Thursday, March 31, 2011

Woof!

Hello friends and followers.  Today's card was created using a sketch from Clear Dollar Stamps' Clearly Inspired Challenge 24.  I was drawn to the 'Dog Days' stamp set from CDS because the ears of the puppy illustrated, by my uber talented friend Kim Teasdale, looked so much like Ty's (however, Ty has a long beauuuutiful tail that almost never stops wagging that I totally adore).  I did my best to color the pup in to match Ty's unique coloring and used some paw print patterned paper (say that ten times fast) from my scraps as the base,a pre-glittered strip of paw prints from DCWV's Pet Stack, a gift from my crafty friend Barbie (hi Barbie!) and some paw print brads from Michaels.
I think this will be a birthday card for my furbaby's favorite canine pal, a collie who turns 12 in August.  Last year we were invited to his house for cake to celebrate.  My furbaby is very mellow, so he and his friend really just enjoy sitting in the grass next to one another, their heads moving in unison, following every car that drives by.

Well, that is it for today, not feeling great.  Why not give this sketch a try too - the more people who play, the more prizes they give out!  Sketch challenges are fun by themselves, but who doesn't enjoy prizes right?
Have a great day and thank you for visiting my blog and looking at my card.
~Crafty Math Chick

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Viva la Tuesday Trigger

Good afternoon friends and followers.  :)  Today I have four (count 'em) cards for your viewing pleasure. The first is for this week's Moxie Fab World Tuesday Trigger Challenge, using this picture as inspiration:
I was inspired by the jar image and the turquoise, orange & white color palette.  I came up with this card:
I used Papertrey Ink's 'Studio Style' set, and let me tell you, it was pretty tricky trying to ink only the jar in turquoise and only the buttons in orange without bleeding.  Then I wanted to create a frame of buttons playing off of the buttons inside the jar.  At last, a sentiment that will be perfect for one of the many thank you's I need to send to all of my supportive and kind crafty friends.  (Card one, clap clap, done.)

I am happy to say I was successful in completing cards for all of the Viva la Verve! challenges at SCS this month.  I had such a block with Week 2's Sketch by Charmaine, so I did what I always do when this happens, I rotated it and flipped it over for a fresh perspective.  And I thought 'Hey, that circle in the corner kind of looks like a balloon..." and I came up with this card:
The balloon was punched out using a Mega (purple) Marvy Uchida punch from this pretty pre-glittered sparkly paper by Making Memories.  I cut the 'balloon tail' out of the same paper and tied some twine by Martha Stewart around the end to substitute for the ribbon in the photo.  For the side strip I found this brown piece of Chocolate Chip cardstock that had been embossed using the CB 'Branches' embossing folder and though it resembled bark and would make a good tree trunk behind the balloon (light bulb -> at this point the idea for the next card popped into my head).  I stamped the cute little birdie from Verve's 'Wordy Birds' set onto Real Red cardstock and colored in his wing for a little depth and positioned him as if he was holding up the greeting.  Another birthday card for my stash.  (Card two, clap clap, done).
Here is the card that was conceptualized while making the previous card - when I was adhering the trunk I thought "Hm, I should have just made this a tree instead of a balloon..." and (ding! ding! ding!) realized I could do this using a few scalloped punches and thus became the card above.  I turned the bow from the sketch into a yellow ribbon (You all have "Tie a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree..." going through your heads now, don't you?) and created a bird nest for another little Wordy Birdie to nestle in using some scraps that resulted from trimming down the tree trunk.  On both of these cards I created the cloud background by sponging Bashful Blue ink around a scalloped oval punch (I kept the one from before - every day is Earth Day!)  (Card 3, clap clap, done).
My final card was made for the Week 3 Viva la Verve Challenge by Maureen.  This one took me a while to come up with but I am happy with the final result.  It uses both Verve's 'Glad Tidings' and 'Merry Wishes' sets.  The white berries were embossed onto Real Red cardstock and the red berries were stamped with Real Red ink.  The snowflake-poinsettia was stamped twice - once embossed on red cardstock and one onto white cardstock with red; both were cut out and layered.  I attached a velvet ribbon and bow and some rhinestones to random red berries and to the center of the snowflake-poinsettia.  (Card 4, clap clap, done AND all five of the Viva la Verve challenges are now complete - so I am a Viva la Verve Champion for the month of March - WOO HOO!...Now you hear Queen's 'We are the Champions...." in your head, right?)

