Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wing books 1 and 2

Some months ago I tired of using my own writing for mini-books, so I put a call for work out on FaceBook. I have a lot of creative-writing friends on there, so I was very pleasantly surprised to receive many poems from friends I didn't even know were writers! I'm always hearing people say I wish I were more creative, but in my experience there's no shortage of creativity in this world: and it's always life-affirming and just plain fantastic. One of the first people to contact me was my former co-worker at the University of Baltimore, Kapricia. We'd talked poetry in the past, but I had know idea how many words she had in her! She sent me two poems that I made into the first two books of what I hope will be a series (hint hint!): The Day I Fell in Love
It was a cold and rainy day,
she decided to come anyway.
I couldn’t hold back the pain
& tears, and Oh Yes! a lil fear.
I heard the doctor say
“Push, push, push my dear
I see her head,
she’s almost here,”
So I gave it a push
and heard her cry
what a relief I felt inside.
I held her in my arms,
looked in her eyes.
I couldn’t believe she was

Kapricia Williams ©2010
Wings to Fly
I have my own
cheering squad.
They clap as I fly high,
like a bird across the sky.
I’m soaring, flipping and doing tumbles
as I pass you by.
You see you had me cooped up
in what I thought
was love,
but I was wrong, so I
See the claps are not for me to return,
but for God’s grace and giving strength
to fly above all things.
Give Him a hand!

Kapricia Williams ©2010

Other books from my "FaceBook Friend" project:
the Shuttlecock!
Phenomenal Lady (also with a poem by Ms. Williams)

Phenomenal Lady book

Last week I received one of my favorite kinds of instant messages: Want to make a book?

Kapricia, also the author for my Wing Book Series, gave me this poem to work with:

"Remember what I told you"
she would shout and say
"We must always be ladies
even at when play."
Kapricia Williams ©2010

I was further influenced by her comment: "When you know better you do better. I love the phenomenal women in my life that showed me to act like a lady, be a lady, speak lady like and some day you too will be a phenomenal WOMAN!!" I know that we both grew up influenced by Maya Angelou, and I defy you to read her poem "Phenomenal Woman" without feeling a surge of power! So I added the title "Phenomenal Lady" as a little shout-out to our shared inspiration.

Having been raised as a lady (however fruitlessly), I really felt this poem! In my experience, such advice was given when the little lady was voicing her opinion... I immediately thought of the wonderful Tantrum images from Mo's Digital Pencil and used this project as an excuse to buy Two Tasha from the set. I contrasted that image with the sweet ballerina from Mo's Kiesha's Curtain Call, and finished the book with four color of tulle.

Digi stamps: Kiesha's Curtain Call and Two Tasha by Mo's Digital Pencil

View all of my mini books here.

Andy reading, Andy tired; Andy take a little snooze

Matt Hawkins of Custom Papertoys made this most-groovy homage to Warhol, Paper Pop, and has the template on his site for free! Oh it's so fun to make.

Being me, I sized it down to about 3.5 inches high, so some of the smaller pieces (like that fantastic nose!) were a little difficult to get in place. Thank goodness for reverse tweezers!

I actually made this is January, but recently I ran across these tiny origami books at Extreme Cards & Papercrafting and just had to give Andy some reading material! I made the books from 2x2 pieces of paper torn from a magazine.

The book in the foreground was actually made from a Post-it. Let me know if you try either of these projects!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Make this card!

I'm really enjoying the creative challenges at Stampin' Dymonz Creative Space (you should definitely put her on your challenge list!) This month she's been featuring projects by Elizabeth Currie-Matsko, and we're challenged to "copy" her multi-layered, gold-embossed egg card. In need of some Easter cards, I thought I'd try it out.

I did my best to copy Elizabeth's card with the supplies I had on hand. I used one of Crafty Ann's Faberge Egg digi stamps, printed it on vellum and heat-embossed it in gold. I pasted the vellum pieces onto pink and lavender cardstocks and then colored the pieces with Sakura gelly roll pens (much like Elizabeth). I made the "swirly" background by copying a bit of the pattern from the egg. I used the "basket weave" texturing plate for the backing paper.

