Thursday, July 28, 2011

If friends were flowers....

Just popping in with another entry for the HA Summertime and Parties challenge that ends tonight.

As I said the other day, I seem to have a very limited amount of summery stamps..... so the Be Happy set is being put to use again here. Isn't that the beauty of stamps though, how they can be used over and over and create something different every time :)

When I was inking up the flower from that set for my Be Happy card I remembered the Lawn Fawn Hello Friend set that I had bought and still not used yet! I had bought it specifically for the sentiment I used in this card, so it's about time it got all inky!!

For this card, I stamped the HA Envelope Pattern with Distress Ink onto watercolour paper and the flowers and sentiment with Stazon. I inked the edges, and watercoloured the flowers, again with Distress Ink. Have I mentioned my Distress Ink addiction before?...... Finally I added the ribbon, tied in a bow and adhered the panel to a purple HA card. Simple!

I hope you are all having a great day! It's super hot here so I'm hiding inside in the air conditioning, waiting for it to cool down so I can go to the Farmers Market this evening.

Lynsey x

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Be Happy :)

I just had to get a card in for the current Hero Arts challenge before I get on with those chores I was talking about in my last post!!

The challenge theme is Summertime and Parties, and I was a little stumped, as having started stamping in fall last year I don't seem to have that many summery stamps yet lol! Then I remembered the cutey set Be Happy (CL377).

I stamped the flower and bee using Memento black ink, and coloured them both with Copics. I cut them out by hand- doing a horrible job I might add, I think I will be looking into the other part of the HA challenge to use die cuts and printables this evening lol. I inked a white Hero Arts card with Tumbled Glass and Broken China distress inks, and adhered the grass die cuts (EK Success) to the bottom. I tucked the flower into the grass, and put a foam square behind the flower part to give dimension. I then cut bits of vellum and attached them to the bee to make its wings, and then adhered him onto the card in position. Finally, I stamped the bee's trail, hand drew his antennae, and stamped the sentiment in Stazon.

I like the overall look of this card, but I'm not so happy with my detail cutting skills- I blame it on being a leftie.... and possibly impatience and blunt scissors lol! So, like I said I'm going to explore the Hero Arts die cuttting files and work out how to use them tonight :)

Ok, now I really must do the laundry or hubby will have nothing to wear for work tomorrow, hehe!

Lynsey x

Ribbons and Rub-Ons

You won't believe this, but I actually did get in my craft room yesterday and made not one but three cards for four challenges- yey!!! The Play Date Cafe was a regular challenge of mine a few months ago, along with CR84FN. I have played at the Shabby Tea Room before too, but this is my first time at CAS-ual Fridays!

Ok, first up my card for CAS-ual Fridays and Play Date Cafe.....

CAS-ual Friday's challenge this week was to use Rub-Ons in a CAS card. When I read this, I knew I had to play along as I had bought a bunch of rub-ons at a little scrapbook store up in Big Bear last year and had left them sitting in a drawer since I bought them home. So, it was time to dust them off and have a go at them!

The Play Date Cafe challenge was to use a splash of colour in your card. I thought this would be the perfect match to the rub on flowers I was using.

Nothing too difficult here, just rub on the rub-ons (by KaiserScrapbook) and colour in the large flower with pink copics. The sentiment is a rub-on also from a little set that came with my Texture Boutique when I bought it. I just finished the card by rounding the corners, and it's good to go!

My second card is another really simple one that I created based on the colours in this weeks Shabby Tea Room challenge:
The challenge was create a card inspired by this photo, and using the colours pink, green and yellow. While rummaging through my stash for the rub-ons for my first card I came across these cute dragonfly stickers that I had bought last time I was back in England. They matched the colours for this challenge and even reminded me of the floral designs on the picture, with their patterned wings.

I ran a yellow card through my Texture Boutique with the Cuttlebug Leafy Branch embossing folder, and then inked over it lightly with Shabby Shutters Distress Ink to highlight the leaf pattern. I then simply stuck on the dragonflies (Paper Mania) and stamped the sentiment (HA CL342) in black Stazon. A simple summery card.

My third and final card was created using the CR84FN colour pallette for this week,

and is also inspired by the current CREATE blog challenge to make and use ribbon flowers in your design (though I won't be submitting this card for that challenge as I assume it can't have been posted on your blog beforehand?)

