Monday, December 19, 2011

Sugar & Spice and All Things Nice

Christmas is fast approaching and it feels nice!  My sons are home from college and our house is buzzing with activity.  It is funny how much having two more people in the house changes everything.  Our dog Bijou is beside herself with joy that her buddies are home.  I know how she feels!

This week's A Muse Studio Challenge Blog theme is Sugar & Spice and All Things Nice.  I love candy canes as does one of my nieces.  I have a small vase on my dining room table filled with the red and white canes.  Not only are they great to snack on, they make a great decorating accent.  So of course I wanted to use this cute candy cane image from the a|s Holiday Tags set.  So many great images in that set!!!

I hope you enjoy this week's challenge and be sure to post a link to your posting to enter to win the prize.

Monday, December 12, 2011

SNOWFLAKES Challenge

Thankfully there are no snowflakes on the ground now but I am sure that is only temporary given that I live in New England!

I am the host of this week's A Muse Studio Challenge Blog and I chose the theme of SNOWFLAKES!  I love them and prefer to look at them through a window while in a nice, warm cozy building and not through a windshield.  Last winter I got hit by a guy not paying attention to the little buggers coating the road and he slid right into my car.  Not a fun day!

Anyway, the project that I made using snowflakes is a gift card holder.  This is super simple to make and can be used for any occasion.


Cut a piece of cardstock 3 3/4" x 7".  Score it at 3" and 6".  Fold cardstock to create Make a belly band 1 1/2" x 7"  in coordinating colors.  Using an A1 envelope, seal it and trim off the sides just a hair to create a sleeve.  Fold the envelope in half so the sleeves are facing up.  Using a 1 1/2" circle punch, punch each sleeve opening to create a finger notch (optional).  Stamp front of envelope as desired and attach using adhesive on the back of the envelope to the inside of the cardstock.  Bend belly band around the gift card holder and adhere ends together.  Decorate band and outside of gift card holder as desired.  Insert a gift card and a To/From card into each of the sleeves and  Voila!  A gorgeous, super simple gift card holder!


Friday, December 2, 2011

Blog Hop - Anything Goes

Are you ready for the holidays?  I cannot say that I am ready but I am looking forward to spending lots of time with family and friends.  My kids will be home from college for three weeks!  I miss my guys - it is not the same at home without them.  Even our dog Bijou misses them terribly!

Anyway this month's A Muse Studio Consultant Blog Hop theme is 'Anything Goes'.  I have been hosting tag workshops and they have been a big hit!  Everyone loves the tags and I have heard a few people say they do not want to give them away.  Pretty funny!  Handmade tags really make the gift seem that much more special.



Monday, November 28, 2011

Are you ready?

Are you ready for the upcoming holidays?  Do you have your greeting cards stamped and waiting to be mailed?

For this week's A Muse Studio Consultant Challenge blog the theme is Winter Holidays.

I love this card for it simplicity and grace.  The background is done with the Mortise Masking technique that I have posted about a few different times.  The tree is stamped in Versafine and embossed.  Pearls are added for decorations.  This card design is very simple to reproduce and lends itself for so many occasions.

I hope you are enjoying the joys of this season and do not let the stress of it all get you down!

Monday, November 21, 2011

ABC - Anything But a Card

     This week's challenge for the A Muse Studio Challenge Blog is Anything But a Card.

     The A Muse Studio 2012 Calendar comes pre-printed and ready for you to add your creative touch for each month.  I had a fun time coming up with designs for each month.  I first started by writing down each month on a piece of paper with the theme that I wanted to create.  It took a few iterations to come up with something that I was happy with but in the end I loved the results! 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Christmas Tags Workshop Sneak Peek

It's that time of year!  My favorite time of year!

I have been listening to Christmas music for a few weeks now to get in the holiday mood and will soon I be dragging out the myriad of storage bins with all my decorations.  Another reason to celebrate this season is that my kids are coming home this weekend for Thanksgiving Break.  They are just in time to help decorate! 

Here is a sneak peek at some of the tags for the Christmas Tags Workshop that I am hosting on November 30th at 6:30 p.m.  If you are interested in attending, please let me know ASAP!

