and then you will say, never, ever, ever, ever again.....because it's not exactly a quick card! I just happened to be wearing a vintagey blouse to church one Sunday and when I should have been paying attention to the sermon, it hit me that making a card like it would be the perfect project for being featured in a magazine and all....gee I think the sermon was on pride......okay, anyway - here I go with the tutorial, say a prayer for me.......here comes steppo uno................................
The first thing you want to do here, is to score a 1/2 piece of 8,1/2x 11 cardstock lengthwise at 6" to make your card front 6"x 4, 1/4. You will need to add a small extension to the back of your card after you finish the front to make the length of the back long enough to match the front. Can I just say that I made this card BEFORE SU came out with their great new scoring tool, or I would not have had to use this lame thing pictured here. Their new scoring tool ROCKS my friends!! But this worked too, when it was all I had. On to the next step....


Using the Established Elegance SU stamp set, stamp the small flower using black Stazon ink in rows up the blouse front. I do this by first stamping one row off the edge of each side. then I stamp one in the middle that will eventually be covered by the button panel, but it just helps me to then eyeball the middle of each side and stamp another row of flowers, so in the end you have 5 rows, the middle one which you will cover up with the button panel, so don't waste your precious time coloring it, you are already going to spend at least 10 hours making this puppy so spare yourself coloring that middle panel and get moving!! You don't have all night!! Moving right along.....




From that same stamp set, use the swirl stamp and stamp some crumb cake swirls in the middle of each row of flowers. On to the next step - you are doing fantastic, you only have about 50 more steps to go!! Start thinking of someone REALLY special to give your card to, come on, you cannot go thru this much trouble for just ANYONE!! Next picture please.....







Color your flowers using the Marker Layering technique shown a few entries down on my blog...it's one of the other two tutorials I have ever done in my entire life....but it was only a couple of weeks ago, or maybe a month, so I am improving on tutorial frequency. This is a pretty rocking tutorial if I do say so myself, and I've gotten tons of positive feedback on it from all kinds of stampers.....DOH, I need to keep that bragging in check.....what with pride coming before the fall.....and I am not even 1/2 done with this tutorial so I can't get cocky YET......anyway, if you feel like your coloring is all one dimensional and kindergartenerish, you may want to give my tutorial a try....marker layering is an awesome technique.....and get coloring because this dang blouse has a ton of weeny flowers and it could take all night, and remember, leave the one row in the middle blank, no coloring.....get moving if you want to finish this BEFORE your mother's next birthday!!

Oh geez I just about had a heart attack cuz this picture got moved way down and I thot I deleted my whole rest of the tutorial but PHEW! Here it is, next step....OH, first the colors I used to color - SU watercolor markers, for flowers, Bashful Blue, Baja Breeze and Marina Mist - for leaves, Pear Pizazz and Lucky Limeaid. I then highlighted each flower with white gel pen. Now this pic to your left now- the button panel - Cut strips of crumb cake cs, 1/2" by 5,1/2" and 1,1/2 " x 5,1/2". Run them thru the Big Shot with the Square Lattice folder. Move on down to the next picture, you are GETTING THERE....hang in, it won't be much longer now.....do you need to take nourishment? Have you been working for several hours now?????



I cut a piece of Marina Mist cs for layering between the crumb cake strips for my button panel. The measurements for the Marina Mist piece are 1,1/8 x 5,1/2. Come on, you are probably at least half way there, keep on keepin' on..........

On the top strip of crumb cake for your button panel, turn it over to the back side after running it thru the Big Shot and place two strips the whole length of sticky strip. Do not use any other adhesive as it will not hold. Sticky strip will hold your kid to a wall, so it's good for this type of heavy duty hold power. Besides, this is your button panel and we don't want anyone popping their buttons, though I might pop mine if I make it all the way thru this tutorial!! Move on down to the next picture please, you are so done with this one!




Remove the sticky strip one side at a time and take vanilla seam binding and pleat it all the way down the length of your card for the appearance of a pretty ruffle on your vintage blouse. Again, only sticky strip will hold these pleats for the long haul.



I layered my strips as shown in this picture to form my button panel, leaving enough at the bottom to fold under and make a nice edge at the bottom. I took 4 buttons and threaded SU's narrow organdy ribbon thru them to look like thread, well actually to look like skinny ribbon, cuz it does not look like thread. WHATever....I then attached my buttons with glue dots, several on each button. Looking purdy....huh? DOH, no pride till this is DONE!!

