Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Polka Dotted Paper

   Hello friendly stampers, how are you today?  Have you heard of the Polka Dotted Hullabaloo? You heard me, the Polka Dotted Hullabaloo.  It is a Tuesday Trigger challenge at Moxie Fab World .
   Normally I would avoid polka dots because they're dangerous. They would be as detrimental to me as anger is to Bruce Banner (the Hulk). I have sporadic inclinations to exhibit questionable taste.  In other words, I can be gaudy. 
   I say "can be", because most of the time I hide in the background. But, unexpectedly, gaudy Marlena jumps out.  Every six months or so I have to- HAVE TO- shine. But not in a classy way. 
  You think I am exaggerating?  I own an Elvis "light up" purse (love it).  I have a pink cowboy hat.  I pine over not having my own clear glass head, like the one my artsy friend displays on her mantle. I settled for a green glass hand that once held liquid soap.  

It wasn't the same. 

I have since tossed that.

   Don't get me wrong, these wonderful finds alone are not eccentric and gaudy.  It is ME owning them that throws my family and friends off.  It just isn't me.  I am not a "fun" person.  Really, I am not.  I am more of an analyzer-a deep person.

   However, if I don't succumb to these spontaneous urges when they hit, I am filled with regret.  About 20 years ago, my very classy/trendy sister talked me out of buying a pair of capris that had at least 4 layered ruffles on the calf trim.  In the dressing room, she said I looked like a flamenco dancer and convinced me I had nowhere to wear those bad boys.  She was right, of course. She was only doing this out of love, protecting me from cruel critics.  That's what sisters do.  However, those homeless capris haunt me to this day.  

They would have been happy here.

   Getting back to you understand why polka dots could be harmful in my hands. I own a few that came with collections, I just don't go there. However, one special dotted paper I rescued from a scrapbook yard sale, about 5 years ago, has my heart.  It's shimmery, orange and green and you can't miss it...there is nothing like it.

It has found a home.
  I paired it with my JustRite Stitched with Love set, which is on sale now (soon to retire).  When I couldn't find a suitable partner for the shimmery dots, I was thrilled to see that the flip side was just as shiny, but not patterned.  It provided the second layer; Crafty Creations' pre-folded cards are the base.
  I didn't know whether to go horizontal or vertical and then I remembered my favorite green church top!

  Polka dots at an angle remind me of pearls.  Pearls are classic, right,
-not gaudy?  I used my favorite PTI eyelet lace border die; weaved it with ribbon, and it was done. I think it would make a cute little girl's card.
  I have a niece who will be 1 this year.  In fact, that ribbon I used was bought for her babyshower centerpiece .  I have two rolls left, and think of her every time I see it.  The card may be going to her this summer. It is fitting, don't you think, for her to have this card?  It's like the circle of life. 
  Thank you for listening. :)

Stamps: Just Rite 
Ink: Staz On, clear embossing powder
Other: Fiskar's rotary trimmer with scallop blade for trim, PTI eyelet lace border die, paper piercing

When I Grow Up

  When I grow up, I want to be an artist.  I would love to sketch anything my imagination comes up with.  Um, it may take awhile to grow up.  However, I CAN stamp anything that comes near to what my drawings WOULD have looked like, had I the gift.  I love this look...

  The sketchy, artsy style of the stamp is so beautiful, AND it balances out my dirty fingers.  In fact, smudges almost add to the free, messy interpretation of the dancer. However, it is hard to justify if the marks are too far from the image, like on the bottom of the card.  I have learned to improvise for my weaknesses (my husband calls it "smoke and mirrors" :) ). I smudge the card edges with ink. 
   I found a fruitful challenge. One Layer Wednesday's OLW51, is to stamp three-of-a-kind cards.  Change the ink color, cardstock color, or the sentiment, but you have to use the same stamps.  This is perfect for me...I need cards for my daughter's three ballet teachers.     

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


  I feel moved to shed a little hope today.  I am sure many of you are going through some tough weather.  I once lived in "Tornado Alley" for over 9 years.  Tornado warnings/watches are scary!  In case you lose power or feel overwhelmed, I was hoping you would reflect on Psalm 18:28.
  This project was inspired by Tissue Paper Magic Challenge in the Moxie Fab World. I Modge-Podged two strips of crepe to a white scalloped circle.  After letting this sit a few minutes to dry, I carefully lined up the scalloped circle to its parent nestie die and ran it through my Big Shot again. 
  I also used crepe paper for the PTI eyelet lace border. I didn't intend to make the card this tall, but after adding crepe above the lighthouse, I just had to. The upper right hand corner was missing something, so I hand drew a frame. Thank you, Papertrey for Make It Monday #12: Line Frame 101.  I am getting a lot of practice honing that skill!

