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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Decorate To Celebrate -- Challenge #2 -- Birthday (for an adult) Themed Party -- CASINO NIGHT!!

Welcome to another WONDERFUL Wednesday!!  How are all of my sensational friends in bloggie-land??  There's a lovely breeze outside, the sun is shining, and good things are in store!! :)

Today is the start of Challenge #3 at the Decorate To Celebrate!! Challenge Blog!!  The theme for this challenge is Birthday Party (for an adult)!!  So we want to see all of your decorations and party supplies celebrating everything GROWN-UP!!  :)

My dad's birthday is coming up next month, so I decided to make something we could use for his birthday celebration...  I thought about making something 'wood' themed (hammers, saws, drills, etc.) since he's a fabulous wood-crafter...  Then I thought about a 'water' inspired theme (sailboats and lighthouses) since he loves that kind of thing too...  But finally, I decided to do a 'Casino' themed event!! :)  I hope to add some more pictures of the party supplies in the coming weeks, so be sure to check back or sign up for email updates if you'd like to see more (including my Casino 'cookie' chips!!)...

To create these fun party supplies, I started with plain black plastic plates, red paper cups, red plastic flatware, and red noise-makers...  I used my gypsy to weld three circles and the letter "I" from the Plantin SchoolBook Cricut Cartridge for the 'clubs' and to weld a heart and the letter "I" for the 'spades'.  

I cut a set of each suit from vinyl at 1.5" to decorate the cups and plates...  To make the noise-makers, I used real playing cards and adhered them to 3"x4" rectangles of black cardstock before attaching them to the straw part of the noise-maker.
The flatware was wrapped together with a band and topped with a 2" club-shaped die cut.
I loved the idea of making a door curtain, so I cut larger versions of each shape (3" and 5").  I used the 5" shapes interspersed with playing cards (sandwiched back to back with adhesive) on fishing line.  The 3" shapes were adhered to a separate string of fishing line to hang between the strings with playing cards.
I didn't imagine how difficult it would be to take pictures that represented how the door curtain hung!!  The fishing line is nearly invisible, so it looks like the shapes are floating mid-air!!  I really love how this turned out!!  :)

Now it's YOUR turn!!  Link up your NEW Birthday (for an adult) or ANY Themed party project at the Decorate To Celebrate!! Challenge Blog (click HERE)...  The winner(s) of the challenge are invited to be future Guest Designers AND are entered to win the Grand Prize for July -- A $40 pack of Vinyl for your Cricut or other die cutting machine!!  For more inspiration, be sure to visit the other designers' blogs:

Thanks so much for stopping by!!  I can't wait to see what YOU create for the challenge!!
Until next time,

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fishing You Were Here -- Splashtastic Summer from K Andrew Designs :)

Happy Tuesday, Friends!!  Isn't today just a TERRIFIC Tuesday???  Well, I know mine is!! :)  I have a SUPER FUN card to share with you today...  I've just been having such a BLAST with my new K Andrew Designs Stamp Art sets -- Have you gotten yours yet???  You can check out ALL 6 BRAND NEW sets by clicking HERE!! :)
With the WARM breeze, the SUNNY skies, and the FLUFFY clouds, we've been enjoying SUMMER around my house!!  Baseball games, bicycle rides, and relaxing sure fill up the days QUICK!! :)  So with summer on the mind, I created this card with one of my favorite animals to visit at the ZOO...
Aren't penguins just the cutest???  This penguin looks like he's having the time of his life just kicking back on his inner-tube while catching some fish!!
And how about that PERFECT sentiment from the Splashtastic Summer Stamp Art set: "Fishing you were here"???  hee hee...  Just brings a happy smile to my day!!  I have a sweet friend that I'm sending this card to...  On the weekends, she likes to fish and go kayaking!!  I haven't gotten to see her in a while, so I want her to know that I'm looking forward to her trip here this August!!  YAY!! :)
This card is a standard A2 size.  All of the paper came from my scrap stash!!  Most of it is from the Creative Memories Fabulous Power Palette (the yellow background paper is from a promotional pack).  The penguin stamp is from a Stampin Up! set that I've had forever (and the set doesn't have a name on it, so if you know, please tell me).  I used SU! watercolor pencils to color the image and orange Stickles to glitterfy the fishies. :)

I hope you have enjoyed my happy little card today!!  Remember, each of Kristal's stamp sets benefit a CHARITY...  So be sure to pop on over to her blog and her site to read all about the wonderful charities she's selected...  And while you're there, do something nice for yourself and order up a set of her wonderful stamps -- You're sure to enjoy them!!  :)

Until next time,

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Getting Cricky Simply Sunday Challenge: Penned!! :)

Happy Sunday, everyone!!  I'd like to take a quick moment to welcome my new followers!!  Thank you all for your time and attention (and wonderful comments on my blog)!!  You sure do know how to make my day!! :)

