Sunday, October 31, 2010

[Music Saves My Soul] Freezepop - Less Talk More Rokk

I was trying to get some work done and trying to get into the zone, when I decided to plug those headphones in and surfed to a random Pandora station. Before you knew it, an oldie but goodie song was playing. Do you guys remember "Less Talk More Rokk"? Yep - by a band called Freezepop. They fall into the synthpop/electropop genre. Who knew I listen to that stuff...

It certainly gets the work pace going - 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Todd, the Turtle

In my recent blog post when I came around to carding with felt, I alluded to having some (or many) crafting items that are still considered work in progress (or WIP). One such item, for which I have no excuse, was a little amigurumi turtle that I started in June 2009Yea - I have many projects where I am ashamed to state out loud when I started something ;)

I was showing a friend how to crochet, which included learning how to read a pattern and following the instructions. He decided on an amigurumi pattern due to its bite-size nature (in comparison to a blanket which takes forever), 3-D aspect, and its complexity (which included learning how to sew parts together). So I crocheted one with him to show him how to get started. Half a turtle shell later, he went home and started on his crochet frenzy. I showed my friend in total one turtle shell, and one leg. So for the longest time, Todd, the non-existing turtle that I had already named, comprised of one shell, one leg, and a partially finished head! Kinda

So when Kathy gave us our October Challenge to try to finish THAT project, the guilt immediately wafted up from the box of unfinished crocheted items. Todd was whimpering from the bottom of the box. The most challenging part was finding the right pattern. Back then I didn't bother printing the pattern out, since I was going to finish it in two evenings. Or so was the plan.

Todd, the Turtle

In case you wanted to see the seams, here is Todd's underside:

Todd, the Turtle

One year, four months later, I finished three more legs, a tail, and prided myself in sticking the safety eyes together with the project - so I had them at hand. If I had misplaced then, I would have sewed him some cute button eyes on...

Todd, the Turtle

While I sewed on his last limb, it occurred to me that Todd didn't have a home. But then I remembered that one of my other dear friends has a mom that loves turtles of all kind. Big, small, breakable display only, huggable and squeezable stuffed animals - you name it. She has a collection. And since I had the pleasure of meeting her this summer, I am going to send Todd across the Big Pond to join the already established turtle home.

Now, Todd, be good and remember to say "Guten Tag, Ich heiße Todd und möchte gerne hier wohnen." (Hi, my name is Todd and I would like to live here.)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Warm & Cozy Winter Wishes

You may remember the Caring Hearts Card Drive that my dear friend Vera is trying to organize. I'm currently working my crafting space like a mini sweat shop station, because I am trying to create cards for the good cause. And what better starting point than to play along with some challenges? Here are two that this card fits so well to:

A fabby sketch from the Sugar Babies from the Sweet Stop Sketch. Don't you think? Also - did you hear that Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps is turning Three?! There is a wonderful blog hop on November 9 to celebrate - I'm marking my calendars! :D

The fantastic thing about this second challenge is this week's Wee Memories Challenge.

It is in support for Vera's Caring Hearts Card Drive. And I could not resist, but to make yet another card to add to the bunch. Everything for a good cause, right?

Warm & Cozy Winter
Stamps: Waddle I Do?, Snow Friends (Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps)
Paper: Paper Basics Card Stock - True Black (Papertrey Ink); Dasher - Bunny Hill (Basic Grey); Basic Card Stock - White (Recollections)
Ink: Pigment Ink - Black (Colorbox); Brilliance - Pearlescent Ice Blue (Tsukineko)
Embellishments: Ribbon - White "Joy" (Michaels); Softcore Color Pencils (Prismacolor); Nestabilities - Labels Ten (Spellbinders)

Here a close up of Stanley, the waddling penguin:

Warm & Cozy Winter

If you want to participate in Vera's Caring Hearts Card Drive you have until Nov 15, 2010. It's really a lot of fun and for a great cause - and if that's not enough, there are prizes to be had!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Joyeux Noel

Can you believe we're at Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge #20

I was actually not quite sure what I wanted to make with this card. It started out  with wanting to ink my new Nutcracker Sweet set. I just adore the christmas tree that Claire snuck in there. Isn't in adorable? The colors pink and white and touch of green also been on mind lately.

