Saturday, August 19, 2017

Easy shaker card

Shaker cards are fun to give (and to receive!), but I admit that I don't make them often because I don't want to fuss with all the assembly. Well, at one of the craft shows I went to this summer, one of the vendor booths (Cre8tive Artz by Tall Mouse) had a display of shaker cards made with clear cellophane bags. I know this isn't a new concept, but for some reason it hadn't ever occurred to me to try it. And when the gentleman working in the booth came over to talk with us, he pointed out that you don't have to use new cellophane bags/envelopes -- you could re-use packaging you already have. Genius! I have so many cellophane packages in different sizes from items such as embellishments, adhesives, and even stamp sets, and it would be great to re-purpose them. So I gave it a try with a playful kids birthday card.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Sweet Treat JB0837 (Jillibean Soup), Happiest Birthday Wishes
Paper: Whisper White, thick Whisper White, Melon Mambo, Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Yoyo Yellow, Cucumber Crush, Pacific Point, Lovely Lilac card stock
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Basic Black marker, Smoky Slate marker, Basic Gray marker, Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Yoyo Yellow, Cucumber Crush, Pacific Point, Lovely Lilac
Accessories: 2" circle punch, red/white twine (Target), corner rounder, foam strips, Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack
Other: Cellophane packaging/bag

What do you think? To make the card front, I stamped and colored the image of the gumball machine on a panel of white card stock and then used a 2" circle punch to punch out the center. I punched small circles ("gumballs") out of several bright colors of card stock and placed them inside a cellophane package. (Be sure the pouch is large enough to cover the whole opening in the card front, but small enough to not go past the edges of the card stock panel.) I adhered the pouch to the back of the card stock, embellished the front and used foam strips to adhere it to the card base. Pretty easy!

Obviously when using the cellophane packaging for a shaker element, it doesn't have the same dimension as a "regular" shaker card. Because the pouch is flat, the pieces inside need to be pretty flat, too. But on the plus side, the card also has a lot less bulk, making it easier to mail.

The "gumballs" in my shaker pouch don't move quite as freely as I would have liked, but I think that's partly because the small card stock circles are so light. They do move around a bit when you shake the card, though, and I think that's enough to amuse a young one.

Inside the card I stamped a sentiment surrounded by a few gumballs. I also added gumballs rolling along the bottom of the card.

The next time I make a shaker card like this, I think I'll try using a variety of items inside the pouch to see if they move around better. But overall I'm pretty pleased with this card for a first effort. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

August garden update

I realized last week that we were already more than a week into August and I hadn't posted a new garden update. Good grief! So I took my camera out a couple of times and snapped a few photos to share.

Here's the overall shot of the garden. For the most part everything has been doing really well. Except the cauliflower. That was a dud. The plant has continued to grow and sprout floret-looking "things," but they look odd, so we haven't picked anything off that plant. Oh, well.

The squash (just to the right of the potted basil in the photo) is finally starting to get bigger and has a baby sunburst squash. It's about time! Usually the squash and/or zucchini we plant waste no time in spreading out as far as they can.

The beans have been reaching their tendrils everywhere and flowering like mad. I don't think we've found or picked as many beans as we have in past years, though. But that's probably OK. We've actually been able to keep up with eating them more or less as we pick them. (I think at the end of last summer we had multiple gallon-size bags filled with beans stuffed in the fridge.)

We've harvested Swiss chard a few times, but we discovered that the goldfinches really like to nibble on it, so I guess we're sharing that crop. (You can't really see it in this photo; it's growing under the cucumber trellis, which is in the middle on the left side of the photo.) One finch was really brave and decided to eat some for dinner while my sister was standing just a couple of feet away. But that's okay; we were both a little relieved to realize that's why all the leaves were holey -- at least the plant didn't have some awful disease or pesky bug.

Here are a few close-up photos:

These are the San Marzano tomatoes. This tomato plant will stop at nothing. It's completely outgrown its cage and doesn't seem to be slowing down. It's also been full of tomatoes -- I think there are at least a dozen in this photo. They were a little slow to ripen, but they're coming along now. I ate some for lunch today with some fresh mozzarella and a bit of balsamic vinegar. Yum!

