Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Inspiration

My friend Amisha (Gorgeous and Fun) is hosting Part 2 of her 10 part series on Being Creative.  This weeks topic is How To Learn?  Easy & tough to answer all at once!
As it turns out, Amisha and I moved to MA at the same time.  (The little things you learn blogging!)  I won't share too much of her experience- I want you to hop over and read it for yourself- but I will say she's right about how much the internet has changed the way I learn.
Fellow bloggers have taught me SO MUCH, like how to use my Copic markers, the importance of layering, and challenge blogs force me to stretch myself in ways I might not otherwise.  That blogroll you see on my sidebar is "for reals".  I visit all those blogs.  Maybe not every day and I don't always comment, but those folks are my Clio, Thalia, Polymnia, and occasionally even my Melepomene.  I may have to add a couple more categories over there too.  I find inspiration from folks who cook and I haven't placed them anywhere over there!
When I was in college a good friend was going to an art school and I had the chance to hang with her and her fellow art school friends in Paris for 3 weeks!!!  I learned so much from them, the professors who were with us, and from the many museums we attended.  My favorite museum and place of inspiration is PEM.  It has so many nooks and crannies with goodies.  Seeing the art can spark so many ideas!
But for all these other ways to learn.  The best one for me is in person classes.  My favorite stamp store of all time is Ink About It.  I share their aesthetic.  The classes I have taken and the people who I've met in those classes ALWAYS teach me some of the most vital nuggets.

There are many more places and ways that I learn, but I didn't want to bore overload folks, so I'll stop here. :)
 So I today's bit of creativity isn't a finished product.  It's the goodies that will help make 4 finished projects.  May they help inspire you on a snowy (here in MA) day. :)

Don't forget to link up some inspiration over at Amisha's party!  Or at least share with me how you learn, how you learn is just as inspiring to folks as the finished project. :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Portable Tablescape

It's not only February vacation week here in much of New England, but it's also Tablescape Thursday!  DH and I took a little time to get away from it all and rented the most darling cottage in Wolfeboro, NH.  The gal who owns the place is an interior decorator, so of course it is beautiful inside AND full of lots of dishes. :)  I played with creating some tablescapes while I was there.  I'll share the others in the next couple of weeks, but today I thought I'd share the portable one we used for breakfast on our last day there.
I know it's not quite as detailed.  Just wait 'til next week. :)
The sticky buns were YUMMY. :)  We enjoyed breakfast on the sun porch which was aglow with sunshine.
Alas, since it is February and we've had close to record breaking snows this year, the view was not of greens outside, but the whites of snow. :)  Made for a cozy feel though, so not too shabby.  More pics to come of NH, so stay tuned!

And the goodies I posted yesterday have been loaded in my Etsy Shop.  Please stop by. :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bling It On at TTT

So I'm kinda addicted to creating these gift sets.  They are so much fun!!  This was made using the Crate Paper kit my LSS sells in their monthly kit club.  Just the burst of warm weather color I have been craving this time of year. :)

Since it's Tuesday, I thought why not share this with my Top Tip Tuesday Teamies!!!
This week's challenge is Bling It On.  This set has some subtle bling on the Memory Box images and the thank you message (AMuse I think).
PSA time- Don't let your cards suffer from "Naked Envelopes".  Make sure you "clothe" up the envies with fun images, sentiments, or any 'ole detailing.  Bring some joy to the giver, the receiver, and even the mail carrier.  LOL!  Seriously, when you have the time to add this detail it is lots of fun to look at decorated envies. :)
Crate Paper (Restoration Collection), Bo Bunny (Ocean Dot), Dear Lizzy (Comfort & Joy), a die from Papertrey Ink, and my Marvy punches helped make the layered covers to both the memo pad and the note cards.
Here is everything in the box.  These are like happiness in a box!  They really are so much fun. :)
Officially this is blinged with Spica pens and Stickles, but one might argue that the ribbons on the memo pad help too (I know excuses, excuses hee-hee).  Seriously though, stop by Top Tip Tuesday and enter your "Bling It On" creation or a tip.  You could win fabulous prizes from these companies:

Don't forget the rules.  They are pretty easy though. :)  It has to be a new post (no back dating), you can only enter 3 times, and you have to link back to TTT on your post.

