Saturday, January 31, 2009

How bout' them apples!

This card is actually the first one I took a picture of in my Macro Studio so it isn't the greatest pic, but the card is cute. For this one I stamped the apples from Give Thanks (SU) in Momento Tuxedo Black Ink onto my white CS and then colored with Copics. I mounted it onto Basic Gray. (I went the longest time without getting Basic Gray, thinking I would never use it, finally I got some, and seriously, I don't know why I waited to get it. I love this color! It goes with so much. Love it! I took some Green Galore and stamped the Print Pattern BG stamp onto it with the same color ink. I punched the bottom using my scallop border punch added the ribbon by stapling each side to the BG peice. Then mounted it onto my Basic Gray card base so that you can see a little bit on top, and a little more on the bottom of the card. My focal image was attached using dimensionals. I love how this turned out! I made a few of these as just because cards. :o)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Fairy Birthday

The other day this card popped into my head that I thought would be so good for my neice Addison's 1st birthday card. Here's the thing though, Addie doesn't turn 1 until April. But I couldn't pass up making her card early anyway. These stamps from Artful Inkables are so cute. I stamped the baby fairy on my cardstock using my Momento Tuxedo Black Ink I then used the masking technique to stamp the mushrooms so that the fairy was sitting on the mushrooms. I colored the fairy and the mushrooms with my trusty copic markers and mounted the image onto Certainly Celery CS. I used my paper piercer to stamp around the edges of the celery peice. The larger celery peice is stamped with the Canvas BG stamp (SU) using Certainly celery ink giving it that tone on tone look. Then I added 5 brads to the left side of that peice, mounted it to my Pretty In Pink card base, paper pierced just under the canvas peice, added my image and then stamped my sentiment using the Momento ink. I serioulsy love this card. It reminds me of Addie. She is the cutest baby girl, seriously (o.k. aside from my own when she was little, but that was 13 yrs ago). Addie always makes me smile. And this fairy is so darling I just knew it would be perfect for Addie's 1st birthday card. :o)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Another Birthday Bear

The other day I posted a card that I had intended for my uncle but as the card came along I decided it was to be for my brother-in-law. I finished that card with him in mind and it's perfect for him. I still have no clue why, but as his wife, and my sweet sister-in-law (DH's sister) said, it has him written all over it.

Well, that left me with needing a card for my uncle. My uncle and his family kind of keep to themselves so I don't know him very well. I haven't talked to him since my grandpa passed away a few years ago but still, he is my uncle and I love him so I wanted to make him a card. but seeing as how I don't know him well and can't really base a card on his personality, I needed a card that was simple. Well what better for a simple card then a white card (I love doing white cards!). I stamped the bear (Under The Stars- SU) with my tuxedo black ink (momento brand, works better with the Copic Markers) Then colored him using said Copic Markers. I stamped the sentiment, added some ribbon and there you have it! Birthday card for Uncle John!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

About the Macro Studio

So my friend Robyn asked what a Macro Studio was and asked if was something to help me take pictures of cards. Yes, that is what I use it for but it is oh so much more then that. Macro Studios can be purchased online for around $20 or so for a basic studio. I made mine through the help of the website that I posted a few days ago for less then $1. My poster board was .50 cents. The box was free, it was one we found for our move to NM from KS several months ago. The tissue paper was in a pack and then I used a little bit of packing tape. So no it isn't professional, but it does the job just as well.

Anyhow, a Macro Studio, yes, although I use it mainly for cards can be used for so many things. It no only makes your colors better and really helps to focus the eye on the item you are photographing, but it also helps the light to dispurse more evenly on your item which in turn also helps with the colors. Case in point. I took this picture of my sister-in-law's card without the macro studio. I took it in the same room with the same light at the same time of day (about 9 at night):

Now the same card, again same room, same lighting, and same time of day (in fact this photo was taken directly after the above photo) using the macro studio:

Do you see how the color's look so much clearer and truer. Take the white for example. In the first photo you can see the the white actually looks a little yellow. But in the second photo you can really see the colors better and not only that but see the detail of the card better too.

Macro Photography is close up photography. It is where you can really capture the details of what you are taking pictures of. Have you ever seen a picture of a rose with a water droplet on it and you can really see every detail, or a picture of a bee on a flower and again, you can see every detail?

