Monday, March 30, 2009

Playing Hookey

So, I apologize for the extended silence. Heather is here! Yay! I've been off gallivanting across Southern CA, painting the town red for the last week. I did have to work a few days here and there, but we squeezed in all the fun that we could possibly have in the time allowed.

We started off by shopping until we dropped on Friday. We were both due for some serious retail therapy, and group sessions are always the best! Saturday brought a little more shopping, and then an amazing game night over at Michelle's place. We got the entire college gang back together again (minus one roommate whom now live out in PA) for the first time in several years. Needless to say, my cheeks hurt from laughing by the end of the night! A round of Disney Scene It, and then a fast and furious game of Apples to Apples is always a great combination for fun!

On Sunday, we headed to church to soak in a little down time, then we were off to the beach. We decided to head to Huntington since we knew they had fire pits and marshmallows were definitely on the agenda for the evening! Seriously, I think we chose the coldest day of the entire week to go to the beach, but it sure felt nice next to that roaring fire... and yes, we built the fire ourselves and it lit on the FIRST try! Yay!

We dipped our toes in the Pacific, played a little sand baseball, took some pictures, ate an entire bag's worth of roasted marshmallows (with some peanut butter M&Ms for variety's sake), and enjoyed God's amazing display of art. Amy (my roommate) and I were wondering why in the world we never go to the beach anymore.... we live 35-40 minutes away! It's like life takes over and we just forget to take moments to enjoy what is right around us. We had some extra firewood at the end of the evening, so now Amy and I really have no excuse not to head down there again.

Heather flies out tomorrow. :( Time definitely flies when you are having fun! I'm so glad she was able to make it down here. God really has great timing in bringing us together just when we need it the most. It was fantastic to let our hair down for a week and lift each other up through these dark times.

Enjoy the pictures!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sweet Sunday Sketch #10

Good evening. I rushed home from work today, finished my Bible study homework (we're doing a Beth Moore series on John... seriously, this woman has the gift of teaching!), and got to work making a card. Making cards is strangely therapeutic, know what I mean?

My best friend Heather is flying in tonight from Idaho and I'm so excited! I guess I just needed to keep busy to help the time pass by quickly. I decided to tackle Karen's Sweet Sunday Sketch for this week. I was again attracted to how simple the card could be. It went perfectly with my new "minimalist" card trend. I like embellishments, but used sparingly. I do stare at cards with tons of stitching and flowers, brads, ribbon... and I'm in awe of them, but I just can't duplicate them!

Well, enough out of me. Here's my card!

Stamp- Verve: Everlasting Life
Paper- Chocolate Chip, Baja Breeze, Creamy Caramel
Ink- Memento Rich Cocoa
Accessories- copics, pearls, ribbon, dimensionals, slot punch, scallop punch

Monday, March 23, 2009

Raspberry Suite Color Challenge #1

All right. I admit. I have been stalking Dawn McVey's blog for a while now. I love her style, simple yet very effective. She decided to start a weekly color challenge since she is the seriously the queen of putting colors together (in my opinion). She definitely started us off with a doosey! I seriously had a hard time getting the chocolate brown onto my card... Me! The queen of chocolate brown, who usually always uses it on a card! I seriously need to start my Monday over again! lol

Well, after a whole lot of fiddling, changing the orange shade about four times, changing the card base color about six times, this is what I finally came up with. Not too bad when all's said and done. I'm still not sure it's my favorite card ever, but then again, color challenges don't exactly come easily to me. I like sketch challenges.

Anywhoo, here's the card. I popped up the image panel (seems to be my new favorite thing to do) and added some brown, gold, and pink jewels to the flowers. I used my SU scallop punch and then paper pierced the scallops. So, what do you think?

Stamps- SU: Garden Greetings, Heard from the Heart
Paper- Whisper White, Pumpkin Pie, Barely Banana
Ink- Regal Rose, Chocolate Chip, Pumpkin Pie, Summer Sun
Accessories- jewels, dimensionals, SU scallop punch, paper piercer

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Viva la Verve!

Sorry for the long silence. I had meetings, tutoring, or something going on after work every day this week! Crazy! I am so enjoying my Saturday at home, making cards, cookies, and cleaning.

Every Friday, Verve announces their Viva la Verve sketch challenge for the week. This week's twist on the sketch was that we could only use one embellishment. It had to be a simple card.

Well, simple I can do. One embellishment? No prob, Bob. Giant circle in the middle? Houston, we have a problem. Circles and I just don't get along. I don't know what it is about big circles, but they are seriously difficult for me to use! I started out with a completely different color scheme, a bright patterned paper, lots of pink, and well, as you can see below, that didn't stick around very long.

The funny thing is, that once I switched color schemes, the card came together really quickly. It's like the purple just needed to be used! For this sketch, embossing, punches, and glitter didn't count as accessories, so I used my cuttlebug to do some embossing on the purple background. I also used to glitter on the butterfly to give it just a little sparkle. I popped up the entire circle panel on dimensionals. I chose to use brads as my one accessory (we were allowed to use three to fulfill the sketch).