Inspiration: Stampin' Dymonz Creative Space

Digi stamp: Faberge Egg 1 by Crafty Ann's

Supplies: Recollections cardstocks & vellum, Brazzill cardstock, Elmer's, Smirk and Sakura glitter pens, Walmart ribbon, pop-dots

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cityscapes on the rise...and popping up

As you might have noticed, beautiful cityscapes have been going up all over the crafting blogosphere this week, thanks to the Cityscapes Are on the Rise challenge at Moxie Fab World. Not only did Cath provide us with great inspiration, the projects people have created are a-maz-ing. Three that stood out to me were My Creative Journey (building made of stamped sentiments), Mackenzie Mae Designs (the layout & colors), and The Stampin' Bean (innovative & just plain beautiful use of fonts).

Thanks to the
Elvis Song Challenge over at Crafty Ann's, I found a perfect sentiment in his cover of "Home Is Where the Heart Is". I love cityscapes, despite the fact that they are apparently "hip". I decided that this challenge was just the excuse I needed to finish my city pop-out cut file that I've been working on; it's part of a series working off of my original pop-out house. Due to technical problems with SCAL and Cricut it took me a lot longer to cut these pieces than it might have, so I'm rushing to make the deadline. But I think I like the end result!

The yellow pieces are just a light, white cardstock sprayed with bright yellow spray ink and "banana pudding" chalk ink. This took forever to dry and flatten, and, even after rubbing off the excess "shine" after drying, it got glittery chalk everywhere, but the color is great and totally worth it. And if you clicked on the "banana pudding" link, you'll know what song I had stuck in my head the whole time!

I think this layout would make a great version of Chen Rosenberg's fantastic Hanukkah card I discovered on the Tuesday Trio blog. I love the idea of the cityscape with a candles in the windows...


Moxie Fab World Challenge: Cityscapes Are on the Rise
Crafty Ann's Challenge #37: Elvis Song
Pop-out pencil holder: Extreme Cards & Papercrafting

Supplies: Recollections cardstocks, pre-embossed paper from stash, Inkadinkado spray ink, Tattered Angels chalk spray ink, Martha Stewart and Recollections border punches, SCAL & Cricut, Fiskars papercutter and scalloped circle punch

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Verstile Bloggers

What a lovely surprise I woke up to today: suzARTe of Imagine. Create. Express. thought of this little ol' blog when passing along the Versatile Blogger Award! It's such a lovely way to show our appreciation for other bloggers, and to find even more wonderful blogs out there. I'm passing along the award to 15 other bloggers, which wasn't easy: so many inspire me! Recipients, please don't feel obligated to turn this award right a chain letter, it's the thought that counts!

"This blog award has the purpose of bringing to light bloggers who are creative, make wonderful creations, but have fewer than than 300 followers."
  1. Thank the person who sent you this blog.
    • Thanks SuzARTe! LOVE your jacket in your photo!
  2. List 7 things about yourself
    1. I stopped using so many eyelets once I used 40 on one project.
    2. I grew on the coastline of Andalucia. No, I don't speak Spanish.
    3. My favorite thing to make is the piano-hinge book, but you probably already knew that.
    4. I was very, very briefly a Dramaturgy Major in college.
    5. My final college major was English/Creative Writing; I did a year or so of Masters work in Design.
    6. I haven't driven a car in ten years. I just don't wanna.
    7. I've been married going-on-seven years. We have two dogs and an iguana. The neighbors refer to them as our "babies".
  3. Send this to 15 bloggers
    1. Stampin' Dymonz Creative Space
    2. Alang Pop Up Studio
    3. Gotta find a cool and funky name!
    4. Block Party Press
    5. Calla Lily Studio
    6. I think ... therefore I blog
    7. Let's create
    8. Purple Card Lady
    9. Scrapbooking, Card Making and ME!!
    10. Steps to Walk
    11. The Polka Cabana
    12. Stamp My Art
    13. The ScrapinDiva
    14. 100% Handmade Pleasure
    15. Little Applefalls

Friday, March 25, 2011

Barcodes & Hedgehogs

I really enjoyed following the CPS sketch to make the two birthday cards I finally stuck in the mail today, so I decided to do the same with this week's Mojo Monday sketch.

