Category Archives: Uncategorized

one more time with feeling….

I just got an email that Scrapbook News and Reviews will publish another one of my card designs in this month’s issue. This came at just the right time.  Work has been especially challenging and I needed a creative validation.

Please go to their site and see what they chose.

I guess I should get more designs up here, too, while I’m thinking about it.  First, I need to make the actual cards so I know the designs cut well.

Some things come at just the right time.

brotherly love

Today is my brother’s birthday. So, of course, I had to make him a card but I didn’t’ mail it yet.  (Work does tend to get in the way of life sometimes…)

Anyway, here it is:

Not enough candles, but who's counting?

I sent the photo by email with a note that said “hard copy to follow.” Please don’t laugh.  At least I remembered his birthday.

The front panel is 4 1/2 inches square and designed to take 1/4″ wide ribbon for the candles and the flames. The card stock is from American Crafts (silver and black textured foil) and Colorbok (royal blue mirror card stock.) The ribbon is from Michaels and the pink metal stud is from Joann’s.

Want to join the celebration? Please  CLICK HERE to get the birthday and candles panel. The file contains the panel as well as the extra “y’ so you can cut that piece in a different color.

time to say thank you

Each day, I find a new reason to be thankful for the volunteers of the organization that I administer.  The past two weeks were filled with constant work on a huge grant proposal.  I would never have made it without two special members of our Board who created budgets and cut through red tape so I could concentrate on writing the proposal.  I was thinking about them when I designed this card.

The card has two recycled elements: the green and khaki mats are pieces of shopping bags from Eddie Bauer and Nordstrom.  I cut the bags up and ran pieces through a crimper to get the texture I wanted. The gold mat is from Wausau and the pale yellow mat is from DCWV.  The result is a different color palette for me, but I really like it.

I created the captioned panel as my take on subway art and printed it on my Epson 1400 printer.  I used tiny foam squares to pop the panel off the main card and add more depth to the design.

OTHER SUPPLIES: Scor-Tape, Staples 110lb cream card stock

TOOLS: paper cutter

The best part about designing cards is the ability to make people feel appreciated in such a personal way.  So there, Hallmark.

purple passion

Purple is my favorite color.  There is something within me that just melts at the different shades of this color.  Whenever I buy paper pads, one of the requirements is that the purple shades be ones I would love to use in my designs.

I also love metal, sparkly finishes and stacking different textures.  This card combines all of those things.

Please visit the SNR Magazine site to see the card!

I used my newest Spellbinders Nestabilities (large squares and circles) to make this card.  I used foam dots and squares to lift the shapes at each level and add depth.

The card seems to have a bit of an Asian look to it.

I wonder what special person I should give this to?  Someone passionate.

not a Valentine

I finally started using my Nestabilities – they are SO much fun!!!

Here’s a masculine type of card that you might send to your local hero:

MATERIALS: Staples 110lb white card stock (base), Majestic Blue Wausau Royal Metallic card stock, silver American Crafts glitter card stock, white recycled card stock (Thanks, USPS!), red American Crafts Specialty Foil card stock, Scor-Tape, Pop Dots under all three stars to create texture and interest, wide red ribbon from Michael’s 2009 Holiday selection.

TOOLS: Sizzix Big Shot, Spellbinders Stars Nestabilities

HINT: If you buy four sets of Nestabilities at Amazon.com, you’ll only pay for three with their “4 for 3” special offer.  Their price on each set is also lower than the regular price at a lot of online vendors.  (If you have Amazon Prime, it’s a real bargain because you get 2-day shipping at no extra charge.)

Who’s your hero?

hearts entwined (SCAL 2)

I was reading a book about card making last night and saw a design that I loved.  Of course, there was no pattern or cutting file, just the idea.  So I thought, time to use my imagination and my Cricut. In order to do that, I first had to make use of SCAL 2.

I have to admit that I never really loved Inkscape.  The whole thing about creating files on that software seemed clunky and too complicated.  SCAL 2 has many of the same capabilities and is SO much easier to use.

