Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sending Some Love Nichole's way

Nichole Heady is such a well-known figure in the paper crafting industry. When I started paper crafting, I found myself consistently drawn to her style, and the caliber of her work only got better through the years.

Fast forward to 2006, when I finally get to meet her in person. What a gracious, kind person she turned out to be. And she had this really cool, little company that was turning out some hip, innovative stamps - who wouldn't look to her with complete awe? When she invited me to join the design team, you could have knocked me over with a feather! I remember it so vividly - I was in the airport, waiting for my husband's flight to arrive. I was reading the email on my phone, utterly convinced that it was sent to the wrong person, and being frustrated at the limits of my phone because I couldn't get to the root of the problem. After several months on the design team, Nichole asked me to come on board as her assistant, helping with daily tasks and various projects.

Since then, I've seen just what an amazing person she is. She's patient, kind, intuitive and above all, creative. The recent Papertrey anniversary celebrations were her brainstorm - two weeks worth of fun and frivolity. But you know what they say, you can't make all the people happy all of the time, and each day there were rain clouds on the PTI parade. She handled those little bumps in the road with a smile and endless grace, but by the end of it, I knew she could use a little pick-me-up.

So today, we send Nichole some love! Make sure to visit the design team members' blogs today to see their contributions (see PTI sidebar on the right). I sent her the above card earlier this week, in hopes that she would be receiving it today. The sentiment has always reminded me of her, as she is the epitome of blooming where she has planted herself. She's a creative, kind boss, a loving, caring wife and a doting and adoring mother. And I'm so glad to be able to call her my friend. (((hugs))) Nichole - you inspire me more than you'll ever know. Thank you for letting me be along for this great ride.

PS - I have a post at the Shimmerz Paints Blog today, as well as a post at the Pursuit of Crafyness that I forgot to mention to you! I'd love it if you would check them out - both are projects that I haven't posted on this blog. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wee & Whimsical Wednesday

Welcome to another Wee & Whimsical Wednesday, where I focus on using Inchie Arts products in fun ways! I mentioned earlier this week how I'm itching for spring. I am already thinking about my my old house, I had gorgeous rows of huge lavender plants by the front door, and sometimes the sprigs would hang over the sidewalk so that when someone walked by, it would release it wonderful scent and just make me smile. I'm hoping that I can do the same here, but I need to look into it a bit to make sure it would grow well here.

In the meantime, I created this card to sort of pay homage to that lavender (and spring fever!). It features both the full-size Lockhart Lavender image, as well as the Itty Bitty Lavender.

Surprise! This card also has a bookmark incorporated into the design. As you can see, I used a Black Inchie Square on this. I really wanted the colors to pop, so black was a great choice. I did the blackboard technique just a little differently this time; once I stamped the white pigment ink, I added white embossing powder and melted it with my heat gun. Then I went in, added my white colored pencil, then added color with Twinkling H2Os. The embossing is a great way to keep your watercolors from going too makes a little wall that the color will stay within.

I think this is a great way to make your card just a little...MORE, know what I mean? The recipient is sure to remember the time and love you put into the bookmark and card everytime that they use it. Your challenge? Incorporate an Inchie into a bookmark that is springy! If you upload to Splitcoast, please use WWW03; I would love to feature your creation here for the next Wee & Whimsical Wednesday (with your permission, of course - I will contact you beforehand.). If you upload to your own blog, please make sure to leave the link in a comment!

Be well,

Inchies supplies: (Black Inchie Square)
Inchie Arts, LLC
Stamps: (Lavender, Itty Bitty Lavender, Thanks A Bunch) Lockhart Stamp Company
Cardstock: (Plum Pudding, Vintage Cream)
Papertrey Ink
Patterned Paper: (Guidelines)
Papertrey Ink
Dies: (Classic Square, Labels Trio)
Spellbinders Paper Arts

Monday, February 23, 2009

Spring fever!

If you could see all the fun stuff that I've been creating recently, you would have NO doubt that I have a serious fever - spring fever, that is! I'm sure that I'm not alone with that affliction! Let's hope we all get our remedy soon!

That being said, I'm pulling out all sorts of springy colors and dainty little patterns and having a blast with them. This card sums that up perfectly, don't you think? The image is Delphinium & Peony from Lockhart Stamp Co. and is colored with Prismacolor pencils. I used Labels 3 from Spellbinders and topped it all off with a layer of Pixie Dust Blingz from Shimmerz. Wow - just look at the way it brought it life!

You probably also notice the stitching on the card...know what this means? My beloved sewing machine is off its death bed! I had made MANY attempts at taking the poor thing off life support in recent months, just to have my hopes dashed and dreams broken. One valiant last effort on Friday to resuscitate it was met with glorious success, and now I have my old friend back at my side, stronger than ever. :)

Be well.

