Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Special Kids

This weekend, I have the privilege of co-hosting the "Labor of Love Halloween Blog Hop."  My co-host is an incredible young woman, Madison, whose blog "Funky Cards" (www.funkycards.blogspot.com) is super-sweet.

Forty amazingly talented women have each made at least one halloween-themed banner that will be donated to hang in the rooms of special needs children at Pediatric Specialty Care in Bucks County.  I work there as Admissions Coordinator, and know how much this will brighten the days of special needs kids, their families, and staff. 

So while I'm putting the final touches on my banner(s) and the Hop, I just want to share two pictures that have made me smile today.

The first is of Olivia (see earlier post), receiving a batch of YOUR cards made to brighten her days while she's in an Iowa hospital following brain cancer surgery.

The next is of the cutest little girl in the world, my granddaughter Charlotte (age 8.5 months) ... just because she always makes me smile.

Hugs from the PaperJungle,

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Get Well, Olivia!

For those who visited the blog of Nikki Sivils Scrapbooker this weekend, in addition to seeing my cards featured, you might have also seen the story of adorable Olivia (pictured here).

Olivia is the 5-year old niece of scrapbooker Stacy Rodriguez, whose blog is one of the many I follow.  Earlier this month, Olivia complained of a headache and started randomly vomiting; a trip to the ER confirmed a parent's worse nightmare: brain tumor, in a critical area of the brain.

Stacy asked her many friends to pray for Olivia, and our prayers were answered. Prompt surgery went better than expected. And so while Olivia still needs some chemo and radiation, and won't be able to start kindergarten as planned just yet, hopes are raised. Praise God.

Special praise goes out to Nikki too, for helping to collect special GET WELL CARDS for Olivia. And as a special incentive (as if we needed any more than a child and her family is in need!), Nikki is offering a grand prize including her fabulous papers to a card maker selected by Nikki and Stacy.

Here is my card, that's going in the mail tomorrow to Stacy, to be given to Olivia:

For instructions on how you too can make Cards For Olivia,
please go to http://www.nikkisdoghouse.blogspot.com/.
For this easel card, I used Nikki's newly released line of "Get Well" paper kit for the majority of the card. This includes the adorable stickers, cut-outs, border trim, and Red Cross paper.  The tan and crimson is Bazzill cardstock.

The sweet image of the nurse is a "Pure Innocence" digi-stamp from Pollycraft, which I colored using Copic markers, Prisma pencils and a white gel pen.  Ribbon, button and baker's twine is from my stash.

Olivia is a strong girl, who needs a little extra love and strength from those of us in the cardmaking community. You can get more information on this sweet girl and the card project by visiting Nikki's blog (Click HERE) or Stacy's blog (Click HERE).

Thank you again, Nikki, for the opportunity to send wishes to this young girl and her family!  AND thank you for your sweet papers, that make my cardmaking such a pleasure!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

See My Cards Featured on Nikki's Blog!

It's my honor to have three of my cards featured in today's post by paper designer/manufacturer, Nikki Sivils.  Please hop on over there to see my cards, as well as the other fantastic projects made by crafters using Nikki's fun papers:


Friday, August 26, 2011

Blog Candy Winner!

TAH-DAHHHH.... Randy (Random.Org) helped me pick the winner of my blog candy from last week's Hawaiian Themed Blog Hop.  

The candy is this issue of Scrapbooks, Etc.:

And the winner is ..... (drum roll, please!) 

Emily of Cool Cricut Creations, who said...

"Fun lo! I love the banner! Precious pictures :)"

Emily, please send me an e-mail at cardmonkey @ comcast dot net and provide your USPS mail address, and I'll send this magazine out to you promptly!  

If you'd like, pick up my blog candy winner blinkie above to boast about your win on your own blog site.  

Thank you to everyone who commented.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Happy Birthday to a Childhood Friend

Today is the birthday of a childhood friend who was then known as Kathy ... but as we've gotten older, she has the much-cooler name of "Kat".  Here is the card I made for her:

This is a tight close-up of the front of the card, so you can see the tiniest details.  I used Studio Calico's "Anthology" paper for the background, a chipboard star, and October Afternoon's Thrift Shop word stickers to decorate.  The typewriter letters are from a punch-out sheet by Graphic 45, the alphabet page from a collection called "Domestic Goddess" (which really speaks to me!!).

