Last 2 anniversary cards (I think)

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This one was made for another couple challenges.  The first one is Shopping our Stash’s “Favorite Stampy Technique”.  (http://shoppingourstash.blogspot.ca/2013/09/sos-118-favorite-stampy-technique.html).  I used a fun Hero stamp I got from one of my favorite bloggers on the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge design team, who was thinning her stash and selling some of her old stamps for about 1/2 price.  (http://cheironbrandon.typepad.com/my_weblog/stamps-stuff-for-sale.html).  My “Favorite Stampy Technique” is using Bingo ink daubers to ink the stamps.  I tried it when I first started experimenting with stamping because I only had a couple ink pads.  My wife has a ton of Bingo daubers and she actually introduced me to Bingo (which I have to admit I rather like).  I just randomly inked different sections of the stamp with different colors and plopped the card on top.  (I stamp “upside down” when using these, because they tend to be a little drippy.  I’ve found that when you stamp down on the card some of the ink that drips into the crevices drips down onto the paper.  If you stamp “up” by putting the paper on the stamp, this can be avoided.)  I love how bright the colors are!

The second challenge comes in with the quote stamp.  It’s from Stampsmith (some of my favorite stamps are from them).  Their challenge is to create something that’s “Inspired by a Song” (http://thestampsmithchallenge.blogspot.com/2013/09/tsc46inspired-by-song-using-at-least.html).  This was a perfect theme to make a card for my wife for, who’s laying next to me singing as I type.  This quote made me think of the song of “What A Wonderful World”, which I wrote on the inside of the card and which we played at our wedding (the “Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World” mash up by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_DKWlrA24k).  It’s one of my favorite songs.)  The flowers seem to have a kind of Hawaiian theme.

This card is perfect for our anniversary because I really did marry my best friend.

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And this is the last card I’m making (I think).  I used another Stampsmith stamp (aren’t they great?  So detailed!) which I colored with colored pencils.  I used my hand-made zig zag stamp on the sides and a cute phrase on the bottom with Sharpie.

A room with a view

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I’ll know I’ve “made it” when I have a window in my office. Alas, I’m not quite there yet. So, in the spirit of making lemons into lemonade, I made myself a window a couple years ago.

I found an old window on the side of the road. It was old (I already said that), distressed, dirty, and the panes were intact: perfect.  I cleaned it up, sanded the wood lightly, slapped enough paint on to make it still distressed but in a different color, and picked out a “view”.

The photo I chose was one my dad took on a trip to Australia. He’s an amazing photographer and I love the colors in this photo; the contrasting ocean, cliff, sky; the calmness of it all.  Here’s a better view of the photo itself (taken from a tricky angle with my office lights off and just the camera flash).
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He had it printed and mounted on foam core (I’m not sure what it cost but I’m guessing it wasn’t cheap). That’s probably the key to it staying in the frame so well and staying so vibrant even a couple years later.  I used little nails to secure it into the frame.  I also put a couple ATCs I made around the edges, mostly because I couldn’t think of anywhere else to put them. (The one with the ark is an image from a Heifer Fund card which I cut up and “embellished”.)
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It’s not the same as a real window to the outdoors, but the view’s beautiful and the weather’s always perfect.

And another…

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I made this card to remember our Jill and Jill.  In case you haven’t been following along, I’m making a bunch of cards for our first wedding anniversary, coming up this weekend, because it’s the “paper” anniversary (and because I couldn’t think of anything else to get).

We had a beach themed party (NOT to be confused with a Hawaiian theme, which my wife was dead set against.  Ironically, when I went to get the postage for our “Save the Date”, the only ones they had were “Aloha” stamps.  She thought I was conspiring against her.)  We made a cornhole with bare feet on it (posted about here: https://craftymadre.com/2013/09/08/have-cornhole-will-travel/) and strung flip-flop lights from the bar with little beach glass/twine/seashell candle holders from Christmas Tree Shops on the tables.  (Oh, by the way, I found out from someone that a “cornhole” is called that because they DID used to throw bags of corn in the hole, but then the corn got mushy or eaten by critters or something so they switched to synthetic pellets).

