Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dotty Anniversary

I am now in catch up mode, as I have made several projects in the last 3 months that I never had time to photograph and post. This is one of those cards.
I fell in love with the Dotty Angles set and was so excited to use it as soon as I got my first order from the Annual Catalog! And I never have enough wedding and anniversary cards, so that is where I went with this. In fact, I sent this card to my oldest son and his wife for their 1st anniversary before I even posted this :)
I played with all kinds of new goodies on this card! I had not gotten the Dazzle markers when they were in the Holiday Mini last year, so I snatched those puppies up as soon as the new catty went live. It made a lovely outline for me on the card front. I stamper the Dots image several times down the card front creating a confetti look with Whisper White and Coastal Cabana ink. The sentiment is stamped in Silver Encore ink. Love that stuff too! Add some Silver satin and White Cotton ribbons, some In-Color Sequins, and rhinestones, and we are set!

In retrospect, I should have stamped the sentiment in Silver. Oh well! Sometimes we just have to be happy with the results anyway :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Creative Blog Hop

I have been tagged by Dawn Tidd to be part of a never-ending blog hop called the Creative Blog Hop. I did a google search in this thing and found some interesting blogs featuring all kinds of creative pursuits, including knitting, crochet, painting and refurbishing furniture and flea-market finds, creative writing, and cooking! Wow, huh?! 
This blog is pretty much about my paper crafting endeavors, but I do other things as well.

Well, there are 4 questions I am supposed to answer for this hop. Here they are:

1. What am I working on now?

Well, that is a pretty broad question! I always have a variety of things going on. Let's see if I can sum it up.
 Last fall, while bored one weekend, I decided to put some feelers out about starting a regularly scheduled blog hop that would feature a single stamp set each time. Boy-howdy, did that take off like a shot! There is now a group of 21 stampers that participate in the twice-monthly Stamp Review Crew blog hops! Incidentally, that is how I met Dawn :) I am continually working on this project as there always seems to be something that needs to be done. I did just finish picking the next 4 months of stamp sets to be featured and posting them. We just had our latest hop today, in fact! I went a little crazy with the projects this time. Sometimes, the creativity just flows!
I am also in the planning stages for a card front swap that is due the end of this month. Yes, I said planning. I haven't gotten anything onto paper yet :)

I made this little card the other day. There is a blog post with the details of this project here.

In the next month, I need to design 3-4 projects for an upcoming Stampin' Addicts blog hop on October 10th. And some projects with the next 2 stamp sets to be featured in the Stamp Review Crew hops. 

I am also trying to just stamp more often again, as I have been busy doing summer stuff, like gardening, yard work, working on the house, and visiting family. That has not left much time for the crafty stuff!

2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?

 Hmmm... I think the one thing that I do that is different from most other people is that I am obsessed with outlining stuff with my Signo white gel pen! You will notice that about 80% of my projects have some element outlined, and almost always with the white gel pen.

 You can see on this project all of the spots I can find to squeeze in some white gel pen.

I also love to stitch on my projects. Dimensionals and embossing are big on my favorite things also. I find lots of ways to use Crumb Cake and burlap. AND I do a lot of masculine stuff. That could be because I am not really a frou-frou girl, and I have 3 sons. My one daughter is as much of a tomboy as I am! I love nature, and incorporating that love into my projects. 

3. Why do I create what I do? 

For the pure joy of it! I started out as a scrapbooker. I never thought I would get into making cards. But, my kids are all pretty much grown, and my one grandson is only 4½ months old. I quickly ran out of things to scrap! And when my friends at work (in my previous job) asked me to start a monthly Stamp Club, I had to expand my horizons! I would design a scrapbook page, a card, and a 3D project for each month, and that really opened my eyes to the fun of completing a "quick" project. I could spend so many hours on a single scrapbook page, but a card could be done in as little as 15 minutes! 
I also love to give handmade cards and gifts. I grew up doing everything handmade, and a purchased gift feels like cheating now, lol!

