Halloween Hot Dog!

October 31st, 2009

I hope you’re having a fabulous weekend and Halloween!  Personally I’m not really into Halloween.  Curt and I used to always go to a movie until he got into helping a friend with his crazy haunted house the past few years.  I did intend to create that Halloween card I had in my head for yesterday, but I had the opportunity to help in the kitchen at church for a memorial service today so I didn’t get any stamping done.  I do however have photos of Tessa in her Halloween costume as promised!



Yep  – she’s a hot dog!



She’s really been a good sport about having her costume put on her whenever we’ve had friends over the last couple of weeks, but I think she got a little tired of the whole thing during our photo session this morning.  LOL!  I’m actually getting ready to put it on her one more time to take her over to visit Curt at our friends’ scary house.


R.B was begging to have his photo taken when I was working with Tessa this morning (he kept saying “HI!” and blowing kisses) so, although he and Beaker don’t have costumes, I snapped a couple of quick pics of them to share with you as well….


R.B. (short for Red Bird) our Green Wing Macaw



Beaker our Red Fronted Macaw

(he plucks some so he’s partially nekkid, but I still think he’s beautiful!)


So that’s our whole flock…yes we consider Tessa part of *the flock* since the birds were here loooong before her!  OK – I’m off to take her trick or treating.  LOL!


TESC89 Not Halloween

October 30th, 2009


Happy Friday!  Boy oh boy has this been a busy week and it’s not over yet!  I was excited to sit down and get creative for the TESC this week!  I even managed two very different Christmas samples, before I remembered that I had wanted to make a Halloween card for today’s sketch.  D’oh!  I even knew which stamps I was going to use.  After spending time to make these 2 cards, there was none left to go back and start over on Halloween.  Oh well!  Maybe tomorrow morning – we’ll see.  Either way you’ll need to come back to see Tessa in her Halloween costume!

The first card I have to share is a fun 4.25″ square card featuring an Anna Wight Whipper Snapper stamp set (try saying that 10 times fast!) called Cozy Critters.  I love Anna’s whimsical style – especially her drawings of all sorts of animals.

*Christmas Fishes*


I took my color scheme from the retired SU designer paper.  Card base is Certainly Celery layered with Basic Black and then Purely Pomegranate.  The fish were stamped on TE Choice Snow White cs and colored with Copic markers and the scarves were highlighted with a Spica glitter pen.  That entire panel was covered with Crystal Effects.  I used a small brush to spread it in streaks to look more like moving water and I added 3 clear Taylor Tots as bubbles.  Mr Penguin was also colored with Copics, his scarf glittered with Dazzling Diamonds, and he was cut out and popped up with foam tape.  The sentiment was stamped repeatedly on Bashful Blue.  Three blue Tots finish off the corners of this silly happy card.

*Peace on Earth*


As I looked at the sketch, it occurred to me that the nativity scene from TE Christmas Blessings would work wonderfully for the main image, so I created this 5″ square card with Sahara Sand, Taken with Teal and Basic Black.  The stamp was inked up with Taken with Teal Classic ink and then dabbed with Frost White ShimmerPaint before stamping onto the Sahara Sand cs.  This gave a subtle shimmery look that doesn’t really show up in the photo.  I used my old Fiskars deckle edge scissors to trim around the image.  Originally I thought of using a CB embossing folder on the teal panel, but it’s a little too big.  Then I saw my Medallion stamp sitting out and realized it would make the perfect background stamped off the top corner in Teal ink.  The dp is from the SU 6×6 hostess pack.  Final touch are some black Kaiser Craft pearls.  This would be very “do-able” to mass produce for Christmas cards and could be done in a number of different color schemes.

After I was finished, I realized that I had used black on both of these cards to provide the contrast or *pop* I needed.  Goes back to my old adage of Fall Back on Black – whenever a card seems to just *need something*, try some black cardstock!