Well, time to get down to some baking business. My church is having a big ministry fair tomorrow and sent around an e-mail asking people to bring homemade cookies tomorrow. I volunteered, so it's off to the kitchen I go.
Stamps- Verve: Beautiful Kindness
Paper- Craft, Very Vanilla, Elegant Eggplant
Ink- Elegant Eggplant
Accessories- brads, cb, glitter, dimensionals

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Viva la Verve!

Good morning. I whipped up this card yesterday for this week's Viva la Verve challenge over on Splitcoaststampers.

This card took me a while. Definitely not a quickie. I think I went through about five different sets of dp before I finally settled on this one. I couldn't decide whether I wanted to make a monochromatic or stretch the sketch a little by only using one pattern. Obviously one pattern won the battle!

I stamped the image and colored it with my copic markers. I then re-stamped the flowers, colored, cut them out, and popped them up with some dimensionals. I used more jewels from Michaels... love 'em because they're cheap!

Well, I'm off to church. I missed last week because I was sick, so I'm really excited to get to go back. I feel like it has been ages since I've been! Ha!

Stamp- Verve: Miracles Blossom, Circular Sayings
Paper- Whisper White, Rid Riding Hood, So Saffron, Paper Loft dp
Ink- Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories- jewels, ribbon, copics, dimensionals

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pink Slip Pity Parties

It was one of those weeks where I have been incredibly conflicted by the emotions flying through me. On Tuesday, I was officially handed my pink slip along with huge packet of information from the district office. I was a little offended that the pink slip was not actually "pink." It was a white paper hiding inside of a huge envelope full of other papers. All this anticipation! Things are not looking good as far as having a job next year.

State Superintendent David Sanchez left a message on my telephone saying that over 18,000 teachers in California will be laid-off at the end of this school year. It's a weird feeling to "be" one of those numbers. In protest of the huge budget cuts to our educational system, Pink Friday was thrown together by Sacramento educator representatives. Multiple rallies and protests were help all over the state to bring awareness to the crisis facing our educational system and kids. Though I didn't attend one of those rallies, my incredible staff put together a "Pink Slip Pajama Pity Party" for the 5 of us at my school that received pink slips.

The party kicked off after school and one of my teammates houses. I was promptly "pinked" when I walked in the door with a pink boa and crown. We had a night of good friends, kareoke, food, and definitely a drink to drown our sorrows. The five of us were also presented with an "emergency kit" stuffed with grocery store, gas, movie, and pizza gift certificates for the tough times.

So why have a party on a terrible day? We decided that it was better to rally around each other, showing our support, and enjoy each other's company rather that simply be blue every day. We still have two months of school together. I am so blessed to work at a school where the staff truly is more of a family than co-workers. I had a wonderful time last night and sang the night away, laughed harder than I have in a long time, and enjoyed the company of my "family" for the last four years. Today, it's back to applying for jobs across the entire USA, back to reality. But I can step forward into today knowing that I am loved and cared for.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mojo Monday

Good morning. This is my first attempt at scheduling a post. Here's hoping it all works! Since I was home all day yesterday, I was extra productive and managed to create a card for this week's Mojo Monday sketch challenge. I haven't been able to play with this one for a while simply because weeks tend to be really busy with work, amongst other things.

A gal in my book club is literally due to give birth to a baby girl any minute. I figured this was as great a chance as I was going to get to making a card in time for the big day! I used my much neglected "So Many Scallops" stamp set, which I believe has never been inked until today. I love this circular image and have been waiting for someone to have a baby so I could use it!

I also broke into my new (I'm a little behind on this one) Candy Lane dp. I love the designs and patterns used on this paper. I added some ribbon to the sketch to soften it a bit and popped up the main image on dimensionals.


Stamps- So Many Scallops

Paper- Very Vanilla, Close to Cocoa, Red Riding Hood, Candy Lne dp

Ink- Close to Cocoa, Red Riding Hood

Accessories- brads, ribbon, dimensionals, sponge

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sweet Sunday Sketch #8

Good morning! I called in for a sub today at work, still feeling a little under the weather. I did drag myself out of bed, however, to make a card and pass some time away. This is a card I made for Karen's Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge. I like to do her sketches whenever I have a little bit of free time.
I was attracted to how simple the sketch was this week. I guess I've been on a ''less is more" kick lately. Learning to love that negative space. And seeing as how I didn't really have the energy to pour hours of work into the card, this was a quick one. It also allowed me to use some of the numerous scraps I have laying around. Hooray!

I stamped the verse in Chocolate Chip, wiped off the words "O Lord," and then sponged So Saffron onto them. The verse is all popped up to give the card some dimension. I got the color combination by flipping through my SU! catalog again. I seem to actually be using it for inspiration more and more lately!

