Sunday, December 30, 2007


Okay, I know that it isn't even New Year's Eve yet, but I am a very impatient person. I just figured out how to add a counter to my site and I was going to wait and add it tomorrow night at mid-night, but well like I said I am not a patient person so......though my site is over a year old the count is starting at 1 today!


Susan has tagged me and so now while I am gathering up energy to connect my computer to the scanned and take a few photos of some projects my daughter and I worked on yesterday I will offer a few facts about myself. 7 random facts according to the rules Susan sent. So here goes....
  1. I lived in the same house 14 years when I was growing up and swore I would never live in the same house that long again....well never say never....I've lived in the house I'm currently living in for 24 years and there are no plans to move anytime soon!!!!
  2. I love Disney World and would vacation there for a week every year and be very happy! Alas I haven't been in almost 10 years.
  3. At 5 foot 11 inches tall I am the shortest person in my immediate family. I never thought I would be the shorty!
  4. If I won a million dollars I would quit my job and devote myself to teaching quilting and stamping to others, and I would make quilts and cards to give away to people in need.
  5. I am working had to clear my home of 24 years of accumulated clutter. Made some progress in 2007, but still have a long way to go....anyone want some counted cross stitch patterns? I have lots of them.....
  6. (WOW 7 is a BIG number!) I am one of the few women in this world who has allowed her hair to go gray in a pattern and time frame that God sees fit. (actually I'm to cheap to pay someone to color my hair and too untalented when it comes to such things to do it myself)
  7. In 2008 I hope to learn how to cook in a more healthy manner.
So there are my for the really hard part, tagging 7 other people....



So visit their BLOGS learn about them and see the wonderful things they all do. AND don't forget to visit Susan and come back here I love to have visitors. Now I need to go break the news to those lovely 7 folks that they've been tagged.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


It has been a wonderful Christmas. Our house has been full of family and lots of activity. Lots and lots of food and dirty dishes as well! How quickly one forgets what it takes to feed six instead of two.....

One by one family are making their exit and heading home or on to other destinations. Our oldest son had to leave first. He had to be back to work the day after Christmas so his was the shortest stay, but it was so good to have him home.

Today Jerry's Dad leaves to continue his Christmas adventures. He heads back to Detroit this afternoon, but rather than leaving the airport to go home he will board another flight and head to California to visit with family there for a week. This will be a very special trip as he will hear one of his granddaughters give her first sermon as she prepares to go into the ordained ministry.

Next to leave will be daughter as tomorrow afternoon she will head back home to MN. I wonder if it has warmed up there any in her absence??? I do know that earlier in the week they got lots of snow.... It's always fun to have her home. She's my girl in this home that is filled will guys most times. I miss my girl. She is the one that understands (I think) my passion (obsession) for crafting.

My baby....will be next, but that date of departure is yet unknown. That's okay though cause he's my baby....well I guess at this point more appropriate to say my youngest. At some point in the future he will head back north to Frostburg to finish his last semester of college. Then the house will be empty.....well almost.

The big guy will still be here so that will get us back to the two that we started with a little over a week ago. I'm thinking it will be very quiet around here. And I will have to readjust my cooking methods back to small amounts. And hopefully healthier items. Christmas foods are wonderful, but it is good for the waistline and heart that Christmas only comes once a year!!!!! I will both miss the noise, activity and chaos of the past week AND be glad for the peace and calmness the beginning if the new year will bring.

I hope all who read this have had as wonderful a Christmas as we have had here in the Brown household. And may your New Year be full of blessings, happiness and creative fun. Yes creative fun! After all this is a BLOG devoted to the fun of stamping and quilting!

What do I plan to do in the new year??? Play with all my wonderful creativity inspiring Christmas gifts.....I've been patiently awaiting being able to head back up to my stamp room and work with all my new toys. Ideas have been swirling in my head , just like those visions of sugar plums. I look forward to putting those ideas on paper. So check back I love having you visit me in my little corner of cyber space.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Christmas Tree 3

Enjoy the presence of family and friendson this very special day!

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I would be nice if I could report that everything was ready in my home, but alas I can not tell that big of a lie right before Christmas. There is much yet to be done. All will be attempted, but not all will be accomplished. There just aren't enough hours left in the count down. I will continue to tell my self that the most important things have already happened. All kids have returned home! If all the cookies don't get baked or all the last minute gifts don't get purchased or finished Christmas will still come and we will all be together to celebrate the birth of the babe in Bethlehem.

I would like to share a short story that was sent to me from an anonymous but very wise source. I hope you will take a short moment to read it and then reflect on the busyness that tomorrow may bring to many of us and how you will choose to deal with that busyness and those loved ones and friends around you.

The Box

It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls,
career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear
across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his
busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no
time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and
nothing could stop him.

Over the phone, his mother told him, 'Mr. Belser died last night. The
funeral is Wednesday.' Memories flashed through his mind like an old
newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

'Jack, did you hear me?'

'Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I thought of
him. I'm sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago,' Jack said.
'Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him he'd ask how you were
doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent over 'his side of
the fence' as he put it,' Mom told him.

'I loved that old house he lived in,' Jack said.

'You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make
sure you had a man's influence in your life,' she said

'He's the one who taught me carpentry,' he said. 'I wouldn't be in this
business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me
things he thought were important... Mom, I'll be there for the
funeral,' Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his
hometown. Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful. He had no
children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to
see the old house next door one more time.

Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing
over into another dimension, a leap through space and time The house
was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture,
every piece of furniture... ..Jack stopped suddenly.
'What's wrong, Jack?' his Mom asked.
'The box is gone,' he said
'What box?' Mom asked.

'There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I
must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he'd ever
tell me was 'the thing I value most,'' Jack said.