Stamp: (Delphinium & peony)
Lockhart Stamp Company
Paper: (Stampers Select)
Papertrey Ink, (Hip Hip Hooray) Paper Salon
Paint: (Pixie Dust Blingz)
Dies: (Labels 3)
Spellbinders Paper Arts
Ribbon: Making Memories
Colored pencils: Prismacolors

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I just had to share this card with you - mainly because it's just so ME! (Can you hear me giggling?) I made this card for a couple of friends as a little thank you note, and I SO WISH I could have heard the response when they opened it. See, I have a pink motor scooter (this isn't news if you've been here for a while) - and I love it. It's great for quick errand runs around town (it only goes 35 mph), and it gets 100 miles to the gallon!

So, when these friends came and saw the scooter, I was given a new nickname - Princess Vespa. The husband in this family is as quick-witted as they come, so he pulled this from the movie "Spaceballs" and well, it stuck! All weekend, whenever I was needed, "Princess Vespa?" could be heard. The thing is, it's just too funny to ignore!

I needed a quick thank you note for a lovely house-warming gift that they had brought, so this Vespa Girl stamp from A Muse was positively fitting for a princess! (hee hee) This sentiment is by far my favorite from A Muse, and I use it quite often, as I find it fits in many situations. I've had it for such a long time and it is probably one of my most used stamps. This card is 4 1/4" square; I have been using this size a lot lately since it fits in an A2 envelope and there's no extra postage. The background is stamped in Smokey Gray Versafine (this gives a very subtle look that works well for many types of cards) and is the Climbing Floral from Cornish Heritage Farms.

Thanks for stopping by today! Be well.

Cardstock: (Stampers Select) Papertrey Ink
Stamps: (Vespa Girl, Road to a Friends House) A Muse; (Climbing Floral Backgrounder) Cornish Heritage Farms
Dies: (Classic Rectangles) Spellbinders Paper Arts
Other: (colored pencils) Prismacolor

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Thanks for being so sweet!

Oh gosh, don't you love this new Lockhart stamp? I do! It is so much fun to color and has many options for color scheme and texture. I covered the 'glass' portion of the stamp with Ranger Glossy Accents, while accenting the 'metal' areas with a Sakura clear Glaze pen. And there are lots of fun colored pencils on this one! The card has surprising texture in real life due to that and just adds to the whimsical feel. I chose some Cosmo Cricket paper to reflect the colors of the gumballs and printed out the sentiment on the computer.

When I print a sentiment like this (one that I'm bound to use more than just once) on the computer, I do a few things that I thought might be of use to you, too. I know I've mentioned this before, but this font is called Fling and it is my favorite! You can see it everywhere these days, and if you would like to add it to your collection, you can find it for free here.

I start by opening my font, then my MS Word. I create my sentiment, centering it on my page (more about this in a minute), then copy and paste it several more times. I try to get about 5 on a page, all in the center position. I then print it on cardstock.

I trim off my left and right sides and set them aside (they're great for stamping more Lockhart images to color later!). Now that I have just the sentiments, I can trim and die cut, as I did on this sample. I try to leave enough room between the sentiments to let me choose from a variety of shapes.

Well, sweet Wally is home from school today with the mid-winter ickies. We're taking it easy by having a Star Wars film fest. We just finished Episode I, so I'm off to change the DVD. Have a great day. Be well.

Stamp: (Gumball Machine)
Lockhart Stamp Company
Cardstock: (Stampers Select, Pure Poppy)
Papertrey Ink
Patterned paper: Cosmo Cricket
Dies: (Classic Ovals, Classic Scalloped Ovals, Mega Curved Rectangles)
Spellbinders Paper Arts
Colored pencils: Prismacolors
Other: Sakura Glaze pen, Ranger Glossy Accents

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Catching up on sketches!

I've been making some extra time each week to play along with the sketch challenges at SCS. The women that contribute to the challenge are so supportive and kind - it just makes for a really nice group to play with! If you aren't familiar with it, the challenges go up each Wednesday here.

This lighthouse image is from Lockhart Stamp Company. I decided to play around with my pencils a little for the sky and to really try and make one of those gorgeous sunset, painted sky images. I combined pencils that I wouldn't ordinarily try together, and I am pleased with the effect. I chose the patterned paper (GCD Studios - I've been using this a LOT lately) for two reasons, one because the colors were similar and two, because the little squares are repeated elements from the squares in the lighthouse stripes. I think it worked out well!

This was the card that I created for last week's sketch challenge, again using a Lockhart image. I worked opposite of my usual process with this image, choosing my colors for the image from the patterned paper (which is Basic Grey). The funny thing is that this reminds me of my mom and sister so much - my mom is a quilter, and my sister's favorite color growing up was pink, while mine was yellow. It makes me smile!

Do you have favorite sketch sites? There are so many out there, all fantastic - I would love to hear your favorites!

Be well,



Stamp: (Checkered Lighthouse) Lockhart Stamp Company

Cardstock: (Stamper's Select, Spring Moss, Ripe Avocado, Kraft) Papertrey Ink

Patterned Paper: GCD Studios

Buttons: JHB International


Stamp: (Quilt Block 2) Lockhart Stamp Company; (Polka Dot Basics) Papertrey Ink

Cardstock: (Lemon tart, Stamper's Select, Berry Sorbet) Papertrey Ink

Patterned Paper: (Two Scoops) Basic Grey

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wee & Whimsical Wednesday

I can't believe it's been two weeks already! This week, I wanted to focus on the simple transformations that you can do with Inchie Squares, beyond the great cards you can make.

