2016 Christmas Cards

So, my Christmas cards this year were a mixed bag of just about everything: extra hand-made cards I had left over from previous years, newly hand-made cards, and store-bought cards both old and new. I managed to use up all my old hand-made cards (except the really nice ones I'm just keeping for my collection), AND all my old store-bought cards, and am currently on a 100% clean slate with about 20 to 30 names on my Christmas card list. My plan is to complete and mail out all those cards this weekend, and just have the few I'll be handing out to co-workers the Friday before the holiday weekend.  I'm still not sure if I'll make all these cards or just buy a box. I've gotten some really great ideas from stampers on YouTube, so I might try a few of those ideas before deciding for sure. But, for now, here are a few of the cards I made so far this year. Enjoy!

 

Card1

Card2

Card3

Card5

Card6


Happy Halloween!

Happy Monday, and Happy Halloween! I decided to make one last Halloween card for the year before jumping into Christmas. I used the small and large gravestones, scaredy cat, and grass tuft (not pictured, but added later) from Stampa Barbara, the moon face from Stampa Rosa, and the little ghost from Uptown Rubber Stamps. (Pictured, but not used is the Bat Trio (I forget the company), and the Trick or Treat bag from Stampa Barbara.)

Halloween1

 I started out by stamping everything where I wanted it to make my scene. This way I can see what images need to be masked.

Halloween2

Then I stamped and masked the first images, then finished up by stamping the rest of the scene. In the finished piece, I ended up making everything too high on the card, so I nixed the Bat Trio, and added the grass tufts to make the ground to fill in the bottom of the card.

Halloween3

 I coloured it in using a combination of  Prismacolour coloured pencils and Walnut Hollow oil coloured pencils, and because I was feeling lazy, I just hand wrote the sentiments on the gravestones with a Sharpie.

Halloween4

I think it turned out really cute, and I think it might be my favourite one this year! I'm getting my Holiday and Christmas stamps out and organized, and plan to start playing with them soon! I hope you all have a safe and fun Halloween, and I'll see you next time! Cheers! 

 


Revamped Halloween Card

So, after posting my Happy Autumn card yesterday, the Halloween card I whipped out for World Cardmaking Day looked a little boring, so I decided to fix it up. I cut out the card trio and sentiment, and adhered them to a piece of corrugated yellow paper. I cut out the largest of the three bats, and used it to cover up the crappy cutting job I did on the sentiment, and stamped my Moon Face from Stamp Francisco and put that in the opposite corner. I think it looks a lot better and much more interesting!

Halloweenredo1

And, here's both of my cards together. I think they look pretty good, and I'm inspired to make a few more for the Halloween/Autumn season!

Halloweenredo2

Have a terrific day! Cheers!


New Card: Happy Autumn 2016

Good morning, everyone! Here's another new card I stamped recently, this time to celebrate autumn!

Happy autumn card 20162

 I used my pumpkin stamp from PSX, and Susan Branch Numbers and Letters set for the sentiment. I used my two leaf punches for the leaves and a variety of coloured pencils to colour and shade the pumpkin. I stamped the pumpkin with my Distress Ink in Walnut Stain on some card stock and cut it out, coloured it in and attached it to a piece of yellow corrugated paper. I punched out my leaves in yellow, red, and kraft papers, using a couple to cover up the corners of the pumpkin that didn't stamp so well. I stamped "Happy Autumn" on yellow paper and layered it on some of the red, and attached it to the opposite corner from the pumpkin. It's pretty simple, but it turned out really well, imho!

Happy autumn card 2016

Happy Columbus Day! Cheers!


Stamping Haul - Michael's and Beverly's

So, it's the time of year again when I decide I'm going to start stamping, and despite having a TON of rubber stamps and accessories already in my collection, I always go and buy the latest and greatest designs. Apparently rubber stamps and stamping accessories are a serious shopping weakness for me! Last year I bought the Ugly Sweater cling stamp set by Simon Says Stamp, and this year is was a bunch of clear cling stamps in a variety of designs. Yes, I still have the Ugly Sweater set and could easily have made this year's Christmas cards with them (and might use them for a few, who knows?!), but I recently visited both Michael's AND Beverly's, saw a couple adorable new sets, and just couldn't resist!

First off, however, are the Mini Ink Blending Tool and extra foam tops from Ranger I picked up. I've been watching Crazy Paper Chick on YouTube, and love how she uses this tool to blend inks around the edges of paper. Hopefully, I'll  be able to do it as well as she does!

Craft haul 1

Here are the stamp sets I bought - first is the set of various sentiments from Hero Arts, and a Mason Jar, butterfly, flower, and heart from Art-c. I really don't know why I bought that second set, particularly because it came with coordinating dies, and I don't have to Sizzix to use with them. It was a total impulse buy, and might totally be returned to the store.

Craft haul 2

 Next up is the Jingle all the Way Christmas set from Carta Bella, which I pretty much just bought for the pick-up truck with the tree in the back, the totally adorable Christmas elves from Lia Griffith for Hero Arts, and this cute little set from Dear Lizzy. That was another total impulse buy, that I picked up just for the bird and buildings.