Stamping is also my therapy. I am an Emergency Room nurse, and I see plenty of the not so great aspects of humanity on a regular basis. Don't get me wrong. There are plenty of just plain sick or injured people in the ER who I am very happy to care for. That is what I went into nursing to do. But the senseless violence, the self-destructive behavior, and frankly- the totally self-absorbed "fast-food" mentality of some people makes it really hard sometimes to remember that I don't hate people, lol!  Yes, I am sorry you have had the sniffles for the last 2 days. And yes, it really sucks that you have to wait your turn. Did you want me to stop taking care of the 10 other people who are MUCH more ill than you so you can get home faster? Maybe the heart attack in the room to your right should wait, or the fella across the hall writhing in agony from an appendicitis or kidney stones wouldn't mind if you got seen first. How about the lady down the hall who has a systemic infection and has no blood pressure should wait a little longer. Yup, I'll get right on that.... 
The definition of an emergency to an ER nurse: Airway, Breathing, Circulation- Life and Limb- are any of these impaired? Are any of these in danger of being impaired in the next 15 minutes? Are any of these in danger of being impaired today? 
The definition of an emergency to a large number of people I see every day at work: I am uncomfortable in some way, shape, or form and it is most convenient for me to come to the ER so I don't have to plan ahead by making an appointment. "And why is it taking so long! This is the emergency room, it is supposed to be fast!" I have actually heard those exact words at least 4 times in the last month, and every single one of those people were in for something so minor, they needed NO treatment, not even a prescription or a bandaid! 

So, in paper crafting, I find peace, and joy, and if I screw up I can just add more embellishments. Or throw it away! There is absolutely nothing life or death about it, and no right or wrong, except what fits my vision for the day. The people I come in contact with in paper crafting are already in their happy place, and don't need my TLC to get there. The problems are all small, and easy to fix, and nobody dies!
4. How does my creative process work?

It starts with a spark of an idea. It could be some colors I want to play with, a technique I want to try, or a new "toy" I want to play with. I might use a sketch, theme, or color challenge, or I might wing it. Really, I just start playing and things generally evolve along the way. Once in a while, I will get a picture in my head of the finished project, and it will actually look like my original vision at the end! That is pretty rare though :)
I either put on some tunes (Adele, Nora Jones, K.T. Tunstal, etc) or watch some dark and twisted stuff, like Criminal Minds, Bones, or something Sci-Fi! I am such a geek!

OK, that is all I have for you, and I am sorry it is not put together better. I hope this peek into my brain didn't scare anybody away! 

Now, of the 6 people I asked to participate, only 1 was able to sign up! The others were already asked, or did not have the time to do this hop... bummer! 

This is Holly Krautkremer. She does beautiful work, and you really need to get to know her :) Here is the quick bio she sent to me:

"Let's see my name is Holly. I am a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator. I got into crafting when my grandma asked me to help research her ancestors; let's just say I got bitten by the scrapbook bug and as they say the rest is history! I love sharing my creative with others and making gifts for family and friends. Nothing gives me much more joy than to give someone something I made and it brightens their day!!"

You can find Holly here:

And in case you missed it on Dawn's blog, here is my "short" bio.

 My name is Tanya Boser and I have been a DIY person my entire life. I grew up on a farm in Central Minnesota with horses, pigs, chickens, cats, a couple of steers for butcher each year, and dogs that we raised and sold. We also had a HUGE garden. We canned and froze our produce, butchered our own meat, did MAJOR remodeling to our 90 year old farm house, re-upolstered our own furniture, built lawn furniture and wooden childrens' toys and sold them at a large Farmers Market. I learned to cook, bake, and sew by the age of 7, and made my own clothes all the way through school. Even my wedding dress was homemade (as were the cake, the flowers, the invites, and all of the decorations, and the food for the reception). My parents are clearly very crafty people, and until my mother had a stroke 8 years ago, she painted (artistically) too! How could I not become a stamper?! I no longer live on a farm, although I still have quite the menagerie with 4 dogs, 1 cat, and a rabbit. I have been married for 24 years to my very first boyfriend and have 4 wonderful children, and now 1 grandson! The kids have all turned into adults....ok the youngest is 18 but he is a Senior in high school and such an easy kid! I work full time night shift in an Emergency Department as a Registered Nurse (which I love but is a stressful line of work), and on my days off, between other pursuits and responsibilities, I stamp. It is wonderful therapy :) I was introduced to stamping through my sister-in-law way back in the 90's when she sold Stampin' Up!. I fell in love immediately, because despite the fact that I have an artistic mother and daughter, I can't draw to save my life, lol! After I finished my RN, and my kids had almost all become teenagers, I started selling Stampin' Up! myself. I did it for the discount in 2006 and am still selling, loving it as much now as when I first started, but I have a LOT more toys to play with now :) Apparently I can't stand to be idle, as I will fill any available time with a task or project, which my family can attest to, lol! Last fall, I got bored one weekend and decided to see if I could get a new blog hop together. A hop where everyone used the same stamp set, to highlight some of the current-but-not-new sets that get lost in the fervor for the new. And I was shocked and thrilled with the response! There are now 22 people that participate in this adventure with me, and I have loved getting to know them all! We even got to do an entire Display Board at Convention this year! We call ourselves the Stamp Review Crew, and that is how I got to know the wonderful Dawn Tidd, who nominated me for this hop. Thank You Dawn! I hope to meet Dawn in real life at Convention next year!  