  I just received my ODBD stamp set, Keep My Lamp Burning TODAY! I stamped the lighthouse with versamark ink and used white embossing powder. I used a craft knife to cut out a section so the crepe paper could light up the card.  By following ODBD's Sketch I was able to incorporate all these elements to not only enter three challenges, but to create a Steeler-friendly card; and to hopefully shed a little light into the dark corners. :)

Here are the specifics:
Stamps: ODBD Keep My Lamp Burning
Other: PTI eyelet lace die, spellbinders scalloped circle, white embossing powder, versamark ink,Uniball Signo white pen

Bling and Dirty Fingers

  I just want to thank everyone that was kind enough to comment on my Grunge CD card.  It was very encouraging!  We have a nice community of stampers, don't you think?  Your comments and support motivated me to move on to another PTI Challenge:   Make It Monday #12: Line Frame 101 .
   Now, this was a challenge for me.  I was going for the clean look, which is almost IMPOSSIBLE when your fingers are all inky.  It took three tries for me not to leave smudgies all over the place.  Kudos to you CAS stampers who don't destroy all that gorgeous white space. 
  Secondly, I really wanted to use the bling I bought...but found it hard to know when to stop.  I really had to hold myself back.  It is a miracle that the whole card isn't covered in the yummy adhesive rhinestones that I could stare at all day.  My husband calls me a raccoon.  I like shiny things.
The challenge was a line frame.  I did an open frame.  I thought a solid line would be too much.  So, I dashed it.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Grunge CD Card

  Hello fellow stampers.  I am really excited about my card today.  It is MASCULINE.  You all know how hard it is to make masculine cards.  Maybe it is just me.  I am from a long, long line of girl families.  My grandmother was one of 4 girls; my mother was the oldest of 3 girls; I am the oldest of three girls and I have three girls.  So, hopefully you can understand that if I create anything that would appeal to a boy, I am thrilled. :)
 My teen nephew has a birthday coming up and I just got this month's PTI releases of Grunge Me and Game On sets TODAY in the mail to create his card. 
What do you think?
It is a CD card.
   I cut the black circle for the cd with a Fiskars Circle cutter.  I resized the cutter and cut a smaller circle of green.  The centers were cut out with a Spellbinder's circle (smaller for the black and bigger for the green).
  What I love most about these stamps and grungy look....mistakes are welcome!!!
I am allllll about mistakes!!!  See that black embossing powder?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I Love Gerbera Daisies!

  This project made me fall for gerbera daisies!  I decided to share it when I stumbled on Joyful Stampers' Inspire Me Fridays. I constructed centerpieces and favors for my sister's baby shower awhile ago. I knew I had to go practical, because my sister is practical.
     I found the ribbon first at a local craft store and built upon it.  For a whole month, all I could think about were these gorgeous flowers.  Do you see why I chose it as my profile photo?  They are way more stunning than me, lol. :)  
  As for the construction of the diaper cake, the Diaper Cake Tutorial was helpful.  Basically, you use clear rubber bands (genius!) to secure each diaper into a roll.  Then, you use larger rubber bands to secure them all together (section by section and then combined).  You then use the ribbon to hide the rubber bands.  I shrink wrapped the centerpiece, because I knew this would soon cover my future niece's precious little bottom!
    The favors were made with a Sizzix flower card die.  Here is a closeup of the favor:

     I embossed the yellow copy paper first (sizzix texture plates) and then die cut it with my Big Shot.  Embossing seems to add strength to paper.  I then cut out a transparent layer to lend some support also.  See the little bag that is sandwiched in the middle?  I filled it with some party mints and used a silver twistie tie to secure it. The little white bow hides the tie.
     Since I live almost a continent away from my sister, I couldn't make it to her shower.  Perhaps that is why it was so important for me to do this for her.  Isn't that why many of us craft our hearts out?  It is an extension of our love. 
     Speaking of love,thank you for taking the time to visit!  

Friday, April 22, 2011

What Am I Doing?

  Maybe this is how the blogging journey begins, with one step.  As with everything in my life that I have experienced so far, my first question is, "What am I doing?".  I have hidden under a rock and barely poked my head in FB. Now, here I am, starting a blog? 
  I posted one card online and now I am hooked.  I love seeing my crafty thingies online.  I also love seeing my pics online. It is addictive.  I am not intending to sound narcissistic, there is a little more to it than that, I hope.  I have really been blessed by all the lovely blogs out there that give advice and share ideas.  I hope this will one day be a blessing to someone else.  I would be happy to just direct you to some wonderful crafters and companies out there! I could be a bridge of sorts to some awesome blogs. :)
   Meanwhile, this is Abby, she is Amanda's rat. Amanda is my youngest. I know, you're thinking "Rat?!". That is a story for another time. Anyway, my young photographer/daughter Mallory took this pic in our mini studio, and I feel it is the look on my face right now.

Hello world!