Friday, January 31, 2014

Let's Party!

I just completed the invitations for our granddaughter's 10th birthday party.  It's a "cosmic bowling" party so neon colors were a must.  (Black lights create the neon colors as they bowl).  Fortunately I found a pack of small-sized cardstock at Michaels since my supply is packed.  I put a score sheet on the back (download from the internet) and cut the bowling pin and ball by hand.  The band around the pin is narrow washi tape.  The invitation folds at the top and the second photo shows the top of the inside.  The orange blast was cut by hand (I'm really missing my electronic cutter these days) and the letters were die cut.  I sprinkled sequins throughout the invitation.  The bottom inside contains the details about the party and was printed in black on my computer.  I put three bands of washi tape on the envelope from the label to the outside of the envelope.  I thought that set the mood pretty well and it should have been bright enough to grab the attention of the invited guests.  Let the fun begin!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Alcohol Ink Background

Alison, Judy and I (thanks, Alison!) recently played with alcohol inks again.  This is one of the backgrounds that I made.  I mounted it on dark blue and added lace and ribbon.  It seemed to need a significant focal point so I used a Martha Stewart corner punch to repeatedly punch along one edge of pink cardstock.  I then cut them apart, cutting each punch to a point.  They were each adhered to a cardstock circle, overlapping at the little point.  I added a commercial flower and put the whole thing on a folder embossed backgound.  I think I need to make more of those big flowers.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Double Embossed

I found the flowers, leaves and embossed background in my stash so this was a quick and easy card at this point.  I simply inked the edges of the flowers and curled them a bit.  I added lace and ribbon and popped up the leaves and flower with foam tape.  The black dots are dimensional paint (which I really like using for tiny accents--you probably figured that one out).

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Flourish In Black

This is another background of gelstick colors blended with water.  The flourish came from my stash so I'm not positive how it originated.  The flower is punched and I added dimensional paint dots.  Pretty easy and a nice touch of color when it's cold and a bit drab outside.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Metallic Gelsticks

In yesterday's post I mentioned metallic gelsticks and this is a sample of a blending of green, blue and gold metallic.  I first folder embossed a piece of black cardstock, added the gelstick to the raised areas and then blended it into the recessed areas with my finger.  I embellished with a die cut gold butterfly, lace and satin ribbon.  There's a sheen to the card that doesn't show well in the photo but it's very pretty.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Gorgeous Gelsticks

I recently received some gelsticks (very similar to gelatos) and have enjoyed seeing what they can do.  They are creamy and come in a plastic container similar to lip balm and they are water soluble.  There is a range of colors and even some in metallic form.  The orange background for this card was three colors of gelsticks scribbled on cardstock and then mixed with a water brush.  I added a die cut chevron.  The flower was cut on my electronic cutter and I found it in a stash of stuff I had saved.  I inked the ends of each petal with orange and then yellow.  The final touch was dimensional paint dots.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Back A Few Years

On January 21 I posted a card which had a couple of die cut labels on it.  I saved the negative portion of the cut and that became the blue mat on this card.  I adhered dark green to the back of it.  Then I found a teabag fold I did years ago and that became the focal point.  The center is die cut flowers and a pearl.  I added ribbon and a bow before adhering it to the card front.  We didn't have those nice label dies when I did the teabag folding but think it creates the perfect frame.

Friday, January 24, 2014

It's a Gray Day

This card started with a label die cut from patterned cardstock which I cut in half (more or less).  I added it to the top of the folded gray piece and stamped the text.  I embellished with a die cut border, ribbon and a bow.  The gray portion lifts up to reveal additional text so the yellow background is a flat piece.  Can't have too many birthday cards on hand.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tickle, tickle

We're leaving the bookstore.  This card started with the diamond panel which is pearl stenciled on black.  I matted it on red and cut a square from the red.  I stamped feathers (from the $1 bin at Michaels) on the background before adhereing the panels.  I stamped an additional feather, cut it out and mounted it on the square with foam tape.  Looks like this could be a good "manly" card.  If you are like me, those are hard to come by.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