Well, it's time for another Simply Sunday Challenge over at Getting Cricky!!  This week, the challenge is to use PENS!!  You can use pens for drawing, coloring, journaling...  You can use them on images, for backgrounds, to write a sentiment...  Anything that uses PENS will work!!  I recently received some of Amy Chomas's incredible glitter gel pens and her gel pen holder for my Cricut, so I decided to give those a whirl. :)  If you're not familiar with Chomas Creations, please take a moment to pop over there, take a look around, and please let her know that I sent ya!! :)  I have a looooong wish list of items I'd like to get from Amy, so I hope to be able to show you even more of her wonderful products in the future!! :)

I have TWO cards to share with you today (that means it's gonna be a long post with LOTS of pictures):
This is a standard A2 card...  I used the Chomas Creations glitter gel pens and holder as well as my gypsy to create the background paper for this card.  To make it easier for me, I used a double star found on the Stand and Salute Cricut Cartridge.
After placing the stars on the page where I wanted them, I copied the entire page to a new 'mat' in my Gypsy.  I then lined it up so it matched exactly with mat #1.  Once I was happy with the placement, I highlighted each star, selected the 'hide contour' button and hid the inside star on every star on mat#1 (red stars) and the outside star on every star on mat#2 (blue stars).  This is what took me the longest, BUT I saved the file so I can remake this background paper anytime I want (in any colors I want).
Once I set up my mat, I switched the blade in my Cricut with the gel pen holder (loaded with the red pen).  I selected 'CUT' just as I would have with the blade inserted (pressure set on "medium/3').  Instead of cutting, my Cricut drew a page full of red stars!!  When it finished, I did NOT unload my mat, but selected 'return to design' instead.  I then switched the view to mat#2, switched to the blue pen, and selected 'CUT' again.  This kept everything lined up properly and drew the blue stars inside the red ones!!
Even though I was a little apprehensive about trying out this new tool, I ended up having a LOT of fun with it...  This is definitely something I can see using for all kinds of nifty things!! :)
I finished off the card by adding a wavy banner with a sentiment from K Andrew Designs "Freedom Isn't Free" Stamp Art Set... "Home of the Free  Because of the Brave"  A portion of the proceeds from this set benefits the Fallen and Intrepid Heroes Charity.  I really love all the sentiments in this set, and I love how this coordinated so well with my card. :)  I hope you've enjoyed this one!!

Challenges linked for my "Star-Spangled" Card:
** Cupcake Inspirations: Challenge #117 (photo inspiration)
** Craft Us Crazy: Challenge #11 - Red, White, and Blue or Summer Theme
** Stamp Something: 4th July/Celebration Somethings
** Card Makin' Mamas: Challenge #23 - Red, White, and Blue
For my second card, I went simple!! :)   This is a 5.5"x5.5" Gate-Fold Card.  I used the Creative Memories Reminisce Accents Cricut Cartrige for the the frame image (frame feature, shift frame feature, and shadow frame feature).  First I used my Chomas Creations glitter gel pen and holder to draw the frame at 5" (you can do this without a Gypsy by using the 'centerpoint' feature on your expression -- set your blade over the center of your paper before drawing or cutting and do NOT remove your mat after each step).
 Once the frame was drawn, I very carefully removed the pen holder and replaced the blade housing.  I then cut the frame out using the 'shift frame feature' (this is just selecting 'shift' PLUS the feature key PLUS the image key, then cut).  By using 'centerpoint', the blade automatically adjusted to cut around the drawn image.  I then used the shadow feature to cut the frame shadow from the teal paper.
I used the "Amazing You" Stamp Art Set from K Andrew Designs for my sentiment.  This stamp set benefits the Doorways for Women & Families Charity (an organization helping those escape and survive domestic violence).  The set includes mix-and-match sentiments perfect for letting someone special know how amazing they really are!!  You can even use the sentiments individually or in conjunction with other sets to create the perfect phrase.
Since the glitter gel pens made such a sparkling image on my paper, I really wanted the sentiment to sparkle too -- So after stamping my image with blue ink, I re-stamped with my VersaMark pad (easy to do with these crystal-clear stamps!!) and sprinkled it with holographic embossing powder before heat embossing the sentiment.  It's hard to see in the pictures, but the sparkle coordinates perfectly with the glitter gel pen!! :)

Challenges linked for my "You are Inspiring, My Friend" Card:
** Getting Cricky Simply Sunday Challenge: Penned
** Mark's Finest Papers: Challenge #61 -- Make it SPARKLE!
** Secret Crafter Saturday Challenge #140 -- Embossing

I hope you have enjoyed my cards today!!  I'd love to see what YOU create using PENS for the Getting Cricky Simply Sunday Challenge too!!  Be sure to CLICK HERE to enter -- You could WIN a fabulous set of Chomas Creations glitter gel pens and pen holder (plus a Guest Designer spot at Getting Cricky) just by entering!!


I hope you have a WONDERFUL Sunday!!  Be sure to check back tomorrow for more projects and a GIVEAWAY announcement!! :)
Until next time,

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thankful Thursday :) PLUS K Andrew Designs Splashtastic Summer PREVIEW!!