Hope to see you on the 30th!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Metal Embossing

Metal Embossing!  Have you ever tried it?  Well this weeks A Muse Studio Challenge Blog challenge is to create a card using Metal Embossing.  What is that you say?  It is embossing using tin foil over an embossing folder.  This is the first time I have ever tried embossing with tin foil and I am pretty happy with the results.

I used the A Muse Studio Woodgrain Embossing Die that I adhered to a piece of cardstock before I embossed it.  It is easier to do it that way instead of trying to apply adhesive to the foil after it was embossed.

For the leaves from the Autumn Leaves set I used the following colors:  Cranberry, Orange, Wasabi, Apricot and Toffee.  I applied some of the ink using daubers to get the multicolored look that we get here in New England in the Fall.  I added the sentiment in French Roast from the Essential Sentiments set.  The embossed layer is attached to a piece of French Roast and then adhered to a Vanilla cardbase.

I hope that you will participated in this week's challenge.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Challenge - Holiday Thank You Card

This week's A Muse Studio Consultant Challenge Blog theme is Holiday Thank You cards.  I chose to use the Snow Crystals set with the Mitten and Snowflake dies.  The sentiment is from the Hand Scripted set.  The ink colors I used were Pebble, Winter Sky and Cobalt.  This card was super quick and I think came out pretty well if I do say so myself (insert big grin here).


Monday, October 31, 2011

Dry Embossing


Adding texture to a card is as simple as adding some dry embossing. This can either be done using a stylus, an embossing folder or as I did using a scoring board. This technique can make a drab background look totally different!

Halloween is right around the corner and this quick card can be given to any ghost or goblin to make their day! hope you will join my fellow Design Team members on the A Muse Studio Consultant Challenge blog with your own rendition of Dry Embossing! 


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Unfortunate Timing

Can this really be happening?  It is October not January!  We came back from our Disney vacation where the temps were in the mid-80's to a New England Snowstorm!  We got 12" of snow and with the weight of the leaves that were still on the trees and the wind our trees suffered much damage.  Trees that we have lovingly planted and nurtured over the years are gone!  Trees that grew as our children grew will now have to be taken down.  How sad I am.  It is funny how you grow to feel about things.  This picture is of the Kousa Dogwood that is in the front of our house.  We planted it when we did our front yard renovation.  It flowered so much this year and the blossoms lasted extraordinarily long.  It also grew a few feet which may have contributed to the amount of damage it suffered.  It split in half and at this time we do not know if it can be saved.


This picture is what is left of my favorite tree - Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus).  I have never seen a tree that smelled so wonderful as this one.  Below is what it looked like before:
Fringe Tree in blossom
This tree blossomed three different times this year, with the most recent being a week ago! When the wind would blow the scent was heavenly!  I am heartsick about this tree!  I do not know if it will survive.

This picture is of the Weeping Cherry that has graced our yard for many years.  It was completely destroyed and will have to be cut down.  Luckily the Japanese Maple that was to the right of it survived without damage as far as we can tell.  We will know better in the Spring.

What the damage is after the snow melted







Weeping Cherry in her prime


A few more pictures of our yard:
The shed sporting a tree topper

Maple Tree brushing off the snow on my car

Maple and Birch trees

Pretty Leaves

Missing:  One tree top

Field view next to our house. 


Side view of our yard



Balsam Firs

Oak tree brushing our house

Rose of Sharon

Maple tree minus its top

Trellis at garden entrance





Monday, October 17, 2011

Not Your Grandma's Bag of Buttons

Don't you love the name of A Muse Studio's buttons, Not Your Grandma's Bag of Buttons?  Well they are aptly named for sure!  I love their buttons.  The colors are awesome and there are so many ways to incorporate them into your crafty goodness.

For the A Muse Studio Consultant Challenge this week we are to use buttons.  I hope you enjoy my card!  I also incorporated another technique (TJ's Spirelli Technique) with the twine on my card.  I think the a|s Bakers Twine makes it look like part of the spider's web the way it is wound around the scallop circle.  And the Sleepy Hollow text paper just makes for a great background for the spider!

