.....come enjoy some handmade creations and heartfelt experiences. I'm glad you're here & hope you'll come back often.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Happy "Extended" Halloween!

Hi there!  Since Halloween was on Thursday, I know a lot of people are celebrating an extended Halloween.  Seems like there's still  lots of costume parties and other festivities going on this weekend.  And since I've been busy with the kids' Halloween activities; I thought I'd join in on the extended fun and share this fun Halloween card I did for Sparkle N Sprinkle a little while back.


 This is a great digital image from Beccy Muir called Haunted Birdhouse.  This image really spoke to me because I wasn't in the mood for a "cute" image and yet I get tired of all the "blood & gore" type things you often see for Halloween (not in stamps per se, but I think you know what I mean).  I thought this image was a great happy medium - neither of the other two categories, but just a little eerie/spooky.

I was also thinking that digital stamps were a great way to go to collect some great images that you only use once a year.  Don't get me wrong, I have a bunch of wooden & clear mount stamps for all the different holidays sitting around here.  But then I have to find somewhere to pack them away after the holiday is over.  With the digital stamps I can get bunches and bunches of great "once a year" images and I don't even have to pack them away when the holiday is over!  Yay!


And I love how this card came out!  I'm no expert with alcohol markers by any means; but I just dig in and try my best.  I really take my time and keep working at it until I get it as close to the way I want it as I can.  I know some people /artists can zip through a scene like this lickety split.  Not me lol!  So I'm always thrilled when it ends up coming out the way I had imagined it - Love it!
 
Check out all that shine on the banner!
I made this adorable saying banner using 2 pre-printed sayings from a paper I had from Pebbles "Trick and Treat" collection.  The Happy Halloween banner was cut out and covered with clear embossing powder.  I added 2 or 3 layers for some thickness and amazing shine.  To the tiny Oct 31 saying, I added a hand drawn black border to tie in all the blacks in the card and then attached it behind the main banner.  The whole banner is popped up on some black "pop dots" from 3L/ Scrapbook Adhesives.  I LOVE those things!!  I use white "pop dots" (dimensionals, adhesive foam) all the time too.....But these ones with their black foam; they almost "disappear" on many of your projects!  I've been using them for a couple of years & now SNS just started carrying them - yay!  If you haven't tried them yet; you definitely need to check those out!! (click on the bold text to go there)  Full instructions for this card can be found in the SNS Art Gallery here.


Well, I hope you enjoyed my little bit of Halloween fun as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you!  Hope you had a great Halloween and if you're still celebrating - have fun and be safe!  And Don't forget to let me know you stopped by - I always love and appreciate your visits!!

Until next time,
***Julie***

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Checking In and News

Hi Blogging Friends!  Most of you know I haven't been in blogland very much for the last month or so because I've been really busy with my sister's wedding (see previous post).  Now that the wedding is over; I'm trying to start getting caught up on the many things that went to the wayside.  So, I thought I'd let you know how the wedding went and also pass along a couple pieces of news too!


So first.....the wedding.  It was fantastic!!  I was just telling a couple of my Sparkle N Sprinkle friends; I can't believe how many projects we did for the wedding!  My sister is an etsy and pinterest nut and she wanted everything she saw!  And I can't say "no" LOL!  We did so much stuff & I worked crazy long hours - but it was so worth it!  Everything looked so beautiful and we had such a wonderful time!  I'm really happy I could be so involved and do my part to make it such a special day.  And I'm so happy for the two of them!!  Here's a pic of my family at the wedding with my mother-in-law.  I was Matron of Honor, my daughter was a Junior Bridesmaid, my son Ring Bearer, and my husband was an usher.




 For those of you that have seen a picture of me before; I know that doesn't even look like me -- I guess I clean up pretty nice for a farm girl LOL!


Hopefully I'll be able to share some of the wedding projects I did with you soon.  We kept most things pretty simple  because of the quantity we needed to produce of each item.  But it's nice to see what people come up with for even simple projects!



  
Other updates in my world include two very important pieces of news.  The first is a bit sad.  I made the decision to leave the SNS Design Team as of the end of September.  It was a really hard decision for me (I really didn't want to leave - Can you sense my frowny face?)  But.... I've been feeling a bit like I've been neglecting some things with the family & definitely around the house for awhile now; so I made the tough decision that this was something I needed to do.  Or at least for now - we'll see how things go once I get some of the things I need to "back in order".  That being said though, still expect to see a lot of SNS stuff from me........1- because I really do love their products; so I know you're still going to see lots of SNS stuff in my projects; 2- I still have LOTS of SNS projects that I just never had the time to share with you & would love to do that as time allows; 3- I'm also hoping to pop back in with the SNS team for a guest spot here or there sometime in the future!  So I guess leaving the team is going to be bittersweet - at least I know I'm still going to have a strong connection there.


The second piece of news is BIG news!  While I was off buried in wedding projects, my very first cards to be accepted for publication came out!  Whoo Hoo!!!!  Even though I was so busy with the wedding; I was soooo excited when it came out!  When I saw the magazine for the first time; I was out picking up wedding stuff (of course!) and got so excited when I spied it; I just wanted to grab someone (anyone) and tell them my cards were in there.  I know, I know - super silly! - but I was just so thrilled to be published for the first time!  Ok, so I didn't end up grabbing some stranger in the store to show them; but I did show every family member and friend that would look! 



