Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Paper craft project no. 458: Merry Christmas

We have a brand new challenge at Time Out. For the next couple of weeks, it's the Inspired by Words challenge. Here's the inspiration: “Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.” (Chad Sugg)

I took my cue from "trees" and decided to create a Christmas card for this year instead of a fall-themed card. Something to do with my wanting to play with new toys: the stitched snow hills edge/border dies and the Trendy Christmas trees stamps and coordinating dies. I first stamped one of the fun houses and then stamped the small trees where I wanted to place the stitched snow hills. On scrap cardstock, I stamped a couple of the Christmas trees, colored them with markers, and die-cut them. I layered the stitched snow hills on my card base, popped in the die-cut trees, stamped the sentiment, and the card is done :o)

Check out the cards the team + guest designer Rema made and then link up your own project inspired by the quote. CAS-ual Fridays is our generous sponsor for this challenge. We can't wait to see your creations!

Linking up to these fun challenges:

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to smile :o)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Paper craft project no. 457: Seeking for ideal truth

I've been meaning to play in this month's One Layer Simplicity and I finally managed to get a card done before the linky closes in 10 hours. Between my business and being mommy to a super active girl (who is turning one year old in 5 days -- has it really been a year since I joined the mommy club?), I'm hard-pressed to find time to craft. But make a card I did!

For my one layer card, I stamped the big butterfly four times in blue (the other three I stamped off on scrap paper first before stamping on the card base). Then I created masks for the butterflies and stamped the newsprint background from HA. I artsied it up a bit by stamping some splatters and ink blots in blue and yellow. Then I sponged blue all around the card before stamping the sentiment about art.

Also would like to link my card up to 613 Avenue Create (Anything Goes), Crafty Creations #322 (Words/Letters on the Background), and Word Art Wednesday #245-246 (Anything Goes).

The Kat Report
[Snapshots of life with my daughter.]

The Kat woke up at 4 a.m. and decided she wanted to stay up for a little while for some play time and cuddle time with mommy. Usually when she wakes up in the middle of the night, she wants a bottle and then promptly goes back to sleep after she finishes it. This morning, she had the bottle but didn't want to sleep. So play we did in semi-darkness.

A couple of hours later, she told me she was ready to go back to sleep. I picked her up from the Kat pen and started singing as I danced her to sleep. Two songs later, she was asleep. She slept for an hour, long enough for me to get a little bit of work done.

When she woke up, she had the biggest smile for me. I put her in the Kat pen so she could play and stretch a little while I prepped her breakfast. She loves pulling toys out from her toy chest (she's strong enough to pull the chest to its side since she couldn't reach her toys when it's upright), but she loves her books most of all.


Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to smile :o)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Journal Entry: My Whole Universe

[No card or project in this post -- just a short journal entry about the Russ family life -- which I thought I'd start sharing here every once in a while :o)]

Tonight is just like the other nights--at least that's what I think at first. I give the little one a bath; she splashes happily in the water and plays with her fishies and ducky and one-half of a pair of flip-flops. Daddy dresses her for the night and gets her a bottle.

We lie in bed--daddy on her right, mommy on her left, baby in the middle. She takes the bottle from her daddy and puts it in her mouth. We do high-fives and we tell her how proud we are and what a big girl she is for feeding herself. I caress her hand while her daddy hums and holds her close.

By the time she finishes her bottle, she is ready to sleep. With a sigh, she lets go of the bottle, pulls her hand from mine, and turns to her daddy for her nightly sleep cuddle. I watch as he engulfs her in his arms and holds her gently as she falls asleep, her face buried in her daddy's chest.

In that moment, I get another glimpse of my whole universe. I feel a tightness in my chest and I try to blink back the tears. "She's daddy's girl," I whisper.

He nods and says, "But she wants mommy here too when she goes to sleep."

I smile and say, "Yes, but you're the one she wants holding her at night and I think that's wonderful."

"I'm her protector," he says with pride.

"She trusts you and that's how it should be between a daddy and his little girl," I say with a lump in my throat. "How can your heart not melt when she obviously thinks the world of you?"

We wait ten minutes before putting the little one in the crib beside our bed. She rolls on her side and continues to sleep.

I can't wait for morning when one-half of my universe awakens.


Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to smile :o)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Paper craft project no. 456: It's about the journey

We have a brand new challenge at Time Out. This time around we're to CASE a card and put our own twist to our creation. We are CASE-ing this cool card by Julia Altermann of Just One More Card.

I took a few elements from Julia's card: the diagonally striped frame and the plane. My twist: I did it in one layer :o). I masked the center of the card base with a couple of post-its before stamping to create the diagonal chevrons (Mixed Media Grunge). I stamped the plane (Born to Roam), masked it before sponging the clouds using a stencil (ARTplorations Clouds), and then finished by stamping the sentiment.

Check out the cards the team + guest designer Jenny made and then link up your own project inspired by Julia's card. We can't wait to see your creations!