The book I used as a pedestal in this photo is A Critical Pronouncing Dictionary [...] with Directions for Foreigners by John Walker (New York City, 1815). It's not something I like to handle very often, since it's, what, 196 years old‽ but I hate to put it away and not enjoy it. It's really a wonderful book, with lots of words that we don't use anymore, at least not in States. Funny to think how many of my recent ancestors weren't even considering being American, or, for that matter, English-speaking when this book was published.

The barcode-themed sentiment was a group effort: I designed it PhotoShop, but my husband came up with the sentiment (free your imagination), and the barcode image is the actual barcode from Everything is True at Once by Bart Galle (Passager Books, 2010), which I happened to have in my design files.

Feeling bookish, I tore out the Acknowledgments page from my copy of Diane Ackerman's A Natural History of the Senses. Sorry Diane; thanks for taking one for the team! Then I dyed it by soaking it in warm water & neon-green food coloring for an hour or so, occasionally wringing it and flattening it again. I let it dry for a bit in the sun, then finished it with my heat tool.

Mojo Monday Sketch #183
iCopic Challenge #22: green, lime, turquoise
Digi Stamps:
Amber Reads
by Just Some Lines
Books from Schoolgirl set by Tiddly Inks
Supplies: Brazzill, Recollections and Hammermill cardstocks, SCAL & Cricut, MS border punch, Perpetua Titling for sentiment, 09KutUps for frames, Wave border cut file from [digital] stash
Copic markers: E50, E51, RV21, Y000, BG15, G02, BG93, TG76, G10, B39, G07, BG49, B05, G21

There is not one part of this card that I didn't have fun making! I think I can always say that, but this time especially. I recently received 2 new lavender Copics so I can't get enough of purple shading. Also, I love coloring these cute Hedgehogs from Penny Black that Mom and I have been collecting.

Here I used a larger version of the sentiment I used for the CPS sketch cards, thinking I'd keep the rest of the card pretty simple. Um, didn't happen. This is actually fairly heavy!

Mojo Monday Sketch #183

Stamp: Message from Above from Penny Black
Supplies: DCWV Blossoms & Butterflies Stack, Brazzill and Hammermill cardstocks, stash decorative scrapbooking paper, Martha Stewart and Hero Arts gem stickers, MS border punch, Copic markers, SCAL & Cricut, 09KutUps font (for frames), Scriptina font for sentiment, Fiskars papercutter, scalloped circle punch and texturing plate & tool, HP printer & ink, Adobe PS & ID

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One sketch, two Birthday cards

I'm making an effort to send out more cards, so I decided to make a couple of birthday cards for friends for this week's sketch challenge at Card Positioning Systems. I should have just added "belated" to the sentiment, since one birthday was yesterday and the other is tomorrow, and neither card is in the mail!

I designed the border rectangles in SCAL, so I may use this sketch again since it's easy to cut the pieces. I was surprised at how versatile it ended up being.
The second one is a penny slider/spinner card, which was inspired by my husband. Ooh, can you make them move across the card? he said when I showed him my coloring. Like I said, this sketch is really versatile!

I whipped up some sentiments in InDesign and made matching backgrounds in SCAL (although I did hand-cut the text circles). Later that evening, I was looking online for a "Happy Birthday" sentiment stamp to replace the one stolen by the gnomes in my craft space, and much to my surprise I saw that great minds think alike: the Penny Black Flourish Birthday rubber stamp uses the exact same font as I did, Scriptina. Groovy! I think I'll save my pennies and just use my digital version for now, all things considered (it's free font too).

Update 3/26/11: Wow, I won the CPS Sketch Challenge #210. It' chosen randomly, but hey I'll take it! I think these two cards counted as one entry too. Looking forward to playing with the Ippity stamps I won...More birthday cards!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Butterfly Stack

Wow, I had a super duper weekend! I met lots of new crafters thanks to Stampin' Dymonz Scrap Shack's Mad About Paper Blog Hop, and find myself with several new followers. Helloooo everybody!