Since Valentine's Day is just a couple of days away, I thought it would be a lot of fun to create a quick pin. I started with a Black Inchie Square, which because of its heftiness, makes a perfect pin! I used the Blackboard technique with my Lockhart Itty Bitty Vase. After adding my white pencil, I added Stickles in pink and green; once that was dry, I edged it with white ink. The final layer was two spritzes of Glimmer Mist in Vintage Pink. The final image is so shimmery in real life that I was only able to capture a fraction of it in this picture (one of life's true unfair moments, lol).

This next step is EASY - grab a pack of 3/4" pin backs from your local craft supply store (find them in the jewelry aisle). Glue (here I used Gem Tac from Beacon, made for adhering this sort of product) and presto-chango - A really cute pin! I'm going to pin this to a Valentine card for my niece; I know she'll love to put it on her backpack!

I am beginning to imagine all sorts of possibilities, and would love to see and hear what you come up with! So if you make a pendant, or a keychain, or whatever...LET ME KNOW! I would love to highlight your work on the next Wee & Whimsical Wednesday! Get creating, upload it to your blog or SplitCoast (use keyword WWW02 for ease of finding it, please!) and post back with where I can find it. I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Be well!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tuscan influence

I'm such a lucky girl - I've been able to travel quite a bit and experience a wide range of influences from different cultures. Once in a lucky while, I get to pull from that experience and use a little bit in my paper crafting (although I think it usually ends up more on my scrapbook pages than my cards!). This is one of those lucky times!

Last summer, Ward and I ran off to Italy and left Wally and the Beav with their grandparents. Since Ward was working while we were in Florence, I was able to explore museums and shops on my own to my heart's content. Looking back, it was such an amazing experience, walking around by myself without any agenda. I saw colors and textures that were so very inspiring - and I really wanted to translate that into this new image from Lockhart Stamp Co., called Lemons and Bay Leaves.

If you take a look at the pottery, you can see that I really played around with my pencils a bit. Remembering to start with my lightest colors first, I 'highlighted' the words with my yellow, and colored around them from there. The blending pencil allowed me to control the blending with precision, keeping the words yellow while still allowing variances in the other parts. I am really happy with the results on this. I cut it out with some new Spellbinders dies and layered it with some older papers that matched perfectly. (Supplies are listed below.)

I hope that this inspires you to draw on some of your life experiences and see where it takes your work! Be well.

Stamp: (Lemons and Bay Leaves)Lockhart Stamp Co.
Cardstock: (Stampers Select, Ripe Avocado, Dark Chocolate) Papertrey Ink
Dies: (Large Deckled Mega Rectangles) Spellbinders Paper Arts
Patterned paper: My Minds Eye, Heidi Grace
Ribbon: (Lemon Tart Grosgrain) Papertrey Ink
Colored Pencils: Prismacolor

Friday, February 6, 2009

Papertrey Ink Color Challenge

Have you been following all the Anniversary Fun on Nichole's blog this week? Whoa, you all have been keeping me SO busy! It is a ton of fun, though, and I really have to tip my hat to my friend, Nichole, who is just a mastermind of activities.

Speaking of which, be sure to check out today's contest! Quite a prize! All you have to do is create a card with the colors Pure Poppy, Summer Sunrise, Ripe Avocado and Ocean Tides and link back to Nichole's blog! So easy that even I made time to squeeze it in! So get creating and ENTER! ;)

Have a great weekend! Be well.

Cardstock: (Summer Sunrise, Ripe Avocado, Pure Poppy, Ocean Tides, Kraft, Vintage Cream) Papertrey Ink
Stamps: (Polka Dot Basics, Green Thumb) Papertrey Ink
Ink: (Summer Sunrise, Pure Poppy, Ocean Tides, Ripe Avocado, Vintage Cream) Papertrey Ink
Ribbon: (Summer Sunrise twill) Papertrey Ink
Dies: (Small Labels, Double Ended Tag) Spellbinders Paper Arts

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sweet Peas

Are you ready for spring? I am! It's funny because part of me can't believe it is already February but the other part of me is wondering how long this winter is going to last. Of course, the four days of chipping ice from my driveway would have something to do with it (and the day I finish clearing the ice, it snows again!).

So I'm putting up a little touch of spring this morning - one of the new releases from Lockhart Stamp Company, Sweet Peas. Doesn't it just make you smile? :) I can't get over the detail on this image - there are so many little blooms on it. It was a ton of fun to color.

I hope it brings a little spring to your morning. Be well.

Stamp: (Sweet Peas) Lockhart Stamp Company
Cardstock: Papertrey Ink
Patterned Paper: Making Memories
Dies: (Labels 3) Spellbinders Paper Arts
Ribbon: Papertrey Ink
Colored Pencils: Prismacolor

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Papertrey Ink!

Make sure you check out all the excitement! The next two weeks will be full of fun & merriment - stop by Nichole Heady's blog each day to stay in the know!

Be well!