Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I've moved my blog

Hi everyone.  I wanted to do some different things with my blog, so I decided to bite the bullet and make a new one altogether.  I won't be doing any more updates here so if you want to keep following me, you'll need to move over!  Hopefully that won't be too much of a hassle!

Check out my new blog.  Watch for more postings!

Monday, February 15, 2010

cards for soldiers

Yesterday I had 3 women over to make hand made cards for soldiers. Cindy and Robin had never made cards before but Karen and I are both long time addicts. I had 4 card designs that I pre-cut. The cards came out really nice and I think the soldiers will like them. combined with the cards I had before I am sending a packet of 25. I work with a group out of NH 'cards for soldiers.' They have a sponsor who supplies free envelopes and they support 3 troops overseas. The cards go over in bulk. They are blank on the inside so the soldiers can use them to send to their family members back home. I think it's a really sweet gesture and I've heard the soldiers really like these when they arrive. If you are interested in participating you can either send cards to me to be included in my shipment up there or go to her website by doing a google search on cards for soldiers and send them directly there. The next deadline is end of March for Mother's Day cards. Maybe I'll have another card making party for those!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bloggers Challenge - Valentine

Okay, this is my last valentine for 2010. Just like Christmas by the time the holiday actually arrives, I'm ready to be done with card making with the color scheme. I can't wait to move on to pastels for Easter and Spring. But today we are still in reds & pinks! This card will go to my son. He was the only one I didn't have a card for already. This card uses two stamps from Poppy Stamp. I heard that Poppy Stamp is a division of memory box and the stamps are designed by Dave's kids. I just love dogs and thought these two were adorable. I also used the stampin up sale-a-bration house and teeny tiny wishes. The card stock is very vanilla and the valentines DSP on a real red card. I used colored pencils for the doggies and blended it with a paper stump (roll) and Sansador. Of course there are at least three shades of brown with darker spots on the edges to give the dogs life and dimension. Both Sansador and paper are inexpensive at A.C. Moore or other craft store. They sell them in the fine arts section. The Sansador is basically a low oder paint thinner. The paper stump is like a q-tip, cut in half and with the non-cotton end sharpened. Once you color the image with the pencils, you dip the paper stump in the Sansador and them rub it on the image to blend in and smooth out the color. It's a very easy and inexpensive way to bring a lot of different colors to your images. The ribbon is just a super cute red I found at a craft store at christmas time (and didn't use) and I just cut the snowbanks/hills and used dimensionals to have the top layer of the hill stick up and out. Thanks for looking. Oh and if you were on my blog yesterday, we are all very happy that Joey dog is back to normal - although on a bland diet just in case!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Memory Box - Birds in Tree's

Good morning everyone. The sun is shining, it's cold and I'm exhausted. I had a dog with a tummy ache last night and nobody slept. The sick dog had to sleep in the crate in my room and the healthy dog wanted to sleep on the bed. What a bed hog he was. Woke up to the sound of panting sick dog and luckily was able to get him outside in time. Poor baby. He is miserable. My neighbor and I wondered if that was an acceptable reason to not go to work and we both agreed, it wasn't. But anyway, on to my fun card. Last Saturday I went to a great stampin store in Acton MA - Ink about it. I got this fun new stamp from memory box and had fun playing with it this week. I attached a list of supplies I used. I see other bloggers do that and I find it helpful. So this card was done with Momento ink and copic markers. The momento ink works great with the markers and I got this cute little 'spot' for about $2.50. It's a nice way to get other colors (besides black) without a huge investment. I did the color scheme in green and brown (old olive and close to cocoa.) You can't really see it in the picture but on the owls face, I added some glue so the faces are shiny with a raised surface. The sentiment is one I found at another stamping store and it simply says 'blessings to you' making this a very versatile card. I can add a thank you sentiment, birthday - whatever - when it's time to mail it out. The trees have quite a bit of shading with all the different greens. It's time consuming but enjoyable. The technique is to start with the lightest color first and then add the darkest color and blend, blend, blend. I probably went over this image 3-4 times to get the color saturated and even.
Thanks for looking and have a great day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sympathy Card