Happy Thursday, everyone!! :)  Are you enjoying the beautiful day?  The window next to my desk is wide open...  A gentle breeze is blowing...  And the sky is a blue as can be!!  Even the clouds seem extra white and fluffy!!  Quite a change from the storm that woke me up last night...

I have a card and a story to share with you today...  I'll get to the card first for those of you that only have a few moments to share with me...
*I'm entering this card into the following challenges:
     Fantabulous Cricut - Challenge Me Monday #65 -- Summer Sun
     Card Cupids - New Challenge Sunday -- Summer
I was so excited to receive two BRAND NEW sets of K Andrew Designs Stamp Art Sets -- Splashtastic Summer and Amazing You!!

I've just been itchin' to start stampin' with both of these sets...  I have LOTS of projects planned to share with you, so be sure to check back or sign up for email updates so that you don't miss a thing (I have some GIVEAWAYS to announce in the next few days!!)...  If you haven't had a chance to check out all of Kristal's new stamp sets, I invite you to CLICK HERE and take a peek at all of them!!  Kristal is very generously donating a portion of the sales from EACH stamp set to charity...  So by purchasing a set of her stamps, we're all working together to do good!! :)  Now that's something to be thankful for on this Thankful Thursday!! :)
Okay...  Card details...  This is a standard A2 size card (4.25"x5.5").  My background paper is from the DCWV Flower Shower Stack (as is the paper used to make the two strips -- cut at 1/2"x5.25" for the orange and 3/4"x5.25 for the polka dot).  My sun was cut at 3" (base layer in gold, shadow layer in carrot) from the Doodlecharms Cricut Cartridge...  This is probably my favorite sun image EVER!! :)  I used the Peachy Keen Funshine Face Parts stamps for the sun -- I love how you can mix and match these stamps to get the perfect face for your project!!  I also used my Signo white pen to create some faux stitching around my sun...  My sentiment stamp says "Sending you Sunny Thoughts" and is from the Splashtastic Summer Stamp Art set from K Andrew!!  I punched the sentiment out with one of my SU! punches and then layered it with two more of the same punch...
I am SO impressed with this set of Splashtastic Summer stamps -- It is LOADED with lots of fun mix-and-match phrases -- I just know that I will get TONS of use from this set!!  I can also tell ya that I am a MESSY stamper -- I usually end up with ink everywhere (and all over my stamps)...  I am so tickled with how easily these stamps clean up!!  They are of great quality -- I hope you'll pop on over and order yourself a set!! :)  To see more wonderful previews, be sure to visit Kristal's blog as well as all of the Getting Cricky Design Team Member's blogs: Becka, Becky, Brenda, Brynn, Erika, Jess, Julie, Kathy P, Kathy T, and Rebecca -- everyone is showcasing some FANTASTIC projects!! :)
Now isn't today Thankful Thursday???  Yep, it is!!  So, what do YOU have to be thankful for today?  I mentioned the storm we had earlier...  It woke me up at about 1am...  Those of you who know me personally know that I'm not usually sleeping at 1...  The-Boy-Child and I have been making our way through the series of "Joan of Arcadia" (not sure if he'd admit that he enjoys it, so don't tell him I told you please!), and we usually watch it at a ridiculously late hour...  Then I usually try to take care of the last of what I didn't finish on the day's list before I fall asleep...  But last night I was especially tired, so I went to bed 'early' (not early for most, just early for me).  It had been hot all day, but we like the fresh air, so the windows were open wide to draw the warm breeze...  Normally, we would probably have the air conditioner on as hot as it was, so the storm might not have woken me up, but I'm so glad it did!!

It was the kind of storm that was really blowing...  I had to close most of the windows downstairs because the rain was just blowing in!!  But as I started to close the last window (above the loveseat), I decided to just pull the curtain halfway across and only close the window part of the way...  Then, I sat on my knees on the loveseat and simply watched the storm.  I watched as the strong wind blew the tree branches and flipped the leaves.  I watched as the rain seemed to blow horizontal from that wind.  I watched as the lightning lit up the yard and road.  I listened to the steady beat of rain against the side of the house and on the porch.  I listened to the thunder and felt it as it rumbled through the ground.  I could smell the wet ground -- the grass and the dirt thankful for the drink after a dry week...

And when I closed my eyes, I could see 'her'...  She wasn't exactly a friend, but she was an acquaintance.  I often saw her on my way from here or there.  We would chit chat about what was happening in her life.  Sometimes we would pass in the rain -- She was always dressed for the weather with a full-length raincoat -- She never carried an umbrella though because it never seemed to matter to her when the rain would get her hair and face wet...  We often talked about how we both liked the rain.  I felt like she would be someone who might splash through puddles when no one was looking -- or maybe she splashed through them when everyone was looking! :)  Sometimes, we would stand there in the rain talking, and I would look up at the falling rain to close my eyes and enjoy how the rain felt on my face...  And sometimes I felt like she was the only one who understood how that felt...

