Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Blog Hoppin' with the Bombshells

Today I am blog hopping with the Bombshells. Our very clever Blog Hop Captain, Kasmello, issued the following challenge:
Pretty In Pink – use pink, pastel, or spring inspired projects.
Doesn’t sound like your “cup of tea” How about an 80’s inspired project…
A lot of different ways that this can be taken…it’s up to you to do your magic.

I love the movie "Pretty in Pink" because I am a product of the 80's, however, for this challenge, I opted to go for color instead. I am not into pink, so why I decided to go this route, I have no earthly idea. This card started out as something else entirely. At 11:00pm I had colored up a Sugar Skull and was trying to situate him on the card, but I just wasn't feeling it. I sat and fiddled with that sugar skull image a good 45 minutes, before throwing in the proverbial ink covered towel. I just knew there had to be something else that would make this card work. After a little shuffling through my Bombshell Stamps I happened upon this image in the Till Death set. I have always loved this image and knew right away that this was the right one for this project. I forgot to mention that I had already securely mounted my sugar skull on my card with foam tape. I didn't want to start over, after all, I really liked the papers and layout so why not remove the sugar skull and go from there? I'll tell you why...! Because foam tape is a mother to get off! I spent an hour using my finger nail and a craft knife to scrape that foamy gunk off without sacrificing the entire card! ARGHHH!! BUT...with a little patience and the the stubbornness of a jackass, I managed to get it done. It is 2:45am at my end of the keyboard and my eyelids are starting to get really heavy. I guess I better finish this post before I nod off and end up with a keyboard permanently stuck to my forehead. Completely embarrassing when you go to Hobby Lobby or Michael's...hahaha!

Before I go, don't forget to visit all of the cool blogs in the hop. There are lots of fab projects to see and if you leave a comment on the different blogs, you'll increase your chances of randomly being selected for an awesome prize package. Bombshell Stamps has lots of different challenges throughout the month, so if you're interested in checking them out, visit the forum for all the deets.

Caio, baby! I've got a date with the sandman and he is looking mighty handsome right about now ;D

Cheryl Hey, that's me!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Charlotte is back...!

Charlotte has returned proudly wielding her poor tortured baby dolls. I get a kick out of this image by Annie Rodrigue for Kraftin' Kimmie Stamps every time I start to color her. She is my favorite (so far) from the Moonlight Whispers line. Today I tried to go a bit monochromatic on the background papers, only adding pops of color with Charlotte and the red gemstones. I found some black spider brads that I had purchased last year and decided to add a red gem to give one a Black Widow feel. You know what my favorite part of this image is? It's Charlotte's hair. Look at all those crazy corkscrew curls! Aren't they fun! Today I made her a brunette. I'm still learning how to color blonde and redhead colors for hair using the Copics, but I am really digging the brunette. I used E49 (dark bark), E37 (sepia), and E31 (brick beige). I like this combo so much that everyone might just be a brunette going forward...!

That's it for today. Hope your week kicks off with good things hiding around every corner!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A little pick me up...

Good afternoon, Blog Friends. I don't know about you, but when I am feeling happy, I like to celebrate by treating myself to a little somethin' special. On the other hand, when I am feeling low, I like to indulge my self pity with a little pick me up. Either way, it all boils down to going shopping. This past week was quite a challenge for me and needless to say, I was feeling lower than low, so when I got a call from Nancy at China Phoenix 2, telling me that the new Tim Holtz Alterations Dies were in, I figured, why the heck not. So, I headed to the store for a bit of consumer therapy and some much needed artistic comraderie. While there, visiting with all of the talented and super nice folks that hang out there, I managed to snag 3 of the new TH dies. At the time, I wasn't even sure they would work in my CuttleBug, but one of the CP2 regulars assured me they would, so I took my chances.

Yesterday I played and it felt great. I managed to figure out how to run the dies through the CuttleBug and even whipped up a quick 10-minute card in the process, which you see in the above pictures. If you're interested, here's the "sandwich recipe" for using these dies in the CB:

Starting from the bottom and going up.

1. "B" plate
2. Cardstock
3. Die (face down)
4. "B" plate

Run this sandwich through your CuttleBug like you normally would and, voila, you have beautiful TH die cuts.