Using crumb cake cs, and the TOP NOTE die from SU, I ran one through the Big Shot. How did we live before the Big Shot? How did we stamp before the Big Shot? Remember those annoying metal plates and dry embossing pen thingeys, and you would want to scream just dry embossing a flower or two? Oh Mr. Big Shot, I surely do love YOU!! Anyway, run one thru. Then adhere it to a piece of Marina Mist cs, and cut carefully around your Top Note form to make a border as shown in the picture. Now FOLD your Top Note piece in half the long way and adhere it with our faithful sticky strip to the top of your blouse. I'm not gonna say it's lookin' good, (but it is) I think I AM Jan Tink, that's what I think!! I like her style! ;) Moving right along.....

Okay, I know you are exhausted at this point but you are almost there. Take the tiny tag punch from SU, and the Tiny Tag Stamp set, (2 of my favs which I keep right near me at all times) and make a little tag that says, Friends, unless of course you ARE making this for your mom cuz she's the only one on earth you feel is WORTHY of how long it took you to MAKE this card...and in that case you can use LOVE, or 4YOU, or one of those other stamps in that set....Place a pearl bling at the tip of your tag and adhere it to your blouse. Make yourself a huge honkin' bow from the vanilla seam binding for the top of your blouse. I used three pieces of seam binding and tied them together in a bow. A bow can never be too big, just remember that. Okay, you are on the HOME STRETCH now, one more push here and you are DONE!!

Finish off the inside of your card by extending the back bottom piece and covering the turned under edge of the button panel. Again I used sticky strip. You can never use too much sticky strip. This card will last longer then the blouse I was wearing that Sunday cuz it has so much sticky strip on it....(that is that Sunday that I designed this card) when I should have been listening to the sermon on pride!! Because now that I am just about done............

I can feel the cocky attitude coming back because after all, this is a pretty rockin' little card, don't you think? And it came out of my own little head, with no help from anyone. And come to think of it, I have also completed my THIRD tutorial here....all by lonesome......can I just be obnoxious and tell you how proud this computer challenged 50+ person feels right now!! ??? I got all the way thru this, and I hope YOU did TOO! I hope you made yourself a sweet vintage blouse, and I hope you have energy for the rest of your day, too!! I know this isn't one you will be using for a swap card or anything, (unless you really don't like yourself) but I hope you make one for someone really special, as for me, I decided to make this for someone really special.....and that someone, is ME!! Happy stamping y'all, until next time......keep on stampin' and don't stampdream in church, yes, that's the moral to this story!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

BRAND NEW Ribbons and Bows.....OH MY!!!




Wow!! The challenge this week was to use brandie new ribbon and use it to make ribbons and bows in a way we do not usually use ribbon! Well I am the big fat honkin' bow QUEEN!! So thankfully, my DDIL Jenna paid attention to the recent ribbon rose tutorial on SCS and she taught us how to make these adorable roses at our last downline meeting. She made a card that had this same basic layout but different colors, one larger rose, and no bow at the top. Now, you know me, I had to add the big fat honkin' bow at the top!! After all, this challenge is all about ribbons and bows!! Is it not???? I used the brand new velvet stitched ribbon and the brand new cherry cobbler quilted satin ribbon too! Maybe I will do a tutorial on my blog in the future to show how easy peasy it is to make these adorable roses!! I had to tear myself away from my big gigantic project right now, which is swapping our master bedroom for my stamp studio! How about a husband who is not only willing but completely helps this to happen?? I love that man! Even if it WAS mostly so I would stop begging for the 2 car garage!! BWAHAHAHA.... Happy Tuesday everyone!! Happy Stamping!!! Soon I will be stamping instead of just swapping rooms!! YAY!!! Until next time.........

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

WEDDING INVITATIONS X4......