Enjoy and I hope to see YOUR entry into the challenge!




Instructions on the Spirelli Technique: 
Start with the twine at the top of the circle, slightly to the right with the twine end adhered to the back of the scallop with adhesive.  Keep a firm grip on the twine but not too tight as to make the scallop circle buckle.

Loop the twine through the divide between the scallops and going left count down 7 scallops and wind twine though the divide and back up to the left of the first loop.  Loop twine to the right of the last loop and repeat so that you are filling in the scallops to the left of the top scallop and to the right of the bottom scallop.  Repeat pattern until you have filled in the amount of twine desired.  

I left 8 scallops open.  Adhere the end to the back of the scallop with more adhesive.

This technique can be used with any scallop shapes.  I hope you enjoy the results!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Backgrounds

This week's A Muse Studio Consultant Challenge is to use a focal image and make a background out of it.  I love the Hey, Man! set.  I think it is a great set for making masculine cards.

Here is what I did to make this quick card:  I first stamped the briefs in Pebble and Memento Tuxedo Black to make the background and matted the background layer onto Cherry CS.  I also stamped the shorts and the sentiment on Vanilla CS matted on more Cherry.  To finish off the card I used some of the Cherry Stitched Grosgrain and popped up the focal image and there you go!  A quick card!




Monday, October 3, 2011

Falling Leaves



It is that time again.  Time for another A Muse Studio Challenge.  This week's challenge is to make a card using leaves.  Of course I had to use the Autumn Leaves set which is one of my all-time favorite sets.  The leaves are so versatile and with the wide range of ink colors that you can use, the color combinations are endless.

For my card I used the Mortise Masking Technique for the background and then stamped a variety of the leave images in Cherry, Orange, Grass, French Roast and Squash, the colors that you see here in New England when the leaves start turning their glorious colors!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

World Card Making Day Blog Hop


Happy World Card Making Day 2011!  

I hope you get to celebrate this day making your own cards.  Isn't it great to have a day to celebrate doing something that we LOVE!  For me, making cards feeds my creative side and my family and friends get to receive the end results!  It is a win-win situation for everyone!

So to celebrate this day I have not a but 2 cards for you in honor of WCMD and my favorite time of the year - CHRISTMAS!  I love everything about Christmas and as my family knows I love to decorate my house for the holiday season and spend HOURS decorating our Christmas tree.  It is a total labor of love.

I also love winter time and snow on trees.  This card that I made exemplifies how beautiful it is here in New England when there is fresh snow on the evergreen trees.  It is breathtaking!


My favorite Christmas story is The Polar Express and the Santa image from the A Christmas Carol set reminds me of it.    

Card Details:  All products A Muse Studio except where noted. 
Images: Winter Stag & A Christmas Carol
Inks:  Memento Tuxedo Black, a|s Sugar, Winter Sky and Navy
Embellishments: a|s Pearls, embossing powder, a|s Diamond Glitter, a|s buttons and twine, Copic Markers R29, RV11, 110, W6, E00, YG23, R00, E33, E37, W2




Monday, September 26, 2011

Blog Challenge - TWINE

I am the hostess this week for the A Muse Studio Consultants Challenge Blog. For my challenge week I chose TWINE! A Muse Studio has awesome twine in a bunch of great colors: vanilla, french roast, navy, shell, coffee, fern and the multi-colored cherry/white, onyx/white and french roast/white. So many to choose from!

So for my card I used a Spirelli technique from the Technique Junkies newsletter. Remember those crafts you used to make when you were younger with the popsicle sticks? Well this technique is something like that.

I first cut out my scallop background using the French Roast Shimmer Cardstock. Then using the a|s Vanilla twine I started in the back and wound the twine through one scallop and then counted down and looped it back. Move up one and down 5, repeat until the whole scallop is complete!

For the center focal image I chose the Bounty of the Season set. I sponged the image with a|s Wheat and Toffee inks. Stamped it on a|s Vanilla CS and using the sentiment from the same set I stamped it using a|s French Roast ink. The circle was popped up and mounted on the scallop circle.