I didn't do really any challenges last week, so this week I decided to start anew with the sketch challenge at CDAC and the color combo at Color Throwdown. The freebie Butterfly digi stamp offered by McMahon Five Designs for the CDAC challenge really lent itself to this lovely palette. Thank you!

Since I was working digitally anyway, I took the color combo image into PhotoShop and matched the colors: I used the eyedropper to grab the color and then put it as a color overlay onto the butterfly (Layer/Layer Style/Color Overlay/Screen mode). I always printed butterflies in the combo colors onto the inside of the card.

I was inspired to try stacking differently colored layers by Anne Baity on CDAC (here's her incredible cherry blossom card on CDAC; I'll post her blog if I can find it.)

I used physical stamps for both the tag and and the sentiment, which was super fun. The sentiment is also clear-embossed, because why not!

Digi stamp: Butterfly Breeze by McMahon Five Designs

Color Throwdown #133
Sketch & image: CDACsc19

Supplies: Paper Studio. Brazzill and Core'dinations cardstocks, ZipDry glue, embroidery thread, StazOn ink, Martha Stewart chalk ink and detailing scissors, CraftSmart(?) scalloping scissors, Crop-O-DileII (for border on plum pieces), SCAL & Cricut, 09KutUps font (for scalloped circles), Adobe PhotoShop & InDesign, HP printer & ink, emery board, pop-dots, Copic markers for (coloring pop-dots)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

March Madness Blog Hop Day #2

It's the second day of Stampin' Dymonz Scrap Shack's Mad About Paper Blog Hop!

Here's my Day Two project: Soccer Kick Off Gift Box
with penny slider top

You should have arrived here from JoAnn's blog. Tammy's blog is the next one on the line up and you can reach her blog by clicking on her name below. If you have problems with the link, her blog's URL is in parentheses after her name -- just copy/paste it into your address bar. (And if you didn't see yesterday's projects, be sure to check those out too.)

Christina ( <---you data-blogger-escaped-are="" data-blogger-escaped-b="" data-blogger-escaped-here="">
NikkiP (
Thank you for hopping!

About the Gift Box:
I had so much fun making yesterday's project that I starting obsessing on what to make for my second project... Well, luckily Mom called me and told me about her new project: penny slider cards (also called spinner cards). Since I wanted to stick with a sports theme, I immediately imagined moving a ball across the paper, maybe making a little loop...

This was also a perfect opportunity to use the Smirk brand paper in my stash. Their For Him series includes some soccer-themed items, and the soccer ball brad fit over the penny perfectly!

I wish I could say that I drew the loop myself, but I had to design a template for it in SCAL first. I ended up manipulating the Latin Small Letter A from the Wingdings typeface. What can I say, it worked perfectly. I cut the template on my Cricut, traced it onto the decorative paper, and then cut it out with my knife. If you'd like to try this yourself (and you have SCAL), see the download link at the bottom of this post. Please let me know if you use it!

I wanted to put something in the box, so I decided to wrap some Hershey's Milk Chocolate Nuggets with the patterned paper. Well, we only had two left, but get the idea!

Decorative paper and brads: Smirk for Him
Other supplies: Core'dinations and Hammermill cardstocks, ZipDry glue, Tim Holtz scissors, Cricut & SCAL, HP copier & ink, Fiskars papercutter & finger knife, foam tape, Copic markers (100 & R59, for edging)

Slider card tutorial at Splitcoaststampers
Download penny slider loop template SCAL cut file

Saturday, March 19, 2011

March Madness Blog Hop Day #1

It's my first ever blog hop! A word from our sponsor:

Welcome to the Stampin' Dymonz Scrap Shack's Mad About Paper Blog Hop! Our theme for this hop, besides being Mad About Paper, is Sports -- it is March Madness for the Scrap Shack as well as for basketball after all!! Some of the divas have creations with a sports theme. Some of them have simply created out of their favorite medium - paper! This hop shows our madness for all things paper! The hop starts at Stampin' Dymonz's blog, which can be found by going to It ends with NikkiP's blog, found at Along the way we have Lynetta, Cynta, Jessica, JoAnn, Christina, and Tammy who have beautiful creations to share as well. Don't miss out! If you got to this blog hop from any place other than the beginning, go back to the beginning and work your way through. There's lots of inspiration to share and these divas have created some magnificent projects! Don't forget -- this is a two-day blog hop! Creations will be posted both Saturday, March 19th and Sunday, March 20th. Stop back by both days in order to see all of the beautiful work -- you too will be Mad About Paper!