I'm going to share another quick story with you before I log off. As you know, I was devastated over the death of my dear feline companion, Hunter on Wednesday. I was wracked with grief and I felt physically ill on and off most of the day. That afternoon was when Nancy called to tell me about the new TH dies. I thought it would be good for me to get of out of the house the next day, because it just seemed very empty without Hunter's personality to fill it up. I have two other cats, Max and Charlie, whom I love to pieces, but they are exceptionally adept at sleeping most of the day, only perking up to eat and poop. I really need to review their "kitty contracts" and see if they are living up to their feline obligations ;D They have taken the term "lazy fat cats" to a whole new level.

Anyway, back to my story...I used to call Hunter my little "monkey", because even at the grand ol' age of 19 he was still jumping up on things and getting into all sorts of mischief. His favorite day of the week was "grocery day" because he loved to take inventory of my purchases and assist in seeing that everything was put away properly by checking bags, cabinets, countertops, etc. Because of antics such as this, he earned the nickname "monkey" and I constantly referred to him that way. So, Thursday I packed up a few things to work on while I was at the store and with my hands full, headed out to the driveway to get in my truck. I glanced down and on the cement right where I'm standing by the driver's side door I see something laying on the ground. I opened the truck door and unloaded my stuff, then I bent down to pick up this tiny item that caught my eye, only to find a little plastic monkey. It was about 2 inches tall and appeared to be new. It didn't look like it had been played with and didn't look like it had been laying around outside for a few days. There was no other debris in our yard. Just that teeny tiny monkey laying in my driveway by the driver's side door of my truck, as if it was waiting for me to find it. I know maybe I read too much into things of this nature, but it made me smile and that felt good. And truth be told, I feel like maybe Hunter was trying to comfort me by telling me that "my little monkey" was fine.

There you go. A card and a ghost story, what other blog gives you that ;)

Friday, April 23, 2010

"Thank You" & a new card...

Good morning, blog friends. I want to say a heartfelt "thank you" to everyone that offered comments or even visited my blog the day I announced the loss of my furry companion, Hunter. It was very therapeutic for me to share Hunter's history with you and it was extremely comforting to know that many of you understood what I was going through. In Blogland, we sometimes put information out there not knowing what type of response it might receive, so it warmed my heart to know that I have so many friends willing to reach across the miles and share a "cyber" hug and a few heartwarming words of understanding and sincerity. I am truly grateful.

I have not posted a card in over a week and that was certainly not helping the situation, so yesterday I decided to sit down and create a little something. I had colored up this image a while back, so I was able to put it together rather quickly by just making a few paper and embellishment selections. This is Lillith and she is one of the mischievous images by Annie Rodrigue available at Kraftin' Kimmie Stamps. She makes me smile when I look at her and right now, that's just awesome :)

Take care and have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rest in Peace, my little friend...

I have not laid ink to paper in about week. This in and of itself makes me very sad. But the reason I have been away from my work table is heartbreaking. You see, last Wednesday evening, my little old man kitty, Hunter, had a nosebleed. At first, I thought he had scratched his nose against something sharp, so I looked him over very carefully, much to his dismay. I could not find a scratch, but it did not appear that the blood was coming from the inside of his nose. There was not a lot of blood, so it was easy to dismiss it as a result of kitty mischief. He was in good spirits and went on about his normal feline antics. The next night, he had another nosebleed. Now I was greatly concerned.

A trip to the vet the next morning turned all my fears into a reality. An x-ray showed that Hunter had a tumor the size of the tip of my thumb in his nasal passage. Anyone with cats knows that their nasal passages are not very big, so this was very serious. Surgery was not an option and radiation on a 19 year old cat is usually not successful, so we brought Hunter home, made him comfortable, loved on him, and waited. It was the longest 4 days of my life and felt like an eternity. He had a reasonably good weekend, all things considered. Monday was a very good day, as he still had energy to jump into my lap for a love-fest, and nuzzle my hand for pets and scratches. His little nose continued to bleed off and on, but he did not seem to be in any pain. Tuesday afternoon, things changed for the worse. He was not responsive when I spoke his name. A scratch on the head elicited no response. It was his way of telling me, it was time. He was tired and ready to move on. My sister made the sad trek to the vet with me this morning and he laid in my lap while Dr. Walker took him on the next steps of his journey. It felt as if my sister and I would flood that little room with our sobs and our tears.

