Monday, August 31, 2009

Card for Adam

My cats are members of a small email group for cats. The cats let the humans post too, if we behave ourselves. One of the humans, Adam, had surgery for a new kidney last week. Since Debby, another human, was able to provide his snail mail address, we can send a card.

I could have sent him one of the get-well cards I have made recently, but I wanted to make Adam a special one that is cat-themed. I don't know what colors Adam likes, so I hope that turquoise is a color that makes him feel good. Tigger and Pooh will be signing this card too, so they are represented on the front of the the card.

I used a 'canvas' background stamp to give the background some 'texure' and make the card look less hospital-white. It reminds me of gauze. I added some faux stitching, since I am sure that Adam had some sewing done on him!

Stuff used:
Stamps: Nurse Sprinkle, Little Sprinkle, "Nightie" alphabet letters all from The Cat's Pajamas; Canvas background by Stampin' Up
Paper: Papertrey Stamper's Select card base, Neenah Classic Crest Solar White, Stampin' Up Tempting Turquoise
Ink: Versafine Onxy Black, Stampin' Up Tempting Turquoise, White Gel pen, Prismacolor pencils
Other: Circle Nestabilites dies

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Copper Leopard Necklace

When Ed was at Michaels with me about a month ago, I was looking at pendants and Ed said I needed this leopard one. I wasn't sure what I would do with it, but I bought it, since it was on sale.

Because the pendant has an antique copper finish, it became a challenge to use it! I could have just hung it on a leather cord, but I wanted to do something more difficult.

I found some copper findings and some copper beads at Jo Ann. Then I got it into my mind to string the beads in "illusion" fashion--where beads seem to float on the wire. To do that, I needed crimp beads, not just any crimp beads, but antique copper crimp beads. Those were hard to find! I finally found some on eBay, so I had Ed order them for me. (He has an eBay ID. I do not.)

I used black seed beads and 'turquoise' beads from my stash to finish the necklace.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dragonfly necklace

I am still playing with beads. Here is a necklace I made earlier this month.

It started with a dragonfly pendant. Two of the dragonflies came in the package, so I can make another necklace with the other one, if I want.

I added a dragonfly charm to one side. I had two charms on the necklace at first--one on each side, but I removed one, since I think that asymmetrical designs can be more interesting, especially when the elements represent something living. Dragonflies land where they want to land, not where we want them to be. The toggle clasp is a dragonfly shape too.

I made links of seed beads and silver beads, and I connected them with jump rings to repeat the shape of the rings on the ends of the dragonfly wings.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


This week's TCP challenge is hosted by Leigh, who challenged us to make a card using the colors Chocolate, Sky Blue, and Kiwi.

These are not colors that appeal to me, even though they still appear to be popular in the decorating world. I don't think I have ever really cared for sky blue. Kiwi is also not my favorite green. But as far as browns go, Chocolate is a good color. :-)

So, even though don't normally reach for these colors, I made them work for me. Viewing the Cat's Pajama's design team's contributions to this challenge helped me. Joanne used notebook paper on her card, and I liked how she used it to pull some sky blue into her card. I used quadrille graph paper with blue lines, and I punched the edge with a 'binding edge' punch to give it a 'torn from a notebook' look. I also colored the soup bowl sky blue.

I like how this card turned out. The layout is simple, and the colors are masculine, so it could be given to a man or anyone who doesn't care for a lot of frou-frou.

Stuff used:
Stamps: Chicken Soup and Better Get Better from the "You Sick Thing" set by the Cat's Pajamas
Paper: Quadrille paper, Neenah Classic Crest Solar White, Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip and Kiwi Kiss
Ink: Versafine Vintage Sepia, Prismacolor pencils, Prismacolor Cold Stone marker
Other: Binding Edge border punch by EK Success, Circles and Pinking Circles Nestabilities dies

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


This week's The Cat's Pajamas challenge is hosted by Amy.

Normally, Toni coordinates the Inspiration challenges, but she let Amy do it this month. Amy encouraged us to make a card, inspired by this colorful image. Gosh, I can almost smell the wonderful aroma of brand new crayons.

The sharp points on those new crayons inspired me to use the Nurse Sprinkle image on the card. She is holding a nice sharp, pointy syringe. (Also, Back-to-School time is a good time to catch up on immunizations! Shots. Ick.)