Joyeux Noel
Stamps: Nutcracker Sweet (Waltzingmouse Stamps)
Paper: Paper Basics Card Stock - Kraft (Papertrey Ink); Eskimo Kisses (Basic Grey); Scrap Pack - Pink (Recollections)
Ink: Perfect Match Pigment Ink - Fresh Snow (Papertrey Ink)
Embellishments: Taylor's Tiny Twinkles - Red (Taylored Expressions); Gelly Roll - White, Glaze - Clear (Sakura); Rustic Cream Button Twine (Papertrey Ink)

Except the green never made it into the card ;) I stamped the image with white ink and wanted the white to be more prominent. A white gel pen came to the rescue. While tracing the lines, I thought some areas of the tree would look great with tad bit of glazing. So this tree saw loads of Sakura action! The pearls and wee little pink gem was perfect to finish the tree off.

Joyeux Noel

After that I was a little stumped on how to finish the card. Pulled out some trusty card stock and pulled my BG Christmas pad out. And before you knew it - no green.

Joyeux Noel

Halloween is coming up and  I have kind of skipped over making but a few Halloween cards. And I have yet to carve a pumpkin. What are you guys doing to celebrate? Did you make your own costume for you or your lil' munchkin(s)?

Monday, October 25, 2010

[Music Saves My Soul] Jake Shimabukuro - My Guitar Gently Weeps

I had the most amazing Friday night: I got to see Jake Shimabukuro! The Hawaiian native is a ukelele master - he makes this four string instrument the coolest instrument on this earth (well, after the piano and violin, in my opinion, but hey i'm biased ;). In fact, he arranges covers such as "My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Thriller" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" - which truly sounds amazing. In addition, he composes his own songs. Some of my favorites are "Trapped," "Dragon," and "Me & Shirley T."

His success started when his version of "My Guitar Gently Weeps" went viral on Youtube. Currently, the video holds 6.3 million views and counting; it is no wonder, right?
I'm the proud owner of his latest disc "Live" and am waiting for his new album to debut on January 4, 2011. (Just in time for a great birthday present, right? *hint hint*)

Thank you, lil brother, for introducing me to this awesome artist, and for going to the concert with me :) 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Caring Hearts Card Drive Blog Hop

Welcome and thank you for stopping. You should be coming from the talented and fun Paulina (aka PrettyPinkPosh). If you happen to stumble here by way of another means, I'd like to encourage you to start from the beginning of this wonderful blog hop.

The beginning happens to be also my dear friend Vera's blog (who I met at CHA this year!) - the amazing person that put this Card Drive together. The card accumulated from this drive will be sent to the elderly that are in nursing homes or care centers. The goal is to bring some smiles to their faces during the holidays (i.e. Thanksgiving, Winter/Christmas).

What is even more amazing, many of Vera's favorite (and my favorite) stamping companies are throwing in some delicious prizes to support this good cause. You have until November 15 to create a Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Winter Holiday card and upload it to this blog post. More details about the card drive are also posted over there. So, what are you waiting for?

Another amazing thing - Vera is part of the Wee Memories DT. And the entire Team is backing her with this week's challenge as a way to get the word out there. Isn't the team spirit just amazing?

Oh right, I suppose you want to see a card. 
(Did I mentioned I got sandwiched between two crazy talented ladies whose work I adore and draw many of my inspirations from?! I feel a tad intimidated by their talent - so lower your expectations by manifold ;) br/>
Here's my contribution to help inspire you to make a card. The best part? It is a super simple layout which you can tweak however you want.

Give Thanks
Stamps: Turtle Tot - Love is in the Air (Stamping Bella); Bountiful Basket Additions (Waltzingmouse Stamps)
Paper: Paper Basics Card Stock - White (Papertrey Ink)
Ink: Earth Elements - Close to Cocoa (Stamping Up!)
Embellishments: Softcore Color Pencils (Prismacolor); Essential Color Glitter Set - Brownstone (Martha Stewart)

Give Thanks

Think of what smiles this little card will bring to those spending the holidays alone in a nursing center! It is a great cause and I hope you will consider supporting it by sharing your creative gifts with these strangers.

