Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Arte y Pico

What a nice little surprise to brighten my day! Thanks to my friend Erin Bigler for this nice award. (You'll never know how much I'm going to miss our lunches!) I guess there are some additional things that I need to post, the rules & responsibilities that accompany this award:

1) The recipient must pick 5 blogs that she considers deserving of this award - talented artists that contribute to the blogging community.
2) Each award has to have the name of the author, as well as a link to their blog to be visited by all!
3) Each winner has to show the award that she has been given by the awarder.

4) Both the awardee and the awarder have to provide a link to the Arte y Pico blog so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5) All participants must display these rules.

And now for the 5 blogs I would like to honor:

Anabelle O'Malley
Linda Duke
Sharon Harnist
Stacey Stamitoles
Debby Schuh

So, not only is today my first blog award, but it is also my first post at the Pursuit of Craftyness. We're having a month long theme called the Celebration of Color which promises to be fun and informative. Be sure to stop over for my post on Twinkling H20s!

Be well!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The week from I-don't-know-where!

Well, this week started out well enough - then the bottom fell out. :) Wally came down with strep throat, the Beav had pink eye (honestly, are there two worse contagious things to have in a household?!). And of course, Ward was out of town. We had realtors through each day, plus I just wrapped up a garage sale. We have two baseball games for the Beav today and more realtor showings tomorrow.

I think I need a nap.

My passion this week has been playing with shrink plastic. I've done a few things for Spellbinders with it (have you tried die cutting shrink plastic with your Spellbinders dies? OH SO FUN!). My favorite brand is tough to find, its called Lucky Squirrel. If you ever come across it - gobble it up! It is effortless - it always straightens itself out.

Another one of my favorite techniques with Spellbinders dies is using fun foam to cut foam stamps. Just think of the possibilities for shadow stamps using the Nestibilities!

In a moment of creative karma yesterday, I actually combined those two techniques, cutting a die first from shrink plastic, then from fun foam. I used Palette ink to then stamp the foam image onto the shrink plastic. I blasted it with my heat gun and voila! A sweet little embellishment! I'm going to wait to show it to you because I intend to use it at the Spellbinders gallery for next month - and I need to incorporate it into a card. However, there isn't any reason that you can't go ahead and try it! I will tell you that I love the way that it turned out!

I hope that you're having an enjoyable weekend. Be well.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pond Life

Seeing as I have two boys, this Pond Life set really fits a void in my stamp collection. I was so excited to see the frog, too, because Wally has a thing for a frog with the sentiment "Hoppy Birthday". (what can I say? He's 12 with a thing for puns - even bad ones!) I intend to use my Simple Alphabet set to write that out for him.

Here's a few creations that I did with this fun set:

This was a little out-of-the-box for me. "Scene" cards aren't something that I do very often, but since this set was just begging for a fun scene, I decided to challenge myself. So with this card, I did something fun to create the 'water', I used the double line from Faux Ribbon and my grid-line acrylic block. Because of the lines, it was easy to make the stamp wavy (and equal - you know my propensity for keeping things neat!). How fun is that?

To color the duck, stamp it first in Spring Moss. Then apply brown ink only to the edges of the duck stamp. Stamp right over the Spring Moss image. Stamp wing with Aqua Mist, and color the duck’s eye using ink on an embossing stylus.

The other images are pretty self-explanatory, I think. But if you have any questions, please ask away!

Here's a quick little Get Well set using this same fun set:

There's one quick thing I wanted to point out with this. Do you see the caterpillar? You can make this little critter as long (or short!) as you wish. AND (this is the cool part!) Simple Alphabet fits perfectly in it, making it a fun way to write out any message you would like (here I put "Drink Up!" on the water bottle - what I always tell the boys when they're not feeling well).

I hope this shows you some of the fun things you can do with this adorable set! I would love to see what you've created (if you've already received it!). Leave me a link in the comments so I can see your great ideas.

Be well,

Monday, April 21, 2008

Simple Little Things

LONG before I joined the talented team at Papertrey Ink, I was a serious addict, um, I mean customer! One of the innovative programs offered by Papertrey Ink is the Anniversary Set - if you purchase 12 unique, full-size stamp sets within a calendar year, you automatically receive the set as a Thank-You for your continued support. Seeing as I was such a great customer (LOL), I had NO problem qualifying for this gorgeous set.

Nichole Heady has some amazing inspiration posted on her blog today, so if you get a chance, make sure you stop by and be amazed. One thing that I love about this set, Simple Little Things, is that it is so easy to make your cards look stunning. Here are two that I contributed to the PTI Gallery:

Make sure to stop by Nichole's blog, as well as the Papertrey Ink Gallery for more inspiration!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Father Knows Best is a timeless, classic set that fills a real void in the stamping market - that of a mature, masculine set. It is going to become a real go-to in my collection.

