Thursday, December 22, 2011

Well folks, Christmas is just around the corner...

Happy Thursday to all 9 of my faithful followers, my family and friends that I pester to take a look see now and then and of course last but not least to the "just happened by" crowd as well.

Christmas is just days away and as I type this I am looking out my back window at the various shades of grays and browns that I assuredly will loathe by the time winter is said and done. I am saddened by the fact that there is a noticeable absence of that white stuff blanketing all the trees and ground.

For me, Christmas doesn’t feel like Christmas without snow. I have always been one to enjoy the snow up until the end of January and then it could just disappear for all I care. Right now the thermometer reads 4 degrees Celsius or 39 degrees Fahrenheit for my American counterparts. Having looked at the long term forecast before I hopped on over here to talk to you it is definitely going to be a green Christmas up in these parts of the world. Ugh!!!

I was hoping that after I finished making my Christmas cards and listening to Christmas music the entire time I would be singing, baking and wrapping presents by now. Sadly though, it still hasn’t happened for me. I am just so off this year. I am not sure if I can blame it entirely on the missing snow or if I am seriously a late bloomer this year. One thing that I do know is that once I am hanging out with my family and smoozin’ with friends over the holidays I'm pretty sure that I will definitely be in the Christmas spirit.

Today I would like to share the card that I made for the people on my Christmas card list who love to receive cards and actually like to keep them. I will mention though that the photo didn’t turn out the best (as usual). Hopefully I will get better at this as time goes on.

I originally learned how to make this card as a photo greeting card. Considering the fact that I didn’t want my mug sitting around someone’s house for a few weeks I changed it into something more festive.

I started the wreath by making a small ring out of green cardstock using my Spellbinder circle dies. Then I used two Martha Stewart punches; the frond and the fir branch to make up the actual wreath. It isn’t that noticeable in the photo but I used two different shades of green cardstock to make it appear more natural. I find that using tone on tone makes certain things look more real but it looks equally pretty in one colour as well. I finished it off with some stickles, a handmade bow and various sized gold balls. Most of the paper came from Stampin' Up and the DP was from My Mind's Eye Christmas Glitter Collection.

I found a tutorial for making the wreath on KittieKraft and then simply adapted it for Christmas. I must admit though that it was impossible to find, and purchase the fir branch punch at any craft store nearby. Fortunately for me good ole Darlene came to the rescue and had one that I could borrow. Isn't it great how we can share things with each other, not just ideas but supplies too?

So if anybody knows where I can find one I would love to hear from you ;) ;) Personally, I think it is a very useful punch and can be utilized for many things in relation to paper crafts.

Well my friends, I must call it a day. Just in case I don't get back on here until after the New Year please let me wish everyone a safe and happy holiday. I will bid you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year because that is what "I" say at this time of the year.

Remember, He is the Reason for the Season. God Bless.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Finally, a Christmas card to share...

Hello and happy Thursday to everyone. With yesterday being hump day I actually found myself dropping some of my completed Christmas cards into the mailbox last night. Don't get excited though it was only 6 and there is a well-intended 4 to follow today.
I have been designing different Christmas cards for different groups of people on my Christmas card list. The Copic cards are very time consuming as you all know, so not everyone gets one of these. I am sure we all have people on our lists that appreciate the "hand-crafted" card so much that they keep them. This group definitely gets a card worth keeping. Then there are the people who love to receive a hand-crafted Christmas card or a Christmas card in general. The card that I make for them is one that they don’t feel guilty about tossing into the recycle bin after the holidays. Either way, any card I make is made with serious thought factored into it, but most of all it is made with love.
Today I have two Copic cards that I made for some very special people, and I can't tell you who they are because it will spoil the surprise. "Is it me, is it me?"
I used the same image, which is non-other than that cutie patootie Willard from the Kraftin'Kimmie stamps collection. (No surprise there eh?)  Each card has its own colour theme going on and I will confess that I did use one of the colour schemes that my fav, Melanie Holtz of Paper Blessings by Melanie used on a card she made last year just because I loved her choice of rich colour blends. I found him very time consuming because of his darn sweater has such a busy pattern goin' on and I think next time when I colour him I will try my hand at paper piecing to speed things up.

When it comes to the Copic cards, putting the whole card together takes a considerable amount of time for me, thus another reason only a certain few will get one of these cards. I hope over time and with practice I will get faster at this part. People have told me to buy paper packs where the patterned paper and coordinating card stock come together.
I did purchase one such package with lovely bright colours recently and used it when I made Angie, my winning entry to a Kraftin’Kimmie challenge this past November. I must admit there is truth to that suggestion because it did reduce the amount of time I spent on that card.  The problem is that I am geographically challenged on top of being physically challenged. I can no longer drive, and only have “pathetic” regional bus service available to me so I can’t get to places that do carry these things. I hate paying shipping fees for things that I can buy here in Canada because that just makes things that more expensive, and we all know how expensive this little hobby can be.
I hope you enjoy my cards, and I really must get back to working on them. Perhaps tomorrow I will post the card I made for the “I love a hand-crafted card that I like to keep group".
Thanks again for stopping in at the Creative Express stops here :)S

Thursday, December 1, 2011

And so it begins.....