Holiday card count: 15 (As a personal goal, I try to complete at least 10 holiday cards every month so that I am all set when the holidays arrive and I do not have the stress of trying to create a gazillion cards in addition to all of the tradition holiday shtuff we all have to do, and I usually have plenty left over to send to family, friends and Operation Write Home; I am a little behind at this point because of my surgery, but I am confident I will be able to catch up as my healing progresses, even if I have to take the CAS approach - hey, they are easier and cheaper to mail anyway right?)

Thank you Cath, Charmaine and Maureen for the cool challenges and inspiration, and thank you all for taking the time to read my blog and look at my cards.  Have a great day!
~Crafty Math Chick

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Viva la Verve!

Good afternoon friends and followers.  Today I decided to work on some of the Viva la Verve! Sketch Challenges over at Splitcoaststampers.  Here is my first card for Week 1, designed by Amber Hight:
The butterfly and sentiment are from Verve's 'Blue Skies' set and are embossed in black onto brushed gold cardstock.  I LOVE the patterned papers on this card - they are from the 'Simple Elegance' mat stack by the Paper studio, and in addition to those beautiful golden tones they are foiled (not sure you can tell from the photo).  The butterfly is popped up with dimensionals and a touch of black velvet ribbon completed the card.
My second card followed Week 4's Sketch by Jackie Pedro.  I decided to go with a patriotic theme using Verve's images from their 'Blue Skies' and "American Hero' sets.  I stamped the notebook paper image (isn't it the cutest?!!) using Soft Sky ink to try to resemble the look of real notebook paper.  The stars in the background, which match the embossed stars using the stars Cuttlebug folder, which you can barely see, are stamped in Ridinghood Red and Night of Navy; I really like these two colors together, so classic.
My last card followed Week 5's Sketch by Sankari Wegman.  I took the liberty of converting the circles into butterflies and found some pretty patterned papers that I liked in DCWV's Blossoms & Butterflies stack and found colors in my stash to match them: Melon Mambo, Pretty in Pink and Peach Cobbler.  Again, I used images from Verve's 'Blue Skies' set and stamped the notebook paper in Soft Sky on white cardstock and added the sentiment in Chocolate Chip ink.  I loved how the swirls in this set closely matched the DP, and added a few flourishes in Melon Mambo.  So, which of the three is your favorite?

My hope was to finish all five of the Viva La Verve Challenges today, LOL, yeah, I know, a little ambitious given my health, but I have only two sketches left - week's 2 & 3 (which were trickier for me for some reason) and two days to complete them, so hopefully I should finish all five in time to post in the Viva la Verve Sketch Champions thread (insert Queen's "We are the Champions" music here).  We will see, health comes first and I hurt my back pretty good when bending down to pick up a stamp set I had dropped on the floor (I KNOW!  But my grabbers are not effective at picking up relatively flat items off of the floor!!) 

Thank you all for taking the time to visit my blog and see my creations.  I hope you like them.
~Crafty Math Chick

Monday, March 28, 2011

Markers down?

Good afternoon friends and followers.  I really enjoy coloring with Copic Markers, so I was taken back when I saw that There She Goes' 100th challenge was to use a coloring medium other than markers... (cricket, cricket).  I decided it was time to bite the bullet and finally learn how to color with Odorless Mineral Spirits (OMS).  I used this awesome tutoring on coloring with OMS at Stamp TV, and this is what I came up with:
I used There She Goes' 'Puppy Love' stamp set - which I LOVE and a layout and color scheme from the CASE Study Challenge 32.  Here is the lovely card created by Julee Tilman that we were given for inspiration:
As you can see, I used the sky blue and chocolate brown color combination (my favorite BTW) along with some of these beautiful pre-flock and pre-glittered Ella Blue papers and rosettes that were a 'get well' gift from my dear friend Lee.  I discovered I didn't have any chocolate satin ribbon so I opted for this sparkly brown one since it matched the sparkle of the patterned paper.  (Note - tying wired ribbon is tricky!  LOL!) 

