Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkins, pumpkins ... Happy Halloween!

So yesterday wasn't a good day -- too snowy -- to pick up the pumpkin for last-minute carving. Instead, I went to the PaperJungle and played Mother Nature.  Or ... Martha Stewart. Nahhh... just a CardMonkey, working in a very unfamiliar 3-D environment to make my own pumpkin.
I used the Martha Stewart instructions recently featured on Archiver's website.  It really isn't as red as the photo depicts ... the paper is marked "Spice" because I wanted it a little richer/darker than the pumpkin orange. I cut the leaves from Cricut's "Stretch Your Imagination" cartridge.

It's an appropriate cartridge to use -- YOU will need to "Stretch your imagination" if you want to think that this pumpkin looks semi-real, and/or looks anything as nice as the one in the instructions, below.

In the spirit of Halloween, keep scrolling down. I've posted pictures of carved pumpkins that have amused me over the years. (Note: I didn't carve them -- they just caught my fancy and I collected them in my computer's photo file.)

Alas, as these photos will demonstrate, my sense of humor is just as addled as my ability to be Martha Stewart!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!













Sunday, October 30, 2011

Frosty Pumpkins!

I've complained in the past that retail stores start the Christmas rush way too early. They've barely put away the Halloween decorations when up crops Santa.

And I do admit that I've taken some flak about playing Christmas music on this blog, designed to promote next week's "Christmas Is For Kids" Banner Hop (11/5 and 11/6). 


Now, I've lived all but 3 of my life's years in the Philadelphia suburbs, and I don't recall it ever snowing before Halloween ... until last night. OMG, Frosty Pumpkins!  Here in Central Bucks County, PA, we got about 5" of snow -- enough to plow, and worse, enough to turn into sheets of ice by the morning. The heavy, wet snow pulled down leaf-covered trees and knocked out power to thousands.

... and made me think of nothing but Christmas less than 2 months away!!

So creative time in the PaperJungle today saw me make this easel card.  I hope you like it, I do!

I used a Meljen Designs Digi-Image for the Holly Fairie;
the .pdf for the sentiment shown is currently free (!!!) on that site.
I used my favorite Nikki Sivils Scrapbooker papers (her Gingerbread
Land line) for the plaid and the gingerbread house, clouds and banner
paper piecing.  Look closely -- and you'll also see that I paper
pieced the Fairie's hat and coat using Nikki Sivils' paper. 

I cut the background scalloped label shape using Spellbinders 
Nestabilities Labels One, and used Liquid Pearls to trim the fur,
and CTMH Liquid Glass for the holly berries. I also stitched a bit.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Christmas is for Kids Banner Hop is Nearing!

I'm pleased to announce that the "Christmas is for Kids" Banner Hop is right around the corner -- coming on Saturday November 5 and Sunday November 6. 


Nearly 40 generous and talented crafters are busy preparing their banners for display that weekend. Following their posts about their banners, each will package it and a card or two for mailing to the special needs children at Pediatric Specialty Care (www.pediatricspecialty.com) in Bucks County, PA. 

The banners will be hung in the child's doorway to remind each that they are loved by papercrafters throughout the world. What smiles these banners and cards will bring to these kids whose chronic and life-threatening diseases keep them away from their families and friends at the holidays!!

I am lining up prize sponsors ... if you know of a craft supplier or giftware company that would like to provide prizes to those who show their banners, or for those who hop along to offer encouragement, please have them contact me at cardmonkey@comcast.net.

I'm still finalizing the final blog line-up, so if you have it in your heart and time to make a banner for donation to a medically-fragile child, you may also contact me for inclusion as a hopper!

In the meantime, here is a sneak peek at one of the banners I am making and will be showing in full during the hop:



I have used Meljen Designs digi-art's fun collection of Santa's sleigh and reindeers to make a banner that features each of Santa's eight reindeers plus Rudolph of course, as well as Santa in his sleigh.  The support for the banner are glittered snowflakes cut using a Sizzix snowflake die.  And, as my friends will tell you, I'm Queen of Stickles, so I was heavy-handed using Ranger Stickles to bling it up. 

Please drop by the weekend after this, to offer your support for this fun and heartwarming project. You'll be glad you did!

Monday, October 24, 2011

OMG ...what's next if this happens in THREEs!?