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Stamp Review Crew: Truly Grateful Edition
Welcome Fall! Really, I love fall. Even though it kicks up my asthma and I spend a fair bit of time coughing, I just love the color of the sky. The crisp, cool evenings. The changing colors of the leaves. The bounty of garden harvest, and everything apples, pumpkins, and squash! LOVE, I tell you! I really could go on & on :) And this edition of the Stamp Review Crew is featuring a fabulous fall set. I really couldn't stop creating with it!

If you are following along from the beginning, then you just arrived from Shana Gaff's blog. I can't wait to see what she made! If you get lost, you can always find your way back on track on the official Stamp Review Crew blog post for this hop, where the links always take you exactly where you want to go :)

Ok, I am going to admit right now that I got a little carried away making projects for this hop. I cut out six 4x4 card bases and 3½" panels. Then I went ahead and made 5 cards just with this set!

Look how awesome these wheat sheaves look with the Hello Honey ink! The perfect golden yellow. I happen to have a love of fountain pens and the amazing array of inks available for them. I have one called Noodlers Golden Brown that matches the Hello Honey so well, I used it here to outline the front panel. I wanted just a touch of the gold twine, and the knotted loop at the top was just perfect. The sentiment is outlined with white gel pen, of course :)

Next, I grabbed a couple more colors to add to the Hello Honey with Soft Suede and Cajun Craze. I just got the Hi There set, and I love the size of these sentiments!

Inside, I did a stamped off Soft Suede acorn, and then stamped the "nuts about you" sentiment from the set of the same name. Love that sentiment too!

Here I used an Aquapainter to watercolor the panel with Hello Honey, Tangelo Twist, and Baked Brown Sugar. Then I dried it with my Heat Gun, cuz I am impatient like that :) Next, I stamped the chevron wood stamp twice in Soft Suede to cover the panel. And another sentiment from Hi There stamped in Early Espresso!

How about a nice masculine birthday card? This time I used Mossy Meadow, Tangelo Twist, Hello Honey, and Island Indigo to stamp a corner of the chevron wood pattern in each color. I die cut a star from Soft Suede, then paper pierced with the Eclectic Paper Piercing Pack. The ribbon is Mossy Meadow, and the birthday sentiment is from And Many More in Early Espresso again.

This last one of the 4x4 cards is my favorite I think!
  1.  I took the 3½" square panel and embossed with the Large Polka Dot embossing folder. Then I lightly stamped the chevron wood pattern in Sahara Sand over it. It mostly inked just the raised areas and makes a very interesting background. 
  2. I stitched around the panel with my sewing machine. 
  3. Then there is a strip of Naturals Chevron ribbon, a strip of Woodgrain embossed Soft Suede,and popped up on dimensionals.
  4. Stamp and punch out 3 log slices in Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, and Baked Brown Sugar with the 1-3/8" Circle punch. Pop the center slice on dimensionals. More white gel pen details to finish it off!