Being a Stampin'Up! demonstrator meant making your kids wedding invitations was a given!! A no-brainer!! A must do!! And for each kid, it was a different situation. When I made Jen's she picked out several images she loved and told me exactly what she wanted, which was embossing in silver on vellum and a tiny silver cord tied in a tiny silver bow.....easy peasy....and we whacked them out with a little help from our friends and they were beautiful! Then Bekah got engaged, and I made 42 samples before she fell in love with one!! I told her that if THIS one didn't sing to her, (#42) then we would settle because it sang to me!!! We had an assembly line with her new inlaws- it was a fun time of celebration making these very involved not so easy peasy beauties! My son was next, and Jenna and I decided one Sunday afternoon to get er done, and a few hours later we had some beautiful fall wedding invites all whacked out!! Then last but not least was my daughter Bethany, who said, "You just make it Mama, whatever you make I will love!" So I made what I had in mind and she said, "I don't really like that so much Mama" - LOL, but I asked her what she had in mind and we ended up with an invite that looked very much like my sample here but was made with an older set called and of course I am having brain freeze right now and can't think of the name, but it was a gorgeous big set that looked something like Elements of Style and we made BEAUTIFUL wedding invites for a 4th time. Of course there were nieces and friends and others I have made along the way, but there was a sadness when I made the last one for my own child....now I can look forward to making them for the grand daughters one day, but hopefully, not anytime SOON!!! :) Until next time........

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

SUO Blog challenge today- Our favorite NEW stamp set, (accent on the NEW just in case my Elements of Style set is in earshot....) But I DO DO DO love this stamp set!!! Just below this I did the tutorial on Marker Layering with this same stamp set. This is a variation of marker layering. With this one, I used watercolor cardstock and so I used blender pens to move the color out and everything else is pretty much the same. However, I did use a bashful blue marker for highlighting around the outside of the image instead of just coloring a light shadow with sahara sand. This gives it a different look, but one I also love. If you try this with plain cardstock, it tears, but the watercolor cs will stand up to a hurricane I think. I dab a tiny touch of blue and then in a circular motion I spread it out using a blender pen. Coloring is such great therapy. Don't you think? Happy Tuesday everyone!! Have a workshop so you can get this great new hostess set!!!! You will wonder how you ever stamped without it!! Until next time, Karen

Monday, August 1, 2011

IT'S A TUTORIAL!! MARKER LAYERING!!

Okay, finally, I am actually doing a tutorial on the technique I call Marker Layering. I made that up myself. Big deal, right? This is only my second tutorial of this kind. So bear with me, and I hope I don't delete any necessary steps. I tend to delete pictures, so if I get to the end without deleting, it will be no small miracle. Here I am showing you the finished card first and then I will show you how I made the main panel. I am in love with this new hostess only set from SU, it's just my new favorite, and I think Elements of Style is feeling jealous, but it's my old favorite. :) Okay, on to step one. Well I guess I have to keep typing to move the next picture down....here goes....


First here is what you need to start - An outline stamp, a Black Stazon Pad, and here I used Very Vanilla Cardstock cut into an oval shape with my big shot. The Stazon ink is very important so your markers don't run together. Nothing worse then when the black bleeds into the pink. NOT pretty. So stamp your image in black and let it dry.



You will now need to pull out those great SU markers. I use several shades of the same color for each picture. The main colors in my card are pink and green. So I am using Pink Pirouette, Blushing Bride, and Regal Rose for my pinks. Later I decided I wanted to punch it up one more time so I used a tad of Melon Mambo...but when I took this picture I was not anticipating that so that marker is missing. Just pretend it's there. I'm no tutorial genius. :) For greens, I used Pear Pizazz, Wild Wasabi and Old Olive.

The first step is to color each petal of the flower the lightest pink, Pink Pirouette. Just one coat of ink, don't go over and over it, just once, lightly. You can see how plain that looks, and that is where a lot of people stop with coloring, but it's pretty boring and one dimensional. This is random, but I really don't like Pretty in Pink. It reminds me of Pepto Bismal, or Ralphie's bunny pajamas in The Christmas Story...but Pink Pirouette is perfection for a soft, light pink. Don't use Pretty in Pink. Well I guess you can if you LIKE it. Anyway, just apply that first coat of ink all the way out to the end of the petal.