The Cardmaker special edition that my cards are in is pictured at left.  If you haven't had a chance to see this special "Creative Color" edition yet; you'll definitely want to check it out!  Not only is there tons of great techniques; but lots of the cards are from several of the girls from the Sparkle Team too.  And......they're featuring our cards from the special edition on the SNS Blog right now; so you can check them out there if you haven't had a chance to see the magazine yet.  My cards will be featured tomorrow; so be sure to go check it all out on the SNS Blog.  See some of the older blog posts to see what the other SNS ladies had published and check out tomorrow's (Thurs) SNS Blog post to see my cards.

I'll be back late tomorrow with a little recap on my Creative Color card's too; so I hope to see you back here again as well!  Hope you have a great day!!


Until next time,
***Julie***

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sincere Apologies

Hi everyone!  I just wanted to pop in real quick today.  I just wanted to let you know I'm "still around" lol.  Seriously though, I wanted to apologize for not posting on my blog (or visiting your blogs) very much over the last month or so.  I do really miss visiting each of your blogs and wish I had time to share some of the many projects I've been working on.  But that's going to have to wait for just a bit longer.  I hope you understand & will keep an eye out for future posts.


For those of you that don't know, my sister is getting married in a couple of weeks.  In addition to the many duties & appointments I've had to run to as Matron of Honor - she's had quite a list of projects she's wanted me to work on too.  So I've been quite busy there.  It's pretty time consuming, but lots of fun!  After the wedding, I hope to be sharing all of the wedding projects with you. 
Wedding Projects "Sneak Peek"


 Be sure to check out the "Sneak Peek" on the left though - Don't you just love that gorgeous SNS Thank You stamp?!
and how awesome does the brides' name look on the Spellbinder ribbon?! (More on this & other wedding stuff later!)


I've also been working on some fun new Sparkle N Sprinkle projects too.  I have a handful of great all occasion projects as well as a really fun seasonal idea that will be coming your way.  So you can look forward to those too! 
 

And on the general home front / personal side, even though we're just about 4 weeks into the new school year now; we're still trying to adjust to that at my house.  Since my daughter has now moved up to a new school since she started middle school; now the entire family has a new  schedule we've been trying to get in sync with.  It hasn't been easy since our school district runs the middle school kids on the same schedule as the high school.  Now she has to be up at 5:30 in morning - I think that''s a pretty early / tough schedule for someone as young as her!  We're doing our best to help her adjust though.

Well, that's the nutshell version of what's been going on around here & why I've been a bit absent from blogland so much.  I sure hope all has been well with each of you and that you've had some time to create some fun things yourself!  I really look forward to seeing them sometime soon!! Thanks again for bearing with me and for taking time to read this. I always appreciate your taking the time to visit!!!

Until next time,
***Julie***

PS - Don't forget, there's still time to enter SNS's Creative Challenge for this month!  Some great digital images up for grabs; so be sure to join the fun!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Farewell to Summer (SNS Sept. Challenge too!)

It was a pretty busy August around my place: lots of back to school preparations & shopping - end of summer day trips & activities we wanted to squeeze in  - project days to work on more of my sisters wedding projects while we still had opportunities (she's a teacher too).  We try to cram sooo much into those last precious days of summer, but it's kind of like an annual ritual at this point.  And it goes so fast!  Does your family have any end of summer rituals??

For us, the final celebration of summer comes Labor Day weekend.  For years my entire extended family (which really I consider my immediate family) goes to a nearby lake.  We picnic, swim, fish, bike ride, walk the dogs, you name it.  It's the perfect final blow out for summer & we had such an amazing time doing it all together.

So......since we've given summer it's official send off; it's time to think fall.  So I thought I'd give you a little fall inspiration.  And also give you a little inspiration for this month Creative Challenge too!

This month's Challenge is "Anything goes with Glitter, Embossing Powder, and/or Flocking"

I decided to take the ANYTHING part quite literally and made this adorable fall notepad.  Even a plain old notepad looks beautiful with a bit of Sparkle N Sprinkle!

I thought this would be something really nice to give to someone that will be hosting Thanksgiving.  With all the preparations that can go into getting ready for Thanksgiving; what hard working hostess wouldn't love a beautiful little notebook to keep track of all of her shopping & to do lists for all the preparations.  (And it's so perfectly pretty with it's SNS touches of course!)

The beautiful Basket of Apples is from Set 474 - Fall Harvest and is colored with Copic markers.

To make the saying pop off of the printed paper; I used White Detail embossing powder.  And warm & sparkly accents were added in two places by adding a strip of Sparkling Coffee Sparkle N Soft (glittery flocking) between the printed papers and also on the brads.

While I designed it with Thanksgiving in mind; it certainly would be a lovely little gift for so many other occasions/people too -  how about for a teacher's gift (apple for the teacher?) or for a friend at church?  There's so many other great ideas I'd bet you can come up with.

So I hope you enjoyed today's project.  Don't forget to let me know what you think.  And don't forget to join in on the fun for this month's challenge too!  We always look forward to see what you come up with!

Until next time,
***Julie***

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

SNS Creative Challenge for August

Well, here we are at the first full week of August.  And here we go again......where did that last month go??  Seems I get that feeling every month any more.  And it gets worse every year.  Does that happen to you?  I guess it's true what they say....the older you get, the faster the time slips by!

I have been a bit extra busy though as my sister's bridal shower is coming up this weekend and the wedding isn't too far off either.  I've been buried up to my nose in lots of extra shower & wedding projects.  Way time consuming, but lots of fun too!  I sure hope to have some pics of some of that to share with you eventually too!  (But best I get it all done first!)

