My Stamping Corner

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Would you believe.......?

I MADE A CARD!!  Yah!!  I know....pretty silly, right?  If you look back at my posts though, you'll see how long it's been. I just haven't been "feelin' " it these days!  But it's my grandaughter's birthday this week and I know she expects a 'hand-made' card, so I had to bite the bullet and do it.  Yeesh! It was like brain surgery! The coloring part was bad enough, but then I had to try and figure out what paper to put with it and how to put it together - ugh. Didn't this used to be something I used to actually look forward to doing?  Maybe I'm just getting lazy - I don't know.  Have any of you had this problem? The mojo has just gone on vacation....a l-o-n-g vacation!'s what I did. I started with one of Mo's Digital images - "Danielle with Laptop". (I just LOVE Mo's images!!) As soon as I saw this, I thought of my grandaughter! I can just picture her in this position with her Mac on her lap and her cat (Penny) on the back of the chair keeping her company. :)

I haven't done this for so long that I think I really screwed up the shading. (eek!!) It looks like the light is coming from the right in some places and the left in others. Oh dear....think I need to practice some. 

I used Copics mostly then did a lot of the shading with Prismacolor pencils/Gamsol. It felt good to color again - love that part!  But when it comes to the putting together of the card, I get all stressed out. I think all of the choices just overwhelm me sometimes. Crazy, eh?  Here's the inside of the card - pretty simple. I add these cute epoxy stickers that I found in my stash that just went perfectly with the sentiment!  Of course I had to add some sparkle too - I put some glossy accents on the laptop and added yellow stickles to the flames of the candles and dotted some Star Dust stickles around the image.

I'm not sure if this will spur me on to do more or not, but it felt good to complete a card!  My stamping days may be numbered!

Hope you have a wonderful week!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Glory of Fall!

Hello to my stamping friends out there in blog land!  It's been a long, fun summer with little or no stamping going on in this house. We've been busy with the four grandchildren that live nearby and having so much fun with all of them! :) 

My husband and I just got back from a long weekend in northern Michigan witnessing the glorious colors of Fall.  It was breathtakingly beautiful!  Below are some photos of our 'color tour'......

I took far too many photos! Even with all of the rain and grey skies we endured over these four days, we still got some gorgeous sunny moments and breathtaking views. 

The one below is from the balcony of our hotel room. We've stayed at this Holiday Inn Express in Petoskey before and knew that the 'valley view' had a potential for being super - it did not dissapoint us!! 

Before we left for this little mini vacation, I even ventured into my stamping area to make a birthday card for my dear friend and neighbor. I'm still having difficulty putting a card together for some strange reason, but I think this one turned out okay.  What do you think?

I used a new Memory Box die - Honeyblossom Sprig along with the Spellbinders Labels Twenty. I am totally in LOVE with the MB dies!! I just recently discovered them and have to really restrain myself when 'window shopping' at all the GORGEOUS dies available! There are so many of them and each one presents a new possibilitiy. Don't get me wrong - I still go back to my Spellbinders dies for most every card I make though.

The basic card was started using Kraft cardstock then a sort of dark bronze cardstock that came in some assortment from SU! from the past. the paper is from Basic Grey: Oxford Collection-Lacrosse.  The border die is Martha Stewart - Doily Lace Edge punch. I used Tim Holtz's Antique Linen Distress Ink to shade around the edges of the dies. The sentiment is from another old SU! set (I use this particular stamp a lot!) and the paper is SU! Very Vanilla. Added a little Stickles Gold and some gold Swarovski jewels, and finished off with some ribbon from my stash!

Well, that's it for now and with any luck I'll be back again soon to show you another card.

If you're in a place that has changing seasons, I hope you enjoy this beautiful Fall weather and the glorious colors of Autumn!!


Saturday, June 2, 2012

No stamping, but a trip to Italy!

Hello again!! I know it's been awhile since I've posted anything. I haven't done any stamping, scrapping, card making, sewing or anything crafty in months. Every now and then I think about doing a card, but it's been so long now that I'm not even sure I can remember how to color with my Copics! I've even had the dreaded thought of getting rid of everything (eek!!). Yeah....I squelched that idea pretty quick. I will get back to it eventually.

