Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Autumn Blessings Crop

Welcome to the Autumn Blessings Blog Hop!

We're hopping around the web in celebration of our blessings at this beautiful time of year! Thank you for joining us and we hope you leave with a bit of inspiration and maybe a new friend or two! After the blog hop, please be sure to stop by the Cardmaker Cardswap Forum to join in for several days of challenges for creating and fun!

You should have arrived here from Lora's blog, aren't her projects the best? She has such a versatile style, clean and simple, with just the right touches of embellishment to set off whatever project she is making perfectly! If you didn't land here from Lora's blog, please click on over to visit her so that you don't miss any of the great things we have in store for you!

I have a life filled with many blessings...don't we all? Today I would like to express my gratitude for my friends. I have such lovely friends in my life, so many people who have helped me to become the person that I am today. Friends who encourage me to overcome struggles that I have, friends who applaud my accomplishments, good friends who compliment me on improvements that I make and great friends who comfort me in my times of need. I am so grateful for the love that each of them shares with me in different ways. I hope that each of you take some time today to thank a special friend that you have in your life.

Thank you for sharing that special thought with me.

Now, on to my project! I wanted a quick project that would give me (or whomever I give it to) a quick pick-me-up whenever I saw it.

I chose to make a bookmark. You will not believe how easy this was to make! I am looking forward to making several more as gifts for my friends this holiday season, after all, doesn't everyone need another bookmark?


It reads, "experience is not what happens to you. it's what you do with what happens to you."

I used:
cream canvas,
stamps (Tim Holtz),
three layers of cardstock (Bazzil, Co'ordinations, Reminisce),
ink (Distress Ink, Memento Ink),
sewing machine,
other (adhesive, 1/16" hole punch, fiber).

Cut the canvas to 1 3/4" x 6 3/4" and stamp with Distress ink for background. Use darker contrast ink to stamp main sentiment. Use adhesive to hold canvas in place on one or two layers of cardstock and stitch canvas around edges. Adhere final cardstock as backing to cover stitching. Punch hole at top and insert fiber.

Thanks for stopping by my little blog, your next stop is Judy's blog, and I know that you will enjoy what she has in store for you. Not only is she an exceptionally talented cardmaker, with a superb sense of design, she colors her images beautifully (a talent that I have yet to master), and her altered art projects are simply divine!

Here is the full list of blog participants, in case you get lost along the way:

Meredith <--- You are here
Judy L

Monday, August 15, 2011

I See Pumpkins!

The progressive challenge image over at Designed2Delight for this week is a stitched pumpkin, and it is so cute!

I printed it off and colored it with pencils...I even went for some shading to add dimension...didn't turn out too bad!


I did put a wooden button over the image where it had three just looked cleaner to me.

I pulled out a fall themed mat stack for papers, and colored the bling with a permanent marker to get it orange, finished it off with some ribbon, and done!

I haven't decided on a sentiment yet...maybe just a 'thinking of you' to send in the next couple of months, although it could certainly be a nice Thanksgiving card as well...we'll see.



Saturday, August 13, 2011

Wedding Inspiration

This has definitely been the summer of weddings around here! In the past three months we have received invitation after invitation...its been exciting! Unless I know the couple exceptionally well, I prefer to give a gift card...which means a handmade card to put it in, of course!

With all the gift giving and reception attending, my stash of ready congratulations cards is perilously low! So I got to work with an idea or two that I had...and here is the result!

At the Designed2Delight blog they have a weekly Designer's Challenge, this week it is to make a card using predominately pink and black...and the lightbulb went off!

I found the perfect stamp in the D2D store, that's the beauty of digital stamps...find, purchase, download and print...then get creating!

For both of my cards I kept the image is such a lovely collage on its own, I didn't want to distract from it. No coloring, just printed on colored cardstock.


I found a compimentary embossing folder for the background and inked the edges and raised pattern, then added some ribbon and a flower from stash...


The stick pin is from a recent swap, isn't it the perfect match? Most of the wedding cards I give are hand carried (instead of mailed) so I'm not worried about it getting smashed.


The second card got a bit more involved. I cased a card that I received in a swap a while ago...I'd never seen anything like it, and have intended to duplicate it for the longest time...I finally did tonight!

Here is the front view of the card as it is closed, you'd never know how much is in here!