In the meantime, a new month always means a new chance to join the Sparkle N Sprinkle team for a great challenge & some great prizes.  Here's what I created for you for a little inspiration:

Click any photo for a better view


This month's challenge is a color challenge with a great swatch from Design Seeds.

While the swatch does show a flower in the example; the flower itself is not at all a part of the challenge.  But, that being said; these colors do work so beautifully with florals; that lots of us girls at SNS decided to work with a floral for this color combo.

Color Swatch courtesy of Design Seeds


I chose to use the very pretty magnolia from  this year's new Spring Floral Set 490.







The beautiful, rich and pearly sentiment was embossed with one of my favorite embossing powders - Dark Night

And for a wonderful touch of sparkle in the background (enough, but not too much); the branches on the embossed Sizzix background were highlighted with a touch of Cloud Nine Velvet glitter.  Even though the pictures don't show it very well; the card is actually a very soft ivory (not white).  And since the glitter is semitransparent; it adds just the right color as an accent - mimicking the ivory without making it appear too "white".  (Be sure to click the photo to see the great sparkle in the close up!)




I couldn't find just the right die cut shape for framing the saying that would complement the die that frames behind the floral.  So, I got a little creative and cut down the same die cut I used on the floral and used some of  the same ribbon used on the flower to accent the piece and also hide the seam.  Pretty creative  I thought and a perfect solution too!


I also tried to add lots of visual interest by incorporating many different layers into the piece - using a combination of tape and dimensional adhesive - often on the same piece (like the flower).  I didn't take a picture of the side of the card where you can see the various layers; so you're just going to have to take my word that it really adds to the interest on the card.




Well, that's what I decided to create with those beautiful colors.  Now how about you?  We'd love to see what you come up with!  Hope you'll jump in and join us this month!

Don't forget to let me know you stopped by & what you think.  And always, thanks so much for visiting!

Until next time,
***Julie***

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sparkle N Sprinkle Girly Girls and Macho Mania Blog Hop

Welcome to my stop on our hop this month! If you're arriving here from Shanna's blog; you're in the right place.  If you just "happened" to arrive here; you may want to go to the SNS Home Blog to start from the beginning of our hop so you don't miss any great ideas and details about the prizes up for grabs!


Today I have a little bit of Girly Girls AND Macho Mania for you!  For this guys and gals hop; I thought it might be fun to take a look a the same card done up for either a guy OR a girl.  

 
Let's face it; lots of us struggle with doing "guy" cards.  But if you modify a few simple details; any card design can take on a masculine feel!  So....here's a look at a card using the same basic layout, the same basic formula (saying as main image, all-over print, decorative strip), and also using the same saying - but one is decidedly masculine and one is definitely "girly".  Take a look at both versions - let me know what you think!


Masculine Version:
  • dark & neutral colors
  • straight, sharp lines (decorative strip & saying cutout)
  • natural elements (woodgrain & rope)
  • simple metal studs accents




Full supply list & instructions for this design can be found in the SNS Art gallery here.

(click any photo for better view)






      Feminine Version:
  • light / pastel colors
  •  soft, rounded lines/ shapes (decorative strip & saying cutout)
  • sparkling elements (glitter accents & stripes on decorative strip and on saying piece)
  • pearl accents

Full supply list and directions for this version can be found in the SNS Art Gallery here.



Both cards use a saying from the great new Set 498 - Horses.  I've been having a lot of fun playing with this new set.  Did you see the colorful card I did from this set in my previous post?   Be sure to check that out below or here.   (Don't forget to come back here to finish off the hop though!)   I think you're really going to love this set as much as I do!

Here's a peek at the whole set.  Isn't it great?!





So, what do you think about my masculine and feminine versions of this card?  Doesn't this make it seem so much easier to make any design appropriate for a guy or a gal?  Let me know your thoughts before you hop on by (& that qualifies you for prizes too)!  I always love to read and appreciate all your comments!!


Now hop on over to Shona's Blog for even more inspiration (yep, you arrived here from Shanna & are now headed on over to Shona's - no, that's not a typo lol!)  Have lots of fun on the rest of the hop and I hope to see you again soon!

Until next time,
***Julie***

PS - If you liked what you saw today (or on any of my posts), I'd love for you to become a follower.  I really enjoy sharing  my designs with fellow enthusiasts and would love to have you follow along too!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Horses & Patriotism

Hi again!  Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!
We actually just worked around the house on the 4th and didn't do anything special.  But we did  have a super busy post 4th weekend.  The highlight was attending the Taylor Swift concert in Pittsburgh with my daughter & sister -  my 1st concert in about 20 yrs. and my daughter's very first concert!  It's not something we usually get to do because we're about an hour from the city (& concert venues) and tickets are sooo expensive (not in our budget!)  But this was a special treat as my sister & family bought us tickets for our birthday & Christmas gifts last year.  My daughter & I both have birthdays in November & with Christmas only a month after that; it was a special combined birthday/christmas present.  I have to say we both really enjoyed it.  It was a great show & who knows when we'll ever get a chance to do that again!  Many thanks to my sister & family for that really special treat!

In any case, I kind of have a patriotic card for you today.  But I specifically saved it until after the fourth because I didn't really intend it to be patriotic.....per se.  How's that for a wishy washy explanation!
Actually, I thought this card would be good for a patriotic card OR a general multipurpose (note card, thinking of you, birthday, etc.)  I have lots of friends with horses and I know any of them would love to get this card any time of the year.  So, I guess that's where I'm reluctant to say it's only a patriotic card. 


