Monday, April 19, 2010

Long Time No Blog

It's certainly hard to believe that the last time I posted on this blog was sometime in mid- February, snow was covering the ground and I was just about done with my pregnancy. Since then, so much has taken place, the Spring has returned, the flowers are blooming and we have all been adjusting to life with a new baby.

My little guy absolutely adores his baby sister, but there has still been a bit of a rocky adjustment period we have had to survive and which we are still working on from time to time. It's hard to go from being the one and only to the older more seemingly responsible sibling. He's also always looking for a playmate and sometime has a hard time understanding that the little one is not quite ready to join him in his games. Things are getting better though and we have all been settling into our new routine nicely.
We are enjoying the spring like weather immensely and can't get enough of the outdoors. I love to walk around in the yard and see what new flower or plant has decided to poke it's head out for all to see. Lately I have been enjoying the Lilacs, my favorites. It's hard to decide what I like best about them; their beautiful color and delicate blooms or that amazing aroma they give off.

Hubby had a birthday recently, and we had a quiet and relaxed celebration at home. My little guy and I baked him a cake and we ordered take out sushi and opened presents. Because I knew that with the arrival of our little one I would not have any time for crafting, I actually made a birthday card for my hubby a few weeks before baby's arrival. He was a bit impressed that I put so much thought into his birthday weeks before time. What can I say, I'm that kind of a girl.


Another exciting project that has been stirring some buzz around the house is our new outdoor play set. We thought it was the right time to upgrade our play area with the arrival of our second child, of course big brother was all for it.


It took my hubby and my Dad three days to put this set together, a real beast of a project but well worth it!



Our little one is now two months old, but things are still far from getting back to normal around here. I'm trying to enjoy it the best as I can, because everyday with the baby is a precious gift, or at least I try to remind myself of that at 3am feedings.

I'm hoping that soon I'll be able to get my craft on again, but for now I'm enjoying browsing through all the other beautiful card creations out there and reading all of my favorite blogs.

Until the next time,
Tina

Monday, February 15, 2010

Baby Days

It's hard to believe, but it's just a matter of days now before our little baby girl makes her grand appearance into this world. I think I'm as ready as I can be for this big change in our daily lives--of course when there are babies there are always surprises; Will she be a good sleeper?; Will feedings go well?; How will my little guy adjust to becoming a big brother? I will have the answers to all of these questions soon enough.

Since I've had baby on the brain I really had an urge to get out my Papertrey Ink Bitty Baby Blessings stamp set and create some adorable baby cards. I've also been hording a few paper collections that I thought would work well with the set. As it turns out, Betsy Veldman has put a challenge up on her blog Paper, Scissors and Superheroes featuring one of my favorite techniques; paper piecing. I knew that this particular stamp set would work well for the challenge.

Babies are Heaven Sent Handmade Card

Betsy's cards are amazing, and she is definitely one of the designers that I turn to for inspiration time and time again. The things I love best about her work are the way she combines many different layers of patterns and textures into each work, her eye for detail and her amazing color combos. When you have a chance you need to pop over to her blog to see her beautiful work for yourself.

I really like the way this little guy turned out, looks just like a stuffed patchwork bunny perfect for a little girl to love. I just recently picked up an adorable stuffed bunny made by Bunnies By the Bay. She's soft and pink and her name is Petal and she'll make a perfect gift for my little guy to give to his baby sister. He's so pleased with it and he told me he can't wait to give it to the baby. He's getting a brand new Geo Trax train set from his new sister-- boy is he going to love her for that!

For Baby Handmade Card

Just because I'm about to have a baby girl doesn't mean I've forgotten how precious our little baby boys are too. I love the color combination used in this Stampin' Up paper, these are the exact colors I used when I was decorating for my little guys room three years ago. I believe this particular collection was featured in Stampin' Up's 2009 Sale-A-Bration catalog.

Happy New Baby Handmade Card

This card was made using papers from Basic Grey's Porcelain collection. I love the shabby chic feel it lends to the design and how the old fashioned Baby pram enhances that timeless feel.