Here is the baby sunburst squash. Actually I just realized there are two in this photo -- one right in the middle and a teeny, tiny one just above it. And it looks like there might be another one coming near the bottom of the photo. I hope we get a good crop even though they're late bloomers.

If you haven't tried sunburst squash before, I would recommend it. I'm not really a fan of winter squash varieties (e.g., pumpkin, acorn squash, etc.) because they're too, well, squashy. But I've found that I do enjoy summer squash, such as zucchini and sunburst squash. We usually just cut them up and either sautee or roast them.
The eggplant is doing well, too. The last time we planted eggplant -- I think two years ago -- it only grew one fruit. So far this year we have four coming in (in this photo one is hidden behind the leaves below the large eggplant in the middle). We'll have to find some good eggplant recipes! If you have any favorites, leave a comment below. My sister loves cookbooks and recipes, and thankfully she does a lot of our cooking, because I don't particularly enjoy it. She is vegan, so we don't use meat or dairy, but she's pretty good at adapting recipes whenever possible.

Here are a couple of the pepper plants -- the chocolate peppers are in the photo on the right, and the tangerine dream peppers are on the left. We did notice that for quite awhile the tangerine dream peppers insisted on growing straight up. I'm not sure if that's the way they usually grow, but it was amusing.

And just because I think they're really pretty, here is a close-up shot of the flowers on one of the bean plants. We planted a few different varieties, and I love all the different colored flowers -- and the bumblebees do, too! Yippee!


The sunflowers are finally blooming in the flower patch by the alley. Only a few of the seeds sprouted, and I think the rest of them became a snack for the local wildlife.
These sunflowers aren't nearly as big as the mammoth ones we planted a couple of years ago, but it's much easier to take pictures of them!


Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Manicure kit in a jar

Earlier this summer one of my cousins celebrated her eleventh birthday (girls turning eleven was a theme for me this summer), and I decided to give her a fun manicure kit in a specially decorated jar.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Night of Navy, Lemon Lime Twist, Flirty Flamingo, Emerald Envy card stock
Accessories: Stitched Shapes, Layering Circles, Circles Collection, Flower Fair, Secret Garden Framelits dies; Decorative Dots embossing folder; Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack; rhinestones; pink letter stickers (unknown); navy organdy ribbon; Night of Navy seam binding ribbon; Dimensionals; Glue Dots; Scor-Tape (Scor-Pal)

Isn't that cute? The jar itself was left over from trail mix. I'd saved it, certain I would find a way to put it to good use. The contents included a set of nail tools (clippers, file, etc.) in a decorative holder, light pink and sparkly clear nail polishes, nail polish remover pads (safer than liquid nail polish remover when one has four younger siblings running around) and nail art stickers. The original package from the stickers wouldn't fit in the jar, so I opened the pack and put them in a small resealable bag. To keep with the theme, I used cotton balls as the packing material inside the jar.

When it came to decorating the jar, I used the holder from the set of nail tools as my inspiration. I love the bright flowers combined with the navy background, so I selected a few Stampin' Up! card stock colors to coordinate: Night of Navy, Flirty Flamingo, Lemon Lime Twist, and Emerald Envy. I wrapped the jar with the navy card stock and a length of navy organdy ribbon. I die cut flowers and leaves and adhered them around the jar, adding accents with a mini punch and, of course, some rhinestones. You gotta have a little bling, right?

For the lid I die cut a large Night of Navy circle for the background. I cut a smaller Lemon Lime Twist stitched circle for the focal layer and matted it with a scalloped Emerald Envy circle. I practiced handwriting "Monica's Manicures" a few times, but I couldn't get it quite right, so I decided to look through my alphabet stickers instead. I found some small pink circles with white letters that were a really close match to Flirty Flamingo. Perfect! I spelled out the words on the Lemon Lime Twist circle then adhered it to the navy circle slightly off-center. I added a die-cut flower and a few rhinestones, and to finish the lid I wrapped Night of Navy seam binding ribbon around the edge.

