Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November Bombshell Blog Hop!

Well, hello my lovelies!  It's the last Wednesday of the month and that means it's time for the monthly Bombshell Blog Hop.  This month our Great and Powerful Empress of the Hop, Alison, has proclaimed November's theme to be a color challenge.  Usually I dread a color challenge, because it can feel a bit restrictive, but this month Alison has selected a rockin' palette that celebrates the colors of Fall.  Take a gander:

Choose a minimum of 3 of the colors and go to town.  These hues are fabulous together and every time I see them I automatically think of Western Gal, which is a digi set available in the shop.  I had some new papers from Authentique that I picked up last month and, lo and behold, they pretty much fall into this palette, as well.  Alison must be a mind reader!    

Okay, that's enough chit have some serious hopping to do today, so hit the list below because each stop is sure to have an awesome creation waiting to be discovered!  Your next stop on the list is Stempelientje's fabulous blog.  If you get lost along the way, head to the Bombshell Blog and it will get you back on track.  Have fun!  

Bombshell Blog:
Mary G.: blog:
<---Hola!  Tis me!
Glittery Katie:
Celina Anthony:
Sparkly Mary (The Birthday Girl!):

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A fun announcement and a new Kraftin' Kimmie Challenge!

It's been a couple of days since the big meal, are you beginning to stir from your turkey and carb induced coma?  Actually, I was lucky enough to celebrate twice by spending Thursday feasting at my mom and dad's house and Friday stuffing myself with my husband's family.  Hmmm, that's one of those sentences that really takes on a different meaning depending on how it's read.  Let me clarify, I don't mean that I ate my husband's family, instead I ate with my husband's family.  Anyway, you know what I mean.  

While the food was delicious at both meals, it was the time spent with family I cherished the most.  A quick glance through the laundry list of blessings that have been bestowed upon me makes me ever so grateful and abundantly humble.  My family, my husband and his family, my friends both in and out of the crafting community, my Blogland buddies, and of course, my furry feline babies, have all helped shape my little corner of this big blue marble.  I am truly thankful for each and every one of you and because of you, my world is a better place.

The "thankful" theme carries over into this week's Kraftin' Kimmie Challenge.  I know that wasn't a very smooth segue, but you'll have to forgive my clunkiness, because my brain is still not quite functioning at full capacity.  

I have been invited to spend the month of December playing along with the ridiculously talented Kraftin' Kimmie Design Team and was able to kick it off a little early by joining this week's challenge, as well.  As implied previously, the theme is "thanks, so thankful, or Thanksgiving" and I chose to work with Mizuki for my card.  Kerry is the hostess for this challenge and if you hit the Kraftin' Kimmie Challenge Blog, you'll see that the design she has used on her card is the image that one lucky random winner will receive if they are selected.  Get out those Kraftin' Kimmie Stamps and join the fun!  Check out all of the Krafty Girls' creations while you are there, because they will undoubtedly "WOW" you.  

Also, Kimmie is running an enormous sale in her shop from now until Monday.  Most of her items are on special except for the newest ones and they are anywhere from 25- 75% off.  I know!  That is just 
KRAZY!  Now is the time to grab those images you have been eyeing for awhile and treat yourself to an early Christmas present.  Go ahead, you deserve it *wink*      

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A New Video Tutorial for Color Me Copic Club!

Hey, everybody!  I'm back today with a video tutorial that I made for the Color Me Copic Club featuring dotty backgrounds with Copics.  Carlene runs the show over at the Color Me Copic Club.  What?!  You don't know what the club is?  Well, let me fill you in...members of the Color Me Copic Club share ideas and projects in a private Facebook forum and they receive 6 Copic marker colors each month specially selected to round out their Copic inventory.  If they already own some of the colors selected, they just contact Carlene and request other colors instead.  Carlene has created a pretty awesome Copic community and all the cool kids hang out there ;D  She also has a fabulous online store chock-full of way cool paper crafting tools and supplies.  Check it out at Pink Scrapper's Boutique.