There were two things that she would always say when someone would complain about the rain...  #1 -- "It's just washing away the yuck for a prettier tomorrow!" and #2 -- "Just think sunny thoughts!"

Six years ago, on her way home from an after-work get-together, she was hit by another driver and killed.  The details about the other driver were never released.  She would have wanted it that way, I'm sure...  I remember how empty the sidewalks felt in the weeks that followed...  It seemed like it rained every day too...  Many times I would stop and again look up into the falling rain to feel the 'tears from heaven' on my cheeks -- While heaven rejoiced to have this angel in their midst, she was missed by the puddles around me...

Now some of you may be asking how on earth this could possibly be a Thankful Thursday post for me...  I'll tell ya!!  As I sat in the quiet of the night, watching and listening and feeling that storm, I thought again of my friend out there in the rain, and it really made me smile and be thankful (for her AND for the rain)...  I will never again look at rain the same because of her -- It rarely rains that I'm not reminded of her cheerful smile (and that's enough to be thankful for)...  I've since received some Chooka boots (galoshes) as a gift which makes splashing through puddles (no matter who is watching) even more fun...  And remember those two things that she would always say?  We all have those days when we need a good rainstorm to wash away the yuck from the day...  So I'm awfully thankful that last night's storm allowed for such a beautiful morning!!  And who couldn't use some 'sunny thoughts'???  Which is how my Thankful Thursday brings me back to today's card (and the PERFECT sentiment from the Splashtastic Summer stamp set)...
So...  From my friend, the rain, and me...  We're sending you some Sunny Thoughts!!  Hope the rain washes away any sadness, any pain, any yuck from your day...  And if it's a sunny, beautiful day wherever you are, I hope you'll pass some Sunny Thoughts on to someone else...  It may be just the thing that they need to have a Thankful Thursday too... :)

Incidentally, I should add that as I've been typing this, it's started to storm again...  Small miracle?  I think so. :)  Anyone for puddle splashing with me?

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Link Up Love Party with K Andrew and Getting Cricky!!

Happy Tuesday to all of my WONDERFUL bloggie buddies and FABULOUS followers!! :)  I'm so very glad you are joining me today, the FIRST day of SUMMER!! :)  Guess what else today is???  It's the "Link Up Love Party with K Andrew" of Getting Cricky!!  Woot-woot!! :)  On the 3rd Tuesday of each month, Kristal has this fun link up love party as a way to get to know each other and find new blog inspiration -- What a GREAT way to share our talents and CELEBRATE one another!! :)

I have one of my favorite recent projects to 're'share with you today...  I wanted to post two, but based on an experience from today, I decided to give this one card all of the attention :)  I'll share the details first, and then I'll share why I selected this card (thanks for sticking around to see why)...
This is my "Thank You, Hero" card that I posted in the "Getting Cricky with it" Blog Hop (ya know, the one where we all said, "HOORAY! Kristal's stamps are now available!!")...  Since I promised to post the details of each of those cards, I'm starting with this one.

This is a standard A2 card (4.25"x5.5").  I started with a plain WHITE piece of cardstock measuring 4.25"x5.5"...  I then cut the letters "H-E-R-O" at 2" using the font on the Plantin SchoolBook Cricut Cartridge from plain WHITE cardstock.  I used caramel ink on a sponge to distress and 'color' each of the letters.  I also used the ink/sponge to discolor the base paper -- giving it all an 'antique' look.

After adhering the letters to the top half of the card, I added a 2" strip of 'designer' kraft cardstock from my stash of scraps...  This kraft cardstock has a watermark-like image all over it and already had the red distressing at the edge (gotta love finding those perfect pieces for cards in your scraps!); however, you could easily use regular kraft paper and sponge distress it for a similar look.  Three bronze snaps were added to the paper before adhering it to the base.

I added some variegated hemp cord to a 3/4" strip of textured brick cardstock, popped a strip of foam dimension to the back of the strip, and adhered that at the top edge of the kraft strip.  My sentiment is one of the wonderful stamps found on K Andrew's "Freedom Isn't Free" Stamp Art Set...  If you'd like to see all of her stamp sets (or get in on the final pre-orders), please CLICK HERE...  I stamped the sentiment with dark green ink onto smooth white cardstock and then inked it to match the card base.  The frame was adjusted with my Gypsy, but can be found on the Reminisce Accents Cricut Cartridge.
So how did this card get my final vote for today's 'Link Up Love Party'???  Well, today was grocery day...  Grocery day is not necessarily a fun experience for me. :)  Sure, I love getting great deals and only buying things on sale -- I am not as obsessive about it as those on "Extreme Couponing"...  I'm not even as into it as my mom (who has dubbed the grocery store her own version of a casino -- since she gives them coupons and they give her more coupons at checkout!), but it does make me happy to get discounted gas (and TEN free tubes of toothpaste today!)!!  :)  Anywho...