I thought that I'd record the steps if you want to make one too, you can!

Supplies needed:

  • cardstock and patterned paper

  • elastic thread

  • 1/16" hole punch

  • strong adhesive

  • focal image

  • strong adhesive

  • embellishments as desired
1) Cut your base cardstock to 5 1/2" x 11"

2) Score your base cardstock at 2", 3 3/4", 7 1/4" and 9"

3) Fold the 3 3/4" and 7 1/4" scores toward eachother, the middle of the card and fold the 2" and 9" scores to the outside of the card, have a look at this picture to get a better end up with a card sized 4" x 5 1/2"


4) Add your patterned paper strips to the front (cut at 1 3/4" x 5 1/4") and inside (3 1/4" x 5 1/4") of the card

I have to share, my patterned paper started out like this...


but I didn't want the white on this card, so I used my pink ink and a foam sponge to color it!

5) Punch a hole on each 'inside' fold, knot one end of the elastic and thread it through, check to make sure that your knot is bigger than the hole! Double knot if necessary...

6) Thread it through the second hole, leaving approximately 3 1/2" inside the card (the width of the card back), knot the other side.

7) Put some strong glue on the knots, and let dry

8) For the center suspension, make sure that it is about 2" high, and no more than 2 3/4" wide, any wider, and you will not be able to close the card

9) Make the suspension several layers, and use a strong glue to sandwich the final layer between the rest, let it dry

10) Attatch your focal image to the front, and embellish the card as you like

As you open the card, the suspension comes forward and intricate!


I couldn't leave the envelopes alone...but I wasn't sure what to do with them until I saw the negative from the bird punch that I used


I took that negative and sponged some pink ink through it, using it as a stencil...I'm so pleased with how it came out!


I'm definitely going to take a look at my punches again with fresh eyes...maybe you'll see more of this on some cards soon!



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer's End Blog Hop

Hello and Welcome!

I'm so glad you joined us on the Cardswaps Summer's End blog hop!

You should have come here from Ashley. If not, be sure to start at Lora's blog so you don't miss any of the great projects!

At the end of the hop, be sure to hop on over to the forum for more fun, games, challenges and...PRIZES!!!

The crop will be going on from August 10th - August 13th, 2011 and you have until 11:59pm CST August 16th, 2011 to get your projects uploaded.

But enough about're here to hop along and get inspired, right?

The theme of our crop and blog hop is Summer's End.

We have hostesses that are going to help you spell out SUMMERS END in products, techniques, embellishments or anyway they can.

My assigned letter was M.
There are so many ways to use M! Masking, Monograms, Marigolds, the end, I decided to use a Mouse!


This is a digital stamp from Designed2Delight...who happens to have a challenge going on right now where if you use this stamp (which you can get for free!) you will be emailed another stamp!


Oh, and the D2D blog has another weekly challenge...this week's is to add bling to your card...and what goes better on a birthday card than gems and glitter?

Your next stop on the hop is Ana! Hop on over and see what fabulousness she has for you!

In case you get lost along the way, here are all the hostesses for the blog hop...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Orange You Glad Its Summer?

What a blast this card was to make! The challenge over at the Do You Stack Up? blog is to use the color orange...and I just happen to have a son who loves that I am definitely stocked up!

One of the sponsors of this challenge is Karen's Doodles and as I was wandering through the shop when I found this adorable monkey image...for free!!!

I'm catching up on some cards for that's what I made!


I colored the image with my Prismacolor pencils and inked the edges of all the ivory cardstock with a Dew Drop ink pad. The patterned paper is from a K & Co. pack and I printed the sentiments on my computer. The ribbon is from The Paper Studio.

Another z-fold...this one is a bit different from the first, in that the 'folded' part is cut smaller and put on a base of flat cardstock...although I've seen it put on the front of a card as well...clever if you want more writing space!


I ended up putting some ribbon to the side, because I read my score-board incorrectly and scored the first line too soon. Instead of the z-fold being symmetrical it ended up uneven...but I decided that I liked it so just left it that way.


And like I wrote, I'm late sending it for a's what I put inside...


Isn't this little monkey just the cutest? Click on over to Karen's Doodles to pick it up for yourself!




Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Big Blooms

What an adorable image to work with from the Designed 2 Delight progressive challenge this week!

