PagesPat's Ponderings

Monday, August 29, 2011

Who's Ready for School to Get Back in Session?

Almost every mom I've talked to has said that they are good and ready for school to start back up. I'm still sitting on the fence. On one hand I work in a school, a Catholic school, in the office formerly known as CCD. We offer religion classes for public school kids. Our classes start late in September, thank goodness, since we still need a few more men and women to volunteer to teach. So there's a LOT of work that i still need to do to get ready for another year.
On the other hand, I work one night a week, so having a morning off in the middle of the week is very handy for dr. appointments, errands, chores, family visiting, or just plain sleeping in! And my teen-aged daughter is ready to get back to her friends she hasn't seen all summer, too.
So I decided, with expert timing, that my newest card would reflect that cusp on which we all teeter, just this side of another school year. And the Squigglefly Challenge Blog has a new challenge which asks players to use chalk (any kind), pencil, ball point pen, highlighter or crayons on your project or use a school
themed image or sentiment on their projects. Mine of course is school-themed and uses the Squigglefly Digi image "Bit of a Witch" by artist Cheryl Alger to point out my daughter's unique sense of style while laying out her week's outfits (yes, I said week!). She is such a fun-loving happy witch ( my image) that I thought I could use her in a non-Halloween themed card, and I think it turned out well. I colored her with my trusty Copics, and added shine with Stickles and Liquid Glass. I also put teeny tiny google eyes on the frog in my witch's hand. Harry Potter, watch out! A fun handwritten school supply list, a couple apple and pencil stickers and some leftover scraps of patterned paper complete my card, along with the handwritten sentiment "Are you ready for school?"
Remember to check out these guidelines when playing in the Squigglefly Challenges:
1) If you up-load your creation to any on-line photo galleries, please use SFC111 for your keywords when loading your creation photo there. 1b) please leave a comment on the challenge blog post so that someone from Squigglefly can validate your entry for the prize. 2) You don't *have* to include a Squigglefly image on your creation, but in order to qualify for the prize you will need to use one! You can also combine SF images with non-SF images to qualify! Don't have one? There are several FREEBIES you can grab!
3) You have one week to complete the challenge and it will close Sunday evening. The winner will be announced at the same time the new challenge post comes be sure to check back EVERY Monday to see if you are a winner!
4) Please add a DIRECT link to your creation in the collection InLinkz below so we can find it! (new creations only and no back-linking please!) If you have two entries, then just start another collection link to enter again.
So to all parents whose wee ones (and not so wee) are skipping off to school this week, enjoy the quiet!  And have fun with this new challenge!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Back to School Shopping Done

New School Year Pencil Case
And now for Teacher's Gifts!!  Here's what I came up with using Hambo Stamps Pencil digi image and their newest challenge at the Hoedown!
I colored my Pencil images with Copics: Y11,17; E71; R05 & N3.  I glitzed them up with Sakura Gelly Rollers in Clear Star and White.
I used Microsoft Word to print the sentiment "Have a Great Year!" and used my Epic Six to cut out the Scalloped Ovals using QuicKutz Nestabilities. 
Adding a couple Me & My Big Ideas stickers and a few binder clips finshed off the case, which I made out of leftover cardstock in primary colors Red, Blue & Yellow. 
The design is from Stampin Up, originally made for holding a chocolate bar!
The Hambo Hoedown challenge calls for PRIMARY COLORS (red, blue, yellow) and PENCIL digi-image in a school-themed creation.  If you don't have the Pencil image, you can click HERE for freebies from Hambo Stamps to use on your challenge.  Every player who follows the challenge guidelines gets a free digi image each week they play!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Janie!

I met Janie in college.  The first weeks of our relationship were bumpy.  I thought she was crazy and she thought I was a domestic slave.  When our first impressions wore off, we started a friendhsip that would last through the years, through out of state moves, births of children, marriages, deaths of parents and silly arguments.

Her birthday is this month, and although it's a little early for giving calendars, I made this event calendar for her present.  She is such a busy person, I figured she could always start it with this month instead of waiting until the start of the year, as it is an Event Calendar from CTMH, with no specific year intended.

I covered the front cover with a vintage-themed collage.  She loves vintage!  Everything on it is from my stash--bits of leftover patterned paper, charms, flowers, etc.  My motto of "never throw anything out" has created a monster, so I must use, use, use it up before I buy, buy, buy more stuff!

