Sunday, May 31, 2015

Choose happiness for this weekend

Choose happiness!  That's how I started out this weekend.  I headed up to our camper in Wisconsin for a weekend of stamping.  It was going to be just my husband and I, no kids, no grandkids, and nothing buy quiet solitude and a basket full of stamping supplies. 
Well, it started to rain as I left home, just a sprinkle, but it got heavier as I drove the hour to the campgrounds, and by the time I got up there the campground was like it was flooded over.  I never saw so much standing water.  My husband said it was so noisy from the heavy rain he had to turn off the TV, because he could not hear it.  So, the rain slowed down and stopped shortly after I arrived, and I couldn't wait to get my stamping supplies in and get creative.  I worked all evening on a card, that just was not coming together the way I envisioned, and I finally stopped without completing assembly and said maybe I would feel better about it tomorrow.  Then came the phone call from my son at home saying our basement had flooded.  It evidently rained so heavy the water came in through the foundation.  This has never happened in the 35 years since we built the house.  So, we drove home, spent half the night cleaning up, getting things out of harms way as best we could, and spent half the day trying to get people out to help rescue us.  Once we had things under control, we put our son in charge, and headed back up to our retreat.  We had a few hours to relax before we packed up and came home again to work on the basement in earnest.  I managed to get some stamping done, needing to get 6 cards made for a swap this week, so that's what I have to share today.
I needed some great inspiration after my burnout day, so I turned to my card challenges for help.  Pals Paper Arts  Challenge #253 had a fun layout, and I took my Playful colors from Colour Me! Challenge #73, only I had no Lost Lagoon, so I used Coastal Cabana.  Aren't those fun Playful colors?  I also used a print from Bohemian DSP, giving you a sneak peek at what is to come from the new SU catalog this week.   I think the sentiment "Choose Happiness" is very appropriate for a birthday, so I'll share this at Seize the Birthday Challenge where this week "Anything Goes".   I hope you enjoy my card, and I hope I get some time for stamping more this week, but with the cleanup ahead of us, it's not looking good.  Even though we had so much water in the basement, I have many things to be thankful for.  One, my craft room is upstairs, and my stamps and paper are okay.  LOL!  Second, I believe in storing things in plastic tote bins, and I had so many things that were protected from water damage because of that.  The majority of the water was in my sewing room, that has become a storage room since I quit sewing a few years ago because of eye problems.  So far, there was nothing valuable lost their.  We spent the day taking everything out of the rooms down stairs and taking it to the garage, and we had to rip out all the wet carpeting.  House smells like a wet dog, but we can stand it.  The good news is ...we are in for a basement remodel.  Yeah!   Not :(
You have a great week. 
Mary Alice
PS.  I have to share a little bit of the beauty that did surround me this weekend in the woods.  All the spring flowers, the lilies of the valley, the trillium, the ladyslippers that I seldom get to see, because I don't usually come up so early in the spring to see them.  These photos were taken a week ago, before the big rain. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

You've Got This, I've Got This

 It's always fun to play with a new stamp set.  Some are harder to master than others, and this was just one of those that I had to play around with to get the effect that I was looking for.  It's called You've Got This, and it's a sneak peek at one of the new products in the new catalog arriving June 2.  If you like this and would like to see more, let me know and I'll get you a catalog. 
I had a vision of what I wanted to do when I started this card, and here's where I began, with the crosshatch design to stamp in the background. I knew I wanted to color the flower, so I ended up stamping off the design in order to do that.  I tried stamping the image in a couple of colors and test coloring in order to get the soft look I was hoping for.  I ended up using Basic Gray ink for the initial stamping, and then I colored the flower with Calypso Coral and Pear Pizzazz Stampin Write Markers.  I did a little experimenting trying to get a little shading, and decided that enough was enough, and when I stepped back I liked the way it looked.  Next time I think I will try a little watercoloring.  I can't wait to play more with this flower. 
I ended up stamping a flower inside and I love the way the stamp stands on it's own, too.  Finally, for a little zip I gave a few splashes of Pool Party with a stamp from Gorgeous Grunge.  Then I added a little texture by embossing just the 2 corners with the Chevron EF. 
I got my inspiration from this card using the colors from the Just Add Ink Challenge #262, and the Little  Red Wagon Challenge #282 asked to Make an Impression with embossing this week.  CAS on Sunday Challenge #58 suggested "Cheer Up, Buttercup", so the salutation You've Got This fit my interpretation.  May Flowers seems to be the running theme on several of the challenge sites, which tickles me.  So, if it's not overdoing it, I will share on SUO Challenge #122  for Fun Flowers, and Can You Case It #70   for May Flowers, and then that's enough playing for today. 
I have more fun with flowers planned for tomorrow, so come back a visit again. 
Mary Alice

