Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Digital Tuesday Challenge #13

This week the Digital Tuesday Challenge is 'Summertime'. Simply create something using your digital images that has to do with Summertime. Well, I don't know where you live, but where I live it does not feel anything like summertime. Its been cold, and cloudy for several days now, and the temps barely make it into the 70's. I'm chilled as I write this post! Anyway, onto my card. This week's sponsor is Dustin Pike. He is giving away three digital images to one randomly chosen winner. I found this cute image on his blog http://dustinpike.blogspot.com/ for FREE! Every Wednesday Dustin gives away a new free image. Isn't he generous!
To make my card, I colored it with Copic Markers. The designer papers are all DCWV 'The Summer Stack'. The sentiment is computer generated. The card stock colors are White, Tempting Turquoise, and Only Orange. Both the main image panel and the orange designer paper panel are mounted up on dimensionals. Pacific Point ribbon was added for embellishment.
If you'd like to play along with us, simply click on the Digital Tuesday Blinkie in my sidebar and it will take you to the challenge instructions.
Have a great day! Stay warm! Amy

Monday, June 29, 2009


Well today's post is very different from the creations I usually post, so if your looking for a card, you will have to wait for tomorrow. My blog is about anything of creative interest to me, and right now a lot of my creative interest is sewing. One of the latest fads going on is Handmade Purses. People come in by the droves at work to buy fabric to make purses, and the ones that don't want to or can't make them themselves, buy from those who can. I made five purses to sell at my local consignment store. I chose the fabrics that everyone else seems to be buying. Obviously hot, bright floral patterns are in!

The first close up is my favorite. I love the orange and lime green and and pattern is so fun. It has a ribbon bow on the top.

This lime green one is the largest purse of them all and has a magnetic snap inside.

All the purses except this one are made with sturdy home dec fabric. This purse is just made with a quilter's cotton, but it has a lining and heavy interfacing.

I made one purse that wasn't so bright in case someone wasn't into the new colorful patterns. This one closes with a zipper.

And finally another one of my favorites. I just love this fabric and purse style.
All the purses were made using different patterns. Most of them were 'Sew Easy' patterns, but in all honesty, I didn't think they were that easy to make. I am still working on three more: one has a wooden handle and fabric flowers on it, one is denim, and the last one is a backpack. But it will probably be another month before I finish those and can post them. I also want to make one for me to carry around as free advertising. I just mentioned to a friend of mine the other day that I was making them, and she immediately wanted to buy one without even seeing them. Hopefully they'll sell at the store!
Have a good day! Amy

Friday, June 26, 2009

Weiman Wranglers

On Lauren Meader's Blog I read the touching story of a little boy named Ethan. You can read about it here: http://laurenm.blogs.splitcoaststampers.com/2009/06/22/introducing-the-weiman-wranglers-and-a-contest-of-sorts/ In honor of this sweet little boy, Pink Cat Studios created a digital image. All proceeds will go to the Make A Wish Foundation, in Ethan's Honor. Well, I love digital images as most of you already know, and I really loved this image, but when I heard ALL the proceeds were going to charity, I was on board! This image is so cute, and it also comes with two sentiments and a cowgirl.
To make my card I first colored the image with Copic Markers. The card stock colors are Real Red, White, Brocade Blue, and River Rock. I embossed the River Rock panel with the "Paisley" Cuttlebug Embossing Folder. The lower panel is stamped with the retired Stampin Up! Background stamp 'Denim' in Brillant Blue Ink. Twine and Brads were added for embellishment.
If you'd like this adorable digital image, and would also like to help a worthy cause, I highly encourage you to visit either Lauren's Blog or Pink Cat Studios and check it out! God Bless! Amy

Featured Stamper Masculine Card

Here is a card I made for this week's Featured Stamper Challenge on Splitcoaststampers. This week's Featured Stamper is Christy, and you can see her card here: http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/gallery/photo/1192870
I kept the same layout, but changed the papers and eliminated the stars and added twine and a tag instead.
The stamp set is retired Stampin Up! 'Bronc Buster'. The image is stamped in the new In-Color 'Soft Suede'. The papers are Soft Suede, White, Close to Cocoa, and 'Parisian Breeze' Designer Papers. The Tag is Cuttlebug Die Cut.
Have a great day! Amy

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Foxgloves are in Bloom!

Well even though I did get some cards made yesterday, I really can't show them to you yet, so: More Garden Pics! I also worked on my purses yesterday, and was completely finished with my last one and was so proud and happy with myself, only to discover that I had sewn the handle wrong. Oh My Goodness, did my heart sink! How could I have made such a stupid mistake and not even notice it until I was done with the entire purse! So I had to rip the entire purse apart and start over. UGH! Hopefully I'll be able to fix my mistake today and show you the purses tomorrow. They really are quite cute.