I followed part of the recipe of This week's Catered Crop 'FTR8' Challenge, using the following ingredients from the sample recipe in my card:
  • Colors - blue, brown, green (see the grass?)
  • Color medium - Prismacolor pencils (with OMS)
  • Tools - die cut shapes - ovals
  • Embellishments - ribbons, flowers

Also since my card uses flowers on the patterned paper and those petite rosebuds, it satifies the requirements of Cupcake Craft Challenge 135 - Flowers for Mum, I even had the idea that the two cute pups pictured were a Mom & pup when I designed the card.

Thank you to Lee for the gorgeous goodies to craft with, to all of the sponsors for the cool challenges and to all of you who take the time to look at my card.  Have a great day!
~Crafty Math Chick

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tuesday Trigger - A Citrus Celebration

Hello my friends and followers, today's card is brought to you courtesy of Cath's Tuesday Trigger at her Moxie Fab World blog.  Here is the picture she gave us to use as inspiration:

When I first saw this photo I instantly thought of this lime polka dot ribbon I had and had trouble deciding between cupcake images from one of my many numerous cupcake themed sets and these popsicle images from  this 'Sweets & Treats' set by Lizzie Anne Designs that I thought had polka dotted popsicles - (buzzer) nope, but it had polka dotted ice cream scoops.  After several minutes of not being happy with how my Stamp-a-ma-jig was lining up the scoops with the cones (like how I blame the SAMJ instead of myself?) my back was beginning to hurt (my doctor would probably not be pleased to learn that I have resumed stamping so soon after my spnal fusion surgery - bad CMC!) and I opted for plan B.  Here is the result:

I knew I wanted to make a CAS card (that's 'clean and simple' for any newbie's out there) so I got out my ice cream cone punch by Martha Stewart and punched three scoops of ice cream - Summer Sun, Tangerine Tango, and Gable Green and three cones from kraft cardstock and affixed them in place on a white base above that ribbon I mentioned earlier.  I played around with different punch shapes for a while trying to decide on the best one for the sentiment (which says 'A cool treat for someone so sweet!' from LAD's Sweet & Treats set) and finally decided on Stampin' Up!'s Modern label punch over a 1" circle. 

I have been SO lucky to have so many crafty friends, almost all of whom I have never even met, caring about me and sending me stuff to cheer me up (it worked BTW all of you!  Thank you all SO MUCH for bringing so much cheer and well wishes to me during a pretty painful and frustrating time of my life!  And your prayers worked because I am walking again without any radiating pain, WOO HOO!  (now if only I could twist, bend and lean again, LOL, hopefully soon enough) I have some of the BEST crafty friends on the planet, and I am SO grateful for ALL of you!!) so I have a LOT of 'thank you's to create in the near future, so I figured this could be one of those 'thank you's.  I know I can do better than this, so I think I am going to give this another go over the weekend; my back is still not healed sufficiently enough for an all day stamp-a-thon (doesn't that sound like such decadent fun though?) for me to have tried again today.  Why don't you give it a try too?  I know that would make Cath happy.  :) 

Thank you all for taking the time to look at my card.  I hope everyone has a FABULOUS weekend!
~Crafty Math Chick

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

There She Goes... Standing Out from the Background...