Hello everyone, and a very pleasant December 1st to you all. The countdown is on and I am still working on my Christmas cards. What can I say, I am such a procrastinator when it comes to all that Fa La La La La and Egg Nog stuff, and please please don't get me started on what I think of snow.

There are lots of us Canadian folk that hate snow and the whole winter season to boot (no pun intended there). Which begs the question, why do I still live up here in the great white north? A simple explanation would be to say that where I live is such a beautiful place and even when it gets all cold and snowy it is still  beautiful. So in a nutshell, I would have to say that winter is a small price to pay to live in such a beautiful part of the world. I must say though, so far we have been doing pretty good in the weather department and I will leave it at that. I don’t want to be blamed for jinxing things for us all.

One thing that the fall/winter season brings with it is my birthday. Being a November baby I have always wished that I could celebrate by having either a beach or pool party. Now there isn’t much anyone can do to change their date of birth but there is one thing that you can do. Move “Down Under” you know the “Outback”, or more traditionally referred to as Australia. A friend of mine recently moved away to the land down under and was spending HER November BDAY at the beach, without me! Too bad though that you would have to travel to the other side of the planet to do so.

Speaking of November birthdays, my crazy friend Darlene's birthday is the day before mine and this year we made a Copic card for each other. I haven't had the chance to photograph her card yet but I thought I would show you the one that I made for her. I will post her card over the next day or two, and hopefully by then I will have some "completed" Christmas cards to show you as well.

Well folks, that is about all I have for you today. I am trying not to blab my head off on this thing but it’s like talking to someone. Yikes! Its bed time for bonzo and God willing my feet will touch the floor again tomorrow and I am able to get right back at it! Thanks for stopping by :)S

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Halloween cards...better late than never!

Good afternoon fellow bloggers.

Seeing how I have just completed a couple of necessary daily chores, (ugh! ) I am now rewarding myself with some time in my happy place, which is right here, in case you didn't know.
I mentioned on my last post that I decided to share photos of some of the cards I have made in the past.  I am going to really limit them to the most recent because I want you to come back, wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
Today I would like to share two of my most recent cards. I made these for some pretty important people in my life. The first one would be my Sister Jennie and the other for my two Nieces and Nephew.
My sister has Downs Syndrome and is 34 years old. One of the greatest things about having a person with Downs Syndrome in your life is that in some ways they will always remain childlike. Jennie loves every single special occasion that comes our way. No sooner is Halloween behind us then she wants the Christmas decorations out. Then it’s Valentine's Day into Easter and so on and so on. Jennie has most certainly enriched my life and I know for a fact that she really is the glue that keeps our family together.
Let’s get to the cards now.  Witchy-Poo I made for Jennie and Mitzi the Mummy I made for the kids, which are both from the Kraftin' Kimmie Stamps collection, go figure eh!

Witchy-Poo had a simple "Happy Halloween" sentiment stamped inside and Mitzi had the words "I want" on the front of the card and simply the word "candy" on the inside. I actually cut the words out from a piece of Halloween DP that I had lying around. I used it again as the main background on Witchy-Poo. It goes without saying that she was coloured with my Copic markers and I used minimal embellishments. One thing I would like to add is the background DP that I used On Mitzi really isn't reflected properly in this photo unfortunately. The bats were actually a raised type of flocked material and they sort of popped up from the paper. Pretty cool actually.

I would like to share a little tidbit about Witchy-Poo in particular. While at the 2nd Annual Krafty Day with Kraftin' Kimmie, (damn, there's that mouth full of K's again)...I was extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet and spend some personal, one on one time with Melanie Holtz of Paper Blessings by Melanie Holtz. I asked her if she could help me better understand how to colour pleats on a stamped image. Now let me say people, this girl most certainly has the "pleat thing" goin' on that’s for sure!!!
I don't know if everyone has a problem with pleats but for me they are like learning how to parallel park. Oh, the horror, the horror!!!

I avoided stamps with pleats like the plague, but now after some excellent tips from the "pleat queen" herself I am re-thinking this attitude, and for that, I thank you Melanie. For those of you who may not have checked out her blog go directly there after you pass GO.

Well folks, this is about all I have for you today. Hope you enjoyed your stop over. Once again, thank you for stopping by :)S

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I was thinking...

Hi everyone, I was thinking; and no there isn't any steam coming out of my ears right now!!! Seriously though, I was thinking about my last post where in that I said I didn't have any cards to show up here on this little ole blog I got goin' on. Then I remembered the fact that when I make a card to give to someone I usually make a second one at the same time.  They may be slightly different than the one I give away, for example, the stamped image is the same but one might have bling and perhaps one will not. Or it might have a different colour scheme all together. Anyway, I have a little stash of those second cards, and I thought about using them on here until they are gone.

I would like to mention first that some of these cards were made when I was just starting out and some are more recent. This particular card today I made quite a few months ago, perhaps even the tail end of last winter. I think it's cool to have them because I can gauge my progress with them too.