Today's featured plant is the Foxglove. Foxgloves are Biennials: they only bloom every other year. The first year you only get green growth. The second year they bloom into these beautiful tall spires. After they bloom, they die. If you want Foxgloves blooming every year, you have to have both first and second year plants. Its always a surprise to me how many Foxgloves I will have blooming in my garden that year. This year, I have a ton, and they are Gorgeous! They are such a easy plant to grow if they like where you put them. Mine love my Southeast garden. They get just the right amount of sun/shade that they like, and they appear to have naturalized there all by themselves....and I let them. Why not? They look beautiful! I never cut them down after they are blooming. They must go to seed if you want them to naturalize and start new plants. I check if they have went to seed by shaking their stems. If I hear a lot of rattling, I know they are reading and then I just shake the plant and out spill all the seeds. Sometimes I'll just cut the stem and carry it to another part of my garden and sprinkle the seeds where I hope new baby Foxgloves will grow. That's all you have to do: sprinkle. No digging little holes, or raking the soil....just sprinkle. Isn't that easy?

Here is both a far away shot of my garden showing all the Foxglove in bloom, and a close-up of the purple Foxglove.

Here is a close up of a white Foxglove. They do come in other colors: yellow, pink, etc., but for some reason, its only the purple and white that have naturalized in my garden.

I hope you have enjoyed learning all about the Foxglove plant today! God Bless! Amy

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Late Spring Garden: 'Clematis and Dames Rocket'

Good Morning Everyone! I am home after a FABULOUS three days ALONE with my husband. We had such a good time together: Just the TWO of us. My daughter is in Malibu, and my son was at music camp, so we were alone for the first time in twenty two years. We ate out a lot, went to the movies, and just had so much fun being together. We both laughed and joked a lot about the 'empty nest syndrome'. We said 'Whats the problem? This is great!'. Anyway, because I was away most of the weekend, I was unable to work on anything. I never did sew my dress. I just didn't have the time. So I bought one off the rack instead. But I did cut it all out, and would like to finish it before the middle of July when I'll need another sun dress for a festival were attending, so hopefully I'll be able to show it to you soon. So, because I have no new projects to share, I will be showing more garden pictures instead.

Today's Featured Flowers are Clematis and Dame's Rocket. Clematis are vines. There are many different colors, and styles of flowers, and different bloom times. The two I'm showing today are early spring bloomers. I also have some Clematis that are mid-summer bloomers. This first picture is of a White Clematis that grows right up on a trellis and onto the railing of my front porch. It is a real show-stopper and is such a beautiful flower to greet all my guests! The second picture is a close up of this beauty.

The close up of the purple Clematis is on my back porch. It grows right up the post. I have 4 porches on my house...so there are plenty of posts and railings to grow beautiful vines. I love Clematis because it is such a low-maintenance plant. I've never had any trouble with them, and they never grow out-of-control like most vine plants do. I have a Trumpet Vine, that although it is very beautiful, it is also such a pain because of its vigorous growth. I need to take a machete and hack away at it several times throughout the growing season--its nuts! And then its constantly sending up suckers in my lawn and garden. I wish I never would have planted that one, but I fear I'm now stuck with it forever! I have a grape vine that also does the same thing. So watch what vines you plant....they tend to get carried away...especially IVY! Stick to a Clematis, and you will never regret it!

Here is a farther away picture of my purple Clematis. And below is a close up of a ring of Hostas around a maple tree.

My second featured flower is Dame's Rocket. You will find Dame's Rocket growing along the roadside in early spring. I love the beautiful blooms and sweet scent, so I plant it in my garden. Dame's Rocket plants are Biennials: the only live two years, and bloom only once during that time. So you have to let the plants go to seed if you want to see more of them next year. I know its unsightly to leave the spikes up after the flowers fade, but there is no other way.

These flowers don't mind shade at all, so I planted them in my wood-line garden along my fence. The purple really pops against the white pickets.

And finally, here is a far away shot of my Late Spring Garden. These pictures were actually taken several week's ago, and so much has changed already. It is now summer already. I can't believe how fast the warm months go...and then the winter months just DRAG! UGH!

Have a great day! Amy

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Digital Tuesday Challenge #12 'Use Your Scraps'

The Digital Tuesday Challenge this week is to 'Use Your Scraps!' Make a card or project using Digital Images and Scraps of Papers.....no cutting into those brand new sheets of papers for this challenge! This week's sponsor is Squigglefly and they are giving away three digital images to one randomly chosen winner.