The above photo is one I found on Wikipedia, it shows what you can do with Macro Photography. Link is here:

Well, That is Macro Photography. A Macro Studio is just an extra tool that can be used to help capture the details of your photo subject, in this case my cards. Although I did take some more photos today using my Macro Studio that weren't of cards that I will post on Sunday with my project 365 post. Anyhow, I hope that answered your questions on what a Macro Studio is for. :)

Happy Birthday Andrea!

I feel like a horrible sister-in-law. I have been sending out cards to all my siblings and Jacob's siblings and all the spouses for severaly months now, not to mention all the neices and nephews. Well when I make cards as you know I like to make ones that just fit the recipient. My sister-in-law Andrea's birthday is today. I made a card a few months ago for her but it just didn't seem to fit her. So I scraped that one and I have been trying to come up with a card for her. Well on Friday I finally got it right. But here it is her actual birthday and I still haven't sent the card. I was going to send it yesterday but wasn't feeling well so I didn't make it to the post office.

So Andrea, I apologize that you don't have your card yet. You will get it soon. I did however want to post the card so you could see it. You are a wonderful sister-in-law, an amazing mother, the best wife there could ever be for my brother and an awesome friend. You trully mean the world to me and I hope you know that. I hope that you have an amazing birthday.

As for your card, I will send it today but I wanted to post it now so you could at least see what it looks like and so that I could explain my reasoning for this card. There is a reason I went with this color combo and with this layout and stamp set. The color combo I found on the Color Throwdown blog. Pink Passion, Basic Black, and Kraft (although I added green for the leaves). The reason I chose this combo is because when I think of you I think of bright and fun. I chose the layout I did because it is classic. Just like you. When I was choosing the stamp set I wanted something that was elegant so I chose A Rose Is A Rose. All of these together sum up my feelings toward you: bright, fun, classic and elegant. I could choose so many more words to describe you, but to me, these sum it up better than anything. Once again, I hope you have a fabulous day. I love you!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Birthday Bear

O.k. so it's 1:30 a.m. on Monday morning and for whatever reason I can't sleep. So what better thing to do then blog right? After all I have been promising for a week now that I would post some cards. So I have 1 for you tonight/today. Seeing as how I am starting to get tired I am just going to post the 1. I will have another very special one for your tomorrow (Tuesday) though, and I have lots more so there will be lots and lots to see this week.

Anyhow, I made this card about a week or so ago but I didn't take a picture of it because I hadn't built my macro studio yet. (Just makes the cards look nicer and shows the colors and details better, I'm still getting the hang of it and I could have better lighting when I take the photos but that will have to wait because we are trying to save money right now. But I digress)

I started making this card for my Uncle who has a birthday in April but as it was coming together I decided it should go to my brother-in-law who's birthday is in Feb. Not sure why but this just seems more like an Aaron card then an Uncle John card. So this will go to him and I made another one (different but with the same set) for my Uncle. (in case you haven't noticed I like to make cards individually for each person, makes it more special for the recipient and funner for me.)

For this card I used the Under The Stars stamp set from Stampin' Up! I stamped the stars in black ink on the Blue Bayou cardstock and then colored the stars in with my copic markers. It gives it a fun look. :) I paper pierced the Wasabi cardstock both above and below the Blue peice using my crafter's tool kit (in case you haven't noticed that is one of my favorite tools). The corners of the chocolate chip peice were punched using the ticket corner punch. I colored the bear using my Copics as well, stamped my sentiment on the bottom using the On Your Birthday stamp set (also SU) and added some wide Grosgrain ribbon to finished it off. I am so thrilled with how this turned out. Seriously, I have no clue why this card is just screaming Aaron. But it is. :) I hope he likes it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Project 365 part 3

Taking pictures this week was somehow easier then last week. I think it's because I made more of an effort to actually take pictures.

The challenge this last week on SCS was to show winter in a new way. Well here in NM we are still in the 50's and 60's every day. No winter weather for us. So I didn't do the challenge this last week.

Anyhow, here is my week in pictures:

Jan. 18- It cracks me up when the dog does this. If we don't pay him enough attention (a.k.a. fawn over him every moment of every day.) he trys to get our attention by getting in our faces. So I had to snap a picture of just how cute he is.

Jan. 19- Hubby working in his shop (a.k.a. the garage)

Jan. 20- The dog being oh so cute again

Jan. 21- We had an activity at church this day and I had to bring a dessert (or an appetizer, I chose dessert) I made cupcakes and did a swirled two color frosting on top. It's really easy to do. You just load half your bag with one color and the other half with the other color (so that the colors are side by side) and pipe your frosting on. :)

Jan. 22- This picture is for my mom. I got ambitious a couple of weeks ago rearranged my living room. So I took this picture to show how it looks now. Our living room is almost double this size so the rest of it is fairly empty space but that's o.k. for now.