Having actually won a recent challenge on the Kraftin’ Kimmie blog has me thinking I have improved immensely. I am also noticing that I am not a very good photographer to say the least and could use some helpful advice as to how I can improve in that department. Now I'm talking about making my cards present better and not photography in general. So if anyone has any suggestions in that department please don't hesitate to share them with me. I have one of those idiot proof digital cameras, you know the kind that you just point and shoot. However, I do have access to a really gooooooood 35mm digital camera that I bought my hubby for Christmas last year. I can hire him, so to speak to take them even! Hmmmm, now there is a novel idea me thinks!

Getting to the card.......this one is an adorable Stamping Bella stamp called "Sprout". I can't tell you anything about what company makes the papers I used because if memory serves me correctly I just took pieces of odds and ends from my scrap paper box.

The ribbon is definitely from SU and of course I coloured her with my Copics. I also used SB die cuts and some Glossy accents on the little flower pot she is holding in her hands. The picture doesn't really show the little green sprout that is growing in the pot very well, so I think the next time I colour her I will choose a lighter brown combo for the soil. There you go, a little FYI for myself.

Anyway I have taken enough of your time as I am sure you have things to do other than this.

Thanks for stopping by :)S

Monday, November 14, 2011

Oh my gosh, I won....

Well good day fellow bloggers. I hope everyone had a great weekend.  My weekend was especially good because I found out that I was the winner of Kraftin’ Kimmie Stamps challenge # 103. Whoo-hoo!!!!!

I am beside myself for various reasons. Firstly, for obviously winning my very first blog entry challenge and secondly, I have been taken aback by the lovely people who took the time to visit my blog or my little “happy place” as I like to call it. Thank you so much for doing that and for leaving a comment or two. Talk about a boost to my morale!!!

The photo below was taken at the end of a very long but fulfilling day when my girlfriend Darlene and I attend the 2nd Annual Krafty Day with Kraftin’ Kimmie Stamps. Isn’t that a mouth full of K’s! We had such a wonderful time and learned so much. If anyone has not attended this event before I highly recommend it. I know I will be there next year for sure!

I would like to thank Kimmie and all the Krafty Girls that were in attendance that day for putting on an awesome event. Sorry I took the pic at the end of the day, next year I promise I will take it when we are all looking our very best! Ok Kimmie?????

I don’t have a card today cuz I had a very busy weekend and I can’t wait to get my new “Warm Winter Hugs” stamp that I won. I am so behind and must start making some Christmas cards like everyone else is doing these days. 
Thanks for dropping by :)S

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The first blog post

Well cyber world here I am! So totally stepping out of my box and so totally not in my comfort zone at all. For those of you who will actually read this on purpose, I thank you for taking the time out of your busy life to do so.

I recently attended the second annual "Kraftin' Kimmie Krafty Day" hosted by an amazing group of krafty women from Kraftin' Kimmie stamps this past September. While there I found out that if you want to enter any challenges from time to time you need a blog and/or a social network of some kind where you can upload your creation photos.

Given that I do spend an enormous amount of time blog hopping it only made sense for me to have one myself. So here I am, totally exposed so to speak and about to learn new things. Who said you couldn't teach an old dog new tricks?

I have been scrapbooking and card making now for a few years. Well, really more card making then scrapbooking. I was introduced to the world of Copic markers by my dear friend Darlene, and trust me there is a story there in itself but we won't go there, lol.

I think it was my love of colouring maps in my high school geography class that resurfaced when I took my beginner class at Forever Scrapbooks in Burlington, Ontario. The class was instructed by Sherry Siemens of Card Creme who happens to be extremely talented with these markers. I was slow to start given the cost factor and was a wee bit afraid to use them for the same reason. So, I decided to sign up for online classes offered by the amazing Suzanne J. Dean of Colour me Creative Classroom and ScrapBitz. Now there is one talented artist, instructor and an amazing person too.

Out of the five classes she offers in a tutorial format I have completed three. The bonus part of taking her classes is that you can learn at your own pace in the privacy of your own home whenever you want to access them. You can even do them in your PJ's if you want, lol. The classes include pdf files for each lesson that you can print off and keep for quick reference. It is a great way to learn and somewhat therapeutic at times if you want to know the truth.

Okay, enough yakking from me and I will get to my first card. I fell in love with this little cutie immediately when I saw her on the rack. She is a stamp from the Kraftin' Kimmie collection and her name is Angie. I am pretty sure I have looked exactly like her more than once in my life.
The stamp includes two sentiments the "Thanks a latte" as seen here in the photo and "I don't do mornings" as well. Oh and yes, she does come with a pair of slippers as well! I coloured her with my Copic markers and pulled the colours from my Citrus matstack collection of coordinating card stock. I have decided to enter her in another one of Kraftin' Kimmie Stamps challenges. Challenge (#103) called "Pin It Down".

Wow, that didn't hurt at all....I think this just might be a lot of fun! Thanks for dropping by :) S