Here comes the magic now.....apply a second coat of marker using the next lightest color, which in this case is Blushing Bride. I am going to wear sack cloth and ashes for a full month when this IN color is discontinued. After that I will wear black every day for the rest of my life. This color is the extreme opposite of Pretty in Pink. It makes me think of soft roses, and baby blankets. It's so perfect. So start at the bottom with this color and go out, BUT NOT ALL THE WAY...making sure you leave some of the Pink Pirouette there on it's own. If you get carried away and color the whole thing, you just wrecked it and you should start over, no offense. :)



Now come in with some Regal Rose but just a tiny weeny tiny bit at the base of each petal. Don't cover up all of the blushing bride, (heaven's NO!) If you look closely at this shot here on the left, (click on it gets as big as your HEAD) you can see that left to right, flower number one has only the first pink, pink pirouette, while flower number two has all THREE pinks and flower number three has only the first two. (are you still WITH me??)You can see how much prettier that middle flower is with the three pinks all layered on to each petal! But remember, I decided it needed one more PUNCH....so..........




Here I added in the Melon Mambo, and if THAT color doesn't wake you up, check your pulse, you might just be dead! WOW Melon Mambo is WHOA.....PINK....HELLO, you better LIKE PINK if you use MELON MAMBO!!! (so I just use a TOUCH, a DOT, a TAD, a TEENY TINY BIT, at the base of each flower, and when you do this you will see the magic, how each time you add a darker shade at the base, the whole thing comes ALIVE!! Stay with me now, it should have only taken you about four hours to color all those layers on each little petal,,,,,stick with me,,,,,we are making progress!! It's time to add some GREENERY!!! So purty! Ain't that purty?


So basically now do the very same thing with the greens, start out with Pear Pizazz. Add some shading with the Wild Wasabi, and then just a TOUCH of Old Olive, that OLD FAITHFUL OLIVE. Gotta LOVE OLD OLIVE....right? Okay, we aren't finished yet but we are getting there, slow but sure!! If you wanna do this for a swap card, make sure you design it with only ONE FLOWER!!! (or you will HATE me!!) I love to color, but NOT SWAP CARDS, not the SAME THING, OVER, and OVER, and OVER, and OVER, Mercy ME that's SO BORING!!! BUT doing this once, a piece of CAKE!!! Okay, and, moving right along.........the next thing you want to do is...........


Go around each and every flower and leave with a small shadow of Sahara Sand, it will wake the WHOLE THING UP! So pretty.....now look, ain't that pretty????? Oh man, I love that look......(geez, I am starting to sound like Jan Tink here....but I do love this technique and yes, sometimes I do love some of my own cards....I mean why else would I keep on making them otherwise???) Okay, so do that all the way around your posies........



Here's a shot of all the markers I used in this picture.....I already named them so I'm not gonna name them again, you can just scroll up, okay? Oh alright, just to be nice, Pink Pirouette to Blushing Bride to Regal Rose to Melon Mambo on the flowers, Pear Pizazz to Wild Wasabi to Old Olive on the leaves, with a shadow of Sahara Sand........and then one more thing to punch the whole thing up,,,,you just KNOW I had to use my old FAVORITE......

WHITE GEL PEN!!!!!!! IT'S NOT FINISHED TILL YOU PUT A FEW DOTS OF WHITE GEL PEN HERE AND THERE....AND SEE HOW IT ALSO ADDS DIMENSION? THEN, LAST BUT NOT LEAST, I SPONGED THE EDGES WITH BLUSHING BRIDE INK WITH SOME SAHARA SAND INK ON TOP LEAVING THE CENTER ALONE SO IT SORT OF POPS OFF THE PAGE FOR YOU!!! I AM SO DARN EXCITED RIGHT NOW- I DID THIS WHOLE TUTORIAL AND THE ONLY PICTURE I DELETED WAS ONE I DELETED ON PURPOSE CUZ IT WAS SO SIMILAR TO THE ONE BEFORE IT I THOUGHT IT WAS REDUNDANT. Okay, enough with the capital letters. I ain't getting TOO excited until this puppy is launched and all the pictures are still IN it.....I have such a tough time not wiping stuff out....I stand amazed at myself....oh go easy there girlfriend, Pride cometh before the fall......I'm gonna stop blabbing and try to get outta here with pictures intact........can you believe I did SUCH a good job and I finally, finally, finally did this tutorial I said I was going to do for a long, long, long time...I did it!!! I am so happy with ME just now!!!! Go do some marker layering, honestly, it's the BOMB!! Until next time...........Karen PS, If you are seeing this before FRIDAY, the 5th of August.....I will be hostessing a Dirty Dozen Challenge featuring this technique...go play!!! If you aren't a member of SCS, become one!! ;) It's a virtual stamper heaven!! Okay, this is really the end....I'm a little wound up here.....doing the happy dance, I did it!!! (this never happens, a blog entry with no wipe outs....) Happy Day everyone!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

GET WELL WISHES.....