 I have to say I'm ecstatic with how this turned out.  One of those exactly how I saw it in my head cards!  The horse silhouette, the bold red, white, & blue combined with the soft watercoloring.  Love it!  Love it! Love it!

(click any photo for a better view)


The inspiration for this card actually came from two places.  I actually have a t-shirt with a similar design and thought that it would make a really great card idea.  And the second inspiration.....if you've ever watched horses run; you can't deny how beautiful and free they look when they're running.  So combining them with an enduring symbol of freedom is such a perfect combination!

The running horse is from the new SNS Set 498 - Horses.  LOVE this set!!  The flag background & the word freedom are sold individually or on  SNS's Set 434 - Patriotic Background.   Everything was colored with Inktense watercolors. With these, I was able to achieve the rich vibrant colors and yet still be able to control the opacity.  I did one version with the horse silhouette very dark & opaque and a second lighter one (below) where the detail lines were still able to show through a little bit.  Different effects, but I liked them both.




The lighter version of the card was also done without the Freedom saying at the top.  After seeing the card with freedom at the top; it probably looks a bit plain without it.  But I thought omitting it made it look a little less like a card for a patriotic holiday & more for use anytime of the year for a note card, birthday or something else for a horse lover.

Hope you like this card as much as I do.  Full instructions can be found in my SNS Art Gallery here. 

Don't forget to stop back Friday or Saturday for SNS's Girly Girl and Macho Mania Blog Hop!  Always some great inspiration and great prizes to be won too!  Let me know what you think of today's card and I hope to see you again at the hop!

Until next time,
***Julie***

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

SNS Creative Challenge & Are You Ready for the 4th?

Hi Everyone! It's time for another Sparkle N Sprinkle Creative Challenge!  And the July challenge is a fun one!  For the month of July; you're challenged to create something, anything other than a card.  So many fun possibilities!  (And don't forget, if you use a Sparkle N Sprinkle regular or digital stamp that you purchased - you'll receive an adorable free floral digital image from Beccy Muir!)

So, here's what I came up with.....


I've been on a bit of a medallion streak recently - once you start making those fun things; it's really kind of hard to stop!  (You'll be seeing some of my other medallion projects soon).

And I also happened to be working with some of SNS's Patriotic Stamp Sets for another project.  So....the idea just popped into my head - why not combine the two and make a Patriotic/Summer Table decoration?!  What a perfect addition it would be to anyone's picnic or home decor!



Wouldn't this just be great for your 4th of July festivities?!



Personally, I just love patriotic decor and I think it would look awesome sitting out around the house all year round too.

The stamps all came from the Patriotic Icons - Set 433.  And of course, every patriotic design needs lots and lots of sparkle and POP.  So for my sparkle & pop, I've used embossing powders and sparkling embossing powders for the sayings and lots and lots of glitter all around!  I wish you could see it glistening in person! So colorful, sparkly and FUN!



Here's some close ups of the individual medallions and the sparkly stars I included.








(Click any photo for a better view)




I had so much fun with this piece.  And I love how it turned out so much that I'm already working on a birthday version of it!  So many decorative possibilities with this - how about for a wedding or baby shower, a graduation party, 25th or 50th anniversary - so many possibilities!  And Sparkle N Sprinkle has all the stamps and "glitz" to make yours just perfect!





Hope you liked this fun "anything but a card" project.  I always love to know you stopped by and I also love to hear what you think; so don't forget to leave a comment before you leave.  (If I've inspired you to create one of your own; be sure to leave me a link so I can see what you created!)




And don't forget to make an "Anything but a Card" creation for your entry into the SNS Creative Challenge this month too!  Hope you have a wonderful, Happy and Safe Holiday!!

Until next time,
***Julie***

Saturday, June 29, 2013

For A Special Birthday Boy

Today was a special birthday at our house and I thought I'd share the card I made for it.  My son turned 10 today - the big jump to double digits!  It almost feels wrong calling him a "boy" (or little); but as any mom knows; they will always be your little boy ;-)!  In any case, I made this special card just for him - he's my "little" engineer and resident Lego-maniac!  

He's been totally engrossed in Lego's since he was wee little and is quite the engineer with them, creating all kinds of amazing creations.  Over the years, he has moved up to more and more complicated designs incorporating all kinds of moving parts and creating many different types of gadgets.  For this birthday, he got one of the most technical sets they make - it includes all kinds of sensors and can be computer controlled.  He's ecstatic and can't wait to build even more.  So of course, he loved this card!



I picked up the paper by Creative Imaginations at two different places and even two completely different times (some of the red and blue I got more than a year ago and don't even remember where I got it).  Recently though, I picked up some more at Archivers when we were on a road trip (unfortunately there isn't an Archivers near us).  Archivers is now carrying it in yellow, green, and blue and I couldn't resist having the other colors!  Don't they look so great all together?!






The saying "hope your birthday Rocks" is Sparkle N Sprinkle and can be purchased individually or as part of the Set 428 - Rock N Roll.  It was embossed with white detail embossing powder and cut out with a Spellbinder Petite Oval Nestability.  The coordinating white oval underneath was edged with a black Copic marker to give the illusion of another layer and even more depth.