For my card, I used this touching image from Squigglefly called 'I Love You Daddy'. You can find all the Squigglefly images here: http://www.squigglefly.com/ I used my Cuttlebug Dies to create a quilted background. The designer paper squares are all from Stampin Up! Parisian Breeze. The Card Stock Colors are Chocolate Chip, White, and Brocade Blue. The image is colored with Copic Markers.

Here is a side view and a close up of the coloring.

If you'd like to play along this week, simply click on the Digital Tuesday Challenge Blog Blinkie in my side bar and it will take you there.

Have a great day!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happily Ever After!

First of all, I want to thank everyone for your wonderful, supportive comments about my work situation. You've all made me feel so much better! Thank you for taking the time to encourage me. I did work all day yesterday and managed to get through the day without one angry customer. Although, I did have one customer who was shopping FOR his wife, and seemed angry about having being made to do that. He was so frustrated and embarrassed to be in a 'woman's store'. He didn't know what anything was or where to find it. It was actually kinda funny. The men who visit our store always seem to be out of their comfort range. I always try to put them at ease and tell them that lots of men visit our store or I make jokes and we all laugh. We actually get a lot of men in our store wanting to purchase outdoor materials like canvas or burlap, or vinyl for their snow mobiles/motorcycles/ATV's. They always give me measurements in inches or feet too! Then I have to try to convert it to yards. I'm terrible with math, so trust me, its a challenge for me. LOL! One funny thing that happened yesterday is two men came in wanting to purchase canvas for a camper. After I cut their material they asked where the magnets were. I said they are on the back wall next to the doilies. Then he laughed and said 'Well, were off to go look at the doilies' in a joking, feminine voice, and then I burst out laughing too. Oh, its good to have some fun, light moments with customers once in a while!

Anyway, onto my card. Both of my cards today are old Featured Stamper Challenges on Splitcoaststampers. The first one was made for FS122: Kisa was the Featured Stamper that week. You can see her original card here: http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/gallery/photo/787076?cat=500+ppuser=39076 I really didn't change much. I used the same stamp set, layout, and colors, but I changed the paper, ribbon, and eliminated the balloon. The stamp set is from Stampendous, the designer paper is Basic Grey, and the Card stock colors are Whit, Pretty in Pink, and Regal Rose. The heart is a Cuttlebug Die and the image is colored with Copic Markers.

My next card was made for FS123. You can see the original card here: http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/gallery/photo/1277967?cat=500+ppuser=90220 For this card I used the same stamp set and layout but changed just about everything else. The designer paper is DCWV 'Nursery Stack, Baby Girl'. The stamp set is Stampin Up! 'Forest Friends'. The bunny is mounted up on dimensionals. The sentiment is computer generated.
Well I hope you all have a good Father's Day. Since both our children are away from home at various summer camps/programs, the hubby and I are going out to go out to eat and to see a movie. I also hope to have some time today and tomorrow to make a sun dress. The weather is suppose to be hot and humid yet I have to dress up to see my son's Honor's Orchestra Concert. I thought a pretty sundress would be perfect for the occasion so I bought some material yesterday. Hopefully I'll have it finished before I have to leave. If I do, I'll 'model' it for you and show the pics! Have a great day! Amy

Friday, June 19, 2009

Farewell to Some SU! Sets

Well actually Stampin Up! might be saying 'Goodbye' to these stamp sets, but I'm not. I just bought these three sets when I saw them on the retired list and I plan to use them a lot.

The first one is 'Morning Soft'. I used the sketch from this week's Paper Craft Planet Sketch Challenge. The image is water colored with SU! Markers. If I had to do this card over again, I would choose a softer blue. This was my very first time coloring this image, so I was just experimenting. I was trying to capture the bright, vivid blue of Morning Glories in real life, but mine ended up too dark, no matter how many times I tried to lighten it. The papers are all SU! Designer Papers, and those are adhesive crystals down the sides of the card. I also put Stickles in the flower centers.

My second card was made for this week's Color Challenge on Splitcoaststampers. The colors are Whisper White, Ruby Red, and Baja Breeze. The stamp set is 'A Little Birdie Told Me'. The Designer Paper is Magnolia and the image was colored with Prismacolored Pencils and Gamosol.