Sweet Little Baby Boy Handmade Card

This card was made with my son in mind. Back then when I was a first time mother I had not yet discovered my love for paper crafting, but it's never too late to turn to the past for inspiration. When my son was a wee dumpling I used to love watching him crawl around in nothing but a onesie. His legs were so chubby and delicious! It's hard to believe he is now three and such a big boy. Oh, how I love a baby in a onesie--but we'll be back to those days soon enough.
I hope you enjoy,
Tina

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Wishing you love and chocolates for this Valentine's day.

Valentine Clown Handmade Card


Please Be Mine Handmade Valentine's Day Card

Hot Pink Love Handmade Valentine's Day Card

All my best,
Tina

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Made From The Heart

A few last minute Valentine's Day projects to share, all made for the special people in my life;


Heart Shaped Candy Tins



Two Hearts Handmade Valentine's Day Card

Have a wonderful weekend!
Tina







Friday, February 12, 2010

I Heart Vintage

I really do love vintage--anything shabby, distressed, antiqued, nostalgic truly speaks to me. For a long time I used to clip out vintage style images from magazines or save them on my hard drive just because I loved them so much. Then one day, about a year and a half ago I was suddenly struck by the idea to make my own greeting cards featuring vintage images--imagine my surprise when I soon there after discovered that there was a whole community of crafters doing the same thing! There's a famous quote from the author C.S. Lewis which is " We read to know that we are not alone", I truly believe that we create art for the very same reason.

Melissa Phillips has once again picked out a beautiful inspiration piece for all of her blog readers to play along with. I just couldn't resist once again creating my own card based around this photo.


One of the main reasons I love her design challenges is simply for the reason that it's not actually a contest. I think one of the reasons I've slowed down on participating in sketch challenges is because I found I was compromising my style in order to suit the challenge, and that really wasn't any fun for me. Now I know most of the time the cards I create based on the inspiration pieces are very loose interpretations, but that suites me fine. I love to see where the inspiration will take my creation and it's wonderful to know that the seed was planted by one particular image.


Shabby Chic Cupid Handmade Valentine's Day Card


Shabby Chic Cupid Detail

I normally love to include a sentiment on the front of my cards and leave the inside blank. Since I felt that a sentiment would over crowd the front of this card I went ahead and finished off the inside with a sentiment this time.



Just one more quick pic. to share with you today. I made this final card using a vintage image that is currently being offered as a Valentine's day gift to all the readers of the Heartwarming Vintage blog. You should stop over there and pick it up, maybe even make your own vintage inspired card. So if you do, make sure you send it in for their Love Vintage Challenge--you just might win a $25.00 gift certificate. Good luck!

Heartwarming Vintage Puppy Handmade Valentine's Day Card

I hope you enjoy,

Tina

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wedding Card Challenge

If you are interested in a shot at having one of your own card creations published in a magazine then check out the latest challenge over at the Caardvarks blog. They have partnered up with the amazing CARDS magazine and the winner will be featured in one of their publications.

When I saw this challenge I thought why not! I just got this great Congratulations sentiment stamp from Stampin' Up! and I thought this challenge would be a perfect opportunity to put it to use. Also, we have a family wedding coming up in August, and I just found out our children will also be invited which means we will definitely be able to attend. So now that our babysitting issues have been resolved I thought, great--now I can make a card!



Just wanted to share a quick pic with you of yesterday's snow fall. I stuck my head out of our side door to get this picture and that's about as close as I got to the snow. At nine months pregnant I know that my big belly and the slippery side walk should never be introduced. But I must say, as messy as the snow is and will be for the days to come it certainly was a beautiful snow fall.



I hope you enjoy,
Tina

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What a Couple of Cuties!

Are you ready for Valentine's Day? I am now, after finishing up a few cards last night for my nearest and dearests and putting together some adorable heart tins filled with chocolates for my hubby and little guy--I'll share those with you soon.

I just wanted to share with you today a pair of adorable cards featuring two very cute couples.


Rain in Your Heart Handmade Valentine's Day Card

Again, I hit up Flickr's photo streams to find these two amazing vintage Valentine images. I just love the resources for crafting that Flickr provides, my collection of favorites is forever growing.