Since it was a special birthday, I decided to add his age to the card and glittered the numbers to make them really POP.  I love using dark glitters for "guy" cards - it really gives that extra something without being "girly".  I used one of my favorites for this one - Black Ice.  It's a great true deep black with just the right amount of sparkle!  Love it!  (Click any of the pictures to see all that sparkle!)

Hope you enjoyed this card as much as much son did.  And Thanks so much for stopping by!

Until next time,
***Julie***

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Recovering and Father's Day

Hello friends.  I've really been missing spending time crafting and online; but I still have a little bit of recovering to do.  Recovery was going really well at first and then it seemed to stall a bit.  Probably I was expecting too much too soon.  It will get there though.  Strangely, I've continued to have some problems with my vision though (& those should have cleared up by now); so that has been a bit bothersome and has also kept me from both crafting and being online too much.  I miss both and am trying to work it out so I can slowly get back to both while I finish healing.  I decided to try and tackle a project first and hope to be back visiting each of you on your wonderful blogs very soon too!

So....while I've been out; you've probably seen some of the great new sets that Sparkle N Sprinkle has recently released.  If you haven't, you can find them here (towards the bottom) and here.  I couldn't wait to try out something with the new Fishin with Dad set and here's what I came up with:
 


This is such a great stamp set and I had so much fun creating this card.  This is the card my husband will be getting for Father's Day - he requested it lol!  Actually, he frequently serves as a "consultant" as I design cards and he liked this one so much; he said he wanted one for his Father's Day card!  Too funny & such a nice complement too!




The fish and saying are both from the new Fishin' with Dad- Set 501.  The words were done in Moss embossing powder - one of my favorites - from the Tuscany embossing powder line.  The fishing tackle and wood grain papers are both from Momenta.  The fishing pole is from my yard and the fish hook is from the sporting goods department lol ;-)









This is a really fun design for a Father's Day card, but would work just as great for a birthday or other occasion by just switching out the words.  Something any fisherman or outdoors person would be sure to love!

A full supply list and instructions (as well as a few tips!) can be found in my Sparkle N Sprinkle gallery


Hope you enjoyed today's card and thanks so much for stopping by.  I really appreciate your continued support while I haven't been able to visit each of you and really look forward to visiting each of you on your blogs very soon!

Until next time,
***Julie***

Friday, May 24, 2013

SNS Creative Challenge - Don't Forget!

Hi blogging friends! So sorry for the extended absence from my blog, but this past month has been pretty busy for me.  Much to my dismay, I had to have some surgery a couple weeks back.  Part of my month was spent getting the house and farm ready for my recovery time and the past couple weeks have been the ups and downs of recovery.  The good news - surgery went well and hopefully all will be well soon.  I'm still going through some ups and downs of recovery; but it's only been a couple weeks; so I need to give it a little more time.

In the meantime, I wanted to remind you that there's still a week left to get in on the Sparkle N Sprinkle Creative Challenge for this month.  This month is a fun color challenge.  Before my surgery, I did this colorful card using one of the great new SNS sets - Bicycles.





I love this color combo and knew exactly what I wanted to do when I saw this combo.  I had recently got a new set of Prismacolor Inktense pencils and this was the perfect chance to try them out.  I love how this background turned out.




 


Color Challenge
Color Swatch courtesy of Design Seeds
I really struggled with leaving this card so simple, but I also really wanted the background and that great saying to take center stage.  And I think leaving the card simple does that quite well.

Actually, I almost forgot that this was one of the most time consuming simple cards I've done in quite awhile.  I'm just now remembering that this card took me about two weeks to finish - crazy, I know!  But after doing the background, I left it sitting around on my workspace for awhile and I kept staring at and playing with it trying to decide how best to add the images/sayings (I even did a completely different layout, but didn't think it worked quite as well).  Finally I added the images and left it sit around again while I contemplated how to "finish" it.  Again, I tried a couple different finishing options before I decided it needed to be left simple.  In the end, sometimes simplicity can make the most powerful statement.  (Even if it takes a lot of trials to get to simple LOL!)

I do love the end result though.  Full instructions for this card can be found in the Sparkle N Sprinkle art gallery here.

I hope you'll decide to try out something yourself with this warm and beautiful color collection for this month's challenge.  Full details for this Creative Challenge can be found on the Challenge blog here.

Ok, I need to sign off for now.  Need to get some rest.  I'm finding that I've been a lot more tired than I expected while I'm healing.  But your body knows what it needs; so I best pay attention.  Hopefully if I do that I'll be back to more of my regular self and schedule real soon!

As always, thanks so much for stopping by!  
Until next time,
***Julie***

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Heart Wings from New SNS Stamps

Hi there!!  Today I wanted to share a card using one of the two new Sparkle N Sprinkle stamp sets by Beccy Muir that were just released this week - Bird Song and Bicycles.  You can see the full sets by just clicking on their names. 

I have to say I'm in LOVE with these two sets! So pretty, fun, and versatile - good for cards of all occasions & scrapbook pages too!  Be sure to check them out, I think you're going to love them as much as I do!



I haven't had as much time as I'd like to play with them yet; but I have SO many ideas tossing around in my head! So, until I can put all those ideas to paper; here's the first card I got to create using the Bird Song set.  (click photo for closer view)


There's three different styles of feathers on this set and they are all gorgeous!  So I decided that I wanted one of them to be the focus of this card.  Isn't that feather gorgeous?!