In the meantime though, I have been keeping busy in other ways! I babysit for my 15 month old grandson - two to three days a week. He's so curious, so much fun and at that age where he wants your attention all the time - really keeps me busy!!  Both my husband and I just adore him and treasure the fact that we're able to spend so much time with him and create such a great bond! And of course ocassionally we also have the other three grandkids too (12, 10 and 7) - we call them "the big 3"!!  We are so blessed to have all of our children and most of our grandchildren living nearby. Our oldest grandaughter (who is 25 now!!) lives in Chicago now. We aren't close in proximity, but we're close in heart and talk to her often. 
We also just had a two-week vacation recently to ITALY!  It was sooooo wonderful. We've talked about doing a trip like this for so many years.....we finally decided we better do it before we CAN'T anymore!  It took a lot of pre-planning with my husband doing a lot of on-line research. We spent the first week on our own - we rented a car and drove the Amalfi coast, stopping when the mood hit us and staying in small towns along the coast. It was just spectacular in every way!! It's hard to put into words the beauty of our surroundings and the serenity that I felt while on this part of our trip. The photo below might give you some idea of some of the glorious views we saw all along the coast. Views like this one were frequent!

One of many spectacular views along the Amalfi coast!

View from our hotel room in Positano

One of our stops along the way was a town called Positano. It is more or less a "vertical" town with winding roads and steep seemingly endless steps. It is believed that the town was founded in the 9th century. Sumptuous villas, watchtowers, steep winding roads, the Mediterranean architecture, and one of the largest beaches along the Amalfi coast bring tourists to this wonderful spot! Apparently, from what I've read since being there, artists and celebrities from around the world chose this spot as their preferred holiday spot since early in the 20th century. I can see why. It is glorious!!

Gardens of our hotel
We also spent a couple of days in Sorrento. What a surprise this place was to us! Sorrento overlooks the Bay of Naples and is an extremely popular tourist spot. Within the bustle of this town, we discovered the Antiche Mura Hotel - a positive OASIS in this busy little town! With the best location, only a block from the Piazza Tasso in the center of town, it felt more like you were in a secluded garden resort. Lovely, clean, large, quiet rooms and service to match made this a wonderful retreat! Sorrento offered lots of shopping and tourist attractions plus the best food we had during our entire two week trip to Italy!

Valley of the Mills in Sorrento

Directly adjacent to our hotel was a deep ravine called "Valley of the Mills". (Once at home, I discovered more about this on the internet: The name Valley of the Mills, derives from the existence of a mill - functioning since the beginning of the '900's - used for grinding wheat. Attached to the mill, rose a sawmill which furnished chaff to the Sorrentine cabinet makers. Everything is completed by a public wash-house used by the women.) It's quite a sight to see. I read that along the old ramps cut into the rock, entering through a gulley near the Stragazzi car park and, wearing waders, one can stroll along the wild valley floor, looking at the ruins.

Our second week in Italy, we hooked up with a fully-escorted tour group. We've never done anything like that before, so we weren't sure how we would like it. It turned out to be fantastic and we were able to see and do so much more in a short period of time than we would've been able to see/do on our own! We toured historical sights and ancient ruins of Rome, including the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Vatican Museum, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican is a "must see" if you go to Rome! We got to see Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. In Florence, we toured the Duomo Cathedral, the Accademia, and Santa Croce which house some of the greatest artistic treasures of the world. Michelangelo's statue of David (at the Accademia) was a thrill to see! Our tour guide here was so wonderful in his telling of Michelangelo, his work, his pain and struggles - you could 'feel' his passion and that of Michelangelo as well. Venice had a charm all its own: the gondolas making their way through the canals, Piazza San Marco, Doge's Palace, St. Mark's Basilica, the Rialto Bridge and Grand Canal. 

Our tour director, Nicholas, was wonderful - very informative, friendly, helpful and made us all feel very comfortable to let him handle all of the details! Our accommodations were always top-notch with great locations and service. And the guides that we had in Rome, Florence and Venice were all so unbelievably knowledgable and passionate about their country, its people, history, art and architecture.....we learned so much from them! I would definitely recommend traveling this way and will surely do it again!

Our Globus Tour Group at the Vatican

There were about 35 or 36 people in our group and we traveled by large bus between cities.Our group was made up of several couples around our own ages (that is....seniors, but still feeling like we aren't!), two younger couples, and three families - one with two teenage girls, one with a teenage girl a teenage boy and his girlfriend, and one family that consisted of the older mom and dad plus their four grown children (all there without their spouses except for the youngest one - his wife of one year came along too). Most of the people were from the U.S.- New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Virginia, Iowa, Nebraska and Michigan. There were also a couple from Toronto, Canada; a couple from Turkey; and a family from Tokyo. A very diverse group and after a very short time together, we all became very friendly and had a lot of fun together!  By the end of the week, we hated to leave our tour group "family", and most of all we really hated to leave Italy!!

