31 July 2011

JLJ Designs Sale Ends TODAY!!

Better hurry!
Jen's 25% off sale
ends tonight!!!

use code: FREESHIPJULY2011 for 
FREE SHIPPING on orders over $25!

27 July 2011

Sweet Summer Shaped Card

The new challenge starts today at the Fresh Brewed Challenge Blog! 
We are looking for
For this week's project, I used the adorable digital image:
Grace in Summertime.
She is standing on a real piece of sandpaper I stole borrowed from Joe's tool box!
I used several pieces of the "Soak up the Sun" set of SVG's from Lettering Delights With the new upgrade of MTC, it is SO easy to use LD Products now!
I added some delicious shimmer with Creative Inspirations Aquarmarine paint on the waves and the beach ball. 
AND!! I just got a screaming deal on a 36-piece set of Copic markers, too! Thank you to Stacy at the Scrapbooking Cottage
I swore I wouldn't do it... I wouldn't cave in to the temptation. 
I was happy with my colored pencils! 
But to pick up the set at 50% off, I just couldn't resist!! 
So, bear with me while I learn to use them. 
I have attempted to color Miss Grace using my new markers, and while I'm nowhere near the expert many of my friends have become, I'm pretty pleased with my first attempt! (-: Not so sure of her hair, but her little outfit looks OK to me! (-: 
And I recommend The Scrapbooking Cottage to everyone!! My markers arrived within 2 days and she threw in a little bonus pack of ribbon as a token of appreciation. I am most definitely on her email newsletter list and look out for all her sales now! Ya just never know what's going to be on sale next!

And speaking of sales:

Hurry over to the Fresh Brewed Shop!
The Christmas in July sales are almost over
This week you can find 
as well as our Summer Rubber Stamps at 30% off
(rubber stamps are low in quantity!!!)
This sale only lasts for one week! 
Get your order in before August 3- midnight EST

*ETA (Edited to Add)*: In my "Google Reader", I found the coolest feature! Some people probably already know, but you can add categories or labels to blogs you follow while in Reader. I created a tag: "Challenges" and every time a new post from one of the Challenge sites I follow is added, it goes into that "Category". So every day, I have a list of challenges created of the blogs I already follow!
Using that list, I am able to enter this card into the following challenges:

Paper Playtime, Digi or Stamped Summer Creations
Ooh La La Creations, Circles
Digistamps 4 Joy, Children's Day Around the World
For Fun Challenges, Aah, the Sun of it All
Craft Your Days Away, Summertime
Lexi's Creations, Shaped Card
Crafting for All Seasons, THANK YOU LIZZY for the referral. This is Challenge #6, Beach/Ocean

26 July 2011

Panda Bear Lantern

I have been waiting several days now to post this project!
It is going to be a photo-heavy post, just so ya know!

The DtsArt SVG Design Team is going to be taking a little break
and Dardi has decided to end our term earlier than expected!

While I'm pretty bummed about the term coming to an end,
I know that there is a lot involved in designing SVG's and I know 
that when she returns, I will be in line filling out my application
to be on the new team!

Since it is our last project as the first ever DtsArt Design Team,
I wanted to make a very special project!

that really inspired me! 
I hopped right over to Lindsay's Stamp Stuff and purchased
the lantern SVG files and got to work!

I imported her files into Inkscape and broke it apart to add two extra sides,
so I could have a 6-sided lantern!
I loved the shape of Lindsay's Lanterns
but wanted a little "extra" and by adding
two extra sides, the lantern is rounded out a bit.

Our DtsArt SVG file we're working with this week is called

There are two pandas, a boy and a girl!

Each of the six windows is covered in Cricut Stencil material-
a nice opaque layer of plastic that cuts pretty easily 
and has a self-adhesive backing.

I looked up the Chinese symbol for Happiness
and created an SVG for it with Inkscape.
Cut it out of black vinyl and placed it on the inside of two of the windows.
I have placed that SVG into my account
so if you would like to use it, 
click HERE

Cely, from Creating in Carolina 
provided a FREE SVG for a Bamboo Tree
a long time ago (June of last year!).
I cut that twice and put them
on opposing windows.

I still needed "something" so I used the 
Cherry Blossoms from
Cut two of those and wrapped them around the chimney.

The papers are all from Daisy Bucket Designs.
I got a bunch of pretty papers in a blog candy and these 
were in that package!

Using my flameless candle, I tried to get a few shots
of the lantern in the evening.

And here's one in complete darkness.

This little project might not look like much,
but I can honestly say it took me almost all day Saturday!

But it really was FUN to see it all come together!

It all started with a little inspiration from the
and took off from there!

When I saw the lantern and the pandas
all I could think of was a Chinese themed project
and I really think I pulled it off successfully!