Of course, the rainbow colors inspired me to use more than one color on this card, but I was also inspired by the white background. The black stripes on the crayons prompted me to mat the layers on black. Crayons are round in cross-section, so the single nurse is on a round layer. Since the crayons were arranged in a nice row, I decided to make a row of nurses. (You may notice that the kitties in the row are a different size than the kitty on the circle panel. I have the original Nurse Sprinkle stamp, but Alma re-sized her and made her a bit bigger when she included her in the new "You Sick Thing" set.)

I was also inspired by the crayon text in the image and how the letters were different colors. So, I made my own background, stamping "Meow" and "ow" all over the card. The big letters are from the "Nightie" alphabet set. The little "ow's" are made from the "What part of meow" stamp, and I selectively inked the "o" and the "w" with markers. This little stamp is one of the things I chose for a prize when I was honored with the Swanky Stamper of the month award. The font on that stamp is the very same font that is in the Nighty set! Alma rocks, for making her fonts coordinate!

Stuff used:
Stamps: All images by The Cat's Pajamas: Nurse Sprinke, "You Sick Thing" set, "Nightie" set, "What Part of Meow"
Ink: Palett Noir, Versafine Onxy Black, Stampin' Up markers in Pixie Pink, YoYo Yellow, Marvelous Magenta (retired), Ballet Blue, Green Galore, and Gable Green
Paper: Papertry stamper's select, SU Basic Black
Other: circle nestablities dies, dimensional dots to pop up the round layer

Elizabeth's dollhouse

Today is my niece's birthday. She is no longer a teenager!

11 years ago, for her 9th birthday, I made and gave her a dollhouse for her birthday. I thought I would dig out the pictures and share them today.

The images are small, because I do not feel like re-scanning them. The pictures were taken with a film camera and were scanned. Back then we were still on dial-up, along with most everyone else, so there was no need to take high-resolution pictures.

The dollhouse is a "Theresa" which is a kit that was made by Greenleaf for a very short time.

I made some changes to the kit. I added basswood strip wood pieces to the porch railings to give them more dimension. I also changed the floor plan a bit by removing the stairs and adding a bathroom.

before: after:

I also added siding which I made from balsa wood, I covered the chimney with stones I made from plaster, I put stained glass windows in the front doors, and I put copper gutters on the roof.

This is an overall view of the back of the house, so you can see the relationship of the rooms to each other.

Here is my Tigger, inspecting the back of the house. If you look closely, you may see a dog on the second floor. He is also sitting on the front porch in the first photo. My sister's family had a boxer dog, Falco, at the time, so I found a miniature Falco for my niece.

This is the bathroom. I gave my niece the bathroom set and the wicker shelves, so that the room would be furnished when she received the house. I made the wicker shelves.

Here are the master bedroom and a girl's room. The master bedroom wallpaper has a butterfly pattern. The border in the girl's room has ponies on it.

Downstairs are the kitchen and living room. All the floors in the dollhouse, except for the floor in the bathroom, were made from maple veneer. I cut and glued each piece by hand, then sanded and stained the floors. All this was done before the house was constructed.

I made a bunk bed set and dresser with shelves for the girl's room. The bunk beds can be separated. I included pillows, sheets, and blankets, and a removable guard-rail for the upper bunk.

We drove 300 miles with the house to give it to her. We had to smuggle it into her house when she was not looking, since we arrived a few days before her birthday. We also stayed a day after her birthday so that we could make some accessories together, and take her shopping for some more furnishings for her house. She also moved some of her Fisher Price dollhouse furniture and people into her new dollhouse.

Here is Elizabeth, when she was 9 years old, with her house.

Friday, August 14, 2009


This week's The Cat's Pajamas challenge is hosted by Carole, who challenged us to use this sketch. Her card started with a 6.5 x 3.25 inch card, so I used those dimensions too. It will fit in a standard envelope.

I started by finding a stamp that would fit in the small rectangular area. Some images are tall and skinny, some are about as wide as they are tall, but few are short and fat, so my choices were narrowed down quite quickly. I have loved this Poochie in his carrot car since I first laid eyes on him, but I have never actually used him! So, although he is in a spring stamp set, I am using him for an autumn card. The carrot background is from a spring stamp set too! Personally, I think of carrots in the late summer and fall, not in the spingtime, probably because Mom always had a garden, and I helped her harvest the veggies. By spring, the carrots were pretty rubbery, even when they were kept in a root cellar.