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered
it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had
taken it.

'Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him,' Jack said. 'I better
get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.'

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died Returning home from
work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. 'Signature required
on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office
within the next three days,' the note read.

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old
and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting
was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention.
'Mr. Harold Belser' it read. Jack took the box out to his car and
ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope.
Jack's hands shook as he read the note inside.

'Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack
Bennett. It's the thing I valued most in my life.' A small key was
taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack
carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold
pocket watch.
Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched
the cover. Inside he found these words engraved:

'Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser.'
'The thing he valued most time'
Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and
cleared his appointments for the next two days. 'Why?' Janet, his
assistant asked.

'I need some time to spend with my son,' he said.

'Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


A quick post to encourage all to slow down and enjoy the process of card making and making them well. (Notice I said well not perfect!)

As Christmas approaches at lightning speed I am finding my self getting sloppy. When I get pressured by time, or I should say lack of time, I don't do some things I know I should do to help my cards be the best they can. This card is a good example of that.

Can you see what I mean? You don't have to look to close or too long to see it. I have learned from past experience that I need to use my stamp-a-ma-jig whenever I am stamping a sentiment directly onto my card. Do I always do it? Obviously not! And the times I don't are those times that I am in just to much of a hurry to get out the tool.

I probably should just leave it out on my stamping table. Then I would have no excuse.

So this post is an admonition to myself and anyone else who needs it to slow down and enjoy the process of making a nice card rather than taking the time to come up with a nice layout and design and then ruining it with a lopsided sentiment!

What was it we were told: "Do as I say, not as I do!" Or was it, " A picture is worth a thousand words"?

Sunday, December 16, 2007


A couple of posts back I talked about my wanting to learn more about coloring systems especially COPIC markers. I decided to try my own little experiment using various different products and methods of coloring to see if I could see any differences or come up with the product and method I preferred. I also was trying to answer for myself whether COPIC markers were worth the investment for me a non-artist. By non-artist I mean that I have very limited skill in how to shade and color things effectively.

This was not as easy to do as I thought it would be. One thing I discovered was that there were a lot of different variables to consider including paper and ink used to stamp the image. So though I have eliminated a set of options I am not sure that I am any closer to deciding the best set of products and methods for me to use. Here is the fist installment of what I discovered. Through out this process so far I have used a single stamp to color using different products.

I used Watercolor paper for these samples. As labeled; image 1 uses Prisma markers; 2 uses SU markers; and 3 uses the Copic Sketch markers. I have to say that though I already own all the SU markers I only purchased 3 colors of Copic and 4 of Prisma. I thought would just be enough of each to be able to experiment. I used watercolor paper because I had found a tutorial on making SU markers look like Copic markers. I wanted to see if this would work for me because if it did I could save LOTS of money.

So....what did I discover. Well one thing I discovered is that I want to try this again using SU watercolor paper with the SU markers. I used some off brand that I have on hand and I think that it still looks more like water coloring than markers. Which in and of itself is not bad, but I was trying for the bold marker look. Still I do like the way number 2 turned out. I don't really like the way 1 and 3 turned out as much.

Now to be fair, there are a couple of issues that I think gave an unfair advantage to the SU markers. The first being that I don't think either Copic or Prisma markers are made to be used on watercolor paper. (Of course I didn't think of this when I began my little experiment. I was thinking more about holding a variable constant; which in this experiment is really not a good idea!) The second problem is that I had such a limited color set to choose from with the Copics and Prismas. In fact the Copics I only have the primary colors red, blue and yellow because another tutorial suggested that was all you needed and you could just blend them. Blending I've discovered is something I can't seem to get the hang of. Part of the problem may be that I cannot find a Copic blender and though they told me Prisma would work fine I'm not sure it does.

So did I learn anything from this other than Prisma and Copics don't work well on watercolor paper. Yes, I did discover that one thing I don't like about Prismas is that they don't have a brush end the Copics do and I really like that. On the other hand to get into small spaces I like that Prisma has a fine point end. They both have a chisel point broad tip on one end. SU markers have both fine point and brush ends. SU markers however are water based inks. Prisma and Coptic are alcohol so are not going to run if they get wet and they work on surfaces SU won't. I've also learned that if I choose to get either Copics or Prismas I need to get a lot of them to do any effective amount of blending and that will be a big expense.

So where do I go from here.....I'm going to try my Copic and Prismas on regular card stock. And while I'm playing I am going to compare my Prisma pencils with turpentine ( I haven't found anyone who sells Gamsol around here yet and turpentine works it just stinks) and my watercolor pencils using plain old water. So stay tuned!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Snowman Returns

I have been asked by several people if I have a pattern for this little guy. I don't because I bought him at a craft fair, but I've pulled out my trusty tape measure and tired my best to come up with measurements for the hat and scarf. The face you can see here and simply copy the design. I assume it can be done with Sharpie pens and a little swipe of pink pigment ink on the cheeks.

For the hat and scarf you will need a small amount of red felt. Cut two pieces. The hat is a 3inch by 5 inch piece and the scarf a 1 inch by 7 inch piece. These measurements are approximate depending on the type of plastic spoon you are using, but they should be fine. If slight adjustments are needed I'm sure you all can figure it out.

To make the hat; along one 5 inch edge make cuts about 1/2 inch down the entire 5 inch length. This is the fringe at the top of the hat. The opposite 5 inch end you are going to fold up about a half an inch. This makes the brim around the bottom of the hat. Wrap the hat strip around the top of the spoon as shown in the picture. (Place a dab of glue at top of spoon to hold the hat in place) Overlap in the back and glue in place. Use a piece of hemp or twine to gather the top and tie in a bow. (I would probably put a dab of glue over the knot of the bow so it can't com untied, but that is up to you!)