Today my heart is broken into a million tiny pieces. Hunter gave me so much joy during his life and I am very lucky that he chose me to share his years with. You see, 18 years ago I had gone to the animal shelter in search of my siamese kitty who had disappeared. I was distraught over losing her. As I walked through the cages of adoptables, a furry paw reached out of one of the cages and touched my shoulder. It was Hunter. I had not gone into the shelter that day planning on taking anyone home except for Chelsea, if she happened to be there; however, one look into those big gold/green eyes and I had to hold him. When I picked him up, he clung to me like a child and I knew I could not leave him there. We had somehow connected in just that instance. The tag on his cage estimated his age was between 1-3 years old. From that day forward, he filled my days with his lively personality, his obviously regal good looks, and knowing glances that silently said "silly human, what are you up to now"? Hunter gave me 18 years of heartfelt joy and unconditional love, and I cannot ask for more than that.

In closing, let me share with you a Hopi prayer that I happen to have on a rubber stamp, that makes me think of my feline friend:

Do not stand
by my grave and weep.
I am not there.
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints
of snow.
I am the sunlight
on ripened grain.
I am the gentle Autumn's rain.

When you awaken
in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet
birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars
that shine in the night.
Do not stand
by my grave and weep.
I am not there.
I do not sleep.

Rest in peace, my little friend. I will keep you in my heart forever.

Monday, April 19, 2010

St. James Tea Room, Albuquerque, NM

The past few years, my sister and I treat each other either to fondue at the Melting Pot or afternoon tea at St. James Tea Room on our birthdays. This year when my "40 something" or other (mumble, mumble) birthday rolled around, I opted for tea.

Previously, the tea room had been an elegant surprise hidden in a very non-descript strip mall type of location, however, for the past several months, new construction and renovation of some old construction, were paving the way for it to move into a new location. Is it possible to improve upon perfection? Absolutely!

Upon entering the new spot for the first time, I was welcomed by the sight of a bakery case holding St. James signature scones and a small selection of other equally delicious looking delicacies. The opposite wall showcased a vast assortment of loose teas. Just past the entrance, additional cozy rooms held treasures available for purchase consisting of lovely cards, books, and assorted tea themed accessories. Another wall featured fine tea pots, and cups and saucers proudly showing off their intricate designs and delicate patterns.

When it was time to be seated, we were led down a hall consisting of beautiful arched doorways, each one made private with the elegant drape of a brocade curtain. This area was referred to as "The Nooks" and is designed to accommodate smaller parties. A peek inside each intimate alcove revealed a seating area finely decorated in lovely antiques, exquisite wallpapers, and lavish chandeliers, each room finished off with a perfect dash of European charm. Another area referred to as "The Library" is designed to comfortably accommodate larger parties.

Once we were seated, we were promptly greeted by Heather, our knowledgeable tea hostess for the afternoon. She explained in detail the nuances of our teas as she brought out each new steaming pot. She also reviewed our delicious assortment of savories, sandwiches, scones, and sweets with us, describing the ingredients and preparations for each tasty treat on the menu for the day. And with that, we were left to chat, enjoy our tea, and savor the delicacies that each carefully crafted tray held for us.

Once we had finished our last pot of tea, Heather appeared once more with lavender scented cloths. Another example of the painstaking attention to detail that has been considered for the orchestration of a perfect afternoon at the St. James Tea Room. Certainly a setting worthy of special occasions and everyday celebrations, alike. If you live in or around Albuquerque and have not experienced this treasure hidden in the Southwest, I highly encourage you to do so. If you come for a visit from out of town, don't put this destination on your "to do" list, instead put it on your "do not miss" list, and I promise, you'll not be disappointed.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Baby Got Back Challenge: Take 2

Good morning, everyone! I had planned to post this card yesterday, but Life got in the way. Dang it! I hate it when Life interrupts my creative!! Never-the-less, I'm posting it today ;D

This is Take 2 for the Baby Got Back Challenge that I issued over at the Bombshell Stamps Forum. I'm April's guest designer and this means that I was allowed to create a challenge for the month. My challenge was to chuck the patterned papers and create backgrounds using the complimentary images included in the awesome Bombshell stamp sets. This sounds easy to you...? Well, not to me! I love my patterned papers and this was like asking me to give away the 19 year old cat that has inhabited my heart and home for almost as many years! Ok, maybe that's a bit extreme, but for the sake of illustration, you know what I mean. Yes, I'm aware that I could have settled for something easier for me to accomplish, but what would be the fun in that? Besides, we all like to whine now and then, me included...heehee!