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Happy Birthday with the Sprinkles of Life

 Happy Birthday to me, happy birthday to me!  It's been a fun weekend playing with my new stamps called Sprinkles of Life that I got in my preview box from Stampin' Up! One of the great things about this stamp set is it has a coordinating punch which makes layering so much simpler.  It's so much fun to play with something when you have not seen the stamps used everyplace, and you just have to use your imagination.  I did a close up of the card (but you have to excuse my photography. I cannot get my camera to focus clearly anymore.  Time to replace it I guess)  I used two techniques for the focal point. For the frosting on the cupcake, I inked my stamp with Daffodil Delight, and then I pounced Melon Mambo, and Tempting Turquoise on it using Stampin Write markers, to give it a sprinkled effect.  I thought the white background was a little stark, so I used a technique that I came up with a while back using a bath scrunchie that I dipped in the ink pad and gave a quick blot on the white paper.  Gives a delicate sprinkled look, but not overpowering.
I did look for a little inspiration for my card, and it started with this photo of the donuts that was to inspire us at The Pink Elephant Challenge #298.  Then I chose a layout from the Deconstructed Sketch Challenge Best of 200.  For their challenge this week she said we could choose from any of the past sketches they had, and I chose #188.  Seize the Birthday Challenge this week was to Use the Negative, so I cut out the center of the card, and mounted my cupcake in the negative space.  My color scheme came from Pals Paper Arts Challenge #251, and I chose my paper from the Sweet Taffy DSP. 
So, that's my card for today, and I have to get back to playing with my new stamps and paper, and ribbon etc, so I will have more to share tomorrow.  Come back and see what I've made.
Mary Alice  

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

May showers bring lots of flowers

When spring blooms, we are all looking for flowers everyplace we go.  I have plenty of flowers blooming in the woods up at our trailer, but my yard is a sorry sort.  I think the only thing with blooms are the violets.  My lilac bush produced just one lonely cluster of flowers.  I'm waiting to see what else will come up this summer, as last year my husband got carried away with his new rototiller, and tilled up my perenials.  He forgets to keep to his own side of the garden. 
When I saw the beautiful wreath for inspiration on the Inspired by Stamping challenge #93, I wished for tulips in my yard.  I guess I'll have to head to the flower shop, or get my stamps out, and I decided to share this lovely wreath of flowers instead.  I used the Wondrous Wreath stamp set with matching framelits.  Hint: You'll be seeing more of this.  CAS on Sunday Challenge #58 cue was Cheer Up, Buttercup!  and I have just the right person in mind to send this cheery card to this week. 

I found a new blog at Inkspirational Challenge #82 and they have an interesting recipe this week to create using 3 of these 4 - Distressing, Flowers, Embossing or Pearls.  Used three for my card, and I hope they like it. As for the flowers, Retro Rubber Challege #14 was for May Flowers  and  SUO Challenge #122 is looking for Fun Flowers, so  I will share my card with them too.  So much fun playing along with the challenges and showing off my own creations.  Come back and see what else I make this week, and look for your spring flowers today.

Mary Alice

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A simple birthday card


 I just had to make one more card this weekend, and so Sunday morning I opened my stash and looked for one more idea for a card challenge.  I was intrigued by the layout for As You See It Challenge #086.  I always love to tip some paper.  The paper from Birthday Bash DSP was just what I needed, and then I remembered the color challenge from Create with Connie and Mary #354 to use Bermuda Bay, Tangelo Twist, and Gold.  I had to do a little digging in my limited stash but came up with the Tangelo Twist in the Confetti Celebration DSP.  The only thing I was missing was the gold.  I found that in the balloons, and added a little more to back my salutation from Remembering Your Birthday.  Fast and simple, but popping with fun. 
Well, I just got my box of fun today, and I can't wait to play with my new Stampin' Up! products.  I am excited to play with the new colors.  Want a peak? 
These are the new colors to be released in the new catalog June 2, 2015.  Take a close look at the photo, and you will see some of the other products that will coordinate with these colors. 
Stop back soon, and see what I'll be making with my preview products. 
Mary Alice 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Welcome, Baby We've Grown

 My friend and I have been making a challenge for each other each week to inspire us to make some cards.  This past week we were to make cards for children.  I had all kinds of ideas for cards I wanted to make, so I grabbed a bunch of stamp sets that related to my plan and headed up north to stamp for the weekend.  Well, no matter what idea I had, I was missing something to complete the card.  I had no markers, or water color brush, just a blender pen, so that's what I used to color my owls.  They look a little goofy, but in a cute way.  I wish that I had buttons to add to the card, but I did not, so I used little punched flowers and some pearls that I had colored for a previous project then never used.  I kind of feel like I McGyver'ed this card, but it turned out great in the end.  I had a certain layout that I was trying to follow for the Paper Craft Crew Card Sketch #143.  I thought it looked like a fun layout to play with, and it was along with the colors from the Pals Paper Arts Color Challenge #250.  Love the color combination, and I knew that my Lullaby DSP was going to have all the paper I needed to play with, so I had packed that to go with me.  So, this little baby card delivered on the challenges, and I enjoyed coming up with solutions to fit the vision I had for the card.
I made lots of fun cards this week, so stop back again real soon.

