Friday, May 31, 2013

Sweet birthday card

We made this card at our class last week, and everyone enjoyed it so much, and it was fast and easy to make, too.  I used the Betsy's Blossom stamp set, which gives such nice bold, clean images, so it turns out great all the time.  Love this set, and glad it's sticking around in the new catalog.  I had seen this card done by Wendy Weixler here, but she had done it in Pool Party where I substituted Calypso Coral, and I love them both, along with Daffodil Delight and Lucky Limeade.  All the ladies in the class loved the color choice, too.  I think the honeycomb embossing folder adds just another element of summer to this card, and it would be perfect for a summer birthday.  
When I saw the inspirational card at the Muse Challenge #19 this week, I thought it reminded me of the card I just made, so I am entering it in their challenge competition, along with the layout  that I got at Hand Stamped Sentiments #160. 
Loved making this card, and hope you give it a try, too. 

Mary Alice

Thursday, May 30, 2013

It's Time for the Guys

 I wanted to show off another card that I made with Clockworks recently.  This was actually a card that I used for the shoebox swap we had earlier this month, and everyone really liked having a chance to try the new IN Colors that will be released in the Stampin' Up! 2013-14 Catalog on Friday.  I used Baked Brown Sugar, Crisp Cantalope, and Pistachio Pudding, along with a little Espresso Brown.  It was a real cool combination for a modern masculine card. 
I just love playing around with color combinations and these are so fresh and exciting, I just know you will want to get your hands on them soon.  I got the idea for this card from Mary Brown, and you can see her original here.
I am showing off this card at a new card challenge I found CAS on Sunday Challenge #9, where this week they are looking for Make It Masculine Cards.  Sure hope they like it, and you like it, too.
It would make a great card for Father's Day, or a graduation.

Mary Alice

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Blueberry Baby

I was inspired to make a baby card today, because I was just dying to play with some new stamp sets.  I thought the layout at Craft Project Central was just the one for my card idea.  I loved the photo inspiration at Just Us Girls Challenge #190, and the combination of Wisteria Wonder polka dots, the touch of Daffodil Delight, with a little zigzag edge, and a flower motif in the stamps is my interpretation of the photo. 
I like to I think my granddaughter is at the cutest age ever.  She is talking up a storm, and everyday it's something new.  Today was the first time she said "Hi Snowflake" to our pet cockatiel.  She is excited to help pull the cover off the birdcage when we get up in the morning, and I always tell her to say hi to the bird.  The bird loves music, and I usually sing it a little song as I get her out of the cage, and she runs up my arm to give me a kiss.  My little girl puts her little hands up and says "Here", but today it was "Hi Snowflake, here" quite clearly.  She also likes to share her food with the bird, who always eats whatever I am eating, and begs at my plate all the time.  The bird loves toast, yogurt, or oatmeal in the morning, and today Olivia shared her blueberry pancakes.  That little girl ate two big pancakes and was such a mess today.  Had to take a picture, 'cause she was the cutest mess ever.  
She was my inspiration for this card I made today for the cutest baby ever.  I used the Lovely Labels stamp set which will arrive in the new catalog on Friday.  I added a little Oh Baby stamp from the Ciao, Baby stamp set, and inside I used the Stacks of Wishes, which will retire this week.  
This last photo is for my friend, LeeAnne, who was telling her tale last week of her search for the Baltimore Oriole.  I could not remember if I had ever actually seen one myself.  Then she told about hearing it in the trees, and she took a long shot and caught a photo of the bird in the distance.  That inspired me to go to a bird site and listen to the song of the Oriole, so that I might recognize it.  Next day my husband comes back from our getaway in the Wisconsin woods, and said that he had hummingbirds and orioles at his feeder he put out that day.  I was so excited to go to the trailer last weekend, and I was not there for 5 minutes before I saw my first Oriole.  I ran for my camera, and caught a couple shots.  I enjoyed watching birds all weekend as I sat around the campfire, trying to stay warm in the cool weather we had.  I also saw an Indigo Bunting, which was new this year.  I had to get my bird book out to determine what it was.  Love all the birds we have at our feeders there.  We have also had a bear visiting the campgrounds, but I have yet to see him.  I'm just never up when he comes around at 4 to 6AM.
Friday is the last day to order from the SU Spring Catalog, and the New 2013-14 Catalog will be released on Friday, May 31 also.  The good news is you will be able to order from the old catalog through the weekend until June 2, so you still have a chance to get anything that will be retiring, while they last.  So, let me know if you want to order during this special trifecta weekend.   

