Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Watercoloring techniques; pooch pool party

There are so many wonderful ways to watercolor cards, etc. with the products that Stampin' Up has....so I did a class to improve my weak watercoloring skills.  Here is one of the cards I made in it - this is one of the stamps in the Countryside stamp set.  When I showed it to my husband, even he was impressed!  I wonder if the fact that it was a picture of a TRUCK that he liked lol.  Here are a couple more pictures of my card:


I used the aqua painter pen and blender pen on this card - The design was developed by Diana Gibbs, who is really good at watercoloring.  It is so much fun watercoloring; kinda feels like when I was a kid and colored in coloring books, which I loved!  I could just sit and watercolor while I am watching TV now, right?  As long as our furbaby Inu doesn't get jealous and want to sit in my lap....

Speaking of Inu, we went to a pooch pool party this weekend and I used my cell phone to take pictures of all the dogs there.  That keep me busy, there was so much for the dogs to check out, besides the pool.  It was so cool to see all the dogs get along and not one dog disagreement...The dogs were beautiful and you can tell they are loved and well taken care of by their owners...Here are some pics of dogs having fun:

For one of the dogs, it was her first time at a pool - she was enticed by the ball in the pool:
It was just too tempting, and she finally got in to get that ball and learned to swim....you could see how she improved each time she swam after that - very graceful!  Wish I could learn to swim that easily and that well....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Recycled vintage card "Priceless"

After making this card, I felt like I had contributed to the recycling effort...I started to design a swap card for my group to send out, but didn't want to make them and find out my design didn't work - on paper my sketch looked fine, but I know when I make it up, I end up making changes.  I had a kraft brown card that a catalog company had sent me, and it was the perfect size for a card, so I thought I would save it and reuse it.  It came in handy to try out my design using the new Stampin' Up distressing kit....I think I must have erased and redrawn my design about 10 times before the card was done and I was satisfied with it.
Here is a picture of the card and most of the supplies I used - they are all current Stampin' Up items, except for my recycled card:

I played with a lot of neat techniques on this card! Since I knew I wanted to use perfect plum, I used the Color Coach to see what other colors could be used with it - that is where the marina mist color came in....and the blueberry crisp designer paper.  And I also used a new In color - Concord crush (purple is my fav color, so the more, the better, right?!)  I used the tea stain color in the distressing kit on the very vanilla cardstock before I embossed it with the vintage wallpaper embossing folder. After I heat embossed the heart and word "priceless" with clear embossing powder and concord crush, I misted the crumbcake cardstock with water, crumpled it, unfolded it, and dried it with my heat embosser...then used the tea stain inkpad again on the wrinkles on the cardstock.  I used two ribbons (actually lace and narrow taffeta ribbon) across this, first the lace, then the ribbon. I tied the little ribbon first, then a piece of lace over it....And put a teeny tiny pearl on the heart and on the P in priceless.  Here is a scanned picture of the card so you can see the details better:

As I was cutting out another heart to cover the inside of the card, I thought 'how cute would that be to use dimensionals to pop the heart up over the heart on front?'  So that is what I will do when I make up the actual swaps for my group!  Here is what the inside of this recycled card looks like now:

I am so glad I tried my design out first with this card, and even happier that it turned out better than my sketches!
It should be fairly quick and easy to make 10 of these now, since I wrote down the measurements...I am going to mail this card to my mother and father - I can just imagine what their comments will be:  Mom - how clever to make a vintage card....Dad - you mean she made this card look old on purpose?  lol

The colors in the distressing kit are just right for that vintagey look!  I will post pictures of the perfect plum cards when I am done with them this week....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

RAK received - my first!