The rest of the calendar pages have small 3.5" squares at the tops for decorating, so I thought it the perfect venue for ATCs.  I used one for every month, keeping in mind it was an EVENT calendar, not a normal one.  So the ATCs didn't necessarily cover the standard holiday theme for each month.

For instance, January's picture offers a colored image of Bella on a mountain of chocolate (because chocolate is a good way to start off a new year, right?)  And April offers Bella and a girlfriend sitting on a park bench (cause Janie's my BFF and April is my birthday month).  You get the idea!

This project was easy in that I had collected lots of ATCs over the years through swaps and PIFs and such.  Now to look for the right card from my stash!!  I love shopping in my craft room, don't you?!  I'm going to give this to her when we go out to Red Lobster for her birthday dinner.  She loves my handmade gifts, and has kept every card, sketch and altered art piece I ever gave her.  Now that's true friendship!!

Happiest of birthdays, dear friend!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Challenging Month

This month has been such an eye opener to me!  In just three short weeks I have taken huge leaps out of my "box" and tried new techniques and made new (to me) projects.  I used Popcorn the Bear stamps from Crafter's Companion and heat embossed a pillar candle for a Thank You gift and I love how it turned out and now have great gift ideas for Christmas this year!

Envelobox Front
 I made my granddaughter a T-Shirt using transfer paper and a Squigglefly digi image and painted Puffy paints over my Copic coloring.  She loves it and wants, "More, Gamma"!
My newest "new" creation was made using the Enveloper from Crafter's Companion, along with the Ultimate Tool.  I made my first "envelobox", which will fit several flat Thank you cards to give as a gift, OR I may just get chunky and make one FAT Thank You card in my box.
I have also rediscovered why I love Tri-fold shutter cards.  Their presentation is so very pretty, and they are such a breeze to make with the Ultimate Tool
I also took a stab at some step-fold cards, and entered a few challenges with them.

Envelobox Back
 My next foray "into the unknown" may just involve my least-loved medium---paint!  I know that there are scads of tutorials out there and now I'm itching to try my hand at some altered art, Picasso-style!  Then there are K Cards, whatever they are, and some pop-ups and swing cards.  My "bucket list" of new crafts is overflowing this month!  Now all I have to do is swear off sleep and lock myself in my craft room for all the time I need to try things out!  I wonder if my family would miss me?

p.s. I often start posts before I finish the projects I am writing about.  So, I have since made the decision to go with a nice FAT, CHUNKY card to pop into this beautiful Envelobox.  I am so proud to say that the box and card were made from leftover papers from my stash.  I am on a 12 step program for paperholics and doing very nicely, thank you very much. 
The flowers were scooped up in a sting operation at Michael's, where my mission was to find flowers at a reasonable if not ridiculous price, which I did.  And I got beautiful glass jars with wood lids that the flowers  came in.  One was as low as $1.25!!

Thank You Card using Faith Stamp Set
 The stamped image of the bird on the branch is from Crafter's Companion.  It's from the Sheena Douglas "A Little Bit Sketchy" collection and is called FAITH.  You can get it HERE if you like.  I find so many ways to use it!
I colored my bird with Copics: E15,35,71; BG05 & B12, and the Zig Brushable Butter.  I used a bit of cream y lace, some tiny adhesive gems, and a bit of Stickles on the branches.
Because the roses were so chunbky, I built up my image and sentiment in layers: there are three layers for the sentiment, and two layers for the image.
Another nice thing about using the Crafter's Companion Ultimate Tool with Enveloper is the tutorial DVD that comes with it.  I really needed it this first time making the envelobox for my chunky card.  And the scrap pieces of paper went well on my card, inside and out!!
Crafter's Companion Challenge Blog has a Thank You theme for their August challenge.  If you want to play along for a chance to win some prizes, click HERE.  Have fun, and step out of your box often.  You won't believe the sweet things that you may find!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How Do You Score?