The last card was made for this week's Sketch Challenge on Splitcoaststampers. The cute boat image is from 'Boatloads of Love'. The sentiment is computer generated and says 'To wish you a Happy Birthday' inside the card. The card stock colors are White, Bashful Blue, Certainly Celery, Only Orange, and Brilliant Blue. I used the Cuttlebug 'Divine Swirls' Embossing Folder on the Bashful Blue Card Stock. The image was colored with Copic Markers.
Hey guess what? I was called in to work yesterday! So now I got a whopping 16.5 hours this week! Then I found out they actually tried to call me yesterday but my phone line was busy. I have a teenage son and dial-up Internet. I was so bummed to hear I could have worked yesterday too and missed the opportunity. So I gave them my cell phone number, and hopefully I won't miss another work opportunity. Next week I'm only scheduled for 4 hours....so I'm really hoping to be called in! We had a HUGE sale this week, so business has been good, but we were extremely understaffed so we also had a lot of unhappy customers, and, unfortunately, I ended up with ANOTHER upset phone customer. I had long lines of people IN THE STORE waiting to be helped, and she demanded that I look for a specific type of ribbon RIGHT NOW. Well, we have an entire aisle of ribbon, and it would take me at least 15 minutes to find the type of ribbon she wanted based only on a verbal description, so I kindly explained the situation with her and asked if I could take her name and number and call her back when it was less busy and I actually found the ribbon. She angrily refused that option, so I asked her if I could put her on hold, and I told the manager the situation over the head set, but by the time a manager picked up the phone, she had already hung up. So, I'm sure, I'll probably get another 'complaint' against me, but I don't know what else I could have done. In both situations I did alert the manager that I had a 'difficult customer' on the phone and asked for their help, but I'm worried I'll start looking bad pretty soon, and that's frustrating because there is nothing else I really could have done given the situations. I'm starting to be afraid to answer the phone now! LOL! For a minimum wage job, there is certainly a lot of stress and anxiety. I had one guest in the store yesterday who was an acquaintance and knew my education and background, and she was so surprised to see me working there and asked 'why?'. She said in her opinion, low-paying jobs are often more stressful, and if I could get paid more substitute teaching I should do that instead. I tried to explain that I took the job because I thought it would be fun and didn't expect it to be so much stress, and, in all honesty, I do LOVE my job. I love the products we sell, the people I work with, and helping customers if I know how to help them....the stress comes when I don't know the answer and customers get angry with me. We sell every type of craft item in the store there is, and customers expect you to know everything about EVERY craft, and they don't realize that you may not be able to knit, but you can sew dresses or do other crafty things. The store is filled with Crafty Talented Employees, but not one single employee is all-knowing in every craft. Every employee has their own specialty, whether its quilting, knitting, beading, etc. Well, enough venting for one day. Today I'm home, and back to work again tomorrow. Hopefully all the customers will be happy and cheerful. Have a good day! Amy

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Its All About Me!

I did two Crafty Secrets Challenges this week. The first card is for the Challenge on Splitcoaststampers. The challenge is called 'Its All About Me!'. We were to create a card or project that told us all about ourselves. It really required a lot of personal reflection and was a great opportunity to get to know the other stampers better too! Well, as most of you already know, I am creative, I love to Garden, I love birds and flowers, I love paper-crafting, and I love vintage. So I chose several different images from two Crafty Secrets sets 'Garden Girls' and 'Sweet Kids' to represent all these aspects of my personality. The card and images itself are vintage. The birds in the air represent my love for birds. I have flowers on the card to represent my love for flowers/gardening. The mystery of 'whats behind the garden gate' represents my creative side....I am always 'imagining'. And the card itself shows my paper crafting skills.
The main image panel is mounted up on dimensionals. Here is a side view so you can see the dimension. And below is a close up of the image so you can see the coloring better. I used Prismacolored Pencils and Gamosol to color the image. The Card Stock Colors are White, Broacad Blue, So Saffron, and Night of Navy. The designer paper is Stampin Up! 'Bella Birds'.

My second card was made for this week's Crafty Secrets Challenge on Paper Craft Planet. This was challenge is called 'Mind your P's and Q's.' We had to include as many items that began with the letter 'P' as possible on our card. I used Pink Card stock, Patterned Paper, 'Purple Card stock, 'Pretty Girl', 'Pink Adhesive Crystals', 'Prima Flowers', 'Pink Ribbon', and 'Pansies'. Although my good friend Darlene gave me a hard time about using 'Pretty Girl' as a 'P' item on my card. She said it was a 'stretch', but I don't think so! LOL!
I'm sure enjoying the week off of work and catching up on all my crafts. It's going to be hard going back to work on Saturday.
Have a great Day! Amy

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

MFT Challenges

I decided to play the My Favorite Things Challenges over on Splitcoaststampers this week. I don't normally play their challenges because the competition is just so tough my work just looks pathetic in comparison to everyone elses. I don't know what it is about MFT lovers, but whoever buys their stamps are really, really, talented. All the creations are always so fabulous.