Usually when I roll my cart up to the checkout, I get one of 'those' looks...  The cashier doesn't look too thrilled to be there, she usually sighs as I hand her a stack of coupons and my advantage card, and she just looks overall annoyed with me...  Well, did I have a surprise today!!  My cashier was Sandy...  Sandy greeted me with a HUGE smile and asked me how I was doing.  Taken by surprise with her happy demeanor I quickly answered, "I'm good!  How are you?"  Sandy continued to surprise me by striking up a conversation as she scanned each item (all 99 of them!)...  She asked how I was enjoying the weather and if we had any fun plans for the summer...  After telling her that The-Girl-Child (whom I had somehow managed to drag along with me) had just graduated high school so we were stocking up for college (true fact - Fruit Gushers were on sale - how can The-Girl-Child go to college without taking some Fruit Gushers???), Sandy talked about her own kids...  And how her daughter had joined the military 10 years ago...  Her daughter has a little one with another on the way now...  Sandy chit-chatted with us as though we were old friends...  She happily exclaimed that today was the first day of summer ("well, at 1:17 officially" she said, since it's her favorite time of year)...

I left the grocery store feeling incredible...  We practically skipped to the car!!  Why???  Because ONE person decided that her job wasn't mundane.  Because ONE person decided to BE the sunshine on the first day of summer...  As we drove home, I started to think about something that the always fabulous Kristal said in her "Simply Sunday" post this week....
"....Let Your Light Shine--and don't let anyone or anything dim your light or stamp it out. Life is just too precious to sit around worrying about anything silly, dwelling on the negative, or feeling anything less than terrific.  So go ahead and take your candle--and light your world. Let your "sun" shine--unleash your happines and joy on the world--you might just be surprised to see what comes back. You can't possibly let good out without it coming back. You can't reflect light--without it reflecting back onto you."  -K. Andrew

Truer words were never spoken...  Sandy expressed that she misses her daughter (and both of her sons) every day.  Even though she talks to them often, it would probably be easy for her to get down in the dumps missing them...  It would be easy for her to be frustrated with the customer who hands her a stack of coupons...  It would be easy for her to scan a cart full of groceries without mumbling more than the total to the customer on the other side of the conveyor belt...  But Sandy chose to be that light today -- and she couldn't just be that light without having it reflect back on her!! 

So this card is dedicated to SANDY for being a hero in her childrens' lives (something tells me they would agree) and to Sandy's DAUGHTER for her dedicated service in the military (and as a mother too!)...  I wish Sandy's daughter could have been there to hear the wonderful things her mom shared!!  But maybe, just maybe, Sandy's daughter will somehow come across this someday...  {If your mom's name is Sandy and she's a cashier at a grocery store in a small town north of Pittsburgh, Pa, then this might just be for you!}  :)

Today, on this first day of Summer, I'm grateful for people like SANDY...  who choose to BE the sunshine and share their joy with others...

Now pop on over to Getting Cricky to link up YOUR favorite project!!  And may your first day of Summer be FILLED with SUNSHINE!! :)

Link Up Love with K Andrew

Until next time,
Amy :) at Love To Crop!

Celebrate The Occasion -- Challenge #19 -- Celebrating Summer!!

What a beautiful, lovely day we had today!! The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing... What a perfect way to start off this week's challenge at Celebrate The Occasion -- Celebrate Summer (must use a sun)!!  Create a card, layout, or project with a sun that shows your interpretaton of celebrating summer and hop on over to enter it in Challenge #19 at CTO...   I can't wait to see what you create!! :)

For my project I created a 12x12 "Summer Fun" layout (there's a second page to match coming soon...)!!
To create the waves for my layout, I used my Creative Memories wavy trimmer to cut six 1" strips (3 from mediterranean cardstock and 3 from a blue watercolor block print paper) and inked the edges of each wavy strip with MS sterling chalking ink. 

The photo mat is sized for a 5x7 photo, and I handcut the fishy (I still like to fussy-cut my die cuts from time to time)...
The font is from the Life Is A Beach Cricut Cartridge.  I cut the lettes for the "Summer Fun" title at 1.75" (for the shadow effect, I cut the letters twice -- once in cranberry, once with the orange, then adhered them so that the orange peeked out from underneath). 
The circles for the sun were cut with the George and Basic Shapes Cricut Cartridge (1/4" difference in size then trimmed the extra that hung off the base)...  For the rays I again fussy-cut the strips at about 2.5" in gold and then shadowed the gold with orange.  Finally, I added some punched circles around the title (for color) and some pen-stitching and dit-dots with my white Signo pen.

I hope you have enjoyed my layout and that it will inspire you to create something for the challenge over at Celebrate The Occasion!!  Your questions and comments are always welcome...