Well today I went to the wake of a woman I used to know. It was so sad. I made a very special sympathy card for her daughter Kimberly (16) but forgot to take a picture of it. So instead, I'll attach a picture of Renee. She was such a beautiful woman and I'm so sad that she is gone. I met her at church several years ago. I remember when she first came in. She confessed to me that she was really nervous to be in a church and I assured her that she belonged. She made friends quickly and easily and I remember what a beautiful day it was when she and her daughter were baptized together. Kimberly was probably a young teenager at the time. Renee and I would chat at church and catch up at different women's events. One time, I drove her down to Providence RI to see Beth Moore speak. I remember how moved she was by the message of hope and forgiveness that Beth so elegantly presented. My prayers are with Kimberly now. She seemed so heartbroken at the wake. It must be so hard for her. I know Kimberly has been living with her Dad in Florida since the start of the school year, but I was sad to see that her Dad didn't come with her to MA for the services. Kimberly said her dad couldn't afford for all of them to come so he sent just her and her step mom. Below is an excerpt from her obituary. I will miss her.

Renee' (Rotondo) Silva, 48, of Worcester, died unexpectedly Monday, February 1, 2010. She leaves her daughter, Kimberly Silva of West Palm Beach, FL; two brothers: John Rotondo of Summerville and Jimmy Shaprio Jr. of Florida; three sisters: Mary Rotondo of Dedham, Audrey Rotondo of Dedham and Melina Shaprio of Milford; her companion, Rick Lapierre of Worcester; many nieces, nephews and countless friends. She also leaves her dog, Maggie. Her mother, Ethel (Rotondo) Lavey predeceased her. Renee' enlisted in the United States Army to serve her country during the 1982 Lebanon War.

Renee' was born on August 16, 1961 in Boston and graduated from Dedham High School. She attended Stonehill College, and received her certification in Holistic and Therapeutic Massage from the Spatech Institute. Renee' owned and operated Vivere Massage in Northborough. Renee' enjoyed going out on the boat, being outdoors and watching movies. Renee' was very involved in her church, and was proud to love her God. She helped others with fundraisers and had a heart of gold, always putting others before herself.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Not quite a thank you card - but close

So today's post is a card that started out as a thank you card, but then eventually changed to a 'you are great card.' My husband asked innocently last week 'do you have any thank you cards around?' He should know better. Of course I have some thank you cards, but more importantly is this an ocassion where I can custom make a card for someone? So he described the situation. Rick Mansfield was our caring connector at our church for several years. He's a great guy and is now moving on to a new job. Bob worked with Rick most often in the 'moving men' ministry. Rick would coordinate a bunch of guys to assist either a single women or elderly family with a local move. Bob has spent many a Saturday with Rick and some other guys in church moving people from one place to another. So when Rick was moving on, a thank you card didn't see appropriate - but an acknowledgement card was more in order. So Voila! My 'impressed, amazed, inspired' sentiment was perfect. I had just gone to Ink about it - a stamping store in MA that morning and was itchy to try out my new memory box stamp. The greens were so fun to work with in the dull-grey winter. I love the bright green of the papertrey 'everyday blessing' paper. The ribbon is from amuse. The white card stock is papertrey, the green cardstock is stampin up and the sentiment ink is kiwi kiss (stampin up retired color.) The trees are colored in with copic markers. The lightest and brightest of the colors is YG23 - a really fun - yellow - green that almost glows. It's not very masculine, but it's not awfully feminine either. I hope he likes it.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bloggers Challenge - Red/White/Black - wild aobut you card

This card is for Lisa's bloggers challenge. I had a bunch of heart valentines, but I got inspired to pull out an old retired set 'wild about you' that is a favorite for this one.
This card uses the stampin up valentines DSP, real red card stock, real red ink and the sale-a-bration punch. I also added a red stamped off heart from 'you and moi' and a thin black velvet ribbon from a retired ribbon pack from stampin up. The giraffe has white pearls for his spots and the lion has his mane cut out and glued on with dimensions. Enjoy and thanks for looking!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Golf Cards - Back Nine

So, I have a lot of golfers in my life right now. And they all have occassions that require cards! So I just had to get the retired stampin up set 'back nine.' I saw this in the catalog years ago but always figured I'd get it with my next order. Well it retired and it didn't make it on my last order, so off to ebay I went. For the last 6 months I've looked for it but it's always been over $25.00. Too expensive for me, but then just after christmas (when I was the only one on ebay) I bid on it and won it for $12.00. Good deal. So I made a retirement card and a young man's birthday card with it. The baja breeze worked well with it and I used some retired DSP as well. The other color is Sahara Sand. The image was a pain to work with since it was so big and the sahara sand color was a little light. But after several attempts and a lot of inking, I finally got a few images I could use. Note: The one card has the focus on the man golfer and the other image has the focus on the female golfer. Isn't that neat how versatile this stamp set is???