"Anthology" is perfect to use for Kat -- she is my longest-term friend, spanning back to the days when she and I met in Mr. McAteer's 4th grade class at Forest Park Elementary on Long Island, NY.  That's 47 years ago! 

(I had SUCH a crush on Mr. McAteer ... he was my first lay teacher [non-NUN] and OH MY he's a BOY!!  The crush lasted until I found out he {ewwwwwww} grew up with my father and therefore, he was older than dirt!!)

This isn't us, but it could have been!
Kat and I shared a love of writing, and she had mad-drawing skills that I so admired.

We danced together to our favorite "Purple People Eater" song, and shared a love of dogs -- particularly collies, since she and I both had beautiful ones, her's was Lad, mine Tikai. Kat, if you're reading this, you'll just love this video:

We kept in touch throughout the years, except for an interval of about 10-20 years post-college. As I made my way through a first marriage and new baby, I didn't realize that Kat went on to write a book (wow!) and we both settled in Pennsylvania -- amazingly, only about 15 miles apart. When her book was featured in an article in The Philadelphia Inquirer, I tracked her down and we reunited. 

Happy Birthday, Kat!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hawaiian Themed Blog Hop, Day 2

Aloha, Aloha -- It's Day #2 of the  Hawaii-Themed Blog Hop, sponsored by the fantabulous Nicolette of Beyond Scrappin'.  If you've come from Shannon's adorable Purple Lion Paper blog, you're on the right track.  If you've happened upon here and want to start at the beginning, please do go to Nicolette's blog, and hang loose!

Here is the fun layout I created for today's post:

This cute little boogie-boarder is none other than my granddaughter, Charlotte, enjoying her first summer! The way this little duck has taken to water, you'd think she was born in the summer, but noooooo.... she's December-born. 

For this layout, I used Rusted Sun papers from Fancy Pants Designs, along with their matching Glitter Cuts. A few buttons on stickers marked "Sunglasses" and "Flip Flops", three floral brads, and this layout was done... Easy-peasy!

So who doesn't like a little BLOG CANDY!?
What I have for you is this, the current issue of
Scrapbooks, etc.!!

All you have to do to have a chance to win
my blog candy is:

1. Be a follower of my blog and

2. Leave a comment on one of my two posts for
this Hawaiian Themed Blog Hop (today and/or yesterday's).  If you want to leave 2 comments -- one on each of the projects I made for this hop -- you'll have two chances to win this magazine chock-full of great ideas!!

And you never know, I may throw in a super-surprise too!

Now head on over to your next stop on the
Hawaiian-Themed Blog Hop:
It's AMY! (<--- Click her name!)

Thanks for visiting!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

ALOHA! Hawaiian Themed Blog Hop 8/20 - 8/21.

Aloha, Crafters!

Welcome to the Hawaii-Themed Blog Hop, sponsored by the fantabulous Nicolette of Beyond Scrappin'.   If you've come from Shannon's adorable Purple Lion Paper blog, you're on the right track.  If you've happened upon here and want to start at the beginning, please do go to Nicolette's blog, and hang loose!

For this hop, I created a card that made be feel like it was Hawaii all over again. My DH and I honeymooned there (all of the Hawaiian islands) and the South Pacific for our dream honeymoon, 12.5 years ago. Yes, it's the trip of a lifetime!!!  It's the most relaxed, most tropical, most wonderful we've ever felt!

So in trying to evoke that feeling, I came up with this card:

To make this card, I used as a base a print-out of one of the many beautiful sunset pictures I took on that trip.  I then (separately) printed out a digi-image of beach chairs that had with it the table with drinks for two, as well as the palm tree.  I colored the palm tree and also paper-pieced additional palm fronds. Next, again using Copic markers, I colored the table, drinks and shadowed the white chairs. When done, I adhered it to the base of the water at the horizon. 

For the sand, I was going to raid the bottles of actual sand I saved from the beaches there, but frankly, forgot I had them!  So I dug around my house to see what I could use -- and came up with a blend of "shake cheese" (dried Parmesan cheese) and ground ginger!  I mixed this and then adhered it to the "beach" below the chairs.  Where the sand met the water's edge, I made globs of Glossy Accents combined with some mica dust, to make it look like water washing onto the shore.

Now, knowing that this trip was once-in-a-lifetime for us working stiffs, I decided to make this into a retirement sort of card.  Here is the very pretty quote I used inside:

I hope you like this card!

