Night Owl







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Mushroomland

The mushroom has always been a motif that makes me happy. Maybe it’s a childhood memory–walking in the forest and seeing wild mushrooms and imagining that tiny elves lived inside–or the geometrical structure that appeals to the math geek in me…but, for whatever reason, I love mushrooms. (I’ll avoid discussing my Super Mario addiction for the time being…)

Today’s card project features artwork and cuts from the Cricut Imagine art cartridge titled “Nursery Tails”. (Before I go on, I suppose I need to make a confession. Yes, another one. My addictive personality has been discussed numerous times on this blog. My Cricut cartridge count now stands at 214 [and doesn’t include the new batch of Hello Thursday releases–though I’ve already ordered two of those.] When I finally caved and purchased my Cricut Imagine, I secretly hoped that I would not find it necessary to have all the Imagine cartridges. I told myself, the color and pattern cartridges would not be must-have purchases. {By now, you should see where this is heading.} Well, so much for low hopes. I currently have 21 Imagine art and colors/patterns cartridges…and want all three of the newly announced titles.)

Now the reason for this rather long confession: What am I doing with a cartridge called “Nursery Tails”? I have no children. I’m fairly certain any eggs I may have had are long scrambled (yes, this was a joke). At 45, I don’t see children in my future (much less that rascally Prince Charming)…so….why? Well, I had to have it. But, I’m telling you, the artwork and designs on this cartridge are so beyond cute and ahhh-inducing. I give “Nursery Tails” a hearty two-snaps and a shake of a gay man’s bruised existential eggs. Okay, now I’m done. I promise. To the cave, er….card.

The base cardstock for this project (and one of my go-to colors) is Papertrey Ink’s Simply Chartreuse. The card mat was cut at 4″ x 5″ from K & Co.’s “Greenhouse” paper stack. I mounted the mat on another piece of the same-sized Simply Chartreuse cardstock for added thickness as I knew I would be doing some hand-stitching on this card. I used We R Memory Keepers Sew Easy tool to punch the stitch lines in my matstack. Echoing the predominant greens and browns of the papers used, I chose to use some Papertrey Ink Baker’s Twine in Chocolate (instead of floss) to do my stitching. I like the baker’s twine as it is thicker and more rustic and makes the stitching show up more.

I used my Cricut Imagine and “Nursery Tails” to print and cut my layered artwork at 4″. The mushroom head and the butterfly wings were double cut for layering with Stampin’ Dimensionals. I also used the Dimensionals to adhere my mat stack on the card front as that keeps the back stitch work from “lumping” up the cardstock. It also, I think, carries on the three-dimensional effect of the overall card. Lastly, I used a sponge dauber and some Memento Rich Cocoa ink to add a border of color around the outside edges of my card. I was really happy with the way this one turned out. It featured so many details that I didn’t feel it necessary to add a greeting or sentiment to the card.



Giveaway #15: Freshly Picked

Once again, it was a year without snow in my part of the desert. Though, I have to say there have been many a morning where the temperature has dipped low enough to put a major chill in the air. I realize many of you have been frozen under layers of snow for more days than you care to recall. In that spirit, I thought the next giveaway should remind us that Spring is somewhere on the horizon. The cycle will start anew and gardens will be begging for new seed and tender love and care.

So to get us in that mindset, I am giving away a brand new Cricut cartridge, “Freshly Picked”, that celebrates new harvests and life’s never ending cycle. Along with the cartridge, the winner will receive a set of hand-picked embellishments and goodies to help inspire your creativity.

Now, as many of you know, most giveaways on my weblog involve nothing more than answering a random question and a bit of luck. A few giveaways ago, I tried a little word scramble contest and it really seemed to go over very well. Not only did more people participate, but I think the challenge was fun. So, I’m going to do it again. The theme for this contest is “Herbs & Spices” as a nod to “Freshly Picked”.

Below, you’ll find a list of the names of ten (10) herbs and/or spices that have been dropped off the produce shelves and are a bit worse for the wear. Each one has been scrambled up and it’s your job to help put things back in order. For instance, say you were given the following string of letters: be a flay. With a little re-arranging, “be a flay” becomes “bay leaf”.