The scarf is easy; simply fringe both 1 inch ends. Place the tootsie pop at the back of the spoon as shown in picture and tie the scarf around the stick of the pop and the handle of the spoon. When placing the tootsie pop against the bowl of the spoon I think I would use several glue dots maybe even one of the big pop up glue dots to hold it in place.

I hope these instructions make sense and will help those who want to be able to make these little guys for some special person. They are really cute and I think they would be pretty easy to make. Have fun!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

No Cards Today!

I had hoped to stamp today for a bit, but instead I have been redoing the look of my BLOG. What do you think? I've been learning all sorts of new things and am even going to start to you labels. The computer and all you can do on it including BLOGGING is great, but it does eat up some of that precious free time that could be used for stamping or quilting. Well maybe tomorrow.....hope is what keeps us going! With out hope we would be, well just plain hopeless. So check back to morrow and see if I've found time for stamping fun!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

These are two cards that I made for my SCS FLYBaby 30 set challenge. The challenge is to use 30 stamps or stamp sets that haven't been used in a while (or in my case maybe never) and make a card for each. The second part of the challenge is to not purchase anymore stamps or sets till the challenge is complete. I'm taking the first part of the challenge but am not sure I will complete it before I purchase new sets. I need to place an SU order before the end of the year to stay active next quarter and I don't want to miss out on the hostess set or new catty preorder both of which need to be placed before Dec 31..

The elephant comes from a set called Year After Year. I actually love this set because is so lends itself to watercoloring which I am very hooked on. The elephant is one of my favorites in the set. The patterned paper is Wintergreen which is a winter themed pack of Double Sided Designer Paper which is being retired at the end of the month. The ribbon is the double stitched Blue Bayou ribbon. I'm so glad the current In Colors will be around for another 6 months. I really love this set and will miss them when they retire at the end of June.

The Cherish card used the Vases in Vogue level 3 hostess set which will also be retired at the end of Dec. I purchased this set as part of the hostess preorder in June. Only in my dreams do I ever place a $500 order to qualify to obtain a free level 3 hostess set. I also like this set for it's water colorability. The card stock is Groovy Guava which is really growing on me as a color. The paper is the DSP in Always Artichoke (another of my favorite colors). The ribbon is once again the double stitched ribbon this time in Groovey Guava.

I have a third card I've made for this challenge but that will be for another post.


No pictures to post right now just a question that is confounding me. There is a lot of buzz right now about COPIC markers. Now I am intrigued by them. The samples of cards I've seen using them are awesome. BUT they are pricey; around $5 a marker. (That's for the "sketch" style. I can't find anywhere locally that sells the "ciao" style.) My dilemma it are they really that good or are other less pricey markers just as good. Also is there any hope that a non-artist can use them effectively. When I color using markers it always looks like a 5 year old did it, and that may be an insult to five year olds. So my dilemma is I really like they way they can look, but can I really make them look that way and are they worth the investment?????

Got to run...have a teleconference call to be on in 15 minutes. I wonder what Shelli has to say....while listening I will scan a few cards and post later.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I found this idea at a quilt show and thought it was the cutest thing. Since I am in charge of craft ideas for our church's Secret Shop for children I just had to get one for a model. Have we made them NO of course not! Will we? Certainly not this year. The Secret Shop is on Saturday morning and time is quickly running out. I also saw ones decorated like Santa Claus. I think these would be fun as stocking stuffers. But I fear the snowman would not stay together for long as who can resist a yummy tootsie roll pop! I know I can't especially raspberry flavored ones. What is your favorite flavor?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas Cards for Advent Workshop

Yesterday was our annual Hanging of the Greens and Advent Workshop at our church. Now there is no doubt about it. The march toward Christmas has begun.

As part of the Advent workshop the adults worked on assembling Christmas cards that will be taken down to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC for recovering soldiers of the Afghan and Iraqi wars.

I say assembled because I did all the design, stamping, cutting and punching work in advance. I knew that only two of us that would be there had any card making or stamping experience and we had a goal of 100 cards to be made in the allotted two hours of the Advent workshop. These are three of the six designs that we worked on. They all were fairly simple cards. These are my favorite three. I spent most of Saturday afternoon and evening working on preparing the the "kits" for each card. Part of my goal was to not have to purchase any supplies except for adhesive. Everything else came out o my stash. Most though not all of the cardstock used came out o a pile of stuff I have from my pre-SU days.

One new thing I tried with these cards that I am now hooked on is using MS WORD and printing the sentiment directly onto cardstock. This is how I got the "Merry Christmas" the size I wanted it as all my stamps that said this were either too small or a style that didn't work. I've often thought of doing this, but for some reason never actually tried it. Why I don't know it was so easy and I got just what I wanted. I guess it works best when mass producing a particular card so that you don't waste card stock. Now my next challenge to try printing a sentiment inside the card. This won't be as easy because to do that I need to be able to get it placed in the correct spot. If anyone has a hint on how to do this please leave a comment.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Back with info and hints on these other two ornaments. The ball ornament is actually a paper mache ornament ball that I covered by decoupaging small pictures of quilts all over it. In the past I have used regular Modge Podge and not been particularly happy with the results. They look nice, but always stayed slightly tacky feeling and it if was at all humid they got very tacky. This time I used a Modge Podge product for decoupaging on furniture. The label said it was an extra hard coating. It is not at all tacky feeling. This is a bit of a messy process, but is fun. I've also done them using small pieces of fabric. They are a nice ornament gift for a person who likes to sew. One other hint; I hang them to dry. I have a spool thread holder that I use, but you could also loop them over the top of a wire clothes hanger. They would had down into the triangular space in the middle.