Mary Alice

Friday, May 24, 2013

Spring is blossoming all over the place

I stood looking out my kitchen windows this morning, and the sun was finally shining bright, and my lilac bushes are blooming which is the highlight of spring for me.  I could see the trees finally starting to fill in, and the bright spring green color is intense all around.  I can see the white blossoms on the apple trees and the pink blossoms on the crab apple trees, and it just about takes your breath away because the view is never prettier out my kitchen window. 
I have been taking my sweet little granddaughter out on the deck to feel the new leaves as they have been forming on the lilac bushes and the trees.  She laughs as I stick my nose in the blossoms and try to get her to smell the flowers.  I can hardly wait to spend the weekend with her exploring the woods surrounding our campgrounds where we are heading for the weekend. 
For my card I used Lovely as a Tree, Bright Blossoms, and A Round Array stamp sets. 
This card is not one of my best, but I just wanted to share with you my interpretation of the view from my window.  The Shabby Tea Room Challenge 167 is looking for cards with a window inspiration, and the Papercraft Star challenge 146 wants my interpretation on "what I find beautiful", and I just wanted to share my window view with them too. 
Take time to enjoy the spring view out your window today, too.

Mary Alice

Time for a Father

We had a great card class on Wednesday night, and this is one of the cards that I made for the class. I am just loving the Clockworks stamp set, and think this is going to be a favorite of mine for a long while.  It makes a great Fathers day card, but I think it can be used for graduations, birthdays, or just a friendship type card.  I think that everyone in the class enjoyed making this card because of the carefree stamping, and there is simply no way to screw it up when you are just kind of free-styling with the stamping.  I know that it is kind of intimidating at first, because everyone has a tendency to try to copy the original card, but it's really all about just being random with the stamping.  Of course, I have to admit that I somewhat copied another card that I saw, but the only info I have is it was made by Tea Leaf (?).
I think I will share this at The Paper Players Challenge #146 where they are looking for Masculine Cards this week. 
Hope you like it, and take the time to make a masculine card for a great guy in your life. 
Have a great Memorial Day weekend, and don't forget to thank the veterans who served so that we might be free. 

Mary Alice

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Summer Smooches for a birthday

I was looking for a fun, and simple card to make for a recent card class, and decided that I really wanted to make this card before the Summer Smooches DSP is retired.  I love this paper, and I will really miss it's simple, bright colored prints.  I saw this card made by LeeAnn Greff, which inspired me.
I used the birthday greeting from Curly Cute stamps and the little medallion is from A Round Array, which will be available in the new catalog.
Just keeping it simple, and that makes this card just right for the Addicted to CAS challenge which is looking for Birthday cards, and the colors are perfect for the Sunday Stamps Color Challenge #49.

I hope you enjoy this sweet little card, and take time to enjoy the spring flowers. 
Mary Alice

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Butterflies and sympathy

 I had the occasion to make a sympathy card this week, and I wanted to make something special, instead of just digging one out of my stash.  I lost my youngest, and last uncle, Bob, this week.  He died way to young and way too soon, and I will miss him so much.  Bob got sick just after Christmas, and went into kidney failure, and so he was going to dialysis a couple times a week, and things improved, although it was a struggle.  Six weeks ago he told me that he was showing so much improvement that he was going to reduce the dialysis from 3 to 2 times a week.  When I saw him at a wedding 3 weeks ago, he said he was done doing dialysis, because his kidneys were functioning better.  But, last week, when the weather turned nice, Bob went out to putter in his yard a little bit, and took a fall on the steps, hit his head and fractured his skull.  A few days later he died from a bleed in the brain.  Just when we thought things were looking better, he was called home by our Lord. 
Bob was more like a cousin than an uncle, because he was closer in age to us kids, as he was 16 years younger than my mom.  He was always fun, goofy, and teased us little girls relentlessly, and we loved it.  I always thought he was so handsome, so smart, and so adventurous.  He flew planes when he was young, he worked in my grandfather's auto repair garage, and when grandpa retired, Bob and his brother turned it into a motorcycle shop, and I remember they sold snowmobiles, the first I'd ever seen.  He still rides a motorcycle, with a side car for his wife.  He loved the outdoors, fishing and hunting, and when he had a son he bought a cabin so they would have a place to enjoy doing those things together.  He was almost 50 before he became a dad, and it made him even younger.  We enjoyed that Bob and his family always joined our family for the holidays, so that they could be around all the cousins, and all the action that came along with Christmas dinner for 45 people! 
When I made this card, I wished I had a airplane, or a motorcycle, to add in his honor, but all I had was some newsprint and a butterfly.  For many years Bob delivered newspapers to local grocery stores and stands, so it reminds me of him.  And, the butterfly because it is a free wanderer, like Bob, quietly soaring and sailing through life, and always a joy to see. 
I got this idea for this card from LuAnne Puguliese.  But I made this card in Baha Breeze, one of my favorite colors, which will be retiring soon.  The Latenight Stampers challenge 222 was looking for cards from retired colors, so I think I'll share this with them. 
Hope you have a little free time for some stamping this weekend.  Just enjoy life today.