Not in sports, because you've got me beat there!  I mean, how do you score your paper crafts?  I have a ScorPal and a Crafter's Companion Ultimate Tool, and I find uses for both, although I'm leaning more and more on my Ultimate Tool lately.
I used it tonight, in between serving a bazillion people at my Cafe in Cafe World on FAcebook--what an addicting game!
Anyway, Hambo Challenge Blog is asking for projects that have been scored as this week's challenge.  I wanted more than a straight line pattern to my card, so I pulled out my Ultimate Tool and scored some pretty borders on the face of my card, using Color Core-dinations cardstock.  Then I sanded the score lines for a distressed look. 
I colored Hambo Stamps "Octopus" (after snagging it on clearance, woohoo) with Copics, then cut it out with my Epic Six using QuicKutz Nestibilities Scallop Ovals in two sizes so I could frame my image.  I handwrote the sentiment, and added some Skittles and a flower.  I put this card front onto a piece of lilac cardstock and distressed the edges with ink to finish it off.
you can use ANY Hambo image and play along! Just follow the Challenge and you will be in the loop for next week's FREE digi! Don't have any Hambo images? CLICK HERE for FREEBIES!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Squigglefly Challenge Really Pushed Me...

...out of my comfort zone and into a whole new world of stamping.  And my granddaughter loves it!
This cute little critter, from Squigglefly called Daisy Bear digi image, is a great image for cards and, as I found out today, for kids' Tshirts, too!  As this was my first attempt at "stamping" on clothing, there are a couple boo boo's, but Bella, my model here, sees past them.
I printed my image in a 5x7 size to fit the 4T cami that I planned to decorate.  I wanted to give Squigglefly a shout out, so I went to and added their name under the image.  That was the root of my first mistake.  When I used the copier at work to copy it onto a sheet of T Shirt transfer paper, I forgot that I had put words with the image, so I didn't "mirror image" copy it.  If you look really closely, the name backwards!!! LOL
Another mistake I made was to copy the image onto the transfer paper AFTER coloring it with Copics.  Granted, I would have had to color copy it, but it sure would have saved me some time and grief!
One last mistake---I used OLD transfer paper, and the image didn't transfer onto the shirt 100%.  I tried to "fill in" the lines with a fine-tipped Sharpie, but I wouldn't advise using one.
Well, those were the bad things that happened while trying out a (new to me) technique. Now for the good news.  My granddaughter absolutely LOVES the shirt!  And that, dear reader, is why I am posting a "less-than-perfect" project.  Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, or rather the eyes of the wearer, and to Bella, my project, made especially for her, is beautiful, faults and all.
The challenge this week at Squigglefly Challenge Blog is to use media that excites your sense of touch.  I used puffy paints and Liquid Glass for that effect, and it must work, as Bella keeps rubbing her hands over the front of her shirt!! 
Here's another project, a card using Squigglefly's Content Kitty digi image.  The card base is made from handmade paper, and the photo just doesn't show off the raw texture of it.  I colored Kitty with Copics and used Flower Soft and Liquid Glass for a little feline texture as well. I also placed adhesive-backed ribbon to frame the front window of the card, as well as fiber along the spine and  some hand-cut vellum leaves.  It really is a sensory-laden card!
You are invited to jump in the challenge at any time this week.  You don't have to use a Squigglefly image, but if you do you'll be eligible for prizes.  If you don't have any, try some of these FREEBIES out.  Just have fun!

Close up of Content Kitty image

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Masking Technique

Today I can cross off another technique that I have never tried before: Masking!
I know, I know, you ask why I haven't done it before, because it is simple enough.  But I had no design in mind that would utilize the technique.
Then my son received a card in the mail from a crafting friend.  She had used this technique and her card was simple and beautiful.  By the way, Melissa, my son thanks you for thinking of him during his recuperation.  He is doing very well!
Anyway, I scraplifted her "sketch" and using the same technique, came up with a set of Thank You cards that my daughter had asked me to make so she could send to family after her birthday.  (I love the fact that I didn't have to nag her to send them)

Bella's Bedroom Wall
 I pulled a couple of cling buterflies off my craft room wall for a mask.  When my 4 yr old Bella stays the night, she gets to paste on a sheet of cling butterflies that I purchase from the local Dollar Store before going to bed.  (That's right, you made the correct connection.  I share my craft room with my granddaughter)
So, the card base is plain old white card stock, and the masked layer is various leftover pieces of cream-colored cardstock.  I applied the two smaller clings to the left side of my card and distressed that side with tim Holtz Distress Ink in Vintage Photo.  After peeling off the clings, I stamped a tiny butterfly on SU Kaleidescope Ink pad in Wild Berry over the inked area.  The sentiment is from my very first set of SU stamps, bought before the "turn of the century". (wow, that sounds like I'm old...wait, I AM old!")  LOL
The inside is left blank for my daughter to write in her personal message to all who gave her gifts for her sweet 16th birthday.
So now you've seen the uncrafting part of my craft room and learned that I am behind the times when it comes to techniques.   No worries, I am quickly catching up.  There are so many blogs with inspiration projects, videos with tutorials, and new products coming out every day that I MUST keep changing and learning or else I may just get left behind, stuck in a tar pit like...well, I'm not THAT OLD!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hambo Hoedown #28