Until next time,

Monday, June 20, 2011

Winners, Winners, Winners!! :)

Oh boy, do I have a list of winners today!!  If you find your name on this list, please be sure to email me (scrapbookingwithamy at gmail dot com) with your mailing address (please include the item that you won as well) within 7 days (if you have left your email address in the comments, I will also be emailing you in the next few days)...  Congratulations to everyone!! :)

Getting Cricky With It Blog Hop & Preview Winner (K Andrew Stamp Art Stamp Set of YOUR choice!!):
#10 Jessica from Jessica's Craft Shaque!! :)

Thank You To Our Teachers Blog Hop Winner (K Andrew's "Food For Thought" Stamp Art Set) -- I added all 3 days of comments plus the bonus chances for a total of 142, #82 was actually comment #1 from Day 2:
#82 Tami B. from Tami's Craft Connection!! :)

All About Dads Blog Hop Winner (K Andrew's "Freedom Isn't Free" Stamp Art Set):
#33 Cathy from from Cathy plus 5!! :)

Celebrate The Occasion Pool Party Blog Hop Winner (K Andrew's "Fashionable Friends" Stamp Art Set):
#99 Just A Pac Rat from Circle B Enterprises!! :)

Bug Bites Grillin' and Chillin' Blog Hop Winner (K Andrew's "Positive Thoughts" Stamp Art Set):
#31 Sherrie K. from Sherrie Scraps with Passion!! :)

It was also brought to my attention that my blog post with the winners of the Operation Write Home Memorial Day Blog Hop and the Armed Forces Day Blog Hop disappeared (during all of the blogger issues, those were among the posts that didn't make it back)...  SO...  Here is a REPOST of those winners as well :)

OWH Memorial Day Blog Hop Winner (a hand-picked selection of card making supplies):
#68 Redonna!! :)

Armed Forces Day Blog Hop Winner (a hand-picked selection of card making supplies):
#18 Brenda from Creativity is only a State of Mind!! :)

I'd love for you to pop over to any/all of these blogs to tell them congratulations and to check out their wonderful blogs!!  Thanks so much to EVERYONE for all of your wonderful comments!!  You are ALL "winners" to me!! :)

Until next time,

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Getting Cricky Simply Sunday Challenge -- Face It!!

Happy Sunday to all of my FANTASTIC friends!! :)  I would like to take a moment to say 'WELCOME' to all of my new followers and 'THANK YOU' to everyone!!  It gives me such great joy to see some new 'faces' joining in with my wonderful 'regulars'...

Ahhhh, Sunday!!  Don't ya just LOVE Sundays?  One of my favorite things about Sunday is being able to share a NEW Getting Cricky Simply Sunday Challenge with you!!  If you are not familiar with K Andrew of Getting Cricky, I invite you to hop on over to her blog to check out her posts and projects.  She is such a generous and kind-hearted friend to have...  We just finished a week-long PREVIEW of her BRAND NEW Stamp Art line (did you get to participate in the Ustream and Blog Hop? If not, be sure to click the link above and enter to WIN some of Kristal's stamps along the way)!!  All week, I've had the privilege of showing you what I've created using the "Freedom Isn't Free" stamp set...  Today, I get to show you my "Simply Sunday: Face It" project also featuring the awesome Funshine Face Parts stamp set from Peachy Keen Stamps!!
This is a standard A2 card (4.25"x5.5").  The image was cut from the Everyday Paper Dolls Cricut Cartridge at 4" (all layers).  I used a Cuttlebug embossing folder for the clouds (D'Vine Swirls) and grass (Striped). I used a brown pen to add the details to his uniform (the paper is actually a damask print on kraft cardstock -- I was tickled to find something so perfect in my scraps!).  My flag is hand cut -- a wavy red strip with white stripes made with my Signo pen... A thin strip of tan, a small scrap of blue, and a tiny star punch finish off the flag!  Your comments and questions are welcome and appreciated. :)

I'm just loving the Funshine Face Parts stamp set -- the best thing about this set is that it has different expressions and features (great for some animal faces too!)...  And as an added bonus, it's a PERFECT compliment to K Andrew's  "Freedom Isn't Free" Stamp Art Stamp Set!! :)
The little guy on my card reminds me of my dad -- Even though he was in the Navy and all of his pictures show him wearing crisp white uniforms, this image just makes me smile and remember how proud I am to be my daddy's little girl...  This card also makes me think of all of the dads who are serving in our nation's Armed Forces today, on Father's Day...  This truly reminds me that freedom isn't free and I really am so thankful for their dedicated service and selfless sacrifice...  This card will be added to my box of cards for Operation Write Home's Hero Mail!!  By writing a thank you note inside, I hope to encourage one of our heroes who might need a little pick-me-up while he is so far from home (Yes, I'll probably make a 'girl' version of this card too!)...  If you'd like more info on OWH (or would like to send some Hero Mail too), I invite you to visit their site HERE...

Now it's YOUR turn!!  The theme for this week's challenge is "Face It!!"  So link up your NEW project (card, layout, altered art) featuring some cute faces (stamped, hand drawn, die cut, etc.) before Saturday, June 25th at 11:59pm by clicking HERE!!

Until next time, 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Getting Cricky with it Blog Hop & Giveaway!! :)

Welcome to the Getting Cricky Blog hop where we are showcasing the first 6 sets in K Andrew's brand new line of sentiment stamps!