Mary Alice

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sweet Shop Birthday with a sneak peak

I wanted to make a little birthday card for the challenge at Cas-ual Fridays with their Top 10 Tic-tac-toe game.  It's their birthday this week, so this card is suitable.  I did the first row down with polka dots, square card, and birthday.   I found some fun polka dots in a pack of Sweet Shop DSP, and the cute little ice cream sundae print to coordinate.  I added a label from a new stamp set Lovely Label that I got as a sneak peek from the new catalog.  It has a coordinating punch for the stamp set, which makes it even more desirable for me, because it keeps it so simple.  I used a little birthday ditty from Stacks of Wishes inside, and this was a fun, fast and easy card.  Just stamp, stamp, and punch, punch, punch, and I was done.  And, then I decided to add a little sparkle with some  Dazzling Details on the ice cream to make them a little frosty looking. 
The Crafty Boots Challenge is looking for CELEBRATIONS! this week, so I'll share this card with them today, too. 
Hope you like it, and have a nice day.
Mary Alice

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Mashed Up Card Set

 I love making multiples of cards when I get a good idea.  Because I create for craft sales, I often make four cards that are all the same, but today I created four cards to make a set, which I could use as a gift, or sell as a set, or even separate.  These were so easy to make once I got the idea, it was so easy to put together.  I used the paper from the Print Poetry DSP Stack, so I just had to kind of cut each print in quarters and I was ready for a set.  Well, not actual quarters, but four pieces.  I decided to add a colored backer behind the card, and to mat each piece of paper to add some richness to the cards.  I was just going to use the Lovely Labels to put a greeting on the front, and the Stacks of Wishes to put a greeting inside, but it just needed more, so butterflies were just what it needed to step it up a little.  I wish I would have tied a little twine around the butterflies instead of the pearls, which I think would have made it a little more unisex than the pearls, but I like how it turned out.  I guess I could do another set in another color.  I still have plenty of those cute little prints, and it was fun, so back to the crafting table. 
I got the idea for the card set from Friday Mashup #109 this week which gave me the layout, and the challenge to make a card set with the layout, so I did.  I used the color palette from The Paper Players Challenge #145.  I decided to add the butterflies because Butterflies are so much fun! at SUO Challenge 70The Crafty Boots Challenge was looking for CELEBRATION cards, and Our Creative Corner says "Anything Goes", so let's share the fun with them, too. 
Well, it's a beautiful day, and I am enjoying the lovely breeze coming in the window, and the creativity is blooming, so come on back to see what pops up tomorrow.

Mary Alice

Sunday, May 12, 2013

To Mothers Day......Hooray!

 Happy Mother's Day to all the mother's out there.  I finally got a chance to show you my final Mother's Day card.  This one I made for my daughter-in-law, Melissa.  Sweet Melissa took on the job of mother when she married my son 4 years ago, and became mother to his 4 year old daughter, Emily.  So, although she has been a mother for some years now, this is the first year she is mother to a child of her own, so it's kind of like a first Mother's day, again.  It took a special mom to take on a preschool age child, and I think she was expecting it to be a fun undertaking, and soon realized that a four year old daughter had a special bond with her daddy, and demanded a lot of his attention, and affection.  So, there was a little competition for David's time and attention.  Melissa grew to handle the situation, and became a loving and kind mother to Emily.  But, last year she had a child of her own, Grayson, and she got a real first-hand idea what it meant to be a mother.  You never know the strong bond that a parent feels for their child until you have one of your own.  I am sure that now, more than ever, she understands the strong bond that David had with his daughter, and Melissa understands more than ever what it means to be a mom.
I delight it seeing her with her beautiful son, and how they have all become such a happy family together.  Emily is a wonderful big sister, and I am happy that together they make a strong family. 
So, this is for the kind and strong, loving Melissa.  I wanted something that showed her youthful exuberance, and bright spirit.  I used the Bordering on romance stamp set for the flowers, and the paper came from Sweet Shop DSP, and Sycamore Street DSP, and I added some little button greetings from A Round Array and Ciao, Baby.
The inspiration for my layout came from Paper Craft Crew Card Sketch #41, and I will share my final mom's day cards with Little Red Wagon Challenge and The Pink Elephant Challenge because they are all about the mom's this week.
Have a happy Mom's Day.  I a heading out for dinner, myself. 