So now it’s time to see if I’m the only one who didn’t make a Hallowen card for today’s challenge…let’s check out what the rest of the Sketch Crew has cooked up –


  • Alice Wertz
  • Jackie Pedro
  • Lisa Hjulberg
  • Lynn Mercurio
  • Melissa Sauls
  • Monika Davis
  • Rachel Sztonyk
  • Sherrie Siemens
  • Stamp a Sweet Impression – check out Our Friday Friend
  • and of course Taylor Van Bruggen has the sketch and all the samples in one place.  I hope you’ll play along with us!
  • I’m off to work.  Thanks for stopping by.


    TESC88 Christmas Dove

    October 23rd, 2009


    Happy Friday!  It’s been a busy busy week and I was so happy to carve out a little time to create a card for Taylor’s sketch today -TESC88.  And I’m so excited to welcome the four new members of the Sketch Crew – Lisa, Melissa, Alice and Rachel. 

    Earlier this week I was inspired by a gorgeous card I saw on Tosh’s blog.  I couldn’t get it out of my mind and just had to create something with an embossed frame.  I can’t believe I’ve never used my nesties to make a frame before – it’s so cool.  I have to say though that I think I may have ruined my favorite CB embossing folder by putting the frame in it with the dies still on it – uh oh.  I need to run over to eclectic Paperie and see if they still have this folder!  This is one of those cards that is just so much prettier in person, that I almost hate to even post this photo.


    I used three types of cardstock for this card.  The base and all of the ivory pieces are Posion Ivory Shimmer – so elegant!  The reddish/burgundy panel is also a shimmer cardstock – I don’t remember what it’s called, but I got it at Paper Zone on a Portland trip 2 years ago.  There is also a tiny bit of Handsome Hunter cardstock – just the one layer panel peeking out.  I cut an ivory panel with a circle nestie and then embossed it with an SU embossing folder.  Then I sponged Champagne Mist shimmer paint (SU Holiday Mini) on that circle – it’s supah sparkly!  The frame was cut using 2 of the label 1 nesties and a magnetic mat.  (I bought that magnetic mat a long time ago and this is the very first time I’ve used it.)  The frame is popped up on Taylor’s foam tape.  The dove from TE Christmas Blessings was inked with SU markers and then sponged with the Champagne Mist paint before stamping it on to Poison Ivory cs.  I cut it out and popped it up on Taylor’s double thick foam tape.  I punched some holes and threaded some burgundy organdy ribbon for the 3 square elements on the sketch.  The bow was attached with mini glue dots.  This was such a fun card to work on!  Hope you like it!

    Now it’s time to see what the rest of the Sketch Crew has cooked up:

  • Alice Wertz
  • Jackie Pedro  
  • Lisa Hjulberg
  • Lynn Mercurio
  • Melissa Sauls
  • Monika Davis
  • Rachel Sztonyk
  • Sherrie Siemens
  • and of course Taylor Van Bruggen has her sample and all the deets so you can play along with us!
  • Be sure to check your e-mail today for the latest newsletter (written by yours truly) from Taylored Expressions for all the TE scoop!  One thing you’ll want to note for sure is the sale today through Sunday on all Halloween sets and the Halloween KI – 20% OFF!  Also TE has a new Storage Solution available today – see it here – I’ve already been using these for a little while and am so excited to see them available to everyone in the store.  Trust me – you need some of these!  And they are offered at an Introductory Sale Price just through Sunday.

    Hope you have a great day and an awesome weekend.  Thanks for stopping by!


    October 09 Stamp Class

    October 19th, 2009



    We had so much FUN in my stamp class Friday night!  I’ve previously shared 2 of the cards we made, so here is the 3rd one.  It features Autumn Splendor from the Holiday Mini.  The main image is a leaf that was stamped in Ruby Red Classic ink, cut out and watercolored with ink from markers (Mustard, Rust, Pumpkin) and an aquapainter.  The leaf was then covered with Versamark and embossed with clear ep.  It curled slightly in the process and I just love the look of it.  The bakground piece was created with the same leaf set and I gave the girls this guide leaf-guide-sheet-oct-09-jami.jpgto help them create a half sheet of patterned paper (click on it to see it larger.)  They used a piece 3.25″ x 3.75 and then took the rest home to use later. Here’s the finished card.