Hedgehog digi-image
 Did you take advantage of Hambo's sale on retiring stamps and images?  I did--I love their images, they're just so darn cute!  I made a card for the Hambo Challenge Blog using Hedgehog digi-image and their challenge sketch.
I colored two images using Copics: C1,3; BG10; RV00,34;Y17; YR04 & RV34.  I glitzed his shaggy mane with yelloe, Orange and Magenta Sticklesw, and buffed up his nose with CTMH Liquid Glass. I used dimensional dots between the two image layers.  He's holding a handmade flower that my friend Anna made (thanks, hon) and I found the perfect quote to go with his pose--don't you think?
I took a little poetic license with the sketch, but it still follows the basic theme and shape of it.  I don't usually follow a sketch for my cards or layouts.  I just find a central focus of my project, work on the colors and patterns, and let my muse take me where I want to go (sometimes it veers off, though).
So what are you waiting for.  Every player who follows the rules of the challenge gets a free digi, and one random winner gets a prize!  Check out the Hoedown now!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Little Fairy Gratitude Goes a Long Way

I went to sleep last night with a Tim Holtz Distressing Technique Book in my hands.  I snagged it at a garage sale last weekend for a buck and boy, am I glad I got it!  I don't normally do the big "distressing, collage, more is better" kind of style, but...

closed card
 I woke up with this idea for a card.  I used to make a lot of trifold shutter cards, but hadn't lately, so that was the base for my "experiment".  I knew I wanted to use one of my Fairy stamps from Crafter's Companion.  AND I wanted to try out my new Crafter's Companion Ultimate Tool for all that scoring and folding and cutting involved.  With all those ideas in mind, I begin to build, and I mean BUILD, my card into what you see here.  The scoring, cutting and folding was a BREEZE using my Ultimate Tool.  If you don't have one, you can use a ScorPal, but it is so much easier to have everything at your fingertips! After selecting patterned papers from my leftover stash, which I promised myself I would cut in half by end of year, I ransacked my desk, my cubbies, my drawers, my tins--anywhere I could remember putting small embellie leftovers.
I colored my Fairy, which is from the Fairyopolis Fall Collection, (coordinating colors with my papers), using COpics: E00,08,35; Y15; YR07,61; YG03; G94 & RV00.  I also used Apricot and Butter Zig brushables. 

I used Stickles on her wings and dots of Liquid Glass on the fruit on the branches and in her hand to make my fairy shimmer.  I also added a mix of colors of Flower Soft to the "vegetation" in her hair (see close-up).

I had found some lace at our church's rummage sale this summer, and got quite a haul of different colors and designs for my money.  I distressed the cream colored lace with Brown ink and attached it to the front panel of my card, then adhered my fairy image onto it with dimensional dots.  I also had to use adhesive Dots so that the image would stick and stay stuck to the lace!

Okay, using the ideas mighty Tim gave me in his book, I started adding (and taking away) tiny embellishments--jewels, buttons, bows, leaves, fibers, clips, etc--onto the many faces of my card.  I even stamed a few sparkly stars here and there, then added Gold Pearl Ex for a subtle glow.

I printed the sentiment "Thank you fairy much" on my computer, adhered it, and then took a deep breath and stepped back.  I don't think it's too awful for my first attempt at "throwing everything but the kitchen sink onto a card" technique.  I actually kind of like it!!  It's a nice way to usher in Autumn, although I'm probably a little too early (but hopeful for some cooler weather).

I like this card because it is a Thank you card and I'm always in need of them, the design lets me stand it up for a 3 dimensional display, and Crafter's Companion Challenge Blog has a new challenge for August, and I will be entering this in their new challenge.  The challenge runs through the end of the month, and everyone is welcome to come and play in it!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thank You Never Looked So Good

I learned a new (to me) technique today!! I stamped and colored my Crafter's Companion Popcorn the Bear images, and then heat sealed them onto a pillar candle!! I love the look of it and will remember how easy it is around Christmas time!!