Get Well cards were the theme this week for our SU ONLY Blog challenge. I don't know why I don't make more Get Well cards, because every time you turn around you need one. I had started this card as a possible swap card for Convention, and then when the time actually came I decided it was nuts to give a card away with this many tiny pearls on it......and I sorta tossed it aside with no sentiment on it yet. :) So last night at the 11th hour, when I remembered with a near panic attack that Get Well cards were the theme this week for the SU ONLY Blog Challenge, I went tearing through my stuff.......and found this card and it was a GWCWTH!!!! (get well card waiting to happen) YAY!!!!! I have been so strung out playing catch up since I got back from Convention, all I could think of was THANK GOD that HE cares about the little things for us. It's not earth shattering, but it sure was a happy surprise for me!! One of these days I will stop flying by the seat of my pants through life....but I might be just a tad bored when that happens!! Happy Tuesday everyone! Until next time, Karen

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

HAVE I TOLD YOU ABOUT MY GRANDCHILDREN?




Well, first off, they are ALL grand DAUGHTERS. That's right, SEVEN grand DAUGHTERS. So if I'm asked to make a "kid" card, you just KNOW it's gonna be GIRLIE!!!! My oldest grand daughters are Madyson and Chloe, who our family was blessed with when our daughter Bethany married our wonderful son-in-law Brian, who had Madyson and Chloe. So they were INSTANT grand daughters and they are beautiful and sweet girls who have added much JOY to our lives. Tovah was our firstborn of biological grand daughters. Tovah is a dark, curly haired beauty who is now SIX years old. She is full of life, she has a strong character, she is sweet as she can be, and we love her to pieces. Tovah dreams of being a ballerina veterinarian. Next born was Layla Page, who is now SIX too. Layla has curly blond hair and a smile that will lighten your load and quicken your step. She is picture perfect and precious. Layla loves crafting, she loves school, and she loves LIFE! Layla is adorable! Then along came Lami, sister to Tovah. Lami is adorable....she is just precious, she loves babies, animals, ballet, and her Snow White costume. I think she would wear it 24/7 if her parents let her. Lami is FIVE and as cute as a button. Next Layla had a baby sister named Brooklyn Sophia. Brookie is the cutest little girl....she has blond hair and big blue eyes, and is usually sporting a coy little smile. Brookie is TWO and a HALF(almost) Brookie loves babies, and Brookie loves PEOPLE!! She will make you feel special everytime!! Three months after Brookie was born, our youngest daughter had Olivia Lou. Olivia Lou is so dog-gone cute....she is just TWO and she is a very BUSY little two year old. She has an adorable smile and a happy countenance. Livvy loves DORA, and dogs, and babies. So that rounds out our little crop of grand daughters. All I can say, is how did we ever get thru our days without them??? Thank GOD for little GIRLS!!!! Until next time.....

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!

ANNIVERSARIES TODAY, are something to be celebrated! In this day and age where every OTHER marriage ends in divorce, we surely should make a big deal out of anniversaries!! I tend to not celebrate them enough, not sure why, maybe because we have a big family and there are birthdays, and Christmas, etc, etc, etc, and if I started celebrating all anniversaries with a gift, well, you get the picture. But when I think about it, a card would and should do it!! It's a time to reflect on marriage, and the longevity thing!! We tried to instill in our kids, make sure you choose wisely, because divorce should not be an option you entertain. Now of course, that is in a perfect world, and some marriages end in divorce for warranted reasons. But we should go in to marriage realizing how seriously GOD takes it, so that when we come to rough waters, which we WILL, we can weather the storm, pulling TOGETHER to get thru those tough times. After 37 years with the same man, I can honestly say that if I had it to do all over again, yes, I would choose the same guy. Just some thoughts on being in it for the long haul. So let's celebrate the milestones of marriage!! Happy Anniversary everyone! Until next time......

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

WONDERFUL WEDDINGS......



