Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I've been sorting and packing boxes for my move and have come across some pictures I want to share now that I'm blogging.
This is a picture taken about 1958/1959 of me in my papa's arms in Endicott, New York, which is where I was born. The color of the leaves are so beautiful and with my dad smiling it's a great picture. In August 2005 I took a trip with my parents to visit the home we lived in when I was born, which is where this picture was taken. We visited alot of other places relevant to my mom and dads upbringing but I'll share those pictures at a later date.
The picture below is dated July 1961 and I'm 2 1/2 years old. I thought we lived in Los Angeles 1960 - 1969 but I don't remember living in any brick houses in LA. It could be in Alabama when my dad was still in the military, it's where Scott, my younger brother was born. In any event I really like the picture, aren't I cute and so innocent looking?!!

This picture is of my mom holding three chickens. It doesn't have a date though I think it was taken on the farm in New Bremen, Ohio, maybe on a trip home from when she was attending Ohio State University. My mom has many stories about living on the farm though she doesn't like to talk about most of them.
That's all I have to share for now, more to come later.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Card Technique Class

Ellen held the first of many card techniques classes to come. It was last Saturday evening and we learned four different techniques.

The first is Reverse Masking which is the center circle part of the card. Also, Ellen had punched some flowers out that we adhered to the cs with dimentional's. I love it because it's very easy to do and I love pink at the moment, it's very girly.

The next technique is Bleach Stamping which is seen on the dark brown cs below. This technique can be done with just about any stamp set but works best with non-solid stamps, ones that have outlines as you can see below.
The third technique is Brayered Rose using the Manhattan Flower die. For this technique the raised portion of the flower is faced DOWN onto the work surface and the rubber brayer is used to apply the different colored inks. The possibilities are endless with this technique because you can use whatever ink combinations you like. I am definitely going to make more of these in the near future, they are very and pretty and very easy to make.
The last technique is Faux Silk using tissue paper with StazOn ink. We also used the Aqua Painter to fill in the butterfly and leaves with various colors of ink. I like to use a paint brush to color in stamped images because it doesn't bleed as you can see in the image below. Of course this partially happened because we're using tissue paper instead of regular weight cs. This is also my first time using the Aqua Painter so with more practice I'm sure I'd be able to control the ink bleeding. It's all a matter of preference and what you're most comfortable using.

We all have a small binder where we put these 6" x 6" card sample techniques and directions so we can refer to them in the future. It's a great idea and I hope to incorporate more techniques in my cards.

It was a fun class with the gals and I'm looking forward to the next technique class. That's all folks!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Masculine Cards

Here are some masculine looking cards I made with a great stamp set from Stampin' Up called Sense of Time. The set includes the clock,clock gears and two great sayings which I'll use inside the cards. I used Tim Holtz products which I like because it brings a different level of creativity to my projects and really challenges me to think outside the box. He is so creative and his products bring a vintage look to cards, tags and other craft projects. He has alot of YouTube video's where he talks about how to use his products and techniques to use too.

For these cards I used Distress Embossing Ink (which is clear) with the 2 Distress Embossing Powders (I'd like to get more!). Since I'd never used the Embossing Powders before, I used a small stamp for the first few tries until I got the hang of it. The neat thing about using the Distress Embossing Powders is that it gives a texture of fine sand paper to your project. It's fun to play with. I also experimented with various Distress Inks to see which color combinations I liked.

I made this card for my dad for Fathers Day. I challenged myself to use colors that weren't too dark and yet keep it masculine. For the clock face I used the Distress Embossing Ink and the Walnut Stain Embossing Powder. The edge and clock face I used Vintage Phot Distress Ink. For the second hand I used an antique brass brad in the center. The Love key is a Tim Holtz product which added a nice antique embellishment to the card. The brown button is tied with neutral twine. I really like how it turned out and I think my dad will like it to.
For this masculine birthday card I used the same procedure for the clock mentioned above. I used a silver brad for the second hand center and at the four corners of the card. I used the Weathered background stamp which helped give it an aged look. I stacked a brown and creme colored button together and adhered it with a glue dot. For the Best Wishes sentiment I used the Distress Embossing Ink with Fire Brick Embossing Powder. I really like how this card turned out, everything came together nicely.
Here is another birthday card I made using the blue instead of the brown on the Fathers Day card. It brings a totally different look to the card. This blue ribbon I wanted to use had two white stripes in the middle. I didn't like how it looked with the rest of the card so I put the narrow brown ribbon ontop of it and tied it into a knot. I think the blue and brown of the ribbon ties the whole card together.
Happy card making everyone!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Simple Things

I usually don't blog about my personal life but this is important enough that I want to share it. The pics below of the lavender I bought at the Clovis Farmers Market Friday night are a symbol of where I'm at in my life, though I didn't realize it until this morning.