At the bookstore I found:

A layout and a color scheme

Thanks to a GED preparation book I had a new layout and a color combination that I wouldn't ordinarily use.  I spent way more time on this layout that it deserved and I found that without the white text it was difficult to get a balance.  When it's time to use the card, I think I'll try adding some sort of white at the bottom of the green panel.  It may be in the form of a banner or maybe stamped and white embossed directly.  I'll go with what seems right at the time.  While it wasn't as successful an experiment as I hoped, it's still a good design and I stepped outside my box.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Color Combination

At the bookstore I found:

A color combination

Thanks to "A Treasury For One Year Olds" I had a color combination.  Unfortunately my photo colors aren't very exact to the cardstock and I wasn't able to fix it.  The dark piece is much bluer than the photo shows.  The labels are die cut and the light blue one is folder embossed.  The butterfly was embossed in bold and cut by hand.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Book Inspired

On January 16 I posted a photo of a shelf of colorful books that was at the bookstore.  All of that color inspired this card which is also full of color.  The heart background was stenciled and all of the flowers and the butterfly were die cut.  The centers are dimensional paint.  It's a whole rainbow in flowers!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Layout From Book Cover

At the bookstore I discovered:

Layouts for cards

The photo is pretty lousy but I wasn't after great photography at the time.  I merely wanted to record ideas.  The first card (upper right) is a pretty literal translation of the design in color and layout except that I changed the orientation. And I spiced it up with some flowers. The second card (lower right) is pretty much the same layout but entirely different colors. With all the patterns in the paper, I didn't think it needed much embellishment.  I die cut the banner for the text to add a bit of dimension.  Black strips between the panels were added after the panels were in place and they covered a multitude of sins.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Painted Man

At the bookstore I found;


There's something known as "street photography" where you "shoot from the hip" as you walk amongst a crowd--you shoot without bringing the camera to eye level.  At least that's a simple definition.  That's not exactly what I did here but it sort of is.  This gentleman was a good subject.  I added some filters to him and then blended a couple of textures to the background.  I thought the end result looked like a painting which I thought was a good outcome.  If you see me coming, better step aside.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Color Everywhere

Another thing I found at the bookstore was color--lots of color.  Color everywhere but especially in the children's section although this collection wasn't in the children's section.  We are most fortunate that printers can handle so many colors and do it well.  Can you imagine books in just black and white?!  Even newspapers have color.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Book Inspired Label Card

 The photo on the left is the front of a book that inspired the card on the right.  It consists of two vertical panels for the background and a wider horizontal panel on top of that.  Two circles were adhered to the center. I added lace and narrow satin ribbon before adding the flower which was die cut and punched.  I had the thought that a die cut label in place of the focal point would be easier but I wanted to stay with a more exact translation of the book.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dummies Everywhere

From all of the "Dummies" books I saw on the shelves at the bookstore I had the thought that we are a nation of dummies.  But that's not really true, of course.  The instructions are written in a simple, understandable manner to assist those who are self-taught.  I'd be the first to admit that I have purchased a Dummie book but it certainly was not to learn calculus.  My mind is too full of other stuff to have room for that.  I think it was probably a book on digital photography.  These books are in many sections of the store so if you want to learn something, go on a little search.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Book Inspired Hexagon

The photo on the left is a book of Classic American Short Stories that I saw at Barnes & Nobel.  I used it as inpiration to make the card shown on the right.  Initially I was going to use the same colors but I really didn't care for them so went with my current purple mode.  I wasn't crazy about the "bull's eye" look so the smaller hexagons were offset from the center. The background was folder embossed and the hearts were die cut.  I used both lace and narrow satin ribbon for the center division.  The white hexagon is popped up for some dimension.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Be Happy

While at the bookstore I found:

14,000 Things To Be Happy About by Barbara Ann Kipfer

I didn't even open it but I was glad she found so much to be happy about.  And I figured I should be able to find at least 10 things to be happy about so here goes:

sparkling fresh snow
dazzling, dripping icicles
a warm woolen coat
hot cocoa
homemade soup
good health
a new flower punch board (coming to stores in April)
freedom to make my own choices

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Visit To The Bookstore

I made a trip to the bookstore.  We had to go somewhere because our house was being shown and Barnes & Nobel seemed a good choice.  We enjoyed a drink at the Starbucks portion of the store and while I consumed mine I lost three games of solitaire on my phone.
Then I went exploring and I'll be posting some of the things I found.