Now off you go to be inspired by the brilliant Sarah Martina Parker. Oh how I adore her and her work.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Felt Like Saying Happy Birthday

I have been dragging my feet with the next Embellish Challenge. Yours truly has been in love with the idea of felt on cards, but never ventured out to purchase any. And between many business trips and visitors coming, I haven't had a chance to stop by my local Michael's. I already gave up and decided this was one of those inevitable challenges that I will have to skip. And aren't the colors fun and bright?

Then last night I was thinking of all my work-in-progress projects and how I should really dig a few out and finish, preferably before the end of the year. My running list includes unfinished applique stockings, a scarf (oh wait - two scarfs!), three baby blankets, two afghans, a skirt, and several cross-stitching projects. Here is one of those items that needs finishing:

Christmas Stocking WIP

I was perusing through blogs in the comfort my bed, when I jumped out and ran over to my applique bag. It was not the sudden will to finish a WIP - it can wait 'til tomorrow. The applique bag that was stashed and shoved behind a mountain of yarn contained precious glorious felt - yes the same stuff that was in the next Embellish challenge!

So I was eager to leave work on time to knock out a card. Especially with this tweet that came into my feed today

"You still have ALL day to create something and submit it for the Felt Color Challenge! Embellish your creativity..."
It's like one of those fortune cookie messages taunting you ... I had an inspiration to create a bird tweeting "happy birthday!" and using the brown with my woodgrain impression plate. So from that idea, this little darling birdie was born:

Bird Applique

The bird is composed of yellow felt, red ink, red floss, a little red sequin with a clear bead, and a little pink wing. Here the card in full:

Happy Birthday
Stamps: Snag 'em - For Peep's Sake (imaginisce); Musical Backgrounds, Half-pint Heroes (Waltzingmouse Stamps)
Paper: Paper Basics Card Stock - Dark Chocolate (Papertrey Ink)
Ink: Pigment - Red (Recollections); Versamark, Brilliance - Pearlescent Yellow (Tsukineko)
Embellishments: Impression Plate - Woodgrain (Papertrey Ink); Stamp 'n Stuff Embossing Powder - White, Detail Clear (Stampendous!); Red Floss, Felt, Red Sequin, Clear Bead, Pink Felt (Stash)

I could not get the woodgrain texture to photograph too well, but here is a different angle. The musical note is actually embossed in clear and stamped with Brilliance ink to give it that little shimmer. I like the effect, but I am too fond where I placed the musical notes.

Happy Birthday

So what items were you able to dig out of your stash to "Save the day"?

Happy Birthday

This post shows how a sketch can go terribly wrong. The next Sweet Stop Sketch was posted and I really wanted to use it as my inspiration for another birthday card I needed to craft together. Here is what it looks like:

The one requirement that stuck was "make it SPARKLE" and the white panel with the 4 dots. Sometimes certain design elements start obsessing in my head and everything else falls away, like so:

Happy Birthday
Stamps: Sweet Celebration (Taylored Expressions); Dot Flourishes (inkadinkados)
Paper: Paper Basics Card Stock - Sweet Blush (Papertrey Ink); Basic Card Stock - White (Recollections)
Ink: Perfect Match Pigment Ink - Plum Pudding (Papertrey Ink)
Embellishments: Metals, Metal Nailheads (Mark Richards); Paper Piercer (Stamping Up!); Gelly Roll Metallic (Sakura); Softcore Color Pencils (Prismacolor); Essential Color Glitter Set - Kunzite (Martha Stewart)

A close up of all the parts that sparkle: the cupcake holders have been lined with Sakura Silver; the flourishes have been dusted with glitter, as well as the cupcake top; the sentiment has been lined with Sakura purple; the metal embellishments are used to anchor the picture as well as the sentiment.