I don't make a lot of gift packaging for kids, because I know in all the birthday hoopla it will most likely just get tossed and not really appreciated. (What's inside is a lot more important than what the outside looks like.) But this project has a little more "permanent" feel, and I think it will look cute sitting on the recipient's dresser or bookshelf. It was a fun project to put together!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Birthday crafting session

Last month one of my awesome and crafty friends turned eleven years old. (Where does the time go?!) To celebrate the occasion, today she came over with her mom (also a super awesome friend; we went to college together), and we had a little birthday crafting session.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Kit: Heartfelt Banner Designer Kit
Paper: Pear Pizzazz, Calypso Coral, Coastal Cabana card stock
Accessories: Butterflies Thinlits dies

To start off, the birthday girl put together a quick little banner from a fun kit. For an extra punch of color, I die cut a few butterflies out of coordinating card stock and added them to the basic kit supplies. She was excited to think about what she would clip on the banner once she got home.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Kit: Something Good to Eat Paper Pumpkin (September 2016)
Paper: Very Vanilla card stock
Ink: Crushed Curry, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Crushed Curry baker's twine, clear Wink of Stella glitter brush pen, Note Tag punch, 1/8" hole punch

Next up we made some little treat tubes. I never used my Paper Pumpkin kit from last Halloween (I wasn't intentionally hoarding it; I just didn't have a need for sixteen treat tubes at the time!), so I decided that would be a fun project. But since it's not quite time for Halloween, I needed a more summery theme. I bought some chocolate-covered sunflower seeds from the local candy store and designed a tag using the sunflower image and one of the sentiments from the set. It was the perfect combination and tasty, too! (We had to sample a few of the treats to make sure they passed quality control, after all.)

After stamping the tags, we added a little sparkle to the sunflowers by painting Wink of Stella over the center of the flower. It's so pretty when it catches the light!

For assembly, we punched 1/8" holes in the top of each tag. We tied a piece of Crushed Curry baker's twine around the top of the tube, fed both of the twine ends through the hole in the tag and then tied another knot and a bow on the front of the tag.

Finished treat tubes and happy crafters!


Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Summer Splash
Paper: Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Cool Caribbean card stock
Ink: Cool Caribbean, Calypso Coral, Lucky Limeade, Crumb Cake
Accessories: Burlap ribbon trim, 2" circle and 2-3/8" scalloped circle punches, Tiny Attacher (Tim Holtz), Mini Action Wobble springs (Art Impressions), 4 mm clear droplets (Pretty Pink Posh),
Art Glitter glue (Art Institute Glitter)

There isn't anything terribly complicated about this card, but the octopus on the Mini Action Wobble spring was a big hit!

For the card base, we stamped the sea life and bubble images on a piece of Whisper White card stock and adhered it to a Crumb Cake card. To add some texture we attached a piece of burlap ribbon trim with mini staples. (This has become my favorite method for adding this ribbon onto cards. Adhesive doesn't always work well with the burlap texture, and I love the contrast between the metal and textile.) As a final touch we glued on three clear droplets to look like splashing water.

Getting just the right stamp placement.

Masterpieces!

I had so much fun crafting and visiting with friends today -- and it was my second fun stamping day this week! (I think I might have craft day every day if I could.) After we were done creating, I gave the birthday girl a bin full of various card-making supplies as part of her present. She was pretty excited about it, and I think she'll be busy for awhile!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Fun stamping day

Today is the sixth anniversary of my blog. Crazy! I didn't have a chance to make a special project to post for the occasion, but I do have a few cards to share that are the result of a fun stamping day.