Today's video features an easy technique that adds an interesting little detail to the backgrounds of stamped and digital images.  Quick little random dots in an array of colors are great ways to showcase an image or provide a bit of fill for a space that might seem too open.  If I had opted to stay a little lighter with my background dots on this project I could have probably added some spots of liquid appliqué or glitter to resemble snow.  Instead, Lilli Claire - Warm Wishes (by Tiddly Inks), dressed in her gray coat and tights looks a tad goth to me so I went with some coordinating dots in gray, as well.  Change up your colors to achieve different results...bright oranges and soft yellows might resemble sunlight...darker blues and violets might lend itself to a nighttime feel.  I've added some compact dots in darker browns under her feet to mirror tiny pebbles or dirt, which I really like, but some bright greens mixed with olives to resemble grass would have been fun, too.  Anything goes ;D

I've included the video at the bottom of this post, so I hope you'll stick around long enough to take a peek.  Again, I had to fast forward through some of the coloring scenes, just because I am a babbler and don't know when to stop talking.  Watching the video, you'd think I was actually holding a conversation with someone.  Hmmm...crazy?  Perhaps!  Ooops...there I go again...LOL!

Before I dash, I wanted to thank the wonderful ladies who joined me Saturday at Harwood United Methodist Church for a small, but fun, Beginning Copic Class.  It was really nice that we were able to gather and play a bit.  I also want to thank Harwood UMC for generously allowing us to use their fellowship hall for our class.  Pastor Cheri was so kind and showed me around their facility including their Abundant Grace Free Store.  It's a humble store that's abuzz with activity as a number of cheerful volunteers accept donated home goods from a steady stream of kind folks, and assist others who may have found themselves in a time of need.  The whole facility was filled with a powerful positive energy.  You could literally feel it in the air.  If you are in or near the Albuquerque area and have some household items that might benefit someone else through a domestic items relocation program, consider Harwood UMC.  They are good people :)  Read more about their free store here.

Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner, literally!  Do you have your bird, yet?  What's on your holiday menu?  Whatever it may be, I hope you enjoy it among the warmth and love of family and friends :)

Copic colors used:
skin - E11, E00, E000, R20
hair - E15, E13, Y21, Y11
reds - R39, R29, R22
grays - C5, C3, C1
white details - BG10, B0000
background dots - C7, C5, C3, C1, C0, B01, BG10, B000
ground dots - E49, E37, E35, E31

Friday, November 18, 2011

A New Challenge at The Octopode: Things with Wings

Hey, all!  I'm back to join Lily's latest challenge at The Octopode Factory.  Do you ever play along with these challenges?  You should, because at the end of the month, Lily throws everyone's name into the hat (so to speak) and draws a random winner to receive a gift certificate for use in her shop

These images are off-the-wall amazing!  The theme this week is Things with Wings and I think I still have a little bit of leftover candy corn coursing through my veins, so I had to go with Halloween again.  I know, it is long gone, but I just can't help myself.  Halloween makes me happy ;D  Today I used Pumpkin Border and the Owls set

Stop by the The Octopode Factory Blog and and see what mischief the DT has been up to.  And don't forget to the join the challenge ;D  

Catch ya' later!    

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Did you miss me?

Hey, all!  I've been out of commission for what seems like forever, but I'm back now.  We had a devastating event shake up our arts and crafts community here in Albuquerque last week (you can read it about it here) and that kept me away from my blog for a few days.  Not only because I wanted to help out, but also because it put me into a funk of sorts and I just didn't feel like making anything. I'm back and I'm itching to make some cards!

Originally I didn't think I was going to have a card made in time for this week's Tiddly Inks challenge, but low and behold, I managed to crank something out.  Of course, I didn't finish it in time to make into the TI post, but I get to join the fun from the sidelines, never-the-less.  

The entire month of November, the theme at the Tiddly Inks challenge blog is, your favorite and mine, Anything Goes.  This time I opted for a bit of romance with this sweet image called, You and Me.  This is the second time I've used this image and I just love it.  It reminds me of Buttercup and Westley from The Princess Bride.  Do movies get any better than that one?  I think not!

Do you see that fancy black die cut framing my plain white circle die cut?  I received that from Pink Scrappers Boutique the other day.  It's my friend, Carlene's, shop.  You should really check it out.  She has such amazing items at really good prices!  AND...the shipping was lightening fast!     

Anyway, while you're out and about tooling around on the Internet, stop by the TI challenge blog and see what my talented teammies are up to this week.  Your sure to be inspired to create something fabulous!

Later, crafty people of Blogland!   