This card is one of my favorites. It was easy to make the window with a Rectangle Nestabilities die. I then stamped the sentiment through the window (mainly to insure that it would be in the correct spot!). I cut the transparency with the next size larger rectangle die (so that I would enough to adhere it on the back). When I went to stamp the tree on the transparency, I first tried to stamp the leaves in Spring Moss ink, but you could barely see it. Bummer. So, next I pulled out some Olive Stazon and stamped right over the Spring Moss. The main reason I mention it is because it ended up making a very subtle two-step effect (I think you can see it on the photo since you now know to look for it). Anyways, I chalk it up to one of those happy stamping accidents! ;) So, continue to finish the tree and adhere on the backside. I then stamped the Father's Day sentiment under the window and filled in the rest of the front with the two leaves image from the set.

Here's a small keychain that I also made for the gallery; you can find all the details here.

To make the compass image fit in the small space, you'll notice that I masked off the "N, S, E, W".

Thanks so much for stopping by today! I hope you're having a wonderful spring day! Be well.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It's sharing time!

Happy Midmonth to you! Isn't the 15th just the best part of the month?

As always, it's just impossible for me to decide which set in the Papertrey Ink release is my favorite. I think the fact that some masculine sets have been introduced adds fantastic versatility to the Papertrey line. Pond Life and Father Knows Best are both great sets! I had so much fun making creations with them.

But let's face it, I have some serious spring fever. Flowers are starting to bloom in Pittsburgh, the trees are starting to get a little green, and the sun has been making far more frequent appearances. So Alli Miles' new set, Garden Of Life was the perfect compliment to my spring fever. I love the images in this set, they're lively and fun - a stamper's dream. Here's a card that I did with it:

This is such a quick and easy card to make, and it makes such an impact on the recipient. A square punch is your best friend for this, so find yours and pull it out! Simply stamp your images, and punch them. (Make sure to flip your punch over so you can see exactly where you want to punch - a tip that is an oldie, but a goodie!)

This card also showcases the new Papertrey Ink colors for April - Lemon Tart and Summer Sunrise. I love these two colors together, and given that yellow is my favorite color (ever since I was a little girl!), I am overjoyed with them. In fact, I have a blanket that my great-grandmother knit for me when I was four that is this exact color combination! It's been my source of comfort for many years now, so this color combination is pretty darn special for me. ;) Here's a little peek at it:

On a personal note, today is the first day of our house being on the market. I'm happy to report that my house looks pretty darn good and that I'm feeling ready to taking on the house buying world! Of course, I'm trying to squeeze in a few magazine submissions today, so I probably need a couple hours notice to clean up my paper mess! ;) I hope your day is equally productive!

Be well.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pursuit Of Craftyness

You know the old saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."? Well, I have a little story for you!

For the last two and a half years, I have been so blessed to have Paper Salon part of my daily life. The main reason it was part of my daily life isn't because of working with the products, but rather because of the wonderful women with whom I was blessed to work. It's with a large amount of sadness that I now tell you that the Paper Salon design team has been dissolved; Paper Salon, and part of its parent company, have been purchased by Gartner Studios. After long deliberations, Gartner has opted to release us from our contracts.

So here comes the lemonade part: these amazingly talented women, whom I am so honored to call my friends, have decided to persevere TOGETHER. We have started an exceptional blog, the Pursuit Of Craftyness (I highly recommend adding it to your subscription service!) You're probably wondering how this is going to be different from other blogs. This blog will be having challenges, giveaways and great tips, but additionally, we will be taking Craftyness to a new level, working with crafts that go beyond the traditional paper crafting.

So click on over there, and enjoy the lemonade!

Be well.

Friday, April 11, 2008

And the winner is!

Thanks so much for all of you who took the time to let me know what is going on in your lives. So many of you have soooo much on your plates - maybe my next comment question will be how you handle the stress! ;)

So, as not to delay any longer:

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2008-04-11 12:32:42 UTC

Bunny B was no. 41; here's what she had to say:

Working on a new project at work is keeping me busy! But there's always time to do some fun things like visiting and discovering new people's blogs! :) Thanks for the sweet blog candy!

April 9, 2008 6:56 AM

BunnyB - I will be sending you an email shortly. If you don't get it for whatever reason, email me! :) I'm glad to be able to give these great Nestabilities a new home!

I took a little time to participate in the SplitCoast sketch challenge this week. I thought the sketch would be a challenge for me because while it is simple, the oval is askew - something this linear gal isn't too fond of! It ends up that I love it! I did a birthday card for one of my son's friends.