When I lived in the bay area, before I moved to Clovis, I had flowers in a vase at my place practically every week. I'd buy them at the grocery store, farmers market and other places, how can one not be happy when they see flowers?

I'm in such a good place right now that for the first time since I moved to Clovis, I instinctively bought the lavender. Not only do I smile when I see it, the fragrance is wonderful and very soothing. I can honestly say that this is the happiest I've been in my life and it's a choice I've made, to be happy. To me, now, it's the simple things in life that make me happy, such as a vase of flowers, visiting and talking to friends and family, crafting, volunteering and playing with dogs & cats.

In order to be able to make the choice of happiness for myself, I've been traveling down a long road these past years. I've gone through alot of hurt and pain in dealing with issues and along the way had the support of good friends and counseling to see me through. Obviously it's not pleasant dealing with the pain and hurt but it's part of the journey to be able to get to the place where I can make the choice to be happy. I can honestly say it's well worth the journey!!

I strongly believe that happiness comes from within, it's not the material things that makes one happy, such as the big house, a car, flat screen tv's, etc.

I've been thinking alot about a conversation I had with Larry and it went something like this "so how are you doing Kristen?" I said with a big grin on my face "I'm doing great, I'm really happy with my life right now". He said "that's amazing considering you don't have a job, you're not in a relationship, I'm moving to a very small studio, etc." It took me a second to understand what he was saying and then he said "You've made a choice to be happy" and it brought tears to my eyes.

Life is grand and I hope you all are enjoying the simple things in your life.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Coarsegold Heritage Museum Event

Rose and I shared a vendor table at the Coarsegold Heritage Museum event this past Saturday. It's a fundraiser for the museum and they have a band and barbecue and people bring lawn chairs. During the last few years they've added vendors to the event.

Larry, Roses husband, made this great sign explaining the art of felting. It attracted alot of attention and alot of people came over to read it and then looked at our table.

Here is a pic of Rose with her felted bracelets, necklaces and pin cushions on display. She got quite a few compliments on her unique designs and alot of people took her business card.

Here is a close-up of some of Rose's felting items.

Following is a pic of my half of the table with my various cards in the two baskets and a few boxes and cards on display. I learned quite a few things being a vendor for the first time and will definitely do things differently next time. It was a great learning experience.

Along the side of the school house they hung handmade quilts. They are really beautiful and the picture doesn't do them justice.

All in all it was a great time had by all!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Paper Wallet Pictures

A friend wanted to see pictures of the paper wallet I made at class Tuesday night so here they are :o) The wallet is made with Chocolate Chip textured cs.

To give the outside of the wallet a crocodile look we did the following:
- used VersaMark
- covered it with Clear Embossing powder
- embossed
- used a bone folder to make the curvy, uneven lines

The picture below shows the inside of the wallet. On the left you can put two standard size gift cards, coupons, etc. in the slots. On the right hand side a "window" is made to put a sentiment or picture. This "window" measures 3 1/4" x 1 3/4". There is also room for money, just like a regular wallet.

It's a neat project!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Few More Patriotic Cards

I made two more patriotic cards today I want to share. I used the photo corner punch on Real Red cs to offset the white stars and blue background on the flag. It adds just a touch of color so the flag stands out on the Brilliant Blue cs background. I used dimensional's on the flag to give it some depth. For the first time I used the Hero Arts Alphabet set that was given to me for Christmas. I really like the font and size of the letters, it's kind of playful. I also used dimensional's on the USA sentiment.

For this second card I used the weathered background stamp with black ink on Real Red cs. The top note is Brilliant Blue cs and I placed it vertically on the card. I used VersaMark on the star stamp from the Hero Arts Alphabet Letters set (a second set of letters given to me for Christmas) on Brilliant Blue cs. I Attached red and white ribbon around the top note, adhering it with silver brads. I attached the two patriotic sentiment stamps to the top note using dimensional's.

I really like the weathered stamp as a background and have other patriotic cards I want to use it for. Don't know if I'll get to it in the next few days, at some point I need to stop making cards and organize and price them for the craft booth in Coarsegold on Saturday.