I have really enjoyed my time on the DtsArt Design Team.
Here are links to the other projects I have made with her files:

It has truly been a blast working with all these files
and I'm looking forward to her return!

After browsing the Feline Playful site, I believe my project can be entered in the following challenges:
Happileigh Scrappin', Shaped Card (special folds, boxes, etc)
Make It Monday Linky Party #47, I hope someone is inspired to try something new and different!
Simon Says Stamp and Show, Anything Goes, altho I have not technically "stamped" anything for this project, I HAVE shared the SVG file for the Chinese Happiness Sign and in that shared file is a jpeg that can be used as a digi...
Hooked on Craft Challenge #4, Cute and Cuddly: both my pandas are so cute, I think so anyways!
Die Cut Dreams, Animal Antics: if you click this link, check out their DT creations: awesomeness!

This is the complete image in the shared file on
I didn't use the "Happiness" caption
but kept it in the file anyways!

25 July 2011

What's Going On at The Latte Lounge?

Have you been over to visit with us at the Latte Lounge lately?
There's a lot going on!!
The Month-long challenge is already up to Week 4!

This week, our challenge was to use Non Traditional Christmas colors!

Let me tell you, our Design Team has had a real mess with this one!

We have ALL had to start over, change our papers, lost cards, add the other details from weeks one thru three and overall, this has been THE most challenging challenge we've ever had!

For my Week 4 project, I have decided to go with BROWN... I also made it a Christmas card (week 1) added punches (from week 2), and snow (from week 3)!
My cute little snowman is from The Stamping Boutique. I won't bore you with all the details, unless you really want to make a card exactly like this one, you don't want to read all that, right? And if you do need any details, you know you can contact me anytime!

The one thing I will share is that the ribbon is seam binding from JLJ Designs!
She's having a sale for the entire month of July and you're running out of time!

She sells ALL kinds of colors of this stuff, 3 YARDS for a dollar!!

And with 25% off all month, it's ONLY 74 CENTS!! For NINE FEET of seam binding!! 

If you want to take advantage of this AWESOME deal, just click the badge at the top of my sidebar!! But you better hurry up, because this sale is going to end in less than a week!!

So, let's see, what else is going on at the Latte Lounge?

We've had several kids join the community and we're thinking of setting up a Kid's Group where they can chat and make friends. If you have a Junior Crafter in your house, send them over to join us! It's a SAFE, pleasant place where they can be monitored and talk about whatever they think is interesting!!

Speaking of Kids, our Kids Challenge, sponsored by Fresh Brewed Designs, is going pretty well! There are so many creative kids out there and we LOVE to have a place they can share their projects with us and have a chance to WIN their own collection on digis! Gotta start 'em early, y'know?

And Groups? We have several of those, and they're quite active. They run their own challenges, answer questions about products, post info about hops, display all kinds of new creations and in general, just chit-chat about stuff that matters!
We'd LOVE to have you come over and join us!!

24 July 2011

The Weeds Have Taken Over!

I don't know about where you are, but here in NC, it's H-O-T!!
We've been on or near the 100 degree mark all week and this week, it's not expected to let up at all!
As of 9:00 this morning, it's already 90!
My poor garden!
I tried to get out early to pull weeks and prune the roses but standing in that sun is just unbearable!
The weeds have started to take over and what normally looks like a pretty place has turned into a wild, out of control jungle!

ENTER Gardening Granny!


Looks like she's been very busy harvesting her veggies! My garden sure could use her help!

Heather sent this image to me early last week and as soon as I saw it, I printed and colored and got to work!
I emailed her a copy and she moved up the release date so I could share her with all of you!!
She is colored with Prismacolor pencils, the background is from September Scenes Stand-up Cards and the grass in front is from Easter Morning Egg Hunt.

For all those out there still using a Cricut with SCAL or MTC, I have installed the new MTC update and ran a test cut. The first time thru, I had an issue that I posted at the MTC Forum and within minutes, the solution was posted! Make sure when you click "Cut", when the "Go" dropdown box pops up, you choose the option that says something about "USB"... the COM3 modem connection won't work and won't recognize your Cricut! Once I made that small change, it worked perfectly!!

The new updates Andy has added are pretty cool... my favorite being the ability to log in to my Lettering Delights account and view all my purchased collections and import them instantaneously!

I can't wait til Tuesday, when I can post pictures of my newest Cricut creation!! it is quite possibly to cutest thing evah!

A few important, last minute reminders:

Thanks for visiting today and I hope you're off to a great week!
I would like to enter Granny into the Craft Your Days Away Summertime Challenge. 

20 July 2011

Happy Birthday Amber Ink

Happy First Birthday
Amber Ink Blog Hop

Twelve short months ago
we made our big debut,
So now we'd like to commemorate
our 1st birthday with you!