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Valentine cards for cookie sunday

My church does a really sweet thing each year. They send a shoebox full of homemade cookies and goodies to all the college students and military serving overseas who are part of the church congregation. Every year I bake a few dozen cookies and lately I've also been including a home made valentine for each person. They have over 60 names. I have my work cut out for me. This is more cards than I make for Christmas!!!

I used stampin up hugs and when I ran out of those I just cut some cards and added a little scallop edge to one side. I have glassine envelopes for them. I think they will be cute. The kids can either re-gift them or enjoy them.

I made a few designs, but everyone in my family loved the oval cut out of 'love you much' the best. I whipped up the love you much bird without much thought and it's already had over 100 hits on split coast stampers. Funny how you can sometimes get your best cards when you run out of materials for the original!!! Which is your favorite?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Caroline's valentine card

Don't you just love getting a handmade card in the mail??!! I do! My cousin Caroline just started stamping and she sent me this card last week. Isn't it cute! I love the inside. It's hard to see in the photo, but she made punch out hearts attached to clear strips that are adhered to the center. They are like heart fingers all wiggling around when you open it. Great Card. Love it.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Bloggers Challenge - Birthday Card

I was so happy to see the Bloggers challenge today for birthday greetings because it gave me a motivation to use my new Amuse stamp 'birthday girl.' It's actually two stamps.. The cute birthday girl and the saying. I got these at the store that sponsored the copic marker class in Brookline Abiella. I love the fonts and sayings on the Amuse stamps and I thought this girl would be handy for birthday greetings.

So do you notice the shading?? I used three complementary blues to give the illusion that the sun is casting shadows. I am enjoying the techniques and one of the main things I learned in class is to saturate the image with color by going over it again and again with the marker. It's more time but worth it. I also used new paper from papertrey. The white is a very nice heavy card stock with no sheen to it at all. It works great with the markers since it doesn't disintegrate, nor does the color streak. The patterned paper is also from papertrey. It's a cute little set called everyday blessings and I love the green and blue color combination. The mat is stampin up Baja Breeze (retired from last years in colors) and so is the ribbon and buttons. My coworkers birthday is Mid - February. Maybe I''ll use this card for her. It's nice to have a little 'card inventory' so when a birthday or even comes along I actually have a finished card to use so I don't have to stay up at night working on it, or worse yet, but more likely, give a card late! Anyway, hope you are all happy and warm tonight. It's bitter cold here in New England and I'm thankful for my heated house! Also, by the way, I just learned something. Most of you bloggers probably already know this but if you click on the image it opens it up bigger so you can see it in great resolution with more detail. I love learning about little helps like that! I wish I'd known that before!!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Learning to use Copic Markers

This past weekend I went to a great class on how to use copic markers. I started using these markers this fall when I began to do more line art image stamping with stamps like Stampavie and Amuse. I was finding the stampin up markers just weren't doing a great job for larger images that needed coloring. I also noticed people doing shading and, stamping up markers don't come in multiple shades of a color, so I started stocking up on copic markers and did the best I could. The markers themselves are great. The sketch markers have a nice tip that feels like watercoloring. The color is rich and I fell in love. The only problem was, I wasn't very good at using them! Part of my problem was my paper. I read on websites that you need a good paper, and I tried several but none were really just right. At the class they told me about some papers - I just ordered some really heavy card stock (120 pound) from papertrey. That was the only downside of the class. I heard about a lot of great products that I currently don't own! The store that sponsored the class had some cute things so I got some new ink (Momento) and anew stamp (birthday girl.) When I went to the website for papertrey, I got paper and more. They have a great selection of stuff. I got a new stamp set (owls), some patterned paper, my white paper and glassine envelopes. And, more copic markers! Yikes - I am not being very good about my stamping budget this month! Anyway, back to my class. I really enjoyed it. our teacher Liz was very organized and encouraging. She had several projects for us to do with different blending and shading techniques. I'm not an expert, but I'm a lot more confident. Check out the projects we did. If you live in Boston area, I highly recommend a copic marker class. They offer them at Abielle (Brookline) and Ink about it (Westford.) Check out for other copic marker videos and teachers in other areas. As for papertrey - check it out. They have a great gallery of beautiful cards. My teachers stuff can be viewed on her blog Check back later this week. I'll post some of my own designs using the new blending and shading techniques with my new birthday girl stamp!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Why I changed the name of my blog!