I've packaged this all up and headed over here:
Incy Wincy Designs- Use punches or dies
Ooh La La- Pink, Pink, Pink
Stamps R Us- For the girls
The Ribbon Girl- Pink Brown Cream
Alota Rubber Stamps- Using punches
Crafts and Me- Things with Wings 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fruited Chicken Curry and a Cause

Can you tell that I am on break this week?  I've actually cooked something!!! LOL!  This is fruited chicken curry.  I'd like to take credit for it, but really I got all the goods for it from Healthy Habits Kitchen.  Apricots, prunes, jasmine rice-mmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Healthy Habits Kitchen is pretty awesome because they put all the ingredients together (organic and local when possible), give all the cooking directions, and I can pick everything up at the local (well 20 minutes away) winter farmers market.  I've used other versions of places like this (like the chain Dream Dinners) in the past and for us it's totally worth it.  We can try foods we might not have tried, like cherry burgers, or fish tacos with lime cilantro sauce (which is helping me with my resolutions) and I don't have to buy all those expensive spice jars.  DH and I haven't ever cooked curry so this was fun and much less intimidating. :)  We both gave the fruited chicken curry 2 thumbs way up!
On Presidents Day I thought I would send another shout out to link up to Operation Pay-It-Forward.  Show Bella and me your creations to send to Operation Write Home.  This is a great cause that can bring a ray of sunshine to soldiers stationed abroad.  Many members of our armed forces are very young men & women for whom this is their first time so far from home.  In the past OWH has even collected cards to share with Polish soldiers for Name Day (read the letter from the Polish General).  So join the inspiration fest! :)
Happy Presidents Day!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Creative Questions

My friend Amisha (Gorgeous and Fun) is hosting a linky party and 10 part series for folks to share their creativity.  The first party post and invite to share is about inspirations.

I find that I'm currently inspired by thoughts of spring. :)  After the colorful autumn leaves, the winter whites are like a reset button for our eyes.  Winter has it's own color and beauty, but with the riot of autumn color and the riot of spring color it's nice to get a color break.  Well, after all the snow this season, I'm looking forward to the spring color flourish.

Get your artist gear on and head over to the party to share your creation.  This weeks topic is focused on space, so you can share pics of your space, or Amisha is inviting us to share something we have created that may inspire others.  I was torn between this and this.  Head over to see what I chose. LOL!

Amisha is sharing the deets to make your own "pink box" on the same post as the party.  So you even get a party favor!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sympathy Card and Question

Sympathy cards are not much of a staple in my stash.  Often if I am making a sympathy card it's for a particular person.  This Hero Arts image is often a go-to for the sympathy cards I need to make because it is so large it helps fill the space without cluttering the cardfront.
CAS is my mantra when making this type of card.  I really struggled with adding the bakers twine even because I was worried that the fibers would change the vibe of the card.  It looked a little too plain without anything though. 

I've dropped this card off at these sites:
Stampin Royalty- Use your markers
Frosted Designs- No pattern paper
Allsorts Challenge- Inspired by nature

What are your tips for creating sympathy cards?  These are such meaningful cards.  Please, let's share those helpful hints here in blogland.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

June Wishes

To me June is strawberry picking time, so this little set makes me think of June.  Warm breezes and fresh fruit 'n veggies.  Yum!
A few teachers have asked me to make gift sets for their TA's, room parents, or the teacher's of their own children.  This is one of the sets. :)  It has 4 thank you cards and a matchy-match memo pad.
I used an acetate box I had on hand (like I did with this and this) and used a fun MFT diecut and stamp to create the label.  I got really into these this weekend and made 2 other versions I hop to post later. :)
I tried to catch the lime Stickles I used on the strawberry top.  Not sure the full effect is here.  Guess you'll have to use your imagination. LOL!

Image- strawberry,PTI fruitful set  bee,Inkadinkadoo
Sentiment- MFT
Diecuts- PTI & MTF
Card base- Amuse
Paper- Echo Park, A walk in the garden  Cosmo Cricket, Garden Variety
Other- Lime Stickles

Hoping this card is a juicy find for folks here:
Inky Impressions- Spots and Stripes
Anita Be Stampin- Sketch
My Time to Craft- Going Round in Circles
One Stitch at a Tome- Make it Pretty