Happy Birthday

Which brings me to my tip: When using a gel pen, always try it out on a scrap piece of paper. My purple one was very leaky and I had to re-stamp the sentiment and pop it up on some dimensionals to cover up the first sentiment ;)

Happy Birthday

I"ll be adding this card to this week's wee Memories challenge as well, since their challenge is all things celebratory! In the meantime, here is hoping that the Sugar Babes are lenient enough on their sketch inspiration...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy Anniversary

It is 22:00 and am totally wired, thanks to the Sudafed decongestants. So, what does one do with all this energy? Yep - craft up a entry for the next Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge.

The last Waltzingmouse Blog Waltz was still on my mind, which probably inspired my color choices for this card. Not to mention the Oven-fried Chicken with Cornflakes I wanted to cook up. Loads of brown, yellow, and orange shades that would not leave my head.

In addition, this week at wee Memories they are running a challenge to honor all celebratory events such as birthday, anniversary, new baby, anything that is celebrated. So, here is my contribution.

Happy Anniversary
Stamps: Four of a Kind (Papertrey Ink)
Paper: Preppie Pack - Purple (Bazzill Basics Paper); Paper Basics Card Stock - Kraft (Papertrey Ink)
Ink: Perfect Match Pigment Ink - Spring Moss (Papertrey Ink); Earth Elements - More Mustard (Stamping Up!)
Embellishments: Clothespins - Natural (Canvase Corp); Jute Packaging Twine (Westim Crafts); Special Value Ribbon - Orange (Michaels)

A quick close-up look on the tag & the cute clothespin. I decided to line the ribbon with some twine to give it this rustic look.

Happy Anniversary

If I get around I should post up my Oven-friend chicken meal - you'll see the resemblance in color inspiration. Just have to make sure that my hungry brother doesn't devour the entire food before I get to snap a picture ...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

[Music Saves My Soul] The Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom Pow

I happen to be waltzing along when I stumbled across this cute little idea from Sandie's blog. A group that can't live without music! So here goes my first post - Thanks, Marcea, for organizing this!

I have been feeling under the weather over the past weekend. Maybe I caught one of those 48 hour stomach bugs, but I was sure mopey and feeling a tad weak. Yesterday, I decided it was time to get crackin' with the kitchen cleaning and organizing. Usually my Pandora list is playing - either because my laptop or my iPhone is hooked up to the speakers. When this song came on, I found myself dancing to this song. I felt about a million times better than this weekend :)

I have never seen the music video to this before; interesting...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

October Harvest Blog Waltz

Guess what time of the month it is? Yep, the Waltzingmouse Blog Waltz is back! This waltz's theme is Autumn/Harvest. Autumn always makes me think of apple cider, pies, quality time with my kitchen & oven, loads of squash and pumpkin carving! Unfortunately the last time I carved a pumpkin was two years ago. So hopefully this October will be different.

For this blog waltz, Bountiful Basket Additions will come out to play.

Let Us Give Thanks
Stamps: Bountiful Basket Addition (Waltzingmouse Stamps)
Paper: Paper Basics Card Stock - Kraft (Papertrey Ink)
Ink: Earth Elements - Chocolate Chip (Stamping Up!); Versamark (Tsukineko)
Embellishments: Embossing Powder - Antique Gold (Martha Stewart); Soft-core Color Pencils (Prismacolor)

The pumpkins were embossed in gold and then colored in with some color pencils. A relatively simple card, but I love how it came out.

Let Us Give Thanks

I will be donating this card to Vera's Caring Hearts Drive. For more details, please read her post - it is such a great cause and I really applaud her for doing so.

Thanks for stopping by - now I'm off to go see the other wonderful work of the other ladies!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy Birthday

So October is the beginning of a crazy birthday month. So here is one of many birthday cards to come.

To help jump start some creative juices, I turned to this week's Sweet Stop Sketch.  Here the week's challenge:

Since this is a card for my little "sister" Elena (a friend's daughter), I decided my Stamping Bella's Kettos would be perfect to ink up. The funny thing is, Em decided this week's Bellarific Friday's theme is "Ketto." Funny coincidence or what? I say this is a calling!