This all has been very fun and I look forward to posting cards on a more regular basis. I think I found my crafting groove :o)

His & Hers Paper Wallets

At our craft class last night one of the projects was to make a mans paper wallet. It's a great gift for graduations, Father's Day, birthdays or just about any occasion.On the left hand side of the wallet there are 2 slots for gift cards, coupons, or whatever you want to put in there and the right hand side has a "window" where a sentiment, picture, etc. can be inserted. Also, there is a slot for money, just like a regular wallet.

If you'd like to purchase the tutorial for both the men and woman's wallets, it's only $10 for the 18 page tutorial which includes color pictures. Here is the link

For the second project of the evening, the rest of the class made Father's Day cards which I did not participate in. I stayed and gabbed with the girls while they made their cards. That's never happened to me in a craft class before but I think that I was tired and a little burnt out on making cards. I
n hind sight it would have been a good idea to make a few FD cards for the craft booth this weekend but I just wasn't in the mood. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy making cards but I've never made as many cards in such a short time. It has motivated me to open up shop in Etsy, I'll let you know when that happens, probably some time in the next few weeks.

(Something weird is going on with my blog font, tried to fix it but to no avail).

Service Memories Website

I always enjoy sharing websites I like with you all so here is another one.

I get the Service Memories monthly newsletter which is filled with new products as well as techniques, and other great tid bits of information to use for various projects. You can search for products by branch of service which includes all the armed forces, firefighters, law enforcement, etc.; and they have rubber stamps too. They have great products such as: die cuts; various embellishments; paper for the Revolutionary War up to Iraqi Freedom; etc.

Here is their website, you should take a look

Also, I added their blog to my blog list.

Happy Birthday Card

I made five of these cards Monday night and they're very easy to make. The ice cream scoops are made by using the scallop punch and you just choose which "flavors" you want. On the pink scoop I used the piercing tool and on the chocolate scoop I used faux pearl rhinestone stickers from Michael's. For the ice cream cone I painted it freehand making the diamond shapes.

The card looks crooked but it's just the way I took the picture.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Patriotic Cards

I made four patriotic cards, three using the Top Note die and the Big Shot (thank you again Ellen). This is my first time using it with my own projects, I've used it many times in craft class. I can see why everyone likes it so much. Below is a picture of the Top Note die.

Here is the first card I made with the die cut. I cut White, Real Red and Brilliant Blue cs into
4 1/4" x 11" strips to run through the Big Shot. As the cs base for the flag I used white, you can also use red or blue. With the red die cut I positioned it length wise and cut 3/8" strips and adhered every other one to the white cs base to get the red stripes. I then made the blue corner by cutting the blue die cut into four pieces. I used my star punch on white cs and put a red jewel brad in the center. I put the red ribbon top to bottom on the side and a card was born, not bad for the first one.

This next card was easy to make and uses the same cs colors as above, White, Real Red and Brilliant Blue. Instead of using the top note die itself I used the leftover part, which looks like a window after being run through the Big Shot. Following is a picture of what that looks like after I put the die through twice with one strip of cs.

Ever since I saw the frame (what I call it) I knew it could be used on some card project instead of throwing it away. It has endless possibilities with all kinds of stamps to frame. For the card below I used dimensional's on the flag stamp and blue eyelets on the right hand side of the card.

With this next card I used red as the base cs and white 3/8" strips as the flag stripes. I did this because I wanted to see if it made a difference using white or red as the cs base and to me it doesn't make a difference. I used a different star punch for this flag and added a USA paper clip for decoration. The background of the card is So Saffron cs using the Textured plate and the Big Shot. I adhered the red white and blue ribbon using the red star eyelets. I like the Saffron cs with the flag colors, don't know why but I just do :o)

This last card is my favorite of these four cards I made. I like old, rustic pictures, stamps, etc. and this one of the American flag is great. I inked the stamp with blue then red, breathed on it to give it moisture and then stamped it on white cs. I tore all four edges of the white cs to help give it a worn look. A few months ago I saw this red ribbon at Pocket Full of Treasures and got it because I knew I'd use it at some point. It gives texture and color to the card that I like. The sentiment was stamped on white cs using blue ink and framed in red. I used dimentional's on both the flag and the sentiment.

For some reason this flag stamp is difficult to get a usable image from. I had to use my rubber brayer a few times to get this image. It was well worth it to me. I've decided I'm going to make another one of these cards so I can keep this one.