The theme this week for our SUO Challenge, is weddings! How appropriate for me!! I just went to a wedding yesterday! One of our long time family friends, favorite family friends.....the youngest child got married. Yes, I remember watching Mike Smith and my Mike (Barber) make sand castles together every summer at York Beach in Maine when they were wee ones. I remember years and years of fun with the Smiths.....so getting together after kids have all grown and have kids of their own, was lots of fun. Seeing in my minds eye, this family with four sons as they used to be, and then seeing four men standing before us....just one of those moments when you have to take a deep breath or you will cry. There is so much JOY in a wedding, right? A beautiful bride, and a handsome groom, and all seems right with the world!! Congratulations Mike and Lindsey- may the Lord bless you with years of JOY and HAPPINESS,,,,until you watch your own kids build sand castles at the beach.....and then you turn around for a moment, and they have become adults with children of their own. Ain't life GRAND???

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

LIFE IS HARD.....

Time for a masculine card, and this stamp just seemed appropriate - You Mean the World 2 me...... because even after 36 years my husband does mean the world to me. The last few weeks have been a time of true reflection on what really matters, as we have watched miles of our country just wiped right out by tornadoes. My son-in-law and his friend Blake, who happen to be the pastors at our church took a trip to Joplin, just to see what they could do to help for a couple of days. They took lots of video footage and it was part of church on Sunday. Incredible stuff. People just stripped bare of all belongings, and just thrilled when they could say we are all alive and that's what matters. Of course some were not able to say that. Jon said he stood in the yard of one family and was told where bodies of family members were found, lifeless. A thirteen month old child......the child's mom. Hard stuff to get your head around. And yet we know that none of this takes our God by surprise. He is still in control, and He is still good. A very dear person in my life lost a child this week in a totally separate incident. Life is hard. Sometimes there are just no easy answers. Sometimes we have to say, I trust you God even when I do not understand, and hold on tight. Sometimes that's all we can do. And we can lift these loved ones up in prayer and ask God to wrap HIS everlasting arms of love around them, and squeeze them really, really tight. Until next time, Karen

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

April Showers Bring May Flowers......

Anyone who knows me at ALL, and my stamping style, knows that this week, I was doing the happy dance when I HAD to stamp flowers....I will ALWAYS choose flowers over anything else... so being told I HAVE to stamp flowers is like being told I HAVE to eat DOVE DARK CHOCOLATE OR ELSE!! Such punishment is not hard to take!! HOWEVER, the first flower card I made last night was a total dud....and I stayed up way to late making it....and then I hated it! So this is card #2, and I like it a lot better. :) You win some, you lose some, even flowers!! ;) I colored this using what I call "marker layering" - would anyone want me to do a tutorial on this technique soon? It's really so easy, and I think comes out looking not too shabby! These great flowers are available in the brand new mini catalog. You can go straight there and SHOP if you want them by the button on the sidebar!! SO pretty!!! So, flowers.....can we do them again next time??? EVERY TIME???? Happy Tuesday everyone!!! Until next time, Karen

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

CAN YOU FIND THE BUTTERFLY???

Kind of tiny, my wee little butterfly....can you see it? I made this card for a good friend of mine at work, for her husband to give her for Mother's Day and he's surprising her with a big stamp order for Mother's Day. I tried to make a nice basic card for her so she can use it as an idea,,,and then I ordered this great stamp set for her, and the wonderful wings embosslit....among all kinds of other great stuff! And I don't "think" she looks at my blog...I hope!! That was so fun to pick out for a friend and spend someone elses money! ;) I basically just colored this with the layered marker technique, I just named that technique. :) It's just what it sounds like, but I just might do a tutorial soon, as I get so many questions on how I color using markers and blender pens. I love this flower stamp...it's so darn cute. Anyway, I am getting joy thinking about my friend receiving stamp stuff for Mother's Day. It took me really 3 years to get her actually going with stamping....and I'm so proud of her because she is now designing her own cards and enjoying it!! I've been telling her for 3 years she will forget all about puzzles if she just tries stamping, and she finally caught the bug....yay!! Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful mothers out there! Who knew the indiscribable joy and yet the deep pain that being a mom brings....??? Life is never the same,,,,right? Until next time.......

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY.....