Here's my Day One project: March Madness Wishes!

Basketball-inspired Easel Card. Inside:

You should have arrived here from JoAnn's blog. Tammy's blog is the next one on the line up and you can reach her blog by clicking on her name below. If you have problems with the link, her blog's URL is in parentheses after her name -- just copy/paste it into your address bar.

I hope you enjoyed my project and the hop so far! Don't stop hopping until you get to the end -- there could be blog candy along the way that you don't want to miss out on! Any of the divas participating in the hop may offer some, but the biggest thing you'll miss are the great creations and the greater inspiration for your creations. Have fun!

Christina ( <---You are HERE
NikkiP (

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for Day 2!

About my card:
I must admit that I don't follow college basketball, but I have enjoyed a few March Madness evenings in past with my dad, a former player & coach. All I remember about the game is that it's, at its best, a
team sport. Of course, there's no feeling like making a basket yourself...or so I've heard! So I decided to challenge myself to make a March Madness-related card for this blog hop. Ooh, I had fun!

I recently rented a woodgrain acrylic stamp from Raisin Boat, and it just felt right to use in this context. The darker piece is simply black on brown; the lighter piece was stamped in two tones of chalk inks. The letters and the inside frame were designed in SCAL, and cut on my Cricut from a basketball-textured scrapbook paper. The inside frame wasn't as easy to design as I might have hoped, but I can definitely see using it again. I'm also offering it as a free SCAL file; see the download link at the bottom of this post. Please let me know if you use it!

The sentiment piece is atop a couple of white foam tapes pieces that I colored with the same black I used for all the edging.

Digi stamp: Use Your Head by Tiddly Inks
Woodgrain stamp by Raisin Boat
Supplies: Recollections cardstock, Memento ink, ColorBox and Versamark chalk inks, ZipDry glue, MS detailing scissors, Cricut & SCAL, Lithos Pro Black typeface (for cut letters), HP printer & ink, foam tape, Copic Markers, Sakura glitter pen

Download circle frame SCAL cut file

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Good Fortune from Crafty Ann

I ran across Crafty Ann's Digi Stamps when I bought her adorable Easy Chair for some Holiday Thank-you notes, and was later pleased to see that she's also on the Crafter's Digital Art Center (CDAC). So I was really excited to see that Crafty Ann's is hosting this month's CDAC Color Challenge, and is offering a lovely freebie for us to use. The challenge is to use purple, lilac and pink, which aren't usual Chinese-theme colors, but boy are they gorgeous!

This project overlapped with the arrival of a box full of crafting goodies from my mom, including Chinese-inspired stickers and a TON of glitter mist. I really had a tough time not using all my pretty new stickers (did I mention they are glitter-embossed?!), but I really wanted Crafty Ann's Good Fortune Lantern the star. I guess I could have omitted the use of stickers all together, but I couldn't pass up this lovely frame. I know that it sorta messes up the color scheme, but I just really like how it works!

As for the glitter spray, it's all over this project! I stamped the lantern pattern in three shades of purples onto pink cardstock, and then gave each corner a spray of purple. I used the same spray to color the lantern. First, I printed the image onto vellum and then clear-embossed it. Boy, that works great! Many thanks to CDAC for the tutorial. Then I sprayed it (before cutting it out), and added details with gel pens. I also added a little color with Copics onto the back of the piece.

I think my favorite part about this card is all the texture. It's lovely to look at, even better to touch!
Inspiration: CDAC Color Challenge cdaccc19: purple, lilac & pink
Digi Stamp: Good Fortune Lantern by Crafty Ann's
Supplies: HP printer & ink, Recollections and DCWV cardstocks, Recollections vellum, MS detailing scissors, ZipDry glue, Fiskars papercutter, MS and ColorBox inks, Inkadinkado stamp, Tattered Angels glimmer mist (Haunted Shadows), Elmer's and Sakura gel pens, Copic markers, Sparkling Embossed sticker by Joy!Crafts

Friday, March 11, 2011

Peach Blossoms from the Raisin Boat

I'm totally planning on writing up some notes on this card, but right now I have some crafting to do. No rest for the crafty!