I made this card to enter into this week’s Drunken Stampers challenge “button” theme: http://drunkenstampers.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/thing-buttons-drunken-stampers-challenge-140/.  I grabbed a metal button from my stash and used some of my fabulous glitter glue to make it into a disco ball.  Here it is halfway covered:

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I used black cardstock for the background (pasted onto the white card), a piece of shiny silver wired ribbon with stars, and some 3D  stickers.  I used more glitter glue to put beams of glory shooting out from the disco ball and dots all over (I even put dots on the back of the card in order to wipe off my fingers and the glue tip).

I love the dimension in this card and it’s almost as fun as the party was.  We had an awesome DJ, Lori B from Martini Productions (http://martiniproductions.wordpress.com/), and I totally just found out that she has a blog as I was looking up a link to post for her!  So many of our friends made raffle baskets and I made a couple crafts to raffle, as well.

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I hope the card brings back as many great memories for my wife as it’s brought back for me making it and writing about it.

Another card for my love

So… here’s what I’ve decided.  The first anniversary is paper, right?  And my wife has absolutely everything she could possibly need.  I’ve already made a couple cards, because I love making cards so much, so I’m just going to make as many cards as I can between now and Friday (that’s when we agreed to exchange gifts).  Here, then, is my next one:

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I made this for the Make My Monday Challenge: Create a Scene (http://mimchallegeblog.blogspot.com/2013/09/create-scene.html).  It’s kind of a representation of our wedding, which was in our back yard with flowers all around.  I used lavender chalk on the background, which I kind of liked the subtlety of, and washi tape on the bottom.  The purple flower stamp is one of the erasers I got from Staples and the grass is another favorite stamp.  I cut the silhouette out of black construction paper.  I put a couple silver stickers on for good measure (the colors of the wedding were purple and grey/silver).

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Now, I’m going to have to find nice things to write on all these cards.  It shouldn’t be hard, though.  🙂

Gelli-madness

I GOT A GELLI PLATE!!!  I’ve been seeing blogger after blogger do amazing things with this thing they keep referring to as a “Gelli Plate” and have been dying to get my hands on one.  I went to Michaels (my go to place for all things crafty) and they looked at me like I had two heads (not their finest moment).  Then, a blogger wrote about an anniversary party for what sounds like an amazing, locally owned craft store in the UK, The Artistic Stamper, and I commented on how it was so great that places like that existed and we should do everything we could to keep them alive.  I discovered they had an on-line store and they were offering free shipping (even internationally) and they sold gelli plates.  So I got one (and a couple stamps, for good measure).  I went with the 6″x6″ one because my space is limited and I tend to do smaller things, anyway.  I hope you’ll check them out:  http://www.theartisticstamper.com/.  They have a huge selection of paper craft materials.

Of course, I went right to work with it.  I don’t have a brayer, so I brushed the acrylic craft paint on with a foam brush.  I tried a couple different ways to make designs in it- dragging the tip of the brush across in lines and waves and stamping with a cool eraser ring I picked up in the back-to-section at Staples (2 for $1).  Here are my first two pages, which I’m going to use for backgrounds in soon-to-be-completed art journal pages:

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As I was using the eraser to stamp on the gelli plate and then on the paper in the empty section, I started to think it kind of looked like the pattern on a turtle’s back.  I had just seen a card challenge with the theme of “Animal Antics” and my wife happens to love turtles and our anniversary is coming up this weekend… so I made her a(nother) card.  I made a stencil out of cardstock for the shell and then loaded up my gelli plate with green paint and stamped the eraser all over it.  I lined it up on the card, stamped, and voila!  It was perfect!!

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Of course, when I opened the card, I realized that the shell was upside-down so I rethought my original concept and stamped on the new phrase.  Sharpies helped make the face, legs, and belly (after Googling images of “turtle cartoons” as a little bit of inspiration).  I already showed it to her and she loved it (she would have seen it in my blog, anyway, and she’s an investigator so it’s impossible to keep anything secret from her).  But I’m not actually GIVING it to her until our anniversary.

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Mandala Monday

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Happy Mandala Monday!  I stole some time away from dinner tonight (it’s actually Sunday, don’t tell) to work on this mandala before the sun set.  My boy’s a notoriously slow eater, so his other mom sat with him while I puttered in the garden clipping some of my beautifully blooming plants.  Here’s what I used:

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The marigolds are from a huge bush that I put in my garden to help ward off pests from the tomatoes, but it’s kind of taken over (it’s okay, though, it was in the corner with the cucumber and that’s done for the year).  I love how vibrant the orange is and I really love the way it looks with the purple.  And the vine is growing up the side of my back porch. I love the way they look, but I know they’re not at all good for the siding (which was pretty poorly constructed to begin with).  When I first tried to shape it for the outside of the mandala, it made a kind of a loose heart shape.