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Miss Amy

My DH has taken to reading my blog periodically.  It's kinda cute, flattering, and endearing that he does this.  He mentioned the other day that Cad has gotten some blogtime, but Miss Amy has not yet had her blog debut.  I have to say I thought I had posted pics of her and I was wrong (y'all should mark this on the calendar, I don't often have the grace to admit errors. LOL!)  So without further ado, I present Amy the gray tabby.
We've had an uphill battle with Ames.  She's an older gal and she had lived with a terrier who had personal space issues, so she was less than thrilled with Cad.  They have a mutual tolerance of each other at this point, which is a shame 'cause Cad likes to play with cats.  He grew up with them, so he thinks they are great, but Amy is kinda mean to him.  It's taken a couple of years, but Miss Amy doesn't hide in the closet anymore, tolerates DH, and simply LOVES to cuddle with me in bed.  She's even learned to talk.  I have that effect on animals though.  I got that from my mom.  My dad said my mom did it to animals because she treated them like humans by talking to them all the time, so they all learned to talk back.
Despite the look of being stuck to the bed, Amy is doing her I-love-you-I'm-rolling-around-and-talking-to-you-so-you'll-pet-me act.  It really is precious, especially when you consider she did nothing but hide and hiss for the first 3 months and I took my life in my hands when I crawled in to the closet each day to scoop her up and encourage her to be more social each day.  She is a love and I'm so proud of how far she's come.  She even surprised my nephews a couple of weeks ago and joined us all in the living room (for about 10 seconds, but we'll take it).  Usually the boys are stuck petting Amy as she hides under the blankets on the bed. :)  Hope you enjoyed meeting Miss A.

Just goes to show that love and patience can work wonders.  Here's to hoping love and patience touches all of us today. :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hap-bee Birthday

My LSS has a kit club and this paper all comes from the January kit.  To. Die. For.  This is such a yummy collection.  Y'all are gonna get bored with looking at it (if I remember to take pic's of everything I made before I send/gift/sell all that got created!
After all the dreary winter days, I wanted this card to have the bright and cheerful feel of spring.   CAS cards have been a focus of mine lately and this card has lots of fun layers and colors.  I even broke out the pink ink. LOL!
My dad would have been 63 today.  He passed away 19 years ago and I still miss him. While he didn't mind pink, this card would really have been too girly for him.  LOL!  Something with the NY Giants, sports car, or tools would have been more his speed.

I've been lax on this lately and so here are the deets for this one:
Ink- memento tux black & distress ink worn lipstick
Copics- y11, y35, b00, blender
Paper- crate paper restoration collection
Ribbon- Amuse
Stamps- PTI wreath for all seasons, inkadinkadoo bee

I'm buzzing around here with this card:
Simply Create- It's Bright in Here
Paper Cutz- Use a bee
Phindy's Place- Spring is on the Way
Paper Sundaes- Toppings (lacy diecut and pink)

Hugs to all and remember to celebrate the birthdays of the one you love!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Here's bit of a sassy post today. LOL!
A fun bit of paper piecing with this one.  I even managed to make a shadow under the cup.  The sassy part is the sentiment. Hee-hee!
I made a couple of these to sell last week and this is the one that's left.  Really fun cards to make.  Hope you are all enjoying a fun Valentine's Day.  I broke the rules and ended up making some cute valentine's for my students and adding a lollipop to each card.  I couldn't help it (and I found out other teachers were doing it too, so at least I'm not the only one!).

Don't forget to stop by Top Tip Tuesday and join in the fun for a chance to win some crafty treats!  A new challenge begins tomorrow!

Enjoying a cuppa with this card here:
Stamp Something- Something for your valentine
Crafty Calendar Challenge- Love
SSDS- Love is in the air
The Pink Elephant- Be my valentine
Easy Craft Projects- Love
Rainbow Lady's Challenge- It's All About Love

Friday, February 11, 2011

Love you Valentine

Are you ready for Valentine's Day yet?  I'm so NOT READY!!!!!  I haven't gotten my valentines done for my students and I have no idea what to give them for a treat- we have a "no candy, no junk food" policy.  That means I'm down to pencils or no homework passes.  If you have a suggestion- please share.  I think my brain has frozen with all this cold weather. LOL!
This is one of the valentine cards I got made in time for the crafty open house my friend hosted at her house the other day.  I sold a few cards/card sets and then we decided to bring our goods in to work yesterday.  Sales picked up for both of us at work. :)  I consider the dollars made my "mad money".  Feeding the addiction is what it's all about. LOL!

Hope you have a great weekend and can get things together for some valentine love. :)