Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Moving My Craft Room

About a year and a half ago, I posted a tour of craft room here and here. It saddens me to say that I am in the process of breaking down my craft room so that I can move it (and me) across the street. With moving a craft room comes more organization, which my crafty friends think I am the queen of, but we will see!

This is what my room looked like...

...then my son and I managed to get that second book case down the stairs and across the street (and the next day, the two nail polish shelves with all of my stickles, glitter and stuff fell off the wall scattering bottles everywhere)

...and this is where it is moving to....

...and now it is going to be a combined office and craft space. I'll keep you posted on my progress!

Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 21, 2014

I've Been Nominated Too!

For what you may ask? Well, for the Creative Blogger Award. For some reason, we never think we are as creative as other people think we are, so I am grateful to my fellow blogger MJ for seeing something in me. She is one of the most gifted card makers I know, so please go and take a peek at her blog My Afrocentric Creations.

The Creative Blogger Award entitles you to join a group of talented people and share your personal thoughts and secrets on your creative endeavors and hopefully you will find some inspiration along the way. And now.... I think I am supposed to respond to some questions about my creative style, so hear goes!

What am I currently working on?
Well... at this time, since I am moving, I am in the process of packing up my craft room. I hope to be done by the end of December. I'll let you know how that goes! The move might even inspire a blog post or two. In between packing and hauling stuff across the street, I manage to work on a simple card here or there. Here's one I made for my Secret Soror late on Friday night.
What is my signature style?
I'm really still trying to figure that out. If I am short on time and need some cards, I probably stick very close to a Clean and Simple style. If I have more time, I try to branch out and try new techniques. I DO know that I'm not much for vintage or grunge-inspired style crafting. I've tried my hand at mixed media but prefer things a little less "mixed." If anyone ever figures out my style, would you please let me know?

How do I become inspired and stay inspired?
I love browsing through the SOC Gallery and Somerset's Take Ten Magazine. I'm a "tools" girl too, so sometimes I'm inspired to try to make something with a new punch, embossing folder, cutting die, or some other crafty gadget.

How does my creative process work?
In addition to being a "tools" girl, I am all about using sketches (as evidenced by the number of times I've used the word "sketch" as a label on this blog!). When I sit down to make a card or scrapbook a page and the ideas don't come, I often turn to one of my many books of sketches as a starting point. Sometimes my project turns out exactly like the sketch, but more often it doesn't.

I hope you've enjoyed this peek inside my crafty mind and will leave a comment about what inspires you and how your creative process works. I'm always looking for ideas and ways of working.

And now.... I nominate.....*drum roll please*....... Treva! Please go take a peek over at her blog Treva's Craft Corner and leave her some love. I met Treva on the Cricut Message Board probably well over five years ago. Treva has the sweetest spirit and although we have yet to meet face-to-face, I hope that she will be in my life for a lifetime. Like me, she is a scrapbooker turned card maker who enjoys showcasing her work on her blog.

Until next time!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Very Merry Christmas

I had the opportunity to join MJ and Company in Tucson for their annual holiday crop. I had an absolute ball hangin' with all the ladies, gettin' our eat on, and oh yes... doing a little crafting too!

Part of the festivities included doing a card swap with a little twist. Each of the attendees had to make a card and then prepare enough kits to make the card for each participant. We each took turns presenting our card and sharing any tips or tricks for putting it together, and then the group made the card themselves, often putting their own little spin on it. If I get a chance, I'll post my cards on another day.

For now, I thought I'd share the cards I made for the group (using a shameless scraplift from Take Ten magazine). I made the same card with two different embellishments. I thought that if people were mailing the card they might not want to use the bottle cap as it would add weight and bulk to the envelope.

So... here are my two cards!

In case I don't get back here before Christmas, I hope that you have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Last month my son and I attended a family bereavement camp. I wanted to show my appreciation to not only the counselor/supervisor but also the lady who owns the lodge where the camp was held so I made a couple of cards. The work they do is so important and helps many people as they navigate the road to healing.