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Have a beautiful week!

 

 

On a roll

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I made another card tonight.  I was so exhausted after the Block Party that all I could do was sit at my table and grab for supplies within reach.  The cool thing is that the event made the news and attracted a ton of people from the congregation and the neighborhood.  Here’s the link to the story:  http://www.wwlp.com/news/local/hampden/spfld-church-hosts-block-party

I made this card as a thank you for my boy’s principal, who helped him get cleaned up last week after a little “accident” at school (suffice it to say, he won’t be wearing a belt to school anymore).  This is another “clean and simple” one for CAS-ual Friday’s Challenge blog:  http://cas-ualfridays.blogspot.com/2013/09/cfc114.html.  The theme was “Back to School”.  I’m also entering Shopping our Stash’s School or Workplace/Office challenge: http://shoppingourstash.blogspot.ca/2013/09/sos-117-school-or-officeworkplace.html.  My boy went back to school a couple weeks ago and I already posted the card I sent his teacher (here: https://craftymadre.com/2013/08/25/beginning-of-the-year-teacher-gift/).  Luckily, the boy’s little accident gave me another occasion for a school card.  (He’s going to kill me for writing about this if he ever decides to read my blog.)

I used black cardstock with a white Pitt Pen for the chalkboard effect.  I also made a little schoolhouse stamp (out of an eraser).  I sketched it on and then had to remember which line I actually wanted to cut around.  I threw the bell in the roof on as an afterthought.  I think I can use it for Christmas cards, as well, by just drawing some snow on the top of the roofs and finding a Santa with his sleigh stamp or sticker to put over a bunch of them.  I traced around them with colored pencil (and then cleaned up some of the lines on the stamp after using it on this card).

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I was inspired to make this stamp by these adorable house stamps made by another blogger but I can’t, for the life of me, find the post.  I hate it when that happens!  They were much more detailed than this one and she had a whole collection of different styles of houses that she put together, in one piece, in all different colors (if this blogger is you, please comment and let me know so I can add the link).

Anyway, I’m sending the loaner shorts back with a couple extra pairs for other kids who may be caught in a similar situation.  It’s my boy’s first year at this new school and so far we’re loving it.  I couldn’t believe it when he said it was the principal who cleaned him up (rather than the school nurse or an aide) but it’s great to see people all pitching in- above and beyond.

Card challenge

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I made another card for a couple challenges.  The themes for each of them, respectively, were “Music” and your “All-Star stamp”.  I’m making the card for a couple of my boy’s friends (siblings) who are performing in “The King and I” in a couple weeks.  He’s going to their dress rehearsal tomorrow, so I thought it would be nice for him to bring a little card for them.  It was also the perfect occasion to use my new film strip punch by “ek”.  I’ve never gotten one before because they’re so expensive, but I needed something to do with my last 40% off coupon at Michael’s (it would have been a crime to just waste it, right?)  I love it because it has a guide that you can line up the already punched portion to keep the pattern going in as long a line as you want.

Here are the challenges I’m entering:

http://addictedtocas.blogspot.com/2013/08/atcas-challenge-21.html – This one is one of my favorite new challenges.  I’ve struggled with the “Clean and Simple” style but it forces me to be really mindful.  I especially liked this week’s theme, “Music”, and it was perfect for the purpose of the card.  I used one of the Design Team’s ideas of putting sheet music behind a die cut shape.  I can’t find the link to her post about the inspiration card, but here’s her blog: http://florenceandfreddiepart2.wordpress.com/.  I really love her style.  My first iteration of this card included a couple stickers on the front with a movie theme.  I love the stickers, but the style didn’t really match and it took away from the CAS style (see, I’m learning).  Luckily, I was able to peel them off and put them on the inside, instead.  Without the stickers, I was left with a blank space next to the writing, so I cut out a little star out of a piece of the music and pasted it on.

http://www.simonsaysstampblog.com/mondaychallenge/challenge-stamping-all-stars/ – Another favorite challenge, and their design team usually goes in the totally opposite direction from CAS.  But I love them!!  They’re all about the layers and the dimension and they’re not all cards.  One of the submissions is a bunch of multi-colored tea bags stapled to the back side of a wooden frame with chipping aged wood behind it.  On the side of the frame, she stamped one of my favorite quotes from Marianne Williamson “We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?’  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.”  Here’s the link to her piece: http://snappingmonsters.blogspot.com/2013/09/my-other-creations-artsy-tea.html  I think it’s absolutely amazing.  It didn’t inspire this card, but it definitely inspired me (and I Pinned it for later.)