(bump...bump...bump)
Another one bites the dust.
REALLY, now!?


My HP Officejet 7410 has decided it no longer prints black ink.
The "copy" feature works FINE in black.
Go figure.

So MORE retail therapy was in order. 
I tell you this so I can share my excellent deal.
 HP Photosmart Premium Fax e-All-in-One CQ521A
MSRP: $299.99

On sale at Staples (in stock) for $199.90
Same price online, with free shipping.

Can be gotten online from Amazon.com (free shipping with Prime Membership) for $149.00

Guaranteed low price match (online to online) at Staples.
Staples also offers a "Trade In and Save" -- trade in your old printer, regardless of condition, with free shipping for the trade and guaranteed recycling. 
$50.00 cash back 

So my new printer -- with a full supply of ink cartridges (MSRP: $80) --
cost $108.99, with tax and shipping and I got rid of my old printer in a "healthy" way.
Delivery is tomorrow.

No printing today -- unless you really like orange ink, which is the only color the old one prints in today.
(Just in time for Halloween!)

The only sad thing is that I just installed a fresh black printer cartridge into the old printer, to no avail.

Oh well. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

R.I.P., Big Shot.

Rest In Peace, dear old Big Shot.


Overstuffed, it choked to death.

I tried the Heimlich Maneuver ...
to pry loose the sandwich. I had to use sheer force, and a sledge hammer.

Emergency crews were unable to save Big Shot, who lost a few (gear) teeth
during its chewing.
He just lost his bearings.
Life support was futile.

Big Shot led a short but distinguished life in the Paper Jungle.

In addition to the sandwich he was eating, Big Shot is survived by his Cuttlebug, to whom he had been wed for just a few years, as well as dozens of little SizzLit friends, dies, and Folders and plates.

Burial will be in the Recycling Bin.
No viewing is planned other than the photo above. 

Big Shot: Died with a die in his mouth.
Go figure.

R.I.P. 


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Gadribbles* Into a Quick Card

Does your family have made up words that only the insiders know? We do, and Gadribbles* is one. 

Gadribbles is what's leftover after the main stuff is cut. Grandma Sager started it, I think -- maybe its genesis is older, but I know Grandma ("Elsie") said it particularly at Thanksgiving time.


When Grandma carved the turkey, we stood around the kitchen to watch and sneak a piece of the meat before it made it to the table. Lord help you (and watch out for your fingers!) if you snatched a piece of the neatly cut, presentation-worthy white meat. 

But, all of the little pieces that only made it off the bone later at soup-making time, or dropped onto the cutting board while cutting, were fair game -- they were the gadribbles.


So what does this have to do with cardmaking? Gadribbles are what I call the paper off-cuts or scraps that might otherwise wind up in your trash can, unused, that you snatch up and turn into something worthy. Here's one such card:
I cut a bunch of large snowflakes from pink cardstock, to use on a project for granddaughter Charlotte's upcoming birthday. The snowman was fussy-cut from a printed paper with the image, and had his scarf and hat Stickled. He too was a leftover. I mounted the pink Gadribble onto ice blue snowflake paper, stuck the snowman atop, and mounted the whole thing to a 5.5" square white card. Easy peasy!


*I find myself amused today. I Googled "gadribbles" and found most of the links right near the top would take you to my prior entries on this blog. I know I will have made it big if "Gadribbles" ever makes it to Wikipedia!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween Blog Hop - October 21

Welcome to my pal Ashley ("Nikki")'s spooktacular Halloween Blog Hop!  If you've come from Lisa's adorable HoneyBearz Designs blog, you're on the right track. Don't miss any one of the stops, so be sure to start at Ashley's home blog by clicking the spider:

This is such a fun time of year, crisp air and pumpkins, goblins and ghouls...  Along with it comes cards and crafts that allow us to share the "SPIRIT" (boo!!!).  Here is the SUPER QUICK and EASY card I created for this Hop:


This card looks like an ensemble, but it's just a snippet of 12x12" paper, Stickled on the swoosh.

Inside, I computer-set the sentiment, hand-drew the spider and added googly eyes, and tied on a bit of ribbon.

Your next stop on this blog hop is DENA at http://missdjones.blogspot.com.  