I put buttons over the wheels of the carrot car. Buttons on cards seem to be all the rage right now. I am not really into the trend. Using buttons means I need to get out my sewing supplies, (thread, needles) and if I go in my sewing room I may get sidetracked either by my supply of UFO quilts, or by the pile of shirts I need to iron. The quilts have the potential to pull me away from card making for weeks.

Stuff used:
Stamps: "Driving Mr. Carrot" from "Spring Fling", and "Watching Carrots" from "Beans & Bunnies & Peeps, Oh My!" sets both by The Cats Pajamas; sentiment from Stampin' Up's "Loads of Love Accessories" set
Paper: Neenah classic Crest Classic Cream, Stampin' Up Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip, and Always Artichoke
Ink: Versafine Vintage Sepia, Colorbox Frost White, Stampin' Up Close to Cocoa, various Prismacolor pencils
Other: Corner rounder punch, vanilla embossing powder, Buttons from TCP "Great Outdoors" button mix, orange embroidery floss.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Elizabeth's birthday card 2009

My niece's birthday is next week. We will be mailing her this card. There will be a check inside so she will have an excuse to go shopping!

The card turned out a little bit more girly-girl than I had planned. Pink can do that to a card. The dress, hat, and one bag are paper-pieced. I received the city skyline image in a grab bag of stamps, and when I saw it I knew I would use it with the shopper stamp some day. It can be fun to combine stamps from different companies.

Stuff used:
Stamps: "Melanie the Shopper (ATC sized)" by Rubber Romance, "City Skyline Silhouette" by Viva Las VegaStamps, Sentiment by Studio G
Paper: Patterned papers from "Euphoria" 6x6 paper pad by Basic Grey, Neenah Classic Crest Solar White, Stampin' Up Elegant Eggplant, Papertrey Stampers Select for card base
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Stampin' Up Elegant Eggplant, various Prisamcolor pencils, Prismacolor Cold Stone marker
Other: pink self-adhesive blings

Friday, August 7, 2009


This week's The Cat's Pajamas challenge is hosted by Susan, who challenged us to make a card using a cake stamp. There are various cake stamps available from The Cat's Pajamas, from birthday cakes to cupcakes. Picking which ones to use was the hard part for me! I loved how Susan combined sets and put a cupcake in the hand of a bear. Amy inspired me too, by using the "It's A Western Thing" set to have the cowboy Poochie shooting cupcakes. So, I decided to combine sets too, and have a cake be met by pirates!

It took me two days to make this card. Arr! I had the layout in my mind, and stamped the layers, then I had to run some errands and didn't get back to it. (But I thought about it while shopping for toiletries at Walmart.) The colors came to me, but things got changed around as I worked on the card. At first, I was thinking the mats would all be blue, but it looked too wimpy. Then I made the mat on the sentiment layer blue and the others were to be chocolate, but it looked too top heavy. Having all chocolate layers looked wrong. I finally swapped out the middle mat and made it blue. That felt right. I finished the card today.

I didn't go overboard with the layers and colors on this card, since I will be mailing it to my brother-in-law for his birthday next week. I had not come up with a card for him yet, so this challenge was timely.

Stuff used:
Stamps: All by The Cat's Pajamas, "Simon Sees", "Errol", "Yo! Ho! Ho!", "Shiver Me Timbers", (and "Swashbucklin Day" inside card) from the "Arrgh! Piratey set; "Think Cake" from "You Say It's Your Birthday" set; and "Cake no Plate" individual stamp
Paper: Neenah Classic Crest Solar white; Stampin' Up Creamy Caramel, Chocolate Chip, and Brocade Blue
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black; Prismascolor pencils; Prismacolor Cold Stone marker; Stampin' Up Summer Sun (for candles glow), Chocolate Chip ink and Chocolate Chip marker for sentiment inside and signature & date on back of card
Other: Pencil eraser to server as a stamp to make the candles glow

Monday, August 3, 2009

Swanky surprise

Alma surprised me today, by announcing that I am the Swanky Stamper of the Month for August!

Do you remember this card? I wasn't sure how it would be received, although I had fun making it and I liked it when it was done. Kat liked it, and her husband liked it, and fellow stampers Carole and Carol liked it, and my DH grunted at it like he does with most cards I make. Well, Alma liked it too! She liked it enough to give me her August award. I already sent her a note, telling her what I want with my Cat's Cash gift.

I think it is neat that one of the cards I had the most fun making was a card that other people liked too.