Happy Birthday
Stamps: Sake Ketto (Stamping Bella); Half-pint Heroes (Waltzingmouse Stamps)
Paper: Paper Basics Card Stock - White (Papertrey Ink); Penelope's Potpourri (Taylored Expressions); Scrap Pack - Black (Recollections)

Ink: Pigment Ink - Black (Colorbox)
Embellishments: Rub-ons - Penelope (SEI); Softcore Color Pencils (Prismacolor); Nestabilities - Classic Scallop Circles Small, Standards Circle Small (Spellbinders)

Here a close up up, close and personal look on Frosty's sparkling hat and snowy base.

Happy Birthday

Isn't she just delightful? Just like my lil sister Elena :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Holiday Cheer

Time to work on my weekly addiction - a new Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge. Wanna see the deets?

I kept thinking Pyramids, since I recently saw these beautiful Egypt-inspired cards on Antje's blog! Then I saw the Kim Hughes' Heart Warmers in my stash. Perfect or what?!

Holiday Cheer
Stamps: Heart Warmers (Kim Hughes for Cornish Heritage Farm)
Paper: Paper Basics Card Stock - White (Papertrey Ink); Boxer (Basic Grey)
Ink: Pigment Ink - Black (Colorbox); Pigment Ink - Gold (Recollections)
Embellishments: Soft-core Color Pencils (Prismacolor)

I happened to grab my Basic Grey "Boxer" pad and saw some interesting green and red papers. So I decide to paper piece the trees together. Love how this came out CAS.
Holiday Cheer

So October is full of birthdays. So you'll be seeing tons of birthday card posts next. But can I just mention that I am panicking already that it is October and I have not started cranking my Christmas/Holiday cards out. Have you started?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Honoring Happy WCMD with Harriet

Claire celebrated World Card Making Day by providing a wonderful free digi. Come meet this darling gal.
Her name is Harriet. I had this image of her walking down the cold streets of dreary London. A sordid, cold, rainy dark kind of day, that is not very Christmasy. And amongst all that gray, she came bearing a small, but precious gift.

All these images of gloomy gray and rain was probably inspired by my last business trip to Toronto. Turns out the the city was already heading into fall weather - nothing but rain, rain, rain each day.

However, if it wasn't for that, I would not have been inspired to play with my pastels. Let me know what you think of my Harriet.

Merry Christmas from Harriet
Stamps: Mega Mixed Messages (Papertrey Ink)
Paper: Paper Basics Card Stock - Smokey Shadow (Papertrey Ink); Basic Card Stock - Cream (Recollections)
Ink: Pigment Ink - Black (Colorbox); Tea Dye Duo - Chamomile (Papertrey Ink)
Embellishments: Stickles - Xmas Red (Ranger); Softcore Color Pencils (Prismacolor); Soft Chalk Pastels (Rembrandt)

I had fun coloring her this morning. It was very meditative and relaxing to shade her in. My biggest worry was to do Harriet justice by coloring her a boring black and white. I wanted to give her depth. Here a close-up of that darling little girl.

Merry Christmas from Harriet

For those that have fallen in love with the image and want to have a go at coloring Harriet, the free digi is located on the Waltzingmouse Stamp site. A big Thank You to Claire!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Good Luck

Have you seen the new Waltzingmouse Stamps October Release? I'm terribly excited. Can't tell you how truly tickled I am with what Claire has been revealing. And her amazing Design Team have been showing eye candy that's drool-worthy. My ultimate dream would be to design just once for Claire. She is one talented woman! Already making my list...and I just put in an order that includes some of the September Release. Greedy, greedy...

So to tie me over I moseyed on over to the Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge. Look at that - doesn't the stamp scream "background stamping?

I have been thinking of the Embellish Background challenge for a while now and did not get around to it during the first week. Here the details:

To be honest, I was really stumped about the color combinations. The only things that came to mind was "bees, wasps, taxis, construction signs." Finally I conceded and pulled out some cute bees from the Unity + Cosmo Cricket's Garden Variety stamp set and created a cute good luck card. A friend of mine has started law school and I thought the bees would be a perfect reminder of what a determined, hard worker she is. She will be great!