Now, before you go, don't forget to check out the PRIZES available on this Halloween Hop!  Ashley's lined up some super sponsors for this hop, who are offering a line-up of prizes:

Make It Crafty - 1 digi
*Must visit their Facebook page and "Like" them 

Joy's Life.com - Halloween Puns stamp set
*Must visit their Facebook page and "Like" them
Cricut Craft Room - Cricut cartridge, twine etc. 
*Must follow her blog and say hello on Facebook

AND the GRAND-POOH-BAH of prizes!!!  Ashley has gotten a $50 (you got it! FIFTY dollars!!!) gift certificate to Michael's for the winner of her blog candy.  To be eligible, you MUST comment on each blog, and "friend/follow" each one too.  

Here is the line up to make your visiting easier:





















21. Erica - http://mycricutcraftroom.blogspot.com

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Haul video #1 - A grab box of goodies!!

Word of advice: if you're going to listen to the video I've posted, go to the right hand bar of my blog, scroll down to get to the PLAYLIST and "STOP" the music.  Otherwise, you'll go crazy crazier listening to the piano behind my voice.  

Let's go "shopping" and who doesn't like a bargain?  

Here is a video I made of my Haul that I got from Laura Vegas, via a $40 grab box (including shipping!), with more than $100 worth of stuff in it.  I love surprises, and this Haul was so much fun to unpack and dive in to use!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Baby's Birthday Banner

Hi, Friends!

This weekend, I had a lot of fun in the Paper Jungle. First, I scored major hauls via a surprise grab box full of goodies from a fellow crafter, Laura Vegas, and then I got another lot of incredible goodies at a scrapbook tag sale.  The tag sale was held not far from my home, and was coordinated by Ann Palmer, a Facebook friend.  

On Sunday, DD Emily came over with her family, including the CUTEST granddaughter in the world, Charlotte.  When Charley napped, Em and I bonded over glue and Glossy Accents, making an adorable banner for Charlotte's upcoming birthday party.  It's for her high chair:

Since Charley's a December baby, Emily picked Winter Igloo for the theme of Charlotte's 1st birthday party.

     


Here is more detail on the individual featured pennants:

Each pennant was cut 6" wide by 9" high. This one was cut from hot pink glitter stock by American Crafts and lined with a piece of upcycled cereal box cardboard.  I handcut the scalloped edge from thick American Craft glitter chipboard (on hand). The snowflake was cut using a Sizzix die; the #1 was cut using Cricut's Plantin Schoolbook cartridge, and glimmered using Ranger's Stickles. Eyelets from Eyelets Outlet were set using my Crop-A-Dile Big Bite.

The penguin was cut using Cricut's Christmas Cheer cartridge. His hat was cut using the Birthday Bash cartridge, then Stickled and piled high with Glossy Accents. 

The snowman was cut using Cricut's Doodlecharms cartridge, and his hat was fussy-cut by CardMonkey!  His belly buttons are actually buttons, his mouth is made from small adhesive black beads. Both critters have googly eyes. 

I still can't believe my grandbaby will be one in just a few weeks ... Where has this time gone?  Isn't she simply adorable??!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"I Feel The Love" Cards

Hello, CardMonkey fans.

Those who have been following here for a while know that I am a big fan (biggggg fan!!) of a young blogger named Madison.  Madison is a high school student -- hard to believe, as she's wise beyond her years -- and she has a heart that is deeper than it is old.

Madison's blog is at www.funkycards.blogspot.com.  Earlier this year, Madison launched a cardmaking project called "I Feel The Love" (IFTL), where she has her followers make cards for individual children whose lives have been complicated by illness. Be sure you hop over there to learn more about Madison's IFTL project, as well as a little about this fun, upbeat young woman.

The latest IFTL child is Ethan, who is turning 2 in November.  Earlier this year, Ethan had a liver transplant and is doing super!!  Here is the card I made for Ethan:

I used my Nikki Sivils Scrapbooker LLC paper that I recently won (yahoo!!)
for most of the elements here.  The Pooh was cut using my Cricut Pooh and
Friends cartridge.  I computer-printed the sentiment on a cut-out square accent
by NSS (in the release), and crocheted bakers' twine for the pennant rope.