Hello friends and follows, today I have three cards for you, all created for TSG Challenge 99 over that the There She Goes Clear Stamps Blog. and all using stamps by There She Goes Clear Stamps.  I totally LOVE this company!   The challenge was to create a one layer card that has images stamped in the same color as the card base (monotone) to create a background scene, and then stamp the main image onto a separate piece of cardstock. The main image must then be colored, cut out, and added to the monotone card base to complete the scene. The first idea that came to mind using the 'Puppy Love' set was already done by someone else, so I had think of something new.  In the process, three ideas came to mind.  The following three cards are the result.
This first card is for all of you java junkies out there, using 'Let's Get Together'.  I placed the two outline coffee bean images and stamped them multiple times using Close to Cocoa ink on kraft cardstock to create the background.  For the cup, I stamped the cup image and wrapper images on white and then on kraft cardstock, then paper pieced them.  I repeated this process with the circle and the sentiment on kraft and Garden Green cardstock.  Turns out I don't have a 7/8" circle punch which would have been perfect for the circle, I opted to go for a size larger, affixed it to the wrapper then popped the cup up with dimensionals on the base.  Funny how you find out what supplies you don't have when creating a card, I discovered I do not have any 5/8" brown grosgrain ribbon, I opted for some vanilla creme grosgrain ribbon and layered with forest grosgrain ribbon instead.  Card one, clap clap, done!  (that is a reference to the dealers at the craps tables in Vegas in case you are wondering).

For this second card I used TSG's 'Snowy Days' set.  I stamped two of the pretty snowflake shapes multiple times using Soft Sky ink on Soft Sky paper.  I just love this color, it is a light blue with just a touch of aqua, and lately I really like red and aqua together.  I stamped my snowboarding Polo, I mean puppy (the dog in the set looks so much like my friend Joy's pup named Polo) onto Gina K. Luxury cardstock, PERFECT for Copic coloring, and colored him in using Copic Markers.  I don't know if you can tell in the photo - but I went over the sunglasses and board with Spica pens to add a little sparkle and added a light 'swoosh' with a white gel pen behind the board.  Card two, clap clap, DONE!

This last card is probably my favorite of the three because (1) it has a puppy in it, and (2) it has the most color.  (I LOVE color!  You have no idea how difficult this challenge was for me because I SO wanted to color in that beautifully illustrated fireplace!).  The puppy and tree are from the same 'Snowy Days' set as above, the fireplace, fire and clock are from 'Home Sweet Home', and the winter framed picture & sentiment are from 'HSH - Holiday Additions'.  Something of note with this card - it was my first time ever using the masking technique (I KNOW!).  In order to make the fire look like it was in the fireplace (normally I would stamp it separately and glue it on, but that wasn't allowed in this challenge) I stamped it first on the kraft cardstock base and then on a tiny post it note, which was cut out and placed over the fire on the cardstock, then I stamped that gorgeous fireplace over it, neat huh?  Proud of me?  LOL!  I stamped the other elements to create a scene and took a fine brown pen and drew in a line between the wall and floor.  The puppy and tree were stamped onto Gina K. Luxury cardstock and colored in with Copic markers as well.  I added a little bit of gold Stickles to the star on the top of the tree and went over all the ornaments with Copic Spica pens for a little added sparkle (also discovered I don't have a dark blue bottle of Stickles, thus the resorting to Copic Spica pens, which are a lot easier and less messy to use than Stickles, but not quite as sparkly, they give a more subtle sparkle, still pretty).

So, which is your favorite?  Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and view my creations.  Have a great night!
~Crafty Math Chick

Monday, March 21, 2011

Taylored Expressions' Grand Opening Gallery Challenge

Hello friends and followers!  I don't know if you heard, but Taylored Expressions has become a Member company over at Splitcoast Stampers (WOO HOO!) so to celebrate their membership they are hosting a challenge to fill up their SCS gallery with TE creations.  I have created two cards in celebration of this event.
For both of my cards I used one of the first TE sets I purchased, 'Boys Will be Boys'.  it is one of my favorite for masculine themed cards.  For this one I borrowed Sketch 107 from Card Pattern's Challenge Blog and I distressed a piece of newspaper following the tutorial over at Stamp TV,  using Chocolate Chip, Close to Cocoa and Creamy Caramel inks.  I crimped a strip of kraft cardstock (that always reminds me of the cup holders they have at Starbucks) and adhered this pretty Offray ribbon that reminds me of the steam rising up from a hot cup of coffee between to strips of jute twine and affixed a few loops of jute above the image as well.  I don't know if you can tell, but I also sponged some Creamy Caramel ink around the edges of the center panel to soften them up.  Distressing newspaper is also today's 'Try a New Technique' challenge over at SCS so you will see this card posted over there in my gallery as well today.  Also, since it is a masculine card that uses ribbon, it fulfills this week's RRR20 Challenge at Really Reasonable Ribbon's Challenge Blog.