This flash mob of torchbearers
always light our way.
Won't you please jog along
on our special day?

Leave your comments here and there
over the next 48
On Friday we'll announce the loot
Don't wait...let's CELEBRATE!

and as an FYI...There will be prizes for comments along the way -
Wednesday, Thursday to hop. Winners announced on Friday!

I am so thrilled to be a part of this Incredible Blog Hop Birthday Party!! When you see the line-up of Torchbearers past and present you will be amazed!!

There is all kinds of fun stuff happening at the AmberInklings Blog so make sure you stop in to say "Hi". In addition to this awesome Party Hop there are new images and iPapers being released
and all kinds of party goodies!! For my card, I used images from the Brand New "Bake Me a Cake" set of Digi images. I used to combine the cake, the frosting, the roses, the sentiment, the candle... in fact, my entire card was created DIGITALLY!

I even used Digi Papers from JLJ Designs Bouquet of Roses Pack And the ovals? Yep... drawn and colored digitally! Other than the "Make a Wish" part the entire card is printed on ONE layer! Pretty cool, huh? No extra supplies needed! Just get your images and iPapers from AmberInk, combine them all together in a Photo Editing software print, fold and Go!! This is a quick and easy way to create last-minute cards as you head out to the party and realize you forgot to make a card for the occasion!

So... here it is! The list of everyone who is hopping!! As you can see, there are LOTS of my Team Purple Sisters... I'm number 25 on that list!! I HOPE you'll get a chance to hop thru 
and show them all some love! You have two days!! On Friday morning, there will be lots of winners and prizes announced at the AmberInklings Blog so make sure you check back to end our Birthday Celebration with PRESENTS!!

Wild About Fresh Brewed Designs

The new challenge starts today at the Freshly Brewed Challenges Blog.

Our challenge this week is:
Go Wild!

We're showing off our wild side with Anything Animals!

There is a LOT going on in my card, so I hope I remember to give credit for everything I've used !

The adorable elephant is called "Baby Ellie Hula Dancer
from Fresh Brewed Designs.

Her ice cream cone is in the Beach Accessories Set 
of Fresh Brewed Rubber stamps. 
The palm tree on the left side is also 
a Fresh Brewed Rubber Stamp. 
The flower was a freebie from the Paper Dolls blog. 
The designer is Jani from Paper Compulsions
The cut files for a whole set of beautiful flowers was available for free for last week's Paper Doll's challenge. Of course, my project was done a day late, so I missed the challenge! But I wanted to make sure to say thank you for the awesome set of files nonetheless! 
The "Aloha" sentiment is from the "Hawaii" set of 
the "Cut its" Simple Shapes Bundle from Lettering Delights.
The background beach image is a coloring page from

I also wanted to take a second to give a shout-out to my little guys!
They LOVE to color and create with me and we often share supplies.
This week, Joey decided to pull out the "Blendy Pens"
and wanted me to try them out on my palm tree.
If you've never seen Blendy Pens, they're actually pretty cool!
You press the tips of two markers together and start coloring. 
The colors blend together into all sorts of shades and tones 
depending on how long you press them together!
So, Joey, this Palm Tree is for you!
Thank you for sharing your art supplies with Mom!

Challenges for Ellie:
City Crafter, It's a Shore Thing
Die Cut Dreams, Animal Antics
Happileigh Scrappin', Make your Embellishment (I made my flower)
KB Cute Monday, Use a Digital Stamp
Paper Playtime, Summer
Pollycraft, Summer Fun

19 July 2011

Keeping Cool with TSB

I have been waiting all week to post this card!
I made it for the newest challenge at
which starts today!

I always show my projects to DH for feedback
when they're finished
and this is the FIRST time he ever said
"Wow, I think that's the best one you ever made!"
It just looks and feels "right"!

The challenge is to 
Keep It Cool
using colors on the "Cool" side of the Color Wheel

The image is called "The Fairy's Nap"
and I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it!

I colored it with my Prismacolor pencils
and cut the nested shape with a Penny Duncan Shapley

I followed her tutorial for layering the "sandwich" for the
nice embossed edge and it worked perfectly.
For the price of one sheet of plain card stock
I made a "Nested" shape that some people
have paid almost $20 for!

The fairy's wings and legs are painted with
Creative Inspirations "Fairy Dust" paint.
I love that stuff! (-:

The background paper is K & Co
and the ribbon is from a Latte Lounge ribbon swap
(I think?)

If you haven't taken a look around the shop
you'll want to hop over and take advantage 
of "One Buck Week"

This week all the images in the
are only $1.00!!

I sure hope you're feeling "cool" today
and that I have somehow inspired you
to try making a project using only the 
"Cool" side of the color wheel!

I can't wait to visit all the entries in
this weeks' challenge!