Sadly, not all of the IFTL children pull through. One little girl, Marley Moore -- just 3 years young -- died earlier this week at home in the loving arms of her parents Brett and Nikki. Marley battled a brain tumor that was just too aggressive. She fought valiantly, and touched the lives of many of us who followed her story through "The Caring Bridge" posts her family made during her treatment.  Marley's funeral services are this weekend; while they are too distant to attend, I made this card in Marley's memory:

The butterfly on this card was cut using a
Cheery Lynn die.  To make the background paper,
I smudged Tim Holtz distress stain in "spun sugar"over white
cardstock and striped it with more distress stain in "stormy sky." 
I spritzed the stain with water and let it drip, then helped
the drying along with my embosser/dryer. I found the
sentiment online, and printed it on my computer-printer.

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Pure Innocence" Digi-Image for Christmas Card Exchange


Greetings, CardMonkey fans.

I've been hard at work in the PaperJungle, catching up on commitments I've made for blog hops, card exchanges and guest designing. I do like these assignments, as a deadline forces me to focus. 

This sweet card I made for a Christmas Card "Anything Goes" Exchange.  I made six copies of the identical card. As the image above describes, I've used Copic markers to color a Heather Ellis "Pure Innocence" digi-image. This was the first time I did paper piecing (see the coat?) and I LOVE how it turned out. 

If you'd like a tutorial on this technique, leave me a comment, otherwise I will assume you know how to do this.  

Have you used digi-stamps or digi-images?

Here is a close-up of my Copic coloring ---->

Finally, I couldn't resist posting this picture (below) of my dear granddaughter, Charlotte. When I'm coloring "Pure Innocence" images, I think of Charlotte -- isn't she just the prettiest little girl?  And her spirit is so sweet and innocent ... she could be the model for these stamps, don't you think?   


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Making the Most Of Your Ribbon



One of the things I enjoy most about blogging -- besides meeting people like YOU! -- is sharing with my friends some of the tips, tricks and techniques I've learned to enhance my cards.  Why be "usual" or typical, when you can add something different?!


I learned the ribbon weaving technique used on the wreath (above) by watching a YouTube video that was posted by Mei Flower Crafts.  Mei Flower Crafts sells the wonderful satin ribbon used to make this wreath -- and even though they are overseas (England), their pricing with shipping is still very competitive and the quality of the ribbon is fabulous!   
Here is the video where I learned the technique: (Helpful hint: Go to my Playlist in the right side of my blog and TURN OFF the music when you're watching this video, otherwise it will be playing behind the English accent of the woman on this tutorial video -- super annoying to have both going on at once.)


To finish off my card, I mounted the ribbon wreath using foam sticky tape (CHEAP at BigLots!).  I then used a Hero Arts Stamp for the sentiment, brushing the stamp with VersaMark red ink. I tinged the edges of the sentiment with Tim Holtz's Distress Inks in Forest Moss prior to stamping.
I stamped the sentiment on Vanilla Cream stock, and mounted that on Topiary (green) and then on an Elemental Level 2 paper, all by Close To My Heart (CTMH).  I am a new CTMH consultant -- I became one right after I saw Sue using CTMH products to make a great group of cards ("Make-N-Take") at a recent crop we attended at "ScrapThat!", an LSS in Burlington, NJ. 

I must say: I am very fussy about my paper quality when I put so much time/love into my cards ... and I LOVE the feel of the CTMH paper. Liken it to the difference between sleeping on linens you'd get at the bargain basement, to that of the comfort of sleeping on linens made using a high thread-count Egyptian cotton. Standard versus luxury. With CTMH, you get exclusive colors at less $ per sheet than the MSRP of Bazzill cardstock. And there are matching stamp inks! 


I'm just trying out my CTMH supplies ... gotta tell you, their "Liquid Glass" is far superior to "Glossy Accents" and I ♥ their Bonding Memories two-way glue. And should I tell you how fab their micro-tip scissors are? -- I have the tiniest pinprick of a stab wound on my left index finger where I inadvertently stabbed myself .. my usual dull blades would have left me unwounded. (LOL, I guess this shouldn't be my selling technique, ehhh??  But can you imagine how I was able to fussy-cut the tiniest details with these babies!?! Oh, and they do come with a protective shield for the tips to keep them sharp, and safe!) 