For this simple card I used images included in the Bombshell Sacred Heart stamp set. I colored the heart with Copics and then triple embossed the thorny vine using my trusty Versamarker pen and clear embossing powder. I could have opted for dimensional glaze to do this, but it would have been a tad bit shiny for my needs. I sponged Distress Inks on the background panels and used red bling on the flowers and above the flames. In hindsight, I may have been a little heavy-handed with the bling. Upon closer inspection, it appears that the Bling Fairy went out on the town last night, downed a few too many Cosmopolitans, then spewed bling all over my card. Tsk, tsk, Bling Fairy. Oh well, it is, what it is ;D

Have a great day!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

2 Blog Awards!

Hello, all! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend;D

No card today, but I have exciting news, exciting to me anyway, I have received 2 blog awards from a couple of my paper crafting buddies out in Blogland. I am relatively new to this blogging thing so getting an award from a fellow blogger is truly an honor and makes me feel "little kid" happy ;D

The first award is from Judy, a very sweet and talented blogger. Visit her blog here and leave her a comment, or two, or ten ;D Thank you, Judy, for thinking of me. It is truly appreciated ;D Now I get to turn around and bestow this award to 12 more bloggers. I would love to give each of you an award, because I know how dedicated you have to be to maintain a blog and, frankly, all of you inspire me with your fabulous projects and write ups! Blog hopping each morning is truly a hight point for me each day ;D

1. Riet
2. Lin
3. Nicole
4. Kathy
5. Lizziski
6. Gabby
7. Susi
8. Donna
9. Stephanie
10. Cat
11. Tara
12. Soliel

The second is from uber-talented, Gabby! She is amazing and her work is over-the-top gorgeous, so swing by her blog here and check it out! Thanks, Gabby, you're a doll ;D This time I get to share this award with 10 other bloggers. It makes me happy to share the love!

1. Alyssa
2. Britten
3. Nancy
4. Barb
5. Judy
6. Mary
7. Rosi
8. Stempelientje
9. Kas
10. Kathi

I'll be back tomorrow with a card. I am thinking it needs to be another bombshell, we'll see ;D

Friday, April 9, 2010


Hello, all! Back again today with another card in the Alice in Wonderland theme. Today's card focuses on our young heroine and when I put this card together, my goal was to make it almost completely opposite of yesterday's card featuring the Queen of Hearts. The differences may not be entirely obvious aside from the fact that it looks different than the other card, but, believe it or not, I had a whole thought process going when I made it.

The card featuring our horrible villianess, The Red Queen, consisted of lots of layers of heavy rich papers, colors, and textures intended to identify her thirst for power and decadence. Even the lovely black ribbon down the side was stiff and contained tiny uniform tucks that made it appear very formal. The flowers did not vary in shape or size, almost like little floral soldiers performing their adornment duty. And, the Queen appears on the card alone, as if there is no other who deserves to share the spotlight with her.

Today's card, which features Alice, is purposefully lighter and softer in palette. I tried to keep the components airier and even ever so slightly placed the image of Alice against the sky background that almost makes it appear as if she is floating. She shares her paper stage with two birds demonstrating Alice's relationship with nature. There is minimal use of patterned paper and what little there is hopefully compliments the stamped image and does not compete with it or overwhelm it. Even the bit of lace across the middle is open and just a tad whimsical.