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to smile :o)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Paper craft project no. 455: Bloom Happy stamps and dies


All week on the STAMPlorations blog, we're putting the spotlight on 4 new stamp sets designed by Shirley, Becca, Deepti, and me. Our stamp sets come with coordinating CUTplorations dies too! We're celebrating with a blog hop and there will be some lucky crafters who'll win their choice of stamps and dies and gift certificates. Yesterday, Shirley kicked off the hop in this post with her fun Birds of Paradise stamps and dies. Today it's my turn to share a couple of cards I made with my set, Bloom Happy, and coordinating Bloom Happy dies.



Here's card #1: Sending happy thoughts. I went very CAS with this one and was inspired to use some of the tags I die-cut using the luggage tags dies during my monoprinting session a couple of weeks ago. I simply stamped the framed helenium on the card base and then eyeballed it and stamped onto my tag. I stamped the sentiment and then adhered the tag with foam tape. Oh, I also lightly sponged spun sugar Distress ink through the Tribal Triangles stencil.

And this here is card #2: Flowers bloom where your feet touch the ground. I stamped the framed helenium three times and then die-cut those. I colored one with Zig Clean Color brush pens. I had a completely different idea for the background but I got distracted by the hubby. He was putting the finishing touches to the desk organizer he built for me and was asking me questions so my brain sort of went on auto-pilot and I started reaching for my supplies without thinking about what I was doing. I placed the Big Bloom Factory stencil on my card base and brayered different Distress inks over it. I rather liked the grungy, worn out look. I simply layered my die-cuts on the card base, stamped the sentiment, rounded the bottom corners, and the card is done.

So there you have it. If you'd like to win the Bloom Happy stamp set and dies (or any of the new stamps and dies we're featuring this week), leave a comment here and on the STAMPlorations blog. Leave comments on the designers posts all week and you'll have more chances of winning. Come back to the STAMPlorations blog tomorrow to see Becca's projects featuring her stamps!

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to smile :o)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Paper craft project no: 454: Life is an adventure

It's the start of a brand new challenge at Time Out. For the next two weeks, it's a Theme Challenge with the optional technique twist. The theme is holidays and the optional twist is no stamping.

I initially was going to make a Christmas card but I wasn't really in a holiday mood yet so I switched gears: I channeled my inner Brit and went with the other meaning of holidays (as in vacation; as in I need to go on a holiday soon or I'm going to go nuts.). And I had the perfect stamp for it (skipping the twist). So I die-cut the stitched rectangle panel (CUTplorations Crazy Double Running Stitch Rectangles) and stamped the stack of suitcases and sentiment (Born to Roam). I masked the suitcases before stamping some grungy artsy background (Mixed Media Grunge). Then I colored the suitcases with Inktense pencils and a waterbrush, mounted the panel to my card base, and the card is done. I'm dead chuffed with this card! (I learned that word from Sandie three years ago and love using it whenever I have the opportunity.)

Check out the cards the team + guest designer Aileen made and then link up your own project. Our generous sponsor for this challenge is Uniko. We can't wait to see your creations!

Linking up my card to these fun challenges:


Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to smile :o)

PS: I hope you'll check out this post where I shared some pages from my new book, Color Blooms: Coloring Book for Cardmakers, Crafters, and Mixed Media Artists. (Now available on Amazon.) There's a link in my post where you can download the Color Blooms page sampler that you can color :o)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Happy National Coloring Book Day!


August 2 is National Coloring Book Day! I have just come out with my first coloring book mainly for cardmakers, crafters and mixed media artists: COLOR BLOOMS. The STAMPlorations girls are celebrating today in a fun coloring event on the STAMPlorations blog

We are sharing pages in the book that we colored using our favorite coloring mediums and we are inviting everyone to join in! There is a Color Blooms page sampler that is free to download. Print it out, color, and then add it to the linky by August 7, Sunday, for a chance to win a copy of Color Blooms.

Here's the sampler I colored with Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens. I printed it on mixed media paper.


For the page below, I used BIC Marking permanent markers. I was pretty surprised at how well the markers blended on the page. As expected, the markers bled on the back of the page (which is why I recommend either placing a thick cardstock underneath or tearing out the page before coloring), however, they colored the flowers beautifully.

I dusted off my Chameleon pens and colored the seashell cosmos.

And here's a fourth sample. I cut out 2.5" by 5.5" inches off the page with the large zinnias and decoupaged it onto balsa wood. I applied clear gesso and then started coloring the blooms with Cretacolor Aquarelle oil pastels. (I have a tutorial on this one posted here.)

I hope you'll join us in celebrating National Coloring Book Day! Happy coloring!

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to smile :o)

Monday, August 1, 2016

Paper craft project no. 453: Hello mixed media card

New month, new challenge theme over at The Mixed Media Card Challenge. Rainbow's the word with dragonflies as the optional element(s).

To make my card, I applied clear gesso on the card base and then colored with Gelatos. The panel is from a second-generation monoprint (gelli plate, acrylic paints, and Artsy Tribal Doodles stamps) that I then die-cut with the CUTplorations rectangle die with the crazy stitching. The "hello" is die-cut from the first-generation monoprint. I stamped the framed coffee pot in black, cut it, and then left is uncolored.

Hope you'll come check the mixed media cards the rest of the team made and then join in! The challenge is open until August 25 so plenty of time to get artsy and messy!

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to smile :o)

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