I expanded upon the idea and created a panel of hearts within circles.  Hearts and circles have always fascinated me, mostly because of their geometric properties.  The combination proved irresistible.  Here is what I came up with.

I’ve grouped the elements in the file so it will cut as one piece.  You can size it as you like, but I wouldn’t suggest cutting it much smaller than 4 inches square.

In order to be successful with this project, you should have a sharp blade and a sticky mat.  When you cut this, please be very careful when removing it from your cutting mat.  Some of the parts of this design are very narrow.

I’ve also included a mat that fits the piece just right, and you can adhere the panel to it and create a lovely card decoration.  Here it is:

Since Valentine’s Day is getting close, I wanted to post this for you as soon as I did the test cuts.  Soon, I’ll show you what I do with these files.  In the meantime, please help yourself to the files by clicking on the link below:

http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?i90yqv17brjw6c9

I hope you enjoy this!  As always, please leave a comment so I know you’ve stopped by to visit :).

it’s the holiday season

I finally got to sit down and design most of my Christmas and other holiday cards last week.

Because I am a singer as well as the executive director of a large chorus, the weeks before Christmas are usually filled with non-stop rehearsals and performances.  The only change this year was that I did not do any television shows.  I missed that a bit, but had plenty of other activities to occupy my mind and voice.  I was part of a small group that sang four National Symphony Orchestra pops concerts with Marvin Hamlisch.  For those who may not be familiar with his work, he wrote the famous musical A CHORUS LINE.  I have been privileged to know Maestro Hamlisch for several years and savored another wonderful experience watching a master showman put together a concert that appealed to all ages.  At the same time, I produced The City Choir of Washington’s annual Music for Christmas concert, a heartwarming program of Christmas music that ranged from classical to jazz to a little gospel thrown in for good measure.  We were fortunate enough to have as our musical partners a superb group of high school singers who literally stole the show with their stunning artistry.  Our December performances ended with The City Singers performing for an audience of guests at the Willard Hotel on December 23.  There’s nothing like hearing Christmas music when you’re away from home for the holidays, and our listeners expressed their joy with enthusiastic applause.

And now to my personal reward of the season: late night crafting.  Here are some of my favorite designs from this year.

I’ve had this ribbon (from Michael’s) since last year but hadn’t figured out how to best use it. I was exploring options on SCAL 2 and it suddenly occurred to me to take advantage of the graphic element presented in the ribbon.  I haven’t done much designing in SCAL 2 yet but this was really a fun exercise.

I’ve included a side view below so you can see how I created some depth with this design.

I used Pop Dots to mount the second cutout directly above a duplicate after adhering the first one to the card with the help of my Zyron.

The next card also used a tree motif, but this time it was based on the little squiggly ones in the ribbon I chose. In this case, I used a total of four cutouts (two of each color) and kept adding them on top of each other to build a stack.

I actually started the first card by making a single tree based on the proportions of the trees in the red ribbon, and had cut both red and green versions of the tree and a shadow.  I later used the negative cuts of both of these for this card. Here are the resulting cards.

My second theme this year was jingle bells.  After having sung literally dozens of arrangements over the years (including my own version that the City Singers did last year), it seemed like the right thing to do.  Martha Stewart had just the right punch to make this happen.  Here are some of my card designs that used that punch. For the first of the bell designs, I also used my new QuicKutz Geometric Circles embossing folder (on a soda can.)  I’ve been wanting that folder for weeks and finally gave in to my craving one night on Ebay. (See card below on the right.)

The second card has ribbons of different colored foil with jingle bells mounted with more Pops Dots. (See card on the left)

The last card in this series used a different color palette as well as three different MS punches.  The stars were created with a new type of punch from MS that can be used to punch anywhere on a page – a VERY neat idea.  I also embossed the shiny background with a Cuttlebug Snowflakes folder.  The combination was a bit more embellished than I usually do but it seemed to work. (Below on the right)

My last card on this post was inspired by watching the snow fall very late the other night.  The white glittered card stock made me think of the MS punch that is called “Rose Window.” (Below on the left)

So there they are, finally ready to go in the mail to some people I hold dear.  Designing and creating these cards made me relax and think of all the things I am grateful for this holiday season. Most of all, I am grateful for the wonderful life I have and the love that I can share with so many family and friends throughout the country.