Love Letter Handmade Valentine's Day Card

For those of you reading this who are on the East coast I hope you cozy up today in doors and enjoy a relaxing snow day. My hubby will be staying home today too, which I'm grateful for. I'm in no position, with less than two weeks to go until baby arrives, to battle a snow storm or a three year old crying to go out and play on my own.

I hope you enjoy,


Tina

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Moxie Fab World's Tuesday Trigger; Patch-Work Hearts

Yet another fabulous piece of inspiration from the Moxie Fab World blog.


This one was a bit tougher for me to wrap my head around, but once I decided on using papers from Basic Grey's June Bug collection my design quickly fell into place.

I've been hoarding these papers for way too long and have been dying to use them on a project. They are such a mix of fun and quirky patterns and colors, perfect for any patch-work inspired piece.



I hope you enjoy,
Tina

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Let Your Heart Take Flight; Handmade Valentine's Embelishments

I mentioned a few blog posts ago how I love to use found objects to create my own embellishments for my cards. There are definitely an assortment of amazing products out there to use, and I have, but there is definitely something very satisfying and fun to flexing your creative muscle and coming up with your own.

The first card I would like to share was made with mainly papers and embellishments from K & Company's Madeline Collection. I just love the shabby chic feel to this line and how it all comes together on this card.

This adorable heart with butterfly wings really lends to the shabby chic appeal of this card and it was so much fun to make! The wings are made of chip board which I covered with a page from a vintage French book using Modge Podge. After the Modge Podge dried I distressed the pages a bit further using Ranger's distress inks and then I applied a layer of clear embossing powder to add a bit of shine. I then layered two material hearts and a vintage button and attached them to the wings. The hearts, button and pink seam binding were all Etsy finds, such a wonderful source for unique and interesting materials for all of your crafting needs.

This second card was made with papers from Making Memories, ribbon from Stampin' Up and a piece of black damask paper that I found via an Internet source over a year ago. I have it saved as a digital file on my computer and whenever I need a great piece of damask it's ready and waiting to be printed out and used.


This heart embellishment was made using Tim Holtz's Grunge board which I then painted with Ranger's distress crackle paint in brick. I love the way this paint dries. The thicker the coat you apply the more cracks appear. The wings, also grunge board, were first painted with a cream colored acrylic paint and then glitter was applied with heat and stick powder. I have to say that I really like the way this sweet little winged heart pops out against the black, red and white background.

I hope you enjoy,
Tina















Monday, February 1, 2010

It's Feb. 1st and Love is In The Air

It is so hard to believe that it's the 1st of February.; just two weeks until Valentine's day and any day now until the newest addition to our family will be making her grand entrance into the world. So many things to be grateful and excited for.

I just wanted to share with you yet another card created from a scrumptious piece of inspiration provided by Melissa Phillips' via her blog LilyBean's Paperie. This is the second such design inspiration that Melissa has offered her blog followers. Although I did create a card for her last challenge, for some reason my link never showed up on her blog. If you'd like to take a peak at that last one here's the link for you; An Eclectic Bit of Inspiration .

When I first saw this week's inspiration photo I thought red, white and kraft and I knew I had just the right Valentine's day card.

How perfect does this paper line from Making Memories coordinate with those requirements? Although this collection is from last year, it's new to me and I had such fun creating with it. In fact, I think it was my favorite for V-day crafting--so simple, but classic and versatile.

Also, just one more vintage die cut image that I couldn't resist. And how adorable does this little red-head look sitting up top of that Valentine heart and lace doily--just precious.



I hope you enjoy,
Tina


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

An Eclectic Bit of Inspiration

I have another card to share today that was inspired by a beautiful photograph that was posted on Melissa Phillips' blog LilyBean's Paperie. If you have never been, then you should immediately click over to check out Melissa's blog. She is truly an amazing artist and her creations have been a huge inspirational source for me ever since I started my own journey with this craft. Something about her style speaks to me on a very personal level--the layers, the textures--the chic, yet shabby elements--all work so well together to create little delicate morsels of eye candy!

I love the soft and delicate colors depicted in the inspiration photo. I also loved the texture of the beaded buttons that are scattered throughout the picture. I started thinking of chunky glitter, a bit of embossing for texture,browns and lavenders with a touch of pink and possibly a sprinkling of copper pigment ink.

