Thursday, November 11, 2010

*there's nothing like a fresh coat of paint!*

I thought you might like to see a few pictures of my completed project. It started mid-July, and I just finished up this week! I had begun to wonder if I was ever going to get done! I chose all new colors, and I'm thrilled with how it turned out. Now my house is all pretty again... and I can get back to making cards!

Here's a picture of the garage. I wasn't sure I could get it painted this year. I had resigned myself to the fact that I might have to finish it up in the spring. But the weather cooperated, and my sister put in some long days to help me get it done. Hopefully I'll be back soon with a card or two to share. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

*taste the snowflakes*

Here's a card you might recognize from last week's A Muse News. Sorry I don't have anything new to share. It's been a crazy summer for me. I spent a number of weeks helping my sister get her house ready to rent. Then I took on a decorating project at my house which involved re-painting my living room and dining room. It took me three tries to get the right color, which was a bit frustrating, but nothing was more frustrating than saving and saving to have my couch, ottoman, and love seat reupholstered only to get the couch back and realize that she upholstered it INSIDE OUT!!! It has been quite a fiasco, to say the least, and it's not over yet. Now I'm painting the outside of my house. It's been 10 years since it's been painted, and I've quickly discovered 3 things. 1.) Scraping is a horrible job. 2.) If primer sticks to the siding half as well as it sticks to my fingers, I should never have to paint this house again! 3.) I've gotten myself into a lot of work! But once you start a project of this magnitude, there's no turning back. Working out in the heat all day pretty much zaps my creativity, so I'm afraid that until this project is over, I won't have much to share.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Muse U: Finding Inspiration

It's time for another session of A Muse U! This time it's all about finding inspiration.

Whenever I'm running low on inspiration, I sit down with a cup of coffee and browse a few of my favorite blogs or thumb through the pages of the latest issue of Paper Crafts, and in no time I'm inspired to create. Blogs, online galleries, and stamping magazines are full of great ideas that can help get your creative juices flowing. But sometimes it's fun to find inspiration in the not-so-obvious places.

I found this quilt in an advertisement from Younkers.

I was immediately drawn to it's colors, probably because they were such beautiful, muted shades with a vintage look to them. They weren't really colors I would have thought of putting together, but their combination was beautiful. I couldn't resist. I caved and bought the quilt. After it was on my bed, I kept looking at the colors. I started wondering if I had inks in similar colors. Wouldn't that make a beautiful card? Sages, browns, golds, rosy pinks, and a deep, almost eggplant purple. Why not stick with florals and use my Everything's Rosy stamps? And out of nowhere, I found myself inspired to create this card.

I found inspiration for the next card after watching my little girl, Livi, play with her tea set. I love polka dots, and those sweet little tea cups were all it took to inspire me to dig out my neglected cup and saucer stamp. I loved the colors of the tea cups and used similar colors on my card.

Inspiration comes when something catches your eye, even when that something is quite simple or just a tiny part of what caught your eye in the first place. It's all about what inspires YOU! Is it the colors? the style? Maybe it's a shape or the way something is put together.

You never know when inspiration will strike, so keep your eyes open. Who knows... you might find a fresh and fun new color combination, an idea for mixing up patterns, a new way of using an old stamp, or inspiration to dig out something you almost forgot you had!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Muse U: Combining Patterns

Welcome to A Muse U! Today is all about combining patterns... one of my favorite things about card-making!

I love patterns, and it's no secret that POLKA DOTS are my favorite! But there are lots of fabulous patterns to choose from, and learning a few simple tricks about how to mix and match those patterns is sure to take your card designs to an all new level.

Combining patterns is all about spotting what looks good together. Too many patterns, even if they match, can be busy and distracting. Not enough patterns can make your design a bit blah. If you like a lot of patterns, it can be a challenge to find a happy medium. Sometimes you might need to weed out a few. Other times you have to be daring enough to try a mix that you may not initially think will work. The results may surprise you.

The patterns you choose will likely be influence by your own personal style. An eclectic and whimsical style generally lends itself to a freer choice of patterns and might even include a few choices that seem somewhat mismatched. A shabby style lends itself to softer, muted tones and patterns. A simple style lends itself to fewer, well-chosen patterns that aren't too distracting.

You'll also want to think about the type of card you're making. A calmer mix of patterns is usually better for sympathy or encouragement cards, whereas you can be more liberal with your choice of patterns when you're making a kids' card or other cards with a more light-hearted tone.

More often than not, the first thing to come to mind when you think of patterns is paper, and there's no shortage of fabulous patterned papers to choose from. One advantage stampers have is that we can create our own patterned papers using background stamps or a random mix of coordinating images. Embossing folders are another great way to create patterns. This is an especially fun technique when you're using white core paper. By lightly sanding the embossed image, you reveal the white layer hidden underneath, and it really makes the embossed image pop.

There are lots of fun patterns to be found on this oh-so-sweet friendship card. Notice how I added a few extra polka dots by paper piecing the umbrella.