Anyway, onto my cards. The first card is a sketch challenge. The stamp set is 'Can you Dig it?'. The sentiment is retired Stampin Up! 'La Dee Da'. All the designer paper is Basic Grey. The dress is paper pieced. The main image panel is mounted up on dimensionals. Card stock colors are White, Ruby Red, and Olive Green. I used a Cuttlebug die for the photo corner and a Cuttlebug Embossing Folder to create the daisies on the center strip.

The second card is so much prettier in real life, but because of all the pink and sparkle, it was very difficult to photograph. This MFT challenge was to 'Make a Trifold Card'. I chose to make a 'Cami's Trifold Card'. I found the directions on Splitcoaststampers. The image and sentiment is from 'Here's the Scoop'. The 'Happy Birthday' sentiment is a Dollar Stamp purchased at JoAnn's. The designer paper is DCWV 'The Sweet Stack' and is very glittery in real life. The card stock colors are White, Pixie Pink, and Regal Rose. I mounted the ice cream scoop up on dimensionals and put Stickles on it. The tag is a Cuttlebug Die.

Here is the card opened up. Isn't that a cute fold idea? It was so easy to make. The hardest part was cutting the circle through all the thick layers!
Have a great day! Amy

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Digital Tuesday Challenge #10: A Recipe

This week's challenge on the blog 'Digital Tuesday Challenge' is a Recipe: Use the colors Brown and Blue with a touch of Bling on your card or project. You also must use Digital Images. The sponsor this week is Doodle Palace. This image is called 'Buddy the Puppy gets Ball for Birthday'. You can purchase this image, and see many others at the Doodle Palace Etsy Store which is here:

To make my card, I first colored my image with Copic Markers and used my Spellbinder's Nestabilities to make all the circles. I used two different dies to make my presents and party hat. The party hat is a Cuttlebug Die and the presents are a Sizzix Die. The card stock colors are Chocolate Chip, Tempting Turqoise, White, Creamy Caramel, and So Saffron. The sentiment is computer generated. The designer paper is DCWV 'The Pet Stack'. I added Stickles to the puppy's party hat and ball to meet my 'bling' requirement of the challenge. Brads and ribbon were added for embellishment.

Here is a close ups of the coloring and the bling of the main image.

And here is a close up of the die cuts.

If you'd like to play along with this week's challenge, simply click on the Digital Tuesday Challenge in my right sidebar and it will give you further directions. Have a great day! Amy

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Late Spring Garden: This and That

Well I worked all weekend so I wasn't able to craft, so I will just be posting more garden pictures today. Now my work hours were severely cut, I only have 10 hours this week and only 4 hours next. Its great for having more time in my craft room and garden, but I sure will miss the money. I will just have to make more things to sell at the consignment store to make up for the loss of income.

Today's pictures are of many different plants. The first group of pictures are perennial Geraniums. I have many different colors and varieties of this treasured little plant. I love this plant because its so hardy, and even reseeds itself without being invasive. It will also bloom a second time in the season if you cut it back after blooming. The first picture is a close-up of a purple geranium.

The second picture is a close-up of a pink Geranium and the third picture is a far away shot of my septic mound where most of my Geranium's are planted. They seem to enjoy growing on a sunny hillside. I also have white and blue geraniums. You can barely see the white ones in the picture below.

Here is a picture of my Goatsbeard. Its the white plume plant behind the Siberian Iris. It is absolutely gorgeous this year.
Below is a close up of some purple sage with yellow yarrow behind it.

This pretty flower is an English Daisy. Don't you just love the color?

Here is another close-up of my Goatsbeard.

One of my favorite flowers is Lupine, but it is very difficult to grow in my area, so I'm always happy when I see a few blooms in the spring. I hear it grows 'wild' in some states...I wish that were the case here in Wisconsin. Behind the Lupine you can see the Red Peonies I featured in yesterday's post.

And finally here is a close-up of my Globe Alliums. Each globe is about the size of a small cantaloupe. It attracts bees and butterflies like you wouldn't believe, but they all flew away when I showed up to take the picture.
I wish each and every one of you could see my garden in person just so you could smell it. The scent of the garden this year is unbelievable! The second you step out of my house or out of the car, you can smell the beautiful flowers. Its almost overwhelming. It smells like your inside a perfume company!
Well that's all for today. Pray I get more hours at work. I need them! Its so funny, if I work too much I complain, but if I don't work enough I complain. It's a double edged sword. If I work I don't have time for my crafts and garden, but if I don't work, I have no money. I wish I could have both, but I guess its impossible. Have a great day! Amy