SS United States 1952
My husband and I literally have been talking about another trip to Europe for over 45 years!!  We met coming back from Europe - he was 20, I was 18. I had been in England with relatives for a couple of months; he was traveling around Europe, mostly hitch-hiking. We met on the SS United States, which was a luxury passenger liner built in 1952, during the heydey of oceanliners, for the United States Lines designed to capture the trans-Atlantic speed record. (The ship operated in transatlantic passenger service until 1969; since 1996 she has been docked at Pier 82 on the Delaware River in Philadelphia.) After a long-distance courtship (traveling back and forth between Philadelphia and Michigan!), we were married about a year and a half later!  We've taken other trips but none to Europe so this was a long time coming.

We had such a GREAT time on this trip that we're already planning another one - hopefully in two years. Now we just have to figure out where to go!! There are just so many places to see!

Hope you're having a great day!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Valentine Candy!

Oh it really February? It continues to amaze me how quickly time goes by these days. I haven't done any stamping for much too long, but I'm confident that I WILL get my mojo back and WILL stamp again!
I just got some really cute digital images that I can't wait to color up so that should spur me on.

Prairie Fairy is giving away some yummy Valentine's Day Candy! Click here for all the details.

Okay, so....what do I love?  Yikes - there are so many! I love my husband - we've been married for 45 years and he still starts my heart! I love my children - they've grown up to be such wonderful, kind, caring and generous people - I love being around them. And my grandchildren - all of them are so special, each in their own way. I love my girlfriends - they've been so supportive over the years. I love a good cup of coffee in the morning, kissing my hubby, snuggling with him on a cold winter night, playing with my 11 month old grandson and hearing his giggles, watching my 25 year old grandaughter grow into a really nice woman on her own, a good book, coloring an image and seeing it come to life then transferring it into a special card for someone I love. I'm sure I could go on and on, but I'll end it there.

Hope to see you soon with an actual card I've made!! 

Have a wonderful week and hug someone you love! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

Good morning to my fellow bloggers!! Just wanted to say hello and let you know I'm still around .... just so busy that there's no time to "play"!!  I haven't touched any of my crafting/stamping supplies in a VERY long time.  I will get back to it though - just need to get thru the holidays.

Try not to get too stressed out with all the hustle and bustle of the next couple of weeks. Relax and enjoy this time with your families!! 

Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Birthday Cake and a trip to the strip!

Before I start rambling on about our "trip to the strip", here's a birthday card I put together right before I left for one of my dearest friends.  The stamp is called Lulu's Birthday Cake from Stamping Bella. The image was colored with Copics and shaded with Prismacolor pencils/gamsol.  I've had it colored for awhile so it was just a matter of choosing some paper and a layout. The paper doily was calling me to use it as the background matt and I love brown and blue together, so when I saw this paper, grabbed it! 

I really didn't want to add too much more to the front of the card, so I did some stitching around the edges - if you look real close, you can see it.......kind of a swirly leaf design.   

Here's a closer up shot - click on it to see the detail.

I added a little Glossy Accents to the icing on the cake, then I got a little crazy with the Stickles and added some to the flowers and the dp too!!  Don't you just love Stickles?!!!  How could you not?!

Do you have a favorite color? Star Dust is my absolute favorite!! The other 'clear' colors have other colors in them too - this one stays clear, which I really like. Some have a green, gold or silver tendency to them - have you noticed that? Well, I actually love all the colors!!!  I could put Stickles on everything!!  You've noticed that, right? (hee hee!) 

Here's a shot of the inside. Again...I didn't embelish much and kept it pretty simple.  I love this die - can't remember now who the maker is - but I think it was a European company that I bought from online. I'll try to track it down and post it later. :) 

I used Chocolate Chip and... hmmm...not certain what color the other one is... might be Baha Breeze... or Bashful Blue (?). The cardstock is Stampin' Up! except for the white, which is Bella's Bestest White.

Now on to my trip to the strip!! 

We just got back from a week long trip to Las Vegas and then Los Angeles.  We stayed near the south end of the strip and I loved coming out each morning to the beautiful sunny skies and this view of New York New York!!

The weather was in the high 80's to mid 90's all week with clear, sunny skies every day - perfect for walking, which we did a lot of!! We didn't do a ton of gambling and, of course, lost everything we gambled so I'm glad we didn't do a lot!

We made a side trip one day to Valley of Fire State Park, which was really beautiful.
Made up of incredible red sandstone formations formed back in the time of dinosaurs, the park has hiking trails, picnic and camping sites along with a great visitor center that tells you everything about this fascinating place.  We had intended to hike one of the trails, but it was about 95 degrees (in the shade!) so we didn't do any hiking! It took about an hour to get there from Las Vegas, but I'm really glad we made the trip and it was a nice break from the bedlam of Vegas!!