The SU only blog challenge for this week is to make any Mother's Day card.....so I chose this great new set to be released in May. Wow- this one is really, really fun to watercolor!! I use what I call marker layering when I watercolor an image like this. I lay down a little bit of the color, in this case poppy parade and then in a circular movement I use a blender pen to spread the color out to the outer edge. Then I keep layering more and more marker into the center of my image, making sure to blend, but leave the outside lighter. Then I lay down an even darker color at the base of each petal, in this case, Riding Hood Red. This is my favorite technique in the whole entire world. I can fall asleep watercoloring, but when I do the results aren't quite as crisp. ;) I hope you like my BOLD Mother's Day card.....with that great striped gg ribbon I use every "once in a blue moon".....and that is the understatement of the year!!!! Happy Stamping everyone!! Until next time......

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

SOMEBUNNY ANSWERED YOUR PRAYERS.....

As I chose a PET to stamp with my SU collection, I was sadly in need of more stamps!!! I don't have any of the current dog or cat sets. Being a Golden Retriever owner, I don't want another doggie stamp, it feels like cheating on Luca.....and I am NOT a cat lover. I am not even a cat liker. I am not even a cat appreciater. So I looked through my vast collection of 85 percent flowers..., and I found this adorable bunny. And it brought back memories of our two pet rabbits that we had when our kids were little. We raised our kids in a 1200 square foot apartment on the grounds of the Africa Inland Mission and one of the rules was NO DOGS ALLOWED. In later years, we begged and begged and were finally able to get our first Golden Retriever. But years before that when our kids were little we went thru gerbils, guinea pigs, turtles, basically anything that could be contained. Bethany even had a pet snail once. But our kids kept praying for a rabbit because we kept saying no- that they poop too much and don't make good pets. Well one day, our kids shrieked with JOY when a gorgeous lop earred bunnie just appeared on the lawn in front of our apartment. It was clearly a pet that had gotten left on the lawn, and it was gorgeous. Much begging followed, and we finally caved, and that bunnie became like part of our family. It was one of the first times that our kids saw tangible answers to their very own prayers, and how could we tell them that was NOT an answer to their prayers??? Seemed pretty clear to us. :) Later, when it died, we got another pet bunnie and we named it Precious. Good times, and happy memories. However, I was right, they do poop too much. Happy Tuesday everyone, and Happy Stamping! Until next time.....

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Friend!~


The SUO challenge blog challenge for today was anything birthday. I love this big cupcake stamp. I used my Big Shot and embossing folders, along with a crimper to make my cupcake paper really look official. :) Wasn't that brilliant? I used pearls and seam binding and rosettes to give it a vintage look. I was really under the wire tonite, as I usually make this card days ahead and tonite I could not since I was away for the weekend. The pressure was on to come up with something quickly. I also posted to the color challenge on Splitcoast where I had to make a sample using the challenge colors, and THAT was a challenge too. Sometimes you just stamp and the cards pop out and you love them, and other times you make, remake, and remake again. Such a night had I. I am defeated. :) Ready to lay my head down on the pillow and dream of days where mojo is plentiful. Not today. Oh well, it is what it is. Until next time, happy stamping everyone!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A BLAST FROM MY STAMPIN'UP PAST.....


This week our challenge for the SUO blog, was to create something from our favorite discontinued set. I really don't have a favorite, I have a multiplicity of favorite sets. Every year I go into mourning for a while after they discontinue sets... and so I chose ONE of my favorite all time sets, this 2 step tulip. Since I was on a blast from the SU past role, I decided to also style my card around a style that was my old go to at the time this set was in it's prime. I use to constantly use this layout at workshops with new stampers. So simple, yet I think it has a wow factor. Especially when used with a great set like this one, which I ask you why did they have to discontinue this great set,,,,and why dont' they come out with more totally awesome 2 step flower sets like they used to have? Boo hoo, watercolor garden, watercolor garden 2, DD hydrangea, and dd sunflower, just to name a few of my favorites......boo hoo hoo hoo. So it was fun to take a walk down memory lane and use this old set, in this old style, with a brand new color, Poppy Parade to wake the whole thing up!! Because Poppy Parade, could wake the dead!! LOVE this color!! That's my blast from the past for today! So take out those old stamp set, blow the dust off, and make a good old fashioned card today!! Happy Stamping everyone!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I LOVE SHABBY CHIC....