My friend Erin, who is in town visiting family, spent a few hours stamping with me this morning, and we had a great time. I met Erin through my blog, so I suppose it works out perfectly to share the results of our stamping session on my blog-iversary:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Wetlands, Simply Sketched, Petite Pairs
Paper: Thick Very Vanilla, Old Olive, Mint Macaron, Calypso Coral, Basic Black, Very Vanilla card stock; Pretty Petals Designer Series Paper (DSP) Stack
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Calypso Coral, Mint Macaron, Old Olive, journaling pen
Accessories: Punches: Starburst, 1-3/4" circle, scalloped circle, heart border, 1-3/8" square, Itty Bitty Accents pack, Fun Flower; linen thread; 1/8" Old Olive taffeta ribbon; Calypso Coral twine; gold clip; pearls; wood buttons; sequins (Craft Medley, Hazel & Ruby); Aquapainter; Mini Glue Dots; Dimensionals; Mono Multi liquid glue; sponge

Yesterday I put together "kits" for us with patterned paper, card stock and embellishments, and we each made three cards using those supplies. It's fun to see the different layouts and styles we created with the same basic supplies.

In the photo, the three cards I made are on the top, and Erin's cards are on the bottom. I love the white space on her cards -- I'm all about clean and simple! I also really like the watercolor accent Erin added behind the sentiment on the first two cards, as well as the hand-cut images. The doodles she added around the "Thanks so much" sentiment on the last two cards are great. At first I thought those little lines were part of the stamped sentiment, which had me confused because I didn't recognize the stamp!

My first goal today was to experiment with making a masculine card using the Pretty Petals DSP, so I focused on the simple Old Olive and Basic Black patterns to make the card with the Canada Goose. For my second card, on the left, I punched squares out of the DSP and adhered them in a pattern to the card base. I couldn't fit a fourth column of squares, so I trimmed the base down to 4-1/4" square and added a punched flower focal point. My third card, in the middle, was inspired by Erin's card with the strips of DSP. I love that look!

I still have some of my "kit" supplies left, so I think I'll try to make a few more cards with them this week. I love these colors and patterns, and it's actually fun to have the challenge of creating with limited supplies.

Thanks for stopping by today and over the past six years!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Hip hip hooray!

I've been busy trying to reorganize my stamps the past couple of days. It's fun, but time-consuming, and I haven't quite finished yet, so I have a quick blog post tonight. Here's a fun, festive birthday card that would work for just about anyone:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Party with Cake
Paper: Basic Black, Marina Mist, Whisper White card stock; silver glimmer paper; Subtles Designer Series Paper (DSP) Stack
Ink: Marina Mist
Accessories: Party Pop-Up Thinlits dies, Dimensionals, Mono multi liquid glue

When I made my cousin's shower invitations last summer, I cut eight layers of card stock and DSP in each of nine colors. I ended up not needing the Marina Mist pieces, though, so they've been sitting around my craft room for months. I decided to use one set of the pieces to make a birthday card.

I adhered the two Marina Mist pieces to a Basic Black card base and covered the seam with a strip of silver glimmer paper. I die cut the "hip hip hooray!" piece from Basic Black card stock and glued silver glimmer paper to the back so it showed through just the letters. The I attached the piece to the card front with Dimensionals.

I had some black confetti pieces leftover from the die-cut piece on the front, so I decided to glue a few of the streamers on the inside of the card around the stamped sentiment. It's a fun little detail that connects the inside of the card to the front.




Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Berry Burst Tranquil Tulips

Tulips are one of my all-time favorite flowers, and I rarely pass up a tulip stamp set. So when I saw the Tranquil Tulips hostess set in the 2017 - 18 Stampin' Up! catalog, I knew it would be at the top of my wish list. I love that the images in the set are solid, two-step images with shading built in -- it's a great set for quick, beautiful cards like this one:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Tranquil Tulips
Paper: Whisper White, Fresh Fig card stock
Ink: Fresh Fig, Berry Burst, Old Olive
Accessories: Metallics sequins, clear Wink of Stella glitter brush pen, Dimensionals, Glue Dots, Fine-Tip Glue Pen

I really like the Tranquil Tulips card on page 223 of the catalog, so I used it as the inspiration for the layout of my flowers. I stamped the tulips on Whisper White card stock using Berry Burst for the petals and Fresh Fig for the stamen. I cut out the flowers by hand and used Dimensionals to attach them to a Whisper White panel stamped with Old Olive stems and leaves.