    Card base was either Pumpkin Pie or Ruby Red (half of the group got each).  We stamped the leaf pattern on Naturals Ivory.  The mat and the scallop circle are Chocolate Chip.  The dp is from the hostess pack and the ribbons are Pumpkin Pie grosgrain and retired Chocolate Chip satin.  Brads are Ruby red.

    oct-09-class-jami-sibley-custom.jpgHere’s a shot of all 3 of the cards we made Friday night.


    Did you see the announcemnet on Taylor’s blog?  She’s added four new members to our Friday Sketch Crew for the TESC and she’s also featured snippets of around 10 or so cards from TESC86.  There were so many entries for the Sketch Crew that it was overwhelming…just tons of fabulous creations…so fun to look at them at all ( and I DID look at them ALL!)  If you entered, but didn’t get chosen I hope you won’t feel bad because Taylor had a really tough choice on her hands with that one! A BIG Congrats to Melissa, Rachel, Alice and Lisa!

    Remember – there’s still time to play in the most recent sketch TESC87….and you might get your card featured in the Top Crops.


    Thanks for stopping by!



    TESC87 For Pastor Joe

    October 16th, 2009

    It’s time for another fun sketch from Taylor – TESC87.  This card fought me every step of the way…not because there was anything particularly difficult about the sketch…I just couldn’t seem to make anything work.  I started this card and totally messed it up and decided to do a Christmas card instead.  The Christmas card turned out so ugly I couldn’t bring myself to post it.  I needed this card for last night so I went back and started this one over again and had several problems with it, but here it is!  *phew*


    October is Clergy Appreciation Month so our church family is doing a couple of special things for our Senior Pastor and our Worship Pastor.  The choir had a little reception for Pator Joe last night before practice so Curt asked me to make a card for him to take to Joe.  We are so blessed to call Joe and his wife Pam our friends, so I was more than happy to create a card for him…not sure why it turned into such a struggle…maybe it was just the deadline.  I’m not a good stamper under pressure.

    Card base is Basic Black cardstock.  Designer paper is from the TE Christmas Key Ingredients and seemed perfect for the Worship Pastor/Choir Director.  Sentiment is from SU God’s Blessings (as is the inside sentiment) and it was stamped on Poison Ivory cardstock and die cut with the Spellbinders Labels 1 die.  Ribbon is from my stash and the finishing touch is some black and red KaiserCraft pearls.

    Here’s a view of the inside.

    Now it’s time to see what the rest of the Sketch Crew has cooked up:tesc87-inside-custom.jpg

  • Donna Baker
  • Jackie Pedro
  • Jami Sibley
  • Lynn Mercurio
  • Monika Davis
  • Sherrie Siemens
  • and of course Taylor Van Bruggen has all the details so you can play along with us!
  • I hope you have a fantastic Friday.  I’ll be prepping for my stamp class tonight.  🙂  Thanks for stopping by!


    I don’t know about you, but I am one of those stampers who hates to do mass production.  I know some people make it a habit to always make several of the same card, but not me.  I might use a sketch or a color combo several times, but I like to change it up and not do the same card….except when it comes to Christmas cards.  I usually try to make between 80 – 100 Christmas cards so mass production becomes a necessity.  I usually do batches of 10 or sometimes 20.  Today I get to join Taylor and some of the Baker’s Dozen girls in a little Merry Mass Production Blog Hop.  Our Challenge was to create a set of 4-10 identical or very similar Christmas cards.  I had all intention of making 8, but only ended up with 5.  I do plan to make another similar batch soon though.  I love this stamp set and I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot more of it from me!

    I knew that the new TE stamp set Christmas Blessings would be perfect for this challenge.  I have a ton ideas for this set and the solid images and wonderful choice of sentiments make it easy to create beautiful cards very quickly. Everything you need is all in one set!