If you've hopped along from Kathy's blog then you are in the right place!! If you are just joining me from your dashboard, or reading this via email, please be sure to CLICK HERE to start at the beginning with K Andrew's blog (I wouldn't want you to miss a THING!!)...

Each of Kristal's stamp sets benefit charity. At least $1 per stamp set goes to benefit the charity noted on the stamp set package. Kristal is donating to the following charities: Cancer Angels, Storefront Shelter for Homeless Children, Intrepid & Fallen Heroes, Doorways Shelter for Women & Children (Domestic Violence), and Autism Research Institute. Kristal will donate $1 for every stamp set sold, retail or wholesale to the charity noted; and over time believes this will add up to some wonderful miracles for these special people. So you can feel good that each time you purchase a K Andrew Designs art stamp set, someone around the country is receiving some good help!

K Andrew's stamps are all made and assembled here in the USA, which is very important to Kristal. This ensures all product materials are safe and that jobs are being provided and maintained here in America.

I want to show you the "Freedom Isn't Free" stamp set...  I've been creating cards with this set all week (and posting them for Preview Week), so I hope you'll stop back by to check out all of the other cards -- This stamp set is SO versatile...  I think you'll really enjoy it!! :)  **This is picture heavy, but I didn't add any details -- Please feel free to ask questions in comments...  I will re-post any/all of these cards with details after the hop in case anyone wants to know how to make them all!! :) **

Card #1

Card #2

Card #3

$1 from the sale of each "Freedom Isn't Free" stamp set is donated to Intrepid Fallen Heroes -- a non-profiit organization that provides rehabilitative services to US military members who are severely disfigured from combat.

I have some Blog Hop CANDY for one lucky WINNER!!  What could be better than winning YOUR CHOICE of any of K Andrew's BRAND NEW Stamp Art Stamp Sets???  To be eligible, PLEASE leave a comment (with a way to contact you if you are the winner) and tell me WHAT YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE USTREAM WAS!!  If you were not able to attend the Ustream event, please tell me which of K Andrew's stamp sets is your absolute FAVORITE!!! :)  Of course, I'd love for you to be a follower, so please take a moment to do that too (If you leave your blog address, I will come and follow you too!!)...

Remember, you can get a BONUS chance for my Blog Hop Candy by leaving a comment on each of the Preview Days too!!  If you'd like to do that, here are the links:
Now you can hop on over to your next stop: Becka's blog ......

Getting Cricky Blog Hop

In case you get lost along the way or need to revisit anyone, here's the entire line up!! :)

Preview Day FIVE -- Getting Cricky Blog Hop/K Andrew Stamp Sets -- Soldier Prayer Card #2!! :)

SOUND THE TRUMPETS!!  Today is DAY FIVE of the K Andrew Stamp Art Stamp Set RELEASE PREVIEW!!  Yee-Haw!!  It's FINALLY here!!  If you're just joining in this week, let me tell ya what that means...

TONIGHT -- FRIDAY, June 17th -- is the wonderful, excellent, fabulous, magnificent, fantastic, extraordinary, outstanding, terrific, really GREAT "Getting Cricky with it" Blog Hop!!!  :)  In just a few short hours (6pm PST), Kristal will kick things off with the Getting Cricky Ustream Event!!  Then, my WONDERFUL Design Team Sisters will be featuring all of K Andrew's BRAND NEW Stamp Art Stamp Sets!!   There will be Blog CANDY along the way, so you definitely won't want to miss this event!! :)

Now for Day 5's PREVIEW: a card featuring Getting Cricky's K Andrew's "Freedom Isn't Free" Stamp Set!! :)
This card is a variation of the card that I made for this week's Simply Sunday Challenge at Getting Cricky (btw, you still have more than a day to enter the 'Anything Goes' challenge over there!!).  I wanted to show you how you could use the same image and the same sentiment, but still have a different looking card -- A few size changes, slight color variations, adding a ribbon...  and ya have a very different looking card!!  I used the same Cricut image (from the Inspired Heart Cricut Lite Cartridge) cut at 3" (instead of 5").  I also used the same Sizzix/Stampin' Up! embossing folder (on red instead of navy cardstock), then added some embossing to the oval behind the image (Swiss Dots Cuttlebug embossing folder), Offray brand ribbon, and caramel ink for distressing.  Here's the original card...
Isn't it fun to see how a few small changes can make such a difference??  

This card will again be added to the ones I am sending to Operation Write Home.  In addition to sending handmade greeting cards for those serving with our nation's Armed Forces to write home to loved ones, OWH also likes to include something called "Hero Mail"...  These can be cards, notes, coloring pages from children -- Anything that thanks or encourages those stationed overseas...  I am tremendously grateful for those willing to serve so that I might enjoy everyday freedoms, so I'm also thankful that Kristal created a stamp set that makes it so easy for me to make these cards!!  If you would like more information on "Hero Mail" or would like to send some yourself, you can find more information by clicking HERE...