I added a few small Fresh Fig flowers and framed the bouquet by doodling a border around the the white panel with a Fresh Fig marker. I adhered the panel to a Fresh Fig card base and finished it off with some sparkle -- a little Wink of Stella on the flowers (which doesn't really show up in this photo) and a few iridescent sequins.



I'm excited to try stamping tulips in a whole rainbow of colors. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fins and feathers

I've been having so much fun lately playing with new crafty toys from stamp shows and various online orders. I have a ways to go before I use everything, though. And I still have a bunch of "old" projects to share before I post my newer projects, so I'd better get on it! Today I'm going to share a few cards that feature fish or birds.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: All Wrapped Up, Banner Surprise
Paper: Pumpkin Pie, Bermuda Bay, Pacific Point card stock; watercolor paper (Strathmore); Wood Designer Cardstock Paper (My Mind's Eye)
Ink: StazOn Jet Black, Pumpkin Pie, watercolor pencils
Accessories: Linen thread, Scalloped Ribbon Border punch, Rhythm 'n Blues sequins (Craft Medley), Aquapainter, Dimensionals, Glue Dots

For the focal image on this card I stamped the fish and bag on watercolor paper, colored them with watercolor pencils and used an Aquapainter to blend the pencils. I tied the top of the bag with a bit of linen thread to add some texture.

I wanted to create the look of bubbles on the background, but I couldn't find a stamp that seemed just right. But when I pulled out the Banner Surprise set (from a past Paper Pumpkin kit) to use the "Happy Birthday" sentiment, I discovered that the circle of dots would work. So I stamped the circle randomly on the top part of the card base and added three blue sequins to reinforce the idea of bubbles.

I needed to anchor the focal image on the card base, so I cut a strip of patterned paper that looked like weathered wood and added a blue scalloped border to the top and bottom. I used Bermuda Bay for the top scallop and Pacific Point for the bottom border to mimic the light-to-dark tones of the "water" in the bag.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Under the Sea (Heartfelt Creations)
Paper: Pacific Point, Emerald Envy,  card stock; window sheet; watercolor paper (Strathmore)
Ink: Jet Black StazOn; Color Burst (Lemon Yellow, Ultramarine Blue, Pthalo Green, Orange) (Ken Oliver Crafts)
Accessories: Water brush, Layering Squares Framelits dies, Under the Sea craft dies (Heartfelt Creations), Leafy Branch 5 die (Elizabeth Craft Designs), Woodgrain embossing folder, Rhythm 'n Blues sequins (Craft Medley), foam adhesive strips, spearmint and gold twine (The Makery), Stardust Clear Gelly Roll pen (SAkura), Art Glitter Glue (Art Institute Glitter)

I haven't used my Color Burst powders a lot, but I really enjoyed using them to make this fish and the watercolor wash background. (I had tried a few other coloring methods first, but I didn't care for the results at all.)

To make the "seaweed" in my shaker I die cut a green branch, snipped off a few small parts and glued them to the background. I added a variety of blue sequins to the shaker, gluing a few of them to the background so they're not all at the bottom of the shaker when the card is standing up.

I wanted to add a wavy look to the card front, so I used the Woodgrain embossing folder turned sideways. I couldn't fit the whole card front in the folder with it turned, but I think it's okay like this; it reminds me of the sky meeting the sea.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Labeler Alphabet, Fox & Friends, Essential Messages (Hero Arts)
Paper: Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Soft Suede, Lost Lagoon, Blackberry Bliss card stock
Ink: Crumb Cake, Soft Suede, Lost Lagoon, Blackberry Bliss
Accessories: 1-3/4" circle punch, Finley's ABCs dies (Lawn Fawn), sponge, Dimensionals, Fine-Tip Glue Pen

These owl images were left over from a project I did ages ago -- I love when I can use odds and ends. For this card I punched three card stock circles in the same colors as the owls and then used Dimensionals to attach each owl to a circle of a different color. I arranged them in a grid pattern in the center of a card base, and in the fourth space I arranged the words for a punny greeting.