For my second card I borrowed Sketch 109 from the Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge and the colors from Embellish Magazine's Masculine Color Trends Challenge.  The argyle DPs (don't you like how I lined them up?) are from Stampin' Up!'s hostess patterns packs and the charcoal grey and light blue grid paper is from DCWV's Generation Tech stack (did I mention how much I loved that stack?).  The cloud background I created myself using a scalloped oval punched from Marvy Uchida's pink punch, Bashful Blue ink and a sponge.  The golf image was stamped twice, once on the assembled DP's and once onto Glorious Green cardstock.  I cut out the 'green', colored the post and golf ball in with a white gel pen, and then applied some Tombow Mono-Multi glue to the rest and adhered some flocking of a near identical color by Studio G.  I paper pieced it in place and added the pom pom 'golf ball' with a glue dot.  The flag with it's "1" (for a #1 Dad) was also paper pieced from Certainly Celery DP, also from a hostess patterns pack from Stampin' Up!

So you will be able to see these cards in My SCS Gallery as well as the Taylored Expressions company gallery at SCS in addition to right here on my blog.  Now I have three father's day cards from which my husband can choose for my FIL, the others I can happily donate to Operation Write Home.  Thank you all for taking the time to look at my creations and read my blog.  I hope you have a wonderful day!
~Crafty Math Chick

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Masculine Metal

Good afternoon!  I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.  When I saw that Colleen's Release Day Challenge at Stamp TV was to use metal I thought "AH HA! This is the perfect opportunity to use that 'soft' aluminum sheeting!" that I had purchased a while back.  Here is the card I came up with:

I was AMAZED that I didn't cut myself in the process of cutting the 'soft' aluminum, then ran it through my Cuttlebug with this cool embossing folder that I don't know the name of, but it looks like that industrial metal with treads so you don't trip? I stamped the laptop from 'Tech Talk' by Gina K. Designs twice, once on Brushed Silver cardstock, then again on Brocade Blue which I cut out and paper pieced onto the laptop as the screen. The DP's (can you tell the black one is foiled?  So cool!) are from DCWV's Generation Tech stack - those of you who have known me before this blog was in existence know how much I love these papers for my 'computer jock' cards, it's perfect!  I will be so bummed when I run out of it.  I played around with the layout a while and this is what I decided upon, adding some metal 'screwhead' brads and some silver brads punched through 1/2" punched out Brocade Blue circles.

In addition to the Release Day challenge at Stamp Tv, this card also fulfills the requirements of the following challenges:
Paper Sundaes Challenge 61 - Embossing, and
Embellish Magazine's Color Trends Challenge :


Thank you for taking the time to look at my card.  Happy Sunday!
~Crafty Math Chick

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Happy Fish

Hello. When Gina K. posted this week's colors for her color challenge STVCSP16 on Stamp TV: Wild Dandelion, Sweet Mango and Grass Green I thought - "Hey!  I have all of those in my 'Enjoy the Sunshine Stamp TV kit'!  I gotta play!"  So, I borrowed Sketch-107 from the Card Patterns sketch challenge and made the following card:
Those happy fishies always make me smile.  All the papers, image and ribbon were all included in the kit; the only things that were not included were the Copic markers I used to color the image in and the Fiskars scalloped border punch...and the adhesive of course.  I think it is a nice clean layout that I will use again in the future. 