Here I mixed paisleys, polka dots, and gingham. Even the stitching on the ribbon creates a subtle pattern.

Patterns aren't only found on paper. They can also be found on ribbons, brads, buttons, paper flowers, and all sorts of embellishments. So why not get creative? Add lots of fun patterns to your next creation, and you'll be amazed at the outcome!

Be sure to stop by and see Krystie and Heather for more fun tips and A Muse U projects!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

*A Muse Anniversary Blog Hop*

Welcome to A Muse's 9th Anniversary Blog Hop! I'm so glad you stopped by! The Blog Hop began back at the A Muse Blog, so be sure to go there to get started. If you have a problem with any links along the way, you can always hop back to the A Muse Blog for a complete list of direct links to all the participants. If you started at the beginning and have followed your way here, you should have come from Anna Wight's blog.

For those of us who *love* collage style cards, the new Everything's Rosy release is a dream come true! I couldn't resist creating a collage-style accordion card. No sanding on this one. Sorry to disappoint! ;) I replaced my usual sanding with some ink to the edges just to make it look a little aged and worn. Now for the fun stuff!
There's a giveaway on each individual blog along the hop, in addition to a grand prize! Be sure to leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win two of my favorite new Everything's Rosy stamps, Queen Anne's Lace and the Hello sentiment you see on my shabby accordion-style card. One winner will be chosen at random. The grand prize winner will be chosen randomly from all the comments left on all the blogs participating in the hop, so the more you comment, the more chances you have to win! Winners will be announced Monday, May 10th on the A Muse Blog.

My fellow Muse, Elena, is the next stop, so be sure to hop on over to her blog to see what crafty goodness she has whipped up for you and for another chance to win some amazing new Everything's Rosy stamps!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

*amuse-bouche*- flutterby flock

The new Everything's Rosy stamps are perfect for one layer collage-style cards, like this one. Just pick out four or five inks and start stamping! It doesn't get any easier than that!

Here's another super easy idea. Stamp directly onto a lunch-sized sack, scallop the edge, fold it over, add a few holes for the ribbon and a sweet little tag, and you've got a cute gift bag.

This sweet little pocket card doesn't feature any of the new Everything's Rosy stamps, but I couldn't resist sharing it here anyway.

And last, but not least, is a favorite of mine. Every once in a while, I make something that turns out just like I envisioned. It doesn't happen very often, so I'm giddy when it does.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a beautiful day!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

*amuse-bouche* - Everything's Rosy

The A Muse celebration continues, and today I'm excited to share with you a peek of the new Everything's Rosy Release! It's an amazing collection of wood-mounted botanical images and sentiments in a bit bigger size. Today I'm showing off *bursting blossoms*. Don't ya just love it? A Muse makes it so easy to create lovely, elegant cards in no time flat! What more could a girl want?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

*happy anniversary, A Muse!*

Welcome back for a peek at another fun new set being released in honor of A Muse's 9th anniversary. The set is called Happy... and yes, it makes my heart happy! It includes a banner and lots of fun phrases to pair up with the "happy" sentiment you see on the first pane of my accordion-style card. I used a white gel pen and outlined some of the letters and added polka dots to others for an extra fun look! And of course, every party needs balloons and a tiny little party hat, wouldn't you agree?

This summer will mark my 5th year with A Muse. How exciting is that? I've seen A Muse grow to include clear stamps, twinkle stickers, ribbons, pearls, an amazing array of fabulous papers in a yummy assortment of colors and patterns, and so much more! I'm truly honored to be part of the A Muse Design Team, and I wish Linda and A Muse many more years of continued success... from the bottom of my happy little heart!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

*congratulations, A Muse!*

It's one BIG party at A Muse this week! To celebrate their 9th year in business, A Muse is releasing two new clear sets, Happy and Vintage A Muse. Vintage A Muse is a fun collection of retired images with all new sentiments. I used the kite and sentiment from the vintage set for this card.

One of my cards showcasing the Happy set is featured over at the A Muse blog today. See if you can tell which one's mine! ;)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

*all ears*

There's nothing like a good mail day, and yesterday I hit the jackpot. Two packages in one day!!! I got two new Puddle Jumpers stamps AND some yummy new paper pads by October Afternoon. I couldn't resist this cute little girl, Emma, and her darling little bunny friend. And I'm completely smitten with October Afternoon's new Fly a Kite and Thrift Shop papers... especially the polka dot ones! They are so vintage-y and fun!

And while we're talking about things I love... how cute is this A Muse sentiment? It's perfect for this card! For those of you who visit often, you know how much I talk about things that make my heart happy. Well, A Muse sentiments make my heart happy! I reach for them all the time. I'm kind of funny about sentiments. In fact, I'm down right picky. A Muse fonts come in all sorts of fun styles. Some are created with fonts. Others are handwritten. I especially love the handwritten ones like the one I used for this card. It amazes me that anyone can write that perfectly!

