Thursday, January 29, 2009

2S4U Sketch Challenge

I would just like to apologize for two things right off the bat; first, for the very unoriginal title of this post; and second, the awful photographs I have posted. Unfortunately, it's already 10:30 pm and it has been a very long day. I'm doing the best I can with a low level of light and an even lower level of brain power. I did manage to complete Laura's sketch 18 and Rae's bonus sketch-- I had so much fun participating last week, I just had to give it another go.

For Laura's sketch, I was planning to make a birthday card for someone special in my family. Unfortunately, I'm not quite sure how I will position the sentiment into the design of my card, I'm going to play around with it when I'm a bit more bright eyed. I was inspired by the vintage wallpaper feel of this Basicgrey paper. Even though this line was put out as their Christmas paper, I think the muted greens and reds work well for other occasions too.

For Rae's bonus sketch, I made a card for my cousin who is expecting her first baby sometime in February. It's a very exciting time for her and I can't wait to meet her little fellow. My little guy is all geared up to be a big cousin. He's already planning on teaching him how to run around, jump on stuff, yell really loud, jump off stuff, you know all that good boy stuff. I just hope the two little ones will grow up to be great friends, just as my cousin and myself have. All the paper used for this card is from Cosmo Cricket and the stamp is from a set from Papertrey Ink.

Well, this is really conquering two goals with one felt swoop. I've completed another card challenge and I now have two more cards (almost) ready to go for my loved ones. Great, now I can sleep soundly.

I hope you enjoy,

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day

It's hard to believe, but we've finally had enough snow to constitute a snow day here in central NJ. What's really funny about it, is that we got barely two inches and it's more like slush than snow. Meanwhile an hour away in north Jersey, where my folks live, they have been getting pounded by snow storms all season.
I was hoping for a bit more of the white fluffy stuff myself. When my little guy woke up this morning he was so excited to see snow and was dying to get outside and play in it. When we did manage to make it outside everything was wet and slushy, so I quickly scooted him into the car. It's no fun to play in slush anyway.
Well, since a snow day means no work for me and since my little guy is at daycare, I had plenty of time to work on my submission for the 100th sketch challenge over at the CPS blog.

I hope you enjoy,

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Beautiful Style Stars of the First Magnitude"

Is that not the greatest title!I borrowed it from this old add for lady's dresses from a 1945 newspaper. Where, might you ask, did I get my hands on a newspaper from 1945? Well, actually it was under some of the flooring in my house that my husband just ripped up. A 64 year old piece of newspaper, which up until this point was acting as some kind of insulation in our old mud room. That's pretty old, but our house goes back even further than that-- probably to 1895. He was about to throw it out with a bunch of the old wood he's been ripping out, but when I spotted this image in the garbage can I knew it was a keeper. I love all things vintage, and you can't get more vintage than this. It's really beautiful in that timeless sort of way.
My hubby's been hard at work making all the necessary updates and repairs we need to do before we can install our new kitchen. The first phase of the project is to secure the rotted out floor of our old mud room so that we can use it as a laundry room. Right now our stacked washer and dryer is taking up valuable space in our kitchen. Once we move that into our new and improved mud room--- which also has a new toasty gas heater, thanks to my hubby-- we can plunk a dishwasher right in it's place. Well, it's actually easier said than done, but were hoping it works out like that. The picture I've included is actually the area of the floor he's torn up, the cement support he's installed to support the new beams, the red jack he used to lift up that section of the house and the dirt beneath that area of the house. It's really frightening to go in there these days, but I know it will be such a wonderful improvement in the near future.

I have to say my hubby has been really wonderful about everything. He's working his tail off so that he can improve the way our household functions and I'm really grateful to him for that. Also, he's been very supportive of my card making. Of course, he's not too pleased when I spend extra money on my hobby, but he's happy to see that I have an interest that makes me happy. He's even developing an eye for my style. A few night ago I came home from my monthly stamping class at my local library with two cards to show him. He took one look at them and said, "Nice cards, but there not your style." Well, the cards that I came home with are great, even if they are different from my typical style. We always learn two new stamping techniques and I always have the greatest time when I go. I just thought it was the sweetest thing that my hubby actually get's my style, especially since he's not the artsy type-- he leaves that to me.

As I mentioned, the cards I came home with were great, in fact down right adorable. I'm still very new to stamping, so I have much to learn and found this session invaluable. For the first card, the rocket ship, we colored in the stamped image with ink using a blender pen. That's what gives it the water colored look. We also used a sponge and ink to create the look of the earth below. The cupcake card had to be the most fun card I have made so far. To create the look of icing we used a craft ink re-inker in white and a small drop of re-inker in red. It went on thick and creamy just like icing. We used a paint brush to spread it around. Then glitter was applied directly to the ink mixture and everything was heat set. The cherry was colored in with red ink and then we applied a clear glaze over it to give it a good enough to eat look. So, even though these cards are not exactly my style, I love them and plan on using both of these techniques in my own future creations.