May your stars burn brightly and your joy ring true.  Happy holidays, everyone.

it’s beginning to look alot like Christmas….

As this summer continues on its path to set new records for heat and humidity, my thoughts turn to last winter when it seemed like the snow would never melt.  Before I know it, it will be time to shop for Christmas presents and get those cards in the mail.  In the spirit of trying to be prepared for the holidays, here is my very first Christmas card for 2010.

I can't wait until I see the first snowflake of the season - I love snow!!!

Although these are not exactly traditional Christmas colors, I love them and think they will make someone happy if they get this card in the mail.

All the sentiments are contained in a digital graphic I designed months ago when it felt like winter.  Would you like it?  Please be my guest.  Here is a PDF file to download.

Holiday words card front graphic

In case you’re curious where to get the textured magenta mat I used, it is from the American Crafts Foil Collection.  The silver snowflake was created with my very first Martha Stewart punch, a gift from a crafter friend in Texas.  The 1″ sparkly navy and silver ribbon is from my stash (bought at Michaels last year.)  Just for fun, I added a purple jewel to the snowflake.  Why purple?  I love purple.

This is the type of card that would be very easy to make in multiples.  Once I created the graphic, the rest was easy.

Now, if only buying all the presents for my friends and family was that simple.

love is in the air

I don’t usually design cards this fancy but this one snuck up on me.

I was looking through my stash of metal pieces I had embossed and found a small one that I had mounted on a mat for later.  I discovered that I no longer liked the mat but found a better choice.  Then I kept on adding layers of embossed material until I got this result.  I used the Cuttlebug Heart Blocks folder for the two top layers and on one of the folders from The Cuttlebug Asian set for the silver layer.  The purple and silver papers are from my usual source (Best Occasions Metallic Stack) The white glitter mat is from the DCWV Glitter Stack.

hearts and flowers, the perfect romantic combination

So, what do you think of the result?  I think it would make a lovely wedding card or even a very romantic Valentine.

I hope my husband doesn’t read my blog.

copper creations

Here are a few more cards I have designed lately.  In each case, I started by looking through my scraps and trying to use the leftovers in the best way I could.  The unifying design element in this set is a copper colored card stock from Best Occasions Metallic Paper collection.  This paper is irresistible to me and I use it often.  This group of cards also is a departure from my usual color palette.  There is no pink, no purple, no red whatsoever.  For these designs, I used the colors of my family’s home in Tucson: peach, turquoise, aqua, copper and cream.  Here they are:

Digital stamps are a clever substitute for a drawing.

I made the digital stamp on the first card from a free graphic I found on the Net, and printed it on Staples 110lb cream card stock.  The background paper on this card came from the Sunlit Summer Digital Paper Pack from Gina K Designs.  I embossed the copper mat with Cuttlebug’s Forest Branches folder.

The next card also has a digital stamp from the same of source of Western images as the first card.  It reminded me of an old movie where the hero rides off into the sunset at the end.  The small peach mat is from the DCWV Brights stack and the glittery turquoise mat is from the DCWV Citrus Stack.  The card base is also from the Brights Stack.

This image makes me think of my friend's ranch in Tucson.

The last card has a greenish blue base of Staples 110lb cover stock, a green paper from Canson’s Expressions Papervraft collection, a neutral cream mat from a Best Occasions Metallic Paper pack, and deep turquoise metal accents (Best Occasions.)  Using Inkscape, I altered an svg I found on the Net (Paulo’s?) so it was a bit simpler. The resulting cut reminds me of a Western mandala.  Through trial and error, I am learning how to use that program.  The mandala is the one element of this set that I used my Cricut to create.  Everything else was cut by hand or with the aid of my trusty paper cutter.

The tiny metal buttons really make this card pop.

I think it’s about time to go home for a visit.