    For this set of cards I used designer paper from the Christmas Mint Collection  at TE along with SU cardstock in Garden Green and Ruby Red and some shimmery Posion Ivory.  TE has a set of Prism cardstocks to coordinate with this paper, but I forgot to order it so I was really happy to see that these SU colors also work well.  The card base is a 4.25″ square.  I had originally thought of doing tent toppers, but as I played around with the layout I ended up extending the image panel out to the right.  The overall width of the card is 5.5″ so it fits into a standard envelope.  I was really pleased with this look as the Wise Men seem to be traveling off into the distance.


    The trick to mass production is to design the first card and then do the rest in an assembly line fashion.  The main image was stamped onto the ivory cs with chocolate chip craft ink (those craft spots sure do come in handy!) and heat embossed with clear ep.  Same with the sentiment.  The image was then die cut with a rectangle nestie and the sentiment was punched with the SU scallop oval punch.  The garden green layers were cut with a scallop rectangle nestie and punched with an SU wide oval punch.  The image layers were sponged and then assembled onto their matting layers.  The card bases and layers were cut and assembled.  It was then quick work to adhere everything together.  I used some foam tape from TE to pop up the sentiment.  In the end I decided to add some clear Taylor’s Tiny Twinkles which can barely be seen in the photo, but I just really wanted a touch of bling.  Honestly if I’d had a little more time and had planned ahead a little better, this would be a really easy card to make a batch of 20.




    Here’s a close up of a single card.  I didn’t get a chance to photograph the inside, but there is an ivory panel on both the left and right of the inside.  The left panel has the Bible verse from the stamp set

    “Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11


    On the right panel is the sentiment

    Christmas Blessings


    I have one more little tip to share for using the 6×6 papers from TE or from the scaled down 6×6 pads you might have in your stash.  In the case of the Christmas Mint, I had 4 sheets of 6×6.  I could only get one card front from each sheet, but then I had a number of various strips left over.  So I made this 5th card using some of those strips and I have enough  left to make a few more cards – I just ran out of time.  I just cut random widths and I actually really like the look.


    So when you are running out of designer papers, look at ways you can use up your precious scraps! 

    Now I can hardly wait to hop around and see what the rest of the girls have to share.  Need some Christmas inspiration?  Then come hopping with me!


  • Charmaine Ikach
  • Dawn Easton
  • Donna Baker
  • Jackie Pedro
  • Jodi Collins  
  • Karen Motz
  • Sankari Wegman
  • Sharon Harnist
  • and of course Taylor Van Bruggen!  Not only does Taylor have a card set to show, but she also has details if you’d like to play along with us.  No time like the present to get started on those holiday cards!
  • Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great day!



    Happy Birthday Honey!

    October 12th, 2009

    curts-bday-rocket-09-copy-custom.jpgToday is Curt’s birthday and we went to Downtown Disney and Disneyland for the afternoon and evening.  Haunted Mansion looks awesome all decked out for the holidays and Indiana Jones is always an exciting favorite!  We didn’t get to eat dinner at Blue Bayou as we originally planned, but we ate plenty and had a great day!

    If you’ve been reading my blog for very long then you probably know that my hubby is an engineer working on Missile Defense…so I like to say that he’s a Rocket Scientist…literally.  *grin*  I’ve been dying to make a card for him using the rocket image and sentiment “I love you to the moon and back” from the TE stamp set The Places You’ll Go.

    I stamped the image onto shimmery Poison Ivory cardstock and colored it with copics.  It was die cut with the Spellbinders Label 1 die.  The poison ivory cardbase was covered with Early Bird papers from the TE July Key Ingredients kit.  I wanted to keep the card pretty simple, but still do something a little special so I made it a type of gate fold.  The 4.25″ x 11″ card base was scored on my Scor-Pal at 2″ from the bottom and at 3.5″ from the top.  The image is only attached to the bottom flap.  Ribbon is from TE as are the red KaiserCraft pearls.

    Here’s a shot of the inside.  The sentiments are SU curts-bday-inside-custom.jpgand the star is from Christmas Blessings (TE).

    Happy Birthday Honey!  I love you!