Since my reading is done almost 100 percent digitally, I wasn't really looking to buy a book but I still find "real" printed books to be interesting and I hope there is always a bookstore to be found.   I found one of my favorite authors, John Grisham.  I think I've read all of his books and I'm always surprised by the variety of his plots.  And some of them translated really well to movies, too.  I hope he keeps writing.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Curvy Curb

A couple months ago or so I posted a photo of a curb with dry leaves.  Then I found this curb.  It's a simpler design with less leaves but I thought it had character.  The original was tones of brown and gray so I decided to spice up the hues a bit.  It gave it more of a fanciful look which was more appealing and fun.

Friday, January 10, 2014


I've noticed that when my husband and I are out doing photography together he tends to look at the big, wide view  while I'm up close and personal.  Maybe that's how we view life.  I miss the macro lens I had for an older film camera but still occasionally can get a decent up close shot.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


This year I again made pyramid calendars.  It consists of a rectangle and square adhered together.  I dug into my archive of backgrounds so all of them were a little different.  Punched or die cut flowers and butterflies and a few dots of dimensional paint were added as embellishments.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Blended Leaf

I took a photo of a dry leaf on cement.  I cropped the photo and blended it with two textures, giving this result.  May later add word art or a frame to complete it but have't definitely decided.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Touch of History

Here's a look back at an old brass letterbox formerly in use at the Heathman Hotel.  I thought it had a lot of character but was also a thing of beauty.  I wonder how many letters went into it over the years and what their final destination was.  Oh, the stories it could tell.

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Sip of Chocolate

As if the high tea goodies weren't enough, we had a bit of chocolate at the little chocolate shop at the entrance to the Heathman. One can't have too much chocolaate, can they?!   Now that's a place worthy of a special trip as verified not only by visual inspection but also by our sippin'.  But the car was coming and time was limited so future exploration is required.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

High Tea Treats

And, of course, the highlight of a high tea is the goodies to be enjoyed.  In the case of the Heathman Hotel offerings there was--

mini sandwiches - smoked salmon, chicken salad, goat cheese and cucumber

sun-dried tomato deviled egg

bread - scone, banana bread

sweets - chocolate feuilletine, chocolate mousse, lemon tart, devils food chocolate cupcake and fresh marshmallows

There wasn't a single item that I didn't find extremely tasty and unique.  Yummy!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

High Tea, continued

The china style was simple and clean.  Shown to the left is the cream and lemon and I'm happy to report that the cream poured very well and without any drip or dribble

Shown below is the individual teapot.  Loose leaf tea was the order of the day and they kept the hot water coming.

My granddaughter preferred hot chocolate which they were happy to provide.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Afternoon High Tea

On December 27 I was invited to High Tea at the Heathman Hotel with daughter and granddaughter, Brenda and Kaytlin.  It was a beautiful setting, decorated for the holidays, with friendly service.  And the company was the very best.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


High Tea at the Heathman Hotel in downtown Portland OR

This bronze sculpture, by artist Jim Gion, greets guests at the hotel.  It was unveiled in May 2010 after being donated by the Banfield Pet Hospital, to celebrate the Heathman Hotel's pet-friendly tradition.  It is depicted wearing a Beefeater costume and modeled after Zelda, an English bulldog who was the star of Zelda Wisdom.  The bowl is kept full of fresh water for the enjoyment of bypassing canines.  What a handsome devil.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  I hope your year is off to a great start and your year brings good health and happy experiences.  Be safe.