The set also has some beautiful sayings as well.  But for this card, I wanted to show how well this set works with some of our other sets too!  I think it's great when you have sets that you can mix and match.  So much versatility!







And to show you even more versatility.....this great saying is actually from one of our Valentine themed sets!  Stampette Set 454 - Heart Wings  So, Don't forget to keep a really open mind when you look at all your stamps!

Used this way, the saying works so well for something other than Valentines day.....anniversary? mother's day? best friend? maybe even a birthday?  There's probably lots more great ways to use it!  And I just loved the way the "heart wings" saying worked with the feathers!



What do you think?  Be sure to let me know you stopped by!  I always love and appreciate your comments!  Hope you'll stop back again!
Until next time,
***Julie***

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sparkle N Sprinkle Anything But a Card Blog Hop

Welcome! Today us ladies from SNS are hosting an "Anything But a Card" Blog Hop.  Hopefully you've just arrived here from Barbara's Blog and have been enjoying all the interesting projects the girls have come up with.    (If you just happened upon this post, why not go to the SNS Home Blog to check out the details for joining us on this hop.  There's some great prizes to be won too!)

I knew exactly what I wanted to do when this hop was planned.  I've been wanting to do one of these for a long time and this was the perfect time to make it happen!  And I happened to have one of the great new sets that was recently released that would work perfectly for this too; so I was really excited to try this out!

My non-card project features the new Sweet Strawberries Set 484And I decided to make this adorable basket to hold a delicious treat!  I had the strawberries on hand the whole time I worked on this; even when I was doing the coloring to get it just right.  And boy did they smell yummy!!  Are you hungry for a little sweet taste of summer yet?!

My neck of the woods just last week.... I'm so ready for summer!




We're still quite cold here in my part of the US (even had snow flurries the last couple days!); so I'm definitely ready for any warm thoughts!!  So this summery project is just what I needed!










The basket is made using a Spellbinder Grand Label die cut that is cut in half and has a strip inserted between the two halves to form the sides and bottom of the basket.  Add a decorative strip for the handle and Viola - adorable little basket to fill with any treat!  Full instructions for how to make the basket can be found in the SNS Art Gallery here

 
The image was stamped with Memento ink and colored with Copic markers.  The sentiment is embossed with Teddy Brown embossing powder (one of my favorites) to match the brown basket.  


There's so many different things you could make one of these baskets for - change the paper color, the Spellbinder die, and/or the image and you could create lots of different types of treats.  Whether it's a just little treat for a special person or perhaps something more formal like a shower favor; the ideas are endless!



We're getting close to the end of the hop, but there's a couple more stops and some great projects left for you to check out! So leave a comment (I love to hear what you think!) and then hop on over to Marie's Blog to see what fun idea she has for you!

Hope you enjoy the rest of the hop!  And do stop back again!  
Until next time,
***Julie***

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sparkle N Sprinkle April Creative Challenge

Happy April 1st!  Today us gals at Sparkle N Sprinkle have a new Creative Challenge for you (no April foolin')!  This month the Creative Challenge at SNS is to use a digit image in your project.  So if you love working with digital images; be sure to jump in and join us!  And if you're new to digital images; this is the perfect reason to take the plunge and give it a try! 

Here's what I came up with for this months challenge:


I chose to use the use the adorable "Rose" by Michelle Perkett.  Now I know she has some pretty roses on her dress and her name is in fact "Rose".  But for whatever reason, I just didn't see her in pink lol.  When I saw Rose, I really wanted to see her in a pretty purple dress and I have always loved yellow roses.


I think she looks adorable in her purple & yellow!  A little bit of leaf green accents on the card and in the ombre bow pull out the tiny bit of green on her dress and adds a little extra pop of color too.






I often love to combine digital images with rubber images.  In this case, I added the saying from the Sweet Treats - Set 374; which is perfect for this image and also makes the card so versatile.  You could use this card for so many different occasions.






The tiny rose I added is from Set 382 - Sympathy.  It's probably not the first set you'd think to go to for accent pieces.  But if you're not familiar with the set; be sure to click the set name to check it out.  Not only does it have lovely sayings for those tough times when you need to make a sympathy card.  But it also has some very pretty accents like this tiny rose and several swirls/scrolls that make perfect accents for lots of sayings and cards of all types. 

I loved how well the tiny rose fit with the saying and tied in the saying piece with the flowers on Rose's dress.

A little bit of sparkling snow glitter was added around the image (of course!) for just the right amount of sparkle!

**************

I hope you like my project for this month's challenge to use Digital image(s).  And I really hope you'll decide to play along with us!!  So grab a favorite digital image & join in on the fun!  We look forward to seeing what you create!

Don't forget to stop back on Thursday - we're having another blog hop and it's a little earlier in the month than some of our other hops; so we don't want you to miss it (more prizes to be won)!  We'll be featuring "Anything But a Card"; so we hope you'll join us then too!
 Until next time,
***Julie***

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Simply Pattern Play

Hello there!  Today was the last day for the "interactive" part of the Pattern Play class I had signed up for.  I only had the time to post one card during the class and I wanted to post at least one more card today.  Still fighting my cold and super busy with other projects this week; so I didn't get to do as much with Jennifer and Kristina's class as I wanted to.  But I really enjoyed everything I did get to do - so many great ideas from the instructors and even more from the other participants!  I'm really looking forward to checking out more from the class later.