The final ornament is also from Split Coast. I used the Stampin'Up! scalloped punch. I couldn't find a good link to send you to for directions so here are mine.

Using your scallop circle punch, punch out 8 different "scallops" of designer series paper. I cut four each of two different papers. Fold each scallop circle in half. Now glue one side of the folded 1/2 circle to the back of another 1/2 circle. Continue until you have all eight circles glued, then wait to glue the last two sides together. Take about 12" of gold or silver cord; fold in half, and place a Pretties clear "bobble" or two at one end. Then insert the cord between the last two sides of the scallop circles, and glue the last sides together. This makes a really cute "ball" with dangly "crystals". I tried several different types of adhesives and decides that SU's Anywhere Glue Stick worked the best.

I've made several different ones and you can embellish they all differently. For some I used stickles around the outer edges for a glittery look, and on others I painted around the edge with my Ziggy gold/silver ink pen.

Though it is hard to explain how to make these they are really very easy after you have made a few. I think the first one took me about a half an hour . Now I ca whip one out in about 15 minutes. HAVE FUN!

There are still a few more ornament types I want to play with making. I have some glass balls that I am going to place a stamped image inside of, and I purchased some microscope slide to experiment with. Also I just found directions for domino ornaments. So stay tuned for more ornament fun!


Thanksgiving is over which means it's now full steam ahead to Christmas. YIKES!!! Wasn't it just Christmas 2006 a few weeks ago? This year has really flew by.

In getting ready for the Christmas decorating and gift giving season I've been working on ornaments. These are three of the four ornaments that I am working o for this year. The Snowflake and Scallop Circle ornaments are ideas I picked up from Split Coast Stampers. The ball with pictures of quilts decoupaged on it is a ornament I have been making for quilting friends for several years now.

All three of these ornaments are very easy to make once you figure out a few tricks to make them so. I will try and share these tricks with you here so that you can maybe by pass the mistakes I made at first.

For the Snowflake ornament you need both size tag punches from Stampin'Up. Here is a link to the detailed instructions on SCS: Snowflakes. I will not go into detail but tell you some hints to maybe make your experience making them easier. I found that if I left at least 1/2 ich between punches I didn't make so many miss punches. Also do use some sort of grid paper under your project. It really helps to keep things straight. If you don't use a vellum you can see through for the back of your snowflake do your best. So far I have only used vellum.

If you want to use glitter like I did put it on before you put the two star layers together. I found either Stickles worked well or you can outline star shape with thin lines of liquid glue and then pour liberal amount of Dazzling Diamonds over top of star shapes. Let dry fully and then assemble. I used two SU dimentionals between the layers and laid the cording over the top of them before putting the two layers together.

The center of the ornaments was fun to do. I found sheets of sticky strip on the Oriental Trading website and I used my punches to punch out the flower shapes. I then removed the backing of the sticky strip and places the shape on white card stock. I carefully repunched the shape than removed the red covering of the sticky strip and lid the sticky side down into the Dazzling Diamond glitter. Before I layered the center piece I placed a half pearl from my Pretties kit in the center of the small flower using Crystal effects. I did discover if I put the pearl on after everything was layered together it was hard to keep it from sliding off center.

Okay, it supposed to be a relaxing and crafty day for me here and my fingers are getting tired of typing so I guess you will all have to patiently await the tips for the other two ornaments. While you are waiting you can make a few snowflake ornaments....right?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Two more cards completed. One of course is a sympathy card. I very much enjoy making cards, but I would much prefer to always be making some sort of congratulatory card rather than always these. But hopefully the ones I do make and send at least bring a moment of comfort to those who receive them. You may notice on the Sympathy card that there are a total of 4 eyelets used. Do you like it? See that interesting way of lacing the cording through the eyelets.......(confession time)....I used my crop-a-dile to punch the wholes for what was to be a single set of eyelets. I thought I was being very careful, but evidently I wasn't being careful enough. They were very crooked. Hmmmmm....that was not going to work....what to do. Through out the card front and start again? Of course not! I have learned from my years of crafting that with a little creative thought there are very few mistakes that are totally uncorrectable. (This now becomes a lesson in creative problem solving). The solution for me here was to add two more eyelets each of which was directly across from one of the crooked ones so I now had a pair of eyelets on each side of the card. Then a little creative lacing and...well I anyway was happy with the result. As a side note I had made several other sympathy cards as our church administrative assistant wanted to purchase one and guess which of the four she choose.....yup....this solution to a mess really did work. This was the one she choose.

The other card here is showing the use of another one of my frosted filters as a background. I wanted to see what would happen if I embossed on the filter and this is what resulted. The right and left borders are what are embossed. I really like using craft ink and clear embossing powder. I find it much nicer than having many jars of different colored embossing powders. And colors that really don't match the SU colors. By using SU craft inks I aleways have a perfect match or a well coordinatied color scheme.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


So here is part two of my challenges with the postcard.

Coloring: How to color nicely and evenly without the color bleeding though to the back of the postcard? I hadn't even considered this to be an issue in the beginning because it has never been an issue on my cards. WRONG! When I color on cards it is almost always a layer on which the image is colored that is than placed on the main card in some fashion. Since these were postcards I wasn't sure that layering was a good idea. Postal machines can be rather finicky and I certainly didn't want to risk either them being mangled in the mailing process or being total rejected by the postal service as a postcard. So I decided early on to keep the cards one layer. (I find that in and of itself a challenge; one layer cards that is.)