It's going to be a beautiful day here in Iowa. I'd love to take a nice long walk, but I've managed to mess up my foot. I hope it's lovely in your neck of the woods and that you're able to get outside to enjoy it!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

*thank you*

This morning, as I was enjoying my early morning coffee and browsing through my favorite blogs, I spotted this card made by my good friend, Michelle. It inspired me to dig through my stash of American Art Stamps and create this fun and whimsical thank you card. It always makes me happy to dig out something I haven't used in a while... and it makes me feel less guilty about all the money I've spent on stamps. ;)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

*day 4- simply scent-sational*

Today I created a smaller version of a card I made that was posted over at the A Muse Blog. It's been a while since I've made one of these fun cards with a toilet paper tube.

The weather is absolutely beautiful here in Iowa, so I'm headed out the door to take a nice long walk. Hope you're having a *scent-sational* day!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

*day 3- spring is in the air*

Welcome back for another dose of Woodland Critters inspiration! Did you spot what's new? The cloud paper, of course!!! Isn't it fun?

I've been seeing lots of fabulous paper flowers lately and since today's theme is all about spring, it's the perfect opportunity to add a delightful paper flower with a wonderful *watermelon* center!

Be sure to bop on over to the A Muse blog for more inspiring ideas!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

*day 2- woodland friends*

I'm so glad you stopped back for some more Woodland Critters inspiration! Today's theme is *woodland friends*, and I'm thrilled to give you a glimpse of the new watermelon paper that was introduced yesterday AND today's new color.... apricot!

My card today was inspired by the amazing JulieHRR! For those of you who frequent the A Muse Lounge, you know that this month's challenge is to create something inspired by Julie. It's a pretty easy challenge since everything Julie makes is inspiring!

The rest of the team is sure to have some more inspiration for you, so be sure to check out their blogs!

Monday, March 29, 2010

*woodland critters- snail mail*

Nobody does critters like A Muse, their Woodland Critters are sure to make your heart happy!
This card features a few of my favorites... snail and caterpillar. The A Muse team has been whippin' up lots of inspiration, and you don't want to miss it!

Friday, March 26, 2010

*A Muse/Hero Arts Designer Swap*

Ever had one of those secrets you couldn't wait to share? Well, I finally get to spill the beans! I'm tickled to be part of the A Muse/Hero Arts Designer Swap, and today I'm swappin' with Nancy Taylor of Hero Arts! It has been so fun to see what those brilliant Hero Arts gals created with A Muse stamps... and equally as fun to see my fellow Muses, Julie and Heather, whip up some magic with Hero Arts stamps!

Check out the A Muse News blog to see Nancy's fabulous designs, and then hop on over to the Hero Arts Blog to see what I created. Be sure to leave comments on both blogs for a chance to win some free stamps! I hear Hero Arts is giving away some of those sweet owls that I adore!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

*thanks {so much}*

You can never have too many thank you cards on hand. I make more thank you's than any other card, but I never seem to have one when I need one. How is that possible? I normally don't use a lot of purple, but lately I've had a thing for purple and green. It makes a great combination, especially when you've got a yummy polka dot ribbon to match.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

*meet Phoebe*

She's the newest member of our family... and she makes my heart happy. :)

*sweet friend*

I've always loved these sweet little mice... and to think that I nearly forgot that I had them! I'm so glad I picked up Martha Stewart's grass border punch the last time I was at Michaels. It has become one of my favorite punches, and I love pairing it up with A Muse's wonderful green gingham.

I hope it's sunny and warm where you are. It's snowing here in Iowa!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

*Bunny Bonanza*

Here's a fun little project I created for Bunny Bonanza over at the A Muse Blog. This oh-so-shabby apron holds a packet of flower seeds. Wouldn't this make a great gift for that friend who loves to garden?

If you're ready for spring (who isn't?) and looking for some inspiring ideas, be sure to hop on over (wink) to the A Muse Blog. You'll find lots of cards featuring A Muse's super cute bunny images and some fun project ideas too!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

*more Izzie cards*

I've got a few more *Izzie* cards to show you today. I just love this image. Izzie's as cute as a button... AND she's holding daisies, my favorite flower! Both cards feature the same image, just different color combinations. It's been a while since I've mixed blue and yellow. It makes for a sweet mix, don't ya think?

Here she is done up in a combination of coral and pink. I love this combination as well. It's so sweet and feminine.

Thanks so much for stopping by! We're enjoying a lazy snow day here! Hope you're having a wonderful day... and finding a little time to stamp!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

*Izzie, Eunice, and Irving*

I've got a couple of cards to share with you today. First up is Izzie with a big sparkly bouquet of balloons. Isn't she sweet? I kept this card fairly simple, which can be difficult for me, but I wanted little Izzie to steal the show.

Next up is Eunice and Irving. Have you ever seen a cuter couple? Almost changes my mind about mice! ;) I'm tickled that you stopped by! Hope you visit often!