When I picked up my mail yesterday, there was a box for me, from my first and only customer....Inside the box amidst red tissue paper, look what I found!  My first RAK received in the mail....I was thrilled and amazed at the details and work Lynne put into this for me.  So I have to show them off here!  Closeup of the lion matchbook, what was inside, and the owl card:


The M & Ms disappeared rather quickly...!  I have grown to love that 2-step owl punch too - I have to get it for myself!  Look at what else I received: 
This was really clever how she repurposed a tin can!  And it's all mine....well, actually I shared some of the candy.  And this was something for both me and our furbaby - if you have a dog, you will recognize it immediately:
Isn't that cute - Pink embroidery (I (heart) my Inu) and matching pink doggy bags - and I loved the purple clip at the top (purple has been my favorite color for years).  I had to take the doggy bags out to check out the inside and examine Lynne's handiwork, since I sew too:
I can even put it on my keyring!  Now my husband has one and I have one....I sure appreciate the thought and work she put into all these....I put them on the shelf above my computer keyboard, so when I am sitting there and thinking what to type, etc., I am inspired!  Thank you, thank you, thank you Lynne!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Distressing kit: card, mini-book and initial decoration

Oh gee I didn't realize that it has been a week and I've not posted anything on my blog...poor neglected blog because of a 150+ research paper I've been writing - work before play.  And my scan card adapter I use to take my pictures off my cell phone stopped working and I had to get a new one....But I got to do some playing on Monday, and here are 3 beautiful distressed items I did in a class with some other Stampin Up folks.  These are the initial made out of chipboard (I am fascinated by chipboard and what you can do with it, even diecut with it!) and an adorable altered mini-book:

The owl is a new punch that Stampin Up has too - don't you just love his little vest that matches the book coverr?  See the little dot on the heart on the vest?  That is a mini-pearl....And the pleated lace is a new Stampin Up item as well the paper and ribbon. We used the new distressing kit that Stampin Up has on these and it comes in a handy see-through packet - I will have fun getting messy while distressing, and relieving stress - lol, sorry about that pun!  Here is the distressed card we made using one of Stampin Up's embossing folders; this folder not only looks cool, it feels really neat when you touch it!  This is a great masculine card...giving it to my husband since he used to have a motorcycle and thought about getting another....but of course, there would not be much room for me and our little dog - or is that the general idea?!  ha ha

There even are 4 distressing colors in this packet - I used two of them on this and on the initial.  I would be glad to order any of these items for you if you don't have a Stampin Up demonstrator that you can get to.  With the cost of gas and prices going up, I find that checking for things online, making phone calls, and having orders sent to me save me both money and time if you plan it right....Before you know it, Christmas will be here, so start making your list for gift-giving now!  That is one thing that being a demonstrator has done for me, made me plan farther in advance for holidays!

We've been working with our furbaby in the hopes that she (or us?) might be able to do a few fun games at her first dog agility competition next month too.  She is coming along very nicely, following her daddy's lead and listening to him better and it is great to see such improvement in her going through mini courses in class.  Her weaving through 12 poles has gotten so much better having a set at home for her to practice on (in our living room!).  We saw that her weakest skill now is going across the teeter while it moves downward so she doesn't hesitate, so took a trip to Lowes....I got to pick out the color for Inu's new teeter, and since I like purple, I chose lilac....I just went out on the screened in porch to take a picture of it, so it's a little dark as it is rainy too:

The ends of the teeter are yellow, because that is where the dog has to touch with all 4 paws for it to be counted, and the paint has little sandy grits in it so the dog doesn't slip.  I got Inu up to pose next to her teeter, but she thought she was suppose to go over it and I had to tell her to Sit Stay:
Already she is getting better at going across the teeter with less hesitation....when she can do that with no hesitation and run across it, we will increase the teeter's height.  So we go back inside and Inu stands by the door wondering why the heck I got her up and didn't do any practicing on the teeter lol.
I had to at least give her a treat for doing all that!  She got a healthy one - a baby carrot...Please contact me at mklecuyer@hotmail.com if you want to order some of these new Stampin Up products OK?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Something different - square yellow baby card