My first thought was to color with Prisma colored pencils and Gamsol (sp?). Well I found the pencils easy enough, but have looked every where and couldn't find the orderless mineral spirits Gamsol or any others for that matter, so I did some research and discovered that some folks reported success using alcohol or baby oil; that I had. I decided to try the alcohol as I was sure that baby oil would soak through and leave an oily mark on the back. Well, the alcohol didn't work either. The color bled to the back. I found a Prisma blender pen, but it also bled to the back. So I moved on to watercolor crayons and aqua painter, no that bled as well as I was sure it would. I tried markers and while they didn't bleed so badly there looked bad. Like they had been colored my a kindergarten student! I tried a few other things that didn't work and finally remembered my pastels and blender pen. I was worried that the blender pen would bleed through but it worked just fine. That took care of the coloring issue. It took a while to color them all, but I did get the 25 done in about 3 hours.

Then I moved on the the background. The colored images were nice, but to me they appeared simply to be floating on a boring white page. I have discovered I don't like empty space, even on my cards. I almost always use background stamps. First I determined I wanted some sort of a road to connect the truck to each of the houses and give move of a feeling of driving from one to the other. Nor trial and error here. I tried different methods of drawing or painting a road and once again they all looked horrid. Then I stumbled across the stem from the Serene Sunflower SU stamp set and it worked well I think. Another problem solved.

I still wasn't happy though. TOO MUCH WHITE SPACE! What to do? My first thought was to sponge a blue for the sky and then a green under the "road" and along the bottom for grass. I used Soft Sky one of the'07-- '08 In Colors and that worked well. I sponged a green on one card and that did not work! So I settled on sponging the whole card front in the blue and the card was finally done.

I am happy to report my friend was thrilled and thought they were exactly what she was looking for. And so another project and learning experience was completed.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


I made these postcards for a friend to give her father to announce his move. They were fun to do, but they did present a few challenges along the way.

This was a learning project! It was fun but it involved trial and error and much learning. I have never made postcards before, but thought they couldn't be much different than cards. WRONG! Well at least the way I choose to do them was different.

This first challenge was what to do them on. I choose plain white 110lb card stock. I could have purchased Avery Postcards, but that would have been much more costly as I only needed 25 cards not 200 which is how I found them packages. The second challenge was figuring out how to handle all the written information that needed to be on a card of this type. I immediately determined I wasn't going to stamp it all. That was not practical and I also eliminated my handwriting which is not all that good. The final result was using Printshop and designing the backside of the postcard (where you address it) to look like the back of a postcard complete with a little square that says "place stamp here" and all the information on the move. I also left room if my friends dad wanted to add a note.

The front of the card is what you see here in this Blog entry. I did the writing once again using Printshop and also printed out the pictures of the house and the apartment building in the corners. I did this mainly because I knew that I didn't have stamps for these. The truck is a SU stamp from Loads of Love and it's accessory set gave me the furniture and the person. The road is actually the stem from Serene Sunflowers. I did all the stamping using Stazon Black as I thought I might be watercoloring and didn't want to risk any running of the stamp. So far so good. The real challenge came with how to color the images. For the answers to those challenges I'm afraid you will have to wait as it is very late and I am making more mistakes typing than I care to correct. Tune in tomorrow for part 2 of the postcard challenge.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


I can't! Where has this year gone? I don't have anything to show today. Batteries are dead in the camera and what I've been working on today is not really scanable. I've been finishing u odds and ends of projects that have been sitting out on the dinning room table. I guess I finally got tired of looking at them. I've sewn snaps on baby bibs, sewn closed the turn openings on two sets of placemats, and now I need to go down to my sewing machine and put the final quilting touches on them all. When that is all completed I will be ready to head back up to the stamping area and finish up some projects that are sitting out there. I'm sure none of you ever have unfinished projects lying around being "clutter". BUT if you do now is the time to get to work finishing them so that we are all ready for those Holiday projects that are waiting in the wings. After all it is November! For those who celebrate Christmas you know it will be here in only 51 days!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I hope everyone is having a very Happy Halloween! We had a wonderful time here in MD going down into the District of Columbia to the Kennedy Center for a free , love that word, showing of the 1925 Silent Movie production of Phantom of the Opera staring Lon Chaney. It was shown accompanied by a gentleman playing a theater organ. It was great fun!

Now I am getting ready to hang out with Gina K. on Splitcoast and hopefully some of you as well. We're having a party to celebrate the opening of her new online store and some wonderful new stamp sets as well! Come on and join in!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Here are my two cards made with my frosted filters. One of the things I really like about the frosted filters is that they look so much like handmade papers. And I love handmade papers. The Christmas card is my favorite. I love the Silent Night SU stamp set and was very sorry that they retired it, but I am glad that I can still use it for my personal projects. I just can't demo it. I also love the liquid applique that they had two Christmases ago. It makes such fun snow. On this card for added sparkle I also used yellow stickles for the windows, dazzling diamonds for snow falling in the church and embossed iridescent ice snow flakes on the blue background piece. The groovy guava card uses the stem silhouettes stamp set from this years Holiday Mini catalog. I used my marvelous markers on the stems stamp and spritzed it then stamped onto watercolor paper.

So this is what learning a new technique turned into. Once again thank-you Thinker for suggesting this technique. It is one I hope to remember and use often. WHy don't you give it a try also. It's easy and fun though a bit messy. If you don't like colored finger tips use plastic gloves!


Here are four samples of the frosted filters I did in playing with this fun new technique. I did six different samples. These are the four that I haven't turned into cards yet. I'm not sure what my favorite one is but I lean toward the blues. These are my favorite colors as they are so peaceful. I still need for work on this technique. I would like to get some really soft colors that are very very subtle. So far mine are quite bold. Some are more muted than others but they are still fairly dark. The trick is that the more water added to thin out the color the more the colors blend together and I end up with muddy colors. The next post will have the two frosted filters I used and the cards I made with them.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


THINKER! I already have your address Thinker so I will be sending out you BLOG CANDY tomorrow or Tuesday. (Probably Tuesday as that is my morning off work!)
Thinkers technique suggestion was Frosted Filter. Thank you so much for the link to SCS tutorial as this was a technique I had never heard of. For those of you who have not heard of this technique either HERE is where you can find out about it.