The person with the most correct responses will be declared the winner. If more than one person solves them all, then the winner will be determined by a random draw of the names of all those who solved the puzzle. To submit your entry, send your list of answers via the e-mail link (“contact me”) on the sidebar by the contest deadline of Monday, February 7, 2011 at 12:00 a.m. MST. One entry per person please (and no sharing of answers, lol).

01. my sorer a
02. red navel
03. cedar iron
04. died well
05. karma clad comb
06. lamer songs
07. no rag rat
08. legal in
09. love me banner
10. orders his ah

*Super Bonus*
11. cheaper pinups

Mums The Word…

Chrysanthemums (often referred to as mums or chrysanths) are one of my favorite perennials. The name comes from the Greek chrysos meaning “gold” and anthos meaning “flower” as the flowers were originally only a golden yellow in color. Today, there are more than thirty species of chrysanthemums (of the genus Asteraceae).


My project for today uses another of the wonderful “Year of Flowers” clear acrylic stamp sets introduced by Papertrey Ink. If you’ve not already done so, I’d highly recommend checking this series of detailed stamps out. Most sets come with one or two flowers, several leaves and coordinating sentiments for only $15 a set.

I chose to use the largest chrysanthemum bloom and stamped it on some Stampin’ Up! Whisper White cardstock with Memento ink in Tuxedo Black. I colored the image using a palette of three different Copic Sketch markers: Y38 (honey), YR14 (caramel), and YR15 (pumpkin yellow). After I finished the handcoloring, I used my Tim Holtz micro-serrated scissors to cut out the image.

The card base is from Papertrey Ink cardstock in Fine Linen. The card mat is from K & Co.’s “Olive Tree Kraft” collection. I really thought the color of the background was terrific for this image and I loved the embossed and foiled leaf motif that perfectly fit with the floral theme of the card. The edges of the card mat were inked with Papertrey Ink’s Vintage Touch in Chai. The card base was inked with Colorbox chalk ink in Dark Brown. The sentiment is a rubber stamp from Unity Stamp Co.

Overall, the card is simple in its layout and design, but the chrysanthemum (which is the focal point) belies the simplicity as it took some time to properly shade and color.

Life Is All About The Gumballs…

Today’s card is a tip of the hat to the days of our innocence. I had so much fun putting it together, I felt like a child (which of course is an accusation I’ve faced previously). There is something about gumball machines that just makes a person happy and gives you one of those perma-grin smiles. When I was exploring the handbooks for the latest batch of Cricut cartridge releases, this image just jumped out at me. I used the “Wrap It Up” cartridge and my Cricut Imagine to create the layered image. This is one of the first times I’ve experimented with using the built in color palettes that come with each Imagine cartridge to “color” my image layers (as opposed to using various colors of cardstock). Using the print and cut function, I ended up with the colored layers that were quite easy to piece together. As I was putting the image together, I had a thought about the gumballs themselves. Of course, the cartridge prints out different colored circles to lay out as your gumballs with this image. But, I wanted a bit more pop and interest with the overall look. So, I rooted through my stash of mini round head brads and found some sparkly “gumballs”. I used a paper piercer to punch through the layered image and attached each brad. (The back looks like an accident in a dental brace factory!)

The base cardstock for this card is Stampin’ Up! in Brilliant Blue. The decorative paper (which recalls the gumball theme) is from American Crafts. The ribbon is from Papertrey Ink’s “Enchanted Evening” collection. For my sentiment, I created a scalloped badge out of felt (also from Papertrey Ink). Inside the card, I used a piece of decorative paper from Crate Paper that looks like those pages we all learned how to write on (Big Chief, anyone?). I thought this paper echoed the whimsy of the gumball machine–and I think the stains and smudges in the print are simply charming.

As a further note, I should add that I highly recommend the Cricut “Wrap It Up” cartridge. If you are one who tries to limit your cartridge buying (i.e. NOT like me, lol) to necessities, this is one to add to the “must-have” list. There are some terrific images, the layering is fairly simple and the artwork is highly versatile for many different events and uses. This is also a great cartridge for a Cricut Newbie.




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Here’s another card created with my Cricut Imagine and the “Imagine More Cards” art cartridge. The base cardstock is Stampin’ Up! in Blushing Bride. The decorative paper for the card mat is from American Crafts gorgeous Botanique Collection. The image is layered using Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Dimensionals and a piece of SU! ribbon in Chocolate Chip completes the look.