Airbrushed using eBrush and Copics, Anna Griffin embossing folder, stamps from EK Success and cardstock from my newly organized "scrap stash!" 
Thanks for looking and I hope to be back soon!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fight Like a Girl

Lest people think I have fallen off the face of the earth, I figured I'd better drop by and let y'all know that I'm still here, still creating [sometimes] and doing okay. Much has been happening and my life is in flux, but I still managed to knock out a few breast cancer cards using my new Cheery Lynn "Survivor" dies.

And now...I must really start packing up my craft room to prepare for my move, so I will probably be out of touch for awhile, but that doesn't mean I'm gone! I WILL be back!!!

Thanks for looking!


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day

Father's Day is almost over, but I couldn't let the day pass without posting a few Father's Day cards I managed to make AND get in the mail on time.

This first one is for my brother and was made using a file from the Silhouette Online Store.

The next two were made for my uncles.


This last one was made for my Dad!

Happy Father's Day to all the men in my life!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Life Without You...

The last few months have been a blur with ups and downs and everything in between. March 4th began a cycle of hospital stays for my beloved Robert. Each time he was sent home, we were no closer to knowing what was making him ill in the first place. 

On April the 12th, at one of our eBoard meetings, he asked me to marry him and I said yes in front of many of my sorors.

On April 16th, he returned to the hospital one last time, and unfortunately never returned home.

It has been exactly one month since the love of my life passed away and I miss him so much everyday. I know that over the next many months, I will be using art journaling to process my grief, and scrapbook pages to capture memories. There are so many therapeutic benefits to this hobby of ours. 

Here is an art journal page I did on May 15th during one of Tiare's Art Journal Pajama Parties.

 I am grateful that he is at rest and is no longer feeling pain. Rest in peace my darling.

Robert Michael Samp - February 11, 1954 - May 8, 2014

Thank you for looking....


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my Dad's 84th birthday. In an effort to keep myself busy and my mind from wandering, I made a card for him. I used the print-and-cut feature on my Cameo to make the sentiment label and added Glossy Accents so that I could adhere the wood veneer.

Patterned Paper (Basic Grey "Fact" Paper Pad); Brads from my stash; Wood veneer (Studio Calico)

My dad has been in my life since I was 15 and he is simply the best! 

Happy Birthday Dad!

Monday, May 12, 2014

May 2014 Brings May Flowers

Despite the sadness going on in my life right now, I managed to complete a Mother's Day card for my mom, and thus complete my 50 Project challenge. This means that all bets are off and it's on and [craft] shoppin' until I decide to take up the challenge again. **Blitsy here I come!** Craft shopping is therapy, right? This girl is really in need of some intense and immediate therapy right now.

I made my card to participate in the "May 2014....Brings May Flowers" over at SOC. We were supposed to make a project using our state flower, which for Arizona is the Saguaro Cactus Blossom (Carnegiea gigantea).

In 1901 the saguaro’s blossom was adopted as the official territorial flower, and later, in 1931, it was confirmed as the state flower. The saguaro cactus typically blooms in May and June. It is one of the most unique state flowers, and is characterized by having a waxy feel, but fragrant aroma. There may be hundreds of flowers on a saguaro cactus that bloom just several at a time over a period of more than a month. The saguaro flowers have a short life; they open at night and close permanently during the next day. Many of the blossoms will become pollinated and, later in the summer, the flowers become red-fleshed fruits that are enjoyed by the local bird population.

And here is my card...

The flower and label are from Silhouette Online Store cut files. I used Flower Soft with a little Distress Stickles mixed in for the flower center. Patterned Paper is from the DCWV Haute Pink stack.

Thanks for looking!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Day

It is Teacher Appreciation Day. Trust me... I know, since I am one! ***Who, by the way, is counting down the days until summer break. By the time this posts, we will be down to 12 days...tick...tick...tick...**

Once your kids leave 5th or 6th grade, they usually end up with three or more teachers. Could make giving gifts to your kids' teachers a pricey proposition, especially if you have more than one kid who has multiple teachers.

On one of the many message boards I'm on, someone posted some pics of decorated notepads they had made and I thought... "what a great, inexpensive gift for my son's teachers!" I lucked out and got the last set at Amazon in early April. They are now showing as unavailable. I may have to go on the hunt for a suitable substitute for future teacher gifts.