For the card base I used the a|s Woodgrain Impression Die (which I LOVE) on Vanilla CS and ran it through my BIGSHOT. For accents I used a strip of the French Roast Damask Shimmer CS and more twine and voila! I hope you enjoy it and try that technique.


Here is a close up of the center image

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lights and Shadows

I love incorporating techniques with my cardmaking. I think that techniques can really enhance and improve the cards that you make.

For this card I used the Technique Junkies Lights & Shadows technique from the October 2007 newsletter. The technique involves stamping the images first in a light gray (I used A Muse Studio Pebble ink) and then using a stamp positioner, stamp the images again using colored ink. I love flowers (no surprise if you have read my blog before) and the A Muse Studio Wild Rose set would be perfect for this card.  I stamped the leaves using a|s Grass and the rose blossoms in a|s Cherry.  For detail, I used the Signo White pen on the roses blossoms and leaves. I added the sentiment from the Hand Scripted set.  For some bling I used a few of the a|s Clear Twinkle stickers.

This card is on its way to my TJ's Just One Swap partner and I hope she likes it!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 19, 2011

Make Your Own Embellishments

Welcome to this week's A Muse Studio Consultants Blog Challenge!  The challenge is to make your own embellishments.   There are so many ways to make your own embellishments.  Add a button with some ribbon or twine, glitter a butterfly die cut, add some glitter to scor-tape, twinkle stickers, bows, etc.  So many possibilities!

I wanted to use one of the Holiday sets for my card and decided on the Snow Crystals set.  Aren't the snowflakes gorgeous!

To give them a little pop I added some twinkle stickers that I colored with Copic Markers to match the inks that I used.  For the focal image I took one of the paper flowers from the Meadow Mix and sponged on some Winter Sky ink to match the other Winter Sky snowflakes.  I love the technique of sponging ink onto the paper flowers!  It is so much fun to make the flowers really pop.  They are the perfect embellishment!  To finish it off the center image I added a larger twinkle sticker to the middle of the flower.   

I know I do not want to rush winter but these snowflakes are too cute!

Card Details:
images: Snow Crystals
ink: Navy, Pebble, Winter Sky
embellishments: Meadow Mix Paper Flowers, Clear Twinkle Stickers, Copic Markers
cardstock: Vanilla

Monday, September 12, 2011

Gotta Have Ribbon - Blog Challenge

Well it is that time of the week again - another edition of the A Muse Studio Consultant Blog Challenge.

This week's theme is RIBBON - use it in any way on a card or project.

If you have read some of my previous blog posts then you know I am in the mood for Fall. The temperatures have been getting cooler here and the festivals are in full swing. I am counting the days until we go on our annual apple picking trip which is always a lot of fun.

For my challenge card I used the Bounty of the Season set with A Muse Studio 1/4" French Roast Stitched Grosgrain. I love that ribbon and have it in all the colors! I also used the Woodgrain impression and Vintage Labels dies.

For the focal image of the wheat I used Toffee Ink and then clear embossing powder to give it some depth and sheen. I distressed the edges and mounted the image on French Roast Shimmer CS.

I hope you will participate in the challenge and show us your creation using ribbon. Be sure you post your link on the challenge blog here!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Inky Fingers Blog Hop - It's Fall


Well it's almost Fall! Welcome to the A Muse Studio - Inky Fingers Team Blog Hop! This month's theme is, you guessed it, Fall or rather all things autumnal!

Did you just come from Tobey's blog? If not, you do not want to miss all the other wonderful stops on the blog hop so be sure to start at Liz's blog before you come back here!

Living in New England we get spoiled with all the gorgeous foliage colors but we do not take it for granted. I love seeing those colors, the reds, oranges and yellows! There is no better place to be in the Fall than in New England!

So onto my card! I used the a|s Autumn Leaves set with the Mortise Masking Technique for the frame (in Toffee). I just love the Autumn Leaves set! The possibilities with the leaves are endless with the color combinations and designs you can come up with!