I don't have a card to post yet because I had so much fun playing with the technique I now have 5 or 6 different frosted filters that I can work with. I'm still trying to perfect the technique so I can get a nice soft background. So far the ones I have done are pretty, but they are bold. Hopefully by tomorrow or Tuesday I will have a card or two put together.

I have learned that there are different type and weight filters and they give very different results. I happened to have two different types in my pantry. The first I tried was a cone type filter. I had to cut it apart and ended up with two triangular shaped pieces. These filters were fairly heavy and gave me a much brighter coloring. The other filters were Mr. Coffee filters which are circular and flat bottomed. They are much lighter weight and gave me much more muted coloring. I will try and scan the colored filters tomorrow and maybe you will be able to see this difference.

Thank you all for your suggestions. I am going to keep them all on file and try them all. I especially want to try the Cracked Glass. I've heard about this technique before and it intrigues me but I'm a little scared of it. Sounds complicated, but also sounds very pretty.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Picking Technique to Try Tomorrow!

I'm getting some good ideas on a technique to try. I've had some unexpected activities pop up today so I will be picking the technique tomorrow. One more day to give me ideas. I'm thinking up BLOG candy to send on even as I type this.......What will it be????????

Thursday, October 25, 2007


So many new techniques and idea to try. I keep skipping from one to another. I will have to settle down and figure out which one to try by tomorrow so I can play with it this week-end. I'm not sure how to settle on which one though as so many I have found sound very interesting. I may have to just put some of them on a slip of paper through them into a paper bag and draw one out. OR I could focus on ones that can be used for festive holiday items. Those techniques that add glitter and glitz to holiday projects.....decisions many ideas and so little time! Stay tuned for what I choose tomorrow! IF you have any suggestions to offer just post a comment with it. I will throw your idea into the hat (if it is a new technique for me and I can find directions on how to do it). If your idea is drawn I will send you some BLOG CANDY for your stampin' fun!

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Well I am happy to say that the hard work of the past few weeks have paid off. I had the best show as far as sales ever! I also had a lot of fun talking with people and I met quite a few new folks. I think that we are thinking of making this craft fair an annual event. Now I do have moe work a head of me as almost all my cards sold! I was amazed. But I am giving myself a break for a while to catch my breath and do some thinking on some new designs. I also want to try some new techniques to use. So I will be on the look out for some to try. I did just purchase a mew book tonight using some free credits I had. It is a paper crafting book and looked like it had some very interesting new ideas including paper weaving. That looked like fun so hopefully some new projects will be forth coming.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Well I thought I wold be combining stampin' and kwiltin' in my last post but for some reason the kwiltin' photo didn't upload and when I tried to edit it and add it in thinks really went wonky with the layout of the post. So being totally HTML illiterate I'm taking the easy way out and just creating a new post!

This is a small Christmas wall hanging that I made for the fair. If it doesn't sell there it will head out to the Sandy Spring Museum gift shop. This little guy has an interesting history. Every once in a while I decide to clean my sewing room. (Okay everyone pick yourselves up off the floor! I do clean once in a while. FLY Baby friends pretend you didn't hear me say that! I clean and declutter everywhere BUT my sewing room. Really I do!)

Anyway back to the story. I decided several weeks ago that the sewing room (aka: basement) needed a little help before I dove in to making things for the craft fair. In giving it the help it needed I found this Bowl full of little, and I mean little, log cabin and court house square blocks. Obviously they had been destined for some Christmas project as they were mainly red and green with Christmas prints (well most of them were; there were a few pinky ones?????) I have no clue when I made them or what the project was, but there where lots of them. I can't bear to throw things like this away! So I tried to think what to turn them into. Well this is one of the things. A cute little Christmas Wreath complete with bow and bell. It's total size is about 12 inches square. I also made another wreath that is a different design. It's rectangular about 12x16 inches. I tried to photograph it as well, but there is a lot more red Christmas fabric in it. It's a green wreath on a red background. For some reason the red almost looks fluorescent in the picture (it's not I promise you!) and so it looks pretty funky! But only in the photo. It's real pretty in real life. Also I had enough blocks to use them as a row of blocks down the left side of a set of 4 placemats.

Oh the pinky ones. I closed my eyes, grit my teeth and did throw them away!


It may still be October and not even Halloween yet, but for crafters it is time to begin thinking Christmas. And I have been! In this post I am combining projects from my love of both stamping and quilting. And yes they are both projects that I made for the craft fair. (Part of me will be happy when it is over. Another part will be sad though because I will no longer have an excuse for spend so much of my time making pretty things and I will have to get back to more mundane activities like housework.)

First here is a Christmas card. Like my Thanksgiving cards I have "mass produced these. (Actually 16 this time!) They are packaged in cute little plastic boxes with elastic silver cord Once again I water colored the tree with my WC crayons and aqua painter. Iadded yellow stickles to the star and placed two small colored brads for ornaments on the tree. I also FINALLY broke down and used some of my hodge podge hardware paces! I've only had them for two years! The doubles sided paper is some hat was leftover from the World Card making Day project which used the Winter Bright Simply Scrappin' Kit. Now I not only hoard small leftover fabric pieces but also paper pieces. MY life is being taken over by scraps! Good thing the ARE useful,

By the way has anyone noticed I kinda figured out how to do a watermark? I still need to work on it. I think it ended up too small to be really of use. But thanks to Kurtis's tutorial I did it! (Sorry Kurtis I didn't foloow the direction totally which is why it's too small. I though it would be to large. I should know better and should have listened to the pro! I'll do better next time I promise!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Here are two of the Thanksgiving cards that I designed and have made for this weekends craft fair at my church. I actually mass produced (well for me 12 cards of one design IS mass production!). I will be selling them in a package of 8 with 4 cards of each design.