Mary Alice

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day to all my girls

 I was back up at the campgrounds again this weekend, and the weather was lovely.  Lovely enough to spend lots of time outside, playing with the grandkids, visiting with the neighbors, and enjoying a nice bbq - smoked ribs that my daughter made for our Mother's Day dinner. 
I spent some time stamping in the evening.  I had to get a birthday card done for my son-in-law before we celebrated his birthday Friday night.  Then I went to work on the cards for my daughters for Mother's Day.  I started with a card challenge to get me inspired, and that's the first card I am sharing today.  I used the sketch from CAS(E) this Sketch #122, but I flipped it upside down a little.  Then I used the colors from the CAS-ual Fridays Challenge #139 to use Black, White, Turquoise and Orange. (Opps, this was supposed to be a birthday card for the challenge.)  I was excited about the color challenge, but the big challenge was to come up with some paper that I could use from the limited stash that I bought with me to the trailer.  I did manage to come up with the right colors from several different lines of DSP.  and I decided to use my hexagon punch and create something fun.  The cue at CAS-ology challenge was to use a SHAPE.  I love playing with the hexagons.  I guess its the wanna-be  quilter in me.  After dinner on Saturday I decided to take my cards outside and snap some photos with them.  I love playing with places to take the photos, and include a little bit of the beauty that I am surrounded with out in the woods.  You gotta love Wisconsin in the spring. 
I thought I would give this card to Smita (sorry it's not getting there before Mom's Day.  I also want to share the cards I made for the other two girls/moms in my life.  Playing with all the paper is so much fun, and I love the Moonlight DSP paper stack.  It's too bad that these papers have to retire, because I always seem to hoard my favorites, and then come May I scramble to use them for projects before they retire.  I really have to get over the hoarding and make some fun instead.  I used the Blackberry Bliss and Hello Honey colors for the card for my daughter Laura.  I had snapped this photo to send to my friend, Debby, to show her what I was working on at the trailer while she was working at her computer doing "work".  Unfortunately I gave it to Laura before I got a chance to photograph it outside, so you see the simple version here.  Then, continuing to play with the Lost Lagoon and Hello Honey theme for my DIL Melissa, I made another sunburst card.  I had known earlier in the week that I wanted to make a sunburst card, and it had been so long since I made one that I had to go online to search the directions again, and I found so many beautiful examples that I just had to play around with a couple different versions.  Now I have a whole bunch of ideas PINNED, and you know I will have to make some more soon.  I used the Crazy About You and And Many More stamp sets for  all of the cards.  Hope they don't notice that I called them all "best mother ever", but I have to say its true for all of them.  They have given me wonderful grandchildren.  But, in the meantime I have some other fun cards that I made this weekend to share with you, so come back again later so see what I've made.  BTW, Happy Mother's Day to all of you. 

Mary Alice

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Lovely amazing colors, I'm going to miss you

Oh how I am going to miss these colors when they retire.  I have to play with them as much as possible before the new catalog is released.  So when I saw these colors for the challenge at Fab Friday, I knew I needed to play along.  I found a wonderful layout at Freshly Made Sketches #185, but I had to add a little to the banners in order to use all the colors for the other challenge.  And, I know that I have given this a bit of a stretch to play along with Crafty Boots Challenge,when they asked for Wings I thought that feathers would do.  I have a beautiful cockatiel named Snowflake, and feathers are a way of life at my house.  She is allowed to fly loose all day, so we find her beautiful feathers all over the place, and I marvel at each one of them.  I have thought often about including some in my crafts.  I have enough of them.  
 The feathers and salutation come from the Lovely Amazing You stamp set.  Love the sayings that this set has, and I have to play with it some more this week.  I loved this card so much I made up a set of them for a swap I participate in, and I hope this won't spoil this for anyone by posting it today, but I just wanted to share this before I head out this morning for a weekend of camping. Stop by again, soon, to see what I've been making.

Mary Alice

Here's our snowflake. 
Can you tell my granddaughter is getting a kick out of the bird eating Rice Krispies? 
That bird eats anything I eat, except ice cream.  Instant brain freeze!