Good Luck
Stamps: Garden Variety (Cosmo Cricket + Unity); Fancy Phrases, Pic-nic Patterns (Waltzingmouse Stamps)
Paper: Paper Basics Card Stock - Smokey Shadow (Papertrey Ink); Basic Card Stock - White (Recollections)
Ink: Brilliance - Pearlescent Yellow (Tsukineko); Pigment Ink - Black (Colorbox); Perfect Match Pigment Ink - Fresh Snow (Papertrey Ink)

The backgrounds in Pic-nic Patterns are truly wonderful. I love, love the little intersection design. And the background pattern is always generously large, that one only has to concentrate on lining up the bottom line. I am really pleased on how seamless / perfect it has come out. I'm usually one that will not line things up properly, smear ink onto the card stock, or drop my inked block accidentally right onto the card. If Snow White were auditioning for an eight dwarf, I could fit the bill for Clumsy.

Good Luck

I hope the bees bring luck and spur on hard work & preserverance :) In the meantime, I'm in a hurry to go check out the Waltzingmouse Stamps' Day 2 Sneak Peeks. Won't you join me?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

HEART to HEART Card Drive

Do you know Carolyn King? I don't really know her, but a certain Belinda friend mentioned that Carolyn is doing a HEART to HEART Card Drive - a drive to thank the caretakers of Alzheimer's patients. From her post, I could tell that she cares deeply about this cause, since she was doing this to honor her grandma. A lot of time went into coordinating and finding sponsors to donate to the prize package, writing up a detailed post (it's long, but jam-packed with information and pictures, right?), and organizing this event. I don't know about you, but that kind of person seems to be determined, kind-hearted and really moved by those that have to provide continued care and support to enduring Alzheimer's patients.

My only regret is that I didn't think of checking out this sooner, since the card drive closes on Oct 3, 8p CST. Do go back to Carolyn's Heart to Heart Card Drive blog post. I really am touched by her effort and would like to contribute my card-making skills to make one well-deserved person's day happy - even if it's just for a moment.

Thank You
Stamps: Rescue Remedies - Addition, Free Spirit - Sentiment, Victorian Fripperie, Asian Gardens (Waltzingmouse Stamps); Arigato (Hero Arts); Mega Mixed Messages (Papertrey Ink)
Paper: Paper Basics Card Stock - White (Papertrey Ink)
Ink: Pigment Ink - Black (Colorbox); Earth Elements - Ruby Red (Stamping Up!)
Embellishments: Ribbon Red/White Stripe Grosgrain (Paperchase); Ribbon - Red (Michaels); Taylor's Tiny Twinkles - Red (Taylored Expressions)

I will be sending this card to a friend, whose dad is suffering from Alzheimers.

Thank You

Do consider supporting this - I know there's not a lot of time left - but it's worth the cause.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Let it Snow

The weather has been teasing me to look forward to pumpkins, teas, lattes, apples and many baking adventures on my list. However, the last two days have been so sunny and warm, it seems summer does not want to bid goodbye.

In my desperation I grabbed my Eskimo Kisses out of my paper stash and was determined to ink up my Snow Friends. And while looking at my adorable snowbuddy, it occurred to me that it has been a long while, since I've had the chance to play along with the Sweet Stop Sketch crew.

So here is this week's challenge:

And my wintery card hoping to chase away the sultry, humid and muggy summer weather.

Let It Snow
Stamps: Snow Friends (Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps)
Paper: Paper Basics Card Stock - White (Papertrey Ink); Eskimo Kisses (Basic Grey); Botanical Gardens (Martha Stewart)

Ink: Brilliance - Pearlescent Ice Blue (Tsukineko); Pigment Ink - Black (Colorbox)
Embellishments: Stickles - Diamond (Ranger); Softcore Color Pencils (Prismacolor); Winter Song Ribbon - Red (SEI)

Here an up, close and personal look on Frosty's sparkling hat and snowy base.

Let It Snow

Isn't he just delightful? I love how the Stickles add some magic snow and 3D goodness to Frosty's hat. The sentiment was stamped in black pigment ink, and then again with the Brilliance Ice Blue to give it that layered, shaded look.

Let It Snow

The picture shows it just a tad - but it's not prominent. Enough to add some depth, don't you think?

So what Fall season activities are you looking forward?
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