I really enjoyed making these flowers! I simply took three lengths of white ribbon and inked them with Worn Lipstick, Spun Sugar and Scattered Straw Distress Inks. Then I hand stitched a basting stitch along the bottom edge of the ribbon and pulled it tight to gather it into pleats. I then attached the buttons using thread. I stamped the light pink card base with Hero Arts Small Stitched Flowers in Worn Lipstick Distress ink and cut a banner out of white card stock, inking that with Worn Lipstick also. The sentiment is a rub-on, also from the set that came free with my Texture Boutique (love freebies!), and I faux stitched around the edge of the banner before adhering it to the card with foam squares. I then arranged the flowers and stuck them down with Glossy Accents, and voila!

I really did enjoy getting back in my craft room, and I also realised something about myself, and why I struggle with finding motivation sometimes. I LOVE to learn new things, and what initially brought me to stamping was the Thinking Inking series Jennifer McGuire did a while back. I was amazed by all the techniques available to try, and couldn't wait to learn them myself. The problem is, once I have done them a few times I get bored lol! I am no means an expert though so I need to push myself to keep trying those techniques I have learned already, and incorporate them into the colour challenges online. So, now I have figured myself out- I can push myself to do more, because once I get in that zone I enjoy myself so much.

One thing I really do want to work on is my photography! I haven't found that sweet spot in my house yet, where the lighting is perfect, so I'll keep searching for that too and trying new locations. Today, Odie decided he really needed to help out with this...

Lol, I have about 10 outtakes today with random cat paws, whiskars, noses and tails in!! I should probably iron that pillow case I use for my backdrop too hehe!!

I seem to remember someone doing a series on how to improve your card photography earlier in the year, was it Lisa Spangler? All I know is to use the macro setting, so I have a lot more to learn!

Anyway, that's it from me for today- I have a list of other challenges I want to enter too so I'll be popping up tomorrow again I'm sure... but for now I have errands to run, and laundry to do :)

Lynsey x

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ok, today WILL be the day!!!

So, after my last post on Wednesday, I excitedly looked up my favourite challenge blogs and started planning what cards I was going to make.... then hubby showed up home early from work (he usually gets home at midnight so the evening is when I tend to craft) and we ended up snuggling on the sofa watching TV.

We also got talking again about me looking into going back to school, and so there went Thursday as I spent the day trawling college websites and emailing a million people to figure out where to start with that lol! I have wanted to be a Dietitian for years now but couldn't figure out how to manage going back to school to get the required degree. For one thing, I already have a BA in Psychology (yes, I am reading your mind as I type :-) ) and I felt like going back to get another Bachelors kind of made those years I spent getting that a waste of time (though very fun!!!). Secondly, the closest colleges to me that offer accredited programs in Dietetics are over 2 hours away, and I no longer see an appeal in dorm living- probably something to do with being almost 30 with a husband and a mortgage! But, I have discovered a course that is offered completely online and that will lead not only to me being eligable to take the exam to become a registered dietitian, but will also end in a Masters degree! I'm very excited now, but also extremely confused navigating the prerequisites that have prerequisites that have prerequisites!!! Of course, this online college doesn't offer all of the prereqs online so I then need to find other online courses to get them- arrrggghhh!!!

Sorry, I'm boring you...... but you see how Thursday was overtaken and card making pushed to the side lines yet again!!

Hubby works 4 day weeks so has Friday through Sunday off. We spent Friday 'researching home improvemnt projects' which translates to vegging on the sofa all day watching DIY Network lol! I do have a list as long as my arm of things I want to do now though to give our 5 year old house more character. We also decided to stop procrastinating and actually build some much needed shelves in the garage for storage, so we got out the tape measure and designed us some shelving that would be much cheaper than buying them ready built. Then Saturday and Sunday were spent (with the exclusion of Saturday evening during which we ate Mexican food and cuddled babies at our friends' house) buying supplies and building our shelves! We're feeling very proud of ourselves for completing our biggest project yet...

From this:

To this:
It's not quite finished yet as someone (who, me?!) slightly miscalculated how many 2x4's we needed so we have to get some more to do the top shelves, and we want to add 2x4 to the bottom front of each shelf to give it a little more support. But like I said we're pretty happy with ourselves.

Ok, so it's just a bunch of 2x4 and plywood screwed together, but WE built it together :)

Fallen asleep yet? lol!

Anyway, all that just to say- bear (bare?) with me, I AM heading into my craft room today and WILL have cards to share tonight or tomorrow!