So in any case, since today was the last interactive day; I was hoping to add a few projects related to the lessons / ideas presented.  This was the only one I had time to work up unfortunately.  I have at least three more on the "drawing board" that I really wanted to work up too.  But alas, there's only so many hours in a day!  Perhaps another time for those cards!


This card idea is based on taking a bold or busy patterned paper and breaking it up (or softening it up) by cutting it into strips and allowing stripes of the card base show through.  And it's quite effective at toning down the pattern just enough!  There's so many patterns out there that are really interesting; but can be "too much" and this really does the trick to make it much less overwhelming.  The idea is also to keep the card relatively simple when using a busy pattern.  So generally you only add one main sentiment or other element.  The sentiment I used is from Sparkle N Sprinkle's Nature - Set 467 .   I lightly shaded it with Old Paper Distress ink to soften it a bit & then it's framed with a Spellbinder Label Ten.


I took my card one more step further yet still maintained the simplicity of it by adding a strip of bakers twine between each panel. I really liked the little extra touch of interest that it added without being too much.  A very simple card, but it gave me a chance to actually test out some of the ideas discussed in the class.  I really like the overall effect.  You certainly get to appreciate a beautiful paper.  Sometimes simple really does give the best effect!  Hopefully I'll get a chance to try out some of the other ideas sometime soon!  Hope you enjoyed my take on the technique!

Until next time,
***Julie***

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Experimenting with Patterned Paper

Hi everyone!  This needs to be a quick post (yes, yes, I know - almost impossible for me)!  But, I'm sure going to have to try.  Knowing me, it probably won't be short, but you might have to excuse some typos & formatting issues lol! 

I'm trying to finish up some things for Sparkle N Sprinkle and now I'm also trying to fend off a cold too.  It's been going through my house for a couple weeks and I've been really trying to avoid getting it.  Last night the aches and stuffiness set in - yay!  So what I'd really like to do is crawl back into bed and try to sleep it off.  But of course, how often do we get to do that?!

So in any case, things to do - so here we go.....Today's card is a very quick one. 

I'm trying to follow along with Kristina Werner and Jennifer McGuire's Pattern Play class.  Always good to expand your mind, learn new things, and see other peoples perspectives!!  So, This is a quick card I did to try out one of the many things demoed on the first day. 

This is basically a case of one of Kristina's cards (there were so many great ideas; I had a hard time deciding). For mine, I changed up the border giving mine more sharp lines using a Spellbinders Ric Rac edge.  I also made a subtle change to my sentiment piece - from a circle to an oval (also Spellbinders).  The saying is from Sparkle N Sprinkle.  It's from the Lolly Garden Set 397 - Love the fun sayings on that set!  I chose to use bakers twine (My Mind's Eye - Lime Twist) in place of the natural twine. 

I also chose to use four papers instead of three....since both of my grays were really subtle; I chose to add 2 different gray patterns just to make them stand out from each other a bit more.  The paper is Doodlebug Boys Only.  I picked it up specifically to make a card for my older nephew.  Really great paper pad - used it for his card about a week ago (will have to share that later) and have been continuing to use this pad for couple other projects too.  Card base is Bazzill.

I also decided to add the white stitching (in homage to Kristina lol) - seriously though, I didn't intend to add it (it's a whole other story); but the gray panel needed something.  Just don't look too close - it looked great on my test sample, but got a little wonky when I did it on the actual card.  No time for do-overs right now!

The overall feel of the card is very much the same as Kristina's.  And I followed her & Amber's tips for picking the papers. 

(I just thought I'd post this second view to show you that when it's closed, you can see the teal from the card back behind the gray ric rac border).

Hope you like today's card.  Be sure to leave a comment to let me know what you think.  I hope I get a chance to try out some of the other things they are showing in Pattern Play later in the week.  And maybe I'll be lucky enough for the yucky aches & cold to pass quickly too ;-)!

Until next time,
***Julie***

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

SNS March Blog Hop

Welcome to my page on the Sparkle N Sprinkle Favorite Techniques blog hop.  I hope you have been enjoying the hop and have arrived here from Jackie's blog.  If not, you may want to return to the starting point on the SNS Home Blog so you don't miss of the great projects (or details about prizes you can win!)

So....favorite technique.....hmmm.  Definitely not an easy answer.  First off, would that be favorite "to do" or favorite as in "do it most often".  Well, I have lots of favorites - but the one I'm going to showcase today is a bit of both types of favorites.  I do really like to do this one & it's definitely one that I do often - Glittered Stained Glass.  Normally when I do the glittered stained glass technique, I do something pretty fancy or a very elegant look.  So I thought for today, I'd do something completely different.  Today I wanted it to be just totally fun and bold.  And here's what I came up with.

At first glance at this project, you might not even realize that this is glittered Stained glass; which is why I chose this picture that shows a little bit of the stained glass "glare" on it.  Plus, on this card I chose a stained glass piece that didn't dominate the whole card (usually I make it the main focus).

So even though I did it completely differently this time; it still works great!

I often think of glittered stained glass as a lot like painting by numbers.  You stamp your design onto a piece of acetate and then one color at a time you paint in the glue and add your glitter colors.




And since we're sharing techniques, I thought it might be nice to share one of my favorite tips for doing Glittered Stained Glass.

And it's something I do all the time.....
When doing this technique, you can attach your acetate right to the front of your card using brads or another decorative element.  But more often than not, I prefer to put my acetate behind the top layer of my card using a frame or some type of cut out.  