Friday Sketchers Challenge #145
colourQ challenge #75

Stamps: Cherry Blossom set by Raisin Boat
Sentiment stamp: Studio g
Supplies: Recollections cardstock, Memento and CraftSmart inks, ColorBox chalk ink, Fiskars papercutter and scallop punch, Offray ribbon, ZipDry glue, MS detailing scissors, pop-dot

Thursday, March 10, 2011

1 Mojo-rific sketch, 3.5 cards

I've really taken to sketch challenges, and I guess there must have been something about this week's Mojo Monday sketch because I whipped up four cards inspired by it! Well, I cut one of them the wrong way so it doesn't quite count, I guess.

Usually, the Mojo Monday challenge is just for fun and inspiration, but this week's is also a contest. They say that we can enter as many times as we like, but I'm only entering the card that's true to the sketch (the second from the left in the photo below.)

I can't seem to get the contrast right in this photo, but if you click on the image above you should be able to see more detail. I started with this sweet digi stamp by Just Some Lines, and printed it on white cardstock, as well as Core'dinations textured cardstock for the chair. Coloring the little lady with Copic markers was not so easy, let me tell you. I added shadow on the chair with the "Flesh" copic (R02), which was easy and FUN. For the stitching on the round, I decided to be bold and pierced the paper on the sewing machine without thread. It's not exactly a perfect stitch, but it's cute, I think.

Having already chosen the chair color, I found a complementary piece of designer cardstock in my stash. After a fair amount of cutting, sewing, scalloping and border punching, I'm quite taken with the result. I never would have added the little "bookplate" element if not for this sketch, and it adds so much. For the lower-right decorative element, I used SCAL and Cricut to cut out "dream." I used Cricut markers to "print" the letters before cutting. For the little flower, I pulled out another one from my stash. Love that!

Digi stamp: Emo Amber Reads by Just Some Lines
Fonts: Curlz for text; 09KutUps for scalloped circle
Copic Markers: E50, E51, RV21, R02, YR00, E11, Y08, Y02, E47, E35, G21, 0

This is my second take on the sketch, vertically. The physical stamps are from K&Co.'s Louts Flower set, which I can't get enough of. The sweet digi (frame and all) is another fabulous freebie from TLC Creations. I colored the frame part with my beloved Fluorescent Yellow Copic marker, and traced the interior flourishes with a gel pen. If we ever get sun again, I think it will really shine!

I toned down the white backgrounds with a yellowish chalk. The stamped corners are just silver ink and black paper; only took me four tries to get even images!

The brocade ribbon is quite high, so the images are elevated about a quarter an inch.

Digi stamps: Everything Wonderful and Smell the Beauty Vintage Collage by TLC Creations
Copic Markers: E50, E51, RV21, Y02, Y06, Y08, FY1, E11, E33

Inspired by my first card, I went all out with the patterned a paper on this horizontal (and backwards) take on the sketch. I sort of surprised myself with my coloring choices for this; I was just suddenly taken with the idea of her swinging through Spring... And, naturally, TLC Creations also had a perfect sentiment!

I pulled out the fabric flowers I swore I'd never have use for, and then stamped the vine directly onto the corner, which I swore I'd never risk again. Glad I that I rarely listen to myself!

Digi stamps: Vintage Day On the Swing and Let The Sunshine In by TLC Creations

And this has got to be my personal favorite... I bought the gorgeous Graphic 45 Fashionista Collection paperpack for a card swap I'm working on, and couldn't help but use a piece for this. I used the same orange from the first card, and love how it complements the patterned side. The sentiment is a cut-out stamp (well, two stamps: frame and hello). The machine zig-zag stitch came out pretty straight too!

I've had so much fun making these, and am looking to forward to sending them to someones special...

Digi stamp: Vintage How High by TLC Creations