We were sent one image from the Big Blooms set, which you can purchase in the store if you want.

Take time to see how many different ways the cardmakers have been using clever!

I took the flower image into Word and combined it with some a little poem that I found...unfortunately, I'm behind on some birthday cards that I wanted to you think they'll forgive me if I send a card this cute?


I used cardstock from stash...and patterned paper from K & Co. The digital stamp from Designed 2 Delight was partially colored with Prismacolor pencils and cording is from stash as well.

This was my first try at a z-fold card...too easy, just cut a 4 1/2" x 11" piece of cardstock and score at 5 1/2" and 8 1/4". I'll be using this more often for sure...there are so many different ways to extend shapes and embellishments off the edge!

This is the view from the you can see the 'z' part...


And a few other views...



Here is the cute poem...modified a bit from this website...




Monday, May 23, 2011

Summer Days progressive challenge

I had a lot of fun coloring the image from this weeks Designed 2 Delight progressive challenge. Is this not a cute, cute bear? You can pick yours up in the store and join in over at the blog any time!

I think I'll use this one for a special friend who could probably use a pick-me-up about now...


I'm still working on learning how to shade...doing better...but have a ways to go...




Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Somewhere Over the Rainbow Blog Hop

Welcome to the Sunny Days "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" Blog Hop! I know that you are having a great time hopping around and enjoying everyone's creations! You should have arrived here from Ana's she not the most joyful person? Endlessly creative, and a Twilight fan to boot ~ Fabulous!

The theme of this blog hop is "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". Each blog hostess has been assigned a color. At the end of this rainbow is the link to your pot of gold! Be sure to click through the link so you can join us in the Card Swaps forum for challenges, games, fun and prizes! We're all sure to have a lot of fun!

The color that I have been assigned is green (betcha guessed that already!) Normally, green is a color that I use to making it the focus of a card was different for me. I do love this color me, green means Spring! My lawn greens up, my plants start sending out new growth and become happy mounds of green that I know will be covered in flowers soon, and we plant seeds and starts in the garden. Happy Green Spring!

And without further ado, here is my card:

It looks involved, but was very easy to put together. I used some doodle flowers from a Stamps of Life set to dress up my background paper, just randomly stamping and spacing where it looked good to me. Another smaller layer on top of that for the sentiment, and that's it for the cardstock and paper. The flowers are all from one package, and while I love layering them, I wanted to try something different this time. So I folded one of the flowers in half and put a shiny gem brad in the center middle, kind of like a black-eyed susan. I then folded another flower into quarters and used a button from my stash to accent the bud shape. The last flower is just the three types that came in the package layered together with a glittery brad in the center.


Supply list: cardstock:Hobby Lobby, patterned paper:My Mind's Eye, ink:TPC Studios, flowers and brads:The Paper Studio, stamps:The Stamps of Life

For the inside, I wanted enough room for the whole family to sign, so I covered the cardstock with patterned paper, stamped my sentiment, and scattered some more stamped flowers across the pages.

And hey...this is a plea to any designers out there...could we please have some awesome anniversary sets? With happy and anniversary in several different fonts and sizes...and maybe even some labels or frames to go around? There are so many wedding sets out there...but one wedding equals lots and lots of anniversaries!!! And if any of you know of any fabulous anniversary sets...please, leave me a comment and tell me where!!!


We aren't doing prizes on the blog hop today, because the real prize is seeing great ideas and filling your mind with inspiration. However, I do hope you leave a comment and let me know what you think! There is also a post in the forum where you can post any cards you make that are blog hop inspired. I do hope to see you there! Here is a link to the Cardmaker's Cardswaps forum...but don't go until you get through the blog hop, we'll all have this link for you!

Your next stop along the hop is Laura. She has a sense of style that won't quit and a sense of humor that goes even longer! I know you'll enjoy your visit!

In case you want a map, here is the complete list of blogs in order:

Susan H
Meredith ~ You are here!



Monday, May 16, 2011

Skater Boy

Week 2 down!

After uploading a card with last week's digital image, Faith of Designed 2 Delight sent me this adorable Skater Boy image! Would you like him too? You can head over to the shop and pick him up...and if you upload a card to the blog challenge, then you will be emailed the next image too!