Projects #45-49 of the 50 Project Challenge.

All of the cut files are from the Silhouette Online store. I have only a few vinyl colors hence the reason only two of the designs are in color. The inside cover of each notepad has a place to put an insert, so I made some cards to put on the inside that say "Thank you for being my 7th Grade Teacher! 2013-2014" with a place for my son's signature.

I am really enjoying working with vinyl and am going to have to purchase more colors so that I can keep them on hand for when the mood strikes! I've almost completed my challenge so I'll be going shopping sooner rather than later...tee hee! 

If you have children, don't forget to show their teachers some appreciation this week. They will thank you for it.

Thanks for looking!


Monday, May 5, 2014

Another NSD Card

Made another card for a soror whose mother (also a soror) passed away in early April. I began the card not too long after her passing, but because of circumstances going on in my life, I didn't complete it until Saturday. It came together very quickly and I was able to get it in the mail on Sunday.

Cut files (Silhouette Online Store), "Blossom Song" stack (DCWV), "Fifth Ave Floral" stamp (Stampin Up),       watercolor pencils, pearls
After posting it, I thought the colors were too bright for a sympathy card, until I ready Okie Ladybug's post here. I like her thinking, and may strive to use happier colors when creating sympathy cards. What do you think?

Thanks for looking at #44 of my 50 Project Challenge.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

National Scrapbook Day

It's been a little while since I've posted...have had lots going on in my life (a lot more than "life happens") and just haven't had the time to really do personal project or post anything new.

On Friday, I decided that I was going to really take NSD as a true holiday and stay in my craft room all day, and that's exactly what I did!

This card is for my "cousin" whose mother passed away on April 1st (the same day as my mother's birthday). Her mother was my mother's best friend, and because my cousin had spent a long time grieving before her passing, a sympathy card didn't seem quite appropriate. So I made this card in her mom's favorite colors with the following message inside:

I wish you the life of a wildflower –
with the warmth of the sun on your face,
a life that unfolds with bright promise
and blooms at your own unique pace.

I wish you the life of a wildflower–
the resilience to bend in the wind,
a life that can weather the seasons
and return to bloom lovely again.

I wish you the life of a wildflower–
so graceful that others might see
how you brighten the world just by being,
for you’ve made the world brighter for me.

 "Hydrangea" Stamp (Hero Arts), "Thinking of You" (Penny Black), watercolor pencils, "Painted Petals" stack (DCWV), ribbon (American Crafts), "Decorative Labels 8" Die (Spellbinders)
Thanks for looking! (And this makes Project #43 of the 50 Projects Challenge!)


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Baby Brother's Turning 50!

I mentioned a few days ago that I used the Sunburst Technique to make my mom's birthday card. I wanted to see how it would work on a card for a man (many of us struggle with masculine cards), so in the interest of time, and since these cards are so quick to make, I decided to use the same technique on a card for my brother who is turning 50 today.

I used paper from the Recollections "Rue Regent" Stack (you'll find the same paper in the DCWV "Haberdash" stack), a piece of ribbon and the Print-and-Cut feature on my Silhouette Cameo to make the sentiment and label. And of course the brads are ages old and come from my stash!

Project #31 of 50

I'm pretty jazzed by the way it turned out and glad that I finished it in time to get it in the mail on schedule.

So... thanks for looking and a Happy 50th Birthday to my baby brother Craig L. Atkinson!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy Birthday Mom...No Foolin'!

I'm spending more and more time at "YouTube University," trying to learn new techniques and ways to use up my stash. On Saturday, I watched a few videos and learned how to make cards using the "Sunburst" technique. Talk about easy peasy!!!! And quick! And a great way to use up your scraps!

I ended up making two birthday cards... one for my mom and one for my brother (whose birthday is Saturday). As I kid, I thought it was too funny that my mom was born on April Fool's Day and as kids do, loved to think of a ways to fool her on her birthday. For instance, I would often wrap an empty box, or put her gift inside of a small box that was nested inside of many larger boxes.