My goal with these two cards? To demonstrate the juxtaposition between good and bad, light and dark, and innocence and evil. I'm not sure if I achieved that, but I certainly had fun trying and it felt very satisfying creating with purpose. Usually I just shoot for something "purty", but this forced me to intellectually invest myself in the project. And sometimes, that's a good thing. I'll probably be back next week with something "purty". Don't want to hurt myself by "thinking" too much ;D

The Queen of Hearts

Good Morning! You may recall, a couple of weeks ago I shared a picture of some new Alice in Wonderland stamps that I purchased from CP2. The stamps are by Mad Rat Rubber Stamps and they are of the original Alice in Wonderland illustrations. I've seen lots of artist interpretations of the famous tale, but none speak to me like the originals. I guess it's the magic of nostalgia, because I remember seeing these images in a compendium book of famous children's stories I had as a little girl. I need to ask mom about that book, because I would love to peruse is wondrous pages again. I did, however, recently pick up a beautifully illustrated version of Alice based on my current, slightly off-kilter tastes in art. As soon as I walked into the bookstore and sauntered over to the huge table holding the numerous volumes of this timeless children's classic, I was immediately drawn to the book where Camille Rose Garcia's haunting illustrations resided. They are, in a word...FABULOUS! Needless to say, this book had to come home with me. Take a peek inside the pages in this video where the artist talks about creating the art for this project.

HOWEVER, I digress...the image that I used for today's card is directly culled from the pages of the original illustrations and features the magnificent Queen of Hearts. I wanted this card to be dark and rich in color...lots of reds, blacks, and a touch of gold, because naturally she is quite decadent. I used various pattern papers to try to achieve the opulence of the Red Queen. I colored her image with Copics, again, focusing on reds and golds. Believe it or not, I only used about 9 colors on her including the skin tones. I think I can use some work on achieving the appearance of gold with the Copics. Guess I need to research that. Dontcha love the Internet! A wealth of information at a moments notice right at your fingertips ;D I added some sparkle with a Gold Spica Glitter Pen, and a few flowers and gems, but I want to point out the fabulous ribbon. I picked up this ribbon at Hobby Lobby and it has the tucks sewn right in. It is fantastic and I wish my pictures were better so you can see it more clearly. I picked it up black and brown, but if they had more colors, I would have bought them all!

I haven't finished the inside of this card, but I have a stamp that has the "The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts..." verse on it, so I think I will put that on a tag and stick it in a pocket inside. Tomorrow I will share another Alice themed card with you, so swing back by for a looksie. Have a great Friday ;D

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bombshell "Baby Got Back" Challenge

Good morning! Yesterday I I announced the April Challenge for Bombshell Stamps here on my blog and I promised that I'd be back today with a card. I bet you thought I wouldn't come through....hee, hee...and it certainly wouldn't be the first time I dropped the ball on my blog ;D HOWEVER, I buckled down yesterday evening, and as much as I wanted to reach for one of the thousands of sheets of delectable patterned paper that I have hoarded over the years, I didn't...! I even had insane conversations with myself that went something like this..."maybe just a little tiny piece, nobody will ever notice it", "NO! I can't...I must be good!" , "awe, come on, just tear a little corner off this scrumptious piece of Basic Gray or a little sliver from this piece of glittery My Mind's Eye", "NOOOOO!!! I can't!!! I must adhere to my own challenge guidelines!!!", "okay, don't have to scream at rude!". But, before you label me as completely certifiable, the voices subsided and I was able to make this card ;D

I used images from the Bombshell Stamps Rise and Shine set, which I have been wanting for a looooong time. It arrived in the mail a couple of weeks ago and I literally jumped for joy when I opened it! I love this beautiful bombshell reclining in the hammock waiting for the sun to come up...wish I looked that good in the! I colored the image with my Copics and popped the image of the bombshell and the "Rise and Shine" banner. I also cut out one more image of the bombshell's crossed leg and popped it as well, to make it appear that her legs were actually crossed. I sponged a white panel with Dried Marigold Distress Ink and then stamped the tiny solid flower in the same ink randomly on top. The flower is also included in the Rise and Shine set. All of the sets come with a fabulous main image and then several complimentary images that work perfectly together. I'm really happy with how this card came together and I think I may even try another card sans patterned paper next week ;D

If you want to play along with this month's challenge, see my previous post for details. There are lots of other challenges going on at Bombshell Stamps also, so visit the Casino Forum and get in on the fun. The more challenges you enter, you increase your chances of winning a fabbie prize package! So what are you waiting for!!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

I'm the April Pin Up for Bombshell Stamps!