I'm working on my coloring...still have a ways to go, I know! But the funny thing that I learned with this image was to check which pencils I'm using! I lay down a layer of blue around the image, intending to use a paintbrush and some water to blend it out to nothing...well, that only works if you use a watercolor pencil!!!

Oh well, next time!


The base is made from Coredinations color core cardstock, embossed with the diamond edge Cuttlebug folder. The rest of the cardstock is from my scrap pile, shapes cut with dies and punches and dimension added with a crimper. The sentiment is from a stamped set swap.



Thursday, May 12, 2011

Using the swap twinchies

So, a whole year ago...yes, that's right, a YEAR ago...I hosted a swap with the fabulous group over at the Cardmaker Magazine message board. If you haven't visited and become a part of this community yet...what are you waiting for? Its the friendliest place I've found on the web!

The swap was for birthday twinchies, so that I could have the beginnings of the million or so birthday cards that it seems I need each season. So after a successful swap, with fabulous twinchies like you see below overflowing my stash...

twinchies swap one

twinchies swap two many cards do you think I have made with them? That's right...none! It seems that for me, coordinating my 'style' with someone else's is a little more difficult in practice than in theory...hmm.

So, determined to use these fabulous little gems to make equally great cards, I broke into the stash and started creating...and here are the results!


Terrie added the cutest little pom pom to her birthday hat...and with this card, I figured out the best ever glue to keep my bows on! Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive, comes in a bottle, and since it is a wet glue, takes a bit to dry...but once it does, that puppy is stuck! Fabulous!


I had fun with my Martha Stewart punch carrying on the 'dots' from the party hat.


This one I was so pleased with that I took a picture before the glue holding on the buttons was dry! It does dry clear, just so you know. And though it is difficult to capture in pictures, the background for this card is white glitter paper...all over glitter!


Really, this and several of the twinchies in the swap could be used for more than just birthday cards...but I decided to stick with birthdays because those really are the cards that I need most!


In case you were wondering, this is how I am signing the back of the give credit to the twinchie designers too...that is, if they signed them!


This is one of the twinchies that wasn't signed (sadness!), but the designer actually sent me (as the hostess) extra twinchies...and even extra punched cupcakes! I had enough to make three cards!


I changed the twinchie a bit by popping up the cupcake top, then used the extra cupcakes to border the bottom...I wanted to bring in some black because of the sentiment and think that the narrow ribbon adds just the right graphic accent...what do you think?


I had enough cupcake punches to add to the inside too.


This twinchie is actually mine...I was going for graphic and bright...with the intention of using them on cards for younger boys.


And on a side note...I finally got the die for the Happy Birthday sentiment to work! It took several experiments with shims and papers until I got the right combination...whew!


This twinchie is by Rainy B. I was surprised at how difficult this twinchie was to use on a card! You wouldn't think that black, white and red would be difficult to use, would you? I actually tried several combinations, and ended up using this fabulous black glitter paper...although you can't see it in my pictures, the glitter actually reflects in multiple colors, catching the red highlights fabulously!


I added hot-fix gems (love my i-rock!) to the tag and the lower left of the card...I'm thinking on coloring them red, to match the gem on the present...but I have to purchase a red alcohol marker to do it...maybe later this week...


And to tie in the inside of the card with the twinchie, I used the same pattern of doodling around the marker dots with silver glitter dots in the corners. (Although I didn't take a good enough picture for you to see the silver glitter clearly.)

This last card qualifies for a challenge over at the Do You Stack Up challenge blog, #19 Add a Tag. They have the neatest challenges over there, you should play along! I'm glad that I'm able to play along again...its been a while!

Do you have swap stashes too? Hopefully this post will inspire you to dig them out and start creating! It was a stretch to incorporate someone else's style into my cardmaking...but a good one!

That's all for today! Hopefully I'll have time and creative inspiration to use up some more of these fabulous twinchies soon, then I guess I'd have to host another swap!



Progressive Challenge

What an interesting spring we are having! Here in New Mexico, we have enjoyed temperatures in the 80's, then snow and freezing rain, then wind ready to blow everything away, then mild weather again! What an adventure!

I've managed to squeeze some time for crafting in between end-of-school-year activities and outside improvements (garden!), and finally, after receiving the emails about this challenge for a couple of months, I've managed to take the time to participate!