I finished the sentiment inside the card with die-cut letters and then stamped "happy birthday" to finish the card.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Feathered Friends (Elizabeth Craft Designs), Hello Love
Paper: Bashful Blue, Crumb Cake, Whisper White card stock
Ink: Crumb Cake, Memento Tuxedo Black, colored pencils and blender pencil (Prismacolor)
Accessories: Feathered Friends dies (Elizabeth Craft Designs), metallic foil doilies, Crushed Curry baker's twine, clear Wink of Stella glitter brush pen, Pattern Party decorative masks, light molding paste (Golden), rhinestones, Dimensionals

I think the whimsical bird images in this set are really fun -- partly because I don't have to worry about coloring them the "right" way. (My skills in the department of realistic coloring leave a lot to be desired.) After I colored and die cut the bird, I used embossing paste and a stencil to create a sky full of puffy clouds for the background of the top part of the card. For the bottom of the card, I repeatedly stamped a flower image on Crumb Cake card stock. A sentiment stamped on a banner and a few embellishments -- rhinestones, gold doily and twine -- finish off the card.

Whew -- this post was longer than I intended. If you made it to the end, I'm impressed! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Five basket cases

Last weekend I attended a stamp show with my best crafting buddy, and we had a great time. We saw a lot of fun products and amazing samples, did some creative make-and-takes, learned new tips and tricks, and, of course, spent a good chunk of money. (Just doing our part to help the economy. You're welcome.)

The company that runs this particular show, Rubber Stamp Events, does a card contest every year.  There is a theme for each day of the show, and you're allowed to submit up to two cards for each day. (You can only win on one day, though.) I've entered five of the last six years and won first place twice. The prizes are money to be spent at any booth at the show, so it's worth it to enter. I tried again this year, but no luck this time. I do, though, want to share the cards I made as part of the contest.

The contest theme for the day we attended the show was "basket case." You're allowed to interpret the theme however you want, as long as there is stamping on the front of your card, so I made a total of five cards that all feature a basket filled with something. I had a hard time deciding which cards to enter, but I eventually settled on the first two cards below. (Since I have several pictures in this post, I won't include many details about each card. If you have questions, post a comment and I'll respond as soon as I can.)

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Fabulous Fruits, From the Garden

Paper: Pool Party, Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Wild Wasabi, Garden Green, vellum card stock
Ink: Wild Wasabi, Garden Greem, Riding Hood Red, Ruby Red, Crumb Cake, Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Berry Basket Bigz die, Handpicked Framelits dies, Beautiful Wings Embosslits die, Grassy Border Lawn Cuts die (Lawn Fawn), Square Lattice embossing folder, Pool Party solid baker's twine, clear Wink of Stella glitter brush pen, delicate white doily, rhinestones, Dimensionals, Art Glitter glue (Art Institute Glitter)

This was the first layout that popped into my head when I thought about a basket, and it actually turned out pretty close to what I imagined. I stamped and hand cut all those strawberries and tops using two shades of red and green.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Feathered Hope, Language of Friendship
Paper: Soft Suede, Shimmery White, textured Old Olive card stock
Ink: StazOn Jet Black; ZIG Clean Color brush markers: 036, 037, 065, 066, 050, 061, 020, 024, 041, 043 (Kuretake)
Accessories: Water brush (Kuretake), Stitched Shapes and Layering Circles Framelits dies, Tiny Attacher (Time Holtz), Corner Chomper (We R memory Keepers), Stylized Flowers embossing folder (Cuttlebug), linen thread, pearls, Dimensionals

When I first colored this image I wasn't crazy about it, so I set it aside and figured it would just be a practice run. But when I came back to it the next day it didn't seem so bad, so I decided to use it for a card after all.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Basket Full of Wishes (Unity Stamp Co.)
Paper: Very Vanilla, Pool Party card stock; Going Places Designer Series paper (DSP) Stack
Ink: StazOn Jet Black; markers: Pool Party, Daffodil Delight, Real Red, Basic Black, Rich Razzleberry, Soft Suede, Smokey Slate; Pool Party ink refill
Accessories: Pattern Party Decorative Masks, light molding paste (Golden), Layering Ovals Framelits dies, Stardust Gelly Roll pen (Sakura), paper flowers (Jolee's Boutique), Subtles Candy Dots, gold twine, micro pop-dots (Forever in Time), Art Glitter glue (Art Institute Glitter), Corner Chomper (We  Memory Keepers)