Good Morning! As you may recall, in March I announced that I was selected as the guest designer for Bombshell Stamps for the month of April. Well, guess what! It's April!! And I have officially begun my term as this month's pin up ;D You might ask, "...but Cheryl, what does that mean?" It means that for the month of April, I get to play with the Bombshell Design Team to create some fun Bombshell projects and I also get to play hostess for the April Challenge. Here's what I came up with:

This month's challenge is called "Baby Got Back" and I am not referring to the Sir Mix-A-Lot song...LOL! Instead, I'm referring to handmade "back"grounds!

I decided to pick a challenge that would be difficult for me (guess that's why they call it a "challenge"...heehee), so for the month of April I am going to forego the use of patterned scrapbooking papers in my Bombshell projects and "challenge" you to do the same. Anyone that takes even a quick peek at my cards will see this is going to test my limits of sanity as I have a crazy addiction for those scrumptious, glitzy, gorgeous, preprinted papers...oh sheesh, am I drooling?! BUT, instead of succumbing, I'm going to make my own using bombshell images! Each Bombshell stamp set comes with a number of complimentary images that tie perfectly to the main image. These accessory stamps are perfect for creating backgrounds!

This challenge is open to everybody! Here are the details:

The creation can be a card, layout or altered item, but must:

1. use a Bombshell Stamp somewhere
2. incorporate a handmade background using bombshell stamps (no preprinted patterned papers)
3. post a photo of your creation in the Bombshell Forum under this thread.

I'll be back tomorrow with a sample. As mentioned previously, the challenge is open to everyone, so get those Bombshell images inky and let's see what we can come up with!

Before I close this post, I want to give a shout out to the wonderfully talented Bombshell Design Team. Swing by their blogs and show them some love ;D

Kathi Rerek - DT Captain
Nicole Maki - DT Publisher
Glittery Katie - Technique Expert
Terra Serrano - Clothing Design
Kas Mello - Blog Hop Captain
Mary Giffiths - Bombshell Girl
Stephanie Jones - Bombshell Girl
Erika Taylor - Bombshell Girl

And while you're out and about in Blog Land, stop by and say "hello" to the monthly Pin Ups. Another group of awesomely talented gals:

Patricia Stigsell - Ms. March
Cheryl Valadez - Ms. April (hey! that's me!)
Katja Andersson - Ms. May
Kelli Green - Ms. June
Alison Heikkila - Ms. July
Rose Manchester - Ms. August

See you tomorrow with a Bombshell card ;D

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Good Evening! I promised to post the third card in my Dudes With Tude class that I will be teaching at CP2 next Saturday and as you can tell from the time...I almost forgot :( I do have a fairly good excuse, though. Hubby took me out for a delicious dinner at the Melting Pot to celebrate my birthday, which was last week. Let me just say that I am happily full to the brim with delicious cheese, indulgent meats, and decadent chocolate. We consumed enough fondue to keep a hibernating bear quite sated for the long winter months...LOL! I hope I can stay awake long enough to finish this post ;D

This last card features an awesome image by, you guessed it, Stampotique. This door is just crazy versatile and I can see a variety of surprises hiding on the other side for various card projects. Imagine what fun it will be to place witches and gobblins and creatures (oh my!) on the other side of it to celebrate Halloween. The possibilities are endless! I have to apologize because I don't know the name of the nefariously sinister fellow I used this time and I am feeling too lazy and bloated to look it up, but I can tell you that he is also by Stampotique, as is the sentiment. I feel like the word "sentiment" is not quite an accurate word to describe the word stamps I have been using lately. They are funny and sarcastic and a bit on the dark side, so I have started to refer to them as "resent-iments"...hahaha...what do you think? I like it and it's so much more descriptive!

This last card is more interactive than what I usually make. The door opens to reveal our impish friend and a tag pulls out from behind the main image to display the "resent-iment" (heehee, makes me smile) ;D

That's it for now, but I will be back on Monday with another post. Until then, have a wonderful Easter, and make time to create some art :)