Since I planned everything out in my head before making this card, and all the supplies were in one place I was able to put it together with less strain on my back, but it still let me know it wasn't happy with me, so I am off to rest yet again.  I suspect I might not be ready but it feels SO GOOD to be stamping again!!  Thank you all for taking the time to look at my card.  Have a great weekend!
~ Crafty Math Chick

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My First Blog Hop



...or 'Waltz' rather.  Welcome vistitors and waltzers!  Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Despite my doctor's advice NOT to do anything other than 'grow bone' for the first three months after my spinal fusion surgery I could not help thinking, "How much could making one card really hurt my back?"  The answer - A LOT!  OW!  I guess in the process of cardmaking I was doing enough leaning, twisting and/or bending and my back let me know it was not happy with me.  So, this is probably my last card for a little while, but I thought Claire's Blog Waltz for Waltzingmouse Stamps was the perfect event for the attempt and an opportunity to introduce my new little blog to the world.  (I just hope I didn't do any permanent damage!)  :(

So, here is my card for the waltz.  This month's theme was Irish Heritage or St. Patrick's Day.  I knew I wanted to use one of the first sets I ever purchased from Waltzingmouse Stamps, Irish Blessings paired with this cool Celtic Cuttlebug embossing folder.  I embossed a piece of Brushed Gold cardstock in the embossing folder.  Then I selected the sentiment and images I wanted to use and found a Nestabilities label shape that worked well with it, Labels 10.  I stamped the sentiment using Handsome Hunter ink and then added those petite little shamrock images on either side (aren't they the sweetest?).  To create the illusion of another layer, I held the die in place and sponged some Handsome Hunter Ink around the edges of the sentiment - it was my first time trying this technique - how do you think it came out?  I added a row of petite bling under the sentiment and some more rhinestones and golden domes accents and popped the panel up with dimensionals over a strip of grosgrain ribbon.  I had hoped to make something more elaborate, the spirit was willing but the back was weak.

Thank you all for visiting my blog and taking the time to look at my creation.  I hope you will visit again in the future, when my back has healed more and crafting is less painful.  Enjoy the rest of the waltz!
~Crafty Math Chick

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How About Some Blog Candy?

...not from me, from my friend Katie Skiff, I am just helping her pass the word and hoping that one of my friends and followers might win a wicked cool prize - a Ribbon Carousel, pictured here:
Ribbon Carousel front rotated with logo
(Note all that yummy ribbon is not included with the blog candy, but doesn't it hold a LOT?!!).  A little info. about them:  Each Ribbon Carousel holds up to 96 rolls of 3/8" ribbon! This easy-to-use organizer is compact, using less than 7" square on your workspace. The 4" Ribbon Carousel holds ribbon spools of any size up to 4". The 8 Post Ribbon Carousel holds the smaller spools. Minimal assembly is required.  Our crafty friend Corinna created them and they are now available for sale at ribboncarousel.com - but Katie and Corinna are giving you a chance to WIN one!  Please visit Katie's blog post HERE for the deets.  GOOD LUCK MY FRIENDS!!!
~Crafty Math Chick

Friday, March 11, 2011

First attempt at a card upload...

Hello my faithful friends and followers!  (I hope you know how much I appreciate every single one of you).  I figured I would take a test run of uploading a card - since I am still recovering from surgery and not supposed to be crafting quite yet I am uploading a previously created card.  I created it for sketch challenge WMSC19 and I am very proud of it because Claire and her team at Waltzingmouse Stamps liked it enough to honor me with a 'Top Mouse' Award (squeak!  squeak!  - polishing the blinkie on my sidebar).  Okay, let's see if this works...
OOOH!  Look at that!  WOO HOO!  Okay, the deets on this card.  I stamped the holly leaf images from Waltzingmouse's 'Sewing Box Christmas' onto Glorious Green and Green Galore cardstocks, cut them out and layered one on top of another.  Then I stamped three holly berries onto Real Red cardstock and punched them out using a 3/4" circle punch.  The middle berry is raised with a dimensional and I added rhinestones to their centers for a little sparkle (I love bling!  Don't you?), then I adhered the lollipop ribbon and bow and stamped the sentiment over it.  Really, it is a pretty easy card to make and it fits in a regular sized business envelope, which is convenient, don't you think?
Hey, that was FUN!  I can't wait to start adding NEW creations now!  Thanks for visiting!  Hope you have a terrific day and a fun-filled weekend! 
~Crafty Math Chick

Monday, March 7, 2011

And so it begins...

Testing 1, 2, 3...

Please stayed tuned for future creations when I have healed sufficiently to be able to resume stamping.  Thank you all for your support!  :)