As soon as I saw the embroidered slippers I knew that I had the perfect piece of patterned paper to use, from My Mind's Eye's Quite Smitten collection--an older collection, but relatively new to me. I also used patterned papers from Basic Grey's Bittersweet collection. The card stock, stamps and ribbon are all from Papertrey Ink.

I was also very much inspired by the vintage image I used for this card. I usually have a pile of just such images near my craft space and slowly work my way through them. This one was next and I just thought it would work so well with the rest of this card's concept. Also, as soon as I saw this image I knew I wanted to use it for a special card for the special guy in my life, my hubby. Now I'm nearly set for Valentine's day, just a quick stop for a few sweets and I'm all set for happy hearts day!

I hope you enjoy,

Tina

Monday, January 25, 2010

Moxie Fab World's Tuesday Trigger; I Feel Pretty in Turquoise and Gold

Another fabulous Tuesday Trigger over at the Moxie Fab World Blog, I just can't resist playing along. I have to say this color combo is just gorgeous! Turquoise is the new "it" color for 2010 so I'm sure we will be seeing more and more of it in designs, magazine layouts and hopefully in the paper crafting world.


I also love participating in these challenges because it gives me a chance to stretch my creative muscles and step out of my comfort zone a bit. Although I'm happy with the way this card turned out, it is so different than my typical style. Thanks for the opportunity to think a bit more outside of the box Moxie Fab World!



The glittery button used as an embellishment on this card is actually a rummage sale find I recently made. I love finding non-product type embellishments to use on my cards and rummage sales are always a treasure trove for just such trinkets. Another great source is Etsy. I'm planning on blogging about a few cards that I recently made using embellishments I purchased from Etsy and embellishments I made myself, so stay tuned for that soon.


I hope you enjoy,
Tina

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Valentine From Start to Finish

Here I go again with the pink and blue. This time the pink is Raspberry Fizz from Papertrey Ink, a striking hot pink shade. The patterned paper is from a collection from Stampin' Up.


Since my vintage image takes up most of the front of this card and the patterns I chose are a bit busy, I felt I would be cluttering the design if I tried to squeeze in a sentiment. Normally, I always try to include a sentiment and leave the inside of the card blank. I mostly do this for my Etsy shop customers who prefer to personalize the cards with their own unique message. But this time I decided to switch things up a bit, since I couldn't fit the sentiment on the front, and include one on the inside. It also gave me a chance to use Papertrey Ink's set Heartfelt Sentiments, a set with some truly moving and inspiring sentiment stamps.



I hope you enjoy,
Tina

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Yummy Color Combo

This is a color combo I just can't seem to get enough of this Valentine's season, blue and pink. These two cards featured today were actually made using aqua mist card stock from Papertrey Ink and various pale pink patterned papers.

A Sweet Pair Handmade Valentine's Day Card

This particular shade of blue, Aqua Mist--is one of my all time favorite shades and I love using it! It works particularly well with vintage images as it just seems so retro and nostalgic.

Cup O' Tea Handmade Valentine's Day Card



I hope you enjoy,
Tina

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Getting Ready For Valentine's Day

I love the months October through February because, although busy, the holiday's make everything so much fun. This year I managed to create a lot of holiday projects. I also feel that I really found my niche creatively as I was very inspired by the holidays and even sold a lot of my holiday creations in my Etsy shop. So I am happy to say that I have been busy putting together some really fun Valentine's day cards. It's perfect timing too, because as I finish up for Valentine's day and get ready for my new baby--I feel a real sense of satisfaction at having had the opportunity to accomplish what I have done creatively over the past year.


Sweetheart Flourishes Handmade Valentine's Day Card


Elegant Romance Handmade Valentine's Day Card
I hope you enjoy,
Tina

Monday, January 11, 2010

Moxie Fab World's Tuesday Trigger: Go with All Your Heart

Here's a quick and simple card I put together for this week's Moxie Fab World's Tuesday Trigger design challenge.

I really have so much fun using the inspiration pictures supplied by this challenge to come up with my own creations, just can't seem to get enough.




I hope you enjoy,
Tina