Jan. 23- I finally made my macro-studio. I'm pleased with how it turned out. I got the directions from this website: I did use a different size box then what they recommended because I didn't have what they suggested. I did take pictures of the cards I have done recently and will post those starting tomorrow.

Jan. 24- I actually had a different picture for this day but when I took the dog on a walk I saw the sunset over the mountains and I just couldn't resist doing this photo instead. I was so struck by the beauty of the colors.

I promise I will have cards for you tomorrow. I have actually made several in the last few weeks so I have plenty to show you. Have a great rest of your weekend!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Labels and Lists

I have been doing some work to my blog. Did you notice? I am working on labeling each of my posts (it's going to take a while since I have been keeping this blog since 2006) At the end of my posts you will see a label, or a category for that post. That way if a post is stamping related and you want to see more stamping related posts just click at the bottom of that post on the label you want and it will pull up all my other posts that are under that same category. Clear as mud? I just figured that since this blog is about so many different things such as stamping, cake decorating, the newly added photography, not to mention random posts and personal posts and all the other crafty things I do, this way it would be easier to find what you may be looking for on my blog. Seriously, clear as mud?

Now, I also have added new and updated blog lists. I added the blog lists that show not only the blogs I like but also when they were updated last. How cool is that? I love that blogger offers that.

Anyhow, I am still working on the label part and I have to update the friends and family blog list but I hope you enjoy what I have done far. :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Scorpions and walks and dogs oh my! (Project 365 part 2)

So taking pictures every day is proving harder then I thought even with my boring and non-busy life. But still, I'm getting it done. As you can tell from this weeks project 365 title it was a funfilled week complete with a scorpion in my bathtub of all places. So without further ado, this week in photos:

Jan. 11- An updated picture of the outside of our house for our adoption profile. (Yes, even though we are just in the application process I really want to get a headstart on all the profile stuff)
Jan. 12- SCS has weekly photography challenges to get our creative juices flowing. This weeks challenge was to take a picture of signs. This particular day I didn't have our vehicle so I was kind of limited to where I was able to take pictures. I chose our street sign on the corner. (yes, our skies here are normally that blue and clear. *grin*)

Jan. 13- The dog thinking that because I am the back yard that must mean I am there to play with him. ;)

Jan. 14- On this day I was home by myself and I couldn't find the dog. Normally he comes when I call him. This time he didn't. I thought, is he outside, nope, not outside, where is he. Lo and behold, this is where I find him. Happy and content on my bed giving me a look like he is just daring me to tell him to get off. (He's a little spoiled)

Jan. 15- This day I decided to take my camera when I went for my daily walk. Let me tell you how interesting it was holding camera, holding the dogs leash and talking to my mom on my cell phone all at the same time. This is a view of the mountains near our house, I walk past here every day on my walk.
Jan. 16- So this day I got a lovely surprise, a scorpion in my bathtub. How fun huh? (Not so much... It was about an inch in length, this is the 6th one we have had in 5 months -unless you count the 2 very small baby ones, then this one makes #8 )

Jan. 17- Hubby decided to take a break from school work and woodworking and go on my daily walk with me. I figured since he would be with me it would be much easier to take pictures. Here is hubby and the dog on the walking path near our house. (the total walk is about a mile)

I know that this is up late today. I will try to have it up earlier next week. Now, my brother-in-law (it's partly due to him that I have this awesome new camera, he helped me figure out what I wanted. *grin*) commented on one of my earlier posts wanting to know what flash I am using on my pictures so I thought I would share here rather then just emailing him. I actually am using the built in flash on the camera. I do have another flash that I bought but I don't know how to use it and frankly I am a little intimidated by the camera let alone the flash that I got *snicker*. So for now, I am just using the on camera flash. Maybe someday soon I will actually use the flash that I got for the camera. ;) I also shoot mostly at auto ISO. I am just starting to learn about all the different ISO speeds and what they do. So far, not too bad, but I'm sure I will get better. ;)

Tommorrow I will post some cards I made this weekend. I need to build a macro light box to help me take better photos of my cards but right now it is too late so that will have to wait till the morning.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Valentines M&M's...