So who doesn't like a little BLOG CANDY!?
What I have for you is this, the current issue of
Scrapbooker, Etc.!!

All you have to do to win my blog candy is:
1. Be a follower of my blog and
2. Leave a comment on this post.

And you never know, I may throw in a super-surprise!

Now head on over to your next stop on the
Hawaiian-Themed Blog Hop:
It's AMY! (<--- Click her name to Hop!)

Thanks for visiting!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bee Happy to Recycle, Repurpose, Reuse

My sister-in-law Nancy (brother Ed's wife) celebrates her ??th birthday this week.  Nancy, this card is for you! 

And NO, this is not a CardMonkey original. Read on:

This card was stolen almost in its entirety inspired by a very cute note card I received last spring from Cristi Burton, who dedicates her adorable blog to her FIVE little monkeys "cupcakes", Alyssa, Alyvia, Aubrey, Aleczander, and Autumn. 

...in other words, I've "regifted" the card.

Actually, what I did was lifted off the cover and greetings right off the card Cristi made and sent to me. You can read about her original card on Cristi's blog by jumping to http://scrappin5littlecupcakes.blogspot.com/2011/03/my-pink-stamper-pink-alicious-blog-hop.html

I changed up the ribbon, added a bow, mounted it on a blue easel card, and added this "BEE happy" insert inside:

Cristi included the card with the niftiest bunch of paper I won from her during a Blog Hop.  The hop, card and blog-candy paper introduced me to Nikki Sivils Scrapbooker paper that I just love. 

Thanks, Cristi ... I think. I mean, I just neeeeeeeeded another half-ton of paper in my Paper Jungle. You're SUCH an enabler! :-)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sitting Tilda, Redux

Papercrafting last Sunday ... I was very productive upstairs while God blessed us with some cooling rain storms.  It's been really sizzling here lately, though I dare say that I think June and July were hotter months for us, than August so far. 

Here's another card made from the sitting Tilda (Magnolia Stamps), with the same theme (swing) as Sunday's card. 

I used the same hand-drawn tree and leaves technique as found in Sunday's post. However, this time, I used Nikki Sivils Scrapbooker paper, "Willow Bee" I think it's called.  It picks up on the fact that the little girl is holding a bee.  I used some scrap ribbon that I thought complimented the paper well.

Also, for this card, I added some machine stitching to the card.  I used a combination of straight stitching and also a curving "bee path" stitch around the perimeter. 

I hope you're having a blessed day today!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Still Coloring and Paper Piecing!

I broke out a Peachy Keen Stamps (PKS) image, and another Action Wobble, for this fun card:

"I'm doing the happy dance for ya!" 

This card can be used to celebrate almost any good news. It's fun to think of how many feet would be dancing when a centipede got happy! 

I fussy cut the sun in the upper right hand corner and stamped it with a PKS smile.  The blue sky-with-clouds paper in the background is a Nikki Sivils Scrapbooker (NKS) paper.  I used my Martha Stewart Fringing Scissors to cut the grass, and mounted the centipede on an Action Wobble for motion.

Do the happy dance for someone you love, today!

Monday, August 15, 2011

My Other Magnolia Stamp

... and still using Nikki Sivils Scrapbooker paper for inspiration, I made this cute friendship card.

Nikki's "Blueberry Hill" line features some cute cut-outs and double-sided paper that I used for this card.

For the little girl's image, I used the second of my two new Magnolia Stamps. (For the first one, see yesterday's post.)  This sweetie was really holding a bucket of apples but I figured with a few scribbles of a black marker, some blueberry Copic color marked with a little white gel marker, the girl has gone blueberry picking instead. I popped up her right foot in those cute red boots, to add dimension.

Here's the inside of the card:

As you can see, I repeated the striped blueberry Nikki paper on the left panel, but on the right panel, I used my scrap bright yellow paper stock and my computer-printer to make the sentiment.  I used my favorite recipe search site (www.allrecipes.com) to find this recipe for blueberry cobbler, and laid it out to fit in the middle of the card.  A Nikki flower sticker, and this one's done!

Do you like blueberries as much as I do?  They have great anti-oxidants and are fiber-rich.  I could eat them right off of the bush, by the bushel-full! 

I guess I'm just a berry lovin' crafter!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Applause, please. I'm taking a bow....