Stamps- Verve: Meditations
Paper- Old Olive, Baja Breeze, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White, So Saffron, Urban Garden dp
Ink- Chocolate Chip, So Saffron
Accessories- SU scallop punch, sponge, dimensionals

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Viva la Verve!

Another week, another sketch with a twist. I love this challenge! For the details of the sketch challenge, head over to Verve's forum on Splitcoaststampers.

This card actually came together relatively quickly. Probably an under 30 minute card! I can't remember the last time a card didn't take less than an hour. Anyways, I knew I wanted to do something simple for the main image and immediately planned on using no dp (designer paper). I stamped the main image and then embossed it with clear embossing powder to give it just a little shine. The entire color image is popped up to give the card a little bit of dimension.

I think I'm going to curl up with my book and read the rest of the day away. I'm feeling a little under the weather, and some nice relaxation sounds wonderful. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Stamps- SU: Pocket Sillhouettes, Verve: Grateful Elegance
Paper- Whisper White, Wile Wasabi, Pretty in Pink, Ruby Red
Ink- Wild Wasabi, Versamark
Supplies- ribbon, jewels, clear ep, dimensionals

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Verve Release Sketch

I love when new stamps are released. There is a whole sense of anticipation of seeing what I could use to create something beautiful!

This card was created in honor of one of my favorite stamp companies, Verve. Julee posted a sketch challenge for us all in honor of tomorrow's release. Here is the card that I whipped up this morning. I have to admit, it wasn't until after I had completed my card that I realized I had by border punch backwards! Oops! It was supposed to be on the patterned paper, not the solid. Oh well, too late now! I did lots of sponging on this card to give it a more rustic feel (and the white was just a little too bright by itself).

Does a verse ever just speak to you? This verse is the new motto for my life at the moment. I am a teacher in California, and just received my pink slip because of the mass lay-offs.... and I'm tenured. Scary. I truly just have to trust that God is in control and he does have the best in store for me! Easier said then done, no? I think I'm going to mail this card to my best friend who is also in the middle of a life change.

Stamps: Verve- Jeremiah 29:11
Paper: Craft, Whisper White, My Mind's Eye dp
Ink: Close to Cocoa, Baja Breeze
Accessories: Petaloo flowers, sponge, MS punch, pearls, nestabilities, cb

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tour of California

All right. So this was actually a little under two weeks ago, but I've never shared it with anyone! So, it's your lucky day!

I am a huge stage road-bike racing fan. In the vernacular, I love the Tour de France and races of that type. I spent the entire month of July glued to my TV to watch these crazy men ride their bikes around France for 23 days. Anyways, about a week and a half ago, the Tour of California had a stage ending in Pasadena. Now, the Tour of California is the largest international, professional stage race in the nation. Teams from all over Europe, the big names, the stars, all come out to race for a little piece of glory in rainy California. Yes, rain! I don't know what it is, but it has poured rain on this ride (and me while watching) every year so far! Go figure.
I digress. Today, stage 8 started in Santa Clarita and ended in Pasadena. They rode over the Angeles Crest highway and dropped into the city. A 5-circuit trip around the Rose Bowl finished the stage off. I drove out to Pasadena to take in the ending of the race, with the hopes of actually spotting a rider who's name I could recognize race by in a blur. In other words, set your camera to the highest possible shutter speed and cross your fingers!

It was a blast! I love standing out there, armed with my cowbell, and watching them ride. And seeing these men in person is an amazing experience! I did get a little lucky with my picture snapping and just happened to capture the race leader (and eventually winner) Levi Leipheimer and his teammate Lance Armstrong. Yes, Lance has decided to come out of retirement and race again! Needless to say, the Texas flags and Lance signs were out in full force around me.
Ah, such a great sport. Enough rambling for tonight. Enjoy the pics!

Levi Leipheimer

Lance Armstrong

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Viva la Verve!

All right. Anyone who knows me also knows that I have a slight addiction to making cards. Stamping, gluing, glittering, laying... It's a well used habit! I love participating in challenges to get the creative juices flowing. Sketch challenges are my absolute favorite.

This is the card I made for this week's Viva la Verve challenge over on the Verve forum of Splitcoat Stampers. I absolutely love this challenge and make it a must for each week. There is always an added "twist" to the challenge, and this week's was that we had to use buttons in some way, shape, or form on our cards. I used them as my flower centers.

I just received this stamp set in my latest order and was anxious to ink it up. I just picked up this designer paper (dp) at the scrapbook store and was determined to use it as well. I'm not really sure if I am completely happy with how this card turned out, but after an hour of fiddling with it, I was done. I popped up the three small flowers to add a little dimension.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Lights, Camera, Action

Well, here goes nothing. This is something I've thought about doing for long time now... starting a blog. I am just so intrigued by the concept of being able to share little pieces of me to more people. I love visiting my friend's blogs, and the blogs of people who inspire me and thought it was about time I contributed to the cause. I am hoping this venue will be a way I can share my creations, successes, and adventures with my friends.