Craft haul 3

 And here are a bunch of mini ink pads and ink sprayers from Tim Holtz for Ranger, as well as a little tin to store the mini ink pads .

Craft haul 4

 And, finally, my last impulse buy: plaid decorative tape. What? Why? I don't even know!

Craft haul 6

 So, there you have it! What is your biggest shopping weakness? Let me know in the comments, and have a terrific day! Cheers!


2016 Photo Calendar

I'm not sure if this counts as a Thingadailies entry becauase, although I personally took all the photographs in this calendar (and enhanced the following pictures of each month's picture using the Urbane filter from Picmonkey), the calendar itself was made by Shutterfly. Still, I'm posting it and you can decide for yourselves if it counts as a "thing" or not!

This personalized 8 X 11 calendar usually retails for $24.99 on Shutterfly, but I received a coupon from Vons for a free calendar, so I only paid $7.95 (or something like that) for shipping and handling. Since I didn't have a calendar for 2016 yet, and I didn't have time to actually make one because it was well past January 1st, I decided to try this out. It was super easy and they have lots of different themes and background designs to choose from. You can even make a collage with multiple photos, and add text to it. I decided to use the "Art Gallery" theme, which was just a plain white background, and use the full photo option to showcase my photographs rather than adding anything to them.

I chose "Garden Zen" for the theme of my 2016 calendar, and used photos of various garden statuary from my own backyard as well as some public gardens around the area, and some flowers from my garden. I think it turned out great, and I enjoy looking at it! I hope you enjoy it as well!

 

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My cover shot is a stacked stone sculpture in my back yard.

Jan2016

January featured one of my gnomes, also in my back yard.

Feb2016

February has the shot I call "Diana Flowers". It's a picture of a flowering tree in SLO enhanced with the Diana filter from a photo app on my phone.

March2016

March is a shot of the Alice in Wonderland statue and display in the garden behind Heart's Ease in Cambria, CA.

April2016

This little daffodil used to bloom in my back yard, but hasn't come up for a couple years. Thankfully I took a great picture of it and will be able to enjoy looking at it in April.

May2016

This serene dragon is also in Heart's Ease in Cambria, and will be featured in May.

June2016

For June I chose this Buddha statue which was for sale at The Garden Gallery in Morro Bay, CA.

July2016

July features a gorgeous bloom from my Midas Touch rosebush.

Aug2016

August features another Buddha, this time from the back garden of a little bookstore and wedding chapel in Morro Bay, CA.

Sep2016

For September (the month of the Central Coast Writer's Conference and also National Banned Books Week), I chose this adorable little fairy reading a book. I believe it was also in the bookstore garden.

Oct2016

October features some of the metal garden art I have in my back yard. The "Garden" and little birds I got at Hand's Gallery here in SLO, and the tall "tree" with the birdfeeder and thermometer I picked up on sale at OSH.

Nov2016

For November I picked this cool head planter I found at The Garden Gallery in Morro Bay. (Now that I look at him, I think I should've used him for December because he could easily pass for a Santa!)

Dec2015

And finally I'm ending the year on a serene note with another Buddha also from the bookstore garden in Morro Bay.

So, have you picked out your 2016 calendar yet? What kind of calendar do you like - beaches, puppies, inspirational quotes, firehouse hunks? Let me know in the comments! Cheers!


Thingadailies: Upcycled Earrings

So, as part of my sudden onset crafting madness, I decided to make some stuff to donate to this year's Weetacon Charity Raffle. For this first piece (actually part of an earring trio, but for some reason I only took pictures of two of them), I used medium and small heart charms my mom and I made out of gold Sculpey clay, little gold key charms (purchased, not made!), and some wooden beads (I think the unphotographed third pair has smaller plastic beads) my mom found in our craft supplies, and slipped them all on some plain gold hoop earrings I bought (BUT NEVER WORE. Seriously I don't even know where they came from, since they're not my style AT ALL, and they were still on the display cardboard.) to create upcycled hoop earrings! Hopefully someone will like these! (And, even if they don't want to wear them, they can use the beads and charms to make their own upcycled jewelry!)

Cheers!

Earrings1

Earrings2


Friday Five January 22

TGIF!!! Why is it the short weeks are always the longest? I had Monday off for MLK Day - which was great! - BUT, trying to get five days worth of work done in four days is always a pain! It seems like it's worse when the holiday falls on a Monday, because I don't recall the last two weeks of 2015 being this hectic. Anyway, we made it to Friday, and here are five random thoughts for you.

1.   As I mentioned before, Monday was pretty awesome: I had the day off, so I got to sleep in, drink lots of coffee (before it goes cold!), and got to catch up on my soaps!

2.  My mom dumped the rain gauge (which she said was at 3") on Thursday, so I didn't get a picture of our weekly rain total, which is a bummer, but I'm sure we'll be getting plenty more rain before the El Nino season is over.

3.  I love that the sky is lightening just a little bit each morning and staying light a little bit each evening. It makes each day a little less depressing!