These days though... I try to tap into the elegance that is "Gracie," my mom. Since becoming a card maker I've made almost all of her birthday cards, and while this one was quick and simple, I think it still captures that elegant essence.

So, here's the card...
Project #30 of 50

And here's to you mom! Happy 78th Birthday to Grace B. Strauther!

Thanks for looking!


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Another Art Journal Pajama Party

I was able to squeeze another one of Classygirl's pajama party's into my schedule. This latest one was again focused on making an art journal page, this time using a magazine ad for inspiration and showcasing information about how you spend your day. So while I didn't necessarily provide information about how I spend my day NOW, I definitely journaled about what I want my day to look like in the NOT-TOO-DISTANT future. Yep... I'm already thinking about retirement!

Project #29 out of 50

For this piece, no paint was used. The pages were primed with Gesso. Mists and templates were used to add color and patterns to the background. Distress ink pads were applied directly to the paper and rubber stamps were used to represent daily activities. I used rubber stamps for the two titles, the flying clock and the dancer. A ZIG Dotta-Riffic pen was used to write the captions and journaling as well as outline the squares and add the blue dots to the page.

Remember these? This one is probably 10 or 12 years old and it's still juicy!
 **I just love that I'm looking into my stash of embellies and tools and trying to use stuff that hasn't seen the light of day in forever!**

I think I'm really starting to like this art journaling genre of creative expression. Let's see where this leads me.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Art Journal Pajama Party

Got the chance to participate in another Classygirl Pajama Party. This time the emphasis was on art journaling. Totally out of my comfort zone, but fun nevertheless. Tiare actually provided a sketch to inspire us and a short prompt...I don't remember but I think it was something about a place where you have/find peace.

All I could think about was the drive from AZ to Las Vegas via US 93. As you travel between Wickenburg and Wikieup you are treated to Joshua Forest Scenic Road where the Joshua Trees are abundant and there are some amazing rock formations. Driving on that road just makes me lean back in my seat, close my eyes (when someone else is driving!), and just exhale. That road is what inspired my first art journal. CONFESSION: This is actually the second one I created; I tore up the first!

I covered the page with Gesso, then pulled out all of my green and brown paints from my limited acrylic paint collection. Mixed the lightest green with Gesso to paint the background. Used a template and spritzed with Glimmer Mist. Add the rectangles in greens and blue. Used scrapbook paper I don't like to make the mountains as well as for the pieces at the top and bottom. Used brown and rust paint for the mountains. Pulled out some really old Making Memories foam stamps (the flower) and stamped with yellow paint. Used a rubber stamp (Joshua Tree from Viva Las Vegas Stamps) to stamp the trees and a Sharpie marker to outline the mountains, one of the flowers and draw a road. Decided to add a little gold Smooch Ink to the middle tree and journaled around the rectangles. To make the title I used letter stickers as a mask and painted over them, and the removed the stickers. Once the title was dry, I outline with a white Uni-Signo pen.
Think I kind of enjoyed this. So much so, that I'll do it again!

Thank you so much for checking out Project #28 out my 50-Project Challenge!


Monday, March 10, 2014

Projects #22 through #25

Yesterday and the day before, I referred to Projects #26 and #27. But what happened to #22 through #25? Well, #22 was a card made for my Aunty Narvalee's birthday during an impromptu FNC over at SOC hosted by Mary Joyce. My dear aunt turned 88 on March 9th.

Image by up and coming artist K. Kristoff

Projects #23-25 were cards made at a class I took last week taught by Jennifer Dove. She is one of the most creative Copic users I know and I was fortunate enough to be able to take her Copic Build-A-Book class. Now if I could just get in more Copic practice time I would be pretty darned good! All of the cards used House Mouse stamps and were designed by Jennifer. I just love those little critters, don't you? (**CFF Sharon, DON'T answer that question!)

I enjoyed making these cards and am feeling just a little bit more confident with my Copics.

Thanks for looking and I'll be back soon!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

More Vinyl, No Fear!