Watch this space :)

Thank you for your kind comments, and for not giving up on me :)

Lynsey x

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Where did the last two months go?!

Seriously.... last time I posted was May 8th!!! I've still been checking in on all the blogs on my feed, and at the Hero Arts Flickr group etc, and have even checked out some challenges here and there and started coming up with ideas for card entries. I just don't seem to have felt the motivation to sit and write, or blog the cards I have made- which is strange as I loved it when I was active in all the challenges and blogging before.

A post by an online friend,  Virginia, inspired me today. She was just picked as a Moxie Fab World winner, and will be published in a future issue of their magazine, along with another card she already had picked up for publication!! I was so excited for her to hear this, and reading about how she was so happy to have achieved one of her goals I remembered all those goals I had set for myself in my card making and stamping. Being new to both, having stamped my first card in September last year when recovering from surgery, my goals don't stretch to being published yet- though I suppose it wouldn't hurt to check out the submission calls and submit some cards here and there- my biggest goal since finding the Hero Arts blog and Flickr group has been to win one of their monthly contests. I was entering 2-3 cards for each round for months, but haven't entered at all since March I think. Well, I can't expect to win if I don't even take part can I lol!!

So, as of tonight I am heading back into my craft room and going to get back into entering all the challenge blogs I love, including the Hero Arts challenge.

I have been crafting over the past few months in my absence however, and branching out into other crafts. I actually took part in a craft show in our new town in April, and was really successful- hence the Etsy store I started :) I haven't kept up with that much since it's inception though, and really do need to start adding more items to it. I started making photo coasters, which sold really well at the show and sold quite a few sets online- but honestly there is not much creativity involved in it and I quickly got bored lol! I enjoy making them using photos I have taken as at least that way I get to do some photography in the process, but I started doing personalized ones where people sent me their photos, and that wasn't as much fun... though more popular!!

Here's an example of my own photography on a photo coaster I made:
The photo is of daffodils that popped up and surprised us in our new garden!! It has been so much fun discovering new flowers coming into bloom everyday as the summer unfolds. I'll have to share some more pictures soon.

Mum and Dad bought me an early birthday present of a sewing machine too, which I originally wanted for sewing on cards but now I've been doing some little sewing projects too! I don't have any photo's of projects yet, but will share them as I make more. My biggest project so far was for my Mum's birthday which isn't until August, so can't share it until then!!

As I said in my last post, my parents visited in May and we had lots of fun with them. I got to teach Mum a lot of new stamping techniques and her favourite was heat embossing :) She went home very excited to buy her own heat gun and get embossing! We also made a trip to Yosemite, and hiked up to Vernal Falls, which was beautiful.
That's my Mum and Dad celebrating reaching the falls after the looonnnggg climb :)

We had a housewarming party on our 6th Wedding Anniversary, and enjoyed sharing our new home with some of our friends, eating BBQ and smores :)

That's me and hubby having fun lol!

Before the party, we built our own fire pit in the back yard....

There's me adding the final brick :)

We've had so much fun doing little projects around our new house. So far we've changed out all the fixtures like towel rails etc in both bathrooms, changed out the faucet in the kitchen, fixed our own air conditioning by researching and buying a part online (saving lots of $$$ lol!). I already shared our kitty bathroom project lol, and my craft room. We're planning what to do with the yard next year.... I want it to include some raised beds for veggies, but other than that we're still pretty stumped lol!

I've been enjoying trying new recipes, using my new oven and Kitchen Aid mixer in my beautiful new kitchen! Here's the red velvet cupcakes I made from scratch for hubby's 31st birthday :)

They were sooo yummy!! Though not really in keeping with my other goal I have been working on to avoid wheat and to eat Clean. I'll be posting more on my new healthy eating adventures soon I think. I think I will end up expanding my blog to more things I am interested in, as well as my cards. I enjoy when the people I follow share more every day life things in their blogs as I feel like I get to know them a little more- so I hope you don't mind my rambling about things other than cards :)

I'm also waiting on a start date for a new job I should be starting soon. I decided it was time for me to head back to work after taking a year out to focus on my health and deal with my Endometriosis. I seem to have it more under control now, fingers crossed and so it's time to get out there and meet people in our new town, and make some pennies!

So.... that's where the past few months went lol!

Ok, now it's time for me to get in that craft room and start creating!!

Lynsey x