I really love the versatility of Kristal's stamps and how they are sized perfectly for cards!!  If you haven't had a chance to check out all of her stamps yet, I hope you'll visit THIS LINK to see them all!!
Well, that's it for now!!  Be sure to stop back this evening for the Ustream event and Blog Hop!!  I can't wait to see you there!! :)

***SECRET TIP (please don't share this with anyone except all of your friends or anyone who might want to WIN one of K Andrew's fabulous stamp sets!! hee hee) --  I will be offering BONUS chances to win a K Andrew Stamp Art stamp set of your choice for comments left on each of my Blog Hop Preview Post from this week!!  You can get a head start by leaving a comment on the following posts:


Tonight is the "Getting Cricky with It" Blog Hop, and to kick this hop off, we are having a USTREAM at Kristal's Channel: Getting Cricky.  Ustream starts at 6pm(PST), 7pm(MST), 8pm(CST), and 9pm(EST). See you there and then back here for our blog hop!  Click on the Ustream button below and "Join the Crowd"!!

Until next time,

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Getting Cricky Blog Hop/K Andrew Stamp Sets Preview Day FOUR -- Red White & Blue Card!! :)

TA-DA!! :)  It's DAY FOUR of the K Andrew Stamp Art Stamp Set RELEASE PREVIEW!!  Yep, it REALLY is!!  And ya know what THAT means???  (If you aren't sitting down right now, perhaps you want to take a moment to do so -- I don't want anyone passing out from the EXCITEMENT of the next sentence...)

TOMORROW -- Which is FRIDAY, June 17th -- is a day to go down in HISTORY!!  I know it's been the day you've been WAITING for with ANTICIPATION and uncontrollable ELATION (and not just because it's FRIDAY and the end of another work week!)...  That's right...  It's time for the wonderful, excellent, fabulous, magnificent, fantastic, extraordinary, outstanding, terrific, really GREAT Getting Cricky Blog Hop?!?!?  :)  Can you BELIEVE that it's ALMOST time?!?  At 5pm (PST)/ 8pm (EST),  my WONDERFUL Design Team Sisters will be featuring all of K Andrew's BRAND NEW Stamp Art Stamp Sets -- PLUS you'll be among the FIRST to see two more NEW RELEASES during the Getting Cricky Ustream Event at 6pm(PST)/9pm(EST)!!  All the really cool people will be attending, so you (as one of my 'cool' friends) should definitely be there too!!  :)

Now on to today's card featuring Getting Cricky's K Andrew's "Freedom Isn't Free" Stamp Set!! :)
Another super-quick card to make -- this one features my favorite sentiment -- "God bless the USA" from the "Freedom Isn't Free" K Andrews Stamp Art Set, paper from the We R Memory Keepers "Old Glory" stack, SU! Scallop Trim border punch, CM corner punch, ivory #10 thread, caramel distressing ink, and my Tim Holtz tiny attacher...   :)
4th of July is a FUN holiday in my family...  Each year, we plan a trip to an Arts & Crafts Festival near where my parents live.  We've attended the festival for as long as I can remember...  The festival continues to expand every year, so part of the 'fun' of the day is riding the shuttle bus from a local college to the festival grounds.  The trip takes about 20 or 30 minutes, and I'm always amazed that the driver can maneuver his/her way through the long lines of cars that park up and down the windy back roads leading to the festival.  For some, the hot, bumpy ride isn't that much to look forward to, but sometimes it's the ride that makes you appreciate being able to get OFF the bus and enjoy the walk!! LOL...  Isn't life like that sometimes too?  It's easy to complain about the situations that we sometimes find ourselves in -- We can focus on how something isn't fair or someone else has something better or bigger than we do...  What if we looked at the situation like that bus ride?  What if we just endured the tough parts of life knowing that, before long, the situation would pass and we would be able to step OFF and enjoy?  It's not always easy,  but isn't it true that the struggles and difficulties we face allow us to appreciate the good times even more?   Yup, I always enjoy our 4th of July family tradition...  And I'm learning that even that hot, bumpy bus ride can can not only be endured, but enjoyed as well. :) 
I sure hope you enjoyed my card today -- To see more creative previews of K Andrew's Stamp Art Stamp Sets, please visit Getting Cricky (HERE)... Remember, I'll be posting another card made with this FANTASTIC "Freedom Isn't Free" stamp set tomorrow morning and THEN I'll have a BRAND new project for the Blog Hop tomorrow at 5pm(PST)/8pm(EST)!! I'd love for you to stop on back to see everything!! :)

***SECRET TIP (please don't share this with anyone except all of your friends or anyone who might want to WIN one of K Andrew's fabulous stamp sets!!):  I will be offering BONUS chances to win a K Andrew Stamp Art stamp set of your choice for comments left on each of my Blog Hop Preview Post from this week!!  You can get a head start by leaving a comment on the following posts:

Getting Cricky Blog Hop

Until next time,
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