18 July 2011

Week 3 at the Latte Lounge

This month at the Latte Lounge, we are trying to get a head start on our Christmas cards!
It's impossible to think that in less than 6 months, we will be heading out to the Post Office to send off cards to our seemingly endless list of friends and family!

The challenge so far this month is:

Create a Christmas Card
AND to ADD punches and/or Die Cuts
AND to ADD snow!

Every week, we add a new "twist" to make it just a little more challenging!

Wait til you see what we have planned for next week! (-:

This little image, called "Chubby Snowman" from The Stamping Boutique just sings Happy Holidays! And like one of my DT teamies mentioned, I just hope the "Warm Wishes" don't get a little too warm for our little guy!

I would also like to enter the Christmas in July Challenge at Paper Creations Ink

13 July 2011

Fresh Brewed Triple Challenge

Howdy, Happy Bloggy Friends!
Today is Wednesday, which means a new challenge at the Freshly Brewed Challenges Blog.
The challenge this week is a "for fun" only challenge to use THREE of anything!
For my project, I used one of the BRAND NEW Hot Out of the Press images called
 "Angel Cake Flies a Kite"
My "three" things for the challenge are the itty, bitty, teeny-tiny bows on Angel Cake's Kite!
This center-step card has become my all-time favorite template!
It has just the right amount of space to "decorate" and the dimension that I love!

Here is a view from the side. You can see how the sun and kite are raised up on foam tape and how the center step middle panel stands apart from the main base as a real focal point!
For my sentiment "Smile" I used the "Smile Banner" image 
from The Stamping Boutique.
I colored and cut apart the image, but all it's elements are there: the blue birdies, the banner, and the balloons!

Somehow, these two images from my two FAVORITE designers just seemed to be made for each other!

The sun is a simple star and circle cut in MTC, embossed with Swiss Dots, and the clouds are from the "Weather" set in the new Lettering Delights "Cut its Simple Shapes Bundle".

I hope you'll get a chance to play in the "THREE's" challenge at Fresh Brewed!
And if you missed the Blog Hop Monday,
you can see all EIGHT new images at the Fresh Brewed Designs Shop 
in the "Hot Out of the Press" section!

And THIS is courtesy of my friend Amanda's Blog:
As soon as I read it, I had to repost!

Stay at Home Moms by Jennifer Johnson 

A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard. The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog.

Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall. In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a Cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. 

In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls. 

As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. 

He looked at her bewildered and asked, 'What happened here today?' She again smiled and answered, 'You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world do I do all day?' 'Yes,' was his incredulous reply. 

She answered, 'Well, today I didn't do it.'

Thank you for making my day, Amanda!!

12 July 2011

Starting the Christmas Countdown

You may have noticed the Countdown Timer in my sidebar?
Yep... we're already thinking about Christmas!!
I swear it's not sneaking up on my this year and I WILL have my cards ALL done on time this year! (yeah, right!!) LOL!!
I got to spend a little crafty time this weekend and I just LOVE how this card turned out!

The image is "Natalie" from The Stamping Boutique.
I colored her with my Prismacolor pencils and added a little "puffy paint" on the fringe of her suit. 
For the background, I used Versamark ink and stamped the swirls and sentiment
(the stamps are all clear stamps in my drawer and I just can't remember who made them, MFT, maybe?). I then heat embossed them with Zing clear embossing powder. After it cooled, I spritzed it with gold "homemade" shimmery mist spray. 
The Monthly Challenge at the Latte Lounge is "Christmas in July" and the FUN thing about our challenges there is that every week, we add a new "twist" to make the challenge progressively more challenging!
This week's add-on is: Add Punches or Die Cuts. 
I cut the scalloped edge border with MTC and my Cricut, then added the red ribbon to (hopefully) "tie" it all together. Typically, I don't think red and purple are used together, but for this card, I think it's a perfect color combo!
It looks like I need a little "Adhesive Repair" on the bottom edge... oops!

And while we're getting ready for Christmas, look at my cute little Hexagon Box!
This is the newest project from DtsArt and is SO super-easy to cut and put together. And the file is also available in Pdf for the "cutter-free" folks!

There are actually 2 box sizes in the file. This is the "small" one and measures about 3.5" across the bottom!

The topper is a little tissue paper pom pom. I used the same pink tissue paper to line the box and make the "skirt'. Decorative edge scissors around the rim of the top and its ready to be placed under my virtual tree!

You can purchase this adorable box SVG set at Dardi's  little corner of Cut and or DieCut Designer

Get Hippity with Ippity, Christmas in July
The Latte Lounge, Christmas in July
Stampin' Sisters in Christ, What works for you: What works for me here is having the freedom to choose! I chose the color combos that would typically not "go" together and it "worked" perfectly for me!

I would also like to enter the Christmas in July Challenge at Paper Creations Ink