You may have noticed that I changed the name of my blog. I didn't really like the old blog name and I thought it may be misleading and have people think I'm selling my cards. I barely have time to make the cards I use - I couldn't possibly take card orders - not that anyone is asking! So, I came up with the new name - stamping in the suburbs. I think it's catchy and I follow another blog that's called stamping by the sea. Since I don't have a sea-side residence, I figured, let's call it what it is - THE SUBURBS. I actually love living in the suburbs of Boston - well - except for the high cost of living and the traffic, but suburban life suits me just fine. I actually just recently read a book (it's pretty good - I recommend it) called 'an ordinary day.' It was the story of a woman who lived in the suburbs of Boston who decided to simplify and move to the country. It's a mothers memoir of life with teenage boys and preparing for the empty nest. However, I found the book rather ironic since her attempt to simplify her life seemed to only make it very complicated. to make a long story short, they moved in with her mother for 3 years (while her boys were in high school) and commuted to drive one of her sons to a private school and then decided to demolish a house and build from scratch a custom home in NH. Does that sound simple to you? I didn't think so either. Anyway, back to me - I love the suburbs. I like sidewalks, cul-de-sacs and grocery stores within a 5 mile drive. I like local baseball parks, mini-golf, malls and ice cream places called things like 'west end creamery' with home made ice cream and jimmies. So, my blog is now called stamping in the suburbs because in a nutshell - that's me. thanks for listening to my ramblings. more cards to come. I've been stamping up a storm and will have several things to show in the next few days!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bloggers Challenge - Die Cuts

I made this valentines card for today's bloggers challenge. I used the embosslit butterfly with the big shot to punch out all these cute butterflies. I also used the big shot to get these polka dots on the whisper white card stock. I used the pinking shears punch to get the pink edge. The colors are regal rose and whisper white. I added the twine rope to add another texture element and there is some grosgrain regal rose ribbon. The image is from 'you and moi.' Thanks for looking. Have a great day.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ruffles - Thank you kindly

A Thank you card - with SHADING!!

This is a thank you card I made for my cousin Noralee. We stayed with her family during a recent visit to NY state and I wanted to send her a card.

This card is a big milestone for me. It is my first card that includes shading. That doesn't sound scary but it's been a hard concept for me to incorporate into my card making. I think I just wasn't confident and was nervous to try it. I also only recently got the right color combination of markers. I read that it is wise to get 3 markers of similar colors - one light, one medium and one dark. Now that I have three browns, I was able to shade my thankful doggie! The photo is not great, but you can probably see the shading the best on the dogs ears and paw. I picked a light source to be in the upper left corner so the darker colors then went on the right. I also shaded the ducklings, but I only had two yellows so it's more subtle.

I'm so happy I mastered a new technique! I generally do 'the same old - same old' so it's fun to branch out. Hopefully I'll get more confident (and better) at it as time goes on.

The stamp is a stampavie clear called Ruffles Birdwatching by Helz Cuppleditch.
The paper is whisper white with a mat layer of soft suede and another mat of crushed curry.
The ribbon is crushed curry (polka dot - turned upside down so the dots don't show.) The ribbon holder is from hodge podge hardware (retired set.) The markers were a mix of copic sketch and stampin writes. The sentiment comes from the Thank you kindly set from stampin up.

Thanks for looking and I always LOVE comments!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Asian Artistry Birthday Card

My mom's birthday is coming up in February and normally I procastinate in making and sending a card, but this year I started early! This card uses my new stamp set Asian Artistry. I also used my new satin ribbon from my Chic n scratch ribbon share. And lastly I used my new ticket corner punch.
The colors are cameo coral, old olive, whisper white and peach blossom. The image is colored in with Copic markers with shading of one darker shade with one lighter shade.
Thanks for looking.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Dog in the neighborhood