Mary Alice

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Birthday Mojo Card

My mojo just was not working this last week when it came to creating.  I had a bad cold, and I was sneezing and coughing, and I just did not feel like getting creative.  So, when my son-in-law had a birthday last week, I just was not into making a card, but I did it anyway.  I found a nice layout at Mojo Monday Challenge 292, and I went digging for some paper that would get me going.  I had received a new pack of paper, Pocket Full of Posies DSP, in our goodie bag at Spring Fling a couple weeks ago, and I had not even opened it up yet.  When I did, I found this wonderful hexagon printed paper, and I knew that was the one.  I could combine it with some embossing for the front layer, and I just had to dig around the scrap bin, and come up with some fun accents.
I love the way this card turned out, and wish I had spent the time to make some more.  Oh, and did you see the cute little birthday greeting cut with a matching punch?  Like it?  Well, that's your peek, and you'll have to wait for the catalog release to find out more about it :)
Have a great day, and oh, by the way, I am still cleaning!

Mary Alice

Friday, May 10, 2013

I've come a loooonnng way, baby!

I am supposed to be cleaning my craft room today, for obvious reasons.  Reason #1.  The pile of scraps to the right of my paper trimmer is higher than the platform, and I have to bend my paper to get it in the trimmer.  Reason #2.  I am having trouble finding an area on the work table that is big enough to lay a 4 X 6" card flat, and get a good stamped image without the scraps on the table causing ridges.  Reason #3.  Need I go on??  And, that has nothing to do with the storage side of the room. 
So, I started cleaning on the storage side of the room, because I just could not clean off the table without anyplace to put the stuff away.  I added another shelf to my storage wall, and proceeded to organize on a higher level. 
When I got to a bin full of envelopes, many very old in bright neon colors and rustic rich tones, I found some of my old cards that I saved from the early Stampin' Up! days.  I wrote a blog entry earlier today about the card that I made that was just not up to par.  Well, talk about up to par!  I can't believe that I used to mail out cards like this.  Or, maybe I didn't which is why they are in a box.  I just had to share a few favorites with you. 

These two were from my sewing days.  Sewing, quiliting, rag dolls and rabbits were all the decorating rage at the time. 

I remember making these Halloween cards with my friend, Debby, who is my upline, and partner in all things Stampin' Up! today.  We got together for a day of stamping and made Halloween cards to give our daycare children.  What's with the black paper inside?  Oh, the punched out stars shown through.

It's hard to tell, but the scarecrow was on vellum paper cut with decorative scissors and layered over gold paper with autumn leaves stamped on it.  Fancy!

How about these two beauties done with the rainbow stamp pads?  I masked the middle with a post-it note, and stamped all around it.  Then added my big Thank you.  All done on glossy paper, no less :)
Here is another with a stamped background, and a crimped paper panel, and the little bird is raised up on an accordion folded piece of paper (before the days of dimensionals).

And, then there are my Christmas cards.  This was a cute little spongy mounted set, no wood here. Below is the inside.   Pretty simple.

Then I got a little fancier with the fancy punched corner slots and organza bow.  I still like this one.  I remember how excited I was to get the polar bear stamp set, because I live in the White Bear Lake area, and everything is about the white bear around here.

Don't know why it was Happy New Year cards this year.  Must have been too busy to make Christmas cards.  Funny thing is I have a stack of them, so maybe they never got sent out either. 
These last cards a pretty fancy.  That's because they were all workshop cards from classes that I hosted here in my house for my friends.  I remember making all of these cards at my workshops.  They are all really cute, and really nicely done.  It's no wonder we all bought the stamps and stuff to try to make lovely cards like this.  As you can tell, I have been stamping for many years with Stampin' Up!

This card with the lattice edge still had the instructions on how to do the card inside.  I should make one again one of these days.

I have to admit that I still have all of these stamp sets, and all the stamp pads, too.  I have the crimper, and the decorative scissors, the rainbow pads, and embossing powders, and glitter, the mulberry paper and so much more.  I love it all. 
Stampin' Up! is celebrating it's 25th year, and now I am a demonstrator.  I am going to my first convention this summer.  I enjoy stamping so much more than I ever would have believed, and I think it is because of all the inspirational people who are out there blogging and teaching and sharing what they love, too.
I am excited about the new catalog that will be released June 1 and all the new stamps and accessories that I want.  I am planning the projects that I will bring to convention to swap, and I was thinking that after all these years, Stampin' Up should have put out a call for cards made with your OLDEST STAMPS.  Wouldn't that be fun?  I think I could win that contest!
Well, I better get back to work.  Or is it time to make dinner yet?
Okay, I will share the before photo with you.  I hope to be able to share the after photos later this weekend. 

When I went to upload the photos I found this one, too, that I thought I'd show you.  My son was looking for some old shirts to wear to work during a remodel that they were doing.  He found this sweatshirt that he wore.  It's from Northern Reflections store that I worked at in 1995.  He found it in a bin of old clothes in the storeroom.  He said that several of the girls at work offered to buy it from him.  Evidently the trend right now is "old lady cat shirts", kind of like the ugly Christmas Sweater trend.  Who would have believed I would still have this, and my son would WEAR it!! What a guy.
Mary Alice