By the way, if you're looking for the CTMH Exclusive Cricut cartridge "Art Philosophy," contact me at cardmonkey@comcast.net or troll on over to my blog and connect via the SHOP CTMH button on the right hand column.  This cartridge is a must have for cardmakers, as it's chock-full of card shapes, labels (no more dies!), and shaped flowers for embellies.  Currently, there's a terrific package deal and you can still qualify for a free Stamp of the Month with that purchase.

Well, that's it for me today ... I hope you learned a little today, and loved a lot. Get the scrap out of here and get let your creative juices flow!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness blog hop - October 1


Welcome to the Breast Cancer Awareness Blog Hop. The purposes of this Hop are to, first, encourage early diagnosis. You could be the One in Eight women who has breast cancer this year. Have you had your mammogram?  With early diagnosis, breast cancer can be beaten!  

Second, please invite your family and friends to see the projects we've made to offer hope and support.

Each of us has been touched by breast cancer, whether we have had a friend or relative with the disease, or whether we have journeyed the Pink Road ourselves.  

My friends Linda and Marjie are both currently on the difficult road of treatments for breast cancer. Each is in a different stage of cancer treatments, and neither is on an easier journey. 
 
Linda, pictured with her hubby Rob, began wicked chemo treatments just 25 days ago. Linda's spirit is amazing, she is joyful, positive and inspirational. I met Linda through her hubby Rob. Five years ago, Rob came to a garage sale I was hosting and bought a book. We got to talking, and I told him I was selling my stuff because I was cleaning to get ready to move. Turns out Rob and Linda work as a Realtor team, and Linda was my fantastic selling agent for my home. It's all about relationships, and Linda is a Queen!!





Marjie, pictured with her fiancee my friend Sean, continues her remarkable Pink Journey with her final surgery -- breast reconstruction -- on October 27. Right now, she is enduring the pain of chest/skin expanders to accommodate the implants that will make her whole again. She wants to look and feel her very best when she walks down the aisle to marry Sean in just a few months.  If you do nothing else today, please visit Marjie's blog, Pink and Pearls, which describes her journey of coping with breast cancer while planning her wedding. Please leave her some ♥ LOVE ♥
  
This is the card I made for Linda, as part of this Hop.  I made a frame from chipboard, covered it with pink (of course!) ... and before I mounted it to a white card, I sandwiched some ribbon between the frame and the card. A pretty metal embellishment ("faith") sends the message of hope. The butterfly is a pre-made, purchased embellishment that I adorned with a Stickles body.

Today, I will mail the card to Linda, with my love and support.  If you know of someone who is in this fight for her life, remember her today ... with a hug, a card, a telephone call, some flowers, a home cooked meal, whatever you think will bring her joy.

And remember out there:

OK, on to our Blog Hop!  But wait, there's a prize!!  That's right, BLOG CANDY!!  For one lucky person who is a CardMonkey Follower and leaves a comment on this post, I will make and send a beautiful, custom crystal bracelet similar to this one, ooh-la-la:


So don't forget to follow (see link in the right hand column) ... leave a comment that includes a way for me to contact you when you win.

WAIT, before you go!!  Don't forget that Dee at Vintage Heartfelt Designs (our Hop Hostess) has some super-prizes on her blog. These include:
  • A bag of goodies you can use to scrap, and a $15.00 gift certificate
  • Sponsor Jillian Vance is offering a set of her stamps!
  • Sponsor Designs on Cloud Nine has provided a $20 gift certificate to use on her site.
  • Sponsor Crafty Card Gallery has provided a $10 gift certificate to either Amazon.com or OhMyCrafts!

To qualify for our Hostess's grand prizes, you need to leave a comment at every blog hop stop and become a member/follow each one too (and mention that in your comment).  Dee would love it if, after you're done the Hop, you would stop back to her at the beginning at http://vintageheartfeltdesigns.blogspot.com and let her know what project you like the most. If you need the full list of blog stops, hop on over to Dee's blog!

Your next stop is: 

Thank you for visiting.
Be blessed. 
And remember ....
schedule that MAMMO today!

Long Time, No See!

Hello, Friends and Followers! Gosh, I didn't realize how long it's been since I last posted on my blog. Let me catch you up...