The Thanks card was fun to make. I love using clear embossing powder over craft inks. It's like having 48 colors of embossing powders! The leave was fun to do. Since I use the craft ink stamping spots I was able to dab on different fall colors and get what I though was a fairly accurate look of a fall leaf. It's hard to tell from the scanned image but the squares above the work Thanks each have a gold embossed letter spelling out G I V E. I also finally got to use my jumbo eyelets. They are a challenge to set but my crop-a-dile handled the job!

I've been doing a lot of water coloring lately. It's something I can do while sitting in living room with my husband. There are many methods of watercoloring. I have tried many of them including water color pencils, aqua painters and the classic inks that have been pressed to the ink pad lids and watercolor crayons used with the aqua painter or small paint brush. I prefer using the watercolor crayons that Stampin' Up sells and an aqua painter. I find this the most compact and less messy system to use. Plus there are so many wonderful colors to play with. For paper I prefer the SU watercolor paper but as wonderful as it is it is fairly pricey. I'm experimenting with other brands but so far haven't found one that colors as nicely. So I guess it is true that you do pay for what you get!

Now that Thanksgiving is taken care of it is on to Christmas!

Saturday, October 13, 2007


I don't have any pictures yet. Camera is not working (I think it needs new stronger batteries) and I'm just too plain lazy to hook the laptop up to the scanner. But I have completed several stamping projects this week. I've been altering composition books and making them into various types of journals. And I've designed a few cards which I plan to mass produce (if you call 10 cards of one design mass production) ; then package in sets for next Saturday's craft fair. Then ones I have designed so far are Thanksgiving Cards. I also hope to do sets of Christmas cards and hope to find time to design them tomorrow. The designing process I think is the most time consuming, but it is the part I enjoy the most which I guess is why I don't usually mass produce things. Make it ince and move on is my motto be it stampin' or kwiltin'

Thursday, October 04, 2007


I have not been getting much if any stamping done lately. Right now I am focusing on my quilting. It's really been quite a long time since I have done that and I am having fun. This flurry of quilting is partially precipitated by a request for some new items by the manager of a gift shop that I have items for sale on a consignment basis. I can't do stamped items there because of SU's angel policy stating you can not sell items using any of their product or images in permanent retail outlets or the internet. Soon I will have to get back to some stamping though because I am a vendor on our church craft fair on October 20 and since it is a temporary venue I can sell SU items there. When I get something finished I will post somemore pictures here but for now I just have words.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I love it when I have days off from work! I really get to play and have fun! So after cleaning the master bedroom and putting dinner in the crock pot that's just what I did today. Not only did I get to stamp but I also sewed! Stamping was in morning then when it got too hot to be upstairs I went down stairs into the cool basement and sewed. Here is what I finished. I say finished cause the Pooh baby quilt was already pretty much done I just had to finish up the binding.

Now you may be wondering what the funny thing with the space capsule on it is. It's a "Wubbie" for babies and toddlers. It is their own little 14 inch square quilt that they can carry around. The name "wubbie" came from a friend who gave one to her 2 year old. When asked if he liked it he responded "I wub it" so it became his wubbie.

The back of this little quilt is a fleece fabric so it is very soft and cuddly. The stuff poking out at the sides are little loops of ribbons of various different textures and colors. Quite a few are satin ribbons as most toddlers love silky fabrics. (Ask any mother who has been embarrassed by having their child lift up their skirt so they can hold on to mom's silky slip.) These provide not only tactile interest, but visual interest and can be used to hank on to the quilt.

I've also made some with print designs for little girls. They are very quick and easy to make. Hopefully they will be a popular item at the fall craft fair as I think I've already made 6 of them and have enough materials for another 3 or 4.


I have gotten back to doing some stamping. In this case altering composition books and making them into Prayer Journals. I have also done some Gratitude Journals. It's soon to be October and so I am working toward making items for a craft fair that I am a vendor in at the end of the month as well as beginning to think Christmas!

I used my Xyron adhesive machine in to covering of these journals; so the papers are not going to go anywhere or peel off. I also this time place cardstock on the insides of the covers so that the school themed printed material would not be visible. The first set of journals I did not do that, primarily out of laziness I think and I don't like the way they look as much even though it is on the inside. I'm thinking that I may go back and ad the cardstock to them. It adds less than 50 cents to the cost of the materials.

I have also made Quilting and Knitting Journals and may do a few more of them as well as general diary type journals. I have some more composition books that I can alter and they are fun to do. Sometimes I just get bored with making cards!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My Life Is......

Here is the wall quilt I finished this week. It was a result of a quilting group challenge (the same group that did the Faces challenge). For this challenge we were all given the pattern for the bowl and had to create a wall quilt that had the bowl filled with something that was meaningful to me. I was working on the design for my quilt last spring when my husband and I were making plans for our summer vacation and I spent a lot of time thinking of just how much I love to travel. So my bowl is filled with "travel dreams". I actually have quilted into the light blue background, which is a cloud fabric "My life is a bowl of travel dreams". It was a fun challenge. I chose to place my bowl floating in the clouds and it is surrounded by grapes and patches showing Italian and French wine bottles. To help with the dreamy quality if the quilt is is quilted with a shimmery thread and has a sparkle in the blue binding fabric. Everything was done on the sewing machine.