One of the ways you can make a cut out is so simple I thought I'd demo it on this card.  Simply chose where you'd like your stained glass piece to be and then stamp the design in that position using a light colored ink.  Then just simply cut it out!  Then your window matches your stained glass piece perfectly!  (You might not even be able to tell that I actually cut out that window for this piece.  It almost looks like the stained glass is right on the top of the card!)

Obviously, this works best when you have a design with relatively simple outer edge lines.  But if you have something with a more complex outer edge; you can just chose one of the many dies out there to die cut a frame to place your stained glass piece behind.  However, you chose to do it - brads, matching hand cut frame, or die cut frame; give Glittered Stained Glass at try.  It's fun and full of sparkling goodness!


Do you remember these stained glass projects from past hops?  These are two of my favorite stained glass projects!  Definitely a lot more "elegant" than today's project.  But it's always nice to try new looks and stretch a bit from what is your "norm" too!




Up next is Shanna's blog - hop on over to see what technique she has to share with you!  Be sure to leave a comment before you hop on!  And I hope you have a great time on the rest of the hop!!

Until next time,
***Julie***

PS - When you're done with the hop, Don't forget to stop by the SNS Tips & Techniques page so you can find your favorite technique!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Taste of Spring

It was yet another cold, gray, and a bit rainy/sleety day around here today. (Yep, I've had enough of winter!!)  And unfortunately, the weather man is saying it's going to be in the 30's & 40's for most of the next couple weeks yet.  They're even still tossing around that nasty four letter word SNOW.  Sheesh - enough already lol!  But, over the weekend, we did get a WONDERFUL break for a couple days.  Exactly the spring pick up we really needed!  Hopefully this Easter card is just what you need to give you a little Spring lift whether you're lucky enough to have some beautiful spring weather around you or are just dreaming about some!  


 I love how this card turned out - bright, colorful, super sparkly - perfectly springy!!


The card started with that fun, glittery rainbow border.  There's several different ways you can make a border like this.  (Check out the SNS Tips & Techniques pages for a variety of ideas).  I chose to use 3/4" Tearific Tape & a border cut from sticker paper to make my borders.  I was so excited about the way they turned out; I couldn't wait to add some brightly colored eggs!





The eggs are from one of SNS's great new Easter sets - Set 487 Hippity Hoppity Easter.  And there's still plenty of time to pick up one of those great sets & make up some of your own Easter cards!  I chose to only use one of the three eggs to keep the focus of the card on the colors and the glitter.  And I even glittered these up for even more sparkle!
click any photo for better view

The really sweet saying is also from the same set and was embossed in an "easter-y" Amethyst embossing powder. 

The saying was cut out using a Spellbinders scalloped rectangle and two Spellbinder doily accents were added to either end.  Then the entire saying piece was accented with Sparkling Snow glitter to coordinate with all the sparkling goodness in the rest of the card.  A complete product list and full instructions for this card can be found here in my SNS gallery.



I hope you are feeling the warmth of this "happy and sunny" Easter card and I really appreciate your stopping by.  And don't forget to stop back on Thursday for this month's SNS Blog Hop - "My Favorite Technique".  Let me know what you think of today's card and I'll see you on Thursday!

Until next time,
***Julie***

Thursday, February 28, 2013

March Creative Challenge at SNS

We've got a great new challenge for March over at Sparkle N Sprinkle!  This month we want to see you play with glitter - ultrafine glitter, velvet glitter, tinsel glitter, or even glittery embossing powder!  So many choices!!

This was a really hard challenge for me - ok, only in trying to decide which way I wanted to use it!  Soooo many different  ways I love to play with glitter - it was a hard decision!

What I decided to do was combine glitter with one of the most popular paper supplies right now - washi tape!  And here's the results:


Love how the washi and glitter look together!  





To start, I chose three coordinating washi tapes and glitters for my piece. Then I began laying down alternating rows of washi and 1/4" Tearific Tape. ( I chose to cover a piece of cardstock larger than I needed so I would have enough for more than one project after I was done with the glittered piece.)

(click any photo for a better view)

 










When the entire piece was covered; I trimmed all the tapes even with the edges and then burnished the washi & Tearific Tape down real well with a brayer (you could just use your finger to burnish it too).



 
Then I began adding the glitter by removing the paper backing off of every 3rd row of Tearific Tape and covering the tape with one of the glitters.  I burnished the glitter well with my finger and brushed off the excess before moving on to the next glitter color.





After all the colors were added, I burnished everything one more time and then cut the washi/glitter piece to the size I needed for my card.  Doesn't it look awesome!

I've got a bunch more washi/glitter combo's I want to try out now! (All I need is to find the time lol!)  Here's hoping I find the time - this was a lot of fun and there's so many great options to try!!

 The background for the card was created with a great new Pansy stamp from the stampette set by the same name.  And the wonderfully fun Robin Williams saying (love this saying!) is part of the Spring Swirl stamp set.  For extra glittery sparkle, the saying was done in Mulberry Star embossing powder; which is an EP with glitter in it.  And the whole ribbon banner was outlined with one of the same glitters as the washi piece. Look at all that sparkle in the saying and banner!


A supply list and full instructions for this card be found in the SNS Art Gallery here.


Hope you liked all the glittery goodness in this piece!  And we sure hope you join us for this month's Creative Challenge at Sparkle N Sprinkle!  Here's a link to the Creative Challenge blog to get all the details!   Thanks for stopping by today and don't forget to leave a little comment so I know you were here - I read and appreciate every one!
Until next time,
***Julie***