I've made progress in my closet ...

The site of the former shelves on the left-hand side
(which collapsed in a heap of an avalance)
has been cleared.

DH Mr. Smiley is to install a closet system today, Sunday. 

... because he too has run out of excuses, now that it is raining so hard.  This is the view out my window:

The Opposite of a Fair Weather Friend?

Joyously, today it is raining. Pouring. And the Old Man (DH, Mr. Smiley) is snoring.

So that means I get time for myself in the Paper Jungle ... no need to feel guilty about skipping yard work. I did the housework late last night -- even scrubbed rugs, for God's sake! -- and so I can craft the day away.

Oh joy!  Does that mean I'm a "fair weather friend" ... errrr, or it's opposite ... a "poor weather friend" to crafting?  What has my life become, where family, work and housework takes precedence over play?! 

.... ummmm, reality?? 

So I thought this "Daydream" card (above) suited me well for my first-up adventure in the Paper Jungle. 

I broke out one of my two new Magnolia Stamps, a sitting Tilda. Isn't she just adorable?!  I snatched up two of these ... regularly $15/ea ... at the LSS that closed and offered unprecedented sales on everything.

I colored her using Copic markers (I'm just learning!) and sat her on a wood plank swing I cut from kraft paper. I strung the swing on twine, and used my favorite Nikki Sivils Scrapbooker paper for the background, the sky, leaves on the "grass" and the fussy-cut flowers.  I hand-drew the tree and punched the leaves on the tree using a Punch Bunch paper punch. A little Stickles on the bee wings, and white gel on the clouds and I can call this one done!

Have you tried Copic markers yet?  Prisma pencils? Those are my toys this week ... I'm finding the coloring both relaxing and somewhat therapeutic, a real stress reducer.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Week's Worth of Cards: Day 2 - Happy Hello-Scream?

Does your family have your own language for certain words?

We call the whipped cream that comes in an aerosol can, "Fooshie." 

The pesky insect in the summer that leaves an itchy bite is a "Sqo-Mito" ... except Grandma (my mom) calls them "West Niles" for the disease they very occasionally bring. (Grandma's semi-paranoid about those sorts of things!)

Years ago, a young neighbor friend insisted that the holiday we celebrate on October 31 is "Hello-Scream", not Halloween.  She said it derives from the fact you ring the doorbell, and when a homeowner answers, you SCREAM!!  Makes perfect sense to me!

I was amused then, when I saw Hello-Scream given its place on the cardmaker calendar when a card is featured on the front cover of this month's PaperCrafts magazine! 

So this card honors that holiday. Interestingly, it's also made only with true scraps. The orange and black alternating triangles were cut from the papers used to decorate the banner I've made for the upcoming "Labor of Love Halloween* Hop" (*that's Hello-Scream, in case you didn't recognize the name). 

In fact, "true scraps" have another family word, this one originated by my Grandmother. GADRIBBLES. A gadribble is what's leftover on the cutting board when the Thanksgiving turkey breast meat is carved and presented on the platter. Or the "off cuts" of a piece of paper when your image is cut from it.

Gadribble. Add it to the CardMonkey Glossary. Do you have a family language for certain words?  Please share!

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Week's Worth of Cards: Day 1- New Baby (Ba-BEE)

A challenge for me would be to try to make and post about a card a day, for a week. So here goes, Day #1:

Welcome "Ba-Bee":

Image:  Peachy Keen Stamps
Colored with: Copic Markers
Sentiment: typed on paper
Ribbon: stash
Paper: standard white, plus DCWV Nana's Kids.
Sewing: straight stitch by Husqvarna Diamond.

Inside image:

Inside: Diecut bee, mounted on Action Wobble, Stickles for glitter accents, marker, MS glue. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

What I Am Avoiding....

It's the weekend.
A day off of my full-time job.
A day for me.
Nothing on my schedule.
No commitments.

I want to craft all day.

The sun is shining.
I should go to the pool and "work" on my tan.

Instead I am in the Paper Jungle.
Watching HGTV.
Maybe I'll take a nap next.

I've shut the door on a real problem.
I'm avoiding it.

The shelves in my walk-in closet collapsed.
The only real "weight" they had on them was from the 30 garments just freshly back from the dry cleaners.

Which now lay at the bottom of this pile.
My shoe organizer ... emptied in the fall.
It seems so daunting.