The challenge is from Designed to Delight digital stamps, and on their blog here, you will find the images and the rules...and if you play along one week, the next week's image is emailed directly to you! How cool is that?

So this is the card that I pulled together, very simply,


I printed the image, colored it with pencils, inked the edge and cut it out with an oval nestabilities die. Backed it with another die in a scallop edge, then added it to the card. Since the image has a quilt in it, I used a quilt patterned paper as background...and added a ribbon bow for a homey feel.

I haven't decided on a sentiment for this one yet...I figure that I can add one later when the right occasion presents you ever do that?



Sunday, April 3, 2011

I Got Crafty: Burlap Dry Erase Board

Well, I decided to have a bit of fun in the craft cave again...I should do this more often, since it ends with something nice for my home!

It started with the kitchen renovations...that story is on the other, and no, we're not done yet...but soon, very soon...

Anyway, now that I actually have a PANTRY in my kitchen ... yeah! ... I have this great view from the dining room table ...


Well...that could use a bit of something, couldn't it?

I was sure that I had the perfect is how the conversation went...(sort of...)

Me: Hey hon, wanna hear my great idea to put here?

Dh: Sure, whatcha want to do?

Me: I'm going to get an old kitchen cabinet door, then I'm going to paint the outside green like the kitchen walls, then paint the inside part with chalkboard paint...and we can have a chalkboard for our kitchen! Won't it be great?

Dh: Chalkboard? Why chalkboard? That sounds dark. I like whiteboards better, they're so much easier to use...could we just hang a dry erase board there?

Me: (dumbfounded look...) Dry erase??? Why would I want a big ugly whiteboard there?

So...enter blogland...(Thank you, blogland!!!) In one of the fabulous linky parties out there I ran across this tutorial from Get Your Craft On, and inspiration struck!

I decided to try my hand at a tutorial-type bear with me...

Gather your supplies:

Frame with glass
burlap (or fabric, or paper...whatever you want)
masking tape

I pulled out a frame from the back closet, I bought this one at Kohl's on sale...


I'm not even going to come close to admitting how long ago I purchased this...

Then pulled out the burlap, (come on, you know you have some sitting at home, ready for a project....don't you?, don't you?)

And cut a piece to extend around the cardboard backing of the frame.


I got out the extremely specialized tool then...the masking tape...and stretched the burlap around the cardboard, taping it in place to hold it down.

Now, I didn't take pictures of the in between step...but now would be a good time to clean the glass really well...before you reassemble the frame...


I did miter the corners (sloppily though) to cut down on the bulk...but as you can see, this is not a fancy job...hey, its the back...if I hadn't taken pictures, no one but me would ever have seen!

Put your glass back in the frame, put your burlap covered backing in....and flip it over to see your fabulous new dry erase board!!!


Hmm...........that' the word that comes to mind...hmm........... what do I do? I could cut some vinyl...or use a stencil and paint a design...or cut some fabric....or, I could take a look around what is currently my crafting passion and so is readily accessible in my craft room....stamping!

So, how about a few more supplies:

rubber stamps ( I used a fabulous one from Unity Stamp Co)
dye ink (I used Tuxedo black by Memento)
ribbon, whatever you've got that looks good with your project

After experimenting for a bit with some spare burlap I decided on a border look, rotating and repeating the stamp across the top and bottom...with the ribbon as an accent.

So let's take a look now, shall we?



Much better, yes? I left a lot of blank the intention is really to use this as a memo board...but you can get as creative as you would like to to suit your project!

One last thing...the dry erase marker...I know that I could just let it sit on top of the frame...or tie it on with a ribbon...or even attach it with some children are old enough that having the marker easily accessible is not a problem...but I didn't want to have it out...its not exactly pretty, you know?


So I tucked it away inside the cabinet door using some self-stick velcro...see? Nice and handy, but out of sight...good!

Here are the before and after views...



And now:


please try very hard to ignore the pile of dirty dishes in the sink...and on the counter...I had to take the pictures while I remembered to during the nice!

...not exactly Ballard Designs...but better than nothing!

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my little tutorial!

I'm linking this post up over at Funky Junk Interiors Burlap Theme Linky and the Tatertots and Jello Weekend Wrap Up Party.