A wonderful side note to this project is that I now actually have something completed for our guilds 2008 show next April!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Time Continues To Fly

Wow! We are already over half way through September. I have been busy with both stamping and quilting this month. In fact I have been so busy that I haven't had time to scan or take photos of anything I have worked on since I finished the cake. Which, by the way, everyone did love. I have also been busy traveling the past two weekends and extremely busy with work. This weekend is again VERY BUSY, but after that I should get some time to get pictures up here. For now I will just say I have finished a wall quilt and a Winnie the Pooh baby quilt. As for stamping projects I have done a number of altered composition books. Its fall which means we are approaching the holiday gift buying season and I am getting ready for a craft show at which I hope to sell both stamped and quilted items. So I need to be busy doing both!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


This was my big Labor Day Project. I had other smaller ones and some I wanted to get done but didn't, but this is the big one. And it was so much fun! It did take a lot of time and a lot of sticky strip, but it turned out even better then I had hoped.

I made it for a Women's Tea Party that we are having at our church on Saturday. In case you haven't guessed it is a paper cake! Each of the slices is a party favor box. I think it would be wonderful for a Bridal Shower as well.

The idea for the cake and the pattern came from SU's Stampin' Success magazine that is published for SU Demonstrators. They used all paper flowers to decorate theirs, but quickly decided I did not have the time to do all that cutting, especially of the greenery, so I literally tore apart some silk flowers that I had leftover from a quilting project. (Yes, I did say quilting project! If I ever finish it I will post and explain it, but don't hold your breath I started it 2 years ago and it is currently in UFO status.) I have decided that I really like the silk flowers better and if I ever do another one I will probably use them again.

I have all sorts of ideas for other cakes, such as a chocolate one made with Chocolate Chip card stock. It could be for a birthday party. Or a really fun one decorated for a baby shower or a child's birthday party. Really one's imagination is as usual in crafts the only limit on what can be done with a paper cake.

One really good thing about them is that they are calorie free. Unless your party favor is chocolate that is! I hope you have enjoyed seeing this as much as I enjoyed making it. And I do hope the women Saturday enjoy their slice.

Friday, August 31, 2007


This was a Christmas card from Convention. It is actually one of my favorites. I've not particularly been a fan of glitter, but love the way it is used on this card as a border between the red and green. What you can't see from this picture is that the green back layer is just a background, not the main card. This is a top fold card the fold being on the white. If you look to the bottom of the card you would open it by lifting up the white layer that has the torn edge inked in green. Another thing I like on this card is the use of the tag "Mix & Mingle & Be Merry!" as the sentiment. Also notice how the layered design was offset to the left rather than centered. This adds an additional element of interest because most people would have centered it.

I wish I could take credit for designing this card but I can't it was designed by Tricia D of WA.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


October 6 is WORLD CARD MAKING DAY. In celebration of this event my SU upline and I are holding a card making workshop. Our goal is to have those attending make 16 cards, 15 of our designs and 1 of their own, in 2 hours! This would be almost an impossible task except that the cards will all be made using card stock, papers and card stock stickers from the Winter Bright Simply Scrapin' kit from Stampin' Up. This means there is very little stamping to be done and even less embellishment though they will get to use some ribbon and brads, will use a few punches, and will do a little embossing.

Here are three of the 15 card fronts that we designed last night. They are all based on samples we saw at convention this year. But we made a few changes or additions to each of the cards. These cards are all 3x6 inches. That way each person can get 4 cards out of each piece of their 12x12 inch card stock. Besides the two colors shown here they will get a sheet of Real Red and Bashful Blue. These are Pretty in Pink and Wild Wasabi.

I have absolutely fallen in love with SU's new texturized card stock. It is wonderful and very nice looking. The only complaint I have about it is that it is harder to stamp on because of the texture to it. I am hoping with practice it gets a little easier.

To see some more samples for the class you can check out my Splitcoast Gallery and my Demonstrator Web Site.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I've been trying to learn PhotoShop Elements for some time now and knew that I could make photo layouts for scrapbook pages. This was my first attempt. Not very exciting, but I think I have finally figured out layers and how to combine photos and backgrounds.

Last week was our county fair and as usual I spent quite a few hours there judging and volunteering for 4-H. One night Jerry and I decided that we really needed to at least walk through the carnival area. Not our favorite place, but there are lots of bright lights and there always is a lot of action. Other than the rides I think the most popular thing to do on the midway is eat. Every type of unhealthy but yummy food exists there. Rather than eat it I took pictures of all the different food stands. These are only a few of them. Taken all together you would get one major case of heartburn AND empty wallet I'm sure! We just enjoyed the lights, sights and sounds. This is definitely the low cal was to enjoy these taste treats!

What would have been my favorite had I eaten something---funnel cakes of course!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


This quilt I call "A Gallery of Friends". It is the one which will be hanging at the Quilter's Heritage Celebration in Lancaster, PA next spring. I can hardly believe that I have another one that will be out for all to see. This quilt was also a product of a group challenge. Unlike the other two however this one was a challenge of the mini group I am in. Ten of us in the group made a portrait of ourselves out of fabric for each of the others. It could be as realistic or as whimsical as you choose to make it. There were some of each as you can see. It was to be how you thought of yourself. Can you find me? This quilt actually has one of the two ways I portrayed myself.

After receiving each persons face block we could set it into a quilt however we wanted. I choose to turn my friends portraits into a gallery setting over a fireplace mantle, complete with a wall papered background. This turned into a rather large wall quilt its 38" x 63" .

Have you found me yet? I'm in the upper left corner. This was my wild and crazy portrait. The way I picture myself in my dreams. My other portrait was much more matronly. The way I see myself in my nightmares!