4.  I'm planning another crafting weekend, and hope to get some more Weetacon Charity Raffle Items made - should be fun!

5.  This morning there was an absolutely GORGEOUS sunrise! Sadly I was on the bus, so the pictures have the lights reflecting off the window, but you can still see just how spectacular it was.

So, what are you up to this weekend? Any fun plans? Let me know in the comments! Cheers!

 


Crafting Weekend

So, we had a kind-of rainy 3-day weekend, and since we really couldn't go outside, we used the time to do some crafts. I've had packets of polymer clay in my crafting supplies for years, but never got around to making the dolls I'd originally planned on. I tore out a clay project from an old Better Homes and Gardens magazine, so mom and I rolled out some clay and made a few necklaces, and tried to make some bowls. The necklaces came out pretty good, imo, and I think they might become Weetacon Charity Raffle items. My only concern with them is that the necklace pieces I used aren't hooking together as well as I'd like. I'm afraid pieces will fall off. Anyone with jewelry-making skills out there, any suggestions you have for keeping the rings closed would be greatly appreciated!

Clay1

Clay2

Clay3

None of the stamps I have left really worked for the projects, but I had a couple metal heart-shaped cutters in small and large, and used those instead. I also had one set of rubber stamp alphabet left to use to stamp the word LOVE in some of the clay. They'll go with the two hearts and a small key charm for a pretty little necklace.

Clay4

Clay6

I also tried my doll face to see what that looked like, as well as using my wax letter seal to see make a couple "medalions". None of these really turned out very well, so I"ll probably just chuck them, but it was fun to try and really great to finally use stuff up!

Clay8

Clay5

 All the clay I have has to be baked in the oven, so the bowls didn't turn out as cute as I'd hoped. I need to get some air dry clay and use some of my smaller dishes for cuter shaped. I also found some other fun projects to make with clay, and I'm looking forward to trying those as well.

How was your 3-day weekend? Did you go anywhere? Do anything fun? Or, just chill? Whatever you did, I hope you had a great time, and got to spend time with loved ones! Cheers!

 


Weekend Recap

So I had a very long, very busy five days off from work. Last Thursday the 12th was a holiday, and I managed to get Friday the 13th off from work, then yesterday, the 16th was another holiday. And, I spent most of those days getting stuff done.

Thursday we just did our regular Saturday errands - post office to return things, Home Depot for paint and supplies, Staples for a new mini scanner, and Big Lots and the Discount Grocery store for food and sundries. It may not sound like much, but it was exhausting!

Friday mom and I dragged every single little thing out of the garage, decided whether or not to keep it, cleaned off the keepers, and put them back neatly in well organized, labeled bins. The non-keepers we took to Goodwill (after photographing some of the items that had some mild sentimental value to me) in two separate loads. It was an all-day job, it was hot and gross, but, Lord, it felt good to get it done! The garage is now clean and clutter-free!

Saturday we decided to take a day to have fun, and after breakfast at Bru, we planned to wander around the  lovely downtown Atascadero and go wine tasting, check out the new antique and thrift stores that just opened up, as well as some of the other quaint little shops, have lunch at Fig, and finish off with some tea at Wilwind. Sadly, things did not go as planned. The EmPOURium where we were going to do our wine tasting was closed (even though it was 11:20 am, and the sign said they open at 11:00 am.), as were several of the other stores we planned to visit (including The Barrel Room which also offers wine tasting, and Envisions Gallery, which I was surprised to find had gone completely out of business! So sad!), so we were only able to visit the two new thrift stores - Thistle Do Nicely and 805 Vintage, cute names, but we weren't impressed with either shop to be honest - Violette's Wings and Gifty Things, and Rhonda's Relics (both super fun, awesome stores!). It only took us aobut a half hour to check everything out, and since we were still full from breakfast, we decided to just skip lunch and tea, and just go home. It turned out to be a serious  bummer that left us wishing we'd just gone to Paso! Or Morro Bay. Or Cambria.

le sign.

Sunday was painting day. I had a wood CD cabinet in my previously light blue room, that was painted a slightly darker shade of blue than the walls just for fun. Since remodeling my bedroom, there's no space for it (and the colour doesn't match), so it has been residing in the den, which is painted light green and contains cream and dark brown furniture (so it still doesn't match!). So we purchased a quart of Glidden Banana Cream Pie coloured paint, and covered the CD case - as well as an old white Q-bit - in a couple coats to match the furniture we already had. They both turned out really well, and go much better with the other stuff in the room. Here's the before and after of the CD cabinet:

 


Finally, Monday was a free day, and I took the opportunity to get my hair cut (nothing drastic; just a trim, really) and indulge in a mani/pedi. It was SO nice to have a day to relax and reflect on all that we accomplished over the weekend! I still need to go through the rest of my closet and get rid of more stuff (to make way for spring stuff of course!), then attack the kitchen and den, but I'm thrilled with how successful this weekend really was!

Also, I hope everyone had an awesome Valentine's Day on Saturday! I made cards earlier, and mailed them out hopefully in time for people to get them.


I hope you all had a great weekend, too! Did you do anything fun? Do any work? Did you even have any holidays? Let me know in the comments! Cheers!