I must clean it out.

Is it time for a nap yet?
The crisis of a closet collapse......  shelves have pulled from the wall,
dumping everything, everywhere. What a mess!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

More Randomness: Another Oldie AND Goodie!

Again, I'm completely random here ... posting a favorite card from my past.  This beautie was made for me by my dear friend, Mary Dittmar to celebrate my 50th birthday -- yes, six years ago this month. 

Mary has resisted the paper urges because she's much more of a Fabric Princess, and she's been making cards far longer than I have. Seeing her work inspired me to make my own cards, and I cherish this card even today. 

For this sweetheart of a card, she "fussy cut" the cupcake and cake from printed FABRIC (!!!) that she found ... I don't know where, and I don't know how she has this patience.  I don't know what sort of fabulous glue she used to adhere the fabric so wonderfully to the paper stock.  There are absolutely no bubbles in the fabric pieces, and even the tiniest edges have stayed stuck to the paper these many years later. 

She used no fancy paper for this card, no rub-ons for the sentiment.  The sentiment is hand-written -- can you believe how steady and adorable her handwriting is?!  And each of the tiny pink dots is hand-drawn.  The few gold stars that are on the card are adhered.  I'm guessing that Mary used a few dabbles of glitter pen to give gloss to the cake plate, strawberries, and cupcake. 

Do you save and cherish the notes and cards you've been given over the years -- or at least, the "special" ones? 

Recently, my former mother-in-law Olga passed away, and my now-grown dear daughter Emily (26 today!) had the chore of going through her personal effects to settle the estate.  In at least one box that was obviously cherished were the cards and notes I had sent to Olga over the 17 years when I was married to her son, and even the subsequent years since I divorced him.

Those boxes represented a real treasure to Emily -- mostly because it served as a testament to the love shared between Olga and myself, a relationship unlike any other.  Olga's having saved those letters and photographs was priceless as well, as I had lost all of my photos of baby Emily and the calendars, journals and albums I'd assembled when I hastily left her Dad when Emily was just 9 years old.  That treasure showed Emily the pride I had in her tiniest accomplishments, and gave her a "scrapbook" view of life through her mother's eyes, as related to her grandmother.  In Olga's passing, she gave Emily one of the greatest gifts that she, as a new mother could ever have, love.

Wishing you joy today and always, in the treasures you find when you least expect them.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Randomness: Wedding Favor from the Past

Hi Blog Friends (a.k.a., Favorite Family!)

Those who saw my posts from last week know that I've spent a good bit of time -- toooo much of my time, actually -- organizing and cleaning up my Paper Jungle here in the craft loft.  I enjoyed showing off the seven posts of the various solutions that work for me, for the moment that is.

Like many of us I think, I likely spend more time organizing my craft stuff than actually playing with it using it.  Strangely enough, it's enjoyable too!  While I was sorting through some of the stuff, I came across this WEDDING FAVOR that I made ... for my own wedding to Mr. Smiley, 17 years ago. 

That is, before the days of blogging and papercrafting, Cricut and all that.

I think it's still a beautiful example of what can be done with a bit of paper and some ingenuity, without all of the embellishments, supplies, fancy papers, etc. 

I made these 2-up on an 8.5 x 11" piece of ivory cardstock.  I used Adobe PageMaker (the predecessor of InDesign) to "paste" a .jpg/photo file of a natural flower wreath onto the digital page, and set the type of our names and wedding date on one half of each of what would be the finished "matchbook".

On the reverse side, I set the inside text you see here.  Once I printed these out, I cut the stock in half lengthwise, punched a decorative border on the top along with two holes. These holes were measured to match the bottom two holes, inexactly -- that is, as far in as my hole punch would reach on both sides!  At the bottom, I folded up about 1/2" of the cardstock and stapled in a packet of wildflower seeds, along with an ice pink thin ribbon to hold the packet shut with a bow. 

These flower packets still bring me a sense of peace and joy when I see them, even though I never actually planted the flowers.

I may have some talent in the Paper Jungle, and my thumbs may occasionally be inked green, but seriously -- my agricultural/horticultural skills are DISMAL!!  I'm MUCH better off looking at pretty pictures of flowers and visiting gardens than attempting to bring blossoms to my home.  For kicks, one day I may show you pictures of dreadfulness in the garden. 
Until then, trust me on this one: plants and I do not mix.