Yesterday I mentioned that I used my Cameo for the first time to cut vinyl. Because I was so pleased with the results, I couldn't bring myself to put the vinyl away quite just yet. Took a glance at my Cameo and it was begging to be dressed up a bit.

So I found some cuts in my Silhouette library (remember, I can't buy anything new). I chose the "Create," the Southwestern Pot Set, and a Flourish Flower Corner.

After cutting out the images, I found one little shortcut for weeding some of the tiny pieces. Scotch tape! You have to use a small piece and gently touch it to the vinyl while holding the vinyl down, but it really helps to get out the teeny-tiny pieces in one fell swoop.

After finishing my cuts, I put some of the pink vinyl behind the cut-out sections on the first two pots. It wasn't until after  laying the cuts down on my Cameo with blue painter's tape that I realized you could see the outline of the second piece of vinyl and it really didn't look too good. Oh well.... realized too late that I could ungroup the pots in Silhouette Design Studio and just recut the portions that were removed from the pots and so I did that for the third pot. Much smoother, don't you think?

I didn't put any pink in the space at the top of the middle pot, and after looking at it for a little while decided I didn't like the white showing through. But it was too late for me to cut that portion out in pink because I had already closed the file and hadn't saved it. I would have had to guess at the size...that would have been way too much trouble! So... Smooch Ink in Gold to the rescue! Remember when those were all the rage? 

And here is my dressed up Cameo. I put rhinestones in the center of the flowers and gave her a bit of pink vinyl on her control panel. Couldn't let her be unmatched, could I?

I think it's safe to say that I no longer fear vinyl and am actually pretty excited about how easy it is to work with. I will let you know when I cut the iron-on vinyl in my stash (purchased about three years ago) for the first time!

Thanks for looking at Project #27 out of 50 to be completed!


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Vintage Vinyl and Well-Used Washi

I just love Spring Break! It gives me the opportunity to give my brain (and my mouth!) a rest and just be! That's when all thoughts turn to "what do I want to work on in my craft room now?"

Today it was breaking out the Cameo and some vintage vinyl and seeing what I could personalize. I say "vintage" vinyl because I think it has been in my stash since 2008 or 2009! I have some Oracal 651 and Cricut Vinyl (which says Oracal 631 on the back). Did I mention that I've had it that long because I've had some deep-seated fear about how to use it and the amount of work (translated: weeding) that would be involved?

This week I redid my Copic storage case because I had placed the fluorescent light panel a little too low in the case and every time I took my markers somewhere they slipped out of place. (Here's a link to how to make your own...) So... after my dear honey cut and replaced the dowels for me, I had to put every marker back in the correct order. I figured that since this was the task of the week I would do something to identify my markers AND personalize the top of the case.

I used washi tape (that I never should have bought in the first place!) to identify my Copics. Got the idea from a lady in a class last week who was using thin black artist-type tape to identify hers. I don't have any black tape, but I have TONS of washi tape that I never use. I managed to use up 2 1/2 rolls.

I need to get over my fear of using vinyl and decided to use some to decorate the cover of my case. I made a simple design (that wouldn't require a lot weeding)  in Silhouette Design Studio. Before moving everything off of the virtual mat so that I could cut everything separately, I took a screen shot of the design so that I would have something to follow when I began laying everything down.

I couldn't move the white roller over on my Cameo so that I could feed the vinyl directly into the machine, so I used a cutting mat for another die-cutting machine (which shall remain nameless). I have tons of those mats and use them all the time in my Cameo although this was my first time ever using my machine to cut vinyl. I used the cut settings for Silhouette vinyl and it cut like butter. All of the cuts came out perfectly and the weeding was a piece of cake.

I left the white piece of vinyl on the mat and layered all of the pieces on top of that BEFORE putting the whole thing on the case. If I had it to do all over again, I would put the white piece on the case first and then add each of the other layers. I used blue painter's tape as my transfer tape for everything except for the large piece. For that, I used a regular 12 x 12 transfer sheet.


Considering my limited supply of colors I'm pretty tickled with the way it turned out.

Project 26 of 50 in my quest to use up my stuff!

Stay tuned for my next post and see what else I did with my vintage vinyl.

Thanks for looking!