Copics used: 
skin - E11, E01, E00, E000, R20
hair - E13, Y21, Y00, Y000
dress - BG09, BG05, BG02, BG01
skin - E11, E00, E000
hair - E37, E35, E31, E50
jacket - E43, E42, E41, E40
pants - C5, C3, C1
shoes - E37, E35, E31   

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

No Lines Technique

Hey, all!  It's been a few days...five to be exact!  That's right, 5 days without making a card or breaking out the Copics.  In fact, yesterday I even sat down and read a book for awhile.  What was I thinking?  The coloring bug didn't hit me until this morning and then I had to do something, so I decided to jump on the No Lines bandwagon and give it a go.  It was fun, but I must admit, it did take some time to get this image colored up.  Probably twice as long as it would normally take me and I'm no zippy colorer to begin with.

First, I had to select an image.  It couldn't be too detailed or that would be a real bear to color, but it couldn't be too simple either, because that might actually be less forgiving.  I settled on this beautiful image by Krista Smith (Saturated Canary) for Simply Sassy Stamps and it is called Fairy Tale.  Next, I needed to find a fairly light ink that was compatible with Copic Markers.  I've been hoarding stamping supplies for roughly 14 years now, so you would think this would be pretty easy...not so.  My favorite ink is Memento and while I own no less than 6 ink pads in black, the only colored pads I have are Summer Sky, Bamboo Leaves, and Rich Cocoa...none of which would fit the bill for this process.  I finally rummaged around and came up with a Memories Ink pad in Sand.  Not my favorite ink for Copics, but it would have to do.

I started as I normally would, by coloring the face, then the rest of the skin.  This is one of those techniques that you really have to stick with, because it does not look like much until you really commit and get further into the process.  The scary part was drawing all of the details back in, such as the eyes, strands of hair, and the checked pattern on the sleeves and the sash.  PHEW!  There is no worse feeling than getting deep into the process and then blowing it all by giving her a lazy eye...LOL!  Anyway, I survived and I had a good time playing around with this technique.  I'm sure I will break it out again once I forget how long it actually took me to complete this image...ha!

I want to give a shout out to one of my card making buddies who just started a new blog.  Her name is Denise and she tried this technique last week and achieved amazing results with it.  Check out her gorgeous No Lines card here.  Please visit her blog and leave her a little love while you're there.  Heck, why not even sign up as a follower?  Remember how excited you were when you first started your blog and folks started following you?  Yep, it's an awesome feeling!  In fact, to this day, I still get all goose-bumpy ;D

Okay, folks, that's it for now!  I've listed my Copic colors below.  I know it's really random when I decide to list them, but many times I just downright forget to do it.  The ol' noggin just ain't what it used to be ;D Until next time, stay crafty!

Copics used:
skin - YR00, E51, YR000, E50, R20 (cheeks)
eyes - E35, E31, G24, G21, G20
lips - R21
hair - E15, E13, E11, Y21, Y00
dress - R59, R29, R22
lace - R22, R20, C0
black details - C7, C5, C3, C1

I'm entering this card in this week's Saturated Canary Challenge.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A New Challenge at the Octopode: Friends!

Hey, all!  I'm back today with a card featuring images from one of the funkiest companies on the net...The Octopode.  I LOVE these images!  They are so quirky and original, I just can't get enough of them!  I practically begged Lily to let me join the team so I could play along once in a while.  She was kind enough to oblige me ;D   

Today I'm using images from the Alice in Wonderland set.  Aren't they fun?!  What we have here is Lily's re-imagining of the Cheshire Cat, and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.  If you're interested in checking out these images or Lily's other fantastic designs, visit her shop on Etsy HERE.  While you're there, pick up some images and join the fun by creating a "friend" themed card or project.  There's a monthly prize drawing, which means you could win a gift certificate to spend in the shop!   

While you're flittering about Blogland, stop by The Octopode Challenge Blog and see what the DT is up to.  I guarantee, you will be blown away!  

Ok, I best keep it short tonight ;D  Sleep is sneaking up on me.  Until next time, stay crafty!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

El Dia de los Muertos

Today is El Dia de los Muertos and though I haven't created anything new, I went through my cards and decided I would share some Day of the Dead themed projects I have created in years past.  If you're not familiar with this observance I'll give a brief rundown in a nutshell.

November 1st marks the beginning of a 2-day celebration observed by the Mexican people to honor the souls of family and loved ones who have passed away.  November 1st, also known as All Saints Day, honors the memories of the children and November 2nd, otherwise known as All Souls Day, honors the memories of the adults.