I hope you enjoy,

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Couple of New Color Combos for Valentines

I mentioned in my last post that I was working on putting together a few more Valentines cards using some non-traditional color combos. I had so much fun making these cards. The interesting thing is that the idea for both of these cards danced around in my head for a few days before I actually made them. I just love that part of the creative process. Even when I laid down to sleep at night I would envision how the cards might turn out, the colors I would use and the elements I would include. When an idea comes to me in this way, mulling it over and working it out for a few days, I always enjoy the process of actually creating the card so much more than when I just sit down at my workspace and try to throw something together on a whim. Of course, when I set about creating these particular cards they still took on a life of their own and became something just a little bit different than I had envisioned. But that's OK too, because when it comes to card making, at least for me, it's all about the process of discovery.
I hope you enjoy,

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Blue Valentine

This is my version of Kazan's sketch #18 from the Two Sketches For You blog. This is my very first submission to their weekly challenge. I have been a fan of this blog for awhile now though.
For this Valentine's day card I wanted to try some new colors, other than just the traditional reds and pinks I have been using so far. Of course I could not get away from those colors entirely, but I thought this shade of blue might mix things up a bit. I have a few other Valentine's day cards using non-traditional colors that I will be posting soon enough.

I hope you enjoy,

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

So Many Valentine's

I had mentioned in my earlier post that I have been making a bunch of Valentine's day cards and I have been having a blast doing it. Most of the cards are based on various sketches from on-line challenges that I didn't complete in time to post. The cards I'm sharing here are a few that I plan on giving to my family members as a way to wish them a happy Valentine's day and to let them know just how special they are to me.

I hope you enjoy!

My First CPS Sketch Challenge

Since schools were closed on Monday, I had a day to myself to put together a card for this weeks Card Positioning System Sketch Challenge. Although I have been playing along and making cards based on their sketches for the last few weeks, this is the first time I have one ready to go in time to make the deadline-- yippee! Since this week participants were able to choose any of the sketches out of the 99 existing sketches, in honor of their 100th challenge, I chose sketch 83. I've been making Valentines day cards like mad, so why not one more. I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, January 12, 2009

2009 is Off and Running

No, this is not a vintage image that I am planning to use on a card project. This is a picture of my kitchen sink, circa 2009! For the last three years, since we moved into our house, I've had to make due with a very outdated and less than functional kitchen. And the worst part is-- it's really ugly!
Well, my hubby actually took the decision himself that this would be the year that something is finally done about our kitchen. He didn't have to ask me if I thought it would be a good idea, he already knew what my answer would be. Ultimately, it had to be his decision since he will be doing all the work himself--which is going to be a huge undertaking for him. Sigh, I am torn. I'm so happy that the work is about to begin and grateful that we are in the position to do this- but I'm sad because our lives are going to be crazy during the entire project and we won't have much family time until it's done. Well, all the sacrifices will be for a greater good-- I just have to keep reminding myself of this when I feel like pulling my hair out!

Just to give you a better idea of what we are facing, if the sink picture didn't say it all: we will need all new cabinets and counter tops (note the white counters in the picture; that's contact paper I affixed over the original scuzzy black counter tops), sheet rock for the walls and ceiling; electrical outlets and under the counter lighting; a new sink and a dishwasher (Finally!); counter space around the sink and cabinets near the sink for storing dishes; we will need to close up a window that looks into a mud room; and a new microwave to replace our 15 year old one-- a left over from my college life. It sounds like a lot and it is, but we need to do all of this with a budget that is normally a drop in the bucket for any other kitchen do over. Well, that's why my hubby's going to be doing it-- and thank goodness he is handy, I have complete faith in his skills. Oh yes, and I forgot to mention what we need to do to repair the mud room in order to move our washer and dryer that is currently in the kitchen-- I'll have pictures soon of that.

Well, in order to escape the reality of what we are getting ourselves into I have turned to excessive card making, it's just what the Dr. ordered. I made a card for my Mom's birthday which is coming up at the end of the month. I made it based on a card sketch from the blog 2 Sketches 4 You. I really wanted to have it done to post on their blog, but the kitchen planning was a bit distracting so I missed the deadline for the challenge, oh well- there is always another week. The paper, stamp and felt flowers are all from a kit I received with a purchase from Emma's Paperie.

I made a horrible mistake when I originally tried to stamp the image directly onto the paper. I thought I was going to have to trash the card. That's when I got the idea to stamp the image onto a piece of transparency and affix it over the botched image. It's not perfect, but I still like the way it came out. Something I really love about this craft is how imperfections are always doors to other creative possibilities. So many times projects don't come out the way I had intended, but they still look great and make me feel happy. I think I really needed something like that in my life. Perfection is wonderful, but we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be perfect these days. Sometimes it's just as great to be imperfect, after all we are just human.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

The beginning of a new year is always so refreshing and hopeful. Of course I've made my laundry list of resolutions, and most likely I'll never live up to my own expectations, but for the moment it makes me feel good to think that I might. As the new year begins I would like to wish many blessings and much happiness for all of my friends and family throughout 2009.

Our New Year celebration was a quiet one, which was just the way we wanted it. We spent it with another family that also has small boys. That meant a few hours of crazy, breathless running around, and then the last few hours before the new year spent in quiet grown up talk after the boys had settled in for the night. Our little guy was supposed to be asleep in his pack-n-play through the New Year, but since an awful cough kept him awake longer than I had hoped, I eventually gave in and brought him down around 11:30-- he sipped sparkling cider and watched the ball drop in Time's Square with us.

Our first day of the New Year was spent at home relaxing and playing, and yes, I even managed to do some card making. Just a few images to share....

A few cards to commemorate the New Year. The first two had a vintage feel, thanks to the vintage postcard images I recently purchased from an on-line store. I also made two more cards with a more modern and trendy design to them, just to mix things up a bit. I just love this shade of blue card stock, Aqua Mist-- as it lends a classy and eloquent touch and reminds me of a crisp winter morning. It also reminds me of the beautiful blue that Tiffany & Co. use for their gift boxes, so I thought it would work well for a wedding card-- too bad I don't know anyone that is getting married anytime soon.