Also while we were in Las Vegas, it turned out that our oldest son had a wheelchair rugby tournament there! We didn't know about it when we booked this trip so it was a really nice surprise! Another sister-in-law, who lives in Mojave, came out to visit us we were there too!!  We were able to have dinner together one night and our waiter was kind enough to take a picture for us!

We headed to Los Angeles hoping to get last-minute standby tickets to the Ellen show. The directions were to call between 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. the day of the show, leave your name, number of tickets you wanted, and phone number. I'd say we were one of the first, if not THE first, to call in the morning at the designated time, but never received a call back. I was disappointed, but it was a long shot anyway. Being the celebrity seeker I seem to be, we headed for "The Grove" outdoor shopping mall in L.A. It's where they always show the celebrities walking and shopping. And - since it's located right behind CBS studios, a lot of the celebs on Dancing with the Stars and other shows wind up there!

I had forgotten that Mario Lopez and "Extra" films LIVE there!! When we saw the set and all the people, I was really excited!! Of course, we had no idea who Mario was going to be interviewing, but I didn't care who it was - I was sure it'd be cool anyway!!  We had lunch outside at a restaurant right near the set to wait for the interview to start.

Turns out it was Snooki from Jersey Shores!! Now I have to tell you.... I am not a Jersey Shores fan - in fact I have never even seen the show! But true to my (just realized!) celebrity seeking personality, I was excited! I have no idea what they talked about in the interview....I was too busy trying to get pictures on my cell phone! There people involved in the show were between us and Snooki/Mario, so it was really hard to get a good shot. It was really funny because there were lots of professional photographers there and the minute there was any kind of clearing, the sound of shutters clicking was crazy!!

It was a fun trip and now that we're back to this cold, gray Michigan weather, I am so glad that we had a week of sun and warmth!! 

It's always fun to go on vacation....but sooooo nice to be back home!!  At least that's how I feel anyway. :) 

Have a great weekend!!


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Where has my mojo gone??

My mojo has up and left me once again! What is it with that? Sometimes I just can't get it together no matter how hard I try.  This was a perfect example.  I needed to make a card for my sister-in-law. I already had the image I wanted to use and everything, but just had some kind of mental block when it came time to putting the darned thing together!  It ended up okay, but not one of my favorites.  I'm going to have to make another attempt to use this image because I really LOVE it!! here goes.... The image is a digital one from Dude Time Doodles and it's called Fannie Fart!  How funny is that?!! They have some really cute images.
As with a lot of the funny images I've found, this one was discovered on Jeanie's The Spotted Chick's blog! She is so funny, clever and talented - and she always has such a great spin on the images she uses. You'll have to check out her blog if you've never visited because she is one funny lady!

I printed Fannie on Bella's Bestest white cardstock and colored her with Copics. I paper pieced her dress using some paper from the Basic Grey Offbeat collection, the ribbon in her hair and the bows on her shoes. A little shading was done with my Prismacolor pencils and I sponged some chalk ink around the inside edges of my Nestie. For once, I remembered to do some stitching! (my memory finally kicked in!!) all that was the easy part....

Then came the actual 'putting together' part. (ugh)  I don't know why I struggled so much, but I did. There were all kinds of possibilities of layouts and papers to use, so why the struggle you might ask.  I wish I could answer that! Finally, I came up with a plan and put it together. It's very basic, but here is the finished card:

I wanted to incorporate some green into the card so I used it as shading around the image. At the time, I had no idea how that would turn out, but it kind of looks like the "stench" coming from her "poof", doesn't it?!!  (hee hee!) Then I still needed to add some more green to tie it together and I just got this great die from MFT - Fancy Flourish - I LOVE their dies!! They cut so nice and clean! MFT has a new website and I couldn't find this flourish to link it, but I know they still have it - maybe they're just out right now. Once I cut the flourish out of the green paper and put it up against the card....oh kind of looked like part of the plan!! It looked like another part of the "poof"!! 

Well, sometimes everything just falls into place even when you don't have a plan. That's what happened this time anyway.  Because there really was NO plan!!

Here's the inside of the card.  The sentiment was borrowed from Jeanie's card - it was just so fitting, how could I not?!!  The sentiment was computer generated so I was able to use part of the digital image (the "poof" part!).  Another green swirl, a little bit of the paper used on the front and FINALLY I got this together! (whew!) As always, I just had to add a little glitter:  clear gel pen to her eyelids, earrings and shoes; Stickles Star Dust glitter glue to the fancy flourish die.

I guess that's it for today!

Have a great weekend!