Can you tell this is a nongender baby card?  Our exercise teacher is going to have a baby and we don't know what it is yet.... So I made a card that the class can give her and take up contributions....This card is square, rather than the regular card size - What I like about it that you can showcase more of the gorgeous papers that Stampin Up has. I used all current Stampin Up products on this - the Baby Bundle stamp set is so cute, it was hard to decide which ones to put on this.  Would you ever think that the Greenhouse Gala designer paper would make a pretty baby card?!
Here are some more pictures of the card I took with my cell phone camera:

Here are pictures of the corner details that use the daffodil 1/8" taffeta ribbon layered over red satin ribbon -
a little knot on the edge and small bow with 4 ties:
 

Here is my assistant; she is so patient...

I hear that mailing a square card takes additional postage, since it is not a standard envelope size....but I'll be handing this to our teacher on her last day.  I'm not sure how I feel about square cards this size.  I like the square 3 x 3 and 4 x 4 cards, but again, they are not the usual envelope size, so would have to put them in a normal size, which you can do.  But with this size of a square, you can't unless you fold it.  Probably don't want to do that...How are the rest of you handling mailing square cards?
BTW, the Stampin' Up holiday mini-catalog will be coming out next month, and it is awesome!!  They will have fabric, cards that talk, tinsel trim, and lots of other new beautiful things....Sure hope some of them will carry over so we can order them after the holiday catalog expires.  It will be a fun holiday season!!  I will post the new catalog on my blog next month - be sure you check it out OK?



Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Foil lined envelopes; another skirt card (with cherries!); how much is that doggy in the window..(new hamster toy).


I wanted to use some more of those pretty foil-lined envelopes I had bought, and since my niece's birthday was coming up, I decided to make her a birthday card that would coordinate with it. I was able to use some of that pretty retired designer paper by Stampin' Up, as well as the polka dotted ribbon....since she just moved to Washington D.C. for a nursing job, I thought of how pretty it is there when the cherry blossoms bloom in the spring (or was that Japan - Sakura?). When I measured my skirt card pattern it seemed like it would fit in the envelope, but when the card was done, it didn't :-((   So you can see I got creative, and folded the envelope to fit the card!!  I put some little bubble wrap around it too, since I have had pretty good luck sending that through the mail.
Here is another picture of the set:

And a picture of the envelope, which is kinda blurry:

And a scanned picture of the skirt card so you can see the details much better:

Can you see the little red cupcakes by the cherries?  I stamped those on so it would be more birthday-like. That cupcake stamp, the punch for the blue flower on the pocket, twine tie on the button, and cherry cobbler edging is all current Stampin Up - so this card is a "hybrid card" right?  I love that the Stampin Up designer papers are usually reversible, so your project looks pretty inside too, and you can use that part on other sections-here I made the little pocket out of it.


Our furbaby is sitting by me, having just eaten a toilet paper roll she found in the bathroom....after I chased her around for 10 minutes, I figured she earned the prize.  Here is a picture of her peeking out of the blinds to the back porch - reminded me of that song How Much is That Doggy in the Window (Patti Page I think?)

Ain't she cute?  Here another picture of her - I am showing her a new toy, which is one of those battery powered hamsters.


No that's another dog on the left - it's a stuffed life-sized one that Inu "plays" with...So now I turn on the hamster and put it  in the plastic ball it came with, and the hamster makes the ball move from inside.

I put it on the floor to show Inu how it works, and made her sit and watch it...

You can be sure she wants to go after it, but she is a well-trained doggy. With all this anticipation, when Inu was released to go after her new toy, it didn't take long for her to get the ball apart!


She was pretty fascinated by how the hamster felt in her mouth with those little wheels going, almost like it was real...

The hamster is still "alive" today and sometimes pops out of drawers when you least expect it - the ball didn't make it though!  Gotta love your furbaby.
And thanks for all the comments everyone has left!!

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