Rituals and celebrations include maintenance and cleaning of the grave sites, the creation of altars sharing the dearly departed's favorite food and drink, and gathering of family members to share stories and anecdotes regarding the deceased.  Altars include orange marigolds, sugar skulls, and pan de muerto (bread of the dead), as offerings to entice the souls of the dead back to earth to spend an evening with the living.

Rituals of a similar nature have been observed in Mexican cultures as far back as 2,500 - 3,000 years ago, however, one of the most popular images connected with the holiday appeared much more recently.  In the late 1800's Jose Guadalupe Posada began illustrating what many consider to be early political cartoons regarding the Mexican government and the severe separation of classes between the poverty stricken and the wealthy citizens of Mexico.  He created La Calavera de la Catrina, a wealthy Mexican upper-class female donning a fancy hat decorated with feathers and various finery.  She was depicted as a skeleton implying that no matter how differently we live in life, even if we are afforded every luxury, we all end up dead in the end.  During my forays on the Internet, I have also run across theories, that Posada was also mocking the wealthy Mexican citizens for trying to emulate the decadent lifestyles of rich Europeans.  Posada created a series of these political cartoons and was considered to be a very controversial figure during this period.    

It was only a matter of time before Posada's infamous La Catrina imagery became connected to the rituals of Dia de los Muertos.  Today, La Catrina remains as one of the most popular and recognizable symbols for this intriguing celebration.

My parents never actively participated in El Dia de los Muertos rituals when I was growing up, maybe because we are a culturally blended family, but mostly because I'm sure my father would consider it to be a bunch of nonsense.  Ah, what a stubborn fellow, my dad.  I do, however, remember attending my grandmother's funeral when I was a little girl and being very nervous.  I didn't know what to expect and not having a complete grasp on the concept of "death" at such an early age, I was left to draw my own scary conclusions, as only a child can do.  After a very tasteful and respectful service presided over by my uncle, we attended a reception, and I can't remember if it was at my grandmother's house or perhaps at the church.  What I do remember is that there were a lot of people there...relatives, friends, people in the community who came to pay their respects, and what began as a very somber event quickly turned into a party-like atmosphere.  Folks sat around and reminisced about my grandmother, sharing stories and laughter.  Food was a never-ending buffet of dishes that arrived with each attendee, ensuring that everyone went home filled to the brim with enchiladas, chili, beans, tortillas, etc.  And there were high octane libations, as well...lots of beer and the occasional bottle of tequila.  I have never been to a funeral since then where all the guests were having such a good time, except when my best friend's father passed away.  Again, everyone mourned and cried during the service, but the reception following was joyous and celebratory.  This too was a Mexican funeral.

As I think back on it now, I can't help but liken both services somewhat to El Dia de los Muertos rituals where the message is not as much about the life lost, as it is about the life lived, and I really respect that.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A New Challenge at Tiddly Inks: Anything Goes!

Hi Everybody!  How was your Halloween?  Did you dress up and take the kiddos out for a bit of good spirited panhandling?  Since we don't have kids and the cats are not much for dressing up in costumes, we just spent a quiet evening at home.  We did, however, catch 3 episodes of a new show that seems more than appropriate for this time of year, American Horror Story.  This show is so off the wall crazy, creepy, and genuinely frightening, I practically sat glued to the TV with my mouth agape the whole evening.  Don't get me wrong, this is NOT a family show.  It is a modern ghost story with lots of adult situations and it airs on FX, so they get away with a bit more...ummm...creative story-telling.  I'm completely addicted.   There's a new episode on Wednesday so I've got to squeeze in 2 more episodes between now and then.  I don't think it'll be a problem.  

Okay, I know you're not just here to find out about my television viewing preferences, even though they are impeccable...LOL!  Instead, you're interested in the new challenge at Tiddly Inks.  This week, it's a good one.  My absolute favorite...Anything Goes.  In fact, the theme for the entire month of November is going to be Anything Goes!  How great is that!

Today I'm using Cast a Spell and she is available in the Tiddly Inks shop.  I love her "magical" personae and felt that it was crying out for bling.  And bling is what I gave!  I even included a tiny vial filled with a powerful spell designed to craft good fortune to all who call upon it.  The spell is so filled with creative goodness it even resembles glitter.  Ok, it IS glitter.  You busted me, okay?!  LOL!   

You'll want to head over to the Tiddly Inks Challenge blog and check out all the wonderful creations that the DT has whipped up for you and also drop in on Christy's blog where she'll undoubtedly have some surprises.

Okay, better scoot!  Catch ya' later!