Here is a different angle, so you can hopefully get a better view of the texture and dimension :)

 Now, this one happened Saturday night after a pile of family left. We had just celebrated my oldest son's 25th birthday with lasagna, cake, and gourmet chocolate. I was putting together this post and I just could not get the thought of a shaker card with this set out of my head! So, as happens sometimes, I had to stop what I was doing and let the inspiration take fruit.
  1. The top panel is watercolor paper embossed with white embossing powder and the chevron wood pattern, then I used an Aquapainter and Crushed Curry ink to add uneven color. When that dried, I cut the window with a die from Chalk Talk
  2. Then I stamped the acorns in Soft Suede on a scrap of watercolor paper and used the Aquapainter again to move the Soft Suede around on the acorn cap, and then add some Cajun Craze to the bottom. Fussy-cutting ensued!
  3. I made a thin mat of Cajun Craze cardstock with the center cut out and glued it to a white card base, and then stamped the sentiment from And Many More in Crushed Curry and Soft Suede.
  4. Cut a rectangle of Acetate to generously cover the window and sticky strip to the back of the watercolor panel. Apply strips of foam tape all over the panel to pop it up and to create a space for the shakers. Make sure there are no gaps for the sequins to leak out of. 
  5. Place a pile of gold sequins, frosty sequins, and one acorn in the area of the card front that will be the shaker, then carefully place the foam taped panel on the card front. Now shake it a bit just to play with it :)
  6. Cut a piece of Burlap trim down the center and dovetail one end. Adhere to card front with sticky strip. Stamp happy birthday in Soft Suede on a scrap of Crushed Curry, then die cut with Itty Bitty Banner die. Add white gel pen accents. 
  7. Using dimensionals, adhere the remaining 2 acorns to the card front, then the happy birthday banner on top of that, with dimensionals also. 
  8. Stamp 3 acorns inside the card without reinking between. Use blender pen to color. Done! 
Here you can see the blender pen colored acorns.
So, what do you all think? Have I convinced you this is the most awesome set ever? Well, you can't say I didn't try ;) Ha! And I just realized this card has the same color scheme as the banner and buttons, which I made long before I made this card, lol!

OK, now that I have overloaded you all, how about a fresh take with Miss Wendy Weixler! She is next up on this hop :)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Ghostly Smiles

It is long past time for me to try to get back on track doing more stuff on my blog. Honestly, this has been a very busy summer for me. I have spent most of my stamping time organizing the Stamp Review Crew, and over the last 2 months, I have been purging my old stamp sets. With that came reorganizing the ones that are retired but I still want to keep. This has made me want to play with some of my old favorites. I have seen so many cute cards with the jack-o-lantern faces from Freaky Friends stamped on the Large Polka Dot embossed paper, I had to try it myself. I wanted this to be a card I could send anytime this fall, not just for Halloween.I don't have Freaky Friends, so I pulled out these 2 sets and this card just flew together! These sets are retired as physical stamps, but both are still available as MDS downloads. How awesome is that?! I can't wait to send this to someone special :)

This is a 4x4 card with a 3¾"x3¾" panel that is embossed with with the Large Polka Dots embossing folder, then stamped with the faces from Pumpkin Patch. Then I took a scrap of the Naturals White and stamped the sentiment from Happy Watercolor in Momento Black ink and the dots from Happy Watercolor in Smoky Slate, stamping more than once before re-inking. I die cut the small banner, and then the next size up in Basic Black. The Black banner just cried to be embossed too, so I had to do it :) The banners are glued together and popped up on dimensionals. I taped the ends of the Silver Bakers Twine to the back of the faces panel, then popped the whole thing up on dimensionals.

Inside, I stamped a black face, a full strength Smoky Slate, and a stamped off Smoky Slate. Now, I need to decide who needs a little pick-me-up!

 Ok, I must be off to bed! I have a bunch of family coming from out of town to celebrate my oldest son's birthday. David turned 25 years old on Tuesday, and my in-laws are coming from 2 hours south, and all of my boys and their ladies, and my grandson are coming! I already made pumpkin bread, and tomorrow I must make cheesy garlic bread from scratch, a greens salad, and some chocolate chip cookies to go with the lasagna and better-than-sex cake my mother-in-law is bringing :) I'm getting hungry already, lol!
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