I'm so into this navy & green color combo right now! It is classic and crisp and seems to be everywhere this spring. Of course I used my Oval Nestabilities on this! The adorable robot stamp is from Paper Source and the sentiment is Papertrey Ink (from Birthday Basics ). The patterned paper was a piece of Sweetwater that I had in a folder of old paper (I apologize - I don't know if this is a current piece or not).

It's almost time for another Papertrey introduction! Don't forget to keep checking out Nichole's blog for great sneak peeks (and the Senior DT member of the day! Today is Heather's turn and it's wonderful!) I'm just finishing up a couple of my pieces - they'll be in the gallery at PTI on the 15th and here on my blog next week. I'm having a lot of fun with this release, a couple of them are a great departure from the existing stamps, thus making them a fantastic addition! (How's that for a tease?)

I'm also working on a new venture that I know you're going to enjoy. It's really fun news that I can't wait to share with you, but unfortunately, I have to! It won't be long, though, and it will be worth it.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Be well.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Off topic...some of my true loves.

My friend Fiona Carter is going to really enjoy this post, because she and I share a love of Neil Finn.

For long-time readers, this isn't anything new. But, if you're not sure who Neil Finn is, DON'T TELL ME! LOL, just kidding - he's the songwriter best known for Crowded House and Split Enz. I'm a HUGE fan, and have been really lucky to be able to see him in concert several times. I've seen Crowded House at SUNY Fredonia and in Toronto, I've seen Neil on his solo tour in London and I've seen the Finn Brothers right here in Pittsburgh.

Now I am seeing him again. *sigh* Crowded House is coming back to the U.S., and I'm going to the show in Washington DC on May 2nd. I'm so flippin' excited! They're only playing 7 US cities this time, and only one night in DC. I'm a happy girl! :)

You know what today was? The home opener for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Can I just tell you that it was a PERFECT day? It was about 68 degrees F with beautiful sunshine and just a light breeze. It was one HECK of a game, lasting 12 innings, but bummer - the Pirates lost 10 - 8. It was a lot of fun, regardless of the score (and if you know anything about baseball, you probably know that Pittsburgh losing isn't anything new!).

Don't forget to leave a comment on Sunday's post for a chance at a set of Scalloped Heart Nestibilities! Just let me know what is keeping you busy these days.

Be well.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Busy & giveaway!

I usually dislike hearing how busy a blog writer is, but I'm going to come on and tell you how busy I have been. OK - seriously not a whiner here, but I'm hoping you can forgive my random posting lately. There is lots going on here, with realtors and appraisers and inspectors, and trips to Virginia and back. The Beav's baseball season has started, too, so I'm going a little batty. :)

I'm busy preparing samples for this month's Papertrey Ink release. I think you're really going to love this month's release. Oh, I just can't wait to share them with you!

So, now that spring has appeared in most parts of the country, I'm curious as to what is keeping YOU busy these days. And because I know each of you are just as busy as I am (and I appreciate you taking time out of your busy day to come and say Hi!), I'm having a little giveway. I have a set of Spellbinders Scalloped Heart Nestabilities* to give to a lucky reader! (* Please note this set is a complete set, but does not nest properly with the Classic Hearts. They work beautifully and cut gorgeous scalloped hearts!)

Don't forget to keep me humble and let me know what is taking up your time these days! I will draw a name on Thursday night.

Be well.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Copic Certification

Copic markers are all the rage with stampers right now, and with good reason. They're a fantastic way to add rich, vibrant color to your work. I'm sure you've seen all the ways that these are different from other markers on various message boards.

I wanted to share with you that Copic has decided to expand their certification program. Having gone through this training, I can tell you that it is invaluable! I learned so much during this certification and use that knowledge every time I pick up a marker. You can check and see if there is going to be a certification class on this Copic website. I hope there is one coming close to you!

Be well ~ Jenn

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Another family birthday!

Remember how I mentioned at the beginning of March that I had several family birthdays coming up, and how fantastic the timing was with PTI's Birthday Basics and It's a Celebration? Well, today is another! Our niece Kate turns 18 today! So I made this card with her in mind - classic and fun, just like her. She's such a wonderful young lady. She's been accepted to some very prestigious universities, with LARGE scholarships and just found out yesterday that she made the wait list at the only Ivy League school to which she applied. I'm amazed, because I swear it was just yesterday that I was dating her uncle and she was three and holding my hand. I just hope she knows how proud of her the whole family is!

Thanks for the comments on the new look. I think it is a keeper! I'm very pleased with it.

Be well.