I quickly decided that my favorite Saleabration set is Sweet Summer and I sorta overlooked this Bliss set.....but once I started to play with it, it's a close 2nd for me....I totally LOVE that big stamp I used as background here. :) SWEET!! So last week I felt like I cheated because when I got my card all done which was supposed to feature a wheel, you could hardly even SEE the wheel. Well this time, I am suffering MAJOR guilt - look at those pearl stick pins I stuck in there on my card that was made especially for the SU ONLY blog.....yikes- I blew it again!! CONTRABAND! Sorry everyone!! But anyway, it's not really such a big deal. I say get over it. Next time I'll do better. :) I still like this card. :) CONTRABAND OR NO CONTRABAND. It wouldn't be an issue except that I made it for the SUO CHALLENGE BLOG....duh. oh well, isn't perfection wonderful???? Happy Stamping everyone!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

WHEEL YOU PLEASE BE SERIOUS????


I am here to tell ya, I used a wheel on this card. After all, the CHALLENGE for our SUO blog was to USE A WHEEL. And I used a wheel! I started out with vanilla cardstock and I ran the vintage wheel all over it with versamark ink. Then I colored it softly using the pastels. Then I stamped some images from Nature Walk right on top of the softly colored Vintage wheel images using black stazon ink. Then I stamped the bird on a piece of cardstock vellum and colored him with SU markers from behind. Then I adhered the bird onto my vintage background, and it looked pretty awesome with the images and vintage wheel showing thru the vellum, and then I stamped a few bees on top of that....so when you see this card in person, alot is going on but it's all good. Except in the PICTURE, you can't see the vintage wheel very well. Which was the whole bloomin' POINT. But honestly, I did use a wheel on my card. I really did, you just have to believe me. It's there. Look closer. It really is, I mean it, seriously, it's there. Happy Stamping everyone!! Until next time......

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY


I know, it's early but our SUO blog challenge for this week is a valentine....gotta give you time to case if you want to! I have really enjoyed this red glitter paper for Christmas AND Valentine's Day. A little bit goes a long way, but it's so WOW! I also love these dp's from SU, with all the little polka dot papers......cool stuff!! I've been thinking about my Valentine a lot these days. What a steady, even keeled, good man I married 37 years ago. I am so loving watching him acclamate himself to this brand new job at the hospital. After watching him downright miserable for the past two years truck driving, it's so nice to see him go off to work with a smile on his face and come home every night and the smile is still there. So nice to have another person in the house when I come home at night. So nice to have someone keeping the other side of the bed warm every night. So nice to have someone shoveling the snow, and taking out the garbage, and helping do dishes, and cooking....and someone to watch a movie with on a Friday night, go out to dinner with...and the list goes on. All things I once took for granted, they are a gift after the last 3 years of separation due to the truck driving. It's nice to marry your best friend when you are really still a kid....and wake up 37 years later, and he's still the one! I try not to take him for granted, but to wake up each day and be thankful to be married to my best friend. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!~ Until next time, tell someone you love them!~

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Yah Baby......


So it was to be a baby card today......love baby cards, and I naturally gravitate toward baby GIRL cards.....(any wonder with SEVEN grand daughters??) Anyway- I made this with that great new embossing folder in the SU mini catalog.....Love.it!! The stamp set, Teddies and Trains, some watercolor cardstock, some markers and blender pens, some Pretty in Pink dp, some of my favorite ribbon some faux stitching and pearls.....pretty easy peasy!! Thanks to all of you for your comments and messages to tell me you are inspired by my blog. If you are ever so moved, I am always thrilled to receive orders and you can click on my SU website right on this blog and it will take you directly to where you can order thru me. YIPPEE, if you place an order, and ask me - I will send you a card....how's that??? Well our kids are gone, on their trek to the islands in the Indian Ocean for 3,1/2 years. I am just now beginning to look human again.....my eyes were so swollen I could hardly open them....but you know what? Time heals all wounds....and as the days unfold the Lord gives perfect peace that they are right where they are supposed to be, and all is well with my soul!! :) A scripture I keep coming back to is actually a song I used to sing - He gave me, beauty for ashes, the oil of JOY for mourning, the garment of praise, for the spirit of heaviness, that we might be trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that HE might be glorified. So I praise HIM, for all HE has done for me, and the spirit of heaviness goes away and is replaced by HIS perfect peace, and JOY in my heart. Until next time.......Karen