Valentine's Day 2001 my hubby and I had just gotten engaged. J wanted to make my day special so that day he had come chocolate roses sent to me at work. Not only were there chocolate roses, but the chocolate roses were in a really pretty bud vase with Valentine's M&M's (a.k. white, pink, dark pink, and red) filling the bottom of the vase instead of what would normally be water. Cause they were chocolate roses so they didn't need to be watered. ;) That night I got home and J had gotten a key to my apartment from my friend who lived in the same apt. building (she had my spare key, I had her's, incidentally, she is now my Sister-In-Law, she is married to my husband's brother, she is the one who introduced hubby and I, sorry, off course there). Anyhow, J had gotten the key and gone upstairs to my apt. and made me a really romantic dinner and gave me a hummingbird music box (Handblown glass, hummingbirds have a special meaning to me). The music box played the theme song to Somewhere In Time (which btw, is the bestest most romantic movie of all time!) which is one of my favorite movies. How sweet huh? To top that off, every Valentine's Day since (except when he is deployed or away at training) he has made me the very same dinner. :) I'm a lucky gal!

So anyhow, (if you are still with me, bless you! ;) lol) This Valentine's Day since Hubby and I are saving up for our upcoming adoption we aren't spending any money (o.k. so he already bought me my super cool camera, but that was before we decided to adopt). I still wanted to do something special. I could do a coupon book, you know where I give him coupons he can cash in. O.k. so that would be good but I didn't want to do the same old same old coupon book. I wanted to do it a little different. Then, that first Valentine's Day flashed through my mind. I could do chocolate roses with M&M's but how to incorporate the coupon book idea. I could do tied to each rose a "coupon" of sorts. O.k. but we are both trying to eat healthier so chocolate roses AND M&M's..... hmmmm.... I decided that instead of doing the chocolate roses I would do handmade flowers. So the Nested Flowers technique sprang to mind but how to make an embellishment into an actual flower. AH HA!! I've got it!

First I made my flowers by cutting my different sizes of circles (out of Rose Red DSP from SU) using my Colluzle cutting system that I got when I was an SU demo. Then I distressed the edges of the circles using the side of my scissors. Next I punched a hole in the center of each circle using my crafters tool kit (SU). I then took some floral stem wire and using the plier things in my crafter's tool kit I made a small loop at one end. Then I stuck my brad through that and threaded each circle of the "flower" through the floral wire and then the brad. I fastened the brad to hold it all in place and then wrapped floral tape around each stem to finish the look off plus give it some support. I then used my tag punch (SU) and punched out some tags then stamped the Always stamp from Terrific Tags (retired SU) using Rose Red(SU) ink to coordinate. On the back of each tag I wrote my coupons. Some are a movie night with movie of his choice, a day playing video games (without me nagging him to help me), a week without housework, a day to do wood working (again without me nagging), and the list goes on and on. I tied each tag, or rather coupon to the stem of each flower using some ribbon and then put them in my bud vase. Then I filled the vase with Valentine's M&M's and tied a ribbon around the vase.

There are 14 flowers, 1 for every day till Valentine's Day. He will still get some chocolate without having the chocolate roses added in (although I'm sure he would have liked that too). I hope he likes it! I think he will really like the coupons, ecspecially the ones where I don't nag him for a whole day. ;)

Thank you Luna!!

So back in August I made and posted a card for the VSN on SCS. The card was supposed to be based on our favorite children's book. I had 3 favorite books, one was Good Night Moon (but I figured a lot of people would do that one), One that I thought was called The Highway Takes A Vacation (which I couldn't find proof of so I couldn't do that book for a card) and Stand Back Said The Elephant, I'm Going To Sneeze. I chose Stand Back to base my card on. Here is the original post:

Well, the other day I got a comment to that post from a lady by the name of Luna who had gone searching for the book The Highway Takes a Vacation. The only thing she found online was my blog post. So she did some more searching and she found that she and I both were remembering the name wrong. The name of the book is actually "The Runaway Road" by Stanley Mack.

Thank you Luna! I absolutely loved this book growing up and I really was sad that I couldn't find it. My hubby and I are in the process of adopting and I'm so excited that I can now get this book for our soon to be little one. :) Who knows, maybe even my daughter will like it. Sure she is a teenager but this book is timeless! Thanks for making my day Luna! :D

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Project 365 part 1

In my last post I mentioned that I saw a posting on SCS about something called project 365. This is where you take a photo every day for 1 year to chronicle your life. Since our lives are kind of boring out here in the middle of no where NM it wouldn't be much fun if I did that. So I decided that instead of doing that I would just take a photo a day to kind of sharpen my photography skills (as beginner like as they are right now). This way I can see how I grow as a photographer. This post will have more pictures then will be normal as it has a week and a half worth of pictures, but next week I will have just 1 week (I am posting them by week that way I don't overload my blog with daily posts of pictures, ecspecially seeing as how this blog is about all of my crafting such as cardmaking etc., not just photography.) So anyhow, without further ado, here is my first week (and a half) in photos.