Meanwhile, Crafter's Companion Challenge Blog has a new challenge for August, practically a free-for-all! it only asks that you use one of their images, and use a thank you theme on your project! The hardest part of the challenge was choosing which stamp set to use on my project! LOL I decided on Popcorn the Bear "Thanks a Bunch" stamp set, and stamped popcorn, the sentiment and a couple flowers onto lightly colored mulberry paper, then used Copics: E00,35; G00; BG15,72; YG03; Y17; YR61 & RV13 to color them all. Following an excellent tutorial on SCS, I heat embossed the images onto a white pillar candle I picked up at WalMart for $2. I love the way the candle is smooth and doesn't show that I put extra layers onto it.
WARNING: Learn from my mistake!! Make sure the candle is RIGHT SIDE UP!!! I finished off my candle and then discovered I had stamped my candle upside down! Boohoo!! But the girl scout in me came to my rescue, and I used a knife to pull the wick through the bottom of the candle, thereby saving the day, my project and my pride!!

You have all month to play in the Crafter's Companion Challenge Blog, so have fun!!

I am doubly happy to add my project to CRAFT YOUR PASSION challenge blog, as this week's challenge is sponsored than one of my fave companies, Crafter's Companion, so my project is so very appropriate, although I will mention you don't have to use a sponsor's product to join in their challenges!

Play TicTacToe at the Hambo Hoedown

I mae a card using the new Hambo Stamps digi-image "Indian girl" and am playing in the Hambo Hoedown Challenge #27:  I Chose my embellishments from their TicTacToe Board and made a card with ribbon, eyelets and punches. 
The Hambo CHallenge Blog has this to say about this week's challenge:  Not only will players receive a free digi image, but----
“Each of the first four weeks in August we will be choosing one participant to be a Guest Designer for one week of our September Hoedown Challenges! Hoedown Guest Designers would receive their image early and have their card showcased at the Hoedown”
My card is a step fold card.  i printed, colored and pieced my digi image and placed it on the front face of my card.  I used Copics E00 & YR61 for the skin color, and 100, C1&3 for her hair. Her outfit and mocassins are paper pieced.  I attached a feather onto her headband for a little texture.
I used my Crop-a-Dile to place eyelets on my linen cloth ribbon, and punched the corners of my patterned papers.  I also punched some random swirls that i attached to the front of my card.  I added a handmade flower (thanks Anna), some cloud and sun stickers/diecuts, and glitzed the sun.
the sentiment reads:  "Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain"  I thought it a perfect sentiment, as my little Indian girl seems to be dancing her own little rain dance.
I hope you like my card, and I hope you have time to play at the hoedown this week!

Monday, August 1, 2011

If Pigs Can Fly...

The challenge for this week's Squigglefly Challenge Blog is to use a Squigglefly image and add a handwritten sentiment, doodle or something hand-drawn to your project.  I chose to make an altered notebook for my dreams.  Some people call it a wish list, others a bucket list.  Regardless of its title, it's the things you want to do either before you die or when you have money to burn and the time to spend it!
I am a list maker.  I love to make funky, unique notebooks for my lists.  So when I saw this cutest of cute digi-images from Squigglefly called Wanda, I knew I had to use her on one of my notebooks!
I took her sentiment, which allows her to believe that pigs can fly (after imbibing of the delicious local sangria), and decided it would go well as a cover for a notebook to list out all my secret wishes, heart's desires and pipe dreams. 
Here is where I will put my fabulous two-month long trip to Europe; my Cadilac Escalade; my winter home in Cozumel.  Here is where reality and imagination merge into a world of possibilities, if only on paper. And if I get lucky, maybe I can cross an item or two off my list in the future!
Meanwhile, I printed two copies of this fabulous image to color with Copics: B12,97; YG03,05,23; R29; Y17; V000; RV00 & BV00, and adhered them together for a tiny bit of dimension.  I used papers from my stash, as well as a bit of ribbon, some jewels and some flowers.  I used Stickles and Liquid Glass to polish her up, and expanded on her stamped wings by cutting some petals off a Prima flower and embellishing with Stickles.

The cover of my altered notebook reads: "If pigs can fly,
why can't I..."

The inside cover continues with "Why can't I... Ask for the moon, Deam a little dream, Have my cake and eat it too, Wish upon a star, Chase my dreams, Reach for the stars..."

Why don't you join in the fun this week at Squigglefly Challenge Blog.  If you don't have one of their images, you can shop HERE or pick up a FREEBIE to work with.  And if you have a bucket list somewhere with the wish to "play in a blog challenge," then here's one you can cross off this week!!