The first thing I did was to make the frame. Next I sponged the ink colors (Cherry and Orange) onto the leaves using daubers but first stamping the sentiment (in Nutmeg) for placement. I added some pearls for some extra bling and some of the beautiful French Roast satin ribbon and I love how it came out. Change up the colors and leaves and you have another fabulous card!

For more details on Mortise Masking, check out Julie Ebersole's video here.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fall & Thanksgiving Workshop

With all the cooler weather we have had lately it is hard not to starting thinking of Fall and all that rest of the holidays that are coming up, like Thanksgiving. It is timely (that is what I keep telling myself when I have only been to the beach twice this summer) that my upcoming workshop theme is Fall & Thanksgiving. I do love this time of year with apple picking, hay rides, carving pumpkins, apple pies and turkey. In New England Fall is a special time!

So here are the two cards that you will be making when you attend this Wednesday's Workshop. You will be using the Mortise Masking Technique to make the Fall card. It is fairly easy and produces awesome results! You will love it!

If you have not signed up for the workshop, there is still time. Send me an email or go to my Facebook page.

Bring your workshop kit (detail scissors and flat adhesive). Hope to see you on Wednesday!


Friday, September 2, 2011

Blog Hop - What's New?

Welcome to the September A Muse Studio Consultant Blog Hop!

I hope you have enjoyed the blog hop so far!  Aren't Carla's cards cute!  If you missed it, then you should start from the beginning with Samantha's blog until you come to my blog.

This month the challenge is to create a card using products that are in the new Holiday Catalog & Inspiration Guide.  Since Halloween is not that far away I decided to use images from the Too Cute To Spook set.  This card is a CASE from a sample that was on display at the Nashua On The Road event.

I first stamped the sentiment on the tag to be sure that the placement was right for the cat and pumpkin.  Next I stamped the black cat.  For the pumpkin I stamped it on Sugar CS in Memento Tuxedo Black since I would be coloring it with Copic Markers.  To color the pumpkin I used YG17, Y08, YR16 and YR18.  I then fussy cut the pumpkin and turned it over and using a pencil I drew the cut line to separate the pumpkin into two pieces.  To finish off the black cat I used the Onyx Flock on the body and colored the cats eyes with YG17.  I popped the pumpkin on top of the cat to make him appear to be peeking out.  Added the Onyx Twine bow, added the tag to the Orange CS and put the tag on the Onyx Polka Dot card base.

Isn't the black cat cute peeking out of the pumpkin!


Here is a close up of the black cat! All fuzzy and cute!

Card details:
All products A Muse Studio except where noted
image: Too Cute To Spook
ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Versafine Onyx Black
embellishments: Copic markers, Onyx Twine, Onyx Flock, Tag Dies

Now off to Liana's blog for the next stop on the hop!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blog Challenge Week 2

It is the second week of the A Muse Studio Consultants Blog Challenge and the inspiration for this week's challenge was this photo. The colors are awesome! So beachy feeling and with the butterflies it is it a great combination. Plus since this coming Labor Day weekend is sort of the un-official last weekend of Summer it is great timing!

I love the beach and I also love butterflies (aka flutterbys)! I have a bunch of butterfly bushes in my yard and I love to watch the Monarchs and Swallowtails flit around and they frantically try to get every drop of nectar they can. They are so graceful and pretty! I am fortunate to live near Butterfly Place and to see so many butterflies is incredible. When they land on you it is something special!

So on to my card:

I used the orange from the inspiration card and of course had to add butterflies! I stamped them on the background of the card base using the a|s Orange ink first. I then embossed the base with the Harlequin embossing die (love the texture). I am enamored with the watercolor effect you get when using markers so I decided to color the focal image using Tombow markers, huffed on it to keep the image moist before stamping on the a|s Sugar CS and then stamped the border using the Labels Set. Cut the oval out, popped it up with foam and voila!


Images: a|s Snail & Co.
Inks: Memento Tuxedo Black, a|s Orange
Markers: Tombow
Paper: a|s Orange CS
Embellishment: Stickles, a|s Harlequin Embossing Die, Vintage Labels Die