Jan. 1 - My in-laws came to visit so this photo is of my DH chatting with his mom.

Jan. 2- Photo of the gorgeous sunset at White Sands Sand Dunes

Jan. 3- My daughter hiding from the camera.... again..... She does that alot.

Jan. 4- A coin rack that hubby made to hold all his coins that he has been given in the Army.

Jan. 5- A collection I have of heritage items, the picture is of my Grandma in her early 20's, the doll she made I think when she was in her 30's (not sure on that one though) and then the glass case is filled with items from my great grandmother and my grandmother to include my great grandmothers baby spoon and some doll house items.

Jan. 6- Hubby playing the Wii and wondering why I am taking a picture of him.

Jan. 7- A plaque that I have from my grandfather with his name on it. Probably hung in an office of some kind.

Jan. 8- Playing with the macro lense which makes items appear larger and more vibrant.

Jan. 9- Practicing Night Shots, This one of the moon behind trees was taken in my front yard, I'm not so good at night shots, that will come though.

Jan. 10- Last nights full moon was the brightest and biggest that there will be in 2009 (according to Yahoo news). It was a little hazy out but still a great photo op! This was taken at sunset as the sun was setting and the moon was coming up. Taken from 60 miles away with a 70-300mm lense.

Next weeks photos will just be for 1 week and not for a week and a half. Also, I am working on some stamping projects that I hopefully will be done with soon. One of them I am so excited about and can't wait to show you. I hope that it turns out as well as I think it will, so far so good. Also, very soon I should be ready to announce news about the ink storage that my hubby made me last month. Let's just put it this way, if you are looking for a great solution to your ink storage and think that a unit like mine would be perfect, you can get one just like it, or get the very detailed plans to make your own! We are just trying to work out the final details, but stay tuned!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Recipe tin, cake and project 365

This is a project that I created last week and then forgot to take a picture of before I posted the cards. I have done many recipe tins for other people but never one for myself. So I decided it was high time to do so. I have so many recipe books filled with lots and lots of recipes (close to 10,000 recipes in all) but I have my favorites. You know, the old back ups that when you can't decide what to make you make those. So I wanted a place to store the recipes for the favorites in our house. This is what I came up with:
The image is of course Voila from Stampin Up. I used some printed paper that I have had for awhile (sorry I don't know where I got it from). The paper was applied using modge podge and then sealed with it as well. I added the ribbon using sticky strip and then added the image and sentiment with more modge podge. The image was stamped on white CS using Momento Tuxedo black ink and colored with Copics. I stitched the edge of the main image using my crafter's tool kit (SU) and a needle and thread. The flowers I got from a crafts store and the brad was sent to me by a friend in England. I haven't added fibers and ribbon to the handle because I haven't decided whether I want that or not. We'll see.

I haven't blogged the last couple of days because my in-laws have been here visiting. While they were here we decided to celebrate their birthdays. My FIL's birthday is this month and MIL's birthday is next month. So I made a cake. I ran out of powered sugar so I didn't have as much frosting as I usually do and I had to make what I had stretch so I wasn't happy with the final product at all. Plus the day before we had spent the day out and about (one of the places we went was White Sands National Monument and we climbed the sand dunes, so I got quite the workout). I was really worn out by the time Saturday and making the cake came around so I really didn't have the energy to do a good job. But it turned out o.k. and my in-laws liked it so that's all that matters right?

I'm not going to share the picture of my in-laws with the cake because I haven't asked them whether I can post pics of them on my blog. You understand right?

On SCS someone posted about something called Project 365. This is where you take a photo a day for an entire year as a way to kind of mark what you do in your life. Well, I live in the middle of no where with my husband. There isn't much going on in our lives that is worth photo-ops. So instead of taking a photo each day regarding something in our lives I am just going to take a photo a day. The photos may be something special that we did that day, or it may be of scenery or something special that I see, or maybe just something I decided to take a photo of for fun. I figure this will help to improve my photography skills and give me a reason (as if I needed one) to use my new camera each day. Rather then posting the photos here every day I am going to post them on Sunday's. Since I didn't find out about this until last night I will post last weeks photos along with this weeks on Sunday. So be looking for those. :o)