Even though I didn't end up submitting this card (or the next two) to the contest, I love how this card turned out, especially the background. I mixed a bit of Pool Party ink refill in white molding paste and then added it to my card front over a brick stencil.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Serene Spring
Paper: Soft Sky, Basic Black, Shimmery White card stock; thin cherry veneer (Creative Imaginations)
Ink: VersaMark, Soft Sky; ZIG Clean Color Brush markers: 036, 043, 901, 021, 061, 041, 066, 037, 050 (Kuretake)
Accessories: Burlap trim, detail black embossing powder, Espresso Yourself mini prills (USArt Quest), delicate white doily, Tiny Attacher (Tim Holtz), Art Glitter Glue (Art Institute Glitter), Color Spritzer, sponge, water brush (Kuretake), Dimensionals

I love the two sweet images in the Serene Spring stamp set. It's an old set, but I think it's one I will always keep.

The wood on the bottom of the card is actually a very thin wood veneer, not just a patterned paper. I thought that worked well with the image of the basket.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: A Flower for All Seasons
Paper: Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Real Red, Berry Burst, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight card stock; Neutrals DSP Stack
Ink: Jet Black StazOn, Soft Sky, Crumb Cake, Old Olive, Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Berry Burst, Daffodil Delight
Accessories: Stitched Shapes and Layering Squares Framelits dies, Metallics Sequin Assortment, copper trim, clear Wink of Stella glitter brush pen, Dimensionals

Tulips are one of my favorite flowers, and I think this is a sweet image. But it's a little small to be the focal point on a standard A2-sized card. So to give it more "oomph" I stamped the image four times and colored the tulips a different color in each image. I matted each image with the same color card stock as the tulips.









I had a lot of fun making these cards, even if I didn't win the contest. Better luck next year! Thanks for stopping by!





Wednesday, July 12, 2017

July garden update

We planted the garden a little over a month ago, so I thought it was time for an update. I took these pictures last week, and it seems like so much has already changed in just those few days -- it's amazing how quickly Mother Nature works.

Here's the whole garden. With the exception of the cauliflower, everything is doing really well. But cauliflower is supposed to be a little finicky and hard to grow, so we're not to worried about that one.


The cucumbers are one of my favorite plants to watch grow. I just love the delicate-looking tendrils wrapping around the trellis and the bright yellow flowers. You can see a baby cuke in this picture near the lower left corner -- that one is pretty close to picking stage now.

As usual, the beans are thriving. There are lots of flowers, and this over-achieving stalk has already passed the top of the bean tower.



The pepper plants all have fruits. They haven't gotten much bigger the last week, but we'll be patient.

The San Marzano tomato (above) is growing like gangbusters. The night I took this photo, my sister counted about thirty tomatoes, but tonight she reported there are fifty-four. I can't wait until some of them are ripe so I can make margherita pizza with our tomatoes and basil.

We also have about fifteen black plum tomatoes coming in (below). The third tomato plant, Mr. Stripey, has blooms, but not any fruit just yet.


I didn't get pictures of the Swiss chard or sunburst squash, so I'll be sure to include them in the next update. I do, though, have one last picture of the vegetable garden -- the rhubarb.

That's my sister's hand so you can get a better idea of how big the rhubarb is. It amazes me every time I look at it. I really need to use some of the rhubarb this year; I have a delicious recipe for frosted rhubarb cookies from my aunt.

The flowers by the alley are also starting to bloom. First is the echinacea, and then the Prairie Blazing Star.


So our late start in the garden doesn't seemed to have hampered anything. The weeds are thriving, too! While we don't have to do a lot of weeding in the garden because of the black covering on the ground, we do have plenty of weeding along the edges of the garden, in the flower bed and on the sidewalk and patio. One of these days we'll have to tackle that project.





















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