Well, we have a new dog in the neighborhood. We actually have a lot of dogs in the neighborhood and I know them all by name. Next door is Renaldo. He is a Wheaton terrior and he's a character. Renaldo's mom and I walk the dogs together every morning. Across the street is Tucker. I don't know what Tucker is but he is small and yellow and cute and old. He is friendly but kind of a loner. His mom and I carpool together for school. She is a sweetheart and I'm going to miss her daughter when she heads to college next year. Three doors down is Monty. He is an English Springer Spaniel. His Mom is in my weekly bible study. She is a neat lady and I'm enjoying getting to know her. Her son is in college and she's struggling with caring for her aging Mother. It's nice knowing people in all life stages. It gives a good view into the next season. She's handling it all beautifully. Which brings me to the new dog in town. Her name is Cassie and she's a cute little white fluff ball. Her owners brought her home just after Thanksgiving. They think she's a cross between a Bijon Frise and a Lhapso Apso. She's adorable. Her family has a daughter in middle school. The daughter just loves dogs and was always giving treats to my guys. I'm sure she's thrilled to have a dog of her own, but the dog's dad seems enamored as well. Funny how that happens! Anyway, to mark the occassion, I felt I needed to make a card. Sadly, I have yet to give it to them. I usually see the dad in the morning when he is bringing his daughter to the bus, but it's been so cold and snowy, they've been taking her to the bus in the car and I haven't bumped into him. This week - I WILL - get this card to them. Maybe I'll even walk it over and go to their door, rather than hoping for a chance encounter. The card uses a fun retired set from stampin up. The colors are soft suede and sahara sand with whisper white. I thought about adding some color to the dog and boot, but decided that for this one - less is more. Hopefully it will make it to it's destination early this week! Thanks for looking and enjoy!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bloggers Challenge - Brown, Pink & White

Friday's bloggers challenge was to use pink, brown and white in a card. I love these colors together and decided to do my stampavie monkey image to make it come together. I use stampin up colors for the paper - pretty in pink, melon mambo and whisper white and then color in the image with copic markers that match the colors.

The words come from the cupcake stampin up set and it was nice how the saying wraps perfectly around the monkey's balloons.

I'm still working on figuring out how to do shading with the copic markers. For this card, I didn't do any shading, but I just got a few more brown colors so my next attempt will do more shading.

Thanks for looking! Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ready for spring

Okay, it's not nearly spring time here in New England, but I'm getting a head start on my spring themed cards. I am playing a lot with my new flower soft and I thought it would go nicely in the bicycle basket. I may put a happy birthday message inside or I may leave it as a blank card for a general occasion.

The top layer is stamped with stayzon black and then I put some tacky glue down and then added a bunch of flower soft in blue and lavender. That image is then matted on lavender lace and brocade blue. Both images are from a local card store - not stampin up but I love how the Hello greeting goes so well with the bicycle. I used the big shot to emboss polka dots on the whisper white card stock and used a scallop edge punch on the lavendar lace at the top.

Thanks for looking! Think Spring!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Family Christmas - monogram card

My mothers sister - Verna Baker always welcomed me into her family and we have been welcomed into their home many times over the years. The Bakers have a tradition of gathering after the new year for a belated family christmas celebration and for the last few years my family has joined them. Family Christmas was yesterday and my husband attended. The family christmas tradition is that each woman draws a name and we give a handmade gift to our chosen name. If you are not crafty or run out of time, you are allowed to buy a hand made gift, but most of us typically try our hand at something. I decided to do a framed photo collage and a set of hand made blank cards for my gift. I drew my cousin Lin and her grandson Andrew is about to turn two, so I had fun making a photo collage of 3 great photos of him. I also decided to do a monogram card design to craft 6 monogram blank cards for her. I figure everyone can use blank cards - especially if they are pretty and classy.

So here is a photo of the package of cards I made. I used chocolate chip and whisper white. The white was embossed using the big shot and then I used a scallop punch on the bottom edge. I also used a chocolate chip dsp (designer series paper) with polka dots on it and the ribbon is chocolate chip taffeta. Inside I pasted a white card stock with a priceless stamp image. For the monogram I used my computer and printed using my digital studio a script L in chocolate chip color. I used a basic round punch and the scallop punch to get the monograms in. My cousin Lin loved it and I hope to make more for others in the future.

Thanks for looking - watch for more posts later this week.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Branch out with flower soft

Hello - Happy New Year!

Today's post is a birthday card for my father in law. I used a new accessory called flower soft. It's a very cool (but messy) product. It brings texture and color into the project. I stamped the tree with soft suede on very vanilla. Then I used the leaf stamp and very slightly stamped a few leaves in two colors - celery and artichoke. I didn't want a lot of green because I was going for an early spring budding tree and I wanted it to look real. After the image was there, I put some tacky glue down and then sprinkled my lavender flower soft in. I didn't use a lot of glue because I didn't want a fully flowering tree. After it dried I shook the extra off. For my sentiment I used the punch and then laced some linen thread through to give it a more rugged look. I hope you like this one.

p.s. I am hoping to be more diligent about posting a few times a week. Please add me to your favorites and you'll get an e-mail when I post something new. As always, I love your comments. Thanks for looking!