The theme for this challenge is “My Stamping All-Star”.  That would totally be my typewriter letter stamps from “Recollections”.  I use them all the time, and I’ve gotten better at them.  I’ve learned how to use a ruler to line them up if I want a straight line and I’ve learned that if I want the edges not to show I have to either wipe off the extra ink with a damp towel or stamp really carefully on a really hard surface.  I didn’t do either of those things this time, but I like the way it turned out.  I used a Craftsmart’s Brick Red ink pad for a little dash of color.

Here are the materials I used (my new paper punch and my “all-star” stamp (collection):

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And my boy’s sweet message on the inside:

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Have cornhole, will travel

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Okay, okay.  Before I start getting comments about the shocking nature of the title of this post, a “cornhole” is a beanbag toss.  Pure and simple.  I don’t know where it got that name.  (Maybe they used to use dried corn kernels to make the bean bags, but then they’d probably be called “corn bags”, wouldn’t they?)  Anyway, this cornhole set was build by my father-in-law for our Jill and Jill party.  It’s been making the rounds at various parties and family functions every since.  It was even used as a ruse to get my parents to their 50th Anniversary party (we have to use my dad’s truck to transport them).

The first photo was their original incarnation.  The theme of the party was the “Toes” song by the Zac Brown Band.  We even had PBR on tap.  It came from a couple days after we had first met.  My wife went to Country Fest and sent me a video of that song from the show.  It was one of the only country songs I even knew at the time.  In fact, in the on-line profile at the dating site where I met her, for musical tastes I wrote “anything but country”.  She loves country.  (I’ve actually recently been to my first Country Fest- and I survived it.)

(This cake has nothing to do with the cornhole theme of the post, but I had to share it.  It’s a cake that one of our bridesmaids had made for the Jill and Jill.)

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So, after the Jill and Jill the cornhole set sat in the basement for a while until I realized that it was such great entertainment for any party.  We dragged it out for our boy’s 8th birthday and I painted them sky blue.  I was going to put more a design on them, either an 8 or something Skylanders (the theme of the party) but I ran out of time.  (That’s probably okay, though, because he was much more interested in the bounce house we rented).

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Some friends have borrowed it on occasion, and we just used it again today for our church block party.  I spray painted the initials of the church on it:  “Trinity United Methodist Church“.  (As I was trying to mask the “M” with painters’ tape, I found myself wishing I was still a member of the United Church of Christ.)  I went with the sloppy look because the sign advertising the party has those block letters with the spray paint spilling over, too.  Image

Here’s the final version of their latest incarnation:

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And some good ol’ cornhole fun at the block party, with my wife, the referee:

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I ended up with a wicked sunburn, but had a great time.  Our boy got totally decked out in his balloon armor and I spent the rest of the afternoon holding everything so it wouldn’t pop while he played.

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I wonder how I’ll paint them next???

Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV

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When I saw this photo challenge theme, An Unusual Point of View, I immediately thought of a photo I took atop the Yokahu Observation Tower in El Yunque National Rain Forest in Puerto Rico.  I actually took the picture with my iPhone, because I wanted to send it to my dad.  It just tickled me to see this binocular thing in the midst of one of the most breathtaking views I’ve ever seen.  I guess it’s for people who have a hard time seeing the forest for the trees.

I love the theme for this challenge as I’m really into the unique point of view.  I think it can say a lot about someone’s creativity and willingness to “think outside the box”.  There are a ton of awesome photos at the blog this week with this theme:  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/unusual/

Here’s another photo I took that day that goes with the theme.  It’s from the ground looking up at the tower.  I just love the blue and white of the sky behind the aged, rust colored stone.

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I’m not a big photo blogger, but I love taking pictures.  Touring the rainforest was a truly amazing adventure and going through the photos brings it all back to me!